theme: o22. Diamonds
(Sequel to Just Driving By)
Kibum ran his hands through his partner’s short black hair until he held his head, keeping it pressed against his. He parted his lips and his partner slipped in his tongue.
“Sungmin-sshi…” Kibum muttered just as his stomach pressed against something hard. When his partner said nothing but continue kissing him senseless, Kibum pushed him away, “Sungmin-sshi!”
“What?” Sungmin asked, frustrated,
“The shift stick was practically impaling my stomach when you pulled me closer,” Kibum explained, idly rubbing his abdomen where the gear stick had been pressing into him uncomfortably,
“Well… if you want to do this properly in my car…” Sungmin raised an eyebrow suggestively,
Kibum rolled his eyes, “I have to get to class and you have a meeting.”
Sungmin leaned back in his seat, crossing his arms loosely, “They can’t start the meeting without the boss… and it’s not like class is mandatory.”
“I happen to like my classes,” Kibum replied defensively.
Every time they mentioned his school life or Sungmin’s work life, it always made Kibum feel distanced from Sungmin. They were two years apart and yet, it seemed to Kibum that Sungmin had accomplished so much more. Even just sitting in Sungmin’s black sports car, Kibum could tell the differences between their lives. Sungmin was the head of a major corporate company while Kibum was a third-year university student. Sungmin seemed to be always dressed in black suits with bright coloured button-ups beneath while Kibum was just realizing that all of his jeans were either faded or worn.
“Well, if you like your class so much, you better get going,” Sungmin said, pulling Kibum out of his reverie. Kibum had closed the door behind him when the tinted window rolled down and Sungmin added, “Oh, I won’t be home for dinner, so just eat without me”
Kibum spun around immediately, “That’s everyday this month!”
“I didn’t realize you kept count,” Sungmin blinked,
“I only started keeping count of how many dinner’s you’ve ditched me when I moved into your house,” Kibum explained hotly, eyes narrowed,
“I don’t ditch dinner plans that often!” Sungmin argued,
“In the four months that we’ve been together, I can count with both hands the amount of times we’ve actually gone through with our dinner plans,” Kibum countered, arms crossed over his chest,
“Hey, when I do come home late I always make it up to you right?” Sungmin smirked, his fox-like eyes lit up with innuendo,
Kibum stared at him hard, “It’s not always about sex, Sungmin-sshi. I would like to be able to eat meals with my boyfriend once in awhile.”
“We eat meals together,” Sungmin stated,
Kibum gave him a slanted look, “I have class.” He turned on his heel and started to leave,
“Kibummie!” Sungmin called after him.
Kibum paused and looked over his shoulder; Sungmin was holding a coffee cup towards the window. Sighing heavily, Kibum turned back, took his coffee and made to leave again.
“Kibummie!” Sungmin called again,
Kibum paused and looked over his shoulder; Sungmin was holding up his book bag. Sighing exasperatedly, Kibum turned back, took his bag through the open window, slung it over his shoulder and turned to leave.
“Kibummie!” Sungmin called once more,
“WHAT!?” Kibum exclaimed, spinning around to face Sungmin fully, his arms crossed defiantly,
Sungmin stared at him a moment before a big smile broke on his face, “Have a good day!”
Kibum glared at him, “I hope your car gets towed,” and with that, walked off leaving Sungmin startled, shocked and suddenly paranoid about his car.
Sungmin did as he said and wasn’t home for dinner that evening, or the next eight dinnertimes. On the ninth dinnertime, Sungmin promised Kibum he would be home for dinner. As the clock struck six o’clock, Kibum turned away from the dining table and headed to the living room and plopped down on the couch in front of the television set.
It was seven forty-five before Kibum heard Sungmin’s car pull into the driveway. It was seven forty-eight when Kibum heard Sungmin open the front door and come into the house. He had muted the television the moment he heard the car’s engine become silent. He sat in the living room, listening intently for the familiar sounds of Sungmin coming home from work. It had practically become a ritual - Sungmin coming home late for dinner. At seven fifty, Sungmin made his way down the hall towards the kitchen where faint smells of cooked food drew Sungmin. At seven fifty-two, Sungmin was in the dining room and, just as it turned to seven fifty-three, Sungmin swore at himself for being late… again.
Like clockwork, Kibum could anticipate down to the second of when Sungmin would steel himself and then come to the living room to apologize and explain himself.
“Must have been dire if you missed dinner again,” Kibum said just as Sungmin entered the living room.
Sungmin sighed as he leaned against the wall as he took off his black blazer and threw it over the couch’s armrest. “It was-”
“Computer crash? Meeting lasting longer than expected? Problems in one of the other divisions? Trapped in the elevator?” Kibum listed off past excuses before slowly turning his head to look at Sungmin directly, eyes cold, “Or did one of the janitors accidentally lock you in the copy room again?”
Sungmin flushed at his words as he crossed his arms loosely about his torso, “Actually, none of the above.”
Kibum raised an eyebrow in curiosity, “Then please, do enlighten me as to why you missed dinner for the twenty-first time this month,” he drawled as he turned off the television, and angled his body on the couch so he was facing Sungmin completely,
“I was leaving the office on time, reached my car just as it became five-thirty,” Sungmin insisted, “And then some of the guys from work wanted to go out and have some drinks.”
“So you went out to a bar?” Kibum’s eyes narrowed,
“I didn’t drink any alcohol - not if I’m driving,” Sungmin assured him,
“So instead of coming home - like you promised - you went out with your buddies to have a drink AND without calling and telling me you would be missing dinner?” Kibum concluded, his arms crossed, his one hand gripping his arm tightly,
“My phone died,” Sungmin explained,
“How convenient,” Kibum drawled as he slowly stood up from the couch,
“What do you mean ‘convenient’? It’s the fucking truth!” Sungmin exclaimed, pushing off from the wall and standing his full height,
“That’s right, all we ever do IS fuck,” Kibum noted sardonically.
Sungmin closed the distance between them, standing directly in front of Kibum, “I work okay? I’m out there busy running a major corporation. Sometimes I have to work over time and when I come home, maybe all I want is to relax with my boyfriend! So yes, lately, all we ever do is have sex but don’t you ever talk about our time together in such a degrading way!”
Kibum stared at him darkly, arms still crossed, “If all I wanted in a relationship was a good fucking,” Kibum said, emphasizing certain words, “then I would have stayed with Heechul.”
It could have been a slap. It could have made a crisp sound. It could have stung for just a moment. However, it wasn’t a slap - it was a punch. Sungmin’s fist connected with Kibum face, sending the younger one staggering backwards until he fell onto his backside.
“That’s not all our relationship is and you know it,” Sungmin grounded out, his fists clenched at his sides, “So stop all this bullshit and tell me what’s really bothering you; it can’t be just because of dinner.”
Kibum slowly got to his feet and walked over to the bay window, leaning a shoulder against the wall and staring out into the night.
Sungmin, already regretting for hitting Kibum but also knowing there would be no talking tonight, turned and left.
He stood beneath the shower head, cool water pouring down upon him. He needed to cool off, so the best solution he felt, was to take a cold shower.
“Sungmin you idiot,” he murmured to himself in the empty bathroom. He ran his hands over his face and through his short black hair, “Ugh - but he deserved it,” Sungmin hissed to himself, “Talking as if our relationship is nothing more than base lust. We spend time together,” he tried to convince himself as he stepped out of the shower after cooling down for twenty minutes.
Sungmin walked across the bathroom to the mirror and stared at his reflection in the mirror, clear from lack of steam. He placed his palms on the sink’s counter as he stared into eyes of his own, “No… I shouldn’t have hit him no matter what. Had he been a girl, I wouldn’t have laid a hand on Kibum.” Sungmin sighed and turned around, leaning his hips back against the counter, no longer able to stand looking at himself.
Suddenly, his cell phone rang from the bedroom. Wrapping a towel about his waist, Sungmin padded into his bedroom, finding his pants where he had tossed them onto the bed and took out his phone, “Hello?” His assistant’s voice came from the other side of the line, “What? A meeting with who? Really! We got it? Okay, okay, let me check my schedule to see where we can set up a meeting with them,” Sungmin said.
He picked up his briefcase from the foot of the bed and laid it on the mattress, opening it up. Atop all his papers and folders was a black planner in which he wrote down everything to help keep his busy life little bit less stressful. He opened it up, flipping it open to that month’s calendar. He ran his finger along the pages as he passed over the days, finally landing on the present day, “Shit… what? Oh, no, you didn’t do anything wrong. Can I get back to you tomorrow? They need to know by tomorrow? Well, then they’ll know by tomorrow, I have to go. Bye, thanks again.” He closed his phone and threw it towards the bed as he dropped his planner and bolted from the room.
Once on the main floor of the house, he searched all the rooms, “Kibum? Kibum!” The kitchen was empty, the dishes clean and drying on the racks. The dining room was empty, the food from dinner covered with plastic wrap and already stored in the fridge. The living room was empty, the room doused in darkness.
In a panic, Sungmin ran to the entrance, looking for Kibum’s shoes - they were not there. What was there, however, was a piece of paper taped to the back of the front door. On the paper in Kibum’s neat script read: Thank you for punching me; it’s a birthday present I’ll never forget.
For seven days Sungmin didn’t eat or sleep or even go to work. All he did was stay at home sitting in the main hallway, a phone in his lap and his eyes glued to the front door. If Kibum called or came home, he’d be ready. The severity of his sudden isolation became evident when his assistant stopped calling the house and came knocking on the door personally. However, all Sungmin had to do was mention her losing her job and she would leave immediately and Sungmin would return to waiting.
Kibum wasn’t replying to text messages and he wasn’t picking up his calls. After the first night Kibum didn’t come home, Sungmin went to the university but soon realized sadly that he didn’t know Kibum’s schedule nor any of the classes he was taking. He knew what Kibum was doing there, knew his major but that was it. He had left the campus frustrated because he couldn’t remember. Kibum had talked to him about his classes and schedule numerous times over the months that they had been together; Sungmin just never listened enough to remember.
When the seventh day rolled around and Sungmin still hadn’t heard from or seen Kibum since his birthday, Sungmin decided to suck up his pride and get help. He showered (for the first time in days), shaved and dressed in a black suit and his best Italian-leather shoes. He got into his black sports car and sped towards the university.
It was in the teaching assistant offices that he found the person who should be his rival; the person who should also be his saviour.
“I was wondering when you’d come,” Heechul stated simply as he looked up from his desk. He gestured towards the chair before his desk and Sungmin took the seat reluctantly, “Although, I am surprised it took a week for you to seek me out,” he said as he closed the notebook in which he wrote. He folded his hands atop his notebook and stared at Sungmin seriously, “And yes, I do know where Kibum is.”
“I guess he’s told you everything then,” Sungmin said quietly. For years he had feared no one. He was an important figure in the corporate world, ran a billion won business and yet, sitting here before Kibum’s ex-boyfriend, he felt as if he were ten again and had been sent to the principal’s office.
Heechul leaned back in his seat, crossing his arms, “He didn’t have to say anything, his bruised eye says it all.”
“I know I shouldn’t have hit him,” Sungmin admitted solemnly, not defending himself at all,
“No, you shouldn’t have, but I’m sure under different circumstances he would’ve hit you back, he’s still a guy after all,” Heechul shrugged, “But he didn’t hit you back because you’re his boyfriend. And he didn’t hit you back because it was his birthday and you had forgotten.”
“I… I just want to see him again,” Sungmin said quietly, running his hands through his hair, “I’d do anything for him,”
Heechul stared at Sungmin and saw the sincerity, heard it. Heechul crossed one knee over the other as he tilted his head slightly as he regarded Sungmin silently for a minute. Finally, he spoke, “It's ironic, isn't it? The moment we lose something is the moment we realize we're willing to risk everything to find it again,” Heechul stated casually, “You’ll find Kibum at my apartment.”
Sungmin left the campus and followed Heechul’s directions. It wasn’t far, just a few buildings away from the university campus. He entered the front door, punched in the code as Heechul had instructed and rode the elevator to the ninth floor. Just as Sungmin was stepping out of the elevator, he caught sight of Kibum entering the hallway, locking a door behind him.
Kibum snapped his attention up towards Sungmin and for a moment, just stood there, his hand still gripping his key in the lock. Finally, he finished locking the door, pocketed the key Heechul had lent him and leaned his back against the door, letting his bag slip to the ground.
Sungmin closed the distance between them, standing before him. Tentatively he reached a hand up towards Kibum’s bruised eye, “I’m -”
“Save it,” Kibum interjected coldly, “Why are you here?”
“Come back home,” Sungmin said simply, quietly as he dropped his arm to his side,
“Why should I come home? What is home anyway? Huh? Being with you - someone who clearly
underappreciated my being around them- is that home?” Kibum questioned,
“I have never underappreciated you being around!” Sungmin argued,
Kibum pushed off the door so he was standing his full height, he crossed his arms, “Oh really? You’re never home, we barely have conversations longer than ten minutes and you,” Kibum had raised a hand to point towards his bruised eye, then dropped his hand, “You forgot my birthday,” he finished, deciding to leave some things unsaid.
“How can I show you that I don’t take you for granted? I'll do whatever you want, get you anything you desire. I'll even buy all the diamonds in the world if it would mean you'll come back home,” Sungmin pleaded, taking Kibum’s hands into his own,
Kibum sighed as he reached up, holding the nape of Sungmin’s neck with his slender fingers. He massaged it absentmindedly as he pulled the older man’s face close to his own, “You still don’t get it,” he whispered before pressing his lips against Sungmin’s lips. Their lips met in a brief, sweet meeting before Kibum broke it, “Goodbye.”
Kibum released all skin-ship with Sungmin. He picked up his bag, swung it over his shoulder, and headed for the elevator. Startled at the abrupt words, kiss and parting, Sungmin stood there silent for just a second. But one second was all it took; when Sungmin finally did turn around to stop Kibum, it was too late.
He was gone.
(For the sequel & final part: Just You and Me)