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If I Could I Would

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“Babe, wake up.” Jae gently smoothed his boyfriend’s hair off of his forehead. “Breakfast is ready.”

 

Wonpil opened bleary eyes and pulled the covers tighter around him. “I’m sorry, Jae, I really don’t feel up to breakfast.”

 

“Come on, I made your favourites: pancakes, freshly whipped cream, blueberries, and the blackest coffee I could make.” Jae pressed a kiss to his lips. “I wanted to make something you really liked.”

 

Wonpil reluctantly let Jae pull him over to the kitchen. “I really hope that blackest coffee you could make means you went to the café downstairs.”

 

“Of course I went and got coffee from downstairs, I’m not trying to poison you.” Jae put two of the heart shaped pancakes onto Wonpil’s plate before serving himself. “So, I already picked out an outfit for you, get dressed after breakfast, I have a surprise for you.”

 

“Jae, I’m just really not in the mood for anything today…”

 

“I promise, it’s a good surprise.” Jae gave Wonpil a sticky kiss on the cheek, making the younger man whine about acne. “It’ll only take a half hour or so to get there and if we get there and you don’t like the surprise, we’ll come straight home.”

 

They finished the rest of their meal in relative silence, Jae’s leg nervously bouncing up and down the entire time, before Wonpil thanked him for breakfast and disappeared into their bedroom. Jae hastily put their dishes into the sink before carefully pulling his first surprise out of their freezer.

 

“Hyung?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

Wonpil walked out of their room wearing the outfit that Jae had left out for him. “Other than the jeans, these clothes are all yours.” The old band shirt ended at the middle of Wonpil’s thighs, Jae’s shearling lined jean jacket was draped over his shoulders, and a pair of straight-legged jeans stopped at the top of his purple cat socks.

 

“I like the way you look in my clothes.” He put the plate into Wonpil’s hands, two balls of mochi ice cream neatly seated in the middle. Jae had carefully cut rabbit ears into the shell of the confection and placed neat red sprinkles for eyes. “They’re both for you.”

 

Wonpil gave a small smile. “There’s no tail.”

 

Jae groaned, “I knew I’d forgotten something and, seriously, that’s what you’re going to get all hung up on?”

 

He pressed a kiss to Jae’s chin. “I love you.”

 

“I love you too.” He kissed Wonpil’s forehead. “Now eat them before they melt, I’m going to get dressed.”

 

“Okay,” Jae passed Wonpil the sleep-mask that Sungjin had left in their apartment. “put this on, we’re going on an adventure.”

 

Wonpil gave Jae an odd sort of look from the passenger seat of his car. “This day started unexpectedly sweet, but now it’s getting weirdly kinky.”

 

“Pillie, shut up.”

 

“Or what, you’ll gag me?” Jae stared at Wonpil, unimpressed, until he rolled his eyes and complied. “I thought you said that today was supposed to be about me.”

 

“Babe, pretty much every day of our lives is about you.”

 

“I can’t help the fact that you instinctively cater to me.”

 

He rolled his eyes and queued up the ‘Pil-aylist’ that his boyfriend had put onto his phone. “I live to serve. We’ll be there in about 20 minutes, try and get some sleep in the meantime.”

 

“You’re seriously not going to tell me where we’re going?”

 

“What part of the concept of a surprise do you not understand? Just trust me, you’ll like it, and if you don’t like it we can always come home.”

 

Wonpil fell asleep quickly, car rides always knocked him out and Jae knew he hadn’t slept well the night before. Wonpil was an optimistic person by nature, but his job at the crisis call centre really drained him sometimes. Usually, he’d take a long bath and come out of the bathroom smelling like whatever bathbomb he’d pulled out of his stash, the two of them would curl up on the couch together and most of the time, the contact seemed to be enough to put him into a better mood. Last night, he’d come home from work, skipped dinner, and gone to bed without saying a word.

 

He glanced towards his boyfriend and winced. He hadn’t even done his hair that morning. This might be worse than he thought.

 

Jae parked and turned off the engine, playing on his phone until Wonpil woke with a groan. “What’s going on? Are we here already?”

 

“Yeah, keep your eyes closed when you take the mask off, or you’ll blind yourself.”

 

He did as told, blinking against the sudden light. “When did we get here? How long was I sleeping for?”

 

“We got here maybe 20 minutes ago? You were totally dead to the world and I didn’t want to wake you up.”

 

Wonpil gave him a peak on the cheek. “You’re so sweet. So are you going to tell me where we are yet?”

 

“Take a look for yourself.”

 

“Oh!” Wonpil glanced out the back window before turning, beaming back to his boyfriend. “The fair! I hadn’t even known they were in town!”

 

“I knew you’d be down for it.” He jammed a red cap onto Wonpil’s head and handed him a tube of sunscreen. “Put this on, just because it’s cloudy, doesn’t mean there’s no UV rays.”

 

“You first, you have the complexion of a glass of milk.”

 

Jae took off his glasses, closed his eyes, and turned his face to Wonpil. “Help me.”

 

“And you say I’m high maintenance.” Gentle fingers smoothed cold cream over his face. “I’m super tempted to give you weird tan-lines.”

 

“Then do it,” Jae made a face that earned him a giggle. “you’re the one who’s going to have to look at my ugly mug.”

 

He felt soft lips brush his own. “Done. You go buy the tickets and while I finish up.”

 

“Yes, dear.”

 

It was unseasonably cool for summer, so the fair wasn’t very crowded as the two of them wandered through the stalls. Jae held Wonpil’s in one hand and a flower shaped cloud of cotton candy in the other, while Wonpil held an armful of stuffed animals to his chest.

 

He fed Wonpil a bite of the cotton candy. “What else do you want to do? Are you sure you don’t want to try the cricket grilled cheese?”

 

“You disgust me.” He replied, licking the blue from his lips. “If you put that in your mouth, I’m never going to kiss you again.”

 

“You can’t resist all this.” Jae made smooching noises right next to his boyfriend’s ear.

 

Wonpil turned his face to the side, shoving Jae away with his shoulder. “I absolutely can. Oh!” He shook their joined hands, pointing at one of the stalls eagerly. “Hyung, look! Look at all the owls, they’re so cute!”

 

Jae followed his gaze to one of the dart-throwing booths. The owls in question were egg shaped, lined up neatly, with softly pointed ears, and little black eyes. “Which one do you want?”

 

“The grey one!” Jae handed the money over to the grinning employee while Wonpil squished his armful of stuffed animals in excitement, cotton candy in the other hand. “I’m surprised you’re so good at these games considering how awful you are at videogames.”

 

“Seriously?” The darts found their targets with impressive accuracy. “Shooting games are my jam. I have amazing hand-eye coordination, and I’m great at videogames.”

 

“Jae-hyung, I love you very much, but I have played League with you before.”

 

Jae accepted the grey owl from the worker with a polite nod before holding it up over Wonpil’s head. “Do you want this thing or not?”

 

“I want it, I want it!” Wonpil waved the cotton candy at Jae, making grabby hands at the owl after Jae took the candy.

 

“Nope, I’m offended now, there needs to be a trade.” Jae ate the rest of the cotton candy, tossing the stick away. “I need a little motivation.”

 

“Hyung,” He whined, “please.”

 

“Don’t wanna.”

 

“Please!” Wonpil dragged out word, pouting and pulling the other stuffed animals under his face. “They want to meet their new friend.”

 

Jae passed the owl to Wonpil with a grin. “Acceptable.”

 

“Worth it.” Wonpil gave the owl a nuzzle. “Let’s go walk around some more.”

 

Jae took a couple of the stuffed animals from Wonpil before intertwining their hands again. “Are you seriously planning on keeping all of these? There’s barely enough room on the bed for the two of us.”

 

“Good point.” Wonpil glanced around before exchanging the stuffed animals in Jae’s hands for the owl in his own. “Hold this, I’ll be right back.”

 

Wonpil sprinted off towards a group of teenage girls by the popcorn stand and Jae watched as his boyfriend gave away the assorted stuffed animals that he’d won throughout the day.

 

“I think a couple of those girls may have just experienced their first love.” One of the girls was staring, eyes wide, at Wonpil’s retreating back while a shorter one rolled her eyes and flipped her long braid over her shoulder.

 

“That’s unfortunate,” He gave Jae a soft peck before taking his owl back. “because that’d mean they’re about to experience their first heartbreak.”

 

Jae pulled him in for a deeper kiss; he could hear one of the teenagers cackling in the background (“I told you!” The laughing voice called, “I freaking told you! We can always recognize one of our own.”) and feel Wonpil grinning against his mouth.

 

“Home time?” Jae asked, wrapping an arm around Wonpil’s waist.

 

“Home time.” Wonpil leaned into Jae as the two made their way back to the car. “You shouldn’t have let me eat all that fair food, I’m not going to be able to eat dinner tonight.”

 

Jae pulled open the car door. “You always say that, and then steal bites of my food when you realize you don’t have enough.”

 

“You know, I’m surprised you didn’t pester me to go on any of the rides.” Wonpil snuggled up to his stuffed owl, scrolling through the songs on his phone. “I guess you really did try to make today about me.”

 

“Are you kidding, me? I don’t trust any type of ride that can be dismantled and set up in literal hours.”

 

“You’re so cute when you worry.”

 

Jae was exhausted by the time the two of them fell into bed together. Wonpil was spooned against Jae’s back and Jae was half-heartedly scrolling through Tumblr.

 

“I had a really good time today.”

 

“I’m glad,” Jae put his phone on the bedside table and flipped around so they were face to face. “I live to please.”

 

Wonpil was gently illuminated in their dark room by the lights outside. “I had a really bad day yesterday.”

 

“I know.”

 

“It turns out one of the employees had been harassing one of my volunteers.” His normally cheerful face was solemn. “She found me in the morning; apparently he’d been making unwanted advances for about a month or so, but he grabbed her ass on Thursday. She didn’t cry, but she couldn’t stop shaking. There were text messages that she showed me too. Obviously, I reported him to the director and he was fired immediately, but I just feel so guilty. She even said that she wouldn’t let that experience stop her from volunteering and then she hugged me.”

 

“Hey, no,” Jae put a hand on Wonpil’s cheek as if he could brush the frown off his face. “it wasn’t your fault. You can’t be everywhere at once.”

 

“But I’m responsible for my volunteers. She came to help people in bad situations and ended up in one herself.”

 

“She obviously doesn’t blame you for it.”

 

“No…”

 

“Does anyone else blame you for it? Are you going to lose your job over this?”

 

“No, but-”

 

“Wonpil, none of this was your fault. You can’t control what other people do, obviously your volunteer trusted you enough to disclose, and you immediately took action. You did everything you could.”

 

They stared at each other for a moment, before Wonpil took a deep, shuddery breath. “I love you so much, Park Jaehyung. You always manage to pull me out of whatever funk I’ve worked myself into. You never push me to talk, and you make every day so special for me.”

 

“Gross,” Jae kissed Wonpil on the forehead. “I love you too. I’m keeping you for as long as you’ll have me.”

 

“How about forever?”

 

“Wait, what?”

 

“What?”

 

Jae shot up in the bed. “Did you just ask me to marry you?”

 

“No!” Wonpil pulled himself upright too. “I mean, not right now. We only moved in together three months ago!”

 

“Yeah, no,” Jae blinked, fully awake now. “that’d be crazy!”

 

“But, I would like to,” Wonpil took his hand in his own. “one day. Eventually.”

 

“I’d like that too.”

 

They shared a chaste kiss, which Jae turned silly when he gave Wonpil’s cheek a lick (“You’re eating all my face cream!”), before the two of them settled back into bed.

 

“So, what are we going to do about last names? Because Kim Jaehyung just doesn’t sit very well with me, but Park Wonpil sounds weird.”

 

“Hyung, go to sleep.”