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Silentium Amoris

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As often-times the too resplendent sun

Hurries the pallid and reluctant moon

Back to her sombre cave, ere she hath won

A single ballad from the nightingale,

So doth thy Beauty make my lips to fail,

And all my sweetest singing out of tune.

 

The room is fully saturated – colours, gentle wind rustling the back of Junhui’s t-shirt as he rummages through their fridge. The shopping list flutters back and forth, nailed to the fridge with a magnet Seungkwan had gotten them as a souvenir from Singapore. It’s a little dragon, it looks just like Myungho, see? 

Minghao breathes in, allows himself to float in the airs of familiarity, of unfathomable fondness. He feels it in the tips of his fingers, in the soft rustle of Jun’s hair, in the easy silence between them. 

Junhui pads over the floor barefoot, carrying a jug of water and Minghao thinks I’m in love, I’m in love. 

“Soonyoung asks if we’re still up for dinner tonight?” he says it like a question, looking down at his phone as he texts back what is no doubt at least five reaction images, none of them answering the actual question.

“Tell him I’ll only come if we go to the place with the xiānglàròusī.”

Junhui hums, and taps quickly on his phone. Minghao taps on his bare ankle, a question, a small request. Junhui looks up and grins, and it fills Minghao’s chest like a balloon, inescapable. “Really? It’s so hot though.”

Minghao huffs a breath and taps him again, insistent. 

Junhui walks over, (because he never can say no, not really) and lies on top of Minghao, placing his face in the crook of his neck. Minghao winds his fingers in the back of his loose shirt, and thinks you’re my person . He says, “You’re all sweaty.” 

Laughter vibrating into his core. “I tried to warn you.”

“You smell bad.” 

Combing his fingers through the fine hairs at the nape of Junhui’s neck, like a mantra, like an anchor. Minghao counts his blessings, the truth of his presence a testament to something Minghao doesn’t have the words to articulate. He sees them all as through the glass of a kaleidoscope, fragmented shards of glass – coloured and reflective, each keeping in them a truth, a moment frozen in time. 

It’s in Junhui and Seokmin cooking them dinner, Jun slipping in some chili oil when Seokmin isn’t looking and them bickering affectionately while Minghao laughs silently at them from the living room. Chan obnoxiously doing his stretches on the floor while simultaneously stealing sips from Soonyoung’s beer, Seungkwan loudly berating him from the corner while doing absolutely nothing to stop him. Junhui makes a goofy joke, and his shoulders shake with the force of his own laughter. Minghao doesn’t know how he could have gotten so lucky. 

It’s in being 16 years old, in a foreign country having only one person who can say your name. Whispering secrets to each other in the dark, fears they could only confess to in the safety of their mother tongue, in the silence of a truth untold. Fitting scrawny shoulders and bony ankles, interlacing fingers like a prayer or a promise to hold dear. Junhui quizzing him on Korean vocabulary and holding his trembling hands and saying I’m here, you’re alright, you’re stronger than you think

It’s in seeing Junhui on stage, body shimmering in pools of blue, red, purple. Minghao couldn’t look away if he wanted to, sturdy body and sharp angles drawing him in like a hook nestled in his gut. Like a force of gravity, Junhui’s face a portrait of elegance, a taunt that tells him to draw close, that conquers, that casts away. For a brief second his eyes find Minghao’s, and he feels it like a lightning bolt, like a holy spear through his chest, heady and taunting. He watches him maneuver the space like it’s his to own, like the air is nothing more than paint on his canvas, and Minghao knows he would repent on his knees a thousand times just to worship at the temple of Junhui’s body.

It’s Junhui’s cock inside of him, his eyes dark as he holds Minghao down against the mattress, choking on air and saying his name like an incantation, like an anchor, like absolution. Breaths between them like words of the same sentence, his fingers burning brands into Minghao’s thighs, and Minghao feels divine, filled with Junhui like a vessel of sacred wine. Junhui bites his shoulder and interlaces their fingers and Minghao’s insides scramble in the storm of his heady affections. Arches his back and kisses him like a man dying, thinks I could die like this, if you watched me dissolve. 

It’s the moments afterwards, where Minghao is peeled of all his layers, laid bare without pretence, kissing Junhui’s wrist, his nose, the junction of his shoulder. Each is a message of gratitude, in a way he could never express with words. Mapping his body with his mouth, with his hands, making himself a home in the curve of his ribcage and saying thank you, for letting me stay. Whispering sorry for being bloody and marred, sorry that it isn’t clean with a flutter of his eyelashes against his skin. Junhui laughing, tugging him up to kiss him. Saying it was never a chore with you. 

It’s waking up in a crosswords of limbs, it’s the soft glow of morning as Junhui makes him coffee the way he likes it. It’s them, occupied by different things in the same room, held in the silent ease of co-existence made smooth by years of practice. It’s how Minghao could pinpoint him in a crowd by the rhythm of his steps or the shape of his laughter. It’s Junhui walking him home when he’s drunk, holding his hair as he pukes into the toilet, tucking him into bed and leaving painkillers on his nightstand. It’s Junhui holding him during nights where he can’t breathe, feeling raw and messy and wrong. Being firm and steady as a tree even as Minghao clings to his body, a pillar keeping him tethered to the world until his sobs mellow out into breaths and the quakes of his body ease into sleep. 

It’s how when they fight, Junhui will apologize while pressing kisses into the fabric of his shirt, interlacing their pinkies. It’s how Junhui will ask him for help, will bare all his insecurities, exposing the jagged edges of his chest and saying you can make a home here. How he trusts Minghao with his flaws, will give him everything even if it’s bruised and raw, trusts him to tell him when he does it wrong. It’s Junhui placing his being in Minghao’s care, to trust in his hands to nurture and grow, to say here is the harvest, it is ours to share .

Minghao watches him glow with laughter as Seokmin shouts at him for sneaking chili flakes into their jjajangmyeon, as the cacophony of their friends’ shouts and exclamations dissolves into a comfortable state of familiar chaos.

It’s a blessing he would need lifetimes to repay, to feel so at home.