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if we're together now (how great it'd be)

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“how can I be so lucky

to have met you, who is a blessing

if we’re together now,

ah, how great it’d be”

 

- through the night –


 

Daniel was distracted. Very. When he left for Jeju the day before the rest of his members, everything was fine and dandy. You know, peaceful, without a particular platinum blonde gracing you with his beauty (plus getting freaked out and flustered because, seriously, Sungwoon looks damn good!). Daniel was at a loss of words. He just stared, stared intensely as Sungwoon walked into the venue looking like a prince from a frozen kingdom (he looked even better than when he was cosplaying Ha Elsa, and Daniel had already had a hard time then).

 

Ha Sungwoon with platinum hair.

 

Daniel could barely breathe. This is like red-hair Sungwoon again, he thought, as a hand came to his chest and soothed his raging heart (keyword: attempted).

 

He knew he was staring. He noticed that his eyes were trailing and completely fixed on the group’s second oldest. They were still on the stage, he was aware of that, but he couldn’t help it. It was like he was on a trance, and he felt his muscles moving unconsciously towards the subject of his affection.

 

He did not realise that he was pushing passed Minhyun, one of the biggest hurdles (according to Daniel) in his plan on capturing Sungwoon’s attention (and heart, don’t forget). Minhyun just moved silently to the other side because when did Daniel ever waste a chance to stand next to his beloved hyung?

 

“What the,” Jaehwan said, startled, as he took note of the changing of person next to him. Sniffling at the cold weather, Jaehwan turned to his same-aged friend and asked, “When did you come here?” But to no avail, Daniel was already turning towards Sungwoon hyung, trying to engage the older one in a conversation.

 

As the Korean slang goes, honey was dripping from Daniel’s eyes. He was gazing so fondly at Sungwoon and Jaehwan decided not to interfere in his ogling.

 

Daniel looked at Sungwoon. A close-up shot this time, considering how close their bodies were pressed together in the narrow space. Daniel preferred this, and he was glad that Sungwoon had crowded closer towards him and not Minhyun at his back. He didn’t even try to be subtle about it.

 

“You look really good in burgundy, hyung,” Daniel noted. If the other members heard this, they did a great deed by not acknowledging and responding to it. Even though the rest of the members were wearing the same shade, nothing could ever compare to how the red contrasted nicely with Sungwoon’s fair skin, making him looked even more ethereal. He was even more beautiful, dazzling even, under the natural night light, illuminated further by the spotlights on the stage.

 

“Hm?” Sungwoon looked up.

 

“So pretty,” Daniel commented again. His naughty hand appeared and tugged at Sungwoon’s tie, making the older one blinking emptily at the choding next to him. ‘What’s with him?’ Sungwoon thought. “It’s kinda sexy,” The group’s center added.

 

“Niel,” Sungwoon warned, eyes steered down, as his own hand reached out to hold Daniel’s arm slightly. If you hadn’t paid a close attention to the touch, you might miss it. Daniel obviously loved the reaction emitted by him. So, he did it again, this time even harder. He took a hold of the black tie and slid his fingers through it, before tugging once more.

 

Sungwoon took a deep breath.

 

Daniel smirked.

 

But unfortunately, Sungwoon said nothing more, other than brushing and smoothening the piece of clothing over his body. Daniel did the staring game again, this time focusing on Sungwoon’s face. How come he was so affected by this change—Sungwoon dyes his hair all the time—why did the colour affect him so much? He himself had gone greyish before, not to mention, Woojin and Jinyoung were supporting similar shades on their hair. 

 

Sungwoon could try and ignored him all his want on the stage. But Daniel could see that he was just hiding his real feelings from prying eyes and camera lenses. Sungwoon was now making heart signs to the audience. And he had looked so amazing, so perfect, that Daniel’s emotions betrayed him. Or his dick.

 

“Gonna do you hard tonight,” Daniel suddenly said. 

 

“Oh my ears,” Jaehwan commented from the side. He made a view to cover his ears and moved away from the conversation. Sungwoon, also supporting the same scandalised look on his face, gulped nervously and decided to ignore Daniel’s persistent hard stare.

 

“Sungwoon hyung,” Daniel called, eager to elicit more responses from the older man, which he was obviously denied of.

 

“Kang Daniel,” Sungwoon warned again. This time he was looking back at Daniel’s equally challenging eyes. A touch of a hand on his hip revolted Daniel back to his senses. But even his conscious and ‘woke’ self could never resist Ha Sungwoon. With a promise of “later”, he pushed the younger man slightly and it was surprisingly enough to tighten the leash on Daniel’s neck.

 


 

Maybe it had always been there. Maybe the thing, this interest and deep want, maybe it had been around ever since they filmed for Produce 101 Season 2.

 

Sungwoon had looked untouchable and unreal—he was (is) an experienced returning trainee. There were other idols who’ve debuted before, it was a more common thing in this season, but Daniel had never seen anything like the Hotshot hyungnims’ performance ever. Taehyun hyung was amazing, of course he was, he was enthralling with the way he moves his body—but Sungwoon. Ha Sungwoon.

 

Ha Sungwoon.

 

Daniel somehow realised that something was different. He just had no idea what it was, or what to do with it. He, himself noticed his undisputable curiousity on the other trainee. And when Daniel was rewarded for his hard work and moved to the A Class, he wasted no time to wheeze himself into Sungwoon’s life.

 

The next evaluation came, another leg of the survival show. Sungwoon was chosen by Daehwi to be in his group, and they were dubbed as the Second Avengers. And Daniel would be performing ‘Sorry Sorry’ with his own set of remarkable teammates. It was a shame to not be performing with Sungwoon. After getting to know him even more, Daniel realised that there was so much more beyond his cold city man façade (wasn’t really a façade though, Sungwoon could really be mean when he wants to).

 

Daniel wanted to impress, but he also wanted to beat this talented trainee so much. Before he could do that, they needed to be in the competition together.

 

Sungwoon had struggled. There were a lot of mean comments, and Daniel was in the receiving end of them too (majority of the trainees did). He was underrated and his ranking did not portray where his real talents and potential lie in. Daniel, on the other hand was ecstatic that he was finally given the recognition and acknowledgment that he had been craving and yearning for. However, it would still be a shame if they couldn’t stay together in the show anymore. Daniel wasn’t sure if they’d keep in contact with one another after it ends.

 

“This is it,” Sungwoon mentioned to Taehyun during the 3rd ranking evaluation. Samuel’s name had been called for the fifth position. He was happy for his little brother but still, Sungwoon couldn’t believe that his journey would be ending here after risking it all to be on the show, “There’s no more place for me.”

 

“Oh, now?” Taehyun said, slightly teasing. What were they hoping for anyway? There were those whose names would definitely be called in the higher ranks—Jinyoung, Kuanlin, Jihoon, Daniel etc etc…

 

Sungwoon explained right away, “It’s over for me now.”

 

Daniel wanted to turn around and said something. But he wasn’t sure if any of his words would do much to comfort Sungwoon. And not to mention, it was a private conversation between the two close friends. He didn’t want to intrude on it despite the point that it rang weirdly in his ears.

 

He didn’t know why it did not settle well with him. The fact that Sungwoon knows almost everyone in the show (even outside there, in the real entertainment world) and that he’s close to like, everybody. Sungwoon is so amazing and Daniel was jealous of his personality and how everyone adores him and wants to be friends with him. He wanted that too.

 

He wished he could have Sungwoon’s charms. He had no problem captivating everyone, here and there, left and right so easily, and Daniel was struggling with the fact that he had mixed feelings on it. How amazing it would be…

 

Daniel could admit it truthfully—that he was envious of Sungwoon’s social circle. The older trainee had looked comfortable, so in his zone, whenever he was around other people. He could adapt to different kinds of individuals, like how he’d be less hyper and more musically-inclined with Dongho, and how he was such a ‘hyung’ to his Avengers ‘Boy in Luv’ team, the fact that he could turn into an adorable younger brother to Jisung and Taehyun hyung even.

 

Like a chameleon, Daniel mused.

 

 

 

“Stop staring,” Someone nudged him from the side. It was Seongwoo. They had gotten closer over the past few months of co-training and being in several teams together. If you ask Daniel, he’d say that Seongwoo had no right to say that to him when the older trainee himself adores Sungwoon a lot. They were in the original A Class together and had kept good relationship with one another ever since.

 

It was right after the filming for the evaluation announcement. Kang Daniel had wowed and rose up to the first position. He told his mother first because he just couldn’t bottle everything inside, he couldn’t wait for the episode to be aired to reveal such important new to her. He wanted to at least brag about it to her, his biggest supporter and pillar. He was about to return his phone back to the production crew when he spotted them outside.

 

Sungwoon was saying goodbye to Taehyun.

 

They were talking, in hushed voices, and Sungwoon was fussing over Taehyun’s poor excuse of packing.

 

“I’m going to throw them back into a pile of mess anyway,” Taehyun shrugged as Sungwoon finally calmed down and looked at his friend. “What are you fussing around at?” The dancer asked, nudging him slightly, “Are you okay?”

 

“Of course, I’m okay,” He huffed, “I’m in the Top Three after all.”

 

There was the proud truth, but everyone who overheard the talk could sense the sadness and discomfort in Sungwoon’s words. That was the point when Daniel decided to walk away. Seongwoo joined him and he let silence took over and settled in. Nothing much he could offer as comfort anyway when he himself wasn’t in the full know of everything that happened around that one particular hyung.

 

 

After a beat of stillness, Daniel asked, “Is it that obvious?”

 

Seongwoo had to chuckle at that, “Have you ever seen yourself, man?”

 

Daniel laughed sullenly. He then added, “Whatever, it’ll be gone soon anyway.” With a determined look, he stared at his friend and firmly stated, “It’s just a phase. Nothing serious, nothing to stress out on.” Seongwoo half-ass agreed to Daniel’s weak resolution. His only support came in the form of a pat at the back.

 

 

Well. Fast forward almost a year later.

 


 

“You said you won’t be getting stress over this,” Seongwoo reminded Daniel. He was on his phone, scrolling through their fancafe posts and cooing at what Wannables had sent them. Daniel was knocked down—face smothered on his pillow with a few grunts and whines escaping him. Seongwoo looked away from his device and stared openly at his roommate. “What’s eating you up this time?” He asked.

 

Daniel mumbled an answer but it was muffled by his pillow. Seongwoo nudged him to get a proper reply. Desolately, Daniel turned to his back and sighed into the air once more. “The roommates are going out again.”

 

Ahh’, Seongwoo hummed. “Seriously, you should’ve gotten used to it by now.”

 

“They’re going to watch a horror movie.” Daniel whined back. “You know how much of an opportunity that is, hyung? This time they won’t be watching them on separate chairs, it’s a premier screening in a cinema.” Sungwoon and Minhyun were out on another impromptu roommate outing. Somehow, the word ‘impromptu’ or ‘coincidentally’ bothered Daniel even more, like it somehow implied that it was that easy for them to go out together.

 

“It is easy,” The older one commented. “You just gotta ask hyung ‘do you want to go out sometime?’ and he’d say yes. You know how hyung is. I do that all the time, so do the rest of the kids.”

 

Daniel abruptly sat on his bed and glared at Seongwoo from where he was perched on his own bed. “That’s because you have no other—” He paused to sort his thoughts and Seongwoo just smirked, even got to tilt his head at Daniel. “It’s different, you know, hyung. Don’t tease me! Don’t give me that look!”

 

“Seriously, Niel,” Seongwoo laughed. “For all the shits that you two do on stage,” Seongwoo paused to list a few exhibits, such as their routine IPU performances, or their Twilight hugs, and the definitely not-so-innocent thighs-rubbing during award shows which Daniel pretended not to melt over. “Anyway, for all the blatant flirting on and off stages, the next step should come easy for you.”

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Daniel blinked.

 

“You know exactly what I’m on.” Seongwoo argued. “Ask any other living person and they’d tell you the truth.”

-

-

-

Despite everyone’s assumption, no, it wasn’t that easy at all for Daniel. True, he could touch Sungwoon, could now steal a kiss or two (it was definitely more than once or twice, but Daniel remained rooted in his point), but it was all just that. The future remained a question mark for the two of them, the group having a time-stamp was one thing (and we’d be sensitive enough to not be touching on that issue).

 

The stages became their playground, for most of them actually. And on the stage, Daniel could hide under the pretence of bromance and fan service. The more banners he saw, especially the ones with ‘Kang Daniel + Ha Sungwoon’, the bolder he gets. The harder he pulls, the more he stares, the longer his touch lingers on Sungwoon’s back, neck, shoulder, hip, everywhere.

 

It became natural—for his eyes to scan and search for that one particular face amongst the pretty faces, men and women alike. On the stage, despite others’ colourful, more revealing pieces of clothing, Sungwoon who zones out, who was garbed in a simple white dress shirt was, is still the sexiest for Daniel. The song ‘Some’ was playing as the background music, and he had a rose in his grip. Sungwoon was there. Daniel’s heart thumped loudly in his chest and he took a step towards Sungwoon. And that was when he realised that he could never be satisfied with what they had.

 

Sungwoon was singing along to the song, got his attention on completing it nicely since his mic was still attached and functioning. 

 

Then, they were talking, Daniel found a conversation to talk about and he was finally running his mouth wild because it’s Sungwoon. Sungwoon just knows how to adapt to different people and their needs, what keeps them going, what interests them, what makes them comfortable. And he did just that, replying to what Daniel had to say about his microphone or something.

 

A touch, a leaning motion, he wasn’t even talking about anything indecent but the little breaths that came along with his whispers enticed Daniel. Daniel continued talking, whereas his head was trying not to panic over the small gap and the way Sungwoon’s hand settled nicely behind him as he responded to him. ‘Don’t look at him, don’t look at him,’ He repeated to himself.

 

He tried acting normally, like how he’d be usually, but it was hard. Sungwoon was still holding the rose, putting it close to his lips even and Daniel couldn’t stand the sight anymore.

 

“It’s not like that. We may have…done stuff. But it was just that. No strings attached.” Daniel remembered his exact words when confronted about it by Jisung. Truthfully, right now, he wasn’t sure anymore.

-

-

-

The first time this kind of realisation came to him, it was at the beginning of the year, in an award show, was it the Golden Disk Award, or the Melon Music Award, he wasn’t sure. The year had gotten blurry as their days was filled to the brim. But the situation, the entire surroundings of the moment, Daniel remembered it clearly.

 

A sunbaenim was performing, and the hall was filled with melodious, heart-warming but at the same time heart-wrenching words of the song. Sungwoon was talking to Minhyun, something only the two of them had the full idea on and it was unsettling that Daniel had to stand there and overhear it. But Sungwoon was again caught up in the song, humming before singing softly along with the crowd.

 

Daniel’s heart fluttered. He loved his members’ voices; Jaehwan’s, Minhyun’s, Daehwi’s, but nothing at the moment could ever compared to Sungwoon’s earnest singing.

 

He almost lost it—well to be honest, he did lose it for one second there. Can’t blame him though—Sungwoon was a sight to behold, and even more of a presence to reckon. His emotional voice tugged on Daniel’s heartstrings and he leaned closely and closely that if it hadn’t been for Sungwoon avoiding his touch, he’d definitely kissed him right there on the stage.

 

 

“What happened there?” Sungwoon asked, as they were waiting for the managers to come with the vans. He was back in his natural habitat—a trainer and an oversized hoodie on and still the nerves did not stop from messing with Daniel’s head. On-stage Sungwoon was sexy, well, off-stage Sungwoon was plain erotic. With his clear face, free from makeups, and his natural-coloured lips which were ever-alluring, how his dark locks shadowed his face, everything about him seriously.

 

Daniel looked down at him. So many thoughts ran through his head and he wasn’t sure of which one to trust. None of them sounded plausible or realistic enough—like the fact that he wanted to kiss Sungwoon senselessly in this open space, or how he’d keep Sungwoon in a cage if it meant that no other eyes could ogle him anymore. Possessive, true, but Daniel was young and foolish, he didn’t know what he was feeling yet.

 

The rest were avoiding their eyes, everyone was looking away and suddenly their phones were the most interesting in the world.

 

“Kang Daniel,” Sungwoon called once more, this time one of his hands reached out to tug on Daniel’s sweater. Daniel’s eyes darkened. “This again,” Sungwoon pointed out, “What is this? Why are you all tensed up like this?”

 

‘Are you asking because you really don’t know?’ Daniel wanted to ask. But he was a coward, and he wasn’t prepared for any of Sungwoon’s possible answers. He thought that it’d hurt him just as equally if Sungwoon pretended not to know, or purposely asking to get things moving, or if he was just being a concerned hyung.

 

So Daniel decided to play dumb, because what else could he had done in the desperate measure of the situation? “What are you talking about, hyung?” He asked, feigning ignorance.

 

 

Sungwoon was nothing if not blunt and straightforward. “You almost kissed me. Just now.”

 

Everyone ignored Jihoon who had chocked on his saliva. Because seriously, there was a more important matter at hand right now. The two were quite in a distant from the rest but everyone could clearly get the gist of the conversation.

 

Sungwoon snapped. Daniel was cornered. What happened next?

 

 

“What, hyung? Was that self-compliment that I heard?” Daniel tried lightening the atmosphere. He was embarrassed for being called out like that and he resented Sungwoon a bit for that. Why was he making things bigger than it should be?

 

“We were on stage, Kang Daniel.” Sungwoon replied just as aggressively. From his inference, Daniel had taken a notch too much playing and joking on stage. Daniel obviously found no fault in that when he could’ve clearly put their careers on the line, was apparently what Sungwoon thought of Daniel’s intention.

 

The older members tried butting in before the situation could worsen. Jisung cracked some neutral jokes about the weather and the performances beforehand like it would do some miraculous time-rewinding. Seongwoo nudged Daniel and Minhyun crowded closer towards his roommate. Daniel’s eye twitched from the side of the two gravitating towards each other like an extended nature.

 

 

“So it’s fine if it’s someone else, huh, hyung?”

 

“What is the correlation—”

 

“It seems like so. It’s fine as long as it is another person, right?”

 

“Well if you want to fuck me that badly, why don’t you just say it straight to my face?”

 

“Okay, okay, that’s enough, boys,” Jisung interjected once more, this time exerting more force in his tone. Daniel was in a deep shock and his words had failed him meanwhile Minhyun pulled Sungwoon somewhere else to cool down.

 


 

‘Sungwoon hyung is cute, Sungwoon hyung is love—’ Tap. Jisung paused the video and stared pointedly at Daniel. Daniel just blinked, looking straight at his hyung, as if to say that ‘yes, I said that. Is there anything wrong with it?’’

 

“You can’t just say that in a live broadcast, Daniel.” The leader chastised his bandmate, hand swatting emptily at Daniel who managed to avoid being hit successfully.

 

Daniel pouted, as he inched away from Jisung. Jisung rarely made a trip upstairs since he almost never left his own room. But seeing the comments in their fancafe and twitter, he was, like the viral saying goes, ‘disappointed but not surprised’ at Daniel’s subtle confession to the group’s second eldest member. He had to come up to confront Daniel’s act whether he liked it or not.

 

“Why can’t I?” Daniel shrugged, “It’s not like people take it seriously or something.”

 

“But you meant it seriously, did you not?”

 

Jisung expected a lot of things—Daniel denying, or even cringing at Jisung’s assumption. Or him playing along with it, admitting that yes, he thinks that Sungwoon is cute and lovable (after all, Daniel announces that every now and then). However, Daniel just. blushed. He blushed.

 

Jisung’s face turned to a similar shade.

 

“You like Ha Sungwoon? For real?”

 

“What are you saying!” Daniel asked back in the same defensive squeaky tone. “How do you even come to that conclusion, hyung?” Jisung managed to hit him squarely at his thigh for that obvious lie. With every lingering touch and adoring stare, Daniel played very little effort in his denial game.  

 

 

“I know you guys had something going on!” Jisung gasped, finger pointing accusingly at his labelmate. “It’s very weird all these times, and you had no idea how hard I tried to ignore it every concert, every fan meeting, every show!”

 

“It’s not like that!” Daniel cried back, hand hastily covering Jisung’s mouth. It was as if Sungwoon could hear them here. Or any other person for that matter. “I do not like him. What are you talking about?” Jisung gave him a look. Daniel continued in his attempted defence, “If it’s because of the VLive, then it’s nothing, hyung. You know sometimes I talk about stuff I don’t really mean? And besides, I adore Sungwoon hyung, that’s true, that’s what I said in the broadcast, but aren’t I’m like that with everyone else?”

 

“Oh, Daniel,” Jisung sighed into his palms.

 

“What, it’s true, hyung, I love you too,” Daniel shrugged.

 

“I love you too, Daniel,” Jisung shook his head, “But you and I both know the difference here, right? After all, although you love the rest of us too, that doesn’t mean that you want to fuck us, do you get what I mean?”

 

“Hyung,” Daniel joked, “Don’t put yourself down, who knows if I want to bang you too.”

 

“Banging with feelings, I mean,” Jisung replied, getting more irritated at Daniel’s hiding in the bushes defence mechanism. “You know, what I meant is making love? Emotional and passionate fucking? Wrecking me on the bed and wake up the next morning showering me with kisses and giving me breakfast on bed? And not the dirty ooh-aah type of breakfast—”

 

 

“You have weird fantasies, hyung,” was Daniel’s only response to Jisung’s elaborate examples. “But it’s not like that. We may have…done stuff. But it was just that. No strings attached.”

 

“You say that but by the next shows, when someone else comes close to Sungwoon, you’d start humping around and trying to show your possessiveness.” Ignoring Daniel’s ‘When have I ever?’, Jisung continued, “Seriously, stop all of that. You don’t have to hold him every moment in public, Kang. You don’t own him. Everyone knows, okay sorry, everyone assumes that you two are together. Tone it down, Daniel. It’s not cool to be jealous all the time.”

 

Daniel remained quiet then. “It’s not like that…” He weakly replied.

 

“I know it was a red light for you to start…doing stuff with him.”

 

“You can say it,” Daniel allowed. “No one else is here anyway. Go ahead, hyung, go and hurt me with your words.”

 

“Stop being dramatic,” Jisung chastised. With a more serious tone, he added, “Daniel, you’re not the type to just start something casual with someone. You care about your partners too much to stay in that kind of relationship. You and Sungwoon, you two have been in this weird situation for what, months, now? No offense but everyone guessed that you’d be catching feelings fast.”

 

“Ha ha,” Daniel laughed forlornly. “What gives.”

 

“You can search any video online, if you haven’t been doing that, Daniel.” Jisung teased, noticing that the talk had dampened Daniel’s evening. “Look, what I’m trying to do now is to look out for you. Don’t play with fire if you don’t want to get burned, stop things now if you think that it’s not going anywhere.”

 

“I think I’m already burning anyway,” Daniel shrugged, “Don’t worry hyung, I know my limit.”

 

Daniel knows his limit. But that doesn’t mean that he refuses to dance around that red zone. Sungwoon’s persona is always inviting, and Daniel, mere mortal, could not turn away from the temptation.

-

-

-

When August came, a lot of things changed for them. Wanna One became one year old. And what are anniversaries if not involving parties and celebrations?

 

Wait a minute, before talking about what happened behind the scene, let’s settle about things that happened on cam. For example, um, Wanna One’s First lieV?

 

 

True, true, it takes two to tango. But sometimes, Daniel was too excited that he initiated the dance without minding the appropriateness of his action. He didn’t know what had prompted him to lean in so close to Sungwoon like that—especially when he knew that the attention was solely on all eleven of them. Counting close-up cams, there would be at least two that could capture everything in HD resolution, all for their fans to watch in Live, and some to rewatch over and over.

 

Sungwoon was saying along the lines of how the members had gotten close together over the year, and then it just happened. Daniel leaned in, and Sungwoon surprisingly did not get all worked up and avoid any further contact with Daniel like he usually would.

  

An hour later, when they were done with filming, and as Daniel was trying to run away from Jisung’s disapproving stares, he came across Sungwoon sitting in the waiting room, with a large piece of the cake on his lap. Like a satellite orbiting his sole planet, Daniel’s feet just took him there.

 

Sungwoon had forwent forks, and was now licking his finger free of expensive icing. Daniel gulped. Wordlessly, Sungwoon took another dip of the cream cake and offered his finger to Daniel.

 

“This is…” Daniel trailed, trying not to picture any explicit content in the form of Sungwoon licking and enjoying ‘other stuff’.

 

“Lick,” commanded Sungwoon, hand still hanging in the air, with the tip of his finger doused with a splatter of the cake. Daniel was getting light-headed, wondering what had caused this hyung to be this bold of all days? But still, he took a few steps closer before stopping just inches away from the older man. Up to the last minute, Daniel pondered loudly in his head, ‘Is this supposed to be a test?

 

The reverie was then broken by the arrival of a few other members inside the room, who’d brought along chaos and noise wherever they go. Daniel looked away for a split second and when his gaze returned to Sungwoon, the older one, had retreated his finger. He shrugged, as if to tell Daniel that, ‘whatever, it’s your loss anyway’.

 

The game really begun when Sungwoon kept his eye contact with Daniel as he licked the cake off his finger—slowly, painfully erotically.

 


 

They had been ‘involved’(?) in a strange relationship since the year started. Aligned with what both had denied and told their friends, yes, it was nothing serious—you know, just two members in a group helping each other on those days. They were compatible personally—both hardworking and fun, people persons who can be serious when the situation requires them to, and also physically—when gazes meet and skins touch, when someone took quite a hard time stepping down from the challenging stares.

 

Ever since that night of that award show, when Sungwoon had asked the million-dollar question to Daniel, things were never the same.

 

“Well if you want to fuck me that badly, why don’t you just say it straight to my face?”

 

Daniel couldn’t believe his ears. Couldn’t believe his heart.

 

“You know how hyung is,” Minhyun tried to rationalise on behalf of his roommate. “It was just his tiredness talking.” Seeing Daniel’s blank expression, Minhyun furtherly explained, “He’s very tired nowadays. And not to mention, when you…almost kissed him,” He trailed faster, “That adds to his emotional fatigue. So, forgive him, and apologise too. Let’s not drag this anymore, okay?”

 

Also translated to, ‘Make up and don’t make it weird.’

 

 

‘Sure’, Daniel thought. ‘Won’t be a big deal’.

 

But when he saw Sungwoon taking a large gulp of a glass of water in front of the dorm sink, he hesitated. Should he approach Sungwoon and apologised like not only Minhyun, but the rest of his group members suggested him to? Before Daniel could weigh in another option, he was alarmed with the sound of the glass hitting the sink.

 

Sungwoon was now facing him, with his back against the counter.

 

The window at the back highlighted the time of the day—it was late. They had got back around 2am and after settling in for the night, a majority number of the members had succumbed to their beds, trying to get a wink of sleep and rest before they had to wake up for their next schedule when the sun is up. Only the light in the kitchen illuminated their faces.

 

 

“You were a jerk,” Sungwoon said, spat onto Daniel’s face. Daniel winced at Sungwoon’s diction but he wasn’t the only one in the wrong this time. True, he did cross his boundary with his assumptions but Sungwoon didn’t have to say that to him as well. It was just a lean on the stage, not like it had never happened before. If he hadn’t made it weird, then it wouldn’t have become a problem. Sungwoon could’ve brushed it off like he’d always been doing.

 

However, Daniel couldn’t say a word—not then—not when Sungwoon’s eyes changed and he took big steps towards Daniel. Well, no words were needed when Sungwoon’s arms looped around his neck and Daniel’s own hands rested on Sungwoon’s hip, keeping him close as he tilted his head.

 

 

Their first kiss. Messy and uncontrollable. Wild and exhilarating.

 

Daniel felt reawakened. Sungwoon’s lips were as tasty as Daniel had imagined it would be. Full and inviting and it fit perfectly against his own lips. A little brush, some nibbles on the lower part and Sungwoon opened his mouth, making way for Daniel’s tongue to sneak in and get a further taste of Sungwoon. 

 

Sungwoon was moaning against his lips and it drove the dancer even crazier. Without him realising it, he had cornered the older man onto the refrigerator, using the back support to crowd closer towards him. Sungwoon’s hands were hard and powerful as they gripped at his back, and Daniel momentarily cheered at the fact that he was wearing something quite thick. He didn’t need that kind of pain just yet, not for tonight at least.

 

When the air became restricted, they pulled away. Still breathless, Daniel stared at his hyung intensely—taking in the beauty of his heaving chest, his glazed eyes, his swollen lips—fuck. He knocked his forehead on Sungwoon’s, shutting his eyes close to properly committed the view into his memory. 

 

“Do you want to fuck me, Daniel?” Sungwoon asked again.

 

‘No’, Daniel thought, ‘I don’t want to do just that. I want more—want to do so much more to you, with you.’ But contrasting to his thought, he pulled away and went right into the crook of Sungwoon’s neck, kissing and sucking any trace of skin he could reach. Sungwoon just chuckled as he leaned his head backwards. His hands gripped the end of Daniel’s locks, “Don’t leave any marks.”

 

Who are they both kidding.

 

 

No one questioned Sungwoon’s consistent choice of turtlenecks after that, weather-factor aside, especially when they saw the vocalist entering their waiting room, in a disbelieved state, with a particular Samoyed who was supporting the same appearance tugging behind him.

-

-

-

They had such a rocky start—it was not surprising but still an unusual beginning to a ‘relationship’.

 

It could be considered a relationship (somehow)—they spend every day together, go for meals (and that company-given food packages count as well), text each other religiously (initiated by Daniel but Sungwoon’s great at maintaining the conversation and keeping them going), and they even fucked each other exclusively.

 

 

Luckily, they were passed that awkward phase. They no longer had to sneak off into their respective rooms whenever one had a sleepover (for an obvious reason). Instead of fumbling with clothes and avoiding eye contacts, now they just basked in each other’s presence before having to get up and go for their scheduled appointments. It was not a strange thing to find Seongwoo in Sungwoon’s and Minhyun’s room, and Minhyun in Daniel’s and Seongwoo’s room.

 

 

With this new change in their dynamics, their chemistry on-stage became even more alive.

 

That was showcased evidently in performances like ‘I Promise U’ and ‘Twilight’ where skinship and bromance were basically the main themes.

 

 

And for one particular fond memory, it happened in Bangkok, Daniel was sure of it. It was during their ‘Always’ performance which would forever touch Daniel’s heart strangely ever since they performed it back in their Produce era. The crowds were singing along, the lightsticks looked like stars, like constellations, and Daniel was so, so emotional. So thankful, so grateful to be given this opportunity, to have experienced this priceless moment that Wanna One brings him.

 

He saw Sungwoon walking from afar, moving from his initial position during the verse interval. He was singing, he sounded beautiful as always, making a smile formed on Daniel’s face. If there were confetti, falling like cherry blossom petals around them, it would absolutely make Sungwoon even more ethereal. But a mere sight of him, performing and being happy on stage was enough for Daniel to fall even harder. Daniel began to feel all these intense emotions again.

 

He purposely did not move away from Sungwoon’s path. Sungwoon was surprised to see an obstacle in front of him and he needed not to look up to know that it was Daniel. Just his smell, just his scent was enough to tell him. He smiled softly and Daniel’s own smile grew wider.

 

Sungwoon could only catch the trace of Daniel’s smirk before the younger one moved to the side and continued his track to the middle of the stage.

 

 

In Manila, during the ‘Twilight’ stage, their routine hugs were a tad different. Maybe because it was the last leg of the ‘One: The World’ World Tour, it brought a need to make it even more special? It was Sungwoon’s idea, most of the time, and Daniel went along with it—because what loss would it give him?

 

In the previous concert, Sungwoon had held onto Daniel’s body for a tad longer. So, for this one, Daniel decided to reciprocate and recreate the moment again. Sungwoon hadn’t said anything to him, prior, on what were they planning to do exactly and Daniel took that initiative to plot something on his own, as his own kind of surprise to the older male.

 

Sungwoon had first gestured for a normal handshake, their kind of handshake, but Daniel scooped him in his arms and hugged him. Sure, they hugged before, did even more than just that behind the scenes, but it felt special then. It felt different and even more precious then. Daniel felt a surge of confidence, and he leaned forward to whisper something to Sungwoon.

 

We wouldn’t know what his exact words were, but it put a smile on Sungwoon’s face. It messed his tempo a bit, albeit only for nano second, and Daniel had looked so proud and contented with himself so we assumed that it was something good, right.

-

-

-

 A lot of scenes went off similarly to the previous exhibits. Truthfully, in any schedule, since Daniel always seemed to not be able to leave Sungwoon alone, always looking for things to tease him with, to get that certain reaction from him, to rile him up, there were a lot of instances where they were caught together, or were seen on cam close to one another.

 

Rarely on fan accounts outside their official schedule but Daniel was determined to change that. Sungwoon didn’t want to and that irked Daniel a lot. He didn’t seem to mind going out with the younger ones, and of course, his favourite, Minhyun hyung. But whenever he was out with Daniel, he’d fussed out about their disguises (like it’s necessary when the fans would find out about it anyway), took his time planning where to go and what time would be the best time (when Daniel just wanted to spend time with him, anytime anywhere, it doesn’t matter).

 

So, he resorted to be extra close to Sungwoon, pay extra attention to him, compliment him, tease him—It sometimes backfired to him when Sungwoon gets annoyed with him, but when Sungwoon decided to play along, oh how Daniel enjoys it. It showed, enunciated clearly by his wide smile, the crinkling of his eyes when Sungwoon looks or tunes to the same decibel as he played. 

 


 

“What were you doing?” Daniel asked, feigning nonchalance. He was brushing off non-existent crease on his dress pants. It was distracting, the way he kept on touching his thighs—how the strong muscles stayed unbothered and firm despite his constant contact with them. Sungwoon struggled to keep his eyes on Daniel’s face. What was Daniel saying again?

 

Daniel had his ‘tough guy’ mode activated, considering how his jaw hardened and his stare came off too strong and piercing. Wait—Sungwoon pondered, ‘What was he mad about? ‘

 

“What’s wrong?” Sungwoon asked back. They were in the dressing room, clearing off heavy make-up from their face, stage outfits off to change into more comfortable and casual clothes. Sungwoon’s face was turned to face the mirror by one of the make-up artists. She warned him not to move around as she tried to free his skin from the chemicals.

 

“Noona, I can do this on my own,” Sungwoon said. She then left to pester other kids who were too busy drunk of performance adrenaline to properly clear their make-ups. But not before giving Daniel a small consolation pat at the back. Sungwoon’s curiousity pike up. ‘What’s going on?’

 

Daniel was still sulking and Sungwoon gave him some time to sort his thoughts. Warily and definitely confused, Sungwoon rubbed the facial puff on his face while eyeing the center member from time to time.

 

“What did I do?” Sungwoon finally asked after a beat of awkward silence. “What happened?”

 

“You’re doing that again,” Daniel revealed, although Sungwoon had no idea what he was referring to. Daniel seemed frustrated at Sungwoon’s reaction to his words. It felt like Sungwoon was completely unbothered with everything concerning their not-a-relationship relationship. He held himself back from saying anything he’d regret the next second and clammed up.

 

“What did I—”

 

Sungwoon’s words were interrupted by Woojin’s (unmistakeably it’s Woojin) loud gasp and another set of embarrassed laughter. Daniel and Sungwoon both looked up to see Wonho entering their room, still sans clothes over his toned body.

 

“Aren’t you cold?” Sungwoon asked, hand raised up to greet his friend, beckoning the other one to walk towards him. It wasn’t unusual for people to come to Wanna One’s waiting room to look for Sungwoon and the rest of the members (including the staffs) had gotten used to it. Wonho just pushed Sungwoon’s shoulder in return. Instead of cowering in shyness over his exposed skin, he even flexed his muscles.

 

“What do you think, Sungwoon-ah?” He asked, “Do you like me enough now?”

 

“Wow,” Daniel commented from the other side. He couldn’t take not saying anything any longer. Wonho, that poor unsuspecting soul just smiled and nodded up at Daniel in acknowledgement. Daniel was supposed to be mad and all about that jealousy rage, but then he was distracted by Wonho’s amazing body. His eyes definitely appreciated what he was seeing—but that was no excuse for Sungwoon to be all over other men like that.

 

When he came back to his senses, Sungwoon was giving him a look. “What is it, hyung?” He asked. If everyone noticed that his tone was quite defensive and high-pitched, no one mentioned anything about it. Not even Sungwoon who would usually tease Daniel back for all the times Daniel did so to him.

 

“You’re really funny, aren’t you?” Sungwoon hummed from where he was seated. He had a hand on the arm seat, and had his head propped on his knuckle. He was looking so handsome and dangerous that it made Daniel even thirstier at the moment.

 

Retreat, retreat! All the senses in Daniel’s head cried in alarm. And albeit worried that Sungwoon and Wonho would be doing something that would irritate him (just them talking and looking at each other was already unsettling, to be honest), Daniel apparently cared more about his sanity. Therefore, he quickly excused himself from the pair of friends and ran somewhere else.

-

-

-

When Daniel was out of earshot, Wonho occupied his previous seat and huddled closer towards his long-time friend. “Stop tormenting the young boy, Woon-ah.”

 

“It’s fun,” Sungwoon just said, while looking at Daniel who still had a careful security on the two of them. When Sungwoon looked up and raised his brows over his direction, Daniel finally looked away and pretended to be busy and talking to Daehwi and Woojin. “If you come a bit closer, hyung, it’d be more fun to watch.”

 

Wonho just chuckled and hit his shoulder, “I should know it, you and your sadistic nature.” Pitying that one soul who seemed to be very attached to his friend, Wonho buttoned up his shirt. But still, Sungwoon managed to playfully peek inside his outer suit and harassed his abs.

 

“Your own man has his own packs,” Wonho smacked his naughty hand away and Sungwoon just laughed at his face. “Stop touching me,” The Monsta X member said while hugging his body to himself. Sungwoon put up two hands in surrender and shrugged, oh well, so long abs, he said while finishing his lingering stare.

 

“Anyhow,” Sungwoon continued, “It’s about time after all. I’m not going to be able to wait any longer. And it’s not like we have so much time left.” Wonho nodded at Sungwoon’s concern.

 

“I don’t think he gets your intention, Sungwoon,” The older one voiced out his thought, “I mean, you’re a hyung to him. You’re supposed to be the more experienced and bolder one. He’s younger, and this is his first debut. He may look like he’s all strong and invincible, but you know how we all are at that stage. You and I had experienced that, did we not?”

 

Sungwoon just hummed back in response. True. “But it’s not in my nature to make the first move, hyung. I may be all loud and extrovert,” He then rubbed his head awkwardly, “But you know how I am in this aspect.”

 

Wonho laughed, “To think that your first boyfriend is Kihyun. I’m glad that your taste in men had changed.”

 

“Hyung!”

 

“What, you used to like the scrawny ones, Sungwoon. Now you’re into the tall and handsome ones, huh? Don’t lie to me, I know who your old crushes are.” After listening to Sungwoon’s screeching ‘Noooooo, don’t remind me please!’, Wonho took pity in him and stopped revising the memory lane with him.

 

“I may be older than him but he treats me like I’m a baby.” Ignoring Wonho’s ‘like his baby’, Sungwoon just rolled his eye and continued complaining. “I have to be direct and bold, but I guess he thinks that I’m only after his body. Not surprising since everyone’s in love with Kang Daniel these days. I’m a commoner, hyung. He’s out of my league. He’s a superstar.”

 

“Can’t you see how your superstar looks at you?”

 

“It’s been months. I’ve slept with him more than I could count with my fingers now. If he’s really genuine about us, then he should’ve asked the question a long time ago,” Sungwoon mumbled, “But whatever, it’s stupid. I know I shouldn’t be thinking about all of these when it’s pointless. I guess I should just enjoy it. I mean, how many had ever bedded South Korea’s Number One Pick, Kang Daniel?”

 

“I don’t know, Sungwoon,” Wonho shrugged, “Maybe he has his own reasons. Maybe he’s in the same dilemma as you are right now. I guess the best way to solve this is to talk to him?”

 

“Or just bury it and let it be?”

 

“I’m not going to listen to you wailing about it when you come over to our dorm,” Wonho warned, lightly teasing the younger one. He was pleased when Sungwoon returned his smile with his own sheepish grin, “Talk to him. You never know how the future is. Maybe you’d regret not doing the talk any sooner?”

 

“What if he doesn’t feel the same?” Sungwoon sighed. “I could never look at his face anymore. I have too much of a pride for that.” Also, the rest of Wanna One members would gave him ‘that’ look that would not make things better—the look that could cause Sungwoon’s tear duct to fail and overflow like a pressurised dam. The ‘it’s okay, hyung, we still love you’ look.

 

“Seriously, look back on the entire 2017 and 2018 timeline. I would be surprised if it did not go the way I expected. I mean, I only watched a snippet with my own eyes, but you experienced this with him, Sungwoon. You two look like you’re in a gay chicken battle every single moment.”

 

“And now I’m losing,” Sungwoon pouted.

 

“You could be winning but you’re time-wasting. Own up to your own feelings. Tell him that you like him. Punch him when he said he doesn’t feel the same. Or call me. I’d punch him for you.” Wonho made a move to flex his muscles again and Sungwoon was definitely entertained by what he was seeing. “It’s not often that you have the chance to punch, as you said and I quote, ‘South Korea’s Number One Pick’.”

 


 

"You’re hugging me again,” Sungwoon said, stating the fact to the dancer who was smothering him with his big, gorgeous arms. Of course, Sungwoon loved it, loved the attention, the touch and all, but it was doing him no good to his heart.

 

This time, the confetti were there, and true to what Daniel imagined, it indeed made Sungwoon even more ethereal and mesmerising. It fell magnificently amongst them all, like cherry blossom petals. Sungwoon looked so handsome, pretty, amazing, celestial. He looked godly and at the same time unholy—he caused all these contradicting thoughts to come to Daniel and it was dangerous, and tempting, and Daniel, again, a mere human. Especially now with his attractive platinum blond hair—phew, his heart could barely take in all the visuals.

 

Everyone was cheering. Award shows are always remarkable and special, and they brought Wannables and Wanna One together.

 

Daniel didn’t realise it, him making his way around Daehwi, hand excusing himself to get to Sungwoon. He had been dying to do so—a lot more often these days. Sungwoon was even happier today, he met his friends, got to meet his idol, and they even won ‘Song of the Year’. He seemed overwhelmed.

 

And Daniel, Daniel himself was overwhelmed with all sorts of emotions he was feeling. He put his arms around Sungwoon’s shoulder, massaging, sending him an indirect message that ‘I’m here, hyung, I’m always here for you’. Sungwoon was quiet, did not back away from the touch, and was settled nicely in his embrace. Daniel wanted to kiss him but this time, he managed to control himself.

-

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-

“Hyung, do you want to go somewhere?” Daniel asked, later that night, poking his head into Sungwoon’s and Minhyun’s room. Sungwoon was already on his bed, pyjamas on, his reading glass perched lowly on the bridge of his nose. Minhyun was on Sungwoon’s bed and looking at who the intruder was, he quickly sat up and gave a look to Daniel, as if to explain that ‘we were not doing anything’.

 

Daniel just chuckled and instead of getting all worked up like before, he learned to accept where he’d come in short in terms of Sungwoon’s affection rank. But it’s okay, he’d live with it. If it’s meant to be, it would happen and Daniel is preserving and willing to wait. He won’t be a member of Wanna One if he were to give up easily.

 

“Okay,” Sungwoon agreed.

 

Daniel smiled at the acceptance and made a move to close the door again after saying, “You can get ready hyung, I’ll be waiting outside.”

 

“No, it’s okay,” Sungwoon called him, “I’ll just changed out of my pyjama pants and get my wallet. I won’t take long.” Daniel looked back at him in shock, before bursting into an elated grin.

 

 

“Where are you going for your date?” Minhyun then teased as the two were about to leave.

 

“Shut up, Hwang,” Sungwoon said, dismissing his roommate without offering any answer as Daniel put a finger to his lips and said, “It’s a secret.”

 

“Wait,” Minhyun then looked at the two in surprise, “Are you really dating now? Are you two finally together?” They spared him no response to that and just closed the door tightly behind them.

 

“Have fun in your date!” Jisung called out from where he was in the kitchen counter. “Be safe and be smart! Don’t make out in public!” His small warning caused the two to laugh and promised that they wouldn’t be doing such thing, well, not in front of a crowd anyway.

-

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“Hey Daniel,” Sungwoon called as they were on their way to the elevator. Daniel hummed and looked at his hyung silently, waiting for him to continue his words. “I want to kiss you now,” He revealed. He looked so troubled with his concern that there was a little frown on his face. Daniel was so fond and amused by the older male that he’d kissed him senseless just like what was requested of him. But they were already outside the dorm and he couldn’t risk it. ‘No more thinking with your dick, congratulations, Daniel’, he thought to himself.

 

Instead of falling into action right away, Daniel decided to approach the matter verbally.

 

“I always kiss you, hyung,” He said softly.

 

“Yeah,” Sungwoon agreed and turned to him slightly, “And I love it, I love it when you kiss me. I’ve been wanting to do that so much nowadays and it seems like it’s the only thing in my mind. Especially today, after the award show ended when you hugged me, I wanted so bad to just kiss you. Right there, in front of everyone.”

 

“Hyung—” Daniel looked like he was contemplating his life decisions then. After a slight pause, he confessed honestly to the older one, “I do too. I mean, all these urges to just—”

 

“No, Daniel,” Sungwoon shook his head, “It’s different. Our intentions. I don’t want to kiss you as a casual thing, it had never been like that, not even from the start. I want to kiss you, like a lover would. But I understand,” He said, vomiting his thoughts nonstop before he could realise the consequences of his words, “I understand that it’s an impossible thing, that you would not look at me or return my feelings like that. True, our chemistry exists, but it had never been a serious thing.” And I hate that, he added in his thought.

 

Sungwoon took a deep breath, now looking away and tried focusing on the elevator door. Guess, he was back to his senses—what the hell are you doing, Ha Sungwoon?

 

They were engulfed in a silence. The door dinged open and although their steps were heavy, they made a move to walk inside the metal box. And when the door closed again, Daniel wasted no time to pin Sungwoon’s to the side and kissed him.

 

Sungwoon pushed him away, “Do you not get it?” He asked, aggressiveness and disappointment evident in his tone, “If you were smart enough to read between the line, then it means that I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m tired and scared of the future. Spare me the hurt and let’s stop before I get too ahead of myself.”

 

“Hyung,” Daniel replied, just as firm and desperate as Sungwoon was, “If you were smart enough, you’d know how badly I want to kiss you too, not casually, not because we’re somehow fucking each other. I love you.” There, he said it.

 

“No,” Sungwoon replied. “No, you don’t.”

 

“I do,”/p Daniel grunted, “And we’re bunch of idiots.”

 

“A year, almost a year gone to waste, Daniel,”

 

“Not a single day is wasted when I’m with you, hyung,” Daniel said before stealing a peck from Sungwoon. He pulled back and smiled, eyes searching to gauge for Sungwoon’s reaction. Sungwoon was getting cross-eyed from staring at Daniel’s eyes who was still so close to him. “Be my boyfriend, hyung? Let’s be official?”

 

Sungwoon laughed, hugging Daniel’s torso before nodding his head shyly. Who would’ve known huh, Daniel thought as he hugged his boyfriend back. The elevator dinged and the two made their way out of the door. They were still hugging each other when someone interrupted their scene.

-

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- 

“Hey, is that Kang Daniel? Is that his girlfriend?”

 

“What the hell?” Sungwoon asked as he raised his head to properly glare at the person who saw them. When they saw that it was just another Wanna One member with Daniel, they bowed their head awkwardly and left the area.

 

“Well, they’re not wrong,” Daniel mentioned.

 

“I’m your boyfriend, dimwit,” Sungwoon said instead and smacked Daniel’s chest.

 


 

“Oh lord, it’s even worse now!” Seongwoo cried into the waiting room, hugging Jinyoung who didn’t seem to spare his hyung even the slightest of his attention.

 

“Called it,” Daehwi shrugged, fist-bumping Kuanlin who also had a similar grin on his face. “I knew it was bound to happen the moment Daniel hyung was all ‘my small and precious Sungwoonie hyung’.”

 

“But that’s one year ago!” Jaehwan said, looking at the couple who were very much into each other in the loveseat at the corner of the room. But the longer he stared at them, the more common and usual the sight gets. Huh, Jaehwan thought, maybe he was the one who hadn’t realised it then, maybe it was only him whom suspected innocent friendships out of their many interactions.

 

After all, Woojin, with the help of his best friend, Jihoon, had released all of their accounts or live-witness moments regarding the two’s vague relationship back then, in which Jisung supported on those he’d witnessed personally as well.

 

“Worse,” Minhyun hyung added, “I knew stuff. I heard stuff. I allowed those stuffs to happen in my room.”

 

“Our room,” Sungwoon interrupted all the way from his boyfriend’s hold.

 

“Maybe we should move in together, hyung!” Daniel suddenly perked up, “Do you want to change room with me, Minhyun hyung?” He asked, eager with excitement. If he had a tail, it would be buzzing and wagging by then.

 

“No!” Their manager hyung rejected right away. “It’d be harder to control if you two room together.”

 

When the rest of their friends laughed at the blatant rejection, Daniel whined and crawled back to tuck himself under Sungwoon’s chin. Whatever, he’s the boyfriend, he’s allowed to have and touch Sungwoon all he wants, rooming together or not.

 

And when Sungwoon looked at him, with a similar set of a bright smile, Daniel thought that the present is enough and wonderful. He has Sungwoon here with him, that’s his own happiness and sunshine there.