“After all, first times are always important,” Lu Han says seriously, then takes a bite of his hotdog. Minseok chokes on his ice cream. “What?” Lu Han hisses under his breath, shooting Minseok a dark look, then cooing loudly at something Jongdae says on the phone. Minseok shifts closer to Lu Han on the park bench, but with the ambient sounds of lawnmowers and a rowdy pick up basketball game surrounding them he can’t really hear anything Jongdae is saying.
Minseok pops the last bite of his ice cream cone in his mouth and wads up his paper napkin. His fingers are sticky beyond anything a dry, slightly smudged napkin can do for him. “Han,” he whispers, gesturing past the swingset to their left where the bathrooms are. “I’m gonna…”
“Hm, yeah,” Lu Han says, voice distracted, as he acknowledges Minseok with a nod. “Sometimes you have to put it in all at once, and then pull out slowly,” he says as Minseok gets up and almost trips. Two teenage girls sprawled on a picnic blanket just left of the bench look up at Lu Han’s loud exclamation, making awkward eye contact with Minseok before turning away to giggle behind their hands.
Minseok straightens his back and wills himself to walk slowly towards the brick building that houses the washroom. As embarrassing as Lu Han is in public sometimes, Minseok’s got his pride and is stubborn enough to pretend he’s not bothered. At least until they get back to the apartment and he can remind Lu Han, for the 37th time, to maybe not talk so loudly about his colonoscopy in the subway and to chew with his mouth closed. Like, even halfway closed would be a step in the right direction.
Minseok shakes his head, grinning fondly as he pushes open the door to the restroom and slips inside. To be honest, though, he loves that Lu Han isn’t intimidated by what others think of him, that he’s willing to share his honest opinions with his friends and proudly holds Minseok’s hand in public. Not everyone Minseok knows is as unashamedly, enthusiastically themselves. Lu Han’s authenticity is refreshing, he thinks as he turns on the faucet, even if it results in Minseok choking on food more often than he used to.
He rinses his hands thoroughly under the cold water and shakes them into the sink basin. A harried father of twin preschoolers herds his boys into the bathroom, and Minseok backs up to give them space, waving to the chocolate smeared kids as he exits. Lu Han is still on the phone, gesturing with broadly with his half eaten hotdog as Minseok walks back to their bench. Minseok waves to him too, hoping that maybe his boyfriend will take the hint and hang up soon.
Lu Han’s face lights up with an adoring smile as Minseok approaches. He scoots over to make more room on the bench. “We’ll be there soon, okay, Dae?” Lu Han’s warm fingers slip into Minseok’s hair and stroke at the back of his neck. Minseok slides closer, nestling against Lu Han’s chest. “Yeah, yeah, you betcha! Wait--what?”
Minseok spots a grandmother and little girl in blue sandals approaching them on the sidewalk. The girl’s face and hands are smeared with what looks like chocolate, and Minseok wonders if someone is having a birthday party nearby with a chocolate cake. He sits up to wave at the girl, and she waves back shyly, blushing under the brim of her yellow sun hat as they pass by the bench.
“Dude, dude!” Lu Han half hollers half cackles, catching the attention of the old woman and the teenage girls again. “Dude, don’t force it if it’s too tight in there! And don’t bust your nuts before I get there to help!” The grandmother’s wrinkles deepen as she scowls at them, covering the little girl’s ears with her hands as they shuffle past on the sidewalk. Minseok mumbles an apology, his shoulders dipping on instinct even though the old woman has her back to them now.
He moans, feeling his neck go hot as he slides down the bench and buries his face in Lu Han’s hoodie. “What?” Lu Han demands. He prods Minseok’s shoulder with a bony finger. “What? Come on, get up, Seokkie! We have to go to Jongdae’s and help him put his Ikea bookshelf together. He’s already stabbed himself in the leg with a screwdriver, and I don’t think he can tell the difference between a nut and bolt.”
“Why,” Minseok groans as he forces himself to sit up, “why are you so hard to put up with?”
“Hahaha,” Lu Han chuckles, his voice somehow inappropriately loud even in an outdoor park, “duuuuude, that’s what she said!”
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