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you make my night (updated~)

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It’s almost 9pm. Somewhere in an apartment room in Seoul, Mingyu rushes out of the shower in an attempt to make it to his room and make himself comfortable around his desk in less than a minute.

 

Opening his laptop, he clicks on the first bookmark he’s saved, watching the website show up with a live recording from a radio station.

 

The advertisements were still playing, thank god, he was just on time.

 

Mingyu sighs in relief, leaning back in his chair. The late summer — almost autumn, Mingyu argues — air entered through the open window, golden sunset glow following suit. The fan provided him some aid, but not enough. He knew the heat was near to unbearable and he would rather choose to not waste his little-to-nothing money on the electricity bill, though here he was.

 

But the thought turned into a blur as soft music filled his ears, his closed lips humming to the tune that played.

 

Don’t say sorry, do not worry

Do not be scared, do not cry now

To me, you are very precious

Can you tell yourself who had a hard time

That I’m here, that you’ve worked hard, that I love you

That I will hug you.

 

Once the music fades out, Mingyu lips curl into a lazy smile. A woman’s recorded voice saying Oh, I got a message? starts the show before a low, relaxing voice brings a delight to Mingyu’s ears.

 

“I wanted to be your tomorrow, so I lived today. Will you think about me everyday?”

 

That sentence alone makes the man slouch on his desk in delight, his fingers drawing shapes on the surface.

 

“Welcome to You Make My Night everyone. I’m your emcee, Jeon-san — Let us peacefully paint this galaxy together during this calm hour of night.”

 

The intro was always the same, followed with a lukewarm chuckle. If he wasn’t so tired, Mingyu would usually answer the host, but the drowsiness brought in by the air creeped into the latter’s state.

 

Jeon-san would start off his show with what he learned from the moon today, which varied from self-care reminders to a peek into the host’s day, always encouraging his audience to do something out of the ordinary for the future.

 

Mingyu’s first time tuning into You Make My Night occurred somewhere in the beginning of college year, following religiously to nearly every weekday broadcast (excluding his off days). Contrary to belief, his animated image would typically express his fondness over this show, but it was quite the opposite.

 

Silent, yet dedicated; a long-time fan.

 

Whenever he’d stay up for due papers, or those restless nights when everything felt wrong, Jeon-san would always be there at nine o’clock.

 

“And our first song will be… ‘I Was Made For Loving You’. Perfect.”

 

Not to mention, he’s pretty sure his soulmate is no other than the host of You Make My Night.

 

For a world where you can hear your soulmate’s thoughts, that in itself sounds pretty easy. Though having to hear their voice first in order to access this deeper connection, causes difficulties. Possibilities were endless.

 

Some people were lucky, for most people, not so much.

 

It didn’t help that you couldn’t hear your soulmate’s name whenever thought, or distinguish them as the voice in your head remained as yours no matter how universal your partner was: living across oceans, bilingually thinking from language to language, if they could even speak.

 

More studies showed that it was rare to communicate with them as well, constructing an even bigger barrier between everything. Soulmate studies during high school says it’s due to the challenges of truly finding the one, but Mingyu calls that all bullshit.

 

Who was he to complain anyway? He already found his soulmate, he just… Has no clue who he is.

 

Yet with You Make My Night, and his soulmate’s thoughts, the two go hand in hand to get to know Jeon-san.

 

His first encounter with Jeon-san was the day when one of his old high school friends mentioned about the blessing in disguise to Mingyu.

 

Mingyu himself wasn’t a big fan of the soulmate idea mainly because he hadn’t experienced it in his nineteen (almost twenty) years of living, however he wanted to find something to get his mind off of the damned report that has been driving him insane for days.

 

(Not to exaggerate, but Mingyu would choose to be set on fire than hand in that sheet of words without a doubt. He hated it that much)

 

And the moment he tunes into the channel, he hears this calmingly rich voice, quoting word for word:

 

“Fate intertwines us in fascinating ways. Strange, but fascinating.”

 

The male didn’t know what to get out of it — for the most part he found the man’s voice very, very alluring — thinking about the line.

 

As well with thinking, something unknown approaches Mingyu’s mind.

 

“It’s time for the shooting stars.”

 

Mingyu didn’t think that. That was his internal voice, yes, he was sure of it, yet it was simultaneously familiar and not, as if an entity was talking next to him.

 

Just when he was about to toss the concern away, Jeon-san grabs his interest more than ever.

 

“Let’s take a look at our shooting stars, shall we?” Again, quoted. “Our first shooting star is from bongbongie who says…”

 

It took Mingyu two minutes to connect the dots before he’s falling off his bed.

 

It’s been three years since then. Now twenty two, he’s gained his sense of peace after knowing about this discovery, keeping it as a hushed secret to himself.

 

Speaking of shooting stars, that was another segment of the show that Mingyu liked to pay attention to.

 

Other than Jeon-san’s music recommendations (each song put into a youtube playlist Mingyu titled My Universe), he loved it when the host would look through the live chat and interact with viewers, usually cracking lame jokes to having deep, raw chats.

 

It’s anything to hear him, Mingyu huffs, a week into following You Make My Night.

 

Mingyu honestly loves his voice.

 

(He also celebrated their quote on quote ‘week anniversary’ with a cupcake, oh how sweet and young Mingyu was back then)

 

Tuning back into the show, the male realised he dozed off to You Make My Night for fifteen minutes, perfectly timed for what Mingyu and Jeon-san like to call Our Universe of Soulmates.

 

“Our first story is from soundofcoups — hope I pronounced that right — which reads, ‘This story between me and my soulmate isn’t special or amazing as some others might be, but it’s a funny one. It all began at three in the morning, myself drunk out of my mind and walking home...’”

 

Stories like these were submitted into the show’s personalised email, either telling how someone has met their soulmate, or alternatively, a message to them. Listening to them gives hope that Mingyu might meet Jeon-san like that; he was sometimes tempted to send a message of his own to try and confess to Jeon-san.

 

But that was a boring confession, would Jeon-san believe him anyway?

 

Short answer: he’s tried, but sworn to never do that embarrassment again.

 

He’s learnt a lot about the laid-back host through his thoughts. Mingyu is certain that they haven’t crossed paths because Jeon-san questions about his soulmate often.

 

The radio host also believes that he’ll never get to hear his soulmate’s thoughts and vice versa, not knowing that his soulmate is quietly listening to him all along.

 

Jeon-san reminds himself of the things he has to do every morning; he often complains about his friend’s stupid antics internally; always undecided in what laundry freshener to buy; questions himself on the most ridiculous of things like “Fish clearly can’t see water... Can they?”; actively getting excited over what he has to offer for tonight’s show; whenever he reads he never fails to lure Mingyu asleep with his steady, beautiful pace that the male’s internal thoughts can’t perfect to real life.

 

“If only my thoughts were read in his voice… Damn soulmate gods,” Mingyu slurs halfway, huffing as if he’s in pain.

 

More-so than often, it’s easy to tell when his soulmate is under the weather as his thoughts turn upside down in a matter of seconds. It’s after a long or stressful day when it occurs, and all Mingyu can do is sit and listen.

 

He listens to Jeon-san’s worries, taking the burden with him, staying up until two in the morning as soon as Jeon-san thankfully decides to sleep, wanting to forget the previous night the moment he wakes up again.

 

The male wishes he could be there for his soulmate — to reach out to him. You Make My Night was an obvious option but it wasn’t enough, excluding the one attempt he tried years ago.

 

Mingyu wanted to meet Jeon-san. And even after three years he still didn’t know how to, which was how the same old soulmate story goes.

 

One day, Mingyu believes, one day he can live up to the stories he hears on the radio show.

 

“As dawn approaches us,” Jeon-san states, the tranquility in his words making it harder for Mingyu to keep awake, “we will end tonight with Sam Kim’s ‘When You Fall’. It’s a lovely track, I’m in love with it. Let’s meet again everyday at 9pm.”

 

Mingyu’s eyes drastically feel heavier. He hasn’t done the things he’s wanted to do this afternoon, but tuning into his favourite radio show was one accomplishment he could be proud of.

 

“Sweet dreams everyone, you’ve worked hard. You made my night, I hope I’ve made yours in return.”

 

He finishes sweetly; Mingyu still picturing the spreading grin on the host’s face.

 

Mingyu forgot another habit of his soulmate, but grinned as he was expecting it, like he would after the show would’ve ended; although Mingyu would’ve liked to be there, having this piece of Jeon-san was special.

 

“Goodnight to wherever you are too, my dearest soulmate.”

 

Just like that, Jeon-san has made Mingyu’s night.

Chapter Text

Mingyu gets sick often, so much so that even he gets sick of it — some pun intended.

 

Whenever he falls ill, it’s his job to drag himself to the library to catch up on reading or else his next class will complicate things further. Jihoon, his classmate and ex-roommate, doesn’t share his notes either (grumpy dwarf, muses Mingyu), meaning he’s out of the question.

 

Sat in the quiet location, Mingyu‘s lips pout to the side with a thick textbook opened and a small bag of gummy bears on his lap.

 

He’s been re-reading the same line over and over again but can’t understand it. Giving up, Mingyu moves onto the next paragraph to tackle the next set of long sentences he has to decipher. Reading passages and his sickness never go hand in hand.

 

“I don’t get this!” Whispers Mingyu harshly. Getting to eye level with the book doesn’t bring further help, yet he still gives it a try.

 

It doesn’t work, obviously.

 

Despite the struggle, the male takes a minute to stop and think back to the lesson his soulmate told his viewers last night.

 

“Today the moon taught me that it’s okay to take a break. Pause and take in everything that’s around you. Especially with the days feeling slower as we enter the cold month, we get tired easily. If you’ve had a bad day, rest, you can always get things done at another time. It’s going to be okay.”

 

Lord, Mingyu falls more and more for him everyday.

 

But his soulmate is so distracting at the same time. He’s currently doing what he does best; blabbing in his head.

 

“If I inside the cat shelter... I’ll get the coffee on time, right? Look at that kitty over there. She’s waving to you, wave back! My heart... She’s so adorable... But I have to get coffee — I’ll be back for you white kitty to say hello one day!”

 

Mingyu finds it cute — too cute — between the dynamic of his soulmate’s internal self against the appearance he puts on in You Make My Night.

 

Well, it didn’t hurt Mingyu to stop the (important) task at hand and listen to the unstoppable chattering in the back of his head.

 

“What did he say I have to get him? Caramel sauce, two extra shots of cream, or was it one? Skim milk and… I can’t remember this, he’s so picky! I’m buying black coffee. It’s bitter like his personality… Thank god my soulmate isn’t hearing this, I sound so mean — wait, I have shopping to do tonight too — dammit!”

 

Smiling contently, Mingyu gets a burst of energy after hearing that.

 

He gets back on track somehow, finally reading with some understanding. Yet his attention is easily caught on the quietest gasp ever(or was it gulp, Mingyu couldn’t tell), accidentally placing him eye to eye with a tall, confused boy.

 

At the same time, his soulmate’s thoughts appear in the male’s head.

 

“Huh, that’s mine…”

 

It was hard to hold back a smile — the thought was in Mingyu’s voice, obviously, yet he could visualise Jeon-san repeat the words in the small, shy tone he thought in — Jeon-san must’ve been pouting while thinking that. But Mingyu had to hide it as the stranger might get the wrong idea.

 

Mingyu shrugs, turning back to his lengthy book. He didn’t get to have a studied look at the boy other than the bony knuckles turning white around the straps of his backpack and the soft, dark curls brushing falling over his eyes.

 

It was rude to pretend to ignore the boy, knew Mingyu, but he had to finish reading within this hour or so before You Make My Night airs.

 

Likewise, the boy‘s face kept stoic, silently walking to a different table closer to the entrance.

 

And Mingyu tries his best not to let his eyes follow after him, but he can’t help to watch the mysterious stranger set up his laptop before adjusting his spectacles.

 

What is Mingyu thinking anyway? He has to focus. Focus… He wonders what happened in order to cause Jeon-san to think mine.

 

Mine — it makes Mingyu daydream if there’s ever one day that he could hear it directed to him, the words coming from his soulmate’s mouth with his pretty voice-

 

“He was pretty cute.”

 

“WHAT,” Mingyu jolts up, banging his hands on the table, some gummy bears knocked to the floor.

 

His awkward scene definitely set some killer-like eyes on him. People in close proximity shush the taller, which Mingyu apologises for the outburst. To avoid getting in trouble, he picks up the gummy bears off the floor, frowning at the thought that he couldn’t eat them anymore.

 

And to make things ‘better’, he hears Jeon-san think, “What a mess,” as if Jeon-san joined in with the fun sport of bullying Mingyu.

 

The universe was never kind to Mingyu.

 

With a big pout on his face, Mingyu sits once more, his book pushed far far away, now occupied with acting like a sulky baby.

 

It’s not jealousy, he clarifies, chin on the table and arms folded; Mingyu is simply pondering over which eye candy his soulmate — his Jeon-san — is looking at.

 

Then it hits him. The insecurity hits.

 

Other than his friends, Jeon-san doesn’t comment about people often. Ergo when he does, Mingyu doesn’t know how to feel about it. Whether Jeon-san would be talking about a girl or a guy, the male always ends up comparing himself to this universal figure his soulmate has mentioned once and never again. Or countless times, but Mingyu doesn’t like to think about that

 

Details such as is my smile too ugly? Is my clumsiness annoying? Will my height annoy Jeon-san? Will he reject me because of my skin? Would he laugh at the way I stand? Does he even like guys? Am I everything Jeon-san doesn’t want me to be? run through his mind every time when this happens. It seriously messes him up.

 

Yet Mingyu couldn’t argue against Jeon-san if he didn’t think of Mingyu the way he imagined to.

 

All of the thoughts of what colour his soulmate’s eye colour is, the subtle curves and hue of their lips or how many beauty marks and scars they have were gone to waste — oh man, Jeon-san is going to be disappointed.

 

Heavy-hearted, he would rather tune into what Jeon-san is doing now. Even if he wasn’t to Jeon-san’s standard, Mingyu’s feelings toward his soulmate would never fade if it were the end of the world. A heartbreaking thought, yet his voice and his voice alone makes Mingyu’s day.

 

“‘It happened on my family vacation’,” he’s reading a soulmate story, gathers Mingyu, “‘and just like fate, we met as kids. She and I didn’t know about the idea of soulmates at the time, but the moment I saw her my face blossomed into cherry red, and not long after, the thoughts followed. Our short time together mainly involved talking, staying on the beach until sundown, playing pirates and mermaids, just pure, innocent love. But after a week, she left in a vanish. No explanation, no number, no news, nothing.’”

 

Mingyu can hear the non-existent sigh from Jeon-san — if he was reading this on the broadcast, he would comment on how horrible it must be to experience that.

 

“‘End of story, but not really. Years had passed, and by then I was used to my soulmate’s thoughts, not knowing who my fated one was. It just so happened that we met again at a mutual friend’s party and went onto the topic of our childhood. She told me that her best and worst holiday was when she played with a little boy at the beach before leaving without having said goodbye, explaining the guilt she got from the bitter departure. It was unreal to hear it all — this was her. I was that kid she never said goodbye to. When I confronted her about it, she became suspicious. Who wouldn’t? She tested me by asking a personal question about herself, one that seven year old me would be told. While thinking, I was trying to recall the best I could, choosing between two answers, but she was looking at me in a bizarre way.’”

 

Jeon-san stops for a few moments, leaving his soulmate on edge. He knows where this is going, but he hates leaving happy endings unfinished, he needs to hear the ending to keep his heart content.

 

“‘I ask her what was wrong and she repeats the exact things I’ve thought. A week later we went to see each other once more. Six years have passed and it’s still a blessing seeing her everyday. So she wasn’t only the friend that I lost, she was the soulmate that I found. I couldn’t be happier’.”

 

As Mingyu listens to Jeon-san’s light-hearted reactions transitioning to the next story, like always, the male falls asleep under his soulmate’s narrator voice, hearing Jeon-san’s last thought before he drifted away.

 

“One day we’ll meet, my soulmate… One day.”

 

Mingyu feels a nudge on his shoulder. Then another, and then another.

 

“Hello?”

 

The hushed, unidentifiable voice instantly wakes Mingyu. With grogginess, the sleepy man lifts his head from the table, scrunching his face. He checks the time on the clock — it’s been less than fifteen minutes since he’s slept. It felt like an eternity.

 

Even though the man wanted to go back to his slumber, he remembers the figure prodding his arm.

 

It’s the boy. The pretty, raven curled boy. Sharp eyes staring right at him through thin-rimmed glasses.

 

Speechless, the boy speaks for him. “Um,” he mumbles out, eyes suddenly flashing out of panic, “sorry for waking you up… But the librarians don’t take it lightly when students sleep here. They caught three students last week — it was kinda funny.”

 

He’s rambling but Mingyu didn’t mind, he was too tired to process it all anyway. The boy’s voice, though soft, was sweet and slow.

 

“Just wanted to save you the trouble.” Attempting a smile, the boy continues. “Also...” His finger ghosts over his chin, causing Mingyu to mirror the action. The area is wet — oh no. “Drool.” Is all the stranger says as he turns and walks back to his table.

 

Until the boy is out of his sight, Mingyu tries to act collected, wiping his chin with his sleeve. He sighs, realising how embarrassing he must’ve looked, drawing out a long sigh. Just when he thought he was fully calmed down he spots a small pool of drool on the table, his mind going wild once more.

 

And the universe decides to taunt him one more time as he hears Jeon-san think, “Sleepyhead.”

 

Cleaning after himself, Mingyu looks up to find the stranger once more, wanting to thank him, though this stranger was already gone without notice.

 

For some reason Mingyu frowns — he doesn’t know why, it was probably triggered through the unsatisfying feeling of not returning the favour.

 

Who knows, they might coincidentally meet again (Mingyu doesn’t reckon he’s seen the boy’s face before), and this time Mingyu is ready to say his thanks.

 

“It’s almost nine?” Mingyu gasps upon checking the time, mind instantly going to his favourite radio show. Gathering his items, Mingyu hastily goes on his phones and connects his headphones, putting the earpieces in his ears as the live broadcast plays.

 

You Make My Night begins its intro just as Mingyu waits for the bus, ready to accompany him on his way home as the dark sky blooms over him.

 

He listens, heavily relating to Jeon-san’s reassuring words, as if it was a comforting hug to wash away the worries inside.

 

“Welcome to You Make My Night everyone. I’m your emcee, Jeon-san — Let us peacefully paint this galaxy together during this calm hour of night. Tonight’s lesson from the moon is to accept yourself. Comparing ourselves is what we tend to do a lot, correct? At the end of the day, we’re all the same, trying to live day by day in this world. Be true to yourself, be true to others. It’s all worth it at the end of the day. We will start our show with Jimin Park’s ‘Try’ and Baek Yerin’s ’Across the Universe’. Enjoy, everyone.”

 

Mingyu believes he doesn’t deserve a soulmate like him.

Chapter Text

“‘Jeon-san, if you started a cult what kind of cult would it be—‘ can I even answer that question on Monday’s show?”

 

Mingyu shoulders follow the chuckle at his soulmate’s thoughts. He unfortunately missed out on tonight’s broadcast but he had that part of the host that would keep him extra company while he hung out with his friends.

 

Ah, the perks of having a soulmate.

 

Truthfully, he’s more concerned that his soulmate was still awake at eleven o’clock — from observation, Jeon-san would be out like a light by half ten (the time he got home) or asleep at midnight if it was an exhausting day.

 

“Hm, this looks interesting…” Jeon-san hums, making Mingyu turn an ear.

 

What Mingyu likes the best about the host of You Make My Night is how genuine is he is both on and off broadcast, frequently reading the show’s comments and questions in his free time. The audience don’t know about this secret fact but Mingyu certainly does (he likes to boast about it to himself discreetly).

 

The first story Jeon-san read was quite sad, centring a couple’s struggles between each other and how they couldn’t last in the end, however it wasn’t anything like the story Jeon-san moved onto afterwards.

 

Entering an ice cream shop, only the mutters of the few people exchanging conversations barely sounding the store, Mingyu orders a mint chocolate ice cream and sits near a window, too immersed in Jeon-san’s current soulmate story.

 

“‘We were meant for each other, we really were, but his parents didn’t approve of it. It’s crazy — what do they know? They were calling him insane, saying how the girl they wanted him to be with was his soulmate and not me. He was getting treated so badly for it. No matter how hard he tried to hide it, I could always see the marks on him. I got so angry… But I didn’t know what to do.’”

 

Sad stories are undoubtedly the worst. Mingyu can only feel more pain when he can hear Jeon-san’s thoughts running side by side. His soulmate’s shell breaks, leaving a vulnerable, emotional Jeon-san whose day is ruined solely because of a sad story.

 

We all need a sad story here and there, though some sad stories hit harder than others.

 

“‘I wanted the best for him, I wanted his pain to stop. The last night we spent together was purely beautiful — I sneaked into his house that night and spent all the time I could with him — I knew I was going to miss seeing his smile. He didn’t know I was going to leave him for good. Long story short, we slept in each other’s arms and by the time the sun rose, I was gone and left him a goodbye note.’”

 

His soulmate breaks out of reading, thinking, “Don’t cry, you’re going to regret it,” which was a regular thought of his when reading these stories.

 

“‘By the time I was settled to go, I heard all of his thoughts. Every. Single. One. It stood out louder than I could ever imagine — the where are yous, the I need her, the please don’t leave me — how I wish to go back to him… It took him two months to get over me and I hope he heard my it’s okay’s and my I love yous to get the message that I can’t stop loving him.’”

 

“No… Don’t say that…” Mingyu urgently desires to have the power of teleportation to hug Jeon-san. “Oh my god, you’re asking for these tears Miss a1one.”

 

“‘He officially was in a relationship with that girl his parents wanted a week later and everything felt at peace. That was, until his thoughts were coming through less and less. Maybe he was tired, I stupidly thought. Eventually, the voice completely disappeared from my head and that’s when I understood. He’s gone. He no longer needs me. His last thought? ‘I never stopped loving you.’”

 

Damn, it even made Mingyu feel hurt.

 

“‘This story is probably breaking your heart Jeon-san but I miss him so much. I just want to turn back time and give him the world I wanted him to have. What a twisted love story that I class as my story. Our story — or what it used to be. I’d trade anything to see his smile once more.’”

 

The amount of thoughts tone down for a few beats and Mingyu predicts that Jeon-san has taken a break to cry. It’s tragic to think how much he knows about his soulmate, and if he was there by Jeon-san’s side he would want to tell him that it’s okay too.

 

Alas, he couldn’t, so he chews on his now-melted dessert.

 

Further waiting for his soulmate’s thoughts to come back, Mingyu stares outside at the dark, dim-lit scene outside, watching the cars drive by, faces of people he’ll observe for two seconds before he never sees them again, thinking of that sad reality.

 

Across him is an open diner accommodating more people than what the ice cream shop had. He observes the inside until a face captures his curiosity.

 

Mingyu knows he shouldn’t be looking at someone like this as the chances of getting caught were high, however Mingyu swears he’s seen his face before and is he crying?

 

Alongside the indication of the stranger crying, they both look at each other and uncomfortably stare.

 

“Shit-” Mingyu exclaims, turning small as he looks down at his empty cup.

 

He also hears his soulmate unanimously think, “Shit!”

 

Nice to know they were both stuck in an embarrassing situation — Mingyu hopes Jeon-san is anyway, or he’ll just look like an idiot. Likewise, Mingyu was already too embarrassed to focus on why his soulmate thought that.

 

He chews on the ice cream spoon, looking back at the stranger he originally wanted to avoid eye contact. He was already exposed for putting his nosy eyes on him, so the least he could do was not be an ass.

 

So he mouths a you okay? To the boy and the boy, also focusing on him, blinks. His hand slowly comes out from underneath the table, holding up an ok gesture at Mingyu.

 

Mingyu nods at the answer as he tries to smile. He partially keeps the frown on his face due to wondering what might’ve happened to the boy. Reflecting the smile, the stranger mouths back thank you before he reaches for a milkshake.

 

After the interaction Mingyu is ready to head home; time was going way too fast. Yet something senses him. Whether its Mingyu’s undiscovered supersonic hearing or instability to stay still, his head turns once more to the stranger. His fist was balled, looking as though he knocked on the window (Mingyu wants to laugh; because who knocks on a window when they’re a store and street apart?), while his other hand is holding up a notepad containing scribbled words.

 

enjoying your ice cream?

 

And Mingyu’s surprised by the gesture, startled over the fact these two were conversing despite being in two different stores.

 

Well, he doesn’t mind it. Grinning, he shows a thumbs up. Realising he has to carry on the conversation, Mingyu’s eyes scan the store left to right, rapidly turning his head to the stranger.

 

He lifts up his finger in hopes to message across wait a sec before scurrying off, coming back with a handful of chunky crayons and ripped sheets of kids colouring pages.

 

Turning the sheet to its blank side, Mingyu gets to work. The stranger doesn’t miss the way the male furrows his eyebrows and pokes out his tongue. It was adorable, in sorts.

 

Once Mingyu looks up, proud of his masterpiece, his eyes lay back on the boy whose smile was strangely giving him butterflies in his stomach. Something about it made him want to melt into a puddle of sweetness.

 

That’s corny, Mingyu admits internally. Letting the thought slip away, Mingyu puts his work of art next to his face for the stranger to see, anticipating that his message is understandable.

 

But it was obvious what he was implying with the doodle of a milkshake and a thick red question mark beside it. Mingyu might have looked childish, but he was a true kid at heart.

 

He can see the boy’s tears dry away as he stifles a laugh, rubbing his eyes before straying his gaze away from Mingyu, fingers delicately picking up the marker to meet the paper.

 

He holds up another set of words.

 

you sure put in a lot of effort in that

 

Playfully smiling, the boy across him copies his smile. ‘Copies’, as in attempt to do so — it also processes in Mingyu’s slow mind that the boy was actually the pretty library boy from a few weeks ago (which was a random connection as his smile was the only detail that clicked in his head).

 

The green crayon in his hand, Mingyu writes once more.

 

whats ur name?

 

Just as pretty library boy bends to write his response, the back of Mingyu’s head goes, “What’s my name again?” Causing the man to acknowledge his soulmate’s random burst of thought again.

 

“He’s being forgetful again…” Whispers Mingyu, a fond smile forming. “I hope you’re okay Jeon-san…”

 

The next time he looks up, he sees the pretty library boy sat frozen almost as if he’s waiting, soon tuning back to earth and writing his name. Again, pretty library boy shows Mingyu the notepad.

 

wonwoo :)

 

As if on cue, he turns the pad, revealing another word.

 

yours?

 

Mingyu writes back a simple mingyu in black crayon, not forgetting to add a big red arrow pointing to himself.

 

Granted it’s inaudible, Mingyu can hear Wonwoo’s laugh from across the street as he approves of Mingyu’s drawing.

 

Mingyu then states that he and Wonwoo met and Wonwoo catches on, remembering the library incident. Wonwoo bites his lip as he struggles to hold in his grin and Mingyu secretly wants to die — of course Wonwoo would remember the drooling, sleepy Mingyu.

 

It makes talking so much easier knowing that they go to the same college.

 

Mingyu finds out Wonwoo majors in language and literature while Mingyu tells him he’s an architecture major in return, which explains why the two haven’t crossed paths because of their buildings located on opposite ends of the campus.

 

In addition, Mingyu mentions his interest in photography and Wonwoo gives his knowledgable opinions on the topic. The male wishes he could’ve understood a word Wonwoo wrote, physically feeling his confidence drop within seconds the moment Wonwoo transitions onto pre-visualising and that nonsense.

 

They find out more secret things like Mingyu’s guilty pleasure of listening to Taylor Swift and Taeyeon whist cleaning his apartment, or Wonwoo’s not-so-shameful secret of crying every time he watches Bambi’s mother’s death.

 

Following that, Wonwoo (unsurprisingly) has a soft spot for animated films — Disney movies in particular — Winnie the Pooh if you wanted to be precise.

 

i collected the whole group of toys when i was a kid, theyre still kept in my parent’s house. no one gets to touch them except me

 

The taller can imagine that. A young Wonwoo hugging his stuffed Winnie the Pooh gang. He’s glad he commented on the small pin of Pooh Bear on his bag.

 

And the raven boy finds it so hilarious that six foot two Mingyu is very afraid of heights.

 

but youre a giant!!!

 

doesnt mean i cant be scared of high places! ur pretty tall too - how am i the giant?!

 

im not scared of heights tho ^-^

 

tch. Mean…

 

Mingyu then reminds himself about the situation from before, wanting to ask how Wonwoo is.

 

r u feeling better now wonwoo?

 

A sad smile emerges on his face, taking his time with his reply.

 

much better. thank you

 

Wonwoo stares back at his laptop screen. His eyebrows rise and lips part, hesitantly turning to Mingyu and then his notepad, breaking the news to him.

 

its getting late, i need to go home urgently. sorry :(

 

Frowning, Mingyu understands. To reassure him the male shakes his head and mouths it’s okay.

 

get home safely mingyu

 

Wonwoo collects his things, swinging his backpack over his shoulder as he gives Mingyu one final look, waving. Mingyu responds with his last sheet of paper reading bye, a yellow hand drawn alongside.

 

It’s also Mingyu’s hint to leave as it was touching midnight, together with the fact that he was the only customer in the quiet ice cream shop.

 

He’s knocked out the moment his body sinks into the bed and when he wakes up the next morning, a message on the You Make My Night twitter account starts his day.

 

‘Good morning everyone, Jeon-san here. Sadly it’s the weekend, meaning no broadcast, but I have to share a snippet of my night last night.

Happiness comes in strange forms, you just need to open your eyes to cherish it.

Thank you for making my night, Sleepy.

My song recommendation of today is Starlight by Taeyeon and DEAN

Hope you have a great day today everyone, look after yourselves~

— Jeon-san

(p.s. @a1one, you seriously made me cry with your story. Im sending you all the hugs and love that you deserve)’

Chapter Text

“Oh, yeppeuda says, ’Hi Jeon-san. I’m a new listener to You Make My Night — love it, by the way — and after hearing all of these soulmate stories, I was wondering if you‘ve met or heard your soulmate… Unless regular listeners know this already.’”

 

The word ‘soulmate’ makes Mingyu’s ears go into sensitive mode, perking up the moment he hears it. Suddenly, the project he’s working on is unimportant.

 

Laughing, the host clears his throat before revealing his answer. “Thank you for enjoying the show yeppeuda, I’m really grateful for it. Actually, I did answer this question a long time ago, a few months after I started You Make My Night,”

 

Not to brag, but Mingyu remembers that day. His heart still flutters at the thought of it.

 

“But I don’t think the new viewers know about it yet so thank you for asking. No, I haven’t met my soulmate.”

 

“I want to,” the voice inside Mingyu’s head pulls the man’s heartstrings.

 

He can feel the sad smile forming on Jeon-san’s lips; something that probably looks beautiful yet wrong.

 

“It’s a bit boring that I only have my thoughts in my head... Gosh, the comments are coming in now,” Jeon-san announces, quite flustered, “my ideal soulmate? I don’t know. As long as my soulmate is a good person I’ll love them.”

 

“But they have to be a good cook. Maybe great at video games too.”

 

Mingyu laughs at the last bit. “What a weirdo…” He sighs with tenderness.

 

“‘How do you want to meet your soulmate?’ asks bongbongie. Um… Not embarrassingly, that’s for sure.” He chuckles into the mic. “I sometimes daydream about it like in books, where the protagonist has that instant moment where their love interest is ‘the one’. But a casual setting would do it for me.”

 

“Cliché works too. Meeting in a library sounds nice… Maybe a cat café… Okay you’re getting ahead of yourself-“

 

“It’s funny,” Jeon-san speaks up, “I’ve been living for this long and I still haven’t found my soulmate. Maybe it’s just a regular thing. Lots of people don’t live long enough to see their destined to-be. What if I’m one of those people?”

 

You aren’t, Mingyu argues internally, I’m going to meet you and stay by your side forever.

 

“That idea is so scary… However I’m not disappointed about not meeting my soulmate, I’m more scared. ’Deep chats with Jeon-san part one million’, you’re right uriduriragwaenchana. The world is full of possibilities, anything can happen! Instead of star-crossed lovers, our soulmate world is more like star-crossed strangers.”

 

“‘Star-crossed strangers’,” repeats Mingyu, lowly humming.

 

“Despite all of this, I’m pretty hopeful on my soulmate. Surely they don’t know me either but someday we will.” The host inhales a breath, nervous yet optimistic on the situation. When he exhales he breaks into a laugh. “Guys, you’re spamming the chat with ‘star-crossed strangers’ — was it seriously that cheesy? Oh no, you’re going to never let me live that down, are you?”

 

For the next few minutes, Mingyu’s soulmate continues interacting with his audience, allowing the male some time to get back to work. More questions are asked about himself, since Jeon-san decided that everyone could ask a personal question and the emcee would try his best to answer.

 

“‘Since we’re on the topic of soulmates, what is the top cliché thing you want to do with them?’ Talking about my soulmate only gets me more… Embarrassed, everyone. I’ll tell at a better time.”

 

“Slow dance with them. Make cookies. Be with them-”

 

“‘What’s the best dessert?’ Milkshakes. Anything else is overrated.”

 

“If my soulmate doesn’t like milkshakes… They’ll have to pay for doing such an awful thing.” Mingyu is surprised at the change in tone of Jeon-san’s thoughts. “They can pay me with their love.” Classic, cheesy one liners; Mingyu wants to gag (out of love).

 

“‘Do you prefer to have an exciting night out or quiet night in? I think everyone knows the answer when it comes to you.’ Am I that obvious? Without a doubt, staying in is the best. Sign me up for anything to do with sleeping.”

 

Jeon-san hums a bit as he continues to look at the comments.

 

“‘Would the night be better if you were sleeping next to your soulmate? Having naps with them and falling asleep—‘“

 

Jeon-san breaks out in a loud cough, the sound of banging his knee on the table being heard (further adding the “Ouch!” he had thought), voice immediately tense.

 

“And on that note, let’s have a break and listen to some music before we get onto Our Universe of Soulmates,” he tries to control his voice, which Mingyu finds incredibly amusing as his soulmate’s mind was going haywire on such a simple thought.

 

Mingyu couldn’t blame him. Now he’s thinking about it too, and he’s craving for affection.

 

“Because of our ‘special’ topic of tonight, we’re going to play IU and Zico’s ’Soulmate’, just to rub in how memorable this night has been. Hope you enjoy.”

 

Once the music begins to play, Mingyu imagines the sigh coming from Jeon-san, stressed with a burst of energy in him. Like natural habit, Mingyu stops his things once more to listen to what his soulmate has yet to think because that soulmate of his likes to think a lot.

 

“I’d like to know what goes in your head, soulmate. I wish that you think the same too. Will you ever hear me one day?”

 

On one end sits a lonely radio host reflecting over his soulmate, unaware that his soulmate can hear him all along.

Chapter Text

Fridays are for sleeping.

 

Not for parties, going to fancy dinners wearing uncomfortable clothes or getting as drunk as you can. They’re strictly for sleeping for the next twelve hours in exchange for the sacrifice of sleep. That’s what Mingyu strongly believes in.

 

But he regrets the moment he carelessly says okay to Soonyoung’s, “There’s a party tonight. Wanna go?”

 

Partially he was to blame; he wasn’t paying attention (but who would ever pay attention to Soonyoung?)

 

The realisation had hit him when Soonyoung stands in front of his apartment door a few hours later and is welcomed by a groggy Mingyu, hair sticking out, lips pouting, hunched in sweatpants.

 

“You forgot?!”

 

The next fifteen minutes is spent with the scarily frustrated male rummaging through Mingyu’s closet and throwing the first pair of clothes that he sets his eyes on to Mingyu, ordering the man to ‘strip and get dressed!’

 

Rather than arguing, the man groans, shutting the door to regret the upcoming events of tonight as Soonyoung finds food to eat.

 

Soonyoung tones down once they get into the taxi — hands full of Mingyu’s crackers to treat him on their journey — Mingyu can only huff before leaning his head on the window, closing his eyes to get some sleep.

 

Naturally, Mingyu loses Soonyoung five minutes into the party. He honestly hates this. Being stuck without any option, he sticks to a corner with a beverage in hand, observant of the busy scene taking place.

 

But he shouldn’t waste the night, making the man try to chat with anyone near him. At least he could hold up a conversation. After that eventually dies down, Mingyu spends his time finding food to eat or have his soulmate occupy his attention.

 

“Why am I here, I didn’t agree to be here.”

 

That troubles Mingyu. He can relate in ways — he doesn’t want to be in this party too — but thoughts like these lead to some illogical things in Mingyu’s mind. What if Jeon-san was in a dark alleyway? Or a rollercoaster? A very posh buffet, a stranded island, a lion’s den-

 

“The time… The time! Oh no, I’m not gonna make it if I stay. I should call—“

 

Mingyu’s phone buzzes, disrupting the thought. Picking up the phone he stares at the ID, eyes perking up as he rushes somewhere else to muffle the noise.

 

“Jihoon?”

 

“Is Soonyoung with you?”

 

Mingyu isn’t surprised how straight to the point the other is, or how he asked about Soonyoung. Although Mingyu has never said it aloud, Jihoon is a clingy soulmate.

 

“Kinda lost him at this party.”

 

“Figured that out already,” sighs Jihoon, “sorry to bother you but can you find him? He’s going to do something he’ll regret if he carries on taking shots and it’s making me worry whilst working. I know he can’t control it but his thoughts are sending me his share of headaches too.”

 

“I’ll find him.” The male says comfortingly to hide the fact he’s in a bit of a muddle as the party looked like it quadrupled in people.

 

“Thanks.”

 

Jihoon hangs up in the end to let Mingyu get to work. He didn’t need to get on his tiptoes to look over the people but one, it was too dark and two, the music was too loud for anyone to focus.

 

“I hate college parties.” He mumbles out loud, but even he can’t hear himself.

 

Mingyu rubs his palms over his eyes, needing to explore the area in hopes to find one drunk boy. That stops quickly when he walks into two people hooking up in the storage room.

 

“… Maybe I’ll just wait until Soonyoung shows up. Yeah Mingyu, let’s do that.” the male opts, eye twitching as he slowly backs away into the main heart of the party. A shiver runs up his spine once more as he shakes off the image.

 

“Fuck,” curses Jeon-san, surprising Mingyu, “just fantastic. Great situation!”

 

He wants to stay in tune with what was happening to Jeon-san but something else is further feeding his interest. Something’s happening near the snacks table and it doesn’t look friendly.

 

Stepping closer, Mingyu identifies one of the two students — what was his name? Wonho? Wonchul? Wonwoo! That’s his name — silently staring at the other with a blank face, but when he steps back Mingyu knows he was panicked.

 

The unknown man’s voice gets louder for Mingyu to hear as he gradually moves.

 

“You have balls for staring at my girlfriend like that, do you want a punch?”

 

The music drowns Wonwoo’s voice, but Mingyu has a good guess on what he’s saying. “She looked familiar, probably from a class I took over the summer.” Reasons Wonwoo, which Mingyu knows it’s a lie because it’s the easiest way to get out of the situation.

 

In this case, it didn’t work.

 

“Well you were looking at her a little too much pal.” Growls the student, twitchy hands ready to grab Wonwoo. Angry and drunk.

 

Wonwoo observes this, hard to keep up with his controlled image now. “The clock is just above where she is. I needed to keep track of time-“

 

Bullshit! Do you think that stupid excuse will get past me? Let me teach you something-“

 

Mingyu intervenes the moment the drunk student lays his hands on Wonwoo by grabbing his shirt as he raises his fist. The male gently moves the student away from Wonwoo, holding his balled fist so it wouldn’t cause a great scene.

 

“Hey who the fuck are you?” He spits while slurring and Mingyu isn’t too surprised. Looking back, he checks on Wonwoo who was now at some distance from them, staring at Mingyu’s direction.

 

When Mingyu turns back he answers the person’s question. “His boyfriend,” his height gives an advantage, meaning he can tower over the other, “I should be asking you that since you’re suddenly approaching my boyfriend like that.”

 

Boyfriend. That word sounds weird coming out of Mingyu’s mouth. He could say friend, cousin, grandfather’s brother’s great-grandson, but boyfriend had to be the first thing he managed to blurt.

 

He was helping the pretty library boy who he communicated though a window by faking as his boyfriend. That’s a mouthful to say, Mingyu muses. Why help Wonwoo? Mingyu will never know. Yet here he is.

 

To think of it, Mingyu just had the urge to help. Wonwoo seemed like a nice guy and although he looks like he can handle any situation with ease, it also looks like he’s never been to a party.

 

It’s as if Mingyu’s bones won’t settle if Wonwoo got hurt — You creep Mingyu, you’ve met the guy, what, three or four times?

 

The student takes him out of his thoughts. “His four-eyes were glued onto my girl.”

 

God, can people be any more stupid? Thinks Mingyu, holding in a scoff. With a calm tone he ‘explains’, “I told him to check the time since he was going to get something to eat. We have to leave by ten. Sorry for the misunderstanding.”

 

He stared at Mingyu for an uncomfortably long time before he loses his balance and stumbles, suddenly rolling his eyes. If it wasn’t for the busy atmosphere, Mingyu really wanted to punch the man square in the face.

 

“Whatever. Have fun riding each other’s dicks.” Mockingly taunting, the student finally leaves. Mingyu’s glad he’s gone but his mood is ruined thanks to that. All he wanted to do was to sleep.

 

“He’s gone. Oh thank god he isn’t hurt.”

 

Hold on, Wonwoo.

 

Mingyu turns back to Wonwoo who looks back at him as if it was on cue. He should be finding Soonyoung but he just had to know if Wonwoo was okay.

 

Drawing nearer to him, Jeon-san’s thoughts come back into Mingyu’s head.

 

“Wait he’s coming, what do I do? Do I say thanks? C’mon don’t stand there — say something, anything-“

 

But before Mingyu can speak once he reaches Wonwoo, the male beats him to it. “Your hair is messy.” He quietly says, picking up some crisp packets before he rushes past Mingyu and out the exit.

 

Mingyu thinks it’s what Wonwoo said, the music was still booming through the rooms for him to think.

 

“Out of all the things you could’ve said, you said that? What an idiot!”

 

“What did Jeon-san say?” Mingyu questions, now curious.

 

Mingyu wants to catch up on him but remembers about Soonyoung — stopping to comb his hair (it was messy, just like Mingyu himself) — and yells a string of Soonyoung’s name in hopes to find him.

 

He finds Soonyoung within the next five minutes as he’s hunched over the couch while drunkenly giggling.

 

The moment Mingyu lifts up Soonyoung to carry him out, he calls Jihoon announcing, “I have Soonyoung. I’ll stay at yours until you come home.”

 

Yet to Mingyu’s surprise, Jihoon opened the door for the two when they arrive at his apartment.

 

Jihoon lets Mingyu in to place the sleeping Soonyoung in his bed. “I’ll deal with him.” Says Jihoon. “He whines if he’s uncomfortable. Get yourself a drink, I’ll be out soon.”

 

Mingyu follows the shorter’s orders, waiting for him until he comes out and starts up a conversation.

 

“What took you so long to find him? My headache got worse after I called you.”

 

“I had to help someone.” Mingyu briefly explains.

 

“Yeah, help someone and not me,” Jihoon sighs, “but it’s okay. At least Soonyoung’s home. Did he do anything embarrassing?”

 

“Can’t you hear his thoughts?”

 

“Mingyu, I can only hear him, not see him.”

 

“True… He was quieter than usual so I don’t think so. I thought you were still at work, did something happen?”

 

“Colleague didn’t show up, no idea why.” Jihoon’s phone goes off the moment he says that. Lifting it up, he smirks, “Speak of the devil...” He looks back at Mingyu, tossing his phone away. “After ten minutes of waiting I figured he wasnt coming, so I got my things and left to get some sleep.”

 

“Your job is that easy? Coming in and leaving if a colleague doesn’t show up?”

 

“Guess so.”

 

“Okay,” Mingyu does a time check — it’s past midnight? — “I should go, it’s getting late.”

 

“Yeah… Make sure you get up early for that lecture.”

 

“Maybe if you didn’t move out my apartment for Soonyoung I would — because you’d wake me up — but here we are. Paying the rent by yourself is harder than I thought y’know.”

 

“Just go,” Jihoon laughs, “thanks for looking after Soonyoung again.”

 

“Anything for you two.” Mingyu approaches the door, hand on the doorknob. “You owe me though. G’night ‘Hoon!”

 

Like always, Mingyu takes the bus to his apartment and goes on his phone to check up on You Make My Night. He first goes on the twitter tags about it, skimming the tweets that talk about the broadcast being cancelled for tonight as the audience whine that they won’t be able to interact with Jeon-san until Monday.

 

Jeon-san rarely gets ill however and after today he wasn’t overly stressed about anything, so what happened? Mingyu tunes into his soulmate’s thoughts but is greeted with silence. He must be sleeping, Mingyu concludes.

 

Once Mingyu gets home, he further looks into this ‘mystery’ by going on the radio station website to see if there’s a message to explain about the show’s cancellation. He reads the message while he brushes his teeth, surprised at how messy his hair looks.

 

“He’s right.” Mingyu laughs with the toothbrush in his mouth, playing with his hair. “Really really messy…”

 

Now Mingyu is wondering if Wonwoo is okay, he should’ve asked sooner before he left.

 

Leaving his hair in its messy state, he reads the text displayed on screen.

 

‘Jeon-san here.

I apologise for no YMMN tonight, I was caught up in a situation and by the time I arrived to the studio my sound technician was gone so I went home instead… But don’t fear! I spoke with my boss and You Make My Night’s episode on monday will be extended by half an hour (I’ve some things prepared already, isn’t that fun~).

I’d like everyone to end the day listening to something soft, so I recommend ‘Salvation’ by Gabrielle Aplin.

That said, today the moon taught me that we’re not alone — someone is always willing to help us when we can’t help ourselves, even if they’re sleepy, messy-haired people through a window. I hope someone has made your night today.

—Jeon-san’

 

As for Mingyu, his mind goes back to Wonwoo, about what happened tonight. Oh no. What if Wonwoo heard Mingyu address him as his boyfriend? — They’ve only met three times — would Wonwoo take it the wrong way and see it as flirting? Does he know it was to make the student go away? What if Wonwoo already has a soulmate?

 

Rubbing his temples, Mingyu lands on his bed, facing the ceiling. He needs to clarify everything to Wonwoo one day.

 

For now, he hopes he’s made Wonwoo’s night.

Chapter Text

“Jihoon, help me on this, I don’t get it.”

 

Jihoon sighs for the millionth time — or what felt like it — scrunching his stuffy nose. He leans toward Mingyu laid on Jihoon’s carpet, fiddling with a pen in his hand.

 

“Y’know for someone who is supposed to explain what I’ve missed these past few days, you’re awful at it,” states the shorter yet Mingyu doesn’t seem to be attention, “stop putting your head in the clouds and listen to me!”

 

Mingyu looks back up at Jihoon and pulls one earpiece from his ear to let Jihoon explain.

 

Though that’s quickly interrupted as the voice drains out and Mingyu continues listening to You Make My Night through the remaining earphone.

 

“Is the sound okay everyone? My apologies if it sounds worse than usual, my technician hasn’t been in for a while. I’m sure he’ll be back soon…”

 

“Got it Mingyu?” Jihoon inquires.

 

Mingyu absentmindedly gives an ‘I didn't get anything at all’ nod.

 

Regardless the two go back to their quiet working: Jihoon listening to soft songs while Mingyu to Jeon-san. It was like old times when they were roommates; thank the heavens Soonyoung wasn’t awake to disturb their study session.

 

But his snores gave them company nonetheless.

 

Even after Mingyu’s broadcast ends (which ended with EXO’s ‘Moonlight’ to follow up the fact it was a full moon tonight) he stays a bit longer, jotting the rest of his points so he doesn’t have to work on them tomorrow. His handwriting is sloppy near the end but he was too tired to care.

 

“Why don’t you stay the night here,” Jihoon offers, “you look really tired man-“

 

He cuts off before a violent cough hurls out of his mouth.

 

“… Scratch that, I don’t want you to be sick too. Unless you don’t mind that.”

 

“I’ll pass. As long as I don’t faint I’ll be okay!”

 

Mingyu sets off not long after while Jihoon watches him from the door as he leaves, going back inside when Mingyu disappears to the staircase.

 

Alone, Mingyu replays the message about the full moon in his head and looks to the sky, seeing the huge full moon in all its bliss.

 

“The moon is beautiful.”

 

Silently, his thoughts respond I love you too — the weight of his words as genuine as it is melancholic.

 

He wants to hear Jeon-san say it. Say the words in his voice for Mingyu to hear, he felt bored of hearing such wise things from his soulmate coming out of his silly voice.

 

(Bored of his voice; not Jeon-san’s thoughts — never Jeon-san’s thoughts)

 

He can’t believe he and Jeon-san are looking at the same moon in the same sky. It was a part that made him feel closer to his soulmate.

 

“It’s so cold.” Comments the latter as a gush of wind travels around Mingyu and Mingyu doesn’t disagree. It’s freezing. Spring was gradually coming, but the weather remained chilly. On the bright side, it helps the male stay awake rather than be tempted to sleep on the concrete.

 

“I can’t believe his job is harder than I thought…” He must be on about the technician. “He owes me for that, it’s what you get for being ill — ah, brain freeze!”

 

Jeon-san’s yelp could be easily visualised by the male, which causes him to slip out a laugh. The night seems less lonelier with Jeon-san around.

 

With luck, the bus comes closer to the bus stop once Mingyu arrives, catching glimpse of the man.

 

“Hold on, my bus!”

 

Is Jeon-san being forgetful again? That guy… Is Mingyu’s first and only reaction to every time that’s happened to the host.

 

He waits and waits until the vehicle comes to a stop, opening the doors for Mingyu.

 

Halfway stepping in, a voice shouts “Wait!” And gets Mingyu to look at that direction.

 

And look who it is: Mister Wonwoo (Mingyu doesn’t think he knows his last name) running to the bus, his backpack and headphones flying everywhere, a hand holding a milkshake and his card in his mouth.

 

Mingyu makes the decision to wait for him, making sure he’s still halfway into entering the bus and placing his hands over the doors. Looking at the driver, he was probably going to close the doors on Mingyu nonetheless, but the other didn’t care much, he was decent person unlike others

 

“Thank you,” Wonwoo pants, swiftly removing the card from his mouth as Mingyu lets him walk in first. Mingyu follows only to earn a grunt from the bus driver —Someone’s clearly not pleased.

 

With it being very late hours not a lot of people are on the bus, meaning Mingyu has the choice to sit wherever he pleases.

 

For a second his eyes scan the bus: the back has the loud teenagers rebelling in their youth — some also making out which was gross — drunk people in front of them, the people going home from work and on their phones — that’s where Wonwoo went to sit — or the front with a suspiciously hooded man that the male doesn’t want to interact with.

 

He settles sitting with Wonwoo. Surely he won’t mind, right?

 

So he trails after the male just as the bus starts slowly leave, leaning forward so his face could get Wonwoo’s attention. Wonwoo does turn to him, earphones hitting his cheeks.

 

“Can I sit here?” He says anyway, knowing Wonwoo can’t hear him through the loud music. He points at the seat to make things easier and the other gets the message straight away.

 

Taking the straw out of his mouth he answers, “Sure,” in an awkward, shy manner, moving his backpack to his lap as Mingyu takes a seat.

 

The music is louder when the male is sat next to Wonwoo. Straight away Mingyu recognised the song was ‘After Moon’ entirely because Jeon-san recommended it the night before, but that didn’t sound right — You Make My Night wasn’t crazily popular and besides, Wonwoo might like listening to Twice.

 

Mingyu takes out his phone to keep him company, checking his messages — one from Jihoon saying Text me when you get home, along with image attachments from his family — and playing a game before shutting his phone off because his eyes really hurt.

 

Hurt wasn’t the right word. Tired was.

 

Despite the risk, Mingyu digs the heel of his palms into his eyes, rubbing them in circles as he gives them a rest. But what he didn’t want was to go to sleep on the bus, which is what he unfortunately did.

 

“Please don’t be dead,”

 

Mingyu wakes up from the light push on his right shoulder. At first, he groans at the touch, pushing it away to nuzzle further whatever he’s resting on — it was really comfy. By the second time he’s lightly shaken, it gives the male no choice but to part open his eyes, trying to get used to the light in the bus — he’s seeing weird spots again.

 

“Get up Sleeping Beauty,” a magically soft voice calls next to his ear. The drowsy Mingyu pouts, trying to take in his surroundings again.

 

“You’re not dead!”

 

Mingyu chuckles at Jeon-san’s thought. How cute.

 

Hold on, why is Jeon-san still up? He should be sleeping—

 

Mingyu jumps up from his seat, looking left and right from window to window. He slept on the bus? He’s surprised he hasn’t been kidnapped yet, but that aside, he’s scared he’s missed his stop.

 

In panic he looks back to Wonwoo, then to Wonwoo’s shoulder, then back at the boy.

 

Oh no, Mingyu becomes aware, no no no Mingyu you idiot you slept on his shoulder—

 

“You fell asleep,” Wonwoo, quite obviously, states, cutting off the other’s big apology, “You’d get neck strains if you hung your head like that, I would feel bad leaving you like that. Don’t apologise though, it was done on my behalf… Also, uh, we’re near campus. I woke you up just incase.”

 

Oh, is all Mingyu can think of, tiredly mirroring Wonwoo’s assuring smile.

 

Just as he was going to thank the boy, the bus doors had already opened. Wonwoo looks over and slings his bag on him.

 

“Let’s go.”

 

Again, Mingyu follows him like a lost puppy.

 

They walk next to each other a little while. Mingyu kicks the rocks on the floor and Wonwoo bins his empty cup, sighing deeply.

 

Because the male was recovering from waking up, Mingyu remains quiet, his current goal being to stay awake for a bit more. He has another bus to catch and then he’ll finally be home.

 

Yet he can’t deny that the air around him feels tense. Everything was so… Awkward.

 

“The moon is beautiful.”

 

Mingyu is sure that he got whiplash from hearing that sentence, confusingly looking at Wonwoo. The latter doesn’t look back at him but instead at the silvery-yellow moon.

 

“The moon is beautiful, isn’t it?” Wonwoo says one more time, admiration in his eyes as his voice does the same, each word flowing gently from his lips.

 

Mingyu couldn’t deny how breathtaking Wonwoo looked at that moment, only the glow from the moonlight shining on him, but he doesn’t dwell too long on it, stripping his gaze quickly. He still nods to indicate that he was listening.

 

Wonwoo subsequently chuckles, “Sorry. That sounds weird, I’ve been waiting for this day — full moon and all — I just needed to say that to someone.”

 

The boy then stops in his steps as they reach the entrance of the campus, his attention catching Mingyu yet again.

 

“I guess this is where we say goodbye Mingyu,” so he does know Mingyu’s name, “stay safe, also catch up on sleep will ya’? Night Sleeping Beauty.”

 

With one last grin, Wonwoo walks off in his own direction whilst Mingyu remains still — half tired, half stunned — yet he starts to giggle.

 

Really? Sleeping Beauty? He doesn’t know what’s funny but he still giggles, feeling much better on his next bus ride home.

 

Being Mingyu, he sleeps for the whole day. Truthfully, he doesn’t remember much, only Jihoon and Soonyoung bombarding him with messages, tripping over his slippers and sleeping on the floor at one point.

 

What he remembers is Jeon-san’s lesson was to help people, even if you had to lend them your shoulder, shortly playing Soyou and Kwon Jeongyeol’s ‘Lean on Me’.

 

How ironic.

Chapter Text

Spring was ending, summer close to blossoming, the wind and sun balancing out in perfect ratios for Mingyu to enjoy a break in his hometown after what felt like eternities, memories of his youth uniting with him.

 

Everything is near to perfection except the condition of Mingyu’s health.

 

In other words: Mingyu is sick.

 

Now he could entirely blame this on himself or blame it on Jihoon and Soonyoung, due to the fact that Mingyu chose (his fault) to often visit them while they were sick (their fault — originally Jihoon’s fault as he passed it onto his soulmate) for some ‘last minute crammed studying’, which Soonyoung alternatively called a sleepover.

 

(“Jihoon, you can’t just kick Soonyoung out like that. He lives here.”

“Defend him any more and you’ll be kicked out too.”

“Well okay. Can’t you hear him?”

“Duh, but I tune out of it easily. Let’s get back to what we’re doing.”)

 

(“… Okay I miss him,”

“I’ll carry him back in.”

“Thanks—“

“Four minutes, it’s a new record.”

“Shut it.”)

 

Lack of sleep, studying, plus walking home in the rain was not the best combination. He wasn’t solely sick but lost his voice in the process, a scratch and horrid feeling every time he speaks or swallows.

 

He doesn’t mind it however, he has to look on the bright side: he’s with his family, college life isn’t being a total jerk, and he gets to see the prettiest sunsets and sunrises once again — a huge part of his adolescence was escaping to fields of emerald lands and burgundy forests to stare at lonely stars, an isolated sunset.

 

The unfortunate downside was that his beloved broadcast was also taking a two week-long break to celebrate an upcoming family event (which was told at the start of Mingyu’s stay in his hometown), creating a large dent in the male’s heart.

 

But Mingyu didn’t need a reason to be sad, he could literally still hear Jeon-san nevertheless.

 

And, without surprise, Jeon-san is true to his word because his thoughts alone scream that he’s on a family visit.

 

What Mingyu theorises is that the event must be related to a birthday and here’s why:

 

One, Jeon-san learns how to make a cake.

 

That was a mess. It took three tries before Jeon-san could make a fairly decent chocolate cake before he realises the cake should’ve been a strawberry cake (“You are the worst man to ever walk on this earth.”) and that he couldn’t bake icing to save his life, resulting to his soulmate asking his brother (Mingyu assumes) to collect a customised cake from a local store just so that he can spend time with his Belle (Mingyu assumes it’s the birthday celebrant, he’s also scared about the relation he has with this Belle).

 

The rest of that day is spent reading messages from his followers on You Make My Night, sending their deep longing for You Make My Night to come back soon.

 

Two, the shopping episode.

 

In here, Jeon-san is in a supermarket buying birthday-related items with his relatives: candles, mini cakes, party bags, extra alcholoic-drinks (and now Mingyu is unsure if this party celebrant is either five or twenty) to stock up before the soon-to-be occasion. On the other hand, his soulmate is stressed, tired and practically wants to yell at everyone if he hadn’t kept things to himself (“Why is he buying pink balloons? She’s a yellow girl, not a pink one! What kind of father is he—”)

 

Oh, so Belle is a girl.

 

The rest of that day is carried on with more whining thoughts from his soulmate in that supermarket, such as, “If I can’t make her cake, I can make her damn good strawberry sandwiches,” or “I feel embarrassed being the only grown man buying this teddy for Belle… Hold on there’s a Winnie the Pooh one… I want that. I want it now.” To, “I’M BUYING IT. FOR BELLE AND FOR ME.”

 

So his theory is currently that Jeon-san is celebrating a birthday for a girl who is either younger or older than what Mingyu thinks — no in-between — and is also very close to Jeon-san because of the stress he has and no, Mingyu is not jealous of this Belle.

 

(He’s very jealous)

 

Mingyu was taking his regular jog on a morning, hoping that he’d get better by exercising in the fresh air and catch the sunrise which was under the morning mists.

 

He feels his phone buzz and Mingyu stops running momentarily, reading the list of items his parents sent for Mingyu to buy, closing the message with a kiss emoji. Mingyu sighs, cancelling the plan to watch the sun’s awakening, and sends back an ok, now taking his time to get to the store.

 

In the middle of walking, the distant voice in his head has awoken, guiding Mingyu’s attention to what his soulmate must be thinking of.

 

“Right. Then a left. And another left… And… Another left? You’ve got to be kidding, that isn’t right,”

 

Mingyu cocks an eyebrow, tugging on his hood further. Where are you Jeon-san?

 

But something afar catches Mingyu’s eyes. He’s not sure who the figure is but he is a hundred percent sure that’s the fluffiest shiba inu he’s ever wanted to hug in his whole lifetime — also being very sure that the stranger has looked up, left and right for the twelfth time in the past minute.

 

Mingyu wasn’t staring, it was a simple observation… Anyone could do that.

 

The sun starts to snap through the clouds as they part away, not only letting Mingyu able to see the morning sun but squint and croakily grumble, “Wonwoo?”

 

Wonwoo’s figure (and his oh-so fluffy dog) outlines the sunlight as he looks down at his phone again. It doesn’t take an idiot to realise that he was definitely lost.

 

Like before, Mingyu gets that weird feeling he can’t leave Wonwoo and get on with his day. He’s been asking that question, too, wondering why he has a need to stick with a boy he doesn’t know the last name of.

 

You can do this Mingyu, encourages the man, trying to jog as casually as possible to make this look like a coincidence.

 

Clueless on how to greet the pretty library boy — because of his dying vocal cords —  Mingyu taps on his shoulder while simultaneously pulling down his hood to give easier hint that it was Mingyu and not a complete stranger.

 

Wonwoo jumps, shielding himself when he and Mingyu aren’t too far apart. “Oh my god Mingyu,” Wonwoo calms down after the scare while the other smiles, crouching down to greet the irresistible canine, a bigger and stupid grin stretching over his face. Looking back at Wonwoo — looking up this time — Wonwoo states, “You haven’t been longer than three minutes and Honey already likes you a lot. She’s usually not like that.”

 

“It always has to be you, doesn’t it?”

 

His hand moves to touch the dog’s head, just brushing over Mingyu’s before the latter stands, a frown instantly etched when he holds up a thumb that hopefully translates are you okay Wonwoo you look really lost.

 

Wonwoo’s smile slightly falters, quite pathetic; he must’ve gotten the message.

 

“Uh, I’m a little… Lost? No, scratch a little, I’m extremely lost.”

 

Mingyu holds up a finger and wiggles it around the area, which is trying to say where are you going? Maybe I know.

 

Almost telepathically knowing, Wonwoo replies, “No idea.”

 

The male bets that Wonwoo must be really good at charades.

 

He faces his phone toward Mingyu for the latter to see the screen that presented a text message. “My family is telling me to go to this place to buy some things, but they asked the only person who doesn’t know their way around here because I was walking the dog,” Honey barks, jumping around Wonwoo’s feet, “don’t worry, I’m not mad at you. It isn’t your fault Honey.”

 

Wonwoo scratches his head in frustration, huffing when he reads the text one more time. Mingyu holds in his smile; Wonwoo was really lost.

 

It was Wonwoo’s lucky day however, as the taller points at himself in glee, translating over I’m going there too!

 

“You’re going there?” Seriously, how does Wonwoo do that? Mingyu was horrific at charades, one time he was trying to be an elephant, and Soonyoung guessed that he was a flying fish.

 

Maybe Soonyoung was just horrific at guessing.

 

“What are the odds. So can I… Come with you? If that’s fine by you, of course.”

 

In reply Mingyu smiles, beckoning Wonwoo to follow after him.

 

Just like the last encounter they walk closely in tranquility. It’s not that awkward anymore, it was like they got used to this silent circumstance.

 

“I’m kinda wondering why you haven’t said a word to me yet. If it’s some game of charades you’re playing then I’d understand but… What’s up with that?” Cracking the question, Mingyu slides his pointer finger across his neck. “You killed a person?!” Wonwoo exclaims fairly loudly, eyes flying open. Mingyu panics with a whimper and shakes his hands, making Wonwoo laugh. “I’m kidding. Must be a cold, huh?”

 

Mingyu nods understandingly, a bit angry that Wonwoo could trick him like that, but he couldn’t hate him forever.

 

“That sucks. My friend was sick a little while ago, it was awful. He got his soulmate ill too, from what I heard. And now you’re sick! Hope you get better Mingyu.”

 

Its happened again: Wonwoo saying Mingyu’s name. That has enough power to make Mingyu melt and he’s unable to pinpoint why, it’s new and strange. Instead, Mingyu nods to simply say thanks.

 

Wonwoo peeks out a smile, looking forward and keeping an eye on Honey strutting along the concrete. “But I can’t stand awkwardly walking like this together, so do you mind if I talk for a bit? You don’t need to listen. Just cover my mouth or slap me when you want me to stop.”

 

Mingyu nods again, a little confused because he wouldn’t dare hit Wonwoo.

 

He never knew that the boy was a chatterbox — Wonwoo was extremely chatty if you gave him enough attention.

 

In a short time of ten or fifteen minutes, Mingyu finds out that it took half a year for Wonwoo to grow comfortable around Honey because he was scared of dogs, and Wonwoo changed her name to Honey when he finally grew fond since it was more fitting to the dog (and of course, Winnie the Pooh related, who needed to ask for more?).

 

Wonwoo was also in the area because his family recently moved in — a bell rings for Mingyu because he’s heard his parents mention about new residents and how lovely their family were — while being his niece’s birthday the upcoming weekend.

 

Mingyu has never seen someone so infatuated for their niece.

 

Mingyu uses Wonwoo’s notes app on his phone to tell that he’s born here and it brings a pleasant surprise to the other, both relating to the fact that they haven’t seen their relatives in a long while.

 

It also makes Mingyu think about a familiar news flash of a familiar someone going away due to a family-related concern.

 

Wonwoo mumbles too. He mumbles and rambles, it’s pretty noticeable. Although you wouldn’t hear a word he’d say, the sparkle in his eyes wouldn’t falter. Mingyu notices it, but says nothing about it.

 

Mingyu points at the store which Wonwoo and he were going to, stopping at the front entrance. “Thanks a lot Mingyu,” beams Wonwoo, tying Honey’s leash on a metal bar, not looking at Mingyu, “I can do my thing from here so that I don’t disturb you—“

 

He stops when he sees Mingyu pushing his weight on the trolley as he jerks his head toward the inside of the store.

 

Mingyu was going to stay.

 

Tagging behind, Mingyu blankly watches Wonwoo’s back as he gets his items simultaneously (they were just vegetables and fruits anyway, everyone always goes to those isles just in case), but never hesitating to lead the way whenever Wonwoo couldn’t find a specific isle.

 

At some point they cross a party decorations isle and Wonwoo stops in front of a piñata shaped in a yellow castle, eventually stopping the Wonwoo train as Mingyu accidentally bumps the cart into Wonwoo by accident.

 

The other doesn’t look offended by it but continues to stare at the piñata until he goes, “I need that,” and flings the item into the cart which Mingyu can react with a hand lightly slapping his head, smiling in embarrassment.

 

The four things Mingyu learns is that: when Wonwoo is deciding between two items, it that he looks to and fro at each item ten times before choosing; he squints while checking prices, always pausing to calculate the cheapest deal he could get; Wonwoo has a certain sigh if anything is too expensive; and hums to nearly every song that is played in the store.

 

Wonwoo turns and Mingyu looks up from staring at his shoes almost immediately, holding an are you done? Thumbs up.

 

“I’ve got everything now. We can go.”

 

The checkout isles are a whole other challenge between Mingyu and Wonwoo, nudging each other more vigorously and sending dirty glances as they fight to see who pays for their items, separated in their respectful bags. Wonwoo manages to slip his card in first, laughing out a loud, “Ha!” Before waving fingers at Mingyu, shooing him away.

 

And Mingyu seriously can’t say anything back so he scowls and picks up the bags, pretend-sulking by himself to make Wonwoo feel bad. The other only passes off an amused look, tempted to burst into laughter yet again.

 

He also pretends that he doesn’t heat the cashier comment about the two of them to only hear Wonwoo reply, “We’re not soulmates, sorry to disappoint you. He’s a great friend though.” Shortly wishing the cashier a nice day before Wonwoo walks off, a nervous chuckle escaping his lips.

 

In addition, Mingyu realised that he hasn’t asked Wonwoo about his soulmate.

 

Wonwoo approaches the other, handing over Mingyu’s bag of items, shyly mumbling, “Thanks,” even though it’s Mingyu who should be saying that.

 

Mingyu is about to ask Wonwoo the question he’s wanted to know for a while until—

 

Honey’s leash is empty.

 

“Honey?” Wonwoo keeps himself together, but stutters when he blinks again, completely sinking in that Honey was gone. “Honey, where- Honey? Honey!”

 

Mingyu picks up the change of pace in Wonwoo’s breath when his eyes dart around the exposed areas, gently turning toward him by the shoulder, forcing eye contact between them. After seconds, Wonwoo’s breaths drop and Mingyu feels some of the tensity wear off from Wonwoo’s body.

 

“Fuck, why are you looking me like that,”

 

“What… What do we do?” Wonwoo asks. Mingyu lets go of Wonwoo to think, his eyes twinkling the moment an idea miraculously gets into his head, pulling out his phone and presenting it to Wonwoo, hoping he’d mirror the action.

 

Soon after, Mingyu’s plan comes to life.

 

mingyu: hi its mingyu

 

Wonwoo gives the taller a look, raising an eyebrow. Mingyu gives a different look to Wonwoo, which says, go with it, turning downward as his fingers type again.

 

mingyu: we should split up and find honey

 

“Split up? The only good that’ll do is probably make me end up at the other side of Korea,” Wonwoo’s face is wary, sounding like the biggest kid ever.

 

mingyu: you won’t.

mingyu: u have me, don’t u?

 

Wonwoo takes in a deep breath, finding Mingyu’s eyes. “Yeah.”

 

mingyu: call me if anything happens. don’t try to die ok

 

A soft smile is shown on Wonwoo’s face, holding the leash. “Take care Mingyu,”

 

mingyu: have u found him

wuhwuh: no

wuhwuh: guessing you haven’t either

mingyu: correct :(

wuhwuh: hey it’s okay

wuhwuh: we can find her

 

It’s been like that for the past twenty minutes, searching in the mild warmth of early hours as Mingyu and Wonwoo exchange the same texts that hold no luck.

 

Mingyu spots the huggable dog near a kids playground, surrounded by locals who let theirr dogs interact with the jumpy pup. “Honey!” Mingyu shouts, regretting his actions as his voice still drastically hurts, yet still running to him.

 

Honey barks, happily sticking her tongue out as Mingyu comes to hug the dog. Dog hugs are the best.

 

Ruffling her fur, he scolds her with a big out on his face. “Silly girl, why did you leave without Wonwoo, huh? Wonwoo has been so scared for you!” He pats her fluff, giving in when she circles around Mingyu. “Be glad you’re cute, I can’t stay mad at you at all. C’mon, let’s take you to Wonwoo.”

 

Just like the obedient dog she is, Honey follows Mingyu even without a leash, even running in front of him so that she could show off a trick or two — Wonwoo wasn’t kidding when he said Honey likes him a lot.

 

mingyu: i found honey!!!

wuhwuh: WHAT NO WAY

wuhwuh: THANK!!! YOU!!! MINGYU!!!!!

mingyu: its nothing!

mingyu: where r u right now?

wuhwuh: im pretty sure im in my family’s neighbourhood

wuhwuh: lets meet at petalé?

mingyu: the florists?

wuhwuh: yeap that one

mingyu: aight. see u there

 

Honey and Mingyu arrive, seeing Wonwoo wait from a distance — he probably can’t see them, so what better way than to surprise him?

 

Mingyu bends down and scratches Honey's neck, before instructing, “Go after him, girl,” resulting in Wonwoo getting tackled in dog kisses and nose nuzzles. What Mingyu finds the most amusing is the relieved, genuine smile upon Wonwoo’s face.

 

“I couldn’t have done it without you Mingyu,” thanks Wonwoo as Mingyu humbly rejects the statement, passing it off with a grin.

 

He’s more focused on how happy Wonwoo and Honey look once reunited—

 

“I need to pay you back.”

 

Mingyu’s face changes to disgust before shaking his head strongly, if anything, Mingyu should be owing him, not vice versa.

 

“It’s the least I can do!”

 

Again Mingyu‘s head shakes, but Wonwoo doesn’t give up easily.

 

“No way mister, I owe you a lot. We’re going to get something after this.” Mingyu’s lips tug down, but nods in defeat (it wasn’t like he had a say in the beginning). “Great! The trip to the house won’t be long. I can send Honey and we can go. Sounds like a plan?”

 

Wonwoo’s phone buzzes.

 

mingyu: fine by me :)

 

When they begin to move, Mingyu makes this the perfect to time to ask his question.

 

mingyu: yo wonwoo

 

“Weird way of addressing me, but, ‘yo Mingyu’,

 

mingyu: have u met your soulmate?

 

Wonwoo turns frozen, staring at the message longer than usual. The other is starting to think he had said something wrong, ready to quietly scold himself, ready to tell Wonwoo to ignore it—

 

“I can’t hear my soulmate.” Wonwoo answers plainly. Yet by the look on his face, Mingyu can see the hurt gleam inside.

 

For now, that topic must be left for another day.

 

Wonwoo's phone buzzes for the second time, but not because of Mingyu. He holds up his phone to his ear, eyebrows knit together.

 

“Hello?”

 

Mingyu can hear a little girl’s voice exaggerate a long Wonyu! on the phone, the pretty library boy instantly smiling with teeth showing when he hears the follow of her giggle.

 

“Hiya princess, I’ve missed you — Who’s with you?”

 

Mama! Is responded through the phone.

 

“Oh, that’s very nice — can I talk to her please? Thank you princess,” Wonwoo clears his throat now that he’s talking to the girl’s mother, listening to her nags, “Yeah, I’ve got everything… You didn’t tell me to pick up flowers, we’ll get them later... Uh, a friend from college helped me, he’s visiting his family here too. Come again? Hold on, I don’t trust you with the lighter, I’ll be home soon. Okay. Tell my brother to start cooking. See you-“ And with one last lazy smile, Wonwoo ends the call with, “Bye bye Dabin.”

 

Wonwoo hangs up and drops his phone, face sulking a bit. “That was my in-law. And thanks to family,” he sighs, “you’ve managed to get away with what I owe you.”

 

Mingyu smiles cheekily, in contrast to Wonwoo rolling his eyes.

 

“But thank you for today, really.” Wonwoo shyly adds on, a small smile tugging on the corner of his lip. “Text me when you get home okay? If we aren’t busy, maybe I can pay you back sometime… Make sure to get better soon, see you next time ‘Gyu.”

 

And Wonwoo and Mingyu make their opposite ways, Mingyu’s mind replaying the final scene with the boy as he phrases his words in his head, smiling without thinking.

 

Now his phone vibrates — so Mingyu lifts it up from his pocket and checks who had texted him. Of course, a smile plays on Mingyu’s lips.

 

wuhwuh: don’t forget I still owe you!

Chapter Text

wuhwuh: hey :D

mingyu: hi wonwoo

mingyu: :D is new what happened to :)

wuhwuh: today is vvv special

mingyu: special? how?

wuhwuh: wait a minute

wuhwuh: you dont know :O

mingyu: know what???

wuhwuh: I’ll tell you in a sec

 

“Mingyu,” calls Soonyoung, distracting the other from the conversation on his phone, “there’s a party later on-“

 

“Before you finish that sentence Soon’, no.”

 

Soonyoung’s head swivels to Mingyu, the unwashed dishes suddenly unimportant as his lips part open and eye brow curls as if Mingyu told him he was an alien sent from Saturn. “What? Why not?!”

 

“It’s going to be packed, one thing or another I’ll have to babysit you — again.”

 

“Trust me, not a lot of people are coming — maybe half of his lit class — but it’s his first birthday party he’s agreed to celebrating! We totally need to go, I’ve been waiting for this day forever!”

 

Mingyu lays back on the couch, weighing his decisions. It’s a Sunday, so You Make My Night wouldn’t be on anyway. “Sure.” Eventually Mingyu agrees and Soonyoung punches the air. The male lifts his head back, Soonyoung’s figure upside-down. “Whose birthday is it anyway?”

 

He goes on his phone, tapping onto Wonwoo’s contact as he stares at the latter’s text message. Mingyu should send an ok or sure, I can wait, but decides against it, continually staring at the texts.

 

“Wonwoo,”

 

“Oh, Wonwoo.” Mingyu hums.

 

But he’s on his feet the next second along with his whole life flashing in his eyes.

 

“Wonwoo?!”

 

Soonyoung, concerned, cocks his neck back and nods.

 

“Is there a problem? You know him?”

 

“I guess — but that’s not important — you know Wonwoo?”

 

“It’s a small world.”

 

With Soonyoung’s shrug Mingyu is silenced, it’s not like Soonyoung was giving him much to work with but it will do.

 

“Anyhow! We have to be there by six. Wonwoo’s agreed to a celebration but doesn’t want it to last until eleven. Tch,” Soonyoung pouts, “how mundane…”

 

Unlocking his phone, the taller sees that it’s three right now; it was Wonwoo’s birthday and it took Mingyu until three in the afternoon to realise that.

 

“Can we meet up in an hour?” Urges Mingyu. “I’ll get dressed and then I just wanna get some things before we head to Wonwoo’s birthday.”

 

“A’ight. Be back in an hour, I’m timing you Mingyu!” Soonyoung laughs effortlessly while Mingyu steps out of the apartment (he’s been staying there too often).

 

mingyu: YOU!!!

mingyu: IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY WONWOO Q^Q HOW DID I NOT KNOW

wuhwuh: okokok yeah its my birthday woo… it isn’t a bit deal

mingyu: BUT IT IS

wuhwuh: don’t worry its not like we know each other’s birthdays anyway

mingyu: ok then guess my birthday

wuhwuh: ,,,,, april 6?

mingyu: that makes me feel worse knowing that u know /my/ birthday and idk /urs/

wuhwuh: u dumb fool im telling you that its FINE

mingyu : :(

wuhwuh: don’t be “:(“ its my birthday so pls be :D

 

Throughout the whole time the male stayed in his apartment, Mingyu did nothing but spend the full hour on finding the right clothes to wear to this party.

 

No, he wasn’t wearing it for Wonwoo.

 

Not at all — which is why he chose to wear his favourite pants complimented by a new shirt he bought. He just wanted to look causal yet respectful.

 

He figures he isn’t going to be occupied with Jeon-san’s thoughts for the day (just for today, Mingyu optimises) so he tunes into him to give him a guide on how his day is going.

 

“Now I feel bad for knowing his birthday,”

 

Gosh, Mingyu wishes he could say the same for Wonwoo but it’s the polar opposite — but opposites attract is what they say.

 

“Wish your day goes great Jeon-san,” Mingyu gently reminds his soulmate in a whisper, leaving the house.

 

Then Mingyu heads back to Soonyoung’s apartment once more, eight minutes left of the latter’s countdown left to go.

 

mingyu: aren’t you having a party tonight?

 

Mingyu texts in a rush once he and Soonyoung explore the shops on the street.

 

wuhwuh: mhmm

wuhwuh: i see word got around quickly...

mingyu: ha yeah

mingyu: promise to save some cake for me?

wuhwuh: i dunno if youre coming but i’ll reserve the best slice for the one and only kim mingyu

mingyu: u flatter me too much

wuhwuh: :D

 

“Hey Soon’, can we go in there for a sec?” Mingyu points to a shop, not waiting for the addressed male’s reply as he walks in a cosy shop, looking around. Soonyoung enters not long after, playing with the wind chimes dangling off the shelf.

 

Wandering around, Mingyu’s fingers trail on the shelves as he simultaneously thinks and looks for what to buy.

 

It can’t be too small or useless — he doesn’t want to look like a careless jerk to Wonwoo — and it can’t be crazily expensive because Mingyu doesn’t have that boatload of money on him.

 

It has to be something that Wonwoo likes, Mingyu deduces, what does Wonwoo like?

 

And out of the blue, like it came from heaven, his soulmate says a few words that trigger Mingyu’s thought process.

 

“Got it!” Mingyu runs to the other side of the shop, fingers moving to find what he’s looking for.

 

He feels a shove at his right arm before Soonyoung’s face is ghosting above Mingyu’s shoulders (Mingyu guesses he’s on his tiptoes). “Buying a present for Wonwoo I’m guessing?”

 

“No,”

 

Definitely.

 

Mingyu knows there’s a damn smile on his face, Soonyoung must be proud. “Give it a shot ‘Gyu, it’s not like you’ve met your soulmate too-“

 

“I don’t have the time for dating, besides, he can’t hear his soulmate either so it obviously isn’t me.” Right, Mingyu keeps forgetting no one knows about Jeon-san. It’s just a small, small, secret he hides from everyone.

 

“Forbidden lovers! I like that.”

 

“Get out,” Mingyu rolls his eyes, flicking the forehead of Soonyoung’s. He quickly moves to one, avoid Soonyoung and two, pay for his item.

 

It’s now six and Soonyoung desperately wants to get to venue where the party was going to be (which was at somebody else’s apartment because apparently Wonwoo’s literature classmates are filthy rich and have an apartment that costs more than Mingyu’s tuition fees with Soonyoung’s and Jihoon’s combined) and before they leave, the taller’s eyes spot a nearby place that remind him of something.

 

Soonyoung is calling for a taxi and with Mingyu’s eyes glued to the place, his time is very limited. “Soonyoung, um, I’ll be super quick — just stall for me okay?” And like that, he runs, ignoring Soonyoung’s calls as he wants to do this quickly.

 

Then Mingyu comes out five minutes later holding a milkshake in hand, the present dangling off his finger. As Soonyoung was going to ask about the drink Mingyu turns him around and pushes him lightly, spotting their ride.

 

“Let’s go,” he chuckles, glad he was a hair width away from Soonyoung’s teasing. He didn’t need to know that Mingyu bought it as an extra gift for Wonwoo.

 

Definitely not.

 

The door is already unlocked by the time to duo arrive and there’s way more people that Mingyu originally thought. The taller knew Wonwoo didn’t know a lot of people, so this must be the aftermath of the news spreading quick — he even recognised some students in his architecture class.

 

Exploring inside, Mingyu instinctively tries to find Wonwoo, but in a new setting Mingyu has to know his way around this maze of an apartment. Rich people.

 

So far he knows the locations of the bathrooms (there’s three), kitchen, living space and the huge balcony he hasn’t explored. It’s also the reason why he wants to explore there as he saw the glimpse of his pretty library boy’s ebony hair distinctly standing out.

 

A flaw about it is the fact Wonwoo has been pushed by an ocean of people greeting or talking to him, and with the boy’s nature, Wonwoo can’t reject others wishing him a happy birthday and Mingyu can’t just drag him away without getting looks.

 

I’ll have my chance, Mingyu assures, breaking gaze from Wonwoo as Soonyoung’s head pops out of the kitchen door.

 

“‘Gyu, help me with the punch!”

 

“Okay — I’ll be there,” Mingyu loudly calls, looking at the items in his hand. Without thinking he puts them on a table, hoping no one would steal his present for Wonwoo. If someone did, he’d be greatly disappointed (and sad that he failed Wonwoo again).

 

Soonyoung yells, “Mingyu!”

 

“Coming!” Mingyu yells equally as loud, leaving the living room just as Wonwoo comes back inside to find his phone, hoping Mingyu texted him. Wonwoo wasn’t sure if Mingyu was coming or not, he never confirmed it.

 

As he’s passing through the room he stops past midway, trodding back a few steps until he’s looking at the messy table and its contents. Crouching, he places the plate aside and picks up the shiny object, observing it.

 

It’s pretty, thinks Wonwoo. He sees his friend walk back into the apartment, plastic bags in hand. “Hey who’s this from?”

 

Looking at the object, the shorter thinks as he stares at the object, piecing things together, a grin flashed on his face.

 

Wonwoo looks at the item, smiling too. He’s been staring at it for a while now — a silver keychain with a dangling figure of Winnie the Pooh inside a jar of honey, the shirt coloured in red, the dripping honey in yellow.

 

Cute; it was cute.

 

“It’s from Mingyu.”

 

Wonwoo’s eyes widen at the mention of his name. “He’s here?” He says a bit too quickly, coughing awkwardly afterwards.

 

“I think I saw him walk in after I was leaving — who wouldn’t see that giant anyway? — um, but he was holding that and a drink...” His eyes shift a little, “Its that!” He points.

 

Wonwoo eyes the drink up and down, carefully speaking. “Do you think it’s for me? The drink and keychain?”

 

“Is anyone else having a birthday today?”

 

“Hm.” Is all Wonwoo hums before putting the charm on his front belt loop, sipping the straw from the milkshake. “Thanks,” he picks up the plate with his other hand, walking away with his friend once he finds his phone.

 

wuhwuh: hey where are you?

mingyu: your party...

wuhwuh: you shouldve told me!

wuhwuh: I cant see you on the balcony. Where are youuu

mingyu: ummm

mingyu: dont go to the kitchen

wuhwuh: to the kitchen iT IS

mingyu: NO WE AREN’T DONE WITH THE PUNCH

mingyu: GIMME FIVE MINUTES

wuhwuh: 10 because im nice

mingyu: a true saviour :D

 

“Y’know what Soonyoung, I need a bathroom break,” lies Mingyu partially; his arms were also tired ofcutting up so much fruit while Soonyoung just sat down and drank the vodka, “be right back!”

 

Mingyu rushes to the living room to find his present for Wonwoo only to realise some idiot took it — that was his present for Wonwoo and it was gone.

 

One million points reduced for Kim Mingyu.

 

He forgets the issue, sullen, and focuses on finding the birthday celebrant in this crowded party.

 

6:40pm is the time when Mingyu checks his phone — barely seven and it’s packed? News does spread quickly, Mingyu raises his eyebrows.

 

He’s not sure what to say to his pretty library boy but he definitely has to apologise about the present, but greet him a happy birthday — but Wonwoo has been surrounded with happy birthdays, so Mingyu’s has to be unique.

 

Problem is, how can he be unique? How can he stand out?

 

Moping over the present and his words, he begins to think over things, feeling the room crowd as he excuses past them.

 

But he spots a person from the crowd, head twisting and turning as his hair fringes over his glasses.

 

He isn’t talking to anyone, more like finding someone.

 

Mingyu’s body has a last burst of energy (a last hurrah before his body tires out of this party, the man calls it), swiftly getting by people to reach for his boy.

 

He holds onto Wonwoo’s shoulder, indicating for him to turn around. The latter does, his lips spreading into a wild smile when he glances at Mingyu through thin-rimmed glasses.

 

It began to connect the dots for Mingyu — the milkshake in his hand, the charm dangling from his pant loop.

 

So maybe it wasn’t an idiot who stole his things. Maybe it was a pretty library boy all along.

 

Most importantly: he has the slice of cake waiting for Mingyu on that white, delicate plate.

 

He’s so happy, he’s so glad things actually have gone the way things have expected. Never thought I’d live to see world not being an asshole to me.

 

The reaction on the other’s face definitely says it all as he’s staring dead into Mingyu’s eyes, grins both spreading as the straw tip pokes Wonwoo’s bottom lip.

 

Mingyu’s choice of words are blurted, last minute, but it must’ve been the first original happy birthday Wonwoo’s heard today or ever.

 

“I love you.”

Chapter Text

“I love you.”

 

Wonwoo blinks, about to react until Mingyu draws the plate closer to him, eyes near to sparkling and tongue poking out.

 

Ah, so that’s why Mingyu said that; the cake.

 

“Nice to see you too Mingyu,” Wonwoo addresses, Mingyu stopping him halfway as he guides his hand to be his personal spoon for scooping the cake, “do you want me to get you a fork? Using your hands is a bit... Unsanitary.”

 

The taller shakes his head, continuing to eat off his hands. “Cake’s delicious!” Mingyu compliments with a large smile.

 

Wonwoo retorts in disgust when Mingyu rubs his hands together after setting the plate down. “That’s even more disgusting-“

 

But Mingyu shrugs, laughing it off whilst the other complains.

 

“Is your birthday going as you planned-“

 

“Wonwoo!” A weight drops behind Mingyu, arms hooking themselves as a high-pitched giggle comes after. “Happy birthday bro!”

 

Mingyu visibly sighs and his eyes try to look at Soonyoung behind him as much as he can. His voice rings in Mingyu’s ear. “Thanks Soonyoung,” says Wonwoo.

 

“I never thought you two we’re friends!”

 

“Well we are, but-“

 

“Oh my god they have DDR in this apartment?! How rich can your classmates be?!” Exclaims Soonyoung, completely ignoring Wonwoo. “I’m calling dibs losers!”

 

And Soonyoung runs in a flash, leaving the pair sandwiched in a sea of people. Although confused, they loudly roar into laughter at the outburst.

 

“He’s been drinking too much vodka from that punch,” Mingyu points out, too familiar with Soonyoung’s behaviour.

 

I’m going to lock him in a room and let him never come out of it, saves me the trouble seeing him drunk, Mingyu plans in his head.

 

Without warning Wonwoo begins to wince, applying pressure to his head. Immediately Mingyu picks this up, crouching slightly to take a good look at Wonwoo’s face.

 

“Hey, hey, everything alright there?”

 

Wonwoo bobs his head up and down to (unconvincingly, in Mingyu’s opinion) reassure the male, stepping back from the latter’s close proximity.

 

“Just one of my migraines I think... I had them a lot when I was in middle school.” He comes back to his natural state, slurping on the milkshake. “But it was weirder than usual. It was as if someone was talking to me-“

 

“C’mon I’m taking you to a doctor.”

 

“It’s one headache Mingyu!”

 

“So? It might be a matter of life or death here!”

 

Mingyu chuckles into a smile seeing Wonwoo snicker at him.

 

“Right, sorry,” apologises Wonwoo, “back to what I was saying... We never got to introduce ourselves formally, right?”

 

“Doesn’t that one time count?”

 

“We were in two different shops, I was crying and you talked to me with crayons-“

 

“You gotta admit that my drawing skills were great,” he coughs when Wonwoo points a face of death on him, “okay I kid, I kid!”

 

A few beats and they’re waiting for each other to say something.

 

“God you’re completely hopeless,” Wonwoo fusses, “after you!”

 

“Yeah. Totally.”

 

The taller clears his throat, his hand resting right underneath. What do I say? Its just a stupid introduction, get over yourself!

 

Wonwoo is pulling that reaction again, two fingers massaging the area beside his eye. Mingyu passionately wants to drag Wonwoo out of the party to get it checked, but, he’ll keep his thoughts to himself for now.

 

“I’m Kim Mingyu,” croaks he, wanting to kick himself for his awful start, “I’m an architect major, a six foot mess, have awful decision making and I’m really glad you saved some cake for me — wait, ignore that — oh shit, I haven’t even said happy birthday to you yet! Shit, I shouldn’t say shit on an introduction... Hold on,

 

Wonwoo can’t hold himself back at the awkward introduction, a wobbly smirk. “Don’t worry, yours was the most memorable by far.”

 

Mingyu doesn’t know what he did to make his original, yet he remains ecstatic towards the fact his unknown happy birthday was memorable.

 

“Wonwoo.” Wonwoo meets the rest of the distance, holding Mingyu’s shaky hand. “Today is my birthday and I somehow always ends up in situations with you.”

 

“Am I bad luck charm?”

 

“Possibly.”

 

“Oh no,” Mingyu gasps in surprise, hand over his mouth. Before he was going to add on, a group of people clatter through the door, spotting Wonwoo and calling his name.

 

The taller turns his head to see who it is, being pushed away by some people and they crowd around the boy, hearing the Long time no see! From Wonwoo’s lips.

 

Mingyu feels slightly angered by the action but leaves it for the sake of Wonwoo, after all it was the boy’s birthday.

 

Deciding to go back into the kitchen to hopefully find the vodka bottle Soonyoung drank from, a hand grips onto Mingyu’s wrist, distracting him in the process.

 

“Those were my high school friends,” clarifies Wonwoo, “I wanna catch up with them but wait for me, okay? I’m not done talking to you yet.”

 

Mingyu, baffled, can just agree, watching Wonwoo’s face brighten as he drinks from the straw and the Winnie the Pooh charm chimes as the silver rubs against itself.

 

It takes him a minute to fully process he finally went to the balcony, shaking his head on his way to the kitchen.

 

Mingyu huffs. I’m gonna need a couple of shots.

 

However he gives up on his fourth shot, attempting to find Soonyoung in this too lively environment. Unexpectedly, he finds Soonyoung walking towards the door.

 

“Woah hold on,” Mingyu brings Soonyoung closer to him as he holds onto his collar, “where do you think you’re going?”

 

“Oh, ‘Gyu!” Soonyoung greets, rubbing his eyes. “I’m leaving early.”

 

“Leaving early? Is this the Kwon Soonyoung I know?”

 

Soonyoung pushes him slightly, drawing out a sigh. “I just caught up with... Someone,” the pause sounds suspicious in Mingyu’s mind, but he’ll let it slide, “I’m getting a ride home with him or he’d be mad.”

 

“Okay.” Heaves Mingyu. “Still don’t trust you but—“

 

“Hey, I’m totally sober. How many fingers am I holding up?” The male puts up all of his fingers.

 

“Five?”

 

“Wrong. Five and a headache.”

 

“A headache-“

 

Before Mingyu goes on further, Soonyoung’s fingers move to hit Mingyu’s forehead quickly yet roughly, producing a stinging pain as Soonyoung snickers, running off with a goodnight man!

 

Mingyu wants to be mad but he can’t help but uncontrollably laugh.

 

“So are you two like this all the time?”

 

Mingyu jumps back, the blade of his shoulder meeting the boy’s face — Wonwoo’s face — and turns to meet Wonwoo putting a hand on his cheekbone.

 

“Wonwoo I’m so sorry, I...” He’s at a loss of words, stomach dropping as Wonwoo nods yet doesn’t look at him.

 

“It’s fine. I’m fine,” finally Wonwoo looks up, drawing a smile but wincing in process.

 

How can he still smile like that, questions Mingyu, he looks like a kicked kitty...

 

Just like earlier, Wonwoo places a hand near the back of his head as if there was a throbbing pain. “Before you ask, I’ll be okay.”

 

“You make me worry too much,” Mingyu realises that the boy is alone, no one surrounding or grabbing him at any given moment, “your highschool friends, where are they?”

 

“They left — one of them also wanted to apologise for pushing you — but now I’m here at my party that I don’t wanna be in.”

 

“Do you wanna go out?” Asks Mingyu, not thinking of his words properly. Wonwoo’s face blossoms into surprise, toning down when Mingyu adds on, “I don’t like parties either. It’s always Soonyoung who’d drag me.”

 

“Oh Soonyoung, who couldn’t say no to him?” Wonwoo chuckles when Mingyu directly points a finger to himself, a dead look upon his face. “But I’d like the fresh air. This room has been stuffy for ages...”

 

With a nod, Mingyu and Wonwoo manage to sneak out of the party.

 

“I’m pretty sure the longer I stay it’ll end up like last time, and I don’t wanna worry about your pretty face being smashed by a drunk guy again.”

 

The taller is surprised that Wonwoo remembers that, passing it with a chuckle. “It’s fine. He went away eventually-“

 

“What did you even say to him?”

 

It’s dark, meaning there’s a small percent of Wonwoo seeing Mingyu’s cheeks redden by the embarrassing thought.

 

“I told him that you were checking the time for me and we had to go by ten.”

 

You forgot the boyfriend part, Mingyu’s conscience tells him. He wishes away his conscience with the roll of his eyes.

 

Wonwoo parts his mouth into an O, reacting late, following Mingyu’s point “Smart. Thanks for that again, I never got to say it to you.”

 

“You’re thanking me for something I did at the start of the year? I’m flattered,” Mingyu continues, “if that’s the case, then thanks for saving waking me up in the library.”

 

“No problem, even though I usually sit there, so I was a little hurt.” Mingyu’s eyebrows raise at the word hurt and in return Wonwoo shakes his hands, “No, not  that hurt, I just didn’t expect to see a new face.”

 

“And look where we are now,”

 

“Yeah, look where we are.” Wonwoo repeats, some warm smile on his face.

 

They stop in a quiet area somewhere in a park, the yellow light shining down densely over them, sitting on a bench. Wonwoo is staring down, fiddling with his pants.

 

He releases a small ah, lifting a trinket in front of his face. “I heard from a birdie that you got this for me... And a milkshake.”

 

“Yeah,” chuckles Mingyu, “it was pretty rushed since I had to buy it last minute.”

 

“You didn’t need to,”

 

“I wanted to.”

 

“Mingyu, you’re heart is golden, do you know that?” Again, staring at the present, a faint grin takes place on Wonwoo. “At least you’re a bonus.”

 

“Are you calling me your present too?”

 

“Take it how you want,” they both scoff, eyes glancing to one another. Wonwoo sighs, breaking the silence between them. “I should’ve eaten more at that party...” He pats his tummy, the keychain dangling off his pinkie.

 

Mingyu soon stands in front of Wonwoo, gesturing a “Get up,” to the male, “I’m here to give you my last birthday present of today — a cheap dinner of your choice with the one and only Kim Mingyu.”

 

He soon bows, causing Wonwoo to laugh, standing up in acceptance to Mingyu’s offer. “How nice of you, I guess.”

 

“What will tonight’s choice be?”

 

“Milkshakes.”

 

Mingyu snickers at Wonwoo’s blunt and serious reply, “As expected.”

 

But as they start to walk, Mingyu stops him rapidly, Wonwoo turning to face him as Mingyu does the same.

 

“One more thing, did you enjoy your birthday? I’m pretty sure you are since I was your best present, correct?”

 

I was kidding about that last bit. Please say yes, you deserve a lot after everything, Mingyu wishes, the inside of his lip bitten.

 

However Wonwoo doesn’t reply. Instead his hand moves as he shrinks, bowing his head as another pain hits him, letting his hand move to the back of his head.

 

After a while he freezes. Eyes shifting.  He waits, figuring out a few things by the look of his eyes before he ultimately smiles.

 

Full teeth, lips wide and corners turned upward, his nose smiling in its own way as it scrunches, eyes turned into crescents. There felt an invisible glow around him — he looks like he was going to cry, but it was evident he was in bliss.

 

He has such a pretty smile, I’m jealous, Mingyu follows up. Wonwoo’s smile only grows, adding the jealousy within Mingyu.

 

Mingyu was unaware of what was happening, but Wonwoo definitely realised one important fact that night.

 

“Yeah,” replies Wonwoo, a shimmer in his eye,“This is the best birthday and present I’ve ever had.”

 

 

 

After a long weekend (more-so, day), Mingyu got to wind down and tune into You Make My Night the day after.

 

The intro plays and Mingyu hums along, happy he can hear his soulmate once more — weekends felt long without him.

 

“Wherever we are, it’s paradise. What more do I need?”

 

Mingyu tuts, grossing over the cheesy line to deny the fact his heart instantly picked up on Jeon-san’s way of words.

 

His soulmate does his beginning statement, except he goes off-script, something Mingyu hasn’t seen in his years of You Make My Night.

 

“Everyone, we’re doing something a little different today. I have something to tell you.”

 

Mingyu takes interest — too much interest — over what Jeon-san has to say, maybe he could get a hint from his thoughts.

 

“I should wait to say it but, my viewers have to know-” No luck.

 

Sneaky soulmate, groans Mingyu and Jeon-san chuckles afterwards, as if he’s replying to the male.

 

“Not a lot of you know this, but it was your dear Jeon-san’s birthday last weekend,”

 

Mingyu’s blood runs cold — how could’ve he forgotten about Jeon-san’s birthday? What kind of soulmate would just forget their other half’s birthday?

 

“Oh, you guys are so kind, thank you for the incoming birthday messages, I’m so touched... As I was saying, it was an amazing night and guess what was the best thing about it all,”

 

Mingyu takes guesses too, scribbling it on the corners of his grocery list, crossing them out when they led to weird scenarios.

 

“I, Jeon-san, your beloved host of You Make My Night, found my soulmate.”

 

“WAIT A MINUTE-“ Mingyu kicks his leg on the kitchen counter, screaming a loop of curses as he moves to turn up the volume on his phone, his mind trying to work things out.

 

“Comments are coming — ‘congrats Jeon-san!’ who are they?’ ‘are they handsome?’ ‘can they cook and play video games like you wanted?’ — was this a good idea?”

 

Mingyu smiles, confused, yet he remains smiling. Who’s Jeon-san?

 

“I’m reading all of your comments and I have no words,”

 

He’s writing on his grocery list, naming the people he’s met this weekend.

 

“And as much as I’d love to answer them on the spot, I’ll answer two questions for now. However I’ll make time to fit in a special Q&A segment for me and my soulmate since you’re dying to know things,”

 

Soonyoung... Definitely not.

 

“Okay, I found two.”

 

“Tame questions, good.”

 

Jihoon? What? No way. Scribble that out.

 

“A-teen asks, ‘I’m curious to know who this mystery soulmate is, please spill one detail to us!’”

 

Old lady on isle 16? Yeah, doesn’t seem like a Jeon-san.

 

“To be honest, I’m not too keen on who my soulmate really is... A lot of people we’re greeting me all day and I met a lot of new people, only some happy birthday’s stood out, but I can’t identify who it could be from... Wait, that was a lie, one definitely stood out,” Jeon-san laughs, “but other than that. I have no idea who it is.”

 

All Mingyu knows is that he met Jeon-san over the weekend and Mingyu might’ve greeted him.

 

“Second question,”

 

But what if he only passed by his soulmate? What if he said something that wasn’t a greeting? Why was it so frustrating?

 

“Nyaecnyaec asks, ‘what is your soulmate thinking right now? Super happy for you by the way!’”

 

Mingyu regrets drinking the vodka at the party, it does nothing but no good to him. He’s not even paying attention to the broadcast, totally lost in confusion.b

 

“Great question, now let me just find out...”

 

Who are you? Mingyu wonders after giving up, rhythmically tapping on his cheek.

 

“Let’s see...” Mumbles Jeon-san, “They’re thinking of... Who I might be? Or who anyone is, I’m not jumping to conclusions, I just heard ‘who are you’ and that’s it.”

 

That confirms it; Jeon-san and Mingyu have crossed ways. But who can it be?

 

Mingyu, other than sleeping, goes outside during his weekends and although somewhat shy, he talks to anyone he can. Rather than making Mingyu happier (he is, he’s euphoric), it stresses him out that he cant figure Jeon-san out.

 

“Well, dear soulmate, if you’re listening to this I’m interested to know who you are too.”

 

That male is sure his heart skipped and fell face first.

 

“Let’s meet again, okay? I may not know who you are but I’m pretty smart, so best expect me to do all I can to find out who you are... Now, let’s get back to the show, shall we?”

 

Mingyu writes down the last person he could think of.

 

“Our first song will be Tori Kelly’s ‘Celestial’, dedicated to my soulmate. Please listen to this to start our lovely night.”

 

“I promise I’ll find you.”

 

Wonwoo?

 

 

—Surely not, we’ve met countless of times already.

Chapter Text

Autumn was the season Mingyu was looking forward the most. Who wouldn’t love the golden and crisp leaves, the warm drinks brewing by the minute, halloween, dark evenings and wearing cosy sweaters?

 

Mingyu. Mingyu doesn’t like autumn.

 

He argues that leaf piles are overrated and quote-on-quote messy, hot drinks burn his tongue (mainly because he’s too impatient to wait for them to cool down), he naturally despises halloween and the dark nights made days feel short.

 

In summary: autumn practically robbed summer from him.

 

Cosy sweaters were a benefit though, he loves snuggling in those.

 

Maybe autumn did have one perk — but it also had another — another being Mingyu’s brand new baby.

 

“Woah, I can’t believe you actually got it,” Soonyoung repeats for the twelfth time that evening, touching every button in Mingyu’s new car when he parks in front of their apartment.

 

Nonchalantly Mingyu shrugs, a smile beaming from one point of his face to another, unable to hold his excitement. “All done by myself,” he boasts, relaxing into the chair with content, a high-pitched sigh, “I feel so grown up.”

 

“You may feel like a grown up but you’re mentally a five year old in anyone’s eyes.” Jihoon decides to comment, figure shielded with a big hoodie that covers his wearied face. For the majority of the ride he just laid down on the back seats, telling Mingyu that he could suck it if he told him to wear his seatbelt.

 

“You love me Jihoon,” says Mingyu, eyes pointed at the rear-view mirror to see the glimpse of the male.

 

“Like hell I would.” Jihoon slings his bag over his shoulder before adding, “But I gotta say, it’s not so bad.” He pokes the interior, prodding Mingyu’s chair with his finger.

 

Out of nowhere a loud beeping sound screeches through the vehicle the moment Soonyoung touches a random button, freaking out with the rest of the startled boys as they begin to press things until the noise goes away. Not knowing how to get rid of the sound, however, Mingyu took the keys out of the car and solved the problem.

 

Hand over his rapid-beating chest, Mingyu sucks in a deep breath. “Glad that worked out.”

 

“Same — and I believe it’s our cue to leave before this one gets us arrested.”

 

“Don’t point fingers at me!” Whines Soonyoung. “At least I wore my seatbelt!” The male tries to turn things around.

 

“Who said I was talking about you? Mingyu’s driving felt like it was gonna kill me even if I did have a seatbelt.”

 

Mingyu laughs at Jihoon’s remark, unlocking the door for him to get out and bring Soonyoung with him, who was currently clinging onto the car door handle.

 

“No, this beauty is the closest I’ll get to heaven!” Soonyoung pouts, pleading with failed puppy eyes to convince Mingyu to let him stay. Mingyu would, though Jihoon probably had other businesses to get to with his soulmate.

 

Finally prying Soonyoung away and closing the door, Jihoon waves to Mingyu, saying, “Thanks for the ride ‘Gyu. Get home safe.”

 

Mingyu departs with a two-fingered salute, driving away from the apartment buildings. He’s finally able to think now, feelings dropping as his soulmate’s thoughts appear into his consciousness.

 

“Just let me die already.”

 

Mingyu immediately disapproves that thought, knowing very well that Jeon-san doesn’t deserve that treatment at all. In fact he deserves way more.

 

Because of Jihoon and Soonyoung, he wasn’t able to give more attention to his soulmate, yet even if he did give his attention, there wouldn’t be much comment to it since Jeon-san’s thoughts we’re unnaturally quiet today.

 

The day growing darker, Mingyu takes himself on a small drive around the city — one, to navigate his way and familiar himself of the roads and two, to avoid having nothing to eat when he gets home because he didn’t bother to do the shopping — his phone connected to the sound system.

 

It’s still currently Soonyoung’s Spotify playlist, titled yeehaw! followed by a tiger and cowboy emoji, which was playing a bass-boosting, heavy song (not surprising for Soonyoung). Mingyu would change it, but, his hands were occupied on the wheel.

 

Until he passes the local fountain he recognises a familiar face walking in the direction he’s coming from, purposely slowing down his car to get a clearer look of the face.

 

Rolling down his window, he calls out, “Wonwoo?”

 

The boy, clearly registering his name, jumps the slightest, foot twisting to turn to Mingyu. His hair dishevelled, light purple hood up, hands stuffed in the hoodie pockets, blinking a couple of times as he stares at the other.

 

“Oh?” Wonwoo can only say.

 

It‘s you, Mingyu thinks with relief, a smile forming. In return, Wonwoo shuts his eyes, flinching the slightest.

 

“What are you doing out here?” Asks Mingyu.

 

Wonwoo’s breaths uneven, eyes shifting as if he were to make an excuse. “Wandering. I was going to take the bus soon.”

 

“Do you want a ride home?”

 

“Are you sure? You’re probably on your way home already, I don’t wanna disturb you.”

 

Mingyu rolls his eyes, too fond over Wonwoo’s thoughtfulness. “I was just exploring the city. Trying out this baby,” he pats twice on the steering wheel before his hands move to unlock the doors, “now get in, I’ll drive you.”

 

Quietly, Wonwoo gets in without a word. He puts down his hood and removes his hands to buckle the seatbelt, his fingers covered by the big hoodie. Mingyu begins to drive once Wonwoo gives the indication with a nod.

 

“New car I’m guessing?” Wonwoo asks, eyes going from one of the car features to another, a great sigh produced after the observation. With a grand smile, Mingyu proudly confirms it.

 

“Yeah! I’ve been waiting for this since last year, now I don’t need to run after the bus every morning,” laughs Mingyu while Wonwoo doesn’t, though he hopes there’s a faint smile on his face, “I took a test ride with my friends by sending them home... I don’t know if letting one of them sit in the passenger’s seat was my smartest idea,”

 

Wonwoo hums, “From what’s playing from... Yeehaw? I can tell that your friend must be... interesting.”

 

“Again, not my smartest idea.” The taller glances to Wonwoo, satisfied over the tiny grin the latter has on his lips. He couldn’t help but ask Wonwoo what was wrong, because it was evident in his eyes. “How have you been? You look a bit tired Wonwoo.”

 

It’s hushed but filled with concern, and Mingyu can only keep his eyes straight or else Wonwoo will kill him within one look.

 

Wonwoo sinks in his chair, lips pushed to the side. He’s not looking at Mingyu either, but presses his cheek against his hand, sniffing slightly.

 

“Long day,”

 

“Shit day?”

 

“Really shitty day.”

 

“Tell me about it.” Mingyu hums. The sigh from Wonwoo made it more heartbreaking to hear — he didn’t know Wonwoo for long, but, he knew him well.

 

“It’s nothing Mingyu, I’ll only waste your time.”

 

I wish you knew how much you didn’t, Mingyu argues internally, missing the way Wonwoo’s fingers massage his head. “We have all night, if you want.” He says instead. Wonwoo becomes mute and patiently, Mingyu waits for him to give an answer.

 

“God, what is this feeling?” Feeling? What feeling?

 

“... Okay.” Wonwoo decides after much thought, the night carrying onto Wonwoo’s voice and Wonwoo’s voice only.

 

“Wow.” Is all Mingyu can say by the end. He already gave his input and Wonwoo still manages to make him speechless. It only made the man want to hug Wonwoo more.

 

Wonwoo hums in agreement, eyes looking toward the side. “Sucks, doesn’t it...”

 

“You don’t deserve that,” Mingyu states, “you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. They’re in the wrong — not you — if I was there I’d give them a piece of my mind and — and-“

 

“Can we stop talking about this now?” Wonwoo simply requests, tone heavy with sadness. “Sorry...” he adds, weak.

 

“No! No, don’t apologise. I understand. I just care about you,” Mingyu blurts, not knowing how else to put his words, “but I went across the line. I’m making this worse, I’m sorry.”

 

“I feel bad now, I shouldn’t have lashed out like that...” Jeon-san thinks into Mingyu’s head out of the blue, but Mingyu doesn’t pay a lot of attention. “He’a pouting now — you made him look like a kicked puppy, way to go idiot!”

 

Wonwoo murmurs some words under his breath, speaking up right after, “Sorry.”

 

“You apologised again.” Stopping at a traffic light, Mingyu finally gets the chance to look at Wonwoo. “How about we make an agreement. For tonight, we won’t say sorry to each other and you won’t blame yourself for all of this, because it’s not your fault.”

 

“And what if we say sorry?”

 

“... Pinch each other? Sorry, that sounds stupid- Ow!“

 

Mingyu feels a sudden pain applied to his cheek, his skin hurting.

 

“Deal,” Wonwoo beams at Mingyu’s betrayed expression, fingers touching his cheek for longer than he expected, slowly retracting his hand. “Then... What will you do?”

 

Mingyu already has a plan for that; he’s been planning it since he got his car. “Take you on a ride somewhere special. I think it’ll cheer you up after tonight.”

 

“Genuinely?”

 

“Only if you’re up for it,” offers Mingyu, the light nearing to green.

 

Wonwoo’s grin widens, happily shuffling in his seat again. “Take me away.”

 

“As you wish,”

 

Lights transitioning into green, Mingyu steps on the pedal and the car accelerates, now on his way to drive out of the city — city lights fading, stars replacing their glow.

 

As they ride further away from the busy scene, Mingyu thinks it’s time to change up the music. “Hey Wonwoo,” Mingyu addresses, “pick up my phone and go on youtube.”

 

“Uh, sure.” Wonwoo’s fingers reach to the phone charging in the cup holder. A few taps — pausing for a brief second to acknowledge the wallpaper of Mingyu with a tiny dog in his arms (family dog, Wonwoo guesses) — before he gets onto the app. “What next?”

 

“Go to my playlists and put it on shuffle.” Mingyu instructs, Wonwoo responding with a mumble.

 

“My Universe?”

 

Make cringes over the embarrassment. Not over the fact his only playlist was dedicated to his soulmate, but the fact that if Wonwoo asks about the name, he can’t simply just answer, oh, it’s a playlist for the soulmate I’ve never met because I can hear his thoughts but he can’t hear mine.

 

Instead, Mingyu makes an effort to avoid that matter. “Yeah, that one.” Wonwoo thumb hovers over the shuffle, pressing down as a short ad plays before the song begins. “Thanks,”

 

Wonwoo returns the phone, back to tiredly slouching in his seat. “It’s nothing...”

 

The car begins to fill with soft music, beginning the long binge-listen to Jeon-san’s song recommendations. From time to time, Mingyu taps his fingers along with the music, all of the songs practically engraved in his memory because he feels closer to his soulmate that way.

 

“Huh, January 5th.” Jeon-san pipes into Mingyu’s focus

 

What’s so special about that day? Mingyu questions.

 

But Wonwoo distracts him from listening further. “You have good taste, I love this song.”

 

“You’ve heard Taylor Swift’s You Are In Love before?”

 

“I listened to the album a bit after New Year’s last year, it’s my favourite song in the album.”

 

“Maybe you have the better taste here,” jokes Mingyu, Wonwoo snickering quietly before the car goes back to only the music.

 

Mingyu picked up another habit of Wonwoo’s: humming to car songs. It wasn’t often — only bits here and there — but Mingyu enjoyed the fact Wonwoo was in his own world, more relaxed compared to earlier.

 

The journey carries on for another twenty minutes — tapping fingers on the steering wheel, Wonwoo’s hums and Jeon-san’s dedicated playlist — before Mingyu parks into a dark, wood-like area.

 

“So is the part where you reveal you’re going to murder me?” Wonwoo asks, face uneasy with how dark it was. Mingyu could just roll his eyes, a reassuring shake to calm Wonwoo.

 

“Last time I checked, I didn’t murder anyone.”

 

Mingyu steps out of the car and proceeds to sit on the hood of the car, making himself stretch his legs that dangle over nothing.

 

Wonwoo follows everything Mingyu does up to the part where he gets on his car. Mingyu tilts his head up, seeing Wonwoo stand in hesitation. “What are you waiting for?”

 

“You just got this car today Mingyu — wouldn’t we dent it if we-“

 

“That’ll be my worry, not yours. C’mon, I don’t want to stress you further,” Mingyu pouts, “join me.”

 

Without much option Wonwoo complies, now laying on the hood of Mingyu’s car, sky above him and Mingyu by his side. “It’s a really lovely night. Starry sky and everything.”

 

Mingyu agrees, a spreading smile among him. “Of course… I did this a lot when I was younger. I got a big book from the library to learn about constellations, but I didn’t read much from it.”

 

Wonwoo chuckles. “Expected from a child. I never looked at the stars much, it was always the moon I was interested in. My parents gave me a telescope for my eleventh birthday… And it’s still in my dorm room after all these years.”

 

Understanding, Mingyu sighs a little, imagining a youthful Wonwoo’s eyes sparkle the moment he’s able to see the moon from his bedroom window.

 

He takes a pause, lips relaxing into a warm feeling.

 

“Hey Mingyu…” Wonwoo interrupts his calm moment, tying his hoodie strings into a knot. “Can you hear your soulmate?”


Right, even he doesn’t know, Mingyu thinks. It’s either he lies to him, or make Wonwoo the first person to know.

 

Mingyu takes the latter.

 

“It’s been a while,”

 

“Must be nice.”

 

“Very.”

 

“So… What’s their name?”

 

“Oh,” Mingyu shuffles awkwardly, “I haven’t met them yet. I have the voice, no idea who it belongs to though.”

 

“That sucks,” Wonwoo muses, “you’ll find them someday Mingyu, don’t be too hard on yourself.”

 

He’s embarrassing himself more, but to hell with it, he hasn’t been able to talk this comfortably in years. “Do you remember that playlist I asked you to put on? They’re songs that remind me of my soulmate.”

 

“I can’t believe you could be so cliché.”

 

“I feel closer to them that way, I guess being cliché has its perks.”

 

“Do you know how you met?”

 

Clearly. I can tell you everything in fact.

 

“I don’t remember much,” Mingyu decides to lie, “I was minding my own business and then… The voice just came naturally.”

 

“That easily?”

 

“What do you mean?” Mingyu turns his head, seeing how surprised Wonwoo was to hear that. After a pause, Wonwoo stumbles over his words and looks away.

 

“Nothing — my friends had some after effects when they got theirs, so…”

 

“Hm, that can happen though. I guess I was lucky.”

 

Mingyu gazes once at the stars, mind lingering on his other half.

 

Wonwoo amplifies his voice once more after pointing out a constellation or a bear, “Let’s say your soulmate was here. What’s the one thing you want to do with them?”

 

The question gets Mingyu to think — his first response in his head being tell them how much I’ve been waiting for them — but another idea comes into mind.

 

“Actually… I always wanted to stargaze with them. In a field during summer, more ideally, but anything to let us get away from the world and sleep under stars.” Mingyu giggles to himself. “Childish of me, right Wonwoo?”

 

No response.

 

“Wonwoo? Won-“

 

Mingyu stops himself when he catches Wonwoo looking directly at him, eyebrows furrowed even though his lips are slightly agape. Lost, perhaps confused.

 

But the look dissolves rapidly as Wonwoo begins to beautifully form his lips into a smile, huffing a little, turning to look at the stars once more. “I think it’s sweet of you.”

 

He would look away from Wonwoo, but Mingyu couldn’t. He analysed his features carefully, the fresh smell of his hoodie, lips that curl when watching the stars, eyes that reflect the twinkling lights. Every smooth curve and defined line structured on him.

 

Mingyu should ask Wonwoo about his soulmate too, he processes, but by the look on his face — gleaming with the glow of the moon — he can leave that for another time. He looks happy.

 

The male reaches out for Wonwoo’s hand, a finger tapping the skin. “Wonwoo.”

 

Wonwoo turns, eyes acknowledging him.

 

“Are you feeling better?” Mingyu’s tense now, not aware why, but he’s very tense waiting for an answer.

 

Wonwoo can only nod. “I’ll pay you back some day.”

 

“You don’t need to.”

 

“I do.”

 

“Don’t.”

 

“I do,”

 

“You paid me back by being happy.” Mingyu finally states, head tilting a little, the other unsure how to process the words.

 

“Sorry,” Wonwoo apologises out of nowhere and Mingyu frowns, squinting his eyes. Soon, the taller’s fingers pinch the fat on Wonwoo’s cheek. “That hurt!”

 

“You forgot about our deal.” Mingyu flashes a smile, Wonwoo nudging him on the arm.

 

“Competitive jerk.”

 

“Thanks!” After laughing about it, getting Wonwoo to smile as well, Mingyu turns back to stare at the stars, hoping his soulmate would do the same too. “It’s so beautiful, isn’t it?”

 

Wonwoo doesn’t reply, but Mingyu takes that as an agreement, yet in the back of his mind, a voice stands out loud and clear for him.

 

“You’re beautiful.”

Chapter Text

“Ten minutes.”

 

Jeon-san has been counting every minute ever since it turned half past one and it confused Mingyu more than it should have.

 

What could his soulmate be counting for? How long he’s been waiting in line? How long his grandma has been on row six of her crossword? How much time it takes for a baby sea turtle to get to the ocean when hatched? Mingyu needed answers!

 

Mingyu could feel the clatter near the back end of his brain, full of Jeon-san’s other inner thoughts, which Mingyu doesn’t pay much regard to as he gets out of his car.

 

Letting loose of his tense shoulders, he steps into a homely cafe around the corner, thankful that the inside welcomes him in warmth unlike the harsh, autumn outside. Scanning with sharp eyes, the male catches sight of the figure standing out against the mahogany and cedar swirls of the wall, the latter dressed in full white, eyes concentrated on the window.

 

“Twelve minutes.”

 

Mingyu walks closer. He lifts his hands near to his mouth and blows a puff of warm air before making his awkward entrance after arriving later than promised. “Hey.”

 

Messed it up. I messed it up, Mingyu thinks, the expression on Wonwoo’s face neutral.

 

“You’re here.” Wonwoo gasps, a row of his teeth showing at the appearance of Mingyu — a strange swirling began in his stomach as Mingyu glanced at the sight, wanting to dismiss it quickly through taking a seat.

 

He takes small glances at the older at first. Silver glasses sat on Wonwoo’s nose, fragile black strands falling right on top, a pure white shirt, his coat long and fit snug, a shade creamier than the shirt.

 

“I was beginning to think you weren’t going to come,” admits Wonwoo, now capturing Mingyu’s full attention as he lifts his phone up, “and if you didn’t, I was going to send a text theorising reasons why you’re late… Most of those led to murder, more or less.”

 

The younger can’t help but laugh, he can’t help but laugh at anything Wonwoo says, really. “I had to do a quick favour for a friend.”

 

“You woke up late, didn’t you,” Wonwoo reads, thinking his squinted eyes are intimidating Mingyu. The other simply groans.

 

“It’s not waking up late, it’s waking up at an unreasonable time… Which transformed into the water is being fixed at my apartment and I had to go to my friend’s apartment to get ready.”

 

Wonwoo snorts. “Nice.”

 

“Not when you’re in your pyjamas and they laugh at you.” Pouts Mingyu, the face of Jihoon laughing so hard he became red printed into his mind. “So is that why you looked out of the window with those kitty eyes? Because of me?” Mingyu imitates Wonwoo’s expression when he came inside, capturing every movement from the little shifts to the twitch of Wonwoo’s lips.

 

On the other hand, Wonwoo glares at the younger, trying to conceal himself. “Just hoping to see an idiot run inside here late and in his pyjamas. A bit disappointed that I didn’t, actually.”

 

Mingyu drops his hands to the table, too grumpy at the thought of that dwarf’s face in mind. “I’m here now, what did you want to tell me?”

 

The raven boy grins happily. “Today is I owe Kim Mingyu day.”

 

I owe Kim Mingyu… What?!” Mingyu completely exaggerates himself once he realises what Wonwoo had said. The other juts out a bottom lip, his eyes sullen.

 

“Come on, I had to pay you back one day, don’t act so surprised.” He multitasks between removing his coat and taking out his wallet, draping the piece of clothing behind his chair. “Everything you buy is on me.”

 

“Don’t you think this is a little overdue?”

 

Pretending to think, Wonwoo hums, “Hm… Nope.” The boy pops out the P, patiently waiting beside Mingyu to get himself out of the chair.

 

“Alright.” Mingyu gives in, stretching once he stands and walks a few steps to the counter. Suddenly, a pair of hands tug his jacket collars from behind, the male’s shoulders jolting at the touch.

 

“Take it off,” says Wonwoo, “the cafe gets busy around this time, I’ll put your jacket on the chair so no one robs it from us.” The younger nods when Wonwoo’s grip moves nearer to Mingyu’s neck, ready to remove his jacket. The jacket is now draped over the older’s arm, and Mingyu looks at Wonwoo’s sweet smile. “Go there first to figure out your order, I’ll come soon.”

 

Responding with a grin, Mingyu walks off, hoping Wonwoo could come soon so he could try the rainbow mocha ice cream with waffles and sauce that immediately caught his eye.

 

“Mingyu,” Wonwoo calls Mingyu in the middle of eating his second chocolate cake, the older’s eyes never leaving his phone, “would you forgive this apology?”

 

He turns his phone around for Mingyu to see, the screen radiating the image of a cake with the words sorry for calling you a budget cut tiger now pls forgive me handwritten in white icing.

 

Mingyu semi-chuckles between chewing; sounds like something Jihoon would write. “Nah. I’d say a drawing would make me consider it.”

 

Wonwoo laughs at Mingyu’s wicked suggestion, turning the phone back to himself and letting his fingers tap away. “See, I told him that would work, he isn’t listening.”

 

“What’s it for anyway?”

 

“A co-worker got into a petty argument with his soulmate. They don’t fight a lot, but his soulmate felt really hurt and stormed out of their apartment.”

 

“Guess your co-worker is being punished big time.”

 

“It’s fine, they’ll kiss and make up tomorrow anyway.”

 

Circling the fork around his small piece of cake, Mingyu furrows his eyebrows. Something that’s been on his mind is presenting itself in big, red capital letters, his conscious telling him to say what’s on his mind.

 

“Can I ask you something?”

 

From the younger’s tone, Wonwoo removes his eyes away from his phone, slightly curious of what Mingyu has to say. “Go on, what’s on your mind?”

 

Mingyu looks straight into Wonwoo’s

 

“Have you found your soulmate?”

 

And it’s a clear answer when Mingyu watches the pure change in the older’s face, pursing his lips to confirm that Mingyu shouldn’t have asked that.

 

He has to take back his words, fast. “If it’s a sensitive topic for you, I’m really sorry for being mindless — I should’ve seriously kept quiet-“

 

“It goes like this.”

 

Wonwoo starts with a sigh, drinking the remains of his milkshake.

 

“Ever since I heard the idea of soulmates... I always wanted one. Who wouldn’t? It would be nice to meet the other half that completes you, whether good or bad. My friends slowly found their soulmates, my relatives met their other halves, I even hear stories about it every day.”

 

Mingyu observes Wonwoo with care, searching where he’s going with this.

 

“As for me? I’ve lived for twenty four years without my soulmate’s voice. Selfish, I know, but something about hearing other’s stories... Makes you want to experience what they did, you know? Makes you long for it badly. And I’ve waited for twenty four years, how more will I need to finally meet them?”

 

Before Mingyu cuts in and sympathises with Wonwoo, the latter holds his breath and a small smile turns on his lips.

 

“But more recently — somewhere in July, perhaps — I've been hearing my soulmate often. Which means, I’ve met them.” A glow appears in Wonwoo’s eyes, a glimmer from his glasses. “I’m trying to do everything to find them, but nothing’s adding up...”

 

His eyes shift to Mingyu, who’s absorbed into the story, rapidly tearing his gaze away.

 

“What if... What if they won’t like me?”

 

The phrase makes Mingyu zone out. His movements are hesitant, puzzled. “Won’t like you? Wonwoo, are you insane? They’re your soulmate!”

 

“But god knows how much I’ve missed out on their life, god knows how much they missed out on mine. Maybe it won’t work, maybe we’ll never get to cross paths again, maybe-“

 

A hand is placed over Wonwoo’s lips, warm, as he crosses eyes with the younger across him. “Wonwoo, listen to me. If you’re that willing to go the extra mile for your soulmate, which I know you are, I’m sure you’ll do everything to make it work out. Not a lot of people have a soulmate like that you know. A soulmate like you.” Mingyu gulps. “Whoever your soulmate is... They’d be forever lucky to have you.

 

Once Mingyu pulls his hand away, a rosy hue appears on Wonwoo’s cheeks, the latter sadly staring outside the window. Must be my hands, they’re a bit warm, Mingyu thinks.

 

“Ow,” Wonwoo winces quietly, Mingyu’s concern meter hitting its peak once again.

 

“Are you okay Wonwoo?”

 

“Yeah... It’s a common soulmate thing, usually between the first few months there will be side effects to adjust with your soulmate’s voice. Some get colds, others vomit, I have mini headaches. They’re not so bad though, anything to listen to my soulmate.”

 

“Wow, I never knew that.”

 

“Guess you’re one of the lucky ones.”

 

“If it makes you feel better, you know I haven’t met my soulmate either. We’re two lonely halves.”

 

Wonwoo smiles, turning to face Mingyu with confidence. “Thanks, by the way.”

 

Mingyu’s hum sounds disapproving. “I still made you sad, it wasn’t fair on your part. Do you know what’s the best way to drown away your sadness?”

 

“No,”

 

“Drinks!”

 

Drinks aren’t the best way to drown your sadness, if you were wondering.

 

Especially not in Mingyu’s case.

 

“Mingyu.” The raven stumbles, his cheeks more flushed but able to tolerate his alcohol. Although he’s sat next to the male, Mingyu doesn’t respond to the call.

 

He’s been watching Mingyu for the past hour now — how on the first drink he complains how disgusting the taste is on his tongue, the fourth and fifth drinks is the time he turns hyper, and now at his seventh, he turns into the exact opposite.

 

And for every time Mingyu consumes one, Wonwoo’s confidence still lacks. Mingyu won’t get the hint; he never will.

 

“Mingyu, hey, get up,” Wonwoo shakes Mingyu a little bit, gradually growing frightened when Mingyu still refuses to respond.

 

Using the common sense he has remaining, he sticks out his pointer and middle finger together and checks the pulse of the younger, the touch instantly tickling Mingyu as he sits up, sleepy and light-headed as he scans the bar.

 

“I knew this was a bad idea,” Wonwoo murmurs. He calls Mingyu’s name again, the latter turning to face him at a dangerously close proximity. “You look so sleepy,” Wonwoo observes.

 

“I’m sleepy...” Mingyu repeats in a slur, cheeks puffed out and lips into a big pout.

 

“Should we go home?”

 

Mingyu just nods.

 

The younger is able to walk to his car without the help of Wonwoo, but there is no way in hell he’s going drive. Wonwoo the takes responsibility himself, at least his six-year discarded driving license will cone in handy now.

 

But even so, Mingyu is helpless with putting on the seatbelt, and Wonwoo has to reach over and buckle it on for him. Again, dangerous, as Mingyu laughs as Wonwoo stretches his arm to get the belt, the reeked, warm breath of Mingyu chuckling itself to the back of Wonwoo’s neck.

 

When they’re finally settled, Wonwoo finds Mingyu’s address within the car’s navigation (as Mingyu loudly sings children’s songs to keep himself awake, doing the little actions with his clumsy fingers) and they set off.

 

Halfway into the drive, Wonwoo checks on Mingyu to see if he’s awake. It doesn’t work well — due to the fact he’s driving — but he’ll call his name anyway.

 

“Mingyu?”

 

“Mmm?” Mingyu hits his head against the window. Awake, Wonwoo deduces.

 

It’s now or never for Wonwoo. It’s perfect timing, so why should he be feeling nervous right now? Why should he be feeling tense, why should he be gripping the wheel tighter than he should?

 

“Uncomfy...” Mingyu whines, shuffling in his seat.

 

“Mingyu. What I’m about to say will sound insane.” Wonwoo cuts bluntly, his insides feel like they’re going to explode. “I don’t know if you’re going to remember this, I don’t know if that mind of yours will want to forget it. I’m being sorta controversial, but, fuck it.”

 

Now or never.

 

“I think you’re my soulmate.”

 

Silence in the car. That’s too much for Wonwoo.

 

“Oh?” Mingyu fumbles dumbly

 

“But I don’t know how it makes sense, it just does — and — I’m sure that it’s you and I don’t know if you’re playing with my damn feelings or you genuinely have no clue. The more I think about it — the more it connects — and everything you do... Fuck, it does something to me. You and your stupidly handsome face, okay? I just wanna know if you know too, or not, I don’t know... I have no idea how to prove it to you, but I can feel it, the thoughts in my head feels it too. I’m so confused. Just for my sake, Mingyu — tell me — tell me please. Or else I’m falling for someone who isn’t mine.”

 

"Wonwoo..."

 

"Yes?"

 

There’s a weight on Wonwoo’s shoulder when he stops at a red light. Soft snores, too.

 

Mingyu’s asleep on his shoulder. A drunk Mingyu has fallen asleep on Wonwoo’s shoulder.

 

Dangerous? Off the charts.

 

Wonwoo’s face falls into his hands, trying to ignore the way Mingyu snuggles into the curve of his neck.

 

“Oh, help me.”

 

For the rest of the night, Wonwoo finishes his job as quickly as possible, doing all procedures to ensure Mingyu’s safety: help the younger up the stairs, pat him down for his keys once they’re in front of his door, letting Mingyu lean on the wall so Wonwoo can remove his shoes, tucking a stray blanket to protect Mingyu on the couch (Wonwoo thinks it’s disrespectful to go into his room), doing a couple of checks and leaving with the keys on the coffee table.

 

“Sweet dreams Mingyu.” Wonwoo fixes the hair fallen over Mingyu’s eyes, ready to leave. “You made my night.”

 

The younger wakes up the next morning with a glass of water, pills and two notes beside his bed: a light pink and light blue one.

 

He takes the baby pink one.

 

im crashing in your room n apartment for the next few days, ly bro

—soonyoung