It was slightly raining outside. Chanhee could see the gray clouds everywhere on the other side of the window. The sun wasn’t even peeking through any of the cracks… there goes Chanhee’s plans of walking down Han River before noon for some exercise. He groaned, turning his back to the window and laid on his side, facing his boyfriend.
Juyeon was still sound asleep, the arm that wasn’t pinned under Chanhee’s head was thrown over his own bare, toned stomach. His chest rose and fell steadily, bringing the ring pendant (Chanhee’s gift foe one of their anniversaries) that hung on a simple black chain along with it. His long lashes brushed the top of his cheeks, casting longer shadows on his face because of the lighting from the window. It made him softer. Made him look more docile, like he was Chanhee’s.
He didn’t want to disturb Juyeon’s sleep –god knows how much he needed it with the back-to-back taping for that new drama and the modelling shoots for Korea Fashion Week – but he needed to start their rare free day.
“Honey, wake up.” Chanhee laid a hand on Juyeon’s chest, shaking him slightly.
Juyeon responded with a sleepy grunt, using the arm under Chanhee’s head to bring the smaller, thinner man closer to him, and his other arm slung over Chanhee’s waist, effectively wrapping around his boyfriend. Juyeon buried his nose into Chanhee’s hair, sniffing deeply before going back into deep sleep.
“Juyeon, c’mon! Get up!”
“Five more minutes babe.” His voice was huskier in the morning, when sleep still hasn’t let him go, and Chanhee loves it. Its deepness vibrates deep into Chanhee’s chest, making it hurt in a good way. Maybe it was the knowledge that only he can hear it. Maybe because it’s a part of Juyeon that even the cameras flashing and surrounding him at every angle couldn’t take.
“But you promised to make me egg rolls and kimbap.” Chanhee knew Juyeon couldn’t see him pout, but he did anyway, trying to wriggle away from the vice grip the older had on him. Most days, Juyeon would be the first one up, waking Chanhee to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and deep kisses and a soothing massage to the scalp if Juyeon wasn’t in a hurry. Chanhee would wake with barely enough time for them to share a brief but sweet good morning kiss before Juyeon had to go to work.
Chanhee would then be awake, eat whatever Juyeon cooked for them both, and head off to work as well; counting down the minutes and sometimes revising a song or two for Cre.Ker before 3 in the afternoon, then going home again. He wasn’t a great cook, but Chanhee still tries to make dinner for them before Juyeon comes back from taping at around 6 in the evening.
All week, except for today.
“Five minutes are up, honey.” Chanhee reminded softly, tracing lines on Juyeon’s back with what his fingers could reach. “Juyeon-ah, please? I’m hungry.”
Finally, Juyeon responded, pulling away briefly to untangle themselves before looming over Chanhee, leaning down on his forearms to capture the other’s lips in a deep kiss, swiping his tongue over Chanhee’s lips when he didn’t open his mouth. Chanhee ceded, and Juyeon made an appreciative moan in response.
Until Chanhee forcefully yanked away. “Awake now?”
“Mmm.” Juyeon tried to bring their lips together again, but Chanhee evaded, laughing when Juyeon collapsed on top of him, sulking. Chanhee pressed a kiss to his ear as an apology, and Juyeon smiled again, rolling off him and sitting upright, legs dangling on the side of the bed as he glanced back at Chanhee. “We’re continuing that later.”
“Whatever you say, Juyeon-ah.” Chanhee grinned, kneeling on the bed. His hands flew to Juyeon’s shoulders, massaging the flesh and untangling some knots under the skin. “How are you on this dreary Sunday, honey? It’s torrentially raining outside, so we can’t have our weekly date by the Han River. What do you suggest?”
“I can make love to you.” Juyeon suggested, then yelped in pain when Chanhee pressed particularly hard on a knot. “Okay! I’m sorry! You really should have expected my answer to be like that, though.”
Chanhee rolled his eyes, but there was a fond smile on his face. He threw his arms around Juyeon’s shoulders, rubbing his cheek on his hair. “Breakfast! Breakfast! Juyeonie make Channie breakfast!” Chanhee cheered, loudly. Too loudly for 9 in the morning.
Juyeon grabbed onto his thighs, holding him up as he walked to the kitchen, used to Chanhee screaming into his ears. He deposited Chanhee on a vacant counter and let him put the apron on Juyeon. It was a bright pink apron with a huge Hello Kitty head on the front, and a gift from their friends for Juyeon’s most recent birthday. Chanhee remembered losing his shit and laughing on the floor the first time his boyfriend tried it on.
“We could go visit your parents.”
“They’re in Japan right now, babe. Dad’s having his surgery there.” Juyeon reminded. “What about visiting your parents?”
“Jeonju’s a whole two hour drive away, Juyeon. I don’t want to tire you out on your only rest day.” Chanhee sighed, swinging his socked feet. “When will the taping end, anyway? I need you to take a month-long vacation after it. Your schedule is eating you alive.”
“Yes, baby, I will take a leave after it. Don’t worry about me, I’m Anpanman.” Juyeon winked. “Can you make us some lemonade? We have lemons in the fridge. Chanhee—“ he caught the younger’s arm when he passed by. “Don’t make it too sweet, okay?”
Chanhee beamed. “I’m the only sweet thing you’ll ever need in your life.”
“You’re not even sweet, what are you talking about?”
“Oh, look at that, I accidentally dropped the entire kilo of sugar in!”
Their banter continued on, even as they sat down on the floor of their living room, feeding each other and watching variety show re-runs on the television. Chanhee was still racking his mind for their weekly date; Juyeon laughing whole-heartedly at the current drama on television, front flush against Chanhee’s back and knees knocking.
“I like how you dyed your hair back to black again.” Juyeon suddenly whispered in his ear, one hand running through Chanhee’s hair. “Takes me back to our group’s debut.”
“I had the biggest crush on you from the very start, it was kind of embarrassing.” Chanhee breathed out, resting his head on Juyeon’s collar. “You know, sometimes, I still can’t believe I have you. Sometimes, it still feels like six years ago and I’m secretly watching your solo fancams when Eric’s asleep on the lower bunk. How do you think they’re doing?”
“Well, Younghoon seems pretty much preoccupied with the upcoming release of his movie in a month, he was barely listening to the director when we were shooting for the magazine.” The older hummed. “I heard something’s happening soon, though. Something big. I’m just overhearing from the managers—shouldn’t you know more? Working there and all.”
Chanhee shrugged. “I have no idea.”
In the shower, warm water poured above them as Juyeon pressed Chanhee against the wall, hands roaming wet, burning skin, thirsty but gentle, leaving marks Chanhee has to cover with makeup again whenever he goes out for the next two weeks. Juyeon’s back was marked with fresh, red trails and they both hoped the stinging lines left by Chanhee’s blunt fingernails would disappear within a week because Juyeon had a shower scene to film by then.
“I’m so glad you’re mine.” Juyeon whispered after Chanhee dried their hair with a fluffy towel, Juyeon sitting on the toilet lid so the younger could reach. He pulled Chanhee closer by the waist, tugging at the robe for him to lean down so their noses would touch. “Even if no one but the company and our families and The Boyz know. I’m so glad.”
“No one else needs to know, I’m just glad you’re mine as well.” Chanhee left a quick peck on Juyeon’s nose before retrieving a blower from the dresser. “Remember how The Boyz reacted when we told them? Eric started crying because he had to share you and Changmin screamed so loud we got reprimanded by someone four floors above us?”
“I especially remember Jacob and Sangyeon threatening me with castration if I hurt you. Hyunjoon had to explain to Haknyeon, slowly, what was going on… and Sunwoo... the brat knew? From just watching? And made a bet with Kevin?” Juyeon let Chanhee dry his hair, the roaring sound of the blower competing with his voice. “And Sunwoo won?”
“Don’t underestimate the brat, Juyeon-ah. He’s producing his third mixtape now, and I’ve heard some parts of it. Amazing, as always. He did a collab with Hak.”
“We could just stay home, you know.” Juyeon said as he dressed himself in sweatpants and a shirt, a fully-clothed, pajama-clad Chanhee looking from the bed in their bedroom. “The rain doesn’t look like it will stop anytime soon, and I don’t want our afternoon to dwindle away with you thinking so much on how to spend it.”
Chanhee frowned. “I just want our free day to be special.”
“Babe,” Juyeon walked towards him, cupping his face with his big hands. “Everyday is special as long as I spend it with you. Don’t worry too much, okay? You get that little crease on your forehead and I want nothing more than kiss it away.”
They decided to make dinner early, so they could also sleep early and get more rest (more sex, in Juyeon’s mind, but Chanhee wasn’t really complaining). Juyeon was feeling nostalgic and wanted to make cream tteokbokki, so he assigned Chanhee to boil the rice cakes, not really trusting him with handling sharp things like knives anymore after Chanhee almost cut off his entire finger while chopping carrots.
“That was five months ago.” Chanhee whined, dumping the hard cakes into the boiling pot.
“Yes, I know because I kiss the scar on your finger every night before going to sleep. I don’t want you getting hurt.” Juyeon argued, skillfully dicing the bacon. “Please get the milk from the pantry, baby.”
“We should invite Kevin over soon, just so you and him can dish out making tteokbokki again.” Chanhee grinned, putting the milk on the counter beside Juyeon. “I love how competitive you became then, even if half the salt you were putting on your pot flew to me.”
“Mm, explains why you’re so salty.”
“I’m breaking up.”
Juyeon laughed, catching the sulking Chanhee by the wrist and pulling him into a tight embrace. “Don’t worry, I love you even if you’re salty as fuck, babe. It’s cute. You’re cute. And I love you.”
Chanhee’s face was red. “Juyeon, the rice cakes!”
With much laughter, Juyeon let him go, going back to slicing the bacon and some more vegetables. Chanhee drained the water from the rice cake, carrying the steaming pot back to the stove then rushing to Juyeon, wrapping his arms around the older’s middle and pressing a kiss on the back of his neck.
“I love you too.”
The tteokbokki was a bit salty, Juyeon having been careless with the salt pinching he did. Chanhee ate it all up anyway, curling into Juyeon’s side immediately after.
“Babe, we have to do the dishes.”
“Fuck the dishes, I just want to sleep.”
“Fine, Your Highness.” Juyeon rolled his eyes, huffing out a laugh. He pecked Chanhee’s lips, getting up to gather their dishes. “I’ll just load these in the kitchen dishwasher, and you can go curl into bed and sleep. I’ll join you as soon as I can.”
Chanhee rolled into their bed, staying on Juyeon’s side and inhaling his musk from the pillow. The rain had stopped outside, but it was already dark with the inky blackness of the night engulfing the city sky. Chanhee wished they settled in the countryside instead, just so they could see some stars at night, but then, their entire lives were and will be spent in the city.
He liked to imagine him and Juyeon (and maybe a tiny child too) having a picnic in the country, feeling the grass still damp from morning dew under their skin and seeping through a checkered blanket as they ate homemade food and chocolate. Trees would surround them… and birds. Chanhee could hear their melodious singing to him, and maybe he’d sing along sometimes too.
It just sucked that Korea still didn’t accept non-heteroconfirmative relations.
It just sucked people just thought they were old bandmates living together.
It just sucked terribly.
“What are you thinking about?” Juyeon asked softly, slipping into bed as well, arms snaking around Chanhee’s waist.
“An impossible future.” Chanhee sighed.
“A zombie apocalypse?”
Chanhee hit his chest. “No, dummy. Just… something I really want to happen.”
“Are you going to tell me what it is?” Juyeon asked, wide-eyed as he pulled Chanhee closer.
“Someday.” Chanhee decided, shaking his head clear of those thoughts. Juyeon understood, he always does. He leaned in for a kiss, offering comfort and security, what he knew Chanhee needed at the moment, as much as he could. Years spent together have taught them both that just having each other was enough.
They were soulmates, as Juyeon insisted, also then baring his newly tattooed pinky finger, which had a cross identical to that of Chanhee’s. Maybe he was over reaching, having read too many books, listened to so many stories. It didn’t matter, not to him nor to Chanhee.
What mattered was that they knew nothing could break them apart.
Chanhee’s head was still spinning, tired from his high after Juyeon cleaned and covered them both with a blanket, when Juyeon’s phone rang. With a long, drawn-out sigh, Juyeon padded out of the room to look for his phone. Chanhee, despite his body protesting, sat up and rifled through the nightstand drawers, also looking for his phone.
“It was Jaehyun. He wanted to have a reunion dinner in a week—oh, crap.” Juyeon dropped his phone in surprise, staring at Chanhee holding his year-long planned secret right in his milky-white hands. “Babe, you’re not supposed to see that—“
“I… is this for me?”
“Yeah.” Juyeon swallowed, slowly walking closer. Chanhee held the velvet box, shaking a bit, but never breaking eye contact with Juyeon as the older joined him on the bed and held his hands. “I know we can’t do it here in Korea, and we’d be fucked over by the homophobia in this country, but I just… I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life with someone else, Chanhee.”
He opened the box, and two identical simple bands of silver glinted in the light of the bedside lamp.
“I don’t know when we can actually do it, or where, even. Kevin said he could arrange for it back in Canada or something, and Eric even said he could help if we want it in L.A.. We have careers, I know, we live in a real world and we’re both dreamers trying to preserve this utopia but—“
“Wait. Everyone knew but me?” Chanhee’s jaw dropped. “How long has this been…?”
“A year… and a half.” Juyeon at least looked guilty. “I was going to ask you when the taping’s over so we’d have a lot of time to ourselves but…”
“And you really hid it in the nightstand. I could have seen it when I clean the fucking house, Juyeon!”
“Are you mad at me? What the hell?”
Chanhee then let out a soft sob, suddenly clinging to Juyeon and burying his face into his neck. “I love you so much, you bumbling idiot. Oh my god, I can’t believe you!” Juyeon laughed, finally understanding, and hugged back. “You don’t even have to ask me to marry you! I’d do it in a heartbeat, asshole.”
“I love you too. So much.” Juyeon was glowing as he kissed Chanhee’s cheeks, his forehead, his nose, and finally, his lips. He pulled away to put one of the rings on Chanhee’s ring finger, the silver fitting perfectly. “It has our initials on it.”
“I want to put yours on you.” Chanhee sniffed, taking Juyeon’s hand.
Maybe, after all that, when they were both settled under the blankets again and Chanhee’s tears have dried and Juyeon was already asleep, Chanhee decided that Sunday wasn’t such a bad day at all. He watched the digital clock turn from 23:59 to 00:00 and smiled.
Every day was a good day.
He has Juyeon by his side anyway.
Even on rainy Sundays.