As the youngest investment banker at his firm, there are certain expectations Jaehyun knows he's expected to fulfil. After all, his boss had been risking a lot by hiring him (a fresh-out-of-college, inexperienced nobody with an empty portfolio) as opposed to the literal hundreds of other applicants. If he’s completely honest, he doesn't even really know why he'd been hired - he supposes his boss had seen some sort of a spark in him, or at least that's what he tells himself during the long hours when he's helplessly watching the values of his clients' stocks fluctuate. He's lucky he loves what he does; there's no way he'd be able to endure the insane working hours and mental pressure otherwise.
His job is demanding, sure, but Jaehyun really does love it (and not just because of the rather generous paycheck). He likes to think of himself as a matchmaker of sorts - he keeps track of what his clients' firms have, what other firms want, and pairs them together. It's like puzzle pieces.
Right now, Jaehyun decidedly does not love his job; he's on a call with one of his most important clients (a new but fast-growing telecommunications company), trying to convince them to not transfer their funds to a different investment bank, but it's a futile effort. As soon as they hang up, he slams the phone down angrily. The gesture doesn't really make him feel any better.
"Fuck." he says under his breath.
His office-mate, Johnny (the only other person at the firm who's close to Jaehyun's age, and an acquaintance-slash-friend of his) walks to where Jaehyun is sitting broodingly at his desk. "You okay?"
"Yeah. No. I don't know. I fucking lost another client." Jaehyun runs his hand tiredly over his face. He's unhappy and uncomfortable and his tie is so tight - he tugs on it slightly to loosen it, but the feeling of not being able to breathe properly doesn't go away.
This is the fucking third time this has happened; he's going to tear his hair out. The worst thing is he knows that, at some point in the coming week, he'll be able to read exactly which firm his client had left for in a small sub-section of the finance newspaper.
"That sucks, man." Johnny slaps him on the back sympathetically. "But don't beat yourself up too much, these things happen all the time. Just find a new company, wine and dine them, get them to sign with you, and - boom - you're set to go."
Jaehyun wishes it was that simple. "But... I know they left for him. Again. I’m losing my mind."
Him. Who else would it be. It just had to be fucking Dong Sicheng, the prodigy investment banker who was not only the same age as Jaehyun but had been working in the industry for a whole year longer (he had been employed while still at university, which is completely ludicrous in Jaehyun's extremely totally unbiased opinion). Meaning: his portfolio was thicker, he knew more important people and he had already made quite a name for himself.
And what a name indeed: several of his investments, which had seemed completely random and uncalculated at the time, had blown up overnight and he'd made literal millions (not that the money would go in his pocket, most of it went to the clients. But still, he'd definitely be getting a large paycheck and most likely several bonuses).
Jaehyun doesn't know how he does it, because he himself is all about carefully calculated decisions; knowledge over instinct. Sicheng, on the other hand, seems like many of his trades are made on a whim. Not that Jaehyun has been carefully observing every investment the other has made in the past year, or anything of the sort.
Jaehyun hates it, absolutely hates how he's never even spoken to the guy, yet is so weirdly obsessed with every choice he makes. It's like he's constantly trying to analyse the motivation behind what Sicheng does and figure out how his mind works.
He also hates that he kind of finds Sicheng really fucking hot.
He had already heard of him before he'd seen him (how could he not have, when people were constantly referring to him as the most gifted investment banker; someone who had both incredible luck and skills), but then he'd seen him at a networking event and been like what the fuck who is that he's so beautiful I wanna talk to him and then like sleep with him or something. Later, he'd found out that it was Dong Sicheng, who was not only blessed with luck and skills but also the face of an angel, apparently.
It's sort of unfair. Not that Jaehyun thinks he's lacking in the looks department. He's more jealous of the bottomless pool of good fortune Sicheng seems to have when it comes to picking where to buy stocks.
The fact that Sicheng happens to be super attractive hasn't changed Jaehyun's intense dislike of him, though. How could he not hate the other guy when he's stolen three (three!) of Jaehyun's clients, and also constantly seems to be making bigger profit margins and better investments.
While Johnny doesn't know about Jaehyun's lasting grudge, he does understand the blow to one's pride that would result from the same person repeatedly stealing one's clients. He makes a sympathetic noise. "Seriously, dude, don't worry too much. You've been doing great this quarter, don't let one setback throw you off."
"Three setbacks," Jaehyun mutters under his breath.
But Johnny doesn't hear him, already preoccupied with the ringing of his phone. "I’ve got to take this, are you gonna be okay?" he asks.
In truth, the only way he'll be okay is if fucking Sicheng stays away from his clients and stops being such a damn good investor and preferably just moves to a different continent.
It's unsurprising that Jaehyun runs into Sicheng while at a bar after work that evening. Johnny had roped him into coming out ("You've been working for like fourteen hours today, you need to get out of the office and relax a bit."), and this place is a well-known hangout for many of the bankers who work around the area. It has the sort of lazily luxurious aesthetic that attracts young businessmen: just glamorous enough to reassure them that they're rich and classy - with dim lights and oak tables - but it's not stuffily posh, like some of the more high-end places down the street.
Even though it isn't surprising, it's rather jarring to see Sicheng at one of the tables with a few other men (all of whom appear to be older than him), dressed in an expensive suit. He looks good; Jaehyun feels his neck crawl in irritation.
Johnny doesn't notice Sicheng (of course) and drags Jaehyun over to the bar. Jaehyun is tall, but Johnny is taller - not to mention older - which seems to make him think that he has the right to manhandle Jaehyun.
"What do you want? It's on me," Johnny announces.
"Uh, a whiskey, neat. Thanks."
He's distracted. He doesn't want to look at Sicheng on the other side of the room, but he can't help it. Sicheng is saying something and smiling; he's probably telling the other men about the client he poached from Jaehyun.
Jaehyun is so fucking annoyed, he wants to go over and punch the guy across the mouth and make him apologise for taking what was Jaehyun's. He knows he's being irrational - this kind of stuff happens literally all the time, it's part of being in the business and he doesn't know why he's taking it so personally.
His eyes slide over to Sicheng's table again while he sips his drink.
Sicheng is laughing, but it doesn't look completely genuine. Jaehyun can see now that he doesn't seem too at ease with the other men: his leg is bouncing nervously and he keeps checking his watch.
Now Jaehyun's fucking psychoanalysing someone he's never talked to. Great.
He forces himself to look away.
Johnny is good company; he's a nice guy and he's the only person at the firm who's made a proper effort to talk to Jaehyun outside of work hours, which Jaehyun appreciates. He's also a hilarious storyteller and knows funny secrets about basically everyone they work with, which he has no reservations about sharing. They keep ordering drinks - they're taking turns paying for each round, and both of them are determined to be the one to buy the last set. A warm, happy feeling has spread across Jaehyun's body, the sort of deep relaxation that can only be brought about by alcohol.
"And then- get this- he saw that the stock he had bought as a joke in that ladies' lingerie company had quadrupled in value, and he- he was forced to call his dickhead boss and beg to let him put it on his portfolio," Johnny says, laughing so hard that he can barely finish the sentence.
Jaehyun thinks he might have tears in his eyes; his stomach hurts from how much he's laughed. "No way," he manages to say.
"Yes fucking way." Johnny's phone pings with a notification, and he reads the screen, squinting slightly at the screen through the tipsy haze. "Shit. I need to go. I’ve got to finish a report in the morning and I promised myself I'd head home around midnight."
Is it that late already? Jaehyun's lost track of the time.
"This was fun, we should do it again sometime," Jaehyun says as Johnny pulls him into one of those man-hugs that involve a lot of back-slapping.
"For sure, dude. As soon as you land a new client we'll get drinks to celebrate." Johnny promises, already leaving. He waves as he walks out, unaware of the impact his words have.
Jaehyun had almost forgotten about his disastrous day at work; now, his foul mood returns in full swing. He glances automatically at the place where Sicheng had been sitting. It's empty.
He fucking hates that even the mere thought of Sicheng and Jaehyun's own failure is enough to get his blood boiling in seconds, that a few words about Sicheng make him want to punch a wall.
This is bad.
It's never a good idea to get business and feelings involved (including admittedly rather petty grudges like this), but that's especially the case in such a high-stakes industry. Even more so since Jaehyun prides himself on being able to analyse his decisions objectively and not act on instinct.
He can just be glad that he hasn't acted on his instinct to physically fight Sicheng. Or maybe kiss him.
Jaehyun turns around at the voice, blinking when he sees none other than Sicheng himself standing there. He doesn't think this is a drunken hallucination, but it sure feels like one.
Sicheng's opened a few of the top buttons of his white shirt. Jaehyun hates that he notices.
Jaehyun clears his throat. "Hi?" It comes out as a question.
Sicheng looks slightly unsure of himself, like he isn't sure of what to say or how to stand. It's kinda cute. And surprising. "I... You're Jung Jaehyun, right?"
"I’m Dong Sicheng." he extends a hand, which Jaehyun shakes. He has a good handshake; firm pressure, soft skin. "I wanted to come over and say hi. Since, like, we're the same age, and both good investment bankers, and… stuff."
Jaehyun's finding it hard to pair Sicheng's soft, shy demeanour with his intimidatingly handsome face and impressive portfolio.
"Oh. Do you wanna sit down?" he gestures at the chair next to him.
Sicheng sits, and they're quiet for a second. Jaehyun tries to think of something to say to break the silence.
"So... You stole my client."
Sicheng looks taken aback at Jaehyun's words. Jaehyun could have sworn he hadn't meant to say that - alcohol is flowing through his system and his mind-to-mouth filter isn't quite working properly.
"Uh, do you mean V&W corp.?"
Jaehyun nods, feeling the annoyance bubbling under his skin and in his stomach. With Sicheng sitting this close, he's even more embarrassed by the whole thing.
"You do realise that the only reason they left your firm was because you weren't giving them what they were looking for, and that's nobody's fault." Sicheng says. "They wanted high-risk, fast-returns, which is what I'm good at." He's gesturing with his hands, his uncertainty from before gradually disappearing. "You're far better with investments that result in steady, consistent profits, which is also great. But I'm sorry if you were upset by losing them."
Jaehyun's brain automatically latches onto the fact that Sicheng knows his style of investment - is there even the slightest possibility that Jaehyun's been on his radar, like he'd been on Jaehyun's? He also starting to feel kind of bad for all his negative preconceptions about Sicheng. It's weird, he's turning out to be nothing like Jaehyun pictured him to be; it's throwing him off and he isn't completely sure how to act around him.
"Don't worry about it," he says eventually.
The alcohol is making him feel heavy and warm, and it's getting hard to think about anything beyond the woody scent of Sicheng's cologne, the three open top buttons of Sicheng's shirt, the smooth skin beneath. It's weird to have him sitting here, to talk to him after all the times he's occupied Jaehyun's thoughts.
He looks down at his half-empty glass.
"I really am sorry if it upset you," Sicheng adds.
"It didn't," Jaehyun lies, "it's fine. Whatever."
"If you say so," Sicheng stays quiet for a moment, then says, "I... I actually wanted to ask a favour. If you don't mind."
Jaehyun looks up, surprised. Sicheng's toying with his cufflinks. "What's up?"
Sicheng's gaze shifts nervously around the bar. "Could I, uh, get your word that you won't tell anyone about what I’m about to say?" he asks. "You don't have to help me, but nobody can find out about this."
Jaehyun nods. He doesn't know why Sicheng trusts him so much when they've never talked before, and are from rival firms, but he'd never sell out someone using confidential information entrusted to him. He has that much integrity.
"I..." Sicheng takes a deep breath, then leans closer to talk in a more hushed tone, "I think that some of the people at my firm might be... insider trading."
Jaehyun wishes he hadn't had so much to drink, it's awfully hard to wrap his head around this information and, in addition, Sicheng being this close is really fucking distracting. He swallows.
He knows insider trading (the trading of a company's stock by individuals with access to non-public information about the company) is very illegal, and he's even more confused about why Sicheng would reveal this to him when, if what he's saying is true, Jaehyun could easily use the information to destroy the investment bank Sicheng works for.
"Why are you telling me this?" Jaehyun asks.
Sicheng shrugs. "I didn't know who else to ask for help, since I obviously can't talk to anyone from the firm. You were one of the people who came to mind. Then I spotted you in here and decided to go for it."
"Ask for help with what, exactly?"
"Well... I'll need some help to figure out whether they're actually insider trading. I know how to get the data, but I’m not sure if I can crunch the numbers by myself. Also, if my suspicions are correct, then I’m gonna need help reporting them." Sicheng's jaw sets in determination.
Jaehyun has to admit that he's quite surprised. Most people wouldn't hesitate to insider trade themselves if they thought they could get away with it, let alone try and report their superiors.
"So... Would you be able to help me?" Sicheng asks, a hint of uncertainty creeping into his voice.
He's asking for a lot. By agreeing to help, Jaehyun would be putting his own reputation on the line. He'd also be making a lot of powerful enemies if anyone found out he'd been snooping behind their backs, and he'd risk being labelled a snitch.
Isn't that what he's all about: earn money, but earn it fairly. Use your knowledge and don't cheat or use shortcuts, especially illegal ones. Besides... He knows his firm would benefit from a rival being exposed for illegal investments.
He's too drunk for this.
The dim lighting of the bar is reflected on Sicheng's face. He's so pretty. And he's so young. They both are. Too young to be playing such a risky game.
"I'll help." Jaehyun says.
Sicheng's face breaks into a shy but relieved smile, and it might be the alcohol, but Jaehyun suddenly feels like he's made the right decision.
"That's- great. Thank you." Sicheng says. "I'll order a round, on me."
Jaehyun shakes his head; he's drank more than enough already, and he feels like a few more glasses might push him from everything-is-amazing drunk to I-feel-sick drunk.
"Suit yourself," Sicheng says, getting himself a beer.
The conversation flows more easily now; the ice has been broken, and Sicheng is starting to look more comfortable. The drink Sicheng had ordered turns into three, and soon he seems like he's as tipsy as Jaehyun, a pretty pink flush on his cheeks and neck.
Jaehyun tries (and fails) to not be too interested in the way a single drop of beer slides down the side of Sicheng's lips as he drinks, leaving a barely noticeable trail down the side of his neck, or the motion of his throat as he swallows.
This needs to stop. Right now. It was bad enough when he was sort of lusting after a guy he'd never talked to and basically hated, but it's worse now that they're on speaking terms and probably going to be working together on some top-secret project to uncover the shady dealings of Sicheng's co-workers.
It turns out, once they start properly getting to know each other, that they have a lot in common (they're able to talk about everything from the stock market to video games they both play in their rather limited free time).
"There's no way you're on level seven, I tried for months and I couldn't pass level six." Jaehyun says, staring incredulously.
"I am, I swear." Sicheng laughs at the look on Jaehyun's face.
"That's wild, dude. I don't know how you did that. I’m shocked." Jaehyun says, noting, with a small amount of satisfaction, that Sicheng seems far more at ease than he’d appeared to be around the older men earlier.
"It wasn't that hard. Maybe you're just bad," Sicheng replies with a mischievous grin.
"Me? Bad?" Jaehyun can't help the smile that slips through the outraged facade.
"I'll show you how to pass sometime. Once you see how it works, you'll get it too."
Jaehyun isn't sure whether it's meant as an invitation, but he kind of hopes it is. Like, a lot.
It feels like barely any time has passed before the bartender announces that it's closing time - two am - and they need to leave. They both walk slowly down the street, tipsy and happy. Jaehyun doesn't want the night to end.
"Do you wanna come over to my place to... to get a head start on the, uh, research for the insider trading stuff?" he finds himself asking, hands shoved deep into his pockets.
It's a shit excuse, they both know it, but Sicheng says, "yeah, that's a good idea."
Jaehyun's apartment is barely a five-minute walk from the bar (another reason why it's the place he usually goes). It's got a sleek, minimalistic design, with everything kept in relative tidiness. The view in particular is awesome - especially at night - and Sicheng takes a moment to admire it.
With Sicheng standing in his apartment, back silhouetted by the skyline through the window, Jaehyun is suddenly hit by how fucking strange it is that Sicheng's really here.
Jaehyun's about to automatically offer him something to drink, as he usually does when he brings someone home, but he decides that they've both had more than enough alcohol tonight.
Besides, that's not the kind of occasion this is. Unless Sicheng wants it to be. Because he'd definitely be down.
He shakes his head in an attempt to clear it, pours himself a glass of water instead, then hands one to Sicheng.
"So... about your co-workers." Jaehyun says, mostly to break the silence that had settled over them. Not an uncomfortable silence, necessarily, but he needs to talk about something before his mind gets carried away.
"Yeah," Sicheng says.
"What made you think that they were... you know. Doing illegal stuff."
Sicheng loosens his tie, sighing. "Okay. So, like, I'd been kinda suspicious for a while, because there seemed to be clear patterns... I don't know. I just noticed some things that didn't add up in the numbers. But I got properly suspicious when one of my co-workers was talking to me and... It was weird. He seemed to think that I had insider information, because of how some of my unexpected investments work out so well, but he wasn't, like, mad or anything. He was acting like we were both part of some secret club." Sicheng frowns. "I’m pretty sure he still thinks that, which is why he keeps inviting me out with the same group of people, like earlier this evening. Those are the guys I suspect."
"Shit. That does sound suspicious." Jaehyun says.
It's way too late for this conversation, and it's the kind of thing that should be done sober, but Sicheng suggests they could go through some of the figures he'd pulled from the monthly report, and soon they're sitting at Jaehyun's desk, looking at the numbers carefully.
Jaehyun's tired and still a little drunk, but this is the sort of thing he could probably do in his sleep (he's literally had dreams about numbers and stock fluctuations before). Besides, he's used to functioning while exhausted.
Far more distracting is how fucking good Sicheng looks, with his sleeves rolled up, tie loose, hair messy, glasses on. But it's more than that; it's also the way Sicheng's mind works, how he's able to effortlessly understand complex data and use it to draw intelligent conclusions. Jaehyun doesn't think he's ever found anyone this attractive.
And it might just be that it's pushing four am and he's definitely not sober, but he can't stop thinking about what it would be like to kiss the skin under Sicheng's opened collar, to find out whether the soft gasp he makes whenever he finishes a particularly hard calculation is anything like what he sounds like when he's being kissed.
Unfortunately, Jaehyun has no idea whether Sicheng is even into guys, let alone him. Plus, he doesn't want to risk their new-found partnership by doing anything that would make Sicheng uncomfortable (barely a few hours ago he'd been holding himself back from punching the guy, for Christ’s sake).
It's a strange feeling, wanting something but not being able to have it. Jaehyun's dated (quite a lot of people, actually, since his job doesn't really allow time for long-term relationships), and he's found that it's usually the other person who gets more attached to him. He can't remember the last time he'd felt unsure about whether to make a move.
This fucking sucks.
Nonetheless, even though only half of his mind is on the information on the files in front of him, he's not an idiot. "They're definitely doing something illegal," he says.
Sicheng sighs heavily, taking his glasses off to rub his eyes. "Yeah. Fuck. I dunno what to do now."
Jaehyun doesn't either. The logical course of action would be to report them all and have them officially investigated, but it isn't that easy. Sicheng would most likely be fired (if the firm was able to survive such a blow), probably for a 'completely unrelated reason', and they would both make a lot of enemies. A little, evil voice in Jaehyun's head tells him that he has far more to gain than lose (he would be praised for doing the right thing, but, in addition, his firm would probably milk his actions far more than necessary to promote themselves as trustworthy. And his boss would certainly take glee in the fall of a rival).
But he's more worried about Sicheng than he is about his reputation, so he stays quiet.
"I... I think I need to think about this for a bit. What time is it?" Sicheng asks.
Jaehyun glances down at his watch, eyebrows shooting up in surprise. "Three forty-eight."
"Damn. Okay, I'll head home. I hope I can get a cab at this time."
"You could... Stay over if you want?" Jaehyun asks, the words slipping out automatically before he has time to think about it. Fuck.
Sicheng glances over at him, expression unreadable. "You got a guest bedroom or something?" he asks.
Jaehyun doesn't have a guest bedroom, and he doesn't have a brain either, apparently. His face feels hot, he hopes he isn't blushing noticeably, because he already just made things weird and that would make it even weirder.
"Uh. No, but you can crash on the couch, or whatever. It's pretty comfortable?" he rubs the back or his neck, wishing he hadn't said anything in the first place. "Or... you know. You could try your luck getting a taxi."
Okay, this is good. There's nothing strange about a dude asking his sort-of friend to stay the night in separate rooms as a favour. Hopefully Sicheng thinks so too.
"I..." Sicheng hesitates. "Sure, couch sounds good. Thanks."
Jaehyun shrugs it off. Eager to leave the room and the atmosphere that has settled over them, he heads over to one of his large closets in his bedroom and pulls out a few spare pillows and a blanket, bringing them back into the living room. He dumps them unceremoniously on the large couch (he hadn't lied about it being comfortable to sleep on).
Sicheng is still sitting by the desk.
"I have a bunch of unused toothbrushes," Jaehyun says, "and, like, facewash and stuff. If you need it." He should probably stop talking.
"Thanks," Sicheng says again.
Should he offer pyjamas, or is that weird? Is it rude to not offer some? Jaehyun doesn't know. He's had his fair share of regrettable hook-ups who have ended up staying the night, but he's never felt this embarrassed, and he and Sicheng didn't even sleep together.
He doesn't know whether to offer something to change into. Sicheng certainly can't wear his suit to bed.
"Do you, uh, want to borrow a t-shirt or something? We're probably around the same size," he says. Why the fuck is his heart beating so fast?
"It's alright. I usually... sleep in underwear. I get too hot when I sleep otherwise." Sicheng replies.
"Let me know if you need anything else." Jaehyun's lucky it's dark in the room, the desk lamp too far away to show how red his ears probably are.
"I will. Thanks."
Jaehyun's heartbeat doesn't slow down even once he's lying in his bed. He's exhausted, but his mind isn't letting him sleep, playing images on loop: Sicheng's laugh. Sicheng's ability to solve any problem. Sicheng's integrity and bravery in going against what would be easiest to do. Sicheng wearing glasses. Sicheng wearing a suit. Sicheng not wearing a suit. Sicheng's collarbones. Sicheng's smile. Sicheng, Sicheng, Sicheng.
Jaehyun's eyes slide open, blinking awake, and a glance at the clock reveals that it's already noon. Woah. He doesn't remember the last time he slept for this long.
He pulls on a pair of grey sweatpants and a white t-shirt, then heads through to the other room. Sicheng is sitting at the desk, looking lost in thought. He's repeatedly tapping his lower lip with a pen as he stares out of the window. Jaehyun hates his disappointment at the fact that Sicheng is wearing his suit pants and shirt from yesterday.
"Good morning," he says.
"Oh. Hey," Sicheng says, slightly startled. "I was gonna make breakfast, but I didn't want to mess with your stuff without permission. Also... I don't really know how to cook."
"Like, at all?" Jaehyun asks.
Sicheng shrugs, embarrassed. "Not really. I usually just order takeout."
Jaehyun laughs, lighting the stove. The weird tension from the previous night seems to have dissipated, thank god. "I'll just make some eggs and bacon with toast, if that's cool?"
Sicheng seems to perk up at the mention of food. "Yeah, sounds great."
While Jaehyun fries the eggs, Sicheng summarises the morning's financial news (something anyone in their line of work must always be up-to-date in), and they end up having an intense half-hour discussion over breakfast about the merger that took place between two of the town's biggest law firms. It's just two friends talking, but Jaehyun can't help but think that the whole morning was a tiny bit domestic, and it's probably gross how much he wants something like this to happen again. Except, like, properly.
"I should probably head home," Sicheng says, and Jaehyun can't help but take glee in Sicheng's regretful tone.
"I guess," Jaehyun says, not looking up from the dishes he's washing.
There's a pause.
"Or... I could show you how to get to level six on that dumbass game if you have your Xbox here?" Sicheng suggests. Jaehyun turns around. Sicheng is staring at his hands in his lap.
"Sure, sounds good. Then I'll be able to prove that I can kick your ass."
And that's how they end up on the couch in front of the TV, yelling at each other and the screen as they try to shoot the other's player. Jaehyun manages to dodge Sicheng's attack, and fires back. His aim is slightly off, though, so Sicheng is able to evade him easily.
"Is that the best you've got?" Sicheng says teasingly. "If I didn't know better, I'd think you've never played this before."
Jaehyun shoves him with his shoulder, which is easy to do with how close they're sitting. Sicheng's hand slips off the controller, and Jaehyun is able to land a fatal shot to Sicheng's character. 'You are the winner' is written in bold on his half of the screen.
Sicheng turns to him, outraged. "That's cheating," he says.
"What are you gonna do about it?" Jaehyun asks smugly. "I still won."
Sicheng reaches out to push him, but Jaehyun dodges his arm and he loses his balance, barely managing to catch himself before he falls into Jaehyun.
Suddenly, they're very close.
Sicheng's throat moves as he swallows, and it crosses Jaehyun's mind that it would be so easy to lean in and kiss him, because they're close enough that it would take the smallest movement on his part.
Except he can't bring himself to do it. Sicheng hasn't moved away, he's just watching Jaehyun with unreadable eyes. Jaehyun wants to know what he's thinking, wants him to not pull back, wants to kiss him, wants Sicheng.
Jaehyun's eyes automatically drop to Sicheng's lips. He still hasn't moved away. That has to mean something - right?
Or maybe Jaehyun is just looking for an excuse because he wants to kiss him so bad.
And then his hand is moving - slowly, cautiously - to rest on Sicheng's lower back. The space between their mouths seems to have become smaller, like Sicheng might be moving towards him, a magnetic force neither of them can resist.
A phone rings.
They freeze, a breath away from kissing. The phone continues ringing, loud and obnoxious, cutting through the otherwise silent apartment.
Sicheng pulls away. Jaehyun curses under his breath; he stands up to grab his phone off his desk. It's not ringing, though, so he finds Sicheng's one and passes it over. Frustration simmers in his veins and his nerves feel like they're on fire. There's never been a more fucking inconvenient time for a phone to ring.
Sicheng had seemed like he'd wanted to kiss him, and that knowledge sends a thrill down Jaehyun's spine. If he had actually wanted to kiss him right now, chances are he might be willing to kiss him in the future.
His mind zones in on Sicheng's phone conversation, which sounds heated. He didn't know Sicheng was capable of sounding so furious.
"Fuck. No, it's fine, I'll handle it, don't worry. Yeah, I know. Yes. Okay. Goodbye." Sicheng hangs up and throws the phone down on the couch.
"What was that about?" Jaehyun asks carefully.
Sicheng stands up. He's obviously very angry, and his gaze only gets darker when he looks at Jaehyun. Huh.
"Why don't you fucking tell me," Sicheng is already moving towards the desk to grab his stuff; Jaehyun watches him in utter confusion.
"Uh... What are you talking about?"
Sicheng kicks the desk chair. It falls over with a loud bang.
"Dude, what the fuck happened?" Jaehyun asks.
"Several people at my firm - including myself - are being investigated for insider trading," Sicheng says, voice shaking with anger. "They received an anonymous tip very early this morning, and have evidence, apparently. Care to explain?"
Jaehyun stares. "You- hold on. You think I went behind your back and reported your firm without you? Why the fuck would I do that? Why the fuck would I report you? You didn't even do anything."
He wants to punch a wall or something. This feels like a bad dream.
"I wish I knew, because you're the only person I mentioned this to. You probably want to frame me, right? Is this because I stole your clients?"
Jaehyun starts laughing, but it's frustrated and insincere. "You really think that? You think I’m that kind of a person? You're fucking unbelievable."
"What's unbelievable is me trusting you and you stabbing me in the back." Sicheng shoves past him, their shoulders hitting.
Jaehyun refuses to let the impact make him budge, and grabs Sicheng's arm instead, holding him in place.
"I can't believe that you honestly think that I’m that much of an asshole. I don't know who the anonymous tipper was, but it sure as hell wasn't me." His voice is low, furious.
Sicheng is still glaring hatefully at him. "It couldn't have been anyone else. Newsflash: you're the only person who knew about this, and I, like an idiot, gave you all the data you needed to prove everything. You'd just need to change a few numbers here and there, and it would look like I’m guilty too."
He's breathing heavily and tears his arm out of Jaehyun's grip, but grabs onto Jaehyun's shirt instead, pulling him closer, getting up in his face. Jaehyun refuses to back down. He can't remember the last time he felt such intense anger, the all-consuming, clouds-all-your-thoughts kind. But he's also just really fucking hurt that Sicheng is so fast to believe that he'd betray him like that.
Sicheng’s voice is quiet as he says, "I know you used to hate me. Probably still do. But I didn't do anything wrong, and it's disgusting of you to stoop this low." he pushes Jaehyun away, making him stumble.
Something inside Jaehyun snaps. He shoves Sicheng backward against the wall, hard. The air between them is filled with tense aggression, both of them glaring and breathing heavily.
Jaehyun's hands twist the material of Sicheng's shirt as he grabs onto it like how Sicheng had done to him before, using the hold to keep him pinned against the wall. "You are an idiot. Because I didn't fucking frame you or even report the others. I would never do that."
Sicheng's hands are on Jaehyun's shoulders, gripping tightly enough to hurt, not really pushing him away, more just letting Jaehyun know that he doesn't have the upper hand. There's barely any space between them, and it strikes Jaehyun how oddly sexual the whole situation is given the context.
Sicheng's breath hits his lips as he whispers, "Go fuck yourself."
Jaehyun's hold on him loosens for a second in surprise, and Sicheng shoves him away.
Before he has time to collect himself, Sicheng is already at the door. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to gather a case on my innocence so that I don't lose my job or get sent to fucking prison."
"You really think this is my fault?"
Sicheng doesn't even hesitate. "Yes."
"Get out of my apartment." Jaehyun says. His hands are shaking.
"It's not like I'd want to be here, anyway." Sicheng replies. He slams the door as he leaves.
Jaehyun stares at the closed door for a second. Then he kicks the chair Sicheng had knocked over before.
It doesn't make him feel better.
"What the fuck. What the fuck." He can't believe this. He doesn't know what to think. Or do.
One thing's for sure. It's time to call in a few favours and find out who the hell reported Sicheng.
jaehyun @ johnny hyung
i need your help
yeah whats up
ok so like
i rlly like this guy but he kinda hates my guts rn
bc he thinks i framed him and he might lose his job
but i didnt
did u try talking to him
when he first found out abt it i tried to explain
he told me to go fuck myself
oh thats not good
that was like 3 days ago and we havent talked since
but basically i called in some favours and asked around a bit
and i figured out what rlly happened
idk how to tell him tho bc i dont have his number or email address or anything
why dont u go to his apartmnet
idk where it is ://
do u know where he works
i cant just barge into his office tho
ok u might be onto something
Jaehyun ends up storming into the office building where Sicheng works at eleven pm. He hadn't intended to come by this late, but he'd needed to attend an important client dinner, so he’s hoping Sicheng hasn’t left yet.
The building is practically empty aside from the security guard at the front desk.
"I’m here to see Dong Sicheng. I’m his lawyer," Jaehyun says, pulling the lie out of thin air, but it's the first thing he can think of.
Surprisingly, the guard buzzes him in, not even asking for an ID. With that kind of shitty security, it's no wonder that all kinds of illicit deals were able to go down in this company.
He hates that he knows Sicheng's office is on the eleventh floor, and, once he's there, it's easy to spot. It's the only room with a light on.
He doesn't bother knocking, and Sicheng jolts in surprise, then his eyes narrow.
"What are you doing here?" he asks, tone hostile.
"I've come to save your ass." Jaehyun says. He slams a folder down on the desk.
"What's this?" Sicheng still looks angry.
"I’m gonna help you prove your innocence. Maybe if you weren't so obsessed with thinking I’m the bad guy, you would have thought the situation through rationally and realised that I was not, in fact, the only person aware of what's going on." Jaehyun pushes his shirt sleeves up, bracing his arms on the desk. Sicheng looks up at him in confusion.
"You're the only person I-"
"The only person you told, yes. But I wasn't the only person who knew. And it was so fucking easy to find out who the anonymous tipper was once I started thinking. All I had to do was look through the list of people who were being investigated. And I saw one name missing."
Sicheng frowns. "I don't follow."
"Fucking Mr Kang. The guy who approached you about the whole thing in the first place? Who kept inviting you out? Apparently, he's on a one-man crusade to weed out all the shady dealings in this company, and you, while trying to blend in to find out more about him and the others, convinced him that you're also insider trading."
Sicheng's jaw drops. "Are you sure?"
Jaehyun nods. "I made sure to back up my suspicions by making a few calls. You know, instead of just deciding things like this based on my gut feeling. Unlike some people."
Sicheng at least has the decency to look embarrassed. "Fuck. So you really had nothing to do with it?"
"Of course I didn't, and I can't believe you'd ever think I'd pull something like that." Jaehyun opens the folder and takes out a few papers, laying them out on the table dramatically. "I even took the liberty to print out all this to show you what you can do to prove you're innocent. Now that we know it was Mr Kang who reported you, it's going to be easy to tell him the truth - namely, that you thought he was insider trading. Also, I can testify on your behalf if you actually go to court. Like, if you want me to."
Sicheng is staring at him. "Why- why would you do all this for me after I was so awful to you?"
Jaehyun takes a split second to decide what to say. But seeing Sicheng now, the words come out easily.
"Because I like you, you idiot."
It might be a terrible idea to admit it, he still isn't completely sure whether Sicheng is straight or not, but Jaehyun remembers how Sicheng had leaned towards him before everything had gone to shit, and he holds on to the tiny hope that, perhaps, Sicheng might feel the same.
"You what?" Sicheng's eyes are wide and round. He stands up, so that they're looking eye-to-eye, the desk between them.
"I like you." Jaehyun says. "even though I’m still very offended by what a low opinion you seem to have of me."
"I..." Sicheng swallows. "Firstly, I’m sorry about that. I guess I immediately thought it was you, but I’m really glad it wasn't," he hesitates for a second. The air between them is heavy, the quiet around them deafening. "because I like you too."
There it is.
Jaehyun's heart skips a beat, then resumes at twice the speed.
He isn't about to let Sicheng off the hook that easily, though. "Why didn't you trust me more, then?"
"Because I was really hurt, and I let it cloud my judgement," Sicheng says. "This is why it's a bad idea to get business and feelings involved."
Jaehyun slowly walks around the desk, until he's standing on the same side as Sicheng. Anticipation thrums in his body, fingertips tingling. Their eyes lock. They're close enough that Jaehyun catches Sicheng's warm scent.
"A bad idea, huh?" Jaehyun smirks. "In that case... This probably isn't a good idea either," he steps forward, moves his hands to Sicheng's hips.
"It definitely isn't," Sicheng says softly, getting his arms around Jaehyun's neck.
"How about this?" Jaehyun guides Sicheng backwards - slowly - until his back presses against the wall, gently this time. Sicheng exhales on the impact, his eyes meeting Jaehyun's.
"Terrible idea," Sicheng whispers, arching the slightest bit until their chests are touching.
They're close; close enough to be sharing the same breath of air, but it isn't enough. Everything about Sicheng is stunning; his delicate features, the gentle slope of his nose, his pretty, full lips. Face of an angel, indeed.
"You sure?" Jaehyun asks. His lips brush against Sicheng's as he talks, but there's no pressure. Sicheng makes a tiny, frustrated sound in the back of his throat.
The crisp material of Sicheng's shirt crinkles as Jaehyun slides his hands up his back. He can feel the suggestion of Sicheng's toned body underneath.
"I don't know, you tell me," Sicheng runs his fingertips along the nape of Jaehyun's neck.
"Hm..." Jaehyun wants to kiss Sicheng so bad, but it's worth holding off to see the way Sicheng's getting wound up, his face tilting, breath stuttering, pupils blown wide. "You were the one who said it's a bad idea in the first place."
"Why don't you prove me wrong, then," Sicheng says, voice rough, dragging Jaehyun towards him and closing the gap between them.
Nothing about the kiss is chaste. It's hard, unrestrained, intoxicating, expressing all the pent-up frustration and wanting from the past months. Sicheng's mouth falls open almost immediately, and Jaehyun kisses him deeper, hot and wet.
There's no gentleness to the way Jaehyun presses Sicheng against the wall, the hint of teeth brushing against lips, the messy exploration of each other's mouths. It's not how Jaehyun had imagined their first kiss would be, but this is better in every way. Sicheng is kissing him back just as demandingly, hands gripping his shoulders.
"Still a bad idea?" Jaehyun asks, breathing heavily as he pulls away slightly.
"I’m- I’m not completely convinced yet," Sicheng replies, trying to pull Jaehyun back towards his lips.
But Jaehyun doesn't move. He can't help his slight smirk as Sicheng makes an unhappy noise and lets his head drop back against the wall. Sicheng's cheeks are coloured a light pink, a flush darkening along his neck. His shirt and tie cover most of it.
Jaehyun leans forward and presses a kiss onto the smooth skin, just above Sicheng's collar.
"Well... I guess I’m gonna have to be more persuasive, then," he whispers the words directly next to Sicheng's ear, watching the goosebumps that bloom along his neck.
Sicheng starts to reply, but his words are cut off by the choked sound he makes as Jaehyun drops kisses along the pale skin of his throat, finding a sensitive spot and tracing it with his tongue until it blooms red. His hands tangle in Jaehyun's hair, holding him in place.
Sicheng lets Jaehyun push him harder against the wall, giving a small gasp when their hips align. Jaehyun's entire body is burning. He starts undoing Sicheng's tie, pushing his collar down and sloppily undoing the top buttons of his shirt so that he can mouth at the skin underneath.
It crosses Jaehyun's mind that they should probably be careful before someone catches them; this isn't exactly an ideal location - even though the building is basically empty, it's always possible that someone could walk by Sicheng's office, and they're both getting a bit carried away.
But it's hard to be rational when Sicheng catches his lips in another bruising kiss, rolling their tongues together, bodies hot against each other. Sicheng's fingers are tight in his hair, and when he draws one of Jaehyun's lips between his teeth and tugs, a jolt goes through Jaehyun's entire body. Everything is so good, feels so good; he can't think.
Sicheng gets his hands up under Jaehyun's shirt, runs them along his sides and lower back and abdomen.
"You're so ripped, oh my god," Sicheng says, breath heavy and uneven. Holy shit, the way he looks right now - lips swollen, hair a mess, shirt and tie hanging loosely, small pink marks scattered across his neck and collarbones.
The slow skim of Sicheng's hands against Jaehyun's body is making him lose his mind. He wants Sicheng's tie off, shirt off, bare skin against him.
Sicheng seems to have a similar goal; he starts shakily unbuttoning Jaehyun's shirt. Jaehyun scrapes his teeth along the sensitive skin under his ear, and Sicheng's hands jerk, hard enough that the delicate button on Jaehyun's shirt rips and falls to the floor.
Jaehyun pulls back. "Dude, what the fuck?"
"Shit, sorry, I'll buy you a new one," Sicheng says, flushed and breathless. His hand trails up under the shirt, palming at the warm skin of Jaehyun's back. "Also, please don't call me 'dude' right now."
"What do you want me to call you?" Jaehyun asks teasingly, nosing his way down Sicheng's throat and then dropping a kiss on the corner of his lips. His hands drop to Sicheng's waist. "Hm?"
Sicheng doesn't reply, instead kissing Jaehyun deeply, taking his tongue in his mouth, still struggling to rid Jaehyun of his shirt. Their hips roll together and oh god that feels amazing.
"Fuck- we should leave," Jaehyun tightens his grip on Sicheng's waist to stop his movements. He knows if they don't leave now there's no way this is going to stop, and he has enough rationality left in him to know that the last thing Sicheng needs right now is to get caught screwing around with an investment banker from a rival firm.
"Yeah, we should," Sicheng says.
But then his hands catch in Jaehyun's hair and they're kissing again, so fucking desperate for each other. Sicheng hooks his leg around Jaehyun's calf and their bodies align, and this is such a bad idea but one kiss melts into the next and Jaehyun doesn't think he has the strength to pull away.
Except, he realises dazedly as he kisses along Sicheng's jaw, they both confessed that they like each other. They have all the time in the world, and there's really no need to risk either of their careers when they could easily go back to one of their apartments and do all this properly.
"Sicheng," he starts, lips still brushing along the soft skin of Sicheng's cheeks and neck. "We have to go. Slow down, baby."
Sicheng trembles at the pet name, head dropping back against the wall. Jaehyun stares at him.
"Shut up," Sicheng snaps when he catches sight of the look on Jaehyun's face.
It takes literally all of Jaehyun's willpower, but he forces himself to step back. He turns away, unable to think properly when Sicheng is in front of him, looking so fucking gorgeous and wrecked, half his shirt falling off. But he needs to put a stop to this right now before he does something really stupid like shove Sicheng's computer off his desk so that they can relocate there and have more space.
He breathes in deeply, forcing himself to think about the court case Sicheng may soon be caught up in unless they do something to stop it.
"This is going to sound so dumb," Jaehyun says, turning back to face Sicheng as he buttons his shirt up, "but I really wanna do things right. Like. With us."
"Yeah. Me too," Sicheng says, pushing away from the wall and walking over to the desk. They're both still breathing heavily.
"And I think we should probably postpone fooling around at the office until you aren't in danger of losing your job." Jaehyun continues, watching as Sicheng straightens his shirt and adjusts his tie.
Sicheng gives a weak laugh. Jaehyun really wants to kiss him again, but he reminds himself that they have time, time to take things slow and not rush into anything either of them might regret.
They both do their best to make themselves look presentable, but the red marks on Sicheng's neck and their messy hair and flushed skin make it obvious that it wasn't just a formal meeting that went down between them.
Nonetheless, they're able to make it out of the building without running into anyone, although Jaehyun notices a janitor mopping the top floors, dangerously close to Sicheng's office. It's a good thing they stopped before he saw them. The security guard on the ground floor is napping, despite it not even being midnight.
Once they're outside, night air cool against Jaehyun's skin, Sicheng stops walking to turn and face him.
"I can't remember if I said thank you earlier," he says. "For finding out who reported me, and getting those files and stuff. I really appreciate it."
Their eyes lock, and Jaehyun offers him a half smile. "It wasn't a problem. Honestly, I don't even blame you for thinking that it was me who framed you. It did seem pretty suspicious at the time."
Sicheng shakes his head. "I should have at least given you a chance to explain yourself. I was acting like an asshole and I’m sorry."
Jaehyun reaches out and takes Sicheng's hand, intertwining their fingers. "I'll forgive you… if you let me take you out for dinner."
The sounds of the city - cars honking in the distance, the click of a flickering streetlamp - have faded to insignificant white noise.
Sicheng grins at him, eyes sparkling happily. "Gladly."
One date turns into many. Sometimes they go out for dinner at expensive restaurants in fancy suits, sometimes they order the greasy but fucking delicious pizza from the local takeout shop and play video games in their pyjamas. Jaehyun can't remember the last time he was so happy.
Sicheng manages to convince Mr Kang and the rest of his superiors that he wasn't actually insider trading. It's fairly easy, once he knows exactly why he's being accused, since he's able to dispute any evidence against him. Besides, anyone who knows Sicheng even a little could tell that he'd never do something like that, so he's able to go back to working as usual after a few weeks, with his boss deciding not to fire him as a show of how much they value 'integrity' at the firm.
How the investment bank he works for fares is a different story; they suffer a significant blow to their reputation and many of their clients pull their funds, opting to go for more reliable options. Such as the firm Jaehyun's at.
"Babe," Sicheng says, looking annoyed as he reads an email on his phone while munching on the eggs and toast Jaehyun had made him for breakfast (really, it was quite unbelievable that the one time Sicheng had tried to make toast, he'd somehow managed to somehow mess up it up so badly Jaehyun had needed to dismantle the entire toaster and clean it thoroughly to get rid of the burnt smell).
"Hm?" Jaehyun looks up from the morning financial news that he's browsing.
"You fucking stole another client of mine." Sicheng pouts, tone whiny as opposed to genuinely angry.
Jaehyun can't help the laugh that slips through as he reads the email Sicheng is holding towards him on his phone screen. The company in question is V&W corporation, the very firm that Jaehyun had been so pissed off about leaving him for Sicheng barely over two months ago.
"I don't want them." he says, picking up the newspaper again.
"Well, that’s great for you, but I do want them. They wanna be with you, though, because you're more reliable and it's too risky for their funds to be with me right now, apparently." he folds his arms. "This sucks. I did the right thing and now I’m just stuck here like a dumbass while all my clients leave because of my dickhead former co-workers."
Jaehyun stands up and walks to Sicheng, pulling him up from his chair and into a hug. Sicheng's already dressed in his suit; Jaehyun prefers to eat breakfast in his pyjama pants and a t-shirt. He kisses Sicheng gently, reassuringly, hands coming up to cup his soft cheeks.
"Don't worry, you've got this. You're the best investment banker in this city, just wait for a few months until this whole thing blows over. Everyone's gonna be lining up to sign with you." Jaehyun says, then pinches Sicheng's cheek.
Sicheng smiles reluctantly, batting Jaehyun's hand away. "I can't believe you just admitted I’m a better investor than you," he says.
Jaehyun frowns. "I never said that?"
"'You're the best investment banker in this city'," Sicheng mimics Jaehyun's voice in a terribly unflattering way. "Unless I missed something, you also live in this city. So thanks, I feel way better now."
"That's ridicul-" Jaehyun's words are cut off as Sicheng kisses him, warm and sweet in the morning sunlight of his apartment.
They stay like that for a few moments, lips gentle and soft against each other, but they both know that they don't have much time before they need to go to work. Sicheng pulls away first, reluctantly.
"I need to run back to my place before heading to the office. I forgot my phone charger." he says.
He moves back to the table to collect the plates and stack them in Jaehyun's dishwasher while Jaehyun heads into his bedroom to start getting changed.
"You're coming over after work, right? I want to finish that new show we started yesterday." Jaehyun calls through the door as he fastens his tie in the mirror.
"You want to finish the entire series? You do realise it's sixteen episodes long?" Sicheng asks, coming into the bedroom and grabbing his watch and wallet off the bed stand.
"Yeah, but I’m not one to back down from a challenge." Jaehyun smirks at him in the mirror.
Sicheng rolls his eyes. "It's not a challenge if it's you trying to watch, like, ten hours of content in the span of three hours. That's just stupid. But yes, I’m coming over."
It would probably make a good metaphor, something about time and how it's always flying by and there never seems to be enough of it, but Jaehyun's always been better with numbers than literary images. Besides, he doesn't care about time and what he does with it, as long as Sicheng's with him and he can spend as much of it as possible with him. That's incredibly cheesy, though, and he'd never say it out loud.
Instead, he says, "See you later, then. Let's see who gets the better stocks today. It's gonna be me, bet?"
Sicheng scoffs, already on his way out as he grabs his jacket and shoes. Jaehyun follows him through to the living room. "Big talk coming from someone who was admitting that I’m a better investor a moment ago." he says.
"I never admitted anything of the sort-"
"Love you, bye!" Sicheng interrupts, then his eyes go comically wide as he stares at Jaehyun in shock at what he's just said.
Jaehyun's heart is suddenly beating very fast. They stare at each other for a moment, unmoving.
Jaehyun walks over to Sicheng, keeping their eyes locked. "Do you mean that?" he asks softly.
Sicheng swallows. Breathes out slowly. "Yeah. Fuck, it's too soon to say it, right? We've only been dating for, like, two months. Sorry, you don't have to say it back, I just-"
"I love you."
"What?" Sicheng looks torn between giddy happiness and suspicion that Jaehyun is somehow tricking him.
Jaehyun feels so tingly and warm all over, unable to believe that somehow the stars aligned in all the right ways for him to be here, right now, with this lovely, gorgeous boy in his living room, the morning sun saturating their surroundings with golden light.
"I'm in love with you, dumbass." Jaehyun says, reaching over to take hold of Sicheng's hand. He can't help but smile at the kaleidoscope of emotions that cross Sicheng's face, confusion and joy. "I don't know why you're so surprised. I literally slept on the left side of the bed for all twenty-one years of my life and then, because you absolutely insisted that you needed to be closest to the door, I suddenly ended up on the right side. Do you have any idea what kind of a sacrifice that was? I wouldn't have done it for anyone except you."
Sicheng snorts, but wraps his arms around Jaehyun's neck. "You're ridiculous. But I guess I'm in love with you, too. Besides, I need to be on the side nearer to the door so that if there's a murderer then I can dodge past them first and leave the room safely."
Jaehyun drops a brief kiss to his lips. "Baby, that makes literally no sense. The person who is closest to the door is the one who gets murdered first, everyone knows that."
Sicheng pushes Jaehyun down so that he's sitting on the sofa next to them, then climbs into his lap. "That's what the murderers-who-enter-through-doors want you to think. If you're on the window side, where are you going to go? You can't escape anywhere. The person on the door side can at least try and make a run for it."
Jaehyun is smiling as he presses a longer, slower kiss to the edge of Sicheng's mouth. Then he pauses and draws back. "Hang on a second. Does all this mean that if there was a murderer, you'd just escape and leave me to face my gory death?"
Instead of replying, Sicheng kisses him, and it's embarrassing how easily Jaehyun lets that distract him. Their mouths brush together gently, then harder as Sicheng runs his tongue along Jaehyun's lower lip, slips it into his mouth. Jaehyun's hands are on his waist, holding him tightly against his body.
But they're short of time, because it's already seven am and they both need to be at work in less than an hour. It's okay, though, because Sicheng's coming over in the evening and Sicheng is in love with him and he's in love with Sicheng and all is good in the world.
And really, it might be because he's still tingling with happiness from their confessions, but he honest-to-god feels like he's just unlocked some big secret, the key to living a happy life or some shit, the thing that everyone's always been trying to explain to him but he didn't get until now. Because, when it comes down to it, he doesn't really care how much money he's making or how large his portfolio is. It feels like the time before he knew Sicheng was lonely and pointless, and now it's like the missing piece of his life has been slotted into place, creating a beautiful, colourful picture. And he doesn't need to be worried about his job or Sicheng's, because he knows they'll figure it all out, as a team.
He's being really fucking cheesy today, but it's okay, because he's young and in love and he and Sicheng really do have all the time in the world to be together.