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It's hard to think sometimes, especially when Chota is just lounging on En's bed like he owns it. Technically, he does. At least part of it. They're partners that share everything, after all.

"En~" Chota is adamant, and he reaches over to pat the bed a bunch, his body flexing with the motion, "Come here."

Why can't he ever put on a damn shirt? En can't think. But he stays put, raising an eyebrow at Chota. Chota knows the drill. He knows what works with En, he can work harder.

A haughty huff, "Jeez, fine." Chota reaches up (arching that damn body) and tugs off his mask. He tosses it somewhere, but En isn't paying attention to that anymore. Chota's hazel eyes are bright, his smile's mischievous. That mouth is something, and if Chota never wears his mask again, En will be fine with that, "Happy? Come here." 

A beat, then En goes to him. He sits on the bed and lies down, and Chota immediately opens up for him like a flower. He's wrapped in limbs right away, and Chota's ever smiling mouth is pressed right against his chin. Always clingy and needy. It wasn't entirely terrible. If anything, En cannot get over that mouth. 

"One day," Chota murmurs, "I'm gonna get your name tattooed right here." He brushes fingers over his own shoulder before returning his hand to its previous resting place, En's chest.

"Save your money and your time," En grunts, "We're already partners."

Chota lightly pokes En's chest,right where his heart is. Where their contract lies. "We sure are, huh." Chota's smile softens against his neck, but En could still see it in his mind's eye. No one else smiles like Chota. His partner cares for his empire, and cares for him (cares for him a lot) and despite the sense of foreboding, En relaxes, and simply enjoys a quiet moment with his partner. With Chota.

Whatever may come next doesn't matter. Not right now.



"What happened."

"En-san, wait, visitors aren't—" En rushes through anyway, a sharp glare daring the underling to stop him. Of course they won't, he's En.

Chota is on the bed, white sheets fisted tight in his hands. He's hiding something.

"En," his voice is too quiet, "You don't have to worry about me, I'm—"

"Chota," Dread is creeping up his throat; En has known that sooner or later that Chota would do something stupid Just because they are partners. The thought of that has always felt inevitable for En, and it seems like that day has come, "Take off your mask." Hesitantly, Chota obeys. And En—

"Chota. What did you do."

His ever smiling mouth is ruined. His lips are torn and red, and En could see his perfect teeth, forever exposed now by his wounds, and the devil's contract in his chest feels so fucking heavy.

"I just," Chota whispers, and he touches a finger to his mouth, "I wanted to blow smoke like you did."

The contract behind En's heart feels like a curse. This has to end.

"You can't. Give up on that." Chota smiles sheepishly but winces right away, the motion causing him pain.

It'll scar. It'll scar, and maybe Noi can fix it. But Noi can't fix extreme admiration. Noi can't fix Chota's obsession and dependency. This has to end. En turns to leave.


He glances over his shoulder and notes the bright hazel eyes. The ruined mouth. The ghost of a smile.

En keeps walking and doesn't look back.