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It’s so fucking hot, is the first thought that runs through Joonmyun’s mind as he walks into the adoption center. The next is, Am I really doing this?

It’s Kyungsoo’s fault he’s here, really. Joonmyun made a small comment about how empty his apartment felt (another reminder not to go out drinking with Kyungsoo), and one thing led to another, and soon enough, Kyungsoo had texted him the address of a hybrid adoption center his friend works at.

The inside of the building is nice and cool — Joonmyun thanks whatever higher deity there is for the existence of air conditioning — and shuffles forward to the front desk. The person standing there has his back to him, and Joonmyun has to cough to get his attention.

“Sorry, hi!” the boy behind the counter says automatically, “how may I help y— oh!” He pauses for a moment before narrowing his eyes, “Kim Joonmyun? Kyungsoo’s friend?”

“Yeah,” Joonmyun mumbles. “You are?”

“Byun Baekhyun, friend from college. He’s told me a bit about you. I didn’t really expect you to show up from what he’s told me, to be honest.”

“What has he told you?” Joonmyun asks curiously.

“Uh,” Baekhyun smiles sheepishly, “Something about being really lame and possibly dying alone if he doesn’t find someone—”

“Oh my god,” Joonmyun groans, hands clawing at his face. “I’m going to kill him.”

“He said you’d say that too,” Baekhyun teases. “Right, so, are you interested in any sort of particular hybrid?

“Um,” Joonmyun mumbles, “not really. I just came on a whim.”

Baekhyun, thankfully, says nothing else embarrassing and comes out from behind the counter. “Yixing!” He calls out, “I’m going to help a customer, so take over for me for a bit, please?”

There’s a sound from the room behind the counter, and Baekhyun takes that as an affirmative to motion for Joonmyun to follow him. “So,” he says, “d’you like birds?”

Joonmyun’s face gives him away before he can actually speak, and Baekhyun grins at him before turning down a hallway. “You don’t like, keep them in cages, do you?” Joonmyun asks, slightly horrified.

Baekhyun looks incredibly offended, if anything. “Who do you think we are?” he asks. “They have a communal room. Not very glamorous, but not, y’know, cages. They can talk to us. We know if they’re having a hard time.”

“Right,” Joonmyun says, “sorry.”

Baekhyun gives him an easy smile and stands in front of a white door. “Okay, this is the main room. There’s a few other people looking around, so they won’t alarmed or anything, but just a heads up.”

Joonmyun doesn’t really know what he’s expecting when the door opens. He thinks it was probably a modification of a cage, or something equally as appalling.

It’s not.

In fact, it looks just like a regular lounge. A very colorful lounge, actually. He wonders if they got to paint the walls themselves, because there’s giant globs of colors everything, like no one bothered to match each other and just painted whatever came to mind. There’s a long table near the back wall, and a television perched on the end of it. In front of that is a small sofa, where a few girls and boys are perched on, and if not for the nonhuman appendages, like ears, tails, and jesus — those wings are huge — he wouldn’t have noticed they were hybrids.

There are other small tables and chairs littered across the room, and Joonmyun watches in wonder as a boy with dog ears wrestles a human on the floor near the window.

Baekhyun sighs. “That’s Chanyeol and Jongdae. They’re not fighting, at least, I don’t think so. Chanyeol’s just ansty because his new owner is supposed to pick him up today. He’s extra handsy when he’s excited. Anyway! Let me show you around. That’s Kyungri, by the computer. She’s a cat, Siamese, I think. We said no to the birds, and I’m going to take a general guess from your face and from what Kyungsoo told me and infer that you don’t want something extremely loud or hyper.”

“That would be nice.”

“Oh,” Baekhyun suddenly pipes up, “I know! I know the perfect guy for you. He’s quiet, and kind of cold at first, but he’s a good kid.”

Baekhyun strides over to the opposite end of the room, down to where a few people are playing video games, and Joonmyun thinks he knows who Baekhyun’s talking about before Baekhyun actually points him out.

On the far end of the couch, there’s a boy with black cat ears, tail wrapped around his waist as his face rests on the armchair. He’s sleeping, Joonmyun realizes once they get closer.

“Isn’t that uncomfortable?” Joonmyun asks warily.

“Our Jonginnie can sleep literally anywhere,” one of the girls says. “It’s a talent.”

“Especially since Chanyeol slept next to him,” another boy adds, not bothering to look up from the game he’s playing. It’s an old console, one they’ve stopped selling at least five years ago, but Joonmyun guesses it’s better than not having anything.

“Yah!” Baekhyun snaps, leaning down to poke Jongin harshly in the forehead. “Wake up! It’s like, five in the afternoon.”

Jongin whines low in this throat and blinks his eyes open slowly before stretching and Joonmyun is greeted with the soft expanse of his tummy as his shirt rides up, and he gulps hard. “What do you want, hyung?”

“Jongin is genetically the farthest from a cat out of everyone here,” Baekhyun explains as Jongin rubs the sleep out of his eyes. “Personality wise though, he’s actually just a giant kitty. Rise and shine, sweetie, you have a visitor. His name is Joonmyun.”

“Don’t call me that,” Jongin groans, then turns to peer up to look at Joonmyun. He has soft-looking, plump lips and a straight nose — his face has no sharp lines or edges. He’s also devastatingly handsome, and while Joonmyun knows it’s nothing uncommon for hybrids and humans to have relationships, he does recall Baekhyun calling him a good kid.

“How old are you?” Joonmyun asks, and tries not to roll his eyes when Baekhyun laughs.

“Nineteen,” Jongin replies, and Joonmyun thinks Jongin is almost looking at him with accusing eyes, like he dares Joonmyun to try and say something bad about him.

“That’s older than I thought,” Joonmyun says slowly, then looks at Baekhyun with a face that screams help me, and Baekhyun decides to take pity on him.

“Jongin really likes dancing. Sometimes we’ll push all the furniture out of the way so he can perform for us. There’s not really much room for practice though.”

“That’s cool,” Joonmyun decides on. “I can’t walk in a straight line sometimes, but a few of my friends are very passionate about dance, so I know a few terms. What kind of dance do you like?”

Jongin hesitates for a moment before mumbles, “Hip ho—”

“Lies!” Someone from behind him shouts, and Jongin yelps when another similar looking cat pounces on top of him. “Jonginnie loves ballet!”

“Get off me!” Jongin yelps, and he and the intruder roll off the couch together and start to snap at each other on the ground.

“That’s Taemin,” Baekhyun explains. “He already has an owner, but Jongin is his best friend, so he comes down here all the time.”

Joonmyun nods as Taemin and Jongin jump to their feet, Taemin chanting, “ballet, ballet, Jongin loves ballet!” as loudly as he can, and Jongin tries to cover his mouth with his hand uselessly. Joonmyun laughs. It’s cute.

“My friend is a ballet teacher,” Joonmyun says, and both Taemin and Jongin’s face light up at the same time. “I can take you to her, if you’d like.”

Just like that, the animosity between them disappears and Jongin’s looking at him with wonder in his eyes.

“Wow,” Baekhyun says from next to him, “that was the fastest I’ve ever seen anyone win Jongin’s heart. And by fastest I mean you’re the only one.”

Jongin doesn’t even spare Baekhyun a glance; his eyes are trained on Joonmyun’s face, and Joonmyun doesn’t know whether he should feel flattered or whether he’s being used.

Well, Joonmyun thinks, in all actuality, he might be buying Jongin, and suddenly the thought scares him.

Everyone who owns a hybrid has sung nothing but praises, but Joonmyun is still wary. Hybrids haven't been around for long, just about a century; they're the results of lab experiments that, despite all newspapers and almost every dystopian book you've ever read, turned out successful.

Joonmyun knows that there are still some people who consider them second class people, and even though adoption centers are strictly based on consent between the hybrid and human, it still makes him uncomfortable to just buy a person like they're merchandise. It’s probably why he’s taken so long to get himself down here.

“You look clammy,” Baekhyun says, sounding a bit concerned. “Do you need to sit down? Can I get you water?”

“No,” Joonmyun gasps, “I’m fine. I’m just... new, to all of this.” He fixes Jongin with a scared glance, and he knows the moment they lock eyes that Jongin knows exactly how he’s feeling, because he cowers in on himself slightly, and then Taemin is pressing himself up against Jongin’s side, arm coming around his shoulder defensively.

“Here,” Baekhyun interjects, “let’s go out for some fresh air. You can come back after you’ve cleared your head.” He grabs Joonmyun by the wrist and pulls him out of the room, closing the door behind him as they exit.

Joonmyun wipes his hands on his pants and takes a deep breath before he looks at Baekhyun. He wonders how pathetic he looks right now.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Baekhyun asks. “You know, you don’t have to adopt Jongin, or anyone.”

“I know,” Joonmyun sighs. “I’m just— I’ve never done this before. Never even considered it before.”

Baekhyun gives him a reassuring smile and puts a hand on his shoulder. “You know, Kyungsoo might have called you lame, but he wouldn’t have brought up your name if he didn’t think you were capable.”

Joonmyun smiles at that. “You think so?”

Baekhyun laughs. “I know so. And, between me and you, let me let you in on a secret. Jongin hates people. Most people, at least. There’s a reason he’s been in here for a really long time. You know how adoption works — both people need to consent. Jongin’s never— A lot of people have shown interest in him. It’s always been one sided.”

He fixes Joonmyun with a certain look that has Joonmyun reeling. It reminds him of Spiderman, to be honest, when Peter’s uncle had told him With great strength comes great responsibility.

“Up until now,” Baekhyun continues. “He showed interest today. In you.”

Joonmyun scoffs. “That’s just because I told him I know a dance teacher.”

“That’s what it looks like,” Baekhyun says, slowly, like he’s trying to get Joonmyun to understand some deep, underlying concept. Which he supposes is exactly what he’s doing. “But he said he liked hip hop first. Taemin was the one who brought ballet up. And then you know what really won him over?” He doesn’t wait for Joonmyun to ask what, because he says, “You didn’t laugh at him.”

Oh.

“Do you know how many people have done that? Made him feel bad about liking ballet? I couldn’t count them with both hands if I tried.” He sighs loudly and runs a hand through his hair before turning to look back at Joonmyun. “I’m telling you this because Jongin deserves to have someone in his life. That was the first time I’ve seen his eyes light up in a really, really long time. And when you cowered? That wasn’t a look of anger; that was fear. That was Jongin wondering if someone else was going to walk out that door and leave him behind again. I’ve worked here way too long to let him down again.”

“I,” Joonmyun thinks about Jongin’s beautiful eyes and his soft cheeks and his black cat ears and tail, and he stammers, “I really like him, Baekhyun. I like him so much I don’t know what to do.”

Baekhyun grins at him, wide and bright. “Good, because I know exactly what to do.”

 

Adopting takes up much more time that Joonmyun originally thought.

In retrospect, it was probably silly of Joonmyun to assume that he’d walk in alone and walk out with another person, just like that. They’re not dolls, Joonmyun reminds himself. They’re people with brains and feelings and human value, goddammit.

Despite what Baekhyun’s told him, he’s still surprised when Jongin gives Joonmyun the okay to adopt him, because he still looks at Joonmyun like he doesn’t trust him at all. Baekhyun, obviously pleased, catches Jongin in a headlock and squeals before giving him a noogie, which has Jongin hissing and spitting.

“Despite consent, we’ll still have to check if you can afford to keep Jongin, if you have the capability to raise him, and if you’re not some psychopathic serial killer.” Baekhyun adds a smile for good measure. “It’s all standard protocol.”

“Right,” Joonmyun mutters.

“So, give us your address, a time and date to drop by, and if you pass the check ups, we’ll get you a day to come in and pick Jongin up.”

Joonmyun’s checking his phone for any available days he has during the week when the door opens, and there’s a beaming Chanyeol, followed by a not-so-beaming Yifan.

Joonmyun pauses.

Wait, Yifan?

Yifan has a similar reaction, because he stares at Joonmyun, bewildered, before he laughs. “I would have never thought you’d come here. Was it Kyungsoo?”

“Speak for yourself,” Joonmyun gasps. “You’ve adopted? Chanyeol?”

“Hey,” Chanyeol says, sniffing. Just like that, Joonmyun doubts he’s even noticed, Yifan’s hand comes up to pet Chanyeol.

“I like Chanyeol,” he says simply. “I’m a dog person; we both know that.”

“I didn’t know you could keep up with him,” Joonmyun confesses. “I probably can’t.”

“I’m right here,” Chanyeol snaps.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you,” Joonmyun says softly. “If anything, I was offending him. Trying to, at least. You sure you’re okay with an owner like that, Chanyeol?”

Joonmyun’s tone is teasing, but Yifan looks at Chanyeol with the softest expression Joonmyun’s ever seen him make in his life, and Yifan smiles before saying, “Nah, I think we’ll be good.”

And Joonmyun can’t really argue with that.

 

“Oh man,” Baekhyun says after Yifan’s left. “You know Yifan? Now that’s surprising. We have a lot of friends in common.”

“I used to work with him before he switched companies,” Joonmyun replies. “We’re good friends, actually.”

“That’s amazing,” Baekhyun breathes, “because I’m his best friend.” Then he turns towards Jongin, who’s been watching the exchange silently. “See, Jongin? I told you you wouldn’t be able to get rid of me even if you tried.”

“Unfortunately,” Jongin says, frowning, and Baekhyun laughs.

 

Joonmyun has Baekhyun come in on an unpleasantly hot Thursday to inspect his house. "You don't have like, bodies buried under the floorboard, right?"

"Um," Joonmyun gulps, "has that happened before?"

Baekhyun shrugs. "I'd rather not have a first. Do you have any idea where Jongin is going to be sleeping? Pro tip: he's actually a pretty touchy person, but at first he's not going to want to touch you with a ten foot pole."

"That's... reassuring," Joonmyun mumbles. "I have a guest room that I figured I would turn into his room. It doesn't have much in it right now, but I could take Jongin furniture shopping?"

Baekhyun nods approvingly. "That works. Well, I'm mainly done around here. Everything's been checked off. You're financially okay, your medical and criminal history is okay, and you have an acceptable health insurance to cover both you and Jongin. You're almost done, Joonmyun."

"Almost?" Joonmyun croaks. Not that he wants to kick Baekhyun out or anything, he's actually a very pleasant person to talk to. He definitely made the six hours of constant interviewing and record checking much less awful than it should have been. But, really. Six hours. Joonmyun wants to sleep forever. It's Thursday and he has a business conference at nine tomorrow morning. "There are a lot of steps to adopting a hybrid."

"There are," Baekhyun says, and he's not smiling anymore, which freaks Joonmyun out a little, because Baekhyun's been smiling almost exactly six hours. "I'm going to hate to make you uncomfortable, but I really think this next session is going to make you extremely uncomfortable. But it's important, because aside from all the records and finances, it all boils down to: Why do you want Jongin? What can you provide for Jongin that no one else can? What makes you the best adopter for Jongin?"

That does quite make Joonmyun uncomfortable, and he even has to loosen his tie a bit and lean back against the kitchen table. What can he provide for Jongin that no one else can, really?

Jongin has really dark brown eyes, like Joonmyun could be drowning in them, but he remembers, clearly, the apprehension in them. He remembers looking into Jongin's eyes for the very first time and seeing animosity. Joonmyun asked how old Jongin was, and he'd snapped a bitter nineteen at him, like Joonmyun would snap back, no, you're not.

He probably can't provide Jongin with anything more than whoever lives next door to him (his next door neighbor is a very nice girl named Miyoung who has a gorgeous smile and makes really nice cupcakes and wears headbands a lot).

He'll try, though. "I want Jongin because... Because I think I need him as much as I think he needs me. Maybe. He's... a good person, I think, and I want to help him. Take care of him, I mean. Make him family. I don't him to be lonely."

He doesn't look up for a good five seconds, he counts down in his head, then peers up through his lashes to see Baekhyun giving him a very peculiar look. It's a mix between contemplative and apathetic, before he finally says, "You sound like you've never had an interview before."

Joonmyun laughs. It's a nice break in atmosphere. Truthfully, he feels embarrassed for blurting all that on the spot. "Usually I get a few days notice to prepare myself."

Baekhyun smiles. "I'm actually quite impressed. From what Kyungsoo's told me—"

"Oh, no, please don't," Joonmyun groans. "I don't want to know what Kyungsoo said about me." Then he pauses. "You're impressed?"

Baekhyun shrugs. "That was much better than Yifan, at least. I mean, I wasn't actually there, but from what Lu Han told me, it was pretty bad."

"Yifan is a pretty awful speaker outside of work."

"Yes he is," Baekhyun agrees, "But you're not adopting Chanyeol, you're adopting Jongin. And well, as far as I'm concerned, you're good to go. But you're not rid of me yet. One more check up and then we'll organize a date for pick up. Are you ready?"

"I'm—" Joonmyun takes a deep breath. "I think so," he says.

Baekhyun gives him another passive stare before he shrugs. "Still better than Yifan."

 

It takes another two weeks of processing paperwork and getting records checked and double checked and Joonmyun gets to send a few messages to Jongin ('how've you been?', 'have you eaten well?') before Baekhyun stops by, and it's this time where Joonmyun accidentally lets the question slip, a mere five minutes before Baekhyun is about to leave— "Why are you always the one to come?"

Baekhyun looks up from a file and raises an eyebrow. "Come again?"

"Sorry," Joonmyun flushes, "it's just that, you've mentioned a few other workers before and whatnot, but you come each and every time. Is that just coincidence?"

"Oh." Baekhyun gently closes the file places it back on the table. Joonmyun hopes this doesn't mean he's going to get another nerve wracking lecture. Something about the look in Baekhyun's eyes tells him that he will. "I work with Jongin, personally," Baekhyun states, "I mean, I'm not his advertiser or something, I work with all the hybrids, but I'm especially connected to this case. Did you know I was the one who pulled Jongin out of the rubble of his old home when he was twelve?"

"Pulled him out of the what?"

"Jongin's very special. He's a direct descendant of the very first feline hybrid from a century back. A century isn't very long ago: Jongin's only two generations down from the original."

"This..." Joonmyun stares blankly at Baekhyun. This was new information. "Jongin is history. You can't possibly just... give him away?"

Baekhyun gives him a look that has Joonmyun's blood run cold. "He's not a thing, Joonmyun."

Joonmyun flushes. "I'm sorry."

He hopes he looks sincere enough, because he definitely feels sincere enough, but Baekhyun only sighs. "Do you remember how a couple of years ago the original lab where hybrids were originally created were burned down? I was in training back then. We were all sent to the scene, and Jongin and a few others of the original hybrids were there. I was the one who found Jongin and pulled him out of that building."

Joonmyun takes a moment to register all of this. Jongin seems so, so important, like just his name is worth more than everything Joonmyun's worked for in his life. But, he thinks back to what Baekhyun said — Jongin is not just a name. He's not just "the direct descent of first cat-human hybrid". Joonmyun wanted him before he knew this, and he still wants him now.

"He's very special to me, is what I'm saying," Baekhyun says. "I put this all in Jongin's report, by the way, which I will give you. I'd suggest at least reading the first two chapters."

"Right," Joonmyun mumbles, feeling much less significant than he did five minutes before. "I'll... do that."

"I'm being really hard on you, I know," Baekhyun says, "I check records I don't have to, I question you every time I come or call, but it's because I really do think Jongin is going to like you. And truthfully, I'm going to miss him too."

Joonmyun gives him a weak smile. "I'm glad Jongin had you." Has, he corrects in his head, because he's not quite sure if Jongin will relent to him as easily.

 

Baekhyun leaves a few moments later, and Joonmyun looks at the dark green folder lying on his kitchen table titled "KIM JONGIN: [CONFIDENTIAL]" before opening the first page.

 

Kim Joonmyun is in a rush.

Kim Joonmyun is in a rush because the subway train he was going to take broke down, and on top of that, the gift he'd prepared for Jongin was left at his house, and his cellphone battery is dead, and it's thunder storming (of course Joonmyun's got no umbrella either) and today sucks.

But today is the day he picks up Jongin, and that sort of un-sucks everything he's gone through today.

Today is finally the day he picks up Jongin, after five weeks of pining and phone calls and short messages and records upon records and a huge sum of Joonmyun's money.

Today Joonmyun gets a new addition to his family.

And he's late to picking up his new family member. Because of the stupid subway. And dead cellphone. It's okay, though, or it should be okay, because even though Joonmyun is soaked to the bone and shivering and thunder booms as he finally reaches the door of the adoption center, there's a warmth in his chest. It feels like someone is blowing bubbles inside his ribcage, and they all pop and leave little tingly sensations against the bone.

Joonmyun wonders how awful he looks when Baekhyun's eyes widen at his appearance. "Wow," he says, "stay right there; I'm going to get a towel."

As Baekhyun exits into the backroom, Joonmyun runs a hand through hair, which is dripping water onto his shoulders, and takes a look around. Joonmyun's never actually seen anyone in the lobby before aside from Baekhyun and Yixing, but as he looks around now, there's a small glass window in the far back, next to the hallway Joonmyun knows leads to the lounge.

Jongin's peeking through the window, feline ears perked up, and Joonmyun thinks he can see his tail whipping from side to side in the back. He's not sure if that's a good thing, especially since Jongin looks like he's scrutinizing him now. Maybe he hates him for being so late. Or maybe he's really grossed out by Joonmyun's appearance is. Maybe it's both.

Jongin turns his head to look at something a few meters away from Joonmyun, then ducks down out of sight.

It's Baekhyun, who hands Joonmyun a towel to dry his hair with. "We don't have a change of clothes, but at least your hair will be fine?"

"It's fine," Joonmyun says. "Thanks."

His hair probably looks worse now, sticking up in all different directions, but Baekhyun grins at him, giddy as he says, "Are you ready?"

"I'm never ready," Joonmyun confesses. "I just hope for the best."

"You've definitely got the best," Baekhyun says, and pushes Joonmyun down the hall. "Honestly, we just need both yours and Jongin's signatures and then to get Jongin's stuff out. I've already called a cab, and Jongin doesn't really have much stuff, it's like one bag, so you're really all set."

"That's fast," Joonmyun breathes, and Baekhyun winks.

"Godspeed," he says, and opens the door for Joonmyun.

The window is actually quite high up — Jongin had been standing on his suitcase to get a peek at Joonmyun. He's still standing on it, but instead of looking like he's picking Joonmyun apart with each second ticking by, now he stares at Joonmyun with wide eyes, body completely stiff.

"Are you ready?" Baekhyun asks Jongin, voice teasing, and Jongin stops staring at Joonmyun to give Baekhyun the same lost look. "He's ready," Baekhyun says to Joonmyun, "just really nervous."

"I... understand that," Joonmyun says, and takes a few steps forward. "Are you gonna come down?" he asks with an outstretched hand, and Jongin takes a took between the suitcase he's standing on and Joonmyun's hand before he quietly takes it and steps down in front of him.

Jongin is still taller than Joonmyun, he notes bitterly, but up close, Joonmyun gets to examine his face. His lips are a nude pink, and there's a faint flush across his cheeks. It probably has something to do with their still linked hands, so Joonmyun quickly removes it and gives him a helpful grin.

Jongin doesn't grin back, but he does look a little less scared, so Joonmyun figures that's fair enough.

"I'm... How are you," Jongin asks, voice stuttering, and he glances quick at Baekhyun before saying, "today? I mean. How are you today."

Joonmyun's not sure which part was the question, but he smiles reassuringly and ignores Baekhyun laughing behind them. "I'm fine. Very nervous, but fine."

The idea of Joonmyun being nervous turns a switch on, because Jongin's face lights up with a smile that tugs at Joonmyun's heartstrings.

"Thank god," Baekhyun laughs as he shuffles around a few papers, "I thought you would frown all the way to Gangnam."

"Gangnam?" Jongin asks, perking up. "You live in Gangnam?"

Joonmyun shrugs. "More towards the edge of Gangnam, near Yongsan."

Jongin isn't listening. "Taemin lives in Gangnam," he says, grinning.

"Lord help you," Baekhyun says, reaching over to hand Joonmyun a file. "Jongin's a sweet kid — shut up Jongin — but Taemin is the devil in feline form. His owner, Jonghyun, is nice though. A great friend of mine."

"Is Taemin the one who told me about the ballet thing?" he asks offhandedly. The file is the contract he's supposed to sign. There's two lines at the bottom, one for Joonmyun's signature and one for Jongin's.

"Yeah," Jongin says quietly, and Joonmyun flinches. The ballet thing was probably not the best choice of words. He glances up to Baekhyun, who shrugs and hands him a pen.

"I talked to my friend, actually," Joonmyun says as he signs, "Song Qian. She says I can bring you in whenever you want."

Jongin doesn't say anything as he takes the pen and file from Joonmyun, but he can see Baekhyun grinning out of the corner of his eyes. He raises his eyebrows at Joonmyun, amused, and Joonmyun does his best not to laugh. Jongin is silent as he signs, but he's biting his lip to stop himself from smiling, and that, Joonmyun thinks, is really cute.

 

"My child," Baekhyun coos later, when they're loading Jongin's suitcase into the cab. "You've finally grown up."

"You're only two years older," Jongin snaps, and ducks to avoid Baekhyun's attempt to hug him.

"Yes, but look how much wiser I am than you," Baekhyun retorts. "Remember to brush your teeth every day, don't talk with your mouth full, don't do drugs, have safe se—"

Joonmyun coughs loudly as he slams the trunk shut, and Jongin blushes. "You're gross," he accuses, and Baekhyun doesn't deny it.

"I didn't say with Joonmyun, god Jongin, stop jumping to conclusions. Why, were you thinking of it? Because—"

"We're all set to go!" Joonmyun half screams, and Baekhyun gives him one look over but drawing him in for a hug.

He's whispering something in Jongin's ears when Joonmyun makes his way over, and gives him a final pat on the back before letting him go. Then, he turns to Joonmyun and says, "Give me your phone."

"What?"

"Phone," Baekhyun repeats. "I'm giving you my number."

"It's dead," Joonmyun replies, a bit sheepishly, and Baekhyun rolls his eyes before digging his own phone out of his pocket and thrusting it into Joonmyun's hand.

"Then put your number in. If Kyungsoo's told me anything at all," Baekhyun says as Joonmyun starts to dial his phone, "it's that you'll probably be extremely incompetent at first."

Joonmyun scoffs. "I think we've learned not to trust Kyungsoo's judgement on my character."

Baekyun takes his phone back with a smile. "Actually, if anything, I've learned these past few visits that I should probably trust exactly what Kyungsoo says."

Joonmyun must have made a face, because Baekhyun laughs. "C'mon, get in the car. Jongin's waiting. I'll talk to the driver."

Joonmyun turns to see Jongin sitting next to the window, and as he slides in to sit next to him, Jongin's ears twitch. He's not sure if that's good or bad.

"So," he says, "it's just you and me now, huh?"

Jongin gives a weak smile. "I guess so."

 

There isn't much to Jongin's room — there's a bed with white bedsheets and a plain mahogany dresser. "Sorry," Joonmyun says as he pushes Jongin's suitcase into the room and lays it down. He can’t even imagine how nerve wracking it must be for Jongin to finally pick everything up and just move like it’s nothing. Truthfully, he has no idea how to help calm Jongin down, so he tries to take the workload off of him. He refuses to let Jongin carry his suitcase into the apartment, and even offers to help him unpack. It's only after Jongin's ears flatten downwards moodily that Joonmyun realizes he probably wants to be left alone. He puts down the CD he’d been holding and smiles apologetically.

"Alright, well, whenever you're ready, you can come out, and we can get dinner together?"

Jongin nods, and he gives him a small wave before cautiously exiting the room. He wonders what the dietary differences between cat hybrids and pure humans are.

 

Not much, he finds out later. This probably also has something to do with Jongin being one of the hybrids that are least genetically related to their pure ancestor feline. He does look like he has sharp teeth, though.

He takes Jongin out to a small seafood restaurant in Hongdae, and tries not to stare too much as he watches Jongin mentally decide if he should use chopsticks or his hands.

"Let me do that," he says after a solid minute of watching Jongin stare at his food, then try to eat a piece of shrimp with the shell on.

Jongin's ears flatten again. "Shrimp is expensive," he says. "We don't get to eat it often."

"You can have whatever you want with me," Joonmyun replies as he dumps three pieces of shrimps onto Jongin's plate. He recoils immediately, because wow, that sounded extremely snobbish of him.

Jongin doesn't look like he thinks so, because he laughs and covers his mouth afterward. "You sound worse than Yifan."

Now that's an insult. At least Joonmyun tries to be modest. He figures Yifan deserves it though, since he's basically the poster boy for people who go from rags to riches. Joonmyun's was born into wealth. "Hmm, speaking of, how do you think Chanyeol is?"

"Smitten," Jongin says as he plops a shrimp into his mouth.

"How smitten?" Joonmyun asks as he peels the skin off another piece of shrimp.

Jongin hums a bit, chewing thoughtfully, and Joonmyun tries not to focus on how his ears twitch as he thinks. It's really fucking cute. "Well," he mumbles, "Chanyeol is usually clumsy, but the first day Yifan came in he slammed himself into a wall, and we still don't know if it was to get Yifan's attention or if he just saw nirvana. Either way, it did get Yifan's attention."

Joonmyun laughs so hard Jongin has to take the shrimp away from him and peel it open himself. "I think I've figured it out now," he says, grinning.

"I'm not going to let Yifan live this down," Joonmyun sighs happily. "It'll be great."

The rest of dinner goes by slowly, and silently, for the most part. It doesn't take much to realize that Jongin doesn't like to indulge in small talk, and unfortunately, small talk is all they have to go by at this stage.

"When did you start ballet, anyway?" Joonmyun suddenly asks, remembering their first encounter. "Did you have a teacher?"

Jongin shrugs as he swallows. "I saw it on TV; there was a live broadcast of Coppélia. I tried copying them. Chanyeol laughed. Most people did, actually. But I liked it."

Joonmyun has no idea what Coppélia is, but he nods anyway. "How did you learn?"

"Baekhyun would let me borrow his laptop a lot," Jongin says, smiling. "There was also a computer for everyone to use."

Joonmyun nods. "I have no idea when Song Qian is free, but I'll try to contact her sometime this week. About dance lessons, I mean." He pauses. "You don't mind, right?"

Jongin laughs. "Not really."

That was probably a stupid question, Joonmyun thinks as Jongin smiles down at his plate.

 

Joonmyun decides the best way to break Jongin in is to tire both Jongin and himself out. That includes meeting almost everyone Joonmyun knows, including Yifan and Chanyeol, who are far more acquainted with each other than they should considering the amount of time they've been together. Maybe Joonmyun's just slow at this getting to know people thing.

He takes Jongin out to his first dance practice two days later, except Song Qian ushers him out of the dance studio so he doesn't get to see Jongin's skills. He comes out about ten times happier than he was walking in though, so that makes Joonmyun smile.

They eat out practically every day, which is not healthy at all (and after a fatal run in that almost involves ushering Jongin to the hospital, he discovers that Jongin doesn't like tuna. Or that he can't digest it. Same thing, right?), but its the best way to talk to people. They even run into Taemin, which makes Jongin ecstatic — Joonmyun doesn't think he's ever seen him so happy. His owner is a funny guy named Jonghyun, who's the same age as Joonmyun. They become friends quickly.

 

He introduces Kyungsoo to Jongin at a cafe nearby his work building, and Kyungsoo introduces himself by patting Jongin’s head, whose tail curls around the leg of the chair as he purrs. Joonmyun isn't jealous.

"I'm the one who told Joonmyun to get out of his house in the first place," Kyungsoo says, shrugging.

"Why do you only tell Baekhyun bad things about me?" Joonmyun whines, and Jongin raises an eyebrow at that.

Kyungsoo pats him too, except Joonmyun doesn't purr. "I only told him the truth."

"You know that's not true," Joonmyun retorts.

“It’s completely true and you know it,” Kyungsoo says, sliding over a cup of hot chocolate to Jongin. "Because I like you better than him," is his explanation when Joonmyun gawks. "And I'm not giving anyone caffeine at six in the evening, you coffeeholic."

"Chocolate has caffeine," Joonmyun snaps bitterly, and Jongin and Kyungsoo share an amused glance. “And cats aren’t supposed to eat chocolate.”

"This is why you don't get anything."

Jongin laughs. "I like this Joonmyun," he announces, then flushes and looks down. Joonmyun doesn't think he meant to say that aloud, but it makes him smile anyway. Kyungsoo looks mortified.

"It's a perfect match," Kyungsoo says, mainly to himself.

"You're amazing," Joonmyun says, honestly.

Kyungsoo shrugs nonchalantly. "I know." Jongin laughs again.

 

The first icebreaker happens when Joonmyun accidentally forgets to turn off the TV.

He isn't really fond of cooking, but after eating out for so long, he figures it's finally time to show Jongin the very few culinary skills he has. He has Kyungsoo on speed dial just in case something catches fire.

Jongin's circled the house at least four times already, but he's working on a fifth by the time Joonmyun's got all the ingredients out and is washing the vegetables.

Joonmyun's not really a fan of loud noises, but Jongin seems to like it when there's some type of background noise, so he figures he'll wait a bit before he turns off the TV.

Jongin pads over a few minutes later when Joonmyun's staring at the rice cooker and wondering if it's healthy for Jongin to even eat rice. He's still part human, but after the incident with the tuna, he has no idea how he'll take a liking to rice.

He may as well ask, since Jongin is right there, standing on the other side of the kitchen counter. "Jongin," Joonmyun calls out, and watches as Jongin's ears perk up immediately and he faces Joonmyun with furrowed eyebrows. "Do you li—"

Jongin lets out something between a yowl and a hiss when the TV goes off behind him with the sound of a dog barking angrily, and then he's launching himself over the counter and onto Joonmyun, bringing them both down to the floor.

"What the fuck," Joonmyun groans, but Jongin is gripping his hands in Joonmyun's dress shirt so tight he thinks it might rip.

"Where is it," Jongin hisses quietly, slight tremors wracking through his body, and it's then that Joonmyun finally realizes that Jongin isn't angry, he's scared.

He leans up, Jongin still pressed up against his side, and Joonmyun smiles, bringing his hands up to loosen Jongin’s grip. "It was the TV," he says, "there's no dog."

"Make sure," Jongin whimpers.

"Get up with me," Joonmyun says, and Jongin does, but his hand trails down the length of Joonmyun's torso before Jongin grasps Joonmyun's pinky with his own. He's not even sure if Jongin's realized he's done it, but a smile plays across his lips as he leads Jongin across the room and to the living room, where they stop in front of the TV.

Some drama Joonmyun's never heard of is on — it's a drama about an investigation, and they both watch as the police dogs run after what probably is the culprit. Jongin's still shaking, so Joonmyun reaches down for the remote with his other hand and changes the channel to something else. A cooking show comes on, and this, Joonmyun figures, they both can deal with.

"You okay?"

Jongin nods, but he gulps as he does, so Joonmyun shifts their hands slightly so he's grasping Jongin's palm in his.

"Can I hug you?" Joonmyun asks before his brain can catch it, and he figures Jongin is going to dart away, but instead he nods slowly, and Joonmyun grins before he turns his body and leans forward before enveloping Jongin in a hug.

Jongin is half a head taller than him, which should make the hug awkward, but Jongin seems to be content with resting his head on top of Joonmyun's. His arms come up to wrap around Joonmyun's shoulder, and Joonmyun smiles against his collarbone.

"Better now?" Joonmyun asks, and Jongin lets out a soft hum in response. Then Joonmyun decides to tease. "Isn't Chanyeol your friend? He's a dog."

He can't see Jongin's face, but he can hear the childish grin in his voice. "Chanyeol's meanest barking couldn't even scare birds."

Joonmyun thinks about how they met up with Yifan and Chanyeol yesterday. Chanyeol had a pretty good bark, but Jongin’s right, it probably couldn’t scare anyone. Yifan seemed to like that, though, petting Chaneyol affectionately as he sulked. "They fit each other, surprisingly," he says. "I don't know how, but it works."

"Chanyeol likes the whole being smothered in affection thing," Jongin replies.

"And you?"

He shrugs. "Suffocating," he mumbles, then rectifies himself, "at times."

"You cats like your independence, huh," Joonmyun says, mainly to himself, but Jongin agrees anyway. Then he frowns. "This hug isn't suffocating, right?"

Jongin laughs, a deep, throaty kind of laugh that makes Joonmyun grin, too. "No, but this is kind of a long hug."

"Right," Joonmyun says, then pulls away. "Let's end that, then. I need to finish cooking, and I meant to ask like, ten minutes ago, do you eat rice? Or should I make one serving."

Jongin's face gives away the answer before he can say it, and Joonmyun reaches out to pat Jongin's head. "That's that, then," he quips, then heads back to the kitchen. Jongin follows close behind him and sits cross legged on the counter, watching as Joonmyun works away at the stove. Joonmyun pretends not to see when he steals a piece of chicken.

 

Things get comfy after that. Joonmyun doesn't feel the need to load their schedule up with unnecessary things like meeting the neighbors upstairs, or accidentally running into someone in the park, or someone he knows from work, or finding movies to watch so they don't have to talk. Jongin gets to go out and walk around whenever he likes, meet people whoever he likes (Joonmyun finds out Taemin and Jongin meet up frequently), and Joonmyun can concentrate on his work in the morning and relax at night.

Jongin goes to his first official dance lesson without him. And his second. And his third. It's Zhou Mi, Joonmyun's coworker, Song Qian's husband, who comes to him one day and talks excitedly about how excited Song Qian is over Jongin.

Song Qian being excited isn't exactly new — it's one of her charms, the small things that add that shine in her eyes that Joonmyun's always admired — but the way Zhou Mi says she fusses over Jongin and practically treats him like her own son is gratifying.

They also get touchy. The first two weeks, Jongin stayed as far away from him as possible and stuck to sneaking around corners and crouching behind chairs. Now, since Jongin has no qualms with resting his head on Joonmyun's shoulder as he works at the kitchen counter, Joonmyun doesn't think twice to drape his arms around Jongin's shoulders when they're watching TV together.

Time passes like that.

 

Jongin, Joonmyun learns, has an uncanny ability to sleep anywhere, in any position, at any given time. He’s not quite sure if it’s one of his cat things or if he really just enjoys taking long catnaps with five minute periods of consciousness.

He figures out Jongin’s talent (it is a talent, right? Joonmyun would love to be able to have that talent) for the first time when he comes home from work to find Jongin passed out under the kitchen table. The next day he’s curled up on the rug in front of the television, and the third day, Joonmyun finds him on the floor of his bedroom, blankets and pillows thrown around haphazardly.

Joonmyun picks up after him each time and figures, well, he’s faced worse before. Besides, he can’t actually bring himself to blame Jongin anyway.

“Jongin,” Joonmyun reaches out a tentative hand to tap at Jongin’s shoulder, “Jongin, wake up. At least sleep on the bed.”

Jongin makes a noise of displeasure and looks at Joonmyun moodily.

“C’mon,” he tries to coax, but Jongin stares at him sourly and turns over. “Bed, please.”

“Don’twannamove,” Jongin groans, and Joonmyun sighs.

“I’ll carry you if you don’t get up,” he threatens. It’s an awful threat.

“I’m bigger,” Jongin retorts, and while Joonmyun’s trying to think of a witty comeback, Jongin grabs Joonmyun and pulls him onto the floor. “Sleep,” he says, and Joonmyun sighs.

“Jongin,” he says in warning, but Jongin only wraps his arms around him and stuffs his head on top of Joonmyun’s.

“Sleep,” Jongin repeats stubbornly.

 

Joonmyun wakes up two hours later with a sore back and arms around his waist. "Jongin," he groans, pulling his arms out from Jongin's hold to rub at his eyes, "Jesus, what time is it?"

The catboy is still asleep though, so Joonmyun wriggles himself out of the arm hold he's been caged in and brings himself to his feet.

It's eight. The sun has long since set, and so Joonmyun stumbles through the apartment with great difficulty to find something to make. He'll wake Jongin up once food's completely done, but for now, he opens the fridge to see if he even has anything edible. He doesn't. Ugh.

Guess it's time to really wake Jongin up. "Hey," he hisses, nudging Jongin's shoulder. "Jongin, wake up."

Jongin furrows his eyebrows and turn over. Joonmyun nudges him again, harder, and Jongin's eyes flutter open blearily. He stretches, as Joonmyun tries very hard not to watch as his shirt rides up, exposing the soft expanse of his belly. It's not that he hasn't seen Jongin shirtless before, but that also doesn't mean it doesn't have that same effect on Joonmyun — like someone's pulled the rug out from underneath him, leaving him frozen up and breathless.

Then Jongin turns over and meows and Joonmyun curses everything godly because isn't Jongin supposed to be the least genetically similar to a cat?

"Jongin?"

"Mm?" Jongin hums as he shakes his head.

"You awake? Awake enough to do me a favor?"

Jongin nods and sits up. His ears twitch. "Mhm."

"Can you be up to open the door in a bit? There's no food in the fridge, so I'm just gonna go out and buy something. Do you want anything?"

"Galbi!" Jongin says, instantly perking up. His tail sways from side to side, and it's very distracting. Joonmyun pets him lightly on the head.

"Alright. My cellphone is charging though, so I'm just gonna knock, okay?"

Jongin hums again, collecting himself off of the ground.

"And for god's sake, put all the pillows and blankets back on the bed."

He can still hear Jongin laughing as he exits their apartment.

 

Joonmyun stands at the door for a good fifteen minutes before it opens. Jongin looks sheepish, and doesn't meet his eye when Joonmyun walks in.

"Sorry," Jongin squeaks, and even though Joonmyun is freezing, he still can't really get himself to stay mad at Jongin. Especially not when he looks like that. He ears are folded downwards, tail brushing along the floor, and he's even shuffling his feet together awkwardly. It's cute.

"It's okay," Joonmyun says, putting the bag on the table. Hopefully the food is still warm. "Have you at least fixed up the bedroom?"

Jongin flushes again, and Joonmyun sighs.

"We'll have to do that later, then. Let's just eat."

Jongin is silent throughout the whole meal, probably swimming in layers and layers of guilt, and somehow, that makes Joonmyun feel guilty, too. He doesn't like the little pout Jongin gets on his face (though, that, too, is admittedly cute), or the way his eyes refuse to leave the kitchen table. Granted, he still feels cold, and Jongin totally deserves it, but that kicked puppy look is not a good look on Jongin. He's not even a puppy.

"C'mon," Joonmyun calls out after he makes Jongin put the dishes away, "let's go fix up my room."

Jongin trails behind him quietly as Joonmyun scales the mess. It's bigger than he thought it was. Even the bedsheets have somehow landed on the ground, leaving his mattress bare. "Alright," Joonmyun picks up the edge of the bed sheet, "let's do this."

It takes a total of ten minutes just to get the bed sheet on, because Jongin doesn't know which side is which or where he should be standing, and the resignation shows in the slump of his shoulders. Joonmyun is stuck with a really awful idea when Jongin tosses a pillow onto the bed, then reaches forward to rearrange it gingerly.

He can't even grab the whole blanket by himself, which is a bit silly, because his bed isn't that big, but he gives it a moment or two before he yells, "Jongin, look out!"

Jongin jumps on his feet, startled by the noise, then yowls when Joonmyun tackles him onto the bed.

"Stop. Being. So. Moody!" Joonmyun scolds as Jongin flails around in the blanket. "I like forgetful Jongin better than sad Jongin!"

"Let me go!" Jongin hisses, arm reaching out dangerously close to Joonmyun's face. That's probably the cue to let go.

He does, expecting Jongin to catch his breath, but instead he twists himself around and launches onto Joonmyun, who squeaks before Jongin's arms are going down his sides. "I'm not ticklish," he laughs, and grins at Jongin's disappointed face. "C'mon, I'm twenty two."

"You could still be," Jongin mumbles.

"I could," he agrees, bring his own hands to rest on Jongin's hips. "But I'm not. You, however, might be."

Jongin doesn't even get to protest. Joonmyun's fingers dip under his shirt and up his back, and Jongin lets out the most ugly snort of laughter before he squirms and dips his head down into Joonmyun's neck.

It isn't until he feels Jongin's hardening cock rocking against his own when he realizes that shit, maybe this isn't the good idea. And then the whole compromising situation settles down on him. Well—

He strokes down Jongin's side one last time before giving him a cheeky smirk. "Are you going to lock me out again?"

"No," Jongin hiccups, still giggling, and Joonmyun notices the light sheen of sweat layering Jongin's skin, and his dilated eyes. He doesn’t think Jongin’s realized himself yet, though, which means there’s still time to salvage the situation.

"You gonna ruin my bed again?" he asks, and Jongin shakes his head. "Good. Now go sleep. I'll finish the rest myself."

Joonmyun watches as Jongin leaves his room flushing, and when the door behind him closes, he lets out a small groan. Shit. He'd rather have not noticed at all, because now the only thing he can picture is Jongin, mouth open and panting, fingers gripping onto his shoulders as he bounces on Joonmyun's cock, hot and desperate.

Fuck. Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck. When was the last time Joonmyun got laid, anyway? Maybe it's just the sexual frustration talking.

But he felt Jongin’s arousal, too, and that's an odd mix he doesn't want to think about.

He groans and tosses a pillow onto the floor, the only one Jongin had put on the bed, and drags himself to the bathroom to take a cold shower.

 

It’s somewhere around four in the morning when Joonmyun’s mattress dips and there’s another presence in his bed. Joonmyun groans and gets ready to punch whoever it is in the face and scream bloody murder when they tug at the blanket Joonmyun’s got bundled up in his hands. That doesn’t seem like something a murderer would do.

His eyes open blearily and is met with the hazy outline of Jongin pawing at his shoulder. “Mmrgh?” Joonmyun groans, when really he meant to say, What are you doing here, Jongin?, but Jongin seems to get the message anyway.

“I,” Jongin hesitates, and even in the dark of night Joonmyun can tell he’s blushing, “I wanted to sleep with you. Can I?”

Joonmyun doesn’t really trust himself to speak right now, so instead he pulls away some of the covers and pats the spot next to him, and Jongin crawls in happily.

It’s raining, Joonmyun realizes, when he finally hears the soft pit-pat of raindrops drumming against the window, and thinks that’s probably why he’s here. Jongin’ll probably bundle himself up in the blanket and try to block out the sounds.

A hand grabs at the collar of his shirt, and then there’s Jongin, shoving his head unceremoniously under Joonmyun’s chin and snuggling into his chest.

Joonmyun almost laughs. He should’ve known by now that he’s always wrong when it comes to Jongin. Instead, he asks, “Is everything okay?”

Jongin nods, and one arm goes to wrap around Joonmyun’s hips. “I just... I wanted to thank you,” he says.

Joonmyun raises an eyebrow and tilts his head back to look at Jongin, even though it’s too dark to make out any features. “For what?”

“For—” Jongin’s blushing again, “for not leaving. That time, in the adoption center. I was, I was so scared you’d leave, and I’d never see you again.”

Something warm and fuzzy alights in Joonmyun’s ribcage, and he feels like he’s simultaneously floating and sinking at the same time. “Dummy,” Joonmyun chuckles, and presses a kiss to both of Jongin’s eyelids. “I don’t think I could have left even if I tried. Now go to sleep.”

He gathers Jongin in his arms and tangles their legs together, trying not to grin too big when Jongin snuggles into his chest again.

 

He wakes up the next morning feeling great. It’s a Saturday, he has no work, Jongin is in a good mood, and absolutely nothing happened last night. Nothing at all. Nothing on Jongin’s side, at least, and if nothing happened on Jongin’s side, then nothing happened on Joonmyun’s side. They’re all good.

Joonmyun decides to clean the house, because god knows how gross it’s been after Jongin came, and especially with how busy Joonmyun’s been, trying to get the right pace between work and Jongin and everything in between, the house had been left to rot in his wake.

He swipes a finger over one of the paintings and grimaces at the dust that comes off onto his finger. He considers asking Jongin to help, but the poor kitten has only been here about two months, and he figures he should let Jongin settle first before making him do any work. Last time he looked, Jongin seemed very enraptured with a television show anyway.

The feather duster he’s holding is an obnoxious highlighter yellow, which contrasts almost literally everything else in his apartment. For someone as homey as Joonmyun, his house is decorated very modernly - all sharp lines and dark colors, and there’s nothing very homey about it at all. Except for maybe the feather duster.

Which Jongin is staring at very intently now, Joonmyun notes when he sneaks a glance in his direction. His tail is flicking back and forth, very predator like, and Joonmyun pretends he doesn’t feel like the worst prey in the world, aimlessly dusting the collection of pictures on the wall a few meters away.

The pictures look just about spotless again when he turns around and takes a few steps forward, but then there’s a large weight bowling into his stomach, and Joonmyun’s breath leaves him in a pathetic gasp as he falls backwards.

“What the hell,” he manages to wheeze, and the large weight hasn’t let up yet, but there’s a small clatter, and Joonmyun looks to see the feather duster roll a few feet away.

He tilts his head up to see Jongin sitting on his torso, eyes wide and chest heaving up and down, watching the feather duster. His eyes are dilated, Joonmyun notes, and his tail is still swaying from side to side angrily.

“You could have asked,” Joonmyun says, and Jongin almost jumps, like he hadn’t realized he’d knocked Joonmyun over and is sitting on his abdomen. “I would have given it to you.”

“Oh,” Jongin mumbles, then, “oh,” louder. “I’m sorry,” he says weakly, then again, “oh god I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize. I was just — the feather duster was so, I couldn’t concentrate, it was just there, I’m sorry, I’m really, really—”

He doesn’t finish his repeated apologies, because Joonmyun is laughing. Joonmyun is laughing so hard he feels his insides churn and thinks he might vomit from laughing so hard, and that wouldn’t be very nice for Jongin, and definitely not a good impression, but oh god, Jongin is a cat, Joonmyun remembers, and suddenly that makes everything so much more funny.

Jongin looks shell shocked, of sorts. “I don’t get it,” he croaks, and Joonmyun can’t help it — he wraps a hand around the back of Jongin’s neck and brings him down to place a small kiss to his forehead.

“You’re so cute,” Joonmyun says brightly, and Jongin flushes against him.

 

That Monday, Joonmyun stumbles into his office with a cup of coffee, mussed up hair, and his shirt on backwards. He doesn’t notice the last one until Zhou Mi casually points it out before he walks into a board meeting. The next two hours are spent downing espresso shots and working away at his computer until the letters start bleeding into each other.

This is all Jongin’s fault.

Jongin, who insisted Joonmyun stay up to watch his first ballet play with him. It airs in Sweden, so the time zones make it weird. But it’s Black Swan! And when has Joonmyun ever said no to Jongin?

He doesn’t really understand the appeal of ballet, but it was nice to watch, and even nicer when Jongin put his head in Joonmyun’s lap halfway through. He carefully carded his fingers through Jongin’s hair, scratching lightly behind his ears, and froze when Jongin started to rumble. Purring, he told himself. He’s purring. And Jongin, too shy to say he wanted to be petted, nudged his head into Joonmyun’s hand, and so Joonmyun brushed his fingers through Jongin’s hair, and smiled to himself. The first time he ever got to properly pet Jongin.

“Hello? Are you awake?”

Joonmyun jerks backwards, nearly topping off his chair, except Kyungsoo grabs it and pushes it back onto the floor.

“I’m taking it as no,” he says, and Joonmyun smiles sheepishly.

“Didn’t sleep much last night,” he explains, and at Kyungsoo’s raised eyebrows, he says, “We watched Black Swan.”

“Don’t know much about ballet,” Kyungsoo says, “but it’s your lunch break, and you probably need to get away from the computer. Have you looked at it?”

“Um.” He turns to the screen to see four pages of the letter t and groans again. “I need another coffee,” he mumbles.

“No,” Kyungsoo snaps, “You need food. I’m going to take a bet and say you didn’t bring anything with you, and since I’m always right, I bought you a sandwich.”

“You’re the best,” Joonmyun beams up at him, “Seriously.”

Kyungsoo sighs. “Get up. Let’s eat in the break room.”

 

“So,” Kyungsoo casually says halfway through lunch, “does your apartment still feel empty?”

Joonmyun raises an eyebrow. “Does my apartment what?”

“Feel empty,” Kyungsoo repeats. “Remember? You said that a few months ago, and I told you to ‘expand your family’. Then you got Jongin.”

“Oh,” he says. He thinks about it. “Does my apartment feel empty?”

He can still feel Jongin’s soft hair under his fingers, and the little excited twinkle in his eyes every time he would have to fill Joonmyun in on what happened, since Joonmyun apparently couldn’t decipher the story through dance. He doesn’t regret staying up at all.

“I guess not,” Joonmyun mumbles. Then louder, “I... I’m happy, actually. Really happy.”

Kyungsoo actually smiles. As great of a friend Kyungsoo is, he doesn’t smile much, not this big, at least. Usually he gives an exasperated small tug of lips, or a sarcastic sneer, but never a smile like this. “I’m glad,” he says, and Joonmyun believes it. “I like Jongin a lot too, just throwing that out there.”

“Me too,” he says, and regrets it.

“I know.” Kyungsoo laughs. “Trust me, I know.”

Joonmyun believes that, too.

 

Joonmyun attends Jongin’s dance class for the first time in four months. Normally Jongin goes while Joonmyun’s at work, so he’s never gotten a chance to actually see what he’s like. And according to Zhou Mi, who hears from Song Qian, Jongin helps out with other classes, as well as cleaning up and doing little tasks here and there for her. She’s even considering just hiring him, he remembers Zhou Mi telling him, might as well. According to her, he does so much work. That wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Jongin in dance is unlike anything Joonmyun has ever seen. Is this even the same Jongin? The same Jongin who gets startled at loud noises and falls asleep at the kitchen table? Joonmyun refuses to believe it.

He’s got this determined look on his face that Joonmyun’s never seen before in his life, and the way he steps and twirls. Shit, Joonmyun’s entranced.

Jongin’s practically dripping with sweat when practice finishes, and he walks over to Joonmyun with this extra hop in his step, and Joonmyun’s not sure if Jongin’s really happy, or if it’s just the extra energy he’s trying to shake off. Probably a mixture of both, he decides when Jongin threatens to shove his sweaty mop of hair into Joonmyun’s dress shirt.

"How was that?" Jongin asks, grinning brightly, and Joonmyun smiles back, petting Jongin's hair absentmindedly.

"Amazing," Joonmyun says, a little breathless. "You look like you were born to dance."

If Jongin is embarrassed, he's too giddy to show it, but he does wrap a hand around Joonmyun's wrist to tug him forward. "You should—" He gestures towards Song Qian with his head, and Joonmyun raises an eyebrow in response. "Class," Jongin says, and it's now that Joonmyun realizes how utterly awful Jongin is at speaking.

He'd figured that at first it was just the intimidating factor that made him mix up syllables and stumble across his sentences, but now it seems that's just what Jongin does. His mind is a whirlwind of thoughts that goes too fast for his mouth to catch up, and everything gets scrambled up somewhere inbetween his brain and mouth.

It's cute, just like everything about Jongin seems to strike him as cute. (Except when he's dancing, Joonmyun thinks. It starts an uncomfortable itch in his belly, and he really, really doesn't want to think about that now.)

"Class?"

"Take a class," Jongin says. "With me. Ballet."

"Me?" Joonmyun asks, pointing at himself with his other hand. "I— I'm not a dancer at all, not in the slightest. Maybe we should leave the dancing business to you."

Jongin pouts, and fuck, that is really cute. "Just one class! It can be a beginners class. I want to see you try."

Song Qian is still talking to some students when Joonmyun looks over, and she happens to glance up at the same time. She smiles, and he smiles back, out of politeness, and cringes a bit inside. She would never let him live this down. "I don't think this is a good idea, Jongin," he mumbles, and Jongin grabs his other wrist and swings them back and forth.

"It doesn't have to be now," Jongin tries. "You can come later? We'll do a beginner class together. I need to brush up on some old techniques anyway — I never learned from a real teacher. Please?"

Joonmyun wishes Jongin could see the face he's making right now; bottom lip jutted out, ears folded downwards, bright, watery eyes.

He's an idiot for thinking he could possibly say no.

The grin Jongin makes is worth it all, probably. He drags Joonmyun backwards until they're standing barely half a meter away from Song Qian, and then lets go of his wrists to turn to her.

"Joonmyun wants to join us," he says, ignoring Joonmyun's small I don't want to!

"Joonmyun?" Song Qian asks. "Can he... do that?"

Jongin laughs. Joonmyun doesn't. "A beginner class," Joonmyun explains. "Like, beginner of all beginner classes. For toddlers. But, not actually. Don't put me with toddlers, please."

"C'mon noona," Jongin says, "imagine how funny it would be."

Song Qian laughs. "Oh, so this is what it's about. Joonmyun, you've got yourself a bad kitty."

Joonmyun grins in response, but when he looks over to Jongin, he doesn't seem to look too pleased. He doesn't look angry either, though.

He's fisting the front of his shirt, shoulders slumped, face facing the floor, and it's probably only because Joonmyun is shorter than him that he can make up the dusty pink along his cheeks and — oh.

Oh.

He decides to play with it, just to be sure. He drapes an arm around Jongin's shoulder and pulls him in close. "We're working on it," he says. "Isn't that right, Jonginnie? Are you gonna finally stop being a bad kitty?"

Jongin gives his best fake smile, one that Joonmyun's gotten accustomed to ever since he's tried to bring him around to friends. "We'll work on it," Jongin says, voice shaking as he shimmies out of Joonmyun's grip. This time, Joonmyun's sure.

"Right," Joonmyun says, deciding to let the poor boy have his space. "Should we come in on a different day?"

Song Qian hums a bit, deep in thought, before she turns to the mirror and points at the flyer taped there. "My schedule is here, all the blue classes are mine. I do actually have a beginner class for adults, but it's going to be next Wednesday. Is that okay?"

"Yeah," Joonmyun says, and looks at Jongin. "Okay?"

Jongin nods. "Okay."

"Perfect," Song Qian says with a grin. "I'll see you both there. Try not to fall too much, Joonmyun."

"That's mean," he sniffs. "And false. I'll be great - I have Jongin, after all."

"We'll see," Song Qian says, challenging, and Joonmyun laughs.

He's going to fall, but as Joonmyun and Jongin say goodbye and walk home, he decides avoid thinking about it until Wednesday. It's just one class, after all, and it's for Jongin.

 

Class is awful. Joonmyun doesn't know what to do with his hands or feet and Jongin's ballet shoes don't even completely fit him anyway; they’re way too tight on his feet. But the moment he steps onto the wooden floor, Jongin grins at him so bright Joonmyun’s heart swells and he instinctively brushes Jongin’s bangs out of his face. Mine, he thinks, and freezes at the wave of feelings that crash over him.

Mine.

It must’ve been noticeable, because Jongin looks down at him with concern in his eyes, and Joonmyun swallows down the thought that Jongin will ever only look at him like that, because Jongin is his.

Mineminemineminemine—

Song Qian calls for the class to start, snapping Joonmyun out of his thoughts, and he gives Jongin a smile to let him knows he’s okay as he trudges to the very back of the dance studio.

Jongin raises an eyebrow, but stifles a giggle a moment later when Joonmyun reaches down to stretch. He takes his place in the row in front of Joonmyun and also bends down to touch his toes.

It takes all of Joonmyun’s self restraint not to stare at his ass (He has a very nice ass).

Even under the bright florescent lights, Jongin looks beautiful as he raises his leg up and stands up on his toes to complete a position. Song Qian applauds him, and laughs when she walks up to Joonmyun, who makes a sad attempt at what should be a similar pose. “It’s okay,” she says reassuringly, “you tried, and that’s all that matters.”

“I don’t want to try,” he groans, bringing his leg back down to the floor.

She shrugs and pats him on the head. They’re almost the same height, and when Song Qian’s not in the dance studio, she’s always wearing heels, and that annoys Joonmyun just a tiny bit. “Well,” she says, “you are trying, which is kind of cool. Also, Jongin is really happy that you’re legitimately trying and not half assing this. Try looking in the mirror at his face once in a while.”

She moves on to the next person to judge their technique, leaving Joonmyun to take up Song Qian’s advice and looking up into the mirror. Jongin’s ears are twitching, and he shakes his head before reaching down and pulling up the hem of his shirt to wipe the sweat off his face. He has very faint abs — definitely more tummy than muscle, and Joonmyun wants nothing more to do than get on his knees right here in front of everyone and suck dark marks onto his tanned skin. He wants to push Jongin up against the mirror and press his fingers into Jongin’s hipbones until they bruise and take him from behind very slowly. He wants to whisper filthy things into Jongin’s ears and watch himself become undone under Joonmyun’s ministrations.

“Joonmyun?” someone says, and Joonmyun shakes his head furiously to get the image out of his head before looking up at Song Qian.

“Just because I complimented you once doesn’t mean you can slack off,” she snaps, and Joonmyun apologizes nervously. He doesn’t bother sparing a glance at Jongin, too scared for what he’ll think, and follows Song Qian’s lead into the next step.

 

“Ow,” is the first thing he says once he takes off Jongin’s ballet shoes. “Oh my god, ow,” is the second.

"How was it?" Jongin asks as he looks down at him, shit eating grin on his face.

"We're not doing that again," Joonmyun groans from the floor. His sneakers feel hundreds of times better, but it still hurts to have things touching his feet. "I'll leave the dancing to you."

"It can't have been that bad," Jongin says. "It was a beginner class."

"The last time I did anything close to dancing was three months ago in a club. That's not even dancing."

"Ooh," Jongin laughs. "So you're not just all nice guy, you go clubbing!"

"Plenty of nice people go clubbing, Jongin," Joonmyun sighs as he pulls himself onto his feet. Jongin can be incredibly naive sometimes. "My muscles are going to be sore tomorrow, I know it. Kyungsoo won't let me live this down."

Jongin laughs so hard it has Song Qian looking over. Joonmyun gives her a smile and a goodbye wave, and she raises her eyebrows and waves back. "You can tell him it was my beastly skills in bed," Jongin says wickedly, and Joonmyun splutters.

"That's even less believable," Joonmyun replies as he ushers Jongin out of the studio. Once again he marvels the fact they live only a mere three blocks away. "You've never even had— unless you have?"

Jongin blushes before shaking his head. "But!" Jongin says, "I would be awesome. Like, it'd be full of like, hardcore stuff."

"Hardcore stuff," Joonmyun deadpans. "Hardcore stuff like?"

"Like, I dunno, hardcore stuff! Whatever that is! I’d be all rough and in control and shit."

"You don't even know what 'hardcore stuff' is!" Joonmyun cries out. "I've seen you attack a feather duster, Jongin. Trust me, a dom is not the first thing I think of when I see you."

Joonmyun mentally sobs. Oh god, why are they having this conversation? He sobs even harder when Jongin asks, "What's a dom?"

Well that's just great. Joonmyun wants to the ground to open up and swallow him. "It's a— you're too young to know what that is!"

"I'm nineteen," Jongin snaps. "And you're only twenty two."

"Why are you suddenly asking this?" Joonmyun asks as they round a corner.

"Because I'm curious!" Jongin calls out as he jogs to keep up with Joonmyun. He didn't even realize he was walking so fast. Maybe it's him trying to run away from the conversation. That makes sense. "Why aren't you saying anything?" Jongin asks about two minutes later, voice wavering. Joonmyun feels a bit bad.

"I'm thinking," he says curtly as they enter their apartment complex. He gives a small nod to the doorman as they walk into the elevator.

"About what?"

"About how shameless you are," Joonmyun says, and pokes Jongin's side where he's ticklish, just to see him smile.

Jongin laughs and bats at Joonmyun's hand. "Cats go into heat, y'know? So we're used to just like, announcing when and stuff."

"Only girl cats go into heat," Joonmyun says as he fishes for the key to the door. "It's so they keep reproducing."

"I call the shower first," Jongin calls as he scrambles inside. He flattens himself against the door, eyes trained against the bathroom door, and it's now that Joonmyun finally realizes that maybe, maybe Jongin has been trying to bring something else up this whole time. "Did you know," he says, hand resting against the doorknob, "that the first cat hybrid to exist was a girl?"

"Baekhyun told me that, actually," Joonmyun says, shrugging his jacket off. "He also said you're her grandso—"

Wait.

"MyheatcomesinaweekI'mtakingashowernowbye," Jongin gasps in one mouthful and slams the door shut.

What?

"Jongin!" Joonmyun shouts, but he can hear the shower being turned on already, and stares at the door in morbid realization.

 

Joonmyun's waiting on the couch for Jongin to finish his shower.

He's finally gotten Jongin's file opened, something he'd forgotten about after he first came to Joonmyun's house. He's sort of an idiot too, because right there, page six, it talks about Jongin's genetic code, and how it strays from the average feline hybrid. Male feline cat, he reminds himself. Male cats don't go into heat since they don't give birth.

Since hybrids were originally lab experiments, it took a while to play around with their DNA and get the right balance between cat and human The first successful feline hybrid was a female, and by the time scientists had figured out how to produce the same results with a Y chromosome, she had already given birth. And then those children had given birth, and there was Jongin, a male with a female feline's genes.

"Does it say it in there?"

Joonmyun jumps, and the file in his hands spills all over the floor. Jongin somehow managed to sneak past him and change into new clothes, but his hair and tail is still damp. He shakes his head, and a few droplets fly onto Joonmyun's face. Joonmyun sighs. "Yeah, but it's all too... scientific for me to digest, to be honest. I don't get what the numbers mean."

He counts his breaths. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exh—

"It..." Jongin is doing the shy feet shuffle thing again. "It makes it more complicated than it really is," he mumbles. "It's like—"

He falters again, and Joonmyun gives him a good natured smile before patting a space on the couch next to him. Jongin hesitates, glances down at his feet one more time before slinking over to him and curling up next to Joonmyun, tail wrapped around his leg. "It's like?" Joonmyun coaxes, and Jongin visibly gulps.

"I'm a guy, but I... have female genes? So they clash a bit. I have the female symptoms — going into heat, mainly, but it's nulled by the male human genes. Like, I go into heat, but instead of a week, it's only one or two days. And it only happens once every two or three months. That's... yeah. That’s it."

Huh. That's not too bad. "I thought it was going to be w— hey! Stop that!"

Jongin freezes, not quite sure what he's done wrong this time, and hisses when Joonmyun bats his hands away from scratching the sofa.

"Just because you're going to go into heat doesn't mean you get to ruin the furniture," Joonmyun chides, and Jongin laughs.

"So... So you're not mad?" Jongin asks. He's moved on from clawing at the furniture to pulling at his sweatpants.

Joonmyun reaches over to pat him on the head. "Why would I be mad for something you can't control?"

Jongin shrugs. "I just figured..."

"Listen," Joonmyun says seriously, and Jongin's ears flick, "you could grow another eye and I would still love you all the same, okay?" He pauses. "But please don't grow another eye. I don't think cats do that."

Jongin laughs and puts a hand on his forehead on his eye for good measure. "Hmm, no, I think we're good."

"Stop being cheeky," Joonmyun chides, tugging on Jongin's ear. "It's not a good look on you."

"Ow, ow, ow," Jongin whines.

Joonmyun lets go and rubs the area soothingly. Jongin purrs. "So, how does the whole heat thing work? Am I supposed to do anything?"

He stops purring. Joonmyun reluctantly pulls his hand away. "Well, it just... y'know. Raging hormones and stuff. I usually take care of it myself. But Miyoung always said having an extra person was better."

"Miyoung?"

"She's, uh, another catgirl. She was a volunteer at the adoption center. She helped clean up and brought us fun stuff to play with. She was there the first time I got into heat," he mumbles, then blushes. "But we didn't do anything! She just sort of... told me what was going on. She has a girlfriend, I think. Sooyeon."

Joonmyun nods, deep in thought, before he mumbles. "Having an extra person... Wait, isn't that just...?"

Jongin's flush darkens. "I mean, that's just what she said."

"Well, I won't do anything you don't want me to do," Joonmyun says. "So it's up to you."

Jongin looks mortified, and that's sorta weird, because normally Joonmyun would think that having options is probably better for everyone, but then Jongin speaks, and he thinks he gets why.

Jongin is back to picking at his sweatpants. "Can you...?"

That is not what Joonmyun expected. That probably shows on his face, because Jongin suddenly pales, and he looks like he's going to jump, so Joonmyun takes a deep breath and says, "Okay."

"Really?"

"Really," Joonmyun echoes, and think he'll deal with the consequences later. "But, um. How is this going to work? Is this just a heat thing, or?"

"It'd... it'd be nice if it's not," Jongin mumbles.

Despite everything, Joonmyun ends up laughing. He laughs because this is ridiculous, this situation is ridiculous, that confession was ridiculous, and oh god he just confessed, why is he still laughing? "Is that a confession?" he asks. "Are you confessing to me, Kim Jongin?"

Jongin flushes again. "I could not be!" he snaps. "I could be talking about like, friends with benefits."

"Minus the benefits," Joonmyun deadpans. Jongin actually pouts this time.

"This is the worst confession ever."

Joonmyun grins at him and pats his lap. "Come here."

Jongin crawls onto Joonmyun's lap, arms wrapping around his shoulders, and from this close up, Joonmyun can get a better look at Jongin's face. His cheeks are still pink, but now, he thinks, it's more of an aroused flush, rather than an embarrassed one. He rakes his eyes over Jongin's face, starting at his top of his head, where his ears rest, down over his hair, to his eyes, which are peering into his with an emotion Joonmyun can't describe now, over the bridge of his nose, and down to his lips, which are slick with spit and slightly parted.

He glances up at Jongin's eyes, barely has a moment to decipher the emotion as love before he's pulling him in for a slow, languid kiss. It takes Joonmyun no time at all to figure out Jongin has no idea what he's doing, but that's okay, Joonmyun has always preferred taking the lead anyway. He places a hand around the back of Jongin's neck and scratches at the base of his hairline, all while coaxing Jongin's mouth open and sliding his tongue in between his plush lips. They feel as good as, no, even better than they look.

Jongin moans quietly when Joonmyun sucks on his tongue, and a small purr runs through his body at the hand scratching at his neck. He gathers himself up, pushes, and then Joonmyun yelps as he falls backwards, back hitting the armrest as Jongin flails on top of him. Joonmyun's other hand subsequently falls down to Jongin's ass.

"I think that's enough," Joonmyun laughs. Jongin looks up and grins at him, despite his lips looking completely wrecked, and another flash of possessiveness courses through Joonmyun's veins. I did that, he thinks. That was me. "You've gotten enough fun," he says, slapping Jongin's ass lightly, and laughs again when Jongin gasps.

"I want to stay here," Jongin insists, digging his head into Joonmyun's shoulder.

"You're such a brat," Joonmyun says, but runs his hands through Jongin's hair again and lies there with Jongin until they both fall asleep.

 

One of the things about Jongin, Joonmyun remembers later, is that he's still a teenager.

They exchange sloppy kisses every waking moment; Jongin pins Joonmyun against the kitchen counter before he leaves for work, tracing his thumb over Joonmyun's hipbone as he tugs on Joonmyun's bottom lip, and Joonmyun retaliates later that night by pushing him up against the door.

Meanwhile, Jongin gets more and more restless, spends more time bringing random items into his room for no apparent reason and grimacing every time Joonmyun comes home from work and claims he smells like paperwork and boring.

That Wednesday, Jongin is lying on his stomach on Joonmyun's bed, playing some game on his phone. His shirt rides up a bit, exposing the small of his back and the curve of his ass, and Joonmyun barely gives himself a second thought before he sets his book down and crawls over and places a kiss on Jongin's spine.

Jongin looks up from his game and gives him a raised eyebrow. "What's up?"

"Nothing," Joonmyun mumbles as he pushes up Jongin's shirt, because it's obviously something — something like how Joonmyun wants to kiss Jongin until he's breathless and touch him all over and have him pliant and willing under his fingers. "I just... want to kiss you." He litters small kisses over Jongin's shoulder blades, smiling at how shallow Jongin's breaths have got.

"Those aren't my lips," Jongin says, and Joonmyun hums a bit before flipping him over and pulling Jongin's shirt off of his head.

"I want to kiss you," Joonmyun repeats, pecking Jongin, "everywhere."

Jongin lets out a grunt when Joonmyun licks at his jaw, then moves, downwards over his neck, collar bones, pecs, leaving small nips before he reaches his nipples. He takes the right one in his mouth and lightly scrapes his teeth over it, grinning at Jongin's ragged sigh.

His other hand goes down to the waistband of Jongin's shorts, and gives it a small tug before asking, "Can I?"

"Please," Jongin moans. "Please, please."

Joonmyun gives his nipple one last lick before he kisses down Jongin's navel, then leans back to pull his shorts and boxers off his hips, revealing Jongin's erection. His cock curves towards his stomach, dark red and pretty. He barely gives Jongin a chance to protest before he leans down and licks up the underside, and laughs at Jongin's breathy moan.

"Joonmyun," he mumbles.

"Yes?" Joonmyun asks, pausing. Jongin groans and pushes his hips up and whines.

"I— don't know."

Joonmyun laughs again, harder this time, before he drags his fingers over Jongin's hips and kisses the inside of his thigh. "Don't worry," he says. "I'll stop when you want me to."

"Don't!" Jongin gasps, and Joonmyun smiles.

"Alright." He grabs Jongin's cock and strokes it once, twice, before taking the head into his mouth and lapping at the precome there. Jongin is salty and a little weird on his tongue, but Joonmyun thinks he could probably get used to this.

He slides down to get more of Jongin in his mouth, humming a bit around his cock. He can feel Jongin shaking underneath him, can feel his hands fisting into the bedsheets and toes curling into the mattress.

Oh, he realizes with a start. This is the first time anyone else has touched Jongin.

A spark of possession courses under his skin, like mini dynamites. He's all mine, Joonmyun thinks. All mine.

He bobs his head up and down, trying to figure out what Jongin likes, and at Jongin's high pitched mewl, figured out that Jongin likes when Joonmyun tongues this one spot under the head of Jongin's cock on the side. He takes more of him into his mouth until he's deep throating Jongin, and supresses his gag reflex as much as he can. Jongin doesn't seem like he'll last much longer anyway, if Jongin's little "ah, ah"'s are anything to go by.

"Joonmyun, I'm— I'm gonna—"

Joonmyun gives one last hard suck before Jongin comes down his throat, whining low, and Joonmyun pulls away as the last spurts land on his chin and neck.

Jongin's still biting his lips, eyes squeezed shut, and Joonmyun smiles fondly at him.

"You don't have to force yourself to be quiet, you know," Joonmyun says, and Jongin's eyes fly open.

"I—" Jongin starts, but Joonmyun shushes him. "Okay," he mumbles, much quieter, and stares at Joonmyun when he drops onto the bed next to him. "What about you?" he asks.

Joonmyun waves him off. "Don't worry about it."

"But—"

"Jongin," Joonmyun says, voice much more commanding, and marvels at how Jongin is oddly submissive. "Don't worry about it."

"Okay," Jongin whispers.

 

After Jongin goes to sleep, Joonmyun climbs into the shower and decides, fuck it, he's in too deep.

The idea of Jongin bending to his whims is one of the most erotic things Joonmyun's ever thought up, and he comes nearly twice as hard as Jongin did, jacking off to pictures of Jongin in all sorts of compromising positions beneath him.

 

When Joonmyun wakes up the next morning, Jongin is still sleeping, and Joonmyun gets ready for work in silence as the memories of last night wash over him.

It was a pretty brash thing of him to do, but he doesn't think he regrets it in the slightest. The sight of Jongin becoming undone beneath him is engrained in Joonmyun's brain forever, and all he wants to do is bring out that same reaction over and over again.

The coffee maker beeps, and with that, Joonmyun takes his mug of coffee, dumps it into a thermos, and makes his way out of the apartment to the subway station.

 

"You're too happy," Kyungsoo deadpans three hours later as Joomyun clips together a file. "It makes me nauseous."

"I'm always happy," Joonmyun chirps as he stands. "You're not."

"No, I'm not," Kyungsoo snaps. "How am I supposed to when you suck any happiness there is right out of me?"

Joonmyun rolls his eyes and marches out of the room. "That's a lie, and you know it."

 

"I should be a shrink," Kyungsoo says, another two hours later during lunch break. "I clearly fixed all your love issues."

"I don't have any love issues," Joonmyun protests around a mouthful of ddeokbbeoki.

"Not anymore," Kyungsoo retorts. "Not that you're so helplessly in love with Jongin."

Joonmyun's fingers pause, chopsticks hovering a few inches away from his mouth. A lone piece of ddeokbbeoki hovers in limbo.

So hopelessly in love.

Wow, Joonmyun is really stupid. By the looks of it, Kyungsoo's realized it too.

"Are you serious, Joonmyun?"

"I— It didn't hit me—"

Kyungsoo actually groans. "You're really pathetic sometimes."

Joonmyun gives a weak smile.

He doesn't really feel pathetic, though. In fact, he feels quite the opposite of pathetic. Like he could probably conquer the world if he wanted to. He doesn't really care about the rest of the world though, only Jongin.

"For Jongin's sake, please don't suffocate him in your love. I'm embarrassed just thinking about it."

"He likes being suffocated."

Kyungsoo raises an eyebrow. "Does he."

Joonmyun groans.

 

Jongin's still at the dance studio when Joonmyun gets back home, so he decides to turn on the TV and see if there's anything on that he particularly cares about. There isn't. He falls asleep to the hum of some sitcom he doesn't remember the name of.

 

He wakes up to the feeling of something soft against his lips, and makes a pleased sound before opening his eyes.

Jongin is hovering above him, ears perked up as he peers down at Joonmyun, trying to see what kind of reaction he gets.

"Hello," Joonmyun says through a yawn. His hand automatically wraps around Jongin's, pulling him down onto Joonmyun's lap.

"Hi," Jongin whispers, even though there's no reason to be whispering, but he's grinning really wide, and that makes Joonmyun smile too.

He brushes Jongin's bangs out of his face. "You're oddly happy, did something happen?"

Jongin grins wider. "Are you ready for some great news?"

"Mhm," Joonmyun hums noncommittally, because honestly, he's not sure what could possibly be better than this, right here.

Jongin turns on his side, so that he's almost straddling Joonmyun, and pauses for suspense. Then he takes a deep breath and— "I got a job!"

Joonmyun blinks. Got a what? A job? A— "You got a job?" Joonmyun asks as the words register. "Where? And when?"

"As a dance teacher," Jongin explains. "Song Qian said it was about time someone else taught besides her and Stephanie."

Joonmyun draws him down for a hug. "Jongin, that's amazing! You're gonna be a dance teacher, I'm so proud of you."

Jongin beams up at him and purrs. The vibrations have Joonmyun nuzzling into Jongin's hair and placing a wet kiss on Jongin's forehead.

 

It's D-day, Joonmyun remembers when he wakes up that morning. Or well, it looks like it's D-Day, because Jongin had said exactly last Friday that his heat was coming in a week, and today is Friday.

He takes a peak into Jongin's room to see him shifting uncomfortably in his bed, and thinks that, yeah, it's probably today. He writes a quick note telling Jongin that he has a light day today and to text him if there's any issues, and then heads off to work, not really sure what to expect.

 

He receives a text message around eleven, with only one word: help!1!

"I have to go," he tells Kyungsoo, who gives him a questioning look but doesn't ask why.

"I'll say you got sick," he says, and Joonmyun smiles gratefully.

"I owe you one," Joonmyun mumbles as he shrugs on his jacket.

"You owe me a fuckin lot," Kyungsoo deadpans.

Joonmyun gives him a final wave and exits the room. He sends a quick message as he jogs out of his office building and decides to forgo the subway and just hail a taxi. He's not sure how bad the damage is.

 

The first bad sign is that Jongin doesn't reply to his text message, and he spends the whole taxi ride wondering just how bad going into heat is. He gives the taxi driver much more than he's supposed to and rushes inside the apartment complex.

The second bad sign is the fact that the door is unlocked, and Joonmyun's thoughts jump past heat and into much darker things that make him hope he's just being overly dramatic.

"Jongin?" Joonmyun calls out, "Where are you?" He doesn't bother to take his shoes off, just tosses his bag unceremoniously onto the kitchen counter and runs into their apartment.

"Living room," comes Jongin's voice, shaky, and Joonmyun all but runs there.

He finds Jongin on the couch, curled up in a ball, with all the pillows thrown about the room and blankets and odd objects here and there. Jongin's ballet shoes are dangling off a corner of the TV. There's even scratch marks on the rug. "How long have you been like this?" Joonmyun gasps.

"Three hours," Jongin mumbles. "I— I touched myself, but it still... hurts."

He's wearing Joonmyun's hoodie, the really big and old one Joonmyun only wears on extremely lazy days, and frayed boxers underneath. It takes a lot of effort to not stare at the very obvious tent in Jongin's pants. Three hours. That's a fucking long time. He wonders how much it hurts.

Jongin whines up at him, ears flattening as he squirms in his seat. "J-Joonmyun..." he whimpers, and just like that, all of Joonmyun's stray thoughts vanish completely.

"Okay," he says, opening his arms, and Jongin's eyes instantly sharpen. "But not here — definitely not on the couch. Come o-!"

Jongin leaps into his owner's arms, nearly knocking the breath out of Joonmyun as he stumbles backwards, the back of his knees hitting the coffee table. Jongin is already mewling and clawing at his back relentlessly as Joonmyun tries to carry him into the bedroom. "Jongin, I—"

"Hot," Jongin wails, licking stripes at the base of Joonmyun's throat as he rutts against Joonmyun's abdomen. "So hot, I—"

"Shh," Joonmyun whispers, trying to ignore the heat pooling in his stomach. "It's okay, just hold on a bi— Jongin!"

Joonmyun gasps as Jongin’s teeth sink into his shoulder, drawing blood. His grip on Jongin momentarily loosens, and Jongin's claws immediately dig into his back, eliciting a half-cry half-moan from Joonmyun. It fucking hurts, but right now, Joonmyun moans pathetically as Jongin laves the spot he bit with insistent licks. "Come on," he gasps out, fingers digging into Jongin's ass, "room, now. Please."

Jongin says nothing, instead panting harshly into Joonmyun's neck as his tail wraps around his waist possessively. Joonmyun says nothing, but the action sets of an insatiable burn in the pit of his stomach, and his grip on Jongin tightens.

"Hey," Joonmyun groans as Jongin starts to roll his hips again, "At least let me walk." He pinches Jongin weakly on his lower back, and Jongin lets out a high pitched mewl and shakes his head into Joonmyun's neck.

Despite his protests, Jongin stills, and Joonmyun lets out a sigh of relief as he navigates them both to the bedroom.

Once he sets Jongin on the bed, he moves back to loosen his tie and toss it to the side. Jongin’s already gotten his clothes off and doesn’t give Joonmyun a chance to take off the rest of his clothes before he’s pouncing on him and is kissing him furiously, like he’s personally offended that Joonmyun would spend time not kissing him. He can’t actually argue with that, so he gives as good as he got, which, Jongin’s eagerness combined with Joonmyun’s technique, makes for one of the messies kisses Joonmyun’s ever had in his life.

Jongin is still rutting against his thigh, and he laughs before pushing Jongin so he falls onto his back. “Let me take care of you,” Joonmyun whispers, hand dragging down Jongin’s body. He licks at Jongin’s nipples as his hand travels down to Jongin’s cock, and he strokes it slowly, enjoying the way Jongin moans his name aloud.

He digs his fingers into the slit, watching the way Jongin’s eyes roll to the back of his head, and his body arcs up. Having this kind of power is exhilarating, and Joonmyun has to force himself to remember to be extra gentle with Jongin.

He leans forward to replace his hand with his mouth, lips wrapping around the head of his cock as he gives deep sucks, and Jongin thrusts up blindly before he groans out, “Stop.”

What. Joonmyun pulls back instantly, and sees nothing but fear in Jongin’s eyes. “Jongin,” he says, panic flooding his system, “what happened? Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” Jongin says, breathing hard through his nose, but that’s definitely not a ‘yeah’. There's still fear evident in his eyes, so Joonmyun pulls his hand away, only to be stopped by Jongin's tail wrapping around his wrist.

Joonmyun looks between his tail and Jongin's face and raises an eyebrow. "Do you want me to stop?"

Jongin flushes then, a pretty red that starts at his face and goes down to his chest as he struggles to get the words out. "I—no, I just—"

Joonmyun laughs then. "Jongin, it's okay. You don't have to be embarrassed." He leans forward and brushes the bangs away from Jongin's forehead. "Tell me what you want."

Jongin still has trouble trying to voice what he's thinking, so Joonmyun decides to take pity on him. "Do you want my mouth? Fingers? Or do you—"

"No," Jongin hisses, and Joonmyun pulls his hand away like it burns. "You," he says, whimpering. "I want you. Please, Joonmyun, hurry."

Joonmyun stares at him, a bit wide eyed and breatheless, because this is quite a jump. This is territory they haven’t even vaguely stepped in, and Joonmyun doesn't want to mess up and scare Jongin. He's done this plenty of times, but with experienced people, and he's not quite sure how to walk Jongin through the steps. "Are you sure?"

"Yes," Jongin snaps, tail tugging on Joonmyun's wrist, "I've always— for a long time, so please."

The blood drains from Joonmyun's face, and Jongin must see it too, because his tail lets go of Joonmyun's wrist, and despite his painful erection, he leans up to wrap his arms around Joonmyun's neck and shove his face into his shoulder. "Sorry," he says quickly, "I'm sorry, I didn't— Let's not do it, okay? I'm really s—"

"No," Joonmyun breathes and pulls away from Jongin. "No that's not it at all." He breathes out and laughs, then cups Jongin's face in his hands. "I'm just surprised. Of course I want, Jongin. Of course I do."

He leans in to catch Jongin's lips in a kiss, tongue delving into Jongin's mouth eagerly as he carefully lays Jongin back down on the bed. His other hand wraps around Jongin's cock, stroking slowly, and Jongin's entire body shudders, pulling a sharp gasp from his throat.

His leg hooks over the top of Joonmyun's thigh, and he laughs as Jongin thrusts up into Joonmyun's fist, lips catching Joonmyun's earlobe and sucking. He leans slighty over Jongin to reach into the nightstand grab a small bottle of lube, groaning when Jongin moves from his ear to his neck, determined to land a mark right below his jaw.

Despite Jongin's rush, Joonmyun knows he'll get scared if Joonmyun starts to lube himself up in front of Jongin, so he distracts him with kisses as he coats his fingers.

Jongin is nibbling on his lower lip when he feels the press of Joonmyun's middle finger against his entrance. Joonmyun freezes when nails dig into his shoulders, and looks down to Jongin, who's biting on his lower lip, ears folded back, eyes shut tight in displeasure.

Joonmyun leans down to press a kiss to each of Jongin's eyelids, and watches with amusement as his ears perk up and Jongin blinks confusedly and looks up at Joonmyun. "Should I stop?" Joonmyun asks, and Jongin looks at him for a long moment before he shakes his head.

"Relax, then," Joonmyun orders, and Jongin tries the best he can, but once Joonmyun starts to slide the tips of his fingers in, panic settles in, and he clenches, and then it burns, way too tight, and the stretch is uncomfortable and—

"Shh," Joonmyun says as Jongin keens, fist clenching in Joonmyun's dress shirt. "Relax, you can take it. You get to call the shots, but you need to relax first, okay?"

Jongin closes his eyes and nods, lets out a shuddering breath as Joonmyun's fingers slide in the rest of the way.

"Can I move them?" Joonmyun asks after a pause, and Jongin's eyes flit up to bore into Joonmyun's. At first glance, he looks calm, but his shoulders are tense, ears drawn back, and there's a glint in his eye that tells Jongin that he's trying very hard to hold himself back.

Jongin doesn't trust himself to speak, so instead he nods, and Joonmyun smiles up at him and presses a kiss to Jongin's cheek before he slowly drags his fingers out, then thrusts them back in. Jongin whines, grips Joonmyun's shirt so hard the first button pops off and Joonmyun immediately stills.

"Bad?" Joonmyun asks, and Jongin groans, digging his head into the junction between Joonmyun's shoulder and neck.

"Good," Jongin whimpers, "Very good. Want more."

Joonmyun laughs aloud and presses a small kiss to Jongin's lips before he steadies himself on his knees and starts to press his finger into Jongin again. After he's sure there's no discontent on Jongin's face, he asks, "Can I put another finger in?"

Jongin, too far over, nods with his eyes shut and rolls his hips. Joonmyun makes sure his index finger is also lubed up properly before he pushes it in beside his middle finger, and Jongin squirms uncomfortably until Joonmyun thrusts his fingers shallowly, waiting for Jongin to get used to the feeling before he starts to thrust deeper, scissoring Jongin apart. Jongin pants quietly, tries to keep his eyes open, but ends up closing them every few seconds, and Joonmyun smiles at that, before he thrusts more earnestly, and curls his fingers trying to look for something.

He knows he's found it when Jongin, who's been biting his lower lip the whole time to keep from speaking, suddenly moans loudly, and starts to pant when Joonmyun hits it again and again. "Joonmyun—" he cries out, and a sort of pride, mixed with arousal drums through Joonmyun's veins.

"Good?" he asks, not really expecting an answer. "I'm going to add a third finger," he says carefully, making sure Jongin's heard it through the haze of pleasure, and slides it in next to his index and middle finger. It goes in easily, and by now, Joonmyun's cock is hard and aching in his own pants, but for now he'll ignore it until he's sure Jongin's reached his peak without any harm.

His thoughts are cut off by a sharp cry, and Joonmyun watches in morbid fascination as Jongin's hips start to move on his own, whether he realizes it or not. Before he knows it, Joonmyun isn't even moving his hand at all - instead, he watches as Jongin rides his fingers, mouth open and eyes squeezed shut.

Every time he pushes his hips back down, a quiet moan leaves Jongin's lips, and Joonmyun finds himself tracing his bottom lip with his thumb.

What he doesn't expect is for Jongin to take it into his mouth, drawing his tongue around it, making obscene slurping sounds as spit dribbles down his chin, and Joonmyun moans loudly, pressing his index finger to Jongin's mouth as well.

He takes it in, hips snapping faster and faster, until suddenly, Jongin completely stills, loud cry erupting from his throat as he comes, long and hard, all over his chest and Joonmyun's dress shirt. His eyes are wide and and glossy, Joonmyun's fingers falling out of his mouth as he pants harshly, clenching hard around Joonmyun's fingers.

Jesus Christ. That image is going to haunt Joonmyun for months. He doesn’t even care that he’s so hard it’s starting to hurt as well, that was— That was amazing, Joonmyun wants to do that again and again and again.

“Jongin?” he asks, stroking Jongin’s cheek.

Jongin makes a content noise, eyes opening blearily to look at Joonmyun. “Kiss me,” he mumbles, and Joonmyun laughs before crawling up the length of Jongin’s body to lick his way into his mouth. Jongin’s fingers tangle in his hair, and he kisses like there’s nothing he’d ever want to do more than lie here with Joonmyun, sharing the same air and space until he’s dizzy with the taste of Joonmyun.

“You feeling better now?” Joonmyun whispers.

Jongin nods. “It’ll probably come back in an hour or two, but I’m okay for now.”

They lie there for a few minutes, Joonmyun still painfully hard, but he figures he’ll excuse himself to the bathroom in a few minutes, before Jongin turns to him and says, “I still want you to...”

Joonmyun blinks. “Really? Are you sure about that?”

Jongin nods. “I wasn’t kidding,” he mumbles, “when I said I’ve always wanted to, for a long time.”

Joonmyun decides to just break the ice. “Jongin, are you sure you want me to fuck you?”

Jongin blushes again. “Yes!” he snaps. “Please, Joonmyun, fuck me already.”

Joonmyun groans and lifts himself up. “If that’s what you want,” he says, “then your wish is my command.” He unbuttons his shirt as Jongin helps unbuckle his belt and pull his slacks off, along with his boxers.

“Stop being gross,” Jongin says, but shuts up when Joonmyun’s fingers, still slick, dip back inside Jongin again to make sure he’s well stretched.

“You can tell me to stop whenever,” Joonmyun reminds him as he reaches for the abandoned bottle of lube. He leans forward to kiss Jongin again as he squeezes out a generous amount of lube into his hand and coats his cock with it.

He gives Jongin's bottom lip one last tug before he pulls away a bit and asks, "Are you ready?"

At Jongin's nod, he kisses Jongin again, harder than before, so that their teeth clash, and Jongin has to pull away to gasp for air before Joonmyun claims his lips again as he positions himself in front of Jongin's entrance. His hands push Jongin's thighs further apart, and he scratches lightly underneath the back of his knee — a sign that he's going to push him, and then he does, slowly, so that Jongin isn't pained.

Even with the distraction, the displeasure shows on Jongin's face, and Joonmyun tries his best to distract him, because if he stops now, it'll probably hurt even more.

"Joonmyun," Jongin groans once he's all the way inside Jongin. Jongin feels so good around him, so tight, it feels like there's a wildfire under his skin, setting his heart aflame and smothering Joonmyun's lungs with ashes so he can't breathe.

"Are you okay?" he asks, a little too harshly, and kisses his nose.

Jongin takes a deep breath, closes his eyes, then opens them as he says, "Move."

He pulls out slowly, then pushes back in, rocking into Jongin slowly. The action causes Jongin to give a light moan, and that encourages Joonmyun to shift so that he's hovering over Jongin, and thrusts in faster. "How do you feel?" he asks, and Jongin moans louder.

"F-faster," Jongin whines, and Joonmyun complies, hips snapping forward, and fuck, it feels so fucking good, Jongin is so fucking good, the way his moans sound like little hiccups, hands scratching at the comforter. His cock has already hardened again, and a little bead of precum forms at the tip, but Joonmyun also knows that this isn't enough, so he pulls away from Jongin a bit and puts his hand underneath his knee and hike it up over his shoulder.

He thrusts in again and groans as Jongin clenches around him. The friction feels amazing and he grabs Jongin's other leg to wrap it around his waist.

"Joonmyun," Jongin gasps, hands finding their way into his hair. He aims another particular hard thrust in the same spot, and Jongin cries out this time, arching up into Joonmyun's chest.

"How do you feel?" Joonmyun asks, because he feels like he might just turn into ashes, Jongin's skin feels perfect underneath his, like it was molded just for Joonmyun, just for Joonmyun's fingers and Joonmyun's lips and Joonmyun's heart.

Jongin whines, hands tugging at Joonmyun's hair as he moans, "Amazing, now shut up and—"

He gasps again when Joonmyun's hand goes to his cock, dragging his hand from tip to base and back up, until he's stroking Jongin in time with his thrusts. As Jongin's moans get louder and louder, Joonmyun can feel himself getting closer too.

Jongin pulls down on the back of his neck and crashes their mouths together painfully, noses bumping, and Joonmyun comes just like that, with a grunt that gets lost in Jongin's mouth. He strokes Jongin a few more times, and he comes then, too, spilling all over his stomach and Joonmyun's hand.

Joonmyun takes a deep breath and pulls out of Jongin and collapses beside him, boneless and exhausted. The aftereffects of his orgasm is still thrumming through his veins, and he reaches up to pet at Jongin's hair, content as Jongin nuzzles into the touch. "Happy?" Joonmyun asks, pressing a kiss to Jongin's shoulder.

"Mhm," Jongin hums, eyes fluttering shut.

Joonmyun considers saying something else, like are you still in heat, is this going to be a problem? but Jongin is already half asleep, and Joonmyun can feel the lethargy settling over him like a warm blanket as well, so he closes his eyes too and buries his head into Jongin's neck.

They will face the other issues later.

 

 

The thing about relationships is that you never know whether they will break or evolve. Life has its own way of throwing things at you when you least expect it, and it depends on how you take them into hand.

 

Joonmyun doesn't really like inviting people back to his apartment. His house is for him to be alone and relax, and if he wants to hang out with his friends, it's usually outside the light grey walls of his home.

But today is a different, because there's a cake in front of Jongin and Joonmyun with a big blue number 2 candle, and around them are all their friends.

Celebrating anniversaries are a bit weird to Jongin, who probably couldn't get himself to care if it's been two weeks or two years, but it was Joonmyun who insisted that they had to celebrate, alone or with their friends, and then it was Kyungsoo who suggested to bake a cake together. He took it back a second later, saying that they'd probably burn down the kitchen, but Joonmyun already sent Jongin a text to go out and buy ingredients.

The cake looks awful, but Jongin grins and elbows Joonmyun in the side so he can blow out the candle first, and in the background, Xiao Mei, Zhou Mi and Song Qian's daughter wails, because she wanted to blow out the candle, and they light it again, just for her, and cries again when her mom has to help her.

Joonmyun should've known bettter than to let Jonghyun and Taemin open the bottle of champagne because they shake it until it's bubbling and spray it so that he and Jongin are drenched. Baekhyun pulls at Jongin's ears until he's hissing, and Kyungsoo wipes down Joonmyun's face and gives him a stern I told you this would happen.

Life is good.

 

 

OUTAKE (aka, more porn):

In foresight, Joonmyun probably should have seen this coming. After all, he has it written on his calendar, and Jongin always gets more snappy when it’s that time.

But no.

Joonmyun is stupid and Jongin is even more forgetful, so instead of staying home like they probably should have, Joonmyun has a business dinner to attend. He’s even brought a suit just for Jongin, who wrinkles his noses and says it’s really itches, but once he’s got it on, Jongin gives his reflection a pleased look, and all Joonmyun really wants to think about is getting it off.

Company parties are boring for the most part, even with Zhou Mi and Kyungsoo, but since it’s a merger event, Yifan is also there, along with his friend Jongdae. Maybe it won’t be so boring, Joonmyun thinks as he and Jongin hand the front desk their invitations.

They’re one of the earlier people to arrive, but Yifan’s already there, with Chanyeol standing diligently by his side. He whispers something into Yifan’s ear, who then turns to look at Jongin and Joonmyun.

“Go have fun with Chanyeol,” Joonmyun murmurs, hand pressing against the small of Jongin’s back. “This is going to be a long night, I’m sure. I have to actually talk business with people.”

Jongin gives a small sigh a nods before he walks away, and Joonmyun gives Yifan a smile and a wave before they grab themselves two glasses of champagne.

“How’ve you been?” Jongin ask as they reach each other.

Chanyeol shrugs. “A little tired. Yifan’s not sure how he feels about this business merging idea. He transferred companies in the first place, and now he’s just back where he is again.”

“It’s the Yifan effect,” Jongin says, Chanyeol nods.

“I don’t think he minds that much,” Chanyeol mumbles, then pauses. “What’s that smell, anyway?”

Jongin freezes. “Um. Probably the foo—?”

Chanyeol takes one sniff of Jongin before he wrinkles his nose and steps away. “You’re—”

Shut up,” Jongin hisses, ears flattening on top of his head threateningly.

“Why are you here?” Chanyeol asks, incredulous.

“This dinner is important to Joonmyun,” Jongin says, shifting uncomfortably. “Promotion, or something.”

Chanyeol reaches out to pat him on the back, then sniffs him one more time before retracting his hand. “Good luck, then.”

Jongin saunters away, and when Chanyeol returns to Kris, tail wagging happily, Kris gives him a small smile before reaching over to pet him. “Did you talk to Jongin? What’s wrong with him?”

Chanyeol lets out a dramatic, forlorn sigh — one that has Kris raising his eyebrows — before he says, “Jongin is in heat.”

Kris chokes on his drink.

 

At first the itch is just bothersome, and Jongin deals with it by shoving his hands in his pockets and looking sourly at anyone who tries to come up and talk to him. Being in a relationship with someone as outgoing and nice as Joonmyun is tiring, especially when people assume that he’s probably just as jovial as Joonmyun. His favorite pastime is proving them all wrong.

“Why do you look so upset?” someone asks from behind him, and Jongin sighs as Kyungsoo comes up to him with a glass and hands it to him. Jongin raises an eyebrow because who puts ice cubes in champagne. “Don’t look at me like that, it’s just water.”

“Thanks,” he mumbles and accepts the glass. In the distance, Joonmyun is surrounded by three older men, all of them talking excitedly about the new company building being built near the train station.

“So,” Kyungsoo says, “when did you plan on telling Joonmyun?”

Jongin groans. His dick fucking hurts, and the last thing he needs is for this to be a public spectacle. He has to take his hand out of his pocket at some point. “How do you know?”

“Chanyeol has a big mouth.”

“That little—”

“Go the bathroom,” Kyungsoo orders, and takes back Jongin’s glass before he actually gets to drink from it. “I’ll get Joonmyun. No one’s gonna miss out on anything, anyway.”

Jongin pales. “It’s fine, I can deal for another—”

“Go. To. The. Bathroom.”

Jongin knows better than to argue with a pissed Kyungsoo, so he frowns for a bit before he nods and takes off. Kyungsoo rolls his eyes and heads over towards Joonmyun. Children, all of them, he sighs.

 

Jesus Christ, Jongin hadn’t realized just how much it hurt, but now that he’s locked himself in one of the bathroom stalls, he realizes that it hurts a fucking lot. He doesn't dare touch himself though, not without Joonmyun, because now that Joonmyun knows, he's going to be pissed, and so he might as well try to salvage any mercy Joonmyun might have. He breathes hard through his teeth, trying to think up really unsexy images, like that time one of his dance students went into the wrong room and slipped all over the wet paint, and it took the combined effort of Song Qian, Stephanie, and Jongin to get him out. The student’s parents scolded him in front of all the other students, delaying class for a good half hour.

Jongin groans when it does nothing to calm his nerves. How could it, when he came home, wet with brown and blue paint, to have Joonmyun take him up against the shower wall, nice and slow.

"Jongin?"

Jongin jumps, head banging painfully against the stall door, and groans when that doesn't abate the pain, either. "In here," he croaks, unlocking the door.

He doesn't give Joonmyun a chance to say anything, just grabs him by the tie and tugs him inside the stall, fingertips burning where they cup Joonmyun's face and push him back up against the stall door to kiss him.

"Jongin," Joonmyun gasps, "what—"

"Help," Jongin whimpers, grabs Joonmyun’s hand and places it on his on the front of his pants, rubbing himself through his slacks, "it hurts."

Joonmyun’s mouth waters at the sight of Jongin’s head falling back, face flushed so prettily, with splotches of pinkish red across his cheeks and lips parted. Joonmyun wants to pin him down onto his bed sheets and nip and lick at his skin until Jongin is adorned with marks that won’t go away from days, because even though Jonin hates being smothered in affection, he loves the feeling of being owned by Joonmyun.

 

Joonmyun is more than thankful he told the front desk to get his car before he checked up on Jongin, just in case it was anything serious, because by the time they reach the hotel doors, a sleek black Aston Martin is already waiting for them.

He tips the valet much more than he probably deserves, but Joonmyun couldn't possibly care less as he steps into the car and slides the key into the ignition.

"Joonmyun," Jongin whines over the car's engine, hands fisting at his pants uncomfortably.

"Don't touch yourself," Joonmyun orders, and the strangled noise of displeasure Jongin lets out is almost worth it when they pull out of the hotel parking lot and onto the highway. "Why didn't you tell me, Jongin?"

"Are you really going to ask me this now?"

Joonmyun glances at Jongin's face through the front mirror. His ears are flat on his head, tail waving from side to side impatiently, and there's already a thin sheet of perspiration over his forehead.

He knows it isn't completely Jongin's fault — he'd forgotten to look at the calendar too, but Jongin has a habit of forgetting important dates and events, so this time, Joonmyun decides to give him a little lesson. "Jongin," he says sternly.

"I forgot!" Jongin squeaks, and Joonmyun sees him slump over sideways in his seat out of the corner of his eye. "I didn't - couldn't, remember. Please, Joonmyun, it hurts."

Joonmyun sighs and reaches over with one arm to run his fingers through mussed hair, lightly massaging Jongin's scalp as he continues to stare at the road. Jongin is trembling under him, and after Joonmyun takes an exit, Jongin makes a small sound and rubs his head into Joonmyun's hand. Joonmyun tightens his grip on Jongin's head in warning, and Jongin gasps in response.

Joonmyun stills instantly, and Jongin whimpers. "Joonmyun," he says, "Joonmyun, please—"

"No," he says quickly. "This isn't the first time you've forgotten, Jongin."

"You forgot too!" Jongin wails, and Joonmyun tugs on Jongin's hair so hard Jongin moans aloud and digs his nails into the leather of the car seat.

Joonmyun smiles to himself, pleased with Jongin's reaction. "I forgive mistakes, Jongin, not habits.”

Jongin is panting now, throat exposed, and Joonmyun wants to press kisses there, whisper dirty things into his ear, tell him how much of a bad kitty he’s been, how he needs to behave, needs to learn a lesson. How does he want—

“—to learn your lesson, Jongin?”

It’s out of Joonmyun’s mouth before he’s even realized he’s said it, and he’s about to see if he can somehow retract his statement, because doesn’t actually want to punish Jongin, but Jongin whines even more and squirms in his seat.

“I don’t care,” he breathes out, “I don’t— I just need—”

Joonmyun tries to retract his hand, but Jongin grabs it and places it back on his head.

“I need my hand to drive,” Joonmyun says as he tugs again, amused.

Jongin pulls his hand down until he’s nuzzling his palm. “You’ve been doing pretty well with one so far.”

“Want to see how well you’ll do with one hand?” Joonmyun asks, and Jongin lets out a tiny hiss, rubbing his face into Joonmyun’s hand. “Jongin...”

He slams on the brakes a moment later when Jongin’s tongue peeks out between Joonmyun’s ring and middle finger. Jongin lets out a yowl and grabs Joonmyun’s thigh for leverage before he gets shoved back by the seatbelt, and the next thing he knows, they’ve stopped, and Joonmyun puts the car into park before scrambling to undo Jongin's seat belt.

"Come here," he murmurs, and Jongin grins as he climbs out of his seat and onto Joonmyun's lap. "Unbuckle your pants."

"Don't tease, please," Jongin whines against Joonmyun's cheek, and Joonmyun catches his lips in a fierce kiss as he reaches into the glove compartment and fishes out a little bottle of lube. Jongin's got his pants and boxers shoved down his thighs — cock a deep red and curved against his stomach, and Joonmyun gives it a stroke while his other hand goes around Jongin and circles his entrance.

At Jongin's whine, Joonmyun pushes his first finger in at the same time he curves his tongue round Jongin's and captures his moan in between their mouths.

He thrusts his fingers into Jongin a few times, before Jongin leans back and groans, "Not enough." Joonmyun sucks on his tongue reverently as he adds a second finger and pulls back.

“Shh,” Joonmyun whispers as he peppers kisses along the column of Jongin’s neck. “Relax.” Jongin is clenching hard around his fingers, canting his hips ever so slightly, arousal straining against his stomach. Joonmyun reaches out and spreads the precome gathering at the tip of Jongin’s cock and gives it a few strokes. “Relax,” he repeats, and Jongin does. Slowly, Joonmyun pushes his fingers in and out of Jongin, stretching him.

“More,” Jongin gasps, rolling his hips, and Joonmyun adds a third finger, curling his fingers and searching for the spot of sensitive nerve ends. He knows he’s found it when Jongin’s pants turns into shattered gasps, and he starts to rock his hips back and forth.

Jongin's just about gone, nearly there, the effort of Joonmyun's fingers in his ass and hand on his cock, Jongin thinks he's just about done for. He braces himself, leans back, and—

Jongin shrieks and jumps when the car horn goes off, nails sinking painfully into Joonmyun's shoulder, who looks just as mortified as Jongin, before they share a look, and he bursts out into laughter.

"Oh my god," Joonmyun gasps, trying to cover his mouth with his hand. "That's..."

"Shut up," Jongin hisses, slapping him on the shoulder.

"Maybe this is a sign we should take this back to the apartment," Joonmyun says.

"Or maybe your stupid car—"

"Up you go," Joonmyun says slapping Jongin's ass, and tries to hide his own arousal as Jongin bitterly climbs into the passenger seat and tries to redo his pants. "Don't give me that face, we're literally parked on the edge of the highway outside the city. It's just ten more minutes."

Jongin frowns and turns on the radio, blasting whatever song comes on. It's the one Joonmyun hates.

 

"Back early?" The doorman asks, and Joonmyun gives him a polite smile.

"Not much business to discuss," Joonmyun says. "Excuse us please, Jongin is sick."

They hurry past him before the doorman can say anything else and walk into the elevator.

As the doors close behind them, Jongin rubs up against Joonmyun's thigh insistently, whining when the bell chimes mere moments later. "Since when were elevators this fast."

Joonmyun grins and let's Jongin drag him into their home.

 

That same heat uncoils inside Joonmyun when he's got Jongin stark naked on his bed, hair mussed up and several bruises lingering along his collarbone and chest. There's something addicting about ruining Jongin, having the air knocked out of him and completely submissive to him.

“On your hands and knees,” Joonmyun grunts, and Jongin hastily turns over and braces himself. He can feel Joonmyun's cock lined up against his entrance, and he takes one deep breath as Joonmyun slams into him.

The same breath gets caught in his throat as a cry leaves Jongin's mouth instead, hands fisting into the blanket. Joonmyun starts out fast, hips thrusting quickly as he leans over Jongin's back to mouth at his jawline. "More," Jongin moans, turning his head to lock their lips together.

A particular well aimed thrust has Jongin crying out, and Joonmyun braces himself before he keeps hitting that spot, over and over, so that Jongin's knees slide against the mattress and his hands dig into the comforter for support.

He nearly screams as Joonmyun takes a fistful of his hair and shoves his head into mattress at the same time as he aims a hard thrust right up into Jongin. He gasps against the blanket, head turned against the side he pulled his hips back. “More, please, Joonmyun, please please—”

“Fuck,” Joonmyun groans, hips snapping roughly, “you love this, don’t you? Being completely at my mercy."

Jongin says nothing, except for the little ah's that leave his mouth, and Joonmyun finally decides to take pity on him and wrap a hand around Jongin's cock, hand stroking awkwardly, out of time with his thrusts, but Jongin is shaking beneath him anyway, and he finally lets out a loud shout and spills all over the comforter, and Joonmyun comes quickly after as well, after his thrusts get erratic and loses any sense of rhythm.

Jongin whines when Joonmyun collapses on him and shoves at his shoulder. "Shower," he mumbles after a few minutes, and Joonmyun shakes his head.

"I'm so tired," he groans, and Jongin sighs.

"Stop being a lazy ass and get up."

"Don't wanna."

Jongin rolls his eyes and pushes Joonmyun off him before he gets up. "Fine, I'm going by myself, then."

Joonmyun watches his retreating back slowly and yawns. There's a satisfying pop when he stretches his arms out, and, after a moment of silence, followed by the shower turning on, he gets up, too.

"You can't start without me," Joonmyun complains as he enters the shower..

"Start what?" Jongin asks incredulously, "Shampooing my hair?"

"Yeah," Joonmyun says, frowning. "You know I love shampooing your hair."

"Why are you weird," Jongin mumbles, but hands Joonmyun the bottle anyway. "Finish the job, then."

He hums quietly as Joonmyun squirts a little more the shampoo into his hands and tangles his fingers through Jongin's hair. "Are you okay now?"

Jongin makes a pleased noise. "It'll come back in a bit, but I'm good for now."

"That's good," Joonmyun mumbles, and focuses on running his hands through Jongin's hair, careful to avoid his ears, and watches as the shampoo bubbles up and fizzes. It's weird, how small things like these can be so interesting to look at.

"I love you," Jongin suddenly says, and Joonmyun pauses.

"Hm?"

"I love you," Jongin repeats, more firm, expect it looks like he's glaring at Joonmyun, and that makes him smile.

"I love you, too," he replies, and kisses Jongin's soapy forehead. It feels nice. "Gross, my mouth tastes like soap."

"Good, you need it."