25 autumns


9. "War's End" kiss




Sunggyu felt pain every day because of that war. Physical and emotional pain that did not diminish as the days passed. Whenever he needed to carry a body or a seriously injured friend, he wondered when it would be his turn.


He only had a few seconds of peace when he was with him, but even then, his fear of losing him was even more suffocating.


Woohyun had been drafted to the army long after him, so he didn't have to deal with many things Sunggyu had been through. Even so, he definitely shouldn't be there.


He was too emotional to shoot anyone, cried for all the casualties and couldn't sleep because he missed his family. Sunggyu tried to avoid thinking about his own family at all costs, but he felt like he needed to hear him vent. Sunggyu was Woohyun's biggest strength in that place and he knew it better than anyone.


When they were alone, they held his hands tightly. They were kissing under the covers and Sunggyu felt like he was still a teenager in love and full of dreams. It was impossible to dream in the reality they lived in, because when he woke up, Sunggyu was afraid it would be the last time he would see him.


“Please be careful,” Sunggyu asked softly in Woohyun's ear, after helping him to arm himself. He received a sad smile in response and realized he wanted to say something, but couldn't as they had his squad around him.


“When this conflict is over, I want to set the date,” he said, taking Sunggyu's hand and running his finger discreetly over Sunggyu's ring. “And I want to know if you're ready for it.”


If this conflict ends,” Sunggyu muttered, hesitating for a few seconds, “we can be happy together.”


Woohyun smiled, nodding his head. The two prepared for a new battle, hoping they could protect each other.


He couldn't say how long he heard the shots. Sunggyu did his best to counterattack, he almost got shot, but managed to hit the enemy before that. He surveyed the surroundings with a panting breath, desperate to find Woohyun. Traces of blood and gunpowder scattered all the way.


“The war is over!” shouted one of the commanders, causing the survivors to burst into tears and celebration. “They signed the peace treaty. The war is over!”


“Woohyun.” Sunggyu couldn't hear anything, walking at a hurried pace across that field. His body froze when he finally found him. One of the paramedics was helping him, trying to bandage his leg.


Not caring who watched them, Sunggyu knelt right there and hugged Woohyun tight. His heart was racing with all the fear he'd felt. Woohyun hugged him back, saying quietly that he was fine and it was just a glancing shot. Sunggyu has never been so relieved.


“There's no escape now,” Woohyun joked, when his fiancé pulled away to face him. “You're going to look beautiful at our wedding.”


Sunggyu laughed softly, holding his face for a few seconds. He had no more reason to hide it, so he didn't hesitate to approach.


He kissed Woohyun's lips passionately, feeling him envelop him in a tight hug and kissing back. No one blamed them, too busy celebrating or tending to the wounded.


Their lives were finally starting over.



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