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This is a really long red light.

Two entire songs have played just during this one light. Who’s controlling this thing? Did they fall asleep? Should Chanyeol call someone?

“Hello, police? This traffic light is stupid long, and I just want to go home.”

Doubtful they’d do anything about it. Maybe it would brighten someone’s day. Stupid calls can make or break a shift. Some people are just too dumb and precious.

If he didn’t have passengers, he probably could’ve made it through the light when it was yellow, but by the time the car in front of him had skidded into its turn, the light was pink. Very red by the time Chanyeol’s car rolled to the stop line.

He’s a safe driver, but he’s regretting it right now.

This light is just too dang long.

And his passengers are being annoying.

Glancing in the rear view mirror, he tries to control his disgusted sneer. Baekhyun is three sheets to the wind, and it’s only just after six o’clock in the evening. A sober Baekhyun can be difficult enough to deal with, but when those few scruples and morals are softened with booze, he is just...bad.

Not like a bad person, just a bad influence. A couple centimeters beside him, nearly sharing a sweater they’re so close, is Jongin. Sweet, kind, impressionable, naive Jongin.

The boss’s kid. Chanyeol technically works for Papa Kim, but after his own father’s retirement, he arranged it with Papa Kim that Chanyeol could be the family chauffeur.

Someone had the brilliant idea to do Chanyeol one better and make him Jongin’s personal chauffeur and bodyguard. They’re close in age and friends-ish. They’re friendly, at least. Chanyeol would totally not mind being friends or close friends or even closer-than-friends, but there’s a professional line that he will not toe.

The wuss.

Unbeknownst to Chanyeol—and only Chanyeol—Jongin’s been carrying a torch for him that’s only gotten heavier and brighter over time. He doesn’t bother trying to hide it anymore. Anyone asks him about it, and he laughs and nods. He hasn’t gone so far as to say, “I have a flaming gay crush on my driver,” but he’s getting pretty darn close.

Because Chanyeol, sweet, kind, shredded, oblivious Chanyeol, is unfortunately selectively blind. He knows he’s an attractive man and the effect he has on people, yet he sells himself short. For some reason, he settles for pining and nighttime fantasies played out with himself on himself by himself.

Somehow, he just cannot comprehend that he could have actual live company during those times. Audience participation, even! Jongin would be more than willing to lend a hand or two.

But heaven forbid.

Because Chanyeol is “just the driver-slash-bodyguard,” and Jongin is his client’s kid.

That’s how he refers to Jongin. “My boss’s kid.” All he’s doing is driving a societal wedge into the possibilities. Yes, Jongin is Papa Kim’s most precious youngest son and kind of the darling of the modeling circle for how easy he is to work with, but it’s not like he’s a deity. He, too, is a human man with needs and urges.

Needs and urges Chanyeol could do something about instead of whining like a lovesick Labrador looking longingly at a closed bathroom door and sighing every five seconds because they’re taking forever.

Bark a little! That’ll get the master out faster.

All Jongin wants is some kind of go ahead, and he is ready to kick Chanyeol’s feet from under him and beat him to the floor.

The light changes to green. A car two cars behind beeps; the driver must need to poop really bad. They zip around the first cars and pass in what should not be considered a passing zone. Chanyeol mutters some mean things under his breath and promptly chastises himself. Let the crazy driver go! Begone; the rest of the road is better without them.

He looks in the mirror again as Jongin shrieks with laughter. He leans away from Baekhyun but falls right back against his side, weak and whacking Baekhyun’s arm with his hand. Chanyeol wonders what Baekhyun is whispering to make Jongin laugh like that. There’s a dusky pink across his cheeks. Pretty.

Knowing Baekhyun, it’s probably some dirty joke. He has a cute face but behind it… It’s all filth. Filth and the knowledge of how to disarm and disable a man twice his size.

“Oh, we’re close to Starbucks!” Baekhyun leans between the front seats and points out the unmistakable mermaid-monster sign. “Double espresso chip frappucino, please! Jongin?”

“No.” Chanyeol makes executive decisions when driving. It’s easier on him, as the driver, and it’s easier on Jongin during times like this, because Jongin has a very hard time telling Baekhyun “no.” “And please sit back; it’s dangerous.”

Baekhyun blows a raspberry and obeys but quickly redirects his attention from coffee to his backseat companion.

“Jonginie, you’re sweet. Be my frappucino?” He leans close and nuzzles their cheeks together, earning another smack and shriek of laughter. “Is he looking?” he whispers. Jongin nods. “Good.” Drawing away, Baekhyun lightly kisses the corner of Jongin’s mouth.

Jongin still tastes like the lip gloss he’d put on before the event they attended together. Baekhyun tastes like a sour cocktail of liquor—Jongin prefers the fruitiest wines, because you are what you drink.

Chanyeol tastes like bitter jealousy. He taps the brakes just a wee too hard, sending the two men lurching forward. “Sorry,” he says. “Thought I saw something. We’re almost there, Baek.”

“I think that scared the booze outta me a little.” Someone may need to clean his seat after he leaves. Nothing like a little scare to boost the adrenaline and induce the giggles™, however, and he bursts into laughter when he squeezes Jongin’s hand. They hadn’t realized they had clung onto one another.

Chanyeol’s foolish attempt to separate them is foiled.

Try, try again.

Jongin’s bold attempt to make Chanyeol uncomfortably jealous is a roaring success. Again. Because it’s remarkably easy to do. Most of the plots are Baekhyun’s ideas. He’s a staunch JongYeol fan, even more than a BaekJong fan—because anyone who doesn’t have a crush on Jongin is blind or doesn’t appreciate art—and is willing to put himself at risk if it means getting his dumb friends together.

In an ideal world, Jongin would just tell Chanyeol he likes him. Or vice versa. But the world is not ideal, and life sucks, and humans are meant to suffer trials of their own making.

Chanyeol flicks on the turn signal with his pinkie and pulls up alongside the sidewalk right in front of Baekhyun’s building. “We’re here,” he states with professionalism, masterfully masking the venom practically dripping as he eyes Baekhyun exit the care still holding Jongin’s hand.

His smile is charming; he’s nearly sober again but no less lecherous. “You want to come in?” He knows Jongin can’t say “no” to him; he’s a good dongsaeng.

Chanyeol has no such problems. He’s out of the car and behind Baekhyun in record time, lifting him beneath the armpits and carrying him to the front door of the apartment. “Good night, Baekhyun,” he stresses.

Baekhyun just laughs as he’s set down. He could break free, if he really wanted, but who’s he to reject a free ride? Just because he’s sober and can find his feet doesn’t mean he wants to use them if he doesn’t have to.

He catches Chanyeol’s arm before he returns to the car. When Chanyeol meets his gaze, there’s a strange fondness in his eyes, mixed with condescension. “Don’t not do something you think you’d regret.”

Chanyeol squints, unable to figure out what mindgames Baekhyun is playing. Double negative means a positive...plus a hypothetical…

“You’re both my friends, and I love you, but if you don’t jump Jongin...” he shrugs. “I will.”

Chanyeol catches Baekhyun across the chest and pins him against the wall. “Didn’t I tell you to leave him alone once already?” Another after-party event thing; Chanyeol isn’t even sure what it was for. He’d waited until Jongin called him. Baekhyun was again attached to Jongin, planting whatever ideas and just being a nuisance. Chanyeol lost his temper.

Baekhyun pushes the arm away and drops to the ground. “He’s not a toy you can put up on a high shelf to prevent anyone from playing with him, Chanyeol.

“If you’re interested,” and it’s obvious he is, “make a move before Jongin gets tired of waiting.”

Unfortunately for Jongin, but fortunately for Chanyeol, Jongin is remarkably patient.

Chanyeol returns to the car. Jongin turned the radio on and is playing on his phone, slouching like a misbehaving child.

“Sir—Jongin.” He uses both names, unsure which is more appropriate but preferring the name. “Please sit up. Your posture.”

“Why? Nobody can see me; the windows are practically black.” Now that Baekhyun’s gone, Jongin is bored. When he’s bored, he gets bratty.

Brattier than usual. He’s a spoiled brat and deserves all the spoiling.

“It’s the principle of the thing.” Chanyeol checks traffic before joining it and heading for home. “You know posture is important.” The guy’s a model. Posture is everything.

“But if I sit up straight, I’ll practically be hitting my head on the ceiling. You know how annoying that is.” He does. Chanyeol can’t wear his cap in the car, because it catches the fabric of the roof and slides off his head or drives into his brow.

Jongin slouches even more, knees falling open. He has a bad habit of manspreading. He'll slide down in his seat—showcasing absolutely atrocious posture—and open his legs like a coffee table book for Chanyeol to read. He looks particularly petulant staring out the window, letting his knees bounce a little like a resting butterfly’s wings.

“You’re not a child, anymore—”

“So stop treating me like one.”

“So stop acting like one!” He looks at Jongin in the mirror and shakes his head. “What is with you today?”

“Nothing.” Everything. Life sucks. Love sucks. If he could, Jongin would just rip the feelings right out of his heart. Why have them, if they just hurt him? “What’d you say to Baekhyun hyung? You looked angry.”

“I was, but it’s nothing. You know how he can be.” A car merges into their lane; Chanyeol slows down. “Now please don’t slouch so much. We get T-boned, you’re just going to go flying.”

“Nice you care about my safety, anyway...” Jongin mutters. He turns sideways, leaning his back against the door and resting his left leg against the back of the seat. His right leg sprawls out to bump against Chanyeol’s seat with every bump in the road.

Spreading his legs again. Airing out his nethers. They’re just there, and once the thought is in Chanyeol’s head, it’s not going away.

He’s seen Jongin nearly naked. Heck—the entire nation has. He’s modeled underwear since he was sixteen, progressing from catalogs to fashion magazines and more provocative poses that were definitely a little borderline iffy for a teenager.

And actually, there was a shoot last year sometime that kind of looked how he is now, except he was on a sofa or something. Barely dressed, draped with a sheet or blanket, staring right into the camera with an expression that screamed “go down on me, and I’ll tell you how good you are and pull your hair,” but in a good way. The nice pain.

Nice pain? Geez, Chanyeol, get a grip.

The steering wheel squeaks beneath his hands; they’re getting sweaty.

But seriously, how that cameraman didn’t mess his pants is a boon to his professionalism. Everyone knows that’s not Chanyeol.

So why won’t he do anything about it?

Jongin glares at the back of the idiot’s head. That stupid, beautiful idiot with his annoying reminders of manners and cute pointed ears. What does it take to get through to him?

The rest of the drive is quiet. They both murmur along to some songs they know, but they don’t talk. There’s too much to say and not enough vocabulary to say it. It mounts between them in the enclosed space, spurred by static, until they can feel its oppressive presence.

And they still do nothing. It sits between them like an unwanted seatmate on the bus who takes up their seat as well as part of their neighbor’s, and the neighbor is too polite and unnerved to say anything.

So it stays there. Chanyeol watches the road and looks back at Jongin. Jongin stares at his phone and looks up at Chanyeol.

Sometime just before reaching home, Jongin tries to find a comfier position so the door handle armrest thing isn’t digging into his back and ends up nearly lying flat on the seat with his knees bent and left foot tucked between the opposite door and seat. Still not super comfy, but he’s committed to laziness and doesn’t feel like moving again. Sitting upright just feels like losing.

The garage door opens on its own, and Chanyeol parks with practiced precision. He turns the engine off, pockets the key, and leaves the car to open Jongin’s door. “We’re here.” His voice dries up in his throat, and his mouth goes dry, although he feels like drooling.

Jongin looks at him from between his legs, through his lashes as he’s still scrolling through pictures on his phone. “Okay.”

The uncomfortable stranger sharing their seat farts, breaking the silence between them and creating an opening for all the tension and frustration to pour out.

“Jongin, why do you do this?”

Jongin looks beside him, then back at Chanyeol. “Do what?” He can’t always follow.

“This! I ask you to sit properly, just sit on a seat like a normal human being, but you’re throwing your legs apart all the time! Or lying down! What are you trying to accomplish?”

That is not what he really wants or needs to say, but it’s a start. Keep going, Chanyeol!

Jongin sits up on an elbow. “It bothers you that much?”

Yeah.”

“That’s why.” Perfect logic. “Because you notice. All I’ve wanted is your attention. On me, just me. You never do anything, though. I don’t think it’s because you don’t like me,” he adds shyly. “If it’s because of my dad or brothers, just… Forget them.” Easier said than done. The Kims can be terrifying, especially when it comes to Jongin’s well-being.

He sits up and leans forward, ducking a little to look up at Chanyeol. “Do you like me, hyung?” If he says “no,” this is going to be super embarrassing and disappointing, and Jongin will very likely never leave his room again and will have to reevaluate how well he reads people.

Chanyeol’s heart performs a hard reset on his brain. Once they’re both working together again, he eloquently replies, “A hell of a lot, yes.”

Jongin tilts his chin to his shoulder, a teasing invitation. “Are you going to do anything about it?”

As long as it’s an open house, Chanyeol will dive in and explore. He ducks into the car and would’ve knocked Jongin over if he hadn’t been braced and waiting.

They make out like teenagers in a premium channel cable drama. Jongin hooks his leg over Chanyeol—both to hold him close and to keep him from possibly running away. Now that he’s got him, he’s not letting him go. He’s worked too hard and waited too long to go back now.

There’s a breathless, silent chant of “finally, finally, finally” along with some more audible groans and sighs that just spur them on, feeding off of one another and matching a rhythm after the initial frenzied heat of the moment.

Finally.

Chanyeol taps out, needing to breathe. They part just enough to catch their breaths and get a good look at one another.

Jongin takes his breath away.

Flushed face, swollen lip—maybe Chanyeol bit him a little too much or too hard—dazed yet determined eyes… This will be the face that fuels more than a few dreams.

Years of dancing taught Jongin how to breathe properly, and he starts to pull Chanyeol back to him for another round of sloppy make-outs but feels Chanyeol resist.

“Wait. Just—” It nearly breaks Chanyeol to see the change in Jongin, the way he loosens his hold and starts to withdraw, obviously thinking it’s a rejection. “I’m not saying ‘no,’ just… Not here.”

Oh, no; not his precious car.

Chanyeol senses the remark. “You’re not the one who has to clean this.” Leather can be a forgiving material, but upholstery soaks things into it and the cushion beneath. Gross.

Jongin shakes his head and smiles, rejection replaced with impish naughtiness. “No, I’m not.” He gets a good long kiss in before Chanyeol’s resolve returns and makes him pinch Jongin’s side.

“Would you just cool your jets a minute? I seriously just want to go to your room—”

“Yours is closer.” Jongin rakes his nails down Chanyeol’s back and slips his hands beneath his shirt.

“—Fine. My room, where we won’t have an accidental audience.” The only ones home should be his brothers, and Chanyeol is actually more afraid of them than anyone else.

He bumps his nose against Jongin’s. “Okay?”

Fiiine. Jongin’s waited this long; a couple minutes won’t make a huge difference, just adding to his growing impatience.

He drops his foot to the floor and removes his hands from Chanyeol’s person, letting him crawl out the door before holding out his hands to be pulled from the seat and to his feet.

A blinking red light makes him pause, then bite back a smile.

Chanyeol’s forgotten about the garage security camera.

And Jongin isn’t mentioning anything right now, the little horny brat. He's finally got his green light.