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Yes, the Brisket is Braised

Chapter Text


-Kyungsoo's apartment-


Warm sunlight rolled through the window like a thick wave of honey. It tickled his skin, illuminated the fine dust dancing around the room and woke up the slumbering cat. It stretched its little black arms, pink paws with claws extracted for just a moment. Another being in this room was stretching, bones cracking like popcorn and quiet mewls escaping its lips. Kyungsoo. His fluffy bed-head was peeking from underneath the covers. The sun shone through the gap in the orange curtains, right onto his bed. Groaning, he sat up and stretched again. Another work-day was ahead of him, and today he really didn't feel like going. It just… hadn't been going that well lately. The black kitty in the room stalked over to Kyungsoo, jumped onto the bed and settled down happily into her owner's arms. "Don't you want to go in my place?", Kyungsoo scratched behind its black fluffy ears and sighed. "Guess you can't hold a spatula…"


That's what his work was, basically. Holding a spatula. A few months ago, when he'd applied for the job, he thought he was going to get the chef's position. But the current chef had suddenly decided to stay a few more years, at the same time giving Kyungsoo a few more grey hairs. He'd already planned it all out, what he'd do when he got the job he actually applied for: he'd change the tacky old place into a bright lunchroom, serving Angus beef burgers with spicy salsa verde and fresh kale salad instead of the fatty sloppy Joes that were served at the moment. Right now, the restaurant attracted mostly the Jocks and popular college kids instead of the people he would prefer to serve: the art majors, the quiet literature kids, the sweet culinary school students… Honestly, he was tired of coming home with greasy-smelling clothes and at least one mean remark to mull over before falling asleep. But he had to pull though. In 2 years, the current chef would resign. Besides, he needed the money. "Otherwise I can't buy you your expensive food, can I?", Kyungsoo said to his cat. It purred and nuzzled its face against his hand. "You little spoiled brat."


-the restaurant- 


“Kyungsoo? Can you go refill the ketchup bottles?”
“Yes, sir.”
Kyungsoo wiped the sweat off his brow and padded out of the kitchen towards the little tables. He wasn’t really mad that he, after 5 years of culinary school, had to refill the ketchup bottles. There wasn’t anyone in the restaurant after all. He was just glad he could leave his disgusting grill for a bit and get some ‘fresh’ air. The floor was sticky. It was clad in a mixture of dropped french fries and grass, which got here thanks to the sport’s majors. They were the main customers of this establishment. At midday, they were famished because of the harsh training they got, and they ran into the restaurant, jostling and yelling and laughing. Sometimes, after football-practice, they didn’t even bother taking their gear off. Kyungsoo hated when he had to take orders then, talking to someone through a helmet. He sighed and screwed the lid off a ketchup bottle. Meticulously, he began filling it. Even though he hated his current job, he would always do his best and try to make everybody happy. Minseok, the employee who usually made the drinks and took the orders, walked past him with a mop and a bucket of water.

“Guess I’ll have to scrub the french fry goo off the floor. Again.”, he rolled his eyes.

Kyungsoo smiled at him and patted him on the back. He was about to say some encouraging words when the door to the restaurant opened, revealing a young man, all alone. Kyungsoo frowned. He looked young enough to attend the college nearby, and ‘square’ enough to be a sport major, but his loose, fashionable clothing suggested that he was an art-major. The problem was that Kyungsoo had never seen this person before, but the guy walked over to the counter confidently and ordered without even looking at the menu. Kyungsoo absentmindedly resumed filling the ketchup bottle while staring at the guy’s face. How could he be a regular customer, but with an unknown face? It was a pretty face, though. He had a lean, sharp nose and full plump lips that stretched into a smile when Minseok handed him his change. His hair was tousled in a lovely way, making a few dark blonde strands fall over his forehead. Kyungsoo’s eyes travelled down the strong chin to the lean neck to the… the shirt he was wearing was so loose that it revealed collarbones of a god and shoulders he’d love to hold onto.


Kyungsoo almost shrieked when his staring was discovered by the stranger. “Y-yes?”

“You’re spilling your ketchup.”

“What?”, The black-haired guy looked down and saw the red goo seeping between his fingers. Ugh. He heard a chuckle behind him as he tried to close the lid with his sticky fingers.

“Maybe if you hadn’t been ogling me that much, you wouldn’t have spilled it.”

Kyungsoo grumbled and threw the golden-skinned stranger an angry look. The guy just laughed and took his take-away bag from Minseok with yet another dazzling smile. He walked over to Kyungsoo leisurely and bit his lip at the big doe eyes looking up at him.

“See you later…” -he peered at the name tag on the startled guy’s chest- “Kyungsoo.”

Chapter Text

-on the bus-


A smile was tugging at Kyungsoo’s lips. Today was a lovely day, for various reasons:


- it was quite sunny

-yesterday, he'd found a shampoo which effectively got the stench of fries out of his hair

-it was Friday


He closed his eyes and felt the rays of sun warm his skin up, slowly. The bus ride to work was something he usually despised, but today… today was so warm and soft and fuzzy. He opened his eyes when he felt the bus stop abruptly. His neck had cracked painfully when the driver had felt the need to aggressively step onto the brakes. “What now?”, he sighed, annoyed that his perfect morning was about to get ruined. It’s wasn’t the driver’s fault. A huge group of football players, already in their gear, had decided to run across the street without paying attention to the traffic.


“I know, right?”, the old lady in front of him turned around.

“I mean, there’s a pedestrian crossing right there, 10 meters from here.”

“Kids these days…”, The old lady wanted to continue but closed her mouth abruptly when she saw a few of the football guys coming towards the bus. Her eyes widened when they knocked onto the window, waving at Kyungsoo.


The lady’s mouth fell wide open. “Do you know these people?”

“I can assure you that I don’t.”

“HEY! KYUNGSOO, RIGHT?”, one of them yelled from underneath his helmet.

“HOW DO YOU KNOW BURGER GUY’S NAME?”, another very tall player asked.


They were bickering with Kyungsoo and the old lady staring at them. They looked as if they couldn’t agree on something, at least, that’s what Kyungsoo thought. He couldn’t hear them that well, seeing he was on a bus and they were outside of the bus. “What kind of nonsense is this…”, he sighed. The chauffeur had gotten enough of yelling at the college kids and drove off, making Kyungsoo’s two ‘fans’ step back quickly. They waved at the bus while it disappeared and turned around, jogging quickly to catch up with the group. Kyungsoo gawked at them. He already thought it was annoying that they were rude to him at work, but now they were invading his private life? What a lovely day this would be…


-in the restaurant’s kitchen-


His fingers smelled sour and his look was just as tangy. Furiously, Kyungsoo was chopping pickles. The knife he was using was bad, blunt and too tiny for his liking. The only thing good about this were the pickles, because he’d made them himself. It was rush hour, and his furious pickle-chopping was a result of the stress. He almost chopped a bit of his finger off when Minseok yelled through the square hole in the wall connecting the kitchen with the restaurant hall.

“Where’s order 7?!”

“What?”, Kyungsoo stopped chopping and turned around

“Order 7?”

“Oh. Fuck.”

Kyungsoo usually never forgot orders, he was diligent and meticulous regarding finishing every single one of them. His eyes turned towards the wall where the orders were pinned, and between order 14 and 15, the forgotten order hung.

“How long has this person been waiting?”, he whispered angrily at himself and he ran towards the little paper, reading “double c-burger no pickle, double fr. fr., giant ass soda.”
He rolled his eyes at Minseok’s cryptic writing but didn’t complain about it, he didn’t have the time to. He cut open a bun, almost threw two burgers between it, loaded it with cheese, pickle, salad and tomato and hastily put it on a plate. Feeling pity for the probably very hungry customer, he added more french fries than requested and almost shoved the plate into Minseok’s waiting hands.


“Right..  Right.”, happy that that was done, he returned to the rest of the orders. It was 1 o’clock, the lunch rush would end soon. Just a little longer….


-one hour later-


Kyungsoo almost moaned when he fell into his chair. It was the chair he’d brought from home and had given a place in the kitchen. It was just a regular wooden chair, but it felt so unbelievably comfortable at the moment. His knees and his back hurt and he’d burned himself twice on the fryer. There was a smudge of mustard on his cheek, but his arms were too tired from flipping burgers to wipe it off at the moment. A sigh rolled over his full lips. 2 years to go, Kyungsoo. Just 2 years.


“What?”, he didn’t even bother responding politely, he knew that Minseok could guess why he was being a bit rude.

“There’s a customer with a complaint.”

“Oh fucking yay. Can’t you handle that idiot?”

“The idiot is already here.”, a different voice echoed through the kitchen, which made Kyungsoo look up with a frown on his forehead. It was a Jock. He was still wearing his football attire, the number 88 plastered onto his muscly arms and… Oh. It was that guy from the ketchup incident.

“What do you want?”

Minseok’s eyes widened at Kyungsoo’s tone and he stalked away quietly, deciding not to interfere. The Jock walked towards Kyungsoo, the guy in the chair couldn’t help but notice the thighs of mr. Complaint straining against his white training pants. He let his eyes travel up higher and bit his lip at the delicious packa-

“Can you like, stop staring at my dick, and listen to me?”

“Oh. Right.”

A small smirk had made its way onto the stranger’s face. “I ordered. I waited a very long time. And then, you got the order wrong. And I had too many french fries.” He lowered the plate he was holding and revealed some left-over french fries to Kyungsoo, together with… 4 slices of pickle.

Kyungsoo knew the customer was right. He knew that he was in trouble if his boss would find out about this. He just couldn’t be bothered anymore.

“What? You don’t like pickles? I thought you Jocks just shovelled down anything.”

The customer’s eyes widened, and Kyungsoo suddenly feared that he’d gone too far. Until the kitchen was filled with loud cackling. He was laughing. The Jock was laughing.

“What the fuck? You’re so rude!”

The guy put the plate down onto the counter next to him, still chuckling a bit.

“Kyungsoo, right?”


“Can you give me one reason for me not to get you fired?”

“Um. First of all, because that’s mean. Secondly, it was a mistake. Lastly… you haven’t even tried the pickles, have you?”


They stared at each other for a while before Kyungsoo closed his eyes and resumed the conversation.

“Why don’t you just try them, uh- Mr…?”

“Jongin. Call me Jongin.”

“Well, just try them, Jongin.”

“You think I’ll change my mind about complaining after trying these pickles?”

“Probably not, but I’ll be able to enjoy the disgusted look on your face before I get fired.”

“You’re weird.”

Jongin doubtfully picked up a slice and smelled it, scrunching up his nose cutely.

“Just eat it.”

Crunching down onto the slice, his eyes widened. He chewed slowly before swallowing down the teeny-tiny bite he’d taken.

“What do you think?”; Kyungsoo was actually curious, sitting up straight in his chair.


“Really?”, A smile bloomed onto the chef’s face, revealing his heart-shaped lips to the baffled Jongin. A blush spread onto the Jock’s face, and he grabbed another slice of pickle, staring at Kyungsoo calculatingly when he popped it into his mouth.

“Yeah. It’s good.”

“It’s my mother’s recipe.”, Kyungsoo’s energy-levels had risen thanks to the compliment, and he shot out of the chair. He walked towards Jongin and gifted him another smile.

“I love them. And I love your smile, burger guy.”

Kyungsoo gawked up at Jongin. “You’re the one that knocked onto the bus window this morning?!”

“Yeah. Wanted to say hi.”

Kyungsoo pressed his lips together and looked at his shoes. The only sounds filling the kitchen right now was the crunching of the pickles between Jongin’s teeth.

“Say, Kyungsoo?”

“Yeah?”, Kyungsoo almost slapped himself for responding so eagerly.

“Why are you always staring so intensely at me?”

“Oh? Oh! I’m uh-...” The smaller guy scratched at the back of his neck. “Do I do that?”

“You do.”

“Do you...hate it?”

Jongin smiled, his eyes turning into crescents. “You’re so fucking cute.”

Kyungsoo was mad at his face for blushing. The tips of his ears felt hot and he covered his cheeks with his hands.

“Okay, before you explode,”, Jongin continued, “Can we like… Go out sometime?”

“Why would I want to go out with the cheeky Jock who stalked me and complained about my food?”

“Let me remind you that I’m also the Jock you’ve been ogling all week. Kyungsoo, I have seen you staring at my di-”

Kyungsoo pushed his hands against Jongin’s moving lips and almost screeched.

“Okay! Okay, I’ll... I’ll go on a date with you or something.”

He felt the tan guys lips morph into a smile underneath his fingers. Hastily removing them, he looked down at his own feet again.


He felt a finger wiping at his cheek and he looked up again. Carefully, Jongin was wiping the mustard off his skin. “When are you done working?”

“My shift ends at 5 today.”

“Then… Can I pick you up here at 5.30?”


A grin spread onto Jongin’s face. “I’m happy. You’re so cute. Grumpy when I apeared, happy when I complimented your cooking.”

“Sorry about my mood-swings.”, Kyungsoo grumbled.

“It’s okay.”, Jongin wiped the mustard on his pants (Kyungsoo scrunched his nose at that) and turned around. “See you this evening.”

Kyungsoo stuttered out a quick ‘bye’. He took a few breaths after Jongin had left.


The call of his name made him whip his head towards the door, where Jongdae, another employee, was grinning at him.

“Guess you got yourself some dick tonight?”

“Shut up!”

“Man, I’ve never seen you blushing like that. Stoic, serious Kyungsoo turning into a giggling girl in front of team captain Jongin, such a sight to behold.”

“Jongdae, I’m going to ram a pickle up your ass-wait… Team captain?”

“Yep. He’s the ‘campus boyfriend’. Everybody wants him. He’s the leader and star player of the football team. Guess you got yourself some gooooood sportsy cock-”
He ducked away just in time to avoid the pickle that was thrown at him. He laughed and disappeared into the hall, whining to his collegue: “Minseooook. Kyungsoo threw a pickle at me.”

“Waste of a good pickle!”, the angry chef shouted at him. He turned around and dug up his phone from his pocket. The screen illuminated, he read ‘2.30’ above a picture of the time he’d given his cat Danbi a bath. 3 hours to go untill his date. Why was he so nervous? What should he wear? Where would they go? He untied his apron and went to the sink to wash any leftover mustard off his face. Kim Jongin. A mystery unfolding.


Chapter Text

-in front of the restaurant-

Jongin was a bit late, and quite concerned whether or not Kyungsoo would still be waiting for him. He was the kind of sassy person to leave before waiting a few minutes. “Sassy but cute…”, Jongin thought. His breath left his mouth in short puffs while he jogged towards the neon lights of the burger place. When he saw a small figure leaning against the wall, his heart skipped a beat.


The short male looked up and furrowed his brows at Jongin, staring at him in contempt.

“You’re late.”

Jongin chuckled and looked down at Kyungsoo adoringly when he arrived in front of him. Looking at Kyungsoo was one of his favourite pastimes. He often did it while munching on his french fries. Every time his football buddies and him decided to get lunch at Kyungsoo’s workplace, he managed to persuade Sehun and Chanyeol to sit at his ‘special’ table. The table was special to him because it was placed in a way that you could peek into the kitchen when you sat at the chair closest to the window. How often he’d stared at Kyungsoo flipping burgers with a frown on his pretty face while Sehun and Chanyeol blabbered about practice.

“Jongin? Hello?”

Kyungsoo waved a small hand in front of Jongin’s eyes and grabbed the guy’s attention.

“Oh. Sorry.”

“Where are we going?”

Jongin grinned and grabbed Kyungsoo’s hand, happily succeeding in making the other blush. “The park?”

Kyungsoo nodded and looked down at their entwined hands with a little smile.

“Why am I even allowing this?”

“Because you fancy me?”

“What a British thing to say.”

“There’s a lot about me you don’t know.”

“Wait.. You’re British?”

“No!”, Jongin laughed. They started walking leisurely towards the park, Jongin telling Kyungsoo about himself on the way there. He excitedly told him about his love for British series, how he’d once put a french fry in his nose while staring at Kyungsoo, how he was so happy that he’d finally dared to ask him on a date… Kyungsoo listened and nodded, noticing how Jongin had the allures of a hyper puppy while excitedly babbling about things.

“You’re not the scary Jock I thought you were….”, He said as they walked past the park’s pond.

“What is it with you and Jocks?”, Jongin asked.

“Well… They’re always rude… And they spill food everywhere…”

“Then, what kind of college major do you prefer serving?”

“Art kids. You know, I actually thought you were an art kid when I first saw you.”

“You mean when you first saw me without my gear? How so?”

“You looked so…” Kyungsoo coughed. “Ehm. Fashionable?”

“Well…”, Jongin let his eyes wander down to Kyungsoo’s black turtleneck. “You’re looking very fashionable today as well.”

“I’m sweaty and I’m wearing an old turtleneck… Besides, my hair probably smells like french fries.”

The blonde guy squeezed Kyungsoo’s hand. “That’s your charm.”

When the smaller guy didn’t answer and stared down at his shoes again, Jongin nudged him with his elbow. “It’s your turn to tell something about yourself.”


Their feet made soft scrunching sounds onto the gravel paths. Kyungsoo told Jongin about his cat, about his job, about his love for good food. He pointed out the hyacinths growing next to the path they were walking on. “Pretty, right?”

“It’s quite late for hyacinths to bloom. You wanna know how they were named?”

Kyungsoo raised his eyebrows at Jongin. “Tell me.”

“Well…”, Jongin released Kyungsoo’s hand and kept his smile contained when he saw the little guy looking a bit disappointed at that. What Kyungsoo didn’t expect was Jongin wrapping his strong arm around Kyungsoo’s petite shoulders.

“Once upon a time, Apollo, the greek god of music and light, was in love.” Jongin smiled at Kyungsoo. “Recognisable, right?”

Kyungsoo’s eyes fled away and he tried to hide his blush by burying his face into the collar of his loose turtle-neck.

“Apollo was crazy in love with Hyacinthus. The most beautiful boy he’d ever laid eyes on. They did everything together: they danced, they sang, they played… One day, they were playing with a discus, some kind of ancient type of frisbee. What Apollo didn’t know, was that the god of the wind, Zephyrus, also fancied Hyacinthus.”

“Mythology tea.”

“I know. So, blinded by jealousy, Zephyrus tried to blow the discus away from Hyacinthus and Apollo to ruin their game, but his plan went awfully wrong. The discus hit Hyacinthus against his head and he fell down, bleeding heavily from the wound.”

They were walking at an incredibly slow pace, Jongin leaning his head onto Kyungsoo, almost wrapped entirely around the shy cook and telling him the myth with his eyes closed.

“Apollo ran towards his lover and tried to save him, but it was too late. Hyacinthus was dead. From the blood that had trickled down onto the earth, a flower bloomed. Apollo decided to call it a hyacinth, to forever honour his lost love.”

“That’s a pretty story.” Kyungsoo yawned. “I’m sorry. I’m suddenly crazy tired… Probably because of work… It’s not even dinner time yet.”

“Don’t worry, it’s cute.”

“That I’m tired?”

“Yeah. I’d love to make you tired one day.”

Kyungsoo shot up from their odd hug-like walking position and raised his eyebrows at Jongin. “How can you switch from sweet myth-telling boy to flirty bad-pun-maker in like 2 seconds?”

“It’s my talent. I’m using it to keep you awake.”, he answered exposing his white teeth and licking his lips. Kyungsoo was shooketh. This college kid, who got on his nerves the first day they met, was able to make his heart skip a beat by just grinning at him? Where was his usual stoïcness, where was unmoveable Kyungsoo?

“Kyungsoo. Don’t fall asleep please.”, Jongin pouted. How could a grown pouting man be so cute?

“I-I’m not falling asleep.”

“Good, because I still want to know more about you. Tell me your whole life-story.”

Kyungsoo giggled and conceded, telling his date all about himself. They walked at least 5 more times around the pond, Jongin giving him his sweater during their stroll.

“Aren’t you going to be cold?”

“Nah. Don’t worry about me.”

The smaller guy eyed Jongin curiously and stared at his bicep intensely.

“Are you staring at my muscles?”

“I’m looking if I can detect any goosebumps.”

“I told you I’m not cold! But if you wanna make sure, you’ll have to just cuddle me.”

Laughing, he pulled Kyungsoo down onto a bench and wrapped his long arms around his date. It felt so snug, being enveloped into Jongin’s embrace. Kyungsoo rested his tired head against the firm chest behind him. He felt all of the work day’s stress wash off him, his muscles relaxing one by one. “You’re an excellent cushion.”

Jongin’s chest moved slightly as he chuckled. “Thanks Soo.”

I can assure you Kyungsoo tried his best not to swoon at that nickname, but he didn’t succeed.

“You’re sweet, Jongin.”

“I try my best.”

For a few minutes, they fell into a soft space existing only between them. Kyungsoo felt drowsy but happy, Jongin felt soothed and satiated. It was slowly starting to get dark, the park lights illuminating one by one. An evening breeze brought the scents of summer towards them, hyacinth and freshly-mowed lawn. Everything was peace and quiet until a goose waddled closer to the snuggling couple on the bench. Jongin raised his chin from Kyungsoo’s head when he felt the guy in his arms stiffen.

“What’s wrong?”

“Geese are fucking scary.”

The grip around the chef tightened. “Don’t worry, I’ll protect you.”

Kyungsoo could hear Jongin trying to stop himself from laughing. “Don’t fucking laugh. The only goose I like is one on a skewer. With a spicy glaze.”

“Oh my god, Soo. You’re such an odd little guy.”

“If you think I’m weird why did you ask me out…”

Jongin moved his hand to Kyungsoo’s cheek and made his date look at him.

“Because I’m incredibly charmed by you. When you first talked to me in the restaurant, you were so cute…” Kyungsoo wanted to turn his head away but Jongin’s grip didn’t waver. “I thought ‘I just have got to ask this guy out, he’s so interesting and ethereal and clumsy and cute’ and… And I haven’t regretted it. Have you?”

“I haven’t.” He didn’t even have to think about it.

“Good. Can I kiss you, Soo?”

“Oh. You can.”

The smile that appeared onto Jongin’s face was blinding, and Kyungsoo giggled when his date struggled to pull his face back into its normal state so that he was be able to kiss properly. “Lemme just…”, Jongin pushed his lips onto Kyungsoo’s for a very brief moment, surprising the cook.

“Is that all you’ve got?”

“Is that a challenge?”

“I thought sport majors did everything to win a chal-”

Kyungsoo’s sassy remark was interrupted by Jongin’s plump lips returning to his. They felt warm and soft, just like the hands that grabbed hold of his face. Kyungsoo forgot all about the goose and his work, just focusing on the movement of Jongin’s lips. Heat rose on both of their cheeks when one of them decided to deepen the kiss, poking the tip of his tongue into the other’s mouth. Kyungsoo mewled and clutched the front of Jongin’s shirt into his fists. When they let each other go to take a breath, Jongin planted infinite rows of kisses onto Kyungsoo’s face. Said guy giggled and scrunched his nose at the little pecks landing onto his cheeks, nose, eyelids, forehead… Right after a loud smooch onto Kyungsoo’s temple which made him squirm in his date’s hold, Jongin moved to whisper something into his ear.


“Yes?”, Kyungsoo didn’t know why he was whispering as well, it just didn’t feel right to interrupt the silence that had fallen over them and the park.

“I’m sorry that I’m moving so fast. I just can’t stop kissing you.”

Kyungsoo’s eyes shot up at Jongin’s face. He looked like a Doe, warm brown orbs reassuringly looking into Jongin’s worried ones. “It’s okay. I don’t mind.”


Jongin followed his short answer up by returning his lips to Kyungsoo’s. A kiss was placed onto the corner of Kyungsoo’s smile. He softly licked Soo’s lips open in a kittenish way and sucked onto his plump bottom lip, eliciting a soft whimper from the guy. Jongin decided that kissing the petite guy was his new favourite pastime. He felt the need to cover the boy in kisses, even while he was kissing him.

As pecks and smooches fell onto Kyungsoo's lips, Jongin fell in love.

Chapter Text

As warmth landed onto Kyungsoo’s eyelids, he scrunched them into crescents and rolled away. Sadly, the warmth was not one of Jongin’s kisses but a ray of sun that was peeking through his blinds. It was warming up his face and slowly illuminated the room. Exactly 2 weeks ago, the exact same scene had unfolded, but there was a different feeling to it now. Kyungsoo didn’t mind getting out of the comfy mountain of blankets anymore. He didn’t mind his cat licking at his ankles with its rough little tongue. He didn’t mind getting ready for work today. His mind was filled with happy thoughts. While making his favourite shampoo turn into bubbles by roughly rubbing it into his hair, he reminisced about the lovely dream his mind had cooked up last night. It was about a certain golden-skinned boy joining him in his bed and gifting him a long-stretched smile after every soft touch of their lips. It was a languid and somewhat vague dream, but it was the best one he’d had in months. He stepped out of the shower, wiped some of the steam off the mirror and stared at himself. Another day at work. He scrunched his nose. Another day with Jongin. His face eased into a more relaxed expression. That sounded a lot better.


Meanwhile, Jongin was already on his way to campus. Yesterday, his coach had sent every player an email saying practise started extra early today. He grunted and angrily kicked a can that had decided to lay on his path. “Hey! Jongin!”

Jongin whipped his head towards the shout of his name and saw Chanyeol running at him, the bag hanging from his shoulder swinging wildly.

When the giant had arrived, he placed a hand onto Jongin’s shoulder and looked at him with the most serious expression he could muster. “You should pick that can up instead of kicking it.”

Jongin slapped his hand away and rolled his eyes. “You’re just saying that because of Baekhyun.”

Lately, Chanyeol had tried his best to impress the little art student who girls and boys all over campus fawned over. He was called Baekhyun, wore golden specs and loose sweaters with ‘save this shitty planet’ or ‘i’m already hot enough, stop climate heating’ on them. He was an art-student who participated in every climate-march the campus or any neighbouring schools held, sometimes showing up to lectures with little planets painted onto his cheeks when he had to attend a march afterwards. Chanyeol had been gawking at him after laying eyes on the feisty boy for the first time.

When Jongin mentioned the name of his crush, Chanyeol blushed. “Doesn’t mean you have to ignore that can…”, he mumbled.

Jongin picked it up and threw it into the trash-bin they passed. “I’m sorry that I’m so grumpy.”

“Don’t worry about it.”, Chanyeol took a bite of the peach he’d brought from home. “But why?”

“I don’t know. Waking up so early?”

“Yeah. The coach really screwed us over. But you know who has to wake up this early every day?”


“Kyungsooooo” Chanyeol laughed as he nudged Jongin’s side painfully hard. He’d been teasing Jongin for the past two weeks, effectively getting Jongin to get worked up every time he mentioned Kyungsoo.

“Stop it.”

“You’re blushiiiiing.”

“Fuck off.”

They hit each other playfully and poked at each other’s sides, getting strange looks from the people passing them. They continued like that, sauntering over the streets, until Chanyeol discovered that they were going to be late for practise. They broke into a jog. As houses and trees passed his peripheral vision in a blur, Jongin’s mind filled with Kyungsoo’s smile. That heart-shaped smile that had been etched into his heart and made him relax every time the lovely image pushed other thoughts away. It was soothing and exciting at the same time. It was healing.


-a few hours later -


“Alright, good job boys!”

The coach smiled and patted the shoulder of the player right next to him.
“You’ve worked hard. It will pay off, because….”
The sport majors leaned in, Chanyeol accidently bumping his helmet against Jongin’s.
“Next Saturday, we compete against the Meiguroku university.”
Excited shouting and happy laughter echoed over the football field. They boys jostled and slapped each other for a while, until the coach called them to order.
“You’re happy right? Don’t mess it up. Make sure you run your laps. Class dismissed.”
Chanyeol’s grin almost made his face split in half. “I’m so fucking happy.”

“Why are you so happy? You’re not such a big fan of matches...”, Jongin said while they walked towards the changing rooms.

“Well, it’s the perfect opportunity…”, Chanyeol jumped in front of Jongin and grabbed hold of his shoulders. “To ask Baekhyun to come and watch.”

“I see.”, Jongin laughed.

“And after we’ll run over the field  victoriously, Baekhyun and I will be like…”

Jongin tuned out to Chanyeol’s happy babbling as they arrived in the changing room. “Maybe I should invite Kyungsoo as well?” He opened his locker and took out a towel. The polaroid which hung at the inside of the locker showed a happy Kyungsoo who was about to dig into his ice-cream. Jongin had sneakily hidden his old camera in his bag and had stealthily taken it out when Kyungsoo was distracted by his ice-cream. It was at their last date about two days ago. He loved the polaroid. “Maybe Kyungsoo won’t like coming to the game?”, he wondered. “He doesn’t like sports, so…” The soft towel was hanging around his sweaty neck and the corners of his lips were hanging down. Chanyeol noticed and smiled.

“Don’t worry about it, he’ll come.”

“How did you know?”

Chanyeol stuck his pointer finger up in a reprimanding way. He was joined by Sehun who draped his arm over Yeol’s shoulder and nodded as they simultaneously said:

“We’re your best friends, remember?”

“Thank god for that.”

“Do I detect a hint of sarcasm?”

Jongin grinned. “I wouldn’t dare.”

Sehun stuck his tongue out like the big baby he was and Chanyeol grabbed hold of Jongin’s arm, pulling his two friends out the changing room.

“Now, let’s go ask them. I was craving a burger anyways.”


-at the restaurant-

Kyungsoo was about to drop some fries into the hot oil when Jongdae had appeared right behind him.

“Guess who’s here?”

Kyungsoo screamed out of surprise and dropped the spatula he was holding, making some of the grease splash over his arm. “What the fuck, Jongdae?”

“Oh God, Kyungsoo!”, Jongdae grabbed hold of his arm and pulled his towards the sink, immediately making water run over the burns. “I’m so sorry.”

Upon seeing Dae’s worried face, his anger evaporated. “Don’t worry. It doesn’t even hurt.”

“Maybe you’re in shock?”, his colleague squinted at the arm that was still being enveloped in a stream of water. “Oh god I see redness.”

“That’s normal.”

“Im so sorry.”, Jongdae was still holding onto Kyungsoo’s arm.

Minseok’s face appeared in the kitchen pass-through. “Where are my orders?”

Jongdae turned towards him and gave him an excruciatingly sad look. “I burned Kyungie.”

“What?”, Minseok frowned.

“It’s nothing, really. Let me get back to work, there’s probably a lot of customers coming now.”, Kyungsoo shrugged Jongdae away and turned off the tap.

“Yeah,”, Minseok said as he turned back to the restaurant. “Your college boy is here.”

“That’s what I was going to tell him!”, Jongdae whined.

The black-haired chef rolled his eyes and pushed his colleagues out of the kitchen. “Just tell me what they want and get to work.”

He heard Minseok happily chirp ‘can I take your order?’ and sighed. His arm was blotched red in a few different places, he just hoped it wouldn’t get any worse than this. Smiling, he took a look at the order that had just arrived.

- ‘3 cheese burgers, one w/ extra pickle’, it said between the drinks and ridiculous amount of french fries ordered. Jongin always ordered the same since the day they first met, a cheese burger but with extra pickles. It always made Kyungsoo smile, no matter how much pickles he had to chop everyday to satisfy Jongin. After assembling the plates, he rang the little bell -he always did, even when Minseok was standing right besides him- and peeked through the kitchen pass-through as he saw the orders getting delivered to the right table.

The table Jongin and his friends sat at, laughing at some joke one of them had just blurted out. Jongin… Kyungsoo blushed when he noticed a sheen of sweat on his boyfriend’s collarbone, probably because of practise. Didn’t he shower afterwards today? Normally, his hair hung in wet strands over his forehead while he happily munched on his burger, and that was such a cute sight that Kyungsoo already missed it. Not that he was complaining, sweaty Jongin had his charm as well. He was so engrossed in staring that he didn’t notice a pair of eyes staring right back at him until he looked up from the golden collarbones. Busted.

Jongin grinned and waved excitedly. He could be so sexy and mature at times, but while eating he was always happy and child-like. It was something Kyungsoo really loved. Seeing people get all excited over food, his food to be exact, and seeing wide smiles appear onto their faces after they took a bite… It was a wonderful part of his job. Dreamily staring at Jongin, Kyungsoo almost let a few burgers turn into charcoal. He admonished himself and got back to cooking. Even though he hated the restaurant and its menu right now, he still tried his best to make the food as delicious as possible.

After the rush, someone entered his kitchen. That certain someone draped his arms around Kyungsoo’s waist and leaned his chin onto the flustered chef’s shoulder.

“Thanks for the food.”

Kyungsoo wiped his hands on a towel and turned around in Jongin’s embrace.

“You pay for it.”

“Still.”, Jongin booped Kyungsoo’s nose, relishing the blush that spread onto his face. "Wait...What's this?"

Kyungsoo followed Jongin's gaze and his eyes landed upon the burn marks splattered across his arm. "It's nothing. Just an accident."

"Are you sure you're okay?", worry filled Jongin's face. He inspected the burns and trailed his surprisingly cool fingers over them. 

"Yes. Don't worry about me. Cute idiot."

"But you're my...boyfriend.", Jongin smiled when he spoke those words, happiness blooming on his face. "Right?"

"You are."

Kyungsoo couldn’t resist the happy smile Jongin gifted him, nor the strong arms that were wrapped around him. He felt the urge to kiss the guy in front of him, and he indulged. He connected both of their silly smiles in a soft peck. Embraced and joint by lips, Kyungsoo felt the stress of the lunch rush fall off his tense shoulders. One of Jongin’s hands travelled from his hips to the small of his back, rubbing soothing circles and occasionally dipping a finger into the waistband of Kyungsoo’s black trousers. It made Kyungsoo’s stomach burn, just that occasional touch of Jongin’s smooth fingertips to the heated skin of his lower back. It made goosebumps appear onto his arms, making Jongin chuckle when he noticed.


“Yeah?”, the answer left Kyungsoo’s lips in a soft whisper.

Smirking, Jongin placed another kiss against the corner of his favourite pair of plump lips. “I want to invite you to my next football game.” The ask was laced with insecurity and doubts. Kyungsoo let his hands cup Jongin’s face, sliding over the corners and curves until he threaded his fingers into Jongin’s hair, massaging his temples with his thumbs.
“Why are you so doubtful?”

The brown orbs staring at him closed and a sigh left the golden boy. “I just don’t know if you’d like watching… Sports. You really hate the sports majors.”

A giggle flew through the kitchen, but Kyungsoo quickly stopped laughing when he saw Jongin’s sad eyes looking back up at him.


Said guy, lower lip protruding in a cute pout and eyes fixed onto Kyungsoo, looked more like a sulking child than a muscular football player right now. Fighting the urge to either place his lips or his fingertip onto that sweet pout, Kyungsoo smiled reassuringly.

“I’d love to come.”


“Really. I’m sure I love watching you play. ”

The smile that spread onto Jongin’s face was wonderful. The laughter that followed was something Kyungsoo would like to pluck out of the air and save into a box. It was such a bright, vivid and genuine cackle that you couldn’t help but laugh with him.

“Thank you, Soo.”, he expressed his gratitude by raining kisses onto his lover and almost squashed him into a tight hug.

“Uhm, Kyungsoo, no fucking in the kitchen please.”, Jongdae’s teasing voice interrupted their snuggling.

“We’re not- ugh.” Kyungsoo wanted to throw something at Dae’s face, but his hands were preoccupied by holding onto Jongin’s shoulders.

“What are you going to do, tell the boss?”, Kyungsoo spat at his colleague from over Jongin’s shoulder.

“I won’t hesitate, bitch.”

Luckily, Minseok appeared and pulled Jongdae away from the kitchen to help him clean up. Jongin laughed at Kyungsoo’s angry face and made it disappear by playfully biting at Kyungsoo’s neck.

“You’re so affectionate.”, Kyungsoo said although he didn’t mind.

“You’re in for a treat.” Jongin latched his lips onto Soo’s collarbone shortly before continuing: “I’m always super clingy and horny after winning a game.”

The chef felt his face heat up and stared at his shoes.

“No remarks, Soo?”

“Well, you better win then.”

“It’s a promise.”

Chapter Text


IF YA WANNA SKIP IT: DON'T READ THE 'DANGER ZONE' marked by this little guy => (ಠoಠ)


It was the day of the game. For Jongin, the rest of the week had gone by like a hazy dream. None of the days mattered, until Saturday approached and woke him up from his slumber. Thus, Saturday morning, he woke up from his figurative sleep as well as his literal one. With aching muscles because of yesterday’s training, he rolled out of his bed and shuffled to the bathroom. He took a hot shower, making some of the tension in his shoulders disappear. Today was the big day. He wasn’t even that nervous because of the game, just because of Kyungsoo. Because of his reaction to the usually aggressive football game. Because of the promise they’d made. His hands slumped down to his sides and he closed his eyes, letting the water roam over his body freely. The promise… Just imagining peeling a layer of turtleneck off of Kyungsoo made heat travel to his groin. Steam was roaming around his body and a warm blush spread across his cheeks. Hastily, he turned the knob of the shower to the other side, hissing at the freezing cold water that made his muscles contract. The cold shower calmed his body down, but not his heart.

-a few hours later-

Chanyeol and Sehun had been screaming at each other for the past few minutes. It was their pre-game ritual. Just screaming at each other and punching each other to get the stress out of their bodies. With yells of ‘you can do it!’ and ‘arrgh!’ echoing behind him,
Jongin let his eyes wander over the mass of football fans crowding the stadion. He was looking for one fan in particular. As always, his heart skipped a beat when he finally managed to pick Kyungsoo out of the crowd. It wasn’t that hard, because even though he may be small, he was the only one not clad in the team’s red and white colours. He was wearing a v-neck Jongin considered sinful. Although they were about 40 feet apart from each other, he could still trace the pretty lines of Soo’s clavicles with his greedy eyes. He had to look away when the boy he was fawning over decided air out his t-shirt and expose even more of that milky-pale skin. Resisting the urge to go up the bleachers and push all of the people setting next to Kyungsoo away, Jongin turned towards his teammates. Alright. Let’s do this.

He shouldn’t have told Chanyeol about his promise with Kyungsoo. His tall friend had incorporated it into his pep-talk for the team, telling them that a certain star-player had to get laid tonight, and that they shouldn’t fuck up for the sake of Jongin getting some ass. Sehun’s cackling echoed over the field and the other players joined. Our golden boy flushed and pulled at Chanyeol’s ear playfully.

”You idiot.”

Yeol’s wide familiar grin swept across his face. “Let’s do this.”

-two hours later-

The rowdiness of the fans, the smell of cheap beer, the people jostling and dancing and shouting…. Jongin watched it all with a little smile of his face. The club cafeteria was filled with victors drinking in celebration and the losers drinking their disappointment away. The dance floor was filled with lanky college boys grinding up against the grinning cheerleaders, the occasional pair of brave parents trying to dance next to the obscenities. But Jongin didn’t join in on the fun, he wasn’t drinking nor dancing. Standing in a secluded corner of the room, he let his eyes roam over the moving bodies. Right after the end of the game, he’d changed as quickly as he could, skipping a shower and running towards the cafeteria where he and Kyungsoo had decided to meet up after the game. Thus, he was still sweaty and had a smear of mud slowly drying on his face. But he couldn’t care less. Today, he only cared about-


The little guy came running towards the calling of his name. “Jongin.”, he said, with such a lovely heart-shaped smile that Jongin couldn’t help but pull him into a tight hug.

“I’m sorry, I probably smell like sweat.”

“That’s okay.”, Kyungsoo lifted his face from Jongin’s chest to stare up at him.

“You’ve got mud on your face.”

“I know.”

Kyungsoo seemed to ponder whether he should wipe it off or just ignore it and kiss the living daylights out of Jongin, and he opted for the latter. Underneath the harsh cafeteria lights and accompanied by hit music, their smiles connected and danced along to the rhythm of the awful song playing. Jongin faintly heard a few hoots and ‘get it bro!’-’s coming from his teammates but his ears were mainly filled with the sound of his blood rushing through his body fastly and Kyungsoo’s soft mewls. He let his fingers slide over his lover’s cheeks and grabbed hold of his earlobes, which made Kyungsoo smile even wider into the kiss. When they parted, a different song was already playing. The little fists clenching Jongin’s t-shirt into them pulled at the fabric.

“Let’s go.”

Kyungsoo blushed at the words leaving his mouth and the obvious meaning behind them, but felt his stomach do a triple flip when Jongin stared down at him with a mischievous look on his boyish face. After the slowest, most torturous licking of lips, Jongin hummed and freed his t-shirt from Kyungsoo’s clutch, only to intertwine their fingers and pull him out of the cafeteria, leading him to his apartment along tiny roads and shortcuts. Every time he looked behind him and saw Soo’s doe eyes staring at him with a playful glint in them, they giggled at each other and fastened their pace. It was a warm, warm evening. The air felt thick and heavy as it glided along their bodies. Kyungsoo felt like he was burning, warmth hitting his skin from the outside, but also nibbling at him from the inside.

(ಠoಠ) DANGER ZONE (ಠoಠ)

It wasn’t as he’d imagined it. It was way, way better. As soon as Jongin had discarded his own and Soo’s clothes, he leaned back over the expectant boy lying on his bed. His skin, tan and taut, glided over the milky soft skin underneath it. Kyungsoo shuddered when he felt Jongin’s strong pecs pressed against his ribcage when Jongin desparetely sucked kisses into his neck. “I’ve waited too long for this.” A warm breath was huffed against Soo’s somewhat moist skin. “I want you.”

Opening his arms invitingly, Kyungsoo poured gasoline over the fire burning in Jongin’s gut. The taller boy wrapped his lover in his strong arms, kissing him passionately and occasionally delivering a thrust of his hard member against Kyungsoo’s. Every time Jongin grinded against Soo, a soft moan or hiccup escaped the pale boy’s lips. Jongin cherished those sounds, sucking them from Soo’s lips and locking them in his mind. Thanks to the summer heat, the pair of shoulders in front of him was slightly burned. The redness contrasting with the white ethereal skin following beneath it made Jongin gulp, his eyes wandering down even further, until-

“Aw. You’re cute Soo. So hard, just for me?”

A devilish glint filled his eyes and he slithered his hand in between their bodies to softly wrap around Kyungsoo’s leaking member. It burned and twitched in his hand. Slow, precise twists and soft pulls soon turned into fast tugging as he witnessed the joy streaming from Soo’s face. How could a mere hand-job rile his boy up so fast?

“When did you last play with yourself, Soo?”

“R-right before the game. I’m still a bit-… A bit sensitive.”

“And why”, Jongin tightened his grip a bit, relishing in the moan he was gifted. “Did you touch yourself before the match?”

“Because I couldn’t stop thinking about you. About you playing and sweating and-”

Jongin almost came at the sight of Soo spreading his legs wide and revealing his puckered hole. “And I prepped myself. Then I got hard and came thinking about you.”

The tugging on Soo’s weeping cock stopped and Jongin had to swallow a big gulp of saliva, staring at Kyungsoo in awe.

“Fuck. You know just what to say. I fucking wanna pound into you. And since you’re prepped so prettily for me…”, he accompanied his words by two fingers sliding into Kyungsoo. He grinned when he felt warmth and lube welcoming them into Soo’s insides.

“You’re killing me, darling.”

Another finger was added, they twisted and scissored until he found Kyungsoo’s sweet spot. He huffed a satisfied laugh when the guy beneath him couldn’t hide his excited squirming. Pulling one of Soo’s legs over his shoulders, he gave himself a better view of the rosy rim twitching and clenching around his fingers.

“Your insides are so soft. You’re so deliciously tight.”

“Mmm. Put it in and feel how delicious I really am.”

Jongin’s eyebrows raised and he bit his lip. Never knew that Soo was such a freak in the bedroom. He leaned over the boy to firstly place a kiss onto his forehead and to secondly grab the bottle of lube from his nightstand.

“I’m already lubed up.”, Kyungsoo whined and pouted, almost giving his boyfriend a heart-attack.

“I don’t wanna hurt you.” A cocky grin spread across his face while he grabbed his bulky cock, red and angry. Kyungsoo reached down and took it in his hands, admiring the veins and heaviness.

“Quite impressive. But the tool doesn’t help the master if he can’t use it properly.”

“Are you challenging me?”

“I thought sport majors did everything to win a chal-AH”

Kyungsoo’s back arched and his toes curled almost painfully when Jongin decided to bottom out in one go. The swift penetration moved his insides and pushed a shrill scream out of the depths of his lungs. When he didn’t react for a few seconds afterwards, Jongin’s face suddenly hovered over his.

“Soo? Soo, I’m sorry. Are you okay? I shouldn’t have done that.”, Jongin wore a frown, partly because he was worried and partly because he was trying his best not to pound into Kyungsoo’s inviting heat.

“I’m okay, you cocky bastard.”

Slowly, shivering arms and legs were wrapped around Jongin, pulling him closer and incomprehensibly deeper. “Let me adjust for a moment.”

“Sure.” The word left his lips in the form of a grunt. The tense football player somewhat relaxed when a small kiss was placed onto his wrist. He looked down at Kyungsoo and saw the guy smiling at him, placing another peck on the piece of arm next to his head. Sighing, he lowered himself to shower him in kisses and loud smooches which made the both of them giggle.

“You’re such a goof.”

“But you love me.”

“Move, goof.”, a blushing Kyungsoo said accompanied by a slap against Jongin’s firm chest.

Slowly, he slid out and back in, loving how Kyungsoo clung onto him like a little koala.

“Mm. Feels good.”


The temperature in the room shot up another few degrees, which was not deemed possible. Drops of sweat rolled over their skin, they were connected in a moist and salty embrace, but it felt so right. Neither cared about the sweat. Kyungsoo loved watching it roll down Jongin’s abs. Especially when the gleaming muscles of his abdomen contracted with every thrust. Sadly, he had to close his eyes when the pace quickened, the intense pleasure engulfing him making it hard to keep his orbs fixed on one spot. He moaned loudly and dug his fingers into Jongin’s sheets, pulling them, twisting them, hearing them rip but not giving a shit. The thick, scorching heat being pushed in and being pulled out of him felt too good to give a shit about the sheets. His insides convulsed rhythmically around Jongin’s cock, pushing deep groans out of Jongin’s throat.


The sudden soft caress of a calloused thumb around his stretched rim made Kyungsoo shudder.

“So pretty.”

Kyungsoo looked up just in time to see Jongin sticking his thumb in his mouth to coat it in saliva, before lowering his hand between Kyungsoo’s legs once again.

“Wait, what are yo-”

The words and the breath in Kyungsoo’s throat disappeared when he felt the thumb trying to squeeze in together with Jongin’s cock. It stung. It slipped in. A low chuckle vibrated in Jongin’s chest.

“You would look so nice while being fisted.”

“M-Maybe another time. Fuck me properly.”

“Just wanted to pause for a moment. Cuz your tight little ass was about to make me come. I wanted to relish in your heat for just a little longer.” The filthy words were mixed with sweet pecks onto Soo’s pouty, swollen lips.

“We have all night for a few rounds. So come.”

“Yes, sir.”

The pounding continued, Jongin moved his hips expertly and rolled them at the right angle to please his lover. Said guy was squirming and panting, grabbing hold of Jongin’s biceps when he felt his climax approaching. Wanton moans filled the room when Jongin leaned down to trap Soo’s aching dick between their bodies, making him come almost instantly a tthe feeling of his lover’s tight abs grinding against his member.

“Fuck. Yeah.”, curses left Jongin’s mouth when he saw the blissed out face and white painted-stomach underneath him. He lovingly swooped down to kiss a bit of come off of Kyungsoo’s chest, making the smaller guy squirm because of his oversensitivity. Kyungsoo grabbed at the roots of Jongin’s hair and forced him to look up, staring right into his eyes and clenching around the cock inside of him.

“Come, Nini.”

As on command, he felt warm, thick ropes of white spurting into his abused hole. The groans that left both of their lips mixed into the most beautiful animalistic sound.

(ಠ◡ಠ) DANGER ZONE OVER (ಠ◡ಠ)


They fell, fell deep, but they were both there to catch each other. Entangled and heaving, they snuggled as close as they could to each other. Uncaring of the heat, the filth on their bodies, the ripped sheets and everything else in the world. Their hearts were beating frantically, but still in sync. Snugly wrapped into each other’s love, it finally felt as if everything was right. As if they could relax, because they found each other.

They found love.

Chapter Text

Waking up cuddled into Jongin’s embrace was a privilege he never wanted to let go of again. It was like tasting a sweet new drink and getting enraptured by the first gulp, never wanting to forget how it tastes and always reordering. But better. It was also way better than waking up at his house, alone and tied into the sheets. The only thing he missed was the purring of Danbi next to him. But the sound of Jongin’s soft grunting was just as comforting. Turns out his boyfriend made a lot of soft sounds while dreaming. He also often wore a pout, according to Kyungsoo’s observations.

After all those years of hardship, the first sigh that escaped his lips that day wasn’t one of annoyance but one of happiness. The sheets he tore yesterday were discarded onto the ground, just their embrace was enough to keep them warm thanks to the warm weather. When he started hearing the honking of cars outside -signaling rush hour- he carefully stored away his dream of rzsting into Jongin’s embrace forever and shuffled away from the sleeping, pouty boy. However, the warm softness leaving his arms woke Jongin up.

He saw Kyungsoo sitting on the bed, right in front of him. Completely naked, stretching and yawning, wearing his red marks on his hips and neck. As if he could resist that. He shuffled over until he could wrap his arms around his boyfriend’s tiny frame. He tried pulling him back into bed while pushing his nose into the soft flesh surrounding his hips and whining. It was a good tactique but couldn’t persuade Kyungsoo who wanted to get his morning cup of bitterness.

“Nini, let go. I’m going to make breakfast.”

“But you’re the guest.”

Kyungsoo looked down at the face pushed into his hip, hair standing into every direction.

“You’re tired.”, he caressed the arms surrounding him. “What do you want?”

“Coffee. With a lot of milk.”

Huffing a laugh, Soo remembered Jongin scrunching his nose at his coffee every time the Starbucks employee had not made it 70% milk.

“Coming right up, you big baby.”

Teeth sunk into his hip playfully. After biting, Jongin soothed the spot with a soft kiss.

“Thanks, Soo. Dearest darling.”

Jongin would never fail to make Kyungsoo blush. Rosy cheeks and a heart-shaped smile would be what Kyungsoo wore most, for many years to come.

- 4 years later -

Pushing open the door of the restaurant, a lovely smell hit his nostrils. Warm, homely, savoury food. The menu read things as ‘kimchi stew’ and ‘overnight lamb’. A smile appeared on the customer’s face when he discovered ‘glazed duck’ between the other dishes. His eyes roamed the restaurant, over the happy faces and beautiful plates. Where was he? He shrugged off his jacket and hung it on the coat hooks -which he had drilled into the wall- before entering the cozy restaurant. The waiter walking by startled as our customer placed a hand onto his shoulder.

“Minseok, do you know where Kyungsoo is?”

The waiter huffed and pointed at the tray of desserts he was carrying. “I almost dropped this! He’s over there, talking to that annoying man.”

The brown orbs wandered to the direction Minseok had nodded at, and he found him. With a small frown on his beautiful face and his back hunched a little to talk to a customer. After a few steps, our customer had arrived next to Kyungsoo. He picked up a few lines of the conversation.

“Yes, the brisket is braised.”

“I don’t want that fancy stuff. I just ordered brisket.”

“Braising is just a way of preparing it, sir.”

The sir was about to fire off another complaint when the golden-skinned man leaned over Kyungsoo’s shoulder and asked something Kyungsoo vaguely remembered asking himself.

You haven’t even tried the brisket, have you?”

“No.” The short reply was accompanied by a harsh stare.

“Why don’t you just try it, uh- Mr…?”


Mister Lee narrowed his eyes at the pair of men staring at him expectantly. Guess one bite wouldn’t hurt, right? He lifted his fork and tasted a bit of the meat. Chewing slowly, he discovered the wonderful taste. The meat was tender, soft and pillowy with the most savoury, saliva-inducing flavour. The herbs Kyungsoo had put in the sauce complimented the quality meat perfectly. He huffed and a small smile worked its way onto his face.

“I hate to admit my defeat, but you’re right. It’s really good.”

Kyungsoo’s lips stretched into a heart. He turned around after thanking the the customer, facing the man who had helped him deal with the problem.

“Thanks, Nini.”

“My pleasure, Soo.”

They grabbed each other’s hands as if on cue and walked towards the kitchen. Behind the closed door, Jongin turned around to face Kyungsoo. The pair of tan, muscular arms hiding underneath a warm sweater was opened invitingly and Kyungsoo didn’t hesitate before stepping into the offered embrace. Hands softly descended onto the small of his back. When Jongin started rubbing circles into that piece of Soo’s body, he frowned at the small grunt that left his little lover’s throat.

“Are you sore again?”

“My back kinda hurts.”

“You’re overworking yourself.”

“Maybe.”, Kyungsoo closed his eyes at the lovely feeling of Jongin’s long fingers massaging his back.

“Too bad.”, the following words were whispered sultrily into his ear: “I wanted to wreck you tonight.”


Jongin’s boyish grin appeared. “I’m feeling horny today. But since your back hurts….”

Kyungsoo mumbled something, and Jongin moved his ear closer to his favourite plump lips. “What did you say?”

“It doesn’t hurt that much...”

Cackling filled the corridor they were standing in, Jongin had to hide his laughter into Kyungsoo’s neck when the smaller guy had slapped him angrily.

“Don’t laugh at me!”, he said, blushing.

“I’m so sorry, darling!”, He encircled his arms tighter around Kyungsoo, moving his face a bit to push a kiss below the reddening ear of his lover.

“Excuse me!”, Jongdae’s shrill voice echoed through the corridor. “I know you’re my boss and all that, Kyungsoo, but that doesn’t mean you get to be lovey-dovey with your Jock while we work our asses off!”

Kyungsoo pulled out of Jongin’s embrace and fixed his clothes. “You’re right, Dae.” He closed his eyes before he could be persuaded to stay by Jongin’s puppy-pout. Turning around, he wanted to walk off, only to be stopped by a strong arm wrapping around his chest and pulling him back.

“Hey!” He stood flush against Jongin, back against chest.

The face he often admired in the mornings, while it was still adorned with a sleepy smile-, appeared in his peripheral vision, this time with a goofy smile plastered onto it.

“I forgot to tell you something, Soo.”


“I love you.”

Jongdae squealed, Kyungsoo looked as if he was about to explode, Jongin grinned mischievously.

“Say it back, you fool!”

“Jongdae, go chop the parsley!”

Once the employee had left, Kyungsoo turned into the embrace, jutting out his chin and looking up at Jongin angrily.

“You can’t surprise me like that.”

“Sorry.”, Jongin lifted one of his hands to softly place Kyungsoo’s face against his chest. He always wanted Kyungsoo closer, eternally feeling the need to hug and cuddle and tighten his grip around the little guy.

Kyungsoo’s angry look morphed into a smile, the expression he wore often the last 4 years- and he breathed in the musky and comforting scent of Jongin, his Jongin, before he finally answered.

“I love you too, you goof.”

Jongdae had chopped all of the parsley and the couple was still occupying the corridor.
“Bloody idiots in love.”, he sighed as he gathered the greens into a bowl.

It had been 2 years since Kyungsoo had become the head chef and had changed the tacky place into ‘Meraki*’, but it had been 4 years since he had his biggest dream fulfilled. The dream he didn’t even know he had.

Jongin made Soo’s heart sing, made him smile, made him feel warm and safe. He made him feel loved.

Kyungsoo made the sparkles appear in Nini’s eyes, made his stomach do flips, made him feel joyful and fuzzy. He made him feel loved.

*meraki is a word that Greeks use to describe what happens when you leave a piece of yourself (your soul, creativity, or love) in your work. When you love doing something, anything, so much that you put something of yourself into it.