Genre: AU, fluff, romance
Summary: They've always lived just a few doors away from each other but they’ve never met. It takes a stray puppy on one miserable, rainy night for everything to begin.
Based off this post on tumblr. Graphics by qorea
It’s wet and gloomy and Wu Fan curses for the fiftieth time as his foot falls in a puddle, soaking his trouser leg almost all the way up to his knee. He has his briefcase above his head but it does little to stop the rain as it pelts at him from all angles, sliding down his face and collecting on his chin. The sight of his apartment complex in the distance spurs him forward; his step quickening as he nears and the thought of hot tea and warm blankets fill his mind.
It’s sheltered out the front of the building and he huddles against the wall for a moment, teeth chattering and hair dripping over his eyes. He sighs and wipes the hair away from his face, frowning as he sees another man kneeling on the ground beside him.
“Are you okay?” he asks, because the man is quiet and the rain is loud and quite frankly, he can’t understand why someone would be kneeling on the concrete outside in this kind of weather.
The man glances up and Wu Fan vaguely recognises him - he only lives a few doors away.
“Yeah it’s just, I found him,” the other man says, tilting his head towards the bundle in his arms which wriggles a little. Wu Fan kneels down beside him as a small furry face peers out from the other man’s arms and blinks tiredly at him, fur wet and spiked around its muzzle. He laughs as the puppy sneezes and he reaches out, scratching its chin as it snuggles deeper into the man’s arms.
“Hello there,” Wu Fan says gently, “Aren’t you the cutest?”
The other man grins, “Why thank you,” he says and Wu Fan suppresses a laugh, his cheeks the slightest bit pinker.
“What are you going to do with him?”
The man shakes his head. “I’m not sure but, I can’t just leave him here.” Wu Fan hums in agreement, smiling as the puppy licks a raindrop off his hand with its small pink tongue.
“We can’t have pets though.”
“Yeah I know. I’ll hide him in my apartment for tonight and take him to the pound tomorrow.”
Wu Fan tickles the puppy’s ears and it swipes a tiny paw at him.
“Okay,” the man says, getting to his feet, the dog cradled between his arms, “I better take him inside.”
Wu Fan opens the door and lets them through, hurrying to get in front of them and presses the button for the elevator. They step inside and Wu Fan automatically presses twenty-one. The man glances at him, eyebrow rising slightly higher.
“How did you know what floor I’m on?”
“That’s my floor,” he says, “Don’t worry, I’m not a stalker or anything. I don’t even know your name.” He laughs and the other man smiles, reaching his hand out awkwardly - the other hand remains clasped tightly around the bundle in his arms.
They stand in silence for a bit as the elevator ascends; Yixing trying to calm down the easily excitable puppy who seems to have sensed they are moving. It doesn’t take too long and there is a high-pitched ‘ding’ as the door slides open onto their floor.
Yixing shushes the puppy, bouncing him in his arms like a baby. Wu Fan smiles and walks beside them both, reaching out occasionally to pet the puppy on its head.
“Where are you?” Yixing asks, his voice breaking the silence and startling Wu Fan.
“Just up here – apartment 209.”
Yixing grins, “No way! I’m 207.”
Wu Fan wonders if it would sound a little creepy if he says ‘I know.’ He decides it would and remains silent. They reach Yixing’s apartment and Wu Fan clicks the door open for him. Yixing leans against it, letting his weight keep it open. He cuddles the puppy close to his chest and smiles at Wu Fan, eyes bright.
“Thank you,” he says softly.
Wu Fan nods and gives him a curt wave as Yixing lets the door close behind him.
In a strange way, Wu Fan is glad it rained today.
His alarm wakes him up at five in the morning, SHINee’s song ‘Sherlock’ blasting through the hazy remnants of his dream world. He groans and stretches, throwing on an old shirt and tracksuit pants before grabbing his i-pod and plugging it in to his ears, ready for his morning run.
He yawns as a he walks towards the elevator, scrolling down his playlist of songs, unsure of what to choose – in a strange way, he always felt that choosing his music in the morning was important; it seemed to set the mood for the rest of the day. His fingers pause for a moment, hovering above the buttons of his i-pod as he hears a loud sound come from the apartment to his left – apartment 207. He takes his i-pod out and slips it into his pocket, tilting an ear toward the source of sound. There are a few more bangs and crashes but it takes a loud yelping sound for Wu Fan to actually knock.
Yixing’s voice calls out, muffled behind the door.
“Who is it?”
“It’s me.” He pauses, and then realises that it needs clarification. “It’s Wu Fan.”
The door opens and Yixing looks out. Wu Fan can’t help but notice how terrible he looks; shirt falling off one shoulder, eyes rimmed with red and hair a mess – and yet, he can’t help but simultaneously find it a little endearing.
“It’s five in the morning,” Yixing says, blinking at him.
Wu Fan waves his comment away. “Is everything okay?”
Yixing sighs and rubs his temples, “Not exactly. The puppy is refusing to sleep.” Wu Fan waits expectantly for a moment as Yixing shakes himself awake and gestures for him to come inside.
The moment he steps through the door the puppy leaps at him, wrapping its paws around his leg. Wu Fan crouches, laughing as it gently bites his fingers, tail wagging.
“Are you being a naughty puppy are you? Why aren’t you sleeping huh?” The puppy sits on its back legs and blinks at him, eyes wide and Wu Fan grins.
“Hey, he has eyes like you Yixing.”
Yixing scoffs. “That little devil is nothing like me.”
Wu Fan scratches it under its ears and the puppy closes his eyes, body relaxing a little. Yixing kneels beside him, mouth falling open ever so slightly.
“How did you do that?”
Wu Fan shrugs, “I must have a talent.” Yixing huffs and slides onto the floor, crossing his legs and reaching his hand out, rubbing the puppy’s head gently. The puppy shakes both of their hands off with a whine and walks forward, climbing slowly into Yixing’s lap and curling up into a tight ball. Yixing lets out a quiet laugh of amazement.
“Oh my god, he’s going to sleep!”
Wu Fan raises a finger to his lips to shush him and sits down beside Yixing, rubbing his thumb across the puppy’s head as its eyes fall shut. His lips quirk into a small smile at the look of pure wonder on Yixing’s face.
He supposes he can miss his morning run this once.
Wu Fan doesn’t see Yixing for a few days. His work piles up and he spends most of the time either at the office or at home typing out long reports for his boss.
In fact, he almost completely forgets about Yixing and the puppy until he sees them both just outside the apartment block one day.
Wu Fan jogs to a halt, his breathing heavy from his run. Yixing looks up, a lead wrapped around his hand and tangled around the puppy’s legs as he straightens up and smiles at Wu Fan. He feels slightly self conscious considering he is all sweaty from his run although Yixing doesn’t seem to notice.
Wu Fan frowns, “I thought you were taking him to the pound?”
Yixing has the decency to look a little sheepish and he tugs the lead – the puppy, who had been sneaking away, is pulled back harshly.
“Well I did, but they had no way to find his owner and they said-” He pauses for a moment and bends down to cover the puppy’s ears, his voice dropping to a whisper. “They said that if they don’t find a home for him within a month they have to put him down because they don’t have enough room.” He uncovers the puppy’s ears and stands up with a smile. “So now I’m keeping him.”
The puppy chooses that moment to wind himself up in his lead, effectively tying his legs together.
Wu Fan doesn’t know whether he should laugh at Yixing or roll his eyes at the obviously irrational decision he has made. Instead he bends down and gently unties the puppy, fondly petting its head.
“I take him for walks every morning now.” The puppy yips in response. “You should come with us Wu Fan.” Wu Fan glances at Yixing who looks away.
“I would but I just went for a run.” Yixing looks a little crestfallen and something tugs at Wu Fan’s heart. “I’ll come tomorrow though.”
Yixing grins. “Okay,” he says and pulls on the lead, the puppy bouncing after him.
Wu Fan spends the rest of the day in a good mood and he can’t pinpoint why.
Wu Fan wakes up before his alarm in the morning. Frowning, he checks the time and turns the alarm off, sliding out from under the warm sheets. He has a quick shower and pulls on something a little nicer than his usual running clothes because he doesn’t particularly want to look like a homeless person in front of Yixing again.
He meets Yixing and the puppy out the front of the building and Yixing greets him with a smile.
“Morning,” Yixing says happily, two coffees balancing against his chest. He tilts himself sideways awkwardly.
“One of these is for you.”
Wu Fan thanks him and takes one, feeling the warmth spread immediately through his fingers as they wrap around the styrofoam cup. Yixing begins walking, one hand holding his coffee, the other clenching the lead tightly. The puppy prances along beside him.
“Have you given him a name yet?” Wu Fan asks, taking a sip of his coffee.
Yixing shakes his head. “Not yet. I could just keep calling him Puppy or Dog, that’s pretty original.”
Wu Fan laughs, “Well you could, but then when you call him in the park, a thousand other dogs will run towards you.”
He frowns in thought as the puppy runs in a circle around him and tangles the lead around his legs. Wu Fan patiently untangles them both.
“How about Allegro? Or Presto?”
Yixing blinks; surprised. “You’re musical?”
Wu Fan nods, “And I suppose you are too.”
Yixing laughs and tugs the puppy closer to his side. “Do you like that name? Should we call you Presto?”
The puppy barks and attacks Yixing’s foot.
“Presto it is.”
Wu Fan smiles, “Well it works. He is absolutely hyper.”
Presto spins in agreement, his tiny tail wagging.
“So what instrument do you play?”
Yixing pulls Presto back as he runs over to eat a discarded hamburger on the ground.
“Well actually I’m more of a dancer than anything else. But I also play guitar.”
“Oh? You should play for me sometime,” Wu Fan says before remembering that they still barely know each other and rubs his head; embarrassment evident. Yixing laughs at him and smiles.
“Okay, I will.”
Wu Fan gets a sinking feeling as his heart swells a little at Yixing’s words.
Shit, he thinks, that can’t be too good.
He begins to meet Yixing every morning.
They go for a walk around a few blocks, going by the park to let Presto run for a bit before walking back home. Sometimes they stop in at a coffee shop on the way, tying Presto up around a pole outside before ordering something to keep them warm while the morning is still cold.
Wu fan finds that Yixing is easy to get along with. He’s funny (despite the fact that it’s not deliberate most of the time) and he talks enough to fill any empty spaces between them.
It’s one such morning today; the two of them sitting inside the coffee shop, Wu Fan cradling a coffee in his hands and Yixing sipping at a hot chocolate.
“Presto chewed through my favourite shoes yesterday. And then I found him about to gnaw through a few wires.” Yixing sighs; his drink rippling as he exhales.
‘We should probably train him,” Wu Fan says, glancing out the window to see Presto yapping at a taxi.
Yixing tilts his head to the side a little, suddenly finding the spilt chocolate sprinkles on the table fascinating. “We?”
Wu Fan splutters, accidently inhaling the burning liquid. “I just thought- since we walk him and – well, you know, he kind of- and he-” He coughs a little, throat still burning.
Yixing laughs. “We’re friends now right?” he says, lazily circling his finger around the lid of his drink.
“I think it’s safe to call us that.”
Yixing looks up at him and smiles and Wu Fan thinks the way his eyes crinkle is beautiful.
“Good,” he says softly, “good.”
“I can’t believe you watch that show! It’s so predictable and it’s completely set up.”
Wu Fan shrugs, “I know but I like it because it’s terrible, that’s where the fun lies.”
Yixing laughs and pokes him in the shoulder, “You are the strangest person.”
Wu Fan acts hurt, his hand coming up to his heart and he opens his mouth to retort but it’s at that moment that he feels something tugging on his leg and he looks down, seeing that Presto has wound his leash around both him and Yixing.
There is a pause where Yixing swears under his breath and then they are falling, Wu Fan reaching out just in time to catch himself, palms pressed into the ground. Yixing isn’t so lucky though, and he lands on his back with an unnatural crack.
“Damn dog,” he grinds out, wincing. As he shifts Wu Fan realises what sort of position they are in, his hands on either side of Yixing’s head, hips hovering above those beneath him and their noses so close that one inch forward would cause them to touch. He swallows because there are thoughts flying through his head that he doesn’t think are particularly appropriate right now.
Yixing blinks at him and recognition lights in his eyes, his face turning the slightest bit red as he pushes Wu Fan off.
“We need to teach him not to do that.”
Wu Fan nods in agreement – he doesn’t think he should speak. He rolls over and sits on the ground, ignoring the strange looks passerbys are sending them. Yixing reels the lead in; Presto, refusing to get up, slides along the pavement. Yixing tsks and cuffs him lightly on the back of his head.
“What are you doing you silly thing? You could have hurt us!”
Presto whines, his eyes growing wide and Yixing laughs, hugging him to his chest.
“You are too cute!”
Wu Fan scoffs, “And you wonder why he never learns anything?”
He ignores the glare that is sent his way.
He is woken up at two in the morning by a manic knocking on his door and he groans, tumbling out of bed as the sheets tangle around him.
“Coming,” he says, voice still groggy with sleep as he rubs at his eyes. He opens the door and is met with a frenzied Yixing.
“Wu Fan oh my god! Presto – I don’t know he just, he’s been coughing all night and then he got all tired and he’s walking around like – and then he was whimpering I don’t know what to do!” His eyes are wide and he is shaking a little.
Wu Fan grabs his arm, “Okay, it’s okay. I’ll help.”
Yixing is right, Wu Fan thinks when they enter his apartment, something is wrong with Presto. The dog is lying on the ground, terrible sounding coughs racking through his little body. Yixing bends over, petting him soothingly and humming softly to him.
Wu Fan places a hand on his back. “It’s okay Yixing, I think it’s just Kennel cough.”
Yixing glances at him and Wu Fan is shocked to see unshed tears glistening in his eyes.
“What is that?” he whispers and Wu Fan sits down beside him.
“It shouldn’t be too serious, he probably picked it up from a dog at the park. But we can take him to the vet tomorrow to make sure.”
Yixing nods and he bites his lip, attention returning to Presto. Wu Fan goes to leave but Yixing’s hand clenches around his shirt and he tugs him back.
“Can you stay with me please? I’m-I’m scared for him.”
Wu Fan nods, pushing the thought of sleep from his mind as he sits back down. Yixing is still shaking a little so Wu Fan wraps an arm around his waist, the other hand stroking Presto’s stomach.
Yixing leans into him. “Thank you,” he whispers and Wu Fan just pulls him closer.
“Hey.” Yixing pokes his head around the open door in Wu Fan’s apartment. Wu Fan smiles at him and gestures for him to come in.
“Sorry about the other night,” he says as Presto runs in after him, pausing to sniff at one of Wu fan’s ties on the floor. Wu Fan kicks it away from him.
“That’s okay,” Wu Fan says. Yixing shuffles awkwardly for a moment.
“Do you want to come over for dinner? I mean, nothing fancy just, a thank you.”
Wu Fan glances at him, surprise evident.
“Um okay? But you know you don’t have to do anything, I don’t mind-”
Yixing holds up a hand. “No, I do. I feel pretty bad for making you stay up all night. Especially since it was for nothing.”
Presto barks in agreement.
Wu Fan laughs, “Alright I’ll come over later. But you have to let me finish my work then.”
Yixing flashes two thumbs up and calls Presto over, picking him up with one arm and waving to Wu Fan before he slips back out the door.
Wu Fan only then realises how fast his heart is beating and he sighs.
“Don’t do it Wu Fan, don’t fall in love with him,” he mutters to himself as he picks out a nicer shirt to wear. He stares blankly at it for a moment before he throws it on the floor.
He unhappily realises that it might be a little too late for that.
He isn’t entirely sure how is happens but the walks quickly turn into visits and the visits turn into dinners and it all becomes slightly more comfortable and treads ever so more dangerously on the line between friendship and something more.
It’s a Friday night and these have quickly become Wu Fan’s favourites.
Every Friday Wu Fan goes over to Yixing’s place after dinner and they watch movies until its early morning, sometimes even late morning, snuggling up on the couch with a blanket thrown over their legs and Presto sitting between them.
Yixing is waiting for him when he gets there, a bowl of popcorn and an assortment of dvd’s on the coffee table.
“I thought we could do horror tonight,” he says with a grin and Wu Fan smiles back – he finds it hard not too when Yixing’s smiles are so contagious.
“Sure,” he says, sliding onto the couch and lifting Presto up onto his lap. Presto is a little bigger now but he is still rather small, his stubby tail wagging as he snuffles his wet nose against Wu Fan’s hand. Yixing sits down beside him, pulling the blanket as high as it can go without falling back down.
They are halfway through the second movie when it happens.
Yixing starts as something jumps out on screen and goes to grab Wu Fan’s hand, fingers warm around his own. Wu Fan looks at him and its only now that he realises how close Yixing is. Yixing’s mouth is open ever so slightly, eyelashes brushing against his cheek, a single strand of hair falling over his eyes. He feels hot all of a sudden – as though a spark has ignited and spread throughout his body. There is an ache somewhere low in his stomach and he leans forward, just that little bit closer.
There is a loud rip and they both snap their heads around to see Presto lying in a mess of feathers, the remains of one of Yixing’s pillows fluttering around him. Yixing goes to move away, his cheeks evidently red even in the darkness, his eyes refusing to meet Wu Fan’s.
“Um well, I guess I better clean that up,” he says, his voice catching on the last word. Wu Fan nods and clears his throat as Yixing goes into the kitchen to get a plastic bag.
Wu Fan glares at Presto.
“Damn you Presto, damn you,” he groans.
Presto spits out a bit of material and grins at him.
“I don’t know what to do.”
Wu Fan lies on his stomach, the puppy running around in circles in front of him, a stuffed bunny hanging from his mouth. Yixing has gone out to get some groceries and left the two of them alone.
“Does he tell you anything? Does he like guys too?”
Presto drops the bunny and barks. Wu Fan laughs and wiggles a finger in front of him teasingly.
“You better not be lying to me.”
Sharp teeth sink into his finger and Wu Fan yanks it back quickly. He pushes the puppy onto his back, scratching his stomach as Presto continues to try and nip at his fingers.
“Your owner is almost as cute as you, you know.”
Presto growls playfully and Wu Fan tickles him.
“Don’t worry, only almost.”
It takes him all of one week after that before he gives in.
“I like you,” he says, and then blinks because he can’t believe that he’s just said that out loud.
Yixing raises an eyebrow.
“I mean,” he continues, face heating up and dammit, he swore he never used to blush until Yixing came along, “I mean, I like you, a lot.”
He hears Presto bark at something in the background. Yixing opens his mouth and then closes it and then opens it again.
Wu Fan nods, hands clenching by his sides. “Yes. I’m sorry.”
Yixing frowns at him, “Why?” he says and promptly kisses him on the mouth.
Wu Fan doesn’t think he’s ever been so happy in his life.
Its perfect now, Wu fan thinks as he links his fingers with Yixing.
It’s sunny outside and Presto runs in front of them, attacking flowers at random. Yixing laughs as Presto swipes at a bee and runs away, hiding himself in the grass. Wu Fan just watches, feeling a sense of affection warm his heart as Yixing smiles so wide dimples dent his cheeks. It takes a moment before Yixing notices Wu Fan’s gaze and he turns to him, head tilted; questioning.
“What is it?”
Wu Fan shakes his head and pulls him closer, unlinking their fingers and sliding a hand around his waist instead, fingers resting on his hip.
“You’re pretty,” Wu Fan says, breath ghosting over his ear.
Yixing frowns, and he nudges Wu Fan with his shoulder.
“I’m a guy, I shouldn’t be pretty.”
Wu Fan kisses him on the cheek.
“I’m only stating the truth,” he murmurs against his skin and revels in the way he can make Yixing shiver with something as simple as that.
Three words are on the tip of his tongue but they go unspoken.
Wu Fan is running late from work and it’s Valentine’s Day.
He is running late from work on his first Valentine’s Day with Yixing and he currently wants to shoot his boss.
He sprints back home, stopping in briefly at a newsagency to pick up a card and flowers.
Shit, he thinks, shit, shit shit.
He knocks on Yixing’s apartment and nobody answers. He tries again but it’s completely silent.
He sighs and slams a fist against the door, despair building in his body. He supposes he better go into his own place and call him, that’s the best he can hope for right now.
He opens his own door and is met with a face full of dog and a blinding grin.
“Happy Valentine’s day!” Yixing shouts, holding Presto in the air. The poor dog has clearly become subject to one of Yixing’s ‘creative’ ideas and is sporting small wings strapped to his back with a bow slung over one of his paws - assumedly, he is Cupid.
Wu Fan grins and after Yixing puts Presto back on the floor, he presses forward, bodies flush against each other, one hand on his waist and another weaving in his hair. The flowers he had been holding fall to the floor.
“I love you,” he whispers and kisses him hard.
Yixing pulls away, flushed and eyes wide.
“You do?” He asks and Wu Fan laughs.
“How could I not?”
Yixing smiles at that but it’s a shy smile and Wu Fan quickly kisses it away as he pushes him against the wall and pulls his shirt over his head.
“I love you too,” Yixing says, breathless, as Wu Fan’s hands find the zipper on his pants.
Presto huffs and makes himself busy by mutilating the flowers.
It’s funny the way Yixing’s stuff begins to end up in Wu fan’s apartment.
He doesn’t even notice when Yixing and Presto begin to stay over all the time – it’s become too natural now.
“You should move in,” he says one day, perhaps in an effort to finalise it all.
Yixing rolls his eyes, “I’ve been ‘moved in’ for a month now.”
“Oh,” Wu Fan says.
And that is that.
Yixing is cooking when Wu Fan spins him around, skilfully catching the spatula before it’s thrown on the ground. He places it on the table and kisses Yixing.
“You look like a bride,” he says, a smile dancing on his lips.
Yixing narrows his eyes, “I think sometimes you like to forget that I’m actually a man Wu Fan.”
Wu fan ignores him. “Presto, bring us the rings please.”
Presto’s ears prick up at hearing his name and he walks over, watching the two of them.
“Oh dear,” Wu Fan says, “it looks like he ate the rings.” Yixing bites back a laugh but he can’t help a smile spreading across his lips.
‘What shall we do now oh husband of mine?”
Wu Fan clears his throat and looks around, eyes settling on an elastic band. He grabs it off the bench and takes Yixing’s hand, looping the band a few times before it sits properly on his finger.
“There,” he says, eyes dancing, “I do.”
Yixing fiddles with his rubber band ring, face becoming serious for a moment. “You know, I would marry you,” he says, eyes piercing, sincerity evident.
Wu Fan pauses and as he looks at Yixing, his hair all messed up, a dab of flour on his cheek and the pink apron slung around his hips, he realises that he never wants to let him go.
“I know,” he says softly, “I would marry you too.”
The days turn into months and the months become years.
They never do get married; Yixing says it’s not worth the travel and Wu Fan says that he doesn’t need a legal document to prove his love. They are happy in their own way, the unusual family of three, three because Presto is definitely part of what they have created. He becomes like their child and they dote on him as they would on any kid of theirs. He sleeps in their bed, he eats their food and once, he even wears their clothes (although that is only because Yixing decided it would be a good idea to dress him up as Wu Fan for the day.) Sometimes Wu Fan thinks it’s strange where they have ended up; but he is happy, and Yixing is happy and as far as they can tell, Presto is happy.
And happiness, he thinks, is all that matters in the end really.
It’s late Autumn when Presto passes away.
Wu Fan buries him in the park besides the tree he used to always dig up. Yixing cries, hiding his face in Wu Fan’s shirt as they watch the leaves scatter around them and cover the mound of dirt in front of their feet. A dog barks in the distance and Wu Fan closes his eyes, remembering the way Presto would chase the ducks at the pond and then accidently fall in. The way they would always wake up in the morning with their legs tangled and Presto fast asleep between them. How he used to have his favourite television shows and he would wag his tail when he heard the theme music play.
Yixing pulls away and rests his head on Wu Fan’s shoulder as he finds the other’s hand and tangles their fingers together.
“I can’t believe that it was nine years ago when I found him,” he says softly and Wu Fan can only just make out his words before the breeze carries them away.
It’s Yixing’s birthday and Wu Fan passes something warm and heavy onto his lap.
“You didn’t,” Yixing whispers, his mouth dropping open.
Wu Fan nods, “I did.”
The puppy opens its eyes and blinks at them.
A/N: I'm currently spewing rainbows and sunshine from writing about such cute boys and their cute puppy. I had way too much fun with this. I was about to make this story all 'Marley and Me' and tear every heart out but I decided to be relatively nice in the end xD Anyho, I can't thank qorea enough for that tumblr post because it got me out of my writers block and for that I am so very grateful! ♥