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death of a bachelor

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“You know, you should really be more interested in this whole ordeal.”

“Ordeal?” Doyoung snorts, thumbing a particularly nasty colored suit. “Did you mean my brother’s wedding?”

Yuta tuts, reaching for the tag on one of the suits, gagging when he sees the price, “Yeah, I don’t know what’s got your panties in a knot.”

“They’re not in a knot,” Doyoung hisses.

It’s a fairly large store, with racks and racks of neatly pressed suits for all occasions. Doyoung and Yuta were tasked to source for great quality suits at prices that wouldn’t leave them all in debt. Gongmyung was insistent that Doyoung played a part in the wedding planning, despite his reluctance.

“At least you’re on the wedding team,” Yuta grumbles, still bitter that he wasn’t one of Gongmyung’s many groomsmen. There were eight of them in total, in order to level out with eight of Hyesung’s best friends (the bride-to-be), but Yuta, as Gongmyung’s soccer junior, didn’t make the cut. (“He’s more like your best friend,” Gongmyung had told Doyoung when asked why Yuta wasn’t picked.).

Doyoung was, of course, his best man, “I’m his brother, I don’t really have a choice.”

He didn’t know who the other groomsmen were, apart from Taeil, who was a neighbor from their childhood days, and then after, one of their favorite friends.

The first meeting for the groomsmen was that very night. It was supposed to be casual, just dinner and some drinks so that they could all get to know one another. The concept of it was just horrifying to Doyoung.

To accommodate, Gongmyung encouraged Doyoung to bring Yuta along if he was going to feel nervous, and he jumped at the offer. Yuta may be a pain in the ass, but he still brings Doyoung a sense of comfort. Even if it means bickering in front of six other guys they’ve never met before.

There was something about the entire thing that made his stomach churn. The planning, decorating, speech writing, bachelor partying… It wasn’t that Doyoung didn’t like Hyesung either. They’ve all been friends since high school, and Doyoung’s tagged along on enough dates to be the resident lightbulb in their loving relationship.

Doyoung wasn’t sure why it’s been putting him in a bad mood, but he knows that he’d rather keep it to himself.

“I don’t get why we have to shop for it now,” Doyoung complains, lazily scanning a rack of suits that all pretty much looked the same to him. “The wedding is in, what, a year!”

“These things take time,” Yuta smacks him lightly, still scrutinizing at the suits with much interest. “Stop being a wet blanket, weddings are happy events.”

Yuta, who came from a big family, has been a flower boy since he could walk, cooed and adored at. Doyoung, on the other hand, has never had such experience; Gongmyung was the first in the Kim family to marry.

“We should just get something from Topshop, or whatever.”

Yuta whirls around, “Topshop! For Gongmyung’s wedding! Hyesung will kill you.”

Doyoung sniffs, “She wouldn’t mind, I’m her favorite brother.”

“Right,” Yuta goes back to the suits as if they were calling out to him, paying no attention to Doyoung, “That’s why she’s marrying Gongmyung.”

The door to the store squeaks open again then, a gust of cold air rushing in, and a bunch of boys walk in. Doyoung’s immediately distracted by their daunting heights, all of them probably half a head taller than Yuta and himself. They all have on matching, expressionless faces, though that might just be thanks to the cold weather the town’s been having over the past couple of days.

“Wouldn’t want to mess with them,” Yuta mumbles under his breath, eyeing their leather jackets and ripped jeans.

Doyoung, on the other hand, was busy staring at the one significantly shorter boy following in their wake, but he was by no means any less intimidating.

His big eyes, his tall, refined nose, his perfect lips. Doyoung’s breath catches, just a tiny bit, when the boy rakes his fingers through his pastel pink hair. Tousled, yet not at all messy. Unlike the others, he has on a thick parka, looking all kinds of squishy with the zip pulled all the way up to his chin. The boy huddles by the heater, kicking the snow off his feet while trying to warm himself up. One of them, with jet black hair and legs longer than the neck of a giraffe, waits by the boy’s side while the others amble into the store, chattering noisily.

“What color did he say he wanted us to get?”

“I don’t know, I don’t think he’s decided.”

“Didn’t he say his brother was going to pick the suit?”

Yuta looks at Doyoung at that, an eyebrow raised in question, “Do you know them?”

Doyoung eyes them from behind a rack, and they’re only a couple of feet away, but he doesn’t recognize them at all, and Taeil isn’t there, so he shakes his head.

“Youngho!” Giraffe Legs looks up at that, and Doyoung tacks the name to his mental clipboard. “Do you remember if there was a color scheme he wanted?”

“Er, no,” Youngho mulls, walking into the store, the smaller boy following suit. “I think we’re discussing it at tonight’s dinner, though.”

Yuta makes a sound of amusement, he whispers, “I’d bet my life savings it’s them.”

“Doubt it,” Doyoung mutters but he doesn’t sound too sure, even to himself.

One of the taller ones are already halfway round the store, he has purple hair, “His brother is going to be there tonight,” Yuta nudges him in the ribs, Doyoung shoves back at him, and they listen with bated breaths, “It’s hard to believe I haven’t met him, even after four years of crashing at his place after projects.”

Doyoung’s never associated with Gongmyung’s college friends, purely based on the fact that he was pretty much a hermit all throughout his undergrad days. He never left his room in their shared apartment, unless it was to leave for class or if Gongmyung ordered in fried chicken.

Now that he thinks about it, Youngho’s voice does sound oddly familiar.

“Neither have I,” Another chimes in, “I don’t think I’ve ever been introduced to him either.”

“What was his name again?”

“Doyoung.” It’s the boy with pink hair, sniffling softly.

The name leaves his lips, and Doyoung thinks his soul has left to the high heavens. It’s odd; the sound of his own name repeating itself again and again in his head, as if he’s never quite heard anyone say his name like that.

“I knew it,” Yuta says with such smug finality that it snaps Doyoung out of his thoughts.

“Let’s get out of here,” Doyoung says quickly, suddenly feeling a lot more nauseous than he already was.

Yuta grabs his wrist before he can bolt, “What! Why?”

Doyoung shushes him, lest they attract attention, “I don’t want to meet them now!”

“What are you on, seriously!” Yuta groans. “We’re going to be meeting them tonight!”

Doyoung tugs his wrist free of Yuta’s grasp, turning on his heel to immediately flee the store, but he comes face-to-face with Boy with Pink Hair, nearly falling over him.

“Whoa,” Boy with Pink Hair says, flinching, hands coming up, lest Doyoung really falls over. For a second, there’s a flash of recognition in his eyes.

Doyoung can’t seem to find it in him to reply, completely taken by his ethereal beauty, even more so from such a close distance. Instead, he apologizes quickly, ducking his head and rushing out of the store.

He only makes it two blocks down the street when Yuta catches up to him. Having been an athlete since grade school, Yuta could easily beat Doyoung in anything with relation to sports.

“I can’t believe you just did that!” Yuta pinches Doyoung in the arm, and the latter is too out of breath to react. “They were all staring right at me, waiting for an explanation!”

“What –,” Doyoung huffs, mildly annoyed that Yuta didn’t seem at all winded by the jog, “What did you say?”

“Nothing!” Yuta pinches him again, harder his time. “What was I supposed to say? ‘Oh, yeah, hey, hi everyone, yeah, that was Gongmyung’s younger brother, who looked like he was having a mental breakdown just from meeting the rest of you.’”

Doyoung wheezes, “That would’ve been horrible.”

You’re horrible,” Yuta is snarky, “Geez, what is with you and weddings, anyway?”

Doyoung stays mum. He doesn’t know either.

 

x

 

“You ran out of there?” Gongmyung nearly spits his water back into his mug.

“Yeah!” Doyoung groans, resting his head in his hands. “Now, do you see why I can’t go to tonight’s dinner?”

Gongmyung doesn’t miss a beat, “Give it up, you’re never getting out of this.”

“Told you!” Yuta calls out from the couch, sprawled out comfortably with a bowl of popcorn resting on his stomach.

“This is torture,” Doyoung mumbles before he can catch himself.

The silence is stifling, the only sounds is the laughter track from whatever sitcom Yuta has on.

“Is it really that bad to watch me get married to the love of my life?” Gongmyung’s tone is steady, and out of the corner of his eye, Doyoung sees Yuta quietly get up from his spot by the couch, going down the hall and into Doyoung’s room, to give them space.

“I didn’t mean it like that,” Doyoung sighs, the feeling of frustration bubbling up in his gut. “Of course, I’m glad to be your best man, I’m your brother.”

“Yeah, well, act like it,” Gongmyung is hardly ever rough with Doyoung. They have a tight relationship, and whatever Doyoung’s thinking… He deems it’s too trivial for it to be brought up. “I want you up there with me when I get married, and I want you to prepare a speech, like all best men do. I want my brother involved with one of the most important – if not, the most important event in my life.”

Doyoung swallows thickly. (Public speaking has never been his forte.)

“What is bothering you, Doyoung?” He uses a stern tone, but his eyes are soft.

“Nothing,” Doyoung lies through his teeth, and Gongmyung sighs, clearly disappointed.

“You’ll tell me if it gets too big to handle, right?”

“I will,” Doyoung promises. “I always do.”

 

x

 

Dinner is even more nerve wrecking after Doyoung’s grand exit at the suit store. After Gongmyung confirmed that the duo did see the other groomsmen earlier that afternoon, an endless string of thought has been running through his mind. It was evident on his expression he learns, when Yuta says,

“If you keep frowning, your brows are going to grow into one giant unibrow.”

“Shut up,” Doyoung hisses, bouncing his legs anxiously. “You’re not helping.”

They’re sitting in a small, dimly lit barbeque joint, with more than fifteen plasma TV screens lining the walls, all of them showing different channels, and TV shows. It doesn’t distract Doyoung (he’s never been into television), so his mind is wandering in all directions. The booth they’re in is cozy, and Doyoung is squished between the wall and Yuta, having decided that sitting in the corner would definitely be less of a challenge for him.

“Here,” Gongmyung is back, three beers in one hand, and two bottles of soju in the other. “This will help with the nerves, yes?”

“Yeah,” Yuta says immediately, reaching for one of the large pints of beer, shoving it into Doyoung’s face. “Drink up, Frowny McSadpants.”

“Thanks,” Doyoung is sarcastic, but he takes the alcohol gratefully. Some liquid courage would be good.

“Taeil can’t seem to find the place,” Gongmyung worries his bottom lip, the light of his phone illuminating his face. “Yuta, can you go get him? I think he’s just down the street… I’m going to get to ordering.”

Yuta takes a big gulp of his drink, “Yeah sure, I haven’t seen Taeil since high school!”

“Don’t worry, he hasn’t aged a day,” Gongmyung reassures him with the wave of a hand.

“Wait,” Doyoung panics, “You can’t leave me,” he says to the both of them, and they share unamused glances, “What if your friends come in when you’re not here?”

Gongmyung is unfazed, “Make small talk.”

“Yuta,” Doyoung tries to sound threatening, but it comes out more like a whimpered plea.

“No can do,” Yuta wiggles a finger at him. “The groom gets what he needs.”

“His wedding isn’t even until December!” He argues, but they leave his sight without turning back.

Doyoung sighs, cuddling the beer mug to his chest, wallowing in his self-pity. He takes another few sips while waiting, hoping that no one arrives while the others are gone. The TV directly opposite him is showing a rerun of Grey’s Anatomy, and Doyoung tries to focus on that, but the sound of the door opening catches his attention.

“Hey, you guys! My brother’s over by that booth over there,” he sees Gongmyung pointing straight at him, and immediately his heartrate climbs. “Sehun, come help order! Do you think we should have chicken too, or just beef?”

Doyoung doesn’t get to hear the answer, because the same bunch of guys from earlier that afternoon are back, standing right in front of him.

“Hey! It’s you!”

Doyoung remembers this one’s name to be Youngho, and he looks less daunting now, with a goofy grin on his face.

“We’re finally meeting Gongmyung’s younger brother,” the one with purple hair says, sticking his hand out at Doyoung, who clumsily thunks his drink onto the table in order to grab the outstretched hand. “I’m Chanyeol, and this is Jongin, and Taemin,” he points to two others on his flanks.

“For a while there, I thought you were a myth, honestly, I’m Youngho.”

“Doyoung,” he says quietly, standing up to formally greet the others. He stutters when he gets to Boy with Pink Hair, smiling at him with a shy smile.

“Taeyong,” Boy with Pink Hair shakes his hand lightly once, twice, then he lets go, but keeps his gaze. “Sorry, about earlier,” his voice has some sort of effect on Doyoung, immediately reducing his legs to jello. “The whole,” he waves his hands in the air, and all Doyoung can think about is how tiny they are, “bumping into you, and everything.”

“No, no!” Doyoung is quick to apologize, “I wasn’t looking at where I was going, sorry.”

It looks like Taeyong’s about to deflect, but Gongmyung’s back now, with another blonde boy Doyoung pins to be Sehun, “Why are you all standing around? Sit down, sit down!”

Doyoung’s heart jumps with Taeyong slides into the seat beside him, claiming Yuta’s spot. Youngho follows then, and the others fill out the spots on the other side of the booth, leaving a spot empty across Doyoung for Yuta.

“His best friend is here as moral support,” Gongmyung explains, and the others hum in response, not too concerned with that.

“Sorry,” Taeyong mumbles, snapping Doyoung out of his daze. He’s pulling his parka off him, arms accidentally bumping into Doyoung, revealing a thin, grey hoodie underneath.

Doyoung tries not to think about how small Taeyong is without the puffy jacket.

“Could you hang this up for me?” Taeyong points at one of the coat hooks on the wall above Doyoung’s seat.

“Y-yeah,” he stutters, and he wants to bang his head against the wall.

“Me too, Doyoung,” Youngho singsongs from beside Taeyong, handing him his leather jacket. The rest follow suit, and Doyoung stands by his seat awkwardly, waiting for everyone to pass their jackets along.

“I wish I had a younger brother,” Taemin says from across the table, looking adoringly at Doyoung, “So I can boss him around.”

“Taesun’s really giving you a hard time with his wedding, huh?” Jongin snickers, and Doyoung sits back down after the last jacket is hung.

“Three weddings in a year, and none of them are mine,” Taemin groans, looking at Gongmyung apologetically, “Not that I’m not excited for yours, I mean.”

Gongmyung’s reply is cut off with Yuta’s announcement of his return, Taeil in tow.

“Taeil? I haven’t seen you in… ages?” Youngho stands to pull Taeil into a hug, but Taeil takes a tentative step away. Doyoung gives Gongmyung a look from across the table; he didn’t know Taeil was acquainted with Gongmyung’s friends from college, he assumed Taeil was in the same position as he was.

“Later,” Gongmyung mouths, and Doyoung returns with a curt nod.

“Yeah,” Taeil looks and sounds exactly like he did in high school, though there’s a bit of a hesitation in his eyes that Doyoung doesn’t know what to attribute to. He’s just as small as Doyoung remembers, almost as small as Taeyong beside him. He scurries to take the seat across Taeyong, while Yuta takes the one across Doyoung.

Doyoung automatically hands Yuta his beer, and his eyes dart to Taeyong in question, a smirk on his lips, wiggling his brows suggestively. Doyoung glares at him, ending their silent conversation.

“I get that things are awkward,” Gongmyung raises a hand to stop the others from objecting, “So let’s all drink tonight, get everything out of the way?”

“Chanyeol’s a loud drunk, though,” Jongin whines, sounding like he’s experienced in dealing with drunk Chanyeol.

“You’re a boring drunk,” Chanyeol retaliates, arm already in the air to wave a waitress over.

“I slept one time!” Jongin argues.

“And like, four times after that,” Sehun snorts, and the table laughs.

Doyoung and Yuta share another silent conversation:

Did you think they’d be this… goofy?

Not at all.

“I’m not a good drinker,” Taeil pipes up, just as the waitress comes around with a ‘What can I get you guys?’

“What are you talking about!” Youngho is jovial, “You hold your alcohol really well!”

There’s a bout of silence at the table, and Yuta sends a look of confusion to Doyoung, who shrugs in response. Were they missing something important?

Taeyong shifts uncomfortably beside Doyoung, and his eyes drop to meet the other’s gaze. He looks away quickly, clearing his throat, “I don’t drink either.”

“Just a tiny bit!” Jongin encourages, personality doing a complete one eighty when the waitress hands them the alcohol list.

They order two towers of beer, and six more bottles of soju.

The conversation flows easily as the food start to arrive, and the smell of grilled meat fills the air around them.

“I’m so hungry,” Taeyongs says aloud, to no one in particular, but everyone on the other end of the table is discussing sports, so Doyoung takes the chance to start a conversation,

“Me too,” is all he manages when Taeyong turns to face him, completely taken aback by their close proximity, his piercing gaze overwhelming.

“Youngho and I had some hot dogs after the suit store,” Taeyong presses a hand to his stomach, “It feels like eons ago.”

“I’m sure the – oh, my god.”

The beer towers look even larger than in the pictures, standing at probably four feet tall, holding sixty ounces of Bud Light. The waiter heaves it onto the table, and another is placed at Doyoung and Yuta’s end of the table. The six soju bottles are scattered amongst them, but none are left unopened, with Chanyeol’s busy hands filling up everyone’s tiny cups.

Dinner goes on without a hitch. With the exception of Taeyong and Taeil, they’re all tipsy enough to let loose, but not enough (yet) to be screaming the lyrics to the latest Girls’ Generation single. Taeyong is quiet beside Doyoung, only exchanging low whispers with Youngho throughout. Yuta has taken to speaking to both Taeil and Doyoung about his recent adventures to one of State's poorly run bowling alleys, and Doyoung’s glad (and a little disappointed) he doesn’t have to make small talk with Taeyong.

When the fire’s all gone, and the grilled meat are all off the metal trays, Chanyeol proposes they all bring up any issues they have with the wedding, so that everyone’s on the same page. Sehun argues that they’ve all only just met, but his objection is nullified when Chanyeol shoves a head of lettuce into his mouth.

“I’m so happy for you,” Taemin goes first. He hiccups, clinking his soju glass with Jongin’s beer mug, and he throws back the shot, while Jongin polishes the last bit of his beer. “But I really hate that I have to buy three suits. I can’t believe it.”

“Rent them,” Chanyeol dismisses him, “Next problem.”

“I need a date to the wedding,” Jongin whines.

“What about Kyungsoo?” Sehun’s cheeks are rosy, but he doesn’t look at all tipsy.

“We had a fight yesterday,” say Jongin solemnly.

“You know the wedding’s, like, at the end of the year right,” Chanyeol deadpans, filling Gongmyung’s empty glass. “It’s January. Next problem.”

Jongin looks dejected, and Doyoung brings his beer to his lips when Chanyeol looks pointedly at him.

“Brother of the groom,” he says with confidence, “You must have some worries, no?”

Yuta kicks him under the table, and Doyoung keeps his face neutral, “Not really, no, I don’t.”

“Come off it,” Sehun picks at a burnt piece of fat on the grill. “Taemin’s gotten into two fights with his brother after the engagement party.”

“That was a week ago,” Jongin chimes in, refilling Taemin’s empty soju glass, and pouring himself a new one.

“Nope,” Doyoung winces internally when Yuta kicks him again under the table. He stomps on Yuta’s foot heavily, and the other yelps.

“You hold your alcohol really well,” Taeyong says suddenly, an impressed look etched on his face.

“What?”

Taeyong jerks his chin at the mug in Doyoung’s hand, “You’ve had five glasses and soju.”

You’ve been counting?” Yuta says from across the table, and Doyoung swings his foot to kick him in the knee, hard enough to force Yuta to push back in his chair, groaning in pain.

Taeyong doesn’t answer Yuta’s question, simply choosing to look away.

“He’s a good drinker,” Gongmyung interjects. “Teach everyone that soju bomb trick you and Yuta like to mess around with.”

Yuta guffaws, and everyone on the table looks on curiously, “We got chased out of a Japanese restaurant for doing that with sake.”

“What is it?” Taeyong speaks up, intrigued, leaning close to the table, a look of pure innocence on his face.

Doyoung’s heart thumps loudly in his ribcage. It’s the alcohol, he assures himself.

“Pour me a shot,” Yuta tells Doyoung, filling up his own mug of beer, until it’s three-quarters full. Doyoung dutifully hands him a full shot glass, leaning an arm against the table. He can’t help but grin when Yuta sets the play: he balances the shot glass atop a pair of chopsticks, lining them up to the edges of the beer mug.

“This is the fun part,” Yuta says with a devilish smile, and Doyoung swears Taeyong leans even closer.

Without warning, Yuta slams the table loudly with both hands, on either side of the setup, hard enough to rattle the pair of chopsticks holding the shot glass up, and it falls messily into the beer mug, creating a layer of foam and bubbles as it drops.

Taeyong jumps nearly a foot into the air when Yuta’s hands come into contact with the table, hands coming up to grip Doyoung’s hand on the table. He doesn’t seem bothered by the contact, because he’s clapping his hands the next second, nudging Youngho to give it a try.

Doyoung feels like his hand’s been scalded by hot water.

Soon the entire table is lining up with soju bombs, everyone thwacking the tables with great fervor, causing a ruckus. Taemin and Jongin rush to chug the beer-soju mix, and Sehun warns them with a, “You guys are going to regret that when you get home.”

“I want to try a glass!” Taeyong reaches for his empty shot glass, that’s remained dry since it’s touched the table.

“Ah!” Chanyeol wags a finger at him boyishly, “You’ve to drink the entire thing if you do!”

“What, why!” Taeyong frowns, holding the tiny cup with both hands, looking a lot like a raccoon that’s been caught stealing food, and Doyoung thinks it’s the cutest thing he’s seen the entire year. (It’s the alcohol, he swears.)

“Game rules,” Chanyeol shrugs, looking at Yuta, “Right?”

“Right,” Yuta says with finality. Doyoung rolls his eyes.

“You’re just making that up!”

“Call in a Black Knight to drink it for you, then!”

Taeyong turns to his right, “Youngho will do it!”

The table turns eerily quiet, like a thick layer of fog has descended amongst them, and everyone sobers for a half a second. Taeyong bites on his lower lip, looking extremely apologetic the moment he uttered those words,

“I’m – ”

“Doyoung will drink it!” Gongmyung hurriedly rushes to defuse the situation. What the situation was, Doyoung had no clue. (And neither did Yuta, from the confused looks he was bombarding Doyoung with.)

Taeyong’s thin fingers are around Doyoung’s wrists, and it feels like he shoved his hand further down a large vat of boiling water, “I’ll call you in as my Black Knight!”

The term itself has no romantic connotations, just a favored ask, but the way it rolls off the tip of Taeyong’s tongue… It has Doyoung’s legs turn cold, “Okay.”

“You owe him a wish, then, Taeyong!” Chanyeol hums, enjoying this far more than anyone at the table.

“If you chug it,” the glint in Sehun’s eyes match Chanyeol’s mischievous ones, “You get two wishes.”

“Now you’re really just making crap up,” Taeyong deadpans, but he’s already moving to fill his beer mug. “You don’t have to chug it, don’t listen to them.”

“Passing up a chance to get two wishes from our resident cutie,” Chanyeol’s tone is teasing, and he recognizes it to resemble the tone Gongmyung uses when he pinches Doyoung’s cheeks. “Think twice?”

“I’m not cute,” Taeyong reaches over to flick Chanyeol squarely on the forehead. “Like this?” he asks, adjusting the soju glass atop the chopsticks, looking at Doyoung for confirmation.

It’s a look so virtuous that Doyoung vows to chug it. He doesn’t have any wishes that need to be granted, and he doesn’t know if Taeyong will follow through (after all, it’s all just talk and tease), but he’d be damned if he didn’t clinch the chances to have two under his belt.

Taeyong smacks the table, albeit a little too lightly, and it takes an extra second or two for the soju glass to teeter off the chopsticks, and into the glass. He claps for himself, and the others indulge, giving him a soft cheer.

Doyoung wonders if Taeyong was the youngest out of the bunch of them, or if he was just naturally this… adorable.

“Chug it!” Chanyeol chants, and Sehun joins in. Gongmyung shakes his head, but Doyoung plucks the concoction from Taeyong’s hands, tipping it expertly towards his lips, and he downs it easily.

“You’re going to regret that later,” Yuta parrots, and there’s no sympathy in his voice.

“Don’t you dare throw up in the apartment,” Gongmyung warns.

“I’m not going to – ” He hiccups loudly, the soju burning his throat, beer fizzing in his stomach, “Throw up.”

Taeyong’s hands are on his arms now, and Doyoung really wishes he’d stop doing that. His body is already burning from the amount of alcohol he’s had. Taeyong’s touch makes it feel like his skin is being peeled off with a carrot peeler.

“Are you okay?” Taeyong asks, looking straight into Doyoung’s glazed eyes with his own unwavering ones.

“What’s your wish, Doyoung?” There’s a suggestive undertone to Taemin’s question.

Doyoung blanks, “Nothing.”

“What, no!” Taeyong tightens his grip, and Doyoung has to painfully swallow a wave of nausea. From the alcohol. “I owe you two wishes!”

When Doyoung doesn’t reply, Jongin’s eyes light up, “You’re saving them, aren’t you!”

“No, I’m not,” Doyoung is defiant.

“You totally are!” Yuta accuses, and Doyoung wants to ask him who’s team he’s on.

“I’m not!”

“Are you?” It’s Taeyong.

“I’m really not.”

(He is.)

 

And Doyoung doesn’t remember the rest.

x

 

“Doyoung! Wake! Up!”

In retrospect, he probably should not have drunk half that beer tower himself (Yuta drank the other half). He should also get some new friends.

“Why,” Doyoung groans, shoving his face into his pillow, his head pounding, “are you still here.”

It doesn’t come out like a question, and Yuta doesn’t answer,

“Gongmyung wants to go for brunch.”

Doyoung thinks he’s dreaming, “I really hate you.”

Yuta plops on the foot of Doyoung’s bed, “I could really use some poached eggs right now.”

“I’m going to kill you.”

“Maybe some back bacon?”

Doyoung kicks at the lump of Yuta, “I’m hungover, get out.”

“Some sautéed mushrooms? Mm.”

There’s no winning Yuta, Doyoung succumbs, “Okay, we’ll go, just get out, let me wake up.”

“I might skip the baked beans, though.”

“Get the fuck out!” Doyoung grunts, kicking Yuta harder this time, hard enough to shove him off the bed.

Yuta harrumphs. Doyoung glares at him as he rubs at his back, “If you’re not out in ten minutes, I’m coming back in with Gongmyung’s loudhailer from his student council president days, so don’t try me.”

 

The room is quiet again just for a second, and Doyoung contemplates going back to sleep, but realizes that Yuta probably wasn’t kidding about the loudhailer. He groans again, stretching out his stiff limbs, whining when his headache doesn’t seem like it’s going to subside.

He runs his hands against his bedsheets blindly, trying to see if Drunk Doyoung was smart enough to plug his phone in last night. Catching a feel of his charging cord, he feels a little triumphant.

The screen of his phone light up, and he has to blink the blurriness away. The message app icon has the number (7) next to it, and Doyoung unlocks it, curious,

 

24JAN [02:31] taeyong: hello doyoung
24JAN [02:31] taeyong: you’ll probably read this in the morning but i keyed my number into your phone last night
24JAN [02:32] taeyong: after you, er, passed out…
24JAN [02:32] taeyong: this is taeyong
24JAN [02:36] taeyong: thanks for being my black knight last night
24JAN [02:37] taeyong: i owe you two wishes, and i’m a man of my word so
24JAN [02:37] taeyong: let me know!

 

Doyoung reads it over again, and again, not quite believing that he’s actually gotten Taeyong’s number in his phone. Sure, he wasn’t going to deny that he was obviously enamored by Taeyong’s antics, but after the silent dinner, he didn’t dare hope for more.

It takes him a minute to fully wake up, and type out a reply. Taeyong’s response follows quick, and Doyoung thinks it’s easier to text Taeyong than speak to him in person. (Maybe it’s the fact that Doyoung’s not completely intimidated by Taeyong’s sheer existence.)

 

24JAN [11:02] doyoung: hi uh sorry i just woke up
24JAN [11:02] doyoung: about the black knight thing… don’t worry about it
24JAN [11:03] taeyong: what! no! you chugged an entire mug of beer on my behalf
24JAN [11:03] taeyong: and i feel bad enough for needing a black knight so
24JAN [11:03] doyoung: it was really nothing though
24JAN [11:03] taeyong: tell me two wishes!
24JAN [11:04] taeyong: … are you usually this stubborn???
24JAN [11:04] doyoung: okay, i wish i didn’t have two wishes

24JAN [11:06] taeyong: that’s stupid
24JAN [11:06] taeyong: something legit!
24JAN [11:07] doyoung: there’s nothing though…
24JAN [11:08] doyoung: oh wait okay i wished my hangover would magically disappear
24JAN [11:08] taeyong: … i can’t help you there
24JAN [11:10] taeyong: if i buy you a cup of coffee, would that help?

 

Doyoung thinks his ears are ringing, he can’t believe what he’s reading.

As he’s about to clutch his phone to his chest and let out the girliest of giggles, Yuta slams the door open to his bedroom, loud hailer in his hands,

“I WARNED YOU, KIM DOYOUNG.”

 

x

 

In favor of having brunch (the best meal of the day, as Yuta self-proclaimed) with his brother and best friend, he takes a raincheck on coffee with Taeyong.

“Well, that was a dumb decision,” Yuta snorts, shoveling scrambled eggs into his mouth.

“You should go for it,” Gongmyung muses, “Taeyong’s a really nice guy, and you haven’t dated since… What was that guy’s name?”

Doyoung doesn’t want to hear it, “Sicheng.”

“Ugh,” Yuta scoffs. He didn’t dislike Sicheng (they’d actually gotten along pretty well), but by being Doyoung’s best friend, he just had to dislike Sicheng by association. It was an amicable break-up, nothing terribly heartbreaking, but it did break up their high school friend group. Sicheng got Kun and Ten; Doyoung got Yuta.

“Er, no,” Doyoung shakes his head, picking at the baked beans on his plate. “I’m not really looking to date right now.”

Yuta and Gongmyung exchange loaded looks that Doyoung can’t decipher.

“I don’t know how much you drank last night, but you do know who Taeyong is right?”

Doyoung shrugs, “I do. He owes me two wishes.”

“Truly the perfect setting,” Yuta tuts, looking forlornly into the distance. “If he wasn’t so interested you, I’d be hitting on him by now.”

Doyoung startles at that, “I just met him last night, what are you talking about?”

“Ah, yes, the older of the Kim Brothers,” Yuta says royally, waving his fork in Gongmyung’s face, “Would you care to explain?”

Gongmyung sighs, and Doyoung looks at him to go on, “The last time Taeyong came over, you were sleeping on the couch, and he’s been asking about you ever since. I only held him off because he was nervous to meet you.”

“That’s fresh,” Yuta is snide. It’s harsh, but not untrue. Doyoung’s never really had experience in the dating game, (apart from Sicheng). He’s never really gone out of his way to find someone, but he’s never really had anyone come after him either.

Especially not someone of Taeyong’s caliber. It feels a little too good to be true, if Doyoung’s being honest.

“He saw our childhood pictures and wouldn’t stop gushing about how cute you were,” Gongmyung rolls his eyes, and Doyoung is reminded of the rows of baby pictures displayed on their television console. “Something about your teeth looking like a baby bunny’s.”

Yuta snorts, “More like a rabid rabbit’s.”

Doyoung runs a tongue over his two front teeth.

“And apparently heard you singing,” Gongmyung looks unimpressed. “When you were in the shower, I think.”

“He likes Doyoung for his awful rendition of Because of You?” Yuta hacks, “Take him, Doyoung.”

He looks at Yuta, “And how do you know of all this?”

“I was promptly updated on this this morning,” Yuta sniffs, “Also, on the whole Taeil thing with that guy from yesterday.”

“Youngho,” Gongmyung says.

Doyoung’s temporarily distracted by this, “Yeah, wait, what was that all about?”

Gongmyung sighs, taking a sip from his orange juice, “They dated in freshmen year, and it ended when Youngho made new friends, and I think they grew apart.” He continues, “It was short-lived, but Taeil took it pretty hard,” Gongmyung frowns, “I think he was Taeil’s first.”

“Brutal of you to have them both on your groom’s party.”

Gongmyung groans, “I asked Taeil if he would be okay with it, and he said it would be fine… I didn’t think Youngho would act like nothing happened.”

“How long were they together?”

He shrugs, “A little over a year? I still remember it like it was yesterday,” Gongmyung closes his eyes, “He was pretty much everything to Taeil, everything revolved around Youngho… I don’t know if Youngho ever felt the same way, he probably did, but it just didn’t work out, I guess.”

Doyoung feels a snap in his heart, like it hits close to home. “Well, nothing ever lasts forever, right?”

It comes out too cold and far too bitter, even to his own ears. Yuta and Gongmyung stare at him with matching, alarmed looks.

Yuta clears his throat, recovering first, “What are you going to do about Taeyong?”

Gongmyung is still staring at him, steely and intrusive, like he knows exactly what he’s thinking. Doyoung looks away, “Nothing. He’s just a friend of yours,” he gestures at Gongmyung. “If he wants to have coffee, sure, but I’m not looking to date.”

Yuta leans back in his seat, laughing, “Who would’ve thought that Kim Doyoung would one day reject such a catch?”

Gongmyung doesn’t let his gaze weaken, and Doyoung avoids it for the rest of brunch.

 

x

 

Not at all intentional, Doyoung forgets to reply to Taeyong’s text.

He’s only reminded of it when Gongmyung brings it up midway through May, just when the weather’s turning hot.

 

“Doyoung, I need you to meet Taeyong tomorrow.”

The phone in his hand nearly falls to the ground, “I can’t.”

Gongmyung glares at him from the kitchen counter, “You have to. Hyesung and I are going to look at flower arrangements tomorrow, and we forgot we scheduled the cake tasting at the hotel too. The baker is a friend of Taeyong’s.”

“Get Yuta to go,” he says quickly, sitting up from his spot on the couch. The laptop on his stomach nearly slides off, and he catches it before it hits the ground, placing it gently on the coffee table. He opens up the messaging app on his phone, and lo and behold, Taeyong’s suggestion to grab coffee is still there, staring back at him, opened and not yet responded to. “I left him hanging from that time he wanted to get coffee, I can’t meet him.”

“You did?” Gongmyung laughs humorlessly. “I’m sure he won’t mind.”

Doyoung pauses, “Really?”

Gongmyung clicks his tongue, “No. He’s going to mind, I told you, didn’t I? He was pretty into you.”

“He doesn’t even know me,” Doyoung argues.

“What Taeyong thinks of my little brother,” he looks at Doyoung pointedly, “in his free time, is none of my business. It’s Grand Hotel on 31st Street, be there at six in the evening. It’s the only time the baker is free.”

“Can I bring Yuta?” Doyoung is hopefully, but the deadpan look Gongmyung sends him crushes it.

“No, he’s allergic to nuts.”

“We’ll be extra careful.”

“No.”

 

x

 

15MAY [17:43] doyoung: hello, it’s doyoung
15MAY [17:43] doyoung: i’m standing on the left of the entrance of the hotel
15MAY [17:52] doyoung: the cake tasting is at 6pm, right?

 

It’s even more awkward than Doyoung thought it’d be, standing outside of the hotel in a pair of jeans and a flannel shirt. His phone feels like it weighs a thousand pounds in his hands, eyes concentrated on his screen, wishing for a reply to come quick.

“Hey.”

Taeyong’s voice is low and quiet, but it startles Doyoung anyway. He takes a second to take Taeyong’s appearance in: a simple white tee tucked into a pair of dark skinnies that greatly emphasizes his slim waist, and toned legs. His hair is a lighter blonde now, the pink pretty much faded away, and Doyoung thinks Taeyong suits both those hair colors perfectly. It flops over his forehead, looking like it’s just been washed and air-dried.

Very domestic.

Doyoung tries to keep it together.

“Hey,” he says, fingers tingling.

“Sorry to keep you waiting,” Taeyong clears his throat, looking away. He’s a little different today, Doyoung finds, a little more guarded, more grounded, than he was when they’d met that winter night in January. The setting sun casts a warm glow over his features, and Doyoung has a sudden image of walking down the beach with Taeyong.

“It’s fine,” Doyoung shakes his head, “I didn’t wait long.”

“Let’s go then,” Taeyong shoves his hands into the pockets of his jeans, climbing up the steps to the hotel, letting Doyoung trail after him like a kicked puppy.

Taeyong’s friend, Doyoung learns with very short, equipped sentences, is the hotel’s newest pastry chef. They’re immediately seated in one of the secluded corners of the hotel’s main restaurant, and a waitress informs them that the cake samples will be out soon.

Sans the faint clinking of metal against ceramics, the restaurant is quiet for Friday evening. Doyoung looks around the hotel, absentmindedly admiring the paintings on the walls and the beams on the ceilings. He watches Taeyong out of the corner of his eye, fidgeting with one of the metal forks on the table.

He stands his ground. With his current projects at work keeping him busy, and helping out with Gongmyung’s day-to-day freak-outs over the wedding (in seven months), Doyoung is running on fumes. He’s not looking to date anyone, and as close as Taeyong is to perfect, he doesn’t want to make any promises he can’t keep.

Doyoung feels a twinge of guilt gurgling in his stomach, and he plucks the courage to speak first, “How’ve you been?”

Taeyong’s hand freezes, as if he was expecting them to last the entire day without exchanging words, “Fine. And you?”

It’s curt and polite, but Doyoung can’t really blame him, “I’m okay.”

Silence unfolds.

“Actually, listen – ”

Doyoung’s attempt at an apology is cut off by a chef’s arrival, complete with a white coat and chef’s hat.

“Taeyong!”

The chef has dimples deeper than the oceans, and a smile brighter than the sun. His brown hair peeks out from under his hat, and Doyoung reads his nametag when he envelopes Taeyong with a big hug: Jung Jaehyun.

“It’s been a while, Jaehyun,” Taeyong smiles. It doesn’t quite reach his eyes, but it’s the first time Doyoung’s seen him smile today, so he takes it. “This is Doyoung,” the way he says it still runs a shiver down Doyoung’s spine, “brother of the groom.”

“Nice to meet you!” Jaehyun grins at him, shaking Doyoung’s hand with both of his. “When Taeyong told me you were cute, I didn’t know what to expect.”

Doyoung flushes instantly, and Taeyong’s hand flies up to tug on Jaehyun’s ear, “Don’t spout rubbish!”

“Ah, ah!” Jaehyun cries out, rubbing his ear pitifully when Taeyong lets go. “I have more to tell!”

“I’d like to see you try,” Taeyong hisses, eyes stern. Doyoung had noticed Taeyong’s large irises the moment the bumped paths on the suit store, but he’s never thought they could convey such ferocity.

“Anyway!” Jaehyun clasps his hands together, visibly shaken by Taeyong’s quiet threat, choosing to focus on Doyoung now instead. “I’ve five different cakes here, all of which have already approved by both the bride and groom,” he looks at Taeyong for confirmation, and he nods. (There’s a hint of blush on his cheeks, but Doyoung thinks it’s just the heat.)

They take their seats, with Taeyong on Doyoung’s left, and Jaehyun across from them both. A waiter appears with a tray of five slices of cake, all of which are topped with different frostings. Two glasses of iced water are brandished, and Doyoung takes a sip in efforts to soothe his dry throat. (It’s the weather.)

“We have,” Jaehyun points at the cakes as he lists the flavors, “red velvet, triple chocolate, white chocolate with raspberry, coconut and lime, and carrot.”

Doyoung’s nose wrinkles at that. He didn’t fancy carrot cakes.

“Really?” Taeyong is genuinely surprised, for the first time that day, looking straight at Doyoung.

He feels his cheeks burning under his stare, “I don’t really like carrots.”

A short burst of laughter escapes Taeyong’s lips, and he brings a hand up to muffle it. Doyoung wishes he wouldn’t do that. Taeyong has an alluring laugh, and the way his eyes scrunches when he does is charming.

“What?” Doyoung blinks.

“Nothing,” Taeyong murmurs, but he’s still tickled. “You just,” he pauses, ears a bright red, “look so much like a bunny.”

Doyoung has to grip his thigh, heart threatening to crawl out of his throat, “Do I?”

Taeyong worries his bottom lip, hesitantly looking up and back at Doyoung, “A little.”

“I don’t know if looking like a woodland creature is a compliment,” Jaehyun interrupts, “But I’m needed back in the kitchen for dinner rush,” he stands to take his leave, “Any of the waiters here will be able to take your final decision, so,” Jaehyun turns to Taeyong, “I’ll see you soon?”

Taeyong coughs dryly, “Yeah, yeah, I’ll text you, thank you, Jaehyun,” he stands too to give him a one-armed hug, and Jaehyun’s off, waving to Doyoung just as he turns the corner.

Doyoung eyes Taeyong carefully when he sits back down, and Taeyong doesn’t look away.

There’s a sticky tension in the air, like there’s too much electricity between, too much something.

“Should we, uh,” Taeyong picks up a fork gingerly, “start with the red velvet?”

Doyoung does the same, “Okay.”

He places the red velvet cake in front of the two of them, and Taeyong nods in thanks. They take a small bit of the slice each, sharing blanks looks before taking a bite.

There’s nothing to it, just the two of them eating a slice of cake, but the eye contact and the way Taeyong’s tongue darts out before the cake slips past his lips… It’s enough for Doyoung’s cheeks to burn, so he turns away before Taeyong can catch him.

“I like it,” Doyoung says, reaching to cut himself another bite-sized piece.

Taeyong hums, smacking his lips lightly, and Doyoung’s eyes are trained to his glossy lips, “It’s a little too sweet for me.”

Doyoung nods, but he eats another bite anyway. He chews slowly, savoring the sweet taste of the cake, and the creamy frosting. Taeyong takes a sip of water, and he does the same.

“Chocolate?” Doyoung asks, hand hovering over the plates, “Or coconut?”

“Chocolate,” Taeyong is resolute, and Doyoung picks the triple chocolate cake. It’s rich and creamy, and Taeyong seems to like it more than the red velvet. “I think Hyesung would like this more.”

Doyoung reaches for another bite. He feels like a child compared to Taeyong, who was only filling himself with one mouthful of each cake, “I think so too… Do you know Hyesung? Personally?”

Taeyong leaves the glass of water at his lips, and it’s distracting to Doyoung, but he does his best to commit this image to memory, “Yeah, she was in my business analytics course.”

“Did you go to State too?” The questions just seem to tumble out of Doyoung like a waterfall. He doesn’t want to show interest, he’s not ready, but all Taeyong has to do is look at him for his resolution to waver.

He nods, “Double majored business and economics,” Taeyong puts his glass down, “I heard from Gongmyung that you just graduated?”

Doyoung wonders what else Gongmyung’s told him, “Yeah, I majored in architecture.” He reaches to get another bite by Taeyong stops him.

“You should save your stomach for the other cakes,” he says, and Doyoung resists the urge to pout, solemnly returning the triple chocolate cake onto the tray, reaching for the white chocolate raspberry one instead.

 

The others don’t quiet par up to the triple chocolate cake, and they make a decision to have a slice to-go, so that Gongmyung and Hyesung could have a taste for it before making the final decision.

It’s dark out now, and Doyoung thinks the hour has flown by much too quickly.

Taeyong answered a lot of his other questions (‘What do you do now?’, ‘How did you meet Gongmyung?’) and he’s answered many of Taeyong’s questions (‘Why don’t you like carrot cake?’, ‘Okay, why don’t you like carrots in general?’). He seemed to relax after the white chocolate raspberry cake, after Doyoung showed him a video of a bunny eating a raspberry. Taeyong commented that Doyoung looked exactly like the grey rabbit in the video, and Doyoung was quick to deny. The conversation was smooth, and easy to fall into. Doyoung likes how comfortable it is to speak with Taeyong, how it seems like they’ve known each other for more than just a dinner and a cake tasting session.

His apology for forgetting to reply to Taeyong’s coffee meet-up (not date, Doyoung is sure) is, ironically, forgotten, but Taeyong doesn’t bring it up either.

“Are you heading to the subway?” Taeyong asks when they leave the hotel, looking up and down the street.

“Yeah, but I’ve to grab some dinner for Gongmyung before I do,” Doyoung says simply, not really catching the underlying invitation in his own words. He has no intentions of having dinner with Taeyong. (He tells himself.)

Taeyong catches it in a snap, “I’ve to get dinner too. Let’s go together?”

Doyoung stalls. He doesn’t want to leave Taeyong just yet either, “Okay.”

The smile Taeyong sends him is blinding.

 

They settle at a Thai place, and Doyoung asks for the takeout menu the moment they step through the doors. It’s a little quick, but Taeyong doesn’t seem to be bothered by that.

Doyoung orders for both him and Taeyong, and when he tells the older boy that he’s already paid, he’s greeted with a frown,

“What, why?” Taeyong still has his wallet in his hands, a clean and well-kept, unlike Doyoung’s old, tattered one. “I can pay for myself.”

“It’s okay,” Doyoung’s hand comes up to Taeyong’s elbow, to lightly guide him aside to let other customers come in. Taeyong eyes his hand, and he drops it like he’s been burnt, “It’s a thank you for helping out with the cake-tasting.”

Taeyong narrows his eyes at Doyoung, like he’s trying to read him, “Are you sure?”

“Yeah, of course.”

Taeyong sighs, “Well, then, thanks.”

 

x

 

“Why didn’t you invite him over!”

Gongmyung smacks Doyoung on the head with a pair of disposable chopsticks, and he flinches.

“Okay, ow?” Doyoung glares at his brother, hands hovering over the takeout containers. “Did you want him to come over?”

Gongmyung stares at him incredulously, “You’re impossible.”

“What did I do!” Doyoung’s eyebrows shoot up, and he peels open the cover of one of the containers. “I went to the cake-tasting, and I came back!”

“You just said you had a good time at the cake-tasting,” Gongmyung takes the seat across Doyoung at their dining table. “And then you paid for dinner? The next logical step would be to have him come over!”

As much as he was annoyed, Doyoung was going to miss having dinner with Gongmyung every night. Gongmyung was going to move out to a new place with Hyesung right after the return from their honeymoon. Yuta would be moving in then, the lease to his apartment coincidentally ending within the same month.

It makes him sad, and he knows that he’ll always be able to have dinner with Gongmyung whenever he wanted, but it’s not the same. He’s spent the last twenty-odd years living with Gongmyung, and in seven months, everything will be different.

It’s a can of worms Doyoung refuses to open.

Doyoung’s phone buzzes in his back pocket then, “I told you I don’t want to date him or anything, we just had a good time.”

Gongmyung groans, but he warns, “You better not be stringing him along then, he’s a good friend of mine.”

“Do you really think I could be capable of that?” Doyoung snorts. His phone buzzes twice more, and he succumbs to checking it,

 

15MAY [21:34] taeyong: thanks for dinner
15MAY [21:35] taeyong: and for today
15MAY [21:35] taeyong: [smiley emoji]

 

“Who’s that?” Gongmyung asks, trying to peer across the two containers of pad thai.

Doyoung tilts the phone away, “Yuta.”

Gongmyung doesn’t buy it, “What does he want?”

Doyoung lies, “He wants to meet tomorrow.”

Gongmyung hums, not really believing him, but he doesn’t probe any further.

 

15MAY [21:37] doyoung: don’t worry about it, it was nothing
15MAY [21:38] doyoung: thanks for today too
15MAY [21:38] doyoung: [smiley emoji]

 

x

 

21JUN [23:32] taeyong: [video]
21JUN [23:32] taeyong: this is you!!!!!!!!!

 

It’s another video of another rabbit eating another kind of fruit, but Doyoung still smiles anyway.

“Who’s that?” Yuta looks over his shoulder, and Doyoung doesn’t click away from the video.

“Just a video,” he waves Yuta away, and, by a stroke of god’s lucks, Yuta settles back onto his end of the couch, refocusing his attention back to the sitcom on TV.

 

21JUN [23:35] doyoung: you think every rabbit looks like me
21JUN [23:35] doyoung: am i just every rabbit in the world
21JUN [23:36] doyoung: did you just get home?
21JUN [23:36] taeyong: noooo
21JUN [23:37] taeyong: you’re only all the cute rabbits
21JUN [23:37] taeyong: yeah i just got home

 

Doyoung has to put his phone down and hug the pillow higher to his chest. He can’t stop smiling, and he’d be damned if Yuta caught him texting Taeyong.

He knows, he knows, it’s a bad idea. He tells himself it’s just friends texting about daily, dumb things, but Yuta has never sent him a morning text that made his heart rage in him.

They text from dawn to dusk, and if Doyoung’s lucky, Taeyong calls him just before he goes to bed, and they talk until one of them falls asleep and the line goes dead. About what, Doyoung can’t keep track – about Taeyong’s little cousin Minhyung, who he loves and dotes on, about how he can’t believe the grocery mart near his apartment is having half off on all detergents and laundry softeners, about how he’s swamped with clients deals and proposals at the company he’s working at, about how there’s this one project that’s worrying him.

It’s a bad idea, he knows, but he’s not playing around with Taeyong, that much, Doyoung knows. He’s just… seeing how things are going to work out.

He groans into the pillow, I am a terrible person.

“What?” Yuta calls out nonchalantly, bag of chips in his arms, “Taeyong finally creating a dent in your ironclad wall?”

Doyoung splutters, “He did not!”

Yuta’s eyes don’t leave the screen, “So, it is him.”

Doyoung thinks he should have let Sicheng have Yuta when they broke up, “Don’t you have your own couch to be on? Your own food to snack on?”

“I do,” Yuta sniffs, stuffing a handful of chips into his mouth just to spite Doyoung, “I’m here because Gongmyung isn’t, and I know you get lonely.”

Gongmyung, as always, spends Wednesday nights over at Hyesung’s. He didn’t deny that it does get lonely.

Something catches in his throat, “What do you mean?”

Yuta sighs, reaching to pause Ted Mosby midway through a rant about never getting married, “I know what’s bothering you.”

“What?” Doyoung asks, but he really doesn’t want to know.

“You’re sad Gongmyung’s leaving, and that things are changing,” Yuta takes an apathetic tone, but his bright eyes are full of worry. It feels like a knife is shoved into his gut. “It’s really not that hard to crack.”

Doyoung is defiant, “I’m not sad he’s leaving.”

“Sure,” Yuta shoots him a look, “Well if you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine,” he sighs, getting up to leave, and Doyoung feels the knife in his gut twist. Yuta’s a good friend, and it’s probably good for him to talk about it, but he just doesn’t want to. Not yet, anyway. “It’s time for me to get home to my own couch, and eat my own snacks.”

For a second, Yuta looks disappointed, as if he’d expected Doyoung to come clean about everything, but he grins when he locks eyes with Doyoung, “I’m just kidding, god, don’t look like I just killed a rabbit in front of you.”

Doyoung blinks twice, and he feels his phone buzz, but he doesn’t look away, “Yuta, I – ”

“Look,” Yuta cuts him off. “When my older sister got married, the house wasn’t the same for the next three months without her and her screaming and nail polish all over the dining table,” Yuta rolls his eyes, but his tone is soft. “And my younger sister’s always complaining about how everything’s changed since I left for college,” he shrugs, “I know how it is with change, but you get used to it. I still see them every now and then, and we still love each other very much. There’s nothing wrong with change.”

“Gongmyung is going to get married, and he’s going to start a new life with Hyesung,” Yuta goes on, not at all bothered by the look of pure panic on Doyoung’s face. “But he’ll always be your brother, and until the time all of us are off the face of this earth, you will never lose that, okay? So, make with what you have now, I’m sure he’s just as sad as you are.”

It hits the bulls’ eye, and Doyoung wants Yuta to leave right now. He wants to have a good cry, and think over what’s now on the table, for the both of them to think about.

“And now you want me to leave,” Yuta huffs, knowing exactly what’s on Doyoung’s mind. “And I will,” he grabs the bag of chips to take with him, “But in another couple more months, I’m your new roommate, buddy.”

Doyoung smiles at that, but it comes out like a grimace. He croaks, “Thanks, Yuta.”

Other than the time when he pressured Doyoung to doing twenty-one shots on his twenty-first birthday, Yuta is undeniably, a good friend that Doyoung’s grateful to have.

“And whatever it is you have with Taeyong,” Yuta is already heading towards the door. “It seems like it’s not going to be something you can just sweep under the rug, so don’t fuck it up.”

Doyoung makes a strangled noise, “It’s not worth it.”

Yuta stalls, “I’m going to need more than just that, Doyoung.”

“What’s the point of dating someone if they’re just going to leave you at the end of everything?” Doyoung babbles, but he knows Yuta catches everything.

Yuta sighs, resting a hand on his hips, “Your mind is doing a thing where it’s wiring Thing A: the wedding and Gongmyung leaving,” he lifts his right hand, “and Thing B: the possibility of dating Taeyong,” he lifts his left hand, and then smashing them together, “together, and that’s not how it’s going to be.”

Doyoung looks at the ground blankly, unsure of what to say.

“Okay, fine,” Yuta groans, “Say you and Taeyong get together, and he leaves,” Doyoung frowns, “It’s not going to be the end of the world? Did everything end when Sicheng dumped your tiny heart? No.”

“My tiny – ”

“But,” Yuta cuts him off, “If you don’t give it a shot now, you’ll never know? And who’s to say you won’t end up with that scrawny boy with the rest of your life?”

Doyoung looks up, “He’s not scrawny.”

Yuta scoffs, “Then you need to get your eyes checked.”

Doyoung sighs loudly, closing his eyes, “You’re right… About Gongmyung, not about Taeyong being scrawny.”

“Are you going to be okay?” Yuta sighs, folding his arms across his chest. He was a hugger, but he knew Doyoung had a tiny distaste for physical interaction.

“Yeah,” Doyoung hums, “Yeah, I will be.”

And Yuta leaves, promising that he’ll be back tomorrow to annoy him, but Doyoung knows it’s just a ruse for Yuta to come check on him again.

Doyoung sits in silence for a while, by himself, listening to his stomach gurgle, feeling the corners of his eyes prickle. There are a billion things on his mind that need to be sorted out, but he’s stretched too thin to be doing it right now. His phone buzzes again,

 

21JUN [23:41] taeyong: can i call you?
21JUN [23:57] taeyong: just for a bit?

 

The apartment is quiet again, and Doyoung knows calling Taeyong will make him feel better.

With Taeyong’s work schedule (and Doyoung’s reservations), they hadn’t met since the cake-tasting session. Despite that, over the past weeks, Doyoung has wondered how he got himself so head over heels over Taeyong. Despite the obvious fact that Taeyong could probably cure the sick with his divine looks, Doyoung thinks it just might be the fact that he’s just innately attracted to Taeyong. He doesn’t know why, but he just needs to hear Taeyong laugh, see him smile, to feel a million times better.

 

22JUN [00:02] doyoung: yes
22JUN [00:02] doyoung: call me

 

He shuts the television off, and brings Yuta’s empty mug into the kichen. He leaves it in the sink, moving to the refrigerator to heat up a container of fried rice Hyesung had brought over a couple of days ago. Peeling the lid off, he places it gently into the microwave and sets the timer to two minutes.

His phone rings then, a warm feeling spreads in his chest, and he picks it up almost immediately.

“Hi,” he says first, and over the line he hears Taeyong laugh. Soft, and a little tired.

“Hi,” he parrots. “I thought you’d fallen asleep.”

“Ah,” Doyoung relaxes against the kitchen counter, watching the Tupperware turn. “No, Yuta was just here.”

“Oh.” There’s something there that makes Doyoung ask,

“What’s wrong?”

Taeyong clears his throat, “It’s nothing. What are you doing?”

“Heating some food up,” Doyoung hums.

“You haven’t eaten?” Taeyong sounds concerned, and Doyoung closes his eyes. What wouldn’t he give to see Taeyong again.

“I had some ddeokbokki earlier, but it wasn’t much. Have you eaten? How was work?”

“Oh. Yeah,” Taeyong sighs again, and Doyoung hears a rustling of papers, and the sound of a roller chair. “I had dinner with Youngho, and, ah, work was…” He trails off, and Doyoung waits for him to continue. “Tough. They’re making me redo a proposal, resubmission is tomorrow.”

“Will you be okay?” Doyoung says, phone sandwiched between his cheek and shoulder now, in anticipation of the timer on the microwave ending.

“Yeah, of course,” Taeyong sighs, “It’s just a difficult client.”

“Sounds pretty insane, asking you to redo the proposal in a night,” Doyoung mumbles.

“No, it’s fine,” he hears Taeyong shuffle around. Doyoung imagines Taeyong to still be in his suit, tie hung loosely around his neck, top buttons undone. Even just thinking about it makes his heart pound

“That’s rough.” The microwave beeps. Doyoung pushes the button that pops the door open. He touches the edge of the container, recoiling when it’s burning hot. He reaches for an oven mitt, trying to maneuver it out of the tiny microwave.

“Yeah, well,” Taeyong pauses, and the line is quiet. A car on Taeyong’s end drives by, and Doyoung waits for him to continue, “Talking to you makes things better.”

Doyoung nearly drops the container of fried rice, and it slips out of his hand, clanking loudly against counter. He curses under his breath.

“Is everything okay?” Taeyong asks, worry laced in his voice, and Doyoung feels his heart swell.

“Yeah, yeah, just had my plate slip,” he tries to sound reassuring, he stalls, “Does it really?”

“Yes,” Taeyong is quiet. “What about you?”

Doyoung feels like he’s back in high school. He lowers his voice, “It’s like that for me too.”

A small, sharp intake of breath. “Is it really?”

“Yes.”

Hesitation. “I’m having a birthday dinner next Saturday… Will you come?”

Doyoung doesn’t have to think twice. He’ll jump at anything to see Taeyong again. Just a half hour ago, he wasn’t sure, but Yuta’s words have gotten to him, “Yes, I’d love to go.”

Taeyong giggles, and Doyoung thinks it’s just as adorable as it is in real life, “Okay, I’ll text you the details. The others will be there too.”

Doyoung didn’t think of that. He doesn’t care, “Okay.”

“You can bring Yuta, if you want,” Taeyong says, and it sounds a little, just a smidgen reluctant, so Doyoung doesn’t rush to answer.

“Okay, I’ll ask him too.”

A pregnant pause.

“I can’t wait,” Taeyong breathes, and Doyoung closes his eyes. Is it pathetic that just someone’s voice could bring him so much delight? He doesn’t care, he’ll take whatever’s given.

“Me too,” he replies simply, thumbing the edge of the container.

Suddenly he hears Taeyong’s voice loud and clear, everything else is hushed, like Taeyong was in the kitchen with him, leaning against the counter with his platinum blonde hair and wide eyes and charming grin,

“I can’t wait to see you again.”

Doyoung resists the urge to slam his head against the kitchen counter out of pure happiness.

“Me too,” he says again, giddy with delight.

 

x

 

Taeyong’s birthday dinner is at a bar. There’s a dance floor and pounding music, so it could be a club too. For someone who didn’t drink, it was an odd place to hold a birthday party.

“Youngho planned it,” Gongmyung shouts over the loud music when Doyoung expresses his confusion, and they edge their way towards the group of people. Doyoung has Taeyong’s gift under his arm, neatly wrapped in plain wrapping paper, a tiny bow on the top. Inside, a black Keurig with eighteen k-cup pods, all of them different flavors.

“Speaking of which,” Doyoung mutters under his breath, spotting Youngho’s tall self at the end of the bar, waving wildly at them.

He scans the people around them for Taeyong, heart already thumping maddeningly. He doesn’t see any platinum blondes in sight, but he sees Taeyong immediately when he turns, no longer blonde, dark hair and big eyes. They widen with recognition when they lock eyes, and he breaks into a wide grin, hurriedly waving them over.

Doyoung thinks he might faint. Taeyong, while already looking amazing blonde, suited dark hair ever more. It’s a stark contrast to his pale skin, and it’s enough to take his breath away.

“You made it!” Taeyong greets them happily, pulling Gongmyung into a hug, thanking him for the gift (one of Taeyong’s favorite books, limited edition), and Doyoung waits patiently, like a kid waiting in line to meet Mickey Mouse at Disneyland.

Gongmyung moves aside to greet the rest, and Doyoung steps forward, feeling all sorts of nervous.

But it seemed like he wasn’t the only one nervous,

“Hi,” Taeyong smiles at him, charming and everything, breathless.

“Hi,” Doyoung parrots, sensing a pattern between them.

“I’m so glad to see you,” Taeyong pulls him into a hug then, before Doyoung has the chance to return the sentiment. It’s a tighter hug that lasts longer than the one he gave Gongmyung, and Doyoung quickly moves the gift out of the way to hug him back, arms wrapping around his thin waist.

“Me too,” he says into Taeyong’s ear, and the other shivers. Doyoung grins.

Taeyong pulls away, a flush to his cheeks, “Want a drink?”

Doyoung raises an eyebrow, “I thought you didn’t drink?”

“Just for tonight,” Taeyong shrugs, “Youngho left his card with the bartender, and I’d be an idiot if I didn’t take advantage of that.”

Doyoung laughs, “Sure, I’ll have a gin and tonic.”

“Coming right up,” the bartender calls out, having overheard their exchange.

“Wow, wow, what’s this?” Taeyong’s eyes are practically sparkling under the light, scanning Doyoung’s gift to him. “You didn’t have to get me such a big gift,” Taeyong grins up at him, picking up the box to hug it.

“It’s nothing,” Doyoung says, and Taeyong is quick – he kisses Doyoung on the cheek, light and breezy, but enough to set Doyoung’s insides aflame.

“I’m going to leave this in the back,” Taeyong is practically glowing. “I’ll be back!”

Doyoung watches as Taeyong ducks back into the crows, box in hand. Half of him wants to follow Taeyong, but the other half argues that his jello legs aren’t going to last halfway across the place. So, he slides into one of the bar stools, hand on his cheek, still dazed.

“I saw that,” Gongmyung is by his side, drink in hand (a mojito), eyes narrowed. “What are you up to?”

“What?” Doyoung feigns stupidity, and Gongmyung smacks him hard on the thigh.

“Taeyong is a nice person, do not play around with him,” he warns. “Didn’t you say you weren’t ready to date?”

Doyoung forgets that he hadn’t gotten a chance to bring up the conversation he had with Yuta to Gongmyung, “I – ”

“Whatever it is,” Gongmyung cuts him off. “Don’t ruin anything before the wedding, okay?”

That ticks Doyoung off. The wedding, wedding, wedding, he wants to say, When is it not about the wedding?

“I need to talk to you,” Doyoung says, and Gongmyung registers the severity in his voice, eyes turning soft.

“Okay, what is it?”

He sees a head bobbing its way back towards him, and he decides to postpone it. He doesn’t want to be overheard, “I’ll tell you tomorrow morning? Brunch?”

“I’m back,” Taeyong announces, just as Gongmyung sends him an understanding look. “Hyesung couldn’t make it?”

Gongmyung tears his gaze off Doyoung to look at Taeyong, “Sorry, she’s down with a pretty bad flu. I’m going to her place later to check on her.”

Doyoung takes a sip of his own drink.

“Oh, no, that’s okay,” Taeyong says reassuringly, “I hope she gets better soon, yeah?”

“Yeah, yeah, sure, I’ll tell her,” Gongmyung smiles, and then excuses himself, “Tomorrow morning, Doyoung?”

Doyoung nods, “Yeah.”

Gongmyung grabs his drink of the coaster, leaving them promptly.

Taeyong slides into the seat next to Doyoung, and he thinks it’s cute how Taeyong’s legs are dangling in the air, just like a tiny kid sitting on a park bench.

“What’s tomorrow?” Taeyong wonders curiously.

“Nothing,” he coughs, “Just brunch.”

Taeyong hums, tapping his fingers against the counter.

“How are you?” Taeyong grabs Doyoung’s free hand, squeezing it twice. He expects him to draw his hand away, but Taeyong leaves his hand on Doyoung’s, like a steady weight.

“Great,” Doyoung smiles at him, and he shifts a little, scooching closer. The music is too loud for them to have a conversation while sitting at an arm’s length away.

Doyoung can’t help but think how different things are the last time they met. It’s as if they’ve transcended onto a different universe, in one that they’ve known each other since they were twelve

“How are you? Did you finish your proposal?”

“Yeah, I did!” Taeyong grabs Doyoung’s hands with both of his, playfully pressing against his palm with his thumbs. “It went pretty great, they accepted the new proposal without much trouble this time.”

“I’m happy for you,” Doyoung is too distracted by Taeyong playing with his hands to be coming up with good conversation starters.

“Dance with me!” Taeyong says suddenly, already hopping of his seat, tugging Doyoung along with him.

Doyoung pulls Taeyong back, and the older boy stumbles, “Wait, I can’t dance.”

“Sure, you can!” Taeyong is insistent, and Doyoung wonders if Taeyong’s had any drinks prior to his arrival. “Just listen to the music! Anyone can dance, Doyoung.”

There it is again. His name on Taeyong’s lips.

He quickly finishes his entire drink. Liquid courage.

Taeyong, unlike Doyoung, can actually dance. He bumps to the music in rhythm, complete with excessive body rolls. Doyoung, on the other hand, has two left feet and absolutely zero experience with dancing in public.

“Loosen up!” Taeyong laughs, eyes crinkling. Doyoung gulps.

“I can’t dance!” He nearly yells back, bopping awkwardly out of beat.

Taeyong laughs even harder at that, and then he’s wrapping his arms around Doyoung’s neck, pulling them closer, hip to hip. Doyoung’s hands naturally find themselves on Taeyong’s waist, who smiles at him, leaning in to whisper,

“Cute.”

Doyoung flushes, but when Taeyong pulls him to sway to the pounding beat, he tightens his grip on Taeyong’s waist.

“See! You’re doing it!” Taeyong is giggling in his ear, hot breath fanning across Doyoung’s cheek and down his neck.

“You’re doing all the work,” Doyoung insists, and Taeyong shivers again when he breathes into his ear. Doyoung keeps that in mind.

They dance like that for a minute, Taeyong leading him, and sometimes their hips would brush, and it goes straight to Doyoung’s groin. Taeyong would laugh whenever Doyoung fumbled, mumbling words of encouragement, and Doyoung would hum in response.

When the song transitions into another, Doyoung leans forward to tell Taeyong that he wants to (needs) another drink, but someone nudges him in the back, and his lips brush the shell of Taeyong’s ear lightly.

The reaction is immediate – his grip on Doyoung’s neck tightens, a hand pulling at the short hairs on the back of his neck, and his hips jerk forward to slam into Doyoung’s. He swears he hears Taeyong moan, but the music is too loud.

“Are you okay?” Doyoung immediately pulls away, but there’s a renewed conviction in his eyes, and he yanks Doyoung down to press their lips together.

It’s quick and rough, and Doyoung doesn’t have time to adjust because it’s Taeyong pulling away this time. He stares up at Doyoung, brows furrowing together, searching for an answer in Doyoung’s.

He releases a hand off Taeyong’s waist immediately, choosing to cradle his cheek when he kisses Taeyong again, using his grip on Taeyong’s waist to pull them closer together again.

He tastes sweet.

Taeyong melts instantly, almost as if a burden has been lifted off his shoulders. He loosens his grip on Doyoung’s neck, hands slowly coming down to rest on Doyoung’s chest instead, clenched into loose fists. He licks on Doyoung’s bottom lip tentatively, and Doyoung parts his lips for him, twining their tongues together.

Doyoung licks the insides of his mouth, running his tongue over the edges of Taeyong’s teeth, and Taeyong lets him, gripping onto the front of Doyoung’s shirt, holding him close. He sucks on Taeyong’s lower lip, nibbling it gently when Taeyong lets out a hot breath. He lets go and kisses the edge of Taeyong’s lip, moving down towards his jaw, and then following the curve upwards towards Taeyong earlobe. He feels Taeyong suck in a deep breath in anticipation, and Doyoung contemplates pulling away, just to see how Taeyong would react.

Taeyong must’ve figured out what he was thinking, whimpering in Doyoung’s ear.

He takes the lobe between his lips, and Taeyong moans, embarrassingly loud, and Doyoung’s glad, for the first time tonight, that the music is loud enough to drown it out. He sucks on the bit of flesh, and Taeyong’s hands find their way back into Doyoung’s hair, tugging hard enough for it to be painfully pleasurable.

“Are you sensitive here?” Doyoung wonders aloud, but he already knows the answer.

Taeyong nods, pressing his hips against Doyoung’s again, and he isn’t shocked to find him half-hard. Doyoung was spotting a hard-on too.

He licks the shell of Taeyong’s ear, and it’s dirty to be doing it on the dance floor in a club where their group of friends are probably looking on, but Taeyong bucks up against Doyoung again, and the reservations are flying out the window. He continues to leave tiny, wet stripes over Taeyong’s ear, watching Taeyong’s every reaction; his eyes are closed, head leaning into Doyoung’s hand, lips parted, breathing heavy. His tongue darts out to wet his lips, and Doyoung nearly stumbles when Taeyong tugs particularly harshly on his hair.

“Kiss me,” Taeyong instructs, and Doyoung listens obediently. The kiss is slower this time, and Doyoung lets Taeyong take charge, licking every inch of Doyoung’s mouth, and then his tongue, sucking down hard.

He releases Doyoung with a loud pop and there’s a string of saliva connecting them. It’s only there for a second, before Taeyong’s chasing after it, lapping it up and planting another kiss on Doyoung’s lips.

“Let’s get out of here,” he presses his forehead to Doyoung’s, and he just stares at his slick, reddened lips. Doyoung just wants to kiss him again.

“Okay,” he nods, not quite capable of anything else.

“Your place?” Taeyong’s hand slides between them, and he palms Doyoung through his jeans, giving it a soft squeeze when Doyoung gasps.

He caves and kisses Taeyong again, shuddering when Taeyong strokes him harder, moaning loudly into Doyoung’s mouth.

Taeyong’s other hand tugs on Doyoung’s hair again, “I don’t want you to come here,” he whispers, and Doyoung grunts, rutting into Taeyong’s hand. He squeezes Doyoung again, a little harder this time, “Take me home?”

“Okay.” It takes him everything in his body not to collapse to the ground when Taeyong squeezes him one last time, and he’s yanking Taeyong out the door of the club, completely ignoring the fact that they’re leaving Taeyong’s birthday party.

Doyoung pulls an arm around Taeyong to guide him out of the club, and the night air is refreshing, free of smoke and alcohol. They huddle together by the sidewalk, and Doyoung tries his best to hail a taxicab.

Taeyong is no help, pressing himself into Doyoung, wrapping his arms around Doyoung’s waist, burying his face into the crook of his neck, sucking gently on the skin under Doyoung’s jaw. It’s sure to leave marks, but Doyoung can’t be bothered with that now.

He finally hails a yellow taxicab, and the driver behind the wheel stress at them suspiciously through the rearview mirror after Doyoung recites his address.

Taeyong sits on the middle seat, sidling up to Doyoung, and he keeps his hands to himself, leaning his head against Doyoung’s shoulder.

“Hand,” he mumbles, turning his right hand upwards, and Doyoung fits his own against Taeyong’s, lacing their fingers together. “Your hands,” he whispers, and the drivers turns the music up. “I love your hands.”

Doyoung hums, trying his best not to get up and press Taeyong into the seat and kiss him breathless again.

Taeyong laughs lowly, “Youngho is going to kill me for leaving before the cake.”

“I’m sure he won’t,” Doyoung kisses the top of Taeyong’s head, and it’s so purely intimate that it makes his heart rattle. “You’re too precious.”

Taeyong turns to look up at him at that, eyes darting to Doyoung’s lips before his takes them between his again. His left hand creeps further up Doyoung’s inner thigh, until it’s dangerously close to Doyoung’s steadily growing boner.

“Not here,” Doyoung murmurs, moving to close his legs together, but Taeyong’s right hand shakes Doyoung’s hand off him quickly, gripping Doyoung’s thigh, holding it open.

“Are you sure?” Taeyong says against his lips, breathy and all-too-seductive. He drags his index finger up against his bulge slowly, and Doyoung’s legs fall open again almost instantly. “Mm,” Taeyong chuckles, “Feels like you want it now, though?”

“Taeyong,” he puffs, eyes fluttering to a close, he grabs him by the arm, “Taeyong, w-wait,” but Taeyong kisses him to shut him up.

The car jerks to a stop, and Taeyong yelps, and Doyoung’s arms shoot out to brace them against the front seats of the car, holding Taeyong in place.

“The cab ride is free, please just leave,” the driver says tiredly, and Doyoung almost feels bad, but Taeyong is rushing out of the cab, yanking Doyoung along.

 

The moment Doyoung closes the door to his apartment, Taeyong has him caged against it despite being shorter, tongue in Doyoung’s mouth, impatient.

Doyoung returns with fervor, arm curling around Taeyong, pressing them together.

“I didn’t know if you wanted this,” Taeyong pants into Doyoung’s mouth, hands tugging at Doyoung’s shirt, roughly pulling it up and over Doyoung’s head, tossing it aside. He runs his hands down Doyoung’s bare chest, leaving trails of fire in their wake. “If you wanted me.”

“I do,” Doyoung pushes Taeyong against the adjacent wall. Taeyong moans when his head thumps against the wall, and Doyoung’s eyes grow wide. “I want you,” he kisses Taeyong’s other ear, abusing it with his lips and tongue. Every moan and whimper goes straight to Doyoung’s groin. Taeyong tucks his hands into the back pockets of Doyoung’s jeans, kneading Doyoung’s ass through the denim. He shifts Doyoung a little, so that his groin is lined up with Taeyong’s thigh, and he pushes Doyoung against him.

“Oh, fuck,” Doyoung groans into Taeyong’s ear, bucking against Taeyong’s thigh shamelessly.

“Doyoung, Doyoung, Doyoung,” Taeyong mumbles, pressing himself against Doyoung’s thigh, and every syllable threatens to send him over the edge. “I want you to fuck me.”

Doyoung nearly whimpers when Taeyong roughly pushes him away. He jerks his hips once more, groaning when it’s met with nothing, “Okay,” he breathes, kissing Taeyong, “Okay, yeah, okay, I can do that.”

He leads Taeyong to his bedroom hastily, thanking the gods that he picked up his dirty laundry from the floor before he left for the party earlier. He turns to grab the lube from his nightstand, but Taeyong’s pushing him down against the bed, and Doyoung’s head hits his pillows. Taeyong climbs over him on all fours, straddling him easily, lining their still clothed dicks together.

“Why didn’t you want to grab coffee with me?” Taeyong grinds down hard on Doyoung, and they groan together.

Doyoung wants to hear Taeyong say his name again.

“What?” Doyoung is dazed, he can’t think straight.

“Coffee,” Taeyong unbuttons his dress shirt, revealing his pale skin, and Doyoung reaches up to touch him, but Taeyong swats him away. “You rejected me when I first met you.”

Oh. “I forgot to reply,” Doyoung admits truthfully, but Taeyong doesn’t seem to buy it, palms splayed across Doyoung’s chest, slamming down harder against him, and Doyoung exhales loudly, gripping his bedsheets.

“Don’t lie,” Taeyong sniffs, pulling his shirt off completely to expose his shoulders, and his shoulders. God, Doyoung could look at them forever. Taeyong looks like a porcelain statue; skin polished, spotless, muscles refined, taut. “You didn’t like me at first, did you?”

Doyoung gulps. He can’t be having this conversation when most of his brain power is down pooling at his dick, “No, I did, I liked you from the start.”

Taeyong bites his lower lip, a smile growing on his face, “I’ll make you pay if you’re lying to me.”

Doyoung wants to bicker back, and Taeyong must’ve sensed it because he lifts himself onto his knees, completely off Doyoung, leaving a giant gap between them.

Doyoung whines at the loss of contact, grabbing Taeyong by the waist to pull him down, sighing contentedly when Taeyong allows him to, snugly straddling him again.

A lightbulb flickers. “I have a wish now.”

Taeyong raises an eyebrow, “What?”

“Trust me,” Doyoung says earnestly. “I honestly, just forgot.”

“Mmm,” Taeyong hums, arching his back to press his bare chest to Doyoung’s, and he shivers at the contact. “I won’t count that,” he muses, “I was just teasing you.”

“I thought you weren’t interested,” he whispers into the crook of Doyoung’s neck, rutting against Doyoung even as he spoke. “But then you said you felt the same way,” Taeyong sighs, kissing Doyoung’s adam’s apple, sucking on it when it bobs up and down. “About talking to me.”

Doyoung wants to combust. His skin is on fire and Taeyong is rhythmically grinding against his hard-on, and licking his neck obscenely, leaving long stripes of wet saliva.

“I like you,” Doyoung breathes, and Taeyong moves to hover over Doyoung’s face, aligning their lips close together, but not yet touching. “I really like you,” he says again, heart close to jumping out of his chest.

“You’ve only met me twice,” Taeyong pecks him lightly on the side of lips twice. Playfully, teasingly.

“This is the third,” Doyoung reminds him, and he cranes his neck to meet Taeyong’s lips, but the older pulls away just enough for Doyoung’s head to fall back into his pillows.

“Want to kiss me?” Taeyong giggles, stilling his hips.

“Yes,” Doyoung sighs, a hand coming up to caress his cheek.

“Then kiss me,” Taeyong’s eyes grow dark, and Doyoung grunts, sitting upright and pushing Taeyong along with him, their lips meeting halfway.

Taeyong wraps his legs firmly around Doyoung’s waist, bouncing lightly in Doyoung’s lap, lips still latched to Doyoung’s.

“Lube?” Taeyong mutters against his lips, and Doyoung pulls away just far enough to reach into his night stand, pulling it from the second drawer. “I cleaned up before the party,” he says shyly, and Doyoung stares at him.

“Did you expect this?”

“I hoped for it.”

Doyoung flips them around at that, and Taeyong hits the bed with a soft groan, the wind knocked out of him. His hands fly down to his pants, unbuttoning them quickly, shimmying it until it’s by his knees. Doyoung ducks down immediately to press a kiss to the tip of Taeyong’s pinkish dick, and he moans loudly. He kisses the skin near the base, reveling in the little whimpers spilling from Taeyong’s lips.

“Take off your pants,” Taeyong commands, using the heel of his foot to nudge at the small of Doyoung’s back.

He complies, getting off the bed to undo his jeans. There’s a bit of a pause before Doyoung does pull down his underwear, because Taeyong is studying him closely from the bed.

Taeyong groans when his dick springs free from his underwear, legs thrashing against the sheets, “Fuck me, now.”

Doyoung’s mind is too clouded to come up with a clever response, so he nods, grabbing one of his pillows and shoving is under the small of Taeyong’s back, and Taeyong makes a satisfied hum. He pops the lube cap open, coating his fingers quickly.

“Prop your legs up for me,” he says, and Taeyong accedes, digging his heels into the sheets. He trails his clean hand down the inside of Taeyong’s inner thighs, and Taeyong’s breathing quickens. Slowly, he rubs a lube-coated finger over Taeyong’s entrance, watching as Taeyong inches down, trying to get his finger in him quick.

Cute.

“Hurry the fuck up, Doyoung,” Taeyong scolds, exhaling loudly when Doyoung finally pushes in, wet and cold and sticky and hot. Doyoung experiments, pushing his long finger all the way in, slowly, to see how Taeyong liked it. He rubs against the walls, trying to commit everything to memory, every ridge, every bump. Taeyong looks down at Doyoung, and when Doyoung looks up from between his legs, he turns away quickly, suddenly bashful.

“Is this okay?” Doyoung asks, breath fanning out and across Taeyong’s dick and balls. He squirms, gripping onto the bedsheets.

“Give me – ” He pants, bucking upwards when Doyoung curls his finger a little, exploring. “More.”

Doyoung teases, pulling his finger out, and pushing back in with two, “Like this?”

Taeyong sucks in a deep breath, nearly crying out when Doyoung starts to scissor him, just a little, patient, waiting for Taeyong to get used to the stretch.

“Doyoung, Doyoung,” Taeyong whimpers, heels sinking lower into the bed, “Left, left.”

He listens, angling his fingers towards the left, probing, probing, until Taeyong literally screams, pushing away from Doyoung’s finger, “Fuck!”

Doyoung holds him back down, his own dick throbbing at Taeyong’s sensitivity. He presses into Taeyong again, angling left, pressing down hard,

Taeyong moans loudly, panting, “There, there!

“Here?” Doyoung presses down again, and Taeyong convulses, hips jerking wildly to meet with Doyoung’s fingers.

Taeyong bites hard into his palm, whimpering pathetically when Doyoung massages against his prostate with the pads of his fingers, eager to please.

“Tell me what you want,” Doyoung’s other hand grabs Taeyong’s dick, stroking him in time with his fingers in Taeyong, making him cry aloud. “Is this okay?”

“I – ” Taeyong cries, trying to prop himself up on his elbows, but failing when it fails to catch purchase. When he finally does, he reaches for Doyoung’s hair immediately, tugging him closer, “I want you – kiss me,”

The angle is difficult for Doyoung, so he moves to accommodate, sidling up to Taeyong’s side, both hands still working him relentlessly.

Taeyong kisses him fiercely, tongue fucking Doyoung’s mouth with ardor, but it doesn’t last long, too preoccupied with Doyoung’s administrations to his ass and dick. He breathes against Doyoung’s lips, open-mouthed and hot. He grips Doyoung’s hair tight, shuddering at every press against his prostate, and when Doyoung licks against his ear,

He comes with a loud yelp, smacking Doyoung hard on the back of his head just purely out of reflex. Doyoung would’ve laughed if Taeyong wasn’t coming undone right in front of his eyes, grabbing Doyoung tightly by the shoulders, sure to leave marks.

The sight is enough to herd Doyoung to the edge, and he hurriedly moves to press his dick against Taeyong’s, stroking them together.

“I’m – ” he wheezes, vision white hot when Taeyong moans right into his ear,

“Come with me, Doyoung.”

That kicks him over the edge, and he comes, following Taeyong, covering his hand and their torsos in white ribbons.

Doyoung slows down, still stroking Taeyong after his orgasm, even as he flops back onto the bed, a thin arm over his eyes, chest heaving. When his breathing slows, Doyoung pulls his fingers out slowly, still milking Taeyong dry. He plucks several tissues off the nightstand, cleaning his fingers only when Taeyong is calm.

Taeyong pulls Doyoung down to kiss him on the lips, just a press of their lips together, pulling away only to smile up at him. They don’t exchange words, and the comfortable silence is satisfying.

Doyoung kisses him again, moving to get up,

“Where are you going?” Taeyong blinks, a tight grip on Doyoung’s wrist.

“Get you a towel,” Doyoung brings his lips to kiss Taeyong’s bony knuckles, “Clean you up.”

Taeyong pouts, but release him in favor of a clean body.

 

Doyoung’s still triumphant, even as he trudges out to the bathroom. He squints when he flicks the light on, bright and fluorescent, practically blinding when compared to the dim light of his bedroom. His hair is sticking out in all directions, and his neck and chest are covered in pink bite marks and his back his covered red, angry lines that Taeyong made, digging his nails into his back when Doyoung fingered him dry.

His reflection in the mirror stares back at him as he turns the tap on, dampening a washcloth so that he can go back to bed and clean Taeyong off as well. He pulls on a pair of boxers hanging on the hook behind him; a faded green pair with four leaf clovers on them.

Turning the tap off, he wrings the cloth once, twice, before he quietly pads back into his room, careful not to open the door too wide, lest the bright light floods the room. He shuts the door lightly, hovering over Taeyong for a moment.

Taeyong has his eyes closed, hands by his sides, completely worn out. His neck has matching bite marks and hickeys, courtesy of Doyoung.

“What are you staring at?” Taeyong mumbles, cracking an eye open, a lazy smile on his lips.

“You,” Doyoung sits on the edge of the bed, slowly cleaning Taeyong up, his thighs, between, his stomach. Taeyong lies still as he did so, allowing Doyoung to do as he pleases, breathing deeply through his nose. “You okay?”

Taeyong opens his eyes at that, groaning a little when he sits up. Doyoung grabs onto his thin arm to steady him, “Yeah,” he kisses Doyoung again, and it’s nothing like the heated kisses they shared just minutes before. It’s sweet and soft, nothing sexual about it. Just a kiss. “Numb,” Taeyong laughs, “But good.”

Doyoung gives Taeyong’s thigh one last wipe before he balls the washcloth up, tossing it into the rubbish bin, too lazy to leave the room again.

“Thanks for cleaning me up,” Taeyong kisses him again, chaste.

“It’s nothing,” Doyoung shakes his head, leaning in plant another kiss on Taeyong’s lips.

“You say that a lot,” Taeyong mulls, slowly lying back against the pillows, gently tugging Doyoung along. He crawls under the sheets, and lifts it for Doyoung to join him. “So, I guess now I only owe you one wish?”

“Wait, I thought you said that wasn’t counted?” Doyoung pouts, pulling Taeyong close to him. He leans into Doyoung’s chest, lining kisses on his clavicle.

“I changed my mind.”

“When?”

“When you came back with underwear on.”