A Beautiful Day for a Neighbor (Lin x Reader)
Summary: You and Lin are neighbors, and as a result, hilarity ensues.
Warnings: mentions of death, panic/anxiety attack, swearing, horrible google translate
Word Count: 9,371 (i am so sorry)
A/N: This isn’t necessarily a song fic, because the lyrics are mainly used as line breaks. And, obviously, I have to dedicate this and give credit to the lovely and magnificent Grace (@notthrowingawaymyfood ) She’s one of the reasons any of this got written, and her and I swapped many ideas. Thanks so much, my Alexander.
It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor
“What the fuck,” you hissed, rudely awoken by the loud music being blasted from your neighbor’s house. You desperately tried to rub the exhaustion out of your eyes as you groggily sat up. You buried your face in your hands, sighing heavily and shaking your head.
Why did you move to this street into this house?
As if the realtor hadn’t been shady enough, he hadn’t even taken a second to say, “oh, right, your neighbor’s the most annoying asshole to walk this earth.”
You ripped the covers off of your body, exposing your legs to the cold air as you opened your window. You slightly leaned out of it, narrowing your eyes at your dancing neighbor through his open window.
“Hey!” You shouted clapping your hands in order to grab his attention. “What are you doing?!”
He turned to face you, his seemingly soft, black hair swishing to cover his eyes. He carded his fingers through his hair, shooting you a grin that was too positive for the time of day. “Looks like someone isn’t a morning person!”
You groaned audibly as you dug your fingers into your temples, a headache approaching from the loud music. “I don’t even know your name and you’re already giving me a headache.”
“It’s Lin, sunshine.” He rested his elbows against his windowsill, throwing a sarcastic smile at you.
“Well, that’s a stupid name!” you huffed, staring him down from the usually short ten-or-so feet that separated you from his house. His stupid fingers drummed against his stupid window as his stupid pearly-white teeth in his stupid little grin taunted you. His bright laugh that rang through the air was the color of the glittering sun, luminous and yellow and bursting with energy. ‘Hey—what are you laughing at?”
“Nothing,” a spurt of giggles escaped through his lips. “That was just really cute: you getting all mad like that.”
Your cheeks burned with the pink flush that crept up on you. You exhaled sharply, crossing your arms across your chest.
“He thinks he can just wake me up like that and try to be all smooth—no. I won’t allow it.” You cursed under your breath as he cocked his head to the side at your actions.
“You have to tell me your name, now!” He tilted his chin towards the sky, raising a challenging eyebrow.
You scoffed, glaring his way. “No I don’t!”
A cocky smirk tugged at the corner of his lips, his eyes twinkling like the moon still barely visible in the early morning sky. “Yes you do!”
“I certainly do not.”
“If you tell me your name I’ll shut off the music.”
You perked up at this, your eyes brightening as you raised your eyebrows in disbelief. “Really? You would?”
He shrugged with uncertainty, a playful smile gracing his full lips.
“My name’s Y/N. Now can you turn off the damn music?” You gave him a pleading look, tiredness evident in the bags under your eyes.
Lin stroked his almost nonexistent beard, his lips puckering to the side in thought before beaming at you. “Hmmm…no.”
You gaped, making aimless gestures into the air. “But—you said—”
Lin raised his arms, his palms facing you in defense. “I didn’t say anything.”
You sighed heavily, folding your arms over themselves on your windowsill and resting your head. What were you going to do with this agitating man across from you? Your eyes flicked around his house, taking in the morning sun that nourished the half-wilted flowers sitting pretty near his porch. It seemed like him to not take care of his flowers.
“Do you want coffee?” Lin’s voice pulled you from your silent trance, his pleading eyes suddenly looking inviting. “You really look like you could use some coffee.”
You glared at Lin from your dark circle clad eyes, your mouth twisting into a frown. “I don’t want any coffee from you, I want you to turn your fucking music off so I can actually get some decent sleep.”
“Aw man, I had my Keurig all ready and everything.” His bottom lip poked out into a pout, his eyes having a very certain glitter to them that drew you in. You let out a breathy laugh, Lin’s glowing features washing over you like a crashing wave. His skin soaked in the sun as his disappointed expression was quickly replaced by a toothy grin.
“Maybe next time.” A ghost of a smile trailed along your lips.
“Oh? So there’s a next time?” Lin’s eyebrow quirked up, a smile of his own plastered on his face.
“No! I meant,” you sighed. What did you mean? “Sure, yeah. There’s a next time.”
Would you be mine?
Your eyebrows furrowed as you suppressed a groan, glaring fiercely at your fingers that pressed on the strings of your guitar. Your eyes flitted back to your phone screen that displayed the chords of your favorite song before settling on your fingers again. You shuffled your fingers around the nylon strings to match the picture on your phone next to you, strumming your pick hesitantly over the sound hole. You smiled brightly at the melodious sound that finally filled your room as you stretched and shook out your cramped fingers, readying yourself to learn another chord.
You squinted your eyes at your phone screen, examining the fingering for the next chord as a voice stretched across your yard and into your open window.
“Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men? It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again! When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drum, there is a life about to start when tomorrow comes!” Lin’s smooth, yet heavy, voice resounded as you set your guitar and pick gently on your bed. You swiftly stood up, sighing in frustration as you paced over to your window.
“Will you join in our crusa—”
“Excuse me, but some people are trying to learn guitar over here!” You shouted, cupping your hands around your mouth as Lin’s head snapped up to you, a smile gracing his features.
You heard his hearty laugh from his room as he cracked open his window just a bit more. “And how’s that going for you?”
Your mouth hung open as you gave him a disapproving look. Your gaze shifted to the floor as you dismissed his humor. “That’s none of your business,” you mumbled, lifting your head up to look at him. “What is that? What you were singing?”
Lin’s chocolate eyes widened, tilting his head towards you as his mouth formed the shape of an ‘o’. He gave you a look of disbelief. “It's—it’s from Les Miserables, you know, the musical?”
A state of confusion washed over you, your eyebrows knitting together as you looked at Lin incredulously. “Is that french for ‘fuck you?’”
Lin snickered, shaking his head at your antics. “No, actually it means—”
“I don’t even wanna know.” A hint of a smirk played on your lips, something Lin took notice of as he softly smiled. “What I wanna know is why my lovely guitar session was so rudely interrupted.”
Lin shrugged, at a loss for words as he gazed at you from his window. “I don’t think lovely is the word I’d use.”
You gasped, pursing your lips and squinting your eyes at Lin. He sent you a cheeky smile that set your chest ablaze and your heart to your throat. “You—You’re so annoying!” You huffed, unsure of what else to say as you dismissed the feeling that his dazzling grin gave you.
“Then why don’t you just close your window from time to time?” Lin cocked a challenging eyebrow, leaning forward on his elbows.
“I—” you abruptly stopped, gazing in thin air as you wracked your mind for an answer. “I don’t know.” Your voice was almost a whisper, yet Lin’s smile was gentle and inviting. It made you feel safe.
“Is it because my charming looks lure you to your window each day?” His assuring demeanor was immediately dropped and replaced with a humorous smirk as you rolled your eyes.
“That’s enough outta you.” You laughed, your fingers gripping your window as you slid it shut.
Could you be mine?
“Hey! Y/N!” Lin shouted from his window, a vibrant smile permanently on his face as he waved his arms in the air.
“What now?” You had abruptly stopped walking, spinning on your heel to turn to Lin as you feigned annoyance.
The truth was, Lin had consumed your thoughts: he had taken them over without your permission, and you were scared. You had a love/hate neighborly bond, and you loved every second of it, even when his lawnmower was just too damn loud. Even when you were overwhelmed with an urge to water his now fully wilted flowers. Even when he played his music so loud that you could hear it from your window, or when he danced ridiculously when he thought no one was watching.
“So, uh,” he turned around as he receded back into his room before returning to the window once again, holding a stack of envelopes. “I may have accidentally switched up your mailbox with mine and gotten your mail.”
“Wait, hold on, I want to make sure that I’m hearing this right.” You held up a finger, shushing Lin as you hung your head in disbelief. “How do you accidentally confuse our mailboxes from one another? That’s literally impossible.”
Lin shrugged, a desperate expression falling on his face. “Hey! I was really tired, you can’t blame me!”
“Lin, the mail gets here at three o’clock. That’s actually the stupidest thing you’ve ever done.”
“Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?” Lin’s bottom lip poked out as his pleading eyes resembled a lost puppy.
You let out a dramatic sigh, shooting Lin a smile. “I suppose so…” Lin’s entire face brightened before you pointed an accusing finger at him. “As long as you give me back my mail. I have really important stuff in there.”
Lin placed a finger on his bottom lip, cocking his head as his lips curled into a smirk. “What kind of important stuff?”
“Stuff that could make or break my career, Lin.” You pressed your lips into a thin line, slightly annoyed at Lin’s ability to find this situation funny.
“And what’s your job?”
“I write biographies, okay? I need that mail.”
“Wait, for real?” Lin’s head snapped up, a curious glint in his eyes as a grin fell on his face.
You paused for a second at his sudden change of attitude, uncertain as to why Lin would find your job interesting. “I—yeah—I guess you could say that.”
“No doubt I’ve read some of your work. What’s your full name?”
Lin suddenly slapped at the windowsill, pointing at you with a beam. “Oh my god, yeah! You write the biographies about people during the Revolution!”
You gaped in surprise, a smile slowly spreading on your lips at Lin’s recognition. “Yeah, I do! I can’t believe you’ve actually read my books.”
“Well, duh, they’re amazing.” Lin said in a matter of fact way. “I actually used some of them for research for my job.”
“And what do you do?”
“I write musicals, songs, I act. A bit of everything. I used your books to write a musical about Alexander Hamilton.”
“Wait, what?” Your eyebrows almost shot into the sky.
Lin’s face fell at your response, slapping a hand to his forehead. “Never mind, I knew it was—”
“No, no, no! Lin, that’s a great idea! That's—that’s genius!” Your eyes twinkled in astonishment as Lin instantly perked up. You both grinned at each other from your windows, barely able to hold in your excitement at the recent news.
“That’s a different reaction than what I usually get.” Lin chuckled humorlessly, mostly to cover up the memories of when his idea was considered unrealistic and unreasonable.
Your eyebrows knitted together, confused on how Lin’s idea could have cause a different reaction. “What do you mean?”
Lin pursed his lips, a finger to his chin in thought. “Most people, like…they thought it was ridiculous, for lack of a better word. It was either ‘who even is that?’ or ‘why would you do that?’ or ‘that’s never going to work.’ And it’s hard to ignore that, y’know? That’s why I didn’t tell so many people before the show started to take off. You have to get rid of the negative energy somehow, yeah?”
You nodded in comprehension, your gazed fixed to Lin as he talked generously with his hands moving about and you found yourself wondering why anyone would deny this man’s creative process. He was obviously an experienced writer and thinker, it should be clear to see that any idea he puts into his head eventually can find a way to work out.
“Yeah,” a faint smile ghosted your lips as you saw a bit of yourself in Lin. “I feel that. A small part of my family didn’t support my dream of writing when I first started, ‘cause it’s a slow process. I just kept going, even with the huge chance of my career failing. I had to at least try. If you don’t try you’ll never know what could’ve been.”
The sides of Lin’s vibrant eyes crinkled, his lips spreading into a soft smile of agreement. He clung onto every word that spilled from your mouth, not wanting this moment to end, not wanting to pretend that you “hated” each other. His voice was low with admiration and a bit of something else you couldn’t quite catch. “And look where it got you.”
“Look where it got me. Look where it got you.” Your eyebrows raised in emphasis, remembering that Lin had small relations to you before you had even met. Your gaze suddenly shifted to the many envelopes still in Lin’s hand. “Oh! I kinda need my mail back.”
A mischievous grin fell on Lin’s face as you glanced up at you from tilted head. “You want me to throw it to you?”
Your eyes practically shot out of your head, your mouth slightly open at his proposition. “No, Lin!”
“I’m gonna throw it to you. Right here. Between our houses.” Lin gestured slightly between you to emphasize the distance.
“Lin, you wouldn’t dare! I swear to God, if you drop my bills—”
“Okay, okay.” He raised both of his hands in surrender. “Then how are you gonna get your mail?”
“You can just, you know, put it in my mailbox. That is, if you don’t mix it up with yours.” An amused giggle escaped your lips.
His mouth spread into a sheepish grin, glancing to the envelopes. “I guess that could work too…” he muttered before he escaped your vision, soon emerging from his front door. You swiftly walked to the window that faced your front yard, squinting at the figure that waved your mail in the air, pointing at it as he placed it in your mailbox.
You saw his hand begin to reach for the flag, a smirk on his face and his eyes focused on you. You vigorously shook your head, violently waving your arms as if to say “don’t you dare.” He erupted into a fit of laughter, leaving the flag go as his face broke into a playful grin.
You shook your head dismissively, a smile creeping up on your lips as you stepped away from the window.
It’s a neighborly day in this beautywood, a neighborly day for a beauty
Later that night, your chin rested in your hands, your eyes trained on the faint stars that spilled across the vast night sky. Your couldn’t see many due to constant light pollution, but once in awhile you returned to your window and let the breezy air flood your senses. You liked to use it as a stress-relieving mechanism, and most of the time it worked well. You found peace in simply just people watching, observing your surroundings and taking the opportunities of inspiration that came to you.
That night had been different.
Your tranquil daze had been interrupted by a car driving past your street and pulling into Lin’s dimly lit driveway.
Your eyes immediately traveled to Lin, who climbed out of the driver’s seat, lightly jogging over to the passenger’s side and opening the door graciously. A fairly short woman hopped out, her brown, silky hair cascading down her back.
You felt your heart pang with an unfamiliar jealously as Lin hastily put his arm around the woman’s shoulders, the two of them giving each other similar warm smiles. They exchanged a few words before Lin’s eyes met yours as he smiled once again in recognition. He raised a hand and politely waved in your direction as you threw a faint wave back at him, your eyes trailing behind him and the woman as Lin’s door shut behind them with a click.
You let out a shaky breath as you ran your hands down your face, peeking at the moon through your cold fingers.
“God,” you laughed quietly, walking away from the window. You paced around your room thoughtfully before lying on your bed, a steady gaze burning a hole in your ceiling. “Why are you so difficult?” You whispered into thin air, seeking an answer from anyone.
Would you be mine?
Lin gazed into the white, drifting nimbus clouds littered across the horizon as he alternated between incessantly tapping his pencil against his full notepad and lightly chewing on the end of it.
He needed inspiration and he needed it quick.
Tackling songs for Moana was an absolute dream for Lin, however, his ideas were fleeting. Nothing was sticking and he felt utterly exhausted. He switched from chewing on his pencil to annoyingly tapping it just as you stepped out of your front door.
Lin took in your appearance, all the way from your messily styled bun that sat on top of your head to your slipper clad feet. You desperately tried to brush a few baby hairs out of your face with no avail as you rubbed your eyes. Lin’s gaze focused on you as you trudged over to your mailbox, your slippers scuffing against the pavement. You pulled open the door of the mailbox, your eyes immediately trained on the stack of mail that Lin had recently returned to you. A soft smile danced on your lips as you took the mail out, flipping through the envelopes.
A short, sweet whistle from above you interrupted your thoughts as your tired eyes snapped up to meet Lin’s that held the same amount of exhaustion. A lazy smile grazed his lips as you gazed at him, slightly waving.
“See, I told you I’d give ‘em back.” You took a moment to notice the prominent plum-colored half circles just below his eyes. You felt a sense of sympathy at this sight, feeling slightly remorseful as you found yourself relating to him.
“Never said you wouldn’t.” You widened your eyes at the sound of your hoarse voice, clearing your throat just after catching Lin’s light chuckle.
“I had a feeling.” Lin cocked his head to the side in amusement, his eyes traveling along your fluffy robe and worn bunny slippers.
“Mhm.” You hummed in response, sending him a playful eye roll as you closed the mailbox door.
“Did you get your ‘really important stuff’ you hassled me into returning?” Lin’s soft chocolate eyes brightened with his grin as the sun filled you with warmth, just as Lin had done to you.
Lin was a bright, burning, beautiful, glistening sun that oozed with radiance. He carried himself with a humble confidence and a bounce in his step. Of course, he also had a semi-hidden exhaustion that followed him to the end of the earth. He was a man of many talents and many thoughts, but he was just tired.
And you wanted to be there for him.
You took a moment to skim through your mail once again, looking back up at Lin with a satisfactory smile. “Yes, in fact, I did.”
A warm expression graced Lin’s face as he looked upon you with captivating eyes that grabbed you with no intention of letting go. “Look at you, going places, being more successful than me.”
You glared at him jokingly, dipping your head low. “You wrote a musical about Alexander Hamilton. I don’t think I can top that.”
“If it weren’t for you it wouldn’t be possible, though.” Lin reminded you, pointing a finger your way.
“Sure, sure. Whatever floats your boat.” You waved a dismissive hand at him, accepting your defeat in the matter. You took notice of the tattered and worn notebook in his hands, cocking your head at it. “What’s that full of?”
Lin’s eyebrows drew together in confusion before he followed your gaze to his notebook. “Oh, this, I—” he fiddled with it, switching its placement from one hand to the other. “It’s just a mass of ideas. I guess it’s like my mind in a book: I record all my pennies for thoughts, you know. Even the nickels, dimes, quarters, dollar coins, the whole lot.”
You let out a hearty laugh at Lin’s statement, a grin making its way onto your face. Lin found your joy to be infectious as he joined you in the laughter. He looked at you with a great fondness as you saw that he was previously at the window sill for a reason. You thought of last night when you had wracked your brain for inspiration and relief.
Putting two and two together, your mouth formed an “o” shape in realization. “Oh—I’m interrupting an inspiration sesh, aren’t I? I’m sorr—”
“No, you’re fine,” Lin immediately shook his head at you, habitually flipping the pages of his notebook before shutting it. “Thanks to you, I already found the inspiration I needed.”
You were taken aback, your eyebrows a mile high and your jaw to the floor. “Okay, then. I don’t know how inspirational I am, but…” you trailed off, beginning to walk towards your front porch.
“Don’t worry about it. You’ll see it soon enough.” Lin assuredly nodded his head, creative juices already flowing in his mind.
“Alright, then. Oh, and Lin?” You stopped in your tracks as Lin’s head snapped over to you. “Who was that woman with you last night?”
Lin leaned forward slightly, a smile falling on his features in recognition. “Ah, yes, that was my sister, Luz…someone’s not jealous, are they?” He waggled his eyebrows at you suggestively.
Your cheeked flushed the color of the roses placed near your house as you tore your eyes away from Lin, suddenly unable to meet his gaze. “I—No! Absolutely not!”
“Are you sure?” He dragged out the “u,” an irresistible smirk playing on his lips.
“Yep. 100%. No doubt.” You gritted your teeth, suddenly finding interest in the sidewalk as your eyes bored into it with viscousness. Your head popped up, Lin’s sleepy and dazed look crossing your mind again. “One more thing, Lin?”
Lin nodded his head eagerly, his eyes fully trained on you.
“Get some sleep, for Christ’s sake.” You threw him a soft smile of affection.
Lin began to protest, excuses spewing from his mouth but you shushed him, holding a finger.
“Trust me, Lin. I’m a writer too, and you need to get at least some sleep. I have a feeling you stayed up, and I can’t help but sympathize for just how tired you look right now. This was a great chat, but right now I’m worried about you.”
Lin’s eyebrows raised slightly, his eyes filled with a familiar tenderness as he looked at you with such amore. The smallest smile slowly spread across his lips as he nodded ever-so-slowly. “Yeah,” he whispered. “I guess. Hey, thanks for the inspiration—you’re my girl!”
You nodded in satisfaction, breaking the connection between your similarly tired eyes as you stepped through your front door.
“‘You’re my girl.’” You repeated, the words hardly escaping your lips as you stared into the floor.
Could you be mine?
“Hey! Asshole!” You smacked your hand against the siding of your house, which proved to be a terrible decision as you cradled your pained hand.
Lin immediately straightened up, his eyes widening in shock at your yelling. His brows knitted together in confusion, pointing a hesitant finger to himself.
“Yes, you! Who in your house that has a deathwish has been using my wifi? I’ve had slow internet for the past week!” You shouted at Lin, expressing your frustration as he gaped in realization. “It’s you, isn’t it?!”
Lin immediately shook his head, gesturing his arms wildly. “Oh my god, no! That’s probably my housemate, Chris.”
“Who the hell is that?” You mumbled under your breath before shifting your eyes back up to Lin. “Okay, whatever, whoever this Chris is, tell him I wanna have a little chat!”
He threw his head back, letting out a resounding hearty laugh as he exited his room. “Will do!”
“I swear to god when he comes I’m gonna smite him—” you clenched your fists, impatiently waiting for the arrival of Lin’s housemate.
“What do we have here?” An enormous, bald man stepped into your line of sight, raising an eyebrow in your direction with amusement. You squinted your eyes at the intimidating figure as he leaned against his elbows.
You took a moment to evaluate him, your eyes scanning over his body. “Who are you…?”
“Chris Jackson, at your service. And who might you be?”
“No one you need to know.”
Chris sighed in defeat, slipping Lin a five dollar bill as Lin incoherently muttered something along the lines of “I told you, man.”
Your eyes shifted between the two, searching their faces for an answer to the exchange.
Chris shot a glare at Lin—who grinned right back at him—before facing you. “He bet me five bucks that you wouldn’t tell me your name. Why, I have no clue.”
“She didn’t want to tell me her name either; I told you to trust me.” Lin smirked smugly at his unfair bet as Chris let a small smile spread across his lips.
You rolled your eyes at Lin’s antics, Sharing a knowing look with Chris. “It’s Y/N L/N—”
“She’s a writer too!” Lin interrupted you, a giddy beam on his face as he nodded excitedly. Chris’s eyebrows raised slightly, his eyes flitting to you for an elaboration.
“I write biographies about famous figures from the American Revolution. Somehow, one of my books landed in the hands of this total nerd and helped him write his musical.” You tipped your head towards Lin as a tinge of pink warmed his cheeks. Chris glanced at Lin, seemingly communicating with him through his eyes as Lin shook his head at him.
“Anyways!” You tore apart their little eye-communication session, both of them turning to you. “Chris Jackson, we need to have a little talk.” You shot him a sickeningly sweet smile as his smile faltered under your gaze.
“Why…?” Chris habitually cracked his frighteningly long fingers as he placed his bottom lip between his teeth.
“Because you’re the asshole who’s been using my wifi!” You shouted, pointing an accusing finger at him as his eyes widened slightly. “I paid good money for that wifi, and for what? For slow internet just because my neighbor is lazy? Yesterday, I was researching for my next biography and nothing would fucking load!”
He opened and closed his mouth in shock, looking to Lin for a scapegoat. Lin just shrugged his shoulders, giving Chris a look that said “good luck.”
Chris searched the side of your house for a plausible answer, coming up short as his eyes settled on you. “You’ve actually left me speechless. I have no excuse.”
You nodded your head curtly, a smirk creeping onto your lips as you crossed your arms across your chest. “That’s what I thought.”
“And,” Chris held up a finger, raising his eyebrows. “I sincerely apologize for using your wifi. And for the fact that Lin didn’t warn me,” he sent a pointed look towards Lin, who faltered under his gaze. “That you’d be so touchy about the speed of your connection. Whether it be about the connection your wifi or between,” you motioned his finger between you and Lin as you both blushed, shifting your eyes to the floor.
“You hush up.” You huffed, narrowing your eyes at Chris. Your cheeks continued to visibly burn as Chris glanced between you and Lin. Somehow, you knew that he knew. He knew how much Lin consumed you; how much he had affected you with one interaction.
“It’s true, though. I know this guy!” Chris slinged an arm around Lin’s shoulders, a grin illuminating Lin’s face. “And I know that something’s goin’ on. You know it too, don’t you?”
“Chris, don't—” Lin started as Chris held a hand out in front of him in an attempt to shush him.
You saw no other possible choice than to speak up, you eyes trained on the ground. “I—I mean…I guess. Like, there’s obviously something, but I feel like the two of us are too distracted to see it—I’m sorry—that didn’t make any sense at all.” You shook your head, burying it in your hands as you peeked at Lin and Chris through your fingers.
“No, no! That’s exactly it! You know there’s some sort of connection or whatever, but you’re overthinking it way too much.” Chris nodded his head vigorously, wildly gesturing his hands towards you as you paid close attention. Lin had kept quiet for once, fully listening to Chris as his rosy cheeks reminded you of his previous bashfulness.
You nodded your head in comprehension, letting Chris’s wise words mull over you. You sat in a thick, uncomfortable silence that choked you as the three of you stared at each other.
“Well,” you clapped your hands once to find them slick with anxious sweat, “I better get back to work, now that someone isn’t using my wifi anymore!” You glared viciously at Chris, who guffawed, a huge, gleaming smile on his face.
“I said sorry!” Chris cupped his hands around his mouth as you turned around. You could almost hear the grin in his voice.
You hummed loudly in response as you heard Lin and Chris snicker joyously. You grabbed your laptop from your bed, plopping yourself into a chair at your desk, which was conveniently placed near the window. You drummed your fingers against the wood as you waited for your laptop to turn on, a pair of voices grabbing your attention once again. Your eyes widened slightly as you pretended to work, lending your ear to the men you had just been conversing with.
“Lin, listen to me—”
“Chris, she’s never going to—”
“Please. You need to tell her how you feel. You give the best advice but never take it and apply it to yourself.”
“And how in the world am I supposed to do that?”
“Lin, get a grip. She’s just a girl, you can—”
“That’s the thing, Chris! She isn’t just a girl. She’s never been just a girl.”
Your eyes widened in surprise, placing a hand over your mouth as an agonizing silence filled the air.
“You should really tell her, Lin. I know you, and I’m sure that if you wait too long, you’re gonna let it tear you apart.”
“It’s already tearing me apart.”
I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you, I have always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you
You sighed, placing your warm laptop onto your desk as you carded your fingers through your matted hair. You had spent another night researching, clicking to every website that could give you possible inspiration. You had barely slept, and your eyelids were slowly giving in to the deprivation.
A familiar, melodious whistle caused you to jump, your vision blurring for a split second before glancing at your window. You slowly got up, your muscles aching as you trudged towards your window. Lin walked alongside a small, grey dog, who was just ahead of his heels. Lin mumbled incoherently, bobbing his head to an imaginary beat. He gestured into thin air with his hand, as if to express and emphasize his words more thoroughly. You smiled at the sight, placing your chin in your hand.
“That’s a sight for sore eyes.” You called as Lin looked in all directions before settling his soft eyes on you, placing a dramatic hand over his heart.
“Why thank you, I knew you’d come to your senses eventually.” He grinned humorously, the gleam from his lips rising to and brightening his eyes. The sun shone down upon his face, his eyelashes casting shadows beneath his eyes.
A gleeful smile of your own spread across your slightly chapped lips. “Not you, doofus, the dog.” You nodded towards the little, gray bundle of energy that raced around his feet, tangling the leash between Lin’s legs. You laughed heartily, a sound that caused Lin’s eyes to scrunch and his lips to turn upwards. He attempted to step out of the trap that had been set for him, an almost inaudible string of words falling from his mouth.
“Good to know that I’m appreciated ‘round here.” He let out a breathy chuckle. “No, but, this little troublemaker is Tobillo. And no, that does not translate to ‘fuck you.’” You both let a giggle out at that. “Long story short, this pup nibbled on my ankle, hence the name Tobillo. It’s Spanish for ankle.”
You cocked your head to the side in amusement, a toothy smile plastered on your face. “That’s really cute. And, you know Spanish? Or did you just look that up?”
“Puedo saber un poco, si contamos dominar.” (I may know a bit, if you count being fluent.) Lin laughed as you rolled your eyes, shaking your head.
“Lo que sea, ahora estás mostrando.” (Whatever, now you’re just showing off.) You squinted your eyes at him as his eyes grew wide at your words.
A smirk tugged at Lin’s lips as he raised an eyebrow. His eyes flitted around your face with a fondness that didn’t match his expression. “Impressive.”
“Est-ce que tu parles d'autres langues?” (Do you speak other languages?) Your lip placed between your teeth, you awaited Lin’s answer.
Lin’s jaw went slack as he stared at you with a look of confusion, his brows knitted together. “¿Qué?” (What?)
You giggled, your eyes squeezing shut at Lin’s reply. You waved a dismissive hand at him as he continued to decipher your french. “Chris debe pensar que estamos locos.” (Chris must think we’re crazy.)
Lin shrugged slightly, his eyes rolling at the mention of his housemate’s name. “Probablemente se está volviendo loco por esta pequeña interacción. Él realmente quiere que seamos una pareja.” (He’s probably freaking out over this little interaction. He really wants us to be a couple.)
You looked to the sky, tapping a finger against your chin as you feigned deeply thinking. “Sí, preferiría no.” (Yeah, I’d rather not.)
Lin let out a chuckle, his smile faltering and his vibrant eyes losing their twinkle. Your chest tightened at this sight as a surge of regret coursed through you.
“Pero en serio…” (But, seriously...) Your gaze was cast downwards as you anxiously twisted a strand of hair between your fingers. “No es una mala idea, ¿verdad?” (It’s not such a bad idea, is it?)
Lin blinked multiple times, nervously fiddling with Tobillo’s leash as his eyes bored into you. Phenomenal, marvelous, magnificent you. “Tal vez. Tu sabe que es muy complicado. Es sólo una cuestión de tiempo, mi amor.” (Maybe. You know it’s very complicated. It’s only a matter of time.)
“Le tiempo.” (Time.) You repeated, the word leaving like a whisper from your lips. “¿Cuanto tiempo?” (How much time?)
Lin sucked in his lips, sighing through his nose as his eyes darted around your house for an answer. “No estoy seguro. Depende de nosotros.” (I’m not sure. It’s up to us.)
You nodded in comprehension, letting Lin’s wise words settle in your mind. “Realmente no me gusta esto. Ambos estamos conscientes de que hay algo en marcha, pero no podemos simplemente entrar.” (I really don’t like this. We’re both aware that there’s something going on, but we can’t just dive in.)
“No me gusta tampoco, mi amor. Sólo tenemos que pensarlo y todo saldrá bien.” (I don’t like it either, my love. We just have to think it over and everything will work itself out.)
You rubbed your eyes, exhaustion still very present. “I see.” You let out a deep sigh.
“Hey,” you lifted your head at Lin’s sweet voice. “Remember what you said about me getting some sleep?” He chuckled lightly, tilting his chin downwards. You nodded in recognition of your previous exchange.
“Yeah. How much sleep did you get last night?”
You narrowed your eyes in thought, your mouth in the shape of an ‘o’ and a hand to your head. “I don’t know, like three hours?”
Lin squinted at you, his eyes scanning over your face as you nervously chewed on your lip. “The truth.”
You let out a breath, letting your arm dangle out of your open window as your buried your face into your arm that was exposed to the sun. “I didn’t get any sleep.” You muttered into your warm skin, glancing at Lin to see if he had heard your nonsense.
He tsked, shaking his head worriedly at the news. His eyes grew dark with a more serious tone as he looked at you with sincerity. “Y/N, you’re overworking yourself. You know that, right?”
You nodded glumly, lifting your head and wincing at the harsh sunlight that strained your eyes. “I know, but…I haven’t written in so long and—”
“Y/N, I really don’t give a damn whether you’ve written something or not.” You almost flinched at the sudden harshness that laced his voice. “Right now, all I give a damn about is how much your health is showing through your looks. You look like you haven’t slept in a week. Your eye bags are almost as bad as mine. You need to be kind to yourself, goddamn it. So help me god, if I have to I will barge right through your front door and take care of you myself, I will.”
“Door’s locked.” You mumbled, closing your eyes to block the fierce sun as you vigorously rubbed your temples.
“I will break it down.” Lin’s lips twisted into a deep frown at the sight of you, his eyes filled with sympathy. “Go get some sleep.”
“Alright.” You whispered, your eyes trailing after Lin and Tobillo as they walked through Lin’s front door.
So, let’s make the most of this beautiful day, since we’re together we might as well say…
You whistled an imaginary tune as you shoved your phone into the back pocket of your jeans, stepping out onto your porch. Your shoes slapped against the pavement as you made your way down your driveway and to your mailbox, breathing in the fresh, warm air. Even after winter had bled into spring, cold, biting winds still haunted the streets. Everyone’s heat was on full blast, and layers upon layers of blankets were common. But, the past month had fortunately warmed up as the traditional weather of spring went into full effect, and you couldn’t be happier.
That was until the allergies made an appearance. But, you crossed your fingers.
“Hey, I know you!” Lin’s voice rang from his window as you looked up, and sure enough, Lin sent an enthusiastic wave your way. You chuckled under your breath, grinning at him as you raised your hand high, waving back.
“And I know you! Wow!” A fake expression of surprise fell on your face as you both exchanged sarcastic banter.
You opened your mailbox door, crouching slightly as you peered into the darkness. Your hand was halfway to your mail as your phone vibrated in your back pocket.
You stood back up, fishing your phone out of your pocket as you glanced at the screen to see your mom’s contact. A small smile graced your lips as you tapped the answer button, pressing your phone to your ear. You had always loved calling your mom, her cheerful voice never failing to brighten your mood as she checked in on you: seeing if you ate, how you were doing, what you were working on.
“Hey, mom! What’s up?” Your joyous grin faltered at the sound of your mom’s sniffling. Your eyebrows drew in together in confusion. “Mom? What’s wrong, are you okay?”
“Y/N,” Your mother let out a wracking sob that caused a feeling dread to surge through you. “Your sister, she’s been in an accident. She was—was on her way to visit you and…someone hit the front of her car on her side.”
“Is she going to be alright?” Your eyes roamed your street, flitting nervously to anything to help you force the choking feeling down your throat. You didn’t know what you would do without your sister, your best friend, the person who’s been for you since your first ballet recital.
“Y/N, she—she died on impact. She’s gone.” Everything around you: the colors, the houses, the sky, suddenly blurred into a mess of grief and melancholy as your phone clattered to the ground. Your mother’s voice still emerged from it, but you couldn’t hear a word. You collapsed to the pavement, your hands trembling wildly as you heard footsteps quickly approaching you. A pair of warm, strong arms enveloped you as your breath hitched, you hiccuped, tears spilled from your eyes. A heart-wrenching scream ripped your throat as you balled the fabric of the person’s shirt in your fists, squeezing your eyes shut.
“Hey, hey, you’re okay.” Lin’s voice swirled in your mind as his comforting hand ran up and down your back, stilling your shaking form and calming your senses. Lin’s warmth relaxed you as he stroked your hair with the gentlest touch. He hoisted you up into carrying you bridal style, walking you through your front door and into your house. He whispered a series of comforting words into your ear, carrying you into your bedroom. He tentatively laid you down, draping a soft blanket over you. He sat down beside you, taking your hand in his as his soft fingers rubbed your knuckles. He stayed by your side until your breathing slowed and your body relaxed.
“What’s wrong, love?” His eyes filled with worry and a deep sadness as he looked at you with empathy.
“My mom called me and she, um…” You trailed off, clenching your jaw in frustration at the words you couldn’t form. You inhaled sharply as Lin placed a reassuring hand on your shoulder. “She said that my sister died in an accident.” You attempted to blink back the tears that stung your eyes with no avail as they streamed down your cheeks. Lin promptly wiped them away with the pads of his thumbs, his hot breath fanning across your face.
His voice was thick, as if he, too, struggled to speak. “I can either talk or just listen, whatever you want.”
“I think I wanna talk, I just—I can’t help but think it’s my fault.” You sighed heavily, pressing your lips into a thin line.
“I’m sure it wasn’t your fault, sweetie.” Lin tucked a stray piece of hair behind your ear, his fingers running through your matted hair.
“It was. It was all my fault.”
“Y/N—” Lin began.
“She was on her way to see me, okay?!” You raised your voice, a pounding headache piercing your forehead. “It’s all my fault because she was coming to visit me! If I hadn’t mentioned that—” You choked on your sobs, your body violently trembling.
“Y/N, look at me.” Lin coaxed, rubbing his hands up and down your arms soothingly. “Look at me.” The mere seconds that passed felt like hours before your gaze met his. His eyes immediately softened, flitting around your face with an incredible affection. “This was not your fault, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, okay? Whatever asshole that hit her is to blame for this. You absolutely can’t beat yourself up over this. It’s not healthy. You’ll worry the people that love you sick.”
You slightly nodded, exhaustion finally weighing your eyelids down as they fluttered. Lin inched the blanket closer to your chin, a hand gently caressing your cheek as he stood up.
“I’ll give you some space, so I’ll be out here, ‘kay? Holler if you need me.” He took a step as you spoke up, your voice soft and hardly audible.
“Lin,” He spun on his heel towards you. “Stay, please.”
Lin nodded in understanding, walking around the foot of your bed as he slid under the warm covers. He secured an arm around you, pulling you close as your legs tangled together. Your nose pressed against his neck as he sponged a kiss onto the top of your head.
Would you be mine?
You flopped down onto your couch, settling in as you pushed the button on your remote and opened Netflix. You snuggled further into your many blankets, swinging your sock clad feet onto your coffee table. You had just begun to browse through your shows as the obnoxious sound of your doorbell resounded through your house multiple times. You groaned loudly, placing your blankets to the side as you reluctantly walked to the door. You swung open your front door to see Lin, a vibrant smile plastered on his face and a golden CD case with the title ‘Hamilton’ on it in his hand.
Your eyes scanned over Lin as you cocked an eyebrow at his presence. “Care to explain why you’re at my front door, interrupting my lovely Netflix time?”
“Today is the day that you’re listening to Hamilton—” He started, his eyes brightening with exuberance as he bounced on his heels.
“Oh my god, Lin—”
“You won’t regret it, I swear!” He walked past you, immediately opening the CD case and slipping the CD into your open laptop on your coffee table. You deeply sighed, your head hung low as you shut the door and walked over to Lin. You gazed at him as he excitedly clicked around on your laptop, careful about not opening any important files as you kept a watchful eye on him. You both took a seat on the couch, draping a blanket over your legs as Lin pressed play on the album.
You were instantly hit with a mass of genius and inventive words, impressed by the scheme of the whole production. When Lin’s voice rang through the speakers you squealed, “that’s you!” all the while Lin’s cheeks flushed red with heat. You bobbed your head to the beat during The Schuyler Sisters; grinned during Helpless; gaped during Guns and Ships; danced during What Did I Miss. You laughed and weeped in all of the rights moments as Lin just chuckled and patted your back. Soon enough, you had reached the last note of Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story as tears stained your cheeks. You buried your wet face in your hands, trying to process what you had just listened to.
“Did I break you?” Lin chortled, shaking your shoulder playfully as you looked up at him with a watery smile. You rubbed your face, groaning in disappointment that the music came to an end as you nodded your head.
“That was truly the most beautiful piece of art I had ever witnessed in my life.” You turned to face Lin, your eyes filled with sincerity as a blush seared Lin’s full cheeks.
He cleared his throat, rubbing the back of his neck as his gaze turned to the floor. “Nah, it’s not that great.”
“Oh, shut up, you’re just trying to be humble. But, for real, that was revolutionary. Those little historical details you laced in were perfect. The vocals were perfect, the orchestra was perfect, everything was just perfect.” You gave him a wide smile, amazed with his ideas.
He chuckled, shaking his head as he looked at you with awe. “You have no clue how happy it makes me to hear you say that.”
Could you be mine?
You were sprawled out on your couch with Lin, legs intertwining and blankets weighing over you as you scrolled through Netflix. A big bowl of popcorn was wedged between you two, already half empty. For the past couple months, Lin had been your shoulder to cry on, your number one supporter, and most of all: your best friend. You often caught yourself pondering over how much you’ve changed, and sometimes daydreaming about what was yet to come.
“There’s nothing to watch.” You moaned, shoveling another handful of popcorn into your mouth as you leaned your head back over the couch.
“Come on,” Lin held out a hand, gesturing to you to give him the remote. You shot him a suspicious look as you reluctantly placed the remote into his open palm, letting out a sigh of defeat.
“You know, you really need to learn trust me.” Lin laughed at your antics as he hovered over the search bar.
You hit his arm playfully, almost knocking over your cheap popcorn. “I do trust you!”
“Oh yeah? Then why won’t you let me into your laptop again?” His fingers danced around the buttons of the remote typing in a movie title as you shrunk in your seat.
“There's—there’s a lot of important files in there!” You argued, supporting a hopeless point.
“There’s important files in mine,” Lin hit enter, his eyes scanning over the movie titles, “but I still let you go on my laptop.”
You crossed your arms across your chest in defeat, grumbling at Lin as he sent you a cheeky grin. Your gaze finally traveled up to the TV screen to see The Little Mermaid. You squinted your eyes at Lin, turning your head towards him.
“Hey, before you get all suspicious: The Little Mermaid is a /quality/ movie! It’s literally the best!” Lin instantly sat up, talking animatedly as he gestured into thin air and locked eyes with you. You stared at him for a couple seconds before you sighed dramatically, a lazy smile spreading across your face.
“Fine, you win—”
“Yes!” Lin shouted in victory, pumping a triumphant fist in the air. You both pulled the numerous blankets up to your chins, exchanging body heat. A small smile adorned both of your faces as you watched the movie, until the very first note of Under The Sea played. You immediately burst into song alongside the cheerful crab, grinning and laughing all the while. Your singing began to trail off as you noticed Lin sitting quietly beside you, having not sung a word since the tune had started. Your eyebrows furrowed as you looked at Lin with curious eyes. You settled back down on the couch beside him.
“Lin, what’s up? I thought this was your favorite—” The words hardly fell from your lips as Lin sat up, his left hand grazing your burning cheek. A breathy mumbled “dios mio” escaped his pink lips as he looked as if he were searching for the right words to say.
You grew accustomed to the closeness between you two, beginning to notice the beautiful flecks of gold in his warm chocolate eyes. The dark, silly stray pieces of hair that rebelled and stuck out from his head. His free hand grabbed yours as his eyes flicked between your eyes and lips.
“Y/N, I’ve been waiting for you my whole life and I honestly can’t wait any longer—fuck it. Can I kiss you?” His words were rushed and fleeting.
Your jaw went slack as you were taken aback, your eyes widening with surprise. Lin’s gaze remained on you expectantly as you stared at him, and your brain short circuited. You were suddenly painfully aware of your clammy hand that rested in Lin’s. You blinked a few times before nodded your head dumbly, words spewing out of your mouth as your cheeks sported a rosy tint. “I—uh—yeah! Certainly! Wait—that came out wrong. I mean—”
Lin cut you off as he hastily pressed a soft kiss to your lips. You quickly reciprocated, your hand flying to the nape of his neck. Fireworks burst in your stomach and your heart jumped to your throat, beating rapidly. Your mind raced, unsure how to feel as you smiled into the kiss. Lin pulled away for a second, beaming at you with such an excitement that made you dizzy before returning to your lips. Dozens of colors of passion swirled in your thoughts, unable to contain how much your stomach had twisted and flipped.
You eventually untangled yourselves from one another, gazing at each other with labored breaths. Lin hand still grasped yours, his thumb gently running over your knuckles and fingers with a softness that made you grin. Lin’s eyes were filled with love as he looked at you, still trying to determine whether that was reality or not.
You slowly sunk back into the couch, your head resting in the crook of Lin’s neck as his breath tickled your ear. His safe embrace filled you with warmth as he connected his lips with yours once again.
“I told you it would all work itself out.” Lin smiled, his head leaning against yours as he pressed play.
Won’t you be my neighbor?
Your shoes scuffed loudly against the sidewalk as you reluctantly trudged towards Lin’s front door. The thought of Lin moving in had rolled around in your mind for weeks, since you had finally become a couple. You thought it was with good intention, since you two could hardly go a day without talking, let alone keep your hands to yourself. The two of you had decided to keep your relationship from Chris for as long as possible, knowing well that he would make the biggest deal out of it. You anxiously dug your hands deeper into your minuscule pockets as you stepped onto Lin’s front porch.
You took a reassuring deep breath as a shaky finger rang the doorbell. You prayed to the skies that Lin would answer instead of Chris. To your great fortune, Lin swung open the door with a bright smile, the sun inside of him virtually blinding you. You hastily wiped your sweaty palms on your jeans, sucking your lips in between your teeth.
Before Lin could get a word in, you scrambled to get your point out in the open, ignoring your countless hours of practicing in your mirror. “Do you wanna move in with me?” You blurted, your eyes wide with adrenaline. Lin stared at you for a moment, taking in your words. He started and stopped a few sentences, unsure of how to word his response.
“Duh, yeah!” He suddenly raised his arms to the side, pulling you in for an embrace. “This works out perfectly, Chris and his girlfriend have been looking for a place; what better spot than here?”
You both grinned at your previous exchange as you pecked Lin’s lips and enveloped him in another hug. You heard a gasp and high-pitched squeal from behind you, swiftly turning around to find a wide smile on Chris’s lips.
“And when did this happen?” His booming voice was filled with glee as you and Lin shared a sheepish look. You glanced at Chris again, feeling guilty as you saw his joyous expression.
“About a couple weeks?” You grimaced, awaiting Chris’s response.
“Weeks?! And this is the first time I’m hearing about it?” Chris’s jaw dropped to floor as you and Lin guffawed, tears springing in your eyes.
“Ah, who cares,” Lin’s smile was the most genuine and exuberant as you had ever seen as he slung an arm around your shoulders, pulling you closer to his side. “We’re moving in together.”