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last comes the heart

Chapter Text

“Have you clocked out yet?”

Jihoon can recognize the sound of Jeonghan talking to him, but his eyes don’t move from the brightly lit screen of his laptop, engrossed in what’s in front of him. The library is quiet, as it should be, though since it’s almost 10 on a Friday, it’s significantly quieter than usual. Jihoon hasn’t seen anyone come in in the last forty-five minutes, and so he pulled out his computer to get some of his own work done instead.

But, getting work done means ignoring Jeonghan, which apparently isn’t going to fly today. His hands slap loudly on the counter on either side of Jihoon’s computer, the sound loud enough to make him jump even with the loud synthetic drumming in his right ear. Jihoon raises one eyebrow, pausing the looping drum sound and pulling his headphone out. “What?”

“I asked if you clocked out yet,” Jeonghan says, rolling his eyes as he repeats himself. Jihoon shakes his head, leaning his elbow on the counter and sinking his chin.

“I’m here until 11,” he sighs, his eyes dropping back to the screen. There’s a long list of half-completed audio files that are demanding his attention, though at this point Jihoon isn’t sure where to even begin with sorting them out and splicing them together to make an actual song. He’s about to put his headphones back in to start again when Jeonghan stops him.

“It’s fifteen minutes after your shift ended, Jihoon-ah,” Jeonghan says, gently closing Jihoon’s laptop with a shake of his head. “You need a break.”

“I need to finish this,” Jihoon responds, though he does unplug his headphones as well. He pulls the cap off his head, shaking his hair out before pushing it back once more and replacing the hat, keeping his overgrown bangs out of his eyes. “I’ll go punch out. Did you lock up?”

It’s not often that he and Jeonghan work the same shift, but Jihoon can’t remember well enough to say if Jeonghan was supposed to be at the reference desk upstairs or if he’s just there solely for the purpose of making sure Jihoon doesn’t stay at work and stare at his laptop until he either finishes or dies.

“I took care of it,” Jeonghan says, waving his hand to get Jihoon moving. “And you’re coming with me.”

“Where?” Jihoon asks, cautious as he slides off the tall stool behind the desk. Jeonghan’s smile is too sweet, and Jihoon narrows his eyes immediately. “No.”

“Yes,” Jeonghan says, nodding his head. “You and I are going to have fun and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.”

“I don’t have time,” Jihoon says, grabbing his bag and tucking his computer carefully into it. Looping the strap over his shoulder, he turns toward the small office behind the desk. “Can’t you drag someone else to whatever you have planned?”

“Absolutely, but I’m picking you.”

Shaking his head, Jihoon clocks himself out of work, hoping that their supervisor doesn’t look at the times too closely. The last thing he needs is to get in trouble for leaving late, even if it really is no one’s fault but his own. When he finishes, Jeonghan has the same too bright smile on his face, though at least now it’s directed at his phone.

For a moment, Jihoon wonders if he could get away with sneaking out while Jeonghan is distracted by his texts, but as soon as the office door closes behind him, Jeonghan looks up, tucking his hair behind his ears. “Ready?”

“No,” Jihoon grumbles, though he doesn’t stop Jeonghan from slinging an arm around his shoulders, tugging him along.

Outside, the night air is colder than Jihoon had predicted, and his hoodie is hardly enough to keep him warm against the sharp wind. He curls slightly closer to Jeonghan, intent on stealing warmth from his heavier jacket, but Jeonghan cooing at him is almost enough to make him pull away entirely.

“Jihoon-ah is cute,” he says, tightening his hold slightly to keep Jihoon from slipping away. “You should’ve worn a coat, though.”

“It was fine earlier,” Jihoon says, shaking his sleeves down so they cover his hands. “Where are we going?”

“My room,” Jeonghan says, nodding at the long row of apartments ahead of them. “I wanna change, and you can keep your bag there.”

“Where are we going?” Jihoon repeats, putting more emphasis on each syllable. It makes Jeonghan laugh, dropping his arm from Jihoon’s shoulders to dig his keys out of his pocket. Jihoon frowns, pressing himself against Jeonghan’s side, reluctant to let go of the shared warmth.

“We’re going over to Soonyoung’s,” Jeonghan answers, pushing the door to his apartment open and rolling his eyes when Jihoon shoves his way inside, still clinging his sleeves over his hands. Jeonghan uses his heel to push the door shut, nodding as he and Jihoon step out of their shoes. The living room is dark, and Jihoon follows after Jeonghan into his own room. It’s hardly large enough for the two of them, but it’s bigger than the shoe box of a single that Jihoon has for himself.

Jihoon climbs his way onto the bed, using the chair of Jeonghan’s desk to push himself onto the lofted bed with a roll of his eyes, sitting down and pulling his computer out once again. Getting dressed is going to take Jeonghan another twenty minutes at the least, which is a little more time that Jihoon can spend working.

“If you don’t put that away I’m gonna hide it,” Jeonghan says, shedding his shirt and looking over at Jihoon with a glare. “You’re taking a break.”

“Don’t need one,” Jihoon says, waving his hand distractedly. He turns the volume up slightly, his focus already returned to getting the sound he’s actually looking for from this song. “I need to finish this.”

Jeonghan sighs, but he doesn’t make good on his threat of taking Jihoon’s computer away either, not that Jihoon really expected him to. Jeonghan’s threats are usually just as empty as Jihoon’s.

“I’ll leave it here for your stupid party,” Jihoon says, not lifting his eyes from the screen. It’s an olive branch, of sorts. He probably could use a break from staring at this file, even if he’s loathe to admit it. His usual idea of a break would be sleeping, or maybe playing games with Seungcheol. But, Jihoon decided he needed to double major in music production and piano, which means that for the most part he simply doesn’t take breaks. Jeonghan seems pleased by that answer because he nods his head before turning back to his closet.

“Have you met Wonwoo’s new housemate?” Jeonghan asks, still pawing through his shirts. Jihoon blinks, lifting his head and trying to clear the afterimage of the screen from his vision.

“Dunno. Who the fuck is it?” He asks, watching Jeonghan’s phone light up with another message.

“Mingyu… He’s one of Seokminnie’s friends,” Jeonghan finally seems to decide on a loose t-shirt, that as far as Jihoon can tell is hardly different than the one he was wearing before. Jihoon shakes his head, slumping down and looking at his screen again. “I was hoping you’d know him, he’s in fine arts.”

“For what?” Jihoon asks, only barely interested. Jeonghan reaches for his phone and Jihoon uses his foot to nudge it just slightly out of reach, masking a grin when Jeonghan glares at him.

“Don’t know,” he says, swiping his phone away. “I was hoping you would.”

“Here I thought you knew everything about everyone,” Jihoon says, his attention finally drawn away from the screen.

“I do,” Jeonghan responds, his answer quick and confident. “I’m just still in the process of finding everything out about him.”

“Do I want to know why?” Jihoon asks, shaking his head slightly. Jeonghan sets his phone down once again, grabbing a thin choker off the dresser and fastening it around his neck, pausing to frown at himself in the full-length mirror attached to the door.

“Well, what if he’s into weird sex stuff? Or he sells drugs or something? I have to know who Wonwoo-ya is living with.”

“I feel like anyone who would agree to live with Wonwoo can’t be that exciting,” Jihoon says, looking at his file once again. Jeonghan takes the choker off once more, tugging at the hem of his shirt slightly.

“You’re probably right,” Jeonghan says, turning away from the mirror and whatever slight flaw with his outfit might incite him to change once more. He steps forward, giving Jihoon’s leg a tug. “No hat.”

“Yes hat,” Jihoon answers, closing his laptop and using both hands to hold it on his head. Unlike Jeonghan, he doesn’t have the goal of impressing anyone else in mind tonight. Jeonghan scowls at him, taking another step forward.

“No hat and I won’t bother you about having fun for the rest of the weekend. You can hole up in your room with all the instant coffee you want and hiss whenever I come near you,” he says, holding his hands out. Jihoon should know better by now than to trust Jeonghan and his promises because there’s almost certainly a catch to this.

But it’s a good offer, and so Jihoon takes the cap off and hands it over, shaking his hair out. Despite the ragged, uncut edges of his bangs, Jeonghan seems happier with them, ruffling his fingers through Jihoon’s hair once on his own in a gesture that’s more affectionate than effective.

“Can I be seen with you now?” Jihoon asks, doing his best to sort his bangs into order and wiggling his way to the edge of the bed. Jeonghan takes a long look at him, in the black hoodie that hangs down to his thighs and jeans with the hems torn to pieces from being caught under his shoes. As far as Jihoon is concerned this is the height of his presentability and Jeonghan should be glad.

After a moment, Jeonghan nods his head, reaching like he plans on helping Jihoon off the bed. Jihoon glares in return, hopping to the floor and shaking his head. “I should’ve landed on your foot.”

“Don’t be mean,” Jeonghan says, though he’s smiling as well. “Do you wanna bring your keys?”

Jihoon takes a long look at his bag then shrugs his shoulders. “Nah. If it gets late I’ll stay here.”

He does slide his laptop back into his bag, setting the whole thing on the floor next to the foot of Jeonghan’s bed. It would hardly be the first time sharing a bed for them, and Jihoon would rather deal with Jeonghan kicking in his sleep than walking all the way back to his own dorm in the cold.

Rooming together in their freshman year, the last thing Jihoon expected was for Jeonghan to become such a presence in his life. Really, he anticipated hating Jeonghan from the start; for being social, or athletic, or refusing to leave Jihoon alone. But it’s these same things that have kept Jeonghan close to him, even in their third year when they aren’t living together anymore. While Jihoon steps into his shoes, Jeonghan shrugs his coat back on, then looks down at Jihoon with a hum.

“Do you need something heavier?”

“Nah,” Jihoon says, standing and adjusting his heel in his shoe. “Soonyoung lives nearby. It’s fine.”

“Leech,” Jeonghan says as if he doesn’t delight in having Jihoon clinging to him.

{* * *}

As should be expected of the hour on a Friday night, Soonyoung’s apartment is full of other students on the far side of sober. Jihoon only detaches himself from Jeonghan when the door is shut behind them, freeing his hands from the confines of his sleeves. Jeonghan turns, patting him on the head once with a wide smile. “Alright, be free. Have fun. Don’t do anything I would.”

The advice makes Jihoon smile despite himself, brushing Jeonghan’s hand away but walking off on his own without complaint. He’ll likely find him later anyway after Jeonghan has finished his regular round of helplessly trying to flirt with Seungcheol and being met with a brick wall.

Jihoon fluffs his fingers through his hair once, edging his way around the space in Soonyoung’s living room that’s been transformed into a dance floor by moving anything not nailed down to the edges of the room. Instead, he makes his way to the cramped kitchen and the steady flow of cheap, terrible alcohol that Soonyoung never fails to get his hands on.

He narrowly manages to avoid being decapitated by Seungkwan, standing too close to the open entryway and waving his hands around as he speaks, worked into a frenzy about something. Jihoon ducks his head just in time, and rolls his eyes when Seokmin, seated on the counter with a red cup clutched between his hands and a flush high on his cheeks from whatever is in it, nearly knocks himself to the floor laughing. Seungkwan looks over his shoulder at Jihoon, dropping his arms as if he wasn’t seconds away from launching into the next part of his rant.

“Did someone call him a bad dancer again?” Jihoon asks, grabbing a cup for himself. Seokmin laughs, his heels thudding against the cabinets as he kicks his feet. It makes Jihoon smile, though he does his best to keep it to himself. As rowdy and annoying as these two can be, especially together, they’re both music majors, and Jihoon has grown fond of them despite himself.

“Of course not,” Seungkwan replies, though the tone of his voice says something entirely different. “I’m a fantastic dancer.”

“Chan said he didn’t need Seungkwannie for his showcase project,” Seokmin says, grinning around the rim of his cup as he takes another sip from his drink. “But it’s fine because he doesn’t even want to be a part of it.”

“Exactly,” Seungkwan says, nodding his head in sharp agreement. Either he hasn’t noticed or is choosing to ignore the fact that Seokmin is laughing at him still. “Besides, I have to focus on my Philosophy project.”

“Why the fuck are you taking Philosophy?” Jihoon asks, wrinkling his nose as the first long drink of alcohol burns its way down the back of his throat. This draws another round of giggles out of Seokmin, who sets his drink to the side to clutch at his probably sore stomach. It’s hard to tell sometimes when he’s had too much to drink since Seokmin tends to be this happy about everything. Usually, Jihoon would find the relentless positivity tiring, but he doesn’t mind as much when it comes from Seokmin.

“It’s a very interesting subject,” Seungkwan says, narrowing his eyes at Seokmin.

Seokmin beams right back at him. “He’s taking it because Hansol is a Philosophy major.”

Jihoon sighs, shaking his head at both of them. He can’t imagine where the two of them find this much energy. Seungkwan huffs at him, crossing his arms over his chest; a perfect example of Righteous Offense.

“That has nothing to do with it,” he says, though it’s more of a grumble. Jihoon raises an eyebrow, deciding to focus on his drink rather than the two of them debating exactly how obvious Seungkwan’s crush on Hansol is.

He leaves the kitchen as Seungkwan starts on one of his rants, reducing Seokmin into a charmed pile of laughs. It’ll only be a matter of time before their yelling attracts Soonyoung, and dealing with the three of them in a confined space for any amount of time is something Jihoon would rather avoid.

The music thumping through Soonyoung’s living room is loud enough to get all of them in trouble if most of the people who shared an apartment block with him weren’t already there. The couch shoved into the corner of the room, out of the way of the dancing, has enough space for Jihoon to squeeze himself between Wonwoo and Junhui. Neither of them moves to make it any easier, however, so Jihoon finds himself draped half in a smiling Junhui’s lap, one of his legs stretched over Wonwoo’s knee.

He could complain about it, and bark at the both of them to move, but he’s distracted by the third boy on the couch, the one he didn’t notice before sitting down. He leans around Wonwoo to look at Jihoon in surprise, blinking his large eyes. Jihoon is surprised that he doesn’t recognize him; as large as his group of friends has become since meeting Jeonghan, it’s unusual that any of them spend much time with strangers.

The living room isn’t well lit, with the ceiling light off in favor of the mismatched, twinkling Christmas lights Soonyoung has hung all over the room, but it’s enough to make out that Wonwoo’s friend has dark hair and tan skin, and after a moment, a crooked smile. He’s handsome in the kind of way that Jihoon doesn’t usually bother to pay attention to, except he hasn’t had anything to drink in awhile and he definitely made his cup stronger than he meant to.

The boy says something to Wonwoo that Jihoon can’t hear over the music and the distraction of Junhui fiddling with the ends of his hair. He turns his head, nose wrinkling as he tries to bite at Junhui’s fingers. “Quit that.”

“You look like a mushroom,” Junhui answers, which is the most insulting compliment that Jihoon has been paid in a long time. He glares at Junhui for it, doing his best to sit up and present less of a target for his prodding.

Wonwoo stares impassively at the two of them for all of two seconds before he laughs. He tilts his head slightly toward the other boy, the Christmas lights reflecting in strange patterns on his glasses. “That’s Mingyu. He’s a second year with Seungkwan and Seokmin.”

Jihoon pauses in glowering at Junhui, who has gone from his hair to squeezing the lobe of his ear between two fingers to look over at Mingyu once again. He doesn’t look the same age as Seokmin and Seungkwan until a wide smile blooms across his face, reminding Jihoon of a dog meeting someone new for the first time. An unfortunately handsome dog, but a dog none the less.

“Jihoon,” he says, extending the hand he isn't using to bat Junhui off of him. “You're the kid who moved in with Wonwoo-goon?”

“Yeah,” he says, shaking Jihoon’s hand with almost too much energy. Jihoon casts a glance at Wonwoo, a grin climbing on his face.

“Jeonghan is already trying to get information on him,” he says, raising both of his eyebrows. Wonwoo laughs, tilting his head back and letting it slide into a groan.

“Of course he is,” he says, glancing at the curious expression on Mingyu’s face. Jihoon does as well, trying to cover it with another sip of his drink. Mingyu has his lips parted like he's caught around the first syllable of a thought, and Jihoon finds it strangely distracting. “Do you know where he's at?”

“Pulling Seungcheol’s pigtails, probably,” Jihoon says, shoving himself out of Junhui’s lap once Wonwoo stands. “You should go with him before I kill you.”

It's meant to be threatening, but of course, Junhui looks at him with a laugh. Jihoon should have expected as much, of course, because there's never been good evidence that Junhui fears anything. Still, Junhui stands up, giving Jihoon’s hair a ruffle for good measure.

Jihoon is about to lift a hand to fix it himself, but Mingyu is quicker. He leans across space recently vacated by Wonwoo, sorting Jihoon’s hair back into order. Irrationally, Jihoon finds himself flushing at the contact, and reluctant to pull away.

He glances up through his bangs, surprised by the slight furrow of focus in Mingyu’s brow. He drops his hands after a moment, seeming to realize that Jihoon is still a perfect stranger to him.

Jihoon doesn't mind as much as he usually would, though it's hard to ignore the temptation to shake his hair out purely to be contrary.

“Thanks,” he says after a pause. Mingyu grins, nodding his head eagerly. His teeth are caught on the corner of his lower lip, and Jihoon can’t help but notice how sharp his canines look. Mingyu’s eyes dart over toward the dance floor, and even though he has a feeling he knows what the question will be before Mingyu asks, Jihoon finishes his drink and waits it out.

“Um,” Mingyu mumbles, rubbing the back of his neck with a laugh that sounds more than a touch nervous. “Would you wanna dance with me?”

Usually, the answer would be a harsh and resounding ‘no’. Jihoon, unlike most of his friends, can dance just fine, though he almost always decides not to. It’s not the dancing that’s the problem, but the sweaty, drunken strangers touching him. And, light-weight or not, Jihoon has certainly not had enough of anything to make him drunk.

“Sure,” he says, not letting himself dwell too hard on the reason why. He regrets it almost as soon as Mingyu stands, an impressive too-fucking-tall, and nearly trips over his own feet. Jihoon, for a beat, is reluctant to follow him. He looks up at Mingyu with a frown on his face, pushing himself up more carefully, setting his cup on the floor next to the couch. “Is one of your parents a fucking tree?”

Jihoon is adjusted to being short, hell, most of the time he even likes being short, even amongst friends who are typically at least ten centimeters taller than he is. But, Mingyu is much taller than that, and he stands like his whole body is too big for him. He laughs at the question, standing slightly slumped with one hand resting on his thigh, curled into a loose fist. Jihoon wonders if he could stand on his toes without hitting his head on the ceiling.

“I don’t think so,” he answers, his mouth still curled up into a bright smile. He offers one large hand to Jihoon, who takes it as the song playing fades out, giving way to the next one.

Soonyoung’s party playlists are always good, and it’s always been thanks to Jihoon. He made the first one when they were in their freshman year after his endless complaints about Soonyoung’s bad taste in music fell on deaf ears. The original gave way to one that Jihoon sits down once a month and edits, adding new music and taking songs off as they begin to feel stale. So, of course, it isn’t any surprise that he knows the next song before it comes on.

Mingyu doesn’t, and it takes him a frozen moment to register. Jihoon resists the urge to laugh, though just barely, and lets go of Mingyu’s hand. He places both hands on Mingyu’s hips instead, doing his best not to be annoyed that his head barely comes as high as Mingyu’s shoulder. He expects Mingyu to be a gawky, awkward dancer, and it takes a long minute before he seems to know what to do with his hands. One of them comes to rest at the small of Jihoon’s back, fingers curling into the soft fabric of his hoodie, and the other lays warm and heavy on the back of Jihoon’s neck.

But, with the guidance of Jihoon’s hands bracketing his hips, Mingyu figures out what to do with himself fairly quickly. Jihoon, trying to avoid being bumped by the other people dancing in the center of the room, presses himself closer to Mingyu, ducking his head slightly. It feels awkward to tilt upwards to look at Mingyu’s face, even when the pad of his thumb rolls in small circles on the back of Jihoon’s neck. He stops using his hands to force Mingyu’s hips to follow the rhythm once he’s sure Mingyu has it on his own, but leaves them there anyway, fingers spread wide enough that when Mingyu’s shirt hitches upward from his movements, the tips of them rest on bare skin.

Jihoon doesn’t realize how close he has himself pressed until one of Mingyu’s long legs ends up between his, almost tangling them up for a moment. But Mingyu’s knee bends, leaving Jihoon enough room to move. The hand at his back has fallen to his waist, but Jihoon chooses to ignore it for the moment. He is, for whatever reason, enjoying himself. It’s probably because he’s barely allowed himself out of his room for anything other than shifts at the library or food for the last dozen weekends. Jihoon lifts his head to look up at Mingyu, resting his chin against the center of Mingyu’s chest to ease some of the strain on his neck.

It’s annoying, but somehow still worth it when Mingyu looks down at him with a smile that makes his eyes wrinkle at the corners. Jihoon wonders exactly how weird, quiet Wonwoo managed to find someone so handsome to live with him. He opens his mouth to ask, then thinks better of it, sure the loud music will force him to shout awkwardly. He pushes his tongue over his lower lip instead, wetting it and twitching his nose at the lingering taste of alcohol there. Mingyu’s smile shrinks just slightly, his gaze dropping down to Jihoon’s lips as well, a hesitating flush creeping into his cheeks.

When Mingyu dips his head to press a tentative kiss to Jihoon’s mouth, Jihoon is expecting it. Mingyu’s lips are surprisingly soft, and he probably tastes far less like rum than Jihoon does himself. His nails scrape slightly at the back of Jihoon’s neck, curling into the short hairs there. Mingyu’s lips part around Jihoon’s, sighing out softly.

Jihoon leans forward on his toes to make the contact slightly easier, though doing so nearly upsets their balance. Mingyu stumbles, his hand at Jihoon’s back tightening and threatening to send them both tumbling to the ground before he catches himself on his heels. Lifting his head quickly, Mingyu makes at least an effort to hide how the back of his neck goes red, though the lights aren’t quite dim enough to cover it, at least not entirely.

As brief as it was, Jihoon wants to kiss Mingyu again. It comes as half a surprise to him, being that the first effort nearly ended with the both of them on the ground. The song winds to an end anyway, and Jihoon grabs hold of Mingyu’s wrist, pulling him away from the dance floor. Mingyu follows after him, nearly stumbling on his own feet once again, and Jihoon wonders if he’s had more to drink than he first suspected.

Mingyu looks at him, for a second, like he’s not sure what’s happening when Jihoon pulls him away from the rest of the party. Making out with Wonwoo’s new roommate in Soonyoung’s bathroom is absolutely tacky, and the kind of thing that Jihoon would never be caught dead doing. But, his next best option is Soonyoung’s room, which is also the only thing worse. He and Soonyoung are close friends, but he's sure that wouldn't go over well regardless.

Jihoon kicks the door to the bathroom shut behind him, turning the lock while Mingyu looks around the cramped room, tilting his head down slightly like he’s scared of hitting it on the ceiling. Jihoon isn’t sure how real a concern that is or not, though in the bright, harsh light it feels like he towers over Jihoon.

Turning his back on the counter, Jihoon uses his palms to shove himself up, kicking his heels as he adjusts himself. Mingyu grins, taking a step forward so his hips are between Jihoon’s knees, resting his hands on the counter as well. Jihoon licks his lips, leaning back slightly, feeling shyer under the bright lights. This is entirely different from how Jihoon usually spends his weekends, and he opens his mouth to say as much.

Mingyu, at the same time, rests one hand on Jihoon’s shoulder and leans in, catching Jihoon’s parted lips in another kiss. Jihoon reaches, his fingers catching in the loops of Mingyu’s jeans. He drags his tongue over Mingyu’s lower lip, humming slightly when Mingyu’s mouth opens in return.

One of Mingyu’s hands finds it’s way up the back of Jihoon’s hoodie, thumb sliding in circles at the base of his spine. Jihoon’s ankle curls around the back of Mingyu’s leg, teeth digging into his lower lip. He can feel the way Mingyu’s breath catches in the back of his throat, and feeling encouraged by it, Jihoon bites down again. Mingyu’s fingers tighten against his back, short nails digging into Jihoon’s skin slightly.

Jihoon leans his head back, nearly hitting it against the mirror. Mingyu blinks his eyes open before leaning forward, mouth following the line of Jihoon’s neck. Tilting his head back more carefully, Jihoon lets it rest against the mirror without slamming his head. Mingyu doesn’t quite bite down, but his teeth do drag against the skin of Jihoon’s collarbone, pulling down the loose neck of his hoodie. Jihoon’s hand slides up, gripping the back of Mingyu’s head. The other lingers at the top of Mingyu’s hip, sliding along the sharp angle of it.

Someone knocks too loudly on the door and Jihoon lifts his head, frowning.

“Fuck off,” he says, loudly enough to be heard through the door. There’s a surprised, embarrassed expression on Mingyu’s face, but it gives way to a smile at the glare Jihoon shoots at the door. His head drops to Jihoon’s shoulder, muffling his laughter against Jihoon’s hoodie.

“Man, c’mon,” complains the voice on the other side of the door, and Jihoon just rolls his eyes. He would hop down and simply yell at whoever is there, but doing so with a boner and a massive second year will probably kill any effectiveness that his words might have.

Mingyu continues giggling against his shoulder until the footsteps recede. Jihoon shakes his head, tapping on the back of Mingyu’s neck.

“Move now,” he says, wiggling himself forward on the counter. Doing so presses the two of them closer together for a second, and Mingyu looks reluctant to pull away. And Jihoon knows what he should do— climb down off the counter and go take up as much of Jeonghan’s bed as possible before he has to share. But, for once, he wants to do something other than sleep or work.

It’s a strange feeling, and Jihoon isn’t exactly sure what he’s supposed to do with it. But Mingyu bites down on his lower lip, hiding a shy smile, his hand lingering on Jihoon’s back. “Do you want to…”

He doesn’t finish, but Jihoon nods his head anyway. The answer seems to make Mingyu more nervous, but he steps back and holds a hand out to help Jihoon off the counter. Jihoon ignores it because he certainly doesn’t need help and hops down himself.

Luckily, when Jihoon opens the door there’s no one waiting immediately outside to judge him for walking out with Mingyu looming behind him, his shoulders shrugged tight to his body. It makes Jihoon laugh, watching Mingyu try to make himself look small despite being a full head taller than anyone else Jihoon can see.

Mingyu doesn’t stop to grab a jacket, so Jihoon assumes that the loose shirt he’s wearing is what he came in, though he does stop to glance over the crowd, and after a moment Jihoon realizes it’s to make sure Wonwoo hasn’t left before him. Part of him wants to laugh, but in honesty he’s glad. If the two of them had to walk all the way back to his dorm, Jihoon isn’t sure that he would still have the nerve to go through with things.

It’s a surprise when Mingyu reaches behind him, his fingers catching Jihoon’s hand and squeezing it. Mingyu’s hands are warmer than Jihoon expects, and greedy for as much heat as he can get with the cold wind once again cutting through his sweater, Jihoon walks as close to Mingyu as he can without tripping them both.

From experience, Jihoon knows that Soonyoung lives close to Wonwoo. But, before they even make it that short distance Mingyu uses his grip on Jihoon’s hand to pull him into another kiss, bent over in a way that can’t be comfortable. Jihoon can’t complain, though, because Mingyu’s lips are warm against his. Mingyu gathers both of his hands together, warming Jihoon’s already cold fingers.

“You have warm hands,” Jihoon says, glancing down at them when Mingyu stands upright again. Mingyu nods, a grin spreading over his face.

“Because I have a warm heart,” Mingyu responds, looking far too proud of himself. Jihoon wrinkles his nose, wondering if he should smack Mingyu for the cheesy comment or not. It's tempting, but he takes a step away instead, giving Mingyu a shove in the right direction.

It would be stupid to say that Jihoon doesn't notice the cold because of the hot burn of anticipation under his skin. He notices, of course, but it's certainly lessened. Mingyu fumbles his key into the lock, still clinging Jihoon’s hand in one of his own, their fingers tangled together. Jihoon rolls his eyes at Mingyu’s back, though he's reluctant to show exactly how impatient he's feeling.

Inside, Wonwoo’s apartment is the cleanest that Jihoon has ever seen it. Judging by the way Mingyu steps carefully out of his shoes and aligns them neatly to the side of the doorway, Jihoon can guess why. As Jihoon steps out of his own, Mingyu finally drops his hand. Rather than stepping away, however, he leans in and brushes Jihoon’s hair back from his face, letting the ragged edges slip through his fingers.

Jihoon leans away from the touch, feeling oddly exposed by it, nudging his shoes to the side with the heel of his foot. He doesn’t bother to make sure they’re aligned or neat, shoving Mingyu ahead of him. “Hurry up.”

He’s doing the best to ignore the burning on the back of his neck, and Mingyu laughs. He pushes the door to his room open, and before he flips the light on he pulls Jihoon over the doorway as well. His fingers catch around the bottom of Jihoon’s hoodie, hesitating for a moment until Jihoon nods his head sharply. Mingyu pulls the sweater over his head carefully, setting it on the desk rather than just dropping it to the floor like a normal person.

Mingyu reaches a hand forward like he might be thinking about fixing Jihoon’s mussed hair again, and with a roll of his eyes, Jihoon shoves him forward once more. Mingyu stumbles, sitting down when the backs of his knees hit the bed. It brings Jihoon’s face even with Mingyu’s, and even in the dark of the room, Jihoon can see his face go from surprised to amused. Jihoon slides his fingers through Mingyu’s hair, his nose wrinkling slightly at the gel that sticks to his fingers, pushing his head back and kissing him again.

This time there’s no peaceful meeting of their mouths. Jihoon tightens his fingers in Mingyu’s hair, and when Mingyu’s lips part, Jihoon pushes his tongue past them. Mingyu’s hands drift from his back down to his thighs, pulling Jihoon forward into his lap, with Jihoon’s knees denting into the mattress.

Jihoon catches himself with one hand on Mingyu’s shoulder, settling himself in Mingyu’s lap. The wiggling makes Mingyu tense, his shoulders going stiff as Jihoon rubs against the obvious bulge in his jeans. It makes Jihoon smirk to himself, leaning back and reaching to pull Mingyu’s shirt over his head and discarding it off the foot of the bed. Mingyu, for a moment, looks like he wants to complain about the mess, but he’s quickly distracted by Jihoon rolling his hips forward.

His head falls against Jihoon’s shoulder, groaning into the space between his neck and his shoulder. His hips push upward in return, trying to chase after the fleeting contact. His hands tighten around Jihoon’s thighs, holding him in place with a surprising amount of strength. His hips roll forward again, grinding himself against Jihoon with another small, muffled groan. Jihoon Sighs out sharply in return, holding onto Mingyu’s shoulder still to try and brace himself better. Mingyu lifts his head, leaning up to kiss Jihoon again, sighing into the open space of Jihoon’s mouth. His hands slide up, over Jihoon’s ass, to catch the bottom of his shirt. Jihoon ducks his head, making it easier for Mingyu to pull It over his head and drop it by the end of the bed. He wraps one arm around Jihoon’s back, supporting his weight as he flips the both of them over. Jihoon blinks his eyes, surprised to find himself suddenly laying back on the bed with Mingyu on top of him.

He feels smaller than usual, with Mingyu’s hands on either side of his head, balanced with his knees on the bed now, but Jihoon is surprised that he doesn’t hate the feeling. He reaches upward, pulling Mingyu down by his neck and pressing kisses along the line of his jaw. He lets his teeth scrape against Mingyu’s skin, distracting him from the apparently difficult task of getting Jihoon out of his jeans.

When Mingyu finally manages to wrestle Jihoon’s jeans open, he uses one hand to push Jihoon’s hips down against the bed, holding them there while he pushes his hand between Jihoon’s pants and his underwear. His warm palm cups around Jihoon’s cock, rubbing him through the thin fabric of his underwear and making Jihoon tilt his head back. He manages to strangle most of the noise that wants to slip out of his mouth, ending up with a whine trapped in the back of his throat. It’s been a long time since Jihoon has done anything other than spend a few half-assed minutes taking care of himself. It’s not a fact that bothers him, usually, but he doesn’t enjoy the embarrassing sounds that he can feel sticking in his throat like he’s a teenager getting a handjob for the first time all over again.

Of course, it hardly seems like Mingyu minds, with the smile he keeps ducking his head to try and hide. With a huff, Jihoon kicks weakly at his thigh, doing his best to look annoyed while also grinding his hips upward into Mingyu’s palm. “You’re so slow.”

Mingyu laughs, removing his hand from Jihoon’s pants, which only serves to make him more frustrated with the whole situation. “Sorry.”

He doesn’t sound sorry, but Jihoon decides not to complain about that too, in the hope that Mingyu will at least take the hint. He tugs Jihoon’s pants down, sliding his legs out of the way so Jihoon can kick them off himself without also kicking Mingyu again. It feels awkward, vulnerable, for Jihoon to be laying on the bed flushed and wearing next to nothing while Mingyu is still clothed and at least mostly composed. Jihoon leans up on one of his elbows, reaching down and hooking two of his fingers in the loops of Mingyu’s pants and giving them a sharp tug. Mingyu chuckles at the demand, sitting up further to give Jihoon the space to pull open the button of his jeans.

Impatient already, Jihoon shoves Mingyu’s jeans off his hips quickly, biting down on his lip to resist the urge to laugh as Mingyu struggles to slide the rest of the way out of them without knocking himself over entirely onto Jihoon. He leans forward, but rather than kissing Jihoon again, reaches one of his long arms over to the small nightstand next to the bed, digging in the top drawer of it blindly.

Jihoon isn’t surprised that Mingyu already has both condoms and lube next to his bed. He’s pretty sure that there’s some in his room as well if he could be bothered to look. Mingyu deposits both on the bed next to Jihoon’s head, his thumb resting on the arch of Jihoon’s hip and lingering there for a moment. His hand slides inside of Jihoon’s boxers, fingers wrapping around his cock, thumb sliding over the slick head. This time Jihoon does whine, unable to stop the sound before it leaves his mouth. Mingyu glances up, watching Jihoon press the heel of his hand against his mouth to stop anything else mortifying from coming out. Stroking Jihoon slowly, Mingyu reaches his other arm up, grabbing the lube from next to Jihoon. He releases Jihoon’s cock, pulling his underwear down around his thighs. Jihoon wiggles one of his legs free, letting it fall to the side when Mingyu pushes his thighs apart.

The first press of his fingers against Jihoon’s hole is cold enough that his leg flinches. Mingyu mumbles something that’s probably an apology, his fingers curling and stroking slowly around the tight ring of muscle. Jihoon lets out a slow breath, lifting his hand slightly away from his mouth. Jihoon quickly claps his hand over his mouth again when one of Mingyu’s fingers sinks in slowly. He squeezes his eyes shut for a moment, concentrating on breathing in and out of his nose slowly. Mingyu’s other hand is on his thigh, thumb massaging the muscle slowly, helping Jihoon ignore the slight burn in his muscles. Jihoon appreciates it, opening his eyes slowly and giving Mingyu a slight nod of his head.

It would be easier to communicate, probably, if he took his hand off of his mouth, but he's not sure he wants to know what kind of sounds he's likely to make if he does. Still, Mingyu seems to get the message just fine, twisting his wrist and thrusting his finger carefully in and out. Jihoon's leg curls, bending at the knee, his heel pressing into Mingyu's hip. His motions stay controlled and careful, and as much as Jihoon appreciates it, the frustration building under his skin is becoming harder and harder for him to ignore. He's half tempted to bat Mingyu's hand away and prep himself, and Mingyu seems to realize it. His fingers wrapping loosely around Jihoon's cock, pumping slowly before adding a second finger. This time, the stretch is something Jihoon expects, and he sucks in a quick breath to help his muscles relax more quickly.

Mingyu seems more confident now as well, his thumb pressing the slit of Jihoon's dick, spreading the slippery pre-come that leaks out over the head. Jihoon bites down on the flesh of his palm, doing his best to quiet another whine, staring up at Mingyu's face for a moment. His expression is surprisingly intense, with his eyebrows close together and his lips slightly parted, the lower one puffy already from kissing. His fingers curl upward, pressing just shy of Jihoon's prostate, making Jihoon's hips jerk upward in sharp surprise. A grin catches on Mingyu's face and Jihoon tilts his head back, embarrassed, looking at the distant white ceiling. Mingyu tries again, sliding his fingers deeper and pressing his fingers upward, spread slightly further apart. He hits his mark this time, and Jihoon whines high and sharp into his hand.

Looking like he's just won something, Mingyu backs his fingers away, returning his focus to the task of stretching Jihoon. As the third of his fingers presses in, Jihoon's other hand curls to grip the sheets, tilting his head back further like that might make it easier to breathe. Mingyu's patience continues to far outweigh Jihoon's, and as soon as it feels comfortable to have Mingyu's fingers stretching him, Jihoon arches his hips downward, doing his best to push them in further. Mingyu makes a sound like he isn't sure if he wants to groan or laugh.

His fingers spread further apart and Jihoon groans again, releasing the sheet clutched in his hand and floundering to the side for a moment until he finds the condoms lying forgotten next to his head. With the best glare he can muster, Jihoon tosses them at Mingyu, managing to hit him in the shoulder. Mingyu blinks, looking down at them with a grin. "You're not very patient, are you?"

Jihoon finally drops his hand from his mouth to scowl. "If you don't hurry up I'll fucking do it myself."

Mingyu laughs, which makes Jihoon's stomach bubble in a strange way, but at least he finally seems to have gotten the message. He tears the condom open with his teeth, and Jihoon flops his head back to the bed, doing his best to breathe evenly until he feels the blunt head of Mingyu's cock dragging against his thigh, leaving a slick trail of lube behind it. He pushes it in slowly, and Jihoon can hear the way his breath shudders. Mingyu has his eyes squeezed shut, apparently only now realizing he's forgotten about taking care of himself.

It's apparent immediately why Mingyu was so bent on taking his time, to begin with. Even with the careful preparation, the stretch of Mingyu's cock sliding in him is more than Jihoon expected. He clutches Mingyu's sheet in both hands, biting down on his lower lip to muffle his own whimpering the best he can. It's not painful, at least, but it is a lot, making Jihoon's muscles burn. By the time Mingyu stops, their thighs pressed together, Jihoon feels filled to a ridiculous degree. Mingyu's head dips forward, laying his forehead against Jihoon's chest, holding himself up on his hands.

He breathes unevenly against Jihoon's skin, pulling his hips back slowly. Jihoon lifts one hand to grip the muscle of Mingyu's shoulder rather than the bed, nails biting into his skin. Mingyu doesn't seem to notice, one of his hands sliding under Jihoon's thigh, holding it tightly to give himself better leverage as his hips saw back and forth. His thrusts are slow, to begin with, but each time he pushes himself in fully Jihoon ends up breathing out a sharp sigh.

Hooking his leg around Mingyu's hip, Jihoon pushes his hips upwards as much as he can, trying to prolong the friction as much as he can. Jihoon's nails drag from his shoulder to hold his bicep instead, head tilting back against the bed as he groans, too absorbed to try and stop himself at this point. His back bows away from the sheets as Mingyu's pace picks up, their skin slapping sharply together each time Mingyu bottoms himself out.

Jihoon's whole body feels like it's on the edge of overheated, sweat causing his bangs to stick to his forehead. Mingyu's hand smooths along his back, fingers spread wide, pressing each bump of Jihoon's spine. Jihoon holds tighter onto Mingyu's arm, pulling sharply and bringing Mingyu down to press the two of them together, chest to chest. Mingyu can probably feel the embarrassing pumping of Jihoon's heart, both of his arms wrapping around Mingyu's neck now, gripping his back. Mingyu groans, pressing the sound into the skin of Jihoon's shoulder, biting down hard enough that he's likely to leave a mark.

Mingyu's hips angle upward, using his hand on Jihoon's thigh to help position him so each thrust of his cock rubs against Jihoon's prostate. Jihoon whines, turning his head to press his face against Mingyu's neck, his nails dragging down the broad expanse of Mingyu's back. He's likely leaving welts behind, but at the moment Jihoon can't make himself care. He does his best to roll his hips back onto every thrust of Mingyu's cock, doing little more than interrupting the rhythm.

One of Mingyu's hands works its way between their bodies, wrapping around Jihoon's dick and stroking him. Jihoon's hips squirm against the bed, unsure if he wants to thrust up into the tight circle of Mingyu's fist or shove himself down on Mingyu's cock instead. He ends up somewhere in between, gripping onto Mingyu and trying to prolong contact everywhere he can. Mingyu's head lifts, and Jihoon leans up quickly to kiss him, fast and aggressive, using more tongue and teeth than anything else.

Jihoon's skin feels white hot, and there's a tight feeling in his stomach like a string on the verge of snapping. Mingyu thrusts into him, sharp and almost erratic, and Jihoon comes like that, whimpering into Mingyu's mouth. Mingyu's hand continues jerking his cock, working Jihoon through the orgasm, the pounding of his hips losing a sense of pace. Jihoon slumps back onto the bed, letting Mingyu hold his leg up, struggling to control the small whines he's making as Mingyu fucks him to the edge of hypersensitivity.

He finishes with a low, shuddering sound that Jihoon is sure is going to be stuck in his head forever. Mingyu slumps forward, careful to catch his weight on his elbows, his head resting against Jihoon's chest as he struggles to catch his breath. Jihoon does the same, petting his fingers through Mingyu's hair thoughtlessly for a moment. The feeling of Mingyu carefully pulling out of him makes Jihoon wrinkle his nose. He's surprised when rather than lifting himself up again, Mingyu leans down further, his tongue ticklish on Jihoon's stomach as he drags his tongue over the skin, licking up the mess of come Jihoon left on himself.

"Jesus," Jihoon mumbles, his fingers tightening in Mingyu's hair mostly out of surprise. It makes him squirm against the bed again, too tired to be worked up again so soon, but appreciative of the attention anyway. Mingyu presses a feather light kiss against the side of Jihoon's stomach when he finishes, sitting up with a flush on his face that's probably more from exertion than anything else, but makes him look cute nonetheless. He's careful in throwing the condom away, pulling his boxers back on and looking down at Jihoon, still flopped uselessly on the bed.

"I'll be right back," he says, managing to somehow sound amused before stepping out into the dark hall. Jihoon stretches his legs out, wondering if he should take the chance to gather his clothes up and leave. He makes it as far as pulling his underwear back on before the soreness in his legs catches up with him and he simply rolls himself to the side instead.

He can wait until Mingyu finishes whatever he's doing, at least.

Mingyu returns a moment later with a damp cloth in his hands, looking shy as he passes it over to Jihoon. Blinking for a moment before he uses it to wipe his stomach off, Jihoon bites the inside of his cheek.

He should get up and leave. That's how these kinds of hook ups are supposed to go. But Mingyu doesn't say anything, just takes the cloth and tosses it into his hamper of clothing before climbing back onto the bed himself. He hesitates a moment, maybe wondering if Jihoon is going to get up, before wrapping an arm around Jihoon's stomach, pulling them close together, his chest pressed into Jihoon's back.

Cuddling, Jihoon is sure, is not the proper thing to be doing. He doesn't try to get away, though. He leans back slightly, using part of Mingyu's shoulder as a pillow and letting himself be wrapped up in Mingyu's overly long limbs. He's tired, anyway, and walking after all of that is only going to make him sore for the next week. Mingyu's breathing is slow and relaxed, brushing just slightly over the back of Jihoon's neck, lulling him to sleep.

{* * *}

Jihoon wakes up in the morning with a too-heavy arm thrown over his waist and nothing but his boxers on. He huffs, squinting his eyes closed as soon as he realizes he’s facing the window, with sunlight shining directly into his face. With a groan, Jihoon turns his head and presses his face into the pillow under his head, wondering if he can himself back to sleep.

He isn’t even sure what time it is since between the two of them Jihoon is sure that he and Jeonghan could sleep for days on end. There’s a low, rasping groan behind him, followed by the arm around his waist tightening that serves to remind Jihoon that he absolutely isn’t in Jeonghan’s bed right now.

For a moment, Jihoon squeezes his eyes shut tighter, not sure if he wishes he were with Jeonghan or not. He’s not exactly sure how things are supposed to work with one night stands, but he’s pretty sure that waking up in Mingyu’s bed with the boy still holding onto him like a clinging octopus is the wrong way of going about things. With a sigh, Jihoon drags himself upright, shoving Mingyu’s arm off of him.

Apparently, he doesn’t sleep half as heavily as Jihoon does, because when he’s rolled to the slide he stirs, rubbing one hand over his face with another low groan. Jihoon scowls, dragging himself out of the bed and doing his best to arrange his hair into some kind of order. He can only hope that it’s somehow early enough that perpetual early bird Wonwoo isn’t around to catch him taking the walk of shame out of his apartment. Mingyu blinks slowly up at Jihoon as he starts gathering his clothes to get dressed, a sleepy smile spread across his face.

“Morning,” he mumbles, sounding far too happy about that fact. Jihoon would like to blame his currently darkening mood on being forced out of bed so early, but he’s fairly certain that if he climbed back into Mingyu’s bed and insisted on at least three more hours of sleep, he wouldn’t find himself getting kicked out.

But that in itself is a problem, and Jihoon waves his hand vaguely before turning his back to get dressed. He probably should have left last night, rather than letting himself stay.

It isn’t that Jihoon can’t handle the awkwardness of a morning after, though he certainly doesn’t relish it. But Mingyu hardly seems like the type for one night stands, and Jihoon wants nothing less than a messy romantic entanglement to ruin his life. The thought makes him wrinkle his nose, pulling his hoodie over his head and wishing he knew where his other sock was.

“Headed out?” Mingyu asks, his voice hesitant. Jihoon nods his head, trying his hardest to think of anything to say.

“Yeah,” he answers, which is hardly eloquent. “I have work to do.”

“Okay,” Mingyu says, stretched out on his stomach on the bed. His hair is no longer gelled into style and instead has become something of a wild thing on top of his head. Mostly dressed at this point, Jihoon bites the inside of his cheek, curling his hand into a fist in the pocket of his hoodie. It shouldn’t be so tempting to run his fingers through Mingyu’s hair and mess it up further. Jihoon hardly likes physical contact from people he already knows.

Mingyu sits up, stretching his arms over his head, and Jihoon pauses searching for his last piece of clothing to stare for a moment. In the dark, there wasn’t a good chance for him to entirely appreciate how nice Mingyu now looks without his shirt. He’s lean, but the muscles of his arms and chest still stand out. He catches Jihoon in his staring and grins, his eyes curving into little half moons.

Annoyed, and finally having spotted his sock under Mingyu’s desk, Jihoon rolls his eyes before putting it on, his back leaning against Mingyu’s desk for support. He’s less sore than anticipated at least, and the slight ache in his hips won’t be too obvious to anyone else. Mingyu shifts his way to the edge of the bed, blanket still draped half over his lap, rubbing the back of his neck nervously.

“Um,” he says, soft and uncertain and Jihoon braces himself, wishing there was an easy escape. “I had a good time.”

Jihoon would like it if the floor opened up and swallowed him. He can't think of anything to say so instead he just nods. Mingyu licks his lips nervously before he smiles again.

“We can hang out again sometime if you want,” he says it in such a bright voice that Jihoon isn't sure if he's being propositioned or not. “Since you're friends with Wonwoo-hyung I'm sure I'll see you around.”

“Right,” Jihoon says, his fingers twisting together. He still isn't sure of the protocol for these hook ups, so he waves awkwardly before letting himself out.

His shoes are where he left them, with Wonwoo’s kicked off carelessly a few steps away, and for a moment Jihoon doesn't notice Wonwoo bent over his computer on the couch, a slight frown on his face.

“You know I figured moving in with Mingyu meant I was safe from shit like this,” he says, looking up and making Jihoon nearly leap out of his skin. He turns toward Wonwoo with a glare, shaking his head.

“Don't start,” he says, more of a lament than a true threat. Wonwoo raises one of his eyebrows, fingers paused on the keys of his laptop.

“I'm just saying. This is the reason I didn't want to live with Soonyoung.”

“You didn't want to live with Soonyoung because you two would fucking kill each other in a week,” Jihoon says, shaking his head, stalled in the middle of putting his shoes on. “It had nothing to do with who he sleeps with.”

At that, Wonwoo cracks a smile, showing the deep smile lines on his face. “Am I pretending I didn't see you here, Hoon-ah?”

Jihoon scowls at him for that, reluctant to answer. It's likely the first thing Wonwoo will do if Jihoon says he doesn't care is tell Soonyoung or Jeonghan, and he's not sure which option is worse. But, Jihoon’s terrible taste in best friends aside, he’s not sure how long it'll stay secret with or without Wonwoo’s help.

So, he shrugs his shoulders with a weary sigh. He would rather escape before he has to spend more time with Mingyu and his bed head than argue about his questionable choices with Wonwoo.

“It’s not a big deal,” he says, though he's not sure if he's agreeing or setting up his defense. Still, Wonwoo nods like he understands.

“I'll see you later, then,” he says, turning back to his laptop with half a grin still on his face. Jihoon lets himself out with a small sigh and a shake of his head.

It's as he's passing Jeonghan’s apartment that he remembers his bag is still there and stops in the middle of the sidewalk to press a groan into his hands.

So much for keeping things a secret.

Jihoon sighs, knocking on the door and saying a silent prayer that Jeonghan is still asleep and his roommate is around. For once that morning, luck seems to be on his side, because it is Joshua who answers.

He's dressed, and it seems unlikely that he just rolled out of bed himself, but he gives Jihoon a cheeky little smile. “You're not usually up so early.”

“Hyung has my bag,” he says, nodding his head when Joshua steps aside to let him in. There's a curious look on his face and Jihoon finds himself making a nervous excuse. “I think I left it at work, he texted me about it last night.”

Joshua nods his head, though Jihoon isn't sure if he actually believes the lie or not. Still, Jihoon lets himself into Jeonghan’s room as quietly as possible, not surprised to find that Jeonghan is still fast asleep. Jihoon wonders if he's lucky enough that Jeonghan will wake up and simply think that Jihoon took his stuff the night before. It’s unlikely to actually work, Jihoon knows, but it’s better than having to explain to Jeonghan where he was first thing in the morning.

He can see one of Jeonghan’s eyes peek half open, evaluating if he wants to ask Jihoon what’s going on or not. He decides against it, evidently, because he merely shakes his head and closes his eyes again. Jihoon sighs, denying to himself that it’s out of relief. He shakes his head once before letting himself out, digging his headphones out of his bag and hoping he’s not unlucky enough to run into anyone else on his way home.