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Between Friends

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BETWEEN FRIENDS

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Youngbae's doorbell rings at an ungodly hour, which wakes him from where he's been sleeping on the couch. A day off is always a good day to fall asleep watching cooking shows. A good night is one where his sleep isn't interrupted by calls or texts. But it is actually unusual for someone to be at his door. He rubs sleep from his eyes and checks the entryway camera.

It's easy to recognize his best friend, one Kwon Jiyong, better known as G-Dragon, on his doorstep, but the question still remains: what is he doing here?

As he opens the door, his questions are pretty much explained with one look at the man himself. He's drunk. His hair and clothing are in more disarray than usual for his latest "concept", his eyes are slightly injected behind the smudging eyeliner, and his smile is far too wide for this time of night.

"Ji. Jesus, how did you even get here?"

"Tabi's car dropped me off."

So he'd been drinking with the boisterous troublemaker of their group. He waves him in regardless. "But why here?"

"Why not here?"

"I mean, why not your place? Your place is even closer to Tabi's place. Is that where you came from?"

Jiyong stumbles while toeing off his shoes and Youngbae catches his arm to steady him. He receives another smile but no real answers. Instead Jiyong seems to have become distracted staring at his friend's face, and his smile grows mischievous.

"Listen, can I corrupt you for a second?" He says and steps closer, so that Youngbae has to take a step back.

"What are you talking about?"

Jiyong must be more shitfaced than he looks, because this behavior is beyond what Youngbae has experienced before. Jiyong is now pushing his way into his house and giggling, as he wraps his arms around Youngbae's neck and staggers toward further closeness.

They back up all the way to the couch Youngbae had been sleeping on, and he thinks maybe he can put his friend to sleep here and he can go upstairs and then this can be the end of this night. What Youngbae doesn't expect is to be pushed backwards and have Jiyong climb on him and kiss him out of the blue.

Their lips are connected for too long before Youngbae realizes what's happened and puts a frantic hand out to stop it. Jiyong is laughing at his shocked face though. "Don't be a party pooper. You're always so good."

"I don't understand what this is or what you want, but I think you need to go to bed, Ji."

"Will you come with me?" Jiyong asks playfully, and straight up pulls all his top layers of clothes off himself in one motion until he's sitting on Youngbae's lap half-naked, and reaching out to wrap his arms around his neck again. Jiyong seems to think this is funny by the way he keeps pawing at Youngbae's body and giggling.

Jiyong has been known to become a clingy octopus when he drinks too much, but it's not a common occurrence. Especially not like this. Youngbae is still stunned and lost on how to proceed, and before he can act again to rebuff these advances, Jiyong kisses him again on the mouth. When Youngbae protests again, Jiyong retorts with a bite.

"Aow!"

"Serves you right." Jiyong shoves his face into his friend's neck and starts laying wet kisses with too much tongue all over him. At this, Youngbae becomes distracted. He'd been pondering what on Earth the BigBang leader and eldest could have been doing tonight to result in this mood, but the thoughts made him slow to react. It's a surprise when Jiyong sucks in a particular way that makes blood rush south on Youngbae's body, and even let out a small moan. He'd reacted instinctually before his brain caught up, and instantly feels ashamed.

"Woah!" He shoves Jiyong upright again, putting some much needed space between them. "No no. None of this is happening. What are you thinking?!"

"I think you're too much of a goody-goody." On any other day Youngbae would have taken that as a real insult, but the way Jiyong says it now, he can't take it seriously. In fact, he almost laughs.

"Excuse me?"

"Yeah, so as the leader, it's my job to fix these things."

Youngbae can't keep his laughter in this time. "Since when have you asserted your leadership like this, eh? Can't fix Tabi so you've come to fix me, is that it?"

"Yeah. And it'll feel so good." The statement is accompanied by a sexual look Youngbae has never had directed at him before. It's not just unfamiliar, it's downright unsettling. And then Jiyong trails a hand through his hair, pushing his bangs backward, and down his neck, and then runs that hand still lower over the center of Youngbae's body until it's sitting on the knot holding Youngbae's pajama pants up, and Youngbae feels uncomfortable now. He feels like prey in his friend's eyes. So when he reaches out to hold those troublesome hands from untying the knot, his mouth goes dry and his chest grows heavy and his hands are weak as they rest on Jiyong's.

"Don't," is all he can say under the power of Jiyong's gaze.

Jiyong takes his face and smushes their lips together again, and Youngbae's heart is so erratic that he doesn't even pull away this time. Instead he feels like crying, and his insides feel like they'd rather be outside his body. It's crazy how fast humans get used to abnormal things. It's only their third kiss and yet Youngbae feels like he's kissed his friend a thousand times. In this moment, the filmstrip of their life together flashes before him, stopping at all the times they've been close and all the hard times they got through together, and Youngbae wonders if this is the same.

No, this is different. He doesn't understand this. If someone had come to him with advice on how to handle this, he would have none. He wants to protest but has no words. He loves his friend, and yes, they're as close as two friends can be, but not this kind of close. It feels wrong to be kissing him. Wrong, even as he experimentally kisses back, so that he's not such a limp fish that Jiyong can laugh at.

Jiyong stops kissing first this time, moving his mouth back to Youngbae's neck, which is recognizably hotter. His breath is heating Youngbae's skin and reverberating in his ear, and combined with how Jiyong has splayed his hands on his skin, crawled under his shirt, this is decidedly more dangerous. It makes his heart beat faster. Youngbae bites his lip. He feels like jello. Or a puddle. Anything without a spine. He's a coward for enjoying this even a second.

Some sense comes back to him when Jiyong reaches for this pants again. "Ok, wait a sec."

Jiyong smirks and looks back into his eyes. They're a little glassy and unfocused but lustful. Youngbae is reminded of drunk girls in nightclubs. Horny. That's the word. Jiyong chooses this moment to rub both himself and Youngbae together, so that it's evident Jiyong is hard, and Youngbae is so shocked, the way he flinches bucks Jiyong completely off his lap so his friend lands on the floor with a dull thud.

He'd bumped his head on the coffeetable slightly so Youngbae is instantly kneeling at his side with liberal apologies. "Sorry. Sorry, I didn't mean to." As Jiyong rubs at the back of his head, he's still laughing though. Youngbae supposes that's better than anger.

"You're going to make it up to me, right?"

"Anything. I'll--"

"Anything?" Jiyong eyebrow quirks.

"Well, not whatever is going on now. I meant meetings, or dinner, or something. The usual stuff."

Jiyong huffs. "I'm tired of the usual stuff." He looks at Youngbae with a defeated look finally. "I want adventure."

"You don't think the life of actual rockstars is adventurous enough?"

Jiyong scoffs. "The Westerners are real rockstars. Sex, drugs, rock and roll. I don't even play a guitar."

Youngbae laughs and pulls his friend up off the floor. "Ok, mister. You can learn to play the guitar if that's what you want. You've learned harder things." He makes deliberate movements to touch only safe areas as he sits Jiyong down on the couch.

"I don't want to learn how to play the guitar. I want really good sex. Just a really hot fuck, you know?" He says it like a whiny teenager and Youngbae isn't sure whether to laugh or put earmuffs on because of the vulgar declaration. Not that Youngbae is a prude, but there were better ways to phrase those kind of desires. "I haven't had a good fuck in years it feels like."

Even in uncomfortable territory like this, Youngbae's instinct is to be the counselor and cool this off by talking it out. He's the mother of the group for a reason. "Now that can't be true. I know your girlfriends. Even some of the girls you've hooked up with."

"Ok, so it's not super true. It just feels that way." Jiyong falls back in frustration though, and puts a hand over his own hardness. Youngbae chooses to ignore this. "Can't I fuck someone I love for once though?"

This statement really clenches Youngbae's heart. He supposes now that Jiyong had come to him because of how close they are, and it's flattering, but also sad because he's not the kind of love Jiyong is obviously looking for. "Is this what you talked with Tabi about?"

"He's in a hole again. I don't want to turn out like that."

"Don't say that. You know he's a romantic at heart."

"Yeah, but I am too. Don't you think?"

Youngbae pauses, a warm smile on his lips, trying to coax his friend back to sanity. "I never took you for a romantic actually. Not the true love kind anyway. More the romantic gesture kind of guy."

It's not lifting Jiyong's spirits though, which have fallen dramatically since his bump on the head. He groans. "Ugh. Stop doing that. That thing where you make people feel better." Youngbae bites his lip and can only increase the understanding and gentleness of his expression. "Ugh. You're terrible," Jiyong protests. "I wanted a fuck. That's seriously what I want."

"You wanted sex... with me?"

"Yes. But you're so good all the damn time. Just go to bed or something. I'm gonna jack off."

"In my livingroom?"

"Do you have a problem with that?"

Youngbae really wants to laugh now. He wonders if Jiyong will find this funny when he tells him about it in the morning. He leaves Jiyong and goes to grab him a bottle of water and a box of tissues. And a blanket, and pillow. Because he's such a good friend. And when he returns with his arms full, he realizes Jiyong was serious.

Jiyong really was masturbating on his couch. Youngbae panics but also laughs, and covers his eyes as he drops off the nighttime supplies. Except he'd still caught a glimpse of Jiyong, in a position he'd never seen before, and now that image is all he can see behind his eyelids. Shit.

Jiyong with his trackpants around his knees, feet propped up on the coffeetable, dick in hand, visibly. One hand in his own hair. Mouth open. Eyes closed. Breath heavy.

The more Youngbae tries to forget and fall asleep in his own bed, the more details he remembers about that one second.

Shit.

What makes it worse is all the stuff Jiyong had said before that. About wanting sex and love. Youngbae's mind is inserting him into sexual situations with his friend now, and having had too much experience tonight, it is too easy to fall down the rabbit hole. He can still taste his friend's mouth, and can practically see himself above him, in his mind's eye. So that Jiyong's legs are wrapped around his torso and he's breathing like he had earlier, and Youngbae can see his mouth open in ecstasy, trembling lips, and heaving chest. And the way his hand would wrap around his neck and pull him closer as Youngbae pushed into him.

Fuck.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

He's just come.

He pauses in humiliation, trying to calm his racing mind, make it work like normal again. Triage. He gets up to wash up and change his underwear. What the hell is wrong with him? Jiyong was drunk and sad. Youngbae had no excuse. He stops on his way back from the washroom and rests his forehead against the wall in the hallway. He feels like shit.

Maybe it's because he feels like such shit that he seeks out his best friend. So he goes to find Jiyong who by now is asleep on the couch. Thankfully he'd pulled his own pants back up. He's still shirtless though, and so Youngbae takes the blanket and covers him with it. Then props his head on the pillow a little better. He stares at his sleeping friend, and suddenly doesn't want to leave. He runs a hand through Jiyong's hair, pushing it back in a loving way. He wants to say, "I'm sorry," but he's not really sure for what. He loves Jiyong. Not sexually, but love nonetheless. And right now he doesn't want to be alone. Whatever melancholy had been inside Jiyong has found its way to Youngbae, and so he sits on the floor at Jiyong's side, pulls some of the remaining blanket to himself, and rests his head right by his friend's heart.

In the morning, Jiyong is the one tapping Youngbae to wake him.

It takes them a few moments until they can look each other in the eye.

"I think I remember what I did last night. I'm pretty sure I kissed you."

"Yeah. But don't worry about it."

"Shit. I'm sorry I drank so much."

Youngbae takes his hand. "Don't stress. Shit happens." He knows they will go back to normal. That it will be easy even, but for now the night is still fresh and raw.

"Ugh," Jiyong groans.

"It could have been worse." As soon as the words leave his mouth he regrets it, because Jiyong's look could cut.

Jiyong gapes for a moment, before turning away and getting up. "Washroom," he declares as an excuse.

Then Youngbae makes breakfast. Jiyong emerges from the shower with wet hair and dressed in a pair of Youngbae's pyjamas which he had obviously pulled from his friend's closet without permission. Not that he needed any. They sit quietly for some time.

"Can I tell you something?" Jiyong says suddenly, and Youngbae is curious what it could be. It's an unusual way for Jiyong to start a sentence, because he's not the kind to be hesitant. He's the one that's direct, who rarely needs Youngbae's counselling, only his shoulder. It sounds more like one of their other members.

"Of course."

"I've thought of being with you before," he admits in a wistful tone as he twirls his chopsticks in his fingers. "--Not seriously, don't worry. Just, whenever I feel lonely, I imagine wrapping my arms around your neck and having you hold me close."

"You can do that, you know. I'll always be here for you."

"And how about you? You doing ok?"

Youngbae's mind travels to what he'd done in his bed last night, and he feels stupid and ashamed. He smiles kindly. "I'm ok. Don't worry about me."

"I don't actually want sex with you."

"I know."

"Ok. Just making sure."

Youngbae laughs, a little brighter than before. "Ok. Glad we're on the same page." And Jiyong smiles too, albeit a bit more shy still.

---

Curiosity, or comfort, or whatever it is, takes over only one other time in their lives. It's almost a year later and Youngbae has broken up with a girl he'd dated for years. Many years.

He and Jiyong are sitting on the same couch, both with game controllers in their hands, and volume so high the explosions in the game can probably be heard by the neighbors. There's a dozen empty beer bottles on the coffeetable by where they have their feet propped up.

Jiyong's racecar goes skidding into a lamppost and then into a mailbox before spinning off and landing in a waterfountain. The car explodes into a ball of fire despite the water and Youngbae cheers at the triumphant loss. Jiyong finally throws his controller away.

"I didn't see the post at all."

"You didn't see the garbage can earlier either."

Jiyong sighs. "Yeah, I didn't."

Youngbae is looking at him funny. Their gazes lock for a few moments before Youngbae smiles shyly and admits why. "I remember when you came over that one night."

"What night?"

"You know... when, uh..."

"Oh my god. Don't remind me. Don't talk about it."

"I remember you here. Legs just as you are now." Jiyong seems to remember what Youngbae is referring to because he stiffens and pulls his feet off the coffeetable instantly. Youngbae crawls closer to him though. He looks like someone's fluffy and uncoordinated pet. "I don't think it's a bad thing to want company sometimes."

Jiyong's eyebrow piques. "You want company?"

"Kiss me?"

"You can't be more drunk than I am."

"I'm not. Kiss me anyway."

Jiyong looks unsure. He wants to say no but remembers he'd done much worse. So when Youngbae approaches, he kisses him softly, and even though it turns deeper pretty quickly, he allows it. He pulls his friend to him, puts his arms around his neck and feels a weird mixture of safe and uncomfortable with him. Perhaps even a little dangerous. Even though all those feelings are basically contradictory.

A kiss between friends.

He pulls Youngbae's feet over his lap and pets his hair afterwards. That's how they fall asleep.

---

"You've never kissed Seunghyun other than the time on set, right?"

"That was two times I think, and he kissed me."

"Just answer."

"No, but he seems like he wouldn't care much if prompted for another round, eh?"

"I wish I could be so aloof like that."

"Insane, you mean?"

"No. Well, yeah, he's unusual. But he's also so free, don't you think?"

"He's not free."

"I don't know what you mean, but I envy his ability to throw caution to the wind."

"It's not a blessing. He doesn't kiss badly, but I think there's something sad in the way he kisses."

"Sure it wasn't just acting?"

"It wasn't acting."

Youngbae ponders this conversation for longer than he has time to spare. He's running late for a meeting. Jiyong had left his apartment only moments ago this morning, and Youngbae had been close to frozen on the doorstep where they parted.

Did he feel like that? Did he have the same sadness inside him? He's trying to understand why he'd kissed Jiyong last night. He can't fathom a reason and he doesn't have time to come up with one, so he leaves the matter alone, and as his busy life takes over any uncomfortable or meandering thoughts, his questions and his feelings drift away.

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THE END.