12 Progress

"I have thought about whatever you said last week," Yul began. "I still don't think there is any change in my feelings. I like you the same."

Zeng faced Yul and rested the side of his head on the couch. "Wang Yul, are you still confused?" He asked, genuinely wanting to know.

"Not anymore," Yul turned to face Zeng, "I discussed it with Subin. The best I could say about myself is that I am a bisexual. I have liked women in the past and now, I like you. I don't feel the same about any other men though and I don't know if I ever will. I am a stubborn and loyal guy. Whatever feelings I have for you, I intend to keep them forever."

Zeng looked into Yul's eyes. They were sincere as all other times. He was so naive and innocent, unaware of how this world works. "Nothing lasts forever, Yul. It's just an illusion that we decide to live in."

Yul noticed the pain in Zeng's eyes, he shouldn't be invading something he wasn't aware of. But he couldn't help but feel the need to console the other.

"I will be with you forever. I don't know what happened to you in the past but I know it must be difficult. I can understand-"

"You can't understand," Zeng immediately countered, "You'll never understand how difficult it was...it is." He had unknowingly raised his voice and the younger one flinched at the tone.

Yul felt that he had hit a nerve and hence was quick to apologise, "I am sorry, I really don't know what to say. I don't know how I should make you believe. You are right, I don't understand how it works for you. But I'll try to understand you more. So please, give me that chance."

Seeing the boy being so diligent and apologizing without any fault, Zeng closed his eyes in regret, "I am sorry, I shouldn't have raised my voice. It's just… this thing is not easy for me. I am not yet ready for relationships. I need some time. How much? Even I don't know. I am sorry, it's like I am leading you on without any near conformation." He appeared so helpless, to be dwelling on something out of his control.

Yul wanted to pull him into a hug but decided against it. After all, he was not Zeng's boyfriend yet. "It's okay. I can wait," he said, "If it's you, I'll wait for however long it takes."

They were staring at each other. It was just the two of them in this closed room, away from the entire world. Yul dreamily looked at Zeng who also had his eyes fixed on him.

Yul's heart was pounding in his ears. His breath hitched as his body leaned closer unconsciously but retracted back the next moment as Zeng just blinked with those big doe eyes of his. Yul let out a huge sigh, looking away.

"What?" Zeng tilted his head.

"I just thought it was a good moment to kiss," Yul answered, biting his lip. "You are not ready yet, so we shouldn't do that." He looked straight, avoiding Zeng's eyes.

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Zeng smiled. The younger man was just so cute. He held Yul's chin with his two fingers and leaned ahead to place a soft kiss on his cheek. "This is the best I can currently do," he whispered, looking in Yul's eyes and retracted back.

Yul blushed so hard, he couldn't even manage a smile or any reaction in general except to go red till his ear tips. He covered both of his cheeks which were now crimson in colour and looked at Zeng with big puppy eyes.

"Cute," Zeng chuckled.

"Don't laugh, Zeng ge! My heart wasn't ready. I thought it stopped for a moment." And Zeng laughed some more at Yul's sensitivity and adorableness.

Wiping the tears from the corner of his eyes, Zeng straightened himself and got off from the couch, "See, I like you enough to do that. Just, a relationship is a no-no for me at this moment and it will definitely take time for us to reach there. So let's work through it together." He offered a hand to a sitting Yul.

"Positive," Yul accepted the warm hand and Zeng pulled him up, heading to the kitchen, "Come on, let's make a coffee for me and bake a pastry for you."

It was safe to say Yul enjoyed himself that day. Not that he didn't whenever he was with Zeng but doing something as domestic as working together in the kitchen felt nice. He was more than happy. It was evident from the smile that he couldn't wipe off his face after Zeng dropped him back at the academy that day.

He even skipped his steps while walking through the corridor and into his room. Subin was half lying on the bed, upside down. Upon seeing his roommate, he sat up. The other two roommates also stopped their activities and stared at the newly arrived guy, who had a different expression on his face from the usual stoic one.

Subin was quick to catch up.

"You got it?" He asked.

Yul nodded, failing to hide back the smile. His other two roommates exchanged glances and shrugged.

Subin asked how it went and Yul provided the highlights. The half Korean guy was proud of his friend to have passed this test. Hell, Yul was amazed at himself too.

Thinking over what happened that day as he laid on his small bunk bed, trying to sleep, Yul couldn't help but blush whenever he recalled the kiss Zeng gave him on the cheek. It almost felt intimate. With that move, they had crossed the friendzone and were much more than that.

How badly Yul wanted to skip all the steps! But he knew the way to Zeng's heart was a bumpy road and he had to climb it slowly and carefully and had to cherish the journey just as much.

'What must he be doing right now?' he thought to himself and it made him smile. He could imagine the doctor bundled up in a cocoon of sheets and sleeping out of tiredness, looking all innocent and vulnerable. The thought made his heart clench.

Far away from the academy, in a small apartment, a doctor leaned over his books, highlighted the main point of a surgery and closed the file. His work finished for the day and he was more than glad to finally go to bed. Bundling himself in the sheets, he curled up in a ball. His mind ran over with thoughts of the day and one particular smiling face stood out of them all.

'What must he be doing now?' He thought to himself, thinking about a certain police trainee.

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