minseok would have to be an idiot to not notice how stressed junmyeon is. it’s evident in the way that he rolls over and repositions himself for hours before finally getting to sleep. evident in the way he sighs heavily out of nowhere, stares at the wall with his eyebrows knitted together. evident in the way he brushes minseok’s affections off because he’s tired and not thinking completely straight. if minseok didn’t know junmyeon for as long as he has, he’d think that the younger man was close to breaking up with him. but before they were boyfriends, they were best friends, so he gets this.
that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll let junmyeon stay like this for long, though.
“junnie,” he calls out softly, the first time he hears that long sigh — the one junmyeon never fails to do when he’s like this. “junnie, honey, dear,” he continues, and walks up behind where junmyeon is sitting on the stool at the kitchen island. he wraps his arms around junmyeon’s waist and puts his chin on his shoulder. junmyeon relaxes just a bit, exhaling loudly.
“hey, min,” he replies. his voice is still tired, small. minseok hugs him tighter.
“an hour, okay? give me an hour,” minseok proposes, and junmyeon just nods. minseok takes his arms off of him for just a moment so that he can get off of the stool, but the second he’s standing, minseok wraps his arms back around him and waddles the both of them into their bedroom.
this is far from the first time that they’ve done this, so junmyeon dumps himself onto the bed without any real instruction, and minseok lays down behind him, throwing a leg over junmyeon’s legs, tucking an arm under junmyeon’s and over his chest. this way, he can feel junmyeon’s slowing heartbeat as he relaxes. this way, he can hear his breath even out.
“you can vent, junnie,” minseok whispers, right up against the back of junmyeon’s neck. “i’m all ears,” he adds, and plants a soft kiss to his boyfriend’s nape.
junmyeon lets out yet another sigh before launching into a story about a particularly harsh customer that he had to deal with. it’s a bit crudely worded, especially for junmyeon, but minseok thinks that’s pretty fitting.
“and it’s not just that, it just gets harder to work that fucking job every single day when i’m just continuously fucking talked down to by people who don’t know shit about what they’re talking about! and then on top of all that, my mom is still acting like i’m gonna fucking, like, convert to heterosexuality or something. get this, she called me right after my shift and started telling me all about this date she had set up for me. like, honestly, do i have to remind her that i’m gay and literally in a committed and loving relationship with a man every single time we speak?”
junmyeon rambles easily when he’s stressed, which is kind of great considering how much venting helps him. minseok listens intently, nodding and humming and, when junmyeon’s looking for the right words to say, he kisses the back of his head, traces his finger over the lines in junmyeon’s palm.
after a while, when junmyeon’s tired himself out of complaining, he just melts against minseok and lets the older man kiss away the remaining tension.
“for what it’s worth,” minseok says, breaking up the silence, “we’d be okay if you looked for another job. you shouldn’t be stuck in one that makes you this miserable. and about your mom… it sucks. a lot. but i know eventually she’ll understand, okay? it’s…”
“what? only been four years?” junmyeon sighs, suddenly tense again.
there’s a pause. “that’s not what i was going to say, jun, i know that it’s been way too long for it to just be a time thing. maybe she hasn’t seen us together enough. we had dinner once, and then never again because she made all those weird comments.” minseok briefly frowns at the memory. “and that was really early on, too. i think if she saw how much i love you, especially after all this time… maybe she’d start to accept us.”
saying it out loud feels kind of ridiculous, but he means it. that’s the way it worked with junmyeon’s brother, with minseok’s father. “the job thing,” junmyeon says, probably not wanting to think about his mom anymore. “you’re sure? i mean, i’d only be out of a job for maybe a month since i have a lot of backups, but… it’d really be okay?”
“of course,” minseok answers. “if things have to be tight for a little bit, that’s okay. in the long run, it’ll be better if you’re happy at whatever job you end up in.”
the younger man sighs again, but this time it’s a content one. “thank you for this,” he says, taking minseok’s hand in his own and squeezing it.
“anytime, my love,” minseok replies easily.