|Some things in life come naturally: caterpillars wrap themselves in cocoons and come out of them as butterflies, birds hatch from eggs and learn to fly. It’s the same when Namsoon leans over and presses his lips to the corner of Heungsoo’s mouth -- easy, effortless, thoughtless. “I’m tired,” he says, as he draws back, eyes already half-clouded with sleep. “I’m going to bed.”
Heungsoo raises an eyebrow. “And what was that supposed to be?” he asks, but there’s no bite behind his words.
“A good night, I guess,” Namsoon answers, smiling vaguely.
“You never do things properly,” Heungsoo replies, before leaning in again, kissing Namsoon full on the lips. Namsoon closes his eyes and kisses back, and that’s all there is to it.
Their third year in high school goes quietly compared to their second: Namsoon spends most of his time in class sleeping and daydreaming, which suits him just fine. After school, he goes to supplementary lessons sometimes, if it’s Jung-songsaenim teaching them, or gets dragged off by Kangjoo to eat at her favorite restaurant -- if he’s in a good mood, sometimes he even lets Yikyung and Jihoon pester him into hanging out. But most of the time, he’s with Heungsoo, passing the time reading manhwa, eating snacks, sometimes (not always) kissing each other. Like that, time goes by quickly, and his school days come to a close almost before he realizes it.
On a crisp, mid-February afternoon, they graduate. Heungsoo’s sister shows up for the ceremony and Namsoon’s father doesn’t, but Namsoon doesn’t really care: he just just shakes his head and gives Jung-songsaenim a vague half-smile when she asks where he is. All his most important people are already there -- there’s nobody else he needs.
Afterwards, he and Heungsoo go to sit on the school rooftop together one last time. “You should move in with me,” Namsoon says as he leans against the railing, staring up at the sky. “Officially, I mean. Practically all your stuff’s at my place, anyway.”
Heungsoo doesn’t reply and Namsoon doesn’t press him. They stand in silence for a while longer, until the people down below start leaving through the main gates and the finality of the moment sinks in: they came in that morning as students and are leaving as something different. “In the end, we made it,” Heungsoo finally says.
“Should we go out to celebrate?” Namsoon asks.
“Let’s just go home,” Heungsoo says, and the word home rests well in Namsoon’s ears.
Together they live modestly, saving up whatever money they make from the seven-odd part-time jobs they have between them, even though they don’t have anything in particular to save for. They learn to cook things that aren’t instant ramyun or rice, which to them might as well be the same thing as learning to be adults. Once upon a different story, Namsoon would have thought this kind of life was boring, but living simply suits him well when it means living with with Heungsoo.
Some days there’s a temptation to forget their history, to pretend like there was ever a time that they couldn’t call each other friends -- but for every day like that there’s another when Heungsoo winces when he walks and pretends like he’s not in pain. Some days Namsoon’ll feel the sorrow wallow up in his heart, flooding his mind and weighing down on him like regret is something physical -- but for every day like that there’s another when he thinks to himself that Kang-songsaenim was right, and that eventually the weight gets easier to bear.
And some days (the best days, Namsoon thinks) some days are just normal: days where there is no past and no future, only the present.
At times, they go for days or weeks without even kissing -- but sometimes they can barely keep their hands off each other. When winter comes again, they spend almost every free moment lying under the covers together, keeping each other warm in ways that a space heater can’t: with words, with hands, with lips, with feelings.
The first time they have sex is the night of Namsoon’s twentieth birthday, after they’ve had enough soju that their minds and limbs feel looser than usual, but not enough that things start to blur around the edges. They’re both inexperienced, but they’ve already known each others body for so long that touching each other comes almost intuitively: Heungsoo can find Namsoon’s most sensitive parts without even trying, the places that can make him shiver and fold with just the right amount of pressure, because they’re the same places his flesh bruises most easily - places that Heungsoo’s helped him bandage up time and time again. And Namsoon treats Heungsoo with careful reverence, giving Heungsoo’s body all the care that Namsoon refuses to give his own, pressing just hard enough to push Heungsoo to the edge and keep him lingering there.
After they wake up the next morning, they spend almost an hour just lying by each other -- neither of them talk about it, but there’s no need for words.
Five years to the day that everything changed, Heungsoo asks, “Have you ever thought of going back? To Gyeonggi-do,” It’s already late in the evening, when they’re already lying on their sleeping mats -- Namsoon rolls over to look at him, but Heungsoo won’t meet his gaze.
“Not much,” Namsoon says, honestly, because there’s no other way to answer. “Maybe just in passing. Not very seriously.”
It takes a few moments before Heungsoo replies again. “Do you think you’d want to?”
Namsoon sighs. There are memories there that I wish would just stay memories, he wants to say, but he knows that’s not fair. “Do you?” he asks.
“No,” Heungsoo answers, without hesitation.
“Then,” Namsoon says, “I don’t, either.”
Heungsoo turns and presses his lips to Namsoon’s hard (it’s not a kiss, not really) -- Namsoon closes his eyes and lets Heungsoo bruise his wrists and hips with fingertips to match the marks he leaves on Heungsoo’s shoulders and back, as if he could take all of Heungsoo’s pain into his body if he pulled hard enough. There are moments for tenderness, for loving and being loved: this, though, is the kind of desperation they can only share with each other.
Hakyung calls Namsoon’s cell phone the next morning. “I have something for you to deliver,” she says, not bothering with a greeting. “Meet me in an hour at Nakseongdae Station.”
“I don’t do deliveries this early,” Namsoon wants to say, but Hakyung has already hung up, so he sighs and puts on a scarf and coat, grabbing the keys to his scooter off the table before scrawling a note and sticking it to the counter. Going out, it says, doing a favor for Hakyung, will be back later. His handwriting’s a mess, but he knows Heungsoo will be able to decipher it.
Even though he arrives almost fifteen minutes before their meeting time, Hakyung is already waiting by the time he gets there. “You’re early, aren’t you?” Namsoon asks as he gets off his scooter, taking his helmet off.
“But you’re here early too, so it all works out,” she replies, before reaching into her bag and pulling a slim, neatly-wrapped package out. “I’d like you to give this to somebody.”
Namsoon shrugs. “Okay,” he says, because he knows better than to argue with Hakyung once she’s made up her mind on something.
For a few moments, neither of them speak. It’s not an uncomfortable quiet -- neither of them are the types to talk if they don’t have anything to say, and they understand that about each other -- but after a while, Hakyung breaks the silence. “Are you and Heungsoo finally going out?” Hakyung asks, in that certain tone she uses whenever she tries to pretend like she doesn’t really care.
“We’re just being us, I guess,” he replies. “Why do you ask?”
Hakyung raises an eyebrow and reaches over to draw Namsoon’s scarf up, so that it better covers the marks on his neck. “You’re too obvious,” she says.
“Who do you want me to bring the package to?” he asks, changing the subject. He’s being transparent, he knows, but he doesn’t really care.
To Hakyung’s credit, she only pauses for a moment before answering: “It’s for Kangjoo,” she answers. “Her birthday present, actually.”
“Ah,” Namsoon says. “That’s right, it’s her birthday. I forgot.”
Hakyung scoffs, but it’s an affectionate sound. “I know you would. You barely even remember your own birthday, there’s no way you’d remember hers,” she replies, matter-of-factly. “That’s why you’re delivering it, since I can’t go today. She’s been saying she wants to see you, so it all works out anyway.”
For all that Hakyung tries to make herself seem distant, Namsoon thinks, her capacity to care about her friends is astounding. “I’ll be sure to deliver it well, then,” he promises her, giving her the briefest of smiles. “Is there anything else you want me to do, while I’m at it?”
Hakyung presses her lips together as if she wants to say something she’s not sure about, but she seems to think better of it. “You’re living well, right? You and Heungsoo,” she asks instead.
“We are,” Namsoon says, because he understands what she wants to ask instead -- are you two happy now?
“Good,” Hakyung replies, tone decisive. “Now, get going, or you won’t make it to Kangjoo’s dorm before she leaves.”
Namsoon puts his helmet back on and kicks the stopper up on his scooter. “I shouldn’t have to ask you if you’re living well, right, Hakyung?” he asks as the engine turns on. Hakyung scoffs, and they meet gazes and smiles for just a split second before he’s off.
He doesn’t get back until nearly two hours later, because meeting up with Kangjoo is inevitably a more involved process than he expects it to be. “I’m back,” he calls, kicking his shoes off before stepping into the apartment.
Heungsoo’s standing by the rice cooker, watching it steam. He looks up and replies, “Welcome home.”
Namsoon starts to smile without even thinking about it: Heungsoo, a warm bowl of food, welcome home -- what else does he need, anyway?
- - -
fandom: School 2013, Heungsoo/Namsoon
rating: pg-13 for non-explicit sexual material
summary: Some things in life come naturally: caterpillars wrap themselves in cocoons and come out of them as butterflies, birds hatch from eggs and learn to fly. It’s the same when Namsoon leans over and presses his lips to the corner of Heungsoo’s mouth -- easy, effortless, thoughtless. (A post-School 2013 fic.)
notes: 124987239587 months later, i actually manage to finish another s2013 fic... next time i’ll just write jongbin instead bc jongbin never stops being relevant ヽ(；▽；)ノ anyway, i’m not 100% happy with this (i’m never really with anything i wrote tho, so, Q___Q) but i hope it is enjoyable anyway.