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Time seems to pause when I lay my eyes on you.

It was a mushy phrase with dubious truthfulness.
But when he opened the front door of his apartment, Donghae had the feeling that every hand on every clock had halted. That even the grains of sand in the hourglasses around the world had remained suspended in the air.
The person who was revealed before him did not match the one engraved in his memories.
The face had grown more mature. The shoulder-length black hair had given way to a short ash-blonde with tufts that fell over the forehead. The dark and deep circles had disappeared to leave room for rested, lively eyes.
The left corner of that thin mouth trembled upwards with uncertainty.

"Hi, Donghae".

A deeper, yet milder unfamiliar tone called out his name ostensibly for the first time and it felt as if a blade had begun to penetrate his living organs, inch by inch.
He let himself get seized for a moment, by the stupefaction of seeing that person again after several years, but quickly regained control over himself.

"You got some guts in showing up here out of the blue", he emitted through gritted teeth, while the fury enveloped him in a blinding grip.
With his palms fixed on the wooden surface, he tried to keep a controlled breath so that possible sobs would not betray his frantic state.

Tears quickly escaped the constricted edge and fell onto the parquet.
Slender fingers insinuated into the gap still present between the wall and the door.
To his renewed shock, the other had blocked the door with one foot.

“D-Donghae, I know, okay? I have no right to show up here without notice, but I was afraid that otherwise, you would not want to meet me… I beg you, allow me to explain”.

The scars that had healed with tribulation during those same years of adversity, lack of affection, and trust issues about whoever intentions, were now mercilessly tearing open, awakening a buried pain that seemed to have the sole purpose of taking his breath away.
Hurriedly wiping his cheeks and blinking several times, he cleared his throat so that his voice would come out unperturbed.

“And to tell me what? How would you like things to have gone differently?", he hoped that the sneering tone would cause new wounds to the person standing behind the door.

"If it can help, yes. You deserve all the closure I can get you. I only wish I could do it by looking you in the eyes".

Taking a deep breath with eyelids closed, he focused on the air filling the lungs at their maximum capacity.
"Will you leave me alone after?"

The following moment of silence almost led him to peek if the other person was still there.

“If that's what you want”.

Confident, he stepped aside and allowed the person to cross the threshold of what had once been their apartment.

The unwanted guest immediately began to scan the surroundings with vivid curiosity.
"This place hasn't changed much", was the following comment.

Donghae's eyebrows raised with disbelief at what he had just heard.
Adjusting to someone’s absence, to a new kind of silence had been tough.
How could the physical absence of a person and lack of personal belongings not be a factor of a huge change?

“Is there anything I can offer you?”, he asked with a flat tone after letting out a dry sigh.

"No. I told you. I'm exclusively here to talk to you, so a bit of your time will do, thank you", the blond replied with that saccharine and annoying tone.

Carefully avoiding crossing the latter’s eyes, he spread both arms.

"Talk, then. I don’t have much free time and I’d like to choose how to spend it".
It was rough, the way he implied that anything else would have been better than paying attention to the unwanted guest.
He kept repeating himself that it was solely fair. 

“Can’t you put yourself in my shoes for a moment? Do you think it’s any easier for me to stand here, in front of you today?”

The tone was resentful and somehow made him regret having been so dismissive. Yet, he did not proceed to apologize.
Sideways, he noticed the blond scratching the forehead as a heavy sigh got emitted. Perhaps, suffering from the stony treatment that Hyukjae was offering.

"Do you remember that initiation party for freshmen that we spent on the sofa drinking?"

He frowned at first, confused, but gasped as the images began to take shape in his mind.
They were much younger, but primarily, they were enamored.
The echo of the other's laughter, overpowered by the music, caused him to flinch.
Drinking had not been the only activity they entertained themselves with that night. They had languidly kissed and rubbed their bodies against each other like two animals in need because of disinhibition.
There had been a time in which those images flared up his insides, but now they appeared distant and blurred.

“I've often thought about that evening, you know? I wondered if altering even the smallest thing could have changed the outcome”.

He let out a faint snort.
Dwelling on the past was a waste of time precisely because of its immutable nature.

"Between the two, you have always been the one with the strongest soul, the most determined and ambitious one... I have always been weak and influenceable".
Retorting was an unfulfillable option because nowadays, while life had been kind to Donghae, allowing him to get a job he found rewarding, it had not been the case with the unwanted guest, forced to seek treatment in a rehabilitation institution.

“You had options. You could have chosen differently”, with a harsh tone he clenched his fists.

Flashing memories danced through his mind.
The familiar figure of a thinner boy he loved was leaning so that his lips were seductively brushing over his ear.

"Wanna try something new? It's gonna be fun, I promise ".

Anything. No matter how questionable, stupid or dangerous.
That person would have always been able to obtain anything from him.
The boy in his memories was now looking at him with eyes clouded by alcohol and arousal. His tongue was hanging out with a colorful pill proudly showing off, but rather than swallowing it, he cupped Donghae's face and involved him in a passionate kiss that induced the latter to swallow the pill.

"What is it? ", he weakly asked, out of natural reflex. Because, frankly, he did not care.

Retracting, the alluring figure gave him a breathtaking smile.

"You'll see, it's gonna be memorable ", came the statement as the boy swallowed one himself without hesitation.
It had been memorable.

He could recall the sensation of the boy's body under the palms of his own hands. The heat. The spasms. The tremors. The slippery perception caused by sweat, the bloated and throbbing skin, the slow and sloppy kisses interrupted by the high-pitched moans.
The feeling of digging space inside the other's body, acquiring more territory to claim. The tight embrace that the tender flesh enveloped him in, desiring just as much for both to become one single being. The writhing body, hassling moving to seek release, arching its back to absorb the increasing pleasure the moment the peak got reached, conquered.
It had not been different for Donghae.
He had thought he had turned into a celestial body, made of nothing if not the right resources to combine himself with the boy's matter, creating something unique.
It had been astounding.
Whatever they had ingested had brought them on a sensory level above the norm.
Everything seemed magnified.
Yet, when he had returned from the bathroom after cleaning himself, he found the slender body shaking with violent spasms. The beautiful warm, brown eyes were wide and staring at the ceiling while a white foam leaked uncontrollably from his mouth.

"Fuck ".

He rushed onto the bed to turn the boy's body on one side so as not to risk him choking and tried several times to call out his name without obtaining a reply.
A sense of panic began to bubble his insides.
With shaking hands, he managed to reach over to the nightstand to grab his phone and call an ambulance.

The love of his life overdosed.

“What I will never forgive myself for is that I risked dragging you down with me, Donghae. It was reckless and unforgivable".

Not receiving a response, the uninvited guest proceeded.

“Nothing will change the pain I've put you through, and maybe not even a multitude of apologies from me will be enough to make you feel better, but both of us needed to have this conversation to carry on with our lives. I don't know if you still like it, but on the way here, I bought you this… a little peace offering”, a soft laugh accompanied those words.

Out of the parka's pocket, the man had taken a small carton of banana milk. 

“Is there the remote possibility of starting over as friends?"

Staring at the banana milk, he felt the irrepressible instinct of smashing it against the wall.

"No. We could never be friends”, he replied sharply.

Sideways, he noticed the figure wince. Probably due to the lack of hesitation.

"C-can I at least ask you why?"

After licking his dried lips, he finally made eye contact with the unwanted guest.

"Because I've never considered you just a friend, Hyukjae, and I couldn't start now".

Another moment of silence passed, probably to grasp what had just been told.

“I'm so sorry, Donghae. I ruined everything", the blond whispered on the verge of tears.

With a shaky deep breath and hard features, he tightly grabbed the collar of the green jacket and forced the man to walk backward until his back hit the wall.
The banana milk had tumbled on the floor at some point along the way.

"You've always been expendable, haven't you?"

Those brown eyes were now widely on alert.

“L-let me go”, Hyukjae attempted to loosen Donghae's iron grip.

"You never cared, did you?"

The blond looked up from his hands with a befuddled expression.

"What are you talking about?", a hint of resentfulness.

"About yourself".

Hyukjae remained frozen, barely blinking, then restarted to fight against Donghae's firm hold.

"Let me go! Let me go!"

Those milky hands grabbed his sweater and tried to push him away.
With a fierce new wave of anger, he firmly wrapped a palm around the blond's neck.
A pleasant sensation began to spread throughout his body as he pressed his own against the other’s one.
He cherished the helpless look Hyukjae had painted all over his face. The way his throat’s muscles tensed from the effort to catch air and the eyelids blinked relentlessly to prevent new tears from forming.
The animated movements immediately halted as the latter began to look out for air, calling his name in a hoarse voice.
A pleasing sensation began to spread throughout his system as he pressed his body against the other.
Weak punches were thrown against his chest, not strong enough to make him lose the predominant force on the other.

"Look at you. All these acquired muscles and for what? You still don't know how to defend yourself".

Hyukjae stopped fighting back, and his face twisted in a flushed grimace as he began to cry.

"Why are you treating me like this?", the blond managed to ask between snivels that made his shoulders bounce.

Instead of giving a proper reply, he spent another silent moment contemplating the frightened creature before his eyes, only to subsequently tilt his head to the side and kiss the blond.
The astonishment that the gesture had arisen allowed him to deepen the kiss inside the humid cave, intertwining their tongues together and savoring a different but authentic flavor.
Somehow, Hyukjae managed to deliver him a loud slap. The spot began not only to pinch. It also forced him to break the kiss and turn his face to the side.
When his eyes found Hyukjae's wide ones, he wanted to intimate the blond to flee, but as soon as the man moved a muscle to get away from him, he captured him between his arms.
Hyukjae let out a cry which got suffocated by Donghae's pressing palm.

"Oh, now you're scared?"

It was somehow amusing.
Anyhow, he lifted the sturdy figure. Heading towards the bedroom was not an easy task because Hyukjae kept trying to slow him down by wriggling as much as possible and throwing kicks.
Despite everything, he dropped the body onto the bed like a sack of potatoes, watching it bounce, and pointed at it with a motion of the chin.
Now he stood completely naked in front of a reborn version of the boy he loved.

"Take off your clothes", he ordered, starting to take off his sweater and ball it up on the floor, then continuing with the jeans and underwear.

The latter clenched his hands onto the blankets. The frightened expression got betrayed by those eyes roaming all over his exposed skin.

"D-Donghae...", the tone was meant to sound afraid, but the lewd gaze that had lingered between his legs suggested what was truly going on.

"Now, I'll join you on this bed," he murmured, taking a few steps towards the edge of the bed.

Hyukjae looked at him absently in the face, probably attracted by his voice, then looked back down.
After planting his knees on the soft surface, he crawled until he found himself towering over the blond who had been forced to lift his gaze and find his waiting gaze.

"Do you want to touch me?"

Hyukjae's breath quickened, and as if he suddenly realized the situation and turned his face abruptly, closing his eyelids.
A little laugh escaped him.

"Have you turned shy too now?"

"Maybe I always have been, but drugs were too good at disguising it".

Hyukjae looked over him with a cocky expression.
In response, he hummed apprehensively.
Nevertheless, he grabbed one of the blond’s hands and led it around his arousal.
The man below gasped but did not try to withdraw his limb.

"Why should you be ashamed of me?"

He began to masturbate himself, moving Hyukjae's hand as well.
The touch was somehow familiar, and it made his body shiver with lust.

"I've seen you at your worst", he reminded them both in a bitter tone, lifting his face upward with eyes closed, emitting a low pleased sound.

As soon as he perceived the hand underneath his beginning to move of his own free will, he pulled it away.


Was it a protest? He was not able to tell.

“Undress yourself, Hyukjae”, he requested, moving aside to give enough space to the other to follow his words.

After a moment of stillness, Hyukjae began to shed the individual layers that enveloped his body.
Donghae allowed himself to enjoy the view, slowly resuming touching himself while observing the skin that got revealed to his hungry eyes.
Assumptions got confirmed.
Hyukjae had gone to the gym, and his current body got outlined with toned muscles.

"No", he interjected as the underwear were about to get removed.

Grabbing him hastily, he managed to roll the blond onto his stomach.
The man jolted at the inadvertent change of position.
From the nightstand drawer, he picked up the bottle of lube and a condom.
Hyukjae had settled down on all fours, which caused him to smirk.
Almost too obedient.
With an equally raw gesture, he lowered the blond's underwear.
There, before his eyes, was his coveted reward.
His mouth almost watered with excessive arousal.
With both palms, he caressed the solid yet soft curves, and then without warning, he dug his nails, hoping to leave crescent marks.
Hyukjae, on his side, made small muffled sounds, but nothing that suggested that the situation was displeasing.
Caught by the blindness of his animal instinct, he poured some lubricant between the buttocks' crack, ignoring the slight wiggle from the cold sensation, and then poured some more on his fingers.

"Touch yourself", came the invitation.

Hyukjae tried to look at him over his shoulder, probably confused by that generous offer, and did exactly as said.
At the same time, he began to prepare the sacred place that would allow him to restore balance, to heal all of his wounds.
The more the flesh loosened, allowing him deeper access, the more his arousal grew, making him feel almost feverish and causing him to leave bites along the blond's back.
Only when Hyukjae's body tightened around his fingers, and a loud sound of pleasure got emitted, he pulled out his fingers and, without further ado, proceeded to penetrate him.
Ruthless. Without giving him respite or a moment to catch his breath.
He started banging the blonde, holding him by the hips, savoring the rocking of their bodies and the sound of the slaps caused by their skin.
The sight of the blond's back muscles contracting turned him on even more if possible.
He ran one hand over it and groaned as he felt them move under his touch.
With clenched teeth, breathing heavily and blinded by a wild desire, he continued to possess Hyukjae who under him tried to accompany his movements, emitting moans of pleasure and bending over his elbows because his muscles could not hold him.

"Did you think about this while you were in rehab? Or once you got out? Or did you let someone else fuck you thinking about me?", he almost growled those questions.

Hyukjae made what appeared to be a protesting sound.

"I've always thought of you, of us", the blond had managed to say in one breath, letting out a strangled moan.

Donghae wanted to believe him with all his heart, but it still hurt.
His movements slowed down to a gentle rocking as he caressed the base of the tanned back.
Confused, Hyukjae turned to look at him over his shoulder, but Donghae could not make out his expression, as his eyes were wet with tears.

"I was so afraid of losing you".

By now, the crying was out of control.
Hyukjae rushed in front of him and placed one hand on his cheek. A light, delicate touch.

"Donghae, I'm not going anywhere anymore. I've been clean for several years, and I don't intend to touch that shit ever again".

To that statement followed a trail of sweet kisses all along the neck and chest. There, the blond applied pressure with one hand, making Donghae understand that he had to lie on his back.
From below, Hyukjae now looked more strong with those sturdy muscles, but before he could analyze any further, the man descended on him again, holding onto his chest as they let out a groan in unison.
Hyukjae hands ran to encircle those tanned hips and accompanied the swinging movements.

"I never needed anyone else because my only fixed thought in that shitty place was you. I wanted to become a person fit to be with you, because before I wasn't, Donghae", Hyukjae told him, resting a hand to the side of his head and looking straight into his eyes, talking with a hoarse tone and the words broken by gasps and moans.

"I've always loved you, Hyukjae. Even when you were incapable of loving yourself," he confessed, diving into those amber eyes with adoration.

The blond smiled at him.
The sight of that made him dizzy, and his heart squeezed with joy.

"And that's exactly why I stayed clean. I want to love you, Donghae...", his movements grew in vigor, and a hand came back to touch him. "I want to make love to you, and kiss you, and hear you laugh, without that shit telling me what to feel".

Donghae then lifted his back and rested his forehead against Hyukjae's.
Grabbing the blond by the buttocks, he started to thrust mercilessly into him.


This time his name got stuttered with a hint of desire and need. A sign that the blond was very close to the climax.

"I'm not going to let that shit take you away from me again", he promised aloud, assuring both of them the heights of pleasure.

Once their spirits had cooled, lying next to each other, in a tangle of arms and legs, Donghae noticed how Hyukjae could not stop smiling as he fiddled with the fingers of his hand.

"What is it?", he wanted to know, as his index traveled the curve of the other's bicep and then slid down to the hip.

"I was so afraid that you might refuse me, Donghae... what I made you feel must have been horrible, yet you are still here, willing to love me... I am happy".

He reached out to kiss him.

"I will always and only be able to love you, Hyukjae".


The End