Rating: PG-13, for now. Higher ratings in later chapters.
Summary: Taemin was not the kind of boy to make friends for the sake of having friends; all he needed was his dance. So why did he suddenly find himself drawn to the boy a few seats behind him with the voice of an angel?
Status/length: Incomplete, 1,500 words.
Author's Note: This is the side story (more of a prequel, really) to my Onew/Minho fic, Parallel Lines, but it can be read on its' own as AU. And I swear it's not all math-y; I just like the way math terms sound. ^^;;
Taemin was not the kind of boy to make friends for the sake of having friends. He didn't mind smiling at people and pretending to be interested in what they had to say, but when they invited him to hang out more or asked for his cell phone number, he always shook them off. Friends were something he didn't need. He appreciated the effort of course, but he was far too caught up in his dance to really put any effort into a friendship. In his world, all that existed was his dance, and the music that let him flow and pop in ways that made him feel alive. In his world, there was no room for other people. It was always just him and his music, his dance, and he wouldn't really mind if it stayed that way forever.
Taemin was ungodly uncomfortable.
"Hey, did you guys hear about Minhyun and Sara?," Someone asked in a voice that was far too loud to be a whisper, despite the secretive way the person spoke, "They only started going out last week, but they've already kissed! I hear they even used tongue."
Taemin banged his head against the window, fingers pressing hard on the center button on his iPod, willing it with his mind to turn the fuck on already. His ears started ringing as someone squealed from the back of the bus, making him slam his head against the ugly leather seat in front of him, beating himself up for not remembering to charge his iPod that morning before he left for school.
"Yah, Yuuri! I heard the creep across the street from you got arrested for flashing someone!"
Taemin didn't know how much more he could take. Despite the music playing in his head, despite how hard he tried to focus his mind on the dance moves he'd created to that song, despite every last ditch effort made to ignore the loud chatter in the back of the bus, he could not find a way to block it out completely. Someone screamed like they'd just been jabbed hard in the side. Taemin sighed, turning his head to the side to scan the back rows of the bus, spotting someone jumping around all the way in the very back of the seats; apparently they really had been jabbed in the side. He would have been happy to be right, if he wasn't so damn upset that he even knew what was going on.
Taemin grumbled, muttering something about ridiculous school children under his breath as he shifted his eyes around the bus, noticing for the first time exactly how many people were on it. He'd never really payed attention before, since he always had his eyes trained on his iPod and his mind focused on the moves to each dance that played. He had never really thought to take notice of the people around him, so he took the rare moment as a sign to remind him of how amazing his dance was and studied them with disinterested eyes. He noticed first the way they all seemed to squeal or laugh with excessive volume, but when he blocked their voices out, he started noticing other things - their facial expressions, their gestures, the way their emotions seemed to fly wildly from one to another within the space of a few seconds. He himself didn't really understand how to express his emotions through anything but a polite smile and his dance, so he found the way these people acted almost interesting. Almost, but he'd still rather be listening to his iPod with his feet shifting around on the ground to the beat.
"Juliette~ I’ll give you my soul. Juliette~ Please accept me. Juliette~ Sweetly, a little more sweetly, whisper-- goddamnit, what should I put there?"
Taemin blinked, his entire body tensing just slightly as that one voice started singing again, their voice a little rougher, a little sweeter, a little more soulful. Taemin's eyes darted around each of the bus seats, trying to find the source of that singing, a small choking noise resounding from his throat as he finally spotted the boy at the exact time he hit the high note, almost sending a shiver down Taemin's spine from the raw emotion filtered in that one sound.
His eyes were large and round like a puppy. His cheekbones were high, his nose was sharp, and his jawline was strong. His ears slightly resembled those of elves, and his lips, the ones currently begging Juliette to come to him, were full and pouty. Taemin couldn't tear his eyes away.
He watched the boy as he sang the unfamiliar lyrics under his breath, his voice traveling through the aisle and straight to Taemin's ears. Every few lines, he would pause where he was and make a note of something he wanted to change or cross something out entirely. When he got stuck, he would pause completely and narrow his eyes, his jaw tensing as he chewed on his thumb until he figured something out. When he suddenly came up with a word or a line or a melody for a part, his eyes would light up like an 80 watt lightbulb and his lips would burst into a grin, his eyes crinkling at the sides even as he furiously wrote down whatever note he had to make. Taemin was fascinated.
"Lee Taemin!" Someone shouted from the front of the bus, making Taemin whip around to see the bus driver staring at him. He glanced around and noticed that he was at his house, his cheeks flushing a light pink color as he gathered his backpack, not even daring to look at the boy who he'd been staring at as he scrambled off the bus, his mind playing the serenade to Juliette over and over again.
"Juliette~ I’ll give you my soul. Juliette~ Please accept me. Juliette~ Sweetly, a little more sweetly, whisper my serenade. THAT'S IT!"
Taemin ducked his head down, laughing at the stupid grin that appeared on the other boys face as he finally decided on what Juliette should be whispering. It had been a week since Taemin had first started listening to the boy sing, and he'd found out quite a bit. First, he'd learned that his name was Jonghyun, and he was in his first year of high school, which made him an entire 3 years older than Taemin. He always sat exactly four seats back on the left side of the bus, despite the fact that their seats weren't assigned, and he always carried around a blue water bottle in his backpack, probably in case his throat got dry. He'd also found out that he was a bit of a flirt - so much so that there were at least three girls (and possibly one boy) who had a crush on him. Every time Jonghyun would massage his lips with his tongue, particularly when he was trying to think of an exact word to use, the three girls would squeal like fangirls and the boy would blush ever so slightly. Taemin found it a little bit amusing; maybe to some, that small action would be considered hot and seductive, but to Taemin it looked like a mentally challenged dog trying to keep itself cool in the middle of summer.
Jonghyun got along with everyone he came across, it seemed. He was friends with everyone on the bus, the people walking past the windows would always stop to bang on the window where he sat and wave at him, and his cell phone went off with texts every five minutes or so, regardless of whether or not he answered them. Yes, Jonghyun was a popular boy, but even when the people in the back of the bus tried to get him to sit with them, even when his phone would go off, he always remained focused on his music and nothing else.
Taemin found him fascinating, for reasons he couldn't entirely understand. Since he'd first heard Jonghyun singing his serenade to Juliette, he hadn't listened to his music even once, and he no longer created and perfected dances to the songs he'd heard a million times, instead letting his body shift and pop to the beat of Jonghyun's voice discreetly. He no longer ignored everyone on the bus, and instead took the time to study their reactions and emotions, even smiling widely at them when they looked at him. Something was changing inside of Taemin, and though he didn't quite understand what it was, he knew for sure that the cause of it was that rough, heavenly voice that never stopped singing from across the aisle, begging Juliette to listen to his love's serenade.
TO BE CONTINUED...
A/N: I'm sorry that this took so long to get out, everyone. It took longer than I expected to find a Taemin muse, but I think I finally got a grasp on it. I hope you all liked this; thank you for reading! ♥
I'm not sure how quick updates will be, since I'm also writing a few other stories right now, but it shouldn't be too long. :D
Next Chapter: Chapter 02