stolen liquor - liu yangyang
pairing: yangyang x fem!reader
genre(s): fratboy!au, sororitysister!reader, exboyfriend!yangyang, angst, slice of life, suggestive, mature, badboy!au
warnings: alcohol consumption, heavy cursing, limited foreplay (second base), mentions of sex, mentions of violence, mentions of blood and bruises, stealing
word count: 6.8k
a part of @legendnct ‘s bingo collab! check out the full collab masterlist here.
prompts: “baby, i'm afraid to fall in love. 'cause what if it's not reciprocated?” / “i gotta stay high all the time to keep you off my mind” / “oh, you remind me of someone I once knew. maybe I'm crazy, but it's hard to ignore you”
synopsis: there’s a part of you that hasn’t let go of the relationship you broke off six months ago. but are you only coming back because you long to feel some sort of old familiarity? or does the reminiscent swelling in your chest mean more than nostalgia? you end up believing that it’s both.
is it bad to come back to a person you’ve left behind?
you’re starting to think it’s just normal.
humans are creatures of habit, you’ve learned. they seem to come back to what they already know solely because, well, it’s comfortable. familiarity is helpful. it’s a nice, warm pillow of pre-existing knowledge and emotional understanding that you lean on daily.
you used to scoff at those who would cower at the face of change, easily but painfully avoiding it like the plague. or maybe they’d endure it a bit, with heads up too high, and slowly melt back into the mould of where they came from. you thought it was laughable.
but you get it now.
getting yourself a new group of friends meant putting in extra time to keep up with their every hangout. drinks after class, “spontaneous” frat parties, clubbing most fridays - plus random wednesdays - and the constant back and forth between your dorm and the sorority house.
you like to think that you love the wind in your hair and the chill up your skin when you’re out late in town with your new friends, their bright smiles complimenting their designer purses. you think it makes the ache in your ankles worth it. though, sometimes it’s the only thing you can feel.
these days you find yourself craving quiet nights and old highschool connections, getting both tired and almost afraid of the same routine you used to so desperately want. it’s a shame, truly, and you blame yourself, for the second you brought yourself into a popular sorority and fit in almost perfectly, you felt as if you wanted to go back.
tonight is another one of those nights where you’ve unsuccessfully convinced yourself that “fun” was an illusion hidden under inches of booze and weed on the patio. this time, your taste buds don’t seem to be numb enough to want to consume anything, and everyone seems to already have eyes on who to take home (spoiler alert: not you). it’s the usual frat party.
that’s what all of you thought until na jaemin, one of the frat’s sophomores, comes in with a busted lip and bruised fists. from there, the murmurs start.
“jaemin told me he left him by the dumpster,” a girl, seri, says.
“isn’t he from another frat?” another girl, hyejung, adds.
“is he? he goes here, i know that for sure,” a third girl, chaeyeon, says.
“wait... his name sounds familiar,” a fourth girl, yeeun, points out.
“do you know him, y/n?” seri asks, and you find yourself lost in the conversation.
“who?” you furrow your eyebrows.
“yangyang. liu yangyang.”
you feel a heavy weight in your chest at the mention of your ex-boyfriend. but they don’t know that.
you only give seri a forced shrug and a pursed lip before she turns away from you to join in on the others’ conversation. usually, you’d scramble back into everyone else’s conversations too, but today you tell yourself otherwise.
the clacking of your heels makes a beeline to the back door, and you realise your heart’s beating a mile a minute. you feel out of place; you’re silently fetching your coat without any word of goodbye, and the relief you feel when the cold air hits your knees is conflicting.
you hate this. you hate that your first instinct was to leave. you hate that you’d rather stick up for him. you hate that you’ve gone so far as to painfully change your weeks just to shove it all in the dust because your ex-boyfriend had just been beaten up by one of the boys at your sorority’s sibling frat.
your wedges are hard against the stone pavement behind the house, and you’re sure anyone could hear you walk up to the dumpster from miles away. you never make it to the dumpster, though, as the rough thud somewhere in the crowd of parked cars near the entrance makes you abandon all reason and bump right into him - or, in front of him, at least.
“oh. it’s you.”
yangyang shuffles so that he’s leaning against the fence bordering the house, the moonlight shining on his messy collar and bloody face. through his ruffled hair, he forces a smile, and you feel the weight in your chest drop to your stomach.
god, you can’t stand it.
“c’mon,” you take his arm, silently begging him to stand up and lean on you before anyone sees.
"taking me to your car, huh? that used to be fun.”
“it’s not fun when na jaemin beats the shit out of you, is it?”
yangyang scoffs, his bigger frame dangling over yours. you’re going one step at a time, one hand on his waist and another rummaging through your purse for your car keys.
you can’t seem to look him in the eye right now, and you choose not to ask yourself why. you feel his eyes burning holes on your cheek and his arm wrapping warmly around your neck. you’re okay with this.
“miss me?” yangyang grins when he’s finally seated in the passenger seat of your car, your response delayed to silence as you drive out of the lot. it’s dark, mostly, and you can’t seem to bring yourself to say anything for the first two minutes of the drive.
then he cuts the tension.
“i’m surprised they actually like you.”
you keep your eyes trained on the road, the way to yangyang’s place still memorised in your head.
“who knew fake socialites would ever think of you that way?” yangyang glances at you, arms slouched beside him, “i heard even mark lee’s got an eye out for you.”
you slow down.
“yeah. he was thinking of approaching you tonight after being done with me,” he says, “guess that didn’t happen, did it?”
“bullshit,” you mutter, stopping at a red light.
“trust me, i hate na jaemin’s rich posse as much as you do. but even i’m-”
“i don’t hate them,” you cut off, tapping your fingers impatiently on the steering wheel.
“you just don’t like them as much as you like my frat.”
“your frat is as good as a worn out bike gang.”
“woah, y/n,” yangyang laughs, and it’s loud and fake, “your elitism is showing.”
the green light shows on, and you force every muscle in your body to stay calm and stop yourself from pulling over and giving the boy an extra punch to the face.
“what were you doing tonight? before... that,” you ask, changing the subject.
“isn’t it clear already?”
you furrow your eyebrows, “what?”
“they just love me too much, y’know?” yangyang jokes, suddenly rummaging through the car’s small compartments.
“fuck off,” you scoff, “and don’t touch that.”
the man just shrugs. “anyways, me and jaemin are obviously besties,” yangyang continues, his tone mimicking that of a valley girl, “so it’s only natural that besties lend each other booze.”
“no fucking way.”
“only the finest in the cellar, baby,” he flashes you a smile, and you try to chew on the inside of your cheek, but you can’t help the wide grin that erupts on your face.
“did they get it back?”
“that’s what they thought,” yangyang crosses his arms, “i still have two bottles - one at my apartment and the other at hendery’s.”
“fuck,” you laugh, “you got the nerve.”
“that’s rich coming from you, sorority sister.”
you roll your eyes, catching your bottom lip in between your teeth. there’s a guilt that stays in your gut, but you leave it. you don’t care.
“but why do you care for me to get home?”
you know every reason why you’re in your car, driving yangyang home, instead of at the frat house, kissing mark lee. still, you choose to keep it to yourself.
“that’s for you to decide,” you answer, shrugging, hoping his thanks for you giving him a ride home would cover for his curiosity for why you did this for him in the first place. yangyang responds with a satisfied hum.
the rest of the drive is silent, but the tension is loud in your cheeks when you catch him staring at you every few seconds, his damn smile never failing to be contagious.
“we’re here,” you feel every nerve in your body as you pull up into the apartment’s parking lot, fingers brushing against his when you two reach for the compartment where your phones were.
you get out of the car first, reminding yourself that there was still a moderate walk from the parking lot to his apartment. yangyang tilts his head when you reach your hand out to him, and his hand warmly holds yours as he stands himself up.
“you can lean on me if you want,” you offer after watching him limp halfway through the parking lot.
“no, it’s fine,” yangyang declines, “i’ll be fine by tomorrow, tops.”
“you’re not fine now,”
“that’s why we’re going to my place, isn’t it?”
“whatever you say,” you sigh, already familiar with the way he minimises his pain, “just so you know, forcing yourself to speed-walk won’t get you all great tomorrow.”
yangyang ignores the latter half of your words and keeps his hand in yours as the two of you approach the elevator connecting the parking lot to his apartment floor. like most of your interactions with him tonight, the ride up is silent. occasionally, you hear him let out a short hiss of pain, causing you to send him worried glances. he always replies with a smile.
when you two reach his front door, you wait as he takes his keys out from his coat pocket. you’re left to look around the hallway before his apartment, suddenly feeling the memories of your ex-boyfriend flash before your eyes, whether it be him beaten up on your shoulder, kissing you on the lips, or disturbing the neighbours. you can’t lie though, there was a different type of rush you felt when you were with him. maybe it was the late movie dates or his old part-time job at the bowling alley; maybe it was his oddly nice cologne or cans of redbull. or maybe it was the sex - you’re not really sure.
yangyang opens the door with one push and lets himself in, holding the door as you come in as well. he immediately removes his shoes and jacket before retreating to his nearby sofa bed, sitting himself upright against the headboard.
“did you hire an interior designer or something?” your mouth forms the shape of an ‘o’ at the sight of the completely different interior than the one you were so used to seeing. back then, the one-room-plus-one-bathroom space seemed cramped and unbelievably untidy, and the fact that his sofa bed lay only a few spaces from the kitchen used to gross you out.
now you feel like you’re almost littering the place by being there, seeing the windows lined with fresh curtains and his once messy desk compartmentalised into labelled drawers and organised folders. hell, his bed and kitchen were now separated with a floor-to-ceiling dark wood bookshelf, minimally stocked with decorative vases and his collection of video games.
“kun has a girlfriend?”
“apparently,” the man continues with his sentence, “she has a youtube channel and decided to do an apartment makeover for one of her videos. she bought all of this for me.”
“honestly, i think you needed it.”
yangyang tsks, and you sit down beside him after taking off your heels and coat, one leg dangling off the edge and the other folded on the sofa bed.
“look at me,” you say, your fingers ghosting his chin and turning it towards you.
his eyes are cast downwards, and you carefully examine his face. his right cheekbone and brow bone are bruised blue. there’s only a slight cut on the bridge of his nose, and you can tell there had been blood running out of his nose at the vivid traces of dried maroon on the bottom half of his face. although his face wasn’t the worst you had seen him, your thoughts are halted when you remember the image of him with an arm over his abdomen in the elevator, clutching it with a heavy breath.
“can i?” you look at his abdomen, pointing at the hem of his shirt. yangyang nods, his gaze focused on a random spot on the ceiling.
when you lift up his shirt, it doesn’t take long to find a large patch of light blue and some swelling on the right side of his abdomen, spanning from the top of his ribs all the way down to his waist. yangyang purses his lips, “might need to get some ice for that.”
“do you have any?”
you nod, immediately going to the freezer. in there, you find two ice packs, and beside the freezer, you find a wine bottle on the counter. you’re sure you’ve seen that at the sorority house..
“is this the bottle you stole?”
there’s a silence that creeps through the bookshelf, and you click your tongue in sarcastic disbelief.
“should’ve hid it in your dresser,” you mumble, though still making sure he hears, “they could barge in here if they wanted to, so. just so you know.”
you can practically hear the corners of his mouth turn upwards at your statement, and it’s then that the air changes into something much more comfortable for the both of you. he lets out a laugh, a genuine one this time, and tells you he’ll hide the booze better as you pick up the ice.
you make your way back to yangyang, fetching a cloth to wrap around the first ice pack on the way. as you pass the ice to yangyang, he leans into the back of the sofa, hissing at the feeling.
“do you mind if i take my shirt off?” he asks, already pulling at the hem of his black shirt.
you shake your head, giving him the ok to do so.
“you can keep icing while i get the first aid kit.” you leave the sofa bed again, this time heading to the bathroom.
“it’s in the-”
“bathroom behind the mirror?” yangyang nods, and he spares you a thankful glance when you come back with the small satchel of medicine. it was actually your satchel from high school, and before you dated yangyang, it had been the bag where you put all your toiletries for travel. with it, you also take a small towel from his bathroom and lightly wet it.
once again, you let yourself onto yangyang’s sofa bed, sitting the same way you did previously. you rummage through the satchel, finding the same bandages, cotton buds, and antiseptic solution from six months ago.
“these are old,” you mutter, glancing up at the man. he gives you a slow shrug and a deep breath, and you kneel beside him, taking the wet towel to wipe the dry blood off of his face. yangyang tries his best to stay still, though you can feel his muffled hisses and the sharp breaths he takes through his teeth. it sounds painful, and you know it stings.
“can i?” you ask, motioning to his lap. when he nods, you climb onto his lap, straddling his thighs. you make sure not to sit down on him too much, keeping your weight on your knees instead. his hands go to your hips by habit, and though he pulls away at first, his hands come back when you take them from his sides and place them on your hips, remembering how he liked to hold you during times like this. you continue to wipe his face, noticing his tired eyes staring right up at you.
“what are you looking at?” you ask absentmindedly, not really minding his gaze on you. yangyang only slightly shakes his head in response, and you see him opening his mouth to say something before closing it shortly after. you find yourself pausing at moments - whether it be to brush a few stray strands of hair away from his face or casually stare at his lips - and though you originally brushed them off by wiping the towel even slower, you think that he’s caught up with what you’re doing.
when you put the towel down, yangyang finally speaks.
“i miss you.”
it comes out like a quiet confession, his words thinly dissolving into the air like vapor. you almost ignore it, trying to bury his words into cotton balls soaked in antiseptic solution. though, the second you’re facing him, soaked cotton bud on cut, you realise you can’t.
“there hasn’t been… anyone else?” you question, half continuing the conversation and half trying to distract him from the sting. you dab on the solution slowly, feeling his thighs tense up underneath you each time the cotton bud comes in contact with his skin. you feel his thumbs rubbing up and down your sides, as if trying to smooth out the pain from his face.
yangyang takes a heavy exhale when the wound is well sanitized, answering tiredly, “kind of. but in the end, it was only you.”
you don’t know why you’re letting your ex talk to you like this. but with his hands on your hips and your legs on either side of his thighs, you’re starting to forget about the party you’ve planned to go to all week, and now you’re focusing on the boy you’re suddenly met with almost two hours ago.
“i mean, it doesn’t change the fact that i’ve been sleeping around and everything,” he begins, “but i can’t seem to have her stay.”
you raise an eyebrow at the word her, making sure he gets your cue.
“i slept with this girl for a few weeks - maybe like, seven?” he continues, “though, in the end, she started to be more.”
“no, i just-” he pauses, “i couldn’t have her that close.”
“but you liked her?”
yangyang nods, and you ask, “so why?”
you break eye contact with him, taking a single band-aid from the satchel. when you place it on the cut, you feel his hands loosen away from your sides.
“isn’t it obvious? i’m afraid to fall in love. ‘cause what if it’s not reciprocated?”
your actions come to a halt. “i’m sorry.”
you feel guilt rise up your spine, feeling it for the way you broke his heart just six months ago. it seemed like he was barely over the breakup, and here you were, climbing onto his lap for lost comfort.
“you don’t have to be,” yangyang assures, “i like you more than i liked her.”
“yangyang…” you trail off, your voice getting softer as you move the satchel away from the two of you.
when your hands are finally unoccupied, yangyang takes them in his and puts them on his bare shoulders, and you have nowhere left to look other than into his eyes. you feel a weird rush in your stomach, the feeling so good yet so careful.
“i gotta stay high all the time to keep you off my mind,” yangyang mutters lowly. he has one hand holding the ice pack on his side and another behind your lower back, pulling you closer to him. slowly, your thumbs start thoroughly rubbing back and forth on the base of yangyang’s neck, and you look down to his chest, unable to keep eye contact.
“i hope you don’t do that anymore,” you pause, “don’t stay high all the time.”
you don’t really know what you’re doing, but you know you can’t let go.
the arm on his ice pack moves to ghost your chin in the same way you did earlier in the evening, and he whispers, “look at me.”
your faces are inches apart, and you don’t miss the little smirk on his face before your lips crash into his.
he smiles into the kiss, his lips tasting of the metallic residue from his blood. his hands travel to the small of your back, letting the ice pack slide beside him on the pillows. gradually, the space between you and yangyang grows smaller, and before you know it, he’s nibbling on your bottom lip, asking for entry. you’re compliant, letting his tongue slip into your mouth as you pull yourself almost flush against him, your arms wrapped securely around the man.
it’s only when you accidentally grind against his crotch that you’re brought back to reality. yangyang lets out a light groan amidst the sounds of your lips, and you realise you’re giving him something he should be getting over.
“wait,” you pull away, panting, “are you going to be okay?”
he gives you a confused look, “what do you mean?”
“i mean, with the bruises and…” you trail off, and he isn’t having any of it.
he takes a loose breath, “if this doesn’t mean anything to you, it’s not going to mean anything to me.”
“are you sure?”
“i stole expensive liquor with my whole chest and now you’re asking me if i’m sure?”
your words are decreased to a hum when he catches your lips in his, harder this time. well, that was quick.
his hands are bunching up the hem of your dress, making it ride up your ass. you let your hips press into his crotch more often, the friction between his increasingly tented jeans and the thin fabric of your panties giving you something you’ve missed. it’s hotter than you had thought it would be, and you want to curse yourself for escalating the situation so quickly.
but, oh, it feels good.
it’s the sense of relief you feel when you realise you’re in old arms that already understand the shape of your movements and the frequency of your sounds. he still remembers the sweet spots on your neck, and one glance at you tells him he still remembers the panties you’re wearing tonight.
“ah, shit,” you sigh, feeling his fingers rub on your clit through your panties, your thighs slowly giving out and pressing more into his clothed crotch. the straps of your dress keep falling down your shoulders, and in no time you’re taking the one piece off, forgetting you hadn’t worn a bra underneath. you watch as yangyang’s facial expression turns cockier with every second his fingers play with you, a sly grin plastered on his face. his eyes immediately move to your bare chest this time, his free hand coming to take turns fondling with your breasts and playing with your nipples. for him, tonight is almost unbelievable, and it’s in the way you throw your head back and bite your lip, and the little sounds you make only egg him on.
“maybe seeing you like this was all i needed to get better,” he gasps, and you kiss him again as an attempt to wipe that smirk off his face. you take this time to unbuckle his belt and unzip his jeans, the tent of his boxers prominent as he slides them off underneath you. you feel the bulge against your upper thigh, and you palm him through his boxers, eliciting a louder groan from the man. you only smile in satisfaction.
“so needy,” yangyang chuckles as you move down from his lips, sucking random spots on his jaw and neck, leaving one open-mouthed kiss after another.
“look who’s talking,” you quip in between kisses, your lips moving down his collarbone and onto his chest.
in a second, you get off him and tell him to lay down on his back. his shifts swiftly, visibly feeling more lust than pain in the moment. you hover over him to give him a quick peck on the lips, but that doesn’t stop him from tucking a strand of hair behind your ear before you move back down to the lower half of his torso. it’s just a strand of hair - you know that - but you hate the way he looks at you like you’re the only other person in the world. his eyes never leave your face, and you swear your cheeks are burning beet red.
“you’re pretty,” yangyang says all of a sudden as you’re kissing down his abdomen, your movements pausing from his words, reminded of all the times he’s told you in the past. despite your thoughts, you keep going, trying to act as if his words (and just about everything he did tonight) hadn’t just made your heart skip a beat. in no time, you reach his boxers, fingers playing with the waistband. he takes a heavy breath when you slide them off, his cock springing out fully erect.
you look at him, and then down, and then back at him again. you kiss him one more time as your hand lightly trails down his abdomen, your fingers ghosting around his shaft. he sighs.
when you pull away, you see his hand reach for your hair, already bunching it up as you move yourself lower down his body. you, however, push his hand away, “let me take care of this.”
“you have no idea what i wanna do to you after this,” yangyang sighs, and you feel him relax underneath you, his voice deep and laced with lust.
you hum in response, his words only riling you up for what’s to come.
and boy, did he know what was coming.
“i thought you fell asleep,” you say, voice raspy from your nap. you wake up to yangyang getting himself a glass of water, noticing the ice pack he’s keeping to his bruised side. he’s got a new pair of boxers and mismatched socks, his hair now wet. he had taken a shower.
“i don’t sleep.”
“i mean, me neither, but that was so tiring.”
“is that a compliment?”
“shut- you know what? sure,” you croak from underneath the covers, keeping them wrapped around your bare chest.
“just saying, i was doing all the work,” you call out, earning a laugh from the man.
“you’re forgetting the last two rounds.”
“i said what i said,” you mutter, reaching for your phone on the nightstand to check the time: five thirty-six am.
you figured it was early enough to drive to your dorm and early enough to reassure everyone that you had just gone to your dorm early, saying that you couldn’t stand violence, or something like that. it’s not entirely a lie.
after all, violence, stealing, and other stupid acts were the main reasons why you left yangyang in the first place. you remember you wanted to hate him for it. you never could.
“you can borrow my shirt? or is that too much-”
“sure,” you shrug, giving him a quiet thanks as you slip on your panties and a fresh loose tee from his dresser.
there’s a weird feeling you try to brush off. he’s stealing glances at you as you emerge from the bed, your presence against the kitchen counters making yangyang automatically take another mug from the cupboard - for you.
you sit yourself on the counter, oddly tracing the new marble patterning of the countertop. though you expect him to situate himself right in front of you, you see the man going to lean beside you, getting a small can of pringles on the way. he offers you a chip, and you take one before coming back to stare at the marble patterns on the countertop. you’re not sure what to say.
“you know, you remind me of someone i once knew.”
yangyang’s words make your head turn, curious and slightly taken aback through the crunching sound of the chips.
“i don’t know.”
you tilt your head in confusion.
“there was a metaphor in there somewhere.” he hands you the can of chips and you take another one, humoured by his answer.
“i will say, though, it’s hard to ignore you,” he continues, “call me crazy or whatever - i swear i’m not an obsessed ex or anything.”
“no, i know you’re not crazy,” you reassure, reaching for another chip, “i just fucked my ex after he was beaten up by some of my friends. that’s crazy.”
yangyang appreciates your honesty. he remembers that most about you, and now that you’ve spent the night, he knows that you’re never coming back - it’s final this time. no amount of confessions or fights will ever let you come back to him, no matter how much he wanted it. he wants to tell you he wants you back, that he’ll be better. but he can tell you’ve made up your mind. you don’t need to hear him; for you, all you can hear is the crunching sounds of the food and the occasional dialogue between the two of you. it’s peaceful, you think, much more peaceful than any night in the past year.
“oh, i forgot to tell you this,” you begin as you fill your cup with water, “we were supposed to ice your face too, but we, uh, never got to do that.”
yangyang lets out a soft laugh, and he takes the ice pack from the freezer, switching it with the one he was currently holding to his abdomen. this time, the ice pack goes to his face, and he doesn’t even flinch when it comes in contact with his face.
“your face isn’t that bad anymore.”
“i told you,” he smiles, “i’m fast.”
you tell yourself you can’t stay too long in yangyang’s apartment when his glances start to erupt butterflies in your stomach. you find yourself staring at your feet all too much, and your hands start to crave the presence of his.
though, you’re sure he feels the opposite. he looks content, a neutral smile plastered on his face as he ices his cheek in intervals. he’s still talkative as ever, and you let him go on about his friends and classes. he talks about how he’s planning to spend the winter interning at a startup company in seoul and the summer at dejun’s brother’s beach house with “everyone”. he even tells you that he had stolen the liquor for the sole reason that he wanted to piss off your sibling frat, knowing that there was going to be a party last night.
as you’re listening to him, you realise how much you used to laugh with him around. you swear he has some kind of way to make the edges of your mouth turn upwards with his crazy stories and cute facial expressions. it brings you back to when you first met him: you were both freshmen, having just moved out from your hometowns all the way to seoul. you thought he was the most interesting person ever, and he had ultimately been drawn to you since the first day of orientation where you had stood out during a team building game. it was a time where at seven pm you had just gotten his name, and by midnight your lips had already been acquainted with his.
you’ve gotten so used to seeing him as a selfish and irritating guy that the traces of your attraction to him had faded away. your relationship is as good as a half eaten snack stashed in the freezer for a day that never came; and when you do come back to it, you know that no matter how good the frozen bite is, the only option is to throw it away. it’s expired. or maybe both of you simply need closure. a clean “i like you, but it’s never going to work” or a classic “it’s not you, it’s me” would’ve been better than an ambiguous one night stand. but he fucked you anyways, and you’d be lying through your teeth if you said you regretted it.
“were you… surprised? when i came?” you ask slowly, mentally face palming yourself for asking him.
“i heard you were hanging out with that crowd but i never really thought any of this would’ve happened,” yangyang replies, “turns out you’re still kind of the same.”
“you too,” you say, “you’re still stupid in the smartest way.”
“i’ve never heard that one.”
“that means stop stealing.”
before yangyang can throw out a response to your words, your phone buzzes twice. when you turn your phone on, you find that it’s none other than mark lee, sending you a short “hey” with a following “did you get home safe last night?”
you turn your phone back off, keeping it face down on the countertop. yangyang seems to not pay attention to your phone, this time only reaching for another can of pringles from the cupboard. it’s right now that you feel even worse than when you left the party to tend to yangyang, and you don’t know if you would be able to see yangyang again with so much on your shoulders these days.
“hey, yangyang,” you begin, the sound of his name from your mouth different from last night, “i think i might have to leave pretty soon.”
there’s a short silence that ensues before he hums a quick okay through the crunching of his chips, telling you that you could bring his shirt home. you decline, telling him it would probably leave you freezing outside. you also note that your friends would notice a new shirt appearing overnight, as you remembered your friends had grown familiar to your wardrobe, which was much smaller in comparison to theirs. but you don’t tell him that.
you slip the dress from last night back on, and yangyang gives you a random granola bar when you’re putting your coat and heels on.
“wait for me!” he rushes through his dresser, grabbing a pair of basketball shorts and a hoodie and slipping them on at what seemed like lightning speed. you stand by the doorway, zipping your coat up to your neck, the contents of your purse double checked.
you feel the quiet chill of the city rush through your hair as soon as you’re out the door. the hallway is once again filled with humorous banter and silence, and you can tell that yangyang’s back in health with lighter bruises left to heal. the ride down to the parking lot was much shorter than you remembered, and it leaves a sweet taste in your mouth when he presses all the buttons on the elevator just as you two exit - you know, just for fun.
the parking lot is empty as usual for a saturday morning, and you take the time to wander around the grey building. its walls are open, leaving room for the cold and the fog to cover up the faint view of the city. everything in the city is big and bustling, but you only feel a calmness amongst the dull cement.
“it’s just a parking lot,” yangyang mutters, hands stuffed in his hoodie pockets. he smiles at the eye roll you give him in response, nonetheless enjoying the way you’re staying for just a little bit longer.
“oh, by the way,” you begin as the both of you near your car, “what are you going to do with the liquor?”
yangyang folds his arms and cocks his head to the side, “dejun’s beach house?”
when you start laughing discreetly, his eyebrows start to raise, “wait, you’re not going to snitch on us, are you?”
you shake your head as you unlock your car from a few steps away. it makes a small bleep sound, and you put your purse in the passenger’s seat of the car, yangyang following you as you walk to the other side of the car for the driver’s seat.
you find yourself leaning against the door instead of opening it, trying to keep a conversation you know won’t last. eventually, you opt for a goodbye hug. you think it’s the appropriate amount of sweet, with his hands on your waist and your arms around his back, the thick material of his hoodie and your coat warming you up.
you’re sure you had stayed in the hug for a little too long, but you’re sure you’re never going to let yourself see him again, so you want to compensate.
apparently for him, a hug wasn’t quite enough compensation.
as soon as you two pull away from the hug, you find your lips on his. but it’s not greedy or hot, not a sweet confession or a beg to stay. it’s a goodbye, and you two are well aware of that.
he doesn’t hold you tight by the waist or smile into the kiss, and your lips don’t press onto his as hard as they did last night. it’s just long and gentle, leaving the two of you satisfied at the end.
you lick your lips once before you enter the driver’s seat of the car, turning the engine on to go. rolling the windows down, you tell him, “have fun at dejun’s!” and he replies with “have fun with mark lee!”
when your laughs die down, you look him in the eye one last time, and tell him - for real this time, without any shouting or door-slamming or swearing - goodbye. you tell him you had a great time, remind him to keep icing his bruises for twenty-minute intervals, but you never tell him you’ll see him again. he nods and smiles at you with a smile that you just realised you’d miss, and he eyes you with hazel circles and high cheeks, his dark hair barely dried from the shower. he’s handsome.
“we’ve said bye, like, twice now,” he points out, and you unbuckle and buckle your seatbelt in slight embarrassment.
“okay, i’m really going then,” you wave, pushing the window back up. you hit the gas, moving forward, and you change the gears. you see yangyang get smaller and smaller in your rearview mirror, and as much as you’d like to hit the brakes right then and there, you know that’s not an option.
before you know it, you’re gone.
as you exit the lot, alone now, you let out a tight exhale. you think about him, and you know you’ll keep thinking about him in ways that you might not be thinking about others. though, there’s a small wave of shame that echoes through your pride from last night, and you try to swallow it down your gut because you promise it’ll never happen again. hell, what would the other girls think if they knew you dated, and even recently slept with, liu yangyang? you don’t want to imagine it.
you’re praying he doesn’t talk about you because you know you won’t talk about him - you can’t. you tell yourself he was a freshman year affair, that you were just touch-starved and lonely last night. it’s easy to come back to yangyang, yes, and he knows you well enough to make you feel no need to walk on eggshells, but things are different now. maybe you might need to keep walking on eggshells, but you know it’s not for longer. these people - your sorority, the frat - they like you. they think you’re funny and charming and mark lee wants to ask you out (albeit he might only want to fuck, but there’s no harm in fucking mark lee), so why go back to yangyang? the man steals and gets himself into shitty situations, and though he cooks good food and tells you the funniest jokes, he’s not who you need.
you’ll get over yangyang, you say quietly, a whisper into the air like a sinful confession from your lips. you hate the way it sounds, like you’re finally agreeing that your feelings for him lingered even in the months you were away. you want to scold yourself, are you happy now? and slap yourself because you’ve just risked newfound friendship for your ex. but what’s happened has happened.
the only way to look is ahead, and though it’s still foggy in the mornings, you hope you can leave him behind. you still like him, so what? feelings fade. fake it until you make it. you don’t hate it, anyways. you like your new crowd, and they just happened to hate yangyang. at one point, you thought you did too.
and even though you feel your tears prickle in the corners of your eyes, hot beads falling down your cheek, you keep your chin up high. just focus on the drive home, and life will finally be back to normal. at home you can look forward to your hungover roommate, a warm bath, a fresh change of clothes, and maybe you could even reply to that text from mark lee. you’ll forget about yangyang soon.
your tears start to dry. with a slight sob, your chest holds you up, eyes still on the road, and you keep driving. and it’s enough to decide that, to you, he is only stolen liquor.
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