astrongbreeze (astrongbreeze) wrote,
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astrongbreeze

❀ if my heart was a house (you’d be home) [2/2] (by jumpthisship)

part one ❀ | part two ❀



If My Heart Was a House (You’d Be Home) [2/2]


The rest of the day consists of crisp fall wind and warm conversation, overpriced Cyclone popsicles and long walks through the marsh, new friends and old friends, real family and found family gathered around a fire. Chanyeol joins them in time to go see the flocks of monarchs chilling out by the Point, and he brings Jongin with him, who starts off shy but warms up to them quickly. Kyungsoo gets chastised by a park warden for feeding a raccoon, Sehun thoroughly enjoys the creepy stuffed local wildlife at the Visitors’ Centre that make noises when someone (Chanyeol) presses the buttons, and Chanyeol forces his friendship on everyone and pets every dog along the way.

It’s a good day.

“My fingers are freezing,” Sehun says, hands pressed between his legs where they sit around a picnic table as the sun sets behind the trees, making everything glow gold.

“He’s from California,” Kyungsoo says by way of explanation.

Chanyeol nods in understanding. “It’s still practically summer,” he tells Sehun.

“It’s cold,” Sehun says with a pout.

“The man says he’s cold,” Chanyeol tells Kyungsoo.

Kyungsoo rolls his eyes. “Fine. I’ll take him home. Give him some hot chocolate. You guys aren’t invited.”

“Fine!” Chanyeol shoots back. “Me and Jongin are going to have hot chocolate at my house.”

“I have to go home,” Jongin says quietly.

Chanyeol makes a pitiful face at him. “Just stay at my house. We have a guest bedroom. Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving, you don’t have to get up early.”

Jongin crumbles almost instantly. “Well. Okay.”

“Hells yeah! We’re out of here.” Chanyeol stands up victoriously.

“We actually have to wait until my parents leave,” Kyungsoo admits. “Mom! We want to go home!”

“Oh, then we’ll stay a bit longer,” Chanyeol says, sitting back down. “Love the glasses, by the way. You never wore them in high school.”

“I still never wear them. Except Sehun told me they look nice.” Kyungsoo smiles smugly, and Sehun ducks his head.

“I’ve always liked them!” Chanyeol argues.

“No, you told me they looked cute. Which is not a compliment.”

“It is! They still look cute.”

“Don’t make me take them off,” Kyungsoo threatens.

“I like them,” Jongin pipes up softly.

Kyungsoo grins. “Thank you, Jongin.”

“Why does my opinion not count?” Chanyeol asks, offended.

“Because you wear Christmas sweaters unironically.”

“Christmas sweaters are amazing, I don’t even like you.”

Kyungsoo reaches across the table to pat his hand consolingly.

“On second—third?—thought, I think we’ll leave now after all. Come on, Jongin, let’s get hot chocolate.” Chanyeol stands up with a huff.

“Bye, Jongin,” Kyungsoo says with a broad smile. “It was nice meeting you. Let’s hang out sometime this week?”

“Okay,” Jongin says amiably.

“Bye, Sehun,” Chanyeol says, sniffing imperiously. “I’ll see you around.”

“If you see Sehun, you’ll see me,” Kyungsoo laughs. “He’s mine for the week. My new little brother.”

“What?” Sehun squawks.

Kyungsoo blinks at him. “What?”

Sehun hunches his shoulders, picks at a loose thread in his jeans. “Nothing.”

“Byeeeeeee,” Chanyeol drones. “Text me later, Soo.”

“Okay,” Kyungsoo says, argument forgotten. “See you guys.”

Chanyeol and Jongin disappear in the direction of Chanyeol’s car, and Sehun turns to Kyungsoo, chewing on his lip. “Do you like Jongin?”

“What?” Kyungsoo laughs. “Sehun, you have got to stop assuming that I fall in love with every attractive boy I see.”

Sehun shrugs, pulls his hood up again. “I was just wondering what your type is,” he mumbles.

“I don’t have a type. My type is boys I’ve known longer than one day but who are not my best friend who I watched grow out of his nose-picking phase very late in life.

Sehun snorts at that. “Fine, fine.”

“My type is boys who like boys, and specifically like me,” Kyungsoo adds.

“Alright! I get it.”

“That being said, I think that’s probably Chanyeol’s type, too. In general, you know. That guy probably falls in love with every person he thinks likes him. Person and dog.”

“Not including you?” Sehun asks.

“If you insinuate one more time that I’m in love with Chanyeol, I’m going to have to kill you,” Kyungsoo tells Sehun very seriously.

Sehun shrinks in on himself. “Okay,” he says in a small voice.

Kyungsoo feigns a smack anyway. “No more questions. Let’s go beg my parents to take us home.”

“Okay,” Sehun says again, more enthusiastically this time. Kyungsoo thinks his teeth are chattering. That’s good. It’ll appeal to his parents’ sympathetic natures.

It’s late by the time they finally get home, but Kyungsoo’s mom makes them all hot chocolate anyway, and Sehun looks right at home, fingers wrapped around Kyungsoo’s old reindeer mug and blinking sleepily at the table. It’s chilly outside, a brisk wind stirring the branches of the trees, but Kyungsoo feels warm.






🍁🍂🍃🍂🍁







Thanksgiving Day goes by in the Do household in a blur of leaf-patterned napkins, honey-baked ham, pie syrup burning at the bottom of the oven and setting off smoke alarms, endless amounts of potatoes to peel, and pleasant chatter over the table. The windows are open for most of the day to combat the heat of cooking since the early morning, and the cool autumn breeze brings in the scents of damp soil and decaying leaves. They make enough food for a family twice as large as theirs, and Mei repeatedly tells them, “You’re not allowed to leave until you feel like you’re going to throw up.” Kyungsoo catches Sehun feeding the cats ham under the table, and Kyungsoo’s grandfather loudly calls Sehun, “Mei’s handsome new boyfriend,” four separate times, even after they tell him very clearly that that’s not who Sehun is.

On Tuesday, Kyungsoo’s dad heads back to work, but his mom has the day off and enlists her children (honorary children for the week included) to harvest all the things in their enormous garden that need harvesting. Mei works on peppers, his mom picks the last of the raspberries, and Sehun and Kyungsoo get stuck on sweet potato duty, hands and knees caked with cold dirt as they dig up tuber after tuber.

“Your family is so rural,” Sehun wheezes, leaning heavily on his shovel as Kyungsoo throws sweet potatoes into a hamper.

“I know,” Kyungsoo says with a wince. Sehun has dirt smudged on his face, and Kyungsoo’s been resisting the urge to wipe it off for him for the past ten minutes.

“It’s nice,” Sehun says unexpectedly, smiling. “I feel so wholesome.”

Kyungsoo laughs. “Mom, Sehun called us wholesome!

“Thanks!” his mom calls back.

Sehun kicks out at him, embarrassed. “You weren’t supposed to tell her.

“Why? It’s a compliment. My mom’s been striving her whole life for wholesomeness.” Kyungsoo grins.

Sehun stabs the ground a few times with his shovel. “Is that why you think she won’t approve of you being gay?”

Kyungsoo chuckles a little, stooping to toss a fat worm aside so he can dig around in the loose soil. “Remember when you said you definitely had no problem with me being gay?”

“I don’t!” Sehun says quickly.

“You say that, but you seem awfully preoccupied by it. I’m starting to get suspicious.”

Sehun swallows audibly above him. “Suspicious of what?”

“Of you being unaware of your own homophobia. ‘Fess up, Sehun. The first step towards correcting prejudices is recognizing that you have them.” Kyungsoo throws a worm at him, and Sehun shrieks and leaps away.

“Stop harassing my favourite son!” his mom says from the raspberry bushes.

“He harassed me first!” Kyungsoo hollers in response, yanking a stubborn sweet potato free of the dirt.

“I did not!” Sehun hisses. “And I’m not prejudiced.”

Kyungsoo grins up at him. “If you say so.”

“I do say so,” Sehun says pitifully.

Kyungsoo laughs, then beckons Sehun towards him. “Come here.”

“Why?” Sehun says warily, squinting like he’s looking for more possible worms.

“Just come here.” Kyungsoo keeps waving him down until Sehun gives in and squats a few feet away from him, then shuffles towards him, feeling loose soil rain into his shoes. He pulls his reasonably clean sweater cuff over his filthy hand, then reaches out and rubs the dirt off Sehun’s face. Sehun stares at him, eyes wide. “Your face is really dirty.”

“Oh.” Sehun rubs at his own cheek, and just manages to get more dirt on it.

“Stop that, you’re making it worse.” Kyungsoo chuckles, batting Sehun’s hand away and scrubbing the new marks off. “You’re like a little kid.”

Sehun sighs. “So I’ve heard,” he says, and then he throws a handful of dirt at Kyungsoo’s face.

Kyungsoo splutters, feeling the grit of sand on his tongue. “You son of a—!”

Sehun smiles, stands up, and bolts.

“I’ll be right back, Mom, I have to go kill Sehun!” Kyungsoo yells, standing to take chase.

“Alright,” his mom answers pleasantly.

Right around the time that Kyungsoo catches Sehun and tackles him to the grass, he hears Mei sigh dramatically and say, “Why didn’t I get a roommate who loves me?”

Kyungsoo grins and sits on Sehun’s stomach until he begs for mercy.






🍁🍂🍃🍂🍁







When Sehun and Kyungsoo wake up on Wednesday morning, it’s to an empty house, apart from the cats who have apparently decided Sehun is the best thing to ever happen to the Do household. Kyungsoo shuffles into the quiet kitchen and finds a note on the table, tucked under a $20 bill.

Take Sehun mini-golfing or something. On me.
-Mom


“Sehun, we’re going mini-golfing,” Kyungsoo calls.

“What?” Sehun is rubbing his eyes sleepily on his way out of the bathroom. “When?”

“Today sometime. I’ll call Chanyeol, see if he wants to join us.”

Sehun looks outside at the dark clouds hanging low in the sky and the fat raindrops tapping against the windowpanes. “Is...today a good day for mini-golfing?”

“Oh, it’s indoor. There’s a petting zoo, too. And an arcade.”

“What? What is this town?”

Kyungsoo grins at him. “They also have really good cinnamon donuts.”

Sehun shakes his head. “Whatever. Let’s just go. Let’s pet some animals.”

“Thatta boy. You’re learning.”

Chanyeol agrees, enthusiastically, to join them for mini golfing and animal petting, and says he’s going to invite Jongin, too. They meet up just after lunch, and Sehun looks at the sign in front dubiously. “Why does it say Tropical Gardens in the name?”

“Oh, right. It’s also a tropical garden,” Kyungsoo says. “I always forget that part.”

Chanyeol parks next to them and leaps out of his car, grinning. “Let’s go!” he says.

“Oh no. Chanyeol’s got his mini golfing shoes on,” Kyungsoo says flatly.

“Buddy, you know it. I will win today. Eat my faux grass dust.” Chanyeol props his foot on the bumper of his car and pretends to wipe off the toes of the oldest, rattiest red Converse Kyungsoo has ever had the pleasure of seeing.

“Why are we standing in the rain?” Jongin asks, getting out on the passenger’s side.

“Chanyeol had to show off his hundred-year-old shoes. Come on.”

They hurry into the building, and immediately get distracted by rows of potted plants and a shelf of fish that Kyungsoo has to persuade Chanyeol not to buy, and then they end up in the zoo area even though they’d planned on golfing first. Kyungsoo buys Sehun a cone of food so that the goats will jump on him while he squawks, “Why aren’t they in cages?!” and Jongin looks like he’s about to tear up, staring at a litter of tiny baby bunnies. Chanyeol catches one for him so that he can hold it, and they have to tell him six times to put it back so they can leave after looking at every snake, lemur, and crocodile the indoor zoo has to offer.

“Why do small, cute things have the most sex?” Chanyeol says as they leave the bunnies behind, loud enough that a mother with her young daughter looks scandalized nearby. He turns and narrows his eyes suspiciously at Jongin, who promptly goes red and yelps, “What?!”

“Ignore him,” Kyungsoo says with a roll of his eyes. “Pick your golf clubs, boys. Chanyeol, if you make a single joke about balls or holes, I will strangle you.”

Chanyeol laughs raucously. “Those days are behind me, Soo. I’m a serious golfer now.”

“I’ll believe it when I see it.”

When they pay for their golfing, Kyungsoo says, “I want the blue ball,” just to see Chanyeol struggle to keep his mouth shut. Impressively, he only snickers a little. Maybe he really has grown up. Maybe.

The golf course is 18 holes, surrounded by gardens and ponds filled with fat koi fish and small turtles, and as always, Chanyeol really does leave Kyungsoo in the dust. He gives Jongin all the best tips, though, so Kyungsoo finds himself being shown up by a complete rookie to the course, too.

Sehun, hilariously, can’t mini golf to save his life.

“How can you be so bad at this? Small children play this course,” Kyungsoo says, watching Sehun’s yellow ball bounce into the koi pond again.

“He’s distracted,” Chanyeol says, grinning and bouncing his putter on the toe of his shoe.

“By what? The wildlife?”

Chanyeol snorts, and Sehun hurries away to fish his ball out of the water with a net. “You wiggle your butt when you putt, Soo.”

“What? No I don’t.”

“You do,” Jongin says, nodding very seriously.

“That’s my preparation stance,” Kyungsoo argues.

“More of a preparation dance,” Chanyeol snickers.

“I’m finding my center.”

“I believe you,” Jongin says.

“Thank you, Jongin.”

Chanyeol just grins and bites the end of his tongue. “Nice skinny jeans, Soo.”

“Don’t judge my fashion choices, Chanyeol. You’re wearing a sweater big enough for six people and a hat that says DOPE.” Kyungsoo pretends to swing his putter at him.

Chanyeol jumps away and laughs. “I’m not judging. They’re very flattering.”

“Just because you got a hole in one doesn’t mean you’re allowed to spend the rest of your time harassing me,” Kyungsoo gripes, and goes to take his turn. He definitely does not wiggle his butt.

It’s a preparation stance.

Kyungsoo gets third place, predictably, but his routine loss to Chanyeol is overshadowed by Sehun’s spectacularly high stroke count. To make up for this humiliation, Kyungsoo buys him arcade tokens with the rest of the money from his mom, which earns him a shy smile.

“Damn,” Kyungsoo says, toting his light blaster in front of Paran while Jongin and Sehun scream inside of Dark Escape. “Have you ever just been so fucking gay.”

Chanyeol glances at him, leaning his own gun against his shoulder. “I hope you’re talking about your boy and not mine.”

“What?”

“What?”

Kyungsoo looks at him, confused. “Who are you talking about?”

“Who are you talking about?” Chanyeol fires back.

Kyungsoo points to the screen in front of them. “Your hero dude. The hottest arcade man in the history of this specific arcade. I even let you pick him, just so I could see him on my side of the screen.”

“Oh. Yeah, I was talking about something else.”

“What were you talking about?” Kyungsoo’s finger hovers over the start button, waiting.

“Let’s just say that if you don’t already know, then you’re obviously a lost cause,” Chanyeol says cryptically.

Kyungsoo rolls his eyes. “Okay. Suit up, hero, we have monsters to kill.”

“Sir yes sir,” Chanyeol says, pretending to cock his blaster.

Kyungsoo presses start, and forgets all about it.






🍁🍂🍃🍂🍁







On Thursday, it rains again all day, and Kyungsoo protests by staying inside and refusing to do anything. Sehun, in conjunction, is forced to stay inside and do nothing as well, but he doesn’t seem to mind, curled up all day on the couch with Drapes on his stomach and Chesterfield on his feet, DS in hand and Kyungsoo’s mom’s dried peaches on the coffee table next to him. He looks cozy and content, and Kyungsoo sneaks peeks at him all day, smiling as he watches TV from the other couch or reads in the armchair. It’s a slow, fall-kissed day, and Kyungsoo kind of loves it.

By Friday, the weather clears up, but that’s also the day that Kyungsoo remembers he has an assignment due on the first Monday back at school and he spends the entire day pounding it out in one go, his citations messy and his grammar questionable. He eats three bowls of cereal and one package of ramen, he gets a crick in his neck from sitting in the same position all day, and by the time his parents come home from work he’s finished his rough draft and has remembered that he has a guest in the house.

“Shit,” he says, staring across the supper table at Sehun. “What have you been doing all day?”

Sehun shrugs, spearing steamed corn on the tines of his fork. “I dunno. Just whatever. I did some studying.”

“I’m really sorry. I totally zoned out all day and went on an academia binge. My world narrowed down to psychological theorists and intensely boring academic journal articles.”

Sehun smiles a little. “It’s okay.”

“We’ll do something tonight,” Kyungsoo promises. “Mom, what kinds of things are there to do?”

“I don’t know,” his mom says. “You’ve already done everything to do in this town.”

“Have you cruised the dock?” his dad asks.

“I don’t know why people insist that’s a thing to do. It takes literally five minutes to drive your car around the dock. You’re in and you’re out. What else are you supposed to do there?” Kyungsoo asks.

“I think most people park and make out,” Mei says helpfully.

“Oh, yeah, great idea Mei. Why don’t I take Sehun there?” Kyungsoo rolls his eyes.

“How horrible,” Sehun says.

“My friends and I were gonna go to the corn maze yesterday,” Mei says. “But it was raining. Should be dry today, though.”

“Oh! Oh, that’s a good idea. Sehun, have you ever been to a corn maze before?” Kyungsoo asks.

“Nooooo?” Sehun says, like it’s a question. “Not a lot of corn fields around LA.”

“That’s settled, then. We’ll go tonight. It’ll be dark, because it’s already getting dark, but that’s okay.” Kyungsoo folds his arms, satisfied.

Sehun blinks at him. “Is it...hard?”

“The maze? I don’t know, I’ve never been there,” Kyungsoo admits. “But I bet it’s more fun in the dark, anyway.”

“Is it...scary?”

“Not on weekdays,” Mei says. “They only add scary things on weekends.”

“Oh. Okay.” Sehun looks unspeakably relieved.

The maze itself is about forty minutes away, and they only manage to leave around 8:00, flashlights in hand. They buy their tickets at the gate and head in, weaving around groups of teenagers just exiting the maze and mothers corralling their children to head home. There aren’t many people just entering, which is good, because it’s less fun if there are people around to tell you where you should and shouldn’t go.

“There are numbered hints scattered throughout the maze to tell you if you’re heading in the right direction—if you answer the questions right,” says the guy at the maze entrance. “Don’t cut through the corn, don’t run, and if you get really lost, ask one of the helpers in orange vests for a clue.”

Kyungsoo nods and switches on his flashlight, casting a weak beam on the grass in front of them. “Let’s go,” he says, and tugs on the edge of Sehun’s sleeve.

The inside of the maze is very dark. There’s a mostly-full moon hanging in the sky, providing a bit of natural light, but it does little to illuminate the path in front of Kyungsoo and Sehun as they pick a route and immediately run into three dead ends in a row. They go back to the beginning, pick a different route, and somehow miss the first hint completely and run into Hint #2 after ten minutes of walking through either a checkerboard pattern or somehow going around the same square twelve times.

How many times is the word ‘Canada’ sung in the national anthem?” Kyungsoo reads, shining his flashlight on the question under the wooden flap. “Shit, I haven’t had to sing that since high school.”

“I don’t even think I’ve ever heard it,” Sehun says from behind him.

“Oh, god. Uh, let me see.” Kyungsoo starts humming the tune, numbers off Canada’s on his fingers. “I think it’s three? No wait, four. I can’t remember if this line is actually Oh Canada again or if I’m just putting it there because it sounds the same. Yeah, I think it’s four.”

“What’s the option for ‘four’, then?”

“Turn left.” Kyungsoo looks around. “Didn’t we come from that direction?”

“Uh…” Sehun fidgets. “I don’t remember.”

“Shit.”

They start walking again. Sehun’s flashlight flickers and dies, and Kyungsoo sighs gustily. “This is going well.”

Sehun laughs. “Just don’t lose me.”

“Do you want to hold my hand?” Kyungsoo holds it out and wiggles his fingers.

Sehun snorts, bats it away. They run into another dead end.

“No really. It’s very cold. I forgot that it gets cold at night. Please hold it,” Kyungsoo says.

Sehun stares at him. “Really?”

“Yeah. No one’s gonna see. Take pity on me.” Kyungsoo wiggles his fingers again.

Tentatively, Sehun reaches out and takes his hand, slowly, like he thinks Kyungsoo’s going to yank it away and say, “Sike!” Kyungsoo doesn’t. Obviously. Sehun’s hand is warm and soft, and Kyungsoo smiles.

They walk for another five minutes, hand-in-hand, with the corn making swishing noises around them and the faint sound of other maze-traversers talking and laughing in the distance, and then stumble upon Hint #1.

“Goddammit,” Kyungsoo says. “What’s the question?”

Sehun takes the flashlight and shines it under the flap without letting go of Kyungsoo’s hand. “Uhhh. What’s the capital of Alberta?”

“Oh, shit. What are the options?”

“A) Regina. B) Saskatoon. C) St. John’s. D) Edmonton. Is Alberta a state?”

“It’s a province,” Kyungsoo laughs. “You’re not going to be any help at these questions, are you?”

“Why are they all Canadian trivia?” Sehun asks, exasperated. “Not everyone is from Canada!”

“Not many Americans swing by Essex County,” Kyungsoo says, grinning. “Okay, I know it’s not Saskatoon, that’s Saskatchewan. St. John’s is one of the maritime provinces. Possibly Newfoundland. I’m about 70% sure it’s Edmonton.”

“It says go straight for D,” Sehun says.

“That is a very enigmatic thing to say to a gay boy,” Kyungsoo says. He meets Sehun’s eyes, and then they both start snickering.

Ten minutes later, they find #2 again, then #3, and then they skip past #4 and get to #5 somehow, and then they end up at a little wooden bridge that takes them up above the corn so that they can look out at the field, where the occasional beam of light shines up from the black paths between the rows. They stop there for a while, leaning against the railing, still holding hands. Kyungsoo kind of doesn’t want to let go.

“I don’t know what it is,” he says, “but being stuck in a maze with you kind of makes me want to tell you all my secrets.”

Sehun blinks at him. “What?”

Kyungsoo shrugs. “I don’t know.”

“What kind of secrets?” Sehun asks.

“I dunno. I probably have some, if I think hard enough.” Kyungsoo stares up at the star-littered sky, breathes in the crisp night air. “Oh, I thought of one. I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.”

“I don’t have one,” Sehun says, sounding panicky.

“Think of one really quick, then.”

“Is it a serious secret? I don’t want to say a dumb one if you have a serious one.”

“It’s semi-serious,” Kyungsoo says, tipping his head to the side. “Do you have one?”

Sehun swallows audibly. He looks at Kyungsoo, hair flopping in his eyes, and says, “I think so.”

“I’ll go first.” Kyungsoo adjusts his grip on Sehun’s hand, threads their chilly fingers together. “I moved away for university because I had a massive crush on a guy going to Queen’s. And I wanted to be able to date him if the opportunity arose. And to date boys in general, you know, without coming out to my parents or whatever. But I told my parents it was because I really wanted to go into business and Queen’s is known as a business school.”

“You’re not that into business?” Sehun asks.

Kyungsoo shrugs. “I don’t hate it. There was nothing I wanted to do more, so I figured I might as well.”

Sehun watches him for a moment. “What happened with the guy?” he asks carefully, like he might not want to know the answer.

“Oh, I got over him the summer before university even started. But by then I was already enrolled. So. Cool.”

Sehun smiles a little. “Good.”

“What?”

Sehun coughs. “I mean. It’s good that it didn’t end up really badly, or whatever.”

“Yeah. I guess. It was kind of disappointing, though. I had this whole big thing planned out, you know, this huge romantic university romance.” Kyungsoo grins. “So what’s your secret, then?”

Sehun is quiet for a moment, staring at him. His fingers tighten around Kyungsoo’s. “I—” He pauses, takes a deep breath. “I’m really… Uh.” He seems to change his mind at the last second, stumbling over his words, speaking too quickly for it to be natural. “I look up my dad online sometimes. Just to see if I could find him. There’s a couple American Oh Sehun’s around his age on Facebook. I never know which one is him, or if any of them are. But I check up on them sometimes anyway.”

Kyungsoo cracks a sympathetic smile at that. “Would you like to find him someday? And meet him?”

Sehun shrugs. “I don’t know. I don’t know what I’d do if I ever really did find him.”

“I guess you have time to decide,” Kyungsoo says, squeezing Sehun’s hand tight enough to hurt.

“Yeah. I guess.” Sehun smiles. “Should we keep going?”

“Yeah, let’s.”

It takes them a full hour after that to finally find their way out of that goddamned maze. They come back to the #7 hint at least six times, but never find #8, and every time one of the maze helpers comes around in their ugly orange vests, Kyungsoo sends them away with a flippant, “We can find our own way out,” just so that Sehun will hiss at him angrily once they’re gone.

It’s fun.

When they finally make it out, it’s nearing on eleven o’clock, but the maze doesn’t close until midnight, so Kyungsoo and Sehun stick around, even though it’s cold and dark and the grass is slippery with dew. They buy s’more packets to assemble over the little bonfire, they race through a miniature string maze, they play a game of giant checkers. Sehun laughs increasingly easily the later it gets, and Kyungsoo delights in being the cause of it.

He finally gives in when Sehun flops against his back, chin on Kyungsoo’s shoulder, and refuses to get up. “Alright, alright,” Kyungsoo says, reaching up to pat his head. “Let’s get you home, big guy.”

Sehun hums against his neck, breath warm against his skin, and Kyungsoo heats up all over. His heart beats in double-time, and it’s not an unfamiliar feeling. Like maybe it’s been happening for a while, without Kyungsoo noticing.

Oh. So that’s what Chanyeol had been talking about in the arcade.

“You’re not moving,” Sehun mumbles into his shoulder, and Kyungsoo laughs a little. Well, whatever. If he’s lived with it this long without even realizing it existed, he can just keep right on living with it.

It’s not like it’s anything he isn’t used to.

The drive home is silent, mostly because Sehun falls asleep in the passenger’s seat and Kyungsoo doesn’t want to wake him by turning on the radio. So he just drives, and glances at Sehun, and smiles.

When he wakes Sehun up in the driveway of his house, though, Sehun blinks groggily, squints, and says, “Are we going to have hot chocolate?”

“What? Sehun, it’s past midnight.”

Sehun shrugs, inhales slowly, like half a yawn. “You’ve spoiled me. I like hot chocolate before bed now.”

Kyungsoo has to laugh. He’s not that tired, anyway, so he lets them into the house and starts taking down ingredients from the kitchen cupboards without turning on the lights, navigating by the soft glow of the stove’s overhead lamp. Sehun boosts himself up to sit on the counter, and Kyungsoo smiles at him as he goes about making two mugs of hot chocolate.

“I like living here,” Sehun says suddenly as they wait for their milk to heat up, his voice quiet.

Kyungsoo looks up at him, raises his eyebrows in surprise.

Sehun shrugs. “It’s really nice. I like your family.”

“They like you, too,” Kyungsoo says. The milk begins to steam, and he adds his cocoa mixture to it gradually as he stirs.

“I’ve never lived with people who like me before,” Sehun says, heels kicking gently against the bottom cabinets.

“You live with me at school,” Kyungsoo tells him, pouring the hot chocolate into mugs and reaching for the cream to top them off.

“Oh,” Sehun says quietly. “Yeah.”

“And I like you,” Kyungsoo adds, in case he didn’t catch that. He turns to hand Sehun his mug, and finds the younger man staring at him, throat working.

Slowly, he slides off the counter and takes his drink. “Thanks,” he croaks.

Kyungsoo smiles and moves to lean against the counter next to him, hip-to-hip. For the next few minutes, they just sip silently on their drinks, listening to the hum of the refrigerator and the steady drip-drip-drip of a leaky faucet somewhere. Kyungsoo will have to tell his mom to fix that.

“Hey, Kyungsoo.”

“Hm?” Kyungsoo hums in response without looking away from the fridge, which he’s not really looking at anyway.

There’s a beat of silence, and then Sehun repeats, “Kyungsoo.”

“What?” This time, Kyungsoo does turn to him, tipping his chin up to look him in the face.

He finds Sehun staring down at him, gaze heavy, eyes unreadable. He just looks at Kyungsoo, and doesn’t say anything, and then, out of nowhere, he leans down and kisses Kyungsoo, right on the mouth.

He leaves his lips there for a second, long enough for it to definitely not have been an accident, and then he pulls away and stares again, swallowing visibly. Kyungsoo stares back, and his heart belatedly starts pounding against his ribs. His bones go all warm and liquidy, specifically his knees, and Kyungsoo turns back to the fridge. He takes a slow breath, exhales, and whispers, “Oh, god.”

“What?” Sehun breathes.

“Are you suddenly bicurious because you found out I’m gay?”

Sehun makes a small, surprised sound. “What?”

Kyungsoo frowns. “Is that why you’ve been so obsessed with my sexuality all week?”

“No!” Sehun’s mouth clicks shut, and when he speaks again, he’s lowered his volume. “No. I’m just— just bi.”

“What?” Kyungsoo turns to him, narrows his eyes. “Since when?”

Sehun shakes his head, chewing on his lip like he kind of wants to smile and kind of wants to cry. Chewing on the same lips that were just pressed against Kyungsoo’s a second ago. That was nice. “Since I was like twelve? I don’t know. The reason my mom dislikes me so much is because she caught me kissing a boy when I was fourteen.”

“Oh.” Kyungsoo blinks at him, shocked. “Damn, I am so sorry.”

Sehun chuckles a little, sounding kind of panicky. “So...yeah.”

“Yeah,” Kyungsoo agrees, even though he has no idea what he’s agreeing to. “We’re in my parents’ kitchen,” he points out, bizarrely.

“Yes,” Sehun says, fidgeting.

“My parents, who do not know that their son is gay.”

“Ah. Correct.”

Kyungsoo looks up at Sehun. Sehun looks back. Kyungsoo wants to kiss him again.

A door in the hallway opens. “Kyungsoo? Is that you? Why are you still up?”

Kyungsoo pats his chest as his heart goes wild, exhaling slowly. “Yeah, Mom. Sorry. We just got home.”

“Go to bed,” his mom mutters, and then she retreats into her room again.

Kyungsoo looks at Sehun and winces. “We should,” he says.

“I guess,” Sehun whispers, looking a little shell-shocked.

Kyungsoo almost kisses him again—is literally one second away from doing it—but at the last moment he bails and turns to rinse out his mug and put it in the sink.

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t think about it for the next hour, curled up in his sister’s bottom bunk with his fingers pressed to his lips as he wishes for sleep to overtake him. The bunk above him creaks every time Sehun shifts, which persists for the entire time Kyungsoo lies there, awake.

Damn.

Goddamn.






🍁🍂🍃🍂🍁







Saturday morning is awkward. Saturday afternoon is awkward, too. For the first time in days, the Do household is full of people all day, which means Kyungsoo and Sehun have absolutely no privacy or even a second of peace, and Kyungsoo is quietly suffering.

Last night, right here in Kyungsoo’s parents’ kitchen, Sehun kissed him, and told Kyungsoo he’s bi, and Kyungsoo didn’t get a chance to say ‘does this mean you like me’ or ‘how do you feel about kissing me again?’ He just went to bed. And now he has to spend the whole day in Sehun’s presence, knowing (a very little bit) how his lips feel pressed against Kyungsoo’s.

Kyungsoo’s getting embarrassing shivers just thinking about it.

Unfortunately, they have the church Thanksgiving dinner in the evening, so he can’t even beg off work and leave the house for the day. Instead, he has to help his mom peel and boil a mountain of potatoes, because as usual she signed up for more than one human can handle alone, and Sehun sits across the table from him, peeling his own.

Kyungsoo spends way too long thinking terrible thoughts, and then, tentatively, he catches Sehun’s eye and tries to smile. There’s a heart-stopping moment of limbo, and then Sehun smiles back, looking shy. Kyungsoo deflates with relief, and his heart thrums with giddy hope.

Still, he can’t say anything. There are potatoes to peel. And chores around the house to do. Carpets to vacuum. Laundry to sort. Laundry to fold. Obscure shelves to dust. Kyungsoo searches and searches for a chance to catch Sehun alone, but at the same time, he’s kind of scared to. What if things don’t go the way he hopes they will? That’s a terrifying thought. He has to live with Sehun at least for the rest of the semester.

Oh, god. He and Sehun share a room. Kyungsoo’s knees go a little weak.

All too soon, they’re being hurried in and out of the shower, and Kyungsoo is calling Chanyeol to bring Sehun another shirt because, obviously, he still has nothing church-appropriate. He almost adds, “Sehun kissed me,” to the end of the conversation, because he has a sudden need to tell Chanyeol everything, but Sehun is right in the next room, with his parents, so he keeps his mouth shut.

The church dinner is a little overwhelming, because their table is overfull, like it is every year, and Sehun is sitting next to Kyungsoo, and his knee is pressed up against Kyungsoo’s all through the meal. Chanyeol’s incessant chatter fills in every awkward silence before one even has a chance to grow, which helps, but it doesn’t cover up the fact that Sehun and Kyungsoo have hardly said a word to each other all day. Chanyeol glances between them a lot, but says nothing. Surprisingly, he does know how to shut up sometimes.

“So what are you guys’ plans for the night?” Chanyeol asks as dinner winds down and dessert plates are scraped clean.

Kyungsoo shrugs, intensely aware of the heat of Sehun’s leg through his jeans. He has a brief mental image of sliding his hand between fabric and skin to feel that warmth for himself. Agh. “None to speak of.”

“Last night here before going back to school, right?” Chanyeol asks after a moment’s pause. Kyungsoo nods, pokes at his banana cream pie. “Have you been to the drive-in theatre? I think it’s closing for the winter soon.”

Kyungsoo thinks about it. Just him and Sehun, inside his car. No one interrupting them. No one barging in on them. Just the two of them. Alone.

“That sounds fun,” Sehun says quietly, pushing whipped cream around his plate with his spoon.

“Yeah?” Kyungsoo says, heart thumping. He looks at Sehun head-on for the first time in hours.

Sehun smiles a little. “Yeah.”

“Sure, then. Let’s go.” Kyungsoo smiles back.

“I’m assuming I’m not invited?” Chanyeol asks, lifting his eyebrows.

Kyungsoo kicks him gently under the table. “Sick of your face.”

“Never sick of Sehun’s, though, of course. Even though you see him every day.” Chanyeol rolls his eyes.

Kyungsoo snorts, and definitely doesn’t blush, because he is a grown man and fully above blushing. “I saw your face every day for years. I’m taking a well-deserved break from it.”

Chanyeol sighs. “I can really feel the love, Soo.”

“I’ll call you when we get back to school, okay?” Kyungsoo stands up, reaches out to scratch Chanyeol’s scalp gently. “See you, Yeol.”

“Yeah, yeah. See you. Have fun.” He wiggles his eyebrows a little.

Bastard.

Sehun follows Kyungsoo out like a puppy, stumbling as he squeezes between tables, and then finally, finally, they’re alone. Mei had driven with them on the way to church, but now she’s inside, with her friends, and Kyungsoo’s making a break for it. “Get in,” he says, gesturing to the passenger’s seat.

Sehun scrambles to obey, buckling himself in with force as Kyungsoo starts the engine.

“So,” Kyungsoo says, clearing his throat.

“So,” Sehun echoes. Silence grows between them. “What movies do you think they’ll be playing?”

“No idea,” Kyungsoo admits. “Could be anything.”

“Hmm,” Sehun says.

Kyungsoo prickles at the growing awkwardness between them. Has it been too long? Is there an acceptable length of time allowed between the kissing and the talking, and they’ve missed their window? Kyungsoo has no idea. He’s never approached...feelings in this way before. He’s more of the classic, first date is going out for coffee and after that we’ll decide if we like each other, kisses aren’t even considered until well past that kind of person. But all of his first dates were with people he didn’t know that well.

If he thinks about it, every day this week has been a date with Sehun. Complete with double dates. Oh, god, they’ve been dating for a week without Kyungsoo noticing it. He even introduced him to his family.

Is Sehun aware that they’ve been dating this whole time? Is that why he feels obligated to be interested in Kyungsoo? Because Kyungsoo’s inadvertently been acting like his boyfriend all week?

Except that one time he called Sehun his brother. Oh, that makes more sense now.

They pay for their tickets when they arrive, and it’s already pretty full, so they find a parking spot near the back, far from the screen but also pretty far from prying ears. Not that anybody will be listening to them. But Kyungsoo’s learned to be wary in and around Essex County, where the hills have eyes. (Not that Essex County has hills. Just the one hill. Singular.)

Kyungsoo fiddles with his car radio for a few minutes, finding the right FM station and adjusting the volume. By the time he gets that sorted, though, the movie’s already started, and Kyungsoo feels obligated to watch it. He paid for the ticket, after all, and when he glances at Sehun, the younger man has his eyes on the screen. Shit.

Kyungsoo, for one, cannot focus on the movie at all. After ten minutes, he honestly couldn’t say what the hell they’re watching. He tries to listen, but the sound coming in through his car speakers goes in one ear and out the other, and he keeps glancing at Sehun, sneaking looks at his face, wondering what he’s thinking about, if he’s thinking about the same kinds of things Kyungsoo is.

He keeps looking at Sehun, because last night Sehun kissed him, unprompted and unencouraged, and goddamn, he is so attractive, sitting there in Chanyeol’s too-big sweater, his hair combed and parted off to the side like a nice church boy, his chin propped on his hand, propped on his elbow, propped on the car armrest. He is so attractive, and Kyungsoo is having feelings, all warm and wiggly in his stomach. It’s like the fond, pleasant feelings Kyungsoo has had for Sehun all along, except a hundred times more intense. And these ones make his heart pound a little. And they make him want to kiss Sehun. Again. He wants to kiss Sehun again.

But he doesn’t know if that’s what Sehun wants, so when there’s a lull in the movie, Kyungsoo clears his throat and says, “Hey. Do you want to make out?”

Sehun’s head whips around to stare at him immediately, illuminated on one side by the light coming off the screen, eyes wide. “What?”

“Do you...want to make out?” Kyungsoo asks again, more slowly this time. Blood rushes in his ears, so much that he’s scared he won’t hear Sehun’s answer.

But he does hear it, loud and clear, when Sehun says, “Uh. Okay.”

Kyungsoo swallows hard. “No, that wasn’t my question. Do you want to make out?”

The lighting is fucking terrible, but Kyungsoo thinks Sehun’s face is completely red. “Yeah,” he says weakly.

“More than you want to watch this movie?” Kyungsoo presses, heart hammering. “Because we can totally keep watching.”

Sehun laughs a little, breathy and unsteady. “Kyungsoo. Just make out with me.”

Kyungsoo grins, and a weight lifts off his chest. “Okay.”

They lean in at the same time and meet over the centre console, Kyungsoo scrambling to turn off the sound with one hand as he slips the other into thick black hair. Sehun’s lips are just as warm and soft as he remembers them from last night—softer and warmer, actually; Kyungsoo’s memory didn’t serve them justice. Sehun makes a sound against his mouth, weak and thready, and Kyungsoo smiles and kisses him harder, pressing his teeth gently into Sehun’s lower lip.

“Fuck,” Sehun mumbles, and Kyungsoo hazily thinks that’s the first time he’s ever heard his roommate swear. Is it terrible that he thinks it’s hot? “I fucking love boys.”

Kyungsoo laughs, dragging his mouth away from Sehun’s to kiss sloppily at the corner of his lips, his cheek, his chin, revelling in the feeling of warm skin under his mouth. “Me too.”

Sehun is quiet for a moment, obviously putting his all into their kiss, hands fisting in Kyungsoo’s shirt, like he thinks maybe Kyungsoo is going to pull away soon. Then, with a gasp for breath, he says, “Sometimes I worried I wasn’t actually into boys and, you know, all this trouble for nothing. But I really, really am.”

“Happy to hear it,” Kyungsoo tells him, running his fingers through Sehun’s hair, messing up his nice side part.

“I just feel so. Ahhhhhh. Kiss me again,” Sehun says, desperate. “I wanted you to kiss me all week.”

Kyungsoo grins, files that away for later, and does as he’s asked, bringing their mouths back together, sucking on Sehun’s lip, biting gently, making him groan. It’s been a long time since Kyungsoo’s kissed someone, and even longer since he kissed someone he liked this much. It’s fantastic. He fucking loves making out.

With fumbling hands, he turns off the ignition completely, and then gets his feet under him and clumsily climbs over the centre console to get his knees onto Sehun’s seat. He scrabbles at the side for a second, and then the back of the seat falls back with a jerk, and Sehun yelps as he falls with it. Kyungsoo laughs, leans over him, and kisses him again.

“Won’t we get in trouble?” Sehun asks, voice shaky as Kyungsoo kisses up the underside of his jaw. He whimpers as Kyungsoo sucks a bit on the corner of it, his body twitching.

“No one can even see us,” Kyungsoo says, finding Sehun’s hand on his waist and pushing it up under his shirt so that Sehun will stroke his bare skin there.

“I’m—ahh, oh god.” Sehun shivers beneath him as Kyungsoo scrapes his teeth over the skin under his ear. “What was I saying?”

“Nothing,” Kyungsoo laughs, and captures his mouth again to keep him distracted.

Sehun’s not an amazing kisser, but Kyungsoo teaches him well, and efficiently. He holds Sehun’s face between his hands and tilts it with gentle pressure, presses in with intent, kisses him over and over until Sehun matches his intensity with soft, encouraging whimpers. Kyungsoo strokes up and down Sehun’s cheek with his thumb until Sehun opens his jaw wider, and then he licks carefully into his mouth, unsure. Sehun groans loudly in response, fingertips digging into Kyungsoo’s back, and Kyungsoo smiles.

“You’re so hot,” Sehun whines a minute later, when Kyungsoo is eventually forced to pull back for air, breathing hard. Then, hands still under Kyungsoo’s shirt, “Are you sure we won’t get caught?”

“Sehun, I’m pretty sure this is what half the people here are doing,” Kyungsoo says, puffing warm air against Sehun’s throat to see him shiver. He kisses the delicate skin there, but is careful not to leave a mark. Not yet. Not somewhere so visible.

“I’m not a person who makes out in cars,” Sehun tells him. Kyungsoo keeps getting distracted by how enticingly hoarse his voice sounds. It makes him want to see how much more wrecked he can make Sehun, just by kissing the hell out of him.

“You are now, my friend,” Kyungsoo says, grinning. He punctuates it with a long, deep kiss that leaves both of them breathless, and Kyungsoo weak-kneed.

They kiss and they kiss and they kiss, like teenagers who just discovered making out behind the school, until Kyungsoo’s mouth is literally sore, and he’s discovered that Sehun really likes it when he sucks on his tongue a little. Right around that time, there’s a knock on the window, and the two of them jerk apart, breathing hard, and look around wildly.

If it was a person who knocked on the window, they’ve obviously moved on, because there’s no stern face staring at them and telling them to tone it down. Still, Kyungsoo’s heart is rabbiting and he’s having trouble catching his breath, and now he’s giggling helplessly on top of that, and he’s so overheated he thinks he might melt into a puddle of lava. With a regretful sigh, he climbs off of Sehun’s seat and back into his own, fanning his face and grinning.

“Holy hell,” Sehun says, gasping for air as he lets his seat swing upright again.

Kyungsoo chuckles, making a vague attempt at fixing his hair. “Yeah,” he agrees.

Sehun takes a deep breath, then lets it out slowly. “Wow,” he says, and when Kyungsoo glances at him, he’s chewing on noticeably puffy lips. Oops. But also, awesome.

Kyungsoo hums and turns back to the movie with a grin, even though he has no clue what’s going on and there’s not even any sound in his car anymore.

They sit in silence for a few minutes, watching and letting their breaths even out. Kyungsoo’s honestly not watching at all. He’s still thinking about kissing. He’s pretty sure he will be thinking about kissing for the next several weeks. Shit, he’s going to fail his midterms.

Shit, when are his midterms?

Out of nowhere, Sehun speaks up, saying, “Hey, can I ask a really girly question?”

Kyungsoo glances at him, eyebrows furrowed. “Uh. Sure.”

Sehun fidgets in his seat. “Don’t make fun of me.”

“Okay.” The only girly questions Kyungsoo can call to mind are about shoes and makeup, and he doesn’t know why Sehun would be asking him those. Unless he accidentally did give him a noticeable hickey. Which wouldn’t be all bad.

“Just...I mean, the kissing is really great, and stuff, but just. What are we, now?”

Kyungsoo stares at him. “That’s your girly question?”

Sehun swallows. “Yeah.”

“Sehun, what the hell is girly about wanting to make sure you’re on the same page?”

Sehun’s shoulders hunch up immediately. “I don’t know. Just, feelings and stuff.”

“Boys aren’t allowed to not want to be unclear about a relationship? They’re supposed to just hope everything will work out in their favour?” Kyungsoo asks, aghast.

“You’re making fun of me,” Sehun says miserably.

Kyungsoo lets out a short breath. “No I’m not. I’m not. I just don’t want you to sit there, suffering, because dumb gender stereotypes make you feel like you can’t ask if we’re boyfriends or not.”

Sehun swallows again, audibly. “So are we?”

“What?”

His voice is so hesitant. “Boyfriends?”

Kyungsoo looks at him, his face illuminated with watery light from the screen in front of them, his anxiety clear on his face. “Is that what you want?” he asks.

“I don’t know. I’ve never had a boyfriend before,” Sehun says quietly, never looking away from the screen.

“Do you want one?”

Sehun’s chewing on his poor, abused lip again. “Kind of.”

Kyungsoo inhales slowly. “Do you want it to be me?”

Sehun looks at him, finally. “Yes.”

Kyungsoo grins, and without another word, leans across his car and kisses him again.

Sehun whimpers. “My mouth hurts.”

All Kyungsoo can do at that point is laugh. “Yeah, it’s super red and swollen.”

“Oh shit.”

“We can’t go home like this.” Kyungsoo can’t stop smiling.

“So what do we do?” Sehun asks, desperate.

“I dunno. Let’s go to the beach.”

“At night?” Sehun’s eyes are wide in the moonlight.

“Yeah. This is Canada, Sehun. Rural Canada. No one’s gonna be there, packing heat.”

Sehun looks uncertain, but in the end he shrugs and says, “Okay.”

So they go, driving down to the dock, looping around the parking lot where teenagers park and make out on nights like these. Kyungsoo will not be one of them. Tonight.

Instead, he parks and gets out, walking around to open Sehun’s door for him. Sehun smiles up at him shyly, and they make their way down to the beach, completely empty this late at night, this late in the year. The moon reflects off the choppy water, and the brisk autumn air sneaks through their clothes, chilling them, but Kyungsoo doesn’t care. He holds out his hand, and Sehun takes it, swinging it gently between them as they walk up to the edge of the lake and look out across it.

“So,” Kyungsoo says quietly. “Back to school tomorrow.”

“Yeah,” Sehun says, just as softly.

“Ready to go back?” Kyungsoo asks.

Sehun sighs. “I don’t know. I guess.”

“You had a good week, then?” Kyungsoo can’t help but hold his breath. “Today aside.”

Sehun glances at him, smiles. “Today aside? Yeah, I had a good week.”

“And today included?” Kyungsoo asks, just because he can.

“A fantastic week,” Sehun amends, ducking his head shyly.

Kyungsoo chuckles, bumps his hip against Sehun’s. “Good. I’m really glad, you know. I wanted you to have a good week. I wanted to share my family with you.”

“They were...really great,” Sehun says. “I had a lot of fun, you know, being a part of the family.”

“Good,” Kyungsoo says again.

Quietly, Sehun says, “I’d like to come back, sometime.”

Kyungsoo’s smile grows, until it’s so big he’s sure it’s reflecting moonlight. “Maybe you can come back at Christmas, if you don’t want to go home.”

Sehun looks at him, smiles back. “Maybe.” It sounds more like a yes.

They kiss once more there, just light and fleeting, right there by the water. Then they go for a little walk, letting themselves cool down, before returning to Kyungsoo’s car and driving home. He drives extra slow, just to make these last moments of perfect peace and quiet last.

Everyone is, thankfully, already asleep when they get home, so they just slip off to get ready and go straight to bed. Or at least, Kyungsoo means to go straight to bed. Sehun catches him on his way back into Mei’s room and kisses him goodnight, and then kisses him again, on the corner of his mouth, and then on his nose, and his cheek, and his forehead. Kyungsoo bites back embarrassing little giggles and lets him, revelling in the simple affection of it, in the knowledge that Sehun likes him so much that he couldn’t let him just go to sleep without kissing him all over his face first. Honestly, Kyungsoo’s not unfamiliar with the feeling.

“Okay, okay,” he whispers at last, pushing Sehun away gently. “Go to bed. I mean it.” But he’s beaming, and Sehun steals one more kiss from his lips.

“Goodnight,” he says, sounding as perfectly happy as Kyungsoo feels.

“Goodnight,” Kyungsoo says, cradling his cheek briefly. “Sweet dreams.”

He falls asleep smiling, like a total sap.






🍁🍂🍃🍂🍁







On Sunday morning, the entire Do family gathers to send them off in front of the house.

“You have all your things, right Kyungsoo?” his dad asks, carrying their bags into his car for them. “You didn’t forget anything? Chargers, toothbrush, all that?”

“Got it, Dad,” Kyungsoo assures him for the third time at least.

“I packed you guys some pecan tarts for the drive,” his mom says, pressing a container into Kyungsoo’s hands. “And some homemade granola. Do you have water bottles?”

“Yes, Mom. Thank you.”

“See you, losers,” Mei says, leaning against the door frame in an enormous sweater.

“Bye, loser,” Kyungsoo drones back.

Kyungsoo’s mom sighs. “The house will feel so empty and quiet with you two gone again.”

Kyungsoo pats her shoulder consolingly. “We’ll be back soon.”

“Yeah. I know.” She pastes on a brave smile. “Sehun, it was wonderful getting to know you this week.”

“Yeah, you too, Mrs. Do,” Sehun says earnestly, clutching his backpack. “Really, thank you so much for having me.”

“It was our pleasure,” Kyungsoo’s dad says, reaching out to clap him on the shoulder.

“Honestly,” his mom says, “it feels like you’re a part of the family already.”

Sehun blinks at her. “Already?”

She steps forward to pat him on the cheek. “Maybe someday officially, eh?”

Sehun glances at Kyungsoo. Kyungsoo shrugs.

They head into the car a minute later, amidst hearty farewells and well-wishes, a fall wind ruffling their hair. “I can’t tell if she was talking about adopting me, or me marrying into the family,” Sehun hisses as Kyungsoo starts his car and waves through the window.

“I don’t know,” Kyungsoo confesses, shaking his head. “I really don’t know.”

“Don’t ask her,” Sehun begs. “I don’t want to know.”

Kyungsoo just laughs. “I told you. My whole family loves you.”

Sehun glances at him sidelong. “Even you?”

Kyungsoo grins, pulls onto the road. “Even me.”






🍁🍂🍃🍂🍁






part one ❀ | part two ❀
Tags: a day in paradise: fic, length: 15k-20k, rating: pg-13
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