Sleep Well, Princess
Title: Sleep Well, Princess
Pairing: Jaehyun x You (feat. brother!Taeyong)
Genre: age gap, big brother's best friend au, angst, drama, fluff, romance, slow burn, smut
Warnings: six year age gap, unprotected and kind of public sex (no worries, nothing rated will involve minors!)
Word Count: 12.5k
Summary: When you were six, you developed a crush on your older brother's best friend. When you were thirteen, you fell head over heels in love with him. When you were sixteen, you decided to wait for when the time was right. When you were nineteen, he rejected you.
The first memory you had of Jeong Jaehyun was that of a warm summer evening when you encountered an unfamiliar boy sitting at your terrace.
You had hurried back home from your friend’s house, eager to make it for dinner on time, but when you had arrived, your entire family was gathered in the garden, eating watermelon with a boy you had never seen before.
“That’s Jaehyun!” your older brother Taeyong had introduced him. “He’s new in town and my classmate!”
Jaehyun had worn the brightest smile, the corners of his lips smeared with leftover watermelon that let his skin glisten with sweet juice. You hadn’t even been able to clearly hear the words he was directing at you, that was how full his mouth was.
When you had sat down next to your twelve-year-old brother on the stairs, munching on your watermelon like everyone else, you were watching this new boy Jaehyun from the corner of your eyes, your pupils wanting to stay fixated on the fruit, but still going astray eventually.
He was as tall and slim as your older brother, wearing similar clothes, having similar haircuts, and even speaking and laughing in a similar manner. If anything, they could pass as brothers.
But for your real brother, as a matter of fact, you didn’t want to look at him for so long. But for your brother, you didn’t want him to look back at you. But for your brother, your cheeks didn’t flush so much in his presence.
“My, my!” Taeyong had laughed. “I think my sister has a crush on you!”
You had smacked him so hard, your fingerprints were still visible on his arm later that night. That was one of the downsides of being so close to a sibling: they could read you like an open book. There was nothing you could hide from them.
You had wanted to disappear right there and then, convinced to currently experiencing the most embarrassing moment of your young life so far. You hadn’t even known Jaehyun for half an hour, yet you were labelled as the annoying little sister probably.
But Jaehyun had only laughed, nothing more. And just like that, the topic had been swept under the rug to never be addressed again.
Most children experienced their first crush at the age of five.
You had been six at that time.
Throughout the years, you had not only watched your brother grow, but Jaehyun as well as they became the bestest of friends.
His height had shot upwards so that he was now even towering your brother by a few inches. He had built muscles that were becoming more apparent through his clothings. His face had gotten more expressive features after maturing in his teenage years.
You had been crushing on your brother’s best friend for as long as you could think of.
And then, he broke your heart.
When You Were 7
You ran into the living room, the pink tulle rustling with each step of yours as the wand of the same color swung in your hands when you entered through the door and found your brother sitting on the couch, playing a video game on the big TV.
“Yongie! How do you find my dress?”
Your brother shifted around. “A new princess dress? Looks amazing on you, sis!”
“Right?!” You smiled brightly. “I’m a princess!”
The moment you encountered Jaehyun next to him though, you stopped in your tracks and looked at his best friend, frozen.
You hadn’t been aware that he was here, even though on the weekends, he usually always was. Yet, you suddenly felt so foolish and childish in your pink princess gown with the magic wand, imagining yourself to reign in a non-existent country.
Jaehyun was thirteen years old, of course he would only laugh at little girls who played dress up, especially as princesses.
Slowly, your hand that was holding the wand sank to your side along with your head, and all the sparks from your eyes vanished when it dawned on you that it would probably make Jaehyun think of you sillily when he saw this overly childish side of yours.
“How’s your country called, princess?”
You turned keen-eared upon hearing his words. Immediately, your head shot up and you locked gazes with him, his expression only radiating kindness with the soft smile that he was addressing at you.
He had called you princess!
“It’s called ‘Phantasia’!” you announced proudly. “I’m the reigning princess!”
“Well, princess… Where is your crown? A princess usually wears a crown, right?”
“Oh…” You touched your head as though you had placed it there the moment before. “I broke it the last time…”
“No worries. A true princess doesn’t need a crown to make her whole.”
For the rest of the day, you felt like walking on clouds. No one was able to take away what Jaehyun had said to you earlier, and you were even still grinning when your mother read a goodnight story to you later that night.
The weekend after that, Jaehyun was over at your house again.
Taeyong had told you that he was living with his grandfather as his parents were doing business abroad, and whenever possible, the old man needed rest, so Jaehyun spent most of his free time at your house. Your brother didn’t mind, and you were surely the last one to object to this arrangement.
“This is for you, princess.”
You were sitting on the terrace when Jaehyun suddenly appeared in front of you, carrying something in his hand that you weren’t able to clearly see against the sunlight. A moment later, you felt a light pressure on your head.
When your fingers reached up and touched an edgy plastic object on top of your head, you instantly knew what it was without needing to take it off and inspect.
You got so excited, you were sure you were going to burst with bliss.
It was a crown.
“A crown doesn’t make you a princess as you already are one,” Jaehyun explained. “But it’s still nice to have some validation every now and then, right?”
You refused to take off the silver plastic crown with the pink jewels for the next weeks without a single break, even adamant to wear it during bathtime and to sleep until your mother got so sick and tired of it that she took it away and threatened to never give it back to you unless you came back to your senses.
Since then, the crown sat enthroned on top of your drawer so that you had a good look at it from all corners in your room.
It was your biggest treasure.
A month later, Taeyong had his first big party, and of course, all his friends came over, including Jaehyun.
Since his gathering had started during your bedtime, your mother had forbidden you to go downstairs as you should be asleep already, but you were so excited for the event to take place that two hours later, you were still wide awake.
You were listening to the boys’ voices from the ground floor as you peeked through your door and slowly crawled to the very top of the stairs to catch a glimpse at the guests downstairs. But you saw nothing yet, so you sneaked to crouch on the first step.
When you still weren’t able to get even the slightest insight into the happenings, you decided to go down another step in your crouching position, but in the process, you lost your balance so that you suddenly slipped and fell down the rest of the stairs with loud rumbling.
“Ouch!” you let out, feeling all your muscles and bones ache when you finally came to a standstill.
“Taeyong, someone fell down the stairs!”
You were lying on the ground, many pairs of eyes directed at you from above when you opened your lids, but even among all these faces with your head still dizzy, you were able to make out Jaehyun’s features in the corner.
“Let me through, that’s my sister!”
You felt your body getting lifted up and stabilized by the strong arms of your brother.
“Sis, are you okay?” Taeyong was touching your arms, feet, head, and then your upper body. “Thank god, nothing seems to be broken! Are you alright? Is your head okay? We have to make sure that you didn’t get a concussion from the fall! Come with me.”
Your brother carried you in his arms to the couch, the music having come to a pause, and all the gathered boys’ faces were directed at you. The entire situation suddenly got so embarrassing for you, and if your mother would find out, you’d get one hell of a rebuke!
“It’s okay!” you tried to brush it off. “I’m okay!”
You wanted to jump from the couch when a familiar voice suddenly instructed, “Sit still.”
Jaehyun gave Taeyong a frozen pack of pears that your brother then pressed on the back of your head.
“Look at me.”
That was easy. You weren’t able to look at anything or anyone other than Jaehyun anyway. You got lost in his deep, brown eyes that were always so soft but now so serious. He lifted a finger in front of you.
“Follow my motions.”
You nodded and moved your eyes to the right and left, then back, and then to the right and left again as he wanted.
“How many fingers do you see?”
“Three.” Pause. “One.” Pause. “Four.”
“Does something else hurt besides your head on which you have fallen?”
You shook your head. “Only my limbs and back from the fall. But it’s subsiding.”
“She’s all right,” Taeyong then stated. “Thank god.” He put the pack of pears in your hand. “Then I can scold you now! What were you thinking, lurking on the stairs in the middle of the night in the absolute dark?!”
“I wanted to… The kitchen… water... I-” you stuttered, starting to tremble all over as you got so overwhelmed with the entire situation.
“It’s okay,” Jaehyun interrupted him. “It’s late, she just hurt herself… Just leave it be. How about we get you a glass of water and then I’ll bring you back upstairs, okay y/n?”
Like in a trance, you nodded. You couldn’t believe what he had just offered. “Okay.”
“Then continue serving your guests, Taeyong, I’ll be right back.”
You held onto Jaehyun’s warm hand when you followed him up the stairs back into your bedroom. He had never been here before, and suddenly, you wished your room was a bit more tidied up and your plushies wouldn’t be as scattered as usual.
But Jaehyun didn’t seem to mind as he placed the glass of water on your nightstand while you slipped under your blanket.
“Everything okay? Nothing hurts, right?”
You nodded. “I’m alright.”
“Then, I’m glad.”
Relief resonated in his tone, and his eyes only averted for a second, but this single second was long enough for him to notice something at the other side of the room.
“The crown,” he remarked. “It’s there.”
“Of course,” you answered triumphantly. “It’s my biggest treasure!”
“Then take care of it well.” Jaehyun smiled, walked to the door and switched off the lights. “Sleep well, princess.”
After he had closed the door, you still thought about the events for a long time, even when the voices downstairs vanished one by one. The touch of his hand embracing your fingers remained until the next morning.
You were seven and crushing on Jaehyun.
When You Were 10
You were regularly spending your summer breaks at your grandparents’ house by the seaside, and since Jaehyun couldn’t visit his parents in the US this time as they were too busy with their business, you had decided to tag him along with you.
“Yongie, look!” you called for your brother. “My side is already this big!”
Taeyong sat up and looked over the pile of sand to get a glimpse at your construction. “Beat me, sis!”
“You have to hurry up, we have to finish first before mommy calls us for dinner!”
“Alright, alright,” he gave in with a laugh.
You were sitting there in the sand with your blue swimsuit and a straw hat, wanting to build the biggest sand castle this small seaside town had ever seen. But one person, who had volunteered to help, was still missing, even though he had excused himself quite a while ago already.
“Where is Jaehyun?” you asked your brother and looked around from under your hat. “We can’t get it done without him.”
“I don’t know.” Taeyong shrugged. “You wanna look for him? I have some catching up to do here, huh?”
You arose from your spot and freed your legs and knees from the sand that had gotten stuck on your skin. It was a hot summer evening, and you would have to leave soon, but not without getting this sand castle done, you were very determined.
Walking to the toilets, you waited there for quite a bit, but Jaehyun wasn’t among the people leaving even five minutes later, so you made your way to the stalls where people were selling food, and indeed, Jaehyun stood there by a table. But he was not alone.
From afar, you spotted two girls who were with him, and it was obvious that they were head over heels for Jaehyun.
Somehow, this bugged you very much, your nails digging into the palms of your hands as you clenched them to fists. Jaehyun was only standing there, talking to them, but that was enough to get you sulking, and you didn’t even know why.
Stomping through the sand back to Taeyong, you still weren’t able to get the picture with him and the two girls out of your head.
“Hey sis, look I’m this far al-”
You jumped into the nearly finished sand castle and walked all over the construction.
“Hey! All the hard work is now gone to waste!” Taeyong complained in disbelief.
“I don’t care! I wanna go home!”
“Did something happen?” he asked you gently as you flopped down on the pile of sand and crossed your arms, pulling the straw hat deep into your face.
“Why the sudden mood change then?”
“Whatever. Can we just go home?”
“We have to wait for Jaehyun.”
“No, we can just go without him.”
Taeyong deeply sucked in a rush of air and sat down in the sand right next to you. “I know when something happened and you don’t want to tell me, sis. We’re siblings. We just feel it.”
You wanted to scream from the top of your lungs, not being able to sort these controversial feelings into anywhere as you had never experienced anything like it before.
“We don’t need to wait for Jaehyun as he already has company,” you pressed through gritted teeth.
“Mhm… I see.”
Only the sound of the sea was audible to you as you continued sitting quietly next to each other, counting the sand grains to your feet.
“Jaehyun is a good looking, sixteen year old guy. Nobody can withhold him from talking to girls or girls coming to him in the first place,” your brother then opened the conversation. “You’ve grown up with the two of us, sis. Of course you’d get attached to him too and view everyone else as a threat to your relationship with him. But him talking to other girls besides you is normal, and you gradually have to accept this.”
You continued to sulk, but as his words slowly dawned on you, you started to make sense of these feelings as well.
“Remember when I brought my female friend home one day and you were on our nerves the rest of the time she was there?”
Of course you remembered. You had been jealous that his entire attention was directed at her only, even though usually, he spent his free time with you.
You hadn’t talked to him the entire next day.
“For me, you’ll always be my little sister. Even when I get a girlfriend or will be married one day, you will come first for me.” These words made you smile amongst the chaos within you. “One day, Jaehyun will find someone he loves and wants to spend his life with as well, and this person will be the number one for him - just like you are for me.”
“And why can’t I be that person?”
Taeyong chuckled and his arms wrapped around you for a comforting embrace. “Because you are my person already.”
“And if I want to change that person?”
You laughed out loud together now.
“You wouldn’t want someone to keep us apart as well, right?”
“Of course not!”
Taeyong stopped laughing. “Then you must realize that you can’t act to Jaehyun this way.”
Turning serious again, you inhaled deeply. “I don’t want to be a nuisance to him.”
“You’re not, sis. But if you keep feeling and acting this way, you’re on the verge of being. But don’t worry, you’ll always hold a special place in Jaehyun’s life. I know.”
Somehow, this reassurance from Jaehyun’s best friend calmed you down. In the end, he was the person who knew him the best.
“Hey you two.”
You both looked up, and you had to blink a few times before you recognized Jaehyun in front of you. Speak of the devil.
“I’m sorry that it took me so long,” he apologized. “Some girls wouldn’t let me go, even though this entire time, I was afraid the ice cream would melt. But I still made it on time, I hope.” He held a popsicle right in front of you. “Here, for you.”
“For… me?” you wanted to make sure, and he nodded.
With care, you took the popsicle into your hand.
“What about me?” Taeyong asked.
“Get your own one.”
With sparkling eyes, you stared at the popsicle. The sweet liquid was already dripping on your fingers and on the sand underneath you, but you didn’t mind. Amidst everything, he had brought this to you.
“Thank you,” you said gratefully.
“Of course,” Jaehyun smiled.
When you came out of the bathroom after having showered, you passed by Taeyong’s room where he and Jaehyun were residing during your stay. You wanted to barge in to say goodnight before you went to bed, but stopped when you overheard them talking heatedly.
“What about the girls from before?” your brother asked. “You gonna meet them? They were from Seoul too, right?”
“Of course not. You know I’m not going to date anyone.”
“That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy your youth.”
You heard Jaehyun laugh. “Yeah, not now. Maybe later.”
Somehow, it set your mind at ease. With a fluttering heart, you walked inside the room and told them, “Goodnight, guys!”
“Sleep well, princess.”
You were ten and now knew what jealousy meant.
When You Were 13
It was your first time trying to use eyeliner as you stood in the bathroom, painting the black line along your right lid.
“Oh no!” you then exclaimed, having miscalculated the angle again and now in the process of making this line thicker than the one on your left lid. “I’ll never get it right…”
In the end, you considered yourself satisfied with what you had gotten right and put a bit of your mother’s lipstick and blush on. Throwing kisses and posing in front of the mirror, you threw your hair back and forth, inspecting your reflection from every side.
Not flawlessly perfect, you thought, but close to it.
In two inch heels, you walked out of the bathroom with your cutest dress on. From downstairs, you could already hear your brother shouting to your mother across the room that he was taking her car now, so you knew you didn’t have much time left before he’d leave.
“Taeyong!” you called after him, coming down the stairs with rather shaky steps and much slower than you intended. “Taeyong, wait! Can you take me with you and drop me off at Seulgi’s please?”
“Huh? Okay, then hurry up, Jaehyun is on hi-”
He stopped mid-sentence and watched you stop on the ground floor, not having recognized you at first glance.
“What did you do?” Taeyong then yelled, approaching you with hasty steps. “Why do you look like a panda? What’s with these dark eyes? That’s ridiculous!”
He wanted to touch your face, but you slapped his hand away. “That’s eyeliner! Everyone wears that nowadays!” you defended yourself.
“But not a thirteen year old!” he said indignantly. “And that lipstick? Is there a clown parade in the neighborhood I have to know about? Is that why you meet up at Seulgi’s? And what’s with these shoes? You can’t even walk in them! Did you get them from mom? They’re way too big!”
“Of course I can walk in them!” you yelled back at him. “Mind your own business, will you?!”
“You look entirely ridiculous, sis! Go dress yourself properly and wash your face at once! I’m not taking you with me if you look like this!”
“No way!” You stomped with your feet on the ground. “I can dress however I want!”
“Mom!” Taeyong then yelled louder. “Mom, come loo-”
You both turned around and encountered Jaehyun standing by the open entrance door.
“You didn’t hear me, so I thought I’d just go inside and then I saw you shouting at each other. What’s up even?”
“My sister is up!” Taeyong placed his hand on his forehead as though in exhaustion. “She decided to join the circus today, apparently! Just look at her!”
You felt tears welling up behind your eyes as Jaehyun’s gaze fell upon you. You had only wanted Taeyong to give you a ride, because he and Jaehyun were supposed to go to the sports court to play basketball this evening, and you wanted to take this chance to be close to his friend for a short while.
In a magazine from a classmate, you had read that women usually prettied themselves up before they met with a man they liked, and since your big brother’s best friend was the person you liked, you thought this also applied to you.
In the magazine, you had seen them not only wearing high heels, but also designer dresses and other pretty clothes. Their make up had made them look even more beautiful, and their hair was flowing in long locks over their shoulders.
You thought, for your age and skills, you didn’t look that bad. But in the eyes of 19-year-old boys, you apparently did look like a clown.
Without another word, you turned around and ran up the stairs. Your ankles hurt from all the twisting while walking, but you rather wanted to feel this physical pain instead of the emotional one Taeyong’s further words would make you experience.
You kicked the heels away in front of your bedroom and then disappeared to the inside, throwing yourself onto the bed with your clown face buried into the pillow. Rather than crying, you wanted to scream in anger. Only moments later, sadness kicked in.
You were only a child in these boys’ eyes, so your older brother was probably right. What did you even know? You most likely truly did look like a clown, having made a fool of yourself right in front of Jaehyun’s eyes.
Now, he would never look at you like a woman.
“Go away!” you then shouted as you heard it knock on your door. “I don’t want to talk to you!”
“It’s me.” Pause. “Jaehyun.”
Within a second, you were sitting straight on your bed, your expression lightening up until you realized that he was still your brother’s best friend and probably led a similar way of thinking.
“You don’t have to scold me as well. I know my lesson.”
“I didn’t come to scold you.”
You remained silent for a moment, but then consented, “Come in.”
Thick strands of your hair fell into your face, but you didn’t swipe them away to not have Jaehyun face your panda mien directly. You heard him closing the door behind him, then walking over to your bed.
“You know,” he started as he crouched down in front of you, “there was one thing I never quite understood. And that was how beautiful girls didn’t think they were already beautiful enough.”
You kneaded your fingers in nervousness, his voice clear enough for you to hear, but they didn’t seem to get through your head right away.
“I’ve known you since you were little, y/n. I know how you look when you’ve just woken up, I know how you look when you’re tired, I know how you look when you’re soaked with water… I know all of your faces. And if you don’t want to believe your family, then believe me that you don’t need any makeup to look pretty.”
Your heart jumped a little with each compliment he directed at you. It was the first time that a boy had told you that he found you pretty. And even though you knew Jaehyun only said it to you to appease and simultaneously encourage you, it was enough to force your sadness into a corner.
“But those idols and models in magazines, they also wear makeup and these clothes. Why shouldn’t I also be allowed to feel prettier?” You now had enough courage to look up at him, still reluctant to smile.
“Because…” Jaehyun touched your cheek in a reassuring manner, growing a smile. “You’re still too young to think that you can only go outside when you’re wearing makeup.”
“I won’t think that!”
“Really?” He raised a brow. “Once you start, you will get used to that new face of yours and won’t feel pretty or confident enough naturally. Of course, every woman can wear as much makeup as they want. But I don’t want a young girl like you to think she has to alternate the way she looks already. It feels so wrong.”
From your nightstand, he pulled out tissues from the box and then wiped over your mouth. His gentle gesture was a great contrast to the lightning zapping through your body whenever his fingers closed to your lips, even with the fabric in between.
You stared at him, frozen on the spot, and Jaehyun continued smiling. “If you cannot embrace yourself right now, how will it be later on?”
Letting his words sink in, you had to acknowledge their accuracy. “When can I try then? When I’m older?”
“Well...” He withdrew his hand, the tissue smeared with red color. “When you realize that you don’t need any of it. At all times.”
Not the answer you expected, but you were still content. You helped him wipe over your eyes, turning you into a human again instead of a panda.
“And Taeyong holds the same opinion, trust me,” Jaehyun added when he threw the tissues into the trash can. “He was only shocked to see his little sister so dressed up, like an adult. He just didn’t voice it very well. It’s like that when you have overprotective, big brothers, hm?”
When you followed Jaehyun downstairs, dressed in your usual clothes with no trace of makeup left anymore, Taeyong was already waiting by the stairs, his expression turning from an anxious to a relieved one when he saw you.
“‘’scuse me,” he murmured.
“Me too,” you murmured back to him.
And just like that, like it always was among siblings, the fight was never addressed again.
You rode with Taeyong and Jaehyun to your friend Seulgi, and the smile Jaehyun threw at you when you turned back and waved at them made up for everything that had happened in the past hour.
It was nearly bedtime for you later that night when you sat on the couch in the living room as Taeyong and Jaehyun walked through the entrance door together.
In your pink pajamas, with your hair sticking out to all sides, you probably wouldn’t make it into a fashion magazine. But after Jaehyun’s reassuring words, you weren’t worried about these things anymore as you met his approving gaze when the both of them flopped down to the left and right of yours.
“How was your match?” you asked them.
“I totally destroyed Jaehyun!” Taeyong called him out loudly. “Right?”
“Only by one point,” Jaehyun grumbled.
“In all games!”
You laughed along with them when you heard your mother call you from upstairs to go to bed. You then jumped off from the couch and ran to the stairs.
“Sleep well, princess.”
You were thirteen and Jaehyun the only boy you had eyes for.
When You Were 16
“Where are you going?” Taeyong asked you from the couch, shifting away from the TV and around to you.
You had entered the living room in search of your other high heel, but still didn’t succeed in finding it, and you were already running late. You had dressed yourself in a nice outfit that the shoes would only complete, because tonight was a special occasion.
“On a date,” you deadpanned at your brother, your eyes scanning your left and right.
“Who is it? The guy who’s two years your senior again?”
“Yeah. Can you pick me up from the cinema later?”
He nodded. “Sure. I’ll be there at 11. If you’re not there by then, he’s dead meat.”
You rolled your eyes, but still couldn’t bite down a grin. “Shouldn’t you be studying for your university exams? Isn’t that why you’re spending the time at home? Instead, you’re worried about some high school boy.”
“Trust me, I know how high school boys are, sis, I was one myself,” Taeyong spoke with a serious tone. “Especially the ones in their last year are the worst.”
“Ugh, please, spare me from these stories!” You had seen girls entering and exiting your house more often than you wanted to remember when you had only been eleven. “Just pick me up at 11, okay?”
Taeyong laughed. “Alright, I’ll be there.”
Three hours later, you stood in front of the cinema, waiting for your brother with a sulky expression on your face, the rain mercilessly pouring down at you.
Only minutes later, a black car pulled up on the street in front of you, and you crossed the pavement from the cinema to the vehicle with your hands shielding your face from the rain as you opened the door and hopped inside.
“Thank for coming so qui-”
The one sitting in the driver’s seat was not your brother though.
You didn’t see him as often anymore after he had moved to Daejeon to study. Every now and then, he came to visit his grandfather or Taeyong though, and when they were in the mood, they stepped by at your house, but not as often as before and surely for not as long. You wished it would be different though.
Of course, you got it. They were university students now, not school boys anymore with other obligations and commitments in life while you were fully enjoying your teenage years. Jaehyun’s mind would be occupied with other things than visiting his best friend’s little sister.
Throughout the time, Jaehyun had only stayed that for you: a simple crush from your childhood that you admired from afar. And that hadn’t stopped you from meeting other people.
“What are you doing here?” you asked him, perplexed.
“My grandfather has been feeling unwell lately, so I’m staying with him for the week.”
That must have been a spontaneous decision due to an emergency you assumed, because the last time you had asked about Jaehyun, Taeyong hadn’t mentioned anything about it. Or he had simply forgotten due to the stress from university.
“I’m sorry about your grandfather,” you said. “I’m glad I got to see you at least, though.”
Throughout the veil of dripping leftover rain, a smile was visible on your face and Jaehyun audibly let out a rush of air as he started the car. “Taeyong sent me to pick you up as he quickly had to drop by his dorm and grab some books.”
“Ah okay, so he actually did start studying in the end.” You chuckled.
“I came back from the States only yesterday, so he and I haven’t been able to have a good chat yet. We’ll still be catching up though.”
“Have you visited your parents?” you asked him out of curiosity. “Is their company still doing well?”
“Yeah, kind of visiting and kind of learning from their success. I haven’t seen them for very long periods since studying at KAIST, so I took the opportunity to fly over there. And I have to get back when my grandfather is feeling better, ready to return to university for the final exams.”
“Sounds kind of exhausting, jetting between two countries and attending to your family’s duties. Are you alright?”
His eyes widened for a short moment, and you wondered whether you were the first person to ever ask this genuinely.
“I’m okay.” But feeling uncomfortable with the attention, Jaehyun then shifted it back to you. “What about you? How was your date?”
You replied to him, “One word: awful. I don’t think we’re going to continue dating.”
He furrowed. “But why?”
You were pondering whether you wanted to tell him or not as you were still reluctant to spill the entire story. But you knew how nagging Jaehyun could be, so you spared him the details and mainly delivered the necessary parts of the story which consisted of only,
“He can’t kiss, okay? At least I don’t think that’s how kissing is supposed to feel. And I don’t know whether it’s on me or him, but…” you breathed in deeply. “It’s just not working out. He’s the only boy I’ve ever kissed, so I don’t have a comparison, but whenever I think about kissing him, I just want to run away, because it feels so gross and wrong.”
You closed your eyes shut, not wanting to see his expression, but instead, you heard a very loud laughter.
“So funny, huh,” you asked ironically as you opened your eyes again.
“Oh to be a teenager again,” Jaehyun continued laughing.
You got very worked up over that topic. “What if that’s what kissing is like and I just don’t like it? Or what if I just… can’t kiss?”
The words were falling from your lips like an endless stream, and you only realized now that it was Jaehyun you were directing them at. You got so flustered, you wanted to jump out of the car right there and then.
“Well, y/n,” Jaehyun then began as you sank further into your seat as though it would suck you into a deep, black hole. Thank god you would be home in a few minutes. “I can assure you, kissing is indeed a blissful act, nothing that should gross you out or even feel wrong. And if it doesn’t work quite the way you want the first time around, you can only practice. But trust me, it’s an awesome way to express your feelings.”
“I wouldn’t know,” you conceded.
“Yet,” Jaehyun added. “Sometimes, two people just don’t match. That can happen, but don’t let this experience discourage you. One day, you’ll meet a guy, and everything will fall into place. Then, it will feel right. Then, you will think back about your date just now and laugh.”
“So… it’s okay if I tell him that we don’t make a good couple and end it? Over this topic only?”
“Of course. You definitely should if you feel this way. You don’t want to lead him on, right?”
“No, for sure not.”
As always, Jaehyun managed to encourage and cheer on you. It was just such a shame that he wasn’t around as often anymore.
“Hey Jaehyun…” He pulled up in front of your house. “I still have the crown that you gave me.”
Even in the semi-darkness of the car’s insides, you saw how his face brightened up. “Really? That plastic thing?”
“Exactly that.” As he brought his car to a stop, you unbuckled your seatbelt. “By the way… it’s sad that you’re not around as often anymore.”
“Yeah, I think so too. But I just have-”
“-so much to do,” you ended his sentence, the corner of your lips tilting down. “I know. Taeyong always says that as well when I ask about you.”
Jaehyun’s eyes widened. “You do?”
You chuckled and turned to the door, aiming for the handle. “Almost every time when he comes home for the weekend. I think he gets sick and tired of my questions already, but I can’t help myself. When you have free time next summer, let’s go to the seaside again, okay? Good night then, Jaehyun.”
You waited for him to say his usual goodbye line, but as it didn’t come, you wanted to turn around and check on him. Before you could do so though, he had already wrapped his fingers around your wrist and pulled you back into your seat.
Rendered silent, you didn’t know what was happening around you as Jaehyun’s face suddenly hovered over yours, his gaze casting a spell over you, and you couldn’t look away anymore. Your heart was jumping irregularly against your chest, and you feared that he might hear how loud it was as blood rushed to your ears at the same time.
One of his hands found its way onto your cheek and rested there for a moment, letting you relish the warmth as his face drew closer to yours. You had kissed someone only an hour prior, yet you didn’t feel any pang of conscience as you became aware of what this situation implied if you continued.
But you didn’t stop and closed your eyes instead.
For all the time that Jaehyun was gone, you had thought your feelings constantly vanished little by little until they had entirely vanished, brushing them off as a light crush. But the truth was that they had been kept in control on a lukewarm blaze only, ready to inflame again when you were conscious enough to accept their meaning.
And your feelings were very much set aflame when his lips brushed over yours before he leaned in further and captured them fully, deepening the kiss. Parting your mouth in a gentle manner, you let him pass through with his tongue, your fingers searching for support by gripping onto his shirt.
This wasn’t like kissing the guy from before. This felt sweet, endearing and simply… right.
Jaehyun had told you the truth about kissing. It was a heartfelt act that made it possible to convey feelings that couldn’t or didn’t want to be expressed in another way.
The kiss slowed down only after minutes when you were sure that you would run out of breath soon as you still didn’t know how to align your breathing rhythm with the motions. You hoped he hadn’t minded.
“Sleep well, princess,” was what Jaehyun then said after he had pulled away.
You then stood there, in front of your house, totally flabbergasted, the warmth of his lips against yours still present as you touched that exact spot, realizing something very important in your life now. With idle steps, you made your way into the house, trying to sort out your thoughts.
You didn’t want that senior from school. Or another guy. And the reason it hadn’t worked out with him or wouldn’t with anyone else was because your heart would never fully be with them.
It had always only been with Jaehyun.
When Taeyong entered the house an hour later, you hadn’t moved from your spot at the kitchen table where you had taken a seat, staring into space. Your brother was only a shadow in the background you barely perceived as you had a hard time coming to a conclusion with your thoughts.
“How was it, sis? Do I have to beat that guy up?” he asked you.
“No,” you answered absent-mindedly. “It was nice, but I’m still going to stop seeing him, though.”
“Well, okay. Sucks for him, I guess.” Taeyong shrugged. “Whatever makes you happy makes me happy as well. You’ll eventually find the right one, I’m sure about that. You’re still so young.”
With these words, he pulled you out of your thoughts, and you wanted to know further, “Do you mean it, Yongie? From sibling to sibling?”
“That you’ll eventually find the right one?”
“Whatever makes you happy makes me happy, I mean.”
“Of course.” He nodded at you encouragingly.
If this was the case, then he wouldn’t mind your feelings for Jaehyun. Why should he even? Jaehyun was his best friend. If there was someone he would surely approve of, then it would be Jaehyun, out of all people.
This. This was it.
You wanted to wait then.
For you to grow more mature and attain your majority. When you were ready, you wanted to pursue a relationship with him. You were just afraid that Jaehyun couldn’t wait for just as long. But you wanted to give it your best.
Your light crush on your brother’s best friend was long gone.
You were head over heels in love with him now.
When You Were 19
“Now, a picture with your brother!”
You got closer to Taeyong who then put an arm on your waist, holding one of your flower bouquets while you were being kept occupied with the other ones. Yet, you were still smiling and holding up a peace-sign into your parents’ camera.
“I’m so proud of you, sis!” He hugged you for the nth time that morning.
“Ah, come on, Yongie! You just had your graduation ceremony as well, don’t discredit your own success!”
“Only because I enlisted in the meantime, so it’s nothing special in comparison to you graduating from high school. And then, you’re going to study at Ewha!”
Ewha Womans University. You had been dreaming of getting in ever since you were very young, having worked hard throughout the past years to pass the entrance exams. At last, academically, everything had worked out for you.
“Congratulations from me as well.”
That voice… You turned around just to meet a face you hadn’t seen in more than two years.
The moment you spotted him, your heart started to pound faster and hotness shot into your cheeks.
“I invited him, sis!” your brother clarified. “He was in town and couldn’t miss your graduation, right?”
Jaehyun’s grandfather had died before he decided to enlist right after graduating from university. You hadn’t known that he was back in town, but now he stood here in front of you again, having changed so much and not at all at the same time.
He had matured outwardly in the years you hadn’t seen each other.
When people grew up side by side, such a process naturally passed by them, but since you had been apart with no contact, he seemed like an entirely new person to you now, not the boy in his early twenties you had last seen.
He was a 25-year-old young man now, but still the very same person you were in love with.
As for you, you had grown up as well. You had not only mastered the art of makeup, but gotten your driver’s license and would soon move out to start living in a dorm when university started. Yes, you had also dated in the meantime, but none of the guys came close to the one you had been waiting for.
Jaehyun hugged you tightly, and you were sure that he must have felt your heavy heartbeat against his chest when he pressed you close to his firm physique.
“Ah, give me the flowers,” Taeyong then offered to you. “She can’t carry more. Here, hold Jaehyun’s instead. Wait here, I’ll bring them to the car. Where are our parents again? Man…”
Your brother disappeared the next moment, leaving you two all by yourself. The surroundings radiated a hectic atmosphere with all the students and family members running up and down, taking photos and talking, yet to you, it felt like you and Jaehyun were in your own world.
“What brings you to Seoul?” you asked him with a smile. “Not my graduation only, I assume.”
“That too, though.”
You raised a brow. “What else?”
Jaehyun’s parents were running a successful company in the States, but Jaehyun himself had never really been involved in it. They had rarely come to visit here, he had only stayed with his grandfather in Korea.
He had only stayed in Korea for his grandfather…
But his grandfather was now dead.
“I’ve graduated from a prestigious university, my enlistment period is over, I have no one to take care of here anymore… it’s time for me to move on and follow in my parents’ footsteps like they wanted. My time in Korea is up now.”
You bit into your bottom lip, shaking your head, still desillusional to the truth. “But this is Korea, Jaehyun. You have always been here. Why would you go to the States?”
“Because this is why I’ve come here in the first place. First, my grandfather had to take care of me when I was only a child so that I could graduate from school. Then, I had to take care of him while working towards my graduation from a university. Now that I’ve achieved everything my parents had wanted me to, I can follow them to the States.”
“But… that doesn’t make any sense. You belong here, Jaehyun.”
Jaehyun was struggling with non-emotional explanations too, you saw it. “I feel so too. I haven’t felt so at home at any other place. Only at your house. You were my family when I had barely one.”
“Then why do you go away? Stay here, simple as that.” You just couldn’t wrap your head around it.
“Sometimes, it’s not that simple.” He tilted his head as though he was pondering whether to say something he was still holding back or not. “Actually, I was supposed to leave after high school to study in the States already. But since I’ve gotten into KAIST, they let me stay. You know why I desperately wanted to stay here and applied to that university?”
You shook your head.
“Because I didn’t want to leave you behind.”
With your mouth agape, you didn’t know what to respond to him as simultaneously, you felt your heart sink. There was nothing to be happy about, so you calmed down your excitement over his confession. This scene wouldn’t close with a happy end.
“You were only six when we got introduced to each other. I’ve seen you grow throughout the years, yet for me, you’ve always stayed that six year old girl who came running towards her older brother and stopped in her tracks, because she spotted an unfamiliar person. I wanted to protect that little girl forever.”
His flower bouquet was rustling in your hands. That sound seemed very near, but Jaehyun’s voice was miles away. Was it because you didn’t want to listen to his continuing words?
“You’re scared of the dark, you stumble very often, you nearly cry when you get startled, you can’t watch horror movies and you still eat watermelon like a little child. How could I leave this innocent, precious girl behind?”
“Is this how you see me?” you asked through pressed lips. “As a little girl? Because I’m not one anymore.”
“Of course you’re not a little girl anymore. But you’ll always stay your brother’s little sister for me.”
Jaehyun disappeared behind strands of your hair that the breeze had gotten loose from your bun, and your gaze now dropped to the flowers in your hands.
Of course. In your high school uniform, you couldn’t possibly be the right match for someone who had already graduated from university and would now move to the other side of the world to co-lead a company.
Years of waiting went down the drain just like that.
“Back then… have I also only been Taeyong's little sister to you?”
You didn’t even need to give further hints. He knew exactly what you meant. In his eyes, you saw how much he struggled with himself right now. No, you weren’t wrong. Back then, he had expressed his feelings for you as well. You hadn’t been the only one.
You weren’t just his best friend’s little sister.
“I don’t know what’s gotten into my mind back then,” Jaehyun tried to backpedal. “I shouldn’t have done that. I mean… A sixteen year old girl?”
“What about it?” you pressed the topic. “It would have been controversial when I was thirteen and you were nineteen. It would have been controversial when I was fifteen and you were twenty-one. But now? Nobody cares whether it’s nineteen and twenty-five or twenty-two and twenty-eight. Thirty and thirty-six? Nobody cares two hoots about it! I’m a grown up, young woman now. Please view me as one as well!”
As he didn’t answer, you felt tears burning around the rims of your eyes. Jaehyun lifted his hand to comfort you, but retracted it at the last moment.
“You can’t, right?” was your conclusion. “Even if you wanted to, you can’t. I will always be your best friend’s little sister in your eyes, right? The one who came running at you in her princess gown which you completed with a plastic crown, who fell down the stairs and had to be accompanied by you back to her room. The little girl who sulked at the beach and only got happier when you gifted her a popsicle, who you helped clean off her first makeup attempt. Who you… made so happy, showing what it was like to be kissed in a heartfelt way.”
“I get it, Jaehyun. You don’t have to vindicate yourself.” Your lips formed a thin line, almost hurting, and you tried to stay strong, swallowing down all the tears. “For me, you’re my big brother’s best friend who I had a crush on when I was only a little child. But you are also the person I fell in love with when I was a teenager and who I want to be with now that I’m all grown up. But you cannot seem to move on from the stigma I have in your eyes. And as long as you cannot do this, I’ll always stay your best friend’s little sister.”
The day you graduated from high school was also the day you got your heart broken.
“I wish you all the best for your new life in the States.”
Yet, as you walked away from Jaehyun, you held your head up high, proudly crossing the schoolyard, greeting and bidding farewell to everyone who addressed you. You couldn’t even remember their faces anymore as only one was on your mind.
Taeyong and your parents were waiting by the car when you arrived, and you pretended that everything was fine when they asked where Jaehyun was.
“He didn’t want to come with us,” you lied.
You had asked him to stay away, and he obeyed.
Taeyong’s gaze rested on you the entire way home while yours was absent-mindedly directed at the side window. Your heart was bleeding, but you kept it together from the outside.
But a sibling’s eyes were able to see more than others’ eyes.
“Sis,” your brother then began, “there is something I need to tell you.”
When You Were 21
You watched your sister-in-law in her white gown where she was sitting at the table, beaming at your older brother. The DJ was playing a romantic and well-known song in the background while the MC aimed for the center of the improvised dance floor to incite the guests to dance.
A mild, salty breeze was blowing through the festive tent under which you were sitting, your bare feet buried in the sand under your table. Your fingers closed around the champagne glass in front of you, and you led it to your mouth, downing it all at once.
“Enjoying the reception?” Taeyong was by your side the next moment, taking the seat next to you.
“Yeah, absolutely,” you assured him honestly.
You hadn’t been to your grandparents’ house these past years, but now, you had all gathered here in this small town again to celebrate your big brother’s wedding. Your entire family from all across the country had arrived along with Taeyong’s friends from all the different phases in his life so far.
“Even though Jaehyun is here?”
You cringed at his words, your eyes, that had tried to avoid that specific direction, rolling to the exact person that had just been mentioned. He was sitting at the table across the hall from you, chatting with his friends from school. Then, your eyes returned to your brother’s now wife.
“If she hurts you, I’m going to hurt her as well.”
“I can understand now even better why you didn’t want him to hurt me, Yongie.” You tilted your head to the side, smiling at Taeyong from that angle. “He had to leave sooner or later to go live somewhere else and thus breaking my heart.”
“He didn’t want to date anyone while he was here, and trust me, almost every girl at our school tried to shoot her shot.”
You snickered. “I know.”
“When I told him that he would never be allowed to hurt my sister, he took it very seriously. I’m sorry that I haven’t seen it coming that he hurt you by doing exactly that.”
“Yongie.” You paused. “We’ve talked about that topic so many times already. And I can tell again: stop blaming yourself. You did nothing wrong. You didn’t tell him to raise my hopes up and then dump me. You only told him to spare me from any kind of pain. That he hurt me eventually is only his fault.”
“I wish that I would have been able to spare you from this pain as well as your older sibling.”
You shrugged. “That’s part of growing up, huh? Even you can’t spare me from falling in love with someone and experiencing heartbreak. The heartbreaks after that weren’t that severe.”
“So it’s truly over between you and that guy?” your brother asked. “Is that why you’ve come without a plus one?”
“Yeah. When he scheduled a viewing with the realtor for us to move in together next year, I figured that wasn’t what I wanted.”
“What is it that you want then, sis?”
Your eyes looked over to Taeyong’s bride, then shifted back to him. “Exactly what you have.”
You halted the conversation and sat by side in silence for a while, watching the MC and other guests playing games.
“Jaehyun is staying in Korea now,” Taeyong pulled you out of your thoughts again. “His parents will open a branch here and he’s going to lead it.”
You didn’t know what to say. At first, you didn’t feel anything. Then, you felt everything at once. Anger, sadness, despair, but also happiness and excitement. You were in such an intense emotional turmoil, your brother’s statement having suddenly shaken your entire world in which you had settled with the thought of not having Jaehyun even on the same continent as you.
“Excuse me, Yongie.” You arose from your seat, suddenly getting suffocated by the heavy atmosphere, even though you were partially outside at a beach. “I need some fresh air.”
And you straight up walked out of the tent.
Five minutes later, you were standing by the shore, having your eyes closed and listening to the background noise of the reception that took place behind you. The water touched your toes with every next wave, forming a great contrast to that stifling feeling from earlier. The sound of music and faded conversations that came from the location behind you blended in well with the sound of the ocean by night with no one around but you.
Your ears then eavesdropped footsteps approaching in your direction though, disrupting the peaceful quietness, but you didn’t turn around to make out the person. You already knew who it was. And this time, you were ready to breathe again.
“Why didn’t you tell me the truth?” you asked Jaehyun, opening your eyes. “Three years ago, when we last saw each other… why didn’t you tell me that you’ve promised my brother to never hurt me and thus rejected me?”
“Because, at that point, I already did,” he responded to you, the sand giving in under his bare feet. “I saw in your eyes how much pain I made you feel after getting your hopes up with that kiss and then not being able to act on my true feelings because of my obligations. I have only promised him one thing. And even that, I haven’t been able to keep. The person he trusted the most eventually hurt the person he loved the most. It’s been haunting me ever since, because if I hadn’t kissed you, things might have played out differently.”
“I would have understood,” you asserted as he suddenly stood next to you, facing the ocean as well. “That your stay in this country was only temporary, and that Taeyong only didn’t want you to develop feelings and act on them, because you’d eventually have to leave.”
“Even if, would that have stopped you from developing feelings for me after what happened between us? I was supposed to be the mature one. Yet, in the end, it was me acting like a child, led by feelings.”
You tilted your head to the side. “In the end, it was never about me being your best friend’s little sister, but sparing me from a heartache, am I right?”
“Your brother said that no one should ever hurt you. Not even me.”
You stretched yourself, raising your arms in the air. “We would have made it work somehow.”
“I know how much you love your family and this country. Ever since you were a little child, you never wanted to go anywhere else. I couldn’t be the one partially forcing you to live in another country.”
“And now?” you asked, inhaling deeply.
“I’m back now. And I’m going to stay as my parents opened their asian branch here and want me to lead it.”
You ignored your faster heart rate. “I’m another person now, Jaehyun.”
“I’ve embraced every person you have evolved yourself into ever since we’ve known each other. And I gradually fell in love with every single one of them. When you were a child, I wanted to protect you from everything evil. When you turned into a teenager, I suppressed every slight urge to kiss you on the spot. When you have become that beautiful young woman, I had to withhold myself to confess my undying love for you. I switched from wanting to be your protector to wanting to be your lover as well.”
You blinked away your tears. “For… so long already?” you whispered. “You’ve been having feelings for me for so long?”
“I haven’t seen you as my best friend’s little sister for many years already.” His voice was soft, tempting.
You swallowed, hard. “I didn’t sit around, waiting for you, Jaehyun. I’ve built my own life, I’m independent now.”
“Of course,” he agreed, seemingly more to himself. “I wasn’t expecting that. I just thought that… you might still be interested in pursuing a relationship with me on the off chance. But if you don’t feel this way anymore, then I can understand.”
Jaehyun waited around for a few more moments, but without hearing you utter another word, he assumed the answer was clear, so he intended to head back. With the sand scrunching under his feet, he slowly walked away from you.
It didn’t take you much longer to turn around to him and reveal, “I was supposed to move in with my boyfriend next year after university.” He didn’t stop distancing himself from you yet though. “But I broke up with him right before I got here.”
Then, Jaehyun finally came to a halt, and you approached him slowly from behind. “You did?”
“But not because of you, Jaehyun,” you made clear to him. “I deeply loved him, I truly did. And I was only able to come that far, because I’ve gotten over you. I’ve moved on from you. But in the end, he wasn’t what I exactly wanted.”
“And what is it that you now want?”
Still facing his back, you answered confidently, “A life independent from someone else. Even from my brother. I’ve grown up with you both constantly by my side. Only throughout the past years, I’m slowly learning who I truly am, and I’m still in the process of doing so. My life’s been great, and I would love to continue living like this.”
You saw him bobbing his head. “I understand.”
“...with you by my side.”
Jaehyun faltered. “W… what?”
“If we had gotten together back then, I would have spent my youth shaping my future around you. But like this, I was able to live the life I really wanted to find out who I am and what I wanted. And even though I truly wanted to be with someone else… I know that a little six-year-old girl would be hella at me if I don’t pursue what she had always wanted. Because the truth is, Jaehyun, in every childhood, there’s someone we can’t forget. I always told myself to never wait around that long though.” You wiped away a tear from your cheek. “But you came back.”
“But I came back,” he repeated and slowly turned around to you. “And this time, I intend to stay.”
“For how long?” you asked, drying your cheeks with the back of your hands.
“I hope…” He paused, enclosing your face with his warm palms, “This time, I can stay forever.”
You overlooked the scenery that unfolded in front of your sight. From the tent at the beach, you still heard faint voices and music playing, yet you had decided to return to your grandparents’ house already after having talked to Jaehyun, now having gotten up in the middle of the night to still enjoy the silence of the sea before the whole world would wake up.
Not too long anymore, and the sun would start rising. You tied the blanket tighter around your naked body, your shoulders still exposed to the breeze that grazed along your skin, causing you goosebumps. Leaning over the balustrade, you closed your eyes and inhaled the salty air, a peaceful smile on your lips.
You shuddered when you suddenly felt a warm touch on that spot of your skin that seemed cold to you. A very welcoming contrast.
“Cannot sleep?” Jaehyun asked you as he pressed himself against you from behind, taking you in his arms and sharing his warmth.
You shook your head. “I’m still… so excited. Happy. How are you supposed to find sleep when there is just so much going on inside you?”
He rested his chin on your shoulder, tickling you. “I feel the same.”
“I remember… when I was ten, we spent a summer here together. And I found you with other girls while searching for you. That was when I first experienced jealousy. But then, you came back with a popsicle only for me.”
Jaehyun chuckled. “Unknowingly, you were the only girl in my life for a very long time. When it first crossed my mind that my feelings may exceed those of brotherly love, I found you standing in the rain after a failed date.”
“I was sixteen at that time, and after our first kiss, there hadn’t been anyone else except for you. I wanted to wait until I was ready for you.”
“I’m sorry that I have made you wait for so long.” He truly sounded regretful, but you knew already as you had spent the majority of the night talking about the past among… finally taking your relationship to another, physical level. “I must confess something though,” Jaehyun then broke it down to you. “When I was in the US, I was engaged.”
“Oh.” Your whole body froze up, but you weren’t surprised at all. He was attractive, intelligent and successful. Every woman would want someone like Jaehyun. “Why did you break it off?”
“Because... “ He placed another kiss on your naked body, this time on the side of your neck. “There was only one little girl I promised to marry. And she was living on the other side of the world.”
“Me?” you asked, confused. “You promised to marry me?”
“Silly. You totally forgot, hm? You were six and I was twelve when you asked for my hand in marriage. I was so shocked, I didn’t quite know what to respond! But from that moment on, I promised to you and myself that I would protect you forever.”
You counted yourself lucky for the fact that the night sky concealed the embarrassment showing on your cheeks. There were many fond memories you had been holding of Jaehyun, but you were also aware that many other ones were missing. For example your proposal.
“Look who’s getting all shy!”
“I was six, I probably didn’t know what that meant!”
“You knew very well.” Jaehyun grabbed you by your upper arms and moved you around to face him. Even now, under the dim moonlight, you still couldn’t believe that he was finally here. And yours. “The question is, y/n, whether you’re aware that you cannot take a proposal back.”
“Well…” You gulped before taking that step. “Are you aware that you cannot take your answer back as well?”
“Very well,” he agreed.
Bending down, Jaehyun placed his lips on yours for the nth time that night, and as your kiss deepened and his arms wrapped around your still covered waist, you knew that you probably wouldn’t get too much sleep anymore until it was time for the family brunch the next morning.
You felt his fingers crawling up between your thighs, parting the thin blanket around your legs. The cool breeze swirled strands of your hair up into the air as you rested your forehead on Jaehyun’s shoulder, his fingers working upwards until he reached your core that then started to throb against his palm.
“H...here?” you asked him between breaths and spread yourself further for him.
“Mhmm,” Jaehyun hummed, his hot breath hitting your earlobe as he turned his head to you. “No one can see us and the view is splendid.”
“So you’re that kind of a guy, hm?”
Having slept with Jaehyun for the first time earlier that night was kind of… awkward for not only you, but him as well. You had been friends for the majority of your childhood, so shaking off the sisterly admiration as well as crossing the inhibition level had turned out to be a big step to take that you both had underestimated.
There had been a lot of “uhm”s and “eeeh”s, a lot of surreptitious glances, and a lot of sexual advances that had failed and needed to be repeated, but also a lot of loving words to overcome these inhibitions and just let go. You weren’t a virgin anymore and he wasn't either, it was all just in your head.
The Jaehyun that still lived in your memories was the Jaehyun from your childhood and teenage years. The Jaehyun here with you now was the one you hadn’t seen nor interacted with for years, a grown up man who offered himself to be your romantic partner in life, not a sibling-like acquaintance anymore.
And once your mind had realized that as well, you found yourself under him, enjoying his stroking game that was just top notch.
You mewled quietly when he slowly but deliberately pushed two fingers into you, and your hands reached for the balustrade behind you for support. No, he definitely wasn’t someone you looked at like a sibling anymore. He had been able to prove to you that he was way more than that within the past hours only.
Your breaths came in hitches as Jaehyun worked with his fingers inside of you, pumping in and out at a rhythmic pace. With your legs shaking, you had a hard time continuing standing steadily, afraid your knees would give in at any moment.
The blanket that had kept your bare body hidden from the moonlight and warm from the cool sea breeze then slipped over your arms, passed by your waist, and finally dropped to your feet. Jaehyun himself was still only in his boxers, so it was an easy job for you to hook your fingers into the waistband and pull the underwear down so that he was exposed in front of you as well.
Supporting your elbows on the parapet, you arched your spine and threw your head back as Jaehyun started to rub his full palm over your folds, giving your clit just the right amount of friction with each stroke to swell against his hand.
He brushed with his lips over the side of your neck until he found the right spot and started to nibble on it. You moaned quietly as he stimulated you in two places simultaneously, and for the break of a second, as you suddenly realized that you were here on the balcony, exposed to the very wide world, you froze up. But then again, as his teeth buried themselves into your side, you forgot all of your worries and relished the act.
You bucked your hips against Jaehyun’s flat hand, close to your release already, when he let go of you and made you turn around to face him with your back. The untouched steel from the balustrade felt cold against your ribs as you let out a gasp after having Jaehyun smack your bum, the sound echoing throughout the calm night.
Your fingers wrapped tightly round the metal as you bent over backwards and had him spread your cheeks. With knuckles turning white and front teeth sinking into your bottom lip, you let him enter from behind with no problems as you were already so wet.
Jaehyun was pressed hard against your back as you shuffled to find the right posture for him. Shortly later, you had your arms finding support in a crossing position on the railing with your chin resting on them, your back forming a nearly straight line where it ended with your bum getting connected to Jaehyun.
His fingers submerged into the flesh around your thighs, and you had to bite down a scream when he plunged deep into you for the first time. Where your sight was directed at the nighttime scenery in front of you, you had it now dropped as you took every stroke of him with delight, protruding your bottom even higher as it felt more intense to you this way.
Slapping sounds mixed with your moans chimed throughout the night, possibly loud enough for your neighbors to not miss what was exactly going on on your balcony. You rigidly held your body against his, giving in with every slam that came down, but also bouncing back to position whenever he withdrew.
Only Jaehyun changed your position when he brought your bodies together to a more intimate standing position and held you against the balustrade, one of his hands rubbing against your clit, the other massaging your breasts while he was sucking on your neck at the same time all while still moving inside of you.
You had no idea how he was doing that, but thinking back, Jaehyun had always been good at multitasking, you remembered. And as you were standing there on the balcony, getting penetrated and stimulated on so many levels, emotionally and physically, you were sure you could faint right there on the spot.
But instead, you came all over him, inside and outside, silently and vocally. Your hand grabbed the back of his head, the other searching for the rail to have something that supported you in case you’d truly faint.
Jaehyun was holding you throughout all your small and big waves of highs, holding you closely when you shuddered and mewled in his arms, almost forgetting to enjoy his own release that followed right after yours, and you supported him just as much as he had supported you.
Shortly later, when you were all cleaned and cuddled up in the bed again, you confessed something to him.
“Actually,” you started, lying on your side and facing Jaehyun. “I still have the crown that you gave me.”
“No way!” he exclaimed and pulled the blanket over the both of you. “That old plastic thing?”
“As I said,” you continued, right before well earned sleep finally got the better of you, “it’s my biggest treasure.”
You still felt the softness of his lips on your forehead before passing out.
“Sleep well, princess.”
When You Were 6
“And then, he just called me ‘granny’! Only because of the bun my mom made me this morning!” you sobbed into your hands, sitting on the terrace. “Now, all the boys in my class call me like this and they won’t stop! I will never wear a bun to preschool again!”
You reached with one hand into your hair, fiddling with the elastic that held your strands together on the very top of your head. You had wanted to complain to your older brother, but he wasn’t home yet, and instead, you had found his new friend in your garden, opening up to him now.
“Leave it!” Jaehyun told you and seated himself next to you. “I find that bun suits you. It’s cute on a little girl like you.”
Through a teary vision, you made eye contact with him. “You… think so?”
Jaehyun nodded euphorically. “Don’t listen to boys your age. They can be very silly at times.”
You looked up to him with big eyes. “Jaehyun!”
“Hm?” He smiled.
“Later on, I don’t want to marry such guys!” you blurted out clearly. “I want to marry you! Because you’re not as mean as them. You’re kind.”
With slightly opened lips, he stiffened. But not for long though. His smile broke through a second later again, his features solemn and soft.
“Look!” Jaehyun arose, took you by your hand and helped you up. “Right now, you’re still a little girl. So grow up fast, okay? Then we can marry.”
You pumped your fist in the air, sealing a deal that seemed so uncoerced and comfortable to you at that moment, of which impact you weren’t fully aware of yet though, and which you would forget in a few years from now on.
… he had always remembered.
Although at the moment of the promise, Jaehyun hadn’t taken it seriously. He had thought that you were only speaking from the top of your head, aiming for a little girl’s fantasy who grew up with an overprotective older brother. He had hoped you’d dismiss it from your mind when time flew by.
And you actually did.
Whereas Jaehyun was the one who had never been able to forget.
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