the cheer in jino’s voice is undeniable and the warm smile on his lips is a welcomed presence to kyungsoo. he really isn’t sure why he feels so uneasy (that’s a lie, he knows exactly why), but he feels obligated to smile back—though the quirk of the lips ends up being a strained, painful half-there grin.
“don’t congratulate me,” kyungsoo pleads suddenly, hand rubbing awkwardly at the back of his neck. he avoids eye contact but can already envision the distinct look of diluted confusion on his best friend’s face. he’s trying hard not to be selfish. he should be thankful, grateful, after all, that one of his closest friends is anything but bitter about having his debut pushed yet again.
kyungsoo feels like a child for wanting to complain about not being able to debut with jino. he feels immature for wishing jino would be just as upset as he about not being able to rise above their own sweat and tears together.
jino’s hand clasps kyungsoo’s wrist and hesitantly, the latter finally submits to making eye contact. “you deserve it,” jino insists, genuine smile still etched across his lips as his hand shifts to squeeze kyungsoo’s. “you’re going to be great and when people are screaming for exo, i’m going to be able to tell everyone my best friend is the main singer!”
his throat feels dry and though he tries not to, kyungsoo ends up smiling anyways. “we could be great together though—that’s how it’s always been, right? together?”
“i’m not going anywhere, i promise.”