Jiyong was sitting on the floor of their tiny shared Seoul apartment, huffing with his brows furrowed and tears pricking the corners of his eyes. He swallowed the lump in his throat, determined to stay strong and power through the anxiety he was feeling. He wished his best friend was home right now, needed him next to him. Youngbae wasn't loud or particularly good at cheering people up but whenever he was around, Jiyong knew he was next to the best source of motivation he could find. They'd been best friends for years now. Jiyong had expected to go into training right away, after all he was scouted by someone already so famous. He had to have talent to be pulled from his previous group, right? Still when he entered the YG building for the first time as part of the company, as a signed 'entertainer', he was nothing more than a gopher. He would have been lying if he said he wasn't bothered by it, and when Youngbae joined the company and brought him into real training Jiyong couldn't deny he was somewhat grateful - but more than that, he was happy to have found a person so close to him. It had always been hard on young trainees, to move away from family and start a new lifestyle in a loud and intimidating city, but Jiyong suspected the pain and adversity was payment for following their dreams. Youngbae wasn't the hyperactive type, neither was Jiyong, they fit well together. The adults always seemed to look at them with wary eyes, Jiyong always knew he was regarded as a troublemaker just from his appearance. He hadn't minded in the past, but today was different.
Jiyong had angered his vocal coach, to the point that he yelled at him, shouting "You think this will be easy for you? You can't get by on looks and dancing alone, you know!" Jiyong bowed deeply, apologized but was excused for the day anyways despite his insisting to try again and do better. He always wanted to do so much better, to prove everyone wrong. He wasn't some punk depending on his natural talents to pull him through, he worked hard. He worked so hard he made himself sick, but some things just didn't come so easily to him. He wasn't such an amazing singer, he never had been. Jiyong heard the door open and the sound of someone taking off their shoes, he wiped at his eyes and sniffled one last time. To his dismay, the new occupant heard that.
"Ji? Are you okay?" Youngbae stood in front of him, brows raised in concern. He crouched next to the thinner boy, carefully observing his features as Jiyong attempted to look away from him. "What's wrong?" His voice was warm and gentle, so comforting. Jiyong wanted to turn around and hug him tight, wanted to feel that someone believed in him, but he kept quiet and still. Youngbae sighed, settling beside him and pushing his legs out in front of him as one of his hands found its place on Jiyong's right knee. "I'm here, Ji. Always here for you." Jiyong shut his eyes tight, gulped and slowly turned his face to look at his best friend. He found him smiling lightly, eyes nearly shining as he looked at him straight on. Jiyong wanted to tell him, to tell him all his worries and frustrations. Jiyong yearned for him to nod and say 'I understand, if you keep working hard then they'll see.' He knew that Youngbae wasn't someone to give sweet words and empty promises, he would be honest and it would always mean the world to Jiyong.
Instead Jiyong tripped over his thought and choked out a pitiful and slightly hoarse, "I can't sing." He hadn't meant for it, but now that the words were out in the open and Youngbae's eyes were softening evermore he knew he couldn't take them back. He didn't even want to. He waited for Youngbae's wise words or maybe even a strict 'Stop whining' that he had already heard once or twice before when recounting the days he claimed amounted to nothing. He wasn't expecting Youngbae to move the hand off his knee over Jiyong's hand, lacing their fingers and squeezing tightly. Jiyong couldn't help but notice how warm the grip was, how warm Youngbae always had been. He was like a mini sun and Jiyong loved it. He wasn't expecting to hear the sweetest sounding words he had ever heard from his no nonsense best friend.
"Yes, you can." Youngbae's words weren't all that sweet to any other. They wouldn't make a girl swoon, wouldn't make his mother smile in pride, but to Jiyong they might as well have been a sedative for all of his silly worries. All he had ever wanted was for someone to believe in him, to support him as he climbed and to keep supporting him even when he slipped, and here he was. If Jiyong was a more spiritual person, he would say Youngbae was an angel sent from heaven to look over him but since Youngbae was that person - he figured he could believe enough for the both of them.
"How are you so sure?" A sly smile started to lazily spread over Jiyong's lips, like a buttered knife on a soft piece of bread, smoothly.
"I've heard you. I've heard you practice. I've heard you perform. I've even heard you in the shower." Youngbae laughed, not noticing Jiyong's slight blush feathering his cheeks.
"The vocal teacher said it's not good enough," Jiyong prodded, secretly wanting to see how much more he could get out of him. He wanted to feel that strange embrace of words for a little longer.
"Then you keep practicing, Jiyong. You know that, you of all people know that." The two boys still hadn't moved their hands, their connected fingers and palms lay between them like an unseen coin on the pavement. Jiyong nodded slowly, a little disappointed that Youngbae had gone back to being objective when Youngbae added "That doesn't mean you aren't good. I like it. I like hearing you." Jiyong's eyes widened slightly, traveling around until they planted themselves on Youngbae's and this time the blush was definitely noticed, on both of them. Youngbae pulled his hand away, Jiyong held in a strange whine of argument. Things had already gotten a little too close, hadn't they? It's not that Jiyong minded, he just didn't think Youngbae was thinking about all of this as much as he was or even in the same way he was. "My dance teacher today said I'm clumsy in my movements." His voice was lower, his eyes lowered onto his legs as though he was silently yelling at them for embarrassing him.
"That's not true! You're a better dancer than I am, Bae. You have so much fluidity and control." Jiyong was quick to defend him, every word exactly what Jiyong had thought since he met the older boy.
"Are you saying the dance teacher is wrong, Ji?" Taeyang was scowling, his voice gone colder and judging. Jiyong shrank back a little, before gathering his courage and moving his torso over with his arms. He hung onto Youngbae's shoulders and willed himself to pull him close. They hadn't hugged a lot, only for special occasions, but Jiyong felt it was an appropriate time. Or maybe he just really wanted that hug. Youngbae's arms came up to hug him back. "Thanks. I think sometimes my mind starts to chip off and I lose my cool."
"Nah, you're always cool to me." Youngbae laughed, louder and more genuine than previously.
"That's not what I meant, but thanks for that too." Just like their hands, they stayed wrapped in each other for a few moments longer before Jiyong decided it was time to pull away before it got too awkward.
"You always give me back my energy, Bae. You're the best." He smiled, standing above him and offering out a hand. Youngbae took it, pulling himself up as Jiyong tugged to help.
"I just don't want to owe you anything." He smiled back cheekily, fading into something like a smirk.
"Owe me?" Jiyong asked, tone rising in confusion as the two walked out into the open studio. Youngbae moved to the cupboards to pull out some packages of ramen, humming and ignoring Jiyong's question. "Bae, what do you mean? You don't owe me anything." Jiyong continued to question his friend, watching him move around the tiny kitchen area to boil water.
"It's just that you give me so much energy, I don't even know what to do with it all." Jiyong snorted.
"You're hardly an energetic person."
"Shut up. I mean it, you're my best friend. When I feel like I'm sucking at dancing that day, I just think of you and how hard you work. I think when I do that, I get a lot of praise." Jiyong felt his face grow hotter than ever, pushing himself off the chair he had been sitting on to observe Youngbae.
"I'm not your girlfriend, cut it out with that mushy stuff." Jiyong mumbled, his back turned to him.
"Do you want to be my girlfriend then?" Youngbae asked, his tone steady. Jiyong snapped around, his mouth opened wide.
"W-what?" He half-yelled.
"I'm joking. You're weirder than usual today, Ji. Try to get a bit more sleep."
"Oh," Jiyong's voice fluctuated and cracked. He felt like he was going through puberty all over. "Yeah, I probably need more sleep or something. That was just a weird thing to ask."
"Sure, whatever. Come get your ramen before I eat both."
"Yeah right, you're barely able to finish one bowl to begin with."
"Are you challenging me?" Youngbae's brow rose.
"No, I have to eat too." Jiyong laughed, grabbing his bowl and setting it down next to Youngbae's.
"Ah yeah, you're right." Youngbae said as if he was off in deep thought, before slurping up some of the noodles. "Then I'd have to carry you princess style back to the dorm when you faint." Jiyong choked on his own food, his fist pounding against his chest and face turning redder and redder. Youngbae laughed maniacally.
"Stop saying weird stuff, Bae!" He was actually yelling now, his voice high pitched.
"You're just so fun to tease, Ji. You make the cutest faces." Youngbae kept on laughing and it took everything in Jiyong not to pick up his bowl of ramen and pour it on Youngbae's head. The only thing really stopping him was wasting food and the very large possibility the water would scald him. YG probably wouldn't accept an idol with burn marks on his face, Jiyong thought amusedly. As he was imagining the wonderful scene, he didn't notice Youngbae closing in on the side of his face until it was too late and his puckered lips connected with Jiyong's soft cheek. The younger screamed like he had just been shot, leaning back far enough to fall out of his chair and onto the floor. "You know when we debut, there's gonna be a lot more embarassing things to do for the fangirls. Better get used to it." Youngbae chuckled happily, taking in more of his ramen and ignoring his best friend's moans and whines about how his coccyx is definitely broken and he'll never walk again. Jiyong looked up at Youngbae smiling as he continued to eat, and couldn't help but smile back.
"Yeah, better get used to it," he muttered, only for him to hear.
The scenario ended up being longer than I planned cause I wanted to put in some weird banter lmao I dunno. I hope you guys liked it, it was fun to write. I don't even actually ship these two more than like bros, but honestly it's a cute ship anyway. I think Big Bang is one of those groups where you can ship everyone with everyone and it wouldn't even be a crack ship. Fun~
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@CosmicCassidy I just want everyone in the world to be secretly (not-so-secretly) gay like me ;3