coley_merrin: (starry night)
[personal profile] coley_merrin
Title: Endlessly
Pairing: Zhou Mi/Kyuhyun
Rating: up to NC-17
Genre: AU, romance, smut

Summary: Kyuhyun's life changes when he gets the chance to meet his favorite singer. (Or, as the prompt put it: fanboy!kyu finally meets his bias.)



***

Part One * Part Two * Part Three * Part Four * Part Five * Part Six * Part Seven

***

Kyuhyun almost felt like he was some kind of celebrity going through security to get to his flight. No one paid the slightest bit of attention to him, and no one pointed him out and realized he was going to an award ceremony. It wasn’t like he was the one up for an award. He was just going to be up on a balcony somewhere peering down at the stars below. Maybe it was just his excitement, but that was okay.

The plane ride was relatively short, and he found the shuttle taking him toward the hotel as well. It was a little bit of a hike, and he had to just about swear on his life to get access to the hotel. At least the reservations were in his name, or else it really would’ve gotten awkward.

“I’m in the hotel! Hope it’s going well!” Kyuhyun texted Zhou Mi.

Kyuhyun was there an afternoon early, and he knew without a doubt that Zhou Mi wasn’t going to be free for dinner, even if he’d arrived the day before Kyuhyun had. They’d had a ten minute car hangout before Zhou Mi’s flight, and Kyuhyun had just wanted to put himself in Zhou Mi’s pocket, only able to lean together and hug and squeeze each other’s hand under the shielding of a jacket. But it had been contact and presence, which was better than nothing.

Kyuhyun wandered out of the hotel, making very sure he had his key card and confirmation he was a guest of the hotel, and did a little sightseeing before eating. He liked seeing new places, new areas, getting a feel for what was around him. If he needed to go out the next day, at least he had an idea of what was around the hotel. Though he suspected security would be even stricter then. He did send Zhou Mi a picture of his food, though, so he’d feel included.

He’d been back in his room and relaxing with his computer for almost an hour after that before Zhou Mi texted him back.

“I’ll be back at the hotel but probably after you’re asleep. I hope dinner was good!”

The picture Zhou Mi sent with that message was cute, though Zhou Mi looked tired even with the filters.

“Get some sleep if you can! Can’t have you falling asleep during the ceremony??”

Hopefully Zhou Mi would laugh. But Zhou Mi really did get back after Kyuhyun slept, from the texts he woke up to, including one with Zhou Mi and a toothbrush.

It wasn’t like Kyuhyun had much to do to get ready. He left the hotel for breakfast, venturing further that time and getting to see a few of the city’s landmarks before leaving himself a safe amount of time to get back to the hotel, to shower, and dress in his nicest suit. Zhou Mi had provided him an itinerary for guests including when guests were going to be allowed in, when they should arrive, and he was going to follow that to the letter. With his phone fully charged, he figured even if he had to fidget and wait inside forever he wouldn’t be stressed out worried he was going to be late.

No one stopped him for being underdressed or questioned why he was there. He was a bit tense, reminding himself that no, he really was not up for an award or going to be required to perform. But all he had to do was hunker down in his seat and listen to faintly piped in music and the murmurs of people who were still filtering in. At least his mental picture of getting rejected and having to stand outside like a stray dog while not wanting to text Zhou Mi because he would worry wasn’t coming true.

The closer it got to the starting time, the louder the hum of conversation got, and the more people that filled in the seats around him as well. No one who sat around him was familiar anyway. He glanced, a little, but anyone who was important would be seated closer, he figured. Maybe there were other fans like him who’d been able to snag a seat. Fans of any of the artists, not just Zhou Mi. He shoved a piece of candy into his mouth and then almost choked on it as the lights dimmed, and the whole affair started up.

At least it wasn’t just a big procession of awards, because the intermittent performances helped to break it up a lot. Some of the songs he knew, so that was fun, too. Kyuhyun tried to scan for Zhou Mi down below, but being a few rows back in the balcony himself made that impossible and it was just a sea of tables and performers anyway. Apparently his Zhou Mi-spotting sixth sense hadn’t activated to that level.

Suddenly there were familiar pictures on the screen, the music queueing up to something so utterly familiar, and—

Kyuhyun all but wheezed as Zhou Mi and his back up dancers came up through the floor and began to perform. He was mouthing the fanchant, hand moving in his lap like a light stick would appear in it, glued alternately between Zhou Mi and the larger projection off to the side. Zhou Mi sounded great, though he wasn’t entirely positive Zhou Mi was singing live, and he looked amazing, dressed in red and black checks and shoes so shiny he could see the gleam all the way from his seat.

Kyuhyun remembered to breathe as the applause started, clapping until his hands hurt, straining for one last glimpse. It was just minutes later that the award for social media favorite was announced.

Kyuhyun inhaled. He may have forgotten to do anything else as Zhou Mi’s name was called, the presenter greeting him as Zhou Mi jogged up from the seats still in the black and red outfit.

“I love that the Internet helps us to stay connected, with our friends, and family, and our fans. I wouldn’t be here without all of you!”

He only assumed what Zhou Mi was saying until he saw the translation appearing on the screen. Zhou Mi spoke mostly in Mandarin and added in a little coda in Korean of thanks to all his fans and to everyone who supported him. Zhou Mi saluted the balconies, too, including once in his general direction. He knew it wasn’t just for him, but maybe it made his little heart shiver.

Zhou Mi was never going to know, so there was that. There were no sobbing violins in reality. That was his boyfriend. He deserved it, too, Kyuhyun had no doubt. He was always so sweet, sometimes really random and weird about it, but so giving.

Kyuhyun didn’t even get to see where Zhou Mi went to sit because he walked off with the presenter, and then there was a long Zhou Mi-less stretch for Kyuhyun to get himself together, stretching a little in his seat as things were set up and there was at least one audio glitch.

But when best male solo artist was announced as the next category, Kyuhyun’s eyes were glued to the screens as they showed the five men up for the award. Zhou Mi was announced third, his sultry album art staring out at the crowd for just a second or two before the next two were shown.

“And this year’s award for Best Male Solo Artist goes to…”

Kyuhyun may have dented the armrests of his seat as the whole building waited on that pause.

“Zhou Mi!!”

Kyuhyun collapsed back into his chair, making a sound of relief, of joy, laughing because he didn’t know what else to do and then rapt as Zhou Mi made his way up onto the stage in an impeccably tailored tuxedo. His hair was perfect. His face was perfect as he smiled and accepted the award. Zhou Mi turned to the mic and Kyuhyun swallowed hard as Zhou Mi again began to speak in Mandarin. He fumbled for his phone, lifting it and zooming in. He needed at least one picture he’d taken himself, even if Zhou Mi resembled an ant in it. Zhou Mi. His first major, really major award. Acknowledgement of everything he’d been working for.

Zhou Mi switched to Korean, saying a lot of names of the company, staff, his manager, his fans.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, and those who have made me stronger with both good and bad. It’s because of you that I’m standing here today, that I appreciate this so much. Thank you to everyone who loves me, and those here supporting me. I hope you always know how much I love you, too. Thank you!”

Kyuhyun was there supporting him. Kyuhyun was there loving him. He knew part of that shoutout was for him, and he couldn’t just stand up and start applauding to prevent a meltdown because no one else was. But he was wheezing like an asthmatic terrier, digging the nails of one hand into his palm and touching his throat, his hair. He could barely see Zhou Mi walking off the stage because of the shimmering in his eyes. He was pretty sure that the people on either side of him thought he was either going into cardiac arrest or just had serious problems.

In that moment, if Kyuhyun had had to rewind and if his boss had told him no, he couldn’t have those days off, he was pretty sure he would have quit to be sure he was right there, sitting in that seat, brimming over with the knowledge that he was there for Zhou Mi.

They awarded best solo female artist, and a few group awards after that which let Kyuhyun at least partly collect himself since he knew Zhou Mi was up for two more awards. He was actually shaking with all the emotion he’d already been through, swallowing hard, his stomach in knots, breathing cautiously through one last performance before the last awards of the night.

Song of the year, and album of the year.

There was another interminable pause between the announcement of the award itself, and the announcement of the winner of song of the year.

Zhou Mi’s name echoed in his eardrums, and for a second he thought maybe he’d hallucinated it, but no, there was Zhou Mi’s single cover, there was Zhou Mi’s song being pumped out into the building. And there was Zhou Mi, bounding onto the stage like he’d never left, his laughter echoing into the mic as he hugged the presenter, and accepted his award.

Kyuhyun was good, he thought. He’d had his moment with the first award. He was old hat at this thing now, completely as cool as the cucumbers Zhou Mi wouldn’t eat. And he was, too, as long as he watched Zhou Mi and the translation of Zhou Mi again thanking everyone on earth. His throat got a bit tight as Zhou Mi spoke of being grateful.

Zhou Mi’s voice broke as he spoke, clearly overcome with emotion as he had to pause and start a sentence over again. Kyuhyun gave up on everything, crying as he covered part of his face with one hand. He didn’t know how to listen or to read while he was trying not to sob as Zhou Mi grinned all tearily and saluted everyone with his award, just brimming over visibly with appreciation and love.

“You deserve it,” Kyuhyun whispered in the furor of applause, not able to keep that in as he realized yes, Zhou Mi was leaving the stage, and all he had were some stray napkins in his bag to try and mop up his face. If he’d been at home he would’ve been close to rending his clothes, but all he’d have ended up doing then was choking himself with his tie.

But that was the last award that Zhou Mi won that night. It was a little disappointing, because obviously he wanted Zhou Mi to get All the Awards, but he consoled himself with the fact that Zhou Mi had at least been nominated. That was something Zhou Mi would say, he had no doubt, though he figured Zhou Mi had to be at least disappointed a little, too.

While he was waiting for them to start being ushered out, Kyuhyun texted Zhou Mi really quickly.

“So proud! ILU!” Kyuhyun texted, adding in some music notes, an award, and some confetti emojis. And a heart, for good measure. “You looked great, too!”

There was really no room for joking. He figured that’d make Zhou Mi smile.

Getting out took longer than getting in had even, but he eventually made it, breathing in the cool night air and starting the hike back toward the hotel. It was only a couple of blocks and it felt good to stretch his legs and get out some of the pent-up emotion he’d been trying to suppress. He was pretty sure he’d have been able to run all the way home had there been that option.

“I wone!!! I won!!!” Zhou Mi texted him when Kyuhyun was waiting in line to get back into the hotel. Typo included.

Kyuhyun giggled a little. Like he’d been able to miss it. Though Zhou Mi also let him know he was heading out to a party and he’d text Kyuhyun when he got back. That was fine with Kyuhyun, really. Maybe he was kind of new to this whole dating-a-celebrity thing, but Zhou Mi most of the time didn’t feel like a celebrity unless Kyuhyun was having one of his random realization moments. Being corralled in a roomed with a bunch of strangers wasn’t his type of fun anyway. He would have, if Zhou Mi had wanted him there. If they were in a world where Kyuhyun could have been there, openly, instead of as just a buddy. It would’ve just caused too much attention one way or the other, something they were trying to avoid.

Though he outright laughed at himself in the mirror of his hotel room, because his face was blotchy like he’d been crying for hours.

Just having his shoes off made him feel more human, flopping down on the bed and not even caring if his suit got rumpled as he woke his laptop. His first visit was to the fansites, seeing the news pictures of Zhou Mi’s awards, seeing the fans collectively freaking out.

“At least I wasn’t the only one,” he muttered, feeling a little bit better about himself and saving the pictures and skimming a couple of early articles that said nice things. He didn’t dare watch the videos yet. He was tapped out on emotions for one night. He relaxed slowly, in increments, downing a bottle of water to replace all those tears even as he rolled his eyes at himself, and digging into his stash of snacks. Dinner wasn’t so much a thing that was happening, too lazy to leave the room and not hungry enough to bother with the expense of room service. He napped on and off, hoping that Zhou Mi was having a good time at least, watching TV and making very good use of the comfortable bed. He wanted a hug, just one hug. Though he figured, maybe one hug would mean his cells would just shake apart and Zhou Mi would just absorb him right in. He adjusted his cheek on the pillow, tugging his tie a bit looser, changing the channel, and waiting for the text that would tell him that Zhou Mi was back in the hotel, safe and happy.

***

Kyuhyun almost jolted off his bed when the phone buzzed beside him, and he stared at the text.

“Come to my room!!!!!!”

And a second later, the room number, which was helpful. Kyuhyun left his suit jacket behind, and just barely remembered his key card on the way out. He wasn’t sure if Zhou Mi was just extra excited, or if it was urgent, and there was the tiny little voice that said he was going to Zhou Mi’s hotel room. Which, in any other way to consider it, was a bedroom. He’d never even seen Zhou Mi’s own bed. The thought of Zhou Mi cozy in his bed made him smile and then cut off every possible thought process after that for reasons of needing to be able to look at himself in a mirror again.

Then again, Zhou Mi had to be so high from winning the awards, and Kyuhyun had already displayed to himself that he was willing to melt down at a moment’s notice. He wasn’t sure if he was going for celebration or an emotional explosion. He had a moment imagining them clutching each other and shaking and laughing and crying, and that was all before he sent a furtive look up and down the hall and knocked on Zhou Mi’s door.

He heard walking. A smile started on his face.

The smile faded slowly as there was clearly a struggle with the locks on the other side, and Kyuhyun glanced at his text again to make sure yes, he really was in the right place. If Zhou Mi had texted him the right number. Only a slightly moment of panic, before the door swung open and there was Zhou Mi, gorgeous, his smile bright, and a little off-kilter.

“You’re here!”

Kyuhyun’s eyes popped wide because Zhou Mi’s voice carried, and he did a completely impolite thing and all but shoehorned himself in the door that Zhou Mi was using as a prop.

“You’re here. I thought it was a dream! Why were you awake? Oh!”

No wonder the locks had been a challenge, and volume for that matter. A waft from Zhou Mi smelled like he’d made friends with a bar, almost making Kyuhyun wheeze. He got his shoes off, though, leading Zhou Mi in in case he needed to sit down or something.

“I see you enjoyed the party?”

“Yes,” Zhou Mi said, getting a hand on Kyuhyun’s shoulder to steady himself. “Everyone was so nice. Everyone wanted to get me a drink. To winning!”

Zhou Mi lifted his hand like he was giving a toast, but then stared at his hand as though offended a drink didn’t just appear in it for emphasis. Kyuhyun grinned, just a little.

“Your manager got you back okay?”

“Oh, yes. Yes, he was so nice, too. He made me lock all the locks before he left. He said,” and Zhou Mi waggled his finger in Kyuhyun’s face in what he had to assume was an approximation of what his manager had done. “‘You must not leave the room! For any reason! Except maybe fire.’ And I promised! And that’s why I texted you, otherwise I would have come to find you, but you’re here!”

That was good. That was actually very good that Zhou Mi had remembered his promise. If Zhou Mi had known Kyuhyun’s room number, maybe it wouldn’t have been too big a spectacle, but for some reason he could imagine Zhou Mi ending up at the front desk trying to get his room number, or worse, roaming the halls and knocking on doors to try to find him.

“I’m here, so it was a good promise,” Kyuhyun said.

“It was a good promise,” Zhou Mi agreed, sliding forward and nuzzling into Kyuhyun’s neck. “Is this what you wore? You look good. Did you see me win? I won!”

The little giggles Zhou Mi let out had Kyuhyun laughing helplessly, wrapping his arms around Zhou Mi and hugging him.

“I did. You looked great, and the performance was amazing, too. Will you remember I told you this tomorrow?”

“Of course!” Zhou Mi squawked. “I remember eeeeeverything. Everything. I wanted to show you, but you were— Oh! The awards! I want you to see them. I want you to hold them. They’re so pretty, oh— But my manager has them! I can call—“

“I can see them after we get back,” Kyuhyun assured him, catching Zhou Mi before he could slide away and for his phone. They didn’t really need Zhou Mi’s manager delivering awards in the middle of the night. Though he was sure of all the weird things managers saw, having a singer want to cuddle an award to sleep probably wasn’t among the weirdest. “I took pictures of you holding them. I can wait.”

Zhou Mi’s eyes went wide. “Really?”

“Yeah, of course. I just about leaped out of my seat I was so proud. Look.”

They weren’t great, considering they were on his phone, but Zhou Mi and his awards and his smile could be picked out. “I took a short video, too. Maybe I’ll cry when I see the broadcast.”

“Maybe I will, too,” Zhou Mi said, completely heartfelt. “You really liked it?”

“You were gorgeous,” Kyuhyun said. Zhou Mi seemed steady enough to stand, so he figured first things were first. Zhou Mi was getting a bit handsy, patting at his backside, but Kyuhyun rolled with it, tugging at Zhou Mi’s jacket so that it eventually slid off of his arms. He tackled the illusion-of-casual shirt next, getting Zhou Mi down to his undershirt. He smelled a bit of nerves and cologne, nothing unexpected.

“You’ll want to wash your face, brush your teeth, so you can get comfortable,” Kyuhyun said, stroking Zhou Mi’s sides.

“Oh. Comfortable.”

Zhou Mi said it so significantly like there was a reason Kyuhyun was helping him get ready, and Kyuhyun moved out of the sight of the bathroom because Zhou Mi had just wandered right in and left the door open, bouncing on the edge of the bed a little and staring between the walls.

“Make sure to use the toilet, too!” Kyuhyun called. He got back a garbled response, probably impeded by a toothbrush. More water running, and eventually a toilet flushing.

“I know how to get ready,” Zhou Mi pouted on his way out, and Kyuhyun laughed, rising onto his feet again. Zhou Mi’s hair was a bit damp and there was water dribbled down his shirt but he’d do.

“Let’s see you get out of your pants, then.”

Zhou Mi gasped, covering his mouth dramatically and giving quite a show of pretending. But he put his hand at his waistband.

“Do you really want me to?”

“I want you to,” Kyuhyun said, finally finding the switch that turned off the light at the far end of the room so that the only illumination around them was a nightlight in the bathroom and a light beside the bed. “And then I want you to get into bed.”

It seemed his illusion was up, because yes, Zhou Mi’s hands were poised to take off his pants, but he was also squinting at Kyuhyun in obvious suspicion.

“You want me to take off my pants so I can sleep.”

“That’s the end goal, yes,” Kyuhyun agreed. “Tonight, anyway. But first you have to get into bed.”

They were at a standoff for a minute and Zhou Mi was grumbling under his breath about who knew even what. Kyuhyun turned like a shot when Zhou Mi actually started stripping, finding an unopened bottle of water and turning to see Zhou Mi make it, generously, 3/4 of the way onto the bed. He hitched back a laugh, tossed the bottle down, grabbing ankles and stripping off socks as Zhou Mi got himself fully beached and wriggling until he at least had a sheet over him. Kyuhyun had already seen his legs, in his shorts, but they was a lot closer right there. He blew out a breath, making himself at home on the edge of the bed and offering the water to Zhou Mi who was propped up on a pillow and still a bit pouty.

“I meant what I said about you looking gorgeous today,” Kyuhyun said, in case Zhou Mi needed his ego stroked a little. And okay, he indulged himself, smoothing down a bit of hair that had fluffed on Zhou Mi’s escapade onto the mattress. “I’m really glad I got to go tonight.”

“Why did I drink so much? We had the room alone,” Zhou Mi mourned. He rubbed along Kyuhyun’s arm and Kyuhyun just shook his head, smiling.

“You’ve had a big day, and that party was once in a lifetime. You have a lot of alcohol to sleep off, so I should go back to my room and let you get some rest. You earned it.”

“But you just got here,” Zhou Mi said, a bit of a whine to it that was unbearably cute.

“I know, but you need sleep.”

“But I want you to stay a little longer. Over here, you can be comfortable.”

Zhou Mi patted the bed on the other side of him, and it was impossible to say no to. No ulterior motives on that face, just wanting Kyuhyun to stay longer. Just a little while, he reasoned, crawling onto the mattress and staying on top of the blankets as Zhou Mi accepted him in. Zhou Mi was warm, turning toward him and nuzzling him. Fully horizontal, fully comfortable and trading soft kisses.

“I wanted to celebrate with you,” Zhou Mi almost whispered.

“Getting to kiss you feels like celebrating to me.”

Zhou Mi did whine a little at that, whined for the both of them because of that sentence.

“I am comfortable, though,” Zhou Mi said, stroking along Kyuhyun’s upper arm. “Will you stay? To sleep. Will you?”

Zhou Mi sounded sure, not the slightly off-kilter words, like all he wanted was Kyuhyun to be close.

“Promise me you’ll tell me if I keep you from resting?”

“I promise,” Zhou Mi said, sealing that with a kiss.

Kyuhyun groaned a little, getting up and making a trip to the bathroom himself. Zhou Mi was all curled toward the middle of the bed and probably not keen on moving, so Kyuhyun flicked off the bedside light and sank the room into darkness. That was good, because he wiggled out of his pants and shirt, sliding under the sheet and blanket.

He was getting in bed with Zhou Mi. Both like and unlike some of the things that had passed through his head, but affection swamped him as Zhou Mi made a noise like he’d discovered something precious as he snuggled closer and kissed against Kyuhyun’s shoulder.

Kyuhyun caught Zhou Mi’s fingers, squeezing them. “Love you.”

Zhou Mi made a sound on an exhale that might’ve been an answer, might’ve been him falling asleep, because the next inhale was one of someone definitely not awake. Kyuhyun laughed a little, angling his head a little toward Zhou Mi and letting himself relax, little by little.

Kyuhyun woke when Zhou Mi woke once in the middle of the night. Early morning? Who knew. Zhou Mi stumbled out of bed and into the bathroom, swigging the rest of his water and slithering right back against Kyuhyun like a heat-seeking snake. He sleepily rubbed Zhou Mi’s arm to get warmth back into it and Zhou Mi murmured for him to go back to sleep, and he did, gratefully.

***

Someone said his name. It made him stir, trying to close his eyes against invading light. Kyuhyun was a hundred percent ready to sink right back into sleep when instead his butt was patted repeatedly.

“My manager is going to be here in a while, and if you don’t want to have to leave with him wondering what we got up to, you should probably go soon.”

Zhou Mi’s voice was so lovely, so calming. He could just listen to it all day.

And then Zhou Mi’s words sank through and Kyuhyun’s head shot up. Zhou Mi was laughing, touching Kyuhyun’s cheek when he cranked his head around.

“Good morning,” Zhou Mi said.

Kyuhyun accepted the kiss, with a belated afterthought to morning breath, and then the second that Zhou Mi turned around, Kyuhyun grabbed his pants and slithered into them. When he looked into the mirror over the desk, he saw just why Zhou Mi was touching his face, too, with the imprint of a pillow in it. He struggled into his shirt, buttoning it as Zhou Mi continued rubbing goop onto his face.

“Okay,” Kyuhyun said. “I’ll go back to my room and… Text me if…?”

“I will. I just have more press, and— Maybe you can sightsee before your flight? I want to go with you!” Zhou Mi half wailed, in an inside voice at least. “Another time. We’ll pick a nice place and see it together.”

He went out the door smelling like face cream because of a hug and another kiss to his cheek he hadn’t tried to escape. But he was laughing, glad he’d at least rubbed through his hair before heading into the hallways, with Zhou Mi’s murmured thanks still rumbling in his ears. No fans, no managers. Just him slipping into his room and falling into his unslept-in bed and not really believing anything that was happening at all. He thought about ordering in food, or maybe showering. Instead, he thought about Zhou Mi nuzzling against the side of his head and falling into sleep. Zhou Mi trusted him to sleep beside him. Zhou Mi trusted him not to pull out his phone and take weird pictures, or out him, or whatever he’d maybe been afraid of when they’d met. Obviously Kyuhyun knew that trust was warranted, but it still amazed him. And his bed wasn’t nearly as warm, but he still fell back asleep with his hand resting on his phone just in case.

***

There was still no celebrity moment on the way home. He got to see flashes of Zhou Mi’s whirlwind press tour before pouring himself onto a plane and sleeping the whole way home. He wasn’t the one who was probably having to prop his eyelids open just to stay awake, so maybe he was sleeping for Zhou Mi or something. Work, on the other hand, was not nearly so interesting as exploring a city and getting swept away to a sparkly award night. Nor was there a cute if inebriated Zhou Mi waiting for him in his cubicle. Or, for that matter, his bed. He’d gotten onto the must-make-sure-Zhou-Mi-is-okay train so firmly he’d barely really processed what had happened until he was in his own bed, in almost the same state of undress. He’d been under blankets with Zhou Mi, horizontal with Zhou Mi. Or maybe he had already thought about, but that didn’t make it less of a big deal.

“No, I like you right there,” Kyuhyun said to the totally empty pillow, to an imaginary Zhou Mi who was worried he was taking up too much space.

Oh, that was going to go well. He was just going to tell Zhou Mi he was having conversations with him in his head about sleeping with him. With. And next to, he supposed. Both were high on his priorities. He wanted to enjoy it, not just worrying about Zhou Mi’s head. Though that could take repeated practice.

He was okay with that.

He wondered if Zhou Mi liked to snuggle. Likely, considering how much he liked to touch. He had those hands that were made for—

Kyuhyun stopped. He stopped right there. For holding. For soothing, maybe. Then again Zhou Mi had posted pictures of his awards, which had evilly circular places for Zhou Mi’s hands to rest, and Kyuhyun had judged himself the world’s worst pervert. On one hand he was absolutely ecstatic for Zhou Mi and on the other, he was admiring and imagining. Though he wondered what Zhou Mi would think, before he judged himself too harshly. Not that he said anything. He had some self-preservation.

Zhou Mi posted a couple of pictures to his Instagram and twitter about the awards, but he send the rest to Kyuhyun. Where he’d put them, looking a little dreamy next to them. It kept Kyuhyun from feeling too distant or weird because there were days before Zhou Mi even came back to Korea, blazing through Incheon looking like a model in his news photos.

He just hoped Zhou Mi wasn’t disappointed. Sure, they hadn’t gotten to “celebrate” but they’d gotten to see each other. He’d gotten to hug Zhou Mi and tell him he was proud, and all but tuck him in. That counted. But Zhou Mi called him out, a couple of days after he got back into town.

Their first date in a park, as Kyuhyun jogged up to see Zhou Mi already there and dressed rather mysteriously in a lightweight trench coat.

“Very inconspicuous,” Kyuhyun teased.

They greeted each other with a half hug, Zhou Mi patting against his back as they leaned against each other for a moment. Kyuhyun smiled more at Zhou Mi’s chin, worried that if he looked fully at Zhou Mi’s face that he’d want to kiss him.

That would be not so good, in public.

“It feels like it’s been forever,” Kyuhyun said, falling into step with Zhou Mi as they made their way down the paved path. The bag that Zhou Mi held swayed a bit between them.

“Less than a week. I feel like I’ve lived a decade.”

Kyuhyun didn’t doubt that, and he probably didn’t even know half of the things that Zhou Mi had been up to.

“Are you giving up on sleep to be here?”

“I got six hours last night! I’m doing really well. Besides, this is better than sleep,” Zhou Mi said, smacking at him with the back of his hand.

“Recharging your Kyuhyun batteries?” Kyuhyun asked, and Zhou Mi snickered a little. Kyuhyun caught movement out of the corner of his eye, startled a bit before he realized he recognized the man. It was Zhou Mi’s manager lurking far out of earshot behind them but still well within sight range.

“Oh. We have company. Is he just going to follow us the whole time?”

“I think he thinks if I’m in town, if I get in trouble, I can cling to someone’s leg and ask them to help me. But out here in the wild of a park, I might have to climb a tree like a cat or something if someone tries to get too close.”

“Is he going to tackle the fan legion who appears out of nowhere and swat them off of you with his cell phone?”

Zhou Mi laughed long and hard at that mental image with Kyuhyun having to keep him on the path a few times with some well-timed tugs to Zhou Mi’s jacket.

Inconspicuous indeed.

They settled near a tree, Zhou Mi sitting down like he didn’t have a care in the world for his pants or his shoes. They split some chicken that Zhou Mi had brought, and Kyuhyun drank water greedily, taking in everything from the way Zhou Mi’s kneecaps pressed against the cloth to the way that Zhou Mi licked his fingers. It felt like they were doing some kind of auction negotiation, trying to find a time they could meet up again. When, where.

“Things will start to slow a little. For a little while. I’ll have to keep practicing, though. There’ll be new songs,” Zhou Mi said, eyeing Kyuhyun to see his reaction which was immediate and pleased.

“But then there’ll be music shows.”

“And more promoting, and hosting, and…” Zhou Mi sighed, luxuriating in the thought a little. “It all makes me happy. Even the hard stuff is a stepping stone. There are some scripts we’re looking at? But one is actually set here, so I wouldn’t be out of the country for so long.”

Zhou Mi’s acting dream. It made him want to cup Zhou Mi’s face and coo at him.

“I wanted to apologize, too,” Zhou Mi said, picking at a seam of his pants and looking up at Kyuhyun. His eyes were steady, which kept Kyuhyun from panicking, but Kyuhyun’s brain sped off without him trying to figure out exactly what Zhou Mi had to apologize for.

“Why…?”

“Well, mostly I hoped you didn’t feel like I was abandoning you during the trip. I thought I might have a little time. Hey, come to my awards ceremony, and you’ll only get to see me a few minutes.”

“Well, I remember a few hours in there…”

Zhou Mi sputtered. “We were asleep! And I was drunk.”

“That counted to me,” Kyuhyun insisted. “The most important part was that you wanted me there at all. Even if I hadn’t been able to see you at all, it would’ve been worth it to me since you knew and cared I was there.”

“Kyuhyun.”

Ah, it was too sappy, but it was true. It wasn’t like Kyuhyun was stupid. He knew it was going to be a hectic time and that it wasn’t going to be some kind of romantic vacation just for them. The ceremony had been the whole focus, and it had turned out well, and he’d been grateful to be able to get the time off to be able to go. Zhou Mi had wanted him there, and maybe had felt some support to have someone he loved nearby.

“I just couldn’t believe you were so cheerful when you woke me up. As drunk as you were, I’d probably have been moaning on the bathroom floor.”

“I’m a good actor,” Zhou Mi said, praising himself. “Well, a little. My head hurt, but I didn’t have a choice to be sick. I didn’t want you to worry, either.”

“You don’t have to hide that,” Kyuhyun said, and Zhou Mi smiled, touching Kyuhyun’s arm.

“Thank you. That means…so much. Even that night, I was all giddy and out of it and you took care of me, and made sure I was okay. I don’t think there are words…”

It made him bashful, looking down as Zhou Mi played with his sleeve. Zhou Mi didn’t have to thank him for that.

“You were a cute drunk,” Kyuhyun deflected, and at least Zhou Mi preened a little.

“Maybe soon we’ll get to see if you sleep well on my mattress, too,” Zhou Mi said.

Kyuhyun’s face burned, his smile probably five kinds of dirty, but they tapped their water bottles together to seal that.

It was the infernal text tone, Zhou Mi’s manager signaling they needed to break it up. Kyuhyun stored up the hugs, the little touches, the smiles, the flirting. He remembered Zhou Mi’s worry, and his thankfulness, and his care of Kyuhyun’s feelings. He’d meant what he said. He hadn’t felt cheated on the trip. It had been electrifying and emotional, and a side of Zhou Mi he’d not seen before. It was probably through some lens of goopy feelings that he found it all cute, but he didn’t care.

Zhou Mi posted a cute video of him blowing kisses to the camera to his fans, and he sent Kyuhyun the link. Kyuhyun got the message.

***

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