Bowling with Teen Top

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            They were going through the chorus again when C.A.P. asked, “Time?”

            Changjo wouldn’t know, since he didn’t wear a watch anymore.  Wiping sweat from his upper lip, he moved back to the starting position.

            “Eleven thirty,” L.Joe said, checking his phone.

            “Okay.  I didn’t want to tell you in case nothing happened,” C.A.P. said.  “But Suho hyung said that he’d be here around midnight.”

            “Who?” Chunji asked.  “Which hyung?  Who is it?”

            “Suho hyung,” C.A.P. said patiently.

            “I don’t know any Suho hyung,” Chunji said, shrugging.  Niel, do you know any Suho hyung?”

            “Uh,” Niel said, looking from Chunji to C.A.P. and back again.  “Yes?  No, no,” he corrected himself quickly, backing away from Chunji.  “No, I don’t know any.”

            “Good, then we can lock up the building and go home,” Chunji said, heading for the door.

            Ya,” C.A.P. said.  “Practice isn’t over.”

            “Let him go,” L.Joe said.  “If he stays and pisses off Suho hyung, and I don’t get to see Oh Sehun again, it won’t be good for him.”

            “What’s Suho hyung coming for?” Ricky asked.

            Chunji walked out.  Changjo studied the door.  It would be easy to follow him.  They could go home together.

            “To apologize,” C.A.P. said.  “Leaving practice an hour early,” he said.  “Somebody’s not getting laid for fourteen days.”

            Fourteen days without sex.  Changjo had just gone a lot longer without it than that during his punishment.  He headed for the door.

            Chunji burst back in, rushing across the room.  “It’s a fucking posse,” he said breathlessly, turning to face the door and then skipping backward to the far side of the room.  “He brought the whole goddamned group.”

            “What?” L.Joe asked.

            “EXO, they’re down there, they brought two whole vans,” Chunji said.

            Niel eyed the door warily.  “Are…  Are we about to rumble?”

            Chunji considered that, then shrugged.  “We can take them.”

            There was no doubt about that.  Changjo amused himself with the idea for a moment, picturing it.  Even at six against nine, EXO didn’t stand a chance.  But it would probably be six against eight, and Suho would stay out of it, keeping apart, like always.  Too goddamned good to join in.  Too busy being better than they were to be human like they were.

            Their manager opened the door, glanced around, nodded, and then disappeared.  The door swung open again, and Suho walked in.  He didn’t have any make-up on, and his hair wasn’t styled, but he’d dressed up in a crisp white button-down.  He looked like he hadn’t slept in days, and his smile was hopeful but tense.  His members piled in quietly behind him, and when he bowed, they bowed, too.  Chanyeol waved slightly, happily, nervously.  Sehun hung back, near the door, staring at L.Joe.

            “I’m sorry to interrupt your work,” Suho said.  His gaze kept pinging around like he didn’t know which one of them to look at.  It landed on Changjo more than anybody else.  Was that supposed to mean something?  “I won’t bother you for long.  I want to apologize.”  He bowed again.  He looked chastened and humbled.  “I was wrong to treat my respected sunbaes so badly.  I shouldn’t have ended things the way I did.  You were right to want to continue things the way they were.  I cut things off at the wrong time and in the wrong way, and everyone’s suffered for it.  I’m very sorry.  I’m especially sorry to you, C.A.P. sunbaenim, for breaking our arrangement.  And I’m especially sorry to you, Changjo sunbaenim, for breaking my promises.  And I’m especially sorry to you, L.Joe sunbaenim, for putting you through a lot of difficulty you didn’t deserve.”

            C.A.P. rubbed his jaw.  “What comes next?  ‘Bye, have a nice life?’  ‘Please don’t make things awkward backstage?’  Or something else?”

            “Something else,” Suho said.  “I’ll understand if you can’t forgive me, but I hope that you won’t make my members suffer for my mistakes.  I’d like, somehow, on your terms, for everyone to be close again.”

            “Close,” C.A.P. repeated.  Chunji moved in behind him, right behind his shoulder.  Putting a hand on his hip, Chunji whispered something, and he nodded, his eyes never leaving Suho.

            “I wish that things could be the way that they were,” Suho said.  “With our members being friends and meeting each other and going on MT.  It’s a lot to ask.”

            “Yeah,” C.A.P. said.  “That sounds good.”  Niel and Ricky drifted backward, away from him.  Clearing his throat, he crossed his arms over his chest.

            L.Joe tore his gaze away from Sehun, glanced at C.A.P., and moved toward the wall.

            “Don’t know if you remember,” C.A.P. said.  “Maybe it slipped your mind.  It was a while ago, and you’ve been busy.”  His voice hardened into steel.  “I told you not to sacrifice my members for yours.  I told you that I don’t care about you.”  One by one, the EXO members were flinching.  “I don’t care about your maknae.  I don’t give a fuck about any one of your members.  What do I care about?”

            “Teen Top,” Changjo said without hesitation.

            “I don’t care if it’s harsh,” C.A.P. said.  “I don’t care if it’s selfish.  Teen Top comes first.  I warned you not to take my members lightly.  I gave you every chance to make the right decision.  I told you where I stand.  Where?”

            “With Teen Top,” Changjo said.

            “Now I see where you stand,” C.A.P. told Suho.  “It’s not with us.  Your apology means nothing to me.  Your word means nothing to me.”

            Suho hadn’t flinched.  He never did.  His expression was solemn, and he spoke very seriously.  “I understand you, sunbaenim.”  His members were shooting each other a lot of anxious looks behind him.  “Would it help if you had insurance?”

            Everyone looked surprised at that.  Well, the other EXO members and half of Teen Top did.  Changjo’s expression didn’t flicker for a second, and he knew that C.A.P.’s wouldn’t, either.  “What kind of insurance?”

            Suho licked his lips.  “Whatever would make you feel comfortable.

            C.A.P. nodded.  “Kids, go show the EXO members the other room.”

            Ricky, Niel, and L.Joe exchanged nervous looks with each other, then shuffled forward.  There was a lot of awkward movement, and Suho was alone with C.A.P., Chunji, and Changjo.  Chunji was whispering in C.A.P.’s ear.

            Grunting, C.A.P. rubbed his jaw.  “If you want me to put my members’ reputations on the line, then you should put your reputation on the line.”

            “That’s fair,” Suho said.  He was very solemn and determined, like he wanted them to be sure to see that he took this seriously but wasn’t cowed.

            “If you want us to trust you, then you have to trust us.”


            C.A.P. shrugged.  Walking over to the chair where they’d left their crap, he picked up Changjo’s phone and tossed it.  Automatically, Changjo caught it.  “We’ll wait out there,” he said, and left.  Chunji followed him out.

            Suho was relieved to be alone with Changjo.  Chunji’s energy and C.A.P.’s anger were too intense.  But he was far from being able to relax.  He was in a very dangerous spot.

            He’d been wracked with guilt and shame for so long now, he could barely feel anything else.  But when he looked into Changjo’s eyes, he felt regret so strong he could taste its bitterness on his tongue.  He’d hurt Changjo very badly, he couldn’t escape that.  And Changjo was unpredictable at the best of times.  There was almost no way for this moment to go well for either of them.

            “I’m sorry,” he said.

            “Sure that you want to do this?”  Changjo was fiddling with his camera, assessing the screen.

            “I never wanted to hurt you.  Even if you can’t believe me, I’ve cared about you all of this time.”

            “It’ll be bad for your career,” Changjo continued.  “Which filter?” he asked himself, tapping at the screen.

            He knew that Changjo heard every word.  “You’ve been very precious to me for a long time.  It’s okay if you can’t forgive me.  I can’t forgive myself.  I’m sorry that I broke my promises to you.  It’s been so hard, cutting myself off from you.”

            “You should think about which position you want to suggest,” Changjo told him without looking up from the phone.

            “I think about you every day.  I talk to you every night, even if you don’t hear it.”

            “It’ll be good if you come up with a pose yourself.  You won’t like any of my ideas.”

            He couldn’t bear this.  He couldn’t bear to see Changjo acting so cruel and so cold.  This was the worst side of the sweet, funny, changeable dongsaeng that he loved.  He knew that this was an act to cover up vulnerability and pain, and it broke his heart to know that he’d been the one to cause the pain.  He’d done this to Changjo.  “I feel like I can’t tell you that I love you.  I feel like I don’t deserve to say it to your face.”

            Carelessly walking closer, Changjo snapped a shot, the flash popping in Suho’s face.  “Light’s okay,” he said, studying the phone again.  He finally looked at Suho, his expression expectant.  “Go ahead.  Pose.”

            “Changjo.”  He kept his voice as steady as his gaze.  “Sunbaenim.  You don’t want to do this.”

            “Oh, I do,” Changjo said.  “I really, really do.”  He glanced down Suho’s body and then back up again with that same expectant expression, eyebrows up.  “You have to pose, this isn’t enough.”

            “It’s hard for you to trust me,” Suho said.  “But we can work toward it again.  It doesn’t have to be like this.”

            Mmm.”  Changjo rubbed his ear.  “No, there’s no other way.  You can pose for me, so I have insurance for the next time that you decide to fuck my hyungs over.  Or.”  He swept one arm toward the door.  “You can get the fuck out.”

            Seeing him like this sent daggers into Suho’s heart, each one deeper than the last.  “I’ve hurt you a lot.  I’ve hurt everybody.  It’s okay if you want to punish me.  But doing this to me hurts EXO, too, and my members don’t deserve it.”

            “A lot of people don’t deserve a lot of things,” Changjo said.  L.Joe hyung’s suffered a lot since Oh Sehun threw him away.  Chunji and I try to help, but it’s not enough.  Do you want to know what we did to him last night?”  He gazed at Suho, blinking innocently.  “Do you want to hear about it?”  He gestured at Suho’s crotch.  “It might put you in the mood for better poses.  Oh, or maybe not.”  He winced, looking regretful.  “That kind of thing turns some people off.”

            He didn’t want to hear what Changjo was saying.  He didn’t want to be in the same room with any of these truths.  But this was what he’d done.  These were the consequences that everyone else had to live with.  The consequences of his actions.  “I’m sorry, sunbaenim.  I’m sorry for all of that.”

            “It’s a shame to do it in here,” Changjo said, glancing around.  “We’ll do it in the corner, so maybe no one will recognize the room.  This is insurance so we can destroy just you if we need to.  I don’t want to bring down Teen Top, too.”  He gestured to the corner of the room, away from the mirror.  “Go ahead, over there.”

            Suho didn’t move.

            He didn’t want to do this.  He couldn’t do this.  He understood that he had to work to win back Teen Top’s trust, but there had to be another way.  Changjo wanted him to suffer, and he couldn’t argue against that impulse when he already felt so guilty, but this was too much.  It was too far.  He’d put all of EXO at risk.

            He’d put himself at risk.  And he knew that he hadn’t risked nearly as much as everyone else.  How could he expect Changjo to trust him again if he kept himself protected?  How could he ask L.Joe to put himself in Sehun’s hands if he had nothing to lose?  He couldn’t even imagine the kind of trust and faith it took to do what L.Joe did.  He’d never let himself go like that.

            He expected everyone else to go so far, when he held back from taking even a step.

            He wouldn’t let Changjo take his photo.  Partly because it was a horrible idea.  But also because he didn’t trust Changjo.  He didn’t trust Teen Top.

            C.A.P. was right.  He was exposing Teen Top to risk and scandal, taking them lightly, expecting everyone to go along with what he wanted, while he kept himself safe.  As long as he behaved like this, there was no reason for anyone to believe in him.

            As long as his members took risks, he was in jeopardy, too, because when the ship went down, he’d go down with it.  But everyone else had something personal at stake.  Even if they didn’t have photos of each other, they had stories to tell, acts to describe, behavior to recount.  And other people could verify enough of the facts to put a case together.  Fans would know that yes, this member had gone into Teen Top’s dorm on this date at this time.  Stylists would corroborate identifying details like scars and moles.  And no matter how much he watched over and scolded his members, they still sent text messages that they shouldn’t.  One by one, those messages could be explained away and brushed off, but taken altogether, put in the right light, it could be damning.

            Suho had a choice.  Changjo was right.  He could literally expose himself, the way everyone else had, and prove that he was as committed to this as everyone else was.  Or he could take his members and walk out.

            And he would never walk out on Changjo again.

            He took a deep breath.  “This is important to my members,” he told Changjo.  “I love Sehun, and I love you, sunbaenim.”  He walked over to the corner.

            “Pose?” Changjo asked, following him.

            Now that he’d committed himself, he was completely in it.  “I’ll let you decide, sunbaenim.”

            Mmm.  Take off your shirt,” Changjo said.

            He unbuttoned his shirt and took it off, then took off his undershirt.  He’d never been shirtless in front of Changjo before.  He didn’t mind.  He was committed to this; he accepted whatever came.

            “Eh, not bad,” Changjo said.  “Okay,” he gestured to Suho’s crotch, “let’s see the firehose.”

            Suho took off his pants.  He didn’t bother to take it slowly, he just did it, like any other time he undressed.  Straightening, he reached for the waistband of his underwear, pushing it down.

            “Hyung!”  Grabbing at his underwear, Changjo jerked it back up.  The two of them froze like that, bent toward each other, three hands gripping his boxer-briefs.  They stared into each other’s eyes, and his heart felt light for the first time in weeks.  He gazed into Changjo’s face, and Changjo looked back at him.  The real Changjo, his Changjo, his favorite mischievous dongsaeng.

            “Changjo-ah,” he breathed.  Letting go of his underwear, he cupped Changjo’s face in both hands.  He was so glad to see Changjo again, he kissed Changjo’s cheeks.

            “What - - hyung, what are you doing?” Changjo asked, taking the kisses without complaint.

            “My precious creation,” he said, overjoyed.  He felt, really felt, for the first time, like everything might someday be all right again.  “I’m so sorry, Changjo-ah, I’m so sorry.”

            “Are you out of your mind?” Changjo demanded, disbelieving and exasperated.  “What the hell?!  Put your clothes back on!  Since when do you let anyone treat you like this?”

            “It’s okay.”  He started to push his underwear down again, and Changjo yelped, grabbing at it, clamping it against his hips and dropping the phone.  It’s okay!” he insisted.  “Hasn’t everyone else exposed everything, already?  If this is what it takes, if this is what you need to do to trust me, if this will make L.Joe more secure, then I’ll do it.”

            “Stop!” Changjo insisted.  “What’s happened to you?”  Grabbing up his clothes from the floor, Changjo thrust them at him.  “Put this on!  Shit!”

            “And then what?” he asked, refusing to take them.  “Then how will you ever believe in me again?  How will C.A.P. and L.Joe know that they can trust me?  If one of us is in, then everyone should be in.  I’m committed to this, too, I’m a part of it with everyone else.”

            “This is the stupidest you’ve ever been, really,” Changjo said desperately.

            Suho took the clothes from Changjo, then tossed them back onto the floor and crossed his arms over his chest.  “Take the photo.”

            “Hyung!” Changjo exclaimed.  “No!”

            Fine.  He’d do it himself.  He picked up Changjo’s phone.  How was he supposed to do this, what was the best way?  It would be easiest if he used the mirror, but would that leave too much of the practice room identifiable?  He didn’t want to incriminate Teen Top.

            “Give me that,” Changjo said.

            He took a quick shot of himself, just to be sure to have one.  It looked awful.  While Changjo yelled at him, he held the phone out and took another.  When he started to take off his underwear again, Changjo said, “I’m sorry, I have to do this, hyung,” and for a second the room spun around him.  When he righted himself, catching himself against the wall, Changjo had the phone and his underwear was still on.

            “So stupid,” Changjo muttered.  “I’m deleting these,” he warned Suho, tapping at his screen.  “What are you doing?  What would you say if I took photos like this?  What would you say if I had photos of my junk?”

            “I’d tell you to delete them and never do anything like that again,” Suho said.  “You know not to do things like that.”

            “Then why are you doing it?” Changjo demanded.

            “For you,” Suho said.  “For Sehun.  For everybody.”

            “I don’t want it,” Changjo said.  “Neither does Sehun hyung, so stop it, okay?”

            Crossing his arms over his chest, Suho pouted.  “The way fans act, I didn’t think it would be this hard to get someone to look at my cock.”

            “I’m sorry, hyung, but nobody wants to see it,” Changjo said.  “Put your clothes on.”

            Slumping against the wall, he studied Changjo, looking for answers.  “What can I do?  How can I make sure that everybody understands that I’m as much a part of this as everybody else is?  Even if I don’t line up for my turn at sex with the rest of you, I’m still involved.  I want to prove it to you.”

            “You could have sex with the rest of us,” Changjo pointed out.  “But we don’t have photos of everybody, hyung, it wouldn’t be right to have them of you.  You don’t have to jeopardize more than everyone else to prove something.”

            He wasn’t willing to have sex with Teen Top.  He wasn’t ready for that.  “I could masturbate in front of L.Joe.”

            “Does that make any sense?” Changjo asked.  Then he did a double-take.  “Would you?”

            “I could.”  In a weird way, he wanted to.  Once he was a hundred percent committed, once he’d done something that he couldn’t take back, all of his own internal back-and-forth would be over.  It would be too late to try to pull out.  He loved the idea.  He couldn’t wait for the relief of finally letting go.

            “But not L.Joe hyung.  He’s too, ehhh, sex is weird for him right now.”  Changjo sucked his cheeks in.  Chunji hyung and C.A.P. hyung would be too much for you, you’re too shy.  Niel hyung likes cock too much, he’d try to swallow it.  What about Ricky?”

            Was he really going to do this?  It was so far.  So daring.  He knew that anyone else would scoff at it, but for him, it felt extreme.  He’d never shared something so private outside of EXO before.  “Whichever member you think is best.  You know me.”

            Changjo smiled at him.  “I’m going to make him tell me every, every, every detail.”

            C.A.P. waited in the hallway, his arms crossed, Chunji at his side.  All of the other members were in the next room.

            He didn’t know how long this would take, but he had all night.

            He glanced at Chunji.  “You have fourteen days off for leaving practice early.”

            “I didn’t go anywhere.”

            “You walked out.”

            Chunji’s jaw dropped.  “I came right back!  Nothing even happened while I was gone.  You didn’t dance even one step, did you?”

            “Fourteen days.”

            Chunji bristled and sulked.

            “I’ll miss you,” he added after a minute.

            Chunji gave him a challenging look.  “Yeah, you’d better.”

            The door opened, and Changjo came out.  “Not finished,” he told them, and went into the other room.  “Ricky, can I talk to you?”

            “Yeah,” Ricky said, coming into the hallway.  “About what?”

            “In here.”  Changjo took him back into the first room and closed the door.

            Chunji eyed the door.  “Interesting.”

            “Whatever makes him happy,” C.A.P. said.

            When Ricky walked in, Suho was in the corner of the room and only wearing underwear.  Wow, a lot had happened.  Following Changjo over there, he checked Suho out.  What a great body.  More muscular and defined than he’d expected.  Abs and everything, even pecs, kind of.  How did Suho have time to work out?  Well, without sex, all of that energy had to go somewhere.

            “You don’t have to do this,” Changjo said.  “It’s stupid.”

            Suho gazed up at him trustingly, like they were in love.  “I want to.”  He hugged Suho, and Suho’s arms went around him like they’d just gotten married.  “I love you.  I’ve missed you so much.  I’m so sorry, you don’t know how sorry I am.”

            “You can make it up to me,” Changjo said.

            Smiling at him like he was an angel, Suho touched the side of his face.  “You’ve grown up so much.  You make me so proud of you.”

            Looking so innocent no one would ever believe him, Changjo tapped his cheek.  Smiling like it was a gift just to indulge him, Suho kissed him there.  Grinning, he turned his face and tapped his other cheek.  Suho kissed him there, too.  “One more,” he said, turning the first way again.  Suho kissed that cheek again, twice.  “Okay, I’ll go,” he said, backing up.  “Uh, hyung.”  He rubbed his nose, looking rueful.  “I need to tell L hyung about this, okay?  Not all of this!” he added hurriedly, gesturing at Suho’s mostly naked body.  “But I need to tell him.  I can’t keep things from him.”

            Suho had a really unhappy expression for someone who looked so great undressed.  “I understand.  I want to talk to him and to Infinite soon, if they’ll let me.  I had to do this first.”

            Changjo nodded.  Then he said to Ricky, “Suho hyung’s going to jack off in front of you.  Don’t upset him.  I know where you sleep.”

            “I sleep right beside you,” Ricky said.  It wasn’t a secret.  While Changjo left, he wondered if what Changjo had just said was true.  It had seemed like the truth, but it also didn’t make a lot of sense.  Then again, Suho was already almost naked.  “Should I lock the door?”

            “Yes, yes, please,” Suho said.  Once that was done, the two of them looked at each other.  “Should I just start?”

            “Do you want help?” Ricky asked.

            “No,” Suho said quickly.  “No, that’s okay.  I’m sorry, I’m nervous about this.  I don’t usually do things like this.”

            “It’s okay.  You can sit down, if it’s more comfortable.”

            Suho took off his underwear and sat down, leaning back against the wall.  He was hairy down there, and his stuff looked soft and cute.  “I’ll try to make it quick.”

            “I’m not in a hurry.  I like to watch, it’s okay.”  He wondered why they’d chosen him for this.  Unless he was just the first, and everybody was going to parade through, one by one, for a personal show.  “Hyung?  Why are we doing this?”

            “All of your members and my members have sex with each other and know very private, intimate things about each other.  I don’t like feeling like everyone else has so much at stake and I’m on the side.  If I do this in front of you, I’ll feel like I’m a part of it with everyone else.”

            “Oh.”  It was a little weird.  He saw where Suho was coming from, but it was still weird.  “Hyung, fighting!” he said encouragingly.

            Suho smiled at that, then relaxed against the wall, closing his eyes.  His hand pushed down into his lap, rubbing over everything, and Ricky leaned a shoulder against the wall, watching.  He touched himself too lightly, like he was shy with himself.  Maybe he was sensitive?  He-

            Ooooohh, unnnh, oh.”

            Ricky’s eyes flew to Suho’s face, then back down to his crotch.  Whoa.  Wasn’t it a little early to make that kind of noise?

            “Unh, oh, oohh.”  With an aching, shaky groan, Suho turned his face away like he was trying to show Ricky the back of his head.  His chest was heaving, and he was raising his knees like he didn’t want Ricky to see what he was doing.  Ricky could still see everything, though, and his cock was already stretching out and plumping up.  He had a really sexy cock.  Not that Ricky was picky about those things.  But his was really good-looking.  It was going from pink to red, and the head looked puffy and silky-smooth.  Gaunh, unh, oh.”  He pressed his other hand over his mouth.  His other hand was jacking steadily, pumping over the shaft.

            This hyung was way too tense about sex.  Really hot, but way too tense.  “Hyung,” Ricky said.  “It’s okay if you’re loud, I like it.  You should make a lot of noise, it’s more fun that way.”  He really liked the way Suho kept moving and squirming, it turned him on, it looked like Suho was really into it.  Since Suho was looking away from him, in the other direction, he rubbed himself a little.  “You’re so sexy, hyung.”

            Aaahhh, oh, aahhhhh.”  Dropping his hand from his mouth, Suho groaned, tilting his head back against the wall.  His hips lifted off of the floor and he thrust into his hand a couple of times, crying out.  His pre-cum was coming out, making his erection shiny where it was wet.  His cock looked so hard, Ricky moaned a little, too, wanting to touch it.

            “Don’t take this the wrong way, hyung,” Ricky said.  He felt breathless, like he was getting all caught up in Suho’s excitement.  He’d never seen anyone act like this, just masturbating.  “I really want to fuck you so hard right now.”

            Ahh, ahhh, Ricky-ah.”  Gasping, Suho spread his thighs, tugging on his cock.  “Unh, oh, Ricky-ah.  Don’t, don’t tease hyung like that, please, please, I can’t take it.”

            Oh, wow.  This hyung was too much like L.Joe.  He’d never expected anything like this!  Wasn’t Suho usually clean and respectable?  “But you want me to,” he said.  “I think you want me to fuck you.”

            “Unh-unh-oh, oh, oh.”  Moaning and crying out like he couldn’t control it, Suho writhed against his own hand, his hips jerking.  Ricky kept thinking that he was coming, but he kept going and going.  His cock was going from red to purple, and he’d gone from that too-light touch to working his cock so hard that his balls were bouncing.  Huuuunh, ahh, ah.”

            “You like being fucked, don’t you?” Ricky asked.  “Do you like being filled up by rock-hard cock?”

            “Oh, oh, oh, Ricky-ah.”  He was so excited and so turned on, he was red-faced, his heels skidding over the floor, his free hand gripping his thigh.  He looked desperate to come, biting his lip and humping his hand.  He writhed like masturbation involved his whole body, twisting against the wall, his thighs closing and spreading.  Ricky felt his urgency, panting with him, joining in on the tail ends of his feverish moans.  Ahhh, ahhh, ah!”

            “I think that you’ll feel better if you admit it,” Ricky said.  He was really turned on, really hard.  He’d never thought that Suho would be like this.  So sexy, and so intense, it was really difficult not to touch some of that creamy skin and flexing muscle and delicious cock.  “You can say it, I won’t tell.  Just tell me how much you want to be fucked.  Wouldn’t you feel better if you had a nice, hard cock inside you?”

            “Please, please.  Ahh, ohhh-oh, Ricky-ah-ah-ahhh!”

            So close, he had to be there, almost there, he had to come or Ricky was going to come for him.  “Come on, hyung, you can say it.  You can do it.  That’s it, let it out.”

            “I, I,” Suho panted, “I.”  He shuddered hard, all over, gasping.  “I want it, I want it, I want everything!”  His hand stroked up his shaft and cum shot into the air, flying out in long, thick streams.  One big pulse of it, and then another, and then another, and then two smaller ones, and he was still milking it out, squirting onto his stomach.  There were broad, creamy stripes of cum on his chest, and on his face, and on the wall.  Ricky had never seen anything like it.  He’d shot over his own head and jizzed on the wall.  How was that possible?  What did he eat?!  He was red from his chest to his ears, and he was panting and sweating all over, and cum was strung across his cheek, and he was so sexy, Ricky just stared at him, needing to remember this moment forever.

            “Hyung,” Ricky said.  “That was spectacular.”

            After a moment, Ricky realized that Suho was kind of frozen.  The show was probably over, but Suho had been so shy earlier, he was probably too embarrassed now that all of that had happened.  Ricky looked around for something to wipe up with.  “Here, hyung, let’s use your shirt, okay?”  Ricky crawled around him and picked up his undershirt, then carefully started to wipe off his face with it.

            Suho took it and scrubbed his face clean, then wiped at his chest.  And his stomach.  And his cock, and his hand, and everything else.  Damn, that shirt was finished.

            “There’s, uh, some on the wall, above you,” Ricky said.

            Suho glanced up, then shot Ricky a guilty look.

            “It’s okay,” Ricky said, taking the shirt from him and cleaning off the wall.  The shirt was sticky and gooey, and Ricky really wanted to show somebody.  “But, hyung.  If you’re this much fun to watch jack off, you must be the best when it comes to real sex.  You really should have more partners and give more people a chance.  You can’t just keep that kind of thing to yourself.  It’s not fair to the rest of us.”

            Burying his face in his hands, Suho laughed.  “Oh, wow.”  When he finally resurfaced, he looked totally embarrassed but also really happy.  “Thank you for staying with me.  It was difficult but I wanted to do it.  These things aren’t easy for me.”

            “It was awesome,” Ricky admitted.  “I knew that you were good-looking, but I didn’t know that you were this sexy!  Is it always like this?”

            “That, uh.”  Suho touched at his face again like was self-conscious about what he’d just smeared on it.  “This is normal for me.”

            Wow.  “I want to be in EXO.”

            Changjo waited in the hallway.  He texted L stuff like good news and call me and send me a selca and a row of goofy smiley faces.  Then, to distract himself while his brain wandered off thinking about what Suho was doing in there and how he was going to tell L that Suho wanted to be close again and why he’d been stupid enough to send Ricky in there instead of staying for it himself, he practiced choreography.  Chunji fidgeted and C.A.P. dozed against the wall, and he admired his own flawless footwork.  Seriously, had he just given up a chance to take sexy photos of Suho?  And to see Suho’s dick?  And to watch Suho masturbate?  Something was really wrong with him.  He wasn’t becoming a saint, was he?

            The door opened, and he jumped forward, landing right in front of Suho.  Smiling, Suho hugged him, and Ricky said, “We’re finished.”

            “How was it?” Changjo asked.  Suho looked happy and a little sweaty, the perfect way to be after sex.

            “The best thing ever,” Ricky said.  “Suho hyung-”

            “Ah,” Suho said, clapping his hand over Ricky’s mouth.  “You can tell your members whatever you think it’s right to tell them.  I trust you.  But please don’t say it now, while I’m here.  Tell them when you get back to the dorm.”

            “No, say it now,” Changjo said.

            “I’ll go check on my members,” Suho said, disappearing into the other room.

            “He came on the wall,” Ricky said.

            Ew,” Chunji said.

            “No, I mean.”  Ricky was gesturing over his own head.  “He came all up here.  It flew up like fireworks.”

            Being a good person was such a mistake.  Now Changjo had missed all of the best parts, all of the things he’d been fantasizing about and jacking off over and getting Suho to describe.  “Did he go from zero to sixty in one second, and then stay there working at it?  What does his cock look like?  How hairy is he?”

            “No, go back to the first part,” Chunji said.  “Do you mean a drop flew up there?  Or a whole bunch?”

            The second he’d seen L.Joe, Sehun had wanted to go right over there and put his hands on L.Joe and cement L.Joe as his again.  L.Joe had looked so happy to see him, it hurt to stay away.

            He had to pay attention to the conversation, because he needed to know what was being said.  This was his life they were negotiating.  L.Joe’s life.  But it was hard to focus even on that.  He didn’t want to listen, he wanted to talk.  He wanted to interrupt and cut through the bullshit and tell everyone how it was going to be.  L.Joe was his, and nothing was going to get in the way of that.  Not ever again.  He’d let other people’s rules and other people’s authority stop him from what he knew was right and keep him away from L.Joe, and it wasn’t happening again.

            As soon as they were through the hallway and into the next room, he said, “Sunbae,” and held out his hand.  Ignoring his hand, L.Joe said, “Oh Sehun,” and threw both arms around him.  It was exactly what he’d needed.  Closing his eyes, he held on tight.

            “Aw, that’s sweet,” Niel said.

            “I’ve never seen C.A.P. like that,” Chanyeol said.  “Is he okay?”

            “He didn’t mean those things he said, did he?” Baekhyun asked.

            “Oh,” Niel said.  “No, he didn’t mean, um, all of it.  Just, uh, most of the parts with the, ah, words.”

            Sehun needed privacy.  He looked around the room, trying to find a compromise, a way to stay where they were and still have the talk that they needed to have.  And then he felt resolve take over.  No.  No, he had to take care of L.Joe, he had to see to L.Joe’s needs, and he wasn’t going to soothe his pet in public like this.  Taking L.Joe’s hand, he went back into the hallway to find another room, somewhere private.

            C.A.P. was right there.  “Where are you going?”

            “We have to talk,” he explained.  “Where’s a good place?” he asked L.Joe.

            “A good place is in there,” Chunji said, pointing to where the rest of the members were.  “We don’t need you running all over the building causing trouble.  And you can’t see L.Joe, your leader hasn’t earned that back for you yet.”

            “I never lost him,” Sehun said.

            “You tossed him out and left him behind,” Chunji said.

            Sehun tried not to raise his voice.  “I told him that I would take care of him.”

            “You told him that you were going to find him someone else, you tried to hand him around like some old secondhand shirt.”

            “But I didn’t, did I?” Sehun demanded.  Even in his anger, he made sure to keep his hold on L.Joe’s wrist secure but gentle.  “There’s no one else but me.”

            “That’s not how things seemed yesterday,” Chunji said.  “You left him behind in a goddamned bathroom like some used condom, and he never heard from you again.”

            Ya!” L.Joe exclaimed.

            “Get back in there,” C.A.P. told L.Joe.  To Sehun, he said, “You.  Get out.”

            Out.  Get out?  Sehun completely negated the idea in his mind and turned to L.Joe.  “Where can we talk that’s private?”

            A sudden shove to his shoulder sent Sehun staggering to the side.  “I said, get out!”

            Sehun clamped his teeth together and slowly turned around.

            “Wait,” L.Joe said.  “Hyung, come on.”

            L.Joe sunbae is my responsibility,” Sehun said.  “I’m not going anywhere.  He and I need to have a talk, and I’m not doing it in a room full of people.”

            C.A.P. grinned, a chuckling “can you believe this kid?” grin that made Sehun’s blood boil.  “Don’t think that you’re more important than you are.  L.Joe is my responsibility.  He’s been mine since you were sitting on the playground, dreaming about debut.”

            “I don’t want to fight with you,” Sehun warned him.  “I want to get along with you.  It’s easier for L.Joe sunbae if we cooperate.”

            C.A.P. chuckled again, crossing his arms over his chest.  “Who are you, again?  I don’t have to cooperate.”

            “EXO members mean nothing to you?” Sehun asked.  “You mean nothing to me.  I don’t care if I ever see you again.  You aren’t my leader.  You don’t have to be my hyung.  But we’re going to work something out, because as long as L.Joe sunbae wants to see me, he’s going to see me.”

            “You think you’re the only one who can do what he likes?” Chunji asked.  “You think you have some bad-ass secret that no one else knows?  You’re not the best, you were just the most convenient at the time.  You think you’re special?” he asked, moving in.  Sehun refused to back up.  “I can get other guys on the phone right now who would be glad to do what needs to be done.  You think you’re unique?  Look me in the face,” Chunji shoved him in the chest, hard, sending him back against the wall, “you selfish goddamned asshole, and think about who takes care of your business when you’re away.”

            Breathing in hard, Sehun pushed away from the wall.  They had him penned in, Chunji glaring, nostrils flaring, C.A.P. narrow-eyed and threatening.

            Behind them, L.Joe was distressed and muttering, looked pained and running his hands through his hair.

            Sehun didn’t want to make things worse for L.Joe, so he had to figure out what to do.  He had to resolve this.  He had to finish this without pissing C.A.P. off any worse.

            “Want to feel big, want to feel sexy, want to be the man?” Chunji asked.  “Take that shit to your fans, go harass your trainees, get your guardian leader to buy you a blow-up doll.  Nobody here gives a fuck.”

            C.A.P. closed in on him tighter, staring into him with dead eyes.  L.Joe is mine.  Teen Top is mine.  This building is mine.  And I don’t want you anywhere near anything that’s mine.  You had your chance, you fucked it up, it’s over.  Now get the fuck out.”

C.A.P.’s arm extended, pointing down the hallway.

Sehun breathed in.  He didn’t know if they were all talk, or if he was about to get punched in the face, but it didn’t matter.  He was in control of himself, and he wasn’t about to show fear.  L.Joe sunbae is mine, and if we don’t get along, it’s only harder for him.”

Chunji shrugged, taking a step back, and C.A.P. reached for Sehun.  He had one second to push C.A.P.’s hands away, one second to realize how ineffective that had been, and one long, unending moment of falling down the hallway, crashing across the floor and rolling uncontrollably and collapsing with a gasp.  Shit!  Stunned, he oriented himself and sat up.  His elbow hurt, L.Joe was rushing toward him, and C.A.P. was bearing down on him, looking so merciless he knew he’d underestimated this situation.

Hunh, hoobae bowling,” Chunji said.

“Oh my god, are you okay?” L.Joe asked, crouching beside him.

Sehun wanted to reassure L.Joe, but he also wanted not to have his face stomped in.  He’d never been in a situation like this and he was starting to realize that he wasn’t in control here.  Of himself, sure, but not of anyone else.  These were sunbaes, and hyungs, and no matter how much he wanted to run things, he couldn’t.

It hit him, then.  C.A.P. was right.  He was fighting for what was his, but C.A.P. was fighting for what was his.  Teen Top was C.A.P.’s, and L.Joe was C.A.P.’s.  He and C.A.P. were going head-to-head, fighting to protect what was theirs, trying to do what was best for L.Joe.

“Wait,” he said, putting his hands up.  He had no idea what C.A.P. intended to do to him next, but he was sure that it would hurt.  “Wait, sunbaenim, please.”

“Wait for what?” Chunji asked.  C.A.P. came to a stop right over Sehun, and L.Joe put himself in between them, squatting in the tiny space between C.A.P.’s feet and Sehun’s legs.  “We waited for you to call, waited for you to text, waited for you to let L.Joe know what was going on.  Didn’t hear a thing.  We don’t have any time left for you.”

“You don’t have to be like this!” L.Joe exclaimed.  “This is between me and Oh Sehun, isn’t it?”

He’d thought that it was.  He’d thought that it was a private thing, just between the two of them.  But he had Suho on his end, and L.Joe had C.A.P.  If he had to live at Suho’s whim, then L.Joe had to live at C.A.P’s, and trying to get around that only made things worse.  “No, sunbae.  What happens in your room is between the two of us, but I can’t get to your dorm unless Suho hyung lets me go, and I can’t get into your dorm unless C.A.P. sunbaenim lets me in.”

C.A.P.’s teeth glinted.  “Now you get it.”

“I’ll let you in,” L.Joe muttered.  Lightly, he ran his hands over Sehun’s arms and legs.  “Are you okay?”

The sight of L.Joe fretting over him touched him, and the feel of L.Joe’s hands turned him on.  He was kind of surprised that he was capable of being turned on at the moment, but L.Joe got to him like nothing else could.  “It’s fine, sunbae.”  L.Joe helped him up, and he was relieved that nothing hurt.  His elbow might be bruised, but he’d get over it.  “C.A.P. sunbaenim, could I talk to you?”

“You can wait your turn,” Chunji said.  “We’ll see how far your guardian leader gets, and then maybe someone will talk to you.”

Could that “someone” be Niel?  “Okay, thank you, sunbaenim.”  He bowed to Chunji, and then he bowed to C.A.P., and then he looked at L.Joe.  “Don’t give up on me, okay?”  He’d win C.A.P. over, one way or another.  He’d keep trying, he’d beg if he had to, he’d do anything.  Hoobae bowling wouldn’t be so bad once he got used to it.

“Why are you all being like this?” L.Joe asked, dragging one hand back through his hair and staring at the three of them in bafflement.  Sehun loved how often L.Joe messed with his hair, loved knowing how soft and silky it was.  It had been too long since they’d been together, too long since Sehun had touched it.  Just one more reason to win C.A.P. over, like Sehun had needed any more incentive.  “You don’t have to-”

Ya,” C.A.P. said.  “Do you want to fight or do you want to get back in there and wait?”

“Fight,” L.Joe said, like the answer should be obvious.

These sunbaes, seriously.  L.Joe sunbae, that’s no good,” Sehun said.  “Let’s go back and wait for Suho hyung to finish.”

“And then what?” L.Joe demanded, staring at C.A.P.  “Then do I get my life back?”

Chunji sniffed.  “We’ll see.”

L.Joe lunged at Chunji.  Kicking himself for not having anticipated that, Sehun grabbed at L.Joe, barely dragging him back in time.  “Sunbae, sunbae,” Sehun panted, struggling to hold on.  Shit, L.Joe was strong.  “Sunbae, let’s not fight, okay?  I ruined everything, and I’ll fix it, I’ll work hard for you.”  As L.Joe fell still, tense, panting, Sehun drew him backward a couple of more steps.  He made a furious sound, and Sehun hugged him from behind, trying to calm him.  Sehun’s nose brushed his hair, and the intimacy was irresistible.  God, so soft.  Sehun nuzzled in, treasuring it, and L.Joe made an anguished, frustrated sound that tore at his heart.

Suddenly turning, L.Joe grabbed the side of Sehun’s neck, one hand fisting in the front of his shirt, and kissed him.  Taken by surprise, he kissed back.  It was so new, kissing his sunbae like this.  L.Joe was kissing him hard, with an angry desperation he wasn’t used to.  He wasn’t Sehun-ah, wasn’t anyone’s owner, he was just Oh Sehun, just a hoobae, and he kissed L.Joe the way he kissed his members, turned on and keeping up but letting L.Joe have control.

Shit, L.Joe was so fucking hot.  Soft, aggressive growling, the way L.Joe pushed against him and pulled on him, the agile thrust of L.Joe’s tongue, it turned Sehun on so much that he wanted to be the sub for a second, just for the thrill of it.

Shoving him away, L.Joe stared at him, glaring, practically vibrating with angry tension.

Wow.  Relishing the moment, Sehun licked his lips.  He had to take this sunbae for a ride sometime.

Scrubbing his hands through his hair, L.Joe walked toward the practice room.  Suddenly turning, he said, “Who owns me, who owns Teen Top, who owns the air, own whatever you want.  Mine,” he said, pointing at Sehun.  “That’s mine, he’s mine,” he said, suddenly moving forward.  He grabbed Sehun’s arm and yanked, backing up again.  Hastily, Sehun moved with him, loving this new side of him.  He’d never been so forceful like this, not with Sehun.  It was a complete role reversal, but he was sunbae, after all, and he clearly knew what he wanted.  “And I’m not a condom!”  Scowling, he swung open the practice room door and stormed inside.

EXO members scattered.  Everyone looked startled as L.Joe dragged Sehun across the room.  “Are you okay?” Chen asked.  “Did he say that he’s not a condom?” Baekhyun asked.

It’s fine,” Sehun said, following L.Joe to the corner.  Letting go of him, L.Joe shot him a questioning look, then shied away, grimacing, embarrassed, blushing.

“Oh.”  L.Joe bit his lower lip, ruffling his hair.  “Why does everybody have to be like this?”

“Everybody’s pissed off and defensive and trying to protect you,” Sehun said.  “Especially me.  I’m sorry, sunbae.”  Everybody was listening, but he didn’t care about them.  All he looked at was L.Joe.  His perfect, sexy pet.  Someone he was never letting go of again.  “You deserve better than this.”

Aish.”  Self-conscious, L.Joe went through more lip-biting and hair-ruffling, like he knew it was the sexiest thing in the world and he was trying to see if he could break some hotness record and make Sehun want him even more.  Then he looked past Sehun at the rest of the room and blushed harder.  Ya, what?”

“Nothing,” Niel said.

“You guys okay?” Chanyeol asked.  “What’s going on out there?”

“I don’t know why we came along if we just have to stay in here,” Baekhyun said, pressing a hand against the wall like he was searching for a secret compartment.  “This is nerve-wracking, I’d rather be at the dorm if we can’t even know what’s going on.”

“It’s good to see you, too, hyung,” Ricky said.

The door opened, and Changjo reached in.  “Ricky, can I talk to you?”

“Yeah,” Ricky said.

“Wait, what’s going on?” Baekhyun asked.

“Changjo,” Chanyeol said, but the door closed.

“What the hell,” Baekhyun said.  Kai sat down beside D.O., settling in, signaling that this might take a while.

“All of this, over who gets to have sex,” Xiumin said, leaning against the wall.  “I knew that being an idol would be different from a regular job, but I didn’t think that it would be like this.”

Sehun sat down where he was, at L.Joe’s feet.  He wanted to pull L.Joe into his lap.  He wished that he could do things like that, but he knew that L.Joe was self-conscious about what everyone else thought.

After a moment, L.Joe squatted down beside him.  He took L.Joe’s hand and kissed it, and L.Joe pulled away, laughing, embarrassed.  “I can’t even do that?” he teased.

“Stop it,” L.Joe mumbled, ducking his head, looking shy.

“We can’t have sex,” Baekhyun said.  “Suho hyung made us leave our phones in the car.”

“We could play a game,” Chen suggested.

“Didn’t we interrupt practice?” Kai asked.

Yes!  “Aren’t we in a practice room?” Sehun asked.  He nudged L.Joe.  “Sunbae, will you teach us your new choreography?”

“It’s not ready yet,” L.Joe said.

“Teach us your old choreography,” Kai said.

“Yes!” Niel said, dusting off his hands and moving toward the front of the room.  “Yes, all of you lazy hoobaes, we’ll show you how it’s done.”

“You don’t have to call us lazy,” Baekhyun grumbled as Kai and Sehun got up, and everyone laughed.

“Hold on,” Chanyeol said, pushing Chen toward Niel.  Chencing machine, you stand in front with our instructor.”

“Teen Top choreography?  Teach us something without eighty-seven jumps,” Xiumin said as everyone shuffled into loose rows behind Niel.  Sehun was very pleased to see L.Joe go up in front with Niel and Chen.

“Okay,” Niel said.  “We’ll do one with eighty-eight jumps, then.  Or eighty-nine, just to be sure.”

            Suho walked into the second practice room to find everyone…practicing.  They were lined up facing the mirror, Niel and L.Joe in front.  Xiumin, Lay, Baekhyun, and Chen were following along, picking up steps, while Chanyeol, D.O., Kai, and Sehun were in a row behind them on all fours.  After a second, Suho recognized the trademark jump-and-shuffle of “To You.”  Realizing that meant that Chanyeol, D.O., Kai, and Sehun were chairs, he couldn’t help but laugh.

            They all began to turn around.  Then L.Joe said, “Oooh, dancing boy, dancing boy,” and Niel gestured at Changjo.  “Lonely dance!”

            “What are you doing in here?” Changjo asked, laughing.  Ricky came in past Suho and sat on top of Sehun.

            “Lonely dance!” L.Joe insisted, waving Changjo on.

            Rolling his eyes, Changjo rubbed his nose, acting cool.  Then, with a wide grin, he danced across the room, kicking and jumping, doing his solo dance part from “To You.”  Loving it, Suho applauded.  “Ah, as expected, our dancing boy Changjo,” Niel said, clapping.  Blushing, Changjo went back to acting cool, strolling away like nothing had happened.

            Ya,” C.A.P. said from the doorway.  “Members, conference.”  At the call, the Teen Top members filed out, and C.A.P. closed the door with an air of finality.

            Alone with his members, Suho wondered what to say.  Could he tell them that he had hope?  Changjo would argue for his side, he knew, but how much would that help?

            The four chairs unfolded, two collapsing, two getting up.  “Is everything okay?” Chen asked.

            “Are we ever going to be close with Teen Top again, or is this it?” Baekhyun asked.

            “Dancing boy,” D.O. said.  He nudged Kai’s prone body with his toes.  “Why don’t you have a nickname like that?”

            What, like ‘dancing and thrusting and c’mere girl, aw, yeah, get it’ boy?” Baekhyun asked.  “Too long.”

            “Too long?” Kai repeated, sitting up and shooting Baekhyun a suggestive grin.  “Yeah, you know it is.”

            While his members laughed, Suho felt himself relax slightly.  It was a relief to find everyone in such a good mood.  This was why it was so important for them to hold onto their friends.  Being close with other idols and other teams was good for them.

            He crouched down beside Sehun, who was still sprawled on the floor and hadn’t gotten up.  To everyone, he said, “I’ve done my best to give Teen Top a reason to trust me again.  I’ve tried to prove myself.”  They deserved to know more than that.  Looking over their attentive, concerned faces, he spoke carefully.  “Everyone else has risked a lot.  Risked it in a specific way.  A sexual way.  But I haven’t, and if I hold back while everyone else moves forward, then it seems like I don’t have as much at stake.  That’s why L didn’t trust me at first, and I understand that better, now.”

            “But what can you do?” Lay asked.

            “I.”  Embarrassed, he wasn’t sure how his members would take this.  He licked his lips, hesitating.  He spent a lot of time in front of his members, with all of their eyes and attention on him, but normally he didn’t have to deliver this kind of news.  “I masturbated in front of Ricky.”

            “What?!” exploded from half of the people in the room.  Sehun sat up, Chanyeol staggered back, Xiumin moved forward, and D.O.’s jaw dropped.  “Hyung?” Chen asked, astonished.

            “You who in front of what now?” Baekhyun asked, rubbing his ears like he couldn’t possibly have heard that right.

            Kai slid forward, scanning Suho’s face.  “Are you okay?”

            “That’s so hot,” Lay said.  “Are you all right, though?”

            They were disbelieving, which he’d expected, and they were concerned, which really moved him.  But no one seemed scornful or horrified, which he’d been braced for.  “I felt like I had to,” he said.  “And I wanted to.  It’s better this way.  It’s not fair if I’m not a part of things.”

            “You’re a part of everything, we’re EXO, you’re part of everything that we do,” Sehun said, putting a hand on his back.  “Hyung, honestly, are you okay?”

            His members were gathered around him, and there was concern on everyone’s face, and there was so much tenderness in Sehun’s voice, that he felt overcome by emotion.  They’d all been through so much, and he’d been so worried and under so much stress, that he felt incredibly relieved to have everyone’s support, relieved to have taken this irrevocable step.  “Fine, I’m fine, it’s fine,” he said, trying to pretend that he was strong and unaffected, and Chen said, “Awww,” and moved in, hugging him.  “Ah, don’t,” he moaned, and then Sehun’s arms were around him, too, and they were all piling on.

            In their practice room, C.A.P. looked his members over.  He’d get all of the details later, but for now, only one thing mattered.  “Satisfied?” he asked Changjo.  “Want to get back together?”

            Changjo nodded.  “I’m okay.  I think that we should all be close again.”

            “You’re sure?” Chunji asked.

            “I’m okay.  I don’t know how it’ll be for L hyung, but I’m good.”

            “Why are we worried about L?” Chunji asked.

            C.A.P. ignored that and moved on to Ricky.  “Satisfied?”

            “I’m great,” Ricky said, smiling from ear to ear.  “I’m so, so great.”

            Gloating little muffin.  C.A.P. bopped him on the top of the head and turned to Niel.  “Satisfied?”  Pouting, Ricky rubbed his head, then grinned at Changjo.

            “Yes,” Niel said.  “Let’s do things the way we used to.  Let’s go on MT.”

            C.A.P. looked at L.Joe.  “Satisfied?”

            “Yes, yes, yes, satisfied,” L.Joe said.  “Can Oh Sehun come over tomorrow?”

            Chunji’s turn.  “Satisfied?”

            Chunji folded his arms over his chest, then looked at the floor.  He nibbled on his lower lip, his expression flickering.  He was putting honest thought into it, and C.A.P. appreciated that.  He bounced in place, going up onto his toes a couple of times, and then he shifted his feet and looked up, meeting C.A.P.’s eyes.  “No.”

            Silently, Changjo turned away.  Niel said, “Aw, hyung,” and L.Joe stared at Chunji in open-mouthed disbelief.  “No?” he demanded.  “No?!”

            “No,” Chunji said, his expression openly challenging L.Joe to a fight.  C.A.P. stepped in between them, and Ricky put a hand out to hold L.Joe back.  “No, I’m not satisfied.  I don’t like it, and I don’t trust it.  I don’t know what those hoobaes are going to do.  They’re with us, they’re with Infinite, they’re with nobody, now they’re back, what are they even up to?  What’s next?”

            “Oh, this is about Infinite,” Changjo said, turning around again.

            “No,” Chunji snapped, and C.A.P. believed him.  “This is about EXO and their spoiled, selfish, careless leader who does whatever he wants.  He doesn’t care about us!  He won’t protect us!  No one’s looking out for us, but us, and I’m not putting my ass, my reputation, or my career on the line!  Not for that!  Not for them!”

            “God, you’re like frothing at the mouth, though,” Niel said, backing up.  Immediately, Chunji moved in on him, fist raised, and Changjo pulled Niel back with a quick “oops” while C.A.P. pushed Chunji away.

            “What about the cum fountain?” Ricky asked.  “Doesn’t that help?”

            “Do you have photos of it?” Chunji asked, looking from Ricky to Changjo.  “I want photos.”

            “There aren’t going to be any photos,” Changjo said.  “Suho hyung’s sincere about this, hyung.”

            “He also sincerely threw you away,” Chunji said.  “He showed up at our dorm over and over again, hugging you and cooing in your face and fawning all over his favorite dongsaeng he loved so so so so much, and then he disappeared.”  Chunji snapped his fingers and L.Joe jumped.  “Did he tell you that he loves you?  How many times?  Did you believe him?  And then he walked out like he never gave a damn.  How do we know he won’t do that again?”

            “We don’t, for sure,” Niel said.  “But you have to trust people.”

            “I did trust him,” Chunji said.  “I trusted him, and he treated us like shit, and now I trust him to treat us like shit.”

            “Since when do you care?” L.Joe asked.  “I’m the one who, you know.  Changjo’s the one he made promises to.  If we’re over it, why are you so upset?”

            “When he walks away, who’s still there standing beside you?” Chunji demanded.  “Who has to watch you clinging to your phone just in case Sehun calls?  Who has to watch Changjo pretend he’s not falling apart?  I can’t believe I let this shit go down in the first place, and I’m not going to let it happen again.  I love you, god damn it!” Chunji shouted.  “I’m not going to let you get hurt again!”

            Everyone stood there in silence while Chunji and L.Joe stared at each other in their own weird fury.

            Ricky said, “We love you, too, hyung.”

            “Damn it,” Chunji said, stepping back.  Glancing at the walled mirror, he fixed his hair.

            L.Joe was still frowning at Chunji.  “If I’m okay getting hurt, then I’m okay with it.”

            “Yeah?” Chunji asked.  “I’m not.  I’m not going to let it happen.”

            “You can’t.”  Cutting himself off, L.Joe breathed out hard, still frowning at Chunji.  “That’s not up to you.”

            “Uh, yes, it is,” Chunji said.

            “I’m seeing Oh Sehun,” L.Joe said.  “I’m seeing him whenever I want.  He’s coming over whenever I invite him.”

            “He’s coming over whenever I invite him,” C.A.P. said.  When L.Joe turned to him like a skinny kitten full of impotent rage, he sighed.  “I’m not going to be a dictator about whether we see EXO again.  That’s a group decision.  But until everybody agrees, it’s not happening.  If Chunji says no, then it’s over.”

            “Then if we can convince Chunji hyung, everything’s okay?” Niel asked.


            L.Joe glared at Chunji.

            Changjo eyed Chunji’s back.  Sucking his cheeks in, he nodded to himself.  Chunji hyung, can I talk to you alone for a minute?”

            “No,” Chunji said.  He looked at C.A.P.  “If practice is over, can we go?  I don’t want to be here all night.”

            Eh, they might as well go.  “I’ll tell Suho hyung.”

            Chunji hyung, just for a minute,” Changjo said, reaching for him.

            “I said no,” Chunji said.  When Changjo came nearer, he backed up.  “Maknae, I said no!”  Changjo advanced on him with a smile, and he laughed, dancing out of reach.  “Maknae!”  He pushed Changjo away, then let himself be caught, pressing his hands against Changjo’s shoulders and laughing.

            “Just for a minute,” Changjo said, giving him a private, affectionate smile.  “I just want to talk to you.”

            “Ah, why are you like this?” Chunji asked, pretending to try to twist out of his arms but not actually going anywhere.

            “Just between us,” Changjo said.  “An honest talk.”

            Chunji snorted with laughter, his arm around Changjo’s neck.  “Honest?  You?”

            “Come on.”  Changjo kissed his cheek.

            Aish.”  Twisting away for real this time, he eyed Changjo happily, suspiciously, then fixed his hair again.  “All right, but I’m not falling for your shit this time.”

            “I hope that you do,” Niel said.  “What?” he asked innocently, when Chunji shot him a venomous glare.  “Did you say something, hyung?”

            Chunji and Changjo went to one of the practice rooms downstairs, away from everybody else.  Chunji sat down with his knees up, leaning back on his hands.  Facing him, Changjo sat down, too, mimicking his pose.  Raising his eyebrows, he dropped his knees to one side.  With a mischievous little smile, Changjo did the same, mirroring him.  Laughing, he swung around, dropping onto his stomach.  Changjo copied him in a flash, and they were flat on the floor, nose-to-nose, Changjo giving him one of those clever “aren’t I so cute?” maknae expressions, eyes wide, cheeks sucked in.

            Silly brat!  Chunji kissed him.

            Grinning to himself, he settled in, stacking his hands on the floor and resting his chin on top.  “Want to talk?”

            “Sure.”  Up on his elbows, Chunji propped his chin on both hands.

            Changjo’s eyebrows went up.  “An honest talk?”


            Changjo smiled at him.  “Scared?”

            “No,” he lied.  “What do you want to talk about?  Niel’s annoying, right?”

            “Ugh, so annoying,” Changjo agreed.

            Chunji dropped one hand to toy with the maknae’s hair.

            “I have a crush on L hyung.”

            Surprised, he studied Changjo’s face, searching for truth.  “I thought that you were in love with Suho hyung.”

            Changjo wrinkled his nose.  “Eh.  I can like two people, right?”  He scratched his nose, then tucked his hands back under his chin again.  “Anyway, it’s only a crush on L hyung.  It’s not serious.”  Catching Chunji’s eye, he shook his head to let Chunji know that he was lying.  “But L hyung has this thing about people.”

            “What thing?”  That was the thing about Changjo, he went for weeks without saying anything interesting, and then once he decided to open up everything came out.  They just had to wait for it.  He only shared when he was ready.  Chunji was bad at waiting, though.

            “He doesn’t like them.”

            Chunji laughed.  “Doesn’t like people?”

            Changjo nodded.  “I think that there were too many times that he needed someone and was let down, and too many times that people used him for their own shit.  It’s hard for him to trust anybody anymore.  Which sucks, because he’s kind of amazing.

            Kind of amazing?  L?  Kind of weird, and kind of boring, and kind of full of himself.  “You really do like him.”

            Changjo looked disgusted with himself.  “It’s his eyes, they do a thing.”

            Hey.  “My eyes do a thing,” Chunji pointed out.

            “Yeah, but I’m used to yours by now.”

            Chunji decided to let that pacify him.  He kicked his feet up behind himself, crossing his ankles.

            “L hyung doesn’t give a lot of people a chance to get close to him.  Not new people.  Not past the friendly ‘we’re all getting along’ stuff in front of cameras.  But he really let Suho hyung in.  They were really close.”

            “Okay.”  Chunji decided to see where this was going.

            “I know why Suho hyung pulled back.  He got scared.  People finding out about his private business, it’s a whole thing with him.  And he takes everything so seriously.  I get it.”

            “So casual all of a sudden?” Chunji asked.  “You’re accepting?  What happened to the Changjo who cried and threw his food and set his safe on fire?”

            “I was upset.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t know why he did what he did.  But I understand Suho hyung.  I get why he pulled back.  And I believe him when he says that he’s not going to let go again.  He’s really committed to us, now.”

            “Today.  Who knows about tomorrow.

            Mmm.”  Changjo considered that.  “The thing is, if I didn’t believe Suho hyung, I’d still see him again.  It wouldn’t be the way it used to be,” he explained.  “I wouldn’t care about him anymore.  I’d just keep him close so I could fuck with him, and when it ended, I’d fuck him up.”

            Sure.  Totally normal.  Nothing to worry about.

            “But,” he continued, “I wouldn’t let him near L hyung.  I don’t want L hyung to get hurt again.  L hyung’s so upset over Suho hyung, he tries to hide it, but he can hardly keep it in, sometimes.  He’s as upset today as he was on the first day, it’s not even getting any better.  So if I didn’t trust Suho hyung, I wouldn’t let them anywhere near each other.  L hyung’s too upset and too scary, and I don’t want him to get hurt any more or to do something he couldn’t take back.”

            Mmm.”  Chunji didn’t love hearing how unhappy poor little L was.  He didn’t really enjoy the pangs of sympathy he was feeling.

            “But L hyung has that thing about not trusting anybody and writing people off for good.  He has this whole ‘you’re dead to me’ thing, and once you’re on that list, you don’t come off of it.”

            Chunji wondered if he was on that list.  He decided not to ask.  He’d bet that C.A.P. was, though.  Walking into his dorm and finding L there alone in his living room had freaked him the hell out.

            “I don’t think that’s really the best way for him to live, though.  I get him, I understand why he’s like that, but sometimes people deserve second chances.  I want him to give Suho hyung a second chance.  And I trust Suho hyung.  If I didn’t, it would be different, but I know Suho hyung, I know he’s changed.  He’s really changed, things are going to be better now.  And I want L hyung to open up enough and trust enough to take him back.”

            “This is a great romance novel you’re writing about the guys you’re obsessed with,” Chunji said.  “Why should I care?”

            “I’m not obsessed.”

            “Sure, you can stop seeing L hyung any time you want.  Tell me again about how pretty and damaged he is.”

            Lifting up a bit, Changjo pulled his phone out of his pocket.  “Here, look, you can see my good-looking hyung for yourself.”

            “Good-looking hyung?  These had better be photos of me,” Chunji said.

            “Nope.”  Changjo showed him the screen.

            An L selca.  Great.  “He doesn’t look burdened by his crushed heart.”  He looked great.  Handsome and dimpled like he was smiling at his best friend.

            “He wouldn’t be a good idol if he didn’t know how to fake it.”  Changjo showed him another one.

            “Oh, L hyung is a good idol, now?”  Another selca, another dimpled smile.  “How many of these do you have?”

            “He sends them when I ask.”  Changjo pocketed his phone again.

            “How often do you ask?” Chunji asked, suspicious.  “And how often do you go around showing them off?”

            “That’s not what we’re talking about.”

            Chunji couldn’t believe this.  “When did you become so embarrassing?”

            “What’s wrong with liking to look at good-looking guys?  You’re never a foot away from a mirror.”

            Appreciating the reminder, Chunji looked at the wall and checked himself out.  Hmm, not bad.

            “Hyung,” Changjo said.  He had his serious voice on, so Chunji looked into his face, paying attention.  “I love Suho hyung, and I know him better than you do, and I trust him.  I want to protect L hyung.  I want to protect L.Joe hyung, too.  L.Joe hyung matters more to me than I matter to me.  We can trust Suho hyung to commit to us.  I want you, please, to let him make things right.”

            Chunji sat up.  He had to be sure about this.  “Real talk,” he said as Changjo sat up, too.  “Honest conversation, between you and me, no bullshit.”

            “No bullshit,” Changjo agreed.

            “Are you having sex with L?  Doing sex stuff, making out, any of it?”

            “No.  He said that we could, but I said no, and he doesn’t want to anymore.”

            “You said no?”

            “I told you that before!”

            “Like I was going to believe you!”  Chunji’s whole image of Changjo was changing.  “He really offered and you really said no?”

            Changjo grimaced, hugging his knee.  “Suho hyung’s always talking about how important it is to be a good man and an honest person and all of that crap, and now it’s stuck in my head.”

            Okay, there was one reason to keep Suho around.  As long as they were being honest, then, “What happened to my red underpants?”

            Changjo grinned.  “I sold them.”

            “What?”  Astonished, he laughed.  “To who, Angel?”

            “To a hoobae.  He thinks you’re so hot, he’s obsessed with you, it’s really scary.  I was going to give him L.Joe hyung’s underwear, just to mess with him, but he’s so in love with you, I felt bad.”

            “Which hoobae?  You sold them for what, money?”

            Changjo nodded.  “The rapper with the nose, the one who always comes to greet you, the one you said is creepy.”

            “Him?”  Chunji burst into laughter.  “Oh, god, this is embarrassing.”

            “He gave me a few hundred dollars, too.  I’ll cut you half, if you want.”

            “I don’t want panty money!”  Ew, this was weird.  “Just buy me some new underwear.”  Changjo lived such a weird life.  He scratched his head, wondering what else he wanted to ask about.  “In Teen Top, who’s the second best-looking?”

            Mmm, Ricky,” Changjo said.

            That was the correct answer.  He grinned.  “I’m first?”

            “Yes, hyung, you’re the best-looking in Teen Top.”

            “Honest, real talk,” he reminded Changjo.

            “Honestly,” Changjo said.  “You’re the best-looking.”

            Good.  “Okay.  Do you really trust Suho hyung?”

            Changjo nodded.  “I do.”

            “With your precious, beautiful L hyung?”


            “With L.Joe?”

            “Yes.  I do.  I don’t take it lightly.  I don’t take L.Joe hyung lightly, and I don’t take you lightly, either.  But I’m serious about Suho hyung.  I mean, really, when have I ever forgiven anybody?” he asked with a disgusted look.  “But he’s Suho hyung.  So, yeah.”  He nodded again.  “It’ll be okay.”

            Maybe it was that last point that settled things for Chunji.  If Changjo had forgiven Suho, then things were extreme.  “Okay,” he decided.  “You can have your Suho hyung back.  And I’ll get Xiumin hyung’s cock back.  And L.Joe can have that other maknae.”  He frowned, still pissed off at Sehun.  “EXO’s maknae is horrible.  Ours is way better.”

            Changjo grinned at him.  “Yeah, Ricky’s cute.”

            “You,” he said, pushing at Changjo.  “I’m talking about you.”

            “Oh,” Changjo said, laughing, letting himself be pushed over.  “I didn’t know.”

            They wrestled for a little, and then they got up.  As they headed back up, Changjo suggested that they pretend not to have settled things well.  That seemed like a really, really cruel thing to do to L.Joe, so of course he agreed to it.  When they went back in, he stormed in first, and Changjo followed, head down, looking unhappy and resigned.  “I’m tired of this,” he said impatiently to C.A.P.  “It’s over, can we go?”

            Ricky and Niel had the sense to hang back, but L.Joe started coming across the room.  “Tired of this?”  L.Joe looked between him and Changjo.  “You didn’t convince him?  You couldn’t get him to agree to it?”

            “Convince me of what, to let those hoobaes come crawling back into our beds?” Chunji asked.  “Whatever.  Let’s go.”  He headed for the door.

            Chunji!” L.Joe shouted at his back.  Chunji!  Ya!”

            Opening the door, he turned.  “You can go ahead and stop in the other practice room on the way out, if you want, and tell them that it’s okay to schedule another MT again.  Let’s do it soon, you’re all so tense lately, you could use a good drilling.”  He couldn’t get through it straight-faced, and by the end he was laughing, and their faces were priceless!  Niel looked stunned, Ricky started laughing with him, and L.Joe was frozen on the spot, looking really stupid.

            Smiling, C.A.P. clapped Changjo on the shoulder, then came forward.  “I’ll go tell them.”

            “What?” L.Joe asked.  His gaze swung over to Changjo and then to C.A.P. before coming back to Chunji.  “Are you joking?” he asked with an uneasy half-smile.

            “You’re too easy,” Chunji said, laughing.  Taking pity, he went over and put his hands on L.Joe’s shoulders.  “You can have EXO,” he said, looking into L.Joe’s eyes.  “You can have Oh Sehun.  As much as you want.”

            “You’re teasing,” L.Joe said, smiling but searching Chunji’s face, his hand on Chunji’s elbow.  “Are you messing with me?”

            “It’s real, hyung,” Changjo said.  “It’s okay.  I talked him into it.  I mean,” he added quickly, as Chunji looked at him, “I mean, Chunji hyung’s so smart and generous, he’s such a good hyung, he kindly decided to indulge us.  We should all be grateful.  To Chunji hyung.”

            “I’m grateful,” Ricky said, wrapping his arms around Chunji from behind.  “Thank you, Chunji hyung.”

            “I’m grateful, too,” Niel said.  “So grateful.  When do you think MT will be?”

            L.Joe’s hand skimmed over Chunji’s chest like he wanted to pull on Chunji’s shirt but had the sense not to.  “I can be with Oh Sehun?”

            “Yes,” Chunji said, laughing.  “What about this do you not understand?”

            “Oh Sehun,” he said to himself, and then he burst away, running out of the room.

            That guy.  Chunji relaxed back against Ricky, running his hands over Ricky’s arms.  “Where did we get such a weird member?”

            “America, hyung,” Ricky said.

            “I thought that American rappers were supposed to be cool.”

            “Yes,” Niel said.  “They have swag.”

            “Let’s go see EXO before we leave,” Chunji decided, patting Ricky’s hands where they were linked across his stomach.

            “Can we take one of them home with us?” Niel asked.

            Great idea.  “Let’s find out.”

            C.A.P. offered his hand.  “I’m in it if you are.”

            Suho looked down at C.A.P.’s hand.  It felt like a binding agreement, like a business merger.  If he committed to this, it would be for good.  In his mind, Changjo would be his, L.Joe would be his, as much as his own members were.  All of the responsibility and risk, less of the control.  But it was a step he had to take, a commitment he had to make.  He’d seen the alternative, and he couldn’t live with it.  “I’m in,” he said, and he shook C.A.P.’s hand.

            “Friends again?” Chanyeol asked.

            “Oh Sehun, Oh Sehun,” L.Joe said, scuttling into the room.

            “Sunbae,” Sehun said, catching him.

            Once they were face-to-face, L.Joe didn’t seem to know what to do with him.  “Everything’s okay?” L.Joe asked, gazing up at Sehun and then glancing over at Suho and then going right back to looking at Sehun.

            “Yes,” Suho said.  He felt like he hadn’t apologized to L.Joe enough, or to Changjo, or to anyone, but it didn’t seem like the right moment; L.Joe clearly had better things to do, like stare into Sehun’s face.

            “Hi,” Chunji said, coming in with the rest of Teen Top.  “Are we still negotiating and apologizing and fighting?”

            “No,” C.A.P. said.  “It’s good.”

            “Great.  So can we take Xiumin hyung home with us?”

            “Or Chanyeol hyung,” Ricky said, “if Xiumin hyung’s busy, maybe.”

            “Or Kai,” Niel said.  “No preference, just saying.”

            “Or Suho hyung,” Ricky said.  “Just, if that’s an option, now, I’d like that a lot.”

            Embarrassed, Suho laughed.  “I’m sorry, I’d like for everyone to celebrate, but we have to get back to our dorm.  My members need to sleep.  I’d be glad if everyone could hang out another time, though, if it’s okay with you,” he told C.A.P.

            C.A.P. nodded.  “I’ll call you.”

            “Thank you.”

            “Can we hang out for a couple of minutes, though?” Chanyeol asked.

            “Everything’s been so up in the air, no one’s had a chance to make friends again,” Baekhyun said.

            Suho glanced at C.A.P., who nodded.  “That’s okay, you can have a few minutes,” Suho said.

            Immediately, the groups merged, everyone hugging everyone else.  Things were awkward for a moment, but soon they were all laughing together, flirting and catching up.  Suho felt like he didn’t have the right to join in the happy reunion, but he was glad to watch.  It was such a welcome sight, his happy members and their energetic friends.  He’d really missed this.

            “I know the rules,” Baekhyun said.  “But can we kiss?  A little?”

            Suho glanced at C.A.P. again, and C.A.P. nodded.  “One person,” he said, checking his watch.  “For one minute, and then we have to go.”

            “One person?  How am I supposed to choose?” Chanyeol asked.

            “I don’t like you that much, either,” Ricky said, giving Chanyeol a disgusted look.  Kai burst into laughter.

            “We don’t have even numbers,” Lay protested.

            “I’ll stay out,” D.O. said, gravitating toward Suho.

            “I’ll stay out,” Sehun said.  “I already got mine, earlier.”

            “Thanks for reminding me to punish L.Joe for that,” C.A.P. said.

            “Aw,” L.Joe said.

            “I’m going to start timing,” Suho said.  C.A.P. reached for Lay, and Niel and Kai danced toward each other, shimmying together.  Xiumin tugged Chunji closer, winking, and he laughed, moving in.  Chanyeol was trying to convince Ricky that he hadn’t meant what he’d said, and Ricky was doing a frighteningly good job of pouting and pretending to have hurt feelings, all of which Suho was pretty sure was a weird kind of “oppa” foreplay.  Chen was smiling and pulling L.Joe away from the others.  Changjo strolled right up toward Baekhyun, backing him against the wall, and Baekhyun said, “Yes, yes, that’s good, yes,” looking flushed and aroused.  Suho took one last look at everyone’s faces, so full of happiness and anticipation, and said, “One minute, now.”

            They enjoyed it so much that he let it go for more than one minute.  He kept his eyes on the time, not at all noticing anything like the way C.A.P.’s hips rubbed against Lay’s or the way Baekhyun’s hands were all over Changjo’s chest.  Finally, when Niel’s hand slid between Kai’s legs, he said, “Okay, time, that’s it, that’s enough.”

            “Sure, hyung, one more second,” Chanyeol said, kissing Ricky again.

            Mmm, god, I’m so hard right now,” Lay moaned as C.A.P. eased away from him.

            “Can I see this?” Baekhyun asked, lifting Changjo’s shirt.  Changjo nodded, and Chen and Sehun sidled closer.  Baekhyun peeled Changjo’s shirt the whole way up, and Suho looked away, focusing on anything else in the room.  Baekhyun whistled.  “If you were for sale, I would buy you.”

            “People aren’t possessions,” Kai said.

            “I swear, I can’t even talk to you sometimes,” Baekhyun said, exasperated.

            “You can buy me any time you want, hyung,” Changjo said, and Suho knew from his tone of voice that he was grinning at Baekhyun.

            “Okay.”  Suho cleared his throat and D.O. gave him an understanding look.  “EXO members.”

            “Let’s love?” Chen guessed.

            “I was going to say let’s go,” he admitted.  “You need your sleep.”  He started to herd people out, then offered C.A.P. his hand again.  “Thank you for letting our members be close again.  I’ll work hard to make sure that it goes well.”

            C.A.P. shook his hand.  “As long as they’re happy, I’m happy.”

            “We’re happy,” Niel said.

            “I’m very happy,” Ricky said.

            “In your pants,” Chunji teased, tapping the front of his pants.

            “Ah,” Ricky said, squirming.

            “I’ll walk them down,” Changjo said, and C.A.P. nodded.

            Suho’s members went ahead, talking.  They sounded happier than they had in weeks.  This had been the right thing to do.  It was the best situation for everyone.  “I messed up so much,” Suho admitted.

            “Yeah,” Changjo said, putting an arm around him as they walked.  “Tell me again how much you missed me.”

            “I missed everything about you,” Suho said, putting an arm around him in return.  “I missed talking to you and looking at you and hearing all of the interesting things you say.  I missed your face and your smiles and the sound of your voice.  I missed the way you complain about your members and the way you pretend you’re not laughing when you are and telling you things I don’t tell everybody else.”

            “Did you miss petting me?”

            “So much,” he said honestly.  “I really missed being close with you.  You’re so easy to love.”

            “I am great,” he agreed, and Suho smiled.  At the bottom of the stairs, he pulled Suho back, into the shadows.  They hugged, and Suho loved the feel of him, his muscular body, his strong arms.  Keep loving me, okay?”

            Oh, Changjo.  “I love you so much,” Suho said, stroking his hair.  “I do love you, I always will.  I’m so sorry, Changjo-ah, I let you down.”

            “You did what you thought you had to,” Changjo said.

            He’d tried to console himself by telling himself that Changjo would understand.  And of course Changjo had.  “I was wrong, I let everything scare me into the wrong direction.”

            “You won’t do it again,” Changjo said.

            Changjo was a better dongsaeng than he deserved.  “Why do you believe in me?” he asked, finally pulling back, looking into Changjo’s eyes.

            “Because I know you,” Changjo said.  “You aren’t nearly as hard to figure out as I thought.”

            “Such a smart kid, growing into such a good man,” Suho said, admiring him.  “Smarter than the rest of us.  Maybe you should be in charge.”

            Changjo grinned.  “What makes you think I’m not?”

            In the van, L pulled out his phone.  It was late, and his members were asleep around him.  Reading his messages, he smiled.  He sent a sleepy selca, then called Changjo.

            Oooh, handsome,” Changjo said.

            “What’s your news?” he asked.

            “It’s good news, so don’t get upset.  Suho hyung and I made up.”

            “Okay.”  He hung up.  Putting his phone in his lap, he looked out of the window.

            His phone rang.

            Glancing down, he answered, then hung up again with a flick of his thumb.

            Quiet again.  He felt sleepy.  They’d be at the dorm soon.

            His phone rang.

            “What?” he asked.

            “Who knows Suho hyung better than I do?” Changjo asked.

            “I do.”

            “Nobody,” Changjo said.  “I know him better than anyone, and I know you, too.”

            “You’re a foolish, horny kid.  You only think that you’re an adult because you’ve spent so much time around adults,” L said.  “You don’t know anything.”

            “You don’t think I believe you mean that, do you?”

            “Believe this,” L snapped, sitting forward.  “Go back to him if you want, let him pet you and buy you things and tell you that he loves you, do whatever the hell you want.  But if you’re calling him, don’t call me.  I don’t want either goddamned one of you.”  He hung up, turned his phone off, and threw it onto the floor.

            “Whoa,” Sungyeol said.  “You okay?”

            “I’m tired,” he muttered.  Shifting over, he slouched down, resting his head on Sungyeol’s shoulder.

            “That was Changjo, wasn’t it?”

            “It wasn’t anybody.”  When he felt Sungyeol’s arm curl around him, he closed his eyes.

            “So things are back to normal,” Baekhyun said as the EXO members walked back into their dorm.

            “Finally,” Sehun said.

            “All over a stupid blind item,” Chen said.  “I hate blind items.”

            “But are things back to normal, like, really normal?” Baekhyun asked.  “Really back?”

            “What are you asking?” D.O. asked.

            Baekhyun watched Suho take off his shoes, yawn, and shuffle by.  “Whose night is it?”  It was kind of a test, to bring it up in front of Suho.  To see how badly Suho freaked out.  To see if things were better or different or the same or worse or what.

            “What?” Lay asked.

            “Whose turn is it?” he asked.

            “Whose turn for what?” Lay asked.

            “Mine,” Kai said.

            “Oh,” Lay said.

            Suho kind of froze, and then he turned, slowly, and looked at Baekhyun warily.  He was blushing, but he was actually making eye contact, and he was still in the room, so it was pretty much a miracle.  He was holding too still and he looked incredibly cautious, but it was still wild and amazing to see him standing there waiting to see what might happen instead of running away.

            “It’s been a while, though,” Xiumin said.  “Shouldn’t we just start over from the beginning?  New start, clean slate?”

            “You just want tonight to be your night,” Kai said.

            “It’s been so long, it’s not like anybody’s keeping track, anyway,” Xiumin said.  “Let’s just start over.”

            “I’ve been keeping track,” Chanyeol said.  “Everybody keeps track.  There’s not a person in EXO who doesn’t keep track.”

            “It’s not hard to remember,” Baekhyun said.  “There are eight of us, so you go a week and a day.  One week, Wednesday, next week, Thursday, next week, Friday.”

            “I should just go tonight,” Xiumin said.  “Tomorrow is the maknae’s night, and he’s not going to want to do it, anyway.”

            “Hey,” Sehun said.  “I never said that.”

            “You’ve been kind of angry lately,” Chanyeol said.  “Scary, mean angry.”

            “If things are uncomfortable, we could skip over the maknae and go to Xiumin hyung,” Chen said.  “That seems fair.”

            “I’m not skipping my turn!” Sehun exclaimed.

            “Sehun-ah,” Suho said.  Everybody froze.  Chanyeol’s eyes were huge.  Baekhyun hadn’t actually expected him to speak up and join the conversation.  He hadn’t thought that Suho could talk about their arrangement without exploding into a thousand bits of mortification.  “It’s okay.  I know that you’re upset with me.  It isn’t right to feel obligated.”

            “And you can’t have sex with Suho hyung when you’re angry,” Kai said.  “That’s not right.  You can’t make him vulnerable like that and hurt him.”

            “I wouldn’t do that!” Sehun exclaimed.  “Why would I do that?  Who do you think I am?  I just want to take my turn.  It’s my turn, tomorrow’s my night, I don’t want to skip it.”

            “Let’s see how everybody feels tomorrow,” D.O. suggested.

            “We could have a tap out system,” Chanyeol suggested.  “If you need to skip your turn, you just let the next member know.”

            “Why would I want to skip my turn?” Lay asked.  “I never want to miss my night.  When EXO-K and EXO-M are apart and I miss it, I hate it.  I love Suho night.  It’s the best night of the week.”

            “So, we’re agreed that we’ll start over?” Xiumin asked.

            “Yes,” Baekhyun and Chanyeol said.  If they started over, Baekhyun’s night would be that much sooner.  It sounded like a great plan.

            “No!” Kai and Sehun exclaimed.

            “Suho hyung could decide,” Chen suggested.

            “Ah,” Suho said, shaking his head.  “No, this is up to you.  It’s always up to you.  I don’t ask for it, and I’m not playing favorites.”  Bright red, he licked his lips and backed away.  “We need to get some sleep tonight, so you have an hour to play, and then I want everyone in bed.”  Biting his lip, he turned and hurried away.

            Baekhyun couldn’t believe that had just happened.  Suho had just stood there and talked to them about the thing that no one was ever allowed to talk about.  Next he’d walk in the kitchen and find Suho giving head, or something.  He shivered.

            “It’s my turn,” Kai said firmly.  “Let’s keep things fair.”

            “If you say so,” Baekhyun said, undoing his own fly.  “Anyone want to go hang out over by the couch?”

            Finished with his shower, Chunji dried off.  Toweling his pubes, he glanced down at his cock and wondered what he felt like doing tonight.  It had kind of been an intense night.  Lots of emotions and yelling.  He wasn’t sure how he felt about it.

            Naked, he walked back to his room.  L.Joe was sitting on his bed in a pair of lavender underpants.  “Get off of my bed.”  Going over to his dresser, he examined his skincare options.  Deciding on just some light cream tonight, he slapped some on, rubbing it in.


            What was with that happy tone of voice?  He looked over to find L.Joe still sitting there and smiling at him.  “What?” he asked, self-conscious.  He glanced around, wondering if Niel was about to spring out and attack him.

            L.Joe was still smiling.  “Thank you.”

            Weirdo.  “For what?”  Curious, he walked over.

            “I’m grateful to you,” L.Joe explained.  “For agreeing and letting me hold onto Oh Sehun.”

            “Oh, now you’re grateful?”  He knelt on his bed, then flopped back against his pillow.

            “I am.”  Smiling at him, L.Joe shifted, crawling on top of him.

            Oh, this was interesting.  He liked this a whole lot.  “How grateful?” he asked, pulling down L.Joe’s underwear.

            “So grateful,” L.Joe murmured, kissing him.  Mmm, oh, yeah.  Kissing back, he slid his hand into L.Joe’s hair.  “Tell me what you want,” L.Joe whispered, caressing his body in all of the right spots.  “Tell me, I’ll do anything you want.”

            It was too good to be true.  “Anything?” he asked, and then he gasped, pleasure shuddering through him as L.Joe’s hand stroked over his cock.

            “Anything,” L.Joe promised, kissing him again, deep, tender kisses like they were making love.

            A dozen ideas flew through his mind.  His hands wandered L.Joe’s body, teasing and warming things up as they kissed.  L.Joe was making him a great offer, and he wanted to take complete advantage of it.  He was still kind of annoyed about something that had happened earlier, though, and it nagged at him.  “Okay.”  He kissed L.Joe again, and then again, because he liked it.  “Tell me,” kiss, “that you,” kiss, “love me.”

            “What?” L.Joe asked, still kissing him, rubbing his thigh.

            Kissing like this felt great.  He really should remember to do it more often.  He just got too impatient, sometimes; why make out when he could be fucking?  “Tell me that you love me.”

            L.Joe raised his head, breaking off their kiss.  “What?  Tell you that why?”

            Did L.Joe have to act like it was the most baffling thing in the world?  Like they’d never said it before.  “Can’t say it?” Chunji challenged.  “Won’t say it?”

            “I.”  L.Joe shook his hair out of his eyes and frowned.  “Don’t you want something else?”

            Pissed off now, he twisted L.Joe’s nipple.  It still looked tender from what he’d done to it last night, and L.Joe cried out, jerking away and then punching his shoulder.  “You’ll tell some other team’s maknae that you love him, but you can’t say it to me?”

            L.Joe had the nerve to look confused.  “What maknae?”

            “Stop playing around, are you stupid tonight?  Oh Sehun.”

            L.Joe frowned at him.  “I don’t say that to him.”

            “Right, you don’t,” wait, was he serious?  “You don’t?”

            “No!”  Looking flustered, L.Joe sat back on his heels.  “We aren’t in love like that.  It’s not about love, it’s about,” his voice started to trail off in confusion and embarrassment, “I don’t know, other things.”

            “Don’t go anywhere, I still want to screw you,” he said, pulling L.Joe toward him again.  “Now look in my eyes and tell me that you love me.  And mean it,” he warned.

            Ehhh.”  Looking uneasy, L.Joe bit his lip, his eyes anywhere but on Chunji.

            “I said it to you!”  Fed up, he shoved L.Joe off of his bed.  “You aren’t grateful, you’re selfish!  Sleep in your own bed!”

            Ya!”  On his ass on the floor, L.Joe looked indignant.  “I’m trying to be nice to you!”

            “I look after you, I try to protect your stupid feelings, and all you care about is some hoobae?”

            “Why is it always about you?” L.Joe demanded, hopping up.

            Rolling up onto his knees, Chunji was ready to start punching if L.Joe was.  “It’s about you, you asshole!  If it was about me, I wouldn’t give a shit!  I’d have all of EXO in here every night sucking my cock!  I would’ve said yes and grabbed the lube the second they walked in the door!  I said no for you!  I was trying to help you!  And who the hell is selfish in here?  All you goddamned care about is Oh Sehun, Oh Sehun, Oh Sehun!  Did you think about Changjo?”

            L.Joe made an inarticulate, frustrated cry and shoved him.  He grabbed at L.Joe on the way down, and they rolled across his bed, struggling for dominance.  He was winning when L.Joe suddenly landed a hard kick to his thigh.  With a wild whoop, he fell over the side of the bed, and before he could catch his breath, they were wrestling on the floor.

            They were too used to fighting together, and evenly matched.  He had no problem gaining the upper hand, he just had a little trouble keeping it.  “Say it!” he ordered, frustrated, trying to pin L.Joe’s hands.  The way L.Joe’s thigh kept pushing right against his hard-on felt fantastic.  “Say it!”

            “I was trying to be nice!”  L.Joe surged upward, and, shit, Chunji was losing ground here.  He turned, trying to scramble out from the small space between their beds so he’d have more room to maneuver, but he wasn’t quick enough, and L.Joe landed on his back.  He crawled forward, but L.Joe got an arm around his neck and was panting in his ear.  The feel of L.Joe’s muscular body and silky skin wrapping around him and pressed against him turned him on, but being caught like this infuriated him, and he clawed at L.Joe’s forearm, trying to shake free.  “Consent, consent,” L.Joe panted, and he thought about saying no just to piss L.Joe off, but, damn, he wanted it.

            “Yes, yes, I consent,” he said, grabbing for the bottle of lube under the bed.  L.Joe took it from him and his blood was pumping fast and when he felt the first forceful thrust of that hard cock driving into him, he moaned, arching his back and rocking against it.

            He was so worked up, so excited and angry and turned on, that he couldn’t get enough of the quick, rough way L.Joe fucked him.  L.Joe rutted on him like an animal, grunting and growling in his ear, nails dragging down his side.  “Deeper, yeah, fuck me,” he panted, and he came hard, jacking himself off, his body rushing toward climax.

            “Can’t, unh, fucking, hu-ooh, stand you sometimes,” L.Joe panted, thrusting into him quick and hard.

            He could tell that L.Joe was about to come, so he squirmed on purpose.  He wanted L.Joe to come on him, wanted to feel L.Joe’s hot cum spraying onto his bare skin, but he wasn’t going to ask for it, so he’d just have to make it happen.  He twisted enough to pop off of L.Joe’s cock, writhing around to make it hard for L.Joe to get back in.  Grunting, calling him a goddamned tease, L.Joe grabbed at his hips, trying to yank him back.  Laughing, he rubbed his ass all over L.Joe’s hard cock, and L.Joe made a blissful, choked, moaning sound and came on him, spurting on his ass and dribbling on his thighs.  Biting his lip, loving it, he rubbed himself against L.Joe again, enjoying the slide of hot skin on skin.

            “God damn you,” L.Joe muttered.  He ran his hand over Chunji’s side, his touch greedy, possessive, and he kissed the small of Chunji’s back, licking up cum.  Basking in the well-deserved erotic attention, Chunji arched.  It felt so fucking good to be wanted.

            When they finally got off of the floor, they got into bed.  L.Joe got in first, and Chunji crawled in with him, ignoring his whiny complaints about “get in your own bed” and “ow, why are your elbows so pointy?”

            “Roll over,” he insisted, pushing at L.Joe.

            “No!  I’m comfortable here, you roll over.”

            “I can’t sleep like this, your face will give me nightmares.”


            L.Joe’s outraged expression was so funny, Chunji burst into laughter.

            “You’re an asshole,” L.Joe accused.   “You’re a fucking asshole.”  He flopped over dramatically, rolling onto his side, putting his back to Chunji.  “Don’t ever look at me,” he grumbled.

            Spooning up behind him, Chunji rubbed his stomach until he relaxed.  Once he was fast asleep, he was so familiar and comfortable that Chunji fell asleep, too, nose tucked against his nape.

            In the morning, he felt someone touching his chest.  Chunji,” L.Joe whispered.

            Nnngh.”  Not ready to wake up, he brushed L.Joe off, rolling over.

            Chunji.”  L.Joe rubbed his shoulder.  “Are you awake?”

            “No,” he mumbled, batting L.Joe’s hand away.

            L.Joe kissed his cheek and whispered, “I love you, okay?  I love you way more than I thought I would and way more than I want to.  And I’m grateful to you, okay?  I’m grateful and I love you a lot.”  A soft kiss to his ear, and L.Joe was gone.

            He smiled.  Okay, that had been worth waking up for.

Series page: "Let's Love"

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Copyright August 23, 2015
by Matthew Haldeman-Time