Jisung likes to think he's got a bit of brainpower— even if that brainpower is limited to very specific street smarts that include peeling an orange with one hand and maybe being a cat whisperer of sorts. That being said, this really isn't his finest moment.
It had started at the beginning of the semester. Naturally, he'd had ideas coming out of his ears when he was assigned the final portrait but, apparently, six weeks go by a lot faster than he'd anticipated. Six weeks of Animal Crossing takes up a frankly outrageous amount of time for his minimal progress, he still hasn't perfected his island and that on top of his blank canvas is really getting to his head.
To say he needs to find someone to paint— and fast — is an understatement.
His usual candidates for portraiture have, so far, been wildly unsuccessful, with Seungmin, Chan and Felix bailing on him after seeing his fast-approaching deadline. It's no wonder he’s scrambling across campus with his sketchbook under his arm and a desperate need for any sort of caffeine to keep him going for the next week or so.
He’ll admit it’s not his finest moment.
Donning a pair of cat-print pyjama pants and a baseball cap, he trudges along the pavement towards the coffee shop. Had he been in any state to notice it, he’d have seen the slight dip in the speed of the rest of the students at one point on the sidewalk from further away.
He's not so lucky, though, and ends up noticing it just a second late as he bumps straight into someone's shoulder.
"Oh God," he says, looking up at the man he'd walked into and his small crowd. "Sorry, dude, my bad."
The crowd begins to dissipate, either stepping into the coffee shop or continuing on their way and Jisung is left to scratch the back of his neck and hold back a gasp when he gets a proper look at the man's face.
"No problem." he smiles and looks Jisung up and down. "You look like you could use one of these."
Jisung gapes at him, almost too occupied with his catlike eyes and the gentle slope of his nose, complete with heart-shaped lips to notice the basket he's holding out in a sort of offering. "You're like, really pretty."
The stranger laughs— a pretty, soft giggle at Jisung's current lack of verbal filter. "I'll take that as a compliment...?"
"Jisung," he stumbles out, cringing internally. "I'm Jisung. And you should, you have impeccable bone-structure."
"Well," he says, "Thank you, Jisung. Please take an orange, my arm is starting to hurt."
Jisung finally breaks his gaze on the man's face to look at the basket he's offering. "Those look incredible, how much for one?"
The corner of his mouth twitches. "Free of charge," he says, "They're worth the walk, too."
"I really couldn't just take it for free." Jisung can't believe his luck. "I saw people paying for them… I don’t want to do you out of your hard work.”
“Just take one,” he says, “I won’t tell if you don’t.”
In Jisung's exhaustion, he can't bring himself to argue. It's a warm day, warm enough to warrant shorts had he not climbed out of bed and made a beeline for the coffee shop, and the oranges are practically screaming his name.
"If you say so," he mumbles, reaching eagerly for the nearest fruit. "I didn't catch your name?"
The man giggles again. Jisung is trying really hard not to fall in love with the way his eyes form crescents whenever he smiles. "I didn't give it to you," he says. "But I'm Minho."
"Minho." Jisung likes the feeling of his name in his mouth. "Well, thank you, Minho. This is going to make my day."
"No problem, enjoy it, yeah?"
"I really will." Jisung is about to say more, about to ask more, when he realises Minho has more people waiting for him. They'll probably pay for what he's offering and while Jisung is still a little confused, he's nothing short of grateful. "I'll leave you to all this, then. See you around, Minho."
A smile and a wave send Jisung on his way, albeit dazedly as he tries to remember what he was here for in the first place.
Right. Coffee. Not talking to pretty boys.
A pretty boy named Minho. Jisung hopes he was right — he really does want to see him around.
"And you spoke to him looking like that?"
Jisung tries not to be offended by Hyunjin's tone of voice. "I had to get coffee."
Hyunjin scoffs. "I'm sure he could tell."
"Shut up," Jisung says. "He gave me an orange."
"And you fell in love with him?"
"He gave it to me for free!"
"Jisung." Hyunjin cups his face and stares at his half-drooping eyes with nothing but pity. "Have you seen yourself?"
"I'm gonna track him down." He pulls away from Hyunjin to fall back on his twin bed. "He's the subject of my final project. I've decided."
"You don't even know the guy!"
"I know he'd look incredible with his face on covering the showroom wall."
"Please don't lead with that if you're actually planning on asking him to model for you." Hyunjin sounds ready to snap his neck.
"And why not?"
"I don't particularly feel like picking you up from campus security."
Jisung rolls his eyes. "It's not gonna be weird."
"Yes it will. It really will."
"He's just so pretty, Hyunjin." Jisung thinks back to Minho's catlike grin and wavy hair and wonders for a second if he imagined him. "I don’t know what to do with myself.”
“If you wanna paint him so bad, you’re gonna have to ask him first.” Hyunjin sighs.
“Oh, I know.” Jisung is near giddy at Hyunjin’s reluctant support. “I’m no good at painting from memory.”
“Yeah, I’m well aware of your need to have models sit for you to map them out, Jisung.”
Hyunjin was the first to reject his pleas for a model in their group chat. He hasn’t trusted Jisung to “make things quick” since he sat for his midterm sketches, no matter how well the series turned out in the end. Not that Jisung blames him for turning him down.
That won’t keep him from whining, though. “We wouldn’t even be here if you’d sit for me.”
“Go to hell, Jisung.”
The problem with being Jisung is that, despite the drama of his and Hyunjin’s conversation that should have cemented the memory in his mind, he’s quite— read very — forgetful. So, when he sees Minho again, he feels a little like he’s been hit by a bus.
Not in the way he had when they’d first met, running on fumes and caffeine, but more an ah! I can’t fucking believe I forgot about that type of way.
He rubs the back of his neck, glad for his slightly more appropriate choice of clothing as opposed to his less than impressive pyjama pants from the first time they met.
“Minho! I didn’t think I’d see you again.” He’d hoped— but he’s well aware of the difference between dreams and reality.
Minho smiles, setting his tote bag down on the bench and promptly plopping down next to Jisung. “I’m not usually this side of campus,” he says. “Just here to pick something up from the library.”
Jisung peers past him at the stack of books that had been straining in Minho’s tote. He figures the straps of the bag needed a rest just in case they snapped before he got wherever he needed to be.
“Oh, you’re not?” He’s intrigued. “Do you not study in the main building?”
“Nah, I’m over in agriculture on the East end,” Minho says. “I’m assuming you have classes around here?”
This shouldn’t be news to Jisung— Minho had been selling oranges— he just hadn’t put two and two together. “Fine arts major,” he says. “You’re gonna be… a farmer?”
“That’s the plan, yeah.”
Jisung doesn’t mean to beam. “That’s so fucking cool, really.”
“You think so?”
“Yeah, totally.” Jisung notices the tips of Minho’s ears turning red. Cute. “My best friend’s parents have a stone fruit farm, we always used to spend summers there.”
Minho is unabashed as he leans into Jisung’s space, eyes sparkling at the small anecdote. “Really?” he asks. “I’m running the orange part of the citrus orchard as part of my Junior final, it’s my baby.”
“That explains the oranges.”
“Oh, yes!” He seems pleased that Jisung remembers the details of their encounter. “Did you enjoy it?”
“I did, my roommate was so jealous.”
“There’s a juice shop up on the East end that uses the fruit from the campus orchards in their press…”
“Maybe you’ll let me treat you, then?” Minho seems slightly taken aback and Jisung begins to backtrack. “Only if you want to, though, I don’t wanna force you or—”
“Jisung, relax.” There’s a soft hand on his arm. “I’d love to, I just meant to ask you, not the other way around.”
“I guess I beat you to it.” Jisung doesn’t even attempt to hide the way his face lights up.
Minho smiles back. “I guess you did.”
They sit in comfortable silence for a moment before it dawns on Jisung that he’s got two weeks to pull together a portrait that’ll win him the prime position in the showroom. It feels as though someone poured cold water down his back.
“As much as I’d love to sit here with you— and really, I was enjoying myself— I have to track down a model for my semester piece.”
“Oh,” Minho starts, “You said you were an art major?”
“Unfortunate, I know.”
Jisung doesn’t want to ask Minho to sit for him. Yeah, he’s pretty and Jisung hasn’t been able to get him out of his head since they’d met two weeks ago, but now he thinks he might actually have a shot with him, which means asking him to put up with being the most pedantic art student in the world’s subject could effectively ruin any chance he has.
Still, it would be convenient.
No, he won’t ask.
“You have something due soon?” His frantic thoughts are cut off by Minho squeezing his arm. “What are you doing?”
“It’s a portrait,” Jisung sighs, “A painting, to be more exact. None of my friends will sit for me because apparently I can be bossy.”
“And a bit mean.”
Minho shrugs. “I could do it.”
Jisung’s jaw drops. “You barely know me.”
“So what? I want to.”
Well, there goes Jisung’s plans for holding up his first impression. “I can’t pay you for it, you know?”
Minho smiles. “Don’t be silly, Jisung,” he says. “Come, let’s go get orange juice— it can be your treat since you were so kind as to offer it to me earlier— and you can tell me about your piece.”
He stands to go and lifts his bag onto his shoulder, leaving Jisung still catching up with the turn of events as he takes off down the path. Minho throws a glance over his shoulder. “Well?” he asks. “Are you coming?”
Jisung can’t bring himself to be even the slightest bit embarrassed as he shoots off the bench and scrambles after him, standing up straight when he reaches his side.
“This shit fucks.”
Jisung is trying to not make a complete fool of himself but the minute they’re served two hearty cups of orange juice he loses any lingering sense of self-awareness.
“I told you.” Minho pulls the straw into his mouth, leaning back in his chair.
They’d chosen to sit outside and look over the orchard after what felt like a real hike to the juice shop. Minho had promised it would be worth the wait.
“I didn’t think you’d be this right.” Jisung sets the plastic cup down on the table and looks up at Minho. “Now, before I make myself look completely crazy, what do you want to know.”
Minho smiles. “Well, what do you need me to do?”
“Apart from sitting still and looking pretty?” Jisung tells himself he’s imagining the tips of Minho’s ears turning red but he’s certainly not making up the way he looks off to the side.
“I can do that,” he mumbles. “What else?”
Jisung holds back a smug smile. “You’ll have to sit for a few hours at a time, and we’ll have to do it at my apartment because my professor will not let me start a piece in the studio two weeks before it’s due—”
“ Two weeks?” Minho sounds appalled and Jisung at least has the decency to hang his head in shame. “You’re right, you really are fucking crazy.”
“I understand if you don’t want to do it—”
“Oh, I absolutely do,” Minho cuts him off. “We’ve just got our work cut out for us, don’t we, Jisungie?”
He feels the hope rising in his chest, along with a strange warmth at Minho’s enthusiasm. “If you’re down for it, we can start tomorrow.”
“What should I wear?” he asks, inquisitive, before breaking into a devilish grin. “Or are you painting me in the nude?”
Jisung chokes on his orange juice, spluttering for air as Minho snickers to himself, pleased to have the upper hand. “I will not be painting you naked.”
“It’s a shame, really, I’ve been told I look amazing.” He makes a show of picking at his nails, the glimmer of amusement still giving him away underneath his disappointed facade. “But I’m sure you’ll make me look great, anyway.”
“I’ll do my best.” Jisung can’t believe how quickly they’ve fallen into an easy banter and wonders where the hell Minho has been his whole life. “You have a white button down?”
“That I do.”
“Then you’re all set.” He leans back in his chair, the relief of finding someone to sit for his painting washing over him.
Minho cocks his head to one side. “Give me your phone.”
“What do you need my phone for?”
“Well how else are you gonna send me your address, Jisungie?” He’s teasing, but Jisung can’t help the way he flushes dark red as he hands his phone over.
Minho smiles and taps in his number, before clicking the phone off and sliding it back across the table. “I like the stickers.”
“I collect them,” Jisung laughs. “I’m in a flower phase right now.”
“Maybe when I’m done with you, you might move onto fruits.”
“You could have just asked if I was gay, Minho.”
They both giggle, Minho lifting a hand to brush his hair out of his eyes. “Well, that’s good, then.”
“And why’s that?”
“You’ll just have to wait and see, won’t you?”
Jisung wakes up to a warm weight on his chest with questionable claws kneading at his bicep. In no rush to stop whatever monster is trying to pull him from the sweet, sweet clutches of sleep, he blinks his eyes open to find a ball of black fur perched quite happily on top of him, not looking like it has any plans to move in the future.
“Danbi, you’re gonna rip my arm open.” His cat perks up at her name, shuffling to curl under Jisung’s chin and await her morning cuddles. “That’s better, hi, baby.”
He adores Danbi, long and elegant with fluffy black fur that she shed everywhere , leaving Jisung’s white sheets a shadow of what they once were. She means the world to him, even if Hyunjin is more of a dog person.
“Are you ready to meet Minho today?” he asks, smoothing a thumb over the top of Danbi’s head. “He told me he’s got three cats, so I’m sure he’ll love you.”
As if on cue, Jisung’s phone pings.
i’m outside your apartment block
it’s the one with the mural right???
that’s the one
i’m on floor three
see you just now
It hits Jisung that he’s still in bed in nothing but an oversized t-shirt and boxers and possibly the prettiest boy he’s ever met is moments away from his door.
“Danbi, baby, you’re gonna have to let me up.” He scoops his disgruntled cat off his lap and throws on the first pair of pants he sees, running a hand through what he’s sure is his typical bed hair and pushing his glasses.
Just in time, the doorbell rings. He’s almost out of his room when he hears the door open and realises— to his dismay— that Hyunjin is home.
“You must be Minho!” His voice is muffled by the distance. “Come in, come in, I’ll go get him, he’s probably still in bed— Jisung! You better be awake when I open that door!”
“I’m up, I’m up,” he says, brushing his hair back for what seems like the thousandth time today. “Minho, hi, sorry you had to be greeted by him.”
Minho looks between Jisung, still slightly dishevelled, and Hyunjin, fresh from the gym and ready to head to work. It’s nothing if not jarring. “Jisungie, an introduction, maybe?”
“Right, of course,” he says. “Minho, this is my roommate and mortal enemy, Hyunjin.”
Hyunjin snickers at the remark. “I already know who you are, of course, Jisung doesn’t shut the fuck up when he’s excited.” He fends off the blow Jisung aims at his head with his forearm. “Thanks for helping him, by the way, I couldn’t sit through another of his sittings.”
“I’m sure he won’t be that bad,” Minho laughs, much to Hyunjin’s shock. “Now where is the baby you were telling me all about on our walk yesterday?”
‘Walk?’ Hyunjin mouths over the top of Minho’s head and Jisung is quick to shoo him off.
“Hyunjin, go to work,” he says. “Minho, make yourself at home, yeah? I’ll go find Danbi.”
“Nice meeting you, Minho,” Hyunjin calls before the door closes behind him.
Jisung leaves Minho to examine their bright orange couch to track down Danbi. He finds her on his windowsill in the morning sunlight and almost feels bad about moving her to meet Minho.
Every thought of pleasing his long-suffering cat evaporates when Minho’s face lights up at the sight of her.
“Oh, aren’t you just the sweetest thing,” he coos, taking her into his arms and letting her rub her face against the back of his hand. “She’s docile, hmm?”
“Yeah.” Jisung is trying very hard to file the image of Minho with his cat away for future purposes. “She’s a darling, very affectionate.”
“I can see that, such a baby,” Minho says. “My Soonie lets me dote on him, but Doongie and Dori aren’t the biggest fans of physical affection.” He speaks of them with warmth in his voice, love.
Jisung is absolutely enamoured.
“Where are we setting up?”
He’d been so focused on Minho cradling Danbi that he forgot why he was here. At Jisung’s apartment. Where his cat lives. In his apartment.
“We’ll actually be in here,” Jisung says. “I was gonna move the coffee table before you got here but it seems I overslept.”
“Why don’t you get your set ready and I’ll run to the Starbucks?”
“You wouldn’t mind?”
Minho smiles and ruffles Jisung’s hair. “Not at all.” He sits up and gently deposits Danbi on the couch cushions. “What’s your order?”
“Iced americano, no milk or cream.”
“Now you’re speaking my language,” Minho says. “I’ll be back in 15, you set up, yeah? Jisung barely has time to nod before Minho is at the door. “Don’t miss me too much.”
Jisung can barely believe he was there to begin with. His only trace is the keychain on the coffee table and Danbi crawling into the warm patch he’d left where he was sitting.
“Okay, baby,” he says to her. “Let’s be ready before he gets back.”
Jisung sets about pulling white sheets from the linen closet and laying them haphazardly on the living room floor where the coffee table once was. He then sets up his easel and canvas on top of the table for the perfect high angle of Minho. It looks nothing short of ridiculous, but he knows it will be incredible if he can pull it off.
He stacks his paints on a stool next to his easel and sets about getting his palette ready. It’s been exactly 15 minutes when he checks his phone and he doesn’t get the chance to finish his train of thought before there’s a knock on the door.
“I’m back!” Minho sings, slightly muffled.
Jisung dashes to open for him, shoving the paintbrush he’d been using to mix the colours behind his ear so he can let Minho in.
“Hi,” he says, stepping aside.
Minho hands him his coffee. “I hope you didn’t miss me too much— oh, that sure is a setup.”
He’s gaping at the high angle Jisung created in what looks like slight fear and major awe. “I need to be off the ground.”
“I better be looking up at you, then.” Minho takes a loud sip of his coffee. “Tell me where you want me.”
“Come, let me position you, I’ve got sketches so you know exactly.”
“Hold on,” Minho says. “Shoes off, first. No shoes in the house.”
Jisung smiles as Minho kicks off his boots and sets them by the door. “You ready?”
“You’ll be on your knees, if you’re okay with that?”
Minho giggles. “This is gonna be fun.”
He settles down on the sheet, spreading his knees and getting comfortable under Jisung’s instruction.
“There,” Jisung says as he brushes hair out of Minho’s eyes. “Perfect. You’re perfect.” He lingers for just a moment, Minho blinking at him through his eyelashes, before clearing his throat and straightening up. “Let me know if you need a break, yeah?”
“I will,” Minho whispers dazedly.
Jisung nods and climbs up onto his silly little setup, grateful for the higher ceilings of his and Hyunjin’s apartment. “Tilt your head slightly, won’t you?”
Minho follows his instructions perfectly. Jisung thinks he may be the best model he’s had, seemingly completely comfortable with being told what to do as Jisung maps his body onto canvas. His strong thighs are barely hidden under his outrageously ripped jeans and Jisung has half the mind to ask him to get rid of them entirely.
To get the most out of the morning light coming in through the living room window, of course.
No other reason.
He’s sitting so perfectly right now, though, so Jisung resolves to ask him during their next session, before he gets him into position.
“You’re doing really well, Minho,” he says as he patches in the highlights over his collarbones, sunlight falling gracefully where the shirt opens up.
He doesn’t get a response as he usually does with models sitting for him. Minho’s eyes shine at the praise but he doesn’t dare move from his pose, the only indication that he even heard Jisung is shown in the way his eyes shift off to one side for just a second and the red of his ears.
Jisung runs out of white paint for a third time before he calls a break.
“Hey, let’s take ten, yeah?”
Minho nods, rolling his neck and shaking out his wrists, relaxing for the first time in two hours. “How do you focus for so long?”
Jisung smiles. “You’re doing all the work, really, you sit so well.”
“I try,” Minho says with the echo of an exaggerated smirk, only given away by the falter in his voice. “I’m just doing what you told me to.”
“And it’s more than I ever could have asked for.” Jisung pads over to the kitchen. “Do you want anything to drink? Eat?”
“You got any juice?”
“I don’t know if it’ll measure up to what you’re used to, but we have cranberry or tropical.”
“Cranberry would be amazing.”
“One cranberry for Lee Minho, coming right up.”
Jisung tosses the heart-shaped ice cubes from the ice tray they have into a glass and pours the juice for Minho. It’s pretty, dark pink and clear. He doesn’t like getting distracted by colour but it’s hard not to when it’s right in front of him.
“Here you go.” He hands the glass over to Minho, now sprawled out on the couch. “Do you have classes today?”
“None at all,” Minho says. “I’m all yours today.”
Jisung almost chokes. He doesn’t understand why his brain reacts to everything Minho says like this, like there’s some hidden meaning hiding beneath the surface.
He barely knows the guy.
“When are your free days?” he asks, trying to brush off his internal crisis. “I can’t take up all your free time, but I kinda do need you here a lot.”
“My classes are all done for the semester, I’ve just got farm duty to do.”
“And when does that steal you?”
“Well, I checked in this morning with the gathering,” he says. “We’re right on track for a good end to the season, so I’ll probably only have to go out there in the mornings and if there’s an emergency.”
“It’s so cool,” Jisung starts, awed. “You’re like, the big boss, aren’t you?”
“Unfortunately, agriculture is a lot of physical labour, but luckily I don’t have to milk cows at ass o’clock anymore like I did in freshman year.” Minho takes a sip of his juice. “I have less free time when the semester is in full swing, and ploughing the fields in winter was anything but fun, but I have plenty now that the crop is coming in.”
“Here I was, thinking art was labour intensive,” Jisung laughs.
Minho shoots him a look. “Don’t make it out to be less than it is— I have a couple friends in the art department so trust me when I say I know how hard you work.”
Jisung blushes. “It’s no big deal.” It really is. His heart soars. “Who do you know in fine art?”
“Do you know a Seo Changbin?”
“ Changbin has been hiding you?” Jisung gasps. “Short, ripped as fuck Changbin?”
Minho giggles. “That’s the one.”
“Then yes, I do know him.” He knows him well— fuck, they sit next to each other in almost all their classes. Them and— “Does that mean you know Jeongin?”
Minho’s eyes widen. “Yang Jeongin?”
“Yeah, he’s in our group— me, Hyunjin, Changbin and Jeongin.”
“He’s literally my step-brother.”
That nearly knocks Jisung right off the couch. “No way.”
“How have we never met before?” He seems just as baffled as Jisung. “Changbin was hiding me? Where were they hiding you?”
“I’m gonna kill them tomorrow.”
“Jeongin is free game,” Minho laughs. “Brat hasn’t given me back my flower bucket hat for three months.”
“The black one? With the embroidery?”
“ Does he wear it out?” Minho looks borderline scandalised.
“We’ve all been trying to get him to tell us where he got it but he always says that his brother— I guess that’s you— won’t tell him.”
“Damn right,” he mutters. “I did it myself, it was a hobby I picked up in highschool.”
“And you say I'm the artist," Jisung says. "I'll win it off of him for you."
"Good luck with that."
Jisung falls against Minho's side dramatically. "I'm very persuasive, you know."
Minho opens his body up immediately, shifting so Jisung's head falls into his lap. "Did you not hear me say I've been trying for months?" He sounds nothing short of amused. "You can try, though."
"What will be my prize when I do, inevitably, get it back from him?"
Jisung knows he doesn't imagine the way Minho's breath hitches. "You..." the hand not holding the glass of juice tangles in Jisung's hair and drags gently against his scalp. "I'll pay for our date."
"We're going on a date, now?" Jisung tries to hide the way his voice wavers.
"Of course, we are," Minho says. "It's just a matter of who splashes out."
Jisung feels like his heart is about to burst through his ribcage. Of course, he wanted to take Minho out— he wanted that and so, so much more— but he'd anticipated that he'd be the one to ask him out. He'd be the one to take Minho's breath away, not the other way around.
"You're on," he says, meeting Minho's waiting gaze. "I hope you've lined your pockets, baby ." He emphasises the petname and watches Minho flush, just as expected.
"I'm looking forward to a meal on you, Jisungie," Minho says. "You gonna take me somewhere nice?"
Jisung scoffs. "I don't need to plan that, I'm obviously going to win."
"Whatever you say." Minho halts his hand in Jisung's hair. "Don't you think we should get back to work now?"
"You're so comfy, it feels like a crime."
"Come on, you big baby," Minho laughs. "You can't take me on that date until you're done with this, now can you?"
"I absolutely can." Jisung sits up, not bothering to hide his smile. "And I don't think you'll stop me, baby."
"Don't call me that."
"You know why."
"No, I don't think I do. Care to enlighten me?"
Minho is so fucking pretty. He holds his head high and defiant and Jisung knows the attraction is mutual but there's no doubt in his mind that he'll be a challenge. Not something for Jisung to conquer, but he's sure he's used to getting his way, used to being in control despite listening like an angel. He feels his heart racing as Minho wracks his brain for something to use against him, smugness building in Jisung's chest when he comes up empty.
"You're the worst."
"I'm just getting started," he says. "Now, come sit for me again, yeah? Can you do that for me?"
Minho nods, albeit with an eye roll and a light scoff. "Tell me if I'm sitting right, won't you?"
"Wait, before you get settled—" Jisung pauses, hesitant. The rips in Minho's jeans really are proving to be difficult to paint but the last thing he wants to do is push it too far. "Can you— can you uhm..."
"Yes, Jisungie?" Minho's head tilts to one side, confusion written across his face.
Jisung decides to just throw it out there. "Your jeans, they uhm... rips always make paintings look tacky so uhm... could you maybe—"
"You want me undressed already?" Minho asked, obviously taking pride in the change of pace. "Sure, I'll take them off, it's no big deal."
Jisung is so insanely grateful that Minho hadn't decided to be difficult, to make him spit it out himself. "Thank you," he breathes.
"Like I said, no problem."
Minho strips down to just the oversized button-down and smiles at Jisung. "Better?"
He settles on the sheets again, falling naturally into position like he was made for it. Maybe he was. Jisung directs him with renewed confidence now that he doesn't have the question weighing on his chest, hands not even shaking as he adjusts his hair and tilts his chin to just the right angle.
"There," he breathes. "You're good."
Minho's eyes follow him as he climbs back up onto the table and Jisung thinks he could melt under his gaze. He fishes into his palette and begins patching in the way the light falls on Minho’s thighs, changing the way the fabric of the shirt lands on his bare skin as opposed to the many rips left by his jeans.
It’s going to be perfect.
“So let me get this straight; you want me to give you the hat I’m wearing, practically the clothes off my back, so you can take my step-brother on a date?”
“Don’t be silly, Jeongin,” Jisung scoffs. “I’m going to take him on a date no matter what— I just don’t want to have to pay.”
Hyunjin butts in. “You’re actually taking him on a date? You asked?”
“No, don’t be ridiculous.” Jisung turns to face Hyunjin and Changbin across the table. “He said, and I quote; ‘I'll pay for our date’, implying that there is a date!”
“You’re pathetic,” Changbin says.
Jisung rolls his eyes. “And how come I never met him?” He lays the hurt in his voice on thick. “You two—” finger wagging between Jeongin and Changbin— “Have been hiding the love of my life from me! What kind of friends are you?”
“Friends who value their sanity,” Changbin deadpans. “It’s not like you didn’t have opportunities to meet him, you were both just never available at the same time.”
“And forgive me for not wanting you to get your dirty paws on my brother.”
“Jeongin, if you think I won’t stab you with this spork you are dead wrong—”
“Ooh, I’m so fucking scared , Jisung,” he taunts. “Because you and your shitty plastic spork are the greatest threat to me in the world.”
“Careful, Jeongin,” Hyunjin laughs. “He could fuck your brother.”
“That is arguably the worst thing you’ve ever said to me.”
Jisung takes advantage of Jeongin being distracted by his own disgust to snatch the bucket hat right off of his head.
“Aha!” he yells way too loud, drawing attention from other patrons in the café. “I win, motherfucker.”
“Please don’t fuck my brother.”
“No promises,” Jisung says, tucking the hat into his tote bag and resting his chin in his palm. “He’s very cute.”
“You’re a fucking menace, Jisung.” Changbin leans over the table to flick his forehead. “How did you meet Minho, anyway?”
“He’s sitting for Jisung,” Hyunjin says. “Remember the art project we all turned down modelling for?”
Jeongin drops his head into his hands. “Oh, good, he won’t be sticking around long, then.”
Hyunjin’s voice is grave when he responds. “You don’t understand,” he says. “They work together perfectly, Minho wasn’t even mildly irritated when I got home.”
“Unbelievable,” Changbin mutters. “Jisung, full offense, you’re the worst person I’ve ever had to sit for.”
“I take pride in that.”
“It’s not a compliment.”
Jeongin groans. “I don’t want to see you at family gatherings, Jisung.”
“It’s alright, Jeonginnie,” Jisung coos, voice laced with cruelty. “I won’t be there for you.”
He has to duck to avoid Jeongin’s slap, throwing back his own light-handed blow in one of their many moments of bickering-turned-physical-fights.
“Did he really not have a single bad thing to say about him at all?” Changbin is incredulous. “Like not even bitching on his way out?”
Hyunjin sighs. “They literally watched movies on the couch until Minho had to go home to feed his cats.” He fixes Jisung with a glare. “And he wasn’t even obliged to be nice to you!”
“Those cats of his,” Jeongin grumbles. “They hate me.”
“He loves Danbi, you should have seen them cuddling; it was the sweetest thing.”
“Danbi is an angel.” Jeongin hits his head on the table. “Don’t compare my sweet, sweet baby to Minho’s evil bastards.”
“We’re setting up a playdate for them, Minho’s sure they’ll love me.”
Changbin groans. “I hate gay people.”
“Minho’s cats can’t be that bad,” Hyunjin says. “Danbi hated me for ages when I first moved in.”
“That’s because you’re a dog person, Jinnie, not because she’s sent from hell.”
“I’ll let you know when they absolutely adore me, Jeongin,” Jisung says. “I can see it already, he showed me so many pictures of them.”
“I hope they claw at your face.”
“Jealousy makes you ugly.”
"You don't even need it then."
Hyunjin and Changbin are used to them arguing, it's always the petty and biting and apparently hilarious for the both of them— even when it's over something stupid and seemingly meaningless and most times it is.
"As much as I'd love to sit here and listen to you argue," Changbin says, evidently bored. "Jisung, you need to go get back to painting, don't you?"
"Surprisingly not," he responds. "At least not today. Minho has stuff to do at the farm so we're taking the day off."
"You got yourself a working man, Jisungie," Hyunjin says, exaggerating his tone if only to piss off Jeongin. "So, when are you seeing him next, then?"
"Should be tomorrow—" Jisung is cut off by his phone meowing.
Jeongin eyes it menacingly. "I swear to God if that's him."
Jisung doesn't know what constitutes a reasonable explanation for him setting Minho's contact to play a meow tone whenever he receives a notification from him, so he resorts to sheepishly picking up his phone and sinking in his chair, clicking open his screen to the pink wallpaper of his messenger app.
idk if you're busy
but if you're not
i've been wanting to go to this pottery place
they do a small class on funky mugs
you should come
i'm with the homies right at this moment
terrorising jeongin, to be exact
but give me a time and place and i'll be there
tell him i say hi
in like two hours??
it’s at the community centre
Jisung nudges Jeongin. “Minho says hi.”
“Tell him that he’s the bane of my existence and I can’t believe he’s doing this to me.”
Changbin sighs dreamily. “Ah, brotherly love.”
he says you’re the bane of his existence
and he can’t believe you’re allowing this to happen
i will be there
you want anything from the cafe??
coffee would be incredible
i got you
see you later <3
He looks up and finds three pairs of eyes on him. Unfortunately for him, their table had decided to focus on his stupid little grin while texting Minho instead of continuing the conversation.
“You’re all the worst,” he says, tucking his phone into his denim jacket where Hyunjin couldn’t steal it to see the messages and perform a dramatic reading for the rest of the table.
Changbin grins at him, slightly exasperated but still endeared. “I’ll take it that you're leaving soon?”
“Fucking Minho,” Jeongin grumbles.
“We’re going to do a pottery workshop!” Jisung tries— and fails— to keep the excitement out of his voice. “Am I wearing pottery appropriate clothes? Oh God—”
“You’ve literally done pottery before, you dunce,” Jeongin says. “Go home and put on something you like a little less and hope Minho has the sense to do the same.”
“Thanks, Jeongin,” Jisung sighs, leaning his head on his friend's shoulder. “I can do this.”
Hyunjin snorts. “Of course you can.” He pats Jisung’s arm from across the table. “Go get that boy.”
“‘That boy’ is still my older brother,” Jeongin laughs. “Go have fun and for God’s sake, please be nice to him.”
“I’m more worried about Jisung’s sanity.” Changbin pipes up. “He’ll be too flustered to be mean to him, don’t worry, Jeongin.”
“You’re right, I should call Minho and tell him to try and kill you.”
“I can’t be killed.” Jisung shoulders his bag. “And especially not by him, Minho couldn’t hurt a fly.”
“You forget we’ve both known him longer than you,” Changbin scoffs. “But you’re right, he cried on my couch for two hours last year about the effect of pesticides on natural ecosystems.”
“A man after my own heart,” Jisung says dramatically. “I’ll see you guys for the bonfire next weekend, right?”
“It’s gonna be fucking lit.” Changbin perks up at the mention of their small party. “Invite Minho if you don’t scare him off by then.”
“I will, if that’s okay with the rest of you?”
Jeongin gives what can only be described as a long-suffering nod, while Hyunjin offers a much more enthusiastic “Absolutely!”
“Great,” Jisung says. “I’ll see you guys then. Hyunjin, I’ll catch you at home?”
“See you, Jisungie.” He receives a chorus of goodbyes as he makes his way up to the counter. He’ll pay for their table drinks and get another two for himself and Minho; it’s the least he can do when he’s leaving their hangout so early.
“Hi,” he greets the barista, giving her his best smile. “Can I pay for the table over there—” he points at where Jeongin, Changbin and Hyunjin are engaged happily in their conversation— “And get two more iced americanos?”
“Sure, coming right up,” she says.
“Perfect, thank you.” He hands over his card and pushes his hair back, eyeing the cheesecake in behind the glass display. “Actually, before you ring me up, can I get two slices of that bad bitch in there, too?”
“The raspberry cheesecake?” she asks, trying not to laugh at his phrasing. When he nods, she passes on his order to another barista. “Anything else?”
“That’s it, thank you,” he says.
She hands him the card machine. “That’ll be 40000₩.”
He taps in his pin and pockets his card, smiling at her when he passes it back.
“Your order will be ready in a bit,” she says, handing him a box packaged carefully in a light blue paper bag. “Here’s your cheesecake, you can wait at the collection till for your coffee.”
“Thanks again.” He takes the package and carefully places it inside his bag, pulling out his phone once he’s sure it’s secure.
do you wanna meet up a bit before??
we can walk to the community centre together
Minho messages back almost immediately.
let’s go to the park
i wanna see the ducks
i’ll meet you there
Jisung shuts off his phone again, just as a man around his age slides his order onto the counter. “Two iced americanos?”
“That’ll be me.” He shows his receipt and receives the cups gratefully, groaning as he takes a sip. “This is great, thanks so much.”
And he’s on his way.
“Jisung, hey!” He hears from behind him at the park entrance and grins at Minho’s arrival. Before he can turn around he’s greeted with arms encircling his waist and a chin resting on his shoulder. “You made it.”
“Of course I did,” he laughs, spinning in Minho’s hold. “You gonna let me go so I can give you your coffee?”
Minho releases him almost immediately, eyes lighting up at the prospect of caffeine. “You’re a lifesaver.” He takes a sip and tips his head back in bliss. “This is everything.”
“You’re so dramatic,” Jisung says. “Come on, let’s go see your ducks.”
They take their time walking to the lake, shoulders knocking gently against each other. It’s nice and quiet and Jisung is comfier than he was at the café, having changed into more appropriate clothes for pottery before he arrived to see Minho. The air is a little cool, though, the clouds gathering above them a stark contrast to the heat of the morning that Minho had obviously dressed for.
When he shivers a slight bit, rubbing his arm in an attempt to keep himself warm, Jisung has an idea.
“Here,” he says, setting his bag and cup on the floor to shed his denim jacket. “Put this on.”
Minho hesitates for a moment. “But won’t you be cold?”
“Don’t you worry your pretty head about me.” He gently takes the cup out of his hand and sets it on the ground next to his own before guiding Minho to put on the jacket. “There, you okay now?”
Minho’s cheeks are flushed as he tugs the sleeves over his hands and burrows into the warmth left by Jisung’s body heat. “I’m good, now, thank you, Jisungie.”
Jisung smiles and hands him back his coffee. “No problem.”
They set off again, comfortable silence landing over them once again until the lake comes into view and Minho begins waddling faster towards it. He spots the ducks and their line of ducklings at the end of Minho’s supposed trajectory and tries to engrain the image of him running towards them into his mind.
Minho comes to a halt when he reaches the water’s edge, crouching down to get a better look at the ducklings. He casts a glance over his shoulder, meeting Jisung’s eyes and grinning wide when he quickens his pace to catch up.
“They’re so small,” he mumbles in awe. “Look how little they are, Jisungie.”
Jisung agrees, they are very tiny. In his opinion, Minho is also very tiny in this moment, cooing over the ducklings, dwarfed by the sleeves of his jacket.
He really is completely and totally fucked.
“Let’s go sit on the bench, yeah?”
“Mkay,” Minho says, standing and waddling again to sit down. “Come sit.”
Jisung is already on his way over. “I got us cheesecake.”
Minho gasps. “Marry me now.”
“You can wait until after you take me on a date.” He whips out the hat and dangles it in front of Minho’s face, giggling as his jaw drops.
“No fucking way.”
“I told you I’d get it back, didn’t I?”
“But I didn’t think he’d actually let you!”
“He didn’t.” Jisung shrugs. “I snatched it off of his head when he was distracted and now it is back in your hands.”
“I guess that means I’m in charge of the date, then?”
“It sure does.”
Minho rolls his eyes and puts the hat on his head. “Can this count as a date, then?”
“No.” Jisung is firm. “Well… maybe… but you still have to plan one and take me on it.”
“Fine,” he groans. “You’re so demanding.”
“I’m just reminding you of the conditions of our agreement, baby,” Jisung says. “Now, I hope you like raspberry.”
"We're gonna be late!" Minho gasps when he checks his phone about an hour into their impromptu picnic. "The community centre isn't far from here but we'll have to catch the bus if we wanna make it on time and—"
"Hey, love, relax," Jisung says, taking Minho's hand in his. "We'll be fine, you have your bus card, right?"
Minho nods, squeezing Jisung's hand right back.
"Then we're all good," he laughs. "Don't stress your pretty little head, we've got a bus to catch."
"Yeah," Minho mumbles. "Okay, yeah, let's go."
Jisung doesn't let go of Minho until they have to separate to tap their cards on the sensor, and when they're on the bus he drapes an arm around him gently, letting him fall into his side. His arms are a little cold with Minho bundled in his jacket, but he soon heats up when Minho begins tracing patterns into the fabric of his jeans, touch ever so slight on his thigh.
"Hey, you," he says softly against Minho's ear. "Feeling any better?"
Minho stiffens and relaxes, hand halting to just curl around Jisung's thigh. "Much better, thank you." He leans further into Jisung's side. "Are we nearly there?"
"Two more stops, we'll make it on time."
Minho nods with a hum, gently stroking Jisung's thigh with his thumb. "I have no idea how pottery works."
"I'll help you, don't worry," Jisung says. "I did a module on it back in freshman year."
"Of course, you did," Minho grumbles. "You're good at everything."
Jisung just chuckles, squeezing Minho's shoulder. "Don't be grumpy , baby, I said I'd help you."
It's surprising how easily they fall into comfortable silence, given Jisung's love of teasing Minho in any capacity and talking in general. He’s used to being someone easy to talk to, but there’s something welcoming about just existing in the same place as Minho without feeling obliged to fill the silence.
He thinks of the pottery workshop Minho is taking him to and smiles softly. It’s cute that he wants to do things, wants to learn and create. Jisung sees a lot of himself in Minho, even if they’re following completely different paths.
It’s nice to be wanted despite the difference between them, to feel drawn to someone despite barely knowing them.
God, Jisung wants to know Minho.
“So, as you all know, today we’re going to be creating clay mugs.”
The teacher is a middle-aged woman with the strangest gold eyes and Jisung and Minho stare at her with all the focus in the world as she explains their project. She’d been friendly when they’d arrived, hands shoved in the pockets of oversized dungarees and at least twelve pencils shoved into her messy bun.
Jisung giggles when Minho nods dumbly at her asking them to find a seat, thanking her gently and dragging him to a bench near the window.
“I need her eyes,” Minho says, awfully sure of himself for someone who just let those words escape him. “Why can’t I have eyes like that.”
“What if she’s some kind of supernatural being?” Jisung muses, setting his bag down against the edge of the bench.
Minho’s jaw drops. “She couldn’t be,” he says. “That would eliminate the chance of me ever being as alluring as her. No, no I’ll ask her at the end how she makes people’s hair stand on end when they meet her and I guarantee that she’ll tell me.”
“You’re alluring, darling,” Jisung says. “I’ve never been drawn to anyone more than I have to you.”
“I need to hone my skills , Jisungie,” he says. Jisung knows he’s serious by the crease in his forehead. “She’s the perfect candidate.”
“If you say so, Minho.”
They turn back to the explanation, silencing their own hushed voices in favour of hanging onto the woman’s every word. It’s practically enthralling, the way she explains personality imprinting on art and how to transfer that to mugs. Jisung stores her words away for another day, finding them endlessly important with regards to his current project.
He wonders how he’ll transfer both his and Minho’s personality into the painting. There’s no way to make Minho’s doe eyes prettier and thick thighs more captivating, but he’s sure there’s something he can do to make it special, more important.
Soon enough, he’s got his hands on a lump of clay, working it on the wheel naturally, like his hands were made to draw attention and envy and made to build. He loves building from the ground up.
Jisung forms an intentionally wavy mug, halting his wheel to form a set of ears to water down to the rim of the vessel. He wonders if, maybe, he’ll give this to Minho. It seems almost perfect when he attaches the tail of the cat-mug in the form of a handle, especially since it’s big and bulky and easy to hold.
He allows his thoughts to carry him into dangerous territory as he thinks of Minho smiling at the large hot chocolate he could make in this mug, how much cream he could fit on top before he settles down to watch a drama rerun. The thought of it makes his heart clench painfully, Minho covered in blankets, Minho in an oversized hoodie, Minho looking up at him with those pretty, glassy eyes, Minho—
“Jisungie,” comes a whine, snapping him out of his self-indulgence. “Come help me.”
He glances over to find Minho desperately trying to form a pretty barrier without breaking it. Jisung can see that he’s squeezing too hard, trying to make the clay bend to his will instead of following with gentle guidance and while he could just offer his help, he sees a much more appealing opening.
"You need help, honey?" he asks, leaving his own finished mug on the wheel and crossing the short distance between him and Minho. "Is that it?"
Minho's cup is a little sad on his wheel, spinning with every press of his foot with the threat of throwing itself to the wind. "You promised."
Jisung smiles softly. He pulls up a spare stool and settles behind Minho, caging him between his arms. "Relax your molding hand, baby, don't squeeze so tight." He places his hands over Minho's and directs him gently.
"I know." He's whispering into Minho's hair, now. "Let it move with you instead of against you."
He's seen before that Minho can follow instructions like he was made to be bossed around, but this is something different. He lets Jisung guide him and help make a small, sculpted vessel.
He wonders if maybe it's Minho that's everything.
"See?" he asks, letting Minho take control of his own wheel again. "You're a natural, baby."
"That's such a lie." Jisung doesn't call him on his tone when he's obviously incredibly happy that the mug is coming together in his hands.
He returns to his own station, watching Minho out of the corner of his eye while he attaches the cute ears to the rim and smooths over the edges with his thumb. Maybe he'll paint it pink, or a faded green for a little variety. He can't bring himself to not admire his work when he's so proud of how it's turned out, even if it is on the larger side for a mug.
"Come look, Jisung," Minho calls again. He's quick to make his way over, this time tugging out a stool next to him instead of wrapping himself around him. "Isn't it cute?"
It's incredibly cute; it's rounder, more stout than Jisung's own with the handle formed by what looks to be a carved bouquet of flower stems, the blossoms sitting happily on the rim. "Are you sure you've never done this before?"
Minho shakes his head. "Do you like it?"
"It's really pretty, Minho," Jisung says, completely honest. "Do you wanna come see mine?"
He nods and follows Jisung back to his bench, gasping when he spots the cat mug. "Oh my God."
"You like it?"
"I'm stealing it from you."
Jisung laughs. "Good luck with that," he says, slinging an arm around his waist. "Why wouldn't you want a mug for yourself at my place?"
Minho stiffens for just a moment before shaking his head. "It's like you read my mind," he scoffs. "That was my plan with the flower mug, but you've ruined it."
"Does that mean I'm coming over to your apartment sometime soon?" The shit-eating grin he gives Minho earns him a shove.
"Don't get your hopes up," Minho says, lacing his voice with obvious fake venom. "You're not getting anywhere with that attitude." He stalks back to his station with a scowl. "No fungi mug for you, Han Jisung!"
The class is over without much more disruption from them. Minho is still grumbling about their mug exchange when they leave the community centre and continues to do so as Jisung walks him all the way home.
"Are you coming in?" he asks, lingering at the entrance to his apartment block. "I've got three gremlins waiting to meet you."
How could Jisung say no?
He follows Minho up seven flights of stairs, owing the exhaustion to his own fear of elevators that Minho happily takes in stride as he climbs from floor to floor. They reach apartment 7J with much complaint despite their choice and Jisung slumps against the wall next to the door, chest heaving as though he'd just run a marathon.
"I hope you have cold water," he says as Minho fumbles with the keys.
Minho snorts. "I'll have you know that my Brita and I have been through a lot together."
Jisung makes a point to sigh dreamily. "He has a Brita." He clasps both hands to his chest. "The man of my dreams."
Minho shoves him through the door before he can further wax poetic about his water filter. He tries not to giggle, still immersed in the role he's taken on, but he's cut short by the look on Minho's face; no longer annoyed, now something shy and small, waiting for his approval.
"I like the pink couch."
"That's all you have to say?" Minho is so long-suffering, it's almost enough to make Jisung hold back on the teasing.
"I love it, Minho," he says. "It's so you , how could I not?"
He notices the blush high on the apples of Minho's cheeks, but has the decency to keep it to himself.
"Let's get you some water," Minho says, visibly relaxing at Jisung's comfort in his space. "Then you can meet my babies."
He leads him to the kitchen and gestures to the barstools sitting at the island. "Show me that beautiful Brita."
Minho rolls his eyes and opens the fridge, reaching in to pull out the filter jug. Jisung tries not to drool, settling for another dreamy sigh and resting his chin in his palm. It's comfortably quiet, barring the tap of the glass on the counter and water filling it, but Minho gives Jisung a gentle smile as he slides it across to him.
"I'm gonna go grab Soonie," he says. "Don't you go disappearing on me."
"I wouldn't dare."
Minho comes back a moment later with an armful of orange and white fur. Soonie has his head tucked under Minho's chin and is purring like a lawnmower. Jisung feels himself melting at the sight.
"Jeongin tried to convince me that your cats were devil spawn," he says, reaching out to let Soonie smell his hand.
Minho laughs, placing him in Jisung's lap once he begins rubbing his face along the back of Jisung's knuckles. "They can sense evil, that's why they hate him." He takes in the sight of Jisung scratching behind Soonie's ears, distracted for just a moment by how easily they fall into each other. "The other two might give you a bit of a hard time, though."
"Doubtful," Jisung says. "He'll love me— I'm incredibly loveable."
"Oh I'm sure." He isn't sure what Minho means by that, but their hands are linked and Jisung allows himself to be led through the apartment. Minho's hand is smaller than his and much softer, lacking the calluses Jisung himself had gained from years of sketching and painting and crafting like his life depended on it.
He finds that he quite likes the way it fits in his own, even for something as simple as leading him through his home.
Minho makes a soft clicking noise with his tongue and, regretfully, lets go of Jisung's hand. "Doongie's under the cat tree," he says. "I'll leave you here for a bit, he doesn't like loads of people at once so just give him a moment to come to you."
With that, he's closing the door to the den, leaving Jisung alone with the possibly demonic cat. Jisung is, however, undeterred.
"Hi," he whispers, sitting cross-legged and adjacent to the cat tree, leaving space for Doongie to escape should he assign Jisung the role of his mortal enemy. "Minho left me to say hello to you, I'm Jisung."
A ginger nose peeks out from the structure, followed fast by an outrageously fluffy ginger-and-white head and big hazel eyes staring at him like he built Rome. Jisung is awfully confused.
"You're not mean at all, are you?" he mumbles, letting Doongie rub his face against the back of his hand. "Jeongin is just a menace."
Doongie mewls indignantly at him, facing him head on. Jisung wonders if he went too far too fast, but then he's faced with gentle paws on his jeans and up onto his chest, Doongie apparently wanting to investigate him right up in his face.
He pushes down the instinct to coo when Doongie headbutts his cheek, instead tentatively reaching to run his hand along the length of his body. He's not as cuddly as Danbi, but he sure does love attention.
"Do you have to be right here?" he asks, scratching behind Doongie's ears. "I thought you were supposed to be mean and scary, but you're just a baby, aren't you?"
Doongie takes his cue to settle into Jisung's lap, instead. He circles, feeling out his newly acquired bed and nuzzles his face into the fabric of Jisung's shirt. As if he couldn't get any cuter, he begins kneading at his jeans, claws half sheathed and purring. Jisung notices that his purr isn't loud and rumbling like Soonie's, but rather a gentle sound, barely audible.
"And you make biscuits?" He coos, stroking his thumb between Doongie's eyes. "You've been given a bad name, there's no way you're evil and nasty."
Doongie chirps at that, butting his head further into Jisung's shirt. It's almost as though he understands the gentleness in his voice.
Jisung lets Doongie make a bakery of his thigh for about ten minutes before Minho pokes his head through the door. He’s so focused on the tiny sounds the cat is making that he doesn’t realise Minho is back to get him until he opens his mouth.
“Did you find h— oh.”
Jisung’s head shoots up, as does Doongie’s. Minho is standing in the doorway, two mugs in hand with nothing but surprise written across his face.
“Hi,” Jisung says, giving him a big smile. “I told you he’d love me.”
“I didn’t think he’d be in love with you,” Minho laughs. “You don’t usually like people, do you, baby?”
He sits down next to Jisung, laughing again as Doongie gives him a challenging look, one that tells him that he’s staked his claim on Jisung and under no circumstances can Minho have him back.
“You’re so rude to Minho, Doongie,” Jisung says, scratching him under his chin. “Here I was thinking I got the wrong cat.”
“Nope.” Minho hands him one of the mugs. Hot chocolate. “This is the bastard.”
“Hardly a bastard.”
“Wait until he’s yelling at you for your Pringles, then you’ll understand.”
“I just think you’re dramatic, Minho.”
They stay there until Minho’s knees hurt and the sun is almost out of sight. Jisung takes the bus home despite Minho’s insistence that he stay the night; as much as he’d love to wake up with his arms wrapped around a warm body— the soft skin of Minho’s cheek pressed against his chest— he knows that a certain pretty boy has to be in at the farm all day again tomorrow.
He doesn’t mind, though, it’s a certainty in his mind that there will be more opportunities to hold him close, hopefully soon.
“Tilt your head to the side a bit more, won’t you?”
Minho is on his floor again. Today is a bit different, they just can’t seem to get the pose right and both of them are getting tired with the sun dipping in the distance.
“Is this right?” Minho asks, trying once again to get into a position that suits Jisung. It’s still wrong, though.
Jisung sighs. “Let’s take a break, we can try again in a bit.”
“I’m sure I can get it right if we keep going.”
“And I know that,” Jisung says, patting the spot next to him on the couch. “And you’ll be able to get it better and hold it correctly if you let your knees rest.”
Minho begrudgingly sits down next to him, dropping his head to Jisung’s shoulder. “I’m sorry.”
“You don’t have to be sorry, baby,” Jisung says, lifting a hand to comb through Minho’s hair. “It’s frustrating for both of us, it’s not your fault.”
He nods, relaxing against Jisung’s touch. The upset lingers, but he allows himself to be touched gently, lovingly, before they have to get back to work.
“You should just position me,” he says into Jisung’s shoulder. “Then you can get me exactly how you want.”
Jisung’s breath hitches at the implication. It would be the best way to get Minho to sit exactly as he wants, but the thought of putting his hands on Minho’s bare thighs is enough to send him into cardiac arrest. “You’d be okay with that?”
“It’s you, of course I’d be okay, Jisung.”
He says it like it’s not capable of killing him.
“Then let’s get back to work.”
Minho is on the sheets again, but this time, Jisung is crouched in front of him, moving his body every which way. Everything feels too hot, Minho’s skin under his fingers, his breath so close; it’s overwhelming.
He takes a deep breath, collecting himself. He’s an adult, being this close to someone shouldn’t turn him into a horny teenager, no matter how much he likes them.
“You alright?” Minho’s voice is soft and pulls him back to reality.
He smiles weakly. “All good, don’t you worry.”
Minho nods and lets Jisung go back to moving him as though he weighs nothing.
Jisung takes Minho’s hand and positions it on his thigh, trying not to smile softly when he gets a small squeeze before he moves each individual finger into its position. He then balls up Minho’s other hand into a fist, setting it down on his leg where it belongs.
If looking at his thighs was overwhelming, looking at his face is going to send him to his deathbed. Minho’s lips are perfectly parted, head already tilted, but not up in the way Jisung needs him to in order to paint him as something heavenly, it droops down, as though he needs help to become something human. Still, he gazes at him, unable to tear himself away from the sight before him.
Before he can stop himself, he’s got a finger under Minho’s chin, lifting it to meet his eyes. “You’re so pretty.” He runs his thumb along Minho’s lower lip, inhaling sharply at the way his mouth drops open further.
Almost an invitation.
Minho’s pupils are blown wide as he stares at Jisung, not daring to move a muscle under his touch. Jisung can barely feel his limbs as he pushes his thumb gently into Minho’s mouth, hand shaking as he closes his lips around it.
He shouldn’t look this beautiful with the digit pressing down on his tongue, but Minho manages as he does everything else. He sucks softly, enough to hold it in place, as though he never wants a moment without his mouth full of something.
Full of Jisung.
They shouldn’t be distracted like this, but Jisung can’t find it in himself to hold back as he slowly fucks his thumb into Minho’s mouth, watching as his eyes widen, glazed and filled with want. He knows Minho wants him, how could he not when he feels the same way?
“We need to finish working, baby,” he says softly. He feels it in his chest when Minho whines and chases after him as he pulls the thumb from his mouth. “You can be good until we’re finished, can’t you?”
Minho looks as if he wants to argue, wants to pull Jisung back to him and feel the day waste away, but the warning in Jisung’s voice has him nodding despite the need he so obviously feels. “I’m good,” he mumbles, voice shot to the heavens but still so eager to please. “I’ll be good.”
Jisung smiles down at him, almost cooing at the way Minho avoids his gaze in favour of staring off to the side. “It won’t be long now, yeah?” he says. “Now let me finish posing you.”
He brushes the hair out of Minho’s eyes, lifting his head just as it should be, as it has been since he began painting him. Something has changed, though, and he looks perfect in the lingering light, looks like both divinity and sin with his cheeks flushed and eyes glossy and it takes everything in Jisung to break content and return to his easel.
They’ve solved the problem, Minho has loosened up and Jisung can’t help but adore the way he’s desperate now— he needs this now. It’s in the way his eyes shimmer and catch every brush stroke Jisung makes.
Nothing else moves.
Only his eyes; a compass needle to Jisung’s True North; they carry with them the desire inside him but god, Minho never fails to be patient.
He doesn’t move a muscle until Jisung finishes the intricacies of the shadows falling on his hands and sets browns and reds and pinks over each knuckle. Jisung doesn’t mean to paint Minho like he wants to destroy him, but here he is, tracing the muscle of his left thigh with a number four brush and he wonders what it would be like to place love behind them.
As he always does, he hopes for the future, he sees what he wants in Minho and even if it’s distant he holds onto it with both hands.
The distance grows nearer as he sets his palette down, as he places his paintbrushes in the glass of water and runs a hand through his hair. Minho is hopeful now, practically vibrating with the need for permission to break his pose.
What kind of monster would Jisung be to deny him.
He steps down from the table and stares at Minho. Usually he’d have relaxed by now but something has shifted, something is different between them and Jisung can’t stop himself from falling to his knees before him.
“Hi,” he whispers, tracing Minho’s cheekbone with his index finger. “You can relax, now, you did so well.”
Minho slumps forward into Jisung’s chest, deep, shuddering breaths falling from his lips. “You’re fucking crazy, you know that?” He lifts his head and fists his hands into the collar of Jisung’s shirt. “Fucking awful, awful man.”
Jisung barely has time to process the way he looks at him— hungry— before Minho’s lips are on his.
He’s not wasting any time with pressing close to Jisung. It’s hot and heavy and Minho’s mouth should be considered sinful with the way it moves against his own. He weaves his hand into Minho’s hair, gasping against him as he tries to get closer and closer.
Sometimes you want someone so bad you end up on the other side of them.
Jisung pulls back for just a moment, tightening his grip on Minho’s hair to prevent him from chasing after him and pulling him back in. “Relax, baby,” he says, out of breath. “You have me, there’s no rush.”
Minho looks at him like he holds the secrets to the universe. “Please, Jisungie,” he breaths, ragged. “ Please.”
Their lips touch again this time and Jisung is pulling Minho up, pulling him to the couch, pulling him into his lap. His hands find Minho’s waist and his thighs and his neck and it’s all consuming, all encompassing.
Minho kisses him like he has something to lose, like he’ll die if he’s not attached to Jisung. He mewls high in his throat as Jisung kisses down his neck and squeezes his waist; it’s so loud and whiny that Jisung has to take a hand and run it gently along his thigh, soothing him in what could almost be interpreted as distress if not for the way he hangs onto Jisung for dear life.
It’s all too good to be true.
He’s too focused on the way Minho writhes in his lap, too intent on pulling pretty noises from him that he doesn’t hear the lock click.
He doesn’t hear the door open.
In fact, the first time he notices anything beyond Minho is when he hears the guttural scream and what can only be books hitting the floor before he and Minho jump apart, heads whipping in the direction of the noise.
“On our couch?!” Hyunjin screams, eyes wide and accusatory. “Where we host guests?!”
“What?” Jisung tries to hide his embarrassment as Minho slides off of his lap and onto the pillows next to him. “He’s a guest!”
Hyunjin massages his temples and heaves a sigh. “You are insufferable,” he says, before turning to Minho. “Really? Really?!”
“It wasn’t meant to happen.” Minho is worse than Jisung at hiding his humiliation. “It just… sorta did.”
“You’re both so lucky that Jeongin and I decided to finish my photography project tomorrow.”
Minho buries his head in his hands. “Oh god.”
Hyunjin gives them both a glare, lingering particularly on Minho’s neck. “You best hope that fades before Saturday.”
Jisung feels Minho’s eyes on him now, but avoids his gaze pointedly. “Jisung,” he says, voice dangerously measured. “What is he talking about?”
“I’ll leave you to it, then.” Hyunjin escapes before Jisung can throttle him, shutting the passage door tight behind him.
“Jisung,” Minho says again. “ What should fade before Saturday?”
Minho had already agreed to the bonfire, even after being informed that Jeongin would be there, but now the edge in his voice says there’s something dangerous about to befall Jisung.
“There may or may not be a hickey on your ne—”
“Why the fuck would you leave a hickey?!”
Jisung doesn’t mean to giggle at how outraged he sounds, even with the threat of possible dismemberment hanging over his head as the price for Minho’s humiliation. “I’m sorry, baby,” he laughs. “I got a bit carried away.”
“I can’t believe you,” Minho grumbles, hiding his blush by shoving his face into Jisung’s shoulder. “And now Hyunjin thinks—”
“Please don’t go insinuating that Hyunjin has ever had a thought.”
“Still,” he whines, lightly punching Jisung. “How am I ever gonna live this down?”
“It’s gonna be fine, baby.” Jisung wraps his arm around Minho and pulls him close. “Hyunjin is just dramatic, it’s not even that dark.”
“I’m willing to bet it is that dark,” Minho groans. “And I’m still in my boxers and this stupid shirt! I need to die!”
“Don’t go dying on me, silly baby,” Jisung says, pressing a kiss to Minho’s curls. “You’re staying the night, by the way, there’s no way I’m letting you walk to the station at this hour.”
Minho rolls his eyes. “I’m an adult.”
“Which means you shouldn’t have a problem with sleeping over, should you?” His tone leaves no room for discussion, especially since it’s beyond dark outside and Minho doesn’t have it in him to leave Jisung’s embrace for the cold streets.
And so he stays.
“Let me grab you some clothes,” Jisung says, leaving Minho on the edge of his bed, a blanket wrapped around him. He can’t deny how cold his apartment gets at night with their terrible insulation, so digging through his closet for a hoodie is a must .
Maybe he also wants to see Minho swaddled in something way too big for him.
“Here we go,” he says, tossing Minho a red hoodie and a pair of sleep shorts. “I’m gonna go get us some water, you get changed, yeah?”
“Alright.” Minho has gotten over his embarrassment, but he’s tired now and is looking forward to cuddling up to Jisung in his double bed. “Can I have ice in mine?”
“Of course,” Jisung laughs. “Not all of us are blessed with a beautiful Brita like you.”
Minho throws a pillow at him, nearly missing with the way it knocks his thigh. When Jisung tosses a look over his shoulder with a shit-eating grin, he expects to see a scowl on Minho’s pretty face. Instead, he finds a soft smile. It makes him warm inside.
Just as Minho asked, he grabs two glasses and fills them with ice cubes and water. He may not have stunning, cool filtered water like Minho, but he thinks his heart-shaped ice should make up for the disappointment.
Even if it doesn’t for Minho, he likes his heart ice. It makes him happy. Like a child.
“You decent?” he calls, foot poised to kick open the door.
A giggle from inside comes and he feels himself melting. “Yeah, Jisungie, you can come in.”
He grins and shoves through the doorway. Minho has already made himself comfortable in Jisung’s bed, wrapped up in at least three blankets and hanging onto his giant pig plushie.
“Comfy?” Jisung asks, setting the glasses on the bedside table.
Minho hums, shifting over for Jisung to join him in bed. “I’m taking this home with me.”
“Good luck,” he laughs. “He’s Danbi’s favourite place to make biscuits.”
“Oh, well if he belongs to Danbi , then maybe I’ll reconsider.” A moment passes between them before Minho shoots up. “What if she saw us?!”
“What if who saw us, baby?” Jisung is too tired to use his brain.
Minho gives him an incredulous look. “Danbi, you idiot!” he exclaims. “Do you think we scarred her?”
“Relax.” He pulls Minho down so he’s half-laying down and half-hovering over Jisung. “She was probably in Hyunjin’s room; she doesn’t like the smell of paint. I’m not a terrible parent.”
Minho slumps against his chest, groaning. “I hope so.”
“She’s definitely not here now…” Jisung squeezes Minho’s waist, hands creeping under his hoodie.
He lifts his head to stare Jisung down. “Is that an invitation?”
Jisung is already leaning in. “It could be, if you want.”
He’s not sure who connects their lips this time but it’s much softer this time, almost tender until Minho throws a leg over Jisung’s waist and it’s not as gentle as it should be.
“Get back down here, you big baby,” Jisung says, but there’s no bite to his voice and the way his hands find Minho’s thighs suggest he wants anything but him out of his lap.
Minho giggles, leaning down to press another kiss to his lips. “Don’t wanna.”
“You should be careful, people are gonna start thinking you like being in a position to be tossed around.” He knows he doesn’t imagine the shiver that runs through Minho, feels his thighs tense underneath his palms as he shifts in his lap.
Minho mumbles something that sounds awfully like “dreadful man” that only makes Jisung’s grin grow wider.
“What was that, baby?” he asks, squeezing at Minho’s thigh. “I didn’t quite hear you.”
He doesn't give Jisung the chance to tease him further, instead leaning down and seaming their lips once again. It shouldn't make Jisung feel like he's about to die, but heart rises to his throat every single time Minho looks at him. He's not usually malleable, timid; usually he'll snap at Jisung for the fun of it and be nothing short of a menace for his own entertainment, but he's soft and whiny and small in his hold.
They're slowly kissing by the time Jisung feels his eyes growing heavier. Minho is completely relaxed and is simply holding onto the feeling rather than trying to grab at anything new. If anything, he's just happy to be held and tangle his legs with Jisung's as they both slowly fall asleep.
Jisung isn't sure who dropped off first, but he's awake and he's almost certain that he shouldn't be, what with the light outside his window suggesting it can't be later than three in the morning, he blanks on what could have woken him up this early—
Once his body adjusts to being awake, he realises that the culprit for his consciousness is very much asleep, gently rutting against his thigh.
Jisung isn't stupid. As cute as it is that Minho— fast asleep— is using his thigh to get off, he shakes him awake, smoothing his thumb over where his neck meets his shoulder, watching as Minho blinks awake with a soft whine into Jisung's chest.
"Hi, baby," he whispers, brushing the hair out of Minho's face to reveal dazed and droopy eyes. "Sorry to wake you... you just... had a problem."
Minho looks at him with nothing but confusion, until it seems to dawn on him that he's got Jisung's leg sandwiched between his own. The realisation wakes him up, jumping back so far he hits his back where the mattress meets the wall. "Oh my god," he whispers, horrified. "Jisung, I— I'm so sorry— I'll just go, I can take the couch and I'll be out at the first bus—"
Jisung cuts him off. "Not a chance."
"What?" He's visibly confused by the insistence that he is not, in fact, going anywhere.
"I'm not kicking you out for something you did in your sleep, baby," Jisung says pointedly. "Now come finish so we can go back to sleep, it's way too early for this."
Minho gapes at him. In all fairness, he's right to be shocked that Jisung is not only letting him stay, but also inviting him to ride his thigh instead of putting him on the streets. Were it not ass o'clock in the morning, he may have told him to go back to sleep and called it a day, but his brain is half awake and he sees no other way to get Minho to calm the fuck down enough to fall back asleep.
And so, he pats his thigh and waits.
Minho looks between him and his leg, obviously shocked but nothing if not willing. He inches over, tentatively straddling Jisung's thigh and looking to him for confirmation.
A nod of his head has Minho experimentally grinding down, mouth parting as he places his hands on Jisung's chest to balance himself. In reality, he's way too tired to be using Jisung's thigh to get off, but he finds any hesitation slipping away when Jisung's hands find his waist and help him move against his leg.
It should be embarrassing, his tiny whines and desperate rutting against Jisung's leg; it looks so small between his own muscular thighs and the slight humiliation only spurs him on, grinding down hard with one of his sweater paws muffling a high and breathy moan.
"Come on, baby," Jisung mumbles, looking up at him like he could give him the world. "You're doing so well." He squeezes Minho's waist. "Come for me, yeah?"
That's all it takes to push Minho over the edge. He releases messily in his boxers and Jisung's shorts, whining as he comes down from his high.
Jisung presses a kiss to his forehead as he slumps onto his chest, gently moving him so he's on the mattress instead of trapped on his torso. He's too tired to get a washcloth to clean Minho up, so he instead strips off his shirt and hovers over him, gazing down at him gently.
"I'm just gonna clean you up, okay, baby?"
Minho nods sleepily, squeezing Jisung's hand for just a moment before he has to pull away to wipe down his thigh where cum had spilled out of his boxers.
He pulls off the sleep shorts and discards them somewhere across the room, reaching into his dresser for a fresh pair of boxers that he barely gets over his hips before he's pulling Minho to his chest; now shockingly bare, and falls asleep.
Jisung doesn't mention it in the morning, but they become outrageously close in the days leading up to the bonfire.
They don't have much time to fool around as the due date for Jisung's painting grows near, but he deems only one more session necessary on the day of the bonfire, one more for detailing and final touches before he submits it for grading.
"I'll see you in a few hours, then?" Minho says on his way out. He needs to head back to his own apartment to get ready and Jisung already misses him.
"Yeah," he says. "I'm assuming you know the way to Changbin's house?"
"Of course, Jisungie," Minho laughs. "Don't forget, he's my evil friend, too"
"I was trying to offer you a lift—"
"On the bus?" Minho teases. "I'm alright, Hannie, I'll see you there, okay?"
Jisung shoves his shoulder. "Fine, but don't go complaining that you had to go alone."
"How dare you accuse me of such a heinous crime?"
"Get out of here."
Jisung smiles softly as the door shuts. The nap he was planning on having is going to have to wait, he's too afraid of sleeping through and his friends teasing him for being late. Instead, he settles for tracking down Danbi for a walk; he has to pick up drinks, anyway.
"Danbi, baby," he calls, searching for her in Hyunjin's room and then his own. He comes up with nothing, but is relieved when he gets back to the living room to find a black tail poking out from underneath the couch. "There you are."
He reaches under the couch and pulls her out gently, cooing at the way she softens into his arms. "You wanna go for a walk, baby?"
Jisung tracks down her harness and sets her on the kitchen counter to adjust it. She's a tiny bit irritable, but Jisung likes taking her down to the park where she can climb the trees and play with the insects. It relaxes her and gives her time away from the walls of the apartment.
"Come on, honey, we need to go and buy ciders." He locks the door behind them and tries to keep Danbi from tangling herself in her leash. It proves to be rather difficult, but he eventually gets her into the elevator without tripping over the lead.
It's a close call, though.
He greets the receptionist of his apartment block and sets out onto the sidewalk. It's not particularly busy, despite being Saturday, and he finds himself indulging in greeting every person he passes. He likes days like these; when he gets to make connections.
Legacies are a funny thing that Jisung is unfortunately fixated on. He doesn't mean to attempt to leave himself everywhere, it just... happens.
In some way, Jisung likes to see himself in everything. Jeongin would say it's his Pisces moon and while he'd be inclined to agree, he's not sure if it's comforting or terrifying that the universe mapped it out for him. Maybe he's trying to live up to that standard by smiling at strangers and seeing himself in the half-wilted grocery store bouquets, maybe he's trying to see himself in everyone he passes.
He hopes he subconsciously sees some of himself in Minho; if for nothing other than the joy of knowing he has more than surface level common ground with him because god, Jisung likes him so much.
Danbi always leads him wherever she wants to go, and so they end up walking along the lake he'd walked with Minho just under two weeks ago. He can't believe it's only been a month and a bit since they first met, especially with how fast their relationship moved from slightly professional to friends to whatever the hell they have going on now.
It's not like he's complaining, though.
He breathes in the fresh air. Examining his relationship with Minho and how far they've come in a month, he realises that there's so much more to know. He almost takes this as a deterrent, like he'll never be able to find out what exactly makes Minho tick, but then it dawns on him.
He has so much fucking time.
It's a comforting feeling, to know that he'll get to know Minho personally if he doesn't disappear from Jisung's life in the near future, even if he doesn't know now.
Yeah, it's everything.
"Please explain to me how you didn't manage to take a nap but you're still late?"
"I got carried away with a book, Changbin." Jisung rolls his eyes and sets the twelve-pack of ciders on the table. "I'm sure you missed me, though."
It's truthful. The poetry book he'd picked up at the second-hand bookshop next to the bottle store had kept him busy for hours. Sure, by the time it was dark he'd taken to pencilling diagrams of insects onto the last ten pages, blank for no reason other than to give the book some bulk and Jisung had felt obliged to fill them.
And so he did. He made them a hero with doodles of dragonflies and orange trees and hands and by the time he reached the last page, the sun had set beyond the horizon.
After scrambling to feed Danbi and get on the bus, he'd arrived just after eight. Not too late, but enough to earn him a grumpy Changbin who'd been left to teach Chan how to start a fire without his usual helper. That's not Jisung's problem, though, he prefers to let water run under the bridge when it comes to Changbin's anger, he's sure there will be something else for him to rage over soon.
He cracks open a cider for himself and Minho, signalling for him to shuffle over in the shitty deck loveseat that Changbin bought as an add-on to the rest of his plastic deck furniture.
"Hi," he says, handing Minho one of the glass bottles. "Miss me?"
Minho puts an arm around him. "You're so full of it, you know that?"
The bonfire is tended to by pretty much anyone but them, including Jeongin, with whom Jisung notices Minho is having a staring competition.
"Cut it out, you two," Seungmin laughs. "We get it, you're both terrible. Cope."
Jeongin gags. "My best friend and my brother." He throws himself against the back of the couch, miserable despite being blissfully sandwiched between Chan and Changbin. "Whatever shall I do?"
"We could fight it out?" Minho offers, rearing at the thought of a challenge. Jisung sets a hand on his thigh, trying to dispel the enticing option of them duking it out in the middle of the night.
Changbin interrupts. "I know you two motherfuckers know how to sword fight, so you will not be using your fists if you choose to be a disruption."
"I'm down for sword-fighting, Binnie," Jeongin says, already jumping up to challenge Minho. "For Jisung's honour? This is a battle I cannot lose."
Felix laughs. "You're so fucking dramatic." He and Seungmin are wrapped around each other on a picnic blanket, not really caring for their ridiculous antics. "But go on, I love a good show."
Minho shoots up and turns to bow to Jisung. "My good sir—"
He's interrupted by Changbin returning from indoors, carrying two plastic lightsabers. "Go on, let's see if you're still as good as you were in high school."
Minho picks red, leaving Jeongin to take blue. They circle each other in the light of the bonfire, quite obviously buzzed out of their minds and laughing their heads off.
Their lightsabers clash rather professionally considering the reality of the situation, Jeongin making dramatic sparring noises while Minho hoots with laughter, backing him up against the end of their terrain. It's not long before he strikes at Jeongin's knees, taking him out and declaring an almost victory.
"Have I won thy honour?" He turns to Jisung, a massive grin on his face while Jeongin laments his loss.
Jisung matches his smile and Minho casts aside his lightsaber, settling right into Jisung's lap with his legs over the arm over the loveseat. He's beaming, especially as Jeongin declares defeat and trudges back to be comforted by Chan and Changbin.
"This isn't over," he swears, pointing at Minho. There's warmth beneath it, though, a smile as he watches Minho wrap himself around Jisung and take a sip of his drink.
"If you two are quite finished," Hyunjin says as though he wasn't laughing his ass off at Jeongin being destroyed less than a minute ago. "I would like to introduce the star of this year's Art Department Showcase."
Jisung groans into Minho's shoulder, embarrassed before Hyunjin has the chance to begin. "Please don't, I'm begging."
"Not a chance, Han Jisung." Hyunjin shoos Minho off of Jisung's lap and leaves him pouting and confused on the pillows as Jisung is dragged to the middle of their circle. "It has been announced, my dear friends, that this man— this God— will be taking centre stage for the showcase."
A round of applause follows, leaving Jisung blushing into his hands as Hyunjin claps him on the shoulder. Whooping and cheering and what sounds like a wolf-whistle encourages him to take a bow, but he can't help but look only at Minho.
He's staring at him like he is the sun.
It's true, the update photos he'd sent his teacher had won her heart, assigning him the preplanned positions in the showcase; the one he'd been hoping for since the beginning. Even though he has to touch up the final details, he and Minho had emerged triumphant in a month, something he can only consider a miracle.
When Minho snaps out of his daze and jumps into his arms, he finds his own wrapping around him. The kiss he presses to his lips is met with groans and cheers louder than when Hyunjin had made his announcement.
He has everything he needs, though, and when they bundle up in Changbin's spare room and Minho whispers that he's proud of him, well, Jisung feels his heart soar.
The touch-up takes less time than expected, but they're both exhausted by the time Jisung deems it finished. Minho had long since abandoned his place on the sheets, even going as far as to help him return the living room to its natural state that it hadn't seen in weeks.
After they'd folded everything up and carried Jisung's piece to the front door, Jisung had collapsed on the couch and patted the space next to him— an invitation.
Minho is but a warm weight in has lap, now, and Jisung feels like he's about to die, what with the way the tiny murmurs fall from his pretty lips as he sleeps soundly and he shifts ever so slightly, hands curling gently into the fabric of Jisung's shirt without a care in the world.
Yeah. Jisung is definitely going to die.
He really does try to come up with a reasonable explanation for why Minho is in his lap, but there was nothing keeping him from curling up on the other end of the couch or even laying his pretty little head on Jisung's shoulder, for that matter. Not that Jisung's complaining, though, he makes for a brilliant weighted blanket—
Well, he would make an even better one if he didn't keep shifting in Jisung's lap. It's awfully frustrating because he was hoping to get a bit of shut-eye with his arms wrapped around Minho's waist but he's finding it terribly difficult with the way Minho keeps moving.
And so, Jisung does the first thing that pops into his head: he digs his fingers into Minho's sides and tugs him closer, holding him tight enough to keep him still. There. Problem solved. Except, that doesn't go quite the way he'd anticipated.
The whimper and Minho pressing closer, burying his face in Jisung's neck does quite the number on him.
"Minho?" he tucks a finger under Minho's chin and tilts him up so he can meet his eyes, mildly concerned at the sudden behaviour. "You okay, baby?"
Minho gives an unconvincing nod and drops his eyes, avoiding Jisung's gaze. It's really not normal for him to be this timid.
It’s not like Jisung doesn’t recognise the behaviour— he prides himself on not being as dense as his friends seem to think he is— but he can’t for the life of him understand why Minho is turned on when they’re supposed to be taking a nap.
“Eyes up here, baby,” he says, squeezing Minho’s jaw to get his attention. “What do you want?”
“Want you,” he mumbles, leaning in to press his lips gently against Jisung’s. “We’re done with the project now; we have time.”
Jisung nods but decides teasing him won’t do any harm. “Time for what, baby?” he asks, trying to ignore the way Minho’s lips on his pulse drives him insane. “We’re meant to be sleeping, hmm?”
“No sleeping now, we can sleep later.”
Ever since they met, Jisung has really had a hard time denying him anything.
Citing his fear of traumatising Hyunjin again, he carries Minho to his bedroom and locks the door behind him, proceeding to toss him on the bed with little care as to where he ends up. Jisung is confident that he’ll be pliant enough in a moment to do anything he says, anyway.
What he doesn’t expect is Minho whimpering and looking up at him with big, round eyes, hands fisting in his bedsheets.
He tries to ignore the way that makes him feel and resolves to spend even more time in the gym if it’ll make Minho look at him like that again, digging through his bedside drawer for condoms and a small bottle of lube.
Once retrieved, he throws them on the bed, finding his place in crawling over Minho with a hand placed on either side of his head. “Hi.”
Minho pulls him down by his collar and giggles a greeting against his lips, kissing him hard. Jisung is completely overwhelmed by how fast he grows messy and needy, eyes filled with want— want he’s certain is matched in his own gaze.
He pulls at the fabric of Minho’s shirt, fumbling with the buttons to bare his chest and Jisung almost shudders at the whine as he trails a hand down Minho’s side.
“You’re so pretty,” he whispers, hand finding purchase in it’s place against Minho’s waist. “My pretty baby.”
“Yours,” Minho gasps, hips bucking wildly as Jisung moves his mouth down, wrapping his lips around one of his nipples and sucking hard.
Jisung should have expected the response, Minho is always sensitive to everything he does but the moans rolling off his tongue are enough to drive him crazy. His head feels light and heavy at the same time as Minho shifts beneath him, hands grabbing at anything he can find and holding , as though he'll fall without a solid grip.
The thrill of possession runs through him, but he'll be fucking damned if he fucks Minho now without knowing for sure that they're on the same page.
He softens his grip and looks up. Everything feels vulnerable now that he's really in this, much more exposed than all the times he's fantasized about this going down. Still, he perseveres.
"Be my boyfriend," he says, holding Minho's somewhat frantic gaze and watching his pretty eyes widen.
"You're asking now?" Minho asks, incredulous, as if he can't believe that Jisung paused on his way to fucking his brains out to ask such a stupid question.
Jisung flushes. "Yeah, I am, and it would be really great if you'd give me an answer before I put your dick in my mouth because—"
"Of course I'll be your fucking boyfriend, Jisung." sits up and grabs his chin so they're eye-to-eye. "I mean this in the nicest way possible; you're so stupid sometimes."
Jisung grins at his exasperation. "But you like me, don't you?"
Minho rolls his eyes. "I'm about to like you a whole lot less if I don't get my ass filled in the next ten minutes."
"Sheesh, so impatient." Jisung pushes Minho back down onto the mattress. "I've got you, baby, don't you worry."
The petname is insufferable in the context, but Minho's irritation is soon replaced with pleasure as Jisung slips his fingers under the waistband of his boxers and tugs them down. Minho is gracious enough to help him out, lifting his hips so Jisung can pull them off fully and discard them somewhere out of sight.
"Is there something wrong?" Minho asks after what feels like a full minute of Jisung staring at his cock.
Jisung snaps out of his daze, busying himself with spreading Minho's legs to hide his blush. "Nothing wrong, you're just… pretty."
"That's a first," Minho laughs, but it's soon cut off by a moan as Jisung wraps his lips around the tip.
He tastes incredible— and maybe that's just Jisung being stupid because Minho's precum is, in reality, quite salty and bitter, but he can't bring himself to care as he draws pretty sounds from him, lifting a hand to hold his bucking hips in place.
Jisung has known about Minho's obnoxious strength kink for at least two weeks, but it never fails to amaze him that he's so turned on by being held down or tossed around, being used in any way.
It's outrageously hot.
He doesn't mean to edge Minho. He really didn't intend to. His original plan had been to get him to relax a bit, to get a feel for Jisung properly before he got his ass played with, but suddenly his moans become breathier and harder for him to hold in, hips stuttering even under Jisung's hold, and, unfortunately, he's forced to pull off.
Well, not forced. Jisung does gather some joy from seeing the disappointment and annoyance in Minho's face as his orgasm ebbs away, leaving him a puddle on the bed.
"You're fucking awful, you know that?"
Jisung laughs. The edge of cruelty in it sends a shiver through Minho. "Relax, I didn't mean to."
"Somehow, I don't believe you."
Jisung just smiles at him, leaning over for a moment to grab the bottle of lube and wag it enticingly. "Isn't this better, baby?"
Minho has the audacity to roll his eyes and Jisung almost takes it as a challenge. He feels like it's his duty to fuck the brat right out of Minho, and he's nothing if not brilliant if finishing what he started.
He warms the lube between his fingers, using his other hand to push Minho's legs apart again. "Keep these open for me, yeah?"
No answer comes, but Minho's thighs twitch as Jisung runs a finger around his entrance.
He's trying really hard not to stare as he slowly pushes the digit past the ring of muscle. It's a strange thought, to think that Minho's hole was made to be filled, but he lets it flood his mind as he adjusts to the feeling.
"You can move," Minho says, voice shot as Jisung gently begins spreading him open.
He tries fucking it in and out, watching with wide eyes as Minho's hole pulls him back in, hanging onto the feeling with soft sighs tumbling from his lips. In this moment, Jisung believes that Minho is the pinnacle of divinity.
A moment longer on one finger and he's adding another, slowing his thrusts until Minho whines again and he's back to feeling along his velvety walls, warm and all encompassing and—
Minho gasps, back arching as Jisung hooks his fingers up.
"Found it," he says with a grin, watching Minho practically fall apart as he abuses his prostate with the pads of his fingers. "You alright, baby? Is it too much for you?"
Minho whines at the teasing tone, overcome with pleasure now that Jisung isn't afraid to pull him apart at the seams. "Jisungie, please," he whimpers. "Gonna— fuck! Jisungie please—"
"Well, we can't have that, can we?"
Before Minho can stop him, Jisung is pulling his fingers out and wiping them on the bed. He laughs at Minho's desperation and downright misery at a second denial.
"You're the worst."
"I won't do it again, baby."
Jisung really means it this time, reaching for the line of condoms and ripping the package open with his teeth.
Minho shakes his head, suddenly insistent. "No condom, wanna feel you."
"Just this time, baby," Jisung sighs, reaching up to soothe Minho, fingers combing through his hair. "Then we'll go get tested together, yeah? We can make a date out of it."
He can tell Minho doesn't want to agree, but he nods after a huff, resigned to no cum dripping out his ass.
"Don't get all pouty, baby." Jisung thumbs at his lower lip. He laughs as Minho's tongue pokes out, eager to meet his fingers. "You're so cute, good boy."
Minho beams at the praise, annoyance forgotten as Jisung pulls off his own clothes. The shirt goes first, tossed into the pile on the floor, soon to be followed by his sweatpants.
He pushes Minho's knees up to his chest. "Hold these here for me."
"M'kay." Minho keeps them in place and watches with wide eyes as Jisung rolls the condom onto his cock.
Jisung lines himself up with Minho's hole, looking to him for confirmation only to receive a frantic nod. "Words, please, baby."
"Please, Jisungie," he says, trying to shift his hips down onto Jisung's dick but finding himself unable to under the hold on his waist. "Please fuck me."
It's all Jisung needs to begin pushing in. His head slips inside and he gives Minho a moment to adjust. He doesn't like to brag about his dick size, but it's certainly larger than the two fingers he'd prepped Minho with, no matter how easily he'd opened up.
"You alright, baby?"
Minho takes a deep breath and looks up at Jisung. "Please keep going."
Jisung gives in, too enchanted by the need to fully sheath himself in Minho's ass to hold out on him. He pushes forward until he bottoms out, stopping despite every muscle in his body screaming at him to hammer Minho into the mattress until he cries, and waits for another moment as he adjusts to the stretch.
Minho reaches for him, pulling him down by the shoulders and effectively crushing his own legs between them as he presses their lips together. He then noses at Jisung's cheek until he turns, touching his lips to his ear.
The uttered "fuck me" is all Jisung needs to pull all the way out and slam back into him.
Minho cries out, grasping at the sheets until he's given purchase, Jisung lacing their fingers and holding his hands down. Pinned to the bed, he writhes in pleasure as Jisung pounds into him, breath hot and heavy as their foreheads touch and god, Jisung can't believe he's gotten this lucky.
A mess beneath him, Minho whimpers and moans as he finds his sweet spot, abusing it until he's gasping out prayers and the prettiest whines, so close as Jisung pushes him further up the mattress.
"You feel so good," Jisung breathes, angling his hips in a way that makes Minho's eyes roll back. "Taking me so well."
Minho keens at that, basking in everything Jisung has to give him and bringing a hand up from where it's held down on the bed to cup his face.
"You're everything," he moans, seeing stars. "God, Jisungie, gonna—"
"Come for me, baby," Jisung says against his lips. "You're so good, come on."
His eyes roll back a final time as he comes, Jisung following as his tight walls squeeze at his dick so hard he feels like it might fall off. He fucks him through his orgasm, filling the condom as he does so.
It feels like heaven.
Jisung slowly fucks Minho until he whines in overstimulation. He pulls out, tying off the condom and tossing it in the trash can by his bedside table, before collapsing on the bed next to Minho. "Fuck."
"Fuck is correct," Minho laughs, his voice still dazed.
He props himself up on his elbow to stare down at Minho, his chest still heaving but not hindering the smile on his face. "So we're dating now?"
"Of course we are," he says, his smile widening. "That dick isn't going in anyone else as long as I'm around."
Jisung slaps his chest lightly. "You're so embarrassing," he groans, throwing an arm over his face. "Let me go grab a washcloth, you probably can't walk."
"Hey!" Minho yelps, sitting up. "I totally can walk, look." He attempts to stand, but his knees buckle before he's halfway off the bed. Humiliated, he throws himself back onto the pillows and Jisung's waiting chest. "Not a word about this to anyone."
Jisung mimes sealing his lips. It's not like he'd want anyone hearing about their sex life, anyway.
Later in the week, Jisung stands in front of his larger-than-life portrait of Minho. He's ridiculously proud of it, ego growing as he receives compliments on his work and his ability to capture the model's vulnerability.
The model, his now boyfriend, sits on a stool next to him. He dons a white button-down, although paired with a pair of suit pants, unlike in the portrait, and watches Jisung interact with his audience.
Sometimes they notice him and ask about the work. He's always happy to talk about what an amazing artist Jisung is, how deserving he is of the centre stage in the gallery, even when they get personal and ask who exactly he is to the artist.
At this point, Jisung shows up and wraps an arm around him. He always shows up on rime, smile radiant and obviously confident, in his element.
He couldn't have expected this, not from giving away a free orange and certainly not from offering to help what seemed like a young man in the throws of desperation, but he's happier than he's ever been.
With Jisung's arm around his shoulder, he looks to the future.
He makes a wish as Jisung is announced as the winner of the showcase, wishes for a future for the two of them.
He allows himself to hope.