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Donghyuck had been having a really good night. He’d made himself pretty and pregamed with Renjun and went to a club with the express purpose of getting fucked (or fucking, whatever) and as the night went on it became increasingly clear he would get what he wanted. He simpered and danced and strutted until he was the most eye catching thing in that club, and when he went to the bar his drinks were already paid for.

His mysterious benefactor was not so mysterious and definitely very easy to look at. He was tall and broad and his arms looked very pretty. His face was soft. His smile was cute. “I like your makeup,” he’d said, sidling up to Donghyuck at the bar.

“Is that the only thing you like?” Donghyuck asks, rolling his finger around the rim of his glass.

The other man’s name was Johnny. Donghyuck didn’t get that many more details. He talked with him long enough to figure out he probably wasn’t a serial killer, danced with him long enough to figure out they had chemistry, and told Renjun he was leaving with someone in case his senses were wrong and Johnny murdered him and stuck him in the fridge.

“Your lip gloss is smeared,” Renjun told him critically, swiping his thumb over the mess on Donghyuck’s mouth. “I hope he’s a good fuck.”

“God, me too.” Donghyuck smacked a sloppy kiss on Renjun’s cheek and hurried out the door.

That’s all well and good — great, actually. Johnny was polite enough to their driver, refused to actually have sex in a stranger’s car, but his hand was firmly on Donghyuck’s thigh, his thumb teasing the skin by Donghyuck’s hardening cock, and he laughed whenever Donghyuck whined.

Johnny had the wonderful habit of swallowing the whines down, kissing Donghyuck quiet. Maybe Donghyuck whined a little more than he would have without the promise of a gift.

There’s a hickey blooming on Donghyuck’s collarbone before they even pull up to Donghyuck’s apartment complex. He stumbles a little as he gets out of the car, a little because of the alcohol and a little because his legs feel like jelly. Johnny tips the driver and circles his arm around Donghyuck’s waist, pulling him close. “Lead the way,” he says, so close Donghyuck can feel Johnny’s lips moving against his ear.

It’s the fastest Donghyuck has ever climbed those stairs.

Johnny is a great kisser, and has great hands that he knows how to use, and his hair is just long enough to pull. He has a pretty face and beautiful abs and his arms feel just as good as they look. But nothing about Johnny compares to his cock, which looks incredible, and Donghyuck is a little bit desperate for.

All in all, a great night.

Or it would have been.

The timing is particularly terrible. Donghyuck finally takes all of Johnny’s cock, head thrown back, whining in earnest. Johnny’s hands grip his hips just tight enough and he sits up, jostling Donghyuck in his lap to lave kisses across the already blooming bruises. In that moment, everything is perfect, until —

Johnny looks at Donghyuck, eyes blown, sweat on his forehead, and says, “Do you smell smoke?”

Sometime between them getting undressed and Donghyuck getting the orgasm he deserves, his neighbor got a little too ambitious with the midnight cooking.

Donghyuck doesn’t really notice, is inclined to ignore it once he does notice, but when Johnny reaches over and turns the lamp on the air is smokey gray.

The fire alarm is just as shrill as it was when Donghyuck had to do the fire drills in high school and college, just as jarring, but Donghyuck doesn’t think he’s ever been so angry at the possible existence of fire as he is in that moment.

After that, it’s all a bit of a rush. Johnny’s pants are too tight to get into quickly and his shirt is nowhere to be found. Donghyuck doesn’t have anything that would fit him but also can’t find shoes or his wallet quickly enough. There’s thundering out in the hallway as the residents wake up to potential catastrophe, and the sound is panic-inducing.

“Calm down,” Johnny tells him, pulling a sweatshirt over Donghyuck’s head and pulling him out the door.

“I’m calm!” Donghyuck insists, but he’s not. He’s really, really not.

He manages to grab his phone and his backpack before funneling down the stairs with the rest of the complex. Johnny is outside when he remembers his wallet is in the pocket of his pants. He’s wearing boxers and his jacket without a shirt, and he’s missing a single sock but managed to shove his feet into his shoes before making his way out the door. Donghyuck is wearing bunny slippers and pajama pants with no underwear. He feels boneless and sticky and also tense and electric. His hair is a mess.

The old woman who lives a floor down is clutching a pomeranian to her chest and gazing upon their debauchery like she’s seen Satan emerge from the half-frozen terf.

Johnny runs his hands through his hair. “Well…” He clears his throat. “That really kills the mood.”

Donghyuck isn’t sure whether he should apologize — he isn’t exactly having the time of his life either. But Johnny is right, nothing kills a boner like near disaster.

“Sorry about it,” he says, holding himself tightly around the waist. There’s lube and spit all over his ass and thighs and it sticks awkwardly to the flannel of his pants. The red lights of the firetruck pulling into the parking lot cast everything in an angry glow. “You should probably just go home…” As much as it pains Donghyuck to say it.

Johnny chews on his bottom lip for a moment, watching the firemen pour out of their truck and assessing the damage. “My keys are still upstairs,” he says slowly. “ house keys and my license and everything. And my credit cards.” And his pants, and his shirt.

The wind blows and there are goosebumps on Johnny’s bare legs.

“It’s probably nothing,” Johnny says, squinting at the building. “I’m sure they’ll get everything taken care of safely.”

Safely maybe, but definitely not quickly.

The panic instilled in Donghyuck but the alarm and the tension from the sudden change in mood have left him empty and exhausted after only a half hour, but Donghyuck has a feeling they won’t be allowed back into the apartment for a couple of hours at least.

His stomach growls. “Are you hungry?”

Johnny blinks at him like he’s been forcefully pulled from a thought. He releases his teeth’s brutal grip on his bottom lip. “Huh?”

“A midnight snack, maybe?” More like 3AM, but it qualifies. Donghyuck rocks back and forth on his heels. “On me, of course.”

Dubious, Johnny looks at the firetruck, and then at the building, and then at Donghyuck. “Sure,” he says eventually, and he smiles big and goofy. “What else are we going to do?”

“There’s plenty we could be doing right now,” Donghyuck reminds him.

“Exhibitionism is for the third date only,” Johnny says plainly, but when Donghyuck offers him his elbow Johnny takes it. “Midnight snacks are great at any time, though.”

Donghyuck thinks if they started fucking on the lawn he’d be charged with murder for killing his elderly neighbor, but there’s nothing to do but accept that he isn’t getting exactly what he wants tonight. In his bunny slippers, Donghyuck leads his ruined fuck down the sidewalk. “Great minds think alike.”

There are only so many things to do in this residential area. There’s a really good Chinese restaurant down the street that is most certainly closed, and a little closer there’s a grocery store that might be open but is not a great place to spend your time. Luckily Donghyuck has spent most of his late nights wandering around and knows all of his options.

Even better, his options know him.

“Miss Carla!” he says, pushing the doors of the diner open with both hands and a beaming smile. “Your favorite is here.”

Johnny follows him into the building quietly, eyes taking in the atmosphere.

It’s a diner down to the root, all linoleum and vinyl booths and uncomfortable chairs and a bar that’s syrup sticky no matter how many times you watch the workers wipe it down. They have good milkshakes and shitty coffee and the pancakes are larger than Donghyuck’s head.

Despite the time there are a couple of patrons; an old woman reads a newspaper at the bar and two teenagers chatter in the corner playing on their phones. The server standing behind the register beams at them both. “Welcome in, kid.” She looks at Johnny up and down. “Thought you’d have better things to do on a Friday night.”

Johnny laughs.

“Someone ruined my plans,” Donghyuck admits. He tries to put his hands in his pockets and realizes his pajamas don’t have any. “Can we take a booth while we wait for things to settle down?”

He doesn’t bother telling her about fire. Carla has an amazing way of knowing everything all the time.

She nods her head towards the booth in the corner by the window, the one Donghyuck usually takes if it’s open. “You want your usual?”

Donghyuck chews on his lip. “I don’t...the fire alarm went off and I left my wallet inside,” he admits, stumbling over his words. “But I promise I’ll come in tomorrow and pay off my tab, and also tip you really really well because I love you and you take care of me.”

Carla doesn’t twitch. “So the usual?”

“I’ll take the coffee,” Donghyuck agrees, grinning. He looks at Johnny over his shoulder. “I’m not sure if he’s ready yet.”

“Coffee too, please.” He inclines his head. “I’ll decide quickly.”

Carla picks up a menu. “No rush.”

There’s no one else to look after, really. The night is pitch black and there’s too much light pollution to see the stars, but cars stroll by semi-regularly and there’s enough noise for the quiet to be soothing. Donghyuck’s brain is running a million miles a minute and he’s as sexually frustrated as he thinks he’s ever been. Still, he isn’t sure he’d have the energy to fuck right now as it is.

When Carla brings out the shitty coffee Donghyuck finally relaxes. This is a scene he knows well. He can’t count all the bouts of insomnia he’s had where he’s wandered in here looking for something to occupy his brain — just enough to stop him from going crazy but not enough to keep him awake until the sun rises. A pretty medium.

This is the first time he’s brought anyone else here.

Johnny looks a lot different in the hard yellow lighting. In the club everything was dim or flashing, and there’s a hazy feeling to everything like the mood creates its own filter. In Donghyuck’s bedroom he’d been laser focused, pointed and heavy, but Donghyuck also didn’t really pay much attention to his face; that’s something lovers do. Who cares what your hookup’s expression is? If they’re hot in the club that’s enough, and you don’t look so closely you’ll remember clearly in the morning.

Here, Johnny looks more like a person and less like a wet dream. His makeup has sweated off and revealed pores, however minimal, and his lips are a little dry. He has a habit of biting them, straight teeth tugging at pink skin. His eyes are a soft amber, downturned as he pours over the menu. High cheekbones, messy hair, pretty eyelashes.

Donghyuck probably looks like a wreck. There’s enough glitter on his eyes that he sees it when he blinks, and in the reflection of the mirror he looks a bit like a raccoon, no matter how painstakingly done his smokey eye had been in the daylight. He rubs at his under eyes with his fingers and they come away black. With a huff he wipes his hands with a shitty napkin and pours sugar into his coffee mug.

“Sorry this isn’t really what you were expecting,” Donghyuck says again, even though he’d decided it wasn’t really his fault.

Johnny shrugs. “I’m getting pancakes out of it. It’s not a total bust.” He looks at Donghyuck over the edge of the menu. “Although I’ll admit I’m disappointed.”

Donghyuck sprawls out in the booth, vinyl sticking to his skin. “God, me too. You would have been the prettiest fuck I’d had in ages.” He takes a moody sip of his coffee and it’s just as shitty and familiar as he remembers.

“I can’t imagine you have a hard time finding hookups.”

“No,” Donghyuck agrees. He’s handsome, and he knows how to convince other people he’s handsome. “But I am lazy.”

“Mm.” Johnny sets the menu aside and crosses his hands on the table. “Valid.” He tilts his head to the side and his hair flops over his eyes. He reminds Donghyuck of a very large puppy, but not quite as cute. There’s something more about him; cute but he simmers. His eyes are casual when he pins them on Donghyuck. “I don’t usually think much when I go out.”

Donghyuck rolls his eyes. “That’s because you always assume you’ll top.” He takes a heavy sip, mug held in both hands. There’s no real satisfaction in hearing Johnny laugh before the delight of being entertaining. Still, it’s a nice sound. “You’d better be thankful some people plan ahead.”

Johnny raises his coffee in toast. “Thank you, Donghyuck.”

Their plastic mugs clink in dull harmony.

“This will at least be a fun story,” Johnny admits. “Fire alarm goes off literally mid-thrust.”

It is funny. Donghyuck can’t wait to tell his friends tomorrow after he’s stopped being sexually frustrated and also mildly embarrassed. Despite that, a little teasing never goes amiss. “You don’t have anything more jaw dropping?” Donghyuck whistles. “Lucky bitch.”

“I didn’t say that.” There’s a glint to Johnny’s eye. “But let’s hear your worst first.”

Oh, God. “Once I was hooking up with this guy I’d met in class.” He’d seemed normal in Lit, although Renjun still laughs at Donghyuck for talking to him in the first place. “He asked me if he could piss on me and when I said no he went immediately flaccid and kicked me out of his house.”

Johnny laughs with his whole body. “How did class go after that?”

“Poorly.” Donghyuck pours himself another cup of coffee. “And he stole my hoodie. I hate that guy.”

Carla comes over and takes Johnny’s order. She doesn’t bother asking Donghyuck anything, just promises to bring another round of coffee and stays long enough to make them both laugh. She’s already yelling at the kitchen before she’s crossed behind the bar.

“What about you?” Donghyuck asks, stirring sugar and cream into his mug. “What’s your worst?” He grimaces. “Hopefully not tonight.”

“Anything is better with good company,” Johnny says with a small smile. “I’m also a little disappointed with the plot of the evening.” As if this could still be called evening. There are people waking up now, clocks ticking towards morning.

Secretly, Donghyuck is glad that Johnny wouldn’t label him the worst. It’s nice to be appreciated. “Don’t try and weasel your way out of telling me.”

Johnny smacks his lips, like he just remembered the conversation. “I was seeing this older woman…”

Donghyuck waits to see if Johnny will elaborate, but his eyes are far away. “Was she hot?” he prompts.

“Oh, yeah.” Johnny nods and sighs, shaking his head. “We had seen each other for like...I don’t know? Maybe a month, casually?”

“So it’s not a hookup?” Donghyuck grins. “That makes it worse.”

“Yeah, it was…” Johnny laughs, despite himself. “I knew she’d like, previously been married? Like, recently. But we weren’t really official so I didn’t really care?”

Donghyuck hums in understanding. “You’re a tramp.”

“Absolutely.” Johnny sits back in his seat, mug hovering over his lap. “And she was hot and also rich and liked to cook for me and I was in college and poor—”

“So this was a sugar mama scenario?”


Donghyuck snorts. “I never took you for the type.”

“I think everyone is the type given the opportunity.” Johnny shrugs, but he can’t really deny it. Donghyuck thinks he'd enjoy a wealthy benefactor of his own if it was presented to him no-strings-attached. “And she was kind of intense but otherwise it was really a win win.”

“There’s a lot of set-up here,” Donghyuck observes. “It’d better be really good or you just wasted like three minutes.”

“Okay, okay — so we were fucking.”


“And in the middle, she calls me by her ex-husband’s name—”

Donghyuck winces. “Awkward.”

“Well I didn’t really care. We weren’t really together or exclusive or anything, like, who gives a fuck?” He grimaces. “I mean, yeah, I guess it was awkward.” Donghyuck laughs in triumph and Johnny does a great job ignoring him. “But I didn’t really comprehend it before she just had an absolute breakdown.”

“Oh my god.” Donghyuck warms his hand on his coffee cup. This diner is always a little too cold and he’s not ever wearing socks with his slippers. “Was he dead?”

“I think so?” Johnny is beat red now at the memory, but the smile on his face is big and beautiful and he’s laughing through most of his words. “She...essentially told me that she might have killed her husband—”

“—Might have?

“Right?” Johnny almost knocks over the carafe of coffee with his elbow as he leans forward. “Like, how do you not know?”

Donghyuck stares at him, dumbfounded. “You’re absolutely shitting me.”

“I’m not. I swear I’m not.” Johnny has a weird way of talking that makes it hard to look away. He speaks well. “So she’s crying and I am...I really — I have no idea what to do. I don’t know what’s going on and she’s talking about a will and her children who I didn’t know about and at this point I am so beside myself.” Johnny shakes his head, hands in the air, like even the memory of it is impossible to comprehend.

“What did you do?” Donghyuck has a hard time believing it’s true, but even if it’s a lie Johnny is still so perplexed by it that the story is fascinating.

Johnny holds his hands out helplessly. “I left.”

Donghyuck howls so loud that the old woman at the bar shoots him the stink eye. “You left her crying?”

“She was telling me she murdered someone — would you stay?”

“I mean, no.” Donghyuck rips up the empty packets of Stevia and throws his head back, laughing. “I don’t believe you. That’s not real.”

Johnny shrugs. “That’s why this failed hookup will make a better story. No one ever believes me when I tell the other one.”

Donghyuck would consider himself an excellent conversationalist. He’s good at making small talk, he’s good at getting to know someone, and he’s good at judging character. That doesn’t mean he always likes the conversations; it just means he can get through one without tension hanging in the air. The only thing worse than silence is awkward silence, so Donghyuck has made it his goal in life to never let one hang.

In Johnny, he meets a similar soul.

A small part of Donghyuck hopes that Johnny isn’t putting on airs. He seems genuine, and his smiles are soft and never forced, and he’s clearly taking great pains to keep a smile on Donghyuck’s face. It’s not just that Johnny is propelling the conversation forward, but that he wants Donghyuck to enjoy it. Donghyuck thinks that might be a natural trait. It’s charming.

“So you sing?” Johnny asks, after he’s taken the first bite of his food and thanked Carla accordingly.

“Kind of.” Donghyuck swallows down a chunk of eggs and washes it down with too-sweet coffee. “My friend is trying to be a producer so I sing his guides. But the studio he works for has had me sing guides for other artists, too.”

Johnny raises an eyebrow. “I’m assuming you’re good.”

Donghyuck squares his shoulders and lifts his chin. “I’m very good. Hello?”

“It makes sense,” Johnny says, grinning wickedly through a full mouth. “You whine very sweetly.”

Despite himself Donghyuck flushes. “Don’t try to be smooth with your mouth full of sausage.”

Johnny takes a long drink of water and laughs when he comes up. “Some people are into that.”

“I do like a man with a sausage,” Donghyuck admits. “I don’t usually pay for it, though.”

They eat their early morning breakfast and Donghyuck checks in with some of the neighbors he’s befriended to see if the situation is ongoing. Johnny flirts with Carla and with Donghyuck and Donghyuck thinks he got really lucky taking someone as easy going home.

“You were the prettiest one in that club today, you know?”

Donghyuck is a simple creature and compliments please him. “Thank you,” he preens. “I work very hard to be beautiful.”

Johnny smirks. “Not that hard.”

“Not that hard.” Donghyuck swirls his finger around the lip of his mug and grins. “But people get insecure when I let them know it’s easy.”

“What do I have to be insecure for?” Johnny steals a piece of bacon from Donghyuck’s plate. “You took me home, didn’t you?”

“I sure did.” Donghyuck wishes he weren’t so tired right now — any other day and he would be climbing Johnny like a tree. No one can say he didn’t try.

Donghyuck slips away to the bathroom at some point when his skin feels altogether too sticky to be comfortable and is met with the reminder of things that were promised. There are bruises on his thighs and his neck. His lips are still tinted a little red and his eye make up is everywhere. He washes his face and wipes down his legs and trudges back to the booth.

Johnny is staring out the window. In the distance there’s still the harsh red of the trucks.

Donghyuck thinks it would be cheeky to slide onto Johnny’s side of the booth so he does. He sidles up too close and holds onto Johnny’s arm, but when Johnny grins down at him Donghyuck realizes he’s too tired to think of something to say.

“You can sleep,” Johnny says, and his arm slips around Donghyuck’s waist, not unlike it had earlier in the bar or in Donghyuck’s bedroom. “I won’t tell anyone.”

“But then you’ll flirt with Carla and not me,” Donghyuck grouses, but his words are mumbled in Johnny’s jacket. The material is a little cold to touch in the air conditioned diner.

“Who cares?” Johnny’s hand rubs up and down Donghyuck’s side. “You have so many days of Carla flirting on me. I have to catch up.”

“No.” But even as he says it he feels his head drooping.

“Go to sleep.” Johnny lifts his hand and runs it through Donghyuck’s hair. “I’ll wake you up when it’s over.”

It’s strange, that the night was supposed to go well and now Donghyuck has ruined his slippers and is being lulled to sleep in a diner with a stranger he barely knows. He hopes that the fire was minimal. He hopes that his apartment is fine. He’s mad that he didn’t have the fun he wanted.


If he had to take a stranger home, he’s glad it was Johnny.



The trucks are there until after five in the morning. The fire itself was isolated to one apartment. Donghyuck hears all sorts of rumors going around when he and Johnny trudge back to the complex — it was a cooking fire or a candle or a satanic ritual or something, but whatever it was it’s over, and the residents are free to return to their beds.

It’s a little awkward, climbing the stairs wrapped around his hookup, but there’s no way Donghyuck is going to make Johnny find his way home this late if he doesn’t want to. Johnny doesn’t say one way or the other, but he takes his shoes off at the door and collapses into Donghyuck’s bed and that’s answer enough.

“My neighbor owes me slippers,” Donghyuck says, taking off his sweater and sliding under the covers. His bed isn’t overly large but Johnny is too long. When he stretches out fully his feet hang off the edge, so he curls around Donghyuck instead. He’s much warmer now than he was before, although his skin is chilled with the night air. He buries his face in Donghyuck’s neck and Donghyuck holds him tightly around the shoulders. “You owe me a fuck.”

A heavy pause. “Tonight?”

Donghyuck laughs. “God, no.”

It’s just an offer.

Johnny kisses under Donghyuck’s jaw. “Okay.” Simple. He reaches up and presses his mouth to Donghyuck’s, open and melting. His hands are low down Donghyuck’s back, just on the curve of his ass. His fingertips dip slightly under the hem of Donghyuck’s pajama bottoms. He hums sweetly. He smells like strawberry syrup and booze. “Another time.”

Donghyuck knows if they fall asleep tangled together he’ll wake up too hot. There’s grime on his skin but he’s too tired to care. The room still smells smokey. He breathes in strawberry. “Goodnight.”