Ten minutes later, Baekhyun and Sehun strolled into Caffe Bene - ravenous and desperate for coffee. They were looking for a table when Sehun spotted Kyungsoo waving to them to come to his table by the window. Jongin and Ga In were seated at the table too, helping themselves to large glass bowls of patbingsu. For some reason, Kyungsoo looked tense and highly strung.
"Baekhyun oppa, Sehun oppa!" Ga In hugged them excitedly, "I haven't seen you in forever!" They both laughed at the gross exaggeration, then asked her how she'd been and whether she'd been in any dance recitals. She babbled on happily while the men at the table all nodded indulgently.
Jongin caught Sehun's eye and asked in a low voice, "Was I right? That time?"
"Yeah, dude, you were right."
Just then, Ga In told her brother she needed to use the toilet. And she had barely disappeared from view before Kyungsoo launched his verbal attack.
"What the hell is going on with you guys? I saw you yelling on the street 15 minutes ago. And it looked pretty intense to me which is kind of weird because you guys NEVER fight and Sehun hardly ever gets angry about anything even if you get angry over everything, Baek. And I texted you both but you didn't answer. So what the hell? And why are your mouths all swollen like you've been making out?!" Kyungsoo's earlier anxiety had bubbled over into an uncharacteristically long and invasive tirade.
"Probably because we were." Sehun answered in that deadpan way of his and Kyungsoo burst out with an incredulous "WHAT?!" while Baekhyun shoved Sehun, looking mortified. And Sehun just chuckled in that low key way of his.
Jongin grinned and rested his chin affectionately on Kyungsoo's shoulder, "Calm down, hyung. Everyone looks like they're in one piece."
"I want explanations now." Kyungsoo refused to be deterred. Jongin whispered something in his ear and his eyes widened in surprise. Then, glaring at the pair in front of him, he repeated, "Explanations. Now. And talk fast because I have a Hydraulics Project hanging over my head like the Sword of Damocles."
"I said I'd help you type it," Jongin reminded him but Kyungsoo ignored him. Kyungsoo's concentration was currently focused fully on the pair in front of him - Sehun looking serene and unaffected while Baekhyun looked like fifty shades of sheepish.
"Sehun moved in and I saw him shaving ... and realized he wasn't a kid anymore and things kind of escalated from there and so now we're kind of ... together." Baekhyun answered awkwardly. He was the one who usually did the interrogating in any given situation and he clearly didn't enjoy having the tables turned on him.
"Did he bully you into this?" Kyungsoo asked Sehun sharply.
"I would never!" Baekhyun protested, looking extremely aggrieved.
"No, Soo, I think it actually might have been more the other way round." Sehun chuckled, "I'll tell you one day but not today because I don't think the queue in the ladies is long enough."
"So you guys are good?" Kyungsoo still looked uneasy.
"We're good." Baekhyun answered.
"Well it's about fucking time! I thought I was going to die if I'd had to watch Sehun moon over you for one more semester, and watch you being completely oblivious for one more semester. For someone who's so alert about everyone else's business, you seem to be completely blind to your own!"
"Soo, you knew?" Sehun asked, surprised.
"Not at first. I started noticing around last year. Don't worry, you weren't obvious about it - just that we've known each other for so long and I realized things had changed for you. But you didn't seem to want to talk about it so I just let you be."
"Thanks. I really wasn't ready to talk about it with anyone."
"You sure you guys are cool now? You're not going to be tearing into each other the moment we leave? Because I'm about to break out in hives now. My project! I need to get back to it. Damn you, Kim Jongin! I'm never going to finish it in time."
"I'll be helping you, hyung, of course you'll make it." Jongin wrapped his arm around Kyungsoo's slim shoulders.
"What are you guys talking about? Why's everyone so serious?" Ga In was back from the toilet.
"We are debating whether hazelnut latte is superior to vanilla latte." Jongin informed his sister in all seriousness.
"Of course hazelnut is superior." Ga In shook her head, "Everyone knows that!" And all her oppas had to laugh at the unshakeable conviction in her voice.
"You don't even drink coffee!" Jongin laughed and Ga In punched her oppa in the arm.
When Chanyeol was told that Baekhyun and Sehun were dating, he was pissed. For about 3 minutes. Then he whined about how he was always the last to be told when anything happened. Then he congratulated them and said it was a good thing Baek had finally opened his eyes because he would have killed them both if he'd had to watch Sehun moon over Baek for one more semester while Baek went around clueless for one whole semester.
"Wait, did everyone know except me?" Baekhyun complained, his voice rife with disbelief.
"I guess so. And I thought I wasn't being obvious." Sehun shook his head, "But why didn't you ever say anything, Yeol? You're not exactly the most discreet guy on campus."
"Are you kidding? We're guys. Guys don't ask other guys about their feelings. Noooo. If you want my advice, you can ask me. I'm not asking anyone to talk about their feelings. I have enough trouble figuring out my own. Thanks, but no. Although ... if you guys hadn't sorted yourselves out by December, I would have said something because dude, it was painful to watch!" Chanyeol gave Sehun a pitying look, and Sehun responded by kicking him in the shin.
"So all it takes is to move in with someone and you get lucky? Man, I have got to find me a willing female roomie." Chanyeol theorized and everyone groaned at the lame ass logic.
Sehun looked across the table at his friends. They were in Namsan BBQ House again like they had been on the first day he moved in with Baekhyun. Kyungsoo and Jongin were still sitting with their knees touching and not quite touching, and whispering to each other and laughing over private jokes like they always did. And Chanyeol was still talking crap like he always did. And Baekhyun was still giving his opinions about everything like he always did.
Things seemed the same and yet they weren't. He no longer felt the same kind of sad helplessness he had the last time they were here. And there was no envy when he saw what Jongin and Kyungsoo shared. He looked down at his pale hand, curled underneath Baekhyun's smaller palm, which Baekhyun had rested on his jean-clad lap.
"You ok?" Baekhyun whispered in his ear, squeezing Sehun's hand.
"Yeah, I'm good." He squeezed back and smiled his lazy smile.
Not everything had changed but sometimes all you needed were the little things ...