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Pepero

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PEPERO

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They're playing infinite rounds of the stupid Pepero game. Monsta X doesn't play this kind of stuff usually; no sexy games. Other groups do, and they all know it's a big appeal—probably the number one thing fans want to see besides good choreo and music—but Monsta X's image is sexy enough so they usually choose to entertain fans in some other way.

"Do you want to just go for it with me?" Changkyun says, "Give the fans a good moment?"

"What?" Hoseok tries to keep his face neutral through his surprise.

"Do you want to just let our lips touch?"

Hoseok takes too long to respond. "Uh, no. Bad idea," he whispers back. And doesn't elaborate because they're in the middle of filming and have to pay attention to the cameras instead.

The more he thinks about what Changkyun had said though, the more awkward he feels about it. In the moment, he hadn't really processed anything about the question, other than the surface of it. When the idea sinks deeper into his brain he wonders not just if it's a good thing to show fans, but what makes Changkyun even ask such a thing.

Later, when they're standing around during the set-change and half the other members are instantly asleep (because they have about twenty minutes of finger-twiddling scheduled), he taps Changkyun's shoulder and pulls him aside for a moment.

"Can I ask you something personal?" Hoseok says, still in a quieter voice than necessary, even knowing that no one can hear them. "How are you always so unafraid? You don't get jittery or anything by all the dumb games that have us get awkwardly close, all the ones the girls go crazy for."

Changkyun shrugs. "I don't know. I just don't really care, I guess. It's just a dumb game that doesn't hurt anyone and it makes thousands of girls happy. I can stand there for them. I mean, we go through hell practicing choreo for them and it seems a lot easier to just kiss someone—" And then he realizes what he's said; used a no-no word. Said kiss. "—Never mind. You get what I mean." Then he laughs nervously.

Luckily for Changkyun, the phone in his hand legitimately vibrates and it gives him an excuse to extricate himself from the conversation. But Hoseok continues to watch him for the rest of the day.

Until they're leaning against cars in the parking lot at the end of the shoot, and Changkyun says through the side of his mouth, "Can you stop looking at me like that? I feel like you're judging me like crazy." Hoseok pulls his eyes away, pretending he wasn't just staring. "If it's about that kiss comment. It fell out of my mouth. I didn't mean to say it," he says, but Hoseok still has a funny expression on his face, his eyes a little too wide, so Changkyun tries to make it better with word-vomit. "I'm really sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable. I'm uncomfortable too. I didn't mean to step over any lines. I'm not like that, you know that. Ok?"

Hoseok makes a quick appraisal of any possible eavesdroppers and takes a tiny step closer. "Would you actually be ok kissing one of us?" Not only are his mannerisms timid, but his voice is too.

The younger surveys him, not knowing where Hoseok is headed with such a question, but it doesn't matter anyway. "Lips touching, yeah, probably." Changkyun shrugs. "It's not the worst thing in the world. We kiss friends and family all the time. Since you guys are my brothers, I don't think it's that weird. Nothing else though, obviously, cuz that's... that would be gross I think. Bearable but gross."

"Bearable?" Hoseok takes another step closer and his voice drops even lower.

"Is it a kiss, or are you getting teeth pulled without anesthetic?" Changkyun looks him right in the eyes. "People make too big a deal about that kind of thing. It's just for TV. Like when we dress like girls. Does that even matter? You're shoving long hair out of your face for a few hours, not being asked to dig the Mariana Trench with a spoon."

Hoseok eyes him for a few moments more—marvels at how serious Changkyun looks, almost as if he's angry to have to explain himself—before breaking into a raucous bout of laughter and slapping a hand down hard on Changkyun's shoulder. "Yeah... yeah, ok, you have a point." And it seems like the conversation is over because they're joined by two more members and their conversation moves on.

---

It's almost a month later and they're sitting in an interview that asks them to hold hands briefly and say something they admire about the member next to them. And there's a moment—that lurches Hoseok's stomach and makes him lose the words in his mouth suddenly—where he's looking at Changkyun's lips, right next to him, and that conversation comes back to him. Notably the part about, "Do you want to just go for it with me? Give the fans a good moment?... Do you want to just let our lips touch?" And the part that says, "It's not the worst thing in the world." In that moment his eyes flicker to Changkyun's lips, and immediately thereafter he shakes himself straight because he's on camera. When it's his turn, he ends up saying however, that he admires how open-minded Changkyun is. The others tease him about how on Earth did he even think of that answer. Usually they say stuff like, "I like your nose," "I like your dance," "I love your voice." When Hoseok's turn is over, and the teasing too, his mind has moved to thinking that he does love Changkyun's nose, and dance, and voice. When he realizes what he's been thinking, he shakes the thoughts out of his head for the remainder of the interview, purely because he knows he's said something strange and needs to get his head back in the game.

But the odd feeling returns at the end, just a few minutes later, when the interview ends.

"Cute," Changkyun remarks. "You like that I'm open-minded." He's teasing. It's normal.

Hoseok feels like he's been caught red-handed though. He's staring back at his teammate with a pallid look, and the thought is literally hammering the inside of his skull until it just bursts out of his mouth without needed censorship: "Next time we play the Pepero Game, whenever that is," Hoseok says, "...Ask me again." He's almost breathless, and he knows he shouldn't say stupid things, but maybe it's not that bad. "Ask me again. Let's do something dumb for the fans. I want to be fearless like you."

Changkyun lifts an amused eyebrow at him, while Hoseok smiles back, wide, with teeth and sparkly eyes. And then Changkyun doesn't know what to do with himself for a second. It's just that Hoseok looks so happy with exhilaration and it's taken his breath away. Something like that.

He pulls himself together and replies, "Sure. I hope we never have to play it again though." His voice is a bit too gruff. He clears his throat right after, trying to cover up any awkwardness, and thankfully Hoseok doesn't notice.

Hoseok laughs, his own expression seemingly returned to normal. "Yeah, no shit."

---

It's about four months later, and it's only the third time they've ever had to play this asinine game. They've only had to play the paper game twice though, so it could be better, but here they are. Minhyuk is holding a chocolate stick in his mouth and Kihyun seems like he's channeling the essence of concrete in order to get through the game.

Hyungwon had got lucky and landed MC duty today, so the pairs are Minkyuk–Kihyun, Hyunwoo–Jooheon, and Hoseok–Changkyun. And that's when Hoseok remembers something he wishes he could forget. Something that never should have come out of his mouth. His ears are turning red, and it's not from how uncomfortably close Minhyuk and Kikyun are getting. It's because he really, really... really with all his fiber, prays that Changkyun doesn't remember the same thing. Hoseok makes a small squeak in the back of his throat when it looks like his friends might touch, but Kihyun is a pro and steps back at the perfect moment. Minhyuk lets the remainder of the biscuit fall into his palm and they all (including cameras) loom at it. That's the shortest length they've ever seen between their group. It's as short as some other groups who actually do touch lips to get it that short. Hoseok gulps. There's no winning over that and Kihyun seems pretty proud of himself, giving Minhyuk double-handed high-fives.

Hyunwoo and Jooheon go next and completely fail. Jooheon jitters like he's got a porcupine in his pants, and Hyunwoo laughs it all away. Still, their turn is over and it's Hoseok's turn now.

Changkyun steps forward and curls his index finger at him seductively for Hoseok to approach. It's just a show, for the fans, but Hoseok has never been so aware of all the cameras on him right now. He approaches with legs about as heavy as boat anchors and lets Changkyun put both hands on his shoulders. The younger is squeezing his shoulders rather tightly, when he looks into Hoseok's eyes and says, "Do you want to win? Because we get beef if we win."

Hoseok feels like he's on a different planet as he stares back; because the only thing on his mind is kissing Changkyun, and it's making him feel like his insides want to be outside.

The sudden cries from the others, which exclaim that, "There's no beating me and Minhyuk!"—"Don't try. It's a recipe for disaster."—"Just give up now. There's no way you'll win."—the clamor pulls Hoseok back into the moment, back into the realization that he's standing in Changkyun's arms practically and that there's thousands of girls who want to see something good happen right now.

And something like electricity crawls up Hoseok's spine, which makes him turn and smile directly at the camera doing a close-up of him and Changkyun. He says, "For Monbebe. I'm gonna win for our Monbebe."

"Aww. Don't get so sentimental. I love our fans, but this is for the beef," Changkyun jokes. He laughs and jokes again, "Kidding, kidding. It's to beat Kihyun." (Who retorts by sticking his tongue out at him.) Either way, in this exchange Hoseok understands determination, meaning that Changkyun remembers.

"I'm not cooking for you anymore," Kihyun warns.

"That's ok," Changkyun replies. "I'll have the beef in a few minutes. Hoseok will celebrate with me. He's a good cook." Hoseok can feel his forehead sweating underneath his foundation and nerves, because Changkyun definitely remembers. He's doing his best to keep a normal look on his face and it's taking all the effort he has.

"Sounds like you're asking him out on a date," Minhyuk dares to say. It's a joke, meant to intimidate them so Minhyuk and Kihyun can be the winners, and it makes the bottom plummet out of Hoseok's stomach. Changkyun chooses to ignore further jeers, and places a Pepero stick between Hoseok's lips. Hoseok steadies himself, tells himself not to flinch, and not to look, no matter what. He knows what's coming, just has no idea why he agreed to this. In the last few seconds, he prays that maybe Changkyun doesn't actually remember their pact, but knows he's lying to himself, since Changkyun is acting so confident this way. He thinks he could still back out, he could make some subtle motion and Changkyun would understand... if he actually wanted to back out.

But Hoseok doesn't stop him. He closes his eyes and lets Changkyun pull him in tighter. In the last second before their lips touch, Hoseok wonders what on Earth has gotten into him, why he's allowing this, this isn't like him at all. He's not an exhibitionist, he's not adventurous, he's not looking to make headlines. Not like this. He's always given the fans little pieces, but not everything, and this feels like too much—and then he feels Changkyun's soft lips against his own. And he still doesn't pull away. It's a full two seconds but it feels like eternity. Feels like is heart is choking him.

When Changkyun pulls away, he's already huffing and complaining and apologizing, all in one: "It—it—I'm sorry!" Changkyun clamors, "—It broke and I couldn't bite the end! I'm sorry."

Hoseok comes back to his senses and glares at him menacingly, as he knows he's expected to. "I trusted you."

The tiny crumb of biscuit is shown to the cameras while Changkyun apologizes a few more times, before frozen beef is thrust into his hands and he starts laughing instead. Hoseok takes the other side of the tray to hold it too, to show off in their victory, and they laugh together. Suddenly he feels high and hot all over, even if his fingers are near hypothermia for holding on to frozen meat for too long. He's looking back at Changkyun and smiling, the corners of this mouth practically at his ears, and hears Changkyun reply to Minhyuk, "Not a date, but you obviously don't want any of this beef I just won." He passes the tray to their manager to take it off camera and put it back in the fridge. "Hoseok is cooking next time!" Changkyun declares happily.

And Hoseok pulls him in, tucks him under his arm, even as they move on to the next game, not quite ready to come down from the high so soon. It was exhilarating. He doesn't even know why. Nothing has sunken into his brain. Hasn't processed any consequences or meaning yet. He just thinks it's so much fun winning.

Changkyun's voiceover story later would say, "I was only supposed to bite and get really really really close. But I bit on it badly in the last second." Excuses, excuses. Hoseok knows it's all a lie. "And it broke and I was focused on the cookie. I didn't even realize we touched," Changkyun explains. It's all such a lie. Hoseok can tell when their youngest is lying by now, they've only spent going on four years together. He's just out of the camera shot as Changkyun explains this nonsense, and he wants to rush to him right afterwards, but Changkyun gives him a kind of look that says he shouldn't, so he stays away.

Why is he doing everything the youngest wants? What is up with that? Why? Why should he? In his stomach, he feels guilty suddenly. He's done something stupid. He shouldn't have actually kissed Changkyun on camera. It goes against all the concept strategy Hoseok had been theorizing about for years in his head. It was bad. It was a limit he shouldn't have crossed.

Even if the stunt gets major publicity. And it only makes Hoseok feel even more guilty. He knows there should be consequences for acting badly and nothing is making him feel bad yet. Just his own conscience. He shouldn't enjoy this kind of thing so much. Not the liberation, not the publicity, not the whooping and hollering from others, not the satisfaction of winning, of proving others wrong... none of it should make him want to kiss his teammate.

His thoughts are a mess when he tries to write a song about these feelings that he doesn't understand. It's only a week later, and Hoseok is immersed in the feelings of that moment, feeling too many eyes on him, feeling his blood rush, feeling Changkyun's lips against his own. There's words on the tip of his tongue but can't articulate them properly. It gets worse when Hoseok wants to insert a rap verse into the song, but doesn't quite find a good way to modify the melody to accommodate it. He's high on a good beat and doesn't think twice; takes a deep breath and does something he knows he might regret, but does it anyway: He calls up Changkyun to ask for help, and then Changkyun is sitting next to him almost immediately. All smiles, ready to work on a good rap.

"Your melody is good. I can flow with this," he says when Hoseok lets him listen to what there is so far.

"You don't need a change for the bridge?"

"Just take it down a little, add a cymbal or something and I think it'll work," Changkyun nods along, presses the rewind button on Hoseok's keyboard to go back to a part he wants to listen to again. "What's the premise of this song anyway? Is there one yet?" Hoseok hesitates then, doesn't know how to say it's about the feeling of kissing someone unexpectedly. His ears are turning red.

"Actually," Hoseok says quietly, "It's about being bad."

Changkyun laughs. "What kind of bad?"

"About... uh, about that Pepero game. I still can't believe we did that." Hoseok admits. And he has to hide his face because he feels too hot, and yet he's smiling way too wide while he says all this. This is embarrassing. He shouldn't be smiling.

"Ah," Changkyun chuckles. "You liked it." Hoseok hits him in the shoulder, refusing to look up. "Don't worry, I like winning too. Plus, I told you the fans would love it." When Hoseok finally looks into his eyes, they're sparkling like stars and it makes his heart flutter.

They end up talking about concept strategy deep into the night.

---

Maybe it was ok to pull off a crazy fanservice stunt like that. No one got hurt. Their group gained more fans and attention.

They've decided to try more tame little fanservice moments between them, since the fans have picked up on Hoseok and Changkyun being the next it ship. They're called WonKyun, and it rings a little too loudly in Hoseok's ears whenever he hears fans scream it.

He pulls Changkyun close to him, puts both arms around him and rests his chin on the younger male's shoulder during a fanmeet. The attention isn't on them right now. Everyone is watching Minhyuk dance around Hyunwoo while Kihyun sings. Something inside of Hoseok starts burning, something that makes him too bold, something that wants to win, wants that attention back on himself and Changkyun. He doesn't even think when his lips land on Changkyun's neck... and surprisingly Changkyun doesn't even flinch. Hoseok wonders what length of time is appropriate for him to keep his lips on his skin for, but the fans seem to figure it out for him. Maybe it's no length of time, because they're screaming louder than he's ever heard them. He pulls away and turns to the crowd, a faux-innocent look on his face like, "Why are you yelling? What have I done? I haven't done anything."

Changkyun pats him on the head and he goes back to resting against him and the focus goes back on Minhyuk's silliness. But Hoseok feels too powerful now. Like he can do anything.

This isn't good. Changkyun is drawing out that mischievous side of him, while any of the other members would have told him to stop, that that kind of fanservice was too much. Yet he can't stop.

Changkyun bites his muscled arms. Hoseok dances with him as if they're bride and groom. Changkyun climbs on his back. Hoseok takes his hands and places them on his nipples. Changkyun grabs his ass and kneads it, moving on to his thighs. Hoseok nuzzles into his neck and blows raspberries into his skin. The fans love it all. Changkyun touches his dick, "accidentally", during a ment on stage one day and Hoseok should have known that was too much. More than what was already too much.

It's just that he's turned on by all of this. The kind of turned on that doesn't mean he's springing a boner. The kind of turned on that's just exhilaration and a feeling of being invincible. But it's during a VLive one day, where Changkyun is rubbing his ass (unconsciously or consciously is unclear) into Hoseok's dick, and thankfully it's not obvious on camera, but Hoseok is actually hard suddenly. Shit. That's not right, he thinks. This is so not right. But then Changkyun looks right into his eyes and smiles when he notices, and though Hoseok feels like there's too little oxygen in the room for the rest of the taping, he doesn't tell Changkyun to move off him.

Monsta X signs off like normal, and Hoseok is even harder than before. Changkyun is helping him by standing in front of his boner, but now that the cameras have retired, he has no idea what to feel. The rest of the members disperse but Changkyun turns to face him and Hoseok feels like the world might crash down over his head suddenly. Maybe this is the moment he's been waiting for. This is the consequence of feeling entitled, feeling invincible. Because he's not invincible.

But Changkyun's expression is completely unreadable. He looks at Hoseok for two seconds, then at the time on his phone, and then grabs his wrist and pulls him out of the room. They're headed to the washroom, and Hoseok is pushed into a toilet stall, and before he knows it, Changkyun's lips are against his own, kissing him passionately.

Hoseok's head is spinning. It's seconds before he pushes Changkyun away, eyes wide as he stares at him in horror. "Wh-what—?!" His lips are tingling and his whole body feels on fire.

"Didn't you want that?"

"N-no," Hoseok stumbles over more words. His nerves are fried. He's not even sure he answered that correctly. He should say no, right?

"Oh. My bad," Changkyun laughs, and shrugs. As if this was no big deal. As if Hoseok didn't feel like the Earth was melting away from under his feet. As if reality wasn't disintegrating into a dream. "Then forget I did that," the younger says, and turns to walk away.

Hoseok pulls him back instantly. "What do you mean forget about it?" he hisses. "How am I supposed to forget about it?!"

"Same like you did last time. It's not a big deal."

"Last time?" Hoseok's eyebrows peak, confused for a second. "The Pepero game? That's not the same as this!"

"It's not? Oh. Ok. Then I'm sorry," Changkyun says, and tries to walk away again. But Hoseok can't possibly let him just sweep this under a rug. Not when Hoseok is vibrating with energy right now. Not when he's so worked up and wound up and practically salivating from being so wicked. He shouldn't be here. They shouldn't be here. They've definitely stepped over a line.

"Are you insane? What's in your mind?" Hoseok asks. It's the most rational thing he can think of to say.

"I don't know. You're hard as fuck and you're asking me?"

"I'm not hard." Such a lie. Though Hoseok doesn't think Changkyun will be so bold as to contradict him.

Except maybe Changkyun has a death-wish, because he places a hand over Hoseok's erection and squeezes lightly. "You're hard," he declares.

Hoseok's eyes close. He swallows down a very obvious loss of breath. His lips are open in surprise though. Changkyun's hand is on him. "S-stop," he manages to say. It's barely a whisper. His voice is husky and affected, and Changkyun pulls his hand away. When Hoseok looks back at Changkyun he can't keep the lust out of his gaze. "What are you doing?"

"I'm not doing anything. I don't think it's bad to fool around a bit, we have a few minutes to burn. You're turned on. Like, so what?"

"Not like so what," Hoseok sneers. He's almost fuming at how brazen the youngest is being. He wants to yell at him, put him back in line. Back in his place. Hoseok is the oldest, he should know better. He shouldn't keep falling for all the dumb shit the youngest does. It's all like a trap and Hoseok definitely feels trapped. Manipulated even. He pushes Changkyun's shoulder harshly, and the younger male goes flying into the other wall of the stall. A loud metallic thump rings out into the empty tiled room; empty except for the two members of Monsta X who are staring daggers at each other.

"—Ow!" Changkyun falters. "Watch it. You forget you're strong." Because it's true, Hoseok routinely forgets that working out at the gym not only gives him giant muscles, but gives him strength also, and it's not the first time Hoseok has forgotten to touch things more gently.

"I meant it this time," Hoseok snarls and Changkyun pouts.

"I'm sorry. Ok? I made a mistake."

"It's not a mistake. You take these things too lightly. You play with my feelings and think nothing of it. You push us into crazy fanservice and don't think of the bigger picture. How it affects our team image. Do you not think about anything?"

"Your feelings? I didn't know. I'm sorry."

Hoseok looks back at him, stunned for a moment. "Uh, that's not what I meant. I don't have any feelings." He turns away awkwardly. "I meant, this isn't fanservice. This isn't what we talked about."

"Yeah, it's not," Changkyun agrees. "What's so bad about that?"

"I can't kiss you."

"Why not?"

"I don't like you. You're my friend."

Changkyun's eyes dart down to Hoseok's dick. He smacks his teeth. "If you're sure," he says, a little too smugly. He doesn't even try to walk away. He sits there this time, waiting for Hoseok to say something, knowing Hoseok must know he's being sarcastic. Must want to scold him for an obvious lie. But then he'd be admitting that he was hard.

Why is Hoseok still hard? It is so inappropriate. Yet his adrenaline is pumping as if he's been lifting weights, and his fingertips are itching to touch Changkyun.

"What did you want to do?" Hoseok asks the floor. "When you pulled me in here, what did you have in mind?"

"Just kissing a little. What else did you think?"

"Nothing. I didn't—I don't think anything," Hoseok stammers. He places a hand over his own dick and presses down, willing it to subside. Doesn't even care that Changkyun can see him do it. "I'm sorry I reacted like this. This isn't what I wanted."

Changkyun doesn't reply, just waits for Hoseok to meet his eyes again, and it's nervewracking. Hoseok can feel his blood rush in his ears practically. Why does this situation feel like this? He doesn't want to be here, and at the same time really wants to be here. He likes how crazy this is. How he's getting away with it, whatever this is. He's been trapped in this rapture for almost a minute and Changkyun isn't saving him from it.

"Do you want me to kiss you?" Changkyun says suddenly.

"I—if you want," Hoseok replies this time, like it's someone else’s voice. "Just once. Maybe." Hoseok feels his head spinning. How could he say that? Maybe it isn't that bad. Maybe he's overreacting to this whole thing; and a kiss, just to explore things, isn't a big deal. He can feel it in his veins that this is a damn lie, yet he doesn't push Changkyun away when he comes closer.

Changkyun is chuckling lightly as he plays a thumb over Hoseok's bottom lip.

"Do you like me or something?" he asks gently.

"Absolutely not. At all." Hoseok says. It's the truth. Kind of. It's just that Changkyun makes him feel alive in a way that he's not used to. He doesn't know what it means.

Changkyun really isn't the kind to over-think these things. He curls a hand behind Hoseok's head, thumb pressing into his cheek and pulls his face close. It's not obvious who closes in the final millimeters, but Hoseok is kissing him back this time, tilting his face so they can kiss more deeply, opens his mouth to the youngest and pushes him back into the wall as he plunders his mouth.

God, he hasn't kissed like this in so long. Changkyun's mouth feels like heaven right now. So soft. So wet. His tongue so nimble. He strokes his tongue over the other's, moans into his mouth. Bites onto his lip slightly when he pulls away to look at him for a moment. Changkyun isn't objecting, so he dives back in, tongue first, Hoseok's fingers digging into Changkyun's scalp, wanting to bring him closer. Wanting to taste him more. He pulls him closer to himself, away from the wall and backs towards the toilet, sits down on the closed lid and pulls Changkyun into his lap, for the other male to straddle him.

Immediately Hoseok is pulling him in closer, hands on his ass, thighs, the small of his back. Anything for Changkyun to not pull away. Which he doesn't. He seems to enjoy kissing just as much as Hoseok, curls their tongues together, hands playing through Hoseok's hair, over his shoulders, down his spine. Hoseok's kisses travel to Changkyun's neck and Changkyun is deliberately rubbing his ass into Hoseok's erection. "P-please..." Hoseok whines into his neck. It's ok, Changkyun won't judge him for this. He pulls his friend down, by the hips, ruts upwards into him, creating friction for himself. Building a rhythm to jack off to. Changkyun is so warm, so lovely to touch, he smells so good. He feels so good to rub his dick onto, that Hoseok, already delirious with lust, doesn't realize how close he is to coming—until Changkyun kisses him on the mouth again, thumb pressing too harshly into his neck, right on his jugular, and Hoseok comes in his pants. He wants to swear, but the sound has nowhere to go, his breath is frozen by Changkyun. For a moment, there's nothing but white. And then he's shaking.

When he opens his eyes, he's looking right into Changkyun's. "You ok?" the younger asks him.

"F-fuck," Hoseok finally swears. His voice is mostly air.

"Good. If it was good, then good," Changkyun smiles. He places his forehead against Hoseok's. "Catch your breath. We need to get out of here. Ok?"

Hoseok feels in no shape to argue. Doesn't give a damn about following orders from a younger member while his afterglow is still coursing through his veins, making his fingers practically numb while the rest of him feels like it's on needles.

"Ok," Hoseok agrees, weakly. He breathes deeply, head resting on Changkyun's shoulder, heartrate coming back to normal while his nose is pressed into Changkyun's neck.

---

Later, Hoseok has gotten used to pretending that moment never happened, and Changkyun seems fine with that. Neither have brought it up. It's like it never happened.

The only difference is how much Hoseok likes burying his nose in Changkyun's neck these days. It feels so easy. It feels like a good place to hide in, but it also feels so comforting. Of course it reminds him of being intimate with Changkyun. Of whatever that was when Changkyun let him come. Helped him come. And held him afterwards.

Friends shouldn't be that close, should they? But what's the harm? He's made a mistake but Changkyun had been there to hold him through it. And everything was still ok between them. He could honestly say that he loves Changkyun even more than before. He's thankful to have someone in his life that he can be vulnerable with, who won't judge him, who will sweep his mistakes away. It makes him feel like it's ok to not be perfect. If he wants to hide, he can just wrap his arms around Changkyun and breathe into his neck and all his worries melt away.

Or he can be someone to take risks with and Changkyun will hold his hand.

The fans love WonKyun. They cheer for WonKyun. Changkyun digs his teeth into Hoseok's bicep and Hoseok slaps his ass afterwards as punishment. Their ship is getting even more love than Minhyuk and Jooheon even, who cuddle publicly and make the fans melt with awwww at their every sight.

---

It's months later when Changkyun gets a scolding from the managers about getting lazy with his choreography during one show. He insists it's because of his ankle. For which he gets scolded again, for why was he dancing on a hurt ankle, he should have told them.

"Ugh," he scoffs, as he walks away fuming after the meeting; doesn't watch where he's going and walks right into Hoseok's chest in the middle of the hallway. When he recognizes that it's Hoseok, he doesn't let go. "Hold me," he says.

"All ok?" Hoseok asks as he pets over his back gently. Changkyun melts into his arms.

"I just got a hefty bitching for dancing poorly on a bum ankle."

"Does it still hurt?"

"Only mildly. Think they would have actually done anything if I'd said I can't dance on it?"

"They would have sent you to a doctor. Doctor would have said to let it rest, because it's not a sprain or tear or anything, so he can't recommend anything else, and then you still would've had to dance, because if you can walk you can dance. And then they'd subtract the doctor bill from your wages this month."

"Exactly! Ugh," Changkyun groans, disgusted at the unfairness. Hoseok pulls him into his hotel room and Changkyun follows. "Lousy foreign doctors," Changkyun complains again. Just for something to bitch at.

"Crap managers," Hoseok adds and winks at him. "Take your shoes off, I'll give your ankle a massage."

Changkyun just nods. They settle on one of the hotel beds and Hoseok pulls Changkyun's foot onto his thigh. His thumbs make small circles into all the soft areas of the youngest's ankle and it's lulling Changkyun's mind away from anger. It's not the best massage in the world, because it's hard to massage a bony ankle, but Changkyun is grateful for it nonetheless, and for Hoseok's company, and it feels good just to relax and vent.

"—What was I supposed to do, huh? Give it my all dancing and hurt it some more? Hypocrites."

"Only two more years until military," Hoseok jokes. Meaning two more years until they can escape idol life, but his sarcasm backfires when Changkyun reminds him—

"Oh my god. Shit. You're right! You only have two years left until then. I have more. Lucky me, I guess."

Hoseok whines and pushes his foot away suddenly. "Don't remind me."

"You're the one who said it."

"I wasn't thinking," Hoseok replies. And the fun seems to have been sucked out of his spirit. He's completely deflated, and it's one of those depressive moods that no one likes seeing Hoseok in. So Changkyun comes closer.

"I'm sorry. Don't think about it. Just forget it," the younger says; feels bad to have the mood changed between them. It had been nice before. And he wants more ankle massage.

"It'll happen one day. Can't avoid it forever." Hoseok's voice is dead and his words ring horribly.

"Everyone does it. Don't worry about it. It's not that big a deal," Changkyun tries to push away the bad thoughts. He rubs a hand into Hoseok's shoulder.

Those words in conjunction with the hand on his shoulder spark something in Hoseok, who turns to Changkyun then, stares at him with something questionable in his eyes, and the moment stretches on. Hoseok kind of dreads bringing up this topic, but if he's vague enough, maybe he'll get some answers without opening up Pandora's Box. "How can you be so blasé about everything? Why is nothing a big deal to you?"

Changkyun looks into his eyes and feels guilty. "That's not what I meant," he mumbles and turns away before Hoseok's eyes burn through him. He can feel the weight of Hoseok's eyes on him, even while he's busy examining the carpet, egging him on to explain. Hoseok pulls at his wrist and Changkyun feels worse. "I meant it's ok because guys do it and come out of it ok. So it's ok." He has a bad feeling that they're probably talking about something else, even while talking about the military. So he chooses his words carefully. "It's ok." It's all he knows how to say, even though he's searching his mind for more meaningful words.

Hoseok's grip on his wrist turns painful. "Is it really not a big deal?"

"It's a big deal, but it's not something that you need to torture yourself over. It happens," Changkyun says. He's desperately trying to melt into the carpet. His heart feels too heavy, like this is all his fault. "I'm sorry, I don't know what to say."

"Don't say sorry. Tell me what you feel." Hoseok pulls him closer, until Changkyun has his forehead on Hoseok's bicep and his palms are sweating. He pulls his wrist away and instead links his fingers together with Hoseok's.

"I'm glad to have you as a friend. We can get through anything," Changkyun says, and this time he's looking at their joined hands. "That's why it's not a big deal."

Hoseok pulls him closer until the younger is falling over his lap, and has to steady himself with both hands on Hoseok's shoulders. Their eyes meet, because at first Changkyun doesn't understand why Hoseok had been so rough, and it's like time is running backwards and forwards suddenly. Because Hoseok can see their lips together even before it happens, and when it does, a hundred memories flood Hoseok's brain. And then time stops—and he's not thinking about anything anymore. He's not thinking about how military will likely separate Monsta X, nor about being away from everyone he loves for two years, nor about how he shouldn't have dragged his friend so close. Instead, he's kissing Changkyun and his brain can only process now. How good it feels to be loved, held, comforted. He pushes Changkyun down flat onto the bed and crawls over him, not once pulling away from his mouth. He wants to feel him, wants to drown in his mouth, wants to escape the world.

Changkyun welcomes him, strokes fingers through his hair, constantly pushing the inky stands off Hoseok's forehead. Opens his mouth to him, breathes into him, rolls his hips into him, even while Hoseok has him pinned straight between his own legs. He feels good being close to the older male. He feels like if he does something stupid, if he gets too brazen, if he vents a little too much, if he goes too far for a little fun, Hoseok will be ok with it. Hopefully. He hadn't really meant this kind of fun. That's not what he meant. He liked teasing. Likes pushing boundaries. Likes testing limits. Thinks that most limits in life shouldn't be there anyway. These kind of feelings are getting him in trouble though. He's not stupid, he knows he shouldn't be making out with his friend.

But then again, it takes two of them to make this kind of mistake. "I'm going to miss you when you're in the army," he says into Hoseok's lips. It's supposed to be just the first honest thing that he can think of.

It's completely the wrong thing to say. Because Hoseok pulls up immediately and stares at him. He doesn't understand what on Earth that statement is supposed to mean. He doesn't need to ask "What the hell are you talking about?" because Changkyun knows already that he messed up.

"I—I mess up a lot, don't I? I'm sorry I put my foot in my mouth a lot. I do stupid things. I'm sorry," Changkyun says. He's trying to think of more things he's sorry for. More things he's messed up that have gotten them here. "I—"

But Hoseok doesn't let him finish. "—Sometimes you say the perfect things."

"I do?"

"I'm gonna miss you too."

Shit. Now it's Changkyun who has no idea what that means, and no time to worry about it because Hoseok has recaptured his lips and is kissing the thoughts right out of his head. Hoseok's hand runs down his front and rubs over the front of his pants, where he's half-hard and getting harder the more he's touched. Hoseok keeps kissing him and Changkyun is too distracted to think of any reason to stop. For many months now, Hoseok has felt like the spice on top of a monotone day. A day like any other, a day that runs into the next day, except when he can do something stupid, something thrilling, and Hoseok lets him. He never realised how big a deal the little things were, how they helped him live idol life without exploding from confinement. And right now he's quickly getting to feel like he wants to get off, out of the confinement of his pants.

"M'mmm," he moans, "Hoseok... make me come." There he goes, saying something stupid again. Not thinking before he speaks.

Hoseok groans into his skin, his breath ghosting over Changkyun's neck; replies, "I will." His hand reaches into Changkyun's pants, pushes both pants and underwear down until Changkyun's length is in the open and Hoseok wraps a warm hand around him and tugs. His hands are rough, from too many callouses from too many trips to the gym, and also too rough because he's not being slow; seems to have an agenda. But Changkyun doesn't mind. He lets his head fall back, neck further exposed to Hoseok who licks a stripe from his clavicle to his ear, and then bites onto the shell of his ear at the same time as a particularly good squeeze on his dick.

Changkyun mewls under him, trying to roll his hips better into the hand fisting him, and he's getting more frustrated by how little he can move beneath Hoseok. "Can you add spit or something?" Changkyun asks. And Hoseok bites his shoulder in retaliation.

"Or maybe I can just not jerk you off," he says. But he's just teasing. He sits up intending to give Changkyun the wetness he'd requested, and Changkyun uses the opportunity instead to spread his legs and wrap them around Hoseok's waist. He spits into his own hand and wraps it around his own dick, but rolls his hips up into Hoseok anyway. Hoseok stares at him.

"I could have done that for you."

"I know." Changkyun pulls him down into a kiss again, feeling extra good now that he's jerking off exactly how he likes it, and has a hungry mouth to kiss as well. He feels good enough, and lost enough, to ask, "Will you go find some lube or something?" Because everyone knows it's better jerking off with lotion or something. Even if he's being ridiculous asking his older teammate for something like that.

Uh... maybe he's said something stupid again. Hoseok is looking at him funny again, for just a few seconds, but doesn't vocalize a question. He gets up, finds a tiny bottle of hotel lotion and comes back to Changkyun, who's pulled off all the clothing on his lower body and spread himself on the bed by the time Hoseok returns. Hoseok's immediate reaction is to pull off his own pants and underwear and join him, so he does, and settles over him. The younger raises knees on both sides of the older and lets him fall between his legs.

When they join this time, it's skin on skin, and Hoseok's hand is slippery with lotion, which makes Changkyun swear. "Fuck, yeah. Like that." The older has his hand wrapped around both of them at once and it's so good having his dick rubbed like this, it's gotten him lightheaded and close to coming in mere seconds. Hoseok is good a rubbing them together, and even better at kissing him, and Changkyun is panting and mewling into his mouth by now. It's only making Hoseok more worked up too.

"I'm gonna come all over you," Hoseok says, and drops his hand; lets their lengths press together between their bellies, and starts rolling his hips into Changkyun as if they were fucking. "God, your skin is so soft..." he muses into Changkyun's mouth and Changkyun doesn't reply, just grabs his ass and pulls him down lower while thrusting upwards. His light moans echo in Hoseok's ears when Hoseok goes back to kissing over his neck.

It doesn't take much to make Changkyun come from now. When Hoseok curls his hands around Changkyun's hip-bones painfully hard, so that his thumbs are digging into the sensitive parts of his pelvis, it sends Changkyun howling into his orgasm and Hoseok captures his mouth in his to keep him quiet. Just in case someone far away can hear them. He kisses him through it, though Changkyun isn't in a state where he can respond, but it's hot as hell when he's coming off his high with Hoseok's name on his lips.

"Ho-seok... Hoseok... H-Hoseokie~" he's mumbling and Hoseok just kisses him again. He can feel the fresh come between them. It's hot and so is Changkyun's mouth, and his neck, and all the parts of him that he's been able to reach. So he holds him steady and rolls his hips into him another handful of times, and it's enough to push him over the edge too.

He's static in his high, Changkyun all around him, and that's all he knows as pleasure washes over him. And in the end he's whining into Changkyun's neck, and shaking as Changkyun holds him in his arms. "Fuck." He needed that.

Now that he's done that twice it feels like the hypothesis is confirmed: It's so much better coming with Changkyun than coming alone. He licks over his lips, feels as if he's swallowing the last of his lust for the night, as he tries to pull away, so he doesn't crush the younger male under his weight. But Changkyun keeps him close. "Stay," he says. "Don't go. Don't even go in two years."

"What?" Hoseok asks. He's dazed and still a bit winded from a powerful orgasm. He hadn't expected actual emotion in Changkyun's voice.

"It's not the end," Changkyun declares. "Monsta X won't break up. Just hold on. Two years and you'll come back. And I'll follow you anywhere."

Hoseok's face heats up. "W-what are you talking about?" This conversation feels more intimate than what they just did even.

"I'm not asking you for anything. I don't want anything. Just don't push me away..."

"Why would I push you away? That makes no sense."

"Ok. That's all," Changkyun replies. And wraps his arms around Hoseok's body, to keep him embraced. Doesn't seem to care that they're sticky and gross between their bodies. Hoseok lets him tangle his legs around his own and lets his head drop, this time to Changkyun's temple where he lays a kiss.

"Ok," Hoseok says. He thinks they may have reached a kind of limit where Changkyun no longer thinks things aren't a big deal. "Ok," he repeats quietly, into the younger's hair, as he holds him.

---

Whenever Changkyun lays his head in Hoseok's lap after that, it comes with a heavy feeling in his chest over how he let himself open up to the older male. He meant the part about Monsta X not ending. And about how he'd follow Hoseok anywhere. It had been stuff that flew out of his mouth then, in the moment, in the fear of losing his body heat suddenly. But he means it. Hoseok is like a home to him. This group is his home. They travel the world together and see the best and worst of everything together. Hoseok had held him at his worst. How much more vulnerable could he get than what he'd done with him? Maybe what he's done with girls before, but that had been long ago and it wasn't bound to his soul like his home was. He rolls his face into Hoseok's abdomen and doesn't care to explain why he leaves a random kiss on his skin, where his t-shirt rides away from the waist of his pants. All Changkyun needs is an inch of him to kiss a thank you onto. He's turned his head away again, back into a normal position where Hoseok's lap is just a pillow, before the older even catches him.

He doesn't know Hoseok's reaction to something like that, but he's done worse, so he doesn't care. Hoseok lets him make these kind of mistakes.

If he had looked up, he'd have seen Hoseok's light smile, that was completely unrelated to the video they were all watching right now.

---

It's nice to know that he can go to Changkyun when he feels lonely. When he feels needy. He's become very aware of this ever since they'd come together, but he's reluctant to do it again. Doesn't want to make a habit out of it. Thinks it might change their friendship too much. Once was too much. Twice was a big deal. Thrice would be an infatuation, Hoseok thinks.

He's scared over why he thinks it's ok to do that kind of thing with a groupmate. It shouldn't be ok, yet he's so aware that it is ok, that Changkyun is ok with it, that the mere thought of it is making him want it. He kisses Changkyun's neck from time to time, whenever he feels a bit weak, and tries to settle himself with just that. He's not brave enough to kiss his lips again.

If he kisses Changkyun's lips again, he's basically asking for more, and Hoseok doesn't really want more. It's just nice that the option is there.

Fuck, but he wants it if he thinks about it.

This is a mess.

Again, it takes a few months for anything major to happen between them again. They need time in between to prove that their friendship is still solid, to settle into the knowledge of what they've done together without freaking out, without thinking about it every time they lay eyes on each other. Because they're both perfectly fine friends who don't need to make out. Just like they don't need to make out with any of the other members too.

But knowing it's there... makes Hoseok's mouth go dry sometimes when he zones out and watches Changkyun. He's doing nothing special right now. He's sitting and surrounded in makeup artists, and the only part of him Hoseok can see is his legs, as they cross and uncross, and how his foot bounces with nerves. They're in Latin America and Hoseok bets that Changkyun is nervous over the few lines of Spanish they're all terrible at saying. He wants to run a hand up his thigh and tell him not to worry.

When Changkyun's makeup is flawless and finished, he takes a seat next to Hoseok and his foot is still bouncing, up and down, making his whole leg move and it's got Hoseok staring at his legs. They're long, lean, somewhat feminine, and definitely seductive in Hoseok's opinion. He lays a hand on Changkyun's thigh and squeezes. "Chill," he says, and Changkyun's leg stops moving. "I don't know what you're stressing about."

Changkyun clears his throat, with a kind of nervousness that Hoseok hadn't expected. "W-what?"

"Are you scared you'll forget Spanish? Just say it in Korean. It doesn't matter."

"That's rich, coming from you," Changkyun scoffs, and pushes his hand away.

His tone had been abnormal in a way that Hoseok is afraid it might draw questions. After all, they're backstage with more than a dozen people and members shuffling around them. He can't have the youngest throwing a fit and saying weird things. The staff might not catch on to vague allusions but their members might. Hoseok frowns the more he watches Changkyun. "Let's go get coffee. I think you need more energy for the show," Hoseok says, and tugs Changkyun up to his feet to follow him. Not like the youngest can object.

Around the corner of a secluded hallway, no idea where they really are in the foreign venue, he stops and pulls Changkyun out of the main way and into a small privacy.

"Are you angry at me?"

"No. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say that."

"I care. I always care," Hoseok confirms.

"I know," Changkyun quips, and lets his head fall to Hoseok's shoulder. It hadn't been anger bubbling in his chest, as Hoseok had been afraid of, it was sadness. "Hold me," he says, and Hoseok does what he wants.

"You ok? Wanna talk about anything?"

"I wanna—" he starts, but changes his idea mid-sentence. Instead, Changkyun says, "Tell me something—something bad. Something that makes me feel ok if I mess up on stage. You know what I mean?"

Hoseok gulps. Yeah, he knows. But he's not sure how ok he is with talking about this. He's staring into Changkyun's eyes, and he looks young right now. He looks more fragile than he usually does. He looks worn out, and Hoseok sighs. If this is what he needs for energy, then he can do it. He leans into Changkyun's space, licks over the edge of his ear because he knows no one can see from this angle, and says lowly, "I was thinking about your thighs a few minutes ago. You have sexy thighs. And if you want, I'll say it in an interview, how good you look in tight denim."

Changkyun's a syllable away from uttering a savage swear, but instead it comes out as a hiss and he's pushing Hoseok just far enough away that his breath is no longer in his ear. So that he doesn't go on stage with an erection in his tight denim. That was exactly the boost Changkyun needed. Now he's flustered and can't remember why he was nervous or stressed earlier. He's looking into Hoseok's eyes, and can't hold back the stupidity he wants to say so badly: "I wanna kiss you."

Hoseok's eyes go wide. He looks scared but Changkyun knows it's only from talking about it, not from fear of doing it again. "Not here," he says.

"After?" Changkyun is pushing his luck, asking so wantonly. But pulling Hoseok into dangerous things just makes life worth living.

"We'll see," Hoseok replies. And it's not the answer Changkyun wants. He wants to have something to look forward to after the show. To drown all his emotions into.

"Swim with me later. The hotel pools are always deserted in the middle of the night." Hoseok frowns at him instead of answering, so Changkyun drops his voice lower when he continues. "Get naked with me. We'll be surrounded in water. It'll be so free, the worries will melt right off."

"Changkyun..." Hoseok starts, and it feels like a reprimand already. The more Hoseok pushes away, the more Changkyun wants him closer though. He feels like in the end, Hoseok really will stay with him, so it's ok.

"Make me come. It's been months. It was good, right?" Hoseok sucks in a hissing breath, totally alarmed suddenly. He looks around hastily to make sure they're still alone. Just because they're talking in Korean or that they're far away from their crew, doesn't mean they're safe.

"Don't—" he says, but Changkyun cuts him off.

"—I don't care if it's a big deal. It's good. You want it too."

"So you admit it's a big deal."

"I don't care," Changkyun says, his voice dropping an octave. "I just know I can't wait to put my mouth all over you. I don't care if that's bad."

"...What?"

"I don't care what it makes us. I just need you to touch me and melt all the stress off me. I'd let you fuck me right now, I swear, if you wanted—"

Hoseok's hand slams down over his mouth. So hard that Changkyun has to take a step backward to not fall. His eyes bulge, thinking he's made Hoseok really angry. And in a way, he has.

"What the fuck is wrong with you?!" Hoseok hisses at him. "Are you insane? I knew you were insane." But Changkyun is shaking his head, on the verge of tears. He wants to scream "don't leave me," that's all he wants. Hoseok is looking into his eyes, doesn't fully understand and yet he's still asking, "How can you say that to me?" He's no longer hissing, and Changkyun nods his head this time, and because he eyes are so glassy, Hoseok drops his hand from his mouth. "You can't cry. You can't cry because we have like ten minutes before going on stage and you don't have time to fix your makeup."

"I don't understand myself either. Ok? I just mess everything up..."

"You're lonely, aren't you?" Hoseok asks.

Changkyun nods, and then he looks upwards, trying to keep tears at bay. Trying to return to normal. Trying to not turn into a puddle because Hoseok isn't walking away from him, even after he's said some things which are inexcusable.

"We can talk about this later, or we can not talk about this. Either way, I'm not swimming with you tonight."

Except that after the concert, Hoseok is the one who drags Changkyun to the hotel pool in the middle of the night. He's the one who pulls Changkyun's t-shirt off him, who leaves his own clothes in a pile and dives into the deep end almost in the same motion. He's jittering with anticipation now that he's taken this plunge. Not entirely sure what's come over him, but knows he's wanted it since the words fell from Changkyun's mouth. Those words, those thoughts, gave Hoseok so much energy during the concert, that he was too sexy. It was more than normal. The fans loved it, but he's sure he'll get a talking-to about proper image, because he was bordering on inappropriate tonight. He's not thinking about any of that right now...

He's watching Changkyun pick up their clothing and place it on a chair nearby. Watches him strip naked, because neither of them had brought swim-shorts, and it's true that the pool and all the hotel hallways leading to the pool were deserted at this time of night. If only the lights of the pool were dimmer, but they're not. It's like daylight in here, no darkness to save them; and for all his bravado, Changkyun is suddenly scared. He'd said some crazy things earlier today. They had flown out of his mouth, like many of the stupid things he's said before, and now he's anxious that Hoseok wants them from him.

It's not like him to be scared or contemplative. But the distraction has him not noticing that Hoseok has been watching him. When he jumps into the water, Hoseok is there when he comes up for air; he's pushing his wet fringe backwards and smiling in his face and Changkyun's eyes are wide with a feeling like "what have I done?"

"Do you still want to kiss me?" Hoseok says.

When they're so close like this, Changkyun can't say no. No matter how stupid he feels about what he said earlier. He pulls Hoseok into his lips by the nape and Hoseok pulls his whole body up, for Changkyun to wrap his legs around his waist. He doesn't even need to hold him up in the water, because buoyancy does it for him. All he needs to do is kiss Changkyun, so he does. The younger can hold himself up by just his thighs squeezing around Hoseok's waist, and has his arms wrapped around Hoseok's neck, and he's tipping his head backwards to kiss him, to plunge his tongue into his mouth, and kneed the muscles of his shoulders. Hoseok moans into his mouth as his hands come up to feel over his sides. He's never gotten to touch this much of Changkyun's skin before. He's seen him naked before, but not in this context, and even whenever he's dripping wet and coming out of the shower in their dorm, it's not at all the way he sees him now.

"You're sexy like this. Can I say that?" Hoseok says.

Changkyun mewls and tries to rub his dick into Hoseok's belly. "God, tell me more shit like that, and I'll come so quick."

"So come. And I'll make you come again."

"Fuck, Hoseok," Changkyun moans. He can't take it. This day, which started like any other, is just messing with his head too much. He's drowning in lust being with Hoseok like this. He slots a hand between their bodies and starts fisting himself in the water. Hoseok pulls him back into a kiss. The older is also running a hand over his chest, exploring what happens if he touches Changkyun's nipples. The younger whimpers is what happens. He pulls his mouth away but keeps their foreheads together. "Touch me," he says. "Just touch me." So Hoseok takes one of his nipples between his fingers and Changkyun nods and breathes heavily into his face. "More." How much more is there? Hoseok runs his hands up his chest, over his neck, and all the way back down to Changkyun's thighs; then settles them on his ass and it makes Changkyun lick into his mouth. Not even a kiss. He moans, says, "Touch me," again. Hoseok's eyes are wide and he has to swallow down his fear at taking this kind of step—he traces a finger down the middle of Changkyun's ass. That finger drags over his little puckered opening and Changkyun swears, "Fuck, I'm so close..." His eyes close for a moment and Hoseok is watching his face intently; can't miss a single look, not when they're on a tightrope like this.

Changkyun climbs down, touches the pool floor with his own feet and Hoseok is surprised he'd stop right now, but feels completely terrified when Changkyun pulls his hand towards the steps. He sits down at first, hand fisting over himself, and watches as Hoseok comes nearer, slowly. The water is shallow enough to see what Changkyun is doing now, but it's not enough. Changkyun sits up, another two steps higher, so his spread knees and dick are fully out of the water, as he touches over himself. "Are you gonna come here? Or you wanna watch?" he asks Hoseok.

Hoseok comes closer, climbs over him. He's got a timid lip between is teeth before he asks, "What do you wanna do?"

"Explore with me?" Changkyun asks. And after he levels a look at Hoseok that feels like fire, he sits up another step, so his whole body is on display and out of the water. "I have an idea," he says, and he takes Hoseok's hand and replaces it on his dick, so Hosoek is stroking him instead, and Changkyun wraps arms around his neck instead and kisses him again. "Make he come. And then make me come again."

"That was my idea," Hoseok smiles. Though he has a bad feeling that Changkyun's idea is somehow different from his own. His never had anything to do with being out of the water. Too bad he has no time to think about it, not with how Changkyun is fucking up into his hand, and nodding his head with abandon. Hoseok kisses him deeply, tongue practically down his throat, and pumps his dick perfectly, and Changkyun comes all over Hoseok's hand not even a few seconds later. He's moaning into his mouth as his mouth goes slack in the moment, and Hoseok suddenly can't wait to do whatever Changkyun wants him to do, because this is fucking sexy doing this with his friend.

"Ok," Changkyun says as he comes down. His voice is husky. "Ok." And he grabs on to Hoseok's wrist to keep his hand from moving any more over his spent dick. He needs a moment to sort out his post-orgasm feelings, needs a moment to be able to open his eyes again; and when his eyes focus on Hoseok again, how he looks anxious with anticipation and curiosity, Changkyun bites his lip and pushes his hand, slippery with come, further down his body. He's watching Hoseok's face, as his eyes go wider than he thought possible, and Changkyun nods slowly. "Do it," he says. And places a quick kiss on Hoseok's jaw before he spreads himself more and rubs Hoseok's fingers against his entrance, so there's no mistaking what he wants. Then he lets go of Hoseok's wrist and prays he won't run away. "Make me come a-again," Changkyun says, except this time his voice breaks horribly in the middle of his words and it makes Hoseok place his other hand on Changkyun's cheek, for just a moment. For reassurance.

"If you want," he replies, and rubs two fingers over Changkyun's hole. "Like this? One finger first, yeah?" Changkyun nods.

"I trust you."

"You trust me too much," Hoseok laughs. It lifts what's turned into a heavy mood, brings it back to a friendly zone, where Hoseok crimbs one step higher up Changkyun's body and kisses his mouth. He wants to watch his face, be ready to kiss him again at any moment, stay close to him, if he's going to do something like this to him.

His finger eases into Changkyun's body carefully. His lips are hovering over Changkyun's. "It's ok," the younger says and nods. "It doesn't hurt or anything."

Of course it doesn't, because Hoseok's fingers are slick with Changkyun's come. The little bastard was smart to have planned it this way. Hoseok's first finger slips in easily; he moves around and touches over all Changkyun's insides, making sure it's all comfortable for him. Also he's searching for his prostate, but decides two fingers would do a better job of making this sexy, instead of a doctor's visit; so he asks, "Two?" And Changkyun nods. Two it is. He slips two fingers into him, taking his time to make sure he's still slippery, and starts working them over his prostate.

He remembers the first time he did this to a girl's pussy. He was young and he remembers that he wasn't nearly this careful; it makes him chuckle. "Are you laughing at me?" Changkyun frowns.

"No. I'm laughing about how gentle I'm being with you."

"You don't need to be so gentle. I can take it."

"You sure about that? You haven't done this before, right?"

"True. But I'm fine. I can take more."

Hoseok frowns at him. "And why on Earth would you want to do that?"

"You know why," Changkyun says. There's obvious intent in his tone, and the pace of his words. "Will you?"

"No," Hoseok states flatly. Though his face is flushing from the thought. It's the second time Changkyun has said this to him today. Does he really want to get fucked? Hoseok tries not to think about it, tries to put his energy into giving Changkyun a good finger-fucking instead. His fingers stroke more intensely over his prostate and Changkyun melts into the stairs with a soft groan.

"That," he says breathily.

"I know," Hoseok smiles in return, and kisses his mouth. Dives his tongue between his lips and though it's not the most coordinated kiss, he's trying to match the way he's twisting and pressing his fingers into Changkyun, with his tongue; trying to kiss him in the same rhythm, and maybe it's working. It's been a while since he's done this with a girl, and he's not sure if it would have the same effect on a male. But Changkyun is mewling into his mouth, and nodding, and though Hoseok is trying to kiss him, Changkyun can't seem to keep himself steady anymore. "That good?" he asks the younger.

Changkyun nods, and bites his lip as he throws his head back. "I touched myself there, like once, so many years ago," he says. "It's not the same as this... god... this is actually good..." His words are airy and he takes many pauses as he speaks, trying to accommodate the pleasure Hoseok is rubbing into his ass. "Fuck... fuck me. Just do it."

"Changkyun," Hoseok warns. He's considering doing it but knows vividly that he shouldn't. That's just way too much. They can't do that.

"I'll beg. If it's you, I'm ok with begging. I promise it'll feel good."

"Yeah, sex feels good. No shit."

"Have you been with a guy before?"

"No. And I'm not interested. Thank you. Nothing against you, you're very tempting, but this is enough, ok? Can you come like this? On my fingers, I mean."

"I could come better on your dick," Changkyun smiles. His voice is low but Hoseok can hear his every word perfectly. "Fuck me. I'm so tight, I know I'll feel better than a girl. Do it." And they're able to have this conversation because Hoseok is distracted and not fucking Changkyun all that forcefully with his fingers. He's too busy listening to the sinful words falling from his mouth. "Fuck me, Hoseok. Fuck me. Put your dick in me... fuck." He's getting himself worked up just thinking about it. Why it's all so sexy to him today, he has no idea. But Hoseok is just generally sexy, even if he is a guy, so maybe that has something to do with it. The other parts must be that Changkyun wants desperately to be lifted away from this world, just for a second, to be held and loved, and just to forget how lonely they all are. He's not lonely when he's with Hoseok, and he wants to be closer. "Hold me. And please fuck me..."

"Changkyun..." Hoseok is mesmerized by the fact that Changkyun really is begging. Damn. He didn't think Changkyun was like this. He's never heard him beg for anything. When he usually says "hold me" it sounds completely different. Or maybe it's the same after all and Hoseok never noticed. He kisses Changkyun's jaw. "Stop it, or I will. You don't want it, ok?"

"I want it. Fuck me."

"Changkyun," Hoseok warns again. Stop it.

"Slick your dick up with whatever's left of my come and put it in me. I want it. I promise it'll feel good."

Hoseok kisses his temple this time. "It's about a little more than just it feeling good."

"You don't want to be with me?"

"Don't make me feel bad," Hoseok whines, and this time pulls his fingers completely out of Changkyun. The younger rushes after his hand in a panic, and Hoseok can see it in his eyes that he's absolutely terrified of Hoseok leaving. So Hoseok needs to take this more seriously. "Why? Why do you want it?" he questions, "Didn't you just think of this, like, today?"

"It's you. I just—you," Changkyun tries to explain. He's reaching for Hoseok's waist to bring him closer and Hoseok kneels between his legs. The younger traces fragile fingers over Hoseok's lips and jaw and chest, down his muscular abs. His hand is nearly trembling, and the only way Hoseok can hold it in his, is to put his weight on it when he links their fingers. "I want to feel you. I want something real. I want something big. I don't know if I'm starting something. I don't care about that. I just want you today."

"And tomorrow?"

"I don't know. You'll be my friend. Just like now. If you want to fuck again, make sure to do a good job right now and I might let you again. Maybe."

"You're crazy."

But Changkyun is becoming more desperate by the second. "Yeah, but be with me anyway. Touch me. Hold me. Fuck me. Fuck me so hard I won't walk properly tomorrow and the managers can yell at me again and I'll tell them I fell down some stairs on my ass."

"You've thought about your excuse already?" Hoseok laughs.

Changkyun shakes his head. "No. I just thought of it just now."

"You don't think very much."

"You think too much," Changkyun reprimands. "Hurry up before you end up fucking me raw."

"Uh... there's been barely anything on my hand for a while now. Can't you feel that?" He rubs fingers over the pucker of Changkyun's opening, trying to show him that it's nowhere near as slippery as it was after Changkyun had just come. It's nearly dry between them.

Changkyun's eyes close, his head rolls backwards and he's trying to temper his breathing because he's near tears if Hoseok denies him once more. "Hoseok," he says, and can't keep the emotion out of his voice. "Hoseok... I'm laying spread on pool stairs in the middle of the night for you, and I know we have no lube. I'm asking you to fuck me. So will you?"

Hoseok looks at him. This is Changkyun. One of his dearest friends, four years younger than Hoseok, and usually serious, sarcastic, too smart for his own good, but also impulsive. And right now he's more vulnerable than any person has ever been with him before. Giving himself to him like no one in Hoseok's life has ever given himself to him before. Begging for him. Baring his soul. And even if Hoseok doesn't understand what makes him burn with this kind of desperate need today, what crawled beneath Changkyun's skin to make him act this way today, such an ordinary day, he can't ignore the way this makes him feel in turn. When he looks at him like this, his heart swells and he feels his fingers itch to touch him. To crawl under his skin, to take him and protect him. To hold him, as Changkyun often asks.

This is so much more than a kiss in a Pepero Game. He never thought this is what would happen between them when he broke down such a tiny barrier. But he leans forward and kisses Changkyun's lips gently, softly. "If that's what you want. That's what I want too," Hoseok says into his lips. And Changkyun doesn't open his eyes, just nods and squeezes Hoseok's hand. The hand that Hoseok won't let go of.

While his other hand scoops a bit of water up, to wet his dick with, to rub himself to full hardness, to turn whatever dry come was left on his hand into not even a half-decent lubricant; and finally to wet Changkyun's entrance again. He slips the length of his dick over Changkyun's entrance, getting used to the feeling of rubbing himself over the other's body, if not yet inside him. Changkyun's skin practically burns. He's hot, compared to everything else that's cool or cold around them, including the air. The temperature difference makes this feel sinful. Makes it potent to the extent that Hoseok can taste it in his mouth how hot Changkyun is, and Hoseok knows it's even hotter inside him.

"Like this?"

"Inside me," Changkyun begs.

"Inside. Ok. Put your legs around me, so we don't fall." He lines up with his entrance and gives a tiny push inwards. Changkyun nods and squeezes his legs around Hoseok's body. He also opens his eyes to look at Hoseok. "Ok?" he asks, and the younger nods. There's so much need in his eyes, that even with his own need—which he sometimes feels like he's drowning in—he doesn't understand Changkyun's. It's so much. So overwhelming. He sinks deeper into him, making sure to control the drag which he feels from Changkyun's body. His walls are hugging him tight, much more than pussy, and it's a foreign feeling. Like fucking into your hand, with too little spit. But better. Tighter. Softer. He takes it slow, and when he sees Changkyun bite onto his own lip in discomfort he kisses his mouth to take his mind away from it. He won't stop. Knows Changkyun will beg him not to stop, no matter what. As idols, they've pushed their bodies in inhuman ways. Painful sex is nothing compared to what they endure daily. Repeated nights without sleep; 24-hour days in the practice studio; starvation-diets before comebacks; swallowing any sort of pride a man might have, just so they could debut; locking away any thoughts and feelings that don't follow a script; abandoning the concept of privacy; renouncing all meaningful relationships for their fans; little control even over their own bodies; and then knowing that there's two more years to their contract. Before they get shipped off to the military for the good of their country. Even though they'll be fried and useless by then probably, worked to the bone and ripe to fall on their asses, and still have to get back up again, like they do every day now. Maybe this is why Hoseok feels like crying right now. Because of all the crappy things they do for their idol dreams, this one is their own. This moment now is theirs and no one elses, and maybe this is why Changkyun had broken down so badly today. A day like any other. Maybe this is what's so overwhelming to him. Hoseok kisses him and lets his tears fall and pushes into him further until he's sheathed fully in Changkyun's body.

"Good," Changkyun says. And yes, Hoseok has it right. That's why they're here. Because they need something real to hold on to.

Hoseok takes Changkyun's legs and pushes them up higher until they're over his shoulders, and he kisses up one of his friend's shins. "Hold on to me."

The younger nods, but doesn't. He keeps holding Hoseok's hand instead and with his other hand grabs onto the post of the stairs' safety railing that's near his head. "Fuck me so hard I can't walk tomorrow."

Those words are so desperate that Hoseok can't not do as told. He watches Changkyun's face as he pulls out and pushes back into him. He does it again with a slightly different angle. He's trying to find Changkyun's prostate, to make sure that even if this is going to hurt, that there's still pleasure  from it, and Changkyun even helps him, cants his hips so that from now on Hoseok is hitting the right angle, and tells him to fuck him. Again. And again.

Changkyun's potty mouth is making Hoseok's blood boil. He's never in his life had someone act like this. And they've all had mountains of girls throw themselves at their feet, with and without clothing, but nothing like how Changkyun is behaving now.

"Harder," Changkyun whines. Though Hoseok can tell this can't be comfortable for him, even if he's rubbing over his prostate on each thrust. It's deliriously tight for Hoseok. He can feel Changkyun's walls practically clamped against him and he's not sure if it's because Changkyun is a virgin or because he's not relaxed enough. Yet Changkyun is still begging, "Harder. Fuck me... harder. You can do it. I know you can." So Hoseok gives him a few experimental thrusts, actual hard ones and Changkyun's whines turn into cries. Fuck. He's digging his heels between Hoseok's shoulder blades as if Hoseok is a pony. So Hoseok gives it to him harder and a lengthy, "Yesss~" rips from the younger's throat. "F-fuckkk... L-like that," he says, and his words have turned to air.

If Changkyun wants his ass pounded, Hoseok gives it to him. He imagines that this must hurt, he can feel how little lube there is between them right now; but also knows that Changkyun's moans are reverberating off the tile walls, and that every time he fucks him particularly hard, Changkyun howls and nods his head like a fucking ragdoll.

So Hoseok fucks him, hard. And repeatedly. Rhythmically.

The hand Hoseok is holding is uncomfortable and he's mashing it into the tile practically, but Chankyun only wants more of him, and they're both reaching a peak. In the seconds that there's any reasonable thought in his brain, sometime between the hammering in his heart, he sees the tragedy in Changkyun's wide eyes and wants to wash it away for him. He reaches for Changkyun's dick with his other hand, fists him, wants to make sure his partner comes first, because that's how Hoseok has sex, and he's thankful when he sees the bliss on Changkyun's face finally. "Come for me," he says, and fucks him through his high. He feels the way Changkyun's body quakes for him, how his legs tremble, and that wetness on his fingers again. He slides that hand all the way to Changkyun's neck, to feel the air catch in his throat and that's his undoing also. He comes deep inside him, fucks him hardest now, in the high when Changkyun feels like a vice, so the younger cries like he's never cried before in sex. Actual tears.

This was too much.

Hoseok's vision returns to him and he looks down at Changkyun, feels over his lean chest again. Down to this spend dick, and Changkyun shudders when he touches over him briefly there. Hoseok's hand runs gently up his leg, takes him and untangles him, lowers his shaky limbs down again, and then lifts that one hand he held throughout their sex to his mouth. He kisses over the knuckles.

"Don't be lonely," he says. "I have you."

Changkyun smiles, and kisses Hoseok's hand also. Then bites. Because that's what Changkyun likes: biting.

"Ow!" Hoseok pouts.

"Pull out," Changkyun breathes.

It's odd leaving the heat he'd gotten so used to. He can feel his come slide out when he does, and reaches to feel Changkyun's entrance. "All ok?"

Changkyun sucks in swiftly through his teeth—"Hurts. And numb," he replies. And before Hoseok can complain about how he shouldn't be doing what the youngest wants, because he's the oldest and should know better, Changkyun nods, "You did so good."

He's getting a bad feeling that they'd fucked too rough, especially in the seconds after Changkyun had come. He forgot he wasn't fucking a girl. "You gonna be able to walk?"

"Carry me up to my room?"

Hoseok's eyes go wide. "—That bad?"

"No. But nearly." Shit. Hoseok had been joking. He touches over Changkyun's hole, gently, tracing over it as it clenches on nothing and Hoseok can feel when he does it. And Changkyun flinches from it too, groans. That's definite pain on his face.

"Did you tear anything? Should I look?"

"Don't look. Stay with me."

"I shouldn't have—"

"—Fuck. Stop, Hoseok. Don't say you shouldn't have. You did perfect. I feel numb and fucked and it's just perfect."

"And hurt?"

"And yeah, that too. Stay with me a little more. You can check if I'm bleeding in a few minutes." Hoseok's shock makes his chest tighten like someone had ripped the heart out of his throat. His eyes are wide and his mouth slack, bottom lip trembling from what Changkyun has just said. "I feel alive. Don't freak out. I wanted this and I trust you." He kisses into Hoseok's mouth until Hoseok swallows his guilt.

"Why that hard? Why?" he breathes into Changkyun's kiss.

"Because we can." Changkyun kisses him, even more softly this time. "I promise to never ask for this again. Promise." He stares into Hoseok's eyes. There's a sacred bond between them now and Hoseok can see it in Changkyun's eyes. When he smiles, it dances there, like stars, and he wonders if he'll always see this now when he looks at Changkyun. The younger distracts him by feeling down his chest. "Now tell me how red I am." And pushes up at Hoseok's sternum so the older can look between his legs.

Yes, there's an amber color swirling in the sheen of water below Changkyun's ass, on the step, and another darker color, a crimson red, just a drop, mixing with Hoseok's come, right on Changkyun's entrance. When he dips his finger into Changkyun, there's a bit more red that comes off on his finger. Hoseok is mortified and Changkyun can see it on his face. He doesn't even need to say it: "You're bleeding." Which means this was practically rape. Shit. Fuck. Fuck everything. How could he have done this? He's too strong. Doesn't realise when he needs to take it easy on the people around him. Hasn't fucked in too long. Since he wasn't this big. That's such a poor excuse that he wants to smash his head into the concrete of the pool stairs and rot there, because he deserves it.

But Changkyun only pulls him down to his face again, with a melancholy smile, and kisses the corner of Hoseok's lips. "Thank you." And then sweeps his mouth into another kiss. Changkyun has his hands in Hoseok's hair, and over his ears, like he's trying, in these last moments, to kiss all regret out of him. And Hoseok understands but also doesn't: Changkyun had wanted to be hurt. Changkyun wanted to be vulnerable. To be branded.

Hoseok feels guilty and loved at the same time. He tells himself he'll never do this with Changkyun again, not like this. He's learned his lesson. Maybe they'll have some normal sex one day, once they recover. Maybe.

Then Changkyun pushes him up, pushes at his chest now, motioning for Hoseok to get back in the water. Changkyun stands up, his legs shaky, and Hoseok catches him, brings him forward and down the steps with him. Slowly into the water with him, one step at at time. Then pulls him onto his body again, so Changkyun can wrap his legs around him, and rest his chin on Hoseok's shoulder, and Hoseok can touch softly over where he's hurt, and clean him as gently as he can.

"I wish you wouldn't hide this part of yourself until it becomes so overwhelming. You care. You care about everything and you say you don't. You say things aren't a big deal but you're hurting. I'm not letting you do this again. I can't believe I didn't see this sooner. We're not doing this again. If you want love, we're not doing it like this next time, you hear me? Not like this."

"Love me next time," Changkyun agrees.

And they stand there until Hoseok feels ready to walk out of this dream and back to reality.

He takes Changkyun's hand and leads him up the stairs and to their clothing. They get dressed in silence, and then Changkyun climbs on Hoseok's back. Piggyback, that's how Hoseok carries him back to their rooms; and instead of letting Changkyun go back to his own room, Hoseok takes him to his, makes him use the other bed beside his own, and watches his every breath until he falls asleep that night.

---

Changkyun is walking funny the next morning, but he's recovered by the next day, as far as Hoseok can tell, and they don't talk about it. Not any more than, "You feeling ok?"—"Yeah."—"Ok." They don't talk about this for many weeks. Weeks turn into months, and really everything is as fine as it's ever been between them. They're just friends.

Friends who might fuck every few months, usually when they need to celebrate something, because Hoseok has kept his promise and he's never fucked Changkyun during the bad times ever again.

Only during the good times. When Changkyun can howl and scratch at his back, and moan in ecstasy, while Hoseok fucks him with plenty of lube.

Mostly in American hotel rooms, because they have the best sound-proofing. Because Changkyun still likes it hard.

---

THE END.