Rating: PG-13 for now
Word count: 3,814
Pairing: Onew/Minho, Joon/Onew, Taemin/Kibum
Summary:Jinki loves working in this cafe, until a particular person begins to frequent it, and the person that Jinki tried so hard to get over. University!AU. I suck at summaries ;_;
Warnings: long neverending fic XD (around 75k).
Notes: This was my nanowrimo fic back in 2010!
Dedications: written entirely for Daniela no matter what she thinks.
Previous parts: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve,
Taemin looked up at Minho carefully, blinking as he saw how bleak his expression, he reached out and patted him on the arm lightly. He felt terrible because his plan had failed completely, but seeing Minho’s depressed expression, told him that Minho definitely liked Jinki. It was just Jinki he had no idea about. He patted Minho’s arm again, wondering what had happened between them, they had seemed okay before the movie.
“Minho-hyung, what exactly happened?” Taemin asked as he watched Kibum and Jinki disappear into the crowds, “Jinki-hyung seemed upset or angry,” Taemin pouted when he realised that Minho was ignoring him and he tugged on his sleeve lightly. “Hyung, I’m sorry for this whole thing, I thought he liked you.”
“What,” That got Minho’s attention, finally he turned to face Taemin, “so you did try to set us up? Sneaky Taemin, why would you do that? Jinki-hyung used to hate me for some goddamn reason.” Minho sighed, “So I doubt he likes me now.” Minho shrugged his shoulders, “He said he never did, but he was lying.”
“Hang on, he hated you?” Taemin bit down into his lip, “I can’t imagine hyung hating anyone!” Taemin vehemently shook his head, “Are you certain about that? It wasn’t just a misunderstanding?” Taemin was struggling to get his head around the idea of Jinki hating anyone, especially Minho.
“I heard Kibum-ssi say it.” Minho muttered coldly, “I heard him say the words, no misunderstanding. He said to Jinki-hyung, ‘Yeah well you hate Choi Minho as much as you hate tofu.’ What was there for me to misunderstand?” Minho sighed, “The worst part about it is that that comment made me notice Jinki even more, made me like him.” He shook his head slowly, scuffing his shoe against the ground roughly.
“Hm, I think maybe you misunderstood something,” Taemin frowned, “I mean if you eavesdropped, you might have heard wrong or something.” He shrugged smiling warmly up at Minho, “Don’t give up, even if he did hate you before, you know there is a very fine line between hate and love.” He grinned, “so don’t despair.”
“Hm, maybe he’s not gay, maybe he freaked out because of that?” Minho mused aloud, “And he found out I was gay so he hated me? I mean I pretty much told him I liked him but he freaked out and ran right away, I mean what else am I meant to think?” Minho frowned, glaring down at the ground as if it was the cause of his upset and bad mood.
“I don’t know,” Taemin frowned, “But I will find out.” He vowed, pulling out his phone to text someone.
Kibum smiled as he glanced up at the orange and brown leaves, the trees were slowly changing colour. Kibum always thought that autumn was the prettiest season, with the flame red and bright orange leaves, the colours always made him feel inspired and happy. He sipped his hot chocolate, wondering how long Taemin was going to be, he didn’t want his hot chocolate to get cold.
It was a cool day so Kibum was wrapped up warmly, sitting on the hard wooden bench while he waited for the other boy. He looked up and smiled when he saw him coming towards him grinning from ear to ear. Kibum got up, feeling awkward as he held the drink out, but the way Taemin’s eyes lit up he didn’t feel awkward anymore.
“Hey, I’m really sorry about yesterday.” Kibum apologised as Taemin sat next to him, shyly snuggling into his side. Kibum wrapped his arm around Taemin’s thin shoulders, “I haven’t got the full story out of Jinki yet, but I will.” He frowned, “I didn’t even get to say goodbye yesterday.”
“It’s okay hyung,” Taemin smiled as he pressed his face to Kibum’s chest, “Jinki-hyung looked upset, can I ask you something about him?”
“Of course,” Kibum patted Taemin’s side lightly, “What did you want to ask?”
“Does Jinki-hyung hate tofu, or did he used to hate it?” Taemin knew it was a weird question but he was determined to get the bottom of this. He was sure Jinki liked Minho, he thought Kibum had subtly hinted it but he was not entirely sure. Today there was going to be no beating around the bush, he was going to be blunt if necessary because he hated seeing Minho suffering.
“Tofu,” Kibum turned to look at Taemin in surprise, “Random question, but Jinki adores tofu, he loves it almost as much as he loves chicken. We would eat it quite often if he had his way.” Kibum rolled his eyes, “Why do you ask about that?”
“Oh,” Taemin nodded his head, “So he’s always loved it?”
“Yes, always, why Taeminnie,” Kibum looked down at Taemin, wondering why he was asking about tofu.
“No reason,” Taemin flashed Kibum a cheeky grin, “And is it rude of me to ask, but does he have a crush on anyone?”
“Oh,” Kibum blinked his eyes seriously, “Oh I see, this is about Minho isn’t it? Either I’m going crazy or he likes Jinki-hyung, and hyung said something about Minho saying it was a set up? Is that true?” Kibum asked with a frown.
“Is it? You just asked me to come and to bring Jinki-hyung too.” Kibum sighed, “I guess it was, but I didn’t know you viewed it that way.”
“Yeah I did,” Taemin bit down into his lip, “I suspect they like each other, but I wasn’t sure.” He sighed, “I wondered what happened, I’m dying to now.” He pouted, “But Minho refused to tell me.”
“I don’t really know either, well Jinki does like Minho,” Kibum finally admitted, “but sometimes I worry he’s more in love with the idea of being in love. But I don’t really know.”
“Ehh, why would you say that?” Taemin asked pulling back from Kibum’s chest, leaving a cold spot on his torso.
“I mean why, if he likes Minho he likes him, simple.” He frowned seeing how Kibum fidgeted and wouldn’t meet his gaze, “Hyung, what do you mean.”
“Because,” Kibum looked around cautiously, as if he was worried someone was eavesdropping, “Jinki has liked Minho for a long time.” Kibum winced as he saw how Taemin’s eyes widened in surprise hearing that, it was obvious he hadn’t expected that.
“Really?” Taemin blinked his eyes and shook his head, “Gosh I’m shocked, but I guess it makes sense,” He paused to wet his lips, but then went on hurriedly, “Wait no I mean it makes sense about him liking Minho for a while, not the other part.” Kibum smiled as Taemin rested his head against his head against his side again, and he slowly brought his arm down to rest around Taemin’s body again.
“Yeah, did you really want to meet me just to talk about Jinki and Minho?” Kibum asked, with a slight pout as he put down his finished drink. He looked down into Taemin’s light brown eyes, taking in the strands of hair framing his beautiful face. “Did you, Taeminnie?” he whispered softer, hoping that it wasn’t the case.
“Of course,” Taemin frowned up at Kibum, “I mean why else would I want to meet you?” He pushed back from Kibum, sitting up straight and leaving a gap between their bodies. “Sorry, did I mislead you?” Kibum only just managed to hold back a gasp, but he blinked his eyes rapidly, feeling shocked, he had thought that Taemin had felt it too. The way his blood seemed to sizzle when Taemin was near and the way he felt drawn to him.
“Okay,” Kibum tried to keep his tone neutral, but he honestly was stunned, “Okay, can I ask you something, then?” He mumbled out the first words that he could think of, his head spinning slightly, “Um, why do you always pay for Minho’s drinks and things?” Kibum could see that Taemin was surprised by the question, the way his eyes widened slightly, his shoulders tensing.
“Because, because he did something for me,” Taemin frowned, and Kibum was sure he was thinking ‘well this is none of your business,’ but despite that he still spoke. “Last year I almost had to drop out of school, because my dad lost his job.” Taemin’s lips were set in a straight line, “I didn’t tell my parents but just after he lost his job, they changed the rules of the scholarships so we had to pay some extra money, but I couldn’t ask my parents when things were so tight.” He shrugged his thin shoulders, “Minho loaned me the money, I still haven’t told my parents.” Taemin looked up at Kibum, his head tilted to one side, Kibum could see how serious he was.
“So… you’re paying him back with coffees?” Kibum blinked in surprise, “Shouldn’t you tell your parents now, and get them to pay it back for you?”
“No,” Taemin sat up straighter, looking intensely across at Kibum, “I insisted on going to that school because it has the best dance program, and it is an expensive school and they have paid for more than enough things for me.” He shrugged, impressing Kibum with the cool way he was determined to pay it off himself, and be independent.
“Well I respect that,” Kibum nodded his head, “But I better go now, I can’t sit here all afternoon. Bye.” Kibum didn’t even wait for Taemin to leave, he just started to walk away, feeling slightly upset now that he realised Taemin didn’t feel anything for him. He figured it was a mistake to like a high school student, who seemed mature but probably was flighty in other ways.
“Kibum-hyung, wait!” Kibum had barely walked away when Taemin latched his slender fingers onto his elbow, grasping his arm strongly with those seemingly weak hands. Kibum was astonished with the strength in his fingers, “Hyung, you know I was joking just now.” Kibum didn’t face Taemin, until he finished speaking and then he turned back slightly to see the side of his face.
“About Minho and the latte’s?” Kibum frowned, wondering why on earth Taemin would tell him something like that as a joke, it didn’t make sense. “Oh wait, you mean earlier?” He asked, feeling hope prickle inside his stomach lightly, “You were joking when you said about only wanting to talk about Minho and Jinki?” He kept his tone neutral, waiting to see if he was right.
“Of course,” Taemin looked down guiltily, “I’m sorry, I can’t help myself from tricking people.” He swallowed, “Sorry hyung, Minho-hyung hates it when I do that. I just do it without really thinking about what I’m doing.” He nodded his head looking apologetic, “I did want to talk about Jinki-hyung, but I also wanted to um,” Kibum leaned in close because Taemin’s voice grew quieter and quieter, he blinked as he saw how flushed Taemin’s cheeks were.
“Um, yeah I wanted to um talk to you too.” Taemin whispered the words in a mad rush, eyes darting up nervously, and then back down to the ground again, “I really um like you.” He whispered and Kibum just wanted to squish him against him, because it felt like the sweetest, shyest confession ever, it just melted his heart completely.
“Taeminnie,” Kibum mumbled, eyes shining and he lasted five seconds before he tugged Taemin into his arms, hugging him tightly, “Taeminnie, I like you too”, he mumbled into his soft hair, aware they did everything backwards. But he liked it, it had its own charm doing things unconventionally. Like how Taemin stayed over, and they slept in the same bed, but it had been completely innocent. Taemin had stayed over his side of the bed, all long limbs and pale skin, and Kibum had stayed on his, watching Taemin like a hawk, listening to the way he breathed, the soft faint sounds he let out.
He would never take advantage of Taemin, or hurt him. He knew what it was like to be in a relationship with someone older, to have your rights and choices taken from you. When you murmured ‘no’ but your words were ignored along with your will, and Kibum would never repeat what happened to him. Which was why he wanted to move slowly, and Kibum never even thought about sex. He liked Taemin, was drawn to him, but it was different, at least at the moment. He clung to the skinny boy, just holding him in his arms, feeling so giddy and happy.
When Kibum arrived home it was to a complete mess, boxes and clothes strewn about the apartment as if someone had put their possessions in a blender and tossed them around the house. Jinki was bent over some box, so focussed and intent that Kibum had to tap him on the back, he then looked up at Kibum with sad watery eyes, making Kibum feel so confused and unsure. He didn’t understand why Jinki was this upset, he had always insisted that Minho would never like him back.
But Kibum figured that the cold reality of it had shaken him, probably in the back of his mind there had always been this tiny niggling little ray of hope, a quiet voice urging Jinki on and telling him that there was a slight chance Minho might like him back. He squeezed the other boy’s shoulder and then sat down on the floor next to him, Kibum was glowing, buzzing with energy but sensing Jinki’s mood he kept it to himself.
“Jinki-hyung, what’s going on?” Kibum asked pressing his hand to Jinki’s back lightly, “You’re not moving out are you?” Kibum swallowed, feeling his chest tighten, he didn’t want him to move out.
“No, I was just trying to find some stuff.” Jinki exhaled softly, lifting his hands out of the box and moving to sit with his back against the wall, “I wanted to throw out or burn all of my stuff which reminds me of Minho.” He glanced around the apartment, eyes widening as he saw the mess, “Oh, sorry I uh didn’t realise I had made such a huge mess.”
“No don’t be sorry, it’s okay.” Kibum sighed softly, “Hyung, I hate to say this, but how many years have you liked Minho? I just don’t get why you’re so upset and depressed about what happened the other day at the movies?” Kibum knew he was taking a risk asking that, especially when he saw how upset Jinki looked.
“He was laughing at me, well not really, but it felt like he was making fun of me for liking him. Like it was just a game or a jest, you know, go on a date with the poor pathetic Jinki and then tell him you could never like him.” Jinki sighed softly, frowning as he looked blankly at the wall, avoiding Kibum’s gaze. Kibum felt like throttling him because he hated how negative Jinki was about himself, how he always thought people didn’t like him, or they looked down on him.
It annoyed Kibum because it was so wrong, it was obvious to him how people flocked to Jinki at university, how people always asked him for help. It wasn’t because they pitied him but because they respected him, and liked him, it was so obvious to Kibum. But he could see that Jinki saw everything completely differently, he was unaware of how people viewed him, of how many people liked him.
“Hyung, are you sure about that?” Kibum resisted the urge to grab him and just shake him, “no one thinks your pathetic, I promise. Are you sure you didn’t just misread the whole situation, or did you maybe think that you don’t even really like Minho?” Kibum was getting angry, and when he was annoyed he could say anything, he ignored the way Jinki stared at him shocked, and just pushed on, “I mean maybe you’re just in love with the idea of liking someone, of an unrequited love. Maybe you’re just using Minho as an excuse to stay single because you’re scared of someone reciprocating the feelings.” Kibum knew he was being blunt, but he was sick to death of seeing Jinki like this, he was better than this. He deserved so much more than this, and Kibum was going to see he got it even he had to drag Jinki shaking and screaming out of his depression.
“Maybe I am,” Jinki replied with a soft tone, “Maybe I’m in love with an illusion or a dream, something that never even existed,” Jinki sounded dreamy, but the hurt in his eyes spoke volumes, the way his deep brown eyes watered slightly, he wouldn’t quite meet Kibum’s gaze told him that he had hurt Jinki. Deep down Kibum figured his words would hurt Jinki, but somehow that dreamy tone had put him off. Kibum felt panicked, he knew he had to say something but he didn’t know what.
“You asked me how long I liked Minho for… well it’s been about five years now,” Jinki sighed, “roughly. Did you know in high school, I didn’t like Minho for one year?” Kibum stared in surprise at Jinki, he had no idea what he meant by that, he couldn’t remember a time when Jinki didn’t like Minho. “Do you remember that project the school had, to try and make students from different years and levels friends?”
“Yeah,” Kibum was confused, and starting to worry about Jinki, the way he was talking didn’t seem normal, “I remember that failed project, what does that have to do with anything?”
“Well you know how we were all given a number and we had to write a letter to that person, without revealing any details about ourselves? Without saying our name or class or anything, but just to try and be friendly towards someone else, and the letters were given to other students, so we all sent one and received one.” Jinki refreshed Kibum’s memory, he nodded wondering where this was going.
“We were meant to become pen pals, and I know that pretty much everyone stopped after the first letter, so it didn’t work at all.” Kibum nodded his head, he hadn’t bothered to reply because it seemed like a waste of time, “Well you know, my views on things are different than most people,” Jinki shrugged, “And to me, it feels rude to receive a letter (or email) and to ignore it, so I always reply.”
“Yeah hyung, you do have some weird ideas,” Kibum grinned, “But what does this have to do with anything? Are you saying the person you were sending letters to, replied?” Kibum felt stunned that Jinki had kept this quiet, but then he remembered back then they were only friends, not close friends so it made sense.
“Yeah he replied, we um sent a lot of letters that year.” Jinki nodded his head, looking embarrassed somehow, “I had no idea who was sending them but, no matter who it was I liked them a lot. We sent about two a week, and he always replied too. I always wanted to meet the sender of those letters,” Jinki sighed wistfully, “I wanted to know who it was so badly, I didn’t care what he looked like, or anything, I really liked him.”
“Did you ever find out who it was sending you letters,” Kibum asked leaning in curiously, because it seemed like such a sweet story, he was dying to know if Jinki knew or not. “Did you?”
“You know, I still have those letters,” Jinki replied, Kibum watched as he stood up and walked over to a box, he bent over and pulled out a thick wad of envelopes. Kibum just stared in surprise as he saw the bundled envelopes, he hadn’t realised there would be that many. “And yes after I sent the last letter I found out who it was, I never went to check if there was another letter or not, cowardly I know but if I read it, I would want to reply and I didn’t want to do that.”
“Who was it?” Kibum begged Jinki, with big round eager eyes, “Hyung, who was it, tell me please?” Kibum batted his eyelids at Jinki, wishing for once that he could win Jinki over with a cute look, but Jinki unfortunately was immune to that.
“I might tell you later,” Jinki shrugged, “I think Kibum, I should really try to get over Minho. I’m not going to work in the café anymore, just the library and avoid him at all costs. Maybe you’re right, maybe I am just in love with the illusion of being in love.” He shrugged, “I guess I should talk to Changsun-hyung too, he should almost be back in Seoul.”
Jinki had always been an intelligent student, he studied but never that hard because he found he remembered things easily after hearing them once. But in his determination to avoid seeing and thinking about Minho, he threw himself into his studies like he never had before. He spent hours working on his assignments, looking up extra books and references in the library, his grades soaring even more than they had been.
“Choi Minho” became dirty words in Jinki’s world, they were words that Kibum avoided like the plague. Kibum didn’t like seeing Jinki study so much, and only concentrate on work and have no fun, but he figured it was necessary at the moment to get over Minho. Weeks drifted by, they slowly turned into months, and the trees were stripped bare of their pretty autumn leaves, leaving bare skeletal branches.
Kibum tried to coax Jinki into taking a week off in the holidays and go away with him, but Jinki wanted to get an assignment done. Kibum could see that Jinki had lost weight, because he was working so hard, but he was also okay, he wasn’t ready to start liking anyone or dating, but Kibum thought he was getting there. Although he had no real idea of if he was totally over Minho or not, and out of respect for Jinki, he never brought Taemin over, unless he knew Jinki was out.
The days grew shorter, the weather turning icy cold, and they had the first snow of the year. Kibum dragged Jinki out to play in the snow, laughing as they threw snowballs at each other, faces going red in the cold. It was the first time for a month or two that Kibum had heard the rich sound of Jinki’s laugh, that he had seen him have fun. It made something ache in his chest, realising he had to do something. He was prepared to let Jinki wallow in his studies for a month or two but this had gone on for far too long.
was gonna post this last night /yawns but I was too sleepy~ /shrug
tried to change the summary ... idk if its better or worse ?