Jisung had always liked looking at the stars.
He had always been fascinated by them, even at a young age, though that was before school – as it did with most things – sucked the joy out of the mysteries that were actually just floating balls of gas waiting to explode into a glittering fire left to float around in the vast expanse of space.
Jisung used to think the stars were angels. Or maybe not angels specifically, but something not entirely so scientific. He used to think they were magical, that they could grant wishes or whatever else his young mind had come up with. He knew better now, had read enough books and scoured enough astronomy articles to know that despite their otherworldly appearance, there wasn’t anything special about them.
Maybe that had been upsetting at first. As he’d grown up, he’d been disappointed to find that what he thought were sparkling, magnificent creatures of light were just small specs of gas floating in the distance far away. After that, the universe and its beauties had lost some of its appeal.
And then he’d met Hwang Hyunjin.
Hyunjin – much like one of those many, many stars – was bright. He was so bright, he blinded Jisung. He was all fiery passion, reckless ambition, and snappy remarks. He burnt hot, hotter than even the sun. To a younger Jisung, he’d been beautiful and loud and bright, taking up too much space and invading every crevice of Jisung’s life.
Unlike the stars Jisung so dearly loved, he’d despised Hyunjin from the moment they met.
He was the embodiment of everything Jisung hated, everything he was insecure about in himself – even though back then he would deny ever being lacking in any field. Hyunjin was tall, beautiful, and overflowing with raw, unhindered talent.
Hwang Hyunjin had the face of someone who’d had everything in life handed to them, never having to work for it. It had pissed Jisung off to no end.
But he’d learned eventually, that appearances were not always all there was to a person. Much like his view of the universe being changed, so was his opinion about Hyunjin. And as he had with the stars, he’d grown to have a new, different kind of appreciation for Hyunjin, though it had taken a while to get there.
He could laugh at his younger self now. He could look at Hyunjin and think to himself, how had I ever thought of you that way? How could I have ever been so wrong about someone?
In a lot of ways, Hyunjin was like the stars, in both a scientific and magical sense. He was flawed, and sometimes he reminded Jisung of an unstable ball of gas, waiting to explode at the slightest change in atmosphere – though less so lately. These days Hyunjin was calm, if easily excitable. And though that explosiveness had diminished, the way he blinded Jisung had never gone away. He was still bright, always so goddamn bright and Jisung could never look away, even if he wanted to.
Jisung had a list of adjectives he associated with Hyunjin in his mind that he never spoke out loud. They could also be applied to the stars, but he found that they suited Hyunjin better.
Alluring. Dazzling. Sparkling.
Above all else, Hyunjin was the most enchanting thing Jisung had ever come across in his admittedly short life, and Jisung was completely, helplessly, uselessly infatuated with him.
“You’re not even looking,” Hyunjin’s voice drifted through the silence of the humid night air, snapping Jisung out of his reminiscence.
He blinked, flushing when he realised, he’d been staring at Hyunjin’s face the entire time, lost in thought. Even so, he couldn’t tear his eyes away from that mole, the one under Hyunjin’s right eye.
Hyunjin’s head fell to the side and their eyes met. He grinned, bright and mischievous, when he caught sight of the blush on Jisung’s cheeks.
“Maybe you were looking,” Hyunjin mused teasingly, a slight hint of amusement in his tone. Just not at the stars, went unsaid but they both heard it anyway.
Jisung narrowed his eyes, huffing a bit and twisting around until he was laying on his back, eyes on the stars – even though he really would prefer to stare at Hyunjin for the rest of the night.
“Shut up,” Jisung grumbled, sniffing indignantly.
Next to him, Hyunjin laughed, and Jisung almost startled at how close the sound was to his ear. He glanced at Hyunjin out of the corner of his eye to find that he had shifted onto his side and was no pressed up against Jisung. He sat up, balancing on his elbow and resting his head on his palm.
“And here I thought you brought me out here to look at the stars,” Hyunjin said, breath warm against Jisung’s cheek as he giggled softly. “But you just wanted an excuse to stare at me like some creeper stalker, didn’t you?”
Okay, so maybe – maybe – there was some truth to Hyunjin’s words, but –
“I’m not some creepy stalker,” Jisung said, pouting. “I’m your boyfriend.”
Boyfriend. He barely remembered how that had happened.
It had taken quite some time for the two of them to become tolerant of each other, even longer until the intense hatred towards each other dwindled down into mild annoyance, and eventually that went away as well. Once the mutual dislike was gone, the awkwardness had settled in. they’d had no idea how to act around each other when they weren’t spitting insults and sending each other glares whenever one spoke.
Slowly – so slowly – like two planets being drawn together, they gravitated towards each other, even though it was at a glacial pace, both familiarising themselves with the other until one day the realisation dawned on them both: they were friends.
And on another day, not long after that, much more seamlessly, they’d become something more.
In the present, Hyunjin hummed, leaning forward so he could nuzzle the cold tip of his nose into Jisung’s cheek. He widened his eyes comically, his lips forming an exaggerated pout, and Jisung knew that whatever words were about to leave his mouth were going to be relentlessly mocking.
“This whole thing is really cheesy, you know?” Hyunjin said, making Jisung squawk and turn to glare at him.
This was apparently what Hyunjin had wanted, as now their faces were barely centimetres apart. Jisung’s breath hitched, which was stupid considering this was not the first time he’d ever been this close to Hyunjin. It wasn’t even the closest they’d ever been, but that didn’t really change anything. Hyunjin was still breathtakingly gorgeous, and he floored Jisung almost every time he was struck with the sight of Hyunjin’s full beauty.
Before Jisung’s brain could come up with any coherent thoughts, Hyunjin was speaking again.
“But, as much as I love looking at the stars in the sky,” Hyunjin said, pausing dramatically and expression morphing into one of seriousness, “I love the stars in your eyes even more.”
“Oh my god!” Jisung recoiled, turning away from Hyunjin and burying his face in his hands. Beside him, Hyunjin was cackling loudly. “You’re so embarrassing!”
“Not as embarrassing as you,” Hyunjin said, and though Jisung couldn’t see him, he knew Hyunjin was grinning like a fool. “I can’t believe you really brought me out here at midnight to look at the stars, and spent the whole time staring at me. It doesn’t get any worse than that.”
Jisung grumbled in his hands, too low for Hyunjin to hear, which was a good thing because Jisung had no doubt Hyunjin would’ve broken out into hysterics if he’d heard Jisung’s soft you’re prettier than the stars. There would be no way Hyunjin would let him live that one down, the cruel fucker.
“Hey,” Hyunjin said, when Jisung still hadn’t resurfaced minutes later. “ Hey.”
Hyunjin reached over, turning Jisung onto his side until they were facing one another again. He gently pried Jisung’s hands away from his face, until Jisung was staring into his laughing eyes.
“Thanks,” Hyunjin said, amusement still there in his tone, but the words were soft and genuine. Jisung’s brows furrowed, because why was Hyunjin thanking him?
Picking up on his confusion, the laughter left Hyunjin’s eyes and was replaced with something, softer, more open. A look he reserved mostly for Jisung.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve gotten to spend time together, just us, especially with… everything, ” Hyunjin said, waving one of his hands in the air to emphasis his point. He was right too.
With comeback schedules and constantly practices and preparations, they'd barely had time to do much but collapse onto either of their beds before falling asleep and having to deal with a busy day apart from each other all over again.
Though, Jisung hadn’t really been thinking of any of that when he’d dragged Hyunjin away from the dorm and to the park close by. He’d just wanted to look at the stars with his boyfriend, that was all. He wished Hyunjin wouldn’t give him so much credit, as if he were some great mastermind that had created an elaborate plan to spend time together.
Before he could express this, Hyunjin leaned forward and pressed a kiss to his forehead, and then ducked lower and pecked his nose. Jisung was struck dumb as he let Hyunjin do as he pleased, placing a quick to each other his cheeks before finally bringing their lips together.
Jisung’s eyes fluttered closed without much thought, and he leaned forward, getting as close as he could. Hyunjin smiled against Jisung’s lips, bringing a hand up to cup his face, his thumb caressing Jisung’s cheek. Hyunjin’s lips were soft, slightly cool from the weather, but perfect all the same. And it had been so long since they’d gotten to share even the gentlest of kisses.
Hyunjin pulled back, his eyes sparkling. Jisung, as always, couldn’t look away even if he tried.
“I missed you,” Hyunjin said, and though he wasn’t often one to get too deep, too emotional – because when he did, it was quite overwhelming – there was a depth in his eyes hidden behind the playfulness. Evidence of the time spent apart even though they’d been right next to each other the whole time.
Jisung hadn’t even realised how far apart they’d been drifting – not that it was either of their faults, life was just like that sometimes – like two asteroids just floating along with nowhere to go, two comets always just missing one another. But now… now the collision was slow, and they slotted back together like two perfectly made puzzle pieces, as if they’d never been apart.
“I missed you too,” Jisung said with a sigh. Hyunjin smiled somewhat sadly, and Jisung ached to tell him that distance wasn’t his fault, but he knew that Hyunjin already knew that.
But it didn’t matter to Jisung that they’d go back to their busy schedules the next day, that it would be more of the same – working and working and working, until they were exhausted and satisfied – and they’d be together but apart. In that moment, all he cared about was that he had Hyunjin with him, that his eyes shone brighter than all the stars combined, and that he was smiling Jisung’s favourite smile. The one Jisung had learnt meant he was happy, truly happy, his eyes crescents, dimples visible.
It was perfect, and it was more than enough.