theme: o94. Makeup
pair: WC* [Sungmin/Kibum]
(Sequel to Just Driving By and Just Another Dinner)
In all the years he had lived, Kibum did not know a time as hard for him as September had been. Following his separation from Sungmin at the end of August, he temporarily moved in with Heechul until he could find a place of his own.
Heechul was at a lost of what to do for those thirty days of September. He could tell that Kibum was broken and depressed without Sungmin, however, Kibum would never say, would never even mention it; he was always the strong, silent type.
It was an early October morning when Kibum padded across the hallway to Heechul’s bedroom and rapt on the door lightly. The door opened and Heechul appeared in a pink bathrobe,
“Kibum, where are you going?” Heechul asked, looking him up and down.
Kibum, who was already dressed for the day at six in the morning, ran a hand through his hair, “I know, I know, my first class isn’t until eight, but there’s some things I have to do at the library first.”
Heechul crossed his arms loosely as he gave him a slanted look, “You work too hard Kibum, you’ve be working too hard these past four weeks.”
“I’m in university Heechul, I need to work hard to graduate!” Kibum defended,
Heechul raised a hand, “Shh! You’ll wake the dead with your volume this early in the morning.”
“Wake the dead…” Kibum rolled his eyes, “Don’t tell me you have ANOTHER guy in there.”
Heechul opened the door wider and sidestepped so Kibum could see into the room. Kibum edged closer and peered in and, just as he predicted, there was a body sleeping on Heechul’s bed beneath the blankets.
“When we were together, how did I not realize how much of a sl-”
“I was loyal,” Heechul interjected before any names could be said, “Now what do you want this early in the morning,”
“I just want your concealer,” Kibum said simply,
Heechul pointed towards the bathroom, “Where you left it yesterday.”
“Thanks,” Kibum said, turning towards the bathroom door,
“You know, there is a permanent way to get rid of your dark circles,” Heechul called after him,
Kibum paused at the bathroom door and turned around, “Well why didn’t you tell me this sooner!?”
“Because it’s difficult and I don’t think you’re ready,” Heechul replied, leaning a shoulder against his doorframe,
Kibum crossed his arms over his chest, “How hard could it be? What is it? Sleeping with cucumbers over my eyes,? A little aloe every morning? It’s probably easier than using makeup every morning like I do now. Oh - and do not say sleep, because I have a lot of schoolwork and sometimes I just don’t get around to sleeping.”
“Schoolwork… that’s why you haven’t been sleeping… right,” Heechul muttered before clearing his throat, “Go back to Sungmin.”
Kibum’s eyes widened at Heechul’s words, but he said nothing. Instead, he turned around and disappeared into the bathroom. Heechul sighed as the door slightly slammed behind Kibum, then he retreated into his room and shut the door quietly behind him.
Kibum looked at his reflection in the mirror above the sink. He wasn’t vain, but he always felt his eyes held a particular charm. However, ever since the dark circles appeared the second week of September, all the charm was gone. No matter what Heechul said or alluded to, Kibum knew the real reason the dark marks appeared beneath his eyes; it was school and homework, nothing more.
He sighed heavily as he picked up the small bottle of liquid concealer. Unscrewing the cap, he placed the cap on the shelf below the mirror. He dabbed a small drop onto the tip of his finger and, looking at himself in the mirror, began to smudge the makeup beneath his eyes. It was beginning to get worse, Kibum had to gradually start using more and more makeup to hide the dark circles, but even then there was still the slight tint of black and blue beneath his eyes.
Steadily, he applied drop after drop to his finger and smudge it beneath his eyes again and again in what was becoming a morning ritual for him. The final time he applied concealer, he dragged it slowly beneath his eye and then paused, his finger at the corner of his right eye; Sungmin used to do that. During sex or in the afterglow, Sungmin would gently caress the apple of his cheeks, just below his eyes. His fingers would barely brush his skin as his eyes would stare directly into Kibum’s. In those moments, it felt as if Sungmin could see straight into his soul, into his heart, and Kibum felt safe into letting him do so.
Kibum shook his head, forcibly pulling himself out of his reverie. He capped the small bottle, replaced it on the shelf and washed his hands. Before he left the bathroom, he glanced at his reflection one more time. The concealer did it’s job, but it was no match for the black and blue beneath his eyes. He sighed and switched off the lights; he knew if he stared for too long, he would end up thinking of the real reason the dark marks appeared and he knew it had nothing to do with school and homework.
Sungmin leaned a shoulder against the window frame. He had one arm wrapped about his torso, the other holding a glass of whiskey to his lips. He stared out to the busy city below, he used to do this all the time, ever since his grandfather handed him down the company. He would look down at the city and become elated at standing at that window because he could remember the days when he’d be looking up at the main building of his grandfather’s business. He would look down at the city and know, he had finally made it; yet now, it meant nothing.
Slowly, he slipped the last drop of whiskey in his glass as a knock came at his office door. He said nothing, simply continued to peer out of one of the windows, trying to regain a semblance of completion he once felt while looking out at Seoul. He heard the door creak loudly as it was opened,
“If I don’t answer, it means I don’t want to be disturbed,” Sungmin’s voice drifted across the room to his assistant,
“Sir, you haven’t wanted to be disturbed for the past month!” His assistant said hotly.
It was hard to do her job when her boss barricaded himself in his office day in and day out. There were meetings, schedules, contracts to be signed and for the past month, Sungmin had been dumping it all on her to do. The limit of her stress got to the point where she was flipping a coin to decide whether or not to sign a contract on Sungmin’s behalf. She knew telling him would not help the situation, but all of the company’s businesses were experiencing a decrease in sales by thirteen percent.
Sungmin finally turned around and walked the few feet to his desk, putting down the glass so he could pour more whiskey in,
“Sir, the company’s faltering because you’ve been locking yourself up in your office!” His assistant cried,
“Does it look like I give a damn about the company right now?” Sungmin scowled as he took a big gulp of his drink. He slammed the glass back down onto his desk,
“But sir, you… you love the company! It was your grandfather’s-”
“And who asked him to give it to me anyway!?” Sungmin demanded.
Red in the face, his assistant left his office, the door slamming behind her. Sungmin let out a sigh of relief, glad for the peace, but it was short lived. Ten minutes later, the door opened once again - this time without a knock- and in entered his Head of Public Relations, who also happened to be his best friend.
He sighed heavily and turned his back to his friend, his eyes going out the window again as he leaned his hips against his desk, “Go away Yesung-sshi…”
“I’ve been going away everyday for the past month. When your assistant came crying to me to talk to you, I decided ‘Hey, let’s not go away this time. Let’s talk to the jerk’, so here I am, jerk.” Yesung said as he closed the door behind him and approached the desk, sitting on one of the chairs before the desk.
“What do you want to talk about?” Sungmin asked quietly as he reached for his glass again,
“How about why you lock yourself up in this office everyday for the past four weeks?” Yesung asked, “Does it have to do with that last week of August when you locked yourself in your house?”
Sungmin stayed quiet, sipping his alcohol.
“I’ll take that as a yes. Now, do I have to remind you of how many people you’re affecting by hiding away here?” Yesung inquired matter-of-factly, “I mean, besides the people in this building alone, there’s all the company branches, all the other companies we have contracts with and their workers - not to mention your family’s worried about you and-”
“I DON’T CARE!” Sungmin exclaimed turning around to face Yesung, slamming the glass onto his desk again, “I. DO. NOT. CARE! The only thing I do care about is out there!” He pointed back towards the window,
“Then why don’t you go out there?” Yesung countered, “Go to whatever it is that you care about!”
“Because he won’t come back to me,” Sungmin confessed quietly, rolling his chair to him and plopping down. Placing his elbows on the table, his hands held his forehead as he stared at the grain in the desk’s wood.
“You’re gay?” Yesung gaped, “We’re best friends you never said - WAIT, not the time to discuss this, sorry… Why won’t he come back to you?”
“He thinks I take him for granted, that I don’t appreciate him,” Sungmin said,
“Well… do you?” Yesung asked,
Sungmin raised his head, “What?”
“Do you? Do you take him for granted?” Yesung inquired,
“What!? No! I mean, sure I cancel a lot of plans and yes, I do ditch our dinner plans a lot and sure, maybe I come home late more than a couple dozen times - but that DOES NOT mean I don’t appreciate him!” Sungmin argued,
Yesung leaned an elbow on the armrest and laid his chin in his hand, “What is so great about this guy that the moment he leaves, you become a total wreck?”
“Just answer the question,” Yesung said,
“Well, he’s a hard working university student. He’s in his third year, so I have to admire that. I mean, I left university months before I was done my last year,” Sungmin stated, “And, he has this thing where when he’s thinking - really deep in thought, his emotions are written all over his face. A tear or a small smile will appear without him even realizing it.”
“Like how you’re smiling right now?” Yesung asked, “What else?”
“There are times when we’re… erm… together, that I stare into his eyes. We say and do nothing because, there’s no need; it’s all in that exchange of glances. It feels like in those moments, he’s really letting me see straight into his soul - into his heart and… it’s scary thing, someone being to see the deepest part of you but, he lets me; he’s not scared,” Sungmin recalled, a look of longing lighting his fox-like eyes, “During those moments I sometimes believe that maybe… maybe he does love me.”
Yesung smirked, “Like how you love him?”
Sungmin sat up straight and stared at Yesung, “What?”
Yesung sat back in his chair, crossing his arms loosely about his torso, “You, my dear friend, love this guy, whoever he is.”
Sungmin blinked at the words and slowly, a smile tugged at his lips, “You’re… you’re right… I do love him.”
“Have you ever told him?” Yesung asked,
“Well I just realized it now -”
“No, all the stuff you told me about him,” Yesung explained, “About when he’s thinking or when you look into his eyes when you’re…together. Have you ever told him any of these things?”
Yesung rolled his eyes, “No wonder he feels underappreciated. Listen, I understand that work plays a big role in your life, it does for me too - but you have to show this guy that even though work takes up a majority of your life, he takes up even more of your life.”
“How do I do that?” Sungmin asked,
“Tell him all the things you just told me,” Yesung said simply, “That’ll show him that yes, you are a workaholic, and that yes, you don’t spend as much time together as you should be but that does not take away from the simple fact that you love him.” Yesung stood up and turned to leave, “And that is why I am Head of Public Relations,” He said smugly as he reached the door. He paused and turned back to look at Sungmin who was thinking it over at his desk still, “And there’s another thing, Sungmin.”
Sungmin looked up, “Yes?”
“You need to start being at home more. It’s no secret here that you spend a good twelve hours a day at the office,” Yesung stated, “Work is good and all, but if you keep choosing work over this guy well… look at what happened.” With that, Yesung slipped out of the office, leaving Sungmin alone with his thoughts.
Later the afternoon, Kibum returned back to Heechul’s apartment, done with classes for the day. As he dropped his bag beside the couch, he went over to the dining table where Heechul had left the mail. On top was an envelope addressed to him. He opened it and turned it upside down. Onto his palm dropped a small gold ring encrusted with diamonds and a small piece of paper with five words written on it: Please come back to me.
Kibum put the paper and envelope down, holding the ring up to his eye, “Another diamond added?” Heechul asked as he appeared out of the bathroom,
“Looks like it,” Kibum sighed as he put the ring back into the envelope,
“That makes it… thirty-two diamonds,” Heechul concluded as he came over and took out the ring again, “For thirty two days Sungmin’s been sending you a ring with another diamond added each time and for thirty two days you keep sending it back.” He peered at the diamond-filled band, “Looks like there’s enough space for one more diamond… what do you think will happen after tomorrow when it’s completely filled with diamonds?”
“He’ll finally leave me alone,” Kibum said roughly as he snatched up his bag and retreated to his room, slamming the door behind him.
Heechul sighed as he gazed at the ring and placed it back in the envelope, “What a waste of diamonds.”
The next day, the ring returned in the afternoon, the ban completely full of diamonds and, as always, Kibum put it back into the envelope, re-addressed it and sent it back to Sungmin. The day after that, Kibum was startled to find an envelope addressed to him on top of the stack of mail.
Hesitantly, he opened the envelope and turned it upside down. This time, two rings fell into his palm along with the usual note. One ring was the previous ring encrusted completely with diamonds. The second ring was a gold band with a single small diamond.
“Can’t blame him for being persistent,” Heechul commented lightly as he came over, “And rich.”
Kibum’s fist closed over the rings tightly as he narrowed his eyes, “When is the bastard going to leave me alone!?” He practically threw the rings back into the envelope, closed it and pocketed it,
“Where are you going?” Heechul asked as Kibum headed to the door, tugging his shoes back on,
“To tell him to leave me alone once and for all!” Kibum stated before whipping the door open and storming off.
It was just after six o’clock when Kibum reached Sungmin’s house and he was highly surprised to find the familiar black sports car in the driveway. He went straight to the front door and banged on it with a fist. After six-count, the door opened and there stood Sungmin.
“Ki…Kibum-sshi!” Sungmin exclaimed,
“I need a reason other than a diamond ring,” He brushed passed Sungmin into the house, pulling out the envelope, “Sorry, other than TWO diamond rings - to convince me as to why I should come home!” He slapped the envelope into Sungmin’s hand,
Sungmin closed the front door and leaned his back against it, eyes staring at the envelope in his hand, “You should come home because your birthday is August 21st-”
“At least you remember my birthday now,” Kibum drawled, crossing his arms defiantly, “but just because you FINALLY remembered doesn’t mean I’m going to-”
“Because you like to eat your toast with an egg on top. Because you stir your coffee three times every time before you take a sip,” Sungmin let the envelope drop to the ground as he counted off his fingers as he listed his reasons, “Because you like to be barefoot when its cold but have socks on when it’s hot. Because you only wear your silk boxers on Fridays. Because you double knot only your left shoe in the morning,”
Kibum furtively glanced down at his shoes to realize, indeed, only the left shoe had been double knotted,
“Because you laugh softly sometimes in your sleep…” Sungmin finished, finally looking up at Kibum.
Their gazes locked, Kibum stammered, “You… you noticed all those things? I didn’t even know these things!”
“Kibum, I notice everything about you,” Sungmin stated simply and sincerely, “I love you.”
“I love- That… that doesn’t mean you can buy me off with diamond rings!” Kibum argued,
“That’s not what I’ve been trying to do!” Sungmin defended,
“Really? Sure looks like it,” Kibum narrowed his eyes,
“I wanted to show you that I’d do whatever it takes for you to come home,” Sungmin insisted, taking a step towards him,
Kibum threw his arms into the air in frustration, “You want me to come home? Then BE at home!”
“I don’t want diamonds or gold rings,” Kibum stated exasperatedly as he walked over to Sungmin and picked up the fallen envelope. He stared directly into Sungmin’s eyes, “I don’t even care if you never say flowery words like you did just now ever again… I just don’t want to play seconds to your job.”
“You want me to quit my job?” Sungmin asked,
“No…I just want you to be at home more.” Kibum sighed heavily, holding out the envelope for Sungmin, “With me.”
Sungmin took the envelope and threw it to the side. He grabbed Kibum’s hand and tugged him to him. He held the side of Kibum’s head with a hand. His thumb gently caressed just below his eye, concealer rubbing off and revealing the dark circles. Sungmin moved his hand to the nape of Kibum’s neck and pulled his head towards his.
Sungmin pressed his lips against Kibum’s forehead, “I promise, so long as you come home.”
Kibum closed his eyes as he wrapped his arms around Sungmin, pulling him closer; “If you’re here, then I’ll always come back.”
Sun drifted into the dim bedroom. Kibum threw an arm over his eyes to block it just as he heard someone walk across the room and close the curtains. He moved his arm away from his eyes just as Sungmin walked away from the window and headed over to the dresser.
“Sorry, I didn’t want to turn on the lights, but I guess the sun’s no better,” Sungmin said apologetically as he pulled on his black blazer over his lavender button-up. “I have a meeting, so I’ll be home late again,” he checked his reflection one more time before heading towards the door, “I’ll see you tonight.”
Kibum sat up, watching as Sungmin disappeared beyond the threshold to the bedroom. It had been a month since he came back to live with Sungmin. He sighed heavily, waiting to hear the front door open and close, to hear the car start in the driveway and for him to speed off. However, that didn’t happen. Instead, Sungmin ran back into the room, plopping down on the edge of the bed beside Kibum.
Sungmin grabbed his head and pulled it to his, their lips meeting in a short but sweet kiss. When he broke the kiss, he wiped away a tear from Kibum’s cheek. Kibum was startled, he hadn’t even realized he had been crying. Sungmin stood up and kissed the top of Kibum’s head,
“I’ll make it for dinner,” he insisted before running off again, calling behind him, “I love you!”
Kibum sat there silently as he finally heard the familiar sounds again. He heard the door close behind Sungmin, heard the engine start and hear the screech of tires as he sped off.
All Kibum ever wanted was Sungmin to stop taking him for granted. Sungmin was willing to give him all the diamonds in the world in order to bring Kibum home, but Kibum was willing to give up all the diamonds in the world just to have Sungmin appreciate him. Kibum let out a soft sigh as he smiled a small, private smile as he looked down at the plain gold ring on his left hand.