A/N: So many things to read, find out and feel. This chapter is loaded.
He was meant to act all nervous and fidgety every time he stood in front of the mirror, Seunghyun realized. It happened every time he got dressed and tried to gather all his strength before he committed to something big. Just like now. He couldn’t help the anxiousness that engulfed him only one hour before his residency interview.
His application had been approved, but the office employee had scheduled for their interview on the next day, and Seunghyun was almost ready to faint. He put on his suit and stood in front of the mirror for so long, not caring that Heechul was probably ready and waiting for him.
“Are you okay?” A voice suddenly whispered behind him.
Seunghyun closed his eyes at hearing that voice. Not now, please. I can’t have you around now. He pleaded, but the voice only got warmer when it whispered a soft Seunghyun. God, Jiyong. Seunghyun cursed mentally. Jiyong was driving him crazy as he wasn’t like anything he had met before.
They had ignored each other after Jiyong made that confession about falling for him. Seunghyun understood his reaction as he also needed time to get over having someone who cared for him that much, but he couldn’t deny that he had missed him tremendously. But then Jiyong got over whatever was pushing him away and he started to pop up wherever Seunghyun looked with a big smile upon his face. It was obvious that he was very much at ease with his feelings for him. Seunghyun wished it was that easy to embrace how he felt as well.
“Seunghyun, are you okay?” Jiyong whispered again to gain his attention as if he didn’t have it already.
“I’m fine, Jiyong.” Seunghyun whispered back.
Jiyong smiled and came to stand close behind him. “Heechul said you need a black tie. I brought you mine.”
Seunghyun turned to have a good look at the gorgeous face he hadn’t seen up close since the confession night. “Thanks!” He said and held his hand out to get the tie.
Jiyong smiled and shook his head. “Let me fix it on you.” He uttered and wrapped the tie around Seunghyun’s neck.
Seunghyun didn’t protest but gave in to Jiyong who pulled him close to his body using the tie as an excuse. “Where is Heechul?” He wondered, looking anywhere but at Jiyong.
“In his room getting ready.” Jiyong answered and fumbled with the tie professionally. His fingers touched Seunghyun’s neck every now and then whether deliberately or innocently, Seunghyun couldn’t tell, but deep down he didn’t mind. “You know that you don’t need to wear a suit.” Jiyong remarked, still working on the tie.
“I know, but I want to look presentable in the interview.” Seunghyun explained.
“You could walk in there wearing a potatoes sack and they wouldn’t mind.” Jiyong said with a warm smile. “You’d look great in anything.”
Seunghyun swallowed hard at the comment. He kept his face composed when he was deeply touched by Jiyong’s high opinion of him. “I still need to look my best. This is the last step and I hate to screw it.”
“Scared that you would screw the interview?” Jiyong inquired softly.
“Anything can happen.” Seunghyun answered shortly.
“You’ve been studying Heechul’s file for two weeks. I’ve never seen someone that dedicated, so just relax. Everything is going to be fine.” Jiyong reassured him.
“I really hope so.” Seunghyun prayed, finally looking into Jiyong’s eyes.
“Just relax and if you see that the interviewer is starting to look suspicious, just throw in a piece of information that only you and Heechul are supposed to know.” Jiyong advised and finally pulled his hands away, the tie all fixed and ready.
“Like what?” Seunghyun asked in confusion.
Jiyong pursed his lips tightly together, deep in thoughts, and Seunghyun watched him expectantly. Suddenly, his face broke into a big grin. “If things start to go wrong, you can always tell them about Heechul’s tattoo.” He explained.
Seunghyun blinked. “Does he have one?”
Jiyong chuckled and nodded. “In a place only someone who got intimate with him could know.”
“Where?” Seunghyun inquired, feeling hopeful about that information.
Jiyong smirked and Seunghyun frowned as he waited for him to elaborate.
Two hours later, Seunghyun and Heechul walked out of the immigration office building looking dazed by all the interrogation they had been through. Seunghyun feeling dazed because they had stamped his passport at last, and Heechul feeling dazed because Seunghyun had surprised the hell out of him with his act of love. Fear can do wonders to people. He commented and shook his head in amazement.
Everything had gone smoothly from the second they walked in. The USCIS employees had interrogated them together before they sent them into separate rooms to check if their answers would still match. That was the part Heechul was so afraid of, but Seunghyun didn’t show any sign of nervousness despite the feeling being so obvious inside his eyes. Heechul could hug him for acting that composed in that crucial moment.
The interview passed in a blink before the woman in charge of Heechul dropped in a question his jaw dropped open when he had heard her.
“Do you have any tattoos, Mr. Kim?” She asked.
Heechul looked surprised at the question. “I do.” He said shortly.
“Can you tell me the place and what is it about?” The employee demanded gently.
Heechul flushed deeply at that. “How is that relevant to this interview?”
“Well, your husband is already done with his interview, and my co-worker who was in charge of him has just informed me that he had talked about a certain tattoo of yours. I want to make sure that he was right about that.” The employee explained.
Heechul frowned at that. “Yes, I have a tattoo. It’s engraved on my left thigh.”
“Close to your ?” The employee asked shamelessly.
Heechul frowned in embarrassment at that. “Yes, almost there.”
“What does it say?” The employee fired her last question.
“Carpe Diem.” Heechul answered and wished the floor would open and swallow him whole.
The employee smiled in delight and nodded at him. “We’re done, Mr. Kim. Let’s join your husband who’s waiting impatiently for you outside.”
Heechul nodded and followed her. Indeed Seunghyun was waiting for them. He looked relieved when he saw Heechul and even more relieved when the employee announced that they had passed the interview and asked them to follow her so that they could stamp Seunghyun’s passport.
The whole trauma was over much to Seunghyun’s utter delight.
“How did you know about my tattoo?” Heechul asked once inside his car.
Seunghyun smiled and looked out of his window. “Jiyong told me.”
“Only you would tattoo something like that on his .” Seunghyun teased.
“ you and Jiyong for telling you about it.” Heechul spat.
“It was a good trick. My interviewer looked embarrassed when I mentioned it, but it served us good and made our love story sound reliable.” Seunghyun muttered.
“I wanted the floor to swallow me whole when that woman asked me about it.” Heechul whispered, his face flushed when he recalled that moment.
“Serves you right for teasing me and Jiyong all those weeks.” Seunghyun said with a big smile.
“Ah, now you start uttering your sentences with Jiyong and I.” Heechul teased. “You’ve grown close during my absence.”
“Wasn’t that your intention when you tricked me into moving in with you?” Seunghyun shot back.
Ah, the nerve of him. Heechul thought and chuckled. “You know that the moving in had to be done for your residency sake, but to be honest, watching you and Jiyong act all awkward around each other when you’re dying to like there is no tomorrow is by far the best fun I’ve had in so long.”
Seunghyun looked scandalized at his comment. “Jiyong is not dying to me.” He defended, completely forgetting to comment on his part of the accusation.
“So, it’s only you who wants to Jiyong?” Heechul teased again.
“No one wants to anyone.” Seunghyun said, his heart thumping hard and his face red. “Don’t make it sound as if we’re about to burst from the ual tension.”
“Does it bother you to share a place with Jiyong?” Heechul asked serious this time.
Seunghyun looked taken aback by his sudden change of tone. “It was at first but not anymore.”
“What changed?” Heechul wondered curiously.
“Nothing you should worry your little head about.” Seunghyun teased with a big smirk on his face.
“You’re teasing me,” Heechul said with a fake shocked face.
“Payback is , right?” Seunghyun uttered.
“I could simply ask Jiyong.” Heechul challenged.
“I’d love to see you try.” Seunghyun challenged back.
“Who are you and what did you do to Seunghyun?” Heechul asked before he burst into laughter. “Dude, you’ve changed drastically in a couple of minutes.”
“I can finally breathe and never worry about getting deported again.” Seunghyun said and sighed in relief. “I owe it to you and Jiyong, Heechul. I can never thank you enough for giving me a chance to start over away from my ugly past.”
Heechul smiled at the little speech. “This calls for celebration. I want to get drunk and forget about my tattoo incident.”
“Let’s go to the Black Hole.” Seunghyun suggested.
“Brian has given you a day off, so spend it away from your working place. Unless you’re looking for an excuse to see Jiyong right now.” Heechul said, a mischievous grin upon his features.
Seunghyun flushed but stuck his tongue out at him to hide his blush. Heechul laughed at his never ending cute reactions. “Let’s go home to change and then I’ll take you to another great club down town.”
Seunghyun smiled and nodded at his suggestion. He loved that.
“We can call Jiyong later and ask him to join us if he could.” Heechul offered and watched Seunghyun’s reaction once again.
“ you, Heechul.” Seunghyun said, but deep down he was so pleased with the suggestion.
Heechul looked right through him as he chuckled even more and stepped on the accelerator to get them home in lightening speed.
“Oh Jesus!” Seunghyun exclaimed as Heechul drowned his nth glass of vodka and shot a smirk his way in triumph. “How much do you still need to gulp before you pass out on me?”
“Don..t a..c..t all s…mug wh…en yo..u dr…ink like a b..aby. Ju..st wa…tch meee a…nd l…earn h…o…w to dr…ink like a maaaan.” Heechul said drunkenly.
Seunghyun rolled his eyes at him and went back to play on his phone the way he did for almost two hours. He went for a soft drink and tried to pass time by watching people dance or get drunk around him, but he grew bored and fetched his phone to play something. He could join the others and dance to his heart content, but he wasn’t in the mood and he turned down all those who approached him for a dance or a drink.
The club Heechul picked for them was so hot and stuffy. It was luxurious, but the Black Hole was way better, Seunghyun’s biased mind pointed out the moment they walked in. He noticed Heechul ushering the waiter in their direction for another round of drinks and Seunghyun shook his head at him.
“Shall I get you something else, sir?” The waiter asked, addressing Seunghyun.
“No, I’m fine.” Seunghyun answered with a smile and went back to his phone.
“We c…ame h…ere to get dr…unk and you…pl..aying w…id your p...one… you…boring.” Heechul screamed over the loud music in the club.
Seunghyun ignored him and smiled in triumph when he scored higher in his game and moved to get a sip of his drink to celebrate his childish victory, his eyes surveying his surroundings. His eyes suddenly caught a familiar flash of blond among the dark dance floor and his heart leaped to his throat.
His name tasted sweet, like honey on his lips. His searching brown eyes traveled through the smoggy atmosphere, like a radiating lighthouse on foggy winter’s day. They caught his own black ones and he smiled at him, beckoning him to come over and dance with him. Seunghyun shook his head but Jiyong didn’t look bothered. He slowly made his way to where he was sitting and held out his hand to him.
“Jiyoooooooong,” Heechul screamed enthusiastically when he spotted him.
Jiyong ignored him, his eyes on Seunghyun and his hand still held out for the other man to take. Seunghyun smiled and like a moth to the flame, he took the hand in his and stood up. “I don’t know how to dance, Jiyong.”
“You don’t have to,” Jiyong said once they stood in the middle of the dance floor. He slowly wrapped his arms around Seunghyun’s waist and pulled him close to him. “Just follow my lead.” He instructed.
Seunghyun found himself drowning in Jiyong’s beautiful eyes. He couldn’t stop himself from devouring the features of the man in his arms for the first time since they met. What am I doing? His mind screamed, but he ignored it. “Your lip ring?”
“I didn’t feel like wearing it tonight.” Jiyong answered and guided Seunghyun’s body to move along with the music.
“How did you convince Brian to let you join us?” Seunghyun inquired curiously.
“I have my way.” Jiyong answered enigmatically.
Seunghyun shook his head at the cheesy comment.
“Congratulations by the way.” Jiyong shouted over the music. “I was so happy when Heechul told me that they had stamped your passport. All is left now is for them to send you your residency package.”
“Thank you,” Seunghyun said with a big smile on his face.
“You look different.” Jiyong noted. “I can tell that you’re so relieved now.”
“I am.” Seunghyun answered shortly.
Jiyong nodded and drew him close. “I wish to see you like this all the time.” He whispered and wrapped his fingers around Seunghyun’s.
Seunghyun tensed a little but didn’t pull his hand away. Jiyong’s gentle hand was like magic around his.
“Did you get used to it?” Jiyong asked and circled Seunghyun’s wedding ring.
“I’m still trying to.”
“I hope Heechul didn’t engrave some fake vows of endless love on it.” Jiyong commented and held Seunghyun’s hand up to check.
“You’re just using this as an excuse to hold my hand.” Seunghyun pointed out with a small smile.
Jiyong acted shocked. “How did you know?” He teased and grinned.
Seunghyun shook his head at him, but still didn’t pull his hand away.
“I love how you feel against me.” Jiyong commented softly.
Seunghyun flushed at the comment and he looked away to hide his blush.
“Gosh, Seunghyun.” Jiyong cursed softly. “You’ll be the death of me. You’re so cute and precious.”
“Stop your cooing.” Seunghyun chastised and stepped away. “You’re making feel like a baby and so uncomfortable.”
Jiyong let out a chuckle at that.
“Whatever!” Seunghyun shot and walked away from him to hide his embarrassment.
Jiyong didn’t look bothered, but he shook his head in amazement at his cuteness before he walked after him to check on Heechul and see if he were still alive.
“His alcohol tolerance !” Jiyong huffed in annoyance as he threw Heechul on his bed with Seunghyun’s help.
“He’s heavy,” Seunghyun commented as he started taking off Heechul’s shoes.
“At least we got him to the bed. Let him sleep in his damn clothes and let’s go.” Jiyong said and Seunghyun nodded and followed him, switching the lights off on his way.
They stood together in the corridor, staring awkwardly at everything but each other before Jiyong broke the silence. “I guess this is good night.”
“Yes,” Seunghyun whispered feebly. “Good night.” He answered and rushed to his room before Jiyong could see his disappointed look. He quickly closed the door behind him and stood against it for so long in an attempt to regulate his heart beating again.
What the hell am I going to do? This is serious. This is so serious. I think I can’t handle it. He thought and forced himself to get going and change into his sleeping outfit. He slid under his covers when he was done, but thoughts of Jiyong were still lingering inside his mind. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get him out of his brain. When almost half an hour passed and he was still thinking of him, he sighed and threw the covers off of his body before he stood up. Just where do you think you’re going? He stopped mid-way and facepalmed. To hell with everything. He thought, grabbed something on his way and walked out towards Jiyong’s room. He took a deep, long breath before he lifted his hand and knocked.
Jiyong didn’t take long to open the door for him. He didn’t look surprised to see him. The sneaky, over confident bastard. “Sorry if I woke you up.” He whispered.
“I wasn’t sleeping.” Jiyong said with a bright smile.
“I came to give you back your tie.” Seunghyun offered feebly.
“Couldn’t you wait till tomorrow?” Jiyong teased.
Seunghyun flushed deeply and he cursed his abrupt act and his lame excuse. Jiyong’s smile broadened. “Come on in!” He said and stepped out of the way to let Seunghyun in.
Seunghyun walked inside and stared in awe at Jiyong’s bedroom. It was his first time inside and the place looked so cozy and appealing he had a hard time concentrating on anything but the beautiful designs on the wall or the black bed covers or the DVDs set under the big screened TV. The room’s design was exactly like his, but Jiyong’s taste of furniture was gorgeous and it added an extraordinary appeal to the place.
“I guess you like my room.” Jiyong commented behind him.
“It’s gorgeous, Jiyong.” Seunghyun said sincerely, his eyes seeking more and more of his entourage. His eyes suddenly fell on a picture on top of Jiyong’s nightstand and he frowned. The picture had Jiyong standing in front of a young man with this latter wrapping his arms around Jiyong’s waist from behind. The other man looked older than Jiyong, he was handsome and had a beautiful smile. Seunghyun couldn’t help the feeling of possessiveness that stormed within his heart at that picture. Jiyong smiled knowingly when he followed his line of vision and caught what he was staring at. He slowly made his way towards his nightstand and picked the picture. “This is Dongwook.” He whispered.
“Who’s he?” Seunghyun asked before he could stop it.
“He’s the reason I’ve lived with a broken heart for so long.” Jiyong explained and strangely enough with a warm smile on his face.
Seunghyun looked confused and utterly taken aback by both the statement and the warm smile that followed. “Then why do you keep his picture since he broke your heart?”
“He didn’t do it on purpose.” Jiyong said sadly and put the picture back on the nightstand.
“I don’t understand.” Seunghyun said almost angrily.
“I’ll tell you everything the day you tell me your everything.” Jiyong said, making Seunghyun frown. “It’s only fair.”
Seunghyun knew that he was right and he didn’t argue with his logic as he nodded. “I think I should go back to my room.” He whispered, deposited the tie he was still holding on the bed and turned to leave. He wanted to get away and fast.
“You shouldn’t worry about Dongwook, you know?” Jiyong whispered. Seunghyun stopped in his tracks but didn’t turn. “I wouldn’t have confessed to you if I had someone in my life or if I was still feeling something for Dongwook.”
“Then why do you still have his picture?” Seunghyun shot softly but with a hint of anger.
“Because he was more than my first love. He was my close friend, mentor and savior.” Jiyong uttered gently.
The words pierced through Seunghyun’s heart making it ache badly. “Good to hear.” He whispered and moved to walk away.
“But he’s my past, Seunghyun.” Jiyong spoke, stopping Seunghyun in his tracks again. “I still care for him and think about the great moments we had shared, but it’s all in the past.” He added and walked towards Seunghyun to turn him slowly so that he could face him again. “But you’re my present, Seunghyun, and I wish you give me a chance for you to be my future.” He whispered and wrapped his arms around Seunghyun’s waist.
“Jiyong,” Seunghyun whispered with difficulty, feeling his body melt in Jiyong’s arms.
Jiyong had a similar reaction as he rested his head on Seunghyun’s shoulder and closed his eyes in content. “Hug me, Seunghyun.” He pleaded softly.
Seunghyun’s only response was to wrap his arms around him in what looked like a possessive embrace. Jiyong reciprocated the act and he tightened his grip around Seunghyun’s waist to savor the closeness. “I can make you happy. Let me in and I’ll make you the happiest man ever. Stop resisting!”
“My resistance is already melting,” Seunghyun confessed and hid his face in Jiyong’s neck. Jiyong melted even more at that. “But I’m scared to let my guards down and get hurt as a result.”
“You’ll never heal if you keep things inside. You’ll suffocate, Seunghyun. There’s nothing wrong with needing someone. Let me in and I’ll take all your pain away.” Jiyong whispered.
“You make it sound so easy.” Seunghyun commented.
“It’s not that easy but we can make it that way together.” Jiyong insisted.
Seunghyun seemed conflicted but he tightened his grip around Jiyong’s shoulders in a kind of positive response. “Give me some time, please.” He voiced at last.
“Take all the time you need, Seunghyun.” Jiyong uttered. “I’m not giving up on you.”
“Really?” Seunghyun asked, pulling away from the hug to stare into Jiyong’s eyes.
Jiyong missed his warmth instantly. “I’m not giving up on you. You’re my second chance, Seunghyun.” He whispered and tiptoed to plant a soft kiss on Seunghyun’s lips.
Seunghyun almost passed out at the sensation he got from that brief touch and the tsunami of emotions Jiyong’s gentle words evoked inside of him. “I think I should go.” He whispered, contrary to what his mind was urging him to utter.
“I understand,” Jiyong said with a smile, feeling no anger or disappointment at the unexpected response. He could see Seunghyun’s inner conflict and he refused to push him or force him into something he wasn’t ready for. The hug and the brief kiss were more than he had prayed for when Seunghyun walked into his room.
“Good night,” Seunghyun whispered.
“Good night,” Jiyong whispered back and walked him to the door.
Seunghyun walked out with heavy steps, not ready to part yet. Just when Jiyong was about to close his bedroom door, he stopped him with his hand. Jiyong smiled and looked expectantly at him.
“Will you make me some of your gorgeous coffee tomorrow?” Seunghyun requested shyly.
Jiyong melted at the sight. “I’ll do anything for you.” He whispered.
Seunghyun looked blown away by that comment and he smiled in happiness. “Good night then.”
“Good night.” Jiyong whispered and watched him walk away at last before he closed the door and stood against it, feeling his heart about to jump out of his ribcage.
Seunghyun was in no different state. He finally got to his room and slipped under his covers, but sleep was the last thing on his mind. For so long, the feeling of Jiyong’s lips touching his for a second was all that clouded his mind.
I’m falling in love.
At that thought, Seunghyun’s denial blinked in surprise, but couldn’t help but stand up and fly out of the window as there was no room for him anymore inside Seunghyun’s mind.