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Beomgyu is reckless. 

That's who he is—a little too adventurous. A little too out of place from everything that's carved down to perfection. His name is roughly written on the headlines of every trending article. His face is still on every screen, on every billboard in the city. 

He lives so loudly that he leaves people standing on their toes, wondering and wondering what the hell is he up to right now?  

Beomgyu thinks that they have every right to ask that. Because really, what the hell is he doing right now? Rushing into a jewelry store, buying what he thinks is the cheapest ring on display and running out to kneel and take his boyfriend's hand.

Make sure that you'll break up with him this week, His manager's voice echoes too loudly. After that, we'll deal with the damage control. 

Breaking up and proposing to your pretend boyfriend are definitely not synonymous. 

"Beomgyu-yah, what are you doing?" Yeonjun laughs nervously, clearly on edge. Though he's smiling, he keeps on shifting from foot to foot as his lips twitch. 

What the hell is he doing? Beomgyu wants to ask himself too. But the answer is right there on his lips. 

"What else?" His eyes light up, bright and mischievous. He holds Yeonjun's hand a little tighter, smiling at him with the sweetest curve of his lips. 

Manager hyung is definitely going to kill me. 

"There's something that I have to tell you, hyung."

 

 

"This is fine," Yeonjun paces around the hotel room, nervously biting down on the edge of his fingernails. "This is fine. We can still fix this." 

Honestly, Beomgyu feels like he should be more regretful. In retrospect, maybe it wasn't his best idea to storm inside the nearest jewelry shop, buy the cheapest ring that was on display and propose to Choi Yeonjun in the middle of a busy street in Seoul. 

Hell, he even managed to bullshit his way through the most romantic declaration of his love—which he might have stolen right from Soobin's script in his newest drama. He does remember reading that page from his script multiple times and laughed, teasing the older boy that he might cry once he does his scene. 

Soobin stole the script out of his hands and with flushed cheeks, he said, "Shut up, Beomgyu. I know that if you were ever given the chance to ask someone out, you'll say the same thing." 

Well, Beomgyu didn't realize that it'll be the first speech that he'll say out loud, one that'll make everyone around him on the street swoon over how much of a hopeless romantic Choi Beomgyu is. 

Who knew that being one of the most famous actors in South Korea would actually come in handy for himself? 

"Can you stop doing that?" Beomgyu voices out, suppressing a yawn. "You shouldn't be so anxious. At least, this will get our managers off our backs because god knows how sick I am of manager hyung constantly saying that I should pay more attention to my boyfriend." 

It's a lie, obviously. But Yeonjun doesn't need to know that. 

Beomgyu lets himself eye the engagement ring. It sits around Yeonjun's finger—a perfect fit. 

Of course it is, he had to buy matching rings for their six monthsary before; he only took Yeonjun's hand casually when he visited him once in his apartment, asking, "So, what's your ring size?" 

(Hey, what can he say? He's the nation's hopeless romantic.) 

They had to stir up the paparazzi by sitting at their favorite café on a bright Wednesday afternoon (one that's conveniently cleared out around their table so the cameras can be completely focused them only) and Beomgyu delicately slipped the luxurious ring on Yeonjun's finger with the most heart-fluttering smile he could wear. It was much more luxurious than the one he bought today and honestly, Beomgyu can't imagine himself buying anything more expensive than that for a while. 

Though there was something that's different about Yeonjun that day. He knew that Beomgyu was going to give him a gift, as part of their little agreement six months before that. But his eyes caught the afternoon light in a way that made Beomgyu's heart stutter in his chest, almost making him forget that this isn't real. That their relationship is nothing but a publicity stunt for their own careers. 

That's how the world moves—relationships need to work for the benefit of someone else. Marriages stir up the attention of the world because these celebrities needed to put on a front, a facadé of having the most loyal relationship out there. A symbol of hope that oh, maybe I can have that. Maybe I can be happy with someone like them.

The way Yeonjun looked at him that day—it felt different. Like something shifted in the universe and Beomgyu finally felt the ache of wanting someone so close that he would feel like he could love them for a lifetime. Or even beyond that, if he's lucky. 

Bullshit, Beomgyu twists his lips into a frown as Yeonjun whirls on him, his eyes darker than ever. 

"Do you even realize what you just did, Beomgyu?" 

He stares at him, raising a brow. "What? We just got engaged." 

Yeonjun throws his hands in frustration, letting out a deep-seated sigh. Because of course, Beomgyu throws himself head first into a decision without even realizing the consequences. The two of them talked about how they're going to break up weeks before—Beomgyu wasn't too happy but he eventually said yes. 

Of course, Yeonjun should've expected that there's going to be another twist. He's always been reckless and a little more adventurous than Yeonjun first thought of him to be—he did like that about him at first. Even when he's pushed into the spotlight of bad relationships and rumors of tangled flings, he didn't care. 

Until Yeonjun struck a deal with him a year and a half ago. 

It's as if Beomgyu drastically changed, even without the cameras. Even when Beomgyu was only supposed to flirt with him in front of the cameras and look at him with love when everyone is around, it's as if his attention slowly started shifting on him as they spend more time with each other. 

But as they got busier and busier, those distracting feelings of confusion eventually faded away and now, the relationship is back to feeling more like a role that they have immerse themselves into. 

Now, Beomgyu's impromptu proposal made everything so much worse. 

"Noona is going to kill me." Yeonjun falls right beside Beomgyu on the bed. He practically snarls when Beomgyu accidentally knocks his knee against his, forcing the younger boy to put more distance between them with a barely concealed huff. 

"At least, we got our names trending again. Some of our old dramas resurfaced on the top searches in Naver because everyone wants to know who Choi Beomgyu and Choi Yeonjun are." 

Yeonjun laughs. It sounds a little hollow, edging closer to annoyance than he would like to admit out loud. "Is true love real? Choi Yeonjun and Choi Beomgyu, the two notorious so-called playboys finally found the one ."

"Hey!" Beomgyu's excited voice cuts through the simmering tension that settled between them, his eyes brighter than the glow of the city lights casting through the window. "You got one of the news articles' title exactly right!" 

In retrospect, Beomgyu feels like he should be more regretful of what he did. But when he sees how Yeonjun's gaze flickers over to him, his annoyance melting away into barely concealed amusement at Beomgyu's antics, he feels like he doesn't quite regret it. 

It takes him more than a heartbeat and a half before he realizes how Yeonjun is so close to him—his body is so warm and inviting and Beomgyu has never felt the strong urge to hold someone against his own body before. His dark strands brush against Beomgyu's neck and his breath gets caught in his throat as Yeonjun reads the article intently, eyes narrowing on every word that he scans through. 

"Here." He presses his phone in Yeonjun's hands instead, pulling away so fast that he feels how his heart rests in his throat again. He misses the slight hurt that crosses Yeonjun's features, telling himself that he's imagining it. 

He made a reckless decision today. Yeonjun must hate him so much for it. 

"Uh, I'll head over the bathroom." Without another word, he spins on his heel and rushes to the bathroom, locking the door behind him. He doesn't hear Yeonjun calling for his name and with that, he buries whatever ache he's been carrying in his chest as he shakily goes to the sink. His eyes are darker, more exhausted than before and he wants nothing more than to sink in Yeonjun's arms for tonight. 

Because if he's being honest with himself, he did miss Yeonjun more than he would like to admit. It's difficult to long for someone who's right beside you—they're right there but at the same time, they feel like they're always going to be out of your reach. 

Fuck, Beomgyu grips the sink, fearing the intensity of his own feelings. He stares at his own reflection on the mirror—disheveled hair and dark eyes. The realization sinks in faster than he expected it to be. 

He's so fucked. 

 

 

It hasn't always been like this. 

A year and a half ago, Beomgyu was doing fine. His dramas and films are always at the top and he was happy with his fleeting flings. No commitments, no relationships. He was happy and content with waking up alone, feeling like it was only one of the few hours in his day when the paparazzi wasn't chasing after him. 

But his relationships were taking a hit on the media. For someone who debuted four years ago with such a fresh and outgoing persona, the media was caught in the fever of twisting his story to make it look like his career was crashing. 

That's why when Yeonjun called him over to his apartment, he was cautious. 

Yeonjun isn't exactly his friend, if Beomgyu has to be brutally blunt. He's two years older, has far more experience in the fields of acting and fashion that the media was all caught up in the fragments of his own life. They didn't quite collide with each other because they were never in the same circles—Beomgyu still has to crane his neck, just to see the tip of Yeonjun's career constantly rising and falling. 

It almost feels like he's always going to be out of reach. 

"Hey, thanks for dropping by, Beomgyu. Is there anything that you want to drink or—" 

"Why did you call me?" 

Beomgyu knew who Choi Yeonjun was. It almost felt like he was staring at his own reflection at that point—they couldn't settle down into a relationship, their careers were constantly rising and falling. The media loves the fragments that they give because the world is starting to see who Choi Yeonjun and Choi Beomgyu are. 

But even if he knew his name, he didn't quite know him. He only knew that Yeonjun was charming and rather hard to read, forcing Beomgyu to acknowledge whatever distance they have built between them. 

Yeonjun hadn't even stepped away from the door but his eyes did shine with curiosity and interest, even amusement. Maybe Beomgyu wasn't quite the sweetheart that the media had painted him at this debut. 

"Cutting to the chase? I think we'll get along well, Beomgyu-yah." 

Beomgyu narrowed his eyes, ignoring the feeling of his stomach twisting in tight nervousness. "What do you mean by that?" 

Yeonjun leaned in close and for a moment, Beomgyu was knocked out breathless. His dark blue strands fit him well and Beomgyu could feel his knees going weak at the thought of Yeonjun this close to him. Everything about him was intoxicating all at once and he hates himself for getting caught up in someone that he barely spoke five words to before. 

"Let's go out on a date." Yeonjun's eyes sparked with mischievousness and trouble. On any other day, Beomgyu would have said yes without a care, even kiss him for the hell of it. 

But he could already feel that if he does that, he'll be stepping into a deal with the devil unknowingly. Forcing himself to listen to his rational thoughts, he took an uneasy breath and leaned away. 

"What's in it for me?" 

"What?" Yeonjun lets out a laugh in disbelief, stepping away to give more space between them. "What do you mean?" 

"Choi Yeonjun, you barely spoke to me before this interaction. Recently, we're caught under fire for dating rumors again and our ratings took a hit." This time, Beomgyu was the one who took a brave step and glanced at him with his eyes brightening up under the soft glow of the hallway lights. "Are you trying to coerce me into a staged relationship, Choi Yeonjun?" 

It took more than a heartbeat before Yeonjun broke into a smile, clearly impressed. "Noona didn't say how clever you are. But you're right—it's business." As if there was a flicker of a switch, Yeonjun coolly slipped back into his distant persona, eyeing Beomgyu with a much more critical gaze than before. The little act left Beomgyu rolling his eyes, feeling more than grateful that he didn't let his heart take control of him for once. 

"We're a perfect fit, aren't we? We both don't want a relationship but the media keeps on pressuring us." Yeonjun shrugged, tilting his head. "If they want a new rumor to talk about then let's give them a show." 

He was right—they are the perfect fit. Them falling and stumbling over their feelings for each other in front of the camera will force the rest of the media to eat up this certain jagged fragment of their lives. 

"What do you say?" Yeonjun's eyes flicker with curiosity and interest, enamoured at the idea of knowing his peace rests in Beomgyu's hands if he accepts it. Beomgyu knew that one day, he'll come to regret it—but at that moment, it didn't matter. 

Choi Yeonjun is going to be his boyfriend. 

What more could he ask for? 

Beomgyu smiles at him. Bright and mischievous, with eyes that spelled nothing but trouble. 

"Let's talk terms then." 











(The hotel room's lights were already dimmed when Beomgyu stepped out of the bathroom. Yeonjun is curled up under the blanket, deep in his sleep. 

He must have been exhausted. Beomgyu worries his lip between his teeth, feeling his heart delicately rest in the curve of his throat. It beats slowly—with every thump against his chest, it resonates only one name that he kept on silencing since almost a year ago. 

Now, he does feel regretful. As he lays beside him, he finally sees the worried frown that's tugging on the corners of his mouth. Beomgyu reaches out, a warm hand against his nape. It doesn't even take a second before Yeonjun relaxes completely, body already inching closer, as if he's looking for more of Beomgyu's warmth. 

Beomgyu holds him even closer until Yeonjun's body is curved up against him so comfortably that the younger boy is sure that their heartbeats have intertwined already. They beat in sync, reminding Beomgyu of what he couldn't have—even if he's right here in his arms. 

He wants to be selfish though. With that, he holds him so close that even he forgets that he doesn't have the right to feel so much for Yeonjun. 

It's all pretend between them. It's only for their careers. 

Is it wrong for Beomgyu to yearn for more?) 

 

 

"Beomgyu proposed to Yeonjun: not a clickbait!" 

Beomgyu lets out a groan as he hears the familiar loop of the video play out in his best friend's living room. He lays his arm over his eyes, trying to will himself to ignore the same video that's been played at different angles. He hears the gasps and murmurs of onlookers again through the speakers; he doesn't even have to give another glimpse to the video playing to know how the scene plays out. Right now, it feels like watching a film over and over again that you know the ending already. 

Except Beomgyu wants that ending to be real. 

"Can't believe you stole that speech from my script." Soobin lets out a sigh, knocking Beomgyu's feet off his coffee table as he sits next to him on the couch. "Our writers have to rewrite that scene, you know? I only have three days to memorize that scene again." 

"I'm sorry," Beomgyu murmurs, his voice weak. Another sigh curls around the end of his apology as he pulls his arm away. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to do it." 

"You mean that you didn't mean to rush into a jewelry store and buy a ring for your boyfriend and coincidentally just happen to propose to him in the middle of the busiest streets in Seoul?" 

Beomgyu winces, grasping weakly at the gravity of the situation. "I know it sounds bad. But the ring I bought was the cheapest ring they had on display!" 

"The cheapest ring? You bought half a million won worth of that ring. Out of impulse." 

Beomgyu ignores the crash of his heart against his ribcage, the heat rushing to his cheeks. It leaves a hint of warmth on his skin, tainting it with a soft blush of red and that's enough for Beomgyu to realize that he's more affected than he would like to admit. 

"If I knew that you'll spoil your future relationships like this, I would have proposed to you too when we had our staged relationship." 

"Idiot." 

"Right," Soobin laughs. "I know that I wasn't able to make you this flustered like how Choi Yeonjun does. I mean, he made a poet out of you when you did that speech. Which, you obviously did not steal off from my script."

"You're the worst, Choi Soobin." 

"And you love me." 

Beomgyu laughs, feeling a little more lighthearted than before. He almost thought that Soobin would make fun of him and laugh at him even more but instead, there's only fondness in his tone this time. "It really sounds like you're in love, you know." 

"What?" 

He shrugs lightly, his eyes fixated on him. Soobin clasps a hand over his knee, patting him. "I've only seen you like this once and it was in high school. You spent a lot of energy and worked really hard to keep your relationship."

His voice dips into a softer and more worried tone, "I hope that this time, it'll be worth it for you." 

Beomgyu doesn't say anything else, except with a laugh and a quiet murmur of I'll be fine, hyung. Don't worry about me. Even though it's only been two days since the dreaded proposal happened, it feels like Yeonjun is pulling away faster than before. The only text that he received from him was yesterday morning, when he woke up alone in the hotel room that they shared. 

Noona called for a meeting. I'll text you once we figure out what to do next. 

There's no other texts like are you okay, Beomgyu? I really like the ring that you bought for me. Have you ever… thought of making this real? 

Beomgyu ignores the harsh tug on his heartstrings at the last hypothetical question. There's something tied around his throat, leaving him more breathless than before with the exhaustion wearing down his bones. It's awful how much he wants this to be real, even for a second. 

He wonders if Yeonjun has ever thought the same for the two of them. A year and a half—it almost feels like it'll be a crime if Beomgyu ends up tangling himself in the strings of a relationship that wasn't supposed to exist in the first place. 

What's going to happen to him once he untangles the strings? 

 

 

It's another three days when Yeonjun pulls up in the parking lot of his apartment building on a blue Thursday morning. 

"Get dressed." Yeonjun's voice crackles through the call. Beomgyu has to sink his teeth on his lower lip, ignoring how his heart betrays him by jumping through his ribcage. 

"My fiancé went missing for three days and this is the first thing that he says to me? Rude." 

"Oh, so now we're calling each other fiancé?" 

"Has a nice ring to it, isn't it?" 

When he hears the quiet inaudible sigh that leaves Yeonjun's lips, he bursts into a fit of laughter. He almost forgets that he didn't cause chaos nearly five days ago—it's always easy when it comes to Yeonjun. It should be a curse that he loses himself to wanting even a shred of the older boy's attention. 

"See you in five minutes." 

The call gets dropped even before Beomgyu could chip in with a sarcastic retort. 

Asshole, he grunts as he stumbles out of his bed. Can't believe he hung up on me again. 

It takes everything in Beomgyu to ignore the stirring in his chest—the excitement, the desire of seeing Yeonjun again coursing through his veins. Sure, Choi Yeonjun is a top actor and his immaculate face is colored in every billboard of the city; he sees him everywhere. But seeing him through the screen never seems to do him justice because Yeonjun… he's carved to perfection by the gods. It's unfair that someone like him exists in the same sphere of reality as Beomgyu. 

The sound of the phone ringing drags Beomgyu out of his little daydream. He stumbles over his feet, cheeks going flushed as he answers the call without looking at the screen once. 

"Who's this—" 

"Three minutes left, Beomgyu-yah." 

He rolls his eyes. "You called me just to say that?" 

"Come on, I thought you missed your fiancé?" 

Oh, fuck Choi Yeonjun honestly. He hates how in a year and a half, Yeonjun reads him so well now—he knows too much, in fact. Like how to leave Beomgyu stuttering, flustered with the blush colored on his cheeks. 

"You're an absolute menace in my life, Yeonjun." 

"And we're going to be late to the eight o'clock interview with Dazed.

"Oh, if you wanted to see me that bad, you could just come up to my apartment, you know?"

"I really can't stand you, Beomgyu-yah." Yeonjun pauses, then says with the same honey-like tone, "One minute before I leave your ass." 

Beomgyu laughs as he drags a dark plaid shirt and ripped jeans from his closet. "Good luck convincing the interviewers that we're actually engaged now." 

He hears a grumble of this is your fault, asshole before the call gets dropped abruptly again. But Beomgyu is laughing, his chest feeling much lighter than it did for the past five days. 

Stupid heart. Why does it seem to like Yeonjun so much? 

It doesn't take another heartbeat before Beomgyu changes his clothes, rushing out of his apartment. He likes to say that he's terrified of Yeonjun leaving him behind—that's the reason why he's running down the stairs instead of taking the elevator. It's definitely not because he's so excited to see the one boy that's been in his head for the past year and a half. 

When he finally stumbles into the passenger's seat of Yeonjun's car, the other boy takes one glance at him before raising a brow. 

"Are you that excited to see me?" 

"Oh, shut the hell up, Yeonjun." 

Beomgyu fumbles with the seatbelt, his cheeks still flushed and his breathing ragged because of the spontaneous run. Yeonjun reaches in, close enough that Beomgyu feels the warmth envelope him in a way that leaves him with his fingers twitching as his heart rushes to his throat. He easily clicks the seatbelt in place but he doesn't move away, eyes flickering to every corner, as if he's looking for someone. 

"Paparazzi?" Beomgyu speaks up, eyes picking up the slightest movements outside of the car. Yeonjun barely nods his head, lips pursed into a thin worried line. 

"You know, if you wanted me to kiss you that bad, you can just say so." 

There's a flicker of emotions in Yeonjun's lips, a mischievous smile curving across his features. "We got through four months without kissing on screen though. I know you hate doing that kind of thing."

Of course, he remembers that. Beomgyu closes his eyes, letting out a sigh through gritted teeth. Even if Beomgyu did agree to a staged relationship for the cameras, he always had been uncomfortable with kissing Yeonjun in front of everyone else. It makes the ache inside of him stronger than ever, making it nearly impossible for him to ignore it. 

He shrugs nonchalantly though, once again silencing his actual want that's tangled around the syllables of his own words. "We can always start up the no kissing streak again." 

"You know, if you wanted me to kiss you that bad, you can just say so." Yeonjun echoes his words from before, laughing a little too fondly with his eyes lighting up in mischief and trouble. 

Christ, he's really making it hard for Beomgyu not to get tangled in his own emotions. 

Beomgyu doesn't say anything else—he only fixates his eyes on Yeonjun's sharp features. It's in these moments when Beomgyu loses himself completely in the illusion that they've built for themselves. He likes to pretend that these are the fragments in time when they're real, that no one else is around to ruin them like this. 

It's just Beomgyu and Yeonjun.

He hesitates only for a fraction of a second before he leans in, his fingers drifting through Yeonjun's dark strands as he pulls him in for a dizzying kiss. They've done this too many times that Beomgyu should have gotten used to it already. He should have gotten used to the fleeting touches of Yeonjun's fingers on his cheeks, tracing down the curve of his jaw with a soft sigh in between. 

Yeonjun always has been so delicate with him. Beomgyu almost hates him for treating him that way—maybe if Yeonjun didn't care for him this way, he wouldn't have been tripping over his emotions for him. 

It takes three heartbeats of Yeonjun kissing him delicately—the kind of kiss that makes Beomgyu's toes curl and his breath tie itself in his lungs—before the brief flashes of cameras come through the windows. 

"Okay, I think that's enough." 

Yeonjun breaks away without much of a thought, settling into his own seat as he fixes his blazer. Beomgyu already looks absolutely wrecked—lower lip caught in between his teeth and his cheeks flushed red. Always the kind of look that he wears whenever Yeonjun kisses him like that. 

"Let's go, we don't want to be late for the interview." 

"Right," Beomgyu swallows the edges of the word, sinking into his chair. "The interview." 

God, he can't believe that he forgot that. 

As Yeonjun drives out of the parking lot and down the road, Beomgyu prays to the stars that he didn't hear the crash of heartbeats resounding against his bones. 

It'll be trouble for him if Yeonjun finds out the truth. 















As the car rolls into a stop in front of the office building, Beomgyu has to take a deep breath just to stop his fingers from shaking too much. 

"Before we go in," Yeonjun speaks up, his voice on the edge of nervousness. "There's something that I need to tell you." 

"What is it?" Beomgyu busies himself with brushing away the dirt on his plaid shirt, a frown twisting along his lips. He's so focused on fixing his appearance that he almost misses the words that fell from Yeonjun's lips. 

"We need to break up," He pauses for a heartbeat before quietly saying, "In three months." 

"What?!" Beomgyu raises his voice, agitated and annoyed. "You're breaking up with me ?" 

He only shrugs rather helplessly. "I told you that we had an agreement before." Yeonjun only smiles weakly at him, his eyes flickering for a moment beyond the window of the passenger's seat before he lets go of a sigh past his teeth. "Smile for the cameras, fiancé."

There's a flash of camera and Beomgyu winces, grasping at the lock of the door. Right, once he steps out of the car, he'll have to put up a front and tell the whole world that he's still madly in love with Yeonjun. 

All the while, they're going to plan for a breakup in three long months. 

Just… great. Absolutely wonderful. 

 

 

"He's going to break up with me." 

Beomgyu paces around in Soobin's living room, nervously letting his teeth sink down on the edge of his fingernails. "He's really going to break with me. Me, Choi Beomgyu. How dare he—" 

"Look, you know that I'm all in if you tell me that we're going to break in Yeonjun's apartment tonight and throw toilet paper at everything. But," Soobin leans in and easily wraps his fingers around the neck of the soju bottle. "You've been waiting to get out of this staged relationship, right?"

"Yes but I've always thought that I would be the one who'll break up with him!" 

"So, what you're saying is that," Soobin pauses and eyes his best friend with a critical gaze. "You're willing to break up with the Choi Yeonjun if you'll be the one who'll dump him?" 

"Y—" Yes, I want to be one who'll break his heart. Not the other way around. 

He wants to say them out loud but the words stay still in the base of his throat. It leaves him with an empty ache, the hurt that's wrapping itself around the bones of his rib cage. 

Soobin takes one long look at him before a contemplative expression crosses his features, lips twitching into a smile. "I knew it—you like Yeonjun."

"I—I don't!" 

"You're hurt because he wants to break it off now when you've spent months trying to deny your feelings until you finally realized that you do like him." 

Beomgyu parts his lips, only to realize that Soobin is completely right. Again. 

It should be a curse to like Choi Yeonjun. A year and a half ago, this felt like a dream that Beomgyu was afraid of waking up from. Now? It feels more like a haunting that he's desperately chasing after. He knows that he'll miss the adrenaline, the rush of heartbeats resonating in the hollow auditorium of his chest if he breaks up with Yeonjun. 

Beomgyu always knew that tangling himself in a staged relationship with Yeonjun was a mistake. 

(But it feels more like a mistake that he needs to make, just so he'll know that it's actually a mistake.)

He grunts as he snatches the bottle from Soobin's fingers, taking a long sip from it and ignoring the burn down his throat.

"It doesn't matter," Beomgyu murmurs, dropping the half empty bottle of soju on the coffee table. It nearly tips over but he doesn't care that much anymore. 

"We only have three months left, anyway." 

 

 

"What do you mean that you're going to break up with me, Choi Yeonjun?!" 

Maybe it's a wrong idea to finish the bottle of soju. And also those two other bottles of soju sitting in Soobin's fridge. 

Because now, Beomgyu is pushing past Yeonjun in his own apartment, stumbling over his feet the moment he takes a step forward. Yeonjun looks like he's on his way to falling asleep—hair sticking out and exhausted eyes fixating themselves on him. If Beomgyu isn't consumed by his annoyance and very overwhelming feelings of affection for the other boy, he would have gone weak at the knees by now. 

But three soju bottles later, Beomgyu is more courageous and reckless. An idiotic combination, really, but it's sober with a pounding headache Beomgyu's problem now. 

"What are you doing here, Beomgyu-yah?" Yeonjun holds back a sigh, reaching out to gently pull Beomgyu closer, only for him to hesitate at the last moment. 

"You," Beomgyu slurs, stepping forward to close the distance between him. He jabs a finger against his chest, eyes narrowing at the other boy. "I proposed to you five days ago, Choi Yeonjun, and now you want to break up?" 

"It's in three months, you idiot. That's what our companies decided on."

"But you want to break up with me!" Beomgyu's cheeks are flushed and his gaze is getting hazier now. His hand is now on Yeonjun's chest, mistaking the rush of his heartbeat against his ribcage as his own. 

"That can't happen! I'll be the one to break up with you. Not the other way around!" 

"Christ," Yeonjun finally lets go of his reluctance, choosing to curl his fingers around Beomgyu's plaid shirt and pulling him close as he shuts the front door behind him. "Is that why you came over? Because you want to be the one to break up with me?" 

"Exactly!" 

Yeonjun crumbles for a moment, his dark eyes softening. In that pause, Beomgyu finds himself falling quiet too, realizing that he's standing in the middle of Yeonjun's living room with his hand against the older boy's chest. Yeonjun is so close and so warm—he didn't realize how much he wanted him to be this close until they finally ended up like this. 

Stupid heart, stupid heart. 

"Are you saying that you're… willing to break this off if you'll be the one who'll break up with me?" 

Beomgyu curves the edges of his mouth into a scowl. He doesn't understand why everyone keeps asking him this. Don't they realize that Beomgyu would be the first one to break Choi Yeonjun's heart like this? 

Yeonjun falters, blinking rapidly as he gently untangles himself from Beomgyu's warmth. He swallows around the unspoken words that lay in his throat, carefully choosing which ones that he'll let go of. 

"You do know that it'll be better for you if I'll be the one who'll break up with you?" Yeonjun's voice is so soft, so delicate that Beomgyu feels himself breaking instead. 

"You're the one who proposed to me in the middle of the street. How do you think it would look to everyone else if you'll be the one who'll break up with me too?" 

When Beomgyu came crashing through the glass doors of Yeonjun's apartment building, he had so many words that he wanted to let go of. So many regrets and anger that he built up; it was supposed to be his real confession to him. 

But with the way Yeonjun is looking at him right now—eyes softening and his fingers gently grazing along the curve of his cheek—it hurts too much. It hurts to like Choi Yeonjun this much. It must be a curse to be like someone who looks at you like you're their world in the middle of the night. 

"I shouldn't be talking to you like this when you're this drunk." The actor lets out a sigh as he fixes the plaid shirt on Beomgyu, casting a glance over his shoulder. "You can stay in my bedroom for tonight. I'll take the couch, okay?" 

"But—" 

"We'll talk tomorrow."

Yeonjun's voice is firm but when he brushes his thumb across Beomgyu's jaw, the younger boy can't help but feel that familiar surge of weakness coursing through his body. 

"Okay," He swallows around the one word, feels the edges pierce his throat. "Okay." 

(When Beomgyu falls into the bed and curls up in the warmth of Yeonjun's comforter, he lets go of the breath that he didn't know he was holding. 

Maybe his heart isn't that stupid. Maybe there's a reason why his heart likes Yeonjun so much.)

 

 

Beomgyu has never had his heart broken before. 

It's always him that carries the awkwardness in his bones—shifting from foot to foot, worrying his lower lip between his teeth as the words curve across the roof of his mouth. It's him that memorized every excuse, every stupid reason of breaking up that the syllables have made a home on his lips already. 

That's it. That's the only reason why it hurts to think that Yeonjun would be the one who'll break his heart like this. 

It's not because he's in love or he has his feelings tangled in the spaces of his fingers—oh god, no. He thinks that he doesn't like him all that much. Yeonjun happens to be the type of boy that makes you feel like you're in a dream. 

Breaking up with him feels like you're only going to wake up at any moment now. 

But still, it feels wrong to wake up after a year and a half later. 

"Out of all the staged relationships I've had, this is the most idiotic damage control I've ever seen."

It's a bright Friday morning and Beomgyu and Yeonjun are in the kitchen, sitting side by side by the bar set out. There's a plate of scrambled eggs and a bowl of steaming rice left untouched as they lean in close, staring at the documents laid out before them. 

Yeonjun rolls his eyes, his finger dragging across the rough lines and curves of the rather elaborate outline of their very well thought out break up in public. There's five pages about the exact little spot in the middle of the same busy street in Seoul and how their engagement will unravel along the cracks of the pavement. It's dramatic and loud—it'll get people talking about them even more. 

There's something that stirs up in Beomgyu when he realizes that they're tying up their relationship in a neat, little bow. The same place where Beomgyu spontaneously proposed to him is the same place where Yeonjun will break his heart very loudly. 

It's as if it's all coming back in a full circle. 

Beomgyu isn't sure if he appreciates that kind of sentiment.

"That's the first thing you've said to me since you woke up," Yeonjun grumbles. "I didn't even get a good morning kiss from my fiancé." 

"Oh, so now we're calling each other fiancé?" 

Yeonjun smiles at him. Bright and wide, just like him. "Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?" 

Beomgyu swallows, realizing that Yeonjun always notices him. He always remembers every little thing and he knows that it'll hurt more than he would like to admit. 

Breaking up with someone like Choi Yeonjun doesn't only mean that you're going to wake up after a long, long dream. Breaking up with someone like him also means that you're going to lose a part of yourself too. 

"Hyung?" Beomgyu pauses, then says in the softest voice there is, "I'm sorry that I acted out and got us into this mess." 

Yeonjun lets out a little laugh, one that's too fond and affectionate that even Beomgyu is taken in by how lovely it sounds. With the morning light drifting through the window in the kitchen and the feeling of Yeonjun's knees grazing against his, it almost feels as close to home as Beomgyu could ever perceive it to be. 

Almost. 

"It's fine. At least we don't have to go through that awkward post break up phase for another three months. You know that we'll have to keep it realistic and avoid each other for a while before we can interact again." He hesitates before he leans in to tuck a loose strand behind Beomgyu's ear with a small smile. 

"And I missed you while I was away. I'm glad that we can still do this for the next three months." 

Yeonjun shifts out of the stool, leaving Beomgyu with his untouched breakfast. Beomgyu hopes that he left even a fraction of his heart too; maybe he can be selfish and take it for himself. 

Beomgyu has never had his heart broken before. 

But as he sits there on the stool, hearing the familiar pattern of Yeonjun's footsteps in his apartment, he thinks that maybe he'll have his heart broken on the wooden floorboards.

And maybe he doesn't mind if it's Choi Yeonjun who'll break his heart. 

 

 

"You can't wait to spend your life with me? Really?" 

"Why? Don't you think that it sounds so dreamy and romantic?" 

Yeonjun laughs, bright and warm all at once. Beomgyu always loved the little moments like this—when they're walking down the hallways with their fingers barely grazing against each other, a little hop in their steps. When they're the only ones around, Yeonjun strips away the facadé without any hesitation. 

Beomgyu thinks that he likes Yeonjun's smile like this the most. 

"Sometimes, I forget that I'm in a relationship with someone who tricked everyone into thinking that he's the nation's hopeless romantic," Yeonjun pauses, a laugh tied along his words. "When in reality, you're the one who just looks at my messages and doesn't even bother replying until eight hours later." 

"Some people are sleeping, Choi Yeonjun." Beomgyu rolls his eyes at him. 

"I text you at one in the afternoon though?" 

"Exactly my point." 

Yeonjun looks like he wants to say something else but instead, he shakes his head, teeth sinking on his lower lip to stop himself from smiling. When Beomgyu casts a glance at the glass-like walls of the tiny hallways, he sees the flicker of affection written on Yeonjun's face before it disappears. 

(He likes to think that it's only his imagination that's making him think of these… ridiculous things.)

"Can't believe it's our last interview tonight," Yeonjun sighs as they step out into the cool April night, unconsciously making him wrap his coat tighter around his frame. "After that, we'll lay low for another month then—" 

"Break up, I know."

There's a strange stretch of silence between them as they walk down the concrete steps. If it's any other day, Beomgyu would have admired the way the streetlights glimmered on the pavement—it rained a moment ago and now, it's as if there's another world that's splitting open for them. He would have held on the back of Yeonjun's coat and told him, "Let's grab a drink. I missed you." 

(Except the words I missed you never leave his lips—they only sink in his throat, like a secret that's never meant to be said out loud.) 

Yeonjun does turn to him for once and wraps an arm around his shoulder with a wide smile. "Is Choi Beomgyu actually sulking? Does this mean that you're going to miss me as your pretend boyfriend?" 

"Fiancé," Beomgyu grumbles, only to catch himself as the blush rushes to his cheeks. "And no! What makes you think that way?" 

"Maybe because I'm the best pretend fiancé you've ever had?" 

"Asshole." Beomgyu shoots back with no real bite in his voice. Yeonjun laughs again and with that, Beomgyu can feel the tension melting almost instantly. The world falls back into place and for once, he wishes that it'll stay like this for as long as it could. He wants the night to stretch itself so thin that it could break itself. 

Yeonjun always had that kind of effect on him. How is Beomgyu supposed to pretend that he doesn't yearn for more when it comes to him?

Even if it's on borrowed time, he knows that he'll steal as many fractions of seconds, just so he could have Yeonjun beside him. Is it selfish? Maybe. But Beomgyu isn't one who can untangle himself so easily from someone that makes his heart rush to his throat. 

"Don't you think that it's unfair?" 

They stand under the streetlight, faces concealed by the shadows. There's no one else around and Beomgyu feels a rush of courage as he reaches out to intertwine their fingers. Yeonjun's gaze flickers down for a moment before he looks at him with the same softness and fondness that made Beomgyu's heart ache for so many months ago. 

"What's unfair?" 

That we have to break up in the first place. That I have to hide my feelings for you because it'll complicate everything. That I have to pretend that it won't hurt once you do break my heart at the same place where I proposed to you. 

Beomgyu shrugs carelessly, easily curving his lips into the same mischievous smile that he wears around him. "That we never went on a date. Just the two of us." 

Yeonjun stares at him for a heartbeat and a half before a smile finally tugs on the edges of his mouth. "Beomgyu-yah, is this your way of asking me out?"

There's that familiar rush of color on his cheeks, one that made Beomgyu's heart stutter in his rib cage as his knees weaken. 

"Is it bad that I do want to ask you out on a real date?" 

Yeonjun seems to be taken aback by his words. He parts his lips, trying to find his voice as he drifts through the words in his head. 

"I guess," He pauses, then smiles so widely that Beomgyu's heart takes a dive without any hesitation. "That's not so bad."

"Really?" Beomgyu's eyes light up and his heart leaps to his throat. 

Stupid heart. It really seems to like Yeonjun so much, huh? 

"Sure but," Yeonjun takes a step away, a flicker of emotions in his eyes before his lips twitched the slightest. "I want to get to know you as who you are, Beomgyu. Not as the person you're playing when you're on-screen." 

"I should be saying that to you," Beomgyu fires back, not even holding himself back. "I feel like you've mastered every romantic cliché in a date." 

"And yet, I still made your heart skip a beat, no?" 

Beomgyu stammers, losing his voice once again. He crosses his arms over his chest, ignoring the sparks that curved themselves into the empty spaces of his chest. 

"What, are you speechless?" 

"Oh, shut up." 

Beomgyu grumbles, ignoring how the tips of his ears have gone red because of the embarrassment. He can hear the familiar melody of Yeonjun's laugh and it's almost a curse that he had memorized how every note of that lullaby made his heart stutter out Yeonjun's name. 

Stupid heart, stupid heart. 

"Come on, I'll take you home." 

"You don't have to do that. There's no cameras around here," Beomgyu points at the almost empty streets before his gaze falls on the building they walked out of a moment ago. "I can just call hyung to pick me up—" 

"Don't be idiotic. It's late already and we're heading in the same direction, anyway." Yeonjun's voice softens, that Beomgyu almost missed the last few words that he uttered. 

"And everything I did for you wasn't for the cameras, you know."

Beomgyu ignores the words, choosing to crush them under the heel of his foot because that's easier. It's easier to pretend that Yeonjun doesn't like him back, that he's humoring Beomgyu for one last time because in that way, they won't get tangled. 

He doesn't want to break Yeonjun's heart in the end. 

"Okay," Beomgyu swallows around the word, no longer bothering to notice how the edges dragged against his throat. He walks over to the car, opening the passenger's side while grumbling. "But this doesn't mean that I'm already falling for your charms and clichés." 

Yeonjun only settles into the driver's seat with a teasing yet affectionate tone wrapped around his words. 

"I wouldn't dream of it." 















When Beomgyu stumbles into his apartment, kicking off his shoes by the entrance, his phone vibrates in his pocket. A heavy sigh falls from his lips as he leans against the wall, dragging his phone out to see the screen lit up with two messages. 

Yeonjun [23:16]: sleep well, beomgyu-yah

Yeonjun [23:16]: dream of me, yeah? 

Beomgyu [23:17]: no

Yeonjun [23:17]: ouch, you really wound my heart, don't you? 

Beomgyu laughs, only catching himself a heartbeat later when he realizes what he's doing. He's laughing in the middle of his empty apartment, his heart on the verge of bursting because of the wreckage of emotions within him. 

Stupid heart. Beomgyu thinks to himself, letting out another sigh. He can't blame his heart for feeling this way though—Yeonjun is something else. 

It makes him wonder if it's okay to do this. To yearn for so much for someone who's holding on the other end of the string of their relationship, ready to let go. 

Ready to ruin a relationship that shouldn't have existed in the first place. 

Is it okay for him to like someone that he knows will break his heart without another question? 

 

 

"What the hell are you doing here?" 

"Rude, is that how you greet your fiancé?" 

"No, I mean," Yeonjun lets his gaze fall on Beomgyu's outfit—a dark blue shirt and tight jeans clinging to his legs with a black cap to complete the ensemble—before he lets out a sigh. "What the hell are you doing here at three in the morning?" 

Right, maybe Beomgyu should have thought this through first. Maybe it's the thought of breaking his own heart three days from now that left him stumbling right out of his bed, cheeks flushed as he grabs the first clothes that he sees in his closet. 

Hell, he knew that he didn't think this through—all he knew at that moment is that he wanted to see Yeonjun. 

But now that he's standing right in front of him, Beomgyu isn't quite sure what to say. 

"Didn't you say that you wanted to get to know the person behind the screen? The real Choi Beomgyu?" The younger actor gestures to his clothes, his smile so wide and bright that even Yeonjun is mesmerized at the thought of how he could stand so close to someone this bright without burning himself. 

Yeonjun takes a moment before a laugh bursts through his chest, shaking his head. "Why does this sound like it's an excuse that you showed up here dressed like that?" 

"Hey! I thought this through." 

Of course not. If anything, it's unconventional and daring—it's as if they're risking so much, just to see if they'll still look at each other in the same fond way once the morning light drifts through the pavement. 

Yeonjun stands there and thinks over and over again that this is a bad idea. He should tell Beomgyu to go back home and shut the door quietly, fall back into his bed and dream of nothing but the same boy that's been in his head for a year and a half now. 

But instead, he stands there, thinking to himself, god, I'm going to get into trouble. He doesn't quite care about that—he should have known that a part of him will always love Beomgyu's recklessness. 

"Give me a second." 

 

 

"Why are you dressed like you're forced to go out on this date with me?" 

"Maybe because you did wake me up at three in the morning? I can't exactly assemble a fashionable outfit at this time of the day." 

Beomgyu tugs on the collar of Yeonjun's dark hoodie, a laugh already spilling from his lips. "Bullshit. I once saw you change your outfit in less than ten minutes in that one variety show. You looked like a model that's advertising a bunch of summer clothes." 

Yeonjun arches a brow, his lips twitching into a teasing smile. "Oh? Are you saying that you watch me on the television a lot?" 

Beomgyu stammers, the blush rising to his cheeks. He roughly lets go of Yeonjun's hoodie as he lets out an unsteady breath, shaking his head. "Of course not. Your stupid handsome face just  happens to be everywhere.

"Handsome?" Yeonjun is smiling so wide that even if Beomgyu would look at the corner of his eye, he would see how the older boy lit up like the city lights hanging over their heads. "You think I'm handsome?" 

"Is that really the only thing you picked up from what I said?" 

Yeonjun pauses, giving him a knowing glance before the edges of his mouth curved upwards. Even in the dark parking lot of Yeonjun's apartment building, Beomgyu can see the stars in his eyes. "I just like it when you compliment me, Beomgyu-yah." 

There's always something about the way Yeonjun looks at Beomgyu—there's mischief and trouble and god, he looks so fond of him. The way the words slip by his lips leave an ache in Beomgyu's chest, one that grows and grows until he's left staring at the other boy in wonder. 

He wonders if Yeonjun will ever notice that he looks at him like that too. 

"So, Choi Beomgyu, what's one thing that you've always wanted to do?" 

Beomgyu looks at him, seeing his unruly dark hair and pretty flushed cheeks. Even when he's standing right next to Beomgyu, he looks like he's carved to perfection. It's unfair that even one look from him is enough for his heart to jump through his chest. 

Kiss you, Beomgyu swallows thickly. I want to kiss you. 

He doesn't say those words though. Oh no, his pride has those syllables tied up in his throat—he only feels the ache of them weighing in his chest. 

Beomgyu isn't that fond of letting himself become too vulnerable around Yeonjun, after all. 

Instead, he says, "I want to take a drive around Seoul in your car with the roof pulled down." 

Yeonjun stares at him long and hard before he breaks into a smile. It takes everything in Beomgyu to silence the riot that his heart is raging for in his chest. 

"And here I was, thinking that you'd jump into the Han River and take a swim."

"Don't give me ideas, Choi Yeonjun." 

The older boy laughs, loud and bright. It's unlike how he is when he's constrained in the walls of their buildings or on the crowded streets. He's smiling so much and somehow, Beomgyu is left staring at him again with his emotions rushing through his veins. 

"Well, that's definitely not a problem." 

 

 

Now, there's something so breathtaking about Seoul when the night has fallen—all the city lights and still crowded streets with bright neon signs hanging everywhere. But it's as if a whole other world splits itself open at three in the morning as Beomgyu unfastens his seatbelt, eager to drink the sight of every possibility at their hands. 

It's three fifteen in the morning and Beomgyu is drunk on the dancing city lights—the streets are lonely but Beomgyu feels so far from that. Yeonjun has his songs queued up on the radio and he's laughing, barely able to pull on the edge of the other boy's shirt. 

"Sit down, hey! Is this your first time seeing Seoul like this?" 

"Obviously! Do you know how exciting it is that we're the only ones here?" As the words fall from his lips, he sees the stroke of colorful lights down by the bridge of the Han River. It's so mesmerizing but somehow, Beomgyu ends up leaning against his seat instead and watching the actor beside him. The lights are bright enough that they danced along Yeonjun's god-like features, leaving a streak of beauty framed in the younger boy's head. 

Seoul may be pretty at this time of the night but Yeonjun is the one that Beomgyu would love to look at for the rest of his life. 

He curves his gaze away from the older boy before he can notice it, trying to fixate his eyes on the passing street signs and closed stores. Beomgyu catches sight of one lonely dimly lit dessert place, his own eyes lighting in excitement. 

"Hey, hey. I want ice cream." 

"At this hour?"  

"Come on, Yeonjun hyung." 

Beomgyu knows exactly how to get Yeonjun's attention. From the corner of his eye, he sees how Yeonjun spares him a glance, lips already twitching into a smile as he steers the car down a different lane. 

"You really know me too well, Beomgyu-yah. I don't know whether I should feel happy or suspicious about how much you know about me." 

"I just know you like me." 

Yeonjun lets out a breathless chuckle, meeting his eyes through the rearview mirror. 

"It's a good thing that you're not so oblivious then." 











"I think that you're really cool, you know? And—" 

"So, you're saying that you've had a crush on me since the beginning? That's so cute, Beomgyu-yah."

Beomgyu stares at him, lips pursed with the blush painting itself across the curves of his cheeks. "I don't like this game." 

"Why?" Yeonjun laughs. "We're just talking about our first impression of each other!" 

They're sitting in a harshly lit 24/7 ice cream place, one that's hidden from gazes of curious onlookers. Not that there are any but this little corner shop had been here long since before Beomgyu and Yeonjun have become actors that are constantly on demand. It's the perfect hideout for any celebrities that need to take a breather without anyone else stepping so close to their personal space. 

It's supposed to be the perfect sanctuary for them but Yeonjun, of course, decided that it's extremely important for him to know what was Beomgyu's first impression of him. 

Not that any of that matters now—whatever Yeonjun does, Beomgyu would constantly feel like his breath is tied in his throat and his heart has fallen right through his chest. It's terrible how easy it is for him to crumble when Yeonjun smiles at him or reaches out to tuck a loose strand behind his hair. 

(It doesn't help that sometimes, he hears him murmur, you're so pretty, Beomgyu-yah. It really doesn't help.)

"Come on, I want to hear what you used to think of me." 

"You just want to know if I had a crush on you like the rest of the world." 

Yeonjun, as Beomgyu soon realizes, does not have any shame at all. Or maybe because he has grown a little too comfortable with him already that he doesn't notice how Beomgyu's heart rate increases drastically whenever he says anything. 

"I don't care about the world," Yeonjun shrugs lightly, hiding his smile. "I care about what you think of me." 

God, he's really going to be the reason for Beomgyu's death at this rate. 

"Like I said, I think you're cool," Beomgyu ends up mumbling, stammering through his words as he lowers his head. He lets his spoon drag against the scoop of strawberry ice cream in his little cup, trying his best to ignore Yeonjun's gaze on him. 

"The rest of the world loves you, hyung. Even if you couldn't give all of the pieces of your heart, people will still love whatever fragment you give to them. I think everyone wants to know what it's like to love someone like you." 

Beomgyu pauses, then says very quietly, "I did too." 

It's three thirty in the morning and all Beomgyu can hear are the whirring of the air conditioning unit and the echoes of his heartbeat in his ribs. With what little space they have left between—only a small table fit for the two of them—he can feel Yeonjun's comforting warmth even at this kind of distance. 

It hurts to wrap his fingers around this kind of distance and not be able to ruin it to pieces. He wants to be closer and closer until he can feel his warmth right next to him. 

Sure, it may be selfish but he doesn't care. 

It's a long time before Yeonjun speaks up, his eyes brighter than they used to be before.

"The world must be jealous of you then," Yeonjun smiles at him so brightly that it hurts. "You're the only one that I can love with all the pieces of my heart." 

Beomgyu halts, staring down at the slowly melting ice cream in front of him. 

Huh, he said love. Beomgyu thinks to himself a little dazed, unable to stop himself from smiling so wide that he didn't even realize how his heart has soared to his throat, beating so incredibly fast. 

When Beomgyu lets his eyes fall on Yeonjun's hand, that's the only time he noticed it—the little engagement ring. A perfect fit around his finger. 

Beomgyu can't stop smiling. 

 

 

"You're the only one that I know who eats dessert first before eating the actual food." 

"Hey, maybe if we passed by a convenience store before we went to that dessert place, I would have bought these sandwiches and drinks for us!" 

Beomgyu doesn't quite know how they winded up here—a minute ago, they were sitting across each other in the tiny dessert place, smiling so widely that there's an ache that curved itself beneath their bones. 

Now, they're sitting on the grassy field near the colorful lights of the Han River bridge, with a blanket that Beomgyu stole out of Yeonjun's car and laid it across the ground. Yeonjun protested at first but Beomgyu only held it against his chest, laughing so loudly as he forced the older boy to chase him around until they fell into the same spot in the grassy field. 

"You're so infuriating, do you know that?" Beomgyu laughs. It's bright and pretty and god, Yeonjun is so fucked. 

"And you adore me, I know." 

Now, it's almost four thirty in the morning and they're sitting side by side, watching the colorful lights dance along the river. Beomgyu gazes at everything, soaking in the quiet lull of the silence and the quiet breath the city takes before chaos takes over right now.

It's so pretty, of course it is. 

But as Beomgyu risks a glance at Yeonjun and sees his wide-eyed amazement, he thinks there's something else that's so much prettier than anything he has ever seen in his life. 

"You know," Beomgyu breaks the silence, taking the time to shift closer to him. Feel more of his comforting warmth. "The question you asked a while ago wasn't exactly part of the questions you ask on a first date." 

"Oh? And why is that?" 

"Nobody asks for first impressions on a first date. You ask that on like, the third or fourth date." Beomgyu scoffs but Yeonjun only lets out a quiet chuckle, reaching out to pick up one of the plastic wrapped sandwiches delicately. 

"Are you saying that this won't be our only date?" 

"I don't know," Beomgyu takes the sandwich from Yeonjun's fingers, easily untangling the plastic covering. "Are you still willing to date one of your exes?" 

He laughs but soon, he realizes it's the only sound that echoes between them. Yeonjun is only staring at him with a slight curve of his lips, leaning in so close that Beomgyu is left gazing at him with his heart in his throat. 

"You know that you're not just one of my exes, Beomgyu-yah." He rips the last of the plastic away from the sandwich before he takes it from Beomgyu's loose grip, smiling widely. "I mean, you are the only one who proposed to me when we were supposed to break up three months ago. I'd say you're different from the other staged relationships I've had." 

The younger actor rolls his eyes at the little comment. "I don't know if you still want me to apologize for the impromptu proposal. Do you want to break up with me that bad?" 

It's so light and teasing and Beomgyu never expects him to answer so honestly. But instead, his heart stutters in his chest when Yeonjun does take a pause and glances at him with a softened expression. 

"No," His voice is so soft that Beomgyu almost misses the next few words that fall from his lips. 

"And I don't want to break up with you three days from now." 

Beomgyu wants to say that he knows that. But he thinks there's a difference between knowing something and accepting it as it is. 

All the longing glances between them, the quiet laughs in between the recorded dates back then—it was easier for Beomgyu to crush his hopes beneath his heel and tell himself that Yeonjun is only doing it for the camera. 

He always had been convincing after all. 

But there are no cameras now and Yeonjun is sitting so close to him that Beomgyu swears that he can hear how his heart jumps right through his chest. He sees Choi Yeonjun for who he is—starry eyed with so many unsaid words on his lips. 

And he still looks so pretty. 

Beomgyu wants to say something, anything else at all. But instead, he says, "We need to break up." 

He can see how Yeonjun crumbles, clearly hurt and upset at his words. This time, he doesn't hesitate to reach out and delicately hold him close against his own body with a soft laugh falling from his lips. 

"We need to break up so we can have a fresh start, hyung. We need to start at the very beginning—no more pretending." 

Yeonjun seems conflicted when Beomgyu pulls away. "Are you saying that you want us to be friends?" 

"Why not?" 

"Because don't you think that we're doing this in the wrong way?" Yeonjun worries his lower lip between his teeth, clearly torn apart. "I mean, we were boyfriends first then we got engaged. And now, we're going back to being friends? Even if we have feelings for each other?"

Beomgyu stares at the barely eaten sandwiches and the cold drinks sitting on the blanket. When he lifts his gaze, he sees how the colorful lights reflected in Yeonjun's starry eyes and god, did he look beautiful. Beomgyu knew that he could never be friends with someone like him—he knew that he's going to love him for as long as he could.

"I know," Beomgyu says as he picks up one of the sandwiches. The plastic is still tightly wrapped around the sandwich and so, he carefully tears it away with a softened smile. He gazes back at the other boy, their knees grazing against each other and somehow, he feels content with this. He feels at peace with the warmth of the person he adores so much.

"But then again, I'm willing to try it with you." He pauses then smiles at the other boy in a way that leaves Yeonjun believing in him without any hesitation.

"You never know if something is a mistake unless you try, no?"

It's quiet for a long time as they sit so close beside each other, finding a sense of familiarity in their breathing. Yeonjun presses the side of his head against Beomgyu's as he lets himself be selfish for a moment, reaching out to slip his fingers in the empty spaces of the younger boy's hand. It's almost five in the morning now and Beomgyu sees the way the sun rises over the horizon. The midnight blue fades away into nothing as hues of orange and pink swirled across the sky—a perfect fit.

Always a perfect fit. 

It takes another heartbeat before Yeonjun speaks very quietly. "Do you think getting into this relationship was a mistake?"

Beomgyu takes in an uneasy breath. If you asked him ten hours ago, he would have said yes without a doubt. He knew it was a mistake—it was a risk to chase after a heartbreak and wishing that it'll never come true, even if you know that's the end.

Or at least, it was supposed to be the end.

"No," Beomgyu leans in close to him, an ache in his chest. He feels his heart jump through his chest but this time, he doesn't seem afraid. It leaves him with a warmth that he loved like no other.

"I'd do it again, as long as it's with you."

 

 

Beomgyu stares at himself at the mirror, lips pursed as he lets out an uneasy breath. There are endless notifications on the lockscreen of his phone but he doesn't pay attention to any of it—he knows what every single message says, anyway. 

Yesterday, they fell into place at the same little spot where Beomgyu proposed to him. Except it's not Yeonjun who breaks his heart—no, he did it all on his own. 

It was brutal to tear his own heart in front of other spectators but Yeonjun is right—the louder the break up, the more it'll get people to talk. The more people will believe them if they said that they broke up out of their own decisions. 

"Why would you be the one who'll break up with me? Is this because of the time you came into my apartment late at night and—" 

"No, of course not!" It didn't even take Beomgyu five minutes before he pulled up all the articles with Yeonjun's name written on the headlines: a ruthless heartbreaker in every staged relationship he ever had. 

"I don't want the media to brand you like this anymore. Also, why are you always the one who breaks your exes' hearts? What is noona even thinking that she agreed to do this?" 

Beomgyu was annoyed and upset. He hated every article, every headline written in bold because it leaves the world thinking that they know Choi Yeonjun like he does. They don't know him as the starry eyed boy who loves sappy love songs and cheesy romantic films. 

(The amount of times that Beomgyu walked into his apartment and caught him tearing up at one of those Netflix romcom films is far too many. Now, he's the one who holds Yeonjun with a laugh tied around his teasing words, telling him that it's okay, they're going to have their happy ending too, just like us! 

"Why are you saying that Titanic is a happy ending?!" 

Okay, so maybe Beomgyu isn't that good at comforting Yeonjun when he cries over those movies. He still thinks that it's endearing though.) 

"Look at you, doing a lover's sacrifice." Beomgyu's annoyance melted away when Yeonjun wrapped an arm around his shoulders, leaving a kiss on the crown of his head. He does roll his eyes, hiding his smile as he subtly elbows the older boy lightly. 

"Stop being cheesy." 

"You started it!" 

And that's how the conversation of their break up ends. 

This time, it's Beomgyu's name that's written in bold in the headlines: the next ruthless heartbreaker. He doesn't quite care though—one of these days, the media will find a new rumor that'll leave them wanting more. 

But right now, he has to deal with the insistent phone calls and endless messages of support and even a few cursing him out. When his phone rings a little too loudly again, he lets out a deep sigh as he picks up his phone, seeing Soobin's name scrawled on the screen. 

"Gyu-yah, are you okay? Do you want me to start fighting people on Twitter, just tell me the word and I'll do it." 

Those are the first words that Soobin utters the moment Beomgyu answers the call. The latter laughs, shaking his head as he lays the phone down on the table.

"You're the first supportive person in my inbox for today, hyung. I woke up to twenty notifications of different people cursing me out." 

He can tell that Soobin winced at the thought of it. Break ups are always the worst—Soobin got that end when he decided to take the blame when he broke up with Beomgyu. He had to tell people on variety shows that it's his fault, that Beomgyu is still the same hopeless romantic that the people loved. 

Now, the hopeless romantic doesn't seem to fit Beomgyu's persona anymore. 

"But are you okay though? Do you want me to skip out on this shoot and head over to your apartment?" 

"This isn't my first relationship, hyung. I'll be fine," Beomgyu pauses as he glances at the clock nearby, lips twitching into a smile. "Besides, I'm heading over to Yeonjun's apartment today." 

"Fine, just don't get caught!" 

Beomgyu laughs as he drops the call, finally shutting off his phone for the day. He checks his reflection on the mirror one more time, tugging on his cap to mask his expression before he wraps the coat a little tighter around his frame.

It's a hassle that he has to hide and dodge the people as much as he can.

But at least this time, he doesn't have to pretend anymore. 

 










"What are you doing here?" 

"Rude. Is that how you greet your best friend?" 

"Oh so, now we're best friends?" Yeonjun stifles a laugh as Beomgyu hastily pushes his cap against his chest, arching a brow as he steps inside the apartment.

"Best friends who flirt and make out occasionally, maybe." 

It's rare to catch Yeonjun off guard and leave him stuttering but lately, Beomgyu is starting to get to know him so much better. That means that he knows exactly what to say that leaves Yeonjun with flushed cheeks as he stumbles over his own words. 

"I still don't know why you wanted to be friends first." He ends up saying, clearing his throat as he shuts the front door behind him. Beomgyu whirls at him, a teasing smile drawn across his lips. 

"I thought you love watching your romcom films. You see a lot of them started out as friends!" 

"But I like you so much." Beomgyu isn't even finished with shrugging off his coat when Yeonjun wraps his arms around him from behind, resting his chin on his shoulder with a deep sigh. 

He does let out a laugh though, letting himself get comfortable in his warmth as he snuggles close. "I like you too. And see, our relationship changed from best friends to best friends who acknowledged their feelings for each other !" 

"God, you're so infuriating, do you know that?" 

Yeonjun untangles himself from Beomgyu's warmth but the other boy is quick to chase after him with a laugh bubbling from his throat. He wraps his arms around Yeonjun's frame and leans in, leaving kisses all over his face. 

Yeonjun ends up laughing—it's bright and pretty and god, Beomgyu is in love. 

(Maybe he always had been, right from the start.)

"And you adore me, I know."