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Dochul knew that honggi got the first pay for his new job today, and while he really wanted to trust his friend, he could not help himself but check if he was not going to run straight to the horse race hall again.

His heart sank, when he found him exactly there, standing close to the entrance, unmoving and seemingly clutching something tightly in his pockets.

Quickly disappointment and anger overwhelmed Dochul and he stomped over to him not even caring if he bumped into other people.

-.-.-

Honggi sighed and loosened his grip on the envelope in his pocket.
It was not worth it, even if he might win today he is going to lose all again tomorrow.
He had promised Dochul too.
Just when he was about to turn around and leave a hard grab on his arm made him groan.

Cursing, he is tried to brush the hand of his attacker off. However, when he saw the other's face Honggi froze.

Dochul was glaring back at him, anger evident in his eyes, just like back when he caught Honggi with Minha’s money in his hands.
Honggi knew that the situation looked bad but the fact that Dochul instantly jumped to conclusions annoyed him and once again he tried to shove Dochul’s hand away.

“Let me go.”

He cursed at Dochul but the other reacted by tightening his grip. The only added to Honggi’s annoyance and he struggled to get free while Dochul dragged him away from the people gathering outside the racing hall, swearing at the other all the way.

Once they reached a less populated area, Dochul , who had still not said a word or let go of him, pushed Honggi against the nearest wall.

Honggi groaned but quickly caught himself and stepped away from the wall.

“What is wrong with you?”
He shouted, rubbing his arm, where Dochul had held him.

“I thought you said you were done doing this shit?"
Dochul got back at him raising his voice just like him.

"How would you know I did not just pass by, huh?“
Honggi shot right back at him, only being edged on by Dochul screaming too.

"Because I watched you standing there for at least ten minutes."
For some reason that annoyed Honggi even more, was Dochul trusting him so little that he had been observing him? The next words were out before he could think.

„You’re just jealous because I have a proper job now while you just lost another boxing fight, going nowhere with your dream. I can spend my money however I want.“
Dochul flinched as if Honggi had actually hit him. He got very quie, blinking at Honggi and his shoulders slacked like he was utterly at a loss for words.
Honggi instantly regretted what he said, remembering how Dochul had been lying in his arms, crying after he had lost that fight. He had comforted him, while Dochul head buried his face against Honggi’s chest, sobbing into it until he finally fell asleep.

Honggi wanted to curse at himself.
Why did he always lose control like that? Why could he not shut his mouth and why was the only thing he was really good at hurting the people he loved where it really hurt, once he got defensive like this.

His anger faded with the regret that washed over him and he wanted to apologize but the air left his lungs when at the same time, Dochul pushed him back against the wall with a flat hand against his chest.

Suddenly there was a calmness around Dochul that was much worse than his anger. Honggi shivered and shifted uncomfortably under his unreadable gaze. He gasped when Dochul placed his hand on the wall and stepped forward until their chests touched.
With Dochul being so close, Honggi had to lean his head back in his neck to be able to look at the other’s face, hovering above his.

He swallowed thickly and shuddered under Dochul’s unfamiliar, blank expression.

„Dochul, I didn’t-„
Honggi flinched and shut his eyes when Dochul lifted his hand, thinking the other would hit him, even though deep inside he knew his friend would never hurt him seriously. With how often Honggi had been beaten up it was how his body reacted instinctively.

When he felt a warm hand softly touching his cheek, Honggi slowly opened his eyes again. A wave of emotions swapped over him when he met Dochul’s eyes, looking at him with a softness he often did and that Honggi could at the same time not stand at all but also made him feel incredibly happy at the same time.

Usually, he would avoid looking at Dochul but this time he just could not tear his eyes away.

They both were so awfully bad with words. Especially when it came to their emotions for each other.
But while they still were unable to state them verbally, they showed it non-verbally instead.

In their own way, they had found a different way of communicating, to say something they both were kind of afraid of saying out loud. Afraid that it would only end their friendship eventually. But while they were hesitant they also could not ignore those feelings or simply suppress them.
They had reserved this way of communication for special private moments.
Moments like Dochul lying on the bed and Honggi just wordlessly crawling into bed next to him, cuddling up against him. And despite the weather getting warmer again, Dochul not shoving him away but wrapping his arm around Honggi, pulling him closer.
Or Dochul being in pain from another fight or training match and Honggi carefully and silently applying some lotion to help with the pain.
When they sometimes woke up in the morning, looking at each other and instead of saying something annoying Honggi just smiling at Dochul’s beat-up face and leaning in to softly place a kiss on his cheek.

They never talked about those moments once they ended, and it was like a preciously kept secret between them.

Honggi never had kissed Dochul on the lips, he had urged to do so often, but ever until now it always felt like crossing one line too much.

Now, however, the line seemed to fade. Honggi’s glanced at Dochul’s lips.

Dochul’s thumb brushed over his cheekbone tenderly. Honggi swallowed and licked his lips, he was too much of a coward to look up into Dochul's eyes, right now.
Instead, he closed his own and parted his lips. His heart was pounding so loud in his ears and he felt dizzy but despite how nervous this situation made him, how much the change going through with this threatened to bring, he found himself leaning up, his lips yearning for Dochul’s.

He gasped when Dochul’s lips found his first.
Eagerly pressing against his even.
Dochul’s hand brushed into Honggi’s neck and pulled him up closer even more as if he had been desperate for this just as much as Honggi.

Because he was. We're just both cowards.

Honggi’s heart never before beat so quickly, not even when he ran from Lee Beom Soo and his man and he clung onto Dochul tightly, almost ripping his shirt because he needed to hold onto this moment, too afraid to be ripped away from it suddenly.

„I really was going to turn around and leave.“
Honggi mumbled, eyes still closed and shuddering from the tickling brush of their lips. Dochul instantly silenced him again, not interested in talking at all, but Honggi wanted, needed him to believe him so badly.
So he tried again, speaking with their lips pressed together because Dochul would not let him part them.
„I’m not lying. I admit I thought about it but I did not want to disappoint you.“

Honggi had never been this honest in years, not even to himself and he hated how vulnerable it made him feel. But the feeling of Dochul wrapping his arm around his waist and pulling him closer against his hot body quickly distracted him.
Clinging onto Dochul tighter, the fabric of his shirt almost giving in, he only had one last thing he needed to tell the other.
„Dochul. I’m sorry fo-„

He was quickly interrupted by the other.
„Stop talking like this Honggi or I have to carry you to a hospital to get you a medical check.“

Dochul chuckled against his lips and Honggi felt like a ton of worries was falling off his shoulders. He melted into Dochul while he kissed him again, more lovingly and sweet than before and Honggi never felt so lost for another person before.

Only when Dochul stepped back, Honggi realized how stiff his neck had gone. Normally he would complain and whine at Dochul for causing it but for some unknown reason, the only thing he did was smiling brightly at Dochul.
Maybe I really needed a check-up.
Dochul smiled right back at him and placed his hand on Honggi's shoulder.

„Let’s go back home and celebrate your first salary that, surprisingly, you did not spend on gambling.“

Pouting, Honggi nudged his elbow into Dochul’s side and grumbled.

„I take that back. I’m not sorry, Actually, I hate you, dumbass.“

Dochul only chuckled and wrapped his arm around Honggi’s shoulders to pull him closer.

„That’s my Honggi.“