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Nineteen Days

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It feels like he's dreaming.

Minho doesn't know what he's doing outside at three in the morning, and he isn't quite aware of it until he sees a boy who's pulling at his wrist and is saying, "Come, come," and Minho comes and wonders why this boy is telling him to come with him at three in the morning.

And then, I'm wandering outside at three in the morning.

But the boy who's holding his wrist (and not his hand) doesn't seem to be someone particularly dangerous or violent, so Minho comes. The boy takes him into his apartment and invites him to sit on his bed, and Minho sits there.

Five hours later, the boy says, "Leave, leave. They might see us." Minho isn't quite sure at what's going on but he knows that he doesn't want to leave. But he does because the boy had told him to and together, they open the apartment window.

"Choi Minho," Minho tries to say by means of introduction, although he can't be sure that the words escape his lips.

But they do, and he hears the boy say after him, "Kim Kibum," and Kibum's name rings in his ears for the rest of the day.

.

It's three a.m. again and Minho wanders around again, sort of aimlessly, trying to wrap his mind around life. It's quaint at this time of night, or day, if you prefer to call it day.

Kibum comes again and takes him back into his apartment, and they sit there on Kibum's bed, not saying anything.

Minho sees that Kibum, while a boy, while not seeming particularly dangerous or violent, has this sort of air about him. Minho likes to think that Kibum's the type of boy who's done all sorts of things and has had so many adventures, knows almost everything there is to know about the world. He's had experience, Minho can see in his eyes, and Kibum isn't just a boy, just a figure; he's a character.

Then why, Minho wonders, is Kibum sitting here with him?

"Leave, they could see us again," Kibum tells him and the time they've spent together feels shorter than before, even though the clock reads an hour later.

Minho wonders who "they" are, but he leaves and catches a glimpse of Kibum's face when he looks back to the window.

.

Minho doesn't even wish it, he expects it when he sees Kibum the next night at three in the morning and Kibum says, "Wanna go?" and Minho nods and they go, they go to Kibum's apartment. Kibum makes sure he's settled in and he looks like he might want to offer to Minho something to eat, except he doesn't because Minho knows that he knows that Minho isn't hungry, and so they sit there on Kibum's bed. And they watch each other.

Kibum's eyes don't betray who he is, because Minho sees that Kibum is exactly the same, inside and out. He can see that Kibum doesn't try to hide anything. Kibum's eyes, which are slightly drooped over by his eyelids (has he been getting any sleep? Minho wonders, and then, oh, right, it's three a.m.), are dark and bold and Minho would say that he can make out the personality in them, if Minho would choose to speak at all.

It's utterly quiet, and Minho has never felt even more at peace.

The moment Kibum's clock notes that it's ten in the morning, Kibum ushers him out again. Minho doesn't know why he's using the window when he can just use the door, and doesn't know why they haven't been doing anything these days they've been spending together, but he sees Kibum smiling and thinks it's enough.

.

The fourth day they might do something more, like change their positions on Kibum's bed and instead of gazing forward, they let their eyes drift to the side as their knees knock together. Their knuckles might be touching but not quite, as Minho is sure that he can feel an air between them.

The fifth day is not much different despite being an hour longer, but just because the clock says more minutes have passed doesn't mean they truly have. In fact, Minho might be worried that the world is conspiring against him and as the days progress, the hours are getting shorter, but perhaps it's just him.

The sixth day Kibum might say something to him and Minho might think that he's heard him, but he can't be too sure because with all these dealings at odd hours in the morning and ending in the afternoon, it's hard to separate the real world from his dreams. But, Minho thinks, perhaps there isn't much difference between them.

The seventh day a full week has passed and they've been with each other six hours longer than before, but Minho can't get enough of Kibum.

And, so it seems, Kibum can't get enough of him.

.

Kibum's lips don't open and neither to Minho's, and they don't even come close to touching (even though it's all Minho dreams of.) But the small times Kibum does speak, whether they're saying, "Will you come again?" (which doesn't even need to be asked) or "Don't let yourself be seen" (though Minho still doesn't know who could possibly see - who would care for a couple of boys like them?), Minho relishes in his voice because it's not like any voice he's ever heard before, and Minho has always liked new things.

Kibum's a new person entirely because each day he's different. And yet he's still Kibum. Minho knows this. Kibum's eyes say more than just, I want you or I miss you or Please do this for my sake. Minho doesn't think it possible but he's sure that he can see life in Kibum's eyes. He can see Kibum's life.

Dawn slips into day and the sun performs a full cycle around the Earth, but through it all are the two boys on the bed, staring at each other and not saying a thing.

.

Nineteen days have passed and Minho can't believe it but it's two in the morning and he doesn't feel tired at all. Perhaps looking at Kibum has been keeping him awake; perhaps Kibum's eyes are his fuel, providing him energy and light.

Minho is preparing himself to leave because he knows Kibum will ask (Kibum's had to ask every day; Minho wouldn't leave if he weren't asked to), but instead of doing so, as soon as the clock strikes two, Kibum takes Minho's hand.

His fingers are like feathers dancing along his skin.

"We've never really talked. We only ever stared at each other."

Kibum's words are not what Minho expects, but then again, Kibum is like no one he's heard of before.

Minho leans down, and with his hand still in Kibum's, he presses his mouth against Kibum's chaste lips.

"But you know me, and I know you," Minho tells him, and a small smile plays on the face he'd just kissed.

Kibum opens his wonderful mouth and asks him to go, again, like he always does. But Minho can read Kibum's eyes and he can see that it's not what he wants, because Kibum thinks he's someone special, the way Minho knows the same about him.

So the world stops spinning and the sun stops rising.

So he stays.