Part: Chapter Four: Red
Previous Parts: Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three
Pairing: Donghae / Eunhyuk
Rating: PG-13 (sensuality)
Word Count: 3,684
Synopsis: Colors have always been there in our relationship...from the day I met you. If I were to tell our story, I’d do it with a canvas and paint; vibrant colors of every shade and hue.
Next Update: Tuesday, December 29th (barring no extreme writer's block)
I'm sorry that this took me such a long time to finish! =\ From now on I'm going to try to make this series biweekly. I would make it weekly, but I'm still not sure that I can flesh out every chapter in a week yet. We'll see how it goes later on! This is only chapter four out of thirteen, after all. ^^
I am back from Brazil, and my exams are over with until I start college. I still have to study, but I want to write as much as I can before then. I love writing, and I have a lot of stories in my head right now. Most of them are Eunhae, hahaha.
Also, you guys can now ask me anything anonymously. I don't know if anyone has questions that they want to ask anonymously (or at all), but...it was a thing I created for fun, and then I thought it might be cool to reveal it here too.
Last...HAPPY BIRTHDAY, inny_cent !!! You know how awesome you are, don't you? :D
Okay! Please read and enjoy! ^ ^ /
"What?" Sungmin's head snaps up. "You're not coming?"
"No," I say patiently. "I have a headache."
"But Donghae can come!"
"He has a headache." You point at me and smile at Sungmin. "So I'm gonna stay with him instead. Besides, I'm tired too."
"But we're a team now! All of us!" He motions to the rest of the group, the people who we're slated to debut with next year. They're talking amongst themselves in small groups and getting their things together after practice. It's only Sungmin who is really bothered by us not joining them. And I know it's because he sees how close I am to you, and it bothers him when I choose to be alone with you, even though I've told him that I can have multiple best friends. We haven't changed. He just thinks we have.
"Sungmin, it's just this once." I sigh and pull my hat down over my eyes.
"But food will help if you've got a headache."
"What I really need is just some quiet time, okay? I need to lie down."
"Okay..." He pouts characteristically and shrugs. "Fine. Donghae, you're really not coming either? Aren't you hungry?"
"I'll eat at the dorm. Go have fun! We'll come next time." You start pushing me out the door and wave. I throw an apology over my shoulder and start walking. As we leave, I notice Eeteuk asking Sungmin what's going on, but I don't care enough to go back and explain it myself. What Sungmin will tell him is fine.
I glance at you as you fall into step beside me and comfortingly touch my shoulder. Today was a particularly long day of training, and I've had a headache that has steadily grown worse in painful waves for the last two hours. As we near the dorm, you sigh and express the hope that everyone else went out to dinner together tonight.
You unlock the door and let me walk in first. I head straight for my room, pausing only to take my shoes off, and collapse on my bed, letting my bag fall to the floor an instant before.
"Oh, sweetie," you laugh. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah," I say, putting my hand over my eyes. "Just hurts."
"Long day today."
I nod. You sit down on the bed next to me and half lie down to hug me. You ask me what I need, and I murmur that I just need quiet for a while. You say okay, kiss my cheek, and say that you're going to go see what's around for food. I watch you leave, smile at you when you glance back, and then shut my eyes.
I'm so tired today that I can't even move. And the easiest thing in the world is to sink into your own bed after a long day.
I open my eyes again. Only for you will I make the effort to lift my eyelids when they feel like lead. You're standing in the doorway, sucking on a lollipop.
"I'm gonna shower. Wanna come?"
I wave my hand listlessly. "Who knows if they all went together or not? Don't know if one of 'em will come back soon."
"This is as private as it gets here."
You lean against the doorframe, waiting for my reply. You narrow your eyes when you don't get one.
"Fine. Take a nap if you want to. But shower after me, okay?"
I blow you a kiss, and you smile and disappear again. I know that if I did shower with you today, it wouldn't be for the sake of water conservation. You would kiss me and be sweet and affectionate, and as much as I would love it and ignore my headache just to be intimate with you like that, we really don't know if everyone went together or not. No matter how we played it, it would be awkward if someone came back early. So today I'll take sleep as the safer path to preserve future opportunities.
I roll onto my side and close my eyes again, telling my headache to just go away in the quiet and dark. I hear the shower turn on in the distance and imagine that it's rain, washing over everything and creating a sleepy cloak that wraps around me.
"Hyukjae." The bed bows as your weight is added to it. You shake my shoulder. "Hyukjae...?"
"Nnnnn," I moan. You laugh quietly. If I have to be woken up, it's almost always you who I want to be woken up by. You know when I'm in the mood to be messed with and when I'm not.
"I let you sleep for an hour...How do you feel?"
"A little better."
"Does it still hurt?"
"Not as much." I'm trying not to let it come back as I wake up.
You pull me up until I'm sitting and hug me. I limply lean against you and use your shoulder as a pillow. For a minute, you just hold me, and when I'm about to fall asleep against you, you jerk me awake by letting go and taking my shirt off.
"Go shower." You laugh and pull me to my feet. "And then you need to eat."
"I want to sleep," I complain, blushing as you hold onto my waist, of all places, as I gain my balance.
"You can sleep later." You kiss me and pull me to the bathroom. "You'll sleep better after you shower."
"Fine." I push you out of the bathroom with my foot and then close the door. I roll my eyes at my reflection; it's just like you to make me do what you think is best for me. Even though I am hungry, I really just want to sleep. And then it occurs to me that you might have woken me up so that you can have some time alone with me before the others get home. I feel a little bit guilty for sleeping so long, so I take a quick shower, ignoring the threatening stabs of a returning headache in my right temple.
I dry off my hair and send a withering glare at the lights. Which wasn't very smart, because it hurts to look at them. I look for my clothes, and then realize that I didn't bring in clean clothes to change into. You didn't let me. I sigh, laugh, and then tie my towel around my waist and step out of the bathroom.
The others haven't come back yet, thankfully. Hopefully they won't come back for another hour, and I can make up for the time I spent sleeping. I know the reason you came back isn't just to be with me because I have a headache. You want time with me. And I want that too. We don't get a lot of time together alone...and maybe that's why we haven't gotten tired of each other. I see you everyday as your friend and future band mate, but that isn't the same thing.
Fortunately, you aren't in my room, and I can get dressed in peace.
"Donghae?" I throw my towel around my neck and walk towards the living room, pulling the hem of my shirt down over my hips.
"What are you watching?" I fall onto the couch next to you, and I naturally find myself leaning against your side with your arm around my shoulders. I kiss your cheek to draw your eyes away from the screen.
"Just some variety show." You smile and stretch. "Nothing too interesting."
"Commercials..." I sigh. "I wonder how I'll feel if I start seeing my friends - or maybe even myself - appear on them. Wouldn't it be kind of weird?"
"Who would want to use you as their spokesperson?"
"I don't know..." I laugh uncomfortably. "You know what I'm saying."
"I'm teasing you. You're supposed to say 'who wouldn't want to use me?'" You take my towel off of my neck and run your fingers through my hair. "Your hair's wet."
"Don't." I still your hands before you try to dry my hair for me. "My headache is still here."
"Still?" You frown and drape my towel over my head. "Maybe you're getting sick."
"I don't think so..." I close my eyes and you gently massage my temples with your fingertips. Even if it only helps a little bit, the most important thing to me is the way you treat me. I wait until you hug me to remind you that I'm hungry.
"I haven't forgotten."
"What I meant is that I want to eat." I hug you anyway.
"Going to let me?"
"In a minute." You sigh against my neck. "I miss you."
"I miss you too."
You lean into me until I fall backwards and cushion my head with your hand so that it doesn't hit the sofa. I gaze up at you with the traces of my old shyness and you smile.
"I like you." I smile playfully at you, even though I'm seriously trying to express myself.
"I know." You kiss me and then whisper something so quietly that I miss it.
"Nothing." You kiss me again.
"I missed what you said."
"It's okay. I'll say it again."
"No, I'll let you eat now."
"Yay." I laugh.
"Want me to carry you?"
"Tch, I can walk."
"I know you can." You pull me to my feet. "I'm just offering."
I kiss you and walk the ten steps to the kitchen. I think about how often we kiss, usually in the dark, quickly and quietly, only to remind ourselves and each other that we're still in love. My hand pauses on the door of the refrigerator and I stare into its contents without seeing anything for a moment. Is that what it is? I ask myself. Are we in love?
"There are leftovers in there from yesterday." You yawn and sit down at the table. "There's stuff."
"Stuff?" I stare at the shelves blankly. I don't even know what I'm looking for.
I reheat a plate of food and eat without making conversation with you. You lie with your head on your arms, blinking slowly at the center of the table and glancing up at me every now and again. I told you once that you could go back to the television, but you smiled and said that you wanted to be with me. So you're here with me.
"Are you really that tired?" you ask quietly.
"You're just quieter than normal."
"I have a headache."
"Yeah, but...is that all?"
"That's all." I smile and stand up. "I'm just kind of stressed and tired."
"Okay..." You stand up too and take my plate from me. "Go lie down."
"Don't you want to...?"
"I'll spend time with you in your room." You pat my shoulder. "Go rest. Oh, but brush your teeth first. You know you won't get up again once you lie down."
I laugh. "You're right, I won't. Hey..."
You tilt your head questioningly. "What's up?"
"Nothing." I shake my head and touch your cheek briefly. "You're just sweet."
You laugh, and smiling and biting your lip shyly at the same time, turn to clean up as I go to brush my teeth. I spend as little time as required on that, and fall into my bed. I'm not getting up again, no matter what. I pull the comforter up over my head and sigh, sinking into the mattress. I keep myself awake, because I don't want you to just let me sleep. You don't make me wait long. I look up when I hear you come into the room and watch you close the door.
I move over, and you sit down next to me and pull my hand out.
"Geez, your hands are cold." I turn onto my side and cover your hands with mine. You just look at me, your expression quiet and thoughtful, and maybe even a little amused.
"It's cold," you say simply.
"Not there," you agree. You smile, and when your hands are warm, I let go. But you keep one of my hands in yours, and twine our fingers together closely.
"Do you think they went to karaoke?"
"Mmm." You nod. "Probably."
"Singing, huh..." I exhale tiredly. "You know...how Sungmin said that we're all a team?"
"I know why, but...it's not really true."
"What do you mean?"
"Some of us will be replaced, right?"
You're silent for a few moments. Then you nod again.
I lower my eyes to your waist and you smooth my hair. I just like having you this close. And that's what it is, I think. There is something on my mind, and it's been there for a while.
"What if it's you or me?"
"That'd be too bad, after just one year."
"Of course, I'm really happy that we're debuting..."
"But it isn't it kind of sad? After we debut, there will be so much more attention focused on us. And there will be even less time, and then after that we might not live in the same place anymore. Having to work that hard at hiding what we really are, too."
"But we knew it would happen," you say quietly. "Eventually."
"That doesn't change how I feel about it now that I know when."
"It's not now. It's not even an end, Hyukjae. Not if we don't want it to be."
"I know, but..."
"But what?" You smile. "You just want more time with me?"
"Yeah. I don't know. I just don't want to have to work so hard to not show affection for you."
"So let's sell it." You turn towards me all the way and grin. "We don't have to hide everything."
"Think about it! Girls love it when boys show affection for each other. So why not, really?"
"That won't work." I sit up on my elbows and frown at you.
"Why won't it? It'd be easier for us and more fun for everyone else. And everyone here knows we...well, they just know that we're best friends. Nothing would be a surprise to them."
"People aren't that stupid. What if they start thinking that we're not just playing?"
You shrug. "As long as they can't prove it. So no kissing...I mean, not on the lips. Not too much of anything."
"You're talking about just...I don't know, hugging, if something good happens?"
"Yeah. Whatever is right in the moment."
"Hugging is okay..."
"Of course hugging is okay." You laugh. "If we can make it attractive, then why not? For a little more freedom."
"Okay," I say. "Okay, okay."
"You trust me."
"I trust me more."
"That's fine." You make a face and then lie down next to me beneath the comforter. I blush initially as I get used to how close your body is to mine. "But you do trust me."
"Yes, yes. I do."
I lie on my back and make room for you on my pillow, and you make use of it. Your hair falls over your eyes like a soft veil. We smile at each other, and I remind myself that the most important moment in time is right now. Right now I don't need to think about the future. We'll think about it and talk about it past today, anyway.
"But there's another problem," I say, as an afterthought.
"What's that?" You look at me curiously and stroke my hand with your thumb. I notice it, but it doesn't distract me anymore. It's like a habit. I look at your shoulder, unsure of what I really want to say.
"I like you now more than before. Back then...you know, when we just started out, I didn't think that it was possible to like a person more and more, when I liked you so much already. But clearly...it's like a room. Once the room is filled up, the roof will have to be raised. You don't know that you can like a person more until you just do, and..."
"Hey," you say quietly. "Are you trying to say that you love me?"
I glance at you and blush.
"No, when I want to say that, I'll just say it. I'm saying that it's getting harder to keep it a secret, just with that..."
"You can do it," you say. Your thumb stills for a second and then continues. "And by the way, I'm falling for you too."
I look up slowly and meet your gaze. You're serious.
"Already?" I swallow. "I thought it would take longer."
"Doesn't take a long time when you're with someone so lovable. And this is a long time to you? How long has it been? Almost two years, right?"
"But we're only eighteen, and..." I stop as I realize what you've said, and my heart skips a beat. You make it do this on a regular basis. "Doesn't matter, does it."
"It's a good feeling, isn't it?" I wonder if your voice could be any gentler or sweeter.
"Yeah," I say after a few seconds. After I've found my voice again. I turn onto my side and press my face against your shoulder. You put your arms around me, and I can feel you smile. All of it together forces tears out of my eyes, and even though I'm usually completely relaxed when you're holding me, my chest feels tight, as if there's a thick knot in the center.
"Why are you crying?" You kiss my forehead and stroke my back slowly.
"It's just hard." I close my eyes and turn to cherishing this moment of physical and emotional closeness. "I love you."
"I love you too." You kiss my cheek, teasing my face away from your shoulder until you can kiss my mouth. My lips part beneath yours, and you deepen the kiss until I can feel it all throughout my body, like a warm syrup that spreads through everything to my fingers and toes. My body and lips and heart respond to you, expanding my sudden sense of oneness with you. This is what I love you feels like.
After an eon, your mouth leaves mine, leaving me breathless and flushed, and you kiss my face, planting soft physical whispers of affection against my skin. I can feel your pulse, so I know you must be able to feel mine racing, too.
You stop kissing me and laugh. "My god, your face is red."
"It's your fault..." I want to punch myself for talking. You raise your eyebrows, amused. "That was intense..."
"You said you loved me, so..."
"I do love you." Against all possibility, I can feel myself blush more. "I'm not complaining."
"Yeah, I kind of figured." You touch one of my burning cheeks lightly. "If blood is red, and blood goes through the heart...the heart must be red. And if the heart is where we feel...then love must be red too, right?"
"I...never thought of it as having a color."
"It probably has a unique color, if it has one. But if it were to have a color that we know...don't you think it would be red?"
"Yeah," I find myself saying. "Red is warm."
"Like love." You laugh and lie on your side again. I hadn't even realized that you had ever left that position until you returned to it. "Can I sleep here?"
"They'll ask questions." It pains me to say anything other than yes, of course, please stay with me.
"They won't care. Everyone sleeps together now and then. And you're lucky enough to have your own room, so it's not like I'm infringing on anyone else's privacy."
You blink a few times. "Wow, that was easy."
"Well it's not like I don't want you here."
"True." You kiss my cheek and I snuggle into you. You laugh again and reach back to turn out the light. "You get so sweet when you're tired."
"I can't help it."
"I know." You wrap yourself around me and sigh in the dark. "You should get tired more often."
"Euh...if this were summer, I'd kill you."
"It's cold, so shut up."
"I said if it were summer! And am I not sweet normally, or something? Why do I have to get exhausted?"
"I'm really happy." You let those words sink in for a second. "This...everything is such a good experience for me. Working with you and everyone else everyday towards the same goal. I feel like we're really lucky - even though it's complicated and frustrating - like most couples don't get this kind of opportunity to bond over more than just...being a couple. All of it makes me happy. You make me really happy."
When I don't give you any reply, simply because I can't, you go on.
"I really care about you. I love you."
"I know." I smile into your shoulder. I realize that I do know. That I have known without hearing it from your lips. "You don't have to say it for me to know."
"But I want you to hear it."
"Do you need me to tell you, too?"
My smile widens. "Do you want me to tell you?"
"Yeah." You laugh quietly. "I like the way it sounds."
"I love you."
"And so...they lived happily ever after."
We both laugh. I can't believe how cheesy you can be, but what's worse is that I just find it cute right now. I don't even pause to think about the likelihood of a happily ever after. I just laugh, and then I stop laughing. I only murmur the words 'good night', and you only barely tell me to have sweet dreams. I smile as I fall asleep, thinking that it's funny to have told you all of three times that I love you, when I never meant to in the first place. But I do.
[Next Part] Chapter Five: Orange