Yixing closed his eyes as he strummed his guitar to the melody of a new song he just finished last night. He always did the first song with his eyes closed. It was just another open mic night that he did almost every week. And yet, the nerve was always there. He couldn’t ruin the first song, or else he would ruin his whole performance.
These past few weeks he’d been on a roll, finishing a lot more songs faster than he usually did. And these new songs generally had a brighter tone to it compared to his older works, which was usually quiet, if not downright somber. But with this latest song, it was as if he reverted back to his old self.
There was muted applause when he finished the song. When Yixing opened his eyes again, he found the people were still on their seats. The couples were more interested with each other than any of the performers. And he smiled to himself, because this was just like any other Saturday night.
“This next song,” Yixing talked to the mic to introduce the song he was going to sing, “is inspired by a friend of mine who said he wants to travel to another galaxy.” He couldn’t help but to smile when the memory of Kris telling him with his usual serious face. “It’s called The Star.”
The song was lighthearted and told a story about a little boy who took his red rocket plushy one night and rode it to jump from one star to another. Kris, who amused Yixing by acting too cool for anything most of the time, found the cute song interesting. Kris liked it so much, in fact, that he convinced Yixing to record it so he could have it himself. Since it was inspired by Kris’ silly story anyway, Yixing couldn’t deny it, even if he wanted to.
Singing the song, reminiscing about the first time he let Kris to hear the song kept the smile to stay on Yixing’s face. It was nice. Creating something with someone was nice, nicer, than doing it alone like what he’d been done before. When the song ended, the smile was still there, although deep down Yixing regretted he had never even once told Kris about it.
The applause this time was louder. So Yixing glanced quickly across the floor and thanked them. And it was unusual to have someone being rowdy at this café, so when he heard a particularly loud cheer and whistle from the back, Yixing was drawn to see who that person was.
Yixing’s breath hitched when he realized who it was. And it was a very unexpected surprise to see Kris sitting there, in his tuxedo that was so out of place in this modest café, clapping excitedly.
Yixing wasn’t sure what to think or say about it other than Kris wasn’t supposed to be there, he had a prom night to attend to. And Yixing had to gather all of his focus to get through his one last song so he wouldn’t jump off the short stage and marched up to Kris to ask him what the hell was he doing there.
The last song that Yixing prepared, fortunately, was an old song of his. It was one of the songs that he performed every other week, so it was almost like a second nature to him. But the second the song ended, Yixing thanked the audience again, hastily, and didn’t even bother to place his guitar safely into the case before he stalked off to Kris’ table.
“What are you doing here?” he asked slowly, still somehow perplexed to find Kris there.
“To see you perform obviously,” Kris said with a shrug. “You’ve been telling me to come. And I always got something else to do when it’s your night to—.”
“No,” Yixing cut him, “I mean why you are not at the prom?” He knew Kris was only pretending to misinterpret his question, but he didn’t bother to point it out, he just wanted to know the answer.
Kris, instead, pulled him down by the wrist to make him sit on a chair opposite to Kris’. And in his daze, Yixing let him; he still had his guitar and the case in each of his hand.
“Kris,” Yixing started again, “why?”
“I’m picking up my date,” Kris answered softly, almost as if he was sharing a secret with Yixing.
The frown was not something Yixing could stop from forming on his forehead. Then he simply replied, “Oh.”
“Well he actually said he doesn’t want to go to the prom with me. But,”Kris shrugged, “I’m picking him up anyway. See if he wanted to go somewhere else with me instead.”
But the explanation only caused Yixing to frown harder. “Wait.” He didn’t look like he fully understands the situation. “Are you talking about…” He pointed to himself cautiously.
And that apparently was amusing enough for Kris that he laughed. “I don’t even know anyone else here.”
“Oh.” Yixing said, eloquently, once again.
“You did amazing by the way.” Kris pointed at the stage with a flick of his head. “I should’ve come sooner.”
It was sincere, so Yixing smiled. “Thanks.”
He suddenly remembered about his precious guitar still standing naked next to him and decided that putting it back safely inside its case was a better thing to do than to sit awkwardly in front of Kris.
And yet he found himself talking again.
“I’ve never come to any of your game either.”
“You should come then.” Kris had a gentle smile when he told Yixing that. “We don’t have much game left, you know.”
“Yeah. Maybe I should.”
“I’ll look forward to it.”
They were sitting awkwardly for some moments, before Kris asked Yixing if he wanted to go somewhere else instead. Yixing thought that if they wanted to this properly then they should go home, so Yixing could change his clothes. And so, that was where they found themselves 20 minutes later.
Yixing told Kris where the remote was (completely unnecessary since Kris already knew it) and to get himself comfortable in the living room, before he disappeared into his room.
Kris turned on the TV and wandered into the kitchen, looking for some leftovers he knew Yixing mother must have (because she always cooked too much) in the fridge and heated up enough for him and Yixing to eat.
One of Yixing’s puppies (he believed this was Wolfgang, because Amadeus was the one Yixing picked up with him in that stormy afternoon and Mozart was the one Yixing’s mother always carried around) demanded his attention by jumping around his leg, so he decided to play with him while he was waiting for the food to be ready.
Kris took the plate of pasta to the living room after the microwave dinged. The TV apparently was set on some cartoon channel Kris didn’t even bother to know before he switched it to an NBA channel.
He was still standing right in front of the TV, with red sauce staining the corner of his lips, when Yixing came down the stairs. And Kris stopped chewing. It was pure luck that he didn’t gape like an idiot, because Yixing had his usually unruly hair combed neatly to the side, and he had changed his simple tank and plaid shirt into a perfectly tailored tuxedo. And he was gorgeous.
Don’t get it wrong, Kris found Yixing to be physically attractive (if that wasn’t obvious already with how weak he was with the younger’s pout, or smile, or eyes). He would even say that Yixing’s easy and slightly ruffled disposition was a charming, especially when it contrasted nicely with Kris’ own meticulously put together fashion. But never once did Kris see him all made up like this. And it wasn’t only because it was unexpected to see Yixing dressed up like this, but Kris genuinely couldn’t look away even if he wanted to.
“Why are you eating?”
The question didn’t quite register into Kris head since he was still lost in his own daze. So he instead blurted out the first thing he that came into mind. “You look like a little prince.”
Yixing snorted and waved Kris’ comment off. Although there was a faint blush that crept up his cheeks. “I thought you want to go to the prom,” he half questioned.
“I thought you don’t want to and just want to stay in.” Kris shrugged. “But I mean, if you want to go…”
“Um…” Yixing walked up closer to where Kris still rooted in his place. Kris could tell he was considering.
Yixing’s bangs were long when his hair straightened like this. It kept falling and covering his eyes, prompting Yixing to having to repeatedly tuck it behind his ear. And Kris was distracted once again because Yixing’s fingers were pretty and the pale skin contrasting with his dark hair that looked so so soft, and Yixing was biting his plush lower lips in his hesitation, that Kris only realized that Yixing was answering his question when the plate in his hand was taken away and Yixing was moving to sit on the couch.
“Can we watch something else though? I feel like we always watch NBA games when you’re around,” Yixing complained.
“Fine,” Kris replied with feigned annoyance. He finally moved from his spot to sit next to Yixing on the couch and offered the remote to the younger boy.
They had a plate of spaghetti between them and Yixing settled on an action movie they had seen before. He sat half facing the plate, and therefore, Kris, with one of his legs tucked under him. While Kris slouched, relaxed, facing the screen. His long legs almost didn’t fit in the space between the couch and coffee table that his knees kept brushing the wooden edge of the table. And he probably should’ve sat up straight because he wrinkled his jacket.
“I think my dad have a bottle of cheap wine in the fridge.” When Kris raised his eyebrow, dubious, Yixing told him to relax. “He would think he’d drink it himself,” he assured him.
“I’m under strict order from Luhan to keep you sober though,” Kris confessed and stopped Yixing in his track to the kitchen to bring said bottle and a couple of glasses.
But the shorter boy only chuckled dismissively and left the room.
“You said you’d take care of me if I ever get drunk,” Kris heard Yixing said once he couldn’t be seen from the living room.
“I did,” he told Yixing when the younger boy returned to the room. “And I’m keeping my promise.”
Yixing diverted his attention on opening the bottle (it even came with a screw cap instead of cork, so at least Kris wouldn’t feel guilty for consuming Yixing’s dad expensive wine) and pouring its content into two glasses, an action that Kris wouldn’t consider as avoiding his gaze if Yixing wasn’t so set on not meeting his eyes.
Yixing took a sip of his wine after handing Kris his own. And then he placed the rim of the glass against his lips once again before he took a gulp this time.
“I know you will. You always do,” Yixing said softly. Kris wasn’t even sure if he was supposed to hear it or not.
“No one’s going to know if you do anything silly, anyway, since we’re alone here.”
Yixing hummed and nodded in reply. His cheeks tainted with pink, and Kris was sure it wasn’t because of the little wine he had. And he would probably stop if he was nice. But he was never really and flustered was a good look on Yixing. So instead, he turned his body to mirror Yixing’s seating position so he they could really face each other.
They were dressed up, had dinner and movie, and even wine. They were sitting closely together, alone. And there was a nice kind of tension between them that Kris couldn’t help but smile.
“It… sort of…” Kris started slowly, voice lowered, so only Yixing could hear, “It feels like a date, don’t you think?”
Once again Yixing only hummed. His fork toyed the little spaghetti left on the plate. “It is,” he murmured just as quietly.
But then Yixing surprised him when he finally looked up and held Kris’ gaze with his own. He was smiling and he was beautiful when he repeated the words, as if Kris needed the assurance that the night with him was all kinds of amazing.
Kris desperately wanted to trace his fingers along Yixing’s define jaw, feeling his soft skin under his touch, to dip his thumb on Yixing’s enticing dimple, pull him closer and taste his lips. And he would’ve act on instinct if it were someone else.
Now Kris wasn’t a jerk. Contrary to popular belief, he never just took advantage on people and broke their hearts. He would tell them what he wants and if it wasn’t what the other person wants, he’d let them go. But usually it was easy. He wanted a fling, nothing serious.
But just like Junmyeon told him earlier this night (although it felt like million years ago now that he’s with Yixing), Yixing wasn’t the typical person he used to take out on dates. And Kris didn’t know what to tell Yixing. Hell, Kris didn’t even know what he wanted, other than that this moment was perfect and he might not want it to ever end.
“You’re done with that or do you want to finish it?” he asked Yixing who was still twirling the leftover pasta with his fork.
“No, I’m done.”
Kris removed the plate from its place between to the coffee table. He wasn’t sure which one of them who moved, but when he leaned back and, casually, draped his arm along the backrest behind Yixing, they were somehow sitting closer to each other. Even Yixing’s knee kept brushing against his as he jiggled his leg.
“Where are your parents, by the way?” Kris placed a hand on Yixing’s knee to stop him from shaking it.
Yixing chuckled before he answered. “At the prom, ironically, chaperoning.” His leg stopped moving now that Kris’ hand was on his knee, but now, instead he kept sipping on his wine, which worried Kris.
“I must have missed them. I didn’t see them there.”
“Oh.” Yixing looked up with him with surprise. “You went to the prom?”
“Yeah. But I got bored.”
Yixing took a big gulp and effectively emptied his glass, before he asked. “And your date?” Yixing asked slowly. “You just left them there?” He looked slightly horrified and half guilty by the idea of Kris ditching his prom date to hang out with him.
Yixing poured another glass for himself and refilled Kris’ half empty one. He took another gulp of the wine, and Kris wondered if he should tell him to pace himself. He wasn’t sure just how lightweight actually Yixing was.
“I’ve told you, you’re my date, Yixing.”
His answer seemed to only prompt Yixing to take another swig until now there was a permanent blush on his cheeks. Kris didn’t care if his words or the alcohol’s was the one to blame. What he knew was Yixing was absolutely adorable looking half flustered and yet elated. He could see the dimple on his cheek and the smile on the corner of his lips.
“Now I feel bad for asking you to stay here, knowing how excited you were for the prom.” He looked up from under his long lashes with the look that he knew exactly Kris was weak against because Kris had told him so before.
“It’s fine.” Of course it was, as if Kris would say anything else after Yixing gave him that shy, guilty look. “I told you, the party was boring. And I doubt we could talk like this if we were there. I mean, everything’s so loud. And you don’t even like parties. So…” Kris shrugged noncommittally like it wasn’t a big deal. And it really wasn’t, since if he had to be really honest, he did really enjoy his time with Yixing tonight.
Yixing hummed, agreeing. “This is nice.” He leaned more into the couch and looked more relaxed now. “Do you see Luhan there?” Yixing asked with an amused smile. “Because he had another breakdown this afternoon and almost bailed.”
“Well, it’s a big deal for him to go to prom with Minseok hyung. I mean, I wouldn’t blame him, considering he’d been harboring his crush since god knows when. So now that it actually happens, he just kept thinking that everything is wrong.”
Kris chuckled. Luhan didn’t usually get panicked over things, so it was funny to imagine him having crises because of prom night. But mostly, Kris laughed because Yixing was chuckling next to him and it was hard to not laughing along with him.
“I did see him there with Minseok. So, don’t worry about that.” He tapped Yixing’s knee, assuring, with the hand that he still haven’t removed. “Actually, he was the one who told me where to find you.”
And this time, surprisingly, Luhan didn’t send Kris Yixing’s way with a threat, but instead he plead (“If you don’t seriously want to take Yixing as your date, I beg you, just don’t, okay?” ), which made Kris realized how sincere Luhan was and how he shouldn’t mess this thing he had with Yixing. Whatever it was.
“I just remember something.” Kris shifted away a little bit so he could see Yixing’s face better, and only then did he realized how close they had been sitting next to each other. Yixing could actually just tilt his head back and it’d be resting on Kris’ shoulder. And Kris almost regretted that he moved away. “I’ve been meaning to ask you this.” Yixing quirked his eyebrow at him. “How come you know, and even close to, most of my friends and yet I’ve never even know you? Don’t you think that’s just so weird?”
There was something flickering in Yixing’s eyes and in an instant the ease he had of being around Kris was gone, replaced by tense shoulders and averted eyes. Yixing drank the rest of his drink before pouring himself another glass and drank half of it. Kris was about to stop it just right when Yixing lowered the glass from his lips and turned to look at him.
“You told me you want to dance with your date on prom night. So…” Yixing offered his hand to Kris. “Let’s dance.” He watched Kris’ widened eyes and how he gaped, trying to come up with a response to the sudden invitation, that Yixing couldn’t help but to chuckle. “Come on. Let’s make it like a real date?”
“Are you drunk?” Kris finally managed to say.
Yixing slumped back to his seat with a pout on his face. “You don’t want to dance with me?”
“I didn’t say that,” Kris answered almost too quickly. “It’s just that, your face is so red right now and you suddenly look too giddy.” But even as he said that he took Yixing’s hand and led the younger boy to stand up. “Seriously though, are you drunk?”
Yixing giggled. “I think so.”
Kris sighed in return. “Luhan’s going to kill me.” Yet he wrapped one of his arms around Yixing’s slime waist while the other held Yixing’s up. “Don’t we need music?” He asked when the TV let out a particularly loud explosion sound—it was still set on an action movie after all.
“Just close your eyes, and you’ll hear it.”
“I’m not even half as drunk as you do, you know,” he retorted with an amused smile before started to sway their body gently from side to side.
Maybe Yixing was right about hearing the music if he closed his eyes. But he wouldn’t want to trade the sight before him with anything. For the umpteenth time in that evening, he once again marveled at Yixing’s beauty. It definitely wasn’t the first time he caught himself thinking about Yixing and his pretty face, his adorable dimples, his mischievous smile. But tonight, it was different. And he wasn’t sure if it was purely because of Yixing or because he finally had accepted the fact that he was attracted to Yixing. And not just physically, not just because he had nice chest or inviting pair of lips, but to the point that he didn’t want to take anyone else to prom night and even left said prom night just because Yixing was not there. It was scary, he thought to himself, that everything felt incomplete without Yixing around him.
Kris watched Yixing with his eyes closed and small serene smile on his face. They were dancing in their uncomfortable tuxedo suits in Yixing’s living room and there was gun fighting scene on the TV. The moment was both ridiculous and perfect. Exactly like the boy standing before him.
“I don’t know how I could miss you this whole time.”
His voice was soft and finally Yixing opened his eyes to glance up at him from under his long lashes. There was a soft smile on Yixing’s lips that didn’t quite reach his eyes.
“Want to hear a story?” Yixing asked.
“Hm…” He shrugged. “My first day in our school should be the appropriate start, I think.”
“Your first day at school?” Kris chuckled, amused. Yixing nodded convincingly, just like he always did whenever he was trying to get his way. “Okay. Let’s hear how interesting that story is.”
“So, you know, I came here in the middle of a school year, right? Because my dad just got transferred here. And it was scary, you know. I mean, I didn’t even speak the language the first time I came here, except for the basic greeting or saying ‘thank you’.”
Kris hummed. He understood that feeling. He’d been there before. Although he spent most of his time growing up in Korea, his family had their own share of moving around the world. And Kris had few experiences of being the new kid in an alien country.
“The school told me they have Chinese student that could help me to settle in here.”
“Luhan,” Kris said.
“Yes, Luhan.” Yixing affirmed. It was taken Kris by surprise when Yixing pulled himself closer to rest his temple against Kris’ shoulder, leaving Kris with a view of Yixing’s mop of brown hair. “But he wasn’t the first one I met,” the shorter boy murmured against Kris’ tuxedo.
“I was lost that morning. The principal told me that Luhan will meet me at lunch time. So I should go to straight to my classroom after he released me from his office. He even gave me a simple map to reach my class. But still I was lost.”
“Not completely surprising, actually,” Kris commented, and earned himself a weak punch against his chest in return.
“So, anyway, as I was lost, I stood at the bottom of a stairs, debating if I should go upstairs or not.”
“Wait.” Kris pulled away slightly so he could see Yixing’s face. “You didn’t even know in which floor your classroom is?” He asked, incredulous.
“I was lost,” Yixing replied defensively.
“But still. They even gave you a map, Xing.”
“Can I just finish my story, please?” Now Yixing looked adorably irritated.
“Sure.” Kris pulled him back to lean against his shoulder. “Sorry.” Although he was grinning as he said that.
He wasn’t sure what he just did, but Yixing felt tense in his arms that Kris instinctively stroked his back gently to soothe him. It took some quite moment before Yixing relaxed in his arms. And he took even longer to continue his story.
“So, when I decided to take the steps, there was this guy coming down—.”
“No, it wasn’t Luhan. And at that time I also knew it wasn’t, because the guy didn’t fit the principal’s description for Luhan. But… umm… I was frozen there and just gawked, basically. And I’m sure I must be looked so dumb at that time, because I was lost and confused, and then this gorgeous guy was walking down the stairs. He looked so ridiculously good. His hair looked amazing pushed back. He didn’t wear his uniform jacket, just his shirt, untucked. He had one hand in his pocket. And the way he stepped down the stairs was just so captivating. Like I wouldn’t be able to look away even if I wanted to.”
“Okay. Who is this guy? I’m sure in our school I’m the only kid that cool enough to do something like that.” He felt Yixing’s body shook gently with quiet laughter. “No, seriously, do I know him? I hope he already graduated, because I’m not sharing the spotlight, okay,” he said half jokingly, because whoever this guy was, he had managed to capture Yixing’s attention without even trying and the idea didn’t settle well with Kris.
“Of course you don’t.” But Yixing was smiling at Kris as he said that that Kris couldn’t help but to smile back at him.
“So what did you do to this guy?” Kris prompted Yixing to continue the story. “Did you profess your undying love to him?”
“I didn’t.” And Kris was disappointed when Yixing hid his face once again. “In hindsight, I probably should’ve though.” Kris’ eyebrow went up to his hairline. He was alarmed. He definitely didn’t like that idea. “Instead, in my daze, I blurted out about how handsome he was. In Mandarin.”
“Ah. So you were saved from embarrassment.”
“No, I wasn’t.” Yixing took a deep breath as if to steel himself before he continued. “He understood Mandarin. So he gave me this knowing smile and he thanked me. Then he left, just like that.”
“Wait.” Kris stopped their movement. One of the things that Yixing said finally registered in his mind. “He understood Mandarin?” Yixing nodded without a word.
When Kris first came to the school and introduced to Luhan, the only other Chinese student there, the older boy told him that no one else in the school could speak their mother language. And that was why Luhan was quite ecstatic to have Kris there. Even though their personalities didn’t guarantee them to be the closest of friends, Luhan just loved to have another kid who spoke his language.
So, if the guy in Yixing’s story was not Luhan, then…
“Oh.” The realization slipped out from his mouth before he could think about it.
“Yeah,” Yixing responded just as quietly. “After I met Luhan, I asked him who that guy was. And Luhan told me that he’s our basket team ace, the most popular guy, and the one that everyone wants to date. And when Luhan said he will introduce me to that guy, I told him that I’ve introduced myself.”
“But you didn’t. You never do.”
The confusion and irritation in Kris’ voice drew Yixing to look up. And Kris could see the shame and guilt in Yixing’s eyes that he almost wished he controlled his own emotion better.
Kris let go of Yixing’s hand none too gently. He stepped away from Yixing and stared at him, baffled. That Yixing thought he needed to protect himself from Kris hurt him.
“I’m a horrible person, okay.” The answered was not what Kris was expected if he had to be honest. “I fit people into stereotypes. I thought you must be the kind of stupid arrogant jock who is selfish and thinks other people are beneath him and most of all, wouldn’t want to have anything to do with me. Because I’m not cool. I mean, who cares about music, or dancing, or art, right? I don’t even do well in my classes. I’m just…” Yixing looked down at himself and gestured with his hands. “I’m just bland.”
“Oh wow.” Kris rubbed his palm against his face in his frustration. It wasn’t the first time he heard people think of him like that. Even Yixing himself had insinuated the same thing in the beginning of their friendship. But Kris had never thought the implication was more serious than that. That there were people who actually prevented themselves to befriend him. “So that’s really what everyone… What you think about me. That’s… Just wow.”
“No. Not everyone. Just stupid jerks like me.” At this point, Yixing’s voice was so soft, it was barely a whisper. He wrapped his arms around body as if to protect himself. “The people who actually know you speak highly of you. They genuinely like you. They think you’re great. So…” Yixing smiled bitterly to himself. “All the more reason to not getting to know you, right?” When Kris frowned at his words, Yixing continued. “Because why would this guy, who is not only physically attractive, but also nice, and has his own fanclub, and girls and guys offering themselves to him, would even look at me.”
“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” Yixing nodded, not denying. “And so because you decided I wouldn’t like you, you avoided me.”
“Yeah, basically. Whenever Luhan asked me to go with him to support the basketball team, I found something else to do at the same time. Whenever Baekhyun or Jongdae or Joonmyun asked me to come to a party that I know you’d be there, I told them that I don’t like parties. I just wanted to watch you from afar and keep my memory of this gorgeous, mysterious guy that I saw on my first day of school. Self preservation.”
“So why did you agree to help me with the magazine then?”
Yixing shrugged, trying to look nonchalant, yet failing. Kris still couldn’t miss the tension in his body. “You’re graduating. I thought…” Yixing’s slim fingers were tugging the end of his sleeve mindlessly, “I thought there wouldn’t be any harm from getting to know, give myself a farewell gift. And if you were going to be mean to me, if I ended up hating you, then at least I can stop…” He sighed, frustrated at himself, “having this stupid crush.”
Yixing threw himself back to sit on the couch. He raised his half full glass and downed the rest of his drink.
“You’re gonna get seriously drunk,” Kris warned when he saw Yixing poured another glass for himself.
“That’s kind of the whole point.” But he did pace himself and took little sips instead.
Kris, feeling like he needed some drink to loosen up himself, finally sat back down and finished the wine left in his glass. They were sitting quietly on their own ends of couch. Yixing was still nursing his last glass and Kris balanced his own empty glass on his knees. Both were pointedly not looking at each other.
Yixing’s confession definitely took Kris by surprise. He had all kinds of feeling jumbled inside him. He was relieved because Yixing was attracted to him, which was something new for Kris, since he used to have people attracted to him that it had stopped making him feeling especially elated like he was at this moment. He felt irritated that they couldn’t get to know each sooner. And it was definitely partly his fault for forgetting Yixing so easily after their first meeting, and partly Yixing’s fault for actively avoiding him. But most of all, he felt upset that Yixing had these preconceptions about Kris, and even more upsetting, about himself.
“You’re not bland,” Kris told Yixing with a frustrated huff.
The words prompted Yixing to turn and look at Kris that Kris felt compelled to look at Yixing in return and said what he wanted to say next directly to Yixing, trying to make sure that Yixing believed every words of it.
“I think… Well, people think, everyone thinks you’re amazing. You write your own songs, you’re a great dancer, you design a lot of things for our school. You’re nice and polite. Everyone is your friend. And the ones who are not want to be your friend. And I have people telling me that they envy me because they think I’m dating you. I have people telling me not to hurt you. And if you ever look at yourself in a mirror,” Kris tried to lighten the mood, “I think you’d understand at least half of the reason why they’re attracted with you.”
Yixing smiled along the rim of his glass, small, shy. “You’re not too bad yourself.”
“Well, thanks,” Kris replied with half sarcasm, “that’s what I want to hear after all the good things I said about you,” he joked.
Yixing laughed softly. It never ceased to amuse him how Kris basically lives off of praises. “And I haven’t compliment you enough this whole night?”
Kris shifted on his seat, his side and elbow leaned against the back rest, head propped with his hand so he was properly facing Yixing.
“What you said is what you think and heard about me before we know each other. For all I know, you might secretly hate me now that you know me.”
“You’re still sitting here in my living room, aren’t you?”
“Right,” Kris said absentmindedly. His focus was on Yixing who started to look nervous and took big gulps from his drink again. He scooted closer and stopped Yixing by his wrist when he tried to finish his glass. “I think you have enough already, Xing.”
“Just…” Yixing pulled Kris’ hand away from his wrist. “I’ll just finish this last one, okay.” And Kris let him, just like he also let Yixing’s hand stayed on top of his.
Yixing emptied his glass and let Kris put the glass aside on the coffee table. They stared at each other without words. Yixing’s face was redder now and a thin haze of inebriation clouding his usually bright eyes.
He opened his mouth, trying to find the words for the thought he wanted to express. “I don’t think anyone could hate you, Wufan,” Yixing finally said. “You’re a nice guy. You keep your promises. And you look so intense all the time, but actually, you’re a big softie.” He suddenly started to giggle. “You can’t even say no whenever I pout at you.”
“Oh so you know about that and you use it against me.” Kris flipped their connected hands so he could leave little harmless pinches on Yixing’s palm to punish him. “I knew you’re not as innocent as everyone thinks you are.”
Yixing giggled harder. He tried to pry his hand away from Kris’ increasingly tickling ministration, but Kris held hand in his and started to gently stroke his palm with his thumb as if to apologize for what he had done just before.
“I like…” Yixing continued, although he kept his gaze on their linked hands instead of Kris himself. “I love reading your writing, your thoughts. I think it’s brilliant. It inspires me, makes me want to write songs about it, using those words. And I feel like that’s the closest I can be with you.”
Even before Yixing could finish his sentence, Kris pulled himself closer, so much closer, and rested his forehead against Yixing’s, his hands framing Yixing’s beautiful face. Their lips would touch if one of them inched forward even just slightly.
“Yixing.” Kris’ whispered call touched Yixing’s lips, making the younger boy sighed and closed his eyes. “Yixing,” Kris repeated, with a tinge of hesitation this time. Suddenly he wasn’t sure if this is a good idea.
“Are you not going to kiss me?” Yixing asked, and when he opened his eyes again he looked annoyed, and a little afraid. A small pout grazed his lips. But Kris just stared back, studying his brown eyes. “Wufan?” Yixing asked once again.
“How drunk are you?” Kris asked back instead.
“I don’t know, I never really drink, so probably, very. What does that have anything to do with this?” Yixing frowned deeper.
There was a moment passing when Kris had to steel himself. He tried to study Yixing’s unfocused stare and his flustered face.
“Wufan,” Yixing started to whine before Kris could choose between what he wanted to do and what he thought he should do. “You know you have to kiss me if I ask you to, right.”
“Yixing, please don’t do that,” Kris pleaded, although he couldn’t stop himself from placing a gentle peck on Yixing’s forehead.
The action caused the confused Yixing to pull away from Kris. “W-what? Why?”
“I think you need to sleep off your—.”
“No. I don’t need to sleep. I just need you to kiss me.”
Kris couldn’t fulfill that request when Yixing wasn’t completely sober. Not when he promised to Luhan, and himself, that he’d take care of Yixing when he was drunk.
But, of course Yixing misunderstood his intention. “If you don’t want to, then, excuse me.” Yixing managed to stand up despite his shaky legs. And when Kris tried to follow him, Yixing fixed him with a glare. “I think I need to rest.” Yixing told him, suddenly formal and cold. “Please, see yourself out,” he said before leaving Kris to watch his back retreated upstairs.
The next day, Yixing finally get out of his bed just a little past noon, not just because he’d been having slight headache, but more because he didn’t feel like facing the world. What happened last night with Kris was a nightmare, and stepping out of his bedroom felt like leaving the imaginary protection the room offered. He’d rather just curled himself into a small ball and spent the day in self pity.
Kris’ rejection was not something completely surprising. In fact, Yixing had never imagined hearing all those nice things Kris said about him last night. And yet, it still hurt, still made him feels like a plaything, made him feels stupid and embarrassed for confessing a crush that should be kept secret forever because Yixing just knew nothing good will come out of it.
But Yixing had a promise to keep with Joonmyun and his other friends in prom night committee. He had disappoint them when he told them he wasn’t going to come to the party, the least he could do was to come earlier than them and got a head start to clean up the gym and the rest of the school from last night event. So, begrudgingly, Yixing got himself ready before leaving his house for his school.
He was one of the first kids to arrive at school, sine the other was told to come later on in the afternoon. He helped the others, who looked as sober as he was and most definitely didn’t get themselves too carried away by the party last night, to put down the decorations.
When more kids started to trickle in, Yixing decided to move to clean their makeshift secretariat, which actually was their student council office. Everything was a pile of colorful posters and glittery stuff in there that they could barely see other things that didn’t related to the prom night.
Yixing made a beeline to the hallways and put down every poster and prom night decorations still left there on his way to the office. He wasn’t surprised when he found no one else there. He liked it better anyway. He could just focus on his work without distraction.
It wasn’t until almost very late in the afternoon and Yixing was almost done that someone interrupted him. Joonmyeon, who looked unusually less together, peeked through the open door and offered him a smile.
“Hey, I’ve been looking for you,” the older boy said as he stepped inside the room.
“Yeah. Well…” Yixing said absentmindedly, “Just thought it’d be better if someone starts to cleanup this room. You know how everyone in the council is actually procrastinators. We would never see the surface of these desks if we’re waiting for each other to clean up.”
Jonnmyeon laughed knowingly and agreeing. “That’s true. And I appreciate that you take the initiative, Yixing.” He gave a grateful pat on Yixing’s back before settling to help Yixing with the few remaining cluttered decoration materials. “The kids want to celebrate our successful prom after this. You want to join?”
“What? You guys weren’t drunk enough last night?” Yixing asked, sarcastic but with a friendly smile on his lips.
“That’s exactly what I told them. But…” Joonmyeon shrugged, “I think I better be there with them, you know, just to make sure no one’s going to go overboard.”
“Yeah, right.” By the way Yixing laughed, Joonmyeon knew he didn’t believe him. “But, no, I have to pass,” Yixing declined, putting up a guilty expression he didn’t actually feel.
“Again? But you already missed the party last night.”
“I know. But my parents expect me to be home right after we’re done here, so…”
That unfortunately was not a lie. Yixing left the bottle and the glasses in the living room when he locked himself in his room last night. So there was no way he could lie to his parents about not drinking the wine. He should be glad that they at least still let him to go to the school today.
Although if Yixing was being honest, he didn’t feel like socializing with anyone right now anyway. He’d rather to brood alone in his room with a tub of ice cream and sad Chinese ballads.
Joonmyeon looked totally disappointed, but Yixing knew he’d try to understand. He always did.
“Well, if that’s the case, then maybe you can go earlier. I can finish it up here,” the older boy offered Yixing his ever-present smile. “I bet you wouldn’t want let Kris waiting for too long anyway, right?”
“Kris?” Seeing how quick Yixing turned his head, Joonmyeon had to wonder how he didn’t get a whiplash. “Why would he waiting for me? Why would he even be here?”
“You don’t know he’s here?” Joonmyeon looked genuinely surprised. “He and few freshmen members from the team helped us setting the gym back together. He’d finish it though. So I’m sure he’s just staying to wait for you.”
“Oh.” Yixing was taken aback by this information. And he’d lie if he said he didn’t wish what Joonmyeon said was true. But he also knew what happened last night with him and Kris. “Well, I doubt that,” he said instead, throwing a piece of scrap paper into the trash bin too harshly.
“Hm? Isn’t that what he does though? Waiting for you to be done with your activities, then drive you home.”
“Not anymore,” Yixing muttered barely audible. Although considering the silence inside the room, it was impossible for Joonmyeon to miss it.
Joonmyeon opened his mouth, trying to form a sentence that sounded tactful and less like a busybody that he could be most of the time. But in the end, all he could ask was, “Did you two have a fight?”
Yixing spared him a glance, and it was obvious that he struggle to look nonchalant about it. “Whatever happened between us has ended. So he doesn’t need to do anything anymore for me.”
“Really?” Yixing heard the doubt in Joomyeon’s voice, but he didn’t bother to give him any response.
For a moment, Joonmyeon just stood there. He looked like he was considering about something. Yixing thought Joonmyeon would leave him alone, since the older boy left his spot next to him and was rummaging something behind his back. But then he returned and placed something on the desk in front of Yixing.
“This was distributed last night. But since you didn’t come…” Joonmyeon explained.
It was the latest issue of their school magazine.
Yixing picked it up and stared in disbelief. “How could you get it printed already? I only sent the finished layout last night,” he wondered before he could stop himself. And only when he realized that he had said too much that he covered his mouth with his hand.
“Oh, Yixing,” Joonmyeon almost cooed fondly. “We’ve been working a lot together. Do you really think I wouldn’t know you’re the one who did the design for our logo and font?”
Yixing looked horrified. “Since when did you find out?”
“Since Kris presented us with your logo.” Yixing still looked surprised and confused. “Kris then learned how to do the layout. He said he’d watched you done it before, and I also helped him. So this,” Joonmyeon pointed at the magazine lying on the desk, “is all his. But we credited you for the logo and the font.”
“Wait, Joonmyeon, are you saying Kris knows that you found out?” Joonmyeon nodded. “But it was a few weeks ago when he did presentation for the logo.”
“Exactly.” Now Joonmyeon was amuse with Yixing’s reluctant to believe what was insinuated by this new information. “Anyway, the guys apparently had done cleaning up and couldn’t wait any longer to leave.” Joonmyeon’s grin only grew wider when Yixing still looked baffled. “Don’t think too much about it, okay. See you tomorrow?”
Yixing was still caught in his confusion when Joonmyeon patted his arm and left him alone in the room. Kris had always been some kind of a puzzle for Yixing. There were moments when Yixing was sure Kris was attracted to him. He knew Kris was also attracted with a lot of people, but when he was being especially nice to him, Yixing couldn’t help but feeling flattered, thinking that he was special. But then again, sometime Kris did those things as if he wasn’t giving much thought about it. The way he always complimented Yixing, his reasoning to ask Yixing to be his date. He’d done it so easily that Yixing was sure he meant nothing when he did that.
When Yixing told Luhan about his secret crush on Kris, Luhan told him to actually do something about it instead of just filling his own brain with assumptions and brooding alone in his room. And he did follow that advice and confess about his feelings. He even asked Kris to kiss him because he thought that was what supposed to lead to after their “date”. But even when Yixing was sure he knew what Kris wanted, Kris denied him.
So now, even though there was a traitor part of his heart that felt elated by the fact that Joonmyeon just told him, Yixing mostly felt cautious and cynical because he knew it would once again lead to nothing.
Yixing’s phone vibrated in his jeans pocket while he was still in a process of deciding what he wanted to take from this new fact he just heard. The caller ID told him that it was Joonmyeon.
“Hey, you forgot something?” Yixing asked by way of greeting.
“Yeah, Yixing, can you come to the parking lot? We need help with all these trash.”
Yixing agreed and ended the phone call before hurrying to help Joonmyeon and the others. It was late already and since almost no one was left in the building Yixing decided to walk home after he had done helping his friends.
He heard noises from outside and was sure it was his schoolmates that were still loitering around the school. But what he didn’t expect was that he’d find four boys waiting outside the building, each holding a placard that made up a sentence, ‘YIXING I AM SORRY’
Yixing, taken aback, almost took a step backward inside the building. He frowned and scanned the crowd, trying to find someone that he knew so he could ask what was going on.
But before he could say anything, the boys ran away, only to be replaced by another set of boys that this time carried the words, “I ♥ U. BE MY BF?”
Yixing could literally feel the heat that was creeping up his face. The small crowd around him definitely sounded excited and awed by this event that Yixing had to cover his face to save himself from getting any more flustered.
When he took a peek from the gap between his fingers, he found Joonmyeon, Kyungsoo and Jongin cheering and clapping from one corner. Yixing immediately uncovered his face and mouthed to them, “What’s happening here?” because they definitely looked like they were not surprised with this.
But then once again the placard boys were replaced. This time six boys held each letter for “PLEASE”. The last boy stepped out then; his face was covered with a placard of a question mark. But even then Yixing knew exactly who was behind the sign.
Kris took a little peek from behind his placard and raised a hopeful eyebrow which prompted Yixing to looked down and let his bangs to hid his blushing face. Kris looked so adorable and Yixing wasn’t sure he could say no to that face even if he wanted to.
Yixing heard the footsteps and saw Kris’ familiar shoes stopped before him when he just rooted on his spot instead of answering the silent question.
“Who are these kids that you bully into doing this?” Yixing tried to divert the subject. They were close enough that they were the only people who could hear the conversation.
“The new kids from the team. And that’s not the point.”
“So what is the point?” Yixing asked stubbornly.
“Me asking you to forgive me. Nicely. With “please” and all,” Kris added when Yixing didn’t seem to budge. “And also, it’s me telling you that I like you.” Yixing groaned with frustration and was only short of stomping his foot in his annoyance.
“You can’t… Last night—.”
“Last night, I should’ve handled the situation better. Explained myself better than to create this misunderstanding. But you were drunk—.”
Yixing huffed a sarcastic laugh. “I wasn’t!”
“I know you were not. Your acting was actually so bad that no one would believe that you were.” Kris grinned when his teasing provoked Yixing enough to look up and pout at him. “I’m sorry, okay. But that was what you told me. So I thought you were only comfortable talking about your feelings under the pretense of intoxication.”
Kris was right actually, although Yixing only admitted the fact begrudgingly to himself. Yixing was so afraid that Kris would reject him, and by acting drunk he thought he could just pretend to forget all about it the next day.
“I’ve promised to take care of you when you get drunk. So I did that. I don’t want to take an advantage when you were like that. And I’m not giving you excuse to forget—”
“Yeah, I get it,” Yixing cut Kris’ words before he could finish it. It felt embarrassingly intimate that Kris could read exactly what he was thinking.
“So now that we’re both completely sober,” Kris gently held Yixing’s hands in his, “I’m telling you again, that I like you. I’ve been, probably since we started to get to know each other. And I want to be with you.”
Yixing took a shy glance from behind his dark fringe. “Like seriously?”
“Like seriously,” Kris convinced. “I swear we will last a bit more than a week.”
The answer drew a genuine laugh from Yixing. The dimple that finally showed itself prompted Kris’ own smile to grow wider.
“That was a smooth speech,” Yixing complimented. His hands finally held Kris’ hands in return. And Yixing didn’t know it, but the gesture was enough to make Kris’ heart bloom. “And it’s nice that you go all the way, with all the boys carrying signs.”
“Right?” Kris looked as satisfied as he always did whenever Yixing compliments him. “Jongin told me you’re a romantic and might appreciate the grand gesture. So I asked the kids to—.”
“Are you ever going to kiss me or do I have to always ask?”
Kris scoffed and complained, “Bossy,” but he pulled Yixing closer and pressed his lips against Yixing’s anyway.
They heard all kinds of cheers and whistles from the crowd around them. Yixing then realized that he used to be one of those people who would find Kris kissing his partner heatedly in the hallway. And through his annoyance and jealousy, Yixing used to wonder if Kris’ kiss was as amazing as it looked, were his lips as soft and warm as he imagined it would be. Now Yixing found out for himself that it was even better.
Yixing found himself both overwhelmed and wanting more. Kris’ hand felt perfect where it stroke his cheek, and Yixing couldn’t help but leaning to his gentle touch. He opened his mouth willingly when he felt Kris’ tongue touched his lips and let it familiarize itself with the inside of Yixing’s mouth.
When Kris pulled away to breath, Yixing was completely smitten that he tried to chase Kris’ lips. And only when Kris left a gentle peck and lingered against his lips did Yixing felt satisfied.
“Better than your imagination?” Kris asked, half teasing and breathless into Yixing’s mouth.
“I’m not sure.” Yixing played along. And they probably shouldn’t do this in front of the whole prom night committee, half of the student council members and the poor new kids from basketball team, but still Yixing closed the gap between them and asked, “Care to convince me?”
Obviously Kris was more than eager not to answer the question verbally.
a/n: I’m sorry if this is not what you actually requested OTL So many things I wish I can write better, but this is the best I can do this time. I still hope you enjoy it though! And other notes: 1) I can’t decide how I want to write Suho’s name lol. 2) I know prom usually held at the end of a school year, and the students are probably should be more busy with exams and everything than they are in this story, but I can’t fit everything here, so… ( 3)this is such a cliché HS!AU OTL) But I hope you like it, guys~
The Art of Getting to Know You [part 4/4] - fanxing fanfiction exchange
05 May 2014 @ 03:24 am
The Art of Getting to Know You [part 4/4]