Pairings : 2min, Jongkey, Minkey, (
Genre : Angst, Fluff, Slight
Rating : M for language and possible smut
Word Count : 6066
In the beginning all signs had pointed to the obvious.
Where: amusement park.
When: met after noon, it was now after eight.
Why: something to do.
Who: Taemin and Minho.
Taemin and Minho. Alone. Together. Alone together. At the amusement park. Just the two of them. On a date. And it wasn’t that he was internally hoping for it to have been a date. When Minho called and asked him to meet and hang out for the day, and Taemin accepted, Minho replied—quote unquote—‘Great, it’s a date’. And he figured it was just said as that expression most teenage girls obsess over after a guy they like says it to them only for said guy to not mean it in that way. Until Minho asked him if he was ‘okay with this’. And then he realized it was that thing he told himself it wasn’t.
He was officially on a date with Minho.
The first of many, he’d come to realize. Since they were on winter break from classes, Minho had grown a sudden—and completely unexpected—interest in Taemin. He’d call at random times of the day to meet up and hang out. And, no, ‘hang out’ wasn’t code for have sex like Taemin had originally thought. He was surprised when Minho invited him to see a movie. He was even more surprised when he showed up and it was only Minho waiting for him. He was further surprised when Minho announced it would just be the two of them.
That was their second ‘date’ and as suspicious as he had been, Taemin enjoyed himself. The movie was a new spy thriller with his favorite actor Ha Jung-woo, and it had plenty of action to keep him interested throughout the entire film. And the best thing about that night, it almost didn’t end in sex. It was perfect. Minho hadn’t had the intention to get into the younger’s pants, but Taemin was so touched and happy and weirded out but still excited that Minho was looking at him that he ended up blowing the older as he drove back to Taemin’s house. A good night, indeed.
“I want ice cream.”
At the moment, the two were at the ice rink in Lotte World. Taemin had informed Minho how he had never gone ice-skating before, causing the older to taunt and tease him about not having a decent childhood since all children had gone ice-skating at least once. And when Taemin demanded it couldn’t be too hard, Minho struck up a bet that the younger wouldn’t be able to keep his balance for a good fifteen minutes straight.
And so far, he was right.
Minho came to a halt at Taemin’s sudden announcement, watching with a smirk as the latter held his arms out in a sad attempt to balance himself from falling. “It’s the dead of winter. Why the hell do you want ice cream?”
“Because I like ice cream,” Taemin deadpanned before falling to his hands and knees. He scrunched his nose and pounded on the ice with his gloved fist. “Stupid gravity.”
“But isn’t it too cold for ice cream?” Minho chuckled as Taemin shakily pushed himself back to his feet.
“No. So if I can stay up for ten minutes—”
“Fifteen,” Minho interrupted with a chuckle.
“Fifteen minutes, then you have to buy me the biggest most ridiculous looking ice cream no matter how much.”
Minho nodded, his own feet pulling him toward Taemin. He smiled as he skated smooth circles around the younger, earning a glare from the latter. “Fine. And if you don’t, I get whatever I want.”
“Fine,” Taemin huffed, moving one foot forward very very slowly. Minho was still circling him, knowingly distracting him from focusing. “Will you stop that?!”
“Mianhe,” he chuckled and went on around the rink for a few laps. By the third lap he slowed as he came up behind Taemin, who was once again trying to push himself up from the ice. “Need help?”
“No. Leave me alone.” Even with his back facing the older, Minho could still hear the pout that made it’s way onto his face. Without warning, Taemin felt hands settling against his sides and pulling him up from the ground. His body stiffened, sensing the lack of solid ground beneath him as he stood in the bladed shoes he’d love to have burned. He reached out and grabbed for something—anything—to keep him steady only to have Minho’s hands situate themselves under his elbows.
He felt ripples ride down his spine at the low murmur of Minho’s voice against his ear and tried to pass them off as the cold from the temperature. He felt Minho’s grip on him loosen before his joints locked in defense. “W..wait! I’m not ready yet,” he muttered, obviously embarrassed.
From behind him, Minho chuckled. “I hope you know, this is an automatic forfeit.”
Minho came around to face the younger. He held his arms out and waited patiently as Taemin grabbed them greedily for balance. “Relax. You’re too stiff. You can’t move freely is you lock your knees like that.” Minho nodded toward some kids skating past them. “Look, those little kids are even skating rings around you.”
“I’m not doing it on purpose!”
Minho chuckled and pulled him gently towards himself as he moved backwards. “Just follow me. I wont let you fall, arasso?”
Taemin ignored his fluttering heart as he pouted over the loss of his ice cream. He really wanted something sweet.
“Hyung, I thought I lost the bet?”
After leaving the rink, Minho led them back to his car and drove around seemingly aimlessly while Taemin asked what it was Minho wanted exactly. He hoped the older didn’t want to go to the batting cages for a couple of rounds because one, he sucked at baseball and two, he only had about enough money to get something to eat before heading home. He knew from their previous dates Minho would take them to a drive in or a diner to pick up something to eat before dropping the younger at home.
But much to his surprise, Minho had pulled into the parking lot of Baskin Robbins and cut the ignition. “You did.”
Taemin watched in confusion as he followed the older out of the car and walked the distance to the entrance. “Then, what are we doing here?”
Minho smiled. “If you won, I’d buy you the most ridiculous ice cream treat no matter the cost. If I won, I got to do whatever I wanted. Right?” Taemin nodded. Minho smiled and opened the door for him. “Well, what I want is to treat you to the biggest, most ridiculously delicious treat ever. No matter how much.”
Taemin’s eyes widened a bit and he felt heat rising to his cheeks. He didn’t miss Minho smirk as he quickly turned his gaze and walked past into the store. “Pabo.”
With the start of the New Year, classes also resumed. Taemin found himself back in the habit of waking up hours before the sun to catch the bus to the bus that would drop him in front of his school for his morning classes. He really hated that he couldn’t take evening classes. That would at least give him more time to sleep in. But he had to work because, unfortunately, bills weren’t going to pay themselves. And he refused to ask any of his friends for help. He loved being independent and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. As far as he was concerned, he was lucky enough to have such flexible hours and that the Kims gave him shifts compatible with his school schedule.
This semester, though, he didn’t have any classes with Kibum. Instead, Kibum had somehow gotten the director of the dance department to allow him to be a teacher’s assistant towards a few of the full-time teachers. And it just so happened Taemin’s now Wednesday dance class was taught by one of those full time teachers.
“Taeminnie, you’re so pretty.”
Taemin looked up from his stretching at Kibum skeptically. “Hyung, I will not respond to you calling me that. Stop hanging with Jonghyun hyung.”
“But he’s my boyfriend.”
“And I have so much blackmail material on you…I wonder what all he knows of you. Kept any secrets lately, hyung?” Taemin smiled mischievously up at Kibum, who’s own eyes were wide in horror.
“You wouldn’t dare.” Taemin shrugged, smile still intact. “You brat. I take back what I said. You’re not pretty at all.”
Taemin scoffed. “I know,” he muttered, thinking he’d said it too low for Kibum to hear.
Kibum turned and looked down at him with a frown. “What do you mean ‘I know’? I was just kidding.”
“Taemin. What’s wrong?”
Taemin rolled his eyes. “Nothing.”
“Are you depressed? Do you have self-esteem issues? Are you going through some dark form of puberty?” He crouched down to level and grabbed both sides of the younger’s face.
Taemin chuckled and swatted the hands away. “Hyung, I’ve gone through puberty already. And no, I’m not depressed. I was just being sarcastic. You know, ‘ha ha’?”
“It didn’t sound like sarcasm to me. And I know what your sarcasm sounds like.” He laid his hand across the younger’s cheek again. “Have you lost weight?”
Taemin smiled and shook his head. “What are you talking about now, hyung?”
Kibum shook his head with a frown, worry etched all over his expression. “Your face looks thinner. Thinner than it was last semester. Did you eat properly over break?”
Taemin nodded. “Of course.”
“You haven’t been overexerting yourself, right? Jonghyun told me you got sick that one time.”
“He did?” Taemin scowled. He strictly remembered telling him not to tell anyone about that. That included Kibum, but apparently not to Jonghyun.
“Yeah. It slipped out, but then I made him tell me everything. Why didn’t you tell me? Or call me. I would have helped nurse you back—”
“I didn’t want to bother anyone. He only found out because some ahjumma told him I was sick when I said I was fine. But why an ahjumma had his phone, I don’t know.” Taemin narrowed his eyes in thought. His mind had still been foggy about what exactly happened before Jonghyun had gotten to his apartment. Taemin stood up and touched his toes, eying Kibum through the wall mirror. “So, hyung, how’s your thesis coming?”
Kibum, not noticing the subject change, let out an exasperated sigh. “I hate being a senior. It’s fucking stressful.” He tapped his lips with his pointer finger, “Well, I like that I’m almost done, so I don’t hate it that much. And I’ve got so much cred through the dance department that I was able to swap that bum job in the canteen for this assistant one. So I cant really complain. As for my thesis, I have another couple months before the draft is due, and I’m so happy.”
“Why is that?”
“I keep changing my thesis topic. I don’t know if I want to write it on how I’ll change lives with my major in the future, or what all of my goals in life are and how my major can help me achieve them.”
“It is. But it gives me stuff to think about, you know? Things like my future, I’ve never thought of stuff like that before this year. It’s nice in a scary sort of way.”
Taemin did know. There were times he tried seeing where he would—could—be in a few years, but he didn’t like thinking too much on it since there was no guaranteeing much of anything nowadays.
“But now, I think about my future a lot. Most of the time Jonghyun is in it.” Taemin looked at Kibum with an amused yet shocked look in his eyes. Kibum’s face was red as he averted his eyes from the younger. “I see us years from now still together. We’d move in together. Maybe get a dog, because he likes dogs even though I want a cat and they aren’t as much work as a dog would be. And we’d be happy.”
“Aww, hyung,” Taemin cooed as he noticed more color rushing up Kibum’s neck.
“I know it sounds stupid, and me and Jonghyun haven’t been together for long. But I really, really like him.”
Taemin bit his lip watching Kibum. Said hyung was fidgeting with his hands and hair and kept readjusting his shirt in attempt to cool his nerves. He was acting as if he’d just confessed to their hyung for the very first time, and Taemin couldn’t help but find it adorable. Here it was again. That moment that Taemin realized that he didn’t have to see what it was both of his hyungs liked about each other. They knew what they liked about each other and that much showed. Kibum was in love, and it was a beautiful thing.
Taemin shook his head. “That’s not stupid at all.” He smiled as he looked into his hyung’s eyes and combed his fingers through his blonde fringe while taking notice of the red tinge in his cheeks. “You’re pretty when you’re in love, hyung.”
“Oh, Taemin oppa. Umma wants you to take the boxes in that corner and put them in the back. Jonghyun oppa is back there already stacking them away.”
Taemin entered the store after his fifteen minute break was over. Hyerin, the youngest Kim daughter at fourteen, sat on a barstool behind the counter reading a magazine. When she heard the bell of the door ring she looked up to see Taemin shrugging out of his coat.
“Arasso. Thanks, Hyerin.”
“Oppa, why do you smoke?”
Taemin froze, arms midair as they were hanging his coat on the rack. “Wae?”
Hyerin shrugged, poking out her bottom lip with a set frown upon her face. “Because you usually smoke on your breaks, and sometimes you come in to work smelling like cigarettes. Is there a reason you smoke? Some of the kids at school have been bringing packs to school.”
“Yeah. One of my friends was passing out cigarettes to us girls. She said it was cool to smoke and that boys liked girls that smoke. Is that true, oppa?”
“Ani,” Taemin clenched his fists as he shook his head. “Guys do not like girls that smoke. Smoking makes you smell bad and makes your teeth bad and no guy wants to kiss a girl like that. Whoever this girl is passing out stuff, don’t take it. She isn’t a real friend.” He scowled inwardly as he walked over towards her. How dare those brats bring that stuff around his Hyerin. She was still innocent and naïve and just questioning everything in the world. She didn’t need a bunch of no good preteens badly influencing her. What kind of school allows those kinds of kids in their system anyway?
Hyerin tilted her head in confusion. “But, oppa, you smoke. Isn’t that being a bit hypocritical? What girl would want to kiss you if you smell bad?”
“I don’t like any girls right now. When I do, then I’ll stop. But that’s only if you promise,” Taemin pointed a finger at her, face in all seriousness. “Only if you promise not to smoke or do anything that your umma and appa tell you not to do. Arasso?”
Hyerin nodded slowly, unsure of why Taemin had gotten so worked up. She watched as he headed for the corner. “Are you mad at me, oppa?”
Taemin glanced at her over his shoulder. “Ani. I’m not mad at you. I’m not too fond of those kids at your school, though.” He picked up a box and cradled in into his thigh. “You haven’t taken anything they offered have you? You aren’t smoking, right?”
Hyerin shook her head. “Aniyo. I don’t like how it smells. My friends come in from recess with ashes all over their blouses. Gross.”
Taemin let out a relieved breath and smiled. “Good.” Taemin carried the box and pushed through the door leading him to the back, reminding himself to limit his habit even further so not to influence Hyerin. “Hyung?”
“Over here!” Taemin walked over to where Jonghyun’s voice echoed. He could see the elder on a ladder pushing a box on top of another one. Or trying to, since he obviously was lacking in height. He huffed and lowered the box, glaring at the one on the shelf before stepping down from the ladder. “Just in time. You stack the boxes up here and I’ll bring in the others. Ahjumma also wants us to unload those up there,” he pointed to some boxes on the opposite shelf, “and put those in their place,” he finished pointing to more boxes by the door.
Taemin nodded with a smirk. “Got it. You do the heavy work and I’ll do the height work.” He gave a cheeky smile at Jonghyun’s glared response. “Arasso, arasso.”
He climbed the ladder with the previous box step by step until he was almost touching the ceiling. He lifted said box and pushed it into the space Jonghyun had been attempting with ease. He climbed down and grabbed another box after pushing the ladder down a bit to the next empty spot. He climbed and lifted and climbed and lifted until the spaces ran out. And he moved on to the other shelf to remove boxes for Jonghyun to take into the store. He reached up and grabbed one box, pulling it out. But something happened and his muscles clenched as the pressure from the box suddenly became too much. He felt his arms give out, soon followed by his balance on the ladder, and he found himself falling backward.
The box landed on top of his leg and he yelped out in pain. He heard Jonghyun run over to his sprawled body and squinted open an eye. “Ow.”
“Ow?! You just took a head dive off a ladder, and all you say is ow?” He placed his hands under Taemin’s back and lifted him slowly. “Are you okay? Did you pull anything?”
Taemin gently stretched and moved, his muscles and bones feeling like jelly as he did. “Ani. I think I’m okay. Is the box ok?”
Jonghyun chuckled unbelievably. “It’s dented, but fine. How about I do the ladder work, and you stay rooted to the ground? We don’t know which boxes are too heavy.” Taemin nodded and he was patted gently on the back before Jonghyun helped him to his feet and climbed the ladder. He kicked his leg out a bit and added pressure to it. He rubbed his side as he stared down at the box. Something in his mind told him the box wasn’t too heavy. If he remembered correctly, he was the one that put the box up on the shelf a few months ago and he didn’t struggle with it then. He bit his lip and lifted the box carefully before heading out to the front of the store.
They were at it again.
Doing that thing that couples do. Being in their own world, oblivious to the real world around them and not really missing it. Or caring. Being obnoxious without even really trying to. Making their friends wish they’d fall into the biggest ditch ever if they didn’t just stop. Which they didn’t.
“Kibummie, did you put the chocolate chips in? I like a lot of chocolate chips.”
“Neh, hyung. I put in an extra bag just for you. But you have to make sure to brush your teeth straight after eating.”
“Aigo, you take such good care of me. You’ll be the perfect house wife, Kibum.”
“Yah, why do I have to be the wife? There are plenty of male chefs out there.”
“But their aprons aren’t covered in frills.”
“I..I stole it from my sister after she destroyed mines.”
“Shut up, hyung!”
“That’s ok, though. I think you look adorable in it. Frills and all.”
“Really? You think so?”
Taemin groaned, stuffing his face into the couch pillow in his lap. Kibum had invited everyone to his place for their weekly get together. The original plans had been to go to a museum, but it was closed for the weekend for renovations. And since Kibum lived closest, and Minho and Jinki’s stomachs spoke for them, Kibum decided to cook for everyone at his place. He’d tried talking Taemin into joining him in the kitchen since they were the only ones with real cooking experience. But once Taemin noticed Jonghyun steadily sneaking in and out for kisses he excused himself to sit between his hyungs on the couch.
Not that it made any difference where he was. Even from the couch he could hear their annoying love struck conversation in the kitchen. And apparently, he wasn’t the only one. Jinki sat uncomfortably on his left, hands wringing in his lap as he stared from the television to the wall to the television again. And on his left, Minho sat with his left leg over the right, slightly shaking, and holding his head upright with his fist.
“Stupid museum with its ‘renovations’,” Taemin muttered, crossing his arms in a huff. “Can’t we just leave?”
“I think they’ll notice this time,” Jinki shook his head. “Besides, Kibum-ah is cooking for five. And, it smells good, right?”
Minho and Taemin both grumbled in response. Jinki shook his head at the both of them before turning back to the TV. Minho grabbed the remote and began flipping mindlessly from channel to channel. And once again the three of them sat in the awkward silence of the room, the only sounds being the murmurs from the TV and frequent squeals of Kibum in the kitchen.
“I’m going to the bathroom,” Taemin mumbled after another of Kibum’s giggles and stood from the couch. He stepped over Minho’s legs sprawled on the coffee table and went up the stairs. Half way up he felt himself getting dizzy and quickly grabbed the rail to steady himself. He glanced over his shoulder to make sure Minho or Jinki hadn’t noticed him slip. He hastened his pace, pulling himself up the stairs and into the bathroom. He leaned against the counter pinching the bridge of his nose. His body was on the verge of shutting down. He could feel it. It worried him because usually it wouldn’t show signs until he was walking from the bus stop to his apartment at night. He’d have a grip—a solid grip—throughout the whole day. So why did he feel like taking the longest nap right in the confines of Kibum’s bathroom?
“Taemin-ah, food’s done.”
It was Jinki’s voice. Taemin turned on the faucet, running his hands under the warm running water before replying back he’d be down soon. Once he heard footsteps going down the stairs he turned off the faucet and stared at his reflection in the mirror. His skin was a lot paler than it usually was. His eyes dull and face noticeably thinner—Kibum had questioned him on it every day he stepped into his dance class—and he didn’t know what to do about that alone. He tried eating more, but his body just wasn’t hungry. The most he could force down was half of a packet of instant ramen and some crackers he had stored in his cabinets.
He already knew once he went downstairs Kibum would make a big fuss out of how much the youngest should eat while piling some of everything on his plate. And because he didn’t necessarily have the energy to respond to Kibum’s whines and complaints he’d end up having to force the food down as well as not throw it all back up. Oh, what an interesting meal this would be.
Dinner was a success. He stuffed his face with rice and steak enough to make Kibum and Jonghyun content. And fortunately for his sanity they didn’t lay into each other too much, so the time was quite enjoyable. Well, until they all sat down in the living room to watch some movies. The first couple movies were sappy romance ones courtesy of Kibum’s home library full of them. And as the two lovebirds sat in the love seat, talking in hushed whispers and kissing ever so often, the atmosphere on the couch became awkward once again. Jinki pulled out his phone as a distraction while Minho picked up a random book by his foot to flip through.
And Taemin, with nothing to distract him from the sounds of his hyungs’ lips and giggles and whispers, let out a yawn, one of the smaller signals of his body crashing. He used Jinki and Minho’s legs to push himself up from the couch. “Kibum hyung, I’m tired so I’m leaving now.”
Kibum snapped his head towards Taemin who was now making his way for the closet to get his coat. “Now? But the movie isn’t over. And we had two more to watch. You can spend the night if you want,” he untangled himself from Jonghyun and walked over to him.
“Ani, hyung. I have work tomorrow and I get there quicker from my house.”
“Well, how are you getting home? Didn’t you come with Jonghyun?” Taemin shrugged. “I can take the bus. It’s no problem.”
“I’ll take you.”
Taemin turned in surprise at Minho’s voice. He hadn’t expected him to offer. More than anything he figured Minho would try getting everyone else out of the house so it’d just be him and Kibum. Kibum smiled, giving Taemin a look that he felt he should have known the meaning of. “Well, isn’t that nice of Minho?”
“Sure is.” If his intentions weren’t written all over his face.
And once they got outside, Minho grabbed Taemin’s wrist to stop him. “Taemin-ah…”
“Hyung, I really can’t today. I’m not really feeling well,” which was pretty much true, and a first for Taemin to actually tell someone he was feeling bad.
“What’s wrong? Are you sick?”
Taemin hesitantly shook his head, not really sure if he should feel flattered by Minho’s concern or worried. “Ah, not…really. I’m just not in the mood today.”
“Please, Taemin. I really need to clear my head right now. I mean, I know we did it yesterday, but I really really really need a distraction.”
Taemin watched as he combed his fingers through his hair in frustration. The edges of his vision blurred as tears crawled to his eyes, He wanted to tell Minho how he would never be enough of a distraction to take his mind off Kibum. He wanted to tell him how he knew that the older was in love with Kibum and that he knew how he felt, because he was in the same boat. He wanted to grab him and kiss him and scream for the whole block to hear that he was in love with Minho. He wanted Minho to know that the times they spent together, be it in the backseat of his car or on his living room wall, were more to him than just ‘distractions’.
“Maybe another time, Minho. You’re upset. Just drive home safely and I’ll call you tomorrow, ok?” he asked, blinking a couple times hoping his face was that same ‘cute’ expression that seemed to work on all of his hyungs.
Minho let out a breath and nodded. “Yeah, you’re right. I just need to lay low for a while.” He forced a small smile and looked over at Taemin. “Come on, I’ll take you home.”
“Ani. I’ll take the bus. You might try to kidnap me,” he gave a toothy grin, hoping to alleviate some of the tension. He smiled successfully hearing Minho’s chuckle.
“I promise I wont do anything to you, Taemin.”
“I know,” which was true. But he was tired and he knew somehow Minho would talk his way into Taemin’s pants before they even got to his house. He’d done it before and it wasn’t intentional. It never really was, but Minho didn’t need to know that. “I’ll talk to you later, hyung.” He waved and watched as the older got in his car and drove off. Once he was out of sight, Taemin dropped his smile and let out a tired sigh. He grabbed his shoulder and stretched his neck.
He jumped and turned, seeing Jinki right behind him with a weird expression. “Ah, hyung! You scared me. What are you doing?”
“I, uh, I decided to go home, too. It’s really awkward with just those two, you know?” Taemin nodded. “So I came out and saw you and Minho talking. I decided to come over…”
Taemin’s eyes widened a bit. “How much did you hear?”
“I thought Minho didn’t look at you in that way.” Jinki stared into the younger’s eyes, almost searching for an answer to all the questions swimming around in his head.
“He doesn’t.” Jinki narrowed his eyes, obviously not believing him. “Look, he doesn’t like me in that way. He loves Kibum hyung. But we have this…agreement, I guess—”
“That when one of us needs a stress reliever, we have each other.”
“Stress reliever? From my perspective, Minho is the one causing all of your stress. How is that arrangement any fair to you and your feelings?”
“My feelings don’t matter, hyung. They never have.”
Jinki closed his eyes, shaking his head in a sad attempt to sort out the mess so it would make sense. It didn’t work. “You know what? I’m not going to get into that with you right now. You look dog-tired, so I’ll take you home. Come on.” Jinki turned to lead the younger to his car.
“Thanks, hyung,” Taemin replied with a small smile as he traipsed along behind the elder. He panted a bit as he tried speeding up to fall into step. His vision blurred around the edges again and his legs suddenly lost feeling. “No…” he tried holding his arms out to brace his fall, but they were like lead by his sides. His eyes fluttered closed and before he lost consciousness he heard Jinki frantically calling out for him.
He woke up in a hospital bed. The heart monitor next to his bed beeped in a consistent pattern along with some other machine beeping somewhere in the room. It was white and cold and it smelled overly sterilized. The sounds of footsteps moving around behind the closed door made him aware of his surroundings. As he slowly sat up, he could feel the uncomfortable sting from the needle in his arm connected to the IV bag.
“You shouldn’t move much.”
His head snapped toward the chair by the window. He blinked in confusion seeing Jinki sitting solemnly facing him. His expression was one he had never seen before. Jinki was always happy and carefree and usually had a smile on his face. But now he looked tired and distraught and confused.
“Hyung, what’s wrong?” Taemin croaked out.
“You sure do have a lot of secrets, Taemin-ah.”
Taemin stared on in confusion, not really seeing what he was talking about. “Hyung?”
“You know, the whole ‘sleeping with Minho’ thing took me by surprise. It really did. Minho’s ‘using you’ to take out his frustrations of Kibum on you. It’s really not fair.”
“Hyung, it’s not like that…”
“I thought that there was nothing that would shock me as much as that news. But then you fainted.” The heart monitor picked up speed, both boys ignoring it.
“I’m just really tired, hyung.”
But Jinki only stared at him, not listening to anything the red head said. “And I brought you here. It scared the shit out of me to see you just pass out like that. You hit your head and they had to give you stitches.”
Taemin’s hand reached for his head. He felt the wrappings tightly bound around it and let out a sigh. “This is nothing, hyung. I’ll heal.”
“And how long would it take for your body to heal that?” Taemin’s face blanched and his eyes widened and the heart monitor went into overtime. “The doctors looked into your records and found something. Of course they couldn’t give such confidential information to just anyone. And I wouldn’t have pried if I hadn’t been so suspicious. You haven’t been the same for a while. You’re changing and not even aware of it yourself.” Jinki broke his gaze and looked out the window. Taemin noticed how pale his face was, and he appeared to be shaking. “It was easy to trick the doctor since both of out surnames are Lee.”
“No, Taemin-ah,” Jinki’s head snapped back to the younger with a fierce look in his eyes. He stood and walked over to the bedside. “You can’t talk around this. I know, okay?”
They both were silent, staring at each other with tears in their eyes. Taemin ducked his head, looking at his lap. “Mianhae, hyung.” He let out a breathy sigh. “I didn’t want anyone to find out, because then they’d pity me. I don’t want anyone’s pity. I don’t want anyone to worry about me, or to care about me. It’s better that way.” He glanced up. “You’re the only one that knows. Not even Jonghyun hyung.”
“What about your parents?”
“Of course they know. They pay for my treatment and medication. Except I haven’t really been going to the treatments. And if I don’t go to the treatment, I cant get the medication. That’s probably why I passed out earlier.”
“Maybe about five months.”
“Yah! Lee Taemin!” The younger flinched at Jinki’s tone. “Why are you being so careless?! This is your life on the lines! You need to take better care of yourself!”
“Hyung, I have leukemia. Do you know of any cases where the person doesn’t die?”
Jinki stared into Taemin’s eyes. They were sad but understanding. He had already come to terms with things. Sure there was a chance he could beat the disease. It was small, but it was there to give hope to those afraid of what was to come. Jinki shook his head, not wanting to believe that his nineteen year old dongsaeng that he had grown so attached to had to go through this. He grabbed the latter into a gentle hug as tears fell down his face. He sobbed into Taemin’s shoulder and the latter patted his back soothingly. “It’s not fair, Taemin-ah.”
“I know, hyung. I know.”