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18 July 2011 @ 06:39 pm
[fic]2min - Cancer 1/2  
Title: Cancer
Pairing/Focus: Taemin/Minho
Rating: PG-13
Final word count: 15,258 words
Summary: The first stage--it was a coincidental meeting. No one would've expected anything from it. The second stage--from another coincidental meeting, a new friendship was formed. The third stage--change was evident form this point on. What both of them had never expected, happened. And it was acting fast. The final stage--there's no stopping it now. Once you've reached here, the only option left is to...die.
 
 

 
:

 
“Taemin, I’ll just be out for a little while. If anything happens, you can find me in the supply room.”

“Ah! Okay,” Taemin quickly replied to the art teacher. He waited until the teacher had left the room before lowering his head and engrossing himself with his work again. He was staying in during lunch to get a head start on the new art project his class was assigned. He was supposed to sculpt something related to the theme “Space” from pipe wires. He already had a few ideas, but none of them were quite as original or spectacular as he had wanted them to be.

Letting out a sigh, he got off his seat to grab more pipe wires. He was just randomly going through the box of pipe wires the teacher had left on her desk when someone entered the room. At first Taemin thought it was the teacher that was coming in the room, but as he lifted his head just about to greet her, he realized it was just another student—a tall one. Their eyes had locked for only a mere second but Taemin smiled at the taller boy just to make it less awkward.

Taemin just took the bundle of pipe wires on the top and headed back to his seat. The other boy went to the back of the room and picked up a little ball of paper-mache and then placed it on the table behind Taemin. The boy pulled out a chair and sat on it sluggishly. He managed a small sigh before spending the rest of his lunch working on a long lost project he had forgotten about months ago.

Forty minutes passed before the teacher came back from the supply room with a box of acrylic paint in her arms. She opened the box and orderly placed the bottles of paint in the shelf, arranging them so it’s color-coded. When she was finally satisfied with her arrangement, she locked the shelf up and released a content moan. She brushed whatever dust she had accumulated on her hands while organizing paint on the apron that she always adorned on top of her turtleneck. Then, she noticed the taller boy’s presence and approached him with a rigid smile on her face. She placed a hand on his shoulder and said, “Well, hello Minho. I see you have finally decided to finish that project of yours, yeah?”

The taller boy slowly looked the teacher in the eyes and returned a stiff smile. He laughed nervously and answered, “Yeah…”

The teacher’s eyes widened slightly at the answer. It clearly came across her face that she was surprised at the boy’s answer. But that quickly washed off her features as a nod came in.

She hummed understandingly and said, “A lot of marks will be deducted for handing a project in this late, but you should still finish it. It’ll always be better than a zero.”

“I know,” he replied, but the teacher had already moved along.

She stopped by Taemin to see how he was doing, but Taemin was still stuck with drafts. He wanted to make something that was original and fascinating, something nobody had though of. And the teacher noticed that too.

She laughed at the unsatisfied look on Taemin’s face and pointed at all the failed products Taemin had sculpted so far, “Why don’t you just combine all these? I promise you nobody has ever done that before.”

Taemin’s face instantly lit up with a bright smile. He looked right up at the teacher and replied, “That might just work!”

The bell rang right when Taemin was just about to really get working so he ended up cleaning up his table and getting ready for the next class. He took up the many failed products he made and put them into a secure little bag of his. While stuffing the bag into his backpack with one hand, he neatly pushed in his chair with the other. He turned around and put his backpack on. Then, with a sigh, he stretched his tired arms as far as his body would allow. He smiled and was about take his leave when he suddenly felt a pair of eyes on him. He turned and look at the boy who was still sitting at the table behind him. A pair of eyes were definitely on him. A pair of really big eyes—too big.

Being the polite child Taemin was, he smiled and bowed slightly at the boy who seemed to be older. Even though Taemin might become late for his next class, he attempted small talk. “What's that supposed to be?” He asked cheerfully, pointing to the long, black and hard looking mass. The actions Taemin does may be polite but his words, not so much. And he doesn't even realize this.

The other boy chuckled lightheartedly and answered confidently, “This is my leather shoe.”

Taemin gave the shoe a good long stare with a smile plastered on his face. He tilted his head to a side and commented, “Oh. If you stare long enough, it does look like one.”

The other boy returns the smile and chuckled softly again. “Thank you.”
:


“Aaaaah! I hate this!” The brown haired boy kicked his feet fiercely in the water, splashing water on himself. He grumbled loudly at his own mistake while rubbing his eyes. He ruffled his golden brown hair into a messy mop and sighed heavily.

He removed his gaze from the sickening blue water and placed them on the group of kids beyond the fence that enclosed the outdoor pool.

Taemin was sitting on the deck of the school's swimming pool, kicking water with his feet while floods of students were happily evacuating the school buildings. He clicked his tongue disappointingly. He wished he could be amongst the massive flood of students, hurrying home with their friends while they talk about nonsense. But no, he was stuck in the lonely swimming pool practicing his freestyle swimming on a beautiful sunny day. Teachers were going to be testing next week and if Taemin—who can't even hold his breath underwater for more than ten seconds—didn't start practicing, he might just get an ugly zero on his report.

Taemin, passing all his classes with over seventy percent, was not going to stain his report with an unsightly zero. Even if he still turned out to have absolutely no skill or technique with his swimming, the teachers might give him a passing mark if he tried really hard. And Taemin was trying really hard. He even made sure the teachers knew he was staying in after school for practice. So, taking a deep breath, Taemin once again plunged into the pool. Water splashed up the sides and rippled around his struggling figure. He had sealed his eyes shut, keeping the chlorinated water out. Dumb move, because now he can't see underwater.... Goggles, I need goggles.

Taemin lifted his head up almost immediately after it had gone underwater. Being unable to see underwater when he was already practically cripple in water did not appear as a bright idea to him. Having said that, he slowly waddled his way back to the steps and climbed out of the water, droplets rolling down his hair and skin. He flopped down on the deck and sprawled his limbs across the cool tiles.

Silently, he lay there and his lips pinch into a pout. This is hopeless. I don't even know how to swim. A soft sigh escapes his tight lips and he squeezed his eyes shut. For a while, he was really contemplating whether to quit or not. The ocean and public pools had always been a phobia to him since he was a child, but as he grew older the fear eventually subsided. He still avoided the pool as much as possible and refused to do any swimming. It totally didn't make any sense to Taemin why his parent refused to provide his teachers a note to excuse him from swimming activities. Hence, his teachers thought he was another lazy student that didn't give a damn about swimming and will not care to learn how. And even if he did try to explain to his teachers about his case, none of them believed him. I hate being misunderstood. So Taemin gave his all in participation and tried to show that he did care and did try. But he had reached his limits. I can't do this anymore. I can't just miraculously learn how to swim by myself. There's no way I—

“Hey! You're not dead right...?”

Taemin suddenly opened his eyes and jerked his head around in surprise. He had no idea someone else had come into the pool while he was busy depressing himself. But what shocked him more was the question asked. Did he actually look like he was dead? Sure, he was laying flat on the deck in an awkward position and his eyes were closed, but that did not mean he was dead. It was almost insulting to him. Did the person think he had drowned but somehow died on the deck? Or did he think he got a heatstroke?

Taemin frowned up at the person and replied curtly, “No, I'm not dead,” with irritation evident in his voice.

“Sorry, I didn't mean to sound rude. It was just...you know...to be on the safe side,” the person stuttered. He continued to mumble apologies and words in his defense, eyeing Taemin carefully while he did.

Taemin averted his eyes and pushed himself off the deck. He stare at the the floor guiltily and said, “You know, just forget it. I was in a bad mood and I'm sorry for taking it out on you. You were only concerned.”

There was a slight pause before a low giggle broke through, and footsteps sounded in the almost empty outdoor pool before stopping abruptly behind Taemin. A long shadow cast down on him, turning the spot he was staring at dark. Hesitantly, he looked up and was met with handsome eyes. However handsome though, Taemin did not ignore the fact that they were, in fact too big. That thought had gears turning in Taemin's head. Those big eyes were really familiar. There was a moment of déjà vu going on inside of Taemin's head before it finally hit him.

This big bro was the same as the one in the art room. The one with the weird shoe. Taemin's eyes twinkled wittingly and shouted, “You're that hyung with the weird shoe!”

The older boy's eyes grew even wider and sparkled the same way the younger pair below his had. He laughed comically and nodded. The witty sparkle in his eyes had left, but a new shine developed in the bright brown orbs. The brilliant glow in his eyes gleamed with excitement at the innocent honesty of the fairer brown orbs below him. His lips danced, “You're really honest, aren't you? I like that.”

Fairer eyes squinted into a cheerful smile. A soft chuckled left cherry lips and Taemin sang, “So what brings you here on such a sunny afternoon?”

The older boy disregarded the casual tone of the younger boy's speech, thinking it's just the way the younger boy was, and replied, “I'm here to swim.”

“Why spend such a beautiful day in the school pool? There are so many other things you could do! But as for me, I'm stuck here until I learn how to swim properly. Which I'm convinced will never happen in this lifetime.”

The older boy scratched his chin thoughtfully and hummed in response. He titled his head and suggested, “I can teach you, if you want.”

Taemin gave a surprised glance in his direction and gasped. The other boy rigidly sat down beside Taemin with crossed legs. He turned to face Taemin and said, “You have a swimming test soon, right?”

Taemin held his head in a half nod, considering whether or not to accept the offer before completing the action. He really wanted to pass the test, but he to learn from a stranger–he wasn't that desperate. But the older boy seemed really nice. And to turn him down when he kindly offered to teach the beginner Taemin was somewhat rude.

Taemin chewed his bottom lip gently in thought. He doesn't look like he would hurt me. It should be okay, right? He secretly stole another glance in the elder's direction. The other boy was calmly looking at the water with a hint of a smile on his face. Yes, it should be fine.

Pumping his fist, he shouted, “Okay! Please teach me then–wait, I don't even know your name!”

“It's Choi Minho.”

“And I'm Lee Taemin. Let's be friends, okay?” Taemin smiled cheerfully and reached his hand out to Minho.

Minho took the boy's smaller hand in his own and chirped, “Friends.” Minho stood up and pulled Taemin along with him as he did. With their hands clasped together, they grinned childishly to each other, acknowledging their new found friendship.

Minho was the one to break their locked hands. He glanced in the pool's direction and hummed under his breath. What to do? Where to start? The younger boy with him was a total beginner, so he should teach the basics first right? Okay, so the basics it is.

Minho walked over to the shallow end of the pool and motioned for Taemin to follow, so Taemin trotted along. Minho glanced hopefully at him and asked, "Can you float?"

"No," came Taemin's instant reply. He quickly added, "I had a near death experience in the ocean once and eventually I developed a phobia towards anything close to swimming. Since then, I've never gone anywhere near a pool or the ocean again." Taemin took a deep breath and ended his explanation with a soft, "Please go easy on me."

Taemin fidgeted a little and looked up to meet Minho's curious eyes. Minho's lips parted ajar and Taemin could have swore he heard a faint "what?" under his breath. Taemin kept silent and waited patiently for the elder's response. The response was a chocked, "...What?"

Almost annoyed, the younger repeated as gently as possible, "I had a near death experience in the ocean when I was a child. I developed a phobia after that and never again went swimming. So please, take it easy on me."

Minho still had the same skeptical look in his eyes and his lips part again, only to produce no words. This time, Taemin nudged at Minho's side and pouted at the awkwardly long silence. The taller boy coughed and finally spoke, "I don't understand. If that's the case then why don't you just explain that to the teachers?"

Taemin looked to his feet and sighed. He didn't look like he was going to give a reply, so Minho said, "I'll still teach you, if you want it. I was just wondering..."

Taemin nodded and looked up again, meeting solid dark brown eyes. He sighed again and elaborated, "My teachers won't believe me. And my parents refused to excuse me from the test. I don't even know why. So I'm stuck with the test. And I don't want to fail, so I'm going to learn how to swim. So please," Taemin begged for Minho to start teaching.

Minho nodded understandingly and jumped into the pool. Taemin followed suit. Minho held onto one of the metal bars on the side and allowed himself to float on his back. He turned to face Taemin and smiled, "I'll teach you how to float first. Once you got that down, all you need is basically common sense to paddle with your arms and you can swim."

Taemin nodded determinedly and tightly held onto the metal bar and copied what the other had done. It worked, he floated. But it's what comes next that will be difficult for the boy.

Minho let go of his hold on the bar and drifted slowly on the water's surface. He watched Taemin keenly with the side of his eyes and noticed how the boy was reluctant to let go of the bar. Flipping over, he swam towards the tense body that was barely afloat. He grabbed the younger boy by his wrists and guided, “Don't tense up. Just relax your muscles.”

The younger one nodded and slowly, his body loosened out. He kept his eyes shut, thinking it would be easier to relax that way. And if anything did go wrong, there was someone with him to help. And soon, he felt his body float easily on the water's slow current. His legs, hips and chest moved in sync with the flow of the water. And for a mere second, Taemin thought he was superior. He thought there will be no difficulty in his conquest of triumph. Though, that thought was proven wrong when Taemin felt the secure hands that held tightly onto him discreetly loosen and slowly slipping off. His eyes snapped open and he was faced with the reality that he cannot support his own weight without the guidance of another. But reassuring words warmed its way into Taemin's ears and he was already reclaiming his confidence. Such strong words, “Don't worry. I'll let go slowly, when I know you can do it. Just continue to relax.”

Taemin giggled at the thoughtfulness in Minho's words. Just like a kindergarten teacher. But the giggling stopped when Taemin realized he just called himself a kindergartener. And none of this was unseen by Minho. Out of curiosity he asked, “What was so funny?”

Taemin kicked his feet lightly and murmured, "Just that you act like a kindergarten teacher." Minho's eyes widened at the unexpected comment. It was the first time anyone has told him that. And truthfully, he wasn't sure to be happy or sad. But he took it as a compliment and focused his attention back to the lesson. Once Taemin's kicking stopped, Minho loosened his grip once again and his hands were now lightly gripping onto Taemin's fingers.

The action alerted Taemin once again, and he was now fully concentrated, eyes closed and all. He slowed his breathing so his chest didn't move as much. His arms were getting a little numb from staying in the same position for a while, so Taemin took in a gulp of air and risked it. He whispered, "You can let go."

This time the older boy was the one surprised. He had not expected Taemin to say that. Nor did he think the boy could learn so fast. Because Taemin was actually floating now. By himself. It totally did not make sense to Minho. If the boy was such a quick learner, he could have easily learned from the teachers.

But there was another thing Minho didn't expect. When Taemin very slowly opened his eyes, his breathing became heavy and his heartbeat skyrocketed. His hands were now by his sides, and there was panic written all over his face. And at this point, Minho panicked too. Taemin's body was slowly dipping back underwater. His body tipped over to a side in one jerky movement and his body sank down for a second before his legs found the floor of the pool. He was upward now and his mouth was opened widely, sucking in all the air he could take and his hands were furiously rubbing at his eyes.

Minho 's mouth was hanging open from shock. He mentally slapped himself for not doing anything during the little incident. But this time he slapped himself in reality for forgetting the fact that this was the shallow end. The younger boy was almost as tall as himself, and the water only reached up the his chest. He quickly hurried over to Taemin's side and checked the boy to see if he suffered any injuries. After all, he was still responsible for what had happened. He was careless.

Taemin, however remembered his childhood trauma once he had opened his eyes and felt that his body was on top of the water...slowly drifting off. Which was probably half illusion, since it is not that easy to drift very far in a school pool. But once his foot touched solid ground, reality punched him right in the face for losing composure and almost drowning. But he had realized it was stupid and impossible to drown in the school pool's shallow end. Excluding the possibilities of suicide and homicide.
Taemin grabbed his chest in the midst of his coughing fit and when it finally subsided, he looked wearily up at Minho and sighed.

"That was scary."

Minho who was still a little shocked, merely nodded with a worried expression on his face. He turned his junior around and scanned his body one more time before asking, "You're not hurt, are you?"

The questioned junior shook his head slowly and sighed. He removed his hand from his chest and brought t up to his messy head. He turned back to face his senior and smiled tiredly, "No, but that was really, really, scary. Stupid me."

"No way, man! That was my fault. Sorry." The older boy climbed onto the deck and crouched near the steps. He leaned forward and said, "Let's call it a day, 'kay?"

The younger boy however, looked a bit reluctant. He brought his hand up to play with his hair, avoiding the older one's gaze. He inhaled loudly and stretched his arms before looking into the other boy's eyes carefully and replying, "Nnn. I think I'll practice a little longer. You can go home though! I'll be fine."

Minho was not convinced though. Not after witnessing what just happened. There was not a chance he'll leave the other alone in the pool. So he climbed back down into the water and stood next to Taemin and smiled. "I'll stay with you. Let's try it again."

Taemin's lips tightened into a firm grin and he answered energetically, "Yes, hyung!"
:


The bell that signaled the end of the last period of the day rang, and kids from every class grabbed their books and pencils and scrambled out of classrooms. This a normal scene for every school. But a particular boy seemed more eager today. Before the bell could even finish its short ring, he was out of the classroom in a matter of milliseconds.

The boy—with blond silky hair and deep brown eyes—dashed to his locker and bumped into several students on the way. Apologizing over his shoulder, he did not stop running. When he had finally arrived at his locker, he was down on the ground panting like a dog. With one hand, he reach for his lock and spun his combination without even looking. Click. The lock unlocked. He peered into his locker with eyes glazed with excitement. He swiftly grabbed the textbooks he needed and stood p to load them into his navy messenger bag. Picking his phone up from a shelf in his locker, he carefully tucked it into a pocket and locked his locker. He laughed softly and fist pumped to himself before making a dash to the outdoor pool.

He pushed the doors to the changing room open and he got changed in a flash. This time he hung his bag in a changing room locker and locked it. He was out of the changing room in a minute and in the pool in another. His eyes darted back and forth, searching for a familiar tall hyung. The hyung suddenly appeared behind the frantic boy and tapped him on the shoulder lightly. Blond haired boy acutely turned around in surprise but a smile took over his features to greet another. He punched the darker haired boy playfully in the arm and stated, "You're late!"

The older one chuckled lowly and sighed. "No, you're just early."

The younger one puffed his cheeks and displayed a childish face. He shook his head and said, "Actually, we're both early."

Nodding, the older boy strode to the steps and climbed down into the water. Smiling, the younger one skipped closely behind and made it into the water too. A passerby would never have thought the younger one had a near death experience before with the look the boy had on his face now. The day before, he had successfully mastered the technique of floating. Albeit it took around four hours or so, it was a great record.

The black haired boy turned around and announced, "Today you'll try to actually swim. I don't think it'll be that hard. You can freestyle."

"Alright! So what do I do?" The eager boy clasped his hands and waited anxiously for instructions.

His mentor forced a giggle and scratched his head with one hand. "I don't really know how I should teach you, to be honest. You kinda just....stroke. Whatever way you like...but it has to work."

Knitting his brows, the student contemplated a style he liked. Breast stroke? No. Butterfly stroke? Ugh. Front crawl? Nnn... He realized that he wasn't really familiar with any style. With a hand cupped under his chin he decided that he would just stroke and paddle in whatever way that kept him afloat.

"I'll just do whatever I like then. You can lecture me later." He told his lenient mentor who replied with a nod.

And for a hour of seriously doing whatever he felt like, he actually managed to acquire a little skill. Resurfacing from beneath water after swimming about sixteen meters, Taemin bobbed proudly in the water. Even though he only swam about half the pool's length, it was another great accomplishment. Feeling the same excitement, Minho screamed joyously with the now victory-dancing-Taemin. They swam towards each other and exchanged a underwater high-five.

Taemin laughed hysterically and spun around in circles continuously. His proud tutor gave the hyper boy a slap on the back and hugged him. His student leaned into the hug and squeezed his good friend tightly before retreating from his bear hug.

"Thank you so much, hyung! You helped me a lot!" He hugged his older friend around the neck and added, "You're such a good person."

His bashful friend ruffled the boy's hair and pulled away.

"You're embarrassing me, Taemin. I've only spent about...six hours supervising you. It was barely even teaching," he admitted honestly. But nonetheless, Taemin was grateful.

Taemin snatched the older boy's hand in his own and squeezed it. He beamed toothily at the boy in front of him and open his mouth wide to inhale a great volume of air. His tongue hit the roof of his mouth and he shouted, "YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL, HYUNG!"

Minho quickly slapped his other hand over Taemin's half opened mouth and hushed, "Shhh! You're too loud! People are staring," he gesture behind the wired fence with a nervous expression.

Taemin pulled the hand off his face and he smirked. He dipped his hand into the water and brought them up in a quick motion, slashing the other with a fist full of water. He laughed childishly and added, "You really are the best, though."

Minho wiped the water droplets off his face in one long motion. He huffed and attacked Taemin with another wave of water. His eyebrows arched up and he grinned widely.

"You still think so?" He placed his hands on his hip leaned back in a provoking manner.

Taemin growled softly and inflated his cheeks into his famous blowfish pout. He got on his back and kicked water repeatedly in his hyung's face. Minho backed up and turned around.

When the kicking didn't stop, Minho just decided to hide underwater. He noticed that Taemin is still kicking at an empty space and giggled mentally. He walked closer towards him and tickled the boy on his sides. There was a quick reaction from the ticklish body. He jumped up and crashed harshly back down, his back colliding with the back of Minho's neck.

Minho winced. He pushed Taemin off of his neck and surfaced from the water, spilling water all over the place. His hand ran along his neck soothingly and he groaned huskily in pain.

Taemin, who got pushed onto the deck watched as Minho seethed in pain with alert eyes. They darted all over the boy's figure and scanned him head to toe for any harm he had caused, other than the ache he had caused upon the boy's back. When Minho had finally removed his hand from his nape, Taemin rushed towards the boy and questioned him.

“Are you okay?” He hauled the boy onto the deck and lightly patted the boy on the back, surveying the severity of the pain. His slim fingertips pressed down onto Minho's wet skin and slid back and forth on the same spot. His clear eyes searched the other one's eyes and asked again. “Does it hurt here?”

A pair of glossy eyes met with Taemin's lucid ones and greeted them with a handsome smile. The radiance of the smile had intimidate the clear ones so much, that the latter had gasped inwardly at the handsomeness. There was a tinge of jealousy inside of Taemin, because he knew he could never muster anything even close to the beauty of what he just saw.

“Got you, Taemin.” Minho chirped cheerily and pinched the blank faced boy on the cheek teasingly.

When the younger of the two still didn't make an effort to reply, Minho ruffled the boy's blond silky strands and gave him a questioning gaze.

Taemin's blank gaze became lively again. He hit his senior on the back of his neck and retorted, “That wasn't funny! I really thought you were hurt!”

Minho flinched a little from the hit and backed away. He held his hand up in defense and stated, “I really am hurt though! I think your elbow jabbed me.”

The blond haired boy's lips circled into an “o” and his eyes bulged slightly. But he quickly recovered and shot back, “You still shouldn't have tickled me. What would you do if I had drowned?”

Minho chuckled softly at the other boy's cute expressions and couldn't help but pinch the boy's cheek again.

“But you started it. What would you have expected?”

Taemin pouted at the fact that he did initiate the water fight. Though he wasn't going to admit it. There was no need too. They both knew very well about the fact.

He stood up and stuck his tongue out at Minho before marching out of the pool childishly.

Minho watched his retreating back and giggled at his random cuteness. And yet again, he was attacked with another random display of cuteness.

Taemin had hid behind the entrance's door and opened it ajar. He peeked through the gap timidly and shout, “Aren't you coming?”

Minho tightly bit his lips, sealing the laughter he felt coming up. He pushed himself off the tiled deck and ran to where the other boy was. His hand crept behind the door and whispered softly—to himself almost, “What am I going to do with you, Lee Taemin?”

But there was nothing he could do about him. He was already addicted to the Taemin's bright smile and moments of random childishness.
:


The wind was blowing fiercely against cherry blossom trees that day. Blush pink petals fluttered elegantly from blossom stems and landed on the dark hair of a waiting boy. Fluttering and fluttering, petals have accumulated all around the boy, and a few even attached themselves onto the boy's neat uniform.

The tall, handsome boy pressed his palm onto the wired fence and leaned his face in. His eyes not even blinking once as they focused intently onto the lean figure splashing calmly in the water. And they did not leave the figure until the moment his slender hand touched the end of the pool.

When the boy closed his eyes and sighed contently, he could feel his eyes stinging and watering. But he smiled. He opened his eyes and they immediately searched for the blond haired boy they had become so used to for the past few days. They laid upon a boy crouched in a corner, smiling happily to himself. He wondered for a moment if he should call out to the boy or not but it was all unnecessary since the other had looked over and saw him standing there.

The other was surprised to see the dark haired boy when classes were still in session. He gave a furtive glance to his teacher's direction and then back to the black haired boy. Quietly, he got up from where he was sitting and tiptoed over to the fence, where his friend was standing directly behind.

In a hushed tone, he asked, “Why are you here, Minho-hyung? Shouldn't you be in class?”

“I got out with permission. I came to see how you were doing. Good job by the way,” he replied in the same hushed tone and gave his junior a thumbs up.

Taemin smiled proudly and doubled the thumbs up. He looked over his shoulder and his eyes met those of his curious teacher. Quickly, he nodded towards his teacher.

“Well, catch you later, hyung. I'm going return to the class.” He waved to Minho and then ran back to the rest of his class.

Minho, however did not want to return to his class. He sighed and cast his younger friend one more glance before walking off to his classroom. Nothing else I could do, so might as well return to class.

When Minho stepped back into his art class, he took his seat beside the window and began doodling in his sketchbook. The teacher came over after she had noticed the boy had returned. She gave him a wink and asked, “Did you find your inspiration?”

Minho stared out the window and thought for a while. He continued to doodle in his sketchbook absentmindedly and mumbled, “Maybe?”

His teacher looked worriedly at him for a brief moment. When Minho only kept looking out the window dreamily, his teacher sighed and walked off.

When he returned his gaze to his sketchbook, he couldn't believe he had drawn a face that resembled Taemin so much. And in his subconscious too.

He didn't know if he should be scared or amazed at what he had just done. But one thing was clear. He thought about Lee Taemin a lot more than he thought he did.

That couldn't be good.

When it was lunch time, Minho sought for Taemin without a second thought. He slung his bag over his shoulder and hurried across the hallways. His feet were quick. After what he had realized during art class, he became so confused. His mind was like a maze at the moment. No matter which path he took, it always led to the same conclusion. A dead end. His only solution was to consult the source of his confusion–Taemin.

He made his way to the entrance of the changing room in no time. He would have rushed in, but he hesitated.

What if his guesses were true? What then?

Minho gulped in fear. Fear of the truth, the possibility, and the him of tomorrow.

His hand gripped tightly on the door's handle. He inhaled and asked himself calmly, should I just forget it all and pretend it never happened? But what of his manly pride? He didn't like lying to himself. In fact, he hated it, to lie and deceive. It just wasn't like him at all. But was he ready to face the possibility of the truth? Could he handle it if things turned out as bad as his imagination?

Curse it all. I'll just check if he's even inside at all.

Finally pushing the door open, he took his first step in and already, he was regretting it. Taemin was inside, changing. The moment he laid his eyes on that slender waist, that angelic face and those innocent eyes, all doubts were banished.

It was true. He liked Taemin.

Minho quickly left the changing room. He had his back against the wall, his hands covering his mouth and his eyes were almost tearing. He silently gasped at the loudness and the speed of his heartbeat. He threw his head back, hitting the wall in a noisy bang.

I can't believe it. I actually...like him. In that way.

Minho slapped himself across the cheek. I'm acting too dramatic. It's not like it's my first time liking someone. He groaned and scratched the nape of his neck. But Taemin's a boy...

He adjusted his bag on his shoulder and prepared to leave, forgetting everything that happened. Manly pride or not, he was going to leave before things turn from worse to worst. After all, liking a girl was, in a way manlier. But before he even took his first step, he was stopped by a voice calling his name, followed by a door opening and then a head poking out.

His body stiffened. The shoulder that singly supported his bag ached in stiffness. He reached up to adjust his bag again and he realized that his other shoulder had become creaky stiff too. The voice continued to probe for a reply. Which, Minho hesitantly turned around to answer.

"Hey," he calmly uttered with a feigned smile. He stretched his arm out and patted Taemin lightly on the shoulder. He wanted to act normal, like nothing really happened. He tried to erase all evidence of unease in his voice and said, "Took you long enough."

Taemin, not suspecting anything, replied giddily, "Since how long have you been waiting for me? And why did you just leave?"

Minho's left eye twitched. The other didn't notice it, but Minho will have to lie. Lying, again, was something he was not fond of. Though, it would sound bad if he told the truth that he had a mini seizure after being exposed to his bare front. But he was totally fine when he was teaching the boy last week, and this morning too. It was only after he had realized that he might have a little crush on the boy, that things got so...out of hand. So just once, he would break his principles and lie. "The smell of deodorant and antiperspirant was too strong."

Taemin snapped his fingers and nodded vigorously. He held a finger out, as if to make a point and said in agreement, "Yeah. My classmates use a lot of cologne too. I got used to it though."

Minho let out a chuckle. He gripped his bag's strap with one hand, and pushed his other down the pocket of his trousers. Behind his smile, he wanted so much to stroke the boy's cheeks and play with his hair. He knew he couldn't do that though. Not only would that be kind of creepy, but that would also be really awkward, coming from a guy.

"So are you going to go eat now?" Minho asked with a cool front. He pulled his right hand out of his pocket and pointed to the direction of the staircase. He smiled and said, "I still have to go eat."

He pushed his hand back into his pocket and crossed his fingers inside. He wished the boy would nod and just leave to eat his lunch, so he could eat his own in peace without worrying about self-control. But Taemin just seemed to want to keep taunting him.

Taemin rushed forward and pushed Minho along on the back. "Well, let's eat together! C'mon, c'mon!"

"Eh," Minho gulped. He tottered forward and followed slowly behind the running boy. Today's lunch will be the longest. He whacked himself on the chest and mentally prepared himself for the longest forty minutes to come. He sighed and muttered, "Alright, alright."

Climbing up the stairs, he tried to avoid the other one's eyes as much as possible when possible. The other just seemed to love looking back to check up on the slower boy. And that killer smile. Minho just couldn't resist being absorbed in it. It was too perfect, beautiful. It's this smile that I fell for...

As the bell rang again, Minho realized a big mistake. Lunch time passed incredibly fast with Taemin by his side. What was it that he said about this being the longest lunch ever? Well, that totally got shot down. Minho enjoyed spending the time with Taemin so much, he almost wished lunch never ended.

But that was merely wishful thinking. Taemin had gotten up from his seated position and picked up his bag.

“Ahh, time for class again,” Taemin whined.

Minho smiled lovingly up at the boy, but his eyes hinted disappointment. He closed his eyes, hiding what he knew was present in them, and nodded. He too, got up, and this time pulled both straps of his backpack over his shoulders.

Nodding, he said, “Yeah.”

Taemin looked thoughtfully at Minho for a moment, and then broke into a wide grin. He straightened his shoulders and excitedly voiced his great idea, “I'll walk you to class, hyung!”

Minho stared surprisingly at Taemin before instantly breaking into a gleeful grin. He patted his junior's head dotingly and accepted him on the offer.

“Thanks. Next time I’ll bring you to class, 'kay?”

“Mmm!”

The both of them started walking side-by-side to Minho's Biology classroom. There was no talk, only smiles. When they finally got to Minho's classroom, they turned around to say their farewells.

“Well, I'll drop you off here. Bye-bye, hyung.” Taemin waved and made an 180 degree turn and started to walk back to his classroom.

Minho gasped a little and shouted after him, “Wait, Taemin! I have to tell you something!”

Taemin stopped and looked back. He walked back to where Minho was with a curious look on his face. He stared up at Minho and encouraged, “What is it?”

Minho had his mouth hanging open, but no words came out. He wondered for a while if he should confess his feelings or wait a little longer. In the end, he laughed it off nervously and said, “No. Never mind I'll tell you some other time.”

Taemin gawked at Minho in disbelief. He protested, “Why?! Tell me now!”

Minho had his lips sealed and simply shook his head. But he added a teasing little wink just to stir Taemin—if he could even be affected at all.

But it was to be expected. Taemin didn't think too much about it and just trotted off with a pout. Although Minho got what he wanted, he somewhat felt disappointed.

Don't worry. I'll tell you soon. I will...
:


The enthusiastic teenager stood eagerly in front of the school's main door. He shifted his balance between his right and left leg constantly, finding it hard to stay still when he was feeling so hyperactive. The eighteen-year-old had been looking forward to this weekend all night and morning. The day before, he had asked his sixteen-year-old crush, Taemin if he wanted to go watch the latest horror movie together. Taemin had agreed on the spot. He had also exchanged numbers with the other boy. It was the best day of Minho's life yet.

And his heart felt like it had just exploded inside his chest when he heard his ringtone sound. Quickly, he checked the caller id, and it displayed “Lee Taemin”. When Minho felt that his heart had recovered from the attack, he read the message that Taemin had sent.

“Minho-hyung~~
I'm sorry, but I can't make it today after all.... ):
I forgot I had already made plans with someone else. Aaaah, so sorry hyung! Let's go another time, yeah? ^^”

Minho stared blankly at his phone, energy drained completely out of him. All over again, his heart broke. But this time, in a slow, sadistic method. His heart squeezed together and imploded.

He looked down at his phone and frowned. He combed his hand through his black locks, sighing dishearteningly. His hands gripped his phone tightly. When he remembered that he still had to reply to Taemin's message, Minho's lazy fingers slowly typed, “Don't mind it. We can go another time.”

It wasn't right. He was feeling way too disappointed from the change of plan. So much it doesn't even feel like disappointment anymore. It became something much darker, much heavier that he could no longer walk with his head held up. Perhaps, it was the emotion jealousy.

That's right, Taemin has other friends too. He laughed solemnly at his stupid self. Of course. Things like this always happens.

Minho pushed his phone into his back pocket and sighed. He began walking back home, staring intently at his feet all the way home. His mood had plunged from energetic to melancholy in the time span of one ringtone. But he tried to smile. He thought, if I try to be happy, I can be happy. There was no point in being gloomy for the rest of the weekend. Smile. Smile. He brought his head up from its hanging position with great effort. He stretched and laughed. Just smile. Even if there was no way to change his down mood, having a semblance of contentment was good enough.

Because Choi Minho is a happy person.
 
:


The weekend had passed by with quick speed. Before anyone had expected it, it was the beginning of yet another school week. Students filed into the school in scattered cliques, chattering about whatever nonsense came to mind. As the clock ticked pass eight, late students dashed shamelessly to the school gate before teachers closed it on them.

Taemin pulled his English textbook and binder out of his locker and then locked it. Idly, he strode to his classroom a few hallways down and yawned. He spent the whole weekend at Onew-hyung's house, helping him shop for a present for his special other half. He also helped his friend wrap and decorate the present and whatnot. The other was really picky and indecisive about things like this. Saying things like, “There has to have a meaning,” and “It has to be something that will be useful” while rejecting every suggestion he made. Taemin furrowed his brows at the thought. Even during the last moment, Onew wanted to make changes to the wrapping and the bow. So troublesome. But contradictory to his thoughts, Taemin's lips played a little smile. Although buying presents and wrapping them were a difficult and time consuming process, Onew actually cared a lot for the one he liked.

But Taemin smile turned lopsided when he remembered that Minho also wanted to go to the movies with him. His gaze lowered in regret. He should have noted that he already had plans on the weekend with Onew, so Minho would not have been so upset. Taemin could tell that Minho had been anticipating to watch the movie with him. He had such excitement in his voice when Taemin had said he would go with him. The blond sighed. He had also wanted to watch the movie. It was in theaters for a few days already.

Taemin nodded with new found resolution. I'll go look for him at lunch and find another time to go with him!

He jogged into his class the second before the bell rang and cheered quietly to himself. Gaining little giggles form his fellow classmate and a roll of eyes from his teacher.

Taemin smiled amiably up at his teacher and greeted, "Hi, Mrs. Kwon! You better not mark me late."

His teacher did not greet him back properly though. She only ushered Taemin towards his seat and closed the door behind him. Walking up to the blackboard, she scribbled a set of numbers down.

He softly sat down into his seat and flipped open his textbook to the page numbers written on the chalkboard. He shuffled through the pages of his exercise book and stopped on a blank page. Picking up a random pencil he found inside his desk, he doodled Naruto's face on the corner of his page and stifled a yawned.

He was going to spend the next hour and forty minutes writing compound and complex sentences. They were supposedly really fun to write.

After the bell had rung and class was officially over, Taemin gathered his books and filed out of the classroom. He slipped between crowds of people in the main hallway and skipped to his locker, phone out in one hand. He scrolled through his list of contacts and stopped on the name he needed. His thumb jumped from button to button, writing a message for his upperclassman, Minho.

“I'll look for you during lunch, wait for me!”

He sent the message and then put his phone back into his pocket. Exchanging his English books with his art supplies, he pushed his locker closed. Happily, he zoomed passed people and down stairs. He slowed down when he arrived at the corner of his classroom. Peeking into the classroom, he spotted his art teacher sorting through paintings by other students.

He quietly crept into the classroom when her back was facing him. He slid into his seat and tucked his supplies into his empty desk.

Silently, he waited for the bell to ring and declare the start of class. When that did happen, the other ninety-nine percent of the class were present. The teacher had gotten in the front of the classroom and given instructions and a deadline to their new project.

Taemin pursed his lips and groaned. Another hour and forty minutes of draft sketching.

Lethargically, he pulled out his sketch book and pencils and started sketching a rough draft. His 2HB pencil glided carelessly across and around his lightly textured paper. A hour and half more to go... I can do this!

He sketched and sketched again, disposing every idea that seemed overused or flawed. Pulling at his hair, he crossed out another sketch and began mulling over another.

Soon, the whole hour and a half was gone and it was finally lunch time. Taemin beamed and dashed back to his locker, book and pencils safe between his chest and arms. Carelessly, he threw his sketch book and pencil case into the bottom of his locker and grabbed his sandwich from his bag and sprinted off again.

He descended flights of stairs and turned around many corners, searching for a tall raven haired hyung. He pushed through doors, searched around the garden area and the courtyard. When his searching was fruitless, Taemin began to pant and groan.

He whipped out hid phone and directly called the older boy. First ring, second ring, third ring, "Taemin?"

Taemin huffed and demanded, "Where are you?"

"Didn't you say you would come look for me?"

Taemin paused. He coughed and replied, "I'm tired now. Just tell me."

There was a moment's silence and then a low giggle. "You're in the courtyard? Turn around and look straight ahead."

Taemin did as he was told and turned around, then looked straight ahead. He was facing the window of the cafeteria. He squinted his eyes and moved closer towards the glass. Behind the reflecting glass was a smiling big eyed boy, waving to him. Taemin pouted and pointed his finger at the face behind the window.

"Finally!" He opened the back doors to the cafeteria and jogged to where the boy was sitting with a tray of lunch.

He pulled the chair beside Minho out and place himself onto the plastic chair. Minho laughed at him and took another bite of his roasted chicken. After he had swallowed he said, "About time, Taemin. I've been waiting for about fifteen minutes now!"

"And I've been searching for about fifteen minutes! Why are you even here of all places?" Taemin scooted his chair over to face his senior. He was still panting slightly.

Minho made a funny face. He answered, "Because it's lunch?"

The younger of the two gasped exaggeratedly. He slapped his forehead and cursed. "Ahh. It's because I don't come here often. I bring my own lunch."

Minho waved his hand, dismissing the topic and immediately starting a new one. "So, where's your lunch?"

"Ate while looking for you. I was too hungry," was Taemin's spontaneous reply. His hand automatically went for the carton of milk on Minho's tray. He opened it and drained about a quarter of it before returning it to the owner.

"Too thirsty." Taemin gave Minho and apologetic glance after he realized he didn't even ask before taking his milk. But luckily, Minho did not seem to mind. In fact, he even offered Taemin the whole carton, which Taemin gladly accepted without a second of hesitation. He chugged down the rest of the milk before placing the empty carton soundly on the table.

He smiled at Minho and gave him a quick, "Thanks!"

His kind upperclassman nodded and forked another piece of chicken into his mouth. He mumbled something that sounded like, “Sow, did jyou need somefing from me?”

Taemin frowned at the little piece of chicken he had spat out but return his attention to his friend. He nodded and raised his hand saying, “Yeah! Let make another time to watch that movie! I really wanted to go, but I remembered I promised to help a friend with something. Sorry,” Taemin apologized again.

Minho shook his head and stuffed his mouth with more chicken. He didn't stop until he finished everything. But he still talked with his mouth full. He said, "S'ok. We can go this weekend."

"Okay," Taemin uttered softly. He played with the milk carton as he watched as Minho pick up his tray and walked to the trash bin. He emptied the garbage into the bin and placed the tray on the counter. Taemin also went to recycle his carton.

The both of them exited the cafeteria. They strolled around the campus and chatted about the upcoming weekend, about which theatre they were going to and where they were going to meet up. They discuss all the minor details plus lunch if they can make it for the morning show.

Minho cast a steady glance at down at Taemin and cleared his throat. He slowed his pace and angled his head towards the younger boy. Taemin looked up at Minho and when he knew that he had the boy's attention, Minho recalled, "Remember when I said there was something i needed to tell you?"

Taemin thought back to a few days ago, when he dropped Minho off to class. Minho did say something like that, but he quickly changed his mind and decided not to tell him in the end. That had left Taemin very curious as to what the boy was about to tell him. As much as he wanted to, he did not pry. That was only rude.

He nodded and also remarked, "Yeah, you said you wouldn't tell me yet."

Minho sighed and hooked his thumbs in the pockets of his trousers. He murmured softly as he looked straight ahead, "I know. I'm going to tell you now though...but it'll be very awkward."

Taemin's curiosity only grew more at the last few words. His ears perked and his lips twitched into a subtle smirk. He knotted his fingers together, keeping his piqued curiosity in place. There was interest in his mellow voice when he urged, "You can tell me. I promise we will still be friends."

Minho fixed his uncertain eyes on the younger one's encouraging pair. He scratched his elbow and whispered, "I guess that's a good thing?"

The younger boy had just rejected him before Minho even confessed. Of course, Taemin didn't know what was about to happen to him, nor did he suspect it in the least. His mere desire was to get Minho to willingly unveil his secret to him. And Minho kind of noticed that in the way Taemin's eyes shone, so careful but unmistakably shrewd.

Minho bit the bottom of his lip and gently nibbled on its inside. He knew that telling the boy now would mean the chances of going to the movie on the weekend would drop from a hundred percent to a low fifty percent. Albeit the boy had promised to stay as his friend, he knew there was a chance that Taemin would abandon him anyway.

But despite of the fact, he would still risk it. It was more logical to Minho. He would rather confess now and risk everything than getting to know the boy more and bear the possibility of liking the boy even more. When that happens, there would be no turning back.

He gently pulled Taemin aside and began, "Alright, I'll tell you." He paused for a brief moment to think and breathe. Then, with careful words he continued, "I'm not quite sure when it started but...I think have a crush on you."

Minho cringed inwardly at the lameness of his "carefully thought" confession. His eyes examined Taemin for possible hints of what he was thinking.

Undoubtedly, Taemin was baffled by the truth of Minho's secret. He would never have guessed that Minho would actually like him. Not in that way, because Taemin for sure, did not like Minho in a way other than friends. But he was not someone that discriminated against people with different sexualities. He was pretty open minded. In fact, the person Onew was dating was Jonghyun, the school's best vocalist and also a guy.

But no matter what, he will not like Minho in that way. Thus, he cannot return his feelings.

Taemin stared down at his shoes and for the first time, noticed how dirty they were. He did not peel his gaze from his dirty white Adidas shoes, he only stared harder.

Gingerly, but confidently, he admitted, "Umm. I never thought of you in that way, hyung. It just didn't occur to me that I would ever even be liked by someone. Anyone." And naturally, he looked up to see what kind of face Minho was making. There was obvious hurt and disappointment, but it was discreet and restrained. Almost like he had expected the exact reply, which was somewhat true.

Taemin gasped and hastily assured Minho that they would still be friends. He said, "But we will still be friends! We will still go to see the horror movie together."

Minho safely pulled off a half grin and awkwardly laughed. With a sharp turn of his heels, he continued down their original path and acted like nothing just happened. He jerked his arm, a gesture for Taemin to come along.

He sang energetically, "I know, I know. We will just be friends."

Taemin followed behind and gave his share in the act of happiness. He laughed and chirped, "Right!"

But there was a possibility that did not escape the back on Minho's mind. The slight chance that maybe, just maybe, he could make the boy like him too. And like, as in the level above friends. Though for now, he kept that thought to himself. He would sound too conceited if he were to voice his though out. Choi Minho was not a conceited person. Not one bit.

He should feel grateful that the boy even kept his promise to stay as friends.

The bells chimed again, and it was the beginning of the third block. The two walked along side each other like everybody else and pretended they had completely forgotten the confession. Though truthfully, neither of them did. No matter how insignificant the person, you can never really forget a confession to you or vice versa.
 
 
 
Current Mood: boredbored
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Love: jjongbigsmilenamedlove on April 21st, 2013 05:05 am (UTC)
Yes, I'm sorry to say I've nearly missed you one lone comment on this entry. But thank you, I happy someone out there liked this one shot.

I don't exactly write this fandom now, but I have written a few other one shots and drabble on my aff account: http://www.asianfanfics.com/profile/view/21821

I also have an updated version of Cancer there, because I have found out a long time ago that the version posted here had a few errors. If you see my reply after all this time, I'll gladly take an one shot request for 2min since I have writer's block for my anime fandoms. Just PM me.