avirjin: (Default)
Avirjin ([personal profile] avirjin) wrote2017-06-01 01:12 pm

Fic: Taking that First Step

Title: Taking that First Step
Fandom: Exo
Focus: Suho-centric, Kai/Suho
Genre: Gen
Rating: G
Length: Drabble, 200 words
Summary: Junmyeon and Jongin aren't quite friends. Not yet, anyway. 

His knee twinges just looking at the staircase leading out of SM's basement level. It’s a familiar feeling – the ache, the weariness – and Junmyeon wishes Minho was still around to help him up.

“Sunbae,” Someone calls out, hesitant, distant. A voice he’s not intimately familiar with, that has always lingered in his periphery instead. “Need some help?”

Junmyeon turns back towards Taemin’s friend, a polite smile masking his earlier grimace. “Oh, Jongin, you didn’t leave yet?”

“Lost track of time,” Jongin explains quietly. Junmyeon expects the conversation to stop there considering their admittedly impersonal interactions usually end that quickly, but Jongin surprises him. “Is your leg hurting? I could give you a lift.”

The concern is new. From how he usually rejected Junmyeon’s friendly offers of after lesson meals, it had seemed like Jongin only cared about his dance practices. Junmyeon feels his smile softening into something real.

“I’d appreciate that,” Junmyeon says, choosing honesty over courtesy for once since Jongin’s done the same. “Hyung will treat you to ddeokbokki later, okay?” he insists as they start slowly making their way up.

“You don’t have to…”

This time though, Junmyeon doesn’t think he’ll let Jongin get away with a no.

Original Post: Here.
Prompt: It all begins (began) here.
Author's Note: Written for EM's EX'ACT Drabble Competition's final round. Inspired by several anecdotes shared by Suho. The first (if I remember correctly) was that he and Kai were not actually that close until about two years into their training together, the second was that Suho would regularly treat the other trainees to food, and the third was that during their predebut period when Suho had his leg injury (around 2008-2009), Kai would offer to give him piggyback rides when leaving the practice rooms because Suho was in so much pain and he would've had to walk up and down the stairs in the SM building otherwise.

Suho and Kai's relationship has always been something I'm fond of looking at, not just because I ship them lol, but because they were the two longest trainees and they were both very close with SHINee. I wanted to write from that angle, that due to not being close yet, they might've seen each other as the "friend of a friend". It actually doesn't show too much, but I also wanted there to be an underlying current of... Not quite heartache, not quite loneliness, but something close? After Super Junior debuted in 2005, SM had wiped out most of their male trainees, to the point where Jonghyun was mentioned as either one of the few remaining trainees left before SM accepted more, or the first of the new generation of trainees that would eventually become SHINee and EXO. And Junmyeon was right there around the same period, and if I remember correctly from what Chanyeol and Sehun once mentioned, he was considered part of the "hyung/sunbae" group of trainees. He was rather close to SHINee, especially Jonghyun and Minho, to the point where they thought they might debut together, but then SHINee debuted and his leg injury happened and no one knows what happened in what order but I think I wanted the aching feeling Suho feels in this drabble to be the result of both, although it can easily be attributed more to the physical pain. But Suho here is also feeling worn down because his closest friends have debuted without him. A lonely feeling. And it doesn't show quite as much, but I originally wanted Kai to feel something similar due to the absence of Taemin and how that would affect his rather introverted nature. Maybe it made him more willing to reach out to something like Suho after their initial interactions seemed to do the exact opposite of taking off. Who knows. But in the end, they became very close, although I couldn't show that here obviously. Close to the point where Suho was considered Kai's mentor, where Kai was the one Suho went to when he ran away from home. 

I think friendships, relationships are interesting, probably because I'm not so great at them myself. I wanted this drabble to be about how the two of them had to reach out for each other, and maybe it was in extenuating circumstances where Suho needed the physical aid or they were both lonely because they had been left behind by those closest to them. But more than that, there had to be earnestness on both sides I guess? Kai's earnest desire to help someone, Suho's earnest gratitude rather than the polite courtesy and his own desire to truly deepen their burgeoning friendship.  

By the way, the "step" in the title is a pun. First step up the stairs, first step of their friendship. Not a very good one, but a pun nonetheless lol

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