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the front stoop of hell

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Layers of curtains, and whispers from much too close by, and the hiss of candle-light, the wine-must stain on the mouth that’s pulling away from his. Laughter on one side that sounds halfway to sobs, and moans on the other that sound halfway to destroyed, and he can feel the fingers drifting to -- the seam on his neckline, the shapes of his collar-bones, and before he can open his eyes and try to remember what’s going on or try to stop this whole madly whirling moment --

“Mm, no, don’t,” and that voice is sweeter than the wine, sweeter than the scents of smoke and sweat that clog thick in the back of his own throat. “Stop thinking. I can hear you. You’ll like it better like this.”

“I -- ” he begins, and nearly hates the sound of his own voice.

Broken already, shattering around the edges on that one sound already. Rough-dragged over coals, over cliff-edges. Raw like he’s been screaming already, when -- he blinks, and why does he shiver when he realizes that those are only his eyelashes brushing against hot hot skin? Why does he shiver when he takes a deep breath of that hand covering his eyes, covering part of his nose? Why does he let his mouth fall open further on the brush of a thumb against his lip?

It’s all falling apart, he’s falling apart, heart beating like he’s climbed a mountain at triple-time, like it’s trying to crack through the bones caging it in. Like he’s trying to crack through this prison of his own senses and his mind spinning out of control, spiraling -- the next breath he catches fills with the acid of fear, like bile coming up and burning, burning him --

“Hush,” says that low voice.

“Can’t, can’t stop,” he hears himself gasp.

“Want me to make it stop?”

Thoughts crash to a halt. He crashes back into this haze of awareness. He knows he’s in a -- room. A large one, that’s the floor beneath his feet; and a small one, that’s the curtains he remembers, and the edge of the table across his backbone. He knows he’s sitting down, balanced precariously across lean muscle, across warm skin. Weight of the hand on his hip and the blaze of it, burning as though he weren’t even wearing his shirt or his trousers.

Hand over his eyes, fingertip teasing the tip of his tongue, moving in and out of his mouth, and -- he makes himself pull back just enough. Just a little air to drive the words into these narrowing spaces and the taste of bare skin. “And if I want to stop -- ”

“I’ll be disappointed, I won’t lie.” Slithering teasing words, that make him jerk bolt upright. (When had he even started to slouch? When had he started to sway closer to -- his makeshift chair, bony knees and lean flesh?) Words that fill him up slow syrupy thick, catching in his chest, so hot he wonders why he isn’t burning up already. “But if you really don’t want this -- I can let you go. I can even let you run.

“But don’t you want to stay?”

And the question hangs intimately on his mouth, before -- the kiss. His only warning is the tongue that licks deliberately against his bottom lip, swipe and thrum of a soft laugh and he knows it’s because he gasped, because he jolted.

Because of the sound that fell out of him at the last instant, like want, like whimpering, swallowed against the edges of small even teeth.

He flails, only a little, against the kiss as it deepens. Stroke for stroke and gasp for gasp, the air pulled out of him with every slide of their mouths. How he wants to -- lean forward and take the kiss for himself, chase the taste of the wine that his partner has been drinking in tiny sips. How he wants to -- fall back and be led, deeper and darker, down into this half-knowing state --

Moan that isn’t his and that isn’t his partner’s, only muffled, and he’s got to be lost because he can now only make a questioning noise.

“Having a good time,” his partner says, pulling away, breathing more loudly.

“Are you?” he suddenly asks.

He hears the laugh and feels it thrum along his throat, like it was pressed into him somehow, branded into him. “Better than great. Unless you’re not.”

He still can’t make himself open his eyes, still can’t remember why he had closed them. He -- shivers as another moan rings out, the same high voice from nearby, far too lost -- and now he can even hear the movement of skin against skin and his imagination gives up, his mind gives up, fire rising in needle-tides along his nerves, need need need.

“I’ll be good,” he whispers.

And he reaches out blindly. His thumb catches in the divot between collar-bone and shoulder-blade, too close to the wild thump of a heartbeat. His other hand lands flat onto a broad chest, onto draped lace and taut silk and then through the gap of shirt-studs -- and his eyes fly open on the shock of -- the answering roaring heat. He doesn’t yank his hand away, but he feels like he’s been scorched, too, like he’s been slashed down to the bone, wide wounded and yearning.

Dim light, he remembers that. The flames burning far too low on the wicks, the sizzle of burning against deep molten wax. Cloying smoke that makes tears prick in the corners of his eyes, and as he blinks --

Some kind of shadow darkens in the face of his partner. Light dancing on the angles, on the edges of eyebrow and nose and cheekbone, the fluttering trailing edges of unruly jet-black hair. Shadow like claws pulling at that mouth, so recently kiss-warmed.

And for a moment he can’t even remember this person’s name --

“You look like you might be changing your mind.” Shadow-edges, too, evening out that voice, like cutting away the bits of feelings, the heat of their earlier breaths.

He shakes his head, and something that feels like panic seizes at his own chest. (How long had he been staring?) “No, no, I -- ” Shame burning away even as he hears a shout, muffled triumphant, from somewhere on the other side of the curtains. “I said it, I’m not taking it back.”

Cold that lingers in the barest hint of a smile. “Say it again.”

The words fall out of him like weights, like release. “Let me stay?” No, that’s not it. He tries again. “Help me to stay.”

That icy smile seems to widen, warming, candle-light in dark dark eyes. “That’s it. Right here, Namjoon.” And an even lower demand: “With me.”

He means to repeat the words -- he says, instead, helplessly, “Yoongi.”

And -- the rational flash, the story of tonight -- passes him by. Pried out of another fruitless night of pecking at his phone and trying to write. Half-hearted lines left behind in the scattered napkins of a nameless coffee shop, bright lights and brackish waft from his cup and -- this man, this Yoongi, sweeping him up on no more than a happenstance. On no more than the accident of Namjoon trying to find something in a line to mean timeless and their eyes catching, unplanned, corner to the front door.

The hand that had gestured to him is the hand that is on him. Press of two fingertips at the bottom of his neck, and thumb slipping into his shirt, all of Yoongi burning up now is what it feels like, where Namjoon is also almost touching him and only layers of cloth remain between them.

“Right here.” Like the chorus of a dark song, drugging.

And Namjoon gets to his feet, shakily, when Yoongi pushes at him. Makes him turn around and then the hands on his shoulders force him back down: Yoongi behind him, and caging him in for all that he’s shorter, and more slender. The arm around Namjoon’s chest might as well be a steel band, might as well be an entire trap, pinning him here where he -- wants to be.

Surrounded in the heat rising from Yoongi’s body and -- Namjoon thinks, nonsensically, that he might melt right here, lost to the flames like candles, and used up afterwards.

Thought that flees him when Yoongi whispers against the angle of his jaw: words painted onto Namjoon’s skin, ashen stains on him. “Don’t turn around.”

The words, and this place, and the idea that he’s starting to drown in, that he’s starting to want -- all of these things should have frightened him, more so with this stranger, this Yoongi: the curtains are not walls, and even as he watches the stumbling passage of legs and arms makes the material swing into slivered openings, in and out and then reluctantly hanging still again.

But Yoongi is pressing open-mouthed kisses to his neck, to the shell of his ear. Teeth closing softly on his earlobe and tugging, only a little rough against Namjoon’s hoop earrings, his tongue impossibly hotter than the metal itself.

“Please,” is all he can say, then, head falling back farther, until it’s hard to breathe at all.

Laughter against him, sawing further down his wrecked and yearning nerves.

Shaking and helpless as Yoongi’s other hand flicks at his flies. Burning touch over him, and he grits his teeth against the groan, against the salt-in-wounds throb of Yoongi laughing sweet and knowing in his ear. Laughter and a long hum, and -- nails scratching lightly at the material of his briefs, and Namjoon backs away, instinctively --

He stops dead when he realizes that’s what Yoongi wanted him to do, precisely.

He is now even more trapped between the hand on him, and Yoongi’s thighs pinning him in place, and -- the pulse in Yoongi’s groin. Growing stronger, going faster. The unmistakable heat of Yoongi right against him.

“Fuck,” Namjoon moans, soft and drawn-out. Punched out of him, and all his reservations about getting ruined like this, nearly publicly like this: burned away, smoke-gone.

“Good,” he hears Yoongi mutter.

And then Yoongi reaches for him, for real: Namjoon has no idea why his jaw hurts, why his head is starting to throb. Peripheral sensations to the grip that tightens on him, almost to the point of a cruel squeeze, before only mildly becoming gentler. Just enough that Yoongi can really touch him: fingers curling around him. Jolt as Yoongi digs in a little with nails, sharp sweet shattering pleasure like a lightning strike -- gritted teeth against a needy shout as Yoongi traces the vein along the underside of his cock --

He maybe backs up a little too forcefully into Yoongi -- he doesn’t know why he grunts -- Namjoon knows how pinned he looks, how pinned he feels, in the moment that he senses the roll of Yoongi’s hips into him.

He takes it, leans into it, now that he knows he doesn’t have a choice otherwise: the weight of Yoongi’s hand along him, the push of Yoongi’s body into his. Words and the world unraveling alarmingly fast, for all that Yoongi is going slowly, so slowly Namjoon wants to scream at him, wants to beg him to hurry --

“Stay,” he hears Yoongi growl, just barely.

His own words, thrown right back at him.

If he’s in hell, he’s in the kind of hell he wants, he almost says out loud: the hand on his cock and the hand clenched almost into his chest. The lazy slow rhythm of Yoongi against his back, and the only reason he’s not getting actively fucked is because Yoongi hasn’t taken any of his own clothes off, hasn’t prepared him for anything else. Just -- hands.

Just the occasional mutter of his name, and every time Namjoon hears those sounds he jolts, he falls farther, and now all he knows is the daze, the white noise in his mind, the flickering awareness of how there are people moving beyond the curtains and -- who else is moaning, who else knows about how he’s listening to the moaning, aching and aching and so close --

“Maybe they want to hear you, too, do you think.”

As if Yoongi could read his mind. As if Yoongi can hear what he’s thinking: Namjoon’s past the point of fighting any of this. Past the point of fighting Yoongi at all.

“Please,” he begs.

“I know you’re close, I can feel you.” Words on the back of his neck, hot and deep. “Come when I say. Can you do that?”

He doesn’t know, he can’t -- he nods.

“Here,” and then Yoongi’s hips are jerking, faster, and Yoongi’s hand on his cock starts to break rhythm at last -- grips Namjoon that much more tightly instead and that is almost the point of no return --


Namjoon only knows that he comes without making a sound. That he comes and hears Yoongi moan, soft sigh.

Does that mean that he came, too?

But there’s nothing but -- this. This moment, where he’s been put.

This is where he stays.