Length: Oneshot (~2600w)
Genre: general, fluff
Time to Make Time
12:06pm. Still plenty of time.
Joonmyun shakes his watch back down his wrist and smiles at the boy across the table, the corners of his lips faltering just a bit because this is the fifth time he's explained how to derive a logarithm to Chanyeol, and yet the younger boy is still staring back at him with wide, terrified eyes like the first time he even approached the topic. Tutoring was supposed to end over half an hour ago and Joonmyun still had so much to do before his plans for the night, but Chanyeol looked so helpless he couldn't possibly abandon the poor boy before his exam tomorrow. With a soft sigh and another tentative glance at his watch, Joonmyun turns back to the first page of Chanyeol’s lecture notes and erases his whiteboard.
"Alright, let's take this from the top," he says, smile bright as ever as Chanyeol nods enthusiastically and readies his pen to write the equation for a sixth time.
1:38pm. Almost seven and a half hours left. Still time. Plenty of time.
Joonmyun repeats it like a mantra in between rehearsals of his schedule, his feet practically skating over the sidewalk as he rushes across campus to the business administration building for his monthly SGA meeting. As (student) treasurer of the university, he'd had to put together a pitch for the board of trustees to invest in a new data analysis software for the statistics department- the one they had was a dreadful mess from the 90's for God's sake- and although he knew the presentation was perfect down to the custom fonts he'd programmed in himself, he needed to make sure it was 100% show ready. The presentation itself wasn't very long, but it had taken him days to get it just right, forcing him to reschedule Chanyeol's tutoring session and move his golf lessons to this morning, which in turn had forced him to push back his volunteer hours- but not too far because he had an honors society meeting and Linear Algebra to attend- and put off writing a paper for his own classes. All of it had to be done today, and all before 9pm.
Joonmyun looks at his watch once more as he pulls open the doors to their conference room and takes a deep breath. Plenty of time.
3:17pm. A little under six hours left. Still time.
Joonmyun stifles a yawn as he diligently copies the problems his teacher wrote out on the board, pencils screeching from all sides as the rest of his class does the same. His own notes are subpar at best, his mind continuously wandering between the lecture, his final paper, and a certain Kim Jongdae. The latter had been the reason for his strict deadline for the night, and Joonmyun couldn't stop thinking about it.
His cramped schedule had kept him from seeing his friend very often this year, but somehow Jongdae had managed to catch him on a rare off day a few weeks ago and invited him to his junior recital with a hopeful smile. Joonmyun had only debated with himself for half a second before agreeing; junior and senior recitals were a big deal for vocal majors like Jongdae, and it took guts to invite someone to one of the biggest evaluations of your college career. Jongdae had been shocked but absolutely ecstatic that his offer was being accepted, and didn't stop babbling about it until Joonmyun had to leave for his next class. He'd waved Joonmyun off with a bright "see you there hyung!" and texted him periodically to make sure he was still coming, probably still in shock that Joonmyun could really fit it in with everything else on his plate. Joonmyun figured it was the least he could do after practically ignoring him the whole year.
With a start, Joonmyun realizes that he's been spacing out again, clearing his throat twice before shaking his head and focusing on his professor once again. He has to pay attention if he wants to keep his almost perfect score in the class- getting distracted this much will never do. Still, the clock ticking away the seconds in the back of the classroom is a constant reminder of the dwindling time he has left to finish everything before Jongdae's recital. He knows he can do it. He's done so much more with so much less, but the echoing clack clack clack of the second hand plays with his brain as he tries once again to focus on decomposing matrices.
5:41pm. Over three hours left and one unread message. Still time.
Joonmyun grins at the text lighting up his phone and slides his finger across the screen. A short string of texts between he and Jongdae appears beneath his fingertips, and the latest one has him stifling a short laugh.
From: Kim Jongdae
Hyuuuuung~ I'm so nervous >.<;;;;;;; what should I do???
The next line is filled with various worried and crying emojis, and Joonmyun can't help but snort. He can understand Jongdae's nerves, but he knows they are all unwarranted.
You'll do great Jongdae-ah!
He sends, followed by a quick "Kim Jongdae hwaiting!" as and afterthought. He only has to wait a few seconds before his screen lights up again, the sound of a swishing lightsaber just barely cutting through the rumble of the crowded cafeteria. He'd decided to grab a quick bite while he worked on his paper and waited for his honors society meeting to roll around, and his rumbling stomach had thanked him endlessly for it.
From: Kim Jongdae
You're still coming tonight, right hyung?
The message is emojiless this time, but it makes Joonmyun smile nonetheless.
Of course I am. Wouldn't miss it for the world!
He's completely sincere in his words, and he just hopes Jongdae takes him seriously. Once he reads the younger's reply, he's not so sure "seriously" was the right word.
From: Kim Jongdae
You better hold on to that big brain of yours then, because I'm going to blow your mind~~~ ;D
It's enough to get an actual laugh out of Joonmyun this time, and he lets the pleasant sound roll out of him as he answers with a string of shocked emojis and thumbs up.
6:25pm. Still time.
7:58pm. Still not terrible.
9:04pm. Not a disaster.
10:47pm. Joonmyun is utterly fucked.
The heels of his nice dress shoes come screeching to a halt outside the auditorium as Joonmyun reaches for the doors, jerking the handles wildly back and forth only to find them solidly immobile. Locked.
Joonmyun lets out a pathetic whine as he sinks to the tiled floor of the lobby, defeat washing over him in massive waves as he closes his eyes. He'd missed it. Completely and utterly missed it. He's just about to pull out his phone and text a slew of apologies to Jongdae when the doors suddenly vanish from behind his back and he's left staring up at a pair of droopy, khol-rimmed eyes.
"Joonmyun hyung?" the boy says as he leans over Joonmyun's slumped form and pauses from loosening the bow tie at his neck. "What are you doing out here? The recital ended almost an hour ago."
Joonmyun immediately springs to his feet and grips tightly at the boy's arms as he shakes him back and forth. "Baekhyun!" he blurts out. "Please, Jongdae, is he still here? I have to talk to him. I have to- it's really important."
"Yeah he's here," Baekhyun answers with a backwards tilt of his head. "He's not very happy though. I think he-"
The words are barely out of Baekhyun’s mouth before Joonmyun is rushing past him and into the brightly lit auditorium. Only the cleaning staff and a few decorations are left aside from a lone figure sitting at the end of the second row, his head dropped back against the headrest and eyes staring blankly up at the stage lights. Everyone else seems to be making a wide circle around the figure, but Joonmyun doesn't slow his pace.
Apologies are already pouring out of Joonmyun's mouth as he skids to a stop in front of Jongdae's row, but the younger doesn't even bother to lift his head. "Jongdae I'm so so sorry! I lost track of time working on my paper so I was late to my meeting and we had to discuss budget so we went over time and then the bus broke down and I-"
"You missed it," Jongdae deadpans, and the older slumps.
"I know Jongdae, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to-"
"All I asked for was an hour hyung." He finally turns to look at the older boy, and Joonmyun’s heart positively aches. Jongdae’s voice is tight, and as soon as the light falls over his face, Joonmyun can see the deep frown etched onto his naturally upturned lips and the faint red rimming his eyes.
“Jongdae I'm so sorry," Joonmyun whispers as he reaches for his hand, but the other draws it away.
"You missed it," Jongdae repeats. "I know you're really busy and all, but you should have just told me you weren't coming." The vocalist stands with a sharp sigh and pushes past Joonmyun, unintentionally but not apologetically knocking him off balance as he storms by. He rushes down the suddenly empty walkway and Joonmyun scrambles to catch up, calling Jongdae's name until he finally catches him at the door, hands shaking and guilt practically suffocating him.
“Jongdae that’s not- I- I really really wanted to be here Jongdae I swear,” Joonmyun begs. The younger rolls his eyes and makes to leave, but Joonmyun grabs his wrist and barrels on. “I can make it up to you! Please let me make it up to you. Anything you want- anything at all,” Joonmyun promises. He grips Jongdae tighter in fear that the other will just walk away, leave the auditorium now and never speak to him again, but to Joonmyun’s relief, he doesn’t. The skepticism remains hard in Jongdae’s eyes, but Joonmyun can see a tiny crack in his resolve, just enough for him to get through and save whatever chance he has left.
“Anything?” Jongdae asks slowly, one eyebrow raised as he considers Joonmyun out of the corner of his eye, and Joonmyun can’t nod fast enough.
“Yes, anything at all.” He braces himself for the worst when Jongdae sighs and pulls his wrist away, already feeling the burning hole in his wallet before Jongdae even speaks. But to his surprise, it never actually comes.
Jongdae’s eyes are still hard as he folds his arms over his chest, lips pulled tight as he makes his request. “Fine,” he mutters. “Then buy me coffee.”
Joonmyun blinks rapidly. “What?” he deadpans, and Jongdae makes a displeased noise in the back of his throat
“Buy me coffee!” he whines. “Right now! And from that expensive place next to the jewelry store- no flaking out!”
Joonmyun’s mouth drops open a bit, but Jongdae remains firm. The shop Jongdae’s talking about it right down the street and really not all that expensive in the grand scheme of things. Joonmyun had expected a bit… worse. He recovers quickly though and nods, already pulling his keys out of his pocket as he accepts. “Y-yeah. Okay. Sure. Absolutely,” he stutters. “What do you want me to get-”
“Pfft, please Hyung. There’s no way I’m letting you go by yourself. I may never see you or my coffee again,” Jongdae interrupts, and Joonmyun is once again left baffled as Jongdae leads them both out the door. They’re just about to get in Joonmyun’s car when Jongdae speaks again, voice still whiny and indignant as he makes another request.
“And you’re getting me a muffin,” the younger demands. “Two muffins, actually.”
“Yes yes, of course,” Joonmyun agrees over the roof of his car, nodding rapidly and completely missing the way Jongdae’s hard mask momentarily breaks into a grin.
Joonmyun knows he’s not quite forgiven yet though, even after they spend hours talking to each other over coffee with too much sugar in it and three muffins, but when they’re finally kicked out and driving back to the university, Joonmyun is determined to change that. He makes plans with a hesitant Jongdae for the next weekend that he makes absolutely certain to keep. He writes it three times on every calendar and reminder sheet he owns the second he gets home, and tapes a sticky note to the inside of his front door for good measure. It’s a bit of an overkill as Baekhyun makes sure to point out when he comes over in the middle of the week, but Joonmyun brushes the comment off. He’ll be damned if he ever misses plans with Jongdae again, and if that’s what he has to do to make sure he won’t, then so be it.
Jongdae is none the wiser when Joonmyun shows up at his place for a movie marathon, and Joonmyun spends the entire day realizing just how much he’s missed the younger boy as they snuggle up under an old blanket with a bowl of popcorn. He even missed the way Jongdae drools on his shoulder when he nods off twenty minutes into the fourth Star Wars movie, and he’s more than happy to follow the other into dreamland with a hand running through Jongdae’s soft bangs and a kiss to his forehead.
11:36am. Still plenty of time.
Joonmyun adjusts the phone against his ear and tries to be as still as possible while listening to the words coming form the other line.
“I swear to God Hyung, if you miss this-” the voice crackles through, but Joonmyun cuts him off.
“I’m not going to miss it Jongdae calm down,” Joonmyun says with a soft laugh as Baekhyun straightens the tie around his neck. It’s pale blue because Jongdae had been absolutely mortified at the idea of them both wearing all white, and now that Joonmyun has actually seen the outfit all together, he has to agree. He assures Jongdae at least another two times that there’s no way he could possibly miss it when he’s already in the building, but he’s still smiling long after he hangs up. A fluttering excitement is dancing through his veins as he takes everything in, hands shaking and breath purposefully slow. There’s no place in the world he’d rather be right now.
He gives his phone another short glance a few minutes later despite Baekhyun griping at him to stop moving so much, and his heart practically erupts with butterflies at the message he sees flashing on the screen.
From: Kim Jongdae
I can’t wait to see you Hyung
The message is simple enough, even followed by a cute smiley face, but Joonmyun’s entire body feels like it’s floating. He taps out a quick reply before Baekhyun confiscates his phone altogether, and he’s pretty sure his cheeks are going to go numb with how hard he’s smiling.
Yeah, can’t wait to see you too.
11:59am. Still time.
The doors to the sanctuary open. Light and music and utter elation floods over Joonmyun as he takes a step forward. Everyone turns to look.
12:00pm. Not a disaster.
Jongdae walks through the doors and down the aisle to where Joonmyun is waiting, his pale grey suit rustling with every step and being drown out by the piano trilling away in the background. His smile stretches so wide it must hurt his face, and Joonmyun thinks that he’s never looked more beautiful.
They exchange vows.
They say “I do.”
12:05pm. Joonmyun is utterly and hopelessly in love.
a/n: was that a cop-out ending? absolutely \o/