Author’s Note: Three quick notes here hopefully without spoiling anything:
1) This is part of the backstory for Adoration, so if you haven’t read that, please head on over to read it ^^ Either can be read as a stand-alone work, but I think they make more sense when read together.
2) Please don’t hate Minhyuk OTL. He didn’t do anything out of spite, he really cares for Kihyun and has his best interests in mind
3) I tried to make it as obvious as possible that Kihyun was doing all of this willingly – he wanted to stand in line and although he was stressed later on in line, he was just really, really nervous, but he was okay with it because he wanted it to happen too. Consent is important!! If you think that I didn’t get this across that well, please let me know so I can fix it because I don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable ;;
“Wait a minute.”
Minhyuk lets out a long sigh, exasperation clear on his face. “What now, Kihyun?”
Kihyun squints at Minhyuk, who only looks back at him like he’s a few seconds away from dragging Kihyun the rest of the way to the festival entrance. He can hear the sounds of the festival from here, and there’s no mistaking the sight of one of the rides twirling and flipping in the air in the distance. Minhyuk has been talking about the festival their university was having for weeks now, a big smile on his face as he shoved his phone in Kihyun’s face when he found the event page on Facebook. Most of the time, Kihyun doesn’t bother with going to events like this – he went to one similar during freshman year and was sorely disappointed by the promise of “an abundant amount of free food” that only turned out to be three pieces of meat and a water station. But Minhyuk is persistent when he wants something and has been ruthless with his begging in the past few days.
“You need to smell the fresh air, Kihyunnie,” Minhyuk had said two nights ago when he practically threw himself onto Kihyun’s lap in yet another ploy to convince Kihyun to go to the festival. Kihyun, who had been in the middle of writing his notes for a test he had the following week, had startled so badly that his textbook flopped to the floor. It hadn’t earned Minhyuk any brownie points, and Kihyun had managed to fend him off until yesterday when Minhyuk had brought home Kihyun’s favorite chicken and pouted at him until Kihyun had given in with a long-suffering sigh.
“Nothing,” Kihyun says, laughing when Minhyuk’s jaw drops open in disbelief. “I just wanted to see how annoyed you would get if I said I wanted to leave now.”
Minhyuk groans, eyes closing as he tips his head back. “Why do I deal with you when you’re so mean to me?”
Snorting, Kihyun says, “I ask myself the same question all the time.”
“You love me, though,” Minhyuk points out with a blinding smile, any trace of faux ire gone from on his face just as quickly as it appeared.
Kihyun scrunches his face up in response, which only causes Minhyuk to let out an offended gasp. Bringing a hand to his chest, Minhyuk sadly says, “I guess my love was one-sided this whole time.”
“It was,” Kihyun deadpans only to burst out into laughter a few seconds later when Minhyuk pretends he has been shot and staggers back a few steps. “Come on, you big baby, let’s go get some free food before the lines get too long.”
At the mention of “free” and “food” in the same sentence, Minhyuk immediately perks up, eyes sparkling as he reaches out for Kihyun.
“Follow me, I have the whole layout memorized from the map they posted on the event page.”
Kihyun lets their fingers lace together, and it isn’t even a second later that Minhyuk’s dragging him across the field, a sudden burst of energy overtaking him. And while Kihyun is used to Minhyuk changing moods rapidly and going from no energy to too much energy, he still isn’t prepared for the pull, feet stumbling slightly before righting themselves.
“Calm down,” Kihyun huffs. “I know I said we should get going, but I didn’t mean this quickly.”
In true Minhyuk fashion, Minhyuk doesn’t bother slowing down much, if at all, happily pulling Kihyun through the field like a small kid dragging their parent over to the ice cream store. Kihyun doesn’t even really have time to look around at the actual festival with how swiftly Minhyuk is moving, and he barely has a second to wonder about just what kind of free food they’re serving for Minhyuk to be this excited before they’re stopping abruptly. It’s a perilous second where Kihyun almost loses his balance, but Minhyuk is there to stop him from falling over, grip tight.
Dazed and more than a little winded, Kihyun looks around, but frowns in confusion when he doesn’t see any food in sight.
“I thought we were going to get food?”
The grin Minhyuk sends Kihyun is large, one eye crinkling up just a little more than the other. It’s a smile that Kihyun knows a little better than he should – this is the kind of smile Minhyuk has when he’s up to no good, one that Kihyun isn’t the biggest fan of for many reasons.
“We’re going to get some good food alright,” Minhyuk mutters before quickly pointing over to his right. “Look!”
The only thing that Kihyun sees is a big line leading up to a booth. It doesn’t really explain much because there are lines everywhere, but when Kihyun follows the line up to the actual booth itself, his blood almost runs cold. There’s a sign that says “Kissing Booth” in obnoxious pink letters, but that isn’t what has caught Kihyun’s attention. No, what has all of Kihyun’s undivided attention is the person currently standing under said sign, a smirk on his pretty lips and his signature leather jacket clinging tightly to his broad shoulders. The person he has been tutoring every Thursday for three weeks now.
Turning back to Minhyuk, he’s met with a wide, pleased grin, which is enough for Kihyun to know that Minhyuk definitely knew beforehand that Hoseok would be here. Suddenly, it makes so much sense as to why Minhyuk was so adamant on getting Kihyun to come to this festival in the first place.
Kihyun is quick to turn and start walking away, festival be damned. He should’ve known better than to let it slip how cute he thought Hoseok was to his roommate, and he should’ve known that Minhyuk would’ve devised something stupid like this.
“Wait!” Minhyuk yells, curling an arm around Kihyun’s bicep once he catches up. Kihyun tries shaking him off, unimpressed and very ready to just go home and continue his notes, but Minhyuk is stronger than he looks when he wants to be. Stopped in his tracks, Kihyun can only stare at Minhyuk’s hand until he drops it.
“This isn’t very funny, Minhyuk,” Kihyun mutters, pulling the sleeves of his sweater down over his knuckles as he looks towards the ground.
It isn’t that Kihyun is a prude, it’s just that there are better things he could be doing with his time than paying to kiss a cute boy that he may or may not have a crush on in public. Especially when he knows it won’t mean much to Hoseok and will mean too much to Kihyun.
“Ki...” Minhyuk reaches out, apology clear in his eyes, which is why Kihyun lets him wrap fingers around his wrist without putting up a fight even if he’s still slightly upset. “I’m sorry, I really didn’t think...well I guess I didn’t give it much thought at all, to be honest. I just thought that maybe if he kissed you then he could finally see how much he liked you.”
Kihyun snorts despite himself. “This isn’t one of your romance dramas, Minhyuk. This is real life.”
“Well who says it can’t be both?” Minhyuk questions. But he links his fingers with Kihyun’s, thumb rubbing small circles onto his knuckles. “I really am sorry, though, we can go back to the dorms right now if you want to.”
Although going back inside does sound appealing, they’re already out and Kihyun has blocked off part of his schedule to be here. He knows that while Minhyuk can do some pretty questionable things, he usually does have Kihyun’s best interests in mind despite the dubious execution. Besides, it might actually be nice to attend one of these things while he still has the chance, and it is free after all, so there’s really no harm.
“It’s okay,” Kihyun says around a sigh. “We’re already here.”
“Really?” Minhyuk asks, sounding slightly shocked.
Shrugging, Kihyun replies, “Yeah, why not.”
The next thing Kihyun knows, he’s being pulled into a hug that practically cuts his airflow off from how tightly he’s being held. He doesn’t even have time to make a noise before Minhyuk is pulling away with a big smile. “I’m proud of you.”
Kihyun rolls his eyes, but secretly, he’s proud of himself too.
Minhyuk nudges him with a waggle of his eyebrows, and Kihyun just knows that he isn’t going to like what’s about to come out of Minhyuk mouth. “Does this mean you won’t mind going to see Hoseok after all?”
He’s clearly joking – Kihyun knows that while Minhyuk can be a handful, he really does know when to back off – so Kihyun ignores him and begins to walk off towards where the free food is, laughing to himself at the loud noise of complaint Minhyuk lets out.
And although Minhyuk was joking about seeing Hoseok, they somehow end up near the kissing booth a few hours later after having gone through most of the festival. Hoseok is still there, which part of Kihyun had been hoping against because if Hoseok wasn’t there, then they could just to back to the dorm, but another part of Kihyun had been hoping Hoseok was still there just so he could go talk to him. He knows he’s weak, but he really can’t help it – despite his outer appearance, Hoseok is a big softie and his laugh makes the butterflies in Kihyun’s tummy take flight. Kihyun is just as susceptible to Hoseok’s charms as the rest of the school, but there’s a very, very small part of Kihyun that dares to think that maybe he’s a little bit more special because he tutors Hoseok and gets to see a different side to him in those short hours.
“Are you sure you want to stand in line?” Minhyuk asks for the fourth time, worry evident in his voice.
“Yeah,” Kihyun answers softly. “I just want to talk to him, and although it’s weird that I have to stand in line and pay to do it, it’s fine.”
“Alright,” Minhyuk agrees, although Kihyun can tell he’s still not fully convinced. “I’ll stay with you in line.”
“You don’t have to,” Kihyun refutes because as nice as having Minhyuk there with him for moral support would be, he doesn’t want Minhyuk to watch over him like a hawk as he talks to Hoseok. Paying to talk to him is embarrassing enough, he doesn’t need Minhyuk there to make obnoxious background commentary about it.
Minhyuk scrunches his nose. “Well I’m not going to leave you here to wait in line alone.”
Sighing, Kihyun says, “Alright, but once I’m like three people away, can you stand off to the side? You’re going to embarrass me.”
“I am not-”
Kihyun only stares at Minhyuk with a raised eyebrow, daring him to finish that sentence. It’s comical, the way that Minhyuk stops with his mouth wide open and finger poised to jab Kihyun in the shoulder, and Kihyun would’ve laughed if he wasn’t trying to make a point.
“Fine!” Minhyuk cries, throwing his hands up in the air. “See if I ever do anything nice for you again!”
“I’ll buy you coffee on the way back to the dorm.”
“Alright, I forgive you,” Minhyuk says easily.
Kihyun lets himself laugh this time. “You’re so easy,” he teases.
“May I remind you of the reason we’re even going over to stand in line in the first place?” Minhyuk counters.
That at least gets Kihyun to be quiet, cheeks feeling a little hot as Minhyuk stares at him knowingly.
The line moves a lot faster than Kihyun expects it to, and before he knows it, there’s only one person in front of him before he reaches Hoseok. Minhyuk is thankfully standing off to the side, far away enough that he won’t be able to hear any conversation that goes on, but he’s also frantically waving his arms and making motions with his hands that Kihyun frankly doesn’t want to understand the meaning of.
“Next,” someone calls from Kihyun’s right, the word causing Kihyun to jump slightly. It’s just Hoseok, he tells himself. There’s nothing to be scared of, except for the fact that Hoseok is so beautiful he could put the stars to shame and Kihyun constantly feels like he’s stuck in Hoseok’s orbit without any hope of escaping. Nope, nothing to be scared of at all.
Taking a deep breath, Kihyun turns his attention back to the front of the line where Hoseok is currently slightly turned to the side as he wipes his lips with a tissue. There’s another guy next to him who is similar in build to Hoseok who motions him forward with a small nod.
The smirk that Hoseok has on before he turns to Kihyun takes his breath away, but what really makes his breath falter is the way Hoseok’s smirk morphs into surprise and then into a blinding smile once he realizes that it’s Kihyun in front of him.
Kihyun’s heart flips at hearing the nickname from Hoseok’s sweet voice, and he hopes he isn’t blushing. “Hi, Hoseok.”
“What are you doing here?” Hoseok wonders, like it isn’t obvious what the line Kihyun’s currently standing in is for. To be fair, though, Kihyun isn’t here for a kiss, so he guesses that Hoseok’s question isn’t completely invalid.
“I just wanted to say hi,” Kihyun responds sheepishly, fingers gripping onto the edges of his sleeves.
Hoseok’s eyes widen so much that Kihyun fears they’re going to fall out. “You waited in this long line just to say hi?”
Well when he puts it that way, it really does sound pathetic. The embarrassment must show on his face, for Hoseok is quickly waving his hands in front of him. “Not that I mind!”
“Have you been here a long time?” Kihyun asks, a desperate attempt to change the subject and prevent Hoseok from noticing just how red his face must be right now; he certainly feels warmer all of a sudden. It has been at least two hours since Kihyun and Minhyuk arrived at the festival, and Hoseok was definitely the one manning the booth when they got here. Kihyun shudders to think about how tiring it must be to kiss so many people for so long.
Hoseok chuckles, thankfully letting Kihyun change the subject. “No, we’ve been trading shifts every half hour or so. And sometimes we get to talk like now, so it’s not too bad.”
Kihyun isn’t really sure he’s convinced, but he’s not about to argue with Hoseok about it. Smiling, Kihyun says, “That’s good.”
Hoseok smiles back, a slow curl of his lips that tugs at Kihyun’s heartstrings. Kihyun really is a lot deeper than he originally thought if a simple smile can make him feel this way.
“Oh!” Kihyun suddenly exclaims, having completely forgotten about the money he has in his hand and the fact that it isn’t just him and Hoseok right now. “Sorry, I’ll just drop this in and head off now before people start getting impatient.”
When he moves to place the bills in the plastic jar, pale fingers curl around his wrist and prevent him from moving any further. Kihyun prays to anyone that will listen that Hoseok isn’t able to feel his pulse.
There’s a tiny frown on Hoseok’s pink lips, only accentuating how full they are. Kihyun’s about to lose his mind. “You don’t have to pay, you didn’t get a kiss so it wouldn’t be fair.”
“I-it’s okay,” Kihyun stutters out. He curses himself mentally, but it’s not like he spends all day with Hoseok’s fingers wrapped around his wrist, so he’s not used to the contact at all. “It’s for charity, so I don’t really mind.”
Hoseok only purses his lips more, Kihyun’s eyes immediately drawn to the movement. Damn his traitorous brain.
“The least I could do is give you a kiss, though. Since you waited in line.”
Kihyun is too frozen to respond, not entirely sure that he just heard Hoseok correctly. But Hoseok is quick to place his money in the jar, and the guy standing next to him is even quicker to tell him the rules.
“Don’t use tongue, and let him be the one who initiates the kiss. I won’t hesitate to stop you or restrain you if I think that Hoseok is uncomfortable in any way.”
Kihyun blinks, momentarily stunned at the thought that someone would forcibly try and kiss the people at the booth, but the guy doesn’t look very forgiving in the way he’s staring Kihyun down. It isn’t like Kihyun is going to do anything like that - he honestly was really just here to talk to Hoseok - but it’s a little too late to say that since Hoseok is looking at him with eyes backlit by stars. The girl behind Kihyun very pointedly clears her throat, most likely impatient with how long Kihyun has been taking, and it only stresses him out more. Damn him for telling Minhyuk to wait off to the side earlier. At least if he were behind Kihyun, he would be giving him all the time in the world while glaring at anyone who would try and hurry Kihyun up.
With a sudden burst of resolve, Kihyun takes a deep breath to brace himself, clenching the ends of his sweater sleeves tightly as he closes his eyes and leans forward slightly. He never thought this was how his first kiss with Hoseok was going to be – hell he hadn’t even let himself dare to dream that he was ever going to get to kiss Hoseok period – but now that it’s happening, Kihyun feels like his heart is going to beat right out of his chest. He can only hope that his face isn’t so red that his glasses fog up, that would be even more embarrassing.
Kihyun can feel Hoseok moving closer, shoulders hunching in even further and heart beating faster the longer it takes Hoseok to kiss him.
The sudden, soft pressure on his left cheek has his eyes opening in surprise, eyes widening even more when Hoseok pulls back with a small, soft smile, the sun highlighting his features from the side. “I’ll see you on Thursday, okay?”
Stunned, Kihyun can only nod and shuffle to the side, still not entirely done processing what just happened. Everything moves in slow motion as he walks away from the booth, and Kihyun only blinks the world back into focus when he hears Minhyuk yelling at him while shaking his arm.
“-was so sweet of him to kiss your cheek instead, I was this close to screaming, you have no idea-”
Kihyun lifts a hand to his cheek, fingers brushing over the spot Hoseok’s lips had just been. Logically, he knows that there won’t be any trace left, but Kihyun feels as if there’s an imprint left on his skin. Minhyuk keeps chattering, but all Kihyun can think about is the softness of Hoseok’s lips and how his gaze when he pulled away was even softer.
It's your turn springmaid :D