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Finals week is always one of Khai’s least favorite times of the year. He just spent most of the last two weeks running himself ragged with last-minute editing, never-ending research, essay writing, and rerecordings for final projects. He’s hardly gotten to see his friends during the last couple of weeks; other than shared library sessions which they spend hunched over piles of books or taking turns catching up on much-needed sleep, trusting the others to finesse out the details for group projects. He’d seen even less of Third than Bone and Two since the little overachieving nerd takes more classes than any of them, so he’d only gotten glimpses of him rushing from class to the library and from the library to his condo, arms full of books and odds and ends of filming equipment.

His extended absence from Khai’s life is unacceptable, it weighs on Khai like an invisible itch, constant and relentless. Hence, why he is now standing in front of Third’s door; hands loaded with bags full of drinks and snacks. They just turned in their final project for the semester and, having all agreed they were too exhausted to go out and properly party, they’d decided on a movie marathon to celebrate their renewed freedom. The silence from inside Third’s flat tells him neither Bone nor Two have arrived yet. He kicks the door a few times, hard enough to get Third’s attention.

“Third, open up, these bags are heavy, and I can’t reach my keys!”

“Coming,” Third’s grumble sounds through the thin wood, it brings a smile to Khai’s face.

There is the muffled sound of footsteps, the rattle of the doorknob, and the creak of the wood as it swings open and there stands his best friend framed by soft orange lamplight. His hair is a ruffled mess, a pen resting behind one ear, the soft light giving his skin a bit of a golden hue, but it does nothing to hide the dark circles under his eyes, consequence, no doubt, of sleepless nights. The bruising is magnified by the thin-wired reading glasses resting on his nose, making his eyes look larger.

When his brain finally registers what Third is wearing, Khai’s mouth drops open slightly, arms hanging lamely at his sides, brain buffering. Third is wearing an oversized, powder blue t-shirt that falls to his mid-thigh and a few centimeters below the hem are the tops of long black socks which gird and cover Thirds’ slim legs. Khai blinks stupidly a few times while his brain struggles to get back online.

Third just narrows his eyes at him before snagging the bags from his limp grasp and turning to drop them on the coffee table next to the mess of books, highlighters and notes surrounding his laptop. Khai’s eyes remain glued to the long, sensuous lines of his legs, just as sexy as those of any girl he’s ever seen wearing something similar. He tries to swallow, but his mouth is dry.

“Not a fucking word. I’ve not had a chance to do laundry in two weeks, and I’m running out of options.” Third threatens as he digs through the bags’ contents.

“Is that my shirt?” He finally spits out, as he stumbles into the flat, the door slamming shut behind him.

“What?” Third’s brow wrinkles as he looks down at the large shirt he is wearing, the collar wide enough to expose his clavicle, “oh yeah, it’s your fault for always leaving your crap here. I’ll give it back once I do the washing.” He shrugs, ripping open a bag of chips and settling down in front of his laptop, one black-clad leg folded under him, the other pulled up in front of his chest. In that position the shirt rides up his thigh and Khai can see the edge of the black briefs he’s wearing underneath.

“Set up the projector while I finish this. The cables should be in the bag.” It’s clearly an order, his typical no-nonsense tone in contrast with the softness of his look sends a shiver down Khai’s back. It’s only when Third throws him a sharp look over the top of his glasses that Khai clears his throat and hurries over to do as he’s told.

“Why the socks?” he asks, as nonchalantly as he can manage. His fingers feel dumb as they attempt to untangle cables, his attention centered on positioning himself just right to keep Third in his line of sight. The other man shrugs, mouth full of chips, fingers undisturbed in their tapping.

“They’re warm. They were a joke gift, but they’re actually pretty comfortable and, like I said, I’m running out of options.”

Khai hums in acknowledgment. A hundred more questions fill his head, who gifted them to him? What was the joke? Does he wear them often? Why hasn’t he ever worn them in front of Khai before? He feels them all, angry hornets buzzing in his mouth demanding to be let out, but he can’t think of a way to ask them without Third thinking he’s making fun.

The heat burning the back of his neck since he laid eyes on his friend, the dryness of his mouth, and the heaviness settling low on his abdomen, clear indicators that mocking him is the farthest thing from his mind. Still, he is not exactly sure how to voice that either.

He stays silent, concentrating on setting up the projector while hyperaware of Third’s every move, his disgruntled sighs and hums at whatever he’s typing, the way he shifts his weight around unaware of how the edge of the t-shirt shifts, teasing a flash of tan skin framed between the blackness of the socks and the dark fabric of his briefs. Khai feels drops of sweat form on his temples at the sight.

“Done!” Third finally exclaims, taking off his glasses and stretching his arms over his head, back arching leisurely. He snaps his laptop shut just as a knock at the door announces Bone and Two’s arrival. He unfolds those long legs and hurries to let them in. As soon as he does, hollering and whooping precede the two as they laugh and tease. Khai watches a pretty blush spread across Third’s complexion while giving them the finger.

“Is that why you asked to borrow my new camera?” Two taunts while he unloads an armful of beers on the kitchen counter. “Is little Third going into the camboy business?”

“Shut up,” Third practically growls. “It’s not my fault none of you fuckers know how to use proper grammar and I had to waste so much time correcting your parts of the paper. I don’t have any clean clothes left, so it’s either this or naked, you choose.” Two makes a gagging sound, while Khai tries to keep himself from voicing his choice.

“Aww, Nong Third looks so cute when he pouts. Your P’ will buy you a cute pair of cat ears for your birthday to finish off the look.” Bone’s laugh turns into a groan when Third punches his shoulder hard enough to bruise. “I’m older than you, asshole.”

“By like a month,” Bone whines while he and Two rush to hide behind Khai when Third starts throwing snack bags at them. The rowdy atmosphere seems to finally snap Khai out of his daze, and he laughs along with them while Third continues to shout obscenities.

They finally settle down, Two and Third commandeering the only two chairs in the apartment while Bone and Khai wrestle for the beanbag. In the end, Khai loses and ends up on the floor with his back resting against Third’s chair. After a couple of coin flips, Bone gets first choice, and they start by watching a psychedelic-looking action flick full of fast-paced scenes and a plot so complicated that by the forty-minute mark Khai has given up on trying to unravel it. Instead, he concentrates on enjoying the surprisingly good score while savoring the pleasant bitterness of his beer and the heat of Third at his back.

During the last twenty or so minutes of the movie, he feels Third shift behind him, one of his legs dropping to settle against Khai’s side. He side-eyes the intruding limb, his heart lodging in his throat as his attention fixes completely on its weight pressed against him. With friendly familiarity, Third rests his foot on Khai’s leg, toes curling from time to time and the knit of the socks a light scratch against his forearm every time either of them moves. He starts tearing the label off his beer bottle to distract him from the urge to run his hands against the length of that leg.

From his vantage point, he can’t see Third’s face without turning completely around but, if he tips his head slightly, he does have a perfect view of Third’s thigh. He can see the way the muscles flex when he shifts in his seat, the elastic hugging around it a little too tight. Khai imagines himself slipping a finger under it, soothing the indents all around the circumference of Third’s thigh, or maybe tracing them with his tongue. The space between the edge of the socks and his briefs, a blank canvas for him to decorate in reds and purples.

“Finally!” Third gripes, making Khai jump out of his skin. He turns to the white screen and realizes that the movie is over, the credits rolling to the beat of some heavy metal cover. Third shifts behind him, a breathy laugh huffed right by his ear, “did you fall asleep?”

Khai takes a swig of his now warm beer before managing a nod and a croaked out ‘yeah’.

“See, Bone, Khai agrees that that was the stupidest film you’ve ever made us watch.” Third complains while maneuvering around Khai to stand up and head for the bathroom. “Yours better be good, Two!” he shouts over his shoulder.

“Hey, at least it was better than when Khai made us watch Rubber!” Bone shouts back as he opens three more beers, offering Two and Khai one each as he takes over Third’s seat.

“You ok? I thought you’d like the score at least,” he asks while Two is busy loading up the next film.

“Yeah. Just tired.”

It’s not exactly a lie and, frankly, it’s a much better answer than whatever is actually going on in his head, which is mostly images of his best friend’s legs wrapped around him. Bone just groans sympathetically and uses his foot to push him towards the abandoned beanbag. “Take it before he comes back, or you’ll be stuck on the floor all night.”

Khai obeys, hoping that a little distance from Third will help settle his overactive imagination. He knows he has a reputation, but he’s not actually trying to be a pervert. It’s not like he’s not aware that he’s attracted to guys, or to Third in particular. Dating girls is just easier. He likes their soft skin, sweet perfumes, and the cute outfits they always wear to get his attention. Also, if at some point, they’re not a part of his life anymore it’s never a big deal. Third disappearing like that, however, is unthinkable.

Two starts the movie just as Third comes out of the bathroom. “Hey, asshole, that’s my seat,” he demands as he catches sight of Bone sprawled on his chair.

“You know the rules, finders keepers.” Bone singsongs while taking a swig of his beer. Third rolls his eyes then turns to Two with a hopeful look, he just shrugs and continues shoving popcorn into his mouth.

“This is my place, you know.”

“And what a lovely home you have P'Third, must be all that camboy money rolling in.” Bone teases with a shit-eating grin splitting his face. Two laughs and throws a few pieces of popcorn at Third. “You’re blocking the view, move.”

“Ugh, I should have left you out in the hall,” Third mumbles. Finally, he turns to Khai, gaze calculating as he scopes out the size of the bean bag.

“No.” Khai deadpans.

“Come on, I don’t want to sit on the floor. It’s cold.” He pouts.

“No way, it’s not big enough.”

“I’m small, I can fit anywhere. Look.” Third insists as he sits on the edge of the beanbag legs thrown over Khai’s lap, body curled in around him.

“Third!” Khai does his best to keep the edge of panic from his voice as he tries halfheartedly to push Third away, but Third just wraps his arms tighter around Khai

“Come on, Khai, na? I’ll even let you choose the next movie.” Khai can smell the beer soaking his breath. “I’m so tired and the floor is uncomfortable.” That part is not exactly an act, his tiredness is even more evident up close like this. Which is why Khai does not have the heart to push him off, so he resigns to his fate and heaves a put-upon sigh as he relents.

The movie Two chooses is a horror one, it’s not bad, but it is slow-paced enough that by the time the ghost finally shows up Two is asleep with his neck twisted in a way he will definitely regret in the morning. Bone’s eyes keep drooping, and the beer he’s holding is in danger of slipping from his fingers. Third dropped off about fifteen minutes into the movie, face tucked against Khai’s neck, legs still splayed over his lap. The tableau they paint is a testament to how wrung out they all are.

Only Khai remains wide awake, body tense and heart pounding loud enough that he’s surprised Third can sleep through it. The warmth of the smaller body seems to sink down into the very core of him, his steady breath tickling against his neck with every exhale. He doesn’t smell sweet like the girls that usually cuddle up to him, but his scent is much more comforting than theirs; a familiar mixture of talcum powder and Khai’s preferred brand of laundry detergent.

His left arm is squished under Third, while his right rests awkwardly at his side, the very tips of his fingers brushing nervously against the material covering Third’s legs. Physical closeness is not a novelty between them, they often share the same bed and Khai does not usually have any qualms with draping himself all over Third, but right now his friend’s closeness is making him feel as nervous as he did the first time he slipped a hand up a girl’s blouse. Maybe it’s tiredness combined with the two beers he’s had so far making his brain sluggish, or maybe it’s the fact that he hasn’t gotten off in more than two weeks, but, whatever the reason, he can admit, at least to himself, that Third wearing those socks does things to him that he’s not brave enough to name.

He watches as Bone finally drifts off; their unconsciousness makes him braver. He allows his hand to trace the line of Third’s shin all the way up to his knee, there he pauses to trace lazy circles, fascinated by how the drag of the knit against his skin makes the pads of his fingers tingle. The way Third is sitting makes it so that there is no skin exposed, the edge of the t-shirt falling over the top of the socks. If asked, he would be unable to say if what he finds so damn sexy is the visual of the socks or the combination of them with Khai’s own t-shirt over Third’s smaller body. He muses on this while toying with the stitches at the hem of the t-shirt, the heaviness of his crotch demanding that he slip his fingers under it and follow the alluring blackness to its end.

The movie plays on, a cacophony of string instruments indicating the high-tension of the scene in which the protagonist runs through a dark forest; from what? Khai has no idea. Two mumbles something in his sleep, Bone’s beer remains precariously perched in his lax grip, and Khai’s fingers slip under the light blue fabric, up Third’s thigh. His ears are filled with the pounding of his heart and the ragged edge of his breathing.

He reaches the finish line. The prize: the soft warmth of Third’s skin.

His chest feels tight, and his left arm has gone completely numb, none of it matters, not while he’s tracing the edge of the sock against Third’s skin. He can feel how the elastic digs into supple flesh, a tentative finger follows along its edge right down into Third’s inner thigh.

A soft gasp next to his ear makes him freeze. He turns only to be met with Third’s heated gaze staring straight into him. On instinct, he makes to pull his hand away, but Third drops his own over it before it can get far.

Eternity slips by as they stare at each other.

Third’s eyes are dark, heavy with an emotion so familiar that it makes goosebumps rise on Khai’s skin. He’s frozen by it; he can do nothing but await Third’s verdict. It comes in the form of his hand wrapping around Khai’s, guiding it back to his inner thigh. They both groan softly when he makes contact with smooth skin once again, Third’s eyes flutter shut, and his legs open a bit wider.

The surrounding air is so charged that it refuses to fill Khai’s lungs, while Third’s hold continues to lead upwards over the cotton of his briefs. Khai trembles with the heat he finds there.

“Third.” The name is a gasped combination of moan and admonishment.

Third’s bottom lip is held between his teeth, and Khai’s forehead falls to rest against his. He feels himself going cross-eyed with trying to keep that mouth in sight. Third is not fully hard, but the suggestion is there, all it would take is a few swipes of Khai’s hand to get him there, to make him strain against the dark fabric, to feel precome soaking through.

A loud clatter breaks the tension between them, making them push away from each other, Third falls ass-first on the hardwood floor with Khai’s hand wrapped around his ankle in a futile attempt to keep him in place. They both turn to the source of the noise, which is Bone’s beer finally succumbing to gravity and crashing to the floor. Luckily the bottle doesn’t shatter, but the racket it makes is enough to startle all of them, Two looks around blearily and makes a face as the spilt beer soaks into his sock.

“Shit!” Bone groans, hurrying to pick it up. The atmosphere is broken, the sound of the movie blares around them once more. Third and Khai glance at each other, a heavy blush painting both their faces, the other two don’t seem to notice. Third breaks away first, kicking off Khai’s hand to stand up, mumbling something about a mop as he walks away. Khai can still feel the heat of Third’s cock against his hand, his own jeans uncomfortably tight as he watches Bone throw a handful of napkins at the mess of beer while Two berates him for it.

Once mopped up, the evening recovers some of its original joviality, their brief nap seeming to do wonders for their energy levels. Third settles down on a cushion next to Bone, from where he offers ongoing commentary on the downhill of contemporary horror movies and how an excess of CGI is to blame. The ensuing argument between him and Two is familiar enough to settle Khai’s nerves a bit, still, he can’t help noticing how Third, very pointedly, refuses to make eye contact with him. A ball of anxiety begins to build in the pit of his stomach and the bitterness in his mouth, which has nothing to do with the beer he is drinking, tells him he fucked up.

There’s a reason why he has always been so adamant about not dating friends, and it’s tied to his fear of fucking up with those that truly matter to him. In the years they’ve been friends, he has many times felt a particular pull towards Third that goes way beyond friendship, but the mere thought of doing something that would make Third never want to see him again is enough to make him pull back every time. He needs to apologize, to beg Third to pretend that it never happened. He drinks another beer; he laughs along with everyone and does his best to keep his rising panic in check.

They watch two more movies, the conversation waning until it’s well past one in the morning, and Two and Bone decide it’s time to head down to their own rooms. Khai sleeping over at Third’s is such a non-issue that no one even comments on it. Khai himself, however, questions whether he’s still welcome in the absence of the other two. Anxiety sits like a metal weight on his chest, he’s sure Third won’t feel comfortable sharing a bed with him after what happened earlier. He’s not exactly drunk, but he’s not stupid enough to risk the drive home.

“I’ll call a cab,” he announces while standing awkwardly by the door. Third turns to him from where he is collecting empty beer bottles, his brow wrinkling in confusion.


Khai looks away as heat rises on his face, “I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable. What happened earlier was not ok, I’m sorry.” The words pour out of him in one breath, and he feels an embarrassing burn in the corner of his eyes, which he tries to blink away.

“Did you hate it that much?” The question holds a brittleness that makes Khai turn back towards Third instantly. He’s much closer now, eyes bright and mouth set, as if steeling himself for something.

“I just mean, you were sleeping, and I should-”

“Did you hate it that much?” Third cuts him off emphatically.

“Third.” He sighs, hands fisting nervously at his side. He’s not sure which answer will keep him from mucking things up even more. “I just-”

“Answer me. Did you hate it so much that you can’t bear to be in the same room with me anymore?” Third’s voice is sharp, something close to fury boiling under its surface. He feels himself react to it, his own emotions always a balancing act when it comes to Third.

“I didn’t!” he shouts, “that’s the fucking problem Third, I didn’t hate it, not one bit.” Heat blooms brighter across his face, and he closes his eyes. He thinks maybe he should brace himself for the razor-sharp words that tend to come so easily to Third. Idiot, pervert, creep. What he doesn’t expect is Third breaching the distance between them, his large hands framing Khai’s face to pull him towards him. The contact is more of an aggressive touch of mouths than an actual kiss; teeth bumping, and noses pressed at an odd angle.

Third pulls back a little, mouth softer and pliant, and huffs an impatient little sigh against Khai’s immobile mouth. He presses his whole body against him. Finally, Khai’s surprise ebbs, and he wraps his arms around Third, mouth yielding to deepen the kiss. The tension melts off Khai’s body with the taste of Third’s mouth, the slick slide of their lips intoxicating in how natural and right it feels.

Third is very obviously smaller than him, but there’s a deceitful fragility in the slightness of his frame. If he were so inclined, Khai could easily pick the other man up and drop him onto the bed behind them, he could bear down on him with his whole body and keep him pressed against the sheets of the bed until he damn well pleased. Yet, in dizzying contrast, the way Third kisses is searing and dominating, nothing fragile about it. Wordlessly, he demands Khai accommodate his height to reach him, which he complies with happily. Third pulls away and Khai follows blindly, a faint whine escaping him at the loss of contact.

“You are such an idiot.” There’s no sharpness to the words, instead, they are wrapped in a fond chuckle.

Khai opens his eyes to gaze at Third, his honeyed expression making his heartbeat out a funny little rhythm that’s definitely not good for it, but which thrills him, nonetheless.

“Why?” the unintentional huskiness in his voice denotes his desire.

“Do you really think I would let you touch me like that if I didn’t want you to? I distinctly remember placing your hand on me myself.” Third says, dropping a kiss on the corner of Khai’s mouth.

“I thought you might be drunk,” Khai confesses, hiding his face on Third’s neck.

“I can drink you under the table, and you know it.”

Khai does. Maybe at some point in the future, he’ll be able to explain how afraid he is of losing him, how much it terrifies him to know how undeserving he is of the warmth that fills his eyes when he looks at him. But, for now, Third’s body is warm against his, mouth pouty and dark, and those damn socks still cover the entirety of his legs. 

His mouth opens against the skin of Third’s throat, its saltiness delightful against his tongue. There is a sharp intake of breath and arms tightening on Khai’s neck, long fingers tangled in his hair. Encouraged, he abuses the skin until there’s a lovely red mark that contrasts beautifully with the pale blue of Khai’s t-shirt.

Third’s hands slide to his chest and push against him until his feet bump the edge of the bed, he loses his balance and flounders down with a huff onto the rumpled comforter. Third crawls over him, ass settling on his lap, arms at either side of his head caging him down. Khai’s hands immediately rest on Third’s thighs, thumbs brushing idly between the material of the socks and smooth skin.

Realizing there’s no need to hold himself back anymore he rises far enough to kiss Third again, plump lips opening readily for him, tongue hot and wet as it slides against his own. He manages to tease Third down until he’s settled among the pillows, Third pressed against his chest, mouths oscillating between heated kisses and playful pecks and nips.

He could do this forever.

The thought is shocking in its certainty. Third’s weight on him is grounding, the heat of him reaching into every empty space within Khai and settling in as if it’s where it has always belonged. His hands slide from Third’s thighs over the roundness of his ass and onto the sinewy expanse of his back, where they wrap around him and draw him impossibly closer. The shift makes Third’s hips bare down on the denim-covered hardness that is Khai’s dick, the pressure making them both groan. Third continues to grind against him as Khai loses himself in the small space where his neck connects with the sharp angle of his jaw, mouth lapping obscenely at the skin there.

“Khai.” Third keens as he continues to roll his hips against the hardness under him. Khai only hums, undeterred from his current task.  

“Khai, please…” To Khai’s displeasure, Third pulls away, his weight settling on his lap and hands dragging along his chest to the button of his jeans.

“Can I?” the question is a breathy thing that makes Khai shiver as he takes in the dark blush on Third’s face, his kiss roughened lips and eyes dark and heavy with desire. His hands find their way to Third’s thighs.

“Are you sure?” he is loathed to ask, hates that Third might actually reconsider and pull away, but he needs to know. He needs Third to still be a certainty in his life come morning. “We can stop, pretend th-”

“No!” Third’s eyes widen with something akin to panic. “I am sure, I want this … I want you. I can’t go back from this, Khai. I don’t want to.”

That’s all Khai needed to hear.

In one swift, practiced move, he grips Third’s waist and flips them both over, Third’s legs wrapping around him as Khai kisses him with a desperation he hadn’t noticed he’d been holding back. Their teeth clash with the force of it, a metallic tanginess mixing in with the addictive taste that is Third.

Third’s hands slide underneath his shirt, blunt fingernails digging into the skin of his back, Khai is pale enough that he’s sure the tracks of them will still burn bright red in the morning, the thought makes his cock throb against the tightness of his jeans. Third’s legs clamp around him as he grinds up into Khai’s hardness.

“Please…” Third gasps out again when Khai’s hands grip his ass to help him get a better angle. He can’t help looking down at him in awe, he hasn't done anything yet, and Third still looks wrecked.

"Look at you," he murmurs, his fingers moving to cradle Third’s neck, thumb tracing over the marks already starting to darken, up his jaw and over prettily bruised lips, which open to wrap around the digit, dark eyes piercing into Khai as he sucks on it, filthy and suggestive. Khai groans and thrusts his hips down, he can feel the slickness of precome against the fabric of his boxers, Third’s mouth falls open and his eyes flutter shut at the movement. Khai removes his hand and reaches down between them to cup Third through the cotton of his briefs, which are in a similar state to his.

“I want to feel you.”

His hands move to the button of Khai’s jeans, clumsy with lust. He pushes them away and with deft fingers he pops his button and fly and struggles about gracelessly trying to kick them off without separating from Third, who chuckles while simultaneously tugging at his shirt to drag it over his head.

He ends up having to pull away anyway to untangle himself from both shirt and jeans to the sound of Third’s laugh ringing through the room.

Once free he is met with Third’s mirthful gaze and an amused smile lighting his face, the sight makes his heart skip a beat, and he’s drawn forward, devouring that smile with a kiss. His hands make quick work of Third’s shirt until skin is pressed against skin, his fingers finding the pebbled hardness of Third’s nipple and dragging the edge of a nail against it, making Third arch up into the touch, a hiss filtering from his lips.

“You’re a fucking tease,” he groans, his hot, beer-stained breath puffing against Khai’s lips with every word. Khai’s only response is to kiss him, teeth tugging on that sinful lower lip before delving deeper. Third moans around his tongue, hips thrusting desperately against Khai, a frustrated whine leaves his throat.

“Khai, please, I need,” his grip around Khai’s biceps painfully tight.

“What do you need?” Khai asks, drunk on how desperate and wrecked the other man is.

“You! I need to feel you.” The words might be a plea, but the tone is a command, which Khai answers eagerly. He hurries to pull Third’s briefs off, his mouth watering at the sight of his cock. It’s dark, long, and thinner than Khai’s and curbs pleasantly towards Third’s stomach, he wraps his hands around it, thumb circling around the mess of precome at the head. Third gasps and Khai’s cock twitches sympathetically as his hips thrust against his grip, heels digging into his calves as he tries to get more friction.

Third practically growls as he pulls Khai closer, mouth hungry and hands frantic as they pull his boxers down enough to free his hardness, his legs fall open that much wider and his hands tangle with Khai’s as he brings both their cocks together.  They moan at the contact, the air around them nothing but hot air gasped from one mouth to another. The thought that he has been the one to turn his usually composed and stern best friend into this beautiful mess of lust and desperation is so overwhelming that it takes every bit of willpower in his body to not come right there and then. He braces his arms under Third’s knees, the knit of his knee socks rough against his skin as he bends over him, he rolls his hips grinding roughly against Third, the drag too much on the dry side to be completely pleasurable. Third spits into his hand and mixes it with their precome onto both their lengths, the action is so filthy that Khai has him nearly folded in half in an instant, the provided slickness making it easier for him to thrust into the circle of Third’s hands. He feels the rushing buildup of his orgasm, but he grits his teeth and digs his fingers into the flesh of Third’s thighs. He needs to see him; he needs to know what Third’s face looks like when he comes, so he can burn the image into his memory along with the satisfaction that it was his doing.

“Come on, Third, let me see you. Come for me.” The words slip out of him hoarse with desperation and Third’s eyes widen at them, then he’s there, head thrown back and body arching to meet Khai’s frenzied thrusts, his release spilling over his fingers and onto his abdomen. With a grunt, Khai buries his face in Third’s neck, and it only takes him one, two, three more trusts slicked by Third’s come to have him plunging over the edge, pleasure burning every nerve ending in his body.

Spent, he flops down onto Third, mouthing lazy kisses against the skin of his neck. They smell of sweat and sex and come. His mind is quieted and his skin oversensitive, a shiver running through him as Third’s hands trace senseless shapes along his back. He should probably get up and get them cleaned up before the come smeared between them starts to dry, but Third’s embrace is comforting, and he can’t bring himself to pull away just yet.

“Hey, Khai?” Third whispers, lips brushing against the shell of his ear. Khai savors the touch before humming in response.

“Was it the socks or the t-shirt?” he chuckles, fingers carding through the sweat-damp strands of Khai’s hair. Khai tenses before shifting enough to look at Third’s face, he just raises a knowing eyebrow at him, a maddening smirk hiding in the corners of his mouth.

“You noticed?” he finally asks and hopes Third will think his blush is due to their recent activities and not embarrassment.

“You’re about as subtle as a herd of wild horses, how could I not.” Third laughs and Khai feels the rumble of it against his chest. It makes him want to never let go of him.

Khai sighs and finally rolls off, both grimacing at the sensation of cooling come. Khai untangles his boxers from around his knees and uses them to clean them both off, before tangling his legs with Third’s and resting his head on his shoulder.

“Both,” he concedes.

“Pervert, if I’d known that was all it took, I might have worn them sooner.” Third laughs, running one socked foot over Khai’s leg. Khai pushes himself onto his elbows, so he can look directly at Third, he feels panic rising in his throat.

“Third, this- us- what happened, it’s not just because of that. We are-” he knows he’s rambling, but his brain is still fuzzy, and he can’t find the correct words to let Third know that he doesn’t mean for this to be a one-night stand, to make him see that he’s the most important person in his life and that losing him would destroy him completely. Third uses the hand buried in Khai’s hair to pull him into a kiss, his lips are soft and his movements gentle as if trying to memorize the shape of Khai’s mouth.

“I know. It’s okay,” he reassures him when he pulls away. Khai doesn’t know how to respond to that, so he nods and settles down against him. He pulls the mess of comforter over them and wraps himself around Third’s smaller body. Third drops a kiss on Khai’s forehead and brushes his hair away from his face.

“Khai look at me.” Khai does and waits with bated breath as Third’s gaze travels over his face.

“I have been here, waiting for you, for far longer than you realize. You’re so important to me, and I’ll gladly stay by your side for however long you want me to.” The sincerity in his eyes and in his words sits heavy in Khai’s chest because he has known, hasn’t he? Third has been by his side for so long, and he hadn’t allowed himself to see it. This time it is his turn to kiss Third, and he hopes that he can feel the true depth of his feeling through it, that he can understand all the words that get tangled up inside him to the point that even he can’t find head or tail to them. He’s aware that eventually, he will have to unravel them and give them voice because Third deserves to hear them, he deserves the certainty of Khai’s feelings. But, for now, he lets Khai settle on his chest and cards his fingers through his hair until they both fall asleep.