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got my ticket for the long way 'round

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1.

The thing dramas don’t tell you about having a secret idol boyfriend with a schedule tighter than the fine print on your 10 year contract is that it’s really not as glamorous as it may seem on screen. Time spent together is few and far between, and has to be meticulously planned. The first two weeks that Seonho had convinced Kyungsoo for clandestine dates around Seoul were total failures. They barely managed to stay undercover, even refused to call their managers when a few curious bystanders had started to stare and fiddle with their phones. Kyungsoo found it funny that Seonho got so flustered, and smiled when Seonho got him an apology popsicle from 7-11.

Filming for the pilot episode of Two Days, One Night had just ended. Kyungsoo was there beside him the restless night prior when Seonho had tossed and turned, nervous about his first variety appearance, and had soothed him through his worries of not being funny enough, or genuine enough, or accidentally forgetting his manners. It was hard enough for Kyungsoo to convince his manager to let him stay the night at Seonho’s apartment, when preparations for his first musical are months deep, when he needs his rest too. Seonho knows he tried his best so stay up, settled instead for lacing their fingers together before he fully slipped into slumber, the mumbled you’re going to do well, they’ll love you trailing off into a light snore.

Two hours later, Kyungsoo is jostled out of his sleep again by Seonho’s apologetic rising, a small kiss on his temple the only reply he had to Kyungsoo’s sleepy grumbling at 3 am. Seonho apologizes again at 5:45 when he calls Kyungsoo for help after his manager dropped him off in the middle of nowhere, and the production crew left him with a tiny camera to film his clumsy fumbling to get to the KBS building before 6:30. Suffice to say he failed the challenge.

But Kyungsoo was patient when Seonho had called, his calm, sleep-rough voice a good contrast to Seonho’s frantic and panic-loud one, detailing the locations and stops of the transit line he’s impressively still has memorized, despite not riding the subway since the year of his debut with EXO. “Remember the snacks I packed for you in your luggage. Fighting,” Kyungsoo had said before he hung up, and Seonho couldn’t tamp down the grin he had upon arriving almost 30 minutes late to the steps of KBS. They confiscated it all, even the energy bar Kyungsoo had tucked in his padding coat.

He arrives home a little past 10 am, still drowsy and his fingers prickly from sleeping outdoors at the throes of winter. Kyungsoo is not there, but there’s a food delivery box placed at his doorstep from one of his favorite takeout places, and when he unwraps it inside, the tteokbokki is still warm. Seonho takes out his phone to type out a message to Kyungsoo, but it seems in his 2 hour nap in the car, his boyfriend had beat him to it.

Kyungsoo [9:46 am]
Eat well~


2.

Seonho is self-aware enough to admit that he is not the best at picking up after himself, but who is? Filming schedules come in bursts and change on a day-to-day basis, even if scenes are planned out for a day, the directors can choose to cut a day short or, more often, extend filming on what feels like whims. Most days, he comes home, sheds his clothes to take a shower, and tosses them to the general direction of his hamper. He means to pick up afterwards, but the siren call of late night variety and the undeniable gravitational center of his home (his couch) always win out.

So what if his place isn't the tidiest? He thinks he’s allowed that flaw. His garbage and the recycling is emptied out and done every week, and he cleans up when he’s expecting guests. Doing it to that extent is fine.

Kyungsoo [11:34 pm]
😷🤧

Seonho [11:50 pm]
You’re sick? ☹️
Wait, I’ll call

He’s sleeping outside again. The wind isn’t too bad today at least, and apart from a few staff loitering about, no one is up close enough to eavesdrop on him. He moves out of the veranda still, to be sure. Seonho cares about his privacy a great deal, Kyungsoo more so. Despite his curiosity, he hasn’t asked. Seonho knows he’s had it easier as an actor rather than a global star. 

The phone rings twice before Kyungsoo picks up. “Hyung.”

“Kyungsoo,” Seonho says, using up all 10 years of his acting experience not to sound breathless. “Are you okay? Are you sick?”

Kyungsoo sneezes out a no, and Seonho clicks his tongue. “I’m at your place. It’s filthy, hyung.” From the other end, Seonho can make out one of Gummy’s songs playing from the speakers, as well as the quiet hum of the vacuum working.

“You’re cleaning? Ah, you don’t have to do that,” Seonho mumbles. If he weren’t outside already, his cheeks would be flush from embarrassment. Kyungsoo hums, then sniffles. “Why are you at my place? Didn’t you have rehearsals?”

“I missed you,” Kyungsoo replies. He’s too straightforward sometimes, and Seonho falters a bit before he can respond.

“Really? You know you can’t just say things like that without warning me.” Seonho scratches his nose with his forefinger. The wind picks up, and his teeth chatter.

“My mistake. Your heart is getting weak in your old age, ahjussi?” Seonho can almost hear Kyungsoo smile through the phone. “l probably won’t be home once you get back. Treat me to somewhere nice in return for my cleaning services.” Despite being so straightforward a while ago, he demands for a date like this. He’s  perfect.

“Of course.” Seonho’s voice is soft. The sound of the vacuum is gone now,and Seonho wants to believe it’s because Kyungsoo wanted to hear his voice better too. “I miss you too. See you soon.”

The apartment is spotless once he returns from the Employment Agency. All the clothes near his hamper are already dry and lumped in a basket, ready to be folded. The scripts he had left scattered around the living room are stacked into two neat piles. The only sign of Kyungsoo being there is the slightly rumpled bed, a can of beer on his nightstand, like he fell asleep soon after cleaning, and had to leave before he could tidy the bed a little.

Seonho [3:12 pm]
Thanks for stopping by and cleaning
Truthfully I’m a little embarrassed that you had to do so.
Gotgan okay? Tell me when the best time is for you.

Kyungsoo [4:04 pm]
Gotgan sounds great, hyung. Thursday?


3.

Kyungsoo always makes it a point to be at Seonho’s place whenever a new episode drops. Seonho doesn’t know how he explains it to the members of his band, or how he manages to never have a single schedule during 6 PM on Sundays, but it’s what he’s been doing for close to three months now, and far be it for Seonho to complain when Kyungsoo is warm and real within his apartment walls.

“Kim Seonho,” Kyungsoo calls from the sofa, and from the hallway, Seonho can see his feet propped up on his coffee table, ankles crossed. The show has started in his absence, a shot of all six of them standing in the viewdeck where the sea is barely visible through the fog.

“Mm, coming,” Seonho replies, lengthening his strides and jumping over the couch to sit beside Kyungsoo, his arm smoothly wrapping around his shoulder. Kyungsoo doesn’t even flinch, and though this must be a product of living with his bandmates for years, it still warms Seonho’s chest that Kyungsoo is this comfortable with him, so much so that the gesture seems natural.

Kyungsoo dips his hand into the bag of chips, feeding the Hot Cheetos between his lips. Seonho takes the chance to bite off a piece sticking out of Kyungsoo’s mouth, his lips brushing the corner of Kyungsoo’s. “Thank you,” he munches.

“Aren’t you getting too familiar with me,” Kyungsoo grumbles, checking Seonho’s ribs with his elbow. Despite the show of annoyance, his cheeks are dusted pink. “I just found out from your show that we broke up, don’t you think pecks are out of the question now, Kim-ssi?”

“Didn’t you just call me my full name a minute ago? Sounds like someone is forgetting his manners here,” Seonho says, but his grin still stretches his cheeks wide. Kyungsoo’s eyes are full of challenge as he faces Seonho head on, unblinking. “Yah, you punk, lower your eyes.”

Kyungsoo doesn’t tilt his chin down in the slightest, but his eyes draw half-mast. Seonho leans forward, his eyes glued to the curve of Kyungsoo’s Cheeto-dusted lips. “Like this?”

“A little more.” Seonho waits until Kyungsoo’s eyes flutter shut, then kisses him. The show is forgotten after that.