His palms are clammy with sweat and his heart beats frantically in his chest. He’s staring at his reflection in the mirror, waiting for the music cue to enter the stage. People are talking around him, but the voices are reduced to white noise as he continues staring at himself.
This is the most important moment of his life so far. This beats his first world championship and his first Olympics. This beats his first time on the ice or the first pair of ice skates his parents gave him one fateful Christmas. This is it – the highlight of his life.
Jongdae wipes his hands in his black trousers, closes his eyes and tries to calm his frantically beating heart. There is nothing he wants more than this. A woman puts her hands on his shoulders and faces his reflection in the mirror when he opens his eyes. She smiles wide, eyes slightly wet with proud tears and presses a kiss to his cheek.
“I’m so proud of you,” she whispers and the smile on her face has wrinkles forming in the corners of her eyes. She lets go of him with a pat on his shoulders before she turns around and orders her husband away from the businessman he’s talking to and rushing them all to take their places at the large reception area in front of Mt. Namsan.
The area is lit with small white lamps, strewn across the wooden flooring and floating in small ponds. There are white chairs lined up with an aisle in the middle leading to the slightly elevated podium where the officiant will be waiting to wed them.
Jongdae takes a deep breath and peeks out to look at their wedding guests. People are getting seated, chatting animatedly and he notices his mother-in-law holding his own mother’s hand as they join forces and become families through their sons. He inhales, closes his eyes for a second before he exhales and turns away from the door.
Chanyeol isn’t there yet either, they’ve decided to walk down the aisle together. In 5 minutes they’ll meet up in front of the aisle and walk down to the tune of Wagner’s Bridal Chorus because Chanyeol had insisted on making it classy. Jongdae doesn’t mind the music choice at all, he knows they’ll get to dance the first dance to their song regardless.
When he silently makes his way to the point where he’ll meet Chanyeol, his heart skips a beat and he has nervous butterflies in his stomach. This is the right decision, the one thing he has wanted to do for years and the one thing he’ll never regret, but he still feels more nervous than he ever has. Laying his eyes on Chanyeol feels like having a slight heart attack of love. Chanyeol in his beautiful black tuxedo, black butterfly adorning his beautiful neck and his hair styled to lay beautifully against his head. His eyes are wet and the corners of his lips lift into an involuntary smile at the sight of Jongdae. Jongdae can feel his own face light up into a smile that could rival that of Chanyeol’s.
Chanyeol’s hands are as sweaty and clammy as Jongdae’s but as they link their fingers and send each other one last smile, they feel ready to walk down the aisle, ready to be joined forever.
The vows are simple, the ceremony is beautiful, their mothers cry and the kiss is sweet. They light a candle before they walk back down the aisle, fingers linked and their closest friends throw flower petals at them as they exit the ceremony area and run towards the dining area. Jongdae feels like whooping so he does and Chanyeol bursts out laughing, pressing their lips together in happiness and giggles and Jongdae couldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Their guests come to congratulate them on the marriage, Chanyeol’s mother holds Jongdae for what feels like minutes, crying into his tuxedo and praising the lord she got such a wonderful son-in-law. Jongdae feels his heart soar like it never has before, but when she lets him go, he automatically searches for his husband. Today, just for today, he doesn’t want to be separated from Chanyeol for more than a few minutes at a time.
The tables are decorated in navy blue with flower arrangements of brown, green and icy blue and candles lights up the evening. People laugh at the childhood pictures on the tables indicating table numbers and Baekhyun jabs at Chanyeol’s large ears once again for the nth time, but nobody cares too much because that’s what best friends are for. The dinner is full of conversation and laughter, families becoming closer and friendships being forged and in the middle of it all is Jongdae sneaking glimpses of his husband, smile etched permanently onto his face and a barely-there blush whenever he’s caught looking.
Minseok wiggles his eyebrows and Jongdae laughs out loud, catching Chanyeol’s attention. Chanyeol dips down without warning, kisses him and swallows the laugh and Jongdae soars on a pink cloud.
A fork clings on a glass and Baekhyun gets up from his seat, sends them both a huge smile and clears his throat with a smile.
“When I was in kindergarten, I met a little boy named Park Chanyeol. When he started doing gymnastics, I because I was doing martial arts and that is so much cooler, but then he ended up being an Olympic champion and I became a kindergarten teacher so I suppose he won in the end. Gymnastics is pretty cool. But what is even cooler is his husband, Jongdae, who has become an awesome friend.
I have to be on Chanyeol’s side in arguments, you understand that, best friend privileges, but I’m honestly really happy he found someone like you. You guys are the cutest couple I’ve ever met, and you deserve all the happiness in this world. The success you’ve already had can only continue; you guys are stars. For that reason, I’ve prepared a song with another close friend of mine. And since I know you are a big fan of old love songs Chanyeol, I hope you enjoy. Bless you, I love you, be happy.”
He steps away from his seat and walks to the piano, Kyungsoo getting up to follow him. Chanyeol grabs Jongdae’s hand under the table and links their fingers together, nervously giving him a squeeze. Jongdae squeezes back and leans his head on Chanyeol’s shoulder to give him a little bit of comfort.
The intro to Phil Collin’s ‘Two Hearts’ starts playing on the piano and Baekhyun starts singing. Kyungsoo joins in and the music flows through the area, their voices harmonizing and belting beautiful notes into the warm summer evening. Jongdae sniffles to keep the tears in and Chanyeol is letting them flow down his cheeks. When they finish, he stands up to lead the applause and Jongdae feels like laughing again.
As the sky darkens, both their fathers hold speeches and they kiss so much their lips feel almost numb but Jongdae doesn’t want to stop. He wants to kiss Chanyeol forever, kiss him blue and kiss him until there is no more to kiss. Chanyeol is laughing and crying and never letting go of Jongdae and it’s just the way it’s supposed to be.
When another fork clings against another glass, Minseok looks over at them with a smile on his face and gets up.
“Let’s first congratulate Jongdae on his second gold Olympic medal, making him double Olympic champion,” he says and raises his glass. Everybody joins in and toasts and Jongdae feels his cheeks redden in embarrassment and Chanyeol smiles impossibly wide, pressing a kiss to the top of his head and loudly proclaiming ‘that’s my husband’, making a few laugh. Minseok continues with a soft smile.
“I’m so lucky to be Jongdae’s best friend. No, that’s wrong, Jongdae is lucky to have me as a best friend. I supported him through all the rough nights until a certain someone took over that responsibility. Imagine my big surprise when he told he’d fallen in love with a gymnast. Nothing wrong with gymnastics,” he says and smiles at Chanyeol who waves him off. “I still have a hard time imagining how a figure skater competing in the winter Olympics even met a gymnast competing in the summer Olympics but they did and I’m glad they did. It can’t always have been easy, I mean, I know how much Jongdae is on the ice, even when he’s just training and I’m guessing Chanyeol’s routine is just as strict.
And still, here we are today to see these two bastards smiling and kissing like there’s nothing else in the world but the two of them – and isn’t it a wonderful sight to behold? You guys look so happy, there is nothing I want more than for you to always be this happy. Fall in love over and over again in each other, don’t get caught up in routines and be there for each other.
When I’m 80, I want to look at you guys and remember what love is really about. You’re the best friend I could’ve ever wished for Jongdae and Chanyeol – welcome to the family of choice. Let’s raise a toast for these two again. Congratulations on your marriage.”
Everybody cheers and Jongdae gets up so he can rush to Minseok’s side and give him a hug. Chanyeol’s sister sneaks a kiss onto his cheek and smiles at her younger brother, happiness shining in her eyes.
As the evening continues, the candles on the tables burn brighter and when the dinner is finished and the conversation is flowing casually amongst people, all the speeches have been done and there is nothing, but enjoyment left, Jongdae finds his husband and steals him away from Kyungsoo. He guides him to a large table in the middle with a large multi-level wedding cake on it.
“Your sister says she’s hungry for cake and demands we cut the wedding cake,” he says and Chanyeol just scoffs.
The cake is beautiful, white fondant decorating the cake with icy blue fondant snowflakes and beige marzipan ropes spun around to highlight their occupations. When Yoora notices they’re cutting the cake, she quickly assembles everybody around. Chanyeol feeds Jongdae a spoonful of cake and Jongdae feeds him just a tiny bit of cake. The pout that forms on his lips has Jongdae bursting into laughter and he refeeds Chanyeol a decent piece of cake. They each take a piece of cake and lets their guests get a taste too.
It’s a wonderful evening and Jongdae has started to drift towards their guests. He’s talking to Minseok and Baekhyun, when he’s interrupted by his brother, telling him he has something they need to do and to find Chanyeol. Baekhyun and Minseok send him raised eyebrows and questions but instead of answering, his brother disappears again.
Jongdae turns around and looks through the sea of well-dressed wedding guests to spot his husband. Then he drags his friends to where his husband is charming Jongdae’s mother and her sister and leans up to whisper in his ears. Chanyeol nods and excuses himself from the conversation. Jongdae’s brother is standing on the stage, having borrowed the microphone from the lead singer and is announcing they’re going to play a game.
Two chairs are set up with the backs to each other and they are each given a butterfly and a tie, one representing Chanyeol, the other Jongdae.
Jongdae’s brother explains the game rules and points to a table where a stack of papers have been put. Each guest is to guess who did what first in their relationship and the winner gets a prize. The correct answers are going to come from Chanyeol and Jongdae.
“Who snores most?” he asks into the crowd and a few of the guests laugh. Jongdae holds up the butterfly but as he turns around and finds Chanyeol holding the tie he bursts out laughing. Chanyeol joins him and in the end, they agree to disagree on that one. Everybody gets a point.
“Who sings better in the shower?”
Two ties is launched into the air and laughter again fills the area. The questions continue, Chanyeol admitting to being the first to say ‘I love you’ and Jongdae winning ‘the better kisser’. Both Baekhyun and Minseok protest loudly no matter the result of the ‘who was the coolest in high school’ question and Yoora almost chokes laughing when Jongdae reluctantly agrees that Chanyeol is better at dancing.
“You’re a figure skater!” she shouts at Jongdae. “How come my dumb brother is better than you on a dancefloor?”
Chanyeol yells at her to leave him alone but the first dance proves it regardless – Chanyeol is the better dancer of the two of them.
As it slows down and some of their elderly guests start to leave, Jongdae settles in Chanyeol’s lap and gently lets his fingers thread through the hair of his nape. He feels drunk on happiness and love and Chanyeol’s hand resting on his waist leaves little magic sparks.
“I love you,” he whispers before he connects their lips. The world around them blurs to a dim background, the sounds reduced to white noise and there is just the two of them and no one else. Nothing else matters but Chanyeol and the love shared between them. The kiss stays a press of lips, not too inappropriate and scandalous for the guests still to see. When Chanyeol breaks the kiss, he smiles.
“I love you more,” he whispers back and Jongdae frowns.
“Impossible, I love you most.”
Chanyeol blinks and presses a quick kiss to Jongdae’s lips before he answers.
“I love you more than most.”