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Un’s POV

I was chatting with Shane as we headed to a cafe outside university for lunch. Two had invited us to his friend’s coffee shop since last week. He said there was a special movie night thing going on and that they needed help with the set up. In return he’d treat me the famous special set menu from the cafe and I brought Shane along since he was good with organising things like this.

Being with Two was like having a boyfriend and also a best friend. I liked that. We were casual and open about our relationship and Two didn’t give two fucks about whatever people thought of us. Though my being possessive sometimes get in between us but so far we've been together for a year and counting.

We passed by the university medical department and something stopped me in my track, leaving Shane confused. “What is it, man?”, Shane asked, slapping my shoulder. I didn’t answer. Instead I just stared at the young man across the road, practicing his baton on the grass lawn.

“Your ex, isn’t he? Bro, don’t tell me. You still have feelings for him?”, Shane asked as he followed my gaze and realised what- or who caught my attention.

Shane was one of the few people who knew of my relationship with Mueng Nan. As much as I wanted to tell the world that Nan was mine, Mueng Nan, the perfect A grade med student and a parade leader of the university’s cheerleading team, was reluctant to make our relationship public.

But other than that, there weren’t other problems between us lovers. And being the older one in the relationship, I tried to be more mature and understanding. I was willing to wait until the day Nan would confidently hold my hand in uni and introduce me to his friends as his lover.

Mueng Nan only had a few friends and what made me surprised and also enraged was that Nan never told a single one of his friends about our relationship. As if he was afraid of anyone in the world knowing about him and I.

When Nan’s Mr.Popular and department king asked who I was, Nan answered “Oh he’s- umm my good brother”. “From your mother’s side, I suppose? I haven’t seen him at family dinners”, Mork answered casually. I confronted my ‘boyfriend’ later that day why Mork knew his family but he couldn’t even tell his friend that I was his partner, Nan brushed me off again saying he couldn’t discuss about it now. That he had exams in two days and a practice later.
It wasn't the first time he did this but that day, I wasn't going to let him have his way with me.

I thought I could be patient for long but that day I couldn’t control the exploding emotions anymore. I pushed Nan against the wall rather harshly and told him if he couldn’t tell at least Mork who I was to him we would have to break up.

“Why? You said you were willing to wait. Until I was ready. Until I was confident enough to tell everyone”

“And when would that be? This life? next life? Or after I die?”

“No! Of course not. It will be soon. I promise. But- look Un, I can’t be bothered by this now. I have an important exam coming up in two days and I haven’t been able to study much because of the practice”

“Right of course. You have to study. You can’t lose that perfect streaks of A grades. Fuck! Am I not as important to you as your grades, Mueng Nan?”

“What do you mean? Actually never mind, you wouldn’t understand since you’re an art major and-“

“Oh so now you’re looking down on me, huh? Just because I’m not in med school doesn’t mean I study less, ok? I’ve got projects assessments reports… I’ve got a lot of work too, you know. And still I made my time for you.

Look, I respect that you have a lot of work and an image to keep up. I don’t even ask you to spare your time for me. I’m- maybe I’m just possessive? I don’t want people to think that you’re single-ready-to-mingle and let other approach you. Even I told Shane so-“

“Shane? You told Shane about us?! Shane the sources of university gossip? What the hell, Un. What if-“

“He’s my best friend, Nan. If I said keep it a secret he’ll take it to his grave. And I trust him. Don’t you trust your friends, Nan?”

“Of course I trust my friends”, Nan blurted out almost immediately and the room fell into a silence. “The problem is me then”, I mutter quietly and also bitterly.

“You just don’t want to tell them because it’s me, a petty possessive and pushy music student who is the perfect med student’s boyfriend”

“I didn’t mean it that way”, Nan defended himself.

“No you meant exactly like that. After all this time I tried to respect your busy schedule, your study loads, your everything and yet you didn’t even spare me a bit of understanding on my part. And do you know how much it hurts to be the only one trying in a two person relationship?", I raised my voice at him.

“Maybe you’re right. I can’t understand you”, Nan said softly, hanging his head down. “If you want so much understanding then why don’t you just go date your own department people?”. I was shocked to hear that and Nan himself seemed he couldn’t believe what escaped his tongue.

I curled up my fist and stomped towards the door of Nan’s condo room. “Yes, go. Just go. Run away from me and never come back”, Mueng Nan yelled after me as I slammed the door shut and walked out of Nan’s life.

A drop of tear escaped my eye as I recalled the last memory of me and Nan. Shane who stood there watching in silent tapped my is back gently in encouragement.

 

Shane wasn’t sure if Un was speaking to him or to himself when he muttered softly, “Two can replace him but he’ll always be the one, the only one”. Then he wiped the drop of tear with the back of his hand and continued walking to the cafe.

 

Mueng Nan’s POV

He came to our department again today. That boy, he’s fooling himself, flirting with me and confessing multiple times, when his heart actually belong to someone else. Even if he ignores it, I can see clearly that he’s only doing it to annoy Mork. Mork should stop teasing him too. Or else Pi would be shocked to think that Mork is actually in love with his own cousin.

He should realise his feelings sooner. So that he won’t regret like- like I did.

I see him around my department too sometimes. Although I try to ignore it, convincing myself that I must have mistaken him with someone else, my heart just knows that familiar silhouette, even when he’s all the way across the street. I heard he’s dating someone new now. Someone from his department. Maybe he took my advice seriously.

I was the fool for not taking my own advice.

I tried to focus back on my life after he left but failed. I couldn’t study anything, didn’t eat anything, missed all the practices. All I did was driving out of town each day to the bar we used to go, hoping to catch a glimpse of him and drinking until my lungs gave out. Luckily the bartender was already familiar with my face. He’d call Mork every time I passed out drunk and made sure no one takes advantage of my drunken ass. I have to thank her for that.

I failed those two exams that I was pushing Un away to study for. I’d almost lost my position as the parade leader because of the missed practices. Mork couldn’t watch me destroy myself so he sent me to his father’s hospital to get me a fake medical record. Just so I could be excused from all those duties I failed to perform. I didn't know what I would have been without those two people.

Actually I secretly went to the music department after I heard that the famous musical genius Un of arts department has announced his relationship with a fellow from photography major. I'm happy that he could now do what he wanted. Announcing his love to the world and confidently doing it so.

I caught them embracing in a dark theatre that day though I didn’t made my presence known. I couldn’t bare to see if they went beyond embracing either.

I didn’t want to know if he lost control under his touch the way he did with me, if he called his name the way he called mine or if Un stroke his back gently after sex the way he did for me. I didn’t want to know any of it. I stayed away from the arts department as much as I could.

Pi came to me today with a box of choux cream, cream fillings. He still haven’t realised he bought Mork’s favourites, not mine.

“Nan, I brought some choux creams for you. I thought you liked them last time so..”. He scratched his head. I thanked him and went back to practicing my baton.

Mork joined us not long after and as expected, he dig into his favourite sweets as soon as his eyes landed on the box. “Hey stupid, give it back! I bought them for Nan”, Pi yelled at him.

“What do you mean for Nan? Cream fillings are my favourite. Nan liked matcha”, he said between mouth full.

Pi looked at me surprised hoping I would say no but I only smiled weakly at him. “Yeah about that Pi… it was Mork who finished all those choux creams that you brought last time. I’m not much of a sweet tooth as him unfortunately”, I told him laughing awkwardly.

It seemed to have saddened Pi a bit but not long after he started lecturing Mork on why he shouldn’t eat too much sweet and why he didn’t have 'pearly white' teeth like I did because of those sweets.

These two, always fighting each other when deep down they know one love the other.

Mork left in a hurry for his lab class after finishing the box of sweets. I put down my baton and went to sit beside Pi.

“Pi, are you free this evening?”, I asked him. His face lighten up immediately. “Yes. Free. Definitely. Anything for you Nan”, I smiled, ruffling his hair. “Silly boy. Alright then. Meet me at the cafe near my condo. You know the place right? Mork also lives in the same condo”.

“What Mork? I don’t know a Mork. But I definitely do know your condo. I- I mean, I didn’t stalked you or anything. I umm just remembered Mork saying that you live in the same condo as him”, Pi said, not realising his own words betraying him.

“Good then. I’ll see you tonight?”

“Yes see you”, he waved and smiled sweetly before he stood up and left. Right play matchmaker later then but for now, I should head back to class.

By the time I arrived at the cafe, Pi was already at the corner table waiting for me. The cafe was more crowded than usual and I didn’t think it would be a good environment to have and open hearted conversation. So we got our drinks and left for a quieter place in the condo courtyard.

“Pi”, I started and he gave me his full attention, abandoning his drink on the table. “I said you liked me, didn’t you?”, I asked. He nodded enthusiastically with a wide smile spread across his face.

“But… I think you’re unaware of your own feelings”, I told him.

He frowned, “What do you mean, Nan? I’m pretty sure that I like you”, he answered. “You’re pretty sure but you’re not definitely sure”, I pointed out. “No no I’m definitely sure”, he correctly himself.

“Pi, I think you’re only using those feelings for me as a shield to protect yourself, to avoid admitted that in fact, it’s not me you truly love.”

“I’m not using you in anyway, Nan.”

“Pi, don’t get me wrong. I’m not blaming you for it. I just want you to realised you feeling before it’s too late. Yes you do like me in some ways but ask yourself, Pi, if you really ‘love’ me?”, I emphasised on the L word.

“I don’t think you do”, I added.

He looked confused and also a bit upset. “I don’t understand”, he muttered looking at me with eyes that were starting to tear up. I put a hand on his chest and look straight into his eyes.

“You need to be honest with yourself”, I told Pi. Truth is I wished I’d told myself that too and sooner.

It would have make me realise what- or who was more important in my life. It would have made me realised that before I lost him.

I took out my phone and texted Mork.

‘I left him in the courtyard. Please take care of him. And he might be a bit confused right now so don’t push him too hard’, I typed. Mork thanked me in his reply and I got into my car driving out of town for a drink.

 

- Evening -

Un was furious. He found out that Two was still in touch with his ex girlfriend, Lynn. He saw a text on his phone from her inviting Two to a dinner party while he went to the bathroom.

“You’re still in touch with Lynn?”, he asked the moment Two came back. “Did you check my phone?”, Two accused him and Un was taken aback.

“I didn’t need to. The notification came in so I happened to see it”.

“Doesn’t mean you can pry into my private life”.

“So you have a private life with Lynn that I didn’t know of?”

“Un, we’ve talked about this. I told you I’m the kind of person who like freedom and personal space”. He emphasised on the word ‘and’.

“How does that freedom related to your ex? Or do you want an open relationship? Is that what you’re asking for?”

“God damn it, Un. I told you that possessive side of yours is going to be a problem one day.”

“So I’m the problem again?”

“Again? What do you mean again?”

“Anyways I don’t like that you’re keeping in touch with your ex”, he said sternly.

“Dont change the subject. This was also why you broke up with your previous boyfriend too, isn’t it?”

“Who told you that? Shane? That son of a-“

“He didn’t need to. You said 'again' just now. And I’ve heard that people who went to ask Shane if they could set you up with him were told that you were taken.
And I knew that wasn’t me because that was way before Shane himself started shipping you with Third”

So Shane never told anyone about Mueng Nan. Un was relieved.

“I don’t know who your ex was even for Shane to be so secretive about but I’m right, aren’t I? That stupid possessiveness of yours was the problem back then too. Unless you fix that attitude of yours I suggest we break up”, Two said and stomped out of the cafe.

Maybe this is the feeling Nan felt when he told him to choose between ‘fixing’ what he was or break up.

Was Un insecure? But he didn't need to? He is after all the arts department king. He once asked Third if he felt possessive over Khai knowing his relationship history, which is actually a pretty long and messy.

Third admitted that he felt that and doubtful sometimes. But he said he also knows Khai loves him now and that reassures him Khai wouldn’t just leave him. That he needed to put more faith in Khai so that the other felt trusted too.

Maybe he’s right. He was the problematic one in both relationship. Even thought neither Nan nor Two directly called him that.

It was barely 6 pm but he felt like he needed to escape. So he drove out to the only bar he knew where no one knew who he was. Except for two people, if one happens to be there.

 

-Night-

“Alone means you’re gonna be dead ass drunk”, Pann the bartender said as she dropped a glass of vodka in front of Un.

“Huh?”, he said looking up. She still hasn’t changed much even though it’s been what? More than a year? Since he last frequented this bar with a particular someone at the time.

“If you two came together, you either start making out in the bathroom or leave to make out else where. Either way it ends with a make out session”, she said displaying a mischievous smirk under the flickering neon light.

“But I’ve never came here alone before, have I? Or did he-“

“You two had some problem didn’t you? Some time last year. March?”, she said squinting her eyes trying to work out Un’s expression.

Yes, March. Right before the Songkran holidays and just before exams. So he came to a bar before exams?

“Sat at the very same spot”, she said nodding at the place Un is seated. “And drunk until he passed out. I’d always had to call his cousin to come pick him up at 3 am”, Pann said as a mater of fact.

3 am, that's when he usually slept because of all the studies he needed to catch up after practice.

“I made sure no one approached him, you know? Thought you might not have wanted that. Whatever that is happened between you two”, she added.

Un looked up at her, smiling as if he was thanking her for protecting his bo- ‘ex’ boyfriend. But then his mind went to another information Pann just said.

“You know his cousin?”, Un asked in surprise. “You don’t?”, Pan said, sounding even more surprised than him.

“No”, he chuckled, hanging his head down to hide the bitterness in his expression. “Nan never told anyone about me. Nor did he tell me about anyone else in his life”, he said.

“Mork. His name was Mork”, Pan told him. Mork, ah that Mork. Now it make sense why he would be present at Nan’s family dinner. They were cousins.

Nan could have just told him that and clear the misunderstanding. And maybe- just maybe, things wouldn’t have ended the way they did last summer.

“Did he- umm he came here alone often?”, Un asked, not sure Pan would let him know her ‘customer’ information. But Pan was more than an acquaintance for the two boys who she often had to offer the empty staff room for who know what they did, in fear that the two boys might meet their end if they drove elsewhere for alternate accomodation.

“He did”, she said, “everyday for almost a week”. Un listened silently trying to chuck down more vodka to ease the uneasiness in his chest.

“Then he stopped coming after that so I called his cousin to check if he was fine. He said he put Nan up in a hospital so he could take a better rest before getting back to his studies”.

“He was sent to a hospital?”, Un said aloud in shock. “I’m not sure about the details but that’s what Mork said. And I didn’t want to pry further as long as I knew Nan was ok”.

“Fuck”, Un cursed, smacking his head on the counter. “It’s all my fault. My stupid ass fault”, he said continuing to bang his head against the marble counter-

...until a pair of hands snaked around his waist from behind and pull him back. That familiar scent, those pale hands…

He tried to turn around to see the face of the person who had just enveloped him in a back hug but a hand from his waist shot up and held his chin in place, forbidding him to turn around.

“Don’t”, the voice said softly. Un could feel the slightly calloused palm, calloused from all those baton practice. Un knew those hands no matter how long he hasn't touched them.

He can never forget.

Once his head stopped resisting, Nan let his hand go and rested it on Un’s arm. He burrowed his head in Un’s shoulder and kissed it lightly.

“I’m sorry”, he whispered. But it was loud and clear even over the booming music. Un’s expression soften and he put his hands over each of Nan’s.

“I should be the one who’s sorry”, he apologised. He took Nan’s hand on his shoulder, intending to kiss it but hesitated. Instead, he turned around in his chair to face the person who has been occupying his heart for a long time.

“I don’t think this is right”, he said, doubt filling over his thoughts.

Mueng Nan looked at him softly before beaming his eyes when an idea came to his mind. “Dance with me”, he said pulling Un onto the dance floor.

When they found a spot in the crowded room, Nan almost immediately embraced him tightly burying his face in Un’s chest. They both swayed their bodies along the music. None of them uttering a single word.

Un wanted to return the tight embrace Nan was giving him but he was overwhelmed by guilt when he thought of Two. He wasn’t sure if what Two said him before he left the cafe could be called a break up. So he decided to have a loose hand around Nan’s waist as they danced.

🎵For as long as I live
For as long as I love
I will never not think about you 🎵

Maybe it was from muscle memory or the alcohol or the song or all of it, Un found his hand unconsciously tightening around the other’s waist and he was fighting himself to not touch those soft hair that he used to run his fingers through.

As if he knew what Un was thinking, Nan brought Un’s hand to his head. “It’s alright”, he said looking up at Un briefly to reassure him and nuzzled back into his chest.

🎵From the moment I left
I knew you were the one
And no matter whatever I do
I will never not think about you 🎵

Un wasn’t sure if he had finished his story with Two for him to restart this unfinished one with Nan.

He wasn’t sure if Two actually meant what he said today. He wasn’t sure if Two actually went to the dinner Lynn invited him to nor was he sure if Two would be feeling with Lynn what he felt with Nan now.

And most importantly, now he wasn’t sure if his feeling for Two was real at all, all this time.

“I heard he asked you to break up today”, Nan said just after the song ended. Surprised and shocked, Un looked down at the man in his arms who rested his chin on his chest.

A bit of tear welling up in his eyes, some sadness and perhaps a tiny thread of hope too.

Before Un could ask how he knew, Nan was already explaining himself.

“I have a friend, Chon, who works part time in that cafe. I’ve been frequenting that cafe since I heard you always hanged out at the one outside campus. I’m not going to lie, I did my best trying to avoid you”, he said, sounding like he’s confessing his sins.

“But Un, the feelings are still there. The more I try not to think about you, the more I do”. He moved his hands up from Un’s waist and clasped them at the back of his neck. Un naturally moved both hands to the other’s waist.

“I befriended a part timer who’s also from your arts major there. We became close friends and one day, I just told him everything about you and me”. So he had told someone about us now, Un thought to himself and smiled.

Nan recalled the day he bawled his eyes out in front of a friend of 3 months whom he have grown attached to. What is there not to attach to that cute boy though? Even if he’d met Chon a while ago, he can sense that Chon was kind and always meant well for Nan.

“Actually he’s been helping me to get us back together knowing I haven’t moved on at all. He was the one who told me when you got a new boyfriend, when he overheard rumours about your little arguments and also about what happened today at their cafe”. Nan thought he sounded almost desperate but he didn't care.

“But believe me. I didn’t know you were coming here tonight. I was already on the way when Chon called me”.

He moved a hand to touch Un’s face and gently caresses his jawline. “I prayed that if we were meant to be together again, I would meet you here in our usual place tonight”. He smiled softly at Un.

Nan is a university king, parade leader, perfect student and the teachers’ favourite. Which means he might probably have his way with words but Un couldn’t think about that or anything else at the moment. All he knew was that he was already melting under Mueng Nan’s words and simple touches.

“Come back to me, Un. I don’t care about whatever happened as long as I can be in your arms again”. Nan was clearly trying to fight tears but him chocking on a sob at the end of the sentence made Un felt like being strike with a hammer in his chest.

“But-“, Un said aloud unconsciously, making a drop of tear fall from the corner of Nan’s beautiful round eyes. Nan slid his hand down to Un’s chest and rested over his heart. “Tell me if you still love me or not. I will stay or leave depending on your answer.

But Un? Please be honest with yourself”, he said staring deep into the other’s eyes.

Un opened his mouth to say something but he chocked on his words and nothing came out. Upset, Nan slowly loosen his arms around his body.

The more loose his hands became around him, Un felt like Nan would slip away from him too, and forever.

It’s now or never, he thought and pulled Mueng Nan’s arm back around his neck, kissing him deeply. Tears flowed down both their cheeks as they held each other tight and kissed in the middle of the dance floor.

Neither of them cared about what the people around them might think because to them, they were the only two exisiting in this whole world.

They slowly parted after a while, a string of saliva still connecting their lips and Nan quickly nib at Un’s lips, making him jot open his eyes in surprise. They walked back hand and hand to the bar counter where Pan was pouring them congratulatory drinks with a smile of satisfaction on her face.

“I just happened to have cleaned out that staff room today”, she said giving the two boys a knowing look. “I was gonna use the room for extra storage but I guess not today”, she said rolling her eyes. The boys laughed.

Nan got up motioning to kiss Pan’s cheek and Un did the same but she successfully stopped them with the two glass she just prepared. “Uh uh uh save your kisses for each other and also I just put an impromptu bed and sheets just now so… try not to destroy them would you?”, Pan teased and Mueng Nan yelled her name at the top of his lungs.

They both thanked Pan before Nan pulled Un along the path he remembered well that led to the familiar room, closing the door behind them. Whatever happens in the room later… well, only the two of them know. 😉