iamthegayagenda: (Default)
 A/N: well guys, we're kinda close to end now. it'll be two more parts and an epilogue (which i will hopefully finish up before i go to study abroad). no warnings for this chapter, hope yall enjoy.

It wasn’t until Baekhyun said the name that a chilling fear crawled up Kyungsoo’s spine. He’d forgotten about Moonkyu, in the turmoil of his return. He stopped mid-slice, staring at Baekhyun.

“I didn’t realize he was still relevant,” Kyungsoo muttered icily, resuming the peeling of the mangos with a little too much vigor.

“Oh, for me he isn’t. But for you, unfortunately yes,” Baekhyun had started. He would go on to explain that Moonkyu had been feeding Jongin false information, spinning tall tales about Kyungsoo’s departure; breeding mistrust in Kyungsoo’s intentions when he and Jongin were together. With each comment Kyungsoo grew colder, glaring until Baekhyun had to ask him if he was going to murder the mango.

“Hyung I- I have to go,” he’d said, rinsing his hands and grabbing his keys, running out of the door before Baekhyun could process it.

Which was how he found himself standing in front of Jongin’s door, where he’d been glued for the past twenty minutes, unable to bring himself to knock. They’d seen each other twice since the weekend on the North Shore, and Jongin was polite without the icy reserve, though he was shyer than he used to be. He felt like a fool, pacing in front of Jongin’s door, so distracted by his thoughts he didn’t register the ding of the elevator.

“Hyung?” Jongin’s voice snapped him out of his thoughts. Kyungsoo swallowed hard, blushing.

“Huh? Oh, Jongin! Howzit? Fancy seeing you here,” Kyungsoo chuckled.

“Um, well, you’re in front of my apartment door,” said Jongin. Kyungsoo choked on his spit, clearing his throat to cover it up.

“Right. I was- am. But you’re busy, so I’ll be going now,” Kyungsoo waved, attempting to side-step Jongin but the grocery bags in Jongin’s hands blocked the way.

“How long were you waiting?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo’s ears burned.

“I- I wasn’t waiting! For you. For anyone. Just checking out the-“

“Hyung,” Jongin raised an eyebrow, waiting for a flushed Kyungsoo to look at him.

“O-okay maybe I was waiting for you,” he admitted, scratching his neck. Jongin shifted a hip towards Kyungsoo.

“My keys are in that pocket,” Kyungsoo stared at him stupidly. “My hands are kinda full, hyung.”

“Oh, right,” Kyungsoo awkwardly extracted the keys from Jongin’s pocket, opening the door and stepping back to let Jongin in. The apartment was slightly messy, a hoody thrown across the sofa, and three socks thrown haphazardly across the living room floor, accompanied by several cups. Jongin placed the bags on the countertop after slipping off his shoes, running to pick up the strewn clothes and crusty cups, closing the door of his room with a sheepish grin.

“So,” he walked back to the kitchen, sifting through the groceries and organizing them, “Why’d you come over?” Kyungsoo pushed up his glasses, licking his lips.

“Oh, uh, no reason, really. I wanted to know how you were doing,” he said, biting his lip when Jongin gave him a quizzical look.

“You should’ve called first,”

“Right. Sorry,”

“I meant so you wouldn’t have to wait for me,” Jongin paused, holding the cabbage, “I like having you over.” Kyungsoo’s head shot up, but Jongin had gone back to sorting the groceries, the fridge door blocking his view.

“Do you- I could cook, if you want,” said Kyungsoo, shifting his weight. Jongin peered at him over the fridge door, eyes twinkling.

“It’d be a crime to turn down your cooking,” said Jongin, grinning at him, “but we don’t have many options.”

“Didn’t you just go to the supermarket?” Kyungsoo asked, butting Jongin aside to look in the fridge. Jongin blushed, tugging on his ear.

“Ah, well, I mostly live off this stuff,” he held up a box of frozen food, his ears bright red when Kyungsoo gave him a horrified stare.

“My god, what have I done to you,” he said. Jongin laughed shyly, hiding the frozen food box behind him. “There’s no use hiding it now, throw that out.”

“But that’s my dinner for the week!” Jongin protested, holding the box out of reach. Kyungsoo rolled his eyes, grabbing the bag of rice and shoving it at Jongin.

“Make yourself useful, cook some rice,” Jongin took it with a sheepish grin, stuffing the frozen food box in the freezer before removing the lid of the rice cooker. Kyungsoo shuffled around the kitchen, setting up bowls and placing the scallions aside. “Where’s your kimchi?” Jongin pointed at an unlabeled jar on the door of the fridge. Kyungsoo took it gingerly, opening it to sniff it. “Where did you get this?”

“Oh, eomma- uh, your mom, gave it to me,” said Jongin, fiddling with the switch on the rice cooker. Kyungsoo’s soft “oh” was nearly lost under the clatter of the lid, Jongin’s sheepish grin making its return.

Kyungsoo went about cooking, squeezing the juice out of the kimchi, ordering Jongin to open up a can of spam, slicing the scallions thinly; the juice went into a bowl with the gochujang and the soy sauce, which Jongin was ordered to whisk while Kyungsoo heated the pan, kimchi browning until the apartment was fragrant with it. Jongin’s stomach growled, eliciting a giggle from both of them. Next was the spam, sizzling loudly. Kyungsoo waved at Jongin, hands outstretched for the bowl of rice for him to mix in. It was quiet for a while, just the sizzle of the pan and the movement of the spatula across it. Jongin watched him closely, leaning against the counter, and the weight of Jongin’s gaze made Kyungsoo fumble, nearly dropping the bowl as he poured the kimchi, gochujang, and soy sauce in. He gasped sharply. Jongin’s hands were steadying him, taking the bowl when he was done. The rice sizzled, and he was flushed, swallowing hard.

“Fry up the eggs, it’s almost done,” Kyungsoo snapped, but it was far less forceful than he’d wanted it to be. Jongin smiled, giggling when Kyungsoo snatched the egg out of his hand.

“I can fry an egg, hyung!”

“I don’t want eggshell in my rice,” he grumbled.

“Three years is long enough to learn to fry an egg,” Jongin grumbled back, peeling Kyungoo’s stubborn fingers back.

“Yah! Watch it, I’m gonna drop it,” Jongin just grinned, cheeks pink, as he took the egg and cracked it open. “Oh, you weren’t kidding.” Jongin threw his head back and laughed.

“Hyung, it’s an egg,” Heat crawled up Kyungsoo’s neck.

“Shut up,” he mumbled, serving the rice onto a plate. He sprinkled the scallions on top, sliding a fried egg on each plate (two for Jongin, the way he liked it).

“It smells so good,” Jongin moaned, grabbing a spoon and chopsticks, breaking the yolk of the eggs.

“Sit down first!” said Kyungsoo, taking the plate from under Jongin’s spoon. He followed closely, sidling up to Kyungsoo’s side and mixing the yolk into the rice. He moaned again, making Kyungsoo blush.

“I missed this so much,” he managed around the mouthful of rice.

“You could’ve cooked it yourself. It’s not that hard,” said Kyungsoo, blowing on the coil of steam that rose from his spoonful. Jongin shook his head, hissing.

“Ith hod,” he jiggled his knees, swallowing with a wince.

The rest of the meal was mostly quiet, though it was over quickly; Jongin had practically inhaled his plate, leaning back on the sofa with a sleepy smile. The clean up was slower; Kyungsoo felt odd, out of place now, drying the plates carefully. He watched all of Jongin’s movements, shifting his weight so he leaned away whenever Jongin got close. He squeaked when Jongin touched him.

“Uh, hyung, you’ve been drying that plate for the past minute,” said Jongin. Kyungsoo put the plate down hurriedly, wincing when it clattered, and threw the paper towel out.

“I- uh, I guess I’d better go now,” Kyungsoo chuckled, drying his hands on his pants. Jongin was quiet, his dark eyes boring into Kyungsoo.

“What if you stay?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo choked on air, coughing until Jongin patted his back.

“You- really want me to?” Kyungsoo asked. Jongin gave him a half smile, closing the distance between them and wrapping his arms around Kyungsoo, burying his nose in Kyungsoo’s hair. It was unexpected, but everything Kyungsoo wanted, enveloped by Jongin’s scent and warmth. He melted against Jongin, closing his eyes and giggling when Jongin’s shoulder knocked his glasses askew. Jongin pulled back. “I should take these off.” Jongin chuckled, putting the glasses on the counter and pulling Kyungsoo towards the sofa, patting his lap. Kyungsoo settled in it, curling up against Jongin’s chest. Jongin’s slim fingers tangled themselves in Kyungsoo’s hair and he felt Jongin’s soft lips against his forehead. Jongin’s shirt was low cut, the triangle of golden skin teasing him until he placed a hand squarely at its center, feeling Jongin’s heartbeat under his fingers.

 

He hadn’t slept this well in years. Of course there were the nights after he returned to Oahu, sex-satiated and pliant after oof with Jongin, but it wasn’t quite the same; not when he was afraid to touch Jongin afterwards, afraid of driving him away again. That night, curled up against Jongin’s side (he would’ve liked to sleep on Jongin’s chest, but he’d jostled the piercing one too many times), the feeling of their bare skin and the rise and fall of Jongin’s breathing had lulled him to an unbroken sleep. The morning came and went, his phone buzzing, later Jongin’s, but they slept well past noon. He checked his phone groggily, rolling his eyes at Baekhyun’s texts, which grew progressively more lewd, and opted to respond to his mother’s text; Jongin rolled over, blinking blearily.

“Wha’timeizzit,” he slurred, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. Kyungsoo peered at his phone.

“1:25. Wow, we woke up late,” Kyungsoo chuckled, running his fingers through Jongin’s hair when the other groaned.

“Ten more minutes,” he mumbled, faceplanting into the pillow. Kyungsoo laughed.

“You have until I finish using the bathroom, then we’re going out,”

“Out?” Jongin squawked, staring at Kyungsoo’s back.

“Uh, yeah, we’ve already wasted a whole day,” he turned to look at Jongin, propping a hand on his hip. Jongin pouted, kicking his legs. “You’re such a baby.” Kyungsoo laughed, ignoring Jongin’s scowl.

Somehow, they left the apartment two hours later, Jongin still grumbling, and ate. The afternoon was cool, and the sun was already tinging the sky pink by the time they reached the park, shaved ices in hand. They walked slowly, kicking up sand with each step, and Jongin bumped into Kyungsoo playfully, grinning when Kyungsoo stumbled and blushed.

“Like beef?” Kyungsoo asked, frowning at Jongin, who laughed.

“Aw, c’mon hyung,” Jongin snickered, placing a wet kiss on Kyungsoo’s temple. “What’s with the stink eye?” Kyungsoo blushed, shrugging.

“It’s nothing,” said Kyungsoo, giggling when Jongin put his fists up.

“C’mon hyung, let’s scrap. See how tough New York made you,” he stretched his neck, bouncing on the balls of his feet.

“Stop that, before you get hurt,” said Kyungsoo, snorting when Jongin bumped into a palm tree.

“Laughing at my pain? Is that how it is?” Jongin asked, pulling Kyungsoo close and kissing the bridge of his nose. Kyungsoo blushed, snaking an arm around Jongin’s waist.

“You lolo,” said Kyungsoo, squawking when Jongin blew a raspberry on his cheek. They were reaching the beach now, and their giggles subsided. They sat under a palm tree (not a coconut palm, Kyungsoo had checked), the orange glow of the sky washing over them. Jongin rested his cheek on Kyungsoo’s head.

“I missed this,” he said softly, draping an arm around Kyungsoo’s shoulders. Kyungsoo felt tears prick his eyes, clearing his throat to keep them at bay.

“Me too,” he said quietly, sniffling. There was a lump in his throat, and it wouldn’t leave; his eyes still glittered with tears, but he didn’t want Jongin seeing him cry. He took off his glasses, wiping the tears under the pretense of rubbing his eyes.

“Allergies?” Jongin asked.

“Oh, no. Just got something in my eyes. Probably an eyelash,” said Kyungsoo, sniffling again and wiping his hand on his shorts. Jongin caressed Kyungsoo’s neck, then pulled his hand away, both of them suddenly shy. “It’s good to be back.” Jongin smiled at him.

“Guess the big city couldn’t compare to this little ole’ island,” Jongin joked, slipping his feet out of his sandals and burying them in the sand. Kyungsoo watched him, the grains alight with the colors of the sky, toes peeking.

“No, it doesn’t in the least. This is home,” he said softly, looking back out over the beach. The waves were growing, crashing noisily, crested with orange and red.

“Then welcome home,” said Jongin, reaching out to hold Kyungsoo’s hand. Their fingers slotted together, warm and familiar.Kyungsoo wanted to press himself to Jongin’s side, but he didn’t want to scare Jongin off, so he just squeezed Jongin’s hand lightly. A cool breeze blew from the water, sending a shiver down Kyungsoo’s back. Jongin’s warmth enveloped him; he looked at Jongin, who had wrapped an arm around Kyungsoo and pulled him close, but Jongin was looking out over the water.

“Thanks,” Kyungsoo said softly. Jongin smiled.

“I’m your sun boy, remember,” he said, just as softly. Kyungsoo inhaled sharply, frowning to keep the tears at bay. He suddenly felt much colder, but he couldn’t sidle closer to Jongin, not when guilty tears pricked his eyes. But he didn’t need to. Jongin pulled him closer, resting his cheek on Kyungsoo’s head. For the moment, as he had felt when he was on Jongin’s lap the night before, and as he had felt curled up by Jongin’s side on the bed, it was as if he hadn’t left; as if he’d stayed in Honolulu, carving out a life for them together, a step closer to planting their starfruit. Jongin still wore the pendant; he hadn’t taken it off since that weekend on the beach. Despite the spikes of guilt that made him nauseous, Kyungsoo had hope; with Jongin playing with his hair and kissing his temple, some of the guilt ebbed. He turned to look at Jongin, blushing when Jongin’s cheeks pinked too. There was a sad glimmer to Jongin’s eyes that made Kyungsoo’s stomach churn, but Jongin sniffled and kissed Kyungsoo’s forehead, pressing Kyungsoo’s cool cheek against his own, much warmer cheek. He felt the slight stubble grate against his skin, a smile forming on his lips when Jongin tangled his fingers in Kyungsoo’s hair, leaning down to kiss Kyungsoo’s neck. He shied away, blushing, and Jongin chased after him, catching him by the waist when Kyungsoo nearly fell over. He chuckled nervously, feeling all too raw under Jongin’s touch; but it wasn’t enough to keep him away, tucking himself under Jongin’s arms again to watch the sun drown spectacularly, the sky painted in orange and red, the far reaches of it pink until it met the inky blue of the night sky.

 

They returned to the apartment much later, with groceries (curated by Kyungsoo; he couldn’t possibly cook anything else with the garbage Jongin had bought, or so he said. This, of course, led to a race down the aisles that nearly ended in disaster, Jongin jerking back the cart mere inches from a tottering old woman), and Kyungsoo cooked while Jongin ran out to the corner store to buy slushies, though his was half finished by the time he returned. After they ate and cleaned up, they settled on the balcony, looking out over the traffic.

“You didn’t ever tell me why you came over,” said Jongin, gnawing on the straw. Kyungsoo sipped his drink noisily.

“Me wanting to see you isn’t a good enough reason?” Kyungsoo asked. Jongin smiled, but it didn’t reach his eyes.

“If it was that, you would’ve called. And you wouldn’t have tried playing it off,” said Jongin. The apartment was quiet now, the far off sound of cars honking and the breeze ruffling the curtains muffled. At last, Kyungsoo cleared his throat.

“Because you were talking to Moonkyu,” he said softly, avoiding Jongin’s gaze.

“Why do you care that I’m talking to him?” Jongin asked, though it wasn’t with malice. Kyungsoo fiddled with his straw, mixing the remnants of slush around.

“Because I don’t like him. All he ever does is talk stink about me,” said Kyungsoo, looking up at Jongin, whose face was unreadable, “and before you bring up me leaving, this has been happening since we became friends, and you know it.” Jongin looked away. “He’s always hated me, and I can’t even imagine what bullshit he tried to poison you with while I was gone.”

“Why do you care about what he said while you were gone?” Jongin asked quietly. “He’s my friend. He was worried about me.” Kyungsoo crushed the straw, fire in his eyes.

“He’s not your fucking friend, Jongin!” Jongin glared at him, lip curled in a snarl. “Would a friend talk stink about your boyfriend? Would a friend make you feel worse about something that’s not your fault-

“You’re just jealous-“

“Me? Jealous? He’s the jealous one, Jongin. All these years he’s been talking shit about me and it’s because he’s fucking pining over you,” Kyungsoo growled. Jongin’s eyes widened and he leaned back in his chair.

“He- oh,” Jongin hid his face behind his hands. “Oh god, oh- that’s why he’s always- I didn’t know why he- oh that- oh my god.” Kyungsoo stared at him.

“Jongin did you really not notice that he liked you?” He asked, so quietly he wasn’t sure Jongin had heard him, but Jongin’s nod answered him.

“I just thought he was bitter because he thought he was being replaced as my best friend. I didn’t think he- liked me,” Jongin propped his elbow on the armrest, staring at the condensation on Kyungsoo’s glass. They were quiet again.

“It’s getting kinda late,” said Kyungsoo, standing up.

“Right. Yeah,” Jongin stood up too, closing the balcony door when they walked in.

“I’m gonna- I’ve got papers to grade,” Kyungsoo stuttered.

“Do you want to meet for dinner tomorrow?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo smiled.

“That sounds wonderful,” he said. Jongin looked relieved, hugging Kyungsoo and holding the door open.

“Wait-“ he pulled Kyungsoo back, giving him a deep kiss, before Kyungsoo stepped onto the elevator.

 

iamthegayagenda: (Default)
 A/N: i apologize in advance for all this suffering but I PROMISE IT GETS BETTER AFTER THIS PART!!! i'll be making a pidgin/korean glossary soon just in case you guys need it so be on the look out.


“I feel disgusting,” Kyungsoo sobbed, his face buried in Baekhyun’s shirt. Baekhyun rubbed circles on Kyungsoo’s back, resting his cheek on Kyungsoo’s head. They’d spent the better part of the morning like this, Kyungsoo calling out sick and curling up on the sofa where Baekhyun found him an hour later, sniffling into the cushions. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”

“You know I love you brah, but sometimes you so lolo you amaze me,” Baekhyun said softly, smiling at the hiccuped laugh that rattled Kyungsoo’s ribs.

“You don’t even know what I did,” Kyungsoo mumbled miserably, sitting up and wiping the tears with his shirt.

“I don’t needa know what you did. No, no- don’t give me no stink eye, you know it’s true,” Baekhyun gave Kyungsoo a knowing look, raising an eyebrow when Kyungsoo melted into the corner of the couch.

“I met up with Hyunsik for some drinks and then we went over to his place,” said Kyungsoo, avoiding Baekhyun’s eyes.

“And?” Kyungsoo glared at him.

“What you mean and?”

“Stop givin’ me dat stink eye. You ain’t miserable over no drinks,” Baekhyun set his jaw, staring down Kyungsoo until he looked down at his hands.

“We almost had sex,”

“How you ‘almost’ oof?” Baekhyun asked. Kyungsoo gave him a dirty look.

“We were making out, we did some touching and he got almost naked,”

“But not you?” Kyungsoo shook his head. “Boy, you really did him dirty- okay, okay- ow! I’ll stop!” Kyungsoo smacked Baekhyun with the cushion one last time, for good measure, before burrowing into the corner of the couch again.

“I couldn’t do it. I was- I wanted to forget Jongin just for one night. To move on, but I just felt-“ Kyungsoo took a shaky breath, “disgusted. I thought I could just fuck and forget but I couldn’t.” He hid behind the cushion, muffling his hiccuped sobs.

“You real lolo, you know,” Kyungsoo’s teary eyes glared at him from above the cushion. “You can’t jus’ forget someone who was part of your life fo’ so many years, brah.”

“But I want to,” Kyungsoo whispered.

“No, you don’t,” Kyungsoo whimpered, curling up around the cushion. “I know you still love Jongin. And he still loves you.”

Baekhyun hopped around the sofa, grabbing the mugs of tea that had been left on the counter to cool. They were lukewarm now, but Baekhyun brought them over anyway, shoving a mug into Kyungsoo’s hands.

“I’ma go see Jongin later, kay? See how he’s feelin’, cause you two need to work this out,” Kyungsoo choked on his tea.

“No! No, don’t. He doesn’t want to see me or be with me and I understand, because I fucked up. It’s just better if we-“ Baekhyun waited, sipping his tea, “if we move on.”

“Mm, okay,” Baekhyun propped his feet on Kyungsoo’s lap. Kyungsoo narrowed his eyes at Baekhyun.

“What do you mean ‘mm, okay’?” Kyungsoo asked. Baekhyun peeped at Kyungsoo over the rim of his mug.

“It means okay. You don’t want me to talk to Jongin? Shoots, I won’t talk to Jongin,” Kyungsoo sniffed, still giving Baekhyun a wary look. “Yah, stop bein’ all mopey, brah, let’s watch some movies or somethin’,” Baekhyun grabbed the remote, throwing himself on top of Kyungsoo as he searched for options; halfway through the movie, Kyungsoo’s head lolled, finally resting on Baekhyun’s head.

 

He was trapped again, just as he feared, in the cycle of sleepless nights. New York had been three sleep-deprived years, a nightmare of tossing and turning and kicking off sheets at three in the morning, staring at the the darkest corner of the rooms. He’d thought, foolishly, when he and Jongin had moved into their first apartment near Manoa, that he’d never sleep well again; the hot, humid nights without an ac in the cramped bed, Jongin’s arm thrown around his sweaty back, the beads of sweat on Jongin’s forehead and the small of his back glimmering in the morning was what defined their first home. But in time, they grew used to it, though once Kyungsoo nearly shoved Jongin off the bed when Jongin tried to cuddle.

The apartment had been tiny, a one bedroom with a minuscule bathroom with shoddy tile work on the floor and walls, a leak under the kitchen sink, and a fridge that shuddered loudly at the quietest hours, but it was theirs, a space they could be in without the ever-present anxiety of Kyungsoo’s mother walking in on them, or without neighboring aunties spying on them when they sat on the balcony, reporting every movement to Kyungsoo’s mother in hushed whispers. The balcony, which only fit one chair, was the only reprieve of fresh air, where they often spent their afternoons, sometimes with Jongin insisting he fit on Kyungsoo’s lap, sometimes forgoing chairs altogether and sitting on the floor, their legs entwined.

But those nights, even at their worst (usually in august, and usually after sex, sleeping fitfully, sticky with sweat even after cold showers), were not as bad as the nights in New York; the twin bed was uncomfortable, but he refused to get a bigger bed, not when it would make the absence of Jongin’s warmth more noticeable. He has resigned himself to permanent sleep deprivation, surviving on all the naps he could fit into his day.

The first night Kyungsoo had slept over at Jongin’s place, sex sated and pressed against Jongin’s warm back, he slept well, so well, in fact, he woke up late, something unusual for him, feeling well rested, his body pliant.

Sleeping in Jongin’s bed had become an addiction, the scent of Jongin enveloping him, the glow of Jongin’s skin peeking through the mint green the first thing he saw each morning. He looked forward to these mornings, watching the sunlight kiss Jongin’s skin, drinking in the almost feverish warmth of the square of sunlight on Jongin’s shoulder. Jongin’s face was peaceful, half buried in the pillow, unbothered by Kyungsoo’s soft touches. Kyungsoo would indulge in caresses, resting his cheek on the square of sunlight on Jongin’s shoulder, pressing his lips to the small of Jongin’s back, lost in the golden glow of the expanse of Jongin’s back.

But now, forced to sleep in his own bed, the haunting loneliness of the sleepless nights of New York sat on his chest, smothering him so that all he could do was lay in bed, staring at the ceiling fan, hot tears burning tracks until the pale gray of morning filtered into the room. Class forced him out of bed, and it took the last of his energy to stand in front of the room and listen to the students butcher Korean. He would collapse on the sofa when he got home, often falling asleep until Baekhyun’s arrival jolted him out of the nap, shifting to make room for Baekhyun’s vibrancy.

Baekhyun’s cheer had been nauseating, the usual chirpiness in Baekhyun’s voice grating on Kyungsoo’s nerves, but he welcomed it, knowing that Baekhyun would hold him as he hiccuped through heart-wrenching dramas; he had even, at Kyungsoo’s timid request, started sleeping in Kyungsoo’s bed, burrowed in Kyungsoo’s side.

“I talked to Jongin,” said Baekhyun one afternoon, his feet buried under Kyungsoo’s thighs. Kyungsoo’s pencil point snapped but he didn’t notice, staring at Baekhyun in horror. “He’s miserable.”

“I know that, you didn’t need to tell me,”

“He’s miserable because he wants ta be with ya but you two have stuff to work through,” Baekhyun wiggled his toes, laughing when Kyungsoo smacked his feet away.

“He’s miserable because I hurt him and I want something I have no right to ask for,” Kyungsoo said through gritted teeth, clicking the eraser until the new point peeked through.

“He’s miserable because he cares about you, brah. It’s gonna hurt but you gotta talk to him, Kyungsoo,” Baekhyun raised his eyebrows when Kyungsoo huffed.

Junmyeon, who was in the kitchen peeling a mango, put down the knife.

“Listen, he’s been pining over you since you left,” he waited for Kyungsoo to turn around, but Kyungsoo stared at the tv instead. “The day he saw you he spoke to me for like four hours and it was all about you. Do you know how many times I had to hear him sob about not planting the starfruit or whatever-“

“Wait what?” Kyungsoo whipped around to face him. Junmyeon and Baekhyun looked at each other, then back at Kyungsoo.

“Where did I lose you?” Junmyeon asked, leaning on the counter.

“He- he said something about planting starfruit?” Kyungsoo’s voice trembled, a glint of hope in his wide eyes.

“Yeah only about a million times,” Junmyeon chuckled, offering the mango pit to Baekhyun, who squealed in horror when it nearly slipped through his fingers. Kyungsoo looked back at the tv, blinking stupidly. “Did I miss something?” Junmyeon whispered. Baekhyun shrugged, picking at a strand of mango that had lodged itself between his teeth.

“I can’t just go and talk to him though,” said Kyungsoo, walking towards the island and staring at the mango juice that was running down Baekhyun’s hands. He leaned against the cool marble, resting his chin on his hand.

“Why not?” Baekhyun asked, making a face when Junmyeon tried to clean his chin.

“Stay still, babo,” Junmyeon hissed, scowling when Baekhyun pulled away.

“Because it’s not right. I’m the one who messed up, I can’t be the one demanding things from him,” Kyungsoo trailed off, sighing.

“I could tell him to talk to you-“

“No!”

“Oh..kay,” Junmyeon and Baekhyun looked at each other and Baekhyun tilted his head, quirking an eyebrow. Junmyeon raised his eyebrows too, humming in agreement when Baekhyun nodded; Kyungsoo, too busy still staring at the mango juice on Baekhyun’s hands, didn’t notice. Baekhyun winked, whining when Junmyeon rejected his mango-covered kiss.

 

🌴🌴🌴

They’d gotten rid of the worst of the boxes that crowded what little space there was in the living room, their clothes neatly put away, Jongin’s books organized meticulously (by Jongin, who had shooed Kyungsoo away when Kyungsoo offered to help); the pots and pans were in the kitchen, what little furniture they could fit had been set up, sheets and towels in the closet, and the small touches (paintings, candles, the wind chime on the balcony, all courtesy of Kyungsoo’s mother) had found their place.

The heat had kicked in, the open windows offering no relief from the muggy afternoon air. The sofa proved too suffocating, especially after their messy first attempt at couch sex (Jongin’s idea, who wanted the thrill of fucking in every room of the apartment, beginning with the living room).

They had moved to the balcony, sprawled on the floor under the soothing tinkle of the wind chime, the occasional hot breeze ruffling their hair. The sweat pooled above Jongin’s lip, running down his back and forehead; he scrunched his nose, leaning against the wall.

“I really miss the AC in Eomma’s place,” he groaned, nudging Kyungsoo’s leg with his foot.

“Me too,” said Kyungsoo, peeling his shirt off. It was after he’d finished balling up the shirt and throwing it inside that he noticed Jongin’s stare. “What?”

“I love you,” he said softly, smiling at the blush on Kyungsoo’s cheeks.

“I love you, too,” said Kyungsoo, brushing sweaty strands away from Jongin’s eyes.

“This is the first step, ya know,” said Jongin, ducking his head bashfully when Kyungsoo  gave him a puzzled look. “To planting our starfruit.”

“Planting our starfruit?”

“I mean, first apartment, right? Then good jobs, a nicer apartment, then better jobs, a house with a big ole yard so we can plant starfruit trees, an’ who knows, maybe even a keiki or two runnin’ around,” Kyungsoo was quiet, which made Jongin blush furiously. “I just meant- I’m just daydreaming, ya know, nothin’ serious.”

“Oh, Jongin,” Kyungsoo chuckled, twining his fingers with Jongin’s. “It sounds beautiful, kangaji.” Jongin looked up at him, still flushed. “Hang on,” Kyungsoo stood up, giving Jongin a teasing grin when Jongin looked at his ass, pouring them glasses of water and washing a starfruit, slicing it thinly. Each glass had three stars poised on the rim, pale yellow with a slight tinge of green. He settled on the floor of the balcony again, handing Jongin a glass. “To planting our starfruit,” said Kyungsoo, holding up the glass. Jongin gently clinked their glasses, his smile to brilliant it was nearly blinding.

“To planting our starfruit.”

iamthegayagenda: (Default)
A/N: heeey thanks for sticking around guys. i'm gonna try to post more regularly after this week (either once a week or bi-weekly). the smut in the first part was entirely unplanned but be warned: there is a lot of angst in this one. as per usual, palm trees = a flashback. hope yall enjoy the suffering. (also follow me on tumblr!! ask me questions!! i'm at kyungsoosjigglynalgas)


He craved warmth. He was starved of the warmth of touch, or so he felt. New York had been three years of touch-starved studying, except for the few rushed nights with Insung (which had left him, every morning, so disgusted he could hardly stomach food for the next few days), and Honolulu, for the past two months, looked to be the same. Baekhyun had relaxed considerably since that afternoon in the kitchen, hugging and touching Kyungsoo without the reserve he’d first had, but Jongin hadn’t. Their touches were limited to sex, and Kyungsoo found himself drowning in the need to run his fingers through Jongin’s hair, to settle on Jongin’s lap and bury his face in Jongin’s neck, to press kisses to the wide expanse of Jongin’s shoulders. Jongin was cold, reminding Kyungsoo of the distance between them whenever Kyungsoo caved, trying to feed the need for touch. He wanted to feel the warmth of Jongin’s skin, to fall asleep on Jongin’s golden, sun-warmed back like he used to in their tiny apartment on Algaroba Street. But Jongin denied him every time, so he had come to depend on Baekhyun to fulfill that need, clinging to Baekhyun even when the muggy afternoons left them in a sticky film of sweat, their backs, necks, foreheads covered in perspiration.
Which was why Kyungsoo was currently curled up on the towel, a perpetual scowl on his face, while Baekhyun and Junmyeon were wrestling, Baekhyun falling off Junmyeon’s shoulders into the shallow water, with an amused Jongin watching them from a safe distance. They’d had a late brunch, arriving at the beach close to three in the afternoon; Junmyeon, who had greeted Kyungsoo politely enough, had been a foil to Kyungsoo the whole afternoon, stealing the attention of both Baekhyun and Jongin, both of them burying him under hugs and corny handshakes and genuine joy to see him. The resentment simmered in Kyungsoo, but he couldn’t blame Junmyeon; it didn’t lessen the sting of rejection that left him a heap of sourness on the beach, a grumpy blight on the sunny sands.
Junmyeon managed to escape Baekhyun’s arms, walking towards the heap of towels on the sport bag beside Kyungsoo, wiping the saltwater out of his eyes.
“You’re not gonna go for a swim? The water’s nice, not too cold,” said Junmyeon, disappearing under the fuzzy blue of the towel. Kyungsoo stared at Jongin’s head bobbing above the water, avoiding Baekhyun’s splashes.
“Hmm?”
“Swimming. Water. Cool down?” Junmyeon plopped onto the towel next to him, waving a hand in front of Kyungsoo’s face. Kyungsoo blushed, tearing his eyes away from Jongin and Baekhyun.
“Oh. Uh- I don’t- Maybe later,” Kyungsoo stretched his legs out, pushing sand around with his toes. Junmyeon gave him a curious look, still toweling his hair.
“How are you?” he asked. Kyungsoo looked at him, bug-eyed. “I mean, you and Jongin.” He pressed his lips together, guilt rising in his throat like nausea.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” he said softly.
“Baekhyun told me you two are-“ Kyungsoo looked at him and Junmyeon half smiled, almost embarrassed, “physically intimate.”
“Those are not Baekhyun’s words,” said Kyungsoo. They laughed.
“No, he said you two were fucking, and he was so shocked by how New York that sounded and he didn’t want to use the word fuck that way again,” said Junmyeon. Kyungsoo snorted, looking back out at the water, where Baekhyun was flailing against Jongin’s attempts to shove him underwater.
“We are, but that’s about it,” Kyungsoo said at last.
“You haven’t talked,” he looked at Junmyeon with surprise. “I know my cousin, and he’s been the moodiest bitch ever since you got back.” Kyungsoo blushed. “It won’t get better if you don’t talk, you know.”
“I know,” Junmyeon gave him a look, eyebrows arched.
“Soon,” Kyungsoo looked down at his toes, wiggling them.
“Yah, you not gonna dunk yourself in the water a bit?” Baekhyun’s loud voice broke the silence, cold droplets falling on Kyungsoo’s legs. Kyungsoo shook his head. “New York made you allergic to the water?” They laughed. Baekhyun settled next to Junmyeon, ignoring Junmyeon’s protest about having already dried off and pressing himself to Junmyeon’s side. Jongin, who had been right behind Baekhyun, grabbed a towel, sitting next to Kyungsoo. He was close to the edge, sand sticking to the wet rim of his bathing suit. The sour mood settled heavily again, Kyungsoo looking at the space between him and Jongin. It was only a few inches, but Jongin deliberately sat away from him, his tanned back facing Kyungsoo.
Baekhyun was, through no fault of his own, insufferable. He pressed kisses to Junmyeon’s face and neck, rubbing his nose on Junmyeon’s shoulder, sharing soft kisses and holding hands with Junmyeon. It made the inches between himself and Jongin even worse, the need to wrap his arms around Jongin, to taste the salt on Jongin’s skin and drink in the warmth. A cold breeze made Jongin shiver and he wrapped the towel around himself, looking over at Baekhyun and Junmyeon with a guarded look. Kyungsoo used to hold the key to those looks, reading Jongin like an open book even when others found Jongin perplexing. Three years ago, Kyungsoo would have said Jongin was jealous, the envy simmering under the surface, but now he wasn’t sure, couldn’t be sure, though he hoped he was right.
Jongin stood up.
“I, uh, think I’m gonna head home, actually,” he said, holding the towel tightly around himself. Junmyeon and Baekhyun looked up at him, puzzled.
“So soon, brah? Why?” Baekhyun asked, resting his chin on Junmyeon’s shoulder. Jongin buried his toes in the sand, looking down at the droplets that still dripped from his bathing suit.
“I have the opening shift tomorrow, don’t wanna go to sleep too late,” he murmured, not meeting Baekhyun’s eyes. Baekhyun hummed. “Uh, hyung.” Kyungsoo didn’t move. “Kyungsoo.” Kyungsoo looked up at Jongin, blinking stupidly.
“Oh, me?”
“Yeah, let’s go,” Jongin grabbed Kyungsoo’s bag, waiting for Kyungsoo to stand up. He scrambled, nearly falling face forward into the sand, looking back at Baekhyun and Junmyeon.
The car ride was quiet, far too quiet for the comfort of Kyungsoo’s frayed nerves. Jongin kept fidgeting, readjusting his grip on the wheel, fiddling with the volume on the radio, changing stations until he turned it off. The image of Baekhyun and Junmyeon kissing was burned into Kyungsoo’s mind, the need for Jongin’s touch growing with each red light.
Jongin threw the bag on the floor, waiting for Kyungsoo to close the door before pulling him close, kissing him. Kyungsoo dropped the keys, melting in Jongin’s arm as Jongin pressed open mouthed kisses down his neck. He kissed Jongin’s shoulder, relishing in the taste of the sea on Jongin’s warm skin until Jongin pulled him towards the bathroom, fumbling with the shower and testing the water. Kyungsoo watched the muscles ripple under Jongin’s skin, shifting his weight when Jongin slid the bathing suit off, half hard and still wet.
“You gonna shower with clothes on?” Jongin asked, chuckling. Kyungsoo blushed, taking his clothes off. Jongin pulled him into the shower, kissing him under the spray. “Suck me off,” Jongin murmured, his fingers tangled in Kyungsoo’s hair. Kyungsoo kissed his way down, sucking on the head of Jongin’s half-hard dick. Jongin hissed, his grip on Kyungsoo’s hair tightening when Kyungsoo sank down on him. He traced his tongue around the head and the slit, sucking at the pace Jongin had set with his hands on Kyungsoo’s head. Jongin no longer tasted like salt, the sweet water of the shower mingled with the warmth of him in Kyungsoo’s mouth.
Jongin had closed his eyes, reveling in the feeling of Kyungsoo’s tongue and lips, moaning softly, but Kyungsoo wished he’d open his eyes. He wanted to see the pleasure in Jongin’s eyes, the dark intensity in Jongin’s eyes when he was turned on, the intimacy of Jongin’s gaze that always made Kyungsoo blush; but Jongin kept his eyes closed, thrusting into Kyungsoo’s mouth shallowly. Kyungsoo kept sucking, drawing deep groans out of Jongin, reaching and licking and touching the spots he knew would bring Jongin to the edge.
Jongin hissed, thrusting deeper into Kyungsoo’s mouth, cumming with a low moan. Kyungsoo winced, pushing against Jongin’s hands and coughing up cum, scrunching his nose at the mess on his chin. Jongin laughed, helping Kyungsoo stand and wiping the cum off Kyungsoo’s lips. They kissed, Jongin pushing the cum that was left into Kyungsoo’s mouth with his tongue, reaching down to touch Kyungsoo’s neglected hard-on. Kyungsoo moaned, a hand around Jongin’s wrist as Jongin jerked him off, cumming with a breathy sigh.

🌴🌴🌴

Kyungsoo had never been the best problem solver, but he knew then, the half-packed suitcase on the floor between Jongin and him, that he had monumentally fucked up; there was no going back from this. Jongin was frowning slightly, looking down at the neatly folded clothes, lips parted. Kyungsoo didn’t dare speak or move, swallowing hard.
“What-“ Jongin looked up at Kyungsoo, searching for the right words, “What are you doing? What is this?” Kyungsoo looked away, his chest tightening.
“I didn’t- I’m so sorry, Jongin, I really didn’t know how to tell you-“
“Tell me what?” Jongin’s voice was barely audible.
“I- I’m leaving. To New York. I got accepted to Columbia so I’m going,” Kyungsoo managed, his breath coming out ragged. Jongin stared at him.
“When are you- when are you leaving?” he asked, the tears glittering in his eyes. Kyungsoo shifted his weight, avoiding Jongin’s gaze.
“Next week,” Kyungsoo whispered, wincing at the sound of Jongin’s choked sob.
“Next week? Next fucking week?” Jongin turned away, covering his face with his hands. His back hiccuped with the sobs. “How long are you going to be there?” Kyungsoo didn’t answer, looking at the floor. “How fucking long, Kyungsoo?” Kyungsoo closed his eyes.
“Three years,”
“Three years?”
“Jongin-“ Kyungsoo stepped forward, but Jongin lurched out of his reach, raw pain in his eyes.
“When the hell were you going to tell me?”
“I don’t know,”
“You didn’t fucking know? What- Why? What the fuck were you waiting for?” Jongin’s voice was raw, ragged with emotion. Kyungsoo felt his stomach lurch.
“Jongin, I don’t know. I know this is really last minute but I didn’t know how to tell you-“
“Didn’t know how? And what? Was I supposed to find out when I got home next week and find out you’re on a plane going halfway across the fucking world for three fucking years?” Jongin was sobbing, his face splotchy with tears. Kyungsoo felt his heart drop, seeing the hurt in Jongin’s eyes, the way Jongin was falling apart in front of him.
“I didn’t want to hurt you-“
“How is not telling me supposed to help me?” Kyungsoo bowed his head again, taking a shaky breath. Jongin wiped the tears away furiously, sniffling. “You never talked about this. You didn’t tell me you wanted to leave. You never once mentioned leaving, and now you just think you can leave without telling anyone and it’ll all be fine?” He was raising his voice, a desperation in his tone that Kyungsoo had never heard in Jongin.
“I know I didn’t and I’m sorry, Jongin. I didn’t even think I’d get in I just applied for kicks but if I got accepted why wouldn’t I go?”
“I- I’m not saying you shouldn’t go you just didn’t fucking tell me! You’re just leaving!”
“This is a chance for me to start my life! Did you really expect for me to stay on this fucking island forever? There's nothing here for me,” Kyungsoo snapped.
“Nothing here for you? What about me? What about us?” Jongin was screaming now; Kyungsoo took a step back, his breath hitching. “Am I not enough?”
“That’s not what I meant-“
“No. That’s exactly what you meant. I’m not enough. The last five years, the life we’ve been building together, they’re all on this fucking island,” Jongin was nearly in hysterics, wiping his tears away angrily, “Well, I’m sorry all I ever did was waste your fucking time.” He dissolved into sobs, hardly able to breathe. Kyungsoo felt the sting of his tears, reaching out to Jongin.
“Jongin, baby, I swear that isn’t what I meant-“
“Don’t- don’t touch me!” Jongin whimpered, so desperate to move away from Kyungsoo’s outstretched hand he nearly tripped over the suitcase.
“Jongin,” Kyungsoo couldn’t stop the sob, “please-“
“What about us, hyung?” Jongin sobbed again, holding his head in his hands, “what about us?” Kyungsoo stepped over the suitcase to hug him but Jongin moved away, giving Kyungsoo one last tearful look, a look so raw, so full of pain that Kyungsoo burst into tears, before running out of the room. The apartment door slammed shut, Kyungsoo sinking to knees. He was trembling, his heart palpitating in a frenzy; it was too late. He’d lost Jongin. There was no going back.

Kyungsoo wiped down the counter, jumping when Jongin said his name.
“You’re upset,” he said softly, leaning against the island. Kyungsoo went back to wiping the counter, sweeping the rag over the edge of the sink as well. “Why?” Kyungsoo wrung the rag out, arranging it over the faucet to let it dry.
“What makes you think I’m upset?” he asked, not turning around. He heard Jongin scoff.
“We were together for five years, and we’ve been friends longer than that,” said Jongin, “Why are you upset?” There was an edge to his voice Kyungsoo had only heard him use when speaking to people he didn’t particularly trust.
“I’m fine,” said Kyungsoo, turning around to face Jongin. Jongin folded his arms across his chest, raising an eyebrow.
“Fine,” he cocked his head, pushing himself off the counter. Kyungsoo cursed him for knowing what he didn’t want to admit.
“It’s just- All we do is fuck,” Kyungsoo hated the look of mild surprise on Jongin’s face.
“I didn’t realize that bothered you, y’know, considering you’re the one who comes over asking to oof,” said Jongin, leaning back against the counter.
“It doesn’t bother me,” Kyungsoo grumbled, “I just want-“ Jongin pursed his lips, waiting for Kyungsoo to finish. “I want more,” he finished quietly.
“More what?” Kyungsoo looked up at Jongin, biting back an angry retort.
“You know what. I know you want it, too, the way you were looking at Baekhyun and Junmyeon,” said Kyungsoo. Jongin shifted his weight, his face guarded again.
“What, are we supposed to just pick it up like you didn’t abandon us to start your life in New York?” Jongin asked bitterly, watching the guilt choke Kyungsoo’s reply.
“You- you have every right to be angry, and I’m sorry for what I did. I hate myself for this, for leaving you, for leaving home, for wanting things to be like they were before I left,” said Kyungsoo, sniffling miserably. Jongin was quiet, his face blank. “I know what I did was wrong. I monumentally fucked up the best things in my life and I have no right to ask for things to go back but I miss it, I miss you and I miss us.” Jongin looked up at him, a flicker of pain his eyes.
“It took everything I had in those three years to pull myself back together, then you came back and tore right through everything I’d worked on,” said Jongin, his voice trembling.
“I’m so sorry,”
“I don’t- don’t say that,” Kyungsoo’s shoulders fell, his back crumpling. “You can’t just leave like that and then come back asking for us to be together. You don’t know how you ripped me apart, how you knocked out everything from under me.” Tears brimmed in Jongin’s eyes, his voice steadier.
“I’m- I ruined everything I had, and I didn’t know what I’d be coming back to. Baekhyun was so distant, and Junmyeon too. You- you were also distant but- you still let me in that day. When you kissed me I didn’t know what to think, but I missed you so much, I needed- I need you-“ Jongin shook his head, his lips pressed into a thin line.
“You don’t get to say that,”
“I love you,” Kyungsoo knew he shouldn’t have said it, especially when Jongin’s face twisted in pain, but the desperation was beating against his chest, as erratic as the frantic beat of his heart.
“Get out,” it was barely audible, but Kyungsoo still felt his heart drop, a cold sweat breaking out on his forehead. “Go!” Kyungsoo was still frozen to the spot, his breathing labored. Jongin stepped forward, shoving Kyungsoo towards the door. Kyungsoo stumbled, fumbling to slip into his shoes and run out of the apartment. The slam of the door behind him made him wince, and he stood there, stunned, until the ding of the elevator snapped him out of the daze.
iamthegayagenda: (Default)
A/N: I'm horrible at signaling when a flashback starts so whenever you see three little palm trees, that's a flashback. Also this is a lot shorter than Part 1 and for that I'm so sorry (what is pacing and how can I do it properly). Oh also, the flashback scene has a bit of smut so ye hath been warned.


But of course, it would have been stupid to think the disjointed feeling would be gone forever, his return to Honolulu now incorporated seamlessly into their lives, as if he had never left. There was a gingerness to the way people spoke to him, too pleasant and superficial in their greetings, their questions; it bothered him, but he knew confronting it meant confronting Jongin, so he played along, as charming and pleasant as the people around him. He hated pretending he was fine, staying over at the apartment for takeout, slurping greasy noodles while he and Baekhyun watched a corny show, or spending the night with Jongin, which often meant hot, rushed sex and more takeout, this one eaten on Jongin’s bed. Weekly visits to his mother, 3 AM grocery runs, his cart filled with chips and ice cream, and the sense of dread preying on him at every moment, filling in the emptiness of the aisles.
His mother found out about his rendezvous with Jongin and he knew it was Baekhyun who ratted him out; she had finished laying out the banchan, plopping onto the chair opposite from Kyungsoo, and looking him straight in the eye.
“You better be doing right by that boy,” she’d said, and Kyungsoo knew exactly what she spoke of, but rather than face her judgement he picked up his chopsticks and began to eat. Judgement came anyway, muffled by the mouthful of rice his mother was chewing. “You been by his apartment, right?” Kyungsoo thought of the rushed blowjob he gave Jongin that morning after they’d had breakfast, still in the kitchen, the lines of the tiles imprinted on his knees. He blushed, nodding. “Don’ play around with him. You already hurt him bad once-“ Kyungsoo sputtered in protest, lowering his eyes when his mother gave him a hard look. “Either you with him or you not with him, but you betta choose. Make things right with him.” She finished, just as cryptic as she’d started, and continued eating. And there it was, the feeling of dread he’d been avoiding, sitting down with him for dinner. This wasn’t the first time she’d said this, dropping hints, and it was in the tone of Baekhyun’s voice whenever he spoke of Jongin, the judgmental glint in his eyes when Kyungsoo came home in the morning, smelling of Jongin and wearing Jongin’s clothes.

“So you two are on a daily oof basis, huh?” Baekhyun asked, slurping loudly. The mango juice spilled down his chin anyway. Kyungsoo’s neck flushed, throwing his bag a bit too roughly onto the couch.
“No. Not daily,” he muttered. Baekhyun snickered.
“At least once a week tho,” he said, sinking his teeth into the mango’s yellow flesh. Kyungsoo closed his eyes, taking a deep breath.
“Why do you care if we’re fucking or not?” he asked through gritted teeth.
“Oh, fucking. That’s the New York in you. No need to snap,” said Baekhyun, thoroughly amused. “That’s the problem, brah, you fuckin’, not makin’ love. You oof just to oof.” Sputtering, Kyungsoo turned to face him; Baekhyun nibbled on the mango, unbothered.
“And what would you know about that?” Kyungsoo snarled; it was a low blow, he knew it, but it was too late. Baekhyun laughed, licking the mango juice that ran down his hand.
“Junmyeon an’ me know about that just fine,” said Baekhyun, grinning at the surprise Kyungsoo was unable to mask.
“Oh.”
His bag clattered to the floor, the tin water bottle sliding out of its pocket and rolling across the uneven floor. The bag was slumped on its side, the blue fabric stained and torn, the zipper of the small pocket refusing to close. It was a bag Kyungsoo had borrowed from Jongin years ago, like the shirts and sweaters that Kyungsoo refused to take with him to New York, only to miss them once he arrived. They were in his closet on Waiola now, most of them threadbare, and slowly joined by new ones, no longer the bright colors Jongin’s mother used to buy. Kyungsoo wore them at the apartment on the days he didn’t stay with Jongin, even if AC was down, sweating with sleeves past his fingertips, the warmth of his body helping the release of the scent of Jongin entrenched in the fabric.
He avoided Baekhyun for the rest of the afternoon, collapsing onto his bed and waiting for his phone to vibrate, the pile of quizzes he had to grade ruffled by the dying fan.

🌴 🌴 🌴
They were shy with each other, though they’d been best friends for as far as their memories extended. The soft touches, the glances, the kisses; they were seeing each other with new eyes (ones filled with a cloying sweetness that Baekhyun never stopped complaining about). It had become daily routine now, to rush out of school and buy a snack, eating at Queens Beach and watching the sunset. Jongin had put on his bathing suit beneath his pants (“Guess what, hyung!” “Eh?” “I’m commando.” “I- why are you telling me this?” “Well, technically maybe I’m not, I put on my bathing suit but no underwear!”), dipping in the cold water for a bit while Kyungsoo watched, until the sky was lit up brilliant orange. He shivered, water trailing down his chest, clinging to his eyelashes, trailing down the sharpness of his jaw. Kyungsoo stared, unaware of the intensity of his gaze until Jongin blushed and laughed, ducking his head.
“I’m cold,”
“I don’t have a towel,” Jongin gave him a pitiful look, trembling. “I can’t get my uniform wet what’m I supposed to do?” Jongin drew his knees in closer, shuffling closer to Kyungsoo and burying his nose in Kyungsoo’s neck. “Ah! No! No, no, you’re sopping wet.” Jongin huffed, curling up further. A droplet ran down his cheek, slipping down the curves of Jongin’s lips, and Kyungsoo leaned forward, wiping the droplet off Jongin’s bottom lip. Jongin rested his cheek on his knees, looking at Kyungsoo with the intense stare he always reserved for making him flustered, and Kyungsoo swallowed hard. A cool breeze rolled in, blowing over them with each wave that crashed, and Kyungsoo kissed Jongin, tasting the saltwater on Jongin’s lips, sucking on Jongin’s lower lip with a confidence that surprised them both. Jongin pulled away, licking his bottom lip and looking at Kyungsoo with equal parts curiosity and lust. Kyungsoo leaned in for another kiss, feeling Jongin unfurl underneath him, a tanned arm planting itself in the sand for support. They leaned into each other, breathing heavily, tasting each other with a desperation that hadn’t allowed themselves to feel before, held back by the timidity of their reserved personalities. Kyungsoo placed his hand flat on Jongin’s chest, caressing the collarbone with his thumb, drinking in the shivers that still racked Jongin’s body.
“Hyung, I- oh,” Jongin sucked in his breath, looking down at Kyungsoo’s hand, which had caressed its way into his bathing suit, resting tentatively on Jongin’s dick.
“Is this okay?” Kyungsoo asked, waiting for Jongin to look up at him.
“Yes. Please,” Jongin said softly, touching Kyungsoo’s wrist as if to make sure he was solid, looking back down at the form of Kyungsoo’s hand under the wet orange fabric of his bathing suit. Kyungsoo’s fingers were gentle, exploring the skin of Jongin’s thighs, chasing after droplets. Jongin fidgeted under Kyungsoo’s touch, torn between looking at the movement of Kyungsoo’s hand in his bathing suit or at Kyungsoo’s face, his brow slightly furrowed, lips slightly parted, his cheeks flushed a soft pink. A truck honked its horn far off, scaring them both, Kyungsoo squeezing Jongin’s balls and stuttering an apology.
“It didn’t hurt,” Jongin said softly, shivering when another breeze blew. There were still droplets of water sprinkled across his shoulders and chest, his legs glimmering with drops as well. His bathing suit was stiff with the cold, but Kyungsoo’s hand kept him warm, alternating with a maddening slowness between stroking his dick and massaging his balls, pressing soft kisses along Jongin’s shoulder. Jongin dipped his head to kiss Kyungsoo, drinking Kyungsoo in with a fervor that nearly threw Kyungsoo off balance.
Kyungsoo stroked Jongin’s dick, desperate to pull Jongin’s bathing suit down, to have a peek, to taste Jongin, lick the salt of the ocean off of him. Jongin’s hooded eyes and soft sighs drove Kyungsoo on, spreading the beads of precut down Jongin’s dick, picking up the pace. Letting out a stuttered moan, his fingers curled in the sand, droplets dripping from his hair onto the starched white of Kyungsoo’s uniform sleeve.
Jongin’s moans were carried off by the breeze, soft sighs and messy, hot kisses exchanged as Jongin trembled under Kyungsoo’s fingers, hot cum spurting onto Kyungsoo’s fingers.

The pile of quizzes now littered Jongin’s coffee table, half of them corrected, the other half waiting for the attention Kyungsoo refused to give them. He pushed the uncorrected pile further into the table with a socked foot, tucking the foot back under him on the sofa. Jongin walked over, drying his hands on his shirt (a habit Kyungsoo had tried to break years ago but failed) and sitting on the corner of the sofa, stretching his legs out along its length, feet perched on Kyungsoo’s lap. It was a position they’d grown used to since Kyungsoo got back, lacking the warmth of Jongin pressed against Kyungsoo’s back when they would study, curled up as close together as they could, but they were sitting together, and that was enough for Kyungsoo, or so he tried to convince himself. Hesitantly, he put a hand on Jongin’s ankle, relieved when Jongin didn’t move it off.
“So Baekhyun and Junmyeon are a thing now?” Kyungsoo asked, clearing his throat. Jongin had just picked up a worn book, the edges tattered with a few missing page corners, the red skyline of New York drawn across the bottom and the red letters spelling out Let The Great World Spin; he opened it, leafing through the first few pages.
“Yeah, they got together right about when you left,” said Jongin, his voice neutral, which unnerved Kyungsoo.
“Oh. Baekhyun hadn’t mentioned it until today,” said Kyungsoo, tracing the hair on Jongin’s legs until Jongin shook his leg, giving Kyungsoo an annoyed glance over the book. “Sorry.” Jongin went back to the book, gnawing on his bottom lip and narrowing his eyes in concentration. Kyungsoo wanted to kiss him, to run his fingers through Jongin’s hair, but he didn’t dare. They kept their touching confined to sex, kissing and caressing and touching only in the heat of the moment; Jongin, with the exception of the seating arrangement on the sofa, kept his distance, hardly touching Kyungsoo and it made his heart ache.
Jongin noticed Kyungsoo’s stare, raising an eyebrow at him.
“Hm?”
“What?”
“You’re staring.”
“Oh, sorry. I hadn’t really noticed, I just spaced out,” Kyungsoo chuckled, licking his lips nervously. Jongin pressed his lips together, his attention once more absorbed by the book. The fan ruffled the abandoned quizzes, and Kyungsoo reluctantly reached out, taking the pile and uncapping the purple pen (courtesy of his mother), correcting the near illegible scribbles. The sky grayed, the cold breeze of a thunderstorm rushing in through the balcony, but the sounds within the apartment were much the same: Jongin turning the brittle pages, the scratch of Kyungsoo’s pen against the quizzes and the quiet whirr of the fan shaking its head.
🌴 🌴 🌴
His bags were still only half packed, tucked under his bed with the illusion that not seeing them mean they wouldn’t have to be finished. He tapped his pen against the desk, looking over at his room. He’d decided not to change it, leaving the picture frames hanging on the walls, spaced apart on the drawers, youthful smiles beaming down at him. He considered laying them face down, but it would draw attention to questions he didn’t want to answer, to questions he’d avoided answering for the past month. His mother had been surprised when she walked into his room, but she didn’t pry him for answers. His friends wouldn’t be so mercifully quiet; neither would Jongin. It had been a month of careful calculations, meticulously planning details when he was alone, avoiding them, all of them, and their exuberant post-graduation celebrations. Most of his friends were content with a B.A., others wanted an M.A. but were content with Oahu; Kyungsoo knew that he couldn’t believe they didn’t want to leave the confines of the island, the vast expanses of blue separating him from the life he wanted to start living. But these dreams, they were too big for Oahu, too big for the lives of his friends to comprehend, so he kept it secret, tucked under his bed like his half-packed bags.
“Kyungsoo, Jongin here to see you,” his mother called. Kyungsoo cursed softly, tucking a few papers into the near empty drawer of his desk, running to stand outside the door of his room before Jongin reached the top of the stairs.
iamthegayagenda: (Default)
The humid Oahu air assaulted him, the thickness of it a wall he had to wade through. It shocked him, to feel like the air was so humid he could slice through it after the frigid air of the New York winter he’d left behind, the clinical dryness of the airport also abruptly squashed. He felt the humidity seeping into everything, a welcome warmth that softened his dry skin.
Three years ago he had been stepping into Honolulu International, his luggage clicking against the white scuffed tiles, the realization that he was finally leaving the confines of the island weighing on his shoulders. He remembered the excitement when he’d been accepted to Columbia, but at the airport he’d only felt the weight of his sudden freedom as a burden.
Standing by a black car was his mother, more glimmering silver strands in her pitch black hair than he had remembered, the small golden cross still occupying the hollow of her neck. She sniffled, dabbing at her eyes with the back of her hand and patting it dry on her skirt before holding her arms open. He walked into her embrace, breathing in the soft scent of jasmine perfume and baby powder, the scent of home.
The familiar “howzit’s” and “da kine’s” tittered in the background, the cool breeze that so often preceded thunderstorms blowing them over him, rustling his hair.
“Welcome home, son,” his mother whispered, rubbing circles on his back with her hand. He couldn’t let go, his nose still buried in the soft cotton of her peach cardigan, tears spilling from his eyes though he hadn't meant to let them out.
It wasn’t until they got home, settled in his room, his mother sitting at the edge of his bed, filling him in on the juicy news about all of Oahu that he felt it; he was home, but something was missing, something didn’t quite click in with the rest. The picture frames on his drawer, untouched since he’d left, stared at him, the joy in those faces too bright for Kyungsoo to look at. When his mother left the room, he lay them flat on the surface.

It was Mrs. Kim, though he hardly recognized the hunch in her shoulders. She looked far older than she was, the bitterness in the hard set of her lips evident even from a distance. She was dyeing her hair, that he could see, too, though it had been a while, gnarled silver roots shining against her black hair. She was fumbling with a cloth, tying it on her head to cover up the silver roots. The shopping basket hanging from the crook of her elbow clattered against the shelves, nearly knocking several cans over. Peering at the cans and deciding against them, she shuffled down the aisle, closer to him, looking at the packs of ramen noodles and muttering about the brands. She pulled out one of the packs, sending the ones on top of it onto the tiled floor, cursing colorfully. The plastic crinkled against her feet and she hunched over, her thin back curving painfully. Her thin shirt clung to her, the outline of her ribs clear, and it startled Kyungsoo to see her so decimated, but he made no move to help her. Her bony fingers clumsily curled around the packets, and it was those bony fingers he was afraid of, of the force they had to destroy something so fragile. He grabbed a can of baby corn and turned on his heel, leaving Mrs. Kim cursing at the packet of noodles that slipped from her grip again.

“I saw Mrs. Kim at the supermarket,” Kyungsoo’s mother continued sorting through the groceries. Kyungsoo repeated himself, taking the starfruit from his mother’s hands and laying them out on the marble countertop. His mother hummed in acknowledgment. “She looks real skinny.” His mother opened the fridge.
“That woman, she’s lolo, doing what she did to her poor son. Ack, why did she care so much he mahu? He her son! It shouldn’t matter,” she shook her head, taking out the empty egg carton and slipping in the new one. Kyungsoo took the empty carton from her, watching her shuffle across the kitchen. Her accent seemed to him much stronger, the oddness of the cadence of the pidgin with the clumsiness of her Korean accent meshed into one.
“Not everyone is like you, Eomma,” said Kyungsoo, hugging his mother and resting his cheek on her head. She swatted him away, giggling. “She’s still not talking to you?”
“I tole you, she lolo. Byun-ssi tried to say hello, Kim-ssi gave her stink-eye! Byun-ssi tole her she wanna be friends again, Kim-ssi tole her nevamine, like Byun-ssi a child. She lolo, that woman,” his mother shook her head vehemently, handing Kyungsoo the scallions to put away. “Jongin’s Appa still with her. That man too good for her. He talk to Jongin still, help him with the apartment.” Kyungsoo bumped his head against the cabinets, cursing. “Jongin still talk to me, too. He even buy me new slippahs when he saw my ole ones. That boy is too good, too good.” Kyungsoo slammed the cabinet shut, murmuring an apology when his mother frowned at him.
“And how is Jongin?” His voice cracked. His mother looked at him for a moment, cradling a head of cabbage in her hands, before shooing him aside, reaching for the fridge again.
“He’s good. Got his own apartment, an’ he tole me he got a job at that bookstore on Ala Moana,” she said, her curtness surprising him.
“Oh, the Barnes and Noble?” his mother nodded. Kyungsoo couldn’t help the smile; it was what he’d expected, for Jongin to surround himself with books.
“Jus’ until he finish studying,” she said, “Now go somewhere else, you in my way,” she shooed him out again, eyeing the starfruit he grabbed before ducking out of the kitchen.

Mrs. Byun had suggested it, one night after dinner, while they were sitting on the back porch, nursing their mugs under the azure sky, the last tinges of daylight streaked along the horizon in brilliant pink.
“Baekhyun been struggling to pay that place by hisself and none of the roommate he had been reliable. Is too good a place to give up,” she’d started, leaning back in her rocking chair and glancing at Baekhyun over the rim of her glasses. “You two best friends, and you could make your Eomma’s life easier by moving out.” Kyungsoo’s mother made a noise, the disagreement plain on her face.
“Is been three years since I had my son home, you ole fart, he stay as long as he want,” she swatted Mrs. Kim’s arm, the two of them giggling.
“Well, if Baekhyun doesn’t mind me moving in, I think that would be a great idea,” said Kyungsoo. Baekhyun shifted, meeting Kyungsoo’s eyes for the first time that night, a half smile on his lips.
“It’s better than having a stranger, especially a haole,” said Baekhyun.
“Or a Japanese,” Mrs. Byun added.
“Ma, you can’t be saying things like that,” said Baekhyun, the horror clear in his eyes. Mrs. Byun shrugged, slipping her feet out of the sequined slippers and crossing them at the ankles.
“Where’s the apartment?” Kyungsoo asked, meeting Baekhyun’s eyes. Baekhyun tilted his head, placing his mug between his feet.
“Over by University Ave, close to the highway,” he replied. Kyungsoo nodded, regretting voicing his agreement. Maybe they once had been best friends, but the howzit Baekhyun had produced when he arrived was less than enthusiastic, and for Baekhyun, who was energetic and enthusiastic even when running on three hours of sleep, that was a clear enough sign. Kyungsoo didn’t blame him, but it hurt, a knot forming in his stomach at the coldness with which Kyungsoo regarded him the whole night.
Kyungsoo’s mother brought out the starfruits he hadn’t devoured (she hid the rest from him when she’d realized he’d eaten half of what they bought in one sitting), sliced and arranged in a circle on the plate. He reached out to grab a star but his mother swatted his hand away; by the time he reached the plate, once Baekhyun and his mother left, the rest of the slices were gone.

The apartment was on the corner of Waiola and McCully, the main entrance off the side since the arch for the parking ran straight through the middle. Squat palm trees were clustered on one corner, below the windows, as squat as the building itself. It had four apartments, three floors, a window wrapped around the front corner that let the afternoon light into the living room, the glare of it ruining afternoon plans of watching tv. It was a short drive from Manoa on a good day, but there was never a good day for traffic in Honolulu, which meant Kyungsoo had to wake up earlier than he wanted to each morning, leaving an hour early in order to avoid the traffic jams that choked University Ave.
Manoa was spread out to the north of them, a sea of apartment buildings and houses divided by the highway and crowned by the deep green of the edge of the crater. New York had been endless gray, metal and sharp lines, concrete and pigeons, everything faster than the life he’d lived in Honolulu. It had left him with a massive headache for the first week, shoved and squeezed and trodden over, the tiny studio apartment that faced the saddest park he’d ever seen no help. He longed for green, for fresh air, for the wind to caress him, not cut through his jacket. But what he had missed most about being in Honolulu was the freedom to wake up in the morning, throw on a bathing suit and some slippahs (“What’s with this flip-flop nonsense, brah, this no New York,” Baekhyun teased), and drive to the beach, spending the day watching the glittering blue of the Pacific crash against the white sand.
Queens Beach hadn’t changed much in those three years, still watched over by high-rises and slender palm trees, the bustle of the crowds of Waikiki not far off. Diamond Head loomed above it all, massive and solid, the emerald slopes spread out languidly over the corner of the island. It was a rush of nostalgia, sitting under the shade of the palms, the afternoons after exams or the afternoons in which they cut class, wading in the crystalline water. It made the inevitable chastisement worth it; even when Kyungsoo and his mother moved out to Mauna Lua the tittering of the aunties reached her. She would wait at the doorway, giving him a lecture, but she was never hard on him and she would revoke the punishments as soon as she gave them.
Kyungsoo was sitting on the towel, his feet buried in the sand, watching the grains fall every time he shifted his toes. Baekhyun had gone for a swim after his nap, waving his arms and screaming at the top of his lungs as he ran into the water, disappearing under the spray. The others on the beach looked at the sopping head of hair that popped up a few feet in, then over at Kyungsoo, who blushed and shook his head. Baekhyun hadn’t changed much either, not since high school, as effervescent and loud as he had been once the initial coldness of seeing each other again passed. And yet, there was something that still didn’t sit quite right; it haunted him, and he knew he couldn’t run from it, not on an island as small as Oahu.
The droplets from Baekhyun’s hair startled him, Baekhyun standing before him and shaking out his hair. Kyungsoo smacked Baekhyun’s legs with a towel, joining in Baekhyun’s laughter when he tumbled onto the towel.
“What’sammater, New York left you all clammed up? You a cold city kanē now,” Baekhyun asked, throwing his wet towel on Kyungsoo.
“Tanks, brah,” Kyungsoo muttered, shoving Baekhyun into the sand. Baekhyun laughed, his hysterical cackles carried across the beach by the breeze.
“Baekhyun! Howzit?” the voice that called it out made Kyungsoo’s blood run cold, the sun feeling too hot against his skin and the sand too harsh. He didn’t dare look up, watching Baekhyun return the shaka and leap up to his feet.
“Where you been, eh? Haven't seen you in a week,” said Baekhyun. Kyungsoo looked up, swallowing hard, but the lump in his throat didn’t move. He looked the same, though his shoulders were broader, and his dark hair a bit longer, shining obsidian strands dripping with water. He embraced Baekhyun, turning to greet Kyungsoo, but the hello never passed his lips. His dark eyes, heavy lidded and as alluring as Kyungsoo remembered them, met Kyungsoo’s eyes, but Kyungsoo couldn’t hold the gaze, not when he recognized the flicker of pain.
“Kyungsoo,” he said stupidly, scattering sand when he shifted his weight.
“Jongin,” Kyungsoo said, feeling equally stupid. “Howzit?” It wasn’t the right thing to ask, he knew that, not when they weren’t close anymore, but in his panic he had let it slip.
“I didn’t realize you were back,” said Jongin, his voice soft, softer than Kyungsoo remembered it being, and Kyungsoo could feel Jongin’s eyes searching, but he refused to look up. Baekhyun, who had been staring at both of them, finally thumped Jongin on the back, drawing Jongin’s attention away from Kyungsoo.
With Jongin’s eyes on Baekhyun, Kyungsoo took the chance and looked at him, and for a moment he saw the boy from eight years ago, standing on the same beach; he’d been admiring the triangle of Jongin’s brown skin that formed between the open collar. It was August, the sunset bringing the welcome relief of night, each wave that crashed bringing with it a cool breeze. Jongin was all smiles, his long brown fingers wrapped around the pale yellow of the starfruit Kyungsoo had fished from his backpack. Taking a bite, Jongin pulled a face.
“Why do you always bring the sour ones, hyung?” he whined, coughing.
“It’s mo’ better sour. If you don’t want it, hand it over,” Kyungsoo held open his hand. but Jongin shied away, shaking his head. “No complaining then.” Jongin stuck his tongue out at him, yelping when Kyungsoo knocked him over. His nose was wrinkled while he ate the starfruit, tossing the core away and wiping his fingers on his shorts.
They sat in silence for a while, Jongin scooting closer and bumping their legs together. Kyungsoo looked over, his cheeks flushed when he met Jongin’s eyes, the cat-like eyes that were always so intense, so full of emotion that simmered under the calm surface.
“What?” he asked, his voice sharper than he’d intended. Jongin laughed.
“Nothing,”
“You lolo,”
“Am I still lolo if I want a kiss?” Kyungsoo choked, his ears burning.
“What you want a kiss for?” Kyungsoo asked, his voice cracking. Jongin blushed, his head hanging, digging his toes in the sand.
“Maybe cause I want you to be my boyfriend,” he said, so softly Kyungsoo barely heard him.
“Oh,” Jongin looked up at him, the apprehension clear in his dark eyes. Kyungsoo tried to hide his smile, but Jongin saw it, smiling back at him, radiant. Leaning over, Jongin nudged Kyungsoo’s cheek with his nose. Kyungsoo laughed, turning to look at him, their noses touching. Jongin closed his eyes, leaning closer, but Kyungsoo beat him to it, pressing their lips together. It was that night, sitting on the beach, the sky alight with orange and pink, that Kyungsoo decided his favorite fruit was starfruit.

The apartment was only three blocks away from Kyungsoo and Baekhyun’s place on the ninth floor of one of the high rises on Wiliwili Street. Jongin was quiet, the same quiet, closed manner he’d had when they first met. Jongin had a subtle vibrancy, in the shine of his eyes, in the movement of his hands when he spoke, but only when he was around people he trusted. It was a question Kyungsoo had been asked so many times when they were together: “Isn’t he cold? He’s so emotionless. Does he ever feel anything?” And Kyungsoo had wanted to scream yes, stand on top of Diamond Head and shout it to the whole of Oahu, but now he found himself outside of Jongin’s world, the doors closed to him for the first time since they’d met.
“Hey,” Jongin stepped aside to let him in, closing the door and hovering behind Kyungsoo, unsure where to go. Kyungsoo stepped in further, drawn to the balcony in the corner of the living room. Air, he needed air.
“Want tea?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo looked over at him, startled that Jongin was speaking to him. He took a deep breath, nodding. He was here, he was home, he was back, but it wasn’t the same. A breeze blew in through the balcony, cars honking at the corner, and Jongin cursed, water spilling into the sink. Kyungsoo edged closer to the balcony, leaning out to take a breath of fresh air.
“It’s a nice place you got,” said Kyungsoo, murmuring his thanks when Jongin gave him a mug, the steam curling and dancing above the fragrant tea. Jongin hummed in agreement.
“How was New York?” Jongin asked, settling cross legged onto a chair in the balcony. Kyungsoo sat on the other chair, hissing at the heat of the mug against his fingertips.
“Cold, mostly,” Kyungsoo chuckled, the smile disappearing when Jongin merely nodded. “Interesting. Too fast-paced for me, though. Guess the Hawai’i in me couldn’t keep up.” Jongin smiled at that.
“You sound like a kotonk,” he said into his mug. Kyungsoo sputtered, nearly choking on his tea, opening his mouth to protest but decided against it, pouting instead. Silence settled over them, uncomfortable, pregnant with all the things they wanted to say but didn’t, the three years a distance too long for them to travel.
“Still not talking to your mother?” Kyungsoo finally asked. Jongin pursed his lips, looking out over the balcony, a heaviness forming in the silence.
“No,” he said at last, taking a noisy sip from his mug. “Not talking much to Appa either, but he won’t get a divorce. It’s been too many years, they’ve been through too much to just end it like that.” Jongin’s voice was soft, almost wistful, but the accusation in his eyes made Kyungsoo’s ears burn in shame.
“I’m sorry,” he hadn’t meant to say it, but he didn’t know what else to say, not with the weight of those three years on him. He didn’t look up, afraid to see Jongin’s reaction, the silence heavy, too heavy, his chest tight, each breath more labored, keeping the tears in though they burned his eyes.
“Me too,” said Jongin, waiting for Kyungsoo to look up; the pain in his eyes was too raw, too overwhelming for Kyungsoo, the salt of his tears spilling into his tea.

The sun filtered through the window, laying its warmth on Jongin’s back like a blanket, the golden sheet of light playing on golden skin. The sheets were mint green, the same shade as Jongin’s polo the night they were on Queens beach, wrapped around Jongin’s waist, the gold of his skin glowing under it. Kyungsoo traced his fingers across Jongin’s shoulders, down the shoulder blades, relishing in the warmth of his skin. Jongin wouldn’t wake up soon, not if he still slept like he did when they were together, sometimes waking up when it was nearly four in the afternoon, sleeping through hurricanes, through volcanic eruptions. The world ceased to exist while Jongin slept.
Kyungsoo’s stomach rumbled, a reminder that they hadn’t eaten dinner, so caught up on re-discovering each other that they went to sleep without food. He crept out into the kitchen, opening the fridge as quietly as he could, but everything required more effort than he was willing to put in, until he spied the starfruit, pale yellow, the edges brown and slightly bruised. He grabbed two, rinsing them in the sink and walking back to the room, slipping under the covers again, the sour tang of the tart flesh filling his mouth. Jongin stirred, blinking the sleep away and looking up at Kyungsoo.
“Oh, I didn’t mean to wake you,” Kyungsoo murmured, gently pushing a few strands of Jongin’s hair away from his eyes.
“You’re eating those sour starfruit? You still lolo,” Jongin chuckled, reaching out to take the other starfruit from Kyungsoo.
“Sour’s mo better,” Kyungsoo said softly, laughing when Jongin puckered his lips. The sun had shifted, now fully on Jongin, and he glowed under it, the starfruit juice glimmering on his lips. Somehow, with the tartness of the fruit and the warmth of the sun, that disjointed feeling that had been haunting Kyungsoo dissipated, evaporating in the sunlight of the morning.

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