i'm yours tonight / pg / 5800+ words
they pretend that they're friends with benefits but they're not even friends.
“Yunho will be joining us. It’s okay with you, isn’t it, Ryeowook? I’m sorry, I really should have said something earlier,” Sungmin apologized as he ignited the engine to his car.
“Sungmin-hyung, that wasn’t very nice of you,” Kyuhyun chided.
“We’re picking Changmin up, anyway. It’s the perfect time for Club 85 and Kyu-line to mingle!” Sungmin said cheerfully as he turned on the radio.
Ryeowook sat in the backseat, fiddling with the buckle of the seatbelt before rehearsing an appropriate smile to present Yunho with.
“Hello, how are you?” Ryeowook greeted Yunho with honorifics as he slid into the backseat, cheeks flushed from dance rehearsal.
“Ryeowook-ah, you’re not on radio anymore. Drop the formalities,” Sungmin groaned as the car erupted into boisterous laughter.
“You’re gonna make Yunho-hyung feel weird,” Kyuhyun remarked.
But all Yunho said was, “I’m fine, thank you. And you?”
“Me too,” Ryeowook nodded, blushing when Yunho caught his eyes in the rearview mirror.
The space of Sungmin’s KIA was saturated with the familiar scent of a certain cologne and Ryeowook rolled down the window, suddenly needing air.
They were on their fourth bottle of soju and third box of pizza as they took turns on the Wii. By taking turns, the circulation of the controls were monopolized by Sungmin, Kyuhyun, Changmin and Yunho as Ryeowook sat, desensitized by the crashes and deaths occurring on the screen.
“Kyuhyun-ah, make me ramyeon,” Changmin demanded.
“Unless you want a prescription for stomach poisoning, it’s best I stay away from the kitchen. Ramyeon is a good idea, though. Ask Ryeowook.”
“You’re fucking useless,” Changmin said flatly.
“Ryeowook will make all of us ramyeon, won’t you?” Kyuhyun grinned, taking his eyes off the screen as Changmin and Sungmin went head to head.
“It’s not as if I’ve ever gotten a turn on the Wai,” Ryeowook bit back.
"Wii is pronounced wee," Kyuhyun laughed uproariously, earning him a nudge at his ribs courtesy of Ryeowook.
He stood up anyway, heading to the kitchen to scour for utensils and ingredients. His heart skipped a beat, hearing the shuffling of feet and sensing a presence behind him.
“I’ll show you where the ingredients are,” Yunho’s voice followed.
Ryeowook stood uneasily in the middle of the small kitchen, staring at the ceramic tiles varnished with pale blue flowers. The kitchen was spotlessly clean: cups hung above the sink, eating utensils neatly arranged in a stainless steel holder. A water dispenser sat by the corner, right by a small rice cooker and an unopened jar of traditional sweets. He watched as Yunho effortlessly reached for the upper cupboard, pulling out five packets of Shin Ramyeon before opening the refrigerator to get a container of kimchi, eggs and sausages.
“Do you have tofu? Sungmin loves tofu,” Ryeowook asked softly.
“Sorry, no,” Yunho said sheepishly, “I can make a call to manager-hyung, though. He has a car, he can make a quick run to the supermarket—,” Yunho rambled.
“No, no. It’s completely fine,” Ryeowook cut in, sensing that Yunho was as nervous as he was.
They stood facing each other, Yunho hugging the ramyeon packets protectively to his chest.
“Uh, I kinda need to cook,” Ryeowook suppressed a laugh at the grip he had on the noodles.
“Right!” Yunho exclaimed a little too loudly. Flustered, he threw the packets to the counter before busying himself with locating the pot. Once that was done, Ryeowook waited patiently by the stove, watching Yunho fill the pot with water by the sink. In the process of transferring it over, water splashed onto the floor, causing Yunho to curse as he placed it on the electric burner.
“Help me?” Ryeowook’s eyes twinkled with amusement at his lack of dexterity in the kitchen.
“You sure about that?” Yunho eyed the stove nervously.
“Help me or you won’t get any,” Ryeowook threatened, pointing the sausage in his direction.
Yunho smirked at the innuendo before taking his place by Ryeowook’s side.
They exchanged coy smiles as they stood hip to waist by the stove, emptying sachet after sachet of seasoning into the simmering pot.
It was awkward as hell, both of them thrown into a setting so normal as this. Social interactions instead of sexual relations, talking instead of touching. Reconciling both roles was strange and all shades of odd, having the opportunity to see each other in a neutral space as people operating beyond the liminalities of the glitzy screen of the television and the intimacy of the bedroom. Their social spheres were overlapping in ways Ryeowook did not know was for better or for worse.
“I’m glad you’re here.”
Ryeowook blinked, steam circling them like an enchanting mist as the air hung with the crackle of foil and the gurgle of bubbling water. A smiled tugged at his lips but his eyes remained fixed on the crinkled packets as the soup transformed into into a bright orange broth.
“I’m glad we’re friends.”