Fandom: Infinite, Girl's Day (AU, !university)
Pairing: Sungyeol/Sungjong, Woohyun/Sunggyu, Hoya/Yura
Word count: 14,229
Summary: While Woohyun has had Sunggyu for a tutor for just four weeks, Sungyeol has been mentoring Sungjong since the start of the school year. Sungyeol has had this Thing for Sungjong for close to two months and he wasn’t entirely sure that Woohyun even knew who Sungjong was.
A/N: 8D!!! I finally finished this fic! this is what I call the "Infinite base fic", i.e. everything else in this AU branches out from this. I don't think I've explained recently that this AU kind of...spans everything. If you can think of a band, it's probably in this AU somewhere. And all of that relies on this base fic, so I'm just kind of ;; over finally finishing it, lol been writing it since September. blah blah for aniyo, this entire AU is her fault.
I am mean to Sungyeol in this because a) Sungyeol and b) he's an English major and I just finished my degree and feel like poking fun at my subject. Also, it's Sungyeol.
“What are you doing?”
Woohyun looked up, pausing in tapping a ballpoint against his front teeth. “Studying,” he said.
Sungyeol staggered against the door frame, a little melodramatically but it wasn’t like anyone saw him. Woohyun had turned back to his textbook and was staring at it with the same slight frown he had been wearing when Sungyeol had first walked out of his bedroom.
“But,” Sungyeol said, feeling very confused and out of his depth. “It’s Friday night. We’ve got that party at Neil’s to go to!”
“Hmm?” Woohyun blinked blearily at him. “Yeah, I’m not going.”
“But you have to!”
“We’ve got midterms next week.”
“Since when did you care about midterms?”
“I want to finish this review. I’m meeting Sunggyu-hyung tomorrow to go over it.”
Sungyeol narrowed his eyes. “So you’re turning down a party in order to impress your math tutor.”
Woohyun shook his head wildly. “No, no, I’m turning down a party in order to review this stupid subject that makes no sense.” He paused, glancing back at the textbook. "I really don’t get this polynomial stuff. Sunggyu’s pretty amazing, if you think about it.”
That was when Sungyeol realised that Woohyun had it really, really bad.
He should have guessed, of course. Woohyun’s Thing for Sunggyu had started a couple of days after he’d been assigned the tutor, and after four weeks showed no sign of dissipating. That was strange in itself, because Woohyun’s Things normally flared up and then flared back out again, usually after he either fucked them or found out that they were romantically involved. Sometimes the latter didn’t necessarily rule out the former happening, to be honest.
But four weeks had passed and Woohyun was still hankering over Sunggyu. Sungyeol had never laid eyes on the guy but from what he’d heard, he didn’t seem like Woohyun’s type at all. A senior math major, who, sure, had above average looks, but he clearly thought Woohyun was an idiot, at least when it came to precalculus, and he certainly wasn’t afraid of telling Woohyun so.
And yet there was Woohyun, sitting at home on a Friday night, studying for midterms, while Sungyeol was out getting smashed and trying not to think about the way his freshman mentoring student was sitting on the lap of a clearly older guy.
“Here,” Myungsoo said, passing him another beer. Sungyeol took a quick, sharp swig, and then put it on the glass table so hard that there was a threatening clang. Myungsoo winced. “Mind the furniture, it’s not your place.”
“Who’s that?” Sungyeol asked shortly, pointing to where Sungjong was laughing.
“You mean the freshman, that’s—”
“No, no,” Sungyeol interrupted. “The guy he’s sitting on. Who’s that?”
“Jang Dongwoo. A senior, I think, anthropology major.”
Sungyeol frowned at the neck of his beer bottle. “There are anthropology majors? Like, legit anthropology majors?”
“Huh.” Well, you learnt something new every day. He wondered if Sungjong was going to be an anthropology major too. That wouldn’t be fair. Sungyeol was his mentor, not Jang Dongwoo, with his — he couldn’t even think of any anthropology jokes.
“What the fuck is anthropology anyway,” he muttered.
“The study of humanity,” said a voice right next to him. Sungyeol started, almost spilling his drink. He looked around and saw a boy standing beside him, giving him a frank once-over. Sungyeol would have blushed if it wasn’t so blatantly non-sexual.
“He,” said the boy, pointing his thumb over his shoulder at Chunji, “said that you’re Lee Sungyeol.”
“So what if I am,” Sungyeol said defensively, trying to remember if he owed money to someone that he’d forgotten about.
A hand was stuck out. Sungyeol blinked uncomprehendingly at it and then back at the stranger’s face, which had broken out into an easy smile. “I’m Kim Sunggyu. I’m tutoring your roommate.”
Sungyeol shook the hand. This had to be the height of irony. His roommate ditches a party in order to prepare for a meeting with his tutor and then said tutor turns up at said party, clearly not giving a fuck about the meeting.
Sungyeol frowned. Was that irony? Christ, he made a terrible literature major when drunk.
“Shit, fuck, ow.”
The light flipped on. Sungyeol stopped hopping around the kitchen long enough to glare at an offending corner of the coffee table, and then looked sheepishly at Woohyun. “Sorry.”
“It’s fine, I was awake anyway.” Woohyun crossed the kitchen-living area and pulled open the fridge. He tossed Sungyeol a bottle of water. “Drink that before you sleep.”
“Yes, mother,” Sungyeol said sarcastically, but he would do it anyway. He, of course, was the one who got the killer hangovers, while Woohyun could wake up the next morning like nothing had happened the night before. He took a sip and then remembered. “Oh, hey, I saw your tutor at the party.”
Woohyun paused in unscrewing the lid on his own bottle. He looked confused and uncertain. “Sunggyu-hyung? You saw him at a party?”
“Yeah, he came and said hello.”
“Oh,” said Woohyun softly.
“Dude,” Sungyeol began, paused, thought about it, then ploughed onwards. “You realise he has like, no eyes. And a lisp.”
Woohyun coloured. “I am aware of that, yes,” he said haughtily, then his voice softed. “It’s adorable.”
“Okay, say no more,” Sungyeol said, holding up his hands in defeat. “I don’t want to know. Oh, so, my mentee was there.”
“Really?” Woohyun said, already losing interest now that his favourite subject of the past month wasn’t going to be talked about anymore.
“Yeah, he was — did you know that there are real anthropology majors?”
Woohyun laughed. “They’re not like unicorns, they do exist.” While Sungyeol pondered the validity of this statement, Woohyun said a quiet goodnight. He was gone before Sungyeol could tell him about Sungjong sitting in the lap of said anthropology major. Sungyeol slumped against the kitchen unit.
This was the problem with having a bestfriend who was having serious love problems, he thought. No one had the time for your own serious love problems.
While Woohyun has had Sunggyu for a tutor for just four weeks, Sungyeol has been mentoring Sungjong since the start of the school year. Sungyeol has had this Thing for Sungjong for close to two months and he wasn’t entirely sure that Woohyun even knew who Sungjong was. To be fair, Sungyeol had been dying quietly for that time, and the moment he decided to tell Woohyun, he was assigned a math tutor to help him redo the precalculus class that he failed during the summer and Woohyun was lost to the world.
But still, Sungyeol would like someone to care that the kid he was mentoring and maybe-probably-absolutely had a crush on was the type of person to sit on the laps of random anthropology majors at parties and not even seem to give a damn that Sungyeol was standing on the other side of the room.
Myungsoo, for his part, sat in their joint History of Film class on Tuesday afternoon and ignored all of Sungyeol’s notes and hisses and simply calmly took notes. When they were dismissed, Myungsoo gave him a side-eyed look and said, “What was it that you were muttering about?”
Sungyeol looked at the scribbles in his notebook, things like my life is a BLACK ABYSS!!! and myungsoo-ah i will stab this pen in my eye DO NOT TEMPT ME and merely said sadly, “Can I have a copy of your notes?”
Every morning at 8:15, Hoya stopped at the campus store just outside the Modern and Classical Languages building to buy a bottle of orange juice and an egg breakfast sandwich to eat before his intermediate Japanese class. The general idea of this had been so that he would be able to roll out of bed at 8:00 and still have time to eat. Lately, Hoya had developed ulterior motives entirely.
He had walked into the store right on time and was just picking up his orange juice when a voice called, “That’ll be 7000 won, by the way.”
He looked over at the counter, where a girl with long dark hair was leaning against the surface, a bright green apron over a cream t-shirt. “How do you know I’m not buying something different?” he asked, a smile tugging at his lips.
“Because you’ve bought the same thing for four weeks now. You’re probably better off just handing me the money as you walk in.”
Hoya hid the small smile as he set his usual order next to the till. “But then I wouldn’t get to talk to you,” he said.
There was a small snort from her colleague, and a mutter of “get a room”. Hoya fought down the blush that threatened and merely held out his money for Ahyoung (that was what it said on her name tag) to take. She gave her colleague a quick, narrow-eyed glare and then took the money with a smile. Hoya was unable to avoid smiling back.
“Have fun in class,” she said, then paused. “You’ve been coming here for four weeks and I don’t even know your name.”
Hoya bit the inside of his mouth to stop him from simply blurting it out. “Lee Howon,” he said, “but—”
“Are you a sophomore?”
“Howon-oppa,” she said with a smile, and Hoya promptly forgot to tell her about the nickname he usually went by because holy crap. To cover the fact that his tongue had just tied itself into knots, he checked his watch until his tongue was working again and found that he was most likely going to be late for class.
“I have to go,” he said, “but I — I’ll see you around?”
She opened her mouth, then smiled. “See you around, oppa.”
Woohyun had taken precalculus during the summer and failed in a big part due to the fling he had with the teaching assistant. When he ditched her just before the final, she’d clearly decided to get revenge by failing him. That was his story and he was sticking to it.
Sunggyu wasn’t too sure.
He tapped his pencil against the worksheet that Woohyun had filled in and sighed. He didn’t know whether Woohyun honestly didn’t know this stuff or whether he was just trying to get a rise out of Sunggyu. The problem, he thought, with an internal roll of the eyes, was that it worked every time.
“Are you an idiot?” he asked before he could stop himself.
Woohyun looked up from the doodle he was drawing on a scrap of paper. He frowned. “Is that a trick question?” he asked. “Is there a quantifiable equation that someone can use to determine whether you are or are not an idiot?”
Woohyun made Sunggyu feel on edge. He never quite knew where he stood with him, wasn’t sure what the endgame of the flirting was. Sunggyu knew about Woohyun’s reputation, who didn’t, but he couldn’t deny that he found Woohyun attractive, and that made Sunggyu not know how to act or feel. He had resorted, quite oddly, to insulting Woohyun at any point and making sure to be guarded and a little dismissive around him. Sunggyu didn’t like it. He wasn’t that person. He wasn’t like that with anyone else on the planet.
“E equals MC squared,” Woohyun was saying, “where E equals my idiocy, M is my math ability, and C is how many people I’ve slept with.”
Sunggyu sighed heavily and glared at him. “That’s not helping.”
Woohyun grinned at him.
“Do you really not know how to do basic differentiation? I mean, that’s high school level stuff.”
“I went to an art high school,” Woohyun said with a shrug. “They were more interested in making sure we could forge good copies of famous artworks than doing algebra.”
“That’s a handy real life skill,” Sunggyu muttered, crossing something out on Woohyun’s worksheet and trying to work out when he had gone from “on the side tutoring” to “teaching everything from scratch”.
“It pays pretty well,” Woohyuun said, and when Sunggyu looked up, he was grinning, and Sunggyu could not work out whether he was serious or not. Unnerved by it, he looked back at his paper and crossed out test on integrals, because there was no way he was putting himself through that right now.
Sungjong poured an obscene amount of sugar into the coffee Sungyeol had bought him, stirred it quickly and lifted it to his lips. “Careful,” Sungyeol said, alarmed, “you’ll burn your mouth that way.”
Sungjong paused and lowered the cup a little. “Sorry,” he said. “I just really need some caffeine.”
“Do you want to talk about it?” Sungyeol asked, because he was Sungjong’s mentor and this was his job and, on a more selfish level, he wanted to be the one Sungjong talked about his problems with.
“I had a microeconomics midterm this morning and a project for my computer software class this afternoon,” Sungjong said, and he took a sip of coffee which had cooled down enough to merely warm his mouth. “I’m running on four hours sleep and I haven’t been this tired since the day the university acceptance letters were delivered.”
Sungyeol made a face that was partly amusement at the typical complaint of a college student, and horror at the thought of writing either of those papers. Sometimes talking to Sungjong was like talking to Myungsoo; they both knew a lot of things about subjects that struck fear into Sungyeol’s very soul. “Drink up then,” he said. “I’ll buy you another when that’s gone.”
Sungjong smiled. Sungyeol noticed the dark shadows under his eyes and fought the urge to take his hand. Those weren’t the result of one sleepless night. Sungyeol recognised that look from finals time, when Woohyun was trying to finish constructing some project out of what looked like matchsticks and super glue. He picked up his green tea to give his hands something to do. “You’re sure that’s all?”
Sungjong bit his lip, looking unsure. After a couple of seconds, he shook his head and gulped down half the coffee. After he’d finished, Sungyeol said, “Sungjong, you can talk to me. That’s the whole point.”
Sungjong fiddled with his cup. “I don’t like my roommate,” he admitted. “His girlfriend stays over every night and he keeps taking and using my stuff. He keeps calling me — I’ve been spending time at my friend’s apartment, but they’ve only got a sofa and it’s pretty uncomfortable.”
Sungyeol leaned back, chewing on the inside of his cheek. He’d signed up for the mentoring program because, well, mainly because it would look good on his resume. He was an average student, he couldn’t play sports, and he didn’t have any other skills that could be considered useful. The thing was, he hadn’t been trained for this. He didn’t really know what exactly mentoring entailed; for him, it meant that he bought Sungjong coffee twice a week, listened to his problems, and tried to not think about how beautiful his hands were wrapped around the oversized coffee cup.
“Have you talked to housing?” he asked after a pause.
Sungjong shook his head. “I didn’t want to antagonise my roommate.”
“You could request a room change, if you want. They’d be able to do it quietly. If you don’t want to do that, why not invite your own friends around there? Maybe they could talk to him.” Sungyeol thought that maybe he should invite that anthropology major over and couldn’t stop the scowl at the mere idea.
Sungjong brightened. “That could work. Hoya-hyung is on the football team and my roommate wants to be, so maybe he’ll try to suck up to me after he finds out.”
Christ, Sungyeol thought weakly, what kind of friends did Sungjong have, and why were they all more impressive than he was?
Hoya tossed a beer to Dongwoo, who caught it with the talent honed from catching lots of beers over his life. He sat down on the sofa next to him, opened his own beer, and said, “So he didn’t know what to do either?”
Sungjong, sitting with his back against the coffee table, shook his head. “He told me I should speak to housing but I don’t really want to do that. Where’s my beer?” he added.
“You’re underage,” Hoya said, which was the height of irony. Dongwoo choked and almost spat his beer everywhere. “He sounds useless. Isn’t he supposed to be there to help you?”
“What is he supposed to do?” Dongwoo asked, wiping beer off his chin. “Go around there himself and put the fear of god into him?”
Sungjong grinned suddenly.
“What?” Dongwoo asked, wiping at his chin again just in case.
“That’s what he suggested you do,” Sungjong said. “Sungyeol-hyung couldn’t scare anyone but I said that you might be able to.”
“Oh,” said Dongwoo brightly, “can we? Can we really? Because I don’t know about you but I’ve been wanting to hand a beating to this guy since the beginning.”
“We can’t just beat the guy up,” Hoya said. “There are other ways to put the fear of god into someone, after all.”
The look he gave Dongwoo, a sort of tentative smirk, made Sungjong wonder what exactly they had got up to in high school. As far as he knew, they’d simply been football players, which wasn’t what that smirk, and Dongwoo’s answering one, seemed to suggest. He shifted a little nervously.
“Hyung, he just an idiot,” he pointed out. “You don’t need to...do whatever you’re going to do.”
“We’re not going to do anything,” Hoya reassured him. “We’re just going to talk to him.”
Sungjong would sort of rather they didn’t do that, either, not if they’re going to do it with those looks on their face.
“In the meantime, why don’t you just move in here with us?” Dongwoo said, losing some of the smirking amusement on his face and turning quite serious. “I mean, you’re moving back with your parents next semester anyway, it makes no sense to stay living with some guy you can’t stand.”
Sungjong looked between the two of them, biting his lip. On the one hand, that sounded like the greatest thing he had ever heard and would solve most of his problems (his roommate and not being able to spend enough time with his friends) in one fell swoop. On the other hand, the sofa was really uncomfortable.
Hoya saw the look on his face and said, “We’ll buy you an airbed.”
Sungjong smiled and nodded.
They went to get Sungjong’s stuff on Tuesday night, when Dongwoo was in his psychology class. It hadn’t really been planned to leave Dongwoo out, but it happened to be the only time that Sungjong and one of them were free at the same time that his roommate was likely to be in the room. “Besides,” Hoya had said, “it’s probably just as well we leave him behind. You know how he gets.”
Not really knowing how he got, because Dongwoo adored Sungjong and was sunshine and light around him constantly, Sungjong just nodded.
What he absolutely hadn’t expected was the way Hoya was acting. Hoya was a lot more solemn than Dongwoo, certainly, and much more likely to take things seriously, but this was probably just a little over the top. Sungjong gave him an uneasy look as he folded clothes carefully into his suitcase. If it was possible to expire from a look, his roommate’s death was well overdue by now.
The thing was, Hoya was just a fraternity membership away from being the type of person Sungjong’s roommate wanted to be. Hoya was popular (mostly because he managed to get himself into the strangest variety of classes), well built, and on the football team. His roommate had about 3 inches to grow and 20 pounds to gain before he could even think of measuring up to Hoya, but it was there, at least.
Now, however, Hoya was standing in the middle of the room, arms folded across his chest, glaring at Sungjong’s roommate like he was something particularly foul he had found on the bottom of his shoe. His roommate sat on his bed, alternating between picking nervously at the bed sheets and pretending to read his textbook, all while shooting nervous looks in Hoya’s direction.
“Hyung, could you grab my shampoo out of the bathroom, please?” Sungjong asked, feeling like, at this point, simply getting Hoya out of the room would lessen the tension. After a pause, Hoya nodded and left the room. Sungjong let out a sigh of relief and continued packing his clothes away.
After a minute, his roommate slammed his book shut and said, “Did you tell housing you were moving out?”
“Of course I did,” Sungjong said, keeping his voice level and moving to place all his books in a box. “They needed to know. I have to keep paying the rent for the semester but...” He trailed off and gave a shrug.
“Oh, sure,” said his roommate in a nasty voice, “some of us can afford to waste money on a room that we’re not actually living in.”
Sungjong rolled his eyes. He didn’t really see what the problem for him was, seeing as this way he’d get a room to himself. Considering he’d been treating it that way for four weeks already, there shouldn’t be an issue.
There was a bang from the bathroom. Sungjong winced. “You’re moving in with him?” his roommate asked, giving the bathroom door a dirty look that he would not have dared give Hoya if he was in the same room. Sungjong nodded. There was a pause.
“Does he know about you?”
“Yes,” said Sungjong, throwing a pillow into a box and wishing he could throw it at his roommate’s face. Filled with bricks. “He knows I’m gay. Unlike some people, he doesn’t care.”
“Are you fucking him?”
Sungjong almost dropped his fan heater on his foot. “No!” he said, once the ability to speak had caught up with him. “No, why would you even—”
“But you’re not paying rent to him, right? Some guy offers to let you move in without paying rent and you think he’s not expecting something in return? Don’t be so naive, Sungjong.”
Sungjong shook his head, exasperated by this non-logic. “It’s not like that, we’re just friends.”
“Keep telling yourself that.”
Hoya stepped out of the bathroom, holding Sungjong’s impressive array of toiletries. “I think all this stuff is yours,” he said, dropping them into a box and folding the lid down. “If it’s not, then whatever.”
Sungjong was both amused and annoyed by the way his (now ex) roommate fell silent in Hoya’s presence. He wished he could cause that level of deference just by walking into a room. “That’s everything,” he said, piling two boxes on top of one another and hoisting them into his arms. “We can go now.”
Even though he really did everything, he was also looking forward to getting away from this room and the bad atmosphere within. Hoya nodded, then ruined it by turning on his roommate. “Creep, if you ever so much as look as Sungjong again, I will find out and make sure you were sorry you were ever born.”
“You can’t threaten me,” the boy cried.
“I just did,” said Hoya coldly. He picked up the rest of the boxes and left the room without so much as a second glance at the boy still sitting on the bed. Sungjong followed suit, mainly to avoid giving the boy a chance to say something to upset him.
After hauling the boxes across campus and then another half-mile to Hoya and Dongwoo’s place, Dongwoo met them outside, looking annoyed that they’d done the trip without him. “It’s not fair if you get to intimidate freshmen without letting me join in,” he complained as Hoya thrust two boxes at him to carry up the stairs.
“I know,” Hoya said, puffing a little, “it’s tragic. Just get the door, would you.”
“So what was he like?” Dongwoo asked eagerly, holding the door open with a foot so that Sungjong could drag his boxes into their hallway.
“Tiny,” said Hoya. “I knew he would be. The dickheads always are.”
“No fair,” Dongwoo whined.
Hoya put his head into the living room then turned to frown at Dongwoo. “Hyung, you were supposed to buy the air bed today.”
“Yeah, see, about that,” Dongwoo said, scratching the back of his neck, “I was going to—”
“Hyung, I can’t sleep on your sofa again!” Sungjong burst out. “It’s really lumpy!”
Hoya folded Sungjong into his arms like a baby and gave Dongwoo a sharp look. “You better have a good explanation for this,” he said.
“I do,” Dongwoo insisted. “I went to look this morning but they’re really freaking expensive. We’re talking two weeks of rent expensive.”
Hoya’s arm went limp on Sungjong’s shoulder. “Oh.”
“There’s no way we could afford one of them,” Dongwoo said, “so I figured, why buy one anyway? It’s not like we don’t have the space in our own beds, you know.”
Sungjong, who did not quite understand this turn in logic, only frowned. Hoya raised an eyebrow. “You’re suggesting he sleep in our beds?”
“He can share with me!” Dongwoo said brightly. “I don’t mind.”
They both turned to look at Sungjong, Dongwoo looking hopeful and Hoya with an eyebrow raised. In reality, he was quite taken with the idea. He knew from experience that Dongwoo slept like a dead person and so would not be disturbed by someone else in the bed with him.
“I’d like that,” he said truthfully.
He thought about telling them that he could just buy the air bed for them, but the look of joy on Dongwoo’s face was too strong to hurt like that.
This time, Woohyun didn’t bother skipping out on the party, mainly because it hadn’t helped any during the last review session and Sunggyu seemed to think he was even more of an idiot than he had previously thought. Woohyun was coming to the distinct impression that drinking more alcohol made him less of a math failure, which was possibly something to think about when it came to finals time.
Sunggyu wasn’t here; he’d already done a round of the room and checked. He didn’t know if he was upset or reassured by that, but he did know that he was well on his way to being so trashed that getting home could be an issue. This, he thought, almost warmly, was why he brought Sungyeol along to these things, even if he was in a bad mood over something his mentor student had or had not done this week.
“Possible target checking you out at two o’clock,” Sungyeol said, tapping his fingers against the wall in tune to the song playing. Myungsoo, who was leaning against said wall, gave him a glare that was mostly unfocused.
Woohyun checked out the cutie checking him out and had to take a moment to ask, “Which? The girl or the guy?”
“Girl,” Sungyeol said, “though personally, I’d be going for the guy.”
“Want me to hold your drink?” Sungyeol asked.
“Why?” Woohyun asked, confused, staring at said drink and wondering why Sungyeol would want to take it from him.
“So you can go talk to her.”
“Why would I do that?”
Sungyeol stared at him. “Because that’s what you do. You hook up with random people at house parties and have sex with them and then forget their names two days later.”
“Oh.” That was right, wasn’t it. Woohyun did have sex with people at parties and not care about the consequences. He gave the girl another once over; she was gorgeous, with legs all the way up to her impressive chest, curly brown hair and lips that were currently curved in a smile at him, but all he could think was about how he’d give anything for Sunggyu to smile at him like that, and suddenly the amount of alcohol he’d already had just didn’t seem like enough.
“God, I’m pathetic,” he said.
Sungyeol clapped him on the shoulder. “This Sunggyu guy...you really like him that much?”
Woohyun scrubbed at his face with a hand. “I don’t know. Maybe I just need to fuck him and it’ll be cool.”
There was a pause. “You could try that,” Sungyeol said, in that tone of voice which suggested he had something incredibly wise to add. He didn’t add it. Woohyun let him continue in his state of suspense by standing up to get another drink. He patted Myungsoo on the shoulder and waved at at the girl.
“She’s all yours,” he said.
Myungsoo raised an eyebrow.
When Sungyeol had suggested Sungjong get his friends to intimidate his roommate (an idea he had realised later had been pretty bad advice), he hadn’t expected Sungjong to simply move out in the process. “Where are you living?” he asked, mind full of mental images of Sungjong sleeping on a bench.
“With my friends.” Sungjong, for his part, was stirring sugar into his latte quite cheerfully. “I was only staying in the dorm for a semester because my parents are moving from Gwangju to Seoul. I’m going to be living at home after the winter break. Hoya-hyung said that there was no point in just putting up with it when I could just move out.”
“I thought you said that their couch was uncomfortable,” Sungyeol said.
“It is,” Sungjong said brightly, “but it’s okay because I’m sleeping with Dongwoo-hyung.”
Sungyeol choked on his hot chocolate.
When Woohyun walked into the apartment three hours later, Sungyeol was still lying on his front on the couch with his face buried in the pillows. Woohyun stubbed his toe on the coffee table and managed, while hopping around cursing, to switch the lights on. “What the fuck are you doing?” he asked, sinking into an armchair and rubbing his foot.
“Suffocating myself,” Sungyeol said miserably.
“Any particular reason?” Woohyun let his backpack slip off his shoulders and it hit the floor with clatter which suggested it now contained several broken pencils. He cursed at it. “Are you having as bad as day as me?”
“What’s wrong with your day?”
“The alarm didn’t go off, I spilt coffee on my latest design, I got out of architectural structures half an hour late and missed the special they were having at the cafeteria, I ran into some girl who complained that I hadn’t called her after we slept together like a month ago, then I had precalculus class.” He stared at his backpack and added, “And I’m probably going to have to buy a whole new set of pencils.”
“The guy I like is sleeping with some other guy,” Sungyeol burst out.
Woohyun froze in picking up his bag and half his books fell onto the floor. “You have someone you like?” he asked.
“Fuck you,” Sungyeol said.
“No, I’m joking,” Woohyun said, picking up his books and resting them haphazardly on the arm of his chair. “That freshmen kid, right? Your mentor student or whatever.”
“Or whatever,” Sungyeol echoed miserably.
“That’s the one, right? He’s sleeping with someone else? Damn.”
“Sungjong’s moved out of his dorm,” Sungyeol said miserably, rolling onto his back and clutching a pillow to his chest, “and in with a couple of his friends. He said that he was sleeping with Dongwoo. The anthropology major,” he added darkly.
“You’re sure he didn’t just literally mean they were sharing a bed?” Woohyun asked.
“...Oh,” said Sungyeol. That interpretation hadn’t occurred to him.
“Idiot,” said Woohyun.
“You’d understand if you’d seen them at the party together,” Sungyeol said, sitting upright and glaring at Woohyun. “They were — Sungjong was sitting in his lap.”
“That doesn’t mean anything,” Woohyun said airily. “Look, why don’t we check it out at the next party? They usually show up at Neil’s, right? He’s having a party this Friday, we’ll investigate then.”
Sungyeol narrowed his eyes at him. He was being very accommodating. He was being too nice for Sungyeol’s comfort, especially after weeks of not giving a shit. It took him a few seconds to put the pieces together. “You’re hoping Sunggyu will be there again, aren’t you?” he asked, sighing.
Woohyun nodded, looking proud of himself.
Woohyun was going to have to work out how Sunggyu knew Neil (and maybe buy Neil a few drinks in thanks for knowing Sunggyu), but right now that paled in significance next to the fact that Sunggyu was sitting opposite to Woohyun, leaning forward so that their knees kept brushing together, and seemingly was finding everything Woohyun said hilarious. It had to be noted that Sunggyu was pretty much completely wasted at this point in time, but Woohyun was ignoring that. It didn’t matter. If all he needed was a bit of alcohol to get Sunggyu to talk to him, he was going to start bringing hip flasks to the review sessions. It would be a double win, seeing as he improved in math when he was drunk.
“I have literally never met a person as bad at math as you are,” Sunggyu told him, patting his thigh.
“Seriously?” Woohyun asked, picking up the beer that he’s been nursing all night, the one that he’d grabbed just before he noticed that Sunggyu was standing across the room, and Woohyun decided this was going to be the night that he made Sunggyu like him.
“You’re an architect,” Sunggyu said, flailing a little so that he almost knocked over what must have been his fifth drink of the night. “Surely you need math for calculating angles of buildings and stuff.”
“Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that,” Woohyun said, “but essentially there is math involved. But not like your math. Your math is nonsensical, with all the numbers and squiggly lines.”
“It’s integration, and it’s really not that difficult,” Sunggyu said. Woohyun was very impressed that he could still say “integration” in the state he was in. “It’s just...adding C and stuff.”
Woohyun thought there was a lot more to it than that, especially since he was the one who had failed it last semester because he hadn’t been able to understand anything in the textbook. If it was just a case of adding C, he’d have passed with flying colours.
“Why aren’t you drinking?” Sunggyu asked suddenly, frowning at Woohyun’s bottle like it personally offended him.
“I am drinking.”
“No, you’re not drinking.”
Woohyun shrugged. "I don’t feel like it."
“But isn’t that your thing?” Sunggyu picked up his glass and began rubbing his thumb back and forth across the rim. He did this with his soda bottles during their study sessions too. “You get really drunk and then hook up with other drunk people and have unsatisfying sex?”
“I have very satisfying sex,” Woohyun said, offended. “Thank you very much.”
“That’s not what I’ve heard,” Sunggyu said, and Woohyun was all set to get very angry and demand to know who had been saying that he was bad at sex, when he caught the slight pull of Sunggyu’s lips and realised that he was being teased.
“Oh,” he said, very slowly, because reacting to Sunggyu teasing him was like trying to hunt a deer; you couldn’t get too close or else it would bolt. “You shouldn’t rely on word of mouth. You should experience the real thing.”
There was a pause, almost too long to imply anything other than Sunggyu being willing to experience said real thing. Then Sunggyu grinned. “I’ll pass,” he said.
Woohyun grinned too and sat back. “Your loss,” he said.
An hour later, Woohyun had finished his one beer and, seeing as the real reason he wasn’t drinking was because he was designated driver that night, he had settled down to continue talking to Sunggyu. That was getting difficult. Sunggyu was not making much sense at this point, and kept letting his head drop onto the back of the chair he was sitting on.
Woohyun weaved his way through the crowd of people to find Sungyeol, who had been talking to his stupid mentor student all night and not caring that Woohyun was making some sort of weird, backwards progress with Sunggyu.
“Listen,” he said, tapping Sungyeol on the shoulder and speaking over the music, “I’m going to take Sunggyu-hyung home.”
Sungyeol gave him a wide-eyed look. “Really?” he asked. “You’ve seriously—”
“No,” interrupted Woohyun, rolling his eyes. “I’m literally taking him home. He’s wasted.”
“Oh,” said Sungyeol. He squinted at his own drink, then slid a side-ways, puppy-dog look at his mentor student who was peering curiously at Woohyun. It was the first time Woohyun had ever laid eyes on the freshman called Sungjong. One look was enough to prove that Sungjong was entirely out of Sungyeol’s league — anyone with skin that flawless was destined to be with someone who owned a gold credit card, come on — but it was also obvious that Sungjong was hopelessly gone for Sungyeol. Woohyun could see these things. “Hyung, love me” practically shone out of Sungjong’s eyes.
“Don’t worry,” said Woohyun, giving the freshman a knowing look. Sungjong just stared pointedly back at him. Fuck off, his eyes were saying. “I’ll come back and pick you up, okay?”
“Great,” said Sungyeol, shoulders slumping in relief. Woohyun patted him on the shoulder, making himself feel better with thoughts that at least one of them was going to get laid that night, and headed back over to Sunggyu.
Sunggyu scowled at him. “You left,” he said.
“Just to talk to my roommate,” Woohyun said cheerfully. He held out a hand. “Come on, hyung, I’ll take you home.”
Sunggyu ignored the hand. “I’m fine,” he said.
“No, come on,” Woohyun said. “I’ll let you sit up front and everything.”
Sunggyu gave him an unimpressed look, which was horribly reminiscent of the looks that he’d been giving Woohyun through all of their study sessions, but he took Woohyun’s hand. Woohyun tugged him to his feet, holding onto his arm while Sunggyu struggled to find his balance, trying to not think about how warm Sunggyu’s skin was. After a moment Sunggyu pulled away, straightened his shirt hem solemnly, and said, “I think I will sit up front.”
Sitting up front meant that Sunggyu spent the entire journey playing with the volume on Woohyun’s stereo and changing the radio channels. Considering it was past one in the morning, there was minimal chance of him ever finding anything worth listening, but Woohyun let him do it, because when he tried to shove Sunggyu’s hand away, Sunggyu hissed at him. It was adorable as fuck, but there was teeth and Woohyun didn’t want to get bitten.
They pulled up outside Sunggyu’s apartment, which was pretty far from campus, and Woohyun cut the engine. “Okay,” he said, turning to Sunggyu, “which one is yours? I’ll help you up.”
Sunggyu was looking at him very intently. “Do you like me?” he asked.
Woohyun gave him his best charming smile. “Of course I do,” he said. He wouldn’t still be sitting around in study sessions getting insulted if he didn’t like Sunggyu, a lot more than Sunggyu probably realised.
“No.” Sunggyu pulled up a leg under him and the next second was leaning across the gearstick and his face was mere inches away from Woohyun’s. Woohyun leaned back, mentally rolling his eyes at drunk people and how little they seemed to know about personal space. “I mean, do you like me?”
Woohyun fumbled with the car keys, pulling them from the ignition and tucking them haphazardly into his pocket. “Come on, hyung,” he said, dodging the question. “Time to go to bed.”
“Are you going to join me?” Sunggyu asked, which was the last thing he said before his mouth was on Woohyun’s.
Woohyun tried to say something, which was probably “What the fuck,” but it ended up being a garbled mess as his attempt to open his mouth to say it was taken by Sunggyu as an opportunity to stick his tongue in there, and after that, Woohyun had a lot of difficulty thinking about anything other than the fact that he was actually kissing Sunggyu, that Sunggyu was actually kissing him, that Sunggyu had initiated this. He tasted a lot like alcohol, which made Woohyun wonder if it was possible to get drunk from tasting it from someone else’s mouth, because his head was spinning in a very tipsy sort of way.
Sunggyu pulled away a little, hands fisted in Woohyun’s t-shirt. “Come in,” he murmured.
Whoa. Woohyun pulled Sunggyu’s hands away and held him at arm’s length. “No, hyung,” he said. “I’m going to walk you to the door and then you’re going to go to bed, by yourself, and I will see you on Monday for our study session, okay.”
Sunggyu gave him a deeply irritated look. “What,” he said, “I thought you liked me.”
Woohyun just smiled. “You’re really drunk, hyung.”
“So? You want to sleep with me, right? And I figure that if I sleep with you, then you can add me to the notches on your bed posts and stop giving me the bedroom eyes during our time together.”
Woohyun opened the door and stepped out, leaning against the side of the car and taking a few deep breaths of the cold night air. He stayed like that until standing outside in the cold in the middle of the night in November became physically painful, which wasn’t actually that long, and then he walked around the side of the car and pulled open Sunggyu’s door.
Sunggyu slid out of the car and shook off Woohyun’s hand from his shoulder. “It’s okay,” he said, shoulders and neck stiff and straight. “I can get into my own apartment okay.”
“Hyung,” said Woohyun, unsure of what to say right now. “Hyung, you’re....you’re really drunk, okay. Sleep this off and we can talk on Monday.”
Woohyun refused to let himself think about what had just happened until he’d pulled up outside Neil’s place and sent Sungyeol a text to let him know he was outside. He leaned his head against the steering wheel and groaned, already kicking himself mentally. His long term crush offers himself up pretty much on a silver platter and Woohyun had rejected him. And okay, Sunggyu had been so drunk that he probably hadn’t even known what he was saying — and whatever else was true about Woohyun, he didn’t exactly make it his habit to sleep with drunk people when he was stone cold sober, because that was pretty sketchy — but still.
It was pretty obvious, though, that Sunggyu thought it was all just some game. Woohyun thought back over all the flirting and the innuendoes over the past few weeks and groaned again. He should just go drown himself in the river. He should have known from the beginning that Sunggyu wasn’t going to react well to his usual techniques, but it was so hard to just quit doing something which had worked out so well before. It was even harder to admit to liking someone, to wanting someone for more than just a quick fuck, than to just mess around saying sweet nothings in order to get some sort of a rise.
The passenger door opened and Sungyeol slid in, looking a little blurry around the edges but mainly okay. “Oh,” Woohyun said, glancing at his phone. “I thought you’d tell me to just go home.”
Sungyeol frowned at him. “No? Why would I do that?”
“I thought you’d end up hooking up with that mentor kid of yours.”
Sungyeol’s frown turned to wide-eyed confusion. “Sungjong? Don’t be so ridiculous, Sungjong doesn’t even like me like that.”
“Oh my god,” said Woohyun, “are you fucking serious right now.”