The Little Sister
Gifs not mine
Charles Leclerc x Verstappen!Reader
Genre: max verstappen’s sister
Warnings: angst, idk
Word Count: 3.8K
Author’s Note: I didn’t think anyone was actually gonna read the first part, considering that it was terrible writing but here’s second part, with a little better writing.
After leaving your hotel room that night, Max went back to the family house. He, of course, told your guy's mother everything that happened. And Max was even more upset after learning Kelly knew before him. However, Max was hurt above all else.
“She said…” Max paused, not wanting to believe that you meant what you said, “I’m not her real brother.” Your guy’s mom, Sophie couldn’t help but laugh, “mom, it really hurt my feelings.” Max was in disbelief that his mom would laugh at the situation.
“I’m sorry my boy, but this is your own karma,” Sophie giggled.
“What do you mean by my own karma?”
“Do you not remember when you were first starting out in formula 3, your sister wanted to follow you to every race, and you told her she isn’t actually family, and only family is allowed,” Sophie looked at her son.
“Yeah but I was…”
“You were angry, because of how your father was acting, just how your sister is angry with how you’re acting.” Sophie spoke, cutting her son off. “She doesn’t mean it, she knows you’re her real brother in every way that matters, and Victoria is her sister, I’m her mom, and Jos is her father.”
“It really hurt my feelings that she said that,” Max said, still deeply hurt by your words.
“She knows, that’s why she didn’t come home. She’s not here right now, to give you space, because she knows she hurt your feelings.”
“She can come home, I will go.” Max said, wanting you to have a place to run to like he did.
“You’re gonna leave Tuesday night for Monza anyway, your sister will come home when she’s comfortable. Enough worrying about her, she’s a big girl.”
“Mom, you don’t think I was wrong for being upset right?” Max asked as Sophie began to leave him with his thoughts.
“She knows you’re just looking out for her,” Sophie said as she pulled her son into a hug, Sophie pulled away looking at her son, “but she’s a big girl now, she’s not that little girl who just lost her parents. Let her finish growing up Maxie.”
You had texted your mom that you left Zandvoort, and was heading to Germany, home to your birth parents. Your mom wished you a safe flight and she thanked you for letting her know.
Mom: Max wants to know where you are.
Mom: I didn’t tell him anything, just text me when you land and when you get to the hotel so I know you’re safe.
You: I will mom, I love you mom <3
Mom: I love you too sweetheart
You shut off your phone, heading into the airport. You wanted to forget about tonight, even if it was just for a few hours.
Charles didn’t get a chance to stay in Zandvoort, as soon as it was Monday morning, he was on a plane to Milan. Charles didn’t really mind, he was hoping that the celebration of the 75 years of Ferrari would be enough to occupy his mind, instead of you. For the most part it worked.
Only when the day was over, and he was laying in bed alone, did he start to think of you again. The way you would talk about your day. How you would play with the rings he wore, when you’re cuddled into his side. The way your smile for him was bigger than your normal smile for everyone else. How you made sure you added subtle hints of red into your outfit to cheer him on.
He was missing you more than he had ever missed anyone before. He couldn’t get you out of his mind, that you had started to appear in his dreams. When Wednesday finally rolled around, Charles couldn’t take it anymore. Any free moment he got, he spent calling and texting you.
Mon Cherie <3 42 calls
Charles: can we talk pls
Charles: y/n just answer your phone
Charles: I’m sorry I got angry with you, you didn’t deserve it
Charles: pls talk to me, answer the phone
Charles: I just finished my meeting, I want to hear your voice
Charles: y/n please
Charles: can you at least let me know you’re safe right now
Charles: you’re worrying me dear
Charles: I need to get over to Monza right now
Charles: Maybe we can talk this weekend
Charles: call me pls
Charles: at least tell me you’re okay, we don’t need to talk about us, I just want to know that you’re okay
Charles was clearly frustrated by the end of the day, at your lack of a response.
“Mate you alright?” Carlos asked, clearly worried about his teammate.
“It’s y/n,” Charles sighed.
“I thought you were done with her,” Carlos said, taken aback by the mention of your name
“I thought I was too, I don’t know man, she did something to me,” Charles sighed once more. He knew from the first night with you that he was never gonna be able to leave you. He was yours from that very first moment together.
“What happened?” Carlos asked cautiously
“We got into an argument about Max, and I said something that I don’t mean. And since then I have gotten radio silence from her.”
“Well you have to see her this weekend right?”
“I’m hoping,” Charles said, thinking that you’re gonna be in Monza with your brother.
When Max finally arrived at the paddock on Thursday for practice, he tried to act normal but the rumors already started. He could hear the little clicks of the camera catching him arriving, alone. He could hear the little whispers being made, he saw the confused faces.
“Where is she?”
“He always arrives with her,”
“Did she come in separately?”
“Are they fighting?”
“Did anyone catch her arriving alone?”
“Where is y/n?”
Max ignored everyone and headed straight to the Redbull hospitality room. However, even there, he wasn’t safe.
“Mate,” Christian called out to his favorite driver, “where’s y/n?” Christian’s face turned confused, not seeing you by Max’s side.
“I’m the one driving, why would anyone fucking care where my sister is?”
“Okay, relax,” Christian taken aback by the sudden snap in emotions from Max. Christian thought Max was becoming more level headed now, “she’s just always with you during race weekends. Sibling fight?”
Max took a deep breath knowing he couldn’t possibly pretend that everything was alright, when he has heard from you in days. “Something like that, honestly I can’t worry about it now.”
The next day, Max arrived at the paddock, not alone, but not with you. Victoria was by his side today, however that didn’t stop the rumors. Max actually did an excellent job avoiding the rumors and whispers and questions. Victoria also stuck by Max’s side like you would normally do during the weekend.
That was until the media pen, and most of the reporters didn’t really care enough to ask where you were. Majority being more focused to ask about the championship. Then just as Max was almost done. After the reporter asked the initial question, then they asked, “where is y/n by the way, I see you have Victoria by your side this weekend instead of your other sister.”
Max gritted his teeth, not having the correct answer to the question, “Y/n, took a couple days off, she’s resting right now.”
“Didn’t we just have summer break, three weeks not enough vacation for her, some women,” the reporter meant it as a joke, but of course Max didn’t take it that way. Neither did Victoria.
“Our sister’s personal life is none of your concern. That was a very rude statement you just made,” Victoria spoke up, as she pushed Max along, knowing that he would’ve taken it further.
As Max and Victoria walked back to the Redbull, “thank you,” Max whispered to Victoria.
“Of course,” Victoria responded. The two continued to walk back to the hospitality room, but before they made it. Charles stopped them.
“Max,” Charles said, almost out of breath, “where is y/n?”
“Why are you asking me?” Max looked at Charles confused.
“I thought she was with you,” Charles said, looking more confused.
“I thought she was with you,” Max said, now completely lost, “where the fuck is my sister Leclerc?”
“We got into a fight last Sunday, I haven’t heard anything from her since then.”
“Do you know where she is?” Max asked, turning to Victoria.
Victoria took a breath, “yes.”
“Where?” Both Max and Charles asked in unison, Victoria laughed at the two of them, shaking her head.
“She’s fine, and she’s safe, there’s nothing either of you can do about where she is right now. Both of you have other priorities at the moment.” Victoria said, shaking her head.
“Max,” Charles said, “I like your sister a lot. I want something more than just a fling with her.”
“We’re talking about my sister Charles, not just some girl you met at a party.”
“I wouldn’t do anything to intentionally hurt her, Max,” Charles argued.
“Yeah, then where is she?” Max asked, leaving Charles in the sun.
According to Victoria you were safe, and fine. That’s the only piece of knowledge that kept Charles sane the rest of the weekend. Everyone could tell Charles was out of it, and they all suspected it was because you weren’t there.
“You alright Charles?” Pierre asked his friend.
“I’m perfectly fine Pierre,” Charles said in semi-sarcastic tone.
“Y/n isn’t here this weekend,” Pierre sighed, knowing it was because of you that Charles wasn’t really focused.
“Yeah,” Charles sighed sin a monotone voice, “but she’s safe and that’s all that matters.” After the short exchange Charles walked back to the Ferrari motorhome, not really wanting to talk to anyone.
Pierre on the other hand couldn’t handle his best mate being out of it this bad. And Pierre wasn’t the type to just sit back and do nothing, especially when he was the one that ‘set you guys up.’
While you sat in your cushy hotel room watching the Monza qualifying take place, you got a call from none other than Pierre. The first call you sent straight to voice mail, not wanting to talk, especially about Charles. Which you were sure, is exactly Who Pierre wanted to talk about.
Pierre: I know you’re watching the qualfying right now, answer your phone
Then came the second call, which you sent to voicemail again.
Pierre: y/n, I know you didn’t miss qualfying pick up the damn phone.
You sent the third call to voicemail again.
Pierre: If you don’t answer my next call, I’m gonna be forced to tell Charles about the night in Barcelona.
He wouldn’t, you thought to yourself, as you remembered your drunken rant to Pierre about how Charles was leaving you more sore then when he got you.
Pierre: don’t try it, y/n
When the fourth call came in, you answered right away. You stayed silent waiting for Pierre to say something.
“When are you getting here?” Pierre asked, he sounded so sure that you were gonna be there.
“I’m not going to Monza, Pierre.”
“Your brother is racing this weekend,” Pierre started off.
“I’m fully aware of my brother's commitments this weekend, Pierre.”
“When are you getting here?”
You sighed, “Pierre, I’m really not going.”
“Come to Monza, you’ll feel worse if you don’t come,��� Pierre said.
“How do you know I’ll feel worse?” You scoffed.
“Y/n,” Pierre sighed.
“Max is so mad at me, Pierre,” you felt yourself getting choked up, reliving your argument with Max, “and Charles, he just had the worst timing.”
“Come to Monza, it’ll make you feel better if you work it out in person.”
“Okay,” you finally agreed.
You were set to arrive in Monza, on Sunday morning. You should have enough time to get to the paddock just before the start of the race. You knew you wouldn’t have enough time to work everything out with Max or Charles before the race, but you would be there when they crossed the finish line.
Your heart was pounding against your chest the entire flight. You couldn’t manage to sit still your mind racing with a million and one thoughts of what to say. You didn’t want to make things more worse than they already were. You didn’t even know if you really wanted to fix things with Charles.
Max might be right about this, that you shouldn’t date Charles or a fellow driver in general. Maybe it was best the two of you pretend nothing ever happened. It seemed a lot better to do that, than try to work through whatever happened between you guys. Maybe Charles was only meant to be a one night stand. Maybe this was suppose to never happen and you’re just going against nature. Maybe there is a grand plan that you’re just not following.
Wen the plane finally landed, you caught the first taxi to drive you down to the race track. You hated the fact that you had your luggage with you and you walked to the Redbull motorhome. You quickly found Max’s room, leaving all your stuff in there. You took a peak at yourself in the mirror, and suddenly the thought of Charles seeing you like this was more terrifying than apologizing to Max.
You knew Max was already on the track, getting ready to start the formation lap, so you pulled out one of your best outfits. Deciding that it was better to wear a mutual white color, instead of too much red or too much blue. You fixed your makeup, redid your hair and now your heart was racing again for a different reason.
The thought of Charles, seeing him in that god awful yellow, and being there for him, had you bouncing with excitement. Being back in his arms, feeling his kisses, celebrating his accomplishments. Everything about Charles excited you. Charles was so right for you, that you don’t want him to be just a fling, just a one night stand, just a little fun. Charles was so much more than that to you, and he deserved so much more than that.
When you finally made it to garage to watch the race you quickly found Kelly and Victoria.
“I knew you’d make it,” Kelly whispered as she held you tight.
“He’s not that angry with you,” Victoria said as she pulled you close.
“He should be, I shouldn’t have said that to him,” you argued.
“He’s just worried about you, he’ll feel a lot better when he sees you.” Victoria said with a smile. Victoria was always the peacemaker in the family, not wanting anyone to be angry with anyone else.
Charles spotted you the minute he walked out to the stage. He couldn’t miss you, in the crowd with the Redbull people, standing in between Kelly and Victoria. He wanted to call out to you, he wanted to race off that podium to you. But you weren’t even looking at him, too busy in your conversation with Kelly. He felt his heart break a little when they announced his name and you still didn’t look up.
Charles smiled for the pictures, he sprayed the champagne, he basked in the praise from the Tifosi, but it was all fake. None of it mattered, if you weren’t happy for him too.
After the podium, after the celebration, when the quiet finally set in, did you finally get to make things right.
“Congratulations, brother,” you said, as Max pulled you into a tight hug. You felt yourself beginning to cry, “I’m so sorry Max… I don’t… I don’t feel that way, you’re my brother, you’re…”
“I know,” Max smiled to himself, pulling away, “I’m just glad you’re safe, and you’re okay now. You’re always gonna be my baby sister, no matter what you or anyone else say.”
You nodded your head, wiping away the tears. “So dramatic the two of you,” Victoria scoffed, causing both you and Max to laugh. “I want it to be known that I have never told either one of you that you weren’t family,” VIctoria added.
You guys began to walk back to the hospitality room, to gather your things before heading to the hotel for dinner. When Max suddenly stopped.
“What’s wrong baby?” Kelly asked Max. Max didn’t answer, instead turning back around heading towards the Ferrari motorhome.
“Max,” you called out, confused by his actions, as you, Victoria and Kelly followed after him.
Max made his way through the motorhome, before he finally found Charles' room. He then turned to you and said, “you're an adult, you should date whoever you want regardless of my feelings.” Max then turned back to face the door, knocking, before leaving with Victoria and Kelly en-suite.
You vaguely heard Victoria ask, “does that mean I can date fellow drivers too now?”
Charles heard the knocking on the door, and for a good second he debated on pretending he wasn’t in. Ultimately deciding against it, he dragged his feet to open the door. Already thinking of a million and one excuses to turn the person on the other side away. That when he opened the door to see you there, while Max, Victoria, and Kelly quickly walked away, he was left speechless.
“Hi,” was all he could manage.
Charles opened the door, still in his race suit, that was tied around his waist. The black fireproofs hugging his body in all the right places. His hair out of place from being in the helmet for the past hour and a half, traces of sweat still dripping down the side of his head.
“Hi,” was all he said, but it was enough to have you weak in the knees.
“Hi,” was all you could say back.
Charles stepped out of the way to let you. You walked in looking around the room, like you haven’t seen it a million and one times before. You knew exactly what you wanted to tell Charles, you were just completely lost on how to word it.
“Um,” Charles broke the silence first. You were always so grateful that he always took the lead. He always made the first move. He was the one putting himself out there. You didn’t even think that maybe it was time for you to put yourself out there and make the first move. “Where have you been?”
“Germany,” you answered. Charles nodded his head at your answer, not asking for an elaboration, or a reason as to why you were in Germany. The room fell silent, you kept telling yourself to just blurt it out. Just say the first thing that comes to mind. Just open your mouth and the words will come out. That’s exactly what you did. You opened your mouth and the words poured out of you with no thought behind it.
“Charles, I didn’t mean it when I said we were done, I really like you, and I want this to be more than just a fling, or a little bit of fun, or friends with benefits, which in all honestly we never really explicitly said that this was a friends with benefits relationship, I think it was just more assumed , and that we both assumed that all we wanted, so I don’t think you can fully blame me for what happened, because you could’ve always made the move and asked for a more serious or exclusie relationship, not that it wasn’t exclusive, I mean I wasn’t seeing anyone when I was seeing you, and if you were seeing someone else when you were seeing me it’s comepletely fine, because, well I mean its not completely fine, I don’t like the thought of you with someone else while you were seeing me, but like I was saying earlier we never explicitly said we were exclusive but at the same time we never said we were friends with benefits, so if anything it would be really messed up on your part if you were seeing someone else because it was never made clear what type of relationship this was, but I want to make it clear that I want a serious, exclusie, real relationship, preferably with you, but if you don’t want this then I understand, I can’t say I woudn’t be hurt be I get it… I mean,”
Charles cut you off, placing his hands on your cheeks, his smile wider than the one on the podium, that little sparkle of hope in his eyes. He looked at you with so much love, it had your cheeks flaring up. “Are you done, mon amour?”
Mon amour, my love, that’s the first time he ever used that nickname for you.
You nodded your head, not wanting to risk losing the feeling of Charles hands on your cheeks. “I want a serious, exclusive, real relationship with you,” Charles said, as he pulled you into a kiss. You had to control yourself to stop smiling into the kiss.
You pulled away first, “you’re serious, like you’re not messing with me right now, like you want to be in an actual boyfriend-girlfriend relationship?”
Charles laughed, his smile so wide that you can’t even recall the last time seeing him this happy, “yes, I’m serious mon amor.”
“And you’re not just saying it to make me stay right?”
“Y/n, will you be my girlfriend, exclusively, my girlfriend?” Charles asked, wrapping his arms around your waist, pulling you close towards him.
You finally let your mind and heart settle, “yes.”
Back home in Monaco, things were mostly back to normal. Max and Kelly were enjoying breakfast in the kitchen, while Penelope and you were still sleeping the morning away.
“Feel better, baby?” Kelly asked Max, watching a content smile spread on his face.
“Yeah, everything is how it’s suppose to be,” Max said. Just then your bedroom door could be heard opening, “finally you’re up for breakfast,” Max said not looking who was walking through the door.
“Awh mate you made me breakfast,” Charles said, hands over heart.
“Good morning,” you said standing behind Charles, rubbing the sleep out of your eyes.
“He’s not allowed to sleep over y/n,” Max said crossing his arms.
“That’s fine, I’ll just sleep at his place,” you teased back, knowing Max wouldn’t like that either. Kelly laughed at your remark.
“Leave the children be Maxie,” Kelly said.
“Yeah, leave us be, Maxie,” Charles teased further, while you and Kelly bursted out into a fit of giggles.
“Come sit down for breakfast,” Kelly said, beckoning you and Charles over to the table. The four of you guys are sitting down and enjoying breakfast together before going about the rest of the day. At the table you silently mouthed a thank you to Max, to which he just nodded back. Your heart is feeling more at ease now.
Taglist: @werdergirl @dessmxsworld @enjoymyloves @squidwardsluverxx @ccrobbs
the talk box
pairing. jaemin x female! reader
genre. radio dj! au, friends to lovers au, fluff, smut, a very little amount of almost non existent angst
synopsis. jaemin is your insufferable (not really) co-host on the late night show ‘the talk box’ who happens to be handsome, single, makes you laugh at his silly little jokes, calls you his bestie and you definitely don’t have a stupid little crush on him.
contains. slow burn, profanity, mutual pining, lots of bickering, masturbation (f), usage of sex toys, fingering, mentions and descriptions of porn videos, one night stand, jaehyun makes a cameo, jealousy, drinking, making out, drunk confession, renjun is a cockblocker
taglist. @luv4cheol @subhyuck @jisungprod @grassbutneo @markleeisdabestdrug @reiki-chan @mark-lovebot @softieehyuck @kwoncheesecake @mahaechedt @najaeminism @f0rlov3rs @nctdom @vantxx95 @aedreamzy @nominsgirl @nctflix @jaemboi64 @n0hyuck @meowtella @rbf-aceu @jeonnyread @mrkis @fishjellyyt @greentealatte97 @jisungsgirl @yunhon0 @youryuno @mahaechedt @kwoncheesecake @reiki-chan @markleeisdabestdrug
“Not only was he forty minutes late to our stupid date, but he was an asshole as well. He tried to speak over the waitress which was the biggest turn off ever, tried to tell me that I should get over my lactose intolerance when I didn’t want to order alfredo pasta and finally, you won’t believe what he said.” You visibly shudder at the memory and you wish the listeners could see your face right now.
Jaemin adjusts his mic across the table, “What can get worse than this?”
“Jaemin, he tried to imply that my ‘radio dj’ career isn’t going to take me anywhere in the future and I should probably quit and find a ‘real job’.” Only if the listeners could see you air quoting all of his words.
“Oh wow,” Jaemin tries so hard not to break and just lightly chuckles into the mic. “Was he a stocks guy?”
“That’s on you for going on a date with a stocks guy.”
“I wish it ended here,” You continue grimly. “He tried to take me back to his place for obvious reasons even though I was clearly not interested at all. Such a weirdo, like, take a hint dude! Thankfully I took my car instead of the bus that day.”
Jaemin burst into a fit of laughter. “Listeners, I wish you guys could see Y/N’s face right now. She literally looks like she’s fuming!”
“Oh I am,” You grimace. “Worst first date of my life. I’ve come to the conclusion that I prefer to live alone and I'd probably die alone as well.”
“Wow,” Jaemin is staring at you in disbelief. “You won’t die alone, my friend. Don’t worry.”
You nod. “Na Jaemin, you’re dying alone as well. Worry about yourself.”
Jaemin manages to press the soundbite button before guffawing into his own mic, staring at you with wide eyes as if you had just dropped a bomb. "Yeah okay, that’s enough.”
“Yep, both of us are single losers,” You emphasise, shaking your head for Jaemin only to see since the listeners can't actually see you. “And that's it for our 10 PM segment, Worst Date Ever. Hope all you commuters are doing okay in what appears to be horrendous traffic. Let's kick it over to DJ Karina for a quick weather update, but stick with us here at The Talk Box since we'll be back with our Facebook and Twitter comments segment later!”
Flicking a switch at the top of the keyboard and all the wires, Jaemin watches the On Air light hanging in the booth turn off before he peels off his headset and leans back in his chair, looking over at you curiously. "Fuck, you didn’t tell me the date was that bad. You need to stop agreeing to meet up with these men.”
“I might’ve added some spice in it to keep listeners on the edge.” You grin, stretching your arms out and resting back onto the chair. "But seriously though, I should stop going on these dates. All the men on Tinder are actual scum bags and I’m just back with a story to tell on this show rather than a boyfriend every fucking time.”
Jaemin laughs. “At least we won't have a shortage of stories if you keep going on these dates.” He quickly and very dramatically zips his mouth shut when you give him a look of disappointment. “We need to bring listener story submissions back so that we can stop lying out of our asses every other week.”
"Right, my favourite segment where I can be a judgmental prick which I don’t wanna be." You snort. "Some people are just so crazy with these submissions, I can’t help myself.”
"Yeah yeah," Jaemin rolls his eyes and wheezes. “Remember the one where someone dated their cousin without knowing it was their cousin?”
You facepalmed at the memory, “God, I remember.”
Jaemin sits up straight, almost elbowing his iced coffee in the process as well. “We should really consider bringing listeners' stories back.”
“And maybe some callers as well so that it can be more interactive, you know.” You suggest.
“So that those horny incels calling us at midnight think they have a chance with you? Remember what happened the last time?”
“We should ask Taeyong tomorrow and maybe get approval for these changes. Right, Lee fucking Taeyong — the new station manager who is the biggest dick ever and has been in charge of ruining everyone’s day. Even though he’s known to be fussy about everyone’s work and making all the employees at Neo FM 119.1 work overtime, the ratings have surprisingly gone up. You hate to admit it but Taeyong is good at his job but it really does get annoying for not only you and Jaemin but everyone to not have any creative freedom.
Jaemin and you have been the night time slot DJ duo on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays at Neo FM 119.1 for the past two and a half years, almost three years now. Your co-host Jaemin was annoyingly irritating to you at first, almost like a competitor. He has got a soothing voice, one anyone would want to listen to at night before bed. Jaemin is an amazing writer and surprisingly a really good photographer as well. It’s crazy to think that you both were practically best friends now two years later, but it still didn’t change the fact that you absolutely loathe all the slew of women who only tune into your segment at night to shower the said man with compliments and inflate his ego. You won’t lie, he is very fucking attractive but you wish these women would just keep their thirst comments limited to his DMs.
Jaemin spins in his revolving chair and turns in your direction, “Are you taking the bus tonight?”
You groan. “Yeah, why?”
“I will drop you off, it’s almost and definitely not safe.” Jaemin shrugs, not even bothering to look up at you, as he continues scribbling something on his notepad he's got beside the audio mixer. A tap on the glass by Huang Renjun signals that commercials are almost up and you’ll be live again in ten seconds.
“No thank yous, just buy me breakfast and coffee tomorrow in the morning.”
You roll your eyes, “Man, fuck you.”
Jaemin sighs, pushing his headphones back up onto his head and glancing up to see the calendar pinned to the wall in the little studio. “We're going to have to start thinking about segments for the anniversary soon.”
“Don’t fucking remind me,” You groan again, pulling your own mic back towards yourself and straightening in your seat. “That's literally the last thing I want to think about right now.”
“Me too,” Jaemin grumbles just as the On Air light turns red. “Welcome back to The Talk Box everyone, thanks for sticking with us till now. So over the weekend, I came across a video on Tiktok and I think we need to talk about it because really, what is going on in our world right now with these ridiculous people trying to become the new internet sensation…”
You love morning meetings at the office, especially on the days you don't have a scheduled show. The coffee is freshly brewed, the smell of cleaning products still lingers in the air and finally you get to go home as early as 2 PM. You appreciate the work with all your heart — having the chance to spend the rest of the week doing quite literally nothing and still getting paid enough to fulfil your necessities and luxuries was something people can only dream of. You love the small family at Neo FM and can’t ever complain about this job.
You arrive early like you always do, just to sit down and bask in the serene environment at the corner of the conference room beside the window which looks down onto the city before everyone starts rushing through the door — but today isn’t your day, not when the staff are already crowding the big conference room. The Neo FM family might be small compared to other companies in town but it's still a bunch of people when the writers, audio engineers, managers, sales teams, not to mention the on air talents are combined together. You are never going to understand why Taeyong is so obsessed with having everyone present at the meeting; apparently it’s something stupid about bonding at workplace with your co-workers. Nevertheless, it still annoys you a little to see almost thirty folks walk through the door with coffee cups and sleepy, puffy faces early in the morning.
“Good morning,” Lee Jeno beams at you as he takes his usual seat beside you. Jeno is the audio engineer aka the talented man behind all the shows airing everyday which are keeping the lights on at Neo FM. He's exceptionally funny and quite detail-oriented, and frankly, a huge factor behind your success.
“Hey, good morning!” You beam as well in a return greeting, eyeing the large cup of iced americano in his hand. “Since when do you drink that?”
“There are seven broadcasts that I need to take care of today. Seven. I need something strong to survive.” Jeno brings both of his hands up to show seven of his fingers. “Soobin called in sick today and I’m not stingy enough to make Yeji do all the work.”
“Good luck. You’ve got quite a day ahead.” You reassure Jeno with a smile. Knowing the type of ambitious person Jeno is, you know he will be able to get through the day. “Come around by my desk if you need a helping hand.”
“Thank you Y/N,” Jeno shakes the cup of coffee then sips on it. “Why isn’t your work husband slash BFF not here yet? He’s usually early to these stupid mee— are you okay?”
You almost choke on your coffee and start coughing while all of your co-workers have now halted chatting and looking directly in the direction of you and Jeno. As your cheeks grow hotter, you turn to Jeno, “Jaemin?”
“Yeah, Jaemin. Where is he?”
Speaking of the devil, he is here. The glass door slides open and Jaemin walks in with a file in his hand behind Taeyong. He gives Jeno a tight lipped smile when he enters and a playful eye roll along with a wave to you as he walks in and sits on the chair at the very end of the table, looking confident and all as usual which you know is utter bullshit considering the fact that Jaemin loves to binge watch TV shows till three in the morning and loves sleeping till noon on his days off. He puts on an excellent front though and that was something you appreciate him so much for.
Your eyes travel over to your co-host at the end of the table just to watch him, hair messily atop his head, his skin glows due to the soft sunlight, a pen caught between his teeth as he focuses on whatever file is in his hand. He is…very cute.
It is no secret that Jaemin is indeed a very handsome, single man. He has gotten a fair share of people confessing their love for him in his DMs and even some of the co-workers who have harboured feelings for him are in the same room as him right now. He once only confided to you after a late night schedule about his ex and a failed relationship from four years ago. You’ve never had the privilege to hear more, but all you know is that he's a single man who is not ready to mingle — at least that’s what you assume considering the fact that he hasn’t explored the dating world in the past few years.
“He's losing his hair over trying to spice the show up,” Jeno’s voice brings you out of your trance when he comments on the way Jaemin is so intently eyeing the file in his hand.
“Jaemin just works really hard.”
Jeno turns to you, “Don’t you have any ideas?”
“I suggested the listener's stories segment but Jaemin’s thinking is way too big. He wants to host giveaways which I doubt Taeyong will allow.” You chuckle lightly as your eyes linger back to Jaemin. He briefly looks up from the file and gives you a confused look and you stick your tongue out in return, making Jaemin chuckle.
Jaemin does give you those butterflies in the stomach all the famous poets talk about in their poems, especially when he gives you that stupid smile of his. Karina probably has caught the heart eyes you send in his direction during every single meeting and event before. Okay, maybe you do have a crush on him — but no one needs to know that.
You also say that because you are an absolute mess when it comes to romantic relationships, but that's not something you’re too interested in delving into right now. So, instead you sit back up straight and tune into whatever Taeyong is saying about promotions for the next month and yearly goals.
"None of you are escaping this time.” Taeyong says, as he notes something done on the file in his hand. "It's still almost two months away at this point so mark your calendars now, and no," he says sternly, snapping his head up and pointing at everyone. “No one can escape this. March 17th evening, Neo FM’s 4th anniversary. All of you will be here, not with your significant other or your pets, or your parents or even alone.”
“Y/N don’t escape this year!” Lee Donghyuck, the marketing specialist’s voice echoes throughout the conference room and a few chuckles erupt.
"I didn't even say anything," You argue, though you already feel a little bit sick to your stomach at the thought. You had managed to get out of it last year, by lying to Taeyong about feigning illness just to have a night in. Jaemin himself managed to get out of the boring annual party early and the two of you met up at the local restaurant to enjoy some good food, even going as far as faking a marriage anniversary to get free desserts.
Donghyuck till this day believes you were lying and you are probably going to continue denying this allegation “I’ll be here, don’t worry.” Jaemin glances over at you, which you take a note of and he immediately looks away when you meet eyes with him.
"I know what you all are thinking, Y/N and Jaemin especially," Taeyong glares, and moving on to his next topic. "You will all be attending this year, got it?"
Sinking down into your chair, you glare at Donghyuck. "Yeah, I will remember."
The meeting drones on for just a bit longer before Taeyong claps his hands together signalling that the meeting has come to an end. “You're all free to go except Jaemin and Y/N. We've got a couple new things to talk about."
You do as you’re told, watching as Jeno and the remaining staff walk out through the door, leaving just you behind with Jaemin and Taeyong . You’re trying not to get agitated about being forced to stay later as you think about going home early. You figure it's as good a time as any to talk to Taeyong about adding whatever Jaemin has been cooking up in his mind for a few days now.
"Okay so," Taeyong says, shoulders visibly relaxing the minute the doors close and it's just the three of you. "Do you have any ideas for the Valentine’s Day show? We have a special episode for the show airing — not only you but everyone’s having one.”
"Um,” Jaemin sits up straight and glances at you before turning his head in the direction of Taeyong . “I was thinking, maybe we could do something where we open a submission period for people to send stories about their first love since our show is mostly about stuff like these. Y/N and I can then read those out. How does it sound?”
Oh. So that’s what Jaemin has been thinking about.
Personally, you don’t hate the idea of reading these stories, it will be a lie if you are saying both you and Jaemin aren’t nosy when it comes to people’s love lives. Having coworkers who happen to be a couple around the office also makes it fun for you two. Jaemin and you have a field day when you both try to figure out whether the couple Choi Yeonjun and Hwang Yeji had a stupid argument or not before clocking into work.
Besides, you love making yourself miserable by reading love stories and realising how single you are. The thought of reading stories where people poured their love and heart out to their significant other sounds, while you sat at home binge watching TV shows sounded way too appealing to you for your liking.
"Well, you two have already arranged everything I see," Taeyong flicks his hand between you both. "Just make sure Mr. Huang gets everything you guys need for promotions done on time.”
“Yes, we will get it done. We have Miss. Y/N!” Jaemin sings songs and shoots a wink at you as he is the first one to get up and hold the door open for you with a grin on his face. You give him a look before he looks into the direction of Taeyong, “Renjun has already put his magic hands into designing the posters, don’t worry!”
Jaemin quickly jogs down the hallway in an attempt to catch up with you as you pack your bags in hopes of driving back home. “Y/N, my breakfast and coffee.” He flutters his lashes as he stands beside your desk with hand on his hip.
You groan. Obviously Jaemin will forget everything but these.
“Lunch or breakfast?” You unlock your phone and show him the bold 12:03 PM on your lockscreen. Jaemin knows how to charm his way into everything and you hate him for it. It has become a tradition over the past year and a half for Jaemin to force you into grabbing breakfasts and lunches with him at the café nearby at least once a week. But there was the catch, he has always been making you pay for him and he pays for you. You never understood what Jaemin’s thought process was behind this, but you never felt the need to question him. “Brunch it is then?”
“The combo of breakfast and lunch is called brunch, yes.” He slyly grins and pulls out a chair across your table to get comfortable in while you hastily shove all the necessary files inside your bag.
“You’re so shameless…” You mumble under your breath so that Jaemin would not be able to catch it but you did want him to hear.
Jaemin spins along with the revolving chair and continues, “What? I have my walking ATM right in front of me. What’s there to be shameless about?”
“Order the most expensive item off the menu again and I’ll blow us all up.” You warn him explicitly before you throw your bag over your shoulder and Jaemin follows behind you, both of you giggling and walking towards the lift to the parking space.
“Y/N do you know, you should never threaten a starving child?”
“You are a grown ass man with arthritis and dementia coming after you soon.”
“Goddamn…the call is coming from inside the house.”
“I actually do suffer from back pains.” You try not to budge, turning your head to stare straight at him with a deadpan expression on your face.
Jaemin on the other hand takes this as an opportunity to burst into laughter and it doesn’t take long for you to start laughing along with him. He dramatically rubs his eyes whilst trying to make out the words in between his laughter, “You’re so funny sometimes, I actually have tears in my eyes right now.”
The Café DREAM is a small cosy café hidden in the heart of the city between the two main avenues that leads to the Neo FM headquarters. You are not sure why this café was ever considered as “hidden”, given that an entire wall of the café is made of floor-to-ceiling glass, that anyone could take a peek of the inside from the streets outside. It’s cosy, the light is great, and honestly, the coffee could make you go back to the place if it were a dungeon.
The glass door is open, letting the cool spring air in, and surprisingly one’s manning the counter yet. As you and Jaemin enter, a young, tall man with dusty brown hair in his black apron appears from the back, carrying a tray of freshly baked warm chocolate chip cookies that inundates the main room with the sweet smell of warm butter and sugar.
“Hi, Jisung.” You give the tall boy a small wave in his direction and Jaemin gives him a smile. Jisung whips his head in surprise, but as soon as he recognises both you and Jaemin, he waves back timidly. Being a regular at the café, you have made quite a number for acquaintances here. Jisung, the fine arts major at the university nearby works part time on the weekdays along with his friend Chenle, who’s nowhere to be seen right now.
“Chenle doesn’t have a shift today?” Jaemin scans around the somewhat empty café and turns to Jisung. Jaemin is quite fond of both Chenle and Jisung — he might’ve not known them outside the café, because honestly, at Jaemin’s age right now, he wouldn’t be friends with university freshmen and sophomores. However, as someone who’s addicted to caffeine, sweet treats and loves to gossip, Chenle and Jisung ticked all the boxes for him.
“I know it might sound crazy, but Chenle has a study date today.” Jisung leans in, so that only the two of you can hear him. You glance at Jaemin, and notice the lines of a proud smile beginning to form at the corners of his eyes. So you step on his newly bought sneakers with your wedges just to annoy him a little.
Jaemin lets out an over dramatic groan and gives you a look of annoyance which quickly shifts to a smile when you give him a mischievous grin in return. “I thought you were hungry.” You push him ahead towards the counter to look up at the beverage and savoury meals menu on top.
“You’re making it sound like I haven’t eaten in days.” Jaemin mumbles under his breath to take a look at the menu. Even though he has been a regular customer here, he still needs to take his sweet time, staring at the menu every single time. Jaemin ends up ordering the same item off the menu and you probably have his order memorised by heart at this point.
“One iced americano with two shots of espresso and the chicken grilled sandwich. One avocado egg sandwich and peach iced tea for her.” He finishes both his and yours.
You nudge Jaemin with your shoulders, wiggling your eyebrows at him. “Oh, you’re obsessed with me. Why do you remember the newly curated with my own brain order?”
Jaemin laughs and pokes the side of your head, “Because you’ve got the most basic order ever on this Earth. Like those LA girls who drink celery juice and have a $45 salad for lunch.”
Jisung giggles from the other side of the counter, watching you two bicker with amusement in his eyes. “Leave her alone Jaemin. That sandwich is actually delicious, healthy and very nutritious as well! We use multigrain bread so it keeps you full for longer. You should try it out one day.”
Jaemin chuckles and you yet again nudge him straight in the side, near his ribs. He gives you a look of mischief before he shoves you to the side. “Nothing can make me eat avocados. That devil tastes like grass.” He proceeds to fish his wallet out after making the snarky comment obviously pointed towards you.
“Hey, hey.” You shove him this time, “I was supposed to pay.”
Jaemin groans. “Jisung, isn’t she like— insane? Deranged? Crazy? Who the hell complains about free food?” He turns to Jisung, “would you complain about free food?”
Jisung shakes his head meekly with the most awkward smile on his face.
Jisung might’ve been one of the nicest kids around the university area. He gives you free coffees on Mondays and the discounts from him on drinks and desserts just keep coming every other week. You wonder whether his manager ever caught onto it or not. But you are starting to think that even he’s getting tired of Jaemin’s shit. So, you start with your card in your hand, “Jisung, I’m sorry about him. How much will it be?”
Jisung laughs and gets defensive with his words, “No, it's fine! I’ve had a shitty morning today so thanks to Jaemin and you. That will be $19.75.”
As if Jisung didn’t just clarify and say that he was indeed enjoying the two of you bickering like fourteen year olds and being almost irritable at this hour of the day around him — you two probably succeeded at making him two seconds away from kicking the both of you out of the café now. Jisung stares blankly at the two of the credit cards held out in front of him. You look up at Jaemin, “I literally said I‘m going to pay!”
Jaemin gives Jisung a cold look, “You choose.”
“Erm,” Jisung starts scratching the back of his neck. You’re glad the café is empty, or else you wouldn’t have been able to show your face around the town when Jaemin is with you. “I’ll just take Jaemin’s card because…yeah.” He awkwardly takes the card from Jaemin’s hand as your face twists into a look of defeat. “Your order will be out within 5 minutes!”
“Fuck men.” You groan, shoving the card back into your wallet, walking to your regular seat beside the window with Jaemin following behind you.
“You mean, fuck Na Jaemin.”
“That’s what those girls in your DMs want.”
“Too bad I want someone else.”
“What?” Oh. So he likes someone. Karina at the station? Or is it his new neighbour Kim Minjeong? There goes the tiny bit of chance that you probably wouldn’t have taken advantage of in the first place.
“Who is it?” Oh shit, that sounds overbearing. Jaemin wouldn’t mind though — he is your best friend.
Jaemin shakes his head quickly as he sits down on the chair across from you. "I was just fucking with you. There’s no one.”
You give him a small smile of relief, "That’s what I thought."
You know you are fucked.
You are stuck in Jaemin’s apartment this evening, thanks to the hideous weather outside. You would’ve had a better time at the Neo FM office, gossiping with Lee Jeno and Hwang Yeji about the time rumour went around that Kim Doyoung once got cheated on. But here you are, sitting on the couch of Jaemin’s living room because he decided that it would be a bad idea to leave you hungry and alone at the office during a thunderstorm before The Talk Box airs later in the night.
According to Jaemin plans, he wants you to hangout with him back in his apartment to kill time before the two of you would drive back to the Neo FM office to host tonight’s show. Which sounded perfect to you at that moment, so you said yes.
Now sitting in his living room, you realise just like every day for the past week that the ongoing joke at Neo FM office about the two of you dating started sounding way too good in your head for your liking. But you decide to stay in denial because honestly, that’s not possible for so many fucking reasons.
You have witnessed Jaemin drunk out of his mind, embarrassing himself in front of everyone.
He definitely has his eyes on someone.
Jaemin would never give you a chance anyway.
You are way out of Jaemin’s league. (read: his ex is hot)
He takes your Instagram photos and he laughed at your poses once.
He probably likes Soundcloud rappers unironically.
Your best friend, who has watched you cry over your ex with a scowl on his face.
He has watched you puke your guts out.
But, Jaemin is someone who is wickedly funny and willingly keeps up with your bizarre antics aka the partner in crime you never had in your life. You knew you are fucked when you started to oddly sacrifice sleep and rest just to hang out with him, just to hear him call you an airhead like he always does with that smile on face.
Lee Donghyuck’s infamous words suggested to a listener at the radio last year flashes back into your mind. Ask your crush out and get rejected so that you can move on. Now, that’s something you are never willing to do.
“You dumbass!” A cushion landing straight on your head suddenly brings you out of your train of thoughts. Jaemin stands by the couch with his hand on his hip like a middle aged aunty and a pack of store bought pasta rests on his other hand, “I don’t know what the hell you are daydreaming about with your mouth wide open like that and I don’t think I even wanna know. Just tell me something, do you wanna have pasta or not?”
“Depends on what kinda pasta.” You bite back and throw the same cushion at him which he dodges smoothly.
“I don’t know, I have alfredo and arrabiata sauce in the cupboard. Which one do you one?” He walks back into the kitchen and starts pouring the raw pastas into the blowing water on the stove. You watch him endearingly — just clad in a plain white shirt and black sweats as he cooks for you while the thunder rumbles and the heavy rain pitter patters against the windows outside.
God, you need to stop creating scenarios in your head.
“You know I’m lactose intolerant, right?”
“I know. I’m asking in case you’d like to stay longer in the bathroom!” Jaemin winks at you from the other side of the kitchen counter. “Arrabiata it is then.”
You make your way into the kitchen and weakly stir the salted water pot of pasta boiling in it in an attempt to help Jaemin out with preparing dinner. “Why do you have alfredo sauce in the first place?”
He pinches your cheek from the side, “Got it from a sale at the supermarket. Now move.”
You sigh and roll your eyes toward the heavens with a small huff. “Okay, airhead!”
“You’re lucky that you’re pretty…” Jaemin’s smile shifts ever so slightly. He winks again and shoves you to the side, urging you to rather sit on the marble top counter and watch him cook. Which honestly, you don’t mind doing. You get to create scenarios in your head while watching him and you love his apartment. If all the Pinterest inspiration boards had a live action — that would be Jaemin’s two bedroom apartment in a high rise building at the heart of the city.
“I’m moving out in two weeks,” You say mindlessly, snacking on the salted al dente pasta that Jaemin just put on the counter beside you while he prepares the sauce. What you don’t notice is Jaemin freezing in his spot. He drops the stirring spoon and face twists into a grim look as he looks at you,
“What? Like out of the city? Why wouldn’t you tell m—
It takes a few seconds for you to process the situation and you realise you should’ve worded your sentence better. Anyone would look at Jaemin’s expression and think you just dropped the bomb that you are packing your bags and moving to the other side of the world for the rest of your life. “Oh. I mean I’m moving to a different apartment. Sorry.”
Jaemin visibly sighs in relief, almost dramatically against the counter, “Thank fucking God, I thought you were moving to Canada or some shit.”
“No, why would I do t—what happened?” Jaemin cuts you off by suddenly engulfing you into a rather tight, warm hug. You are used to his hugs as at the end of the day you are friends with someone who’s very much into cuddling with people. However this time, it is different. It feels different. It feels like home.
“Don’t scare me like that you stupid bitch, my blood pressure went up.”
“Good evening everyone and Happy Valentine’s Day! Thank you for tuning in to The Talk Box tonight! I’m your host Jaemin, and with me is—
“Jaemin’s talented, better-looking host Y/N!” You grin at him as the words leave your mouth, to which Jaemin dramatically rolls his eyes to the back of his head.
Oh you wish only if Neo FM allowed viewable radio shows, you both would be millionaires from being invited to comedy shows airing on the TV every other week.
Jaemin sighs into his mic, “Whatever helps you sleep at night, Y/N.” He grins back at you and you show your middle finger to him. “We welcome you to tonight's episode of The Talk Box! Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9PM to 11PM. We welcome you to tune in to our The Talk Box to listen to your favourite songs and stories as you unwind after a long day’s work!”
Coming closer and adjusting the mic to your height, you speak this time, “Before we start today’s show, we would like to introduce you guys to our special Valentine’s Day segment! Loveline, a special segment from 10:15 PM to 11PM. A segment where you can leave anonymous messages to your loved ones, talk about your love crises in exchange for some advice from us. Be it a failed date or relationship problems, we are here to help you guys out!”
“We already have so many messages piling up for the Loveline segment ever since we announced it on our Twitter last week! I honestly can’t wait to read these.” Jaemin exclaims.
Time goes by fast when you genuinely enjoy doing whatever you are doing. You don’t realise how fast the time went by filling the small studio with laughter with Jaemin about both of yours and listeners' high school endeavours, first time tasting a sip of alcohol and the time everyone apparently decided to cheat on a chemistry exam at Jaemin’s high school. It doesn’t take long for Huang Renjun to point at the clock outside the glass window, signalling that it’s time for the segment Loveline.
“Alright everyone, we will be back with our new special segment just for the Fridays, Loveline after a teeny tiny break! Stay tuned with us. This is 18 by One Direction!”
The bass of the song starts echoing throughout the small studio as you finally push your headphones away and rest back onto the chair. “How many did you select?” You ask Jaemin, who’s still working hard to curate all the stories that have come piling up from all parts of the country.
“Twelve so far. Isn’t that enough?” Jaemin’s words go over your head as you stare at him in awe. He is wearing a simple black hoodie with the sleeves rolled up and a there is black bucket hat on his head, yet he looks so fucking breathtaking. He waves his hand in front of you when he looks up from the laptop and realises you are lost in your thoughts yet again. “Are twelve stories enough?” He repeats.
“Huh?” You sit back up straight against the chair, pulling your own mic back towards yourself. “Yeah, yeah. That’s enough.”
The song nears the end just as the On Air light turns back red. Jaemin gives you a small smile and pulls his headphones down, “That was 18 by One Direction! Welcome back to The Talk Box everyone, thank you so much for sticking with us till now. We’re back with our latest segment Loveline, hope you guys enjoy it!”
Jaemin slides the laptop towards you so that you can read the first story of the special segment for all the listeners eagerly listening to the show. The comment sections go crazy in the corner, everyone equally as excited to what the new segment of The Talk Box has to offer. Renjun plays a rather dramatic piano and saxophone instrumental as the background music to set in the mood.
“‘First of all, I would like to thank DJ Jaemin and Y/N for making me want to look forward to all the rides back home after work. You guys have amazing voices and I’ve hooked my wife into being a fan of you both as well — as a matter of fact, we both listen to The Talk Box together every Friday!’ I was so glad when I saw that a segment like this was introduced so I took the opportunity to confess something. I hope she doesn’t realise it’s me though!’”
Jaemin brings the mic closer, “Thank you so much to you for making us a part of your daily routine, I suppose. We wouldn’t be here without your support and yes I also do hope that your wife doesn’t realise it’s you!”
You laugh into the mic, “God, I’m excited.”
“‘My wife tries to stay awake until I come home every night. I tend to work late at night, thanks to my work ethics. My girl is more of an "early to bed, early to rise" kinda girl, so she always tries to stay awake just to kiss me goodnight. I know it’s something so mundane but it just warms my heart every time. We dated for five years and we’ve been married for three now. Everyday still feels like we’re in our honeymoon phase and I don’t ever want to get out of it.’
“Woah, that just made me feel so single.” You grimace glancing at Jaemin for a second only to meet eyes with him. Looking away immediately and landing your eyes on the laptop screen, you continue, “I wish you guys a happy marriage! I’m sure your wife is very lucky to have someone like you. I would personally be on cloud nine if I had someone like that in my life.” You end with a chuckle and slide the laptop over to Jaemin so he could read the next one.
“As Y/N said, I hope you guys are always blessed and happy! It is honestly great to hear that you both listen to us talking nonsense for hours, thank you so much.”
“Jaemin, shall we move onto the next one?”
“‘Hello to Y/N and Jaemin! Hope you guys are doing incredible. Love the idea behind this new segment and I’m grateful that I have something to contribute to this segment today, even if it’s kinda short!
This one time during the deepest depression of my life when I was in college, my boyfriend of just a year gave me a bath. He washed my hair, dried me off, got me dressed in comfy pyjamas, and put me to bed with my heating pad. Then he rubbed my back and watched my favourite show with me. He's an angel. A literal angel. He's my fiancé now and we’re set to get married in December, I hope.’”
You sigh into the mic, “Jaemin, this segment was such a bad idea. I’ve never felt so single in my entire life.” It indeed was a bad idea. You are sure you’ll be having trouble sleeping later at night today with all these stories and the thoughts of Jaemin in your head.
Why did you have to be in love with the loser who’s currently biting on his nail in front of you?
“Don’t worry bestie, you’re not the only sufferer here.” Jaemin only mutters, not even bothering to look up from the screen as he continues typing something on the laptop. Just as you are about to bring the mic closer, Jaemin suddenly gets up from the chair, mumbling ‘I’ll be back from the bathroom’.
Not looking too into it, you continue, “Let’s move on to the next one, shall we? I’m having the time of my reading these and I hope you guys are having fun as well! Oh, our next one is short and sweet.”
‘This will probably make me sound very pathetic right now, but I realised I love my best friend just a few weeks ago and it has been eating me up ever since. At first I thought it was just a silly little crush that I would get over soon but the realisation hit me when I found myself waking up and looking forward to seeing her. Just seeing her once a day is enough to make me feel like the happiest man ever, sounds pathetic right? I haven’t told a single soul about it and I don’t plan on ever doing it as well. I don't want to ruin the perfect friendship we've built over the past few years. I'm perfectly fine with being just a friend to her if it means I can remain by her side forever, because loving her from a distance will hurt less than ruining this friendship. Thanks for hearing me out today, it felt great to get it off of my chest.”
Well, this hit home. Goddamn.
You huff and let out a breathy chuckle into the mic. Yeah, this one definitely hit home. “You’re not pathetic, let me just tell you that. It takes a lot of courage to even send these actually so hats off to you. I know having a crush on a friend sucks because you don’t really know what the future has in store for you.” You pause for a few seconds when the door of the studio opens again as Jaemin walks and takes the seat across from you. “I don’t really have much to say because honestly I don’t know how I would act in a situation like this as well. But I would suggest telling her sometime, you know? What if you have a tiny little chance and she likes you as well? Wouldn’t you regret it at the age of fifty? If she’s indeed your friend, she wouldn’t think you’ve ruined the friendship.”
The call is coming from inside the house. Just take your own advice. Damn.
Jaemin and you share a look — and the look he gives is of something you can’t put your fingers on. Jaemin is the first one to look away and turn to the mic. “Hope Y/N’s suggestion helps! I honestly can’t help you out here because….well, I don’t know how to. Good luck though. I think Y/N’s advice was useful.”
It hits you hours later at two in the morning when you are ready for bed, in your pyjamas and scrolling through your phone. How the hell did Jaemin hear the third story when he was in the bathroom?
None of your friends wanted to help you move into the new two bedroom apartment of yours — and you don’t blame them. Who wants to unload heavy boxes after boxes on a weekend after a hectic week when they could be out in the city clubbing or sleeping peacefully under the covers anyway.
But it's the evening and Jaemin is here with you in the elevator, while the two of you carry the last boxes. If everything else that has been driving you crazy for the past week wasn’t it, this has to be the one. Yeah, you like Jaemin more than you should as a friend, and you honestly don’t think there’s a crime in admiring him from afar. The thing that has started to drive you crazy is the sudden switch in Jaemin’s behaviour. He has been buying coffee for you without complaints every morning, he has started to drive you home everyday because apparently ‘you can never trust the streets at night’ and now he is here since the morning to help you unload boxes and make your barely furnished apartment look somewhat decent. The possible underlying meaning about his behaviour, the anonymous story submission on The Talk Box just two days prior and the curiosity of the thoughts that goes on inside his head is what keeps you up at night.
“This is the last box right?” Jaemin breaks the silence just as the elevator door opens at your floor and you nearly miss your step, arms loaded up with boxes. “Holy shit, you good?”
“Yeah— yeah. Don’t worry.” You smile. Jaemin does the same, walking into your living room and dropping the box on the floor beside the many other boxes. A proud smile of accomplishment takes over him and you can’t help but do that same as well.
It’s nearing midnight when you both are in the living room, sipping on a glass of white wine — the one he brought for you as a housewarming gift and the one you assume to be over-expensive. You prefer to keep the living room dimly lit, especially at this hour of the night. The new apartment gives you an extraordinary view of the skyline and you want to believe you’ve won the lottery with this place.
Jaemin sips from his glass of wine, letting out a small laugh. “The view is nice from here. The sunsets and sunrise views are gonna be crazy good, I’m telling you.”
The living room is filled with warmth, and there is an aura of quality to the room — the low lighting from the lamp that leaves everything feeling soft, intimate. You chuckle and lean back into the sofa, swirling your wine, taking a long sip from it. “That’s why I’m paying the crazy rent for the crazy good views.”
“I mean, that makes sense. I should probably move in somewh—
“No offence Jaemin,” You interrupt, “you live in a posh area with Range Rover owners, don’t talk to me.”
Jaemin laughs and takes a deep breath. “Yeah, you win.”
You are beginning to get a little tipsy, you had cut down in recent years on your alcohol consumption which in turn took any tolerance you once had. It feels like you are 16 again. Jaemin grabs the wine bottle from the table at the centre of the room and places it beside your glass, refilling it.
“Okay. I need to tell you something. You don’t have to say anything in return, I just wanna get it off my che—
You interrupt him with a chuckle. “Jaemin, you’re rumbling. I’m always here to listen to you. I love listening to you talk.”
“I wanna throw my resignation letter at Neo FM and do my own shit.” He says sardonically as he sips on his glass and continues. “I’ve got a degree in filmmaking and I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing with my life right now. DJ-ing is clearly something I don’t wanna do in the long run. I wanna make movies, you know — produce great movies and dramas, earn money, live luxuriously and materialistically, that’s the life I’ve always dreamed of. Not this— whatever life I have right now.”
“You would be a great filmmaker actually. Maybe make a good horror movie or something.” You wiggle your brows in an attempt to tease him and Jaemin just giggles in return. “But jokes aside, you have so much potential. I believe in you. I know you can do it.”
“You think so?”
“Hmm, I’m serious.”
Jaemin opening up to you over a few glasses of wine was a rare scenario. You always knew him as someone who liked to keep things to himself and the kind soul who would rather hurt alone than ever talking about his feelings. Jaemin is someone who can succeed at anything he does and you would love to be the one to always be beside him as his motivator, the one always there to reassure him — because that’s what he does to you. He was the one who helped you overcome your fear of public speaking by constantly hyping you up on the days you had a solo show just before The Talk Box aired for the first time.
An easy feeling settles between the two of you, it feels strangely comforting even though he has been in this same situation with him before. It was only natural for Jaemin to relax into the situation, he feels calm with you like he could trust you with all of his secrets. Though that isn’t always peculiar for him, he makes friends easily, he is social—but it always feels different without you, it rather feels exciting.
Jaemin leans his arms back on the sofa and thinks for a moment, cycling through his thoughts for a second. “Did you know,” he starts, “I never really wanted to join Neo FM because podcasts and being a radio DJ was never really my thing. I was desperate for money at that time and my friends said I apparently have the voice of a podcaster so I just said fuck it and submitted my resumé. I thought I’d eventually resign within a few months but then I was transferred to the main office and I met you.”
Your cheeks burn but you brush those feelings off with a rather awkward chuckle. “What? So you’re saying that I’m fun to be around with?”
“Thank you…” you continue in disbelief. “You were my biggest enemy when you first came so I feel kinda like the bad guy right now, sorry.”
Jaemin snorts into his glass as he sets it down. “Yeah, I kinda figured that out from the way you used to avoid the elevators in the morning. I used to think you were some fitness maniac but that’s just you avoiding being in the same space as me.”
You shoot a toothy grin at him and stand up on your feet, walking to the cabinets in the kitchen and opening them. “Do you want anything? I have—” you stare into the half empty shelves for a few moments, “cinnamon toast crunch and instant oats.”
“I’ll take a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch, why not.”
You grin apologetically. “Sorry for making you work the entire day and now I’m not even that welcoming of a host. I wouldn’t have gotten anything done around here if it weren’t for you.”
“It’s nothing, I think I’ve got my daily workout from here.”
You both laugh.
“Y/N,” Jaemin says firmly with a smile which is still very evident even in the dim lights. “You’ve worked a lot today, really. You better have the best sleep of your life under those blankets with the air conditioner set on 22° after I leave.”
“That’s very specific.”
“Well, that’s the perfect temperature for you to not catch a cold. I’ve done my research after you wouldn’t stop sneezing the last time.”
Your cheeks heat up again and you absolutely hate how you’ve stopped behaving like how you used to around Jaemin. The nonchalant way of dealing with everything was long gone around him. Jaemin made you feel comfortable but now — you are a stuttering mess around him. You hate how you’re too old to have silly little crushes and you hate how you know this is more than just a crush at this point. A part of you believes he likes you too — why else would he be out here helping you, carrying 10 kgs of boxes up and down the elevator while showing off his bicep muscles (you totally weren’t checking him out), buy an over expensive champagne and opening up about his thoughts which is something he rarely ever does?
“Wait,” Jaemin says suddenly just as you are about to pour the cereal in the bowl for him. “I should go actually. It’s already late, I don’t wanna get wine drunk cause I need to drive and you need to rest more than anyone else in this world.”
You give him a tight lipped smile as you close the lid of the cereal container. “Oh, okay.” He has to leave at some point anyway. He wasn’t someone to you who would spend the night at your place. “Yeah, it’s getting late.”
You hate to see him go home and you hate yourself for even feeling this way. The urge to tell him the three words is strong, very strong — but the thought of getting rejected or worse even ruining a precious friendship at the back of your head haunts you. The anonymous story submission on The Talk Box suddenly flashes back to you along with your own suggestion and damn, you do relate to it on a spiritual level. This is one of those crucial times when you believe your mother was right about taking your own advice instead of trying to be the goody two shoes. Sighing at your own reflection in the mirror and hoping that the anonymous sender is doing well, you exit the elevator and follow behind Jaemin.
“I bought something for you.” Jaemin turns and shoots a grin at you before halting in front of his car to fish the car keys out of the pockets of his hoodie. You can see a shopping bag lying in the backseat through the tinted windows and you pray to God that Jaemin isn’t crazy enough to give whatever was inside to you.
Just as you thought, Jaemin opens the door to the backseat and fetches the white shopping bag out before holding it out to you with a proud grin on his face, the grin that makes you want to punch him. “I saw it in the store this morning and I thought you’d like it.” He fishes the neatly packed teddy bear out.
All that comes out of your mouth is an audible chuckle of surprise. You take it carefully from Jaemin’s hands like it is a delicate piece of glass, holding it up and staring at it, wondering if it would disappear if you blink. It’s a medium sized brown teddy with a red heart, just like any regular teddy bear at the store. You smile unknowingly, looking at the teddy bear before glancing at Jaemin, who has the widest grin on his face. “Another housewarming gift, I suppose.”
The effect Jaemin has on you is crazy. Being the affectionate person you are who loves to give hugs everyday, you would’ve thanked him with a hug. Instead, you are met with hesitance in your action so you resort to just giving him the most awkward smile of your life. “Thank you so much, Jaemin. You shouldn’t ha—
Jaemin interrupts you and playfully smacks you in the shoulder, “Here comes the corniness. It was cheap as fuck, happy?”
You smack him back, rather harshly this time. Jaemin dramatically winces and tries to step on your feet which you dodge successfully. “I wasn’t being corny, you airhead.” Opening the door to the driver’s seat, you push him into the car. “Get out of my building now, it’s ass o’clock in the morning.”
“Good night, you witch.” Jaemin mumbles under his breath, getting in the car and loudly closing the door in your face. He says something which you can’t hear clearly due to the fact that he won’t roll his windows down out of spite. So, you stand there, one hand resting on your hip and the other holding the teddy bear. Jaemin starts the car and finally rolls his windows down, “I’m waiting.”
“For you to get in the elevator.”
“Can you just leave?”
Jaemin puts his head out through the open window with a cocky grin on his face, “Just get in the elevator and I’ll immediately speed out of this parking lot, GTA 5 style.”
You frown, turning your back to him and sauntering your way towards the elevator. All while Jaemin sits in his car, watching you intently. You press the button and turn back to him. “Call me when you get upstairs!”
“You’re gonna talk on the phone and drive?!”
“Well,” He scratched the back of his neck. “Text me then.”
“You’re gonna text and drive?!”
“You littl— you know what, just call me. I’ll connect my phone with the bluetooth speakers right now in front of you.” Jaemin almost threatens you as he quickly fishes his phone out and presses some buttons at the front of his car. All you can do is wait for the elevator to arrive from the 21st floor and watch him act like a cute little stubborn kid inside his car. “Done, your elevator is here. Good night!”
You fondly smile and wave at him, even though he is at least twenty feet away from you. “Good night to everyone in this world except Na Jaemin!”
“Oh, you’re absolutely going to hell.”
Later that night you light up an aromatherapy scented candle after a warm shower, a few glasses of wine and change into your pyjamas, you finally plop down onto the bed and get under the covers in your new bedroom. You turn your head and your eyes fall on the laptop on the bedside table beside the laptop. Groaning into the pillow, you turn back around again as your mind wanders back to all the emails and drafts you have to go through before the next episode airs. Stressed is what you are — even Yeji back at the office pointed it out just two days earlier simply by taking a glimpse at your eye bags.
The unopened boxes piled up by Jaemin at the corner of your room catches your attention — the fucking box containing your underwear sets and only two of the vibrators you own on top of them all. Looking back, it was kind of embarrassing to let him carry the box but does it really matter? He doesn’t know what’s inside anyway.
It’s been months since you got the proper time to even touch these vibrators. Neo FM might be the job of your dreams but the workload gets crazy sometimes, all due to the popularity of The Talk Box over social media. Even if you ever had to relieve stress, you always resorted to one night stands or simply trying to sleep the stress off after having some chamomile tea, thanks to Google and its homemade, quick and simple remedies.
You dust the box off and open it, revealing all of your underwear and the one thing you’re looking for inside — the pink vibrator in its box. It’s a vibrating love egg that you bought impulsively one night, wine drunk, while surfing through the internet. The ad looked very tempting at the time almost a year ago and it was even your best friend for the first few weeks after its delivery but it soon found a place at the back of your closet. This is the only time you can revive it. You’re stressed out of your mind, you haven’t had sex in almost two months and you’ve unintentionally set the mood with your dim lights and an aromatherapeutic candle.
You take it out of the box and strip your shorts off, you like going commando at home just like most people who live alone do. Before returning to the bed you grab your laptop on the way just to go through some porn websites and videos because honestly, you’ve never had the creative and vivid imaginations to just get off on imagining different scenarios like some people do.
The screen in front of you does most of the illuminating around in the room, as the lights are dimmed and the only other source of light is the one single scented candle. You click on the website and start to select a video. There are so many to choose from, and you always spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to find the perfect one. You usually opt for amateur porn because these don’t contain the fake orgasms, the unnecessary over the top moaning and you absolutely loathe the cringy dirty talk these male pornstars do.
You sigh as you look through the title of the videos, until you find one that looks promising. Leaning back into the bed, you press play, and the video begins. Things don’t start to get interesting until at least a minute into the video, when the couple finally kiss and start touching each other, slowly getting rid of their clothes. The man slides his hand inside the woman’s panties, possibly massaging her clit in a way that is making her moan in an exaggerated way. They go on like this for a while, and you start to feel hot and bothered.
You take your top off and start massaging your tits, alternating between squeezing and pinching your nipples. When you do that, a jolt of pleasure runs through your body, but it isn’t enough. You can feel a warm, tingling feeling in your lower stomach and your own pussy throbbing, as the couple hastily start getting out of their clothes, continuing to kiss each other haphazardly.
You can’t hold out anymore when the man starts fingering the woman and she starts whimpering in immense pleasure. The pad of your fingers touch your clit and you immediately have a thought that you wish you never had. You always focus on your own pleasure when you’ve masturbated before. There is never a thought of a man fucking you. It’s always just you, your own fingers, your vibrator and the porn actors on your laptop screen. However when you gently touch your clit with the tips of your fingers this time, your mind flies to Jaemin and how his fingers would feel instead.
You moan at the thought, knowing that it’s so fucking wrong and messed up to even think of Jaemin, your best friend, like that. You are dripping wet now and your slick covers your fingers as you run them through your core. You want to stop thinking about him and focus on the porn on your screen instead, but your brain seems to want to play tricks on you cause every time you want to focus on the porn, your mind wanders to that one time you saw Jaemin shirtless in blue swim trunks with sunglasses on at an office pool party.
“Fuc— oh god.” You moan softly and close your eyes while plunging two fingers inside of you. Jaemin’s fingers flashes in front of you, the silver rings on his index and middle finger that he always wears. You wonder if it would feel cold if he plunged into you with his rings on. Fastening the pace of your fingers, you cup your tits hard with your free hand. “Fuck.” It’s not like Jaemin will never know that you’re thinking about him while having your own fingers knuckles deep into your pussy, making that squelching sound and reminding you of how wet you are right now.
You whine loudly when you quickly pull your fingers out just before the euphoric orgasm takes over you, edging yourself in the process. You take the vibrator and slip it through your seeping hole, jaw dropping at how easily it slips in, until it is completely swallowed up by your dripping pussy. Not wasting any more time, you press the power button on the remote and it starts out with a light buzz, but it isn’t enough for you. You’re so fucking needy that you take the risk you’ve never taken before and set the vibrator to the highest setting before throwing the remote somewhere on the bed.
Whimpering loudly, probably even disrupting the sleep of your new neighbours in the process — both due to the speed of the vibrator and the sudden image of your best friend. You hate your brain for making you imagine Jaemin’s pretty face above you, as he mercilessly fucked you. The video on your laptop screen is just serving as background noise, as you imagine the way Jaemin would suck on your clit and touch your tits with his hands.
At this point, you are a moaning mess. Spewing lewd noises out of your mouth, pushing your hips up as if you’re trying to meet someone’s thrusts. You feel that you are getting close, you are tipsy and so stressed and touch-starved that you feel like you can’t hold out any longer. You quickly pull the vibrator out and replace it with two of your fingers inside to the knuckles, plunging it in and out at a rapid speed, researching for your sweet spot.
Your body begins spasming, moving out of your control as you moan a chorus of “Yes, yes!” as images appear in your head in flashes — Jaemin fucking you, you riding him, him eating you out. Everything seems to pass through your mind, in every single position. Finally, you feel your orgasm hit you hard. You almost scream, as you keep riding your fingers while your hips move on a rhythm of their own, until you feel them slowing down. You take a deep breath and open your eyes after almost seeing stars for a while, noticing that the video had long ended.
You stay like that on the bed for a few minutes, just breathing deeply trying to calm yourself down, watching the vibrator vibrate on the edge of the bed. It doesn’t take long for guilt to begin to creep inside of you — guilt for masturbating to your best friend. You feel tears prickle at the corners of your eyes as you stare at the ceiling in the dimly lit room.
God, you hate yourself so fucking much right now. You sit up straight in guilt and shame, wiping the tears from the corner of your eyes and you pull the covers upto your chest. Realising that it truly isn’t a silly little crush anymore and there’s no point of you being in denial anymore. You don’t ever see yourself talking about your feelings to him as well, your stubborn ego is way too big for that.
More tears begin to pool in your eyes when it hits you that you’ve never had feelings for someone like this before. You truly only have two options — get past your stubborn ego, tell him about your stupid feelings and get rejected because you’re way out of his league or let Karina set you up with that one friend of hers she keeps talking about all the fucking time. Your ego is way too big to meet with a fate of rejection, so you rub the tears streaming down your cheek with the back of your palm and make a mental note to finally get on a mission to get over Na Jaemin and find someone else.
With your vision still blurry from the tears, you fetch your phone from the table and open Jaemin’s pinned chat at the top beside your mum and dad’s contacts.
The message is delivered and you turn off the screen to stare back at the ceiling. He is probably asleep, you think. It takes a while for Jaemin to reply but the notification finally goes off after a while and you realise you have been laying flat on your bed, staring into the void in the dark for the past five minutes.
jaemin: i will seriously beat your ass
jaemin: what do u think a person does at 2am
yn: sleep :D
jaemin: and u woke me up congratulations
jaemin: why arent u sleeping
yn: i did i just wanted to annoy u
jaemin: get well soon. good night
jaemin: dream about me ;)
yn: in YOUR dreams bitch fuck you
It takes you a week and a half to realise you’re down bad as well.
Karina and Yeji are way too adventurous and too much of a party animal for your liking. You are starting to regret even agreeing to come here with them on a Friday night right after another successful live episode of The Talk Box. Karina never fails to amaze you with all of her social butterfly nature and her connections. Apparently the owner is her friend and how could you refuse free drinks in the VIP section of a posh club?
Everyone is tipsy. There are too many men around who have been trying to get into your pants for the past 45 minutes and all you want at this point is to go home. But you see Karina and Yeji having the time of their life and you cannot get yourself to be party pooper.
You wonder what Jaemin is doing right now. Probably sleeping or binge watching a show on Netflix till he eventually falls asleep with
“Everything’s okay, beautiful?” A man plops down on the seat next to you. He is dressed in a leather jacket, his hair is brown and fucking hell, he is kinda attractive.
"Nope, I’m good. Parties just aren’t my thing.” You reply and smile at him sweetly.
He smiles at you, showing off his dimples. He extends his hand out for a handshake and you take it hesitantly. “I’m Jaehyun by the way, the owner of this place. I’m sorry you aren’t really enjo—
‘Oh shit. Should’ve mentioned that first then.’ is your first thought.
“No, no. It’s great here. I’m just not really a fan of big crowds.” You shake your hands in denial and quickly ramble in your defence. Tucking the loose strands of hair behind your ears and gaining your composure again from that tiny moment of embarrassment, you continue. “I’m Y/N! Nice to meet you.”
“Everyone knows you. I’m a big fan of your voice by the way. In fact, I was just listening to your show two hours ago.”
You aren’t sure how you went from having a casual conversation with Jaehyun about his and your work to taking shots of tequila with him to making out with him in the backseat of his car to laying naked under the covers of his bed in his penthouse now. The air reeks of sex, an used condom and condom wrapper along with both of your clothes are all scattered all over the floor. You hooked up with Jung Jaehyun and he is filthy rich. Well, that’s what you assume from the interior and exterior of his penthouse.
Sudden feeling of disgust and shame takes over you.
You turn your eyes on anything you can set your sight on, anything to delay having to look at the head resting on your chest. One arm is loose around your waist, and a leg tangled with yours. You reach for your watch on the bedside table, and look at the time. It is just past nine o'clock in the morning.
You’ve been single for three years now and you have had a fair share experience with one night stands. Slipping out of the room in silence and never remembering the face of the man you slept with is something you always did. You were always content with satisfying your needs and resuming your life afterwards. So why do you feel so guilty this time?
As quickly and as carefully as you can, you untangle yourself from Jaehyun, pressing his head down on the warm pillow, before wrapping a white bed sheet, which lay forgotten at the foot of the bed, around your naked body. You don’t want to wallow in self pity. You know there is nothing to be sorry about — although, you cannot help but think about Jaemin. What would Jaemin think about you sleeping with a man you just met?
Why do you feel like you just cheated on a man who isn’t your boyfriend? All you want to do is cry right now. You can feel the tears pooling in the corner of your eyes as you take a glance at Jaehyun's sleeping figure.
You drag yourself to the bathroom after picking up your dress and underwear from the carpeted floor, hoping to get some energy into your bones. You take a look at yourself in the mirror before slipping into the dress that reeks of alcohol. You want to take a shower just to erase Jaehyun’s kisses from your neck, his tongue from your ear, his fingerprints on your waist, his breath from your hair. You want to erase the hickeys just under your ear, and another on your right shoulder, and the slight feeling of soreness in your inner thighs.
“What are you doing?” came a sleepy, hoarse voice behind you. Jaehyun’s eyes are just barely open, squinting at you through his sleepy haze. He props himself up on one elbow. “Come back to bed.”
“No, I'm leaving.” Your straight forward reply causes him to frown, and squint harder, forcing his eyes to open this time. He sits up and stretches his arms out.
“Why? Do you have somewhere you need to be? It's a Saturday morning.” Jaehyun drawls out the last word with a yawn, pulling his arms from side to side. You take a note of the hints of fading red lines over his shoulder blades and look at your fingernails briefly. You didn't think that they would leave a mark that bad.
This is bad.
"No, I just really need to leave."
“Why are you leaving so soon? You're making me feel a bit used.” Jaehyun chuckles, a slight smirk pulling at his mouth, showing the ghost of his dimple. “Let's have breakfast first.”
“No, I really need to leave.”
“Why, when you don't even have any place to be right now?” Jaehyun counters. Your patience is about to reach its peak.
“I just don't want to be here anymore, okay?” You reply firmly, pulling your bag across your torso. You zip it open to check whether you have your phone and your debit cards. When you glance up, Jaehyun looks hurt and confused.
Hoping to see Jung Jaehyun never again, you exit his penthouse as he continues to pester you to stay over for breakfast. You also make a mental note to never visit the nightclub of his. Men and their stupid ego. You’re aware that he is just trying to be a gentleman, but he definitely needs to do some growing and learning about boundaries.
You sigh in relief when your back hits the cold leather seat of the taxi cab. The feeling of nausea creeps up to you — you feel sick, disgusted even at the thought of having sex with a…stranger. All you can think of is Jaemin. Jaemin. Na Jaemin. He is all you think about like he lives in your mind. What is he doing right now? Is he asleep? Is he at the gym for his morning workout? Is he—
The sound of your phone buzzing in your bag brings you out of your trance. Your heart almost stops beating for a second when you see Jaemin’s name with a clown emoticon beside it on your screen.
Fuck. You forgot. You forgot about promising to visit the newest waffle house on the other side of the town with him.
“Where are you?!” Jaemin yells over the phone and a small smile takes over your face when you imagine him yelling like that. “The servers are probably thinking I got stood up on a date. Where the fuck are yo—
“I’m tired, Jaemin. I’m so sorry.” You hate that you are able to get yourself to lie to him so smoothly.
“Oh okay.” Jaemin pauses for a few seconds then continues, his voice softer this time. “You couldn’t sleep well last night?”
“Yeah, something like that.” Oh, you feel so fucking guilty.
“Chicken and waffles for you then? I’m coming ove—
You can feel your heart sinking. Jaemin is too good to be true. So, you interrupt him. “You really don’t need to go through the hassle. The food is gonna be cold as well.”
“Y/N,” He audibly sighs. “We’re in the 21st century. Microwaves exist for a reason.”
You thought hooking up with a random man would ease your soul and make you forget about Jaemin, even just for a few hours. The thought of a life without Jaemin sounds terrifying to you now. He is like the sunshine that lights up your days. He is the most positive, happy, energetic, lighthearted, easy going, patient, even tempered, hilarious person you know. So affectionate and generous.
“Great! I was starving.”
The air conditioned lounge area is predictably the highlight of the Neo FM office. It’s a rather small room at the top floor with white furniture, a water cooler and an instant coffee machine, green plants in tanned brown pots and a huge ceiling to floor window wall that overlooks the entire city. This is where most of the gossip happens and is the only one room away from Lee Taeyong’s radar.
“He’s such a dick,” Renjun complains, clenching his water cup tightly. “If I wanted to be yelled at every day, I would have stayed back home with my family back in my hometown.”
Jaemin snorts, a cocky smirk lighting up his features. “It’s kinda your fault for not getting the banners done yet.” He turns in your direction with a grin on his face. You try so hard to not shoot heart eyes at him. Either he has been looking too good nowadays or it’s just your newly discovered feelings acting upon you — because goddamn. You can’t take your eyes off of him.
“I know it’s my fault,” Renjun sighs regretfully. “But listen, Taeyong is still a bitch.”
“Yeah, Taeyong is surprisingly not guilty of a heinous crime this time,” Karina points out, leaning against the wall, sipping on her coffee. “But I know what you mean. He’s been a real prick as of late.”
Jeno guffaws, “I’m a strong believer of Taeyong’s significant other beating his ass every morning. That’s why he shows up here being all cranky while trying to beat our asses in return.”
Laughter echoes throughout the room as soon as the words leave Jeno’s mouth. Doyoung has indeed been cranky in recent days. Everyone knows Taeyong is a perfectionist motherfucker who raises hell when things don’t go his way. He has been way too anxious and cautious about impressing some social media influencers with the annual party, thus leading to him getting mad at someone new every single morning. This doesn’t make Jeno’s joke any less funny though.
You lean away when everyone looks at you expectantly. “Why are you all looking at me? I don’t know Lee Taeyong any better than you guys do.” Not that you want to know him either. You’re probably one of the last remaining brave soldiers in the office who hasn’t gotten lashings from Taeyong yet. The secret to your escape from this is simply getting your tasks done on time and perfectly which these people don’t seem to do.
“You’re the only one who isn’t spiking his blood pressure every morning!” Yeji argues, shaking her head. “Some of you are lucky enough to avoid a disaster like that unlike us.”
“I got away twice!” You argue vehemently. “And that was a month ago. He was still being a bitch to me just a few hours ago. I really wonder how his significant other lives with a man like him, because I wouldn’t.”
“You’re single as fuck, Y/N. This is coleslaw versus potato salad right here.” Oh, how much you want to yell at Yeji right now because she’s so right. The entire room bursts into laughter and all you can do is give everyone a tight lipped smile. Who are you to speak on Doyoung’s love life when you have a non existent one yourself?
“Karina, I’m telling you — set Y/N up with that one friend of yours. What’s his name?” Jeno speaks up and thank fucking god he does. You don’t have the courage to ask Karina to set you for blind dates anyway.
“The one from the HR office?”
“Yeah! That guy. Set her up with Y/N.”
Jaemin laughs rather loudly, almost an obnoxious laughter. Everyone in the room turns their attention to him expectantly as he tries to calm down. “Y/N has had way too many failed dates. I personally think she should just give up. Plus, I’ve heard shit about Mr. Hyunjin Hwang around the office.”
“Don’t be mean! He is nice.” Karina elbows Jaemin and she turns to you. “There are plenty of fishes out there my friend. You’re hot, like seriously. I don’t know how you’re miserably single.”
Now, you are definitely not miserably single. You might’ve had a mid life crisis last Valentine’s Day in front of Karina after seeing Yeji and Yeonjun being all lovey dovey, but hey — you are not even that miserable. Jaemin speaks up in your defence before you do, “She’s not miserable, right?”
Too bad you’re on the opposite side of the table, sitting three chairs away from Jaemin. If you have the chance, you will seriously punch the smirk off his face. “And why would I be miserable?”
“That’s what I just said?!” Jaemin argues back. “Girl, I’m defending you. If no one got you, Na Jaemin got you, my friend.” He pats himself with a proud grin on his face.
“It’s not polite to gossip.” The tone of Renjun has all of you groaning. “Lunch break is over in two minutes by the way.”
Yeji puts her hands on her hips and turns to Renjun. “Renjun, all you do is ruin my day.” She turns to all of you and gives everyone a rather dreadful look, “I haven’t even had my lunch today. Why did I start gossipi—-
Before Yeji can finish, the sound of the door opening has everyone turning their heads to that direction. “Mr. Doyoung is looking for everyone in the main office!” his assistant, Kim Sunwoo yells with his head peeking into the room through the door. “He asked to see Mr. Lee and Ms. Hwang immediately.”
Everyone scrambles out of the chairs and through the door, mumbling curses under their breath, to get to their designated desks at the floors below. You notice Jaemin from the corner of your eyes in front of the glass door of the room, resting his back against the wall waiting for you to tidy the table where you just finished having your lunch.
"You took exactly 84 years, congratulations." Jaemin grins mischievously when you walk out through the door. You elbow him in the chest, walking past him as he stays behind, wincing dramatically. It doesn’t take long for him to catch up with your pace. “So, are you going on that blind date?”
Oh Jaemin, he really knows how to make things hard for you.
“Yeah, probably. I’m bored and I’ve got nothing else to do.” You reply firmly, pressing the button of the elevator.
Jaemin doesn’t reply which slightly makes you anxious. He stands, towering behind you with his hands shoved into his pockets. You glance back at him for a second and he is lost in his thoughts. The elevator dings, signalling that it has reached the 31st floor and the two of you hop in the empty space.
“Look, I’m not gonna force you because it’s your life— but, erm, I don’t know how to say it without sounding like a self centred being.” He leans against the mirror in the elevator. “Hyunjin is just…I really don’t think he’s a nice man, but hey, it’s your life. I just don’t want you to get hurt, you know.” Jaemin is rambling now, refusing to look you in the eye while he scratches the back of his neck. You keep looking at him expectantly, as if he will continue, but he doesn’t. The elevator dings again and he walks out, without looking back.
Your mind continues to be foggy for the rest of the day. Jaemin doesn’t stop by your desk that evening like he always does. You later find out the next morning that he went to a nightclub with Jeno and Renjun and ended up leaving the club with a brunette beauty that night. A part of you was starting to believe that Jaemin probably harbours feelings for you as well but those thoughts were shattered into pieces when you realised he hooked up with another woman the night before. You’ve convinced yourself, you’re way out of his league and a relationship between you two is something that will only happen in your dreams.
But still, Jaemin’s underlying words linger in your head throughout the entire day.
Work related gatherings are always bad, at least for you. You always live through this time of the year in dread, because every year Neo FM throws a party for their anniversary at one of the five star hotels in the city and obviously for promotion purposes by inviting all the social media influencers around. It is the same every year. This celebration is just an excuse for getting free drinks, some interactions on Instagram and if you’re lucky, maybe a hook up with someone who’s famous. It’s overall just a stupid gathering for famous people. You’d be lying if you said you didn’t have some influence as well — at least that’s what your 92 thousand followers on Instagram say. Most of the employees end up drunk here, and in some random bed of the hotel rooms with someone they would never speak to again.
Except you. While your attendance is obligatory and you tend to hide away in the crowd until everyone is too drunk to notice you slipping out. You want no part in the office's celebrations. The first year was bad enough when you were just a rookie – throwing up in the bathroom only for Jaemin to save you later from passing out on the carpet.
“You can't just mope in a corner all evening. Live a little! I bought some cocktails especially for you.” The party has barely started, and already Karina seems tipsy – throwing one arm over your shoulders and grinning. But then again, Karina is always so overly happy that it is impossible to tell whether it is caused by alcohol or it’s just her being her usual self.
You shrug your shoulders and move away, Karina’s arm falling limply to your side. “You know I’m just here for the paycheck, right?”
Karina rolls her eyes. “Me too! But listen to me, it gets less boring when you get drunk.”
You sigh. “Just go have fun. I’ll be fine here.”
You really do not want to have to deal with this right now. It is bad enough that you’re stuck here when you could be at home sipping wine and watching a movie under the covers. You also wonder about Jaemin’s whereabouts — you haven’t really seen him since you arrived almost an hour ago.
Karina pouts, her lips sticking out comically. “At least let me introduce you to Hyunjoon.”
“Hyunjoon?” You frown at the name of the unknown man. God, this better not be her trying to set you up with someone again. You might’ve joked about it earlier but the idea of a blind date doesn’t sound appealing anymore.
Karina’s eyes seem to light up as you question her. “Yes. He's an actor – well, he’s still new. He came over as a guest, I think two months ago on Yeji’s show. That’s how I know him. He is fine, like, really f—
"Karina." You interrupt, not wanting to hear any more. "Fine. I will meet this dude. But after that, you will leave me in peace."
“He is single!” Karina interjects, grabbing your hand to steer you into the crowd. "I bet you'd love him."
You are already shaking your head. “Rina, I do not need you to try and set me up with this guy. If I wanted to find someone, I could do it by myself.”
Karina looks at you, dead in the eye. “Is it because of Na Jaemin?”
You open your mouth to say something, but nothing seems to come out. Your mind is fogging up —
What are you going to say? Yes? He is the only man on your mind?
Karina doesn’t wait for your reply, instead coming to a halt in the middle of the crowded sitting area. You are met with the faces of a few unknown faces sitting on the sofas with Jeno and Jaemin. Jaemin’s face is flushed, something that happens when he is tipsy. You also take notice of the drink in his hand. He also looks so good — in the black shirt with the top buttons left unbuttoned. You only shoot a small smile in the direction of Jaemin and he does the same.
How your friendship with Jaemin met this awkward fate is still unknown to you. A feeling of uneasiness creeps down your spine every time he is around you. The same Jaemin who is always looking for opportunities to tease you is also the one now, refusing to be in the same room as you for more than ten minutes.
You’re slightly drunk and the rest of the night is spent rather awkwardly. Jaemin excuses himself and leaves his seat within five minutes of you making yourself comfortable beside Karina across from him. You regret underestimating Hyunjoon because, as it turns out, he is a nice guy. He tells you everything a person needs to know about the acting industry, his first time playing a character on screen. You see yourself being friends with him in the future but a relationship? Never.
The uneasiness doesn’t seem to cease for the night. Uneasy at the thought of where Jaemin might be. Is he hooking up with someone? Is he drunk? He isn’t that great in the drinking department. Why won’t you stop caring? Yeji manoeuvres through the crowd and garners everyone, including your attention, halting all of you from chatting the night away. “Y/N, Jeno is looking for you!”
“Why? Did I do something?”
Yeji shrugs. “No idea. He just called me and asked for you. Apparently he can’t reach you.”
You sigh, stumbling through the crowd and excusing yourself every time someone tries to initiate a conversation with you. Yeji tells you Jeno is with Jaemin in one of the rooms on a different floor before disappearing somewhere with Yeonjun. The smell of alcohol is quick enough to reach your nostrils when Jeno opens the door for you. His cheeks are flushed, hair messy all over his forehead and you can clearly tell that he’s tipsy, if not drunk.
Jeno’s face lights up when he sees you, “Great. I can leave then! Take care of him, he might throw up.” He points his thumb behind him and you are met with an ominous scene. Too many bottles of soju for Jaemin to handle scattered all over the table and Jaemin himself, half asleep on the couch.
You turn to Jeno, “Jeno. What the fuck?”
“I can explain,” Jeno scratches the back of his neck, chuckling awkwardly. “He was already two and a half bottles in when I came. I think you should take him h— “Just leave.” You interrupt, pushing Jeno out of the room and slamming the door shut right in his face.
Your eyes soften at the sight of Jaemin. He looks stupidly adorable with his cheeks being a dark shade of pink, something that only happens when he is drunk. His mouth is parted open as he snores lightly and his breath reeks of alcohol as you come closer. “Oh, Jaemin…” You sigh, running a hand down his handsome face. “How drunk are you?”
“Y/N,” Jaemin slurs and he tries to stand but instantly falls back into the couch, confusion written across your face. “You’re here—
“Yeah, I am.” You answer, reaching down to help him up.
“Wow, you’re so strong.” Jaemin grins, enjoying the feeling of his hands supporting you.
“You can sleep here.” You ignore him, as you help him move to the bed.
“Y/N!” Jaemin sing songs loudly as you try to help him lay down. “You're sooo pretty, all the guys love you and some of the girls do too.” He winks scandalously at you, refusing to lay down.
“God, you’re drunk as shit. Just lay down and go to sleep and I’ll order you bacon and eggs in the morning, okay?” You plead. Jaemin starts to lay down, getting lost in your eyes, when he suddenly pops back up, pointing a finger in your face.
“Did you know, there are rumours going around the office?” He asks with a hiccup.
“Rumours?” You ask with a resigned sigh.
“Yes! Lots of rumours. According to the rumours, we are dating!” Your eyes grew comically large at the last words.
Oh, I wish.
“That’s pure bullshit, Jaem, you should know better than to listen to rumours.” you admonish, taking a seat on the bed next to him.
“I know…” He giggles and gets comfy with his head on your lap. Jaemin reaches up to squish the side of your face. “Your cheeks are very squishy!”
You carefully lift yourself off of the bed and help him get up as well. Handing him the glass of water you command, “Drink all this,”
Jaemin sends you a look that makes your giggle skid to a halt. Lifting the glass obediently and drinking the water whilst giving you a look of annoyance. Oh he is so cute. He lets out a yawn and starts tipping to the side before quickly catching him up in your arms again. You help him lay down and just wait for him to fall asleep, hoping that he won’t vomit all over the carpet like the last time.
“Y/N,” Jaemin drawls.
“Why don’t you like me? You like everyone else, why not me? Is Hyunjin better than me?”
Your thoughts race a mile a minute. You’d always known Jaemin has a soft spot for you, ever since he met you for the first time. At the very beginning, you were convinced Jaemin had feelings for you — however, it didn’t take long for you to realise he’s just someone who likes to take care of others. You’ve seen him do that with Karina, Yeji, Jeno and everyone else in the office.
Through it all, Jaemin always sought you out, walking beside you on the street side of the sidewalks, saving seats for you at the awfully long meetings where Taeyong wouldn’t shut up for hours, pouring your drinks even when he couldn’t drink himself. Yeji once remarked that Jaemin has a smile reserved for when you are around, but you didn’t think much of it.
Jaemin’s eyes are fixed on yours now, his fingers twining themselves with yours. His hair falls into his eyes, casting a soft shadow over them. There’s a definite pink flush across his cheeks and nose, and his lips are almost the same shade as well. He darts his tongue out to sweep over them, taking a shaky breath.
“Why don’t you like me?” His voice is shaky as he almost whispers this time, “I like you so much, why don’t you like me?”
Jaemin clears his throat, sitting upright suddenly. “I like you so fucking much. I’ve liked you, for a long, long time. I know you don’t like me but I can cha— Jaemin’s voice cracks as he forces it to sound stronger, more certain.
“Jaemin, you’re fucking drunk.” You cut him off.
“No, I’m not— I know what I’m saying!” Jaemin’s outburst makes you take a step back, your hand slipping out of his, and as soon as he registers your movement, he’s contrite.
“Sorry! I’m sorry!” He bows his head. You nod and sit down next to him, both of you facing the clock that now reads 11:20 PM. “I lik— love you,” He repositions himself so he’s sitting at a right angle of the bed, his entire body facing yours.
“Jaemin, I really don’t know what you want me to do,” Your heart is beating so fast, you can almost hear it ringing in your ears.
“Do you love me too?”
“I don’t know.”
“That’s not a no.”
Jaemin leans close suddenly, too close. His hand comes up to cup your cheek, his forehead touches yours, and an alarm goes off in your head. “Jaemin, no,” he’s so close that your lips almost brush his as you say the words. A whine escapes the back of his throat, but he leans away, sitting back on the bed.
“It hurts me, so fucking much to watch you go on these shitty dates. I don’t know why I’m even saying these. I’ve decided to give up on you anyways. You’re never going to like someone like m— is it because I make all these stupid jokes?”
“Please give me a chance…I love you so much.”
“Jaemin, I—” Your words are interrupted when you feel him press his soft lips against yours. Your eyes go wide as you stare at Jaemin’s drunk and hazy eyes that were looking at you with so much love and intensity. You’ve dreamed of having this relationship move past the friendship stage for so long, but you didn't want it to be like this. You don’t want to take advantage of a drunk Jaemin, so you grab his shoulders and gently push him away.
"Why do you always push me away?" Jaemin asks with a sob and a hiccup. You sigh and pull his head towards your shoulder.
“Just go to sleep.”
You let Jaemin fall on the bed with his face buried in the pillow. A giggle resounds in the room, followed by random rambling coming from him. You make an attempt to change his shirt when you take a notice of his bag with his hoodie inside. You are busy putting the hoodie on when Jaemin throws up on your lap and the carpet, making you question why you even chose to fall in love with him.
He has already slipped into dreamland when the hotel staff leaves after cleaning up the carpet and you return after cleaning yourself up. You can’t get yourself to get on the same bed as him, not yet. So you decide to sit on the floor, right beside him. Your heart jumps to your throat as you stare at his face. “I love you too, more than a best friend,”
Jaemin wakes up the next morning with his head pounding and your hands resting on top of his. He feels his heart beating fast as he tries to recall what happened last night. Panic starts to set in as he recalls kissing you. His head starts spiralling into thinking that maybe you absolutely loathe him now.
“Y/N? Are you awake?” Jaemin asks rather carefully, his voice groggy from just waking up. You raise your head and he watches you rub your eyes and stretch your arms.
“Yeah, I am.” You answer and sit up, head hung low and fingers fidgeting with each other. Obviously you’re awake. You haven’t slept the entire night.
“I’m sorry if I did anything stupid last night.” Blush creeps from Jaemin’s chest to his face as the words leave his mouth.
“I don't know,” You answer truthfully as you refuse to look him in the eye. “You told me you’re in love with me.”
“Yeah, I am. Surprise.”
You’re not sure how you haven’t fainted yet. Everything feels so surreal at this moment, he is confessing his love for you while you sit on the floor with messy hair and Jaemin probably has one of the worst hangovers of his life. This is a bit comical. “You’re not kidding?” Is all you manage to say.
“I went out of my way and rigged the entire system to confess to you indirectly and anonymously a month ago on a live radio show. I don’t think I’m kidding.”
Oh, Na Jaemin, you’re sick in the head is your first thought as you stare at him with your mouth wide open in disbelief. “That was you?! The one I read?”
“Yeah,” He shakes his head. “I never thought I would fall for you. You were always this idiot in my life who somehow managed to piss me off every two seconds. Then everyone in the office started to joke about us dating and I swear, I started seeing you in a whole new light. You were suddenly the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my life. Do you know, you are the only person who didn’t make fun of me when I talked about wanting to be a filmmaker? I never really had the courage to say these to you and shockingly, your advice didn't seem to work as wel—
“Are you saying my advice was bullshit?” You’re sure you look like an idiot right now, based on how big your smile is.
“No! I never said that. It just didn’t work for me. I thought you’d just end up hating me and my entire bloodline.” Then Jaemin pauses and looks at you in disbelief. “Wai— you like me?! Like I’m not out of your league or something?”
“I love you, actually,” You admit before grinning at him, who is staring at you with a stunned expression. “You probably liked me first though. You were one insufferable man to me for the first year.”
“Oh damn,” Jaemin laughs. “Yeah, I liked you first then. I saw you laugh at something from the other side of the room and my brain just went haywire for a few seconds.”
You can’t speak. You can’t find your voice to do so, but your heart flutters. And then your mind immediately goes to all the times he had openly talked about hooking up with women.
“You manwhore, what was up with you when you went on a hook up spree last summer?” You kick his shin.
“I literally just said that I thought you'd never like me. That was my attempt at trying to get over you which clearly didn’t work. So, don’t be jelly. My heart only beats for you.” Jaemin winks, the last part muttered, intending to tease you. “Can I kiss you?”
You chuckle and lean in, only for Jaemin to block your lips with his hands, "Oh, I just remembered something.”
“You owe me waffles. I got those for you in the cold while you were hooking up with some millionaire.” Jaemin pinches your cheeks with the widest grin on his face. “And whatever you did with that gu—ouch, okay.”
You give Jaemin no time to say a word as soon as the studio’s door closes behind you two. You throw your handbag somewhere on the table, hoping that it doesn’t hit the mics and cup his cheeks, bringing him closer, and kissing him with all the strength you can muster.
The turn of events is something very comical to you. It started when Jaemin decided to tease you in the middle of the office, while sitting beside you on the desk, with The Talk Box scheduled to air in 45 minutes. No one ever gets in the studio 10 minutes before a show airs — but here you two are on the chair in the studio, sucking on each other’s faces in desperation, away from everyone.
“Dude, calm down. We can’t fuck here.” Jaemin groans when you start to trail wet kisses down his neck.
“Baby, I’m not even trying to fuck here.” You run your hands down his shoulders and rest on his chest.
“You better not. I might be crazy for you but I’m not into exhibiting, sorry.”
“Oh, you’re crazy for m— ” Jaemin shuts you up with his lips, which unhurriedly move against yours, warming up your heart and soul. He pulls away to smirk against your mouth before he descends to take your lips in his once again, biting them ever so softly. Licking and sucking your lips as if it were the last time he’d kiss you. You start grinding against his crotch, just to tease him and little and that’s when he pulls away.
“Baby, not here.”
You just grin against his mouth and shut him up with your lips on his again. Desperation bubbles dangerously just below the surface as you tug at strings of his hoodie, lips moving fast against each other.
“Are you guys ready for the air— fucking hell!” Renjun yells just outside and immediately closes the door behind him as Jaemin pushes you away from his lap. Jaemin’s lips are now swollen, his cheeks flushed and hair dishevelled. The tent is his pants is very evident and all you can do is laugh, rather taking pride in it. “Can you guys go home and do these? We have a show to worry about!” Renjun yells again.
“Give me your sweater!” Jaemin whisper-yells, pulling at the hem of your sweater and all you can do is continue to laugh at his annoyed, yet adorable expression.
“Why?” You’ve already started to take it off, yet you question him, making a small attempt at teasing him again.
“So that I can hide my boner and pray that I don’t die from blue balls tonight.”