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This mood hit Hakyeon sometimes. There wasn’t anything big that he was anxious about, except for everything: the tour, and the new remix choreography they had to get down by the end of tomorrow, and the radio appearance they hadn’t been properly prepared for yesterday, and the enormous scope of the things Hakyeon wanted for VIXX that they might not ever achieve. All of it curled up inside him and twisted and hummed until he felt like a wire jerking with the current.

He leaned over the mirror in the hotel bathroom, pressing in so that the sink dug into his stomach. He finger combed his hair over his eyes.

“Do you think I should try a long fringe?” he called through the bathroom doorway. “I think I would look sexy with a long fringe. I’m going to suggest it. Maybe for our next comeback.” He flattened his hair against his forehead and turned to the side. “Or not. No. I look like a shaggy dog. I don’t think it would suit me. Would it suit me?”

Taekwoon didn’t answer. When Hakyeon peeked around the door, Taekwoon was lying on his belly on the bed farthest from the bathroom, a pillow over his head.

Hakyeon strode over and pulled the pillow away. “Taekwoon. Taekwoonie.”

Taekwoon lifted his head, his hair mussed. Hakyeon grabbed him around the shoulders, pulling Taekwoon up onto his knees. He crawled onto the bed behind him and dragged Taekwoon back against his chest, hooking his chin over Taekwoon’s shoulder.

“Taekwoonie. We should take a picture for Twitter. Where’s my phone, I want to take one.”

He spotted it on the other bedside table and let go, sliding off the bed and dancing over to pick it up. Taekwoon turned to watch him. When Hakyeon turned back Taekwoon started to get up off the bed. Hakyeon took two quick steps and bounced back onto the bedclothes, wrapping his arms around Taekwoon’s chest to pull him back down.

“No, stay here.”

Taekwoon released a heavy breath, turning his head to look over his shoulder at Hakyeon.

Hakyeon unwrapped one arm from around Taekwoon’s middle and held up his phone to snap a picture.

“It’s cute,” Hakyeon said. “Your hair is messy. It’s cute.”

Taekwoon put up his hand as Hakyeon pressed the shutter a second time. He batted the phone away.

“Go away,” he said softly.

Hakyeon made to lightly smack him. Taekwoon huffed another sigh and leaned away. Hakyeon reeled him in again, lifting his phone once more.

He got a shot of Taekwoon’s hand, fingers spread to block him. He threaded his fingers through Taekwoon’s and pulled their two hands down to their laps, then leaned close, pressing his shoulder to Taekwoon’s. This time he got a real picture: his own bright smile and Taekwoon’s eyes fixed on Hakyeon.

Hakyeon pulled the phone towards him to look at the photo. A reflection in the screen distracted him, and he glanced back at the window behind them, dark glass catching everything in the room and tossing it back. He dropped the phone onto the bedclothes and scooted over the bed until he could swing his legs off and walk over to the window.

He cupped his hands around his face, pressing against the glass.

Hong Kong was spread out beneath him, a dazzle of light.

“It’s pretty,” Hakyeon said. “You can see the harbor, I think. Mm.” He chewed his lip. “I think it is the harbor. I think those lights there are ships.”

He pressed his cheek to the glass, the pressure icy cold and hard enough to make his jaw hurt.

Then he wheeled around again.

Taekwoon was sitting up now, one leg curled beneath him, his gaze fixed on Hakyeon.

“Yahhhh!” Hakyeon launched himself across the room and threw himself back onto Taekwoon’s bed.

This time he scrambled from his knees up onto his feet, bouncing on his heels. He clasped Taekwoon’s shoulders from behind, leaning down onto him for balance.

Taekwoon swayed forward and Hakyeon lost his footing. He dropped onto his knees, falling heavily against Taekwoon’s back.

“Oh my god,” Taekwoon mumbled.

“Ow,” Hakyeon complained. “Stay still or I’ll fall.”

He adjusted his grip on Taekwoon’s shoulders and bounced on his knees.

Hakyeon felt Taekwoon take a deep breath. Then he turned in a rush, pushing Hakyeon down onto his back.

For a second Hakyeon blinked up at him, utterly startled.

There was colour in Taekwoon’s cheeks and his mouth was soft and open. Hakyeon shifted. He frowned as he realised that Taekwoon was holding him too tightly for him to get up.

“Yah, what are you doing? Let go.” He struggled, beginning to be impatient.

Taekwoon made an inarticulate sound. He released his grip on one of Hakyeon’s wrists, freeing his own hand. Before Hakyeon could take advantage of the loosened hold, Taekwoon lifted his hand to Hakyeon’s face, and – stroked his cheek.

Hakyeon stilled, looking up.

Taekwoon’s eyes were dark. There was frustration there, but also a kind of desperate question.

It took Hakyeon a moment to interpret it. Then he swallowed, heat flashing through him.

He should laugh it off. That would defuse this; Taekwoon hated being laughed at. And it wasn’t as though he’d never seen fleeting want in Taekwoon’s eyes before, and ignored it because Taekwoon was ignoring it. Only Taekwoon wasn’t ignoring it; he was asking. Hakyeon was used to being the one who always asked, who wanted more and gave more to everyone than they wanted from him.

Especially with Taekwoon. Hakyeon wanted everything from Taekwoon.

This strange spell, whatever it was, might break at any moment. Hakyeon shifted, deliberately, drawing Taekwoon’s eyes down to see what would happen. Taekwoon’s gaze dropped to Hakyeon’s hips and he bit his lip.

That was encouragement enough for Hakyeon to lean up a little, nosing at the hollow of Taekwoon’s neck.

Taekwoon made a small noise in his throat. He turned his head and found Hakyeon’s mouth.

The kiss was gentle and intent at first. Taekwoon was so focused that it made Hakyeon feel a little light-headed. He arched up and Taekwoon nipped his lip, hard, pulling a choked sound from him. Taekwoon soothed the sting with his tongue, his hand pushing through Hakyeon’s hair, fingertips leaving light trails against Hakyeon’s scalp. Hakyeon whined in his throat, his fingers digging into Taekwoon’s forearms.

Hakyeon pushed up into the kiss, tasting Taekwoon’s mouth. He felt restless, shivery, his hands flitting from Taekwoon's shoulders to his jaw to his arms.

Then Taekwoon dropped his head into the crook of Hakyeon’s neck and collapsed against him.

He could feel Taekwoon’s shoulders shaking.

Hakyeon drew in a breath, fighting to get his breathing even. After a moment he remembered to pat Taekwoon’s back, although he thought he might be doing it a little fast. His heart was racing.

“Will we stop?” Hakyeon asked. His mouth was against Taekwoon’s hair. It was damp from the shower, and soft with all the product washed out.

He wasn’t sure if he wanted Taekwoon to say yes or no.

Or rather, he knew what he wanted, but if Taekwoon said yes, let’s stop, Hakyeon wouldn’t have to remember that he was the leader, the way he was doing now – wouldn’t have to remember that there were risks and ramifications that went with something like this. With a little distance maybe tonight could become nothing but a moment of comfort, not so different from any other.

Taekwoon drew a shaky breath and lifted his head.

“I want …” he said.

Hakyeon bit his tongue so he wouldn’t interrupt while Taekwoon found the rest of his sentence. Taekwoon dropped his eyes, rubbing his thumbs over the line of Hakyeon’s collarbone where the tee shirt he wore to sleep had slipped down. Hakyeon’s breath stuttered.

“When you get like that,” Taekwoon said, “I want to –”

Hakyeon’s resolve broke. “What are you going to say, you want to shut me up?” He lifted his hand to chop lightly at Taekwoon’s neck, smiling through the tightness in his chest.

Taekwoon lifted his shoulder, shrugging Hakyeon’s hand away. Hakyeon let it slide down Taekwoon’s shoulder instead, his fingers settling on the inside of Taekwoon’s elbow.

Taekwoon nodded, then shook his head. He sat back, drawing his hands down Hakyeon’s sides to his hips. He pressed down to still the little upward jerk they made. Hakyeon watched him, wide eyed. Taekwoon bit his lower lip in concentration as his hands slipped beneath Hakyeon’s shirt, sliding up his stomach.

“I want to touch you,” Taekwoon finished.

“Oh.” Hakyeon felt as though the word had been punched out of him.

Taekwoon slid his hands further up Hakyeon’s sides. Hakyeon arched his back to allow Taekwoon to push his shirt higher.

“I want to shut you up too,” Taekwoon added. It was the solemn voice he used to be playful, although Hakyeon didn’t think he was really joking. But with Taekwoon’s hands skating over his skin, there was no smart in the words.

He made a face anyway. “None of you deserve me,” he said.

Taekwoon ducked his head to the side, a tiny smile at the corner of his mouth. It was fond enough to make Hakyeon’s heart skip.

Taekwoon bent to kiss him again, and Hakyeon couldn’t make himself hesitate. He twined his arms around Taekwoon’s neck and drew him down.

Taekwoon was all determination and quiet intensity, but there was too much anxious energy still thrumming through Hakyeon for him to hold the kiss long. He broke it, his mouth catching against Taekwoon’s cheek and jaw. His hands tangled in the hem of Taekwoon’s shirt, stretching and twisting the thin material around his fingers.

Taekwoon ran his hands down Hakyeon’s arms to capture his wrists. He kissed Hakyeon’s neck and shoulder with a sweet insistent focus before he moved back to his mouth, drawing Hakyeon back into the kiss. He let it deepen only when he had Hakyeon’s full attention.

This time Hakyeon lost himself in the kiss for a while. Taekwoon’s mouth was sweet and searching on his, and Taekwoon’s hands were hot and sure against his skin, moving to slip under the curve at the small of Hakyeon’s back.

The anxious threads of thought crept back in, though. He still didn’t understand, really, what Taekwoon was thinking. He didn’t know where this had come from, or –

“Hakyeonie,” Taekwoon said.

Hakyeon lifted his eyes.

Taekwoon freed his hands and brought them up to Hakyeon’s face. Taekwoon’s cheeks were flushed and his eyes were bright. His fingertips traced butterfly patterns over Hakyeon’s cheeks, and up and around to the shells of his ears.

Hakyeon laughed a little, shaky and breathless. Taekwoon’s hands settled on Hakyeon’s cheeks and he leaned down again to kiss the curve of his smile.

Hakyeon kissed him back with energy, pushing all of his uncertainty into it.

Taekwoon matched him with his own quieter intensity, and Hakyeon could almost have drowned in it, it was so fierce and sweet.

The next time his focus broke, he pulled back to nip impatiently at Taekwoon’s jaw. His hands moved restlessly over Taekwoon’s rucked up shirt, fidgeting and tugging. Taekwoon responded by leaning back a little, pulling at the hem of Hakyeon’s own shirt till he could lift it up and off. It caught around Hakyeon’s elbow. Hakyeon snorted a laugh as Taekwoon freed it with careful fingers.

Then Taekwoon was smoothing his hands down Hakyeon’s bare skin. Hakyeon arched under him, laughter swallowed in breathlessness. Taekwoon’s thumbs toyed with the drawstring of Hakyeon’s sweat pants as his mouth found Hakyeon’s again.

Hakyeon loved kissing; could spend hours doing nothing else, though opportunities to do that were vanishingly rare. But it occurred to him that it was a surprise, a little bit, the way Taekwoon came back again and again to Hakyeon’s mouth.

As soon as he’d had the thought he wanted to test it.

He twisted to roll them over. Taekwoon blinked startled eyes at him as his back hit the bed.

He lifted his arms pliantly when Hakyeon pulled at his shirt, allowing Hakyeon to pull it off. But he stilled when Hakyeon shimmied down his body.

Hakyeon tucked his thumbs under Taekwoon’s waistband. He looked up through his eyelashes, half flirty and half to check that it was okay.

Taekwoon’s eyes had flown wide, a deeper colour rushing into his cheeks. His gaze was fixed on Hakyeon’s mouth. He swallowed, and Hakyeon saw it hitch in his throat.

Good, then. Hakyeon slid Taekwoon’s sweat pants down his hips, taking the boxers with them.

Hakyeon had seen Taekwoon's dick before – seeing your groupmates naked at some point or another was nearly inevitable – but not like this. It was pretty, hard and curving up towards Taekwoon’s belly. Hakyeon thought everything about Taekwoon was pretty.

He breathed over the head, experimentally. He flicked his eyes up as Taekwoon let out a sharp breath. His eyes were dark and blown wide, and they hadn’t moved from Hakyeon’s mouth.

Hakyeon wet his lips with the tip of his tongue, and Taekwoon swallowed.

“You like my mouth,” Hakyeon crowed.

Taekwoon’s eyes snapped up. “Anyone would like it if you did that,” he objected, defensive.

Hakyeon ducked and gave him a kitten lick. Taekwoon made a tiny breathless sound.

“No,” Hakyeon said, “you do, you like my mouth.”

Taekwoon reached down, resting his thumb against Hakyeon’s lower lip. Hakyeon opened his mouth on a breath and Taekwoon’s thumb slipped inside, just a little. Hakyeon shifted, a flash of heat in his belly. His dick throbbed where it was pressed against the mattress.

“You’re always talking,” Taekwoon said. “Your mouth is always moving.”

Hakyeon thought that was an admission.

He couldn’t help the small, delighted smile that tugged at his lips as he bent his head and finally took Taekwoon into his mouth.

Hakyeon didn’t have as much practice at this as he did at kissing. He’d fooled around a fair bit during the comparative freedom of the year in Japan, but he’d tried to be more circumspect once he became a trainee. Taekwoon didn’t seem to feel any lack in his technique, though.

For the first few minutes, whenever Hakyeon flicked his eyes up, Taekwoon’s gaze was fixed on his face, even as Taekwoon’s eyes grew hazy and he began to bite his lower lip hard enough that Hakyeon thought he must be leaving marks.

Taekwoon’s left foot lost purchase on the sheet, his knee knocking against Hakyeon’s shoulder. Hakyeon pulled off to catch his breath, wiping at his mouth with the back of his hand, and saw that Taekwoon had dropped his head back against the bed. He had one arm thrown over his eyes and his other hand was tangled in the sheets, white-knuckled.

Hakyeon reached up, fumbling for Taekwoon’s fingers. He tugged Taekwoon’s hand down, placing it over his own head as he went back down.

Taekwoon curled his fingers in Hakyeon’s hair, the grip tentative. Hakyeon returned to his task, hollowing his cheeks and sucking hard.

He was rewarded by Taekwoon clenching his fingers in Hakyeon’s hair, a sweet painful drag on his scalp. He gave a pleased hum around Taekwoon’s cock, and heard Taekwoon let out a ragged gasp as his fingers clenched in Hakyeon’s hair again. (Hakyeon wondered, suddenly, if this was what Taekwoon’s singing headache felt like; the ache he called a good pain.)

It wasn’t exactly comfortable, and his jaw was already getting tired. But Hakyeon had liked this every time he’d done it. He liked it even more now, with Taekwoon spread out below him, the muscles in his stomach trembling with the effort of staying still, and the tiny gasps and whimpers he made each time Hakyeon swirled his tongue around the head of his cock.

He hadn’t had time to become anything like bored by the time Taekwoon tugged Hakyeon away by his hair, curling into himself as he came over his own stomach.

Hakyeon crawled back up the bed and fitted himself into Taekwoon’s side, handing him a tissue from the box on the bedside table.

Taekwoon was still blinking away the haze of his orgasm. Hakyeon waited another thirty seconds, letting him start to dab at the mess on his stomach, before he poked him in the side.

“Move, I want to cuddle,” he said.

He was so hard it hurt, so that wasn’t exactly what he wanted. He didn’t know whether Taekwoon kissing him had meant he was offering the same kind of thing as Hakyeon had, though.

Taekwoon looked over at him. His gaze dropped to the tent of Hakyeon’s sweat pants. He slid his hand down Hakyeon’s stomach, running the back of his knuckles over his clothed erection. Hakyeon hissed.

Taekwoon looked back up at Hakyeon’s face, and the hectic red that had been beginning to fade from his cheeks rushed back in. He dropped his head, hiding his face against Hakyeon’s neck.

Hakyeon put a hand in Taekwoon’s hair, stroking a bit haphazardly because Taekwoon’s hand was still kind of brushing his dick.

“You don’t have to,” Hakyeon said.

Taekwoon shook his head, his face still pressed against Hakyeon’s throat. “No, I want to,” he mumbled.

Then he lifted his head again, his face determined.

The sight of Hakyeon – and he supposed he probably was a sight if he looked anything like Taekwoon, shirtless and with his mouth stinging and swollen and his hair in his eyes – seemed to be too much for Taekwoon again. He dropped his face into the crook of Hakyeon’s neck once more.

So when Taekwoon moved his hand down, slipping beneath the waistband of Hakyeon’s pants and finally curling his fingers around Hakyeon’s cock, it was blindly, without lifting his head to see what he was doing.

Hakyeon wanted to watch him. He wanted to marvel over how incongruously adorable this embarrassed hand job was. But when Taekwoon started to move his hand Hakyeon couldn’t keep his head from falling back against the pillow, his body taut and straining.

For all that Taekwoon’s cheek was still pressed against Hakyeon’s clavicle, and the angle of his wrist must have been awkward, he seemed determined to do it properly. His hand was warm and sure, and he listened carefully for Hakyeon’s hitched breaths and encouraging sounds, adjusting his grip and pace until it was just the way Hakyeon liked it. Hakyeon would have said so, would have praised him, but he couldn’t speak in more than whines and broken half-sentences.

Taekwoon finally lifted his head again. His hair was mussed and one cheek was a hotter pink where it had been pressed against Hakyeon’s neck. But his eyes were burningly intense when they fell on Hakyeon’s face. He moved his hand, a careful twist of his wrist, and Hakyeon arched and shuddered into stillness.

As soon as Hakyeon came back to himself, Taekwoon dove down to kiss him. It was a messy kiss, broken by Hakyeon’s ragged breaths. Taekwoon’s tongue swiped behind Hakyeon’s teeth as though he was tasting sparks, bright on his tongue. Or maybe that was just how it felt to Hakyeon: as though the scattered restlessness that had chased its way through him had been focused into something sweet and hot and electric and now it was dissipating on his tongue.

The kiss turned sweeter and softer. Taekwoon tugged Hakyeon’s lower lip between his own one more time, and their mouths parted. Taekwoon tipped his head down so their foreheads were resting together.

Hakyeon could feel the energy sinking back into his bones now. He felt as though he fit into his own skin again. He hadn’t realised how many weeks it had been since he’d felt that.

"Here, like this," Hakyeon said, pushing lightly at Taekwoon’s shoulder. Taekwoon let himself be moved until they were face to face, on the same pillow. They’d lain like this before, sharing late-night secrets and fears – one of Taekwoon’s to every three of Hakyeon’s, usually. It felt the same.

“That’s what I want to do, every time you get like that,” Taekwoon said. He frowned and reached over to swipe his thumb carefully beneath Hakyeon’s left eye; maybe rubbing away a smudge of makeup missed when Hakyeon washed his face. That felt the same, too, as every other time Taekwoon had made some tiny fix to Hakyeon’s appearance, when Hakyeon wasn’t too fidgety to hold still for it.

Hakyeon was glad that Taekwoon tended to repeat things when they were important, because this time he thought he got it.

Maybe this wasn’t inexplicable and precarious. Maybe it was part of the same way Taekwoon had always loved him; of a piece with Taekwoon fixing Hakyeon’s gloves when they were crooked and stroking his back when he was panicking.

“We’re not going to be able to do that every time, you know,” Hakyeon said.

Taekwoon pulled back to meet Hakyeon’s eyes, his own direct and serious. “I know that,” Taekwoon said. “But – some of the time?”

Some emotion curled in Hakyeon’s chest. He didn’t want to examine at it too closely, because he thought it might be too much happiness for something that hadn’t even lasted a night yet.

He couldn’t help the way his smile made his voice soft and bright, though.

“Yeah,” he said. “Some of the time we can.”