Rating: PG-15, for this chapter.
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 Jonghyun, the boy who never stopped crooning his love song to Juliette?
Status/length: Incomplete, 2,600 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, 02, 03, 04
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.
Taemin was officially beginning to hate the grandfather clock downstairs; it kept ticking and tocking, over and over again, in a steady rhythm that should have been soothing but instead just made his nerves stand on end. He leaned up on his elbows, staring at the digital clock on Jonghyun's side of the room, groaning and flopping back onto his bed almost angrily when he saw what time it was. 3:00AM. It was 3'oclock in the fucking morning, and Taemin was still laying there, completely awake, completely bored, and completely out of his fucking mind.
Taemin blinked, turning his eyes to stare at Jonghyun for probably the 700th time already that night, mentally noting that that was definitely the closest Jonghyun had come to actually saying 'Juliette' in his sleep. All the other times had just sounded like food or dinosaur names in a weird sing-song sleep voice.
Taemin rolled his own thoughts around in his head for a moment, slamming his head as hard as he could into the pillow, wondering how the hell anyone could come up with the phrase 'weird sing-song sleep voice'. He decided that unintentional sleep deprivation didn't exactly go well with him.
Jonghyun made another sound in his sleep, the sheets rustling as he moved around. Taemin looked over again, glaring as he found himself more than slightly tempted to throw his damn alarm clock at Jonghyun's face, just so that both of them wouldn't be able to sleep. He decided against it though, realizing that if he woke Jonghyun up, there would be hell to pay, most likely in the form of having his hair shaved off the next night. He sighed, turning onto his side and staring blankly across the room, letting the sound of Jonghyun breathing fill the empty spaces left by the grandfather clock.
Tick, breathe, tock, breathe. Tick, breathe, tock, breathe.
Taemin smiled softly, his eyes watching the way Jonghyun's body moved with each breath, watching the way his eyelashes fluttered whenever he sang to Juliette in his sleep, the way his lips seemed to be quirked in a slight smirk even while he was unconscious. He felt comfortable like this, just laying in his bed and watching Jonghyun sleep, his face illuminated slightly by the moonlight. He felt comfortable letting his eyes graze over Jonghyun's features, over his entire being, without having to worry about being caught by Jonghyun or his fanclub or himself. He could just watch, without having to ever let anyone know.
He felt his chest constrict oddly, shifting his body around in hopes that it would go away, but it didn't. Taemin blinked, sitting up in bed and poking at his chest a little, his eyebrows furrowed with confusion. Was he getting sick or something? He'd never had this kind of problem before, though he'd heard of people who developed heart defects while in their teens.
"Drrroooooooowwwietteeee," Jonghyun sang in his odd sleeping voice. Taemin laughed lightly, flopping back into his bed with a grin. He heard Jonghyun snore the next few lines awkwardly, having to keep himself from giggling up a storm at the impromptu performance that sounded oddly like a dog howling. He didn't even notice the pain in his chest disappear as he lay there, listening to Jonghyun breathing again, this time with a smile playing on the edges of his lips until he finally, finally felt himself fall asleep.
"You look like shit," Jonghyun announced as he practically pranced into the kitchen the next morning, looking all bright eyed and bushy tailed. Taemin just blinked at him and yawned, barely noticing that Jonghyun had stolen his bowl until Taemin reached down with a spoon to gather the cereal, only to come up empty. He glanced across the table, eying Jonghyun wearily as he munched happily on Taemin's bowl of lucky charms.
Taemin groaned, letting his head flop onto his arms. Even after he'd finally gotten to sleep, he'd only been able to rest for an hour before he woke up suddenly because of that goddamn clock, and he hadn't been able to fall back to sleep. He let his mind roll around a little, considering the thought of sleeping in the basement from now on, where at least it was sound-proofed.
"So, is there a reason you look like a zombie from one of those horror movies?" Jonghyun asked, glancing up at Taemin with a spoon still hanging out the side of his mouth. Taemin glared at him, picking up a soggy marshmallow from the bowl and tossing it at Jonghyun, who squealed much too loudly.
"It takes me a while to get used to a place," Taemin muttered, not willing to admit that he'd really just been kept awake by a stupid clock. In actuality, he was able to sleep almost anywhere he went; it was one of the things he prided himself on.
Jonghyun 'hmm'ed to himself, looking Taemin up and down for a moment before nodding to himself as if he were satisfied with something. Taemin blinked, trying to muster the energy to raise a single eyebrow as Jonghyun flipped his cell phone open, his fingers texting someone at the speed of light, before he stood up with a grin, running over to where their parents' rooms were located.
"Ma, pa! I'm taking Taemin out with me!" Jonghyun shouted, and Taemin thought he heard some sounds of protest coming from that area of the house before Jonghyun ran back into the kitchen, grabbed him by the arm, and whisked him out the door. How Taemin managed to not trip over his own feet was beyond his comprehension.
By the time they reached some fruity looking cafe, Taemin had gathered enough wits to ask Jonghyun what the hell they were doing, to which Jonghyun had merely replied with 'meeting a friend'. Taemin was confused, seeing as he was under the impression that he didn't have any friends, but that didn't stop his curiosity from overruling him until he found himself shoved into a seat by none other than Jonghyun, who was grinning at him mischievously. Taemin raised an eyebrow; Jonghyun smirked.
When the waitress came around to ask if they wanted anything, Taemin immediately ordered their strongest coffee, ignoring the offended look Jonghyun sent his way as he ordered some weird fancy shit. Taemin sighed, wondering if Jonghyun was perhaps a princess in a past life.
"Yah, Minho! Over here!" Jonghyun shouted, making Taemin whine a little under his breath because of the sheer volume. It should be a law that no one was allowed to be that fucking loud before everyone else had had their first cup of coffee.
"Why do you always ask to meet here?" Someone asked in a deep, low voice. "You know I hate coffee."
"Because it's perfect, and I love their coffee, and you love their smoothies," Jonghyun answered easily, smacking Taemin on the back twice. Taemin sighed, looking up to glare at Jonghyun, only to have his eyes meet with someone different altogether. In fact, he had to shift his eyes up quite a bit from where he'd estimated Jonghyun's height to be, his mouth gaping open at the man who was now standing there smiling at him, a hand outstretched.
Taemin blinked, shaking the man's hand (though he was sure it was his hand shaking, not theirs combined), watching as he sat down next to Jonghyun. Taemin stared, his mouth gaping open just a little as he took in the man in front of him with the fantastic smile, the absurd height, the low voice, and amazingly small face and those double lidded eyes. Taemin's thoughts were interrupted when the waitress came back with two cups of coffee and a smoothie, only to have his mind start racing again when Minho took a sip of his smoothie, his tongue darting out to lick the extra substance from his top lip.
Taemin stared for a long moment, drinking his coffee quietly as Jonghyun and Minho discussed.... something. (Taemin's mind was obviously too preoccupied to pay attention to the actual words.) He watched the way the man, Minho, smiled easily, the way he didn't speak much but when he did it was direct and to the point, watched the way his hands moved according to what he was saying. He noticed that Minho was dressed up in some kind of button-up shirt that looked fucking expensive, and suddenly he felt very, very out of place in his bright graphic t-shirt, jeans, and high-top sneakers, not to mention his bed hair. He noted briefly that Jonghyun's outfit wasn't much better, making it seem as if this Minho person was from an entirely different planet.
"Um," Taemin began before he even had time to process the fact that he was speaking. "Minho-sshi. Can I ask you a question?" Minho blinked quietly, nodding his head. Jonghyun looked at Taemin curiously, but Taemin barely noticed. "What are you doing hanging out with Jonghyun? Shouldn't you be with other ulzzangs?"
Minho blinked, shifting his eyes to Jonghyun for a split second before bursting out laughing. Taemin blinked, his mind finally catching up with his mouth as he realized what exactly he'd said. "I'm so--" he started, but Jonghyun kicked him from under the table, effectively shutting him up as he took in Jonghyun's expression, which honestly looked like a puppy who'd just been told that he smelled of wet dog. Taemin blinked, gaping as he stared at Minho and Jonghyun both, his mind reeling with complete and utter confusion.
"I'm really sorry about earlier," Taemin mumbled, fiddling with his hands nervously.
"Don't be," Jonghyun replied, biting at the end of his pen as he stared at the paper in front of him. "You made Minho laugh so hard he complained of stomach cramps, which is honestly really fucking hard to do. You should be proud, kid."
Taemin sighed, knowing very well that Jonghyun wasn't okay with it, but not having the energy to argue his case any more. He grumbled nonsensical words under his breath as he walked over to the table, grabbing his energy drink and downing a good part of it with ease.
He and Jonghyun had locked themselves in the basement almost a half an hour ago, at least according to the clock which now read 12:00AM. Taemin groaned, looking over at Jonghyun again, pouting as he waited, still, for him to start singing. After another 5 minutes passed, Taemin gave up, going over to the stereo and popping in his favorite N.E.R.D. cd, figuring that he could at least brush up on one of his older dances. He waited for the music to start, a small smile gracing his lips as he closed his eyes, letting the music settle deep into his bones, feeling the bass surround him and flow into his muscles, letting it lead him into his dance.
"Kay, whats this on your iPod, tell me what you listening to. Why you jumping bout his money, I ain't hear him mention you. I know this aggravates you, and it upsets you. But I can change you, I know how you hear me is this better. Yeah girl you like this, yeah this your language. Life is short in black and white,"
"Just like little penguins."
Taemin whirled around mid-pop, his eyes flying wide as he very nearly fell on his ass. He blinked, steadying himself so that he could stare at Jonghyun who was now bobbing his head to the music, a big, stupid grin on his face.
"For someone who claims to be a dancer, you sure as hell stumble easily," Jonghyun said, a sly smirk playing along the edge of his lips. Taemin glared, a faint blush darkening his cheeks as he looked around for something to throw at Jonghyun, only to see nothing except his cds, and he'd rather die than throw his cds. Jonghyun noticed this and laughed, that stupid grin of his only growing wider by the second.
"Yeah, well I'd like to see you do better," Taemin grumbled, crossing his arms over his chest.
Jonghyun giggled, wagging his finger at Taemin the way someone would wag their finger at a dog who's just tried to grab the bacon from the table. "Ah, but lad. I am a singer~ and we singers don't do that petty dance movement. 'Tis for peasants."
Taemin blinked, raising an eyebrow for a split second before kicking Jonghyun's leg with perfect aim, smirking at the way Jonghyun just so happened to shriek like a teenage girl. Taemin speaks that thought out loud, laughing when Jonghyun stumbled to his feet with a scream of rage that honestly sounded not half as threatening as it should have.
"Me~rong," Taemin grinned, sticking his tongue out and laughing happily when Jonghyun started chasing him around the room, only Taemin was running backwards, his tongue still out to make fun of Jonghyun. Jonghyun sprinted as best as he could, but Taemin just turned to run normally, easily evading Jonghyun. They continued this for a few minutes until Jonghyun finally fell onto the carpeted section of the basement, whining about how it was Taemin's fault because he kicked him. Taemin grinned, kicking Jonghyun lightly in the side to let him know he wasn't buying it, but he said nothing, merely standing above where Jonghyun lay, smiling.
"Yah, turn that off. It's my turn," Jonghyun muttered, a surprisingly soft smile playing along the edge of his lips. Taemin blinked, feeling some kind of choking feeling in his throat for some reason, nodding his head slowly before going to turn the music off. He glanced back at Jonghyun who was now laying calmly on the carpet, notebook in front of his face, seeming to contemplate which lines to use. Taemin sighed, walking over to the sofa and laying down, propping his head up with the small pillow as he stared up at the ceiling, wondering what the hell this weird tightening in his chest could mean.
"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 that you want me badly. I can’t escape this habit of chasing after you, you spread like an irresistible poison. Yeah, my heart. Yeah baby, Juliette."
"Well, that's new," Taemin muttered under his breath, listening as Jonghyun scratched out a few words and scribbled new ones, practically knowing the expression on his face by heart. He could picture it in his mind now, the eyebrows furrowed together, the stubborn line of his jaw, the way his tongue pressed into his lower lip.
"It's been a month since you heard me on the bus, Taeminnie," Jonghyun sing-songed. Taemin blinked, turning to look at Jonghyun with wide eyes, noticing the very satisfied smirk that currently graced Jonghyun's lips. "I've come up with more than that, you know. I just can't rap Minho's lines worth shit."
Taemin blinked, nodding his head slowly as Jonghyun turned back to his song, leaving Taemin alone to his thoughts. He blinked again, turning his eyes back to stare at the ceiling, his mind replaying the meeting with Minho earlier, wondering when exactly they'd become so close that Jonghyun would actually give him a part in his song; it had only been a month since he'd moved here. Taemin closed his eyes as Jonghyun started up again, listening to him sing his sweet serenade for Juliette. He bit hard at his bottom lip as the tightening in his chest increased until it hurt, his mind flashing through images of Minho, moving clips of Jonghyun, and images of thousands of girls with no faces, knowing that any one of them could have easily been his Juliette, wondering why the hell it hurt so much to think of them.
TO BE CONTINUED...
A/N: So, for those of you who don't know me by now, I'm kind of.... a sucker for angst and fluff and crack, especially when combined into one fic. I could have written a million chapters of them being adorable and cute together, but that wouldn't get the story very far, now would it? ^^;;
Thank you to everyone who has read this! I hope you enjoyed it, and that the slight angst won't chase you away. ^^;;
Also, the song mentioned in this chapter (besides Juliette, of course) is Anti-Matter by N.E.R.D. It's an amazing song. ^^