Fic: Four Second Memoir

Title: Four Second Memoir
Author: yeolcarp
Pairing/Focus: Daehyun/Youngjae
Rating: PG-15
Words: 10,156
Summary: They're quintessentially a homoerotic bromance.



As Daehyun writes down his thoughts in a little, torn notebook, in a little rundown coffee shop, nothing makes sense.

It’s barely passed daybreak and the clouds are still strung up in the sky like magnificent puffs of smoke. It’s misty and foggy and so many other things. The windows are dirty with condensation, decorated with tiny beads of water that cling to the glass.

He’s shaking his right leg out of poor habit, causing his body to bounce rhymically. But he breaks the smooth tempo to wipe at the window, letting the small detail of the dew being on the other side, slip his mind. There are slight streaks marring the glass from the spots where he tried to clear away the incessant, cold haze, but they’re barely noticeable.

The untouched droplets reflect the surrounding area, revealing slight details while exaggerating others. It’s like capturing the entire world in there. He’s able to make out the trees lining the roads, as well as the local mom and pop’s shops. There aren’t many people. The avenue’s streets are empty at eight am. It’s that rare sight of absolute sereneness that always evades him––more accustomed to three am life and twelve pm mornings––and the grey windows act as yet another obstacle.

He has coffee in one hand and a pen in the other. The ink in his pen runs the faintest of blacks along his notebook and usually requires a good couple shakes before it becomes of any actual use. It’s old and long passed its prime, but who really has the time to get another.

The corners of all the pages are dog eared and stained with the scribbles of his pen’s ink checks. The book’s seen better days, and even the best are quite unflattering. There are about a dozen or so more back at his place just like it, too: one is of a prince on a quest; three follow their own respective couple; one has a happy ending; two are of war; several are a tragedy; another an anthology; and, his current one, an autobiography (well, really a journal because what if he becomes famous one day and people want to know about what he had for lunch once when he was twenty-two).

(and youngjae had warned him about writing his own biography and how it would inflate his already gigantic ego, but daehyun never listens.)

He’s got an editorial due for the local paper at noon; however, he’s got a chapter of his life that needs writing first. He’s been putting it off for months and maybe for a while more if he continues to stare blankly at the lined pages. He does several strokes of his pen, forcing the ink to run free. He creates a deep impression on the paper before anything comes out.

He titles the thing ‘dumbass.’ Plain and simple, just like him. There are other words on the page, those are scribbled out, though. Some have x’s and some are angrily ruined beyond recognition; however, Daehyun can still make out a few of the crossed out words, like ‘damn’, ‘the day i fucked up’, ‘the day i really fucked up’, and ‘youngjae.’

There are reasons why these aren’t chosen for the final draft: syntax’s all wrong, diction’s bad, too short, too long, and the fact that they’ve all already been used before.

Unconsciously Daehyun flips back a couple pages, letting his fingers skim over them, enjoying the feel of the imprints left by old sentences. The happy ones are light and airy, he can barely feel them against his skin. The sadder ones, on the contrary, are dark and heavy, resembling almost the feel of braille.

He moves further back until he touches upon the first mention of Youngjae in his book. It’s barely even a sentence, no more than two syllables: cute boy. Daehyun, at the time, hadn’t foreseen the role the boy would have later in his life or that the attractive stranger would become the subject of dumb flattery and flowery descriptions that would even make Nathaniel Hawthorne cringe in disgust.

Funnily enough, though, Youngjae doesn’t actually make his first appearance in his self-entitled chapter, but in the one called ‘fuck birds.’ It’s an entry dated well over three years ago and the starting point for all the writing which follows.



11.04.11 (fuck birds)

Daehyun rolls out of bed unceremoniously and onto his floor. There’s a crinkling sound of empty ramen packets and bags of junk food. He groans as the afternoon light breaks through his windows and onto his greasy body. His mouth tastes horrible, like expired beer and bar nuts. It makes him gag.

What a terrible day to be alive.

There are birds chirping outside his apartment complex, in some hidden melody he doesn’t understand.

He struggles with his window before wiggling it open.

“Shut the fuck up, you goddamn birds!” he screams, his voice sore and ragged. He sounds like he’s thirteen and going through puberty again rather than the twenty-three that he is.

The high pitched little car alarms come to a stop and is replaced with the sound of fluttering wings. Daehyun smiles triumphantly to himself as he proceeds to close the window again and heads back to his single bed.

Not one minute later does the army of horrid creatures return.

This time Daehyun forces his window open with the strength of one seriously pissed off male. He grabs the closest thing to him (an expired package of cup of noodles) and chucks it at the source of the ruckus.

Birds don’t usually sound like a guy in pain––cute boy, though.



11.04.11 (a starving writer’s nourishment)

Same day. Seven pm.

Daehyun’s at one of his favorite bookstores. It’s a small space but what it lacks in size is made up by its overcrowded shelves bursting with books, novels, short fiction, everything.

He’s debating on whether or not he really needs to eat this week or own all three of the new special edition books of The Lord of the Rings series. He supposes he could buy one now and come back for the other two later; convenience store boxed lunches aren’t that bad once you get used to them, afterall. Sure the rice is crunchy and the meat questionable, but food is food.

Daehyun is biting his lip and is about to hesitantly place the books back down when he hears a sweet voice say, “Are you a Tolkienist, too?”

He’s about to answer when the guy and him make eye contact. A spark of recognition rings in the other’s maple eyes, “You’re that dude that hit me with a cup of noodles.”

“You’re that cute boy.”

Smooth, Jung Daehyun. Smooth.



11.04.11 (crime and punishment)

Daehyun braces himself for a punch to his jaw, but instead finds a dented cup of noodles in his hands.



11.05.11 (monetary rise and falls)

Daehyun treats the cutie (youngjae) to a bowl of noodles at some hole in the wall restaurant. It’s the best thing he’s ever tasted. It’s so good that he gets carried away and forgets that, as a writer, he gets paid by the word.

He owes Youngjae five dollars.



11.27.11 (how to rob a bank)

Step one: don’t do it (so says one yoo youngjae, but what does he really know?)

He still owes Youngjae five dollars and now with an additional twenty-five cents (he really wanted that lollipop and all he had on him was a ten). Somehow Youngjae is friends with him despite the fact.

He has this theory that maybe Youngjae only befriended him with the intent to trap him in debt and charge a three hundred percent interest fee on him.

If he pays Youngjae back by next week, he’ll have to give him a total of six dollars and fifty-one cents (daehyun can kind of do math).

That sneaky bastard. He’s trying to eat him out of house and home.

This could be a good book idea. He needs to discuss it with Youngjae asap.



12.07.11 (help. i’m in debt. still)

This chapter is blank.



12.08.11 (i’ve got 99 problems and money can solve about half of them)

This chapter is also blank.



12.09.11 (writing is...)

Writing is having to borrow a pen from your friend because yours are all out of ink.

I owe Youngjae six dollars and seventy-one cents now.

Fuck him.



12.11.11 (i’ll melt you down like ice cream)

Make that around ten dollars.



12.13.11 (brunch)

Brunch is two meals in one, but you only eat the one. This is a grave injustice and Jung Daehyun will not stand for it! That’s why he sits at a lovely table by the window––the one with the view of the city––like a gentleman. His mother raised him to be civilized (a few women might oppose to this notion however, maybe even his own mom).

He’s treating Youngjae to brunch to pay off the money he owes. He’s only paying for eleven dollars and twenty cents worth of Youngjae’s brunch, though. He’s not made of money, which is evident from his meager serving of toast. It doesn’t even have jam on it. Oh the humanity.

The starving writer leers at the stack of pancakes sitting opposite of him. Its fluffy golden brown glory teases him with its accompanying drizzled glaze of maple heaven and fruits so delectable they melt in your mouth.

He may or may not be drooling and it may or may not be obvious. May or may not.

Youngjae, as Daehyun has noticed, is pretty oblivious to things and eats with no qualms. He’s cutting into the beautiful stack (crafted from the hands of a cooking god, daehyun swears) and Daehyun’s watching his movements like the pigeons that crowd around the old ladies in parks. He stares enviously as Youngjae brings a perfect triangle of soft pancake goodness to his lips, but stops short. There’s a light touch of maple syrup shining on his lips.

Daehyun swallows.

Youngjae’s holding his fork teasingly in front of Daehyun. “You know, I’m really curious. I’ve never asked you what you do as a writer before.”

“I write.” Daehyun replies curtly, his eyes shifting back and forth as Youngjae mindlessly twirls his fork in his hand as if he were a girl playing with her hair.

“Daehyun.”

Said man sighs, his shoulders slumping. “Well, what do you wanna know?”

Youngjae purses his lips, “I don’t know. Like... are you one of those brooding writers who smoke all day and drink all night?” There’s a snarky tone in there somewhere, which Daehyun is more than willing to return.

“Nah, don’t smoke. That’s not healthy for you.” Daehyun nibbles on a pathetic piece of toast with a newfound sense of arrogance. He's trying to play off the cool air of the freelance writer. Perhaps the word ‘cool’ isn’t really an accurate description, though.

“What about drinking?”

“What about it?” Daehyun smiles, showing off his canines. There’s a piece of toast stuck between his teeth. Youngjae doesn’t tell him.

With a roll of his eyes, “Okay, yeah. Whatever, Mr. Hemingway. Aside from this nonexistent drinking problem you’re claiming––cause if you were, you’d still be in bed right now, most likely hungover––do you write other things aside from articles for the paper?”

“Yep, a lot.”

“Like stories?”

“Yea.”

Youngjae furrows his brows and grits his teeth, “Well, can I read any of them?”

That’s an unexpected response. Daehyun coughs on his measly breakfast/lunch item, its dry texture rubbing the wrong way against his vulnerable throat. His adam’s apple bobs visibly, “What? Uhhhhhh––no, cause of––ummmm––you see––I don’t actually,” he bites his fat lower lip, “have any finished.”

Youngjae doesn’t say a word and scoots his virtually untouched plate of pancakes towards Daehyun, fork and all.

Daehyun eats the comfort food in an aggressive fashion to hide his flushed cheeks.



12.14.11 (deal or no deal)

Daehyun, to finally be free of his monetary burdens, trades Youngjae his soul. And, surprisingly, he agrees.

Finally it comes of some use.



12.17.11 (this guy youngjae)

He’s the type of dude that works at a bookstore just for the ten percent discount (and offers it up to his favorite customers in secret). He’s one of those guys who would run away from a fight. He’s a mama’s boy and has been missing his mom since he moved away from home a month ago. He’s that guy that would find himself standing outside a door for five minutes, holding it open for a never ending stream of people.

He enjoys things like League of Legends and bragging about how good he is at it; also likes to over exaggerate (especially about league of legends).

(he’s still daehyun’s favorite to play with, though, cause youngjae’s a good support if he decides to play ad carry.)

He’s Youngjae, the guy that likes to feed the birds that conspire outside a struggling artist’s home.

God bless him.

Screw the birds, however.



12.20.11 (midnight coffee runs)

Daehyun’s an idiot. And he knows this because Youngjae keeps repeating it over and over again as he sits with him at two am, helping him complete the article he was supposed to have done two hours ago.

Youngjae showed up at his doorstep around midnight with some energy drinks and Starbucks ready to go (daehyun didn’t even know starbucks was open this late).

“You owe me one.”

All nighters are fucking horrible. Unless you have a friend with you, then they’re somewhat enjoyable. To an extent.

Daehyun doesn’t even remember what the article was about, but he does recall having a half full can of Red Bull flying towards his head.



12.22.11 (hyperspeed)

Daehyun’s mom used to describe friendship like a flower. If you water it and care for it, it’ll bloom. Daehyun’s never been much of a gardener, though. A lot of people come and go. Luckily for him, Youngjae’s a cactus (self-sufficient, albeit prickly).



12.25.11 (my first kiss went a little like this)

It’s Christmas. A family holiday. However, Youngjae’s parents live a plane ride away and Daehyun’s own family has never made a big deal over the occassion; this is how the two find themselves in Daehyun’s tiny studio apartment, watching holiday specials (at ten pm). There’s a fatty bag of Mcdonalds sitting on the floor––the oils stain the hardwood and the smell coats the room in french fries.

The scene is a comforting one. The blankets curled up around them are from Daehyun’s own personal collection. They’re the ones without ketchup stains and sans scratchy cotton. It’s a special day: a time to break out the big guns.

And they’re a tangled mess of fabric and limbs.

Youngjae’s head is laying lazily on Daehyun’s chest and both are too drunk to care about how intimate a sight it is (their drunken laughter kind of cancels out the sweetness, too).

There’s no smell of gingerbread or candy canes, just alcohol and some McDonalds.

(they say that bread and water are good for preventing hangovers and somewhere along the lines of their drunk musings, potatoes came up. potatoes are like bread. right? starches and stuff. from the way they’re acting, though, clearly this was not a good idea. or the right train of thought. then again, walking into a mcdonalds drunk wasn’t so bright either. daehyun reaffirmed this when he puked on that one cashier who was giving him a dirty look.)

The two have barely moved from their position since they’ve returned to the living place, having attended the Christmas party at Daehyun’s office, earlier.

It was like they were trying to become one with the coach (or with the copious amounts of trash they’ve ingested).

Daehyun yawns and makes the top of Youngjae’s head his unwilling pillow. He snuggles his cheek against the brunette locks, inhaling the scent of vanilla and cream (and other fried foods). The hairs tickle his chin and Youngjae groans in displeasure at the sudden added-on weight but doesn’t put up much of a fight.

The Charlie Brown special currently playing is the background noise to their drunken conversations and dumb (keyword: dumb) bickering.

“My soul is totally worth more than thirty dollars!” Daehyun shouts with a drunken giggle, all while pinching the alcohol induced red of Youngjae’s cheeks.

“Please, Jung Daehyun.” Youngjae slurs as he pushes the older boy off to reach for a chicken nugget.

Daehyun pouts, feeling dejected, and snatches the greasy food item out of the other’s hands, “What would you sell your soul for then?”

“Two souls!”

“Two souls?” Daehyun repeats, successfully spraying chunks of chicken towards Youngjae’s direction in the process.

Youngjae jerks himself away from Daehyun, “Ew! Don’t spit on me!” He brings his hands up in mock defense against the germs spewing from the guy’s mouth.

Daehyun’s pout sinks even lower, his Busan accent begins to mix with his words, “Hey! You know, some girls actually value my spit. Ask any of my ex-girlfriends.”

“You’re disgusting.”

Shots fired.

“No. I’m a great kisser.” He crosses his arms and glares Youngjae down. The argument about exchanging souls and their price value is easily forgotten.

“And this whole time I thought you were an idiot that could barely even pee without missing.”

“So you’ve been watching me pee, huh?” Daehyun wriggles his eyebrows suggestively and proceeds to stuff a handful of french fries into his mouth. "Do wu rike wat wu whee?"

(do you like what you see?)

Youngjae sighs, “Oh no. You caught me. I find you insanely attractive, though you are a bit on the small side.” He sneers at the falling bits of food coming from Daehyun’s mouth as the other keeps eating. He may be drunk, but he’s still Youngjae––neat freak and snarky bastard extraordinaire.

And, unfortunately, Daehyun is still Daehyun (but fifty times worse).

“Gimme a kiss!” he laughs with a mouthful of food, his whiskery smile making an appearance.

Youngjae’s eye twitches and he gags when he has the taste of fried potatoes (mashed potatoes?) on his tongue, and the trans fat on Daehyun’s fingers roughly smearing against his cheek.

They argue themselves silly until the alcohol makes them pass out. There are a couple of punches thrown here and there, as well.

Everything after that is a blur and they don’t talk about the night again for a while.

(it is just between guys, anyway. no big deal, right? right.)



12.26.11 (soju? so yesterday.)

So they’re nursing a hangover, the next morning, over a warm steaming bowl of soup, guaranteed to heal them. The potato hangover prevention plan clearly did not work. Maybe they'll try instant noodles next time (assuming they can boil water without hurting themselves). Cause, ya know, maybe a different starch will work (seriously, bread has starch in it, right?)

But until then, Daehyun does just about everything but dunk his head into the soup to engulf it whole. Youngjae has a bit more etiquette and takes tentative sips, and tries to ignore how obnoxiously loud Daehyun’s slurping is.

“I fucking hate you.” or maybe not.

“That’s not what you were saying after your fourth glass last night.”

“You’re a fucking douche bag. The scum on my shoes.”

“Now you just sound like your fifth glass. You’re a very mean drunk, Yoo Youngjae.”



1.1.12 (new years)

Daehyun kisses Youngjae at midnight because that’s what you do when the clock strikes twelve.

Okay. Maybe not so much as kissed, but smashed his face against Youngjae’s.

Nothing rings in the new year like bruised lips and drunken black outs.



1.1.12 (baby, you’re a firework)

The sky is alit with colors. They’re sparks of lights whose illuminance rivals that of the stars. Against the dull backdrop of black, they really come alive. Their sounds, though loud, fill the onlookers with the excitement that only comes around on certain holidays. The one that currently overtakes them, actually travels from one year over to to the next.

The sparks bounce off and the light reflects onto their skin.

They’re green for a moment.

Then they’re blue.

But underneath it all they’re really just red in the face.

Not even the sound of fireworks and champagne corks popping can wake them up from their drunken stupor.



1.1.12 (clarity. be my remedy.)

Hangover soup for the soul.



1.7.12 (it’s just guys love, between two guys)

Friendship is being able to sit in a room together and do absolutely nothing productive or good for hours on end, for days on end (e.g playing league of legends).

And if friendship were to take shape, it would probably look like two guys making ramen in their boxers at four in the morning (the heater's malfunctioning and they're a bit tipsy).

(it’s also being able to have manly sleepovers and be so comfortable with your own sexuality that you guys occasionally kiss. it’s all cool.)



1.12.12 (unicorns.)

A new year means new ideas and more things to say no to. For Youngjae, it’s no to entering a pie eating contest with Daehyun (which was stellar because free pie), and for him it's a suggestion made during a random walk through the city with Youngjae:

“Why don’t you try writing a children’s book?” The wind is blowing harshly and that one strand of hair in front of Youngjae’s eyes is really bothering Daehyun.

“What?” he returns from his chapped lips.

Youngjae smiles and flicks his brown bangs away from his face. “You write for the newspaper occasionally and you said you have a degree in creative writing. Why not write something short for kids to enjoy?”

Daehyun laughs through his nose, “Children books are for––well, children! Those stories aren’t real art. I could write a piece about a goldfish going fishing and the kids would enjoy it and not understand the irony behind the piece or the absolute absurdity of a fi–”

“I like children stories. Want to get some ice cream?”

The conversation ends there.



1.12.12 (youngjae babo)

“I say choco, you say ice cream. Choco!”

“Shuddup.”

“Choco!”

“Shuddup.”

“I say vanilla, you say ice cream. Vanilla!”

“Shuddup.”

“Vanilla!”

“Youngjae babo.”

“Yeahhhhh.”

They’re getting weird stares in the store, but the two can’t contain their laughter.



1.17.12 (playpen)

They’re both fucking children. And they’re okay with that.



1.24.12 (daehyun o’ clock)

“Happy birthday!” Daehyun screeches at the top of his lungs as he chugs another bottle of soju in Youngjae’s honor, “Shall I serenade you with my voice?”

“I didn’t realize our friendship had turned into a homoerotic one.” Youngjae remarks as he flips over another strip of juicy meat with a pair of tongs. His sleeves are rolled up and his brows furrowed in deep concentration as he grills. Daehyun’s not allowed to touch it because a) drunk and b) too impatient. Youngjae isn’t too keen on dying thanks to raw meat.

Soju is streaming alongside Daehyun’s blood and he feels tingly all over. He ignores the prying eyes of the other patrons in the restaurant and continues on in his solo merriment.

Youngjae pokes the meat, “Geez. I also didn’t know this was your birthday we were celebrating, either.”

He grins at Youngjae’s irked expression while savoring the scent of the meat’s sweet marinade and the burn of the liquor. Daehyun raises his glass, “What’s yours is mine.”

“...and what’s yours is mine, too?” Youngjae asks, bringing the grilled meat to his lips, giving it a cautious blow.

“Nope. What’s mine is mine!” Daehyun chortles as he takes the tongs and takes an enormous bite.

He burns his tongue.

“And you say I’m a bad drinker.” Youngjae rolls his eyes and holds a napkin up to Daehyun’s mouth so he can spit out the burning hunk.

Daehyun pushes his hand away and instead just sloshes down the rest of the soju bottle. Can’t be going around wasting meat. It is a precious life source.

“Did your sober-self at least have the decency to buy me a cake?” Youngjae asks, slumping in his seat slightly.

“Cheesecake!”

Youngjae smiles as he places some vegetables onto the grill (something daehyun won’t eat).

“Your favorite cake?”

“Because it’s my birthday!” Daehyun blurts after another large gulp of soju.

Youngjae sighs (he does that a lot around daehyun), “Must all our celebrations involve one or both of us drunk?”

“ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR NONE!”



1.25.12 (beer goggles)

Daehyun comes to realize that Youngjae nags way too much at a much too high volume. Especially when his anger gets the best of him. He can go on and on about the most simplest of things (which compile a list of his pet peeves). And being the good friend he is: he’s forced to listen. Despite being extremely hungover.

Youngjae’s lecturing him on work ethic and being a responsible adult and several other things after learning about Daehyun missing the deadline for his last editorial by an hour. His alarm was broken, scout’s honor. Too bad the two have never been in the boy scouts, so there’s that discrepancy. Whatever.

Youngjae keeps talking and talking.

Daehyun’s trying his best to listen, but it’s so much easier to just tune Youngjae out and save his alcohol filled brain from suffering any longer.

Daehyun can’t look away, however, cause then Youngjae will snap his fingers in front of his face or move onto the topic of good social etiquette.

“Listen to me, Daehyun! Read my lips when I say that––”

Daehyun sighs and does as he’s instructed, watching the stream of words leaving the boy’s mouth. His mind wanders but his eyes stay focused and trace the curvature of Youngjae’s lips. He wonders what exact shade of pink they are. Huh. His eyes eventually trail up to meet Youngjae’s. Have they always been that shade of chocolate?

Wow. It’s been so long since Daehyun’s just stared at his friend. Like really bothered to take in any actual details––too used to being with the guy he sits around doing nothing with. It’s like the first time he’s seeing Youngjae again.

“Do you understand me now?” Youngjae asks as he places a hand on his hip.

Daehyun must still be slightly drunk from the drinks he had last night.

Maybe another drink will cancel it out.



1.29.12 (genius in a bottle)

Spoiler alert: it does.



2.14.12 (free lance writing sucks)

Daehyun never says no to free food, even if he has a review to write for the paper soon. He supposes he could write about Youngjae’s food and the head editor Yongguk might not completely skin him alive. Maybe lecture him to death. Either way, Daehyun still finds himself in Youngjae’s apartment, waiting for the boy to finish preparing their meal.

“Whose idea was it again to make a Singles’ Day dinner?” Youngjae asks as he pulls out a medium sized turkey from his crappy little oven. Well, the kitchen in its entirety is pretty tiny already. There are pots and pans threatening to fall from their towering stacks from over the sink and a clutter of ingredients taking up every available space on the counter. The only safe zone is the small oak dining table, made for two, in the center of the disaster zone.

“I think it was yours, cause, I mean––would I ever volunteer to cook?” Daehyun scoffs as he sits eagerly at the table, fork and spoon in hand. “Now give me the food. Food. Food. Food. Food.” He chants like a child, punctuating each word with a banging of his utensils against the wood.

Youngjae unties the apron around his waist and goes to the sink to wash his hands, “Remind me why we’re friends again?”

“Because I’m delightful to be around and you have horrible social skills?”

“You sure know how to sweet talk yourself into a free meal.”

“I love you.”

“That’s better.”

“I even love your mood swings.”

“Get out of my apartment. Now.”

“Because there’s just so much of it to love.”



(from march to april, there’s nothing important written in the journal. youngjae’s visiting family back home. daehyun spends his time writing and trying to complete some stories, waiting for his friend to return home. okay, well there is one entry made during that time:

“It was raining
I was sitting in the bus
I fell asleep
I woke up to “it’s raining men”)



5.04.12 (late night fevers)

Cue four am and Daehyun is calling up Youngjae’s cellphone. His pencil taps against the neon of his yellow legal pad, and with each coming ring it quickly picks up momentum. His leg’s propped up and his back is to the headboard of his bed. It’s the best position to write.

On the sixth ring, Youngjae picks up. His voice is raspy and cute, and the tinge of anger is easily ignored. “What do you want, you bastard?”

“Just wanted to call in and say hello.”

“You drove me home from the airport an hour ago.” Youngjae yawns, “Does the word ‘jet lag’ and ‘crying babies’ not exist in your pretty lil’ dumb world?”

Daehyun holds back a smile, “You were only on that plane for like an hour. And what can I say? I missed you. But that aside, do you really think I’m pretty?”

He hears a tsk from over the phone, it’s a little bit staticy, “You texted me every day when I was back home. So, please, Jung Daehyun, stop playing the role of the clingy boyfriend.” He chooses to pass on answering the last half of Daehyun’s sentence.

“But it’s the most fun thing to be.” he teases, a bit of his Busan accent slipping out.

“Daehyuuuun.” The other line cries groggily.

“Want me to read you a bedtime story?”

“Fine. But if you hear snoring half way through, don’t get all dramatic and cry.”

Daehyun brings a hand to his chest and furrows his brows, “Me? Dramatic? Why I’d never.”

“Shut up and read.”

He flips a few pages back in his notebook, after quickly jotting down a couple of quick notes for later, “You, my friend, are about to be the first person to ever hear this Jung Daehyun original story.”

“I can’t wait for the day I can tell my grandchildren this.” Is the expected asshole reply.

“Shush. You love me.” Daehyun gloats, his stupid feet stomping on the bed repeatedly like an insufferable child.

“Get reading.”

“Yes, sire, for I am but a mere humble poet to tell you the wonderful creations of the universe with just a few beautiful words.”

“Humble...?”

“I never said I was sincere.” Daehyun snorts.

“Get reading!”

“Hey! I don’t think I like the tone of your voice!”

Youngjae hangs up and a dial tone fills Daehyun’s room.

“Hello? Hello? Hello!”

There’s no story read that night.



5.05.12 (prince youngjae)

Daehyun calls Youngjae once again, a day and an hour later, at five am. He doesn’t know why Youngjae would ever amuse him by answering what would be another dumb conversation, yet he does. He sounds as tired as before, but less peeved. He is used to Daehyun’s wacky antics. Especially the ones from Daehyun’s After Dark Persona (it pops up sometime around 1 am and lasts until the afternoon).

This time Daehyun doesn’t waste any time and dives straight into the story of how one little goldfish spent its day fishing.

“I love it.” Youngjae speaks through the line, enthusiasm filling his voice after Daehyun reads the ‘the end.’

The words pierce Daehyun’s heart and his stomach bubbles with excitement, “Really? You think it’s that good?”

Youngjae laughs, “Would I still be on the line if I didn’t like it so much?

“Well, I do have a velvety smooth voice. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re staying up to listen to me.”

The line goes dead.



5.10.12 (speechless)

They’re having dinner together. Well, brinner (breakfast+dinner).

Daehyun’s telling another dumb story and Youngjae’s trying to keep his food within his mouth as he laughs.

Daehyun tells great stories. Youngjae loves them. And Daehyun loves Youngjae’s laughter. It all comes full circle.

“Hey, remember that one story you told me over the phone?” Youngjae asks as he nibbles on a crispy piece of bacon.

Daehyun hums as he piles on more scrambled eggs onto his plate. He’s making a mountain. It’s the year 1949 and the gold rush is happening. Daehyun’s gonna strike it rich as he stuffs the delicious ‘gold’ into his mouth.

“My boss at the bookstore knows a guy at this publishing company and I was thinking that––”

“No. Absolutely not.” Daehyun doesn’t elaborate. The air is awkward. Youngjae’s upset. Daehyun doesn’t like that.

Brinner is over.



5.11.12 (damn)

This chapter is blank, for the most part. Daehyun doesn’t really have anything to write about because he’s never fought with Youngjae before, at least not on such a serious scale. He just kind of sits at home. He scribbles in his notebook, playing with different penmanship. Some are elegant and classy while others are loopy with heart like punctuation. He writes Youngjae’s name over and over again.

Youngjae

Youngjae

Youngjae

Youngjae

Youngjae

Youngjae


This is worse than when Youngjae was gone for two months.


Youngjae

Youngjae

Youngjae



5.12.12 (if the price is right)

Youngjae’s the first to call a truce (which Daehyun’s more than willing to accept). He apologizes for discussing the topic of publication and trying to push further when Daehyun’s clearly never expressed interest prior to the talk. Youngjae rambles on and on, sometimes inserting a bit of the attitude that Daehyun knows and loves into the apology. It’s still earnest, nonetheless (he thinks).

(“i was just trying to be a good friend. your writing is really good and it caught me off guard when you flat out rejected me. but i completely understand. it took me awhile, though. i’m really sorry, daehyun. although it pains me to admit it. can you forgive me, please? it feels weird not talking to you. and no i did not just compliment you if that is what you’re thinking. so shuddup and accept my apology. please.”)

And while Youngjae talks, all he can think about is how good it is to listen to Youngjae’s warm voice after being forced to worry about their wavering friendship. Things seem to be good now. He hangs off of every word and graciously accepts the brunette’s surrender. Even when he’s called a bunch of nasty names later.

He’s never been so relieved.

Things are definitely back to normal.

(“you fucking prick, you happy now? we cool?”

“we cool. more than cool. we’re polar bears.”

“just stop.”)



6.15.12 (same as always)

This chapter is blank.

There is however a doodle (a damn good one) of Daehyun and Youngjae holding hands under a rainbow. It’s a magical rainbow. Anyone who argues otherwise is free to be pushed off of the wonderful structure of colors and protector of dreams.

Nevermind the fact Youngjae tried to tear it out of the notebook the first time he saw it. After having laughed his ass off, accordingly.



6.21.12 (picnic panic)

“You’re lucky that your disgusting eating habits don’t reflect themselves onto your body.”

“Don’t hate me cause I’m beautiful.”



6.28.12 (equivalent exchange)

While Youngjae’s soul may be worth the price of two and Daehyun’s only about thirty dollars, they both come to own one another’s.

Daehyun does not just become another year older, but the caretaker of a soul once again. It may not be his original, however it certainly is better. An upgrade. Really.

Oh, he also got a bunch of new notebooks, a fancy fountain pen, and green tea cheesecake.

Youngjae’s too good to him. He’d be worried about the other leaving, although he no longer has to seeing as he owns his soul.

Cue evil laughter.

Muahahahahahahahaha...

ψ(`∇´)ψ



6.29.12 (honey ants)

In some stupid leap of fate, Youngjae lets Daehyun try cooking dinner for them both. The fire alarm’s only gone off a total of four times already. So it’s going better than expected from what he can tell.

Youngjae’s busy fanning away smoke from the insufferable device while he cooks steak. It’s a small price to pay to get Daehyun to understand the pain of cooking for guy with an appetite like himself.

“Daehyun, how much longer until you’re done?”

The room is covered in a haze of smoke. Everything looks lighter than usual and there’s a heavy scent of grilled meat and garlic. It does smells good, but not exercise worthy, in Youngjae’s opinion, to keep up the motion for another ten minutes or so.

“Uhhhhh––people eat raw meat, can’t they? I could finish now if you want.” Daehyun asks as he flips over the meat. “I’ve seen people do it.”

Youngjae frowns, “Have you ever heard about parasites? I’m pretty sure I’ll die if you try to feed me raw meat, Daehyun.”

Daehyun keeps cooking, “Parasites aren’t that bad.”

“They’re called parasites for a reason. We get no benefit from them. They take and they take and they take and they take. It’s like you, except then you’d be inside my body and destroying me from within.”

“Is that an open invitation?” Daehyun wriggles his brows suggestively. Leaning over towards him.

Youngjae, without hesitation, smacks him with the magazine that’s being used to clear away the smoke.

The alarm goes off once again.

(youngjae’s face is red, he claims it’s due to the heat.)



6.31.12 (who you gonna call? ghostbusters!)

One of Youngjae’s coworkers, Himchan, seems to always know the up and up on the city’s gossip; and this time it’s about ghost sightings in one of the local parks. There seems to be no limit to his snooping abilities (perhaps daehyun should recommend him to yongguk to hire).

Youngjae’s can’t wait to go exploring once the news hits him when Himchan nonchalantly mentions it in conversation one day. Youngjae couldn’t stop rambling to Daehyun about it. To be perfectly honest, ghosts aren’t really a part of the writer’s area of expertise (nor does he want them to be), but Youngjae––well, he’s Youngjae.

And he’s Daehyun standing in the middle of the park at three in the morning.

While it may be summer, the wind seems to be howling and screaming (for blood?). The trees reciprocate to the wind’s action, creating a horror movie esque soundtrack composed solely of creepy foliage. It’s not like Daehyun wanted to live forever or anything. No big deal. He figured he’d die with Youngjae, one way or another. He just never imagined them going in paranormal proportions. He’s not that surprised, though. Still scared shitless, nonetheless.

He makes note to write something about this situation one day, if he lives.

The busy streets are lifeless (perhaps an omen), barely one or two cars passing by now and then. At least Daehyun thinks so. Their wheels don’t really make a sound against the pavement. Their presence is only made known by the headlights which cast a few seconds of glorious light on the park (much brighter than the combined power of their two tiny flashlights).

Daehyun is clinging onto Youngjae’s arm in a desperate attempt of survival (youngjae can fight off all ghouls of the night) and a plea to not end up a new urban legend. His face is buried deeply into the back of Youngjae’s neck, peering past his walking shield only when necessary. He’s shaking in his sneakers. Fuck ghost hunting.

“Dear Lord, in heaven, please spare me.” and take youngjae instead.

“Would you stop that?” Youngjae whispers, “It tickles.”

“All I wanted was to eat pizza and watch movies.” Daehyun weeps as he says his last prayers. “Why must the good die young?”

Youngjae rolls his eyes and drags Daehyun behind him as they continue their trek through the dark park. All shapes are but vague outlines and every squirrel a potential serial killer. Daehyun’s heart is beating like a jackhammer, but between each beat, he can hear Youngjae’s, as well, accelerating in a similar motion. He nuzzles his face against Youngjae even more, hoping to mutually calm each other’s nerves (it works for him, at least, youngjae’s just seems to run faster).

“You’re warm.”

“Shut up.”

“Youngjae,” Daehyun coos, rubbing frightened circles into the younger boy’s back, “when can we go home?”

He can almost hear the roll of Youngjae’s eyes when he responds, “When something happens. Now be quiet. You’re scaring the spirit.”

“Me? Scare it?” Daehyun screams.

“Shhhhh!” Youngjae looks to his left and to his right, surveying their surroundings. He cups his ear, “Did you hear that?”

Daehyun’s teeth are chattering and his grip on Youngjae tightens. He doesn’t manage to get any words out but gives a shake of his head.

“It sounds like you being a little bitch. Now get off of me. Will ya?” Youngjae shakes the extra load of weight off of him. “I’ll let you hold my hand, but that’s it.”

“But––” Youngjae holds his hand out to him, offering it like an ultimatum.

Daehyun grumbles but takes it anyway. Youngjae’s hand is warm, unlike the constant stream of breezes that whoosh pass their person. Daehyun holds onto him for dear life as they continue. Within ten steps, Daehyun finds his arms wrapped around Youngjae’s, squeezing in as close as he can. Youngjae doesn’t put up much of a fight and instead gives the man a few comforting pets on the head now and then. It gives him some peace of mind. He snuggles in closer.

What exactly they expect to find, Daehyun isn’t sure. From what he remembers of his and Youngjae’s conversations, myth has it that there was once this young girl who was enamored with a man. Blah blah blah. Daehyun’s memory is sort of hazy towards the middle of the story. Something goes wrong or something. Blah blah blah. She hangs herself from one of the trees and now her ghost wanders around. Some people have claimed to have seen the trees moving in inhuman ways or the shadow of a noose hanging from a branch. He could really care less, yet here he is playing ghost hunter with his best friend.

“Youngjae, if anything happens, I want you to know that I love you.”

Youngjae looks at the koala hanging off his arm, “What? Do you want a kiss or something?”

“It’s not like it would be our first.”

Youngjae laughs, “God, you say the most embarrassing things. I swear.” He kisses Daehyun on the cheek, regardless though.

His stomach tingles with excitement. He smiles brightly. “Now you tell me everything you want to say before we die.”

Their pace slows down a bit as Youngjae collects his words, “You remember that one time you got food poisoning? Yeah. My bad.”

Their walk comes to a startling halt.

“You bastard.” The betrayal runs deep.

“I thought you loved me.” Youngjae giggles.

“You bastard, I love you.” It just doesn’t have the same ring to it. “Now––” Daehyun stops short of offering Youngjae another insult, one that’ll really get under his skin, because things happen.

“No more sentimental feelings?” Youngjae laughs at Daehyun’s suddenly stricken silence, but shrugs it off. He turns in time to see what looks like the dark figure of a girl hanging limp from a tree. He’s stiff with fear (hah, puns).

Daehyun just about up and grabs Youngjae as he bolts it out of the park and back to his apartment. Like hell he’s going to sleep alone tonight.



6.31.12 (bump in the night)

Okay. Daehyun doesn’t get any sleep at all really. Youngjae, however, (possibly worn out by the near heart attack from the park) drifts off quite easily. So, until the sun rises in a couple of hours, he lets Youngjae’s head rest on his lap as he plays with his hair.

Despite the overwhelming fear earlier, he feels completely at ease with him.



6.31.12 (blinded)

The sun rise is in five minutes and Daehyun wants to share the scenic view with Youngjae. Something about watching sunrise by yourself is a bit depressing. He yawns as he goes to wake Youngjae up. He smiles when the boy’s bleary eyes look up at him.

Somehow they both end up missing sunrise.



6.31.12 (reporting for duty)

Daehyun forgets about his and Youngjae’s night stroll through the park the next morning, up until the complete lack of news about it jolts awake his memory again. There’s no information about anything coming into work that day. No missing persons. No kidnapping. No nothing.

Fuck that shit.

(it’s another night to never be spoken about again)



7.3.12 (based on a true story)

Daehyun doesn’t mean to, but all the stories he seems to write nowadays features a character named Yoo Youngjae. Sometimes he’s the main character and other times a supporting role. He’s a prince in some, a detective in others, and a love interest once in awhile.

(youngjae’s also in a horror story, too. it tells the story of two friends going ghost exploring at some haunted park.

and youngjae’s not the hero in that one. daehyun is.)



7.8.12 (2dumb)

Daehyun's sick.

"Only idiots get sick during the summer. What's wrong with you?"



7.11.12 (3dumb)

"Only," Daehyun wheezes, "idiots get sick during the summer."

Youngjae manages a raspy "Shut the fuck up."



7.15.12 (roommates)

Youngjae’s over at Daehyun’s so much that he might as well live there.

And he might very well and Daehyun wouldn’t even notice: he has his own clothes stored in his closet, toiletries, personal mugs and plates.

Daehyun needs to start charging rent, man.

“Youngjae, there’s gonna be some new changes around here.”



7.16.12 (pay it upfront)

Daehyun does not end up charging rent.



7.20.12 (shopaholic. chocoholic.)

Youngjae is rapping impatiently at Daehyun’s bathroom door, “Would you cut it with your hair already? We’re going shopping, not some fancy restaurant.”

“Don’t hate me cause I’m beautiful!” Daehyun responds back, flicking his bangs here and there. “Youngjae, do you think I need a haircut?” He pouts at his reflection.

Youngjae barges in with a pure look of irritation on his face. Between Youngjae and his reflection, Daehyun is trapped between his judgmental look. There is no escape. “You’ve been in here for twenty minutes. Now c’mon, let’s get going before all the shops close.”

Daehyun rolls his eyes, “Calm down, Youngjae. The stores will still be there when we get there. Do you think I should gel up my––ow. Okay, Okay. Let me get my coat and we’ll go.”

Before Daehyun can debate between the leather jacket or the cardigan, Youngjae’s able to drag him out despite his slimmer frame.

(“but, youngjae...”

“shut up. you can buy yourself a fucking jacket when we get there.”

“god. why are you so prissy?”)

They’re finally walking to their destination, which is a plaza type of shopping area. The place is known to have pretty good bargains and shops. Youngjae’s been in need of some new shoes recently and Daehyun just wants to spend time with him (that and there’s huge bookstore and a famous bakery).

All Daehyun can think about is cinnamon buns while Youngjae and him continue down the road. Youngjae’s holding his hand because without his help, Daehyun would easily walk into oncoming traffic. It’s like watching over a child. A very capable and dumb child. It’s gonna be a long trip.



7.20.12 (two roads diverge into one)

“Can we get bubble tea?”

“No, Daehyun.”

“Wanna go get some lunch?”

“It’s still morning, Daehyun.”

“Brunch?”

“Later.”

“Can we stop by the park?”

“No, Daehyun.”

“Can we get a balloon animal?”

“...maybe.”



7.20.12 (rise, rose, raised)

Relationships (be they romantic or not) are made up of compromises. So, in the end, Daehyun gets his bubble tea, his trip to the park, a balloon animal, and brunch, as long as he promises to be a good boy the rest of the trip. Daehyun eagerly agrees to this.

Now they’re both finally approaching the original site of their date. Youngjae’s hand is still holding onto Daehyun’s while his free one is gingerly gripping his balloon dog (daehyun doesn’t have enough hands to hold everything).

It’s close to evening and, generally speaking, most shops close around then. The plaza is empty cept for the workers clocking off of duty. The sky is pink and nice. Apparently, they somehow spent hours in the park without noticing.

If possible, even Youngjae’s shadow is beyond livid.

Youngjae unlatches his hand from Daehyun’s grasp and pulls the other close, by the collar. He looks the country boy in the eye, “You listen to me. And you listen to me good, Jung Daehyun.”

Daehyun nods repeatedly without opening his mouth. Between Youngjae’s close proximity and intense stare, Daehyun thinks he is quite possibly pissing in his pants (okay, maybe it’s actually the sound of the huge water fountain messing with his head). Although the threat isn’t nearly as terrifying as it could be, coming from a man holding a balloon animal, but it still gets the job done.

“If this ever happens again, it won’t be your soul that you give me, but your kidney.” Daehyun’s body trembles. Oh God, not his kidney. He only has two of those!

Daehyun swallows, “Do I get to choose which kidney I get to keep?”

“No. Don’t be stupid.”

Licking his lips tentatively, he asks, “Aren’t you being a bit irrational here, Jaejae?” He hopes the use of a pet name will calm down the raging temper tantrum.

“Irrational? This is me being irrational.” With as much force as Youngjae could possibly summon into his one hand, he forces Daehyun into the large fountain, successfully soaking him from head to toe. “Glad you didn’t wear the leather jacket now?” Youngjae laughs.



7.20.12 (impromptu pool parties)

Youngjae gets pulled into the fountain.



7.20.12 (911)

This chapter is blank, but there is a police report taped onto the page like a proud souvenir.

Disruptive conduct, improper use of public property, noise complaints, resisting arrest.

(good thing daehyun can sweet talk their way out of a fine.)



7.21.12 (love me not)

Daehyun buys him and Youngjae couple sweaters to apologize for their trip to the police department.



7.29.12 (heard it through the grapevine)

Rumor has it among Youngjae’s bookstore coworkers (would they be called librarians?) is that the boy has a sweet boyfriend.

Youngjae relays the information to Daehyun, laughing the whole way through. Apparently, the dude is a loudmouth, seems kind of slow witted, is immature, and oblivious (youngjae says these traits came from himchan’s mouth). However, his redeeming qualities are his good looks and humor. Tears are coming out of his eyes once the last of the words leave his lips.

Daehyun doesn’t get why Youngjae is laughing. None of this is remotely funny at all.

Who the fuck is Youngjae dating? It’s not like he hangs out with anyone else aside from himself, seeing as they spend so much time together. It would be impossible. Who the fuck is this dude trying to impede on his and Youngjae's quality time?

Daehyun’s arms are crossed and his eyebrows knitted.

Youngjae catches his breath after the severe laughing fit. He raises a brow at Daehyun’s expression before flicking the spot between his eyes, harshly, “You’re gonna get wrinkles if you keep that face up, you know?”

“I don’t care. Apparently I’m not good enough already to be introduced to your dumb boyfriend. What the fuck, man.”

Youngjae blinks, “You’re my boyfriend.”

“Oh.” Daehyun deadpans, his childish expression slipping from his face. “Ohhhhhh...”

The corner of Youngjae’s lip quriks up. He lets out a breath of exasperation. Daehyun, as always, is offended by the gesture.

Then he begins to recount the other wonderful adjectives Youngjae’s coworkers had called him. Youngjae can literally see the wheels turning in his head (it’s run by a fat hamster. youngjae calls him zelo. he’s lazy, too, so he doesn’t run that often). “Wait. I’m not immature!”

(and when he does, it’s minimal at best.)

“That’s the one thing you’re gonna call out as being wrong?”

“No! I don’t have a big mouth, either!” Daehyun retaliates. Like yeah, he’s good looking and funny, but he doesn’t talk that much. Besides, people should be happy when he does. Someone has to keep the conversation up. It’s boring otherwise. The only time silence is okay is if it’s with Youngjae.

“Loudmouth. They said you had a loud mouth.” Youngjae corrects.

“That too! I don’t have that!”



7.29.12 (god damn it, zelo)

It takes Daehyun a day to realize him and Youngjae aren’t actually boyfriends.



7.29.12 (404 missing link)

Well, why the fuck not?

And, similarly, Youngjae asks, ‘Well, why the fuck not?’



9.24.12 (youngjae)

The transition between best friends and boyfriends is surprisingly smooth, if not incredibly easy. Things are just like as they always were, except Daehyun has more freedom to kiss Youngjae whenever he feels like it. And that is fantastic. He now finally understands why Himchan had always eyed Youngjae and him suspiciously and all those jokes about their relationship.

Whatever.

Youngjae’s hands are nice and soft.

His lips are lovely (but he already knew that).

He’s everything Daehyun supposed he ever wanted (even more so than the unicorn five year old him wanted).

It doesn’t frighten him when the idea of love crosses his mind. When he looks at Youngjae, it’s a shock of exhilaration up his spine. It’s the thought of separation that causes distress, but those only occur when they’re not together, and even then they’re sparse (still reeling off the high of the moments they do share together).

Daehyun still walks Youngjae to and back from his shifts at the bookstore and Youngjae still reads all of Daehyun’s articles.

Their life is far from quiet. Celebrations are still loud and obnoxious and nights wild (they watch movies together in their boxers, cuddled up on the couch). But the domestic part of their life, that’s the most fun (boxer movie nights are not romantic from what youngjae says. what a liar. they’re his favorite nights, too). Although Daehyun still dislikes cooking for himself, he’s more than willing to wash the dishes or save Youngjae a couple minutes of work. He gets kisses from jobs well done.

Morning kisses, breakfast kisses, goodbye kisses, have a nice day kisses, dinner kisses, just made brinner kisses, and good night kisses (just to name a few perks).

And before they go to bed, Youngjae helps Daehyun write new stories, throwing out new plot devices or scenes to incorporate. Occasionally, Youngjae still brings up the idea of being published, but Daehyun is fine as is. Especially at this moment.

Daehyun’s never known happiness like this.

There doesn’t seem to be a reason to write in his journal anymore.


.


.


.


.


.


.


3.1.13 (the day i fucked up)

This chapter is blank.



3.15.13 (the day i really fucked up)

The pages for this chapter have been ripped out.



6.21.13 (dumbass)

Daehyun’s always been terrible with words. They come off too fast or high strung, never quite sincere or right. Words just bypass his thoughts. Nothing’s ever been taboo for him to say, but perhaps no one’s ever cared enough to take offense to them. He supposes that’s why he’s so taken with writing. Things written are better. There are just so many chances to redo all the descriptions and words, to add on and take away, rewrite in whole.

But as he keeps trying to write in his journal, none of it is good enough.

The waitress refills his cup of coffee as he struggles to find the correct words to put down. Sometimes the words come, but the pen doesn’t accept them. He’s using one of the old ones Youngjae gave him on his last birthday, maybe that’s why. It probably doesn’t approve of Daehyun’s retelling and is rebelling against him. Daehyun keeps trying, though. Because the burden he carries in his chest is too heavy and a burden shared is always lighter. Even if he just keeps it to himself.

The empty street towards Daehyun’s side is trickling in with people. Not quite the booming shopping district, but it's getting there, though. Daehyun and Youngjae would often take strolls up and down the area. It's the most lovely in Autumn with leaves of golds and reds falling everywhere, highlighting their steps with crunches. He enjoyed those times together. Youngjae’s hand fit nicely within his and it completely captured the feeling of fall: scents of cinnamon and pumpkin spice, warm scarves, overall fall(ing in love even more).

Daehyun runs his fingers through his hair, moving away his stray bangs. He doesn’t have writer’s block, nothing of the sort. He just can’t find it in him to write.

He puts his pen down and takes a sip of his coffee. It’s black and bitter. He doesn’t particularly want to reach of the sugar by his side or pour the milk because he likes the way Youngjae does it.

Daehyun sighs.

He’s pathetic. He can’t function quite right without his boyfriend. He can’t even dress himself without wondering what Youngjae would think of the outfit. He misses his cooking, misses their conversations, misses him. No one else ever humors him like Youngjae does. Who else would be able to deal with his complete lack of regard for his surroundings. Let alone would consider him loving him the way he does.

He recalls their last conversation. It was civil, for the most part. There was no joking or Youngjae’s usual snark. They sat down together on his couch, the pillows and blankets taking up two thirds of the space. They sat near each other. Youngjae was holding his hand.

Youngjae said something.

Daehyun said something.

Next thing he knows, all of Youngjae’s belongings are gone from the apartment the next morning.

It’s been months since they’ve seen each other. It’s like missing the better half of himself. No one has bothered to care or hold up accountable for things anymore. He’s almost returned to his life pre-Youngjae. He doesn’t sleep very often anymore, he has difficulty finishing stories, his diet’s been shot to hell, he’s shot to hell. He doesn’t understand how he ever lived this way without him and it tears him apart knowing that it’s his fault. But at this point, he can’t fix anything.

He supposes he is really playing the role of the brooding author now.

He swipes his tongue over his lower lip, tasting remnants of his coffee. It’s warm and still as bitter as before, causing his face to scrunch up in distaste. If Youngjae were here, he’d tease him about it.

People come and go from the cafe. They enter and wait for their coffee or get some sweets to satisfy their cravings. Their cake pops are a local favorite.

“Youngjae,” Daehyun sighs as he stares out the window.

“Are you done yet, Daehyun?”

Daehyun holds up his hand, “Give me a minute, Youngjae. I’m almost about to capture the feeling for this scene.”

There’s a rhythmic banging of Youngjae’s head against the coffee table, “When I told you to use your loneliness to your benefit, I meant you do it when I’m not here.”

“Procrastination is a dangerous hobby.”

“Well, if you had come with me to visit my parents like I suggested, then you wouldn’t be forced to do this right now.” Youngjae rubs his temples, “You’ve ignored me for a solid five minutes already. Is this what you do to your boyfriend after not seeing him in forever?”

Daehyun pouts, “I’ve missed you so much, Youngjae. And I regretted not going with you for the longest time. But you know I couldn’t just take such a long vacation from work. So shush. I’m exploring my inner tortured soul.”

“You’re lucky you own my soul or I would have been gone so long ago.”

“Soulmates gotta stick together.”

Youngjae pours some cream and sugar into Daehyun’s coffee. “So we’re soulmates now?”

“I should hope so cause I told my publisher to make my dedication page out to you.”

Youngjae coughs up the coffee he was stealing from the cup, “Excuse me?”

Daehyun smiles, “I love you, Youngjae.”

“Yes, yes. I love you, too, dumbass. What’s this about being published?”