Years ago, he stood in a new building and gazed down an empty hallway with a nervous feeling fluttering in his stomach. He swallowed his anxiety and took a few unsure steps forward, before taking a quick breath and taking a few more determined steps in the same direction.
Leeteuk stopped in his tracks as a door flew open from down the hallway. He watched as a boy walked out of the classroom and headed in his direction.
Kangin, his Kangin, so beautiful in his youth. He was smaller then, with a cocky smile and with such an air of confidence that it radiated from him to where Leeteuk was standing and gaping at his love like an idiot.
Leeteuk found himself unable to move, stunned in place by that boyish, grinning face.
“Hey, there. You new here? Name’s Kangin.”
What had he said, again? Something regular like, “I’m Leeteuk.”
“See you around, Teukie,” he said and walked away, keeping eye contact even as he passed by and they both had to look over their shoulders to see each other.
Leeteuk finally realized he was staring and quickly snapped his head back around, pressing his lips into a thin line in order to keep the face-splitting smile off his mouth. Had he known back then? That at that moment, he had met the man he would be with for the rest of his life? Had he even considered it?
Months later, he stood alone against a wall in a darkened room full of pulsating bodies. He could feel the bass vibrating the wall on the back of his head as he let it rest behind him. He was nervous, for reasons unknown to even himself. It was too hot, making him sweaty and uncomfortable. The people surrounding him were grinding against anyone that would move with them, adding to his uneasiness.
How close had he and Kangin gotten? They had been talking a lot. He had a lot of classes with him. Kangin tried to make him laugh at every chance he got, and even when the joke wasn’t funny, Leeteuk found himself chuckling lightly at his attempts.
Heechul appeared in the mesh of bodies and reached out for him, taking his hand and pulling him onto the floor. He found his rhythm in the comfort of his nearby friends and let Heechul spin him a few times randomly. Heechul had probably had a lot to drink.
From there, everything started slowing down. All he could see was him. Everything else a blur as Kangin moved fluidly through the people towards him with that trademark smile and sparkling eyes, set intently on Leeteuk. Leeteuk could feel his heart pounding in his chest as he parted with Heechul and waited for Kangin to move to him.
“Hey, there.” And then Kangin’s mouth was scorching on his lips and he felt himself melt against that solid body. He could feel Kangin’s hair under his fingertips. He could feel Kangin’s tongue slipping slightly against his lips. He could feel Kangin’s hands slipping around his waist and pressing along his lower back.
Months later, he sat on his mom’s old couch next to Kangin, his hands shaking and his heart pounding so hard he was beginning to feel light-headed. His father paced back and forth in front of them, a stern, contemplating look on his face. His mother sat in the arm chair a few feet away, gazing at Kangin with an unreadable expression.
Leeteuk’s father called for his mom and they both left. Kangin’s knee nudged his own slightly and he looked up into Kangin’s serious eyes. His brows furrowed and then his whole face seemed to melt into that beautiful smile, letting Leeteuk know for sure that everything was going to be okay.
His mom and dad were back in the room, his mom looking satisfied and his dad more relaxed. He could feel his nerves unwinding as they spoke in understanding, non-judgmental tones and told him everything was, in fact, going to be fine.
They left the room and he breathed a huge sigh of relief, groping between his and Kangin’s thighs for his hand. He found it and gave it a tight squeeze, standing and pulling Kangin to his feet and immediately into a tight hug.
Tears stung and he heard Kangin mumble something he couldn’t understand at all.
Months later, he sat in the driver’s seat of Kangin’s pick-up truck, a wide smile on his face as he pressed on the break and put it in drive. He set off down the highway, knuckles white from gripping the steering wheel too tight.
In the passenger seat next to him, Kangin smiled and let his arm hang out the open window. He leaned across the seat and buried his face in Leeteuk’s neck to press open-mouthed kisses along his skin.
Leeteuk let out a laugh and pressed the gas pedal down more, speeding down the highway in utter delight.
Months later, he stood in his cap and gown with Kangin’s arm across his shoulder, smiling at his mom’s camera while she began to tear up as she snapped the picture. She pocketed the camera and threw her arms out to wrap them both in a tight hug.
They slipped away, where Kangin pressed him up against the driver door of his truck and smashed their mouths together in a kiss. His eyes slid shut and his arms went around Kangin’s wide shoulders out of habit.
Had he been thinking of how long it would last back then? Did he really understand how deep their relationship went?
He didn’t even know. He let Kangin hoist him up to wrap his legs around his waist and laughed with Kangin as he spun them in a few circles, shouting about how they had done it. They had gotten through high school. And suddenly it wasn’t surreal and happy anymore.
He felt like everything was ending. All of the time spent together, all of the laughs and kisses and intimate words – had it all been leading up to this day, when it would all end because high school was over for them?
Kangin let him down to stand. He didn’t even get mad when Leeteuk pushed him away and snapped at him. Kangin grabbed his wrists, gentle despite his power, and pulled him back to his chest.
“Hey, there,” he said quietly, arms wrapping even tighter around Leeteuk. “I’m not going anywhere.”
Just what he needed to hear. Leeteuk crushed his face into Kangin’s neck and shook his head. That was when Kangin promised him forever.
“I promise, Teukie. I’m not going anywhere.”
Months later, he sank onto the edge of his bed, his heart in his throat and tears rolling down his face. The phone almost fell from his hands after the call, but he grasped it tight long enough to dial Kangin’s number and tell him.
Then Kangin was there, pulling him up from the bed easily and wrapping him in his strong arms.
How long had he cried?
Kangin had held him the entire time, until every tear had flown and all that was left were his sniffles and red face.
“My dad,” he whispered hoarsely to Kangin.
“He’s in a better place,” Kangin mumbled back, lifting his chin and kissing him comfortingly on the corner of his mouth.
Months later, he lay beneath Kangin, panting and wetting his lips with his tongue. Kangin’s hands ghosted over his jeans zipper and he silently asked permission with his eyes. Leeteuk exhaled shakily and let his fingers slide over the smooth skin of Kangin’s chest. He tilted his head back and kissed Kangin lightly, nodding as he rested back on the mattress again.
He had never felt anything like it. It hurt – hurt so badly at first. He fought back the tears with the fear that Kangin might stop should he see. When he was ready, though, everything was so good. He couldn’t get close enough to Kangin. He could barely see a thing through his half-lidded eyes. The noises he made were unintentional.
When it was over, Kangin rolled over and pulled him onto his chest, letting his fingers dance over Leeteuk’s back. He was sore and tired. Leeteuk could feel himself slipping into sleep for a moment when he heard Kangin chuckle lightly.
“Hey, there,” Kangin mumbled. “Sleepy?”
Leeteuk smiled and rubbed his cheek against Kangin’s naked chest once before falling asleep.
Months later, he sat and listened as Kangin told him about what the future was to hold.
Had he realized how much he would miss him? Was he aware of how much his heart would ache all those days to come?
Kangin gave him a small, sad smile and pulled him into a hug. A hug he would miss so terribly and yearn for while he was gone.
Months later, he stood in the airport, looking around with worry. He saw other people meeting with their loved ones left and right, only making him even more anxious as he waited. His heart wrenched when he saw a man and woman run to each other and embrace. When the man lifted her and spun her, he saw her eyes were full of tears.
He could only turn away from the scene and stare back at the sliding glass doors. His heart began to hammer in his chest when he saw the first pair of doors open, only to frown in disappointment when it wasn’t the person he was waiting on.
The doors slid open again and a man in uniform walked through, looking around at first and then setting his eyes on Leeteuk. They both paused for a moment until Leeteuk broke into tears and ran to Kangin - his Kangin. He wasn’t sure where Kangin’s bag had gone when he was suddenly hoisted into the air and squeezed tightly. What felt like a million kisses later, his feet touched the floor and he pulled away to look at his love’s face.
His hair was so much shorter. Barely there. But he was still that beautiful boy from high school, with that gorgeous smile and confidence. He could only wrap his hands around Kangin’s neck and pull him down for another kiss. Kangin beamed at him as he picked up his bag in one hand and interlaced their fingers with the other.
Months later, he lay half-asleep on the uncomfortable bed, eyes locked on the door. His eyes widen when he heard heavy, quick footsteps and then his door flew open and Kangin stood in shock, looking at him as if he were ready to burst into tears.
He walked across the room, probably ready to try and lift Leeteuk up and hug him desperately, but halted at the edge of Leeteuk’s bed.
Leeteuk lifted his hand and Kangin leaned down as if silently beckoned, Leeteuk’s fingers sliding into his hair and pulling him down to kiss him. He was in pain, but he understood then that if he showed it, Kangin would immediately pull away and keep his distance.
Had he even noticed the tears welling in those eyes then?
“Car... just lost control,” Leeteuk mumbled in reply before Kangin kissed him again.
Months later, he stood in his new apartment, hands on his hips and proudly looking around. He watched as Kangin set the last box on the floor and dusted off his hands on the thighs of his jeans. Leeteuk walked up behind Kangin and slid his arms around that beautiful body and rested a cheek on his back.
He felt Kangin’s hands slide over his arms and rest on his wrists for a moment before pulling them away and turning in the circle of his arms. Kangin smiled down at him, both of Leeteuk’s wrists back in his hands. He lifted one of the arms to his face and turned his head to press his lips to the skin on the inside of his wrist, and then to his palm.
Leeteuk had shivered and said something to make Kangin snicker and pull him into a fierce hug. Kangin picked him up and nearly threw him onto their bed, crawling up over him and showering him with sweet kisses.
Now, Leeteuk gazed over at Kangin’s beautiful sleeping face, a smile on his own lips. He stretched his arm out across their sheets and traced Kangin’s mouth and chin with his finger tip. To his surprise, Kangin’s eyes fluttered open.
“Hey, there,” Leeteuk said quietly, still grinning.
Kangin smiled and took his wrist, pulling him across the bed next to him. As he fought with the sheets between their bodies, Leeteuk let his head rest on Kangin’s pillow. Finally, Kangin pulled Leeteuk closer and kissed his cheek.
For a few moments, they stared at each other.
Had Leeteuk known back then that Kangin had truly promised him forever?
“Do you remember when we first met?” Leeteuk asked.
“Well, yeah. How could I forget?” Kangin’s grin grew mischievous. “I can still remember the first time I ever saw your face. And that body. God – you were so perfect.”
“Were?” Leeteuk shrieked, slapping Kangin’s chest.
Kangin laughed. “Okay. You still are.”
“Do you remember our first kiss?”
“What is this? A pop quiz?” Kangin asked jokingly, his hands sliding along Leeteuk’s side over the sheets.
Leeteuk shook his head and let out a small sigh. “I’ve just been thinking. About us. Everything.”
They both stayed quiet for a few moments until Kangin spoke.
“I really love you.”
Leeteuk smiled and rolled his eyes. “I really love you, too.”
“I’m not going anywhere,” Kangin said, very seriously.
Leeteuk felt the familiar burn of tears as Kangin’s lips connected with his own for a few short seconds.