It looked so bare. Every time he passed by, its nakedness fucking glared at him, blindingly pale cement colored and desolate. Sometimes he would stand in front of it, imagining it to be his canvas, pressing the palms of his hands to its surface like a lost lover, breathing in its lovely urban scent. It was only a small section of wall, but Minho felt it was his. Or at least, he really fucking wanted it to be his. He pictured a mural on it, in a space six feet wide by five feet tall, bursting with colors and calligraphy. He imagined it to be his best yet, a damn masterpiece.
This time he passed by his wall and stopped to smile slyly at it. Discretely, he took a folded up piece of sketch paper out from his jeans pocket, holding it up to the wall, comparing drawing to wall, drawing to wall. It would be fucking great.
He sighed and put the paper back in his pocket, folding his arms over his chest. He left the wall with satisfaction, carrying on home to his shitty apartment and roommate.
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Minho pushed open the creaking door of his apartment, faded peeling pea-soup green paint flaking off on his hand, and was greeted by muffled hip hop coming from the back of the flat. Their apartment was big, four bedroom, one and a half bath, vaulted ceilings, penthouse. But it was cheap because it was a shitty place in a shitty area. Minho threw down his bag at the threshold and kicked off his ratty shoes. He went and knocked on the open door of the room his roomie had converted into a small dance studio, poking his head in to catch his attention. The music's decibel level blew Minho's hair back a little bit.
"I'm back," Minho shouted as his roomie finished a complex sequence of tutting. Kibum turned away from his wall of mirrors and ruffled his dyed honey blond hair.
"Hey," Kibum said in his brassy voice.
"You free tonight, Key?" Minho asked, leaning on the doorframe, the floor under his feet squealing menacingly.
"Yeah, why?" Kibum sauntered over to his stereo system to turn down the loud music. "Are you gonna write somewhere?" Minho nodded and Kibum folded his arms. "Of course I'll come," he smirked. "I wouldn't want to miss watching the great Hexun tag another building."
Minho chuckled and shuffled into the kitchen, Kibum following close behind. He grabbed a pack of cigarettes off the kitchen counter and a lighter from the drawer next to the sink, and made his way to the balcony, Kibum still on his heels.
Together they stepped out onto the stone balcony, and Minho took a cigarette out of the pack, sticking it between his full lips. He lit the cigarette, inhaling deeply.
"So whatcha writing and where?" Kibum pressed as they both leaned on the railing of the balcony.
Minho's lips curled into a smile around his cigarette and he puffed out a cloud of addiction. "A couple," he said slowly. "Kissing like this." Minho took one last long drag on his cigarette and pulled Kibum close by his shirtfront with his free hand. Kibum gasped sharply and grabbed the front of Minho's jacket with both hands. Minho put his mouth lightly to Kibum's and exhaled, smoke pouring from his mouth and nose. The smoke from his nose plumed softly over Kibum's porcelain cheeks as he blushed, coughing lightly on the sudden lungfull of cigarette haze.
"A portrait of us?" Kibum asked, breathing the smoke exchanged back into Minho's face.
Minho smiled, feeling high. "On that piece of wall I told you about, down by the mini mart."
"Are you sure it won't get painted over?" Kibum wrapped his arms around Minho's neck, rocking from side to side. He drug his nose in a line up Minho's throat, placing a peckish kiss on Minho's Adam's apple. Minho took another pull on his cigarette and looked out at the bleak cityscape.
"If I make it beautiful enough it won't be."
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
They had four fucking bedrooms and only one bed.
Not that either of them really cared-- going to bed meant time to "cuddle" for Minho and Kibum. However it wasn't the fluffy kind of "cuddling" shit. What they did was rough between the sheets. They put things where things shouldn't be put and fucked, rocking the mattress on the floor they called their bed, freely screaming when pleasure peaked. (Ten stories up in a ghetto neighborhood meant hardly anyone heard, and if they did, it wasn't even paid any attention.)
No one knew of their orientation, though. Everyone who knew them thought the two were just kind of asexual, pursuing hobbies as opposed to women. Minho was an artist and MC, visiting the underground hip hop scene from time to time, rapping under his pseudonym "Hexun". Kibum was a dancer, part of an independent dance troupe that traveled from city to city, challenging dance battles. Together Kibum and Minho were a formidable duo of loud and quiet. Minho was soft-spoken and self-absorbed when Kibum was flashy and strident. It was always Kibum who cried the loudest when they got too feisty, and Minho who just bit his lip to keep himself quiet.
Exhausted from reckless intercourse, they collapsed against each other, hands knotted together, trailing kisses on each other's stripped bodies. They lay in a tangle of limbs, slick with sticky and sweat from their nighttime activity, breathing heavily and excited for the first time to get out from between the damp sheets and get dressed again. Tonight they would make their entanglement known.
Minho breathed softly tobacco-scented over Kibum's collar, over his bare skin, over his fucking perfect naked skin, and closed his eyes, his head resting in the crook of Kibum's neck. If heaven were a feeling, then this would be it, Minho decided as Kibum absently ran skinny fingers through his wavy brown hair. Kibum squirmed and Minho lifted his heavy head.
"Ready?" Minho asked in his sleepy voice as Kibum sat up.
"Always," Kibum answered with a smile, sliding off the mattress and onto the cold, old wood floor. Minho pushed himself up and propped himself on the wall, watching greedily with glassy eyes as Kibum pulled jeans over his toned legs. "Put some fucking pants on and let's go."
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Carefully, they swaddled cans of spray paint in scraps of cloth to prevent clanking and placed them in Minho's shabby black backpack, zipping it shut with tiny smiles. They couldn't fucking wait. Bag on back, hoods up and bandanas in hand, they left their apartment at midnight, arms linked. When they strolled to a stop in front of Minho's naked wall, mischief got the better of them and suddenly they needed to do this. Minho put down the bag and rummaged for the first color, an acidic neon green.
"I want you to make the first stroke," Minho whispered into Kibum's ear as he helped him tie his bandana over his nose and mouth. He put his own on, shook up the can of paint, and put it in Kibum's hand, placing his fingers over Kibum's to guide him.
"Are you sure you want me to do it?" Kibum's breath fogged in the night air, angry panic creeping into the edges of his voice. "Minho, what if I mess up? I'm not an artist like you."
"I'll help you."
Together with low-gravity motions they made the first mark, a short, lopsided downward arc. It dripped, worms of lime green sneaking towards the ground.
Kibum stepped back for the rest of the time, watching Minho at work. The portrait slowly formed itself at the end of Minho's arm, the colors sickly bright and surreal, with white smoke swirling and blue and yellow hair. It was sensual and playful, a headache of flamboyancy. Kibum's chest swelled with pride at the artistry of his man, and with the knowledge that they wouldn't, couldn't, ever fucking break apart. He turned his eyes to the sky, clouded with light pollution, so shrouded he could only see two lonely stars in the naked night sky. His eyelids slid shut and he sighed softly.
"Key," Minho tugged on Kibum's sleeve. "How does it look?"
Kibum tipped his chin to look at the fresh-painted mural. "Wow," he breathed, bursting into a grin. "It's… it's fucking perfect, Minho, I…" He leaned on Minho's shoulder. "Shit, it's amazing." Kibum couldn't believe it was a piece of art of the two of them. They looked too beautiful. Kibum wanted to touch the sharp angle of his painted chin, or run his thumb along the edges of Minho's purple concrete lips. He wanted to trace the words Minho painted at the bottom with his fingers. "Love: Key to the Hex". The world seemed to shrink to the three of them: Kibum, Minho, and the painted wall. Kibum decided that if he were to die now, that'd be just fucking fine.
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
It was a lazy weekend following the night Minho wrote on the naked wall. Fucking nothing to do, save maybe lay around the apartment half-asleep or go for long walks in the city. Minho had draped himself over the small couch, legs hanging off one end, reading a book on psychoanalysis he's picked up at the secondhand store for a few cents. The pages were dog-eared and the cover had a coffee stain on it, but it was by his favorite professor, and he couldn't just pass it up. Kibum was practicing some modern dance he'd picked up at his dance troupe's studio in town earlier that day. It was really balance-intensive, focusing on flexibility of limbs. Kibum sat on the floor, stretching his stiff legs. He slid into the splits and hissed at the back of his calf as it protested against the stretch. Standing up, he lifted his leg up behind himself, grabbing his bare foot with his hands and pulling his leg and torso into a circle as he stood poised on one leg.
"Minho," he called, holding his position. "Want to go for a walk?"
A long moment of silence. "Sure," Minho answered with a ruffle of pages. He appeared in the doorway of Kibum's dance room. "Hey, I didn't know you could do that!" He exclaimed, seeing Kibum standing in his contorted position. His eyebrows shot up.
Kibum grimaced. "It's really fucking hard," he let his leg down and exhaled the breath he didn't realize he was holding.
"So do you want to go now?" Minho asked, leaning on the doorframe in his usual manner.
They put on shoes and jackets, Minho putting on high-top Nikes and Kibum slipping his bare feet into sandals. Minho locked the door to their apartment and they shuffled into the rickety elevator, travelling down ten stories. Kibum held open the front door of the apartment's musty lobby for Minho, and they embarked on their afternoon walk. The sun beat down on them from above, even though it was fucking cold as hell, and washed the city in a golden glaze. Minho glanced over at Kibum and was taken aback and pushed into awe by the way Kibum's muddy brown eyes were set ablaze by the sun, and the way his honey-colored hair was lit up like a halo of gold.
"Minho," Kibum said, but Minho almost couldn't tear his eyes away from Kibum's flawless lips forming his name.
"Hmm?" Minho hummed, forcing himself to look at Kibum's forehead.
"Let's go look at your wall." Kibum beamed.
Minho returned the smile with a nod and they turned in the direction of the portrait wall, enjoying the crisp weather. The adjacent mini-mart came into sight, and they picked up their pace. Kibum was the first to slide into the alleyway where the painting was, and the first to see.
"Minho!" He cried, and Minho rushed to the scene. "It's gone!"
They stood in dumb silence, eyes taking in the taupe paint covering the once beautiful mural. Tears welled in Kibum's eyes and he sank to the ground. Minho pressed long, lost lover fingers to the wall and felt the still wet paint. His eyebrows knit together in anger, and he slammed his fist into the wall. Kibum heard the crunch of bones and began to bawl. They had thought they'd finally eternalized their attraction, their entanglement with each other. Rage and pain shrouded Minho's vision and he tried to wipe away the drying paint with his bloody right hand, uncovering and smearing with crimson the acid green contour of Kibum's closed eyelid. This was his wall, how could anyone fucking paint over it? This was his masterpiece, his child, his lovely urban child. The two stared at it vacantly, taking in its blasé new color.
The realization that it was gone ripped the two open, exposed bloody, lovesick, star-crossed hearts. Minho had clothed it, and now it was stripped bare again. Lonely, desolate, empty and pale.