Summary: Sehun is convinced senior year will be the same as the rest of high school until a certain new student - Zitao - catches his eye. Also, Jongin is an idiot.
"I love the sound of frenzied teenagers in the morning."
Sehun side-eyes Jongin and (not for the first time) questions his choice in friends. "Stop being so cheerful," he mutters before blowing his too long bangs out of his face with a puff of air. It doesn't work and Sehun nearly goes cross-eyed in an attempt to glare at the blond hair still obscuring his vision. The gum in his mouth is already starting to lose its flavor and he pops a series of tiny bubbles, pressing the sticky treat to the back of his teeth.
"That's what I love about you, Oh Sehun," Jongin drawls with a smile, resting an arm over his friend's shoulder to pull him closer to his side. Sehun squirms to get out of the hold, but it's useless. "You're not one of the many drones attempting to impress a building full of people who don't really matter. You're just -" Jongin gives him a once over, eyes dragging from head to toes and back. "You."
Sehun opens his mouth to speak until he realizes he doesn't know if that was a compliment or a sugar-coated insult. So he opts for stony silence and allows his best friend to drag him toward his impending doom. High school; the one place in all the world that can bring out every insecurity in a teenager no matter how small. He's been subjected to three years of it so far and this one, with any luck, is his last. It will be the final ride of Oh Sehun, coasting through classes with little to no interest because everything aside from Jongin's antics is boring.
People fill the hallways, jostling him until he leans further into Jongin in an attempt to distance himself from accidentally being felt up as they drift steadily toward their homeroom. Why does it have to be at the end of the corridor? His nose scrunches as he witnesses faces with too much make-up caked atop mottled skin and inhales perfume strong enough to make his eyes water. And people wonder why he doesn’t date. The population of the school is little more than an orgy waiting to happen and he'd rather not be around when it inevitably combusts. Jongin, on the other hand, would probably be smack in the middle.
It's longevity that keeps them together; longevity and experimenting with their sexualities in the tenth grade when there was nothing else to do and they’d snuck a bottle of liquor up to Sehun’s room to loosen inhibitions. It had been a very informative night and usually he’s thankful their friendship survived. And then there are days when Sehun wants to do nothing more than shove Jongin in the nearest locker and leave him there.
Jongin is gravitating away from the classroom and toward a cluster of people Sehun has no interest in conversing with. He peels Jongin’s fingers off his arm and leaves his friend’s side, sighing when he enters the empty room because everyone else is out in the halls being social.
Even in a “class” as unimportant as homeroom, Sehun is careful where he sits. To plop down in the back row is inviting the teacher to pay more attention to you in case you’re one of those kids. But to take up a seat near the front is asking to be called on for answers and Sehun desires neither of these things. So he chooses a seat near the center in the next to last row from the back and slides in while he puts his mostly empty bookbag in the seat to his right for Jongin.
Jongin occupies said seat just as the bell rings, the room now chaotic and far too loud for Sehun’s liking.
“Consumer math?” Sehun says incredulously when he plucks Jongin’s schedule from his hand. The loud conversations of the students simmer into a dull murmur as they all look over the classes they’re taking for the next year. And right now Sehun kind of hates his best friend for cheaping out with a bird course while he’s stuck with Pre-Calculus.
Jongin shrugs and takes the slip of paper back. “I don’t want to spend what could be the greatest year of my life studying some amalgam of letters and numbers to determine answers that’ll do nothing to improve my standard of living.”
Sehun blinks at him before slapping Jongin on the back of his head. “Idiot.”
“But I’m your idiot.” Jongin bats his eyelashes and leans heavily on Sehun, prompting the other boy to shove him away violently.
In his feigned anger, Sehun ignores Jongin’s pleas for attention by sweeping his eyes over the room. Most of the people here are familiar faces from elementary school, climbing the educational steps together year by year. Others are newer, the kids who popped in during his earlier high school years. But all in all, it’s the same as every other year and Sehun is a little sadder for it. He was desperately hoping for something to break up the monotonous grind of studying and taking tests meant only to determine how well you retain information while under stress.
And then he sees it - or rather him. Only two rows up and three seats over is a splash of individuality in the midst of an otherwise tasteless mass of teenagers. Sehun’s heart picks up speed when the new kid turns his head and he’s met with an almost feline upturn of lips that go quite well with his dark eyes and bright red dyed hair. Piercings glint in the flickering bulb over their heads and Sehun is inexplicably drawn in as the boy returns his curious gaze.
Sehun doesn’t believe in love at first sight, but he’s not about to deny the physical pull of the other, a hook tugging at the bottom of his stomach and twisting until he feels slightly nauseous and saliva pools in his mouth. The sharp jab in his ribcage from Jongin’s elbow brings him out of it and he glares over at his friend who is now smirking at him knowingly. “Dibs,” Sehun says quickly, making sure Jongin knows his place.
Jongin laughs, loud and obnoxious before slamming a hand down on his desk. “I’d like to see you muster the courage, Oh Sehun.”
Sehun truly hopes Jongin isn’t claustrophobic because he’s earned himself a one way ticket to locker hell.
There comes a time in every teenager’s life - at least in dealing with a potential crush - when they must decide to either play it safe and keep their pride or throw themselves at their target. Sehun opts for the latter as he sees someone approaching the empty seat next to the new boy in Chemistry. It’s only first period and Sehun cringes a little after he trips the other male and slides into the seat neatly, hiding his face because what the fuck was that?
He happens to glance over and finds the new boy looking at him, amusement evident on his face and Sehun swallows because he’s a lot more attractive up close. Sehun offers him a small smile and then buries his head in his arms again out of embarrassment. This is possibly the worst impression he could have made and the heat burns across his cheeks.
The voice sends a shiver all the way to Sehun’s toes and he looks over at his table companion with wide eyes and confusion clearly painted across his face. “What?”
“Sehun,” he offers and Zitao smiles. It may or may not send about a thousand butterflies into a tizzy inside his stomach.
“One would think you’d have outgrown trying to shove me inside a locker,” Jongin grumbles next period, rubbing the spot on his head that had taken the most damage from Sehun’s failed attempt. It’s not his fault Jongin is too wide to fit inside anymore.
“One would also think you’d stop pissing me off.”
Jongin sighs wistfully and bats his eyelashes. “You always hurt the ones you love the most.”
“Gross,” Sehun says, scrunching his nose. “Stop that or people will think I like you.”
“Ours is a doomed love.”
With a roll of his eyes, Sehun pulls out his notebook and a pen and awaits the next forty-five minutes of brain melting boredom. He’s torn between some twisted mix of relief and disappointment because Zitao isn’t in this class with him. And Jongin, being the wonderful human that he is, picks up on it right away.
“Ease up with the pouting, would you?” he taunts, pushing his pen between his lips. Jongin always manages to chew the ends into a plastic pulp by the end of the first week and Sehun is the one who winds up plucking them out of the bottom of his bag to throw away in disgust. “I’m sure you’ll get to see that glorious piece of ass later.”
Sehun throws his notebook at Jongin because the pen wouldn’t cause as much pain. The teacher clears her throat from the front of the room and Sehun sinks down in his seat a little. “Sorry,” he mumbles. “Slipped.”
“I’m signing you up for anger management classes for your birthday,” Jongin threatens.
Sehun doesn’t speak to Jongin again until lunch, surviving through two entire classes without even looking at his friend once. The moment he steps inside the cafeteria, however, all bets are off. Jongin clings to his side like a leech and they find a table that’s relatively unscathed and free from other students. Neither of them buy school lunch, preferring to munch on unhealthy bags of greasy chips and soda instead of wondering what exactly is mystery meat.
“I’m going with mealworms.”
“Is that your final answer?” Jongin asks as they watch someone walk passed with a patty shaped meat object on a bun.
The next thing that passes by them is most definitely not mealworms. Sehun swallows wrong and the burn of soda coating his windpipe prompts his eyes to fill with tears as he tries to choke down the need to cough. Zitao in all his tight pants wonder is giving Sehun the perfect view of his well sculpted ass and thighs and he thinks dying right now wouldn’t be so bad. Jongin’s hand lands hard on his back and Sehun’s coughing fit begins, pulling the attention of most of the people around them - including one Zitao.
“Smooth,” Jongin says when he sees Sehun trying to hide his face in his bag. “Real smooth.”
It takes Sehun an agonizing eight entire days to work up the courage to do anything more than repeat something the teacher’s said to Zitao when he misses the question. And it’s really Jongin’s daring stare that makes him go for it, nearly lunging at Zitao as he moves to pass their table during lunch.
“Sit with us?” he asks in a rush, heat spreading to his cheeks and staining them pink. He knows he’s in trouble when Jongin starts snickering.
Sehun’s never seen Zitao sit with anyone at lunch before; most people going over to him for a few minutes and then leaving again. So he’s kind of expecting a rejection which is why his mouth falls open in shock when Zitao gives him one of his prize smiles and slides onto the bench effortlessly.
Zitao is sitting right across from him and still smiling and Sehun’s heart pitter-patters in his chest. “Thanks.”
“No problem,” Sehun squeaks and Jongin’s sneaker makes contact with his shin under the table.
Jongin looks between the two of them before rolling his eyes and leaning forward. “I’m Jongin,” he introduces before slinging an arm around Sehun’s shoulders. “I’m the guy you need to impress to get into Sehun’s pan-” Jongin hisses as Sehun’s elbow digs into his ribs and cuts him off. Zitao is laughing and Sehun is mortified, his face turning a damning shade of red and Jongin looks completely unapologetic as he rubs his chest.
When Zitao pulls out his sandwich, he promptly hands half of it to Jongin. Sehun stares wide-eyed at the transaction until Jongin gives them both a thumbs up. “I think you two will have a flourishing relationship with gratuitous amounts of sex,” he says with half-chewed food in his mouth.
“You sold me for half a sandwich?” Sehun squeaks with indignation.
“I sold you to Zitao,” Jongin amends with a smirk. “You’re welcome.”
Zitao laughs and sends Sehun a wink that has his teenage libido rushing to the surface. He subtly wipes his nose to make sure it’s not bleeding from the sudden rise in his blood pressure.
“You are without a doubt the worst -”
“-I’ve ever known.”
Jongin bumps against Sehun’s side as they walk in step. Their backpacks keep hitting against each other because Jongin’s taken to wearing his on the left shoulder. Sehun asked him about it after the sudden switch from his right last year and Jongin had said something about favoring his right arm too much and his left needed evening out. After that, Sehun decided it was best not to inquire anymore about Jongin’s habits.
“You act as if I just didn’t get your foot in the door, or rather your ass closer to Zitao’s dick.”
Sehun snorts. “Bullshit. He’s probably added us to his ‘pervs to avoid’ list.”
“He hates me.” Sehun pouts and kicks at a rock that’s stuck in the crack of the sidewalk. He misses and his bottom lip pokes out further.
“If you had been paying attention at all, you’d notice that he stares at you a lot.”
Sehun snorts and purposely shoves against Jongin, forcing him to tumble over the side of the curb. “It’s not nice to lie to the only person who accepts you for the dickwad you are.”
“Hey!” Jongin squawks, climbing back up with a scowl. “I never lie when it comes to the sanctity of sex.”
“Not everything is about sex,” Sehun mumbles with a sigh. Not that Jongin would know it though because his dick always does the thinking and it’s not too smart.
Jongin smirks. “So you’re saying you haven’t thought about it? Not once?”
Sehun’s face goes red, giving him away and he hates Jongin a little bit more.
Zitao can never sit still. Sehun is painfully aware of every shuffle, bend and stretch he makes next to him. Each one draws his attention from the lesson - if he manages to focus on it at all - and he can’t help but watch out of the corner of his eye. Occasionally he’ll full on stare and Zitao always catches him and grins.
Sometimes Zitao likes to thump the toe of his boot against Sehun’s stool to match the tune he’s humming under his breath. The first few times, he thinks Zitao is trying to get his attention, but every time he hazards a glance over, the boy is diligently taking notes. It’s unnerving and Sehun tries to suppress the queasiness tying his stomach in knots as he wipes his sweaty palms on his jeans. He doesn’t particularly enjoy having a crush if it’s always going to affect him in this way.
It’s been over two full weeks of stolen glances and hiding his face and watching from the sidelines as he pines away for the incredible specimen of a male that takes up space next to him at least twice a day. Weekends don’t count because Sehun attempts to relearn everything from Chemistry class that he’s managed to forget.
Sehun pushes down the urge to punch his best friend in the face every time he drapes an arm over Zitao’s shoulder during lunch. It’s now a regular thing for Zitao to sit with them and while Sehun is glad for it, he’s also self conscious about how he eats. It’s not easy reverting from a primate shoving chips into his mouth by the handful to a civilized human. The urge to lift his pinky every time he slips a solitary chip between his lips is rising. His mother would be proud.
He also may be just the littlest bit jealous of how easily conversation flows between Jongin and Zitao when all Sehun can do is mumble one word answers or shrug.
“You’ll be there, too, Sehun?” Zitao’s voice cuts in and Sehun looks over in confusion.
What did he just ask? Sehun just nods and the resulting smile Zitao gives him is enough to make him feel a little dizzy.
The bell rings and everyone begrudgingly abandons the cafeteria and heads back to class. Sehun tugs on the back of Jongin’s shirt as Zitao walks off, holding his friend in place until most people are out of earshot. “What did I just agree to?”
Jongin looks far too pleased with himself. “Party on Friday night.”
Sehun freezes. A party? Sehun does not go to parties. Sehun hates parties. There are too many risks involved, too many ways to make an idiot of yourself or do something exceptionally stupid. Jongin’s spent the last two years attempting to get Sehun to come along with him to any and every party someone in the school holds and he’s successfully begged off them all. Until now.
“Breathe, Sehun,” Jongin commands, slapping him on the back. The air whooshes out of his lungs in a steady stream that ends with a hiss. “Everything will be fine. You’ll see.”
Sehun whimpers and Jongin guides them to their next class with a hand on his waist.
The next three days are spent attempting to gather the courage to tell Zitao he can’t go. A thousand excuses fly through his head and each one would work, but then he sees Zitao and he can’t think straight. Zitao will talk to him, droning on about a new set of earrings he wants to wear that night as Sehun nods mindlessly. Zitao will ask again, as if he’s making sure Sehun will be there and Sehun always nods.
He can’t do it.
Friday night hits unexpectedly and Sehun is shoved onto Jongin’s bed to bounce as he glares at his friend. “There’s no way you’re going dressed in that.”
Sehun looks down at his attire, wondering what could possibly be wrong with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. It’s a tacky high school party, not a fashion show. But Jongin is having none of it. Hands pop open the button on his jeans and tug them off by the end of the legs, leaving Sehun in briefs and his shirt. But then Jongin takes his shirt off too. Observant eyes stare at an exposed Sehun as he tries his best to refrain from wrapping hands around Jongin’s throat. Of all the times to use his brain -
“White, I think.”
The v-neck Jongin tosses his direction rides too low in the front. Half his chest is exposed and Sehun fidgets uncomfortably at the amount of skin that shows. It’s not that he minds being on display in front of Jongin because, let’s face it, they probably know more about each other’s bodies than is normal, but the idea of looking like this in a house full of people he has to see on a daily basis is terrifying.
Jongin holds up a pair of gray-washed skinny jeans and eyes Sehun again. “Briefs are gonna have to go.”
Denim chafes. Sehun keeps trying to readjust his junk as Jongin leads him through the throng of students. He’s torn between needing to shift his dick to the left to see if it doesn’t rub as much and wanting to cover the offering of skin on his chest that’s obviously being oogled. He can only hope going commando once won’t be enough to give him those pale patches of skin on his dick that Jongin has.
The bass-filled music is vibrating his eardrums and the drink that's thrust into his hand (the entire cliche vision complete with red solo cup) smells like a concoction of cleaning chemicals. Sehun has absolutely no intention of letting something so foul pass through his lips. Not when Jongin's likely to cheer him on instead of stop him if he decides to do something out of character.
"There's Zitao!" Jongin shouts directly in Sehun's ear and he flinches away. He scours the crowd and eventually follows Jongin's line of sight to find his crush leaning against the wall, cupless and tapping his foot against the horrid peach colored wallpaper. Sehun's mouth goes dry when he spies leather pants clinging to the most amazing pair of thighs he's ever seen. And then there's the matter of his shirt - tank top to be more precise - also black and hanging off defined chest muscles whilst displaying a strong pair of arms Sehun thinks would look amazing braced over him. Blinking himself out of his lust induced fantasy, Sehun finally leaves Jongin's side and tries to maneuver himself across the room without being touched. Someone still gets a good handful of his ass and Sehun squeaks before turning around, fully prepared to deck the culprit. Except Zitao is suddenly at his side, fingers wrapped around Sehun's upper arm to drag him the rest of the way.
Sehun only mildly panics when Zitao keeps going and they end up in an empty bedroom with the door locked to avoid interruption. Every teenage romance movie he's ever watched filters through his memory and Sehun fists the blanket when Zitao sits next to him on the twin bed. This is where the young girl gets swept away and loses her virginity in a not so very dignified way. Sehun’s not a virgin, but that’s not the point.
"It's easier to talk in here," Zitao offers, turning to the side so they're face to face. There's a good two feet of distance between them, but the closeness is still stifling. He nods and picks at an invisible thread on the dreadful flower print comforter they're sitting on. "You don't talk much."
"Sure I do," Sehun manages to force out.
"Not around me."
Sehun feels stiff, out of control of his own bodily functions. He shrugs and his shirt slips down over his shoulder. It's hard not to miss Zitao's eyes orienting on the newly exposed skin and Sehun flushes, starting at the tips of his ears and rushing down his face and neck to invade his chest. His hands are only trembling a little when he pulls the fabric back up. "Jongin dressed me," he explains before tugging his bottom lip into his mouth.
"Well you look hot."
It's Zitao's turn to blush and Sehun is so taken aback at seeing the normally straightforward boy looking so flustered. It's endearing and his heart speeds and Sehun thinks he might not be the only one out of their element. "Thanks," he says softly, smiling because Zitao complimented him. "So do you." Zitao grins and Sehun boldness filters into his words. "Well, you always look hot, so that's not really saying much."
"I always look hot?" Zitao chokes out and Sehun's eyes widen when he realizes what he's said.
"N-no, that's not what I meant. I mean, yes you always look hot, but I didn't mean -" Sehun cuts himself off and covers his face with his hands, hoping to disappear.
Zitao's chuckling and Sehun kind of wants to die.
Someone bangs against the door and the knob twists. "NO FUCKING ON MY BED!" a deep voice booms and Sehun and Zitao scramble off the mattress. When they open the door, there's an unnervingly tall guy glaring down at them both. He takes in their state of dress and unrumpled bedspread and shoos them away with a nod of his head.
"Want to get out of here?" Zitao asks, lips brushing against the shell of Sehun's ear. It sends a shiver down his neck and all he can do is nod, once again finding words unable to form.
The night air is humid and warm and the further they walk, the quieter it becomes until all Sehun hears is his own breathing and the crickets. Every few steps, their hands brush together and it sends a shiver racing up Sehun’s arm. It must be his imagination when a minute later, he feels Zitao’s pinky catching his only to drop it again. He’s falling prey to wishful thinking again.
“So, which way to your house?” Zitao asks, cutting through the silence.
Sehun stops to get his bearings, spinning in a circle before pointing left. “That way, but it’s a pretty long walk.”
Zitao shrugs and keeps walking, Sehun rushing to catch up. “Think of it as a chance to show me what an experienced conversationalist you are.”
“You’re going to miss the party,” Sehun warns him, butterflies taking off inside his stomach.
“I only came because you said you’d be here.”
“Oh,” Sehun squeaks before rapidly clearing his throat. The sudden vibrating in his pocket has Sehun jumping and swatting at his ass to pull out his phone. It takes some work, the jeans a little too tight. “What?” he growls when he answers.
“Where are you?” Jongin demands, practically shouting into the phone. Sehun rolls his eyes.
“We ditched. You’re a complete ass, by the way.”
Jongin snickers and Sehun pulls the phone from his ear to avoid going deaf because of all the screaming in the background. “Make sure to use protection!” And then he hangs up, Sehun staring at the end call screen in shock because Zitao definitely heard that.
“I’m so sorry,” Sehun apologizes in a rush, but Zitao looks more amused than anything.
“I have to admit, I’m used to Jongin doing that. I hadn’t even known him for two days before he demanded to know the status of my virginity.”
“Ohmygod.” Sehun is mortified by Jongin, but now his curiosity is piqued and he can’t quite help himself. “So are you a virgin?”
Zitao laughs, his entire face scrunched up and it’s a little ridiculous how much Sehun wants to kiss him right now. A hand reaches out and lands on Sehun’s arm, putting a halt on his forward movement. He turns to face Tao with his bottom lip in his teeth because how could he ask something as brazen as that? Clearly Jongin is rubbing off on him.
“What’s it worth to you?”
Sehun’s eyes widen, heart stuttering in his chest. Zitao takes a step toward him and he feels incredibly small looking up at him even if their height difference is minimal. He swallows hard and licks his lips nervously. “What would you want?”
Zitao has a knowing smile on his lips, like he’s privy to every thought Sehun’s had of him and he finds himself blushing furiously under the scrutiny. “A kiss.”
Sehun’s nodding faster than his brain can catch up. A kiss is a fantastic idea. A kiss is totally something he’s willing to part with. A kiss is - whoa.
Zitao swoops in before Sehun is prepared, taking his lower lip between his own and Sehun sort of whines because it feels really soft. His hands reach out for support, landing on Zitao’s chest and he twists his fingers in the fabric, pulling it tight to draw him in closer. Zitao is chuckling again, but this time his breath fans across Sehun’s face and his mouth is so close and Sehun leans up to kiss him again. He remembers to pucker his lips this time, leaving a series of light kisses across Zitao’s mouth.
Fingers scrape over his scalp, tugging back on the blond strands to tilt Sehun’s head up further. His mouth drops open automatically when Zitao licks across his lips, tongues sliding together easily. It’s hot and slick and Sehun is finding it hard to breathe. Zitao smells good, tastes good, feels good up against him and all he wants to do is taketaketake.
A car drives by slowly, headlights bright against eyelids and Zitao shuffles closer, settling his other arm around Sehun’s waist. He gasps, moving his hands out of the way so they’re chest to chest. Sehun’s fingers don’t know what to do, going around to Zitao’s sides before trailing up to hold on to the back of his neck instead. Fingertips press into skin and a low rumble builds in Sehun’s chest, escaping as a moan only moments later. They part for air, Zitao running a thumb over Sehun’s cheek with a smile.
And oh, now that he’s this close, he sees the new studs lining Zitao’s ears - the ones he’d been talking about earlier in the week. They’re black instead of the usual silver and they contrast well with his skin and the red in his hair. “Your new earrings are nice,” he mumbles. Zitao chuckles and Sehun doesn’t mention how very much he wants to tug at the cross dangling from his left ear with his teeth.
“We should keep going,” Zitao whispers. He dips down for one final kiss before they part and continue on their way.
Sehun’s head is spinning and there’s a grin on his face that he can’t will away. And this time, when he feels the weight of Zitao’s pinky on his own, he squeezes and doesn’t let go.
It’s not until Zitao’s walked him all the way home and they’ve parted ways - with a few more kisses scattered between - that Sehun remembers Zitao never answered the question.
Jongin spends most of Saturday camped on Sehun’s bed, shades perched on his nose as he downs painkillers and water at an alarming rate.
“Who did you try to drink under the table this time?” Sehun inquires, used to this behavior.
“I have no idea,” Jongin admits, rolling from his side onto his back with a pained groan. Sehun snorts because it figures. Jongin parties hard enough for the both of them and then Sehun’s left to take care of him after. “What are you doing over there?”
Sehun hears the sheets rustle as Jongin rolls off the bed. “Homework.” He flips through his notebook, trying to find the right page of notes when Jongin’s chin props on his shoulder, hindering movement.
“For History?” Sehun nods. “Can I copy?”
“Like you have to ask.” Sehun is also used to Jongin asking to copy assignments and he stopped making his friend beg years ago because once Jongin starts pouting, puppy eyes and bottom lip jutting out, Sehun’s defenses drop.
Traditionally, Sehun never writes on the first page of any notebook. He’s of the mindset that it can always come in handy if he ever needs to go back and turn it into a table of contents. This front page, however, has a series of hatch marks on the first line. There’s seven of them and Sehun smiles. “One for each kiss.”
“I’m gonna throw up.” Jongin’s weight lifts off Sehun’s shoulder and he stumbles out of the room. He’s in the hall when his knees hit the floor and Sehun hears him retching.
“You better clean that up before the ‘rentals get home!”
“Sehunnie,” Jongin whines. “Help me!”
“Yeah, uh huh,” Sehun answers mindlessly, retracing over each line with his pen until they threaten to tear through the page. Seven lines for seven kisses and Sehun hopes for many more.
Jongin is babbling and Sehun is tuning him out, busying himself with shoving books in his locker. It’s Monday morning and Sehun is barely awake, eyes still drooping and movements sluggish. He closes his locker with the essentials in hand only to groan and knock his forehead into the metal door. Fucking Mondays.
Sehun jumps out of his skin with an unmanly yelp when an arm wraps around his waist from behind. “Morning,” Zitao breathes in his ear and Sehun’s twisting faster than he thought possible. Face to face, he grins and stands on his toes for a kiss.
“Morning,” Sehun mumbles against the lips still pressed to his.
“Is this going to be a regular thing?” Jongin asks from beside them. “Cause I’m feeling kinda left out.”
Sehun’s arms are occupied, so Zitao shoves Jongin away for him. “Meet you in class?”
With a nod, they separate and Jongin is quick to take Zitao’s place, bumping against Sehun as they trek down to homeroom. Zitao disappears into the throng of students, bound for his locker while the other two duck inside the classroom. Sehun turns to say something to Jongin, who quiets him with a hand over his mouth.
“I am not trading seats so you two can sit together.”
Turns out Jongin doesn’t have to trade because Zitao ‘convinces’ the kid sitting behind Sehun to switch seats with a well timed glare that may or may not have been hot enough to make Sehun a little weak in the knees.
There’s something ironic in all this - a contradiction to everything Sehun’s been hoping for. What he wants is to graduate high school and leave it behind without a second thought. He plans to go to college and carve his own path, take courses that mismatch until he finds the right one to major in. There is no time for things like whimsical romance and a jittery heart, but then Zitao nudges against Sehun’s calf with his boot and flashes him a smile that would make even the cheshire cat himself jealous and things bubble to the surface while others sink.
Sehun suddenly doesn’t want his senior year to end. Maybe Jongin had the right idea when he said it could be the best year of his life, but not like Sehun is going to admit that out loud. The very idea of Jongin being right about anything turns Sehun’s world on its side.
Zitao leans across the table, invading Sehun’s personal space to scrawl something in the middle of his page of notes. Sehun doesn’t have the capacity to be upset when all he can smell is Zitao’s deodorant - or is that body spray - and every nerve ending in his body catches fire. It’s not very subtle, but Sehun leans down and buries his nose in Zitao’s hair, inhales the scent of hair gel and shampoo and grins. Sehun pulls back in time to avoid his nose being smashed into his skull and his eyes immediately flicker down to his paper.
Be my study buddy tonight? I can bring snacks.
The ramifications of study buddy don’t really sink in until after he’s said yes. This means Zitao will be coming to his house. His house. And they’ll be alone. The nerves pick at him, but he pushes them down, managing to not freak out as soon as the bell rings and he can plaster himself to Jongin’s side.
“Study buddy, huh?” Jongin says, waggling his eyebrows unattractively.
“You look like some old, greasy perv when you do that. Stop.”
“I’m not the one with a study buddy.” Jongin goes out of his way to make the term seem provocative and it’s not lost on Sehun.
“What do I do?”
The teacher slaps a ruler down on her desk, glaring at Sehun and Jongin because they’re supposed to be copying the dreadful tiny writing that’s on the dry erase board. They both sink down in their seats, dropping their voices.
“You still have that bottle of lube right? Make sure to properly stretch and don’t be slutty.” Sehun’s mouth drops in indignation before it twists into a scowl of pure hatred. “On second thought, be slutty.”
Sehun decides Jongin was definitely a science experiment created in a lab just to make his life a living hell.
Lunch brings little reprieve because Jongin is the devil incarnate and Zitao is too amused by the whole thing. Sehun stretches out with his legs over Zitao’s lap, prompting Jongin to eye them suggestively. At least he’s not doing the eyebrow thing again.
“I should warn you,” Jongin cautions even as Sehun is sending out death rays with his eyes. “Sehun is very dedicated to his studies. He gets very enthusiastic and sometimes you need to gag him to get him to shut up.”
Sehun tries to scramble under the table to hide as Jongin cackles, but Zitao has arms around his waist and a devilish smirk on his face. “So you’re a screamer, huh?”
There has to be a place where he can exchange Jongin for an upgraded model. Preferably one who doesn’t try to humiliate him at every opportunity.
Sehun slams the car door and storms toward his house, Zitao trailing behind after bidding goodbye to Jongin. They live next door to each other and ever since Jongin’s parents got him a car for actually passing his junior year despite failing almost everything after the first semester, Jongin drives them to and from school.
“I’ll turn my music up, so be as loud as you want!” Jongin calls from behind him and Sehun has half a mind to turn right back around and punch his best friend in the nose. It’s not like Sehun hasn’t broken it before and the thought is enough to calm him some as he leads Zitao into his home.
Their shoes come off at the door, Sehun’s pair of dingy converse next to Zitao’s boots with their shiny buckles and scuffed toes. He likes the imagery, drawing comparisons between the two of them - Sehun’s carefree attitude next to Zitao’s strong, dominating one. It makes him a little giddy.
Sehun foregoes the tour, waving casually at the bathroom situated at the end of the hall when they make it upstairs. And then they’re in Sehun’s room, backpacks dropped onto the floor and wow, he wishes he’d cleaned. Suddenly he’s self conscious about the candy and gum wrappers atop his desk and his retainer case on his bedside table. Not to mention his exposed Batman sheets because he’s always too lazy to make his bed and his comforter is still balled at the end. Zitao’s looking around like he’s found the eighth wonder of the world as Sehun internally panics.
There’s a boy in his room who’s not Jongin! What the fuck does he do?
“Soooo, Chemistry,” Sehun starts nervously when he spies Zitao getting a closer look at the framed pictures of him and Jongin crowded on the top of his desk.
“Is boring,” Zitao finishes for him. Sehun looks at him confused and Zitao takes a step closer. “I didn’t say what subject I wanted to study.”
Sehun shuffles to his bed, perching on the edge as Zitao makes his way around his bedroom and personal sanctuary. His sock covered toes curl into the carpet when Zitao runs a finger over the spines of the well read books on the tiny shelf mounted on the wall. He may not read a lot of books, but he does have his comfort novels. There’s also the plaster handprint he’d made when he was in kindergarten being used as a bookend and Zitao chuckles at it, holding his own hand over it.
“It’s hard to imagine we were all this small once,” Zitao says almost offhandedly, like he didn’t mean to voice his thoughts aloud. He turns and Sehun looks up at him with fists balled in his lap. “Does this make you nervous?”
Sehun nods, then shakes his head and then scrunches his nose because he doesn’t know exactly what is it that’s making his heart slam in his chest. “It’s just - I hardly know you and you’re in my room and it’s all kind of sudden and -”
“So ask me something.” Zitao sits on the floor, right between Sehun’s spread knees and he’d be lying if he said the image wasn’t enticing.
“Will you actually answer? You wormed your way out of the last question I asked you.”
Zitao laughs, covering his mouth with the back of his hand as his eyes almost disappear and a pleasurable tingle starts in Sehun’s fingers. “I promise. I’ll answer, but only if you answer mine.”
“Sounds fair. Ask away.”
“So, Oh Sehun, you and Jongin?”
Sehun sighs and runs a hand through his hair in resignation. “Our moms used to say we were best friends even in utero. I’ve known him my entire life. We’ve done everything together and -” Sehun shrugs and shakes his head with a fond smile. “He drives me crazy but I wouldn’t trade him for the world.”
“You love him.”
“Yes. No - not in that way. I think of him as a pet; like a really, really annoying puppy who won’t stop barking and needs to be muzzled often.”
Zitao laughs and seems satisfied enough with the answer. “Your turn. He knocks an elbow against the side of Sehun’s knee and it forces Sehun to choke down the urge to drag him off the floor by the collar of his shirt and kiss him senseless.
“Do you have a best friend?” The smile falls from Zitao’s face and Sehun feels bad about asking. “Nevermind.”
“No, it’s fine. I just miss him. Skype isn’t exactly the same as being face to face, you know?”
“Not really?” Sehun and Jongin have never really been separated, but he knows he’d feel a void in his life if they ever did.
“Well it sucks, but I can’t really be upset about moving anymore. There’s nothing I can do to change it. Plus, I got to meet you.”
They both laugh. “Yeah, and Jongin.”
“Any ex-boyfriends I should be aware of? I’d hate to get jumped in a back alley by a group of your broken-hearted exes.”
“As flattering as that sounds - I think - no.”
“No previous boyfriends?”
“Nope.” Sehun gives it a moment’s thought. “Well, there was half a boyfriend, kinda.”
“How do you manage half a boyfriend?”
“He used to live down the road,” Sehun confesses. “I had the biggest crush on him and used to make Jongin follow him around with me. It was terrible. I told everyone he was my boyfriend when we’d never really had a proper conversation.”
“That’s a little twisted.”
“I was thirteen, so cut me some slack.”
“Twisted,” Zitao mutters and Sehun kicks him in the thigh. “Ow.”
“He left for college a few months later. It was heartbreaking.”
“Wow, didn’t know you were into older men.”
“God, shut up.” Sehun covers his face with his hands. “It’s so embarrassing to even think about. I probably creeped him out.” One hand drops into his lap and Zitao reaches up, running over his knuckles before slowly lacing their fingers together. “My turn,” Sehun breathes. “What about your exes?”
Zitao scoots a little closer, legs now hidden under the bed and his face a lot closer. Sehun’s breath hitches when he rests his chin on Sehun’s knee. "Only one you should be worried about," Zitao teases. "We started going out in the seventh grade because I wanted to use his trampoline."
"Wow, that's dirty. Using some poor soul for his trampoline."
Zitao shrugs and slides his other hand under Sehun's jeans to rest on the back of his calf. It throws Sehun completely off his train of thought. "What can I say? I'm materialistic. Had to dump him when it tore and we couldn't jump on it anymore. It was a messy breakup."
"And what about me?"
Zitao's fingers press harder into his skin and Sehun's breath hitches. "What about you?"
"What do you want from me? I don't have a trampoline."
Zitao thinks it over, scraping teeth over his bottom lip until it shines with spit and Sehun really, really wants to bite it. "Do you have a pool?"
"Nope," he says with a shake of his head, popping the end of the word.
Zitao hums. "Game systems?"
Another shake of his head. "I have an old PS2," he offers.
Sehun snorts. "Hell no."
"I happen to like Kingdom Hearts," Zitao says with a pout. "Can't go wrong with Final Fantasy and Disney."
Sehun rolls his eyes. "I bet you cry during Disney movies too."
Zitao makes a noncommittal grunt and sighs. "So no game systems. How about designer clothes?"
Zitao shift his position on the floor, pulling his hand from under the denim of Sehun's jeans so he can lift onto his knees. "Well then I'll have to take what's left."
Sehun's stomach twists and his hands itch to reach out and he whispers, "And what's that?"
Zitao doesn't give Sehun a chance to answer before their mouths are pressed together in a kiss. The bottom of Sehun's stomach definitely drops and he doesn't hesitate to curl his fingers in Zitao's hair to pull him closer. Sehun falls back onto his elbows with a huff of annoyance because they aren't connected anymore. Zitao remedies it by climbing onto the bed, looking down at him with droopy eyes and flush cheeks and Sehun pulls him down again. It's not long before his legs raise, framing Zitao's hips as they scoot further onto the mattress. All Sehun hears is heavy breathing and the sound of their lips meeting over and over.
He's getting impatient, his mental count skewing when Zitao runs a hand under his shirt. Sehun licks over Zitao's lips, tilting his head as he opens his mouth. Zitao's body pushes him into the mattress, body heat seeping through clothing and driving Sehun mad.
"My turn," Zitao says against his lips and Sehun groans.
"Do we have to keep playing?"
"Yes." Sehun rolls his eyes and then his hips, taking great pleasure in the gasp that spills through Zitao's lips. "Ok, ok. Just one more." Sehun nods, a little distracted with ruining Zitao's hair with his fingers. "Will you be my boyfriend?"
Sehun thins his lips and wrinkles his forehead while internally he's doing backflips. "I'll think about it," he teases. Zitao growls and leans in to bite down on Sehun's lip. It sends a shock through his entire system and Sehun goes hot and cold all at once. "Ok, yes. Yesyesyes. Yes."
"That's a much better answer."