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shoot to kill (my heart is a smoking gun)

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Woohyun’s eyes are questioning as he follows Sungyeol up to the dorm and then into Woohyun and Sunggyu’s room. Sungyeol heads there automatically, but once he thinks about it, it makes sense: this is where they’ve spent almost all their time together here in the dorm, it’s Woohyun's space: it's safe, somehow. And when they end up sitting on Sunggyu’s bed, that makes sense, too, especially because it isn’t Sunggyu’s bed anymore, not in Sungyeol’s mind, where it once had this huge symbolic presence. Instead, it’s just a bed—it could be any bed in the world—because at least Sunggyu doesn’t hold that power over Woohyun anymore.

Woohyun sits down right beside him, no awkward distance like before, and, fuck, that’s a relief. This is how that talk should have been, Sungyeol thinks. Mom always says you don’t get do-overs in life, but this is a do-over; I should have been honest with him before. I have to do it right this time.

He knows he does. Myungsoo’s told him, and Sungjong, and Sunggyu ordered him, and Dongwoo would definitely agree and if Hoya cared enough he probably would to, and Woohyun deserves the truth. He does. Sungyeol breathes deep, and the room smells like Woohyun (his scent overpowers Sunggyu’s till it’s all Sungyeol can smell).

“Okay,” Woohyun says, poking him in the side. “What’s up now? Are you going to tell me what you wouldn’t tell me before?”

“I—yes. Yes,” Sungyeol repeats emphatically, and okay, he’s half trying to convince himself, but the words are true nonetheless.

Woohyun’s eyes light up a bit at his answer. “Really?”

It makes Sungyeol feel a bit calmer to see his pleasure. “Yeah, really.” I should trust him more. Even if Woohyun doesn’t love him back, he really does care enough to want to know what’s going on with Sungyeol, and Sungyeol knows that. I should have trusted him already.

But the thing is, it’s hard to know where to start, which words to select. That’s not a problem Sungyeol usually has, flying on impulse and secure in his wit. He isn’t thoughtful about his words the way some people are, spews them about too carelessly sometimes, and yeah, sometimes he regrets them, but his way of doing things has worked out okay for him thus far. His mom and Sunggyu both despair of getting him ever to be more careful about the things he says, but he’s never been bothered. Not until now, when he realizes how big and scary words can be, not because of what they are, but because of all the things behind them.

He and Woohyun aren’t so good at words. Or maybe they’re sometimes too good at them: they both know what to say to slice each other to shreds, and even if they don’t do that anymore—even if they would never do that again—that power is always there. And there have been a few good conversations between them, times when they talked about things that were real, in ways Sungyeol isn’t used to talking to anyone. But more often than that, they bypass words entirely, and that seems to serve them well, or at least it has up until now.

Sungyeol kind of just wants to shove Woohyun back on the bed and let the way he’d touch and kiss Woohyun do all the talking for him. It would be good, and it would heal something in Woohyun, he knows that. But it wouldn’t be enough. Now it has to be words. It has to be.

Woohyun is looking at him expectantly—maybe even a bit excited at the thought of Sungyeol confiding in him—and it makes it both easier and harder for Sungyeol to start.

“When we started our—thing,” Sungyeol begins, his voice cracking just a bit, a little higher than usual. He’s knotting his fingers around the hem of his cardigan again and again. “I was really freaked out.”

When Sungyeol glances up at him, Woohyun looks a bit confused as to why Sungyeol is telling him this, but he laughs anyway. “No kidding. You were trying to come right out of your skin.”

Sungyeol’s mouth twists wryly. “Yeah.”

“Like, seriously, it looked like you thought that if you drank enough coffee you’d be able to shed it just like a snake and slither away to a place where things made sense.”

Sungyeol can’t help but laugh shortly at that. “I guess I kind of did think that.”

“You’re a dumbass,” Woohyun says.

“A freaked-out dumbass,” Sungyeol corrects. “Because then we kept doing it, and I had a really hard time figuring out why I was doing it.” He winces a bit, eyes falling closed; God, this is so not like him. But again when he looks up from where he’s playing with his cardigan, Woohyun’s eyes are steady on him, patient and waiting. “I—I didn’t really figure it out until I talked to Sungjong.”

One of Woohyun’s eyebrows does that quirk it does. “You better not ever tell him that. He already thinks he’s some kind of super-genius life-coach guru for the rest of us.” Woohyun’s voice rises in a breathy imitation of their maknae. “‘If you’d all only listen to me, hyung, your lives would all be so much better! I could save you from your own stupidity if you’d only listen to me!’”

Sungyeol laughs. “That’s exactly how he’d be.”

“Would be?” Woohyun echoes. “That’s how he already is! He’s said that to me, word for word!”

Sungyeol laughs with him until he remembers that he can't get distracted from what he needs to say, and then he looks back down at his hands. “He had to push me, because I kind of just wanted to leave it at ‘it feels good.’ I wanted to figure it out, but I didn’t really want to, too, you know?”

“Yeah,” Woohyun says calmly, and Sungyeol blinks at him, because he’d never really thought much about Woohyun feeling the same way. Idiot. Of course he did. It was new for him, too. The thought occurs to him that he should have thought more about what Woohyun was thinking from the beginning, not allowed himself to be held prisoner by his own mind. It’s too late for regrets, though; he’ll have to do better in the future.

“And Sungjong made me see that what I really wanted was for someone to want me. For someone to choose me.” Even though saying that out loud makes him feel as exposed and raw as if all his skin has been peeled away, Sungyeol makes himself look at Woohyun as he says the words, so he sees the flicker of some emotion he can’t name as it lightning-flashes across Woohyun’s face. “Shit, I was just so sick of feeling like everyone’s last choice, and when we were—“ He wants to say, ‘You know,’ or something like that, wants to take the easy way. But he’s an adult, even if he mostly feels like an immature child, and he needs to get over this juvenile embarrassment, and Woohyun deserves everything, so he says, “—when you were touching me, I felt like someone was choosing me.”

“Someone was,” Woohyun says, looking a bit confused and also something Sungyeol can’t name. “I was.”

Heat floods through Sungyeol’s veins, staining his skin red. Woohyun. “And I mean, you said I was just convenient, but—“ His voice shakes, and Woohyun cuts him off.

“That was only at first. You know that, right? Only at the start.”

Sungyeol does know that, yeah. One of the threads in the hem of his cardigan has come loose, and he picks at it. “Yeah.”

“At the start we were using each other,” Woohyun says, and he’s serious about this, and Sungyeol thinks about how rarely anyone gets to see Woohyun be serious about something other than working hard. He doesn’t show this side of himself often, and Sungyeol understands why: that kind of vulnerability is scary. But he trusts me. “You were using me to figure out how you could feel about a guy—and to make you feel wanted, I guess—and I was using you to….” He trails off, looks away for a moment, then turns back to Sungyeol, face set with determination. “To forget about how much it hurt when Sunggyu wouldn’t look at me.”

The words feel like a blow. Sungyeol had known that, it had been so obvious, but Woohyun has never once voiced that, has never, ever said anything out loud about how he felt about Sunggyu, and it feels so overwhelming to hear it now. It’s because he trusts you, you idiot, he reminds himself. He trusts you enough to say that when he’s probably never said it to anyone except Key, his best friend in the world. That means something. And maybe he can say it now because it doesn't hurt anymore. That means something, too.

Sungyeol clears his throat a couple of times—not good for him, he knows, Sunggyu would be mad—before he continues. “I was really…scared. That’s why I said the things I said to you in that closet.”

Woohyun’s face is very calm, but his eyes tell Sungyeol clearly enough that he’s remembering. “Yeah. Me, too.”

What? “You were scared?” Sungyeol thinks of how Woohyun smirked and taunted him, about how every touch seemed so sure and confident. And yet: Woohyun had been scared?

“Well, yeah,” Woohyun says, with a look on his face like Sungyeol is an idiot. “I didn’t mean to get involved with you, you know. And you were really erratic—it seemed like you could freak out at any moment and be disgusted with me and tell someone that I was preying on you or—“ He shrugs.

“What? Preying on me? What the fuck?” Sungyeol had never once thought of that. Never once.

Woohyun laughs a little, but it doesn’t sound very happy. “You could have seen in that way. You’d never thought of a guy like that, and I jumped you, and if you got scared enough, you could have spun it like that.”

"What the fuck, Woohyun? You think I would ever do that to you? Ever?"

"Well, no, not really, but since when has fear ever been logical?"

Since when indeed. “I wanted it, too!” Sungyeol can’t believe this. “I wanted everything we’ve ever done.”

Woohyun smiles, and now it actually does look happy. “Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Sungyeol repeats firmly.

“Sometimes I felt like I rushed you too much,” Woohyun says. “Like I was pressuring you or—“

No. You weren’t. Everything we ever did, I wanted it, and you didn’t pressure me.” Woohyun has to understand this. He has to.

But then Woohyun’s lips twitch, and Sungyeol can’t read his tone when he says, “‘Did’?”

Oh, fuck. The tense. Sungyeol’s getting everything out of order. “I just—I’m not sure you’re going to want to do anything anymore when you hear what I have to say.”

Woohyun’s eyebrows fly up. “I really can’t imagine a universe in which that would be true,” he says, voice dry. “Haven’t you noticed that you’re the one pulling away from me?”

Sungyeol laughs a little, bitter-edged. “Yeah. But it’s partly because I really think you won’t want to do anything with me once I tell you the truth.”

Woohyun’s eyebrows dive back down, his brow furrowed. “Sungyeol. You’re freaking me out here. Tell me what it is.”

“Yeah. Right, right.” He takes a big breath, shoves his hand through his hair, and tries to calm his heart that’s speeding up again. “It started out with us using each other, right? And it was okay because we were both doing it and both getting something out of it, right?”

Woohyun cocks his head to the side. “Okay….?”

“But then we were friends again. And it stopped being about using and became about….” Fuck, he’s so bad with words. How can he possibly explain this? “We just enjoyed each other,” he finishes lamely, and it’s not quite right, not quite enough, but it will have to do.

Woohyun smiles. “Yeah.” His smile widens into a grin. “I know you really enjoyed it when I let you fuck me.”

Nervousness dissipating a little, Sungyeol shoves him away. “Whatever, dumbass. You enjoyed fucking me just as much.”

Woohyun’s eyes are twinkling. “I really did.”

“Even if my ass is flat.”

Woohyun laughs. “You’ve got the greatest ass in the world.”

Sungyeol rolls his eyes. “You’re only saying that because it’s the only one you’ve ever been allowed to fuck.”

“Well, duh. That’s the only criteria that really matters, isn’t it?” Woohyun laughs, and then Sungyeol is laughing, too, and suddenly the words just pop out and he doesn’t even think them before they do, it’s like they just sprang off his tongue fully-formed, like someone else had set them there and then they dived off of their own volition.

“I have feelings for you.”

Fuck.

Woohyun stops laughing abruptly, his face going totally blank. And it isn’t the practiced kind of shuttered Sungyeol has seen him perfect in the past, the kind where he’s protecting himself and is determined not to give anything away. This is something completely new, something Sungyeol doesn’t recognize, and that freaks him out. So he starts babbling.

“I didn’t mean for it to happen—I didn’t even know it was happening, I thought I just thought of you as a friend, but then the other day after that ahjussi said that about you and we—and I—I realized, and it was just so much and I didn’t know what to do and—“

Woohyun’s tone is perfectly flat, his volume not raised at all when he cuts Sungyeol off. “That’s why you’ve been pulling away? That’s what’s been going on with you?”

“Yeah. Yeah, that’s it.” He hurries on again. “I felt really bad because I knew you were worried about it, but I was so overwhelmed and scared and I didn’t know what to say and—“

“That’s the thing you couldn’t tell me.” Woohyun’s tone hasn’t changed at all, and it isn’t a question.

“Uh. Yeah?”

The silence is weird between them, in a way it’s never been, and Sungyeol isn’t sure if it’s tense or expectant or something else altogether. Woohyun’s staring straight at him, but he almost doesn’t look like he’s seeing him at all. When he finally speaks, it’s only one word. “Why?”

Sungyeol feels whiplashed. “What—‘why’ what?”

“Why couldn’t you tell me?”

The total lack of inflection in his voice—so different from his usual expressiveness—is making Sungyeol feel jumpy. “Because—because I was scared.”

“You said that already.”

“I know….”

“Why were you scared?”

This is just exactly as awful as Sungyeol had imagined this conversation being. Actually, it’s worse. He’d kind of thought that Woohyun would reject him immediately and do it in a way that didn’t make him feel completely shattered because Woohyun is somehow clairvoyant or something when it comes to knowing what Sungyeol needs. But this…this is not what he expected at all. Shaking a bit, he looks down at his hands. “I—“ Even his whisper cracks. “Because I knew I would die if I had to hear you say that you don’t feel the same way.”

Silence for a moment, again with that strange quality, and Sungyeol mentally runs through a list of ways to kill himself, ranging from throwing himself out the nearest window to pissing off Sungjong. Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck.

But then: “You complete fucking idiot.”

Sungyeol’s head flies up, vertigo crashing through him and, “What?”

Woohyun suddenly tackles him, slamming him down onto the bed, hovering above him and pinning him down, his hands on Sungyeol’s shoulders. His face is less than a foot away from Sungyeol’s, his eyes bright again and Sungyeol blinks up at him, not pulling away even though this is so strange and so not what he’d imagined and because nothing makes sense, he has no idea what’s going on and is Woohyun grinning?

“Are you really that dense? Haven’t you been paying any attention at all? You fucking idiot!”

Sungyeol’s mouth opens and closes; he isn’t sure he could think of a thing to say if his life was on the line.

“Only you could be so stupid,” Woohyun says, but his voice is really…fond? And his eyes are still shining, and he brushes some hair out of Sungyeol’s eyes with a gentle hand. A half-second later, said hand is anything but gentle as it tugs—hard—on that same strand of hair.

“Ow!” Apparently pain on his sensitive scalp is all it takes to remind Sungyeol of how to speak. “That hurt, you jerk!”

Woohyun is totally unperturbed by Sungyeol’s shout and glare. “You’re actually the stupidest person on the planet, aren’t you? You’ve got this giant brain, but you’re so, so stupid,” he says, like it’s the highest praise.

“Hey!” This is going too far now, and Sungyeol tries to bat Woohyun’s hand away as it slides into the hair he just pulled.

“You can’t even see what’s right in front of your eyes, you pathetic little boy.”

Okay, that is quite enough. Sungyeol starts struggling to get away, which isn’t that easy when Woohyun is actually sitting on his lower body, but Sungyeol’s going to try anyway. “‘Pathetic little’—you asshole! I’m gonna—“

But Woohyun keeps grinning and sliding his fingers through Sungyeol’s hair like Sungyeol isn’t fighting him, isn’t spitting mad beneath him. “There really never has been a bigger idiot. Can’t you see? I’m crazy about you! You’re all I fucking think about! God, I didn’t even know it was possible to feel about a person this way and you—you really thought—and that’s why you—you fucking idiot!”

Sungyeol freezes, the vertigo back and more intense than ever and it’s a good thing he’s lying down because if he weren’t he’d have fallen to the ground and it’s a good thing Woohyun is on top of him because if he weren’t he’d have floated off into space and it’s a good thing that his heart beats on its own because if Sungyeol had to remind it it would have stopped and he’d be dead right now. Dead underneath Woohyun, who’s speaking words Sungyeol can’t quite let himself believe.

“You—I—“ he gasps, and Woohyun rolls his eyes.

“Yeah. I—you,” he mocks. “Stick the word ‘love’ into that sentence, okay?”

And then Woohyun is kissing him, kissing him like they haven’t kissed in days, except they’ve never kissed like this before, this is something new entirely, and it’s got something to do with the words being out there and glowing in the air between them and God, that’s got to be the sappiest thought Sungyeol has ever had, but fuck it Woohyun loves him and he just said so and Woohyun doesn’t seem like he’s ever going to stop kissing him and that is completely fine with Sungyeol.

Only of course sooner or later he does have to stop kissing him, if only because they need air. He doesn’t move back, though, his lips almost touching Sungyeol as he stares down into his eyes. “You could say it back, you know,” Woohyun says, breathless, and his eyes are so dark that Sungyeol couldn’t look away if he wanted to.

So dark that it takes him a moment to process the words. Then: “I—you. Stick the word ‘love’ into that sentence, okay?”

Woohyun’s grin looks like it’s going to split his face in half. “Dumbass,” he says, diving back down for Sungyeol’s lips. Sungyeol wraps his arms around Woohyun’s waist and gives him a good jerk till Woohyun collapses onto him, then rolls them onto their sides so they’re facing each other.

“Asshole,” Sungyeol whispers before kissing him again, and Woohyun yanks at his hair.

“Ow!”

Probably a good part of the time Sunggyu has given them is up, and the others will probably be back any minute, and Dongwoo and Hoya still don’t know, and one of the managers might come in with them, but Sungyeol just doesn’t care. Because Woohyun is up against him again, and the two of them are kissing their lips raw, and Woohyun loves him and fuck, the world is really a crazy place.

But really, really amazing.

--

- Four Months Later -

 

Sungyeol feels like crap as he lets himself into the dorm, toeing off his shoes without bothering to untie them—that would take energy he doesn’t have—and kicking them into the snarled pile before stumbling down the hall and into the living room.

Myungsoo and Woohyun are on the floor watching TV, and they look up when they hear Sungyeol. “Hey!” Myungsoo says.

“Hey,” Sungyeol mutters.

Myungsoo and Woohyun exchange glances. “Uh, how’d it go?” Myungsoo asks carefully. Woohyun doesn’t say anything, just looks up at Sungyeol with waiting eyes.

“Awful.” Sungyeol collapses onto the floor, wriggling till he can drop his head into Woohyun’s lap. He doesn’t often do this where the other guys can see, being ‘all newlywed’ as Sungjong likes to say, because the last thing he wants to do is make any of them uncomfortable (or, really, start another round of teasing). Besides, if he touched Woohyun as much as he wants to, Woohyun would get even more fucking smug than he already is, and that’s the last thing Sungyeol needs. It’s hard enough dealing with his boyfriend’s ego as it is (or at least that’s what he says, even if he knows that Woohyun isn’t really ego-driven at all). Still, right now all he wants to do is drag Woohyun off to the bedroom and let him make Sungyeol forget all about how shitty this day has been. Or at least get Woohyun to kiss him senseless. But the former is an impossibility and the latter is inappropriate with Myungsoo in the room, so Sungyeol settles for head-in-lap. He almost feels like purring when he feels Woohyun’s fingers slip into his hair. Myungsoo is probably looking at them all amused, but the head massage feels too good for Sungyeol to care. Woohyun has fucking amazing hands.

“That bad, huh?” Myungsoo says.

“I could tell from the minute I walked in that the PD didn’t like me. He barely looked at me the whole audition. And then when I was leaving he said they’re ‘trying to go in a different direction’ with the character. Fuck.” Sungyeol rubs his cheek against Woohyun’s sweatpants; they’re worn and soft and smell like laundry detergent. He must have taken a shower since Sungyeol left for the audition: when he’d pulled Sungyeol around the corner away from the others to wish him luck and kiss him deep, murmuring something about knowing he'll do an awesome job against Sungyeol’s ear—followed by an ‘and fuck them if they don’t want you; they’re the ones missing out’—he’d smelled like bb cream and sweat. Now his scent is clean and tinged with soap, and the freshness of it feels like it’s wiping away the crud from Sungyeol’s mind.

“That sucks,” Myungsoo says sympathetically. “What an asshole.”

Sungyeol can’t help but laugh. “Don’t judge so quickly—he asked me for your number as I was leaving. Said he thought you’d be perfect in the part.”

Myungsoo blinks, then his face wrinkles with fury. “Like I’d work with him after he was such an ass to my best friend!”

Sungyeol closes his eyes as Woohyun keeps massaging his head. “If you refuse to work with every PD who’s turned me down, you’ll never work again.”

Woohyun snorts, but Myungsoo is still angry. “That’s not even true! And they’re idiots if they don’t want you anyway—why would I want to work with an idiot?”

“You work with five of them,” Sunggyu points out, entering the room and crossing towards the kitchen. His footsteps pause for a moment behind Woohyun and Sungyeol thinks the leader is going to ask about how the audition went—and Sungyeol really, really doesn’t want to talk about it anymore—but apparently he’s smarter than he looks and manages to figure it out himself, because after a second he continues on his way.

“Only five, hyung?” Woohyun says. “I think you’re forgetting one.” His hands stop moving—at least until Sungyeol whines, and then they’re back to the massaging again.

“No, only five. Sungjong is a genius,” Sunggyu says, and as though his name conjured him up, Sungjong chooses that moment to come out of his room.

“That’s right, hyung! I’m glad someone appreciates me!” he says, kicking Sungyeol in the side as he moves to join Sunggyu in the kitchen.

“You’ll get it when the time is right,” Myungsoo says suddenly, and it takes a moment for Sungyeol to remember what they were talking about. Oh, the audition. That’s right.

“Sure,” he replies, burrowing further into Woohyun’s lap. Fuck, he smells good.

It’s nice of Myungsoo to say, a good best friend-like reassurance, but Sungyeol knows that, doesn’t need to hear it. What he needs is Woohyun touching him, preferably all over, but for the moment Woohyun’s hands in his hair are enough.

“What do you want for dinner?” Woohyun asks, taking advantage of everyone’s momentarily turned backs—Myungsoo is craning around to see what the other two are up to in the kitchen—to lean down and press a brief kiss to Sungyeol’s lips, and Sungyeol wants to reach up and wrap his hands in the collar of Woohyun’s shirt and hold him in place and keep kissing him forever, but that’s not an option. Besides, something to eat sounds really awesome (he’d been too nervous about the audition to choke down much at lunch). Especially if it’s something Woohyun makes; somehow he makes even a frozen curry taste better than it has any right to. ‘It’s all about the spices,’ he says whenever anyone asks. ‘You can add them to anything, if you pick the right ones. My hyung taught me that.’ Sungyeol mostly doesn’t care how he does it, just that he does.

“I wish I had a wifey to come home to who’ll make me whatever I want to eat.” That’s Hoya, grinning wide as he and Dongwoo arrive back from the practice room, making Dongwoo laugh.

Sungyeol snorts. “‘Wifey’ my ass. He can’t even pull off a lady’s hanbok.”

"You do look way better in a dress, hyung," Sungjong agrees from the kitchen.

Woohyun makes a face of agreement, then shoots a glare at Hoya. “He just says that because he’s jealous he’s not getting any,” Woohyun points out to Sungyeol, jerking his head in Hoya's direction. He doesn’t get bothered when Hoya teases them, and Sungyeol doesn’t either anymore. “When I have all the ass I want,” Woohyun continues, reaching down to smack Sungyeol’s butt. Normally Sungyeol would get upset about both the implication and the action, starting a bickering fight and shouting insults he doesn’t really mean, but right now he’s too tired to care. Besides, he gets all the ass he wants, too. Well, not all they want, actually, nowhere near; they don’t have nearly as much time together as they’d like. But some. Sometimes, when they can steal the time. More than all the other guys combined, anyway, though that’s not saying much.

“Hyung, what have I told you about making jokes like that?” Sungjong’s voice floating out from the kitchen is deceptively sweet.

“Rusted knife, I know, I know,” Woohyun sighs. “You,” he adds, looking down at Sungyeol. “If you don’t get your head out of my lap in the next two seconds, I’m going to drop it on the floor and you’ll get another concussion.”

Sungyeol raises his head long enough for Woohyun to stand, laying it back down on the cold marble and rolling his eyes as he hears Woohyun rush into the kitchen. “Don’t touch that, hyung, you’ll set the building on fire—you have no idea what you’re doing, do you? How are you twenty-four years old? Give me that.” The kitchen devolves into a mess of insults and clanging pans and Woohyun’s frustration, but Sungyeol can hear just how much Woohyun and Sunggyu are enjoying picking at each other. They’re piecing their relationship back together, figuring out how to be friends again, and it’s maybe easier than either one of them expected. Despite his headache, Sungyeol has to smile a little.

“That movie you wanted to see is coming out tomorrow, and Jungryoul-hyung said we might have some free time. Want to go?” Myungsoo asks, ignoring the clamor in the kitchen.

“Sure.” They almost never see movies in the theater, only catching them on late-night TV sometimes months after they’ve stopped being buzzed about, so it’ll be nice to see one with everyone else for once. Besides, he and Myungsoo haven’t had any time together in the past couple of weeks, and Sungyeol misses him. Things aren’t right when he and Myungsoo are apart.

“Great,” Myungsoo says, smile-crinkled, and Sungyeol smiles back--before kicking out with his long legs and starting a half-hearted kick-fight that Myungsoo eventually wins simply because Sungyeol is too tired to take advantage of his longer limbs.

Woohyun ends up cooking for everyone and it’s just as good as Sungyeol had hoped, if not particularly elaborate. He’s still feeling wrung-out, though, so he leans against Woohyun during the meal as they all sit on the living room floor together, and the gesture is subtle enough that the others don’t rib them much—or maybe they all can see just how tired Sungyeol is and are showing him some mercy. Sungyeol considers heading to bed early tonight since he’s not feeling so hot, but he lets Dongwoo talk him into watching something with them, and he’s glad he did when Sunggyu looks over at him for a long moment, then rises and disappears into his bedroom, returning in his pajamas with his pillow in hand and an announcement that he’s going to sleep in Dongwoo’s room tonight.

Sungyeol perks up immediately; Sunggyu has done that once or twice, giving Woohyun and Sungyeol some time to themselves, but not very often. The leader had explained that it wasn’t fair to the rest of the members who weren’t dating their bandmates if the two of them got to canoodle (yes, he actually used that word and Sungyeol and Woohyun had laughed so hard about it—sometimes Sungyeol thinks he really is a grandpa stuck in a youngish body) whenever they want, and Sungyeol understands that, even if he doesn’t like it. Woohyun climbs into his bed on occasion, sneaking out again before first light, but they don’t do anything more than exchange a couple of kisses (and hold each other), because even if Dongwoo and Myungsoo would probably sleep through it, the thought of doing anything more than that with the other two guys in the room is just too much for Sungyeol. So the couple of times when Sunggyu hands over the room to them for the night are even more important.

Hoya wolf whistles at Sunggyu’s pronouncement, and Sungyeol and Woohyun flip him off in unison, causing Dongwoo and Myungsoo to laugh. Sungjong just looks smug when Sungyeol lets Woohyun pull him to his feet so they can head to bed; the maknae has been even more self-satisfied than usual since finding out that he was right about Sungyeol and Woohyun’s feelings being mutual—Sungyeol has never met a guy who enjoys being right more than Lee Sungjong. Sungyeol hadn’t even had to tell Sungjong that Woohyun loves him back (which he’s glad about, because it wouldn’t have been comfortable for him to say something like that out loud): Sungjong had known as soon as the two of them emerged from the bedroom that day (clothed again and satisfied and grinning and maybe a little starry-eyed, though Sungyeol will never admit that last), and he hasn’t stopped gloating since. Myungsoo had been happy that Sungyeol was happy, Sunggyu had seemed satisfied, and after it was all explained—more or less—to Dongwoo and Hoya, Hoya had shrugged and made a couple of crude comments about their sex life that showed he wasn’t bothered, and Dongwoo had been worried about what this meant for all of them but glad they were happy. Most of his worry has eased since then, and now he grins and laughs whenever he sees them being coupley, which isn’t so often because Sungyeol is still Sungyeol.

Really, things haven’t changed so very much. The other guys make fun of them sometimes when no one else is around, but that’s the only difference with the members. As for himself and Woohyun, they still have to sneak around to get any time to themselves—though not in places where outsiders could discover them, of course (“Kibum says if he hears so much as a rumor about us, he’s going to castrate me, and I believe him. He’s probably done it before. You won’t believe this, but he can be even scarier than Sungjong.”). And it’s not like the two of them are being all sappy and pet-name-calling, either: just the thought makes Sungyeol shudder.

But it’s nice to have Woohyun (to really, really have him, and to know it). Really, really nice.

Woohyun presses him up against the door as soon as it’s closed, the TV blaring outside (“Use your indoor voices, kiddies!” Hoya had instructed. “If I hear anything, hyungs,” Sungjong had added meaningfully. “I have my knife ready.”), and all the tension and discouragement of the day starts to flow out of Sungyeol now that Woohyun’s touching him, now that they’re kissing. Yeah. This is what he needed.

“Do you need to talk about it?” Woohyun asks, pulling away from the kiss for a moment.

Sungyeol knows he means it, knows he’d listen quietly at the right moments and snark when Sungyeol needed him to (sometimes Sungyeol is aware that Woohyun is a way better boyfriend than he is, but he’s trying, he’s learning, and he thinks sometimes he gives Woohyun at least a little bit in return, even if Sungyeol wants to give him so much more but isn’t comfortable enough yet to do it and isn’t quite sure how. But he’ll get there. He knows he will, because this is Woohyun), but Sungyeol really, really doesn’t want to talk about it. He shakes his head, tilts his head down for another kiss. “Just need you.”

Sungyeol has been trying to get more used to saying things like that, even if it doesn't come naturally. He may talk a lot, but he still finds it hard to verbalize things that really matter. But it's easier with Woohyun (easiest when they’re in bed together in the dark and Sungyeol can breathe the words on Woohyun’s skin, easiest when they’re pressed up against each other in a corner somewhere and Sungyeol can whisper between kisses, easiest when Woohyun says them first: heated, intimate words that Sungyeol can’t quite believe anyone would ever say about him but that Woohyun believes so completely that Sungyeol can almost believe them himself), because he never mocks Sungyeol's sincerity (they bicker and tease all the time, insult each other and call each other names, but that’s not when they’re being serious. When they’re alone and together, they may banter to round off the edges of awkwardness, but they never, ever make each other feel uncomfortable for being sincere and honest) and because, fuck, Sungyeol loves it when Woohyun’s eyes go all dark in response, like they do now. Just like he loves it when Woohyun jerks him closer, their bodies running into each other just everywhere, Woohyun’s mouth against his. They stumble over to the bed, falling down onto it, pulling off their shirts and then settling down to kiss some more. Fuck, yeah, this is what Sungyeol has needed all day (weekmonthlife): Woohyun’s skin and tongue and moans and lips and scent and everything. Fuck yeah.

Sungyeol lets out a little moan of frustration himself when Woohyun pulls back and cranes to reach the drawer in the bedside cabinet, but he’s mollified when he sees the bottle in Woohyun’s hand. Yeah, that sounds like the perfect end to this night: sliding into Woohyun’s heat—or, honestly, even letting Woohyun into him. Woohyun will make him feel good either way, and really, he just wants to be as close to Woohyun as he can, till all the asshole directors and failed auditions in the world are the last thing in his mind. He doesn’t really care who tops tonight, honestly.

Or at least he doesn’t think he does until Woohyun grabs his ass and says, “Yeah, get ready, flat-ass. I’m coming for you.”

Oh, no. Sungyeol’s not going to roll over that easily, not if Woohyun’s going to be a jerk about it. “Excuse you, dickhead. I’m pretty sure it’s my turn.”

Woohyun glares at him. “No, it isn’t.”

Sungyeol really doesn’t remember who went last time, though if he tried to he probably could. He doesn’t let that stop him. “Yes, it is. You were last time. It’s my turn now.”

“Like hell it is.”

“Fuck you! It’s totally my turn.”

“Wrong again, like the idiot you are. No one will be doing any fucking of me tonight. Just of you. So prepare yourself for some serious fucking.”

“Oh, that’s nice. I had the shittiest day ever and you won’t even let me top? Some boyfriend you are.”

They bicker even as they strip each other, as they ease into foreplay. Sungyeol thinks he’ll probably relent in a little while, let Woohyun press him into the mattress and thrust inside him, their eyes locked on each other as they move in rhythm, trying to show each other through touch just how much they feel for each other, maybe even say it in words, words that shoot a thrill through Sungyeol’s body and make Woohyun’s eyes darken even more, and all of that before they wrap themselves around each other and fall into sleep. Later, they’ll do that. But for now this is fun: fighting just because there’s no real need to fight, tossing around words because they can trust the other to volley them back, making a little place (through words, through skin on skin) where there are no idol responsibilities or failed auditions or fan expectations, where it’s only the two of them alone and together.

For now this is enough.