"Don't tell the others... please," Kihyun says.
Hoseok looks back at him with worry in his eyes as Kihyun pulls him closer by the hand.
"The painkillers are wearing off, and I need to see how bad it is. Before tomorrow's awards show."
"So it... hurts?" Hoseok hesitates to say.
"It's bearable. For now. I'll kill it with some more meds in the morning. But for now, just..." Kihyun falls back on the hotel bed with a sigh. Then the breath he releases is too controlled and careful for Hoseok to not know why. He squeezes his friend's hand and falls to his side. Kihyun said he'd wanted company. So they don't lie together or hold hands often, but now seems like a good time for it.
Hoseok even lowers his voice because it feels like that kind of moment. "You should sit tomorrow out."
"And miss a show on national television?" Kihyun snorts out a laugh and it's followed by a soft grunt. Obvious pain.
Hoseok can't stand that kind of determination. Can't stand knowing how much they're all trapped right now. That's just how it is... he'd do the same thing in Kihyun's position. Yet he tries once more: "I've taken so many days off. You know you can too."
"Yeah, in Korea. Or when you literally couldn't lift your arm. This isn't the same." He pauses to breathe deeply. Carefully. "Listen. Check for me if there's any signs on the outside, will you?"
"—W-what?" The elder's eyes fly open and he sits up to glare at a determined Kihyun. A slighty ticked off one apparently.
"I said the meds are wearing off and I can feel it. So just tell me. I don't wanna look." The way he says it is so dismissive, as if this wasn't a big deal. He looks away from the critique in Hoseok's eyes and just lifts his t-shirt up for inspection.
There's a sharp intake of breath.
"Don't exaggerate. Just tell me."
Kihyun won't look him in the eyes. But Hoseok's heart is hurting to see him like this... lifting up his t-shirt for Hoseok to look down at him. Fragile. Skin bristling with goosebumps. And under the hand that's holding his shirt up past his belly, there's a faint pink flush that shouldn't be there. Hoseok bites a lip and takes Kihyun's t-shirt to hike it higher. For a better look.
The way Kihyun just waits... it's different. Defeated, somehow. So Hoseok crawls closer, comes to perch himself right over Kihyun's supine position, on all fours like a shield. His fingers fall tenderly to Kihyun's skin; his thumb bumping lightly over the hills and valleys of an injured ribcage.
"I should get you some ice."
Kihyun's reply is preceded by a scoff. "Fine."
And then his eyes link up with Hoseok's, as neither had expected, and there's a charge in the air that prickles. It makes him lick at his lips as he looks back into Hoseok's worried and wide eyes. Still dressed in electric eyeshadow from their concert, while the rest of Hoseok's face has sweated off the majority of his base makeup. Kihyun can see him clearly. Every pore and eyelash, down to the tips of his freshly dyed hair, which is crunchy from all the substances he should have showered off by now, yet instead he's here with Kihyun—Hoseok looks solid. Warm. A stark difference to the flighty chill of the overly conditioned air in this room. His touch is firm on Kihyun's side, fingers rough with calouses from too much exercise... but also delicate in how he holds Kihyun. Safe.
Does he need to leave to get ice? The bucket on the desk seems so far.
Something registers in Kihyun's mind—that there's probably still adrenaline from the concert in his system if errant thoughts are making him stare too intently at the body before him. He pushes up at Hoseok's chest and waves him away in the right direction.
A moment later has Kihyun shirtless with Hoseok over him again, this time pressing a bag of icecubes over his ribs.
The difference in temperature makes him hiss. Then shiver.
And he closes his eyes to indulge in this feeling.
He doesn't feel like evaluating his choices so deeply tonight. If ice feels good then he just wants to feel it. So he can numb himself in multiple ways.
He's held bags of ice all over Hoseok's body before. That's just what they do. They've done it for years. This isn't the first injury in their group.
So Kihyun dreams of how the condensation drips down his skin and onto the bedspread beneath. And how when he breathes his chest feels tight. Of how comforting Hoseok's hand feels in comparison... he squeezes that hand tighter and Hoseok repositions the ice on him.
There's a pitched whine that escapes Kihyun. Why even try to hold it back? He doesn't want to hold back. This feels... good.
Cold. Terribly cold. And hot underneath.
If he were to open his eyes, he'd see the concentration quirking Hoseok's brows and the concern in the eyes watching him.
But Hoseok remains silent.
The trails of water creeping down Kihyun's torso look like tears...
And for some unexplainable reason Hoseok bends to lick one away.
Kihyun's breath hitches—
His exhale is followed by a satisfied moan and a tighter grip on Hoseok's wrist, where their hands had fumbled. Then their eyes are linked again. Because they both know that was strange.
Kihyun also knows that sensation had traveled his entire body, and settled like a fire between his legs... and suddenly his last worry in the world is about his fractured rib. "'Seok..."
"I—um. I..." There are too few words in the dictionary now and Hoseok feels it too. "Can, um. I can draw you a bath. This hotel has nice tubs. If you want," Hoseok says. It's an exit, should Kihyun choose it.
Good try. But no way is Kihyun about to get up. Not a single step. Way too sleepy and drained for that shit. Except for a very sober feeling that's taken over his brain, that makes him too honest—"Do you feel high, too? Like I don't wanna come down...?"
Hoseok stares back.
His lips part. Mouth dry. Tongue heavy in his mouth.
...Hoseok's tongue on his skin... was a curiosity. And it was good. A sharp contrast to the puddle of water barely contained in the bag over his ribs.
Kihyun's heart is beating as if they're still on stage.
They understand each other too well to not understand what this tension is. Just because it's never happened before doesn't mean they don't recognise it. It would only take a word.
—for Kihyun to shove Hoseok's hand between them, rest it over the erection in his pants. And for Hoseok's lips to land on the exposed column of Kihyun's neck.
The only thing between them now is a sick hunger born of a concert high and a need to sate an insane exhaustion.
Where Kihyun isn't thinking and Hoseok knows they need a distraction. So the fact that he's suddenly rubbing over Kihyun's hard dick feels perfect. His brother needs a release, needs to let someone take care of him, and as Hoseok's mouth sucks over the pulse at his neck he thinks he can be that person. Just this once.
His mouth drags up Kihyun's neck, teeth nipping at his jaw—sharp like Kihyun's breath and eyes and tongue. And that's when Kihyun turns to join their mouths, sharp again; that tongue is in Hoseok's mouth for a moment before it's gone, and Kihyun falls back, panting for Hoseok to touch him.
A dam is broken and the consequences can wait. Hoseok moves, tries to look Kihyun in the eyes before he opens the front of his pants for him. But Kihyun actually wants him to move faster.
He bucks up to help Hoseok lower the denim past his hips, and unleashes a tidal-wave of liquid lust between them—the makeshift bag of ice falls open and scatters over his skin when Hoseok's attention leaves it behind to accomodate a new goal—proping himself up over Kihyun's body. Kihyun registers the flood of cold as a heatwave instead, sending his senses into overdrive. He moans deeply. Sensually. His nerves high and prickling and given a catalyst that makes his back arch off the bed and closer to Hoseok. He pulls him closer desperately. Heart beating in his throat and his breath hitched and trembling—Has he ever been this high before? Because Hoseok's hand is wrapped around him now and it feels like it's wrapped around his throat.
The way Kihyun looks, bordering delirious; the way he sounds, debauched; letting himself be handled—loving it, actually—Hoseok feels this with him, as if he wants to crawl into his body with him. To feel the same heartbeat. He dips closer to Kihyun to touch more of him, and the younger opens his eyes to stare back. He's surprisingly lucid, hunger written plainly in his eyes.
When Hoseok reaches for him, Kihyun reaches back. At first Hoseok wants to caress skin, so soft and so seldom touched; his fingers push up through the wetness spilled over Kihyun's torso, all the way up to cradle Kihyun's cheek, maybe too kindly—because Kihyun bucks up into his grip as a reminder of what kind of pleasure he wants, and Hoseok's thumb ends up in Kihyun's mouth. Tracing his bottom lip and pulling it down. He's focused now on how Kihyun obviously wants to continue, for Hoseok to take him higher. His tongue peeks out and laps at Hoseok's thumb, hooks at it with his teeth too before Hoseok retreats it. This means he wants more. It's not subtle. Nor is Hoseok going to make him work for it. He wants to give him what he needs, therefore stroking him through his underwear is far too little.
Looking into his brother's eyes, Hoseok sees the fear within, but he also sees Kihyun's desperation. When he dips inside to wrap his hand around him, it's with a silent permission to bring Kihyun's length out of his underwear. He's allowed to touch. It's a promise between them. And Kihyun's reply looks like fireworks. His body jumps for Hoseok's, before unfurling beautifully into the sheets beneath; eyes fluttering closed in delite as his hands graple and his fingers wind like rivers, infusing into the mattress and melting into pleasure. He moans out in surrender, encouraging Hoseok to be more bold, yet Hoseok brings lips to his neck so gently. He's paying attention to what Kihyun likes best, but this affects him too. Hoseok's breaths over his skin rattle through Kihyun's body, making him shiver more. He whimpers when Hoseok's grip is so tight around his head. He needs this so badly.
He feels sick and hurt, but also liberated—like he might fly tonight. When moans and curses come to him, he lets them fall from his lips. "Oh fuck..." he whines, "Make me..." Make me shut up, he wants to say. But Hoseok understands what he really wants—Hoseok knows. They don't have to say these things aloud—
Broken ribs are a good substitute for an emotional pain that's been building to a crescendo that never crests. A good fuck is a good salve for a cursed life he feels fed up with. Never think—just keep going forward. It's a speeding train with no breaks that's always one second away from diving right off a cliff. That one second is in their control and that's it. So let that one second be this moment here where his weakness is allowed.
Kihyun's breath hitches terribly, bordering on tears which prickle the corners of his eyes, clouding his vision further. Kihyun isn't superhuman. He only pretends to be. Hoseok knows the truth. They've been together since the beginning. Hoseok understands—
Hoseok, absolver of sins.
When cameras and a million eyes are staring—they give Kihyun strength. He can stand, he can endure anything. But at night is when he wants to break. This is him breaking.
And Hoseok is the guardian at his side. Hoseok with his face shoved in Kihyun's neck, hot breaths racing as if the pleasure was his own, it takes Kihyun higher to have a partner. They peel the last of Kihyun's garments off his legs until Kihyun is naked. Hoseok's hand wraps around him like a glove and Kihyun squeezes right overtop because he needs it tighter still. His eyes shut as he curves off the bed and Hoseok sucks savagely at his neck. It's involuntary when he spreads his legs. He has no reason to. But the way Hoseok looks down at him when he opens his eyes makes him pull his knees up and moan whorishly. He just needs to be touched more. Something inside him needs to be sated. His eyes shut again and he feels hands on his thighs and up his sternum, all the way to his neck, and then back down and Kihyun has no time to wait. He's working himself if Hoseok isn't quick enough, and if Hoseok wants to watch that's fine.
Hoseok wants to tell him he's pretty, so pretty. Naked and wet. And heartwrenchingly sad. It's inappropriate to say out loud but the words are hanging right at the tip of his tongue. God, he really wants to praise Kihyun right now. He wants this ecstasy to be real somehow. He's dropping kisses to his skin, along the arm Kihyun has no idea what to do with so Hoseok has taken it from him. All the way up into his hair and on his temple and cheek and jaw. Like worship. He stays close, he wants to hear every inhale, every hum and mewl as he touches lower on his body. It makes Kihyun sob and his breath shudder. A hand on his thigh, another gripping his nape to hold him close, their eyes link again, like a tightwire. A warning. Kihyun is stroking himself, while Hoseok reaches further and Kihyun's eyes only darken. Closer until he's massaging over Kihyun's asshole and all Kihyun does is throw his head back.
He wants it. Hoseok's thumb strokes over his jugular and he can feel exactly what Kihyun wants. Inside. He licks two fingers and gives them to him, presses into him and Kihyun whines, and shakes to be breached. His breath is strained. Hoseok rubs onto his prostate and Kihyun cries in agony.
"G-get me off."
It's a whimper, barely able to make coherent sounds. Hoseok impales him and Kihyun's whole body crawls. "Fuck. Harder!" he begs. And fists harder over himself as well. He's nearly thrashing from the crescendo building between his legs and up his spine.
This feeling is so deep he can taste it. The type of insatiable that he needs to choke on. Hoseok can see his hand working himself, he knows this pace, and Hoseok helps fuck him harder. He'll be sore but it doesn't matter.
Two of Hoseok's fingers are driving up his ass. While his other hand wraps more steadily around Kihyun's neck, pinning him immobile. He's been studying how Kihyun's veins pulse. His heart wild, beneath. He swears he can see it as clearly as he sees Kihyun parched and burning at his touch. Kihyun just needs more. He's chasing for it breathlessly.
And Hoseok wants to bring him to the edge. Kihyun needs this release. He pinches deeper into his carotids to bind the flow, bending his neck back with force that constricts his airway and this is the fever-pitch. Hoseok watches like a killer above—a love is at his mercy. It's painful as Kihyun's lungs struggle behind bruised ribs—his nerves flapping like a bird in a cage. He can't breathe! Panicked eyes spring open wide—
The ceiling is swimming above him, then dissolving—the pressure over his dick, Hoseok fucking him full, lava at his core, trapped, no room to draw breath even, all bending him into the will to come—He just can't hold this—he spills. His orgasm drowns him.
It's all white.
He might have died.
...He didn't. But a hunger has quenched when he resurfaces—He's panting. Blinking. Hoseok is massaging gently up his neck after straining him this way. How long has it been? He sees Hoseok's eyes again. Watching. Waiting for him. Kihyun isn't touching himself but Hoseok's fingers resting inside him still send little shocks through him.
He pushes Hoseok's hands away and takes his lips into a kiss, as soon as he can move. To come back to life while holding on to a friend. Kihyun kisses deeper into his mouth and tumbles him down to be on top this time.
There's water everywhere.
For Monsta X, water always means time. Let it be forever frozen here. They just need—a moment to heal.
There are two pills and a glass of water on Kihyun's nightstand when he wakes up.
Another day awaits. Another night can wait.