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[personal profile] lirazel
Title: advanced romanticism
Chapter: 1/2
Series: the toaster 'verse
Fandom: Kpop: Infinite
Characters/Pairing: Hoya/Eunji (APink), Sungjong/Minha (9Muses), Hoya&Sungjong bffery, Infinite and 9Muses in supporting roles
Rating: PG-13
Genre: College AU
A/N: As usual, at least some of the best stuff in this fic originated with [livejournal.com profile] indiesnopp because she is the queen of headcanons.
Summary: "This is what comes of being the only straight guys in our group of friends. We have no one to talk to to get some perspective when we’re both having girl problems.” Hoya and Sungjong are having a little trouble with romance. But they both manage to figure it out. Eventually.




--




Sungjong is probably Hoya’s (second) favorite person in the world, and they’ve been best friends since Hoya found him in the practice room in the middle of the night doing girl group dances, but Hoya’s pretty sure he’ll never really understand his best friend. Not just his love of bloody horror movies—the more graphic the better, as far as Sungjong is concerned—or how he doesn’t take any shit from people but will melt over any animal he sees or the Bible that sits on his bedside table that he actually reads—every morning!—or the dresses that hang in his closet (carefully ironed and encased in plastic protection, right next to his striped shirts and his knee-length shorts, not even hidden at all, because Sungjong isn’t ashamed of anything), but also his emotional reactions to things. Or lack thereof, in this case.

“So,” Hoya says, gearing up to go through it again, just to make sure he’s really got it this time. “You and Bora broke up.”

“Yes, hyung.”

“Thirty minutes ago.”

“Yes, hyung.”

“And you’re…totally fine.”

“Yes, hyung.”

Sungjong has been totally calm since he walked through the door to their apartment and made his announcement, but now irritation is flickering in his eyes. Sungjong almost never gets mad at Hoya, but he does get very annoyed whenever anyone treats him like a child, which Hoya almost never does. And that isn’t what Hoya’s trying to do at the moment, either: he just honestly doesn’t understand. Sungjong has been broken up with his girlfriend for less than an hour—shouldn’t he be at least a little upset?

But Sungjong is just flipping through magazines ripping out pictures for some collage thing he’s working on, and the ripping isn’t even particularly violent—he’s been way, way scarier with it after Sunggyu has bossed him around or Woohyun’s played a dumb trick on him. Sungjong’s legs are crossed, his movements are crisp, his face is calm, and every few minutes he flicks his hair out of his eyes. Basically: he looks exactly like he always does.

Which is…weird. It’s not that Hoya thinks Sungjong should be crying his eyes out or anything—Sungjong isn’t a crier, and he and Bora have only been dating for like three months. It’s just that Hoya’s other best friend is Dongwoo, who cries whenever he thinks he’s hurt Woohyun or Sunggyu’s feelings (which he’s never done in the entire time he’s known them, but you can’t tell him that), and Myungsoo has ended up sobbing all over Hoya’s favorite purple hoodie more than once when Sungyeol has gone through one of his drama queen moments and ‘dumped’ him (of course they’re back together the next day, sucking face and being gross, but no matter how often Hoya reminds Myungsoo that Sungyeol always takes him back within hours, it doesn’t stop Myungsoo from crying like the world is about to end). And when Hoya broke up with his high school girlfriend back in Busan a week before he left for university because they both knew the long-distance thing probably wouldn’t work, he’d teared up a little when she hugged him (and, okay, again when he got back to his bedroom and again several times over the next few days) and felt like shit for at least a couple of weeks (months) afterwards.

People get upset over breakups. Either they’re angry or they’re depressed or at the very least wistful, but they have some sort of emotional reaction. They don’t calmly do their mixed media assignments like it’s any other day.

Maybe it just hasn’t sunk in yet. Maybe later it’ll hit him and he’ll at least get a little misty-eyed or something. Sungjong has more control over his emotions than most people Hoya knows (especially considering that almost all of his friends are drama queens in one way or another), and Hoya isn’t really surprised that he’s subdued, but he figures at least some emotional reaction will pop up sooner or later. And of course Hoya will be there for him when it does.

“Okay, Sungjongie, well, if you need to talk later, I’m here.” Hoya pats Sungjong on the shoulder and turns to head to his room—he’s got an international relations paper due in a few days.

But Sungjong must be able to read minds or something, because he stops him. “Hyung,” he says with a sigh.

“Hm?” Hoya turns to face him and sees Sungjong lay down his magazine and give him an impatient look.

“Look. It’s nice that you’re wanting to be supportive and everything, but you really don’t need to waste time and energy worrying about me. I’m fine.”

“Okay, Jjongie,” Hoya agrees readily.

“Hyung—”

“I believe you, Sungjong.” Sungjong really is perfectly fine right now. It’s later that he’ll need Hoya.

“No, hyung, you don’t understand.” Sungjong sighs again and gestures to the couch beside him, clearly ready to have an actual conversation. Just what Hoya had been waiting for. He plops down on the couch immediately.

“I’m really not upset at all—no, don’t start saying you know, I hate it when you patronize me, hyung—and I’m not going to be upset, either. Our decision was completely mutual and totally amicable. We really enjoyed the time we were together and I still like Bora-noona very much, but we both agreed that our time together was over. There is nothing for me to be upset about. Do you understand?”

Sungjong sweeps his side-swept bangs out of his eyes so he can focus on Hoya, and he does look absolutely serious. Still, Hoya doesn’t really get it. It’s not like he and Bora just slept together a couple of times and hung out some—Hoya’s done that with a few girls and doesn’t feel the slightest twinge of regret when they decide to call things off. But this wasn’t just fooling around, this was actual dating, and dating’s supposed to involve feelings, right? He knows how much Sungjong liked Bora, knows how much she liked him back, how much fun they had together, laughing and talking and everything. There had to have been feelings, too, right?

But apparently not. He can’t exactly disbelieve Sungjong, not when Sungjong is so incredibly mature and self-aware. So he just shrugs. “Whatever you say, Sungjongie.”

Sungjong can apparently tell that Hoya still doesn’t really get it because he shakes his head and pats Hoya’s hand. “Just don’t worry about me, hyung. Don’t think about it anymore.” A grin splits his face, a little devious. “Just focus on your own love life. Have you asked Eunji out yet?”

Hoya moans and rolls his eyes at Sungjong’s devilish grin because Sungjong is always pressing him about this: Just ask her out already, hyung! Like it’s that easy. Apparently all stages of relationships are just that easy for Lee Sungjong. But there’s only one Lee Sungjong in the world, and unfortunately Hoya isn’t him. “I’m going to study,” he says, pushing off the couch. “Let me know if you get tired of all the papercuts and want to go grab some food or something.”

As he closes the door to his room, he hears Sungjong’s soft voice again: “I really am fine, hyung.”

Hoya grunts to himself and tries not to worry.









But the thing is, he kind of can’t help worrying about Sungjong. Not because Sungjong’s not more than capable of taking care of himself—honestly, of all of Hoya’s friends, Sungjong is probably the only one who can function as a responsible adult; even Sunggyu turns into a baby at the most inopportune times—but because Hoya just adores him so much. He’s never known anyone even remotely like Sungjong, and he’d known how special Sungjong was from that first night when he walked into the practice room and found the freshman dancing to Orange Caramel’s “Bangkok City” in the dim light. His moves weren’t the kind Hoya does, far more fluid and loose-limbed than what Hoya had favored up to that point, but they were mesmerizing and defiant and it hadn’t been hard at all to step fully into the room and ask Sungjong to show him how he did that chest-popping thing.

Hoya had expected him to be embarrassed or at least sheepish at being caught—a freshman caught by an upperclassman doing girl group dances and doing them just as well as the girl group themselves—but Sungjong had merely smiled and invited him in and they’d spent the next several hours talking dance and getting to know each other. By the time they parted ways—it was dawn and Hoya skipped his comparative politics course to go back to his dorm room and sleep—Hoya was sure that Sungjong was just about the most amazing person on the planet. (Or at least he’d thought so until he laid eyes on the girl who works the concessions stand at the soccer games, but that’s another story.)

It hadn’t taken long for them to become best friends, and since then Hoya’s always been concerned about Sungjong’s happiness. He wants to believe that this breakup won’t have any affect on his friend at all, but it’s just really hard to convince himself of that, and he’ll never forgive himself if Sungjong is hurting and he can’t be there for him.

Which explains why he tracks down Bora the next day. It’s not hard—she’s in his lit gen ed and they usually wave at each other across the room at the beginning of class. He likes Bora a lot, and she always treated Sungjong well, but they’re not close or anything. So today is the first day Hoya actually hurries to catch her after class.

“Hey, you got just a second?”

She smiles at him, waves for Hyojung to go on without her, and swings her backpack on. “If this is about me and Sungjong breaking up, you really don’t need to worry.”

Hoya blinks, because, okay, that was easier than he’d thought it was going to be. “I—okay—“

“It really was mutual,” Bora interrupts, still smiling. “We were never in love in the first place, and it was great being together. But we both agreed that it really wasn’t headed anywhere and it was best to end it before we started to resent each other.”

“Well, that’s really…mature of you.”

Bora laughs, ponytail bobbing with the motion. “Believe it or not, some people are capable of having mature relationships, Hoya.”

Hoya’s smile is a bit wry. “Usually not in university, though.”

Another laugh. “Usually not. But then, there’s nothing usual about Sungjong.”

Well, that Hoya can certainly agree with. “He’s pretty special.”

Bora sobers a bit and leans closer. “Well, that’s the thing actually.”

Hoya tries to tamp down on the alarm rising inside of him. He knew there was something else going on in all of this. Did she find out about the dresses in his closet and get freaked out? Was she threatened by the fact that he’s prettier than her? Hoya hadn’t thought she’d be that way, but if she is, he’ll take back every single good thought he ever had about her.

But even though her eyes are serious and her tone confidential, she doesn’t seem judgmental or disgusted. “Sungjong is a fantastic boyfriend,” she says. “The best boyfriend I ever had, in fact. I mean, at first, I thought it was kind of funny when he asked me out and I really only said yes because I thought he was so gorgeous. He’s younger and everything, so I didn’t think he’d really be all that good at dating. But he’s incredibly good at it, and that’s one of the reasons I thought we should break up.”

Hoya stares at her. That makes…no sense whatsoever. “What.”

She laughs again, quieter this time. “I know it sounds crazy, breaking up with a guy because he’s too good at being a boyfriend. But I wasn’t in love with him, and I knew he wasn’t in love with me, and, okay, it’s great to just be with such a good person in a casual way, but I really felt like he was wasted on our casual thing. A guy like that should be with someone who’s absolutely crazy about him. He needs to find someone to fall in love with, and he wasn’t going to be able to do that while we were together. So it’s better this way. You know?”

Hoya isn’t sure if that’s one of the most reasonable or one of the most ridiculous things he’s ever heard in his life, but either way, he feels the anxiety seep out of him. Bora isn’t a judgmental jerk, Sungjong really isn’t heartbroken, and Hoya doesn’t need to worry about this anymore. Awesome.

“But it’s really sweet that you were worried about him,” Bora says, patting him on the arm. “You’re a great friend, Hoya-yah.”

Hoya smiles, baring his canines. “Thanks, Bora-sunbae.”

“Sure. I’m sure we’ll see each other around some—I’m not going to completely stop hanging out with Sungjong just because we broke up. Have a great day!”

And then she’s gone with a swish of her ponytail, and Hoya relaxes for the first time since Sungjong informed him of the breakup. As he heads off to his dance class, he thinks this probably will be a great day.










As it turns out, he arrived at that conclusion much too soon. He’s eating lunch with Woohyun and Sungyeol on the patio at the back of the cafeteria and laughing as Sungyeol threatens to kill Woohyun if Woohyun says one more thing about how sexy Sunggyu is when he sings when a furious girl in a baseball cap suddenly appears at the end of the table. Hoya’s laughter dies away as he looks at her—she’s really hot, but that’s not what catches his attention. It’s the absolute fury in her eyes that strangles his mirth.

“Uh,” Woohyun says, arching a brow at her. “Can we help you?” Usually he’s overly greasy with girls, but right now even he sounds a little tentative. That’s how tangible this girl’s anger is.

“Which one of you is Lee Howon?” she asks as she sweeps her burning eyes over the three of them. Her voice is tight and low and totally at odds with the binder she’s clutching to her chest—the one covered in pictures of cats wearing silly hats and kittens sitting in teacups and hearts with the word “catlady” scrawled on them. The incongruity of an adorable cat collage and her snapping eyes makes Hoya’s head spin a little.

Woohyun and Sungyeol point in unison to Hoya and Hoya cringes as the force of the girl’s fury focuses on him. It’s so intense that he can’t even wrack his brain to come up with a reason that someone he’s never talked to before—though her face looks vaguely familiar—would be this angry at him.

“Do you want me to castrate you, you disgusting pervert?”

Okay, what? Hoya’s hand flies to cover his delicate bits—and when he glances desperately across the table at his friends, he sees that both of their hands are covering their crotches as well—and his head spins faster than a whirligig. What the fuck did he do to deserve a threat like that? He’s your average college guy, and yeah, he watches some porn and likes to check out girls’ asses as they pass, but he also was raised to respect women and he never has a one night stand with a girl unless he’s positive that’s all she wants too and he can’t think of a single thing he’s done in his whole college career that would prompt a reaction like this.

“Uh. What?” he croaks, because her anger is so intense his own can’t even flare up.

“Don’t play innocent with me, I’m not the kind of girl who finds that cute.” She tosses her feline-adorned binder down on the table with a slap that makes all three of its occupants jump, swings her backpack off her shoulder, reaches inside, and pulls out a huge bunch of crumpled up paper which she hurls at Hoya’s head. It’s just paper, so it doesn’t hurt, but it’s shocking to say the least and Sungyeol makes a half-laugh, half-whimpering sound as it bounces off of Hoya’s head and falls onto the table. “Keep your foul propositions to yourself, do you hear me?”

Hoya can’t think of what to say to that, so he fumbles for a moment with the paper until he smoothes it out enough to see that it’s a banner about the length of his arm with big red letters that say LEE HOWON WANTS TO SEE YOU NAKED! in hangul. Accompanied by an extremely unflattering picture of him leering at the camera while holding a bottle of beer; Woohyun must have taken it with Myungsoo’s camera on one of their party nights.

Woohyun.

Sungyeol.

Hoya’s head slowly pivots to face his friends and he finds that Woohyun is smirking at him and Sungyeol is doing that thing where he’s trying so hard to keep his laughter in that his face screws up and makes him look like a pug puppy.

Hoya is going to kill them.

“Hey!” The girl’s shout makes all of them jump and immediately plaster their attention back on her. “Pay attention to me when I’m talking to you, you asshole!”

Hoya knows exactly what’s going on now and he is going to kill Woohyun and Sungyeol. But first he has to clear this up with this furious woman. “Look, I think there’s been some kind of misunderstanding. My friends—“ His mouth twists around the word because how the fuck did he end up calling such total bastards friends? “—really enjoy playing profoundly stupid practical jokes and—”

JOKES?” Hoya wouldn’t have thought that a woman, even a tall one like this, would be able to roar that way, but she somehow manages it. “You call sexually harassing my girlfriend by sending her emails with disgusting come-ons and videos of you doing stupid hiphop dancing and being all gross and sweaty is some kind of joke? And who practices topless anyway—put on a goddamn shirt, you narcissistic asshole!”

Okay, that is crossing the line, even for Sungyeol and Woohyun. And why on earth were they sending them to some girl he doesn’t even know, that doesn’t make any—

Wait. Girlfriend?

“Girlfriend?” Woohyun and Sungyeol chorus together, and now they sound absolutely gleeful, and Woohyun is silent-laughing as hard as Sungyeol is and Hoya has never been so pissed at them before, not even that time when they almost made Sungjong cry.

“Yes,” the girl snaps. “My girlfriend Eunji, who never did anything to you and never asked to be sexually harassed and on whose behalf I am going to castrate you.” She points defiantly over her shoulder in the direction of a table full of girls.

Wait.

Eunji?

“You’re crushing on a lesbian?” Woohyun hasn’t sounded this happy since the day after he and Dongwoo finally talked Sunggyu into bed for the first time, and Sungyeol is actually sliding off of his chair and down onto the floor, he’s laughing so hard, and Hoya is going to kill them.

But then Hoya actually looks at the table full of girls and sees the one the angry girl is pointing to, the one who’s watching them with a big grin on her face as the other girls at the table whisper furiously. She’s pretty, with a short, choppy haircut and big eyes and the deepest dimples Hoya has ever seen—

And she’s definitely not the girl from the concession stand that Hoya’s been crushing on for weeks now.

Hoya takes a deep breath and reaches out to crumple the banner up again. Then he stands, and the angry girl is still taller than him, but he feels a little less intimidated now.

“I’m really, really sorry about this. My friends have a sick sense of humor. But I promise you that it will never, ever happen again.”

The angry girl purses her lips. “You think that’s good enough?”

“No, I don’t. I’ll apologize to her personally and—pay for you two to go to dinner sometime.” He can hear Sungyeol practically gurgling with laughter at the thought of Hoya paying for lesbians to go on a date, but he keeps his gaze focused on the woman he’s talking to. He’ll see how Sungyeol’s laughing when he finds out that Hoya’s going to make him and Woohyun pay for said dinner and he’s going to make reservations at the most expensive restaurant in town. “And if she hears anything that’s allegedly from me again, I’ll help you report both of them to the dean’s office for sexual harassment.”

Sungyeol’s gurgling turns into a choking noise and Woohyun makes some sort of protesting noise, but the angry girl relaxes some. Her eyes are still fiery, but she tilts her head in a nod of concession. “Make the apology a letter. Handwritten. And I’ll contact you later when we pick a date.”

And then she spins on her heel and is striding on really fantastic legs back through the open double doors to the table where her friends are sitting, and Howon turns very slowly to glower down at the bastards formerly known as his friends.

“What. The. Fuck?”

Sungyeol is still tittering, but Woohyun looks a little subdued at the turn the conversation had taken, even if he’s trying to keep a careless smirk on his face. “Just a little bit of harmless fun, Howon, no need to get so worked up,” Woohyun says, holding up his hands as if to prove his innocence.

Harmless fun? “Fuck you, Nam, just because you tried all that shit on Sunggyu and got away with it doesn’t mean you can do it to other people. You’re lucky she didn’t report my ass to the dean! You could have gotten me kicked out of school!”

Both Woohyun and Sungyeol look profoundly stupid when they have sheepish expressions on their faces. “I don’t think she’s going to report you,” Sungyeol offers, and then Woohyun chimes in, “And if she does, I know a couple of really excellent lawyers who do pro bono work and—” Hoya’s eyes must flash because Woohyun backtracks quickly. “We’ll write the letter!”

“Damn right you will,” Hoya growls. “And pay for their dinner. Including appetizers and dessert. At Romero’s.”

Both of their eyes go wide and it’s amazing how much they look alike when they look nothing alike. “But that’ll wipe me out of pocket money for a semester!” Sungyeol protests, voice annoyingly whiny.

“Well, you two should have thought of that before you decided to play one of your ‘pranks’.” He picks up the banner off the table—it’s easy to recognize Woohyun’s handwriting now—and bunches it up again, hurling it at Sungyeol’s face. “You two idiots didn’t even get the right girl!”

Sungyeol doesn’t even block the paper cannonball, letting it smack into his face and then fall onto his tray and into his slop. The partners in crime stare up at him with equally blank expressions.

“That’s the wrong Eunji, you fuckers!”

Two annoying mouths drop open in unison, and Hoya’s probably going to have to listen to some half-assed protest of ignorance, but then Dongwoo appears at his elbow, tray in hand and a confused smile on his face.

“Was that one of the goddesses from the swim team yelling at you, Hoya? What did you do to piss her off?”

So that’s why she looked familiar. Of course. He’s managed to make an enemy of one of the most popular girls in the whole school. A girl who runs with a crew of eight other girls who are so untouchable that the rest of the campus refers to them as “the goddesses.” Fantastic.

This day is turning out to be anything but great.












Sungjong is, he decides as he heads to the art building to work on his mixed media project before his 8:00 textiles class, determined to come up with a suitable punishment for the idiot prankster hyungs, a punishment so great it makes them regret the day they even considered torturing Hoya by torturing his crush. Sungjong’s quite sure his punishment will be more fearsome than anything Hoya can come up with, because although Hoya might be smart, he’s nowhere near as smart as Sungjong. Hoya always thinks he needs to look out for his younger friend, but more often than not Sungjong ends up being the one who looks out for Hoya. He’s disappointed in himself for not realizing that the Wooyeol idiots were up to something; they’ve been snickering behind their hands for days now and since he hasn’t heard Sunggyu complaining about their antics, he should have figured out that their target was outside their immediate circle of friends. But he’d been knee-deep in chicken wire and bubble wrap (the latter of which Dongwoo-hyung keeps stealing and squirreling away in his closet to “pop later”) for an assignment and then he and Bora broke up, and so he’d been glad to ignore the most annoying of his hyungs.

The breakup hadn’t been distracting in the emotional upheaval sense, but it has left him quite thoughtful. Sungjong had agreed that it was time for him and Bora to go their separate ways, but he rejected her premise that he needed to be free to find someone to fall in love with. Falling in love is all well and good, and of course he wants that some day, but he doesn’t feel the need for it at the moment, not when there are his studies and his friends and his plans for the future to focus on. He’s well aware that a visual arts degree doesn’t always guarantee a job post-graduation, and he had assured his parents since high school that he would do all he can to make the odds of finding gainful employment swing in his favor. He plans to get an internship every semester from now until graduation, and that doesn’t leave a lot of time for relationships. That was what he’d liked so much about Bora: they enjoyed spending time together, they got sex and affection and someone to text when they were awake at 3 in the morning finishing up a paper, but if one of them needed to go a week or two without contact because they were too busy, the other was just fine with that. Sungjong really doesn’t think it would be the same with a serious in-love kind of relationship.

Well, he can be single for a while; he’s fine with that, too. Or maybe he’ll end up finding some other girl who’s interested in something casual. Either way, he’s glad that he and Bora are on the same page. He just wishes Hoya could get his head out of his ass and ask his crush out before Woohyun and Sungyeol find the right girl and torture her to the point where she wants nothing to do with him.

Or maybe Sungjong can put the fear of God into them so that they’ll never try anything like that again and Hoya can take all the time he needs to work up his courage to ask Eunji out.

Sungjong is using his teeth to pull the tab seal off of his milk—usually something like that would be below his dignity, but it’s just after 6 AM, and every person he passes looks more like a zombie than a college student—and is crossing the quad when he sees Sungyeol’s friend Niel tugging persistently on the (slender, elegant) hand of a (slender, elegant) girl.

“Noona, come on.” Sungjong hears Niel’s voice easily in the clear morning air. Campus is never this quiet, and Sungjong’s always liked the stillness he never gets to experience at any other time. “You have to eat something. You know you won’t swim as well if you don’t have some fuel in you.”

The girl tosses her hair—Sungjong is looking at her back, so that’s all he can really see of her: long, wavy hair (and her slender, elegant figure)—and he can hear the fond amusement in her voice as she answers, “I don’t have time this morning, Daniel. I’m already late as it is—Hyemi fell asleep in the shower so I had to wait to brush my teeth.”

Niel gives her a mournful look, big lips pouting. “Noona, what if you pass out?”

“I’m not going to pass out from missing one meal, Niel-ah. I’ll make sure to start keeping some fruit in our room so I’ll have something to grab if this happens again, okay?”

“But noona—”

Niel’s protests halt abruptly when he notices Sungjong’s hand holding out a muffin. His eyes light up when he follows the line of his arm up and sees Sungjong’s face. “Sungjong-sunbae!”

Sungjong smiles at him and turns his attention to the girl. “You can have this. I’ve got time to grab something else later.”

She turns to face him, and—she’s really beautiful. Really beautiful. Sungjong is used to being the most beautiful person in any room he’s in—not vanity, just facts (okay, maybe a little bit of vanity, but it’s better than having low self-esteem like Sungyeol or being totally oblivious like Myungsoo). But he thinks this girl, with her pale features and dark eyes could almost outshine him. Almost.

She looks at the muffin for a moment, then takes it, eyes moving up to his face and lips quirking in a tiny smile. “Thank you.”

“You can have this, too; I haven’t drunk from it yet.”

She takes the milk too and says again, “Thank you…?” trailing off in invitation for him to offer his name.

“Lee Sungjong,” he says.

“Park Minha,” she returns. He recognizes the name. He’s been to the swim meets—everyone goes to the swim meets; their women’s swim team has been national champion three years running, and none of the school’s other (pretty pathetic) sports teams come close to their level of popularity for just that reason—and he’s seen her from afar, long body encased in a blue suit, hair tucked under a white swimcap (he wonders, briefly, how she manages to keep all that hair under such a tight cap) and goggles around her neck, but he’s never seen her up close before. She’s good, he knows, one of the best on the team. A star.

And a teammate of the Eunji Woohyun and Sungyeol have been torturing. And her very angry girlfriend.

“Thank you, Lee Sungjong,” Minha says again, holding his gaze for just long enough that Sungjong can’t figure out if it’s flirtatious or not. Then she turns and grins at Niel. “Gotta go. See you at lunch, okay?”

Then she’s gone with a swish of her long hair (Sungjong thinks he catches a whiff of chlorine, but maybe it’s just his imagination—she’s on her way to the pool, not coming from it) and Niel grins up at Sungjong. “Thank you, sunbae,” he says, and Sungjong doesn’t think he’s been thanked so many times for one small gesture before. It was just a muffin. “I really worry about noona, you know?”

“Got a crush, Niel?” Sungjong asks. He can’t really blame Niel for staring at her so worshipfully.

Niel’s eyes go big. “On Minha-noona? No, no—she’s just my noona. We swim together a lot.”

That’s right; Niel’s on the men’s swim team. It’s not as good as the women’s, but their meets end up getting decent turnouts because they’re usually held right after the women’s, and Niel is probably the best on the team.

“You’re a good dongsaeng,” Sungjong tells him, thinking of how Sungyeol actually acts mature, like a real hyung should, when he’s around Niel. Niel must inspire that in people. Sungjong wishes Sungyeol would spend more time with him and less time with Woohyun, who is the worst influence Sungjong can imagine.

“Thanks, sunbae,” Niel says with a wide grin and waves a cheerful goodbye as he and Sungjong part ways. Sungjong toys with the idea of going back to the cafeteria to pick up another muffin, but he’s not all that hungry. He’ll just go work on his project and brainstorm punishments for the hyungs at the same time. For some reason, he feels energy flaring up inside him, and he’s confident he’ll come up with something that will definitely make his idiot hyungs rue their actions.













“What do you know about Lee Sungjong?” Minha asks Hyemi as they’re changing back into their clothes after practice.

Hyemi’s head pops through the neck of her tanktop. “Lee Sungjong. Art major. Did a cover of ‘Adult Ceremony’ at the variety show last semester. It was disturbingly hot.”

Minha pauses in pulling up her jeans and quirks an eyebrow. “‘Adult Ceremony’?”

“Yeah. In a dress and all.” Hyemi opens her locker to look in the mirror as she fusses with her hair. “When most guys do stuff like that, it’s for a laugh. But he was like—fierce. It was crazy. And did I mention hot?”

Minha wasn’t at the variety show; she’d had a world history test the next day. But she does remember now, hearing a lot of talk about a guy in a dress who did ‘Adult Ceremony’ as well as Park Jiyoon. It’s surprisingly easy to imagine: his slender figure in something black and slinky, dark eyes fierce and expression haughty. Minha hadn’t ever considered a guy in a dress anything but a joke, but if it was Lee Sungjong...yeah, she can see how that could be hot.

“He’s supposed to be a pretty good guy, too,” Hyemi continues, abandoning her hair and pulling out a tube of lip gloss instead. “Dongwoo—my high school friend Dongwoo, not amazingly talented dancer Dongwoo—is friends with some of his friends. Why are you asking about him?”

Minha thinks of a surprisingly bright eyes in a coolly beautiful face and the taste of chocolate chip muffin lingering in her mouth and zips up her sweater. “I just think he’s...interesting.”

Hyemi pops her lips at herself in the mirror and screws the top back on the lipgloss before handing it over to Minha. “If by interesting, you mean ‘more gorgeous than any six girls combined,’ then I agree.”

“Who are we talking about?” It’s Hyunjoo, pulling her hair into a ponytail as she comes around the corner.

“Why do you care?” Hyemi asks. “You and Hyemin-unnie are practically married.”

Hyunjoo snorts. “I can still be interested in finding out the identity of a guy who’s allegedly ‘more gorgeous than any six girls combined,’ because, frankly, I can’t believe such a person exists.”

“You’re so gay, unnie,” Hyemi says with a roll of her eyes. “Almost as gay as Hyuna-unnie.”

“Nobody’s as gay as me,” Hyuna says, appearing out of nowhere and shouldering her bag with the fluffy cat printed on it, dragging Eunji along with her. Her hair hasn’t been dried; she and Eunji were probably breaking all sorts of rules in the shower instead. “Why are we talking about how gay I am?”

“We’re not,” Hyemi answers. “We were talking about how Lee Sungjong is gorgeous.”

“Who?” Hyuna asks, and Minha has to hide a smile behind her hands; it takes a lot to get Hyuna to even notice there are men in the world, much less remember their names. Why would she pay attention to men when women and cats exist?

“Lee Sungjong!” Hyemi repeats exasperated. “Lee Sungjong Lee Sungjong Lee Sungjong! Now is everyone aware of what we’re talking about now?”

Minha admits to herself that she doesn’t mind hearing the name over and over as she pulls her hair into a loopy bun. It has a nice sound to it.

“Lee Sungjong? Didn’t he do that drag number at the variety show?” Kyungri asks, coming around the corner of the lockers and jerking a comb through her hair. “Isn’t he gay?”

“Just because a guy likes to wear a dress sometimes doesn’t mean he’s gay, unnie,” Hyemi says with a roll of her eyes. “And he’s definitely not. He and Bora-sunbae just broke up, she told me in vocal performance yesterday.”

Minha tries to keep from having a reaction to that, but nobody’s paying attention to her anyway. Thankfully.

“Maybe they broke up because he’s gay,” Hyunjoo suggests.

“Not everybody’s gay, unnie,” Hyemi says with a roll of her eyes. “He could be bi, though,” she allows.

“Who’s bi?” This is Sungah, appearing with Sera at the end of the row of lockers. “We can get him to join the club,” she grins as she elbows Sera.

“Oh my god, for the last time, we are talking about Lee Sungjong!”

Minha laughs at how frustrated her roommate is. And if there’s a note of giddiness in that laugh that has to do with hearing that Lee Sungjong isn’t gay and is single, well, again, nobody’s paying enough attention to her to notice it. Thankfully.

“Lee Sungjong?” Sera echoes. “Hoya’s best friend?”

“Who’s Hoya?” Sungah asks. “Is he hot?”

“Very,” Sera says. “You know, Lee Howon, from my department. I did that paper on differing cultural views on bribery with him, remember?”

“Lee Howon?” Every head in the room snaps around to look at Hyuna. The fury in her voice is palpable. “Lee Howon?”

“Uh. Yes?” Sera says carefully. Usually Hyuna is all kittycats and PDA with Eunji, but right now everyone in the room looks at least a little bit scared. Except for Eunji, who’s grinning broadly, dimples showing.

“He goes by Hoya? How dare he? That’s the name of one of my cats! That bastard stole it!”

“Do you not like Lee Howon, unnie?” Minha asks quietly. She isn’t sure Hyuna isn’t going to have a meltdown right here, though she also isn’t sure why.

“That’s the name of that bastard who’s been sexually harassing Eunji!”

Minha couldn’t tell you why her stomach knots up uncomfortably at those words. Well, she could, but she’d really rather not.

“Now, babe, you know it turned out to really be his friends, not him,” Eunji says soothingly, though she’s still grinning. “And they apologized. The note was on letterhead.”

“His friends?” Minha has to ask.

“Yeah, the tall one who’s in the plays and is dating that creepy photography major kid? And the greasy business guy who’s got like twenty-seven boyfriends or whatever?”

The knot in Minha’s stomach loosens just a bit. Neither of those sound like Lee Sungjong. But if they’re friends with Lee Howon and Lee Howon is best friends with Lee Sungjong….

“Are you going to report them to the dean?” Sera asks. “That is not okay.”

Hyuna, still caught up in her anger, grits her teeth. “I want to—”

Eunji interrupts her with an airy wave of her hand. “Watching all three of them cower in front of Hyuna was good enough retribution for me. And Howon did seem really sorry when he apologized.”

Hyunjoo rolls her eyes. “Whatever, you just got hot watching Hyuna go all cavewoman.”

Eunji’s grin this time is smug. “What can I say? My girlfriend is hot.” She slides her arms around Hyuna’s waist, and the tension in Hyuna’s shoulders immediately disappears, though she still has a petulant purse to her lips, which Eunji immediately kisses. Minha chuckles quietly as she watches Hyuna’s hands sneak into the back pockets of Eunji’s jeans and turns to pick up her bag. They’re cute, her unnies, even if she’ll never understand Hyuna and her cats.

“And again the conversation turns to how gay Hyuna-unnie is,” Hyemi sighs. “Do we ever talk about anything else? Just once I’d like to talk about how straight I am, because that would probably mean I was getting some. C’mon, Minha. If we book it we can grab something to eat from the snack store in the student center and only be like five minutes later for class.”

“You go ahead,” Minha says, falling into step beside her roommate as they head out of the locker room. “I’ve already eaten.”













Howon blows out a deep breath as he heads over to the concession stand, hoping his cheeks aren’t too red. If they are, it’s from exertion, he tells himself; soccer is hard work. But he has to face the patheticness of that excuse when he reaches the stand and the girl sitting beside the counter looks up for her notebook and gives him the widest smile he’s ever seen.

“Hey,” she says, and even that one word has a twist of her Busan accent in it. He tells his hands to stop sweating; he grew up in Busan, an accent from his own hometown should not be that hot to him. Isn’t the whole appeal of accents the exoticness? Or at least the novelty?

“Hi. Can I get a bottle of water, please?”

She reaches over and plucks a bottle out of the freezer behind her. “Sure. I guess you know how much it costs?” It could be annoyed, that comment, a dig about how he comes by every time they have a game or scrimmage. Instead, it just sounds teasingly friendly. Howon nods, looking down at his hands as they fumble to pluck the right amount out from his wallet.

“You know,” she says, and his eyes shoot up to her face, his eyebrows to his hairline at her conspiratorial tone. “I always wonder—don’t the coaches provide the team with water? Why do you always come over here and pay for a bottle when you don’t need to?”

Fuck. She noticed. Howon drops a couple of coins and bends down to find them, scrabbling in the dirt to retrieve them, scrabbling in his own brain for an explanation that isn’t, I think you’re hot and you always grin at me when I buy something and it’s totally worth the cost of the water.

“Uh, this is colder,” he finally settles on as he straightens and puts the money on the counter. He doesn’t trust himself to place it in her hand.

She laughs, a friendly, open sound that makes Howon feel like he’s twelve years old with his first crush all over again, and hands him the bottle. “Someone needs to introduce them to the concept of ice, then.”

Howon tries to smile, but he’s pretty sure he just looks like an idiot. Why is he like this with her? He’s been confident with every girl he’s liked since middle school. The last girl he had a hard time being cool around was said first crush, Juhyun, back when he was a kid. He’s dated girls who are far more conventionally gorgeous and intimidating than this girl who’s all beaming smiles and loud voice and casual jeans. So why does she reduce him to this?

“Uh, yeah. Thanks.”

“Good luck with the rest of the game! Hwaiting!”

He holds up his fists in halfhearted imitation of her. “Hwaiting!”

And the walks away kicking himself for being a giant idiot.












Sungjong is popping fries into his mouth with his left hand and working on some crosshatching in his sketchbook with his right hand when a cupcake appears six inches from his eyes. He sets down his charcoal pencil and looks up to find Park Minha smiling down at him. Her hair’s pulled back now, not loose around her shoulders like it was this morning, and it makes her eyes look bigger and brighter. Or maybe it’s the giant hoop earrings that are creating that impression.

“To pay you back for the muffin,” she says, one eyebrow lifting just a fraction as though she’s issuing a challenging and not just handing him a baked good.

Sungjong doesn’t really love cupcakes—too much frosting, which he’s never liked the taste of—but he takes it anyway. “You really didn’t have to, sunbae.” Niel had told him she was a couple of years older than him, so of course that’s what he has to call her, though the title feels strange in his mouth.

“I know,” she says. “But I saw it and thought of you.”

Sungjong is not thrilled at the squirm in his stomach at the thought of her thinking of him. You don’t want to date anyone right now. And who knows if she’s single or into guys or would even be interested in you? “Thank you, sunbae,” is all he says.

“No problem.” And then she’s picking up her tray off the table—she’d set it down to hand him the cupcake—and scanning the rest of the cafeteria. The way her nose wrinkles is really adorable makes him think she hasn’t found who she’s looking for.

Sungjong should really just tell her to have a good night and go back to his sketching. And Sungjong almost always does what he knows he should do. But there’s a part of him—the part that occasionally likes to put on a hot dress and dance to a sexy girl group dance even though the unspoken law of guys-in-dresses is that it has to be for laughs, the part of him that stays friends with Woohyun and Sungyeol even though they’re both idiots who are more trouble than they’re worth, the part of him that decided to major in art even though he’d have aced any other more potentially-lucrative major he could have chosen—that unhinges his jaw and forces out words he knows he shouldn’t say at all. “Sunbae, do you want to sit?”

She actually looks almost startled as her eyes jerk back to his, and it makes the back of Sungjong’s neck feel hot—she seems so poised, he hadn’t thought anything could startle her. “You’re working,” she says carefully, nodding towards his notebook.

“It’s nothing I can’t do later,” he answers, and it’s true. “I was just taking advantage of sitting alone.”

She nods, but he can see the hesitation in her body. He wishes he knew why it’s there. “I think my friends must have eaten already.”

“Some of mine may trickle in later.” Hoya, at least, will probably stop in since Sungjong’s not cooking tonight. And Myungsoo has a late class on Tuesdays, so he’ll probably be by at some point, too.

Again, he sees hesitation in her shoulders, but then she smiles again. “Okay,” she says, pulling out the chair in front of her with her foot and sliding into it.

He can tell already that she probably doesn’t mind sitting alone—he doesn’t either. Myungsoo had told him that his freshman year, he hadn’t gone into the cafeteria at all unless Sungyeol was going, too, because he didn’t know anyone and couldn’t bring himself to sit alone. He ate a lot of microwavable cup ramyun that year. But Sungjong has never felt judged by the other students for eating on his own—or if they are judging him, he doesn’t care. For some reason, he thinks Minha might be the same way.

“You can keep working,” she says with a nod towards his notebook as she tears her roll in half. “I really don’t mind.”

“It’s not even for an assignment. More trying-to-settle-on-a-subject for an assignment.”

“What’s the assignment?”

He tries to ignore how cute she looks popping a piece of roll into her mouth. “Facial study. For my drawing class. We can pick anyone we want, and I can’t settle on which of my friends to choose.”

Minha takes a bite of vegetables, and when she’s done swallowing, she surprises him by asking, “Mind if I look?”

Sungjong doesn’t usually show off his in-progress pieces, not even sketches, not to anybody but Hoya and Amber. Sungyeol-hyung ruffles his hair and calls it “Sungjongie’s vanity,” but it’s more about protecting his vision: he doesn’t want anyone to see it until he knows he’s showing them what it is he intended to create.

But for some reason, he finds himself sliding the sketchbook across the table to her. She sets down her chopsticks and pushes her tray to the side, wiping her hands—her really pretty hands—carefully on her napkin before touching the notebook. Again, he feels the back of his neck heating up. He hadn’t expected her to be that thoughtful. Most people aren’t.

She takes her time, focus shifting from one section of the page to another slow enough that he can know just what sketch she’s looking at at any given moment. That’s Sungyeol-hyung in the upper left—he’d looked over Sungjong’s shoulder at lunch yesterday and saw that Sungjong had drawn in those long dents on his cheeks and had tried to grab the sketchbook and rip the page out; he’s never understood that it’s unique attributes like that that make a face interesting enough to want to draw. Upper right is Seohyun, face calm and eyes intent—he’d sketched her as she read and thought it was a better representation than any he could imagine; Seohyun is most herself when she’s reading. Bottom right is Dongwoo-hyung, large mouth open in one of his belly-busting laughs, all teeth and slitted eyes and the way his mouth looks just a little lopsided when he’s laughing that way. Bottom left is Hoya, of course, eyebrows prominent and expression surprisingly soft. Other people don’t get to see that expression very often, but Sungjong does. He sees it so often he’d sketched it from memory.

“Wow. You’re really good.”

Sungjong is used to being complimented on his art. He is very good, and he’s known it since he was a little kid drawing with chalk on the sidewalk. It was impossible not to compare his fully-formed figures, wobbly and not-quite-proportional though they might have been, to the other kids’ stick figures. His kindergarten teacher had suggested his mom enroll him in art classes, and since that time, he’s had people complimenting his art—well except for when he went through that brief Damien Hirst phase in high school and no one had understood a thing he was doing.

But while he enjoys compliments, they don’t ruffle him, and they definitely don’t make his neck flush. Except apparently when they come from Park Minha. Shit. This is the last thing I need.

He should really make an excuse—oh, look at the time, I’m almost late for a meeting—and get the hell out of here before he finds out whether she has any actual insight into art, but he doesn’t. Instead, he finds himself asking, “Which do you like?”

Her eyes flicker up to his, then back down to the paper so fast he isn’t sure she actually looked up. But again, she takes her time, and he can tell how seriously she’s thinking about it, and he forces himself not to knot his hands into fists in his lap.

“I think,” she says slowly, raising her eyes to meet his. “You should choose someone you think you can get to know in a new way by drawing them. When you look at something or someone all the time, you get to the point where you don’t really see them, right? So pick someone you know you’re going to be able to actually see.”

Sungjong’s mouth is suddenly dry. He knows he should respond to her, but somehow he can’t do anything but stare back at her and try not to let himself wonder if that really is a hint of pink flushing her cheeks or whether its his imagination.

Fuck. I am so screwed.

“Or, just pick the person whose face you’re least likely to get sick of.” Her voice is light, but her words are a little bit rushed, and he knows he’s made this awkward by not responding, made her second-guess her answer, which was perfect. Shit.

“No, that was really helpful,” he says, and he winces as his voice quavers. Maybe it wasn’t even noticeable to her, but it was to him. “Are you into art, sunbae?”

She’s turned her attention back to her meal, and Sungjong pulls his sketchbook back and then stuffs it in his bag. He can’t look at it right now.

“Not really. I mean, I like it, but I haven’t studied it at all. I don’t know anything that really counts. I just know what I like.”

“Well, studying it only really teaches you how to know why you like what you like. Or how to make what you like. So you’re a third there.”

Her laugh is quiet and hidden behind her hand because he’d caught her with his—pathetic—attempt at a joke when she had just put another bite into her mouth. She glances up at him through her lashes and it doesn’t look like a practiced move, but even if it is, he doesn’t care. Fuck.

“What’s your major?” he asks, because it’s always a good topic changer with students you don’t really know, but also because he wants to know.

“Communications,” she says, then wrinkles her nose at herself and laughs. The sound tinkles. “The student-athlete cop-out, right? All I really cared about when I started was swimming. But now I’m thinking of changing to drama.”

He kind of wants to shout No!—Sungyeol is a drama major and the last thing he wants is Minha to be around Sungyeol. Once she has to deal with him and then finds out he’s Sungjong’s friend, she won’t want anything to do with Sungjong at all, probably. But he manages to say, “You like to act?” instead, which isn’t much better: of course she does. Why else would she want to major in drama?”

“I do. I’m not very good at it, though.”

Somehow it doesn’t seem like self-deprecation for the sake of modesty or fishing for an I’m sure that’s not true reassurance. She sounds like she really means it, like she’s arrived at that conclusion through clear-eyed self-evaluation and has decided to be honest. It shouldn’t be as hot as it is.

“Well, isn’t that why you study something? To become better at it?”

She tilts her head in acknowledgment, taps her chopsticks against her lips. “It should be. But sometimes it feels like university is the place where everyone picked either what they’re already good at—so it’ll be easy for them—or what their parents told them they had to study.”

Sungjong has noticed the same himself. “You don’t have to make your decisions the same way everyone else has.”

“I know. But sometimes there’s an expectation that you’ll already be at a certain skill level before you even start classes. It might be hard for me to catch up with everyone else.”

Sungjong is trying to figure out how to answer that without sounding like he’s offering platitudes when a tray drops with a clatter onto the table next to his elbow and Hoya drops into the chair, eyebrows making a displeased line across his forehead.

“Uh, hi, hyung?” Sungjong offers. Hoya’s not usually rude enough not to acknowledge people he doesn’t know.

“I finally got the money for the other Eunji’s date from Woohyun,” Hoya says without preamble. “He said he sold some stock he was ‘planning to dump anyway’ to get it. Sungyeol didn’t even have to contribute.”

Sungjong isn’t surprised at all that the money thing didn’t even faze Woohyun or that Hoya’s fuming as he shovels food into his mouth. He glances at Minha and finds her watching Hoya with an amused curl of her lips.

“Hyung, this is—”

“This is what sucks so much about those two. They’re never going to learn to grow up unless they have to face real consequences, and they’re never going to have to do that because Woohyun is a greasy jerk with the Midas touch when it comes to the stock market and he can buy his way out of anything. Maybe if I can convince Myungsoo and Sunggyu-hyung to cut them off for a while—”

It’s nothing Sungjong hasn’t thought himself before—and in fact he’s still trying to come up with the worst conceivable punishment for the trouble makers—but right now there are more pressing things to address. “Uh, hyung—”

“—they have to learn they can’t keep doing things like this. They could have gotten me expelled. And they just had to make enemies of swim team goddesses. I—” Hoya finally glances up and stops abruptly with his chopsticks halfway to his mouth, staring across the table. Minha, still with that amused quirk to her mouth, waggles her fingers at him. “Hi there.”

Hoya moans and drops his head onto his arm. Sungjong notes gratefully that Minha still looks amused.

“Hyung, this is Park Minha. Sunbae, this is Lee Howon, but most people call him Hoya.”

Hoya lifts his head to look at Minha again. “Don’t tell me—you hate me too?”

She shrugs, popping the last of her roll into her mouth. “I haven’t decided yet.”

“Hyung didn’t know they were harassing Eunji-ssi.” Sungjong usually isn’t the kind to try to explain things so they don’t look as bad, figuring that if people leap to wrong conclusions it’s their own fault and it will come around to bite them in the ass eventually, but for some reason he can’t bear the thought of Minha thinking that Sungjong’s best friend Hoya is the kind of person who would do something like that. “Our—his friends were playing an unfunny prank, and Howon-hyung feels terrible about it.”

“Oh, I know,” Minha acknowledges with a dismissive shake of her ponytail. “But just because I might not hate you about that doesn’t mean that I might not hate you for another reason. I mean, I don’t even know you. You could be very hateable. I like to reserve forming opinions till I gather more information.”

Sungjong coughs from choking down a laugh, but Hoya just stares at her without blinking for a long moment. Then he shakes his head and turns back to his food. “I’m too tired today to decide whether you saying that makes me really like you or makes me think you’re a monster.”

“You really like her,” Sungjong says without thinking and then has to fight to keep a calm face when the other two look at him in unison. “I mean, hyung really likes women who don’t take shit from guys. So I think he’ll decide that you aren’t a monster and he likes you.”

Hoya looks at Sungjong a beat too long (fuck, he’s already figured it out) before he turns back to Minha. “Actually, I might decide you are a monster and I like you anyway. I don’t discriminate against other species. I’m pretty convinced that Sungjong is actually not fully human, and I like him anyway.”

“Not fully human?” Minha repeats with a quirk of her eyebrows.

“No human could be that perfect,” Hoya says, going back to his food. “Have you looked at him?”

“Hyung!” Sungjong hisses. He usually takes any of his hyungs’ fawning over him in stride, paying no more attention to it than he does to Myungsoo and Sungyeol’s spats. But for some reason he’s uncomfortable with Hoya saying those things in front of this girl. (Oh, he knows good and well why he’s uncomfortable. He just can’t admit it to himself yet.)

But.

“I have,” Minha says, and when Sungjong’s eyes swing around to stare at her, she again holds his eyes for just a beat too long, and when she looks away, he could swear that her cheeks are pink. Probably not as pink as your neck is right now, Lee Sungjong, he tells himself.

“I have to run. Thanks for inviting me to sit with you, Sungjong-ssi.”

The smile she gives him is more in her eyes than on her lips, and her ponytail swings back and forth in a really hypnotizing way as she walks away.

“You’re really fucked,” Hoya announces once her slight body disappears from view.

“I know,” Sungjong groans. Trust me: I know.



--

TBC

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-08 06:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] une-jonquille.livejournal.com
I am here but with a sleepy toddler and groceries in the trunk, more soon

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-08 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] penny-lane-42.livejournal.com
Take care of the little one! (And your groceries!)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-08 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] indiesnopp.livejournal.com
CRYING TEARS OF BLOOD LAUREN CRYING TEARS OF ACID BURNING MY FACE

OVERLY PROTECTIVE BFF LEE HOWON! (lmao Myungsoo the dramatic crier everytime him and Yeol breaks up!)

Her voice is tight and low and totally at odds with the binder she’s clutching to her chest—the one covered in pictures of cats wearing silly hats and kittens sitting in teacups and hearts with the word “catlady” scrawled on them. The incongruity of an adorable cat collage and her snapping eyes makes Hoya’s head spin a little.

MY FAVOURITE CAT LADY! LESBIANS! OTHER!EUNJI JUST BEING AMUSED BY IT ALL! BUT GO YOU MOON HYUNA! GO YOU!

And who practices topless anyway—put on a goddamn shirt, you narcissistic asshole!
cries

Every art student has to deal with chicken wire. Every.Single.One.

“You can have this, too; I haven’t drunk from it yet.”

She takes the milk too and says again, “Thank you…?” trailing off in invitation for him to offer his name.


*snorts* Yeah, godspeed Lee Sungjong~ (Minha's attack dog! her #1 fan! Wanting to measure up to the untouchable goddess! NIEL!)

“Lee Sungjong. Art major. Did a cover of ‘Adult Ceremony’ at the variety show last semester. It was disturbingly hot.”
I feel ya Pyo~~~

THE ENTIRE LOCKER ROOM CONVERSATION IS PURE GOLD DIPPED IN PRECIOUS GEMSTONES! GEMSTONES OF EVERY SEXUAL ORIENTATION! (can I join Sera/Sungah's bi club? do we have mixers?) (Does bb Pyo need HS friend Dongwoo to get a hint and rid her of pre-competition sexual frustrations?)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-08 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] penny-lane-42.livejournal.com
THIS ONE'S TOTALLY FOR YOU. TOTALLY FOR YOU.

I just really love the idea of Hoya taking Looking After Sungjong very very seriously, even though Sungjong is usually the one who ends up looking after him.

IT IS SO FUN TO WRITE ANGRY MOON.

Every art student has to deal with chicken wire. Every.Single.One.

I retain so much hatred for chicken wire because of art projects in high school.

I AM SO GLAD YOU LIKED THE LOCKER ROOM SCENE. I just had the most fun writing it and I knew you were the only who would enjoy it quite as much!

(can I join Sera/Sungah's bi club? do we have mixers?)

YES AND YES.

(Does bb Pyo need HS friend Dongwoo to get a hint and rid her of pre-competition sexual frustrations?)

AND YES AGAIN.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-08 07:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] indiesnopp.livejournal.com
I feel like I have been waiting for this my whole life!! I will happily (read: always and aggressively) bully you into writing me het!

IT'S JUST SO RARE TO SEE MORE THAN ONE WOMAN IN A CONVERSATION IN FIC I MIGHT START CRYING! LADIES!

shm @ u other!Dongwoo

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-08 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] penny-lane-42.livejournal.com
I do want there to be a million fics about ladies hanging out.

YES SHINWOO NEEDS TO GET IT TOGETHER. He probably never will, though. One day Pyo is going to snap and grab him by the collar and shove him up against the wall and climb him like a tree, and he'll be caught between ecstatically turned on and terribly shocked. I would like to see his gobsmacked face.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-08 06:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] indiesnopp.livejournal.com
“Who?” Hyuna asks, and Minha has to hide a smile behind her hands; it takes a lot to get Hyuna to even notice there are men in the world, much less remember their names. Why would she pay attention to men when women and cats exist?

why indeed!

he grew up in Busan, an accent from his own hometown should not be that hot to him. Isn’t the whole appeal of accents the exoticness? Or at least the novelty?

In defence of Hoya, I think Busan accents are to die for.

ASK HER OUT YOU IDIOT!

She actually looks almost startled as her eyes jerk back to his, and it makes the back of Sungjong’s neck feel hot—she seems so poised, he hadn’t thought anything could startle her.
GODDAMN BOY BLUSH SOME MORE!

Again, he feels the back of his neck heating up. He hadn’t expected her to be that thoughtful. Most people aren’t.
YES PERFECT

Damien Hirst phase.....

SUNGJONG IS BAD AT MAKING JOKES SUDDENLY AND HE'S SO SO FUCKED. (PROTECT EVERYONE FROM SUNGYEOL!)

Oh, I know,” Minha acknowledges with a dismissive shake of her ponytail. “But just because I might not hate you about that doesn’t mean that I might not hate you for another reason. I mean, I don’t even know you. You could be very hateable. I like to reserve forming opinions till I gather more information.”

Sungjong coughs from choking down a laugh, but Hoya just stares at her without blinking for a long moment. Then he shakes his head and turns back to his food. “I’m too tired today to decide whether you saying that makes me really like you or makes me think you’re a monster.”

I CAN FEEL THE START OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP.

Lee Sungjong is beyond fucked, I can't wait too read more!

I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU ILOVE Y OUILOVE YOU ILO VE YOU

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-08 06:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] penny-lane-42.livejournal.com
I LOVE YOU TOO! And I love that you're enjoying it!

In defence of Hoya, I think Busan accents are to die for.

Me too!

Sungjong definitely needs to meet a lady who makes him blush and ruffles his composure. It would be good for him!

Damien Hirst phase.....

We will not speak of it.

I CAN FEEL THE START OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP.

I'M SO GLAD!

He's sooooooo fucked!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-08 07:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] indiesnopp.livejournal.com
Hoya realises that they both might be monsters and everyone best not fuck with them (Niel helps enforce this).

*nudges Jongie* you know who has a good face? Paaaaaark Miiiiiiinhaaaa

IT'S ME IT'S ME ALL YOUR LOVE IS FOR ME!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-08 10:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bexisaplant.livejournal.com
ahh the toaster verse gives me such warm fuzzy feelings :'DD i'm so glad you decided to continue it hehehe. i loved this one especially, what a healthy dose of bff-ery! i've always loved how you write hoya&sungjong's relationship and it was lovely here as well! with hoya being the 'hyung' but not really and sungjong being perfect-flawless-amazing-being. BUT THEN EVEN HE GETS FLUSTERED YOU GO MINHA YOU GO GIRL.

also eunji <3

eunjieunjieunjieunji.
eunji.

eunji.

k i'm done.

eunji <3.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-09 01:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] penny-lane-42.livejournal.com
It gives me warm fuzzy feelings, too! I'm so glad it does for you!

I LOVE THE IDEA OF A BADASS LADY MAKING SUNGJONG FLUSTERED.

I adore Eunji. One of the best people on the planet, no question. Thank you so much for commenting!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-09 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kwritten.livejournal.com
THIS VERSE IS THE MOST MAJESTIC VERSE. BLESS YOU.



((omg RL is so rude busy right now and I want to read all the things, but I'm just going to be okay with falling behind for a while. toaster'verse obviously will be read with pleasure and anticipation however))

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-09 08:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] penny-lane-42.livejournal.com
I AM SO HAPPY YOU LIKE IT!

(Life does tend to be very rude! Everything'll be here when you have more time!)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-09 08:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kwritten.livejournal.com
der OF COURSE I LIKE IT


(Life is on holiday right now and full of ridiculousness. because I have to go 'home' to work and all that in less than a week...)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-13 12:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laeryn.livejournal.com
/SCREAMS

I'm so glad tomorrow's exam is on English grammar and I don't have to study because OH MY GOD READING THIS /EXCITED

LOVE IT.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-15 08:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iwantchocopie.livejournal.com
LET THE WHOLE WORLD KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU. THIS WAS PERFECT, JUST PERFECT.

I... seem to have no more words, just plain love and adoration for you and your writing.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-21 03:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] penny-lane-42.livejournal.com
I HAVE NO WORDS BUT LOVE FOR YOU! I'm so glad you liked it!

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