So this piece came about because I wanted to give jc & Vi something for their birthdays, but I think we were all in a misawa slump at the time ... lol ... then I discovered that they're really into their OCs at the moment, so I did my best to study the character sheets jc had (along with the long LINE chats we had on the topic) and here we are. I hope I've done your characters justice, guys!!
Title: Where Lines Converge
Author: Harmony (Silver Harmony)
Word Count: Approximately 1,000.
Disclaimer: Xu and Pan belong to jc and Vi, respectively!
Summary: Xu gets it.
He isn't petty. He gets it.
He understands Pan's occasional habit to leave exam preparations and essays to the last minute. Last week, a mini-test on superantigens; this week, a written paper on light therapy for skin diseases. Dinner four days ago had been dusted with Pan's colorful rambles about it, how little time he always seemed to have to do everything. That's why you shouldn't put things off, Xu had murmured, furtive smile pulling at one corner of his mouth, heaving chest warm with something more than just a little fond; because Pan is Pan, and he knows that.
He understands that it's not easy when the ground that Pan and his parents stand on together is sometimes a touch cracked and shaky in places; that when Pan's mother starts fussing about anything it means that phone calls will pepper all waking hours, and Pan will have to travel home to visit her and loosen her taut strings, or she'll be knocking at her son's door day after day to make sure he's walking a smooth and crystal-clear path. Which she's been doing all week, and Xu can't help but marvel at Pan's thick skin and patience.
He understands that Addey and Pan's other friends deserve a slice of him too, and that when he's downed by studies and family they miss him, miss his sunlit cheer, miss his pearl-toothed grin. And Xu can't begrudge that they'll pounce on Pan's back to get any small shard of his remaining time that they can get, because it's what Xu himself is aching to do, too.
He loves Pan, and he gets it.
Doesn't mean that his stomach doesn't clench and his toes don't curl whenever Pan's left with less time to spend with him.
A touch of warm fingertips coiling beneath Xu's knees and soft breathing, sliding in and out in silent rhythm, threading through slips of his hair. Lips pressing hot and dry against his temple, a kiss fragranced with inexpensive rum; a solid shoulder and smooth jersey knit beneath his cheek, carrying a residual tendril of someone else's leftover cigarette smoke. Bleary-eyed with a head full of cotton wool, but Xu stirs awake knowing he's been picked up and is being carried someplace, bridal-style. Pan's finally back.
'Hey,' Xu's throat scratches out, still rough and heavy with sleep.
'Hey, you.' The response is musical, notes chiming in tender shades of affection, in hints of crooked smiles. 'What were you doing at your desk. Were you up waiting for me?'
'... Ah ... yeah.' Bent knuckles tuck beneath the rims of his glasses, and Xu rubs at his eyes with a stifled yawn. 'It's fine, though, I was working on my billboard media presentation anyway—'
He's suddenly laid down onto a mound of soft covers and a firm mattress; Pan slowly leans over, wisps of long hair licking at Xu's collarbone. 'Stay here,' he says with a touch of amusement, tracing loose fingers down the line of Xu's jaw. 'I'll be right back.'
Xu nods, and his eyes flutter closed again. Footfalls shuffle against a stretch of carpet, and a deep rustle heralds his heavy jacquard curtains sweeping open; pale sunlight washes the back of his eyelids fire-red. More footfalls, and then a whir of movement in the kitchenette outside the bedroom. A weighty pop of the refrigerator door, grains rattling against porcelain, a knife against a chopping board in uneven metallic beats. All of it a lullaby, mulled and slow.
Lingering sleep and fragments of the week's insecurities ghost over the back of his neck, demure waves gliding in and out, and Xu has to shake his head once, shake it all away from his grit-dried eyelashes and drooping mouth. '... How was the party?' he asks, swinging his legs over and working them underneath the blankets.
'Sufficiently wild,' is Pan's too-merry answer, called out from beyond the bedroom. 'Maybe a little too wild. I'm beat.'
'That's what happens when you stay out all night, though.'
'I ... uh, sorry.'
He sounds genuinely apologetic, and a coolness throbs at the edges of Xu's belly; he wonders if some of his uneasiness has bled through without him knowing. 'I didn't mean it that way,' he sighs, slow and careful, but he means it. 'I want you to have a good time.'
'I know,' says Pan, and his voice is at the doorway now, light and easy, rich with the echo of a full grin.
Xu's eyes slide open to the sight of a tray being pushed in his direction. Cereal, yogurt, coffee, cherries, slices of peach. The cool spots turn into prickles of heat, and he can't help but laugh.
'Breakfast in bed,' he says, and the back of his mouth is warm and sweet. 'I feel like a prince.'
'Good,' Pan smirks, leaning over to plant a sloppy peck on the tip of his nose. 'You are one. And I'll always make time for you, if you want me to. So don't be afraid to claim me whenever you'd like, yeah? I'm sorry it's been such a busy two weeks.'
The tray's solid and weighty on his lap, and before he knows it, fingers are tucking his blankets tighter around his waist, and a palm's curling safe and tight around his own. Pan's here. Xu's missed him terribly, but he's now here. And he always will be; his heart's always here, no matter where he may be, no matter what he may be doing. Maybe, in the darkest corners of his chest cavity, it's something Xu already knows. Just a part of the reason why he's always allowed himself to be more giving whenever Pan needs the time away.
Xu gets it.
He picks up the spoon, and offers Pan a tilted smile. 'That goes two ways. Share with me?'
All they've ever needed to do is meet halfway.
The kiss they share eight minutes later has the flavor of peaches, and it's more than perfect.