Liz (pageandpetals) wrote,

out of my league (exo: jundae, nc-17, ~10,800w)

Title: Out of My League
Author: hopeandmemory
Pairing: JunDae, SuChen, whatever you want to call it
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: ~10,800
Disclaimer: I made it all up in my head.
Summary: Kim Junmyeon is perfect. Naturally, Kim Jongdae hates his guts.

It all starts because Kim Junmyeon is a pain in the ass.

Kim Junmyeon is a model student - well-liked but not arrogant, intelligent but not pretentious, involved in several major organizations on campus, and a first-year dormitory resident assistant.

Jongdae can't stand him.

And yet, can't exactly bring himself to hate him, either. Because Junmyeon is probably the kindest and most generous, encouraging person he's ever met. And it makes Jongdae want to punch him in the face.

"Why do you have such a stick up your ass about Junmyeon?"

Jongdae puts down his coffee cup and stares across the table at Baekhyun, who casually empties another creamer into his Americano. "I don't have a stick up my ass about Junmyeon, why would you say something ridiculous like that?"

Baekhyun blinks slowly at Jongdae, as if resisting the urge to let his eyes roll straight out of his head. "Jongdae, please. You just bristled when I mentioned I have to meet with him later to work on something for Model U.N. You have a bug so far up your ass about Kim Junmyeon that you might need to have it surgically removed."

"Why are you so obsessed with my ass and what's inside of it?" Jongdae deflects, propping his elbows on the table and leaning forward. "I'm telling Chanyeol."

"He's more likely to punch you in the face again than say anything to me about it," Baekhyun says with a smirk. "I wouldn't bother."

"I still can't believe he punched me in the face when you were the one who crawled into my lap and started making out with me," Jongdae grumbles.

"Your mouth looks fucking delicious when you're drunk, what was I supposed to do? I'm not made of stone," Baekhyun scoffs. "Anyway, true love knows no bounds, and that includes physical violence when people get in the way of it. And besides, you should be honored. That punch was what brought me and Chanyeol together, you know."

"That's so romantic," Jongdae says, mock-gagging into his plate of french fries.

"It is," Baekhyun says matter-of-factly. "And on that note, I need to go. He's getting out of rowing practice in half an hour and I want to get dinner before I meet up with Junmyeon." He pauses, narrowing his eyes at Jongdae. "You flinched again."

"Shut up, I did not," Jongdae says, pitching a french fry into Baekhyun's hair, which Baekhyun artfully dodges with a glare. "Go on, get outta here with your disgusting schmoopy love stories and your obsession with my supposed distaste for Kim Junmyeon."

Baekhyun blows him a kiss. "See you tomorrow, asshole."

"Love you!" Jongdae simpers, waving obnoxiously before slumping into the booth once Baekhyun leaves the diner. He leaves ten bucks on the table and wanders out five minutes later, heading back to campus to start his ten-page paper on art and morality in The Picture of Dorian Gray. He's brainstorming for a good hook to start his introduction with, but he's interrupted by a familiar voice a few minutes after he steps back onto campus.


Jongdae's entire body heaves a sigh and he plasters a smile onto his face before he turns around. "Hey, Junmyeon. How's it going?"

Junmyeon smiles brilliantly back at him, hefting his messenger bag from one shoulder to the other. "Oh, you know. I'm still alive. How about you?"

Jongdae sifts a hand through his hair and chews on the inside of his cheek, writing off the weird tingling sensation running up and down his legs as a result of the cold weather. "Not bad. I was just going to go work on that paper for Vic Lit. Have you started it yet?" Why are you making conversation? a little voice in Jongdae's head screams.

"Yeah, I'm halfway done. Which topic did you decide to go with?" Junmyeon asks brightly.

"The one about art and morality, or whatever it was," Jongdae says, rolling his eyes.

"Oh, me too!" Junmyeon laughs. "Let me know if you want to brainstorm or anything. I'm sure we'll end up going in different directions on the topic, but if you need a push…"

"No, I'm sure I'll be fine," Jongdae cuts him off with a stiff smile. Junmyeon's radiant smile seems to dim a little bit at his refusal, so he tacks on, "But thanks, seriously. See you tomorrow at the staff meeting?"

"Yes, definitely," Junmyeon says, then stops. "Oh, yeah, that reminds me! I was wondering if Opinions had any room in the budget this week for another article. We can always push your ad space to Arts, god knows they can never fill their section."

"Yeah, I think we can swing that," Jongdae says slowly, running over the list of writers he'd commissioned articles from for this week's issue. "Who wants to write?"

Junmyeon bites his lip, holding back a tiny smile. "You're going to hate this," he says tentatively, "but apparently Choi Siwon is feeling a little persecuted and wants to write about the suppression of religious life on campus."

"Jesus H. Christ," Jongdae groans, pushing the heel of his hand into his eye. "Fine, I think we might have enough space if you move the ad to Arts, but only, like, four hundred words." He resists the urge to pout, and peers at Junmyeon through one squinted eye. "Can I write mocking commentary on the editorial copy and stick it up on the wall?" Right next to all of Siwon's other articles, and the unintentionally hilarious shit that comes out of Features Editor Kim Hyoyeon's mouth at 3 a.m. on production nights, daubed on the wall in chalk.

Junmyeon laughs. "If it makes you happy, by all means. I'm sorry to spring him on you at the last minute, I know he's kind of a pain… but he is a nice person."

"And bears are Catholic and the Pope shits in the woods," Jongdae sighs, shaking his head.

"I don't think that's quite how the saying goes," Junmyeon snickers, lifting an eyebrow quizzically.

"Your sense of humor needs a tune-up, Junmyeon," Jongdae says, clapping him on the shoulder. What are you doing? "Aaaaanyway… I have to go start that paper. See you tomorrow."

"See you! Good luck with your paper," Junmyeon says, waving as he heads in the direction of the library.

"Yep, you too," Jongdae calls back to him, turning down the path toward his dorm. It's a short walk from the main quad to the concrete jungle of upperclassman housing on the south side of campus, and before long he's traipsing down the hall to his third-floor single, conveniently located next to the men's bathroom.

"Hi Taozi," he says casually as Huang Zitao exits the bathroom, a towel wrapped around his waist and his black hair in disarray, drops of water sliding down the back of his neck.

"Oh, hey Jongdae," Tao says. His default expression (subtle homicidal tendencies) morphs into a disarmingly sweet smile. "How's it going?"

"Fine," Jongdae drawls, punching in the key for the electronic lock on his door. "Gotta work on a paper for my Victorian lit class and prepare to deal with one of Choi Siwon's proselytizing editorials yet again, thanks to Junmyeon."

Tao's smile morphs into a smirk, and Jongdae narrows his eyes. "What?" Tao lifts a hand to smother a laugh, and Jongdae pouts impatiently. "What?"

"Oh, Chengzi," Tao says, moving forward just enough to grasp Jongdae's face in his large, damp hands. "You aren't fooling anyone."

He pats Jongdae's cheeks and withdraws, walking past Jongdae toward the double he shares with Baekhyun.

"What do you mean?" Jongdae shouts after him. "I'm not trying to fool anyone! About anything!"

Tao just giggles and disappears into his room, leaving Jongdae confused, annoyed, and distracted.

Fucking Kim Junmyeon.

"... And then he’s like, ‘Oh, can you stand in as copy chief next week, too, because Joohyun’s internship is having some mandatory orientation on Monday night and she can’t make it,’ and I was like..." Jongdae sighs dramatically, leaving out the part where Junmyeon complimented his eye for detail and said Jongdae could weasel it onto his resume as a temporary position, and looked generally pouty and disappointed until Jongdae relented and agreed to stay and help put the paper to bed.

"Are we supposed to care about this?" Sehun drawls and lifts his eyebrows, waving his hand in Jongdae’s general direction as he glances at Lu Han, his first year mentor, who’d brought him along to game night at Yixing’s. Tonight’s game, at Lu Han’s request, is Settlers of Catan, and Sehun’s cranky because he’s losing.

"Lu Han, you need to keep your little protege on a tighter leash, or get him a muzzle or something," Jongdae snaps, rolling a 7 and laughing in Sehun’s face as he points to the pile of resource cards Sehun’s been hoarding. "Put half your cards back, bitch!"

"Ah, shit, I’ve got eight," Yixing sighs, counting cards and slapping them down onto the bank pile.

"Motherfucker," Sehun shouts, flinging half of his cards at Jongdae and pushing himself up to stomp into the kitchen. "I hate this fucking game, I need another beer."

"He’s a little competitive," Lu Han says delicately as soon as Sehun’s out of earshot, and shuffles the six cards in his hand.

"Can I make a formal request to ban him from all future game nights?" Jongdae gripes as Yixing turns a few of his cards in to create another settlement.

"No," his friends chorus in unison, and Jongdae gawks at Yixing, who merely responds with a shrug and a little smile. "He’s cute, in an annoying little brother kind of way." (Lu Han rolls his eyes and mutters "You can say that again" under his breath.)

"And besides, he saved us from more of your bitching about Junmyeon," Lu Han says, then winces, realizing he brought up the topic again. "Aw, shit, I jinxed it."

"Nice," Yixing deadpans with a pointed glare at Lu Han before lifting his eyebrows mildly at Jongdae. "When the hell are you going to hook up with him already? This whole pigtail-yanking playground thing is getting a little old."

Jongdae drops his cards, a horrified expression on his face. "I don’t want to hook up with Junmyeon!" he sputters. "Why would you say a stupid thing like that!"

"The lady doth protest too much," Lu Han says in what he thinks is a wise tone of voice, and Yixing nods sagely.

"No, she doesn’t!" Jongdae pauses, shaking his head. "I mean, no, I don’t!"

Yixing and Lu Han do that annoying platonic soulmate talking-with-their-eyes thing that Jongdae hates, then gaze pitifully at him.

"Don’t look at me like that," Jongdae warns.

"He’s really smart," Lu Han says. "Junmyeon, I mean. He works really hard."

"And he’s pretty handsome," Yixing says. "He could sell toothpaste with that smile."

"Guys, stop--" Jongdae presses his hands over his eyes, trying to block out the image of Junmyeon’s smile from earlier that evening, when Jongdae said he’d cover Joohyun’s work.

"He’s in charge of practically everything on campus. You know, he helped me keep Sehun from flunking out last semester."

"I wasn’t going to flunk out, asshole," Sehun yells from the kitchen. (Yes he was, Lu Han mouths.)

"And he’s really supportive of the arts. He always sends a writer to events at the arts center and asks me to keep him updated on the performance schedules. He’s really into cultural stuff like that."

"Come on--"

"And he’s really nice," Lu Han stares pointedly at Jongdae, pursing his lips in judgment.

"The nicest," Yixing nods in agreement. "So I’m not sure why you’re pretending to hate him so much." He claps Jongdae on the shoulder, fingers curling into Jongdae’s shirt. "It’s okay to like things, Jongdae."

Jongdae wails and flops into the carpeting, pillowing his head on his arm with a weary sigh. "Okay. Let’s say-- hypothetically-- that I do like Junmyeon. It’s not like he’d ever date me. He’s graduating in a few months, and he’s like, a fucking genius, and everyone likes him, and I’m here hitching the struggle bus through life."

"Awww," Yixing cooes, petting Jongdae’s hair and looking up at Lu Han with a simpering smile. "Baby’s First Inferiority Complex!"

"I see how it is," Jongdae says bitterly, even as he pushes his head up against Yixing’s hand. "You’ll talk up Junmyeon all the livelong day, but I’m having a crisis and you just make fun of me. You guys are the worst."

"It Gets Better," Lu Han says seriously. "The first step is Admitting You Want His Dick."

"Whoa, let’s not get ahead of ourselves," Jongdae says, his heart thumping double-time in his chest. He rolls onto his back, closing his eyes when Yixing starts scratching his head.

"Okay," Lu Han says. "The first step is Admitting You Might Want His Dick Sometime in the Near Future."

"Hey, Sehun," Jongdae shouts, sighing internally. "Can you get me another beer, too?"

"So," Baekhyun says loudly into Jongdae’s left ear, cornering him after a cappella rehearsal on Thursday, "a little deer told me you finally stopped denying you have a crush on Kim Junmyeon."

"Keep your voice down, asshole!" Jongdae hisses, the back of his neck flushing as he attempts to elbow Baekhyun in the ribs and misses. "And tell Lu Han to stop talking about my personal life to everyone. Minseok gave me the most pitying look over breakfast today, jesus."

Baekhyun ignores him. "I can set you up if you want," he says in a sing-song voice, slinging his arm around Jongdae’s shoulders and guiding him down the path from the arts center in the direction of the Bistro, one of the smaller campus eateries. "All you have to do is say the magic word."

"I’d rather die," Jongdae says, wriggling half-heartedly in Baekhyun’s grasp.

"Hey guys, wait up," someone calls from behind them, and Do Kyungsoo, another member of the Major Keys, breaks into a light jog to catch up with them. "Are you getting dinner?"

"Yeah, you wanna join us?" Baekhyun says brightly. Jongdae wants to kick him in the shins. "I was going to coerce Jongdae into letting me set him up with Junmyeon while we eat, you can help me!"

"Baekhyun," Jongdae all but howls, clutching his face in humiliation. "Why don’t you just buy a fucking megaphone and broadcast it across campus!"

"I thought everybody knew you had a thing for Junmyeon," Kyungsoo says nonchalantly, which makes a ripple of panic spread through Jongdae’s chest. "Well, everyone except Junmyeon. For someone so smart, he’s terribly oblivious."

"I know, right," Baekhyun snorts, then turns to look at Jongdae. "But at least it gives you some time to up your game."

"I don’t want to up my game," Jongdae says stubbornly, the corners of his lips turning downward. "I just want to eat and go to the library to finish writing my paper and then I want to go back to my room and go to bed and be miserable for the rest of my undergraduate life."

"That... just made me really sad," Kyungsoo says, his voice dropping a few notes as he turns his big mournful eyes on Jongdae. "Do you think he doesn’t like you? Even if he wasn’t interested, he’s not the kind of guy to go on a big ego trip about shooting you down."

"Don’t start us down this road, Kyungsoo," Baekhyun says before Jongdae can open his mouth, "here lies the road to a pity party, and I’ve already RSVP’d my regrets."

"I’m not gonna throw a pity party for myself," Jongdae lies, grumbling, because that’s exactly what he was intending to do.

"Good," Baekhyun says as he pulls open the door to the Bistro and the three of them make a beeline toward the queue for the grill. "We’ll figure out a game plan, and you’ll feel better after you have a sandwich."

Somehow, Jongdae doubts that.

He’s no closer to figuring out what to do about The Junmyeon Situation by the time dinner’s over, so he bids Baekhyun and Kyungsoo farewell and heads off to the library, managing to snag an empty study carrel on the third floor to work on his Vic Lit paper.

The third floor is where the senior thesis carrels are, so Jongdae’s not exactly surprised when his eyes wander between hastily written paragraphs about Lord Henry’s dastardly influence upon Dorian Gray and he spies Junmyeon out of the corner of his eye, peeling his gloves off as he passes between two rows of bookshelves, presumably on the way to his carrel. Jongdae’s traitorous heart skips a beat and he fuels his annoyance at himself into jamming out another page on Sibyl Vane and the artifice of theatre, but his burst of inspiration begins to wane shortly thereafter and a caffeine headache starts creeping up on him.

Jongdae checks that his laptop lock is safely secured and checks his wallet for cash before taking the elevator down to the basement and heading to the library cafe for some coffee.

"Hi Jongdae," Jessica says when he approaches the counter, closing her laptop and hopping off the barstool she’d been sitting on.

"Hey, didn’t know you’d be working tonight," Jongdae says with a grin. Jessica was the leader of The Naturals, the all-girl a cappella group on campus, although that was more of a formality since she was the senior-most member; everyone knew Joohyun, the PR director for the group, was the shadow leader.

"Yeah, I switched my shift because we had to move rehearsals to a different night. Joohyun’s internship wants her there on Thursdays," Jessica says, punching her numbers into the cash register. "What can I get you?"

"I’ll have a caramel macchiato," Jongdae says, reciting his standard order before he stutters, "and, uh, can I get a vanilla latte too?"

"Need a caffeine fix that badly?" Jessica lifts an eyebrow, adding the extra coffee to his order. "That’ll be six-fifty."

Jongdae hands her a ten, and the cash register rings as the door pops open. "Just remembered I saw someone upstairs and thought they could use a drink."

"I’m saying this as someone who isn’t especially considerate of others," Jessica disclaims, a skeptical look on her face as she gives him his change and turns on the espresso machine, "but you don’t really seem like the thoughtful type."

"It was my new year’s resolution," Jongdae lies, watching her work her magic with the milk steamer. "I’m trying to make positive changes in my life."

"Well, good luck," Jessica says, that same note of skepticism in her voice, and he laughs. They make small talk for a few more minutes while she finishes up his order, and soon he’s on his way back upstairs, coffee in hand.

He checks to make sure his laptop hasn’t been jacked in the past ten minutes before he wanders through the stacks in the direction he last saw Junmyeon heading in. There’s a row of thesis carrels perpendicular to the last set of shelves, and Jongdae turns left when he reaches the end of the stacks and starts looking out for Junmyeon’s messy reddish-brown hair. He spots him a few desks away, headphones in his ears, and he quietly makes his way over. Junmyeon must have seen him out of the corner of his eye, or otherwise he has very good hearing, because he looks up suddenly and Jongdae almost sloshes coffee all over himself.

"Hey," Junmyeon whispers, pulling his earbuds out. "What are you doing up here?"

"Working on my paper," Jongdae says, jerking his head in the vague direction of his own study carrel. "How goes the thesising?"

Junmyeon makes a non-committal noise and flaps his hands at the stack of books spread out over the desk, all littered with tabs and post-it notes marking pages and citations. "As well as it could be going, I guess," Junmyeon says. Jongdae notices the bags under his eyes and wonders if they were there last weekend and he just wasn’t paying attention. "What have you got there?"

It takes Jongdae a moment to realize Junmyeon’s pointing at the coffee cups in his hands. "Oh!" Jongdae’s heart pounds embarrassingly in his chest as he offers the vanilla latte to Junmyeon. "I, uh. Thought you might need a pick-me-up, saw you come in earlier."

"That’s..." Junmyeon reaches out to accept the cup and looks down at it for a moment with an expression that Jongdae can’t quite get a good read on. He finally looks up at Jongdae with a smile, and the bags don’t seem so noticeable now. "That’s really nice of you, Jongdae. Thanks."

"It’s-- a vanilla latte," Jongdae stammers helpfully, taking a sip of his macchiato to shut himself up.

Junmyeon flips open the tab and takes a whiff. "So it is. How’d you know that’s my favorite?"

Kim Jongdae: 1, Byun Baekhyun’s Stupid Ideas: 0. "Just a lucky guess."

Junmyeon takes a sip, and Jongdae’s stomach does this horrible seizing thing when Junmyeon’s tongue pokes out to lick the foam off his upper lip. "Mmm." He grins at Jongdae. "This is really good, just what I needed. Thank you."

Jongdae tries not to smile too hard. "Sure, no big deal." He glances around the study carrels, taking in the grim white walls and the aged brown carpeting. "I guess I should let you get back to work," he says finally, taking another sip of his coffee. "Need to go make sure no one stole my laptop while I was over here, y’know?"

"Oh yeah, definitely!" Junmyeon nods vigorously, swallowing a too-large gulp of coffee with a little cough. "Thanks for stopping by, it was nice to have a break. I’ll see you later?"

"Yeah," Jongdae says, and his chest feels lighter than it has in days.

Jongdae wanders into the Bistro on Saturday afternoon, orders his usual (a chicken caesar wrap and whatever soup is on offer), and contemplates hiking back to his dorm, but in the interest of keeping his food warm he decides to eat in; the weather is cold and blustery, and the grey sky seems to threaten rain later in the afternoon.

The Bistro is located directly across the street from the dorm where Junmyeon works as an RA, so Jongdae’s not that shocked to see him at a table in the corner, fiddling with something on his iPhone. He wanders over, acting as casual as he possibly can, and nudges Junmyeon’s chair with his foot. "Hey."

"Just a sec--" Junmyeon punches the pause key on the screen and looks up. "Oh! Hey, Jongdae."

"Mind if I sit with you?" Jongdae asks, as though his heart isn’t going to fly straight out of his chest and smack Junmyeon in the face.

"Oh, yeah, have a seat," Junmyeon says, moving his ridiculously heavy backpack off of the chair beside him and moving it to the chair closest to the wall.

"Thanks," Jongdae says, sliding his containers onto the table and dropping into the chair next to Junmyeon. He gestures towards Junmyeon’s iPhone. "What were you doing just now, was that a game?"

"Huh?" Junmyeon looks at his phone, then back to Jongdae, before the frown of confusion melts off his face with a sheepish smile. "Yeah. I’m kind of addicted to Scramble with Friends. Stress reliever, you know?" His eyes light up suddenly. "Do you play? You should add me!"

"I’m kind of pathetically enslaved by Candy Crush right now," Jongdae groans, popping open the box containing his sandwich and french fries. "I keep buying the extra power-ups because I get frustrated after I fail the same level fourteen times. My dad’s gonna fucking kill me when the Verizon bill comes in."

"You should definitely play Scramble, then," Junmyeon laughs. "It’s free. And I need more people to play with!"

"Fine," Jongdae relents, although he does it with half-smile, hiding his face behind his sandwich as he takes a bite. He brushes his hands off and swallows before unlocking his phone and passing it to Junmyeon. "Here, download it for me and you can send me an invite or whatever you have to do. If it keeps you from going nuts while you work, I guess I can help."

"What a pal," Junmyeon snorts, tapping keywords into Jongdae’s phone for a few moments, and then handing it back to him. "It’s downloading. I’ll invite you later."

Jongdae crams a few french fries into his mouth and peers at his phone, then squints at Junmyeon. "So. Word games, huh?"

"Oh yeah," Junmyeon says, picking up the remains of his own BLT and taking a bite. "My family has a Scrabble competition on Boxing Day every year, it gets pretty intense." He grins. "I’ve been the champion three years running."

"That sounds... spectacularly boring, I’m not gonna lie," Jongdae says, and then feels like a dick when Junmyeon’s face falls almost imperceptibly. He backpedals frantically, coughing as he grabs his Fanta and takes a drink. "But a three-year streak, that’s pretty impressive. Do you get medals, or ribbons, or trophies or something?"

"Yeah, my mom made these dorky little first-place ribbons for the winner," Junmyeon sighs, smiling helplessly into his sandwich. "I keep them on my wall at home."

"Okay, that’s... kind of disgustingly adorable, actually," Jongdae says, grinning involuntarily as he swirls french fries in the caesar dressing leaking from his sandwich. "My mom’s not really into crafty stuff. She’s kind of a workaholic."

"What does she do?" Junmyeon asks, taking a swig of ginger ale.

He looks Jongdae right in the eye when he speaks, and it’s so unnerving that Jongdae has to look down at his food. He pops off the cover to his cup of soup and stirs it around, glancing up at Junmyeon. "She’s a marketing manager for a chain of women’s clothing stores. Money’s good, but she’s always at work, especially during the holidays. My dad’s a funeral director." He grimaces. "He’s on call a lot, so no one’s really home that much, even on weekends. My brother works in L.A., he’s five years older than me. So most of the time it’s just me at home, during breaks at least."

"I’m sorry to hear that," Junmyeon says, and Jongdae shakes his head.

"It’s not that big a deal, I’ve been a latchkey kid since I was, like, ten," he shrugs. "They do it for me, so I can go to school here and so I don’t have to work while I’m in college." He swallows a spoonful of soup. "What do your parents do?"

"Mom used to be a teacher," Junmyeon says between bites of his sandwich. "She quit when I was born, though. She does some part-time teaching assistant stuff these days, just to keep busy. Lots of volunteering, too. Dad’s a professor at another university. They’re both... really serious about education."

"Yeah?" Jongdae lifts an eyebrow. "Do they get on your case a lot about grades and stuff?"

"Let’s just say they would really like it if I made valedictorian in May," Junmyeon says wryly, popping the last bite of his BLT into his mouth.

"As if you won’t," Jongdae laughs, although he’s a little envious. "No one racks up As like Kim Junmyeon."

Junmyeon just smiles down at his leftover french fries before closing the container and edging his chair back. "Yeah," he laughs, and Jongdae thinks it sounds a little hollow. "Hey, I have to go. Library time. I’ll see you Monday, all right?" Junmyeon reaches for his backpack and slings it over his shoulders.

"Okay," Jongdae says slowly. "You okay? That was a little sudden."

"Yeah, I’m fine," Junmyeon says with a smile. "Just remembered I had to do something. Enjoy the rest of your weekend."

"Yeah, you too," Jongdae says, watching Junmyeon leave and not knowing what he did to make him go.

With the exception of a Scramble with Friends invite (in which Junmyeon roundly kicks Jongdae’s ass, Jongdae is reluctant to admit), he doesn’t hear from Junmyeon again until Monday afternoon when he arrives at the Chronicle office to work on this week’s issue of the paper, and even then, it’s pretty limited. Junmyeon spends the afternoon and evening holed up in the editor-in-chief’s office, editing final copies of articles and approving section layouts and ad placements, while the rest of the staff hangs out in the main office working and chatting and arguing over where to order for dinner.

But production on Monday goes as smoothly as ever, even without Joohyun there to maintain order and go over final copies before they go to Junmyeon. Jongdae finds that copy chief isn’t a terribly difficult position; it’s just tedious, especially having to read the annoying shit that gets shunted into the Features section every week. Mock advice columns, breakdowns of campus fashion, restaurant reviews... there’s a reason he sticks to Opinions: no fluff pieces allowed.

"Yeah, I’ll fluff you," Hyoyeon had retorted when he told her as much after dinner, shaking her fist at him until everyone dissolved into laughter and Jongdae stumbled over to write it on the wall next to a few other classic Hyoyeon quotes. Hyoyeon was left confused until her co-editor, Jessica’s younger sister Krystal, leaned over to explain what a fluffer was, and then Hyoyeon had flopped on the desk crying with laughter, too.

It’s quiet now, though, well after 2 a.m. Jongdae’s the last one there besides Junmyeon, checking for stray typos before he prints a hard copy of the Opinions section and saves a PDF copy to the desktop.

"Well, I guess I'll head out," Jongdae says to Junmyeon, stretching his arms over his head until a mewling noise escapes his throat. "It's past my bedtime. You sure you don't want any help collecting the pages?"

"Nah, I'll be just fine," Junmyeon says. There's something missing when he smiles, but Jongdae brushes it off. It's late, they're both tired. "See you at the budget meeting tomorrow."

"I'll be there with bells on," Jongdae yawns, heading for the door. "'Night."

"Good night," Junmyeon murmurs behind him, and Jongdae steps into the cold March evening, stumbling back to his dorm. He's irritated to find out upon his arrival, however, that his ID card, which he needs to unlock the main door, is in his phone case, which is back at the office.

Tired, frustrated, and cold, he walks back to the Chronicle's office and punches his keycode into the door (Why can't the dorm doors be like this one?! he wonders) harder than usual. The office is dark - Junmyeon must have finished up really quickly - and Jongdae is too lazy to turn on a light, so he fumbles around until he walks into his desk and feels around for his phone. Finding it, he pops open the case to make sure his ID is, in fact, inside (it is), and turns to leave, but he hears a weird noise coming from the editor-in-chief's office.

Maybe the window's open, Jongdae muses, slowly working his way across the main room of the office. The EIC's door is open a crack, and he gently pushes it with a forefinger, just enough that he can see the light of a computer screen casting a faint bluish glow across the opposite side of the office; just enough that he can hear the weird sound more clearly.

The sound of Kim Junmyeon choking back sobs.

Jongdae's heart seizes in his chest. His instincts tell him to go in, to quit creepily listening at the door like a jerk and find out what's wrong. But there's another part of him that's scared - scared of being rejected, scared of his intentions being misunderstood, but mostly scared to see Kim Junmyeon, perfect Kim Junmyeon, in the throes of a nervous breakdown.

And yet that's the very thing that makes him reach forward and push the door open.

Junmyeon looks up from the armchair in the corner, startled, and swipes at his face. "Who's there?"

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Jongdae says, stepping into the room so Junmyeon can see him a little better. "I came back because I forgot my phone and my--"

"Jongdae?" Junmyeon covers his face, hiccuping and shuddering.

"Yeah, it's me," Jongdae says, wheeling the desk chair over to Junmyeon's armchair and ignoring his protests as he pulls Junmyeon's laptop away, sliding it onto the desk. He curls his fingers into the upholstery and leans in to murmur, "What's wrong? Why are you so upset?"

"I just…" Junmyeon's voice cracks, his hands still clamped over his face. He takes a shaky breath. "I can't do this anymore." And he breaks down again, slumping over the edge of the chair against Jongdae's arms. "It's-- it's too much. My a-advisor wants a rough draft of my thesis, I'm th-the ed-edi-editor of this paper, there's Model U.N. and M-Mock Trial, and, and, I'm an admissions associate and an RA! H-how am I supposed to set an example for my residents when I-- when I can't even hold my own life t-together?"

"So you have to scale back a little bit - that's not a terrible thing to do," Jongdae says quietly, reaching over to rub Junmyeon's shoulder.

"But I can't!" Junmyeon practically wails. "I've got c-conferences, and budget meetings, and--"

"Junmyeon." Jongdae cuts him off. "You can pull the throttle back a little without quitting everything. Here, let me help you with the newspaper. I'm here after everyone else leaves as it is because I can't finish my pages at a halfway decent hour." That doesn't get a laugh out of Junmyeon, so Jongdae moves on. "I don't think the Mock Trial and Model U.N. teams will begrudge you for taking a step back while you finish your thesis. That's totally reasonable, Junmyeon. And as for your residents, they're nearly sophomores. If they don't have their shit together by now, they never will. So focus on your thesis."

Somehow, this just makes Junmyeon sob harder. Jongdae thinks he might start to cry, too, because nothing is working.

"B-But that's the worst of it! I hit a roadblock with my critical-- critical analysis, and I only have a month to finish it, and I have to get honors! I have to," Junmyeon gasps.

"Why do you have to get honors?" Jongdae asks in a soothing tone, like one would use to talk to a hysterical toddler.

"Because if I don't get honors, everything I've done is worthless," Junmyeon spits. "If I don't get an A on this, what's the point? I'll never get into a good graduate program, I won't have a good class rank, everyone will be d-disappointed in me, my p-parents…"

"Junmyeon. Junmyeon." Jongdae sighs, a burst of adrenaline propelling him out of his seat. "Move over," he murmurs, kicking off his sneakers and squeezing into the armchair with Junmyeon, half in his lap and half out, arms curled around Junmyeon's shoulders. He strokes the hair at the nape of Junmyeon's neck and rests his chin on top of Junmyeon's head. "That's way more than any person should have to handle. You have a fucking sparkling transcript and resume. There is no grad school that wouldn't want you for their program, and there's no professor on this campus who doesn't adore you. You're the hardest-working person I've ever met in my entire life. You are not worthless." He scratches the back of Junmyeon’s head. "You're just imperfect."

"But I want to be perfect," Junmyeon whispers in a trembling voice, lifting his face from where he's been weeping into Jongdae's shirt.

"Junmyeon…" Jongdae murmurs, trying not to sound too exasperated. He tightens his grip around Junmyeon's shoulders and presses his cheek to the side of Junmyeon's head. His heart is pounding, and he wants to rephrase what he's about to say into something far less embarrassing, but nothing better comes to mind. "When it comes to you, most people can't tell the difference. For what it's worth, I think you're perfect, even though it's 3 a.m. and you're crying and you’ve probably dripped snot all over my jacket." He presses his lips to Junmyeon's forehead on impulse and returns to compulsively stroking his hair and pretending it never happened.

"Jongdae," Junmyeon says hoarsely, hiccuping again, one hand curling around Jongdae's upper arm.

"Yeah?" Jongdae eases back a little bit so he can see Junmyeon's face in the light cast by the streetlamp outside the office window. He pulls one sleeve down over his hand and gently pats Junmyeon's face dry, pushing his sweat-matted fringe out of his eyes and smoothing his temples with his thumbs. His hands settle on either side of Junmyeon's neck, fingers laced just over the bump of his spine peeking out of his sweater.

Jongdae blinks, and Junmyeon's hair rustles against his cheek just before he feels Junmyeon tentatively purse his lips against the edge of Jongdae's jaw. Jongdae's heart jumps into his throat, head tilting downward in anticipation, but for a moment all he feels is Junmyeon's breath skittering across his cheek in warm gusts. It's Jongdae who nudges Junmyeon's nose with his own and guides their mouths together, untangling his fingers to slide one hand up into Junmyeon's hair.

Junmyeon's breath hitches, whether from a gasp or from his hysterical crying jag, but Jongdae swallows his panic (What the fuck are you doing right now? his brain is screaming, emergency sirens on full blast) when Junmyeon responds with a surprising hunger, his hands settling at Jongdae's waist and clutching at his puffy North Face vest. Jongdae slides into Junmyeon's lap, knees aching from the awkward position he'd been sitting in since he climbed into the chair, straddling Junmyeon's thighs and pushing him back into the cushion with a hand on his chest.

No, seriously, what the fuck are you doing?

"Junmyeon," Jongdae gasps, pulling away with a soft sucking sound. "Maybe we shouldn't--"

"Don't stop," Junmyeon says raggedly, his fingers slipping beneath Jongdae's vest and kneading into his thermal as he mouths at Jongdae's pulse.

Jongdae huffs out a breath into Junmyeon's ear and smooths his hands down over Junmyeon's shirt. "I just think maybe you're a little emotionally vulnerable right now," he chatters, the words falling out of his mouth as soon as they come into his head. "And I don't want to-- to take advantage of you." He pauses, chewing on his lip. "I don't want you to regret this."

Junmyeon lifts his face to Jongdae's with a combination of pain and wry amusement in his eyes. "I'm stressed out, not drunk, Jongdae," he says, his voice low and scratchy from crying. "I'm not going to regret this, not-- not when I've wanted it for this long."

"You-- really?" Jongdae leans back, his eyebrows disappearing into his fringe.

"Yeah," Junmyeon admits with a sheepish smile, ducking his head into Jongdae's collarbone and nuzzling the hollow of his throat. "I wish I’d told you sooner, especially since I'm graduating soon, but…" He chuckles. "You're a little intimidating."

"I'm intimidating?" Jongdae snorts. "Says Mr. Editor-in-Chief-Class-Senator-Admissions Associate-RA-Perfect-Student-Perfect-Human Kim Junmyeon. You're so…"--he fumbles for a word, and settles on unintelligible gurgling--"… that it makes me hate you a little bit." He kneads his fingertips into Junmyeon's shoulders. "I can't decide whether I want to be you or punch you or lay on the quad and hold hands with you." You fucking idiot. "Aaaaand I can't believe I just said that out loud. Nice."

"And here I thought you didn't even like me," Junmyeon says dryly.

Jongdae winces. "I thought so, too, but it turns out I was just being an asshole, as usual."

"Not an asshole," Junmyeon muses. "Maybe just… not very in touch with your feelings."

"What are you talking about, I don't have feelings," Jongdae says with a smirk.

"If you say so," Junmyeon laughs, tilting his face up for another kiss, which Jongdae almost giddily returns, parting his lips for Junmyeon to explore with his tongue. He moves in closer, sliding forward in Junmyeon's lap and lifting his hands to cradle Junmyeon's face. Junmyeon's fingers are playing with the hem of his shirt, warming his skin through the waistband of his jeans and amplifying the sparks of heat flickering in Jongdae's belly.

"Mm, Junmyeon," Jongdae murmurs, breaking the kiss again and leaning back a little, "let's continue this elsewhere, shall we?"

"Mine or yours?" Junmyeon says, his hands stilling at the base of Jongdae's spine.

"I live closer, aaaand I really don't want to hear any freshmen making walk of shame cracks at me tomorrow morning, so…" Jongdae laughs. "Let's go to mine. You need to get some sleep."

"So we're just going to sleep?" Junmyeon squints at Jongdae in the dark, and Jongdae's glad Junmyeon can't see the flush of color rushing up his neck.

"Well, you're definitely not going to do any work tonight, at any rate," Jongdae deflects in a matter-of-fact tone. He eases out of Junmyeon's lap and reaches for his hands, tugging him along. "Come on."

"All right, all right, let me put my stuff away," Junmyeon huffs, hiccuping again. Jongdae slides his shoes on and passes Junmyeon his laptop, which he slips into his backpack, and picks up a couple of his thesis research texts, offering them to Junmyeon as well. Junmyeon makes a weird little noise that Jongdae takes as a no, so he puts them back on the desk.

"I'll come get them tomorrow," Junmyeon sighs. "There's too many of them to carry, anyway, and I just need to get the hell away from them for one night."

"Okay," Jongdae says, sliding an arm around Junmyeon's shoulders and steering him toward the door. "No more work until tomorrow. We put the paper to bed, you sent the files to the printers, and shut everything down…" He looks around the dark, quiet office. "Let's go."


Jongdae has barely a moment to suck in a gasp of air before Junmyeon stops him in the doorway with a bruising kiss, backing him up against the doorjamb with a hand clenched in his jacket. Jongdae clutches his forearm, pulse racing, but the kiss is over almost as soon as it begins. Junmyeon presses his forehead to Jongdae's, both their eyes closed. They stand there for a few moments, until Junmyeon whispers "Thank you."

Jongdae just smiles and pulls him toward the door.

The dorm is dead silent as Jongdae keys in his passcode and lets Junmyeon into his room, closing the door behind them and flicking on the light, which they both hiss at. He immediately drops his bookbag and jacket onto his desk chair, and kicks his shoes off, urging Junmyeon to do the same.

"You have a nice room," Junmyeon comments, bending down to untie his shoes. Jongdae definitely doesn't take this opportunity to get a good look at his ass.

"You just got lucky, I cleaned this morning," Jongdae says, undoing his jeans and sliding them down his hips, revealing scrawny legs and green plaid boxer shorts that match his green thermal. "Usually it looks like hell in here."

"I mean I like your posters and how everything's arranged," Junmyeon says, briefly eyeballing Jongdae's lower half before divesting himself of his jacket and scarf and peeling off his sweater so he's just wearing his university t-shirt and jeans.

"Do you want some pajamas or something?" Jongdae says, edging toward the dresser. "I just get really hot at night so I don't… wear… pants. When I sleep." He scratches his cheek.

"If you don't mind," Junmyeon says, and Jongdae rifles around in a drawer before coming up with a pair of sweatpants. "I'm always freezing when I sleep, I think my body thinks it's hibernating or something every time I go to bed."

Jongdae moves to turn down the bed and glances at his alarm clock while Junmyeon hops around on one foot trying to get his other leg into the sweatpants. "Jesus, it's 3:30," he groans, which gradually morphs into a yawn.

"Well then," Junmyeon says, flicking off the lights. "Let's sleep."

Jongdae crawls into bed, followed shortly by Junmyeon, and sets about arranging his pillows as Junmyeon curls up next to him.

"What are you doing?" Junmyeon laughs, turning onto his side.

"I need them at the right angle, okay, I have a very sensitive neck," Jongdae says defensively, finally flopping down next to Junmyeon.

"Oh really?" Junmyeon says, and Jongdae can hear the smirk in his voice as he shifts closer, burying his face in Jongdae's neck and breathing him in. Jongdae wriggles his arm out of the way and drapes it across Junmyeon's back, trailing his fingertips up and down the edge of his ribcage. Junmyeon's hand settles on Jongdae's hip, his palm radiating warmth through the thin material of Jongdae's boxer shorts.

"Really," Jongdae whispers, sucking in a gasp when Junmyeon's lips graze his pulse, warm and a little wet. He can feel Junmyeon’s fingers kneading at his hip and tilts his head back, arching into Junmyeon’s body.

"I thought you said we were going to sleep," Junmyeon teases, and the warmth of his breath on Jongdae’s neck makes Jongdae’s stomach shudder with need.

"I lied," Jongdae says, sliding his hand up and into Junmyeon’s hair before guiding their mouths together again. The kiss is languid and sweet, Jongdae slipping both arms around Junmyeon’s shoulders and rolling onto his back, caging Junmyeon between his thighs with a satisfied little moan.

"Jesus," Junmyeon whispers against his lower lip between kisses, catching it between his teeth as he slides his hand under and up Jongdae’s thin waffle-knit shirt to thumb at a nipple, clearly enjoying the results of his endeavor; Jongdae can feel Junmyeon smiling as he keens beneath him. "You’re terrible."

"You’ll be singing a different tune tomorrow morning," Jongdae says breathlessly, feeling his cock start to stiffen. He grabs at Junmyeon’s wrist beneath his shirt and pulls it back down, covering Junmyeon’s hand with his own as he guides it downward, finally pressing the heel of Junmyeon’s hand into his dick and whimpering into his mouth.

"Oh, god," Junmyeon chokes, fingers curling around Jongdae’s balls through his boxers. He seals their lips together with another kiss, this time more forceful, tongue probing into Jongdae’s mouth with purpose and need. Jongdae fists a hand in Junmyeon’s hair, eliciting a low groan from the back of Junmyeon’s throat that makes him ache to be touched.

"Please," Jongdae says between long, sucking kisses that leave him gasping for breath, lifting his hips toward Junmyeon’s touch and grinding Junmyeon’s hand into the crotch of his boxers.

"Please what?" Junmyeon’s voice is low, grinding out from the back of his throat, and it sends a thrill of heat down Jongdae’s legs.

Jongdae releases Junmyeon’s hand and edges the band of his boxers down enough that Junmyeon can tell what he’s doing. He lifts his head, catching Junmyeon’s lower lip between his teeth this time, and swipes his tongue over it, gently tugging before falling back into the pillows. "Touch me."

Junmyeon sits back for a moment, the blankets draped over his shoulders like a cloak, and Jongdae can’t tell what he’s doing for a moment, but then he hears the touch of skin on skin.

"Are you rubbing your hands together in glee right now?" Jongdae’s voice cracks with laughter.

"No, I’m trying to warm them up so I don’t freeze your dick off," Junmyeon snarks in return, which makes Jongdae laugh even harder. Junmyeon slides his hands up Jongdae’s thighs, his palms warm against the thin skin. "Is this okay?"

"More than okay," Jongdae sighs, a little hum in the back of his throat as Junmyeon eases his boxers down low enough to free his cock, his hand wrapping around it almost immediately. Jongdae can’t even be embarrassed by the noise he makes; it’d been too long since he’d been with anyone but his own hand, and Junmyeon’s so attentive (yet another example of his annoying perfection in spite of his flaws). He fists the base firmly, twisting his wrist as he rocks it upward with a rolling motion, and Jongdae’s toes curl as his left foot hits the wall.

"Get over here," Jongdae moans, fumbling blindly for Junmyeon’s shirt to pull him in for another kiss, but he’s just out of reach. He feels the bed shift beneath him moments later, and Junmyeon’s beside him, his hand still tugging rhythmically at Jongdae’s cock. He slides a pajama-clad leg between Jongdae’s thighs, easing in closer to kiss a line up the side of Jongdae’s neck and along his jawline before finally catching his earlobe and rolling it gently between his teeth as his thumb massages the head of Jongdae’s cock.

"The sounds you make when I touch you are really hot," Junmyeon murmurs, almost conversationally, into Jongdae’s ear, speeding his pace just enough for Jongdae to notice and whine in response.

"You can’t say things like that," Jongdae gasps, throwing his leg over Junmyeon’s hip and rolling his own hips into the tight circle of Junmyeon’s fist in time with his strokes.

Junmyeon kisses the shell of his ear, corkscrewing his wrist up and down Jongdae’s length. "Why?"

"Because I’m gonna come and I don’t want you to think I’m some one-pump chump who can’t keep it up for more than five minutes," Jongdae says so quickly he thinks it must sound like nonsense.

At that, Junmyeon tightens his grip on the base of Jongdae’s cock and finds his mouth once more for a filthy kiss, tongues sliding together messily, teeth grazing lips, wet and desperate. "Don’t worry," he rasps between kisses, "I’m not letting you come until I’m good and ready." Junmyeon starts to press himself against Jongdae’s thigh, and Jongdae can feel his hardness as he rubs up against Jongdae’s leg.

"Fuck," Jongdae bites out, shuddering and pushing back against Junmyeon’s leg. He closes his teeth around Junmyeon’s lower lip, teeth pressing harder than they really need to. He lets go a moment later and tugs on the hair at the nape of Junmyeon’s neck, pulling his head back. "Take your pants off."

"God, you are so bossy," Junmyeon groans appreciatively, neck still awkwardly bent to keep Jongdae from ripping out his hair. "Makes me want to slap you a little bit."

Jongdae’s dick throbs and he practically purrs in response, releasing his hand from Junmyeon’s hair and smacking him squarely on the ass, leaving Junmyeon to muffle a moan against Jongdae’s shoulder.

"Take your goddamn pants off," Jongdae repeats, arching into Junmyeon’s body like a cat in heat. He sneaks his hand past the waistband of Junmyeon’s borrowed pajama pants and beneath the elastic of his boxer briefs as well, smoothing his hand over the ample flesh he’d just slapped.

Junmyeon helps him, releasing Jongdae’s cock for a moment to drag his pants and boxer briefs down to his knees before he pushes Jongdae onto his back again and leans back to stroke himself to full hardness.

"Let me help you with that," Jongdae says, again reaching for Junmyeon, who laughs and tips forward to brace himself over Jongdae’s body. One of Jongdae’s hands trails up Junmyeon’s naked thigh to his waist and back down while his other hand curls around Junmyeon’s cock, precome sticking to Jongdae’s hand on the upstroke.

"You have nice hands," Junmyeon murmurs, his voice a little strained.

"I used to play piano," Jongdae replies, and isn’t sure how that’s entirely relevant.

"Mmmm," Junmyeon says, and Jongdae can’t tell if he’s absorbing that little factoid or he’s just too caught up in this handjob, but then he speaks again. "You’re really musical, aren’t you? I’ve seen your a cappella performances before."

"And?" Jongdae smiles in the dark, rubbing his thumb in circles over the head of Junmyeon’s cock and enjoying the hiss it elicits from him.

"Fishing for compliments?" Junmyeon laughs and ducks in to kiss Jongdae, swift and sweet. He stays close, leaving another kiss in the hollow where Jongdae’s neck and collarbones meet. "Your voice is really beautiful. Kind of made me glad I was standing in the back during your cover of ‘Sunday Morning’ at the last concert. Hearing you sing those words was a little..." He chuckles bashfully, rolling his hips in time with Jongdae’s strokes.

"You know now I’m gonna find you and stare at you when I sing that at our next gig, right?" Jongdae’s grinning in the dark as he releases Junmyeon’s cock and pulls his hips down so they can rub up against each other.

"You are shameless, Kim Jongdae," Junmyeon laughs helplessly, a little hint of a whine in his voice. He gasps into the crook of Jongdae’s neck when Jongdae hooks his ankles around Junmyeon’s calves and bucks up into him, their dicks brushing together. Junmyeon responds in kind, rolling his hips down and into Jongdae’s, delicious friction making Jongdae’s insides tense up, sparks of heat shooting down to the soles of his feet.

"I’m gonna come," he says suddenly, pushing at Junmyeon’s shoulder, and Junmyeon pauses, pulling back.

"Where’s your lube?"

Jongdae flings his arm out, feeling for the handle to the drawer of his nightstand and tugging it open. He searches blindly for a few moments and finally comes up with a tube of KY and a condom, pressing them into Junmyeon’s hands.

Junmyeon hands the condom back. "We won’t be needing this."

"We will if you’re planning to put your dick in my ass," Jongdae says, lifting an eyebrow.

Junmyeon smacks his side, laughing a little at Jongdae’s candor. "Don’t be smart. I wouldn’t do that without a condom."

"Then what are you doing?" Jongdae tosses the condom onto his nightstand and folds his hands over his stomach, itching to pull at his achingly hard dick.

"You’ll see in a minute," Junmyeon says, patting Jongdae’s side where he’d hit it. "Roll over and get on your hands and knees."

"Who’s bossy now?" Jongdae snorts, but he has to admit it’s a major turn-on, seeing diplomatic, compromising Kim Junmyeon slapping his ass and giving commands in the sack. Jongdae rolls onto his side and pushes himself up onto his knees, ass in the air while his front half slopes down onto the bed, arms clutched around a pillow. He can feel his shirt riding up his back, but Junmyeon’s tugging his boxers down to his knees and he doesn’t care about anything else, just the squeak of the cap and the slick, sticky sound of Junmyeon jacking himself a few times to cover his cock with lube. Junmyeon’s hand drops between Jongdae’s knees to wipe off the excess lube onto Jongdae’s boxers before gripping Jongdae’s hips firmly and driving forward so his cock is between Jongdae’s thighs.

"Press your legs together really hard," Junmyeon says, laying a gentle smack on Jongdae’s right thigh. Jongdae does as he says, moaning helplessly into the pillow at the feeling of Junmyeon’s dick pulsing so close to his own.

"I don’t think most people prefer this over straight-up fucking," Jongdae sighs, turning his head on the pillow so he can speak more clearly. He groans, his dick aching to be touched as Junmyeon thrusts in and out of the tightness of his thighs. "They’re missing out."

"Don’t get me wrong, I like straight-up fucking," Junmyeon says, and Jongdae thinks it’s the first time he’s ever heard Junmyeon curse, "but we’re both tired-- ah-- and I didn’t want to make you feel uncomfortable." He’s quiet for a few moments, the slapping of skin on skin and the harsh intake of breath the only sounds filling the room. "Plus, it kind of ruins my reputation as a Nice Boy to fuck on the first date, doesn’t it?"

"You’re a pretty cheap date," Jongdae snorts, pushing his hips back into Junmyeon’s thrusts. Junmyeon reaches around to stroke Jongdae’s cock again, thumbing the slit in a way that makes Jongdae practically choke into the pillow.

"Let me make it up to you, then," Junmyeon says, his words punctuated by rough little gasps as he increases his pace, hips slamming shamelessly against Jongdae’s ass, eliciting tiny whimpers from Jongdae that are quickly muffled by the pillow.

"It’s 4 a.m., you’ve got me bent over with your dick between my legs, and you’re asking me out on a date?" Jongdae laughs, the sound trailing off into a moan as Junmyeon twists his wrist around Jongdae’s cock just right.

"Bad timing?" Again, Jongdae can hear that smirk in his voice, can feel his balls tighten and the twist of heat in the pit of his belly getting stronger as Junmyeon’s thrusting becomes a little more erratic. "Ah, jesus, I’m close..."

"Here, can we..." Jongdae loosens his grip on Junmyeon’s cock, his thighs aching from clenching together, and rolls over, sitting up to push Junmyeon onto his ass. Jongdae quickly extricates himself from the boxers tangled around his knees and climbs into Junmyeon’s lap, not even a bit sorry that the lube on his thighs is getting all over Junmyeon’s legs. He drapes his arms around Junmyeon’s shoulders and tilts his face up for a kiss, tongue sweeping into Junmyeon’s mouth and a little moan vibrating between their lips when Junmyeon grasps their cocks together in his hand, stroking them as one. HIs other arm circles around Jongdae’s hips, fingers sliding beneath his shirt to palm the small of his back.

"You really-- like-- kissing, huh," Junmyeon murmurs lazily into Jongdae’s mouth between kisses, taking his time to alternate between Jongdae’s upper and lower lip, nibbling here and there.

"Mmmm," is all Jongdae can respond with, bouncing a little in Junmyeon’s lap as he fucks into his grasp, his moans becoming progressively more breathy and desperate, until he fists a hand tightly, almost painfully, in Junmyeon’s hair and tips his head back with a sharp gasp as he releases all over Junmyeon’s hand, come dripping past the smears of lube between his thighs and onto Junmyeon’s lap. He pushes Junmyeon’s hand away, replacing it with his own to stroke Junmyeon to completion, gasping hard into his hair when Junmyeon comes, little spurts dampening the hem of Jongdae’s shirt as Junmyeon presses his forehead into Jongdae’s shoulder.

They stay like that for a minute, but Jongdae’s need to stretch his legs overpowers his love of cuddling at this particular moment in time. He eases off of Junmyeon’s lap and flops back against the pillow, flinging his arm out to rummage in the second drawer of his nightstand for his stash of wet wipes, which he hands to Junmyeon first.

"I would have suggested a shower if it weren’t after 4 a.m.," Junmyeon says, popping the box open and pulling out a few wipes; Jongdae can hear him vigorously scrubbing the lube and come from his legs and relishes the little hiss he lets slip when he cleans off his cock. Jongdae is about to reach for the container to tidy himself up, but Junmyeon gets to it first, cool cotton smoothing up the inside of his right thigh. He feels Junmyeon kiss the inside of his knee before he switches to wiping down Jongdae’s other leg, his cock twinging weakly when Junmyeon kisses the other knee and starts on his cock.

"Why are you so nice?" Jongdae murmurs, a little whimper escaping unbidden as the wet wipe slides over the tender head of his cock.

"I don’t know," Junmyeon says slowly, reaching over Jongdae’s body to deposit the wipes into the wastebasket between the bed and the nightstand before easing his boxer briefs and sweats back up. He passes Jongdae his boxers and lays down next to him on the bed, watching Jongdae lift his hips to slide his underwear back on. "I guess I just like taking care of people. Do people not do that for you very often?"

Jongdae shrugs, peeling his dirty thermal off and tossing it onto the floor; he’ll do laundry tomorrow. He thinks of the few hurried hookups he’s had, blowjobs in frat house basements and one night stands where he wasn’t asked to stay the night. "Not really." He pauses, rolling on his side to face Junmyeon. "Do you have class in the morning?"

"No way, I couldn’t deal with morning classes after a production night," Junmyeon laughs quietly, his arm looping around Jongdae’s naked waist.

Jongdae takes this as permission to burrow his face into Junmyeon’s shirt. "Let’s sleep in, then."

"Okay," Junmyeon says, nosing at Jongdae’s forehead. It’s quiet for a moment, and then he adds, "I meant what I said about asking you out, you know. Can I..." He laughs, and Jongdae thinks he sounds a little nervous. "Can I buy you lunch tomorrow?"

Jongdae bites his lip, giddy as a schoolboy, and nods against Junmyeon’s chest. "Yeah," he says, "yeah. I’d like that."

"So," Baekhyun says at lunch two weeks later, swirling a french fry into the glob of ketchup on his plate, "a little panda told me--"

"You know, the phrase is ‘a little bird told me,’ Baekhyun," Jongdae says irritably, dunking his grilled cheese sandwich into the cup of tomato soup next to his plate, "unless your intention here is to throw Tao under the bus, in which case, please proceed."

"Whatever," Baekhyun waves his french fry carelessly and bites off the end of it. "Anyway, Taozi said he saw Junmyeon coming out of the men’s room in Wheaton last Tuesday morning, and everyone knows he lives in North. Which means--"

"That I took him home on Monday night after we finished this week’s issue of the paper, yeah," Jongdae says.

"And?" Baekhyun’s eyebrows shoot up into his fringe.

"And then he took me out for lunch on Tuesday."

"Ugh, that’s not what I meant," Baekhyun says, throwing a french fry at him. "Did you sleep with him? Are you dating? Come on, inquiring minds want to know!"

"Yeah, I know, which is precisely why I would prefer to keep it to myself," Jongdae snorts. Baekhyun makes a face and reaches for his phone. "At any rate, Junmyeon’s too busy with his thesis to think about dating anyone."

This isn’t a lie, but what Jongdae neglects to mention is that they have standing plans for the day after Junmyeon’s thesis is due - a real date, with dinner and a trip to the opera, and with any luck, copious amounts of sex. Plus, Junmyeon had let it slip that his parents would be vacationing in Europe for most of the summer, and Junmyeon would most likely have the beach house on Martha’s Vineyard to himself.

"So you don’t have to spend the break alone after all," Junmyeon had said, chewing on his lip. "Unless you had other plans..."

Please." Jongdae had rolled his eyes and gently smacked Junmyeon’s arm with the back of his hand. "The Halo marathons with Lu Han and Yixing can wait. I need a vacation."

"Well," Baekhyun says with a sigh, putting down his phone. "I’m happy for you, whatever this is with you two."

"Yeah," Jongdae says, and his phone buzzes in his pocket. He pulls it out and opens the new text. It’s from Lu Han.

sorry i’m late on this, baekhyun just texted me. omfg. senpai finally noticed you? CONGRATS, BUDDY, HOW WAS THE SEX?!!??!

Jongdae looks up, absolutely livid, and Baekhyun smiles serenely back at him.


And that’s the story of how Byun Baekhyun got rugby tackled in the parking lot of the local diner.

(Remind me to send flowers to Minseok, Jongdae snorts, before going back in to pay their tab.)


author’s note: the title is from the fitz & the tantrums song of the same name.

"on board the struggle bus" is a thing my sister says. not entirely sure where she got it from but i felt like it accurately depicted jongdae’s Life Issues. this was really fun to write, if only because a lot of it was based off of certain parts of my own college experience (and the campus is based off of my alma mater, since... it’s the only one i know very well, haha). junmyeon’s nervous breakdown was in no small part inspired by my own full-year thesis writing experience, which at one point culminated in me sobbing over my laptop at 3 a.m. over winter vacation while my mom tried to talk me down off a ledge. i don’t recommend a year-long thesis to anyone unless you plan on going into academia straight out of your undergrad!!! it is misery!!!

also, xinghan were THE MOST FUN TO WRITE EVER and i hope you will look forward to their future appearance in a sehan fic in this AU, which will cover the backstory of lu han being sehun’s first-year mentor. (incidentally, this is written in the same AU as the baekyeol fics i wrote, "filthy" and "in for the night.")

thank you to lunathunderhead for looking this over for me and helping me fill in gaps in the plot!

also, minseok is a rugby player. this might come into play in a future fic, who knows.
Tags: fic: exo, length: oneshot, pairing: jundae, rating: nc17
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