Genre: non-AU, hurt and comfort
Disclaimer: I claim no rights other than on this story.
Volume: 5.600 words
Warnings: language, opinions on war and armed forces, Kris' lawsuit
Summary: When the going gets tough, Yifan is tougher and that knowledge still applies after five long years - or at least the Junmyeon of 2019 wants to believe so.
A/N: Set in the future of 2019 when Junmyeon is doing his military service.
The title is inspired by the German song "Lili Marleen" which was popular during WW2 with soldiers of both sides. For the English recording of my favorite version by Marlene Dietrich click here.
I also formally apologize for going likely off-character with Kris here: I can simply only guess what his views on armed forces are. Please kindly overlook this for the sake of the story. If you can't, again, I apologize.
Cross-posted to AFF
Junmyeon did not even know why he did it. Perhaps it was the remaining glimmer of hope that he had carried in himself over the years, a spark of faith he had carefully guarded from everyone and himself. Nonetheless he had hovered over the number on his contact list with his thumb regularly for a couple of weeks and he figured giving it a try would not hurt. If the other was too busy to pick up he understood.
“Yifan, hi.” Junmyeon replied hastily, simultaneously relieved and panicked that the other had picked up after mere four times of ringing “I hope I’m not disturbing you on a schedule?”
“You’re not, no. I’m having a quiet evening at home. What’s up? We didn’t talk in a while. Sorry for being so busy.”
“It’s fine, I understand.” Junmyeon gnawed on his lower lip and looked around. Thankfully no one had come close enough in the area to invade his privacy. He did not even know how to follow up now that Yifan unexpectedly had time. How could he put his thoughts into words?
“Junmyeon, are you okay? Do you have any troubles with your schedule?” Yifan asked in the middle of Junmyeon’s internal struggle and Junmyeon heard traces of worry swing with the elder’s words.
“No schedules worries, no. I don’t even have schedules at all.”
“What do you mean you have no schedule? I know the management, you always-“
A sharp intake of breath traveled to Junmyeon’s ear over the line.
“Your enlistment! Junmyeon, I am sorry, I completely forgot. How many weeks has it been?”
“Eight.” Junmyeon replied softly and adjusted the collar of his uniform “I am through basic training now.”
“Okay, wow. I need to stop missing out on what you guys are doing. I saw that Jongdae has won a triple with his solo album, but aside from that I am completely uninformed.”
“Oh yes. I think I only drank, ate and slept aside from filming. This role is quite intense and it is taking its toll. I have this weekend off and then I am back at the set.”
Yifan sounded tired and Junmyeon decided that it was the wrong timing for him to whine about something probably not so dramatic anyway.
“I’m sorry for interrupting while you’re relaxing. I will call another time.”
“Oh no no no! I’m glad you called, Junmyeon. We haven’t heard from each other properly in a long time. Tell me how your training is doing. Are you getting along with the people in your brigade?”
“Yeah is not much of an answer, you know.”
“I know.” Junmyeon mumbled in return and leaned back, head meeting the wall behind him with a chunk. He had taken the free time he had to find a quiet corner outside of the building they lived in and the warehouse had proven itself rather secluded over the last weeks since he started service. His parents had received a couple of calls as well as Kyungsoo who had been appointed spokesman during his absence and Minseok who had served his first year already and would assume the position upon his return in a year. He had had talks with his close friends outside and inside of the business too, but weirdly only hearing Yifan’s voice gave him the sense of security and comfort he had missed so dearly.
“For God’s sake Junmyeon, would you finally tell me what is wrong?” Yifan demanded, impatience and worry laced with his voice.
“It’s just… everything, kind of.”
“Everything.” Yifan repeated carefully and Junmyeon heard rustling, assuming Yifan had made himself comfortable on the couch and prepared for a long talk.
“Look, Junmyeon. I can only help you if you tell me what’s bothering you. That’s what you called me for after all, right?”
“I just need to put everything into words. It’s harder than you think.” Junmyeon admitted with embarrassment.
“The great Kim Junmyeon is unable to speak, what a novelty. Why don’t you start with a word? Tell me a word that comes to your mind about what you’re feeling.”
“There are so many.”
“Just try with the first then?”
“…that does not sound very calming. Why are you scared?”
“For many reasons. First there is the worry that people are going to forget me while I am in service and then I fear I might not start to get along with my fellow Privates and that these years will change me into someone I am not.”
The words rushed from Junmyeon’s lips like they had waited at the tip of his tongue.
“See, that’s better.” Yifan assured him “What is the problem with your brigade?”
“My superiors are fine, really. I placed high in the basic training scores, but the rest seems to give me a cold shoulder, because I am a celebrity and they don’t like those here. Someone told me they’d prefer if we just all went into the broadcasting department and left the “real soldiers” alone to do the actual work.”
“Wow.” Yifan breathed.
“Exactly. I specifically requested to be put with everyone else during service, because I want to serve my country without pampering or special treatment and this is not exactly welcomed as it seems.”
“You could have had it easier.” Yifan commented.
“Like I don’t know that, Yifan. I don’t want easy; I want to be equal to everyone else here, but they just exclude me from most things, because they think I am too different. It is really frustrating.”
“I see the problem. It is a lot going from being involved in everything regarding a group to being an outcast.”
“What has my job to do with my competences as soldier?” Junmyeon allowed himself to get angry for a bit. “Most of my fellow privates either are taking a break from university or they learned a job and went into service right after. I don’t treat them differently, because they are inexperienced in that aspect while I am. It is so unfair.”
Yifan laughed lightly over the line and Junmyeon frowned, spotting a fellow brigade member in the distance, a letter in his hands. They exchanged a glance, the other heading to the opposite direction and Junmyeon hated the look of distaste he received before the other turned away.
“Are you laughing at me?”
“No, of course not. It is just refreshing to hear that you have not changed inside one bit.”
“But what if I do? I never was the person to break under pressure, judging behavior, rocky times and disapproval of other people. And I learned to gain people’s support for my cause. I am really scared this place will turn me into a complete recluse that everyone hates, because he is a supervisors’ favorite.”
“I doubt this will happen. You have a talent for making people like you.” Yifan reminded him with a hint of fondness that soothed Junmyeon a little.
“But what if I don’t?” Junmyeon doubted and resumed gnawing on his lower lip. He hated being like this, hated how much he needed a form of appreciation and community to feel comfortable in his own skin.
“I don’t want to be alone.” He confessed to Yifan and curled his right hand into the pants of his uniform.
“You won’t be. Give it more time Junmyeon. I know that harsh treatment hurts you, but do you remember our trainee years? It takes people to warm up to each other, especially when there is the constant underlying competition and I imagine there is a lot competition going on in the military too.”
“There is.” Junmyeon confirmed. “I probably just want too much too fast.”
“Do me a favor and breathe in and out for a moment.”
Junmyeon did as instructed and felt the action calming him down significantly. Perhaps Yifan was right and he worried more than necessary.
“Alright, now listen to me. You aren’t greedy for wanting to get along with the rest. I suggest you stay persistent. Even when they leave you out of things, make sure to be a good comrade during training and duty. They will realize after a while that you are there to stay and then they will naturally include you. Under no circumstances let them win and ask to be placed somewhere else. My guess is they mistrust you, because they think celebrities are not genuine.”
Junmyeon growled at that statement and Yifan sighed in reply.
“Yes, I know. That is why you have the ultimate chance to prove them being an idol is not prancing around in makeup and seducing innocent teenage girls. Show them what effort it takes to keep bits of privacy to yourself without lacking honesty. Try calling Minseok too; I am sure he also had those problems and from what I heard from Luhan, he was voted representative of his squad.”
“He’s Minseok, hard to hate.”
“I agree, but Junmyeon please try. Do it for me.”
“Why would I do it for you? Do it yourself!” Junmyeon protested.
“I registered when I was 18. It’s not my fault they are not ardent about having me.” Yifan replied uncaring and Junmyeon could picture the shrug following those words.
“You don’t sound too sorry about that.”
“I am not.” Yifan verified.
“Don’t you want to serve your country at all?”
There was silence on the other end of the line for a while and Junmyeon checked if he lost signal, but Yifan was still there. Eventually he raised his voice again.
“If I can avoid it, I gladly will. I am proud of being Chinese, but I have a few years of Canada behind me and have a different view on armed forces than you do. Perhaps that is not very patriotic, but we have fought so many wars over many decades of the last century and I simply believe things could run smoother for this country if we would enforce wanted directions with non-violent laws.”
“Yifan” Junmyeon breathed a little taken aback “are you a pacifist?”
“If that is what you call people who prefer solutions to problems approached with peaceful intent, then I suppose you can call me that.”
“But we need armed forces!”
“I know what we need the military for, Junmyeon.” Yifan’s tone adopted annoyance “In case of emergency the countries need to be able to defend themselves and should other countries not be capable of defending themselves it helps having another country to call for help.”
“It might be an idealist, but if we were sorting out differences non-violently then armed forces weren’t necessary in the first place. I want to create a world, which is a safer and better place for children than it is now and participating in Bingbing’s Heart Ali does only do so much. Don’t get me wrong, Junmyeon, I think it honors you that you are serving your country with pride so you are capable of defending it and I support your decision to take the harder route. Should the moment come that my country orders me to enlist, I will of course go.”
“Okay…” Junmyeon mumbled.
“I simply never want to stand at the barrel of your weapon – or Minseok’s, Baekhyun’s, Chanyeol’s, Jongdae’s, Kyungsoo’s, Jongin’s and Sehun’s. Or the one of any Korean friend I made. I also don’t want the situation reserved. Is that understandable?”
“Yes, it is.” Junmyeon finally said. He had to progress Yifan’s words, but he agreed with him that he never wanted to face each other on a battle field and regarding their countries’ history with one another, the threat was always there.
“If it consoles you, no matter how mad some of the members were at you, no one would shoot you.”
“Don’t speak for Kyungsoo if you haven’t asked him first.” Yifan joked and Junmyeon laughed his first carefree laugh in a good while. Some things did indeed not change.
“Now I made this all about me. Let’s go back to your problems.”
Junmyeon returned to his quarters after a good two hours of talk and more of Yifan’s words of advice and encouragement. The brigade member who had passed him by gave him a teasing grin.
“Had a heart-to-heart with your celebrity girlfriend or something? You sure were out there for a while.”
“Actually no, I called my former Chinese group mate who sued my company years back, but if you think long talks are a girl’s thing then I can’t help you.” Junmyeon retorted with a shrug and put his phone into his locker. Another comrade piped up.
“You mean that one who is now a superstar over there? I remember my older sister being devastated when he left. Kris or something?”
“Yeah, that’s him. We were appointed leaders, but he left me with taking care of the rest of the members. Was stressful, especially since everyone wrote us off and more members left, but I managed it and we became even more successful since.”
A couple of his comrades started to pay attention and Junmyeon felt the attention shifting to him.
“And then you still talk to that traitor?”
“Friendship is not something that changes, just because you don’t work together anymore. Being an idol is my job, guiding and giving orders to younger members and one older member is my job. Beside that they are my friends and I still have plenty of friends outside of my job, so…”
“I didn’t see it that way before.” The Private who had spoken said.
“Well, it’s not like you asked.” Junmyeon replied with underlying accusation “But then again I get that you all think I am a pampered flower boy with no brain or morals but plenty of arrogance, so suit yourself. I am not here for public gimmicks, but to fulfill my duty as citizen of this country.”
He turned away because he was worn out from the call and simply wanted to get sleep into his system, but someone placed their hand on his arm.
“Look, we realize that was rude, but you didn’t seem approachable to most of us.”
“You could have tried striking up a conversation when I tried to approach a few of you, don’t you think?” Junmyeon pointed out and looked into the round. A few comrades looked away when his eyes searched for theirs.
“But you know what, why don’t we try this now? Sit down with me and just ask. I don’t bite, I don’t think I am better than any of you and I want us to get along.”
Junmyeon’s eyes lit up when a few people from his brigade sat down with him and he put his most genuine smile on his face.
“What I am curious about is how being an idol is different from being a soldier.”
“Actually the training I received prior to debut and the orders you receive after debut are not unlike what we went through so far…”
“Private Kim Junmyeon?”
Junmyeon looked up from his novel and stared at the intruder, immediately straightening his back when he recognized a superior.
“Your visitor is waiting for you.” He was informed shortly.
“Excuse me, Sir, my visitor? I am expecting no one today.” Junmyeon was genuinely surprised. “Do you happen to know the name of the visitor, Sir?”
His superior flipped through the list until he found Junmyeon’s name.
“It says Kevin Wu here. He looked rather Chinese to me.”
Junmyeon immediately stood up and left the novel abandoned on his bed. That idiot had really come all the way to Korea in the midst of his schedules without giving him a proper warning?
“I will be right there, Sir. Thank you for informing me.”
On his way to the meeting area Junmyeon pondered why Yifan had decided to visit him out of sudden. After their talk a week ago he had felt a sense of direction and Yifan had made him promise to call whenever he felt out of his element. Considering Yifan’s rather blunt expression of distaste for anything military and how packed his schedule was, it made absolutely no sense for Yifan to come seeing him. Yet, Junmyeon knew no other person other than his senior from U-KISS who went by the name of Kevin Wu and besides, there was no reasonable explanation why Kevin would visit him. They were not as close.
True to his suspicion the lanky body of Wu Yifan rested relaxed in one of the chairs of the meeting area and Junmyeon was not sure for a moment what he wanted to do more – hit him or hug him.
“Well, look what the cat dragged in.” Junmyeon commented as he stopped next to Yifan, resting his hand heavy on the elder’s shoulder. Yifan’s head whipped around and Junmyeon could not help the smile stretching on his face. Yifan looked good, as he always had, and he shot out of his chair immediately to give Junmyeon an almost crushing hug.
“So enthusiastic!” Junmyeon commented and had to laugh when Yifan’s expression changed into a softer look as he pulled back.
“I can see they feed you well here.”
“Really, Yifan? The first thing you tell me is that I’m fat?” Junmyeon joked and slid into the seat opposite of Yifan.
Despite the frown on his features, Yifan laughed along and shoved a bag towards Junmyeon on the table. Junmyeon dove into it with skepticism and made a loud noise of appreciation at its contents.
“You did not!”
“Sweets for my sweet.” Yifan hummed and winked when Junmyeon glared. Indeed Yifan had brought him candy that Junmyeon usually made Yixing buy for him when he was on schedules in China. The source of his obsession originated, however, from when he first stole a few of the snacks from Yifan during their trainee years.
“Don’t spoil me too much, what if I get demanding?” Junmyeon hinted while tearing a pack open. Yifan snatched candy from the plastic and stuffed it into his mouth.
“I’ll have to send you parcels of love then.”
“Do they include love letters, all written between filming breaks, sprinkled with your cologne?”
They snorted at the same time and Junmyeon almost fell back into the dangerous pattern of familiarity and comfort that always settled when Yifan was near. But no, he was not so gullible to believe Yifan had come to feed him snacks.
“All jokes aside, why are you here?” Junmyeon soberly asked into the light atmosphere and scrutinized Yifan. It immediately brought forth the underlying tension present between them.
“I can’t just come to see you?” Yifan defended himself, but Junmyeon kept his stared fixed on him, because he knew how weak it made the other. True to prediction, Yifan sighed and placed his hands over Junmyeon’s before he spoke up again.
“Is there no way for me to fool you at all? Don’t take this the wrong way now… I know you did not perceive it that way, but you were subliminally pleading me to come.”
Anger flashed hot and red through Junmyeon and he tried to pull his hands away, but Yifan gripped his wrist firmly and Junmyeon hissed, struggling. Yifan had a nerve, so cocky to assume Junmyeon was after all this time calling him for help. He did not bother trying to hide the anger in his voice when he replied, eyes burning.
"Five years ago I begged you to come back and continue being my support, but you simply declined by saying the whole company is toxic. Now we're here, in this environment you don't like so much either and you make time in your super busy Mainland China superstar schedule to come holding my hand as if I was a damsel in distress. It is audacious and outrageous of you to act as if I can’t take care of myself."
"Calm down, Junmyeon." Yifan replied firmly and amplified the pressure on Junmyeon's wrists.
They gave each other the silent treatment for a few minutes, Junmyeon avoiding the other’s gaze until he willed himself to let rationale seep through his system. It surely meant something that Yifan had come when all the times before it had been him making time during their schedules in China to see the older one. Yifan seemed to feel the change in him and cleared his throat.
Junmyeon nodded and looked back at Yifan onto find the other had never looked away.
"See, I remember how scary it was to be on my own after living with multiple people, most of them friends. I know it looks like I had the smoothest transition from EXO to Wu Yifan the new favorite poster boy, but it only does seem that way, because people reached out to me and gave me chances that turned out the right ones to take."
"What are you trying to tell me, Yifan?"
Yifan sighed and loosened his grip on Junmyeon in favor of resting the palms over the back of Junmyeon's comparatively smaller hands.
"I relate, you see? You are lonely here even though you have comrades, because they are not friends. I know you, you are a social person. You need friends around you, but the rest of the members have busy schedules, Minseok is in service himself and your friends have families to take care of. I am here to reach out to you and encourage you to make friends with people in your division."
"How generous of you." Junmyeon mocked and glanced around, hoping the intimate way their hands were molded together did not arise attention from the wrong people.
"Junmyeon" Yifan groaned and Junmyeon liked the annoyance swinging in the way Yifan said his name "I am not going to apologize for thinking for my own good back then. You need to stop begrudging me that eventually and you know it."
Junmyeon stared at Yifan for a while, again not exchanging a word with him. The topic would always stay a sore spot, a never completely vanishing bruise, which had turned from angry dark purple to a light blue and over a fading green into an ever permanent yellow. Junmyeon believed there were things you had not to forgive and forget. But he wanted to, at least the former, to relieve the tension between Yifan and him.
"Give me time. I have two years of time to focus on different things than light sticks and fan chants, makeup and outfits, speaking and thinking for other people but myself. I want to forgive. I am just not completely there yet and that is something you know I have a right to take my time for."
"Of course" Yifan replied and Junmyeon could not ignore the hope simmering in the fond look the other gave him "and I think it is prime time you take care of yourself only. I know the rest don't mean harm when they are a royal pain in the ass, but we spent more time cleaning up or preventing a mess than they spent thinking about repaying us by being less trouble. Zitao told me since you are leader alone they have at least attempted, but we both know that is not enough."
He was right, Junmyeon had to admit. He loved the rest of the members with different levels of fondness, but it had been a long time that one of them had gone out of their way to help easing the pressure on his shoulders.
"When was it ever enough? Even when we had those one-on-duty-only days, the responsibility stayed in my head like a nagging parent. What I like about being here is that for once I am expected to be a functioning joint of the division, a part of it, but the directions come from someone else and I think I finally managed to turn that nagging in my brain off."
"I am glad to hear that." Yifan replied with a relieved smile. "You were always more inclined to lead than I was, so it is good to see you can lay off with it just as well."
"But you were good at leading." Junmyeon pointed out with a grin, remembering with pride how Yifan's first awkward attempts of keeping the members in line had turned into complete obedience at one glance. Yifan knew how to rule and it had only taken Junmyeon a few pointers to get it out of him. He did not mind so much that his guidance fell on deaf ears in comparison.
"Good yes, but I don't prefer it like you do. I don't mind being on my own and pulling things through by myself, because I know that way they will get done. You don't. You're a team player. You gain energy from making a whole unit functioning and that is why you were chosen as leader from the start. That's why I also wasn't too terribly worried about what would become of EXO when I am gone. I knew you would go through hellfire to protect the group, but you'd also hate me."
"I never hated you, Yifan." Junmyeon insisted and cocked his head to the side. He had to clarify this. "I felt disappointment, anger and confusion, but hate? Never."
Yifan's Adam’s apple bobbed as he gulped and Junmyeon followed the movement, rolling down Yifan's neck like a wave.
"Thank you. It means a lot." Yifan eventually said and Junmyeon turned his hands under the cage of Yifan's, pressing palms into palms. Content settled comfortably around them, surrounding them like a safety bubble and all tension Junmyeon had felt between them over the last years vanished.
"Why didn't we talk about this earlier?" Junmyeon wondered. Seven years was a lot time and after he had overcome the initial pain and bitter taste of abandonment, Junmyeon had contacted Yifan more than frequently. However, no conversation had ever been as honest as on this day.
"We met twice briefly since my departure, Junmyeon, there has never been time. Besides, these are not things I would have wanted to talk to you about on devices that can be traced, documented and stored. We give too much of our privacy to the public; I want this just for us two."
"Right." Junmyeon agreed.
"But it was long overdue, if you ask me."
"So" Junmyeon began after a moment of silence "how are things going with you? I mean, I have seen you around plenty of female Chinese celebrities that Baekhyun and the likes would kill for breathing the same air with, but that does not tell a thing and I don't trust gossip pages about celebrity relationships."
"Comes with the field, doesn't it?" Yifan joked and Junmyeon nudged his foot under the table for good measure. "No, but you are right. Things have been a bit rough with the breakup over the last publicly known relationship and since then I've only had a few two weeks flings with people that public likes to overlook, but you know what I am talking about."
Junmyeon indicated his affirmation with a slight nod. Yifan observed him for a moment, fidgeting slightly in his seat and Junmyeon knew how to read this. So he waited.
"I have been thinking." Yifan started with his eyes directed somewhere on the table between them "My thirties are approaching faster than I anticipated and I do this too much thinking thing that is usually your style."
"And?" Junmyeon asked when Yifan did not follow up to his prior words.
"I want children, you know."
"You don't say." Junmyeon snorted amused, because if there was one thing he had always been sure of regarding Yifan's future, then it was that he would be a father. It was Yifan's turn to kick him under the table this time, the seriousness easing out of his features slightly.
"Would you listen?"
"I am, I am!" Junmyeon assured him and suppressed the laughter bubbling up in his chest.
"You see, I am not getting any younger and I don't want to be too old when raising kids. I am in a good financial shape and I have gained enough of a status to do fewer projects without killing my popularity. I can afford being selective and taking time for my family."
"Good luck finding a potential mother then." Junmyeon wished him and pictured Yifan doting on a toddler, spoiling the child rotten while the mother lied passed out on the couch.
"I don't actually want to make one myself, to be honest." Yifan mentioned like it was no big deal to not want his own DNA living on in someone else. Junmyeon blinked in surprise.
"You want to adopt a child then?"
"That's the plan, yes." Yifan nodded "I feel that there are enough children on this planet who just want love and care, but their parents are incapable of giving them that while I can and I want to shine a light. I don't have strong urge to reproduce, but I want to be a guardian again and I love children."
"I don't think there will be many women who are ready to be the mother to an adopted child." Junmyeon pointed out. Yifan's next statement rendered him speechless.
"I wasn't thinking of a mother in the conventional sense..."
"Single-parent?" Junmyeon asked in disbelief. Yifan shifted in his seat and cleared his throat.
"It is not like I am not capable. I was raised by the best example of single-parenthood I can imagine and I am sure I can ripe from that experience; but if I have the choice I do want to raise the children with someone together."
"Someone like a godfather or a nanny then?"
"...you could say that. I sure can afford employing a nanny." Yifan mumbled after a moment of consideration of Junmyeon's words.
The warmth between their hands had developed into heat; Junmyeon feeling how his palms sweat increasingly and Yifan's were no better. Nonetheless, he did not pull them back. There was a bigger picture to Yifan's words, something he was not seeing yet, but he felt that pulling away was not the step back he needed to grasp the whole context. Instead he entwined his right hand with Yifan's left and pressed gently. He had two years of time or to wait until Yifan put his message across clearer to realize what he wanted.
"You clearly put a lot thought into this. There are a few obstacles you will have to pass, but I am sure you can manage them."
"I hope so. The process of being admitted for adoption usually takes up to two or three years as far as I have been informed. I thought about sending my application in when summer is over, because I am very busy until then and I just wanted to talk to someone about it who is not giving me the "are you crazy" question or is too afraid to tell me if it is a bad idea before I get the plan in motion."
"Reasonable. Look at how grown up you sound, I swear I remember that time you were whining about losing a plush toy."
"Haha, funny." Yifan deadpanned and swatted after Junmyeon's left hand with the one he hadn't entwined with Junmyeon's other.
Junmyeon walked him out to the gates after they had talked more, Junmyeon giving Yifan a better picture of his day-to-day routines and Yifan had listened and pointed at things which Junmyeon felt would effectively help him adjusting better.
"Do me a favor, don't get shot." Yifan insisted as they stood at the exit, lingering for a little while longer. Junmyeon wrinkled his nose and allowed Yifan to lean down and engulf him in a tight hug.
"I promise to try my best, you moron. I actually have a wish to live."
"Good" Yifan replied with another soft smile "and I promise to create free slots in my schedule so I can come seeing you all couple of weeks."
Junmyeon opened his mouth to protest, but was cut off by Yifan immediately.
"Don't even try, I insist. I came here in the first place, because I felt that this time you needed me and as far as my impression goes, I was right."
Junmyeon’s mouth went dry and he stared at Yifan while the other broke into a flood of words.
"It is a lot asking, but I hope during those two years you can rely on me like you did years back. I will not let you handle this alone. This is not you holding out for ten other people, this is just for yourself and I know you are going to go down, because you attach a different value to the people you love than to yourself. I am not going to watch you doing that to yourself. Let me help you, okay?"
"Okay." Junmyeon rasped and it felt like the whole word was fading away in favor of Yifan and him. He knew Yifan would be there if he promised him now and he did not know why, but he envisioned his release day, Yifan and his child, most likely a daughter he supposed, waiting for him at the gates. Yifan would be eager to finally introduce Junmyeon to her and he would fall in love with her immediately.
In that moment Junmyeon had an epiphany.
"Yifan” he asked with a dry throat and looked Yifan straight in the eye “do you think I will be a good godfather?"
A smile blossomed on Yifan’s face, breaking into the widest and most gleeful grin Junmyeon had seen on him in a while. Yifan knew he had been heard. Junmyeon finally understood.