9 Nine

"Ugh, it's so flipping cold."

"I'd give you my jacket but you already have like... five on."

Sehun narrowed his eyes at the other boy, elbowing him in the side and making him laugh softly.

"Aww, do you want a hug?"

"Actually, yes," Sehun pouted. What could he say? He was a cuddly guy, he loved hugs. In fact, the only reason he'd ever want to get into a relationship was so he could cuddle with someone. Definitely not to exchange saliva, blegh. Besides, it was freezing cold and there was nothing like some nice body heat.

The taller boy smiled and wrapped an arm around Sehun, pulling him close. Sehun sighed, watching his breath condense as it left his lips. He leaned on the boy's shoulder, enjoying the warmth eminating from his body. Why were they in a park in the middle of goddamn November when it was absolutely freezing outside? Oh, right, a certain somebody had insisted on it, saying it'd be fun. Sitting on a freezing park bench in the middle of winter was definitely not Sehun's idea of fun.

They watched the children play and throw snow balls at each other, laughing and enjoying with their friends while their parents miserably watched from a distance away. Sehun could tell they were just waiting to get home. This is why I'm never having kids.

"Aw, what a cute couple," some random girl said, smiling at the two of them. Sehun's eyes widened as Tao laughed awkwardly, the two of them quickly separating.

"Uh, it's not really like that," Tao clarified, cheeks slightly red, "We're just friends."

"That's too bad. You two looked totally cute together! Can I take a picture?" She held up an expensive DSLR camera, "Not to be weird or anything, I just really like taking pictures of people."

Sehun shrugged, not minding the idea. He was an artist, so he could understand where she was coming from. He loved drawing people and she loved taking pictures of them. Sehun lay his head back on Tao's shoulder as the boy hesitantly put his arm back around Sehun.

"Just pretend I'm not here," the girl said as she held the camera up to her eye. After a flash, she grinned at them. "Thank you."

"Sure, no problem," Tao said, watching her smile once more before walking away from them. He let out a nervous sigh as he looked down an Sehun who's head was still resting on his shoulder, shuddering slightly from the cold. It was a wonder how comfortable he'd gotten around him over the past couple of weeks, judging by how hostile he was the first day he returned to the dojo. They hung out a couple of times and Sehun had eventually warmed up to him. Tao wondered how he could have ever been rude to someone like him; he was absolutely adorable and had a great personality.

"This isn't too bad," Sehun mumbled, "Apart from the fact that I'm freezing my butt off."

"Yeah, it's nice," Tao smiled, "Hey... there's something I wanted to tell you."

"Hm?"

"It's just... um, you're great, Sehun. Just getting to know you over the past few weeks has been really awesome."

Sehun lifted his head up from the boy's shoulder to smile at him shyly, "I honestly didn't think we'd be friends. I usually hate people. But you're not too bad yourself. Once you stop staring at my butt during karate class, that is."

Tao laughed softly, "I can't help it."

"Pervert."

"Says the one that reads BL manga."

Sehun shrugged, "Touche."

They both laughed before going silent, Tao biting his lip nervously as he silently contemplated whether or not it was a good time to confess the way he felt. Maybe they hadn't known each other for that long but he couldn't deny his attraction to the other boy.

"Hey..." He finally spoke, mustering up his courage, "I... really like you."

Sehun's eyes widened and he blushed, feeling his heart beginning to thump in his chest. He remained frozen in his spot, head still resting on Tao's shoulder. He could feel Tao's breathing pick up speed as his fists clenched and unclenched.

Wait, is he... confessing to me? Like actually confessing?

"I know I'm being kinda sudden and all but I just really like you and... I was hoping maybe... you could go out on a date with me?"

Sehun bit his lip nervously, still unable to look up and meet Tao's eyes. His face was flushed and red hot, and all of a sudden it didn't feel nearly as cold anymore. Clearing his throat nervously, he forced himself to speak.

"Well... I certainly didn't see that one coming."

Tao let out a breathy laugh, "Yeah... Neither did I."

Sehun could hear the shakiness in his voice. It somehow comforted him to know that Tao was nervous too. At least he wasn't alone on that boat. He finally mustered up the courage to lift his head up and look at him.

"You do know I have like zero experience in things like these, right?"

"Yeah but... There's a first time for everything. All I'm asking for is one date. And if it goes well, we could, you know... keep going. But if not we can always just stay friends. I don't want you to feel pressured or anything," Tao said nervously, a small blush covering his cheeks. Sehun really was taken aback by that; the guy was usually confident and cocky but now he looked so anxious and... shy.

Sehun stayed quiet for a while, playing with the hem of his jacket as Tao watched him expectantly. Damn... what do I even say in a situation like this? No one's ever confessed to me before. Sehun had really come to like Tao over the few weeks they had become friends. He was easygoing and friendly, even though he was a bit vulgar sometimes. Even Amber was more okay with him than she was with Kai, for some odd reason. But he didn't think his feelings for him were more than platonic, and besides, he still really liked Kai. Like a lot. And his stupid crush was only gettng bigger.

But then again, I don't even have a chance with Kai. He has a girlfriend he's so desperately in love with. Maybe I could just... give Tao a chance. Who knows, maybe I could fall for him and forget about Kai. The thought process made sense in his mind, and he liked to think he was a smart guy. So, before he could change his mind, he spoke up.

"I... I guess one date wouldn't hurt..."

"A DATE?!"

Sehun sighed, having more or less expected this reaction. He didn't expect Amber and Kai to be so synchronized though. In fact, they both even had the same face expression, wide eyes and all.

"Yeah, a date."

"No no no, you're can't go on a date with Tao," Kai said, crossing him arms. Sehun lifted an eyebrow.

"Why not?"

"Because!" His eyes wandered around the cafeteria, as if searching for something to say. He had a deep frown on his face, which confused Sehun. Why'd he look so apprehensive anyway? Thankfully enough, Amber spoke up instead.

"Because you've only known the guy for like three weeks?" She said, "Besides, do you even like him?"

Sehun shrugged, "He's pretty nice. And he's my type."

"Wait, so Tao's your type and I'm not?" Kai retorted, looking offended, "What does he have that I don't?"

Both Sehun and Amber looked at the guy weirdly, making his eyes widen slightly on realizing what he had just said.

"Kai, what the hell? Is that really all that's bothering you?" Amber questioned, frowning.

"What, my pride just took a blow," he grumbled.

"Anyway, you're not going on that date Sehun, and that's final," she said with a strict look.

"Yeah!" Kai was quick to agree, making the two of them look at him again. Sehun huffed, annoyed.

"You both can go suck a hedgehog, okay?! You're not my parents. If I want to go out with Tao, I will freaking go out with him!"

"No, you're not."

"Why? Give me one good reason!"

"Because I don't trust the guy," Kai said, "What if he kidnaps you or something?"

"Yeah, besides you said he used to bully you," Amber added.

"That was ten years ago! We were kids! And I can handle myself just fine, alright? This is the first time someone's been actually interested in me and you know what? Maybe I'm interested in him as well. I'm willing to give him a shot. Besides, it's just one date."

Kai's eyes darkened at that, "You hardly know the guy."

Sehun stood up, angry, "You know what? Why do I even bother telling you guys anything? I don't need your permission. This is my own freaking business."

"We're your friends, so your business is ours as well!" Kai countered, "Amber, back me up here."

The girl had a thoughtful look on her face as she shrugged, "No, he's right."

"What?!"

"Sehun's a smart guy," she said with an airy tone, "Let him do what he wants."

"Oh my God, Amber. Thank you. I love you so much," Sehun said, glad that she was finally letting it go. It didn't look like Kai was going to anytime soon, though.

"Are you serious? You had a problem with me for weeks but you're totally cool with Sehun dating this Tao guy?"

"Yeah," she shrugged.

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"Hey, mind if I join you guys?"

All three heads snapped to the new voice and they saw Victoria standing there with a smile, carrying her lunch tray. "Uh... Did I come at a bad time?"

"Not at all," Amber muttered sarcastically, looking anywhere but at the black-haired girl as Sehun sighed.

"I'm going to the art club room, I have a painting to finish."

"I'm gonna help him," Amber quickly stood up.

"No, you're just gonna sit there and annoy me," Sehun grumbled as the two walked out of the cafeteria, leaving Kai alone with Victoria.

"I guess your new friends don't like me too much," she chuckled as she sat down at their booth, "Whoa, what's up with you?"

"I'm just annoyed."

"Annoyed," she cocked a brow, "Why?"

"Sehun's going on a date with some dude from his dojo."

Her eyes went blank as she forced a small smile, "So? Is that a bad thing?"

"Of course. I don't trust the guy."

"It's just a date right?" she laughed, "People go on dates all the time. What's the big deal? Come on, cheer up. Have some chicken."

Kai looked at the chicken leg she offered him, an expectant smile on her face.

"You know chicken is my weakness," he grumbled as he leaned forward and took a bite of it like a puppy. Victoria laughed and patted his head.

"Sometimes I feel like I'm dating a dog."

"A sexy dog."

"Yeah, sure," she laughed. She could tell that he was still bothered, though. And truth be told, that fact annoyed her as well. It was once again shedding light on the thought she'd spent weeks trying to get out of her head.

I just hope I'm wrong.

Kai glared at the two laughing boys from the booth he was sitting at, trying his best to hide his face behind the menu. Which probably wasn't even necessary since he was already wearing glasses, a snapback and a mask. Why the hell is Sehun laughing and smiling so much? What did Tao say that's so funny anyway? I'm pretty sure I'm way funnier! It also pissed him off how nice Sehun looked. He was dressed in a simple T-shirt and a jacket that actually fit him and didn't look like a hand-me-down from his overweight uncle. He finished the outfit off with simple blue jeans and a beanie on his head, a style that actually really suited him. They were at a fancy cafe that Kai had inconspicuously managed to get the name of from Sehun. He knew it was wrong to stalk them on their date but he couldn't stop himself. The thought of Sehun going on a date with Tao really bothered him and he just had to go and follow them around. Besides, at least he'd be there to jump in for the rescue if Tao tried anything funny.

After they were done with their beverages at the cafe, the two left and Kai quickly followed them out into the street. He tried to keep a safe distance so they wouldn't see him.

He was so focused on not losing sight of them that he ended up bumping into someone. He looked over at the person to apologize but a scowl made its way onto his face as he saw who it was.

"Amber?"

"Kai?! What the hell are you doing here?" she questioned, looking annoyed.

"I could ask you the same!"

"I'm following Sehun around, duh."

He cocked a brow, "I thought you said you were fine with him going on a date with Tao."

"Of course I'm not fine with it. I lied!"

"Well, I'm following him around too."

"Why?"

"Just in case Tao tries doing anything funny."

"I've got it covered, you can go home."

"No, I'm staying," he huffed, "I can't let anything bad happen to Sehun."

"Jesus, fine," she rolled her eyes and then looked around the street, "Speaking of which... where the fuck are they?"

Kai's eyes widened as he searched around for them in the crowded street. Oh shit! We lost them.

"Over there!" Amber jogged off after spotting a head of blonde hair and a red beanie in the distance, Kai quickly following close behind. After tailing them for a while, they saw the two getting in one of those cheesy boat rides you see in crappy chick flick movies at the river.

"A boat ride? How romantic," Kai mocked as he and Amber got in one as well, urging the driver guy to hurry the hell up so they wouldn't be too far away from Tao and Sehun.

"Can you see what they're doing?" Amber asked.

"It just looks like they're talking," Kai strained his eyes, trying to see what was going on from the distance. The driver eyed them weirdly but didn't say anything, focusing on just rowing the boat.

"I should have brought my binoculars," Amber groaned. The two went quiet as they kept a watchful eye on the other boat, waiting for anything eventful to happen. It went on for a good ten minutes before Kai spoke up.

"Amber," he alerted, "Is it just me or Tao making a move?"

"Yeah, he's cupping his cheek," Amber said, "We need to do something."

Kai clenched his fists, feeling a spark of anger hit him as he watched the guy. He better get his damn hands off of Sehun right now! "Quick, call Sehun."

She nodded and pulled out her phone, dialing in his number and waiting for him to pick up as she observed the two from the distance. It looked like Tao had dropped his hand as Sehun picked up his phone.

"Hello?" Sehun's voice sounded a little breathless when he picked up and Kai tried to lean as close as he could to listen in to their conversation. Amber smacked him away.

"Hey, I was just wondering how your date was going. Or if you needed an emergency extraction or something."

"Not at all. It's going great."

Kai scowled.

"Great! Well, tell me if you need anything, okay?"

"Sure, Amber."

"Love ya, boo."

She could hear the scowl in his voice as he whispered into the phone, most likely not wanting Tao to hear, "Yeah, love you too. Goodbye."

He hung up and she looked up at Kai with a smirk as the boat ride was coming close to an end.

"I think we make a good team," Kai grinned.

"Don't get used to it," she rolled her eyes, "Hey wait, aren't those Kris and Kyungsoo getting on a boat?"

Kai followed her eyes and was surprised to see an excited Kris with Kyungsoo sporting his signature I-hate-every-single-moment-of-my-life face.

"Huh, yeah. Wonder what they're doing here."

"So... how was your date?"

Sehun blinked, "Why are you at my house?"

"Come on, tell me," Kai groaned, following Sehun into his apartment complex.

"It was fine."

"Fine like you like him back or fine like you just had an okay time?"

"No, fine like I wanna punch you in the face."

Kai frowned, "What's got you in such a bad mood?"

"Because I know you and Amber were following us around."

Kai's eyes widened, "W-What? How'd you know?"

Sehun stopped when they were in front of his apartment to glare at Kai. "You're way too obvious! I couldn't even fully enjoy my time with Tao because I was worried about you two embarrassing me!"

"Sehu-"

"What's your deal anyway? I mean, I understand why Amber would be all overprotective but I don't get what's got you so bothered. Why do you not want me to date Tao so damn much?"

"Is it wrong that I'm worried about you?"

"No that's not it. You're not worried. There's something else."

Kai froze slightly, having been caught by surprise. "How do you know that?"

"Because I know, Kai. I can see right through you! So tell me, what's really your problem?"

The other boy didn't know what to say, because he himself had no idea what his problem was. He wasn't just being overprotective, there was another reason. And he didn't know what it was, all he knew was that he didn't want Sehun dating Tao, he didn't want Sehun dating anyone.

Wait, am I.... Jealous?

"You won't tell me?"

Kai remained quiet, and that was enough for Sehun to unlock his apartment door with a sigh, entering and shutting it behind him and leaving Kai out in the empty hallway. It dawned on him that Sehun was upset at him. Actually upset. And the thought hurt more than he could ever imagine.

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