11.58am, 12th of September
Yunho leaves him reading by the window, slim novella that Jaejoong would have most probably read three times over, made notes in and highlighted favorite phrases (sunshine yellow for dialogues, muted pink for everything else) from by the time he got back.
“You want anything?”
The other man barely looks up, running careless fingertips against the edges of his page, paper on skin sending soft shivers up his spine.
“Post-its,” he says after some thought and he lifts his eyes to make Yunho’s heart clench wither swell repeat all over again. “Even the dying have a need for post-its.”
“Not funny, Jae. And stop doing that, you’ll get a paper cut.”
“The colored ones, please and thank you~” Jaejoong sings to him on his way out, half reprimand sailing over his head and filtering out through the window glass, leaving an I love you hidden behind the words.
“Love you too.”
Jaejoong is deciphered only when he wants to be.
1.07pm, 12th of September
“Now look what you’ve done.”
“Kiss it better?”
A smear of blood across the page, Yunho drops lunch and post-its on the table.
“Sneaky wretch. There’re easier ways to ask for a kiss, you know.”
“Easier and not half as fun.”
“And here you are, amusing me. Love knows no bounds, eh?”
But of course, Yunho thinks and twines his fingers around Jaejoong’s, counts the time they have left in moments like these.
Last count: far too many to let go of and far too little to have to last the rest of forever
4.23pm, 19th of September
“I wasn’t really one for easy.”
“Annoying to the end, aren’t you?”
He whiles away the hours correcting tenses and Jaejoong shakes his head, says something about someone needing to throw him a float as he floundered in the river of denial. A post-it the color of rain clouds trades hands, there’s the word coffee cup scrawled in it’s corner, quite overshadowed by the I love you that takes up most of the space.
“One a day.”
“One a day,” Yunho agrees reluctantly and the other lets a flicker of contentment pass through his wilted features.
“For every day I love you and for every day I’m not there to say it.”
Three paper cuts later, Jaejoong stops breathing and Yunho thinks, staring in silence at the thin lines on the insides of his palms, that some part of him has escaped with that last breath as well.
8.12am 21st of September
The first is stuck on the inside of his coffee mug, lime green sticky paper with Jaejoong’s familiar script loping across it in messy letters.
The fact that you have to wash your own damn plates now doesn’t mean I love you any less.
Time crawls by in drunken lurches, in the form of flashing scenes, reality staring upwards at him with a smirk on it’s face from the shattered remains of his coffee cup on the kitchen floor. Yunho flips the note over
I love you.
and misses the bus, misses work (somewhere in that empty apartment, his cell phone shivers on a surface, lights flashing and call going to voicebox please try again later) misses Jaejoong so much.
6.23pm 24th of September
One a day, he replays it in his head each time he steps through the front door
(he’d seen the one on the side of the shoe rack, cherry red, lavender inside cupboards and under cups),
bites down the urge to go through every corner, every inside of everything he (they) own because Jaejoong-...
Well. Just because.
Jaejoong hides parts of his heart in the most obscure places and today’s he takes gently from behind his alarm clock, reads it with a sad little smile he’s taken to using with Jaejoong’s notes.
Alarm clocks are not decorative devices, even more so when I’m not around to haul your ass from bed. I love you.
Slips it between the growing stack of rainbow colored memories he doesn’t know what to do with.
8.12am 19th of October
On the inside of his shirt cuff:
You look good in black, it should be getting colder by now, pair it with that trench you got back in January. I love you.
3.59pm 31st of October
Rummaging through his spare change drawer.
Chocolate wouldn’t have kept so long, buy it yourself. Happy Halloween, love. I love you.
10.03pm 9th of November
Inside the sleeve of a favorite CD.
Reminder: new album out sometime mid-November. I love you.
7.52am, 24th of December
Between the pages of that day’s journal entry, a year, lifetime before.
1 ½c sugar
chocolate chips to taste
2 sticks butter
Combine ingredients, mix well, stick in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Merry Christmas, I wish I could have gotten you something better but I’ve run out of places to hide stuff and for the love of god, don’t eat too much cookie dough because being sick on Christmas just isn’t done. There should be enough here for two. I love you.
Yunho cuts the ingredients by half.
8.39pm, 4th of January
On the cover of a book he’s been meaning to read for the past one year.
Don’t skip pages. I love you.
He doesn’t and for the next 12 days, there’s a post-it between every chapter, thoughts on word usage, ramblings on characterization and an I love you on the back of each.
2.01am, 16th of January
A heart the color of summer sky stuck onto the last page.
Not the end. I don’t suppose I need to tell you I love you anymore because you should know that by now.
He’s a few hundred short of coming to a thousand but Yunho folds them into a miniature army of multi-colored cranes anyway, whispering a wish into each just in case and with the passing hours, paper cuts, his living room floor is covered in rainbow hues.
I love you.
Early morning drives with the windows down and a cardboard box full of promises riding shotgun next to him, Yunho leaves handfuls of these every few miles, guarding lonely lamp posts, road signs, floating out to open seas.
I love you.
5am watching the sun rise and not the road with one lone crane (the color of cloudy skies, the first, the last) sitting on his dashboard, Yunho finds that wishes come true.