The nights that sleep spends elsewhere (though it comes more often these days- his warm embrace invites it in, a soft syllable in the dark), Ryeowook tries to pinpoint the moment he fell for the boy wrapped around him like an old sweater, so comfortable and familiar that it's more than a piece of clothing, but part of you, fitting so closely that it's just an extension of your own skin. Jongwoon's breath gently moves the hair at his temple, and he recalls the first tentative days when their friendship took on a strange new quality that neither could name, or would call attention to, but that made Ryeowook's hands tremble when they were in the same room- not from nervousness, as he had first assumed, but want.
The first time he held his breath and slid his hand into Jongwoon's, in the backseat of a car on the way to yet another show, and Jongwoon didn't turn to look at him, but merely intertwined their fingers without missing a beat, lips curling into a self-sure smile that Ryeowook would later realize was meant to mask his nerves; but even his apparent cockiness in the moment was endearing. He thinks back further than that moment, to the days of their mini drama series, of Jongwoon placing a party hat on his head and letting the string snap back into place unrestrained, how his fingertips brushed across Ryeowook's jaw absently and he didn't even notice the sting.
He remembers crowding around a monitor to see the footage, still mostly unedited; as soon as he saw the two of them on the screen, his head comfortably on Jongwoon's thigh as the latter stroked his arm, his heart jumped into his throat at the way Jongwoon's eyes softened, and at the time, he didn't quite understand why. Good acting didn't seem like enough of an explanation, and he spent the rest of the taping in a corner of the set, pretending to study though he never moved past the same page in his book, trying to shake the feeling and failing miserably.
Jongwoon sighs in his sleep and shifts slightly, and the way his arm never moves from where it's clasped comfortably around Ryeowook's stomach, and the way Ryeowook can feel their hearts beating in time, feels as if their very molecules have fused together, and they are essentially the same person. Some people say that their great love completes them, as if they weren't whole without the other person, just an empty shell looking for someone who fits in the space in their heart- Ryeowook can't recall feeling this way. Rather, he remembers the first time they kissed, in the weakly lit stairwell of the building of the new dormitories.
The elevator doors had just closed on Eunhyuk's laughing face (Sungmin was trying to look disapproving, but he couldn't keep the smile out of his eyes as they were left alone for eleven whole floors) and Jongwoon's hand was warm in the crook of his elbow as they went to the stairwell. Jongwoon had started to take the stairs two at a time, as if he endeavoured to beat the elevator, and he didn't let go of Ryeowook's arm, and even though Jongwoon was much faster, it never felt as though he was being dragged, but that somehow he was keeping up, that perhaps he was simply floating up the steps behind him like a balloon in his grasp.
They had made it to the sixth floor before Jongwoon tripped, and they went sprawling onto the landing, and Jongwoon was laughing breathlessly as he rolled over, pressing his smile to Ryeowook's, and they eventually made it to the eleventh floor, red-faced and unkempt though they had walked up the last five flights. It was like something had been slightly off-center, and as he lay back against the linoleum and felt Jongwoon hover over him, weight settling comfortably against him as they melted together, it quietly slid back into place.