Actions

Work Header

Paired

Work Text:

If anyone asked, Bin had shelled out his hard-earned barista money for two season tickets to Lotte World because he was a good big brother. Not only had he spent his money for his sister to go to Lotte World every week, but he accompanied her, and he carried her bag of heavy and expensive photography equipment, and he acted as a human tripod so she could film fan cams of her beloved Kim Myungjun, one of seven boys in an idol training competition called iTeen Rising Star. Sua was so dedicated to Myungjun’s talent and beauty that she ran the homesite You Are My Sunshine for him. Bin was so good a big brother that he was her unerring assistant in all things related to the website. 

He picked a good spot below the stage, and he held very still so her camera footage would be steady, and when her three best friends arrived, he helped with their camera bags as well. Euntak was the homesite master for Park Jinwoo. Heejoo was the homesite master for Park Minhyuk. Chaeyoung was the homesite master for Yoon Sanha. The boys hadn’t even debuted yet, but they had very dedicated fans. 

And those fans had dedicated brothers like Moon Bin. 

“Lotte World again?” his father asked. 

Bin nodded, waiting at the front door with Sua’s camera bag. “She wants to get her money’s worth with these passes.”

“Not her money, though, is it?”

Bin shrugged. 

His father patted him on the shoulder. “You’re a good brother to her, Binnie.”

He shrugged again. “It’s nothing. I don’t mind.”

He really didn’t. Because every week he had an excuse to stand perfectly still and pay rapt attention to Lee Dongmin, one of the other iTeen trainees.

But if anyone asked, Bin took the weekly trip to Lotte World because he was a good big brother. 

Sua knew he liked boys, because she was the only person he’d told, but he didn’t talk to her about boys like she talked to her friends about boys. Him liking boys was an abstraction to her, like the fact that he’d serve in the military one day. So he didn’t tell her he had a massive crush on Lee Dongmin. 

Bin was above average height, so he always had a good view of the stage. He could plant himself firm and wait to see the most beautiful boy in the world. 

Maybe Park Minhyuk was a better dancer; maybe Kim Myungjun was a better singer. Lee Dongmin was the most beautiful. When he was onstage dressed in sharp black and white, with perfectly styled hair and dark eyeliner, he looked sexy and dangerous. But that wasn’t what Bin liked best. Bin liked the moments when he was startled into a smile or laughter, because his entire face lit up. His eyes crinkled into little half moons and he looked happy. 

More than beautiful, he was kind. Bin knew it was a little sly and sneaky, but because he was a boy, he could get much closer to the trainees than his sister and her friends could. No one would suspect him of being a fan with a crush. So if he happened to wander toward the sides of the stage after another breathtaking performance and just so happened to edge toward the wings a bit, no one really noticed. 

Certainly not Lee Dongmin, who was telling Jaesung that he’d done great, that he should head back to the dorms with his head held high. Definitely not Lee Dongmin, who was helping Sanha with a math problem on an assignment that was due tomorrow. Absolutely not Lee Dongmin, who was giving Jinwoo a shoulder rub because being their team leader was stressful for him. Never Lee Dongmin, who was telling Junyong corny jokes to get him to loosen up. 

“Where did you learn that?” Junyong asked, amused and exasperated all at once. But he was smiling. 

“From Myungjun-hyung, of course.” Dongmin’s smile was gentle.

Junyong rolled his eyes, but he was smiling too. “Of course.”

Before Bin could observe more, Sua texted him. She wanted to go on their obligatory one ride before they headed home. 

Bin shouldered her camera bag and slipped away from the wings of the stage. 

He’d see Dongmin next week. 


“I’m so excited,” Sua said, bouncing on her toes as she checked her camera settings. She always took test shots to check the lighting and shutter speed, make sure she would get good shots. Bin respected her dedication to being a homesite master. She’d learned a lot about photography, mostly from YouTube tutorials, and she’d saved up money for a really good camera. She’d also made Bin do a bunch of the dance routines from the dance academy they’d both gone to as children so she could practice taking photos of someone while he was dancing and make sure the photos didn’t come out blurry. She got great action shots of Myungjun as a result.

“Why are you so excited?” Bin asked. He added quickly, “Other than that you get to see the love your life singing and dancing onstage. Again.”

“Because,” Sua said, “Monday is a holiday, which means we can stay extra late at the park tonight and go on more than one ride!”

That actually sounded like a lot of fun.

“I brought along some extra money so we could rent a locker for all the gear,” Sua said. She added, “But, Oppa, you should also buy me food, shouldn’t you?”

“Why should I?” Bin asked. 

“Because I didn’t get any dinner before we came.”

“Neither did I.” 

“So obviously we should eat together,” Sua said.

“Doesn’t seem obvious to me.” Bin did his best to keep a straight face as Sua pouted.

“Op -pa! Don’t be mean to me.”

“Mean to you?” Bin turned to her, incredulous.

She shoved his shoulder, and he remembered he was supposed to be holding still so she could check her view of the stage, so he faced forward again. 

“How am I mean to you? I come here every week and carry all your heavy gear and I’m the one who bought the season passes. Do you know how hard I worked to be able to afford that for you? It’s a Friday night. I could be hanging out with my friends -”

“You don’t have any friends,” Sua said.

“I do!” Bin protested. 

“Who?”

“Chanwoo and - and Chanhee.”

“When was the last time you hung out with them?”

“The Friday before I started coming here with you.”

“You wish.”

Bin sighed, but she was right. Chanwoo and Chanhee had gone on to different middle schools, and then they’d become trainees, and Bin never heard from them now. Because trainee life was incredibly busy.

“I could be going to - to a hagwon.”

Sua snorted. “For what?”

“Piano.”

Sua made another noise of disbelief.

“I was good at the piano!” But their parents had had to sell the piano, and that was that. Sometimes Bin sneaked into the music room at school and tinkered around, but he didn’t have hopes of competing with the better musicians at his school.

Besides, he wanted to become a social worker. His mother had been a social worker for years, and the stories she’d tell about the children in the orphanages had stuck with him.

“These pictures are going to turn out great,” Sua said. “Although they’d probably be better if I weren’t so hungry.”

Bin sighed and reached into his pocket for his wallet. “Go get some churros.”

Sua squealed, snatched the cash from him, kissed him on the cheek, and hurried away.

“Sua doesn’t know how good she has it,” Heejoo said. “You’re such a good oppa. I have to constantly bribe my little sister to not tell my mom about my fansite. You keep Sua’s secret for free, and you give her money.”

“Sua’s right,” Bin said. “I have no friends, and I have no life. Also I look pretty pimp, hanging out with three fine ladies such as yourselves.” He smiled and winked.

Heejoo laughed and looked charmed. 

Ha. Bin still had it, even if he didn’t like girls.

“Or you look really gay,” Chaeyoung said. “Like we’re all your girl shopping buddies.”

Euntak chimed in with, “So, which iTeen boy is your bias?” She smirked.

Bin affected a pout, pretended to tuck a strand of hair behind his ear. “Obviously it’s Dongmin. He’s the most beautiful.”

“You’re so shallow,” Chaeyoung said, but she was smiling.

Sua slapped him on the arm. “Traitor. Your bias should be Myungjun. If you don’t fix your way of thinking I’ll give you to SilverHera to be her slave.”

SilverHera was the homesite master for Dongmin. While Sua and her friends were on good terms with her, they’d never learned her real name.

“I’m not your slave,” Bin protested.

Sua handed him one of the churros she’d bought. “Get back in place, Moon Bin.”

He obeyed and munched on the churro. It was delicious.

He held his ground as other fans started to arrive. When the MC for the evening stepped onto the stage, other park attendees stopped to see, curious, and Bin did his best to keep his spot and remain steady for Sua and her friends so they could photograph the stage well. Sua’s camera bag was actually a box with a strap, and it was heavy, but it was also sturdy enough for her to stand on when she was resting her camera lens on Bin’s shoulder.

Also Bin was getting a lot stronger from carrying it.

The MC did his usual spiel, introducing the iTeen rookie trainee program, encouraging people to come and admire the talented young men who were here competing for fans’ hearts - and also a spot on a new lineup for debut.

By the time the stage lights had gone down, Bin’s heart was pounding.

The seven boys took the stage, and cheers rose up all around them.

Jinwoo was easily identifiable by his pale blond hair, as was Sanha because he was so tall and had soft orange hair. 

They arranged themselves sitting on the floor in a circle.

“Where’s Minhyuk?” Heejoo whispered.

“I can’t see him,” Bin whispered back. “Maybe he’s behind Jaesung.” Jaesung was front and center.

Myungjun was stage left of Jaesung, and Bin pointed him out for Sua.

And then the music started. Voodoo Doll by Vixx.

“There’s Minhyuk,” Bin said, as Minhyuk arrived front and center via a pretty impressive team lift.

Cheers rose all around them.

And then there was Dongmin, center and glorious.

Bin’s heart soared.

There was a moment in the choreo where Dongmin and Jaesung leaned on each other, and Bin would have killed to be Jaesung in that moment.

Then the music switched over to BTS, because of course BTS, because every boy group had BTS as their gold standard, but Bin didn’t care, because if Dongmin made it to debut (and he would) then his group would be Bin’s gold standard.

After that banging opening dance number, the boys performed in subunits. Jinwoo and Minhyuk had a rap duet, so Euntak and Heejoo were hard at work recording fan cams for each boy while Chaeyoung and Sua helped out by snapping photos. Then Sanha and Myungjun had a sweet singing duet, with Sanha on his guitar. Chaeyoung was over the moon, cooing as Sanha played. Sua was riveted to her camera, enraptured by Myungjun’s singing. The last subunit was Dongmin, Junyong, and Jaesung, the three of them also singing. 

Bin was given a reprieve as a human tripod for their performance, and he sighed happily and rolled his shoulders. And then he watched Dongmin, and he cheered, and he was crushing so stupidly hard but he didn’t even care. 

After the last song, the boys thanked the audience and took their bows, and the lights came up, and like that, the magic was over. 

Sua and her friends crowded close, packing up their gear and gushing about how well their favorite boys had done. 

“And to make this night even more perfect,” Sua said, “we can ride the rides till the park closes. Let’s go get a locker!”

The girls cheered, and Bin shouldered the heaviest gear, and together they set off. 

After Bin put Sua’s camera bag in the locker, he rolled his shoulders and gave an exaggerated groan. 

“Sua, your stuff is so heavy. My shoulders hurt. Oppa deserves a snack or something.”

“Or something,” Sua said, patting him on the arm condescendingly. “Let’s start on the first floor. To the Viking Ship!”

Bin rolled his eyes, but he followed them. 

“Okay,” Euntak said, “you have to keep a straight face once it gets going.”

“Or what?” Bin asked. 

“Loser has to go in the singles line for the rollercoasters,” Sua said. 

Heejoo and Chaeyoung shivered.

“What if we get separated?” Chaeyoung protested. The singles line usually moved faster than the regular line. 

“We all have our cellphones,” Sua said breezily. 

All of them kept their phones fully charged as backup recording devices in case their cameras ran out of memory, not that they didn’t bring dozens of extra memory cards too. 

“If I get scared I can’t hold hands with a stranger.” Heejoo grabbed Chaeyoung’s hand preemptively. 

“Better keep a straight face, then,” Euntak said. 

Luckily the five of them could sit together on the Viking ship. It was Euntak who used her phone camera to take video of all of them so they could see who cracked first. 

Bin was sure he would be fine. He wasn’t scared of much. The safety bar was sturdy. Sure they were on the very back row, but heights weren’t a big deal. He and Sua had been on this ride before. 

And then the ship started to swing. 

Almost up to the ceiling of the entire park. 

Bin’s stomach flipped and he couldn’t help it. He screamed. 

Beside him, Euntak burst out laughing. 

Bin squeezed his eyes shut and held on tight, and it seemed like forever until the dizzying swinging stopped. 

He stumbled off the ship with shaking legs, and he and the girls headed for the exit. 

“I need to check the video,” Euntak said, “but I’m pretty sure the loser was Bin.”

Sua laughed. “Coward.”

The other girls clustered around Euntak as she played the video. Bin stood on his toes to peer over their heads, resigned. 

“Yup,” Euntak said. “Bin is the loser. To the Giant Loop!”

Bin followed them across the first floor of the park to the next ride, which was just a single loop that went around and around again. 

The girls laughed and pretended to height-check Chaeyoung, who was the shortest, at the sign at the entrance to the ride. 

“Well, this is where we part ways, loser,” Sua said, and she shoved Bin into the singles line. She pointed to the sign that said Singles will be paired. “Good luck with that.”

And then she and her friends stepped into the regular line. 

“I’ll be just fine,” Bin said. “The singles line is so short that I’ll probably be able to ride this twice before you ride it once.”

The singles lane was almost completely empty, so he strode along it. Where the regular line snaked back and forth, the singles line ran straight to the stairs. 

Bin marched up to the bottom of the stairs where other single riders were waiting, and then he leaned against the railing. He had no one to talk to while he waited. He could text Sua, but she would just mock him with selfies of herself and the others.

He went to text Chanhee and Chanwoo, but when he opened up the chats, he saw that the last time he’d texted either of them was over two months ago and neither had texted back. 

Bin sighed and went to pocket his phone. Then he remembered - he could entertain himself by checking out SilverHera’s site for her latest Dongmin uploads, which were usually edited and posted within a week of a performance. Bin was a member of her site, which was a very nice one, and there was a way to make a personal gallery of all of his favorite pictures of Dongmin. He liked to look through them to cheer himself up. Or when he was bored. Or just because. 

The photos from last week’s performance had turned out really well. Dongmin looked amazing with dark eyeliner and those tight ripped jeans. Bin smiled happily to himself, adding some to his favorites. 

He glanced up absently when he heard people coming toward him. 

“Trust me, the singles line moves faster,” a boy was saying. “And only one of us will have to ride with a stranger. It’ll be fine.”

The boy’s voice was vaguely familiar. 

“I don’t want to ride with a stranger,” another boy protested. His voice was also familiar. “Hyung, be my riding partner.”

“Of course.” The third boy’s voice was familiar too. 

“I’ve got Jaesung!” a fourth boy chimed in.

“I’ve got Jinwoo!” a fifth boy said. 

“Fine. I’ll ride with a stranger. You wouldn’t mind riding with me, would you?” the sixth boy asked. 

Bin looked up, startled. “Me?”

He was looking at Lee Dongmin.

The six other iTeen trainees were in the line behind him. 

Lee Dongmin. Up close and personal. 

Oh hell. Bin closed the browser tab on his phone and shoved his phone in his pocket. His mouth went dry and his hands went clammy. 

“No. Of course not.”

“I’m Lee Dongmin, by the way. Ninety-seven.” He bowed slightly. 

“I know. I mean - I’m Moon Bin. Ninety-eight.” Bin bowed and hoped he wasn’t blushing too hard. 

Dongmin looked at him for a moment, then broke into one of those adorable smiles, where his eyes crinkled up and his whole face lit up. “Nice to meet you. You look familiar. You’ve been to our performances, haven’t you? I’ve seen you near the stage. You’re tall like me.”

“Ah, yes. I mean - you can see the crowd from the stage? I thought - with the lights -”

“We can see more than you think,” Dongmin said. “Also I’ve seen you after. Are you a fan?”

A huge one. But Bin wasn’t going to say that out loud and come off like a creepy sasaeng. 

“Ah - my younger sister is. She’s actually a homesite master for Myungjun-ssi.”

Myungjun, who was near the back and had Sanha hanging on him, perked up. “Is she Miss Moon from You Are My Sunshine? She’s a great photographer.”

“Yes, that’s her site,” Bin said. “I’ll be sure to tell her you said so.”

Myungjun beamed and framed his face with his hands. “I’ll do my best to keep being handsome for her.”

The other boys laughed and shoved him. 

“Sanha is a total baby when it comes to scary rides,” Junyong said.

Bin knew Sanha was the youngest of them all, only fourteen and still in middle school.

“I am not,” Sanha protested, but he was also hanging on Myungjun’s arm and looking a little anxious.

“I’m in the singles line because I lost a competition with my sister and her friends,” Bin admitted. “We were supposed to keep a straight face on the Viking Ship, and I...could not.”

Dongmin tilted his head. “You always keep a pretty straight face when we’re onstage, though.”

“I like your performances,” Bin said quickly. “It’s just - Sua rests her camera lens on my shoulder so she can get steady shots, so I have to stay very still while you’re performing. I’m only allowed to move around if she’s not filming, and a lot of times she’ll take photos of people besides Myungjun while her friends are filming fan cams of their biases, so I have to hold still. A lot.” He was rambling like an idiot. 

But Myungjun’s face lit up. “Your sister’s name is Sua?”

“Oh - oops. I probably shouldn’t have told you that.”

“Her screen name makes sense, now,” Myungjun said. “I thought she was Miss Moon because I’m Sunshine, but - it’s your last name.”

Bin nodded.

Jinwoo perked up. “So her friends are homesite masters too? For who?”

“For you, Minhyuk, and Sanha,” Bin said. “But - I can’t tell you their names.”

Jinwoo preened, and the others laughed and swatted at him.

“You’re such a good big brother,” Dongmin said, “to do all that for your sister. I wish I were a better brother, but I barely see my little brother now that I’m living in the trainee dorms.” His expression turned wistful.

“Well, if your brother misses you, all he has to do is log onto your homesite. There’s all kinds of videos and pictures of you there,” Bin said, and realized a moment too late how stalkerish that sounded.

“I think he’s found it,” Dongmin said. “He’ll text me sometimes and make fun of my hair or makeup.”

“You look great in eyeliner, though,” Bin said.

Dongmin ducked his head and blushed. “Thank you.” Then he looked at Bin. “You’d look pretty good in eyeliner yourself.”

“Oh, uh, thank you.” Bin knew he was blushing too. 

“Hey,” Minhyuk said. “The line’s moving. Let’s go.”

Bin watched as the others surged forward in pairs - Minhyuk and Jinwoo, Myungjun and Sanha, Junyong and Jaesung.

“You’re still with me, right?” Dongmin asked. 

Bin nodded. “Of course.”

The line moved up fast for them, and when Bin looked over his shoulder, he could see Sua and her friends much farther back. For one moment he was tempted to call out to them, but - no. They’d left him alone in the singles line. He was going to hang out with their biases without them. 

“Are you afraid of rollercoasters?” Bin asked as he climbed into the little car. 

“Not much, I don’t think,” Dongmin said, settling into the car beside him. He pulled down the safety bar. “You?”

“I thought I wasn’t, but now I’m here in the singles line, so -” Bin shrugged. 

“Well, good luck being brave this time,” Dongmin said. “Consider it practice so you don’t lose next time.”

“Thanks,” Bin said.

The bored-looking college student gave the safety spiel, and then the music started, and the ride lit up, and -

Bin squeezed his eyes shut and yelled. He couldn’t help it. He could hear Myungjun’s wild laughter mingled with Sanha’s panicked shouts and Jinwoo, Junyong, and Jaesung cheering.

Bin opened his eyes as the car sped round and round the single circular track. 

There was a single yelp from someone ahead of them - Minhyuk?

And then the car stopped. 

Upside down. 

Bin’s heart crawled into his throat. He closed his eyes.

Someone grabbed his hand. 

Bin opened his eyes, which was a poor choice, because the upside down world was very tiny. But Dongmin had his eyes squeezed shut and his face was pale. 

“Maybe,” he said, gasping, “maybe I’m afraid of roller coasters too.”

Bin should have said something smooth, like We can be afraid together, but then the roller coaster shot backward and all the air vanished from his lungs and all he could do was hang onto Dongmin’s hand and scream. 

When the ride finally ended, brakes hissing, the car rolled to a stop. Bin and Dongmin looked at each other, both breathless and relieved, and burst out laughing. 

Minhyuk said, “Let’s do it again!”

“Let’s try all the other rides first and then we can come back,” Jinwoo said reasonably. 

“I can’t believe he wants to ride this again,” Bin said. 

“Minhyuk is fearless.” Dongmin smiled fondly. 

The ride operator welcomed them back, and then the safety bar disengaged. 

Bin realized he and Dongmin were still holding hands. 

Dongmin looked down at their entwined fingers, then up at Bin.

Bin said, “Thanks for being afraid with me.”

“Yeah,” Dongmin said. “Thanks. And - you’re welcome.”

They disentangled carefully, then climbed out of the car and headed for the exit, walking side by side but carefully not touching, not looking at each other, aware of each other’s warmth. The rest of Dongmin’s fellow trainees were waiting, recounting the best moments of the ride, making fun of each other for being scared. Sanha was getting the most grief, not just because he was the maknae but because he’d been the loudest.

“Where to next?” Minhyuk asked, eyes shining. He really was fearless.

It sounded like Dongmin and his friends had plans similar to Sua’s and her friends, to try every major rollercoaster on a floor before moving on to the next floor.

“We should play rock paper scissors to see who has to ride with a stranger next time,” Jaesung said, holding out a closed fist.

Myungjun said, “Hey, Miss Moon’s brother, why don’t you stay with us? So none of us have to ride with strangers.”

“I’m sure his sister and her friends are waiting for him,” Junyong said.

Bin cast a wistful look at Dongmin, who was still carefully not looking at him, and nodded. “They are. I should stay with them and look out for them. Thank you for letting me ride with you. You all performed well tonight.”

“Thank you,” Minhyuk said. “We all worked hard.”

“Well - before you go, you should get a picture with us,” Sanha said. “So your sister and her friends can see.”

Before Bin knew what was what, there was an arm around his shoulders and someone was reeling him in and there were people pressed all around him, laughing and smiling, flashing peace signs and heart signs while Jinwoo held out his phone and snapped several pictures. He checked them, then said, 

“What’s your number? I’ll text it to you.”

Bin told him, and Jinwoo nodded and tapped away at his phone, and a moment later Bin’s phone buzzed in his pocket with an incoming text.

“Thanks again for riding with us,” Jinwoo said, even though Bin had really only been riding partners with Dongmin, and then the seven boys were waving and walking away, laughing and joking with each other.

Bin plopped down on the bench near the ride exit and dug his phone out of his pocket. He’d text Sua and find out where in the line she and her friends were.

But he had one unread message.

It was from an unknown number, but it was the picture Jinwoo had taken on his phone.

Bin stared at it. In the picture, Dongmin was right next to him, and he was smiling brightly. All the others were smiling too, but Dongmin’s smile was the brightest.

Bin smoothed his thumb over the image with another wistful sigh, and then he sent a text message to Sua.

Where are you?

Almost to the front of the line, she typed back.

I already rode. I’m waiting at the exit.

See you soon, Oppa!

Sua sent him a selca of herself and the other three, winking and grinning.

For one moment Bin was tempted to send her his picture with the trainees, but he decided against it. That moment was his.

He sent Jinwoo a quick Thank you, it was nice to meet you text, and then he settled in to wait - and remember the warmth of Dongmin’s hand in his.

Once Sua and the girls caught up to him, he said, “Where next?”

“The Drunken Baskets,” Sua said.

“You’re lucky,” Euntak added. “Since all of us can ride in there together. You won’t have to ride with strangers for that one.”

“You mean I’m going to be stuck in the singles line for the rest of the night?” Bin asked.

“You lost,” Heejoo said, and she grinned at Chaeyoung and held her hand.

Sua patted his shoulder. “That’s right. Loser.”

“I’m not a loser,” Bin said. “I’m the best big brother in the world.”

He got his revenge on the drunken baskets, because he was the strongest of the five of them, and he got his hands on the spinning wheel in the middle and sent their basket spinning madly, which made the girls shriek and hang onto each other.

After the ride was over, the five of them stumbled over to the exit, Bin laughing while the girls clung to each other and panted. Sua finally managed to right herself, and she slapped him on the arm.

“You,” she gasped out, “are the worst big brother in the world.”

“Maybe,” he said, “but you love me.”

While they stopped by a water fountain to recover, Bin checked his phone absently, and he saw he’d gotten a new text message from an unknown number.

Hey, where are you right now? This is Park Jinwoo, by the way.

Bin was surprised, but he texted back. We just finished with the Drunken Baskets. Why?

There was no response for so long that Bin figured he’d responded too late, that Jinwoo and the others were already on another ride, only his phone was showing the ellipsis that meant the other person was typing.

That ellipsis danced on the screen for seemingly forever before a response arrived.

We’re at the Flume Ride and almost at the front of the line. Want to ride with us? So we can be four and four.

Bin’s heart sped up. Did that mean he’d get to ride with Dongmin again? Or would he end up with someone else? Not that he wouldn’t appreciate being able to ride with any of the iTeen boys, because they were handsome and talented and nice and funny.

“Where to next?” Chaeyoung asked, wiping her mouth carefully.

Heejoo pointed. “The Flume Ride.”

It was fate.

Bin said, “Well, I’ll just take myself off to the singles line. Alone. And ride the ride before you. See you after.”

“Later, loser!” Sua called after him.

Bin didn’t even care that about a dozen people nearby turned to look at him because she shouted so loudly. As he made a beeline for the ride, he texted Jinwoo.

On my way.

He reached the singles line and scanned the crowd, and then someone yelled, 

“Moon Bin-ssi! Over here!”

It was Myungjun. He had an incredibly loud voice. He beckoned not from the singles line but from the regular line, and Bin jogged over to them, ducked under the barrier to stand with them.

“Perfect,” Myungjun said. 

“Will your sister and her friends be all right by themselves?” Jaesung asked.

“He has a little sister too,” Minhyuk said.

“They’ll be just fine,” Bin said. “They’re just a bit farther back is all.”

“Great!” Jinwoo grabbed his shoulder and propelled him forward. “Be Dongmin’s partner again.”

Dongmin had been standing at the front of the group, looking at something on his phone. He lifted his head, startled, when Bin stumbled to a stop in front of him.

“You again.”

“Hello.” Bin smiled and waved tentatively.

“You’re riding alone again?”

“I’ve been doomed to the singles line for the rest of the night, apparently.”

“We won’t tell anyone you’re not in it for this ride,” Junyong promised.

Dongmin studied Bin for a long moment. Then he said, “All right. Come be afraid with me again.”

Bin nodded and smiled, and Dongmin smiled back, and Bin’s heart skipped a beat.

It seemed that the seven boys always ended up pairing up the same way, leaving Dongmin as the odd one out, not because they didn’t like him but because there was always going to be an odd man out unless there was an option for three people to be together, at which point Sanha and Minhyuk would pair up, leaving Jinwoo, Myungjun, and Dongmin together, as they were the eldest.

Sua sent Bin more smug text messages from farther back in the line, posing with the other girls. They smiled and beamed and were completely at odds with the sheer number of times loser showed up in their text messages.

Jinwoo, Minhyuk, Sanha, and Myungjun crowded around Bin to look over his shoulder.

“Is that your sister and her friends?” Jinwoo asked.

Bin nodded and pointed each girl out to her bias, careful to use only their screen names.

“Do you check your fansites very often?” Bin asked.

“Of course,” Jinwoo said. “I have to remind myself how handsome I am.” He struck a pose, and Myungjun shoved him and laughed.

“I just like to see how I did,” Minhyuk said. “See if it’s obvious how nervous I am every time I get on stage.”

“Dongmin’s not allowed to check his fansite anymore,” Sanha said.

Bin glanced at him. “Why?”

“He always obsesses over what he does wrong,” Sanha said.

“I do not,” Dongmin protested, but he was blushing. “But I know I’m not the best dancer, and I’m working hard -”

“Stop,” Jinwoo said firmly. “We worked hard. We did well, and now we get to have fun.”

“Tell him, Bin,” Myungjun said.

Bin looked up, caught Dongmin’s eye. “You were amazing tonight. I promise.”

“You’re just saying that,” Dongmin began, but Bin shook his head.

“Really. You looked amazing out there. So - Jinwoo’s right. Relax. Let’s have fun. I want to have fun. I slaved away at my part time job all week so I could afford to be Sua’s slave tonight, and I also want to relax and have fun.”

“You have a part time job?” Dongmin asked.

“At a coffee shop. I used three months’ worth of wages to get Sua and I season tickets so she can come see you every week.”

“You really are a good big brother,” Minhyuk said.

“I wish my big brother had been that nice to me.” Myungjun sighed.

Bin opened another text message, this one of Sua and her friends making weird faces. “And yet she says I’m the worst big brother.”

“That’s mean,” Sanha said.

“Well - she doesn’t really mean it. It’s just how we talk to each other.” Bin shrugged. “She’s actually a really good little sister. And besides, if I didn’t come here with her, what would I do on a Friday night? Both of my best friends are idol trainees now and have no time for me.”

“It is hard to be friends with people who aren’t training with you,” Dongmin said.

“Well - we can be friends,” Sanha said to Bin. “Right? Can I call you Hyung?”

Bin was startled, but Sanha’s expression was earnest, so he said, “Sure.”

Sanha grinned and said, “Bin-hyung, the line’s moving. Hurry up!”

Indeed, the line was moving, so Bin hurried to catch up to Dongmin. When they reached the front of the line, they were split into two groups of four. Jinwoo chose to ride in the front of the log, with Myungjun right behind him, leaving Bin and Dongmin at the back.

“Are you nervous?” Bin asked.

Dongmin shrugged. “A little.”

“Remember, we’re together,” Bin said. “It’ll be fine.” 

“That’s right. Together.” Dongmin’s smile was sunny and sweet, and Bin’s heart skipped several beats.

Once they were settled into the log, Myungjun said, “Jinwoo, I’m going to hold onto you, and if I get scared, I’m going to squeeze you very hard. Just so you know.”

Jinwoo sighed, longsuffering. “Yes, Hyung. I know.”

Bin twisted around and looked over his shoulder at Dongmin. “You can hold onto me if you get scared. I don’t mind. My sister always does.”

He didn’t expect Dongmin to do it, of course, but it was only polite to offer. The log moved away from the boarding platform, glided along in the water, and then started moving up, up, up toward the first drop.

Dongmin’s hand closed over Bin’s wrist.

Myungjun let out a little squeal and ducked his head.

“We’re not even at the top yet,” Jinwoo said.

“I’m just getting ready, because it’s going to be scary,” Myungjun said.

Bin felt Dongmin wrap an arm around his waist.

They reached the top.

The log paused for a moment, and Bin could see all around the park. It looked amazing. Because it was an indoor park, it was easy to think it was small, but it was massive. 

And then the log plunged forward. Myungjun screamed. Jinwoo yelled. Dongmin’s arm around Bin’s waist tightened and Bin couldn’t breathe, and Dongmin was pressed against his back, and then the log landed at the bottom with a splash.

“I’m deaf now,” Jinwoo complained. “You’re not allowed to make fun of Sanha for being scared anymore, because you’re just a giant baby.”

“Compared to you, anyone’s a giant,” Myungjun said.

“Yah! You’re only two centimetres taller than me.”

“Three,” Myungjun said.

“One,” Dongmin corrected. He was breathing fast and shallow. He was still plastered against Bin’s back, had both his arms tight around Bin’s waist.

Bin turned slightly. “Dongmin-ssi, are you all right?”

“I think, after that, we can drop the formalities,” Dongmin said. “When’s your birthday?”

Bin told him.

“So we’re actually the same age,” Dongmin said. “We should speak comfortably to each other.”

He didn’t move away from Bin.

The log began its second - and highest - climb.

“If you don’t mind,” Bin said.

“Fair is fair,” Dongmin said. “You don’t mind me being this close to you, so I don’t mind if you call me Dongminnie.”

Bin’s heart started to pound hard. Would Dongmin be able to hear it? He said, “All right. Dongminnie. Hold tight.”

When the log reached the top, Bin really felt like he was on top of the world, so he looked out across the park and let himself imagine that he was flying.

And then falling, in a massive rush of sound and water and adrenaline, Dongmin’s warmth against his back all the while.

At the end of the ride, Bin climbed out first, helped Dongmin to his feet, and together they met the other four at the exit. Sanha immediately set to ribbing Myungjun.

“The entire park could hear you screaming.”

“Not me,” Jinwoo said. “Because I’m deaf now.”

Myungjun said, “You have a bug on your shirt.”

Sanha yelped and panicked, slapping wildly at his own shirt. “Where? Where?”

“There isn’t one,” Minhyuk said calmly. “He’s just messing with you.”

Dongmin was pale and shaky, and he still had a hand on Bin’s shoulder.

“Are you all right?” Bin asked in a low voice. “Why do you keep riding if it scares you so much?”

“Because,” Dongmin said, “it’s like going up on stage and performing. The more I do it, the less scary it will be. It’ll never stop being scary, but - I’ll be stronger.”

Bin stared at him. “That’s - wow.”

“Crazy, I know.”

“No. Impressive. That you’re willing to conquer your fears,” Bin said.

Dongmin squeezed his shoulder and offered him another one of those sunny smiles. “Well, you’re right here conquering them with me.”

If Bin had had a stupid crush on Dongmin before, he was falling in love now.

“Which ride should we go on next?” Junyong asked. 

“Everything else on this floor is kid rides,” Minhyuk said. “We should go to the second floor.”

“What about Bin-hyung?” Sanha asked. 

“I should text my sister and see where she wants to go next.” He fished his phone out of his pocket. 

As if on cue, it rang. But it wasn’t Sua calling. Bin answered.

“Dad?”

“Binnie, your mother had an accident at work. I have to take her to the hospital. Sua’s not answering her phone. Bring her home right now.”

“She’s probably on the ride. I’ll find her. Is Mom all right?”

“It’s not serious, but I have to go. Get home. Now.”

“Okay.” Bin hung up, then immediately dialed Sua. It went to voicemail. 

“Is everything all right?” Sanha asked. 

“My mother was in an accident. I have to get Sua and go. I’m sorry. I’ll probably see you next week. Work hard.” Bin waved and bowed and then he headed back for the ride exit, mind spinning. 

Mom getting into an accident at work could mean anything from she’d tripped and fallen to some crazy person tried to murder her when she went to take their child to the state orphanage.

He texted Sua over and over again. Come find me. We have to go.

“Yah!”

Bin turned when he heard his sister’s voice.

“Why do we have to go? Why did you keep texting me?” Sua had her phone out and was checking it. “Oh. Dad called. A bunch of times. What’s going on?”

“I’ll explain on the way,” Bin said, grabbing her wrist, “but we have to go now.”

“See you next week,” Sua called to her friends, bewildered, but she followed Bin back across the park to the lockers.

“What’s going on? Dad’s not answering his phone.”

“He’s probably driving right now.” Bin put in the code for the locker door, scooped up the heavy camera bag, handed Sua her gear, made sure the other girls’ gear was secure, and then headed for the park entrance.

“To pick us up?”

“To the hospital. Mom had an accident at work. He wants us to go straight home.”

“Mom! Is she all right?”

“He said it wasn’t serious, but we have to go. Come on.”

Sua nodded and hurried after him.

She fretted all the way home, but their father still wasn’t answering calls, only answered a few text messages. Sua fell asleep on the bus, and Bin made sure she stayed leaning on his shoulder when the bus jolted over potholes.

He woke her just before their stop, and together they gathered up their gear, thanked the driver, and trudged up the hill to their house.

Bin fixed a late dinner for them while Sua plopped down at her computer and started uploading the photos and videos she’d taken. She was texting Euntak, Chaeyoung, and Heejoo as well, assuring them she was fine, finding out about how the rest of their night had gone.

Bin knew she was fretting, that editing photos of Myungjun was just a distraction. While Bin waited for water for the ramyeun to boil, he checked his own phone, looked at the picture Jinwoo had sent him.

When the food was ready, Bin fixed up a bowl and brought it to Sua. He lingered beside her, watching her choose photos, edit them, add the You Are My Sunshine stamp to them.

“You really are good at this,” he said. “You could be a professional photographer one day, get paid to take pictures of idols.”

“I do my best,” Sua murmured.

“I bet if Myungjun looked at his fansites he’d love your photography,” Bin said.

“You have to say that because you’re my brother. Any word from Dad?”

Bin’s phone buzzed.

It wasn’t a message from their father, though.

It was a message from an unknown number.

Hello, Moon Bin. This is Lee Dongmin. Jinwoo-hyung gave me your number. I hope you don’t mind. I hope everything is all right with your family. I had fun being your ride mate tonight. Sleep well.

“What is Dad saying?” Sua asked.

“That wasn’t a message from Dad.”

Sua looked away from her computer and actually looked at Bin. “Who was it from?”

“None of your business.” Bin tilted his phone away from her.

“You only have two friends besides me, and they never answer you.” Sua craned her neck to peer further.

Bin’s phone buzzed again. Text message from their father.

Your mother is fine. We’ll be home in a few hours.

He’d attached a photo of their mother sitting on a hospital bed, her arm in a cast but otherwise not looking too bad.

“Dad says they’ll be home in a few hours.” Bin showed Sua the picture.

“You said the message wasn’t from Dad,” Sua said, but she looked relieved when she saw the picture. Then she handed Bin’s phone back.

“Don’t stay up too late,” he said, and carried his ramyeun back into the kitchen.

While he finished his meal, he studied the text message from Lee Dongmin.

Finally he typed back. Hello, Lee Dongmin! I don’t mind that Jinwoo-ssi shared my number. My mother is doing well and she and my father should be home soon. Thank you for your concern. I also enjoyed being your ride mate tonight. You worked hard today. Sleep well.

Then he saved Dongmin’s number under Ride Mate. He knew he was being stupid, that he’d probably never hear from Dongmin again, that Dongmin’s number would change soon anyway, but he remembered Dongmin’s smile and Dongmin holding his hand and Dongmin holding onto him on the log ride, and his heart fluttered.

Bin saved Jinwoo’s number as well, under Slow for how slow he talked when he wasn’t rapping, and saved the picture Jinwoo had sent.

He would probably never show that picture to his sister and her friends.

He packed up the rest of the ramyeun into two portions for his parents to be able to reheat, and he scribbled a note for them and stuck it on the fridge. Then he did the rest of the dishes and drifted up the stairs to his bedroom.

He plugged in his phone and went to brush his teeth, change into pajamas. He lay down on his bed and scooped up his phone, wondered where his parents were, if they’d already left the hospital. He didn’t even know which hospital his mother had been taken to, if it was far away, because his mother’s job took her all over the place.

He was about to fall asleep when his phone buzzed in his hands.

He’d received a text message from Ride Mate.

See you next week.


Seeing Lee Dongmin up on stage every week was one of the things Bin looked forward to most, because it meant he could take a break from his mundane life, from the stresses of school and work and thinking about his future (and he was headed straight for the military after high school because that was two more years where he wouldn’t have to think too hard about the future).

(And also two years where he wouldn’t have to think too hard about, say, missing his idol boyfriend who was under a three-year dating ban post-debut.)

Bin had thought that seeing Lee Dongmin and his friends up onstage after hanging out with them for an hour last Friday night would be surreal.

Bin hadn’t even thought of what it would be like to see Lee Dongmin up on stage after a week of texting him and calling him every day (and also sometimes getting loud voicemails from Myungjun and Sanha, who liked to borrow Jinwoo’s phone for prank calls).

But Bin picked a spot, and he held still while Sua and Euntak and Chaeyoung and Heejoo took their test shots, and he sneaked peeks at his phone, because Dongmin was sending him text messages.

Sanha and Myungjun had gotten ahold of his number and were sending him increasingly silly selcas from backstage. And also a sneaky photo of Minhyuk, who looked super hip-hop swag but for the pink and purple butterfly clips keeping his hair out of the way while a stylist did his makeup.

I’m so nervous. Dongmin’s message was accompanied by a selca of him looking pale and worried (and beautiful).

It’s okay to be nervous, Bin typed back. Imagine that you’re holding my hand or hugging me, and everything will be fine.

Send a selca to reassure me?

Bin had enough selcas of all the iTeen boys on his phone that his sister and any of her friends or fellow homesite masters would probably have died of envy ten times over, so he figured fair was fair.

He held up his phone and posed.

“Don’t move,” Euntak protested.

“Just let me take a selca really fast,” Bin said.

“Want us in it?” Heejoo asked.

“No. He doesn’t want to see you, just me,” Bin said.

Sua snorted. “What, you have friends besides us now?”

Bin smiled and flashed a heart sign, then checked the photo. It looked all right, so he sent it.

“Who’s Ride Mate?” Chaeyoung asked.

“When you abandoned me in the singles line last week, I made a friend,” Bin said. “Don’t you remember the sign? Singles will be paired.”

“You talked to strangers?” Sua asked. “You’re so weird.”

“He talked to me first, actually,” Bin said, and Sua looked at him sharply, like she was just remembering that he liked boys.

She raised her eyebrows at him meaningfully, but he just offered her an innocent smile.

She grabbed his wrist and leaned in and spoke too softly for her friends to hear. “Moon Bin, did you get a boyfriend and not tell me?”

Before he could reply, his phone buzzed with another message.

I feel better already. I’ll work hard.

Bin felt warm and happy. He sent back, Fighting!

And then the lights went low, and the MC was on the stage. The iTeen Rising Star logo glowed on the screen that served as the stage backdrop, and cheers rose up all around them.

“Don’t think you can hide this from me forever,” Sua said.

Bin didn’t have to answer, because the boys came onto the stage, took their starting positions, and he had to hold very still and stay very quiet.

But he smiled, because he knew Dongmin would be able to catch a glimpse of him.

The music rose, and the seven dancers burst into action.

They looked good. So, so good. Bin knew they worked so hard every week, because every week they needed to come up with multiple performances, usually a mashup dance cover of two popular songs for all of them as a group, and then whatever subunit performances were required of them. Bin knew they worked till two in the morning or later, slept a bit, got up and went to school just like him, and then were back at the practice room as soon as school was finished (except for Myungjun, who had already graduated from high school and trained full time). 

Up on stage all of them were bursting with energy, flirting with the crowd and giving it their all. Bin knew how tired they were, how stressed they were. 

Because the debut lineup they were all fighting for only had five spots, and there were seven of them competing. 

(Sua and her friends never talked about the possibility that one of their boys might not make it. Their boys were going to be stars.)

As soon as the dance was done, the crowd burst into cheers and applause, and the boys took their bows before scampering off the stage. The MC did his thing while techs scrambled to get mics set up for the next performance. 

Bin held very still while he typed out a message. 

You looked amazing. You worked so hard. I’m proud of you. 

The response was a selca of sweaty, breathless Dongmin. 

“Who was that?” Sua whispered, but Bin pocketed his phone before she could see. 

She was distracted by the next performance, which was just Jinwoo, Minhyuk, and Sanha dancing to Uptown Funk. 

The performance after that was Myungjun, Jaesung, and Junyong singing.

Which meant Dongmin was performing solo tonight. 

Bin’s heart was pounding when the lights went up, and there was Dongmin, sitting at a piano, microphone at the ready. 

The MC announced him, and then he started right into some sweet, trilling notes. The song was slow, gentle, and it took Bin a moment to recognize the song, because the original was usually upbeat. 

Blue Moon, by BTOB. 

It was exactly the kind of retro, jazzy thing Dongmin liked. It was shorter because he skipped the rap parts. But he grinned and winked and flirted and owned every second of it. 

At the end, Bin was pretty sure Dongmin looked at him.

“Wow,” Chaeyoung said. “He’s not my bias but that was - wow.”

Others nodded their agreement. Heejoo fanned herself. Bin wished he could do the same. Dongmin had said he was learning a jazzy piece on the piano. Bin had thought most jazz songs were old-timey and boring, not sexy and laden with innuendo. 

Dongmin waved and bowed and then hurried off the stage. 

A moment later, Bin got a text message. 

For my beautiful Moon boy.

He sent back, Thank you. You were amazing. 

All of the boys assembled for final bows, and like that, the show was over. 

“So,” Bin said to his sister as he helped her pack up her camera gear, “which ride do you want to go on tonight?”

She narrowed her eyes at him. “Why? Were you planning on meeting your mystery boyfriend in the singles line again?”

“What’s it to you if I am?” Bin shrugged with feigned nonchalance. 

Sua turned to her friends. “Hey, let’s go on a ride before we leave, okay?”

“Sure.” Chaeyoung smiled.

“Is Bin banished to the singles line again?” Euntak asked.

“You know you can get on a ride faster if you’re willing to go in the singles line and possibly sit with a stranger,” Bin said.

Sua arched an eyebrow at him. “Then we’ll all go in the singles line together.”

Heejoo grabbed Chaeyoung’s hand. “You stay with me, though.”

“Bin is staying with me,” Sua said firmly.

Euntak shrugged. “I don’t mind riding with a stranger.”

They stashed their gear in a locker and then decided which ride they should go on.  

“The French Revolution,” Sua said. “I didn’t get to go on that one last week.”

The other girls nodded.

Bin’s phone buzzed. Incoming text message from Dongmin.

Are you going on a ride this week?

“Who’d you get a text from?” Sua asked, trying to peek over his shoulder.

“Who are you, my mom?” Bin asked.

Sua tried to grab his phone. “Let me see.”

Bin managed to send a brief message back - an emoji of the French flag - and hope Dongmin understood before he shoved his phone back into his pocket. “Nope.”

“You’re such a mean brother.” Sua pouted up at him, though when she looked up at him from beneath her lashes, Bin knew she was planning all manner of revenge when it was just the two of them at home.

“I,” Bin said, “am the best brother.” They rode the escalator up to the second floor, and then they headed for the big roller coaster. People were seated in pairs, so if they went into the singles line they’d be able to ride pretty fast.

At the entrance to the singles line, Bin said, “Ladies first.”

Sua grabbed his arm. “Not a chance.” And she dragged him into the line.

The other girls cast her odd looks but followed along behind them.

Bin felt his phone buzz several times, but he knew if he tried to answer his text messages, Sua would get ahold of his phone and see. He’d never told her the password, though. If he was careful he could just answer text messages from the lock screen.

There were a host of messages - from Slow, Rock, Captain Ddana, 777, and Ride Mate. Bin was so glad he’d given them all nicknames. 

Where are you?

What did you think of the show?

Hyung!!! Are you going on a ride tonight?

Come ride with us!

French Revolution?

“That’s a lot of text messages.” Sua was up on her toes and trying to peer over his shoulder once more. 

“I do have friends,” Bin said. 

Sua leaned in and spoke so her friends couldn’t hear. “But which of them is your boyfriend?”

“Why? Jealous that I got a boyfriend before you?” Bin whispered back. 

Sua spluttered indignantly, but before she could retort, Bin heard a familiar loud voice. 

Myungjun.

“Come on, it’ll be faster if we take the singles line. It’s okay if we ride with strangers. This way we’re guaranteed at least one ride before we have to go back to the dorms.”

Sua’s eyes went wide and she turned, and sure enough, there were the seven iTeen trainees crowding into the singles line behind them. 

Sanha, bless his devilish little heart, smiled at Chaeyoung and said, “Noona, there’s seven of us. Will you be my ride mate so we can be eight?”

Chaeyoung gaped like a fish before Euntak nudged her and then she said, “Of course! Oh my gosh, you’re Yoon Sanha!”

His eyes went wide, and he ducked his head and blushed. “Are you a fan?”

“Your biggest fan,” Chaeyoung said. 

“Oh wow. Did you see us perform tonight?” Sanha’s voice cracked a little (Bin didn’t miss those days) and he covered his mouth. 

“I watched every moment.” Chaeyoung looked dazed. 

Bin knew how that felt. 

Sua grabbed his arm hard enough to bruise. “Oppa. Oppa, Myungjun is right there.”

“I’m not blind,” Bin said, and was pleased with how calm he was. 

“Did you come alone, or are you with friends?” Sanha asked, even though Bin knew he knew the answer already. 

Chaeyoung said, “I’m here with Heejoo, Euntak, and Sua. We’re all fans. Huge fans.”

“Hi,” Heejoo said a little dazedly. 

Minhyuk was even more devious than Sanha. He slid forward and offered her one of his low key brilliant smiles. “Hi. I’m Park Minhyuk.”

“I know,” Heejoo said breathlessly. 

Apparently only Euntak could keep her head in this situation. “Say, Minhyuk-ssi, would you ride with Heejoo? She gets scared and needs someone strong and brave beside her.”

Minhyuk flashed Heejoo another smile. “If Noona doesn’t mind.”

Heejoo just shook her head mutely, and Minhyuk slid closer to her, still smiling disarmingly.

Euntak fancied herself the most level-headed of the lot, but when Jinwoo smiled at her and said, “Hello,” she looked ready to die on the spot.

Bin, because he had a feeling he knew what was going on, said, “It might be more fun if we make new friends by riding with strangers, right? Euntak-ie, why don’t you ride with - Park Jinwoo, yes?”

They were strangers to Sua and her friends, but not to Bin. They were all pretending to be strangers for a reason.

But Jinwoo nodded politely, like they were strangers, and he said, “If Euntak-ssi doesn’t mind.”

“Of course not,” she said, and then Jinwoo was leaning against the railing beside her, asking what she thought of their performance that night.

Sua was starting to look a little suspicious, but then Myungjun sauntered toward her, wearing one of his wicked little smiles, and she said, 

“Will you be my ride mate?”

He winked at her and said, “Absolutely.”

Bin knew he owed them big, and he appreciated it. But he also knew they weren’t doing this just for him. Junyoung and Jaesung both cast him knowing looks before they slid past him, leaving him at the end of the group with Dongmin.

“Hey,” Bin said in a low voice. He wanted to reach out and hold Dongmin’s hand, but he didn’t dare.

When they were speeding along the roller coaster track, twisting and turning and flipping, they could hold hands all they wanted, but Dongmin and his teammates were still wearing their flashy stage outfits, and people could recognize them.

“Hey.” Dongmin slid closer, leaning against the railing beside him.

They were pressed right against each other, from shoulder to hip to thigh to ankle. Dongmin was warm and right there. To anyone looking, though, they were just two friends waiting in line for an exciting roller coaster.

“You were amazing tonight,” Bin said. 

Dongmin nudged him gently, sending a warm shiver down his spine. “Thank you for being there.”

“I will always be there,” Bin said. 

Dongmin smiled at him, and Bin’s heart soared.

“I promise,” Bin said. “Every performance, every show, every broadcast, every fansign, I will be there.”

“Because you like me?” Dongmin whispered.

Bin leaned in to whisper back. “Because I’m a really good big brother.”

Dongmin laughed, startled, and shoved at him lightly.

Bin laughed as well, caught his wrist. Then he reeled Dongmin in even closer and whispered, “But it’s actually because I like you.”

Dongmin said, “I’m glad you’re such a good big brother.”