"I hope you find your perfect man someday," Oleg tells Sergey that night, ignoring the twinge in his heart. He knows the idea of Sergey being with anyone else will always make his heart ache with jealousy, but what does it matter, so long as his friend is happy? He knows what Sergey's crushes look like, the way he acts around them. How many times has he pointed to someone on campus and made Oleg listen to descriptions of how beautiful they were, with dark hair and deep brown eyes and muscles - always muscles. And then he would point out their flaws, because his Seryozha was always picky. Someday, though, someday Sergey would cast his eyes on a man who would heed his advice, and then he wouldn't need Oleg to take care of him anymore, and…
No, he brushes those thoughts aside. The point is, Sergey acts around him the way he has always acted, and Oleg will take the pain of the heart in exchange for Sergey's happiness as easily as he has always taken each physical blow meant for his friend. Oleg has always known himself well. He is a protector, one without limits, and he chose Sergey as the primary object of his protection a long time ago.
That doesn't mean he can't tease his friend, of course, and a mixed CD of pop songs that the ever pretentious Sergey is sure to despise, but themed around his obvious preference for strong, handsome men, seems like the perfect gag gift. He's right, at least at first; Sergey's expression of irritation at the pop is extremely entertaining. But now it's been replaced with one Oleg hates to see: a deep sadness, almost heartbreak.
"What's wrong?" He asks, ready to fix whatever problem Sergey presents him with.
"What… what if I've already found the perfect man?" Sergey asks tentatively, eyes locked on the CD.
"That's wonderful," Oleg congratulates him as if those words aren't more painful than the time he took a baseball bat to the ribs.
Sergey doesn't look pleased, though, if anything he looks like he's on the verge of tears, voice shaky as he continues, "But he doesn't want me."
"Oh," Oleg says, relief mingling with confusion and anger on his friend's behalf, "well, then he is not the perfect man."
Sergey shakes his head, and the first tear runs down his cheek. Without even thinking, Oleg reaches out to wipe it away, thumb ghosting over skin that was so soft in the summer but dried and cracked each winter. Sergey always complains, stating that lotion ought to be considered a necessity and provided free to anyone who needs it. He always smiles back, no matter what Sergey is ranting about, because there is nothing he loves more. Sergey is so smart, so passionate, so creative, and Oleg knows he'll do great things. He knows it just as well as he knows that he will never fit into those plans, not in the long term. He can support him and protect him now, but some day, Sergey won't need him anymore. Sergey doesn't think like that, he knows, and it would only distress his friend to bring it up. He might mistake Oleg for wanting to leave him, rather than preparing for the inevitable.
If Sergey asked, Oleg would drop everything to stand at his side forever. But Sergey will never ask, so Oleg must make his own plans. His mind drifts to the military recruiter he's been speaking with. He hasn't brought that up with Sergey either. But Sergey is shuddering under his hand, more tears pouring down over Oleg's thumb. Now is not the time for that.
"Shh," he whispers, taking Sergey's face in both hands as he wipes away the tears, "He's not worth your tears. There are many in the world who will love you, don't lose yourself to one who will not."
His words don't seem to comfort Sergey the way they often do, as he throws himself into Oleg's arms, clinging to his shoulders as he sobs harder. Oleg holds him, as he always has, savoring these steadily decreasing moments of intimacy that Sergey allows him. He also pushes down the violent urge that is welling in his veins, to hunt this mystery man down and hurt him until he either acknowledges Sergey's great worth or, more likely, experiences double the pain he's brought upon the redhead. Sergey probably wouldn't want him to do that, though. Not if he's really as gone on the man as he seems to be.
"Shh," he repeats, running a soothing hand over Sergey's hair and down his back, voice choking ever so slightly on his jealousy as he asks, "Is he really that special?"
Sergey's face is pressed against his chest and his nose sounds congested from all the crying, but Oleg can still hear, "He's everything . But no matter how many times I try to get his attention, he just doesn't respond. Like it would never even cross his mind to love me like that."
His friend sounds so heartbroken, and Oleg can relate. The miniscule foolish part of his brain that was still holding out hope is in agony at that admission. Sergey has never tried to get his attention, not like that. He knows exactly the pain of loving someone who would never even consider him as a potential romantic partner.
"You'll find someone better," he promises against Sergey's hair, as hypocritical as it is to offer advice he himself will never follow, "You'll find someone who loves you back."
"Please don't say that to me," Sergey begs softly, "I can't take it."
"Alright," Oleg concedes, though he doesn't know why his reassurances would be painful, "What can I do?"
Sergey mumbles something, but his face is buried in Oleg's shirt, right over his heart, and he speaks so quietly that Oleg can't make out the words.
"Sorry, what?" He asks.
Sergey lets out a soft, wounded whine, before saying more clearly, "Just hold me."
Oleg knows that whatever Sergey had said before was significantly longer, but he doesn't want to distress his friend further by pressing the issue. Instead he just wraps his arms tighter around Sergey and holds him close. Sergey melts against him. It would be so much simpler, Oleg laments, if Sergey just loved him instead. He would never grow tired of reminding his friend how loved he is, if he were allowed to do so.
Sergey falls asleep in his bed that night, clinging to him as he has always done when he's sad. And Oleg watches over him, as he has always done, doing his best to pretend his heart isn't every bit as shattered as Sergey's seems to be. He's always known his time with Sergey had a time limit. He could stick around, watch Sergey make eyes at other men, and someday give his heart to one who would accept it, growing more and more distant as he tries to keep jealousy and resentment from destroying their friendship. Or, he thinks, listening to Sergey's steady breathing, he could leave now, before it's too late. Maybe distance would save them from the poison of his feelings, giving purpose to Oleg's life beyond protecting a man who has outgrown him. Sergey won't understand, and he won't be pleased - he's never been fond of goodbyes. But if Oleg can get an "until we meet again" now in place of a "goodbye forever" later, he'll gladly make that trade.
The next morning, Oleg signs the contract to drop out of university and join the military.
Sergey is, as Oleg suspected, pissed. Maybe even a little sad.
Oleg hopes he can be forgiven, in the long run.
-Many Years Later-
It's been a month since Oleg finally surrendered the title of jailer. Some days, he still can't look at Sergey without recalling cold yellow eyes and the excruciating pain of five bullets through his chest. But he believes, or at least he thinks he does, that Sergey really is repentant. That his decision to pull the trigger wasn't truly voluntary. So, ever so slowly, they've been rebuilding the partnership they once had.
Sometimes, Sergey forgets that he's no longer in charge and tries to order him around. Other times his medication will fail and Oleg will find him curled up and crying, often bleeding thanks to broken mirrors or smashed windows. Rubenstein suspected Sergey still hallucinates the bird that haunts his mind. Even with the bird gone, the hallucinations - more similar to nightmares now than uncontrollable encounters - remain. Oleg isn't fully certain how Sergey's mind works, has never understood it, but he is under the impression that while the bird can no longer take control of Sergey's body or influence his actions, the memories of it doing so will haunt Sergey all his life. And of course, being possessed by a bloodthirsty god has likely left additional scars on Sergey’s mind and soul that they will have to discover together.
Still, even with these setbacks, Oleg feels like he might actually have his friend back some days. There are almost more good days than bad, days where Sergey smiles without malice and gives his opinion with confidence and even on occasion - these last few days especially - drapes himself across Oleg's back or lap when he wants attention instead of using his words. Those days remind Oleg of that first semester of college, and the summer they spent together when he'd quit the military for private work. To his deep annoyance, his heart still flutters every time, just as in love as he's always been with the man who tried to kill him (the man who is his first, last, and best friend).
Their new place is on a private island on a Finnish lake, near the Russian border. Sergey always dreamt of warmer climates, but Oleg has the colder, northern environment in his veins. It had been simple, living in the small property, supplementing monthly grocery runs with fresh caught fish. Simple, that is, besides his beloved attempted murderer locked in the empty wine cellar beneath him. In the long months of staring at him through monitors and regularly bringing him food - then later, gifts - he never imagined being here, living and working at Sergey's side once more.
Alongside Sergey and his medical records, Oleg also acquired many of Sergey's possessions. The boxes are stacked, still packed, in the dining room. Oleg usually eats in the kitchen, after all. Only Margot has free reign of the house, being a bird and not a box. So now that Sergey is free, they're unpacking all of his things. Even limited to what Oleg has salvaged, Sergey owns at least three times as much as the mercenary, and the work is slow going.
Sergey is upstairs at the moment, arranging and rearranging his closet with his usual fussiness. Oleg has left him to it, content with sorting through a box of random items: sketching pencils, a heavily locked notebook, an embroidered wall hanging of chamomile flowers, a stone mug with a wolf engraved on it… Oleg smiles at that. It looks more like something he would own than Sergey. There is a small wooden box, which from his glance inside contains some bits of string and dried plant matter. Oleg doesn't know why Sergey would keep such a thing, but it's not important. He's too glad to have his friend back at all to want to prod at small curiosities.
But the last object in the box challenges that. The slim plastic case is standard, unremarkable, but the familiar blocky handwriting is unmistakable. He still remembers writing out "Pop Pining Playlist" in permanent marker, shit eating grin on his face as he imagined Sergey's annoyed response, as if he'd only just done it yesterday. He can't believe it's been a decade since that night, just as much as he can't imagine his younger self's reaction to the events of that decade. For all he's always known his path, there were some things far beyond his ability to predict.
The CD feels heavy in his hands, the weight of a decade of pain and triumph and unrequited feelings and utter betrayal added to its light metal and plastic form. Oleg stares at it. After that night, Sergey had never mentioned it again. He'd been sure his friend had thrown it away or smashed it after he'd left… Even if he hadn't, Oleg would never have expected him to keep it for ten years. It's not even music he likes.
He's still staring at it, puzzling over it, when Sergey returns from the bedroom.
"Ah, some color in my wardrobe at last," he says with relish in his voice, hands rubbing together in excitement, "I'm beginning to feel quite myself again, and I…"
Oleg glances up as he trails off meeting wide blue eyes that are looking at him in what can only be described as terror. Oleg is already reaching for his gun as he demands, " What is it? What's the matter?"
Sergey's jaw is moving, but no sound is coming out.
"Seryozha, what's wrong?" He asks, rising fear bringing the old nickname to his lips without thought.
Sergey starts at it anyway, blinking at the sight of Oleg readying his gun, "No, no, nothing's wrong, nothing to worry about. Just… lost track of my thoughts, is all."
His tense ramblings don't sound especially convincing, and Oleg narrows his eyes at the way Sergey is sweeping up all the items he'd just unpacked and swiftly returning them to the box.
"I didn't know you still had this," he says, testing the waters.
"Didn't realize I did," Sergey shrugs, "Haven't seen it in almost ten years, really."
"Oh?" Oleg raises an eyebrow, "I thought you only bothered to retrieve your most prized possessions after I broke you out of prison. Everything else was bought new. You're telling me that of the roughly dozen items you had saved, an entire CD snuck in without your knowledge?"
"I don't believe you."
"Fine! Don't believe me! See if I care!" Sergey snatches the CD from his hands, tossing it into the box without care. They both hear the case crack open, the disc sliding out. Oleg waits, uncertain in the face of Sergey's changeable mood. After a moment, Sergey turns, long hair falling in front of rapidly reddening cheeks as he puts the CD back in its case and sets it down again more gently.
"Why?" Oleg asks quietly. Sergey doesn't turn to face him, and now his whole face is obscured, shielded by a curtain of fiery red locks as he keeps his head bowed over the box.
"Why what?" He snaps.
"Why did you keep it?"
Sergey doesn't say anything for a moment, before he sighs, "You really don't know?"
Oleg thinks back to that night, to the reason that solidified his decision to join the military.
"That… man?" He honestly feels like shooting something. All these years, and Sergey is still hung up on some random, moronic, disgraceful man who couldn't find it in him to love the perfection of Sergey. Because for all his flaws, for all they are partners now, Oleg will still follow Sergey into the depths of hell itself if he asks. Sergey has always been and - Oleg knows now, better than ever - will always be Oleg's world.
Sergey snorts, "Yeah. 'That man'."
Oleg isn't sure if he should ask, isn't sure he wants to know, but he can't quite hold back, "Can you tell me… who?"
Sergey tenses, shoulders tight, and Oleg sees his knuckles grow whiter where they're clenched on the box edge,"What?"
"Who is the man so perfect he captured your heart for a decade but so imperfect he couldn't love you back?"
Sergey shifts, spinning on his heel to face Oleg, eyes nearly wild, and Oleg takes a step back.
"You mean you don't know?! That doesn't make any sense!"
"Of course I don't know," Oleg frowns, "How could I know?"
"But I thought… I thought you knew. I thought you always knew. I thought you were just being…"
Oleg wracks his brain for a common acquaintance. Most of Sergey's crushes were fleeting and for strangers. When it becomes apparent that Sergey isn't planning on finishing his sentence, Oleg prompts him to, "You thought I was just being what?"
The response, just one word, is whispered so softly Oleg almost doesn't hear it.
" Kind ," Sergey breathes, his eyes shining with a gathering wetness.
"What?" Oleg asks, confused.
Sergey laughs an empty laugh, but one too self deprecating to remind Oleg of the bird. He still doesn't enjoy hearing it.
"You asked who had my heart for a decade," he says at last, eyes locked on the ground, "The answer, I could argue, is no one."
He pauses, as if waiting for Oleg to interrupt with an objection, but Oleg knows him well enough to stay silent and listen.
"The man I was talking about that night, the man I wish… but it doesn't matter. That man has held my heart for two decades."
"Two decades?" Oleg asks, "Now you're the one not making any sense. The only person you've even known for two decades is… me. Oh."
His eyes widen. Surely Sergey can't mean…?
When Sergey finally looks at him again, his eyes are brimming with tears, but there is also fear mingling with sadness on his face. Oleg wants to wipe it all away, kiss it away, even, if he's permitted. The part of his brain that knows how to hope, the part that he thought died all those years ago that night, has miraculously reappeared.
Sergey kept that ridiculous CD, despite hating every song on it.
Sergey has been pining after somebody for two decades, despite only knowing Oleg that long.
Sergey thought he was being kind.
"No, that can't be right," Oleg shakes his head, "You told me you'd tried to get his attention."
"I did," Sergey replies, voice high and tight but completely sure of its own honesty, "I tried so many times, in so many ways but y-," he swallows on the word before trying again, more softly, "but you never reacted to anything. Even that night, when I asked you to love me back, and you pretended like you hadn't heard me, because - because you didn't want to hurt my feelings, or, or ruin our friendship, or whatever. But I knew," he sniffled, "I knew I'd gone too far that night. Isn't that why you left me?"
Oleg can hear the sob in Sergey's voice and he can almost feel it echoed in his own throat. That had been what Sergey mumbled into his chest? His heart sears with the pain of lost time, if this is more than a mere dream.
"No," Oleg breathes, " No. I really never heard you. And I left because… because you didn't need me anymore. The longer I dragged out leaving, the more I'd be in your way until I ruined our friendship. But I still can't believe you - maybe you said something that night, but I know you never said anything before that. It can't be me."
"It's always been you," Sergey tells him, lips trembling at the barely repressed emotions, "And maybe I didn't say anything in as many words, but Oleg… I laid in your lap countless times, I constantly begged you to hold me, I would go out without a jacket just so I could wear yours or huddle closer and you would breathe on my hands to keep them warm and… but you never changed towards me. No matter how I pushed, no matter how many lines I tried to cross, you never even blinked."
"But," Oleg's frown deepens, "But you've always been like that?"
Despite the tears, Sergey manages to convey an impressively large amount of sass with an eye roll,"Obviously. Because I've always been in love with you."
Hearing it stated so plainly is too much for Oleg and to his own shock, his knees give out. Kneeling on the wooden floor, unneeded gun dangling limply from his fingers, before the firearms safety autopilot in his brain kicks in and puts it safely away without thought. He feels both too large and too small at the same time. Nothing makes sense, nothing, except that's not true because one thing has always made sense: Oleg has always loved Sergey and he has always done everything in his power to bring him happiness. And right now, that evidently means saying, "Did you ever consider that maybe my reaction never changed because I've always been in love with you, too?"
"What?" He hears Sergey gasp from somewhere above him and he looks up to see fear exchanged for disbelief and heartbreak for hope.
"You're my everything, Seryozha. Did you really not know?" He asks, "I've taken so many hits for you, broke you out of prison - twice, technically - and forgave you for shooting me."
"I'm so sorry," Sergey interrupts, sadness creeping back into his expression.
"I know," Oleg tells him, "and I forgive you."
"And you can still love me?"
"Of course. There's never been anyone who could hold a candle to you. No one and nothing who could drive you from my mind or my heart," he swears.
Sergey drops down across from him, hands reaching out desperately. Oleg obliges the silent plea, catching them and pressing fervent kisses to both. His tears are flowing freely now and Oleg can't help but pull him closer. Once Sergey is in his lap, hands moving frantically across Oleg like he wants to touch everywhere at once, as if Oleg has ever denied him that privilege (besides the months in the cell, of course). Oleg just holds him firmly, perhaps his favorite thing to do, and revels in the ability to kiss Sergey's tears away like he's always wanted.
When Sergey's energy runs out and he sags into Oleg's arms, Oleg says, "I still don't understand why you kept the CD. Surely there were other, better keepsakes?"
Sergey hums, a contented sound, and wiggles deeper into the embrace, "There were. There are."
"... Everything in that box you were unpacking?"
Oleg shifts quickly in surprise, jarring Sergey slightly.
"Everything?" He asks in amazement, "Really?"
Oleg sighs when Sergey stops, "What is the embroidery about?"
"Do you remember, when we were kids, that day in the park? We saw a lady get engaged, and her fiance gave her this gorgeous bouquet?"
"I remember," Oleg nods. He hasn't thought of that day in years, but he remembers, "You said you wished that some day, somebody would give you beautiful flowers, too."
"And then you ran off for a minute and came back with a tiny little posy of chamomile."
"I picked it off a flower bed in the park," Oleg smiles at the memory, "Almost got caught."
"You did? You never told me that."
"Didn't want you to worry," he shrugs, "Besides, it was well worth the risk to see you light up when I gave them to you."
He hears Sergey's sharp inhale, "It - it was?"
Oleg kisses his beloved's temple, "Of course it was. It always is."
He hears another sniffle, but the next thing Sergey says is, "The originals are in that box, along with the old friendship bracelet you made," and Oleg finds himself at risk of sniffling too.
"You mean you kept the original flowers?"
"Of course. They're one of the most precious gifts I've ever gotten. I just wish I'd been able to press them properly, so they didn't just crumble."
Oleg can't reply to that, so he says, "I used my old bracelet to attach my wolf amulet. I couldn't really wear it in the field, but I couldn't bear to leave it behind, either."
He feels Sergey's fingers move to the amulet, turning it to see the familiar faded colors tying amulet to chain.
"What about the mug?" He asks at length.
"It was supposed to be a gift for you," Sergey admits, "When I heard about the nickname. But then I thought, what if something happens to it, considering where you were working at the time. So I thought I'd hold onto it until I saw you again, except… I got attached. It made me think of you, and you weren't there."
Oleg smiles at him, and Sergey raises an eyebrow, asking defensively, "What?"
"Just, I used to do the same. I started listening to classical music when I was with the military."
"But you always called it boring?" Sergey frowns.
"It is," Oleg shrugs unapologetically, "Well, some of it. But it reminded me of you, when I was impossibly far away from you."
"Oh," Sergey says in a small voice.
"So," Oleg continues after a few beats of silence, "That just leaves the book, I guess.”
He can feel the way Sergey tenses in his arms, and his curiosity is instantly piqued.
“Can’t we just skip that one?” Sergey pleads, and sure, Oleg will do whatever Sergey wants, but just as he had ten years ago, Oleg finds good-natured teasing well within his rights as a friend. He can sense that Sergey is more embarrassed than genuinely upset about the contents of the book.
“Oh, come on,” he insists, a wide smile on his face that he hasn’t felt in years, “It can’t be all that bad.”
“Hmph,” Sergey crosses his arms, as best he can while still in Oleg’s, “Fine. Judge for yourself. The key should be in the wooden box, too.”
Oleg carefully extracts himself from Sergey and it says a lot about Sergey’s nerves that he stays where he is instead of following Oleg over to the notebook to maintain contact. The key is where he says it is, and Oleg unlocks the notebook with ease. He opens it to a random page, stops, stares. He flips the page. He flips another. After fifteen pages, Oleg is fairly confident the entire book is filled with just one thing: sketches of himself, always with his shirt off. He glances over at where Sergey is sitting cross-legged on the floor, and he watches the redhead’s throat bob under his scrutiny. After letting Sergey stew for just a moment, he cracks a wide grin and says, “Where the hell did you get the reference for these?”
Sergey’s eyes widen fractionally before he replies with as much nonchalance as he can muster, “Well, I remembered how you looked in our first semester of college and then… imagined the rest. At least until we met up again that summer.”
Oleg hides his smile and examines the sketches again, “Hmm.”
Evidently, the suspense of that is too much for Sergey, “I’m sor-”
“My deltoids are bigger than this,” he cuts his friend off, “Though the definition you give my collarbones is certainly flattering.”
At that, Sergey launches himself to his feet, tugging the sketchbook out of Oleg’s hands. He snaps it shut with a pout, “If you’re just going to make fun of it, you can just forget you saw it.”
Oleg catches his wrist in one hand and his chin in the other, ignoring Sergey’s ridiculously uninspired show of trying to pull away. After barely a half second, Sergey yields to his touch, waiting for Oleg to make whatever move he intends, but still with that overdramatic pout on his lips. He leans forward and presses a kiss to the corner of Sergey’s mouth, saying, “I apologize. It wasn’t meant cruelly. I - I’m flattered. I didn’t realize you were so interested in my appearance.”
“ You didn’t - are you a complete idiot?” Sergey demands, the pliancy he’d gained from the kiss vanishing into outrage, “I only told you some hundred times how hot I find hair like yours, eyes like yours, muscles like yours! I never shut up about how interested I was!”
Oleg blinks at him, “You - all those comments were about me? But you were pointing at random men every time you said them!”
Sergey stares back in total disbelief, “Random men who all looked like you . And then I would complain about all the ways they didn’t look like you!”
“ That’s what you were complaining about?”
“How did you not notice?! I literally could not have been plainer about telling you I found you hot.”
“...you could have said, ‘I find you hot,’ you know,” Oleg suggests. Sergey elbows him sharply, “Shut up.”
“Besides,” Oleg elects to continue, “it’s not like I’m all that attractive.”
“What the fuck are you talking about?” Sergey’s expression is really drifting towards hurtful degrees of shocked indignation, “I can’t go anywhere with you without some girl trying to chat you up. And you’re always so nice to them, like you enjoy it.”
“What are you talking about?” Oleg furrows his brow, “I’ve been flirted with like, a grand total of five times in my entire life. Most girls are just very polite, and it would be dishonorable of me to be anything but polite back, at least as long as I’m not in the middle of a mission.”
“Well, that’s a blatant lie,” Sergey snorts, “ I’ve flirted with you at least five thousand times.”
“Are you sure?”
“Holy… listen, Oleg, just because someone doesn’t say, ‘hey, I’m attracted to you,’ doesn’t mean they’re not flirting with you!”
“That’s stupid,” Oleg says, “Being clear and direct is so much better.”
“That’s so… so… unromantic !” Sergey says through his tense jaw, like he can’t believe how out of touch Oleg is.
“Yeah?” Oleg quirks an eyebrow.
With a smirk in his eyes, Oleg traces a gentle finger over Sergey’s defined cheekbone and says, “I’d really like to kiss you. Can I?”
He lets the smirk reach his lips as he watches Sergey swallow visibly again, his eyes widening at the touch.
“Point taken,” Sergey concedes, voice tight, “And yes. Please.”
The mischief bleeds out of his expression until there’s nothing left besides exultation and love, and he leans in to finally, finally capture Sergey’s lips with his own. They’re just as soft as he’s always imagined, just as warm, and even more insistent. Sergey wastes no time before kissing back, pressing his whole body against Oleg’s and running his even softer tongue across Oleg’s mouth demandingly. He slips one hand between them, rests it on Oleg’s pecs, near his heart, while the other clutches desperately to Oleg’s back. For Oleg’s part, he moves the hand on Sergey’s cheek back into his hair, holding him steady, while the other comes to rest on Sergey’s hip. It’s rough and tender and messy and passionate and everything Oleg has ever dreamed about. It’s perfect.
They don’t unpack anything else that day, electing instead to make up for all that lost time both physically and emotionally. By the time they’re finally worn out, laying in their bed together in the dark, Oleg expects Sergey to pass out almost immediately. But as they settle down into the bed, he hears Sergey shift and turns to look at his faint silhouette.
"I was right," Sergey murmurs into the darkness.
"Oh?" Oleg prompts, unsure which thing Sergey is referring to.
Sergey rolls over to drape over Oleg's body, pressing a messy kiss to his cheek, "Turns out I really did find my perfect man."