"JiSung is probably watching us from the window." MinHo chuckles as he spins around and waves up at the building blindly.
"He's probably on his way down to beat you." HyunJin chuckles as he plays along with MinHo.
"Honestly, probably—no—Chan is holding him back. Chan would tell him that 'fighting isn't the answer' and that 'there will be another chance.' JiSung is probably moping around though." MinHo spins back around to look at me.
"You've got to be freezing. It's like negative four out." HyunJin frowns as he watches me hesitantly.
"Go back up and grab JiSung's coat." MinHo nods back toward the building.
"Won't do any good, he got coffee on it earlier when we were messing around." HyunJin sighs as he recalls the clothes he lost to the deadly Americano song.
"I'm okay. It's not that far." I reassure them happily as I hold Taro tightly.
"So—how long have you liked Stray Kids?" MinHo asks as he stuffs his hands in his pockets. He kicks awkwardly at the ground.
"I don't know the exact day or anything, but it was predebut." I mumble. That's a complete lie. I know the exact day and time—right down to the seconds—that I fell head over heels for them. They don't need to know that though. That's the one thing I refuse to let slip.
"Really? Was JiSung always your bias?" HyunJin asks as he falls into step beside me.
I swallow hard. I don't know how to answer. I want to say yes, because I know how devastated JiSung could be if he finds out he wasn't. I also want to tell the truth, but I'm worried.
"No, he wasn't. She's hesitating. What made you switch?" MinHo asks as he stops for us to catch up to him.
"At first, I liked Chan. He was so well put together and really caring. I mean—he's not ugly either—but once you debuted, my eye was drawn to JiSung. I don't know what it was, he was just mesmerizing." I shrug as I walk comfortably—for once—between the two of them.
"Chan? What about that HyunJin guy? He's a pretty good looking guy." HyunJin pouts playfully as he nudges me.
"I don't know. I was told that he was a little much—kind of dramatic. I just heard that he spilt coffee on JiSung's coat singing his Americano song." I chuckle as lay my head on HyunJin's shoulder.
"In his defense—" HyunJin starts before clearing his throat. "That JiSung guy got a little too close. HyunJin did not mean it. He bumped into JiSung and didn't hear the end of it for an hour."
"That MinHo guy doesn't care if he is/was your bias. Does that give him bonus points now?" MinHo questions as he blindly walks forward. His eyes are too focused on the ground beneath his feet to really care about what's in front of us.
"Oh—that MinHo guy? He's really clingy. Don't you think? He's always touching JiSung. I don't know if I can give someone who's always touching my bias extra points." I wrap my arm around MinHo's and smile.
"Hey—it's not just me. JiSung does it, too." MinHo sticks his bottom lip out.
"Why haven't you come to a fan meet before? I'm sure JiSung would've remembered you if you did. He wouldn't have been so shy the first time he saw you." HyunJin asks as he pulls his vibrating phone out of his pocket.
"I'm not good with crowds. I couldn't even finish high school like a normal kid. I went to an alternative school. I wanted to—I actually tried a few times, but I just couldn't go through with it." I sigh as I recall the dozen or so times I attempted to get myself to attend their fan meets and concerts.
"You'll have to come with us for one of our performances. You can watch backstage—there aren't as many people that way. It can be a bit crowded at times, but not nearly as bad as the audience is." MinHo suggests as he holds his arm out to stop me from walking into traffic.
"I don't know—won't people be suspicious? They'll think I'm dating one of you. Then people will start talking about me and I don't need that." I take a shaky breath as MinHo lowers his arm.
"You can come when we're rehearsing. There aren't many people there then. They'll probably just assume your a new manager or something—as long as you aren't dating a certain someone by then." HyunJin chuckles as he hits answer and holds his phone to his ear.
"It's JiSung." MinHo shakes his head as he leads us through the crosswalk.
"She's fine. She's a little cold, but alive. MinHo and I are doing great, too." HyunJin rolls his eyes.
"Ever since he ran into you, it's Ari this and Ari that. You'd think he put you in the hospital or something." MinHo reaches in front of me to grab HyunJin's phone from him.
"We're convinced he's obsessed—but he usually is. That's why he's so close to MinHo. Once he gets close to someone, he's closer to them than humanly possible." HyunJin shrugs as he watches MinHo hang up on JiSung.
I pull the blanket further around me and Taro. JiSung was right, I'm going to freeze to death before I make it JiHyo's. I should've called her to pick us up.
"Come here." HyunJin insists as he grabs ahold of my arm and pulls me toward him. He wraps his arms around me securely and squeezes.
"If JiSung sees you he'll murder you." MinHo teases as he walks backward—his eyes never once leaving us.
"I'm okay, HyunJin. It's not that much further." I attempt to break out of his grasp.
"If you won't let me hold you, then take my coat." HyunJin lets go of me and stops to unzip his coat.
"Come here, I'll save you!" MinHo turns and squats down.
I glance at HyunJin before hurrying toward MinHo and hopping on his back. I wrap my arms around him tightly and point him in the direction of JiHyo's place.
"Yah! Don't leave me behind!" HyunJin calls as he hurries to catch up with us.
"Are you sure you want to live here? You won't have anyone around. At least at your old place we were right across the hall. You could've came over whenever you needed a break." MinHo asks softly as he sets me down on my feet at the gate of JiHyo's place.
"I can't keep living at my parents place. Of course—I'm scared. I honestly don't know if it was a smart idea, but I figure I have to do it sometime." I sigh as I turn to check where HyunJin is.
"You know you can always call us, right? It doesn't have to be JiSung either. You could call me and I'd drop everything to come check on you—all of us would." MinHo ruffles my hair as HyunJin leans forward and attempts to catch his breath.
"Me, too—but if you call this late at night, I'm going to make our manager drive me. I refuse to run this far again." HyunJin stands upright and dusts his hands off on his pants.
"There you are! Why didn't you call? I was worried sick." JiHyo chirps as she hurries out of the house.
"I didn't know who was all coming and I know there was no way they'd all fit in your car." I mumble as I motion for HyunJin and MinHo to follow after me.