It had been a week since that night at the restaurant. They had come home, cuddled up with Minha, ended up putting a movie on and then fallen asleep. Eun had almost been late for work the next day but all Leigh could remember was the smile on his lips after they kissed. How happy and free he looked. And since then they had been texting constantly, sending cute messages, trading a few selfies here and there, Eun visited the shop sometimes, he brought a coffee to Eun's office one day. They were figuring out how to make a busy schedule work and Leigh was happy. Deliriously so, especially when Eun had called him his boyfriend earlier this week and the kitsune's heart had practically leapt out of his chest.

And today was their first official date. Initially, Eun had wanted to go out somewhere together but Leigh had asked him if he wouldn't mind the two of them just spending the day at home. The kitsune knew that Minha had been excited to see her new friend again and he really liked the idea of them just spending a lazy afternoon together. Eun had insisted he was going to show Leigh how to bake so he had ordered a bunch of the ingredients to be delivered which had come this morning, he had some of them in the fridge and the rest were arranged on the counter. He would have measured out them into bowls already but Eun was being pretty secretive about what they were going to make today. 

He had spent most of the day working through the inventory and backorders for the shop, his glasses were perched on his nose and Minha was curled up asleep in the patch of sunlight which shone on the couch next to him, she loved the sun and would spend all her time there given the chance. The time felt like it passed slowly because he couldn't wait to see Eun again, it wasn't even subtle at this point how much Leigh lit up whenever he got to see him and while he sometimes wished it would be more often, he was making the most of the time they had, just like they promised. But eventually after a few hours of sorting through the mess of the stock system he heard the sound of the knock at the door. 

He hopped to his feet, trying to beat the shiba inu who was already skittering across the floor at the sound of a new visitor to the apartment, he was sure that she knew exactly who it was because she never got this excited when the mail man came. She beat him there but he shook his head slightly "Did you learn to open doors? No? So you need me to open it" she seemed to understand backed up a little though he tail wagging gave her away. He pulled the door open and immediately smiled when he saw the ever charming Sangeun Moon at his doorstep "Hey" he spoke softly, beaming, his dimples on full show. 

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Sometimes he blinked a few times and he still couldn’t believe that this is his reality, today, what they’re doing, is actually happening before him. All in his own conscience. He finally learned how it feels like to love someone and Eun likes it very much, visiting Leigh was just a glimpse of what their life would be like, in the near future. And perhaps, he couldn’t get enough of it. “You’re right, I don’t have many things in my life to be excited about. I try to think of the latest thing I was proud of and that was… a little over 2 years ago when I finally graduated and received my accolades. That’s something everyone should be proud of but it’s a bit pathetic to see that I haven’t been excited ever since, you know?” He’s embarrassed. Everyone else had the chance to celebrate the biggest moments of their lives, and he was left not knowing what he should be excited about. “So thanks, Leigh” Thank you, indeed. His smile was wholesome, he couldn’t wait to see what they could do today. Eun was already looking forward to the mess he was so sure they’d make. 

“You’re not the first, no, but you’re the first I actually want to hear all those compliments from. Doesn’t that make it a bit different?” he tilted his head to the side slightly, almost cutely, like he was asking the kitsune if he’s felt something similar. “Hearing others won’t be the same when you’re hearing someone you want to give everything to.” The dhampir covered his mouth using one hand before shaking his head dramatically, “I can’t believe you said my award worthy dad jokes are horrible, Leigh… tsk tsk” Did he have something else that’s habitual? “But now that you’ve asked me that, I have a habit of liking a few letters. Not necessarily poems, just journal entries about my day. My handwriting isn’t good enough to show though, it’s very sloppy” he grinned sheepishly, he enjoyed writing journal entries when he was younger and had plenty of journals stored away. All because the elder Moon couldn’t bring himself to throw it away. It was a part of his childhood. 

“People said I dreamed too big too, once upon a time” he took Leigh’s hands into his, brushing his thumbs against his palm softly, “But look where I am now, right? It’s not impossible…” The frown never left his face, in fact, the dhampir was more upset at the fact that Leigh thought he could ever push him away by being himself, “Don’t be… I like you for you, Leigh… all of you” He didn’t know how he could never notice that part of him but Eun intends to show it. To show why he fell for him. “I will not stop liking you, Leigh, so you can stop worrying about that” he ruffled his hair gently and gave him a reassuring smile, “I’m hard to be chased away, anyway.” When the kitsune asked him what his starter pokemon was, Eun was more than giddy to tell him, “Chikorita” he beamed in delight, it was like witnessing a younger him again. “What’s yours?”

 He had the intention of making his heart flutter even more but decided to not tell his plan beforehand, after all, it’s best to do things like that discreetly. “How many cousins do you have?” His family wasn’t that many to expand, they always had 3 to 4 per family. The nickname caught him off guard, it rendered him speechless, so much Eun stared at Leigh like he just called him husband, “Did you just call me a prince, foxxy?” Bit by bit, his smile grew wider as he leaned closer with a smug grin, “Your pronunciation is also on point, I’m impressed, Leigh.” The thought of having his own dog was quite literally sending him to cloud nine, he wondered what kind of owner he’d be. He could feel him peering over his shoulders but Eun only grinned brightly as he continued to whisk the butter with a slightly above average turn, it was one of the best perks of being a supernatural, to use your strength. “Mhmm, I couldn’t go back home nearly as much unless it was semester break… it was hectic for me, so I had to train by myself. Baking myself a cupcake always clears it for me. A treat for myself. Do you like sweets?”

Leigh gave a somewhat lopsided smile and tilted his head slightly “Well that’s definitely a big thing to be excited about but I think you need to change your definition of excited” he pursed his lips “You’re telling me you haven’t been excited for a package with something you really wanted to arrive...or new music from your favorite artist coming our...or….getting to go to the beach or an amusement park…” he had lots of little things he looked forward to in life and no they weren’t graduation level every day but they made him happy “Getting a text from your favorite person?” Leigh gave a bashful smile as he looked back at Eun “I think you have more going on than you even realize” Eun was just very specific on details and perhaps he thought those things weren’t special enough.

Leigh licked his lips and then grinned shyly “Then I will keep saying them...even if I become a human tomato” he often found it hard to say how he feels so he would end up stuttering and saying something silly and while he felt more comfortable around Eun than he did with most, he still found himself getting caught up a lot. Leigh cleared his throat and then laughed when Eun told him off for insulting his dad jokes “You asked me to tell you the trust” he jested but then listened to Eun talking about the letters he enjoyed writing “So you have the writing of a doctor then” he chuckled under his breath “Did you write any about me?” of course he would want to know that, he wouldn’t dare ask to read them when Eun already indicated he didn’t want to share but he was curious about the topics he must cover in them.

Leigh smiled sweetly as he felt Eun take his hand in his, he liked the feeling of his warm touch, so much so that he didn’t want to let go “I guess things will never happen if you don’t try to make them happy...if you don’t….reach for them and hope for them” he felt like it was a mix of both, hard work and luck, sometimes you had really great times and others were a struggle but you had to keep pushing on regardless. Leigh sucked in a breath and smiled when Eun reassured him that he liked him for him “I can’t help it” he responded and bit his lip “My brain isn’t wired with the confidence others have...I have this tendency to doubt myself it proves a hard habit to break” he supposed it came from many sources, like relentlessly wanting people to like him when they never would when he was younger and suffering a breakup which essentially proved they chose someone else over him. He took a deep breath when Eun touched his hair “Thank you...I needed that” he spoke softly.

He loved how excited that Eun got when they talked about Pokemon and Leigh was imagining a younger Eun playing the game and going through the adventure on his game boy “Mine was Bulbasaur” he responded and grinned “Looks like we’re both grass starter enthusiasts...that usually means we’re the weird ones” he laughed softly, most people picked the fire starter “Chikorita is pretty cute huh?” he nodded a few times. When Eun asked how many cousins he had he smiled “Four...three girls and one boy and I was the oldest of all of them” it was the closest he was to being an elder brother and he enjoyed taking care of them. Leigh was practically holding his breath after he suggested the nickname, he had practiced saying it so many times you’d have thought it would be easy and yet he still felt his palms getting a little sweaty as Eun reacted and he breathed a sigh of relief “I think so? I hope so?” he blushed hoping Eun liked it.

Leigh watched Eun carefully as he cooked, noting the way he skillfully moved through the kitchen and how it all seemed kinda effortless to him despite the fact it wasn’t even his own home “I do...my favorite is caramel cake...the kind that is just covered in frosting” he laughed, he couldn’t eat too much of it without his stomach hurting but that wouldn’t stop him trying anyway “Are cupcakes your favorite?” he questioned curiously.

He could feel a blush forming on his cheeks when Leigh told him that he probably needed to change the definition of his excitement, “Honestly, I don’t know how to put it. I’ve never been this… excited for anything. I’m not sure whether it’s because I don’t know what it actually means to be excited or it’s because I’ve never had anything that I think I should be excited for” In his mind, Eun could only be excited if his parents were too. Which was a bit sad, for the male who was already nearing his 30th year mark already. It felt as if he never lived his youth at all. “A package to arrive? I… Well, I’ve never been much for online shopping nor do I actually remember receiving any package since it’s all addressed to my work address, new music from my favorite artist? Uh…” It feels embarrassing for him to admit that he’s never truly experienced those or maybe he’s done it but couldn’t recall any part of it, which only brought him to one conclusion; it wasn’t considered significant enough for the dhampir to remember.

 He looked up from his embarrassed gaze and nodded almost enthusiastically when Leigh mentioned getting a text from a favorite person, “He’s standing right in front of me, actually. I’d rather talk to him like this compared to texting but can’t be choosey, right?” he chuckled, sometimes he would rather hear his voice so Eun would often ring him up instead of texting. “I know I’ve done all of those, but it’s a bit embarrassing to know that they were not considered special enough for me to remember… Wow, I’m really missing out, aren’t I?” Leigh was very shy, and Eun loves how he tried his best to send the message across even if that meant he was turning into a human tomato, it was incredibly endearing to him. If anything, he only found himself falling deeper for the kitsune, more than he probably should. “Careful Leigh, one day you may end up being an actual tomato and unfortunately for you, I like my tomatoes. I may end up eating you for all we know” he teased and patted both of the male’s cheeks playfully, this is exactly what he pictured when he saw a relationship window open for him to set his foot in. This kind of happiness he felt, something he didn’t want to end.

 When asked if he’s written any entry on him, Eun cleared his throat and hummed in affirmation, “A few… I’m not sure if you can read my writing all that well though, I swear I’m not good at them. Totally not a candidate for any calligraphy competition, that’s for sure. But not as messy as a doctor” He’s a lawyer, his fingers were made to be typing on a keyboard, not the other way around. But since he makes a lot of extra notes, they couldn’t be that bad. “Why? Do you want to read them?” He was shy about showing it, since it was very personal to the elder Moon, but if Leigh expressed his want to take a look, then Eun would gladly present it. “Let’s have plenty of hopes together, Leigh” he held his hands reassuringly and gave him a wide grin, “Nothing wrong with trying, right?” He learned a lot of new things when he befriended Leigh and let’s just say that the dhampir enjoyed them greatly. “Let’s put it this way then” he cleared his throat and bit his lip apprehensively, “I can be your bottle of confidence for you.” He didn’t expect Leigh to just discard the shell of his for him, but he wanted to be a better person for the other too. 

Eun ruffled his hair gently and patted him reassuringly, “No problem. You know I’m here for you.” He wanted to say always but managed to refrain himself from doing so because that word would only hurt him. “I can’t believe something that was probably sounding like an offense would manage to sound like a compliment” he shook his head and laughed, “Just saying grass enthusiasts are better compared to others. I don’t make the rules.” He remembered being the only one who picked that starter when he was a kid, but then again, he’s always been a weird one out of the bunch, surprisingly. “I’m guessing you’d be pretty good with kids too, huh?” Eun wouldn’t call himself the expert of handling kids, but he likes to cater to their cute demands, somehow. He didn’t have people catering to him and he didn’t have half as enough time to cater to his younger siblings, so perhaps it was to make up to them and himself. The nickname was so unexpected but it had the dhampir grinning from ear to ear, “I never thought I’d be so giddy over a nickname but here I am… proving myself wrong again.” His prince. Cute.

 Eun made a mental note to remember Leigh’s favorite dessert, perhaps he could make them in the future for the kitsune. It’s only natural for a boyfriend to want to do things for their significant others, right? “Mhmm, cupcakes are my favorite because that was the only thing my mother could give me. As a child, I wasn’t pampered all that much. My father thought pampering me would end up making me a spoiled kid… so yeah” Not exactly a good childhood story for him. “I bet your father is so much better than mine.”

Leigh felt special, the things Eun said made him feel special because they sounded so genuine. Usually, when someone complimented him he found it was due to obligation or because he said something nice first but the things Eun said felt important to him “It kinda makes me feel sad that you haven’t felt like other things were...exciting” he responded candidly as he watched Eun carefully, he could understand that perhaps his expectations were higher though, while Leigh was the type to focus on the little things “You’re missing out” he teased as he nudged against Eun’s side “Order yourself something online as a treat sometime, then try and forget you bought it and then when it arrives it’ll be a nice surprise” Leigh did that often, usually with things which came from abroad so it took a while to come.

He giggled when Eun said he was his favorite person “Somehow I knew you were going to say something like that” he responded and shook his head playfully “Plus I can’t surprise you as easily in person as I can with a text” he chuckled “Except when I’m trying to scare away your hiccups I suppose” he bit his lip and smiled because he was still surprised by Eun’s reaction to that. Leigh nodded when he said he was missing out “You haven’t even experienced the pure joy of having a favorite band and getting excited because they’re coming to your city” Leigh definitely liked music and had been to a few concerts, it was the only kind of large crowd he was willing to tolerate. Leigh widened his eyes when Eun teased him about how much he was blushing which naturally made the kitsune reach up to cover his face for a moment “Well that definitely would be a problem, but I’m afraid I can’t stop” because now the more he thought about it the more embarrassed he was getting.

Leigh widened his eyes when Eun said that he had written a few journal entries on him, it made him wonder what the other male would have written about him on the pages “Oh...that’s okay” he spoke softly when Eun said that he probably wouldn’t be able to read it well, truthfully it seemed like it was something very personal for Eun and for that reason he didn’t want to ask to see it. He bit his lip when Eun asked if he wanted to read it “I more just...wanted to know if I was mentioned” he admitted sighing softly because there was that blush he kept wearing again. Leigh’s gaze dropped to this joined hands when Eun spoke about having hopes together “Sounds like fun” he responded in a soft voice “Who knows what dreams we might find if we dig for them” he spoke softly thinking about the things he wanted to achieve.

He liked he way that Eun was touchy with him, it hadn’t been that long and they were already holding hands and had even shared a kiss, it felt much more natural to him that he had honestly been expecting and in that sense, Eun definitely provided him with confidence just like he said. He giggled when Eun commented about how being called the ‘weird one’ might be seen as offensive “It means that we’re the ones not afraid to be different right?” he smiled gently “And you’re right, we should make an entire team of grass types and play together” he grinned “We could even play leaf green just to complete the theme” he hadn’t played a pokemon game in a while but they made him very nostalgic. He shrugged slightly when he asked if he was good with kids “I guess so?” he responded and smiled “People tell me I’m quite patient, so I don’t mind being around kids even when they’re hyper” he chuckled “But I would be scared to drop a baby if I was asked to hold them” he was sure most people had that irrational fear.

The way Eun was grinning after he used the nickname definitely gave him a sense of relief that he liked how he chose to address him...he’d read it was a little childish but he had always seen Eun as his hero, so his prince seemed accurate “I was so nervous I’d say it wrong” he admitted with a soft laugh under his breath. “Cupcakes seem like they’re easy to make but...I guess it would easier to burn them because they don’t take as long as regular cakes?” he was still watching Eun working on the cooking, by now he had pretty much blanked on what they were supposed to be doing though. Leigh really wished he could make Eun’s relationship with his father better, sometimes it made him feel a little guilty that his parents were so supportive in comparison “My dad is the kind of person who just gets along with everyone, it’s hard not to like him” he laughed under his breath “He also saved my life so...there’s that” he pressed his lips together.

It's been so long since he's had anyone making him feel so significant and special like this. Who knew he only needed a day with Leigh to find out just how much one could love another? The both of them likes each other, he knew that. The kiss they shared the last time was a testament to it and Eun couldn't bring himself to even think about questioning what it meant afterwards. How could he? It was his first kiss and the fact that Leigh was the one he shared it with, on his own liberty and consent, meant everything to him. "It's sad, I know… but hey, at least I can start feeling them now? Better late than never, right?" He would rather be late until he was already turning 30 than to never attempt it at all. And he was more than happy to try it with the kitsune by his side. "I'm missing out on a lot of things, Leigh… good things. I'm embarrassed but… I intend to make the best of my time here to make up for it. You'll help me, won't you?" He listened to his suggestion about ordering something online and nodded in affirmation, he'll do that, honestly it made the elder Moon look as if he was the child that was taking in what an older person was telling him, "Order something online. Got it." It was a bit funny. 

"What would you need to surprise me with, be careful Leigh, my heart ain't that strong as I look, it's quite fragile… who knows you may even give it a heart attack one day" he jested and winked playfully, "I'd rather have you surprise and give me a heart attack another way" he murmured and fiddled with his fingers shyly. Though he had close to none idea on how a relationship was supposed to go on, he knew the kisses he shared were bound to be more frequent as they take another step in their journey. And maybe, just maybe… Eun had a taste for it and now wished to have more. "I've never been to a concert" he shook his head, "I only ever heard all the events people held but never got the chance to attend. I remember wanting to be the first to line up in front of the bookstore when a new manga was released… that was years ago, but I wasn't able to do so because my father told me to attend extra classes with my tutor." It had upsetted younger him greatly but who was he to say no?

 The blush on his cheeks only made him chuckle, so cute. "Then don't stop on my account, I don't mind. I'm just warning you beforehand for what may happen in the near future if you keep blushing, you're my boyfriend now" there may be certain lines he was able to cross now, but he didn't say it out loud. To be honest, he wasn't sure if he should be telling Leigh what he's been writing about him in his journal but he also couldn't bring himself to lie and say no because of course, the dhampir had written about him in that enclosed space of his. Leighton Kingsman made him laugh more times than he could count. How could he not write a letter of appreciation inside that at least once? "You never know what's in front of you until you dig for them" he mused softly, "Whatever we find, I'm sure it'll be worth the while." He was naturally a sociable person so skinship was not a foreign thing for him, though this kind of skinship he was initiating with the kitsune is so different compared to his normal ones. You wouldn't find him holding someone's hand voluntarily like he's doing now, or staring into his eyes with such fondness. No, no… that's only reserved for Leigh.

 "We can be different together" he nodded with a smile, yeah that sounded nice. "I figured as much, you are kind… those people usually have a thing for pure souls like kids. Even if they are devilish brats." Being called his prince was more than enough to make Eun's heart flutter, he really does like this guy and was so close to giving everything up for him, he might actually still do it, "You said it perfectly. I've never been someone's prince before, I guess I should start acting like yours." He's been his knight in a shining armor, what's a prince compared to that, right? "Mhmm, and even if you get the wrong measurement it doesn't ruin the entire thing. I find cakes to be a lot more aesthetically urgent compared to cupcakes. Here, can you please pour one cup of sugar and one cup of sour cream?" He had pushed the tub of sour cream towards him. When he heard that Leigh's father had saved him, his hands stopped doing what it was doing earlier momentarily, "I know it's a sensitive topic but... You never told me how he saved you, it's fine I'd you don't want to talk about it of course... I just, yeah I'm being nosey again.. Sorry."

Leigh nodded his head enthusiastically in response to Eun’s words “Exactly, there’s plenty for you to look forward to” he grinned a little “Maybe we should make you a list to tick off” Leigh hadn’t lived the most adventurous life out of everyone in the world but he definitely had a fair few little things he always tried to do because he knew he would get excited over them. “Of course I will” he responded with an easygoing smile “It’s basically my personal responsibility to make sure that your time in Evermore is as memorable as possible so” he pursed his lips and grinned “Start with ordering something silly online...maybe a model kit to build or a toy you always wanted when you were younger but never got to have” anything which sparked interest and made you feel excited. Sure some people might call it irresponsible but he thought it was important to have fun sometimes. 

Leigh shrugged, blushing slightly when Eun asked him why he wanted to surprise him “I guess I like the idea of things being new when it comes to...us” he responded and smiled, shrugging it off, he wanted Eun to get to experience new things and feel excited when he was with him, the same way Leigh felt a certain thrill in getting to be with the dhampir “It’s silly I know” he added to the end and laughed. “Surely you must have some musician or...show you want to see...something you always heard about but ever got to do” he pursed his lips when Eun said he wanted to go and get a manga from the bookstore when it was released and he pouted a little at the thought of him giving that up over some extra classes “Then what about a comic con, they sell all kinds of manga, you can add to your collection?” plus they often had artists who would draw all kinds of popular characters, along with replicas and plushies, it seemed perfect. 

Leigh fiddled with his fingers as Eun continued to talk, he couldn’t help feeling nervous around the dhampir, no matter how hard he tried he always felt flustered by the smallest of things “Are you trying to find ways to naturally insert the fact I’m your boyfriend into conversation?” he grinned sheepishly, he liked hearing it a lot and he liked the fact that Eun seemed to be so proud of it. Leigh never really had set goals in his life he wanted to reach but he lived day to day reaching for things which made him happy, that could change with time and even be different on different days, but one thing his heart had latched onto by now was spending time with Eun, it was something he wanted every day, it was something he treasured. Shyly Leigh edged closer to lean his chin on Eun’s shoulder as he watched him preparing the food, he would say he was learning something but really he just wanted to be closer to Eun and take in the soft manly scent he always seemed to radiate. He loved being able to be close with him like this. 

“They can definitely be devilish brats” he responded and laughed softly remembering how his cousins would always demand his attention and try to steal his glasses so they could wear them, he laughed it off but it could often be frustrating. “No changes needed, you already fit the bill, I wouldn’t have rehearsed it more times than I’ll admit if I didn’t mean it” he grinned slightly, when Eun asked him for help with measuring out the ingredients he pouted because he didn’t want to let go but did as he was asked “Okay” he spoke softly looking around confused because he wasn’t sure what a cup would entail so he grabbed a mug and filled it with the things he thought they would need. Leigh pressed his lips together when Eun asked about what happened with his father and nodded slightly “No don’t be sorry...you’re supposed to be the one I can tell anything to right?” he picked at his shirt a little wondering how to explain it. 

“I wasn’t born a Kitsune” he explained nodding slightly “I was born a human and...honestly I was never the strongest person when it came to my immune system, I was tall and thin and I guess other kids didn’t like me because I was also...strange” though he never really understood why back then “I was smarter than my classes, I had more interest in the sky than I did others and...well schools are schools...you can imagine” it felt weird explaining this to someone who wasn’t a therapist but he continued because he wanted Eun to understand, especially if they were going to spend a lot more time together “There were a few kids who hated me, I don’t really know why...but they essentially made it their goal to make my life a living hell” he paused biting on his lip to try and stop himself from tearing up, he wanted to finish the rest of the story but he wasn’t sure how to without getting upset.

The thought of having a list to tick off made him both excited and embarrassed. Why was he embarrassed? Because he felt like he was a bit overdue, that’s why his cheeks were flushed when he thought about it, though it didn’t hinder the dhampir from rejecting it outrightly, he had a lot to catch up on and he didn’t mind doing them slowly if it meant he had the chance to spend this precious moment together with Leigh, “I have a lot to learn” he chuckled, it was funny considering he’s a 30 year old male but had no prior experience to any of this. “I’ll list down things I wanted to do but never got the chance to do” That seems like a good start. “You’ll be surprised to know just how memorable things are just by spending them with you, Leigh” Was it cheesy? Perhaps. But that’s what Eun felt. This whole relationship part was still new to the elder Moon but he found himself accepting this feeling more than he would reject them.

 And it felt glorious, to have a humble man who was attentive and paying great attention to him just to make sure he’s comfortable with everything. Was there a toy he wanted back then? “I think I was a big fan of mangas… I used to collect them until I had to stop. My father told me it was a complete waste of time to do it and I should be focusing on my studies…” he fiddled with his fingers nervously before grinning sheepishly, “Were you a fan of any comic book? Or books, in general?” Eun likes to read, that much was proven, when it comes to both fictional and non-fictional content. Us, he never understood why people felt so happy to have something directed to them, even if they were this small endearing term used to describe them. But now that he’s felt it, he knew exactly why people were thrilled. It was as if that term alone held such power and vigor to them. “Comic con? I’ve heard of them but I never really got around what it’s supposed to be, what is it?” he didn’t know how big it was, but everyone seemed to like them.

 When Leigh asked him if he was trying to find ways to naturally put him as his boyfriend in every given conversation, Eun couldn’t help but to bite his lip and let the scarlet tinge on his cheeks make themselves visible to the kitsune, “M=maybe? Is that fine? I mean… you are my boyfriend, aren’t you? You’re proud of that, right? Or did I overstep?” he was a bit worried if he overstepped his boundaries, considering how new everything is to him. Leigh is his boyfriend and he was proud to tell everyone that, but he wasn’t sure if the kitsune was comfortable with that kind of treatment. He was measuring the content in the bowl when Leigh suddenly placed his chin on his shoulder, causing the dhampir to widen his eyes and stiffen momentarily, only to soften after he realized what Leigh was doing, “You’re being quite comfortable” he teased, with how wide of a grin he was wearing, it was clear that he loved this behavior.

 “I don’t wanna be that guy but… can we just stay like this?” he murmured softly, he really likes the position they were in, it felt like he was coc***ed in a blanket safely by the kitsune. He’s never felt this sort of reassurance in a very long time. “You really rehearsed it, huh? How many times hm?” He teased, the thought of Leigh practicing how to pronounce that made him extremely giddy, who knew a simple nickname from him was enough to get him this excited? Not him, that’s for sure. He caught a glimpse of that brief pout and chuckled, “Don’t pout on me baby, you said you wanted to help. If it’s up to me, I would just cuddle you on the couch with Minha trying to third wheel but unfortunately, we need to bake this” he cooed playfully, “But we can do that after we put them in the oven, right?” He could make a deal if needed, it wasn’t as if Eun didn’t want to hug him too. Hearing his story made the dhampir pause momentarily before he realized he had to go through this and act like this doesn’t surprise him, after all, he didn’t want to make it seem like it’s a big deal. One way or another, Eun accepted Leigh for the man he is. 

 He was halfway doing the graham cracker crust on the pan when he turned to face Leigh, who looked as if he was on the verge of tearing up, he tilted his chin up and cupped his face gently, “If only they could see the man you are today… they’d be writhing in humiliation. You’re a wonderful man, Leigh. You faced so much…  you don’t have to continue if you don’t want to, it’s clearly making you upset” he took one strawberry from the box of fruits he brought to decorate the cheesecake and pressed it against his lip, “Open wide.” He even had his arm wrapped around his waist, determined to hold him near and close.

Leigh smiled softly, he’d never really had someone appreciate and treasure his company quite as much as Eun did and it made him feel like his heart was racing and bursting with excitement “I want to spend more of them” he spoke softly, he wanted to make time to see each other and enjoy themselves like this, their first date wasn’t even done yet and he was sure of that. It made Leigh sad to hear the things Eun quite clearly liked but had to give up in the name of meeting his father’s expectations “He was wrong to tell you that” he spoke firmly because he truly believed it, how could someone stand in the way of something which made someone so happy, especially when it was something as simple as a comic “Oh I have a lot of comic books...though most of them are DC ones” he laughed remembering he had told Eun his favorite heroes before “Books...I’ve read so many books I can’t even count” he laughed gently “Your father must have let you read a few novels right?” his expression showed he hoped he said yes.

“It’s basically a place for everything nerdy” he responded and laughed “They let you buy comics, art, figures, shirts..you can dress up as your favorite characters and take pictures with people...sometimes they have celebrities from different movies and TV shows...it’s fun” he smiled, he had come back with so many interesting things the time he went to one. Leigh realized his comment might have seemed like he didn’t like it so naturally, he blushed when Eun asked him if he overstepped “No, of course, you didn’t overstep” he responded, fiddling with his fingers and pressing his lips together “I’m just...not used to someone being so proud of me...even my ex-boyfriend from a few years ago..he never...called me it” he bit his lip, it was so nice to be made to feel special.

When Eun stiffened he debated if he should pull back but before long he seemed more comfortable so he stayed there, just taking in the moment, Eun’s scent felt comforting and familiar to Leigh...as well as very attractive. “For a while” he spoke softly, watching Eun work on the cheesecake while he remained there as if he belonged there. “Well, at least it will taste good when it’s done” he spoke hopefully as he forced himself to pull away so he could measure out the ingredients they needed and place them in front of Eun. “Sure…” he spoke softly “I’d like that” honestly he’d like a whole lot more too but one step at a time.

Leigh had never told anyone his full story before, aside from his therapist and his parents, he was worried about how they would look at him when they knew what he went through and whether they would think he was weak or pathetic. But he trusted Eun and he felt even more secure in that trust when Eun took his face in his hands, Leigh blinked away the tears and smiled in response to his words “I want to” he spoke it softly and then widened his eyes when Eun offered him the strawberry, to which he opened his mouth and let Eun feed him it. He felt better almost instantly. Leaning into Eun’s side he continued “It got bad...really bad and...I guess I was scared because I didn’t tell anyone...and they hurt me...they really hurt me” he did his best to hold himself together as he held the dhampir close “And I started taking pain medication to make it feel better...except after I started, I felt like I kept needing more pain medication to feel okay again” he felt a tear rolling down his cheek as he clutched onto Eun’s arm “I took too many...and if my father hadn’t found me and turned me into a kitsune..I would have died” he could feel himself shaking as he waited for Eun to say something.

He wasn’t sure if Leigh was as excited and happy as he is today, but the positive energy that the kitsune seemed to display might have played a part in reassuring Eun that he wasn’t imposing on anything. Relationship is a topic that the elder Moon is foreign to, it’s not something he’s ever delved into, not until recently. The prospect of having someone by his side; someone who would support him through everything, it’s a beautiful thing. “You do?” It also sounded like a surprised squeak, honestly, considering how taken aback the dhampir was to receive such a response from Leigh. “That’s… good to hear” and no, he definitely wasn’t trying to calm his heart down because it kept beating rapidly. His lips were pressed in a thin line momentarily before he eventually dismissed it like it was something trivial, or in other words unnecessary concern, “He was, huh? Well… I’ll never understand why he would impose those on me but be… slightly lenient to my younger brother, Hyunsik. They said parents are strict because they love you.” Was it something he believed in? Partially. 

When asked if his father has let him read novels, he nodded in affirmation, “Yeah. I like to read a lot of detective novels like Sherlock Holmes or Nancy Drew… ironically, considering the nature of my job but it was fun to read them. The others, I’d list them down but they’re only available in Korean so you may not know them” he chuckled, “Though I have to say that I’m more of a Marvel kid than DC.” And there’s the jab. Hearing Leigh describe to him what a comic con consisted of made the dhampir gape in awe, “Sounds like a fun place to be at…” Maybe given the chance, he’d get the opportunity to go to one in the future, with Leigh, of course. The male couldn’t help but to frown when he heard that Leigh’s former boyfriend never called him something like that, “I heard people in relationships like to use nicknames on each other… Maybe he’s not the right guy” Was that a small sense of jealousy burning brightly in him? Maybe. “I would flaunt you everywhere if I could…” he muttered under his breath, completely in disbelief that nobody’s ever addressed him as such.

 Being back hugged by someone was hardly a weird thing for Eun but he was too used to being the one who back hugs people like his sister or cousins, not the other way around. He had to admit it felt comforting to have him near like this though. “It better” he exclaimed sternly as glanced at the sight of a cheesecake that was halfway done, “I wouldn’t want to feed you something inedible” he prided himself in doing this, it had to turn out okay or Eun may go home pouting. “I’m not going anywhere okay? I’m here with you” he reassured and squeezed his hand, a smile playing over his lips as he stared at the kitsune with so much fondness. How could people even hurt someone like him? It was completely unacceptable. After he ate the strawberry and leaned to his side, Eun returned the gesture by actually hugging the male, resting his face against the nook of his neck even though Leigh was taller than him. 

His hand stroked his hair comfortingly as he cooed gently, though there were times when he stiffened slightly as the frown creased his features upon finding out Leigh had taken far too many and lost himself that day. He pulled away from the hug so he could take Leigh’s face in his hands, before lowering his hands to grip on his arms so Leigh would stop shaking, “I need to send your father a personal thank you gift for turning you. Or else I would have never met this amazing man…” he murmured and wiped whatever stray tears were there on his cheeks, “I’m sorry you had to go through all of that alone, Leigh… There’s nothing I could do to change the past but I can try to make your present worthwhile… because I love you.” As those words came out as a small whisper, he pressed his lips against the kitsune’s softly.

Leigh raised his brows wondering why it seemed so surprising to Eun for him to want to spend more time with him, Leigh wasn’t the kind of person who went on a date with someone if he didn’t really like them already after all “Of course I do” he spoke in a soft voice, Eun had quickly become one of the most important people in his life and even before now Leigh had been making excuses to see him whenever he could. Leigh pressed his lips together in thought “I’m sure he thinks somewhere in his mind that all his choices are for the better, that he’s doing this for you and your future but…” he pressed his lips together “I don’t think he understands that it’s your life...not his” from what Leigh had gathered, that was the norm for families like Eun’s for the father of the family to make the decisions.

Leigh smiled at the way Eun lit up when they started talking about novels, that was definitely a passion they both shared and Leigh had read all of the ones Eun noted “I definitely liked those, I like the ones where you read them and try and figure out the ending from the clues you’re fed piece by piece...though they have to be done right and not just constantly bait you into believing everyone is a subject” Leigh loved reading and was a very studious person, he had read books of many genres. “Me too” he responded and laughed “Captain America was definitely my hero for most of my childhood” he blushed slightly. Leigh’s previous relationship when he looked back in hindsight wasn’t a healthy one, it was one spent mostly in hiding and loving someone more than they loved him back “He wasn’t the right guy” he agreed and nodded his head “It took me a long time to see that” but he’d made peace with that now and moved on “You don’t need to be jealous” he spoke softly noting that Eun seemed annoyed.

It was brave of him to be clinging to Eun the way he was, even if he only perched himself against his shoulder, Leigh was an intimate person but also very shy, he wouldn’t do things like this in public and honestly, it made him shy to do so with Eun. But he was brave because he wanted to be close to Eun and he reminded himself that this was a date and being close with your date was allowed. “I have full faith in your skills, besides you actually know where to put the ingredients so you’re already ahead of me” he chuckled softly, it hadn’t even been baked yet but Leigh could smell how good it was going to be, it made him hungry already. Leigh looked down to Eun’s hand and then smiled when he assured him he wasn’t going anywhere “Thank you” there was sincerity in his voice because it meant everything to him for Eun to stand by him and assure him like that.

He allowed Eun to pull him in, leaning against his shoulder and speaking the words, he was scared that the dhampir would think differently of him. The way he stroked his hair soothed him though and once he finished speaking the words he let out a sigh of relief, despite his shaking, he’d said it. He wanted to hide his face as Eun pulled back to take a hold of his face, his touch was so delicate, he took a deep breath as he looked back into Eun’s eyes. He was ashamed of what he did back then but he wanted Eun to know the truth and not have to be guessing why Leigh acted the way he did sometimes. He teared up simply out of relief when Eun said he wanted to thank his father for saving him and touched against his cheek. Leigh didn’t know what to say and then Eun continued talking and he was left completely speechless.

I love you. He had said I love you. His mind was screaming the words in his head as he widened his eyes in shock and when Eun’s lips met his, it took him a moment to come down from the surprise and return the kiss, but he did, softly, whining very softly against Eun’s lips. When their lips parted he giggled nervously “I swear my heart is about to beat out of my chest” he spoke softly, hesitantly reaching up his arms to wrap around Eun’s neck “You love me?” he still couldn’t believe it.

“I’m… I’m glad you do” Gosh, as if his cheeks wouldn’t stop blushing, Eun found himself pressing his palms against both of his cheeks while hiding himself away from the kitsune. This is so embarrassing yet so right. “I didn’t think I mean all that much to you…” Wait, what? “No! I mean, that’s not what I mean! Uh… I’m saying that I didn’t think I am that important- yes… that’s it” Here comes the blubbering mess Sangeun Moon again. Adulthood did not prepare him for this. Leigh was right, he loves his father, he loves his mother and he certainly loves his family, all of them. But this is his life, he was fine following everything else because he also believed that his father was only trying to secure him a good future with a bright light looming over him, what kind of a father wouldn’t want the best for his children? “The best is not always the good one huh?” he murmured, his father wanted him to lead a good future but at what cost?

 “I can take everything else but my parents interfering in my personal life… to marry someone else, at what expense? My happiness?” It felt absurd. “I like to read a lot of crime novels, it’s so exciting. Sometimes before I would finish the novel or series, I would jot down notes on my journal to figure out who the potential suspects were, maybe even guess who’s the actual antagonist in the story and see if I got them right.” He rubbed the back of his head sheepishly and covered his face slightly, “I’m such a nerd.” When Leigh told him his favorite superhero was Captain America, he gaped and covered his mouth using one hand, pointing at him as if he just discovered something surprising, only to wiggle his eyebrows and lean in very close, “So you have a thing for guys who would save the day, huh? Just like a knight in shining armor… just like your prince” he purred teasingly and booped his nose. “Who would’ve thought that Leighton Kingsman had a type, hm?” Not him, but he was certainly flattered to be one of those Leigh had his eyes on. 

Eun quickly turned to face Leigh in a hurry with an alarmed expression painting his features, “Excuse me… I am not jealous… and you’re right, he’s not the right one for you. He should’ve appreciated you more. But then again, I would have to thank him for letting you go so I can treat you better.” He promised to do better. Having Leigh perching his chin on his shoulder made him feel like Leigh was the koala clinging onto him, reminding him of that zoo trip he had during his student exchange in Australia. But he likes this koala, for sure. “Well, it’s a classic cheesecake, Leigh, if I fail to do this thing, then I’ll go back and beg for my mother’s forgiveness because the son she raised would never cause such disrespect” he teased, his mother always chastised him when he was baking, all in good manners, of course. “Can you believe I was a really messy kid?” It was a big difference to see the person he is today, clearly he outgrew that. He had poured the cream cheese that was mixed together to cover the crust and was trying to make sure it was neat. “No, thank you, Leigh, you’re one marvelous guy.” He really is. 

The thought about finishing the cheesecake process went out the window momentarily as he pulled him close, stroking his hair and cooing as if he was trying to reassure him. It didn’t matter, Leigh mattered more. It’s fine, the cheesecake could wait, but Leigh couldn’t. He noticed the speechless look marring the kitsune’s face moments before he kissed him, but paid no mind to it. It was just a whisper but it meant everything to the dhampir. He wanted to stay with Leigh. His lips were curved into a smile when he heard the other male whining against his lips, and still had it on when they pulled away. With Leigh’s arms wrapped around his neck, he stared at the male before him lovingly while his hands were wrapped around his waist. “Don’t beat out on me… I want you to have your heart intact.” When he asked for clarification, he chuckled, “Yes baby… I love you. Do you feel the same or is this one-sided” he laughed nervously.

Leigh widened his eyes when Eun seemed to doubt his own worth when it came to the eyes of the Kitsune and shook his head as though to dismiss how ridiculous it sounded “Eun you literally ran in and talked down someone trying to rob my store..at the risk of your own life for someone else you didn’t even know” he pressed his lips together “Any person...would be lucky to know you...and by some crazy luck... I get to be more than that” he bit his lip and smiled “You are that important” he really hoped Eun could understand the level of adoration Leigh had for him because it felt almost endless. How could he not feel this way about him? “Just because he believes he’s doing the best thing for you...it doesn’t mean the definition of best is the same for you” what someone else considered to be fulfilling and enough, might not be the same to someone else.

Listening to Eun talk about the novels he couldn’t help but smile, he noticed this thing about Eun where he always talked about something so passionately and deeply that you could tell it meant a lot to him and then he would dismiss it by calling himself something or acting like it wasn’t important, it was. “No don’t do that” he spoke softly as he reached to try and move Eun’s hands from his face “Don’t be embarrassed by liking the things you like or being the person you are” he spoke it softly “I’m never going to judge you for that” and he hoped Eun would feel comfortable enough with him to express it as freely as he wanted. Leigh felt his heartbeat double when Eun leaned in close to tease him about his tastes in men. He would have felt attacked if it wasn’t completely true “Maybe I have a thing for men who want to save the world” he responded and bit his lip, blushing profusely from the way he had been called out.

Seeing how panicked Eun looked when Leigh said he didn’t need to be jealous told him that perhaps the other male was a little...it was years ago but it was the only real experience Leigh had with love and at one time it had been that. But he was also right to say it was right to let it go and things were never going to work out. It hurt. But that heartbreak had eventually made him stronger. “I think you’ve already checked that box” he responded when Eun said he wanted to treat him better than the man who came before him. Leigh giggled when Eun spoke about begging for forgiveness if he failed to make a cheesecake “Well then I’d better book a flight to see mine because I’ve already failed her” he teased it with a chuckle “I could see that, they say the smartest people tend to be the messiest...it’s how your brain works differently to others” Leigh was the same, everything was a mess but it was an organized mess, he knew where things were. It definitely drove Willow insane though.

He was glad that Eun pulled him in close because that gave him the strength he needed to tell him about his past. He didn’t feel like he needed to be ashamed of it anymore because Eun had shown him such support and acceptance. It was like breathing fresh air for the first time in a long time. Though it seemed he would have to share that breath because the moment he had time to process it all, Eun was kissing him. Leigh put everything he had into that soft, happy kiss, he felt the way Eun’s lips curved against his and everything felt light and floaty for a moment. The way they looked into one another’s eyes said more than words could describe in that moment and he giggled when Eun told his heart to stay put. He swallowed a nervous breath when the other male spoke it again “Eun I’ve been in love with you pretty much since the day we met” he confessed with a soft voice “I just...didn’t want to ruin the friendship we had and I knew...things would be complicated” he bit his lip “But I do...love you” he couldn’t believe this moment was even real honestly.

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