Seunghoon quickens his steps when he spots the neon sign of 3 pigs blinking in the darkness of the street. Pushing open the door to the restaurant and squeezing by the crowd of people waiting to be seated, he lets himself take in the noise and bustle of the late-night dining scene. He pulls at his black cap and scans the tables for familiar smiling faces through the haze of smoke that comes second nature to any barbecue restaurant. He notes off-handedly that his mouth has started to water when he hears a familiar voice.
"Seunghoon, over here!"
Swinging his head to the left, what he sees makes his jaw drop.
In the midst of a group of twenty-somethings waving at him from the back corner of the smoky room, sits his boyfriend of almost a year, a playful and expectant grin plastered on his face and an arm looped around his shoulders. But that isn't what has grabbed Seunghoon's attention as he makes his way to the table.
"Hey, Lee, cat got your tongue?" The accompanying cackle and smug grin makes Seunghoon shoot Mino a look of mild annoyance before pushing him away with a hand to the face. Offending arm effectively dislodged from his boyfriend, Seunghoon drops down onto the bench next to Jinwoo, who immediately lays his head, complete with freshly dyed hot pink hair, on his shoulder.
"Hi," he smiles shyly, peering up at Seunghoon from beneath long eyelashes.
Seunghoon's breath hitches. "Your hair, Jinwoo..." he begins.
"Do you like it?" Jinwoo slurs happily into his chest. "Mino convinced me to do it, since I wouldn't get the minwoo 5 eva." He doesn't know what Jinwoo is talking about, but over the top of his boyfriend's head, Seunghoon shoots Mino another dirty look. Of course this would be that idiot's idea. The other boy just shrugs his shoulders and smirks, his newly blond hair a companion to Jinwoo's hot pink.
"Hello, Seunghoon," Taehyun says as he makes his appearance at the table, having appeared from what seems to be the restroom. "Glad you could make it. Sorry we started without you." The younger boy's hair is also dyed a bright blond, not unlike his boyfriend's, but still in its distinctive center part.
"Oh, Taehyun. Mino got to you also?" Seunghoon laments openly. Usually, he could count on Taehyun to reign Mino's antics in and be the voice of reason.
Seunghoon is horrified to find Taehyun blushing as he looks away and mumbles, "He can be...quite convincing...when he wants to be."
Mino snickers and Jinwoo giggles, his hands snaking around Seunghoon's waist and slipping under the hem of his shirt. Seunghoon doesn't even want to think about the implication apparent in Taehyun's words. Turning instead to much more important things, Seunghoon grabs Jinwoo's hands, pulling them out from under his shirt.
"Jinwoo, how much have you had to drink?" he asks as he peers at the flushed face of his clearly inebriated boyfriend. Not for the first time does he wish dance practice didn't run long so that he could have been at dinner earlier and maybe put a stop to the at least one bad idea.
Jinwoo shrugs, lifting his head but scooting closer to Seunghoon, their sides pressing together. "Don't I look nice, Hoon?" and he smiles so beautifully that Seunghoon's heart does a little tumble in his chest for the second right before he melts, fingers reaching to thread through silky hot pink strands before settling on the curve of Jinwoo's cheek.
"You do. You always look amazing to me," Seunghoon replies truthfully. Somewhere behind him, he thinks he hears someone gag.
Satisfied, Jinwoo loops his arms around his neck, reaching up for a kiss. Seunghoon swoops down to indulge him, looking to settle a sweet birthday kiss on his boyfriend's lips, but apparently Jinwoo has other ideas. Almost immediately, Jinwoo is probing his bottom lip with his tongue, demanding to be let in, his fingertips almost painfully pressing on the back of Seunghoon's neck.
"Wait, Jin--" Seunghoon tries, but then Jinwoo seizes the opportunity to finally, finally, slip his tongue in, and Seunghoon has to suppress the moan bubbling in his throat.
Absently, Seunghoon hears loud whistles in the background, and even a get a room! is tossed in for good measure. But he's far past the point of caring, not with the way he's drowning in the pull of Jinwoo lips and the way the elder is sighing contentedly against his mouth.
And he thinks maybe Jinwoo isn't the only one a little drunk.
The couple separates only when they hear the swelling song of happy birthday vibrate through the crowd. Jinwoo pulls away and looks up to see Seungyoon, with Zico in toe, carefully carrying in a cake with way too many candles packed onto chocolate frosting. Beyond delighted, Jinwoo basks in the glow from the candles and from the attention and affection of his friends, who all sing very badly at the top of their lungs, but even in the fuzziness of his mind, Jinwoo thinks this is the best birthday ever.
"Come on, your highness," he teases. "Your carriage awaits."
Once they make it outside the restaurant, Jinwoo clings to Seunghoon, arms wrapped around his taller boyfriend's frame and pink head buried in his neck. He's always been delighted by their height difference because it made for ideal cuddling. And while Jinwoo clings to him like a koala -- a very cute koala -- Seunghoon tries to thank Jinwoo's friends and co-workers for attending, but shaking hands and holding conversation becomes increasingly difficult with the way Jinwoo is demanding his attention.
"Jinwoo wants birthday kisses," he pouts, dragging his lips up Seunghoon's neck and ignoring the taller boy's gasps and protests.
In the end, it's Seungyoon who swoops in to save the day. With a knowing smile, he waves the couple off, urging Seunghoon to take Jinwoo home. Before they get into the cab, Jinwoo dislodges himself from Seunghoon long enough to wave goodbye to his adoring masses, blowing air kisses and throwing finger hearts before he finally collapses onto the backseat in a fit of giggles and pulling Seunghoon down with him.
"It's pretty," Jinwoo mumbles because he can't think of anything else but Seunghoon's fingers in his hair as he washes it to get the smell of barbecue smoke out. He sighs happily as his boyfriend massages his scalp before rinsing them both off with warm water.
The hot pink is such a contrast to Jinwoo's pale pale skin, and Seunghoon can't stop staring. "This is nice," he says, fingers moving to Jinwoo's hair of their own accord. "I like it." Mino might be an idiot, but even idiots can get lucky with their ideas.
Jinwoo just hums, as if he knew Seunghoon would like it.
Seunghoon smiles when Jinwoo leans back against his chest, in no hurry to go or be anywhere but in his arms. In the past year, they've both graduated from university and more or less found jobs, thankfully, in Seunghoon's case, hotline-free. It was the scariest moment of his life when he asked Jinwoo to move in with him, but also the most rewarding. Waking up with Jinwoo's hot morning breath blowing against his cheek was not something he was ever willing to part with. His old apartment makes for tight living quarters for the two of them, their two cats, and one dog, but they make it work.
"I'm all pruney," Jinwoo complains, interrupting his thoughts and frowning as he studies his fingers in the water. Laughing, Seunghoon pulls them out of the bath, throwing a fluffy towel over Jinwoo's head before drying him off. It isn't often that he's able to take care of Jinwoo like this, the other boy prefers doing things on his own or doting on Seunghoon, so with Jinwoo pliant and willing, Seunghoon takes advantage.
Wrapping Jinwoo up in a towel, arms pinned to his side, Seunghoon attacks, dropping loud and wet kisses all over Jinwoo's face and shoulders, the birthday boy laughing and squirming all the while.
And later, while they're curled up in bed, Seunghoon's gift of the director's cut of Jinwoo's latest drama obsession playing in the background, he reaches for Jinwoo's hand.
Jinwoo gives him a firm squeeze. No hesitation. No question.
It may be his boyfriend's birthday, but Seunghoon feels like he's the lucky one.