being a hyung
Maybe Changseob should feel a little bad about using their new show as a way to fulfill his secret fantasies, but he doesn't. Not when he gets rejected first by Ilhoon's disarmingly convincing cold woman persona, and then by 'Shin Penelope' whom Changseob is pretty sure just wants to eat Hyunsik's tuna mayonnaise. As he shuffles out of that last room, he glances sheepishly at the camera and hugs his food close, but he's already decided that he's not going to let himself be cast in this role. There's a way more satisfying solution.
"So is there a girl you like?" the PD asks him as he shifts nervously on the couch and shifts his eyes away.
It looks like an act, but Changseob's palms are sweating. "Guy No. 1."
Changseob isn't surprised that he finds his new role too easy. The camera zooms in on his face as he stares blatantly at Hyunsik's face from across the couch. This isn't unlike what Changseob does every day, but now he doesn't have to hide it. Hyunsik catches him a few times but for once Changseob doesn't look away or make excuses. At first Hyunsik doesn't seem to know what to do, but then he notices the camera on them and something clicks. Ah, it's part of the show, Changseob can imagine Hyunsik thinking.
Hey, whatever works.
"Guy No. 1, do you have some time to spare?" Changseob peers into the room from the half-opened door. Minhyuk and Eunkwang look just as confused as Hyunsik, but Hyunsik thinks he knows what's going on, so he agrees after a moment and follows Changseob downstairs.
The PDs give them hot cups of coffee because it's freezing outside. Hyunsik holds his close and Changseob can see Hyunsik's nose turning red after five seconds of them stepping out the door. The camera focuses on Hyunsik's uncertain but friendly smile and Changseob has a feeling the company is going to recommend him trying acting with how convincing this awkward silence must be.
"I like you," he finally spills out. His throat feels scalded from too many sips of coffee and his nose is running. Hyunsik smiles, which is not the reaction Changseob had ever dreamed possible.
Guy No. 1 feigns confusion, laughing and laughing while Guy No. 2 stays perfectly serious. "I love you."
Hyunsik pauses. There's still that blinding smile but something behind it falters a moment. The camera's lights hurt Changseob's eyes as he squints to try and read that look on Hyunsik's face, but it's already gone. The back of Changseob's neck flushes as Hyunsik turns away, his eyes back on the camera.
"I need some time to consider," he chuckles, and Changseob thinks he's really fucked up.
That doesn't mean he's about to stop.
Eunkwang and Penelope sweep from the room in a grand exit. Minhyuk and Sungjae crack up in the adjoining room, and Hyunsik has his arm around Ilsoon where they sit on the couch. All eyes turn to Changseob, who's already managed to snap the stem of his rose once.
Ilsoon rolls her eyes and rises from the couch. She cocks her hip and tosses her hair as she waits for Changseob's confession. Behind the cameras, the PDs stifle their laughs with their hands and watch Changseob with amused anticipation. At least someone's amused. Changseob feels like he's going to keel over.
Shit, this is supposed to be a show.
The room is deadly silent as Changseob falls to one knee in front of the couch. Gasps erupt from the adjoining room and the cameras follow to capture the shocked looks on everyone's faces. Hyunsik is smiling, he's always smiling, and it's enough to make Changseob smile, too, even if this is the craziest thing he thinks he's ever done. Their eyes meet for a split second and then they're both laughing because it's all so stupidly ridiculous.
"Accept! Accept! Accept!"
Guy No. 1 does accept after a moment of fake consideration. Guy No. 1 and Guy No. 2 embrace as everyone in the room screams and cheers. This is going to be a big hit, no doubt. Changseob can't quite get himself to be as energetic as the others, too absorbed in wondering if this is what it'd feel like if Hyunsik actually meant it.
For now, it's good enough.
The moments when Eunkwang and Minhyuk are apart are rare. The two almost gravitate towards each other, somehow ending up close without meaning to. Their jokes align too well; Ilhoon claims they must be from the same distant planet, because only they seem to understand the nonsense that streams from each other's mouths. Together they're a perfect team. They're good hyungs, both of them, really.
But Hyunsik kind of likes it when they're apart.
He knows the way he clings to the two of them isn't healthy. Neither of them seem to mind, of course they don't, they love having him around. They go to the gym together, they play around in the kitchen together. Hyunsik rises a little earlier in the morning because Eunkwang and Minhyuk are always the first two awake. While Eunkwang cooks breakfast, Hyunsik pushes himself close between them and rests his chin on Eunkwang's shoulder to watch. Minhyuk laughs and slaps Hyunsik's shoulder, but Hyunsik's smile dispels any actual annoyance. That's another thing Hyunsik has learned, how much he can get away with thanks to his smile.
Late at night Eunkwang stumbles in the bedroom looking ready to fall asleep right there. Hyunsik asks him a question, but Eunkwang only grumbles something and wanders towards his bed. Hyunsik grabs him before he can topple over, dragging him into Hyunsik's bunk and tickling him until their leader is red in the face and almost screaming. Ilhoon's joined them by then, doing anything but helping Eunkwang, of course. Only when Minhyuk charges into the room shouting that he'll be leader's knight in shining armor does Hyunsik let go. Minhyuk rolls Eunkwang into his bed and playfully scolds Hyunsik for being such a bad kid.
Hyunsik smiles and shrugs. This is as close as he can get.
Somewhere across the room, Jaehwan was singing. The song made no sense, random syllables shoved together by the strange workings of Jaehwan's mind. Any other day, and Wonsik no doubt would have jumped to his feet to join him. Tonight, Wonsik wasn't sure he could muster the energy to twitch a finger. Hence why he was sprawled across the floor, his cap shoved over his eyes to block the intense lights of the practice room.
Sneakers squeaked next to his head and something dropped to the floor. A warm arm pressed against his and Wonsik chose to ignore the fact he he recognized Hakyeon by the scent of his hair. Immediately Hakyeon started poking Wonsik's side, relentless and slightly painful, as he had a tendency to be when he was bored out of his mind, which was the vast majority of the time.
"Hyung, not now," Wonsik grumbled and turned away. All that earned him was a pair of arms wrapped around him from behind.
That wasn't all, it never was. He felt Hakyeon's face press against his back as Hakyeon whined, "Meanie." Wonsik felt the need to point out that he wasn't the one going around poking people for no damn reason, but he bit back his words. He always did when it was Hakyeon. At the moment he was a little too distracted by the way Hakyeon's breath heated up the cloth of his shirt and made his skin all clammy beneath. Taking a deep breath, he forced himself to keep his eyes closed, not react.
After a few moments, Hakyeon grew bored again and retreated. If there was no fun, he never stuck around for long. Wonsik had learned to take full advantage of that.
"Wonsikie doesn't love me anymore!" he heard Hakyeon cry and Jaehwan made unintelligible sounds of compassion. Wonsik cracked an eye open and watched Hakyeon fly into Jaehwan's open arms. Hongbin and Taekwoon were sitting together off to the side, trying as usual to ignore the madness that was their reality. Sanghyuk had succeeded where Wonsik failed, curled up in a ball and fast asleep a few feet away from the saner third of their group. Wonsik snorted as Jaehwan and Hakyeon started some game together, something only the two of them understood but Wonsik would no doubt be dragged into eventually.
For now, he still needed a moment. Just a few seconds to shake off the lingering sensation of Hakyeon's hug, to convince himself all over again that he wasn't in love with the stupidest hyung he'd ever known.
being a hyung
Hours into their practice session, Sungjae decides he's never going to get used to being called 'hyung.' The word doesn't suit him, especially coming from a boy who manages to stand just tall enough so that he's always looking slightly downward when talking to Sungjae, which in itself is something new and not exactly welcome. Junhong isn't all that much younger or that much taller, but for some reason, that single year and those couple centimeters are enough to produce a world of discomfort.
And then there's the whole Junhong-really-sucks-at-girl-dances thing.
Sungjae rolls his eyes at first, because really it isn't that big a deal and he thinks Junhong's initial apprehension is a show. Then he finally manages to drag Junhong over to Chanhee and Donghyun and oh, so that's what he meant. Junhong blushes bright red when the three of them stop mid-dance to gape at him.
"This isn't really something we do," he admits in his quiet voice.
Clearly, but Sungjae bites back any comments because he knows his annoyance is mostly due to exhaustion and, come to think of it, imagining Bang Yonggook dancing like this is beyond his imagination. Hell, Sungjae's draw had dropped seeing B.A.P do any kind of cute concept, and theirs wasn't all that cute by comparison. Chanhee and Donghyun look just as exhausted, but nowhere near as patient, so Sungjae smiles and pulls Junhong to the side. There's something familiar in the nervous way Junhong glances around, like he's used to having someone there. Like he's used to being taken care of. Yeah, Sungjae can relate to that, probably in a way neither Chanhee or Donghyun can.
That doesn't make slipping into that role easy. Sungjae's used to being in Junhong's position, following orders and goofing around and knowing that someone will be there to help or point him in the right direction if he wanders too far. Junhong is all too eager to do just that, eyes wide and disturbingly cute for such a giant guy.
"No, like this," Sungjae corrects him for what must be the hundredth time. Sungjae swivels his hips to the beat and nods at Junhong, urging him to do the same.
In Junhong's defense, he tries. Despite being such a kid, Junhong is incredibly hard-working, his hair soaked with sweat and his eyes focused when he watches Sungjae's dance.
Shaking his head, Sungjae steps closer and grabs Junhong's waist. He holds tight to guide Junhong through the movements, but Junhong starts giggling at the touch and giggling even worse when his hips move far more than he's used to.
"How do you know this stuff, hyung?" he asks, still laughing.
Somehow, Sungjae is laughing, too, if only because he's started to realize how horrible he is at this. "This is something we do a lot," he replies with a shrug. That just seems to amuse Junhong more, and he tries the move again a few times.
Sungjae sinks to the ground and decides this might be as good as it gets. No matter how hard he tries, in the end he's much better suited to giggling and being led by others. This hyung stuff is hard.