“If you ever want to get laid again Johnny Suh, stop leaving your dirty clothes all over the bathroom floor. It’s why they invented the bloody hamper, damn it.”
Taeyong loved his boyfriend, really he did, but after living together for two months the continuing mess on his usually pristine bathroom floor was no longer cute or quirky or something he could easily ignore. Taeyong knew that he was a bit of a clean freak but he was pretty sure even Mother Teresa would have reached her wits end with the mess by now.
“Sorry honey, I’ll pick it up when this episode ends.” Johnny looked up at Taeyong giving him his megawatt smile.
Taeyong wasn’t falling for it this time though. He’d tripped over his last damp towel-dirty underwear combo thank you very much.
“You better or I might have a small bleach accident with your favourite jeans when I do laundry next.”
Johnny's eyes became wide as saucers. After several beats of horrified silence Johnny grabbed the remote and aimed it at the television. Their living room was plunged into sudden silence.
Johnny quickly pecked Taeyong on the temple as he passed him, whispering a soft “Sorry love.” His long legs carried him quickly to the bathroom.
Good, Taeyong thought as he heard Johnny scooping up his dirty laundry, he might finally be getting it. Should have threatened his beloved jeans weeks ago.
At the ripe old age of twenty seven Johnny and Taeyong went from fun and carefree to serious. From ‘for as long as it lasts’ to ‘planning our forever’
Their love story began with a meet-cute. Or a meet-ugly, depending on who you asked. Johnyong, as the pair were affectionately nicknamed by their friends, simply called it destiny.
Two young twenty four year olds in a hurry, neither paying enough attention to their surroundings. Carrying too much speed, and an iced beverage each, they collided into each other on the train platform.
Johnny's pants and shoes took the brunt of the other man's iced latte. He shrugged off the brief frustration of being soaked as he remembered he was headed home anyway.
Taeyongs fate was crueler. Johnny's americano was now a large dark brown blemish marring Taeyong's previously crisp white shirt. Unlike Johnny he was headed to work, to his internship evaluation. He was stressed, uncaffeinated and an unsightly mess.
Johnny came to the rescue, offering Taeyong his still clean shirt. With the shirt exchange complete, Johnny insisted on cleaning the coffee stained shirt, Taeyong made it to work in time to hear his glowing review.
The pair met up several days later to return the now freshly cleaned and pressed shirts to their rightful owners. The chemistry between them was undeniable. Taeyong needed minimal persuading to see Johnny again. They progressed from intriguing meet ups to romantic, fun, dates to inseparable boyfriends at a speed that surprised no one who knew them. They were both romantics at heart.
What did surprise many was how long it took the pair to move in together. They had been dating for two and a half years before either of them broached the subject. Months of hesitation and bad timing followed. Their indecision was finally resolved when Ten, Johnny's best friend and housemate, announced his boyfriend was moving in so he was kicking Johnny out.
Navigating the new dynamic in their relationship was akin to driving off road. Full of bumps and unexpected obstacles but exhilarating nonetheless. Both men were firmly strapped in for the journey.
“Tae honey come to bed. It’s 3am.”
Taeyong barely acknowledged Johnny's statement, eyes fixed on the screen.
“Five more minutes. Just need to finish this quest.”
“Tae you said that three hours ago. Please come to bed. I miss you.”
“Sure, sure ok. I’ll be right there, I ..”
“Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep,” Johnny huffed. He knew he wasn’t going to get anywhere while Taeyong was held captive by his game. Johnny promptly turned and returned to their cold empty bed.
Johnny was finally drifting back to sleep when he was awakened by cold hands encircling his midriff.
“I’m sorry Johnny.”
Johnny feigned sleep opting to have this conversation in the morning. They both lay still in the dark, suffocating on silence.
Several agonising minutes later Taeyong sighed softly. He pulled away from Johnny's warmth, rolling back to his own side of the bed. Johnny listened as Taeyong attempted to get comfortable. Taeyong eventually stopped squirming. Johnny wasn’t sure whether Taeyong had settled because he was finally comfortable or if he had simply given up on the pursuit of the best position.
Johnny's ears rang in the quiet. Prickling unease spread across his skin. He felt increasingly unsettled.
Belatedly he comprehended the cause of his growing anxiety. There was an emotional distance between them now as well as a physical one. It was gnawing at his stomach, his chest, his very soul, it seemed. It left him feeling tender and raw.
Johnny extended an olive branch. Maybe he just pulled his head out of his butt for two seconds. Whatever, he was not analysing the situation at ass o’clock.
He rolled over, engulfing Taeyong in his arms. Taeyong settled his head against Johnny's chest, filling his lungs with his boyfriends warm comforting scent. Johnny nuzzled his face into Taeyongs hair, filling his nostrils and lungs with the aroma of apples.
“Love you Yongie,” Johnny murmured.
“Love you too, babe. I really am sorry,” Taeyong sniffled.
“Shh, sleep now sweetheart. We’re okay. We can talk about it in the morning.“
Taeyong nuzzled in further squeezing Johnny tight before settling down. Both men promptly fell asleep, the love of their life nestled safely beside them.
Johnny woke to an empty bed and the mouthwatering scent of pancakes.
Heart sinking Johnny skipped the sleep-in this morning. He stretched his body, groaning as his muscles protested. He threw back the covers then slipped on his slippers. After a quick visit to the bathroom he found Taeyong still cooking breakfast. Pancakes, maple syrup, toast, orange juice and coffee were already on the small dining table, waiting to be consumed.
Taeyong hadn’t noticed Johnny yet, his back to the doorway. As Johnny approached him he recognised Taeyongs movements as the beating of eggs. Taeyong was going all out with the apology breakfast it seemed.
Typical Yongie, Johnny thought. His boyfriend struggled to articulate negative emotions well. He communicated his regret,and apology, through food. Johnny had learned with time that the larger, and more elaborate, the meal, the more guilty Taeyong felt. Judging by the size of todays, still growing, breakfast quantities Tae felt terrible about last night.
Warmth surrounded him as two strong arms circled his midriff.
“You startled me. I nearly dropped the eggs,” Taeyong chided. He pouted reflexively. His surprise had been spoiled.
“Tae, put down the eggs and come talk to me.”
“But the food will get cold,” Taeyong protested.
“It’s fine babe. We can reheat it later. This is more important.”
Taeyong turned in his boyfriends arms burying his face in Johnny's broad chest.
Taeyong gasped as Johnny tightened his hold on Taeyong then shuffled towards the lounge room. Johnny plonked his giant body onto their couch, rearranging Taeyong so he was straddling his lap. Looking at his boyfriends trusting, open expression made him feel safe, instantly. Taeyong locked eyes with Johnny.
“I’m so sorry Johnny. I know I’ve been gaming too much lately. I’ve been ignoring you. I can’t apologise enough for that.”
“Yongie I don’t think I’ve been clear about why your gaming bothers me.” Johnny paused taking several deep breaths. “It is not because you take time for yourself. You have always gamed to de-stress. I’m fine with that, always have been. But lately you have been gaming until two or three am. You aren’t getting enough sleep honey. It’s starting to affect your health and, quite frankly, your concentration has turned to shit. You forgot to pay the rent two weeks in a row Taeyong.”
Taeyong rubbed his stinging eyes. He refused to break eye contact, however. He needed to hear this as much as he suspected Johnny needed to say it.
“Have I missed you even though we are in the same apartment? Of course. I’m a greedy man when it comes to you. I would have you all to myself, all the time, if I could. I’m not asking you to stop gaming, just to limit how long you play for each night.” Johnny abruptly smirked, wiggling his eyebrows. “I can think of a few stress relief activities that can be enjoyed by two people.”
“Really?” Taeyong asked innocently. “I’m feeling a little stressed right now. Maybe you should demonstrate them, in detail, for future use.”
“What about breakfast?”
“A wise man once told me ‘we can reheat it later’.”
Taeyong swiftly wrapped his legs around his boyfriend as he rose from the couch.
“It would be my honour,” Johnny said while peppering his face with kisses.
“You’ve got a hole in your underwear.“
“What?” Johnny turned staring at his butt reflected in the mirror. “Huh, well would you look at that.”
Johnny continued getting dressed pulling his shirt on over his head.
“Wait, that’s it? You’re seriously not going to change them? Or even better, toss them out?”
“These are my favourites babe. They’re super comfy. I’ve had them for ages.”
Taeyong scoffed, ”I can tell.” A full body shiver racked his frame. “I want a divorce John.”
“We aren’t even married, Yongie,” Johnny chuckled.
“And we won’t ever be if you don’t get rid of those ratty undies,” Taeyong replied indignantly.
Johnny's eyes suddenly filled with mischief. “You want them gone princess then come take them off yourself.”
Taeyong was so determined to be rid of the offending holey underwear he didn’t even rise to Johnny's attempt at baiting him with ‘princess’. He strode across the bedroom and gracefully kneeled in front of Johnny. He hooked his fingers in the waistband and tugged them down and off in a brisk business-like manner. Johnny was so stunned he stepped out of the underpants without argument once Taeyong had them down to his ankles. Then Taeyong promptly stood back up, the offending undergarment dangling from his index finger and left the room. Johnny followed him, forgetting his naked lower half. By the time he caught up Taeyong was disposing of the underwear in the garbage bin.
He turned giving Johnny a prim smile. “We’ll buy you new underwear tomorrow.“
Johnny wasn’t upset about Taeyong ditching his underwear. Truthfully he was impressed with Taeyongs brisk handling of the situation.
“So our future marriage prospects are safe now?” Johnny teased.
“Only if you hurry up and put some pants on. We’re going to be late if we don’t get a move on.”
Taeyong pecked Johnny on the lips on his way back to the bedroom to finish getting ready himself. If this was domesticity, Johnny mused as he put on fresh pants, he would gladly grab it with both hands and never let go.
Johnny woke to the biting nip of winter on his skin. He groped blindly, groggy from sleep, for the covers. As his hands failed to find them he was roused more and more into wakefulness as the warmth was leached from his skin by the bracing cold air.
As his eyes adjusted to the darkness of the bedroom Johnny sat up slightly, balancing on his left arm as he continued to fumble around for the covers with his right. Finally success as he felt the soft fluffy warmth of one of the blankets that covered their bed. He gave it an experimental tug, hoping against hope that he could cover his body quickly. As he feared though the blanket refused to be released from its current position.
By now Johnny knew what he would find if he turned on the light. Taeyong wrapped tightly in a multi layered blanket burrito. Happy and content, fast asleep and toasty warm. Toasty while Johnny froze his balls off in the increasingly frigid air of mid winter. It was the fifth night in a row. Johnny was growing concerned for the health and safety of his kidneys at this point. He had grown so worried about his overall health that he had even taken to wearing pajamas to bed at night, something he had not done since he was thirteen. He certainly hadn’t had to bother while they were living separately. He was perplexed, and mildly disgusted, that the situation had come to this.
Johnny debated whether to forcefully reclaim his half of the covers or if he should wake Taeyong up. He settled on turning on his bedside light to better assess the situation first. He was already awake, the light wasn’t going to do his sleep any further damage now.
He buried his head into his pillow as he flicked the switch. Even with his head buried deep into the pillow and his eyes squeezed shut he could make out the sudden change in light. He took his time letting his eyes adjust then turned to take in the situation.
His heart softened instantly. Taeyong was indeed a human shaped burrito. His soft, silver hair a cute messy halo atop his relaxed serene face. He was an angel burrito Johnny thought, slapping his hand over his mouth to quickly stifle the giggle that threatened to erupt from his throat.
Johnny was baffled how Taeyong managed to wrap himself so thoroughly in that many layers without waking Johnny or himself in the process. It was a little impressive if Johnny was being honest.
While Johnny may be loath to wake his angelic boyfriend his chattering teeth and aching skin reminded him that it was a necessary evil.
He took two solid handfuls of the blankets and pulled, hard. Taeyong merely rolled over to face the other side of the bed, quickly returning to sleep.
Mission successful Johnny turned the light off and lied back down again. As he snuggled back under the covers he mourned how long it was going to take his body to warm back up enough for him to go back to sleep. He hatched a cunning plan to restore his body temperature quickly and get a little pay back at the same time. He scooted closer to Taeyong. Once he was in the middle of the bed he pulled his toasty warm boyfriend into his arms. He draped himself around Taeyongs sleeping form like a koala hugging a eucalyptus tree branch. Well, Taeyong does like to call him a bear he mused, smile on his lips.
He absently noted not to mention that thought to Doyoung. He has been berated by Doyoung for the incorrect assumption that a koala is a bear. It is not, as Doie condescendingly reminds him every time.
The initial contact between them was almost painful to Johnny. His skin was colder than he realised and Taeyong was like a furnace under the layers of fabric. He stayed perfectly still, absorbing the heat greedily. As he persevered through the prickling itch as he rapidly regained warmth Taeyong began to stir and quietly whimper. Johnny held him tighter in his embrace, more python than koala now. Taeyong was not escaping the consequences of being a bed hog so quickly. Johnny was going to make him pay. Lovingly, of course, but he would pay.
“Think it’s warm enough for the cotton sheets again?” Taeyong called from the spare room.
“I think so. We’ve always got each other if we get cold.”
“Want some crackers for all that cheese?” Taeyong teased as he entered their bedroom, arms full of crisp sapphire linen.
“You love it.” Johnny winked as he took the fitted sheet from Taeyong, snapping it open above the bed.
Working together they made quick work of remaking their bed.
“Tuck it in tigh...” A thunderous rumble interrupted Taeyong. He stared, mouth agape, before the fermented scent of death assaulted his senses.
“Sharing is caring?” Johnny said cheekily, boyish smile adorning his face.
They regarded each other across the bed. Abruptly laughter filled the air.
“Bloody hell. Romance truly is dead. The honeymoon is over.” Taeyong giggled.
“Honeymoon? We not married, remember,” Johnny countered. “So much talk of marriage, Yongie. You really are desperate to be my husband, aren’t you my love.”
Taeyong gazed affectionately at Johnny. “Nothing would make me happier. At the rate we take things though, we’ll be old and grey by the time we finally tie the knot.”
“As long as we’re together Taeyong, that’s all that matters.”
“Together, always,” Taeyong replied as he stepped into Johnny's waiting arms.