Author's Note: inspired by this. i've been meaning to write this for ages (as you can see from what inspired me) but I got busy with prompts and all... until recently, kibum has been talking about living alone (on My Little Television) and even showing his new home so it reminded me how i wanted to write something about this. i didn't really plan it out and just wrote whatever came into mind but i still hope you'll enjoy the read! thanks for clicking your way here and happy reading! ^^
Kibum turns to his right and raises an eyebrow at Jonghyun, his designated flight mate. They’re on the plane to Tokyo where the captain has just made his announcement for the cabin crew to prepare for landing when Jonghyun decides to lean closer and apparently show him some sympathy.
“Minho.” Jonghyun simply answers, unafraid to talk openly about their bandmate since he’s seated two rows back and most probably sound asleep.
Besides, it helps that the business class seats have so much leg room which creates more distance between them even when they’re on the same flight.
Kibum can tell it’s a serious conversation but he still can’t figure out where Jonghyun is going with this. He even gets a little confused when Jonghyun pats him on his shoulder the same way he would to comfort someone.
“Every time he’s upset, he doesn’t talk about it and just sulks all the time… It’s frustrating, isn’t it?”
Just like that, it all clicks.
“Is it that obvious?”
Kibum must admit, he’s impressed that Jonghyun has noticed this much when one, he doesn’t live in the dorm anymore, and two, they (both Minho and him) have been careful to hide what has been going on in their personal lives from the others.
“Mmhmm,” Jonghyun hums and then confirms his suspicion, “You finally told him huh?”
The question may sound vague but they’ve known each other long enough to understand the other without having to spell things out.
Kibum nods, “I didn’t have much of a choice considering I’m planning to move in a week, hyung.”
Jonghyun smiles reassuringly, squeezing Kibum on his arm, “He’ll come around, don’t worry about it.”
“That’s what I thought... but we got into this huge argument. I mean, it really isn’t that big of a deal but-”
Jonghyun widens his eyes, alarmed, and quickly shakes his head, “It is, Kibum, it is. He was already sad when Taemin and I moved out, now that it’s you... you’re different, you know?”
Kibum frowns, “I know, and I understand why Minho’s upset but a part of me still wants him to be supportive? I had hopes that he wouldn’t be so childish about it but he got so moody that I flared up and now…”
Jonghyun listens and remains quiet for a moment, taking in Kibum’s troubled expression, before he breaks the silence.
“How bad is it?”
Kibum lets out a breath, “The only time we acknowledge each other is if we’re working... We haven’t talked to each other for days.”
“Yikes.” Jonghyun realises that things are worse than he thinks it is, “You should really try talking to him. Like soon. Like when we get off the flight, or now, like I mean-”
“Yes Jjong,” Kibum rolls his eyes, “I get it… and thanks. But for now I’d appreciate if you let me have some silence so I can figure out how to deal with a sulky boyfriend.”
“Remind me again why you aren’t going.”
“I have something on, hyung.”
They’re having breakfast in their dorm on the day of Kibum’s housewarming party when Jinki asks Minho the same question he has been asking all week and as usual, ends up hearing the same useless answer once again.
“What?” Jinki probes, deciding not to let Minho off the hook so easily this time.
Amused at Jinki’s concern, a crooked smile appears on Minho’s face.
“Since when did I have to report to you what I do in my free time, leader-nim?”
“Since you started lying.” Jinki even emphasises the last word by raising his volume in a dramatic tone.
Poking at his food, Minho looks away as he mutters, “I’m not lying.”
“Oh please Minho, what could you possibly have on that you can’t even spare a little time to drop by Kibum’s new place and celebrate with him?”
“Kibum’s not even trying to get me to go so why do you even bother?” Minho asks instead, immediately changing the subject so he doesn’t have to answer Jinki.
The leader narrows his eyes at Minho, “You’re being such a brat right now.”
“I don’t understand…” Jinki sighs, resisting the urge to flick Minho on his forehead, “You’re just making things even worse. Is it so hard to be happy for him, Minho? Did you really think we’ll be living in this dorm together forever?”
Even just saying the last two words makes Jinki shiver at how cliché the idea is.
“God knows I’m so grateful Kibum has his own place now because that means I don’t have to deal with loud sex noises anymore.”
Minho furrows his eyebrows, “Hyung…”
“What? Did you honestly believe both of you were being quiet? Our walls aren’t soundproof, FYI.”
Minho looks down, embarrassed.
Jinki shakes his head, “Whatever it is, you should really stop being so difficult and just make up with Kibum already.”
“Aren’t you sad, hyung?” Minho can’t help but ask, “That it’s just the two of us left here?”
“We’re growing up, Minho…” Jinki replies, “But that doesn’t mean we’re growing apart.”
Jinki and Minho look at each other for a moment, letting the words sink in, before they both suddenly break into smiles.
“Cheesy huh?” Jinki laughs.
“Very.” Minho agrees and adds as an afterthought, “Meaningful though.”
Jinki grins, “So?”
“Are you going for Kibum’s housewarming?”
Minho pretends to think about it for a second before he gives his answer.
“Thanks for trying to be our peacemaker, hyung, but it’s still a no.”
Kibum’s heart drops when he unlocks the door to his apartment and sees that the lights are turned on. His immediate reaction is to drop everything and run but when he spots a familiar pair of shoes at the doorway, he instantly relaxes and walks further inside his new home. The last thing he expects is to find Minho in his apartment a few nights after his housewarming party and so, when he actually sees his boyfriend, Kibum is at a complete loss. It’s rather late at night and he just wants to have a relaxing bath before going to bed but he’s stuck standing in between his dining area and living room, staring at Minho who’s comfortably seated on his sofa with a straight face.
“You should really change your passcode.” Minho is the one who breaks the silence between them, “I got it within three tries.”
Thinking if a digital door lock is the correct choice, Kibum stays quiet and simply looks at Minho. Surprised, confused, amused, upset, angry, relieved, happy, only Choi Minho can make him this crazy. Kibum is feeling all too much at once and has so many thoughts in his mind that he really doesn’t know how to react. After a long moment with the both of them just looking at each other, Kibum finally moves, walking towards Minho and joining him on the sofa. He doesn’t turn to face Minho though, and neither does Minho, but they sit close to each other, keeping their eyes on the television in front of them where they can see their own reflection on the black screen.
“When did you get here?” Kibum asks in a monotone voice.
“Early enough to give myself a full apartment tour.”
“What do you think?”
“It’s what you always wanted.”
Kibum should feel happy that Minho understands him this well but there’s something about the tone in Minho’s voice that reveals a sense of bitterness which worries Kibum.
“Minho…” Kibum reaches out to hold Minho’s hand, “This doesn’t change anything between us-”
“Really?” Minho moves his hand away and turns to face Kibum, “Do you really think everything will be the same? After all, you moved out because you wanted your own space right?”
“Yes but how does that even affect our relationship?!” Kibum really can’t understand what Minho is thinking, “It doesn’t change the way I feel about you. It doesn’t mean I love you any less.”
“We’re not living together anymore, Kibum.” Minho breathes out, frowning, as he shares what has been bothering him ever since Kibum told him he was moving out, “It feels as if I’ve lost you… that you don’t need me around as much as I need you and that’s why you can move out so easily, like there’s no reason to stay any longer.”
“Nonsense.” Kibum instantly disagrees, upset with how Minho is acting given that they both have had enough time to cool down, “You know that’s not true. Don’t say things in the heat of the moment.”
“You can’t blame me, Kibum.” Minho defends himself as he mutters under his breath like a child who doesn’t get his way, “You’re not the one who’s left behind. Imagine if I was the one who moved out. How would you feel?”
“Let me ask you one question, Choi Minho,” Kibum loses his patience and raises his voice as he looks around, searching for something to throw at Minho but finding nothing, and ends up throwing punches to Minho’s arm, “Why do you think you even managed to guess my passcode so easily?!”
Stunned, Minho falls silent and blinks at Kibum, keeping still and accepting every punch Kibum’s throwing at him.
“If you think it’s because you know me so well, you’re wrong.” Kibum huffs, giving Minho one final punch before stopping and pushing Minho hard on his chest that he falls back a little, “I could have easily chosen a number combination so random you would have never guessed it but did I? NO. Think about that before you accuse me of leaving you behind, you idiot.”
With that, Kibum stands up from the sofa and storms out of his living room. He heads straight to his own room and even slams the door for dramatic purposes, leaving Minho pondering over his words in a daze.
It’s almost an hour later when Kibum finally leaves his room, having already taken his bath and feeling he has calmed down enough to face Minho again. However, it’s dark and quiet when he steps back into the living area and the first thought that comes into his mind is that Minho has gone back to the dorm. The only light on in his apartment is the one in his room but it’s enough for him to find his way around his cosy home. Upon closer look, Kibum realises that Minho never left. He’s just lying on the sofa, his eyes closed and his body stretched out, and occupying the entire space that Kibum ends up having to sit on the floor beside him.
“Idiot,” Kibum mutters as he leans against the sofa, rests his chin on his hand and stares at Minho, “Who allowed you to sleep here?”
“I’m not sleeping.” Minho’s lips move the same time he opens his eyes and meets Kibum’s gaze, “I couldn’t even fall asleep even if I wanted to.”
“Why?” Kibum asks, not surprised that Minho had been awake, “Feeling too guilty and sorry?”
“Maybe…? A little?” Minho answers as he moves to lie on his side and face Kibum properly, reaching out to cup Kibum’s face and gently stroke his cheek with his thumb, “Look, Kibum, I’m sorry that I’ve made things so difficult for you… I’m happy for you, I really am, but it’s just hard for me to get used to being separated from you. I know you’re going to think I’m exaggerating but it honestly feels like we’re suddenly thrown into a long-distance relationship. I guess I just need the time to learn how to cope with this…”
“You really are exaggerating,” Sitting up straight, Kibum holds Minho’s hand and brings their intertwined hands down, resting it against the cushioned seat, “I’m not going to ask you to move in with me, because god knows we’ll be living together after all this is over, but you are always welcomed here.”
“Are you saying that you moved out so you can enjoy living alone now because it’s the only chance you’ll have?” Minho asks and then rephrases his question, “Because you think we’ll be living together again at some point in our lives and so you want to live by yourself now?”
“That’s one of the reasons, I guess.” Kibum nods, “But even though I want to live alone now, it doesn’t mean I want to be away from you.”
“I know… you just need your space.” Minho thinks out loud, reminding himself how important that is to Kibum.
“Minho…” Kibum frowns, worried that this conversation may go the wrong way again, “Please don’t think that I-”
“I’m not.” Minho shakes his head earnestly and smiles, “I get it. I really do.”
“So you’re not upset anymore?” Kibum bites his bottom lip, a little nervous and unsure if Minho truly understands.
Minho nods and squeezes Kibum’s hand, “It’ll take a little bit more time but I’ll get used to this. I promise.”
“Does this mean I can have my boyfriend back now?” Kibum breaks into a smile as he gets up from the floor and pulls Minho up with him at the same time.
“But I’ve always been here…” Standing up, Minho can’t help but laugh while naturally placing his hands on either side of Kibum’s hips, “Even if we weren’t talking for days… weeks.”
“Liar,” Kibum sulks, locking his hands behind Minho’s neck, “You didn’t even come for my housewarming, you ass.”
“Sorry…” A look of remorse on his face, Minho knows he’s in the wrong for being so stubborn before and tries to make up for it, “I’m here now though, does this count?”
Kibum thinks for a moment before he says, “Give me a present and then I’ll forgive you.”
Minho grins, “You’re holding it already.”
Already used to his boyfriend’s antics, Kibum looks at Minho from head to toe and then shakes his head in dissatisfaction, “Can I get an exchange?”
“Nope, it’s strictly non-exchangeable.”
Kibum sighs exaggeratedly, “I guess I’m stuck with it then.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t be here 24/7 anyway.” Minho casually says, “I still have a dorm and Jinki hyung to get back to…”
“You’re not staying the night?” Kibum is honestly surprised that Minho is even considering going back to the dorm.
“Kibum, doesn’t it defeat the purpose if I do?”
“But we just made up…”
“Do you really want to leave tonight?” Kibum narrows his eyes at Minho, suddenly turning all serious and trying to see through his boyfriend’s intentions.
“Why?” Minho asks Kibum instead, “Do you want me to stay?”
“Alright, fine.” Kibum takes his hands off Minho and lets him go, “Go off then, good night.”
“Naaah,” Smiling, Minho tightens his hug around Kibum and brings him back closer, “I think I’m gonna stay… and maybe help you christen your new home?”
Kibum rolls his eyes but doesn’t move away when Minho closes the distance between their lips.
He decides it’s nice having his annoying boyfriend back because now, it feels a little more like home.