pairing: kyungsoo!centric, baekhyun/kyungsoo
disclaimer: I don't own EXO. I own the armchair, though.
* rule of thirds
rule of thirds: proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would. (wikipedia, rule of thirds)
rule number one: distance
Kyungsoo curses lightly under his breath when that new intern, was his name Sehun or Jongin, he doesn’t really remember, mindlessly walks in front of his camera, shifting the camera’s focus away from the two idols chatting mindlessly on that huge couple armchair they’re supposed to endorse. He immediately straightens from the unhealthy slouching position he’s reduced to every time a photoshoot happens, and waves the intern away impatiently.
“I’m sorry!” The intern with the blonde hair, Sehun, probably, apologises in a way that doesn’t even sound apologetic at all, and by the time Kyungsoo goes back to squinting at his restricted world through the viewfinder, the camera lens screws itself up for a good moment before refocusing clearly on the subject; the armchair, of course, and Baekhyun and Jongdae, the idols who are endorsing it. They’ve stopped with their chit-chatter by now, and Baekhyun is staring dramatically in the distance, tapping out a rhythm on his thigh, while Jongdae inspects his shoelaces.
“Are we ready yet?” Baekhyun then asks, his deep throated voice echoing softly around the walls of the studio, and a few from the team say ‘yes’, but Baekhyun’s looking right at the camera, right through sheets of curved glass, right at the area he knows Kyungsoo is looking at, his lips twirling into a small, knowing grin on his carefully made-up face.
“Are you ready?”
“Is this okay?”
“If it hurts, tell me, okay?”
“Y-yeah,” Kyungsoo stutters out the word that has already familiarised itself with the curves of his tongue, choosing to remain behind the bulky piece of equipment instead, “yeah, I’m ready.”
Baekhyun shoots him one last smile that says, don’t forget our little secret, as he leans over to Jongdae and places a chaste kiss on the other’s cheek, just as Kyungsoo’s camera clicks finality.
The photoshoot ends rather quickly, the team doing a quick runover with the shots while praising the two idols about how good they look behind sheets of thick glass, Jongdae humoring them with similar compliments in return. Baekhyun has an arm wrapped, snugly, around Jongdae’s waist and looks content with just how well his arm fits the contours of Jongdae’s body, as he watches his boyfriend humor the camera people, as he always likes to call Kyungsoo when no one, really, is around.
“They’re so sweet,” Sehun sidles up next to Kyungsoo, a wistful look on his face, as Baekhyun decides to rest his chin on Jongdae’s shoulder, “Baekhyun’s really sweet to Jongdae.”
“I love Jongdae. Of course I love him, he’s my boyfriend. But he can’t give me what I want, so for that, I’ll love you.”
“Yeah,” Kyungsoo shrugs, keeping a dead neutral expression on his face, while also thinking that Jongdae is actually a lot sweeter for putting up with Baekhyun, “he’s really nice.”
Baekhyun suddenly looks up and turns his glance towards Kyungsoo, almost as though he hears himself being mentioned in a conversation, and Kyungsoo quickly looks away, telling Sehun to help pack the lighting kits as he goes back to spending an unnatural amount of time unscrewing the lens from his camera body.
Kyungsoo also hopes to leave this studio as soon as possible to avoid any possible situations in which his acting major during university will actually come to good use, but just then Baekhyun calls, “Kyungsoo-yah!”
He closes his eyes and wills himself not to hear the same voice in another environment, where darkness cloaks them both, heated skin make contact and any sort of moans muffled in the hopes of not waking up Jongdae. And then he counts to five, and walks over to Baekhyun and Jongdae, who are alone by now, the team busied with packing up the studio.
rule number two: silence
“Jongdae,” Kyungsoo greets, and politely nods his head towards Baekhyun’s direction, “Baekhyun.”
“Don’t be so polite,” Jongdae scolds him lightly, smacking him on the shoulder, “you act as though we haven’t been buddies since elementary school.”
“Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up to be more mature, and someone has just remained the same,” Kyungsoo jokes, in a valiant attempt to lighten the atmosphere, and his acting major is certainly more than just a piece of yellowing fancy paper stacked beneath photographs, because Jongdae laughs good-naturedly and Baekhyun smiles.
“Anyway, getting to the point,” Jongdae’s voice turns serious, “we, that is, this asshole and I, would like to formally invite you to dinner and you are not allowed to refuse.”
“But, uh,” Kyungsoo flips imaginary pages in his head, trying to find the right words to form the right sentence, and then he catches Baekhyun’s warning glance. The excuse that he’s found dies on his lips, and Kyungsoo swallows and says, rather resignedly, “yeah. Okay.”
“Finally!” Jongdae promptly flings Baekhyun aside, “do you know how long it’s been?”
And before Kyungsoo can process a reply, Jongdae pounces on him, all long limbs and everything, even when they’re of the exact same height, and for that five seconds, that mere five seconds, he feels like the twelve year old Do Kyungsoo again, the twelve year old innocent Do Kyungsoo who had a best friend called Kim Jongdae, but then someone, somebody else briefly grabs his fingers, and then again he’s the grown up Do Kyungsoo, Do Kyungsoo the photographer with rules to follow, the Do Kyungsoo who is cheating with his best friend’s boyfriend.
rule number three: position
Whether by sheer luck or simply Kyungsoo being unlucky, when they reach the restaurant, Jongdae declares that he’s going to sit across from them because it’s easier to talk to both of them, this way. And whether on purpose or simply because there is really no space, Baekhyun’s thighs are always occasionally brushing against his, and really, Kyungsoo needs a better distraction than Jongdae’s voice and his gaze falls on the ketchup bottle beside Jongdae’s left arm. Kyungsoo decides things aren’t really just simply because, and then he looks up to Jongdae and asks, “can you, um, pass the—”
Baekhyun reaches over and picks up the ketchup bottle and passes it to Kyungsoo, his fingers lingering on Kyungsoo’s hand a little longer than it should be, but Jongdae notices nothing and continues with epic tales of childhood.
What Jongdae does notice, though, is Kyungsoo practically squeezing out the entire bottle of artificially made tomato sauce on his spaghetti.
“Oh, Kyungsoo’s always loved tomatoes,” Jongdae’s always quick to blend into another topic, and Kyungsoo lifts his eyes slightly, out of sheer amusement, catching a few glimpses of Jongdae’s very animated speech on Kyungsoo and tomatoes, but then he feels a burning gaze concentrated on him, like a beam of light, and he quickly looks back down to his food.
“Baekhyun-ah, if you keep staring at Kyungsoo that way, I’m going to think that you’ve fallen in love with him,” Jongdae suddenly says.
"Maybe I have," Baekhyun replies jokingly in return, but his words hold a heavy meaning to it, and Kyungsoo continues stabbing his food wordlessly, sitting through the entire exchange of cheesy words and occasional kisses, and it's not the first time, never the first time, that he's always found himself in this position.
His position as nothing, but a third wheel, a second fascination for someone else.
Sometimes Kyungsoo’s brain forgets to tell him what to do and how he should act, and then his heart takes the lead. Sometimes his heart takes the lead, and then he follows it too far, way too far, and then he falls back on the road that his brain paves, and everything is alright. After all, things are not simple, never simple, and even his heart agrees with his brain that Jongdae and Baekhyun is the couple, the perfect, advertised gay couple, and of course they’ll never break up, because they’re a. perfect. couple.
Jongdae asks if he’s okay, and Kyungsoo’s found that he’s lost his appetite.
Jongdae offers to (let Baekhyun) take him home in their car, Kyungsoo agrees, and after a fifteen minute car ride of Jongdae talking to himself, or maybe actually him or Baekhyun, Baekhyun stops the car near the street that they live on, and Jongdae alights, waving them goodbye, phone pressed tightly against his ear.
The moment Baekhyun rounds a bend, and goes past a red light, Kyungsoo’s shoulders slump in mixed relief and defeat. He knows how this night will end, but he can’t bring himself to say no.
He can’t bring himself to say no when they both end up stumbling into his apartment, knocking into stacks and stacks of photographs, photographs he’s never looked at since school years, can’t bring himself to say no when Baekhyun’s tentative fingers find all his sensitive spots, and as darkness cloaks them both, like almost every night, Kyungsoo can never bring himself to say no to Baekhyun because he’s fallen in love, an odd kind of love, but he can never say no.
He can never say no to Baekhyun even though he knows he’s not in the perfect centre of the picture. There are two subjects in Baekhyun’s picture, and Jongdae is, the principal focus of Baekhyun’s picture, the subject in the center, while Kyungsoo is the subject that intersects his grid lines, complying perfectly with his rules of thirds. And both of them should never, never appear in the same picture.
But it’s okay, because Kyungsoo is the photographer. And this is the picture he has decided to take.
Rule of thirds; by Sir Joshua Reynolds on Du Fresnoy— Two distinct, equal lights, should never appear in the same picture: one should be principal, and the other sub-ordinate; unequal parts and graduations lead the attention easily from part to part, while parts of equal appearance hold it awkwardly suspended, almost as if unable to determine which of those parts is to be considered as sub-ordinate. And to give the utmost force and solidity to your work, some part of the picture should be as light, and some as dark as possible; these two extremes are then to be harmonized and reconciled to each other.
rule number four: don’t fall in love.
a/n: finished this in a little more than one hour with two more plus hours of editing and intense discussion with my lov and my beta (thank you asshol) and here's a late happy birthday to the kyungsoo to ma baekhyun. i hope you enjoy this and two more to come!