This is for Sunday’s post. I didn’t get to the movies. Going today. Well Sunday. See you Monday sometime.
Title: Coffee & Regrets ♥
Chapter: Nine [R]
Overall Fic Rating: NC-17
Chapters: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Summary: A pair of lovers, worn and faded by time, hope to recapture what they once had… or walk away after bittersweet goodbyes.
It was a curious dream, Min thought as he drifted on a gentle tide of sensations and comforting smells. He lay on a soft wave, curls of warmth around his legs and hips. His nose was pressed into vanilla and cloves, spicy and fragrant while the earthy perfume of cooking meat teased his empty stomach. A cool breeze washed over his naked chest and face, the wind carry the heavy scent of a hard rain. Smiling, he fell back into his sleep, lulled by the sound of a rumbling voice speaking softly in the distance.
“Did you bring a rice cooker?” Se7en asked Ji before the smaller man had the chance to close the door behind him. “I need a rice cooker.”
“What happened to your old one?” The singer held up a small box, the price tags from a department store stuck over the cheerful family smiling on the front. “And who the hell texts that they have an emergency over a rice cooker?”
“The old one had too many memories,” Se7en said, taking the box from Ji and placing it on the counter to unwrap. "I threw it off of the balcony one night when I was drunk."
“How can a cooker have too many memories?” Ji asked, peering into the array of containers on the kitchen island. “And what did you do? Buy out all the banchan vendors?”
“There’s only a few. I don’t know if he likes other stuff now.”
Ji reached over and plucked a pinch of sesame bean sprouts only to get the back of his hand slapped by Se7en. “Hey! You’ve got like twenty dishes here! Who the hell is going to notice…”
“Touch that and die,” Se7en growled, piercing Ji with a hard look. “There’s some in the fridge if you want something to snack on.”
“Shim Changmin,” Ji mumbled as he dug through the banchan in the fridge. “Hard to believe that skinny bean sprout’s got you all turned around.
Grabbing a plate from the dish drainer, he arranged a hefty selection, making sure to empty out the bean sprouts to spite the older singer. Tossing the plastic container in the trash, Ji ate a piece of cucumber with his fingers, smiling as he watched Se7en try to sliver thin strips from a chunk of semi-frozen meat.
“Do you know what you’re doing over there?” Ji asked around a mouthful of spicy vegetable.
“No,” Se7en muttered. “The damn chef on T.V. made it look so easy.”
“Here, let me do it,” Ji said, bumping Se7en with his hip. “You’re making my head hurt just watching you.”
“Do you know what you’re doing?” He asked, handing the knife to the younger singer. “Do you think you’re the next Le Grand Chef?”
“Yes, my mother taught me how to cook,” The singer nudged Se7en with his elbow. “This knife is dull. Where’s your sharpener?”
“What’s that look like?”
Ji rolled his eyes and shoved Se7en out of the way. “I’ll go look for it. Get the rice cooker unpacked and tell me why you’ve gone crazy for a skinny giraffe.”
“He’s not a giraffe,” Se7en grumbled. “He’s…sexy.”
“I’m sexy.” Ji grinned when Se7en rolled his eyes at him. “No?”
“Not to me,” The singer replied. “It would be like having sex with my younger brother.”
“Aish, I’m always the younger brother,” Ji laughed softly, sharpening the knife with quick, sure strokes. “Want to tell me what happened to your hands?”
Se7en glanced down at his battered knuckles, his hand swollen nearly to uselessness. “I.. uh… punched Jeong Ji-hoon. He pissed me off.”
“Huh,” Ji grunted, wiping the knife down. Leaning over the meat, he began to pare off nearly translucent strips. “What did he do to you?”
“It’s not what he did to me…” Se7en trailed off, not missing the sly look Ji gave him. “He and Changmin…well, not…”
“Talk to me, Dong-Wook,” Ji said, gesturing with the knife. “Before I go into that bedroom and gut your giraffe.”
“They didn’t… do anything,” Se7en said, shaking his head. “Not that Bi didn’t try. Not that Changmin didn’t… want…”
“I am so going to gut your giraffe…” He threatened, coming around the counter. Se7en placed a hand on Ji’s shoulder, stopping him.
“No, it’s not like that,” The older man said. “We’ve not been together and Min… I know Min. He would want to push himself…to test himself.”
“Letting Jeong Ji-hoon touch me isn’t what I’d do to test myself,” Ji mumbled. “He’s an ass.”
“Did he touch you?” Se7en stilled, steeling himself for Ji’s reply.
“He tried when I was a trainee.” The young man grinned, twirling the handle of the blade over the back of his hand and catching it again. “But I’m very good with knives. Tell me about your giraffe, Dong-Wook.”
“I keep telling you he’s not a giraffe,” Se7en replied. “He’s slinkier, more sensual. I call him Minku.”
“Minku?” Ji repeated. “What does that mean?”
“Mopi… the expensive kind, like a ferret but… luscious,” He shook his head at Ji’s snorting laugh. “Don’t laugh. It’s how he is with me. I…miss having him with me. I miss watching him read and pretend to ignore me. He teases me that way. Minku…”
“You sound in love,” Ji said, putting the knife down to give his friend a soft smile. “Even after he’s broken your heart, you are still in love with him.”
“I can’t help but be in love with him,” He replied, shrugging. Se7en knew he was helpless against the feelings he had for the young, tall man. “When I’m with him, the world is peaceful. He makes me… he shows me how new everything is. I can’t explain it. It’s like his words are dipped in paint and they splash on me, changing everything from black and white into a kaleidoscope of colours.”
Glancing at the closed bedroom door, Se7en willed himself not to go check on the sleeping young man. He’d peeled Min’s clothes off, forcing his hands not to linger on the stretches of silken skin and lean muscle. Leaving Min in his bed, he chanced a soft, lingering kiss before fleeing the room, turning the light off before he shut the door.
If he went to Hell when he died, Se7en knew that would be his own personal torment…leaving a sleeping, naked Min behind in the darkness with only a hint of the other man’s taste on his tongue to carry him off.
“He’s going to break your heart,” Ji warned. “If he’s done it once, he’ll do it again. Don’t open yourself up for that.”
“Is that wisdom coming from my dongsaeng?” Se7en teased. “From the heartbreaker to the heartbroken?”
“Ah, I’ve had my heart broken, hyung,” Ji said, batting his eyelashes and laying his head on Se7en’s shoulder. “He just doesn’t know it.”
Se7en opened the bedroom door cautiously, not wanting to wake Changmin up. Ji had been gone nearly an hour before he was willing to risk looking into the room. He’d doused the hall sconces, knowing from experience it would flood his bedroom but a sliver of light escaped from the door as he peeped in.
He found Changmin sitting up in his bed with soft tea-coloured sheets swaddling his hips. Se7en leaned against the doorframe, entranced by the unconscious grace in Min’s movements as he read from the pile of paper spread out on the mattress.
A red ribbon lay discarded by his bare knee, the tiny scrap of fabric worn shiny from Se7en’s fingers. The older man knew what the ribbon had tied together. He knew what Min was reading. He knew each word and each scribble of heartbreak on the page.
He’d written those letters to the lover who’d tossed him aside, keeping them in the drawer by his bed. The words forced themselves from his heart, begging to be written to the page but Se7en hadn’t found the strength to send them on to Changmin.
He didn’t think his heart could take the pain of getting his letters back… unopened and unread.
“Did you mean this?” Changmin asked suddenly, not looking up from his reading.
Se7en wasn’t surprised to discover the young man was aware he was being watched. Min’s intelligence and awareness were some of the things he admired the most about the singer. That and his long, supple legs; Se7en thought, eyeing Min’s lean body.
“Did I mean what?” Se7en asked, crossing his arms as he shifted in the doorway. “I don’t know what you’re reading.”
“This…” Min didn’t glance up from the page but his voice grew shaky, a trembling feather caught on an unseen wind.
“Anais Nin wrote…Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings…
I think Nin had it wrong or at least Nin didn’t understand love and death, not like I do. Not like I loved you. Not like I still love you.
Silver once tarnished can be rubbed bright again with hard work but it will dull black again over time. You once called me your tarnished angel… that the black of my wings were etched into the grooves but your love would silver my flight so I could soar again in the wind.
What you did not know was that you are my wind.
You catch me up and throw me into the sky and I can only fly with you under me, carrying me. Holding me. Comforting me.
Without you I am earthbound and heavy, unable to lift my head up to look at the sun… to look at the moon… to even see the stars in the blackest night even though I know you’ve put them there.
I wish you were here by my side, Minku. I am in need of your hand to rub me silver once again. I am in need of your kiss to quench the thirst in my mouth. I am in need of your soul so I can lift my head up and see the stars.
I am in need of your heart because that is where the stars truly live…”
“Did you write this?” Min asked again, his voice as soft as the sheets surrounding him. “Did you mean this?”
“I not only meant it… I still mean it,” Se7en said, walking slowly into the room to sit on the end of the bed. “You’ve been gone from me too long. The tarnish has returned and now…I am blinded by the black that covers my eyes. Will you help me see again, Minku? Will you rub my wings until they’re silver again? Or am I going to die here on the ground, waiting in the darkness until you love me once again?”