“Bambam!” Jackson Wang’s shrill scream pierced through the room like a knife.“You’re an absolute fucking shithead, you know that?”
In situations like these, the boys had learnt to keep themselves as busy as possible and try not to pay any mind to whatever attention-seeking announcement Jackson had for the rest of the group. Or specifically, for his shithead (his words) of a boyfriend.
“What did he do now?” Yugyeom whispered sardonically.
“He ate my fucking chips!” Jackson screeched back.
“I did not,” Bambam replied resolutely, eyes never leaving the movie that was playing on the television screen.
“We are literally the only two people who live here. Who else could have taken it?” Jackson demanded, his already-high pitch rising ever so steadily by some miracle of God.
“Pudding,” Bambam replied without missing a beat.
Jackson looked like he was about to explode.
“I’ll get you more chips, Sseunie. Sit your ass down and stop blocking my view of Zac Efron,” Jinyoung appeased, rolling his eyes as he inched over on the couch to make room for the newcomer. Begrudgingly, Jackson plopped down, and silence fell over the room once more.
It barely lasted for a minute.
“I swear you took it!”
“I didn’t.” Bambam sounded almost bored.
“You always do this! You always lie to me! Our relationship is all based on lies!” Jackson insisted hysterically, leaping back onto his feet and pointing an accusatory finger at Bambam.
“Our relationship is based on lies,” Bambam imitated, his face scrunched up in comical manner as he raised his voice to a high-pitched squeak.
Jackson gasped, seeming offended. “I do not sound like that! Take it back! And give me back my chips, too!”
“I do not sound like that,” Bambam continued to squeak in a manner that genuinely did not sound like Jackson. “Take it—” was all he could manage before he began to choke on his own laughter.
“I said I’ll get you new chips, please sit down Sseunie,” Jinyoung pleaded almost desperately, patting the spot next to him on the couch.
“Fine,” Jackson’s shoulders slumped in defeat, slinking down to the couch and snuggling closer to Jinyoung.
“How the fuck are they even dating?” Yugyeom grumbled softly from the other end of the room, stuffing another handful of popcorn into his mouth. Next to him, Jaebum shrugged.
And then, the only sound that could be heard in the room was the droning of the actors on television.
Oh, and Bambam cackling hysterically while simultaneously hacking up a lung. But that was a minor detail.
By the end of the movie, Bambam had fallen asleep, Jackson’s lips were still arranged in a pout and Jinyoung was about to fling himself out the window into the depths of hell.
Bambam hadn’t stopped laughing for ten minutes straight, and Jackson wasn’t as quiet in his death threats as he thought he was. Although, Jinyoung would admit, the numerous methods Jackson had fabricated to murder the Thai boy were extremely amusing, if not slightly terrifying. Maybe Jackson should consider a career in homicide.
Jinyoung picked up the TV remote and aimed it at the screen.
“Time to go, everyone,” he announced as the screen turned dark. “Thanks for having us, Sseunie,” he waved half-assedly, one foot already out the door. The other boys trailed after him, some yawning tiredly as they mumbled their goodbyes.
“We’re leaving, Bam,” was the last thing Jinyoung hollered before slamming the door shut and leaving Jackson with silence and a sleeping boyfriend.
Oh, an awake boyfriend now.
Bambam blearily opened his eyes as he glanced around the room, trying to make sense of what was happening. When his sleep-addled brain finally managed to decipher that the movie was over, everyone had left and Jackson was still sulking on the other end of the couch, it told him to move. What kind of a boyfriend would he be if he didn’t?
Bambam blinked the sleep out of his eyes as he crawled towards Jackson, whose signature Wang Gae eyes were about to be the death of him. He flopped down next to his boyfriend, snuggling closer until any space between the two were practically nonexistent.
“I’m sorry for taking your chips,” he mumbled, voice muffled from his face being pressed into Jackson’s chest.
All of a sudden, Jackson’s demeanour seemed to shift.
His entire body relaxed into the couch, as if he was melting into a puddle of syrup and honey and all the love he held in his heart for Bambam. If Bambam was looking, he would’ve seen Jackson’s eyes soften and his lips turn up in the brightest of smiles.
“It’s fine, Bam,” Jackson whispered, even though they were the only two people left in the house. He ran his hands through Bambam’s hair comfortingly, fingers gently massaging the younger boy’s scalp. “We can get more. I’m not mad anymore.”
Bambam hummed softly, and Jackson could feel the vibrations travel through his body, through his veins, sending tingles down his spine and turning his heart into gooey, syrupy mush. “I love you, Ja-” Bambam’s words slurred, sleep enveloping him before he could even finish his sentence.
Jackson smiled fondly, fingers tingling with warmth at the sight of Bambam cuddled close to him, body rising and falling steadily with every breath he took. He gathered his boyfriend into his arms and heaved, pushing the both of them off the sofa and Bambam safely into Jackson’s embrace. He padded to Bambam’s bedroom and gently set Bambam down on the bed, brushing back a stray strand of hair on his forehead and leaning down to kiss the younger sweetly on the cheek.
“I love you too, Bambam.”
Yugyeom let out a long, drawn-out groan on Jackson and Bambam’s couch, leaning his head back and slinking down in his seat.
“We’ve been waiting forever, now,” he lamented, reaching a lanky leg out to kick the man sitting opposite him. “Jackson, where’s your boyfriend?”
In response, Jackson hollered, “Yo, Bam! We’re all waiting!” He glanced over at Yugyeom and rubbed his calf ruefully, before tacking on completely out of spite, “your best friend’s complaining!”
Yugyeom kicked him again.
“I’m coming,” was the frustrated screech that rang from the Thai boy’s room. “You guys always fucking rush—”
From his room emerged a frazzled, but nevertheless dolled-up Bambam, hopping awkwardly on one foot as he clutched his toe. “You guys always rush fashion! Now look at me, you fuckers—I stubbed my toe!”
Admittedly, Bambam looked incredibly dashing. His hair had been parted in the centre and rested artfully in strands down his forehead. His eyes were framed by deep red eyeshadow, accentuating his bright blue eyes (which were clearly contacts, but Jackson digresses). There was only one word he could use to describe his boyfriend—sexy.
Or handsome. Or gorgeous. Or hot. So maybe there were more words.
“Sucks to be you,” Jackson snickers instead, and jiggles his car keys in his hand. “Now let’s go—we’re actually late now.”
Bambam grins, picking up his phone. “I call shotgu—”
“I think the hell not!” came Yugyeom’s screech as he interrupted the Thai boy before he could even complete the word. “I had to wait a whole hour for your crusty ass to get ready, you bitch, I’m going to ride shotgun.”
Bambam’s eyebrows furrowed, cocking his head ever so slightly to the side as he fixed his gaze on Yugyeom. There was a pregnant pause, and then Bambam swiveled around to face Jackson.
“Jack,” he implored, tone sickly sweet. “I’m your boyfriend, right? Don’t you think I should ride shotgun?”
Jackson pretended to think, even though a smirk was beginning to spread on his face. “I don’t know, Bam,” he drawled. “Yugyeom has a point…”
“Oh my god,” Bambam gasped, aghast that he’d be betrayed this way by the one person who was supposed to be by his side through thick and thin, the one person who was supposed to—
“Yeah, I think Yugyeom should ride shotgun, instead,” Jackson concluded smugly.
“I think he should not!” Bambam fired back indignantly.
“It’s my car,” Jackson pointed out levelly, which all the more made Bambam fume.
Yugyeom groaned into his palm, burying his face in his hands as he tried to block out the couple’s bickering. He honestly didn’t get how they’d gotten together when all they seemed to do was argue—let alone how they hadn’t broken up yet. While he did love to spend time with each of the boys, not to mention he’d been best friends with half of the couple since their diaper days, being in the same room as the couple on his own was enough to give him a migraine.
“He’s going to ride shotgun,” Jackson declared with a note of finality, and Yugyeom felt a hand grab onto his wrist and pull him up sharply.
Whatever protests Yugyeom tried to weakly splutter out were promptly ignored as he was dragged out of the apartment all the way to Jackson’s car, with Bambam loudly complaining as he trailed along behind.
Oh, why did he ever try to butt in between the couple?
The door slammed as he was shoved into the passenger seat and Yugyeom winced, meekly pulling on his seatbelt. From behind him, Bambam continued to grumble as he crawled in the back.
For the rest of the journey, Bambam never stopped.
When Bambam awoke, it was to low light and a fluffy blanket pulled over him.
Granted, his head was pulsing and he felt like he was about the throw up. Scratch that—the taste of bile was lingering on the tip of his tongue—maybe he already had.
A sliver of light sliced through the room as the door was slowly pushed open, a head popping in to reveal his boyfriend.
“Oh,” Jackson whispered, a bright grin on his lips. “You’re awake.”
Bambam could only groan in response.
Bambam nodded again, a small smile beginning to spread across his face.
“Go wash up,” Jackson said fondly, cocking his head in the direction of their washroom.
Bambam let out a noise that could only be described as a cross between a groan and a whine, and pulled his blanket over his head. He squeezed his eyes shut and sucked in a sharp breath, trying to force his vomit back down.
There was a soft pattering of footsteps and the blanket was tugged off. A gentle hand ran through his bed head and ruffled his hair. “You shouldn’t have drunk so much,” Jackson teased.
This time, Bambam let out a drawn-out whine, opening his eyes to gaze at his boyfriend and blinked sluggishly. “I know,” he pouted.
Jackson chuckled, the sound resounding uncomfortably in Bambam’s ears and making his head pound, but was still a bright, tinkling sound nevertheless.
Before he knew it, a pair of hands were snaking under his back and hoisting him up in the air, and Bambam almost yelped in surprise.
“You need to wash up, Bammie,” came the admonishing words, although Jackson’s tone held no meaning to it all. “You stink,” he teased playfully, wrinkling his nose in mock disgust.
Bambam swung one of his arms up to swat at Jackson’s face.
“I love you too,” Jackson cooed, screwing up his lips and making obnoxious kissing noises. “I love my baby Bammie so much, he’s so adorable, I love my itsy bitsy—”
“My head hurts,” Bambam whined again, squirming about in Jackson’s arms and effortlessly shut his boyfriend up, eyebrows furrowing in concentration as he tried to balance the lanky boy in his arms.
Bambam felt himself being set down on a surface, and he hung his head as he felt his eyes drooping and his head was pounding and maybe the toilet wasn’t such a bad place to fall asleep on, you know—
“Bam,” came a gentle voice. “Come on, you can at least brush your teeth, right?” Jackson nudged his shoulder playfully, slotting a toothbrush in between his fingers. “Get yourself ready, and we’ll be out for your soup in no time.”
After the agonizing half-hour—in Bambam’s opinion—that it took for him to brush his teeth and slip his clothes on, Jackson was threading his fingers through Bambam’s as he tugged the younger out of their apartment and to his car.
Bambam felt the press of muscle against his own arm and warmth begin to spread through his body as Jackson began to walk with a light spring to his step.
Bambam nodded, pulling his hand out of Jackson’s to wind his arm around the latter’s instead.
Jackson beamed. and Bambam’s heart fluttered. “I hope you had fun, even if you were pretty shitfaced,” Jackson chuckled.
There was a pause from him as Bambam let out a guttural noise, and then Jackson stopped abruptly in his tracks, causing Bambam to almost trip over his own two feet. Thank God for his boyfriend’s steady grip.
“Hey!” Jackson exclaimed in an accusatory tone, whipping to around to glare at his boyfriend. “You tried to make out with Yugyeom last night!”
Bambam’s heart stopped for a moment.
And then it was back to racing like a galloping horse, the loud thump-thump-thumps imitating heavy footfalls and laboured breaths as the horse thundered forward, on and on, ringing blaringly in his ears. Oh dear, what if Jackson was mad; Bambam swears on his life he didn’t remember any of the previous night’s events. What if Bambam did try to make out with his best friend, what if—
“Bammie! I thought you loved me!”
And suddenly Bambam was brought back to the ground. Suddenly Jackson’s words didn’t sound so horrifying, more like a harmless tease, something that was supposed to simply rile Bambam up, ruffle his feathers, jolt him awake just a little more. Maybe Bambam was overreacting—scratch that, he was definitely overreacting.
Suddenly, Jackson’s defiant gaze from below him seemed more like a pitiful kitten looking for their owner’s attention. It was almost identical to the way Latte would paw at his calves when he was hungry.
Bambam stroked his arm appeasingly.
“I do, Jacks,” he smiled warmly, and no matter how much shorter Jackson was compared to him, no matter how uncomfortable the position was to him, Bambam leant down, resting his head on his boyfriend’s shoulder and tightening his grip around the elder’s arm every so slightly. “I love you so, so much Jackson, I’d never want to make out with anyone but you.”
Bambam almost saw Jackson’s eyes shining as the latter pulled him in for a tight embrace, pressing his face into Bambam’s neck and nuzzling in. “I love you too, Bam. I’m so sorry i don’t say it enough.”
They pulled apart, holding each other with bodies nearly pressed flush together, eyes twinkling, ghosts of smiles lingering on their lips.
And then it was over, way too quickly than Bambam would have liked. He wouldn’t admit it, but he adored these moments of sappiness he’d occasionally share with his boyfriend. The moments they hid away from their friends, the public eye. The moments that belonged to them.
Jackson was tugging on Bambam’s hand again, and they continued their walk to the car.
“For real, though, you actually did try to kiss Yugyeom.”
“I’m sorry, Jacks,” Bambam grinned, not sounding very sorry at all.
It barely took them a minute before Jackson’s car appeared in sight, and there was a beeping sound as Jackson pressed the button on his keys to unlock it.
“Ride shotgun today, please?” Jackson quirked his eyebrows hopefully.
Bambam grinned as he slid into the front seat.
And as Jackson started up the car, Bambam slipped his fingers in between Jackson’s.
Bambam was supposed to be in charge of the new guy that day.
Being one of the employees who worked the longest at the coffee shop, he would know how things worked around there. Naturally, the role fell to him.
Well, it could have fallen to Youngjae, who’s worked just about as long as him. But Youngjae had a knack for shirking responsibility, that little traitor, so there they were.
The newest employee, Dowoon, is a bright young man who has too much enthusiasm in his tiny body. He’s willing to do whatever Bambam asks of him, and while it might be little overbearing, Bambam thinks he would make a great barista in the future.
After showing him the basics of brewing coffee, Bambam had been making Dowoon wipe down for about an hour, as the customer stream grew heavier and Bambam and Youngjae were busy behind the counter. As the number of customers began to lessen, and Youngjae snuck into the kitchen to nab a pastry for himself to snack on, Bambam decided to let Dowoon take his very first order.
“Hey,” Bambam smiled as he approached the table Dowoon had been dutifully scrubbing at. “I think you can take your first customer now!” He took the rag from Dowoon’s hand. “Let’s swap. The next customer is yours. Take their order, make sure Youngjae isn’t stealing more food from the kitchen, and serve them their order.” Bambam cocked his head toward the counter. “Simple as that.”
Dowoon’s beam could have rivalled the brightness of the sun.
“I’m on it,” Dowoon saluted, and scurried behind the counter, fingers tapping eagerly on the cash register. From behind, Youngjae emerged from the kitchen, a danish between his teeth and a croissant in his hand.
“You want one?” he offered it to Dowoon.
Dowoon shook his head. “It-it’s fine, Youngjae-hyung. I shouldn’t be eating on the job.”
“Yeah, Youngjae,” Bambam called out dryly from the table he was at.
The door bell jingled.
Dowoon jumped. “Wel-welcome! What can I get you?”
Bambam grinned at the familiar silhouette.
“I know this one,” he called, before the man could even open his mouth to reply. “Caramel frappe, with…” Bambam pretended to ponder. “Extra whip?”
“You know me so well, Bam,” Jackson grinned.
The tips of Dowoon’s ears were a bright pink. “Well,” he smiled. “I’ll get right to it. I mean—Youngjae will get right to it. I don’t—I don’t know how to work the machines yet.” Dowoon was stuttering like a high-schooler at his first day at school.
“It’s my first day…” Dowoon trailed off, the flush spreading to his cheeks.
“No problem,” Jackson smiles warmly, before turning to face Bambam.
“You’re training him?”
Bambam nodded proudly. “I think he’s doing great!”
Jackson walked over and slapped Bambam heartily on the back. (A little too heartily, Bambam might add. He nearly choked on air.) “He’s so sweet. And cute.”
Bambam opened his mouth to reply, when there was a snort from behind the counter, and Dowoon’s face seemed almost as red as a tomato.
“I’ll be back,” he reassured, before ducking behind the counter.
“What’s going on?” He quirked an eyebrow.
“Dowoon thinks your friend here is really handsome,” Youngjae snickered, stuffing his face with the croissant he had saved from earlier to stifle his laughter.
“H-he said I was sweet too. And cute,” Dowoon stuttered.
“Yeah, he sure did,” Bambam frowned.
Dowoon let out a high-pitched noise that could have been a squeal. “Do you think he’d give me his number?”
“I don’t know, Dowoon,” Bambam cocked his head to the side, eyeing the younger. Dowoon, though, bless his adorable self, seemed to be completely oblivious and continued to gape at Jackson as the latter’s head was bent over his phone.
Bambam’s phone pinged.
i think he likes me bam
Bambam clenched his teeth.
i think i should give him my number. he’s a qt
Youngjae, practically about to burst into tears at the whole affair, shakily caps Jackson’s drink and hands it over to the smitten Dowoon. “Finish up your first customer!”
Dowoon looked as if he was about to melt into a puddle on the ground.
“Uh—caramel frappe for Jackson?” he called shyly, and Jackson walked up to the counter with a shit-eating grin on his face.
Dowoon reached over to hand the cup to Jackson, before pulling back and grabbing a marker, scribbling something on the side of the cup.
Bambam clenched his fists, his fingernails digging into his palm.
“Here,” Dowoon thrust the cup over, averting Jackson’s gaze.
Jackson grabbed the cup and glanced at Dowoon’s messy handwriting, biting his lip as a smile began to spread across his face.
“Did you just give me your num—”
Bambam reach over the counter to pull on Jackson’s shirt harshly, reeling him in into a rough kiss that cut off whatever the latter was just about to say. He made sure their lips lingered, tilting his head a little to try to deepen the kiss. He felt Jackson’s lips tilt upwards as he played along.
When he finally pulled away, the shit-eating grin was back on Jackson’s face.
“You’re cute when you’re jealous, babe.”
Dowoon let out another high-pitched screech.
(“Oh my god!” Youngjae hollered into the phone—since when did he get on the phone?
“Gyeom! I just watched them kiss. Yes, Jackbam! I just watched the two of them kiss—ha! You owe me twenty dollars now!”)