... and my true love gave to me ❄
Kim 'Suho' Junmyeon
As per usual, Minseok and Kyungsoo were the first to wake the next morning and they padded about the kitchen together with the older acting as the chef's assistant because Lay had yet to make an appearance and cooking for twelve boys was more than a one man job. They found a steady rhythm, working as a cohesive unit; Kyungsoo would pass to Minseok who would drop it in the pan before skirting around the vocalist to chop up onions as the wide-eyed boy would sprinkle spices into the pot. It wasn't breakfast they were cooking – it was lunch, because it was already 11am and what was the use in having breakfast and then lunch at that time?
They worked in tandem for a good thirty minutes before the shuffling of feet alerted them to someone else having dragged themselves out the warmth of their bed.
It was Junmyeon.
He ran achey fingers through sleep-mused hair as he entered the kitchen with his slippers making a slap-slap sound against the floor-tiles. A yawn split his face as he rubbed his eye with his free hand, trying to force his vision to lose the irritating fuzz that made it feel as though he was watching a faded movie.
“Well, morning sleepy head.” Kyungsoo set a steaming cup of tea before the leader who glanced up at him through sleep-heavy eyes and grunted a thanks, wrapping both his hands around it to warm them.
“Where's Yixing?” Minseok was checking a pot of noodles as he asked, stirring the ingredients together.
“He's not allowed to get up yet. His gift is arriving at twelve and I don't want him to see it before it's set up,” Junmyeon mumbled, barely able to form the words as he nearly fell face first into his cup, hypnotized by the swirling contents within.
“Ahhhh,” Kyungsoo tapped his nose knowingly, shoving a plate of toast towards Junmyeon. “Lunch won't be for a couple of hours.”
Junmyeon nibbled at the corner of a slice of buttery toasted goodness, only to set it down when his stomach gave an undesirable churn. He was anxious; extremely so. What made it worse was that he still hadn't given Yixing his answer. The leader's fingers sought out the ring that hung around his neck, holding it through his shirt as he let out a gentle sigh.
If he was honest, he still wasn't sure what his answer should be. He loved Yixing more than anything, but were they ready for this step? Would the fans notice and question the ring? There were so many questions that had been turning in his head over the last week that Junmyeon just didn't want to think about it anymore.
“How is it getting here, then?” Kyungsoo had paused as though the thought had just occurred to him.
“Min's been looking after it. SHINee are going to help her get it up here.” Junmyeon grabbed a hold of the conversation as a means to take his mind off the numerous questions bubbling around in his mind.
“I feel kind of bad. We sort of took over her house, it seems,” Kyungsoo laughed and Junmyeon chuckled along with him.
Fortunately, before he could lose himself to the myriad of speculating questions that were begging for his attention to find answers, another distraction emerged.
In the form of Kai.
The dancer stumbled into the living room with a hyper puppy and playful kitten bounding after him as though they were playing a game. Catch the human with the weird ears sounded like a viable game.
Junmyeon let out a snort of laughter at the cockeyed pair of furry black ears on his head and the scratches that decorated his . Kyungsoo hid his laughter behind his hand as he plucked the little beasts from the ground to stop Jongin from tripping back onto them. Kai threw himself facefirst into the couch and buried his face into the cushions.
Kyungsoo dropped Coffee and his kitten on his partner's back where they immediately began rolling around and pouncing on his hair and trying to attack his ears – real and fake – whilst Kai just buried his face further into the pillows and groaned.
“I think I was a bit hard on him last night.” Kyungsoo mused as he swept past Junmyeon and went back to stirring the biggest pot on the stove. Minseok was doubled over with silent laughter.
“Remind me not to dress up as a cat for halloween next year,” Junmyeon deadpanned, sipping at his tea.
“Hear hear,” came a muffled moan that sounded like words from the couch.
Kyungsoo's eyes turned devious. “We'll see.”
“We'll see, what?”
The kitchen fell silent as three stunned faces turned to the newcomer. Minseok looked like he was about to have a heart attack; Kyungsoo's mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water and Junmyeon almost fell off the stool he had managed to climb up on to.
The hell was Kris doing up before most of the others?
“Where's the earthquake?” Kris arched an eyebrow at the three.
“You're... up before nearly everyone... did you pee the bed?” Kyungsoo tilted his head.
“Tao kicked me out of the bed. I was making him too warm and he's still feverish.” Kris shrugged his shoulders and moved into the kitchen to fix the sick panda a hot, honeyed tea whilst Junmyeon kicked his heart back to beating. “I don't see why you're all so shocked. You'd think I was always the last one up.”
“You are always the last one awake,” Minseok pointed out, poking Kris in the face with the spatula he was holding.
“Sometimes Kai is.”
Kyungsoo thumbed over his shoulder at Jongin who was now on his back, snoozing happily with a kitten across his neck and a puppy curled up on his stomach. “He was awake before you.”
A light knock on the door dragged Junmyeon's attention towards the front entrance of the dorm and he hopped down from his stool with a little cry of delight. “That should be it.”
Kris leant back to watch him vanish down the hallway to answer the door. “Should be what?”
“His gift for Lay.”
Five minutes later, Junmyeon reappeared, pushing something into the living room. Kris stared at him for a moment, then at the large silver bow wrapped around what was so painfully obvious Yixing's present, then back to the leader.
“Ok... where the hell is that going to fit?” he asked.
Junmyeon didn't respond at first; it seemed like he was trying to work that out himself. It was Minseok who found the solution, pulling the sofa into a different angle and pushing the gift into the corner. They aligned the sofa so that it wasn't in the way and still looking like it belonged before Junmyeon clapped his hands together happily.
“What do you think?” he asked.
“I think he's going to cry,” Kris nodded his approval at the gift.
“I've got to agree,” Kyungsoo patted Junmyeon on the shoulder. “You did good, hyung.”
Junmyeon couldn't stop the massive grin that fixed itself firmly on his face. He knew he had got the perfect gift, but to hear the others say he had done well with it... all nerves flew out of the window. “I'm going to go get him.”
There was a definite skip to his step as he made his way down the hall, opening the bedroom door to find Yixing blinking blearily at him. Junmyeon was still grinning and Yixing couldn't help but smile back as the leader moved to the bed and leant down to kiss him softly.
“Morning, my angel,” Junmyeon purred against Yixing's lips.
“Morning,” Yixing closed his eyes and pulled him down to kiss him again, only moving to get up when Junmyeon tugged him towards the edge of the bed. “But you told me to stay here,” he feebly protested as he let Junmyeon help him off the bed.
“Only until your gift got here.”
“Awww. I thought you were my gift. I was looking very much to unwrapping it.”
Junmyeon turned back to face Yixing then, leaning up to press their mouths together in a soft kiss. “Afterwards.”
“Is that a promise?”
“Mhm, now come on,” Junmyeon led the way towards the living room, stepping behind the dancer just before they entered to tie a ribbon around his eyes. “Can't have you seeing it just yet.”
Yixing mumbled something about him being a tease as the leader carefully directed him through the sofa's, urging him to sit on a white stool that had been placed before the main part of his gift. Junmyeon grabbed the boy's hands and placed them upon the ivory keys, removing the ribbon a second after.
Beneath Yixing's hands was a full set of piano keys, attached to a pure white, baby grand piano with Yixing's brand of the unicorn emblazoned upon the top in silver. Kris' prediction had been correct. Tears welled and fell from his eyes as he traced his fingers over the keys and tested them. The sound that came from the piano was so pure and clear that it almost didn't sound real.
Seeing Yixing's reaction tugged at Junmyeon's heart strings and he made his own mind up right then. He leant and rested his cheek against his partner's, waiting for him to turn his head for a kiss. Once he did, Junmyeon claimed his lover with enthusiasm, resting his left hand over Yixing's on the keys. When they pulled apart, the leader smiled softly and mouthed against Yixing's lower lip.
Yixing's gaze turned with Junmyeon's to their hands.
There, on Junmyeon's finger was the ring.
❄ one swan-a-guarding...