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Tax Benefits

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Doyoung asks Taeyong to marry him in the same way he had asked him to move in with him – like he’s doing him favor.

It’s Tuesday morning and they are both up early even though neither of them have work - Jungwoo has been griping on about people not taking their leave days. Doyoung’s even made coffee and the blended smell of Ethiopia and Columbia rouses Taeyong from their bedroom.

“Seriously?” Taeyong asks, sleep still heavy in his throat.

They have been dating for seven years and the only conversation they’ve had about marriage is the one where Doyoung said he had no intention of getting married – some sanctimonious tirade about the institution as a tool of blah, blah, blah.

Doyoung nods with a self-assured smile because how can the answer be anything but yes.

Taeyong's expression is vague and he isn’t saying anything. Back then Doyoung had been doing him a favor.

Doyoung watches Taeyong with something of amusement. He can see that Taeyong’s trying to work what Doyoung gains from the proposal. Doyoung isn’t exactly the charitable type - Taeyong's moving in with him had been premised on gourmet quality meals everyday with the occasional burnt eggs when Taeyong was angry with him.

It’s because I love you, dummy

Taeyong's still not saying anything, concentrating instead on the last drop of coffee in his cup. So, Doyoung tosses something at him, college baseball not letting him down as it lands inside the cup. It’s a ring, small and gold. Taeyong's eyes expand to about half his face as he looks into the cup then at Doyoung.

“You’re serious?”

Doyoung's exasperated.

Taeyong looks back at the ring, taking it out of the cup and wiping coffee off it on his Oasis Concert T-shirt. It looks cheap, like something from the weekend street market. He tries it on. It fits.

“So? I don’t hear a ‘no’,” Doyoung chimes when Taeyong still doesn’t say anything.

“You don’t hear a ‘yes’ either,” Taeyong counters in the same sing-song tone.

Doyoung pouts, plopping himself next to Taeyong. He’s never pouted before and Taeyong balks at the attempt at aegyo. “What is it?”

“I’d have to give up my chance with Seulgi,” Taeyong answers, inspecting every angle of his left hand. “Unless it’s an open marriage.”

Doyoung rolls his eyes but it’s a thing. Seulgi and Taeyong are both Bi and the best sex he and Taeyong have is when they role play and he has to wear a long wig with blunt bangs.

"No open marriage."

“And I suppose we’ll be married at the courts?” Taeyong doesn’t sound disappointed, not exactly.

“Tomorrow, actually.”

Taeyong's throat makes a disgruntled noise. “I don’t have anything to wear.”

Doyoung's self-assured smile returns as he winds his arms around Taeyong's tiny waist, nuzzling at the crook of his long neck. The display of affection surprises Taeyong and he gives Doyoung a smile that says it’s not necessary as he frees himself from the embrace. Doyoung only tightens his grip, trapping Taeyong's arms at his side. He has realized that he doesn’t want Taeyong get used to his brusque nature. He wants Taeyong to expect him to do romantic things for him; to expect that he’ll remember their anniversary; to do something for his birthday. He misses the look of hope in Taeyong's eyes when, in the early days, he said he had a surprise for him; but not the look of disappointment when the surprise turned out to be a vinyl he, Doyoung, had been looking for for five years. He wants more for Taeyong and he wants to be the one that gives it to him.

The side of Taeyong's mouth twitches and Doyoung is not sure if what he just suppressed is a smile or a sneer. They aren’t a romantic couple mainly because he isn’t a romantic guy. And Taeyong’s been accommodating about it, never whining. But he’s notices the look Taeyong gets when he sees those vomit-inducing couples. It’s half happiness, half sadness.

“You can wear that ghastly groomsmen suit you wore to Taeil’s wedding,” he suggests, nose tunneling further along Taeyong's neck.

Taeyong starts to chuckle but stops. Oh God! his sister would never forgive him for a shotgun wedding. As though reading his mind, Doyoung informs him that his sister's flight is arriving two hours before the ceremony.

Taeyong is incredulous. He had heard that Doyoung is super organized but that’s mostly myth he’d heard at their office Christmas parties. “You’re so cock sure I’ll say yes!”

Doyoung smiles against his skin. “Well, your ex did promise to kill me if I didn’t marry you before you turned 35,” he chortles.

But Taeyong still looks unconvinced; like it’s a scam or a hidden camera prank. Maybe it is the whole Seulgi thing after all and Doyoung offers to grow out his hair for him. Taeyong smiles appreciatively but says it’s not the same thing.

Doyoung's arms loosen around Taeyong and his eyes darken with worry. “C’mon,” he whines. “Say yes.”

Taeyong frowns a little but at the end of it is a ‘yes’.

Doyoung nods in approval of the decision, pressing a kiss under Taeyong's chin. He heads to the bedroom for a nap but just before he closes the door behind him, he pops his head out and says, “Just in case Haechan from HR asks, I’ve been claiming you as my common law wife on my tax returns.”