Word Count: 1900w
Summary: This was bad, Hongbin decided. He couldn't run properly if he was staring at some guy's ass.
A/N: I saw the prompt "running is supposed to be good for your health except I seem to have sprained my ankle and I took you out with me I’m so sorry" and this happened despite all the other wonshik/hongbin college aus i started orz. also sort of prompted by the hana kaze photo of hongbin.
find me on twitter i dont bite: @babyxius
Go to the gym, Hakyeon had said. You're too stressed out and you haven't run in a while, he said. You love running, and if you don't, I'll assign you the lab's next article presentation.
Hongbin wishes the graduate student was here. He'd drag Hakyeon to the molten center of the earth where he currently wishes he was hiding from his embarrassment.
He had done as Hakyeon asked because Hakyeon is right (and somehow, he always is). He'd tied on his tattered running shoes, the soles barely affixed with super glue, and hopped on a bus to the gym as soon as he'd finished his lab work for the day. The stress of designing liposomes for his research class was starting to get to be too much, especially after he'd destroyed all the liposomes he'd made for the day and nearly drowned in his own anxiety as soon as Hakyeon had walked into the lab. Running would be good for him.
Honestly, doing anything that wasn't lab work would be good for him.
He'd started slow laps on the raised track above the basketball courts after stretching, taking into a sprint every so often when he lost track of his music and felt the stress start to build back up in the back of his mind. He'd never gone to this gym, even though it was closer to his apartment. It was older and the raised edges of the track were strange to run on, but a change in scenery was nice.
And somewhere into only 20 minutes of his run does he notice there's only one other person on the track. When the guy had shown up, Hongbin doesn't know, but he'd joined the track ahead of Hongbin so he was left staring at the man's back.
He shivered despite that he was dripping sweat. He watched the man's broad shoulders shift as he ran, muscles pulling taught with each stride. Black tattoos stood in stark contrast to his tan skin, swirling up his left arm and disappearing between his muscle tank. He turned a corner and Hongbin could see his shirt shift away from his chest revealing abs that almost made Hongbin trip. His running shorts seemed tight around his ass and revealed long, tan legs, thick thighs and toned calves.
This was bad, he'd decided. He couldn't run properly if he was staring at some guy's ass. He'd end up going home more flustered and when he'd show up to the lab sleep deprived and messed up another batch of liposomes, Hakyeon would never leave him alone.
So he sped up, taken up a sprint for nearly half the track until he's behind the man and coming up on a raised turn. He pushed himself harder, determined to pass this guy on the turn after spotting a tattoo written over his ribs. But he ran up the raised edge of the track and tripped, ankle twisting on his fall, and he looked out for something to catch him.
He groans, feeling his knees and elbows burn from skidding on the hardwood track. Another groan registers, and he looks up to realize that, to his horror, he'd taken the hot guy down with him.
"Oh my god I'm so sorry! Are you okay?" Hongbin stutters, mortified, hands waving about as he tries to figure out what the fuck he's supposed to do. His chest is tightening up like a wound coil, fit to burst from embarrassment instantly. He tries to look away to calm down.
It doesn't work. Their gazes catch when the man flips around and Hongbin is pretty sure his heart stopped beating entirely. Black hair falls into the man's dark eyes, curved slightly. Full, pink lips curve up into a soft smile, and Hongbin has to swallow back a shiver itching at the base of his spine.
"Don't worry about it," the man says. He dusts off his knees that are red from the fall and hops back up, towering over where Hongbin still sits mortified on the track. "It's just a few scratches. I've had worse."
"That's... that's good," Hongbin says softly. His hands are barely trembling as he pushes himself up to try and stand. "I'm so sorry- ah!"
He falls back on his ass, pain shooting up from his right leg. He screws his eyes shut and bites down on his bottom lip. He's really fucked up this time; he's going to end Hakyeon for this.
"Take it easy, yeah?" the man says, hands held out like he'd tried to catch Hongbin before he fell. "Sit on the edge of the track so I can check out your ankle."
Hongbin's breath hitches as he scoots to the edge of the track, sitting on a flat edge where there are a few stationary bicycles that overlook the track. "Don't worry- really, it's okay! It's just a sprain. I'll take care of it- I'm so sorry to bother you."
"What's your name?" the guy interjects, looking up so intensely that Hongbin flushes under his gaze. Suddenly, Hongbin feels an unbearable heat itching under his skin.
"Hongbin," he murmurs in response, dropping his gaze down to his lap. The man props Hongbin's ankle on his knees and hardly puts any pressure on it before Hongbin grits his teeth. He gently starts to twist Hongbin's ankle, and again, it doesn't take much until Hongbin is gasping in pain. He's really fucked himself up this time. "I'm not sure I want to know your name after brutally twisting my ankle," he adds, the sarcastic bite just barely there as he looks down into the man's eyes and feels the heat drop from his body.
"It's Wonshik," the guy laughs, using gentle fingers to prop his ankle up and straighten it out. "Third year musical composition and economics double major."
Hongbin swallows thickly. "Third year biology major."
Wonshik smiles, flushing a little at the tips of his ears. "I didn't expect to be tackled, but I suppose it's nice to meet you too."
Hongbin groans, "I'm so sorry- really."
"You don't have to apologize to me," Wonshik says, tenderly looking down at Hongbin's ankle that's quickly swelling, "I'm not the one with the sprained ankle. And if you don't mind me saying, it doesn't seem like you can get home with that ankle."
He looks around the track briefly, catching one of the employees ducking into a hallway outside the track. "Hey, Sanghyuk!" he calls out. The employee turns back at the call of his name, boyish face turning up into a teasing smile. "Can you go get me a first aid kit?"
Sanghyuk nods, disappearing in the hallway. Hongbin wishes he could rewind time and not listen to Hakyeon at all.
"Really, I'll be okay!" Hongbin sighs. "It's really not that- ow!- bad..."
Wonshik looks up knowingly. Hongbin certainly can't argue against that gaze.
They sit in awkward silence until Sanghyuk comes back with the first aid kit. Wonshik thanks him as he opens up the box and pulls out bandage wrap and pins. Hongbin can see the anxious flush color his cheeks as he slides Hongbin's shoe and sock off and proceeds to wrap up his ankle carefully. He apologizes every time he hears Hongbin hiss- Hongbin himself can't look down at his ankle because the amount of swelling scares him a little. Wonshik finishes quickly and pins the bandage in place.
"Should hold up until the swelling goes down," he says, inspecting his work. "Try and stay off it for two or three days and you should be okay after that."
Hongbin exhales, the anxiety wrapped like a coil in his chest finally releasing. "Thanks again," he sighs, "I really appreciate it."
Wonshik smiles again so that his small lips pull up around pearly white teeth- bright and brilliant and taking a vice grip around Hongbin's chest. "It's no problem." He pauses, looking back at Hongbin's ankle before meeting his gaze once more. "Where do you live? I can drive you home."
"The apartments behind the campus bookstore. Really, you don't have to though--"
"Great! That's where I live."
Hongbin sighs, conceding. He doesn't have the will to argue as Wonshik gives him another charming smile. He simply nods, waits for Wonshik to gather their gym bags and water bottles before helping him up. He stumbles as he stands, putting a little too much pressure on his ankle, and Wonshik whispers a soft apology. Wonshik slides under Hongbin's ride arm, sides pressed flush together, and helps him hobble to the elevator. Sanghyuk is smirking as they pass the front desk on the way out to the parking lot and out to the old, beat up car parked close to the gym's entrance.
It's less awkward in the car. Wonshik keeps a casual conversation about his music composition classes when Hongbin realizes that Wonshik has his own mix playing in his car. Hongbin talks a little bit about his lab work, almost spilling how much he's going to torture his grad student mentor because it's all his fault Hongbin has to keep off his leg for a few days, when they finally pull into the apartment complex. Wonshik helps him out of the car, tucked against Hongbin's side once more. He can't help but wonder if his heart is beating loud enough for Wonshik to hear when they climb into the elevator.
Hongbin lives on the fourth floor and Wonshik lives on the sixth. They get out at the fourth floor and Hongbin has never been more thankful that he and his roommate Jaehwan live so close to the elevator. Wonshik pulls out his keys for him and unlocks the door.
"Thank you for walking me all the way up," Hongbin murmurs, shyly hopping over the threshold of his door on one foot. He bites down on his bottom lip and looks up at Wonshik. "If you're free this Friday, can I treat you to coffee?"
Wonshik makes a big deal of thinking about it as he sets down Hongbin's things inside his house. Hongbin is pretty sure his heart is going to burst with how hard it's beating until Wonshik finally responds quietly, "Yeah, I'd love to see you again."
"Great!" Hongbin blurts out, blushing to the tips of his ears and staring down at his toes. He stutters out his phone number, watching as Wonshik types it into his phone. From his gym bag, the phone rings with a new message. "I'll come pick you up after my lab ends."
Wonshik nods shyly, stepping back from the threshold of Hongbin's apartment. "I'll see you Friday then- when you can properly walk again."
Hongbin chuckles under his breath. "Friday it is."
He stays in the doorway until Wonshik disappears into the elevator. He stays a little longer too because Jaehwan would never let it go if he walked into their living room with pink cheeks. Well, if he hobbled into the living room. Maybe Jaehwan will take some pity on him for a few days.
He shuts the front door and hobbles to the living room, leaving all his stuff behind. He flops on the couch to wait for Jaehwan to get out of the shower. His heart flutters as he closes his eyes and Wonshik's smile flashes in his memory.
Maybe he does have something to thank Hakyeon for- not that he'd tell him.