Author: PKC Rating: K Pairing: Dotae, past!Dojae Genre: fluff, fail!angst, I swear to god. Disclaimer: fic is mine, everything else, unfortunately is not
Author note: So believe me when I say this is rushed okay, I’m typing this at 2 AM in the morning and frankly this is just a words vomit because I wanted to write something for my one and only Kim Dongyoung. Taeyong is me, basically. Bye.
of practice room and unsaid words
When Lee Taeyong found a Kim Dongyoung in their dance studio during the middle of the night, he wasn’t even a little bit surprised. He leant his body on the frame of the door, watching Doyoung move swiftly with every beat, he was trying to do some freestyle, which was honestly a bit wild for Doyoung. He wasn’t even doing that well, but it seemed like he just wanted to feel the music once in a while, and the way his body twisted and turned got Taeyong hooked.
Doyoung wasn’t their best dancer, but he surely never had any problem keeping up with their intense choreography either, in fact, Doyoung got that chill vibe whenever he dances, and although his steps were thoroughly calculated, he looked calm doing them. He got skills but restricted his moves so he can focus on his singing more, he was after all, one of the main vocals. Still, Taeyong thought people didn’t give him enough credits considering how amazing he was at everything.
He was dancing to a poppy song, which was a nice contrast as Doyoung keen way more on the ballad side, music wise. It was an amusing sight, seeing the blond dancing and flapping his arms around one second, then suddenly switched into some serious foot action the next. At one point when Doyoung gotten way off dancing and instead starting dabbing like crazy, Taeyong felt this intense need to rush over and strangle him. But because it was the 21st century and disposing a body when you were living with a bunch of other guys weren’t that easy, so Taeyong opted for interrupting him with a loud cough instead.
“Practising your moves huh?” Taeyong chuckled when a startled Doyoung turned back to look at him, he was sporting a deer in the headlight look, and to be very honest, it was kinda cute. No, it was really, really cute. The latter cleared his throat, looking evidently embarrassed and said, voice high-pitched and slightly out of breath.
“The hell you doing here?”
Taeyong walked over to his side and flick his forehead lightly and Doyoung took a step back in surprise. The younger of the two mouthed a low “what the fuck” whilst rubbing his forehead.
“Stop being dramatic, I didn’t even hit you that hard. And that’s hyung to you.” Taeyong threw a reply over his back as he started to do some basic stretching before his session.
“Okay, hyung, what are you doing here?” Doyoung sighed out, walking back to the corner of the room where he left his stuff, fished out a bottle of water from the backpack and gulped it down greedily.
“Practising.” Taeyong replied.
“No shit, Sherlock.” Doyoung deadpanned, taking a last sip from his water bottle before continuing. “I mean why, thought you left 4 hours ago.”
“Aw you counted every hour I’m not by your side? That’s soft.” Said Taeyong, clutching at the fabric of his shirt while pretending to be touched.
“No, because you left at 8 and it’s now 12. And I can do the math, I’m not Yuta.” Doyoung mocked, then rolled his eyes and flipped Taeyong the bird when the latter made kissy faces at him, yet a small smile was tugging at the corner of his lips. “You still haven’t answered me yet.”
Taeyong bent down over to stretch his back muscle and groaned a bit when he got back up, he was never the flexible one. There was a murmured “old man” coming from Doyoung’s side, but Taeyong ignored him and replied to the previous question.
“Well, I knew you were struggling with the choreography, so I came back.”
Doyoung quirked his eyebrows, face contorting into a “not convinced” expression, so Taeyong threw his hands up. “Okay, I left my phone and my headphone, and my charger in the vocal room so I came to take them. And do not laugh.”
Doyoung did anyway, he muffled a laugh, lowering his head to hide the clear amusement on his face. Taeyong huffed exasperatedly, even smacked Doyoung’s forearm lightly when he came over. Still, just seconds later, they practised together in silence like they always did.
“Why do you always listen to sad music?” Taeyong suddenly blurted out. They were sitting down together now, a few inches away from each other, bright fluorescent light settle upon them, Doyoung despite being tired after their session still somehow managed to looked so soft and comfy in his practice clothes, an oversized worn out tee and a pair of sweatpants. It wasn’t his usual style per se, but he looked cute nonetheless. Doyoung seemed to be taken aback by his question, eyes widen in a mere second and eyebrows shot up before returning to their usual state.
“I don’t.” Doyoung replied while patting a towel to the slope of his neck and handing Taeyong his spare one, the latter whispered a small “thanks” before saying.
“Dude, name three of your favourites that is not a depressing song.” Taeyong chortled into the towel. “Think.” The vocalist seemed to be taken aback by that, as though he didn’t realise his own preference when playlist exclusively consisted of slow songs, breakup songs, and songs about hating people in general. Typical Doyoung.
“Okay, so I do like sad songs. Why do you ask?” He said, and Taeyong snickered a bit internally. It wouldn’t be Doyoung if he didn’t need a little bit of coercion into sharing details about himself. Not that he was a sceptic (to be fair, he was kinda a sceptic), just that Doyoung “doesn’t do feelings” or so he said himself. Taeyong had always thought it was ironic, considering the fact that Doyoung always cared about other people and about what they think of him way too much. And all the big words he said during a spur of the moment was only his way of reassuring himself that he was doing just fine. Taeyong didn’t say that though. Instead, he replied the latter with a curt “Just wanna know.”
“Well then, why you do you wanna know?” Doyoung’s thick eyebrows furrowed, he had his hair down, his bang flopped gently against his forehead, covering up just the upper part of his eyebrows. He was doing that thing with his face again, where his eyes narrowed into a judging glance and lips gaped slightly to reveal his (very cute) bunny teeth, Johnny dubbed it the “what the fuck” face, or the “I’m judging you” face.
Frankly, he wasn’t wrong. Dude was as bitter as burnt coffee, and bitter gourd, and extremely high-quality matcha. Taeyong liked matcha. No, it didn’t have anything to do with the fact that he may or may not liked (loved) Doyoung too, he just wanted to share that.
“Because I’m curious?” Taeyong provided unsurely, stopped for a second to watch as Doyoung rolled his eyes dramatically, then continued. “You know this isn’t going anywhere right? Might as well answer it.” Why do you always make things so difficult, was what he wanted to say. But he bit the words backdown in the end, knowing that it would only trigger Doyoung even more.
Doyoung seemed to guess it anyway, as his face scrunched up for a mere second, he answered the question anyway, albeit too sincerely all of the sudden for Taeyong’s liking.
“I can relate sometimes, it’s soothing to know you’re not the only person suffering.” Taeyong felt too big for his shirt, the room was getting smaller as well. Thick air flowed inside his lungs, clogging his throat, everything was suddenly so heavy.
He wanted to ask if something happened in the past that made him think that way, but maybe he didn’t even have to ask to know. The lights in Doyoung warm brown eyes were flickering, as though bits and pieces of history cast themselves in his eyes, ran through his mind once again and rendered him speechless. Taeyong didn’t dare to speak, instead, he reverted his gaze into his lap, hands nervously tugging at each other and waiting dreadfully for Doyoung to fill the silence. Doyoung wasn’t doing much better, once he opened the vault of emotions, he didn’t know where to start. Words dangled on his mouth, threatening to fall out, he licked his dry lips and started again. And Taeyong left out a shaky breath he didn’t know he was holding in.
“It’s like, I need them draws my emotions out, for them to flow away. Maybe if I feel them enough times, I would be numb I guess.” Doyoung was looking anywhere but Taeyong, and that was fine, because Taeyong didn’t dare to face him, too.
They didn’t do this often, bickering and constructive criticisms were much easier for them to deal with. At least Taeyong knew how to make a comeback to biting remarks, he wasn’t equally equipped to handle all of these emotions, no. Yet there was just something about Doyoung, about how his head was full of ideas and dreams and hope for the future despite being so broken that made Taeyong want to know his every bits and pieces.
Taeyong would take Doyoung as he came, he would take the sunny days and the dark nights, the weary eyes and the bright smile, he would take the chest filled with pride and the slump shoulders weighted down by rejections.
He would take them all, and it scared him to no end, but he would take them all.
“That’s stupid.” He said while shooting Doyoung a look, voice bearing no bites. “Why would you do that to yourself, what if you’re not numb by the end?”
He wanted to move closer somehow, maybe close enough to feel Doyoung’s emitting heat, close enough for their hands to touch lightly, so he did. Doyoung didn’t move away, miraculously. He wasn’t one to be keen on being affectionate per se, only initiating contacts with the people he feels comfortable with. Maybe Taeyong was one of them too, but he didn’t know that.
Doyoung chuckled as a reply, turning his head around to look at Taeyong and said.
“Yeah, I supposed. It’s a bit silly.” Their legs were touching then, so Doyoung kicked the latter’s calf lightly and raised his voice. “What would you do then?”
Be with you, Taeyong thought to himself, because even when he was suffering the slightest sight of a Kim Dongyoung would anchor him, even when he was oblivious, he was saving him.
“I don’t know, practice my dancing like crazy, go out and eat something nice, maybe?” He stopped. “But I know you did all of that, too.”
Their gazes locked together by then, and it suddenly hit Taeyong how beautiful Doyoung was. Taeyong loved him like this, no makeup, no glamours, hair down with no gel, skin slightly blemished. He could see the scar at the corner of his mouth clearly too, Taeyong wondered if he looked the same in Doyoung’s eyes. He wondered if he had ever looked beautiful to him, at all.
“Yeah, I did all of that too.” The younger of the two said, eyes oozing with something like sadness, and something pinched at Taeyong’s heart.
He would paint the whole world Doyoung’s favourite colour, he would flick the blue to the sky, would wipe the clouds away, he would do anything for Doyoung to never look like that ever again. He would do anything, yet there was so little he could do. And Taeyong had never felt more helpless.
“Who…?” Taeyong never specified further, but he didn’t need to, Doyoung got the gist anyway. “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.” He quickly added, voice getting smaller and smaller.
And Doyoung didn’t, he stayed quiet for a while, uncomfortable silence hovered above them, swirling in the thickening air, Taeyong could hear every breath taken, he could hear the droplets of sweat running down the side of his face. It was suffocating, so much that Taeyong was already pushing himself up from the ground to go practice again hurriedly, ready to forget what happened. That was, until Doyoung’s soft voice flowing into his ears.
“Okay, I’ll tell you. Okay.”
He sounded like he was choking, not like Taeyong would know, he wasn’t exactly looking, not even in the mirrors in front of them. He sat back down, though, kept his head down low and waiting for whatever comes next.
“It was Jaehyun.” Doyoung said calmly, as though it meant nothing to him, as though whatever Jaehyun did never affect him anyway. As though he didn’t cry for 3 days, wrote the lyrics for a dozen songs before scrunching them up and throwing them away, all the while shouting strings after strings of curses. As though he didn’t beat himself up blacks and blues, as though Taeyong wasn’t there to see him suffer all the way through. It wasn’t even that long ago.
“Well, fuck me.” Taeyong gasped out, honestly not knowing what else to say. He had always noticed the tension between the two and even talked to Taeil about it, just to brushed it all off because even he himself didn’t dare to think something like that could happen. It all made sense now, the dark circles under Jaehyun’s eyes, the low murmured and the excuse to go back to the dorm right after practice in lieu of sneaking out to the riverside, and the small stolen glances he made at Doyoung. It all made sense.
Doyoung snickered lightheartedly, and Taeyong wondered how Doyoung could be so indifferent about it now, but he didn’t say it out loud though. He was probably dying inside, too.
“It wasn’t anything serious.” Doyoung provided, lifted his head up to look at the blinding lights on the ceiling, he squinted a little as flashbacks about summer days and starry nights ran through his minds. The small kisses they had together when there were only the two of them in the practice room, the late night dates and how he would walk Jaehyun back home before his curfew, and kissed him good night under the street light. Simpler time it was. Simpler time.
“Bullshit. You cried like a bitch.” Taeyong scoffed, again, there were no bites. Had he not been there when Doyoung sobbed his heart out, eyes all swollen and cheek puffy, he may have believed him. But no, he was there, and it took everything in him to not yell at Doyoung, because he couldn’t understand how the younger boy let himself got hurt so willingly when he deserved nothing but all the beauties in this world.
“I did.” He was grinning now, Taeyong realised as he sneaked a glance at the mirrors, just to found Doyoung looking at him too. And his smile grew wider as soon as he caught him watching, he spoke silvery, as if he was telling someone else’s story and not his. Half of Taeyong wanted Doyoung to care, but the other was screaming “this is good for him”. He was good like this, unfazed and all healed up from the bruises left by what was once loving memories. “It wasn’t anything serious though, at least for him.” He continued.
Scratch that. Scratch that.
Taeyong swallowed the lump in his throat, his heart was screaming “tell him, tell him”. Tell him that he would never do the same, he would treasure Kim Dongyoung and would love to be treasured by him as well. But he couldn’t, not when he couldn’t promise Doyoung forever, not when Doyoung wouldn’t promise him forever, not when he knew for sure Jaehyun cherished Doyoung, too.
So instead, he muttered. “I’m sure he was hurting too.” To which Doyoung just chuckle, shaking his head slightly, because although both of them knew it was the truth, it was also something Doyoung couldn’t bring himself to admit.
“Yeah, I’m sure he was.”
Unsaid words filled Taeyong’s chest, thumping against his rib cages, scratching from the inside of his body for a way out. Taeyong bit down on his lips and willed himself to calm down. He wanted to ask more, but the boundaries were set already, and to be fair, Taeyong didn’t know if he wanted to be informed about what happened. He didn’t even have the right to be jealous, so it was better to left it as is. So he tapped at Doyoung’s bony fingers, lingered there just a second too long, secretly craving for the feel of those thin fingers threading through his hair or around his waist when Doyoung would pull him closer, and asked.
“Wanna go again? I can fix your moves and posture.” Trying to sport the best smile he could, Taeyong voiced softly. If Doyoung noticed his voice cracking, or the shaky facade he was wearing, he didn’t comment about it. In lieu of answering him, Doyoung tapped his fingers and returned the smile. He pushed himself up first, turning around to offer Taeyong his hand, that same sweet smile still present on his face. And at that one moment, Taeyong remembered why he fell for the man standing in front of him. He grabbed Doyoung’s waiting hand and got up as well, muttering a low “let’s get it” before rushing to the other side of the room to turn the music on. When he returned to Doyoung’s side, he was still grinning bashfully at him, eyes crinkling and somehow sparkling with what seemed like stardust. And Taeyong thought.
Maybe another day, he would tell Doyoung the reason why he listens to love songs. Just maybe.