summary: (canon!fic) In which Kyungsoo has to deal with one-sided love for two years, but technically, he hasn't actually told Jongin yet.
warnings: highlight self beta'd, overuse of italics, copious amounts of angst & the word fuck
He doesn’t register he’s in love with Jongin until he collapses on the floor after their debut showcase and asks Kyungsoo to help him outside. His arms are so tense around his, his ribs protrude and press against Kyungsoo’s and he is leaner than he’s ever been before. He is sweating and he is shaking and he is so beautiful.
From then on Kyungsoo had always been a little nicer to Jongin, a little softer. Kyungsoo was Jongin’s favorite hyung and it was evident but that’s all it ever was. Jongin’s affection was purely platonic, Kyungsoo’s, anything but.
With twelve members, it was manageable, with six, borderline. Kyungsoo is not okay when he’s paired up with Jongin as a roommate. If anything was worse than Jongin’s charming looks, it’s his obliviousness—
The only person Kyungsoo ever tells is Junmyeon. He begs him to change rooms. If Jongin walks around in just his boxers or a towel Kyungsoo is going to crack. He is going to break into a million tiny pieces and doesn’t want to know what happens from there.
“It’s just a phase,” Junmyeon tries to reassure Kyungsoo. It sounds more like he’s reassuring himself.
It’s not ideal, Kyungsoo knows and if anyone, brings most of the consequences onto Junmyeon. But he was always understanding.
“I’ll put Sehun with Jongin. They’ll be happy,” he nods. It’s a crush, Kyungsoo thinks as he wobbles unsteadily out of the room. It’s just a crush, he thinks and he thinks and he tries so hard to push the thought into his head but he knows better.
When he goes back to his room to grab his things, Jongin’s eyes are cold. He’s put on some pants. Kyungsoo wants for him to put on a top.
“Why are you always with Suho.” Jongin is blunt, straightforward. He doesn’t even use Junmyeon’s real name, so he’s obviously angry. Kyungsoo hesitates, panicking that Jongin heard their conversation.
Albeit Jongin continues, not letting Kyungsoo get a word in. “You’re always talking with him, like you were just then. What do you even talk about?” He pauses, thinks. “Is he your best friend?”
Jongin may look like a chastised puppy, but Kyungsoo is relieved. He doesn’t know if he’s ready to tell Jongin yet, at least, not this early.
“I thought I was your best friend,” Jongin mutters quietly. Kyungsoo’s stomach shoots up to his throat.
“You are,” he croaks, “Junmyeon just had a few things on his mind,” he tries to sound convincing, swallows the bile and tells himself it’s just a crush.
“No one will ever be my best friend but you, Jongin,” Kyungsoo sometimes forgets that he’s only 18; clingy and naïve.
“Oh,” Jongin bites his lip and the next instant, he’s pressed up to Kyungsoo’s body, arms wrapped tightly around the latter. He cries against the elder’s chest that night. He’s young and he’s homesick but Kyungsoo is only a year older. Kyungsoo is young and stupid and love struck under his idiotic best friend’s tear stained gaze. Jongin misses something, he tells Kyungsoo. He doesn’t know what, but something.
Kyungsoo stays in the room with Jongin that night. (—and his jealousy.)
They say if you’re at the bottom, the only way to go is up but for Kyungsoo it only ever went downhill.
“I think I’ll ask her out, or something,” Jongin tells Kyungsoo about his high school friend, chewing his lip. His eyebrows are furrowed, deep in thought.
“I don’t know,” he stops and looks up at Kyungsoo as if he’s waiting for an answer, like usual.
The lump in Kyungsoo’s throat is weighing his shoulders down, constricting his breathing. “Do it,” he croaks, he wills. It seems like he’s trying to will himself.
Sometimes when Sehun or Baekhyun and Chanyeol watch porn, he’ll join in and try to convince himself he likes it. He tries hard. He’s trying too hard.
All he wants is honey skin, hooded lids and lean muscles. He closes his eyes during choreography practice and imagines it. Eventually though he has to move on, perform the next step, change positions with the other members, god this is wrong, this is all so wrong. He excuses himself to the bathroom.
Jongin might be gay. He probably isn’t.
Jongin sucks up to Luhan like he had never seen a pretty boy in his life. They’re visuals, Kyungsoo guesses and sticks with it. Sehun joins and makes it a golden trio. After all, debut was all about Sehun and Luhan, along with Jongin’s dancing and this is just the string of helpless fate pulling it all together.
Jongin comes to Kyungsoo saying he feels bad for shrugging Junmyeon off all the time, pushing him away. Then they’re inseparable for the next month and Jongin has a seriously weird fucking way of going about things. Kyungsoo still notices when Sehun, Luhan and Jongin take a while in the shower, though.
Jongin might be gay.
“You’ve been a little distant,” Wufan starts. EXO-M just got back to Korea after three months promotions in China and that’s how Wufan starts their first conversation. Sure, he was good at that advice kind of stuff, but Kyungsoo isn’t sure how he would take the (not so old) news.
Late at night he catches Junmyeon talking with him. Fuck, he thinks. Fucking fuck, he thinks, god, he hopes Junmyeon doesn’t say anything.
“It’s stopped,” Kyungsoo wheezes out the next morning. Junmyeon doesn’t even budge, let alone look confused.
“It’s stopped.” It’s a big fat lie and Junmyeon smiles gently like he knows exactly what Kyungsoo is really trying to talk about.
“I didn’t tell Wufan.” Junmyeon had always been good at these kind of things but Kyungsoo loathes the layer of sympathy in his voice.
It’s three months and then six have gone by. Kyungsoo doesn’t say anything.
On EXO’s one year anniversary Junmyeon finds him sitting by himself in the kitchen at 3 a.m. There’s a cup in his hand and—“I made some tea, if you want some.” Kyungsoo says. Junmyeon flinches from surprise.
“Yeah. Okay, yeah. Thanks.” Junmyeon replies. Kyungsoo sniffs in the corner. He has his back facing Junmyeon.
“I didn’t know you heard me,” Junmyeon clears his throat, “I didn’t think you’d be up at this time.” He sees Kyungsoo’s silhouette shake a little and then shrug.
“Couldn’t sleep.” The syllables are shivering. Short. Junmyeon notices things others don’t. It wouldn’t take a fool to figure it out anyway.
“Don’t tell me this…Jongin business is still going on.”
A weak laugh bursts its way out of Kyungsoo. It sounds like he’s sobbing. His voice is low, resonant. “Yeah.”
“Damnit—Kyungsoo—” Junmyeon keeps his tone gentle. “Why haven’t you said anything? Told anyone—told him.”
The shivers start. His grip on the lukewarm mug tightens. He slumps further down and shrugs. Maybe it was because he had always loved the smaller things and cried when he couldn’t deal with a big one. Kyungsoo and Jongin were always together like it was the easiest thing they could do. Kyungsoo’s on a god damn contract. Kyungsoo is always one step ahead and maybe he’s just fucking scared because he realized he’s actually three behind. He reminisces too much. Maybe he just wants everything to be the way it always has been.
Junmyeon doesn’t know what to say. “You must be going crazy,” He ends up on.
Kyungsoo probably is.
Jongin gets a little drunk one night. It’s Sehun’s birthday and the two always had a tendency to overact. Jongin is a stupid drunk, and a teasing one too. He goes around all the other members then to Kyungsoo and hesitates. Kyungsoo is so sick of this, so sick of this. It’s been a year, it’s Sehun’s birthday he’s supposed to be happy for god’s sake.
“Hey,” Jongin hiccups, “Kyungsoo-yah.” So sick and tired. “Shorty.”
“Don’t be such a dick,” Kyungsoo snaps. The silence that follows in excruciating. The other members figure there’s more to it. Jongin doesn’t. Kyungsoo mutters an apology to Sehun and leaves.
Later Jongin stands in the doorway of Kyungsoo’s room until he has to acknowledge him.
“Kyungsoo,” Jongin’s voice is still slurred but so damn tiny Kyungsoo can almost feel the shivers in it go up his spine.
“I’m sorry,” Kyungsoo looks Jongin straight in the eye and finds it a little harder than expected, “I mean it.”
Jongin looks a little better, but hardly relieved. Kyungsoo tries to think of a really good lie. “I’m just tired,” he explains. Good enough.
“I—“Jongin croaks. Tears spill around the corners of his eyes. “I’m sorry if I made you feel bad about your height.”
Kyungsoo laughs, a strangled one but nevertheless. He hugs Jongin and lets him cry on his chest because he knows that’s what Jongin wants. He knows Jongin isn’t saying what’s on his mind, at least not all of it. Albeit Jongin might feel better coming out of this, Kyungsoo knows he won’t. It’s a funny thing, that it’s been a year but he’s still right where he started.
This is a big thing, he already knows. This is a big ass thing that he doesn’t know how to deal with.
Jongin still smiles at him like he’s the light at the start of a tunnel, though. Kyungsoo doesn’t know if he’ll be at the end, but he’s content with the start for right now.
So he goes on as normal, doesn’t tell Jongin a thing. He had always been a sucker for wanting things to go on as they always did per se. He still was.
And Kyungsoo can’t not say he’s happy with the special attention Jongin reserves for him.
Jongin had always cared for Kyungsoo a little more than necessary.
And it never went on from there. That’s all it ever was; care. Kyungsoo grows to hate the word. Because EXO have been together a while now and Jongin starts to gets comfortable. He reserves time to go dance with Yixing or Sehun and go shopping with Tao and tells Kyungsoo that Luhan is helping him with Chinese and makes a big deal of leaning on Chanyeol for five hours at a concert rehearsal.
Kyungsoo isn’t jealous, he’s just tired. But the hate and anxiousness grows and won’t stop and Kyungsoo finds he can’t sleep at night.
Jongin sells himself on stage. In both good ways and bad and Kyungsoo thinks that’s one of his worst traits.
Kyungsoo has always told himself that he’s not jealous but the way Jongin treats the audience makes his insides coil and turn over on themselves. It’s just fan service, he tells himself, but so was the reason Jongin held his hand throughout the whole award ceremony two nights ago and Kyungsoo can’t bear to think of why. Jongin cheekily snakes his arms around Kyungsoo’s waist during a pre-recording and Kyungsoo has to push away harshly and walk away, ignoring the hurt look on his friend's face.
That night Kyungsoo hides in his covers and cries like the big, stupid baby he’s been this whole time, wondering why he did that and how confused Jongin looked. For the first time he wishes—he begs to thin air that Jongin might wake up the next morning and feel exactly how Kyungsoo feels, although he knows that won’t ever happen. If Kyungsoo strips everything bare to square one the only person to blame is himself, after all.
“Kyungsoo,” Jongin calls out the morning after. Kyungsoo pretends he doesn’t hear him.
“Soo,” Jongin urges gently. And when Jongin calls him that Kyungsoo can’t do anything but be the love-struck idiot he’s always been and turn around to face the younger boy.
Jongin looks hesitant. “Are you angry at me? When he doesn’t get a reply in .5 of a second, he goes on. “It’s just that last night—I mean, did I do something or—“
Kyungsoo can’t help but laugh. Despite everything, Jongin had always been cute—a trait neither could let go off. Jongin looks a little dumbfounded, but nevertheless, smiles back.
“I’m not angry.” Kyungsoo isn’t lying. He’s not necessarily telling the truth either but Jongin looks so glad and relieved that Kyungsoo can’t help himself. He would spend a lifetime and more looking at Jongin the way he looks now.
“Good,” Jongin breathes out and swings an arm over Kyungsoo’s shoulder, also bringing him closer. It’s not a surprising gesture because Jongin had always done it, yet it’s not intimate either.
“Later Chanyeol’s going out with Kris and I was thinking we could watch a movie like old times…unless I’ve completely lost my best friend,” Jongin chuckles. His smile is so unbreakable that it blinds Kyungsoo and when he comes back to his senses he freezes. Kyungsoo thought he always wanted things to be how they usually were but he can’t do this—this, pretending.
He thought Jongin was dumb but it’s him that is so, so stupid. This is more blatantly obvious than it could get. Nothing is going the way he hopes it might have. Everything is wrong and Kyungsoo tries so damn hard to smile back.
This is not going to work out.
After that, he tries to stay with Junmyeon and then he moves to Xiumin. In the end he decides it’s best to wait, that if he gives it time, it would go away. They dye Jongin’s hair blonde and Kyungsoo waits until his black roots have grown over. Then it outgrows velvet and Kyungsoo is still waiting, sobbing into his tensed fists to conceal the sound. He cries so hard he throws up all over the floor and it’s Jongin that flashes into his mind, his smile, his body, his hands. This is love, if he never felt it again and all that it’s left him with is a dirty rag he uses to clean up the mess before walking outside and resuming their photo shoot.
Incidentally, Kyungsoo tells Jongin that evening.
It starts off like it usually does.
“Kyungsoo,” Jongin says, but this time he’s almost growling. Kyungsoo doesn’t blame him because he keeps telling Jongin he’s not avoiding him and doing the exact opposite.
Kyungsoo adjusts the microphone on his cheek while he walks forward out of Jongin’s reach.
“Kyungsoo, what the hell—“
“Not when we’re about to perform Jongin,” Kyungsoo snaps. Jongin looks stunned for a second, then his jaw clenches and he storms off. Needless to say, it's neither the two's greatest performance.
Jongin doesn’t forget Kyungsoo’s words of course, and as soon as they’re back in the dorm, he waits until they’re alone and corners him.
“What are you doing Jongin?” Kyungsoo sighs. Jongin almost forgets his reason because Kyungsoo sounds so unbelievably tired.
“Why are you avoiding me?” Jongin doesn’t even ask, nicely, for that matter. He practically demands and Kyungsoo half-laughs.
Jongin’s voice is outraged. “Why are you laughing? Stop acting, it’s not a joke Kyungs—“ And this time Kyungsoo does laugh.
“You don’t know the half of it Jongin—“
“Well why don’t you tell me instead of taking out your problems on me,” Jongin’s yelling now. This is out of hand but it makes Kyungsoo boil inside. The hate is growing. It’s growing, growing, growing.
“My problems? God Jongin I—“ He stops, because he doesn’t want to seem like he’s tripping over his words. He keeps his voice low, but can’t help the hiss in his tone. “Jongin I—I like you for god’s sake, I love you Jongin and I don’t know what the hell to do because I’m not daft enough to think you love me back.” It doesn’t work. By the last syllables he’s beyond hysterical.
Jongin doesn’t answer for a very long time. Kyungsoo can’t look at him, can’t bear to feel his gaze on him. He can’t cry in front of Jongin.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” He says, after all. All signs of the past Jongin is gone. His face is drained from color, words laced with worry. He even has the audacity to look guilty.
Kyungsoo hates himself for it. “Why would I?” And god, it’s not even a question, his own voice sounds more desperate than it’s ever been. This is your fault, he wants to scream into Jongin’s face. This is his own fucking fault. If he were Jongin right now he bets he looks awful, face worn out and tear stained, so tired, so tired, god so tired.
He wants an answer but doesn’t get one, of course. Jongin freezes so he walks away. He goes back to bed, punches his pillow, cries into it, screams into it and then lies down after as calm as he can and waits for a dream. One, which hopefully doesn’t include Jongin.
He still has to get up the next morning, though. There’s always new songs to learn, choreography to practice. Jongin is still there like always. He’s not leaving anytime soon obviously. Things have to go on like normal.
Jongin sells himself on stage. He always had and like the rest, Kyungsoo had gotten used to it and ignored it. He can’t today though, especially when Jongin pushes up against a girl and smirks because a week ago Kyungsoo told him everything and he’s still not okay, god he feels like a fucking masochist, this is not okay, it’s just for the dance though, Jongin hasn’t talked to him since, this is not how it’s supposed to be, so fucking tired.
Something inside of him clicks wrongly and it doesn’t go back.
Jongin’s still smirking, the aftermath of the performance not quite hitting home yet. Kyungsoo can’t stand it, wants to tear his head off, wants to rip Jongin’s stupid cap off and yell at him that’s he’s a stupid obnoxious wanker.
He almost does. Instead, he pushes Jongin roughly into a vacant room. There’s no one but them and Jongin stares at Kyungsoo like he’s extraterrestrial.
"What the—" Jongin starts and—
“—Fuck you,” Kyungsoo finishes and grits, with all the pain he can muster. It’s then, in the split seconds that Kyungsoo watches Jongin come back and look confused and frightened and unbearably sorry. But then Kyungsoo grips his hand around the back of his neck, pulls him in harshly and kisses him.
The kiss is not pretty. Jongin groans out, almost chokes. Kyungsoo feels the flesh on his lip tear and salt water dripping in between lips. Jongin hands are stuck in the middle of trying to push Kyungsoo away and frozen, shivering manically. Their teeth bump and Jongin tastes of blood, Kyungsoo stills from realization until Jongin gasps into his mouth then pulls back to breathe.
"Kyungsoo," Jongin rasps and tries to get his breath back. "What the fuck—what was that, Kyungsoo," he’s almost sobbing.
Kyungsoo wants to gather the whole of him in and calm him down but he clicks again and his eyes harden.
"You did this—you did everything after I told you. You caused this," Kyungsoo is hysterical. They’re still so close it drives him crazy. Each other’s lips only centimetres apart.
And Jongin stops and his eyes slightly widen because he remembers, oh fuck, oh shit, he remembers.
So close Kyungsoo could kiss him again.
So he does. It’s still Kyungsoo forcing it but this time Jongin isn’t as shocked. He even kisses back god damnit and it turns Kyungsoo on so much that he has to stop and step back several paces.
Jongin is completely hard, face red and flustered. He opens his mouth, stutters, then closes it again.
"Hyung," he starts, croaking out with a dry voice. "You know that I care—"
Kyungsoo punches him in the face. Hard. The sound seems to reverberate from the walls to inside Kyungsoo’s body, Jongin doesn’t shout out, he doesn’t even say anything, just clutches his left cheek tightly. His mouth is slightly agape covered with spit and the tent in his pants is so, so obvious Kyungsoo wants to scream. Maybe he understands now, what it feels like to be in Kyungsoo’s place. Maybe he feels bad now, maybe he does.
"Kyungsoo," Jongin whispers, hand coming down from his cheek and forming into a softly clenched first. He sounds nervous, he probably is. He swallows hardly, choosing his words. Maybe he understands.
"If you want, then I can tr—" And Kyungsoo punches him again. Jongin doesn’t stay quiet this time. He shouts out, cursing harshly. "Kyungsoo what’s the matter with you—what the hell am I doing?" He wails out in pain after, falling back against the wall. He’s crying now. Kyungsoo may have overdid that last punch. His knuckles are bleeding.
Kyungsoo doesn’t realize he’s crying too until Junmyeon barges in the room, raging. He yells at them for a long time and loudly too. Louder than he’s ever been. So loudly Kyungsoo thinks the people outside on the street can probably hear. He doesn’t really listen anyway.
"You two better work your shit out," Junmyeon leaves it at that, the syllables still tingling cold on his tongue.
Jongin walks out after Junmyeon. “I’m sorry,” he murmurs quietly and then, he’s gone and the door is closed.
It makes Kyungsoo beyond furious. He is so damn angry that Jongin still thinks that this is simple and everything is easy, things can be fixed with a smile and a hug and he’ll say he’s sorry and everything will be fine. Jongin cares for Kyungsoo but he does not love him. Kyungsoo wants to hit him over and over until Jongin pushes him against a wall, pulls his hair and kisses him like he had been waiting for that chance for two years. Jongin will never kiss Kyungsoo the way he wants Jongin to kiss him. Kyungsoo doesn’t know whether to hate himself or Jongin more
Kyungsoo would be lying if he said everyone had no idea about what happened.
Wu Fan explains that Junmyeon’s too tired to deal with it right now and—“I think you should go talk to Jongin.”
Kyungsoo doesn’t reply, his face rock hard. Wu Fan sighs and puts his hand on Kyungsoo’s shoulder. Kyungsoo thinks he’s going to go back to day one, you’ve been a little distant.
“I know everything’s crazy right now, but Jongin hasn’t been out of his room for five days. He’s never seen you that angry—no one’s ever seen you that angry Kyungsoo.” Wu Fan breathes out, keeps his voice reassuring.
“It’s not a bad thing, I don’t blame you. I just…think you should go talk to Jongin.” And Kyungsoo agrees because when it comes to Jongin, that’s all he could ever do.
Jongin’s facing the wall when Kyungsoo walks in. Kyungsoo knows he notices him though, because his shoulder jolts up a little. He doesn’t know whether to sit down next to him, or hug him. In the end, he stays standing at the door.
“I’m sorry. The whole thing was out of line, I don’t really know what I was thinking,” He pauses. Stops. “I’m sorry Jongin—“
“You scared the shit out of me hyung.” Jongin whispers.
Kyungsoo wants to be swallowed by the ground. He wants to strangle himself on the bed sheets. Jongin doesn’t talk for a long while after, Kyungsoo thinks he’s choosing his words like the other night and remembers everything all over again. He doesn’t want to be a coward but he can’t take the silence. The embarrassment. He’s about to give up, walk out, stop everything, try to forget when—
—“b-but you were so hot, fuck,” Jongin groans into his hands, burying his face from Kyungsoo’s sight.
“You made me the hardest I’ve ever been,” Jongin’s voice is muffled, ashamed. He’s bright red at the tip of his ears. “I was so embarrassed Kyungsoo, you have no idea.” He half-laughs, but it’s not a happy one.
“I don’t know what to do.” Jongin says after a while.
Kyungsoo looks at him all pressed into himself. Knees to chest, head in hands, hiding. Kyungsoo realizes, neither does he.
Sometimes it would be nice not to be in a boy band, Kyungsoo admits. To have a break when he really needs it. Albeit, like always, there is always things to get on with, life to get on with. The days have to go on and Kyungsoo waits for the nights when he might find some peace.
Kyungsoo is almost asleep when something big clambers through the sheets to his side—
—and presses a wet, sloppy kiss square on his mouth. His eyes shoot open and it’s Jongin. Jongin biting his lip, a cautious look on his face. He looks like he’s even surprised himself. “You have to let me try hyung,” he blurts out.
Kyungsoo sighs. He’s too worn to get angry now. “Jongin, I can’t—“ Jongin kisses him again. This time at a better angle, for longer, harder. Kyungsoo knows it’s to shut him up yet he can’t help but give in.
“You have to let me try,” Jongin murmurs against his lips. The road is beyond rough but Jongin kisses him with all the gentleness he can muster and softens it out a little bit more. It’s probably going to be okay from here. Maybe Jongin cared more than necessary, because he really did.
Jongin shuffles and lies down, his arm fitted over Kyungsoo’s waist. He’s not giving Kyungsoo a choice, but it’s probably better that way. Kyungsoo thinks he’s going to start crying but he never does. He’s too tired and he’s comfortable this way, pressed against Jongin. The boy is almost sound asleep, letting his scent and his touch waft into Kyungsoo’s senses again. Kyungsoo is a little scared, but he is so, so content and maybe that’s the best way to be.
1. title and inspiration taken from the song Love which is in the little music tab thingy. i recommend you listen to it and the lyrics as a) it's so sad u_u but b) it is an awesome song!!!
2. kyungsoo is not crazy, kyungsoo is not a masochist. kyungsoo just has some wild feelings in him that have been encased for two years lol
3. i always have thought people don't dwell enough on the fact that jongin is really only three months older than sehun, and younger than tao and idk i think people expect him to be very grown up and charismatic and rlly in charge of things and to know what he's doing and then!!! the fact!! that kyungsoo is the same age as tao!!! i mean tao is the m-maknae!! kyungsoo is very young too and still needs to be treated like it and looked after!! but that's just me personally~~ thank you for reading! :D
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