He had been watching him from the bleachers in between quick puffs of smoke –tall, lean, all long coltish legs it was a miracle the kid hadn’t been tripping himself all over them. Hongbin vaguely remembered Wonshik telling him about some freshman joining their football team, no one phenomenal but very hardworking and determined. When the kid toppled over in the grass at one of Taekwoon hyung’s violent tendencies for ball possession, he popped back up so fast like he was a toy with springs. Hongbin’s stash had officially run out yesterday afternoon yet he found himself giggling like he was high again.
Hongbin wiped the tears from his eyes. Blinked several times. The kid was growing at an alarming rate-oh, he was running towards the bleachers.
“Excuse me! Sorry for bothering you but could you be so kind and pass the ball?”
Hongbin blinked down at the ball by his feet. The boy at a standstill didn’t so much resemble a boy. He had strong jaws, bright eyes, a warm smile. “What if I don’t want to?” Hongbin said and wanted to kick his own teeth in. He took a hit from his cigarette instead.
“You’re a friend of the hyungs, right? You watch us practice every day,” The kid- no, the freshman said, matter-of-fact.
The freshman snorted, then started to make his way up the bleachers when it was clear that Hongbin was not going to move in the next century. “Someone could be less obvious about wanting to join.”
“I have a medical condition.”
“This probably didn’t help.” He plucked the lit cigarette out of Hongbin’s fingers as casual as you please, put it out with an efficient stomp of his feet, tucked the ball underneath his arm, and was back on the field before Hongbin could open his mouth.
“Yah!” Hongbin shouted, on his feet, feeling righteous indignation for the first time in years. “Come back here, you brat!”
“It’s Han Sanghyuk, Lee Hongbin-ssi.” Han Sanghyuk kicked the ball back into the centerfield but he was looking back at him, face open. “And you’ll be less easy to spot when you have don’t have pretty pink hair.”Hongbin threw his crumpled box of cigarettes at Sanghyuk’s broad back, ignoring the tingle in his fingers where they had touched.