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#hes cute he said he likes paying for r dates bc it makes him feel good to spend money on something for us ..whatever
taelme · a year ago
Don’t Need Your Love Club - Recruiting Now! (Welcome, Lee Donghyuck)
genre: high school!au, student council member!donghyuck, friends-to-lovers!au (fluff, angst with a happy ending, kind of mutual pining?) 
pairing/s: Haechan / Reader (ft dreamies and some other Kpop 00 line boys, and Gugudan Mina) 
word count: 17k+ 
tw: none! 
a/n: after the long wait...the final part is up!! thank u guys for being patient lol I hope this chapter was satisfactory,, so please enjoy~~ also none of my works are beta read sorry so feedback is very much appreciated heh under the cut bc its pretty long! 
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Lee Donghyuck was a selfish being. He was someone that joined the student council for the sake of being able to bend the rules, someone that had a way with words that managed to manipulate people into doing things for his convenience. And someone that never felt bad about guilt tripping somebody for his own gain. Even if that somebody was you. 
lee donghyuck 11:15am -r u coming for my match later- 
You rolled your eyes, sinking further down in your seat as you typed out a reply with one hand, hiding your phone under the table as you nodded along with whatever your teacher was saying. 
11:15am -you've asked me this already im trying to pay attention- 
You glanced over at Donghyuck's seat at the other end of the classroom, the teachers having separated your desks at the start of the term since the both of you were always distracted if you were seated near each other. Not that you weren’t still distracted when he was all the way at the other side of the classroom, clearly.
He was sitting with his body angled towards you, leaning against the wall with his head supported by his elbow on the table, his hair mussed up as he kept his gaze on the board while typing his reply to you. 
lee donghyuck 11:16am - wtv - 11:16am - was just checking if u rmb... - 11:16am - anyway r u buying me flowers- 
You cast a glance at him, seeing that his position had shifted now as he hunched over his desk, fiddling with his tie. Looking over to you, he'd met your gaze, quirking his eyebrows ever so quickly as he gestured discreetly at his phone, a small smirk on his face. 
11:16am -it's not like its a choir performance... i see u play all the time-
You swore you'd heard Donghyuck stop himself from whining, smiling sweetly at your teacher before he typed his reply to you. 
lee donghyuck 11:17am - but jisung said u were getting him flowers!! >:( - 
You pressed your lips firmly together in your attempt to suppress your smile, twirling your pen with one hand. 
11:17am - 1. thats bc jisung is my brother 11:17am -2. the flowers are from my mom bc its his first game.- 11:17am -from what i know, u r both not my brother n not playing ur first game = no flowers for u - 
lee donghyuck 11:17am - :(!!!!! - 
11:18am - what time do you have to leave? - 
lee donghyuck 11:18am – in 2 minutes -
11:18am - ok have a good practice see u later - 
You watched out of boredom as he'd already begun to pack his things, blatantly disregarding that the lesson was still going on (you were sure he'd ask you for the notes the following week). 
"Lee Donghyuck, you need to be dismissed, am I right?" your head turned sharply towards your teacher as her voice raised slightly. She never did try to hide her annoyance at Donghyuck having to skip lessons all the time because of volleyball matches or student council events. 
Donghyuck looked up from his bag, nodding with a smile as he zipped it up, slinging it over his shoulder. It didn’t help the teacher that Donghyuck simply loved to piss her off. 
"Alright, go," she waved him off. 
Bending down to hook his shoe bag and water bottle on his finger, Donghyuck turned to you to nod his head goodbye before he'd strolled leisurely out of the class. 
You'd retrieved the (awfully large) bouquet of flowers from your locker after school ended before heading to Donghyuck's volleyball match, having hitched a ride with Chenle so you could split the cab fare, despite Chenle's insistence that he could have paid for the both of you. 
"Is that for Jisung?" 
You gestured with your gaze towards the bag he was holding in his hand, earning a nod from him. Looking closer, you realised that it was a cup of Jisung's ever-so-specific drink order from the bubble tea shop near your school. 
"He seemed pretty nervous for today, thought it'd be nice to get him something small as a reward." 
The corner of your lips lifted into a smirk, a huff of amusement leaving you, "are you sure it won't be diluted by the end of the game?" 
Chenle's eyes widened, glancing between you and the drink as his lips parted, making you shake your head, ruffling his hair affectionately. 
"Don't worry, Jisung will probably still drink it anyway," you laughed. 
"Did you get those for Donghyuck, too?" He nodded with his head towards the bag you were holding.
You raised an eyebrow, following his gaze to realise he was gesturing to your bag containing Jisung's bouquet, almost forgetting you were carrying it. 
You shook your head.
"Nope, my mom got these for Jisung..." you trailed off, your mind wandering back to how Donghyuck was pestering you to get flowers for him, a strange feeling of guilt creeping up on you if you were to decide not to get him anything. 
Staring out of the car window, you tried to recall how much spending money you had left for the rest of the week.
"Chenle, do you remember if they have a florist near the venue?" 
You wanted to scoff at yourself. What was the special occasion anyway? 
It was just any other one of Donghyuck’s matches, yet you were only feeling extremely guilty now about not buying him flowers of all things to show your support. 
Chenle's lips pursed, shaking his head before taking his phone and keying in something. 
"Oh! There is! Says here that it's at the mall next to the stadium," your eyes widened, eyebrows furrowing slightly as you tried to read the details on the shop location on his phone. 
Chenle narrowed his eyes at you, "are you gonna get something for Donghyuck?" 
You scoffed at the way he was smiling at you, waving him off, "I'll see if it's within my budget." 
Finding the florist took you and Chenle long enough, the dainty shop having been tucked away at a far end of the mall, but picking out a flower took even longer. 
"What about this one?" Chenle pointed at a similar bouquet as to what you had for Jisung, a pretty bouquet of yellow and pink tulips. 
"Too expensive," you whispered just soft enough that the shop owner wouldn't hear, skimming over the bouquet and letting your gaze travel towards the bright sunflower bouquets. 
"And plus, Donghyuck likes sunflowers." 
"This one?" you asked Chenle, pointing at a small simple bouquet of a sunflower and baby's breath. 
Chenle let out a hum in approval, "oh, this is cute, yeah, sure you should get this!" he told you, nodding. 
You bid the thirty-over dollars in your wallet goodbye, mentally cursing Donghyuck for managing to guilt trip you into buying flowers for him. 
Grabbing the bouquet and shoving it into the same bag as Jisung's before practically jogging to the venue with Chenle, the both of you running late from spending so long at the mall. 
Struggling to keep up with Chenle, you saw him turn to you, waving his phone, "Jeno says they saved a seat for us!" 
You nodded, already out of breath as you let him lead you into the stands closer to where your school's team would be seated, spotting them doing warm-ups at the bleachers. 
Greeting Donghyuck’s friends, you’d seated yourself in between Chenle and Renjun, stretching your neck to look over the banners that the girls seated in front of you were holding, trying to find Donghyuck in the crowd of black volleyball jerseys. 
Jisung seemed to have spotted you, calling the said boy and pointing at your direction. Looking up in confusion, Donghyuck’s eyes searched the crowd before spotting you and his friends, the group of you waving enthusiastically (not to mention the girls in front of you as well who had immediately squealed when Donghyuck had smiled in their direction). 
Walking over to Jisung, the two had partnered each other for warm-ups, Donghyuck starting to get into his more serious mood as he would during his games. 
“Damn, look at Donghyuck. He’s just stretching but he looks so good,” your eyes widened when you heard the girl in front of you lean over to divulge to her friend. 
Chenle turned to you with raised eyebrows, not-so-secretly pointing at the girl with an expectant look on his face. 
“What?” You scoffed. 
“You’ve got some competitors,” he told you, erupting into a burst of laughter causing the girls to turn around, eyeing Chenle in shock. 
Nodding apologetically to them, (though you weren’t all that sorry), you leant over to Chenle slightly and dropped your voice to a murmur. 
“They can have him. I’m sure his ego would explode.”
Renjun turned to you, seemingly interested in your conversation.
“What are you guys talking about?”
Chenle butt in quickly, “I’m telling Y/N to claim her man!”
Your eyes widened, shooting Chenle a warning glare.
Renjun’s lips formed a thoughtful pout, “Donghyuck?” 
You scoffed, “I don’t know what you guys are talking about, Donghyuck and I are just friends.” 
You grimaced at the thought of you and Donghyuck ever dating, the thought itself enough to make your insides stir. 
Was it supposed to do that? Maybe you were having indigestion. 
Chenle made a face, trying hard but not doing a very good job to hide his scepticism, seeming to disagree with you. 
“Ouch, hope Donghyuck never has to hear that,” Renjun laughed, seeming to distrust your words as well. 
Rolling your eyes, you kicked the bag of flowers under your seat, not wishing to see them and let your thoughts wander even more. 
Shaking your head, you’d tried to focus on the game as much as you could despite the incessant commentary coming from in front of you of ‘oh Donghyuck’s this, Donghyuck’s that’. As much as you were glad that he had people who liked him instead of hating him, you couldn’t help but wish you could shield Donghyuck from their view, their drooling over him growing distracting as time passed. 
You tried your best, for Donghyuck’s sake, to look past your annoyance and focus on the game, even though you couldn’t say you knew what was happening, having not paid much attention when Donghyuck had tried explaining the different roles of his team members to you on countless occasions. 
To you, you would cheer when the girls sitting in front of you cheered. That was safest. 
Aside from cheering, you would never fail to return the little proud smile Donghyuck would give you after a shot he was particularly proud of, something inside of you feeling heavy with the memory of Renjun and Chenle’s previous words, wondering if it was normal to feel so enamoured when you were looking at your friend smile at you from the court like that. 
You were starting to grow anxious as the game neared its end, your leg starting to bounce as you saw the girls in front of you starting to prepare their gifts, reminding you that you had a gift for Donghyuck too. 
You wanted to scoff at yourself. You weren’t sure where all your anxiousness was coming from. It wasn’t as if you guys weren’t close. You’d given him plenty of gifts, so what made the flowers so different? 
Friends give each other flowers all the time. Yeah, whatever, maybe that’s just my love language, you assured yourself, despite knowing very well that it wasn’t true. 
Startling in your seat when you heard the crowd erupt in cheers, you tore your gaze away from the girls in front of you, cursing inwardly when you realised the game had ended and you’d basically missed the final sequence. 
“Did you see that?” Chenle turned excitedly to you, beaming. 
Laughing nervously, you nodded, surprised he couldn’t tell you were lying with how blatant you were being about it. 
“Now we wait,” you heard Renjun sigh, leaning back in his seat with his hands in his lap just as the girls in front of you had stood up, practically running downstairs to head over to the lobby to wait for Donghyuck. 
“I wish they could just mail them to his house or something,” you yawned, bending over to pull the bag of flowers out from underneath your seat. 
Peeping in the box to check if any of the flowers were damaged, you nodded in satisfaction when you found that they were all still in good condition. 
“I can’t wait, I’ve gotta go meet my girlfriend,” Jeno confessed, a sheepish smile on his face, warranting much teasing from the boys. 
“I’m hitching a ride with him, what about you Renjun?” Jaemin added, slinging his bag over his shoulder, the two of them giving Renjun an expectant look. 
Renjun looked almost contemplative, casting Chenle a glance before shaking his head, “nah, you guys go ahead, I can wait with them.” 
You walked with them along to the entrance of the venue, gripping the bag in your hands tightly, switching between holding Jisung’s bouquet in your hands and shoving it into the bag together with Donghyuck’s in your indecision. 
You watched as Chenle took a sip of the drink he bought for Jisung, an impressed pout on his lips as he nodded in approval. 
“Wow, I should give this place a good review, it still tastes pretty good even after all the waiting.” 
You shook your head with a huff, not being able to help the smile from your face, yet at the same time you were thankful Chenle was so calm while waiting, serving to help you calm your nerves as well. 
Renjun, however, was the opposite. Leaning against the wall you stood at, he shook his fringe away from his eyes as he let out a loud sigh, his features pinched in annoyance. 
“What’s taking him so long?!”
You laughed, “they’re probably still taking group pictures.” 
You could already imagine it, the way Donghyuck would pose ridiculously with his teammates, anticipating the shots he would show you later on. 
You tried to ignore the way the girls who had sat in front of you were now anxiously fixing their hair while waiting for Donghyuck, practically squealing in their giddy anticipation. 
Soon enough, (and thankfully before Chenle could drink too much of Jisung’s drink), you’d watched the double doors open, Donghyuck’s teammates walking out, your eyes widening when you saw who was next to him. 
Chenle had summoned Jisung over quickly, giving you a chance to calm down your racing heart that Hyunjin and Donghyuck were beginning to approach Renjun. 
Your excitement was short-lived, the girls having ambushed him before he could reach Renjun, holding out their small presents for him. 
“Donghyuck you were so cool today! You played so well!” 
“Yeah! You look really cool when you play!” You heard another girl chime in. 
Suppressing your feelings of annoyance, you decided to ignore them for the time being, tuning out their words as you tried to focus on your task at hand. 
“Here,” you shoved the flowers to Jisung, his eyes wide as he sipped on the drink Chenle got him, a surprised smile making its way on his face. 
“You bought these?” He mumbled through his mouthful of tapioca pearls, shaking his head to arrange his hair, though it didn’t do much since it was already messy from playing, sticking out at strange places. 
Rolling your eyes, you ignored the way Donghyuck was tugging on your hand, asking for your attention. 
“No, they’re from mom,” you shook your head, “anyway, are you two going out after this?” 
Chenle gave you a pleading smile, making you scrunch your nose up with a smile. You were never one to say no to Chenle. 
“Alright, go, just remember to tell mom you’ll be late, okay?” You reminded, watching as Jisung’s mouth fell agape in realisation, nodding appreciatively at you before he started to walk off with Chenle. 
Trying to keep your tone steady, you’d finally turned around to face Renjun, Hyunjin and Donghyuck. 
Your breath hitched at the sight of Hyunjin, whose stoic expression changed to a smile to greet you, bringing a hand up to wave at you. 
“Hey,” he huffed. 
“Hi,” you cursed yourself at how breathless you sounded, raising your hand despite Donghyuck’s fingers gripping tightly on the sleeve of your school sweater. 
You missed the offence in Donghyuck’s glare, said boy unable to believe that you were paying more attention to Hyunjin than you were to him at the moment. 
Like you said, Donghyuck was selfish, and he couldn’t stand the fact that Hyunjin was getting more attention from you than he was. 
What was this, a smiling contest? 
Donghyuck wanted to scoff, tightening his grip on your sleeve, though it didn’t seem to bother you, your mood seeming to have lifted just from seeing Hyunjin. 
Renjun seemed to have sensed Donghyuck’s tension, trying his best as he tried to divert your attention back to Donghyuck, trying to signal to Hyunjin that it would be better to leave the two of you alone. 
“Hey, yeah so you were telling me about that thing just now?” Renjun interrupted whatever strange exchange you were having with Hyunjin. 
His sudden question made Hyunjin’s eyebrows lower in confusion, earning a desperate look from Renjun (which you’d missed while you were busy looking at the pretty earrings Hyunjin was wearing). 
Donghyuck caught on quickly to Renjun’s intentions, the latter discreetly waving his hand in a silent plead for him to go ahead. 
“Right, okay, we’ll be off now. Bye!” Donghyuck beamed, his grip moving to your wrist before pulling you out of the venue. 
“Why’d you leave so quick? I was having a great time,” you scoffed, stumbling once he’d let you go, regaining your balance ungracefully, dropping the bag of flowers with a gasp. 
Donghyuck rolled his eyes, straightening out his jersey as if you’d gotten it messed up when he’d dragged you out from the venue. 
“Yeah, I could tell. I could see your heart eyes for Hyunjin from a mile away,” he scoffed, “actually, now that I’m thinking about it...” he helped you up, looking elsewhere as he pretended to be upset at you. 
You dusted off the bag, flinching away when Donghyuck had turned abruptly to face you. 
“Do you just come for my games as an excuse to drool over Hyunjin?” 
You grit your teeth, huffing as you shoved the bag containing his bouquet towards him, hitting him in the chest with your fist as you did so. Letting out a dramatic whine in feigned hurt, his eyes widened at the sight of the bag, his hand wrapping around yours and tugging the bag out of your grip. 
“What’s this? For me?” His smile grew, holding his shoe bag between his elbow and his waist, opening the bag and pulling out the bouquet with a slow gasp, his expression abruptly dropping, “please tell me these weren’t from your mom.” 
You groaned, walking ahead of him, “they weren’t. I bought them.” 
Donghyuck’s lips pressed against each other firmly, poorly concealing his smile, taking his phone out and holding it out as if about to take a selfie, beckoning you over with the bouquet. 
“Come here, I need evidence that this happened.” 
You tried to maintain your glare, though you couldn’t help the smile from your face, reaching over to take his shoe bag and water bottle from him, carrying it behind your back so it wasn’t visible in the picture. Taking the picture quickly, Donghyuck smiled at his handiwork. 
“You’re an ass, you know that? I spent the rest of my week’s allowance on your stupid flowers,” you laughed, swinging his shoe bag as you walked, turning to him with a smile, not being able to stay annoyed at him with how happy he looked. 
Maybe you weren’t so upset about spending your money on the flowers anymore. 
Donghyuck brought the flowers beneath his nose, inhaling and letting out a sigh of contentment, glancing at you before looking back down, pulling his phone out in his attempt to appear as nonchalant as possible. 
“Thanks,” he murmured. 
“Whatever. You played really well today,” you told him, “well, not that I understood what was happening during the game, but the girls just now seemed to have thought so too,” you shrugged, turning to him with a playful grin on your face. 
Clearing your throat, you tried your best impression of the girls that had approached him just now, “oh Donghyuck! You’re so cool when you play! You look so hot when you’re serious!” 
Donghyuck scoffed, trying to hide his blush by pretending to act busy booking a car for the both of you. 
“They never said that second part,” he scoffed. 
You shrugged, “yeah, well you didn’t hear them during the game. I never knew till now that you had so many girls thirsting over you,” you crouched down next to him, tired from standing. 
“Yeah, like how you thirst over Hyunjin?” He shot back, “anyway, the car’s coming in 5 minutes.” 
“Okay,” you acknowledged, “and by the way, I don’t thirst over Hyunjin.”
Donghyuck made an obnoxious sound to imitate you, folding his arms before he used his knee to nudge you, making you lose your balance and fall onto your bum. 
“Yeah, sure,” he drawled, a smug smirk on his face. 
The both of you sat in a fatigued silence until the car had arrived, Donghyuck having entered before you, setting the flowers carefully on his lap, fiddling with the packaging of the bouquet. 
You watched as he brought his phone up to check the time, swiping accidentally and revealing his reminders, one of them being ’29 days to my birthday!’ not being able to help the smile from your face.
“Are you having a party this year?” You asked, seeing him nod, yawning loudly as he shoved his phone back into his pocket, making you cast a worried glance towards the driver to see if Donghyuck’s volume had annoyed him. 
“Yeah, on the day itself. It’s a Sunday. Can you make it?” You frowned. 
“I was supposed to go visit my grandma that week, but I have to check with you again,” you told him, seeing his features pull into a frown. 
“Can grandma wait a few days more?” He sulked, and you turned your gaze away from the window to look at him in both disbelief and amusement, almost knowing he would have said that. 
You saw him leaning closer to rest his head on your shoulder, pulling his phone back out to change the subject, not wishing to let himself feel upset at the thought that you might not be able to make it for his birthday party. 
“Look, I came out really well in the pictures we took just now,” Donghyuck showed you the group picture of his volleyball team, making you zoom into where he was, conveniently standing next to Hyunjin. 
Donghyuck seemed to have realised this, swiping the picture so you were only able to see him in the photo, making you laugh, shoving his phone away. 
“Have you figured out what you wanted for your birthday?” You asked, trying to turn your head in an attempt to see his face better but not doing a very good job, giving up and settling on looking at his fingers which were touching the sunflower petals gently. 
Donghyuck thought off of the top of his head, wanting to slap himself when his first thought was that he’d wanted a kiss from you. He was definitely spending too much time with Jaemin. 
“No, I’m not sure yet,” he yawned, snuggling more into you, and you’d relaxed your shoulder in your hopes to make him feel more comfortable. 
You nodded, “think about it, okay? Let me know so I can get it for you.” 
You were thankful that you were already reaching your house, since Donghyuck was already beginning to doze off after a short period of silence, his head slowly sliding down your shoulder before he would jerk back awake and resume his previous position. 
Eventually, he’d pulled his head away from your shoulder, bringing his hand up to push his hair away from his forehead haphazardly.
“I’m so tired.” 
“Maybe you should try to sleep early today, you don’t have to wake up early tomorrow, do you?” 
He sighed, pausing before groaning, possibly with more anguish than his sigh, “I do. I’ve got some stupid student council thing tomorrow that I’ve got to be in school early for.” 
You gave him your best look of pity, “on a Saturday?” 
He nodded gravely, “we’re hosting the student council members from other schools too. I wouldn’t go if I had a choice but they’re giving me credits for attending, and you and I both know I need all the credits I can get,” he sighed, sinking down in his seat. 
Donghyuck noticed how you’d begun to gather your things, a part of him wishing he hadn’t fallen asleep so he could’ve talked to you more. 
Feeling the car start to slow down, he’d given you a tired smile, “bye.” 
You nodded, waving him goodbye before exiting the car. 
The next time you’d met Donghyuck was during lunch in school the next Monday, you were seated with your friends at your usual table in the cafeteria, away from the crowd so it wouldn’t feel stuffy but also in a position where you would have a direct view of almost everyone in the cafeteria. 
“Can you come for my finals match?” was the first thing he’d asked you upon squeezing himself next to you on the bench, your eyes falling onto his absence of his badge above his breast pocket. 
“Name tag,” you reminded out of habit, seeing him glance down at his chest before fumbling in his pocket to pull out his name tag, pinning it onto his shirt with haste. 
“It’s next week,” he told you, “on a Friday,” he added as an afterthought. 
You nodded, “I don’t think I have anything planned that day, for now.” 
“Okay, great. Text you later,” he beamed, about to leave when you’d grabbed his wrist before he could. 
“Are you not eating?” 
Donghyuck paused to process what you were asking, momentarily thrown off by your hand on his forearm, not to mention the way he’d almost let his heart flutter at your concern, shaking his head a little belatedly. 
“No, yeah. I’m eating with the dnyl guys,” you nodded slowly, letting go of his arm before waving him off. 
“Bye,” he left quickly, strangely excited after receiving the news that you would be able to go for his match, especially since it was his final match for your national competition among the different schools. 
Jogging over to the empty classroom he’d opened for the dnyl club to meet, he’d barged into the class, shocking Renjun with his loud entrance. 
“Oh my God, I thought you were a teacher,” his hand flew to cover his chest where his heart was, glaring at Donghyuck. 
The boy remained unapologetic, taking a seat at one of the tables they’d pushed together to form a misshapen circle. 
Pulling his phone from his pocket, he’d set it on the table. 
“So, did you ask them about your match?” Jaemin asked, tearing open the packaging of his bun. 
“Yep,” Donghyuck smiled. 
“Are you referring to Y/N?” Jeno asked, setting his phone down when it was still open on one of his battleground rounds, his interests clearly not being in his match anymore. 
“Yeah,” Donghyuck murmured, reaching over to grab a bun from the bag on Jaemin’s table. 
“How’s things going with her?” Jeno continued, making Donghyuck shrug, suddenly focused on getting the packet of bread open, 
“What do you mean?” 
Donghyuck sighed, at the difficulty of tearing the packaging open or at the topic, he wasn’t too sure. 
“You know, didn’t you have this whole plan to win her over by your birthday?” Jaemin chimed in, sensing Jeno’s confusion. 
Renjun eyed Donghyuck carefully as he saw his phone light up with notifications, Donghyuck glancing at his phone briefly before looking away almost in disappointment. 
“Who’s texting you?” Renjun murmured, earning confused looks from Jeno and Jaemin for changing the topic so quickly. 
Donghyuck managed to tear an opening in the packet with his teeth, taking a bite out of his bun, “oh, this girl I met on Saturday that was helping out at the student council event.” 
“Oh, do you guys have to do like a project together or something?” Renjun asked, though he knew better than to think Donghyuck actually did things for the student council. 
Donghyuck shook his head. 
“Nope, we’re just like..talking. She’s pretty nice, and like, fun I guess. She’s pretty popular too” he shrugged. 
Jaemin’s mouth fell open, looking almost offended, “what about Y/N?” 
Donghyuck shrugged, “what about her?” 
Jeno gave Renjun a surprised look, the both of them glancing back at Jaemin quickly to see what Jaemin would respond with. 
The latter scoffed, not seeming to understand Donghyuck’s logic this time. 
“Oh, well, maybe because if I were you and I really liked someone, I wouldn’t be hitting on other girls?” 
Donghyuck rolled his eyes. 
“I’m not...hitting on her, we’re just talking, that’s all there is to it.” 
Renjun let out a low whistle, the discomfort of the tension between Jaemin and Donghyuck feeling heavy in the room. 
“Whatever you say, man.” 
“Look, I do like Y/N. I really really do. But how am I supposed to know if things are gonna work in my favour in the end? I mean, I know I can try but, I’m putting myself up to get hurt too, you know?” 
Once again, Donghyuck proved that he was selfish, afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve like how Renjun did. Protecting it was first priority, especially when he still wasn’t clear on how you felt. 
Jeno pursed his lips, nodding slowly, huffing. 
“Well, I guess that’s what we’re here for. Think about it, you’re the only one out of the four of us that doesn’t have a girlfriend yet. If anything, our advice would be for your benefit, not the other way around.” 
Donghyuck wanted to groan. He wanted to believe them, he really did. But a part of him couldn’t shake the way even Hyunjin seemed to have more odds in winning you over than he did, the feeling of fighting a losing battle. 
But ultimately, Donghyuck nodded, dismissing the topic, “yeah, whatever. I don’t need love, right? That’s the whole reason Harvey made me join this stupid club anyway.” 
In other words, the only reason why Donghyuck joined the club was because he realised that seeing your stupid smile went from feeling familiar to feeling unfamiliar, and it was the kind of unfamiliar that Donghyuck knew was akin to the heart-pounding, time- slowing love that movie protagonists always went on about. 
And he figured he’d might as well surround himself with stories of unfortunate love lives, because he knew his was screwed. 
The boys exchanged knowing looks with each other, choosing to brush the topic off for Donghyuck’s sake. 
“So, how’s preparation for your match been going?” 
“I still can’t believe mom asked you to tag along,” you huffed, pushing the shopping cart with your body as you strolled past the cereal aisle, Jisung dumping several boxes into the cart. 
“Yeah, well, it’s not like I wanted to spend my night getting groceries with the both of you,” he glanced at the list on his phone your mom had sent him. 
Donghyuck was ahead of the both of you, looking at the party items in the other aisle. 
“Why’s he buying his birthday stuff so early, anyway?” Jisung asked, making you smile. 
“He’s excited. It’s best to leave him be.” You glanced down at Donghyuck’s phone, reading the list and checking off the items you already had. 
“How many people are you planning on hosting?” You called, getting Donghyuck’s attention successfully as you strolled over towards where he was in the supermarket. 
Donghyuck hummed, holding a long bag of plastic cups in his hand as he did his mental calculations. 
“Well, there’s the volleyball team, there’s some people from the student council, the guys and their girlfriends...some classmates—” 
You pulled out another bag of cups, handing it over to Donghyuck, “just get two to be safe.” 
“Does that mean I get to drink too?” Jisung asked, his eyebrows raising. 
You shot him a look, making him raise his hands in surrender.
“Forget I asked.” 
“So...if your volleyball team’s going, does that mean Hyunjin’s going too?” You asked, already anticipating Donghyuck’s reaction, not being able to help your giggle when you saw him look at you blankly. 
“If you keep this up, it’s gonna be the volleyball team minus Hyunjin.” 
You scoffed, “hey, I’ve gotta have something to look forward to, right?” 
Donghyuck pulled the end of the shopping cart towards another section, “is it not enough to look forward to the fact that it’s a celebration of my entering into this world?” 
Rolling your eyes, you looked back at the list of items on Donghyuck’s phone, about to retort with something witty when you saw an unfamiliar contact appear on the phone, frowning before reluctantly holding the phone out for Donghyuck to take. Mina? 
“Someone’s calling you,” you told him, Jisung bending over to read the contact name before giving you a confused look, expecting you to know who they were. 
There was a sinking feeling in you when you saw the way Donghyuck’s demeanour had changed upon reading the contact, taking the phone from you roughly and answering it, the tone of his ‘hello’ already making you question just who this person was that Donghyuck was so quick to answer. 
“Hey," he murmured, smiling at something whoever it was on the phone was saying to him. 
"Who is it?" Jisung whispered, making you shrug. 
"How would I know?" you shrugged, trying to listen in on the conversation but not being very successful. 
"Yeah, no I'm alright to talk," you heard him say, "nothing, I'm just out with my friends." 
You pretended to be occupied with the items in the shopping cart, oblivious to the way Jisung was eyeing the both of you. 
"Yeah, actually it's for my birthday party. Do you wanna come? It's on the 6th," he murmured, fiddling with the disposable plates he'd just picked up. 
Was he blushing? You couldn't believe the feelings of annoyance that were building in you at the sight of him. 
Since when was Lee Donghyuck so shy talking to his friends on the phone? 
You scoffed, getting Donghyuck's attention unintentionally, the boy looking at you expectantly. You chose to ignore his look, much to Jisung's shock. 
Jisung whipped his phone out discreetly, deciding that desperate times called for desperate measures. 
7:08pm -do u know anything abt this person called mina?- 
chenle 7:08pm -jeno says its the girl donghyuck's talking to- 
7:08pm -but doesnt he like y/n?- 
chenle 7:08pm -yeah he does but jeno says hes being a wuss... n personally i think y/n's in denial too- 
7:08pm - sure seems like it.. donghyuck's on a phonecall with her now n y/n looks more than pissed- 
chenle 7:09pm -maybe u shld ask y/n abt it later n see what she says- 
Shoving his phone back into his pocket, Jisung watched silently as Donghyuck ended his phone call, his smile lingering on his face a little too long for your liking. 
"Who was that?" you asked, hoping the edge in your voice wasn't too obvious. 
Unfortunately, it was, and Donghyuck couldn't help but let his smile grow at the thought of you possibly being jealous that he was talking to her.
"Oh, just this girl I've been talking to. Met her at the student council event that day." 
You scrunched up your nose, letting out a small sigh, " she's going for your party too?" 
Donghyuck narrowed his eyes at you, a small smirk playing at his lips. 
"Uh-huh. Why? Is there an issue?" he drawled, leaning over the side of the trolley to bring his face closer to yours. 
Yes, there was an issue. 
Although Donghyuck may be unapologetically selfish at times, you, for one, were not. You didn't think it was very supportive of you to be so possessive over Donghyuck. I mean, it's a good thing that he's meeting people, isn't it? It's not like we're dating, there's nothing to be jealous about. 
"No issue," you rolled your eyes, pushing the cart past him to head to the cashier. 
"What's up with her?" Donghyuck laughed, hoping Jisung would give him some insight on your feelings. 
Jisung gave Donghyuck a look of sheer disbelief. 
"What's up with you!" Jisung whispered harshly, confused as to what Donghyuck's intentions were. 
"Oh, so you're gonna shit on me for it too?" 
Jisung gave him a look, "not without reason.”
"Look, trust me. I got it covered. The last thing I would want is to fight with Y/N, alright?" 
Jisung glanced at you while you sulkily scanned your items at a self-checkout register, directing his gaze back to Donghyuck with a sigh. 
"I know, careful." 
Later on that night, (or morning), Jisung had gone downstairs to grab a snack from the fridge, spotting you lounging on the sofa, practically glaring at the television. 
"What's up?" Jisung's voice snapped you out of your annoyed state, after being told that this Mina girl he was talking to was not only awfully pretty and sporty by your friends who knew her, but that her personality meshed well with Donghyuck's. 
"Nothing," you sighed, seeing Jisung raise his eyebrows, thinking back to what Chenle had told him and figuring now would be a good time to ask you. 
"Are you sure? You looked kind of upset since Donghyuck picked up that call." 
Your eyes widened, not realising your feelings had been so obvious. Shrugging, you'd fiddled with your phone. 
"What are you trying to say?" 
Jisung averted his gaze, sitting on the sofa next to you, hugging one of his knees to his chest. 
"Do you like Donghyuck?" 
You scoffed, almost choking on your saliva, looking at him with wide eyes. Opening your mouth, you closed it back again for lack of a good response. 
"' know, it's kind of obvious that he likes you.”
You shook your head, huffing in amusement, "I don't know what you're talking about." 
"No, like really. The volleyball guys all think so, and so do his dnyl guys," you furrowed your eyebrows. 
"Volleyball guys? So Hyunjin knows this too?" you asked, wondering how ridiculous it would've seemed that you were so smiley towards him even when Donghyuck was right there. That is, if what Jisung was saying was correct. 
Jisung rolled his eyes. 
"Yes, I'm pretty sure he knows." 
You gasped lightly, "how many people even know about this? Okay, but, whatever that’s kind of beside the point. What makes you so sure?" 
Jisung contemplated telling you about just how much he mentions you or asks about you in their conversations, or how Donghyuck was visibly more affectionate whenever you were involved. Even how Donghyuck had been trying different ways to get your attention, particularly through inviting you to his games (but that didn't seem to be working out with how little you paid attention during the last one). 
Eventually, he figured it would be better if he didn't put ideas in your head, deeming it better that you figure it out on your own. 
"I'm just sure, okay? Maybe you should try just observing and seeing how much he does for you.” 
Jisung shrugged, getting up from the sofa, "maybe then you'll realise you like him too," he snickered, running up the stairs before you could respond. 
You rolled your eyes, going back to glaring at the television. Except this time, your gaze kept wandering to your phone. Curse Jisung for making you curious. 
Almost as if on cue, you’d received a text from Donghyuck. 
lee donghyuck 12:34am -u awake?- 
You had a few options in your head. Firstly, to ignore him and pretend you were asleep. Secondly, to reply him and bring up what Jisung had said as a joke. Thirdly, to just act like everything was normal yet not normal and that you weren’t totally scared that he was going to fall in love with Mina. 
The temptation to be selfish was there, of course, to just ignore the situation for the sake of your sanity and leave Donghyuck hanging. But you knew that your worry for him overrode all sorts of selfishness you could possibly give in to. 
For now, you’d chosen option three. 
12:35am -yeah, what’s up?- 
lee donghyuck 12:35am -can I call you?- 
You didn’t respond, choosing to find his contact on your own and dial his number. 
“Hey,” you sighed, hearing muffled sounds on his side before a small grunt and a thud, almost being able to picture Donghyuck
lying on his bed and talking to you, something about the mental image feeling endearing. 
“What happened?” You asked, the question catching Donghyuck off-guard. 
Despite the countless number of times you’d called each other in the night like this, you’d never asked why, frankly not deeming it to be anything other than Donghyuck’s or your boredom. Only now, you were beginning to wonder if there were more to unfold behind these phone calls, and you were hoping Donghyuck would give you the answers. 
“Nothing, nothing happened, I, you know...couldn’t sleep...and stuff.” 
You huffed, “you never sleep this early.” 
Donghyuck sighed, not knowing what came over him when he’d said his next words. 
“Do you want me to say I wanted to hear your voice for a while?” 
You fell silent, expecting to hear him follow up with a ‘kidding’ or a ‘because that isn’t why I called’, yourself growing anxious the more you didn’t hear anything else from him. 
Shifting on the sofa, you’d lay down and put Donghyuck on speaker, setting your phone next to your head. 
“Hello?” You heard him murmur, making you clear your throat. 
“Have you decided on what you wanted for your birthday?” You changed the subject quickly, trying to steady the beating of your heart. 
You heard him huff, his voice sounding tired.
“Yeah. I decided that...” Donghyuck caught himself before he could slip up like before, shaking his head quickly, “I want a plant.” 
Your eyebrows furrowed. 
“A plant?” 
“Yeah, like get me those, I don’t know like a plant I can take care of or something,” he panicked, “with a flower, like an orchid or something.” 
You frowned, nodding slowly as you tried to understand his sudden request. Meanwhile, Donghyuck couldn’t help the regret that washed over him that he’d wasted his birthday wish like that. 
“Okay, yeah. I’m feeling better now, goodnight.” 
Donghyuck hung up quickly, kicking his blanket in frustration, rolling over and burying his face into the pillow. 
Got it covered? Please. 
After much observation, you were starting to realise that Donghyuck meant many things to you, and you didn’t like how it took you a situation like this to figure it out. 
Firstly, with all his match preparations, Donghyuck was kept busy, but that didn’t mean that you wouldn’t receive all sorts of updates on him from Jisung at home. You were starting to wonder if he was a part of Donghyuck’s fan club as well. 
You were having your science lesson in the lab, Donghyuck being your lab partner (fortunately and unfortunately for you), the said boy looking more tired today than ever. 
“Are you alright? You look like shit,” you offered, pretending to be focused on removing your test tube from your beaker. 
“Feel like it too,” he brought his hand up to run it through his hair, “stayed up late last night to help Mina with this proposal she had to write up.” 
You scoffed, “you? Help her?” 
In your annoyance, you’d applied too much force on your tweezers, practically cutting your specimen before you could place it down. 
Donghyuck smiled, glancing at your annoyed expression after what happened to your leaf. 
“Yeah, what’s so shocking about that? I kind of owed her.” 
You stopped yourself from responding, deciding you shouldn’t be too bitter about their relationship. Shrugging, you shook your head in dismissal. 
“Nothing. I guess it’s nice that you guys can help each other out.” 
Donghyuck’s lips formed a surprised pout, his eyebrows raising slightly, not having expected you to be so gracious about it. 
“So, uh...have you told your grandma to postpone your visit?” He brought up later on when you were on your way back to class. 
You nodded, “yeah, I’m visiting her this weekend instead.” 
Donghyuck couldn’t help the smile from his face, looking elsewhere as he relished in the way the sun shone in through the corridors, the warmth mirroring what he’d felt building in his chest. 
You felt it too. The way his smile was like that of the sun rays he enjoyed so much, how it made you feel scared. Scared that you were so used to seeing him smile like that until now. 
You looked away quickly, hugging your books closer to your chest, accidentally brushing your finger against the paper, hissing when you’d felt a sting. 
Pulling your hand away from your books, you’d groaned at the sight of blood on your finger, making Donghyuck turn to you with wide eyes, his gaze falling onto your source of distress. 
The displeased sound that had left Donghyuck was even more obvious to you now, the way he’d gone to grab your wrist when you brought your hand to your mouth in your attempt to stop the bleeding. 
“You should be more careful,” he chided, making you nudge his arm away, his concern putting you on the spot even more now that you were getting confused over your feelings towards him. 
“It’s fine, it’s just a small paper cut.” 
Donghyuck furrowed his eyebrows, leading you back into the classroom and sitting you down on your seat, scuffling over to his desk and rummaging through his bag, pulling out a small pouch and making his way back to you. 
“I got these from Jaemin,” he grinned, squatting next to your desk as you turned to face him, watching closely as he pulled out a bright coloured, kid’s band-aid with Pororo the penguin printed on it. 
You lightly thumped him on the head, uncomfortable with the stares you were getting from the people sitting around you, wondering if they too thought that Donghyuck was interested in you. A part of you wishing now that Jisung hadn’t shed light on Donghyuck’s (possible) feelings for the sake of your sanity. 
“You’re being so dramatic, I don’t need a band-aid.” 
Donghyuck sucked in a sharp breath, his expression stern and unwavering, “shut up, just hold still.” 
He’d opened the band-aid, wrapping it carefully around your cut, leaning back with a satisfied smile to admire his handiwork. 
“All better,” he beamed. 
“Lee Donghyuck, please go back to your own seat,” you’d startled, your heartbeat audible in your ears, having barely noticed your teacher entering the classroom. 
Shoving Donghyuck away quickly and turning to face the front, your hands went up to press against your cheeks as Donghyuck calmly strolled back to his seat, giving your teacher a slow nod as he walked past her. 
Donghyuck had bid you goodbye before his training that day, telling you that he would call you that night because he had something to tell you. 
So you waited, you’d waited even though you knew that the volleyball team had gone out for drinks despite their game being the next day, running later than he’d estimated, and you waited until you ended up falling asleep with your phone in hand. 
Meanwhile, Donghyuck had gone home in a daze, partially giddy from excitement for his finals but also at the thought of what had happened earlier in the morning with you and your paper cut, not knowing that the small gesture was enough to send him reeling. 
Grabbing his volleyball, he’d flopped on his back onto his bed, tossing the volleyball in the air and catching it absently, thinking about what the volleyball team had brought up during dinner. 
“Y/N’s coming tomorrow for sure right?” Hyunjin had asked Jisung, a playful smirk on his face. This made Donghyuck narrow his eyes at Hyunjin, chewing on his noodles harshly. 
Jisung nodded, “yeah, I’m pretty sure.” 
“Why does it seem like her coming is so important to you?” Bomin laughed, making Donghyuck nod in agreement, nodding his head at Hyunjin in a challenging manner. 
“Isn’t it obvious? For Donghyuck’s sake,” Hyunjin smiled, his eyes forming small crescents as he did so. 
The sight would’ve been absolutely endearing for you, however, Donghyuck couldn’t help but scoff. 
“What do you mean ‘for my sake?’” Donghyuck huffed, narrowing his eyes at Jisung who had seemed to agree with Hyunjin as well. 
“You probably haven’t noticed, play a lot better when she’s around.” 
Donghyuck sighed, laughing at the sheer absurdity of the situation. 
No amount of texts, calls or face-times with Mina would be enough to make Donghyuck change the way he felt about you, and it was a shame to him that he could only step out of his denial at this point of time. 
Yet, there was still a nagging fear of the possible awkwardness and tension that could arise if you didn’t reciprocate his feelings like how he assumed you did. A vicious cycle, really. 
Turning in his bed, he’d discarded the volleyball elsewhere in his room, taking his phone and unlocking it, his finger hovering over the phone app as he let his gaze fall on his wallpaper, the picture the both of you had taken on the day of his last match. The flowers were still on his tabletop, at this point, dried and ready to be displayed in his room however he wanted. 
Trying his luck, he’d called you, the ringing having woken you up from your slumber, picking up the phone call hurriedly. 
“Hello?” he huffed, already smiling without noticing. 
You hummed in response, too tired to form a coherent response. 
“Did I wake you?” 
Donghyuck let out a small sigh, “sorry, just wanted to tell you to meet me tomorrow after my match ends.” 
You groaned, “you couldn’t have waited until tomorrow morning to tell me that?” 
Donghyuck had to stop himself from giggling at the sound of your voice, even if it was when you were annoyed at him. 
“No, I couldn’t. Goodnight,” he murmured, pulling his blanket up on his chest to hug it, closing his eyes in anticipation. 
“I hate you, goodnight.” 
Donghyuck shrugged, he figured he could live with that for now. His (rather irritable) lucky charm. 
You were running late. After Donghyuck had called the previous night, you struggled to fall back asleep due to your racing thoughts on possible things Donghyuck could have wanted to tell you. If anything, you’d probably only slept a few hours that night. 
Which was what landed you in this situation now, trying to get a cab from where you were at the bus terminal since you’d dozed off on the bus, even in spite of all the energetic music you were playing in your attempts to stay awake. 
Donghyuck should have seen it coming when you hadn’t answered his texts when he’d reached the venue. The match was already about to start and Donghyuck still couldn’t seem to spot you in the crowd. 
He’d stood up, looking frantically in the direction of where Chenle, Jeno, Renjun and Jaemin sat, mouthing with big movements, ‘where is y/n?’. A part of him growing even more anxious when he was met with shrugs and head shakes. 
“Lee Donghyuck, what are you doing? Go! The match is starting,” his coach’s voice rang in his ears, making him dismiss his feelings of anxiousness, trying to focus his thoughts on the game at hand. 
You were receiving many texts from the guys, all asking where you were, making you even more anxious that the cab driver wasn’t going any faster. 
As if that wasn’t bad enough, you’d met with bad traffic once you’d neared the venue, seeing as it was about time people were getting off work now, which only meant that you’d be close to missing the entirety of Donghyuck’s match, a horrible feeling of guilt stirring in you. 
You were sure Donghyuck would be mad at you, knowing how petty he was when it came to things like these. The last time you hadn’t been for his match, he’d never let you live it down, claiming he was so upset you hadn’t shown up and couldn’t focus on his playing properly. 
Little did you know, the same thing was happening now, Donghyuck was trying his best to not let his feelings interfere with his performance. 
After a particularly successful top-spin serve that had caught the other team off guard, since he’d usually played it safe, he’d turned on instinct to the direction his friends were seated at, expecting to see you there with a smile, his smile falling when he’d realised you still hadn’t arrived. 
You were barely reaching the venue when you’d gotten a text from Chenle. 
Chenle 6:11pm - are you still showing up? The match just ended - 
Looking out the window, your heart sank when you saw some people you recognised to be from your school walking on the pavement next to where you were, your attention diverted back to your phone when you heard another chime from your phone. 
Jisung 6:11pm -hey, where r u? Donghyuck said he’d wait for u at the back entrance. Me n the guys r leaving for dinner cause he told us to head over first- 
Your leg started to bounce in anxiousness once again, gritting your teeth before deciding that you couldn’t afford to waste any more time. 
“Uh, sir? I’ll just get off here,” you murmured, “can you unlock the doors, please?” You blurted. 
The man looked at you curiously, “are you sure? It’s quite a far walk.” 
“It’s alright! Thank you anyway,” you smiled politely, waiting for him to unlock the doors, immediately shoving the door open once he did and exiting, slinging your bag around your shoulder and running to the back entrance. 
Spotting him from afar, relief washed over you that he was still waiting. 
Running up to him, you almost hadn’t seen the girl standing in front of him, stopping yourself where you were, not wanting to interrupt them. 
Mina was currently standing in front of Donghyuck, asking him a question he frankly wasn’t paying attention to after having spotted you running from the entrance gate. 
“ you like me?” 
Donghyuck’s gaze was still on you, tearing his stare away from you reluctantly to look at Mina, his mouth moving before his head could process the situation. 
Donghyuck immediately regretted his words, especially when he saw the smile Mina had given him, also because she didn't have to look twice to know he wasn't paying attention. 
Only when he'd agreed, Donghyuck knew that something about his decision didn't feel quite right, deciding that he'd explain his situation in more detail to Mina the next time they met so she wouldn't get the wrong idea. 
"So... I'll see you Saturday night then?" Donghyuck nodded. 
Bidding him goodbye, Mina had turned her head to look at you, bowing her head slightly in a greeting before walking off, leaving you standing there dumbfounded as Donghyuck made his way towards you. 
Glancing at the serious look he had on his face, you were expecting him to scold you, to tell you how upset he was that you hadn't shown up, not expecting him to give you a shy smile, bringing his hand up to smooth your hair down, after it having gotten dishevelled while you were running. 
"Was that Mina?" was all you could ask.
Donghyuck huffed, feigning hurt, "no ‘hello Donghyuck how was your match?’" 
"Hi," you added after his prompting, "what did uh..." your tongue wet your lips that were feeling awfully dry all of a sudden, "are you...mad at me?” 
Donghyuck shook his head, a small smile on his face, shocking you at how gracious he was being all of a sudden. 
“What did uh, you know, what did Mina ask you?” you cleared your throat. 
Donghyuck's hands were still cupping the sides of your head, "she asked me out." 
Your eyes widened, knowing his hands on your head hadn’t prevented you from hearing him loud and clear, a part of you dreading the answer to your next question but knowing you had to ask anyway, "did you say yes?" 
Donghyuck looked at you, taking the side of his lower lip between his teeth gently and letting go immediately after. Was he being selfish? 
Donghyuck nodded. 
His response seemed to have triggered a stream of thoughts in you, ranging from feeling sad to hating why you were sad at the news to desperately trying to suppress your emotions because Donghyuck was your friend and you should be happy for him, right? 
You pursed your lips, nodding slowly as you gave him a small smile, bringing your hands up to pull his hands off of your head. 
"That's great. I'm...really happy for you, she seems like a great girl." 
Donghyuck's eyebrows raised slightly, surprised at your reaction, having obviously expected you to react how you usually did, with passive aggressive comments and subtle hostility in your gaze. But none of that could be seen from you now, if anything, you looked almost....sad? 
"I think uh.. I'll skip out on dinner today, you and the guys can go ahead," you told him, "I kind of wanna go home and rest." 
Donghyuck nodded, not wanting to prod you more, a part of him feeling that you weren't in the mood for it today. 
He'd pulled his phone out while you walked to the front entrance, "I got you a driver, he's coming in 10." 
You heard your phone chime, taking it out to see the details of the driver Donghyuck had sent you. 
"How much do I owe you?" you asked, earning a disgruntled sound from him, shaking his head. 
"You don't owe me, consider it...compensation. For having to rush over here just now just to meet me." 
That reminded you.
"Right, I almost forgot. What was it you wanted to meet me to tell me?" 
Donghyuck swung his shoe bag, kicking the ground absently before he looked back at you, shaking his head with a small smile. 
"It's alright, forget about it," he waved you off in dismissal, "It's not important.”
You frowned. Not important? Lee Donghyuck, kept me worried all night just for something that's suddenly not important? 
You scoffed, folding your arms and looking elsewhere, your grip tight on your phone, making your knuckles almost turn white with how tight your hold was. 
"Go, you're gonna be late for the dinner," you told him, not being able to handle the sight of him with how mixed your feelings were. 
Donghyuck was hesitant, the slight raise of his eyebrows seeming almost disbelieving. 
"You sure?" 
You paused, not knowing why you even bothered giving this thought, decidedly nodding your head. 
"I'm sure." 
"Are you sure that's gonna work? Like....she won't be mad at you when she finds out or anything?" 
Donghyuck shrugged, sipping on his drink calmly. 
"Well, that's kind of the point. She wouldn't be getting mad unless she liked me," Donghyuck brought a finger to his temple, looking at Mina with a playful glint in his eye, internally claiming himself to be a genius for this idea. 
"So...your plan is to get her so mad that she confronts you?" 
Donghyuck nodded, grinning widely in the hopes that his optimism would convince Mina. 
Mina tilted her head hesitantly, looking down at her drink, "and you're sure this'll work." 
He nodded again, earning a resigned sigh from Mina. 
"Okay, fine. I'll do it. But only because you really like her, and I don't think I can handle seeing you silently pine over her any longer." 
Donghyuck's grin grew wider if that were even possible, clasping his hands together triumphantly, already feeling as though half of the battle was won. 
Pulling out his phone, he'd gone to his Instagram, because yes, Donghyuck wanted to make sure you would've seen it even when you were all the way at your grandma's house. 
Taking a picture of Mina and posting it, he'd chosen an intentionally ambiguous caption in the form of emojis just to push your buttons (knowing you would be frustrating yourself while trying to figure out what it means). 
"What's this?" Mina asked. 
Donghyuck wriggled happily in his seat, satisfied with his post once he was done, “phase one." 
And sure enough, Jisung never heard the end of your monologue called 'they should just get married while they’re at it but you know what I’ll just be happy for them: no big deal' 
After that day, you'd gone days without speaking to Donghyuck. And though that wasn't anything out of the ordinary, since your relationship was at a stage where you could go ages without seeing each other but still remain just as close, contacting each other often. 
However, this time it was different for you, knowing that the reason behind his packed schedule was his frequent meetups and study dates with Mina. 
As if Lee Donghyuck ever cared about studying. 
Donghyuck was currently laying on the floor of the school gym, having finished a particularly tiring training session with some of the guys from the volleyball team. 
“Are the rumours about you and that girl true?” Bomin asked, earning a loud groan of protest from Jisung. 
“Yeah, speaking of which,” he sat up from the floor with a grunt, his towel draped over his head as he pointed a finger at Donghyuck, “I’ve got a bone to pick with you. Are you dating Mina?” 
Donghyuck rolled his eyes.
“What if I said I was?”
Hyunjin frowned, his eyes narrowing in confusion, “didn’t you say you liked Y/N?” 
Donghyuck nodded, “I do.” He shrugged, fiddling with his shoelaces as his lower lip jut out in a pout unconsciously. 
“Then what’s going on with Mina?” Jisung’s tone was exasperated, not understanding how you could like someone as frustrating as Donghyuck. 
“It’s fake,” Donghyuck laughed, amused at how seriously everyone around him was acting, wondering if you were feeling equally as serious. 
Jisung fell silent, his mouth agape and his finger hanging in the air, not quite understanding the situation at hand. Hyunjin on the other hand, was quick to understand Donghyuck’s intentions, raising his eyebrows in surprise. 
“Is this to make her jealous?” He asked, earning a feigned look of uncertainty from Donghyuck. 
“Well, that’s the plan.” 
Jisung let his back fall back against the floor, kicking his legs and punching at the air with his arms as a sad whimper left his lips. 
“I hate you, Lee Donghyuck. I really do. It’s your fault I’ve been getting an earful from her recently,” he whined, getting up abruptly, draping his towel around his neck. 
Donghyuck’s eyes widened, “good. Hang in there a little more. It’ll be a matter of time before everything falls into place,” he reached over to pat Jisung on the shoulder, a sweet smile on his face. 
Hyunjin took his lower lip between his teeth, pursing his lips as he averted his gaze from Donghyuck, finally speaking. 
“I don’t think this is a good idea.” 
Donghyuck sighed, “You too? Just trust me, okay? I’ve known her for like...a long while now. And knowing her, she’d be crazy jealous if the guy she liked was doing this. And she wouldn’t be quiet about it either.” 
“You can’t just tell her you like her like a sensible person?” 
Donghyuck hummed, “I will, okay? Don’t worry about me, I’ve got it covered.” 
Jisung huffed, “yeah, right.” 
Sighing, Donghyuck had stood up, sighing as he bunched his towel up in his hands, beginning to walk over to his backpack. 
“I’ll be heading back now, gonna meet Mina to...discuss,” he waved, slinging his backpack over his shoulder and leisurely exiting the gym. 
9:48pm -hey, wanna come over to hang?- 
Donghyuck received your text while he was with Mina, hesitating before replying you. 
lee donghyuck 9:48pm -alright, you can pick ill be there soon- 
Figuring you shouldn’t jump to conclusions as to why he was still out even though Jisung had returned from the gym, you’d lounged on the couch, scrolling absently through social media while you waited for him to reply. 
Deciding to play some music while you waited, you’d begun to doze off when Donghyuck had arrived, the boy entering the house anxiously only to spot your head lolling around as you tried to fight your drowsiness. 
Walking over to where you were as carefully as he could, he leaned over, letting out a breathy giggle out of sheer affection, reaching out a hand slowly as he deliberated on whether he should wake you, feeling as though it would be selfish of him if he did just because he wanted to spend time with you. 
Unfortunately for him, Donghyuck had stepped on a pillow you'd pushed onto the floor previously, letting out a small yelp as he tried regaining his balance. 
You'd startled awake, looking up with wide-eyes at Donghyuck who had his hands stretched out beside him as he'd managed to stop himself from falling, looking at you with a sheepish smile. 
"Hey," he straightened up, his hands flopping down to his sides, letting out a small sigh. 
Funnily enough, it took you more than a few moments to realise you weren't dreaming. 
The sight of Donghyuck in his pyjama pants and a simple black t-shirt indicating that he’d showered before coming over, the way he’d smelled of his shampoo and looked ready for sleep had you in a daze, wondering how you’d let yourself get to the point where just looking at him was enough to send you spiralling with your thoughts. 
Shaking your head, you spoke, voice slightly hoarse, “sorry, kind of fell asleep while I was waiting," you brought your hands up to rub at your eyes with your palms, letting out a small yawn. 
Reaching over to grab your phone, you’d turned your music off as you regained your composure. 
Donghyuck took a seat next to you, shifting his body so he could face you more, one of his hands resting on the back of the sofa comfortably. 
“Are you tired? Do you want me to come over another time?” He murmured, earning a firm shake of the head from you. 
“It’s fine,” you dismissed the thought quickly, not adding the part where you had missed him. 
Donghyuck nodded, leaning back so his head was resting on the plush armrest of the sofa comfortably, reaching over for the remote control and turning the television on, turning on a movie the both of you had probably watched a million times but never gotten sick of. 
“Did you go anywhere before this? I was wondering what was taking you so long when Jisung came home earlier,” you mumbled out of curiosity, leaning back comfortably on the sofa in a position that mirrored Donghyuck’s, your legs bent at the knees and leant against the sofa next to his, which were stretched out fully. 
You’d felt one of his hands rest just above your knee comfortably, his thumb rubbing your leg gently. 
Donghyuck glanced briefly at you before directing his gaze back to the television, “oh, you know, just went to meet Mina for dinner.” 
You nodded slowly, a low hum leaving you, “” 
He seemed happy. You didn’t want to make him feel bad about being with Mina just because you had a problem with it. You’d never even thought much about him at first, it wouldn’t have been fair if you just claimed him as yours when he was already in a relationship with Mina, you figured. 
Donghyuck sighed, his hands stretching out in a force of habit gesture he would use to beckon you to cuddle with him, only now realising that that may not have been all that appropriate considering he was supposed to be pretending to date Mina. 
“That’s nice. I’m really happy for you that you found someone like her,” you mustered with a small smile on your face. 
You’d sensed his reservation too, feeling as though you were both being banished to either end of the sofa, not allowed to go any closer. 
Donghyuck frowned, your reaction seeming to have been unsatisfactory for him. 
“Really? You’re not like...mad or anything?” he prompted, making you laugh. 
“You sound like you want me to be mad,” you huffed, flustering Donghyuck into opening and closing his mouth, fumbling with his words. 
“I mean like, no, like, you are entitled to feeling however you want about it, like...” he stopped himself, “you’re really not mad?” 
You sighed, turning away from the television to look at Donghyuck, who was already looking at you bewildered. 
“Look, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bothered by the fact that you’re a lot busier now, but what kind of friend would I be if I couldn’t even support you when you’re happy with her?” 
Donghyuck shut his lips tightly, not knowing how to react to your statement, wondering if he was wrong to assume that you had feelings for him. 
You hummed, letting your legs rest over his slightly as you turned your body to face the television. 
Donghyuck inhaled deeply, debating on whether or not now would be a good time to tell you, but knowing that it would put you in a tight spot since he hadn’t ended things with Mina yet. 
Today, Donghyuck figured he shouldn’t be selfish. 
Choosing not to pursue the topic more, Donghyuck had let you continue to watch the movie. Though as you did so, laughing and cooing at the happy and sad parts of the movie, Donghyuck couldn’t keep his gaze from wandering to you from time to time. As if it was second nature for him to gauge your reaction during the comedic parts just to make sure you were enjoying yourself. 
Or maybe, it was just an excuse to look at you, the line had blurred a long time ago for him. 
Only later on in the movie, Donghyuck couldn’t help but let his thoughts wander to how you felt towards his (fake) relationship, picking up his phone to distract himself only to see the many texts that had flooded in from the dnyl chat group. 
renjun 12:59am - donghyuck what is this about you and mina - 
jeno 12:59am – yeah! I heard from chenle abt it...- 
renjun 1:00am - I think this is possibly the worst idea you’ve ever had - 
jaemin 1:00am – I don’t want to lie to y/n >:( 1:00am – - im gonna tell Harvey -
jeno 1:02am – same! n btw chenle said she felt rly bad about missing ur match –
renjun 1:02am – jeno idk how that’s relevant but sure we’ll take it –
jaemin 1:03am – a part of me is kind of curious how this would play out at hyuck’s party though – 
jeno 1:03am - oh right, isn’t it this weekend? - 
renjun 1:03am - yeah it is - 
jeno 1:04 am – how are u guys getting there? are we helping Donghyuck set up? – 
jaemin 1:04am – I’m cool w that - 
Donghyuck typed out his reply discreetly enough without you noticing, too distracted by the movie. 
1:20am -trust me I have a plan- 
Setting his phone down on the coffee table, he’d looked at you, debating on whether or not to ask you what was weighing on his mind, catching him off guard when you had turned to look at him, eyebrows raising curiously. 
“What’s wrong? The movie’s over” 
Donghyuck paused, turning to realise that the movie was indeed over and he hadn’t paid attention at all for the last bit. 
“Nothing. I was like...was wondering if you were gonna come early this weekend to help me set up for the party.” 
You felt a tinge of disappointment, hoping it hadn’t shown too much in your expression as you gave him a delayed nod, letting out a small sigh that you masked to be because you were tired. 
“Yeah, of course,” you huffed. 
Donghyuck nodded, getting up abruptly, “I should probably be heading back now, you should get some rest.” 
You frowned, but nodded nonetheless, “okay,” you stood up, walking closely behind him. 
Donghyuck contemplated asking if he could stay over, almost forgetting his entire plan for a second (and then wondering if he even had a legitimate plan in the first place), his hesitation causing his body to function faster than he could process, turning around abruptly without warning. 
His sudden halt making you yelp, almost colliding into him and stopping yourself just in time, Donghyuck reacting quickly and reaching his hand out to grab your arm in an attempt to steady you. 
Something about the air had thickened with tension then. Donghyuck blamed it on his prior racing thoughts, because looking at you now, he definitely did not have a plan. 
You, on the other hand, blamed it on the way you weren’t even focused on the movie to begin with, too occupied with hating the feeling of pining after somebody that was already taken. But whatever it was, you knew that you didn’t have much of a plan either. 
This was too close. You should’ve stuck to whatever 2 metre radius you had on the sofa just now, because if you were already distracted by his presence then, it was definitely a lot worse now. 
You could smell the fabric softener of his shirt, feeling him squeeze your arm gently as you dared yourself to look up at him, your breath hitching at the way he was looking at you. 
Maybe you were just imagining things. 
Like how you were ‘imagining’ the way he seemed to be leaning closer to you, his gaze flickering between your features to ultimately end up on your lips, almost as if he was gravitating towards you. 
Donghyuck scoffed. The universe was basically begging me to kiss my close friend.
Just as you’d felt yourself leaning closer as well, you’d begun to process what was happening, stepping back quickly and averting your gaze, suddenly interested in what was in your kitchen. 
“I should go.”
You huffed nervously, “yeah, you should.” 
Donghyuck nodded, wordlessly leaving your house, shutting the door behind him as he left, the only sound left being the trailer for whatever movie was on the television sounding throughout your living room. 
=== You were sure this was going to be a very long day. 
You’d just bought your present for Donghyuck from the florist, packing it carefully in a nice bag before you headed over to his house, only to have arrived at Donghyuck’s house to see him and Mina busy with preparing snacks. 
You’d entered the kitchen to be met with a laughing Donghyuck and a squealing Mina, joking around as they prepared the various food and snacks. 
“Oh, hey, you’re here! Is that a gift? If it is you can put it up in Donghyuck’s room,” she smiled at you. 
You’d returned her smile out of politeness, ignoring the way Donghyuck was looking at you as though he was searching your face for any emotions that were out of the ordinary. You hoped you weren’t being too obvious with your forced smile, turning quickly so you could let your smile drop, wanting to roll your eyes. 
What was this? Their housewarming party? 
Huffing, you’d left the kitchen, meeting Hyunjin and Jisung on the way upstairs, Jisung nudging you as a greeting as he continued down the stairs. 
Hyunjin reacted quickly, calling out to Jisung, “hey, I’ll meet you downstairs later,” he called, turning around and accompanying you upstairs. 
“Hey, how’ve you been?” he asked, earning a shrug from you, opening the door to Donghyuck’s room as you took the plant out of the bag. 
“I’ve been good, I guess. You?” you spoke as you walked over to his balcony to place the small potted flower on the small table he had there, admiring the way it looked. 
“Uh... good too...I guess,” he huffed in amusement, bringing his hand up to the back of his neck, fiddling with his collar. 
Hyunjin figured he’d might as well try to distract you from paying too much attention to Donghyuck and Mina. 
“D’you wanna help Jisung and I with the decorations?” he offered, earning a nod from you. 
“Yeah, sure. Not like I have anything better to do here,” you shrugged, letting him lead you downstairs to the living room where you saw Jisung and Jeno sitting on the floor at the coffee table, focused on cutting something to decorate the makeshift backdrop Donghyuck had where the photos would be taken later on. 
“Where’s the rest?” Hyunjin asked, making Jisung and Jeno look up. 
Jeno gave you a smile in greeting, beckoning you over to sit with him.
“Jaemin and Renjun went to collect the balloons. Chenle....” he looked at Jisung in the hopes that he would know where his friend was. 
“In the kitchen spying on Donghyuck and Mina.” 
You scoffed, not being able to help the laugh from bubbling out of you. 
“He should leave them alone, wouldn’t want to spoil their alone time.” 
Hyunjin gave you a surprised look as Jisung scoffed, “please, as if they don’t get plenty of alone time as it is.” 
You’d made a displeased sound, knowing you agreed with him but not wanting to be sulky about it. 
“Yeah, well,” you’d cut a piece of tape to hand to Jeno, “It’s not like I can tell him who to spend his time with, can I?” 
Jeno perked up at the statement, “yes, you can. You totally can. You should definitely do that.” 
Assuming they were joking with how quick Hyunjin and Jisung were to agree, you’d let out a chuckle, shaking your head. 
“Y/N, can you follow me to go hang these up?” Hyunjin asked, holding up the many streamers he had hooked onto his fingers, earning a nod from you. 
Holding his arm out for you to take, you couldn’t help but wonder why you weren’t feeling as excited as you usually would be if a situation involved Hyunjin. Choosing to ponder over the thought, you followed him over to the backdrop setup. 
Sitting on the table where the cake was supposed to be, you’d pre-cut various pieces of tape, pasting them on your arm, holding it out for Hyunjin to access it more easily as he hung up the decorations, your gaze constantly wandering over to the kitchen where you could see Donghyuck whispering something to Mina, earning a giggle from her. 
“Does it bother you?”
Your attention was directed towards Hyunjin, making you frown. 
“Huh?” You did a once-over of the decorations, shaking your head, “nah, I think what you did was fine. Maybe move that one a little to the left.” 
Hyunjin burst into laughter, shocking you at the sudden outburst as he shook his head, speaking as he calmed down. 
“No, I was talking about those people in the kitchen,” he told you pointedly, making you look back at the kitchen to realise who he was referring to. 
You shrugged, letting out a sigh instead, unsure how to reply Hyunjin.
“I figured. You’d been staring at them ever since we came here.”
You scoffed. “I wasn’t!... okay maybe I was, but it doesn’t mean anything, I swear.” 
Hyunjin huffed, “I thought Jisung was a bad liar but... I’d say you’re a lot worse.” 
“Maybe it runs in the family,” you sighed. 
You’d averted your gaze quickly when you saw Donghyuck exiting the kitchen, making his way over to where you and Hyunjin were, your presence together with him clearly having struck a nerve with him. 
“Hey,” he murmured, standing next to where you sat on the table, so close that your legs were touching his hips. 
“Careful now, wouldn’t want your girlfriend getting jealous.” 
Only then did Donghyuck register your words, not having given it a single thought when he’d approached you, the only thing in his head having been to make sure Hyunjin wasn’t trying to hit on you. Little did he know, you wouldn’t have noticed even if he was, your head preoccupied with thoughts about Donghyuck. 
Taking the tiniest of steps away from you, he glanced over in Mina’s direction, seeing her prompt him to carry out what they’d discussed. 
“Not much of a girlfriend, if you asked me,” Donghyuck shrugged, making your eyebrows knit in confusion, a small pout appearing on your lips. 
“Really? Thought you guys seemed to be getting along pretty well,” you murmured. 
Hyunjin was trying his best to eavesdrop, taking particularly long to hang up each streamer. 
“That’s kind of the thing...” he began, your conversation interrupted when the doorbell rang, making him halt your conversation to go and answer the door, leaving you hanging. 
Hyunjin turned around, a scandalised look on his face. 
“What was that!” he whispered harshly. 
You handed him the last piece of tape on your arm with a wide-eyed look, shrugging, “beats me.” 
You’d seen Donghyuck walking back into the room, with Chenle, Jaemin and Renjun following behind him, before parting ways and walking over to where you and Hyunjin were, Jaemin and Renjun beginning to display the balloons. Or more accurately, Renjun displayed them while Jaemin gave him compliments. 
Jaemin stood next to where you sat, leaning on the table, his arms folded in front of him. 
“I trust their artistic direction,” he gestured to them, “the last time they did the banners for the school’s valentine’s day fair I ended up with a girlfriend.” 
Renjun scoffed, “speaking of which, where are they?”
Jaemin shook his head, “nope, couldn’t make it cause they’ve got some family dinner.” 
You nodded in understanding, seeming a little uninvested in the conversation, but Jaemin figured he knew why, being able to sense that you were a little preoccupied with your continuous glances cast towards Donghyuck and Mina’s direction. 
“Who knows, maybe their weird art magic will help you get a boyfriend too,” Jaemin nudged you. 
This had only caused your frown to deepen when you’d immediately visualised Donghyuck as your boyfriend, shaking your head in dismissal. 
Mina had noticed you staring, leaning over to Donghyuck, “I don’t think your plan is working very much.” 
Donghyuck sighed, “I know. I’m honestly close to giving up, but I just need a chance to talk to her alone later, I swear I’ll tell her everything then.” 
Mina narrowed her eyes at him, “okay. I’ll try to create an opportunity, but you’d better make sure you tell her. I can’t bear seeing her look so sad,” she scolded, mustering a smile before she’d left to talk to the other guests Donghyuck had invited. 
Soon enough (thankfully), the decorations were done and Donghyuck had started to play music in the house, bringing out the snacks and food for everyone to eat. You’d taken your seat next to Hyunjin and Jisung since Donghyuck seemed to be a little preoccupied with Mina. 
Which, of course, you had to lie to yourself again and say you didn’t mind. 
You were thankful for Hyunjin and Jisung’s presence, of course, since it had managed to distract you from being sad over seeing Donghyuck being happy with Mina and taking food for her or how she would brush his hair back for no reason and oh, how much you wished you were Mina. 
You were about a hundred percent sure you liked Donghyuck, in the least best-friend way possible. 
Somewhere along the way, when people had brought out the drinks and everyone had been lounging and using their phones for a while, you’d heard someone call for everyone to gather so you could play games. You figured you were up for it, since you were never one to refuse board games, so you didn’t mind when Donghyuck had brought out his ‘Jenga’ set. 
You decided to play in teams since there were so many of you, and you’d teamed up with Hyunjin since Chenle had teamed up with Jisung, while Jaemin preferred to be the (arguably unnecessary) ‘referee’. 
Somehow or another, you were stuck in a difficult position, having to bend your hand awkwardly to get the piece you had chosen out, and in trying to get into a favourable position, you’d somehow ended up having to squeeze yourself between where Donghyuck sat and the coffee table, trying not to let yourself lean against him. 
“Don’t choose that one, choose that one,” you’d almost jumped at his hand that had gone next to yours, grabbing your hand and directing it to the piece he was referring to, your breath hitching as he did so. 
Your heartbeat was beginning to pick up speed, as you tried your best to do so, unappreciative of the commentary Donghyuck was giving from behind you, even to the extent of leaning over so his head was mere inches away from your ear as he directed you calmly. 
It wasn’t as if you were the only one feeling tense, Donghyuck’s gesture had warranted many stares and wide eyes from the people in the circle, making you eager to get this over with.
Unable to take it, you’d barely moved the piece when you raised your hand abruptly, “Hyunjin, you do it. I can’t.” 
Donghyuck backed away quickly, raising an eyebrow at you as if he didn’t know why you’d given up, making Mina roll her eyes at Donghyuck, “now that’s just cheating,” she told him. 
Hyunjin had taken over for you, and for many more turns afterwards. You were thankful when Jisung had lost since you decided you had enough of this game. Proposing another game, you had hoped they had another board game prepared, since you were sure Donghyuck had more than a few in his storeroom. 
Unfortunately for you, they seemed to have other plans, with Mina (you were too distracted by what the game was to pay attention to who said it) proposing a game of ‘Truth or Dare’. 
As if you hadn’t been put on the spot enough today already. 
The first few questions were simple, typical of the game. Simple questions of this or that whenever people chose truth, everyone seeming too afraid to start choosing dare. 
Soon enough, it was Jaemin’s turn to ask a question, humming in thought as he scanned the circle. 
“I pick Hyunjin.” 
You weren’t paying much attention, glaring at the coffee table after you saw Donghyuck slinging his arm around Mina’s shoulder, letting her rest her head on his chest as if it was second nature to them. 
Hyunjin scoffed, “truth,” he answered without missing a beat. 
Jaemin stuck his tongue out at Hyunjin teasingly, “If you could date anyone in our school who would it be?” 
“Y/N?” Hyunjin answered, earning a glare from Donghyuck (and many low sounds of surprise from the rest). 
Donghyuck searched your gaze for a reaction, something stirring in him when he didn’t spot the look that he usually saw you wear whenever you saw Hyunjin. Strangely, this time you looked as though you didn’t care much for his answer. 
“Would you ask her out?” 
Donghyuck scoffed, standing up abruptly, making everyone’s heads turn to face him, amused at what would have triggered his outburst since he’d been so willingly upholding whatever happy-couple façade he had with Mina. 
“This game is boring. Let’s play something else,” he blurted, making you scoff. 
What was he doing getting so riled up over a question that wasn’t even for him? 
Donghyuck’s outburst had caused the crowd to dissipate, the boys gathering at the sofa to play video games on Donghyuck’s console, everybody seeming to have returned to their state before you started playing games. 
Mina nudged Donghyuck, “now’s your chance, go and talk to her. I’ll make sure no one interrupts you guys.” 
Donghyuck heaved a heavy sigh, nodding slowly, his confidence from before seeming to have returned as he stood up, making his way over to where you were, laughing at something Hyunjin had said. 
“Hey,” you heard Donghyuck’s voice, looking up to spot him standing with his hands shoved in his pockets, his body language a contrast to what he was feeling. 
“Hey?” you answered, unsure what he was approaching you so aggressively for, but slightly thankful that you were getting some sort of attention from him today. 
“Can we talk? Like..upstairs,” he gestured with his head in the direction of the stairs, making you nod slowly, growing nervous at his sudden request, your thoughts having immediately wandered back to what he’d said just now about Mina, wondering if that was what he’d wanted to talk to you about. 
Hyunjin gave you an encouraging nod, wanting you to go up with Donghyuck, prompting you to do so. Letting him lead you upstairs, you reminded yourself repeatedly to keep calm, that this was your close friend you were going to be talking to. Your close friend that had a girlfriend. Your close friend that you really really liked that had a girlfriend. 
Entering Donghyuck’s room, he shut the door behind you, walking over to the balcony, and leaning against the railing, shutting his eyes as the breeze grazed his cheeks, finding that he would much prefer your touch on his cheeks. 
“So, uh,” you began, “what did you wanna talk to me about?” 
“Don’t date Hyunjin.” 
You frowned, leaning with your back against the railing so you could look at him, your arms folded across your chest, “what?” 
“I don’t think he’d be a good match for you,” Donghyuck shrugged, going completely off course from how he’d initially planned on approaching the topic of his feelings. 
Scoffing, you glanced at the orchid flower sitting on his balcony table, rolling your shoulders back before speaking. Friendship, new beginnings, you remembered the florist telling you when you’d asked for what the flower symbolised. 
“That’s what you wanted to talk to me up here about?” 
“Well, no but—” 
“Since when did it matter to you?” 
Donghyuck looked down at the small view he had of the neighbourhood, his voice coming out firmly, “it always mattered to me. You just never noticed.” 
You weren’t sure what he was getting at. His words were doing nothing to help your feelings for him, if anything, it made you even more confused. 
“What if I was going to date Hyunjin? Does that mean you’d tell me I couldn’t?” 
“Are you going to date Hyunjin?”
“What does it matter to you if I date him? You’re already with Mina.”
Donghyuck scoffed, “It matters because I don’t like it.” 
You groaned in frustration, your hands going up to brush your hair back harshly, “so what? Just because you don’t like Hyunjin means that I have to give him up?” 
Donghyuck turned to you, nodding as if it was his legal right to dictate your love life. “Fine, so go downstairs and ask him out, then.” 
“I’m not doing that.” 
“Well, why not?” 
“Because I don’t wanna ask him out,” you shot back. 
“Then there shouldn’t be a problem with me telling you what I think, right?” 
You scoffed, not wanting to let him manipulate you into confessing your feelings for him. Blinded by frustration, you’d let yourself slip, “well if that’s the case then I can say that I don’t like you dating Mina either! Does it mean that you’re gonna break up with her?” 
“I will if you want me to.”
You fell silent at that, unsure how to interpret what he’d said. 
“This isn’t how it’s supposed to be, Donghyuck. I’m supposed to support you as your friend, and you’re supposed to support me. You look happy with Mina, so I’m supporting you. Shouldn’t you want me to be happy too?” 
Donghyuck narrowed his eyes at you, tipping his head back in frustration before he’d made his way in front of where you stood, his hands going on either side of the railing next to you, caging you on the spot. 
“Then can you say for yourself that you’d be happy dating Hyunjin?” You hesitated.
“... No,” you murmured, averting your gaze anywhere except for him. 
“Then who would you be happy with? Tell me, and I’ll tell you what I think.” 
“I don’t care what you think—” 
“Tell me who, Y/N.” 
You rolled your eyes, upset that he was putting you on the spot like this, deciding to look him in the eyes, despite the warmth you felt pricking at your eyes, “you’re being mean.” 
“Just tell me,” Donghyuck insisted. 
“Okay, fine. It’s you, okay? Are you happy now?” you scoffed, “look, you’re perfectly happy with Mina and as your friend I should respect that—” 
“We’re not just friends and you know it.”
Donghyuck groaned in frustration, his grip tightening on the railing as he kept his gaze on you. 
Just for a moment, Donghyuck had managed to make you forget about hesitating. The way he was looking at you, it’d almost made you believe that he wasn’t with Mina, that everything else could wait but in this moment, he’d wanted it to just be you and him. 
“That doesn’t make sense...” you murmured, though that hadn’t stopped you from staring at his face, trying to get a sensing of just what it was that he wanted from you. 
Donghyuck had a few options, to tell you now about the fake relationship and risk you getting mad at him. To stop himself and tell you about how he’d been planning on breaking up with Mina. 
But his last option, the most selfish of all, was to just let himself have this moment with you, and deal with the repercussions of it later on. 
Donghyuck chose to be selfish. 
Leaning closer to you, you’d found yourself looking up as well, his gaze replaced by a more determined, decisive one, as he glanced at your lips, inching closer so your lips were barely touching. 
Not being able to handle the tension any longer, you chose to be selfish too. 
Apologising to Mina in your head, you’d brought your hands up to cup his face, bringing him closer to you to meet your lips with his, hearing him sigh as he kissed you back. 
Donghyuck wasn’t sorry, not at all, especially when he’d removed his hands from the railing to grasp at your waist, his other hand moving from your waist to cup the side of your face, holding you firmly as if he was telling you that he wasn’t going to let go first. 
Coming to your senses, you’d stopped yourself just as he tried to deepen the kiss, pulling back breathless with your chest heaving, your hands dropping from his face as if they’d been burned. Donghyuck tore his gaze reluctantly from your lips, soft breaths leaving him as he bit his lip, trying to process what had happened. 
You shook your head, instantly feeling horrible that you’d kissed him but the worst part being that you knew you made the choice on your own. 
“I’m not supposed to be doing this with you. How could you let me do that, you have a girlfriend!” you gasped, your hands flying up to cover your mouth, staring at him scandalised. 
Donghyuck stood dumbfounded, “wait, let me explain. It’ll all make sense.”
You shook your head, pushing his arms off of you as you took a step back from him. 
“Settle your shit with Mina before you talk to me. You can’t just assume you can go behind her back like this and that we’ll both be okay with it,” you scoffed. 
“That’s not how it works. It’s not the same as saying you love both your mom and your dad. I need you to make a clear decision and not put me through this anymore,” you blurted, your words coming out a mile a minute with how flustered you were. 
“I’m sorry, I’m leaving. Happy birthday.” 
Donghyuck parted with the feeling of your hands cupping his face, now met with the cold breeze once again. 
It wasn’t as if you wouldn’t see Donghyuck in school. You did, except he hadn’t made a move to reach out to you first, since he figured you still needed some time to collect your thoughts. 
You’d only heard halfway through the week that he’d broken up with Mina (much to Jisung’s relief), though strangely, he didn’t seem very different to you. 
Not that your information gathered through furtive glances in his direction during lessons were of any indication. 
He’d surprised you on Friday morning, when you’d been freezing in the classroom because your school sweater was still in the wash, looking stupid as the only student that hadn’t brought a worn the sweater. 
Only upon returning after a trip to the washroom in between lessons to try to warm up your body with a walk, you’d spotted the presence of a school sweater on your desk, and the lack thereof on Donghyuck, who fiddled with his tie nonchalantly, supporting his head on his arm which was on his desk. 
Lifting the sweater, you were about to hang it on your chair, stubbornly not wanting to give him the satisfaction of you putting it on, only to reveal the big scrawl on your notebook that you could only identify as Donghyuck’s handwriting, reading : ‘don’t be stubborn and wear it. You’ll freeze if you don’t’. 
Huffing, you’d reluctantly put on the sweater, your fingers grazing lightly over the small student council pin near the collar, not wanting to make it too obvious that the comfort and warmth of the sweater was absolutely needed, simply looking down at your notebook and flipping the page. 
You’d stayed behind in school that day to get some work done in the library, not expecting to have spotted Jisung and Chenle there, the group approaching you to greet you. 
Chenle’s eyebrows raised in surprise. 
“I’m guessing you and Donghyuck have made up already? God, it was so hard keeping all that fake relationship nonsense he had with Mina a secret from you—” Chenle stopped himself once he saw your expression, instantly regretting opening his mouth. 
“I’m sorry, his what?”
Chenle directed his gaze elsewhere, shrugging, nudging Jisung with his foot in his panic, making Jisung shrug, “uh..what? I didn’t hear anything, did you?” 
“Where is he now?” you spoke, not sure whether you were happy or angry that the situation turned out this way. All you knew was that you needed to see Donghyuck and give him a piece of your mind. 
“He’s uh...he’s in the council room with the dnyl guys.” 
You stood up, gathering your things quickly and bidding Jisung and Chenle goodbye, Chenle pulling out his phone to text Donghyuck. 
chenle 7:19pm -y/n just found out n shes super mad at you prepare yourself- 
Donghyuck had pulled his phone out, not being able to help the giddy feeling in him from arising.
“Why? What’s got you looking so happy?” Renjun asked. 
“Y/N found out.” 
Renjun frowned, not knowing how Donghyuck could be so happy about his impending scolding, leaning over to Jaemin and Jeno to murmur, “I think he’s lost it.” 
You weren’t even sure what you’d wanted to tell him as you were storming towards the council room. I mean, you knew you needed to confront him, yet you couldn’t quite phrase your words in your head, all of them seeming to do no justice to your true thoughts and emotions. 
But before you knew it, you were already in front of the council room door, with no prepared speech whatsoever, shoving the door open and glaring at a smiling Donghyuck. 
“Lee Donghyuck, we need to talk. Now.” 
You’d left the room, waiting impatiently until the doors opened again, Donghyuck walking out calmly, his hands in his pockets like before. 
“Hey,” he breathed. 
“Hey? Hey? You lie to me about something so big and kiss me to confuse me and now all you can say is hey?” you scoffed, hating the way he was smiling at you because whatever it was, it was making it harder for you to stay mad at him. 
Donghyuck didn’t care, he was happy. He didn’t care if you were mad at him, or if you were gonna nag him until your voice went hoarse. He didn’t care about whatever you could possibly throw at him because he was so happy that you were finally telling him truthfully about all the emotions you were feeling. 
“You’re wearing my sweater,” he pointed out calmly, as if you hadn’t just showed up to the council room fuming. 
You flushed, trying to ignore the way you’d felt somewhat shy under his gaze, choosing to cover it up for the sake of your pride. 
“I didn’t come here to play spot the difference, Donghyuck.” 
Donghyuck let out an amused huff, “I know. Look, I’m sorry I lied to you,” he said, letting out a breathy laugh. “My initial plan was to just make you so jealous that you would crack and admit your feelings for me. But that didn’t seem to be working very well.” 
You scoffed, “oh, it worked. It worked very well. I was so jealous I couldn’t even think straight. I should’ve known it was fake, this is so like you.” 
“Well then why didn’t you show it?” he pouted. 
You gave him a look of disbelief, “because that was how much I liked you! I didn’t want you to feel bad just because you liked someone that wasn’t me. I’ll have you know, I was trying very hard to be supportive.” 
He grinned, his hands coming out of his pockets to fold his arms across his chest calmly, scrunching his nose up cutely. 
“I know, Jisung told me.”
You rolled your eyes. The anger you were feeling from before dying down, now being overtaken by the giddiness from the thought that this meant that Donghyuck reciprocated your feelings, and there was essentially nothing stopping the both of you from pursuing these feelings. 
Donghyuck gave you a soft smile, stepping forward to wrap his arms around you, resting his chin comfortably on your shoulder, “are you still mad?” 
“You’re really manipulative, you know that? It’s so hard for me to stay mad at you.” Donghyuck laughed, his hands rubbing your back soothingly, “good.” 
“Now...because the last one didn’t end very well, can I have a second try?” Donghyuck pulled away from you, his hands on your shoulders as he leant back to gauge your expression. 
“At what?”
“Trust me, close your eyes.” 
You frowned at him, but obliged, not being able to hide your smile when you’d felt his hand cup the side of your neck, instantly knowing what he was about to do, feeling the confirmation of his lips press against yours not long after. 
Watching from the inside of the room, Jaemin let out a relieved sigh. “Awfully dysfunctional dynamic, but I’m glad it worked out for them.” 
Jeno hummed in agreement, “maybe Jaemin was right about your weird art magic, Renjun.” 
Jaemin scoffed, “of course I’m right,” he let out a gasp, “wait...but doesn’t that mean we won’t necessarily be needing the club anymore? Since all of us are kind know, taken?” 
“I vote we keep the club,” Jeno suggested, earning a low impressed sound from Renjun.
“Thought you were the one that said this club was stupid, huh?” 
Jeno shrugged, “guess Harvey was right...about what exactly, I’m not very sure but just...right.” 
“Speaking of Harvey, we should probably tell him about this...development.” 
Donghyuck pulled away from you, burying his head in your shoulder shyly, “I don’t think this is appropriate to be doing on school grounds.” 
“Oh so now you want to be a rule-abiding council member?” Donghyuck huffed, maybe being selfish wasn’t such a bad thing after all, especially when it came to you. 
Donghyuck scrunched up his nose, letting out a thoughtful hum, “... on second thought, maybe we should head out of school so we can continue this in peace.” 
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