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Hoseok barges into Jooheon's studio and before the younger even has time to notice his presence, Hoseok has ripped the headphones off Jooheon's ears.

"You did—what?! You went on HIATUS?? You—" he's shouting already, latching on to Jooheon's shoulders while Jooheon is startled and trying to process the sudden attack, barely able to at least turn to face Hoseok.

"—What are—" Jooheon interrupts, then realizes what Hoseok is angry about. "Oh. You heard."

"Yes, of course I heard! What the hell are you thinking?!" He's got Jooheon trapped in his rolling-chair, nearly breathing in his face, but Jooheon just pushes him off lightly.

He knows already what Hoseok wants to say. He knows Hoseok feels this news like a punch to the gut. They can't be down another member, not right now! Except—that's exactly why they can be. Because the group is already broken, Jooheon can take a break during this time.

"—Listen to me, and I'll explain. Just sit for god's sake." The younger indicates to the couch. Hoseok doesn't sit, but at least he stands there and crosses his bulging arms, and looks like a burly security guard just waiting to explode at Jooheon again. Hoseok isn't often in this mood, but Jooheon knows what he's done, and it wasn't an easy decision. He felt so broken he put off telling Hoseok until the last minute and then—well, looks like he ran out of time. But seeing Hoseok's disappointment would have been too much to handle. Maybe anger is better.

"I went on hiatus so I could work on the music. I didn't think I'd have to spell it out."

"You mean you're ditching fanservice duty because you think you can follow my poor example," Hoseok returns. "I'm not a good example." There it is, that self-deprecating disappointment Jooheon hates to see. Hoseok is blaming himself again. "This isn't something I chose! You can't just choose—"

"Look, we have a shitton of work, if you haven't noticed. You wanna meet deadlines or you want to fall back on a repackage album? Because that's crap and I don't like crap. If we have the opportunity to put out good stuff—and by the way, I've been highly inspired lately—then I want to work. And I'm sorry if the consequence is missing a few repetitive awards shows."

Hoseok glares at him. Like a slap to the face because Jooheon deserves it, and it makes Jooheon cower. Then slowly, Hoseok's eyes narrow. If he didn't hear this news from other members, it means Jooheon was going to tell him. But he didn't. He couldn't? He was scared to say that—he had a lot of musical inspiration? ...Right. Yes, he sees it now. Jooheon looks tired, and he was never very good at faking smiles. So this is the toll Hoseok's absence has taken.

He finally sits down with a deep sigh, and Jooheon feels like he's been let off the hook.

"What can I say, I might be following your example a little. Is it really that bad to want a break from the spotlight to work on better things?"

Hoseok studies him for a long moment. Jooheon is white-washing again. If Jooheon can't say out loud that he's in pain, then Hoseok isn't about to hurt him further by pointing out all his lame excuses. "I'm gonna pretend you didn't just make it sound like I've been living in my studio for two months because I think it's fun." The challenge is still in Hoseok's tone, but he's given up the fight.

Jooheon shrugs. "Two months ago it felt like the world was falling. Now it feels like a welcome vacation. Sue me."

Hoseok rolls his eyes. "Sure. Your vacation. My exile. Rub it in." At least he's managed to lay back and relax on the couch, finally. So Jooheon deems it safe to roll his chair over and sit close to him.

"You can't tell me it's not a little fun," Jooheon chuckles. He pokes Hoseok's pectoral in an act of cuteness. Then does it again just for fun. And then a third time when Hoseok takes too long to reply.

The elder sighs. "Ok, fine," he laments. "Maybe a little bit." He's indeed been getting a lot of work done, and Starship's cafeteria is acceptable too. A smile finally cracks Hoseok's features, and Jooheon smacks his thigh in triumph. With a lot of work and a dumptruck of luck, they'll come back from this mess even stronger! At least that's a plan.

"You like having the fans wrapped around your little finger. Don't lie to me, I already know," Jooheon laughs.

Hoseok smacks his thigh right back. "Switching the subject! I didn't finish yelling at you for—"

"Kihyun agreed it was the best thing to do."

"—Because you think you only need Kihyun's approval now?"

"No. Because I know what we need to get done and it's just smart. And you know it too."

Hoseok's lip curls up in a reluctant pout. "Yeah, I know it. Doesn't mean I'm happy about it."

Jooheon shrugs this time and turns around to roll back to this desk. "I can show you what I'm working on if it'll help. I'm on a good streak."


The two producer members actually end up spending the rest of the day together, working well in Jooheon's studio, ordering in dinner afterwards, getting Jooheon a little tipsy too, full of happy thoughts and good vibes; and by the time they sneak into the Monsta X dorm together, it's past midnight and they're still going strong. Chatting about work and inspiration, and enjoying their little reunion.

Jooheon slumps over on the couch and nearly pulls Hoseok over him in his happy trance. Jooheon has been hanging off the elder's shoulders ever since he allowed himself to have too much to drink tonight. It's not a problem because he's with Hoseok and Hoseok always takes care of him. So he can indulge and let loose a little. They deserve a break.

Jooheon deserves a break, and a hug, and so he pulls Hoseok until Hoseok really does fall on top of him. Being curled together on the couch makes Jooheon chuckle. It feels a little like a date to be bringing Hoseok back here tonight. So far, since all hell broke loose, Hoseok has made a point to keep his contact with Monsta X out of the public eye—sleeping at his own studio most nights so he doesn't get caught at the dorm, chatting on the phone while the other six members have been away on schedules, taking up a bunch of their group's management work at the company building. His remorse has kept him generally anywhere that the rest of the members usually aren't, so that he could help them rebuild after his faults had plunged them all into the deep-end. Treading water, that's what it's felt like. Barely staying afloat. Now Jooheon just threw caution to the wind apparently, and—and maybe it's not so bad. Maybe.

At least Hoseok gets this time now to catch up, rather than walking circles around each other at the company. He missed actually being with each other. Of course he has. They used to do this nearly every day. There always used to be some moment in the car or backstage to cuddle and at least link hands and know they're connected.

He knows they'll always be connected, but he missed the contact. The feeling of Jooheon's breaths on his hair. Of being able to smell his clothes. Of grabbing onto his waist and keeping him close.

Jooheon's breathing and talking is reverberating through Hoseok's body too, making his head bounce lightly if Jooheon happens to laugh. Like a lullaby. He lifts up to look Jooheon in the eyes. Sparkly, happy eyes. Neither should be happy to be away from group schedules, knowing how much trouble they're in, but if Jooheon smiles like that, then maybe it's worth it. Hoseok lets his thigh fall between Jooheon's legs so he can rise up to get closer to his face, so he can wind his fingers through the rapper's unkept hair. Messy but soft because it's free from color. He pushes the inky black strands backwards to get a good look at Jooheon's eyes. And that cute pout.

"You're babying me," Jooheon complains.

"So? I like babying you."

Jooheon likes it when Hoseok is soft with him. It makes his heart flutter warmly. So much so that he puts a hand on Hoseok's nape and lays a kiss on his cheek. Jooheon just loves having Hoseok so near, right over him, his weight like a security blanket. "So baby me," Jooheon says as he looks back into Hoseok's eyes.

"Baby," Hoseok teases, kindly.

It's perhaps now that Jooheon's few extra drinks become apparent. Because he arches up into Hoseok's body on instinct and repeats, "Baby." Yet the tone is different. He bites his lip, and he thinks he's teasing Hoseok right back, but the difference tingles up Hoseok's spine.

Jooheon is flirting. His thumb is massaging gently under Hoseok's ear, pulling him steadily closer, and they both know Hoseok won't deny him. Hoseok's gaze drops, just for a second, to Jooheon's lips. Instinct. He shouldn't have—

Looking back at Jooheon right now—how unguarded and trusting he is—has a melting effect on Hoseok. He's missed this too. He ends up staring at Jooheon's mouth again.

Alcohol or not, Jooheon is reading his mind by the look of it. He pulls Hoseok forward and pecks his lips this time. "Spend tonight here," Jooheon says. So close between their lips, they're nearly touching.

Hoseok can feel nothing except Jooheon's warm hands and body and breath—he swears that he knows it's too much. And he does try to keep a clear head... "I already said I would."

"I mean with me. Together."

"If you want."

"I miss you."

"I'm right here," Hoseok replies.

But something in him breaks from having to say that. Something that gets stuck in his throat horribly. He hates the distance lately—working together but somehow rarely actually together—it hurts. He doesn't feel the distance so much when he's got tracks to deal with and meetings up to his eyeballs, but right now, barely a millimeter from Jooheon's lips, he feels that distance like it's a mile and it hurts.

So he doesn't want the distance anymore, doesn't want to think—and it's likely that Jooheon has felt the same way, because it's not clear who joins who, but their lips are pressed together suddenly and Jooheon makes the most beautiful little noise of appreciation. Then weaves his arms right around Hoseok's body to create a home for him.

And Hoseok lets it happen. He needed the love too. Maybe not like this, but after the distance, this is the counter-balance. So it doesn't feel like too much to keep kissing, joining their lips softly, over and over.

Jooheon tastes so sweet. Lips like velvet. Plush. Pretty. Even when Hoseok tries to pull away, to look back at his mouth. To look up to Jooheon's hazy eyes, pliant and welcoming. He can't stay away. Can't muster up enough diligence and coherent brain function to stop kissing Jooheon. A little is strange but acceptable, and any more than that is taboo. He knows that.

But too bad, he doesn't want to stop kissing Jooheon. And Jooheon doesn't want to stop either. When Hoseok gets lost in admiring the younger, Jooheon surges up to pull him back in, teeth pulling at Hoseok's bottom lip, playfully teasing as he takes more of what he wants.

He likes Hoseok's attention. He always has. But Hoseok's kisses—this way, when they're not just a game or just in passing—Jooheon can feel them sweep him off his feet. When he can arch into Hoseok's body and feel him firm, this is the best ever. Jooheon thinks they should have done this sooner. Maybe they need to right that wrong.

He's fearless when he opens his mouth to Hoseok, licking softly at his lips when they mold together, asking for Hoseok to come closer. Inside. So he can lose himself in the heat of Hoseok's mouth. Devour and be devoured. He moans and curls his tongue around Hoseok's as Hoseok pins him down—kisses like licking fire, hands on either side of his head, thigh hiked high between Jooheon's—so when Jooheon ruts against him it's deliriously good. Tight and safe. They're creating their own little bubble. It's hot and Jooheon feels needy and this friction is taking him higher. Until Jooheon whines between them in pleasure but still—needs more.

He's rolling against Hoseok's thigh. Each time makes his breath hitch, and Hoseok raises to look down at him. This way he has to face the consequences of acting this way. He sees Hoseok's eyes darken. Hoseok is studying him, waiting. Letting Jooheon rub against him. They can both feel that the other is hard, but Jooheon is more hasty.

Jooheon's lips are bitten red, nearly trembling as his breathing gets heavier with lust. His hands have wandered underneath Hoseok's shirt, clutching at his skin, making Hoseok want him. But... Jooheon can also read the look on Hoseok's face. It's not hesitation, it's care.

"Don't pull away. I missed you." He swallows thickly.

"I missed you too." Though, never like this before. It's never been his kind of physical need between them. So Hoseok has to make sure—"Are you sure you want—this?"

Hoseok grabs Jooheon's waist, to drive them closer and make his point, and the power makes Jooheon nearly choke at the surge. Oh yes—fuck, he wants it. He closes his eyes, just for a moment, from that rush of pressure on his dick. His whole body is wired on this feeling between them.

Their eyes meet again. Dark. Focused and determined. "Don't ask—" Jooheon says, "Just—" Just let me.


Hoseok plunges into Jooheon's mouth, with an overwhelming passion that shows them both what they can have. Jooheon is left gasping for more when Hoseok pulls back. But he's rewarded when they reposition with Hoseok's hips between Jooheon's thighs, so they can feel each other now. And this is when Hoseok peels the shirt off himself—tosses it away and falls tight over Jooheon's body, back into their kiss. With renewed vigor, he cups the younger's head, pulling him up, chasing his tongue, until they're panting and rocking together. Pressed together with so much more skin for Jooheon to feel.

It's so good it's nearly suffocating. The way Hoseok kisses robs him of all his breaths. The way Hoseok touches up his torso, pushing under his shirt to thumb at his nipples, has Jooheon grinding against him in a rhythm that makes him nearly want to come. Humping up against Hoseok's hard body isn't any way he ever thought he would get off, but now—it feels too good. He's too high. All he wants is for Hoseok to rock against him harder, to know they're here together. More skin, more touches, more—and Hoseok moves his mouth to Jooheon's neck and Jooheon moans out in a lewd way that travels all through their dorm. Those sucking kisses over his pulse where he can feel Hoseok's teeth on him—oh god, fuck—he's so close.

Why the hell is Jooheon so high right now?—Heart fluttering as Hoseok loves him—"I—I'm gonna—oh—" he can't even say the words. Hoseok drives his hips hard into his, and the pressure is too much. Jooheon gives into his orgasm, letting the heat wash over him, body contracting at the peak so good he could cry—Hoseok's breaths over his neck holding him safe until he feels among the clouds.

Hoseok's kisses on his neck after are softer. More tender and scattered. They travel up his face and into his hair as he holds Jooheon's body pressed close.

"You feel ok?" Hoseok whispers near his ear. Maybe he underestimates Jooheon, who feels those words like aftershocks and arousal still—like, how on Earth did Hoseok make him come so fast? Hoseok just knows that as long as they don't make eye contact right now, Jooheon won't feel embarrassed. Hoseok loved giving this to him—he's so beautiful. Hoseok feels so lucky. He kisses more over Jooheon's ear and jaw. "Stay with me," Hoseok says with a full heart.

They lay together this way, Jooheon clutching tight to Hoseok's skin to settle himself. As the afterglow turns into a calm quiet, his hands explore more. It's not like he's never felt all over Hoseok's body before—after all, it's often on display—but this is different.

Jooheon wants to see more. This moment makes him curious to know more of what's under Hoseok's skin. He turns finally, to pull Hoseok into one more kiss. Thankful and more hesitant than before, but his attention is on his friend this time.

It's been years since he'd come in his own pants, but Hoseok had helped him, taken him here. And as he sucks back at Hoseok's lips, he also pushes up at his chest to really see him again.

"'Seok," he says, biting his own bottom lip and tasting Hoseok there. Jooheon's hand travels from his shoulder, down his sculpted chest and abs, watching to make sure Hoseok knows what he's doing. Then his fingers latch onto the waistband of Hoseok's pants. "Take these off," Jooheon instructs, and Hoseok's eyes go wide. And dark too, but he waits. "Wanna see you," Jooheon tells him quietly. "It's ok."

It's scary to dive this deep, but with that reassurance, with that adoration in Jooheon's eyes too, he understands. So he sits up on his knees and pulls his pants down his thighs, underwear too, as Jooheon watches him. Those eyes on him, the way Jooheon licks his lips in reverence—it makes Hoseok feel sexy to be looked at that way. Nervous to be so exposed, but exhilarated to be wanted by Jooheon. Jooheon pulls him back between his legs, hands immediately taking his waist, then reaching lower and grabbing at his ass greedily, hiking Hoseok higher. Hoseok is naked and so hard, hair falling into his eyes, lips parted—and Jooheon isn't running away from him. Jooheon sees him and wants him. He's kneading his glutes and up the small of his back, thumbs reaching to push into his V-line. Touching and exciting him.

Hoseok waits for him to say something.

Eventually Jooheon pulls his eyes away from Hoseok's dick and abs, and up to his face again.

"What do you want?" Hoseok asks softly.

"Nothing. Just you."

Jooheon's hands are still burning up Hoseok's skin. He gulps, "Jooheon," his gaze blazing. "You're driving me crazy. Tell me."

But Jooheon doesn't reply. Instead he cups between Hoseok's legs and massages up. He waits for Hoseok to nod that this is ok before taking his shaft into his hand and squeezing around the head gently. Hoseok trembles, and nods.

"Kiss me," Jooheon says. So Hoseok meets his lips again and Jooheon's hand on him finds a rhythm. "Like this."

God—like this is going to kill Hoseok.

"Ok," he assents.

He's shaky and unsure—but Hoseok needs this. So as Jooheon tightens his grip to make Hoseok moan, he kisses him so tenderly. Places his heart in Jooheon's hands, and lets the younger guide him. He doesn't understand what makes Jooheon want this, but it's such a genuine bond he feels between them that right or wrong are blurring terribly. Jooheon is just as desperate to have him like this. Like this, he's taking control back; to be able to make his own decisions, to choose what's real. As Hoseok rolls into Jooheon's touch.

The contrast of being fully nude while Jooheon is fully clothed feels... depraved. Hoseok is trying to keep some semblance of cool, to not completely ruin things, to be a good elder and role model... but with Jooheon's mouth to bask in, Hoseok no longer finds a reason to hold back. All of those worries slip away as if someone is prying each of his fingers off his grip on reality. If he thought about this an hour ago, it would have sounded ludicrous to have his friend—like this. Physical. Sexual, like this. With Jooheon. Who he's known since he came into the company as a teen. Whose hair he's petted a million times, who is a younger brother, who he's cuddled with for years, and whose warmth he's basked in. Whose lips are the sweetest. But still. He—never could have imagined this. Yet now, it's driving him wild—he sees Jooheon right there, under him—

Hoseok feels rabid in his lust when suddenly he can't take it like this anymore. In a second, he's got both palms on Jooheon's chest, pushing up to look around the room. And that pile of Tony Moly is good enough. With a poignant look, he presses a thumb against Jooheon's lips as he rises to grab the first creamy thing he can get his hands on. Good enough. A second later he's back between Jooheon's legs, pushing their newfound lube into his hands as he pushes his tongue into his mouth in a completely lewd fashion. Wet, breathy.

Jooheon doesn't need instructions, not when Hoseok unravels this way. The lid goes rolling away—probably somewhere to never be found, it doesn't matter. He takes a slippery grip on Hoseok's erection and the way Hoseok's chest huffs makes Jooheon excited to do this to him. He wants those lips again.

Having Hoseok open and unguarded this way—should he be so happy to see this? But it's fascinating to see his friend—Hoseok, always a pillar of strength—fall apart. It makes Jooheon feel powerful to be breaking the rules. And it feels good to love his lover for once.

Yes, that's the best part. Having this connection where he can feel Hoseok's pleasure as if it were his own. Hoseok shows his passion flagrantly—thumb pressing into Jooheon's cheek, prying his mouth wider, breathing rough. Jooheon knows Hoseok loves him. He can see it in his eyes and touch and kiss. Jooheon doesn't always take his tongue, many times he lets Hoseok just breathe ragged into his mouth. Before dragging another wet kiss from him, so Hoseok resurges and kisses him down into the couch with more power again, panting with hunger and chasing to taste more of Jooheon.

He loves when their eyes meet between kisses. Jooheon is doing his best to read what he needs, to stroke him well, and then tighter for the reactions he desires. Hoseok is so hypnotically sexy, this is going to make Jooheon hard again. There's a heat inside that curls and constricts his chest when Hoseok opens his eyes and looks right into his.

"Tighter," Hoseok grunts, as he props an arm above Jooheon's head, clutches tight to the couch's armrest for leverage. It's savage at this point. "F-fuck," he groans out, and thrusts into Jooheon's grip hard enough to move the couch with his power.

When Hoseok comes, Jooheon watches in fascination as his eyes shut and his lips tremble—a delicate moment which freezes in time and imprints itself—and then, exhales.

Then Hoseok is just looking at him, and panting. Like he's run a marathon, and Jooheon feels like he's watching a god. Studying those muscles rippling, his chest heaving in the aftermath; he can practically see the warm glow around his brother. It's scary how satisfying it is to breach this side of their friendship.

Jooheon bites a lip between his teeth, apprehensive. "Was it good?"

"So good."

Does it even need to be said? Hoseok feels safe with Jooheon. The air shifts and there's a look between them to say everything they're not saying out loud.

Thank you.

This also lingers between them. Until their lips join once more. Just nipping softly.

It doesn't matter what this means. It doesn't mean anything except comfort between them. Something to bridge the distance they've had to endure lately. To know how much they care. How much love is there beneath the surface. Hoseok is surprised Jooheon had been so bold to bring it all into the open, but now that they have this memory, he'd never take it back.

He can tuck this into his heart. A precious keepsake.


After, Hoseok pulls Jooheon to his feet and to the bathroom, to wash up.

When Jooheon comes out of the shower, Hoseok finally gets to see him naked. He wraps him in a towel and kisses his temple lovingly. Like you kiss a child to tell him he's done a good job.

They sleep curled around each other in Hoseok's bed.

Naked and tangled together with a contact they needed. Something has been healed tonight. Hoseok is fast to fall into warm dreams as he squeezes at Jooheon's ribs.

It takes Jooheon just a few more breaths. A few more moments to bask in this happiness.

"You know," he says, and pauses to recapture his train of thought. Since he's tired the words almost slip away before he can say them. But then he remembers—"You know, I wanted to spend some time with you so much that I slept in your bed a few times," Jooheon admits, before sleep takes him. "I needed it..." His eyes shut and he's not sure if Hoseok hears him, but he knows it's ok. He'll still sleep here when Hoseok is away again, so he can have Hoseok's scent on those nights he needs it. And he'll remember being enveloped by him like this forever...

Sweet dreams.

Are a good hiatus.