Title: Heart on His Sleeve
Word count: 3135
Summary: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Notes: I hope I followed the request write, and that the prompt kind of fit in with what you were looking for. Enjoy <3
This is the story of the two best friends that fall in love – not the girl that falls for the boy, or the boy that falls for the girl, but the two that fall for each other in a small café.
Love, they realize, is more than just a spark ignited between the two.
Love, they realize, is brushing one’s hair out of the other’s eyes; is listening to the other during good times and bad; is laughing together until their stomachs hurt and they can barely breathe; is smiling when there is nothing else that can be done; is completing each other’s thoughts before they even think it; is just touching with the edge of their smallest fingers and never having felt closer.
Love, they realize, is being able to look at the other, and that short of breath and those red cheeks and that feeling of falling never stops.
This is the story of the two best friends that fall in love – the two that fall for the other’s quirky habits and large ears and big, bright, shining eyes.
There’s something about Taecyeon’s ears that really fascinates Sooyeon. They’re so… Bold. She smiles whenever she thinks of Taecyeon and his Dumbo-esque ears, and whenever he texts her, saying to go look at so-and-so magazine because I look so hot, and she can’t see the attractiveness behind the ears that he so casually hides behind.
She tells him this one day, during one of their café dates, and he laughs so hard that the coffee he just drank almost comes out of his nose.
“It’s funny, right?” Sooyeon says, trying not to smile as she takes a bite of the cake in front of her.
He shakes his head while wiping his mouth with a napkin. She doesn’t remind him that she just used the same napkin to blow her nose. “That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard come out of your mouth, Sooyeon,” he mutters, and it only becomes more difficult to restrain the grin creeping up on her face.
“It is not,” she argues, but they both know it is.
Sooyeon doesn’t bring up the topic again, but she always makes sure to leave anonymous messages on 2PM’s website about how Taecyeon’s large ears are always distracting her from his good looks.
Two weeks later, Sooyeon cuts out 2PM’s photo shoot for the winter season, posting up the picture of Taecyeon wearing his hat on the center of her dorm room wall. She makes sure to text him and compliment him on their shoot later that day; your ears weren’t as distracting, Dumbo.
It’s during one of their café dates that Taecyeon asks Sooyeon what’s been on his mind since they first met. “Do you wear contact lenses?” he says, and she chokes on his coffee.
(when she offers to give it back, taecyeon grimaces and tells her he’ll order a new one, so she just wipes her mouth off the back of her sleeve and continues drinking.)
“Do I wear contact lenses?” she repeats, because the question has caught them both off-guard, but he has to know. Taecyeon nods and leans forward, peering into her eyes, and she blinks. “Yes. Why?”
“Well, I know you do, but–”
“Then why did you ask me?” Sooyeon takes another sip through the straw – she’s the only one he knows that drinks black coffee through a straw – and eyes him from an angle. “If you knew I wore contacts and all.”
“I mean the ones that make your eyes bigger. Not the blind people ones.” Sooyeon snorts at this. “Like those…” Taecyeon searches for the write words, and she thinks it’s kind of funny that whenever he’s thinking, he makes this face like he’s about to kill someone. She would tell him, but there are groups of people around them, and it’s already a bit obvious that two singers are idly chatting at a coffee shop. “Those anime contacts that come in the different colors and make your eyes really, really big. You know what I’m talking about?”
At this, Sooyeon chokes again, and the coffee in her mouth flies all over him.
She coughs twice, and looks up to see Taecyeon staring at her in disbelief. “Are you… Are you kidding me, Sooyeon? Was that necessary?”
“Sorry…” She turns around to ask for napkins and suddenly, the rest of the café is staring at them, some in amusement and some in sheer confusion. “Why don’t we get you cleaned up at your place? It’d be best to, you know, leave.”
Taecyeon makes sure not to ask about her contact lenses again. He doubts she wears them, anyways. Her eyes are just naturally that big.
She wears white on the days she’s happiest, and green on the days she’s saddest, Taecyeon realizes. He prepares himself for rants when Sooyeon walks in her wearing her most hated green t-shirt, and calms himself for a total blow-out when she skips in holding her favorite white tote bag.
It becomes a routine, and he wonders if she notices.
She does, apparently, because one day, while Taecyeon is stirring his coffee and Sooyeon is going on about how she’s going to be in the new Vogue Korea magazine, and her white earrings are swinging back and forth, she stops and stares at him. “Why are you wearing that?” she suddenly asks, and Taecyeon looks down at his shirt.
“That shirt. That red shirt.”
He tugs at it awkwardly. “Why? Is it ugly?”
Sooyeon makes a face and tilts her head to the side, and Taecyeon takes it as a yes. “Well, no one asked you–”
“It’s not ugly. It’s just… Do you own anything besides red and black?”
Taecyeon looks around for a second, and then grabs the blue jacket next to him. “Yes, as a matter of fact, I do.” Sooyeon rolls her eyes, but he catches the smile that goes with it, and he grins and drops it down next to him. “Why do you care, anyways?”
“I wear clothes that express my mood. You, on the other hand,” Sooyeon scans him in distaste and he holds a hand to his chest in mock offense. “You dress like the plaid.”
Taecyeon raises his eyebrow. “The plaid?”
She nods, lowering her head so she’s just in front of him. Sooyeon levels her hand besides her mouth so no one can see as she whispers, “Yes, the plaid. The dreaded plaid.” She leans back and holds her finger to her lips, and he follows suit. “Don’t speak of it, though,” she whispers, and Taecyeon nods.
Taecyeon wonders how long it took her to notice.
It is winter time the next time they meet. The snow is falling rapidly, and when Sooyeon walks into the café, Taecyeon can tell she’s been outside for a while. Flakes cover her shoulders and there are white specks on her blonde curls; the first thing Taecyeon does when she sits down is brush the snow off of her. “Why aren’t you wearing a jacket?” he asks, and Sooyeon glances down at herself.
She looks back up and Taecyeon isn’t even prepared when she says, “Oh. Guess I’m not.”
He smiles and takes off his own jacket, about to give it to her, when she holds up a finger and calls over the waitress. “Excuse me, miss,” she begins, “could you make the coffee to-go?”
To-go turns out to be in the backseat of Taecyeon’s car, the heat turned on full blast as the two relax on their one and only coinciding break for the winter. “How has your vacation been?” she asks, blowing on her coffee before she takes a sip. It still ends up burning her tongue, though.
Taecyeon snorts at the word vacation; he doesn’t even know what it means anymore. “Wonderful,” he says sarcastically. “We shot a really fun CF the other day.”
Sooyeon nods her head and looks over at him, and her eyes are shining exactly like the snowflakes outside. “I heard you did a CF the other day,” she suddenly says. “How was that?” Taecyeon raises his eyebrow and she breaks into a grin, and he laughs.
“Are you okay, Sooyeon?” He presses the back of his palm against her forehead and she giggles.
“You should go to sleep,” he suggests, pulling her head towards him so she’s resting against his shoulder. “You sound tired.” Taecyeon hears her mumble something along the lines of being wide awake, but she’s obviously not with the way she’s breathing and how her hand has suddenly found his.
Her hand is soft and delicate, like a doll’s. It is ice cold and her red and white nails match the sweater she’s wearing. Taecyeon grips her hand tighter – maybe being attractive really does make you hotter, he tells himself – and when he hears Sooyeon’s soft breaths escaping her mouth, he decides they’ll do this more often.
He’s been listening to blowing tissue for the past ten minutes. Around ten words have been exchanged – max – and Taecyeon is not sure how much longer he can put up for this.
Sooyeon blows her nose, mumbling, “Sorry,” as she crumples the tissue in her palm into a little ball. Taecyeon is about to tell her it’s okay, and he doesn’t mind, and he just wants to talk, when right then, she sneezes really loudly and the side of Taecyeon’s face has suddenly become very wet.
“Are you kidding me…” His head falls back against the headrest, and he hears Sooyeon mumble apologies even though he can see the massively stupid grin eating her face. “It is not funny.”
“I know,” she says, looking around for another tissue, “but it is. It so is.” He wipes his hand down the side of his face, and realizes that it is covered with germs. “Crap.”
She laughs really loudly, then, and Taecyeon rolls his eyes at her so-called maturity. Sooyeon finds a spare tissue and grabs him by the jaw – the jaw that is unshaven, stubbly, and now in her care – and he resists from reaching up and pinning her hand there permanently. After wiping away the wetness on his face, Sooyeon takes his hand in hers and cleans his palm, sniffling every minute or so.
It’s quiet in his car, the only sound of the tissue rustling. “Why did you say you would come if you were sick?” Taecyeon asks, and he nudges at his coffee cup with his free hand.
“Because,” she begins, smiling softly, “I haven’t seen you in over two weeks. Do you know how much stuff I’ve been dying to tell you?”
“Other than the fact that you’re sick?”
Sooyeon laughs at that, even though it isn’t very funny. He smiles. “Yes, other than the fact that I’m sick.”
She pulls away, and Taecyeon grabs her wrist smoothly. Sooyeon looks up, but he just stares at her wrist, loosening his grip only slightly so that he can lock his hands with hers. The corners of her lips turn up, and she sniffs again.
“So, what all was it that you wanted to tell me?”
Taecyeon figures that him and Sooyeon will never find themselves in the coffee shop again. They are sitting in his car again – this time, because it’s pouring rain outside, and Sooyeon is shivering beyond belief.
“Do you want my jacket?” Taecyeon strips off his leather jacket, holding it out to her.
Sooyeon shakes her head and wraps her arms tighter around her thin cardigan, and folds her legs up against her chest. “Just turn up the heat a little bit, will you?” He doesn’t bother explaining to her that it’s at its maximum limit, but just fiddles with the knobs anyhow. A drop of sweat from his arm slips as he turns the knob, but he just pretends like he doesn’t notice it. It’s not that hot anyways.
He leans back against his seat and closes his eyes; “Sooyeon.”
“Mm?” She hums it, and she sounds kind of like a hummingbird. Taecyeon smiles.
“Have you ever been in love?”
He hears her cough and opens her eyes to see her choking on her herbal tea, trying to not to get it everywhere. Reaching for a napkin (grabbing his jacket instead), Taecyeon holds it out underneath her in case she spits everything out. She does, in the end, and he mentally face palms himself for asking such a stupid question.
“Sorry about your jacket,” she mumbles, wiping her mouth with the back of her sleeve.
Taecyeon grimaces. “Eh, I was planning to get rid of it anyways.”
Sooyeon punches his arm, but he sees her grin slightly. She takes another sip of her drink and then looks at Taecyeon. “Have I ever been in love?”
“Don’t answer that. You might choke anyways.”
She whines and hits him again, laughing at the same time. “I will not!” Taecyeon rolls his eyes and braces himself for another beating, but it never comes. “Why’d you ask, anyways?” He shrugs. “There has to be a reason!”
Taecyeon coughs, then, and acts as if he doesn’t know the tips of his ears are turning bright red. “Don’t girls find that type of stuff, I don’t know, romantic?”
Sooyeon coughs again, but manages to keep the drink inside her mouth. “Where the hell did you hear that from?”
“I don’t know! I just thought girls liked that stuff!”
Sooyeon snorts and props her feet up against the dashboard. If it was anyone but her, he’d probably ban them from his car for the next two months, but because it’s Sooyeon, he allows it. “I did not expect you to be one of those guys, Taecyeon,” she retorts.
“Sure.” She says it with a smirk. He knows she’s just kidding, so he smirks back and turns down the heat. It’s getting kind of hot, anyways.
(she tells him later, though, that she’s been in love once. “with an idol,” she informs him. and after two swears and a cross-pinky-promise, sooyeon whispers, “i still kind of like him. but ssh,” her eyes get big at this, like his heart that has just swelled up, “don’t tell.”
“don’t worry,” taecyeon whispers back. “i won’t.)
“I want to know,” she begins – he looks over at her and her eyes are closed, but there’s a hint of a smile at the corner of her lips and he thinks it’s kind of funny that he isn’t in love with her yet. “I want to know what that feeling is, when you’re sitting in the car with your best friend, and the sun is beating down on you two – it isn’t hot, but it isn’t cold; it’s just that really, really nice warm – and you are holding his hand and he’s holding yours and there’s just…” Sooyeon laughs, then, and Taecyeon unconsciously grins to the sound. “There’s just nothing better.”
She opens her eyes and glances at Taecyeon, who is smiling at her. “Pretty stupid, right?”
He shakes his head and tightens his grip on her hand; he’s afraid she’ll let go, and there is nothing worse than the feeling of Sooyeon’s hand leaving his.
“I think it’s cute.” She whines and hits him with her free hand, and he laughs that really deep, throaty laugh, and if anyone else were watching them, they’d say the two were a couple in love, but Taecyeon knows otherwise and Sooyeon does too.
He wonders when the words of the people that watch them will begin to come true.
“So who was it that you liked?”
“That one time. You said you loved an idol. Who was it?”
“I loved him, not liked him.”
“Loved, liked, no difference. Who was it?”
She hits him lightly, laughing. “Of course there’s a difference!”
“Liking is just… Liking. An attraction, I guess. Nothing major.” She digs through her purse out and finds a ring, an expensive ring that she’d probably gotten from a fan. “This is what you get someone you like.”
(at this, he raises his eyebrows, but only inwardly. then for someone you love, it must be a hella expensive gift.)
“But for someone you love,” she says, tucking the ring back in her purse, “for someone you love, your heart swells up every single time you see them. You have trouble breathing, because they take your breath away. They are warm when you are cold and they are cool when you are warm. They make you giggle randomly, even though there is nothing funny. For someone you love, there are no flaws. They are perfection, through and through.” She digs through her purse and pulls out a piece of paper, unfolding it.
She hands it to him. He takes it gingerly.
There is a love note scribbled at the top, simple and sweet words; roses are red, violets are blue, i’m not the smartest person, but i know i love you ♥ A small heart is drawn at the bottom, right next to two figures, holding hands.
She takes it back and grins, and he catches the faint hue of red on her cheeks. “That’s what you give to someone you love.”
“So who was it that you loved?”
“I still love him,” she says. “I guess I never stopped.”
“Who is it?”
She never tells him, though, just relaxes against his car seat until she’s fallen into a deep slumber. They sit like that for another half hour before he starts up the engine and drives her home, when it’s late at night and pouring rain.
She leaves, telling him they have to meet up again soon. He agrees and sees her off.
When he goes home that night, he seems the same note – lined paper, faded penciling, a red marker stain at the corner – tucked into his wallet, along with, “To Taecyeon – Love, Sooyeon”
Taecyeon supposes that it doesn’t come to either of them as surprise when he kisses her.
His arms go around her waist, and her hands find themselves entangled in his messy hair, and it’s snowing outside. She’s wearing white – her favorite white dress, with the earrings that he got her for her – and he’s wearing red – a plaid, red shirt, the watch she got for his birthday on his wrist.
He only pulls back to take a breath, but it’s not like it’ll be of any use, anyways.
It’s cheesy in his head, and it’s probably even cheesier aloud, and he’d never dare say it to her, but around Sooyeon, he becomes breathless and lightheaded and he wonders if that’s the feeling of love.
But then his lips meet hers and then it does not really matter anymore.