Once there was five; Taemin, Minho, Kibum, Jonghyun and Jinki.
They were the best of friends. Inseparable. They were kids.
But as time went by, they faced the biggest challenge of all -- Change.
In freshman year of high school they were still full of smiles, of dreams, of hopes. Of belief that their friendship would last forever.
In sophomore year Taemin joined the dance team. Minho joined soccer. Jinki buried himself in academic extra curriculars. Jonghyun fell in love with music. Kibum didn't change much.
By the time they entered junior year, however, things started to change. Jinki wanted to work harder to get into a university under a scholarship.
Everyone understood; as time passed by, he spent less and less time with everyone else.
Then there were four: Taemin, Minho, Kibum and Jonghyun.
Every lunch hour was still filled with laughter and jokes and playing around. But Jinki's absence left about an awkward silence; a silent message.
It's not the same anymore. Nothing would be the same anymore.
After that, Minho started spending more time with his soccer team.
'We understand, Minho'
Then there were three: Taemin, Kibum, and Jonghyun.
Lunch hours were filled with the sound of Jonghyun's voice, Taemin's dancing, and the sharp pang of jealousy in Kibum's heart.
Why am I so useless
He sighs, his worries disappearing with the wind.
Kibum decides to come out of the fucking closet one day, and it scares Taemin off.
But not Jonghyun. He just smiles and takes Kibum's hand,
He says, and Kibum could ask for nothing more.
He's got his best friend, I've always favoured Jjong over anyone else anyways, and he was more than content.
Then there were two.
But when Jonghyun stops meeting him at lunch, when he stops coming over, when he stops singing for Kibum, the boy can't help but feel somewhat empty.
And when he sees him again, Kibum wishes that Jonghyun had just disappeared like the others.
He hates him slightly for giving him false hopes, but maybe it was all his fault to begin with.
'Kibum I think I'm in love.'
Jonghyun greets him, and Kibum's heart falls into pieces. He musters up all his strength, and his courage, and tugs his lips up to a smile.
He replies, And oh, won't you read between the lines? But he knows it's hopeless, and he sighs, his worries melting in with the snow.
And Kibum turns to his grandmother, his only friend, his confidante.
It was Jonghyun's first year anniversary with his girl, and he's promised to make it special for her.
He promised her dinner, and roses, and the stars in the sky, maybe even my heart, but when he's nervous and anxious, he looks for Kibum, for reassurance.
What are best friends for?
But when he doesn't find him, he suddenly feels worried; more worried than he ever has been in his entire life. He forgets the girl momentarily, cuz fuck, Kibum's scaring me right now,
And when he goes up to the boy's room through his window like he's done before, seventy million times, he finds him in the corner, crying.
'Kibum? Kibum? Are you okay? What happened?'
He places an arm around the fragile looking boy in the corner, and hell, of all the years he'd known Kibum, he'd never seem him like that. And it tore him.
More than when he saw his girl crying before. More than when he broke a bone from playing soccer with Minho back in seventh grade.
He repeats his question, and Kibum stops gradually, as he looks up with puffy eyes and bloated cheeks.
'I just lost both of my most loved people today.'
Jonghyun frowns and shushes him down, tries to tone down the shaking. He doesn't say anything; he doesn't know what to say.
'I lost my grandma. And. And--"
Jonghyun stays silent. Kibum pushes his hand off his shoulder.
'Never mind. Just. Go. Aren't you supposed to be with your girlfriend today?'
Jonghyun curses silently and heads out back the window, without a word. He turns back slightly just before he leaves completely, and I'm sorry, he wants to say, but he gets the feeling that Kibum wouldn't want to hear it.
'...And I lost you...'
Kibum sighs, his worries lingering in the air, weighing down his shoulder, down his heart.
A lone tear adorns Kibum's cheek, and he suddenly feels more alone and useless than he ever has.
For not being able to do anything about this. For not being able to stop him.
Then there was one.
He awakes on his bed, doesn't remember getting there, and feels some fingers combing through his hair. He pushes his heavy eyelids open, and lands his eyes on Taemin. To his right was Jinki, and to the left was Minho.
"Kibum, are you awake now?"
He knows that voice too well; the voice that used to fall asleep beside him, singing him lullabies until he was content. The voice that cried and laughed with him all these years.
Kibum tilts his head up to meet those eyes, and that smile. He's confused, just slightly, and he sits up.
"Kibum, you don't have to be alone anymore."
He says, as Taemin takes his right hand and smiles apologetically. Minho takes his left and squeezes it slightly.
"Sorry we all left you, Kibum." Jinki pats his head, and Kibum can't help but smile.
Then there were five again.
They spend the night at Kibum's, laughing and goofing around like they used to.
There's pizza and movies, and it's a sleepover like they used to have when they were kids.
Kibum forgets about his worries for the night, and he sneaks off to the window when everyone else is asleep.
He admires the twinkling stars, and feels a pair of arms slip around him. There's a smile, and a chuckle,
and there's that familiar lullaby being hummed in his ears again. "Aren't you sleepy?"
"No, not at all." Kibum lies, and smiles slightly. His head lolls to the side but Jonghyun catches it, and he savours the moment.
"You liar." Jonghyun grins, and Kibum hides a yawn. Jonghyun knows how Kibum feels for him. Kibum knows how Jonghyun will never feel the same way.
And somehow he's okay with that. Somehow he's not.
Jonghyun takes Kibum's hand and plays with his fingers-- a habit Kibum finds is cute. He also does it when he's nervous.
"K-Kibum, listen. I--I know about. Well. And I don't want to-- you know, risk anything? I love my girlfriend. And yeah, maybe it won't last forever. But Kibum. You understand, right?" Jonghyun gives his hand a slight squeeze, and Kibum bites his lip to prevent himself from screaming.
He's not going to lie; he understands the situation perfectly well. But he's not okay with it. He's not okay with it at all. He nods in response to Jonghyun's question, and finds himself in Jonghyun's embrace.
"I love you, Jjong." Kibum trembles, clinging tightly to Jonghyun's back.
"I know." Jonghyun pats Kibum's back. "I love you too, Kibum."
The words are half meant, Kibum knows, but he holds onto the empty promise behind the words that maybe there's a chance for them to be together someday.
call me crazy but I think I just broke JongKey and omg I'm too tired and my brain is still fried from exams to care too much rn. OTL. I think I'll just make up for this with a sequel to Romantic later.