You'd probably laugh
if I told you how I felt
My stirring heart sways
As I search for an answer
It would've sounded different if it came from someone else, but it just had to come from Heechul.
They were cramped in the library, and Yongwoon was looking for this particular book as fast as he could because he couldn't stand the scent of old books for more than five minutes. Looking for the book proved to be extremely difficult, and the next thing he knew it had already been thiry minutes since the start of the search.
"The library suits you, you know," Heechul said from beside him. They'd been friends since Heechul rescued Youngwoon from getting bullied when he was in third grade. Heechul was in fifth grade then, and kids Youngwoon's age were naturally scared of those older than them. Besides, Heechul was much taller than any boy in their class, and he often used this to his advantage (one of them being scaring people off for Youngwoon).
"You're joking, right?" Youngwoon chuckled.
Heechul shrugged. "No, not really."
"Okay, spill. You're acting really weird, so just say what you have to say and get it done and over with." Youngwoon didn't have to look over his shoulder to know that Heechul was visibly troubled or maybe even the slightest bit under the weather. From the corner of his eye, he saw Heechul move closer to him. He paused in his tracks for a while and shot Heechul a glance. "So?"
"I like you."
Youngwoon almost laughed to himself. These things only happen in movies, he thought, and TV series too. He remembered seeing something like this once, and for a minute it got him wondering if there was a hidden camera somewhere, anywhere. He waited for Heechul's cue, but none of it — Heechul's lips were pressed tightly against each other, and the shy grip on his wrist had turned into a much more tense one.
"I've always liked you, since that… thing back in fifth grade."
There was a sharp intake of breath from Youngwoon before he was able to say, "Uh." Nothing followed, and they sat there in tense yet somehow companionable silence until the bell rang.
Heechul quickly stood from where he was, smiled a little and said, "I have to go."
It was the fifth of December, and the breeze was blowing harder than usual. On any other day, Heechul would stay in the library until the closing time because he hated getting his hair in a mess, but there Heechul was, grabbing his bag and walking away quickly. Youngwoon would normally follow, but today he stayed rooted in his spot until a book fell on his head.
He picked it up and checked the cover. It was the book he'd been looking for for the past thirty or so minutes.
"What am I doing?" he asked himself, almost an afterthought, and he leaned back against the shelves as he clutched the book close to his chest.
"What the hell am I doing?"
It had been exactly five years since the day Heechul went up to him and confessed his feelings for him. A lot had changed — they wore their long now, and Heechul's was messily tied in what seemed to be a mash of a bun and a ponytail. "It's style, okay," Heechul would tell anyone who asked him about it. Youngwoon would just shrug, laugh a little, then run soon after because he knew Heechul was going to have his head if and when he saw him laughing.
Tonight, they were stargazing. Heechul had this crazy idea of going a little sentimental. Heechul was finally graduating from college, after all, so Youngwoon thought he'd indulge the former a little. Besides, he could use some 'getting back in touch with nature', or something of that sort. It didn't look like it, but he was quite the health-conscious and Earth-loving person.
"So, any plans after grad?"
Heechul heaved a sigh. "Rest for a while, maybe? Teach kids, publish a children's book series." A pause, then another sigh. "An answer from you, hopefully."
"You never said anything when I said I liked you."
"Oh." Youngwoon sat up from where he was. "Well, I—"
He was about to gather words for a 'thank you', or maybe some kind of apology that says, hey, I'm sorry, I don't think I can ever fall in love with you except I might be, but then Heechul grabbed him by the wrist and it's like five years back all over again, except this time their lips hovered each other and there was hardly any breathing space. "The offer still stands, if it matters," Heechul then said, and in a breath of life Heechul kissed him on the lips. They sat there still, and Youngwoon didn't even think of pushing Heechul away.
And then Heechul pulled away.
"Hey, stop it. You're not getting that for free. Either you like me back or you're just using me to get free kisses. You have to choose, y'know."
Youngwoon laughed, the words that had been pushed to the back of his throat finally finding their way back to the surface, out in the open. "Take a hint, Kim," he replied, still laughing, and let his head fall on Heechul's shoulder as they watched the stars again.
("Christ, you get a boner from stargazing?" Heechul asked him all of a sudden. His gaze flitted from the sky to his pants, and he slapped Heechul on the arm when he realized Heechul had been playing with him.
"I don't, but you can try giving me one."
"Eew. Eew! You did not just say that!" Heechul moved away from him, laughter soon coming to his lips as he did so. "But that's a pretty interesting challenge..."
Youngwoon shook his head. Heechul took things as random as this way too seriously. Maybe he should, too, so he leaned in close, stopping just a few centimeters from Heechul. He'd never live this down.
Heechul ruffled his hair, then pushed him back to the grass. "Shut up. We're still waiting for the shooting star." So they laid there in companionable silence, finding comfort in the lack of conversation and just fingers slightly brushing against each other for the first time.)