I woke up to the feeling of sun against my face–which for a Wednesday wasn’t the normal pace of things. But from the feel of it, my fiancé was still asleep behind me, and if the boss was sleeping, then it wasn’t going to be a problem. I stretched with a yawn, rolling over so that I could slide my hand around Jumin’s waist, tucking myself close against him.
“Mmmm. Good morning,” the sleep-rusty voice returned to me.
“Good morning, handsome.” I kissed his shoulder blade. “Why are we still asleep at this hour and not at work?”
He lifted his head a bit, no doubt looking at the alarm clock beside the bed, and then relaxed back against the pillow and into my embrace. “Because I managed to carve out a day off for the both of us, and I disabled the alarms last night.” He sounded quite pleased with himself. “Since we didn’t have a Valentine’s Day celebration for the two of us, I thought we might take White Day instead. Though we seem to have celebrated the holidays in reverse order.”
I chuckled. “Yeah, I should have been the one doing something for you on Valentine’s, along with Saeyoung. And yet.”
“And yet indeed.” He moved his arm so that he could lace his fingers with mine. “But White Day is traditionally the day for men to return the favor, and I’m more than willing to take this day as well.”
“And when do I get to celebrate properly?” I bit his shoulder gently, and got a rumble of a laugh in return.
“Next year, perhaps, my love.” He squeezed my hand before letting it go so that he could shift and roll toward me, his grey eyes meeting my own, warm with love and soft with sleep. “But today, I have an entire plan worked out for us.”
“Of course you do.”
He pressed a kiss to the bridge of my nose. “I was away from you on Valentine’s, and had to delay your gift as it was. I don’t want to delay this.” His lips found mine and I let myself wrap around him, lost in the sensation of his body against mine. There were precious few places I felt more safe than in his arms. “Shall we get showered and dressed then, my angel?”
“Mmmm…I suppose.” I smiled, my lips curving still against his, and we slipped into the bathroom.
For the most part, his plan was predictable. We went out for a quiet breakfast at a café he knew I loved, and then wandered through some of the local parks, where fairs and chocolate vendors had set up. It was funny, because it really did feel like Valentine’s all over again…except this time everything was in shades of white. We had a simple lunch back home before going to see a movie we’d both been talking about–never really thinking we’d have a chance to see it before it left theatres, but here was our chance, right? After that we went around some of the high street shops–where he very generously let me actually buy him something, a beautiful silver and ice blue tie, which I said was white enough–and of course, he bought me any random thing he saw that one of us might have liked. No matter how much I told him it wasn’t necessary. At least I’d finally slowed him down from buying jewelry. After finally going through everything in the box I’d gotten from him all the time ago, I didn’t need any more jewelry for the rest of my life.
Dinner was the most elaborate affair, at a high-end rooftop restaurant with an amazing view of the city and the sunset, where we shared a couple of bottles of wine and then poured ourselves back into the car at the end of the meal.
“It was perfect, angel,” I murmured against Jumin’s chest, tracing patterns against his tie.
“Mmm, one more step, beloved.” His voice was low, soft…the type of tone he only had when he’d been drinking, and was talking to me. It gave me chills each and every time, because it struck deep into the core of my soul and resonated through my whole body. “One more place.”
“But it’s dark out.”
“I seem to remember someone telling me that they liked the dark.” When I just laughed, he chuckled. “Precisely.”
The car slowed to a stop and Jumin murmured thanks to Driver Kim as we made our way back out. Jumin came around and looped an arm around my waist, walking me out–and suddenly I recognized where we were: the cliffside space where we’d found Jumin all that time ago…and more recently, I’d been handfasted to Saeyoung. It was a crystal clear night, and I could see stars for miles. It utterly stole my breath away.
“This place has a great deal of memories for us, both happy and less so,” he murmured in my ear. “I wanted to keep tilting the scales for the better.”
I laced my fingers with his and leaned back against him. “It’s beautiful, Jumin.” He led me to a bench where we sat together, quietly watching the lights twinkle around us.
It was a long moment before he spoke again. “I have to admit, being with and around you has taken a great deal of…getting used to.” I had to laugh. “From learning how to most appropriately address people of non-binary gender, to the upheaval within the company as you started working here… I’ve had to face my father on a number of terms I never thought necessary, I’ve had to face a number of things within myself that I hadn’t thought necessary. I’ve had my entire life flipped on its head and I can’t imagine it any other way. When I came here…that first time, what seems so long ago, I didn’t know how to adapt. I’d never needed to change my world view in such a way before. I’d never even considered half of the things I was feeling. All I knew…was that I needed you in my life, more than I’d ever needed something…someone…before. And yes, this whole journey has been a difficult process for me, and I don’t deny that there are likely to be more difficult times in the future. But…so long as it means I can travel that road with you, I’m happy to make the effort.”
“Jumin…” I leaned up so I could press a kiss to his cheek.
“You brought me love–you taught me to love. Taught me to open my heart and see possibilities instead of walls, favors instead of advantages to be taken. When we’d first met, if you’d told me that I’d be in this position so soon after our meeting…I would have laughed at you. I wouldn’t have found it possible. I wasn’t interested in love. Wasn’t interested in relationships. All I could see was weakness, and you managed to creep inside my closest walls and show me the strength I was missing from love. You took a black midnight in my soul and turned it into…” He gestured around us. “A crystalline and perfect twilight. Because I know better than to call you a sun.”
I laughed softly. “You know me well.”
“And I want to know you better. I want to know you as well as it is possible for me to. And I know that just as you are wholly Saeyoung’s, as you pledged in the ceremony, you are equally wholly mine. And circumstances be damned, when I stand with you at the altar and promise my life to you, I will be the happiest man alive. I don’t need a paper to prove it, but I will gladly stand before God and man and promise the world to you. Since quite nearly the day I met you, I have wanted nothing less for you, and I am merely thankful you are allowing my to try and live up to my own ideals.”
Tears were welling up in my eyes. “Always,” I managed to whisper.
“Come whatever may in our future, no matter what it might be, I hope that the love that brought us together will always be as strong as it is today. I hope that the love that brought you that first night to my penthouse burns as brightly as ever, and the love that found me here will never cease saving me. I don’t promise you ease, or simplicity, or perfection…but I can promise you as close as I can get to all of those, and my eternal devotion.” He shifted from the bench to crouch in front of me–no. To kneel in front of me, on one knee. The tears couldn’t be held back anymore, and my hand covered my mouth. “I’ve never had the chance to ask you before now, and though it seems a set deal, I am nothing if not traditional and predictable.” He reached into his pocket and produced a small black velvet box. “You already have the ring I would have given you, but the promise I would have made to you then isn’t equal to the one I make now. I think this one is more fitting for us.” He opened the box, revealing a beautiful ring–and one I never would have expected. The band was a shining black, with what looked like a sapphire flanked by two diamonds. Clean and simple, it was stunning. “Rion, on this night, under these stars and this moon, I humbly ask you to do me the immense honor of being my wedded partner, for the rest of our lives.”
I couldn’t help it. I burst into tears, nodding furiously and reaching my free hand out to him. He joined me on the bench, wrapping his arms tightly around me as I sobbed into his shoulder, clinging to him. It was a long moment before I finally recollected myself, sniffed, and managed to speak. “Oh my god, I’m sorry, I’m a mess.”
His voice was low, a rich amused rumble. “You’re an immensely handsome mess, though. And some day soon, I can call you my lovely handsome mess.”
I coughed on a laugh. “I’m already yours, Jumin. I have been for a while now.”
He pulled back enough so that he could take the ring out of the box and slip it onto my finger, where it rested perfectly against Saeyoung’s moonstone claddagh. “I saw it and couldn’t think of anyone but you. It seemed too perfect.”
“What is it?” I peered at it, though in the dark it was hard to see any detail.
“It’s black gold, along with blue and white diamonds.”
My eyes widened. “I didn’t even know black gold and blue diamonds existed.”
Jumin’s smile was soft. “And I never knew I had a perfect love match waiting for me. You’re both striking and rare, unknown and precious. It spoke to me.”
“You’re going to make me cry again.” I sniffed, leaning my head on his shoulder.
“Here, look at these.” He shifted just enough so that he could take his phone out of his pocket and show me a pair of photographs, a men’s and a women’s wedding band style. “I haven’t purchased them yet–”
“Now that surprises me.”
“–but these are the bands I was considering. Since one of these you’ll be wearing on a regular basis, and since it is a symbol of the decision we are making together, I wanted your input on it,” he finished, voice wry and amused.
I moved so that I could press a soft kiss to his lips. “I think they’re perfect, Jumin. And I adore this ring. Thank you so much.”
“Thank you, my angel.” He caught me in a second kiss, slow and lingering, and I was more than happy to let the moment last for as long as the fates would let us keep it.
After we finally parted, he rested his forehead on mine, and murmured, “So. An acceptable White Day?”
I breathed out a laugh. “The best I’ve ever had.”