SUNDAY, 1.42 AM
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): dude
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): dUDE
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): DONGHO
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): WE’RE HOMELESS
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): I JUST WANTED SOME ICE CREAM FROM 711
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): I DIDNT WANT TO BECOME HOMELESS
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): JESUS WAS WANTING ICE CREAM THAT MUCH OF A SIN
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): ITS MY OWN DAMN MONEY
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): ITS MY RIGHT!!!!
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): but i guess this is good cause i wasn’t there when it all happened
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): bUT MY STUFF
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): YOUR STUFF
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): WERE HOMELESS YOU DUMBASS HELLO
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): WHERE ARE YOU
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): ANSWER ME
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): well were homeless so wherever you are YOURE HOMELESS
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): im gonna cry i literally just signed the lease
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): i dont want to go back to dorming I DONT WANT TO GO BACK TO DORMING
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): DONGHO!!!!! CRISIS!!!! HELLO????????????
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): JESUS MY GOD IF YOU ARE REAL BE A TRUE HOMIE A TRUE BRO LET THIS BE A DREAM
SUNDAY, 6:56 AM
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): it wasnt a dream i still woke up at the sauna
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): fuck it were homeless
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): hope u had a blast last night cuz CRISIS NEWSFLASH YOURE HOMELESS
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): call me when you read these u asshole were damn homeless and now im crying in a net cafe thanking god for google drives
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): bet when you call me ill still be crying
[ UNREAD ] Sewoon (Apt. 24): CALL ME
SUNDAY, 11.57 AM:
“Your phone’s been ringing non-stop since this morning,” Minki manages to groan out, voice hoarse from their nighttime activities. “I think it died.”
Dongho lets out a small groan in reply, before slowly inching his way to the side of the bed, lifting his head up from the pillow and feeling for his phone on the floor with his eyes still shut. “I think so too,” he replies, finally managing to find it under his jeans, barely opening his eyes to check, “yup, it’s dead.”
“Charger’s in the front pocket of my bag,” Minki says, before he turns over and buries his face in another pillow in a futile attempt to go back to sleep.
“Thank you,” Dongho replies, tone cheery as he manages to wake himself up, patting Minki’s ass as thanks before he gets up and looks for Minki’s bag while half-heartedly cleaning up the mess they made last night--aka him putting all of their clothes in one pile, and the used condoms that missed the mark in the bin.
Last night wasn’t even supposed to happen; Dongho just wanted to celebrate finishing his bar exams with a chill night out. He specifically told his friends to find a quiet bar they could have drinks and chat, not a gay bar with pole dancing, strip shows, and a hidden menu of midget wrestling. Yes, he might’ve been pent up from focusing on the bars for a year, but blowing his money on pole dancers and having a one-night stand wasn’t his ideal method of releasing stress.
But lo and behold, Choi Minki apparently exists in the same world he does and his friends did absolutely nothing to help him save face as he tried to stop himself from using bad pick-up lines he learned in high school, but it worked and he woke up with a mildly tolerable hangover and a cutie at his bedside.
So, everything’s been going well for him so far. Yes, he might be a few (hundred) thousand bucks poorer and maybe the mildly tolerable hangover is getting less and less tolerable the more he opens his eyes and tries to function (‘ God damn it why must sockets be placed so fuckin’ low--Jesus this damn vase is in the damn way’ ) but it’s been going well.
That is, until his phone finally turns on and a flurry of messages from his neighbour come pouring in.
Minki woke up to frantic pacing and hushed shouting, feeling for his table top clock that fell after last night’s antics. ‘12.40…’m hungry….’ He lets out a small groan as he gets up, rubbing his eyes and looking around his room before he took off the blanket covering him, stretching a bit before finally being able to get up and off his bed.
He moves to do his morning routine in the bathroom, checking himself in the mirror and wondering if he brought home a man or dog last night. ‘Does he have a biting kink….?’ He muses to himself, clicking his tongue as he ran his fingers over the indents on his skin, making a note to himself that he needed to buy more concealer. He finally manages to finish his routine, his mind registering the hushed and panicked shouting coming from his living room.
“Then where the hell are you gonna stay, Sewoon?” Dongho whisper-shouts, still pacing in circles in front of the table top, his phone still charging. “What did the landlord say?”
[ Sewoon: They’ll fix it and reimburse half of our down payment until it’s fixed, but our things are our own responsibility and since it was an accident, they can’t be held accountable. ]
“Jesus! All my books! My papers! My damn laptop holy shit! ” He’s on the verge of thinking if he should pull out his hair in frustration or if Minki would forgive him if he broke one of his vases, but the former may impact his potential to land a job and the latter would mean paying for a new vase, so he ended up grunting before he sat down at the leftmost side of the sofa, brows furrowed in frustration.
“You okay there?”
After roughly an hour and a half of grumbled explaining, Minki was finally able to piece everything together. His one-night-stand ended up homeless and his despairing puppy-dog face is pulling at all his heart strings.
Fuck it , he thought, throwing away all reason and flushing his sanity down the drain. “Do you wanna stay here then? That is, only until you find a new place to stay, or your old one isn’t in shambles anymore…” he trails off, eyes darting from one furniture to the next, the tips of his ears slightly flushed.
This took Dongho by surprise; he was just a one-night-stand, someone he barely managed to pick-up with his poorly thought out pick-up lines, and here he was being offered housing? “Aren’t you scared I might kill you? Take all your money?” He asked, brows still furrowed, the frustrated neighbour on the other line already having hung up after hearing someone offer him a place to stay.
Minki couldn’t help but chuckle at his question, reaching over to stroke the other’s hair. “If anything, I’m afraid of being fucked to death, but besides that you don’t seem like a bad person. I’m a good judge of character, you see,” he hums, pressing a kiss to Dongho’s temples before moving towards the kitchen.
Dongho couldn’t help the flushing of his face when he heard his reply, stuttering out a few words to refute him as he followed him into the kitchen. Minki made coffee for the both of them, his hands clenched around his mug as he stared Dongho down, thinking why he made such a decision and why he couldn’t just recommend him some other places to stay. Those thoughts, however, were thrown out the window the moment Dongho looked his way again, a small smile tugging at his lips. His vice grip on his mug got even stronger, thinking ‘why the HELL does he have to be so my type?!’
Living with Minki was easier than Dongho thought it’d be, but he also expected more torment from the guy than just being asked to do the chores. Heck, he wasn’t even paying rent! Of course he’d be more than willing to do all the dishes, laundry, and cleaning! Then again, there had to be a catch some how, so there he was, pulling up to his part-time at 8AM with bags under his eyes, his body sore from the exercise Minki loves so much.
“You okay there, bud?” Youngmin asks. Though he, too, hates having an early shift at this damn convenience store, his friend usually doesn’t let his hate show this much.
“Yeah, just tired.” Dongho replied, sighing as he leant forward on the counter, his thighs and back aching.
"You look like you haven't slept for a week...." Youngmin continues, observing him with a raised brow.
"Well...." He replies, trailing off and remembering just how much sex he's had to put up with. Honestly, Minki doesn't look like he has a high libido--mostly cause he looks like his body can't even handle having a high libido--but lo and behold there he was, practically all sexed out due to that beautiful toothpick of a man.
Dongho and Youngmin were close; same age, both poor and trying their best, always tired--the perfect recipe for a couple of idiots to become best friends. And heck! Dongho realised, Youngmin was the root cause of this! How dare he comment on his eye bags when his supposed intimate gathering for finishing up his bars ended up being a strip club party? So after this realisation and mustering up all his leftover strength to strangle Youngmin for a couple of seconds, he spilled the beans.
So he ended up living with a supposed one night stand due to his apartment going up in flames and while he doesn't have to pay rent, he has to do all the housework and nightly duties. No big deal, right? Well, maybe a little big deal.
"So what, you're living with him until your apartment gets fixed?"
"They said it'd take a month," Dongho sighed, shrugging. "It's better than living in a sauna. Cheaper too."
"So you mean to tell me that this dude just randomly picks up someone and becomes their sugar daddy? And that seems fine and dandy to you?!"
"Okay hold on a sec, he isn't my 'sugar daddy'," Dongho says, using air quotes while rolling his eyes. "I'm basically hired help."
"Pretty sure 'hired help'," Youngmin replies, mimicking his air quotes and eye roll, "doesn't equate to free rent and sex."
Admittedly, Dongho isn't the best when it comes to arguing over something he knows is intrinsically shady, and he can't help but say in his heart that yes, maybe if one squints, he can be considered a sugar baby, but at this point he doesn't care anymore. He's still waiting on his pay and working 3 jobs isn't exactly something to brag about, so if he can deduct rent from the equation then by all means.
But then again, another part of his heart says he doesn't really want that label. He'd have been fine if Minki made an IOU and made him sign it, just to clear his conscience. But while that may be something he can suggest at any given point during his month-long stay, he ends up asking something that completely baffled them both.
"So what are we exactly?" He asks over dinner, making Minki cough up a fit from shock. He barely managed to make fried rice without burning the whole kitchen down (cooking is far from being his specialty but Minki hasn't complained once about his semi-burnt eggs, so now his phone is filled with cooking-made-easy bookmarks) for dinner and the sudden question made their taste buds go stale.
"I..." Minki started, trailing off to drink some more water and calm himself down. "I thought I was your benefactor?"
"Benefactors don't usually sleep with the people they help..."
"How sure are you of that statement?"
Well, now he's not sure at all, since his supposed sugar daddy, as Youngmin put it, is pretty much admitting to him being one. "So can I like...stop sleeping with you?" He asks, looking down while poking at his now cold friend rice.
"I mean, anything you do around the house isn't mandatory. I just said you're free to live here until your apartment gets fixed. No big deal, I can provide for the both of us for at least a month anyway," Minki shrugs, clearing his throat and taking another, bigger sip of water. "It's just that it's kinda sad if you stop..." He mumbles to himself, refusing to make any eye contact.
"It doesn't have to stop!" Dongho interjects, his tone more alarmed than anything. He didn't think he could feel this type of panic over someone saying they don't want to have sex with him, especially after all of the complaints he's been forcing Youngmin to listen to, but he has grown rather fond of the other boy over the span of a week and it's a shame to stop now.
"Then let's just continue as is..." Minki nods, going back to eating his meal, the entire apartment falling silent as they finished their dinner.
"So you're friends with benefits, but it's like a 30-70 deal instead of a 50-50?" Sewoon was just updated regarding the whole ordeal after finally calming down and crashing with a friend. His frantic side was hard to deal with and Dongho wanted no part of it, so he waited until his neighbour calmed down before messaging for them to meet up. His comment really managed to sum up their entire situation clearly. How irritating.
"He said it's fine anyway, so why change something that ain't broken, right?" Minki had no qualms about him freeloading at his place, and it was cleared up that whether or not they had sex had nothing to do with his stay, so quite frankly he shouldn't be bothered by anything and just keep living with him the rest of the month. There's only about 2 weeks left, a month isn't even that long. Being exhausted due to sex isn't something he's experienced before, but he'd rather experience exhaustion than homelessness.
"Hold up Mr. One Night Stand," Sewoon interjected, scoffing, "you clearly think something's wrong with this entire set-up, so don't try going all 'It's chill, no big deal' on me."
"I mean I just think I should pay him back, but he says it's fine so why not accept the kindness?"
"Look, you've been ranting non-stop about this boy for the past two weeks, Youngmin's sick and tired of telling you to just sit back and relax and let things happen. I'm tired of even just listening to you and it's only been an hour! Obviously you think something's up cause you're not typically the type to dwell."
"Okay, I'm hearing you, but listen--"
"NO!!! Figure it out on your own you little shit, a free burger shouldn't cost me this much time and effort!"
He's been mulling over it for the past week, or at least trying to. Dongho hasn't been able to concentrate much on why he thinks this situation with Minki is strange mostly due to the fact that he's just been too busy taking care of the boy for the past three weeks. A general breakdown:
They started sleeping on the same bed, after their nightly exercise, Dongho's been too tired to go back to his own area (aka the sofa), and Minki didn't mind in the slightest.
Their breakfast eggs are less brown, and two new jams have been added to Minki's fridge upon Dongho's request. He now also makes overnight oats for their snack time.
Dongho broke the hotel toothbrush he's been using which prompted him and Minki to go out shopping--they ended up with more bowls, utensils, and socks than expected. They also completely forgot about the toothbrush and just bought one at a nearby 7/11 instead.
Minki has never aired out any of his comforters and now that the negative degrees are appearing on their weather reports, Dongho ended up in full winter gear in front of Minki's apartment to do it for him.
The fridge is now full of flyers detailing upcoming grocery sales rather than take-out menus now that Dongho's started to cook for the two of them, so every morning they play rock-paper-scissors to see who needs to drop by the store after work if there's a sale.
Monday and Saturday nights are now reserved as rest nights, where they do nothing but marathon movies or variety shows, and sleep on the sofa all cuddled up after some hot cocoa.
All this made Dongho realise how scary it is that one person can completely alter one's way of thinking--of going about their lives; a month prior, Dongho was living paycheck to paycheck and his only decent meal was during his convenience store shift, where he could get the almost-expired goods for a discounted price. He splurged on drinking when things got rough, and completely disregarded his living arrangements so he could focus on his exams and pass.
Maybe it's because exams are over, maybe it's because there's less stress now that he doesn't need to think about rent. Maybe it's because having someone beside you during tough times actually helps a lot more than one would think.
It was the last week they were to be living with each other, the apartment landlord texted everyone that was affected that they would need to re-sign their contracts if they're still interested, and they could move in by end next week, Dongho finally figured it out. As well as giving credit to Sewoon and Youngmin's long patience and hard smacks, Dongho's eyes were opened to the answer he's been mulling over the past three weeks. Rather than it being a sudden realisation, it was more of a gradual acceptance on his part. Minki's taken up more space in his life than he thought, and he's completely ecstatic with the idea.
"Exactly," Sewoon interrupted, nodding along to Dongho's supposed internal monologue about finding Minki attractive and wanting him to be a bigger part of his life. "Roommates don't really go out of their way to constantly think of each other and end up giving each other gifts every time they see something they'd like, especially when one's broke."
"Roommates don't usually fuck, either," Youngmin added, though he quickly retracted that statement as his ears suddenly turned red when he sensed Sewoon give him the side-eye, "or I mean, they could, and be fuck buddies or whatever, but with the way you're acting the two of you basically just skipped the ceremony and went straight to your newlywed life."
"So what you're saying is that Minki and I are practically married?" Dongho reiterates, summing up their banter.
"You just skipped the proposal," Youngmin nods, reaching over to get some fries off of Sewoon's plate.
"And the wedding," Sewoon adds, smacking Youngmin's hand before he got to his fries.
"And assumed that he'd say yes to all of this," Youngmin grumbles, aiming for Dongho's plate next and successfully grabbing four fries before the other could smack his hand away.
"So what now?"
"Go back to step one you dumb ass, stop thinking with your dicks and talk things out!" Sewoon finally snapped, and he practically shoo-ed Dongho away, clicking his tongue when he saw him almost trip while running off.
This Saturday was Dongho's day off, and he told Minki he'd be out till dinner, so the home owner was visibly surprised at his sudden homecoming at 3 in the afternoon. And he was even more surprised after Dongho bombarding him with their best friend chatter and about how he suddenly supposedly gradually fell for him over the course of his almost month-long stay.
This may have been the result of continuously talking to his friends about their relationship dynamic and his friends trying to make him realise his own feelings, but the realisation that their time was limited made Dongho burst into a panic, violently shaking Minki on the sofa before hugging him and muttering out all of the talks and consultations him and his friends have talked about the past three weeks as a result.
He needed to make the idea of Minki taking up space in his life from now until the foreseeable future a universal truth. And while maybe the violent shakes and overly tight hug wasn't the answer, but it did give way to them cuddling on the sofa, talking about their nows and afters. After a few minutes of trying to calm down and find the proper words and censor out all the fuck-buddy and sugar daddy talks, Dongho was finally able to summarise the trio's conversations and contemplations the past three weeks. "And so that's what they said."
"And what do you think about what they said?" Minki asked, humming softly and nodding along.
"I think they're right. I think I want to stay with you. I think I need to get another job so I could also pay rent. I think I want you." Dongho confessed, his cheeks a tad bit flushed as he finally said all of those out loud. "And you?"
"I know they're right. I know I want you to stay, too. I'll make sure you can put off finding another job until after the exam results are posted. And I know I want you, too." Minki smiled, patting Dongho's cheeks and feeling the heat of his flush, chuckling to himself. After a few seconds of silence, Minki pulled himself and managed to pepper kisses on Dongho's face, realising his cheeks were not only hot, but also a little damp. "Are you crying?!"
"I'm happy, shut up."
"Doesn't change the fact that you're crying, oh my poor baby," Minki cooed, kissing him all the more.
"Shut up, you're ruining this for me!" Dongho protested, grabbing Minki by the wrists and pushing him down on the sofa, nuzzling his face against the crook of the other's neck before leaving marks.
The next morning, Dongho made sure the first thing he did was to message his landlord that he'd be declining his offer and they could talk about his reimbursement at a later date. The second thing was to kiss Minki's forehead and head off to the bathroom to wash up. The third was to put on a relatively clean shirt and new underwear and start making breakfast. And the fact that he had steps to his morning made him happier than he imagined.
Minki's morning routine didn't change much, though. He got up after some light stretches, went to the bathroom and cleaned up, and made some coffee for himself. The only changes were the quantity of the coffee mugs, and the fact that he had to manoeuvre around a hunk of flesh that was cooking his breakfast for him. Their Sunday passed quietly, with the sound of peppered kisses echoing their apartment throughout the day, and a Netflix marathon playing in the background of their "nightly exercise".
Nothing much changed for either of them, except now they now had someone waiting for them, someone special to be there for them, at all times, always.