“I’m so glad it wasn’t airpods.”
“Dude, what the fuck?” Fong looks at him like he’s just witnessed the live birth of an alien and he realises quickly that he’s been thinking out loud.
Tine shakes his head and goes back to eating his noodles, trying to get Sarawat out of his head for the third time in an hour. He can’t get ‘Took Yahng’ out of his head either, catching himself smiling stupidly from time to time. Sarawat not being able to look him in the eye still makes him blush, and he’s so sure he didn’t imagine that light brush of Wat’s fingers against his neck.
Stop. Literally stop, Tine. Stop this. For the love of boobs, stop.
He zones back into the conversation his friends are having and instantly regrets it, because he’s pretty sure he just saw Peuk trying to lick Ohm’s ear.
“Hey guys, how far away can you be from someone if you’re both sharing airpods?” He asks, curious and genuinely confused. Fong squints his eyes at him, in what Tine guesses to be a failed glare and replies, “Man, what is up with you and airpods, do you want me to steal a pair from the lost and found?”
“Wait, someone lost theirs?”
“Hey! I call dibs!”
“Bro you didn’t even say anything what the hell?”
Ohm and Peuk argue back and forth and Tine rolls his eyes.
“Everybody shut up! I’m being serious!” He yells at them and all three boys finally seem to get that he’s very concerned with the issue at hand.
Ohm answers first, a little unsure. “Like, a meter?”
In reply, Peuk says, “Or is it like, how far you can pull a cheese stick? That shit stretches far.”
“No it doesn’t?”
Fong’s answer shuts them up and for once, Tine is grateful that at least one of them always seems to know what he needs.
He thinks for a second and realises how dumb his intial question was because, the earbuds signal would be connected to the phone, and not the person. He groans and slams his head on the table gently once, twice, three times, four times-
“What is the point of all of this Tine?” Fong yanks his head back up and he looks at them for a long moment before answering. “I think when someone shares their earphones with you, like the old ones with the cord? I uh, I think it’s romantic…” He trails off quietly, not quite meeting his friends eyes. Everyone is uncharacteristically quiet for what feels like an eternity to Tine until Ohm speaks up. “Hey, are you falling for Sarawat?”
Peuk drops his spoon, Fong looks a little bit too excited and Tine is pretty sure his cheeks are flaming red.
I’ll do everything, I’ll try every way to get you to feel warmth in your heart with me.
He can’t look up from his plate of food but he thinks he nods. He does, he really might have fallen for Sarawat. How could he not? The small smiles that get thrown his way, the endless teasing with underlying fondness, the way Sarawat could easily end his existence in a white shirt. He lets out a shaky breath. He genuinely thinks he would die if Sarawat had to look at someone else in that way. He wants that closeness he felt again when the two of them shared earphones: it was like a movie, and he had no idea that he would be able to experience something that would throw him off guard.
He really really likes Sarawat.
Sarawat takes over his senses and he doesn’t know if that’s a good thing - not quite an obsession but he sees the other everywhere, even when his eyes are closed.
Just look at me. That’s it, that’s all it’ll take to make me happy.
He’s right there, again, right in front of him and this is starting to become ridiculous because how should he go about explaining to his friends that he’s hallucinating a whole human being who’s getting closer and closer, that fucking guitar slung across his back and god, the sun is framing his hair just right, why is he so closeー
All three of his friends shout his name and oh fuck, Sarawat is literally standing right in front of him, in the flesh, and he knows he looks like a fish out of water.
Tine doesn't really know what’s happening to him but for the first time in his life, he was looking at another person like the world revolved around them and only them, as if Sarawat spun the stars himself and threw them up into the night sky. He was beautiful, incredibly so, and the sun was just there, further illuminating his sharp features. His eyes fluttering ever so soft at him sent Tine’s heart into a frenzy. His breaths were shallow and when Sarawat tilted his head slowly, Tine had to grip his seat to stop himself from letting out any embarrassing noises. Breathe Tine, breathe. As always, he had earphones in, and the music he was listening to, whatever beautiful melody it was flowing through the wires (god, he hopes it's Scrubb), if possible, was making the man appear otherworldly to him.
His thoughts were in a frenzy, frantically trying to understand why he was feeling this way about Sarawat, who still hasn’t said a single word to him yet. He has dated people before, it wasn't like he hadn't known what lust or genuine feelings felt like, but this? This was foreign to him. He felt everything and nothing at once and his heart was going to explode. My god, I’m going to die. At least, he felt that way. He manages to collect himself, straightening his posture and tries to maintain any composure that he has left. However, his heart is telling him something completely different. He feels…longing and sorrow, pain and a stab of hope. He clutches his chest in confusion and doesn't understand why Sarawat is suddenly awakening these feelings in him. He didn’t even know he liked guys? Not that there’s anything wrong with it, he was just surprised.
It’s not surprising Tine, you know this. My guy, you trusted him with your music taste - you basically presented your heart to him on a platter mate, you love when he sings to you, only to you...just for you. He makes your favourite songs turn into a melody made just for the two of you, he berates himself.
Wait, does that count as a love confession? He asks himself, suddenly very lost at his own behaviour.
Do you love him?
He shakes himself out of it and distracts himself by looking over at his friends and almost cringes because he can see them wear a mixture of confusion and smugness on their faces. They’re not going to let him live this one down, goddamnit. Peuk and Ohm scoot over to join Tine and Fong on the one side of the table and he’s confused for a second before noticing that they were very happily making space for Man and Boss to join Sarawat at the table.
When did they even get here, he thinks, Was he really that distracted by Sarawat? Bro, what the fuck? He really wants to slap himself.
Sarawat has chosen to take a seat opposite him and he looks everywhere except at Wat.
He’s sweating lightly at this point and tries incredibly hard to not make it obvious that he feels like a teenage girl. He’s quite literally falling off his seat because everyone else has made themselves more comfortable, leaving him to hang onto the edge of the table. He’s a mess, his palms are clammy (knees weak, he thinks distantly) and why is Man smiling at him like thatー
“You look like you need some air, come with me outside?” Are the first words Sarawat says to him. It sounds like a question but he knows that Sarawat isn’t leaving him a choice. Question or not, Tine would obey him without any protest and he gracefully (read clumsily ) falls to the ground once registering that Sarawat is going to be alone with him.
“Huh?” He knows he sounds like an idiot but who can blame him, he’s staring up at an angel (in that fucking white shirt, Sarawat really has to do this to him right now, Tine thinks bitterly) .
Sarawat looks just about done with him and in classic Sarawat style, he just shakes his head and yanks Tine up, dragging him out to the balcony of the restaurant and he can faintly hear his and Sarawat’s friends, no doubtedly, whisper screaming excitedly about the two of them.
And here I am, willingly being dragged to my death.
Sarawat was right though, he does feel much better once the light breeze hits his face gently.
He still hasn’t made eye contact with the other yet and opts to instead close his eyes and lean against the edge of the balcony.
Sunlight filters through the trees, softly caressing Tines’ skin, dipping him in a golden glow. He brings his fingers up and moves them around carelessly, playing with the light as if he carried it on the tips of his fingers. He sees the rustling leaves, feels the breeze dance on his ankles. He understands why films capture scenic frames, where a character is lying under a willow tree on a sunny afternoon or the moonlight shimmering across a bay. Today, he's surrounded by greens, gold, various shades of blue and the occasional bursts of white and violet. Tine just knows that Sarawat would literally be glowing above him, hair a shade of warm and honeyed brown and he lets out a content sigh. He adjusts the position of his head on the warm lap he rests on and he feels slightly rough but gentle fingertips flutter over his eyes to keep them shut and he giggles. It's on days like this where he wouldn’t mind indulging in Sarawat, where he allows himself to be curious and naive, to feel without thinking and to breathe without questioning. Tranquility at its finest. He likes this, just him and Sarawat, two lovers and the world to themselves. He smiles, eyes still closed and he could die happy when he feels Sarawat bend down to kiss him softly on his lips.
Wait, that felt too real.
His eyes fly open and his vision is filled with Sarawat. Did he literally just have a whole ass daydream, in public, in front of Sarawat oh my god what the fuck Tine? He wants to die, he genuinely wants to die.
He hates himself, but his first response is to yell.
“What the fuck?! Why are you so close to me?” His heart rate is out of control and Sarawat just scoffs. “You’re the one who literally zoned out on me, and you almost fell off the balcony, be lucky I flicked you on the forehead, asshole.” Is the response he gets in return.
Wait, he didn’t kiss me?
He doesn’t know why that disappoints him.
Tine ignores him completely and turns away from Sarawat, looking out onto the street below him and clears his throat.
“How are you-”
“Do you want to listen to music with me-”
They both speak at the same time and Tine blushes. Sarawat is right behind him and he’s finding it really hard not to jump off the balcony because he felt, more than heard the words Sarawat said, on his skin. He has goosebumps and the body heat from Sarawat isn’t helping his case. He almost leans back into Sarawat, desperately wants to. He doesn’t though, and turns around to face the other and oh no, big mistake. Sarawat’s face is so close to his and despite his panic, he has time to notice that Sarawat looks a little...shy.
Sarawat lets a half smile grace his face and brings a hand up to pet Tine’s head. This time, Tine leans into the touch briefly before collecting himself and clears his throat again.
He decides that it is best to once more look at anything else but Sarawat, but he gets distracted by Sarawat’s long fingers untangling his earphones, so much so that he flinches when he feels his fingers gently brush his ear.
Sarawat steps away from him and Tine panics because no, that was fine, and he grabs onto Sarawat’s arm.
“Stay close to me, please.” He says quietly and Sarawat swallows and moves towards him tilting Tine’s chin up, making sure to keep eye contact with him. Tine gently shakes his head and Sarawat gets it, allowing him to avert his gaze, but still stays as close to him as possible.
He plugs one of the ear buds into his ear, and one into Tine’s and he hears the opening notes of ‘Took Yahng’ and he makes the mistake of looking up into Sarawat’s eyes. This was so much more different than when they were at P’Dim’s gig, simultaneously better and more nerve wracking than the first time. It seems that Sarawat has gotten bolder, because he fixes a strand of Tine’s hair and waits for the vocals to come in before softly serenading him.
𝆕 I’ll do everything, I’ll try every way 𝆕
Tine can’t breathe.
Sarawat has him trapped and honestly if he was going to kill him right now, Tine would willingly go by his hands.
𝆕 It doesn’t matter if you have someone else, just look at me, just that, that’s all it’ll take to make me happy 𝆕
𝆕 All I know is that you are the one in my heart 𝆕
Sarawat smiles at him softly and oh, maybe, just maybe this isn’t one sided, this doesn’t feel like he’s getting his leg pulled. He can’t bring himself to sing along this time and Jesus Christ, he can feel Sarawat’s breath on his lips and he sways, unsteady on his feet.
He remembers his own words, “If you’re listening to Scrubb when you’re in love, you’ll fall deeper in love.” And yeah bastard, you were right, he thinks.
Tine waits for the song to finish and when it does, he silently gives the earphones back to Sarawat, bows slightly (what the fuck Tine) and tries to smile at Sarawat, heart in his throat.
Sarawat’s eyes keep falling to Tine’s lips, seemingly going through some kind of inner conflict with himself but swallows and makes a decision in his head.
“Lets head back inside.” Is what Sarawat says to him and he nods frantically, not waiting for Sarawat and makes his way quickly back to where their friends are.
He doesn’t look back when he plops back into his seat, avoids the looks of everyone at the table, steals someone’s drink and chugs it down. He needs to get a grip, asap.
He misses the way Sarawat remains smiling, softly touching his lips and Sarawat shakes himself out of it, making his way back inside, possibly more in love than he was before.
Sarawat takes a picture of Tine’s retreating figure and posts it to Instagram:
@sarawatlism posted: 3:15pm
‘Just look at me, and I’ll be happy’