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Whichever Road Takes Me to You

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Felix likes weddings. He likes the commotion, the joy, the atmosphere soaked in the hope for a good future; he enjoys the tears during the ceremony and the laughs after it, the joking around and the reminiscing. It’s even better when the groom is one of his oldest childhood friends, and the other groom was the best man at his own wedding - he remembers the playful fights about whose best man Changbin was actually going to be that somehow dragged all the way from the day Chan proposed to barely two weeks before the ceremony.

He was Chan’s best man in the end, just because Chan promised him a discount on studio time if he helped him win that little feud, and there was no amount of baked goods Felix could make to convince Changbin to give up any leg up he could get when it came to putting his name out there as a musician - he didn’t even want to, really. So he offered the spot to Jisung, because again - one of his oldest childhood friends, plus his long-lost twin brother from another mother - just to have Minho swoop in and demand to take the title, since if one of his litter (Minho’s words, not his) was getting married, he clearly had to take some important role in it. At first, Felix thought that he had some ulterior motive, some kind of prank to play or joke to make - but then the wedding went off without a hitch, and when Jisung announced that he and Changbin were getting married too, Minho pulled the exact same justification with him.

Now, three and a half years after Felix and Chan got married on a beach in Queensland, Felix finally realized that yeah; Minho was really just that sentimental - he may have exaggerated the sniffling and the clutching at his chest, but the tears welling up in his eyes were real. Minho was genuinely happy for them - proud of them, even, like a parent would be.

The whole thing had Felix’s heart swelling pleasantly, and after hours spent at the party watching two of his close friends watching each other with hearts in their eyes, Seungmin convincing Minho to dance with him in a way that was not just Minho grinding on him to see him blush and Hyunjin’s hand slip into Jeongin’s on top of the table while they were eating, his mind feels like it’s warm and buzzing along with his body, all of the champagne he had making him just the slightest bit tipsy.

But the most of it was just happiness; joy - knowing that things were looking up for the eight of them. They’ve all been through their fair share of pain and trouble, but tonight it really seems like there are only good things on the horizon - the skies are blue all around.

He starts singing I Can See Clearly Now softly to himself as they climb into their car to get ready to leave - at almost 4 fucking am, when their home is at least three hours' drive from the venue, because Chan’s boss Mr. Park is an actual piece of shit who refused to give him more than two days off, and Chan is an actual madman who decided that they didn’t have to leave early just because of that, and assured everyone that him taking 20 minute nap in a back room before they left to make the drive home was enough rest to make sure he didn’t fall asleep behind the wheel.

Felix begged to differ, but Chan was a surprisingly stubborn guy when he wanted to be, and after he bombarded Felix with a mantra of “it’s okay”, fluently switching from English to Korean just to make sure every single counterargument Felix offered got properly shut down, he just gave up and let him have his way.

If Chan wanted to take a hellish three-hour ride after a night of dancing and messing around with their friends, he could suit himself.

Originally, Felix intended to stay sober so they could at least switch halfway through, but then Minho sat down next to Felix at the reception, the two of them alone at the table, and gave him all of five seconds to brace himself between asking him for friendly advice and laying a tiny velvet box on the table, prompting Felix to choke and immediately reach for his champagne glass to chug it.

Then he told Minho to do it, and drank another glass with him to celebrate. Then Minho broke the news to Jisung who almost bawled his eyes out, and when Changbin came to comfort his brand new husband, they drank another round together.

Things… kind of escalated from there.

Still, Chan has no reason for the fond, slightly amused look he sends his way as he adjusts the rear-view mirror. He thinks Felix is drunk, and Felix can feel it in his skin.

“Don’t look at me like that.”

Chan averts his eyes to the windshield, but his face is still doing the thing. “Like what?”

“I just had a few glasses of champagne, get that look off your face.”

Predictably, Chan does not get the look off his face in the slightest while he puts the keys into the ignition and starts the car. “That definitely sounds like something a sober person would say.”

“If you want to see how sober I am, let me into the driver's seat,” Felix grumbles, but even as he says it, he pulls the seatbelt over his chest.

“I think I want to get us home in one piece just a little bit more than I want that proof, baby.”

The pet name makes Felix roll his eyes. “Don’t baby me, you fucker. Why are you being so smug tonight?”

Chan puts the car into reverse, but doesn’t start backing up out of their parking spot before giving Felix another Look. “Why are you being so hostile tonight?”

Well; in all honesty, a mix of sleepiness and alcohol has always had kind of a volatile effect on Felix’s mood, hence the switch from cloud nine to insulting his husband, but - “Because you’re babying me again.” - Chan could also not Chan it up so much while Felix is having a good night.

In response, Chan heaves a dramatic sigh while he finally starts to get them out of the parking lot and out on the road. “It’s just a pet name, Lix. Just because it flusters you-”

Felix’s mouth drops open at the sheer cheek of his husband. “Fuck you!”

Chan just laughs at him, even when Felix reaches out to slap at his arm, admittedly as gently as he can so he wouldn’t jostle Chan’s arm enough for him to shift the steering wheel and crash into something, and in all honesty, Felix can’t really fully get mad at Chan when he laughs like this. He looks ridiculous with his entire face scrunched up as he snickers, and Felix loves his dumb, cheeky, handsome ass.

He quiets down eventually, as he navigates out of the parking lot and onto the road, and as he settles into driving down the mostly empty streets, he gives Felix a quick, soft look. With the muted, intimate atmosphere in the car, it makes something flutter in Felix’s stomach, like he’s 20 again and Chan is driving him back to his dorm after a date.

“You can nap if you want, I won’t mind.”

Felix shakes his head, trying to shake the mental image of their early days out of his head with it. “No way; I’m staying up and talking to you to make sure you don’t fall asleep behind the wheel and kill us both.”

Chan snorts. “Thanks for the vote of confidence.”

All Felix gives him in response is a shrug. “Being an insomniac doesn’t make you invulnerable to microsleep.”

The tilt of Chan’s head indicates that he’s willing to let Felix have that one, and the younger man shifts in his seat, satisfied, so he can face Chan better. Viewing him like this, profile perfectly outlined by the streetlights as they pass them by, makes the nostalgia well up even further. Back in their college days, Chan and Minho were the only friends he had who had a car of their own, and given that Minho was a notoriously reckless driver and the inside of his car permanently smelled faintly of cat food, there had been many nights on which Chan had ended up driving Felix home. Well, it was Minho’s reckless driving and Felix’s big fat crush on Chan, but potato potahto.

“What do you wanna talk about, then?”

Felix swallows past the things that Chan’s fond, sleepy voice still does to him, and shrugs again. “Whatever; did Minho break the news to you too?”

Chan frowns and blinks. “News?”

“He’s proposing to Seungmin.”

“Minho? To Seungmin?” He throws his head back into the headrest of his seat in a way that makes Felix wonder if he’s faking his surprise. “Really?”

“Yeah - who else should he be proposing to?”

“No, I mean,” Chan tilts his head, looking mildly distressed in a way Felix can’t help but find endearing. “He always seems to get his kicks out of making the guy chase after him - and now he’s taking a step like that by himself?”

Felix has to admit Chan has a point, at least from an outsider’s perspective - as much of an outsider as Chan is after five-ish years of acquaintance, anyway, but the point is that unlike Felix, Chan didn’t grow up with Minho.

“He didn’t really say a lot about it except that he’s gonna do it - but I think he just doubts that Seungmin would dare pop the question by himself. You know how he is, he can be a little-”

“Weird about commitment?” Chan supplies, sounding a little amused.

“Yeah,” Felix grimaces.

“Like that first time.”

“Like that first time,” Felix repeats with a nod, his face getting even more pained.

Seungmin and Minho had a disastrous first run, right after they met in Seungmin’s freshman year of college. It was a mess of unrealistic expectations, misunderstandings and the unwillingness to compromise that tended to plague opinionated twenty-somethings like both Minho and Seungmin were back then. They didn’t have enough in common, and they wanted completely opposite things; Minho wanted freedom after coming out of a loveless straight relationship he had suffered his way through all throughout high school and the first two years of college, and Seungmin was desperate to go steady; tired of unrequited crushes and rotting in the closet.

They were the exact opposite of what the other needed, but also tragically each other’s type. The result was an explosive mess that ended up in a year of cold passive-aggression, which slowly grew into a reluctant friendship, which eventually blossomed into an actual relationship, once the two of them suddenly found themselves on the same page with where they wanted to go with their lives, once they both got out of school and started working and building their own lives.

And now they are getting married - if Seungmin says yes, but knowing him, there is not really any doubt in Felix's mind that he will. It makes him wonder, though, if Minho just feels left behind. He's the oldest in their little trio of friends who all grew up in the same town and went to the same high schools, yet he's always been the last one when it comes to relationships. Jisung and Changbin have been together since Jisung was seventeen, Felix managed to go steady with Chan before he turned 22, but it took Minho until he was knocking on thirty to really figure his love life out - and now he's the last of them to tie the knot, too.

Felix just hopes he isn't rushing anything. Felix remembers thinking that he and Chan might be rushing when they got married, and they have already been dating for three years by then - but then again, Felix was fresh out of college at that time and unsure of just about everything in his life but Chan, so their situations might not actually be quite as comparable as he thought.

"Do you think it's gonna work out?" Chan's words pull Felix out of his spiral of reminiscing, and he shrugs.

"Yeah, I mean," a smirk pulls at one corner of his mouth. "He loves him. In that Minho way."

"You mean passive-aggressively?"

Felix grins. "I said what I said."

Chan snorts. "So you're getting your best man speech ready already?"

"Sure, I'll start by retelling the story of how they met," he gives Chan a meaningful look. "Since that should be a part of every wedding."

It makes Chan burst into incredulous laughter. "It's been five years, are you ever going to let that go?"

"You lied about it at our wedding!"

"I had to!" Still trying to stifle his laughter, Chan gestured vaguely with one hand. "I couldn't say in front of my poor old grandmother that I met my soon-to-be husband at a rave when I kept hitting on him while high off my ass!"

Felix himself starts giggling too, falling against the car door. "You were so cute though. You called me an angel the entire time. I thought you were quoting Star Wars at me there for a second.”

“Because you were an angel - anyone else would have decked my ass and went on with their night, but you stuck around,” his voice grows softer and fonder as he speaks, and he flashes Felix a sweet smile. “You tried to help me find my friends, and you made sure I had water in my system - if that’s not what an angel would do, then I don’t know what is.”

Felix narrows his eyes at him playfully, nudging at him with a foot as lightly as he can. “You were entertaining, okay. I didn’t want the most fun thing to happen to me all night to collapse from dehydration. My friend was ditching me for your friend, anyway - it’s not like I had anything better to do.”

Chan shot him an amused glance, in disbelief that Felix was trying this hard to sound nonchalant about the night they met even years after they were already married. “I still can’t believe they had sex in the bathroom - those two? Of all people? Changbin and Jisung? Probably did it today. Minho and Seungmin? They’ve had sex in weirder places - but Hyunjin and Jeongin? They’re like the two most straight-laced guys in our entire friendship circle!”

With a snort, Felix shook his head. “They weren’t too straight-laced to go to a rave with us.”

“I had to basically drag Hyunjin out under threat of violence,” Chan remarked dryly.

“You never threaten people with violence,” Felix countered. “That’s more of a Minho thing.”

“Well, the last time I tried to call the way I get people to do what I want ‘skillful manipulation’, you called me a quote ‘fucking loser’, so.”

“Because it was blackmail, Chan. A fifth grader would know how to blackmail.”

“But it’s effective.”

“Just admit you’re not that smart.”

They stop at a red light, and Chan sends Felix a brilliant smile. “Smart enough for you to go out with me.”

Felix pouts. “I think you mean hot enough.”

“I was smart enough to get your number even though I could barely stand up at the end of the night,” Chan points out, like there is no shame he should feel at all when saying that.

“You literally just begged for it and promised to buy me the best bungeoppang in the entire city. It wasn’t exactly a master plan.”

“I’m not saying I did it smartly, just that it was a really smart thing to do.” Chan winks at him as he accelerates again, and Felix rolls his eyes fondly. “A very good decision. Best of my life, I’d say.”

“Really? Better than moving out of your and Changbin’s place after he and Jisung started dating?”

Chan snorts - they both know he hated living with Changbin at that point, once the couple lost all inhibitions around each other, their shared apartment became basically unlivable for a third person in the mix. “Don’t sell yourself short, baby,” he says anyways, in this warm, teasing voice that makes Felix want to kick him.

“You know I hate when you do that.”

“I know you say you hate it but most of the time you’re blushing when you’re saying it so nothing you say can be trusted.”

“I’m just embarrassed for you,” Felix grumbles and stares out the windshield grumpily.

Chan laughs and reaches out to pet his leg, and Felix just wants nothing more than to be home and sleep for hours while using Chan as a heated pillow. He’s so tired. How is Chan not exhausted?

For a few minutes, Felix just studies Chan’s profile silently, mulling things over in his head. Annoying or not, he couldn’t imagine his life without Chan at this point. Didn’t want to.

“It was some pretty good bungeoppang,” he says eventually, quiet and thoughtful as if he was saying something much more serious.

Amazing bungeoppang,” Chan corrects him, clearly offended.

“I’ve had better,” Felix retorts with a small smile, the shift in his voice making Chan look over. “But I had it with you, so it made up for it.”

Pressing his lips together, Chan looks back at the road, the tips of his ears going from normal to burning red in record time. “Now you decide to get all romantic on me?”

Felix laughs brightly, shrugging. “I just wanted to prove to myself that I knew how to make you blush if I wanted to as well.”

Chan sighed. “I really missed the mark with the angel thing, didn’t I?”

Laughing even harder, Felix shifted so he could lay his head on Chan’s shoulder briefly and wrap one arm around his waist. “I have no idea what you’re talking about, my dear husband.”

With a shake of his head, Chan heaves an even more dramatic sigh, but he breathes out through a smile. Felix pecks him on the cheek before moving away to let him drive properly again. “You put me through hell on that first date, too. I genuinely thought you hated me for a bit.”

“I was just teasing you!”

“It was just kind of a departure from the way I remembered you, okay?” Chan sounds genuinely defensive, and Felix suddenly feels bad, reaching out to touch Chan’s thigh to reassure him.

“I know I got you nervous with it - that’s why I took you to that café afterwards - I wanted you to know I really did want to spend time with you.”

Chan throws him an unsure glance, and Felix wants to kiss him. “So you didn’t do it just to get coffee for free.”

Felix snorts. “I could have afforded my own coffee, even back then.” He squeezes Chan’s thigh, his tone turning teasing again. “You could have always said no to paying for me.”

“I didn’t even think of that - you looked so fucking good, even dressed down like that; even making fun of me, you were worth every penny I had.”

Felix pauses, then pets Chan’s leg a little, fighting a smile. “Sap.”

“Says the guy who prolonged that date on purpose.”

“I still waited for you to ask me out the second time.”

“But you asked for the third date.”

“I just asked you to drive me home because Minho was busy,” Felix counters, now crossing his arms and frowning again.

“And then invited me upstairs for pizza,” Chan adds, like it’s some kind of a gotcha.

“I owed you for the ride! And having pizza together is about the most bro thing two guys can do.”

A grin splits Chan’s face and Felix knows immediately he won’t like what Chan is about to say. “Aside from measuring dicks?”

Felix gives him a look. “Sometimes I really wonder what you and Changbin got up to when you lived together.”

Chan just looks as smug as he possibly can. “Do you want it in centimeters or inches?”

“I want you to shut up,” Felix retorts, laughing, collapsing back against the passenger side door while looking at his husband incredulously. He genuinely can’t tell if Chan is joking or not, but he knows that he doesn’t care that much either way.

Another stretch of silence follows, and once again Felix is the one to break it.

“Is Jisung a lucky guy?” He throws out there, just to see what happens.

Oh yeah,” Chan nods emphatically, and Felix’s eyebrows shoot up his forehead. Then Chan smiles so wide his entire face scrunches up. “Changbin has a great personality.”

Felix kicks him in the hip, and Chan fights not to double over in laughter.

“You’re the worst.”

“And you still decided to date me.”

“I didn’t decide,” Felix counters, looking out at the road ahead. “It just kind of happened.”

“Somehow you just happened to go on enough dates with me for us to have no choice but to call it a relationship?”

Felix shrugs. “I really didn’t think it was going anywhere for a good while. You were cute, and I liked you, and some of the talks we’ve had…” Chan looks at him then, and they exchange looks that say more than words ever could. “You know. But still I thought we’d just never be on the same page.”

Chan’s voice is much more quieter and gentler when he speaks up next. “Was it that call with your mom that did it for you?”

Felix nods silently, dropping his eyes to his hands. “You were just the first person I thought of calling when I got the news. And when she asked who you were… anything but boyfriend just sounded wrong.” He presses his lips together to push down the swell of emotion at the memory. “She seemed so happy for me - even despite the circumstances. Told me she was happy I had someone to be with me through it.” He swallows, then smiles a little when he sees Chan reach one hand out for him to hold. “And when you picked up immediately when I called, and when you stayed over that week just to make sure I was okay, I realized I was really fucking happy to have you, too.”

There’s a little stretch of silence, in which Chan squeezes Felix’s hand and blinks quickly. “I swear I can’t cry right now if I don’t want us to crash,” he says under his breath, and it makes Felix laugh past the lump in his own throat.

“Should I talk about something embarrassing you did instead?” he offers, making Chan groan, but it seems to lighten the mood in the car a little.

As if the universe sensed how badly the two of them needed a change of topic from Felix’s father’s accident, Felix’s phone buzzes.

“It’s Minho,” he informs Chan when he throws him a curious look, then proceeds to jump up in his seat when he reads the message. “He proposed to Seungmin!”

Chan straightens up, too, his jaw dropping in surprise. “Seriously?”

“Yes!” Felix laughs, typing a response as he speaks. “He says Seungmin’s crying, and he has no idea what to do.”

“You’d think the guy has never seen a human being before,” Chan grumbles in disbelief.

“He’s just flustered because it’s Seungmin,” Felix defends his friend, even as he himself offers Minho only a ‘STOP TEXTING AND HUG HIM YOU IDIOT’ as advice. “You freaked out when I started crying after you proposed, too.”

“I was drunk!” Chan protests, but he’s laughing now, too. “Plus you didn’t even answer me first, I asked you, and you immediately started bawling your eyes out! I had no idea what was wrong!”

“You just proposed to me!”

“I wasn’t expecting you to jump into my arms screaming yes or anything, but I didn’t expect you to just sob into my shirt for five minutes, either.”

“It was already an emotional day for me okay, it was the day I really realized how-” Felix stops himself, feels the blush overtaking his face when he realizes what he was about to say. Chan looks at him curiously, and a warmth spreads in Felix’s chest - the knowledge that it’s okay to say sappy stuff like that to his husband. Because he did say yes in the end, and for a good reason. “How special you are to me. That you weren’t just a really good boyfriend, but someone I couldn’t imagine living without.” He snorts and shakes his head. “Somehow it took a trip back to Sydney with you to realize that.”

Chan doesn’t respond immediately, but Felix sees him bite down hard on his lip. “We’re really going down memory lane today, huh?”

“Yeah,” Felix agrees shakily, then sends Chan a soft smile. “Which means that it’s your turn for a big confession - did you know you were gonna propose?”

He gets a shrug from his husband, whose eyes are clearly red-rimmed by now. Felix reaches over to squeeze his thigh again. “Kind of? But you already know I didn’t even have a ring for you at that point. But I knew what I wanted.” He looks over at Felix and gives him a smile so fond Felix’s heart hurts with it. “And that was you. For as long as I could get you.”

“Why?”

“Because I’ve known you for three years by then and in all of those three years there wasn’t a single day when I didn’t think of you, or miss you, or smile at a memory of you.”

Another silence stretches between them. Felix swallows hard past a lump in his throat. “Can you pull over?” It’s just a whisper.

Chan looks worried when he glances at him, but whatever he sees in Felix’s eyes seems to reassure him. He nods, and they pull to a stop by the side of the road, ever so slowly. The engine rumbles softly as Chan waits for Felix to move.

“I love you,” he says eventually, still without moving an inch, the words, the meaning of them taking precedence before anything he wanted to do with his body at the moment.

Chan’s grip on the steering wheel loosens, and he drops a hand to squeeze the one Felix has on his thigh. “I love you too, Felix.” He picks his hand up, kisses the back of it, nuzzles his cheek against it. “Always have, always will.”

That’s what makes Felix finally move, climb over Chan’s lap to hold him, to kiss him, to be as close to him as he possibly can, so they can pretend for a few minutes that they never have to let each other go again. Chan reads his mind, as always, kissing back softly and then letting Felix nuzzle into him, locking his arms around him and burying his own face in the fabric of Felix’s suit jacket.

“Thank you for staying with me,” he murmurs against the fabric, and Felix pretends that his sob is a hiccup even though he’s not fooling anyone.

“Where else would I go?” he says in response, kissing the side of Chan’s head and reaching up to pet his hair.

“You could go anywhere you wanted.” Chan sounds hoarse, and a little sad, and Felix holds him tighter.

“This is exactly where I want to be,” Felix assures him, then pulls back to kiss his mouth again, soft and deep, trying to kiss the truth of it into Chan’s mouth, carve it into his lips so he won’t forget it. “I love you,” he repeats, kisses Chan’s cheek, pokes it with his nose and smiles. “I loved you when I married you and a little more every single day since then.”

Chan licks his lips slowly, rubs his hand up and down Felix’s back. “That’s a lot of days,” he whispers back eventually.

Felix pokes him in the chest, but he’s grinning. “You’re ruining the moment.”

It makes Chan smile back just as wide. “We were having a moment?”

With a sigh, Felix leans back, studies his husband’s beautiful, stupid, smiling face. “You did this at the wedding, too - you couldn’t give it five minutes after the ‘I do’s to start cracking jokes.”

Chan nudges Felix’s stomach with the back of his hand. “I was worried you were going to start crying again.”

Felix raises his eyebrows. “You were the one who cried at the reception.”

“Wait, you saw that?” Chan seems genuinely confused, and Felix laughs, reaching up to hold his face.

“Yeah, Hyunjin and Changbin did a terrible job trying to stop me from following you. But I figured you wanted to be alone.”

Chan looks away, clearly embarrassed but knowing how stupid it was to feel that way about it. “I wanted to be with you, that was the problem.”

Felix coos at him, and Chan huffs out a laugh, batting his hands away, then catching them in his. “I wanted to have you by my side for the rest of my life, more than I ever wanted anything else in my life.” He brings Felix’s hands to his mouth and kisses the ring on his left ring finger, then the one on his right. “And you agreed to do just that.” He smiles at Felix in a way that makes him seem like he’s giving up. “It just hit me while cutting out wedding cake for some reason.”

And Felix can do nothing but watch him fondly. “A little slow on the uptake, huh?”

“It was an emotional day for me, okay,” Chan quotes Felix’s words back at him, and Felix frees one hand to slap at him, making Chan laugh again and pull him close and into a hug. Without even a second of resistance, Felix melts into it, and wants nothing more than to be able to fall asleep like this and never move again. Just stay in Chan’s arms like this forever, uncomfortable position be damned.

For the longest time, neither of them moves or speaks, then one of Chan’s hands resumes its mindless petting of Felix’s skin, making him stretch and hum happily.

“So…” he says quietly, warmly, like it’s noon on a Sunday and they’re cuddling in bed and not in the car the side of the road in the middle of the night. “Next year, we’re doing this whole thing again for Minho and Seungmin?”

Felix smiles, nuzzles his cheek against Chan’s shirt. “Probably.”

“That’s gonna be a disaster.”

Felix smiles wider. “Probably.”

“How about we buy them a selection of wines, and when it starts going south, we’ll just sneak away with it.”

“I like the way you think.”

Chan laughs, then hums, rocking them a little in the seat. “If you like me so much, maybe you should date me.”

Felix snorts against him, then lifts his head and studies Chan’s eyes for a second before kissing him briefly. They’re as dark and deep as galaxies, and they’re the best thing Felix has ever loved. “I’ll think about it.”