The worst day of Yixing’s life as a solicitor is when he doesn’t get what he has to do since the morning he woke up. Chanyeol is nowhere to be seen and it totally ruins his mood to work. He feels things are a little bit out of place and unorganized when there’s no one there to tell him what to do. He suddenly remembers his assistant is taking two days off and groans at the silence that greets him inside his office.
The day gets even worse when snow starts taking up the spaces of the roads Yixing always takes to his office which makes the temperature fall a couple of degrees it leaves Yixing shuddering every single time and when he realizes his throat is burning and itching he can’t even swallow a drop of his Americano.
This is why he hates winter.
If today he doesn’t have any appointment with Lu Han, he is sure he will stick to his bed.
He rests his head on the table and groans when the coldness touches his forehead. Even the warmth from his Americano fails to make him feel better. He hears someone’s knocking at the door and without looking up he knows that it’s Lu Han.
“Yixing?” Lu Han calls and peeks into Yixing’s office.
“Yeah, come in.” Yixing replies.
Lu Han’s steps are lighter than Chanyeol’s, Yixing measures as he waits for Lu Han to sit in front of him just like usual. But Lu Han walks around his table and reaches him, touching his arm really slowly like Yixing will vanish into thin air if he touches him too hard. Yixing shivers and blames the temperature instead.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” Yixing clears his throat. It aches. If he forces to speak more, he won’t be able to talk and today’s appointment with Lu Han will be useless. He looks up and smiles, “I’m okay.”
“Where’s your assistant?”
“He’s taking two days off.” Yixing takes a sip of his Americano and swallows it slowly. It burns his throat.
Lu Han grins. “That’s great. Let’s get out of here.”
“Out?” Yixing imagines the weather and the thing he has to face if he is brave enough to step outside the building. It’s cold. “Why?”
“Because I have had enough with my case and I want to go somewhere with you.”
“You will know.” Lu Han winks. “Come on.”
“Isn’t it better if we just sit here and talk about your case? I still have a lot of things to ask you―”
Lu Han takes Yixing’s car keys with him and stops exactly in front of the door when he notices that Yixing isn’t following him. “Are you going to come with me or not?”
“No.” Yixing shakes his head firmly, showing no intention to move from his place. “We’re talking here or there will be no appointment at all.”
Lu Han rolls his eyes and walks back to drag Yixing out of his sacred place, throwing his duffle coat to Yixing before they reach Yixing’s car. “To keep you warm,” he says and hands Yixing his car key back. Yixing blushes, his hands trembling all the way he drives to the place Lu Han directs him to.
“A shopping center?” Yixing can’t hold the question after he once again let himself being dragged by Lu Han. “Aren’t this too risky? If your fans recognize you―”
“No one’s going to notice me if I dress up like this.”
Yixing gives Lu Han a look before he realizes that Lu Han doesn’t wear something striking, something that will obviously show his idol side and attract everyone’s eyes. He looks like he enjoys being himself and that makes him look normal. Yixing envies this side of Lu Han because he knows he will always be afraid to show his true self, even with his best friend. He learns to know when to hold and when to let go he forgets to do the latter and sticks to the former.
Lu Han ends up bringing him to a boutique in which Yixing quickly assumes that Lu Han’s going to buy something for his job purposes and he is too lazy to shop alone.
“I will ask you about your case while you go shopping. This way we won’t waste our time.”
“Can you please not?” Lu Han complains.
“SM will call us anytime to do the mediation and I don’t want to show up and ruin everything. You want to lose and go back to that company?”
Lu Han pouts but still agrees. “Fine, but you have to promise you will try the clothes I’m going to choose for you.”
“We are here to buy you new clothes.”
“I have a lot of clothes at home―”
“And all of them are either black or white. Didn’t I say it last time that I don’t want to go out with you if you know nothing about fashion?”
“I’m not going out with you.”
“But we’re going out right now.” Lu Han laughs when Yixing doesn’t say anything back. He goes back checking the sweater and suits and puts it on Yixing respectively until he feels satisfied at the result while Yixing starts asking him about his case.
“Have you ever had a disagreement with SM before? Maybe SM didn’t let you do anything you want or was too strict with your practices and schedules until you didn’t feel well or even being sent to the hospital?”
“I―” Lu Han stops searching and stares at Yixing for a moment. “You better give a try to these clothes.” He shoves a pile of clothes to Yixing and pushes him to the changing room. Yixing shoots him a weird look before closing the door.
After a long debate of what to buy, Lu Han finally chooses a red knit sweater with navy toggle coat which Lu Han comments with you look even cuter, my heart can’t take it, plus black wool scarf he wraps around Yixing’s neck. His hand unconsciously brushes Yixing’s cheeks and Yixing tries his best to hide his smile under that thick fabric of his scarf. He eventually forgets the next question he wants to ask Lu Han.
On their way back to Yixing’s office, Lu Han gives him a bag full of medicines. “I always drink that if my throat aches. Please don’t get sick. I don’t want to face SM alone.”
Yixing stares at the bag in awe, forgetting the fact that he is driving right now. He doesn’t expect Lu Han to notice it, doesn’t even imagine that Lu Han will think of buying him medicine. Yixing finds himself at a loss of words even though he has a million things to say to Lu Han, like maybe saying thank you and sorry because he is such a burden to him when he is supposed to be reliable.
Lu Han’s phone rings before Yixing manages to say thank you (he knows it won’t be enough to repay the attention Lu Han gives to him but he still wants to do it because what else can he do besides trying to win his case?). The snow starts to fall again when Lu Han says that the mediator just called and informed him that he already settled a date for his mediation.
It is a day after tomorrow.
“You really didn’t watch the whole Seoul Music Award?” Chanyeol shakes Yixing’s shoulder when he catches Yixing out of Kyuhyun’s office.
“No.” Yixing answers for the umpteenth time. “How many times should I tell you that I fell asleep in the middle of the show?”
“I just want to confirm that you’re the most insensitive person that I’ve ever met.”
“So why can’t you just tell me what was going on there? It looks like something so important.”
“Where’s the fun in that?” Chanyeol opens the door to Yixing’s office and sticks his tongue out. “Watch the rerun and you’ll know what I mean.”
“I clearly don’t have time for that.”
Yixing closes the door behind him and sighs. The mediation with SM today won’t go easy, he can feel that, and he knows that he is unprepared. He can’t just walk in there and convince SM to let Lu Han go if he doesn’t know anything that is going on between them. Lu Han isn’t helping him at all, his presence just makes Yixing forget everything he wants to do and ruin his mind.
He stares at the empty space in front of him before he decides that he should’ve got all the papers ready. Lu Han should be here in ten minutes, he called him earlier to make sure Lu Han doesn’t forget, or worse, running away. He has experienced a lot of clients who never attended any mediation and left Yixing alone solving their problems. Sure they paid him but it didn’t feel right when the clients who’re supposed to discuss and find solution to their cases didn’t do their best to defend their rights.
After collecting the important papers he needs, Yixing goes out to find the whole office is blocking his way out. He struggles to find the way out of the crowd but ends up bumping to Baekhyun who holds him so he won’t fall down.
“What’s happening?” Yixing asks.
“Your client,” Baekhyun nods, eyes fixing to the middle of the office. “He brings a shitload of food for the whole office. I wonder why.”
“Lu Han?” A look of incredulity crosses Yixing’s face.
“Who else?” Baekhyun seems unhappy with the condition and when Yixing finally absorbs the whole situation he knows why. Chanyeol is taking a picture with Lu Han with his hand wraps around the idol’s shoulder. Yixing knows that Chanyeol admires Lu Han with the way he seems so excited each time Lu Han shows up in the office, and asking for a picture with him is fine. It should be fine.
But strangely Yixing finds himself at the sudden urge to pull Lu Han away from Chanyeol, to warn him that they’re going to be late if Lu Han keeps agreeing to take pictures with everyone, to say that he doesn’t like the closeness between him and the other solicitors.
“Take him away from Chanyeol, will you?”
Yixing is too dumbfounded to even react so he just walks there and calls Lu Han. The idol turns when he hears his voice, his face
suddenly brightens and Yixing hopes it’s only his imagination.
“Yixing!” Lu Han locks his hand to Yixing’s arm and offers him a cup of coffee. “I bought your usual.”
“What are you doing?”
Lu Han frowns at the question but still he answers, “This is where you’ve spent years working and they’re all your friends, so why can’t I do something good for them? They have treated you well.”
Yixing has to admit that his heart flutters at the way Lu Han so innocently thinks about his coworkers and his work place. It feels like all the thing he has done is important, matters, and worth the attention Lu Han gives to him. He takes the coffee and says thank you.
Lu Han holds his gaze for a moment before his lips twitches to a grin. “Chanyeol asks me to take care of you.”
Lu Han shrugs and laughs, “Let’s go. Let’s face SM and scare the shit out of them.”
Yixing fakes a laugh (where did Lu Han get that confidence?) and sends a death glare to Chanyeol who watches them from afar. He is going to kill his assistant once he survives today’s mediation.
Yixing doesn’t think they fail. It is not failing. They are just unprepared and Lu Han looks down on his own case. They will get the second chance later during the second mediation, Yixing convinces Lu Han once again. The idol still intertwines his fingers with him, still trembling even after Yixing slowly rubs his thumb to his skin.
“I’m sorry.” Lu Han wipes his tears. “I totally ruined everything. We’re going to lose right?”
“No, we’re not. You’re just scared and it’s all normal for your first mediation. We can make it up later.”
Lu Han looks at the way Yixing taps his hand slowly and somehow feels safe. He closes his eyes and leans back to the seat of Yixing’s car.
“Feeling better now?” Yixing asks, looking concerned.
“Yeah, a little.”
“Good.” Yixing smiles and releases his hands from Lu Han’s grip. “I will take you somewhere. You can take a rest.”
Lu Han nods and turns on the radio, leaning back to his seat when he finds out the song he wants. Yixing starts driving once he is sure that Lu Han is comfortable enough, heading to his house, the place where he wants Lu Han to see. It will take half an hour to reach there and it’s perfect for Lu Han to take a rest.
Yixing recalls the mediation that just happened several minutes ago. SM was cruel, cruel enough to leave both of them stuttering with their words and failing to deliver their wants to the mediator. The representative of SM kept pointing and blaming Lu Han for all the loss they had to face after Lu Han told the media that he planned to leave them which left Lu Han at loss of words and scared, all the confidence he had before vanished like it never existed there at the first place.
He knows he should’ve done something just now. After all, Lu Han is his client, the one he should protect until the case has been solved. But he can’t bring himself to talk because there is nothing to talk about; nothing to inform both the mediator and SM. Lu Han rarely tells him anything about his work. All that he knows is Lu Han doesn’t like it and there is no reason provided for that.
In no time, the car races to the highway, twenty minutes away from his house. Yixing drums his finger on the steering wheel and empties his mind. It has been a long day. He is tired. He wants a warm shower, a mug of coffee, and a blanket to keep him warm.
They almost pass the highway when the car in front of them starts to slow down, slower, until it finally stops. Yixing frowns and tries to look what is happening but it seems like they’re trapped in traffic. He scoffs and sits still for a minute to think, looking at the sky instead of the cars in front of him. The dusk settles over the sky but the snow makes it hard for Yixing to look clearly at the shades of it.
Yixing shakes his head. “I think it’s either an accident or a construction. We’re stuck here. I think it’s good. You can sleep.”
“I don’t need sleep―” Lu Han rolls his eyes but he stops mid-sentence when he notices the song that is currently playing on the radio.
“Oh! The song! Turn the volume up!”
Yixing looks surprised at the sudden change of mood Lu Han shows. He turns the volume up, not too loud, because he isn’t fond of noises and blasting music.
“This song is beautiful.” Lu Han whispers during the intro. “It’s so beautiful it hurts.”
Lu Han begins singing the first verse, and Yixing, who busily checks whether the car in front of him already moves or not, turns when the timbre of Lu Han’s voice sends shiver to his body. The song is Chinese and if Yixing isn’t mistaken, it’s all about Christmas and stuff. He never hears it, he isn’t even sure whether it’s Lu Han’s song or not.
Yixing watches how Lu Han sings and delivers all the sentences, the notes, and the warm feeling of the song with wide, fascinated eyes. Lu Han closes his eyes which makes it easy for Yixing to stare at him for as long as he wants. It’s all true, the song is beautiful, but right now, when the world suddenly feels so empty and easy, Yixing only can see the way Lu Han moves his lips to follow the lines, the way his pointed nose turns slightly red, his red hair that falls perfectly at the top of his eyebrows, his hands that move along to the rhythms, and all the twists and muscles of his face, his bones, and skin.
He’s so beautiful it hurts.
He wants to touch him. Yixing unconsciously holds the steering wheel to hold the strange feeling in the pit of his stomach until his knuckles turn white. He comes to a quiet realization that this isn’t going to be good. He can’t possibly in love with Lu Han. No. He can’t. But the more he denies it, the more that feeling comes back and gnaws him.
Yixing blinks once, twice, until he can clearly see that Lu Han has stopped singing. The song is still playing, a soft touch of piano at the ending, and it finishes. Yixing still can’t talk. He swallows hard, trying to organize his mind back after it has successfully scattered apart with a span of three minutes.
“What’s the title of the song?”
“It’s one of my favorites, Miracles in December by Kim Jongdae.”
“It’s beautiful.” Yixing admits. You’re beautiful.
“See? I told you. I know you’re going to love this song. Isn’t it amazing how…”
The feeling still remains, the fast beating of his heart, his sweaty palms, and a sudden urge of wanting to see more sides of Lu Han. He watches how excited he explains the song, how expressive his hands are, and how the distressed image he showed just now melts and forms a familiar face that looks innocent and full of hopes.
“You have a fucking house?”
Yixing flinches at the word Lu Han picks to describe his bewilderment. “Yes. Is that a problem for you?”
They finally arrive at Yixing’s house after spending more than an hour trapped in traffic. Yixing pulls Lu Han in when Lu Han stops in front of his door, eyes searching for any sign of joke. But Yixing isn’t joking. He owns the house and right now he is inviting Lu Han in. He is the first and maybe the only person Yixing will ever allow seeing his house. Even Chanyeol never gets the chance to get inside.
“Of course.” Lu Han answers when he finally wants to step inside. “People prefer simpler things these days, like an apartment.”
“I am not people.” Yixing explains as he takes off his coat and throws it to the nearest sofa. He walks to the kitchen to make tea.
“Besides, I have a very steady job,” Lu Han snickers at that but that doesn’t stop him from explaining, “… which allows me to buy anything I want.”
“Why a house then? Why don’t you just buy an apartment or something else?”
Yixing stops moving and bites his lower lip. Lu Han ever said to him that one day, Yixing needs to let it all out, the problems that he has been keeping for years. He doesn’t know whether right now is the perfect time to do so, or whether Lu Han will understand his problems or not, but he will try. Lu Han won’t turn him down like all the people he used to trust.
“I’ve never known the feeling of being home. That’s why I’m buying this house and planning to get married and have kids. I’m trying to create my own form of happiness.”
Yixing expects Lu Han to laugh and tease him like he did days before but his client just gives him a hesitant nod which he is sure that Lu Han himself doesn’t notice that slightest movement.
“Why?” Yixing asks.
Lu Han doesn’t look straight at Yixing, he keeps walking and staring at the photos Yixing hangs on the wall. “Who’re they?” Lu Han asks, hand pointing to Yixing’s family photo.
Yixing sighs. “My parents.”
“You look cute there.” Lu Han chuckles. “It seems like you don’t have a good relationship with them.”
“You could say that.” Yixing shoves his hands to his pocket and stands beside Lu Han. “I didn’t want to be a solicitor. I wanted to study something else. I dreamt about being a writer but my dad strongly opposed and destroyed the idea. My mom never had a chance to talk and explain it to my dad so I was left with only two choices, to study law or get out of the house. I was nineteen and home is the only place where I can feel safe and happy. I chose to study law and became a solicitor. But when I graduated, I ran away from home and started my new life. Since then I never talked to any of my family.”
“So the one who called you―”
“It was my mom. She always makes time everyday at 10.30 to call me, unknown to my dad, because he doesn’t want to admit that I’m his son anymore. That day, she was late and I was disappointed.”
Lu Han exhales, “But what your dad did to you is for your own good. You can see the result now. You lead a happy life. You have a house, a car, a very stable and promising job. Your dad knows what the best is for you. I know it sounds selfish, but what kind of parents want to see their children suffer?”
Yixing grits his teeth and stares hard at the photo. Back then, life wasn’t that hard. Yixing could smile and think that the world wasn’t cruel. He misses those times. He misses his parents, his home, and his childhood.
“How about you?” Yixing turns. “Tell me everything about you. We can win your case if you trust me to hold all your secrets.”
“It’s not secrets. Some of my fans know it already. I’m the total opposite of your story, Yixing. I wanted to be a singer since high school, wanted to feel a stage, wanted to show people that singing wasn’t all about reaching high notes. My parents never approved that so I waited until I finished high school to run away and sign my life to SM. I never visited my parents since I started my training. Even if I had a concert in Beijing, I didn’t make time to see them. But look at me right now. I was struggling all by myself because I was stupid, I wasn’t listening. I bet my parents are laughing at me.”
“Don’t say things like that.” Yixing shakes his head, walking back to the kitchen to continue making the tea. The temperature falls again and it’s getting colder. “How about we make a deal? If we win the case, we will go back to our parents and start everything over.”
Lu Han laughs, the sound rings to Yixing’s ear like the jingle he always hears at the coffee shop. “You have to work your ass off for that.”
“Why not?” Yixing challenges.
“Okay.” Lu Han gives his hand to Yixing. “Deal?”
The second mediation is tomorrow; Lu Han messages Yixing when the mediator calls him this morning. Yixing is sure he can win SM’s heart at their next meeting later. He is certain he can wrap Lu Han’s case only with two sessions of mediation.
Lu Han messages him again, fifteen minutes after, and asks Yixing to go to see his rehearsal and brings him food because he is starving. Yixing rolls his eyes at the message. Yixing isn’t his manager. He is just his solicitor and it doesn’t mean Lu Han can call him anytime he wants too. But when he thinks about it again, it’s Lu Han, and he remembers the strange feeling that always comes whenever Lu Han’s around. He doesn’t want to think about Lu Han like this but he can’t just help it.
It’s easy to reach the building where Lu Han stays, doing the rehearsal for his upcoming fanmeeting. He came to Lu Han’s favorite restaurant, Tao’s, and bought his usual. The main hall of the building is crowded mostly filled with girls. It must be Lu Han’s fans. Yixing is glad that Lu Han’s manager finds him among them and pulls him to the elevator, telling him that Lu Han has been waiting for him.
“Thank god you’re finally here.” One of the crews forces both of them out of the elevator and leads them to the backstage. “You have to be quick. It happens again.”
Yixing looks at the view in front of him, everyone is running to the backstage, some of them hold a water bottle, and the others towel, but most of them look worried.
“What happened?” Yixing whispers.
Lu Han’s manager asks Yixing to follow him but stays quiet when they reach the crowd. They pass through it after struggling and Yixing swears his heart stops beating for a moment when he sees the incident that occurs right in front of him. Lu Han is coughing and struggling to breathe with the inhaler that has been pushed to his mouth, his hands holding tightly to the crew’s shirt.
Yixing drops to his knees and pushes Lu Han’s bangs away from his eyes, doing everything he can do to make his client back to normal. It’s not that long for Lu Han to breathe normally again, even though his breaths are still short and he still looks pale, but Yixing feels glad to know there’s nothing serious happened besides his asthma attack.
“Are you always like this?”
“Like… what?” Lu Han asks, wiping his sweats away. He staggers backward but Yixing is quick to catch him and helps him walking.
“Why force yourself to do the rehearsal if you have asthma? You can―” Yixing stops suddenly when he realizes something. “SM knows about this right? They know but you still accept the way they overwork you. That was why you didn’t answer my question before, you were afraid about your medical records.”
“I like it when you’re being giddy over my case. You look adorable and I don’t mind to have my asthma attack again if I get the air knocked out of my lungs.”
“Shut up.” Yixing punches Lu Han’s arm lightly.
“I’m serious.” Lu Han says, throwing the towel to his manager and informing him that today’s rehearsal is enough. “I’m always serious.” He says once again.
“Whatever.” Yixing is at loss of words. “Let’s go to the hospital.”
“No, let’s go to your house.”
“We don’t have anything―”
“I will call my doctor to check me up there so you don’t have to be worried.”
Yixing crosses his arms in front of his chest, considering Lu Han’s opinion. “Fine.”
The way to his Yixing’s home is mostly filled with Lu Han’s breaths and Yixing’s uncontrolled heart beatings. Even the songs in the radio can’t do something to make all those little sounds disappear. Yixing hates how he is hyperaware to every little detail that’s going on between them, how his skin crawls to be near Lu Han’s, and how he can’t stop biting his lower lip to prevent himself talking like the dumbest person ever.
He helps Lu Han out of his car and lays his down to the couch, preparing him a cup of tea and waiting for Lu Han’s doctor patiently. They’re in the middle of talking about SM when the door to Yixing’s house opens. Lu Han’s doctor, Kim Joonmyun, walks confidently inside, like the whole situation and place is familiar to him.
It is because he happens to be friends with Yixing too.
“Joonmyun? What are you doing here?” Yixing welcomes him.
“Lu Han calls me.” Joonmyun answers and smiles to both of his friends. “I told you to rest Lu Han. This is the third time this month.”
“Wait. How do you know him? And what is third time?” Yixing turns to Lu Han and glares at him. “You had your asthma attack before? You didn’t tell me?”
“This is my friend, Shou Hu, and he recommended you to be my solicitor because he thinks you need a fresh air and I look like someone who could save your life from your monotonous way of living.”
Yixing stares at Lu Han and Joonmyun respectively. “Really, Joonmyun?”
The doctor nods and starts checking Lu Han. He doesn’t say anything anymore because what else can he say? It’s obvious enough that he did the best thing for both of them. He leaves after scribbling a prescription for Lu Han’s medicines and gives it to Yixing.
“You owe me a thank you.” Joonmyun whispers before he leaves. Yixing groans and kicks Joonmyun, the only friend he had during his tough years of college and the only one who wanted to share a room with him off campus, out of his house.
“Come on. Let’s get you out of this cold couch.” He guides Lu Han to his room where it’s warmer and more comfortable. He tucks him in, ruffling Lu Han’s hair and waiting for him until he nods off into his dreams.
“You stay here, okay?” Lu Han begs. “I don’t want to be alone.”
“Okay.” Yixing easily replies. He takes his cup of tea and papers he needs to relearn again to face the second mediation tomorrow, or perhaps the last mediation he will have with SM.
He climbs up to his bed and sits, leaning back to the headboard. Lu Han fixes his gaze to him, eyes heavy with drowsiness. “Hey, can you do me a favor? Please win the case tomorrow.”
“I will.” Yixing looks up from his paper. “I will if you sleep and stop thinking about the case. You’ll feel better tomorrow and show SM that you can fight against them.”
“I don’t want to come tomorrow.”
“Why?” Yixing asks hesitantly.
“I…” Lu Han gulps. “I want to come home.”
Yixing puts his paper down seriously this time. He exhales and says, “If that’s what you want then go. I will fix everything here.”
“I know Shou Hu won’t disappoint me. You are the best, Yixing.”
He goes back reading the paper and reminds himself to ask Lu Han’s medical records to Joonmyun tomorrow morning before he heads out to the mediation. It will be the strongest proof to kick SM out of Lu Han’s life and tells them to terminate Lu Han’s contract and let him go. He smiles to himself as he flips the paper only to find that Lu Han is still staring at him, his eyes sparkling with indefinable sparks.
“Why―why are you staring at me?”
Lu Han shrugs. “You’re being unfair again.”
“Unfair? Again?” Yixing is sure he looks really dumb right now. He is glad his room is dark so Lu Han can’t see a pink flush spread over his cheeks.
“You still look cute even when you’re serious, when your eyebrows furrow whenever you don’t understand something. I―” Lu Han bites his lip to stop himself from talking. “Good luck for tomorrow, Zhang Yixing.”
Yixing can feel his heart races, suffocating him with the words Lu Han just told him before. He wants Lu Han to turn his back and smile to him so Yixing knows that what he feels right now, the feeling he has for Lu Han, isn’t something he has to question forever.
Yixing wakes up to the sound of his alarm. It’s 7 a.m. and he is ready to work. He turns and finds Lu Han sleeping soundly next to him, his red hair falling and covering his eyes. Yixing moves his hand to shove his bangs away and whispers him quietly a good morning and make sure Lu Han doesn’t wake up.
He goes to his closet to see what kind of attire he is going to wear today. He takes a bag at the corner of the closet, hidden between his black and white shirts. It contains the clothes Lu Han bought to him several weeks ago. Yixing doesn’t have guts to wear it but today Lu Han isn’t going to accompany him and the clothes are enough to represent Lu Han’s presence so he doesn’t have to feel lonely.
He takes a last look at Lu Han’s sleeping figure when he’s ready. The morning is still cold but there’s no snow. Yixing can drive easily to his office first to take some documents Joonmyun had left for him and heads to SM to settle Lu Han’s case.
Chanyeol is there when Yixing arrives, talking about how excited he is to see the result of today’s mediation. There are a lot of cameras and reporters outside their office, asking why Yixing is alone or whether it’s true that Lu Han collapsed again during his rehearsal yesterday. Yixing doesn’t give answers to any question. He stays for another thirty minutes to calm his nerves down and drinks the Americano Chanyeol has prepared for him.
Chanyeol is quick to hand over the important documents to Yixing and covers him up until he is inside his car. He mutters thank you before he is off to SM’s building. The condition is the same but the crowd here is crazier Yixing has to stumble his way to reach inside. He stops mid-way when he notices a strange figure standing not so far away from the crowd. The stranger oddly looks like Lu Han but it’s impossible because Yixing still remembers that Lu Han is still sleeping when he left him and Lu Han’s hair isn’t black like the stranger’s hair.
He shrugs it off and waits until the crowd finally lets him in. The secretary at SM’s building informs him that the mediator and SM’s representative are ready and waiting for him. Yixing apologizes for being late and runs to the mediation room.
This is it, he thinks, this is going to be end of everything.
He pushes the door and remembers Lu Han’s smiles. He still wishes the idol was here to tell him they’re going to win the case.
“I want to quit.” Yixing declares hours after his successful wrap of Lu Han’s case. It’s quite easy, probably the easiest thing he has ever done for his entire career. His proof is strong enough to destroy SM’s intention to renew the contract and it’s inevitable for SM to agree to everything Yixing wants and that includes terminating Lu Han’s contract and let him go.
The entire office congratulates him and celebrates it at their favorite bar. Cho Kyuhyun doesn’t even look surprise at his statement. Perhaps, jus perhaps, he has expected this coming from Yixing. Perhaps he has prepared himself to hear this.
“No, you won’t.” Kyuhyun takes his resignation letter, crumpling and tossing it away. “Your head is telling you to do so, but you know your heart disagrees.”
Yixing opens his mouth to say something but he closes it again because he knows that his senior is right. It’s hard to leave this job even though he never likes every second he has spent under the piles of papers and never ending whines from his clients and thousands of cases that are simply dumb. It takes him long enough to realize that being a solicitor isn’t that bad.
“I’ll pretend that I’ve never received your resignation letter if you promise me one thing.” Yixing keeps quiet and Kyuhyun takes that as his clue to continue, “It’s your time to come home, Yixing.”
“It’s Chanyeol, isn’t it?”
Kyuhyun nods and looks across the entire bar to find the person who asks him to convince Yixing to go home, Park Chanyeol, and finds him at the corner of the bar, talking and laughing with Baekhyun.
“You can thank him.” Kyuhyun points to where Chanyeol is and smiles. “He doesn’t show it that often but he cares.”
Yixing bows to Kyuhyun and thanks him before he walks to reach his best friend. Lu Han is right. Yixing is lucky to have people around him that care and concern to everything he does and that includes his parents too. It’s been ten years of blaming them for the path Yixing is enjoying right now and it’s enough time to know what his parents wanted him years ago was to make sure that he wouldn’t be suffering, that he would never how hard life is.
“Hey, it’s him!” Chanyeol shouts, half-drunk. “Yixing! Come here!”
Yixing rolls his eyes for the loudness Chanyeol makes. The entire bar right now knows his name. Great.
“You slay another case again, huh?” Chanyeol greets him with a hug and taps Yixing’s back proudly. “That’s my man.”
“Why are you so drunk? The party just started half an hour ago.” Yixing looks at three empty bottles Chanyeol has finished. He grimaces and smacks Chanyeol’s arm.
“I’m not drunk.” Chanyeol points at someone behind him. “Baekhyun is.”
Yixing shakes his head at the view in front of him. Both of them are wasted.
“Did you meet Lu Han just now?” Chanyeol asks as he sits and pours a glass of beer to Yixing.
Yixing takes a gulp and answers, “Ugh, no. He said he didn’t want to come.”
Chanyeol raises his eyebrows in surprise, “That’s weird. He came to the office right after you left. I told him you just left so it wasn’t that hard to chase your car. I thought he made it.”
“Yeah.” Chanyeol snaps his finger as he remembers something important. “Oh, he looked great with his black hair though. I couldn’t recognize him at first.”
It’s like something clicks in his brain, like all the dots are being connected with a single line and everything feels right. So he wasn’t imagining things. It was Lu Han. It will always be him.
He skips another round of beer Chanyeol offers and drives home, ignoring the shouts from his friends and colleagues who probably want to shake hands with him and admire the way he manages to win such heavy case all by himself.
It’s dark when he reaches his home. He walks in, trying to shove the uneasy feeling in his stomach. A part of him believes that Lu Han isn’t inside but another part tells him the opposite. He turns the light on and sees no one. There is no one home. He should feel relieved for not having to face Lu Han after everything they have been through. Sure he wins his case and saves Lu Han from his company but he doesn’t want to let himself wondering about Lu Han’s reaction to that.
He recalls the day when he started his job as a solicitor and laughs at the images he vaguely remembers. Those ridiculous years of not being who he wanted were painful and hard to forget. It will forever stick to his memories. But this day, after thousands of achievements he receives, he feels he is finally complete, the struggles are finally worth it, and he doesn’t want to ask for more. Lu Han helps him through everything even though the ways have to involve with a lot of flirting and jokes.
If someone asks him, Yixing will definitely say that he likes it. He likes Lu Han, probably a lot more than his crazy fans who always find their ways to invade Lu Han’s personal life. He likes him even more when he is beside him because at that time, at that exact moment, Yixing can feel how his heart beats faster and it makes him human.
He is quite disappointed though for not seeing Lu Han in his home but that feeling goes away when he finds a yellow sticky note on the door to his room and it reads, “Thank you for having me, Zhang Yixing. Don’t forget about our little deal. See you.”
Lu Han’s handwriting is terrible, there are a lot of typos here and there, and it’s small and slanted slightly to the right, but Yixing still can get it.
He finds another on the fridge that makes him chuckle, “Oh, I cooked you some meals. Heat it up and eat.”
It still feels weird how normal Lu Han can be, writing small notes to him and sticking it on the wall. He heats the foods Lu Han places on the table and waits, reading the notes once again. His smile is a little too wide but it’s okay because it’s Lu Han and he thinks he will always be a fool when it comes to him and the stupid things he always makes.
He sits and places the food in front of him. It’s nothing special, just some Chinese foods he usually eats and it surprisingly tastes good, though a little bit salty. Yixing hums in approval as he eats quietly, alone, and for the first time since he bought the house he feels lonely.
Both Lu Han and Yixing disappear at the same time, Lu Han flies back to Beijing while Yixing spends his days off at Seoul before he decides the right time to go back to his hometown. It drives the media and netizens crazy because they crave for any valuable information coming either from Lu Han himself or his solicitor Yixing.
Lu Han calls him by the time he arrives at Beijing and informs him that his mom is there to pick him up. Yixing is glad to hear that and wishes deep down inside his parents would do the same if he told them he wanted to come home. Lu Han assures him that they will do and ends the phone with his flirtatious behavior of, “I miss you. Do you miss me?”
Yixing holds the phone for a dear life but misses the chance to say yes, yes he misses him too.
It is almost three and the sky is full of fireworks. The weather is terrible but the excitement Yixing feels inside can shove that away. He is tired, the trip back to his hometown was long, but he knows he can’t and won’t sleep.
After ten lonesome New Years, Yixing is finally home and celebrates New Year with everyone he loves the most, and once again Lu Han is right, sorry isn’t needed when his parents welcome him with open arms and smiles he hasn’t seen for years. He notices how his mom’s hair turns gray and his father’s skin wrinkles. He cries because he isn’t there to see it happened, he cries so hard he falls asleep on his mother’s lap, feeling like he is back to five years old Yixing who couldn’t sleep because the thunder ruined it.
“So when will you go back to work?” Chanyeol whines when Yixing calls him after he arrives at Seoul. He stays at his parents’ house until Chinese New Year and finally decides that it’s the right time to see whether the office is doing fine without his presence.
He laughs as he walks to the kitchen, switching on his phone’s speaker so he can hear Chanyeol while he makes hot chocolate. “I thought you would be happy for not seeing me around.”
“Working with Baekhyun is such pain in the ass.” Chanyeol hisses.
“Because he is such a distraction and you spend the days wondering when is the right time to kiss him, right?”
“What―” Chanyeol stammers. “How could you possibly know that?”
He stirs the mug and feels amused with the innocent reply coming from his best friend. It is pretty obvious though and everyone in the office knows that already.
But before he gives him a reply, Chanyeol clears his throat awkwardly and says, “Whatever. You are much better than Baekhyun and I want you back in the office tomorrow. If I don’t see you, I will drag your ass out of your bed.”
Yixing winces at the thought of that and quickly agrees.
“By the way, where is Lu Han? Never heard anything from him since the last time I saw him at office.” Chanyeol asks.
Yixing goes back to the couch and turns on the TV. The mention of Lu Han reminds him about the last time the idol calls him just to say he misses him again and inform him that he has found a new company where they permit him to do anything he likes and that includes writing his own songs, “He is back since two days ago.”
“He is getting better at hiding, isn’t he?”
“He is,” Yixing smiles, wondering where Lu Han is right now and whether he knows that Yixing is back. “Or the media is getting slower and lazier to catch the news.”
Chanyeol laughs as Yixing takes another sip of hot chocolate. “Hey, Yixing,” he calls. “Promise me one thing.”
Yixing waits. “What is it?”
“Don’t let him go, will you?”
Yixing stays quiet and Chanyeol knows there will be no answer other than no, I won’t let him go, and he puts down the phone after happily bids Yixing goodnight.
Yixing walks back to the kitchen to add another marshmallow to his mug but stops mid-way when he hears someone’s knocking his front door. He turns to look at that clock, it shows 11.50 p.m., which is quite late for anyone to visit him.
He opens the door and is surprised to see Lu Han, standing in front of him under the dimmed light of his porch. He still looks innocent and perfect with his pointed nose peeks over his red scarf. His eyes still sparkles the same way Yixing always admires and he thinks it’s unfair for Lu Han to look beautiful even with lack of lighting.
“Are adopting kids legal for a solicitor like you?”
Yixing remains motionless, his heart leaps into his throat at the sudden blurt of question, and he tries so hard to calm it down by swallowing hard. Lu Hand doesn’t ask how he is or why Yixing never makes an effort to call him first or when Yixing gets back home.
Lu Han tilts his head, “You want kids and I can’t give you any. So do you want to adopt one? Two? I’m fine with three―”
Yixing shifts his mug of hot chocolate to another hand and pulls Lu Han closer, unwrapping the scarf from his neck. He shuts him up by kissing him, open mouthed and a bit rushed.
“I’m disappointed.” Lu Han licks his lower lip and pouts. The solicitor quirks an eyebrow but doesn’t stop Lu Han from talking. “I’m expecting a strong taste of Americano, but hot chocolate seems nice too. Kiss me again?”
“It’s cold.” Yixing laughs. “Come in.”
Yixing heaves a big sigh. “Adopting kids is legal for everyone, even for a solicitor like me.” He can see Lu Han’s smile grows wider and his eyes sparkle with joy, “And I want five kids.”
“I hate odd numbers.” Lu Han replies, intertwining his fingers with Yixing’s.
“Six kids are okay too.” Yixing corrects himself.
Lu Han puts his head on Yixing’s shoulder as Yixing closes the door behind them with his leg. “I love you.” He whispers. “I love you. I really do. I’ve loved you since the first time I saw you. Please don’t think this is a joke. I’m always serious―”
Yixing nuzzles into Lu Han’s hair and that shuts Lu Han up. He remembers the first time he met him, the first time he stepped out of his comfort zone, the first time he felt like he finally belonged to someone, and the first time he missed someone so deep it almost drove him crazy.
“I know.” Yixing admits, finally taking the chance to say everything he never has the guts to. “I love you too.”
[FOR EVERYONE] I THINK YOU COULD SAVE MY LIFE (2/2)
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