As Sehun walks through the glass doors of the convention center, he can’t stop thinking about how lucky he is that he stopped Chanyeol from making him cosplay. Jongin wasn’t so lucky, but at least he’s dressed as Han Solo and, if Sehun were being honest (not to Jongin, though), his friend can rock the vest and the whole look. Meanwhile, Baekhyun is dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi— Alec Guinness’ Obi-Wan, as Baekhyun makes sure to clarify. Sehun has looked at the outfits and he can’t tell the difference with Ewan Mcgregor’s.
But the worst is without a doubt, his gigantic friend painted in green who had no better idea than to dress up a Yoda, claiming that he’s already “got the ears”. Sehun shakes his head when Chanyeol shouts, “Arrived have we!”
The convention center is big and there are a lot of people in costumes walking around the main room. Sehun thought that dressed in normal clothing he wouldn’t stand out. But he feels out of place in here and considers it would have been better to come dressed up. Yet, when he thinks about the Chewbacca costume Chanyeol offered, he shivers and reminds himself his jeans are just fine. He’s never been a fan of Star Wars anyway, and neither has Jongin.
The main room is the biggest, with over the top booths full of merch and some videos being played. The noise that surrounds him is overwhelming for Sehun. There’s music playing from somewhere close. Excitedly, Chanyeol rushes to one booth where there’s a lightsaber VR simulator.
“Oh! Like jedi training!” He exclaims. Hunching his back, he adds, “cool, that is!”
Their friend can be very embarrassing most of the time. The only one who can handle him (but also often enables him) is Baekhyun, who grabs Chanyeol’s nape and pushes him down.
“You’re embarrassing the kids,” he stage whispers.
The statement is met with protests from Jongin and Sehun, denying they’re kids. The worst part is the implication behind Baekhyun’s words that they’re Chanyeol and Baekhyun’s children. Chanyeol loves to tell people that he raised Sehun up since they’ve been friends for years and Sehun has had to deal with Chanyeol’s weirdness since they met. Jongin always tells him that Sehun is weird too and that he learned it from Chanyeol, so there must be some truth in the now tall Yoda’s words.
“Let’s walk around first and then we check if there’s less people here,” Jongin suggests, to which Chanyeol nods.
Sehun quietly follows the three of them a step behind, soaking in the convention. There are so many cosplayers. Stormtroopers seem to be in, he thinks as he takes a look around. Jongin waits for him to catch up, while Chanyeol and Baekhyun chat animatedly far ahead.
“What’s up?” His friend asks.
“Let’s ditch them and go get something to eat,” Sehun suggests.
“We paid for this.” Jongin raises an eyebrow at him.
“We didn’t, they did,” Sehun replies pointing at their friends. He grabs Jongin’s arm to make him stop walking. “Come on!” Before his friend can reply, Sehun is pushed forwards by someone bumping into him. “What th-?”
“Sorry, sorry!” comes a muffled voice from behind him. When he turns around, there’s a short stormtrooper trying to fix his white helmet and failing at it. Sehun has to look down at it. “Sorry,” the short guy repeats before rushing away from Sehun.
“HURRY!” Chanyeol’s deep voice booms from across the aisle making quite a few heads turn around. As Sehun follows his friends, he can hear some people snickering. He lowers his head in shame.
“What were you doing back there?” asks Baekhyun.
“Trying to bring down the empire, one stormtrooper at a time,” Sehun explains casually. Jongin is the only one that lets out a breathy laugh. When they look at each other, they explode in laughter.
“Why do they always laugh at dumb shit together?” Baekhyun gives them a judging look, while Chanyeol looks between them grinning, trying to understand the joke. “Let’s go,” Baekhyun says and heads somewhere, not looking backwards to see if he’s being followed. Chanyeol hurries behind him, while Jongin and Sehun try to stop laughing and fail at it.
Touring around the center, they find a booth that sells official figures. Thrilled, Chanyeol runs towards it, bumping into someone on the way. He hastily apologizes without looking. Only Jongin and Sehun recognize the short stormtrooper that run into Sehun earlier before.
“You’re always in the way, aren’t you?” Sehun leans in closer to the guy, who grabs his own helmet and pulls it down, in an apparent attempt to hide.
“Sorry,” the stormtrooper answers.
“Is that all you can say?” Jongin chimes in, leaning closer too. “Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?”
Both of them staring down at the short guy must look menacing. He’s bending his neck backwards to look at them. Sehun can’t help but smirk, until Baekhyun interrupts them. “Who are you?”
The stormtrooper is startled and before anyone can say anything, he runs away. Jongin is the first one to laugh, and Sehun follows soon after.
“Who was that?” Baekhyun asks.
“A guy that bumped into Sehun a while ago,” Jongin explains.
“Short little weirdo, he is,” Chanyeol joins in.
Baekhyun stares at him and says, “He’s not the giant dressed as Yoda,” shaking his head. “Let’s keep going. There’s a panel with one of the animators and the scriptwriters of the TV series in half an hour.”
Baekhyun is, surprisingly, the relaxed version of a fan, unlike Chanyeol. Usually, the oldest of their group seems like the youngest; loud, over the top, with an excess of energy and when paired with Chanyeol, they’re chaos incarnated. Yet, at the convention, Baekhyun seems to have toned down the insanity. Sehun is actually glad for it. When he was getting ready to come, he was fearing having to babysit both of his friends. Although, Jongin and him would probably have left them on their own anyway.
After Chanyeol buys a small Yoda figurine that’s probably more expensive than what any of them can afford, they walk towards the room where the panel is. There’s people lining up at the entrance; it’s the main panel. While they wait for the doors to open, Sehun recognizes the same stormtrooper from before. The guy’s reading down a brochure, so he has his helmet lifted up. But because of the angle, Sehun can’t see his face. Nudging Jongin on the ribs, he points at the guy but says nothing.
The panel ends up being very useful for animators and people interested in making animated shows; that is none of the four of them. Sehun rolls his eyes at the ceiling at the third incomprehensible question for him. He takes a look around the place. The lights of the ceiling are very bright, it’s a very typical room. Boring, just like the voice of the translator. When he turns to the side, he sees Jongin’s head swinging. His friend is dozing off. He pulls out his phone to take a picture of him. When he points the camera at him, he sees on the side the familiar figure of the short stormtrooper, who quickly turns his head to face forward. They were being observed by the guy. For the rest of the panel, Sehun takes short glances at the stormtrooper and catches him watching a few times. All the while Jongin’s sleeping.
After that, Chanyeol insists on going to a workshop where they can build their own lightsaber. The tall Yoda tries to run to the booth, but is stopped by Baekhyun pulling him backwards by the neck.
“Easy there, Hulk,” Baekhyun teases.
“Shut up, midget! You should’ve been Yoda,” Chanyeol replies back.
Jongin and Sehun leave the bickering pair behind as they head to the workshop. Neither of them are very interested in doing it, but if they can get a free lightsaber from it, that would be great. The booth is not as crowded as they expected because they workshop runs a few times during the day. There’s just a few people there, most of them cosplayers. While they wait for their friends to catch up, they take a look around and see a familiar figure walking their way.
“Is he following us?” Jongin whispers.
“He’s probably following you,” Sehun throws at him.
“Well…” Jongin looks him up and down. “Yeah, I’m the better looking out of us.”
That comment earns him a push from Sehun.
“What are you guys doing?” Baekhyun asks when he arrives. “At least, Chanyeol and I don’t get physical.”
“Because you’d lose!” Chanyeol’s voice booms, calling the attention of most of the people around them, including the stormtrooper, who quickly looks down. Sehun is more and more curious about their little apparent admirer.
“Isn’t that the guy from before?” Baekhyun says out loud nodding towards the stormtrooper.
“Yeah. He’s following Jongin,” Sehun explains.
“How do you know?” asks Baekhyun.
Sehun says nothing and simply shrugs.
Since they have to pay to make the lightsaber, they separate in pairs to do it. Baekhyun and Chanyeol on one table and Jongin and Sehun on another. They’re handed the materials before an old man starts explaining how the lightsaber works. After a short introduction, they start with the soldered battery pack.
The man’s explanations are very easy to understand and follow, but since the four of them are still children— although Sehun would never admit it out loud—, it takes them a while to get it done. Chanyeol and Baekhyun keep bickering about what color it should be. While Jongin and Sehun don’t understand how the wires should connect to the batteries and somehow the wires end up tangled in Sehun’s hands. Jongin giggles on the side and Sehun kicks his shin in retaliation.
Not too far from them, he can hear a muffled giggle coming. He turns to find the short stormtrooper’s shoulder shaking. The guy’s still wearing the helmet and it must be not only very uncomfortable but also very hot. When the guys realizes he’s been seen, he awkwardly focuses back on his own task.
Once the lightsabers are done, some people start playing with them. Sehun and Jongin still haven’t finished, and soon Sehun gives up. Jongin leans over the table to get the last details sorted out.
Sehun feels a tug on his t-shirt. It’s Baekhyun pushing him closer to whisper in his ear. “Let’s ditch Jongin. Let’s liberate him for the stormtrooper,” he explains.
Sehun tries to stifle a giggle while he nods. All three of them bow down to the man from the workshop silently, covering their mouths and leave a clueless Jongin behind. As soon as they’re around the corner on the next aisle, the first one to break in laughter is Sehun, followed closely by Chanyeol. They keep laughing all the way to another booth they wanted to go to.
If the stormtrooper actually does like Jongin and starts flirting with him, Sehun pities Jongin. His friend is straight, unlike Sehun, and the whole situation will be really awkward for both. But he wouldn’t be Jongin’s friend if he didn’t enjoy to make him suffer sometimes. Jongin is really, really bad with new people; Sehun can only imagine how that conversation will go.
The new booth they’re at has comics based on the saga. Jongin would love it, Sehun doesn’t. He’s just following Baekhyun and Chanyeol. Without his closest friend, he starts to feel bored. At least, together they can judge their older friends.
Taking a look around, he finds where the toilets are. He lets Chanyeol know before walking away, but his friend nods distractedly. Shaking his head, Sehun heads in the right direction. There’s a long line waiting by the women’s toilet, while the men’s is fairly empty. He walks in and heads to the last urinal by the wall. Before he can even unzip his jeans, someone walks in hurriedly.
When Sehun looks to the side, he finds the short stormtrooper standing still by the door. Awkwardly, Sehun moves his hands away from his pants wondering why the guy is there when he should be with Jongin, unless Jongin is close.
After a few moments in silence, Sehun asks, “Have you seen my friend?” The guy looks down at Sehun’s pants and shakes his head. “OH MY GOD! NO!” Sehun covers his crotch and feels his cheeks heating up. “I’m talking about the guy dressed as Han Solo,” he clarifies.
“Ah!” The guy’s voice is muffled, as he is still wearing the helmet. “No, I haven’t.”
“Can you please take off your helmet? It’s annoying me.” Sehun knows his face probably looks totally unfriendly, but he can’t help it.
Hesitantly, the guy starts pulling up the helmet from his neck. He lowers down his head as he takes it off. When he finally shows his face at Sehun, Sehun is shocked to find that beneath the awkward stormtrooper’s uniform there’s a really cute guy. The guy’s face is red, partly from the previous embarrassment and partly because of the heat of the helmet. There are splotches of red all over his face and neck and Sehun can see some of his hair wet from the perspiration.
Yet, none of that hide the fact that the guy is handsome, unbelievably so. He has a shy smile on his face that makes him look even cuter. His eyes turn into slits as his smile gets a little wider, showing Sehun his bright, white teeth. He has thick eyebrows, something that Sehun has always liked. Sehun gulps down. For the first time this day, he envies Jongin if this guy has taken an interest on his friend.
“No, I haven’t seen your friend since the lightsaber workshop,” the guy explains. Without the helmet, his voice sounds much better and Sehun finds that he likes it.
“Oh… OK. I’ll go search for him now.” Sehun walks past him.
When he reaches the door, he hears, “Wait!” He turns around to face the guy, whose face looks suddenly more flushed than before. “Can you-... uhm, help me?” He points at the urinals and then gestures towards his suit.
Sehun is left speechless, looking the guy up and down. “I’m not touching your dick!” He screeches.
The guy startles and starts waving his hands in front of him. “No! No! That’s not what I meant!” He tries to cover his face with both hands, but he’s holding the lightsaber and the helmet. He suddenly looks smaller in front of Sehun, who can’t help but find him cuter. “I have to take off part of the armor. I was hoping you’d hold it for me,” he explains after uncovering his face.
“Oh!” It dawns on Sehun, as he takes a look at the costume. “Yeah, I can do that.”
The guy hands Sehun his helmet first, who takes with his both hands. It looks much heavier than it really is. Sehun touches the lower part, looking closely at the details of where the mouth is. While he observes the helmet, the guy keeps unassembling the suit. He takes off the arm covers and hands them to Sehun, who holds them against his chest with one arm. The stormtrooper is still struggling with his costume while he holds his self-made lightsaber. He’s got the blaster in a holster.
“Give me the lightsaber,...uh,” He realizes now that he hasn’t yet learned the guy’s name.
“Junmyeon,” the guy introduces himself grinning charmingly at Sehun, who feels suddenly weak. He holds the arm covers closer to his chest. “And you?”
“Se-sehun,” he stutters.
Junmyeon eyes turn into slits again as he keeps smiling. “Nice to meet you, Sehun. Thank you,” he says, handing him the lightsaber. He, then, places the blaster on the countertop.
Sehun ends up with the lightsaber on his right hand, the helmet hooked on his wrist and the arm covers held against his chest. Junmyeon keeps going, taking off the chest cover. He puts it between Sehun’s chest and the arm covers. After that, he opens the velcro on his back and his the rest of the uniform upwards, careful with the straps that hold it on his shoulders. He takes it fully off and now Sehun realizes that Junmyeon is wearing a really, really tight black shirt under the costume. Without anything covering it up, Junmyeon’s body is more exposed to Sehun’s eyes. He looks like he works out often, with thick arms and a broad chest.
Sehun wonders how good his abs are before he realizes he’s staring down at Junmyeon and not taking the rest of the armor. He coughs and wiggles the fingers of his right hand so that Junmyeon can hook the costume there.
Awkwardly, Junmyeon clears his throat. “Can you…?” He makes a turning gesture with his finger and Sehun gets it. He turns around quickly.
The silence of the toilet is maddening until Sehun can hear the sounds Junmyeon’s clothing make. The moment the sound of liquid starts is the most mortifyingly awkward moment in Sehun’s life. He wants to drop everything he’s holding and run away. Luckily, it doesn’t last long, but it’s enough to scar Sehun for a few years to come.
After Junmyeon washes his hands, Sehun turns back around and starts handing him back each part of the uniform in silence. He’s too shy to even lift up his head and look him the eye.
“Thank you, again, for this,” says Junmyeon after assembling the whole armor again.
“No problem,” Sehun replies and it leads to another moment of silence in the middle of the toilet. “Uhm, I should,” he wants to say he should go, when he remember that he still hasn’t peed yet. “I’m-I’m gonna…” and points at the urinals.
“Oh! Right, ok. I’ll be outside,” Junmyeon tells him, grabbing the gun and walking out the door.
When he comes out of the toilet, he finds Junmyeon waiting for him by the door. “Where are you going next?” Junmyeon asks.
“I need to find my friends,” Sehun explains. Even if he’s still feeling awkward, he doesn’t want to say goodbye to Junmyeon. “Wanna go with me?”
Junmyeon smiles again and it makes Sehun’s heart skip a beat. They walk together around the center, looking around and chatting. Junmyeon turns out to be a really good talker. Whenever Sehun feels shy, it’s Junmyeon who fills the silence and Sehun really appreciates it. He’s older than Sehun and there’s something in his presence, even if he’s dressed as a stormtrooper, that has Sehun trusting the guy.
Reaching one of the first booths he saw at the convention, he finds his friends playing the Virtual Reality game. Tall Yoda is standing in the middle of the booth waving a stick that plays the part of lightsaber. Meanwhile, Baekhyun guffaws at the sight of their friend like that. On the side, Jongin is chatting up a girl dressed as Princess Leia.
“Hey!” Sehun greets them.
“Where were you?” Baekhyun asks, not taking his eyes away from Chanyeol and laughing when their friend almost hits one of the workers of the booth.
“Went to the toilet. I told Chanyeol.”
“You should’ve told me. He had no idea where you went.” Baekhyun shakes his head. Then, he notices Junmyeon. “Oi! Shortie!” He says in greeting.
“Like you can talk,” Sehun mutters. “This is Junmyeon. Junmyeon, these are my friends. Han Solo is Jongin. This is Baekhyun and tall Yoda over there is Chanyeol.”
His new friend lightly bows in greeting. “Nice to meet you all.” He looks shy, awkwardly smiling at them. Sehun sees him fidgeting with the lightsaber and helmet in hand.
“How did you two meet?” Baekhyun asks suspiciously looking between the two of them.
Since Junmyeon hesitates to answer, Sehun opens his mouth. “Uh… uhm… we just run into each other at a booth and I asked him if he had seen Han Solo.” Then, Sehun searches for Jongin who hasn’t joined the conversation, still chatting with Princess Leia. “Who’s the princess?”
That calls Jongin’s attention, who turns to face them. “This is Soojung. We met when you guys ditched me,” he explains, although he doesn’t sound upset or bitter as Sehun would have expected.
Princess Leia, Soojung looks really beautiful and standing next to Jongin, they both look even better. She smiles prettily at Sehun. “My friend Amber got really excited about having found a Han Solo. She insisted on talking with him.”
“It’s a pity he’s taken now, huh?” Baekhyun nudges Junmyeon’s side sympathetically.
Junmyeon jumps away at the touch. “What?”
“Don’t you like him?” Baekhyun squints his eyes at him. “Isn’t that why you were following us?”
“WHAT?” Startled, Junmyeon starts coughing. “Wh-what? I-I-I wasn’t.” He coughs. His face turns red really quickly while his eyes shake looking everywhere but at them. “I wasn’t following you,” he mutters quietly.
“It certainly looked like it.” Baekhyun is definitely not convinced. “Wait… how did you run into each other?” Before any of them can reply, Baekhyun gasps. “OH! Oh!” Chanyeol steps in right in time to hear Baekhyun exclaim, “SEHUN! It was Sehun! Oh, this is good, really good.”
“What? He was following Sehun?” It dawns on Chanyeol too. “Oh! Oh!... OH!”
When Sehun turns to Junmyeon, the stormtrooper looks even more flustered, shaking his hands in front of him, accidentally dropping the helmet. He doesn’t even bend over to get it, he just lowers down his head and Sehun can see his ears are really red.
“Oh, this is good!” Baekhyun is still enjoying himself with the new learned information.
“Hyung, get out!” Sehun snaps not even looking at him. It earns him a collective ooh from all of his friends, including Jongin.
“His knight in shining armor, you are,” Chanyeol says using again the Yoda speech. Sehun takes Junmyeon’s lightsaber from his hand and attempts to hit his friend, who moves away quickly. “We’ll leave you two alone,” he says before grabbing Baekhyun’s neck, who keeps mocking them, and dragging him away. Jongin shakes his head at the pair and winks at Sehun before nodding at Soojung to leave with him.
As soon as they’re gone, Sehun bends down and picks up the helmet. He hands it to Junmyeon who mutters a shy thank you and takes it with shaky hands. “Is it true, though? Were you following me?”
When Junmyeon finally lifts up his head, he looks a lot calmer, yet he shakes his head, denying it. “I… I wasn’t- I just.”
“You were. Why?” Sehun interrupts him.
This time when Junmyeon replies, he seems more confident. “You’re really handsome.”
It’s Sehun’s turn to blush as he can feel his cheeks warming up. He coughs, not knowing what to say.
“If I asked for your number, would you give it to me?” It’s weird how much braver Junmyeon gets once they’re alone.
“Sehun! We’re leaving! Tell your boyfriend goodbye!” Baekhyun’s voice stops him from answering.
“Yeah! Coming!” He shouts back. “Give me your phone,” he tells a shocked Junmyeon. With the phone in his hand, he types in his number. “Just… uhm… message me whenever you want.” Then, he turns leaving Junmyeon surprised, gawking at his phone. Sehun lightly bows and leaves, feeling a bit better than when he came into the convention. He’s really glad he came. He smiles when his phone vibrates inside his pocket.
There are so many people at the center. Sehun looks down at his beige wool sweater. It’s tight on his neck and the wool itches. Feeling it stuffy, he can’t stop pulling at it.
“Stop that! You’ll ruin it,” Junmyeon grabs his wrist to stop him.
“I can’t believe you made me wear this,” Sehun whines. “Hell, I can’t believe you have this ugly sweater.” The hurt look on Junmyeon’s face makes him apologize instantly.
Meanwhile, Junmyeon looks like he’s drowning in that long coat and the blue scarf. The day is not cold enough for their outfits. But Junmyeon insisted. When he asked Sehun what he wanted to wear for today, Sehun shook his head fast. In the end, Junmyeon won.
“I don’t understand how you get to be Sherlock while I’m Watson,” Sehun says for the nth time. “I have the height and the cheekbones!”
Junmyeon rolls his eyes. “Enough, Sehun.” He then pulls at his sweater bringing Sehun’s face to his level. “You’re gonna walk in with me and enjoy it, ok?”
Sehun can’t do more than gulp and nod. Junmyeon’s smile transforms his whole face and that’s the face Sehun is still not ready to admit out loud that he loves. But he does. After a peck on his lips, Junmyeon lets go of the sweater and pats down the wrinkles.
“I think we’ve just made a few fans happy,” he says winking as they walk further down the aisles of Comic-Con.