“The last award for tonight goes to… Kim Jonghyun!”
Loud claps and cheers fill the whole hall as the said idol rises up from his seat and bows to everyone cheering for him. As he makes his way up to the stage to receive his award, he smiles his famous lopsided smile before leaning closer to the microphone.
“Wow, uh. Good night, everyone. I’m really happy to be able to attend this award show and even to get the last award for the night. I didn’t expect this at all but thank you so much to my boss, my manager Jinki hyung, my family, my friends, and most importantly to all of my fans Blingers! I wouldn’t get this award with you all! Thank you!”
He makes his way back down the stage, throwing heart arrows to the fans cheering for him and holding onto the placard written with his name.
He is Kim Jonghyun. He is an idol of five years, singing flawlessly on the stage, and sometimes dancing like a beast that makes every girl cry for his name.
He is Kim Jonghyun. A husband to his spouse of two years and a best friend to his childhood friend of twenty years.
No one knows that he is married to someone. No one is supposed to know this, except his family and his company. Jonghyun is the most popular artist for his company (so he can act a bit spoiled, because he makes lots of money) and they couldn’t even refuse him when he told them about his marriage plan.
Jonghyun sits in the confines of his car after the award show had ended. His manager Jinki hyung is currently driving while talking to the phone, most supposedly to his wife. As for himself, he rummages into his bag to look for his phone.
Just as he has expected, he has a text message. With a smile blooming across his face, Jonghyun goes to open the unread message.
Congratulation for winning the best award ever! ^^
So lovely. Jonghyun can feel his heart flutters in happiness even from such a short message. He can just feel the big love coming from those simple words.
Unable to contain himself, he presses dial a bit too fast. The phone screen is cold against his ear as he waits for the call to be answered. When the ringing tone stops, he hears the sweetest voice that he loves the most.
“Congratulation for winning, Mr. Kim.” The voice is so soft and gentle and Jonghyun chews down on his bottom lip as to hold back a happy squeal.
“Thank you, Mr. Kim.” He says back, replying with a tone that shows how happy he is. All the exhaustion and fatigue are washed away from his face. Just by listening to the sweet voice of his spouse, he can just smile for the rest of the day.
“When will you be back?” He hears his spouse’s worried voice, concerning about his sleeping habit at this late hour.
Jonghyun leans fully against the car seat behind him, sighing in happiness. His manager’s eyes flick up to the mirror, sending him an amused glance which Jonghyun chooses to ignore as he focuses on the voice of his love.
“Soon. Jinki hyung is driving while talking with his wife. I miss you though.”
“I miss you too. More than you imagine.” The voice whispers shyly.
Jonghyun feels his lips crack from smiling way too wide. “I will be home soon. Expect me in twenty minutes.”
“Okay.” The answer is soft but Jonghyun can hear the delight in the tone.
Right after he ends the call, he kicks the driver seat. “Hyung, can you drive a bit faster?”
His manager huffs, ending his phone call before muttering, “Brat.” Jonghyun laughs, throwing his head back as he feels the car driving faster than the previous pace.
Jonghyun presses the lock numbers of his house, listening to the right beeps before he closes the door behind his back. Right after the door clicks close, he gets an armful of a cuddly guy.
“Welcome back home.” The person mutters into the crook of his neck. Jonghyun himself curls his arms around the other’s slim torso, pulling him closer and flushing him against his chest.
“I’m home, Kibum.”
The person nods into his neck, hugging him tighter. “I miss you so much. I saw you when you gave your speech. I’m so proud of you, Jjong.”
Jonghyun smiles, eyes closing as he takes a deep sniff of his favorite person’s scent.
“I couldn’t mention your name. I’m so sorry, love.” He says in guilt, because once again, they have to hide their relationship from the world. His spouse squeezes his middle, assuring him that he has nothing to worry about.
“It’s fine. Just watching you holding the award on the stage and seeing you smiling is enough for me.”
“Love,” Jonghyun sighs fondly, “why are you so perfect?” He mutters, pulling away to hold onto his spouse’s face in between his palms.
His spouse, or Kibum, smiles widely, all his pearl white teeth showing. Jonghyun coos at his cuteness, rubbing his thumbs over the apple of his cheeks tenderly.
“I love you.” He whispers before leaning forward to give his spouse a soft kiss.
Kibum smiles against his mouth, tilting his head to let him kisses his lips. Jonghyun sighs in delight, holding the face gently as if it could break. After giving the other various pecks on his lips and cheeks, he pulls away to look at his spouse better. Kibum is clad in his pajamas, the couple pajamas they got when they got married two years ago.
“Are you sleepy?” Jonghyun asks, moving their bodies from side to side in a slow dance. Kibum shakes his head. “I was waiting for you,” he smiles, nudging his nose against Jonghyun’s, “and I was watching your entire performance. Please tell your stylist that I love the outfit when you performed earlier.”
Jonghyun chuckles, understanding that his spouse means the ripped denim outfit he wore when he sang live on the award. He has to admit that he looked very good when he wore the denim outfit earlier.
“I will tell her. She would be very happy to know that.”
Kibum smiles, nodding his head before grabbing onto the idol’s hand. “Are you hungry? Have you eaten anything? They served food at the award, didn’t they?”
“Yes,” Jonghyun answers, taking off his shoes while letting his spouse pulls him deeper into the house, “but I miss your cooking. The food earlier didn’t taste that good.”
“Seriously? I bet the food cost a lot.” Kibum replies, letting his hand go while heading to the kitchen. Jonghyun hums, taking the coat off and hanging it before he pulls his socks away from his feet.
“Wash up while I heat the food a bit, Jjong.” Kibum’s voice is heard in between the sounds of microwave buttons beeping.
Jonghyun hums again, dragging his tired feet into the bedroom. He rummages for his own pair of pajamas and heads to the bathroom for a very quick shower. He could fall asleep real soon if he stays too long in the bath tub.
Kibum is waiting for him on the dinner table when he is done with his shower. Leaning down to peck his spouse’s cheek, Jonghyun smiles and then he slips onto the empty chair.
“Hmm, what is this? Smells heavenly.”
“I tried a new recipe earlier. I hope it’s good.” Kibum says, holding his chin up against his palm. Jonghyun fakes a gasp. “Everything you cook tastes delicious, love. Don’t doubt yourself.”
He can see Kibum rolling his eyes but the blush on those white cheeks gives him away. With a teasing smile, he goes to scoop the food into his mouth; making extra effort to hum happily to let the other knows how much he appreciates the food.
As soon as he finishes his food, they huddle together in their bed, curled under the thick duvet. Jonghyun listens to his spouse telling about his day while he fights his sleepiness. He hears a chuckle and before he knows it, a soft kiss is placed against his lips.
That makes him smiles and he pops an eye open. Kibum is staring at him with a gaze full of love and affection.
“Want to make out?” He offers, smiling when Kibum snorts in amusement.
Jonghyun curls his arms around his spouse’s waist, pulling him so close while pressing their mouth together. Kibum hums on his lips, smiling as they press for gentle kisses. Once in a while they lean away, grinning sleepily to each other before leaning in to kiss again.
“Enough,” Kibum says, pecking his chin, “Now sleep, you big baby.”
Jonghyun closes his eyes, smiling like a happy kid. He buries his face into his spouse’s neck, breathing in his scent before finally he succumbs into a deep sleep inside his spouse’s warm embrace.
Being married to his childhood best friend is one of the things that Jonghyun will never regret. He discovered himself being in love with Kibum when he was seventeen, exactly ten years into their friendship. He couldn’t realize it, if not for the girls and boys praising Kibum nonstop.
He first thought that the ugly feeling in his chest was because he was jealous of people admiring Kibum. But when it went for too long and the ugly feeling didn’t vanish, he finally realized that he was jealous of people possibly liking Kibum. And that made him made his move.
He remembers Kibum couldn’t trust him when he said that he wanted to hold his hand. Well, it was weird because Jonghyun had always been the little skin ship evil and had always held his hand without having to ask. When Kibum gave him a confused and hesitant nod, he went to tightly twine their fingers together.
When one day he asked Kibum out for a date, the boy sent him a concerned gaze. “You didn’t hit your head anywhere?” And he even asked that. Jonghyun huffed and pretended to be angry until Kibum said yes to the date question.
When their school had a musical event, Jonghyun signed up to the competition and sang his own written song, presented especially for Kibum, who clapped his hands the loudest in the whole audiences. He won the competition with his heartfelt song.
When high school graduation ceremony was over, Jonghyun gave him his uniform second button and confessed. It took Kibum a full twenty minutes to stop crying because as he quoted, “I thought you were just having fun with me? And I thought you were trying to see whether you like girls or boys better,” in which Jonghyun cooed and hugged him to death.
As they got two years into the college, Jonghyun auditioned into an entertainment company, scoring himself a big jackpot for only having to be a trainee for only 2 years before he got debuted as a solo artist. Jonghyun got acknowledged as one of the best debuted artists in that year.
During his journey of being under lights, it’s not always smooth. He got bashed because of saying the wrong words. He got his song despised because of a weird composition. The most often thing he got, still gets, is to be rumored with other artists. He is not sure how that even happened but it happened, happens.
The first time it happened, he was rumored to be having a secret relationship with an actress his age. It was one year into his debut and Jonghyun could remember it very clearly because he couldn’t forget the heartbroken expression on his at-that-time boyfriend. Kibum said nothing but listened to him explaining everything, that he had no one other than him. As a very good and nice boyfriend, Kibum nodded and said he trusted him.
After that, he got paired with any other artists in every month. He got the name of playboy, even though Jonghyun just as much as glanced and said hi to them. He guessed the fans wanted him to be having relationship with some people, shipping him with those people they thought would get along with him.
From that many rumors, Kibum never said anything and it seemed like he got used to that, but Jonghyun was still worried about it. At times, he would find Kibum feeling insecure about that and it was enough to make Jonghyun sure that he wanted nothing that could make his boyfriend feeling upset.
By the age of 24, he proposed to his boyfriend and told his family and company that he wanted to get married. He didn’t care about how much the fans would maybe hate him or maybe he had to stop his career. The most important in this world is Kibum. His family tried to discuss things with him, trying to coax him to maybe think about it again, not because they didn’t like Kibum but because they thought they were still too young. His company tried to persuade him with cancelling his decision, but Jonghyun stood still with his decision.
When they were 25, they got married secretly. He could still remember the shy face Kibum had when they signed the registration papers that would make them officially married. Jonghyun was the happiest man alive at that time. He got married to the love of his life, got to keep his career with the promise to keep his marriage as a secret.
Now at the age of 27, five years into being an idol, Jonghyun doesn’t care about how many rumors he has with other people. He stays loyal to his spouse, coming back home to spend the day with Kibum, and keeping a promise to always love him through thick and thin.
Most of the times, Kibum is always the strongest person he has ever known. But a human is a human, and Jonghyun sometimes finds his spouse breaking down into silent tears whenever they get into some petty fights or being too fed up with the way the media talk about him.
Kibum rarely gets jealous, but when insecurity hits him, it hits him hard.
Just like now.
They wake up from a very good sleep, Jonghyun getting sweet kisses all over his face that makes him smiles widely like an idiot. It’s his favorite to wake up with Kibum’s soft and giggly voice whispering sweet nothings into his ear.
Kibum climbs down from the bed, his footsteps muffled against the carpet. Jonghyun stays in bed, eyes still closed as he relishes in the feeling of waking up without having to think about work because it’s his rare day off.
He can hear the sounds of shower starting; the dull sound of water being boiled in the kitchen, and the muffled music from the radio Kibum always switches on in every morning.
His phone vibrates somewhere in the bedroom and he is too lazy to even get it. Kibum’s footsteps come out from the bathroom and he smells so good after his shower. He can hear his spouse walking out of the bedroom, must be doing the same routine: picking up the television remote to turn it on, leaving it to listen to the news while moving to the kitchen to pour the boiled water for coffee, then rummaging into the fridge for the jam while stuffing the bread into the toaster.
Kibum should be calling for him for his toast in less than a few minutes, but as Jonghyun waits for the call, it never comes. Instead, he hears the volume of the television rising up. He groans, sitting up on the bed and reaching for his phone on the bedside table.
The previous text is from his manager.
Jonghyun, you got involved in another scandal. It’s Taeyeon this time.
He sighs, closing the text message before climbing down from the bed. Such a mood breaker in the early morning.
“Baby?” He croaks out, calling for his spouse while pushing the bedroom door open. He doesn’t find Kibum in the kitchen, the jam is opened and the toast is halfway being spread by it. He drags his feet to the living room where the television is talking so loud it annoys him.
“Kibum, what are you doing?”
His spouse is gripping onto the remote, lowering the volume once he gets close. Kibum sends him a smile, one that is too strained to be seen as sincere. Jonghyun can only see a glimpse picture of himself in the television before his spouse switches it off.
“You are awake.” Kibum says, smiling but his eyes look troubled. Jonghyun parts his mouth to say something but his spouse scurries away back to the kitchen to continue his earlier doing.
“Here’s your coffee and toasts. Finish them and just leave the dishes in the sink. I will do it later.” Kibum says hurriedly, moving away from him. Jonghyun blinks his eyes. “Where are you going?”
“I-I will be doing the laundry.” The other says.
As the bedroom door slams shut, Jonghyun rises up from the chair and heads back to the living room. He picks the remote and puts the news back on, finding the same news of him being involved in another dating scandal with his senior in the company. He sighs, shutting the tv off then he goes to the bedroom.
“Kibum?” He calls softly, pushing the door open and finding the room to be so dark in this early morning.
He hears a sniffle and his heart drops to his stomach at the possibility of his spouse crying.
“Hmm?” Kibum answers, trying to sound normal but the difference in his voice is too obvious for Jonghyun to not notice.
“Baby, are you… are you crying?” He fastens his feet to reach to the edge of the bed where the silhouette of Kibum is found.
“I’m not.” He mumbles.
Jonghyun grits his teeth, “Don’t lie to me.” He stops beside the other, gripping onto his arm. Kibum looks up, his eyes teary and red even in the dimness of the room. Jonghyun feels his heart breaking along the new fresh tears rolling down his cheeks.
“I’m okay. Don’t worry.” Kibum mutters softly, trying to tug his arm out of his grip.
“Why are you trying to hide from me again?” Jonghyun asks, sighing tiredly.
Kibum looks up, giving him a stare that means so many things. Jonghyun parts his mouth to say something but his spouse sniffs again.
“Do you… Have you ever regretted marrying me?” Kibum whispers softly, his tone gentle but sad.
“What are you talking about?”
Kibum wipes his tears with his palms. “Sometimes I think about how you would better be off without me—”
“Stop.” Jonghyun rubs his temple. “I don’t want to hear you saying that again.”
The other cries even harder and Jonghyun gets onto the bed. He reaches to hold onto his spouse’s crying face, thumbing the tears away.
“Don’t say that. Don’t think that way. Please?” He begs softly, nudging his nose against Kibum’s red one. The other sniffles so pitifully, but it still makes him looks so cute.
“But… look at you and those many people. They are so pretty. They… they look capable to stand beside you. Jonghyun, I don’t want to hold you back.”
“Baby, what are you talking about? You don’t hold me back.” Jonghyun whispers, pecking his trembling lips. Kibum whimpers softly. “I’m no one, Jonghyun. I’m not pretty and I’m not famous. I don’t have that much money. You can be with anyone else you want.”
“Kibum, please,” he mutters, his heart breaking even further to know that Kibum thinks so lowly of himself. His spouse doesn’t know how beautiful he is, how he is the most important person in Jonghyun’s life.
“If- If you want to be with someone else, I… I could handle a divorce—”
Jonghyun shuts him up with a kiss. “I love you. Kibum, I love you so much. Please don’t feel this way. Don’t think this way. I only want you, dammit.”
Kibum clamps his mouth shut, nodding. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t apologize. Please, Kibum. I only love you. Please don’t doubt me. Don’t listen to what other people say. I only give my heart to you.” He says, rubbing his fingers on Kibum’s face and neck, trying to calm him down.
His spouse nods gently, reaching over to hug him tight. “Gosh, I’m so sorry. I guess it’s one of these days that I get overly sensitive again.” He mutters in between his painful sobs, feeling so guilty.
Jonghyun pulls him close then he lies them down back to the bed. “Don’t apologize. It should be me who say sorry. We have to hide from the world. I don’t want you to apologize when it’s clearly my fault.”
“No,” Kibum shakes his head, “we hide because we need to do it.”
Jonghyun sighs. “Why are you so perfect, baby? I don’t deserve you and your kindness.”
Kibum snuggles into his neck. “Mmh, Jonghyun?”
“What is it?”
“Can we,” Kibum whispers ever so softly that he needs to listen very carefully, “can we… make love?”
Jonghyun smiles before he breaks into a chuckle. “Sure, sure. I will show you how much I love you, baby.”
For the rest of the day, Jonghyun takes his time peeling his spouse off of his clothes, dragging his mouth all over his skin, and bringing him to the best ride in his life. Kibum clutches onto his shoulder, breaking into sweats and gasping for air.
Jonghyun keeps chanting about how much he loves him, rough fingers handling his spouse with gentleness, while his hips do the precise but tender thrusts. Kibum cries out in pleasure, burying his face into the bed.
“I love you, Kibum. Never forget that.” Jonghyun says in between his harsh panting, pulling his spouse up to sit on his lap while they make love for the countless time on that day. Kibum looks so close to fainting but he smiles and kisses Jonghyun on his swollen lips from all the biting. “Love you, too.”
Everyone, mostly his company and mainly Kibum himself, is so against his decision and Jonghyun assures them that this is what he really wants. He doesn’t want to make another mistake for not being honest enough. He could get many hate after this but he doesn’t really care. As long as Kibum is safe, he wouldn’t care about anything else.
“Hello, everyone. This is Kim Jonghyun.” He speaks into the microphone and watches the media all taking pictures of him in this impromptu press release.
“For everyone who had spared their time to come here, I would like to make a confession.” He says firmly, tracing his wedding band on his finger to seek for mental support from his spouse who he is sure watching the live news with nervous heart right now.
Taking a deep breath, he speaks:
“I, Kim Jonghyun, twenty nine years old, will be retiring from the entertainment world right after this year ends.”
Cameras flash repeatedly and he ignores the blitz in his eyes and the gasps in his ears. Jonghyun musters a wide smile, smiling proudly.
“And one more thing,” he says and the crowd silences.
He lifts his hand up, his wedding band, which he wears on his ring finger after being put in his wallet for so many years, twinkles from the light. No backing out from this.
With a smile, he announces, “I got married four years ago to the love of my life, the one who is watching me at home while biting his nails off and thumping his little feet on the floor in nervousness. Hey, baby, I love you and this is our new start.” He announces proudly.
No more hiding.
This is their life and Jonghyun will let the whole world knows how much he loves Kibum.