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It was the thing every time, Jae's parents would insist on an update from him on a monthly basis where they would sit and go through his report card and GPA, his father would make some snide remarks about his career choice being a mistake, Jae would lie through his teeth about what life in Evermore was like because he couldn't bring himself to tell his father that he moved out of the dorms a long time ago. He knew he would furious when he found out what was really happening, that Jae barely even knew that the dorm room looked like anymore. That his bed was left made and empty night after night while he was warming the space next to Han.
He couldn't bring himself to tell his father that he had fallen head over heels for someone and that he saw his future in him. He couldn't bring himself to break apart his family because of something he had chosen, not because he cared much for his father and his strict ways but because he knew it would mean losing his mother, someone who didn't have much time left. They all knew it and he could barely stand the idea of being taken away from her, even if he felt this sense of guilt in the pit of his stomach every time he lied to her.
Jae reached out his hand to cup Han's cheek as he laid in front of him, he looked so peaceful but it also hurt him knowing how badly Han wanted them to be public, the star had been hinting for a while now that he wanted Jae to make the step and honestly, Jae felt he owed it to him. But it was so hard. Even if he could survive away from his parent's investments, what happened when he graduated if he couldn't find a job? Was he going to rely on Han forever? That hardly seemed fair. Jae sighed softly as he pulled Han closer "Hey...don't forget I'm staying at the dorm after class tonight" he murmured softly, almost sounding guilty as he spoke it because he hated being away from Han and he knew the star was going to pout about it.
He could see the puffiness on his cheek, there were times when the two of them would tease each other constantly for having puffy faces, especially after they were forced to get up at some ungodly hour or after they ate a few cups of instant noodles overnight because they craved those. But it never occurred to him that he'd see the same puffy face that was resulted from him crying, not again. "It's fine to feel sad sometimes, it's okay" he reassured him softly, Han didn't want to make it seem as if the dhampir had to always be happy around him. That's not fair, considering how the celestial has had his moments too, and Jae was nothing short of a surprise when treating him kindly and gently. He didn't say much after that because he didn't want to make him sad, he was right, there was no point in dwelling anymore but that didn't mean he's going to push him into smiling all at once.
They can move slowly. "I heard a laugh" he pointed out wryly, "I love the laugh." Han purred instinctively when he stroked his cheek, nodding in affirmation, "I'm the happiest man when I'm with you." He wasn't really against instant noodles, that's far from it because Han too, had plenty of them stored in the cabinet in case he felt like eating them. "I'm not a hater okay, I just think if there's a nutritious meal, you should take it. Instant noodles are nice when you're craving or lazy to cook, but if you eat it every day then you're going to have a problem in the near future, baby. Even a dhampir can't escape from digestive problems, I think… unless you can heal from that too." Han still hasn't grasped the idea of immortals yet. "You found me at the right time, Jae. Maybe tripping over me was how it was meant to go and that's fine… I've waited to find someone too. I didn't have the time nor the luxury to find… someone back then. But now I'm building a life for myself and I found someone to share it with."
Hell the first time he met Jae, up until the dhampir kissed him, the celestial still didn't understand what he felt was love. But he knows it more than anything now, how much he cherishes him. "You've met your happiness and I've met mine." When the alarm went off, Han really thought he had left the stove open, until he reminded himself he really didn't. He even went over the kitchen to double check just to be sure. It made sense that he needed to be reminded to feed the poor pup he brought home for Jae. Judging from the look displayed all over his face, Jae was in awe and liked the gift he got him, which made Han elated.
"Nah he's Sunmin's, of course he's ours, gosh. Who else would I get for, you told me about getting another last time, remember? Coincidentally, I helped this pup's mama give birth a few months ago, and saved the golden retriever from the fence. I figured he deserved a better life outside of the cages. The mother is back at the clinic since she still needs treatment. Do you like him?"
Jae’s eyes softened when Han reassured him, there was a part of him that always wanted to seem strong for the star because he knew sometimes that Han needed it but it felt reassuring to know he could show his weaker side with him too “I wish I could be happy whenever I’m with you because...you make my life better” he murmured softly, it was inevitable to have bad days and feel like you couldn’t handle everything going on around you though “It hurts right now but...in the end I think this will grant me the one thing I’ve been searching for a while now...freedom to make my own decisions” he could recall all the fights he had with his father over him coming to America in the first place.
Jae blushed when Han pointed out that he laughed “I can’t help myself but to laugh, you know me too well” he pouted, even if he wanted to be mad or upset with Han, the star would always know ways to draw a chuckle out of him which broke down the seriousness that was hanging between them. He smiled slightly when Han said he was his happiest when with him “Me too” he responded in a soft voice “Who would have thought we’d make it this far” he commented and pressed his lips together. Jae chuckled “You’re right...I should probably eat decently for some of my meals” he murmured softly and nudged him slightly.
Their story was interesting, they never went about things traditionally but they found one another regardless “Part of me was worried back then that you’d only see me as a friend” he confessed and blushed slightly, that was why their first kiss had kinda come out of nowhere, Jae was venting his frustrations of trying to control the feelings he had for Han. “When you didn’t kiss me back I swear my heart might have stopped for a moment” he confessed in a soft voice. Thankfully it had just been shock more than anything and Han had quickly made up for it, Jae had always been the impulsive type so it wasn’t surprising to see him dive into it headfirst.
Jae was completely shocked, obviously he remembered mentioning what kind of dog he wanted in past conversations but he hadn’t actually expected Han to actually bring one home. He was tearing up a little as he cradled the golden pup in his arms before looking up at Han with a bewildered but happy expression “I love him” he responded as the fluffball placed a few licks against Jae’s chin which made him giggle “Is the mother going to be okay?” he questioned with a concerned expression. “I can’t believe this is real” he commented as he set him down so he could wander around the kitchen.
You make my life better, he said. Han was convinced that his only purpose here is to make Jae feel what he deserves to feel and he’s fine with doing anything, as long as the dhampir smiles. “Exactly, now you have the freedom to do what you wish” and he’ll help him do whatever, it was impossible to say the celestial wouldn’t give the moon itself to Jae if there were means to it. His eyes lit up the moment he saw Jae digging in his food, it was just pancakes but later he’ll give Jae something more hearty to eat so he wouldn’t feel hungry. The fallen star has always been an advocate for healthy food and nutritious meals anyway, there were certain times when they would just lounge by the couch and eat snacks, ranging from instant noodles or those big bagged chips. But he’ll never forget to have a proper meal since he had to be grateful, he didn’t have the luxury to be paying attention to meals when he was busy running away. Who knows when this will last?
“I didn’t know a lot of things back then and I’m grateful that you were there… by my side, being patient as ever, loving me.” He honestly thought Jae was just too good for him but it didn’t mean he didn’t want to deserve him. He’ll keep doing things until he feels he deserves him. “I didn’t even know about the concept of kissing back, I was frozen and your lips were really soft…” Like any other teen who didn’t know much about skinship, that’s exactly how Han reacted to the sudden display of affection. The puppy was sleepy but once it caught its surroundings and its rumbling tummy, it woke up almost instantly, especially after he gave it to Jae. The celestial bit his lip instinctively as he tried to gauge the dhampir’s reaction to the puppy, that’s the one he wanted, right? Han recalled it was the breed he talked about a few months back and coincidentally, he found the exact same when he was treating the mother.
“The mother will be okay, don’t worry about her, I made sure to administer the proper treatment she needed. She’s a fighter and I imagine this one… will be just the same” he brushed its ear endearingly and grinned, “So you love him, then. That’s good to hear, I was going to surprise you… but the timing didn’t match and I totally forgot about it.” Thank god for the alarm he set or the poor thing would’ve ended up barking for food. He followed the puppy to where he set the bowl of water and gave him a few kibbles to eat before leaning against the counter, pulling the dhampir close, and rest his chin on top of his shoulder while he back hugged him, “It’s real baby, though I’m not sure how Yeontan would take it knowing he has a younger brother. You know how much the Pomeranian loves you, how will he take having an adopted new brother that has the potential to grab your attention even better?” he teased. “What will you name it?”
The cost of his freedom felt steep but at the end of the day, could he even be truly happy with the life his father had planned for him? Jae couldn’t help but feel like he would have trapped himself into a place he didn’t know how to get out of. As if to emphasize the idea he could do whatever he wanted he leaned in and pressed a soft kiss to the star’s lips “Like kiss my boyfriend’s lips and tell him I love him” he murmured softly as he pulled back to gaze into his eyes.
Jae pursed his lips and looked down for a moment when Han talked about when they first met and how their relationship had developed over the time they knew one another “You were hard to resist” he commented in a soft voice and grinned slightly “From the moment we met I knew there was always going to be something special about you...it just took me a little time to figure out what exactly that was” perhaps he knew earlier than he would admit but Jae wanted to be sure of himself. Jae nibbled on his lip when Han mentioned how soft they were “I’m glad I was brave enough to risk it” he commented softly, it paid off in full.
Jae was completely enthralled by the little pup, his eyes soft as he watched him, feeling his soft, silky fur with his fingertips “He’s so perfect” he whispered softly as he set the pup down on the floor so that he could get his food which he quickly ran over too and began gobbling up “Good appetite, that’s a sure sign of a golden retriever if I ever saw one” he teased and brought his hands to rest against hands where he was hugging him from behind. He closed his eyes for a moment to just bask in the moment “Yeontan will love having another dog around he can terrorize, you know Byul gets tired of his boundless energy” he laughed softly, he was sure there was going to be a few scuffles here and there but he was honestly excited about it.
When Han asked him for names he paused for a moment to think about it “How about Apollo...since he’s golden and reminds me of the sun” the pup already seemed like a goofball from the way he was staring at his empty bowl and barking as though that would magically make more food appear.
Han let out a soft moan upon feeling Jae's lips pressed against his, he brought one hand up to caress his cheek and grinned sheepishly "Like kiss your man's lips and tell him you love him huh? Well, what about hearing your boyfriend tell you he loves you just as much if not more?" The look in his eyes says everything he needed to know. It was always nice to hear how much you mean to someone, especially someone who loves him like the dhampir. "You're selling yourself short here baby, you are special too, in my eyes even before I knew what loving you meant… you're beautiful." Anyone can see that Jae looks like he could command the room if that's what he wanted.
"I'm glad you took the risk too" because if he eaited for Han, he may not get the answer he wanted until it was too late. Admittedly, the celestial was far from being experienced in that department considering the only love he has ever known was familial love. He didn't know what it meant to love someone as purely as he loves Jae now. It was funny and endearing to see how comical Jae was being with a little piece of fluff like that. He knew he'd be happy to get a puppy "You've been talking about a golden retriever for a while now so when I saw there was this opportunity to adopt this little one, I thought about you" Now he has a home too.
He chuckled when he heard him saying their Pomeranian would love to know there's a new puppy he could play with, or in other words, terrorise "Yeah Yeontan would love that, he'd probably make its life miserable." He poured a few more kibbles in his bowl because he was looking as if it's a magical food dispenser "Apollo? That reminds me of a brand name for fluffy cakes, and he is very fluffy isn't he" Before long the bowl is empty once more and Han picked the puppy up "What do you wanna do with Apollo now?"
The dhampir couldn’t help but smile as he heard Han’s reaction to the kiss, leaning into his touch because he craved it every single time, he swore no matter how many times they kissed or how used to it he should be, it always made his heart race “I’m not sure the more is possible” he whispered softly as he stared back into his eyes, but he felt so loved by Han that it was enough to make him feel more secure in himself, even after everything he’d been through today. He blushed and looked down for a moment “No one ever really saw me as special when I was younger...it’s hard to be anyone’s number one with a family like mine” he didn’t blame Eun but he was the golden boy and he was always the one who got the attention.
He blushed slightly as he looked at Han’s lips and then back up to him again and grinned shyly “Well I guess I’ve always been the brave one of us...even if it makes me a little reckless sometimes” Jae was often the type to act first and then think afterwards, which was why he could be hotheaded and at times impulsive, it had it’s benefits and it’s drawbacks but it was a part of him that was ingrained. Jae’s gaze dropped to the little ball of fluff, he had the sweetest doe eyes that you just couldn’t resist “I still can’t believe it’s actually real though...how did you keep him a secret?!” he was honestly so shocked that he didn’t notice anything, was he really that distracted?
Jae shook his head slightly “I think he’s gonna meet his match though, if this pup keeps the energy up, he’s gonna be much bigger than him before long” he chuckled wondering how they would get along over time, he hoped they would come to love one another since there was no way he would give up on any of them now. Jae giggled when Han likened him to fluffy cakes “He’s especially fluffy” he wrinkled his nose “What do you think Apollo?” he called the pup by his name only for him to yap excitedly, he looked up at Han with a soft expression “Is he old enough to go on walks?” he murmured softly, a walk to clear his head would be nice.
He pushed Jae playfully when he said it wasn’t possible for the celestial to love him more. That’s their usual argument whenever they try to tell the other how much they love them. It’s a classic move. “Of course you would say it’s not possible, it’s a flawed argument coming from the individual himself, you know.” It’s cheesy and probably cringe-worthy, but neither of them cared much about it. He was glad that Jae was no longer moping and benign sad, it’s all he ever wanted to do; to make him smile often. The puppy definitely solidified that now, considering the number of heart eyes the dhampir was sending over Apollo’s direction.
“Well, a family like yours just didn’t realize the kind of gem they had hiding away in their rooms. They should’ve paid more attention. “If they can’t see how special you are, I’ll tell you that I see that boy. The most special person in the world for me.” He couldn’t say that on behalf of others so Han always made sure to emphasize himself. At the end of the day, his opinion should matter the most, right? “We’re both impulsive, Jae, maybe that’s why we work so well together?” The dhampir can be temperamental, he knows that, after living with him for a while, Han was bound to know both his vices and flaws. But the celestial wasn’t easy to handle either, he’s impulsive and sensitive.
“I was actually afraid you might have found out I’ve been sneaking around for the past week but surprisingly, you just accused me of finishing that tub of ice cream we got 3 days ago.” It was hilarious, he remembered he was scared he got busted but that wasn’t the case. “I mean, yeah I kinda did finish the ice cream but that’s beside the point.” He may as well admit it now. Golden retrievers are definitely the bigger breed compared to the tiny Pomeranian they have running around. “At least Byul can have her rest now” Apollo may be able to match Yeontan’s energy at this point.
When he asked if he’s old enough to go on walks, Han tilted his head and hummed softly in affirmation “Yeah, he’s old enough. You wanna take him on a walk?” He excused himself to go get the brand new leash from last week and clipped it on the puppy’s collar before handing it over to Jae “He’s all yours baby, gosh you got yourself a new puppy and you’ve forgotten me” he teased. “We should stop by the florist too, I’ve been meaning to get new flowers.”
Jae scrunched his nose and smiled when the other male called him out for his statement “You know how much I care about you, are you really saying you can beat that” he chuckled softly, Jae had always been a hopeless romantic when it came to Han, he was the first one to fall and ever since then, his feelings had only grown deeper, he wasn’t sure he could even imagine what his life would be without the star now. Apollo had come along at just the right time to ease some of his sadness, but the dhampir was still shocked that Han had managed to keep it a secret from him, had he really been that distracted?
Jae nodded slightly when Han assured him that his family should have taken more notice to his worth “All my father ever wanted was for me to be more like Eun” he murmured softly thinking about his brother and how his life in Evermore had turned out “I’m not sure he realized how alike we both are” he commented and bit his lip, he wasn’t the only one secretly dating someone his father wouldn’t approve of after all. His eyes softened when Han pointed out he was special to him though. “Being impulsive means we both reach for what we want, that’s not always a bad thing is it?” it meant they could be selfish but it also meant they would never give up.
Jae looked around sheepishly when Han pointed out he had noticed he’d eaten the ice cream but not that there was a puppy in the basement “It was good ice cream okay...the one with the little cookie pieces in it” he pouted his lips, he enjoyed ice cream a lot but with Han having such a sweet tooth, you needed to be fast to eat your treats. He was watching the little fluffball with a soft expression as he explored around the floor, making cute little squeaking sounds “She deserves it, can’t be easy to being Yeontan’s older sister” he commented and shook his head playfully, the pomeranian could run rings around others.
The dhampir lit up a little when Han said Apollo was able to go on walks “Yeah...I could use some fresh air and I’m sure he’ll enjoy having some special attention from us” he nodded slightly, Byul and Yeontan usually got walked later in the day after all. Taking the leash he stared at the little ball of golden fluff “Even his collar is tiny” he commented and grinned before grabbing his jacket and shrugged it on over his shoulders before coming closer to Han to press a soft kiss to his lips “I could never forget you...especially after you got me...the perfect gift” he smiled softly “I did think the vase was looking pretty empty” he commented and offered his hand out towards the star as he opened the door.
“I hate to say that I couldn’t beat that because that’s me giving up on trying to make you see sense that I do love you more but it’s also impossible to win against Jaesung Moon once he’s got his head set on something” he teased, other days he would probably still be stubborn but not today. Today he just wanted to see more of that beautiful smile adorning his lips. He had hoped that the arrival of the new golden retriever puppy that the dhampir named Apollo, would be able to ease the sadness in his heart, even if it’s just a tiny bit. Seeing his reaction made him think everything was worth it, including the meticulous planning. It wasn’t easy to keep things a secret and away from Jae’s watchful eyes, but honestly, the other male had been quite distracted for the past few weeks so it became easier than usual.
He frowned when he heard Jae said his father wanted him to be more like his eldest brother “And he didn’t think it would backfire on him when he keeps pressuring his children to be like another version of him? Or perhaps the version of him he didn’t get to be in early life?” Eun was happy here, last time he checked. He had gotten together with Leigh and ever since then, the celestial could see that staying in Evermore did him far better than before. Maybe there was more than what meets the eye but love can’t lie and the eldest Moon found that in the kitsune. He ruffled his hair gently and chuckled “Yeah it’s not always a bad thing but that impulsivity has landed me in trouble more than it didn’t, so I didn’t really have a good example to go by it.” It didn’t mean all bad, of course.
“I’ll restock our fridge and get more double the amount of those ice cream you like so much, geez, your boyfriend isn’t that stingy” he booped his nose and shook his head in mirth, well at least Jae is in better spirits now. That’s progress, isn’t it? “Yeontan makes it very hard for her to get her long naps, I still wonder why she hasn’t just smothered that little devil already” Byul has a bigger heart than he’d give credit for. She always handled Yeontan with ease, it was hard for him to believe they didn’t grow up together. “He’s going to grow up pretty big but for now, he’s going to be as tiny as Tan, I’m afraid. Have fun while he’s still tiny, you’ll regret those words once he bulks up and sits on you like how Byul forget she’s big.” There has been a lot of instances where the husky would often jump on his lap and cover his vision.
“He’s going to be fat soon enough… I just know it, you’re going to feed him so much.” Han would tease and scold Jae for giving their pets more treats than he should but often end up giving a pass. He took his hand into his and locked the door behind them as they exited the front. “I’ve been thinking of growing new flowers but I don’t know where to put them, there hasn’t been enough space and e already have my hydrangeas at the front…”
Jae’s expression softened a little when Han said he was going to give in because he knew he couldn’t win against the dhampir’s stubbornness “I’m going to take the win” he murmured softly as smiled softly in his direction. Maybe it was nice to win today, considering how much he had been through he could use the uplifting. Apollo was definitely a big factor in that, he still couldn’t believe he hadn’t even been the slightest bit suspicious about this massive surprise but then he supposed his head had been clouded with so many other things, worries and second-guessing didn’t leave a lot of room for anything else after all.
“I guess in his frustration he just kept pushing thinking maybe that would force us into shape” Jae wasn’t sure exactly how his logic worked but he could make a decent guess “I never got to meet my father’s father but I have to wonder if he must have been the same…” perhaps that was him looking for redemption in someone who didn’t have the ability to be redeemed but he was the dhampir’s father in the end and not every memory he had of him was a bad one. “But it’s too much pressure...too many expectations and even being 99% close isn’t enough” he wasn’t even sure 100 would be enough. “I just hope Eun doesn’t let him take away good things from him” even if it was hard to make a stand.
He gave a smile when Han said he would double the amount of the ice cream he liked “Wouldn’t that just end up being double the amount for you to steal?” he questioned and nudged the other male playfully with a grin, not that he really minded, it was delicious but that was why it was so hard to leave it there knowing it was in the freezer in the next room. He laughed in an exasperated manner “He does make things challenging here for sure but he’s got his own charms” of course Jae would defend his pup to the end. “He’s not going to be this tiny for long so we should definitely enjoy it...maybe get a photoshoot or something” Jae definitely sounded like a doting owner already but he didn’t care.
“He’s not gonna be fat...just fluffy” he commented in a guilty manner and looked around for a moment, he smiled when Han placed his hand in his, there was a silent moment of happiness every time he got the chance to walk with Han like this because it felt like they were silently announcing to the world, yes, this person is mine. “Maybe we could cut back a bit of the lawn in the yard and you could put a flowerbed in, we could get some of those fun little statues of animals and hide them among the flowers” he chuckled, it sounded fun.