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The sun beamed offensively through the dirty window directly onto Jiyong’s closed eyelids. He groaned to himself and turned over, turning his back on the light. But it was too late. He was awake now and his head was killing him. Rubbing a hand over his face he vaguely registered in his brain that he was in the bed alone and groaned again before finally biting the bullet and practically threw himself out of the bed, the blanket had been twisted around his legs threatening to trip him as he shook himself free. Now that he was upright he paused and waited for the full effect of the night before to show itself. Sure enough the dull grinding ache in the back of his skull turned into a full on stabbing pain as the wave of nausea hit.

He staggered quickly across the hall and into the bathroom, dropped to his knees on the grubby tile floor and vomited into the toilet, shuddering because he could taste the alcohol he’d consumed again. After spending a few minutes retching and coughing his stomach finally started to calm down and he leant forward with his forehead resting on the rim of the toilet, he didn’t care if it wasn’t especially sanitary because the cold porcelain was welcome relief on his flushed sweaty skin.

“My God, how are you so attractive?” Came a sarcastic voice to his right.

Jiyong looked over in the direction of the familiar voice, his best friend Seunghyun laying fully clothed in the empty bath tub. “Fuck off, you look like a bag of smashed assholes, too.” His voice came out scratchy and he coughed again to clear his throat.

Seunghyun just gave a slightly amused look. He felt pretty awful himself but he generally had a better time the next morning than Jiyong usually had. The night before was a blur and his head was killing him but really the only other symptom he was experiencing was the back pain from apparently sleeping in the bath tub. He did look rough though, blonde hair sticking up all over and he looked like he hadn’t slept in days.

“And why are you in there?” Jiyong continued as he stood up tentatively, legs a little shaky.

“This is where I woke up.” The other man shrugged as if it were the most obvious answer in the world.

Jiyong didn’t signify that with a reply and just peered into the cracked mirror. His red hair was sticking to his forehead with sweat at the front and sticking up against gravity at the back where it had gone all fluffy and frizzy. The colour was fading too, turning more of a dusty orange in places and the ends and his natural colour growing in at the roots. His eyeliner was smudged half way down his face and when he looked closer he could see a fresh bruise developing along his left cheekbone. He searched his memory for an explanation but frankly everything was just a blurry fog of alcohol and pills. He looked down his body to check for any other damage, at least he’d managed to strip himself down to his underwear before passing out.

“How’s your face? One of the Boss’ goons came to remind us how much money we owe him and you threw your drink in his face. Don’t think I’ve ran so fast in my life.” Seunghyun chuckled to himself as he clambered out of the dry bath tub. Not that it would fill anyway since there was a huge hole in it. “You were lucky to get off lightly.” He informed the shorter man, giving him a playful but slightly rough slap on the back as we walked past him, heading to the kitchen in search of coffee.

The two best friends had been selling drugs small-time and indulging in petty crime to varying degrees since they were teenagers. But they’d grown tired of being losers even by criminal standards they had recently begged the boss to trust them with a large consignment of cocaine. They had been cutting it and banging it up in their apartment when a group of armed men broke in and took it all. Every last grain of powder. They kept a gun for emergencies but it was nowhere within reach and neither of them were willing to make a break for it while having guns pressed against the backs of their heads. They’d had no idea who the masked men were. Members of a rival gang maybe? It didn’t matter though. They were held fully responsible for the loss. Now they owed the boss more money than either of them really wanted to think about. Jiyong had gotten enough money from a loan shark to keep the him off their backs for at least a few weeks but now they just found themselves with even more debt to pay.

Jiyong washed his face with cold water in the hopes it might make him feel a little more human, his cheek was starting to really hurt now too. After taking one last look in the mirror he sighed heavily and followed after his friend through to the kitchen, glancing around for where he might have thrown his phone when he got in last night. It caught his eye laying on the floor by the front door and grabbed it, inspecting it for damage.

He turned around, seeing Seunghyun leaning against the counter in the tiny kitchen, a sort of blank stare on his face with an unlit cigarette hanging from his lips. “Those things will kill you” Jiyong joked, hoping to snap the man out of his trance.

“Hnn?” Seunghyun looked up. “Oh. The cigarette? Doesn’t matter. This time next week they’ll be finding our corpses chopped up and stuffed into duffle bags washing up on the riverbank.” The thing about Seunghyun was that he had an incredibly dark sense of humour and even Jiyong after all these years didn’t always know when he should laugh or not. This was one of those times.

“Don’t talk Bullshit. It’s gonna be fine.” The redhead retorted, wishing he was as confident as he sounded.

“You can’t seriously believe that. What are we gonna do? Magic some money out of nowhere?” He snapped and lit his cigarette. “We are so fucked that it’s actually almost funny.” He added sharply. It was unusual for him to be so short with his friend and he regretted it the instant the words left his lips, though he didn’t let it show on his face.

Jiyong just narrowed his eyes at his tone and headed back to the bathroom to scrub away the night before from his skin. He hated the unclean feeling that had started to get oh so familiar over the last few years. This just lifestyle wasn’t really fun anymore, he wasn’t getting any younger after all.

He didn’t want to admit the other man was probably right about the situation either and once sufficiently clean he wrapped a towel around his narrow hips and went to get dressed. As he stared into his closet his brain drifted to his friend’s words and he thought of his mother being called to identify what was left of his body. He hadn’t spoken to her in so long, she probably had no idea this is what her son’s life had become. He didn’t really notice the quiet tears slipping down his cheeks until a pair of arms embraced him from behind, pulling him back out of his thoughts.

“I’m sorry Jiyongie...” Seunghyun had always hated seeing him cry. A long but not uncomfortable silence drew on between them. They’d known each other long enough to not feel the need to constantly fill any silences.

“You’re right... I know you’re right. We sold my car, for what little it was worth. We sold the TV, the coffee table, your computer and my good headphones. What else can we do to make money fast?” The thing he was most upset about was the car. It was basically trash on wheels but he’d had good memories in that car.

Seunghyun hummed and Jiyong could feel the vibration of his chest against his back. “We could always sell your body while your face is still cute.”

The redhead made a noise like he was considering the option.

“I was kidding, Ji. I don’t want to end up catching all kinds of diseases from you.” He let go of him with a playful shove. “They’d want a refund when they realise what a brat you are. You’re too high maintenance to be a hooker.”

Jiyong snorted indignantly. “Bet you’d pay for me.”

“Why pay for something I can get for free?” He flashes a smile before disappearing out of the room.

 

——————

 

It was probably not advisable for the pair to spend what little money they had on alcohol but jiyong pointed out that it was a drop in the ocean compared to their insane amount of debt. Seunghyun couldn’t really argue with that logic. They found themselves in a familiar place. The kind of club where even the walls were sweaty.

Seunghyun was propping himself up on the bar when Jiyong slid up to him from supposedly nowhere with a playful expression on his face. Even with enough alcohol to make him unsteady on his feet he could never forget his problems quite as easily as the younger man. Then he realised why he had a look of such mischief as Jiyong stuck his tongue out and there was a little pill sitting on it. More than half the time he declined any offers of drugs, too many bad experiences but with the overwhelming feeling of not having much else to lose he pulled him into an open mouthed kiss, taking the pill from him in the process before breaking away to swallow it with the cheap vodka he was drinking.

Jiyong barely let him swallow the thing before he was pulling his friend back in for another messy kiss and the blond almost stumbled right on top of him.

“What was it?” Seunghyun slurred against those pretty lips.

“Something that’ll make it fucking mind-blowing if you let me suck your dick when it kicks in.” he purred against the angle of his jaw.

“But it’s always mind-blowing when you suck me off, Jiyongie.”

Jiyong just grinned and lead him out to the alley behind the place. There was a woman throwing up in the gutter and a few people smoking out there but it wasn’t the kind of place where people gave a fuck about someone getting a blowjob against the wall.

Jiyong pushed the taller man up against the wall, grinding up against him with his hips and kissing his throat. “Not too drunk to get it up I hope.” he teased with a grin. It was a rare occasion his friend was drunker of the two.

Jiyong imagined the night proceeding how it had on a number of occasions, with him coaxing that dominant side out of Seunghyun. He loved being manhandled and thrown around the bed by him. Loved hearing that deep voice telling him what to do. He loved pushing him by dropping a cheeky teasing comment and he loved feeling so complete when he woke up with Seunghyun‘s arm slung around him. He loved it so much that he’d stopped sleeping with anybody else almost two years ago. Not that he’d admit that to Seunghyun.

What he hadn’t expected though, was a sudden splitting pain in the back of his head just as he planted his hands against the cold brick wall either side of the blond. Then there was a feeling of falling, a blackness and a ringing in his ears followed by nothingness.