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, 2,300 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. ^^;;
Previous Chapters: 01
Arms raised into the air and fell, legs twisted and turned and kicked out gracefully, hips swung from side to side, and breathing increased rapidly as Taemin played the song in his head, his body moving to the beat he'd only heard a number of times. He didn't know how or why, but ever since he'd heard Jonghyun singing his song to Juliette, Taemin hadn't been able to stop dancing. Normally, his mind was far too preoccupied with creating dances to Michael Jackson and N.E.R.D. songs, but all of a sudden, this song, this serenade, had him dancing until the early hours of the morning, sometimes all the way until he had to get a shower and leave for school. Not long ago, he would have danced until he collapsed onto his bed and fell asleep, but now he would push himself further, only taking small breaks before getting back up and starting again, perfecting the way his wrists followed his arms, the way his hips moved at a specific angle, the way his legs kicked out without bending his knees. Yes, despite the fact that he only knew a few lines to the song, and despite the fact that he'd never heard anything other than the lyrics and the melody, Taemin was determined to create an amazing dance to a song that had captured him from the word "Juliette."
"Taeminnie! What happened to your arm?," A woman squealed as Taemin walked into the kitchen, heading straight for the coffee. Another sleepless night to tack off his calender.
"Hmm?," he muttered almost an entire minute later, glancing down at his arm and shrugging his shoulders nonchalantly at the angry green and blue bruise taking up almost his entire elbow, "I guess I just hit the dresser while I was dancing. It'll heal in a week or something."
Taemin gathered a few ice cubes and some sugar, dumping them into a coffee mug before going over to the half-empty pot and filling his mug to the brim. He didn't notice the meaningful glance his parents shared as he reached for a spoon, mixing the ice, sugar, and coffee together.
"Um, Taeminnie. About that..... how would you like to move to a bigger house? One with a basement you can use for your dancing?" Taemin's father asked, an easy smile on his face despite the way his hands were wringing together. Taemin blinked, taking a long drink of coffee and letting the idea roll around in his head before looking back at his father, a single eyebrow raised.
"Can we afford that?" he asked. Apparently that was both the right and the wrong question to ask, judging from the way his parents exchanged another glance before waving him over to sit with them. He walked cautiously, placing the coffee mug on the table as he sat down, eyes now alert and curious.
"You know how daddy's job has been asking me to take a pay cut for next year?," Taemin's dad asked. Taemin nodded, taking another sip of coffee, "I declined. I told them we just couldn't afford to live on that small amount of money, so starting next year I'll be working at a small, private institute in Incheon. It pays a lot more money, and I have a friend who's moving there over the summer, too. He volunteered to take us in, and we can even stay there permanently as long as we help pay the bills each month. They installed a huge soundproofed basement for their son because he likes to sing, but I'm sure he wouldn't mind you dancing down there when he doesn't use it. They only have two extra rooms though, so your mother and I will take one and your brother will take the other, but they're all large enough that you can share a room with their youngest son. They're very good people, Taemin, so I'm sure--"
Taemin's dad stopped talking, sitting quietly as he waited for some kind of reaction. Taemin sighed, emptying his coffee mug as a way to allow more time for the information to sink in. His mind sifted through the talk about his dads job, through the information about the house and the basement and the room arrangements, until he reached the most crucial piece of knowledge in the jumbled mess of words. Incheon. They were moving to Incheon.
"Why didn't you tell me earlier?," Taemin asked, watching the way his parents exchanged another look, both of them letting out a sigh at the same time.
"There's only a week of school left, and we wanted you to enjoy it as much as you possibly could without having to worry," Taemin's mom spoke, a soft smile on her face, "Besides, we're not going to move for another month or so. Your fathers friend will be the title-holder of the home, so they need to get there first and set everything up. We still have time."
Taemin sat there quietly for a long moment before glancing up at the clock and seeing that it would be only a few minutes before the bus arrived. "I have to go," he whispered, offering a weak smile to his parents as he left the room, backpack hanging loosely from his shoulder.
"Don't forget to pick your yearbook up today!," His mom called to him. Taemin nodded to let her know that he'd heard before rushing out the door, his mind a big, jumbled mess. He knew it wasn't their fault, that they were only looking out for what was best for their family, but they'd also raised Taemin to believe that you could accomplish anything if you worked hard enough. They could have survived with less money coming in, they didn't really have to move. But they were, and out of all the things Taemin was worried about - having to live with complete strangers, how long it was going to take him to pack, how much he was going to miss Seoul - one thing stuck out like a sore thumb. In one month, he would have to listen to some boy sing with a voice that wasn't rough and sweet and soulful, singing about something other than a girl named Juliette. And somehow, that knowledge made him shake where he stood, as if he'd just seen a premonition of the end of the world.
"Juliette~ I’ll give you my soul. Juliette~ Please accept me. Juliette~ Sweetly, a little more sweetly, whisper my serenade.
Even without any words, I already know everything. Your eyes say-- SHIT!" Jonghyun screeched suddenly, raising the attention of almost everyone on the bus. Taemin ducked his head and smiled for the first time in a week. It was officially the last day of school, and yet nothing seemed to change. The people in the back were still screaming, the three girls and one boy were still ogling Jonghyun, and Jonghyun was still singing. Taemin let out a short sigh as he listened to the voices around him, only looking up when he heard one of the girls that always stared at Jonghyun sigh in an adoring way. He looked at her with a raised eyebrow before shifting his eyes back over to Jonghyun. His eyes were narrowed, his jaw was set in a stubborn line, and his tongue was pressing hard into his lower lip. He stayed like that for a few moments before he glanced up, his eyes automatically going to the small legion of fangirls that had surrounded him from the seat behind him.
Taemin blinked, watching as Jonghyun stared at them for a long moment, watching the way they seemed to squirm under his gaze, before Jonghyun finally grinned mischievously. "Your eyes say that you want me badly," he said, barely pausing to listen to them squeal with delight before he turned around to write the line down as quickly as possible.
His pen didn't even get a chance to touch the paper before someone thwacked him hard upside the head with a book. Jonghyun let out a shriek of anger that made Taemin think of a banshee before turning around to effectively grab the book from the boy to return the favor, though he seemed to hit him much harder. The boy yelped with pain, grabbing the book back only to shove it at Jonghyun again, this time with a small marker, asking him to sign it. Taemin blinked, staring at the book for a long moment until he recognized it as a yearbook - the very same one he had shoved in his backpack last week and never looked at again. He watched as Jonghyun signed it, pen scribbling across the page hurriedly until he finished, shoving it at the other boy with a grin that lit up his entire face and made Taemin's insides clench.
The bus came to a stop and before Taemin even had a chance to realize what he was doing, he'd gotten up and moved across the aisle until he sat in the seat in front of Jonghyun. The older boy noticed nothing as he went back to singing his song. Taemin glanced around nervously before nearly attacking his backpack in search of his yearbook, finally lifting it out just as Jonghyun let out a shriek of anger.
"WHAT WAS THAT GODDAMN LINE?!"
"Your eyes say that you want me badly," Taemin answered automatically, turning in his seat to face Jonghyun, who was looking at him with surprised eyes. Taemin felt himself freeze for a split second, his breath catching in his throat as those eyes, the ones he'd only ever seen looking at other people and the paper in front of them, locked onto him. The bus hit a speed bump, sending Taemin bouncing backward until his ass was almost on the ground where his feet should be, a loud squeak escaping his throat before he had time to stop it. He wormed his way back to where he'd been before, sitting on his knees facing Jonghyun, partially grateful for being sent back even if he was now blushing a million shades of red as Jonghyun looked at him curiously, because at least he wasn't staring like an adoring fanboy.
"I wasn't. The eyes thing. I wasn't saying that your eyes were saying that, that was the line that you came up with. 'Your eyes say that you want me badly.' You thought of it when your fanclub started screaming," Taemin muttered, hiding behind his hair, letting his eyes peek through the strands to watch as Jonghyun's face lit up into a grin. He uttered a 'thank you' before turning to his paper and writing it down quickly.
Taemin glanced around the bus nervously, making sure that his fanclub was absorbed in some other conversation before waving his hand in front of Jonghyun's face to grab his attention. Jonghyun blinked up at him, looking at him with a blank expression, not really curious or angry or anything. Just staring. Taemin felt his face blush harder as he opened and closed his mouth a few times, finally giving up on speaking actual words and just shoving the yearbook toward Jonghyun, not daring to look at the other boy as he quietly asked for him to sign it.
A few seconds later, Taemin felt the yearbook being pulled from his hands. He let out a whoosh of breath, looking at Jonghyun who was now flipping through the pages with mild interest. "Where should I sign?"
"Anywhere," Taemin replied, a small smile of relief on his face. Jonghyun looked up at him with a raised eyebrow.
"I mean, which part has less signatures? The back or front? My writing is kind of fucking huge, so I don't want to take up the whole page."
"There's only three signatures, all near the back," Taemin said, blushing slightly as he realized how lame that probably sounded, "I'm not really good with people."
"Yeah, I noticed. You're that weirdo who always just sits there listening to your iPod, never talking to anyone," Jonghyun muttered, looking as if he wanted to say something else before shaking his head and turning his attention back to the yearbook. Taemin blinked, a little bit embarrassed that he'd been called a weirdo by the person he was asking to sign his yearbook. He leaned over the seat a little, trying to see what Jonghyun was writing, but as if the other boy had expected as much, his hand covered the words, hiding them from Taemin's sight. Taemin pouted, sitting back on his heels and resisting the urge to cross his arms over his chest, waiting for Jonghyun to finish.
"Here," Jonghyun said, handing the yearbook back to Taemin. Taemin started to open it in search of whatever Jonghyun had written, eyes darting around as he looked for it anxiously, "Maybe you should read it when you get inside, before the bus driver starts screaming at you again," Jonghyun muttered, making Taemin look up at him.
"Inside.... bus driver... what?" He asked, glancing around at his surroundings, only to find that the bus was parked in front of his house. He let out a sigh and nodded his head, standing up awkwardly as he walked to the door. His eyes glanced at Jonghyun as he left, his head starting to swim a little when he saw that Jonghyun was waving at him with a smile on his face. Taemin blinked three times, offering a weak smile to Jonghyun as stepped off the bus completely, his heart clenching tightly as the bus drove past him. He watched it disappear around the corner, hands shaking as he opened his yearbook the second the bus was gone. He scanned the pages nervously until he found Jonghyun's entry, his heart falling straight into his stomach as he fought to keep himself standing.
Good luck in the future. I hope we can become the best of friends.
TO BE CONTINUED....
A/N: ..... I don't really have anything to say about this chapter, except thank you for reading. ♥