Midnight Drink by: lumienarc

midnight drink.jpg

  • a JyonJin (Jiwon x Jaejin) short story
  • completed
  • from asianfanfics

Description

Eun Jiwon asked Lee Jaejin to come to his place for a drink one night. Jaejin had plenty to think about because of it.

Foreword

Lumienarc Hanayuki, suddenly, at your service.

I have been a fan of Sechskies for some time now, and I am particularly attracted to the leader because he has my definition of perfect voice that I have been looking for my whole life (no, I am not kidding). Honestly, I have never written any fanfics for Sechskies before, but I think I should… one day. I didn’t know it would be this quick (lol) I had planned to write other story, but it will take months to finish, so here I am.

About this story, I was rewatching Flower Crew episodes in which Eun Jiwon and Lee Jaejin were still in the cast, and I just couldn’t help the JyonJin feels that hit me. For the record, I ship EunKang, hard, but manly men relationships are something I can’t resist. And honestly JyonJin does have best chemistry, don’t you think?

Precautions are needed should anyone feel uncomfortable with mentions of alcohol drinking and smoking, but I promise you that there will be nothing more than mentions of those. I didn’t even write Eun Jiwon’s foul mouth the curses (lol).

It’s purely fictional, so don’t let it bother you, and it has homosexual undertones, or we commonly include under the term “bromance”, but nothing too extreme. Probably ones who expect more should step back (lol).

Also, this is quite short, so you will have to excuse me if this doesn’t satisfy you.

P.S. I just realized that I should have written something to celebrate our leader’s birthday, but I only do what I am capable of, so… I’m terribly sorry, milord. But still, happy G1 Day, Yellowkies!

*does the ONE of A KIND gangsign repeatedly*

A Night in Yeouido

Eun Jiwon-hyung 2 mins ago

Jaejin-ah, let’s have a drink at my place.

It was almost midnight and Jaejin was busy preparing himself to sleep—beauty routine was essential for him ever since Sechskies reunited. Tonight he chose carbon-based night mask that scared people off. He had just walked out of the bathroom when he saw his phone’s screen flicker and a message prompt was on top of it. He didn’t expect this at all. He pondered deeply, grabbing his hair while being careful not to ruin his beauty mask before the minutes were up.

“What’s this all of a sudden?”

Lee Jaejin was known for asking people out at the oddest times, indeed, and he acknowledged it, but being invited as random as he usually did to others was quite strange. Specifically, asked out by the leader was uncommon for him. Usually when he wanted someone to drink with him, he would ask them to some place and he would end up nagging to the end of the world—Suwon warned them all—therefore, sometimes, he would be extremely nice and caring and he would spoil anyone who was drinking with him, and for Jaejin personally, it was the worst of all possibilities.

Honestly, Lee Jaejin was not used to being spoiled by his life-long leader, not even the slightest, it somehow disturbed him. In his memory, they were always bickering although not always fighting. He knew well enough how stupid and stubborn Eun Jiwon could be, but he also knew no one could possibly escape from the subtle endearments of one gentle and caring Jiwon once he decided to do so. It was nice as much as it was unexpected the first time anyone experienced it—it defied common expectations of most people upon meeting him anywhere.

Lee Jaejin could not understand how Sunghoon lived this long being such a baby brother to Jiwon and given countless sorts of endearments along the way. Jaejin was used to fight and bicker against the inanity and headstrongness of his leader, his relentless nagging but he couldn’t endure the kindness—his heart couldn’t.

Twenty years of knowing each other had damaged the barrier Jaejin built unconsciously around himself because of his peculiarity. Eun Jiwon just slipped into the slightest crack and the next second Jaejin realized, he had already been there since as natural as oxygen in air. It was ironic that Jiwon knew him inside out better than any friends he ever had in his life although in reality he could not seem to be in agreement with Jiwon most of times. The leader always found faults and held nothing back whenever something was not of his standards and Jaejin’s ideas were often contrasting his, especially in terms of artistic. Even so, Jaejin couldn’t win against him (most of times) and he knew far too well that Jiwon did know what was best to do most of times, too.

He sighed deeply and mourned, “What to do?” repeatedly. His black kitten climbed into his lap, purring against his stomach. Automatically, Jaejin’s free hand came to pet the cat. His mind was still floating away from real world, though. He didn’t tell anyone some things about his depressing years after his flunked solo project and the death of his parents. During those years, he was only happy whenever he saw Jiwon on TV, especially with the rest of the members slowly retracting themselves from stage life as well (Suwon and Jaeduck were still appearing from time to time, but not as often as their leader). Stupid Eun Jiwon and his childish character was his main entertainment aside from taking care of his nephew.

He had said once that he didn’t trust the leader fully despite Jiwon’s level of confidence that he would listen and follow Jiwon. He was baffled, seemingly, but he had his reason not to trust the leader from time to time—that was why they argued a lot. Expressing his lack of trust was a way to declare his independence, his freedom to choose and decide for himself, and his beliefs as a man in democratic country—some people would tell him that this was nonsense because he trusted Jiwon too much without failure anyway. To Jaejin, exhibiting his devotion to the leader verbally was borderline dangerous and unwanted. It was best for him to show how committed he was to Sechskies and Eun Jiwon by actions for he knew Jiwon would never be able to notice what lied beneath it—what his actions truly meant—because that man’s skull was as thick as stone, just like most men.

“Charles, what should I do? Hyung asked me to drink with him. Did he ask other guys? Should I call him first?” he asked the cat worryingly. He wouldn’t mind if it was just the members and people Jaejin also knew, but Jiwon knew too many people—he couldn’t help but feeling worrisome. As he was pondering, his phone buzzed. Jiwon was calling him by the number—he suddenly regretted giving his new number to the leader.

“Yes, Hyung.”

Lee Jaejin could not ignore his call. It might lead to worse situation.

“Yah, aren’t you going to reply, Lee Jaejin? Just say it if you don’t want to,” Jiwon blasted. This was as normal as breathing. Jaejin was flustered because he hadn’t come to any conclusion so far.

“Sorry, I was just thinking, Hyung. Are you going to invite the guys?”

“Eh?”—Jiwon sounded surprised and offended slightly—“No. Why would Hyung invite other guys so late in the night?”

Hyung asked Suwon so late too before,” Jaejin said, unknowingly pouting.

“Aish,” Jiwon groaned, “You asked Kim Dongwan to eat dumplings at one a.m. why can’t Hyung ask you around the same time? You are the weird one. Come on, you always ran away whenever Hyung mentioned drinking. Come and drink with your hyung here.”

Jaejin could not decipher the meaning behind Jiwon’s words, howsoever it got into him. His imagination soared and wandered, assumptions and predictions were made although he was sure most of things he truly wished for would be ones disposed in reality. He smiled brightly at Charles, who absolutely had no idea what was going on.

“Yah! Lee Jaejin! Did you just ignore me? Yah! You’re alive, aren’t you?” Jiwon’s angry voice woke him from his state of daydreaming. He just realized that he hadn’t been answering Jiwon for quite some time. He immediately apologized.

“Aish, we are not doing video call right now. Hyung can’t know what you do. Now, are you going or not? Don’t nod—Hyung can’t see it, remember?” Jaejin was nodding right on time, too, but he was giggling.

“Yes, yes, Hyung, I’ll be there soon,” said he to avoid more nagging.

“Okay, good,” Jiwon said, sounded pleased, “Hurry up, Jaejin-ah, Hyung’s waiting.” His kind brother mode was on again and it was easily identified by the tone of his voice. It warmed anyone’s heart, but it also brought distraught to Jaejin’s fluctuating mood.

“Should I change?” was the first thing that came into his mind.

*****

Jaejin was drowned too deeply in his own world despite currently walking into the parking lot and supposed to find his car. He unintentionally ignored Yoo Byungjae’s greeting as they unexpectedly ran into each other. The neighbor wasn’t surprised anymore with the antics of the peculiar Lee Jaejin, but he was still hurt by the fact Jaejin didn’t even realize that he greeted him. Actually, he began to worry because he witnessed his senior repeatedly bumped into various cars long before he found his.

Hyungnim, are you okay?” the neighbor decided to ask, touching Jaejin’s back carefully. Jaejin jumped slightly, turning around nervously to see who touched him just now. He glared at the bearded man for a moment, judging wordlessly.

Hyungnim, you are not going to punch me, are you?” Byungjae asked, taking a couple of steps backwards for precaution.

“Oh, Byungjae-yah, I didn’t see you,” Jaejin said as casually as possible.

“We met in front of the elevator, Hyungnim. I have been trying to greet you repeatedly. I was worried because you didn’t react at all.”

“Oh, sorry. I was thinking,” Jaejin answered.

“I see,” Byungjae said. “Are you going out? It’s almost midnight.”

“Oh, yeah, I am going to Jiwon-hyung’s house,” innocently Jaejin replied. The neighbor was surprised although it wasn’t uncommon among friends to go out at night.

“Right now?”

“Yeah. See you around, Byungjae-yah,” Jaejin concluded their conversation urgently, noticing he had taken ten minutes since he left his flat. “Hyung’s waiting. He will yell at me if I take too long.”

Yoo Byungjae could not do anything about it. He simply nodded and stepped further back.

“Yes, Hyungnim, take care. Send my regards to Jiwon-hyung.”

He ended it politely as usual. Jaejin quickly nodded and climbed into the driver’s seat, ready to leave.

*****

Entering Eun Jiwon’s flat on the 34 floor of a Yeouido apartment building with a magnificent ocean view, Jaejin noticed something was completely off. Jiwon distractedly welcomed him and then went to grab the beers from his fridge. One could only wonder when a man who was born prepared for anything without preparing decently, someone like Eun Jiwon, suddenly had midnight snacks ready on the table—enough for a group of friends. A man who chose not to get out and eat alone outside or in his parents’ house, and starved himself before filming a travelling variety show episode, even slept for 40 hours because of it, would not bother do things like this.

“Are we going to have a party, Hyung?” Jaejin asked; astonished yet bemused by the thoughts of other people might come crashing any time now. He imagined that Jiwon would come up with excuses, such as that he got all those from a friend or neighbor, and he could not finish them all on his own so he called Jaejin over, but Jaejin didn’t understand that he had been underestimating his leader’s honesty and bluntness too much.

“No,” Jiwon bluntly answered, putting out two bottles of beer and a pitcher of water, and preparing two glasses next to it. “Hyung bought the snacks before flying back home. The chicken was ordered after you said you’re coming. Hyung thought you would like some snacks, like chicken. Hyung’s a bit hungry, too.” He gestured Jaejin to take a seat as he took the bottles out of the kitchen. “Hyung missed you, Jaejin-ah. Every time Hyung saw the scenery in China, Hyung thought of you. You would be able to take many pictures there.” Jaejin didn’t know what to say. He wanted to retort, but his brain suddenly stopped working. He knew for years that his leader was open about his feelings for others, but he never said anything like this to Jaejin before. Maybe it was because they were too busy bickering whenever they met.

They sat across each other and drank. It was easy once they started, eating and chatting.

Jiwon knew what topic he could hold with Jaejin and when to stop. Jiwon told and showed Jaejin places he went during his recent trip to China. Jaejin saw and marveled at the pictures.

He interrogated Jiwon about various spots and the fares to go there. He was greatly envious and secretly wished that he would have gone there with the variety expert, somewhere exotic and fresh, together and rarely separated unlike the other and only show they had been together.

Walking side by side with Jiwon up a hill or sailing on a boat, doing games he might not be able to handle anyway—anything seemed to be better than what he experienced previously.

“Why did you miss me, Hyung?”

The question was spilled unintentionally. He didn’t exactly want to ask, but his inner thoughts were unrestrained. Jiwon looked at him—glared, surprised. He put down his bottle and leaned back. He sighed deeply.

“Why can’t I miss my brother? You are my brother, aren’t you?” Jiwon said, then his tone raised, “I even told the whole country that I missed Jiyong some years ago. Why wouldn’t I tell you that, too?” Jaejin made a face, not satisfied with the answer.

“But Hyung and Jiyongie were close. You two teased each other a lot back then. Of course Hyung missed him. Saying Hyung missing him is like saying Hyung missing Sunghoonie. No one missed me that much. People resent me,” Jaejin said, resisting. Jiwon pulled his head back, closed his eyes, and sighed again.

“Yah! Don’t say things like that!” he yelled. “People missed you. Why else did they ask about you before our reunion? Aish, don’t be so negative, Lee Jaejin. Hyung missed you just as others. What do you think of your leader, aish, Lee Jaejin!” Jiwon naturally cursed, but it was almost inaudible. Jaejin felt hot out of embarrassment and unwanted feelings he got from hearing Jiwon’s words. He fanned his face by flapping his hands.

“But—but, Hyung, our opinions always contrast each other. We always argue.”

Jiwon sighed loudly again. “Arguing is healthy, you know that? Had I kept quiet, it would mean I care very little about it. You know Hyung nags because Hyung cares, right?” Jiwon demanded.

Jaejin nodded anyway, but Jiwon finished his third bottle and pulled out a pack and a lighter.

“I’m going to the balcony.”

“Wait a minute, Hyung,” Jaejin urgently called, “Do it here.”

“Eh? Why? You don’t like the smell, do you?” Jiwon stopped in his track to answer. While his answer was on point, Jaejin was stubborn in his peculiarity.

“No, but if Hyung stays on that side, I won’t smell it at all.”

“Heeeh,” Jiwon groaned in disagreement, “It will leave smell if I smoke here. Just be

comfortable, Jaejin-ah, Hyung won’t be long. It’s no one else’s house—it’s your hyung’s house; just do whatever you want.” He left before Jaejin could try to convince him.

He felt strange. It wasn’t his first time visiting this flat, but it was as foreign as first visit right now. He was alone in the living room, two boxes of chicken emptied and packs of snacks almost finished. Lucy was a quiet, white furball on a small bed at the corner of the room, sleeping soundly. Jaejin suddenly concluded that Jiwon spent too much on toys after surveying the room. The only good thing about those toys was that he kept them untouched—they would cost a fortune in the future. Bored after a while, he went to the balcony. Drinking alone was definitely pathetic and not enjoyable.

“Why are you here?” Jiwon asked as soon as he opened the glass door. He put out his

cigarette immediately, annoyed but not angry.

“I don’t want to be alone, Hyung,” Jaejin answered right away, leaning on the balustrade leisurely. Jiwon snorted.

“You’re weird, Jaejin-ah,” said Jiwon. “You like to be alone usually.”

That was true, but Jaejin knew, as everyone who was close with Jiwon, that Eun Jiwon suffered the most should he be forced to be alone. He could not handle loneliness at all—Jaejin knew that was why he adopted Lucy.

“It’s better with Hyung,” he innocently answered before he could think twice about it. Jiwon stared at him for what it seemed to be the longest time, without blinking. He reached out to Jaejin and firmly gripped the back of his neck, pulling him close and giving him tight hug. Jaejin didn’t like skinship with men—he repeatedly said he hated it—but he had no problem doing it with Jiwon. Not at all. It was one of his secrets, one he wouldn’t wish anyone to know. Some things he said were actually told to conceal the truth, but people did not have to know. Jiwonhyung did not have to know—never. He returned the hug with racing heartbeat. It was always nice to hug this man and hide everything away.

“Knew that you missed hyung, too, Jaejin-ah,” said Jiwon gently, patting Jaejin’s hair with one hand and back with the other. Jaejin could not help but hum in subtle agreement. He might have imagined it, but he felt that Jiwon had brushed his lips against Jaejin’s hair, kissing it lightly. Jiwon pulled away and avoided eye contact. He immediately prepared to go back in, somewhat distractingly.

“Do you want something stronger? Hyung wants to drink strong one.”

Jaejin nodded and tailed behind. He surreptitiously held his heart, speculating yet trying to get himself back to the ground—he couldn’t keep his hopes up. Jiwon was fairly reserved when they were in the living room again. They talked and drank, laughed together uncontrollably, until Jiwon called the night. It was a strange night.

“You can sleep in this room, Jaejin-ah, if you want to stay. It’s too late to come back home now.”

Jiwon opened the door to the spare room next to his own. He looked extremely flushed because of the alcohol he drank. He went to the bathroom and fell asleep nearly as soon as he hit the bed. Jaejin spied, mind was half wasted by alcohol, but still his head was clear enough to understand his idea was bad. He tiptoed towards Jiwon’s bedroom.

It was easy for him to go inside because Jiwon didn’t lock his bedroom door, not even closing it properly. He slipped next to Jiwon; far enough from touching the man, but his weight alarmed the owner of the bed. Despite had fallen asleep earlier, Jiwon woke up; grumpily looked at the intruder.

“What are you doing, Jaejin-ah?”

“That room is too clean for me to sleep, Hyung. I don’t want to clean it up in the morning,” said Jaejin, as usual.

“You don’t have to clean it up,” rejected Jiwon vehemently. “What do you think of Hyung? Of course Hyung won’t make you clean up a room. Go sleep now, Jaejin-ah, aren’t you tired? Your eyes are red.” Jiwon pushed Jaejin and pointed at the direction of the spare room, complementing his words. Jaejin wouldn’t budge.

“Ah, fine. Sleep here if you want,” said Jiwon, surrendering the thought of sending his little brother away. He fell onto bed and began to sleep again. Jaejin stared at Jiwon’s wasted face without blinking, pondering if what happened earlier at the balcony was real or not.

Hyung, saranghae,” he muttered.

Nado, Jaejin-ah,” Jiwon answered, mumbling in his half-asleep state. He patted Jaejin’s bottom without opening his eyes, murmuring huskily, “Sleep, sleep.” He rolled to his side and curled up into a ball, body fully protected by blanket. Jaejin turned to his back, staring at the ceiling. He slowly closed his eyes.

Even though Jiwon’s answer might not mean anything more than casual reply—they spent years of their lives telling people around how they love them, it had since lost the depth whenever aimed to friends especially same-sex friends—Lee Jaejin was fine with it. Definitely better than nothing. One night together in Yeouido, a hug, and casual bromance lines were undoubtedly good enough for Lee Jaejin.

I’m sorry. I don’t really know why I wrote this. Ah.

From the actual peculiar creature who lives in that building, 13F that actually is 12F, number 03:

Lumienarc Hanayuki

Morning Coffee

I don’t know why, but I suddenly wanted to write a continuation. Just a 5.5k piece of oneshot, of course. Before anyone gets too worked up, the rating M is for nudity and hints of non-child-friendly activities (lol), but no real R-rated action explicitly shown (my forte, but no, I don’t want to taint you all with my perversion). Anyhow: “Aromatic morning coffee and the fresh kiss that wakes me up in the morning…” Here we go.

Morning seemed to come abruptly into Lee Jaejin’s half-conscious body. He jerked into awakening—forced, one could assume by looking. This one was an early bird who woke up along with dawn, but the one holding him down by the torso wasn’t. He jolted again as soon as he rubbernecked and saw the reality of his morning in a place that wasn’t his—a bed that wasn’t his.

“What are you doing, Jaejin-ah?” naturally the grumpy voice protested his recurring electrified body moves. Eun Jiwon pulled his fellow Black Kies closer, pressing his knee to Jaejin’s inner thigh without any hint of guilt or intention to stop any time soon, which perhaps was the cause of Jaejin’s incessantly growing bewildered look.

“Hyung, what are you doing?” Jaejin asked; his voice cracked. It was his first speech of the day after tiring midnight drinking and snacking, certainly it bounded to be a bit uneven, not to mention the shock from waking up to this kind of arrangement hadn’t ceased until this second.

His leader hummed and rubbed his face on Jaejin’s shirt-covered shoulders. The muscular younger man’s eyes went even wider than ever as his pale complexion suddenly tinted with the colour of dawn and dusk. Jiwon mysteriously sat up, releasing the baffled man in one go, then looking at him with drowsy eyes and grouchy just-wake-up face—his bed hair was as messy as always. He had his arms on his each leg, bent his back leisurely, and blinked like a baby for a moment. When Jaejin just continued to stare back at him, still with perplexed and befuddled expression, Jiwon opted to stretch his body and yawned.

“Do you want seaweed soup for breakfast, Jaejin-ah?” he asked casually, “Hyung’ll make some. There’s brisket beef, too.”

“What are you talking about, Hyung?” Jaejin wasn’t able to decipher what was truly happening at the moment. It was obviously too peculiar even for a peculiar man like him, judging by how he was now looking at the other man from whence he lied.

“Wait, Hyung will prepare some,” Jiwon said regardless the actual reaction he received. He wiped his sleepiness away and mumbled, “Ah, need to make rice first too. Clean up when Hyung’s preparing, okay, Jaejin-ah.” He crawled out of the bed, straight to the bathroom, yet Lee Jaejin at the same time was only staring, wide-eyed, from where he had been sleeping all night.

He came into his senses right after he heard, clearly, the sound of stove being turned on. Jaejin jumped off the bed and bolted out of bedroom just to make sure that his hearing was still normal. Therefore, upon finding the truth, he could not be more puzzled and amazed. He actually witnessed Eun Jiwon in his own kitchen, cooking something that wasn’t instant food. Jaejin’s jaw hung agape. His reaction showed how unexpected this was.

“Wash up, Jaejin-ah, this will be ready shortly,” Jiwon said, pouring hot water to previously cut dried seaweed in a bowl. Jiwon, then, sluggishly put the measured rice and water into his rarely used rice cooker, ignoring Jaejin’s shocked look.

“But, Hyung,” Jaejin’s mind halted midday, “this…?” He was tongue-tied. Jiwon leered; his face was as grumpy as ever.

“Go, Lee Jaejin, go,” he commanded, waving his free arm to complement it. He moved to retrieve the cooking pot for the soup as soon as the order was said.

The leader had spoken, so they said. Thus, Jaejin as a mere member must comply. He found an untouched, newly bought toothbrush by the sink. It was all black except for the shocking blue trail along the body—reminded him of himself, somehow, because of his history with blue hair-dye. He stared at it for quite some time while held on to his heart. This was beyond strange, he murmured at one point, but he didn’t even realize that he said it because by the time, he discovered that the toothbrush was labelled with his name, and Jaejin knew the handwriting. Surely, it was none other than Jiwon’s. He slowly touched the brush, wrinkled the package first, but then he loosened his grip as if he had hurt someone for a brief moment.

“What does this mean?” he pondered.

“Jaejin-ah! What took you so long? Come on, let’s have breakfast. Hyung has schedule in a couple of hours,” Jiwon called from the kitchen. Apparently Lee Jaejin was lost in his mind for quite some time.

“Yes, Hyung, a moment please!” Jaejin called back, hurriedly tearing the package and proceeding to brush his teeth. He washed his face first using Jiwon’s facial foam, even applying moisturizer before he actually made it back to the dining table by the kitchen.

Jiwon was waiting for him patiently, against expectations as always, drinking a cup of black coffee as usual. A bowl of hot seaweed soup and a bowl of radish kimchi were ready on the table. Jaejin groggily took the vacant seat across Jiwon’s, where a cup of orange juice was placed instead of coffee. At his questioning look, Jiwon said—

“You should drink healthy stuff, Jaejin-ah. Hyung can’t go on without coffee first thing in the morning.”

“Thanks, Hyung,” Jaejin muttered sincerely.

He took a sip of the juice and then immediately prepared to eat. Jiwon put down his coffee and started first. They ate normally. Jiwon was as usual mothering Jaejin, telling him to eat more kimchi and even taking out a box of stir-fried dry anchovies because Jaejin didn’t eat much—assuming that the little brother wasn’t satisfied with the food despite his lack of statement about it. In the end, Jaejin finished everything.

“I’ll do the dishes, Hyung,” he said as soon as they were done.

“Let’s do it together, Jaejin-ah. How could Hyung let a guest do dishes on his own?” Jiwon proposed unlike his infamous image as an older person monopolizing his right upon younger guys. Jaejin was left shocked again.

They were doing the dishes side by side the next moment. It was distracting, as Jaejin found it hard to focus because of their incessant shoulders and arms brushing. Jaejin didn’t realize he was all jittery and unstable until he dropped a bowl, let it shatter on the floor. He panicked and urgently begged for mercy.

“Aish, Lee Jaejin,” expectedly Jiwon roared, but the following response was nothing more than one of a nagging but caring mother, “Step back. Hyung will clean it first. Look out, don’t step on the pieces, okay, Jaejin-ah.” He, then, disappeared to get a broom and dustpan, diligently cleaned up the shattered pieces of bowl, but not before paying a visit to Lucy who was still lying lazily in her bed.

“Hyung…”—Jaejin’s eyes were fixed on Jiwon—“Hyung-ah, what is happening?” Jiwon absentmindedly put the shards into bin and answered:

“What do you mean?”

It was impossible to perceive what he actually thought from his expression.

“This. You are not your usual self, Hyung,” said Jaejin bluntly, stammering a bit.

Jiwon stared at him blankly. He shrugged. He put aside his broom and dustpan, and went back to finish doing the dishes. Jaejin was closing in on him, and he didn’t even try to shove the younger man even slightly. He just did the dishes calmly. Jaejin looked more distraught and distant as time went by. Jiwon didn’t expect, at all, that once he dried his hands, Jaejin would lean up and land a kiss on his lips. Jaejin was shocked by himself, leapt backwards, avoided showing his face to his leader.

“I—I’m so sorry, Hyung. I… I will leave now,” he stuttered, voice full with fear. He tried to leave, but Jiwon pulled him back.

“Jaejin-ah…”

“No, Hyung, please, I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. Really, really sorry. Please, please, Hyung, please, let me go. Please,” Jaejin begged, nearly cried.

Jiwon grabbed his jaw and pulled him. Jaejin froze as his lips met Jiwon’s again. He gasped slightly and closed his eyes tightly. His hands firmly grasped Jiwon’s shirt. Jiwon pushed him to the wall, kissing Jaejin properly like a lover relishing the yearning for the other. They gasped for air briefly, exchanging stare, before then they locked lips again, meeting each other midway.

“Jaejin-ah,” Jiwon’s husky whisper was heard. Jaejin whimpered; voice suddenly unfamiliar, absolutely unlike his masculine shell, even stranger than his normal cute speech. Jiwon hastily let him go, apologized, and left him there.

“Hyung… wait! Hyung, wait!” Jaejin called breathlessly. He immediately chased the older man, but the other vanished behind the door of his bedroom. “Hyung, Jiwon-hyung!”

The door was opened as soon as he knocked. Jiwon wouldn’t look him in the eyes, though. He shoved Jaejin’s belongings into his chest. He forcefully pushed Jaejin towards the front door, telling him to go. He opened it and gently pushed one confused Jaejin out of his apartment. He murmured again an apology and an excuse that he had to prepare for his schedule. The front door was shut before Jaejin could utter any word for himself.

“Jiwon-hyung!”

He was begging at this point, unknowingly—pathetically. He clutched his chest, eyes glassy. He had lost his capability of holding up his designated smiling face right now. Jaejin breathed heavily, palpitating. It was a miracle he could make it to his car after all that occurred to him since he didn’t even know where he was going, bumping here and there.

“What do I do?” he cried, holding his hair in frustration.

*****

I Wait for You

I am waiting for your return
Please come back to me
I wish he comes back to me
He should have come back earlier to this flowery road

The acrostic poem written for the first night voting of the show where he was cast suddenly resurfaced in his memory. It was a poem he wrote for Jiwon, but as expected the leader missed it, completely oblivious. Jaejin could not distinguish anymore if Jiwon actually understood or not, that man was a good actor when he wanted to be. Lee Jaejin had no idea what he must do now. His heart was heavy. He didn’t know what happened back there, but he was sure that Jiwon didn’t do it impulsively and without purpose. He just knew—but he was scared, terrified, that this would change everything. He kept everything to himself because he didn’t want anything to change.

4 hrs ago   Me
Jiwon-hyung? Are you angry?
I’m sorry, Hyung.
4 hrs ago   Me
Hyung?
3 hrs ago    Me
Please, tell me. Please.
2 hrs ago    Me
I’m sorry, Hyung.
30 mins ago    Me
Please, don’t be mad at me.
5 mins ago    Me
Hyung, please.
I’ll draw Hyung as compensation.
2 paintings.

“Jiwon-hyung isn’t answering my messages,” Jaejin lamented. He had been obsessively checking his phone ever since he was home. He sent another message, a deal that only Lee Jaejin would offer at this kind of situation, but it seemed that nothing would bring the reply he yearned the most, now that he opened the messaging app again and saw no new message was received.

“Why am I so stupid?” Jaejin said repeatedly as he banged his head on the table.

He should be at the university now, continuing his project. The professor had sent him several messages, but Jaejin’s head could not decide anything until the time Jiwon’s reply arrived. This, however, continued up to a week. Jaejin could not even eat, but he was still nurturing his cats without failure.

His phone flickered and at once he leapt to see who was calling. He turned incredibly sullen seeing his sister’s name on show. He didn’t even count how many times Eunju had tried to reach to him today. All he had in his mind was Jiwon’s reply. The next second after his sister’s call ended, another call made it to his phone. This time, Kang Sunghoon’s name came up. It was the first time Sunghoon called him in a while and that fairy seldom gave him a ring since they didn’t hang out together much, so he was considering picking it up for a moment. Maybe he could get some clues if he talked to Sunghoon—after all, Sunghoon was one of Jiwon’s oldest friends. When thinking about it, however, Jaejin felt unexpected boiling envy inside his gut. Didn’t their fans pair Sunghoon with Jiwon? He was suddenly bitter, but perhaps he wouldn’t have another chance, so he ended up pressing the answer button just a few seconds before the call was supposed to be cut off.

“Jaejin-hyung! For a second I thought you wouldn’t pick up my call!” the vocalist’s voice barged into his weary eardrum immediately. Jaejin just sighed. This person sat and stood next to Jiwon most of times. Jaejin couldn’t express his envy enough, but he must endure for now.

“What is it, Sunghoon-ah?”

“Eh, what is it? What is it, you asked, Hyung?” Sunghoon’s voice increased its pitch due to the exponentially rising level of disbelief he had right now. “You haven’t gone out from your house for a week, Hyung. Even your sister called us to ask about you. We heard you don’t eat well, too. We are all worried about you!” Jaejin looked down, feeling guilty.

“Is Jiwon-hyung worried, too?” involuntarily the question was out. Sunghoon let out another exclamation of disbelief.

“Of course he is!” Sunghoon exclaimed. “He is worried about everyone the most. He won’t stop asking about you.”

Jaejin’s heart clenched tightly and his eyes turned blurry. His lips formed a thin smile. The phone was dropped to the desk’s top as he broke down to tears, crouching on the ground. It was the greatest relieving news he had received this week. He could hardly breathe. He took a moment to let it out and then he was back to the desk, this time sitting.

“Sorry, Sunghoon-ah,” he said weakly, not wanting to show that he had been crying.

“Hyung,” the man across the line called gently, “are you okay?”

“Yes, I am now,” Jaejin answered right away, holding back his bursting feelings that begged him to wail some more. He could imagine Sunghoon’s pretty face adorned with bright smile aimed at him, knowing eyes accompanying the beam. It was enough for Jaejin to calm himself a bit.

“Hyung,” the dubbed flower boy said even gentler, “please eat well.”

“Yes, thank you, Sunghoon-ah.”

Just an hour after he ended the conversation with Sunghoon, someone was suddenly at his door. He assumed that it must be his sister and perhaps nieces, given information that he was now okay, she might come over and give up calling. He hardly felt any burden walking towards front door, but his heart nearly popped out of his chest when he saw the person waiting before the intercom. Eun Jiwon was standing impatiently there. Jaejin was conflicted. He was afraid to face the leader for he felt terribly guilty even until now, but he could not wait to hug his beloved and treasured friend again.

“Yah, Lee Jaejin, open the door!” Jiwon said through the speaker. “Are you going to let Hyung stand here all day? Don’t you know Hyung’s knees are not well these days?”

The refreshing wave washed Jaejin’s worries altogether as soon as the usual Jiwon made his appearance. It cured his fear. He opened the door and stood extremely still, doing nothing but fixating his eyes on Jiwon’s equally weathered ones. Jiwon stepped in and closed the door for Jaejin. He pulled Jaejin into a hug.

“You might be an outcast, but you can’t make Hyung worried sick like this, Jaejin-ah.”

“But Hyung never messaged me!” Jaejin’s protest was instantly spilled. Tears rolled down his cheeks. The feelings were too overwhelming. He hugged Jiwon tighter.

“Yes, Hyung was afraid. Sorry, Jaejin-ah,” Jiwon answered. “Come, eat with Hyung.”

Reluctantly, Jaejin let Jiwon separate them and dragged him by the wrist towards his dining table. The leader laid down boxes of food on the table, passing the chopsticks to Jaejin and refusing Jaejin’s offer to prepare drinks for both of them. He instead did it for them as if it was his house and he weren’t a guest.

“Hyung lost weight,” Jaejin commented between eating. Jiwon leered at him, eyebrow raised. Obviously he wasn’t impressed by the comment.

“Have you looked at the mirror?” gruffly the older man said, pointing his chopsticks at Jaejin briefly. He wasn’t finished with his outburst. “Your face has more loose parts than before. Do you still use your facial masks before going to bed? How could you buy Charles’s food diligently, but not yourself? You are doing well with your projects, but how could you not answer your own sister’s call? Even Suwon got worried—that robot! Aish, forget it, just eat, Jaejin-ah.” He brushed it off automatically and returned to his meal instead, stunning Jaejin who failed to follow the flow.

“I’m sorry, Hyung, I’m really sorry,” Jaejin said, looking down. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”

“Good you are sorry. Now you have to apologize to—…”

“I meant that morning. Hyung hasn’t said anything about it.”

“Oh? What did you say?” Jiwon was suddenly stunned. “That morning? You mean you don’t know what you were thinking and yet you kissed your hyung like that?” Jiwon glared angrily at Jaejin, causing the supposedly host shrink in fear.

“I… I…”

Jiwon cut him off mercilessly, “I know what I was thinking when I kissed you back, but you don’t?”

Eun Jiwon had stopped his endearing tone altogether. It caused Jaejin to heat up out of embarrassment and rage from being judged so harshly. He looked even lower down, unable to decide what he had to do now. Whatever he said right now would only anger Jiwon. He knew because Jiwon had put down his chopsticks.

“Jaejin-ah, look at me. I won’t forgive you if you don’t look at me now,” Jiwon firmly stated, tapping his forefinger at the table to emphasize his solemn intention. Jaejin had no other available option than to do as Jiwon said. He lifted his eyes, locking stares with the other man. “Did you mean it when you said you loved me, Jaejin-ah? Did you say it as in brotherly love and then followed it with a brotherly kiss? Tell me and don’t dare looking away right now, Lee Jaejin.”

This was unexpected and frightening. Jaejin shivered although he wasn’t cold just a moment ago. This situation had never occurred before. He wanted to find a cave and live there forever. Any abandoned house with bugs and dusts or jungle was much better than his comfy house at the moment. He wanted to run away—he was best at running away—and leave Jiwon here without any answer from him. Jiwon, as if reading his thoughts, pressed Jaejin’s end of thigh with one hand, effectively preventing him from fleeing. Again, Jiwon had proven himself as someone who understood Jaejin best whatever he said out there.

“Hyung, I’m dying over here. You are evil. Hyung is a villain,” Jaejin managed to say, eyes pleading involuntarily.

Jiwon should laugh evilly as per usual, but he kept his grim face, making the younger squirm on his seat. Jiwon’s intense gaze removed all what Jaejin knew about Jiwon the past two decades. He wasn’t playing right now, no elementary kid playing emotionally unstable before Jaejin. This was a grown-up Eun Jiwon initiating a grown-up talk, and it was unbelievably intimidating.

“Jaejin-ah,” Jiwon started.

“You were the one who didn’t take my words seriously, Hyung!” Jaejin manoeuvred quickly, shifting on his seat, masking his nervousness with long-buried anger.

“What are you saying?” Jiwon yelled. “I meant my words! Why would I lie about loving you, Jaejin-ah? When I say I do, then I do!”—Jiwon glared hotly at him, pointing at Jaejin—“Yah, don’t divert the conversation, you are supposed to answer me! It’s just the two of us here; you have no reason to be shy about things like this.”

“Charles is here,” Jaejin countered, turning to the innocent kitten that had been playing on its own until now. Jiwon strengthened his grasp on Jaejin’s knee, visibly trying to hold back his laugh.

“Heeeih, Jaejin-ah, we are not talking about that now.”

“If Hyung says it first, I will say it,” Jaejin challenged instead, unwilling to let this slide easily. He would not want anything to change between them. He must keep the secret with him to death. Jiwon would turn this down and surrender, Jaejin was sure. He saw the leader lean back on his chair, sighing while looking at the ceiling. He was having an inner conflict, too.

Jiwon, against the expectation, straightened his back and leaned forward, boldly facing Jaejin. Their knees bumped each other. He said, squarely to Jaejin’s face, “You don’t know, Jaejin-ah, that there are times Hyung wants to seal your mouth and eat your reckless statements for the sake of our team and Hyung’s sanity. You know that?”

Jaejin froze. What did that mean? Seal his mouth? Eat his reckless statements? Like, what? Literally? But that would mean… Jaejin’s mouth was agape. His mind had logged out.

Jiwon sighed loudly again. He finally removed his hand from Jaejin’s thigh, but Jaejin quickly grabbed it firmly. Jiwon pulled it harshly as he attempted to stand up. Within a split second, they were both on their feet, fighting wordlessly. Jiwon kept swatting Jaejin away, but he stole chances to seize Jaejin’s wrists while at it. Jaejin’s cats stared at the humans, and then they dashed to the next room as soon as they were falling to the floor. Jaejin hit the floor first with Jiwon on top of him. It was a total mess—one of the chairs fell over them, too. Jaejin felt a bit dizzy, but his head was okay, something protected his neck.

“Jaejin-ah, are you okay?” Jiwon urgently asked. He was distancing himself from the younger man, confused and worried.

Jaejin understood by then that Jiwon had instinctively put his hand at the back of Jaejin’s head and neck—it was somewhat familiar and foreign at the same time. He was in a daze. He didn’t know anymore what kind of situation this was, but he did know that he would kill to snog with Jiwon right at this moment. A wave of uneven hot and cold sensation washed over his body, head to toe, at once he surrendered thinking. There were angry movements, quick and forceful, from both of them; arms and fingers fighting against other’s arms and fingers. Jiwon pushed Jaejin’s arms out of the way while Jaejin just wanted to grab fistful of Jiwon’s shirt. It was a wild moment that would perhaps leave marks on their skin.

“Lee Jaejin, stop trying to rip Hyung’s clothes or Hyung will have to make holes on your pants,” Jiwon warned, unable to overpower Jaejin by strength. Jaejin gave up easily right after, not because he listened to the threat, but because suddenly he lost all his power, flicked off like an electricity button, when Jiwon accidentally touched his chest.

“Hyung, please wait—wait, wait,” he pleaded.

His face was red. Jiwon grinned as if he had just found a new toy. He freaking laughed as he wrestled Jaejin’s desperate hands that came to prevent him from touching his chest again. Jaejin kept begging so pitifully that Jiwon finally stopped and gave mercy. He climbed off Jaejin and swiftly stood up, dusting his clothes coolly. He repositioned the chair to where it was supposed to be, then he reached out a hand to help his dear member up, but the later only stared at him in disbelief.

“What? You said wait, right?” Jiwon asked mischievously. “Hyung won’t go against your will, of course. Come on, the floor is not for lying down.”

“But, Hyung…”

Jaejin took the hand, but he was not happy with the fact Jiwon stopped doing whatever he did just a moment ago. He was pulled to his feet, bumping the leader naturally in the process. Jiwon moved away automatically, just as how it was in their normal interactions. Jaejin firmly held Jiwon’s hand.

“Let me go, Jaejin-ah, the food’s cold now,” Jiwon said naively. Jaejin’s mind was racing. His frustration had to end now or he would lose his mind forever. He let go off Jiwon only to take off his shirt, dumping it carelessly on the floor. Jiwon’s eyes went wide.

“What are you doing?” he asked, baffled by the sudden turn of event. Jaejin would not open his mouth—too embarrassed now that he had made the first move. He shouldn’t have—he regretted it again and again. He wished the ceiling would fall on him right now because the humiliation was too much to bear. He didn’t expect, though, that Jiwon’s next sentence was, “That’s not where you’re supposed to put your clothes. You’re supposed to strip in the bedroom, Jaejin-ah.”

“Eh?”

*****

The clock showed that it was now seven thirty in the evening and lights had gone out. The ones occupying the room judged artificial lights were not yet needed at the moment. Bed sheet all tossed and pulled about the bed, the cover and blanket were thrown to the floor carelessly accompanying pieces of clothes, and certainly there weren’t two men lying on the bed completely naked. The one with leaner built moved away from the other sluggishly, leaving bed.

“Where are you going, Hyung?” the well-built man asked, like a child afraid to be left alone by his parents.

“Finding my clothes,” the other said gruffly, picking up what seemingly was his underwear. He put them on as soon as he found them, but the other man stopped him from wearing any other layer of clothes, not even a shirt.

“Don’t dress up yet, Hyung,” he pleaded, holding the other’s arms from putting on the found shirt.

“What? Hyung’s going to eat now; of course Hyung has to wear clothes, right?” The tone of the voice sounded angry, but it was actually just normal speech.

“I still want to see Hyung’s body.” The peculiarity of the still naked one was beyond normal person’s comprehension. The older one sceptically stared at him.

“Why would you want to?” he yelled, stepping back, successfully freeing his arms from the other’s grasps. “Hyung doesn’t have muscular body. Do you like seeing this skinny body?” He spread his arms, showing off what he called skinny body. The other man laughed loudly and nodded innocently, positively saying yes to the question. Classic Lee Jaejin, a mind that was always hard to follow—although in this case, certainly the yellow pebbles were in agreement with him without any slight of doubt.

“Hyung’s not skinny,” Jaejin denied, closing distance between them again. He hugged the precious older man, resting his head on his shoulder. Eun Jiwon could only sigh and accept the embrace. He patted the bare back of his peculiar band mate.

“Is your back okay?”—Jaejin nodded—“Neck? Head?” All replied with lazy nods.

“Hyung’s knees are okay?”

“They’re okay for now. Come on, Jaejin-ah, let’s eat and then sleep. Put on some clothes first.”

They reheated the food from earlier and then they ate. Jiwon protested Jaejin’s choice to only wear underwear, lecturing him about being properly clothed when eating his meal, just a classic nagging mother Eun Jiwon. The situation was strange beyond recognition. What was this? Why were they eating dinner together after spending some hours wrestling on Jaejin’s bed? Jaejin’s mind was in a state of chaos—his body, too. His hyung was so chill about this, even acting as if they had just slept together on a bed without doing anything else.

“Hyung,” Jaejin called meekly once they were done cleaning up. Jiwon hummed, picking up an abandoned paper bag by the table that Jaejin hadn’t seen until now.

“Here, Hyung forgot to give this to you last week,” Jiwon said, handing the bag. Jaejin accepted it and immediately peeked in. “Some souvenirs from my previous trip. Everyone has got theirs except you. Should’ve been the first one to receive it, though.” Jiwon endearingly patted Jaejin’s butt. “Can Hyung stay for the night?—Aish, have you any spare sheet? You need to wash this one tomorrow!—Oh, hi, Charles, sorry Hyung woke up.” Jiwon’s voice went from warm neutral to irritating nagging gruff to toddler speech in one succession.

“Hyung, don’t wear shirt in bed,” Jaejin protested later when they finally back in bed, ready to sleep.

“What do you mean don’t wear shirt in bed? Hyung needs to wear clothes to bed! What if Hyung catches cold in the middle of the night?” countered the elementary kid Jiwon.

“I’ll keep Hyung warm,” offered Jaejin, although he seemed to be choked by the cheesy words he himself had just said. Jiwon laughed.

“Nah, Hyung’ll keep the shirt on,” he said, positioning himself to the most comfortable spot he could have right now. He put a hand behind his head and took a deep breath, ready to doze off. Jaejin kicked his leg. “Aish, Lee Jaejin, Hyung’s old, don’t damage Hyung’s leg any further,” jokingly Jiwon whined.

“I’m old, too,” Jaejin said shortly. He scuttled to Jiwon’s side.

“We’re old now,” Jiwon agreed. “I wonder how the Shinhwa guys keep it up all these years. I guess not stopping has everything to do with it.”

“Hyung should exercise with me. Hyung’ll be better soon.”

“In YG building?”

“Um.”

Jiwon was silent for a moment. He, then, added: “Hyung needs to lose some weight again, too.”

“Just gain muscles, Hyung, better for health. Hyung’d look bad being skinny. Just leave it to White Kies to keep skinny.” Unknowingly Jaejin just jabbed their fellow band mates. Jiwon chuckled.

“Does Hyung ever look good at all?”

“Hyung’s handsome. Hyung’s most popular among us,” Jaejin said. As usual, the man wouldn’t take it well. He shook his head and denied the statement.

“Aish, that’s not true.”

Charles made his way up to bed somehow and graciously chose Jiwon’s stomach as bed. He curled up and fell asleep there in no time.

“What’s up with this kid?” Jiwon asked, caressing Charles’s smooth fur. Jaejin peeked briefly, and then he flopped back to his spot, knowing his kitten was safe and sound.

“Charles likes Hyung so much.”

“Do you like me as much as Charles?”

Jaejin was incapable of answering the question, tight-lipped now. He was terribly embarrassed to admit it. He didn’t want to see Jiwon’s smug face that came upon view because of his confession—his tongue turned to lead.

The elementary kid trapped in an adult body took the initiative to prod into conclusion without waiting more than ten seconds after the question was delivered, “Oh, of course Jaejinie likes me more than you do, right, Charles-ah? He won’t say it to Hyung because Jaejinie is a shy guy, but even you know it, right?”

“Ah, Hyung!” Jaejin wailed, Jiwon laughed. Would they ever get any sleep tonight at this rate? Thankfully, they needed sleep, so they didn’t play around too much.

“Hyung, will anything change between us?” Jaejin curiously asked before his mind drifted away to dreamland.

“Why should anything change? Nothing has changed much between us, except we do stuff in bed together that is not just sleeping,” coolly Jiwon answered. Jaejin was extremely worried despite the older one’s reassurance.

“I won’t be able to keep my face straight, Hyung.”—his concern was beyond this time.

“Just do your female hoobaes obsession thing as usual. It will work just fine.”

Jaejin’s smile grew instantly and his eyes lightened, he liked the obvious and easiest solution proposed by the witty king of variety shows, and said, “Oh, that’s a good idea-ing.”

Jiwon cringed inwardly, but he looked used to it—well, he was used to it, he even was immune to Sunghoon’s super-mega-extra cringe-worthy aegyo. He was the leader for these reasons, indeed.

“Are you not in love with any woman, Hyung?” Jaejin, again, came up with a troublesome question. Jiwon was not entertained.

“Hyung’ll hit you if you really expect Hyung to answer.”

“Am I a substitute?”

Lazily, but still full with raging emotion, Jiwon responded, “Hyung will hit you twice, Jaejin-ah, when Charles is not sleeping on my stomach. Hyung loves you.”

“Then, what position Hyung likes the most?”

“Yah! Lee Jaejin!” Jiwon’s patience burst. Jaejin apologized, but he was still giggling without any trace of contrition. Jiwon, once calmed down, said, “Hyung likes whatever position will make you squirm the most.”

Jaejin rolled to his stomach, placing his chin on Jiwon’s chest. He asked while in that odd position, “Are your knees going to be okay, though, Hyung?”

“Aish, think about it when we are doing it, Jaejin-ah,” Jiwon protested with slight hint of blush on his tanned face. Jaejin giggled and moved away to sleep on his belly next to Jiwon, who kept cajoling him, “Sleep now. Sleep. Charles is sleeping now. Hyung’s tired.”

“Good night, Hyung.”

“It could be early in the morning already.”

“Aish, Hyung…”

And, lo, the night went on till dawn approached with the two snored, chasing away their weariness together.

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