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Love Is A Smoke

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They were in bed together, and it seemed to be a good day. En was soft and lovely throughout, so much that Chota wept with how tender he was being, and En only nipped at him as a reprimand. He even smiled, after. Chota's heart felt full. 

He was dozing off, all comfortable with afterglow when En touched his chin, just a light nudge.

Chota sleepily blinked at him, and En lifted his own chin in a gesture, his voice still gentle.

"Look up." 

Chota did, and En shifted closer, reaching for his neck. 

Chota felt the touch of something against his throat, a cold weight resting just above his collarbones, and En slipped fingers behind his neck to clasp the contraption closed. 

En got him something. 

Chota was sure he was dreaming, for a second.

En sat back and appraised him, and then nodded, a satisfied expression on his face. 

Of course Chota had to go see. He pushed himself off the bed and looked at himself in the mirror right beside it, and touched his own neck to see. 

A choker. 

A choker that Chota had talked about before, probably months ago. They were having breakfast that morning, and Chota was looking up the new autumn line from his favorite designer. The jewellery had been stunning, and Chota had mentioned the choker especially, marvelling over how delicate and pretty it was. But it had been two bats, holding an onyx in between them. 

The choker on Chota's neck featured doves, and a ruby. Bright red, like En's hair. 

As always, Chota had to let En know how much he liked it. 

He leapt onto the bed and reached for En, stumbling over his words in excitement, trying to simultaneously kiss and speak at the same time. 

En stopped him halfway and kissed him deeply, and Chota's heart was so full he could absolutely die from it, like he'd burst at the seams and break out of his skin, just from loving En. 

En must have made a custom order for him. En must have specifically asked for the exact design, the exact color. En's gifts were usually delivered; today En had made sure to put the choker on Chota. 

That meant something. That had to mean something. 

As always, Chota could not stop himself. 

"En. En. I love you. Please," Chota needed to stop, he needed to keep quiet, "Listen to me."

And as always, En could sense it coming. He pulled back and his brows furrowed, and Chota couldn't tell if En's eyes were angry or pleading, but Chota couldn't never tell when he was like this.

"Chota..."

"Let's be partners. Really. We'll be so good together, I promise, I'll be so good for you. Let's just be partners, please-" 

The disappointment in En's face hurt, but the love in Chota's skin was overwhelming, so much that everything else was background noise. His mouth was running a mile a minute, listing all the reasons why they should be partners, why they should have been partners from the very beginning, they loved each other, so why-

"Do you control time." 

Chota's rambling came to a halt, but he was undeterred, "No, but En, I can still-"

"I'll only partner up with someone who controls time," En said, his tone making Chota go quiet, "No one else." 

'Not even me?' Chota wanted to ask, but he knew the answer. En had told him time and time again. And yet-

En slid off the bed and went into the bathroom without another word. The overwhelming feeling of love was still present for Chota, but was slowly deflating, seeping back into his skin, where it always had been. Where it always should be, contained inside of Chota. 

Chota touched the choker on his neck and thought of all the times when he was convinced that he and En truly did belong together. 

Today wasn't a good day after all.