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Just A Crush

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JUST A CRUSH

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Let me give away a major spoiler and tell you that big, cool, leader Hyunwoo accidentally falls in love with the youngest member of his group, Changkyun.

Here's how it happens:

The first time Hyunwoo felt anything other than normal towards Changkyun was on the set of their second parody drama. But it wasn't any scene you might expect; it was when Changkyun acted like a drunk lovesick fool. Hyunwoo had already recorded his half of the phone call and now he was behind the camera, watching the youngest play drinking games with himself and babble about how much he hates Hyunwoo's own character. And it also had something to do with Changkyun's smudged eyeliner, how pouty and vulnerable he looked, and the fact that his wig was a mess—Hyunwoo just found it all so adorable, he wanted to hug him. That was basically it, and Changkyun had his heart like never before.

Of course he didn't know then that this was a problem of any kind. He just thought Changkyun was cute and funny and he chuckled to himself. He laughed even more at the end when Changkyun snapped out of the drunk acting and pulled off his wig. Back to being Changkyun. Hyunwoo caught him on the way off set and fixed his hair a little for him; smiled wide and told him that he made a very convincing drunk girl. "You're such a good actor," Hyunwoo added. And Changkyun smiled happily because he'd been waiting all day for someone to tell him genuinely that he's pretty, and that was close enough.

That's it for that day. Nothing big, until a month later when the members are on stage during a concert ment, and Changkyun sexy-dances right in front of him. It's just for a few seconds, and it's not even all that sexy. Barely a couple body rolls and a hand that teases down his own chest, and then he turns away in embarrassment. But the way he hides behind Hoseok afterwards, like a little kid, and pouts at the discomfort, makes Hyunwoo again think that he's really really cute.

Hyunwoo notices something else a few weeks later and this is something that digs deeply into him: Changkyun's painted fingernails. They'd all had minor visual changes done, as previously discussed with their stylists, and Changkyun had come back to their dorm the night before their encore concert with painted nails. Black painted nails, but only half of them, randomly. Some nails were left normal while others danced seductively whenever his fingers moved. Hyunwoo was staring at his hands, mesmerized. And of course he'd seen nail polish before, even on men before, but this time, he was fascinated by how delicate Changkyun's fingers suddenly looked. His groupmate has such pretty hands, he thinks. What an odd thing to think. But he couldn't resist following the movement of his friend's hands all week.

They're sharing a hotelroom in Thailand, after a very long day of promotions, and Hyunwoo's eyes are closing even while trying to read through their schedule for tomorrow. Changkyun is finished with the bathroom finally and exits into the bedroom amongst a cloud of steam; as Hyunwoo lays in bed with his phone—the words on the screen start blurring together he's so tired. But when Changkyun plops down on the other bed in the room and groans, it catches Hyunwoo's attention.

The younger is laying face-first in the pillows, dressed only in a towel around his waist after his shower. His hair is still wet, and so are patches of his skin, both glistening with water. "I'm not moving," he declares.

Hyunwoo smiles. "At least dry your hair," he says. "Otherwise you'll catch a cold. Then you can pass out."

"No way. I'm not even getting under the covers. I'm dying..." Changkyun moans. He proceeds to make noises as if he's being murdered and it contradicts the notion that he really has no energy left. He seems to still have enough to crack jokes. And to scissor his legs to thump onto the bed for a demonstration of his distress.

Hyunwoo laughs. He would tease him in return, but he's not so good with words. What catches his eyes though, is the way Changkyun's pretty hand dangles off the side of the bed. Three of five fingernails colored in black shiny polish. The hand swings back and forth gently, aimlessly, and Hyunwoo doesn't know what he's doing, but before he's registered any of his own actions, he's kneeling on the floor by Changkyun's hand and threading their fingers together.

Changkyun turns his head to look him in the eye, now that they're so close, and frowns as if to ask what he's doing. But Hyunwoo catches on just then, that he's just done something slightly odd—

"Are you really tired?" Hyunwoo asks; tries to steer the conversation in a safe direction. He pets Changkyun's hand however, even while it's odd to hold it in this position, and maybe it's the right thing to do because Changkyun's expression melts into a smile.

"Are you worried about me?" he says, and squeezes Hyunwoo's hand in return. "Are you going to dote on me?"

The way he smiles makes butterflies bloom in Hyunwoo's belly. He can see his eyes up close, can see the delicate hand he likes in his own, and feels completely stupid in the moment. He nods because he doesn't know what else to do.

"Ohhh, ok," Changkyun replies, and looks very happy to have Hyunwoo's attention on him. "Will you roll me under the covers then? I don't want to move." He laughs as he says this, but then closes his eyes and lets his exhaustion wash over him. If Hyunwoo does or doesn't do anything from now on doesn't matter; Changkyun is planning on falling asleep where he lays. Under or over the blankets really doesn't matter at all.

But Hyunwoo is a caring leader, and one who's a little dumb and lovestruck right now, so he thinks he'll just do whatever Changkyun wants. He stands and starts pulling at corners of the too-well-tucked hotel blanket and then starts shoving at Changkyun's lifeless body to try and maneuver him under the blanket instead of laying on top. Changkyun laughs quietly, and at first lets himself be moved, but then his mischievous side takes over as he provides absolutely no help to Hyunwoo's task, and in fact makes himself heavier to intentionally cause hell.

Hyunwoo has pushed and pulled at his shoulders and torso and legs, both having fun with the struggle, until Changkyun rolls over—so close to the goal of being under the blanket—but alas without his towel suddenly. Changkyun doesn't even notice at first, until he hears Hyunwoo apologizing bashfully and he opens his eyes to look at his friend. Then notices his nakedness and covers his privates with the towel again. He's flat on his back looking sideways at Hyunwoo now, who has the deepest red blush he's ever seen on that face before. He peaks an eyebrow at the behavior. "It's not a big deal," he says gruffly, a croak in his throat, as he pulls the rest of the blanket over himself. "Anyway, you didn't actually have to do that—I was joking." He wouldn't be shy about it if Hyunwoo wasn't so shy. Because it really wasn't a big deal—they'd seen each other naked plenty of times; that's just what happens when seven guys live in one dorm together.

"Oh," Hyunwoo breathes, and he's rubbing at the nape of his neck awkwardly, the way he does when he's nervous. "I didn't know. Sorry."

Changkyun watches him for a moment, then asks, "Are you ok?"

At which the leader seems to jump out of his own thoughts, puts on a giant smile and replies, "Yeah, totally! Why wouldn't I be?"

The younger eyes him suspiciously. "I don't believe you. Do you want to talk about it?"

Hyunwoo practically vaults—he gets back into his own bed, pulls the blanket to his chin and says, "Nope, I'm all good."

"Oh my god. You're the worst liar ever. But if you don't want to talk about it that's fine," Changkyun says, and settles into his bed; makes his pillow comfy, quickly letting go of the subject. "Can I turn off the light?"

"Yea-uh-huh," Hyunwoo replies. So Changkyun reaches a hand for the lamp between them and flicks off the light. Hyunwoo is thankful he no longer has to see those hands with painted fingernails in the new darkness.

Though, Hyunwoo still hasn't finished reviewing their schedule for tomorrow, and when he remembers this he feels like an idiot and pulls out his phone again to read it. "Ugh," he pouts to himself.

"Is something bothering you?" Changkyun asks a few minutes later. "Because you can talk about it, you know. I'll listen."

Hyunwoo squeezes the phone in his hand so tight his knuckles turn white. Luckily it's not visible in the near darkness of the room now. He's turning over words in his mouth because he wants to answer Changkyun honestly but doesn't know what to say. It all sounds so stupid. Plus, his friend's dick is still freshly burned into his eyeballs so he feels even more awkward.

Hyunwoo actually panics—as much as Hyunwoo ever panics—because the only thing on his mind is how Changkyun is naked under his blankets, right in the bed adjacent to his, and how he has such pretty hands. And how he looks naked and spread-eagle with a blissful face. And how these don't need to be anyone's thoughts except whoever is interested in Changkyun, and this last thought makes him panic even more. He stares at his phone as resolutely as he can, and Changkyun watches him, because in the dark, Hyunwoo's face is the only thing illuminated by the light of the phone. But then his eyes droop and falls asleep before Hyunwoo answers.

And Hyunwoo never answers anyway. He tells himself to snap out of it and lets the moment pass.

At the end of the week when Changkyun's nail-polish disappears, Hyunwoo feels sad about it and misses it instantly. Enough to tell Changkyun that first morning that, "You know, I think the black nails looked good on you." In his usual, too-honest manner.

The youngest wipes sleep out of his eyes but smiles kindly back at the leader. "Uh, thank you."

Too bad Hyunwoo's eyes can't stop following the youngest now.

The next thing Hyunwoo notices are a pair of earrings the stylist has put on Changkyun for one of their performances. Usually they wear a variety of mismatched lengths, but this time the pair that Changkyun is wearing are both long and dangly. And as they come off stage from their performance that evening, one of them gets tangled between the leather harness of Changkyun's stage costume and all their audio wires.

"Ugh, bloody shit," the youngest swears. But Hyunwoo is right there, ready to help, reaching to take the matter into his own hands. He would even reprimand him for bad words, but Kihyun has already told him to watch his language near cameras. When Hyunwoo starts fiddling with uncurling the silver dangle from between the leather bands and the wires of their mics and in-ears, Changkyun drops all effort to help and lets Hyunwoo handle it instead.

The leader is quite deft at fixing these kinds of issues, so he has the earring situation sorted in no time, but then his hands linger—he touches Changkyun's ear gently, and even pushes a strand of his ink-black hair away from his sweaty face—and this part is a little off. Not actually strange, but strange that Hyunwoo is doing it, and doing it so softly amidst the vortex of bustling energy backstage. Changkyun steps away and can't help the bashful curl of his lips in the one second he meets Hyunwoo's eyes, before necessity requires them to move on.

This incident starts the youngest thinking that Hyunwoo might have a secret girlfriend or something, because he seems more in tune lately with small feminine details. Maybe. It's just a passing thought. Honestly, Changkyun forgets all about it—would have forgotten all of it, if it wasn't for how persistent Hyunwoo's strange behavior becomes.

Of course, Hyunwoo, a man of the fewest words, says nearly nothing, but too often Changkyun has found his hands on him—fixing minor details on his costumes, brushing his hair back, handing him water bottles, holding doors open for him, hugging his shoulders, handing him nearby items before a request is even made... Obviously none of this is weird. But this kind of attention, coming from Hyunwoo: that's weird. Hyunwoo is usually oblivious.

Hyunwoo, by this time, has become aware that he has a small crush on the youngest. He doesn't know if that's exactly what this enamored feeling he has is exactly—it could very well just be stress or empathy or frustration—but he's calling it a crush nonetheless because it's just the easiest word he can come up with. And no, he doesn't think it's romantic. He just thinks he needs to pay a little less attention. Maybe find a new hobby to occupy him. That that's the only problem.

Oh boy, is he wrong.

It's about two weeks after the hotelroom incident that Changkyun is once again loitering with only a towel on after his shower. This time it's in the livingroom of their dorm. Both him and Minhyuk. And they're both too lazy to put clothing on it seems. They start a movie and settle into the couch to watch it.

Hyunwoo can see them from where he's seated in the kitchen—both kitchen and livingroom are open to each other, and so Hyunwoo noticed them both come in together. There had been the sound of only one shower. And he can't help blurt out—"Did you two shower together?"

Minhyuk answers him happily, "Yeah. And there's hot water left if you want." As if hot water was Hyunwoo's concern. Again, the weird part is not that the two members had showered together, the problem was that Hyunwoo was jealous over nothing.

Changkyun catches the blush that comes over Hyunwoo's face when he says, "Ah. Cool." But the movie recaptures his attention almost immediately. He doesn't notice how Hyunwoo's eyes linger on his body. But the leader is watching his legs, too exposed when he crosses them, and his hand, resting comfortably over a knee, and how his hair is drying into little peaks from not being blow-dried, and also his torso, which is lean but masculine. How Minhyuk's head rolls onto Changkyun's shoulder as their vision glazes over, and finally how they fall asleep on the couch together.

And that's when Hyunwoo is pretty sure he has a problem. He covers the two sleeping members in a blanket, and heads to his own bed, and then wants to tear the hair from his head. He can tell he's jealous. He's jealous and doesn't even know what of.

Was it because of all the times the members had ever saved hot water and time by showering together, it had never once been Hyunwoo and Changkyun together? Was it because he wanted to be the one who rested his head on his shoulder? Was it that he wanted to be close and naked together? Was it because he craved intimacy? Hyunwoo thinks it's a mixture of all these things, and feels stupid enough to want to puke. What was wrong with him?!

On an overseas trip, not even a week later, Changkyun asks to share a hotelroom with Hyunwoo. No one thinks anything of it, but Hyunwoo is instantly a jittery ball of nerves and Changkyun notices this.

Hoseok gives them a look, because he's the type whose eyes catch everything, but Hyunwoo turns away from him and follows Changkyun to the elevators. Like a proper little boy-scout. Like a dog with his tail between his legs. Or a bear that feels too big and awkward for the confined space of an elevator. He doesn't dream of opening his mouth and saying anything to Changkyun.

Except that when they finally drop their luggage around the room and the air seems clear finally, Changkyun chooses to say, "Listen, can I ask you something?"

Hyunwoo gulps. "Yeah. What's up?"

"This might sound odd... but is there a reason you've been so—uh, nice, to me lately?"

"Pardon?"

"Yeah, you're just, all attentive and stuff. And helpful. I'm not saying it's bad, but you're only doing it to me. Do you think I'm not ok? Because I'm fine. Honestly, I'm not stressed or anything."

"Oh," Hyunwoo deadpans. He has no idea how to reply. "Ok, good."

Changkyun waits for him to say more but he doesn't. Because that's how Hyunwoo is. He gives up and laughs. "You're so—ugh! I don't know. You're such a closed book. I don't get you."

"Nothing to get," Hyunwoo replies. And looks away because he can feel his face heating up again.

"But yeah, there is. You're quiet, but it's not like there's nothing going on in your mind. I know there is. You're not dumb." He expects that Hyunwoo might say something, but he doesn't, so Changkyun proceeds to put his own foot in his mouth some more; has no idea why he's digging so deeply into this subject, knows he might regret asking and getting so personal—because it's not civil to be so intrusive—but the more he does, the more he can almost feel how Hyunwoo becomes uncomfortable. And it's a secret Changkyun keeps locked away: that it turns him on when he can psychologically pick apart someone else. Which is why he digs deeper. He knows he shouldn't, that it's rude even, but can't help it, just this once. Just because Hyunwoo bites his lip when Changkyun approaches. Poor leader looks glued to his mark on the floor and stiffens when Changkyun draws near. Which only makes Changkyun more bold. "Do you have a problem with me by any chance?"

"—No. N-no," Hyunwoo stutters. But his eyes are blown wide with fear. He's the worst liar ever. Too honest to be even passable, and it's got Changkyun salivating at trying to figure out why Hyunwoo is acting like this.

"You can just tell me. I can tell something is bothering you. That's why I wanted to share a room with you, so we can talk." Changkyun pulls him by the hand to sit down, and though Hyunwoo sits, he pulls his hand away almost immediately. "Did I do something wrong?"

"No. It's not you. It's me. Promise," Hyunwoo says. And because Changkyun looks like he doesn't believe him at all, he adds, "It's nothing you need to worry about. You didn't do anything."

"But something is bothering you. Won't you tell me? Am I the wrong person to talk to?" Changkyun is brave enough to take his hand and hold it, and this time Hyunwoo threads their fingers and stares at their linked hands.

"No. You're ok."

Minutes drag on. Hyunwoo's mind is blank and racing at the same time, and Changkyun lets go of trying to dig up the leader's dirt. It's not his business anyway, and he's been rude to ask so intently, especially since Hyunwoo doesn't seem to want to share. He holds the other's hand way past the time he would have let go, purely because Hyunwoo hasn't let go.

It's awkward to just be sitting there in silence, holding hands. Hyunwoo's thumb brushes back and forth over his own. It's soft, sweet. Changkyun doesn't understand why they're sitting like this. And then Hyunwoo says, "This is nice." He has a dreamy smile pulling up the corners of his lips slightly.

And it's probably the last thing Changkyun expected him to say. Especially after so long. He has no idea what that's supposed to mean. He finds it charming that Hyunwoo's cheeks are pink, and he's bashful, but thinks it's unrelated to himself somehow. Maybe the leader really does have a secret girlfriend and he's turned mushy because of it.

"Do you have a girlfriend or something?"—It comes flying out of Changkyun's mouth.

Hyunwoo lets go of his hand. "No," he says. He looks hurt, and in that moment Changkyun feels sad to let go of their contact.

"Wha-at? I thought maybe you're pining over a girl you like. You look a little lovesick. If I'm wrong, I'm sorry. Never mind. I was just taking a stab in the dark. I'll drop the subject." And Changkyun really does drop it, goes to his luggage to start fishing his washing supplies from inside.

The other is at once glad to be out of firing range, but also heartbroken for how cowardly he's behaving. This isn't like him. Hyunwoo doesn't shirk responsibility and hide this way. This isn't like him, and he feels guilty and pathetic for acting this way. Because Changkyun is a boy, a fellow group member, almost four years younger, and he feels responsibility to behave properly. He can't say any of the things floating around in his mind. If this was a girl, he would have said clearly—awkward as he is with feelings, but clear nonetheless—"I think I like you. Will you go out on a date with me?" But he can't do that with Changkyun. He's vividly aware that he's not supposed to like him.

When Changkyun is in the bathroom, Hyunwoo is still wrapped up in his own headspace. He's pressing an arm over his eyes as he lays back in bed, and wonders for the first time what Changkyun's reaction would be if he told him. What would be the consequences of being honest? Would he laugh? Think he's joking? Punch him? Run to management and complain? Would be care? Would he just say "ok" and move on and then at least Hyunwoo wouldn't have to lie? Would it be awkward afterwards if he told? Would Changkyun hate him? Look differently at him? Lose respect for him?

He feels like crying so he does cry. He's not even sure when the tears started falling down his cheeks, but when he notices he flips onto his front to hide his face in a pillow. So hopefully Changkyun won't notice.

Really, he feels like scum for lying. Hyunwoo doesn't lie. Doesn't avoid awkward topics. He knows that no matter what, he's going to be awkward anyway, and that he should just get it over with. His friends always understand and move past his inability to socialize properly. Awkward and socially inept are Hyunwoo's middle names, he knows this. It usually gives him courage to just suck it up and do what needs to be done, knowing that social pain is inevitable. But this is different. This is so different. He can't say any of this and feels utterly trapped.

He tries to form a sentence that he could explain himself with. I think I like you. I think I like you. I think I have a crush on you. I'm sorry. I want to crawl into a garbage can. I'll abdicate leadership to take responsibility. Hoseok would make a better leader anyway. Please don't hate me. I'm really sorry...

He doesn't say any of this, but when Changkyun comes out of the bathroom it's obvious that Hyunwoo is crying and this is completely crazy—for a second makes the younger think that the sky is falling, because Hyunwoo cries least out of all of them. He makes a beeline to sit by his side, puts his hand in his hair and pets him though he can't see his face. That's his way of asking what's wrong, since he doesn't want to ask again with words. Not after upsetting him earlier. But Changkyun gets no response, only feels the way Hyunwoo's shoulders shake and it makes him really worried; wonders what could have happened, thinks he should call Hoseok for help. Or Kihyun if it's really urgent. But the way Hyunwoo doesn't make any move to action seems to mean that whatever's going on isn't time-dependant. Is this still about what they talked about earlier?

"I'm sorry if I upset you. I was too nosy. I didn't mean to pry," Changkyun says. It's supposed to be preemptive if this really is his fault. Shit. He should know better than to stick his large nose in other people's business. He just never thought Hyunwoo was fragile like this.

"It's not your fault," comes Hyunwoo's ragged voice from between pillows, where he's still hiding his face.

"Will you tell me what's wrong though? Why are you crying? You never cry..."

"I know. But... I can't say."

Changkyun waits for him to quiet down. His presence has calmed the elder enough to turn over and wipe the last of his tears away. His eyes are red though, and there's a tremor on his lips when he turns to face Changkyun.

"I'm sorry," Hyunwoo says. "I'm just really sorry."

"What are you sorry for?" Hyunwoo looks at him so desperately that the younger feels it in his bones. "Tell me," he coaxes, and he thinks he's being cute, but Hyunwoo's eyes only become more fearful.

"I think you'd hate me if I told you. It's not... normal. I think it's so stupid, but I can't stop it."

Changkyun is impressed to hear so many real words strung together. And while his curiosity is killing him, he chooses to hold it back and say, "I don't think it's possible to hate you. But it's ok if you don't tell me. Just, can I do anything? Do you want tissues? Or a beer or something?"

Hyunwoo smiles sadly. He shakes his head and instead takes Changkyun's hand again, links their fingers and looks wistfully at how they join again. Changkyun doesn't understand but he comes closer, just out of instinct. Wants to see what, if anything, Hyunwoo will do now. Fall asleep maybe?

Closer isn't close enough for Hyunwoo, who pulls him into a hug, until Changkyun is resting at his side, wrapped in Hyunwoo's arms, head on the elder's chest. Hyunwoo is running hands through his hair, and Changkyun thinks that if the elder wasn't grieving in this moment, that this was really sweet.

"Do you want to sleep?" Changkyun asks. Hyunwoo's petting seems to indicate yes. "Should I turn off the light?"

"No, leave it," Hyunwoo says. And pulls Changkyun closer into his arms until the younger is forced to lay partially over him, a leg between Hyunwoo's now.

Changkyun had bothered to put on a t-shirt, but hadn't gotten to the underwear and pants part—had been too distracted by Hyunwoo's crying. Neither had noticed until now maybe, when Hyunwoo bends the knee of the leg that the younger is sitting over, and his towel comes loose. Not enough to fall off, but enough to notice that he's straddling Hyunwoo's thigh with a little too little clothing on. Hyunwoo makes no further motion. He seems to just want to hold Changkyun as close as possible.

"Can you sleep like this?" Hyunwoo asks.

"I'm not tired, but maybe." Not to mention that the lights are still on. And that his concern for the leader takes precedence over sleep. It's not even that late. They'd gotten to the hotel early today. Changkyun isn't sleepy at all right now.

But Hyunwoo falls asleep. Changkyun notices when his breaths become steady and calm; when Changkyun tries to move but the elder no longer holds him down. So he watches him sleep for a few minutes, tries to fathom what on Earth he's distressed over, and then finally detangles their limbs, barely able to keep his towel around his waist before successfully standing up. When he's sure that Hyunwoo hasn't woken up due to his movement, he untucks the other half of the blanket that he's not sleeping on and covers him with it. Then puts on pajama bottoms and gets into his own bed.

The youngest is busy on his phone—checking their group chat, emails, perusing the latest fan comments, taking a few selfies, reading the schedule for tomorrow, and that's when he realizes that Hyunwoo had done none of this. He looks over at the other boy suddenly and is really surprised to find him staring back at him, eyes wide open.

"Oh! Hey," he can't mask his surprise. "I thought you were asleep."

"I was."

Changkyun registers that Hyunwoo is still in a strange mood, but chooses to overlook it and redirect his attention back on his phone.

Hyunwoo clears his throat, and comes to sit beside him. He takes his hand, so Changkyun is forced to pay attention to him. Maybe this time he'll say something concrete, Changkyun thinks. But Hyunwoo doesn't. He starts massaging Changkyun's palm and wrist, with that same wistful look from before. The younger is dying to ask what's going on, but keeps quiet. Keeps waiting.

Waiting becomes painfully drawn-out because all Hyunwoo does is play with his hands, and this piques Changkyun's curiosity only more. Time feels like it's slow-motion as Hyunwoo massages each of Changkyun's fingers individually.

"You have pretty hands," he says, and Changkyun has no idea whether to laugh or not, because that's what he has to say after so long?! But he says it so sincerely that Changkyun would feel bad laughing at him for it. So he just waits more.

Hyunwoo's eyes move from Changkyun's hands to his face, so they're looking at each other now, and Changkyun feels like he can see into the other's soul, that's how raw the emotion in Hyunwoo's eyes is. He can see inside, he just doesn't understand. And Hyunwoo isn't bloody saying anything, and it's driving Changkyun up a wall!

"Oh my god!" Changkyun suddenly bursts out, "Just say something! Anything! I can see that you need to say something but I have no idea what and that stupid look on your face is killing me! Just say something. Ok? I'm not gonna hate you or whatever. Nobody is ever going to hate you. You didn't murder anyone."

Hyunwoo bites his lip and withdraws his hands though. He shakes his head. After all the debate in his head, he knows it's still not ok to say anything, and that now it's becoming dangerous for how obvious he's made this problem. It only gets bigger and more dangerous the more he thinks about it, and he hasn't found a solution. Even his feelings are mixed up; doesn't know how or why he likes the other boy; doesn't really want anything more than what they have now, so why is it all so difficult?

"I'm calling Minhyuk. I'm sorry if this is crude, and insensitive, but it's an effective method. He can badger you until you spill whatever uncomfortable thing you're so shy to share. If it's got you so worked up, we should deal with it."

Hyunwoo panics and pulls the phone from Changkyun's hands. The boy really looked like he was going to call—"Y-you can't tell anyone!" Hyunwoo stammers. His eyes are so wide too, it looks like he's scared for his life, and Changkyun has to take a moment to internalize that this might not be a joking matter.

"You're scaring me."

"Crap. I'm sorry," Hyunwoo deflates. He gives Changkyun back his phone and goes back to his own bed. "Just don't tell anyone. I'll be fine. I can deal with it. I'll go away on its own." He says these things and prays for them to be true. "I need time. That's all."

Changkyun isn't buying any of it. He waits some more, watches Hyunwoo crawl under his own bedcovers and takes up his phone to review tomorrow's schedule. He's not settled, but perhaps he needs to drop the subject before he creates another emotional first for Hyunwoo and makes him angry. He feels bad enough already. "Right, well, you know you can talk to me. I can keep secrets too, if that's what you want." He sees Hyunwoo's jaw clench. "Anyway, just turn the light off when you're ready. I'm sorry I made you upset."

"You're fine," Hyunwoo grinds out, but indeed he seems on the verge of anger.

Anger not at Changkyun though, but at his own inability to properly deal with his own emotions. This situation probably frustrates him more than anything else. He feels his hands tied away from all solutions. So he lays awake for many hours that night, watching Changkyun's back as the other boy sleeps, trying to decide at least what it is he feels for him.

Desire to hold him. To pet him. Hug him. To brush hair from his forehead. He wants to cradle him in his lap, hold him like he's all his. And only his. Wants to dote on him. Make him smile. Watch him walk, strut, pout, laugh. How is this different from all his other friends? Because he just wants it more. Wants to pay attention to all of it. Wants to touch and link and twine with his pretty hands. Wants to see him happy.

This is ridiculous. This isn't even what a crush looks like. This is kindergarten level. Usually you want to kiss and fuck and stuff.

Oh.

He imagines holding Changkyun's hand and pulling him closer for a kiss.

Oh.

A minute later he's in the shower jacking off, imagining that his hand belongs to Changkyun. He falls to his knees and groans over the images playing in his mind. His hand works feverishly. The water beats down on him and everything is too hot. It all leads to a guilty but powerful orgasm; and afterwards he feels royally fucked.

This is a new low.

---

"Did you break up with a girl that we don't know about?" Changkyun asks him one day at the dorm, when they're out of earshot of any other members.

Hyunwoo looks at him, stupefied, and considers for a moment that that really would be a good excuse. He wants to nod his head so badly because it might extricate him from his predicament, but he can't lie. So he shakes his head, "No."

"Is it ok if I keep guessing?"

"I wish you wouldn't," Hyunwoo grumbles.

Changkyun can't let this go. Not when he's the only one who seems to notice that Hyunwoo has been behaving strangely the last couple months. And it's getting worse. All the better to poke and prod at. If he stays to think about it, of course he feels bad for taking his friend's grief too lightly, but his curiosity wins over. "Can you give me a hint? Tell me what it's about at least?" Hyunwoo frowns at him. "Is it work? Something to do with music? Recording? Something to do with promotions?" Changkyun tries in vain. "You're not about to quit the team I assume." Hyunwoo stays quiet at this part and it worries Changkyun.

He feels like he should quit sometimes. After all his work and struggle to get here, he's also made a huge mistake crushing so deeply on a fellow member. It's vile and disingenuous and corrupt. Totally inappropriate of a leader. Of a friend. Never in all his life did he think he would be here. But here they are. The only reason he's not quitting is because of the other members. He has a responsibility to hold himself accountable for his wrong actions (thoughts, feelings), but he also has the greater responsibility of being a part of the group. The group doesn't work without all seven of them, so he's giving it his everything and holding on. He'll never let go. That's the last thing he wants, is to ruin this one good thing they all have. He won't let them all be punished just because he deserves it.

"Don't be silly." He tries to make it sound like a smaller deal than it is. It throws Changkyun off the scent. His next questions try a different tactic.

"Did you get some horrible medical diagnosis that you don't want to talk about? Because if that's the case, you need to let doctors help you. If it's—"

"—It's not cancer. I'm not dying."

Changkyun puffs out a relieved laugh and Hyunwoo can't help smile at him. Guilty as he feels. It's nice to see Changkyun happy.

"So it's nothing health-related?"

"No," Hyunwoo chuckles.

"Good," Changkyun says. "Seriously. Everything else can be dealt with, you know." And when he looks into Hyunwoo's eyes like that, he really wants to believe the younger. That he can deal with this; that everything will be alright. He doesn't believe it, but having Changkyun say it makes his heart just a little lighter.

"No one is dying or needs a doctor." Hyunwoo says this and tries to evict the horrid thought from his mind of what might happen if his private thoughts about Changkyun lately ever found their way into the news media. He might very well end up in a hospital with his knees bashed in, or worse. But no, that's not him. He's not there yet. This is just one crush. He knows enough to know that this is just a one-time thing. Just one person doesn't change his sexuality.

"Ok, good. 'Cause I was about to ask about your family next," Changkyun smiles. "Is it about money then?"

"No." Hyunwoo responds, but his features have turned darker. So the younger thinks he should stop asking now. He must have reached a limit somewhere in the last few seconds.

Changkyun is about to walk away actually, when Hyunwoo takes his wrist and attention. Hyunwoo is about to say something. It's that same look of longing that he wore last time they shared a hotelroom.

"C-can I hug you?" he says. His mouth is dry around the question, chest heavy with an anvil of fear, air barely escaping his lungs, but he's managed to say words. Real words. He doesn't know if they're good or bad, but they're words. And mostly ambiguous too, which is nice.

"Yes! Of course," Changkyun is quick to reply. He pulls Hyunwoo into a hug as big as he can give, and lets the taller elder rest his head over his. And they can stay like this too, as long as Hyunwoo needs, Changkyun doesn't mind. "If this helps, I'm here for you. Anything."

Hyunwoo's rarely-used sarcastic side wants to laugh and say, "I highly doubt your version of anything is what I have in mind." Of course he doesn't say this; doesn't want to ruin the sweet moment now that he has Changkyun in his arms. He's smaller to touch, than he looks. His shoulders are wide, but his shoulder-blades are delicate. And when he touches down his spine too, he feels over every vertebra, and thinks the boy is prettier than he looks at first glance. He knows that the first impression Changkyun gives off is slightly cold and reserved, boyish but with a gaunt face. But Hyunwoo knows better now. Changkyun is clever, but also warm to touch. His hair smells fruity and his breath against Hyunwoo's shoulder is comforting. He cards gentle fingers through the younger's hair. It's been black for longer than any of them, which means it's softer, free of dyes that damage it. He wants to express somehow, how much he loves this, being close to him, but he has no appropriate words. So instead he kisses his hair lightly, and hopes Changkyun doesn't notice.

Then he lets him go, because they have a busy day. It's always a busy day.

---

Hoseok is not someone to be hoodwinked easily. No matter how much he can be gullible about small things, no matter if his reactions to mild surprises are comical. Beneath all that, he knows how to use his eyes and put puzzles together. So maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise to Changkyun when one day he gets asked, "You wanna tell me what's going on with Hyunwoo lately?"

Changkyun freezes, for a split second before he regains his ability to dodge the question, but it's long enough a pause for Hoseok to learn that there really is an issue and that Changkyun isn't completely oblivious. "Not sure what you mean," the younger says.

Hoseok smirks. "Right, so you're saying I should ask Hyunwoo, because you don't know anything."

"Yeah. I don't know anything."

"You're both terrible liars. But ok."

Hoseok flicks his forehead and moves on.

---

Hoseok and Hyunwoo are in the gym showers after a workout and since Hoseok is evil, he chooses this exact time to ask Hyunwoo what his problem is.

"Hey. So I noticed you have a new friendship going on with Changkyun. It's nice that you're getting along with him lately."

"I don't know how many times I have to tell you guys. We're not awkward together," Hyunwoo grumbles in return. The old joke made for TV from a few years ago seems to have stuck around a little too long. The others used to tease them for fun, even when they all knew it wasn't true. It used to make Hyunwoo too self-aware to look at anyone much less Changkyun back then. He wanted to beat their asses because they were all culprits, each as guilty as the next, for teasing him. Playing with his awkwardness. That has nothing to do with now, but he's banking on it as an excuse.

"I think this is something else though. Have you guys bonded over something recently?"

"No."

"I asked him and he said—"

"—I'm going to murder him."

"—He said he had no idea what I was talking about."

"Oh."

Hoseok chuckles. "So what are you guys up to lately? New unit group? New game? Something good?"

"Not quite."

"Yeah, didn't think so."

"It's nothing," Hyunwoo defends, but Hoseok is too smart for that weak excuse.

"I have a feeling you're hiding something really good this time, Hyunwoo. You told Changkyun but not me?"

And it's the absolute worst time ever to grow a boner, but there it is. Fuck. He turns around and shuts off the water. Maybe Hoseok didn't notice.

Hiding something good with Changkyun; something he can't tell others. Fuck. Why did that idea have blood rushing south for him? That's crazy. He feels short of breath by the time he makes it to the lockers to find clothing. His towel is leaving nothing to the imagination, and now that Hoseok has caught up with him he can feel his friend's eyes on him, as if he can see right through him. Even if Hoseok's not doing anything, acting completely normal. Even if he actually lets the subject drop.

Hyunwoo is plagued with guilt.

And Hoseok isn't stupid. He'd seen the shame on Hyunwoo's face and his hard dick. He just hasn't put the pieces together. Because it can't be the most obvious answer. That's just not possible. This isn't fanfiction, this is real life. Behind the cameras.

Hyunwoo finds Changkyun as quickly as possible. He needs to hold him. To ground himself. To show the world that he's not doing anything strange. They're just hugging.

Minhyuk walks past them and tells them they're adorable. And then he links arms with Jooheon. "We can be cute too, right?"

Jooheon rolls his eyes but lets Minhyuk manhandle his arm. "You guys have time for a movie? Or do you want to monitor some MX-channel episodes we missed lately?"

Changkyun twists his head in Hyunwoo's embrace; they're still holding on to each other. "MX episodes. I have so many to catch up on," the youngest says.

"Oh god. Then you don't know the fans have revived Kihyun's baby shark meme. But with teeth this time. It's so funny..." Minhyuk trails off and soon pulls everyone to gather around his laptop.

Hyunwoo rests with his head on Changkyun's shoulder as they watch the screen together, and Changkyun runs fingers through his hair for him. This is the best guilty pleasure, Hyunwoo thinks.

---

It's just a crush, he tells himself. Just a crush. Nothing to worry about. He's liked girls before and after a time the feeling fades away. If he doesn't do anything about it, nothing more happens. Everyone moves on.

Except, it's not really that easy with Changkyun; seeing as he knows him more intimately already, and that they spend almost 24/7 together. There's something different about him. Maybe because he was the latest addition to the team, thrust upon them from thin air, a mystery from the beginning... he wonders. No, that's not it. Though maybe there's something stemming from there that lets Hyunwoo see Changkyun as something more than a brother. It's always right on the line. Friends. More than friends. He teeters on the line constantly these days.

More than friends when Changkyun gets on his knees for a reenactment of From Zero.

Friends when Changkyun is brushing his teeth in the bathroom at the same time as him.

More than friends when Changkyun bites his shoulder and Hyunwoo has to stifle a moan. Shit. He didn't used to react like that to Changkyun's stupid oral fixation.

Friends when he divides up portions of ramen for the team. Changkyun is just one of the other members.

But then he sees him as more again, at night when he's trying to fall asleep and he remembers Changkyun's fingers holding chopsticks. He'd dazed off into dreamland watching the other male hold simple utensils while eating. Why was he so stupid? Why did everything morph into a craving for wanting just—more—with Changkyun? He wanted to kiss him. Twine their hands together and hold him close, touch down his body, and breathe into his hair. Smell him. Kiss over his neck.

Fuck, he was hard again. From nothing. Literally nothing. Light petting barely. Light petting that's not even real.

He rushes to the bathroom and draws a shower that he can jack off beneath. Water will mask his sins, then wash away the evidence.

It's the middle of the night when he tries to make his way back to bed, but coincidentally Changkyun is still awake in the living room and catches him.

"Hey. Have you seen the schedule for tomorrow?"

"Not yet," Hyunwoo replies. He doesn't want to talk right now. He feels dirty for having imagined Changkyun with his mouth around his dick just moments ago, and desperately wants to put on clothing, not sit there chatting with the object of his affections. He makes to leave but Changkyun drags him into a conversation.

"Come look. I think you'll be happy."

So Hyunwoo goes to read the phone that Changkyun is holding up, sits on the couch next to him. Out of the many things Changkyun could be talking about in their schedule, he picks up on the 7:30pm recording session. SN & IM.

"Are you referring to the recording session? After our voices are worn out from dance practice?" he grumbles. And thankfully finds a random t-shirt on the couch that he puts on. So he can be at least a little less naked.

"Yes, but not about being worn out," Changkyun says. "I just think you like hanging out with me lately. Maybe we can grab coffee afterwards, since it's the last item."

"Sure. If we get out of there before midnight."

"We will. You're fast on the mic."

"Hoseok is going to murder me. I swear he set this up intentionally." Hyunwoo's head lands in his hands briefly.

"Pardon?" Changkyun asks. "Why would you think that?"

"Because that guy knows everything."

"You told him your issue and not me?" Changkyun's eyes go wide in shock, even hits Hyunwoo square on the chest.

"—No. Of course not. But he thinks I told you."

"So why don't you just tell me already then?" Changkyun says, cheekily. He wiggles his eyebrows comically, and comes closer, trying to gain the upper hand; because after all these weeks he no longer feels the gravity of needing to be sensitive about whatever Hyunwoo's problem is. Even Hyunwoo lets him joke about it.

"Stop it," Hyunwoo protests. But Changkyun crawls into his lap cutely.

"Tell me, or I'll pout for the next five hours."

"So pout."

Changkyun is being a whiny child right now, wants his way—probably a behavior he learned from Minhyuk—so he buries his face in Hyunwoo's neck, breathes hot on his skin, and says, "You're no fun." At which Hyunwoo just shrugs and Changkyun's teeth go sinking into the muscle where neck meets shoulder. And it's painful, because that's how stupid Changkyun always bites, but this time the feeling sends electricity down Hyunwoo's spine; along with blood rushing to his dick. Fuck. He can't get hard with Changkyun draped all over him like this. He pushes him away as quick as possible, but Changkyun attacks him with his teeth again and sits right in his lap. This time he bites his shoulder over his t-shirt, but it's the same effect for Hyunwoo. And the younger is sitting right over the erection Hyunwoo is trying to hide. Shit. He can't take this. At the last moment, probably right before he'd be too hard for Changkyun to not notice, Hyunwoo pushes him off so harshly that Changkyun nearly lands on the coffee table. He lands on the floor right beside; winded and looking shocked that Hyunwoo would be so rough. Hyunwoo was strong but he was never rough.

"—Shit. Sorry. It's my fault," Changkyun rushes to say. He must have pissed off Hyunwoo really bad.

"—N-no. My fault. Promise," Hyunwoo counters. Except he can't exactly stand up when his dick is at full mast and Changkyun is on the floor right in front of him. His dick would be right at eye-level if he were to stand up. He discreetly moves a pillow into his lap. As if that's discreet. Shit. He's so fucked. At this point it was more a mystery how Changkyun wasn't yelling at him, disgusted, and calling him a fag.

The younger sits up on his haunches and places hands on both of Hyunwoo's knees. "I'm sorry," he says again. "I shouldn't joke. I'm sorry."

"Not your fault," Hyunwoo replies; though he chooses to censor the part about how Changkyun's biting had made him hard, that it was indeed his fault. And the part about having jacked off over him in the shower just minutes ago. He closes his eyes and leans backwards, letting his head fall into the cushions. "Not your fault. My fault."

Changkyun squeezes Hyunwoo's knees and though it's supposed to be some random comforting gesture, the touch once again contributes to Hyunwoo's hard-on. Right under that pillow over his lap.

This is so dangerous. Hyunwoo can practically taste his own lust. Changkyun's hands slide further up his thighs. The boy isn't doing anything inappropriate yet Hyunwoo's mind is going insane. He's right there, kneeling between his legs. Coming closer. Hands on his thighs. Fingers squeezing gently...

"G-go to bed, Changkyun. Ok? Go to bed."

"What? Why?" Changkyun comes closer, moves his hands from Hyunwoo's legs to his shoulders and Hyunwoo opens his eyes. The younger hadn't expected such a menacing look to be directed at him when their eyes met.

"Go to bed. Please. Leave me right now."

"Are you in pain or something—?"

"—Hell! Will you listen for once?!" Hyunwoo barks so loudly that Kihyun pops into the room.

"Hey. All ok?" the vocalist asks, as he looks between the two of them. It's seriously unusual for Hyunwoo to raise his voice.

"Yeah. All good," Changkyun answers. And Hyunwoo is incredulous that he's able to lie so smoothly. Or maybe it's not actually a good lie, but it's better than he could have managed. Kihyun doesn't buy it, not really, but nods and leaves anyway. When Changkyun meets his eyes again, Hyunwoo still looks spooked, but Changkyun steps away finally and says, "Right. I'll see you tomorrow. Sleep well."

And he leaves Hyunwoo alone on the couch, drowning in fear and lust and guilt.

---

The recording session that next day is really nothing out of the ordinary. Though Hyunwoo can't seem to shake the thought that Hoseok is watching him too closely as he guides their recording. Changkyun has been reserved all day today and that's something that Hyunwoo is sure Hoseok has also picked up on.

Thankfully he doesn't say a word to either of them, and both members record at top speed, anxious to get out of Hoseok's studio. The room had felt like a furnace by the last of it.

Now they're out in the street, in front of the company building, and he's standing next to Changkyun. They said they would get coffee afterwards, and they certainly have time. He's just not sure if Changkyun is still in the mood after how he'd yelled at him last night.

And it's as if the younger is reading his mind, that he asks, "Uh, so do you want to chill some more? Get coffee?"

Coffee doesn't actually mean coffee. It means an excuse to walk to the nearest cafe and order something. Literally anything, as an excuse to not turn in to the dorm so early. It's sunset. It's a pretty time of day, and he'd be lying to say he isn't excited to spend it with Changkyun.

"Yeah. Ok," Hyunwoo agrees. And Changkyun leads the way to the cafe just around the block, the one they all visit too often. They fall silent as they walk.

On the way back, they're both sucking some milky tea from a straw and Changkyun breaks the silence. "I'm sorry I upset you yesterday. I push too much. I know I do."

"It's fine." And it is, because Minhyuk does the same. Even Kihyun when he's feeling nosy. And Hyunwoo would say these things if he wasn't a man of such few words. But instead he takes Changkyun's hand and links their fingers. It's comfortable holding the other male's hand. It lets him drown in something nice, instead of his usual torment of late.

"Does your problem have something to do with me?"

"Yes," Hyunwoo replies—before his mind could process that this isn't one of the questions he should answer. Damn it! He pulls his hand away from Changkyun. Damn it. He fucked up.

"It does?"

"No."

"You just said so."

"Forget I said anything."

"Am I helping your problem or making it worse?"

"...Both," Hyunwoo relents with a huff. Because he's tired. He's so tired of running away from this subject. What's one more dumb vague answer? How much harm can it do? At least it's not a lie.

At least it's not a lie—Changkyun feels this way too. He stops walking though, and this forces Hyunwoo to stop walking also. They're in the middle of a narrow deserted street between tall apartment buildings, the sun almost all the way set. The streetlights flicker on above their heads and illuminate the way better now that nighttime is falling. "Hyunwoo," the younger says. He's looking right in Hyunwoo's eyes, so sincerely. "You can tell me anything."

Hyunwoo laughs nervously and takes Changkyun's drink from him. "I'm afraid you'll pour this over my head once I say this."

Changkyun comes closer. He takes a sip of one of the drinks in Hyunwoo's hands. "Promise I won't. I won't even laugh."

"—I like you."

The words hang in the air. Maybe Hyunwoo had said them too quickly. But Changkyun isn't saying anything, just watching him intently. After a while Hyunwoo realizes that he's waiting for him to say more.

"No, that's it. I think I like you," Hyunwoo clarifies.

Changkyun chuckles with a puzzled look on his face. "I don't understand. Of course you like me. I like you too—"

"—No, I mean I like you," Hyunwoo says, and his cheeks blossom into a flaming red color which stretches over his ears and down his neck, until he's flushed and embarrassed, but at least Changkyun isn't swearing at him. Not yet maybe. He can't look at him anymore, so he turns and starts walking towards home again.

"Wait-wait-wait!" Changkyun rushes after him and stops him again, so they're facing each other again. "What do you mean you like me? Like a guy likes a girl? That's not possible."

"Yeah, you're right. It's not possible," Hyunwoo admits sadly. He hangs his head and tries to keep walking again but Changkyun blocks his way.

"Hyunwoo! Wait. Just talk to me! Ok?" The younger puts a hand on his shoulder to try to keep him in place. "Just tell me what's going on."

Hyunwoo swallows, although it suddenly feels like a house is crushing his windpipe. "I—I like you," he manages to say again. Bile is forming in his gut, threatening to burn up his throat, and spill like vomit from his mouth. He feels like he's gonna be sick if he has to stand here much longer. Now that he's said his crime, he wants to shove it under a rug and move past it. But that's probably not how these things work.

"Like you want to kiss me?!" Changkyun bursts out. He's sure he doesn't understand properly.

"Yes," Hyunwoo supplies.

"But—b-but that's not possible," Changkyun stammers, and this time Hyunwoo just shrugs. "You want to kiss me?" Hyunwoo does nothing in reply. He stares blankly back at the youngest. He really can't say it again. Changkyun seems to understand anyway. "And you're not pulling my leg? None of the other guys put you up to this? And no TV shows?"

Hyunwoo shakes his head. Half to decline the possible ways this could all be a joke, and half because his life is a sad joke apparently. He wants to go home, crawl into bed, and drown in self-pity.

"Hyunwoo... You like me? Actually?" Changkyun's voice takes on a gentle tone. Hyunwoo nods weakly. "This is what's been bothering you?" Hyunwoo nods again. "Oh."

Changkyun takes his drink back from Hyunwoo and for a second the elder flinches.

"How?—I mean, why? Why not Hyungwon? Or Minhyuk? They're gorgeous." Hyunwoo shrugs. He takes a sip out of his own tea drink, and shrugs again, just to drive in how hopeless and pitiful he feels.

"Am I supposed to say anything?" Changkyun asks. "'Cause I have no idea what to say."

Hyunwoo shrugs again, slightly. "As long as you don't pour your drink on my head and leave the group, that's all I can ask for," the elder says.

"Oh my god. I'm not leaving the group. God—is that how scared you were?"

Hyunwoo nods.

"Damn. No, no, it's fine. I mean, I have no idea what to do or say, but please don't worry like crazy over this. Man... it's been doing a number on your brain, hasn't it?" Changkyun comments. And they start walking again. Hyunwoo doesn't have anything else to say. He supposes he's eternally grateful that Changkyun is taking it so well. Many others wouldn't. He even wonders about others in their own group. Would it be ok to admit something so taboo? "Listen," Changkyun says. "You've been really stressed lately. Just take it easy from now on. I'm not gonna tell anyone. And as far as I can tell right now, we're fine. Ok?"

Hyunwoo nods. He's not sure what fine means, but it means the worst has been avoided. That's all he can hope for. He deserves any further collateral damage he incurs, so he can deal with "fine" very well indeed.

Changkyun takes his hand as they walk and when they reach the door to their building, he places a quick kiss on the back of Hyunwoo's hand before their hands part. And gives him a wide, reassuring smile that makes Hyunwoo's heart flutter. "You're ok. We can deal with this," Changkyun says.

And Hyunwoo might feel even worse now for how mature Changkyun is being. It's the wrong way around, since he's the elder; he's the one who should be the responsible one. But Changkyun has always acted too mature for his age. He sighs and reluctantly follows him up to their dorm. When they enter, there's five other members that sweep their attention into a lighthearted evening of games and chatter, and Hyunwoo lets himself get swept away.

---

Somehow the topic of Hyunwoo's crush gets buried in a mass of schedules for the next week. Everything feels completely normal, as if Hyunwoo had never dropped a massive bombshell on the youngest member. So it's unexpected when Changkyun shuts the door behind them in the bathroom at the end of that week. Hyunwoo had been brushing his teeth, but now he's got a curious look on his face and a foamy mouth, and he's pointing with the toothbrush in his hand at the door. Because Changkyun had actually locked the door behind him when he entered. They never do that. Because someone always needs to grab some product or other, and it doesn't matter what anyone else is doing in the bathroom at the time.

"Finish brushing your teeth," Changkyun laughs. "I just wanna talk."

Hyunwoo frowns at him suspiciously, but indeed finishes his nighttime routine. Their cluster of massive schedules aren't actually over, and their night is short tonight. They'll be lucky if they get any sleep at all if Changkyun wants to talk for long. When he stares at Changkyun with a look like "what do you want?", the younger approaches him. He crowds in close and places a hand on Hyunwoo's sternum.

"You like me?" he asks, and Hyunwoo gives the smallest of nods, apprehensive about where this is going. "You want to kiss me?"

At this, Hyunwoo's brain nearly explodes. He can't answer that when Changkyun is so close! He furiously shakes his head in panic. No. N-no!

Changkyun's smile drops. "But you said—"

"—I—!" Hyunwoo interrupts, but doesn't get anywhere. Shit. What is he supposed to say now?

He never gets to think of a proper thing to say, because Changkyun has gotten on his tip-toes and places a sweet kiss to Hyunwoo's lips. Just a light little thing, lips touching briefly, and now he's smiling shyly at the elder.

What the hell does Changkyun think he's doing?! That was a kiss! Hyunwoo is seeing red suddenly.

"I kind of put all the pieces of the puzzle together. You were horny around me a few times, right?" Changkyun says.

Bloody hell, isn't this a nightmare?? Hyunwoo wants to plunge his head into a garbage compactor and let the filth inside die somewhere appropriate. His guilt is eating at him. How can Changkyun talk so casually? Even kiss him? This guy is insane. More than he'd ever given him credit for. All he can do is stare back at him, and not move a muscle.

Changkyun's eyes are way too sparkly up close, like they're filled with a million happy stars dancing. It's doing funny things to Hyunwoo's stomach to have him so close, especially the longer they stay like this. Changkyun has his hands on Hyunwoo's shoulders, waiting for him to say something. He's looking forward to anything Hyunwoo replies with, but Hyunwoo isn't sure he should even be talking about this. It's bad enough that he's finally told Changkyun about the mess in his brain.

When Hyunwoo takes too long to reply, Changkyun's hopeful eyes don't change, but he asks, "Do you think about me?"

It's another of those questions that tie Hyunwoo's insides into knots. Does he mean generally? or that other way? Hyunwoo gulps, but because he's too honest, he nods anyway. And it makes Changkyun draw even closer to him.

"Yeah?" the youngest asks, his voice low and breathy, and too near. Too enticing and dangerous, in Hyunwoo's opinion. He nods guiltily and doesn't dare move an inch, for fear they'll accidentally touch inappropriately. Hyperaware of the proximity of their bodies, he can only look back into Changkyun's mesmerizing eyes.

Changkyun moves his hands from Hyunwoo's shoulders to circle around his neck, and presses their chests together. He's speaking practically in Hyunwoo's ear when he says, "I've been thinking about it, and I like that you like me—" He's interrupted by an involuntary squeak from the elder, but continues past it. "I like your attention."

There's butterflies whacking their wings all over Hyunwoo's insides; he feels close to throwing up from how guilty he feels to hear something like this. Literally, his heart wants to jump out of his throat; which is why he has to put a hand between them and push Changkyun away. Just a foot, not too far, but enough to be able to breathe again without smelling the younger's sweet shampoo scent. "It's just a crush. It'll go away," he explains.

Changkyun's smile deflates. "Why? No—" he starts a protest that Hyunwoo doesn't understand and for once talks over.

"—I shouldn't like you."

"Is that the only reason why?"

"Why what?"

"Why you won't kiss me right now." Hyunwoo finds that a terrifying suggestion, even as he's lulled farther from sanity.

Changkyun is back in Hyunwoo's space, and it's taking his breath away. He's so confident in his approach that it makes Hyunwoo lay hands on his waist when he knows he shouldn't. And speak when he knows he shouldn't. "D-do you want me to?"

"I wanna know. Just to try," the younger grins. And then he leans in and closes the space between them—kissing Hyunwoo firmly, and it feels like fireworks. This is overwhelming. Hyunwoo can't help moan lightly into his mouth, and Changkyun takes advantage to slip his tongue inside, to taste and deepen their kiss and Hyunwoo can't help it. He's too lost too fast to think in this moment—takes Changkyun's smaller body, pulls him closer at the same time as backing him into the sink counter and crowding into him. Pressing flush in his hunger for him, wanting to feel more, touch more over his torso, kiss more. He loves how eagerly Changkyun kisses him back—never thought it would happen—and that's when he realizes—Shit. This was so much more than just a crush—

He pulls back in a panic, surveys the damage: how red and plump Changkyun's lips are from their kiss, the way his breathing makes the rise and fall of his chest erratic, the flush over his cheeks, how he arches back over the counter like he's ready for more, how he's still got his fingers tangled in Hyunwoo's shirt, and that lidded gaze burning in his eyes... he's gorgeous. It makes Hyunwoo breathless and he steps back with wide eyes. Being able to hold Changkyun closely is luxurious, but so so dangerous. Because the younger doesn't look fazed; he's able to stare into his eyes squarely, even now. It's tearing Hyunwoo's nerves to tatters.

This isn't right, they shouldn't be doing this and Hyunwoo knows that, so he backs away. "I'm sorry," he manages to say as he looks down. "I like you, but it'll go away. I promise." He hides his face resolutely and turns away. Runs away, more like, because he doesn't wait to hear Changkyun's reply before he's unlocked the door and disappeared down the hallway, far away to safety as quick as he can.

Shit. That was such a lie.

He doesn't know how he's going to get over this one. Already his fingers itch to hold the youngest again, as his heart aches to be close like they were a second ago. His body is on fire from how much he wants to go back to that bathroom and ravage that boy.

Hyunwoo avoids Changkyun for the rest of the night and dreams of fireworks. He knows what it's like to kiss Changkyun now. And he wants it again. And again. He's drunk off the feeling. It won't leave him. Even the next day and the whole week after, it feels like his lips are still tingling from that one kiss. He can't even meet Changkyun's eyes though.

He knows Changkyun is disappointed in him somehow, but again, this is a feeling he can't understand. Does he want to be kissed? Hyunwoo doesn't get it. He shouldn't want it. Neither of them should. This is a mess. Yet he can see that look in Changkyun's eyes after their kiss whenever he's alone, so clearly. It's branded into his memory. It's so attractive it makes Hyunwoo's mouth water and he needs to distract himself.

That kiss was a terrible idea. He can't get Changkyun off his mind now.

Before, it was at least bearable.

And Changkyun has been all kind smiles towards him whenever he looks to him, and all Hyunwoo can do is duck his head away shyly. He feels juvenile and stupid and hopes this will pass. Like he promised. He just has to endure. He's endured worse after all. Seven years of idol training has to build some kind of stamina, right?

---

Changkyun gives it two full weeks before he finds a way to confront Hyunwoo about running away—a way in which Hyunwoo can't run away from—he pushes him into the backseat of the van as the team climbs aboard one morning, ready to be driven to a schedule. Usually Hyunwoo sits in the middle seats, but Changkyun knows the back has privacy.

Well, not actual privacy, but enough for a few vague words while Hyunwoo can't escape.

"You didn't need to run away," the younger says once their car starts up. All the others have fallen into half-sleep with their headphones plugged in. Even the twenty minute drive to the venue is precious sleep time for an idol. Usually he would do the same.

"Sorry," Hyunwoo replies. He's not sure that's actually what he meant to say, but he should be apologizing for all of it anyway, so why not.

"I thought it was nice, by the way," Changkyun says as he places a soft hand on Hyunwoo's knee.

It makes Hyunwoo freeze as he looks down at those fingers gripping his flesh, massaging slowly up his thigh, and he immediately pushes it off, as soon as motor function returns. "—Don't," he gulps.

Changkyun places his hand back on his knee however. "Why not? Don't you like this?"

He's trying to meet Hyunwoo's eyes but the elder is determined to look out the window. "Uncomfortable," he replies gruffly, making sure to keep his voice low.

So Changkyun lets him go. "Later then?" he asks, and Hyunwoo doesn't reply. He doesn't look back at him either, too afraid to. He knows he's being rude, but he's afraid of that soft look again; that sweet, caring, understanding look from Changkyun. And he's even more afraid that Changkyun isn't turning him down. It's like Hyunwoo has started some kind of sickness.

Too bad Changkyun won't let him live.

"You're avoiding me," he states clearly that night. He's tugged Hyunwoo into the bathroom by the elbow this time, and thankfully nobody noticed them enter together. "Why? You like me, right?"

"Stop saying that," Hyunwoo begs, his lip bitten between his teeth in worry.

"What's happening right now, Hyunwoo? Tell me. I said I was ok with it. I said I liked it. I like having you near me yet you choose right now to pull away?"

Hyunwoo doesn't know how to reply so he's staying statue-still and hoping to not have a repeat of the last time they were in this bathroom together. Changkyun waits for him, and in the end huffs out a loud exasperated sound.

"Stop thinking about anything else besides this right now. Please. The rest doesn't matter. If you actually like me, then I like that. I like it. I don't know how else to say it. Your eyes on me, it makes me feel good. So you don't need to act like it's the end of the world that we kissed. I liked it."

Hyunwoo gulps and takes a step backwards in alarm. "Not ok. That was a mistake," the elder replies. He's sad and it makes his heart feel horrible to say that, but if he thought it was scary before he'd told Changkyun, this is a hundred times worse now. Changkyun shouldn't be ok with this. It makes him feel like crap. The world doesn't stop spinning—all this is still wrong.

Even though Hyunwoo can't tear his eyes away from Changkyun's lips. "You know you're a terrible liar," the younger says, and Hyunwoo's eyes follow his lips move, then curve into a smirk. "You want to do it again, don't you? You liked it."

"I loved it," Hyunwoo replies. His voice is small, but at least he's not lying. This time though, he can't even look at Changkyun, he feels so guilty and worthless that he pulls his eyes away completely. Why is the world so unfair? It feels like he's damned no matter what he does.

"What else have you thought about us doing? There's more, right?"

Hyunwoo has his bottom lip trapped in a bite again. "Yeah," he replies around the way he's chewing his lips into oblivion. "T-there's more. Maybe."

Changkyun ignores the maybe. "Like what?" he asks. He's drawing near, being pulled like a magnet to Hyunwoo, salivating to hear him say more. He doesn't really care what Hyunwoo says, it doesn't matter how lewd, because Changkyun has thought about it already, and having Hyunwoo's attention is attractive, no matter what. "Tell me," he coaxes; places a hand on Hyunwoo's shoulder when the elder's back hits the wall in retreat.

"Uh... nothing much."

"Really? Or are you just saying that?"

Changkyun needs to stop pushing him. This feels like assault and he's not sure what kind of answer he's supposed to give. It's all wrong, no matter what he says. He keeps his gaze on Changkyun's feet and somehow this is answer enough for the younger.

"If there's more, I wanna hear it."

"Why?"

"No one's liked me before. It feels nice, except when you hide it. I liked it before when you held my hand."

"Why?"

"It was just nice. Now you're hiding like I'm the plague and I hate it. I really hate it. I wanna know I'm someone to you. I'm thankful for it. I just—" Changkyun has gotten so close he's speaking into Hyunwoo's neck practically, and his arms once again encircle Hyunwoo's shoulders. "You made me feel wanted and I liked it. Is that so bad?" He swallows down a tear and Hyunwoo finally meets his eyes, because this wasn't his intention. Changkyun shouldn't be crying. He didn't mean to make him sad. Damn... he's always messing everything up when it comes to this feelings thing.

"I'm sorry," Hyunwoo mumbles.

"What are you sorry for?"

"For liking you."

"That's the one thing I don't want you to be sorry for, ok? If it's real, tell me again," Changkyun says, and his eyes are red now as another tear rolls down his cheek. Hyunwoo wipes it away for him and pulls him into his chest. He can't stand hurting him, yet doesn't know how to stop. No matter what he does Changkyun looks so beautiful to him; this mess only clenches his heart tighter in a vice, knowing he can't escape this either way.

"What should I say?"

"If you like me, tell me."

"I—I like you."

"Again, please," Changkyun requests, and he cuddles his head in Hyunwoo's chest, taking advantage of his shorter height to create a cocoon for himself as Hyunwoo holds him.

"I really like you. Please don't cry," Hyunwoo tells him. But it seems to make Changkyun cry even harder, because Hyunwoo can feel the sobs shudder his whole body, and he feels so, so trapped. What is he supposed to do? What's the solution here?

"A-again."

"I like you." Changkyun nods, face buried in the elder's chest, tears soaking his shirt, so Hyunwoo repeats and Changkyun keeps nodding, urging him on. "I like you. I think you're special. And soft. And pretty. And so strong. And cool. And I wish I could hold you like this forever, but please don't cry. Why are you crying?"

"Because you're saying everything so perfectly... I've wanted someone to say these things to me for so long. Always..."

"And yet it's me. It sucks. I'm sorry."

"No, no, it's ok. It's ok that it's you. I'm glad you're you. I'm glad you're my friend and I'm close to you and I can hold you too."

"So then what?"

"I'm starting to get why you think it's bad."

"Pardon?"

"I was looking around us today. At our lives, you know... and it just sucks how little control we have."

And perhaps it's the worst time or the best time, that a loud knock on the bathroom door wakes both of them from their heartache. It's Hoseok's voice—"If you guys are done in there, some of us need to pee, ok?"

"Uh—!" Hyunwoo startles as he looks at the door, and in a panic feels Hoseok's presence almost as vividly as Changkyun in his arms. He stammers out, "Y-yeah. Be—be right out."

Changkyun is quick to wipe his tears and leaky nose and is out the door first, hiding his face when he dashes past Hoseok. This leaves Hyunwoo facing Hoseok awkwardly, not a clue about what to say.

But Hoseok only smirks. "You gonna leave too, or you wanna watch?"

It rouses Hyunwoo back to his senses. "Uh, right. Right," he shakes his head and rushes out also, so Hoseok can pee in privacy.

---

Hiding this secret between himself and Changkyun is starting to feel like a double life. They haven't talked about it since, but it's been a month and Hyunwoo feels like it's written on his forehead every time he lets Changkyun near him. And Changkyun has been keeping so close to him lately. Cuddling into him in the car, during movies, putting his feet in his lap during meetings and on airplanes, and it's making Hyunwoo 1. get used to having this secret, but also 2. so aware of all the times he feels too nice to have Changkyun with him. His skin practically catches fire every time Changkyun holds his hand, and he smiles so sweetly at Hyunwoo, that the elder can't help love him. His eyes are actually happy when Hyunwoo dotes on him, and it makes his heart achy and erratic. He's not sure when along these days he's fallen so hard for Changkyun, even what specifically makes him like this boy so much, but it's all the little things these days. Sweet smiles, and cute hands, and cozy hugs, and those weird dances he gives the fans, and the way his eyebrows arch after saying something slightly naughty to a TV host. Hyunwoo doesn't know when their youngest became so charismatic. It feels like he has everything Hyunwoo lacks.

So when he notices how delicately Changkyun makes certain dance movements, during choreography they've danced for years now, it feels like another life. He wouldn't have noticed that before. Yet now, these simple mannerisms make his blood rush, and he often bites his lip and looks away. He must be so obvious. He's amazed no one has called him out on it.

He's still hoping to bury his feelings, but every time Changkyun smiles at him knowingly, it makes it harder to wish for that. If Changkyun is happy, then he's happy. That's how he consoles himself these days. And maybe he jacks off to the image of those pretty hands when he's in the shower, holding tight to the memory of that one kiss, and when he comes under the spray of water, he can almost feel Changkyun's mouth on his again.

It's bad. He feels like his guts are twisted. But if Changkyun is happy, then it's ok, he can live like this.

---

Changkyun sprains his ankle one dance practice. It's not horrible; it's minor, in fact—because the doctor estimates it'll heal in a few days, two weeks at most, but he's been told to keep his weight off it. It could have been worse, much worse. It happened when his eyes had met Hyunwoo's in the practice studio mirror, right in the middle of going over an awards stage performance. The stage is in two days.

After the damage to Changkyun's ankle is assessed however, Changkyun still insists he be allowed to dance for the awards stage—it's only one stage, he argues, they don't have another one for weeks—and Hyunwoo pulls Hoseok into the fray to intervene, because he has trouble saying no to Changkyun these days.

"Tell him no," Hyunwoo demands.

"You're not dancing," Hoseok rounds on the young one. "Put on a walking cast and come in for the rap verse if you want, but that's it. Sit for the rest of it."

"Or he could stay in bed like the doctor told him to."

"Or he can do what he wants and fuck up his ankle and then have it hurt for the rest of our careers," Hoseok shrugs. He's staring daggers at Changkyun, equally annoyed that the youngest is being stubborn. "I can tell you from a few of my own injuries, just let it heal properly."

"It's just two songs and an intro," Changkyun complains. "We already practiced it all—"

"That's fine. We'll rearrange some things and it's no big deal. We still have a day in the studio," Hoseok says, as he pushes Changkyun to sit back down in a chair. "Your health is more important. Anyway, you'll have Hyunwoo to look after you, so I don't know what you're complaining about." The look Hoseok gives him then makes the youngest shut up and Hyunwoo feel like he's been burned.

He doesn't dare say anything. Not even when Hoseok says, "You'll take care of him, right?" Hyunwoo only nods. "Good. Glad I could help." Hoseok smiles and leaves them then, with a chuckle and skip in his step.

Changkyun is looking Hyunwoo dead in the eyes now, now that they're alone. "I won't dance. But only if you're nice to me these next few days."

"You can't dance anyway because the managers aren't stupid. No one is letting you get on stage with a sprained ankle."

"Or maybe you can tell me how you'll help me hobble around and carry me on your back and stuff," Changkyun grins. "I plan on taking full advantage of this."

"They call you 'evil youngest', you know."

"I know," Changkyun replies smugly, all too proud of that nickname the fans had given him. "So you wanna carry me to the bathroom? We need to brush teeth before bedtime."

Hyunwoo rolls his eyes, and lets Changkyun climb on his back.

This is perhaps when Hyunwoo's biggest trouble starts, because as soon as they're done brushing teeth, removing makeup, all the normal stuff—Changkyun asks him, "What if I fall in the shower?"

Hyunwoo looks back at him, their gazes locked in the mirror. "Are you bad at standing on one foot? I'll re-wrap your ankle when you get out."

"You should join me, to make sure I don't fall," Changkyun replies.

Hyunwoo stares impassively for a few moments, mouth having gone dry. "I don't think I should. I can wait for you right here, catch you if you don't feel well."

"Or you can make it easy and get in with me. I don't see the problem."

Hyunwoo's eyes narrow at him. "You don't see the problem?"

"Yeah, we've showered together before, haven't we?"

"With others yeah, not you and me specifically."

"Yes we have, after practice, in the locker room."

Hyunwoo stops whatever sentence he was forming as a rebuttal, to wonder if he's making a big deal out of this for no reason. Just because he feels awkward around Changkyun doesn't mean it's reciprocated, and honestly, he's showered with the other members dozens of times before. So what if he feels like his mouth is sandpaper? His friend is hurt and needs a helping hand. So he sighs, "Yeah, ok, if that's what you'd like."

But then Changkyun starts stripping clothes off and he can't help but think it's "for him"... He's watching him and he can't help it. Doesn't even think about pulling his eyes away actually, since Changkyun isn't turning down his gaze. Their eyes meet from time to time, as Changkyun takes and leaves his hand to remove different items, and finally he's naked and holding Hyunwoo's hand tightly to jump over the ledge into the shower stall. That's when Hyunwoo gets to take a breath to recollect himself, and take off his own clothing. He supposes he can handle this. He's managed to find some kind of peace in this crush business lately, and anyway, he's not a rabid animal. He can control himself.

But then he steps inside the shower as well and Changkyun nearly falls into his body.

"Woah—you ok?" Hyunwoo catches him under the armpits to get him standing again.

"Y-yeah. Thank you," Changkyun replies, slightly winded. "Pass the shampoo." Poor boy had nearly fallen already.

Hyunwoo passes the bottle to him but it becomes obvious quickly that this isn't as easy as either had predicted, so he takes the bottle back and says, "Ok then. You just hold the wall. I can do this for you." Changkyun smiles at him, and turns around so Hyunwoo faces his back. He can run fingers through his hair, lathering and washing the younger's hair easily this way. And then his own, and then Changkyun hands him the body wash.

So far, he's treated this like a mechanical process, but body wash might be a problem. It's bad enough trying to not grow an erection already, but running his hands and a soapy loofah all over Changkyun's naked body might be too much for him.

"Let's sit," he instructs, but the odd pitch to his voice is apparent. The look he receives from Changkyun tells him he's been caught being awkward, but again Hyunwoo chooses to ignore this. He can get through this, he tells himself.

Hyunwoo maneuvers them so at the low angle, Changkyun doesn't have the water beating in his face and it falls on Hyunwoo's back instead, as they sit together. "You feel ok?" Changkyun asks him.

"Yeah, you?" Hyunwoo replies. It's not exactly the truth, but he's trying to not draw attention to the fact that he actually feels uncomfortable being this close. He can't help looking at the vast expanse of wet naked body before him, but he's trying to keep it appropriate still. Trying to not have any awkward lingering hands and whatnot (even though Changkyun obviously can see him staring). He's focusing so hard on this, and feels almost proud for succeeding, that he never noticed how hard he is. Until Changkyun nods down at his dick and smiles devilishly.

"Oh sh—!" Hyunwoo exclaims and covers himself with his hands immediately, while Changkyun practically cackles in a bout of laughter.

"Is that because of me?" the younger asks, and Hyunwoo chances a timid look back at him. It's enough of answer. "M'mmm," Changkyun beams. "I'm right." His smile is so bright that Hyunwoo lets go of himself. There's no point in hiding what's so obvious anyway. He meets his gaze with a shy smile, thankful Changkyun isn't angry, but Changkyun only makes things worse. "You can just go ahead and touch me if you want."

That's the kind of thing that really shouldn't be said by the object of his affections when Hyunwoo has a raging erection. He just can't seem to figure Changkyun out; his intentions, motivations, nothing. He proceeds to lather himself with bodywash and doesn't wait for Hyunwoo's answer, because it's nonexistent anyway.

Nothing is digging Hyunwoo out of this hole of doom though. Changkyun washing himself while sitting right in front of him is so seductive. He's just scrubbing and soaping like normal—now that they're sitting and he doesn't have to balance on one foot—but as Hyunwoo's eyes follow the paths of the loofah on the younger's skin, he thinks this is somehow more than normal. Hyunwoo is sure he's acting this way on purpose. He keeps telling himself it's normal, but it's contradicted by an unreadable look in Changkyun's eyes, combined with all his motions. It's just on the border of innocent and porn-star, if that were a thing. Changkyun is running that loofah over his body like this is a private show, and when he leans back, his legs are spread and it's seriously lewd because Hyunwoo can see his everything. It's too much—he diverts his eyes at this, and Changkyun tsks. "You should watch. I might be better by tomorrow and I might be able to stand next time." The implication is that he's showing Hyunwoo his body deliberately, that he should watch while he has the lucky chance, but Hyunwoo is still trying to ignore that.

Changkyun huffs then, in an exasperation Hyunwoo doesn't understand, and pulls his wrist in a way Hyunwoo wasn't expecting—because he's not watching while Changkyun's legs are open that way—and he nearly falls on top of the younger! He catches himself on all fours above him and it forces him to look at him again. "Wha—!"

"Watch me. Stop pretending."

"Changkyun~" Hyunwoo whines, as if it's painful to be this close. And in a way it is; he's trying to not let their bodies touch but it's so terribly awkward that it makes him want to cry. "This is too much. You know I—"

"—I know. It's fine if you like this. I can see it. I told you, you make me feel good."

Hyunwoo tries to pull back, but Changkyun pulls at him again so he goes toppling forward again, this time his stomach lands over Changkyun's groin, and his elbow crashes into Changkyun's shoulder. "Shit—Don't do that!" But Changkyun is laughing and before Hyunwoo can pull himself up, Changkyun has him trapped in both arms and legs, like an octopus, so their bodies touch all over. "—Oh."

"See? Touch me. It's fine." His legs are wrapped around Hyunwoo's waist as he finds a more comfortable position to lie in beneath the elder. He looks so content in the situation, that he's practically purring when he says, "You look good like this. The water is giving you a halo kind of."

Hyunwoo is incredulous to how lightly the younger is taking this. "A-are you messing with me?"

"Why? Do you want to kiss me again?"

"Yes."

"So do it." Hyunwoo's eyes shake in silent fear at the invitation. He wants to accept, he really wants to... "I love how you look at me. Kiss me," Changkyun says. And Hyunwoo doesn't want to think anymore. He dips his head to meet the younger's lips and Changkyun invites him inside, greets his tongue with his own, kissing back eagerly until Hyunwoo relaxes and places a steady hand above the younger's head, so he's not crushing him into the hard tile. He moans lightly into the kiss and Changkyun bites his lip in return. The staggered breaths between them feel hotter than the water at this point. Too much. He travels his kisses to Changkyun's jaw and neck and Changkyun's head tips back, his whole back arching for him, letting Hyunwoo have all the access he wants. He can't taste skin so much as water, but he can touch and it's like a fantasy come true to have Changkyun willingly beneath him, waiting to be ravaged, lightly rolling his hips into Hyunwoo's body. His mouth moves lower, down his sternum, flicking his eyes upwards to see if Changkyun is ok with this, but he looks perfectly content; neck extended, elbows bent upwards, hands playing in his own hair like he actually likes what Hyunwoo is doing to him. It eggs him on, lets him draw the courage to suck one of Changkyun's nipples into his mouth and the younger practically keens. The shudder that runs through his body makes Hyunwoo hold him tighter. His hands move lower, squeezing his waist and hips, running the length of his smooth torso. As he kisses lower over him, he wonders when Changkyun will stop him. He's got his mouth over his abs, tongue dipping into his navel, and Changkyun moaning under him, hips rolling up into the steamy air between them. He's hard, and it's making Hyunwoo's mouth water to be so close to him, to touch, and know he's done this to him.

"Changkyun..." Hyunwoo says weakly, barely louder than the beating of the shower.

Their eyes lock as Changkyun bites his lip to contain the lust between them, but he wants what Hyunwoo is doing to him and there's no hiding it. He brings a hand to fist over his heavy dick, as Hyunwoo watches him do this. He's more turned on than he thought possible from having Hyunwoo to himself, and he still wants more. "A-are you going to...?" His words falter, but his gaze flicks down to his erection, so close to Hyunwoo's face anyway, and it's enough to finish the question for him. Are you going to blow me?

"Do you want me to?"

"How much do you want me?" Hyunwoo's getting a very vivid picture that Changkyun has a fetish for being lavished with attention and wonders if it's healthy to indulge it. While the younger, arches his body seductively, running hands over himself, down his thighs and spreading his legs wider, up his ribs and cupping his own pectorals, up his neck and into his hair, as he gets himself more worked up just from seeing Hyunwoo above. He loves putting on a show, loves that he's driving Hyunwoo wild with it. His eyes are dark, lidded, lips practically trembling with need... making Hyunwoo want to taste every inch of him, just eat him up, fuck him, wreck him, anything. He watches Changkyun's reaction as he touches down the insides of his thighs, closer to his goal. He's dreamed of having Changkyun his this way for months now.

"Can I make you come?"

"God, yes. Do anything to me..." Changkyun moans before Hyunwoo even has his hand fully clasped around him.

Changkyun lets himself go and Hyunwoo takes over. The switch is instant; Hyunwoo's hands are on his thighs, pushing them apart, his mouth on his skin, breathing him in and drinking water off him. Even this doesn't last long because Changkyun is begging for more and Hyunwoo isn't strong enough to hold back. His tongue runs the length of Changkyun's dick and in the next moment he's got the head in his mouth, sucking and making Changkyun moan out, the sound of it reverberates all around the bathroom. He's loud and it drowns out all reason in Hyunwoo's mind. All he knows now is the warm weight he feels on his tongue, solid as he swirls around it. He takes him deeper, wants to memorize this moment and how Changkyun feels in his mouth. How he tastes. How if he laps at the frenulum, Changkyun gets louder. God... he's never imagined giving a blowjob before. Honestly, he probably sucks at it, but being in the intimacy of this moment, having Changkyun below him like this is so hypnotizing that all he wants to do is please him. He bobs over him, trying to create a rhythm to his motions, as his other hand runs over Changkyun's abdomen. He pulls one of Changkyun's legs over his shoulder and grips him by the hips as he forces himself to be better, to fuck him better with his mouth. If it wasn't for the curtains of water raining over them, Changkyun would be covered in spit because Hyunwoo is messy as hell, and the fact that he's pushing himself so much is something Changkyun can feel—any other time he might have corrected his style, but right now it doesn't matter. It makes Changkyun's nerves spark and his back arch and he's so high that it feels like out of nowhere he's coming down Hyunwoo's throat and Hyunwoo drinks everything from him.

Fuck. He hasn't come that hard in years... needs a moment to recover and figure out what even happened, and when he opens his eyes, Hyunwoo is kneeling between his legs, since Changkyun is still spread like a buffet, and fisting over himself. Honestly, it makes Changkyun scared to have invited this, yet he still says, "Finish well, ok?"

What's in his mind as he pulls Hyunwoo down over his body again, to make sure that when Hyunwoo comes, it's all over Changkyun's stomach, and he can watch his face so closely as he does it... Changkyun has no idea. But it definitely does something to him to see Hyunwoo panting and wrecked for him.

And then Hyunwoo almost falls onto him, taking care in the last second not to actually crush Changkyun beneath him, but he needs to rest. His breaths in the aftermath of his climax are labored and right in Changkyun's ear, it feels like. Bodies trembling together, post-high, as the sound of beating water all around them zooms back into focus, Changkyun holds Hyunwoo close to him, encircled in his arms, between his legs. This feels monumental. He should have known he was asking for this when he asked for it. Now he doesn't know what he's done. Has no idea what to feel except extreme closeness to his friend.

God... Hyunwoo must really love him. This knowledge makes Changkyun's heart flutter, and he's thankful Hyunwoo is still resting against him, unable to see the embarrassed blush that takes over Changkyun's cheeks.

Hyunwoo's body is so solid, a weight against him, like a wall—something sturdy and unweavering that he can count on—and Changkyun knows that no matter how he's just changed their friendship, he's glad to have Hyunwoo with him.

As they pull away from each other finally, Hyunwoo is shy and deliberately careful not to touch anymore. He hides his eyes away for the rest of their night, even as he takes care to wrap Changkyun in towels and help him get dry. And then helps him dress his ankle too.

When they settle into their own beds, Changkyun feels a loss. As he stares up at the ceiling before sleep takes him, he wishes he had Hyunwoo's warmth beside him still.

---

A lame ankle gives Changkyun a few extra hours of sleep and then a few hours alone while the others are in the dance studio, practicing revised choreography the next day. This means he has time to think before he has to see Hyunwoo again.

When Changkyun sees him at the company later, it's in the midst of the rest of their members, all drenched in sweat, and Hyunwoo barely acknowledges his presence. It's still the middle of practice, so it's normal, but the pang Changkyun feels in his heart from this neglect is new.

Nevertheless, the hectic tide of rehearsal takes over and Changkyun doesn't have time to think about whatever is going on between himself and Hyunwoo for days. They've barely been home to sleep, much less be alone. The truth is that they don't spend much time together normally. Usually it's in the company of the other five members, and oftentimes a number of staff also. And while Hyunwoo is used to watching Changkyun from afar, as he's been doing discreetly for months now, Changkyun watching Hyunwoo is a new phenomenon. When Changkyun notices that he's doing this, he feels his cheeks burn. And yet they still don't really have the time to do anything "together", not alone, not really. Even if one or both may want to, the circumstances of their lives make it hard. So much so, that becoming closer in their daily lives, even just the thought of that, seems strange and unnatural. And that means it's much easier to sweep everything unusual under a rug.

That blow job: as if forgotten after that night. The kiss before that: unmentioned. They've never even spoken of the little breakdown Changkyun had had last month. Like it never happened.

Sometimes Changkyun feels like he follows Hyunwoo around more than Hyunwoo follows him, but it's not actually true. Hyunwoo is just a bit more professional.

When Hyunwoo has the privacy to be alone or the rare time to think for a minute before falling asleep, he's gotten into one of two bad habits: Either he's scolding himself for thinking unfriendly thoughts about Changkyun. Or he gives in and thinks all those thoughts. Which usually leads to his hand in his pants. Usually in the shower though, because realistically that's about 75% of the members' private time.

Except for when Hyunwoo happens to have the seniors' bedroom to himself one night and decides tonight wouldn't be harmful to jack off in bed since his roommates are pulling an all-nighter in the studio. He knows he's supposed to be alone. It's supposed to be "safe". All the members jack off once in a while, duh, he's not the only one.

His night starts off thinking about how Minhyuk has been helping Changkyun hobble around. The youngest doesn't need crutches anymore, but taking a large step into cars or up stairs still poses problems for him. Hyunwoo watches and feels like a coward for not helping him himself. He wonders if Changkyun would even take his helping hand if he offered it.

Of course he would, because they're always in public.

Today the stylists had parted Changkyun's hair in a way Hyunwoo found particularly attractive, and they'd done something subtly different with his eye-makeup, and all day Hyunwoo couldn't help but sneak little glances at him. He really wanted to take his hand at least once today.

Though he has his hand pressed against his erection, he's not entirely sure what's more frustrating: How he can't bring himself to get closer because it would be strange? How he can't seem to forget what Changkyun's dick tastes like? How he feels like shit for having perverse thoughts about someone who is essentially his little brother? How he can't even talk about any of this with anyone? Or how utterly trapped he is?

Yet even so, he knows what Changkyun's smile looks like. How soft his hands are. How good his ass looks in tight black denim. How he looks with his thighs spread. How he sounds in the mid of orgasm. How his tongue curls around his own. How his breaths pick up when he's turned on. How he looks when he cries. How he touches over Hyunwoo's chest. How that devilish little smirk of his turns up the corner of his lips. How much Hyunwoo wants to taste those lips again... his body, his abs, his neck, the line of his thoat and shoulders and—

It's on this night that Changkyun finds Hyunwoo with his briefs lowered, one hand fisted over his dick feverishly, other hand across his own mouth, and his eyes closed.

"Woah...!" he exclaims—one second too late for Hyunwoo to pull the covers over himself.

"Shit!" Hyunwoo bolts upright. "Shit. S-sorry," he stammers as he finds Changkyun suddenly in his room, both their eyes wide in shock. It's late and Hyunwoo didn't expect anyone to want anything else from him tonight. But even so, if it's work, that never stops, so he needs to sweep mistakes up quickly. "Uh—so what's up?" He's pretending Changkyun hadn't just caught him with his pants down, because honestly, it's not the first time little accidents have happened among the members, and the policy is just pretend it didn't happen. Usually the other party turns around or leaves before picking up the conversation, but, uh, not always. So what is Changkyun's business with him tonight?

Hyunwoo is trying to return his breathing back to normal, trying to keep a neutral face. Trying to pretend it's any of the other members that have caught him, but the more he looks into Changkyun's eyes, the more Changkyun makes it obvious he's not one of the other members.

He's Changkyun, their perplexing youngest, and he's watching Hyunwoo right back, lip trapped between his teeth; and even as his initial shock wears off, he's not talking or moving away. He actually steps closer.

And one step turns into two. And then three, and in four, he's sitting at Hyunwoo's side.

"Uh..." Hyunwoo has no words for how to reply to this. What on Earth is he supposed to say? Like, "Hi, can I help you?" That sounds ridiculous. He's not a telephone operator. At least he's managed to pile a good amount of bedsheets on top of his dick. Too bad that underneath his erection is practically screaming at him... Changkyun is right there. Right here. Reach out to touch him. He's looking right at you.

It's Changkyun who speaks first.

"Sorry," he starts. "I didn't mean to startle you." Somehow his voice is more airy than normal, even a little deeper.

"Yeah. Uh. It's ok. What's up?" Hyunwoo is trying desperately to act normal.

The annoying part is that Changkyun still isn't answering his question and it's driving Hyunwoo up a wall. Why is he not leaving?! His eyes... his fucking eyes are looking right at him and the way is so not normal.

"Were you thinking of me?" Changkyun asks. The tone is smooth, somewhere close to impassive, even when a pink tongue peeks out to wet his lips.

W-what—?

Hyunwoo's eyes go wide. The younger's got a lip trapped between his teeth after he says that and it's so attractive that Hyunwoo really wants to slap himself. How can he ask that? Hyunwoo really can't answer that...

Changkyun is his little brother, for fucksake! He tries saying this to himself like a mantra as he tears his eyes away from him—he has wit enough for that—he needs to remind himself, to drill it into his thick skull... This isn't ok. It's his fault for starting this. He's irresponsible. He's the senior and Changkyun is the junior, so it's the senior's responsibility to be mature. To take proper action. Preventative measures. Mitigate damage...

Changkyun lays a soft touch to his forearm. "Will you tell me if that's what you were thinking about? Was it me?"

Even after the riotous lecture and shock to his system and tantrum in his head, Hyunwoo's dick is still standing proud, as if that's where his brain has traveled to. "Yeah... maybe." He's intentionally watching the wall as he replies. As if that makes it any better.

Changkyun's hand encircles his wrist. "You wanna tell me more?"

"Why?"

"I wanna hear it. I wanna know... I wanna know what you think about me. How you think of me..." That hand on his wrist is a fucking shackle.

Like Hyunwoo has no exit from this nightmare. "Uh... honestly, uh... You look good today." That's about as honest as Hyunwoo can be while keeping it PG.

"Will you look at me?" So Hyunwoo does. And then Changkyun squeezes his wrist before finally letting him go. "...And touch yourself?"

Ugh.

He means it. Those eyes are like fire. Hyunwoo suddenly feels like prey under Changkyun's gaze and it's not something he's felt before. It makes him shy and obedient, and yet you can bet hearing Changkyun say something that lewd makes blood rush straight to his dick.

"I just wanna know what you see..." And that's the last straw before Hyunwoo has his hand pressing down on himself beneath the covers. Changkyun's eyes follow his motion. "Tell me."

"Uh... just you. I don't know. All of you."

"And?"

And Hyunwoo is fisting himself again, lightly but definitely. "And you—you're so wild. I don't get you..." Changkyun's eyes are boring into him. A fucking chisel to his nerves. Like they have a grip over his sanity because he knows Changkyun wants him to keep talking. To keep jacking off... even if that's insane. "I like holding your hand. I like kissing you. I like more..."

"Yeah?"

"You let me..." Hyunwoo's sentence trails off but the unspoken part is obvious. You let me suck you. Eyes in awe, lips parted, his hand is picking up the pace on himself; becoming more obvious because that's what Changkyun wants. "And you liked it." Changkyun looks like he likes this too. It's egging Hyunwoo on.

"Yeah." And though it's not clear what Changkyun is saying 'yeah' to, yeah is not a negative. It's something that tells Hyunwoo to fuck himself harder, as more images of Changkyun take over his mind...

"Your hands. I love your hands. And how you stand. The way you walk. It turns me on just watching you walk these days..." He feels crazy saying this, but he's too far gone to think of that right now. Now while Changkyun is waiting for him to say more; his tongue becomes oddly loose under this kind of pressure. "I hope your ankle heals soon. It hurts to see you hurt..."

"Don't think about that."

"I want to take your hand. I wanna help you. I wanna touch you again. Even if it's just your ankle... your skin is so soft. I think about covering you in kisses. Everywhere. I want to kiss you—I wanna taste you. Again... I can't believe I got to see you like that. God..." He's high as a kite now, and when Changkyun pulls the covers off him, bringing his hard-on into view, Hyunwoo is still working himself, heart hammering in his throat as he tries to keep talking... Changkyun is watching him jack off. Right there at his side, so close. "I wanna be good to you. Even if I shouldn't. I can't think of anything else but you—Oh god—"

"Hyunwoo," Changkyun says, voice like sandpaper, and it triggers the leader's climax. Hyunwoo's eyes are closed, but Changkyun watches him empty into his hand, beads of white splattering over his abdomen, moaning through his high, lips parted, trapped in ecstasy for that moment...

Hyunwoo whines pathetically afterwards. Holds himself and feels cold afterwards. He can't look at Changkyun anymore. He piles sheets back on to himself as his ears burn with the knowledge of what he's just done.

"Next time you come while thinking of me, I want to see it again," Changkyun says, and Hyunwoo hides his face. It doesn't take long before he's burning with shame instead of lust. The line he'd stepped over was so great that it's making him want to scrub all his own skin off. He's disgusted with himself for letting his infatuation get so far. This situation is so out of control. He's piling more sheets on top of himself, even when there's no more fabric to ball up between his legs, but of course, it's much too late.

Now he really wants to cry. "I'm so sorry I told you," he says, voice low, as he slides the few centimeters he can farther from Changkyun. "I'm sorry I couldn't contain it and deal with my own emotions."

"Don't," Changkyun tells him.

"Why not?"

"Just don't. I told you before." His reply is firm, and this time he stands up, and he's out the door the next moment.

Hyunwoo doesn't look up. He feels like shit.

As he stares at the ceiling for hours after, before sleep takes him, he knows that this—whatever this is—is Changkyun opening up to him, somehow, in his own weird way. Hyunwoo knows this is some kind of communication. No one sits beside their friend asking them to jack off and talk about what they feel otherwise. It's supposed to mean something. There's something going on in Changkyun's brain. Probably. He's telling Hyunwoo mysterious fragments, but it's something. Right? Like the time he cried. Hyunwoo doesn't like thinking of Changkyun crying, but he definitely cried in his arms those months ago. He's not imagining this stuff, even if they don't talk about it. No matter how taboo. Except, Hyunwoo has no idea what to make of how much Changkyun is opening up to him. This new side of Changkyun is strange and curious, and it makes Hyunwoo think—against his better wishes—that Changkyun might be a little broken inside. This can't be healthy. No friend asks for this kind of thing. No one wants to be touched by Hyunwoo, outside of their crazy fangirls.

This just isn't normal. No matter how he evaluates their incidents, and the crazy day they've had today, how Changkyun looks at him sometimes, like he's begging... It's absolutely insane how far beyond normal everything has gotten.

---

"You're sexy when you dance," Changkyun says, and Hyunwoo frowns at him in reply. They're at home, eating at a late hour. Trying to shove food into their mouths as quickly as possible so they can catch some sleep tonight. Hoseok had come home with them and is in the shower right now.

"Don't say that to me." Hyunwoo isn't in the mood to deal with their thing tonight.

"But it's true."

"Thank you, but don't."

"Why?"

"You're confusing me. Stop egging me on."

"What if I don't stop?"

Hyunwoo gives him a stern look. No idea what to actually punish him with for insubordination, so he ends up shaking his head in lamentation. "We let you get away with too much as the youngest."

"And I like it." He's probably got that bloody little smirk on his face, but Hyunwoo's attention is on his take-out container.

"Doesn't mean it's a good thing," Hyunwoo replies between bites of his food, eager for this conversation to end.

"You gonna punish me~?"

Holy hell. That was obvious flirting. Obviously sexual innuendo, and it has the air freezing in Hyunwoo's lungs. What the hell.

Even when Hyunwoo ignores him and doesn't look up—probably because he acts like Changkyun hadn't said that—Changkyun has come up right beside him, pushed his chopsticks out of his hands and pushes him down onto the floor. Hyunwoo barely has time to wipe the sauce from his mouth before Changkyun's body is hovering—strangely. Too close. Closer... and Hyunwoo has no choice but to look at him.

Changkyun is hard as he brushes against Hyunwoo very intentionally and Hyunwoo is petrified. He needs help with this. He's not equipped to handle whatever is going on. He doesn't understand at all. Changkyun tips him back further and crawls over him.

Suddenly he's trapped beneath the youngest, their bodies aligned, and there's no mistaking what he feels in Changkyun's pants.

His throat is dry. It feels like there's an anvil on his chest from just the weight of Changkyun's gaze. There's something in those eyes. It's... needy. Predatory. Curious. Something along those lines. Hyunwoo has no idea what to do.

His savior is Hoseok who ambles back into the room and it breaks up their moment. The elder is towel-drying his hair, not paying attention, but it's a perfect exit for the youngest and leader to pull apart, and Changkyun—as if nothing had happened—goes back to his own food.

Hyunwoo's ears are flaming red, but he pushes the third take-out container towards Hoseok, and then practically runs to the shower as an excuse to get out of the room.

---

He expects that by the time he's finished with the bathroom, the other two would be done eating. And they are, but they're still chatting in the living room when Hyunwoo returns. Changkyun looks happy, cheerful even, and smiles at him as he walks past, on his way to take the last shower of the night.

Hyunwoo is left with Hoseok's eyes on him; eyes that hold an amused glimmer to them—Hyunwoo knows that look. Hoseok always knows too much. Hoseok always bloody reads right through him. He doesn't even need to say anything, because for as long as they've known each other, Hoseok has been the one who finishes his sentences and who's too smart for his own good. It pisses Hyunwoo off.

"You going to bed soon?" Hyunwoo asks.

Hoseok quirks an eyebrow at him. "Naw. Might chill with the fancafe for a while, see what the Monbebes are up to."

"Uh-huh," Hyunwoo nods. "Well, I uh... I think I'll go for a walk." Honestly, he feels claustrophobic suddenly and needs to get out of here. Even if it's a useless activity that cuts into his precious nonexistent sleep time.

To his dismay, Hoseok doesn't get the hint. "Ah, good idea. I'll come with you," the elder says.

Hyunwoo is putting sneakers on already, and though he wants to smash his head into a wall, he's just going to suck it up and walk with Hoseok. Bloody Hoseok who follows him out the door and out into the night.

The stars are out. The breeze is pleasant. Yellow streetlamps light their way through their neighborhood. Hyunwoo has no idea where he's walking to, he's just walking. And thankfully Hoseok hasn't said anything so far.

It's been quiet between them and Hyunwoo is thankful for it.

Except when he realizes Hoseok has baited him: "You gonna tell me what's bothering you? Or are we gonna walk 'round this block another three times?"

For fucksake! Hoseok.... ugh! Hoseok is too observant for his own good...

Fine. Hyunwoo will talk. Let's talk. He's had enough of not talking, at least, so here we go: "I've done something really stupid..."

"Yeah?" Hoseok says. His interest is genuine, but the way he asks, as if he already knows this part, makes Hyunwoo consider how much he should say.

Nonetheless, Hyunwoo sighs. "I can't even begin to describe how bad it is, but he's not angry at me. I don't think he is, but he should be."

Hoseok frowns. They don't even need to say they're talking about Changkyun, that part is obvious. Still, whatever Hyunwoo's problem is, even if it's been a long time happening—as far as Hoseok can tell—it can't be that bad. He's just tired of Hyunwoo covering up whatever it is. "I haven't heard anything bad in the media or from management so it can't be that bad."

"It is."

"Riiight..." Hoseok replies skeptically. It's probably his way of fishing for more information.

"Just trust me this time." Hyunwoo replies, as curtly as possible. He can't keep proclaiming how bad he fucked up without worrying Hoseok about their group cohesiveness, so he abstains from saying more about that and tries to redirect the focus... "I just don't know what he wants. I don't get what's in his head."

Truthfully, he's dying to ask what Changkyun is thinking for allowing him to behave that way, for asking for it, and acting so sexually in return. He doesn't understand. He sighs as he tries to come up with safe things to tell Hoseok. The crap part of having this conversation is how much he needs to shut up about, but the good part, he supposes, is that Hoseok is a level head and talking to him might not be the worst idea. He can tell him select parts. Maybe it'll help... somehow.

"He, uh... he cried with me last month. Two months ago. I don't think I'm making him very happy. Even if he told me not to stop—uh, the thing. Problem thing."

"So it's ongoing?"

Shit. Of course he had to say too much. He sighs... "Yeah. You could say that."

"I figured. Well, you see any end in sight?"

"No, and that's the problem."

"So he told you to keep doing something you don't want to keep doing? Do I have that correct?"

"More or less," Hyunwoo agrees. Though, Hoseok's over-simplification was eerily accurate, enough that he almost knows the next question:

"What's so bad about just doing whatever you think you've upset him with?"

"He doesn't know what's good for him."

"And you do?"

"In this case, it's for both our good."

Hoseok throws him one of his signature raised eyebrows. "Sure."

Hyunwoo sighs deeply. It's not the worst thing talking to Hoseok about this. His head feels marginally better. At least he's not lying as much. Partial truths are better than nothing. "Will you tell me if any of the other members are on to me?"

"Do the other members know you're keeping some big scary secret with Changkyunie?" Hoseok laughs. "Naw. Well, maybe Kihyun. But he's a closed book no matter what, so I wouldn't worry about that."

"But the rest are ok?"

"Yeah..." Hoseok assures. "But do they we need to be worried?"

Hyunwoo stops walking then and takes a look up at the stars. He needs a moment, just to breathe. It's been many months now that he's felt this way about Changkyun, and with no end in sight, well, this is probably something he shouldn't lie about. "Honestly, I'm not sure." His chest feels heavy even after admitting this. He's a crap leader for not being able to manage his own problems before they spill onto his teammates, but at this point it's courteous to at least warn Hoseok.

He can feel Hoseok's eyes on him again. Studying him. Appraising what he really means beneath his words. Hoseok is like that.

"I have a feeling you're making it a bigger deal than it is. If Changkyun is fine with whatever it is, maybe you should just stop worrying."

Hyunwoo scoffs and then it turns into a bought of full-on sarcastic laughter. The loud scary kind of laughter, reserved for sad people at their wits' end. The kind he never does. This is for people who really have no answers, and Hyunwoo has never been this lost before. But right now, yeah, laughing at his own stupidity and how shit he's let everything get, that's about the only thing he can do. "Good one." He sighs and kicks a random pebble on the road; it helps him settle down. "Hoseok... this needs to end. And I don't know how. That's the problem. It all goes away if I pull my head out of my own ass."

"Is that really all it is?" Hoseok puts a gentle hand on his shoulder. "What about Changkyun?"

"What about him? It won't be his problem anymore."

Hoseok's damn eyebrow quirks again. "You said he wants whatever it is. That he cried over it. You sure you're telling me all this right?"

"Hoseok. There's no other option. Don't you get it?"

"Not really actually," Hoseok smiles, and it's genuine. It's laced with a bit of pity and plenty of care, and his eyes are soft as they look back at Hyunwoo and how troubled he looks. It's so rare for Hyunwoo to worry this much. He hasn't seen this from him since their pre-debut days. "You sure you can't just tell me what it is?"

Hyunwoo shakes his head, tearing his eyes away to look at their shoes. He feels guilty for this too, for not being able to share the truth with his best friend.

Hoseok sighs. "This many months and you're still cut up about whatever this is... You're worrying me."

"I know." Fuck. He feels like shit. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, and that's all I know how to be... because I don't know how to fix this."

"At least you're finally talking to Changkyun about it. I'll give you kudos for that," he says with a deep sigh of his own; tries to bring the cheer back into his voice, for Hyunwoo's sake.

"I'm not that happy about that either. I think it made it worse."

It's no use standing in the middle of the street. Hyunwoo prods Hoseok in the shoulder and they continue walking.

"You sure? Why not talk some more? You said he's not angry at you, so just talk more and work it out."

"I don't know. That one scares me, honestly," Hyunwoo chuckles. "He's so... uh, weird. I don't know how to say this. He—I can't figure him out at all." And thankfully Hoseok laughs with him and it lightens the mood. "It's either like he's stupid or doesn't know what's good for him, or I don't know what," Hyunwoo laughs.

"You sure you like him?"

"—Pardon?" Hyunwoo stops dead in his tracks. He's caught Hoseok's eyes and fuck—it had just been a coincidence of words. "—Never mind." Now he's back-pedaling while Hoseok's eyes narrow at him. He tries to keep walking but Hoseok whips him back around by the shoulder.

"Hyunwoo—"

"I thought you said something else," Hyunwoo lies. "My bad." But Hoseok won't let him out of his grip and that look in his eyes means he's fucked up royally.

"Hyunwoo. Tell me the truth. Before I jump to conclusions, just tell me." There's no messing with that look on Hoseok's face. He's dead serious and Hyunwoo is about to break a friendship if he walks away now.

Fuck. Fuck everything. Tears reach his eyes and even if Hoseok is mad at him, he still reaches to wrap his arms around his shoulders. "Please don't be angry at me. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, I promise, I didn't mean for any of it to happen..." He wants to hold his best friend. This might be his last time... Hyunwoo feels so trapped. When tears fall from his eyes it's like waterfalls, and Hoseok cradles him.

"Don't tell me. Shhh shhh..." he soothes. "It's ok. You don't need to tell me. Just cry. It's ok..." Hoseok is petting his shoulders and back and holding him and he doesn't deserve this. Hyunwoo only bawls out harder.

"Hoseok, I really fucked up. I can't stop thinking about him. I love him and I don't know how to make this go away—God—please don't leave me. Please don't hate me. Please don't leave the group... f-fuck..." Hyunwoo is holding him so tight, tears soaking Hoseok's shoulder, raw pain making him shake and Hoseok can feel all of it wrack his body. "I'm so s-sorry~"

"Y-you love him?"

"I do."

"And he knows?"

"I think."

Hoseok pulls him apart, needs to see his friend's face. "Look at me and tell me so I don't misunderstand." Hyunwoo looks a mess. He's never seen him this way before, but he's nodding. "You love-love him? Like a relationship?" Hyunwoo nods. Head buried in his hands, tears still flowing like a river. "A boy-boy relationship?"

"Please don't hate me. He's the only one I like, I promise."

Hoseok crushes him to his body in a hug, carding hands through his already messy hair. "Hey, hey... shhh... It's ok," Hoseok soothes. For a few minutes, all Hyunwoo does is cry on his shoulder. As Hoseok pets his hair and coos at him. "Shhh... It's ok. It's not the end of the world."

Hyunwoo snorts. "I'm pretty sure it is." Somehow his tears are subsiding. The fact that Hoseok isn't disowning him, this means the world to him. He needs to thank him for that at least, and he can't do that if Hoseok is holding him as if he deserves to be held. He doesn't deserve Hoseok's good friendship. "We have responsibilities."

Hoseok raises that damn eyebrow at him, and this time he looks amused almost. "'Cause we're idols?"

"Yes, and because we have families and normal commitments like any other people." Hyunwoo is starting to think it strange that Hoseok isn't more upset about this.

"Well, the idol part is easy: just don't freaking say anything and you're good. Problem solved. The only part that seems to be the problem is between you and him. And honestly—"

"—Are you kidding me?"

"What?" Hoseok seems honestly stunned that Hyunwoo is fighting him over this.

"I'm not about to be in a relationship with him!—Are you insane?!"

Hoseok shrugs. He actually fucking shrugs.

"Maybe you don't get it," Hyunwoo returns. They're standing in the middle of the street again, and Hyunwoo feels his temperature rising. "I'm not playing! I'm like cursed or something!—"

"—Keep your voice down."

"I'm not playing. He warps my mind. This is like a sickness and—"

"—It sounds like love," Hoseok smiles. "You know, you worried me for a while that it was something really bad. Like, much worse."

"This is really bad!"

Hoseok shrugs again. "It's bad, ok, I'll give you that. But it could be so much worse. Could have been cancer or something."

"Yeah. Brain cancer," Hyunwoo huffs indignantly, and starts walking again.

Hoseok laughs and runs to catch up with him. "You are wayyy too dramatic about this. I can't believe that this is your big problem. I had a feeling but I said, nawww," he gibes. "But apparently yeah. But the good part is I think you can deal with it. And Changkyun won't freak out like Jooheon or Minhyuk, so you're safe there."

"I should quit the group."

"I'm gonna punch you in the face if you ever say such a thing again." Thankfully Hoseok knows he's just being dramatic. Even so, he follows it up with another threat, just for good measure. "And I'll make sure to break all your teeth while I'm at it."

Hyunwoo huffs. "I'm not leaving. I got over that one."

"I wanna punch you for even considering it. That's not an option. And don't you ever—"

"—I'm not. Shut up now."

"Fine."

"You should probably still punch me in the face though."

"Shut up already. You're being a dramatic little baby about this. You've been whining about this for months now." Hyunwoo throws him a scathing look, but Hoseok just rolls his eyes at him. "Look, don't get me wrong, feelings are annoying and frustrating, and they don't follow rules; I get that. But from what I can see, he's dealing with it in one way or another, so that means there's some kind of solution to this."

"There's no solution."

"Now you're just being annoying," Hoseok smacks him in the shoulder. "You said he's fine with it. Isn't that what you said?"

Hyunwoo scoffs. "Yeah, something like that. Trust me, he's not fine."

"And why not?"

Hyunwoo wants to pull his hair out about this—he really hates talking about this, can't believe his new problem is having to talk about this—"He's coming on to me."

Hoseok's head tilts... in slow motion. It'd be cute since it's his usual confused pout he gives to cameras to make fans swoon, but right now, it feels sad almost.

"P-pardon?"

"You heard me. What am I supposed to do about that?"

"Oh." Hoseok erupts into a small fit of giggles that he hides behind his sleeve. "I see."

"I shouldn't have told you anything."

"Hyunwoo, you've gotta stop freaking out about this so much." He's still giggling and it only makes Hyunwoo frown more.

"You're saying that because it's not your problem."

"Well, technically, it is partly my problem since we're a group. And second, I'm saying this objectively. You're not two people that can't work this out."

"Fine! You wanna hear all of it?" Hyunwoo explodes and rounds on him. "Fine. I blew him last month and earlier today he rubbed his hard dick on me! You still think this is acceptable?!"

Hoseok's face melts as he bursts into silent laughter, so much that he feels it in his stomach as he buries his face quickly in his hands. "Oh—Ohmygod..." His eyes are bugging out and his smile looks like fucking fireworks or some shit—Hyunwoo is completely dismayed at him. "Shit... You really like him. Like, really like him..."

Hyunwoo's reply comes through gritted teeth and a clenched jaw, after trying to breathe to calm down. Hoseok is a good friend. He's understanding when he needs to be. And serious when he needs to be. But he's being stupid and unreasonable if he doesn't think this is a problem and it's pissing Hyunwoo off in the extreme. Though, if he has to choose, this is certainly better than a mouthful of broken teeth, so that's helping to keep him under control. Just ugh... his nerves have been shot over this Changkyun business for months and he's not nearly as level-headed as he strives for. Just the fact that he has to talk about all this is tearing his nerves to shreds. Talking is the worst.

"You really, really like him."

"I'm in love with him. Shut up."

"Oh."

"God... why can't you be the normal person who should kick me in the teeth? Seriously."

"Be my guest if you wanna tell your parents." Needless to say, they're a very typical, traditional family. Full of love and support for everything that isn't a disappointment worth disowning you over. Hence Hoseok's clipped sarcasm.

"Right. I'm not that stupid, thank you very much," Hyunwoo scoffs. "But I'm sure you can see that's also a problem. Long-term."

"If I'm the only person that knows—and Changkyun—well, I'm not really sure you need to be telling your love life to anyone anyway, so just shut up and you'll be fine."

"Yeah, ok." Though it's one of those sarcastic replies, and if Hoseok wasn't so busy watering down the rest of Hyunwoo's fires tonight, he'd be proud of him for speaking up so much tonight. Even joking like a mildly normal person. Honestly, he's never had such a brutally candid conversation with him, ever. Hyunwoo plain doesn't talk is how he usually is, and for him to have found so many words tonight is the biggest surprise of all, in Hoseok's opinion. Now he just needs to cool him down about a few more things and maybe they can continue their perfectly normal idol lives.

"I think you should figure it out between the two of you before you tell the rest of our group."

"I'm not telling anyone because there's nothing to tell."

"That's the spirit. Except you need to talk to Changkyun."

"Changkyun is insane. He's worse than women, I swear." And Hoseok laughs at him again. "Don't laugh. You deal with him, then you'd see. I have no idea how to not hurt him and at the same time keep him away from me."

Hoseok snorts. "You should tell him that, all of what you just said, see how it goes down."

"You're terrible," Hyunwoo groans. It's hardly the time for Hoseok's witty sarcasm.

They walk in silence for the last few minutes, until they're back at the front door of their building, and then Hyunwoo stops and takes Hoseok's hands in his.

"Listen, thank you," he says, and it's with a heavy heart but with so much gratitude that he really needs to say this. He low-bows to where their hands meet. "You—thank you for understanding. Thank you for—fuck—thank you for not turning my whole life upside down. You could have destroyed me... you could literally destroy my—our whole lives..."

Hoseok's head tilts cutely again. Even if Hyunwoo is right. "That's what friends are for. Don't mention it. Just stop killing yourself over it." In the light of the foyer, he wipes tear stains from Hyunwoo's cheeks and then takes his hand and drags him up the stairs. They might have like 45 minutes to sleep tonight if they're lucky.

---

Hyunwoo feels wrecked when he wakes up. Like a demolition ball had crashed into him. Kihyun's alarm is blaring in his ear and yet no members are in sight in the morning. ...Ha. Morning. That's a good joke. His head had barely touched the pillow and his face is still puffy from crying with Hoseok last night, yet he has to drag himself to whatever schedule they have today and it's still fucking dark out.

In the kitchen, he finds Hoseok and Kihyun, the only two members who had waited for him. The rest left for the hair shop already.

"Put clothes on," Kihyun tells him. "I packed you breakfast already."

Hoseok gives him a gentle wink.

God... he's never been more grateful to have friends. A fuckup like him doesn't deserve these people.

---

So Hoseok knows.

That's been on Hyunwoo's mind all week. He can hardly believe it. It's been months now that he's tried to avoid Hoseok's annoying knowing glares, and finally it feels like one of his biggest worries (apart from Changkyun) has just—poof!—vanished into thin air.

Hoseok knows that Hyunwoo is in love with Changkyun.

And the sky hasn't fallen.

Honestly, the more this knowledge settles in his brain, the more he feels like a weight the size of a house is no longer crushing his lungs. He feels able to breathe, at least a little, knowing that his best friend—someone he respects deeply, whose opinion he can't do without—somehow, magically, has told him it's all gonna be ok. He has no idea how, but if Hoseok is fine with all this—as fine as someone can be, by the look of it—then maybe he can lighten up... at least a little. Just a tiny fraction, right?

Maybe he can figure this out. Maybe there's a solution.

There's hope.

He thinks.

Except then he looks at Changkyun, with his stupid cuteness and annoying little bow the stylist pinned to his neck, and Hyunwoo just wants to flush his own head down a toilet.

So the solution probably won't come easy.

---

The way Changkyun walks, as if kicking his toes out with every step, so effortlessly confident... Hyunwoo likes watching it. And the line of his nose—so masculine but so distinctive; like no matter where he is in the world, if Changkyun's nose is there, he knows he's home and that's comforting to him. No matter if it's weird to feel this way. It doesn't even make sense.

Changkyun's tattoos, on the other hand, only remind Hyunwoo of pain. Pain he wants to kiss away and heal. He wants to take the younger boy in his arms and protect him and cuddle him.

And when Changkyun comes near to him, even though it's rare, his smell is like an adrenaline rush and Hyunwoo feels like he's in heat.

There seems to be nothing he doesn't like about Changkyun. He wonders why he didn't feel this way when they first met. Back then Changkyun was awkward and shy and it was adorable—so why not fall in love with him then? Or when he first heard him rap and it blew everyone's expectations to bits? Why not love him more then? Or when Changkyun started opening up to their members and revealing that witty, dorky humor of his? Why not then?

Why did it take Hyunwoo so long to fall in love with Changkyun?

He's watching him now, on the other side of their backstage waitingroom, as he plays videogames with Minhyuk. And though he thinks he must be creepy to be watching him like a creepy voyeur, he's also thinking how nice it would be to just go there and hug him. It puts a smile on his face. Just the thought. He doesn't even need to actually do it.

Jooheon elbows him in the arm.

"Yo."

"Yo," Hyunwoo replies, reluctantly tearing his eyes away from the youngest.

"Your ears are pink."

Hyunwoo's ears probably flush scarlet from hearing that. "A-are they?"

He's obviously deflecting and it makes Jooheon laugh. "Yeah. What are you thinking about?"

"Nothing," he murmurs.

"You hoping Changkyun would win, or MinMin? Because our youngest is getting slaughtered."

Oh, right. He's talking about the videogame battle that was right in front of Hyunwoo's face. "Uh... trying to figure it out actually."

He'd say that was a pretty good lie, thank you very much, but Jooheon still laughs at him and pats him on the back before getting up and going to bother Hoseok instead. Hoseok is more fun to bother. Hyunwoo is too deep in whatever imaginary world exists in his brain, where all his robot functions get computed at 5 megabits per minute.

---

Hoseok has managed to push both Hyunwoo and Changkyun out of the house for a coffee run at the beginning of next week. His smile as he shuts the door behind them is practically malevolent.

At first they have nothing to say to each other, until they're standing in line, waiting for the trainee barista to make a dozen drinks, and Changkyun huffs out a big sigh.

"So you told Hoseok."

The comment comes completely out of left field, especially since Hyunwoo was planning on being silent the whole trip. "Uh..." Of course Hyunwoo has no idea what to reply. "It was an accident."

"Uh-huh."

"How do you know I told him?"

"Because his smile a minute ago was gleeful and creepy levels of cheerful."

"That's what made you think I told him?"

"Well, you did. So I'm right."

Hyunwoo sighs. He's getting reluctantly accustomed to how flippant both these two are about his problem... "You know, if you're so good at reading people, maybe you could teach me a thing or two, because I don't get you at all." And though he has his arms crossed like a surly teenager, and he's making sure to keep his eyes on that scratch on side of the cash-register, he's being very serious.

Changkyun's eyebrows knit. "You don't get what about me?"

"Never mind." Hyunwoo's answer is clipped as he shakes his head. The barista has just put their order on the counter, and he steps forward to take it from her.

He walks out before Changkyun gets a chance to follow up, and maybe as retaliation for this, on the way back home, the younger is purposely stepping on the heels of Hyunwoo's shoes to be annoying—even though Hyunwoo is carrying all the drinks and it's likely to make him trip. Hyunwoo just lets him do it anyway. They walk a block like this, before Changkyun gets tired and starts walking beside him instead. He says, "Just ask what you wanna know."

Why'd you let me blow you?—that's what Hyunwoo wants to know most acutely. Of course, that's not what he actually asks. "Why'd you want to kiss me?"

"I was curious."

"And what'd you think?"

"I liked it."

"You wanna do it again?"

"Maybe."

"Depends on?"

"If you want to."

"I want to."

"So are we going to?"

"No."

And Changkyun laughs at this. "Right. Well, that's your problem right there."

"I'm not the one sending you mixed signals."

"I'm sending you mixed signals?" Changkyun chuckles. "I thought I was perfectly clear."

"You weren't."

The terseness of this conversation is starting to be comical, and even Hyunwoo can tell. But unfortunately, or fortunately, Hyunwoo is a fast walker and they've reached their dorm before either of them can dig up any more unpleasantries of their sad love-life. So that's the end of that! And Hoseok can sit and spin for making them do chores together.

---

He and Changkyun have started to be teamed up for various random projects and work a little too often lately for Hyunwoo to not suspect Hoseok's magic hand in all this. He's not sure if this annoys him or if he's glad to just be able to walk silently beside Changkyun more often. If they're seated next to each other, sometimes he can even smell the younger's perfume, and it makes him pleasantly light-headed.

Though he's not about to admit it. Because he's being professional. Obviously.

When they're in the company of others, Changkyun is also perfectly professional. The way he's always been. But then when they're alone, he's started to joke around with Hyunwoo more often and Hyunwoo can't always keep up with his wit. The young one is sharp, and more than a little mischievous. Just from something simple like when he catches Hyunwoo watching him, and tells him to "Keep watching,"—that really riles Hyunwoo up. His cheeks turn pink and his whole neck flushes hot. And he again wonders why Changkyun says something like that to him. Wasn't that just a joke?

"Don't tease me."

"I'm not."

"You are."

"I'm not."

They're on another coffee run. Waiting for the barista to make a dozen drinks.

"Don't disagree with me. I'm older." It seems like a childish thing to say, but sometimes that's all Hyunwoo defaults to when challenged. Of course, Changkyun still laughs all over him.

Hyunwoo is carrying all dozen drinks again, while Changkyun prances about. This time he's actually skipping circles around the leader, nearly making him dizzy.

"Stop being weird."

"You like it when I'm weird."

"No, I like you and there's a difference."

Changkyun smiles. Somehow he had a feeling Hyunwoo would say that to him. He's gotten more relaxed and that's why Changkyun teases him so much these days. He loves the attention he gets from Hyunwoo. He's so calm and collected all the time, except when he gets around Changkyun, in moments like this, when Changkyun has come to love getting under his skin.

"Say my favorite words again," the young rapper asks.

This is another thing Hyunwoo has reluctantly grown used to. "I like you."

"Again."

"I like you."

"How much?"

"I love you," Hyunwoo answers. He's said it before. Dozens of times, though he tries not to look at Changkyun's reaction when he does. He's too embarrassed for that. Too bad Changkyun steps in front of him this time, takes him by the collar and presses close to him to keep his attention.

There's such a soft look in Changkyun's eyes right now. It's needy and sweet and like he's made of actual sugar. "Kiss me when we get home," he says lowly, as he looks up from beneath his eyelashes.

Hyunwoo gives him a shy little smile in reply, his own voice dropping farther in regret. "I can't do that."

But Changkyun insists. "I want you to." He tightens his grip on Hyunwoo's shirt and pleads.

Both Hyunwoo's hands are busy carrying beverages, so he has no way to push Changkyun away. He's stuck there, blushing like a fool, with the younger hanging off his shirt, and he can feel his ears turn red again. "Changkyun~" he whines.

"Kiss me when we get home," the younger repeats. It kind of melts Hyunwoo's heart.

"Why?"

"Do it and we can do more." Hyunwoo sucks in a breath, panic overtaking him—Changkyun can't say that! But Changkyun leans in closer to him. There's no one around to see them anyway, the shortcut path near their dorm is deserted. "Make me come," he says. His voice sounds like sin and Hyunwoo's eyes really go wide.

"Y-you shouldn't say that kind of stuff," Hyunwoo manages to say. His knees are so weak though. As he looks into Changkyun's eyes, the way they sparkle and dance for him, he really feels this might be enough for him. This boy makes his heart flutter so much... that he dips his head and looks at their shoes. Changkyun is too much for him. His heart feels like it wants to escape from his throat.

They continue walking and Changkyun still has a skip in his step. All the way to their dorm.

And that's when Hyunwoo realizes that they're alone.

"Where did the members go?" He looks around in circles, like a dog chasing his own tail.

"They went out," Changkyun replies.

"What do you mean out?" This is suspicious and suspicious things are 95% Hoseok's doing.

Also, the way Changkyun looks it him, like a cat that caught a canary... that's way too sly to be good for his health. "Meaning they went out and we have a couple hours—and I told you to kiss me."

Hyunwoo is stepping away from him now. "You set this up?"

"Obviously not alone."

"I'm gonna murder Hoseok."

"You have other things to worry about first," Changkyun chuckles. And he starts shedding clothing, right there in their livingroom, right before Hyunwoo's incredulous eyes. When Hyunwoo looks scared, like he's about to run away, Changkyun grabs him by the shirt and pulls him closer. "I'm gonna be blunt about this. Take your clothing off."

A shiver runs down Hyunwoo's spine. "W-why?"

"I wanna do stuff with you." Hyunwoo isn't following directions, even when Changkyun's eyebrow curls up and he clarifies: "Fun stuff."

"Changkyun~"

No amount of whining and protest is about to stop a determined Changkyun. Especially not since he knows better. Hyunwoo wants him, really bad, he knows this. It makes him ache just thinking about this. The leader is so soft-hearted though, that he nearly has to bully him into giving in. Changkyun has stripped down to his underwear and pushes Hyunwoo down onto the couch. It honestly doesn't matter where they end up, that's not Changkyun's business—what he wants is Hyunwoo to get naked with him. To show him love again. He's wanted to see it so much lately.

In his momentary surprise, Changkyun manages to pull Hyunwoo's shirt off him, and then straddles him and starts kissing his neck—"W-wait—Oh!—M'mm~" Hyunwoo protests, yet he still holds him by the waist and moans when Changkyun touches him.

"Tell me how much you want me..." Changkyun breathes into him, between kisses and bites, and the words travel like a electricity, sparking all Hyunwoo's nerves to attention. He moans out and pets down Changkyun's back, shocked to have him impassioned and leading so suddenly. In no time, he's sucking air in with laboring lungs, Changkyun's mouth on him making him tremble. "Tell me."

"What do you want me to say?"

"What you wanna do with me. Tell me."

Hyunwoo moans out. Changkyun's teeth drag the length of his neck while a thumb is digging right into his jugular, making him light-headed. "M'mmmm... mmm, kiss me. Please. Let me kiss you," Hyunwoo begs, discounting the fact that he's turned down that same thing not five minutes previous.

Changkyun dives into his mouth, and Hyunwoo nearly crushes him in his need to make them one—he wants to taste him, hold him, touch him—and Changkyun moans between them, noisy as he clamors to tilt Hyunwoo's mouth, to claim his lips and bite and lick into him—fuck—Hyunwoo is drowning in him.

The way Changkyun kisses is wet and messy and it takes Hyunwoo on a journey—he's pressing into him, rolling his hips over him, fingers forceful on the back of his head. Hyunwoo lets him lead, as Changkyun dominates their kiss. He's needy, to the point that Hyunwoo feels overwhelmed, yet he wants anything Changkyun will give him. This isn't like anyone else he's ever kissed. He's so hard from just Changkyun's tongue in his mouth, the way he ruts into him—he says, "Make me come." He's begging between their lips. "Touch me. Make me yours... I wanna be yours..." Changkyun's words make Hyunwoo shudder terribly... he can't take this, not if Changkyun says that kind of thing...

He takes him around the middle and lifts him—Changkyun ends up on his back, on the floor, with Hyunwoo over him, licking down his neck, fingers slotted between his ribs, feeling down his body, all the expanse of skin available to him. This makes him want to ravage him. The way Changkyun gives himself, the way he's pliant and soft, yet angular, and feisty and so needy, it really just gets under Hyunwoo's skin. He's so lost for this boy...

"Can I... can I taste you? I wanna lick every part of you... You're so pretty to me. So beautiful... and witty and annoying and I want you forever... forever," he moans into Changkyun's body as he holds him tighter, like it hurts to be without him, even a millimeter is too far—he breathes him in and kisses into him, and Changkyun arches up to meet him. "Let me love you. Please let me love you~" And Hyunwoo is actually crying into his skin, tongue dragging over his clavicle and down his chest, teeth catching on his nipple and making Changkyun shiver. Hyunwoo's pained sobs soak into his body—the way he wants Changkyun is terrifying and he's practically choking on his lust for him, drooling on him, and still kissing every inch he can reach—he swears Changkyun's heart is right there beneath his lips. He wants all of Changkyun, he's wanted him for months, over a year now if he counts how oblivious he was to this crush at the beginning, and now can't imagine being anywhere that isn't beneath Changkyun's skin.

Changkyun's breath hitches as he bucks up, rutting into Hyunwoo's body, creating his own friction, and begging to be held tighter. "Hold me... take your clothes off and be with me..." he whines. "I don't wanna wait anymore..." When had Changkyun gotten this way for him? This makes Hyunwoo practically rip the remaining clothing off their bodies, mouth landing over Changkyun's dick, relishing when the boy nearly yells as he sucks him down—"Fuck me—fuck me—nngghhhhhh—please..." Changkyun pleads.

Never in all his life has Hyunwoo imagined he'd be here—not with Changkyun, not with any person he loves—so sick over how much his heart aches to be with someone, to please them, to love them—like Hyunwoo wants to do with Changkyun. He's head-over-heels and all reason is gone when his only goal is to make Changkyun cry and tremble with his mouth. He takes him in hand so he can plunge his nose into his skin instead, can push his thighs higher and farther apart and can kiss all the curves and angles between Changkyun's legs, and lick down his core and really make him beg now. He's got his mouth over his entrance, making out with his hole, tongue flicking on his rim and plunging into him as deep as he can. He's like candy—he tastes like candy—

"Fuckk," Changkyun moans, voice pitched and trembling. "I'll come—I'll come," he warns. "If you d-don't s-stop—"

And Hyunwoo lets him go. He comes back to his mouth, to kiss him and look into his eyes. "What do you want from me?"

"Yours. Just make me yours..." Changkyun says. His gaze is locked with Hyunwoo's lips, like he's chasing them.

Hyunwoo kisses deep into his mouth again, holding his lips parted with a thumb on his chin, fingers splayed over his jaw. "I won't let you go, you hear me?"

"I know. That's why I want you..."

Despite warning Hyunwoo that he's on edge, Changkyun is still rolling up into him, craving his heat, and Hyunwoo slows down for a moment to give him more peaceful kisses, more deliberately peppered over his neck as he pumps his fist over him, bringing him higher.

"Hyunwoo... come with me. Ok? ...Come in me. Can we do that?" He's chasing Hyunwoo's eyes this time, to show him he really means it. And Hyunwoo moans into his skin and pauses with his mouth over his sternum, teeth nearly marking him in his intense need to pull his wits together.

"You really want that?" And he can feel Changkyun nod. "Baby... I can't let you go if we do that, you have to understand. You have my heart. Don't ask me if you don't want me back."

This time Changkyun waits for longer, but he nods again. "I want you," he says. "I swear I want you."

Hyunwoo comes up to his mouth to kiss him sweetly. Slowly this time. No matter what, Changkyun still tastes like candy to him.

"Go find something to open me up with," Changkyun tells him then, hot between their lips. His eyes are dark, hooded, and his fingernails scrape over Hyunwoo's shoulderblades, even as he lets him go.

Lube. Right.

Hyunwoo nearly stumbles over his own feet he's so dizzy over Changkyun.

The first thing he finds is some of Kihyun's nice-smelling body lotion, because he can't remember where the actual lube is, and hopes this is ok. Not like he's needed this when he'd fucked before...

As he kneels down between Changkyun's thighs, and shows him the bottle, his cheeks are flushed with embarrassment again. "Is this ok?"

"I'm sure it's fine."

"It's Kihyun's."

"Even better. I bet it's expensive and he'll yell at us for using it."

And then Changkyun is wrapping his legs around him and pulling his body flush over him so they can kiss away. As if it hurts anytime they're not attached to each other. He needs to be closer. Hyunwoo is really intoxicating. In little doses, he's fallen for him. Changkyun isn't clueless like Hyunwoo, he can feel the way Hyunwoo loves him even when they're not together. He doesn't need that many examples.

The way Hyunwoo looks at him. From that first kiss, Changkyun knew he wanted to be closer. Every time, it's always closer. Even if Hyunwoo is just holding his hand.

Now they're here and Changkyun is shivering because the fucking lotion is cold before it warms with his body heat. Then Hyunwoo puts two fingers into him and Changkyun melts. His thighs tense from the intrusion as he brings his arms around Hyunwoo's neck, but his breath hitches when Hyunwoo's fingers curl inside him.

"Feel ok?"

"Yeah."

"You done this before?"

Changkyun shakes his head and bites his lip cutely. Hyunwoo swoops down and kisses him.

"Me neither."

Then Changkyun is nodding, licking desperately into his mouth, and Hyunwoo gets the picture: I'm ready. Fuck me. He falls back so Hyunwoo can rise to look between them. He's rubbing his dick over Changkyun's slippery asshole, trying to wrap his mind around what they're about to do. Even Changkyun breathes deeply, because he knows he needs to relax. He doesn't know exactly what to expect but is full of anticipation.

"You're sure?" Hyunwoo asks.

He's looking down at the younger with such a delicate love in his eyes. Roaming his gaze over Changkyun's thin arms, the rise and fall of his chest, the way those pretty fingers don't seem to know what to do with themselves right now, those legs, bent, spread so erotically. Sexiest legs he's ever seen...

And his eyes, lidded and dark as they stare back at Hyunwoo. So resolute and intense. Confident, yet already wrecked from lust. He doesn't love Hyunwoo yet, but he's enamored with him, and so swept up in him... "I wanna try. Wanna be with you. Love me," he says.

"I love you," Hyunwoo replies. Then breaks their eye contact to line up to his entrance, and in another deep breath, he's pushing into him.

Changkyun's eyes blow wide open when Hyunwoo breaches him. "Wait—" His nails dig into Hyunwoo's skin, forcing Hyunwoo to look back into his eyes. "Slow. Ok?" His voice is pitched with strain as he labors to breathe and get himself under control better.

But his eyes—still want Hyunwoo so badly, and seeing this makes Hyunwoo take him under the knees, bend him further as he folds over him to kiss his mouth—so sweetly, even with all his need, as he sinks further into his body. Changkyun wants him and Hyunwoo wants him even more. He swallows all Changkyun's little whimpers and coaxes him open slowly, running hands over his body, to hold him, soothe him, make sure the angle is good for him as he starts a gentle rhythm rocking into him. And he's still kissing him. Until Changkyun is breathless and trembling beneath him.

"Y-you're so good to me," he says, hot between their mouths.

"Wanna be good to you." But the way Hyunwoo says this feels broken now. Like he has no emotional strength left at all. Looking back at Changkyun, pliant and needy, all his, arms wrapped around his neck possessively, keeping him close—it makes his heart just bleed for him. He can't take this. Changkyun is too much. Too everything. He wants him forever this way. He's so precious—to have let him inside his body this way. Accepted his insane feelings. He wants him back, Hyunwoo can see it plainly now, and it's all too much, so overwhelming, that he knows he's ruined. It hurts less when he doesn't have to look into those eyes. He plunges his tongue into Changkyun's mouth then, hungry and wet, like a promise being sealed, before he rises up and pulls Changkyun's ass up onto his thighs, legs hooked over his arms, so he can hold him by the hips and control his thrusts, and make sure he's doing this well. This is when he takes a moment to sigh, because he feels near tears. This moment is too much, he can't even look at Changkyun anymore.

Maybe Changkyun feels the same flood of emotions, too much to bear, so he needs an outlet too. Because he says, "Fuck me now. Don't think. Just fly with me. Ok?" And he lifts his legs up over Hyunwoo's shoulders to guide him.

So Hyunwoo gives him what he wants; allows himself to close his eyes and take in the feel of Changkyun's body as they roll together. He's tight, and silky, and perfect like none other—until he can finally look down at him once more with steady eyes. He wants badly to please him, because Changkyun is so beautiful with that lip between his teeth, bouncing from how Hyunwoo fucks him, breaths sharp even as he tries to keep in the sounds of his pleasure. Looking at him this way—down to where they're joined, to that pink rim stretched taught around his shaft—breaks any attempt at control. The visual is too sinful—to see him spread and giving all his body to Hyunwoo this way, with those trusting eyes, so sparkly. With every heartbeat, he takes Hyunwoo higher. Hopefully he feels even a fraction as good as Hyunwoo feels to be with him.

Putting a smile on Changkyun's face becomes the most important thing of all. As he pulls their bodies together, chasing a high, he can feel Changkyun's pleasure in return. Those little sighs turn to whines, and then deep moans when Hyunwoo fucks him well, and it's what Hyunwoo wants to hear. He grips him only tighter, fingers bruising into his skin, won't let him go, a furrow in his brow, as he strives to be better for him. It's so good that this hurts, all through his body—it's suffocating how much Changkyun means to him—this type of lust is high in his throat, and he blinks to remind himself to not get lost yet.

"Like this?"

Hyunwoo gives him a few particularly hard thrusts at a higher angle, and Changkyun goes crying and swearing like he hadn't expected—"Fuck—Promise not to leave me," he begs suddenly. "Not to turn back around and say we can't..."

"W-what?" Hyunwoo looks back at him. The younger is so desperate. It's caught him off guard, and it takes Hyunwoo a moment to figure out what to do. Where had this come from?—this sad vulnerability he sees now. He crumbles back into Changkyun's body to hold him, lifts him straight off the floor so he's sitting in Hyunwoo's lap, and he can wrap him in his arms and kiss all over his face. "I'm not leaving you."

"S-stay—ok?" Changkyun cries. The words dissolve between their lips. Changkyun doesn't want to let go of his mouth, wants to be connected in as many ways as possible. "Keep me," he murmurs, low and frantic. "L-love me. Please..." His fingers on Hyunwoo's back are crawling as if he's trying to reach beneath his skin, and he's shaking. Hyunwoo can barely keep up with him now that he's on top—their kiss is a breathless mess of tongue and teeth, as Changkyun tips his head back and only wants to be tighter, deeper—Hyunwoo is holding him, but Changkyun is taking over. He moans flagrantly and lifts himself over Hyunwoo's dick, only to sink back down with a dangerous snap to his hips, driving Hyunwoo mad.

"Fuck, baby—"

"Do I feel good?"

"Y-you feel the best."

"Tell me—"

"The tightest. The hottest, mine—" Hyunwoo says, kissing the words into any inch of skin he can reach, guiding him with hands on his ass, spreading him so he sits even deeper each time they come together. Changkyun whines so pretty and so wrecked. So unbelievably hot—scorching like the sun, even when Hyunwoo doesn't think he can give more, Changkyun squeezes him closer, rocks him harder, cries louder. Hyunwoo can't help but plead with him—"Fuck, Changkyun, love you—love you so much—"

"Tell me and come for me," Changkyun replies, tears in his eyes by this point as he takes Hyunwoo by the cheeks and crushes their mouths together once more.

"—Uh-mmm!" Hyunwoo moans back, sharp, because it feels like there's no air left in his lungs, his heart is beating in his airway as they move together. But he'll use the last of his stamina to tell Changkyun how perfect he is—"Mine—so pretty, you feel so good—no one else—" There's more in his head, but he can't say it, between the way Changkyun has his tongue in his mouth and the tightness in his groin—everything goes white as he comes, before he even knows it. Every muscle contracting, as waves of his orgasm wash over him, shaking him—Changkyun is still kissing him with a choking urgency, and then he's spinning, he's shaking and feels light-headed, and Changkyun tells him—

"You love me."

"I—I l-love you," Hyunwoo agrees. His breaths shallow as he struggles to get a grip back on reality, his heart is still beating wildly in the aftermath. And Changkyun won't stay off his mouth to let him rest.

They're kissing again, and Changkyun hasn't moved off his dick, sits with him, even through the afterglow, ever so still. He enjoys the weight and fullness against his prostate. So he'll kiss Hyunwoo slow and lazy now, as he reaches for himself and jerks off to completion. Just like this.

"Stay," he says softly now, trembling before his orgasm breaks. "Don't move, just stay—" And then Hyunwoo can see everything in his eyes—in the height of his ecstasy, he's quaking around Hyunwoo like fireworks, making the most unholy gasps as he finishes in his own hand, hurried and violent between them, until it's too much, too sensitive for both of them and nearing discomfort—while Hyunwoo watches him in awe. Afterwards, with his head bowed into Hyunwoo's shoulder, they're still connected, and Changkyun is chasing his runaway heartbeat, needing to settle down from a powerful high. The panting of his breaths wash over Hyunwoo's skin, and calm returns finally as he sighs in satisfaction. He's dripping in both their come, the slick of Hyunwoo's climax leaking over their thighs, and yet Changkyun isn't moving off his lap, because Hyunwoo's lap is the safest place of all.

He knows Hyunwoo is shocked at him, at the intensity of this plunge—that he must have plenty of questions now, but what Changkyun wants most is to bask in this warmth. Hyunwoo had said the most perfect things to him and he wonders how much of it he can reciprocate.

Linked this way, it's no longer hard to guess the other's thoughts. Hyunwoo finds it hard to ask what Changkyun's feelings are in return. Does he love Hyunwoo back? Changkyun can feel this in the way he tips his chin up, kissing so gently, an uneven eyebrow quirked in question. "I love that you love me," Chankyun answers. Because the way Hyunwoo treats him, the way he looks at him like there's no one else in the world, like he's special, and his, gives him wings.

Changkyun is very likely a narcissist. Not in a malicious way, but in a your-love-completes-me kind of way; I-was-broken-before-your-love kind of way. That's why he loves Hyunwoo's love so much. Their youngest may be a strange mix of boisterous and brash and stoic too, but beneath the surface, he's fragile and needs Hyunwoo to hold him. He craves security and understanding, and balance for his imbalance.

And he admires Hyunwoo so much. He's everything Changkyun is not. Big and strong and humble and stable and trustworthy. Changkyun wants to believe in him and fall with him. He wants to trust that when he takes wild leaps this way that Hyunwoo will catch him. Call him adventurous. He starts talking all the nonsense in his head, because he can feel more of Hyunwoo's unspoken questions creep into him—

"I don't think everything needs to be planned. Some things just fall from the sky and if you open your arms to accept them, good things might happen. I hope. If you hold me."

He kisses up Hyunwoo's neck, trying to bring back a lighter mood between them because the sex had been overwhelming. Even now with his arms tight around Hyunwoo's neck, he still needs him to hold him. Hopefully Hyunwoo will understand.

"So you have no plan?"

"Nope. That's your problem, not mine."

"You're insane."

"I trust you," Changkyun shrugs. As if this is perfectly simple. As if Hyunwoo hasn't been torn over them for a year now.

Hyunwoo blushes; because when Changkyun says monumental things so casually, a little part of him thinks maybe it really will be ok. Even when it makes no sense. Maybe because it makes no sense. He hides his embarrassment in Changkyun's shoulder.

Either way, he's promised Changkyun to not let go, so he won't. And when Changkyun kisses his cheek, so sweet like Hyunwoo has been to him, it feels like a promise in return.

He catches Hyunwoo's gaze afterwards, with a devilish smile on his lips, and says, "You know, I think I have a crush on you."

---

 

THE END.