y_c_reverse (y_c_reverse) wrote in yaoi_challenge,
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Red Socks (Not So Bad, Eunhee/Gain)

Title: Red Socks
Fandom: Not So Bad
Pairing: Eunhee/Gain
Author: Cheesecake and Chiboust
Recipient: Lady Giovanni
Rating: PG
Warnings: Sweetness, fluff
Summary:Prompt: Not So Bad: Eunhee/Gain - Anything fluffy/sweet/romantic.



I thought for sure he'd be home by now. But no, the house is empty when I get in. It used to be that the quiet was what I craved most. Now I hate coming home like this, with the sound of my own footsteps echoing down the hall.

All because of a damn stray cat.

There's only a hastily-folded newspaper and some empty beer cans on the counter to let me know that Gain was here. Typical of him to not pick up after himself but I find strange comfort in it. I can't help it. No matter how many months we've been together, every time I walk into the door and he's not there, I can't breathe for a moment; this feeling of panic seizes up my chest. So. These cans, that old newspaper, the crumpled up candy wrapper I find under the coffee table, they're signposts on the long road back to my sanity.

I wonder if Gain knows; if he leaves them on purpose. I like to hope so. I like to think of them as kitty markings—the work of a cat claiming his territory, if you please. Otherwise, I'm reminded of just how little of Gain's stuff there is here to suggest any kind of permanence. All he's added to the house so far is a funky art-nouveau-ish poster and a tiny cactus that he always forgets to water, which is a good thing, considering that it doesn't need much. Maybe it's time we went shopping. The cans rattle as I toss them into the garbage. My hands are shaking as I light another cigarette. In that flicker of light, the ring on my left hand glints. God, I have to stop doing this to myself.

I'm not really hungry. Seyoung insisted on dragging the film crew to dinner after the shoot and I've more than eaten my fill. Still, I start cooking anyway. Hearty pibimbap [1] for Gain who lives off pretzels and cigarettes when he's at the bar. It's an extravagant dish and especially so at two in the morning. An exasperated sound gusts past my lips and I can't help chuckling. I work 12 to 16 hour days and yet I rush home to play the wife. Me. Eunhee Kim, the coldest fucking bastard in the business (at least according to Seyoung). I start to think, "How have I come to this?" but the answer is too obvious for me to try to pretend ignorance. Still, this new topsy-turvy world has its advantages, like the rave reviews I've suddenly been getting for a couple of low-budget independent films that no one was supposed to notice:

"Eunhee Kim in his most moving performance yet—"

"Kim shows astounding maturity and emotional range for a man once called the "prince" of commercial film."

Ha. Road movies. Who would have thought?

I take my eye off the sizzling beef and vegetables for a moment to grab a bundle of clothes from the hamper for washing. When I raise the washer's lid, though, I find a load of wet clothes already in there. I tug one of the shirts out and sniff it, wrinkling my nose at the faint moldy odor that indicates it's been in here far longer than it should have. Gain must have thrown in the clothes early this morning and forgotten about them. Then again, for all I know, they've been there since yesterday. Well, so much for doing a new load. I sigh and turn on the washer. Why do I do this again?

Fuck. Who the hell am I kidding? but I'll pretend a little, just for the sake of my pride.

All that's left to add to the pibimbap is the kochu jang. Both Gain and I like a generous helping of the hot sauce with our meals so I apply it liberally. With the meal done, though, I'm once again left to my own devices. I try not to watch the clock. For the hell of it, I put on some tea. The hum of the washer helps distract me and I'm grateful when it's time to put the clothes in the dryer.

I hadn't paid much attention to them before, but looking at the clothes now, I see the total madness of what Gain has done. I swear he really is no better than a kid. Not only has he thrown together whites with colors and cottons with expensive silks, but as I take the clothes out of the washer, I realize that everything is tinged pink and/or mottled red. Damn it! I dig through the pile and find the culprits of this measles-inducing affair: the striped red and yellow socks Gain so happily bought me a few months ago. The outrageous, ridiculous socks I agreed to wear. Well, at least they're as bright as ever, I mutter as I toss everything into the dryer. I don't even know why I bother. They're all ruined anyway.

My inner tirade is interrupted by the ringing of my cell phone. The distinctive tone is one I still haven't gotten used to hearing. Suddenly all my irritation washes away. That he called, that he remembered, that this is another blaring signpost on the crazy road to happiness makes me giddier than a kid with his first crush—nothing else matters as I press the phone to my ear.

"Eunhee?" Gain's voice comes over the phone, sweet, clear and a little self-conscious.

"Yeah?"

"Sorry, we had a bunch of salary men here tonight celebrating a closed deal. We finally got them out of the bar a minute ago. I'll be home soon, okay?"

"Okay," I murmur, and it is. All I need is his sweet voice. I hop into the shower with a spring in my step.
______________________________


"Honey, I'm ho~me." Gain grins as he waltzes in the door, and my heart speeds up. "Mmm, something smells delicious."

"It's pibimbap. I figured I should cook something edible before you came home and attempted it yourself. I saw the mess you made of the laundry. A brat who doesn't know to separate whites from colors shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a stove," I say drolly, puffing out a ring of smoke.

"Ah, you're such a good wife. What more could a man ask for?" Gain teases cheekily, but his expression softens as he leans in to peck me on the lips. He doesn't linger which is good, because my nostrils are already flaring at the alien smells clinging to him: smoke, liquor, the overly-affectionate bar owner's cloying "floriental" perfume and even more annoying, a hint of that loverboy, Sukwa on his clothes. Gain knows. He slips into the bathroom before I can say a word. The shower comes on and I picture his wet naked body as I set the table.

Gain emerges not too long afterwards, dressed in boxers and a t-shirt. True to form, his golden hair is dripping water onto the floor despite the towel wrapped around his head.

"Idiot, when will you learn to get it right?" I growl, reaching for him. I snatch up the haphazard mess of a towel on his head and roughly wipe his hair. Then I can pull him close and bury my nose in that golden softness. Then, I can touch him, kiss him and make him mewl. It's not about sex, though we have plenty of that and very good sex besides. That is not why I wrap my arms around him now. I miss him when he's away and I am happy he is home. That's the long and short of it.

Gain sighs and nuzzles closer. Even like this, with his eyes heavy lidded, his sensual mouth reddened from my kisses, there is always that little something about him, that bit of distance in his gaze that makes it impossible to take him for granted. I want to bind him even tighter to me. I want him to say that he knows this is home.

So many emotions are crowding my heart, but when Gain twines his fingers around mine, I am quieted. There are no words. Instead we cuddle on the couch with the pibimbap and the tea. The meal is damn good, if I say so myself.

After dinner, Gain suggests putting on another of my old movies, but we're both too tired to get much past the opening sequence. I've had enough of road movies for one night anyway. We stumble to the bed and Gain immediately curls up against my side. His slender body is hot against mine. His scent is sweet and familiar. Gain, my sleepy-eyed cat. But only around me.

Sleep: amazing how something so ordinary has come to take on such significance in my life. Before Gain, the hours I spent in bed were nothing more than a footnote to the whirlwind of my day. Now they are proof of something. Something which fills my waking hours and only finds completion when Gain is near. Even more important, I see the same proof in the dark circles under Gain's eyes when I come home at five in the morning and he's still awake—run ragged from waiting, restless. That makes me think: Maybe it is not about sleep at all. Maybe it's more about finding a place to rest.

I pull the covers higher about us. Outside, the sky is already turning the gray of impending dawn. It doesn't matter. I've got my sleepy-eyed cat and he's got me.

End

______________________________

Notes:

[1] Pibimbap: One of the classics of the Korean kitchen, a one-dish meal consisting of a mixture of rice and an assortment of cooked cultivated and wild vegetables, perhaps some meat, a fried egg, and topped with a generous dollop of kochujang. Traditionally served in a very hot earthenware bowl with a raw egg, which cooks from the heat of the bowl. [http://www.rao-osan.com/osan-info/korea/korean_food.htm]




Tags: cheesecake and chiboust, not so bad, rare fandom challenge, recipient: lady giovanni
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