♡ Between Braids and Kisses ♡

Taemin; hormone-driven teenager, born with a silver spoon in his mouth and a maid wiping his behind, is madly in love with this certain person, being the complete opposite of himself - Kai, the leader of one of the town's most infamous gangs.


3. Secrets Everybody Knows

At the dinner table, Taemin looked a few times between his mom and Key, a fork of kimchi pancake halfway towards his mouth. He didn’t really trust Key, not when it came to keeping his mouth shut about something. But still, Key just sat there. Eating his kimchi pancakes, saying nothing, just humming almost soundless. He usually loved to talk about people’s crushes, it was the best to him. Taemin let his eyes travel a bit away from them, down towards the table. Suddenly his mom opened her mouth, and it all began.

“Well, Kibum. How is your family? We haven’t seen you for some time now,” Taemin’s mom asked, and Taemin mentally choked her, just to shut her mouth, because he knew what was coming soon if she kept going.

“Oh, my family is doing very well, Mrs. Lee, don’t worry about it,” Key smiled politely, not really saying anything else, so Taemin could breath out, kind of relieved, and his heart slowly started beating normally.

“I’ve heard from our friends, that you’ve fallen in love, huh?” Taemin’s mom chuckled sweetly, winking at Key. Yep, Taemin’s mom was just very embarrassing in front of other people, thinking she was a close friend with everyone around her. She was always like that, it could have been worse though. Once Taemin had a new friend over at his sixteenth birthday party, his mom started moonwalking in front of all the guests, new friends and old, family. The worst thing was, that she was failing pretty much. Taemin’s face had never been redder.

Yeah, Taemin could do it so much better than that.

It sometimes left Taemin wondering, though, why she never was like that when they were alone? She always seemed happy when they were having guests. She always smiled so beautifully. The smile that faded once they were alone. Didn’t she have a reason to be happy when she was with her only gay son? Was she really that ashamed? See? She didn’t even speak a word with Taemin, just focused on Key the whole time.

“Y-Yeah…” Key muttered, stuttering slightly as his cheeks got a bit red. Taemin just sighed deeply from the other side of the table, gaining a glare from his mom.

“Here we go,” he thought.

“Ah! Is it true? Who is she? Is she sweet? I bet she’s really sweet and beautiful too-…”

Damn, did she always talk so much about girlfriends? Jesus.

He’s handsome, kind, funny, and totally my type! Especially his body…” and Key just kept talking about this huge crush of his. Taemin found it a bit amusing the way Key put pressure on the word ‘he’. Mentioning every single thing about him, down to the way his crush ate a slice of paper pizza – the pizza they sometimes were lucky to get at the cafeteria at school.

“O-Oh… He sure sounds… Amazing,” Mrs. Lee mumbled, struggling a bit to find the right words. Taemin just rolled his eyes slightly, still not saying anything, as he found it the best. He just kept doing stuff mentally – he liked that. It had no consequences.

“Unfortunately, he is as straight as a guy can get,” Key frowned, rolling his eyes.

“What a shame,” Mrs. Lee smiled, being kind as always. Taemin was about to lose his appetite, watching his mom holding back her slight disgust and surprise.

“Thanks for dinner umma!” Taemin then said, standing up and turning around to walk to his room, not looking at his mom. Key was following behind, after thanking Mrs. Lee for the food. Taemin could hear his best friend sigh just behind him, and it made Taemin’s heart ache slightly. No, it definitely wasn’t easy being gay in Taemin’s house, and soon his dad would probably find out about Key’s sexuality too. He knew what that meant; he wasn’t allowed to see his best friend anymore, because he might have some kind of gay aura, which could be rubbing off on Taemin.

At first it was the handsome, male teachers, now his gay best friend? What would the next thing be?

“Well that was awkward…” Key finally spoke after a short time of silence, which seemed like forever. Taemin let out a deep sigh as he plopped down onto his bed, looking at the ceiling.

“You don’t say?” he then replied.

“But you know, I can take it, Taebaby,” Key hummed softly as he sat next to the younger, with a small smirk on his lips, which made Taemin gulp slightly.

“Now, Taeminnie… Tell me more about that Kai guy…”

“What can I tell that I didn’t tell you already?” Taemin sighed deeply and rolled to the side, his back facing Key, “I talk about him all the time, don’t I?”

Key put a hand on Taemin’s shoulder, trying a bit to cheer him up as he smiled at him. Taemin just looked at Key, and then finally turned over as he realized, that Key actually might be able to help him – he was going through the same things with his crush.

“Key umma, how do I stop loving him?” Taemin finally asked, biting his plump, lower lip softly. His heart started to beat slightly faster, but he didn’t really know why, he just knew that it hurt like hell, and he wanted it to stop.

“Sweety, it’s not that simple… Trust me,” his beloved Key umma told him as he wrapped him up in his comforting arms and held him close, “It’s something you’ll have to live with, and you will eventually.”

“But umma… Why won’t he even look at me?!” Taemin blurted out, feeling his frustration building up inside him, as the tears were struggling to come out, “Am I really that ugly, umma? Am I really that ugly and disgusting, as my appa says I am behind my back?!”

Those words hit Key hard, and he stopped breathing for a short moment. He had always promised himself, that he would never cry, because he was almighty, but it was really hard holding those tears back – but in the end, he succeeded anyway.

“I’ll come up with something, dear, don’t worry about it. Just trust your Key umma, okay?” Key whispered as he stroked Taemin’s black hair gently, earning a small nod from the younger.




Nothing else happened the afternoon with Key, they just talked a bit about their crushes. Apparently, Key’s crush went to the same school as Taemin did – but he was a senior while Taemin was a simple sophomore. And as if that wasn’t enough, he even found out that Key’s crush had been bugging him a few times last year, but luckily not anymore. It was usually only the juniors who bullied the younger people, as soon as they became seniors they suddenly got mature.

It was just one of the mysteries about college.

Taemin woke up from his thinking, and found himself sitting at his usual spot in the cafeteria, at the corner of the hall, all alone. What had woken him up, however, was the sound of some girls whispering a few tables away – it wasn’t sweet talk though, and the usual noise in the cafeteria had suddenly disappeared without Taemin noticing. 

“E-Eh?” Taemin muttered as he turned around to see what had caused the sudden silence. It took him a few seconds to find out, but then he saw him. The rather tall guy, dressed nicely in a school uniform, matching his own, but with the senior mark on it. His hair being all fluffy and blonde, framing his beautiful, doll-like face perfectly. His eyes, however, showed nothing else but insecurity and fright – but his fright was nothing compared to those around him, willingly getting out of his way. The beautiful guy just looked around him, his hands holding his tray shaking slightly, making his glass of water spill a few drops.

Taemin couldn’t help but look at him, watch him, as he tried to find a place at a table, where people didn’t flee from him as soon as he neared them. He looked like having a worse time than Taemin did. People weren’t scared of Taemin, they just disgusted him.

Taemin took a deep breath, as the guy got closer to the tables around him, still seeming completely hopeless.

“Yah!” Taemin spoke up, making all the people in the hall freeze in place, as it was the only sound being made. The beautiful boy, however, looked at Taemin’s direction with a hint of hope in his eyes.

“You can sit here, if you want, that is,” Taemin said, not really minding the glares he got from other people, because he was asking a senior to sit at his table. It couldn’t get any worse anyway, could it?

“G-Gomawo,” the guy said as he sat opposite Taemin, putting his tray down on the table, showing exactly how much water had been spilled on his short journey.

A lot.

“Whoa… Here, take some napkins,” Taemin suggested, and handed the guy a handful of napkins that Taemin had taken from the nice cafeteria lady, who didn’t hate him.

“Gomawo!” the guy said again as he started wiping up some of the spilled water. Taemin tilted his head slightly, ignoring the fact that people were still looking in their direction.

“What’s your name, by the way?” Taemin asked, as he was about to eat another forkful of his pasta salad. The guy, who had finished wiping up the water, smiled slightly at Taemin.

“My name uh… Is Luhan. I just transferred here after being home tutored,” he explained, smiling warmly at Taemin. Taemin didn’t really want to ask him why people were avoiding him like that, since he was a senior – everyone had their secrets.

Yeah, secrets that everyone but Taemin knew of.

“Oh, well welcome to the school then, Luhan hyung, my name is Lee Taemin,” Taemin smiled back, earning a small chuckle from Luhan, and slowly the usual noise in the dining hall returned, people not giving Taemin and Luhan all of their attention anymore – just glaring at them from the corner of their eyes.

Taemin was used to that anyway.

“So… Why did you transfer to this school instead of being home tutored?” Taemin asked his senior.

“Uh… I just needed some time away from my home, and this is pretty much the only way,” he signed before adding; “sometimes people can just get too much, you know what I mean?”

Taemin knew a bit too well.

“Yeah… My parents are really annoying me too,” he sighed.

“I miss my parents…” he heard Luhan whisper quietly and Taemin felt a small tug at his heart. Did he say something wrong now? He really didn’t mean to, though.

“So…” Taemin said carefully, not wanting to make Luhan sadder than he already was, “What do you usually do in your spare time? Maybe we have something in common?” he smiled at his hyung, wanting to seem kind to him, welcoming. Luhan just chuckled awkwardly.

“I really doubt that, saeng… Trust me, I don’t really like talking about my spare time,” Luhan nearly whispered. Taemin immediately saw, that people had started looking at them again, but he didn’t really mind it, because he felt that Luhan was slowly loosening up, opening up to him. Just a little, maybe.

Well at least he didn’t stutter anymore.

“But to be honest, I’m never bored, but those cold shoulders I’m getting anywhere I go… It just bugs me!” Luhan nearly growled in frustration as he ran a hand through his blonde, golden hair.

Taemin couldn’t stop looking at his blonde hair, though. He thought it was so beautiful. Taemin had always wanted to color his own hair, but didn’t dare to – his parents would kill him.

Luhan, however, couldn’t help but notice the way Taemin kept looking at him, it made him tilt his head slightly to the side, as the school bell rang, and they had to part. Taemin got up and smiled at Luhan, and was about to wave him off already, as he was stopped by his hyung, looking at his black hair.

“… You know… I think you would look amazing with red hair,” he said with a small smile, “My friends really like red hair,” he added quickly, before dashing off, leaving a lost Taemin, completely confused.


What did he just mean by that? 

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