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They must’ve forgotten to close the curtains again last night, not that he’s complaining. Feeling the sun against his skin in the mornings is still something of a novelty, and despite having to get used to that sort of thing again, it’s a sensation that he cherishes quite a bit. He’d become so accustomed to shutting himself down that appreciating the simple things had been damn near impossible, so now that he’s in a place where he feels like he’s allowed to enjoy life a little bit, he’s more than willing to take what he can.


It’s everything, even when it isn’t much. The bed he’s lying on isn’t exactly the best he’s slept on, but it’s warm and well-used and more than enough. Where he’s staying is by no means fancy, but there’s a roof over his head and someone else’s life at his fingertips, so it’s not a problem at all. He feels safe here. Wanted. Cared for. Kept close for no other reason than his company and who he is every day of his life.


Jin stretches slightly, feeling stiffness in odd places and taking an extra moment or two to remember exactly why. He’s sure that the sheets against his bare skin should’ve tipped him off a little sooner, but he hadn’t been paying much attention to that while he was thinking about everything else. Ah. Jin smiles to himself, somewhat disarmed by how light he feels. He supposes he has the man sleeping beside him to thank for that.


Hwoarang hasn’t stirred in the slightest, oblivious to the sun and to Jin’s small movements, bright hair a mess where it falls over his face. Jin indulges the urge to brush it aside, marveling (as he has found himself doing often lately) at the smooth texture and the way that the colorful strands catch the light. No matter what he looks like, Jin knows that Hwoarang’s signature fire can never be diminished, but there is something very fitting about this vibrant shade that he has chosen for himself. It’s more than perfect, just like everything else about him.


Expressive while conscious, Hwoarang finally looks peaceful in sleep, soft and unaware and so much younger than he actually is. He still has good instincts, though – when Jin’s fingers brush lightly against his face, his brow furrows slightly, eyelids fluttering imperceptibly at the gentle sensation. Fascinated, Jin watches as he awakens, golden-brown eyes blinking a few times against the sunlight. There’s a moment where he seems a little disoriented, but when he registers what’s in front of him, a slow, indulgent smile spreads across his face.


Jin feels his chest tighten in the most wonderful way possible at the sight of it.


“Hey there,” Hwoarang greets him, voice a little rougher than usual. “Been up a while?”


Jin foregoes answering to lean down and kiss him, emboldened by the feelings and colors singing softly in his veins. Hwoarang responds as he always does, easily and with no hesitation, although Jin can feel the surprised laugh huffing lightly against his lips. Little gestures, he supposes. Jin isn’t the most forthcoming of people, especially in matters of affection, but Hwoarang has been showing him that it’s really not so difficult. Not that Hwoarang is the premier expert on romantic gestures or anything, but he knows the theory better than Jin does, and besides. It may be a learning process, but at least they’re learning together.


At least they’re learning together. Together. Not just one, not alone, but together. Every time he remembers that, it fills him something so indescribable that he has no choice but to linger in it.


Jin draws back, but only slightly, staying close enough to rest their foreheads against each other. Hwoarang nuzzles his face, laughing a little, and Jin swears that his heart skips a beat. He never would’ve imagined that it was even possible to feel this much of something good, but here he is, and here they are.


“Feeling alright?” Hwoarang asks softly, and Jin feels fingers stroking through his hair. His eyes slip shut, tilting his head for easier access, and is rewarded with a tiny snort of real laughter from Hwoarang. “I’ll take that as a yes.”


Jin opens his eyes and gazes down at him, using the moment to take it all in – the arch of his eyebrows, the quirk of his lips, the fondness lingering in his eyes. His expression is teasing, but Jin can see that the truth runs deeper than that, can feel the contentment and affection that his lover holds for him and for moments like these. They haven’t gotten to experience this too much just yet, what with all of this being so new for the both of them, but it’s easier than he’d thought it would be. He isn’t frightened or nervous or thinking of anything else, despite the impending weight of what they’ve done and what lies before them. He just wants to exist right here, in this moment, and enjoy it while he can.


Hwoarang looks back at him, and Jin can feel him studying his features in return, the way his gaze flickers giving him away even if the slow widening of his smile hadn’t already done so. He looks happy, excited even, as though he can’t believe that this is even happening. It’s a sentiment that Jin can relate to, although not to the same extent – he can still remember the softness of Hwoarang’s voice from the night before, forehead against Jin’s clavicle as he spoke quietly of the feelings he had harbored for him in silence. It had not shamed him to reveal the truth, but it had been painful, and Jin had only held him tighter in that moment.


Before, there hadn’t been much talking, not in full sentences – Hwoarang’s uneven breathing and whimpering cries are all that Jin remembers hearing, the sound of his own name tumbling out between gasps of pleasure. Hwoarang had clung to him and called out for him, and the clarity that Jin had achieved through it all was unlike anything else he’d ever experienced. Realizing that his lover’s importance transcended what he even knew to be possible had undone him more than anything else in the end, and when he’d gasped Hwoarang’s name that last time, the whole world had finally seemed right, somehow.


Everything will be alright.


That’s what he’d said, sleepy and warm, fingers trailing lightly up and down Jin’s back. Jin had watched him in the dim lighting, the way his eyelashes fluttered against his cheekbones, the way his eyes reflected all of his emotions seemingly without his notice. Even half-lidded, Jin could see the adoration there, the concern and longing and desire to protect. He had looked at him like that the least time they had done something like this, although Hwoarang had been above him then, touching him until the pleasure had taken him under. The night before, Jin had wondered if Hwoarang would look at him like that forever.


Forever is a long time, but here they are now, and the sunlight is showing him exactly what he remembers.




Jin blinks, coming back to reality. Hwoarang smirks up at him before shaking his head, laughing quietly.


“You think too much, you know that?” He teases, and Jin looks away, slightly embarrassed. So much for living in the moment.


“Hey.” Jin feels a hand against his face, coaxing his gaze back to Hwoarang’s. After studying him for moment, Hwoarang draws him into another kiss, this one a little more lingering than the first – there’s always a weight behind his kisses, one that Jin hopes he’s capable of matching. When Hwoarang kisses him, he means it, and something shining and warm unfurls so powerfully in his chest that he actually gasps at the sensation of it.


“Jin?” Hwoarang pulls back, looking at him with worried eyes, but Jin tugs him back against him before he can say another word. He buries his face in his hair and keeps him close, eyes shut tightly as the feeling washes over him in waves. There have been lots of feelings lately, intense ones – his shock when Hwoarang had allowed him to stay, the quiet rapture of their first kiss, the pleasure at his lover’s touch that was unlike anything he’d ever dreamed. He’s learned so much in such a short time, and being here with him, he would only learn more.


He could live. He could do this. Everything would be alright.


For the moment, Hwoarang allows himself to be held, hands finding their usual place against Jin’s back. He strokes lightly down his spine, murmuring quietly to him as he does so – Jin just holds him tighter. A deep breath returns some of his composure, and after a few more moments, he draws back slightly to look at him. Hwoarang offers him a slightly hesitant smile, concern bright in his eyes. He brings a hand up to touch Jin’s face, and seems relieved when his lover leans into it, even going so far as to kiss his wrist.


“Jin?” Hwoarang repeats, softer than before. Jin smiles at him, and the slight catch in Hwoarang’s breathing at the sight of it tells Jin everything he needs to know.


“I’m alright.” He answers. “You?”


“Yeah.” Hwoarang says, just this side of breathless. “Yeah, absolutely.”


The “never better” isn’t said, but Jin can feel it just as well, and when he leans in to kiss him once more, he knows that Hwoarang can feel it, too.