[Drabblefest - Chanyeol's 22nd Birthday]
For @baekbyuntae - Pairing: Kai/Chanyeol; Prompt: band!au in which Kai is attracted to clumsy drummer Chanyeol, but Chanyeol isn't aware of that fact
w: slight swearing
a/n: Ate, apparently it's your birthday~ haha so I guess this drabble is my gift to you na lang :D happy birthday! ^^
Jongin has a huge problem.
No, it's not the fact that he's part of a college rock band booked for gigs until the wee hours of the morning, playing for drunk crowds at cramped venues that always smell of smoke. After each session, Jongin doesn't bother removing his eyeliner and gloss, sweat-soaked wifebeater clinging to the lines of his lithe body. he heads straight for home without a hangover but with a whole lot of fatigue, and he only ever manages two to three hours of sleep before he's getting up again for his 7:30 am class.
It's got nothing to do with his social life, either, because although Kim Jongin tends to be quite mysterious and seductive, everyone knows him as an adorable ball of fluff in daily life. He may be a dork at times, but his friends put up with all of his corny jokes and much, much more. everyone knows him as the guitarist of dark angels, knows him as the enigmatic guitarist kai, so he's quite popular. Sometimes he has to deal with ugly rumors that never have a lot of weight or truth in them, but all in all, Jongin likes the people who surround him and they like him too.
Jongin's huge problem is Chanyeol.
It has less to do with the fact that Chanyeol towers over him and more to do with the way Chanyeol is hardly ever coordinated when he's not playing musical instruments. Maybe Jongin's been nursing a slight crush on the taller guy ever since high school, when Chanyeol had laughed at his quips even when no one else did, when Chanyeol would brighten up his bad days with his crazy grins and infectious laughter.
But three months into college, Baekhyun decided that he wanted to be the lead singer of a rock band, and he'd coaxed his friends into joining him. Jongin played the guitar, so he wasn't surprised that he'd been included in the line-up. He knew Zitao played the bass, and Yixing could play piano by ear. But after all the time he'd spent with Chanyeol, he never knew the older guy could play the drums.
When Chanyeol played on their very first practice session, Jongin had this weird inkling that the sound of his own heartbeat was being played. Chanyeol was /good/, handling the drums so easily that Jongin wondered why he'd never known this. His slight crush worsened into love, and there were days when Jongin felt so heartsick that he almost couldn't breathe.
It was endearing, the way a more charismatic side of Chanyeol emerged when he was around his musical instrument. It faded away whenever practice ended, and he'd be tripping over wires and knocking down mic stands, and Jongin just laughed at him as he fixed things in his wake. He liked how Chanyeol's hands could never sit still, tapping out a rhythm on any flat surface, on his thigh, sometimes on Jongin's inner wrist. He liked that Chanyeol was so immersed in music every time they played, his passion bleeding through every set they had. He liked how he'd drag Jongin sometimes to the benches by the trees on campus, just because he'd thought of a new rhythm and some lyrics and /Jongin, Jongin, i think the strumming pattern should be this, are the lyrics okay/. He liked the way Chanyeol was an over-eager, enthusiastic puppy always bursting with energy even when they had to face a five-hour gig after class.
He loved how Chanyeol would ruffle his hair after every gig, handing him a bottle of water with that too-wide smile, and calling to make sure he'd arrived home safe. "Can't have our precious guitarist go missing," he'd chuckled when Jongin had asked, but Jongin had seen the concern in Chanyeol's eyes and known that that was just the way Chanyeol was.
And the situation is perfect, really -- Chanyeol is his friend, they've been close for years, and Jongin gets to see him every single day because of a gig or a practice session. He's got plenty of chances to make his intention known and catch Chanyeol's attention in a romantic way. And he's dropped a lot of hints lately: he's made sure to give Chanyeol a towel and a bottle of water after each practice, has always talked to him about things, has sent out signals that he's /interested/, and he's even gone as far as blatantly laying his head on Chanyeol's shoulder and saying, "hyung, i like hanging out with you a lot."
The only thing is, Chanyeol is kind of dumb and he also happens to be very, very oblivious to every sign that Jongin's given him. And it frustrates Jongin to no end, annoys him even, because though he can show that he cares for Chanyeol, he can't quite say it outright. He can't quite put a name on his feelings and say them in a clearer way, that the reason why he likes hanging out with the taller guy is because /he's kind of liked him since forever/ and no, he doesn't mean it in a platonic way. Jongin kind of wishes Chanyeol would pick up on the message already, because he doesn't want to have to /confess/, but it looks like Chanyeol's not getting it any time soon.
It doesn't help that lately, Chanyeol has been talking about his new friend Kris and how the guy can speak four languages and plays basketball really well. And, okay, Jongin knows he's talented -- knows he can play guitar and dance and rap -- but it kind of stings because he's only really fluent in one language and he's not in the least bit athletic. It irritates him so much, the way Chanyeol won't stop worshiping everything Kris does, so much so that he's been in a perpetual black mood every time the band gathers.
Which is exactly what's happening right now. They have a major gig on Saturday and they've been working on the new songs that they're performing, so practice has become more intense. It's a cold Wednesday night but Jongin barely feels the chill even when he's just in a thin t-shirt, mostly because he's too busy memorizing strumming patterns and chords to care about the weather. They're taking a break, Zaekhyun going off to the kitchen for some water, and zitao and Yixing have their heads bent over the lyrics and music sheets. Jongin stares at his hands and the callouses marring them, and Chanyeol comes over to sit beside him.
The feeling of warmth Jongin gets from the fact that Chanyeol's right next to him quickly fades, because the drummer soon launches into this story about Kris taking Chanyeol to this really awesome coffee shop that's out of the way and has great records and is quaint and "Jongin, he really has great taste when it comes to things like this, Jongin --"
And Jongin's seeing red, his chest is constricting and he's so jealous that it's difficult to keep his thoughts together. He knows he shouldn't be, knows that Chanyeol is just in awe of the guy, knows that Chanyeol wants to share his experiences the same way Jongin always shares his problems. But he can't help it -- he's been so frustrated for months now, trying to get Chanyeol to /notice/, to /understand/, and fuck this, what if Chanyeol's in love with Kris --
He stands up abruptly without an explanation and exits the room, slamming the door closed behind him. His fists are clenched and there is a bitter taste in his mouth. He walks for a bit then breaks out into a run, until he ends up in the balcony. Jongin slides down to the ground and looks up at the night sky, breathing in the frigid air, before burying his face in his knees and letting loose a frustrated growl. And it's nearly winter, he's dressed in only a t-shirt, and it's honestly so cold and he's shivering. But he'd rather stay here and freeze to death than go back to that room and listen to Chanyeol talk his ear off about Kris.
He grits his teeth and counts from one to ten.
Jongin is contemplating just turning into an ice sculpture so he'll never have anything to do with chanyeol ever again, when he feels something being draped around his shoulders. He raises his head and just barely registers Chanyeol squatting in front of him. There is a small frown on his face.
"Baekhyun wants another run-through," he says.
Jongin glowers at the ground.
"I mean, if you're too tired, it's okay if you sit this one out," Chanyeol says, biting his lip. "But it's really cold out here and, I...well, you should wear that jacket."
"I'm fine," Jongin bites out.
Chanyeol's face falls. "Oh. but, um, you can keep it just in case."
Jongin continues avoiding Chanyeol's gaze. Chanyeol rocks on the balls of his feet and makes to stand up but he hesitates. Then his hand's on Jongin's chin, forcing the guitarist to look at him, and the sorrow in his eyes stops Jongin from snapping out something he knows he'll regret.
"Did I...say something that offended you?" Chanyeol says, and his already deep voice is pitched so, so much lower. "Did i do something wrong, Jongin? I feel like you've been upset at me lately."
Jongin closes his eyes. "It's nothing. I've just been really stressed lately."
"It's not nothing," Chanyeol insists. "You don't talk to me anymore, we don't hang out like we used to. There's something you're not telling me."
And jongin wants to scream. He wants to say, /We're not talking because all you want to talk about is Kris/. He wants to say, /You always hang out with that guy, how can i tag along?/ he wants to say, /I'm in love with you and you don't notice, and that's what's wrong, hyung/.
Instead he just says, "I'm just tired. Go back inside, Chanyeol. They need a drummer."
He hears the shuffling of feet and the rustling of clothes and assumes that Chanyeol's left him alone at last. Jongin sighs and leans against the wall, eyes still closed.
"Did someone tell you?"
Jongin's eyes fly open. Chanyeol hasn't left at all, he's standing over him with a conflicted expression on his face, and his hands are clenched. "What?"
"Did you find out?" Chanyeol's eyes are wild. "Shit, i only told Baekhyun and no one else, I think maybe I let it slip to Kris by accident --"
/There it is again, that guy,/ Jongin thinks, and he can't stop the scowl from forming on his lips. "What are you talking about?" he snaps.
Chanyeol blinks twice, not used at all to Jongin's tone of voice. "So you know," he says, and he sounds so miserable that Jongin's heart squeezes a little.
"I know what?"
Chanyeol's hands clench and unclench. "I didn't mean to," he whispers, and Jongin feels so lost and confused at the same time. He doesn't like how sad Chanyeol is right now; doesn't like how the taller guy looks so vulnerable and ready to break at any moment, and it makes him want to hold him close.
Jongin gets to his feet. "Chanyeol, what are you saying?"
This time, chanyeol's the one avoiding his gaze. "I didn't mean to, I swear, I just..." he swallows. "I don't want this to get in the way of our friendship but i can't help it, Jongin, I've tried. But I really, really like you and I'm sorry if that makes you uncomfortable."
Jongin stares. Chanyeol's lips turn down even more.
"I'll just go back inside," he says and starts to leave, but then Jongin's whirling him around and backing him up against the wall.
"Idiot," the guitarist hisses. "Idiot, idiot, idiot."
"I /know/ that, okay," Chanyeol says, hurt crossing his face, and he's just about to say something more but Jongin's pulling him closer and kissing him.
It takes a while before the two of them come up for air, and when they do, Jongin admires how kiss-swollen Chanyeol's lips are.
"What..." Chanyeol hesitates.
Jongin simply reaches up to thumb the taller guy's cheek. "You idiot," he says. "I've been dropping hints since forever and you never noticed."
Chanyeol's mouth drops open and a blush rises on his cheeks. "But you were ignoring me this week --"
"Would it kill you," Jongin interrupts him, "to talk about something other than Kris for once?"
Understanding flashes in Chanyeol's eyes and a small "oh" escapes him. "I'm sorry."
Jongin nods. "It's okay. Maybe you can talk about him less and spend more time with me, yeah?"
The sound of clapping breaks the silence surrounding them and Chanyeol and Jongin look up to see Baekhyun standing just inside the balcony, a small smile gracing his lips. "Okay," he says, "Now that the two of you have finally gotten together, can we go back and practice? The band can't perform with just the bass and the piano, you know."
Jongin blushes and Chanyeol chuckles, but as they both follow Baekhyun back to the practice room, Jongin reaches down to interlock their fingers. Chanyeol squeezes his hand and Jongin smiles, warmth seeping into his chest.
Well, that wasn't so bad, after all.