That's all everything is, anything is anymore. The cut of his jaw as he laughs. The way the light falls over his face, glittering as the fluorescent breaks on the beads of sweat dotting his skin, the shine in the dark.
The devil is in the details and he's always had a devilish grin. Minseok watches him in the dark, smiles when Jongdae catches his eye; Jongdae grins and turns away. Turns away. Turns away. The motion spins through Minseok's head, an eternity of that smile slipping through his fingers. He always lets go.
"It's good to see you again," Jongdae says. They're sitting next to each other in the lobby, under a tree. It's pointless, the tree; plastic and so very dead, under the watery light from the skylight above them. The television is buzzing static and Minseok blinks. His eyes are watering, he wipes them away discreetly.
"It's good to see you too," he says softly, and looks away, face turned in the opposite direction.
"Kim Jongdae?" A woman's voice echoes from a loudspeaker, and Jongdae stands up, disappearing into the hallway, florescent lights flickering overhead.
Minseok looks at Jongdae, watches the way he moves his arms, lets his smile drift out over the crowd, the cut of his teeth on air. He dreams about getting closer but Jongdae isn't his to touch. He's never been.
Minseok sits in the dimness of his laboratory instead, mixes things together, scribbles things down. If Jongdae isn't his, maybe he should just make him his. He knows he can.
If you mix A and B you get C.
Eyes screwed up behind glasses, he mixes and matches, vapours swirling up around gloved fingers; his hands are shaking as the smoke turns blue.
600 mL. Or is it 500 mL?
"Thanks for coming out with me," Jongdae says; they're sitting on either side of the table, after the party is over, everyone gone, stacks of dishes and piles of cups building a landscape on the wooden surface.
"Of course," Minseok murmurs into his half empty soup bowl, the liquid congealed, lumps of fat floating on the surface. He stares at Jongdae when he's not looking, everything is clearer through glass. There's a smudge on the lens though; Minseok takes his glasses off to wipe it away. The vial in his pocket is heavy, dragging him down.
I just need to slip it into your cup.
But Jongdae looks at him, smiles under the lights, and Minseok swallows. Instead of passing the cup across the table, he only raises it in a toast.
"To love," he says, and even if Jongdae is slightly bemused, he raises his own as well: pink to Minseok's blue.
Minseok hangs his head back, lets the liquid trickle down his throat. It's bitter, and tastes like broken dreams.
He walks home in the dark, the forest hovering at the edges of his vision.
It's misty when he opens his eyes, cool fingers on his face and dappled green overhead. Minseok blinks. Jongdae is leaning over him, smiling. He doesn't say anything, but slowly guides Minseok to his feet.
Minseok follows him, in the woods; it's strange, leaves and trees and mist but the air doesn't move, there's no wind, no sound—
their footsteps are silent, as their feet fall on the ground. Jongdae looks back, grinning, beckons Minseok on. Minseok only wants to touch him; fingers smoothing over silky skin, brushing feathering eyelashes, as his feet pick up the pace. The sky yawns overhead, trailing mist left behind in the woods, grass under their feet. The air is still echoing empty.
Looking back, Minseok's footprints are invisible, the grass uncrushed by human tread. He keeps moving forward anyway. There's a thickness on his tongue, a slight acrid taste like burnt rubber. The silence stretches, crackles slightly underneath the void. Static.
Jongdae is running now, and Minseok can't keep up, feet stumbling and falling as they catch on rocks that line the ground, sinking face in the dirt.
There are trees overhead again, when he blinks open bleary eyes, hanging static in the air, a dark sky void of stars. Jongdae is nowhere. Minseok tastes the iron in his mouth, copper from coils, the bitterness of crushed leaves.
Dark eyelashes flicker closed over pale cheeks again. I just wanted you to love me.