title: 나도 내 맘을 몰랐어 (I didn’t know how I felt)
word count: 5.8k
warning/s: boy wearing tutu, over-research of kendo (but only appears in 400 wc?)
summary: kyungsoo is an idiot with no emotion
author's notes: written baekd_only Valentine’s fest
Studying at an all-boy school in the outskirt of small city like Daejeon means there are not so many choices for entertainment. The chance to meet decent young city girls is also slim. Does not matter, Kyungsoo is not interested in girls anyway. Girls are loud, complaining non-stop, and trying too hard to be somebody they are not. Not to mention the cooties. Kyungsoo shudders.
But of course, his schoolmates do not share the same view as him. They are always so eager for outings to the city because then they can hunt innocent girls and their numbers. Now that Valentine’s Day is nearing, they are getting more brutal than ever to get out of their singleness.
“Your time is ticking,” Minseok, his upperclassman, says. He moves forward to attack Kyungsoo’s right torso with his bamboo shinai but the younger avoids it in time. “I mean, senior year is nearing, which means senior prom. You don’t want to show up alone in your senior prom, unless you’re committing social suicide.”
“I don’t care.” Kyungsoo swings his shinai to the right side, hitting Minseok’s hidari-kote or left wrist which earns him a point. “I can just—” He barges forward, the tip of his sword connect with Minseok’s throat, under his head armor. A hit on tsuki-bu. “Not come.”
Minseok bows at him and Kyungsoo follows suit. “I can always arrange a date for you,” he offers, kindly. They take their head gears off. “I bet Seungwan has many high-quality single friends.”
“You sound like you’re talking about meat,” Kyungsoo comments drily. “Which now is more preferable than girls.”
The elder merely smiles. “Let’s get clean up,” Minseok suggests. “I will treat you some triangle kimbap for your win.”
On their way out to the school gate, they meet a distracted looking Byun Baekhyun who just walks out one of the classrooms. His dainty hands gently handle a mash of purplish-blue fabrics.
“Hey, Baekhyun,” Minseok greets the blonde.
“Hey.” Baekhyun eyes rake over their sweaty forms and bamboo swords sheathed in their backpacks. “You guys have done practicing?” He looks oddly disappointed.
“Yeah, we’re just out to get some snacks before dinner.” Minseok eyes the fabrics that Baekhyun carries. “Is it a new dress for Valentine?”
“Uh-huh.” Baekhyun proudly shows his handwork. It is a sleeveless mid-length dress, not yet done. The bodice is tight-fitting with square cut neckline like a folk dress. The stiff tulle material is only half sewn to the lower part of the dress. Kyungsoo can see the beginning of bell-shape tutu that is Baekhyun’s signature.
The thing is, every Valentine’s Day since they were in eighth grade Baekhyun will wear a dress complete with the wings and running around the school entire day to give out chocolates to all single boys at school who had signed up their name two days before the D-day. Kyungsoo has never tab his name but he never fails to receive Baekhyun’s chocolate. True to his style, Kyungsoo acts like he dislikes it but man, it is good.
“Great work,” Minseok compliments. “You’re getting better every time.”
“I put a lot of thoughts into this.”
“I wish you had put half as much thoughts into our last chemistry project,” Kyungsoo sneers.
Baekhyun sighs dramatically. “The only thing closest to chemistry that I’m good at is cooking,” he says. “I’m not planning to be a scientist, Kyungsoo. I think I’d be more useful as a housewife.”
“You are a boy,” Kyungsoo deadpans.
“At least I’m prettier than most of the girls you’ve met,” Baekhyun sasses.
Correct. But Kyungsoo will not admit that.
Minseok, who is used to their constant bickering, merely rolls his eyes. His sneaky hands make their way on one of Kyungsoo’s and Baekhyun’s ears, then twisting them until the two yelp. He only lets go once he deems it is enough, means the younger boys will walk around with one throbbing red ear for hours.
“Let’s go!” Minseok forces him to walk forward by the firm grip around Kyungsoo’s shoulders. Before they take turn to the main corridor though, he chances to look back. Baekhyun is still staring at them but immediately walks away when he catches his eyes.
“Baekhyun-hyung is basically turning Home Economics room a warzone,” Jongin tells him and his group during lunch.
“I really doubt you can find threads, sequins, and baking powder threatening,” Kyungsoo points out.
“Well, not if they are in his hands.” Jongin shudders. “He just seems so—riled up these days. Almost manic.”
“Isn’t he always?” Kyungsoo drawls.
“Not as bad as Chanyeol-hyung.”
“Hey!” Chanyeol yells in the background.
“Valentine is coming, dudes,” Jongdae pipes. “We all know Baekhyun owns Valentine’s Day.”
“Still.” Jongin steals Kyungsoo’s fries. “He wasn’t this bad last year.”
“Hm,” Joonmyun hums contemplatively. He turns to Kyungsoo and asks, “So, do you already have a date for this year’s Valentine?”
Kyungsoo stares at him funnily. “Pst, you know how I feel those stuffs.”
“Eh,” Chanyeol joins in. “Maybe you just haven’t found the right person.”
“Yeah.” Joonmyun nods in agreement. “Or maybe you have met them but you’re just too dense because your love radar has mostly deactivated since your puberty?”
“Is this Picking on Kyungsoo Day?” he glares at them. “Because clearly I missed the memo.”
At that moment, Baekhyun decides to make his entrance with Yixing following sleepily behind him. Jongdae pulls his boyfriend’s limp body to his side and cuddles the taller. Ever since Jongdae and Yixing came out last year during school festival, they have been unbearably revolting to look at.
“Hey, hey, hey!” Baekhyun plops himself on Joonmyun’s lap. The said guy does not even flinch at the eccentric boy’s action, but Kyungsoo feels the strangest urge to push him away. “So, I’m adding macadamia cookies for my Baekhyun’s Special Valentine Box this year. Who decide to break up with their girlfriends? Or boyfriends?” He eyes Jongdae and Yixing.
“I have booked a special dinner in town for Joohyun and I,” Joonmyun regards him. “I think I am good.”
“And Yixing and I already plan to visit Gyeongju this Valentine’s Day,” Jongdae says. “Historical trip is very romantic, right, ge?”
“Huh, lame,” Baekhyun huffs. He looks at Kyungsoo who is glaring at Joonmyun’s hands on his slim waist. “Kyungsoo, though, will remain as my faithful Valentine.”
“What?” Kyungsoo looks up at the mention of his name. “Whatever, Byun, your chocolate is not that good anyway.” Which is a total lie.
Baekhyun looks more than a little put out by his brazen reply and Kyungsoo instantly feels bad. The guy is very kind to spread the Valentine’s spirit to the gloomy single population in their school. And his chocolate tastes heavenly, much better than store-bought one. It is just that—
“Anyway, I’m going back to Home Economics lab.” He stands up with Joonmyun’s aid. The blonde beckons Jongin closer with his graceful hand. “Come on, Jonginnie, I will teach you to make chocolate that can blow your Sehunnie’s mind.”
Jongin squeaks in panic, waving off teasing remarks from the other guys. However, Kyungsoo’s eyes are focused on Baekhyun who seems anxious to go and avoids looking at his direction. The short male pulls Jongin alongside him and takes off.
Kyungsoo stares at their retreating figures with phantom regret. Baekhyun is not that petty to be angry at him, right? They tease each other all the time. Yet this reaction is new.
He is surprised to find Joonmyun and Chanyeol’s eyes on him.
“What?” he demands.
Both of them simultaneously shake their heads. “Well done,” Joonmyun says.
The thing is, although he and Baekhyun bicker every time, Kyungsoo can sometimes act nice to him. When they are alone, that is. He does not know why, but whenever he meets Baekhyun in front of others, he has a sudden mean strike. If the blonde starts talking about something, Kyungsoo feels the need to contradict him. Baekhyun can just breathe in front of him in public and Kyungsoo’s brain might get angry. It is terrible.
Kyungsoo is enjoying his stroll when he hears a noise of something falls down that is followed by a muffled curse. He will recognize that voice anywhere and speeds up his walking. True to his prediction, Baekhyun’s scrawny figure is on the floor, struggling to heft two medium size boxes.
“Move aside,” Kyungsoo orders. Despite being slightly shorter than the other guy, he finds no difficulty to lift the two boxes. It can be because he spends most of his free time practicing kendo or doing any other form of exercise. Meanwhile, Baekhyun’s hobby is to lie down watching dramas on his bed and his room is basically a temple for junk food (don’t ask him how he knows it).
“I swear you always pop out anywhere I go,” Baekhyun grumbles. “Like my personal superhero.” His cheeks are slightly red, but it can be the trick of light.
“I don’t wear my boxer brief inside out,” Kyungsoo protests, earning him a grin from Baekhyun.
“Wouldn’t that be a sight, though?” Baekhyun mumbles. Kyungsoo responds by kicking the boy’s leg.
“Where are we going?”
“Storage room,” Baekhyun answers. “So, how’s the tournament preparation going?”
Kyungsoo tells him excitedly about the team’s training regime. Baekhyun listens attentively to him and sometimes makes comments. He can be a good listener at times.
The storage room is located near the gym. Kyungsoo hears people practicing inside, even from the storage room where he helps Baekhyun putting the boxes. He is tempted to check on his underclassmen practicing but at the same time somewhat reluctant about parting way with Baekhyun. It is rare for them to be not, volatile. Luckily, Baekhyun saves him from mental struggle by dragging him into the gym.
Minseok who is overseeing the practice looks up when they enter and waves his hand before correcting the posture of a skinny little boy. Kyungsoo and Baekhyun take seats in the back, watching their senior yelling instructions for the primary school juniors.
“He is great, isn’t he?” Kyungsoo murmurs.
“I believe you can do the same,” Baekhyun says. “I heard that you’d be appointed as the new captain for our kendo team.”
“The team wants to elect me.” Kyungsoo shrugs. “I hope I won’t disappoint.”
“You’re great.” The endearment makes Kyungsoo looks up. He is surprised to find Baekhyun’s eyes are fixed on him. The boy is grinning at him. However, the grin slowly fades when Kyungsoo only stares at him silently.
Beautiful and annoying do not make pretty combo. Even then, Baekhyun will not be Baekhyun without both. Now Kyungsoo wants to smack himself for letting his mind associates Baekhyun with ‘beautiful’.
Kyungsoo looks away for a moment before averting his gaze back to Baekhyun. The guy is still staring at him unnervingly. Kyungsoo prefers if he is wearing his stupid teasing smile or spouting nonsense at him because silence can mean a lot. It makes his mind working out many possibilities that are too absurd especially when it involves Baekhyun.
“Hey!” Minseok’s voice breaks up their limbo. “You come!”
“Oh,” Kyungsoo clears his dry throat. “Hey, hyung.”
“Hey, Baekhyun.” Minseok nods at him before returning his attention to Kyungsoo. “I thought you’d be in the library. Don’t you have calculus test at first period tomorrow?”
Right. He was on the way to the library when he saw Baekhyun. He grimaces sheepishly at Minseok whose gaze is far too knowing for his taste.
“Kyungsoo just lent me a hand,” Baekhyun explains. “I had to carry some heavy stuff to the storage room and he saves the day. I would hate to ruin my manicure.”
“I didn’t do it willingly anyway,” Kyungsoo quickly blabbers. “Won’t it be tragic find him unconscious under two small boxes somewhere on the school ground? I’m just preventing the possible discomfort.”
“Sure,” his senior replies. “You’re still here, though.”
“I thought I’m just going to have a peek of the practice,” Kyungsoo reasons. When Minseok just looks at him he continues, “Hyung, do you think I will voluntarily spend time with him if not out of pity?”
“Well, no,” Baekhyun puffs from beside him. “But you don’t have to be so mean about it.” He stands up and leaves after giving Minseok a half-hearted high five.
He is so dejected to see Baekhyun slumped figure walking away. He feels like he is on the verge of understanding something, yet the guilt that eats him is much stronger feeling.
“As usual, Kyungsoo.” Minseok pats him a little too hard on the shoulder. “Great job.”
Kendo is when Kyungsoo is on his full element. He feels so in control of his body and his mind, so in tune. Each swing of his bamboo sword is a beautiful intricate dance to his eyes. Every time he strikes his opponent, wave of satisfaction washes over him. The joy amplifies whenever he faces a challenging rival. Like this moment.
Aggressive, yet graceful. That is how Kyungsoo describes his current opponent. Since the game begins, he cannot do anything else other than oji-waza or counter attack. His opponent seems to have unlimited energy judging by the unrelenting attacks, but his movements are so beautifully choreographed. However, Kyungsoo has been in the field for years and he knows that an opportunity will arise. He just needs to reserve his energy, pay attention, and grab the chance. And it does happen.
His rival loses his footing for a second and Kyungsoo moves. He raises his sword over his head, one kasugi-waza, ending his attack with a swift strike on top of the head. The referee awards him a point, effectively announcing him as the winner. Kyungsoo lowers his sword and bows down at his rival, who immediately replies. He then turns to bow at the referees before returning to his team who is cheering up for him from the sideline.
“As expected from you.” Sehun offers him a bottle of Pocari after he has taken off his head protector.
“He is crazy,” Kyungsoo grunts.
“It’s a ‘she’ actually.” The group looks around for the soft voice. A girl in kendo armor is smiling sweetly at them. Her cheeks are pink from exercise. “It was a nice game, Kyungsoo-ssi.”
“Seulgi!” Minseok gathers the girl in one-arm hug, a little bit awkward because of the girl’s attire. “I thought you’re not joining this mock-match?”
“No way I’m passing an opportunity to practice.”
“This is Seulgi,” Minseok introduces her to the team. “She is from Baeksuk Girl High School, a classmate of Seungwan.”
Kyungsoo’s teammates make excited noises. Of course they are thinking about getting to know the girl, who is, even he admits, quiet cute. Or maybe the guys are hoping to be introduced by the girls’ classmates. In Daejeon, Baeksuk is famous as the ‘home of goddesses’. Typical.
“I have never seen you before,” Kyungsoo says, politely. “I mean, with your skill, I’m sure I wouldn’t have overlooked you.”
The girl looks pleased by Kyungsoo’s words. “I had an injury on my wrist before I started high school so I was off for one year,” Seulgi tells them. “Now I’m so pumped up for the tournament.”
“I’ll watch out for you,” Kyungsoo notes, drily.
Seulgi laughs. “I should be the one who says that,” she says. “When you pulled off that kasugi-waza, I almost had a heart attack.”
That draws a smile from Kyungsoo. He always likes whenever people compliments him for his kendo. His teammates annoyingly coo at his response. Kyungsoo swats at them.
Seulgi ends up staying by his side during the proceeding matches. They sit silently at first, but as the games get heated, they cannot help but making commentaries. As their talk goes by, Seulgi earns bigger respect from him. Kyungsoo always respects girls, after all he was born from one. But girls who knows her way with her shinai and moves like shadow they way Seulgi did, well, they deserve standing ovation.
At the end of the mock-tournament, Seulgi asks him for his number which he whole-heartedly gives. She waves for the last time before joining his schoolmates. Kyungsoo walks back to the dormitory which is three blocks away with his friends. Jongin joins them outside the stadium.
“Hey,” he greets the kendo team and sidles up to Sehun’s side.
“I thought you’re coming with Baekhyun-hyung?” Sehun asks him. Kyungsoo perks up at this and looks around. There is no sign of the buoyant boy.
“He said he had an errand to do mid-game,” Jongin answers. “I don’t know. He seemed a little down.”
Kyungsoo furrows his forehead. Baekhyun is usually so bubbly, moreover when cheering for the kendo team, because for some reason he is their biggest fan. Hm, Kyungsoo thinks he should check up on him later while bringing him his chemistry notes.
“Hey, Soo.” Chanyeol opens the door to his and Baekhyun’s room. The tall guy sniffs and frowns. “You stink.”
Kyungsoo ignores the jab. The communal bathroom is full in this hour and he needs to lend his note to Baekhyun soon because, uh, because then he can study without worrying if the boy can pass the upcoming chemistry quiz. “I have my chemistry notes. Is Baekhyun inside?”
“He is sleeping.” Weird. Dinner is not even here yet.
He pushes past Chanyeol to get inside the disaster called their room. Baekhyun is lying on his side on his bed. He must have already been sleeping for a while, judging from drool pooling on the pillow, probably right after he left Kyungsoo’s match. So, the errand he mentioned to Jongin is sleeping?!
“We should give him some more sleep,” Chanyeol suggests when he sees Kyungsoo’s hand moving to pinch Baekhyun’s nose. “He’s been awake till late for days to finish the dress.”
Kyungsoo looks at the dress hanging on the cupboard. The tutu is already sewn nicely to the dress. Baekhyun is halfway finished decorating the fabrics with diamantes. Once it’s done, he believes the purplish blue dress will look nice against Baekhyun’s pale skin.
“He has outdone himself,” Kyungsoo says. “He always works so hard for Valentine’s Day, I wonder why.”
“You don’t know? Really?”
Chanyeol is staring at him as if Kyungsoo simultaneously annoys and amuses him.
“Well, you obviously know better than I do,” Kyungsoo grumbles.
The lanky boy shakes head in disbelief. “I’m done!” Chanyeol throws his hands in the air. He grabs his jacket from the back of his study chair. “If you’ll excuse me, I have a date with my Sooyoung.”
“Don’t ever think of going back!” Chanyeol only snickers at this before disappearing behind the door.
Kyungsoo looks back at Baekhyun’s limp figure. He can just put his notebook on Baekhyun’s desk then leave for dinner, or maybe much-needed bath. But, his feet do not move to the door. Instead, he sits down at the edge of bed; eyes never flit away from the sleeping form. In this state, Baekhyun undoubtedly looks suitable to be a love fairy he always attempts to be since they were in eighth grade. Probably that is why the school never do anything when the guy running around the school building in his tutu every 14th February. Or maybe Principal Wu has a thing for crossdressing—his thick eyebrows are worth of suspicion.
He observes Baekhyun from closer distance. Beautiful, indeed. Even the mole at one corner of his upper lip is beautiful. Kyungsoo spots blisters on Baekhyun’s normally flawless fingers. No doubt, the result of him sewing all night.
“Idiot,” Kyungsoo whispers.
Baekhyun always tries to make everyone’s Valentine wonderful. Chocolates for everyone. Cookies for everyone. Sweet memos for everyone. Cupid Baekhyun for everyone. Kyungsoo is only a part of the mass. Nothing special.
“I heard from Minseok that you’ve been texting back and forth with this Seulgi-girl?” Joonmyun starts. Kyungsoo barely looks up from his lunch box. “Is it true?”
“She is a friend.” Kyungsoo shrugs. “Can’t I have a girlfriend, minus the romance thingy?”
“Sure, nobody forbids you to,” Joonmyun says. “It might teach you a thing or two about sensibility.”
“Now.” He slams his chopsticks onto the table. “Why is everybody being so passive-aggressive to me lately? What’s my sin?”
Not only Joonmyun, his friends are being slightly hostile toward him. Kyungsoo’s light sayings can be spewed back into some nonsense about feelings, insensitivity, and craps. It makes him resort to shut up these days, less he gets attacked. Even Jongin, the angel of the group joins in for the ride.
“Do you like this girl?” Joonmyun asks instead.
“Seulgi is only a friend,” Kyungsoo states. “What’s with the question?”
“I’m just worried if, you know, you might lead her on or something.”
“Lead her on to where?” Kyungsoo demands. “I treat her as a friend. She knows that too.”
Joonmyun shakes his head solemnly. “I wish you’re this vocal for your other case.”
“What case?” he asks. “Hey!” Kyungsoo growls when Joonmyun merely pats her cheek and goes. Still grumbling, he picks up his phone when it pings. A new KakaoTalk message from Seulgi.
I know a nice froyo place downtown. How about we go this Sunday?
Kyungsoo thinks for a moment before typing a short: Sure.
If only he checks on his calendar, he would know that Valentine’s Day falls on Sunday.
“Do you have a date?” Yixing frowns at him from his own bed.
“I’m just having frozen yoghurt with Seulgi at downtown,” Kyungsoo answers. “Why?”
“You never go out on Valentine’s Day,” Yixing says.
“Today is fourteenth?” Kyungsoo’s eyes bulge. In the midst of quizzes and assignments he had forgotten the date. Well, it is like not Valentine’s Day is crucial for him, after all he has never been in a relationship. But image of Baekhyun in his tutu suddenly floods him. Kyungsoo swats his hands over his head to distinguish the thought, like warding off disturbing bees.
“Are you alright?”
“I’m good, I’m good,” Kyungsoo assures his roommate. “But anyway, so what about Valentine? Seulgi and I only hang out. As friend.”
“If you say so.” The elder shrugs. “Hopefully Baekhyun will not cross out your name from the list this year.”
Kyungsoo is about to retort when the door to their room swings open. Jongdae goes in with a grand. He salutes at Kyungsoo before latching himself onto his boyfriend.
“Are you ready?” Jongdae asks Yixing. Kyungsoo recalls that they are having a trip to Gyeongju today. Forced to recall, since they never shut up about it.
“Have fun,” Kyungsoo says, grabbing his wallet from his desk. “Don’t come back.”
“You’re leaving now?” Jongdae asks. “But Baekhyun almost finishes his round on the third floor. I think he will arrive in another five minutes or so? You should see him. You’re his favorite Valentine, after all.”
Heat rushes to Kyungsoo’s neck at ‘favorite Valentine’. “Shut up, Jongdae,” he replies but the bite is not as sharp as he intended. Kyungsoo opens his bedroom door, mindful to check the hallway for any sight of periwinkle tutu. It is thankfully empty at this moment. He is mixed between relieved and slightly disappointed. “I’m going.”
On his way out, he keeps checking behind his back for signs of Baekhyun. He does not worry about not getting his chocolate, although it is definitely good to have some. No, he is actually more worried that Baekhyun will catch him on his way to his… outing. With Seulgi. Damn, Baekhyun might think that he is going on a date. Kyungsoo speeds up until he is mostly running to the gate. He sees that some kids already received Baekhyun’s gift: a small peach-cloth bundle no doubt filled with chocolate, cookie, and sweet note.
“Are you okay, oppa?” Seulgi asks him. “You seem—” she watches as Kyungsoo trip over his own foot for the fifth time that hour, “subdued.”
“I’m good.” Kyungsoo wipes a trail of blueberry yoghurt from his chin. Seulgi nods, even if she does not look too convinced.
“There are so many couples today,” Seulgi says.
Daejeon does not offer as much entertainment as Seoul or Busan. Still, people crowd the downtown like there are no other places they would like to be. Kyungsoo almost regrets going out because he hates mass, but the frozen yoghurt is too good to pass, even in chilly February.
“Today is Valentine’s Day,” Kyungsoo points out.
“You know that today is Valentine’s Day?” Seulgi says amusedly.
“What? I’m not living under a rock.”
“You don’t strike me as someone who will care about this stuff.” She waves her hand around her surroundings.
“You’re right,” Kyungsoo agrees. “I don’t.”
“Right.” The girl bites on her lower lip, seemingly hesitant. “Alright,” Seulgi starts out strongly, “Seungwan told me that you are so dense when it comes to feelings or anything remotely close.”
Kyungsoo crinkles his forehead confusedly.
“The thing is,” Seulgi sighs. “I already knew that today is Valentine’s Day and yet I still ask you out.” She goes silent and stares at him as if waiting for something. Still confused, Kyungsoo merely stares back, unblinking. Seulgi closes her eyes disappointedly before murmuring, “I like you.”
“You’re so passionate about things that you like” Seulgi continues. “And you’re little awkward in a new environment, it is endearing to me.”
Kyungsoo absorbs the news blankly. Never in his life would he think to receive a confession from a girl like Seulgi. He is just Kyungsoo, a short guy with wild eyes and emotional issues.
“So—” Seulgi eyes him hopefully. “What do you say?”
He takes time to admire the girl before him. Aside from being pleasingly cute, Kang Seulgi is nice and friendly yet fierce at the same time. She is everything that Kyungsoo looks for...in a friend. To be involved romantically, well Kyungsoo imagines someone entirely different. Someone loud. Someone who think they are funnier than they actually are. Someone who can be a total pushover to people they care about. Someone who—Kyungsoo sees flashes of purplish tutu.
“I'm sorry,” Kyungsoo apologizes. “You're a great person. I-I was being dumb all this time.”
“You already have someone you care about, right?” Seulgi murmurs silently. She looks crestfallen yet she still smiles. Kyungsoo feels so bad because he knows it takes a lot of courage to come out with your feelings. Something he always avoids doing.
“I do,” Kyungsoo admits. “I just. I didn't realize.”
“You should go then,” Seulgi pushes him. “You shouldn't bottle it inside.”
“I—” Kyungsoo gulps. “I'm gonna do it.”
“Text me when you’ve succeeded.” When Kyungsoo stares at her with bewilderment, Seulgi cackles. “Do you think our friendship is over because you reject me? What a cold guy!”
“Thank you.” Kyungsoo pulls the younger into a friendly hug. “Thank you. I owe you.”
“Go!” Seulgi urges. “Now.”
Kyungsoo nods, his feet already moving. “I'm going to call you tonight.”
Seulgi waves him away. She seems down, and Kyungsoo is sorry to be the reason, but he thinks they are going to be fine. “Good luck, oppa!”
Kyungsoo basically runs from the metro station to his dormitory though it would only take him fifteen minutes by walking. He wants to do this fast before his bravado run out. The dormitory ground is quiet empty because many students spend time outside, even the ones without a plus one.
“Jinhee!” He spots middle school underclassman near the library. The boy is eating chocolate. Baekhyun’s gift bundle lies opened beside him
“Hyung!” Jinhee smiles at him.
“Did you see—” Kyungsoo wheezes. “Did you see Baekhyun?”
“He was in the library an hour ago,” Jinhee replies. “I think he has moved somewhere. So many singles this year, apparently.”
“Okay, thank—” Kyungsoo takes a look at the chocolate in Jinhee’s hand. “Is it just me or the chocolate is smaller and duller than the last years?”
His junior eyes his chocolate confusedly. “I think it has always been like this? This year is even better because Baekhyun-hyung puts almond in it. Everyone else gets the same one.”
“But mine is usually huge, heart-shaped, and filled with—” he trails off. Oh. “I’m going! Practice this Wednesday.”
Instead of looking for Baekhyun, he runs to his room instead.
On his bed, he finds Baekhyun’s parcel already waiting for him. He reaches for it and tugs the drawstring carefully because he does not want to crinkle the cute cloth. He takes out his chocolate. It is the usual one: chocolate goodness the size of his palm, covered with chunks of almond and peanuts, and Kyungsoo is sure to be filled with his favorite peach jam. He finds the usual memo and reads:
To my hermit
It is exhausting to make this chocolate every year. Maybe the next one will not be as good as this or maybe you won’t even need me to make you one. Even then it has been joyful time to me.
For some reason, Kyungsoo believes Baekhyun is not only talking about making him chocolate. The revelation hits him so hard in the gut. With determined steps, he sets to Baekhyun’s room. At the end of the day he will return, and there he cannot avoid him.
Kyungsoo’s immediate reaction when Baekhyun enters his room is blushing. He has never admitted this, but the highlight of his Valentine other than the chocolate is seeing Baekhyun in fairy dress. This year’s dress really reflects his personality, adorable and bouncy. The length of the dress, although moderate, shows off his nice shaved legs. And the periwinkle color accentuates the tone of his skin. The boy seems exhausted yet sated.
“Kyungsoo?” Baekhyun frowns at him. “What are you doing here? I thought—”
“You thought what?”
“I heard that you’re having a date.” Baekhyun walks to his closet. His back is on Kyungsoo so Kyungsoo cannot see his face. “Did you have fun?”
“It was a friendly outing,” Kyungsoo says. “To me, at least.”
Baekhyun grabs a fresh pair of pajamas then stares back at him. “Of course,” he responds flatly. “I’m going to change for a bit.”
“No!” Kyungsoo’s voice comes out louder and more forceful than intended. “I mean stay. In your dress. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to see you in dress, although you look good. I mean—”
“Hey, hey.” Baekhyun seems slightly amused. “Is going on a date makes your brain haywire or something? I applaud this girl.”
Kyungsoo exhales. “No, it’s you,” he states. “I like you.”
The change in Baekhyun’s face is so comical. One second he’s smiling and now he is gaping at him, mortified. He closes his mouth after some times and is about to open it again to say something but Kyungsoo cuts him.
“I’m aware that today is February fourteenth and not April first.”
“But, you—” Baekhyun shakes his head confusedly. “You’re kidding me.”
“I like you,” Kyungsoo restates, more firmly. “I have been for years actually.” He eyes his parcel that sits on top of Baekhyun’s bed. “And I think you like me too.”
Baekhyun smiles, but it looks sad. “Of course I do,” he says. “I’ve always been so obvious.”
“Meanwhile I’ve always been so blind.”
“I would say—” Baekhyun fiddles with the hem of his tutu, “that you’re more of ignorant.”
“As if that’s better.” Kyungsoo steps forward until he is right in front of Baekhyun. Closer, he can see his freckles and some acne scars. But the imperfections do not make him any less perfect. Just like how different he is from Kyungsoo does not deter him.
“Sometimes I think you’re into me,” Baekhyun mumbles, looking down to avoid his intense stare. “But after you’ve warmed up you’re suddenly cold again. Sometimes you say mean things to me, yet then you’re always there when I need help. I figured that I’m made of steel and I can handle it, but after somewhile it just hurts.”
Kyungsoo moves his hands to cradle at Baekhyun’s jaw. The guy looks up and Kyungsoo surges to press their lips together. It is sweet, gentle, warm, and all sorts of perfect. Baekhyun gasps at the soft touch, and while Kyungsoo wants to kiss him some more, he figures there is a pressing matter.
“I’ve been told that I’m dense repeatedly,” Kyungsoo begins.
“Yes, you are.” Kyungsoo pinches the other’s cheeks to shut him up.
“You give everyone attention so I’ve never felt like I’m…more.” For once he subtly admits his insecurity. “Although it’s one among your limited goodness.”
“I feel so insulted,” Baekhyun fumes jokingly.
“Be with me.” Kyungsoo takes Baekhyun’s hands in his. “I will overlook the fact that you’re suck in chemistry, a total slob, and walk around in a tutu.”
Baekhyun squawks in indignation.
“And I will work on to be less emotionally constipated,” Kyungsoo continues. “I hate to be…feeling-sy. But if me having feelings makes it less painful to you, then I will try.”
Baekhyun’s smile is blinding. “You’re not as heartless as you think,” he says.
“Do tell me more.” He finally swoops in to get that second kiss. As things get heated though, Baekhyun pushes him away.
“I would love to continue, but I’m so sweaty and gross and tired.” He gestures to his body.
“You don’t need to do this whole shebang next year,” Kyungsoo chides. “Now that you’re with me.” His neck flushes as he realizes that he indirectly implies to want this lasting.
“Nope,” Baekhyun refuses. “I like doing this, you know. Next year would be my last chance to do it and I’m going to keep up with this tradition. It doesn’t mean I can’t make you feel special, though.”
Kyungsoo grins. “I know,” he sighs. “I know for a fact that I get a special treatment every year.” He jerks his head to his parcel. “You’ve been into me since the beginning, huh?”
Baekhyun slaps his hand to Kyungsoo’s chest. “Shut up!” Kyungsoo laughs and touches Baekhyun’s now heated cheeks.
“One question.” Baekhyun raises his eyebrows at him. “What’s the deal with the dress? I mean, you can just give out the chocolate with your regular T-shirt and nobody will complain.”
“Oh, uh.” Baekhyun ducks his head shyly. Kyungsoo frowns at this reaction. “You remember I played Tinkerbell at the end of year stage when we were in seven grade?”
Kyungsoo remembers. Baekhyun had looked so adorable, although clearly peeved, in his green dress. The boy threatened to poke anyone’s eyes with his wand if they dared to laugh. Kyungsoo himself had played as Wendy in the performance. The downside of being in an all-boys school.
“You—” Baekhyun clears his throat. “You told me that I looked beautiful in my dress.”
“So because of me—”
“Shut up and kiss me quick,” Baekhyun orders. “I’m going to take a bath soon.”
Kyungsoo relents. For now.