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Title: Now You See
Genre: Romance, Fluff
Length: ~5,100 words
Authors Note: this is actually open ended and i intend to write the next part when i get more free time. Also, a huge thanks to the mods who had been very patient with me after i had to literally suffer a lot the past weeks. I hope you enjoy this nonetheless and look forward to the next part. Let's all love kadi ♡
Kyungsoo smiles thinly at the male who opens the door for him, counting to five before he lets his eyes roam towards the far end of the bookstore.
As if on autopilot, his feet carry him towards the last shelf opposite from where the entrance is. The large letters of 'Fiction' blaring obviously in front of him and Kyungsoo picks up an unfamiliar book, opening it and lifting it high enough to cover the lower part of his face.
The counter is visible from where he's standing, the shelf shielding him from being seen. It's the perfect spot for Kyungsoo to stare at the crowd milling around the counter.
He presses his lips into a pout from behind the book he's holding, squinting his eyes and sighing when he only manages to get a glimpse of brown hair before another girl stands on her tiptoes and waves a hand in the air.
Exhaling through his nose, he closes the book on his hand and places it back carefully where he's picked it from.
Slowly, he carries his feet towards another shelf, letting himself get lost at the sight and smell of paperback books.
A couple of giggling girls walk past him, each carrying a paper bag with the bookstore's logo on their hands.
The sight makes him look up, eyes going straight towards where the counter is located. His heart starts beating loudly against his chest when he catches a clear view of the male behind the counter.
Heading straight towards his original spot, Kyungsoo picks up the same book, covering his face except for his eyes which is still staring at the male staff.
His phone rings loudly on his pocket and he startles in surprise due to the warm eyes suddenly staring straight at where he's located.
He hastily ducks from being seen, crouching low and gingerly placing the book he's holding to whatever free space his hand can grasp.
He could feel his heart thumping painfully against his chest, the sound of it mixing with the loud ringtone still coming from his pocket.
Amidst the noise, he faintly hears footsteps approaching and he scrambles to stand, gripping the straps of his bag. He quickly walks past, bumping shoulders with someone who turns just right as he exits the part of the shelf.
"S-Sorry." he stammers, dragging his feet quickly towards the exit, barely hearing the 'Please come again!' from the same person who opened the door for him.
Welcoming the crisp afternoon air, Kyungsoo allows himself to breathe properly as he wills his heart to calm down.
Kyungsoo lifts his head from where it's resting on his arms. The roots of his fringes is damp with sweat from the sweltering heat inside the library, sight a bit hazy before recognition settles in.
"What?" he bites back plainly, finally sitting up straight to fish his handkerchief from his pocket.
The chair opposite him scrapes loudly against the wooden flooring and Kyungsoo makes a face.
Baekhyun grins, resting his elbow on the table and daintily placing his cheek on his palm, eyes sparkling with mischief as they settle on Kyungsoo's form.
"Never thought I'd see you staying at the campus past four in the afternoon." he starts, getting an annoyed look but with a mixture of defeat from Kyungsoo.
Three days. Kyungsoo hasn't been to the bookstore for three straight days, a feat in itself ever since he started his daily visits a month ago. The only time he remembered skipping his routine was when he got too sick to even go out of the house; and that was just one day.
"Shut up." he chooses to retort instead, sighing and thrusting his now damp handkerchief into his bag.
This only serves to make Baekhyun snicker, the scowl on Kyungsoo's face growing deeper alongside the flush on his cheeks definitely not caused by the heat.
Standing up quickly, he ignores the loud screeching noise his chair makes and leaves his friend, fighting back a smile when he hears heels clacking behind him and Baekhyun's apologies spilling when the librarian berates him for making noise.
The walk home isn't that far; his apartment only a few blocks away from his university and coincidentally just a corner away from the bookstore.
Sighing, he gazes longingly at the entrance to the bookstore from across the street. It's getting dark and he thinks he might have seen someone's shadow behind the glass doors making his feet move faster.
He flicks the lights on when he enters his apartment, the sudden brightness rendering him blind for a second or two.
It's a routine; how he toes off his shoes and kicks off his pants until he's left barefooted and walking around in just his boxers and shirt.
The stiffness on his shoulders disappears as he enters his room. He doesn't spare much thought before throwing himself on the bed and opening the drawers on his bedside desk. A pile of colorful magazine lay on top of each other and Kyungsoo picks up the topmost one before letting himself lay flat on his back.
A loud exhale before Kyungsoo flips open the magazine, cheeks staining with red at every turn of a page until it settles on the middle spread occupied by one very familiar face.
He traces the italicized letters with his finger before letting his eyes roam on the male lying on the bed with nothing but his black briefs on.
Kyungsoo bites his lips, the familiar heat traveling downwards as he eyes the man on the magazine. Kai has one hand resting lazily beside his head while the other one has the tips of his fingers disappearing under the waistband of his briefs, eyes halflidded and mouth slightly parted as if he's panting.
Closing his eyes, his mind drifts back to the male on the bookstore and another wave of heat surges inside him.
It's been a month now since Kyungsoo accidentally walked through the doors of the bookstore, eyes landing on the male manning the counter and one glance has him dropping the book he's currently holding in disbelief.
Kyungsoo opens his eyes again, staring straight at the face of the man on the magazine; the same face he's been looking at for almost everyday the past month.
Are you really Kai?
Kyungsoo lets his mind wander to the stashes of videos on his laptop and blushes. He’s a healthy, young teenager so having porn stored on his laptop is common, right? Except all the videos in there is of the same person; of the same face as the one he’s taken to staring at the bookstore.
Kai was his favorite pornstar, not that he watches a lot of porn, that is. He’s the only one Kyungsoo has videos of and the fact that the videos stop almost half a year ago saddens him. The news of Kai quitting the industry is quiet but enough for Kyungsoo to stop visiting the usual site, eyes content on watching the same videos of the male pornstar every once in awhile.
He allows the magazine to fall on his stomach, a hand traveling to disappear under his shirt as he closes his eyes and thinks once more of the man from the bookstore.
Kyungsoo gives it one more day before he returns to his daily routine at the bookstore. The same male opens the door for him, gives him a friendly smile as he welcomes him inside.
His feet drags him to the same spot, hands grabbing the same book. Everything is the same except the counter is free of giggling girls and the man working behind isn’t the one he’s used to seeing.
“You seem to like that book a lot.” a voice interrupts his musings. It makes Kyungsoo drop the book, a soft curse escaping his lips as he picks it up, scared the cover might have folded one way or another.
“Uh, no, not really.” he answers without thinking, dusting the book with his palm before finally looking up and feeling his mouth go dry.
Kai the person who looks like Kai is staring at him, an amused smile on his lips as surveys Kyungsoo.
“I-I--” Kyungsoo stammers, gaze dropping to the book and back to the Kai replica a few times before he swallows loudly and manages a quiet ‘N-No.’
He’s holding on to the book tightly, his heartbeat loud and drowning every other sound around him. He’s surprised the male in front of him hasn’t commented on it, feel the drum of every beat his heart makes.
A hand grasps the edge of the book he’s holding and he allows it to slide out of his hold, helplessly following it with his eyes as the male dangles it in front of him and grins.
Kyungsoo internally swoons.
The male taps the huge, cursive letters on the cover and Kyungsoo takes a look for the first time at the title of the book.
Kyungsoo pales when he recognizes the title, bright red letters flashing a huge 'homoerotic' sign on his brain. He thinks back to all the time his friends kept talking about that particular title and how--
He pales a lot more.
"You like this book?"
Kyungsoo registers the question slowly; eyes finally moving up to stare at the brown orbs he's used to staring a lot from afar before.
"I like this." the male says, looking at the book then to Kyungsoo. "The book."
Kyungsoo spends approximately two seconds to stare at the male in front of him and another second for his face to color a deep shade of red.
Darting his eyes around, Kyungsoo tries to look at anything that might be enough of a distraction from the embarrassing atmosphere (at least for him).
"Hey, am I making you uncomfortable?" the voice speaks again and Kyungsoo's head automatically shakes in rejection before his brain can even catch up to the words the other said.
'Kai' sighs, looking a lot relieved. He takes one glance at the book again before letting his hand down, book fitting snuggly on his palm.
"Good. Wouldn't want to lose one of our loyal customers." he says lightheartedly and Kyungsoo finally gathers enough brain cells to act normally.
Their meeting gets cut off when one of the staff calls Jongin forward. Kyungsoo reins in the sudden panic and sadness, not wanting to end the moment short. He doesn't know if he'll ever get chance to talk to him again.
So Kyungsoo bows, not failing to catch the apologetic smile on the other's face before walking away.
Kyungsoo keeps in the excitement when he pushes the door to the bookstore open. The cold air from the air conditioner hits his face and he shivers, pulling at the scarf around his neck higher.
He walks with a purpose, steps steady and quite contrary to how inconsistent his heart is beating, as if tripping on their own shoes in nervousness.
This time, he does not pretend to read a book when he reaches his favorite isle. Instead, he fixes his scarf up to his cheek, eyes glancing from behind his fringe to where he would be.
Except a new girl stands behind the counter, pigtails curled and soft against her shoulders. His expression falls and his shoulders visibly slumped down in disappointment.
His eyes raked over the different titles in front of him, interest long gone from his sight. He wants to walk out now but hesitation keeps him grounded and also Baekhyun’s nagging from earlier to grab him a new set of colored pens when he passes by the bookstore.
Clutching at the straps of his bag, he breathes out a sigh, the warm air trapped inside the material of the scarf around him. He gazes forward, trying to look for the correct aisle and quickly grabbing those pens his best friend requested for.
The girl smiles at him when she hands him the paper bag and Kyungsoo nods. He takes it gratefully and takes a step back to go home when the familiar guy from the entrance walks up to him.
The male rubs at his nape, shyly looking down at him and Kyungsoo takes the time to stare at him in confusion. He feels his heart rate pick up. Were they finally going to reprimand him for stalking one of their employees?
Kyungsoo is still busy formulating all possible reasons why he’s being confronted by one of the staff when another paper bag gets thrust into his face. It causes him to blink, adjusting his poor eyesight so as not to go cross eyed at the object in front of him.
He carefully takes the bag, feeling the firmness inside it.
“Jongin asked me to give you that.” the male in front of him says, now grinning boyishly.
Kyungsoo only returns it with a confused gaze. “Jongin?”
The grin drops from the others face, a thoughtful expression coming over. “Jongin? Tall, tanned guy?” he eyes Kyungsoo’s reaction. “The guy usually manning the counter?”
Oh. Kyungsoo blinks, peering inside the bag and seeing the familiar lining of a book's cover inside. It was familiar, alright, having used it multiple times to hide his face while he stares in awe at the man with cute smiles and heart aching grins.
The realization dawns slowly and he feels his heart rate go faster; an exhale leaving his lips as if he's just been knocked out by something hard.
He gave me a book. Kyungsoo grasps first before a blush blooms at his cheeks, the fabric bunching around his face saving him from the embarrassment. And his name is Jongin.
He purses his lips, bats his eyelashes and slowly looks up at the face of the male staring down at him.
“Where is he?” he croaks out, clearing his throat after and looking down, fidgeting slightly on his feet. “I want to say thank you “
“Jongin's currently on leave,” the male answers, suddenly feeling guilty when a somber look crosses the smaller’s eyes. “but he'll be back tomorrow and maybe you can thank him personally then?”
Kyungsoo nods, casting one small glance at the male. He smiles weakly, cheeks raising the slightest before moving aside and clutching the paper bag tightly against his chest.
Kyungsoo snaps out of his daze, focusing on Baekhyun's blown cheeks as he chews the bulgogi sandwich Chanyeol brought for him earlier.
He eyes Baekhyun before dragging his gaze to the male sitting beside him, head bowed down and face looking extremely focused for someone who's merely staring at his phone.
“What's Chanyeol doing?” he asks instead.
Baekhyun chews some more, looking thoughtful for a second. “Pokemon.”
Kyungsoo makes a face, clearly remembering the amount of students loitering around the hallway.
“Now, what's wrong?” Baekhyun asks again, clearly not letting the issue go.
Pursing his lips, Kyungsoo debates whether to tell his best friend or not.
“His name is Jongin.” he mumbles after a whole minute, face heating up just at the mention of the name.
Baekhyun looks lost for a few seconds before his eyes widen and a manic glint replaces the bored look on his eyes.
“No way,” he starts, sitting up straighter and then slamming both his hands on the table. “You got his name, you cheeky little minx!”
Chanyeol looks up from his phone, clearly disturbed by the ruckus. “Who’s the minx?”
Kyungsoo groans, stuffing his mouth with his lunch and ignoring the constant looks Baekhyun keeps giving him throughout the day.
It's been five minutes when Kyungsoo started standing in front of the bookstore’s entrance.
A few people spares him glances, curious as to why a young boy would stay still outside in the cold instead of going in for some warmth.
Kyungsoo ignores them all and continues fidgeting on his place, not having thoroughly planned what he was going to do. He couldn't just waltz in and do what he usually does now that Kai, no, Jongin knows of his existence.
The cold makes the decision for him, air blowing harder and making him feel as if his cheeks would fall off any second from the biting chill it brings.
The warm air greets him inside along with the onslaught of nerves at what he's about to do.
He scrunches his nose under the warmth of his scarf, steps steady as he walks straight past the usual aisle he stays and heads straight to the counter.
He tries not to look crestfallen when it's the same girl he spies smiling at him. Side stepping slightly, he darts his eyes helplessly in search of him.
“Looking for me?”
Kyungsoo jumps at his spot, a hand coming up to his chest before turning around and coming face to face with the owner of the voice.
“So you know my name already,” Jongin replies, a bright look on his face while Kyungsoo tries burying his face even deeper behind his scarf because crap, did he just said that out aloud?
“That’s kind of unfair, don't you think?” Jongin continues, looking at the ceiling and pretending to think. “I don't even know your name.”
Kyungsoo blinks in surprise once more when Jongin bumps his fist against his open palm, smiling widely at Kyungsoo. “So tell me your name?”
Kyungsoo's cheeks heats up even more, eyes darting away from Jongin's gaze.
“Kyungsoo.” he mumbles, shifting his gaze elsewhere until they settle on a little girl picking out scrapbook papers. “Do Kyungsoo.”
He hears Jongin make a sound of acknowledgement.
“So, Kyungsoo,” Jongin starts and at the mention of his name, Kyungsoo could not resist looking up. “do you like the book?”
Kyungsoo ignores the way his palms starts to sweat, biting back to say how he fell asleep at almost three in the morning and getting only two hours of sleep because of the book. He had set it on his bed instead of his desk, keeping it wrapped and daintily covered with his blanket.
“Yeah,” he trails off softly, wanting to say a lot more but failing to do so; a habit he’s beginning to develop in front of the gorgeous male.
Silence follows after Kyungsoo's reply and fear momentarily grips his heart before Jongin breaks it with his own version of fidgeting.
Kyungsoo stares, watching the way Jongin's shoes scrapes against the polished wood of the bookstore. For some definitely weird reason, he feels his heart throb painfully with warmth.
“I was,” Jongin starts and the sudden words makes Kyungsoo look up, heart crawling its way up his throat. “wondering if you’re free later?”
The words sounded so alien on Kyungsoo’s ears, which is why he stands there unblinking at Jongin as the later gets even more flustered at the lack of response.
“If you want to go out with me, is what he means by that.” a voice breaks the staring game. Kyungsoo turns his head, finally blinking at the male staff who gave him the book from before.
The male winks at him before walking away as if nothing happened. It's when the other started chatting with one of the customers did his words register, causing him to widen his eyes unnaturally and stare at Jongin in awe or disbelief, he does not know.
Jongin averts his eyes when he finally meets Kyungsoo's gaze, choosing instead to look a little below and focus on the way the red on the other's scarf compliments his skin.
"Like a date?"
Jongin looks up, meeting Kyungsoo's eyes which are still wide eyed. The only difference this time is the noticeably pink tint on his cheeks, poorly concealed by the scarf around his neck.
Jongin coughs, twice, and nods. “Like a date.”
When Kyungsoo does not say anything, Jongin continues. “I’ve been noticing you a lot whenever you come in the past few months. You were always on the same spot, always alone and it made me curious."
This time, the red is intense on Jongin's face. "The more you came back, the more my curiosity grew. I think," a pause " I think you're incredibly cute."
A mumble so soft. "Yeah."
Kyungsoo tightens his hands on the strap of his bag, anchoring himself as he strains to process the words coming out of Jongin's mouth. Each word making his heart beat louder until it drowns every little sound, forcing himself to listen only to the effect of the male in front of him.
“You’re serious?” is what came out of his mouth, wanting to hear the words directly even though everything seems to add up to what he’s thinking. He knows but he’s stubborn and he needs to hear it. “Really?”
Jongin takes a deep breath and nods firmly.
"Please go out on a date with me."
Kyungsoo finds himself breathing loudly through his mouth as he stares up at his room's ceiling. His chest hurts from the way his heart is still slamming against his skin, wanting to break out; though it's much calmer now that he's at home and in his room.
Please go out on a date with me.
The simple memory hastens his heart beat again. He groans, rolling over on his stomach and smothering his face on the pillow before opening his mouth and letting out a scream die against the soft fabric.
It's ten times more embarrassing now as he remembers the way his hands started shaking when Jongin gave him his phone, asking him for his number. The thought makes him stifle another scream, chest already painful from the way his heart would not stop slamming itself against its cage.
He spends a few more minutes letting the idea of Jongin asking him out sink in before a thought interrupts his amazement.
Quickly sitting up, he lets his hand fiddle with something below his bed before stilling.
He pulls out another magazine, one with Kai on the cover. He's wearing a cream sweater, lying down on the floor and looking sleepily at the camera placed conveniently at ceiling point.
His heart beat starts speeding up again but he ignores it, choosing instead to squint his eyes at the male on the cover.
“Are you really Jongin?”
Kyungsoo thinks back to how Jongin acted earlier, fidgeting on his place and face flushed. The image makes him want to throw himself on his bed and scream his lungs out again. He wonders if Kai and Jongin are really the same person.
Breathing deeply, he looks around before lying down in bed, flipping the pages with a sense of urgency. He comes into a halt when Kai’s special comes into view and his heart beat quickens again for an entire different reason. He feels his blood thrum lively against his veins, one hand sneaking past the band of his shorts.
A single touch against his slowly heating flesh makes him arch his back lazily, shoulders slumping down as if he could melt along the blankets any time. It isn't long before he feels the cold air around him go hot, pulse loud and heavy against his skin while his fingers wrap around his cock.
He imagines Kai's hand on him; around him. He imagines deep brown irises looking down at him, drowning him to the point of insanity. The thought spurs him on, lithe fingers moving up and down until soft breathy gasps starts escaping past his red bitten lips.
Kyungsoo feels himself coming undone as he groggily rolls on his stomach, groaning when he hastily pulls the rest of his short down to his thighs. His length rubs against the duvet, stiff and red and almost done.
He pants Kai's name softly, his lower half jutting out and finish oh so close.
An image of Jongin smiling bashfully from earlier comes in and he comes, spilling himself atop his covers with a long drawn out moan.
A minute or two passes before he regains his steady breathing, unwrapping his fingers from his spent cock and wiping the remnants of come against the covers
Rolling onto his back, Kyungsoo lifts an arm to cover his eyes, shame bubbling inside him at the fact that he came with Jongin's face in mind.
Jongin texts him the next day.
Kyungsoo repeatedly taps his phone, the screen lighting up and then blacking out again before repeating the cycle. His foot taps along with the silent rhythm as his eyes scans the students walking past him.
He does not fail to catch some glances being thrown his way and he fidgets anxiously, glancing down at his pale pink sweater and mumbling something against the white scarf wrapped snuggly on the lower half of his face. He's not used to wearing colors straying from his usual black, gray and white and maybe it's not his presence people are looking at but the sudden change.
Kyungsoo feels a throb against his left chest as he looks up.
The greeting he's worked so hard for the past minutes dies down in his throat as he watches Jongin jog up to him. Gone is his red and beige polo uniform, replaced with a plain white sweat shirt and black jeans. His hair is ungelled, falling down against his eyes and mouth curved into a blinding smile. He looks utterly soft.
No, Jongin is definitely not Kai.
Jongin stops in front of him, running a hand through his hair and that act alone should not be attractive but he makes it so.
“Hi.” he finally gets out, switching his weight from one foot to the other.
Jongin notices and he smiles apologetically. “Have you been waiting long? Does your feet hurt?”
Kyungsoo widens his eyes when Jongin bends down, worriedly looking at him. He takes a step back, face heating up quickly as he places a hand on Jongin's arm.
“I'm alright.” he says softly, flashing a weak smile at the other and hoping it would placate him. His stomach turns upside down, not knowing what to do with the other male's attention.
“Right.” Jongin says, seemingly convinced. Kyungsoo stares up at him, taking advantage of the fact that Jongin's eyes are not on him while he tries looking for something.
He quickly looks down once Jongin turns his attention back on him. “Let's get going?”
They walk side by side, no words exchanged in between but the silence does nothing to alleviate the pounding of Kyungsoo's heart.
He can't erase the thought of last night, cheeks heating up at the fact that he came with the image of the man walking just beside him.
He's snapped out of his musings when he feels something warm brush against his knuckles. Glancing at the male beside him, he catches Jongin looking at him just as the others knuckles brush against his own again.
It happens a few more times and Kyungsoo swallows, debating whether to throw away his inhibitions and grab the others hand or ignore the whole thing.
They spent the whole day walking around, Jongin taking him to hidden little shops all around the area. At one point, Kyungsoo was forced to eat little brown balls from a street vendor just because Jongin won't stop pouting at him to try some.
“If I get sick it will be all your fault.” Kyungsoo grumbles, scarf tugged down so only his neck is covered. He's gotten a lot more comfortable around Jongin as the hours go by, words and laughter spilling out naturally.
Jongin only grins at him, looking very smug. “Then I'll just make sure to nurse you better, won't I?”
Kyungsoo just purses his lips, pretending to be interested at the cotton candy machine in front of them.
They walk home when the sky gets dark and the moon hangs lazily above them. Kyungsoo tugs his scarf higher, the chill getting to his cheeks. Beside him, Jongin walks in nonchalance, the cold not bothering him.
“You get cold easily.” Jongin says and Kyungsoo knows it's a statement rather than a question
He nods, pursing his lips when he feels Jongin's knuckles brush against his again. It's been going on all day and Kyungsoo is close to just asking Jongin to hold his hand.
Something he need not to when he feels warmth clasps his palm, Jongin's bashful smile directed at him when he snaps his head to his side.
“Warm.” Jongin supplies and Kyungsoo just nods. He does not mention how he feels warmth travel from the tips of his fingers all the way to his heart
Jongin walks him all the way to his apartment. He mumbles a series of apology when Jongin tells him he lives on the opposite side which Jongin just brushes off.
“I wanted to take you home.” Jongin says it calmly which promptly shuts Kyungsoo up.
Kyungsoo tries not to think too much when he invites Jongin to go up. Jongin looks embarrassed as he steps inside, eyes taking in the small room and at this, Kyungsoo flushes.
“It’s not much but it's home.” he mumbles to which Jongin ruffles his hair in affection, he likes to imagine.
Kyungsoo makes them tea, giving Jongin the freedom to look around. The latter grins and walks around, carefully stepping inside the smaller’s room.
Jongin smiles as he sees pictures of Kyungsoo all over his desk. He grins crookedly when he sees the other’s unmade bed.
Something catches his attention, a small slip of beige in contrast with the gray of Kyungsoo's covers. He picks it up and freezes.
At the same time Kyungsoo enters his room.
He mimics Jongin's posture, color draining from his face when he sees the magazine Jongin is holding.
“I..” he trails off, not knowing what to say or do while Jongin just stands there, holding the magazine with Kai on the cover.
“I can explain.”
At this, Jongin breathes out and shakes his head, placing the magazine down on the bed and running a hand through his hair.
“Is this why,” Jongin starts, eyes darting at the magazine and then to Kyungsoo. “Is this why you've been coming to the bookstore?”
Kyungsoo could not move, heart throbbing not because of getting caught but of the possibility that Jongin won't want to see him again.
Jongin's stare pierces at him and Kyungsoo could not just utter any words. When the taller steps forward, Kyungsoo braces himself for any form of lash or for Jongin to walk out.
Instead, Jongin stops just in front of him and bends level to his face.
“Do you want to find out?”
Kyungsoo snaps his head up, face red. “What?”
And then Jongin smirks before pressing his lips against his.
TO BE CONTINUED.