A little something I tried
Afraid of knowing loneliness, I longed for you.
"I know why you brought me out here," Jaerin says bluntly, folding her arms across her chest and leaning towards the balcony railing with a decidedly moody air.
Shit, Hyunjae thinks. "E-eh, you do?"
She nods, giving him a sideways glance, her eyebrows furrowed and lips pursing into a reluctant hint of a pout. Hyunjae notices it and fights the weird urge to smile— why will she never want to admit she can actually be cute?
"You don't have to lie to me, Hyunnie," Jaerin's saying somewhat petulantly, "I know you think you'll keel over and die if you had to eat my chicken soup so you're pretending to take me stargazing just so I won't get to cook."
Hyunjae blinks, chicken soup? A few seconds of processing this information later he remembers belatedly that he's got a 'cold', ahem ahem, and the almost-blonde laughs aloud. Of course, that's why he chose today. Tonight. "Aha, what? You know that's not it, Rinnie!"
Jaerin seems to have anticipated that denial, because almost immediately she cuts in with a genuinely confused, "Then tell me, exactly what am I supposed to be looking at?" She looks up at the sky with a frown, and following her gaze Hyunjae glances up as well at a completely starless, blanket of dark grey cloud as far as the eye can see.
Okay. She has a point.
"What are you talking about? There, over there, can't you see it?" Hyunjae chirps brightly, jabbing a finger at some random direction in the sky whilst furtively reaching into his pocket. It has to be there somewhere... he distinctly remembers shoving it in just before he'd gone to find Jaerin. So where the hell is it?
"I can't see anyth— what are you doing?" Jaerin asks, sounding highly suspicious, and Hyunjae immediately withdraws his hand, holding it innocently up in the air and then suddenly jabbing at the sky again.
"OH HEY LOOK THE BIG DIPPER," he declares so dramatically Jaerin's head whips up again, jaw dropping, and Hyunjae takes advantage of that to search both his pockets increasingly frantically.
Jaerin is just blinking because she isn't really sure what Hyunjae's up to, but whatever it is she's getting antsy; she's left the chicken soup on the stove and if her boyfriend's going to keep her out on the balcony looking at nonexistent constellations then she really has to put her foot down.
"Hyunnie. Baby. I love you and it doesn't mean I'm pissed when I say I want to leave, it's just cuz I do not want my chicken soup burnt," she tells him seriously, then pauses. "...or whatever happens to chicken soup if I leave it on the stove without the cover too long. Uh— evaporate. Yeah, no, I'm not gonna serve you evaporated chicken soup and have you poisoned cuz you never tell me when my food is potentially fatal."
"Be... cause it isn't?" Hyunjae says slowly, wide-eyed. "You cook way better than Sein."
"...uh, thanks." A wry smile touches Jaerin's lips at what is obviously a high compliment from her food Hoover of a boyfriend before she tilts her head apologetically. "M'sorry, I'll go in now, 'kay? At least let me put the cover on the pot, I'll come back the second I'm done with that, honest—"
"No, don't go back in!" The almost-blonde protests so urgently she blinks at him in surprise, his hand involuntarily grabbing her wrist in an iron grip and keeping her firmly in place. Jaerin's eyebrows furrow again, this time really worriedly. "Hyunjae, exactly what's going on? You do know you're starting to really scare me."
Hyunjae worries his lower lip a little, dear god, please let him have the ability to keep up with this without blowing his cover and it all ending up anticlimatic because damn it he wants it to go right.
Before he can say anything though, Jaerin's nodding down towards his pockets, another almost-pout on her lips. "I mean get it over with already, show me what you're hiding."
Hyunjae's shoulders slump slightly in defeat as he meekly obeys, reaching into his back-pocket— smart, Lee, check everywhere else but the place you actually reminded yourself you were putting it in earlier— and brings out...
A Polo mint.
"Is that it?" she says slowly, several moments of stunned silence later.
Hyunjae winces slightly. "Um. Yeah?"
The russet-brunette looks blankly at him. "There's nothing else in your pockets?"
Hyunjae shakes his head, taking it upon himself to place the mint atop the railing and rather dutifully pull out his pockets, revealing absolutely nothing else. The crease between Jaerin's eyebrows deepen even more, Hyunjae hastens to explain although his voice trails off rather lamely towards the end when her hazel eyes meet his chocolate ones with that clear trace of disappointment lingering in her gaze, "Eh, I was gonna give you the Polo mint as a promise ring...?"
There's another few moments of silence, and Jaerin finally manages to crack a little smile. "That's really cute, Hyunnie."
It is— she truly, honestly does think so. Maybe it's not an actual ring, not anything that wasn't sold in millions of rolls all over the world and wouldn't become uncomfortably sticky on her finger (would it even fit her finger?) and eventually carried off by ants, but... at least it's, well, something.
Jaerin's mind comes back down to earth at Hyunjae's hesitant, guilt-ridden, "Rinnie...? Rinnie, m'really sorry, I just thought it'd be funny, y'know..."
"It is kind of funny," she admits with another smile, wondering why Hyunjae winces a little again at her answer. "Even Jun wouldn't be able to come up with something as cute as this. But I love it, Hyun, you're adorable— come on, why don't you try putting it on my finger?"
"E-eh? Nah, we don't have to, it's just a stupid joke—" the almost-blonde says weakly, but Jaerin just laughs and picks up the mint, holding it out to him. "Let's not spoil it by me putting it on myself, come on."
Hyunjae stares at her, worrying his lower lip again, and mutely takes the mint from Jaerin. The russet-brunette, on her part, holds out her left hand with that smile still in place, and Hyunjae looks down at the Polo mint and her ring finger. "Uh, I don't mean you're fat or anything, but I don't think it's going to fit?"
Jaerin looks down at her finger as well. "Oh," she says blankly, letting the disappointment seep just a tad into her voice this time. "Oh, well."
Hyunjae takes her hand in both of his, bringing it up to his lips apologetically. "I'm really, really sorry, Rinnie, I won't do something like this again."
She can't quite bring herself to answer, so she just shakes her head weakly, wondering how long it'll take before her smile cracks. Not long, she's aware, so Jaerin quickly adds while gently taking her hand from her boyfriend's, "Hey, I should go in now— I'm totally serious about not serving you evaporated chicken soup, okay."
He nods quietly, and Jaerin turns away and hurries indoors before Hyunjae can tell she's precariously on the verge of crying for no reason. It has to be PMS, really, she hasn't had her period in ages and she is aware that lately she's been pretty cranky so maybe that's why Hyunjae was trying to cheer her up with this silly joke, which is very sweet of him and all but honestly, for a minute there Jaerin was actually expecting him to—
She stops dead in her tracks, having just exited the balcony and stepped into the wide, open space of the living room to get to the kitchen, except she can't because there's something blocking her way.
Candles. Large, thick, soft-yellow candles, all lit, arranged in an enormous heart on the floor, with long-stemmed red roses littering all over the area within it but somehow managing to look artistic; and somehow the number nine hundred and ninety-nine springs to mind at the sight of them. There's a clear pathway starting from the bottom of the heart until a circle in the middle though, where there's a small clear vase with a single white rose and a single pink rose in it.
There's a ring linking the stems of the white and pink roses together.
Jaerin's too shocked for her tears to flow, only when she feels those familiar, strong, loving arms wrap around her from behind and Hyunjae's voice murmuring gently, "I won't do anything like this again because I want to do it just the one, perfect time."
The russet-brunette starts to cry then, to Hyunjae's horror at what apparently seems to be him actually screwing this up after all, but Jaerin just shakes her head and waves her hand weakly— he did it, he actually did it. She never dared to even think about hoping this day would actually, literally come, and earlier on she thought she would just die from embarrassment and disappointment at something she'd been fantasizing about for almost since the very first day they got together seemingly not coming true, but he did it.
"Rinnie—?" Hyunjae says; he still sounds rather worried, but by the elated grin spreading on Jaerin's lips amidst her tears he smiles a little confusedly himself, taking her left hand and bringing her along with him to the vase, getting on his knee to pluck the roses from it and retrieve the engagement ring. Jaerin's just clutching her free right hand to her mouth at the surreality of this moment, it's a million times more perfect than she could ever have pictured it, because it's happening.
Hyunjae doesn't get up from his one-knee position on the floor, instead turning to bring his girlfriend's left hand that he's still holding to his lips again, then looks up and grins slightly sheepishly but entirely happily at Jaerin. "Cho Jaerin— will you marry me?"
She gives her affirmative by dropping to her knees and throwing her arms around him to pull him into a deep, passionate kiss, one that they only break for much needed breath after a very long time and when somehow they manage to end up backing into Hyunjae's bedroom and atop his bed— a much, much better response than he could ever have hoped for, of course.
The following morning, Hyunjae wakes up after only about four hours of sleep to his cellphone buzzing and an inane grin on his face.
He continues grinning despite the fact that his naked body's trapped under too-warm sheets that are settled in all the wrong, decidedly uncomfortable places on his frame, because Jaerin's pressed up against him with her face buried in his neck and her left hand curled on his shoulder and he can feel the cool silver of the engagement ring against his skin.
The almost-blonde reaches for his cell and slides it open to read the text message popping up on the screen.
8.21 AM 19 APRIL 2011
I burnt my fingers lighting all those candles (ﾟдﾟ) And Yun certainly did not appreciate you both leaving our beautifully created proposal scene like all of two minutes after you came to it just to get it on the whole night like rabbits mkay. You should be aware we will be demanding compensation.
His muffled laughter stirs Jaerin, who blinks groggily up at him and Hyunjae smiles back fondly at his— fiancée, hell yeah.
"Mmphf?" Jaerin mumbles out, not even bothering to exert the effort to part her lips and formulate a proper sentence; Hyunjae cranes his head to give those lips a quick, affectionate peck. She smiles against his, tilting her head slightly as she returns the kiss sleepily. "Mmn... iwuvuuu~"
"Eh?" Hyunjae chuckles at her uncharacteristic but ridiculously happy declaration of love. "Iwuvuuu~, yourself."
"Mmn, I wuv me, too," Jaerin murmurs matter-of-factly with a kittenish yawn, burrowing her face in his collarbone again. "Hey, I have names for our future twins."
"Really?" Hyunjae's interest is piqued. "Male or female?"
"Female~ Let's name them Sooyoung and Taeyeon!"
"Let's recap then: we'll be living in a cosy little house we're going to build on a big open land which we're going to make into gardens, and have twin girls taking after Sonyuhshidae?"
"Right! ...eh who?"
Hyunjae chuckles at Jaerin's genuine question. "That nine-member Kpop girl group."
"What no, I'm not naming my baby girls after severely underweight short chicks," Jaerin declares firmly, then falters a bit, "but I really like the name Sooyoung..."
"Haha, let's call one Sooyoung, then, it's no big deal. And the other one can be—"
"Chaerin! Lee Chaerin, wouldn't that just be the cutest?"
"That'll be your name, Rinnie. And the name of 2NE1's leader."
"I like the 'Yeon' part of Taeyeon though, we'll drop the 'Tae' for, uh, 'Ji' then? Jiyeon. Hey, Jiyeon sounds good, eh?"
Jaerin grins and snuggles closer to her fiancé. "Perfect."