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"ayo suga,
do you remember when we came here three years ago?
when you and i were always at each others' necks,
the walls, bathroom tiles, and veranda were all colored blue."

dee follows:
  • nomin(canon-derivative future fic) | "picture this"

picture this; na jaemin, five years later and in his final year of college, having left his childhood dreams behind after what has felt like a decade, even though it’s only been half. his departure was quiet, almost unnoticed, with no mention of his name or face from the boys he once called his best friends, his brothers. not that he blames them, though. he knows them well enough to understand if they weren’t given an option. there’s just… no way he’d ever admit it. he’s sitting at his part-time job, a gs25 cashier shift five stations and a line transfer away from his university (he couldn’t bear the thought of running into classmates in his uniform), the black-and-green collar of his shirt slightly uncomfortable against the back of his neck. his chin is resting on his palm, supporting his gaze at the television screen hanging above the entrance to the convenience store. the familiar jingle of a customer walking in echoes through the store, jaemin cheerfully calling out the greeting he’s spoken hundreds, thousands of times now, before turning back to the screen. it’s the entertainment segment of the local news channel-- /Popular rising-star boyband NCT has confirmed their South-East Asia unit, set to debut in Thailand later on in this year. Member line-up includes Thai-member and leader, Ten…/

a customer places two packs of gum (spearmint, and the other a horrible fruit medley flavour) and an extra large bag of onion ring chips onto the counter. a nostalgic smile beats it to his lips before his brain can say "no". jeno would buy that same brand of chips, and the same exact disgusting fruity pack of gum, all the time. they’d sneak away from heavy crowds after school, powerwalking towards the practise building so that they would have enough spare time to pass through a convenience store and stuff their mouths with as much junk food as they horribly could before rushing to practise until long after the sun had gone down. he remembers that one time when--

“jaemin?”

he looks up at the call of his name and meets the eyes of his customer-- but just his eyes, because the rest of him is concealed behind a black mask and a navy blue baseball cap. whoever has just said his name-- read his nametag, maybe?-- has a surprisingly baritone voice. his eyes are naturally crescent shaped, and jaemin is sure he’s seen those puffy eye bags somewhere…

“na jaemin. it’s me (na ya).”

he lifts a hand-- bandaged thick around his left knuckle-- and slips his mask off on one side, and jaemin’s heart drops. because it’s everything he’s wanted for so long and never again, all at the same time. because it’s that stupid pun that jeno would always use with him, because it’s that stupid boy that used to be his everything, the same boy that let jaemin slip out of his life without a single word of protest. he doesn't know-- doesn't /care/-- what his face looks like right now; all he knows is lee jeno, how they danced til' three am almost every day in the days leading up to DREAM's debut, how that one time, jeno grabbed him by the arm after being scolded by hyukjae-seonsaengnim and dragged him across the street and three blocks away to their favorite empty lot, pulled out two kimchi joomukbap's and a sack of gummy worms and rubbed jaemin's back as he stuffed his face until he was all cried out. how, the last time jaemin saw him, jeno looked at him with the saddest eyes he's ever worn, and turned away without a word.

jeno smiles sheepishly, and jaemin can read the sadness behind his pupils. when he laughs, jeno's voice is coarse. others assume it's from unnecessarily long hours of practise, but jaemin knows: it's the allergies, and the fact that he remembers makes him nauseous.

<i>i'm going to be sick</i>, he thinks, averting his eyes elsewhere, anywhere, but the boy (man?) standing in front of him.

the melodic chime that signals the entrance of a customer into the store reminds jaemin to exhale, and only then did he realise he was holding his breath. robotically, he takes jeno's card; swipes it, hands it back. "you should leave," he says, not looking up as he bags the items and slides it across the counter.

"text me sometime."

"you need to go."

the plastic bag disappears from the top of jaemin's vision and he hears a sigh as jeno makes his way to the door. it slides open, and an automated voice echoes "thank you for coming". jaemin waits for it to slide closed, but it never comes, inviting in gentle bursts of the crisp november air.

"na jaemin," jeno says quietly, and jaemin can hear the sad smile in his voice. "i'm happy you're doing okay."

as if on cue, the door slides shut as the next customer places his items on the counter. "get me a pack of aero's, menthol." jaemin lifts his face, puts on his biggest smile, but he's never felt this empty, not in the last five years.

"gotcha. will that be all?"

he almost doesn't notice the crumpled business card with a number written in faded pen on the blank side that was left on the counter. he pockets it quickly, then turns to grab the cigarettes.

the rest of his shift seems to run into forever.

~

turns out, jeno was in the neighbourhood for work. jaemin hears it on his way home, two ahjumma's whispering about a group of three boys that had stopped by an old laundromat to do a high-fashion photoshoot. jeno had showed up seven hours ago, his face still bare-- they must have only just wrapped up the job. at the thought, the hairs on the back of his neck tingle with agitation, and jaemin hunches his shoulders, keeping his head low, staying vigilant.

IDEAS: jaemin's stained teeth from too much coffee; "isn't that nice/must be nice."; jaemin's back, jeno being too careful, dancing around him on his tip-toes; rooftops at midnight; sneaking around managers late at night; other dreamies; "what does a college student...do?"; jaemin's black hair; high rise buildings; renjun (renjun renjun, who jaemin wishes he met earlier); military service; oversized scarves

  • persona 3 au | 127-centric (epiphanies at moonrise)
apr 7 2017 ∞
nov 22 2018 +