Sometimes, Jonghyun wonders what it would be like if Kibum loved him.
If Kibum loved Jonghyun, things would be different within SHINee.
“I can’t-- I can’t allow you two to sleep in our room together!” Jinki would say, struggling to assert himself as the leader of the group.
Kibum would roll his eyes and scoff (in the cute way that he always does), “Jinki, that’s stupid. What do you think we’re going to do?”
Jonghyun can easily picture Jinki going rigid from Kibum’s reply. He would stutter and stumble over his words, searching for something appropriate to say; his face would redden, a dark red that Taemin had once likened to the colour of kimchi soup.
Kibum would feel sorry for him -- eventually -- and say, “Relax, ok? We’ll just take the spare room then.”
Jinki would flounder and Kibum would casually take Jonghyun’s hand into his own (because it fits simply and perfectly) and tug him into the spare room, smirking devilishly at Jinki. “I recommend listening to your iPod on full volume for the next hour, prude.”
Jonghyun laughs when he thinks about it; Kibum being in love with him, that is. Something like that would never happen because life isn’t a fairy tale. As much as he would love to hold Kibum in his arms and press kisses into his temple (and neck, and jaw, and lips), he knows that would never become reality.
He doesn’t quite fantasize about Kibum the way he used to. He knows better than to get his hopes up for nothing. There’s nothing worse than building himself up just to come crashing back down when reality finally hits.
Three weeks ago, Jonghyun had been laying on his bunk, scrawling unfinished lines into the pages of his lyric book, when Kibum came into the room.
Jonghyun instantly closed his book, sliding it secretively underneath his pillow. He watched carefully as Kibum crawled up the ladder to Jonghyun’s bunk. Jonghyun slid over slightly to make more room for Kibum as he laid beside Jonghyun, their bodies pressed close together due to the small space of the bunk.
Minho looked up at them from his position on his own bunk, long legs sprawled across the mattress, his left foot making itself comfortable on Jinki’s pillow. He sighed and packed up his homework, collecting papers from all corners of his bed and Jonghyun and Kibum stared down at him. “I’ll leave you two alone.” Minho said, tone sharp.
Kibum snorted -- (“And what’s that supposed to mean?”) -- looking back to Jonghyun with watering eyes once Minho had left the room.
“What’s up?” Jonghyun asked, swallowing the lump that grew in his throat.
Kibum sighed and shook his head, linking arms with Jonghyun. “Do you think I’m gay?”
Jonghyun’s breath hitched and he didn’t have time to reply before Kibum began wailing. “You do, don’t you?”
Jonghyun shifted onto his side, propping himself up with one arm while the other gently stroked at Kibum’s hair. “No, no, no! Stop that, Kibum! What’s wrong with you?”
Kibum stopped his cries of grief for a moment to lean into Jonghyun’s touch, causing Jonghyun’s heart to pound harder. “It’s just...” Kibum sighed and Jonghyun cupped Kibum’s face gently; Jonghyun knew that whatever was bothering him must have been really bad. It wasn’t often that Kibum was at a loss for words.
“Yesterday, Seunghyun asked me out.”
Jonghyun waited patiently for more but soon realized that Kibum had nothing else to say when he gave Jonghyun a scathing look. “Oh, that’s... terrible.” Jonghyun said, without emotion.
Kibum huffed, pushing Jonghyun’s hand away from him. “I come to you, my best friend, for help and support in my time of need, and all you have to say is, ‘that’s terrible’?” He scoffed and rolled his eyes, “Some best friend you are.”
“Hey, wait.” Jonghyun said sharply, eyes narrowing as he stared down at Kibum. “I don’t understand what’s wrong here. You need to explain just a little bit more, Kibum. My psychic powers aren’t as good as they used to be.”
He rolled his eyes again, unamused, and carefully began his explanation, speaking slowly as if Jonghyun were a child. “Seunghyun, a boy, asked me, also a boy, out on a date because he thought that I was gay.” Jonghyun sent him another blank look. “Idiot! I’m not gay! That’s disgusting!”
And that was the reality Jonghyun didn’t want, when all that he had built up came crashing down.
If Kibum were gay (and Jonghyun desperately wishes so,) Jonghyun knows they would be the perfect match.
In love stories, the best relationships always come from people who start out good friends. Based on that, Jonghyun knows that a relationship with Kibum would be like a match made in heaven.
And it’s a shame, really, Jonghyun thinks. He knows that he would be able to make romantic (which is really just another word for cheesy) lyrics with Kibum’s stage name. You’re the key to my heart? Oh, how Jonghyun wishes.
But, it doesn’t matter, because Kibum has said, time and time again, that he is not gay. Jonghyun sighs in sadness, he knows he has to move on but it’s so hard --
“What’s wrong?” Kibum cuddles a little bit closer into Jonghyun’s side and strokes the side of his face gently. “You’ve been sighing like crazy for the past half-hour. What are you so upset about?”
Jonghyun forces a smile and rests his head atop Kibum’s, pushing Kibum’s hand gently away from his face. “Nothing, it’s just that I haven’t brushed my teeth yet and I was wondering when you’d comment on my bad breath.”
Kibum scoffs, “I really hate you, you know.”
Jonghyun nods and resists the urge to press a kiss into Kibum’s temple (it would just be so easy). “Yeah, I know.”
-- it’s hard to get over someone when you’re as close as Jonghyun and Kibum.
Jonghyun knows it’ll never happen, but he can’t help but wonder, what if...?