1000.

1000.

"You know what's the scariest thing in life?"

A pause.

An awkward answer.

"Well... There could be a million things, really. Life in it itself is sc-"

"For me, there is just one," the other interjected.

"One what?"

"One thing."

"What is it?"

Another pause. This one longer.

Another answer. This one sure.

"This. Us," he gestured between the two of them. "Love."

The conversation died quietly into the darkness of the room, leaving its corpse to linger in between the comfort of their sheets, between the assurance of a night together.

But it managed to find
a spark of life just when it seemed like it was really done with.

"You said yes."

The words were breathless, almost like air, like they were too scared to take form.

"I know."

Those words were sharp, like a knife, like they had been waiting to come out forever.

A soft laugh followed them, airy and elusive like a mirage.

"Isn't it funny?" the blonde said as the back of his head gently rocked sideways on the fluffed up pillow it was resting on.

A frown met his inquiry, solemn and severe.

"Sorry, but I don't find anything funny here," the brunette said in defiance to his lover's careless musings.

Jonghyun sighed, feeling the familiar net of weariness capture his body. "Of course, you don't".

"You've always been so serious about us," he went on.

"Always so passionate..." he deposited with a finality that contrasted with the sudden flutter in his chest.

He felt the other's eyes scrutinizing him, studying the shadows that were looming over his face.

"I don't know how to be any other way when it comes to you," Jinki replied, his tone close to apologetic.

"Isn't it tiring?"

Jonghyun's words were sudden, taking a few beats of silence to settle.

"Why would it be?" the brunette threw back, frown creasing his brow again.

"Be honest," the younger one of the two urged on.

"I know what you want me to say, but that's not going to happen."

The older one's lips tightened into a straight line, sealing the matter as such.

Jonghyun's brow cocked at that. "You do?" he inquired with a playfulness that felt out of place.

Jinki scowled at him. "What has gotten into you?" he reproved.

"Can't we just have a peaceful night for once?"

The words were out of his mouth before he had a chance to rethink them.

"I didn't mean-"

"Bingo," the blonde interjected, feelings of triumph and utter disgust for himself twisting his gut.

"No, wait," Jinki panicked. "You're taking it as me confirming that you are a handful, but that's not what I meant."

"Sure," Jonghyun conceded dismissively, fighting with himself not to turn on his side and give the other his back.

A warm hand reached out to him and before he could slap it away, it settled right on his cheek, fingers softly grazing his skin. He couldn't help the flutter of his lashes at the loving caress.

"If you were such a burden to me, I wouldn't have asked you to marry me," Jinki reminded, voice low, but assured as his hand travelled up to get a feel of the dishevelled but soft looking blonde hair before him. He had always loved that color on him.

Jonghyun turned slightly, meeting his eyes. "Maybe you're crazy."

Time seemed to still as the brunette lost himself in the turmoil that darkened his lover's eyes.

"If I am, so be it. You will not make me run the other way."

His words settled in the space between them like a fresh coat of paint on tired walls.

The blonde's well integrated inner discourse didn't fail to retaliate on the spot, effectively smearing the other's handiwork.

Oh, but I will.

He knew better than to say it out loud, always fearing his belief would become reality.

It was like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. And the worst part was that he knew that he would be the one to set it off even if it was the last thing he wanted to do.

He suddenly felt tired, so tired, that it felt like if he closed his eyes he would fall into an eternal sleep.

"You're thinking too much," Jinki noted, leaning a bit closer to his face.

Jonghyun looked once more into his rich brown eyes, wondering if his own gaze would ever reflect such vitality and hope.

"I know."

"You said yes," Jinki reiterated again with a newfound conviction. "We are going to get married and live happily ever after."

Jonghyun scrunched up his nose in disgust. "Don't tell me you really believe in happily ever afters."

"With you, yes," Jinki immediately said.

Before the blonde could comment on how cheesy that sounded, the other went on.

"I'm not saying things will always be easy between us, far from that, but you will never cease to be my happiness nonetheless."

Oh, there it was again, the flutter in his chest.

"You should keep that for your vows," he couldn't help but throw at him to detract from the immensity of his feelings for this man.

The man who had seen all the good in him that he still struggled to see.

The man who had opened his heart, mind and body to all the things he had never thought possible before.

The man who had asked his hand in marriage just the night before.

The man who had somehow made him say yes without hesitation.

I don't know if I'll ever deserve you, but I want to be with you.

"I feel like I've been writing my vows for you since Day 1," Jinki observed, an easy smile dancing on his lips.

A sudden flip and then a race. That's what his heart made of those words.

He felt like he had no ammunition to make light of the situation again.

"You're trying to find a clever comeback, aren't you?"

The brunette was answered with a glare which only made him burst out laughing.

"Just accept it," he then said. "My love for you. Everything."

I'm trying.

"Okay," the blonde conceded, letting the folly in him lean into what he had always wanted.

He was rewarded with a peck on the lips, gesture that needed nothing more to convey the depth of their love for each other.

"I love you," Jinki initiated, smiling fondly at him.

" I love you, too," he reciprocated, feeling the surge of emotions welling up in his chest reach his eyes.

And in that moment, the promise of those words were enough for him.

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