A certain phrase Felix said a while ago has been stuck in Chan’s head. It was a simple little thing he said in passing. Chan is pretty sure he said it to Hyunjin, though he can’t remember the exact circumstances.
“Oh, I haven’t actually kissed anyone before,” Felix had said. Chan gave a reaction and someone else made a joke about Changbin, but that’s all Chan can remember. That phrase Felix said has consumed him too much to recall much else.
It sits in his mind during any idle moments he has, and Chan has no idea why. Is it because Felix is his good friend, and Chan wouldn’t want him to feel embarrassed? Except, Felix didn’t sound embarrassed. He just laughed it off. Chan knows it doesn’t really matter, even if a first kiss seems like an important milestone. Felix is an idol—a JYP idol—so it’s not like he can just participate in those sorts of things easily. This… doesn’t make sense.
“Hey, are you doing alright?” The question breaks Chan from his reverie. He looks up to meet Jisung’s eyes. Changbin isn’t looking at either of them, but Chan knows he’s listening.
“Yeah,” Chan says with a casual smile.
“Okay, I respect the process, but Hyung seems more spacey than usual,” Jisung says.
“Yeah, no, I’m just thinking,” Chan says. He looks at the notebook in front of him, which is mostly empty. They’ve gotten together to try and write music, but all Chan can think about is what Felix said.
“What about?” Changbin asks. Chan shakes his head.
“We haven’t done a love song, have we?” Chan asks instead.
“’Ex’,” Changbin says at the same time Jisung asks, “Oh, does Chan Hyung have a crush on someone?”
“I don’t,” Chan says. Which is the truth. An intrusive, quasi-obsessive thought is not the same as a crush.
“Sounds fake, but okay,” Jisung says.
Chan laughs with them. He’s thankful when their focuses shift back to their work. Chan at least pretends to focus. A vague story about a first kiss bubbles under the surface, but nothing breaches and spills out onto the page. He hasn’t tried to write about this before. Why does he even want to write a love song? His brain feels clouded. Maybe he should go talk to Felix.
He finds Felix alone in their room on a rare day off almost a week after he decided to talk to him. Felix looks up briefly from his computer when Chan walks in, but his gaze returns to the monitors quickly. Chan sits on his bed and watches Felix play from behind.
Changbin is out right now with Jeongin and Minho, so he likely won’t be coming in anytime soon. The other three have been in their respective rooms all day. Now seems like as good a time as any, if Chan can get the courage to grab Felix’s attention. He’s familiar enough with the game he’s playing, so Chan resolves to say something at the next stopping point.
“Felix,” Chan says softly when the time comes. He has to repeat it before Felix startles. He slides off his headphones and turns around.
“Oh, hey,” Felix says. Chan avoids eye contact, instead focusing on what he’s wearing, a comfortable hoodie and a pair of joggers. “What is it?” he asks in English when Chan has been quiet for too long.
“Do you… Are you bothered that you haven’t had your first kiss?” Chan asks, forcing the words out. Felix tucks his chin in, and his eyes slide off to the side.
“Why do you ask?” His tone is awkward.
“No reason,” Chan says. “It just seems like missing out, don’t you reckon?” Felix shrugs. His gaze is firmly off to the side.
“I guess so,” Felix says. “It’s not like it matters though. I could’ve in high school. I just didn’t, and now I’m here.”
“Don’t you wish you could have it though?” Chan doesn’t know where the question is coming from, but his heart is picking up pace. Felix laughs in a stilted manner.
“It doesn’t really matter if I want to, since I don’t have the opportunity.” He pulls a leg up and hugs the knee to his chest.
“And if you did?” The words are escaping faster than Chan can think.
“Sure, I guess,” Felix says. “What, are you going to pull some strings or something?” Chan stands and Felix’s eyes widen. “Bro?”
“Do you want to…?” Chan takes a couple steps closer. A nervous laughter bubbles up from Felix’s throat.
“You’re funny,” Felix says.
“I wasn’t joking,” Chan says, but he wishes he were. Why is he offering this?
“Oh.” The atmosphere is thick. Chan steps closer until he’s just in front of Felix.
“We can, if you want to,” Chan says. “Just so you have the experience.” Felix looks up at him, and Chan is staring so intensely he feels lost in Felix’s eyes.
“Okay,” Felix says quietly, pitch dragging across the bottom of his range. Chan crouches down so they’re at eye level. It’s an awkward position, but all he can think about is the pair of lips in front of him. He can hear Felix’s quick breathing, and he can smell the faint scent of shampoo on his hair. Felix’s eyes slide shut, and Chan leans forward.
It’s been a while since he’s kissed anyone, so Chan takes a second to find his way. He’s pleasantly surprised by how kissing a guy contrasts with kissing a girl. Felix’s lips are soft, but there’s still a roughness to him. The scents are less delicate, more familiar.
Felix stutters through the kiss, as if he’s not quite sure what to do. It takes a while for him to find the rhythm, to use the right amount of pressure. For some reason, despite the inexperience, Chan feels a surge of sentiment, making him want to tilt his head and deepen the kiss. But he doesn’t know if Felix wants that, so he pulls away.
His legs are shaking. Felix looks the same as before, curled up in his chair with the computer monitors casting a strange blue glow on his features. His lips look a bit plumper, but Chan wishes they had a more noticeable change, that he had kissed Felix for long enough for them to bruise. Felix’s eyelids pull up slowly, revealing his big eyes shining with a dreamlike glint.
“So?” Chan whispers.
“That… was a good first kiss,” Felix says. “Thanks, Hyung.”
“It’s—” Chan stops short of saying it’s nothing, because it doesn’t feel like a true thing to say. Does he have a crush? “You’re welcome.”
“Can,” Felix pauses and lets the tip of his tongue glide across his lower lip. “Can I kiss you again?”
Chan wants to say yes with all his being, but instead he says, “Ah, maybe not. I don’t want to, uh, take advantage of you?”
“Like, I think I fancy you?” Chan says the words under his breath, hardly believing them himself.
“Oh.” They sit in silence for a moment. Chan worries he just made it weird. Will Felix want to still talk to him? Will they still be close? Suddenly, Chan wishes he could take all this back if it meant not losing his best friend. “I guess that’s a good thing,” Felix finally says. Chan’s head jerks up. “’Cause I’ve been fancying you for a while now.”
“Seriously?” Chan asks.
“Yeah,” Felix says. “So, if you want to kiss me again, I’d like that.”
“Shouldn’t I ask you on a date first?” Chan asks.
“We’ve gone on plenty of dates before,” Felix says.
“Am I supposed to kiss you or ask you to be my boyfriend?” Chan asks. ‘Boyfriend’ feels strange on his lips, but Felix doesn’t, so Chan doesn’t dwell on it.
“Both are good,” Felix says. “Do you want to be my second kiss or what?” A playful smile curls his lips, and Chan can’t help mirroring it.
“I do,” Chan says. He shifts his weight to try and find a more comfortable position.
“Do you want to sit on the…uh.” Felix’s hand stops midway through gesturing to where the beds are.
“If you’re wanting to kiss, sure,” Chan says. “And I’d say we won’t do much else until we manage a date.”
“Okay,” Felix says, visibly relaxing. Chan stands, grateful for the strain leaving his calf muscles. He offers his hand to Felix, and he stands as well. They’ve held hands before, but this time Chan feels butterflies in his stomach.
They sit on the edge of Chan’s bed, a healthy distance between them and dumb smiles on their faces. Chan cups Felix’s chin, running a thumb over his cheek. Felix closes his eyes and presses into the touch. “All this time and I didn’t realize how you felt,” Chan says, mostly to himself. Felix shrugs.
“I tried not to be obvious,” Felix says. Chan’s thumb moves with Felix’s cheeks as he talks. “I didn’t think you were gay.”
“Neither did I until just a moment ago.”
“A moment ago?”
“I think I’ve had a crush on you for a bit, but I just didn’t realize it.” Retrospectively, he does remember a strange feeling pulling on his stomach recently.
“Oh,” Felix says. “I’m glad you did realize.” Chan’s thumb traces close to the corner of Felix’s lips.
“Can I kiss you again?”
“I already said you could.” His eyes slide closed again, so Chan closes the space between them.
Felix gets his bearings quicker than last time. He moves more deliberately, and Chan fights the urge to pull him closer, to pull Felix into his lap. It’s too soon, and he’d hate to make Felix feel uncomfortable.
But, oh, the kiss is so sweet. Chan inhales through his mouth, and Felix makes a low noise at having his breath taken away. He finds Felix’s hand balled up on his knee and takes it within his own, interlocking their fingers. His hand fits so perfectly in Chan’s. Felix’s free hand tentatively comes to rest on Chan’s shoulder, and Chan encourages it by slipping his tongue against Felix’s lips.
Felix gasps into the kiss, stealing some air in return. His movement loses rhythm, and Chan has a mind to slide his tongue into Felix’s mouth. But that’s probably too much. He pulls away enough so that he can look Felix in the eye, his breath still ghosting across his sensitive lips.
“Shit,” Felix says, a smile tweaking at the corner of his mouth.
“Yeah. I really was missing out.” Chan laughs.
“I’m glad I could help,” Chan says. “I’ll try to make sure our first date is as good as our first kiss was, then.”
“I’m sure it will be amazing, since it’s with you,” Felix says softly, fidgeting with his fingers in his lap.
“Ay, you can’t be saying that mushy stuff already,” Chan says, but he can feel his cheeks getting hotter. Why hadn’t he thought of this before, dating with Felix?
“Am I supposed to wait until we manage to go on a date?” Felix asks.
“It’ll happen soon,” Chan assures. He flicks some bangs out of Felix’s eyes, and Felix smiles to himself. He looks so cute that Chan can’t help but to lean forward and kiss him on the forehead.
“Who’s being mushy now?” Felix mutters, despite the wide smile he wears.
“We both can be.”
They manage a date within the next few days. It felt only marginally different than their previous outings, though Chan relished in the added layer whenever Felix reached out for him or held onto his hand. They don’t get much alone time until quite a bit later, however.
Between that, they both act casually around the members. Felix still cuddles with the others every chance he gets, and Chan tries to seem engaged with his current projects instead of getting sidetracked with the trite beginnings of love songs. At least for now, they’d rather keep it to themselves in case it doesn’t blossom into anything more.
“So,” Felix says, closing the bedroom door behind him. Chan looks up from his laptop and smiles.
“So?” he says back. He’s already exited out of the window and set the laptop to sleep.
“There’s only Jeongin here right now, and he’s taking a nap,” Felix says. He steps closer, tentative in his stance. Chan puts the laptop under the bed.
“And?” Felix is about to say something, but he closes his mouth and shakes his head. He meets Chan, sitting next to him on the mattress, springs shifting under his weight. Felix leans across the space but hesitates. “You lookin’ for something?” Chan asks, letting fingers rake through Felix’s hair.
“Just you,” Felix says. There’s a strange tension of calmness and jitteriness in his bones. His eyes flick between making eye contact and avoiding it. He bites his lip and seems to worry over something.
“Is there something you want to say, or are you just hoping I’ll kiss you?” Chan asks, a teasing tone coloring his words. Felix breathes out a short laugh.
“Have you dated a lot of people?” Felix asks, the words rushing out quickly.
“Oh, uh, I’ve dated a few girls,” Chan says. “You?”
“Only in like, middle school, but that doesn’t count,” Felix says. He falls silent for a while.
“Does it bother you?” Chan asks without any judgement in his voice.
“You’re the one who asked if I was missing out by not having my first kiss,” Felix says. Chan grabs Felix’s hand and offers a light smile.
“Yeah, but I’m not gonna look down on you about this stuff,” Chan says. “You know, this feels like uncharted waters to me too. I haven’t been with a guy before.”
“You seriously never thought about dating guys before?” Felix asks.
“I don’t think I ever did,” Chan says. He rubs the pad of his thumb across Felix’s knuckles. “I just like you.” Felix laughs at him, but he presses closer, leaning against Chan’s side and resting his head on his shoulder. Their hands are still interlocked, resting together on Chan’s knee.
“I like you too,” Felix says under his breath.
“Glad we’re on the same page,” Chan says. “So, why do you like me?”
“What do you mean?” Felix asks.
“Like, why me?”
“Oh,” Felix says. “Because it’s you.”
“I don’t know, you were always like, there for me whenever I was having trouble.”
“Any good person would be helpful,” Chan says.
“Yeah, not the way that you were.” Chan glances down and sees a red dusting behind Felix’s freckles, hardly visible in the dim lighting. “It wasn’t just advice, it was a lot of, like, gaining confidence?”
“You can’t attribute your confidence to me,” Chan says.
“Not attributing, but it’s easier for me to be confident when I think of the encouragement you’ve given me before,” Felix says. “You’re always sweet and supportive. We always have the most fun conversations. And you’re really hot.”
“Ay, not that,” Chan says, but he’s smiling to himself.
“No seriously,” Felix says. An embarrassed laugh escapes his mouth. “Seeing you makes me feel all giddy or whatever.” He adjusts the position of their hands, sliding his fingers between Chan’s.
“You’re not so bad lookin’ yourself,” Chan says.
“Are you just saying that ‘cause you want a kiss?” Felix asks.
“Suddenly?” Chan asks with fake surprise. “I didn’t say anything of the sort. But if you’re offering…”
Felix laughs again and his cheeks darken. He tilts his chin up. Chan leans down enough for their lips to connect. It’s a lazy kiss, both of them moving slowly and barely holding contact. Felix pulls away after only a moment, sitting up off Chan’s side.
“Can I…?” Felix starts to say. His eyes flick up to Chan’s but quickly move away.
“You can ask,” Chan says. “Don’t be embarrassed.”
“I don’t know what I want to ask,” Felix says. “I just wanna…” He turns so he’s facing Chan a bit better and he reaches out a hand to touch Chan where his neck meets his shoulder. Chan’s shirt is loose, so Felix’s thumb grazes against bare skin, and Chan shivers. “Is this okay?”
His tone has gone softer, sounding like how the pad of his thumb feels, drawing small strokes against Chan’s skin. “Yeah, it is,” Chan says. He uncrosses his legs and sets them far enough apart that Felix could come closer if he wanted to. And Felix doesn’t hesitate to inch closer into the space, leaning forward on his knees toward the end. Chan can smell faint cologne, something sweet he can’t put his finger on. “Is this comfortable?” Chan asks, holding out a hand as if to grab Felix’s waist.
“Yeah,” Felix says, voice barely audible. He grabs Chan’s hand with his free one and guides it to rest on his waist. In doing so, he has to balance his weight on Chan’s shoulder, but Chan doesn’t mind. He just leans back, propping himself up with his free hand, so it’s more comfortable.
“You’re blushing again,” Chan teases. He holds Felix, hand fitted in the dip of his waist. It doesn’t have the same curve that a woman’s does, but there’s something exciting about the lean muscle and the sharp hip bone that can be felt under the thin fabric of his shirt.
Felix opens his mouth to retort, but then his eyes darken. Their faces are too close now for Chan’s eyes to not occasionally flit down to Felix’s mouth. “Channie Hyung,” Felix says, the breath coming out across Chan’s lips.
“Yes,” Chan says before Felix can ask the question.
So, Felix leans down enough for their lips to connect. The kiss is more frantic than before, and Chan gasps at how Felix presses deeply into it. Chan’s grip on his waist tightens, wanting to pull him closer. He doesn’t though, even as Felix moves forward, their chests almost touching now.
Felix’s tongue darts out between Chan’s lips for a second. The movement is unpracticed and awkward. Okay, Chan can deal with this. He slows the pace and opens his mouth, running his tongue across Felix’s upper lip when he hesitates. Come on, Chan thinks. Then Felix gets the message and pushes his tongue into Chan’s mouth.
It takes a bit for Felix to figure out what to do. Chan waits, trying to show some sort of encouragement where he can. He giggles at himself and Felix pulls away. “What?” Felix asks.
“Nothing,” Chan says, choking down more laughter. “You’re just…”
“Don’t be so unsure of yourself,” Chan says. “And I’m mostly laughing at myself, to be honest.” Felix rolls his eyes.
“I’m sorry I’m not—”
“No, no, don’t you dare,” Chan says. “Don’t be embarrassed about being inexperienced or whatever.” Felix covers his face with his hand.
“But it is embarrassing.”
“Just because you say ‘nah’ doesn’t make it not-embarrassing.”
“Would it be less embarrassing if we stop talking about it and go back to kissing?”
Felix is quiet for a moment before nodding his head. He leans forward again and presses tentatively into a kiss. Felix seems to find himself sooner than before, getting good enough that it makes Chan’s head spin. Chan wants to lean further back, gather up Felix in his arms and let his weight rest on him. But he holds back. It doesn’t matter how fast the pace of his heart is because Felix may want a slower pace. Chan would rather not rush it.
It’s easier to avoid being in a hurry when the current is so good. Chan recalls vague moments of Felix’s tongue folding into weird shapes so he could elicit confused laughter. It was funny then, but now the flexibility is maddening. Chan can’t even process what Felix’s tongue is doing anymore—all he knows is how good it feels against his own.
“You’re amazing,” Chan says when Felix pulls back. He rests his forehead against Chan’s.
“Seriously,” Chan says. “When you figure out what you’re doing, you’re really good. A lot better than before.”
“Honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing,” Felix says with an innocent smile. He’s moved forward enough that he can wrap his arms around the back of Chan’s neck. Chan tries not to let his breath catch every time a fingernail grazes against the skin of his neck by accident.
“Sure about that?” Chan asks and Felix hums in response. His thumb had slipped under the hem of Felix’s shirt at some point, so now he idly strokes it back and forth across the sliver of bare skin.
They sit in silence for a while, holding each other loosely. When muted external sounds drift into the silence, they pull apart. Jeongin must be awake, and they’d rather not have that conversation yet. There’s always a next time.