A little girl peeking between chiffon curtains discovered a shadow lurking along the streets, stumbling and twirling on his feet. There was a tune on his breath, a lilt to his step, and although she could not smell it through a pane of glass and the small garden of the damp and dewy front yard, there was the scent of too many whiskeys clinging to his coat, tendrils of smoke laced through the strands of dark hair the colour of earth and soil.
He swung around a streetlamp like a merry-go-round, endlessly spinning until his fingers were slipping and he was collapsed on the cement in a bark of cheerful, drunken laughter. Though she did not have a clue about the alcohol that coursed through his veins like a drug fuelling him to keep, keep, keep on going, she simply believed he was just a happy man that lived across the bitumen in a quaint little flat, the steps guiding him up to his front door patched with tiny flourishes of bright green moss. So when gold clanged faintly in his palms and jostled open a lock, the darkness within swallowing him entirely until the door was slamming shut with finality, the girl flew from her windowsill perch and into duvets of white, subsiding the glow of the bedside lamp and dreaming to one day be as jovial as he.
But Jung Hoseok was far from being a happy man.
Once the shadows had greeted his body in welcome, Hoseok shrugged his coat off onto floorboards that melted into butter beneath sunshine, wrestling with the tie too tight around his throat and entertaining his thoughts with the idea of perhaps choking himself into his demise. But the dull orange ambience that was clear through the entrance to the bedroom, emanating a pool of light onto the carpet, sourced from the bathroom within, was what had him brushing off the idea with a sigh that instantly made him cringe, realising that the dry hay scent of whiskey was still imbued on his exhalations. Nonetheless, he slowly began to trudge forward, the toes of his shoes dragging in an unpleasant sound of honey, I’m home and drunk again.
The light grew bolder, straining against his wavering sight that had the doorframe spinning into seven different entries and he hoped to all the Gods that the one at the centre of his vision would lead him onto the tiles of the bathroom and not directly into the plaster of the wall. Luck seemed to be on his side, because all of a sudden you were swimming among his sights, quite literally submerged in a tub of clear steaming water, a towel propping up the back of your head and a dogeared book held daintily just above the surface by your splayed fingers. The expression upon your features was familiar, amused and distressed and angry all at once, but even so you placed the novel on the small ceramic shelf by the bath and then drummed your nails on the edge, and Hoseok was immediately at ease. All the weight that was pressing like hands and bricks and slabs upon his shoulders slowly slipped away once his half-lidded gaze landed on you.
Wordlessly, he slumped down onto his knees atop the slightly damp bathmat, weaving your fingers together and then leaning forward to kiss you in hello again. His lips were pleasantly warm and reeked of too much alcohol, and so you told him you smell disgusting and he murmured I know just as his tongue dipped between the seams and found your own, but you did not really mind because this was Hoseok and you were helplessly in love.
Coming up for air was a chore, since once he starts kissing you, he feels as though he could go on for an eternity with occasional breaks to snack and nap. Though the sensation of your teeth nibbling gently at his lower lip was always a sign, so Hoseok pressed slightly firmer just for a second before retreating, recoiling back into his sad little self by the edge of the tub without your sweet tongue laving over his. Your cheeks were bright and you looked absolutely beautiful.
“How was your day?” He tried not to slur, but it was still there, the your dragging a little longer than it should.
“Beautiful, I did absolutely nothing,” You smiled, resting your cheek against the towel and staring with more love than he deserved. “I see you must have had a bad one. I might need to buy you a book about recovering from alcoholism.”
Hoseok nodded, lifting your entwined hands to his lips so he could lightly kiss each wet knuckle. “I think that might be wise. Can we make love tonight?”
“Maybe that could be the incentive,” You mused, wryly grinning. “No sex until you stop drinking as though the sun will never rise again.”
“But it won’t!” He whined like a child and you batted his lips away from your hand, the water disturbed in unison with your squeak when he decided to gently pinch your nipple in retaliation. “Y/N, you are the sun. And I am just this helpless, lonely little meteor with a deadbeat job and a very, very bad drinking problem.”
You are just uninspired was said on your sigh, propping yourself up from your reclined position in the tub, the water rippling around your thighs as you got onto your knees. Hoseok used the opportunity of you reaching atop the sink to pinch at the supple flesh of your bottom, doing so again and again although your swatting and sounds of annoyance until you were dropping back, water spilling over the edges and into his lap but he did not mind. The half-full cup and the toothbrush already prepared with a line of toothpaste was set into his hands and he quietly set to work while you relaxed once more, watching the white minty foam build up in his mouth as he lethargically scrubbed the dazzling smile you instantly fell in love with the day you happened upon each other. Fingers still damp, you ran them through his fringe, pushing it back and laughing at the way he tried to purr around the toothpaste, nuzzling into your palm before he spat into the cup and then went back to removing as many traces of whiskey as possible.
It had been ongoing for a while, Hoseok tripping over his own feet as he walked through the door instead of gliding through on dancing soles. The position of choreographer at his latest company was getting to him, often resorting to washed out and overused moves instead of the unique flow that you know, you certainly, definitely know is still etched into his very being. But he started drinking nonetheless, although he were one in the past to politely decline a third, sometimes even a second glass, but the frustration of it all had him absolutely mad and the only way to soothe that was by numbing his mind to a point beyond comprehension. And you let him go, did not stop him with threats of leaving or your arms wound around his neck, or with the worst, a treatment of dead silence - but you only did this because he needed to feel angered, hurt and frustrated. He needed to fuck up. You tied a rope around his waist with a kiss of I will wait for you and then set him free out into a galaxy of his own, letting him discover mistakes at the bottoms of blackholes and hoping, praying that he would find that silver star shining in the distance of endless darkness that would have him tugging on the rope for you to reel him back in. Though if he ever ended up straying too far, swallowed up in a milky way of whiskey, you would be the first to grab his wrists and pull him out and into your arms and say okay, this needs to stop now.
Teeth-brushing complete, Hoseok haphazardly set the cup on the sink before reaching out for you again. This time, you let him kiss you like a man deprived, teeth grazing along your jaw and down your throat until pretty violet petals were blossoming across your breasts and his hand between your thighs was creating galaxies of your own on the backs of your eyelids. He gave you a parting kiss before he slipped across the tiles like a drunken eel, crawling away into the bedroom and you decided that the water had become too cold and gross so you drained the tub and dried yourself, remnants of heaven still present between your legs. Light succumbing to darkness with the flick of a switch, you drifted lazily into your humble abode and found your lover sprawled facedown on the unmade bed, still completely clothed while you were the precise opposite.
Carefully, you slipped off his shoes and then his socks to reveal his long, bony feet, calloused with too many drilling hours of practice. Hoseok had his eyes closed, making a soft sound of acknowledgement as your fingers pried at his belt, slithering it off and then taking his pants from his legs in a swift, experienced move. The shirt only required a few buttons to be undone until you could encourage it over his head, and once it was discarded to the floorboards, his fingertips were laced at your lower back and dragging you down into the cradle of his embrace. He commented sleepily on how nice your bare skin feels against his and that it was almost better than making love to you, furthered by your only almost? and a giggle when his fingers grasped at your behind and pressed the half moons of his nails into the skin.
“Good night,” You whispered into the corner of his mouth, to which he responded with his eyelashes momentarily untangling to look at you and give you a kiss that said I am so sorry for this and please never leave.
Hoseok was far from being a happy man, but he was happily in love with you.