Cookie crumbs cling to the corners of Jongin’s lips, remnants left from only minutes ago when he’d snatched the last two chocolate chip cookies off the plate before Chanyeol could react. It’s not as if Chanyeol wouldn’t have readily handed them over anyway. All Jongin has to do is pout and Chanyeol would burn cities to the ground for him. But Chanyeol also knows that Jongin would never ask that of him. He’s too soft-hearted. Even in this cruel world they live in, Jongin’s never lost that spark of hope. It glimmers inside him, giving Chanyeol the will to go on when nothing else does.
Outside these walls, the world is hunting them. One by one, Chanyeol has seen the people he’s grown closest to taken from him. Some are dead. Some are merely prisoners, kept as science experiments. They’re not human, the news feeds and headlines read. So it’s not human experimentation. It’s mutant experimentation and the world is too afraid of them to put their morality over their fear.
Chanyeol and Jongin have been running together for nearly eight months now. Jongin likes to say they’re house surfing. They find a house that’s secluded, vacant - usually someplace that’s the second or third home of a wealthy family - and Jongin teleports them inside. Chanyeol burns out the alarm systems and they live in peace for a few weeks.
The place they're in now is nice. It’s far too large, but there is a fireplace and a breathtaking view of the lake from the backyard. Chanyeol’s spent many a morning outside, watching the sun rise glisten off still waters. Out here it’s easy to imagine that this war against him and everyone like him isn’t happening. It’s easy to let his guard down, which is exactly why he can’t. He lets Jongin live in his own secure world, and Chanyeol worries for them both.
They’re going to have to leave soon. It makes Chanyeol uneasy. He shifts positions, craning his legs over the length of the couch as he rests his head back on the arm. Jongin, who was at the end, scrunches his nose at Chanyeol’s feet. He gingerly climbs out from under them and over Chanyeol. Chanyeol watches lazily as Jongin eyes him with interest. He raises an eyebrow, curious.
One of the perks of constantly moving is finding small things to take along with them when they go. The extra large sweater Chanyeol is wearing right now is one of those things. It’s too big on him, which is an impressive feat, and it’s super comfortable. Jongin seems to like it too. Chanyeol watches as Jongin lifts the front of his sweater, and dips down, wiggling himself under it. Chanyeol laughs, stunned into inaction until Jongin is pushing his head through the stretched neck, his arms curving around Chanyeol’s waist.
There are still crumbs on Jongin’s lips, and he looks soft, sleepy. Perfect. Chanyeol runs his fingers through the strands of Jongin’s hair, thumbs over his cheeks until Jongin’s eyes nearly shut.
“Kiss me,” Jongin whispers.
Chanyeol tips his head awkwardly until he can press his lips to Jongin’s. Jongin is warm. He wiggles a little more so their positioning isn’t uncomfortable. When he pulls back, there’s a stunning smile on his handsome face. Chanyeol could fall in love with a smile like that. He could fall in love with all of Jongin if the idea of knowing that Jongin will be ripped from him wasn’t so terrifying. Everyone he loves has been taken from him. If he allows himself to have this, to have Jongin, it’s an assured death sentence.
So he settles for this - settles for the moment while guarding himself from the inevitable. Perhaps he’ll get lucky and he will be the one to be taken while Jongin gets away.
Jongin tucks his face against Chanyeol’s neck and lets out a content sigh. Chanyeol wraps his arms around him. His head falls to the side and he stares out the window as Jongin falls asleep. Safe. Secure. Chanyeol can’t lose this.
If anything happens to Jongin, the world will burn. No one will survive.