length→ 3,913 words
summary→ (AU) Junmyeon has everything he could possibly need or want, but money hasn’t been able to buy him happiness he can call his own.
# original plot bunny from Dee, horrifically mutilated and made into this fic by me ^___^ I envisioned something like a slightly more realistic and less dramatic version of Hana Yori Dango/Boys Over Flowers. Alas, it didn’t turn out like that.
# this was written before the Kris lawsuit. I tried really hard to alter it and change the roles, but it didn't really work out since my entire plan for it was based on Junmyeon and Kris. I figured I might as well post it here for archiving purposes rather than scrap it completely. It obviously won't be completed, though.
# not beta-ed, sorry for any mistakes or typos I missed.
It’s a nice birthday party, Junmyeon has to admit. His mother has gone all out, turning their seaside house into a place he doesn’t recognize at all. Even the people at the party are unrecognizable to him, people from his batch, all wearing the same smile and the same expressions, to the point where escape is all Junmyeon can think about. Minseok is standing in front of the glass door that leads out to the beach, watching Lu Han solve a Rubik’s cube with a practiced disinterested look on his face that Junmyeon would normally make fun of, but even teasing Minseok will have to wait. He exchanges a quick glance with Minseok before he steps out of the house, closing the glass door behind him before he starts making his way down the beach.
When he gets far enough that the bright lights of his house look just like the rest of the row of houses beside it, Junmyeon turns his back on it and sits down on the warm sand. He’s barely had a minute to himself before he hears footsteps from his right; in the second it takes him to turn his eyes to the intruder of his private time, the admittedly tall intruder trips on what looks like a tiny gathered hill of seashells, and Junmyeon watches as he falls face-first into the sand. He contemplates getting up to help the poor guy, but before he can stand up, the guy gets to his feet rather quickly, brushing sand off his legs with wet hands, which only makes it worse. Junmyeon can’t help but laugh - it’s too dark to really see the guy's face, but he doesn’t need any light to tell that the guy is definitely frowning at him.
“You should watch your step. The house behind us have a couple of kids who like making seashell mountains,” Junmyeon says, turning his eyes back to the sparkling city lights. He can’t see any stars in the sky here, but the city lights sparkle enough for him to pretend when it’s dark. The intruder still doesn’t leave, his attempt to brush himself off forgotten as he steps closer to Junmyeon and then sits down a few feet away, slowly, as if he’s afraid of frightening Junmyeon. Junmyeon glances over again, biting back even more laughter when he sees the small clump of seaweed in the intruder’s hair. He knows it’s a bit of a stretch, maybe a little too much between strangers, but he slides closer and grabs the end of the clump, pulling it out and tossing it to the water. The intruder turns to look at him, and now that they’re a lot closer, Junmyeon can see much more clearly that the intruder is definitely a guy, and a very handsome one at that. He smiles and hopes it hides the nervousness that swells up. “How did you not feel that seaweed in your hair?”
“Lu Han used a whole can of hairspray on my hair, you could probably put in a tray of appetizers in it and I wouldn’t feel it,” the intruder says, fond exasperation in his voice. Junmyeon moves a little further away when he hears Lu Han’s name, a reminder of the party that is missing its main star. The guy knows Lu Han, and therefore knows Junmyeon, and Junmyeon feels a little bit of disappointment that yet another friendship would have to be built on the perfected version of him with both his family tree and wealth attached. “You’re Junmyeon, right? I’m Kris. I’m Lu Han’s… friend. I’m his plus one for your party. The same one you’re not in right now.”
“Nice to meet you,” Junmyeon says. He doesn’t like the way it comes out coldly, so he swallows and tries again. “I’m… I’m going to go back. I only needed a minute by myself.”
“I’ve only been here a week and I’m already sick of it, I can’t imagine how you must feel,” Kris says. Junmyeon keeps his eyes on the city lights when Kris continues to speak. “They don’t like each other, but they pretend they do. The only thing they actually like is money, isn’t it?”
Junmyeon turns his eyes to Kris, too used to these kind of comments, too used to having Sehun by his side to throw a cold remark right back, but the quiet rage simmering under the surface calms when he sees Kris’ smile. The comment hadn’t been meant to include Junmyeon, but for once, excluded him from them. Junmyeon smiles back. “They’re rich, of course they’ll like the only thing they have a lot of.”
Kris’ laugh is surprisingly sincere, loud in the stillness of the night beach. Junmyeon finds that he likes it, but he doesn’t say anything else. The pause in conversation makes him think of getting up and ending it, but Kris’ voice stops him. “You’re not like them. They’re happy enough as long as everything’s glittery, but you aren’t happy, are you? You wouldn’t choose the empty beach over that amazing party and their company if you were.”
Junmyeon breathes in the salty air, licking it off his dry lips. He had always been too tolerant, letting people go too far even when they didn’t deserve it. Sehun had always gotten mad at him for it. He chuckles softly, measuring his tone to keep it light. It wasn’t scary that Kris could understand his world and say the truth so simply. “Aren’t you assuming too much? This is the first time we’ve talked.”
Kris doesn’t say anything before he stands up. He steps close enough to Junmyeon to give him space to get up and holds out his hand. “I apologize, then. Do you want to go back?”
He doesn’t really want to, not yet, but Junmyeon has never been one to refuse offers made out of kindness and Kris seems a lot more genuine than Junmyeon has felt in a while, so he takes Kris’ hand and lets the taller boy pull him up.
It’s easy enough to go back into the party unnoticed, everyone too busy with each other to notice Junmyeon hadn’t been there for a while. Kris doesn’t stay by Junmyeon’s side, instead wedging a way in between the partygoers to head towards the entrance. Junmyeon watches until he can’t see Kris’ platinum blonde hair and then his attention is directed towards his name being called by a girl he knows from one of his classes.
It’s only when they’re getting ready to sleep, Minseok already comfortable in Junmyeon’s bed, that Kris is brought back to his thoughts. “Hey, you came back with Lu Han’s brother, didn’t you?”
“Brother? He said he was a friend,” Junmyeon answers, drying his face with a towel as he leaves the bathroom. Minseok lowers the volume of the show he’s watching on Junmyeon’s TV. “I didn’t know Lu Han had a brother.”
“He doesn’t, not biologically at least. His dad is getting the papers to adopt Kris legally done right now, though,” Minseok replies, moving towards the center of the bed to make space for Junmyeon by his side. “Lu Han doesn’t think Kris likes it very much. He was on his own until Lu Han’s dad picked him up.”
Junmyeon imagines being thrown into his world with no warning and thinks he wouldn’t like it very much either. He can’t blame Kris at all for not liking it, even if he had someone as kind as Lu Han as a guide into it. He pushes thoughts of Kris out of his head, someone who had nothing to do with him, and slides underneath the covers, smiling innocently up at Minseok. “You and Lu Han must have talked a lot.”
“He does nothing but talk, I have no choice but to listen,” Minseok says, turning his attention back to the TV. Junmyeon smiles when he notices Minseok’s expression, as if he’s trying to keep himself from smiling fondly, and leans into him. “You like Lu Han a lot, don’t you? You can tell me.”
“I don’t like anybody,” Minseok replies, shoving Junmyeon off his shoulder. He turns off the TV and places the remote on the bedside table before he turns back to narrow his eyes at Junmyeon, who is pouting and widening his eyes to add to the puppy eyes expression. “Yes, not even you.”
“So you sleep in the beds of people you don’t like, interesting,” Junmyeon says teasingly, sliding down to lie down on his side. Minseok does the same opposite him, but pulls away the blanket away from Junmyeon. The blanket is so big that Junmyeon is still covered, but Minseok gets his point across. “You should sleep in Lu Han’s bed then, he would probably like that a lot.”
“Shut up and go to sleep already,” Minseok murmurs, eyes already closed. Junmyeon laughs while adjusting his pillow, only closing his own eyes after seeing Minseok smile even though he’s ‘asleep’. Some nights, he can’t sleep easily, but when Minseok’s sharing his too big bed, sleep has never been a problem, and tonight is no exception.
Junmyeon doesn’t like accidents. They’re messy, unsettling and always take too much effort to clean up, so by extension, he’s quite sure he won’t like Kris, who had literally stumbled into Junmyeon’s life entirely by accident. When he’s walking to his first class in the morning and sees Kris being a living embodiment of school rule violations, slouching against the wall with a cell phone in one hand and what Junmyeon recognizes to be a class schedule in his other hand, he’s quite sure he doesn’t want to reconsider his dislike for accidents, especially ones that came in the form of tall, handsome guys. Kris’ platinum blonde hair is styled up, revealing the shaved right side Junmyeon hadn't noticed at the party, multiple earrings lining his ears, and he’s wearing his uniform slightly wrinkled, like he hadn’t bothered to iron it before wearing it, with his sleeves rolled up, top buttons unbuttoned and shirt not tucked in. Kris looks up from his cellphone and meets Junmyeon’s eyes, but his only reaction is a quirk of his lips and raising his other hand to acknowledge Junmyeon. It’d be nice to not care about anything the way Kris doesn’t, Junmyeon idly notes to himself.
“So you’re ready to start off your first day with at least three verbal warnings and two written ones?” Junmyeon says in lieu of a greeting when he’s close enough to Kris. Kris only shrugs and runs his fingers carefully through his hair. “What’s your first class today?”
Kris opens his mouth to answer before he pauses, then holds out the schedule to Junmyeon instead. “I was asking Lu Han about the way. This school is a fu-- a maze.”
“Oh, you’re in the same class as me. You can come with me if you’d like,” Junmyeon offers after he takes a look at the schedule. Kris seems to hesitate briefly, leaving Junmyeon to prepare himself to retract his offer, before he nods and slides his schedule back into his bag.
“How are you getting along with Lu Han?” Junmyeon asks when they start walking. Their class isn’t far, but Junmyeon has always been taught to make the other person feel comfortable, and silence is rarely comfortable. He glances at Kris at the same moment Kris glances over at him and their eyes meet. There’s no spark or immediate connection. Junmyeon has long since gotten over illusions of love at first sight when he’d cried in the cramped airplane bathroom until he was dry, wrung out every little bit of sadness and Taemin buried in him, an air stewardess knocking on the door to ask if he was alright and Sehun asleep a row down. Junmyeon slows down just a notch when Kris speaks. Kris slows down with him. “Lu Han’s not bad. I could’ve gotten unlucky and gotten stuck with a piece of sh—uh, yeah.”
“Lu Han’s a good person,” Junmyeon says quietly. Kris is still looking at him, but it’s heavy with something Junmyeon can easily identify. He’s too frightened of what it’d mean to admit it, especially to someone who doesn’t know him and whom he doesn’t know. Had he been obvious in staring the night at the beach? He hadn’t meant to be. “Is something wrong?”
“Not really,” Kris says, finally moving his eyes away. Junmyeon keeps looking, his legs moving automatically, until Kris glances at him again. Junmyeon swallows and stops in front of a open class door, the students inside loudly chattering, their voices louder than Junmyeon’s thoughts. “This is our class.”
Junmyeon spends most of the class distracted by Kris’ gaze on his back. He chances just one glance backwards, his eyes meeting with Kris’. Kris is leaning his chin on his palm, his attention obviously not on the teacher, and Junmyeon stares back for a few seconds before he looks back to the front.
Kris is one of the first out of the door after the class finishes, not giving Junmyeon a chance to talk to him. Junmyeon doesn’t share Kris’ next class with him, but Minseok does, and Junmyeon usually spends the few minutes of break between classes with Minseok before he heads off to his own class. Today's chat would definitely be about Kris, Junmyeon thinks with a sigh as he heads down the stairs. He's only a few steps down when - speak of the devil - he hears Kris' voice from the bottom of the stairwell.
“No, there’s no bulletin board with Minseok’s picture on it. Are you sure you even go to this school?”
Junmyeon peeks over the railing and sees Kris standing at the doorway to the hall, leaning slightly against the frame as he speaks into his cellphone. Messy, messy accidents. Junmyeon disregards the thought while continuing down the stairs. When he’s on the final steps and has made his presence known, he points at Kris’ phone. He can hear Lu Han’s faint rapid-fire Mandarin from the phone speaker. “If that’s Lu Han you’re talking to, he’s talking about the achievements board. It’s further down the hall, on your right, but you don’t need to look for it. I can take you to your next class.”
Kris stares at Junmyeon the same way he had earlier, analyzing rather than awed or infatuated, then he mutters a ‘bye, idiot’ and ends the call. Junmyeon smiles what he hopes is a friendly smile before he walks ahead of Kris, pausing to look over his shoulder. “Next time, you should pay attention to the lesson instead of staring at my back. I’m sure it’s more interesting.”
“A lot of things are more interesting than the lesson, staring at your back included,” Kris answers and Junmyeon stares for a moment before turning to look at the front, biting on the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing embarrassedly. Kris follows behind him for a few steps before he easily catches up, making his strides smaller to let Junmyeon keep up. Junmyeon doesn’t say anything as they walk side by side, even though his own mind is yelling at him to speak, but the silence is light, no heaviness forcing Junmyeon to speak. Although the silence is comfortable, Junmyeon has dealt with enough people to tell that Kris is itching to speak the longer it lasts. When they reach the class, Junmyeon is thankful for Minseok standing on the opposite side of the classroom door, Lu Han on the floor beside him, a closed manga volume on his lap. Both Minseok and Lu Han look curious at the pair’s arrival with each other, but Kris only murmurs a quick ‘thanks’ and pats Junmyeon’s shoulder, his fingers lingering for a second too long, before he goes into the class. Lu Han quickly jumps up and follows after exchanging smiles with Junmyeon.
“With Yifan again?” Minseok asks, leaning down to pick up the manga volume Lu Han had dropped. Junmyeon stares at Minseok in confusion until the other boy points at the classroom door. “The tall blonde you came with.”
Junmyeon stares at Minseok for a moment longer before realization dawns on him. He hadn’t thought of Kris’ Chinese name, but it made sense that Kris preferred his English name to it. Minseok flips through the manga volume lazily before speaking again. “Lu Han did say Yifan prefers his English name.”
“You didn’t say you liked Lu Han so much that you remember everything he says,” Junmyeon teases, enjoying the way Minseok smiles blithely at Junmyeon to keep Junmyeon from reading too deeply into his expression. “You’re even picking up his things for him.”
“It’s too bad your face is so pretty, it’d be a crime to hit it with this book,” Minseok says pleasantly, raising the volume he’s holding. Junmyeon laughs, punching Minseok’s arm lightly before he turns and heads down the hallway to his own class.
When Kris moves up to sit in the seat right behind Junmyeon in classes they share and makes the seat his own, Junmyeon gets used to it. It doesn’t take long for Junmyeon to get used to changes in his life. It’s easy enough to adjust, having been raised through experience that change is the only constant thing in his life. He’d cried as a child, but now that he’d become older and somewhat wiser, it was easier to stay quiet and accept it. He’s said goodbye numerous times, aching a little more each time, and sometimes he hadn’t even been able to say goodbye at all. It’s why the first thing he does when he meets people is estimate how long it will be until they’re gone, a habit Sehun had unsuccessfully tried to force out of him. Junmyeon doesn’t ever tell Sehun, and he never will, but sometimes when he sees Sehun with Soojung, leaning in close to each other, Soojung’s long hair brushing against Sehun’s cheek while they watch a video together on Sehun’s phone, Junmyeon feels like he’s bound to eventually say goodbye to Sehun as well. It’ll be a thousand times harder than anyone else, but Junmyeon will still be breathing at the end of it and that’s better than nothing.
Kris, though, Kris would last maybe six months, or eight at most. Kris’ stare is always hot, the back of Junmyeon’s starched uniform shirt itchy against his skin. Kris never offers and Junmyeon never asks, but since the first day he’d taken Kris to the class with Minseok, Kris would wait at the door after their shared class and they’d walk together to the next class. Kris would ask about the people in their year, about Junmyeon’s life, sometimes, and Junmyeon would answer. The questions stop, as if Kris senses Junmyeon prefers the silence despite being a good conversationalist, and it falls between them easily. Kris would enter the class with a brush of his hand against Junmyeon’s shoulder and a smile, leaving Junmyeon with heaviness weighing down his stomach. It felt too much like Minho, who had been a deliberate accident, or perhaps more like Taemin, who had been the sweetest accident, and Junmyeon is left thinking of the way he draws accidents to him, an open invitation to crash his heart, bruise it black and blue, and go.
“You worry about the wrong things. It’s why people can hurt you so easily,” Taemin had said once, clad in the hotel bathrobe, a bottle of mineral water in his hand. Junmyeon’s heart hadn’t hurt, not really. Taemin had looked so young with the oversized robe on his skinny body, standing in the middle of the huge suite. He hadn’t really belonged in Junmyeon’s world, not even back then. “You worry about how they’ll find a way to hurt you instead of worrying about how to let in only the people who deserve it.”
Taemin had been right, Junmyeon knew that much when he’d nearly suffocated in the regret and heartbreak that clung to his hotel sheets the end of that summer. Sehun had sat cross-legged across from him, a frown on his face while he watched Junmyeon cry. Junmyeon had let that love float off and dissolve into the wide ceilings of the airport that would take him back to a place he was meant to call ‘home’.
unfinished scene was here. too bad to post lmao.
“Why didn’t you sit beside Kris today at lunch?” Lu Han asks distractedly, fighting with Sehun to keep the younger’s legs off his lap. Junmyeon mulls over the question, how odd it had felt to see Kris across from him instead of by his side, while he flips through the rack of DVDs that Lu Han had brought over, then he shrugs, not looking over his shoulder at Lu Han. He carefully slides in the animated film he’d chosen and sits down beside Minseok, avoiding both Sehun and Lu Han's probing gazes.
“You know you can talk to me,” Minseok whispers halfway through the movie when Junmyeon’s head droops on Minseok's shoulder. Junmyeon shifts to settle comfortably against him before sighing. “I know I can. Don’t worry.”
“I have to worry when you’re keeping yourself closed off from every possibility, whether it’s good or bad,” Minseok continues, casting a glance at Lu Han who is focused on the movie and Sehun who is sleeping with his mouth open, drool on his chin. He looks back at Junmyeon. “Kris is a good guy.”
Junmyeon sighs again. A month had passed since he’d met Kris, yet the anxiety had taken hold and was spreading the closer Kris got to Junmyeon. Kris seemed to be close by wherever Junmyeon looked, behind him in classes, beside him at lunch, sitting on the roof of Lu Han’s house whenever Junmyeon looked out of his window, a cigarette hanging off his long fingers. “I’m not afraid. I’m only hesitant, I don’t want to be fooled the same way as before.”
Minseok is silent, looking back at the movie playing on the TV. Junmyeon knew it was irrational and a little silly, but when the six months passed, would Kris still be sitting behind him? Maybe Kris wouldn’t find him interesting anymore. Maybe Kris would move onto a better school or to another family. It didn’t matter that it seemed implausible, there was always a way for people to find their way out of Junmyeon’s life even when he wanted them to stay, and he would rather not let them come close enough to hurt him if they did. Minseok doesn’t turn back towards him when he speaks again. “You’re afraid of things that haven’t happened yet.”
“I know,” Junmyeon replies, wrapping his fingers around Minseok’s forearm and squeezing it in a weak request to stop the questioning. He was afraid Minseok wouldn’t stop until he got a real answer and Junmyeon didn’t have one for him. “Please, let’s watch the movie.”
Minseok doesn’t press the subject, thankfully, but Junmyeon can’t focus on the movie anymore. Instead, he calculates the days he’s had with Kris and the days he has left. He’d met Kris in spring and would say goodbye in fall, a flower that had bloomed and would die with the approaching cold.
# random scenes written that didn't fit into the above story, but still part of it.
Happiness is a bubble that is too easy to burst, Junmyeon thinks, stirring the sugar into his coffee. Kris is busy with a pile of papers, rifling through them and muttering to himself, and Junmyeon takes advantage of Kris’ distraction to stare over the taller boy’s shoulder at the man sitting two tables behind them with only a glass of water, the pin that was too close to Junmyeon’s bubble of happiness. Junmyeon knows who the man following him around for the past while is - the head of their security team, Hyunkyun, who came in every other day to review their security camera footage. Sehun had mentioned seeing Hyunkyun follow him and Soojung on dates sometimes, mostly when both their parents weren’t in town, but Junmyeon hadn’t ever seen him. He realizes it’s because he never had reason to, having always invited Minseok over instead of going out, or it was, until he had met Kris. He turns his attention back to Kris when Hyunkyun nods slowly, deliberately, as if it was completely normal that he was following Junmyeon around everywhere.
“Are you alright?” Kris asks when Junmyeon pushes away the mug of coffee. He had added too much sugar and his stomach was already squeezed tight from nausea. Hyunkyun is still watching carefully, but the look in his eyes is a concern that is nothing like the concern in Kris’ eyes when Junmyeon meets them. “The coffee isn’t good?”
“It’s good. My stomach doesn’t agree with it, though,” Junmyeon answers quietly. Did Kris notice Hyunkyun’s presence too? Or was he ignoring the man like Junmyeon was trying to do? He watches Kris take a sip of the abandoned coffee, face scrunching up when he tastes the sweetness. Junmyeon moves his hand to hide his smile. “And I might have added a little too much sugar.”
“You could have said that,” Kris mumbles, looking like he might pout if he wasn’t in public where anyone could see him. Junmyeon leans back and hides a laugh with his hand, his attention back on Hyunkyun when he sees the man get up. Their eyes meet again for a short moment before Hyunkyun turns and leaves the coffee shop. Junmyeon watches him through the glass of the wall-length windows, walking down the street to a parked car, and suddenly feels afraid. He crosses his arms over the edge of the table and takes a deep breath, forcing himself to smile. If Hyunkyun burst this bubble, he’d make so many more until Hyunkyun was no longer sharp enough to burst anything, if it meant he could keep Kris with him.
City nights are something Junmyeon isn’t really familiar with. He leaves the late-night adventures to Sehun and Soojung, who enjoy it far more than he ever will, but something about Hyunkyun’s stare when Junmyeon had left with Kris had sparked a flare of rebellion he hadn’t felt since leaving for that flight to Seoul at fifteen. Kris only raises his eyebrows and lets Junmyeon drag him down the strip of clubs; it’s clear enough that Junmyeon’s adrenaline will fizz out soon, the allure of the dark, dizzying clubs filled with music and people wearing out any kind of rebellion Junmyeon had thought he wanted.
“Time to go?” Kris yells into Junmyeon’s ear at the fifth club they go to, the pleasurable buzz from the couple of drinks Junmyeon’s had long since faded into an aching headache throbbing behind his eyes. Junmyeon nods and wraps his fingers around Kris’ wrist, all too aware of the crowd around them, but Kris pulls it away and wraps his arm around Junmyeon’s shoulders instead, pulling him close into his side. Kris’ presence isn’t exactly threatening, but people still make some room for him to move simply because he’s so tall. When they’re out in the street, Junmyeon is thankful that Kris doesn’t move away. He lets Kris lead him to the opposite side of the street, where he leans against the parked SUV behind him and takes a breath of fresh air, no smoke, alcohol or sweat mixed with it. Kris stands opposite him, arms crossed as he leans into a lamppost. He smiles when he sees Kris’ amused expression. “Yeah, I know you think this is silly. I had to get it out of my system or else I would’ve exploded, though.”
“I should tell your parents where you are right now,” Kris says, shaking his head and stepping closer to Junmyeon. Kris is so close that Junmyeon can smell the cigarette they had shared at the second club on his breath; it’s late enough that there are no people on the street, the beats of the music from the clubs faint enough to ignore, and Junmyeon feels like the city belongs only to him and Kris right at this moment. He’s about to pull Kris down when the taller boy leans in and captures Junmyeon’s lips in a gentle kiss, his hands warm against Junmyeon’s waist, and Junmyeon closes his eyes and draws everything in, imagines everything in this one moment, and wishes he could save it in his memory and not let it fade.
The camera above the garage had been pointed towards the street when Kris had first arrived, but had been moved to point directly at him as soon as he had taken out his lighter to light a much needed cigarette. The car he's leaning on is unfamiliar, a rich royal blue on the outside, matching blue leather seats on the inside, nothing like the cars that Junmyeon and Sehun always ride, but he already knows it belongs to Junmyeon and Sehun's mother, a car that always brought frustration and sadness to Junmyeon with its' presence. He takes a final drag of his cigarette and lets it hang off his fingers for a brief moment before he drops it to the concrete of the driveway, finally heading down the pathway to the grand main door of the house, where he mockingly salutes the camera before he rings the doorbell.
It's only a moment before Sunny, the housekeeper, opens the door. She takes a look at him before biting her lip to keep from laughing; Kris has been over enough times to know she's sweet and isn't laughing at him, but probably the way he looks, his hair straight and not styled up, a couple of small earrings replacing his usual array of carefully chosen skulls and designer studs, and wearing an outfit that looks like Junmyeon would have chosen. He would have laughed at himself too if his stomach wasn't determined to squeeze itself so tightly with anxiety. She opens the door wide and lets him in, closing it behind him before she turns to lead him towards a part of the house Kris has never been to.
He barely has a moment to stare at the beautiful furniture of the room before his attention falls on the woman sitting on one of the chairs, legs crossed and a book on her lap. She closes it and puts it down on the table, waving a hand to the seat across her, and Kris makes sure his steps are confident, assured, because he can't afford to be nervous now, not in front of the lady who looks so much like Junmyeon, but feels nothing like him.
"Yifan," She greets, her voice as smooth as the velvet chair she's sitting on. He takes a seat on the chair and bows slightly before straightening. She's watching him coolly, her hands folded neatly on her lap just like Junmyeon sometimes unconsciously does. Kris had wondered where he had gotten the habit from. "It's nice to finally meet you."
"It's nice to meet you too," Kris cautiously greets back, not offering any more. She smiles and Kris can't help but feel a little frightened by how much Junmyeon's smile resembled hers, but somehow didn't at the same time. He realizes it's the lack of sincerity in her smile which he had gotten used to in Junmyeon's smile that makes it feel different. "Yifan, I've heard you're getting quite close to Junmyeon recently. He's always been good at making friends, but he doesn't have many close ones. I suppose Minseok is one, but they're similar in many ways, so I wasn't surprised when they became closer. I'm not sure how similar you and Junmyeon are, however..."
"We're clearly similar enough that we became friends," Kris answers politely. He can feel the tension rise with his words, the air ready to burst at any second with flying sparks. Junmyeon's mother is still smiling. "I came here to meet you because you wanted to tell me something, Mrs. Kim. I would hate to waste your time, since you don't have much of it that's free from what I know from Junmyeon, so why don't you tell me what it is you would like to tell me?"
"Young men like you are always in such a hurry," She says after a moment of silence, shaking her head. She lowers her eyes to look at a framed photograph on the table between them, one with a younger Junmyeon and Sehun beaming at the camera and holding up matching lightsticks, and Kris isn't sure, but her smile looks a tiny bit more sincere. "It makes me wonder why you are interested in staying by the side of a mild-mannered child like Junmyeon. Perhaps you are interested in more than Junmyeon."
The implication of her words hits Kris like a sharpened knife in the gut. He had no need for anything Junmyeon could easily give him, not when his adoptive father was so wealthy, and he wasn't interested in taking anything else Junmyeon didn't want to give him. He could have let her concern pass as just that, concern, but it seemed like she was more interested in finding someone for Junmyeon who wasn't forcibly transplanted into the world of riches with nothing he could call his own. He didn't need anything from Junmyeon, nothing except Junmyeon's smile that was meant only for him, Junmyeon's small hand in his own, Junmyeon, just Junmyeon himself. Kris wonders if the ice in Junmyeon's mother's eyes means she thinks she's hit the mark. He casually straightens his scarf and smiles at her. "Perhaps you are forgetting that there's more than money that could keep me by Junmyeon's side, things that are more important than that. Mrs. Kim, like I said, I don't want to waste your time, so I'd appreciate it if you could be kind enough to not waste mine."
Not seeing his parents often was something Junmyeon had gotten used to. Sehun was the one who used to be bothered by it until he figured out that getting upset by their absence was pointless, because it wasn’t like they were around to know that their sons were upset anyway.
So when Junmyeon comes down to the kitchen, hair messy and still in his pajamas, to find something to eat for breakfast, he flinches when he sees his mother sitting at the kitchen island, daintily holding a cup of tea, with legs crossed. She smiles and beckons him over with her other hand, the quick once-over she gives Junmyeon not going unnoticed by him. He walks over slowly and leaves a stool between them. He’s reaching out to take a bun to chew on when she speaks. “Junmyeon, how have you been doing? Is everything at school okay?”
“It’s great,” Junmyeon answers politely, keeping his eyes on his hands, where he starts rolling around the bun and tearing out small pieces from it. He knows his mother is holding back a ‘tsk’ at the habit she’d tried, and failed, to stop him from doing, but he doesn’t know how to speak with her without being nervous. Her expectations keep him up high, pressing in from every side, until he’s at the edge and nearly about to fall from their weight. “We’re having midterms soon.”
“How about your friends? How is Minseok? Is he doing well?” She asks, but Junmyeon knows she doesn’t care. Minseok’s family is well-off, but not as rich as Junmyeon’s, and the only reason he and Minseok had met was because Minseok’s father had connections that got Minseok into Junmyeon’s school as well, and that meant Junmyeon’s mother had never bothered to greet Minseok properly whenever he’d come over while she was there. “I’m hearing a lot of things from Hyunkyun about your new... acquaintance.”
Junmyeon stops picking at his bun, his heart skipping a beat. Hyunkyun had actually told his mother about Kris. His mother knew about Kris. His mother knew about the one person he had so fiercely wished she wouldn’t know about. “W-who do you mean?”
“You know him, Lu Han’s adopted brother? Yifan?” She says, an edge to her voice that Junmyeon has learned to catch. She’s pronouncing both Lu Han and Yifan’s names wrongly, syllables thick on her tongue, and he doesn’t bother to correct her. She takes a sip of her tea before she puts down the cup back in its saucer. “I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to get too close to him, Junmyeon.”
He should have known what his mother wanted. Anything that makes Junmyeon seem any less perfect was unwanted, unneeded, something that had to be weeded out of his life, and Kris was the ultimate weed, ugly, growing too fast and tangling himself into Junmyeon’s life so that he couldn’t be simply tugged out. Junmyeon knows that’s what his mother thinks when she thinks of Kris, this person can never become part of my son’s life when she saw him in the security video, standing outside the main door, leaning against the wall and staring right up at the camera with dark eyes, his pose defiant, like he dared them to say anything about the way he placed a hand on the small of Junmyeon’s back and led him out when they left. Junmyeon doesn’t think Kris is anything like a weed, nothing like it, but instead a vibrant dahlia, growing and blooming even in poor soil and heat, one that didn’t need care but thrived with it. Junmyeon wants to see how much care he can give Kris, how beautifully Kris would bloom. “But he’s a good friend of mine, mother.”
“You’ve only known him for a short while,” she says in English, switch smooth from Korean, a last resort she rarely uses. She only speaks in English when she doesn’t want him to argue, because her decisions, to her, are for Junmyeon’s sake, even when they feel like another added string to so many others, making Junmyeon a puppet held up by her words and decisions. “Junmyeon, you can’t associate with someone like him. Do you know how Lu Han’s father found him? That child ran away from his home and got into all kinds of trouble before he ended up here. You’re asking for the same kind of trouble to come straight to you if you become friends with him.”
The fight in Junmyeon has long since gotten used to being repressed, pushed down until it was no more, that Junmyeon doesn’t feel anything, only a weary wish that Sehun was here. Sehun would know how close Junmyeon was to breaking and fight in his place, the fear of disappointing everyone—their parents—never instilled into Sehun like it had been into Junmyeon. Sehun would fight for Kris to stay in Junmyeon’s life. “I understand, mother.”
Sehun isn’t here, though, and Junmyeon has nobody to depend on, not even himself. He places his bun on his plate and excuses himself to his room, no longer hungry.
When Junmyeon finds Sehun in his bed after coming out from his bathroom, cell phone raised high over his face while playing a game, he knows he’s in for a confrontation. Sehun’s way of dealing with his feelings involved very little dealing and much more ignoring their existence, but it was different when it came to Junmyeon’s feelings. Sehun had been there to deal with Junmyeon’s feelings from everything, from Taemin, to Minho, to Kris, and all the midnight bicycle rides and late-night ice cream runs in between, and Junmyeon is ready for the confrontation, not only because Sehun was his only brother who was there for every little thing, but also because he deals with Sehun’s feelings in the same way, from taking him to his first day of school all the way up to his first rejection, when Choi Jinri had rejected him for upperclassman Park Chanyeol, who had confessed to Jinri with a rap song, and even through Sehun’s confusion about his feelings for Soojung which had ended with Soojung kissing any indecision out of Sehun.
Thus, rather than ignoring Sehun and going to sleep, he lays down on his back beside Sehun and moves closer until their cheeks are almost touching, enough that Sehun pushes Junmyeon’s face away and puts down the cellphone. “Took you long enough to brush your teeth. What do you do, brush each tooth individually?”
“Don’t you have your own bed?” Junmyeon asks, kicking Sehun’s ankle with his socked foot. Sehun kicks back, a lot harder, and Junmyeon moves his leg away. Sehun shifts beside him, pulling Junmyeon’s pillow from underneath his head and laying on it before Junmyeon can try to steal it back. “Hyung, you’ve been moping a lot lately. I feel like it’s time for you to suck it up and tell me what’s wrong.”
“Nothing’s wrong,” Junmyeon answers with a laugh, grabbing one of the pillows he had thrown off the bed in place of the pillow Sehun had stolen. Sehun scoffs, but doesn’t say anything while he waits, something Junmyeon is infinitely grateful for, because Sehun knows to wait rather than push. After a few seconds, Junmyeon moves his hand until the back of his fingers are brushing against Sehun’s longer, thinner fingers, and he sighs at the comfort of having Sehun right beside him whenever he needs him. “Mother talked to me about Kris.”
Sehun hums in response, waiting for Junmyeon to continue. Junmyeon tries to arrange his words in his head, but gives up and says it like it is. “She told me I shouldn’t associate with him anymore.”
“And, you, like a good son, told her you understand, right?” Sehun asks when Junmyeon falls silent again, for a much longer time. He knocks his knuckles into Junmyeon’s hand, and even though Junmyeon is staring at the ceiling like Sehun is, he knows Sehun is frowning. “Of course you did. Do you think Kris really is someone who you shouldn’t associate with?”
Yes. No. Yes. Maybe. Yes, but I still want to do more than associate with him. No, he’s someone I definitely should associate with. “Mother thinks so.”
“I didn’t ask about what mom thinks, hyung.”
Silence falls again, burying with it the words Junmyeon wants to say. Junmyeon thinks about friendships that could have lasted, yet hadn’t simply because he was Kim Junmyeon. Sehun is humming a song that sounds vaguely familiar. “I’m tired of people getting taken away from me because they’re not good enough.”
“Kris isn’t Baekhyun or Kyungsoo, hyung,” Sehun says, moving his leg over Junmyeon’s. Junmyeon is terrified that Kris’ eyes will one day be filled with the same anger that he had seen in Baekhyun’s, or that Kris will willingly cut off all ties with him, or even worse, that Kris will think of him as someone to be used and thrown away. Sehun hits Junmyeon’s hand again, interrupting his thoughts. “He’s not Minho, either. He’s Kris. You know better than anyone that he would have hurt you already if that was his intention, hyung.”
Junmyeon knows his mother well enough to know that Hyunkyun had probably already spoken to Kris long before she had brought it up to Junmyeon. Kris had neither told Junmyeon about it, nor had he given any indication that he cared either way. Warnings seemed to have no effect on Kris. “Kris isn’t like them at all, is he?”
“Are you going to start fanboying him? I had enough of that when you had a fanboy crush on that stupidly tall member from Super... Super what?”
Junmyeon lets out a sound of indignation, pushing himself up into a sitting position and grabbing the closest throw pillow to hit Sehun in the face with it. “Junior! And Kyuhyun isn’t stupid, he’s really cool! Like you’re one to talk, do you see the way you look when you’re with Soojung?”
“At least Soojung doesn’t leave me to sigh wistfully at her from behind a computer screen,” Sehun retorts, laughing. He grabs Junmyeon’s arm before Junmyeon can hit him with another pillow, throwing himself over Junmyeon to make both of them fall on the bed, Sehun sprawled over Junmyeon. Junmyeon struggles under Sehun’s weight for a while before he gives up and reaches up his hand to mess up Sehun’s carefully styled hair in retaliation instead.
The top of the bridge is breathtaking in a way Junmyeon can’t describe, hundreds of feet away from reality. Everything looks so tiny that Junmyeon wants to know how it all seems so big, so frightening, when he’s faced with it head-on, and he keeps a tight grip on the metal with one hand as he holds out the other. Kris’ arm around his waist tightens a tiny bit, as if warning him, but Junmyeon pays it no heed. The misty fog almost seems to swallow up the bridge, leaving Junmyeon hanging at the top, and it’s what Junmyeon wants so badly.
When they’re brought down by the gathering of spectators, the security team Kris had asked Lu Han to hire surrounding them, Junmyeon wants to throw up. He’d been cut off from everything when he had been at the top, free for a measly few minutes, despite how hard it had been to breathe. He slides into the car with Kris right behind him, but doesn’t say anything even when he feels Kris’ concerned gaze on him. Kris had always fought, thinking everything came at a price, but Junmyeon envied that Kris already had freedom that Junmyeon could only dream of. He slides down in the seat and bends to press his forehead against his knees, trying to bring back a little of that moment where reality was out of reach, and takes a deep breath. Kris doesn’t try to touch him and Junmyeon, for that short moment, wishes he would. Kris’ hands on him would make reality a little more bearable, a little more secure.
“Don’t be upset. You were bound to come back to reality anyway, no matter how long you stayed up there and how good it felt,” Kris says gently. Junmyeon hears the scratch of denim against the leather of the seats and then Kris is pulling him into his arms, close enough that Junmyeon is grateful that his personal driver, Seunghwan, has always considered him a son and never an employer. Junmyeon lets himself relax and breathes in Kris’ scent instead, the cologne that Kris always steals from Lu Han mixed in with cigarette smoke that clings to Kris’ clothes like a second layer to warn people away. It’s more comforting than Junmyeon would have expected before meeting Kris, but he supposes that’s a good thing. “Are you okay? Junmyeon?”
“I’m okay,” Junmyeon says without meaning it. Kris sighs and Junmyeon plays with the hem of Kris’ shirt. Kris would ask about it again, but not now, and that’s enough for him. “I wish you wouldn’t worry.”
“You don’t give me much of a choice,” Kris answers. Junmyeon flattens out Kris’ hem and runs his palm over it, mulling over Kris’ answer in his head. He’d always given people choices, and Kris is no different, but how Kris saw those choices and how others saw them were what differed. Junmyeon closes his eyes, listening to the traffic as it lulls him to sleep.
Junmyeon had thought about it a lot, what he’d say and how he’d stand, arms at his side but not stiff, to convey relaxation. He wouldn’t be surprised or afraid, but he’d speak slowly, softly, because he had been the one to wrong Baekhyun, not the other way around.
It all disappears when he sees Baekhyun standing outside the language center he takes private lessons in, thinner than Junmyeon remembers, hair an attractive shade between wine red and purple, waving goodbye to a handsome black-haired boy Junmyeon vaguely recognizes from his school, someone whose name starts with a Y, or perhaps a L. He’d invited the boy to his birthday party. He pulls on his collar, painfully aware of how he’d had a little over two years to prepare and yet here he was, still trying to run away instead of face the boy whose future he’d ruined. He makes it down the steps and turns his back to the pair, but stops after a few steps.
Even Baekhyun’s voice is different, a bit deeper, but somehow still as comforting as he remembers it. He turns around slowly, swallowing when he sees Baekhyun with his arms crossed, eyes sharp as he stares at Junmyeon. The black-haired boy is already too far away for Junmyeon to drag back into a conversation and give him a chance at escaping. He swallows again when Baekhyun takes sure steps towards him until he’s standing right in front of Junmyeon, and Junmyeon is hit with the same guilt as the day he had found Baekhyun packing away the things in his locker, tears wet on his cheeks and his jaw set. Baekhyun had looked at Junmyeon with such strong rage back then that Junmyeon had taken a step back, wishing he had heeded his mother’s warnings properly, because he’d not only been the reason Baekhyun’s scholarship had been canceled, he couldn’t even apologize nor say goodbye.
“Baekhyun…” Junmyeon says, voice shaking. His hands are stiff in his pockets. Remnants of the rage from back then still shine in Baekhyun’s eyes even now. “I… How are you?”
“Is that a question you should be asking after all this time?” Baekhyun replies, voice gentle but words sharp. He’d always been too sharp, too honest for a society like Junmyeon’s, words that tumbled past his lips without a second thought. Junmyeon’s mother hadn’t liked that at all, too put off by the way Baekhyun didn’t talk as respectfully as she thought he should. It’s not a surprise that he still is. “You haven’t changed. You always liked avoiding confrontation.”
Of course Baekhyun would think Junmyeon hadn’t changed. He had changed, too much, but he supposes Baekhyun is right, he’d never liked confrontations. He grasps the fabric inside his pockets tightly, curling his fingers around it. “Because I’m not good at them.”
“You should be, especially if you’re going to meet people like me,” Baekhyun says with a dry laugh. Junmyeon doesn’t know how to apologize to him. He’d listened to his mother and stopped inviting Baekhyun, who had been so funny when he ran his fingers over everything in Junmyeon’s house, whether it looked expensive or not, but he hadn’t stopped Sehun from continuing to invite Baekhyun over. That had been his mistake, not Baekhyun’s. How could he apologize for being someone that Baekhyun shouldn’t have become friends with? He lowers his eyes from Baekhyun’s and feels his heart clench when Baekhyun scoffs loudly. “You can’t even look at me?”
“How can I? I’m… I’m sorry for everything that happened to you because of me, Baekhyun,” Junmyeon apologizes. It’s weak, and he knows it is, but he can tell by the way Baekhyun laughs, a little choked, that his former friend can sense how sincere it is. “You didn’t deserve any of it. You earned your place there and I was the reason it was taken away.”
He looks back up at Baekhyun. His arms aren’t crossed as tight, a little less defensive and hostile, like he was softening to Junmyeon all over again. “You were always good at talking, too.”
Talking well is something he was taught, but actually meaning what he says was something completely different. He didn’t expect Baekhyun to forgive him easily, but he desperately wanted the other’s forgiveness anyway. “I know. I’m sorry. I’m… I’d always been honest with you, though.”
“I guess I can give you that,” Baekhyun murmurs before he sighs and shakes his head, frown still on his lips. “You know, I always thought I wouldn’t see you again. That doesn’t make sense, because we still live in the same city, but it would have been better if we hadn’t met again.”
Junmyeon nods slowly, ignoring the way his heart clenches again with regret and sadness. He’s better being away from Baekhyun. There’s no reason Baekhyun would want him back after all. He thinks nothing of the hurt he sees alongside the red hot anger in Baekhyun’s eyes, because it’s not his to think about. He remembers his mother’s inconspicuous threats, perhaps it would be better to find someone better suited to you, and he had listened, giving up a friend who had been closer to him than so many others. “I understand. I’ll… I’ll try to stay away.”
“Goodbye, Junmyeon,” Baekhyun says, not unkindly. He turns as if he’s about to walk away, but turns back to face Junmyeon. There is a beat, cars honking and people talking, and Baekhyun shakes his head again. “I worked so hard for what I had and you’re the reason I don’t have it anymore. I’m sorry, Junmyeon, but I can’t give you the forgiveness you want from me.”
It hurts much more than Junmyeon had expected to hear it straight from Baekhyun. He can’t even bring himself to nod, the breath stolen from him. Baekhyun turns and starts down the sidewalk, leaving Junmyeon to catch his breath while watching him walk away.
Junmyeon doesn’t know how long he stands on front of the center. He stares after Baekhyun for too long before he stumbles to the car when cold rain starts to fall, almost falling in. Seunghwan’s eyes are worried in the rear view mirror, but Junmyeon closes the black-tinted barrier between them and raises his legs to the seat, wrapping his arms around them.
I can’t give you the forgiveness you want from me, Baekhyun’s voice rings in his head. Of course forgiveness is something Junmyeon would never get, not when it mattered. He feels the tears falling and wipes them away with the sleeve of his jacket, even when they keep falling, and he fights to keep himself from sobbing. He’s not the one whose future was taken away by someone he’d considered a friend, so what right did he have to cry? He’s startled out of this thought when his phone rings; it’s Kris’ ringtone. Junmyeon wipes away his tears and takes his cell phone out of his bag, staring at Kris’ name and a picture of them together on the screen. Kris probably wouldn’t forgive him either if something happened to him because of Junmyeon. It was always because of him, even when he did his best to keep anything from happening to them.
He answers the call and raises the phone shakily to his ear. “Kris…”
“You don’t usually take this long to answer. You’re finished with your Mandarin lessons?”
The casual question is almost too much and Junmyeon raises his hand to his mouth to muffle the sob. He’d forgotten about his usual coffee date with Kris after Mandarin lessons, head too full of Baekhyun’s face, it would have been better if we hadn’t met again. “I… I’m not going to make it. I have to go home. I’m sorry.”
“What’s wrong?” Kris’ voice is loud against Junmyeon’s ear, the phone pressed too close in Junmyeon’s sadness. “You can be late. Just come, I’ll wait. See you later.”
The dial tone is louder than Kris’ voice and Junmyeon lowers the phone to stare at the screen. The call screen disappears and Junmyeon stares at the picture of his own happy face, Kris beside him, on the lock screen. He throws the phone back into his bag and presses his fist against his mouth to keep from crying at what he’s going to do. He’ll go home and let Kris wait for him, who wasn’t coming, and then he’d do it again and again until Kris couldn’t forgive him. If Kris wasn’t going to forgive him, Junmyeon wanted it to be from something he did willingly, and not something he had no control over. He squeezes his eyes shut and listens to the drops of rain hitting against the windows of the car, sending Kris an apology he would never hear, and lets himself cry for yet another person whose forgiveness he wouldn’t get.
Junmyeon sends a silent thanks to the heavens that he makes it to his room without running into any of the maids. He locks the door behind him and drops his bag on the floor, stripping himself of his wet jacket and beanie before sliding underneath the covers of his bed. They’re warm and comforting, but Junmyeon thinks of other nights where Kris would come back with him and sit on the other end of the bed, sliding his hands underneath the sheets to tickle Junmyeon’s feet and laugh at the way Junmyeon nearly fell off the bed in an attempt to escape, where Kris would fall asleep with his head in Junmyeon’s lap while Junmyeon did both their homework, where Kris would just be with him, instead of waiting where Junmyeon would not come. The tears come again and Junmyeon is tired of them, tired of the emotions weighing him down, tired of imagining Kris who would probably wait no matter how much Junmyeon didn’t want him to, and the exhaustion, paired with the pitter-patter of the rain against the glass of his window, tugs him under to sleep before he knows it.
The muffled sound of his cellphone ringtone wakes him later. He doesn’t know what time it is. It’s raining even harder, flashes of lightning brightening Junmyeon’s dark room, and he tries to blink away the sleep. He drags himself out of his bed, following the sound of the ringtone until he reaches his bag and pulls the phone out. There’s a missed call notification from Lu Han on the screen. Junmyeon stares down at the picture of him and Kris and makes a mental note to change it; he’s about to call Lu Han back, but he gets a message notification from said boy before he can.
Tell Kris to charge his stupid phone and stop forgetting his key at home. I left it underneath the mat for when he comes back.
Junmyeon stares down at the message before he turns to look at the rainstorm outside. It’s late enough that the temperature’s dropped, rain even colder, and Kris had never been one to wear properly warm clothes. Junmyeon’s back in his barely dried jacket and out the door with an umbrella, worry expanding in his chest as he waits for Seunghwan outside the car. Seunghwan barely takes five minutes to come, and they’re at the subway exit Junmyeon always meets Kris at in less than ten, but they tick by so slowly that Junmyeon nearly leaves the car and runs there instead to make time go faster.
Kris is sitting on the steps of the exit, completely drenched and curled up as if to keep whatever warmth was left to himself. He’s gripping his phone in between his hands, screen black and droplets of rain over it, and Junmyeon wants to cry. Kris had waited exactly like he had promised. Junmyeon steps closer slowly, keeping the umbrella steadily over him, until it covers the both of them. Kris pauses before looking up at Junmyeon, face blank before he smiles. He looks silly with his nose red and wet hair falling over his eyes. “Took you long enough.”
“You must be really stupid. There’s no other explanation for why you would spend hours waiting even when I said I wouldn’t come,” Junmyeon says. His voice is surprisingly steady considering how much he wants to gather Kris into his arms and cover him with blankets. “I know I’m rich and you think you aren’t, but this isn’t Boys Over Flowers. I wouldn’t have come if Lu Han didn’t tell me you weren’t home… you should have gone home when I told you I wasn’t coming.”
Kris doesn’t answer. He leans a tiny bit closer under the umbrella and Junmyeon takes a step forward to cover Kris from the rain completely. “Kris? Hey… Kris...”
“It’s too cold…” Kris murmurs, his voice nearly drowned out by the thunder. Junmyeon squats down, dropping the umbrella on the ground, and reaches out to place his hands on Kris’ cheeks. Kris’ skin is hot to the touch and Junmyeon feels anxiety swell in his chest when he slides his hand to Kris’ forehead and feels the same heat there. “You’ve got a fever, you idiot…”
Kris hums in reply, slowly leaning forward, too weak to keep himself up. Junmyeon shifts so he’s kneeling and gently brushes Kris’ wet bangs away, leaning their foreheads together. Kris’ eyes are dazed, but he’s looking at Junmyeon with too much love, too much for Junmyeon to face. He tilts his head and presses his lips gently against Kris’, keeping his hand against Kris’ neck, and Kris raises his hands to tug on Junmyeon’s jacket. It’s the first time Kris has been so openly vulnerable, leaving everything up to Junmyeon, and Junmyeon doesn’t know whether he really wants to make Kris leave him with no forgiveness. Most of him is chanting no when he kisses Kris deeper, ignoring the cold of the rain drenching him, until Kris breaks away with a sigh. Junmyeon feels a surge of fondness when Kris closes his eyes and leans forward until his forehead is against Junmyeon’s chest, but it quickly changes to panic when Kris’ grip on his jacket slackens and the taller boy slumps against Junmyeon, who barely catches him before they both fall.