Character(s) / pairing(s): Jiyong / Seunghyun, Chaerin / Sandara, Seungri
Word Count: 2906
Note: find chapter one here.
Summary: Double dates are confusing. You might just end up falling for the wrong person.
Seunghyun and he had been texting quite regularly by now. There wasn't a set time for it – sometimes Seunghyun wouldn't let himself be heard for days and then he'd suddenly send a text in the dead of night or during class or at any moment Jiyong wasn't expecting it.
Jiyong would like to say he did the same, but had sadly never been good at the waiting game and therefore always responded immediately.
Maybe that came across as desperate, but then again, they were just (budding?) friends so it wasn't like any dating etiquette applied. And with that comforting knowledge, Jiyong pressed 'send' on his eight text that day.
Jiyong hadn't given Seunghyun's number to Chaerin because neither of them had asked about it. And, well, like the proverb said: better let sleeping dogs lie. Until one morning over breakfast his roommate slash friend asked him whom he'd been texting with. Jiyong bit his nail, strangely feeling caught in the act while there wasn't really an act to be caught in. As in. He hadn't done anything wrong. Except maybe omitting certain information.
“Eh – Seunghyun.”
“Seunghyun as in my date Seunghyun?” Chaerin looked up from the toast she was preparing.
“That'd be the one,” Jiyong answered. When she arched an eyebrow he shrugged casually, or at least something that passed for casually, because he'd never felt entirely comfortable under her scrutinizing gaze.
“I ran into him like a week ago,” he elaborated, still very casually. “We ended up chatting for a bit and I thought he was nice. If you want I can also give you his number,” he added, remembering that had sort of been the whole reason he'd asked Seunghyun's number in the first place.
“Oh. Well, better late than never, I suppose. But you know, I'm not really a text person.”
She paused, applying a final layer of jam on her toast. “It might be nice to meet up again though,” she continued. “With the four of us, I mean.”
Jiyong nodded. “Yeah,” he agreed, “shall I text them now?”
“Sure. Just don't make it a Wednesday because that's when my yoga class is; or this Thursday or Friday as I have a big paper coming up.”
“When exactly can you meet up?”
“Just make it a Saturday,” Chaerin sighed and took a bite out of her toast.
I'd love to! Looking forward to it kekeke >_< (Dara, 5 minutes later)
Sounds good, see you both then (Seunghyun, 5 hours later)
They'd agreed to meet up at the main square of town, from which they could choose from a multitude of Saturday night drinking options.
“Étoile is nice,” Chaerin suggested as she and Jiyong approached the main square, her heels echoing on the pavement with every step.
“Uhuh,” Jiyong agreed. “Fills up very fast though, we can always head to La Place.”
As was every Saturday night the case, it was crowded in the center part of town: people passing each other on the streets in large groups, chattering loudly and occasionally shouting things at one other. Most of them were students – it's what you got in a small town with a big university.
Now and then Jiyong's gaze lingered at one of the people passing by – more accurately, at the dress, shoes, bag or hat they were wearing. The student scene wasn't particularly known for its amazing fashion sense, but now and then he spotted something good and it made his fingers itch. Whether that was to get his fingers on the clothing or the person wearing them, was in some cases more clear than others.
This night he'd opted for skinny jeans, boots and a simple white v-shaped tee. Sometimes less was more – or his own version of 'less', anyhow, which came with a multitude of accessories. That was simply a necessity.
It was nine 'o clock when they arrived at the main square. Dara was already there, waiting on the edge of the fountain. She looked cute as ever.
Chaerin hugged her by way of greeting. Though Jiyong hadn't planned on doing the same, he could hardly stay behind now and so followed suit. He had to bend down slightly to wrap his arms around her waist, which was a nice change from always being the shortest one.
“Have you been waiting long?” Chaerin inquired when the greeting part was over and done with.
“No, only for a short while,” Dara answered.
“Good. By the way, I like your jacket. Carven?”
As the two girls started a fashion-related conversation (which ought to interest him like nothing else) he looked around for Seunghyun. Somehow it didn't surprise him the other guy would be late. Seemed oddly fitting.
A minute later, however, he spotted a tall figure coming their way. Jiyong immediately looked the other way, pretending he hadn't been on the look-out just now.
“Oh, there's Seunghyun!” Dara exclaimed as she also spotted him. She waved, and Jiyong turned around in time to see him wave back, a dopey smile on his face. It looked oddly cute, contrasted with how dashing he looked in black.
Well. Dashing really was the word to use in this context.
When he reached them, he smiled at Dara in acknowledgement, then turned towards Jiyong, then Chaerin. (This order did not escape Jiyong and it might make him childishly – pathetically – pleased).
“Hello,” Seunghyun greeted, “wait, am I late?”
“Yes,” Jiyong said, even though he was still grinning, “we've been waiting for ages.”
“No, we haven't,” Chaerin said, rolling her eyes. “But we'd better go now lest everything has filled up completely.”
There was an awkward moment then in which none of them were sure whom they should walk next to en route to the pub – but in the end it fell back to their original line-up, with Chaerin (and Seunghyun) leading the way and Dara and himself following suit.
He felt oddly disappointed. That had nothing to do with the lovely girl next to him – it's just that he'd like to know if Seunghyun had managed to hand in his assignment on time (the topic of their latest text convo) or the reason he'd been late tonight or where he got that great jacket from.
All right, so maybe he just wanted to talk to him.
Étoile indeed proved to be full when they arrived, and so they headed for La Place – a cosy bar already packed with students, but they managed to squeeze in and find a place near the bar.
“Two red wine, a beer and a gin tonic please,” Chaerin placed their orders. The barman smiled appraisingly at her before turning around to get their orders, and Jiyong could not blame him – she looked stunning in black. Chaerin, well aware of this, leaned back against the bar and looked pleased by all accounts.
“I've never been here before,” Dara said next to him.
“What?” Jiyong said as he leaned in closely. The rowdiness of the pub made it hard to make out conversation.
“I've never been here before,” Dara repeated in his ear.
Just as Jiyong nodded, Chaerin asked, “What's that?”
“It's her first time here,” Jiyong said in a loud tone.
This wasn't going to work.
As Dara moved closer to Chaerin to continue the conversation, Jiyong turned around to Seunghyun. The other guy nodded at him and quite without being able to help it, Jiyong smiled brightly. There wasn't really a reason for it, he just did.
As there had been none yet, alcohol could not be blamed – although... the prospect of booze surely was enough to make one feel giddy in and of itself? Surely.
And more booze there was. With every beer or mix drink Jiyong got progressively giddier and – in true affectionate-drunk style – progressively handsier, which was spread out evenly on his three companions. Though perhaps with a slight bias towards Seunghyun, but that was only because the other guy stood right next to him.
Chaerin, meanwhile, got louder and louder, as she was wont to do with a few wines in her circulation. At one point she even performed a live rendition of Let It Go for them, after having being dared to by Dara, which was fun. Dara herself also gave it a go, and surprisingly well at that. After which Seunghyun clearly couldn't resist joining in, which was... less successful but considerably hilarious.
Speaking of Seunghyun – his alcohol tolerance far surpassed Jiyong's, as the other guy still managed to stand perfectly straight while Jiyong had to keep himself upright with a little help of the bar counter and a lot of help from Seunghyun, whom he leaned heavily on. Jiyong could feel his body heat radiate through his jacket and it made him pleasantly dizzy.
“Selfie time!” Dara sing-songed, giddy on one too many wine, as she raised her smartphone. While they huddled together to fit in the frame and smiled broadly at the screen, Jiyong thought it could not get better than this.
It didn't get better. Because the next morning, he awoke with a burning headache.
“Remind me not to do that again,” Chaerin blearily said, seated at the kitchen table with her head rested on her hands, hair unkempt.
“Okay,” Jiyong said, too miserable to argue that such warnings likely were to have no effect.
He sleepily checked his phone. Dara had sent him the selfie from last night – their smiles oblivious and happy, Chaerin's arms around Dara's waist, Seunghyun's hand on his right shoulder.
And despite his aching head, he thought again that: yeah, that had been fun.
It was a week later, mid-October having arrived, when Jiyong came home to find the two girls seated in the living room. They were fully immersed in whatever it was they were doing (giggling while hunched over a laptop and eating snacks) so they only took note of Jiyong's presence when he'd stood in the living room for a while and pointedly announced himself.
“Oh hey, Jiyong!” Dara greeted cheerfully, “nice place.”
“Thanks,” Jiyong said. He looked questioningly at Chaerin, who wore her usual stay-at-home sweatpants, though he did notice she'd brushed her hair.
“Oh, Dara's helping me with this social media project for school,” Chaerin explained. “She'd offered to help last Saturday when I said I got stuck. Turns out I still got a lot to learn.”
“Very true,” Dara nodded sagely.
“Oi,” Chaerin said, but it was without any ire. In fact, Jiyong noticed that she was looking at Dara with a distinct certain fondness. Saturday night drinking really was the best way to get close, then.
“Now you just need to get a Twitter,” Dara said with admittedly admirable enthusiasm.
“Not going to happen,” Chaerin declared.
Jiyong grinned. That answer was to be expected. “Hey, can I have some of those?” he asked as he pointed towards the M&M's in the bowl.
Chaerin held out the bowl towards him. “Sure, if you then retreat to your room.”
Jiyong thought it kind of ironic that he had to leave her alone with the very person he'd introduced her to, but didn't say so. After all, he had a paper to write. And a deadline creeping closer every minute.
“Good luck,” he said, grabbing a handful of snacks and shuffling towards his room on his socks.
Dara was going to need it if she meant business with her Twitter mission.
But as it turned out, Sandara Park was either a highly skilled manipulator or simply irresistible because Jiyong had to hit 'follow' on Chaerin's account that same afternoon. Thus far she hadn't used it much – her welcome selfie being pretty much the only post.
Still. “Welcome to the modern world” he'd tweeted her, which she hadn't faved but had replied to with a 'happy whatever' emoji. So Sandara Park had also introduced her to the world of emojis. She'd been busy indeed.
He checked his Twitter feed as he walked to the college bistro where he'd agreed to meet up with Seungri, the weather noticeably more cold and windy from the weeks before. Jacket weather; and hot coffee weather.
There was someone else conspicuously absent from his Twitter list: Seunghyun. The other guy seemed to be as averse to social media as could be for someone their age (or any form of modern communication at that, if his fickle text replies were anything to go by). Jiyong honestly couldn't even imagine what Seunghyun's tweets would look like – inspirational quotes? Funny facts? Selfies?
In the last case he'd easily amass a hundred likes an hour, looking the way he did. Handsome bastard.
He folded his phone away in the inside pocket of his jacket as he stepped over the threshold over the bistro. This time of day the place was always busy, but scanning around Jiyong could see Seungri'd managed to get them a corner table near the window. As of now, his friend seemed engrossed in taking selfies as he pouted at his smarthphone.
Jiyong grinned. Sneakily, he crept up towards Seungri, who was seated with his back towards him – until he clapped him on the shoulders.
Seungri yelped, and quickly turned around.
“Jiyong-hyung!” he said, “you scared me.”
Jiyong grinned as he let himself fall in the chair opposite him. “Sorry, did I interrupt your selfie time?”
Seungri sniffed, unperturbed as ever. “You can mock me, but these were good photos, hyung. Today is a good hair day.”
“Uh-huh,” Jiyong said, still grinning, as he casually scanned the menu card. Pumpkin cake was half the prize right now. Maybe should get some of that.
“Those pics for your girlfriend?” he asked as he signaled for the waitress.
Seungri made a non-committal sound, which was probably a yes. Seungri always had these girls hanging around him, only half of which Jiyong got to meet.
As the waitress arrived at their table – a pretty cute girl, he couldn't help but notice – he placed his order, with Seungri ordering an extra latte macchiato with whipped cream and cinnamon.
“Cappuccino not good enough anymore for you now?” Jiyong quipped as he watched the waitress walk away.
“It's nice, you should try it,” Seungri said with his usual energetic confidence and Jiyong grinned. He tended to do that a lot in Seungri's company.
Five minutes later, as their coffees and pie had arrived, Seungri looked at him expectedly. “So,” he said, “are you and Sandara still hanging out?”
“Yeah,” Jiyong said, taking a sip from the foam of his coffee and relishing it for a second. “Chaerin and her seem to have become good friends,” he added as an after-thought.
“Huh? Chaerin?” Seungri said as he looked at him with comically big eyes. “So she can be actually nice to some people, huh.”
Jiyong snorted as he took a bite from his pie. Seungri and she might always act like they didn't like each other, but he knew that deep down they secretly did. Only they'd never admit to it while still alive and breathing.
“Dara was helping her with some social media project the other day. She even got Chaerin to sign up for Twitter, which is a major accomplishment.”
“She's got that charm,” Seungri said as though it was completely self-explanatory.
Jiyong raised his eyebrows. “You like her?”
“Of course I do,” Seungri said. “No, no, not like that,” he hurriedly added in answer to Jiyong's look, “as a friend. You know she can be really funny.”
“Yeah, I got some of that the night we went out. Even though I didn't always get what she meant.”
“She's funnier than you, hyung. No offense.”
“So,” Seungri continued in one go, “what about Seunghyun?”
Jiyong chocked on his coffee. “What about him?” he said, feigning innocence.
Seungri pretended he hadn't noticed Jiyong's misstep, even though he obviously had, because he noticed everything.
“Well, do you like him?” Seungri elaborated.
“Sure,” Jiyong said, “yeah, we've become friends, of sorts. Have been texting a lot lately.”
“Really?” Seungri seemed surprised at that.
“Well,” Jiyong amended, “I have been texting and Seunghyun, you know, sometimes responds.”
Seungri nodded. “That sounds more like Seunghyun. But you know, the fact that he texts you back is something in itself. He usually completely ignores mine.”
Jiyong smirked. It was probably pathetic to be happy about that, but you know what, he didn't care.
“He's kind of weird, isn't he?” Seungri said as he enthusiastically munched on his pie, brow furrowed like he was really giving the matter some thought. “But he's really handsome, so, you know, it doesn't matter. Appearances are a doorway to success,” Seungri concluded as though quoting someone. Probably one of his how-to-be-successful self-help books.
“Uh-huh,” Jiyong said. Best not to ask for details lest Seungri pressed him again to read one of them. Besides – it's not like Jiyong could counter any of his points. About the handsome bit. And the weirdness.
“You know, I knew you'd like him,” Seungri stated, as though this was the satisfactory conclusion to a question they'd been discussing just now.
“What?” Jiyong said. He felt his face doing a lot of things at once. Not at all the neutral expression he was going for.
“Aahh, you know,” Seungri commented vaguely – and Jiyong didn't know.
Or maybe he did.
And that was sort of the whole problem.
read the next chapter here!