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One Hundred Ways to Say 'I Love You'

Chapter Text

It’s been nearly 3 hours since they had pulled over at a rest stop.

Seungcheol was manning the wheel since they left Seoul. They were on their way to visit Jihoon for the opening of his cafe he co-owns with Wonwoo and Mingyu.

 

“Whose fucking fault was it that it had to be so goddamn far from Seoul?” Seungcheol thought to himself, but he noticed Jeonghan chuckling to himself, so he guessed he must have said it out loud.

 

There were a couple of coffee cups and some candy wrappers and half-eaten bags of chips in the backseat. Seungcheol sighed as he gave it a single glance before looking back at the road.

His shoulders felt heavy, his eyelids attempting to slide down any minute now. He grabbed for one of the colorful energy drinks in the cupholder, when another hand reached out to give the bottle to him.

 

“Pull over,” Seungcheol heard Jeonghan say. His sight was a bit blurry because of the wear, but Jeonghan’s voice was like honey, soothing him, easing him from the fatigue.

“Pull over, babe. You go take a nap, let me drive for a while.” Jeonghan told him, as he soothingly rubbed Seungcheol’s forearm.

 

On normal days, Seungcheol would have rejected that offer, but he had just come back from a gruelling basketball match with some college friends last night, went grocery shopping in the morning, and left in the afternoon for their drive to Jihoon’s cafe's opening.

 

Seungcheol would have been stupid to not take that offer.

 

So he pulled over, and switched seats with Jeonghan. He grabbed one of the stuffed animals they had in the backseat, and cuddled with it until he felt sleep wash over him.

 

---

 

Jeonghan hummed a cheery tune, he must have heard it from Seungkwan, while he drove the rest of the way to Jihoon’s.

 

He glanced at Seungcheol snoring lightly beside him, smiling fondly at how the elder’s mouth was slightly hanging open. He also noticed how Seungcheol’s hand had absently grabbed onto the hem of Jeonghan’s sweater like a lifeline.

 

Stopping at a red light, Jeonghan lightly patted his lover’s hand.

The lights had just turned green when he heard Seungcheol mumble an “I love you, Hannie” in his sleep.

 

For what seemed like an eternity there, Jeonghan was silent, he placed a free hand on top of Seungcheol’s, and drove on.

 

“I love you too, Cheollie.”

Chapter Text

“So, uh, what’s this one for again?” Jihoon asked Wonwoo, who was staring intently at the ground.

 

They were sitting on the swing set at the park on campus grounds. Wonwoo had asked to meet, said he would give something to Jihoon.

And now here they are, a thin veil of awkwardness and tranquility surrounding them.

 

Wonwoo had given him a Jigglypuff plushie this time. Since starting dating, Jihoon had a small collection of stuffed creatures in his room, all of them from Wonwoo.



All of them, according to Wonwoo, had reminded him of Jihoon. The younger, on the other hand, was rendered speechless at that one sweet gesture.

Who would have thought this emo-looking kid from his Web Design class would be so cute?

 

“That one, ah, uh, I saw it on my way home last week, and it reminded me of you, so I got it, and now it’s yours?” Wonwoo stuttered, trying to explain, he was touchcing his face and neck a whole lot, Jihoon noticed, a sure sign of shyness and nervousness.

 

Jihoon could feel a smile coming up. “Thank you, but I’m curious. Jigglypuff? Seriously? Do you think I’m boring, or something?” Jihoon asked out of pure curiosity, but it seemed like that came out with some venom, and he could see the panic in Wonwoo’s eyes.

 

“No, i-it’s not like that! I mean, uh Jigglypuff is small and cute, just like you, and you both sing, and..” Wonwoo rambled. He trailed off to look at a crushed soda can in front of him.

 

“And?”

 

“And, uh, IimaginedhowyouwouldsingtometosleepandIthoughtthatwasreallyadorablejustlikeyouohmygoshI’mrambling” Wonwoo blurted out.

He was now covering his face with both hands, and Jihoon, just like the Jigglypuff plush in his hands, had turned pink in embarrassment.

 

Jihoon reached out to touch Wonwoo’s shoulder. “It’s fine, uh, thank you,” Jihoon said in a soft, and slow voice. “Uh, you want me to sing for you?” Jihoon offered one of his best smiles, which was almost instantly returned.

 

“Yeah, please and thank you!” Wonwoo answered with a chuckle.


And that was enough. Jihoon felt the sincerity in his words and in his smile. He felt the love, and he felt loved. That was enough.

Chapter Text

 

It was a chilly night, the winds had just started picking up, a sign that the Holidays are just around the corner.

Sehun had just finished tuition, and was now walking with his tutor, Lu Han.


Sehun, as per his mother’s instructions, one day, ventured off into the Seniors’ wing to look for a tutor. Thanks to one of the juniors in his club, he was referred to a Chinese exchange student named Lu Han.

 

His best friend Jongin called him out on his “racist” comment on how ‘this Lu Han person is Chinese, so of course he’s good in Maths’. But that idea was immediately replaced by admiration.

 

Lu Han didn’t fall under any of the ‘Chinese exchange student’ stereotypes. He and Sehun clicked the moment they saw each other. Even though people said they were polar opposites, but between the two of them, they were one and alike.


One thing they have in common is their love for bubble tea. Lu Han once had a cup while he was on vacation in Taiwan with his family. He had started buying a cup instead of his usual iced Americano (he was advised to watch his caffeine intake).


Sehun, on the other hand, had not liked his cup the first time he tried it. It was his mother’s, matcha green tea flavoured. One of his french fries got into the wrong pipe, so he reached for the nearest drink around.

..Not a pretty sight. Ask Jongin, he was there with his own mother. He never let Sehun lived that down, how he threw up all over Jongin’s Power Rangers shirt.

 

Anyway, Sehun and Lu Han arrived at the bubble tea cafe they frequent. The lady at the counter knows them by face and by name, she even knows their orders by heart, so they wave at her, and take their seats in the booth near the back.


People passing by their table would have thought they were on a date, but they were actually finishing up a lesson. The lady, whose name was Victoria, came over with their cake and boba.

 

Sehun had to go around and try a bunch of flavours before he could settle for one that became his favourite. A classic flavour, for a classy man like Sehun: Chocolate. While Lu Han stuck with Taro.


Hours pass, and it was finally time to go home. They both get up to order an extra cup of their drinks to-go.

As they were about to pay, Lu Han, who had just pulled out his wallet, was stopped by a pale, and bony hand.

 

“No, no, hyung. It’s my treat,” Sehun said, voice soft with his lisp acting up. Lu Han couldn’t grasp the whole situation so he just nodded and put his wallet back in his pocket.


Sehun paid for their drinks tonight. It was a first, since it was the elder’s, Lu Han’s job to treat the maknae, right? But tonight, according to Sehun’s bedside calendar, was their “third monthsary” of tuition.

Sehun’s mother actually remembered it, and gave Sehun extra money so he can buy his tutor and himself a nice meal as thanks.


That was one of the things Sehun was thankful for Lu Han. He agreed on tutoring Sehun without getting paid. He likes helping other people out, and Sehun thought, “Yeah, there are angels here on earth.”

 

The senior would also treat Sehun every time they have tuition. And Sehun can’t think of how to return the kindness.

 

Except for tonight. He decided that he should pay for their meal tonight. He got the two cups from Victoria and bid her a good night. He spotted Lu Han already outside, waiting for him.

 

“Here you go, hyung,” Sehun said, as he passed the purple cup to the elder. “Thanks for paying tonight, Sehun.” Lu Han smiled, as he accepted the drink, and punched the straw through the lid, and took a sip.

“No problem, hyung.” Sehun replied, as he took a sip himself.

 

They take off and walk home. Sehun’s house was nearer, so Lu Han drops Sehun at his house before he makes a u-turn and heads towards the dorms.


“Oh, before I forget. Happy third monthsary, Hun!” Lu Han turned to the younger with bright eyes, and an even brighter smile.

Sehun couldn’t help but return the gesture. “Happy third monthsary, hyung,” Sehun replied with an audible chuckle.


They held hands the rest of the walk to Sehun’s. Both of their hands were cold, but their hearts were warm.

 

They didn’t walk home empty-handed.

Sehun with his notebook full of doodles and math equations, Lu Han with a smile, and their hands in each other’s.

Chapter Text

It was their comeback stage. They were feeling the nervousness tingling from their toes to the nips of their noses.

There were loud cheering from the outside. Cheering and chanting their names and their group name.


‘Monsta X! Monsta X! Monsta X!’


Minhyuk, being the excited beagle that he is, was practically jumping from the excitement.

Just seeing him move here and there can make you feel the hype.

 

“Can’t you please sit down for one second? I’m getting dizzy from all your moving,” Shownu, Monsta X’s eldest hyung, said to Minhyuk.

“But hyung, I can’t! I’m so nervous, I’m so excited, aren’t you guys excited too?” Minhyuk whined, jumping around with his every word.

 

Jooheon, just to spite the eldest, got up to join Minhyuk in his jumping. Even pulling the hesitant maknae with him.

The rest of the group laughed at the three’s antics, their leader and hyung can’t even do anything with them so he just smiled along.


“Monsta X, standby!”


A PD told them as the said PD ran off to find the group to perform after Monsta X.

Minhyuk and the maknae’s stopped their jumping. But Minhyuk started vibrating like he was cold, or something.

 

“Alright, calm down, calm down.” Kihyun warned, frowning slightly at Minhyuk who was now running his mouth with singing their song.

Hyungwon was slouching in his seat, eyes drooping. He looked so tired. And the sight of Minhyuk’s excitement was making him more tired.


“After this group, you guys come in, okay?”


The PD from earlier passed by again to relay the message. After they had gone, Minhyuk looked like he was about to explode from excitement.

“I’m so nervous, I’m so excited, I feel like I can do a cartwheel!” he announced.

 

“Hyung, no, ” Kihyun warned, but before he could even get a word out, Minhyuk had gone and did half a cartwheel, and fell on his butt, earning some laughs from the other members, and an exhausted sigh from their stylists.

The PD from earlier passed by again.

 

“Monsta X, you’re up!”

 

Then the PD was ushering the previous group out.

The members got up, shook their legs, and started shouting ‘fighting!!’ at each other.

 

“Ah, my hair's all messed up. So are my clothes, uhh” Minhyuk mumbled to himself, looking around for a stylist noona who wasn’t occupied. But they were hovering around the other members.

He was about to give up trying to tame his hair when something cold hit the top of his head, and smoothed out the parts that were standing up.

 

He turned and saw Wonho fixing his hair for him. “Stop moving around, dammit.” the elder hissed, and Minhyuk just smiled, and stopped fidgeting.

Then, the fingers in his hair was gone. “All better, at least compared to its earlier state,” Wonho said, stepping back to admire his work.

 

He looked at Minhyuk, as if scrutinizing his very being, until he caught sight of Minhyuk’s shirt.

 

“Ah! Your shirt, hey, Minhyuk ah, come here, let me fix it for you!” Wonho said, pulling Minhyuk back.

He smoothened out his shirt, and pressed on the wrinkled parts, hopefully that will set them out straight.

 

Minhyuk could only smile at the gesture. “Thank you, hyung,” he said, and Wonho was sure his smile lit up the whole night for him.

 

 

“No problem, you big baby,” Wonho said, careful not to mess the younger’s hair.

Chapter Text

 

" You don’t have to, Yifan. I’m fine on my own,” Junmyeon had told Kris one afternoon, as they were having lunch at the company roof deck.

 

In Kris’ defense, Junmyeon looked fragile. Not fragile fragile, but rather delicate.

It was a no-brainer for the rest of their floor to figure out that Kris has a crush on their team leader, Kim Junmyeon.

 

Well, everyone except the man in question himself. And Kris is wracking his brain for ways on how to subtly express his feelings for the guy.

He ran out of ideas just last week, and he wasn’t that stupid to go to the Beagle line for help.

 

He found out that those three, Baekhyun, Jongdae, and Chanyeol, are never to be trusted with your love life. He learned it the hard way, after having followed the three’s explicit details for a surprise party for Junmyeon.

Turns out the tiny man was afraid of balloons of all things, as they had filled a room with almost a thousand balloons, one of which had a ring inside. But Junmyeon had fainted the second he stepped into the room and removed his blindfold.

He was going nowhere, Kris thought. So he sought for help in the form of his team, Minseok, Lu Han, and Yixing. Those three were the ones Kris would entrust his whole life to, if not to Junmyeon, of course.

 

//>.>.>//>.>.>//>.>.>//

 

The night before, Kris had a skype conference with the other three. Minseok was wearing a sleeveless shirt, and looked much younger and relaxed compared to when he was at the office.

Lu Han had one of his cats in his laps, and Kris could hear an occasional coughing, probably Sehun, and the other one of his cats padding over to sit on the keyboard.

Yixing, on the other hand, was wearing his Christmas tree hoodie. In the middle of May. Yes, you heard that right. But Kris didn’t have the time to ask him about it.

 

“Um, this might seem awkward to you guys, but I need your help?” Kris opened the conversation.

“Ooh, what kind of help?” Minseok asked, eyes sparkling to show his interest.

“It’s probably about Junmyeon, right Fan Fan?” Lu Han snorted in the most un handsome way ever.

 

Kris could only roll his eyes at Lu Han, who was smirking knowingly as he stroked the head of the orange tabby in Lu Han’s lap.

“What are we talking about, again?” Yixing asked after a solid minute of staring at his computer screen.

 

Kris couldn’t help groaning at this point, and they haven’t even started the conversation yet.

‘I’m surrounded by idiots,’ Kris thought to himself, as he pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to regain his composure.

 

“Right, well, yes. This is about Junmyeon,” Kris announced with a straight face, but he could feel heat crawling up his neck to the tips of his ears.

“Yeah, what are we doing? What do we do?” Minseok asked, a little too eagerly, for some odd reason.

 

“Um, well that’s exactly why I called you guys up.” he said with a long, exasperated sigh he didn’t for how long he’d been holding it in.

“I don’t know what I should do!” he groaned.

 

“Aw, you poor thing!” Lu Han exclaimed in fake pity. He then looked towards his left, and hollered a “Sehun-ah!” until there was someone’s crotch in plain view behind him.

“Sehun, grab a chair, and come sit with us!” Lu Han said, tugging on the newcomer’s sweatpants.

Kris noticed some movement from Minseok’s window, and it seemed like his girlfriend was back from work. On the other hand, Yixing was on his phone, probably stalking his co-workers on their SNS accounts.

 

He was just about to speak again when a new face popped up beside Lu Han’s. To be fair, they resembled each other in the slightest bit, they would sometimes be mistaken as brothers, if not twins.

But that misconception was later then shot down when the two had openly and heatedly made out at a bar their department would frequent.

 

“Min, I’m ordering dinner. Is there anything you want?” A nice voice from Minseok’s window spoke. For a second he looked away from Kris, before turning back to say “ Hold on,” and he got up from his chair and left the frame.

Now Kris was left alone with Yixing, who was singing a Christmas song softly, and the two lovebirds giggling about something on Sehun’s phone.

 

Minseok comes back only a couple minutes later. “Sorry about that. Hope you guys won’t embarrass yourselves in front of the love of my life, because I asked her for help, and invited her to sit with us. Behave.” Minseok says with a grin, but the venom dripping from the last word was thick.

 

A petite lady with long brown hair and her bangs rolled up appeared seconds later. She had already changed in a pair of comfortable looking sweats and hoodie. Kris had already met her, a lovely lady named Ahn Heeyeon. She was younger by two years from them, a good friend of the beagles. It was Jongdae who introduced them.

“Hello! Sorry to intrude on your heart-to-heart,” she grinned. “It's fine, noona. Kris hyung needs all the help he can get,” Sehun snickers into Lu Han’s shoulder.

 

“Ah, is that so? Well, who's the lucky lady or guy then?” Heeyeon said, already comfortable with the company. “It’s our team leader, Junmyeon. I told you about him already, remember?” Minseok said, kissing her cheek.

Kris wanted to throw up with all the cheesiness and cute his two friends and their lovers were displaying. Yixing didn’t count in the singles’ club, because the last time he heard of Yixing’s love life, he said he wanted to marry Poppy from the Trolls movie.

 

Hani, that sweet girl, was intelligent in her own pace. But she had suggested tying up Junmyeon and carrying him like a bride, and it took almost all of Kris’ willpower to not slam his laptop shut. 'She needs to stop hanging out with Baekhyun,’ Kris thought, as he tuned out Lu Han and Sehun’s laughter and Yixing asking so many questions.

 

//>.>.>//>.>.>//>.>.>//

 

The next morning, Kris was sporting a matching pair of new eye bags. Totally in fashion nowadays. The last night was filled with outrageous ideas flying here and there, and rambunctious laughter echoing throughout the night.

Kris would be lying if he said he didn't have fun last night. He actually learnt a lot, and most of them were very ‘ TMI, bro’ gossip about everyone on their floor. But still, no idea how he’s gonna ask the petite man out.

 

“Poor guy,” he hears someone say just as Chanyeol, Kyungsoo, and Jongdae pass by his office. He frowned a little at that, and let out a defeated sigh.

“I have an idea!” He hears someone from outside say. The blinds on the small window helped big time whenever Lu Han and Sehun were all over each other, but now is a good time to draw them back--

 

“Hey, boss! Have I got a proposition for ya!” Baekhyun burst through his door, Kris was sure it was gonna jump off it's hinges.

“I heard some banging, I'm here to join the fun,” Lu Han comes in after, with Jongdae and Chanyeol and Minseok following him inside.

 

“Yeah, now that the 'Kris-is Committee’ ” Baekhyun said without an ounce of shame, and Jongdae snorting at the butchered word, “has gathered, I thought of a way Yifan could get into our team leader’s pants!” he finished, and everyone inside Kris’ office cheered.

“So what do you suggest, genius?” Lu Han asked, tapping an impatient foot. “I say, we go drinking!” Baekhyun cheered, this time, the others cheered louder.

 

“I heard 'drinking’ when do we go? Now?” Yixing pops his head through the doorway. “Kris is paying!” Chanyeol announces, and Kris sighed heavily.

“Why the hell are you lot here and not doing your jobs again?” Kris could only say through gritted teeth above the excited chatter of his officemates.

 

“We’re helping you get laid, man!” Minseok supplies with a cheeky grin. “I'm gonna ignore the fact that two of my co-workers, both significantly younger than me, just addressed me without honorifics.” Kris sighed to himself.

“Listen, I know you all are concerned with my affairs, but before you just announce we’ll go drinking, and that my wallet has been, as always, sacrificed to pay for you lot, you might as well--”

 

“What's all the ruckus about?” Junmyeon’s cute face popped in from the doorway, just beside Yixing. He had a small, unsure smile, he was curious, after all.

“Oh, Junmyeon! Hi! Yeah, we were uh, they were--”

 

“We’re going out drinking tonight, and Kris is paying!” Lu Han said, cutting Yifan’s useless rambling, while the beagles and the rest nod together behind him, and from where Yifan was standing from behind his desk, he could see how Junmyeon’s eyebrows all scrunched up in confusion ease and relax into a gentle one.

 

“Oh, that sounds like fun! You're paying, Yifan?” The petite man turned towards the taller boss, and Yifan, from the corner of his eyes, he could've sworn he saw devils instead of co-workers smile as they waited for Kris’ answer.

“Uh, yeah. Are you, uh, coming along?” Yifan made a mental backflip at how casual he sounded. “Yeah, I’ll come along. Can't deny a free drink, right?” Junmyeon chuckled before waving to leave, his desk phone was ringing.

 

Everyone in Yifan’s office started cheering. “Operation: Get Kris Laid is a go!” Baekhyun cheered, and that's when Yifan started ushering them out his office.

 

//>.>.>//>.>.>//>.>.>//

 

Tonight, they picked their frequent bar to go to. They frequent it a lot enough to have the security guard high five everyone as they go in, the DJ to turn the music up when he saw their large group, and the bartender to clear the table and get ready for their orders.

 

“It's you guys! What's the occasion and who’s paying tonight?” the bartender greeted. Baekhyun was nodding his head towards Kris who could only sigh, puffing out the cigarette smoke that greeted him the first step he took upon entering.

“Well, first shots’ on the house, then! Y’all have a dandy evenin’!” He yelled over the music, producing two palette-like trays with six shot glasses with different colours of liquid inside.

 

There was a flurry of arms in front of Kris, hands coming from everywhere around him, trying to reach for a shot. When everyone got  and downed their own glasses, and went their own ways, Kris was left standing awkwardly in front of the bar, with two shot glasses left.

 

Who hasn't taken their shot yet?

 

“Whew, they're always a rowdy bunch, huh?” someone whispered into his ear, and put a hand on his shoulder. “Take yours before the ice melts!” Junmyeon’s sweet voice said, as he took both glasses, and handed one to Kris.

“Look, we have matching drinks!” He added, the apples of his cheeks swelling every time he smiled so wide, so bright, Kris was sure it put even the sun to shame. “Uh, yeah.” Kris answered dumbly, accepting the shot glass. “Let's toast to that. Thanks for treating us tonight,” the smaller man moved closer to Kris, closing the distance so they can hear each other without having to yell over the music.

 

Kris taps his shot glass against Junmyeon’s and they both down the slightly thick alcoholic concoction. “Wow, that hit the back of my throat harder than it looked” Junmyeon chuckled, coughing a little as he put his glass back on the counter.

 

Kris put his beside Junmyeon's. The smaller man tapped Kris on the arm. “Wanna dance?” He asked, cheeks and nose turning a light flush of pink. Kris pretended he didn't hear wolf howls and catcalls behind him, as he accepted Junmyeon's hand, and led them to the dancefloor.

 

//>.>.>//>.>.>//>.>.>//

 

It was 3 AM, his coworkers had left the bar one by one, leaving Kris to attend to their plastered team leader. The guy was a lightweight, but he couldn't say no to the drinks their gang offered, and that's how the two bosses ended up stumbling out the bar, arms each slung over a shoulder, and the other around a waist.

 

Kris thought he’d have to stay sober to keep his companions out of trouble, what with the other boss already giggling with Yixing after his 6th shot. But the devils up and left him and Junmyeon to fend for themselves.

Albeit begrudgingly, Kris let Junmyeon weigh him down, making it harder for the both of them to walk on a steady, upright manner. “Figures,” Kris muttered under his breath as he rolled his eyes, when Junmyeon only laughed in his face when he asked for the man’s address.

 

He decided to bring the younger man to his apartment, just down the block from the bar. The plastered!Junmyeon was singing lazily as he wobbled on his steps. Kris had to sling one of his arms around Junmyeon's shoulders, and the other around his waist.

He then later felt someone tug on the waist of his pants, only to find Junmyeon slipping two fingers into one of the belt loops, and tugging himself up.

 

“S..sorryyi y-you had to do thiiisssss” Junmyeon mumbled against Kris’ arm. “It's fine, let’s just go home now,” Kris grumbled lowly. “ Hehehe.. you're finallyyyyy walkiiiiingg me hommeeeee” Junmyeon giggled, hiding his face by pressing it hard against Kris’ arm. “Sho cuuuutteee” he added, cue more giggles.

And Kris could only smile fondly, because yup. He finally got to walk his crush home. That was enough, a big step already. He’d have done a Mario jump in glee if Junmyeon hadn't been pushing his weight against Kris’ arm too much.

 

“Let's aaalwaaayyyss waaalkk homeeee togetheeeerrr, Yibaaannn” Junmyeon wails before getting really quiet. Kris looked down and saw the man had fallen asleep. Kris shook his head, thinking of ways to pay back his stupid coworkers, as he fished for his keys.

All the dumb and waiting worked out. Kinda. It was all worth it.

 

He laid Junmyeon on his bed, and left to sleep on the couch. He closed his eyes for a bit, before startling awake, as another weight squished against Kris’ side. “Dun’ leabe me” Junmeyon drawled, draping an arm around Kris’ torso, before falling back to sleep, head resting on top of Kris’ arm.

He’d probably wake up with a dead arm and an awkward boner, but he guesses this will all be worth it.

“Lub yo too” the sleeping log mumbled in his sleep, and smiling before snuggling closer.

 

Yep, totally worth it.

Chapter Text

 

It's already been months since the run-in with that other mafia group thing. Jisoo, upon persistent haggling and persuading, agreed on staying with Choi Seungcheol and his own gang.

Everyone else were nice to him, except that one guy with long hair. He recently dyed his hair blond, and kept it short, and simple. It looked good on him, Jisoo thought.

 

Everyone was assigned a task, a chore to do around the house. He was surprised Seungcheol's own family were all around his age. Such a young boss, leading his own group.

Jisoo, feeling a bit like a burden, asked Seungcheol for a chore to do. But the slightly older man just kissed him on the cheek, and told him he can “Just sit still, and be pretty, and wait for me to come back home” .

 

At that, Jisoo blushed a shade two tones lighter than his own grapefruit-coloured hair. Which some of the younger ones, Soonyoung and Seok..min? Yeah, Seokmin. Those two, and the kid who likes to sing teased him a lot about that.

There was another kid, Vernon, he was born in America, too, but he ran away from home when he was a teen, and somehow ended up in Seungcheol's home, where the older gave him a home, and a name.

 

Everyone else are all different characters with their own stories to tell. But that was for some other time.

 

//>.>.>//>.>.>//>.>.>//

 

“For the last time, I said no. ” Seungcheol moaned, rubbing a calloused hand over his tired eyes. Jisoo was up and about it again. He wanted to help around, but he couldn't fight, nor does he know how to work a gun, so he decided to stay at home and do chores.

But Seungcheol, his now lover of the sort, isn't having any of it.

 

“But Seungcheol, please, I want to help out, too!” Jisoo argued. “All I’ve ever done since you brought me here and let me stay was sleep, eat, read books, and the cycle repeats itself. I want to at least do something so I don't feel like a burden to everyone else.” Jisoo sighed, dejectedly.

“I just don't like feeling I’m a burden, is all,” Jisoo smiled sadly. He didn't even notice it, but the elder had moved and inched closer to him, wrapping his shoulders in a one-armed hug.

 

“You're not a burden, darling. Neither are you an eyesore, ” Jisoo was sure Seungcheol felt him tense up at the word.

The long-haired one, the one who’s been giving him dirty side-eyed stares, would never fail to mumble an insult or whatnot every chance he gets in passing by Jisoo. Usually, they don't reach Jisoo, but that one word has been used so frequently, it's been wracking Jisoo to the core.

His entire being was so affected, and he can't believe Seungcheol had been able to read him so well.

 

Seungcheol must have noticed Jisoo get quiet at the comment, so he pulled him closer. “Don't think I have no idea what Jeonghan’s been saying about you behind my back. I know how he is, but he's just not used to other people around. He’ll come around, he’s just being a bitch, a territorial one at that,” Seungcheol chuckled, making Jisoo smile a little.

“Then, I--”

 

“Seungcheol? I know you're in there! Hurry up, the investors are arriving any minute now!” Jeonghan, it seemed, was banging on the door.

 

“I swear I'm gonna kill that guy one day,” Seungcheol muttered under his breath, but was loud enough for Jisoo to hear.

“Don't say that about your best friend. I know you won't be able to even stand up without him beside you,” Jisoo said with a chuckle.

 

At first he would get jealous of their closeness. But Seungcheol had assured him it was all platonic between them, now. The long-haired man was a vital unit of the group. Without him, Seungcheol would fall, leading to the end of the group itself.

If Seungcheol trusted the group to Jeonghan, then Jisoo would trust the man, too. Even if he does badmouth Jisoo in the face every now and then. But he can live with that.

 

“Seungcheol! I know you can hear me! I bet you can hear the car outside, too!" With Jeonghan's incessant banging on Jisoo’s door, he was sure it'll fall off it’s hinges.

 

Jisoo untangled himself from Seungcheol's hug. “They need you now, you should go.” He said calmly, pressing a shy kiss against the elder's cheek.

Seungcheol, pouting slightly, let go of Jisoo, only to kiss him back, full on the mouth.

 

“Have a nice day at work,” Jisoo chuckled, kissing the palm of Seungcheol's hand that was caressing his cheek. “Come back safe, all of you.” He added.

 

“I will. We will. I’ll be back soon. Wait for me,” Seungcheol said as he let go. He stood up, and smoothened his suit. “I'm ready, quit banging on the door already! You're fixing this, dammit!” Seungcheol yelled back as more hands have joined in the banging.

“Stay put and trust me, okay? I’ll come back soon,” Seungcheol said with a wave and a grin, a gummy smile that Jisoo has come to love dearly.

 

“I will.” Jisoo replied, just as Seungcheol closed the door behind him with a click.

 

Chapter Text

 

It was already their last night at Yeoso-do. They had just finished dinner, and the members who lost rock, paper, scissors were clearing the dishes and pots, and doing the dishes. Those who won are lounging in one of the bed rooms, playing some of the DB5K albums they found in the guest house they were staying at.

As a group of many members, they were all used to having to have to get to used to falling asleep in a tangle of limbs and legs. Especially in small rooms, all thirteen of them would still find ways to squeeze in between other two members.

 

They had this quirk of family and unity, no matter how ridiculous they looked like, or how stiff their necks and arms would be when they wake up in the morning. So when the village chief had asked for a group to help out in harvesting abalone, it was a bit sad to see the other members go.

The quiet in the small house was almost deafening.


“But now that you guys are back.. I’m glad.. I’m glad there are more people who will help clean up after dinner. Thanks for coming back for us!” Soonyoung managed to say, one second he was emotional, the next he’s a laughing, lost cost.

Everyone in the room, either sitting down or lying down crammed between the wall and a member, or two members for some people, would agree with contented and tired sighs.

“Yah, you guys should react properly!” Soonyoung whined, pointing at some sneering members, in example, Wonwoo and Seokmin.

 

Seungcheol, sandwiched between a half-awake Jeonghan and an already snoring Joshua. The youngest of their line was holding onto his hand like a vice, snuggling close to his side.

While Jeonghan was lying on his side, his back facing Seungcheol, flipping through the book they found with the albums. Occasionally, he would comment or give a snarky remark regarding whatever the younger ones were talking about.

 

“I missed you. Missed you guys a lot,” Seungcheol mumbled from behind Jeonghan. He heard an unintelligent mumble come from the younger. “What was that?” He whispered, voice low enough for the long-haired male to still be able to hear him, and low enough to not have the kids eavesdrop on their conversation.

“I said, I dreamt about you last night,” Jeonghan whispered back, face a subtle blush well hidden under the collars of jacket pulled up.

 

Seungcheol was surprised to hear that. It was moments like this, slow, tender moments between the two of them when they would let their guards down, and open up to each other.

 

“Oh, uh, what did you dream about? How did- how did it go?” Seungcheol asked carefully, squeezing his hand Joshua held onto lightly, that the younger would abandon his hand and turn to face the wall instead.

“Well,”

'I dreamt of back when we were trainees, and I was the new kid. But you never let me leave your side, you were always there beside me, whenever I turned around, and felt lost. You holding my hand when I told you I was nervous after I had received bad feedback about my singing. I dreamt of you telling me you believed in me, of you hugging everyone, and hugging me last after our debut stage, telling me stuff like I worked hard, and I deserved all this. I dreamt of the first time since debuting, you came to me to open up about feeling like you're lacking. I dreamt of how it was my turn to console you, and hug you as I let you cry your heart out, how I felt warm thinking how you went to me, and let your guard down around me, and let me read you like an open book. How you always confided to me your worries, shared your secrets, told me about your dreams and rants and how your day went. I dreamt of you telling me I was just as important as the other members, and that you always considered my opinions before making big decisions. You telling me how much I mean to you, and how I’ve made the group feel more complete whenever I'm around. I dreamt of you telling me you lo-’

 

“I woke up before anything happened, actually. Wonwoo was fussing in his sleep, he kicked me in the back awake,” Jeonghan chuckled, grinning slyly, as he shut the book and shoved it under his pillow before turning to lie on his back.

“Well that's no fun!” Seungcheol whined, just as someone flicked the lights off. Some members shushed him out after that. “But I missed you too, really. You and the kids,” Jeonghan mumbled, as he turned so he was facing Seungcheol, eyes shut as he snuggled into his own pillow.

 

“Who did you miss the most?” Seungcheol asked softly, brushing some of the younger’s hair away from his face. With a yawn, “You, of course” Jeonghan mumbled, swatting Seungcheol’s hand away from his face.

“I missed you the most, dummy. Go to sleep, we’re going home tomorrow.” Jeonghan said. Seungcheol watched until Jeonghan got more quiet, and watched his form breathe in and out evenly, before pecking the top of his head softly.

 

“I missed you the most too,” he said, before laying back and settling in. In a few seconds he smiled as he could feel the sleep take over him.

Chapter Text

 

It was the first day of university, and Seokjin would’ve been lying if he said he wasn't pumped. It's already his Junior year, but he's excited, like the “freshman at heart” he claimed he was. That, and his cousin, Taehyung was coming in as a freshman, at least he has a friend who would laugh at his jokes.

He chuckled at the thought of Yoongi, one of his friends, and Hoseok, another one of his only friends, meeting his cousin. One was as excited as a dried up bread stick, and the other one is just beaming with glee wherever he went, whoever he talked to.

 

He woke up late, he was up all night texting Taehyung, which was a bad move. The kid stays at the campus dorms ten minutes away from the main hall, while Seokjin lives with his parents, just one train ride away.

In the end, he had to squeeze in between rushing commuters like himself so he can at least get himself a good seat for his first lecture. He was the only one of his friends who was taking up a Philosophy class. He was taking Med. Tech as his pre-Med.

 

It was his parents’ idea, since he was still undecided. He shifted from Business Management, and ended up in the pre-Med class not long after. He was still taking some sophomore classes that he required in Med. Tech, and missed in Business, that's why he's sprinting all the way from the main gate towards the farthest building on campus.

 

//>.>.>//>.>.>//>.>.>//

 

He wasn't as athletic as people would assume he would be, given his tall stature and broad shoulders. He also didn't like exercising much, or moving a lot. He’d rather read a book at home, or just lie in bed all day.

“The exercise will do you good,” he remembers Hoseok tell him, as Yoongi snorted into his ramen. 'I hope he chokes on his noodles’ he thought in retaliation, and it did happen, much to the mint-haired’s chagrin.

Now he regrets declining turning down Hoseok every time the guy would invite him to the gym. An hour or so on the treadmills wouldn't hurt, at least not as much as the running he’s been doing for the last 6 minutes.

 

//>.>.>//>.>.>//>.>.>//

 

Finally, he arrived at the building, and found his lecture hall (just on the first floor, thank god) immediately. He was just mere seconds earlier than the professor, but the hall had already been filled with sophomores, and a few seniors and juniors like himself.

As sneaky as his tall self can go, he found himself drifting towards the seat he often sat in last term. There was already someone sitting there, he got in earlier than Seokjin did. Lucky guy, he thought, as he awkwardly sat down on the floor beside the said seat.

 

The process of him settling his butt down was a wild one: he hit his knee on one of the table’s legs, causing a dull bump sound, startling the occupant of the seat.

“Oh shit, sorry! Are you okay man?” The guy whispered, while the professor was busy preparing his Porwepoint presentation.

 

“I’m fine,” Seokjin mumbled, as he nursed his  knee.

He was busy lifting up his pants’ leg to check if there were any bumps or scratches, when he heard movement, and that's when the guy started gathering his things, and standing up.

 

“Here, take my seat. That must be a nasty bump, you should sit down.” the guy tsked. Seokjin was pulled up by one arm, and gently pushed into the seat. His seat. The guy pulled out a bandaid that looked like a strip of bacon.

“H-Here you go. In case you got a scratch, or something.” the guy sheepishly put the plaster on the desk.


“I’m Namjoon, by the way.” He later introduced himself, as he sat down on the floor, this time more careful than Seokjin was.

“I'm Seokjin,” he introduced back, sighing in relief when their wasn't a bruise nor scratch on him.

 

He was a clumsy one, he reckoned, as Namjoon tripped on his own feet on their way out of the hall, and fell face first on the floor.

But not as clumsy as Seokjin, who may have tripped and fell in love with his new friend.

Chapter Text

 

Jongdae had just left the lecture hall, as he came sprinting all the way to the bus stop to catch the last trip. He wanted to get back to his shared apartment A.S.A.P. to at least catch an hour or two of sleep before studying for a big exam first thing in the morning tomorrow.

His roommate, a childhood best friend by the name of Byun Baekhyun, almost twenty minutes ago, had texted him that his semi-but-not-really-boyfriend, Jongin was over, and they ordered pizza and chicken. That, and if Jongdae wanted some, he should get home before they finish it.

Jongdae had never run so fast in his life. He was out of cash in the meantime, his bank had problems with their ATM’s, so he couldn't withdraw until next week.

 

He was broke until then, to say the least. And his only saving grace came in the form of Baekhyun and his not-boyfriend. That is, if he runs fast enough to at least get some leftovers.

He manages to get on the last bus, and in his seat, he was getting antsy. And hungry. He knew for a fact that Jongin kid liked his chicken, and how much Baekhyun loved pizza. If anything, he’d be satisfied if he could get his hands on one pair of wing parts.

 

And maybe a missliced pizza that was ¼ the normal slice. The bus came to a sudden stop that send Jongdae lurching forward, hitting his nose on the back of the seat in front of him.



He got caught in a damned traffic jam. At this time of the night. 'Unbelievable’ he muttered under his breath, as he maintained his composure. His phone died during the lecture because instead of taking down notes, he was scrolling down his Tumblr.

'Dammit!’ he cursed, as the bus moved at a snail-like pace.

 

//>.>.>//>.>.>//>.>.>//

 

He got off his stop exactly 37 since he got on it. Normally, a ride home wouldn't take as long a 15 minutes, but the traffic situation was worse this night, hence, reaching the apartment complex just a mere 10 minutes until curfew.

He was a grown, college student, but the community followed the rules dilligently, especially regarding the curfew, since it was closest to the local university.

In less than a minute, he made his way to his floor, and fished for his keys in his pocket. He was just about to put the key into the hole when the door opened.

 

And out came Kim Jongin, hair a little mussed up, and he smelled of Axe, puberty, and sweat. Perfect. “Oh, hey uh, hyung.” He greeted with a sheepish smile. He bowed slightly before passing Jongdae by the door and making his way towards the elevator.

Even if Jongdae had blatantly shown his distaste in Baekhyun's sexual endeavors, it's nice to see that at least some of his partners were at least polite.

 

“Jongin? I thought I told you to close the do- Oh. You're home now, so late, too.” Baekhyun was yelling from inside, until Jongdae heard feet padding across the floor, and in no time at all, he came face to face with his roommate and best friend, looking a little 'fluffed up’ in more ways than one, and sporting a couple new dark spots on his neck.

 

He pulled Jongdae inside, who was still standing by the doorway, leaving the door open, and the cool wind from outside whistling with the trees.

“Yeah, hi. Rough time with school?” The elder greeted, taking Jongdae’s coat from his shoulders and tossing it over their couch.

 

“Lecturer was late, and he crammed us three lessons and two quizzes, I hate him” Jongdae grumbled, his belly did the same.

“Oh you poor thing, here I saved you a slice of pizza and some pieces of chicken. Your stomach is making mean sounds again,” he chuckled, leading his friend towards the kitchen.

Baekhyun opens the fridge to pull out the leftovers, while Jongdae toed off his shoes. Afterwards, he settled into a seat in their tiny kitchen, with Baekhyun sitting across him.




It wasn't the five-star or full-course meal he’d always dreamed of, but everything he needed was right in front of him. (Maybe one day, Baekhyun will notice that, too.)

Chapter Text

 

They were standing in Wonwoo’s backyard, hands in each other's. They were standing in front of a small patch of land. If you listen close enough, you can hear Wonwoo's older sister singing from her room.

“I’m sorry for your loss.” Jihoon mumbled, voice blank and flat. The taller only sighed a little before stepping back from the patch of land, pulling Jihoon along with him.

“It was my fault, anyway. No need to be sorry, haha.” Wonwoo chuckled. His face was void of emotions as well.

 

Jihoon didn't know how to feel. If he should genuinely feel sorry, or feel sorry for Wonwoo's dumb. As far as he had known, the slightly older boy was an avid reader, even until late at night, he would be poring over the pages of his books.

Because of that, his eyesight had gone bad. Even though he could see without them, he still needs a pair of prescription ones to read texts.

And just like that, his old pair of round-rimmed glasses got rolled over and bent. Jihoon could only imagine the sound the poor innocent pair of glasses made when Wonwoo rolled over and snapped the bridge.

 

“Well, I guess I have to thank this pair for the good times. They were my longest ones, I had them since middle school,” Wonwoo said, faking a heartache, as he clutched his chest for added drama.

“If it helps, I can come with you to look for a new pair? I think I need a new pair myself,” Jihoon suggested. He licked his lips nervously, and looked away just as Wonwoo turned to him to reply.

“I think that's a good idea.”

 

Jihoon snuck a glance at Wonwoo, even though he was looking away, too, the gentle smile he could see he was sporting made him feel warm and tingly inside. He smiled softly.


Even without the glasses, as long as he’s with Jihoon, Wonwoo could see the brighter days ahead.

Chapter Text

 

Wonho could feel the aroma sting his eyes, beckoning the tears to come. The strong-scented stew was making him cry, he couldn't believe his luck.

They were all playing a game, and their manager suggested this stew he found the other day as punishment, just playful, harmless punishment.

They had all agreed because it was just food. And their manager suggested it, so it must taste good.

 

But for a second, they all forgot their manager’s tastebuds had long gone and died, thus making him immune to any kind of taste. He could eat anything.

 

And now, Wonho was still at the table, staring at the orange coloured pork stew. It was still fresh, so the aroma was still in the air.

On his right, Jooheon was pinching his nose as he pushes a cabbage in his mouth. On his left, there was Shownu, scrunching his nose every now and then, but still eating the dish at a steady pace. Changkyun, their maknae,  managed to ( ugly ) aegyo his way out of the punishment.

 

Wonho was done for. He whimpered for his mum, who he imagined would just scold him for not being thankful for the food, and at least try it despite the strong smell.

The other members were at another table across theirs, enjoying tall cups of bubble tea, giggling at the pleasure of watching their members suffer.

Wonho, with his head hanging low, could see through his bangs Minhyuk munching on colourful macarons.

 

“Hyung, you can just have three bites if you really can't do it!” Minhyuk hollered. Wonho whipped his head up, eyes brimming with tears, hopeful, and thankful for the new rules. 

He could hear Jooheon whine in agreement, and Shownu made a small snort, as he was almost finished eating only the meat on his plate.

With a reluctant hand Wonho picked up his chopsticks and picked at the vegetables. He pushed those aside until he found a piece of meat.

 

Picking up the meat, he held it closer and closer to his mouth, until his clumsy, shaky hand dropped it in his own mouth.

He made a strangled sound at the contact of the strong aroma and the saltiness of the meat with his tongue.

His members were cheering for him as he chewed. He shut his eyes so he couldn't see them, or else he’ll have ended up throwing up at the peer pressure.

 

He heard someone pull the chair back before pushing it back in. He had just swallowed the pork when that someone tapped him on the shoulder.

He opened his eyes, and saw Minhyuk grinning at him. “You can have half of my bubble tea if you can make another two bites.” He said, holding up two fingers to emphasise his point.

It was a good deal, so without a drop of hesitation, he nodded, and accepted the terms, and swallowed what he was chewing until now.



The half empty cup of  bubble tea and Minhyuk’s grin were enough to push him further, and finished six bites, and two extra bites of the cabbage.

Chapter Text

 

Kyungsoo regrets running out to a snowstorm just to buy an extra packet of ramyun when his roommate didn't even come home that night. He ran out with his jacket, but now it got wet, he returned to his dorm room soaking with snow.

He groaned as he trailed melting snow as he entered his room. He decided to hang his jacket inside to dry, so he can use it tomorrow.

 

But it was too cold outside to even get the thick jacket to dry. It was still dripping from where Kyungsoo hung it last night.

Shrugging, he hurried for his morning class, leaving his jacket to hang there.

 

Just past the gates, he was already shivering like a snowman. His face was his usual, stoic expression, but his teeth were chattering behind his lips.

He suddenly felt a heavy weight on his back, making his stumble in his steps, but he felt hands from behind him pull him upright.

Pulling away, he spun around and saw his friends, Sehun and Chanyeol, and his roommate Jongdae grinning at him.

 

“It's almost below zero, Soo, and you're not bundled up!” Jongdae tsked. “Need a hug all the way to your class?” He winked. There was a playful glint in his eyes that his other friends seem to be sporting too.

“I’d rather not have your crazy boyfriend snap my neck,” Kyungsoo replied flatly. Just then, the roommates across their room, Jongin and Baekhyun, Jongdae’s boyfriend passed by them.

“Hey Sehun! Did you finish the Maths homework?” Jongin yelled for Sehun, whose blank eyes widened at an alarming size.

 

“Holy shit. Jongin! Help me!” Sehun yelled as he ran after his evidently still sleepy friend. The lovebirds had gone and left together when Sehun had just bolted in his steps.

He was just about to acknowledge the remaining friend’s presence when something big and warm fell on top of him.

 

“Take my jacket, it's still too cold out.” Chanyeol said softly, as he helped tug on his jacket so Kyungsoo could wear it properly.

It was at least two or three sizes too big on Kyungsoo, but it was warm and cozy. And it smelt of Chanyeol, so it felt relaxing and nice. 

Kyungsoo, on the other hand, looked like a penguin, trying to walk for the first time. The clothing itself wasn't too long, just big and bulky on his small frame.

 

“Uh, thanks. But how do I return this to you? Your classes don't start this early, right?” Kyungsoo said, his eyes covered halfway by the hood. He waddled instead of walked, and Chanyeol was trying so hard to hold his laughs to himself.

“I can walk you to your class now, and I can get it then.” The taller of the two replied coolly. Smooth as ice. Damn it, Kyungsoo swore under his breath.

“Well, if you say so. Aren't you cold, though?” Kyungsoo answered, as the realisation dawned upon him.

 

“Don't worry about me, little man. I can handle the cold just fine.” Chanyeol winked, and gave him a wide smile Kyungsoo would have been lying if he said he didn't like.

And just like that, they walked side by side to Kyungsoo’s first class. After giving the jacket back, Kyungsoo still felt warm, even on the inside, he felt warm. And he smelt like Chanyeol throughout the class.


It was a good day, to say the least.

Chapter Text

 

Kris had just finished stuffing his take-home paperwork in his laptop bag. He adjusted the straps before slinging it over his shoulders.

Their floor was clearing, employees filing out slowly, his officemates are just saving their files and fixing up in the comfort rooms.

He stepped around his desk, and went over to the other side of the room, where Junmyeon’s small office was located.

The blinds were down, and the lights were dead, maybe the meeting wasn't over yet?

 

After that one night of drinking, that night Kris had brought the smaller boss home with him, they decided to start dating ( thank god, at long last, according to their officemates) and Junmyeon, bashfully, agreed on letting the older boss walk him home.

Kris had taken it upon him to pick up Junmyeon from his office. Their subordinates had found it cheesy and cute. He paid them no mind, as he casually sat on one of the lounge chairs outside the small office.

 

He decided to play a game on his phone, one that he would often catch his coworkers playing instead of doing their work.

Time passed, he had levelled-up twice already, but still no sign of Junmyeon. The last man to leave the floor, Minseok, had just waved him a goodbye as he passed him a couple minutes ago.

 

'What if… What if he already went home? Was he that repulsed in the idea of me walking him home?’ Kris thought to himself.

Surely, he didn't question the younger boss’ integrity, but there was still no sign of him. Nor was he answering any of Kris’ calls or texts.

Huffing, he got up to leave. He gave the office one last look before taking a step, looking down, and feeling down.

 

That was when the farthest door at the end of their floor opened, allowing light from the corridor outside to stream in for but a second, then the door shut close.

There was a series of small huffs and hastened steps, like some had just run a marathon, and hurrying to catch the last train home.

Kris turned to look for who came back, must be Jongdae or Baekhyun, must have left their wallet or keys again.

 

But from round the corner, out came a disheveled Junmyeon, tie askew, hair flat, sticking by his sweat on his forehead.

He bumped into Kris’ chest in his hurry, the darkness of their office was no help. The smaller boss fell on his butt, but Kris held onto his arm and immediately pulled him back up on his feet.

 

“Junmyeon?” Kris asks incredulously, surprised he was still here. He came back.

“Yifan!” He yelped, jerking away when he realised who he bumped into. “Thank goodness you're still here!” He said with a smile, though he gave up as he tried to even his breathing.

“Uh. Yeah. You're still here, too. I thought.. never mind.” Kris stopped himself before he could finish his sentence.

 

Junmyeon pulled away to at least fix himself. He took his keys from his pocket to unlock his small office, and turned on the lights. He led Kris inside and gestured for him to sit in one of the plush seats in front of his desk.

“Sorry I'm late, the clients were being too difficult to convince.” Junmyeon said from where he was gathering his things and stuffing them in his backpack.

“Oh. Uh, I thought you already left,” Kris said softly, shy and embarrassed for thinking just that.

 

“Oh? I thought you already went home! This late and all, then I find you here in this dark office alone, waiting for me. Sorry about that,” Junmyeon said sheepishly, looking up from his things to give Kris an apologetic smile.

One that Kris gratefully accepted, and returned with just as much emotion.

 

“It's fine, uh. Yeah.” He replied. Junmyeon had just slipped into the straps on his backpack. “Well, I'm good to go. Let's walk home now?” Junmyeon invited, extending a hand towards Kris that the taller, without even thinking twice, - he honestly didn't have to - took and got up as well.

 

“Yes, let's.” And they left their worries and doubts behind as they walked home together, hands clasped together, swinging slightly in the chilly evening air, basking in the warmth of each other’s hands.

Chapter Text

 

It was prom night, their last night as high school seniors. Their quite large group of rambunctious kids have decided to go their different paths for university. Some even have to go back home, which also broke the hearts of the friends.

Those dating within the group went with their respective dates while some others agreed on going as a group.

 

One Byun Baekhyun, after having been rejected a dance by his longest crush, dejectedly slumped in his seat back at their table.

“I told you so,” his closest buddy, Jongdae chuckled from across the table.

“Don't be rude.” Kyungsoo, from Jongdae’s right, slapped his arm in return. “Your friend just got dumped, and you're being an asshole already.” He added, after a couple more hits just for reassurance that he won't be saying such again.

 

“I wasn't! I was only telling him the truth, though!” Jongdae defended himself, this time, his cousin Minseok, sitting on the other side of Kyungsoo, hit him on the topside of his head.

Baekhyun lifted his head up and smiled fondly at his friends’ antics. “Guys, no need for violence tonight, alright? Let's all just pick on Jongdae tomorrow or on graduation day!” He said, voice louder than the blaring music.

 

“Yeah, well. Whatever. He deserves it, anyway.” Kyungsoo huffs, and a couple heads around them nod in agreement.

“You guys are mean!” Jongdae whined, sticking out his tongue in mild annoyance.

Their other friends just laughed it off, since they were all used to his habits already.

 

//>.>.>//>.>.>//>.>.>//

 

Baekhyun couldn't believe his ears. Not because his crush Kim Taeyeon herself just declined him and his invitation to dance, but what came after said rejection surprised him.

“You had your eyes on me, but someone's had their eyes on you far longer than you first saw me,” the pretty batchmate said, as she waved him off, and left him standing awkwardly outside.

 

He was snapped out of his thoughts when Jongdae found him there. “You okay, man? Where’s Taeyeon? She dumped your ugly corgi butt yet, or what?” The younger teased him.

There was one of Jongdae's hands on his shoulders, and it was still dripping wet, he must have come back from the bathroom.

“I.. I need to be alone for a while.” Baekhyun muttered, as he brushed off his friend’s hand and walked towards the opposite door of the gym.

 

//>.>.>//>.>.>//>.>.>//

 

Finally alone, Baekhyun raked his clammy hands through his neatly brushed up hair, heavy with wax to keep it that way throughout the night.

'How did I not notice? After all this time? No one told me? How? Why?’ Baekhyun thought to himself.

He found his way to the field, and went immediately behind the bleachers to do his thinking.

 

He wasn't one of the most intelligent of his group, but this was too much. He heard some friends teasing him, but he brushed them all off as jokes.

Jokes that he had no idea were real afterall. Jokes of how Jongdae has had the biggest schoolgirl-level crush on Baekhyun since they were in primary school.

That couldn't be real. If it were, Jongdae would've told him, right? They were the best of friends, closer than anyone else in the group.

Baekhyun would have noticed, too. Jongdae wasn't the smoothest, either. He might have spilled once or twice already, after hanging out with Chanyeol while Baekhyun was busy pining over Taeyeon proved to make him just as clumsy around Baekhyun.

 

'That’s just because he was originally clumsy, right? Clumsy and awkward? But only around me? Of all people? His bestest friend? That doesn't seem right. He’s just not...

“He didn't even say anything about Taeyeon or going to prom as a group. He just… brushed it off. Like.. I did.” Baekhyun said to himself in mild panic and realisation.

 

“Is it.. Is it too late to try?” Baekhyun asked himself, as he dusted his pants of grass and dirt, fixing himself before going back to the gym to reunite with his friends.

His heart felt heavy. He felt bad for not noticing or at least paying attention to his friend who he had just realised had a crush on him. And he may have just realised his own tiny crush towards said friend, too.

 

//>.>.>//>.>.>//>.>.>//

 

It was already the slow dance part of the night, and the four couples in their group had left to dance already.

Those who were left at the table were Minseok, who promptly dozed off just when the music started playing, Junmyeon, who got up to refill their cups with punch, Jongdae, who was playing a game on Minseok’s phone, and Baekhyun, who was unnaturally fidgeting in his seat.

'It’s now or never,” Baekhyun thought, just as Junmyeon returned with their cups filled to the brim with fruit punch.

 

“Jongdae!” Baekhyun’s voice cracked at the urgency of his intentions. The addressed guy jolted at the exclamation and dropped his cousin's phone. “Shit, Baekhyun, what?” Jongdae hissed, as he bent down and reached for the gadget from under the phone.

Baekhyun bent down as well, and met Jongdae under the table cloth. “Dance with me!” Baekhyun whisper-yelled, face illuminated red from the strobe lights. The other, confused, just stood back up.

 

“What the hell, Baekhyun?” Jongdae mumbled, as he tucked his cousin's phone under the guy’s hand before turning towards his friend.

“I mean, can I have this dance? Pretty please?” Baekhyun repeated, leaning all over the table just so he can reach out and hold Jongdae's hand.

He was taking a sip of his punch when Baekhyun did. He sputtered at the drink in surprise, pulling his hand away. “W-what the hell, Baek? Did Chanyeol or Sehun set you up on this, or what?”

 

This got Baekhyun sitting back, “I'm serious! Let's dance!” He said, getting up. He went over to pull Jongdae out of his seat.

“Wha- Baek, wait! I can't dance!” Jongdae protested. “Don't worry, I'll teach you,” Baekhyun answered, still tugging on the younger’s coat sleeve.

 

“You know I can't dance, what are you doing, why are you like this?” Jongdae whined, of all things. Cute. Baekhyun thought.

“No, really, come on! I’ll also have to tell you something important, so come on!” Baekhyun said, successfully pulling his friend off his seat, and finally off to somewhere more secluded.

 


Baekhyun finally saw the light. Even in the dark, Jongdae's smile shone brightly. Especially when they're directed towards him.

Chapter Text

 

“That can't be..”

 

“I just told you, didn't I? We’re done. Dumped. Well, at least he told me we could still be friends, but I think he just said that to cushion the blow,” Mingyu sighed. He was feeling tired, after the heavy discussion he had with his now ex -boyfriend, Wonwoo.

Now that he’s back home, he has to re-tell everything, all the pain and sadness has come back, after he went out of his way and walked around the city to clear his head of it.

“But.. But why? ” His childhood best friend, his so-called soulmate, Seunghee, asked, and again, had an unbelieving expression on her face.

 

“Why is this such a surprise to you? This was bound to happen, anyway.” Mingyu said. He sighed again, he was getting tired of having these kind of conversations with her. She just…

“But you're the Kim Mingyu! There's nothing you can't do! That's why.. that's why… Why aren't you even sad ? You should be sad and upset! You like this guy so much and he just dumps your flat ass! How are you so calm about this?” The girl rambled, she stopped only to inhale deeply.

Her breathing has become more uneasy. Mingyu was sure the waterworks will come running any second now.

 

“It's alright, I tell you. Calm down already, you'll start crying before you can even stop yourself.” Mingyu warned. He knows the girl doesn't like crying because she always gets colds that last at least a week after.

“But..! But!” And that's when she broke down in front of him, choked sobs rattling her thin figure. She's doing her best at making herself stand still on her feet, even with all the crying.

With no other choice, Mingyu gets up and drags her to the couch and pushes her to lie down. When she's finished crying, and fell asleep, Mingyu left and went to the kitchen.

 

//>.>.>//>.>.>//>.>.>//

 

Growing up together, and even now, living together is more than enough time to get to know each other's habits and quirks.

They’ve both come to terms with accepting each other's flaws, they talk about their mistakes, and they love every moment they spend together.

Always joking of getting married already. But they promised each other if they were still single when they're thirty, they would get married, and adopt 12 dogs and name them after the members of Seunghee’s favourite boy band.

 

Tonight is another one of those nights their roles are switched, instead of comforting Mingyu, it turns out it’d be Mingyu who has to do the comforting.

Seunghee was a simple girl, not very picky with her food, just avoids a couple or so vegetables, but she eats whatever Mingyu places in front of her. Mingyu knows she knows she can't cook to save her life, so she's as grateful as she can be for her best friend and roommate.

 

After placing the ramyun in a bowl, Mingyu grabbed a few slices of cheese from the fridge before bringing the steaming bowl of instant noodle goodness he knew Seunghee loved, out to the living room where said friend had just woken up from her crying-enduced nap, still sniffling her tears out.

“Hey, I made you your favourite, ramyun. Come on, don't cry anymore,” Mingyu said, placing the bowl on the coffee table in front of her.

“Why did you make me this, I'm crying my heart out for you, you who had just been dumped by their crush for the longest time ever. But here you are, making me comfort food, when I should be the one comforting you! ” She said, not so surprisingly followed by a pout.

 

He brought his hands to her face to make her look at him. “Seunghee.” He starts, pausing long enough so she could lock eyes with him. 

“Seunghee, I'm fine. It's not like.. it's not the end of the world, okay? It's alright if I get dumped, or whatever. Life’s just like that, you can't always like a person.” Mingyu says, but got interrupted. As always.

“But I like you all the time, that's not the hardest thing in the world to do, you know?” The girl said in a blunt tone, Mingyu bit the inside of his cheek to stop himself from cringing so hard.

 

'This girl is honest, but dense as a brick, gosh.’ he thought to himself as Seunghee just continued staring at him, as if waiting for an answer.

'She gets all sad and upset when I'm upset, but she doesn't notice that a sad Seunghee makes me even more sad.’ Mingyu chuckled to himself as he drapes one of his long arms over his friend’s shoulders.

He knows she won't try shrugging them off. 'She’s honestly so dumb, so silly.’ Seunghee did try shrugging his arm off, but gives up after the first try, and just leans back to rest her head on his shoulder. 'So cute.’

 

“Listen, let's just forget this ever happened okay? No more crying, no more hard feelings, we don't mention names in this house, alright? Now eat your ramyun before it gets cold and soggy.” Mingyu finishes. He didn't know what else he needed to say.

“That dude is missing out on the good stuff, he’s missing out on the good food, the good ramyun, aish.” Mingyu heard Seunghee mumbled as she tied her hair up in a bun before she started eating.

“Some people just don't know what they're missing until it's gone, right?” She adds as she slurps long strands of noodles.

 

“Yeah, yeah. Just eat properly like a lady. At this rate, you won't find a boyfriend or husband with how loud you slurp your ramyun. You'll scare all the guys away,” Mingyu smiled, as he brought the pot of the remaining ramyun and a pair of chopsticks with him to the living room, and sat beside his friend to eat.

“Whatever. I'll still have you, right?” she replies innocently, looking up at Mingyu with a soft grin as she holds her hair back with one hand, and the other poised around her chopsticks, paused mid-air.

“Of course, Seunghee. We’ll always have each other.” He replies, mirroring her grin.

 

 

“Mhm, always.”

Chapter Text

 

”Jisoo.. Jisoo-ya, open up.”

 

Joshua was roused from his sleep when his roommates shook him awake. “Hyung, Coups hyung is asking for you,” a sleepy Seokmin said, yawning as he scratched his mop of hair, disarray from sleep.

He was used to this random calls in the middle of the night or in the early hours of the day. Their leader would come knocking at his room, seeking comfort and an ear who would listen to him complain.

There was always Jeonghan, of course, but the other already knew whatever Seungcheol would be thinking, he could read their leader like an open book. So when the eldest comes to him, then this must mean it's a lot to handle, even for Jeonghan.

 

“I'm up, I'm up, you can stop knocking now, hyung.” Jisoo yawned, as he got up and opened the door. Standing outside was Seungcheol in his baby blue pajama set, complete with the cap on the top of  his head.

“Sorry. Did I wake you guys up?” The eldest whispered, just as Jisoo shut the door behind him with a slow, soft click.

“Just Seokmin, but he fell asleep on my bed when I got up, it's fine.” Jisoo said, ushering the elder towards the living room.

 

//>.>.>//>.>.>//>.>.>//

 

And they talked. Or rather, Seungcheol talked, while Jisoo would nod or hum a response just to show he was still listening, and he hasn't fallen asleep yet.

Seungcheol talked about practice, and the upcoming album, their schedules, and how he has to keep the members in check all the time. The usual things.

But Jisoo never showed any sign that he’s gotten bored of listening to the same things over and over again.

 

Once finished, it was already dawn. The window towards the kitchen displayed orange, purple, and pink hues painting the sky. The moon was still out, so it was still early.

“Sorry I had to wake you and drag you out here to listen to me rant,” Seungcheol said, snuggling close to the younger’s side. “It's okay. I couldn't sleep, anyway.” Jisoo lied.

He knew Seungcheol knew, but it was the thought that counts, right? “Yeah, of course. Thanks again for listening, ‘Shua,” Seungcheol yawned, eyelids fluttering shut.

“Take a nap, too. We can wake up when the kids wake up.” Seungcheol added, patting Jisoo’s cheek, pushing his head down, on top of his own, that was resting on the younger's shoulder.

 

“Oh, alright.” Jisoo grins, drifting back to sleep, dreaming of smiles, and skies, and silly times.

Chapter Text

 

“Oh, you're here early!” Jin greeted the lone male sitting on one of the benches at the park near the campus gates.

Namjoon, on the other hand, who had his earphone plugged into his ears as he wrote down some lyrics was startled at the presence of another person. He fell off the bench in surprise.

 

“Whoa, careful there. Are you okay?” Jin chuckled, as he helped his classmate and now close friend back up on his feet.

“I'm fine, gosh, hyung, don't do that. I could have a heart attack, even at my age,” he grumbled, as he picked up his fallen notebook, dusted it, and threw it in his messenger bag, sealing the flap after throwing in his pencil along.

 

“Hahaha, glad I could still be a chemistry major as I do possess the 'element of surprise’! Huh, get it? Huh?” The elder laughed a big, hearty one, slapping the younger on the shoulder with every round of laughs he made.

Namjoon could only grimace, contemplating if he should fake a laugh, or just be honest and tell him it wasn't even funny.

But he let the best of him go, and do the former, as when Jin saw him, he gave him one big, happy smile that Namjoon thought it would outshine the sun itself.

 

“Next time, don't force yourself to laugh. You look like you're constipated.” Jin laughed again, as they started walking. Ah, Namjoon thought, he wasn't smiling because of that , of course, he shook his head slightly as he let the older lead him to his apartment.

They had decided on pairing up for a class presentation, and since Jin’s place was the closest, so he volunteered his house.

After less than ten minutes of walking, they arrive at a rather grand condominium building. I thought this was supposed to be an apartment? Namjoon thought to himself.

 

“My younger cousin lives with me. He’s a freshman at the uni.” Jin tells Namjoon, as he claims his keycard from the receptionist.

“Ah, yeah, you mention him sometimes. Taeyang, was it?” Namjoon asked, unsure. He wasn't very good with names.

“It's Tae hyung. Kim Taehyung,” Jin laughed again as they walked in one of the elevators. “I live of the eleventh floor,” he says, pressing the the close button before doing the same for his floor’s button.

 

They walked down a corridor before turning right, and stopped at the second door. “Ah, I might need to advise you to watch your step.” Jin warned, as he swiped his keycard on the sensor just above the doorknob.

“Tae, I'm back!” Jin yelled, as he toed off his shoes, and left them at by the doorway. He hurried off, just as Namjoon closed the door behind him, and started undoing his shoelaces.

 

“Oh, hyung, you're back! Wait, be careful!” He heard someone say from inside. “What's all this? Didn't I tell you to keep this in your room?” He heard Jin answer.

“But hyuuunngg! I'm almost done, come on! I just need to take a pocture after I finish this,” the voice answers, and Namjoon could hear Jin sigh. “Okay, fine. One picture after you finish this, and you clean all of this up, alright?” Jin replied, and them there was a sound of agreement, and feets padding around the room.

 

“Namjoon, are you alright?” Jin poked his head out to check. “Yeah, uh, just having trouble with my laces,” Namjoon replies, just as Jin’s head disappears.

He got to his feet, hopping around on his left foot as he tried wrestling with the laces of his right foot’s shoe.

All his hopping around brought him to the doorway, and he went down.

 

“My house!” A rather deep voice yelled, borderline in hysterics. Namjoon opened his eyes and saw a not-so young boy pout, almost crying, looking at him with murderous eyes.

Namjoon looked around him, and there were playing cards all around him. “House? House of cards?” he asks randomly, as he finally gets his foot free of the laces.

“Well, yeah. Until you came in and destroyed it! Demolisher! Hyung, he demolished my house of cards!” The boy, who is probably Jin’s cousin Taehyung, whined.

 

Then Jin comes along in a simple white shirt and sweatpants, shaking his head like a disappointed mother.

“I told you so, that's why I keep telling you to do this in your room.” He tsked. He turned towards Namjoon, “Are you alright?” He asked, concern masking his angelic features.

“I-I’m fine, thanks.” Namjoon answers hastily, as he holds onto Jin's extended hand, and helped him up.

 


(Instead of working on their presentation, they end up helping Taehyung build his house of cards.)

Chapter Text

 

Ugh.

Seungcheol groaned. He felt his head pound every time he tried rolling over. His legs, arms, his entire body felt like it was on fire, but his sweat was cold, and came down running by the bucket.

He tried searching for his phone from underneath his pillow, but instead of grabbing for it, his hand just pushed it off his bed, the gadget came crashing down, startling his roommates awake.

 

“Wha-hyung what? Coups hyung?” Mingyu groggily says. Seungcheol could hear him sit up, and hit his head on the ceiling in the process of it. “What's going on?” Groaned Jihoon, whose back was turned towards Seungcheol.

He rolled over to see, but their room was still covered in a blanket of darkness, only bits of rays of the dawn breaking seeped through the curtains.

“What's..?” Seungcheol hears Jeonghan whisper a groan, sitting up immediately, now that his sleep has been disrupted.

 

No one said a word, because all Seungcheol could make out was a restless whimper, as he starts rolling around in his own bed, unable to find a comfortable position, he seemed to be struggling loose from something.

“Hyung. Cheollie hyung?” Jeonghan called out in the dark. He sat up, rubbing the sleep from his eyelids, bidding them a farewell, promising them a next time.

 

He climbed down the short ladder, and as his feet touched the floor, he stepped on something thin, but cold, like the floor, but it had a smoother surface, and it was playing a soft musicbox version of one of their songs. Picking it up, he squinted at it through the dark, unlocked it, and turned the music player off.

“Seungcheol? You dropped your phone,” Jeonghan called out softly. From the other top bunk, Mingyu loomed over the railing, eyes still closed, and confused.

“W’as goin’ on?” He mumbled followed by a yawn. Jeonghan planted his butt on the bottom bunk’s mattress, and by accident, he sat on one of the eldest hyung’s legs, and the boy could only groan in pain, and squirm underneath him.

 

“Oh, sorry.” Jeonghan immediately scrambled to get up and sit at the middle, closer to Seungcheol’s face, but far enough to avoid sitting on any other body part.

“You okay?” Jeonghan whispered, reaching out to touch the elder’s forehead, and just as his palm touched the cold sweat in contrast to the sweltering hot skin, he retracted it and touched his own forehead with his free hand. 

“Holy sh--” Jeonghan swore under his breath. Pulling away at the elder’s blanket who prefers sleeping topless, his chest was sweaty from the extreme temperature his body was at.

 

“Cheol, wake up. You're overheating,” Jeonghan said, gently touching the elder's arm to wake him. Jeonghan got up and walked towards Mingyu and Jihoon’s bed, and slapped Mingyu’s butt to wake him.

“Hey, wake up. Cheol hyung’s running a fever, help me and get me a basin of cold water while I get a towel and medicine.” Jeonghan ordered.

Mingyu sat up for a couple of seconds before his eyes opened wide enough to sneek a peek at their leader, whowas undeniably looking much paler than his normal skintone, even in the break of dawn.

 

He went down two steps the small ladder before jumping down and sprinting down the hall. “Jihoonie? Can you wake up for a while and look over leadernim while I get some medicine?” Jeonghan chastised the perpetually tired producer into waking up.

The younger did sit up and swing his legs from his bed. “You'll look after Seungcheol hyung while we get things, alright?” Jeonghan repeated until Jihoon rubbed the sleep from his eyes and nodded in return.

“Okay, we’ll be quick,” Jeonghan said, and he ran out the door.

 

//>.>.>//>.>.>//>.>.>//

 

Speeding down the halls, Jeonghan found a clean face towel from the stack just outside laundry room. Not even two seconds later, he bumped into Mingyu who just came out from the bathroom, and was cradling a basin of water. He handed the towel to him and instructed him to wipe down the leader’s face and body. The younger only nodded in reply, as he yawned and walked back to their shared room.

Reaching the kitchen, he searched for the paracetamol in the cabinets, sighing gratefully when he found it in the second drawer he pulled, all in small plastics labelled properly, all thanks to Mingyu.

He found the bag of paracetamol tablets quickly, so he shut the drawer close and went for the refrigerator to get some water to drink. He finds the leader’s drinking bottle immediately, and just as he was closing the door, he saw an oddly out of place small, tinted bottle.

 

It had red, angry Chinese characters on it, but the label itself was green and yellow. And with his past experience with Chinese medicine, anything with a green label is something healthy. ‘ Maybe Jun’s or Minghao’s energy drink?’ Jeonghan thought.

It took him half a second to grab the bottle, and the other half to shut the door. Then he bolted.

 

//>.>.>//>.>.>//>.>.>//

 

Reaching his bedroom, upon entering, he saw Jihoon was still sitting up, but was nodding every now and then, falling asleep, and Mingyu was hovering above Seungcheol, still wiping at his face. The elder was making small hisses at the contact of the cold water against his scalding skin.

His feet made small padding sounds which made Mingyu look around him. “Hyung, you scared me,” he whispered, as he placed the wet towel on their hyung’s forehead.

“Thanks, Gyu. You and Jihoonie can go back to sleep if you want to,” Jeonghan said. The younger only nodded as he brushed past, pushing the producer hyung down back on his bed gently. “I'm going to the bathroom, haha” Mingyu announced after tucking Jihoon back in bed.

 

Jeonghan couldn't reply, as he was already busy fussing around the elder. “Hyung, it's me, Jeonghanie. You gotta wake up a little, you need to take your medicine so you can go back to sleep,” he tried coaxing the elder.

There was almost immediately no response, but the leader groaned a little, as he tried twisting around, until Jeonghan helped him sit up a little.

A while ago, Mingyu had already taken his temperature, it was a whopping 40° in red LED on their electronic thermometer. Now that the elder was slouching in his bed, he grabbed at Jeonghan’s shirt sleeve.

 

“Med..cine? W-where?” He asked as softly as his voice made him sound. “Yeah, yeah. I have it here, hold on.” Jeonghan popped the tablet from the foil package just as Mingyu slipped into their room, and climbed back up to his bed.

“No more texting, and go back to sleep, alright?” Jeonghan unconsciously says out loud. “Yes, hyung,” he hears Mingyu grumble, and bury himself under his own blankets.

 

Seungcheol had just swallowed the dry tablet and took a swig of water. He was about to pass out to fall back asleep when Jeonghan shook his shoulder a little. “Hyung, wait up. Don't fall asleep yet. Here,” the younger whispered, as he produced a small bottle in front of him.

“Here, hyung. Drink this. You don't have to finish the bottle, but you'll feel better,” he says, as he uncaps the  and bottle puts it closer to Seungcheol's face.

Without hesitation, he took the bottle and took a long drink of it. He could finish the small bottle if only he wasn't feeling like throwing his guts up.

 

“Thanks,” Seungcheol managed to croak, as Jeonghan was adjusting the wet towel on his forehead. The younger’s face was distorted in a focused, yet concerned expression, eyes squinting in the dark.

“It's no problem,” Jeonghan whispered back. “The kids’ll be so worried, so go back to sleep and rest now, okay?“ Jeonghan added, as he clears everything and placed them on the bedside table at the foot of their bed.

“I'll see you in the morning. Rest well!” Jeonghan cheered, as he ruffled the elder’s sweaty hair as he passed by him to climb back up to his bed.

 


Albeit feeling still under the weather, Seungcheol managed to find solace, and the soft hums and snores from his roommates were enough to lull him back to sleep.

Chapter Text

The queue waiting to purchase tickets wasn't a long one, but there were still many people flocking to the cinemas to watch the much awaited superhero movie.

Chihiro had been the first to ask the shadow from Seirin if he wanted to see it with him, despite not knowing for sure if the younger was a fan of the franchise. And much to his relief, Kuroko had been trying to catch up to the other movies, and was excited to see the final one.

 

They'd just managed to escape Kuroko's frenzied old teammates, and the population of Tokyo hadn't gone down a notch, considering it was a weekend, but still-- there was still too many people wanting to watch the damned film.

 

"Can I hold your hand?"

The soft voice partnered with a tug at his shirt sleeve bring Chihiro back to where he was standing, glancing down towards his date.

 

"I'm sorry, what?" He hadn't meant for it to sound so… harsh.

 

"I asked if I could hold your hand, senpai." Kuroko repeats carefully, patiently. His entire demeanor was a calming presence even if they were in the middle of a crowded street.

 

"Given our "track records" and our positions in the team, oh, and our meekness, I suppose? Well, what I'm trying to say is, maybe if we held hands, we wouldn't be separated?" There was a soft blush blooming on the first year's cheeks, and Chihiro had half a mind when he grabs for one of Kuroko's hands, and held it firmly.

 

He looks away, but he can feel his date pointedly looking up at him. "Don't let go, senpai. I don't want to lose you--"

 

Chihiro decides to tune out the rest of the world when he heard those words.

 

 

He also decided watching Kuroko's eyes twinkle in delight and wonder was better than watching the damn movie.

Chapter Text

It's been raining cats and dogs the past couple of days. If Shigeo could have helped it, he would have used a few of his tricks to keep a bubble around him to shield him from the rain.

But his parents, and Ritsu had all dissuaded him from doing so and gave him a plain, black umbrella instead. The only problem was there were also other people who had the same umbrella in school, so it wasn't uncommon to have your umbrella taken by someone else.

 

He received a call earlier during lunch time from his Master that his services will be needed at the office, so he must go there immediately once school lets out.

And now that he's been dismissed, he stares forlornly at the students walking out the gates with their umbrellas above their heads, shielding them from the rain.

 

He could have just taken a different umbrella from the amassing number lined up against the walls and against the shoe lockers, but his psychometry starts up the moment he touches even one handle, and suddenly memories of its owner flashes in Shigeo's mind.

 

He felt bad.

 

So he makes up his mind and runs through the rain to the Spirits and Such office. He gets there just as the rain started getting stronger.

His Master opens the door, and he hears Ekubo mutter a curse. Probably at how drenched to the bone Shigeo was.

 

---

 

Reigen almost lost his shit when Mob comes knocking at his office door, drenched like a kitten who fell into a river. The rain was getting heavier by the second, so he lets the boy inside, deciding he'll just mop up the puddles later.

"What the hell happened to you? Did someone push you into the lake, or something? Then stole your umbrella as a prank? Are you being bullied?" Reigen spat as he started fussing around Mob like the mother-hen Ekubo and Hanazawa calls him.

 

"Someone took my umbrella by accident," came Mob's soft answer. He was sniffling, and shivering from the cold rain; his socks must have been submerged like the city of Atlantis if a powerful psychic like him had caught a cold, Reigen ponders.

 

He grabs for his special, luxury towels he reserved for clients from the closet, and threw them onto Mob. "Dry yourself up and take off your wet clothes. You can borrow some of my sweats while we dry your uniform," he orders the small psychic, as he nods towards Ekubo, signalling for him to drag the boy to the bathroom.

 

With the kid gone, Reigen reaches for the back of the closet to get a set of haphazardly folded sweatpants and shirt. Mob might drown in them, but that's better than drowning in rain water.

He also finds a sealed bag of disposable underwear he bought some time ago from the nearest convenience store, for times he would have to stay at the office.

 

Well, at least now they'd see the light of day.

 

Hurried footsteps ran from one end of the office to the other, as Reigen heads off to the bathroom to give Mob the clothes.

"You still alive, kid?" He says to the door as he knocks. The doorknob turns, and a small, wispy green hand reaches out from the inside.

 

"Hand the clothes over," Ekubo says, and Reigen can almost see the smug look on the damned spirit's face.

"Whatever, just get out immediately so I can hang the wet clothes to dry!" And with that, he leaves for the pantry, where he's been boiling some water.

 

He'll make some tea and instant cup noodles for Mob to warm himself up. The flavour of the noodles were Mob's favourite, the expensive kind, since Ekubo managed to bully him into buying one for Mob's birthday.

 

Which was today.

 

"Master, um, thank you for lending me your clothes." Was Mob's greeting as he stepped into the main office, where he's holding onto his partially wet clothes loosely. He must have wrung them out so as not to let them drip all over the floor.

 

"Sure, sure." Reigen waves it off nonchalantly. He brings the tray of tea and cup noodles out from the pantry. "Have some tea and oh," he places the tray before Mob on the coffee table.

 

"Happy birthday, Mob. I got you your favourite cup ramen," Reigen manages to say without stuttering nor stepping on his own feet.

"Thank you Master, and Ekubo, for the tea and clothes. I can't believe you remembered!" Mob was smiling like the kid he was, and Reigen never felt so proud of himself.

 

"Of course I'd remember! I'm the Greatest Psychic of the 21st Century!" Reigen puffs his chest out.

 

"Indeed." Was all Mob said, but suddenly it felt like the sun was shining on his face-- or maybe that was just Mob's smile, he wasn't sure. He conked out when Ekubo slapped him across the face exactly at thay moment.

 

Chapter Text

 

"WHAT?!" Eijun jumps a foot too high in his surprise. He knew Furuya was the silent type, but he hadn't pegged him to be the silent and deadly type. "YOU COULD HAVE GIVEN ME A HEART ATTACK, MAN!" He held a hand against his throbbing heart, willing it to steady its beat already.

 

"I wanted to surprise you," Furuya deadpanned with his signature poker face-- Eijun could never figure out what the guy felt, with his lack of facial expressions.

 

"WELL, YOU DID! CONGRATULATIONS,“ Eijun huffs. He was on the way to the baths to take a quick dip before bed, and now he's getting sidetracked by his rival.

 

He must have some scheme up his sleeve so I'd stay up late, and wake up late and tired for morning practice… he's sabotaging me!

Eijun shook his head of his ideas; he wanted to enter the bath with an empty head. He didn't want to stress himself out when he should be relaxing in the water.

 

"Thank you, but here. You might like this," He hands Eijun a rectangular package that could be a book, but on one face with had this small indent on it-- wrapped haphazardly in sports newspapers.

There was twine wrapped around it akin to a ribbon. It looked ratty and suspicious, but Furuya was watching him, as if waiting for him to open it in front of him.

 

"Oh, alright!"

He pulls the twine off, and rips the newspaper away in two pulls, and finds the latest volume of the shoujo manga he was reading recently. There was a rubber strap keychain taped to the front of the book, showing the heroine and the main dude.

 

Eijun couldn't help the smile creeping on his face. "OH MY GOD! FURUYA! YOU RASCAL, C'MERE AND GIMME A HUG, YOU!" He acted on instinct, and pulled the taller pitcher towrds himself for a hug. It was the least he could give in return for the present.

 

Wait, what?

 

"What's this for, anyway? Are you bribing me to step down from the mound, because I WON'T. I COULDN'T BE BRIBED TO LEAVE THE MOUND. I LOVE THE MOUND, AND I LIVE FOR THE MOUND!

YOU CAN ONLY GET ME AWAY FROM THE MOUND IS THE DAY I DIE! BUT EITHER EAY, I'LL HAVE MY FAMILY BURY ME UNDER THE MOUND, SO--"

 

"Do you like it?" Furuya blurts out in the middle of Eijun's monologuing.

 

"Huh? I mean, YEAH, NO DUH! But like, why'd you give it to me?" Curiosity, sadly, dawns unto Eijun late.

 

"Well, happy birthday?" Furuya sounded unsure-- even his voice cracked!

 

Then all at once, everything is clear, and bright as day. And Eijun is holding onto the railings to keep himself from falling off to the side.

"Wha-- birthday? AHAHAHA!" Eijun is still laughing, yet he can see Furuya's face contort into annoyance.

 

"My birthday's tomorrow, dude! But thanks for the gift, I uh," he scratched the back of his head bashfully. He gives his rival a grateful smile.

 

"I like it. Thanks, man."

 

"Advanced happy birthday, Eijun. I'll let you have the mound tomorrow!" Furuya says, visibly elated. He quickly reaches over to ruffle Eijun's hair before ducking away and running back towards the indoor practice grounds.

 

Chapter Text

As been decided, it was his and Yagi’s turn to restock the faculty lounge pantry.

 

He didn’t want to force the poor guy, and see him all dejected if he shrugged him off, but the retired Pro Hero looked so, dare he say, fragile.

A stronger gust of wind could have knocked the seven foot tall man, and Shouta wasn’t having any of that, if he were to go grocery shopping for the entire faculty.

Shouta thought about employing Midoriya-- All Might’s favored student-- instead. He reckon the kid’s still spry and young, he could do the heavy lifting for the older hero. He contemplates calling the kid in, when Yagi Toshinori himself enters the faculty lounge with a sheepish grin. He walks up to his desk to collect his things, and slings a messenger bag on his shoulder.

 

“Ready to go?” He asks, his gaunt face a complete contrast to his sunny smile and bright, blond hair.

 

He sucks a breath in, “yeah, let me just put my sleeping bag away.”

 

Yagi nods, and walks to stand by the doorway. He pulls out his cellphone, leaning against the wall. “I have a shopping list on my phone, so we don’t forget anything.”

 

“Sure.” Was all Shouta could say to fill in the silence. He reckons the other man was aware of the awkward air between the two of them.

Folding and shoving his yellow sleeping bag under his desk, Shouta grabs for his own bag, then saunters over to where Yagi was waiting for him. “Let’s hurry up and go, I still have a ton of test papers to grade,” he opens the door and steps out first.

 

Yagi leads him to the parking lot, towards a bright blue convertible. “I’ll drive us to and from the store,” he grins, bringing up a key ring up and jangles it cheekily.

 

“Whatever.”

 


 

The drive to the store was short and silent. The comfortable silence was overpowered by Enya songs Yagi was playing on his radio. Shouta let himself relax a little, and sit back in the plush upholstery, mind going places Enya’s been telling it to “sail away” to.

 

“I often listened to Enya to help me relax, and while I graded papers and made lesson plans,” Yagi said, his eyes never leaving the road, keeping a steady hand on the wheel. He finds it rather odd the other man would mention something as obscure and personal as that, but he reckons the poor guy was just trying to fill in the silence with small talk.

Grunting a reply, not bothering to use words, as he feels his consciousness slip away, that is until Yagi shifts gears, and pulls into the parking lot of the nearest grocery store to the campus.

 

Shouta must have fallen asleep that he didn’t notice they’d already stopped, and Orinoco Flow had already ended. He wakes up to a warm, gentle hand on his shoulder, and a soft voice telling him they’d arrive already. Startling a little, Shouta scrambles away from the touch, with what little wiggle room he had, as he willed himself to meld into the passenger door.

 

“We’re here,” calm as he’s ever been.

 Letting out another grunt, Shouta reaches for the door handle and lets himself out with a tumble. He decides to leave his bag inside the car, and just bring his wallet, phone, and keys with him to the store.

 

Yagi locks the car, and they head inside.

 


 

“You know, I always loved sales here in Japan.”

 

They were in the Produce aisle, and Yagi’s hand was brushing over milk labels as they passed them. Shouta held All Might’s phone in his right hand, as he used his other hand to wheel the cart around.

“Most stores in the U.S. were wholesale, and I couldn’t possibly eat six jars of peanut butter by myself now, can I?” The man lets out a soft chuckle, and Shouta notices some nearby housewives grin, and look their way.

 

Pushing further, they approach the cold drinks section, and Shouta didn’t even bother looking behind him when he collects two armfuls of jelly packs. Beside those, he gets two box packs of yoghurt cups for Cementoss.

Yagi chuckles at his actions, but skitters away before Shouta could even react and throw him over at the tower of canned corn soup. He ducks into two aisles over, returning just as fast as he’d left. In his lanky arms were bags of potato chips Shouta noticed were Yamada’s favourites and senbei Principal Nezu liked having during his afternoon tea.

 

“Let’s not forget to get those oatmeal packets for Vlad King, and Pocky for Snipe-kun.” Yagi says, pointing towards a shelf of Pocky on sale.

 

With a nod, Shouta wordlessly heads over to the shelf to grab 10 boxes before dumping them into the cart. He glances down at the shopping list and crosses out food items they’ve already acquired. They walk around the grocery store, stopping by some shelves to comment and compare prices and brands before putting them into the cart.

 


 

The sun had just set when they finally stand in line at the check-out counter. Surprisingly, Shouta found Yagi’s company quite, amicable.

 

“I wonder if we could get discounts since we got twenty of these jelly packs of yours? I saw an advertisement a while ago, and--”

 

Shouta brings up a hand to interrupt him: “We haven’t gotten anything for you, yet.”

He looks down at the mountain of snacks in their trolley, then looks back up at Yagi, whose face was contorted into something akin to awe, before it melts into softness.

 

“It is alright, Aizawa-kun. I’ll just get mine on my own, I wouldn’t want to impose,” he says, bashfully scratching the back of his neck.

 

“No, it’s fine. We’re using the principal’s credit card, anyway. And we’ll give him the receipt later, no big deal.” Shouta assures the man who’s started getting flustered.

 

“It’s fine, it’s fine! It’s just that I, ah-- oh look! We’re up next!” Then he pulls the cart forward and starts unloading. He deposits the snacks onto the conveyor belt, and the bored cashier doesn’t even bat an eyelash.

Nudging at the taller man’s arm, he faces the cashier, “can you wait a while before ringing us up? My friend forgot some things, so he’ll run real fast and get them.”

 

The cashier only rolls her eyes. “Go for it.”

 

“You heard her; go get your snacks.” Shouta pushes the former Number 1 hero out of the line. 

Before he could even argue, Shouta gives the man the deadliest stare he could conjure without activating his quirk. And with a squeak, Yagi runs off.

 


 

In under ten minutes, Yagi comes back with an armful of jars of baby food. And what seemed like a package of candy.

 

“I recall the young Midoriya mention something about your penchant for salted licorice,” Yagi squeezes himself to get to the cashier through the throng of people. “He said you would often keep some on your person, and give out to the students in between training.” Shouta hides a grin behind his capture weapon.

 

“Thanks. Hand ‘em over here so we can pay and go.” Stepping aside to let Yagi put down his spoils, he reaches into his pocket for his wallet where he put Nezu’s card in.

 

After ringing up the total, Shouta hands the cashier the card, and helps the bagger in sorting the snacks and placing them strategically in plastic bags.

Before Shouta could even tell him to keep off the grocery bags, Yagi had already grabbed for two and hurried out of the store, as if he was sure Shouta would chew him out for over-exerting himself.

 

He pockets the card and the receipt and takes the remaining bags. He finds the trunk of Yagi’s car already popped open, and the driver sitting in front, waving at Shouta, and making hand signals as if to tell him he needed to haul ass.

With a huff, he dumps the bags he was carrying in the trunk, then slams it shut a bit too hard, the car tips backwards, and Yagi yelps only slightly when Shouta climbs into the passenger seat and slams the door shut.

 

Without a word, Yagi turns the ignition on, and slowly backs out into the road. Shouta felt like he’s become one with Yagi’s car’s passenger seat, and he turns over, tucking his leg under, to get into a more comfortable position. The sun was setting, and it’s already around the same time he’d be taking a power nap before he’d have to start with the mountain-load of paperwork and exams to grade.

 

Before the soft hum of the car and Yagi softly singing along to the radio can lull him to sleep, he sends an SOS message to Midoriya, asking him to wait by the parking lot on campus. The student replies a “who dis?” before a flurry of apologies and crying emojis, and saying he’d be  waiting for him.

 

Sighing, he pockets his phone and closes his eyes.

 


 

Ten minutes later, Yagi is pulling up to the gates of U.A., and he drives into the parking lot, and Shouta can feel the car slow down.

 

“What on earth is that boy doing out here?” He hears Yagi say.

He must have seen Midoriya already, and when Shouta lifts his head up to peer out the window, he can see the boy in casual clothes sitting on the steps leading to the school building. Shouta wills himself to not snort at Yagi’s reaction, and just yawns loud enough to notify the other man that he had just woken up.

 

“Ah, you’re awake! We’ve arrived,” he says, voice still as uppity and enthusiastic as he had been the whole day.

 

The engine dies down, and Yagi is the first one out the door, running over to the student waiting for them, looking as livid as a father would be when he finds out his kid had been out all night.

From inside the car, Shouta amusedly watches the two interact, like they’ve known each other their whole lives. He always knew Yagi somehow favored Midoriya the most, despite his-- and Midoriya’s-- insistent denial.

 

Yagi playfully hits Midoriya as if to scold him, while Mirodiya yelps in surprised confusion, bringing his hands up to cover his face. That was when Shouta deemed it was time to make his appearance, before things escalated, and the problem kid would need to be sent to Recovery Girl on her off-hours.

 

He steps out of the car, and goes up to break the two children up.

“I didn’t ask you to come her to play around, Midoriya. Come help us bring groceries to the faculty lounge.” Shouta announces, and the two let go of each other’s clothes instantly.

 

“Aizawa-sensei! Of course! I’d be glad to help!” The kid’s reply gets an indignant squawk from Yagi’s end, who sputters at his own words.

 

“I can carry the bags, Aizawa-kun! There’s no need to bring the boy along,” Yagi sounded exasperated, as if he was trying so hard to prove himself. Shouta wanted to tell him he’s always been strong, and asking for help every now and then wouldn’t make him any less.

Blowing the hair out of his face, and adjusting the strap of his bag, and his capture weapon, Shouta takes on a power pose, and jerked a thumb toward the car. “There are five bags in total, and you can’t possibly believe we’d be able to carry that much between the two of us,” Shouta says, sighing.

 

“Just open the trunk and unload,” he orders, and Yagi looked like a sad puppy who’s been denied a treat. He does as he was told, though, and Midoriya walks over to peer into the trunk. His fanboying was evident on his face as he approaches the trunk.

 

“Midoriya, you take one bag and go on ahead to the faculty lounge. Unlock the door and wait for us there,” Shouta says, throwing the key ring to the student who catches it with ease.

Once the compartment pops open, Midoriya dives in first, and tries carrying each bag, until he finds what must have been the heaviest bag. Yagi tries to protest, but Midoriya knew better, and started off before his teacher could fight him for the bag.

 

“I’ll be going now!” He says as he runs past Shouta, hugging the bag of groceries against his chest. Yagi just watched helplessly by the car.

 

Stepping close, Shouta picks up the two bags much heavier than the rest, and nods toward Yagi. “You can take those,” he says.

 

Frowning like a petulant child, the former Number 1 Hero takes the lighter bags and shuts the trunk close. “I could have taken one heavy bag. It’s probably not that heavy,” Shouta can hear him mutter as he follows suit into the main building.

 

Shouta leaves the older man to talk to himself, seeing as he would just complain to him about it all the way.

“I’m still stronger than I look, you know!” Yagi yells as they approach closer to the faculty lounge, where they can hear Midoriya talking to someone animatedly. There was light streaming through the door that was left ajar.

 

Shrugging, Shouta matches his steps with his companion, so he could lean against his side, bumping his shoulder to catch his attention.

“I know,” he says with a level voice, though he couldn’t help the smile dancing on his lips.

 

Yagi’s smile was fond and warm, and so distracting, that he didn’t even bother getting back at Yamada and Kayama when they started laughing in his face upon entering the faculty lounge.


Chapter Text

Youichi watches from the side as Sawamura and Furuya dumped a mountain-load of Hi-Chew and other Japanese candy and snacks on Miyuki’s desk. He chuckles to himself when he hears some of their female classmates praise their pitchers, saying “such caring considerate kouhais” they were. He knows Miyuki would have a kick out of that later.

 

Once the two idiots leave the room, not after Sawamura’s loud and flowery farewells, Youichi approaches Miyuki and offers him a snicker, and he gets a punch in return.

“How am I supposed to smuggle all these without getting held up at the gates?” The captain sighs. Youichi laughs harder.

 

“You’re really enjoying this, huh? You’re gonna go all tyrant stand-in captain, huh? You and ‘Zono?” Miyuki says, pointing at his face, and giving one of his world-famous shit-eating grins.

 

“Oh, you know it.” And they both laugh together.

 

Moments like this were one of the things Youichi loved that came from their friendship. And now-- He sighs defeatedly, slumping against Miyuki’s desk.

 

“Oi, don’t go all sentimental on me, you bastard. Nori and the other third years already came up to me this morning and cried to me like I’m moving away for good, or even worse, dying!” Miyuki chuckles, reminiscing how everyone from their team had approached him and wished him well, and good luck.

He still hits Youichi on the head for good measure.

 

“You know I won’t,” Youichi assures him, his face rid of mischief, but replaced with a serious expression he seldom showed around Miyuki.

 

“But I’ll miss you, y’know?” He adds, turning away from Miyuki, and chose to go back to his seat, before he embarrassed himself even further.

He’s already in his seat, and Miyuki is still waving his way, yelling how “It’s only three days, ‘Mochi! I’m not going away for good!” and “Don’t you dare turn the team on me when I get back, you bastard!”

 

Their whole class were used to their antics by now, but still seeing how the baseball team captain and vice captain acted like a ten-year old married couple was still amusing to them. And Youichi always loved indulging them.

 

“Maybe if you win, I won’t!” Youichi yells back, and gets a mango-flavoured Hi-Chew thrown at his face in reply.


Chapter Text

Lunch time meant a new carton of milk.

 

And since Tobio felt good since that morning’s practice, he felt like he deserved two milk cartons for lunch that he was going to eat with a cereal bar he was supposed to eat for breakfast, but he had forgotten to.

Before Hinata could react, he runs out of the classroom and head out to the vending machines on the first floor. There were often second years who hogged them, and he desperately needed to get his lunch fix of milk.

 

Leaping off the stairs, he runs around the corner, and almost slams into whoever was standing in front of the cold drinks vending machine.

 

“Hey, watch it!”

 

Then the next thing he knew, Tobio was on the ground, looking up at Tsukishima glaring down at him-- like he’s offended his entire family and some.

“Oh my, well if it isn’t his Majesty himself.” He leans down just so his face is a foot away from Tobio’s, so he turns away like a distraught child.

 

A hand is thrust into his face. “Well?”

 

“Well, what?”

 

“Are you just going to sit there on the ground, or are you going to stand up?” Tsukishima is now waving the hand in Tobio’s face, who begrudgingly accept it, and pulls himself off the ground.

 

“What are you doing here?” Tobio grumbles under his breath as he follows Tsukishima to the vending machines.

 

“Am I not allowed to come down here and get myself a drink every once in a while?” Tsukishima crosses his arms in front of his chest, and leans against the vending machine.

Chuckling to himself, Tsukishima turns away from him, and inserts a bill in the slot, and punches a button. His tall frame blocks Tobio’s line of sight from the machine, so he had no idea what drink Tsukishima was getting.

 

Tobio can only brood to himself as he waits for Tsukishima to finish his purchase.

 

“Here.” Something cold is pressed against his cheek.

 

“What’s--” Tobio grabs for it, and a milk carton is deposited in his hands. “For me?”

 

“Yeah, no duh.”

 

Confusedly, Tobio accepts the milk. “Why?” He’s sure there was some ulterior motive or a joke he wasn’t getting at, as to why Tsukishima, of all people, bought him milk.

“Just because,” the other guy shrugs, as he twists open the cap off his bottle of barley tea. Without a word, he stalks off, leaving Tobio still confused as hell, but punches the straw through the hole. He takes a careful sip, but smiles at the chilled milk.  

 

Despite still having no idea as to why Tsukishima got him one.

 

 

He’ll just ask him about it later, after practice.

Chapter Text

‘Ohta is absent again today,’ Tanaka wonders to himself as he dozes off in the middle of class. The lessons zoom past, until he was roused by Shimura and Katou for lunch. Halfway through the classroom, Tanaka slumps down onto the floor, laying down flat on his belly, as if he had fallen asleep.

His classmates, aware they weren’t as strong as Ohta, told him they would just buy him some bread and milk.

 

Odd enough for his classmates, they were used to Tanaka falling asleep practically anywhere, though they would be more than troubled if Ohta wasn’t around.

Students step over Tanaka’s form like he were a cadaver in a crime scene.

 

Thankfully, Miyano finds him and pokes at his head, before running off to call Echizen, who manage to pull Tanaka back up to his feet. The ex-yankee was able to push him back to his seat so he wasn’t blocking the way.

 

At that moment, Katou and Shimura return with a cream-filled bread and a carton of milk.

Tanaka wakes up at the crinkling of the plastic wrappers, and eats at a snail’s pace. Katou takes the rest of his bread in one mouthful so he wouldn’t get caught by the teacher eating.

 


 

Later after class, Shiraishi hands him a stack of papers to pass on to Ohta. He wanted to decline, but speaking was to tiresome, so he just accepts them wordlessly.

Staring at the papers in his hands, Tanaka slings on his bag, and wanders out their classroom, only to bump into Echizen, who started yelling at him to watch where he was going.

 

‘That’s right! Echizen lived near Ohta’s house,’ Tanaka thought to himself, as he tugs at the taller girl’s sleeve.

 

“What?” She asks, looking offended, as she pulls her arm away.

 

“This is for Ohta,” he says, gesturing at the papers he was holding.

 

“So? Then take it to him!”

 

“But--”

 

“Oh, alright! Fine! I’ll take you with me!” Echizen decided before even Tanaka could reply. “Hurry up already!

 


 

The walk going to Ohta’s house was a quiet one.

 

Tanaka wasn’t used to not having Ohta carry him around, so his steps slowed down the further they went, that Echizen was forced to drag him by the arm.

When that became too tiresome, she went on to push him forward, and steer him to the direction of their house.

 

Finally, they arrive, yet Echizen takes Tanaka to Ohta’s doorstep before going home next door.

 

He hadn’t been able to thank her.

 


 

Despite his cold, Ohta takes Tanaka to the door to bid him farewell.

 

“Thanks again for taking the time to bring these to me.” Then a coughing fit follows. “I feel more like a proud father than a classmate, though,” he added as an afterthought, yet Tanaka pays it no mind.

 

“Actually, it was--”

 

He bites his tongue as a blunt object hits him on the back of his head. Ohta hadn’t seemed to notice, but his eyes must have been bleary from his cold, that he hadn’t noticed the shoe that appeared out of nowhere and hit Tanaka square on the back of his head.

 

“Don’t forget to look both ways before crossing, okay?” Ohta manages to croak, then he closes the door just as Tanaka steps out of the gate.

 

Once the door shuts close, Tanaka picks up the shoe Echizen had sent flying to return it to her. She was sitting just outside on the street with an angry expression.

“Don’t tell him I took you here! Take some credit for yourself, too!” She says, snatching the shoe from his hands, then hastily putting it on, only to run off into her own house, leaving Tanaka standing dumbly on the street.

 

Recalling which way they had come from, Tanaka starts his trek home.



Chapter Text

 

It had been training period when it happened.

 

Everything happened in a flash, that even Izuku hadn’t been able to dodge it.

 

An accident. 

 

Accidents happen, like debris falling on you, or slipping a step; it’s the former that happens that afternoon. 

 

Kacchan had been in an argument with Todoroki that afternoon, so before All Might could start pairing the class off as sparring partners, Kacchan had already dragged Todoroki off to the more rocky area of Gym Gamma.

The Pro Hero couldn’t even get a word in, so he just lets out a defeated sigh before he continues listing off sparring partners. 

 


 

Izuku was paired with Tokoyami, who was at par with Izuku’s agility. It was Dark Shadow who kept on the offense, so Izuku’s attacks were limited to dodging and evading the shadow figure’s advances. 

 

The noise everyone was inadvertently making was a cacophony, that neither Izuku nor Tokoyami heard Kaminari’s warnings from-- Izuku hadn’t really figured out from which direction the yelling was coming from.

There was a rather large boulder that Uraraka had prematurely let go, falling right above Izuku. It came from the back of his head, so when he thought of turning around, with no time left to run to safety, he braced himself for the impact.

 


 

“Hey, Midoriya, dude. You okay?” 

 

Blinking, Izuku startles awake. He finds himself buried under debris-- with Kirishima sprawled on top of him, Hardening Quirk in full power. 

In a flurry of panic, Izuku tried sitting up to give his classmate more space, but seeing as the rocks were unstable and would fall on top of them if they so much as moved, or if Kirishima were to move his arm a fraction, he wills himself to calm down, and to breathe slowly. 

 

“That’s it, Midoriya. Breathe in and out. They’ll get us out soon,” Kirishima offers him a smile, despite the strain of overusing his quirk.

 

A couple beats of silence, Kirishima’s eyes look for Izuku’s.

 

“Hey, I’m sorry, dude. For barging into your sparring, I didn’t mean to, man.” He says, eyes full of worry and raw emotion. “I knew you could handle yourself, but I panicked!” His voice a low whisper, though on the brink of breaking down. 

 

His body falters for a second, but he regains the strength to hold out.

 

With his arms locked to his sides, izuku could only move one hand to pat Kirishima on the back. “It’s okay, Kirishima-kun.” He says, patting a steady rhythm to calm his savior down. 

“Thank you for saving me. You’re a hero through and through,” Izuku manages a smile that Kirishima mirrors. 

 

Time passed by so fast, when the boulder above Kirishima was lifted by Sato and Dark Shadow. Kirishima’s legs seemed to give away as he stumbles in his steps when he tried getting up. 

 

As part of his thanks, Izuku rushes forward to help him up. 

Uraraka is apologising profusely, while Iida was hovering by asking is either of them were fine, and would need help getting to Recovery Girl. 

 

Izuku shakes his head no, and sets Kirishima down by the entrance to rest. He sits beside him, and promptly the two of them pass out for the rest of the class.

  

Heroes need rest, too. 

 

Chapter Text

At the beginning of their relationship, it’s been decided that anything food-related will be taken care of Katsuki. Back at the dorms, Shouto would be found sitting at the table drinking his morning tea. He’d be sitting at the seat nearest to the stove, where Katsuki was found angrily chopping vegetables and tossing some rice into the stir-fry. 

 

Once they’ve decided where they would be living together, Katsuki made Shouto promise he would stay out of the kitchen-- especially for when Katsuki was running late home, or was out. But while both Pro Heroes would have their days off together, Katsuki would pioneer some basic cooking lessons for when Shouto was hungry, and Katsuki was still out. 

They started with peeling vegetables, which Shouto failed miserably at: instead of peeling them and retaining the vegetable’s original shape, they’d end up all diced up. Removing the skin meant also removing some edible parts. 

 

Katsuki kissed him square on the mouth that day, then pushed him out of the kitchen. 

 


 

Birthdays had always been just a second day-off to them, by now. 

 

Katsuki’s was coming up real soon, and Shouto wasn’t too sure what to get him. He asked his friends for some help when he got home one day. Momo, Tenya, and Uraraka suggested he get him a present. Asui pointed out Katsuki might not react too well, since his bashfulness was synonymous with throwing things away. 

It was hilarious, and pretty cute at how red Katsuki’s face would get when he was flustered, but Shouto wasn’t sure if he’d be enamored if he threw away a birthday present. 

 

And that’s when Shouto’s saving grace, his best friend, Number One Pro Hero™ Izuku Midoriya chimes in: 

 

 

 

Izu-cool: why not cook something for him, lol? ^^

 

Everything made sense now. 

 

Realisation dawns upon him, so he snaps out of his daze, replies an emoji of thanks, then goes out in search for ingredients.

 


 

 Part of his training at his father’s agency was “Resourcing” which meant looking for information on virtually anything and everything he could get his hands on. 

 

Katsuki wouldn’t be home until tomorrow because of some mission in another city. The day after tomorrow was Katsuki’s birthday, so he has the rest of today to scout the grocery store he and Katsuki frequents. 

He knows for a fact that Katsuki was a regular there-- just by the greetings he received upon entering was enough proof of how loved Katsuki was by their neighborhood. Equipped with his newfound confidence, he trots over to the vegetable section, and strikes up a conversation. 

 

He asks for tips on how to make curry, seeing at it would be the easiest, yet most heartfelt, and homemade feeling food he could probably make without setting the kitchen on fire. He could also ask Izuku and the gang to come over and try them. 

 

The lady in charge of the vegetable aisles was more than glad to give him the best vegetables to put in the curry, after finding out Shouto was planning on making it for Katsuki. Although, she did look a bit hesitant when Shouto asked for peppers. 

 

‘Well,’ he starts, ‘it’s not for Katsuki if it doesn’t burn your tongue at first bite.’

 

With a grateful bow, he stalks off to the meat section where the butcher gave him a generous amount of meat sliced in bite-sized chunks to put in the curry. The butcher wishes him luck in his cooking, and to tell him how it went. 

 

Katsuki will just have to tell him, himself.

 


 

Getting home after a mission for more than one day often irked Katsuki to oblivion. 

 

Kirishima’s incessant chatting and calling would just add to the growing annoyance, that the interns and sidekicks at his agency knew best to stay out of his warpath. They all know they didn’t have the same Hardening quirk as Red Riot, so to avoid any casualties, they often let Ground Zero do his thing. 

 

And let him out as soon as they can, so he can get home and rest. 

 

Everyone was being extra weird that day though, often whispering and giggling around Katsuki. He was too tired to even question it, but he was sure it was about how tomorrow would be his birthday. 

He shudders at the thought of whatever surprise Shitty-Hair, Deku, Pikachu, Armak, and Pinky would throw him. 

 

‘Oh crap.’ He thinks to himself, just as he’s standing outside his apartment. 

 

Knocking three times, he finds the doorknob unlocked, so he lets himself in. It was quiet, save for the radio in the dining area turned on. Some baseball game was left droning away in the silence, as Katsuki creeps further inside after quietly shutting the door. 

 

Though, when the lock clicks, Shouto’s voice is floating from somewhere deep inside, asking if it’s him.

“Yeah, I’m home.” Katsuki answers, shrugging off his coat and hangs it in the wardrobe by the door. He leaves his bag on the floor next to it, and heads to where his boyfriend was. 

 

He finds him slumped over the dining table, breathing slowly like he’s asleep. Stepping closer, he finds that he was indeed asleep. 

 

They can talk later, he reckons, as he starts with lunch. 

 


 

“What do you want for your birthday?” Shouto asks as he ate his pudding. Their used plates had already been cleared, and they were now camped at the couch in their pyjamas, enjoying the pudding Shouto made that day.

 

For someone who didn’t know how to peel vegetables, it surely took Katsuki by surprise that Shouto was amazing at making desserts. 

The chef behind the pudding shrugs at the praise, saying he didn’t need to peel anything, just measuring was easy enough, even a kid would be able to do it. 

 

Katsuki though, was still proud of him. 

 

“Nothin’,” came his reply. He’d just finished scooping the last of his pudding. “I’ll just make something special for us in the morning since I just know some assholes would be dropping by the rest of the day,” Katsuki clicks his tongue. 

Shouto grins at the idea of Izuku and the rest of their friends dropping by to celebrate Katsuki’s birthday. 

 

He doesn’t let his mischievous grin show, though.

 


 

“Try some.”

 

Katsuki was half expecting Shitty-Hair and the rest to be there by now, and preparing to ambush him with cake frosting and party poppers. What he hadn’t expected to see was Shouto standing in the kitchen, offering him a tasting dish, with a pot of boiling something on the stove right behind him, which oddly smelled of curry.

 

“What’s going on?” He walked in slowly, approaching Shouto with calculated steps, as if he was defusing a bomb. 

 

“Try some of this, then I’ll answer your questions.” Shouto replies. 

 

Looking down at the tasting dish with brown sauce in it, Katsuki’s eyes focus on the bandages wrapped around Shouto’s fingers. Worried still about the bandages, he accepts the tasting dish and brings it up to his lips.

 

His lips that now felt like they were on fire…

 

“It’s perfect.” Katsuki says in a soft voice, muffled by the disbelief, and the shock that finally settles nicely in his gut, and the spiciness of the curry sauce.

 

“Did you make this? For me?” He pulls at Shouto’s hands to kiss his wrapped up fingers. 

 

Shouto’s face was almost as red as his hair-- something Katsuki thought was fucking cute, “Yeah. I had to call Fuyumi to walk me through the peeling.”

He turns back to the stove to stir it a bit, then covers it. He turns the stove off before facing Katsuki. “She even offered to come over and help, but I told her I wanted to do it myself, so.” Shouto shrugs, but gives Katsuki a warm smile.

 

“Happy birthday, Katsuki.”

 

They share a kiss. 

 

“Thanks, Sho.”

 

Another kiss.

 

“Okay, that’s enough.” Shouto pulls away from Katsuki, who only laughs as he pulls the other man closer. 

 

“What? Too spicy?” He asks with a grin. “Well, too bad for you then, since that’s all we got, huh?”

 

Shouto scoffs, but reciprocates the hug, “I made a different batch that isn’t spicy and kept it in the fridge. I’ll heat it up later when our friends arrive.” 

“Really?” Asked Katsuki. “I’m glad. And I’m proud of you, Sho.” He starts peppering kisses all over Shouto’s face, which he welcomes. 

 

“You’re welcome.” 

 

One last kiss, until the doorbell started ringing incessantly.

 

Chapter Text

They had just gotten out of the car, the lot of them— all piling in their usual van, though in the same, chipper manner they used to do back when they were still a bit green around the edges, that their manager smiles to himself as he buckles himself in the driver’s seat. 

 

Chanyeol had elected himself to driving, as did Baekhyun, but their manager didn’t want to risk them taking a detour and going in a McDonald’s or a Starbucks drive-through before they head on to the base camp Kyungsoo would be training at. 

 

 

He was excited, but he didn’t let it show. 

 

 

Though he was mildly aware of his members not bawling their eyes out, despite having expected that at least. But they had been proud, and happy for him, like the brothers they were. Of course, they didn’t let pass the chance of making fun of him and his shaved head. 

 

 

They all knew it was coming, but Kyungsoo had wanted to get it over with already. 

 

 

The drive to the military base was a fast one, but filled with their group’s characteristic fun chatter, along with some uncharacteristic mother-henning from the members he least expected to. Of course, in most, if not all senses, Kyungsoo was better at being responsible. But he lets them fuss over him. 

 

 

He’ll miss them, lots.

 

 

“Drive safely,” he says, before their manager-hyung drives off with the six man-children, all yelling animatedly and waving at him enthusiastically. 

 

Sure, it was a bit embarrassing, but he was like that too, when they had just dropped Minseok-hyung off, not that long ago.

 

 

He enters the base camp with his head held high.