Juyeon is Hyunjae's government assigned boyfriend.
That's what Kevin calls it anyway. "Like in Divergent or The Hunger Games."
"The government didn't assign boyfriends in those," Hyunjae points out. "One was about sorting you into-"
"Okay, okay, okay," Kevin says quickly. "But you understand the principle, right? Juyeon's your assigned fanservice boyfriend, just like Jacob hyung is mine."
"How is that fair?" Hyunjae says. He's aware that he's pouting but it's so unfair. "Did I even get a say about that? He's my actual boyfriend. Why do you get Jacob and I get Juyeon?"
"Hey!" say Juyeon, wounded, and Eric, defensively, at the same time.
"Not that there's anything wrong with Juyeon, he's an amazing government assigned boyfriend," Hyunjae says loudly, before Eric can punch him.
"Am I really, hyung?" Juyeon says, still looking the tiniest bit hurt.
"You're very sexy and hard working and I like it when you hold my hand," Hyunjae assures him glibly before returning to the key issue. "So how can I get reassigned to Jacob?"
"You can't," Kevin says with a shrug. When Hyunjae looks crestfallen he says, "but that's the fun of it, right? Forbidden love," he says, making jazz hands. "Sneaking around behind the backs of the authorities. Stealing an illegal, unsanctioned kiss," Kevin says dramatically, faking a swoon into Sangyeon's strong arms.
"Go to bed, everyone," Sangyeon says, hefting Kevin up into a princess carry and out the door.
But the idea lingers in Hyunjae's mind. Forbidden love...
Hyunjae gets it. Juyeon's been his reliable photoshoot partner since even before debut, the one he's supposed to nominate if asked which member he'd date if he were a girl. The fans have ship names for them and get excited if they touch in public. It's fine, except that he knows he could do better.
The next day, after dance practice, he grabs Jacob while everyone is still packing up and pulls him into a stairwell.
"What's this?" Jacob says, bemused but playing along.
"Shhh," Hyunjae says, looking over his shoulder with big eyes. "Anyone could hear us!"
"Sure they could," Jacob says reasonably.
"But we can't let the government know," Hyunjae whispers, cupping Jacob's face in his hands.
"I guess?" Jacob says.
"Let me steal this one kiss," Hyunjae says. He kisses Jacob.
"How was it?" Jacob says, laughing against his mouth. "Do stolen kisses taste sweeter?"
"Let me try again," Hyunjae says, kissing him once more, "just to be sure."
The next day he slips a coded message into Jacob's back pocket and then waits impatiently on the rooftop for the ten minutes it takes Jacob to find him up there.
"So you deciphered my code," Hyunjae says, with a brooding stare. "I didn't know if you'd be able to slip past the guards."
"Who did you get to help you come up with this?" Jacob says, waving the wrinkled slip of paper.
"Kevin," Hyunjae admits. "How did you go with decoding it?"
"Mirror writing?" Jacob says, raising his eyebrows. "Doesn't exactly take a genius to figure that out."
"I don't care if you're a genius," Hyunjae says soulfully.
"Is that an insult or a compliment?"
"Irrelevant. Just be mine," Hyunjae says, hitting 'play' on his bluetooth speakers and putting his arms around Jacob's neck. "We can escape the government together."
"Thought you'd never ask," Jacob says, his hands on Hyunjae's waist, forehead resting against Hyunjae's as they dance.
At his next schedule with Juyeon - a photoshoot where they touch each other somewhat aesthetically, somewhat erotically, followed by an interview that'll go up on YouTube later - Hyunjae decides the rebellion needs to go public.
"I'd date Hyunjae hyung," Juyeon says dutifully in response to the usual questions. "He's kind and he takes good care of me, so I think he'd be a great boyfriend."
"I'd date Jacob," Hyunjae says before the interviewer can even ask. "He's an actual angel and he's good-looking and he's an amazing kisser."
"Cut," the director says.
"What?" Hyunjae says, grinning innocently even as he sees their manager facepalming and Juyeon looking embarrassed on his behalf.
They reshoot the segment, and Hyunjae defiantly says Jacob again when they ask him the boyfriend question. He just doesn't mention that Jacob's a good kisser this time, and that seems to be enough to let him get away with it.
"Plausible deniability, Jaehyun-ssi," his manager says tiredly on the way home. "Please maintain at least the illusion of romantic availability!"
"Spoken like a true minion of a dystopian regime," Hyunjae mutters.
"What was that?"
"Heard you loud and clear!" Hyunjae says.
"If only you'd been born a Hunger Game, or I'd been born a Divergent," Hyunjae whispers that night, cuddled in Jacob's arms that night. "Then we could be together, instead of being shunned for our forbidden love."
"It doesn't matter," Jacob says, kissing his ear. "You know I'd love you even if you were, like, a Twilight vampire or something."
"Does that make you the werewolf guy and me the vampire?" Hyunjae wonders aloud as Jacob keeps kissing down his neck.
"I don't know, ask Chanhee or Sangyeon hyung."
"Wait, does that mean I'm Bella? Oh no, I'm Bella and Juyeon is -"
"Stop talking, Hyunjae," Jacob says, taking off his shirt.
He stops talking.
The thing is that Hyunjae's only kind of joking. He likes Juyeon a lot, and doesn't mind at all that they get constantly paired for photoshoots or that people think they look pretty together. But he loves Jacob. And he can't ever say it where people might hear.
Jacob gets it. That's one of the many reasons he's Hyunjae's perfect match, no matter what the company or the public says. He understands why it's bothering Hyunjae, just a little, despite all the jokes and the silliness.
In their next interview, no one is the least bit surprised when Hyunjae nominates Jacob as the member he'd take if he had to escape the earth in an apocalypse.
But Hyunjae is surprised when Jacob grabs his hand after the interview is over and hustles him away to a different car from the others. "Where are we going?" he says, bemused.
"Didn't you say you'd pick me in the apocalypse?" Jacob says.
"Of course I would!" Hyunjae says indignantly. "Who else would I pick?"
"Good," Jacob says, squeezing his hand, "because we're fleeing the planet, right now." And then he refuses to tell Hyunjae anything more about where they're going.
"Is this a date?" Hyunjae says with delight when they arrive at the fairground. "Are we on a surprise date?"
"The year is 3000 AD and the earth is dying," Jacob says, pulling him into the queue for the ferris wheel, both their face masks on high and their beanies pulled low. "And you and I are the last people left alive, about to take off in a rocket and live forever in the stars."
"Next in line, please," says the attendant, waving them through the gate.
They get into the little cabin, just big enough for two, and take the ferris wheel all the way to the top. There they hang suspended, looking out over the city and into the sky - as close to the stars as they can get, for now.
Jacob takes a selfie of them together, side by side, and posts it to twitter with the caption with ma man and a little heart emoji. "You're not my government assigned boyfriend," Jacob says, "but you're always gonna be my man."
"Jacob," Hyunjae says, and he never cries, never, but maybe he's getting a little misty right now.
"Kiss me, you fool, before the government catches us," Jacob says urgently, putting his arms around Hyunjae's neck. "For the rebellion!"
"For the rebellion," Hyunjae says, and bravely kisses his not-government assigned, very perfect boyfriend all the way back down to earth.