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家 (sweet home)

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I can't get you all that stuff

But I can give you all my love

Free love

Free love

Taehyun’s angelic voice slowly coaxes Beomgyu from his slumber, making him realise he much prefers the real thing to the recordings stored on his phone. He stays silent, relishing in the warmth of his soulmate and the comfort of his voice, singing their favourite song. A familiar hand settles in his hair, stroking it gently, yet Taehyun still sings until the very last note. Beomgyu swears he could fall asleep again, resting in peaceful bliss beside his soulmate.

“Awake yet?” Taehyun asks softly, brushing his hair and likely fixing his messy bed hair.

Beomgyu shakes his head and smiles.

“Need you to wake me up.” He mumbles, pretending like he hasn’t been conscious for the past few minutes.

“I’m trying.” Taehyun chuckles, then retracts his hand.

“Hey.” Beomgyu pouts, mourning the loss of his touch.

He finally opens his eyes to see Taehyun properly, slightly messy hair and beautiful as ever. He’s sitting up and writing in his dream journal as he hums softly.

“You still write in it?” Beomgyu asks as he slowly sits up to cuddle Taehyun’s side, where the latter makes room for him.

“Sometimes. I like writing the dreams down. So I can remember them again.”

Beomgyu chuckles. He knows the feeling. It’s like when they looked through Taehyun’s memory box and Beomgyu’s photobook. Like reliving the memories and remembering just how beautiful the memory was.

“Oh really? What was this one about?” Beomgyu smiles, pressing sweet kisses to Taehyun’s neck.

“We sat in our tree and watched the sunset. You played your songs for me, and I sang along to them. It was beautiful.” Taehyun smiles fondly and immediately leans in to kiss Beomgyu properly, setting his pen and journal down.

Beomgyu happily complies, hugging Taehyun tighter and taking in more of his warmth through their shared kiss. It still feels electric, feeding his whole body warmth that travels to his very soul. It’s an incredibly beautiful feeling.

Beomgyu wraps one arm around Taehyun’s waist as the other rests on Taehyun’s chest, touching cool metal. Taehyun hardly ever takes the locket off now, despite Beomgyu assuring him it was fine not to wear it. Perhaps he’d remembered that Beomgyu half-wanted it so that people would know Taehyun was his, and his alone. Perhaps he just liked the idea of having a piece of them with him wherever he went.

After finally convincing Beomgyu to get out of bed, because it’s a Saturday and “you can hug me while I cook breakfast, hyung”, Taehyun realises he should have known better than to trust Beomgyu’s pantry and fridge on a Saturday morning.

“I gotta go grocery shopping, hyung. We forgot to go yesterday.” Taehyun says, pulling on one of Beomgyu’s hoodies and grabbing his set of spare keys.

“I’ll go with you.” Beomgyu perks up.

“You weren’t that excited ten minutes ago.” Taehyun laughs.

Beomgyu doesn’t admit that he likes doing mundane things with Taehyun, especially things that make them feel or look more like a domestic couple. Even if the workers at the convenience store had already assumed they share a place, he’ll take any semblance of living together that he can get, while Taehyun is still living in the dorms, separate from him. (Although, Kai would argue that Taehyun practically already lives with Beomgyu, seeing as he spends half the week there.)

They make their way to the convenience store near Beomgyu’s apartment, with him walking on the side closest to the road, and Taehyun rubbing his hand gently. Beomgyu is thankful for Taehyun’s comfort and for the way that Taehyun knows to distract him with the randomest of stories or facts. Anything to keep his mind occupied. Even if it might take a while to be comfortable with it, Taehyun is there to reassure him.

When it comes to shopping, Taehyun is in charge of buying the essentials while Beomgyu buys all the snacks and ‘unnecessary items’ (as Taehyun likes to call them). Beomgyu likes that Taehyun keeps him in check, making sure he’s eating healthy and not just living off instant noodles. Although, he’d argue that he was never that bad at cooking, it’s just that he enjoys Taehyun’s cooking much more than his own.

“Hyunnie, look! They have your favourite Pokémon bread!” Beomgyu grins, holding up the basket with at least five packets of said bread in it.

“Gyu, I don’t need that much.” Taehyun chuckles, although he can never say no to Beomgyu, especially when he insists on looking after him.

“Nonsense. You can always share with Kai.” Beomgyu hums, skipping to the next aisle. (He misses Taehyun’s fond gaze upon his back.)

And as always, they never leave the convenience store without getting two ice cream sandwiches.

 

It’s been two weeks since the whole “Taehyun remembered him and they started dating again”, and yet, it still takes some time for Beomgyu to get used to having a soulmate again. There are small things that he’d forgotten he could have, now that he had a soulmate that actually remembered him. He fondly recalls the first time Taehyun had texted him a shopping list out of nowhere.

taehyun

> eggs, milk, cheese, rice

beomgyu

?????? <

am i supposed to understand this <

taehyun

> sorry, needed to write my shopping list down so i can remember

beomgyu

oh <

taehyun

> you forgot we used to do that, didn’t you? silly hyung

beomgyu

shut up <

i forgot what it felt like <

taehyun

> then it’s a good thing you’ll never forget it again

 

Beomgyu had been genuinely shocked, remembering how they used to text little reminders to each other. If they needed to remember something, they’d swim through their ocean of memories (as they liked to describe it).

Instead of having a number that he couldn’t dare to touch and years of messages he never wanted to see again, Beomgyu has a number that he can message and call every day, just like before. He has a soulmate who sends him mundane reminders like shopping lists and uni schedules, and sweet messages throughout the day.

Even now, two weeks later, Beomgyu is only just accepting that it’s okay to be with Taehyun without guilt. That he can enjoy the benefits of his soulmate just like any other person with a soulmate. Surviving almost two years without his soulmate is almost like a habit that’s hard to break.

In many ways, it feels like he and Taehyun are making up for lost time. It’s probably the reason why Taehyun spends so much time at his place, despite constantly assuring Kai that yes, he is still his roommate. Taehyun makes sure that he has someone to cuddle, to confide in after a long day, to hold as he drifts to sleep, and to wake up with, just as he’d dreamed of having before. Because of this, Beomgyu always mourns the loss of Taehyun’s warmth whenever he’s back at the dorms. In the week after Taehyun remembered, he had to stay with Beomgyu every morning and night, just to reassure him and keep his anxieties away. Beomgyu would say he’s a little better now, but it doesn’t make him miss Taehyun any less.

As he wakes up to his alarm and feels the achingly cold space next to him, he groans. Taehyun did mention that he needed to attend an early class, so he couldn’t stay to wake up with him. (Beomgyu pouted, but Taehyun treated him with lots of kisses before bed.) He isn’t going to admit it to Taehyun (yet), but he wishes Kai would hurry up and find a new roommate so Taehyun could move in with him. But as much as he jokes about it to Kai, he knows the sweet maknae of their group is earnestly searching his hardest to find a new roommate.

“It’s not entirely for you, hyung.” Kai laughed. “Trust me, Taehyunnie can be such a pain when he’s separated from you. He never stops worrying about you and it can drive me a little insane. He’s like a mother whose child has just left home.”

Beomgyu had blushed at the thought of Taehyun, pacing the dorm as he contemplated changing his mind and sleeping over for the night, or whether he should call Beomgyu until he falls asleep or not.

He needs to be patient. He knows that. But now that he has Taehyun within his grasp, to hold and to keep, he never wants to let go. Now that he has him, he can never get enough of him. As they’d agreed, dating as adults is different, and they’re navigating slightly foreign waters at the moment.

Beomgyu checks the time, realising he should get ready for work soon. When he goes to wash his face at the sink, he literally melts. On the mirror, there’s a blue sticky note that reads, Don’t forget to be kind to yourself! Beomgyu wills himself not to cry at the sweet words from his soulmate.

As he makes his way through his morning, he encounters more notes. One in his cupboard: You look beautiful, no matter what. One on the dining table: Don’t forget your water bottle and lunch! I made you a sandwich. He fails his mission not to cry by the time he gets to the kitchen. His fridge still has the sticky notes that say, “Drink water!” or “Don’t forget to call home”, but Taehyun had added more.

Remember that you’re the best soulmate ever!

Take a deep breath.

I need you, my love.

Eat some fruit!

Hyunnie will never forget again.

And finally,

I will always love you.

 

Beomgyu breaks down in sobs, taking a moment to process it all. They’re the words that Taehyun hadn’t explicitly voiced, yet the ones he communicates through his touch and constantly reassuring Beomgyu. They’re the words that give Beomgyu the strength and the confidence that he’s doing the right thing. He is loving his soulmate like he deserves, and he is so, so loved in return.

And he’ll never forget them.

 

At around 10:30am, when the morning rush has died down, Beomgyu is pleasantly surprised as he sees a familiar face walk through the door of the café. Beomgyu remembers when he used to dread seeing him, but now, he can safely say that Taehyun literally lights up the whole room. He’s wearing one of Beomgyu’s plaid flannels with a white shirt that accents the golden locket around his neck.

“Hi.” Beomgyu blushes, already getting ready to pay for the order himself before Taehyun can get his card out.

“Hi there. I heard there was a really cute barista working here.” Taehyun smirks.

“Oh really? They might be in the back.” Beomgyu teases.

“Mmm, don’t think so.” Taehyun chuckles, already making his way around the counter and placing his bag down. He wraps his arms around Beomgyu’s waist and whispers, “I think they’re currently trying to pay for my coffee, actually.”

“Couldn’t be me.” Beomgyu laughs and kisses Taehyun briefly, relishing in the warmth he missed in the morning.

“You’re too kind, love.” Taehyun nuzzles his neck.

“Mhm... Missed you.” Beomgyu sighs happily.

“Did you see my notes?” Taehyun asks, following Beomgyu in a back hug as he makes his caramel macchiato.

“Of course I did.” Beomgyu smiles and lifts the hands around his waist to kiss them tenderly. “I loved them.”

“Good. I’ll add more every day.”

“You don’t have to.” Beomgyu says. (He secretly doesn’t want to make crying over blue sticky notes a daily habit.)

“But I want to. You deserve to hear every word.” Taehyun hums, kissing his nape.

Beomgyu gives in, resting in his soulmate’s embrace.

“Okay.”

As Beomgyu continues to work, Taehyun sits on a stool behind the counter, telling him about his boring morning class. But to be honest, half the time Beomgyu isn’t listening, simply because he’s enjoying the presence of his soulmate and the fact that his dream came true. He dreamt of his soulmate happily greeting him, and then coming around the counter to kiss and hug him while he made his coffee, and that’s exactly what Beomgyu got. This was much better than the painful mornings of introducing himself to Taehyun all the time.

“You finish work at 2, right?” Taehyun asks, grabbing his bag and squeezing Beomgyu’s hand.

“Yeah. Don’t feel like you have to pick me up, though.” Beomgyu chuckles. “Don’t you have that exam to study for?”

“My dearest Gyu, you underestimate me.” Taehyun laughs, kissing Beomgyu on the cheek. “I have time to study later this week. Besides, I wanna show you something.”

Beomgyu tilts his head in curiosity, but looks forward to it, regardless.

After his shift is finished, he walks out of the café with Taehyun, hands linked and fond smiles shared. As the wind picks up and blows harshly, Beomgyu immediately lets go of Taehyun’s hand to take his fluffy white jacket off.

“Arms.”

“Gyu, I don’t need it.”

“Arms.” Beomgyu repeats stubbornly.

Taehyun sighs with a chuckle and gives in, spreading his arms and letting Beomgyu help him put the jacket on. It smells like Beomgyu’s familiar vanilla scent and quickly warms him up as he borrows Beomgyu’s fleeting warmth.

“Seriously, Gyu, if you’re going to lend me a jacket, at least bring a spare for yourself.” Taehyun pouts, taking Beomgyu’s hand once more and snuggling close.

“That’s such a pain to carry though, Hyunnie.” Beomgyu groans.

“You’re ridiculous, hyung.” Taehyun shakes his head, then mutters a soft, “Thank you.”

Beomgyu smiles, content as long as Taehyun is warm and being looked after. He’d gladly give up anything for Taehyun’s sake.

Eventually, Taehyun stops walking, making Beomgyu also stop in his tracks. This place is familiar. It’s hard for Beomgyu to believe that early this year, he and Taehyun had met in a very different circumstance.

On the pathway lined with cherry blossom trees, Taehyun and Beomgyu had met as strangers and lovers at the same time. It was a bittersweet and painful meeting, yet it was the beginning of Taehyun’s journey to remembering and recovering his memories.

Back then, Beomgyu had lamented being like the dead cherry blossom buds, unable to bloom and not given the chance to become beautiful. He liked the sight of the barren trees with barely any people around, because it reminded him of himself and his loneliness.

But now, he has Taehyun. And they’re no longer strangers or half-soulmates. They’re back to being lovers and soulmates who remember everything about each other.

“The last time we were here, together, you ran away from me.” Taehyun chuckles softly.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw you again.” Beomgyu bites his lip, thinking back to the unpleasant memory.

“You looked beautiful, you know?” Taehyun smiles as Beomgyu looks up, slightly shocked. “Even when I didn’t remember you, you were so, so beautiful.”

“Taehyun…”

“I know it’s almost summer, and the trees are barren…” Taehyun says softly, squeezing Beomgyu’s hand. “But I also know that spring will come again soon.”

Taehyun turns to face Beomgyu, cupping his cheek.

“And when that time comes, I promise… We’ll be here, together, to see it.” Taehyun says firmly. “We’ll have a picnic and we’ll admire the beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom. Just like their meaning, we’ve been renewed. And I know things are going to be hard to adjust to, and that even being apart is still hard for us…

“But I wouldn’t have anyone else by my side.”

Beomgyu finally lets go of the tears he had been holding back, nodding as Taehyun chuckles fondly and leans their foreheads together.

“It’s a promise.” Beomgyu whispers, smiling despite his tears. “And I’ll do my best to keep this one, and every future promise with you.”

“That’s more than enough for me.” Taehyun smiles and pulls Beomgyu by the neck to kiss him sweetly.

 

 

One might think of their relationship as Beomgyu welcoming Taehyun back home. Of Taehyun settling back into a home that has been established, with rooms and corridors and hallways full of memories. They might think that Beomgyu has been living by himself after Taehyun had moved out, and that he was prepared to lock the door, never to let Taehyun in again. But Taehyun found his way home, where he’d always belonged.

Another way of thinking is that after Beomgyu and Taehyun restored their soulmate bond, they decided to move together. They took their belongings, their memories, their love with them, and are now settling into a new house; a ‘new’ relationship. They have new rooms and they have to relearn how to live with each other in a new setting, much like relearning how to be soulmates again. But along with their new rooms, they have much more space to create new memories. More space to make mistakes, and more space to learn from their mistakes. More forgiveness, more understanding, and more love.

And while there may be other weird house analogies (or analogies in general) to describe their relationship, all in all, one truth remains.

Wherever they go, they are home. Together, they are home.

(And in the far future, they will become a family, built on the foundation of being home.)