«“So pretty. I'd totally date you”»
It had been days since he heard those words and Bomin couldn't get them out of his head. He knew it was probably a spur of the moment thing, that Jangjun probably didn't mean it, especially because he said that right in front of a bunch of cameras. But it seemed that his mind and his heart were working together to make him miserable.
«“So pretty. I'd totally date you”»
Because what if? What if Jangjun meant it? He tried to stop thinking about it and focused on preparing for their upcoming concert. Feelings were confusing and he had no time to dwell on that.
Months later and nothing fucking changed.
They won their first ever music show, they did their concert, they released the repackaged album and prepared for Road to Kingdom which... didn't go as well as they hoped. They had been eliminated only a couple of weeks before and were already focusing on their upcoming release, but there was sadness lingering in all of their hearts.
Joochan still blamed himself, even if not out loud, because everybody had been quite vocal about the fact that it wasn't his fault at all. His hyung had clearly kept his opinion to himself, but Jangjun had noticed and had started to stick with him as often as possible, making Joochan smile a bit more day after day.
And Bomin understood.
Joochan still felt remorse about his injury and the group hiatus during 2019, it was clear that Jangjun was trying to cheer him up and make him change his mind about his supposed fault.
However, just because he understood, it didn't mean that Bomin was pleased.
Because he wasn't.
Everyday he would catch a moment that did nothing to quell his irritation: Joochan and Jangjun hugging; sitting side by side and giggling about something only they knew; resting on the couch, with Joochan's head leaning on Jangjun's shoulder or on his lap, and so on...
And Bomin tried so hard to squash the feeling of jealousy that was eating him inside every single time, telling himself he had no right to feel that: he wasn't dating Jangjun, he had no claim on the older.
But the heart knows no reason.
And Bomin couldn't help but wonder if Jangjun ever meant his words.
«“So pretty. I'd totally date you”»
Bomin was going to scream.
Maybe break a few things.
Because of course things weren't going to get easier or better.
Now he didn't have to worry only about Joochan possibly 'stealing' Jangjun from him.
Oh no .
Now there was also Daeyeol in the mix. If he had to hear Jangjun say one more time that, if he was a girl, he would date their leader, Bomin was going to punch something (or someone).
And if that wasn't enough, Jangjun had started to spend quite a bit of his free and working time with Jibeom . He didn't even want to think about the mess that was that relationship.
Bomin was living in a state of constant irritation.
And he had enough.
It was two weeks before his birthday and he was in one of the smaller practice rooms. His schedule had been full for a while, because not only he was still recording for his drama, but they were also preparing for their upcoming concert and the new album. Because of this, he didn't really have much time for alone practice and had to squeeze it in whenever he could.
It was 1am and he should probably go back to the dorm and get some sleep, but he wanted to go over the choreography for their upcoming songs once again, not completely satisfied with his performance.
Bomin managed to remain focused, even when he noticed Jangjun slipping quietly inside the room. His hyung said nothing, merely leaning against the wall in the back and watching his movements. It was only when the song came to an end that Jangjun moved towards the computer, so it wouldn't start playing it all over again.
Bomin was breathing heavily and had started to feel tiredness creep inside his bones. He moved towards his bag and quickly finished his water bottle before grabbing a towel and trying to dry himself as much as he could. He was admittedly a bit surprised that Jangjun still had not said a word: he looked at the other's reflection from the mirror and saw his hyung resuming his previous position, just looking at him.
“What are you doing here, hyung?” he finally asked, unable to bear the silence for a moment longer.
“Just finished a schedule and had to stop by to leave something at the office” Jangjun replied.
“You look tired. You should go home.”
“You too. Let's go back together.”
Bomin couldn't help but smile and nod. It was the first time in a while that he would get to spend more than a few minutes alone with the other. He quickly finished packing his bag while his hyung fixed the room before they left.
“Maybe we should get a taxi” Jangjun said once they stepped outside.
“I don't mind if we take a walk” Bomin swiftly replied. It would take longer to get back to the dorm and they were both obviously tired, but he desperately wanted to be alone with Jangjun for a while longer.
His hyung turned to look at him before nodding and smiling.
“Sure. Let's go” he said, wrapping his arm around Bomin's shoulder and starting to walk home.
Neither of them said a word for a while. Bomin was simply content to have his hyung so close to him.
“Bomin-ah” Jangjun said after a while.
“Can I ask you something?”
“Sure...” he replied, confused by the strange tone of his hyung's voice.
“... Hyung, what‒”
“Have you been avoiding me lately?”
The question was so unexpected that it stopped Bomin on his tracks, forcing Jangjun, who still had an arm around his shoulders, to halt as well.
“What?” he asked with a strangled voice.
Jangjun turned to look at him and it was in that moment that Bomin noticed his hyung looked kind of sad and conflicted. ' Oh no .'
“I have the feeling you are angry at me and have been avoiding me lately.”
“I'm wrong, right? Clearly I'm mistaken... right?”
“Yeah! What... What reason would I have to avoid you?”
Jangjun said nothing for a while before he sighed and removed his arm from around Bomin's shoulder, taking a step back from him. Bomin felt a shiver spreading all over his body and something heavy settling over his heart.
“Please, don't lie to me” he said, sounding sad.
“I'm not...” Bomin couldn't continue to deny, not when Jangjun seemed to know the truth and tried to move further away from him.
“I'm not angry... Okay, maybe I am a bit” he quickly corrected himself at his hyung's piercing look. “I'm mostly... confused and annoyed.”
“Oh... What did I do?” Jangjun asked and his earnest gaze and pleading eyes stirred something inside his chest.
“It's not something you did... Okay, yeah, there was something, but...” he sighed, frustrated at his sudden inability to express himself. “It's just miscommunication and me being an idiot, expecting something that obviously is not meant to happen.”
“Bomin, what...?” Jangjun asked, clearly confused.
“I want... I want something... And I can't have it” he replied. “And lately I realized that I have been wanting this for a long time, and when you said that, it just made me think... And hope... And I shouldn't because... Because I know it's not the same for you...”
They stood silent for a while, Jangjun trying to understand what he meant while Bomin was worried but also kind of relieved they were finally talking about it.
“Bomin, I... I know I'm an idiot, but I really don't understand...” Jangjun said, clearly distressed. “Tell me, please...”
“It's...” Bomin sighed even if he was also starting to feel embarassed. “You're gonna think it's stupid and‒”
“It's obviously not, if it made you feel like that” Jangjun interrupted him.
Bomin looked silently at his hyung for a while before taking a deep breath.
“Remember last year, when we did that electrifying interview?”
“Huh... Yeah, for TongTong, right?” Jangjun asked, confused by the sudden question.
“You said something... And you were joking, of course, but your words got stuck in my head and... And I can't help what I feel...”
“Sorry, but I don't remember saying something bad about you” Jangjun said, after he tried to recall what they had been talking about.
“I never said it was bad...”
“You said...” 'Come on, just say it already... Maybe you'll be able to move on once it's all out in the open.' “You said that I was pretty and you would totally date me...”
There was silence for a while. Bomin couldn't look at the other in the eyes, mentally preparing himself for the laugh that surely would come from his hyung.
“Yeah, I remember” Jangjun replied, the tone of his voice so soft that Bomin couldn't help but snap his head up and look at him: Jangjun still seemed a bit confused, but there was no trace of laughter in his expression. 'But he doesn't sound angry or disgusted either... So...?'
“Did I make you uncomfortable when I said that? Because I think you would have said something before...” Jangjun said “Or maybe I didn't notice...”
“No!” Bomin quickly replied, stepping close to his hyung. “It didn't make me uncomfortable! It was... Totally the opposite...”
Jangjun blinked a few times and frowned.
“You were joking, but I actually want your words to mean something” Bomin said, partially confessing his feelings for the other.
“... Who said I was joking?”
Bomin stared at Jangjun but his hyung looked completely serious. He couldn't help but gape.
"Bomin-ah” Jangjun moved closer, standing right in front of him. “Who said I was joking?”
Bomin couldn't believe his hyung had just said something like that, because that would mean...
“Hyung, you... Please, please, don't joke about this...” he pleaded even if he felt hope starting to blossom in his heart all over again.
“Have I not told you before how good looking I think you are?” Jangjun asked, placing his hands over the younger's shoulders, gazing at him with eyes full of adoration that Bomin could just stand there completely transfixed.
“Yeah...” he replied, trying to calm his heart.
“And have I not said before that you would be perfect boyfriend material?” Jangjun continued, moving even closer to the point there was barely any space between their bodies. Bomin quickly placed his hands over his hyung's hips to ground himself.
“Yeah... But... But what about Joochan??”
“Joochan?” Jangjun asked confused. “What about him?”
“You guys are really close. Like really close. For a while wherever you were, he was there as well. And the opposite is true too!”
“Joochan needed support” Jangjun patiently explained. “And our personalities match, it's easier for me to help him and cheer him up because I know what people like us need during rough times.”
“And... And Daeyeol!” Bomin continued, even if he was finally letting go of all the bad emotions he felt during the past few months. “You always say you would date him!”
“Because he is a safe choice” Jangjun replied, smiling tenderly at him. “In our jobs, we need to be careful about talks regarding favorite types and so on. I care about Daeyeol, but I don't love him like that. It's the same for him. So it's easy to pick each other, because we know nothing will ever happen and it's safe.”
“Oh...” he leaned down, resting his forehead against the other. Considering what his hyung had just said, maybe they shouldn't be so affectionate in public, but this was too important. “And Jibeom?”
“What does he have to do with anything?” Jangjun asked obviously surprised.
“The two of you have this... Give and take relationship... It looks a lot like flirting, you know...”
Jangjun laughed: he couldn't help it, even if he cooed at Bomin when he pouted at him.
“Awww, don't be like that! The situation with Jibeom is like... The opposite of Joochan... We can't help but needle at each other because our personalities are... Complementary is a good word” Jangjun said, smiling widely. “We care about each other and we are both ready to cover each other's shortcomings, but more in a brotherly way than as lovers.”
They stayed still for a while, just looking at each other, and Bomin couldn't help but smile lovingly at Jangjun.
“I really like you, hyung” he finally admitted, feeling shy but happy.
“I like you too, Bominie” Jangjun said, smiling back at him and rubbing gently the tips of their noses together, making the both of them giggle.
“Can we date? I really, really want to be with you”
“I'd like that...”
When they resumed their walk back home, Bomin gently grabbed Jangjun's hand and he smiled when he felt his hyung squeezing it lightly.
He was happy they had finally resolved their situation in the best possible outcome.
Bomin knew they would have to talk about some things, but right then, walking towards their dorm with his hyung ( boyfriend ?) at his side, he felt only pure joy.
“If I give you a big, visible hickey on your neck, do you think it will be enough to keep the others away and not flirt with you?”
“Maybe I shoud just kiss you in front of everybody...”