it's almost like something out of a summer movie.
originally written and posted here for remplissant over on the summer round of blockisbang! crossposted to ao3.
The wind changes with the tides, easy rolling and teasing breezes.
Summer is a grand notion. The idea of warmth and fun and freedom, all bundled up into a couple of months away from the restrictions of school, and homework, and the ideals that students are bound to, with each ticking second spent in a classroom.
Everybody loves summer.
“Except you,” says Jiho, leaning across the couch to stab a finger at Kyung’s forehead, “because you had to go and get a fucking job, when we could be partying the entire summer away!”
“Well,” says Kyung dryly, “my deepest apologies for wanting to make an extra buck to spend. Coming from the person who keeps skiving off paying meals and telling me they’ll pay back.”
Jiho scoffs. “You’re going to be working at the mall. How much could you be making, anyway?”
“Eight bucks an hour isn’t bad!” Kyung pauses to think about that, for a second. “Think of all the shit I could buy in a month.” Games, maybe. He could get the new Pokemon. Maybe save up enough to fix up his cracked-up keyboard. Jiho keeps complaining about that one key that keeps going out of tune. But then again, Pokemon.
Jiho waves him off. “Anyway,” he says, completely disregarding anything else Kyung is about to say, “party at Taeil’s tonight.”
“Jesus,” says Kyung, “that’s fast.”
“It’s Taeil,” says Jiho simply, “did you expect him to wait around? He’s been planning this for a week, probably. You know how he is.”
Always funny, though, that the best parties are always thrown by Taeil. You wouldn’t expect the president of the chess club to roll up his sleeves and host the most fucking fantastic nights ever.
“Anyway,” says Kyung, “you’re picking me up, right? No way in hell I’m going to be designated driver tonight.” He’s going to need to drink all the alcohol he can get his hands on, tonight. He’s not going to get any other chances to. Working night shifts every single day excepting Wednesdays and Sundays is going to axe all opportunities of him even attempting to have as wild a social life as Jiho does.
Jiho shakes his head. “Jaehyo,” he says gleefully, “I finally convinced him to come along for once.”
“A right miracle worker, aren’t you?”
“You know me.” Jiho grins. That sleazeball. “Maybe tonight will be the night one of you gets laid.”
“Fuck off,” says Kyung, shoving him in the shoulder. “I don’t need to get laid.”
“Uptight bastard,” says Jiho, “damn right you do. Trust me. You’ll thank me for reminding you.”
“Like hell I will.”
Kyung makes his way through the crowd, shoulder to shoulder with Jiho, who’s hollering out greetings left and right already, slapping at the hands that come his way. Party animal, Woo Jiho is, but Kyung can hold his own too. Just watch him on the dance floor. Just watch. Or not. Yeah, preferably not.
“Where’s Taeil?” calls Jaehyo over the music, thumping through speakers in the living room.
“No idea,” replies Kyung, hanging back to let Jiho stream through the crowd without them, making a detour for the kitchen instead. “Go, shoo, find someone pretty to make a fool out of yourself in front of.”
Jaehyo splutters, but floats away anyway, having spotted that cute chick from his math class, leaning against one of the far walls.
Taeil’s place is modest, but the parties he throws are wild. Kyung has been witness to almost all of them, having known him for just as long as Jiho has known Jaehyo. Nobody ever expects the four of them to hang out regularly, but they work, in some strange way or another.
Aha. Kyung has spotted the alcohol. Right, time to get wasted, before his summer’s wasted away working.
“I see underage drinking,” sings a voice from behind him, just as Kyung picks up a cup, and Pyo Jihoon, the kid who hangs around Taeil all the time, comes up to sling an arm around his shoulders, holding his own cup. “Naughty.”
“Says you,” shoots back Kyung, “what’s that in your cup, then?”
Jihoon raises his, and winks, before slinking away. “Orange juice.”
Like hell that’s true. Kyung knows, by the end of the night, Jihoon’s going to be hanging out the window face-first, completely knocked out. How he envies the ability to get drunk easily. Kyung’s alcohol-tolerance is way too high for this shit.
He tosses back one drink before refilling his cup, and yelps when he bumps into someone on turning around. His drink almost spills, and Kyung swings back to avoid it splashing onto the other person’s shirt. “Fuck, sorry,” says Kyung apologetically, and the other figure just waves it off. “I’m a klutz, man, sorry for that.”
“It’s fine,” the other guy says, grinning lightly. Hair slicked back, shirt tucked up to his elbows. Kyung can’t help the involuntary once-over his eyes make. “You a friend of the host?”
“We go a long way back,” says Kyung, and he holds out his hand, grinning, “I’m Park Kyung.”
“Minhyuk,” says the guy, shaking Kyung’s hand, grip firm, “Lee Minhyuk. Nice meeting you.”
“Same,” says Kyung, holding up his drink, “and, sorry for nearly spilling this on you, by the way.”
Minhyuk laughs. “It’s fine. I’m guilty of a few drink accidents in my time, too.”
“Mm,” says Kyung, “so, how’d you find yourself here?”
“Friend of a friend dragged me over.” Minhyuk makes a face. “Said I needed to get out more.”
“I feel you,” says Kyung, “Jiho—you might have noticed him, the one attempting to challenge everyone to a drinking contest in the hallway—he insists that I spend way too much time holed up in my room. And then there’s the fact that I went and got a summer job, so...”
“Aw,” says Minhyuk, sympathetically, “parents, or cash?”
“Both,” says Kyung, the corners of his lips quirking up, “parents wanted me to spend my time better, and I got to pick the place.”
“Ah,” says Minhyuk, about to ask another question, but then there’s a whoop from behind, and a stranger appears, looping an arm around Minhyuk’s shoulders to pull him away with an excuse of something that sounds like party games. “See you around, sometime,” calls Minhyuk, waving, before he’s gone.
Kyung just nods, waving. Cute guy. He’s always liked the tall, easy-speaking types. Too bad half the time it’s almost impossible to tell if the other person is interested in return. Ever since finding out which team Kyung plays for, Jiho has attempted to set him up on way too many bad dates. Kyung will never forget how the last one turned out: a fire, stolen shoes, and a broken finger. He’d half-strangled Jiho for that one, over loud words and much embarrassment.
But hey. Anything’s possible. Kyung downs the rest of his cup, and makes his way out to the living room. Time to break Jiho’s beer pong winning streak.
Kyung tugs at the collar of his new work shirt, a glaring red, logo emblazoned on the front. In the forefront of his mind, Jiho’s awful laugh resounds. Kyung tunes it out and attempts to focus on the voice of the manager in front of him who’s droning away at him, something about the rules and regulations and how their shifts work and all.
White noise. Kyung’s dismissed soon enough. He meets the popcorn guy some minutes later, who shows him the works and smiles way too brightly for someone who’s working here full-time.
“My name’s Yukwon,” he says, grinning. Kyung wonders if he really likes his job, or if he’s just overly-optimistic. “You’re Kyung, then? Don’t look too sour. The job comes with a shit-ton of perks, just in case you didn’t know.”
“Oh, you know. Free food, free drinks,” says Yukwon nonchalantly, glancing at the doors, still yet to open for another ten minutes, “getting to watch movies for free.”
“I’m assuming all of this isn’t included under official employee perks.”
“Don’t worry!” Yukwon thumps him on the back. “Manager’s cool with it, as long as we clean up after, and make sure everything’s good. Things get slow here, sometimes, and who even comes here at two in the morning anyway?”
Maybe getting a job here won’t be so bad, Kyung supposes. Money, extra perks, and movie passes. What’s to lose?
“Oh,” adds Yukwon, “you did listen to manager just now, right? You’re on toilet duty today.”
Yukwon pats his shoulder comfortingly. “Welcome to adulthood.”
It’s a stroke of fate, and probably all too fitting, when he meets the guy from Taeil’s party again under less than wanted circumstances.
“Park Kyung, right?” Minhyuk is smiling at him, and Kyung wants to die, because here he is wearing a tacky as fuck uniform and holding a popcorn shovel spoon thing in his hand, half-dying from being on his feet for the past three hours, and half-bored out of his mind, in front of one of the most attractive people he’s met in the past few months. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”
“Minhyuk,” says Kyung, “yeah, well. This is the job. Nothing fancy.”
Minhyuk laughs, and it’s cute as hell. “Well, no sweat. As long as the money comes, hmm?”
“Yeah,” says Kyung, and he coughs, “so, uh, did you want to get something?”
“Oh, yeah, fuck, sorry.” Minhyuk nods towards the menu. “One medium Sprite, and medium popcorn.”
Kyung shovels popcorn into a carton. “What are you watching?”
“Oh,” says Minhyuk, “21 Jump Street. I’m kind of a big fan of movies. And before you ask, all kinds.” He fishes out his wallet just as Kyung places his order on the counter, and pays with a quick thanks. “Mm, so, see you around?”
“I’ll just be here,” says Kyung, smiling.
“Then I’ll definitely be seeing you around,” laughs Minhyuk, and he leaves with a last wave.
Kyung stares after him for a moment, before attending to the next customer. No. He cannot. He should not be entertaining his mind like this. Wondering if that constituted flirting. Possibly. Maybe. Hopefully? Kyung really hasn’t dated anyone in so long.
“Terrible,” he mutters, under his breath, “time for a reality check.”
Yukwon floats over. “Talking to yourself already? Is the job that stressful?”
It turns out Minhyuk is some sort of movie buff. He shows up almost every single day, orders the same popcorn and drink combo, and smiles that same dimpled smile at Kyung, the one that’s been plaguing his thoughts and his text messages to Jiho (‘Aha!’ Jiho texts back, six times a day, and Kyung deletes every single one of them).
“Hey, Kyung,” says Minhyuk, on a Thursday. Kyung glances up through weary eyes, having stayed up late consoling his tearful sister on the loss of her latest boyfriend. “Woah, there.” Minhyuk tilts his head, frowning. “You don’t look too good.”
“Story of my life,” says Kyung, and Yukwon snorts from behind him, where he’s manning the snacks counter. “Usual?”
“Yeah.” Minhyuk stares at him for a moment. Kyung wonders if there’s something on his face. “Late night?”
“Like the party animal he is,” quips Yukwon, most helpfully.
Minhyuk laughs, and teases, “As if I don’t know how much of one you are, Kim Yukwon.”
“You know each other?”
“Oh, we do.” Minhyuk grins. “We go a long way back.”
“Sure do,” purrs Yukwon, and Kyung’s heart sinks to his stomach. Oh. Are they— “Still up for Saturday?”
“Yeah,” says Minhyuk, and he smiles at Kyung. “See you.”
“See you,” says Kyung blankly, watching Minhyuk walk off. “You never told me you knew him.”
“Funny story,” says Yukwon, smiling, “he’s such a cool guy, isn’t he? Everyone likes him.”
“Yeah,” says Kyung, “everyone.”
Kyung soon finds out that job perks—according to Yukwon—also include kicking back to watch movies after both their shifts are over, and Kyung thinks that it’s perfectly fair trade to get to watch The Fault In Our Stars without all the weeping womenfolk around, for six hours of toilet cleaning.
Well. Minus the fact that Yukwon keeps sniffling into his popcorn from beside him.
“It’s not that sad,” says Kyung, and Yukwon throws a tissue at him. “Gross fuck.”
“So,” says Yukwon, switching the subject, “there’s this party thing on Friday. Wanna go?”
“Me?” Kyung blinks at him, through the blaring light of the wide-screen in front of them. “We don’t even know each other. And I sort of have a party thing on Friday too.”
“Oh,” says Yukwon, crestfallen. “Oh, well. Next time, then. And what do you mean we don’t know each other? You just watched me tear up through an hour of this movie. We’ve moved into bestie territory, kiddo.”
“Jesus,” says Kyung, horrified, and Yukwon laughs.
It’s one of those situations where the world works in the weird way it does, again.
“Kyung!” yells Yukwon cheerfully, over the ruckus, brandishing a cup. “I didn’t know we were gonna be at the same party thing!”
“Me neither,” Kyung shouts back over the music. What a coincidence. Next thing you know, Minhyuk will be here t—oh, fuck it. “Hey, Minhyuk.”
“Kyung,” says Minhyuk, eyebrows raised. “We meet again.”
“We do.” Kyung watches the way Minhyuk leans casually against Yukwon, watches the way Yukwon absently slings his arm around Minhyuk’s shoulders, skirting his fingertips along Minhyuk’s collar. “Aight, I’m off.”
“So fast? Didn’t you just get here?”
“Yeah, I, uh, I have a thing to do,” lies Kyung, setting his cup onto the table beside him. “I’ll see you both another day, yeah?”
“Hope to see you soon,” calls Minhyuk after him, and Kyung waves awkwardly, smiling, “preferably outside of work, maybe.”
“Ah,” says Kyung, blinking, “I, uh, yeah. Yeah. See you around.”
“You’re disgusting,” Jiho tells him, two weeks into summer break, “man up and ask the man out.”
“He’s dating someone!” Kyung flops back onto Jiho’s bed, ignoring Jiho’s shouts to not lie down on his headphones. “I can’t do this, man. He’s hot as fuck. And he keeps showing up at where I work. I can’t escape.”
“Just go out and find someone else,” says Jiho, attempting to extricate his headphones from beneath Kyung’s thigh, “or, well. Get a hobby, you lazy shit.”
“I already have one,” says Kyung, “it’s babysitting you at band practice.”
“Just because,” begins Jiho, and Kyung knows the same words are gonna come, “I tend to use my loud voice during band practice, doesn’t mean I need you to—”
“Yeah, yeah,” says Kyung, “loud voice, whatever. Snap a string one more time and Taeil’s going to murder you in your sleep.”
“It’s not my fault Hanhae went offkey!”
“It sort of was,” says Kyung soberly, “you stepped on his foot when you were jumping around during your guitar solo.”
“Whatever,” says Jiho, flapping a hand at him. “Now, back to your forlorn love life. Can I turn this into a song?”
“Fuck you!” Kyung shoves him to the floor.
Within the entirety of the next week that comes, Kyung has seen Minhyuk at least five times, both at work and out of work. Minhyuk sidles up next to him at the next party, and they spend a good half an hour talking about movies, and Kyung is on the edge of saying something stupid when he remembers that Minhyuk is already dating someone. Not just any someone. Yukwon.
Minhyuk doesn’t seem to notice Kyung’s hesitance, though. “So,” he says, “want to hang out, sometime?”
“Sure,” says Kyung, “if you’re not busy or anything.”
And Minhyuk grins so widely that Kyung thinks he might just slump back against the wall from the intensity of it. “Awesome.”
Hanging out turns out to be lunch, and an hour’s worth of conversation that doesn’t seem to die out in the least, and Kyung consoles himself the entire time by reminding himself that they can still be friends. Well. Of course they can. Minhyuk’s cool. Kyung’s cool with Minhyuk. They can totally be friends. If Kyung could just get over that dumbass crush on him.
“So,” says Minhyuk, “I’ll see you again, probably?”
“If you’re gonna watch the new Grudge installment, which I know you are,” says Kyung, “then, yeah. See you.”
“You know me so well,” says Minhyuk, feigning a dramatic motion, hand to forehead, and Kyung shoves him in the shoulder, mock-gagging. “Bye, Kyung.”
Kyung walks home, and attempts to not think about Lee Minhyuk anymore for his own health’s sake.
“So,” says Yukwon suddenly, “why haven’t you made a move on him yet?”
“On who?” says Kyung, taken aback, glancing over in the darkness to see Yukwon’s amused smile, scrawled across his face. “You don’t mean—”
“Minhyuk, duh.” Yukwon sucks on the straw of his Coke, still looking at Kyung. “It’s been weeks, man. Just do it already.”
Kyung stares at him. Is he—is Yukwon okay? He voices this thought aloud. “But—the both of you,” he says incredulously, and Yukwon spits out his Coke, spraying the back of the seat facing him. “I’m very confused by this entire situation.”
Yukwon is laughing, practically guffawing. “We’re not together, you dork, I have a girlfriend,” he says, wiping his mouth with the back of his sleeve, snorting, “on the other hand, you both are starting to look like you are.”
“But we’re not,” says Kyung helplessly, and what the hell is going on? Hasn’t Yukwon been dating Minhyuk this entire time? Then, what about the touching, and the flirting, and the smiles?
“Honestly!” Yukwon leans back in his seat, eyes rolling to the heavens. “Jesus Christ, someone get this man a medal for being the most oblivious person alive. You’re basically describing yourself at this point.”
“I,” starts Kyung, before pausing. Wait.
“Oh,” says Kyung quietly, eyes wide. “I didn’t. Realise.”
He never realised Minhyuk saw him the same way, either.
Yukwon is still chuckling under his breath, popcorn rustling under his fingertips. “Bet you ten bucks he’s going to watch the new Grudge flick tomorrow,” he says smugly, “go get him, tiger.”
“You’re disgusting,” Kyung tells him, before chucking a kernel at his face. “Also, you have a girlfriend, the fuck? Which girl in their right mind would date you?”
Yukwon dodges it, and punches him.
“Hello,” starts Kyung, plastering a smile onto his face, “yes, what can I get for you today?”
The morning has rolled in. Kyung probably shouldn’t have spent the entire night mulling over thoughts of Lee Minhyuk, but he has, and he probably should regret it. He does. Just a little. The eyebags that sit merry under his eyes are testament of that, but the clarity in his mind is much better than the hazy confusion of yesterday.
Lee Minhyuk likes him too. Kyung considers this as he’s shoveling popcorn monotonously into bags. And this entire time—the entire fucking time, he’d thought that Minhyuk and Yukwon were together.
“Hey,” comes a familiar voice, too familiar, and Kyung curses the skies, the heavens, the based gods for allowing all of this to fall in place like a cheesy romcom, “can I get a medium Coke and a date?”
Kyung’s head whips up so fast he nearly hits his forehead against the glass container that holds the popcorn. “Excuse me,” he says, for lack of anything better to respond with, “I don’t think I heard that properly, actually.”
“I’m asking you out,” says Minhyuk, “because I’m done just hanging around being a coward, and also Yukwon called to tell me that you’ve been completely oblivious to all of this for weeks.”
“I—” says Kyung, torn between yelling at Yukwon and answering Minhyuk’s question, but Minhyuk leans over the counter, curls a fist into his collar, and tugs him into a kiss.
Minhyuk lets go of a very dazed Kyung, and bites his lip. “Was that too forward? I’m sorry, uh—”
“Shut up,” says Kyung, and only now he notices the line of people standing behind Minhyuk, looking amused and scandalised all at the same time, “you’re going to get me fired for that. Also, yes.”
Minhyuk blinks. “Yes?”
“Yes,” repeats Kyung, “I’ll go out with you.”
Minhyuk smiles, and Kyung feels the irrevocable one-step, two-step occur in his chest. “Great,” he breathes, and Kyung can’t help but grin too. “But can I still get that Coke? Movie’s starting in fifteen.”
“Come on, after all of that? Seriously?” says Kyung incredulously, ducking down to grab a cup. Minhyuk’s laughter follows his motions. Behind him, Yukwon is already calling for Kyung to cough up his wallet. Kyung’s pretty sure manager’s gonna show up soon to ask about the commotion too. What a week.
Almost like something out of a summer movie.