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This Time Around

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The light flickered persistently, an annoying sound appearing every time it did, only making Jaehyun's headache worse. He looked at his reflection in the mirror one last time before splashing some water to his face. It did nothing to sober him up.

Feeling worse than he did when he came in, he reluctantly left the bathroom, pushing through the people that gathered in front of the door, most of them giving him a mean glare when he passed them. Jaehyun had no idea how long he's been in there, but apparently long enough for people to judge him about it. He simply ignored them, instead wondering when the party went out of control so much that he couldn't even recognize the people at his own place.

He wondered if Doyoung was too annoyed by the amount of people that showed up. In the three years of living with him, Jaehyun learned that the other was not very fond of big crowds in his house. But he let Jaehyun throw a party every now and then, since he knew how much the younger enjoyed them. This party, however, seemed to be out of control even for his taste, so now Jaehyun wanted to make sure Doyoung was alright with it. He didn't even know where the other was, only seeing him once throughout the whole night.

Moving through the living room, he quickened his pace, not in the mood to talk to anyone. He smiled at a few people he knew, not wanting to seem like a bad host, and got to the kitchen. He scanned the room with his eyes and sighed when he couldn't find Doyoung there either. He did, at least, see one familiar face.

"Lucas! Hey, when did all these people show up?" he asked the tall guy when he reached him, hoping he was able to hide his annoyance and sound casual. Lucas smiled widely upon seeing him, putting his hand on Jaehyun's shoulder roughly.

"Hey, man. Where have you been? We've been looking for you." Then he paused to look around the kitchen, the small place crowded with people, and laughed loudly. "I know right? This party's lit." Lucas was as loud and excited as always, and Jaehyun felt his headache getting worse with his every word.

He tried faking a smile, but gave up when he saw a guy throwing up in the sink with his peripheral vision.

"Have you seen Doyoung maybe?" he asked, wanting to speed up the conversation.

"I think I saw him like an hour ago with Ten, they were talking in his room. Why?" Lucas asked, wiggling his eyebrows obnoxiously.

Jaehyun felt annoyance growing inside of him at Lucas' absurd gesture. He felt an urge to snap at the other, but managed to stop himself in the last second.

"Never mind," he said with a tight smile. "Catch you later."

Jaehyun turned to leave before Lucas stopped him with a hand on his shoulder, touch softer this time.

"Is everything okay?" he asked, looking concerned all of a sudden. Apparently, Jaehyun did not do a good job of trying to hide his annoyance.

"Sure, I'm just tired," he answered honestly, not wanting to worry Lucas when he himself didn't know what was with him.

Lucas just nodded and carefully proceeded. "Well, the guys thought we can all have a toast, we were just waiting for you."

Jaehyun suddenly felt bad for ruining the mood of his own party, when he should be out there celebrating their win with the rest of the team. So he sighed and nodded at Lucas, letting him lead the way.


He left the living room an hour later, feeling better, but also significantly more intoxicated. He walked down the hallway, feet carrying him straight to the room at the end of the hall. He lingered in front of the door for a moment, feeling nervous all of a sudden.

He slowly opened the door, heart beating in his chest loudly. He heard it before he saw it. Lewd sounds coming from the inside of the room. At first Jaehyun thought it was just some couple that decided to fuck in Doyoung's room, but then he actually saw them. Saw him.

Doyoung was sitting on his bed, back resting against the wall, some guy sitting in his lap, kissing him deeply while grinding on him hurriedly. Jaehyun thought he was gonna be sick. He wanted to leave the room, but he somehow found himself unable to look away.

Things got even worse when he realized that the guy in Doyoung's lap was Ten. Ten let out a small whine in that moment, and Jaehyun quickly closed the door. He rushed to the next door opening it roughly, getting to the toilet in two big steps and throwing up in it. He was panting loudly, struggling to catch his breath.

"Hey, are you okay?" he heard a girl's voice ask him. He didn't even notice there was someone in the bathroom.

"'m fine," he mumbled, still not able to lift his head. The girl seemed to have gotten the hint, so she left, closing the door behind herself.

Jaehyun took a few shaky breaths, getting up so he could splash some water to his face. He lifted his hands only to realize they were shaking. He wondered when exactly did he let this happen.


"Hey," Doyoung said, plopping himself on the couch next to Jaehyun as soon as he walked into their apartment.

Jaehyun turned his gaze away from some generic show he was watching, smiling at Doyoung.

"Hey, how was class?"

Doyoung groaned, rubbing his eyes with his palms roughly. Jaehyun chuckled.

"Awful. Thank god I don't have anything tomorrow. Are you busy?" Doyoung asked.

Jaehyun thought back to three papers he had to write till the end of the week, his practice early tomorrow and a lunch he promised Sicheng, then looked at Doyoung's hopeful eyes and shook his head. It's not like he could ever deny the other anything.

"No, wanna do something?"


Jaehyun both loved and hated moments like these, when it was just the two of them, doing domestic things like cooking together or shopping for groceries. He loved them because in those moments, he got to indulge in his fantasies for a little bit, even if he knew they would never become anything more than that, fantasies. And that was why he also hated them, the fact that he couldn't have Doyoung in the way he wanted constantly appearing in his mind, making him angry at himself for even having those thoughts in the first place.

They were in a supermarket close to their dorm, picking up the ingredients for the dinner they wanted to make together. Jaehyun was watching Doyoung pick up some cheese he knew Jaehyun liked, even though Jaehyun knew that the other hated it, when his phone started ringing.

"Hey, Taeyong, what's up?" he asked once he picked up. He moved towards the vegetable section, motioning Doyoung to get what they need with his hand.

"Hey, Jae. Not much, I just wanted to ask you something," the other said through the phone, sounding somehow weird.

"Is everything okay?" Jaehyun asked, feeling concerned all of a sudden.

"Yeah, of course. I was just wondering if you want to come watch my performance this Friday. I know it's last minute, and it's totally okay if you're busy, I just-" the other started rambling, and Jaehyun interrupted him softly.

"Of course I'll be there, Tae."

"You sure? I don't want to bother you, and I know you usually go out with the team on Fridays," Taeyong mumbled through the speaker.

"You know you're way more important to me than everyone else. I'll be there in the first row cheering for you like always," he laughed, finishing the conversation soon after. He pocketed his phone, only to find Doyoung looking at him with an unreadable expression once he lifted his gaze up to him.

"What?" he asked, confused with the way Doyoung was looking at him.

Doyoung just looked away, shaking his head and continuing to walk towards the dairy aisle, putting a few products in their cart after inspecting them carefully.

"Well, do you have to talk to him that way?" he questioned after a few seconds, still not looking at Jaehyun.

"What do you mean? We've been best friends our whole lives, of course we talk to each other that way," he frowned at Doyoung, not knowing where the other was going with that.

"It's just," Doyoung started, looking like he was picking his words carefully. "Are you sure you're not leading him on?"

Jaehyun snorted loudly, raising his eyebrow at the other. He thought how Doyoung was the last person that should be talking about leading someone on. Doyoung's eyes snapped to him in a second, and he was looking at Jaehyun with a deadly stare.

"What is that supposed to mean?" Doyoung asked, looking pissed all of the sudden. Jaehyun just sighed, deciding there was no point in doing that now.

"Nothing, let's just go pay if you got everything."



Jaehyun looked away from his textbook to see Johnny standing at the door of his own apartment.

"Yeah, I just let myself in, sorry," he said, not feeling very guilty. He knew Johnny had no problem with him staying at his place, otherwise he wouldn't be there all of the time.

Johnny sighed, throwing his backpack on the floor, and then plopping himself down on the couch.

"It's fine. But you gotta talk to him, man. This is ridiculous."

"I will, I will," Jaehyun dismissed with a wave of the hand, going back to studying.

"Hey, let's go out tonight," Johnny said after a few minutes. Jaehyun turned to look at him. Johnny was looking back at him excitedly. "Just the two of us. Hit some club, get wasted. I really need that."

"Okay, sure. I need it too, honestly," Jaehyun concluded, putting the textbook to the side, realizing that there was no point in continuing since he was stuck on the same page for the last thirty minutes. He briefly thought how he could maybe find someone to hook up with, to get his mind off of things at least for the night.


When Johnny decided it was a good idea to talk to Ten, later that night, Jaehyun couldn't really stop him. Didn't even want to stop him, since he thought it was a good idea as well. But, by the time Ten showed up, both him and Johnny sobered up almost completely, and Jaehyun couldn't help but to question it.

He was nervous the whole time the two were talking, fidgeting with his now empty glass. He was just about to order one more drink, when he felt a light pressure on his shoulder. He turned around and saw a tall guy smiling at him, with a hand on his shoulder. Jaehyun checked him out not so subtly, still too drunk to care, deciding he was attractive enough for what he needed. The guy smirked at him, and Jaehyun felt something in him tightening uncomfortably.

"Hey," the guy said, looking at him suggestively. Suddenly, the feeling of Doyoung's lips on his crossed his mind, and Jaehyun forced a smile, hoping this guy would be enough to distract him, even if it's just for one night.

Half an hour later Jaehyun walked out of the bathroom feeling emptier than before. His plan backfired, and he wasn't able to see anything but Doyoung's eyes whenever he looked at the guy he left in there. He pushed his hair back with his hand and sighed. Lighting a cigarette, he started walking out of the club, feeling suffocated from the humid air in the club.

He leaned on a wall outside of the club and waited for Johnny to call him. Some girl was screeching annoyingly in front of him, and Jaehyun felt a headache coming on.

His phone lit up at that moment, signalizing a call from Johnny. Jaehyun hurriedly got to the place where he left him earlier, stopping in front of the other once he spotted him.

"So?" he asked. Johnny looked at him with a tired expression. Jaehyun took notice of the big bags under his eyes, coming to a conclusion that he wasn't the only one who had trouble sleeping these days.

"It was good. It was a good decision, I think," Johnny said calmly.

"What did you guys talk about?"

"Nothing, really. I just made sure of some things," Johnny said vaguely, and Jaehyun decided not to push him.

"You didn't ask him why he did it?" he asked instead, unable to hide the surprise in his voice.

"No, I don't think I'm ready to know yet," Johnny said, looking at the sky with a somewhat peaceful expression.

Jaehyun nodded, looking to his left, where a group of seemingly drunk guys sang loudly. Silence stretched out between them and Jaehyun found himself thinking about Doyoung again.

"Jaehyun, I know I'm a part of the reason you don't wanna talk to Doyoung," Johnny suddenly said, like he read his mind, and Jaehyun already didn't like where this was going. "I just want to tell you that I think you should hear him out."

"I said I'll talk to him," he said curtly, even though he knew Johnny was right.

"I mean it, Jaehyun. Just see what he has to say at least."

Jaehyun breathed out. He was being a coward, and he knew it. So he just nodded wordlessly and called them a cab.

After rolling around on Johnny's couch for a long time, Jaehyun decided it was probably time to do something about it. He lifted his phone from the table, typed and retyped the message a few times, and then finally pressed send.

To: Doyoung
Hey, are you free tomorrow?


Jaehyun stirred his tea for the tenth time, only to occupy himself with something. He couldn’t stand looking at Taeyong's worried expression any longer. The other male sighed loudly, forcing Jaehyun to look at him again. Jaehyun raised his eyebrow at him.

"Don't give me that look!" Taeyong scolded, looking at him disapprovingly. "Talk!"

They were sitting in Taeyong's kitchen, and it was Jaehyun's fault, really. He only came to Taeyong because Johnny was busy, and he didn't want to spend one more day in the campus library. He knew this was bound to happen.

"This isn't about me. It's about Johnny," he said curtly, looking to the side, the view from the window looking interesting to him all of the sudden.

"Yes, Jae. Johnny obviously had it worse. But you can't ignore your own feelings. I'm worried about you. So please talk to me," Taeyong pleaded, putting a hand over his on the table.

Jaehyun hated worrying people, and especially Taeyong, since he knew how much the older cared for him. And, even though he knew how hard it must be for Taeyong to watch him fall in love with someone else, he knew it was harder for him to watch him get hurt. They never talked about it, but Jaehyun knew, of course he did. And Taeyong did too. They just silently agreed to never talk about it, since they both knew Jaehyun couldn't give him what he wanted.

"Honestly, I don't know what to tell you. You already know what happened," he said after a minute of silence. And it wasn't a lie, he really had no idea what to say to the other.

"Have you talked to him?" Taeyong asked, now tracing Jaehyun's palm with his finger.

"Not since that night. I don't know what to tell him, either," Jaehyun answered, still not looking Taeyong in the eyes. He still felt bad whenever he talked about Doyoung with him, even though the other showed him that it was fine plenty of times, with reassuring looks and persistent questions.

"Tell him how you feel. I think it's time you and him talked properly." He squeezed Jaehyun's hand, probably to emphasize his words, and Jaehyun wondered how he deserved a friend like him. He squeezed his hand back, looking at him in hopes to show how much he appreciated him. Taeyong understood. He always did.

"By the way, Taeil's planning to have a small gathering for his birthday. Both of you better show up," Taeyong mentioned after some time, looking at Jaehyun sternly.

"I live with him, Taeyong. I think I'll be fine with being close to him for one night," he snorted, looking at Taeyong pointedly.

"Yes, you live with him, but you also haven't spent more than an hour a day in your apartment for more than a week," Taeyong pointed out, and Jaehyun hated how well he knew him.

"Whatever," he mumbled, focusing on his tea again. "Point is, I'll be fine."

He didn't think Taeyong believed him, he surely didn't believe himself, but Taeyong, thankfully, decided to drop it.


Jaehyun watched Doyoung lift the cans from the table, throwing them in the bag next to him with a sigh. Then he moved to the sofa Jaehyun was sitting on, cleaning up the trash around him. Jaehyun just sat on the couch with a cigarette in his hand, watching Doyoung's every move.

"Are you planning on helping or are you just gonna continue watching me clean?" Doyoung asked after a minute, looking at Jaehyun with an exasperated expression.

Jaehyun slowly took a drag of his cigarette, not taking his eyes off of Doyoung, but ignoring his question. He put out the cigarette in a can of beer that was on the table, then got up and started moving to the kitchen. After picking up a bottle of water from the fridge, he moved to get out of the room, but Doyoung was blocking his way out, having followed him to the kitchen.

"What is your problem?" he asked loudly, narrowing his eyes at Jaehyun. There was a moment where Jaehyun wasn't sure how he should answer the question. He looked at Doyoung's face closely, as if he was gonna find the answer somewhere on his face. He recognized nothing but annoyance in Doyoung's eyes. He sighed, closing his eyes for a second.

"I saw you and Ten earlier. Let Ten know that if he doesn't tell him by tomorrow, I will," he said flatly, pushing past Doyoung in one swift motion.

He started walking to his room, when Doyoung grabbed his arm, roughly turning him around.

"Fuck, listen, it wasn't -" he started, looking at Jaehyun with a panicked expression.

Jaehyun immediately cut him off, keeping his expression neutral.

"Don't explain yourself to me. I really don't care what happened." He turned away to start walking to his room again, but Doyoung continued talking.

"I'm sorry, okay?"

"Why are you apologizing to me?" Jaehyun scoffed, turning to look Doyoung directly in the eyes.

The other looked taken aback for a moment, before seemingly composing himself.

"Jaehyun, please. I wasn't lying back then. That's why-"

"I don't want to talk right now," Jaehyun cut him off again, this time stronger than the first, and the other didn't try to stop him again.

He slammed the door to his room, leaning against it, and taking a shaky breath. He tried calming himself down, but realized it wasn't exactly easy. He didn't sleep the whole night, seeing Ten in Doyoung's lap every time he closed his eyes.


Jaehyun twirled the ice in his glass a few times, before bringing it to his lips and downing the content in one go. He closed his eyes, enjoying the burning sensation in his stomach. When he opened them again, Doyoung's eyes were still on him.

Doyoung had arrived at the bar about a half an hour ago, looking as confident and proud as he always did. Jaehyun almost wondered if he even felt sorry about what happened. But he knew better, he knew Doyoung better. He could see shame and regret every time his eyes landed anywhere near Johnny.

Jaehyun removed his gaze, turning to Johnny who has been tense ever since the other showed up.

"You okay?" he asked.

Johnny just nodded, then looked somewhere behind Jaehyun in surprise. Jaehyun turned around to see Doyoung moving towards them slowly.

"Hey, can we talk?" he asked once he was in front of them, looking at Johnny with a serious expression. Jaehyun scoffed. Doyoung didn't even spare him a glance.

"Okay," was all Johnny said, although a little reluctantly. He got up from his seat and the two of them started walking away. Jaehyun watched them leave in silence, quickly ordering another drink when he noticed the waitress.

He busied himself with talking to Sicheng, trying not to glance at the door every few seconds. About ten minutes later, Johnny slid back into his seat, catching Jaehyun's eye.

"What did he say?" Jaehyun asked.

"Basically, he apologized, saying there was no excuse for what he did, and that he hopes I'll be able to forgive him some day," Johnny sighed, looking strangely calm for someone who just talked with the guy his boyfriend cheated on him with.

"He also said that I should talk to Ten, and listen to what he has to say," he added after a few seconds.

"And what do you think?" Jaehyun asked carefully, knowing how hard it must be for his friend to go through all of this.

Johnny looked deep in thought for a while, but then finally said, "I honestly don't think I'm ready yet."


Everything seemed to quieten after that. Jaehyun still felt Doyoung's eyes on him every now and then, but decided to ignore it. At one point, he even managed to forget about Doyoung's presence, listening to Taeil talk about this girl he was seeing. That was, until Johnny's little brother showed up.

"Hey guys! What are you all doing here?" Mark asked, stopping in front of their table. Everyone looked up and greeted the younger.

"We're celebrating. It's Taeil's birthday, actually," Johnny answered. "What about you? Should you be out this late?"

"Very funny," Mark said dryly, before turning towards Tail with a huge smile. "Happy birthday, man!" "And, I'll have you know Hyuckie and I are actually on a date," he added proudly, pulling the boy he was with by the hand as if he was showing him of. The said boy slapped Mark's hand away and smiled at others shyly. Jaehyun smiled, glad to see Mark this happy, since he has developed a soft spot for the younger boy over the years of knowing Johnny.

"God, they're still in high school and already have their shit together, all of us should be ashamed," Yuta commented, laughing widely.

"Hey, count me out of that. Joy and I are doing just fine, thank you," Taeil said, mocking offense.

Johnny shifted awkwardly in his seat, and the movement apparently grabbed Mark's attention.

"Oh yeah, where's Ten? He couldn't make it?" Mark asked, turning to look at Johnny expectedly.

Johnny looked around the table with an uncomfortable expression, and then back at Mark, who was now frowning at his brother.

"Actually, he-" Johnny started, but Jaehyun cut him off.

"I think Doyoung would answer that question better, right?" Jaehyun said loudly, looking at Doyoung with a cold expression.

The whole table went quiet at that. Jaehyun was still looking at Doyoung, waiting for his reaction. Doyoung looked back at him with an unreadable expression.

"Jaehyun, can we please just talk?" Doyoung asked after a few beats of uncomfortable silence.

"There's nothing to talk about," he said tightly, looking away from Doyoung. He got up, ignoring Taeyong's worried look, and started walking away from the table with hurried steps, heading to the bathroom. He needed a few minutes to clear his head.

A second after he got in, the door was being opened forcefully, almost hitting Jaehyun in the process. Doyoung walked in and stood in front of him.

"Stop running away! We're talking about this now!" he said loudly, looking angrier than Jaehyun had ever seen him.

"What's there to talk about?" Jaehyun asked, managing to sound indifferent, knowing it would piss Doyoung off.

"Would you stop being so childish?!" Doyoung yelled, exasperation evident in his voice. "God, just say what you mean for once!"

"To say what I mean, right?" Jaehyun questioned, not even bothering to hide his anger now. "Okay, how about this? I think you're a selfish jerk, who managed to ruin a good relationship just for your own, selfish reasons, if you even had any."

"Stop it!" Doyoung said, shaking his head as if it'll make what Jaehyun said go away. He backed away slowly, like he was trying to get away from Jaehyun's words, but Jaehyun wouldn't let him. He deserved to hear that.

"What? You wanted to talk, right?"

Jaehyun put his hands on the wall on each side of Doyoung's head, trapping him against the wall and looking him straight in the eyes with a hard expression.

"So talk."

They looked at each other for a moment. Jaehyun could distinctly remember the last time he was that close to the other, almost two years ago, and he shuddered involuntary. He tried to forget it so many times, but the memory just kept coming back, reminding him how he could never have what he wanted the most. He swallowed hard, ready to pull away, not able to stand Doyoung's intense gaze anymore, when he felt a pull on his jacket. Next thing he knew, Doyoung's lips were on his. Jaehyun froze, not able to think about anything at that moment. Doyoung was kissing him hungrily, like he was desperate, and Jaehyun didn't have the strength to push him away.

So, he kissed him back just as hungrily, slamming him against the wall roughly. He wanted to hurt him in a way where all he could feel was Jaehyun. Doyoung gasped into the kiss, but did nothing to try and stop it. Instead, his hands moved from where they were still clutching Jaehyun's jacket, and settled on Jaehyun's back, pulling him closer so that there wasn't any space left between their bodies.

Doyoung moaned and suddenly a picture of a body grinding against Doyoung's appeared in Jaehyun's mind. He pushed the other away abruptly, taking a few steps back, looking away from him, knowing he couldn't stand his eyes on him right now.

"I'm staying at Johnny's for the night," Jaehyun said, and walked out of the door, not sparing Doyoung a glance.


Jaehyun was late, and Johnny was going to kill him. He was standing in front of Johnny's door, waiting for the older to open and ready to apologize to him as soon as he did. Except it wasn't Johnny who opened the door.

"Hey, Jaehyun," Ten said, standing at the door awkwardly. "I didn't know you were coming."

"Uhm, hey," Jaehyun managed after he processed what was happening. "I could say the same thing."

"Jaehyun? Oh shit, I totally forgot!" Johnny yelled from somewhere in the apartment. Then he appeared at the door, standing next to Ten.

"It's okay, I was gonna go, anyway," Ten said hurriedly, smiling at Johnny shyly. Jaehyun looked at the scene in front of him, thinking how that was certainly the first time he had ever seen Ten looking shy.

"You don't have to go because of me," he said, feeling bad for ruining whatever was happening there.

"It's fine, Jae. I was really about to go," Ten said softly, and then he turned to Johnny. "I'll see you, I guess."

Jaehyun felt something in his stomach tighten upon hearing that nickname from Ten's mouth. It made him realize how much he had missed him, suddenly feeling even worse for Johnny. He could only imagine how the other felt.

"Alright, I'll see you," Johnny said, looking at Ten with a soft expression. "Sorry again," he said to Jaehyun, after looking away from Tens leaving form, although reluctantly. Jaehyun noticed he didn't look all that sorry.

Johnny started walking inside, gesturing for Jaehyun to do the same. Jaehyun sat on the couch once he got in, looking at Johnny expectedly. Johnny slowly lit a cigarette and sat beside him, avoiding his gaze.

"So?" Jaehyun asked after a minute of silence, not being able to wait any longer.

"I honestly don't know," Johnny sighed, leaning his back on the couch. "I went out last night, and bumped into him there. So we hung out, and he stayed the night."

Jaehyun lifted both of his eyebrows. Even though he expected a similar answer, it still came as a surprise to him.

"No, don't look at me that way, we didn't do anything. It was late, and we were both drunk, so I insisted he stayed at my place, since it was closer," Johnny explained.

"Okay, so, what did you do?" Jaehyun asked, still not sure if he was buying Johnny's story. He knew how he and Ten were, so it was pretty hard for him to believe nothing happened.

"It was nice. We just talked for the whole night." Johnny paused, looking away from Jaehyun. "You know, I think I just realized how much I've missed that. Just talking to him. Him being around. Everything, really."

Jaehyun put his hand on Johnny's shoulder reassuringly.

"I know," he said quietly. And, even if Johnny didn't talk about it, not even with him, Jaehyun knew how hard he was hurting, and how badly he missed Ten. He could see it in Johnny's eyes all of the time, ever since the breakup.

"You know what the reason was?" Johnny asked suddenly. "For what he did?"

Jaehyun shook his head. Johnny looked surprised for a second, probably having expected Doyoung to have told him. Jaehyun never asked Doyoung, and Doyoung never tried to tell him, probably feeling like it wasn't his story to tell, and Jaehyun agreed.

"It was the message I sent him the night of the party. You know how I was with my family in Chicago?" Jaehyun nodded, and Johnny continued with a sigh. "Well, we were texting, and I sent him a picture of my little niece and joked about how I would be such a great dad, or something like that."

"And then he said he started panicking. You know how Ten was before we started dating. He said that he got scared, realizing how serious our relationship was, and all that. And then he started drinking, and then Doyoung was there, and they talked, and… Well, you know the rest," he finished with a tired smile.

"Damn," was all Jaehyun could say.

"I know. It actually makes sense," Johnny hummed, taking a drag from his cigarette. "Not that I'm justifying what he did, obviously. But I was honestly expecting him to run away for the whole few months of our relationship. And when he didn't, I thought that that was it. I guess I didn't expect him to panic this long into the relationship. But I know he regrets it, I really do. God Jaehyun, I've never seen him this broken before."

"So, what are you gonna do now?"

Johnny looked at him with a small smile, and Jaehyun was so glad the two of them talked. He knew they would be fine, they had to be.

"Take it slow, I guess. All I know is that I'm not ready to let him go. Not for something as stupid as this."


Doyoung's hand rested on his lower back and Jaehyun's whole body was on fire. He turned to look at him, but Doyoung was looking at Jungwoo with a neutral expression, listening to the other talk about some project excitedly. Jaehyun sighed, turning his attention back to Jungwoo, who was now looking at him with a quirked eyebrow.

He quickly removed his gaze, cursing his inability to hide anything. Jungwoo thankfully, decided to spare him, as he didn't say anything for the rest of the night.

Soon after that, Doyoung asked him if he wanted to head home, and Jaehyun happily agreed. They said their goodbyes to everyone, Jaehyun purposely avoiding Jungwoo’s teasing smirk in the process, and made their way out of the bar. The cold winter air hit Jaehyun’s face sharply when they stepped outside, but he didn't mind, he enjoyed the feeling after being in a closed space for the last few hours.

Doyoung, on the other hand, started complaining the minute they left the warmth of the bar, clinging to Jaehyun like the other could protect him from the cold. Jaehyun smiled, wrapping his arm around the other, wondering how much longer he’ll be able to ignore the fact that his heart always seemed to beat three times faster whenever Doyoung was near him.


"Want me to make us dinner?" Doyoung asked after they got inside.

Jaehyun ignored his pounding heart once again, instead smiling and nodding at Doyoung, who then disappeared into the kitchen. Jaehyun sighed, plopping himself to the couch.

Ever since they left the bar, Jaehyun felt something in the air, making him nervous and excited at the same time. And for the first time, he didn’t want to ignore it. The two of them were sitting next to each other on their couch, thighs and shoulders pressed together, a movie Jaehyun knew nothing about playing on the TV. Jaehyun was on edge ever since the movie started, spending more time lost in his thoughts than actually watching the movie.

He turned to look at Doyoung, his face only a few inches away from his own, only to find him already looking at him, with a small smile on his face. Jaehyun though he was gonna lose it if he doesn't do anything. So he started leaning in slowly, lifting his hand to cup Doyoung's face, before he noticed the other stilling completely.

"What are you doing?" Doyoung asked with a frown, and Jaehyun's heart stopped beating in his chest. He pulled away quickly, looking at Doyoung with wide eyes.

"Look, I'm sorry if I gave you the wrong impression. But I'm straight," Doyoung said, now looking at Jaehyun with a soft expression.

Jaehyun's brain finally started working again, and he looked away from the other, feeling heat creep up to his neck.

"I'm so sorry. I just thought-" he started, but Doyoung quickly put a hand over his to shut him up, making Jaehyun meet his eyes again.

"Hey, please don't apologize. If anyone should apologize, it's me. I guess I've been giving you mixed signals all this time, without even realizing it," he chuckled nervously. "So yeah, I’m sorry."

Jaehyun just looked at him blankly, still having trouble processing what just happened.

"Okay, yeah, this is…” he started, running his fingers through his hair roughly. “It’s fine, I'll get over it quickly," he finished after a few seconds, forcing a smile. He wondered if Doyoung could see right through him, if he could tell he was lying to him.

"Yes, of course,” Doyoung said with a smile that looked a little too tight to be honest. “Well, I’m going to sleep now, I’m kinda tired.”

“Okay, yeah, I’ll go soon, too,” Jaehyun said, trying his best not to sound too awkward. He was thankful Doyoung was leaving him alone, since that was what he needed.

Doyoung got up to his feet and started moving towards his room slowly. Just as he was about to get out of the room, he stopped and turned to Jaehyun.

“And, Jae,” he started. “Don’t worry about this please, we’re good.”

With that, he was gone, leaving Jaehyun alone in their living room to wonder how he could've let himself fall in love with Doyoung.


Jaehyun fiddled with his bracelet nervously. It was the one Taeyong got him for his last birthday, saying it could be his lucky charm. Jaehyun didn't believe in that stuff, but now he found himself wishing that things like that were real. He needed all the luck he could get since Doyoung was going to be there every minute, and Jaehyun still didn't know if he was ready to talk to him.

A few minutes passed and Jaehyun spotted Doyoung walking into the cafe hurriedly. His heart roamed in his chest loudly. He took a deep breath, trying to compose himself as much as he could.

"Hey," Doyoung said, slipping into a seat across from Jaehyun.

"Hey," Jaehyun answered back. After a few seconds of silence, during which they just stared at each other wordlessly, Jaehyun cleared his throat, looking away from Doyoung. "I ordered for you, it should be here any second."

"Okay, thanks," the other answered and Jaehyun hated how awkward they were being.

The waitress came with Doyoung's drink, placing it in front of him and then leaving hurriedly, as if she could sense the tension between the two.

"So," Jaehyun started, feeling like he should be the one to start talking, since he was the one who asked Doyoung to meet up. "First, I wanted to apologize for Taeil's birthday. It was childish of me, and I was being unfair to you. And second, I wanted to let you know that I'm ready to talk if you still are. So, yeah, that's it."

Doyoung looked at him with an unreadable expression and then nodded slowly.

"It's fine, I kinda deserved it," he laughed humorlessly, looking away from Jaehyun. "And yeah, I still want to talk. So, I guess you figured out by now that the whole thing had something to do with you. And if you didn't, well, you're an idiot."

Jaehyun chuckled at that. Doyoung smiled at him carefully before continuing.

"God, where do I even start?" he groaned, running his hands through his hair. "Well, I guess it all started with you as well. Everything was fine until that night."

He stopped, looking at Jaehyun with an unsure expression. Jaehyun nodded his head, wanting to show the other that's it was okay to talk about it, that that was exactly what he wanted them to do.

"Well, after you tried to kiss me, I started noticing things. Things about you that I never did before. I thought it was probably because of what happened, and didn't think too much of it, guessing it would just stop soon. But it never did, and it only got worse from there. So I was confused, you know. I've never been attracted to a guy before and I didn't know what to think of it."

He paused, as if to see if Jaehyun was still listening. Like he wasn't latching onto Doyoung's every word desperately, after waiting to hear them for so long.

"So, I was telling Ten about it and he suggested we kissed, so I could see if I liked it. You know, to test if I was just confused, or if there was really something. And, god, we were so drunk, it seemed like a good idea."

He paused again, probably wanting to give Jaehyun time to process everything he just said.

"From what I saw, you liked it a lot. Both you and him," Jaehyun hummed, looking at his coffee in an attempt to distract himself from the hurt in Doyoung's eyes.

"I'm really sorry. I'm sorry that it happened, that you had to see it, and for everything that followed. But I can't change what happened," Doyoung said firmly, and Jaehyun raised his eyes to meet his. He was looking at Jaehyun with something akin to determination, and Jaehyun struggled to understand what was going on in his head.

"I just don't get it," he said after a while. "You could have told me. We would have figured it out together. It was about me, after all. Your attraction to me or whatever."

"Yeah, maybe I would have if I didn't have feelings for you Jaehyun!" Doyoung exclaimed annoyedly, raising his voice enough to get a few looks from the people around them.

Jaehyun was surprised by the outburst, since Doyoung almost never raised his voice. But more than that, he was surprised with what he just said. So he raised his eyebrows slowly, looking at Doyoung carefully.

"Yes, you idiot," Doyoung said, quieter this time. "I may not have it all figured out, but I'm sure about that."

Jaehyun felt like his heart might jump out of his chest any second. He knew there was something going on in Doyoung's head, but he wasn't really expecting it to be this.

"God, that's-" he stopped, suddenly not knowing what to say. "I don't really know what to say."

Doyoung smiled at him softly, taking Jaehyun's hand in his own.

"I'm saying that I would like us to try. I don't expect an answer from you right away, I know it's a little too much to handle all of a sudden. Believe me, I'm still trying to," he laughed nervously. "I just wanted to get it off of my chest. Everything else is up to you."

"Okay," Jaehyun said slowly, more to convince himself it was okay, than Doyoung. "I, yeah, I want to, but-"

"Hey, it's okay. I don't expect you to forget everything that happened just because I told you how I feel. At least we're on speaking turns now, right? We can take it slow, see how things unfold and everything."

Doyoung was looking at him with such a soft expression, and Jaehyun had to take a deep breath to prevent himself from saying something he didn’t want to. Not yet, at least.

"Yeah, I think I'd like that."


The door swung open, and Jaehyun took a step back, surprised by the force it was opened with. He quickly composed himself, flashing his brightest smile in order to impress whoever was on the other side.

“Hey, you’re here for the apartment, right?” a boy around his age asked when he looked at Jaehyun. He was around Jaehyun’s height, dressed in sweatpants and a white t shirt, black hair falling over his eyes, and a slight frown on his face. He looked annoyed for some reason, but Jaehyun hoped he was just tired or something.

“Yeah, I’m Jaehyun. Nice to meet you,” Jaehyun answered, still smiling, although his smile did falter a little at the other's cold expression.

“Doyoung,” he said, and a small smile appeared on his face, making Jaehyun relax a little. “Come in.”

Jaehyun followed Doyoung into the apartment, looking around to get a feel of the apartment he soon might be living in. The place seemed very new and clean. It was also almost unfurnished, which caught Jaehyun a little by surprise.

“I moved a few days ago, that’s why it’s still almost empty,” Doyoung said suddenly, probably noticing Jaehyun’s confused expression.

Jaehyun hummed, turning to look at the other.

“So, is the place yours or?”

“Oh, no, no. I found it recently, and liked it immediately. But it’s big enough for two, and I obviously can’t afford the rent on my own, so I decided to look for a roommate,” he explained.

Jaehyun nodded, and Doyoung started showing him the rest of the apartment. They walked into the first room, and Doyoung told him that one would be his. Jaehyun looked around the room, even though it was empty except for the bed. It seemed good enough.

"Yeah, it looks good," he said to Doyoung, who gave him a small smile, even though it looked kind of forced.

“Great. Well, tell me a little about yourself I guess,” the other said. He still looked very serious, and Jaehyun started wondering if it had something to do with him after all.

“Right, well, I’m a freshman, business major,” he started, wondering what else to say. Doyoung was looking at him expectedly, so he continued. “I’m on the basketball team. I also like music, I play the piano and sing sometimes.

“Oh so, good at everything, I see,” Doyoung hummed, quirking an eyebrow at Jaehyun. “Well, at least you're not another science major. I mean, I have nothing against them, but they’re all fucking insane.”

Jaehyun chuckled, wondering what made Doyoung say that. He decided not to ask, since the other didn’t exactly look like he wanted to chat.

“What about you?” he asked after a few seconds.

“I’m a computer science major, sophomore,” Doyoung answered shortly.

He then started walking down the hallway, pressing the heel of his palm to his forehead and sighing.

“Hey, are you okay? You seem like you’re gonna pass out any second,” Jaehyun asked worriedly, moving to stand next to the other. Doyoung seemed not to have expected his question, since he turned to Jaehyun with a surprised look.

“Oh, yeah, I’m fine. I’m sorry if I seem a little rude, I’m usually not like this,” he sighed, looking at Jaehyun apologetically. “I just haven’t slept last night, and I’ve had at least five people look at the apartment today, and my head is killing me the whole day. So yeah, you could say I’m a little exhausted.”

“Hey, it’s fine. We can finish, and you can get some sleep. I’ve already made up my mind, anyway. I’m interested, so it’s all up to you now.”

Doyoung lifted both of his eyebrows, looking at Jaehyun confusedly. Jaehyun was surprised at himself as well, but he found that he weirdly trusted Doyoung. He was usually really good at reading people, and he had a good feeling about Doyoung. Something about the other intrigued him. He also liked the apartment so far, and was tired of looking for places after doing it for a few weeks.

“Really? Even with the way I acted?” Doyoung looked at him suspiciously for a few seconds, but then seemed to relax. “Okay, I guess it’s yours then.”

“Wait, just like that?” Jaehyun asked, now confused by the situation as well.

“Well, you don’t seem like a psychopath, and that’s good enough for me at this point,” Doyoung said seriously and Jaehyun had to chuckle at that.

“You have some really low standards,” Jaehyun said, smiling at the other.

“Well, not for other things,” Doyoung said, a slight smirk forming on his face.

“Obviously. It would have been weird if you did," Jaehyun found himself saying.

Doyoung looked at him with a weird expression, and Jaehyun felt the heat creeping to his ears. He started thinking how it may have been a little too much to say to a guy you just met, and was just ready to apologize when he noticed Doyoung smiling at him.

And this time, his smile was bright and honest, and Jaehyun couldn’t help but to think he wouldn’t mind being the one responsible for that smile again.


Jaehyun walked into his apartment and was instantly welcomed by the sweet smell of something baking in the oven. He sighed contently, getting rid of his shoes and jacket.

Walking into the kitchen he saw Doyoung in front of the stove, mixing something hurriedly. He walked to him, put his hands around his waist and kissed his cheek.

"Hey," Doyoung smiled at him, before pulling him in for a quick kiss. "I'm baking muffins for Taeyong's party."

"Really?" Jaehyun asked, putting his chin on Doyoung's shoulder. "That's nice of you."

They stayed like this for a few moments, before Jaehyun started kissing down Doyoung's neck slowly, his hands finding their way under Doyoung's shirt.

"Jaehyun, my hands are dirty," Doyoung deadpanned, trying to wiggle out of Jaehyun's hold.

"We'll find a way to clean them up," Jaehyun said in a low tone, lips brushing Doyoung's ear in the process.

"That doesn't even make sense," Doyoung said, laughing brightly as he pushed Jaehyun away with his elbows.

Jaehyun laughed and sat on one of the chairs next to Doyoung, deciding to watch him work quietly. He put a cigarette in his mouth, ready to light it up, when Doyoung snatched it out of his mouth.

"Not while I'm baking. You can go to the balcony," he suggested, putting the cigarette down on the table.

Jaehyun groaned, but stayed in his spot, continuing to watch Doyoung.

"Hey, guess who I found at Johnny's this morning," he said after a few minutes of comfortable silence.

Doyoung stopped what he was doing, turning to look at Jaehyun with an unreadable expression.

"Ten?" he asked. Jaehyun nodded with a smile. "Really? Wow, I wasn't expecting that so soon."

"I know. Johnny said nothing happened, though. He said they just talked all night."

"Oh, that's good," Doyoung said, continuing to work on the mix, but looking deep in his thoughts. "You think they'll work it out?" he asked after a few minutes.

"I do," Jaehyun answered honestly. "Johnny was really happy, so I'm glad."

"Me too," Doyoung said with a small smile.

Jaehyun felt the atmosphere change after that, knowing what was probably going on in Doyoung's head. He got up, placing his hands on Doyoung's shoulders, spinning him around gently.

"Hey," he said once their eyes met. Doyoung rolled his eyes but took Jaehyun's hand in his, intertwining their fingers.

"You're so corny," Doyoung said, but a small smile appeared on his face.

"Only for you," Jaehyun hummed, smiling at him sweetly.

Doyoung started pushing him away with an exaggerated groan, but Jaehyun only wrapped his arms around the other and laughed loudly.

Once he pulled away, Doyoung looked at him with a soft expression, pressing his lips to Jaehyun's gently. They kissed lazily for a while, before Doyoung started deepening the kiss, his hands fiddling with Jaehyun's belt skillfully. Jaehyun chuckled against Doyoung's lips.

"Didn't you say your hands were dirty or something?" he teased, pulling away so he could smirk at him.

"Screw it," Doyoung breathed, bringing their lips together again and pulling him towards his bedroom at the same time.


Jaehyun looked at Doyoung's resting form on the bed next to him, tracing his back with his finger softly. He still couldn’t believe he got to see him like this, that he was the one Doyoung chose to be with.

"I love you," he suddenly said, the words leaving his mouth on their own. Doyoung turned his head towards Jaehyun sharply, looking at him with an unreadable expression. And even though he didn't plan to say it, Jaehyun was not sorry that he did, so he just smiled softly, brushing a few strands of Doyoung's hair out of his face. "I don't expect you to say it back. I just wanted to let you-"

"I love you, too," Doyoung interrupted him with a smile, pressing his lips to Jaehyun's. Jaehyun smiled into the kiss, pulling Doyoung closer, realizing that he probably never felt this content in his life. He could get used to this.