Renjun doesn't mind the rain. Enjoys it, even, if it comes at the right time. When he's in the mood for slow, wet days and soft, quiet nights, for the patter of rain against the roof and trailing down windows, he finds the scattered showers to be a welcome addition to the atmosphere.
That being said, there's something entirely different about the rain when it comes at times like these— when Renjun is with Donghyuck.
The thing is, there's something about Donghyuck that changes everything. He doesn't just change the feeling of the rain; he changes the feeling of the very air that surrounds them and rushes into Renjun's lungs every time he breathes, but the change in the rain is easier to pinpoint, so it's what Renjun focuses on.
It's like the clouds aren't quite so gloomy gray, like the world stops being sleepy, like the rainfall pours life into the earth instead of lulling it off to sweet dreams. Regardless of whether it's a sprinkle or a downpour, when Donghyuck is around, it feels like the sun is peeking through the clouds, shining down on Renjun even as he watches everything around him get drenched.
That’s how it is now. Renjun had been seconds away from diving onto the couch for a nap after the clouds smoked over the sky and the drizzle turned to something strong enough to paint the road black out the window, when Donghyuck had shown up breathless and soaking wet at his front door.
"Are you fucking crazy?" Renjun asks in greeting as he yanks the door open and stares at Donghyuck's flushed face, slick with water.
"You know it," Donghyuck answers with a grin.
"You're not coming in here dripping wet," Renjun tells him when he tries to sneak past Renjun and into the house.
Donghyuck sighs and grabs his shirt at the back, tugging it over his head before Renjun can get another word in. The shirt makes a loud squelching sound as Donghyuck peels it off his skin, and then Donghyuck has it bunched in his hands, wringing it out on the wood of Renjun's front porch and looking all too proud of himself.
"There you go!" Donghyuck says, holding his no-longer-dripping shirt up to cover his chest, and for Renjun to see. "And before you ask, no— I won't take my shorts off here too. The whole street doesn't need to see my ass today."
Renjun chokes on a retort, and steps aside to let Donghyuck in. "What the fuck are you even doing out right now anyway?"
"I was on a walk," Donghyuck hums as he kicks off his wet sneakers, leaving them on the porch as he slips past Renjun into the house.
"You live literally forty-five minutes away by foot," Renjun says, closing the door behind Donghyuck as he walks in. Renjun knows this through experience. Lots of experience.
"And?" Donghyuck asks. "It was a long walk."
"So you came here because...?"
Donghyuck flashes him a look , one of the looks Renjun has come to associate with a mix of fondness and exasperation. "You wanted me to run all the way back to my house in the pouring rain when you were like five minutes away if I booked it?"
Renjun is tempted to say yes , just to keep this going, but they would both know it wasn't true. "Fine," he sighs, "I'll go get you a shirt and dry pants."
Before he can head off to his room, Donghyuck catches him by the wrist. "If you bring out those joke booty shorts again, I'll kill you," he says sweetly.
Renjun snorts. In all honesty, it hadn't occurred to him, but now he almost wishes it had before Donghyuck could shoot him down. "Don't worry, your dignity is safe," he says dryly.
"It's not my dignity I'm worried about," Donghyuck sniffs, but he releases his grip on Renjun's wrist and follows him as he walks towards his room.
"What are you worried about then?" Renjun asks. He can't see behind him, but somehow he knows Donghyuck is grinning.
"Your sanity," Donghyuck answers. "These legs don't quit, especially in short-shorts.”
"Uh-huh," Renjun says, keeping his voice flat and trying not to ponder what Donghyuck is dancing his way around saying. "Well ignoring that— I was about to take a nap before you showed up, so you're free to just chill on the floor and catch your breath, but I will be crashing."
"You treat me so well," Donghyuck says as they step into Renjun's room and he roots through his things to find clothes fit for Donghyuck.
"Nothing but the best for you," he throws over his shoulder, in that same sweet voice Donghyuck had used a minute ago when threatening murder.
"I'm so touched," Donghyuck sighs.
"You should be." Renjun chucks an old tee and pair of shorts at Donghyuck, and he scrambles to catch them without dropping the shirt already in his hands. "You can hang up your clothes in the bathroom."
"Yeah, yeah," Donghyuck answers, already turning on his heel to make his way to the bathroom.
Renjun watches him go, rain still painted across the sun-tanned skin of his back, catching the light. It isn’t until the bathroom door closes with a click that Renjun snaps back to himself, shaking his head. He looks down at the faint wet marks on the floor where Donghyuck's damp socks tracked half-footprints all the way from the front door, to Renjun's room, then to the bathroom. He means to sigh, but it comes out as more of a laugh— Donghyuck always leaves some kind of mark, doesn’t he?
Heading out in search of washcloth to wipe the water away, Renjun misses Donghyuck’s return from the bathroom. When Renjun finishes toweling down the ground, tossing the washcloth in a hamper to be dealt with later, he heads back to his room to find Donghyuck splayed out across the foot of his bed, playing with the edge of the knitted blanket on top of Renjun’s sheets. His hair is still damp, hanging messily over his forehead and dripping right onto Renjun’s bed.
“We have different definitions of floor, I see,” Renjun says as he steps into the room.
Donghyuck looks up at him and smiles. “It seems we do.”
“Why are you lying down? I thought your legs didn’t quit?” Renjun says.
“They don’t ever quit looking fine as hell. They do quit when I’ve just sprinted five minutes straight through the rain.”
“Can’t they quit on my floor?” Renjun asks, walking to his bed and climbing onto it on his knees.
“Don’t be rude,” Donghyuck tuts. “I’m not a dog you can just kick off the bed.”
Renjun narrows his eyes. “I beg to differ.”
“I think begging would make you the dog, actually,” Donghyuck says with a cheeky grin. He pats the bed next to him. “Be a good boy and come over here.”
Renjun, from the very bottom of his heart, wants to strangle him. It would take too much effort, though, so he settles for simply levelling Donghyuck with his best death glare. “You’re lucky I don’t have the energy to kill you right now.” He slumps down onto his mattress - not because Donghyuck told him to, but because it had been his plan all along - and shoves a hand in Donghyuck’s face, pushing him away so Renjun can pull the blanket out from under him and roll himself up in it like a burrito. “Once I want to move again, you’re gonna pay for that,” he warns.
“I’m sure I will,” Donghyuck says, far too calm for someone who’s at the top of Renjun’s hit list. “I’m so terrified.”
“You should be,” Renjun mutters.
“Would you forgive me if I gave you some top tier cuddles?” Donghyuck asks.
Renjun huffs, “That will get you the opposite of forgiven. If you get any closer to me, I’ll smother you with this.” He lifts an arm to wave the blanket around.
“You would kill me with the blanket your grandmother knitted for you?” Donghyuck gasps, dialing his tone up to full camp.
“Yes,” Renjun tells him. “It’s what she would want me to do.”
“So disrespectful,” Donghyuck tuts, but he doesn’t attempt to come any closer to Renjun. He lies flat on his back just within reach, but not quite touching, so the two of them are parallel lines facing the ceiling of Renjun’s bedroom. It’s just what Renjun wants. Definitely.
He’s 100% happy that Donghyuck isn’t cuddling with him right now.
When Renjun doesn’t have anything to say in response, the room falls silent. Renjun’s window is cracked open, and the sound of the rain fills the air. The pitter-patter is softer now than it was before, as the storm has eased a bit, but it’s present and steady. Renjun finds it lulling him into a state of deep calm. All his irritation with Donghyuck fades— it hadn’t been too strong to begin with, really.
Renjun rolls over so he’s facing Donghyuck. Despite what he’d said, he’s not quite ready to slip off. It’s hard to, when Donghyuck is so close and conversation with him is so enticing. “Why didn’t you check the radar before you left for your walk?”
Donghyuck rolls over to face Renjun as well. “You know the radar lies,” he says. “It’s not worth checking.
“You just didn’t think to, did you?” Renjun asks.
Donghyuck grins, a bit sheepish. “You know me too well.” He shrugs one shoulder. “What can I say— I like living in mystery. Whatever happens, happens.”
“That’s how dummies get soaked by the rain,” Renjun says. Maybe in his head he’d planned for the remark to be cutting, but out loud, even he can hear the fondness in his voice.
“That’s how dummies end up in Huang Renjun’s bed,” Donghyuck counters, grin softening to a smile. “It was worth it.”
Renjun rolls his eyes, but his heart kicks once in his chest. “You know you can come over when it’s not pouring, right? I’m pretty sure you could come over even if I wasn’t home and my mom would let you in. She loves your dumb ass.”
“Yes, I am beloved by all Huangs,” Donghyuck says. “Except your grandma, I guess, since she would want you to kill me.”
Renjun huffs out a laugh. “You can’t win ‘em all.”
“It’s okay,” Donghyuck says. “I’m fine focusing my efforts on keeping the ones I’ve already won over from turning on me.”
Renjun raises a brow at him. “Really?”
Donghyuck nods, cheek dragging against the top sheet of Renjun’s bed.
“You have a funny way of trying to stay in my good graces, Donghyuck.” Renjun tells him.
“Oh, please,” Donghyuck says. “You love how I keep you on your toes.”
“Love is a stretch,” Renjun mutters, but Donghyuck isn’t exactly wrong. Renjun quite likes their push and pull, likes that Donghyuck keeps him feeling alive.
“I’m very flexible,” Donghyuck says.
Renjun stares at him, unblinking.
Donghyuck’s lip twitches. He holds the eye contact for a long moment before cracking. “Come on! That was funny,” he says.
“Sure it was,” Renjun says, wholly unconvinced.
“You’re just a hater,” Donghyuck pouts. “I came here and graced you with my presence and for what?”
“You came here and dripped all over my floor and then took over half my bed,” Renjun corrects.
“And I offered hugs in repayment but you shot me down,” Donghyuck reminds him.
“And have you ever considered that hugs are not my preferred form of currency?” Renjun questions.
Donghyuck raises his brows. “What— do you prefer kisses?”
Renjun levels him with a flat look, trying to will away the heat he feels creeping into his cheeks. “You are not helping your case.”
“That wasn’t a no,” Donghyuck says, lips ticking up at the corners.
“How’s this?” Renjun pushes out of his blanket cocoon and grabs Donghyuck. Donghyuck squawks as Renjun wraps his arms around his throat and wiggles in protest, but doesn’t put up a real fight as Renjun tugs him into his body so he can hold him in a loose headlock. “Answer enough for you?” Renjun asks.
Donghyuck lets out a breathless little laugh. “All I’m getting is that you can’t stand to be apart from me.”
Renjun tightens his grip for a millisecond before letting his arms go lax around Donghyuck.
“Again,” Donghyuck starts, still sounding breathless, “that wasn’t a no.”
“You talk too much,” Renjun mutters without heat. He’s glad Donghyuck can’t see his face in this position— it’s almost certainly flushed red. “Just be quiet for a bit and nap with me or I’ll kick you out for real.”
“Aye aye,” Donghyuck says.
When Renjun doesn’t push him away, doesn’t remove his arms from around Donghyuck, he feels Donghyuck relax, snuggling into him. Donghyuck presses his back lightly against Renjun’s chest, and Renjun caves. He slips his blanket over Donghyuck and says nothing about Donghyuck’s hair soaking a damp spot into the top sheet. Donghyuck curls a hand carefully around one of Renjun’s arms where he has them folded over Donghyuck’s chest.
Renjun exhales, and lets his eyes slip shut. Donghyuck’s chest rises and falls steadily and he stays silent, just as Renjun had asked. A thick cloud moves through the sky out the window, blocking out the sun, and Renjun sees the room go dark even through his eyelids. The rain patters against the glass, against the walls of Renjun’s home— a soft symphony, music for just the two of them.
In no time, Renjun feels like he’s floating, very nearly submerged under water. He’s almost, almost asleep, when Donghyuck shifts against him. Renjun bobs back up to the surface - awake again - but he doesn’t move. Something keeps him perfectly still. He feels Donghyuck sigh.
“I wish you knew how much this is killing me,” Donghyuck breathes, barely loud enough to hear.
Something sparks under Renjun’s skin. He opens his eyes, fingers twitching against Donghyuck’s shoulder. “Donghyuck?” he mumbles, words distorted by sleep.
Donghyuck’s body stiffens and then goes limp. He sighs, rolling over - careful not to knock Renjun’s arms away - so that he’s facing Renjun. Their faces are so close together that Donghyuck is a bit out of focus as Renjun looks at him.
“Did I do something?” Renjun asks, voice low so as not to shatter the air around them. He blinks slowly at Donghyuck, trying to read his face. “You know I was just joking about killing you and all that.”
Donghyuck smiles, small and a little bit helpless. “I know,” he says softly. “It’s part of your charm. And no, you didn’t do anything.”
“What is it, then?” Renjun asks.
Donghyuck’s expression turns almost shy. Renjun feels something teeter in his chest. What if…
“Well,” Donghyuck starts, “I think I’m a little bit in love with my best friend, but I can’t figure out for my life if he feels the same.”
“Mark?” Renjun gapes.
Donghyuck scrunches up his whole face. “No— gross, Renjun. I’ve seen him eat dirt. God. I mean you.”
“Me,” Renjun echoes, staring at Donghyuck. He feels his heart leap into his throat.
“Yeah,” Donghyuck says carefully. “And your reaction is giving me nothing, by the way. Can you put a brother out of his suffering and give me something to work with?”
Renjun curls his fingers in the fabric of Donghyuck’s shirt. Technically it’s his shirt, but the details don’t matter all that much. “Don’t call yourself brother when I’m about to kiss you,” Renjun tells him. “That’s just wrong.”
Donghyuck opens his mouth to protest as if on instinct, then processes Renjun’s words. His eyes light up. Renjun swears to God that the clouds in the sky part to let in the sunshine at that very moment, bathing Donghyuck in a soft, watery light. “So kisses are your preferred form of cur—”
Renjun cuts Donghyuck off by inching closer and pressing his lips gently to Donghyuck’s. Donghyuck falls silent, wriggling closer and gathering the front of Renjun’s shirt up in his hands, anchoring himself to Renjun. After a moment, Renjun pulls back, opening his eyes to find that Donghyuck’s are still closed, his lips still curled in a slight pout.
As Renjun watches, Donghyuck’s eyes flutter slowly open. For a long, drawn out beat, Donghyuck just stares back at Renjun. Finally, his lips part and he breathes in and out. “So…” he says, voice warbling just a bit. “You…?”
“Just a little bit in love with my best friend,” Renjun says, echoing Donghyuck’s confession.
“Nice,” Donghyuck says, a bit dumbly because - judging by the look on his face - he still hasn’t quite finished processing everything. Renjun can’t blame him though— he understands the feeling.
“Yeah,” he murmurs in agreement, maybe a bit dumbly as well, “nice.”
Another moment stretches out between them like a thick strip of taffy slowly being pulled long. Donghyuck blinks and Renjun blinks back. He’s not entirely sure he’s awake, really. Maybe he’s fallen asleep and this is just a lovely dream.
Then Donghyuck’s face breaks into a smile. One of his hands slips up from Renjun’s chest to cup his cheek, startlingly gentle. “D’you wanna kiss me again?” Donghyuck asks.
Renjun likes when they bounce conversation back and forth, but here, there’s only one thing to say. Only one thing to do. He nods, pulls Donghyuck closer again.
Sunlight pours through his window, light shining through the rain and making everything glow. Renjun still feels like he’s dreaming because he’s had this dream before - lying in bed and kissing Donghyuck softly, feeling him melt into the mattress like he might make a home there - but with one of Donghyuck’s hands cradling his cheek and the other fisted loosely over his heart, Renjun knows this is real.
This is Donghyuck, still damp from the rain but warm against Renjun’s body and illuminated by the sun. This is something golden and precious and sweet— the two of them together while the rain falls outside, kissing amidst the sunshower.