Contrary to his friends' beliefs, Oh Sehun does not particularly enjoy parties. He does like being surrounded by people, and meeting new people - it always feels nice, the start of a new relationship, a bond forming between two people that is always unique and special - but there is just too much going on at the moment. The drink he's holding is so sweet he can practically feel his tongue trying to crawl out of his mouth, the music playing is way too loud and not at all the kind he likes listening to, and there's people around him he doesn't know and doesn't want to know dancing rather badly to equally bad previously mentioned music. Shoulders constantly bump into his, making his arm unsteady and slosh his drink around. He feels lightheaded and unsteady on his feet, even after only two or three drinks. He wonders how much alcohol this really has as he tries to read the label on the glass bottle. He stands on his toes and looks around the crowd of people if he can spot someone familiar. Finding no such luck, he briefly considers locking himself up in the bathroom and surviving the night there.
It's Jongdae's twentieth birthday party. Officially he turned twenty almost a week ago, but they had no time for celebrating due to exams. And Sehun talked Jongdae into helping him with his art project. Jongdae decided to throw a party on Friday night, the most reasonable day for a party, and happened to invite a shitload of people he knew that Sehun didn't. Sehun remembers Jongdae telling him that he'll make sure everyone 'gets shitfaced tonight', but the drink he still hasn't finished because it's just too disgusting isn't doing much. He almost wants to chug down one of the bottles of real alcohol he's sure Jongdae has somewhere and pass out in the bathtub.
Shouldering his way through the mass of strangers whose faces he can't even see in the darkness and flashing lights, Sehun makes his way out of the house. Once he opens the door and the welcoming freshness of the cold night air hits him, he almost wants to cry with relief. Deciding to sit down on the grass in the garden, he unwraps his scarf from his neck and spreads it out, throwing it over his shoulders and snuggling into it. He takes a packet of cigarettes out of the back pocket of his jeans - a bad habit from the age of seventeen, talked over many times with his parents, but it gives him comfort, he always tells them - and shakes one out, lighting it with a Zippo lighter and taking a first drag, always the most satisfying. He closes his eyes as he breathes in the smoke deeply and then opens them again to watch it dissolve into the air, a stark contrast of white against the pitch black night sky. No stars, he notices sadly.
He crosses his ankles and props his elbows on his knees, the fabric of his sweater brushing against the bare skin exposed by the holes in his jeans. He picks at a loose thread at the edge of one of the holes on his knee, twisting it between his thumb and index finger absent-mindedly. The ground beneath him is slightly damp and cold, making a chill run up his spine. He shivers and wraps the scarf around himself tighter. It's still better to be cold here than to be hot and sweaty inside, he thinks. He takes another drag from his cigarette and closes his eyes, angling his face up towards the night sky, and the crescent moon hidden behind a thin layer of misty clouds. The music coming from the house irritates him, so he slips his earphones into his ears and scrolls through his music library, settling on 10cm's newest album and turning the volume up.
He stays like that for some time - doesn't know if it's five minutes or half an hour - when he feels someone else's presence outside. He takes an earphone out in time to hear two voices, both male, in the middle of an argument. He recognizes one of them as Jongdae's - he sounds drunk, words slurring together and voice a bit raspy. The other voice is stable and strong, not at all wavering, words clear and demanding. It drifts around Sehun, making him feel slightly light-headed. He can't hear anything else nor can he concentrate on anything else but that voice.
' … can't do that, man. I'm not gonna toler- tolerate that.', Jongdae is saying, stumbling over the sentence, voice high-pitched and whiny. Sehun imagines him furrowing his brows and leaning against a wall to support his weight.
'And you wouldn't get upset over it? He was talking shit about you and some other people.', the other voice is half-shouting, underlined with anger.
'You still had no right to beat him up. No, that's not it, you had no right to interfere. It was between me and him.'
'Look.', the other voice says, with a deep sigh. 'I know it wasn't my business, but don't blame me for standing up for you.'
'I could've handled it on my own.'
The voice scoffs. 'I'm not going to apologize to him, Jongdae. I did what I think was right.'
Jongdae heaves a breath. 'Alright. I'm not blaming you. I'm angry, but I don't know who I'm angry at more. Stay outside and cool down for a bit, okay?'
Sehun hears retreating footsteps, only one pair, indicating that the other person stayed. He steels himself and then turns around, catching a glimpse of the figure standing in the light of the porch lamp and matching a face to the name. He sees hair dyed the colour of strawberries, bangs styled up into a soft quiff but messy. He sees dark, dark eyes and thick eyebrows furrowed together in a glare. He snaps out of his trance when he sees blood under a straight, flat nose, and a split bottom lip. There's a red stain on the shirt the man is wearing. Sehun knows him. Kim Jongin, an acquaintance of Jongdae's, possibly a friend, who studies physiology and is majoring in dance. He doesn't know him officially, just saw him a couple of times in the corridor or on campus, and on Jongdae's pictures.
Unfortunately, Kim Jongin is also what one might describe as attractive, or, in Sehun's mind, really fucking hot. And Kim Jongin is also standing approximately five metres away from him, tilting his head back and holding a fist to his nose.
Sehun pauses his music and cranes his head around more, swallowing his nervousness before calling out.
'Hey! Do you need any help?'
Jongin turns his head, the scowl on his face softening. He doesn't smile at Sehun, but tugs one corner of his lips up briefly, and Sehun feels like he's melting.
'I'm good, but thanks.'
Sehun frowns, and reaches into his back pocket to pull out a pack of tissues, tossing them at Jongin. He doesn't mean to aim for his head, but thankfully Jongin catches it in time, muttering a 'thanks'. He presses a tissue against his nostrils. Sehun's frown deepens, and he stands up, dusting grass and dirt off his ass and thighs before walking over to Jongin.
'That's not how you do it.' He takes the tissue out of Jongin's hands. His fingers reach up, but he stops himself. 'Can I..?'
Jongin sighs. 'If you have to.'
Sehun presses his fingers against Jongin's nose bridge, telling him to tilt his head back. He cleans the blood away, and tears the tissue in two halves, twisting them and then sticking one of them into the nostril that's still bleeding.
'Seriously, didn't you ever learn how to treat a bloody nose?', Sehun asks, sitting down on the ground again, right at Jongin's feet.
'And you did?'
'Of course. I always got into fight when I was a kid.', Sehun chuckles. 'What, you never got a bloody nose before?', he adds, when he notices Jongin giving him a weird look.
Sehun shrugs and takes another cigarette out of the pack, putting it between his lips and letting it dangle there for a while before lighting it. He spreads the scarf on the ground behind him and then lies on it, grass tickling his neck lightly. Jongin remains standing somewhat awkwardly next to him, stealing glances and him. Sehun grins lazily and blows some smoke out. It dissolves before it gets to Jongin's face.
Jongin, as if suddenly remembering something, reaches behind him, patting his back pocket. The frown completely gone from his face, he looks down at Sehun.
'Would you mind giving one up?', he mumbles, clearly not happy about having to ask.
Sehun opens the packet as if to take a cigarette out, but then closes it and puts away. He plucks the lit cigarette from his lips and hands it to Jongin with a smirk. The other man sighs.
'Seriously.' He looks about to push Sehun's hand away, but accepts the cigarette and takes a drag. He sits down next to Sehun and crosses his legs, blowing smoke in the other direction. Sehun smiles lightly. How considerate. He tugs the scarf from underneath his body so only his upper body is lying on it, and offers it to Jongin.
'Here. Your jeans will get dirty.'
Jongin takes the fabric reluctantly and raises on his elbow to spread it underneath him. 'Thanks.', he says quietly, and places the cigarette back between his lips. Sehun watches him lazily, head resting on his arm, and reaches his hand out. Jongin wordlessly hands it to him, and after taking a drag, he passes it back. He's getting comfortable and slightly sleepy from the alcohol and nicotine. With eyes narrowed into slits, he turns his head in Jongin's direction, studying the other's face and clothes. Jongin has dark skin, Sehun notices, even though it's hard to see clearly in light of the street lamps. He watches as it stretches across Jongin's cheekbones and collarbones and then disappears into the collar of the white button up Jongin is wearing, and reappears again from behind the rolled cuffs of the dark wash jeans, running across sharp ankles.
Tearing his eyes from Jongin's low ankle Converse shoes, Sehun refocuses on Jongin's face. Jongin's gaze is fixed on Sehun's legs, slowly mapping hipbones obscured by low-rise jeans, lean thighs, bent knees and the expanse of skin visible, before his eyes travel back up over Sehun's torso and neck before settling on his face as well. Sehun raises an eyebrow at Jongin to show him he was caught staring, but Jongin simply smirks in reply. Oh. He saw Sehun looking as well.
Sehun crushes the cigarette butt against the damp grass and sits up, twisting his torso around to look at Jongin, resting his weight on an arm.'Want another one?'
Jongin shakes his head.'No, I'm fine. I'd owe you too much.'
Sehun laughs.'You don't owe me anything unless you smoke the whole pack. I'm not one of these people that want the five dollars I lent someone back.'
Jongin smiles. His eyes crinkle at the corners. 'Well, if you're ever missing a cigarette... you know where to get it for free.'
'Got it.' Sehun turns away and leans back on his elbows. 'Is your nose still bleeding?'
Oh, I forgot that it was bleeding in the first place.' Jongin prods the tissue stuck in his nostril with a finger, and then pulls it out. It hasn't soaked through completely, only tinted red on one end, so Sehun guesses it wasn't a serious injury. 'I think it stopped.'
'How badly were you hit? Do you have a concussion?' Sehun turns his head to face Jongin again.
Jongin scoffs. 'Clearly I don't. I'm fine.'
Sehun raises an eyebrow at him. 'Are you sure? You look a bit woozy.'
'You do too, to be honest. No one sober uses the word 'woozy.'
Sehun moves to stand up to show Jongin just how sober he is, but his knee gives out and he topples back to the ground. He's yanked forward by his arm, and lands against Jongin, practically ending up sprawled against his lap, nearly kneeing him in the crotch.
The smirk is on Jongin's face again, and before Sehun's brain catches up with what's happening, there's a hand at his nape and warm lips meeting his. Jongin immediately coaxes Sehun's mouth open and their tongues brush against each other. Sehun's body jerks at the contact, but he doesn't pull away, kissing back, cupping Jongin's face with both hands. There's heat pooling in his stomach, a comfortable buzz in his whole body, and he knows Jongin isn't playing around when he's suddenly pulled up to his feet and pressed against the wall, Jongin's mouth moving across his jaw to nip at his ear. Sehun makes a sound at the back of throat, and pushes Jongin off when he starts kissing down his throat.
He sighs at Jongin's confused and slightly pissed off expression. 'We can't have sex outside Jongdae's house. Or inside. Or anywhere near Jongdae's house.'
Jongin's face relaxes, and he nods. His lips are shiny with saliva. Sehun can't stop staring at them.
'Should we go to your place?', Jongin asks.
Sehun shakes his head. 'I live in the dorm, my roommate is probably home.'
'My place then.'
The journey to Jongin's house passes in a daze. Sehun vaguely remembers being pulled to and inside a car, but his mind becomes blurry after Jongin's hand drops between his legs, rubbing him firmly through his jeans. Because Sehun cares so much for his and others' safety, he doesn't reciprocate and just sits limply in the passenger seat, head against the window, breathing heavily. Then he's being hauled out of the car again and there are lips on his again, his back pressed against the car. Jongin pulls away and takes Sehun by the elbow, hands slipping down to Sehun's back and guiding him up a path to the front door of a house. Sehun doesn't have much time to look around, because Jongin unlocks the door quickly and shuts it once both of them are inside.
'Take off your shoes.', Jongin whispers, and Sehun kicks his sneakers off.
'Why are we whispering?'
'In case someone else is home.' At Sehun's bewildered look, Jongin laughs. 'Don't worry, my parents are on a business trip. We're alone.'
'Good, because I'm loud in bed.'
Jongin raises an eyebrow. 'We'll see about that.'
He leans in closer and Sehun is really tired of being pressed against walls today, but Jongin is doing it again. Sehun pushes him away and scowls.
'Let's not make out in the hallway. Do you not have a bedroom?'
Jongin smirks. 'Getting straight to the point, huh?'
Sehun sighs. 'Listen, there is nothing straight about this. I didn't come over to make small talk. Let's go.'
Jongin slides his hands down Sehun's sides to cup his ass, and then grips Sehun's thighs firmly, hauling him up. Sehun instinctively throws his arms around Jongin's neck, legs wrapping around the other's torso.
'What, are you scared I'll drop you? You're so light.', Jongin scoffs.
Sehun glares at him, but keeps his tight hold on Jongin's body, proceeding to distract him by kissing him again. Jongin blindly moves in the dark corridor, not letting go of Sehun's lips as he feels around for the doorknob of his room. He opens the door and unceremoniously throws Sehun onto his bed. The mattress bounces as Sehun's weight drops onto it, knocking air out of his lungs. Jongin closes the door with his foot and takes off his jacket, dropping it onto the floor before climbing on the bed and on top of Sehun. They stare at each other, their breathing the only sound in the room. Sehun sits up and takes his jacket off as well, before he's pushed back down by strong hands on his shoulders, his head coming to rest on soft pillows.
'How experienced are you?', Sehun says.
'First time with a guy.'
'You'll be on top then.'
Jongin hums and agreement and ducks his head to kiss Sehun again. Sehun’s mouth immediately opens and he busies himself with the buttons of Jongin’s shirt. He slides it down Jongin’s shoulders once all the buttons are undone, and the other takes it off completely without breaking the kiss. Sehun licks into Jongin’s mouth and roams his hands down broad shoulders and tense muscles, fingers eventually coming up to tangle in Jongin’s hair. Jongin nudges Sehun’s head back and begins kissing down his neck, occasionally nipping at the skin gently. The bite at Sehun’s collarbone is harsher, and Sehun groans quietly, back lifting of the bed in a graceful arch, hips brushing up against Jongin’s. He hears Jongin suck in a breath and then feels hands at his sides, fingers slipping underneath his sweater and brushing against his skin briefly before lifting the hem and pulling it up. Sehun raises himself up and Jongin yanks the sweater over his head, tossing it across the room carelessly. Sehun would’ve yelled at him, but his mind is completely blank, and the heat in his stomach keeps growing and spreading into the rest of his body. He drops a hand from Jongin’s head and slides it down a lean, smooth back, curving into the dip of Jongin's hip to the front of his trousers, unbuttoning them and sliding the zipper down. Jongin’s breath hitches when Sehun’s knuckles brush against his dick, and his head drops onto Sehun’s shoulder.
Sehun pulls Jongin’s jeans and underwear down to his knees in one go and pushes at Jongin's chest, making him fall back against the mattress, breath escaping from his lips in a gasp. Sehun makes himself comfortable between Jongin's bent legs and starts mouthing at Jongin's hipbone, moving across to his navel and then down, tongue darting out to taste the precome forming on the head of Jongin's dick. The stifled moan that cuts through the silence makes Sehun a bit bolder and he parts his lips to take Jongin in his mouth, his own dick pressing against the mattress uncomfortably. Sehun moves his lips up the side of Jongin's arousal, coming to the top again and tonguing at the slit, and Jongin's fingers get tangled in Sehun's hair, yanking at it. It hurts, but the pain isn't unwelcome, and Sehun gasps, hips pressing into the soft bedsheets. Jongin's fingers trace the curve of his ear as Sehun hollows his cheeks, sucking at as much of Jongin's dick as he can take in and rubbing the rest with his hand. He feels Jongin's thighs tense, and his head is yanked back. He stares up at Jongin, lips red and slick with saliva, parted and breathing heavily.
Jongin grabs Sehun by the shoulders, fingers digging into his skin, and flips them over. Sehun lands heavily on his back, and the sudden rush of cold air makes his dick fill with more blood, curving heavily against his stomach. Jongin sits back on his knees and pulls Sehun's jeans and underwear down his hips to his knees, wrapping fingers of one hand around Sehun, moving it up and down in lazy strokes. Sehun's response is a breathy moan, forced out of him when Jongin thumbs at a sensitive spot. Jongin takes his hand away after a couple more strokes and Sehun whines at the loss. He watches through half-closed eyes as Jongin reaches to open a drawer of the bedside table and takes out a bottle of lube. He tosses it on the bed and moves to close the drawer.
'No condoms?', Sehun interrupts him, voice husky, dipping into his lower register.
Jongin raises his eyebrows.
Sehun scoffs. 'Have you been checked for diseases? I don't want to die because of a one-night stand.'
Jongin clicks his tongue, but throws a condom packet on the bed as well. Sehun kicks off his jeans and moves around to get comfortable. Jongin moves to kneel in front of him, and Sehun opens his legs, placing his feet on either side of the other's sides.
'Do you know how to prepare me?', Sehun asks.
'I know how to do it in general... is it a lot different with guys?', Jongin says, and Sehun wants to laugh at his genuine interest.
'I can do it myself if you prefer.'
'No!' Jongin stops Sehun's hand from reaching behind himself. 'I can do it, just... tell me what to do.'
Sehun nods. 'Alright. Hand me one of those pillows.'
Jongin reaches back to grab a pillow and Sehun takes it, sliding it under his hips.
'It's more comfortable this way.', he explains at Jongin's questioning look. 'Okay, now put lube on your fingers. Warm it up a bit.'
Jongin grabs the lube bottle and uncaps it, pouring some of the thick liquid on his palm, rubbing his hands to warm it and spreading it on the fingers of his right hand generously. He wipes his other hand on the sheets and slides it down Sehun's thigh, down to his ass. Rubbing at the skin lightly, he inches closer to the tight ring of muscle, circling it with his finger lightly. Sehun shifts, wincing at the coldness of the lube. He meets Jongin's eyes, wide with curiosity, and nods. He feels a digit push inside of him and hisses, unconsciously retracting his body away. Jongin moves to pull out but Sehun grabs his wrist to stop him, giving him another nod. The finger moves further in, and Jongin' hand stills. He's looking at Sehun expectantly.
'Curl your finger upwards.', Sehun grunts, eyebrows furrowing. 'You might not get it right away, but there's a spot... it feels a bit different. Try to find it. Put one more in first.'
'Won't it hurt?', Jongin asks, his other hand moving to Sehun's knee, stroking the skin comfortingly.
'I'll get used to it. Come on.' Sehun glares at him, impatient.
Jongin raises an eyebrow but complies, middle finger joining his index finger. Sehun breathes out deeply, the exhale ending in a whine at the burning of the stretch. Jongin's digits rub against his insides gently, exploring. He twists his hand around and pushes deeper, curving his finger slightly, and presses hard. Sehun nearly bites his tongue trying to suppress the obscene moan about to leave his throat, spine twisting in an arch.
'Is that it?', Jongin asks quietly. Sehun groans in response, biting at his wrist. He hears Jongin chuckle, and then the fingers rub at his prostate again, and Sehun's vision goes blurry from the intense pleasure. He only vaguely registers Jongin spreading his fingers to stretch him out, or the addition of the third digit. All he can feel is the hot white sparks of arousal shooting up his spine, and the throbbing of his neglected dick. There's precome dribbling heavily from the head onto his stomach, and Sehun's about to reach down to touch himself, but instead he bites at the side of his hand harder.
Jongin slowly pulls his fingers out and Sehun whines, breathing heavily as he resists the urge to touch himself. The pleasant aching is too strong to ignore, overwhelming all of Sehun’s senses. He pushes himself up on his elbows and watches Jongin through half-lidded eyes as the other stares back. Sehun spreads his legs further apart and Jongin registers the movement, eyes flicking to Sehun’s lower half before returning to his face.
'Are you. can I-?‘
Jongin smiles but reaches for the condom packet and rips it open with his teeth. Sehun feels his dick twitch and closes his eyes briefly, opening them just in time to see Jongin rolling the condom on. He inches towards Sehun, on his knees, laying his hands on Sehun’s thighs, thumbs dipping into soft skin. Sehun’s lips twitch at Jongin’s hesitant expression and sits up.
'Lie down.‘ He gestures to the pillows next to him.
Jongin frowns. 'Why?‘
Sehun smiles. 'Just do it. It’ll be easier for both of us.‘
Jongin, although a bit reluctant, mimics Sehun’s position and eases back against the mattress, legs bent. Sehun climbs on top of him, knees on each side of Jongin’s hips. He leans his weight on Jongin’s legs, reaching behind him to put his hands onto Jongin’s knees, levering himself. Jongin catches up and grabs Sehun’s hips, gently guiding him forward and then down. He grabs his dick with one hand and navigates Sehun with the other. The blunt head of Jongin’s dick prods at Sehun’s opening, and Sehun bites his bottom lip, steeling himself and then taking the lead, slowly pushing down until Jongin’s dick is almost all the way inside of him. The feeling is overwhelming, the incredible heat and pressure against his insides makes him gasp loudly, the sound almost reverberating against the walls. His head lolls forward and his eyes close, fingers digging into Jongin’s thighs as he adjusts his weight. They’re both silent, lost in the pleasure, their breathing the only sound in the room. Jongin’s hand lingers on Sehun’s arm before sliding down to Sehun’s hand, covering it, fingers tangling together loosely. Their eyes meet, and Sehun exhales shakily, mouth open as he pushes himself up, all the way up until only the head of Jongin’s dick is in, threatening to slip out, before he slides back down. Jongin’s dick brushes against Sehun’s prostate and Sehun moans, head bowing forward, hair covering his eyes. Jongin’s hand leaves Sehun’s to brush the silver hair back, accidentally tugging a bit. Another moan leaves Sehun’s throat and his body moves again, on its own accord, now completely out of Sehun’s control, as if it detached from his mind and he was just watching. Thigh muscles straining, Sehun establishes a rhythm, Jongin’s dick hitting his prostate every time, making his every inhale a whine and every exhale a short moan. Jongin’s other hand leaves Sehun’s hand and roams all around his body, running down his back, his arms, shoulders, neck, stomach.
He grips Sehun’s sides tightly and stills his movements, instead thrusting up into Sehun in short, quick movements, his breath becoming louder and irregular, matching Sehun’s. Sehun leans down and licks at one of Jongin’s nipples, marvelling at the sound that Jongin makes. The pleasure is almost too much for him to take, and one his hands nearly slip from Jongin’s leg, thighs twitching with exertion. Jongin wraps his arms around Sehun’s back and flips them over. Sehun’s head hits the pillow, hair splayed against the soft fabric, mouth opened and eyelids heavy, skin shiny with sweat and pink with arousal. Jongin, still buried inside of him, is still as he runs his fingers through Sehun’s hair, eyes soft.
'You look so beautiful.‘
Sehun doesn’t answer, just stares at Jongin, the sentence replaying in his head. He closes his eyes instead, hands automatically sliding up to Jongin’s shoulders to grip at them. He feels Jongin’s breath against his collarbone, Jongin’s hands still caressing his hair, Jongin inside of him, feels Jongin’s warm weight on top of him, Jongin’s eyes on his face even though his eyes are closed, Jongin’s scent that he didn’t notice before, a mixture of salty sweat and the cologne he’s wearing. They’re the only thing present in the world, everything else is still and dark, they are only aware of each other and nothing else.
Jongin starts moving again, even deeper than before, and Sehun feels like he can’t breathe, like he’s about to explode. He turns his head to the side and watches as Jongin slides in and out of him slowly, but increasing the speed by the second, his thrusts becoming irregular and hurried. Sehun can’t do anything but let himself be rocked into the mattress, not even aware of the sounds he’s making, not aware of how deep his nails are digging into Jongin’s shoulder blades, not aware of his legs wrapping around Jongin’s sides. The heat in his stomach keeps growing and growing, getting more intense and impossible to ignore. Jongin’s body dips lower and brushes against Sehun’s dick, and Sehun leans his head forward to bite at Jongin’s shoulder in time to muffle a moan. Jongin groans and moves faster, at a different angle, deeper, hitting Sehun’s prostate hard with every thrust. Sehun squeezes his eyes shut and throws his head back, spine lifting off the bed in an arch, every muscle in his body straining, every nerve ready to snap. His lips fall open again with a moan, nails scratching at Jongin’s back. Jongin holds Sehun by his hips, pushing him down, thumbing at his hipbones.
Sehun’s orgasm hits him without warning, washing over him like a wave. His eyes snap open, thigh and stomach muscles clenching hard, and then he’s coming untouched onto his stomach and chest. His vision goes blurry and then he can’t see anything but white, and there’s ringing in his ears.
He must’ve blacked out, mind and body unconscious, because when he opens his eyes again, Jongin is lying next to him, watching him with a small smile.
'Are you okay? You completely zoned out.‘
'Yeah, I’m fine… did you come?‘
Sehun tries to sit up, but his arms shake under his weight, so he just turns to lie on his side.
'I did, don’t worry about me.‘
Jongin’s voice is calming and soft, and Sehun’s eyelids feel heavy, senses numb, body spent and tired. He hums softly, and wants to ask if he can spend the night, but he doesn’t find the strength to talk, eyes closing, enveloping his mind in darkness. He feels the cool fabric of the duvet sliding up against his overheated skin, and he feels himself slowly easing into unconsciousness.