rate: PG (just in case)
Dedicated to happy endings.
It wasn’t love.
They were friends first and foremost. They were constantly together because of that reason alone. Friendship, of course, was a very powerful bond. When, one night, talking in bed had turned into an unexpected kiss and that kiss turned into a quickly-escalating passion that turned into actually sleeping together, well, that was still friendship. It just had a spicy twist. When that one-night stand turned to several-times-a-week, well, that was still friendship. They both had physical needs after all.
So, when questions began to be asked, that’s when everything began to change.
He was sitting in his bed playing a video game, the small console in his hands as his thumbs made quick work of several combinations, effectively obliterating his current opponent. Dressed in just black sweats, he sat against the headboard, legs stretched out before him and crossed at his ankles, his short, dark hair brushed back away from his face.
The bedroom door opened and then closed, but he didn’t bother looking up. After all, only one person was in his apartment with him and only one person moved freely in and out of his room. It was all a part of the rules of friendship.
“Did you put the toothpaste back on the sink after your shower? I hate climbing into the shower to get the toothpaste just so I can brush my teeth at the sink,” Kyuhyun stated,
“Well, then stop putting the toothpaste back in the shower after you use it,” the other offered simply.
The bed dipped as the other man climbed onto the bed, lying down beside him on his stomach, a rather large textbook open up before him. Hair still damp from the shower, he was dressed in plaid, cotton pyjama bottoms and a white t-shirt. Propped up on an elbow and resting his chin in that hand, his other hand was on the page, his fingers slowly skimming below the sentences as he silently read. Finally, he slowly sat up and turned so he was facing the other man, still absorbed in his video game.
“Kyuhyun,” he said in a tone that suggested he wanted to have a conversation.
“Hmm?” Kyuhyun hummed as he approached another enemy and engaged it in battle,
“What are we?” He asked simply,
“Friends, Min, what else would we be? Enemies?” Kyuhyun snorted before his thumbs began to fly and dance in another series of complicated combinations. His lips slowly curved into a smile as he gained the advantage on the enemy.
“It’s rude to not look at a person when they’re talking to you,” Min, short for Sungmin, intoned seriously, his arms slowly rising to cross over his chest. His fox-like eyes narrowed slowly at the younger man, his so-called friend.
“Can I just finish this level first?” Kyuhyun asked absent-mindedly as his battle ended but turned into a chain of battles with more enemies.
Sungmin remained silent.
After killing another enemy, Kyuhyun paused his game and looked up at the silent statue sitting beside him. He sighed heavily as he dutifully put the game console aside. Folding his hands over his abdomen, he looked at the older man, “Yes, Min?”
Sungmin raised a single brow.
Kyuhyun exhaled exasperatedly, “Can you talk, please? You know I hate it when you’re silent like this!”
“Are we actually going to talk?” Sungmin challenged, his voice cold,
Kyuhyun stared at the other for a moment. He was testy this evening. That was a bad sign; “Yes. What would you like to talk about?”
“What are we?” Sungmin asked again,
“We’re friends –”
“Friends do not sleep together every other day. Friends do not spend nearly every waking moment together. Friends do not go out in a snowstorm just to get the other person from work!” Sungmin exclaimed, dark eyes narrowed dangerously,
Kyuhyun’s brows rose high on his forehead, “Min, when this all began I never promised you anything. I never even hinted at –”
“I know that, I know!” He cried with frustration as he got off the bed and began to pace the floor, arms crossed over his chest, “But people ask and I never know what to tell them.”
“At the very least we’re friends,” Kyuhyun offered,
Sungmin stopped to glare at him, “That is not funny. I’m being serious Kyuhyun –”
“And so am I. School is insane for the both of us, a relationship –”
“Is what we basically have already,” Sungmin interrupted swiftly,
“Then why the labels? Why the pressure to change things simply because your friends – ”
“Because I’m tired,” Sungmin said simply,
“Then sleep and we’ll talk again –”
“No, Kyuhyun… I’m tired of everything,” Sungmin said softly. He approached the bed and put a knee on the bed to lean closer to the younger man, strong, lean fingers wrapping around the other’s chin, “I’m tired of you not appreciating me. I’m tired of you treating me so flippantly. I’m tired of… everything.”
Sungmin was off the bed and out the door before Kyuhyun could even register what the other had just said to him. He jumped off the bed and was after the older man in an instant. He grabbed Sungmin’s wrist and stopped him,
“Let me go, Kyuhyun, I’m not in the mood for your hot-and-cold act tonight,” Sungmin sighed heavily, his tone not angry, just resigned.
Kyuhyun pulled roughly on Sungmin’s arm and pushed him against the wall. He planted his hands on either side of Sungmin’s shoulders, glaring down at the older man as Sungmin looked away from him,
“You actually believe every idiotic word that just came out of your mouth, don’t you?” Kyuhyun practically hissed,
“No, it’s my turn to talk –”
“Oh, so you actually want to talk –”
“Shut up and listen and then you can leave after,” Kyuhyun said quietly, a biting edge to his tone. When Sungmin didn’t reply, he took it as his cue to continue; “You think I don’t appreciate you!?” His question was a poorly-disguised accusation, “You think I don’t appreciate that you talk to me, that you know my thoughts? You think I don’t appreciate it when you call me just to make sure I’m okay?”
“Well, it’s not like you’ve ever said th –”
“Shut up,” Kyuhyun snapped, “You think I treat you flippantly? You think I don’t know every moment you’re with me? You think I don’t think of you every moment we are and are not together? You think your presence in my life is so flimsy that I don’t regard you in the least!?”
“Yes, I do think that some –”
“DAMN IT, LOOK AT ME!” Kyuhyun exclaimed angrily.
Sungmin swung his glare towards the younger man and felt his heart seize when they locked gazes. Kyuhyun’s eyes were narrowed in pure, unadulterated anger and his soft lips twisted into a nasty scowl. But beyond that, there was more. Kyuhyun’s eyes were veiled by tears, his eyes reflecting indescribable hurt and his lips twitched, gently shook as if he clenched his jaw tightly.
“Kyuhyun… you’re… you’re crying,” Sungmin said quietly as his hands reached up between them and gently cradled the younger man’s face,
“After every thing you’ve said, how could I not cry!?” Kyuhyun questioned bitterly, “If I do not say ‘thank you’ it is because I don’t know how. It’s because it means someone else has managed to touch a part of me that warrants my gratitude. It means I’ve allowed someone to slip into a part of my life where I’m vulnerable and they’ve done something and not hurt me. It means I’ve trusted someone.”
“If I act like I don’t care if you’re with me or not it’s because I don’t know how to show I care,” Kyuhyun spoke over him, “It’s because I try not to let myself care about someone. It’s because even if I do care for someone, I pretend I don’t because it’s another barrier, another protection. It’s because I know I’m vulnerable and I’m scared by it.”
“I didn’t… I never –”
“I’m still talking,” Kyuhyun growled, but his voice was a near rasp and his tone only held desperation; “I know friends don’t go through snowstorms just to get the other at work. I called you stupid but it made me so happy. I called you stupid because you could have gotten hurt and I never would have forgiven myself if that had happened. It made me happy because you put yourself at risk just to do something trivial like get me from work. I never said thank you because I was scared at how happy it made me… how happy you made me.
“I spend almost all of my time with you because I want to. Because you give me a peace I don’t find with other people, not even my friends. Because after a hard day at school and work all I want to do is spend time with you. It’s the only time when I feel like I can relax, when I can feel just… content,” Kyuhyun confessed, his voice getting softer and softer with each word, each tear that slipped down his cheek. “I like it when I come home and you're already here... or when you won't let me sleep because you want to talk before bed... I even don't completely hate it when you leave the toothpaste in the shower.”
“I sleep with you because that’s the only way I know how to express myself. That’s the only way I can show you how I feel,” Kyuhyun practically whispered, “That’s the only way to say my feelings without actually saying the words out loud because… because saying them out loud makes them undeniable and… and makes me more… more open.”
“So… what are we, Kyuhyun?” Sungmin asked softly, his firm fingers still holding the other’s head,
“I don’t know. I don’t care,” Kyuhyun murmured as he leaned into the other man, pressing his face against the other’s shoulder; “I don’t care about labels or, or other people’s rules and expectations. I just… I just care about…”
“Kyuhyun, please say the words,” Sungmin prompted quietly, as his shirt was soaked at the shoulder from the other’s hot tears; “You never have to say them again, but tonight, right now, just once…”
“I… I…” Kyuhyun pressed closer, holding him tighter in the dark hallway of his apartment. He buried his face more completely against the older man’s shoulder, “I’ve fallen in love with you.”
“Now was that really so hard?” Sungmin teased as he nudged Kyuhyun’s head with his shoulder to make him look up,
“Yes,” Kyuhyun muttered,
“Can you look at me now? It’s rude to not look at someone when they’re talking,” Sungmin said softly.
Slowly, ever so slowly, Kyuhyun raised his head to look up at Sungmin, eyes still tear-filled and face flushed with embarrassment. Sungmin brought a hand up to Kyuhyun’s face and brushed away stray tears with his thumb.
“Do you… do you have anything to say to me?” Kyuhyun asked hesitantly, that vulnerability returning to his voice as his dark eyes searched Sungmin’s face,
“It’s no secret that I love you,” Sungmin said simply as he smiled softly, “This entire time I’ve loved you, Kyuhyun.”
“I have a label for you, now,” Kyuhyun said quietly as he pulled Sungmin against him again, burying his face against the other’s shoulder,
“What is it?” Sungmin asked as he held the other man in his embrace,
It wasn’t love.
It was more than that.
(Next, Not Mine)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
A/N: ... I really do hate it when people leave the toothpaste in the shower.