Chen in Love

K-pop info and glossary 

Who’s who chart of idols

This story is part of a series.

This story covers a wide swath of time, including events in “EXO and Infinite Go on MT,” “The Blind Item,” “The Aftermath: Sunggyu,” “Fan Date,” and more.

I write about men having sex with other men.  You must be eighteen or older to read my fiction.  This site is for consenting, responsible adults only.

            A few days after they’d gone on MT with Infinite, the EXO members were still talking about it.  They compared notes at the dorm, and they joked about it in the practice room, and they snuck away for very hot, very vague phone calls with Infinite where they worked in as much innuendo as possible and made plans to meet up later.

            One night, over dinner at the dorm, Baekhyun asked, “Who’s talked to Hoya hyung?  Has anybody talked to Hoya hyung?”

            “About what?” Xiumin asked.

            “About anything,” Baekhyun said.  “I want to see who Infinite liked the best.  Whichever members they call and text the most, they must have liked, right?”

            “That’s not a good idea,” Suho said.

            “I think that Sungyeol hyung called everybody,” Chanyeol said.

            “Show of hands, raise your hands,” Baekhyun said.  “Did Sungyeol hyung call you?  Or text you?  Only if he made contact first, it doesn’t count if you started it.”

            They all raised their hands.

            Xiumin grinned at Suho, arching an eyebrow.

            “Did Woohyun hyung call or text you?” Baekhyun asked.

            They all raised their hands.


            Suho put his hand down.  So did D.O.

            “Dongwoo hyung?”

            Only Xiumin, Lay, and Baekhyun kept their hands up.  “You don’t count,” Baekhyun told Xiumin.

            “Dongwoo hyung’s selective?” Sehun asked.

            “I think that Dongwoo hyung’s not systematic,” Lay said.  “I think that the others contacted everybody on purpose.”

            “Wait, is that creepy?” Chanyeol asked.

            “No, I don’t think so,” Chen said.  “I think it’s nice.  Like sending a thank you note after a party.”

            “A ‘thanks for letting me bang you’ note?” Kai asked.

            “Thoughtful, right?” Xiumin asked, grinning.

            “Oh, should we have sent those to Teen Top after our first time?” Lay asked.

            “Is it the sunbae’s responsibility, or the hyung’s responsibility?” Baekhyun asked.

            “What’s the etiquette?” Chen asked Suho.

            “We were the hosts,” Suho said.  “It must’ve been up to us.”

            “That’s okay,” Chanyeol said.  “After we met Teen Top, I think I was so excited, I called and texted and sent carrier pigeons and everything.  Hired a plane to fly over their dorm, all of it.”

            “What are our scientific results here?” Baekhyun asked.  “Infinite likes me and Lay hyung the best?”

            “Thanks for leaving me out,” Xiumin said, pushing him.

            “What about Sunggyu hyung?” Chen asked.  “He texted me.”

            “He texted me, too,” Suho said.  “So did L.”

            “You - - none of that counts,” Baekhyun insisted.

            “Why do you get to decide what counts?” D.O. asked.

            “Sunggyu hyung and L don’t count, and neither does Suho hyung,” Baekhyun said.  “Neither do you, if you’re wondering.”

            D.O. shrugged.  “I wasn’t.”  Kai smiled.

            “But did anyone talk to Hoya?” Chanyeol asked.

            “Maknae?” Lay asked.

            Sehun shook his head.

            “He texted me,” Chen said.

            “You?”  Xiumin gave him a suspicious look.  “You said that the two of you didn’t do anything.  ‘Nothing happened, we just slept.’”

            “We didn’t do anything,” he said, laughing.  “He just texted me to say hi.”

            “Let me see,” Chanyeol said, holding out a hand.

            “It’s nothing.”  Chen pulled up the texts and handed over his phone.

            “Does this mean that Chen’s their favorite?” Lay asked.

            “No,” Suho said.  “No one’s playing favorites.”

            “Hoya hyung didn’t even call you?” Chanyeol asked Sehun.

            “Again, hyung, no,” Sehun said.  “But thanks, does anyone else want to point it out?”

            “Settle down,” Baekhyun said, patting his thigh.  He rolled his eyes and went back to eating.

            ‘Hi,’” Chanyeol read from Chen’s phone.  “‘Who’s this?’  ‘Infinite’s Hoya.  Lee Howon.  I think we’ve met.’  ‘Oh!  Sorry, hyung.  Hi, how are you?’  ‘Ah, everything’s okay.’  ‘Infinite’s been working hard!  I saw the festival on TV, everyone looked so handsome.’  Mmm, thanks.  Yeah, don’t get confused, that’s all lighting and camera work.’  And then Chen laughed a lot.”

            “That’s it?” Baekhyun asked.  “Sungyeol hyung’s texts are a lot sexier than that.”

            Suho frowned.  “Let me see.”

            “Oh, no,” Baekhyun said quickly.  “I just meant - - it’s really ambiguous, he just asks about practice and things like that, it’s just, if you read it a certain way - - but it’s all innocent, really, hyung.”

            “Give me your phone,” Suho said firmly, holding out his hand.  “I want to see everybody’s phone, right now, all of you.”

            “I didn’t…  Hyung, seriously,” Baekhyun said.

            “Everyone,” Suho said.  “Now.”

            Slowly, reluctantly, the members gave their phones to Suho.  “There are private conversations on there,” Lay said.

            “Very private,” Sehun said.

            “You’re idols,” Suho said.  “You shouldn’t text anything that it wouldn’t be okay to post on-line.  Chanyeol-ah, that’s Chen’s phone.  Give me yours, too.”

            Caught, Chanyeol handed over a second phone.

            “Why do you look so unhappy?” Chen asked D.O.  “You don’t have anything embarrassing on your phone.”

            He answered in a discreet voice, wincing.  “I might have been complaining a little.  About someone.”

            Chanyeol gasped.  “You complained about Kai behind his back?”

            “What?  No, why would I complain about Kai?”

            “He complains about me,” Suho said.

            “What?” Baekhyun asked.  “D.O., shame on you!  Why would you say anything bad about our guardian leader?”

            “It’s too late to suck up now,” Suho said.  “All of you, whatever you’re worried about now, whatever you’re wishing you’d had a chance to delete, whatever you regret, remember that feeling.  Those are all things you shouldn’t have said, messages you shouldn’t have written, photos you shouldn’t have taken.  You have to live a clean life.  A cleaner life than anyone else.”

            “That’s a great lesson,” Xiumin said.  “I’ll take that to heart and remember it from now on.”

            “Yeah, I think we’ve all learned a lot,” Chanyeol said.  “Can we have our phones back now?  You can check them again in a week and see how clean we’ve been.”


            Baekhyun groaned.  “I’m going to be grounded and lectured and reflecting all fucking month.”

            “So is Sungyeol hyung, as soon as Suho hyung tells on him,” Kai said.

            When Chen’s punishment was over and he had his phone again, he had a million messages and missed calls and other alerts.  His voicemail was full, but it hadn’t filled up immediately; Suho had listened to it every night, primarily to catch other idols saying dirty things.  Suho had alerted him to any news from his family, deleted messages from sasaengs, and left the friendly messages for him to catch up on later.

            He had several from Hoya.

            “Hey, this is Hoya hyung.”

            “Hi, it’s Hoya hyung.  Ah, still don’t have your phone back?  Tsk, what are kids up to these days?  I always knew there was that side to you.”

            “How long does this punishment last?  Sungyeolie doesn’t have his phone right now, either.  He’s being fucking annoying about it, too.  You both could learn a lot from me, I’m so well-behaved.”

            Aish.  I was going to upload this thing, this video, but, I don’t know.  I liked it, at first, but now I don’t know.  My vocals aren’t exactly - - nnngh, they’re better than yours, obviously, but I don’t know if I should post it.  Ugh.  Never mind.”

            “Still in trouble?  Shit, what did you do?  I’m going out with Feeldog and Baram hyung, and they wanted to see if Xiumin hyung could come, but I guess he’s still stuck at the dorm, so I thought that maybe you’d want to meet us?”

            Chen checked when that call had come.  Two nights ago.  Aw!  Disappointed, he spent a moment resenting Suho.  Then he dialed.

            He got Hoya’s voicemail!  Really?  “Hi, hyung, it’s Chen-Chen.  I guess it’s my turn to leave a message!  I have my phone back, so I can talk, or we can meet, or whatever.  Call me back.”

            Hanging up, he smiled.  He liked Hoya’s sense of humor.  Better vocals than his!  Curious, he wondered what video Hoya had been talking about.  He couldn’t find his notebook, so he dug up Baekhyun’s and sat on his bed.  After a moment of searching, he found Hoya’s YouTube channel.  Hoya had a YouTube channel?  Interested, he clicked on one of the videos.

            Oh, okay, it was a practice room performance with back-up dancers.  The vocals weren’t live, but the track was definitely Hoya’s voice.  Oh, he sounded great!  What had he been so worried about?  He looked great, too.  Really great, ooo, Hoya moved like that?  Eyes widening, Chen stared.

            The thing about good dancers was, they knew how to move their bodies.  So they knew how to roll their hips, and they had great muscle control, and in Chen’s experience, anyway, they really knew how to fuck.  They mastered sexual mechanics, and they looked fantastic doing it.

            It was impossible for all of that not to spring to mind while Hoya thrust and undulated and mimicked sex all over the screen.  He was in perfect control of every muscle, and he moved like, like, like, god, he was making Chen imagine all kinds of things.

            When the video ended, Chen stared at the screen.  Turned on, he felt like he needed to catch his breath.  He felt a little bit like he was in shock.  He didn’t know if he needed to watch that video about eighty more times, or never, ever again.

            He’d maybe underestimated this hyung.

            Hyung!  You have a YouTube channel?

            Doesn’t everybody these days?

            I watched everything.  It was great!

            Thanks.  You must have more time on your hands than I thought.

            I didn’t know that Infinite’s main dancer sang so well.  Inspirits must be so proud.

            I rap sometimes, too, I don’t know if you knew.

            No, I hadn’t heard.

            Yeah, well, I’m just the lead rapper, not the main, so…

            Are you any good?  Not really?

            No, don’t expect much.  So you have your phone back?

            Yes, and my freedom.  I’m allowed to leave the dorm without managers or my leader tagging along.  I can only go out if I bring along another member, though.

            Sungyeol would be furious if I met you while he’s being punished.  Have you eaten?

            The only members available to go out that night were Kai, D.O., and Suho.  After his punishment, Chen wasn’t in the mood to spend his free time with Suho, so he asked Kai.  Then he found out that Kai and D.O. already had plans to meet Woohyun and Sungjong.

            He couldn’t get them to change their plans.  He suggested that they could all go out together, but when D.O. asked, Woohyun said no.  Then D.O. said, “He says that you can come, if you want, but you can’t bring Hoya hyung.”

            He really wanted to go out; he couldn’t take another night cooped up with these same faces.  But it seemed rude to ditch Hoya.  He tried to convince himself that Hoya wouldn’t mind, but it just seemed like a douche move.

            In dire pain, he willed himself to approach Suho.  “Hyung, you’re not very busy, right?”

            “Hmm?”  Suho was getting dressed.

            Wait, why was he getting dressed?  “Are you going out?”

            “I’m going to dinner.  What do you need?”

            “Dinner where?”

            “With Kyuhyun hyung, he invited me.  What do you need?” Suho repeated, buttoning his fly.

            “I wanted to go out with Hoya hyung, but no one else can come with me.  I-”

            “Then you can’t go.”

            Shit.  “It’s not Sungyeol hyung, it’s only Hoya hyung, what do you think that he’s going to do?  You’ve always trusted me before, I’m not a criminal.  If it’s just dinner-”

            “I already said no.”

            “He’s a sunbae!  I can’t stand him up!”

            “You shouldn’t have agreed to go if conditions weren’t right.”

            It was so fucking unfair.  “You’re too strict,” he accused.  “This isn’t a joke, you’re going too far.”

            “If you want to go out, you can come with me.  But you can’t meet Hoya on your own.”

            Wait, what?  “I can go with you?”

            “Your punishment’s over.  I don’t think that the hyungs will mind if you’re there.”

            Hyungs, plural?  “Which hyungs?”

            “Kyuhyun hyung, and Changmin hyung, and maybe another Super Junior member, I don’t know.”

            “Changmin hyung’s going to be there?”  Shit.  “I’ll change now, how soon are we leaving?”

            A few minutes after he’d called, Chen got around to the point.  “I’m sorry about dinner,” he admitted.  Seated on Sehun’s bed, he leaned back against the wall.

            “It’s okay.”

            “It’s just, they’re company sunbaes.”  He winced; he felt bad about it.

            “I got it.”

            He rubbed his thumb over the hole in the knee of his pants.  “Is Woohyun hyung unhappy with you?”

            “Ah, it’s nothing.  We rub each other the wrong way, sometimes.”

            “Yeah, that can happen.”

            “I mean, I’m perfect,” Hoya said.  “Obviously.”

            Chen smiled.  “Yes, obviously.”

            “And he’s an overbearing arrogant asshole who’s so full of himself that he needs to be the most important person in every room.”

            Ouch!  Something about the way Hoya raised his voice and enunciated every syllable made Chen wonder, “Can he hear you?”

            “Nam Woohyun,” he said clearly.  “I’m talking about Nam Woohyun.  N, A-”

            “Shut up,” Woohyun said in the background.  It sounded like he was laughing.  Relieved, Chen smiled.

            “I’m sorry, this is a private call,” Hoya said.  “Can you step away?”

            “Who is it, Feeldog?” Woohyun asked.  “Who are you telling such bad lies about me?”

            “I’m on a conference call with your mother and your fan club presidents, and they all agree.”

            “Don’t say things about my mother.”

            “I’m sorry, what?” Hoya asked.  “Yes, yes, he is a terrible vocal.  Yes, I know, oh, so ugly, it’s a shame.  A real shame.  Too greasy, right, we’re all embarrassed to be around him.”

            “Stop,” Chen said, laughing.

            “Give me that phone.”  Woohyun’s voice was closer now.

            “No, ah, whoops!”

            “Coward!” Woohyun shouted, laughing.

            “Please stay on the line, there may be some interference,” Hoya said.

            Chen heard a door slam.  “Are you running away?”

            “I’m, oh, shit!”  Hoya laughed.  There were a couple of grunts, some breathless laughter, a few happy curses.  “God, you tree, why are you like this?  It’s just Chen, it’s only Chen.”

            “Ah, Chen-ah.”  Woohyun had the phone now.

            “Hi,” Chen said, smiling.  “Is Hoya hyung okay?”

            Mmm, he’s just great.”  There was sexual satisfaction in Woohyun’s voice.  “Chen-ah, hyung has to hang up now.”

            “No, you, mmm, ooh.  Shit, oooohhh, Nam, oh…”

            Listening to Hoya moan turned Chen on, and he really wanted to touch himself.  He tried to picture what they might be doing.  There were so many positions they might be in, so many delicious, sexy things that Woohyun might be doing.  How responsive was Hoya, and how adept was Woohyun, and what were things like between them, that things had escalated so fast?  “Can you, uh, could you ask Hoya hyung to call me back?”

            “Sure, Chen-ah.”  There was no doubt about it, Woohyun was smiling.  “But he’ll be busy for a while.”

            Woohyun hung up.

            Their first night in Japan, Hoya’s phone crashed.

            Between rehearsals and interviews and everything else, he didn’t have a chance to do anything about it.  It completely threw him off; now that he couldn’t use it, he realized exactly how much he relied on it.  It wasn’t only the obvious, like, he couldn’t get Sunggyu’s text so he had no idea what time to meet up after lunch.  It was everything.  He was used to sleeping with music playing, but all of his music was in his phone.

            On night number one, he didn’t recognize the problem until it was too late.  He tried listening to Sungjong’s music, but Sungjong only liked crap.

            After barely getting any sleep, he had a plan for the second night.  He borrowed L and went into Sunggyu’s room and let them fuck him into exhaustion.  It worked, until he woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep and spent the rest of the night watching TV.

            On the third day, Sunggyu said, “You can’t be like this.  What do you do other times when you don’t have your phone?  You’re not a baby who needs to be rocked to sleep, and you can’t stay awake every night.”

            He remembered the last time he hadn’t had his phone.

            He borrowed Woohyun’s phone and called Chen.


            “It’s Hoya hyung, not that greasy tree.  Listen, what are you doing tonight?  Can you call me?”

            “Sure, what time?”

            “Ah, I don’t know.  I’ll call you.”

            It was a stupid plan, but, whatever.  That night, once Dongwoo was asleep, he rolled over in bed and called Chen.


            “It’s Hoya hyung.”

            “You don’t have your phone?”

            “It’s messed up.  I haven’t had it for days.”

“Oh, I hate that.  You don’t know how much you rely on it until it’s gone.”

“Yeah.  It’s one of those things, those warnings, ‘What’s wrong with this generation, technology is taking over our lives!’”

“Oh, you should do a PSA.”

“I’ll look into it.”

Chen chuckled.  “How’ve you been, hyung?  How’s Japan?”

“I don’t know, I’m too tired to pay any attention to it.  I don’t have my phone, so I don’t have my music, so I can’t sleep.”

“Oh, no!”  It was kind of nice to hear someone sound so sympathetic about it.  “It’s awful.  Can you borrow someone else’s music?”

Nnn, you don’t want to hear the mess that Sunggyu hyung listens to.  I was wondering if you could - - this is stupid, never mind.”

“No, what?  If I could what?” Chen asked.  “Oh!  Do you want me to sing for you?  I did before, right?”

“Ugh, no, that’s too awkward.”  Second-guessing everything, he wished that he hadn’t called.

“No, it’ll be fun,” Chen said cheerfully.  “You should get in bed, are you in bed?”

“It’s not going to work.”

“It did before.  It’s okay, I can even look up lyrics if I need to, this time.  Are you comfortable?”

He sighed.  Adjusting his pillow under his head, he tried to relax.  It didn’t really work.  “Yeah, I’m okay.”

“Now, tell me if I’m too loud.  I don’t want to keep you up, that’s not the idea here!  Mmm, what should I sing.  Any requests?”

“Usher?  Ne-Yo?”

Mmm, okay, let me double-check the lyrics.  You’re ready?”

“Ready,” he confirmed.  “Music, start!”

Chen sang to him.  It was nice, actually.  Chen had a nice voice, and chose some slow R&B.  The songs were familiar, and Chen didn’t rush them, and he felt himself relax.  There was no conversation, only a pause at the end of a song, and then Chen’s voice would pick up again, easing into the next song, like a smooth playlist.

Rolling onto his back, Hoya closed his eyes.  He didn’t think about anything, he just listened, letting calm descend over him as Chen’s soft, reassuring voice and seductive groove carried him away.

He was asleep before he knew it.

            Was it wrong that Chen didn’t want Hoya’s phone to be fixed?  He liked singing Hoya to sleep!  It felt kind of special, to know that his voice could so directly help someone.  Sometimes fans told him that they received healing through his music, and he thought that was a great, fantastic thing, and it meant a lot to him to help Hoya, too, to solve a hyung’s problem.  He sang for as long as Hoya needed it, and when he heard that Hoya was finally, definitely asleep, he had a sense of satisfaction when he hung up.  It was something he felt good about.

            The first night took him by surprise.  The second night, he wasn’t sure if Hoya would call again or not - - probably the phone would be fixed, right? - - but he chose a few songs anyway, just in case.  The third night, he was really looking forward to it, and he listened to some music in the van between schedules, carefully selecting a playlist.

            Singing Hoya to sleep was his favorite new hobby, but it couldn’t last forever.  Eventually, he got a text from Hoya’s phone: Phone’s fixed.  Got all of my numbers and apps and music back.

            It seemed insensitive to be disappointed, but he was, anyway.  That’s good, hyung.  You’ll be able to sleep better now.

            And take embarrassing photos of my members.

            He laughed.  That’s important, too.  Congrats on the phone!

            Thanks for helping out.  I won’t keep you up all night anymore.

            That’s okay, hyung.  It was nice.

            Hoya texted him a photo of Sunggyu in a hotel room, looking sleepy and confused, hair sticking up, eyes barely open.

            Chen laughed.  Aw, don’t send that!  He’ll get upset.  Send one of you, how do you look?

            He got a very plain selca of Hoya, expressionless and off-center.

            Hoya considered that a selca?  Hyung, you…  You know that you’re an idol, right?

            He got almost the exact same photo, same positioning, same lack of expression, but with an awkwardly placed finger-V beside Hoya’s eye.  It seemed like the funniest thing he’d ever seen.

            When the blind item came out, everything went to hell.  It was a really horrible time for Chen and everyone involved.  He was furious, and he cried, and he questioned everything.

            One of the things that upset him the most was how easily EXO-L turned on Hoya.  He’d never expected it.  He was surprised that they’d be so terrible to a respected sunbae, to someone so incredibly talented and hard-working who’d never done anything to anyone.  And he was dismayed that his own fans could be so cruel to someone he was so close to, to such a good hyung.

            It was disorienting to realize that no one had any idea how close he and Hoya were.  He went from wondering how EXO-L could act like there wasn’t any evidence of Hoya’s friendships with EXO members, to wondering why there wasn’t any evidence.  It was ridiculous, there had to be something!  He argued with his members about it, and then he went on-line to prove everyone wrong.

            But there wasn’t anything.  The best he could do was finding photos of a time when Hoya had left karaoke at the same time as some of the members.  “Is this it?” he asked, showing his members the photos.

            “I remember that night,” Chanyeol said.  “We all split up to go to karaoke and bowling and everything, and when we met up, Hoya hyung came, too.”

            “That was such a good night,” Lay said.

            “Why is this all there is?” Chen asked.  “What about other times you went out with Hoya hyung?”

            The members looked at each other.  After a moment of confusion and silent questions, Chen couldn’t believe it.  “Someone’s gone out with Hoya hyung!”

            “He doesn’t go out a lot,” Baekhyun said.  “Not with us, he has other friends.”

            “I don’t think that he likes us very much,” Chanyeol said.

            “Yes, he does,” Chen said.

            “He’s not very friendly,” Lay said.

            “He’s hilarious!”  Chen didn’t understand any of this.  “You never invited him out?” he asked Xiumin.

            “It’s like Baekhyun-ah said, he has other friends,” Xiumin said.

            “Every time we have a night off, all everyone does is try to meet up and go out,” Chen said.  “Whenever we have free time, all you fools want to know is whether Teen Top’s in town, whether Infinite’s available, who’s going to dinner, who’s going to karaoke, who’s getting laid.  No one ever met Hoya hyung, not once?”

            “We see him around,” Baekhyun said uneasily.

            “He never invites us, either,” Chanyeol pointed out.

            “Why haven’t you seen more of him?” Kai asked.  “You’re scolding us, but what about you?”

            “I see Hoya hyung all of the time.”  But he didn’t.  They texted, and once in a while they talked on the phone, but they didn’t really see each other in person.  And when their groups bumped into each other, Chen talked to Sunggyu, or Woohyun, or Sungyeol, or…  But he always said hi to Hoya, didn’t he?

            Sure, the way he said hi to anyone else he ran into backstage.  He was friendly with VIXX, too; it didn’t mean anything.

            Maybe none of it bothered Hoya.  He was a hyung, a sunbae; if he wanted to be closer to them, all he had to do was take the initiative.  There were plenty of opportunities for it.  Maybe he had enough friends; maybe no one in EXO was his type.  Maybe he didn’t like to flirt.  Hell, maybe he didn’t like sex.  He’d never made a move on Chen; as far as Chen could tell, he’d left most of EXO alone, really.

            He’d asked Chen out a few times, though, hadn’t he?  He’d invited Chen out with his friends.  He’d invited Chen to dinner.  There had been that time when Feeldog had called from his phone and asked Chen to come out with them, but Chen had been packing to go to the airport.  There had been that time when Xiumin had been heading over to Infinite’s dorm, and Hoya had asked if Chen was coming, too, but…  Now, weeks later, Chen couldn’t even remember what had come up.  There had been some reason, some excuse.

            He couldn’t remember talking to Hoya after that.  Not on the phone.  They’d just texted here and there.  And now, chances were, they wouldn’t see each other again.  Not more than to say hello in passing, backstage.  Like they’d never been close at all.

            He couldn’t shake a sense of confusion over how close they’d been in the first place.

            After Suho made up with Teen Top, they all went over to Infinite’s dorm a few days later to make up with Infinite.  Suho and Sunggyu spent a lot of time holed up in Sunggyu’s room.  Chen didn’t know what they were doing in there.  Negotiating?

            He went into Hoya’s room.  Hoya sat on the edge of one bed, Sungjong and Kai on the other; the three of them had their heads together, watching something on Kai’s phone.

            Hoya looked up first, spotting him.  Hoya’s eyebrows went up in a silent question.

            “Hyung.”  Gesturing to the bed, he asked, “Can I talk to you?”

            Hoya glanced at the bed, then nodded, scooting over.  “There’s room.”

            Smiling, not sure how this might go, he sat down.  “I, mmm.  I wanted to apologize.  For how everything went, for what our fans have said.  It’s not right.”

            Hoya nodded, the tip of his tongue flitting at the corner of his mouth.  “It’s okay.”

            “I hate that anyone would think that there’s bad blood or tension between us.”

            Gazing at him, Hoya just nodded.

            Um.  “It’s a little awkward.  With our leaders…  I don’t know what to say, I don’t know if everything’s okay.  Sunggyu hyung’s a little…”  Hoya’s eyebrows went up, and he winced, catching himself.  “Whatever happened, it’s our fault.  Our leader’s fault, not yours.  I just, I meant that I don’t know if Sunggyu hyung can forgive us.”

            “It won’t be hard for you to make new friends.”

            Was it his imagination, or did that sound mean, somehow?  Maybe he felt too guilty, and it was making him oversensitive.  “That doesn’t mean that I want to lose the friends I already have.”

            “What are you really losing?” Hoya asked.  “Whatever Sunggyu hyung and Woohyun did for you, you can get somewhere else.”

            Surprised, Chen felt insulted.  It wasn’t only his imagination anymore.  “You think that’s all I’m worried about, a little sex?  I almost lost all of my friends!”

            “Friends you cared about because they gave you sex,” Sungjong said.  “How deep are these great friendships?  Who are you closer to, who do you see more of, whose calls do you pick up for, the tops or the bottoms?  Is that a coincidence?”

            “Hyung,” Kai said, frowning at Sungjong.

            “You’re ‘Chen-Chen.’”  Sungjong said his name in a cute, chipper tone, doing aegyo.  “You can make a hundred new best friends in a week if you want.”

            Was that what they thought of him?  That he was this superficial and this selfish?

            “Be nice,” Hoya told Sungjong.

            Jaw stubbornly set, Sungjong looked down, messing with Kai’s phone.

            “What are you mad about?” Kai asked Sungjong.

            “Nothing,” he muttered.

            Chen hadn’t expected Hoya to defend him.  Maybe Hoya wasn’t as angry as he’d thought?  “I really am sorry.  About everything, all of it.”  Hoya watched him silently.  “Ever since the blind item came out, everything’s been hell.  We couldn’t talk to anyone, we couldn’t explain ourselves, we couldn’t even say good-bye.  I didn’t know if I’d ever get to see any of my friends again.  We’ve all been so close, and it was so sudden.”  It was all so fresh and unresolved, he felt incoherent, talking about it.  “I had all of these plans, and conversations I was in the middle of.  Everything felt so unfinished.”

            Hoya nodded.  “It was sudden.”

            “I know that it’s selfish, but.  I’ve really wanted a boyfriend.  I haven’t found anybody, but at least I had the idea, you know?  All of a sudden that wasn’t possible anymore.  I didn’t even have hope.  Forget about meeting anyone new, I couldn’t even see anyone old, I couldn’t even call C.A.P. to say hello.  I know that we talk about making sacrifices for the sake of our careers, but I didn’t know if I could make that sacrifice anymore.”

            Licking his lips, Hoya shifted, resting his elbows on his knees and rubbing his hands together.

            “But I’m just sitting here talking about me, when I meant to be apologizing to you,” Chen said, embarrassed.

            “No, it’s okay.  Love and romance and finding a boyfriend and all of that stuff, it’s important to you,” Hoya said.  “I think it’s kind of nice, that you care about those things.  It’s old-fashioned and sentimental,” he added with a hint of a smile.  “But, you know, you do you.”

            Chuckling, he finally relaxed.  If Hoya was teasing him like this, maybe everything could work out.  “I really am sorry.  Suho hyung’s sorry, too, he feels terrible, he’s really ashamed.”

            Hoya nodded.  “I’d put in a good word with Sunggyu hyung, but that grandpa doesn’t listen to anyone but himself.”

            “He listens to Woohyun hyung, doesn’t he?”

            “I think that their entire relationship is the two of them convincing each other, ‘No, I need you, really, there’s no one else but you,’ so they can strip each other’s power away.  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?  That kind of thing.”

            Chen laughed.  “You make them sound like double-crossing supervillains.”

            Smiling, Hoya reclined, his weight on his elbows.  “The Greasy Tree versus the Angry Hamster.”

            Cracking up, Chen pictured it.  “What is it, a comic book?  A movie?”

            “Great movies,” Hoya said.  “You can subtitle the first one, ‘The Fight for Infinite Control of the World.’”

            “Oh, ‘Infinite Control,’ that’s nice,” he said, amused.  “Who’s the hero?”

            “It could be you,” Hoya decided.  “You can save the day.  Captain Friendship.  You can teach them how to fall in love and rule peacefully together.”

            “Oh!  I already have a superpower,” he remembered.

            “What is it, which one are you, you control fire?” Hoya asked.  “You control water?  You have X-ray vision or super-smelling or something?”

            “Super-smelling!” he repeated, laughing.  “No, I’m lightning, I control lightning.”

            “Like electricity?” Hoya asked, looking skeptical.

            “Yes, sure.”

            “Can you control storms?”

            “No, I can’t control the weather.”

            “Right,” Hoya said slowly, nodding.  “Because that would be weird.”

            Sex with Hoya was, well, Chen didn’t know what sex with Hoya was like.  He knew what it looked like.  Or did he?  Like so much else about Hoya, he had conflicting ideas about Hoya’s sex life.

            Like how high Hoya’s sex drive was and how private or open Hoya was.  A lot of the time, Hoya held back, didn’t participate, acted selective.  But the very first time they’d gone on MT, the very first cock they’d seen had been Hoya’s.

            Most of the time, sex with Hoya seemed intense.  It was quick and physical.  Or was quick the right word?  He seemed to like it fast, but he seemed to like for it to last, too.  Maybe he bottomed the way C.A.P. topped.  Hard and impersonal.  But there had been that time when he’d been blowing Lay, and Dongwoo had been right behind him, squeezing his ass and tenderly murmuring, “That’s it, Howonie, that’s right, feels so good, you love that hard, sexy dick in your mouth, suck on it, yeah, keep sucking, my sexy Hobaby, hyung loves it.”  And it hadn’t seemed quick or impersonal at all, it had seemed incredibly intimate, Hoya sucking slowly, really savoring Lay’s cock, moaning around it, rubbing Lay’s thighs like he’d always been in love with Lay and was relieved that now he could finally show it.  It had been so sensual and so erotic, Chen had ached to join in but hadn’t been willing to interrupt, and had just stood there and jacked himself for a while, staring.

            Most of the time, there was no kissing, no foreplay, straight to business.  Again, like C.A.P.  Chen really had to imagine that the two of them had gotten along perfectly.  When he stopped holding back and actually decided that he wanted cock, he went right for it.  But Chen had walked in on Sungyeol and Hoya making out once, in Infinite’s dorm, and there had been nothing businesslike about it.  They’d been all over each other like long-lost lovers.  It hadn’t even been explicit; they’d been completely dressed, and they hadn’t been groping anything obscene.  They’d just been kissing and moaning, Hoya’s tongue sliding into Sungyeol’s mouth, Sungyeol’s hands pulling Hoya closer and closer.  If it had been more aggressive or more frantic, Chen would have assumed that they were really horny or making up after a fight or something, but for all of its passion and sensual intensity, it had seemed familiar, too, like something they did a lot.  And he’d seen Sungyeol and Hoya together enough to know that they probably didn’t have some secret grand romance going on.  So how was he supposed to reconcile what he’d seen with all of the times that Hoya acted like sex and foreplay had about as much to do with each other as televisions and tablecloths?

            Maybe the common denominator was Infinite.  Maybe that was the difference.  The Infinite members got to Hoya in a way that no one else did.  His relationship with them was deeper and more intense, more emotionally resonant, more passionate, even, more romantic.  The EXO members were just a random assortment of guys he occasionally had sex with.

            That didn’t seem very unusual.  L seemed to find his sex life with Infinite fulfilling enough that he didn’t care about EXO.  So did Sunggyu.  And Woohyun talked once in a while about how sex with the people he loved mattered, and sex with everyone else didn’t.  So maybe Hoya felt the same way.

            That was okay, wasn’t it?  It was maybe surprising but also great that Hoya had that kind of relationship with Infinite.

Chen tried not to take Infinite’s attitude personally; he knew that it was foolish to be insulted.  He didn’t actually expect for Woohyun to fall in love with him, so the way Woohyun talked shouldn’t bother him.  They could all be friends and have sex and have a good time, anyway.  It would actually be worse if Woohyun pretended to care just to get in his pants.

But seeing the difference between the way Hoya blew Lay when Dongwoo was whispering in his ear, and the way Hoya hopped on and off of Kai’s cock, made Chen oddly relieved that the two of them never did anything sexual together.  Because if Hoya was capable of that kind of emotional involvement, and treated him like a blow-up doll anyway, it might be kind of hurtful.

Although he still had fantasies about being Lay in that scenario.  God, Hoya gave good head.

            Chen had never, not once, kissed Hoya.

            It was better this way.  Hoya was certain of it.  It was better that he’d never kissed Chen.  It wasn’t a big deal.  He’d never kissed D.O., either, or Suho, or Chanyeol, or Baekhyun, so it didn’t matter if he didn’t kiss Chen.

            It would just be awkward later, anyway.  Awkward the next time Suho freaked out and made them all stop seeing each other.  Awkward when Chen got a boyfriend and Hoya had to run into that boyfriend backstage.

            Maybe the word for it wasn’t “awkward,” so much as “painful,” but, whatever.  He wasn’t going to dwell on it.

            He kind of liked Chen.  That was how he thought of it, when he thought of it.  “I kind of like Chen.”  Chen was an okay guy.  That was how he phrased it, when his members asked about his being on the phone again.  “He’s an okay guy.”  “He’s okay.”

            Okay.  Chen was a lot of things.  More than just okay.

            But Hoya didn’t dwell on that.  There was no point to it.

            Chen wanted a boyfriend.  By now, everyone knew it.  A boyfriend his own age, which Hoya wasn’t.  A top, which Hoya wasn’t.  Someone handsome, which Hoya wasn’t.  Someone romantic, which Hoya wasn’t.

            Once in a while, it occurred to Hoya that he was only one year older, which wasn’t that far off.  And he technically knew how to top, he’d done it before, he had the physical capability.  Besides, there were a dozen other things two guys could do together besides anal.  And he wasn’t super-gorgeous, but he wasn’t a complete troll, either.  And maybe he wasn’t Nam Woohyun, but he thought that he could be romantic for Chen.  He felt like, given the chance, he’d do all kinds of romantic things for Chen, say all kinds of emotional words, make all kinds of sweet gestures, and mean all of them.

            But he didn’t think about that very often.  He cut it short, and he filed it away in the back of his mind, and he let it go.

            Because Chen wanted a boyfriend.  But he didn’t want Hoya.  Any way Hoya looked at it, it was pretty fucking obvious.

            Chen had never, not once, kissed Hoya.

            When Hoya returned to the dorm that night, he saw that someone had changed his sheets.

            Was that supposed to mean something?  Was that supposed to make a difference?  Was anyone actually stupid enough to believe that his sheets were the problem?

            He left again, and went to the practice room.  He danced until his anger and frustration turned to grief and regret, and then he sat against the wall, listening to music, letting the beat pour over him and pull him away.

            By the time Woohyun walked in, he wasn’t crying anymore.  Not wanting to talk about it, he got up, deciding to go.

            Woohyun closed the door and turned off the music.  “It’s late.”

            Yeah, he knew how to tell time, thanks.  He grabbed his sweatshirt and headed for the door.  He was halfway there when Woohyun stopped him, getting in his face and putting a hand on his chest.  Not wanting to be touched, he stepped back.  “Where are you going so fast?” Woohyun asked, smiling.  When he didn’t smile back, just tried to get around Woohyun, still wanting to leave, Woohyun said, “Hey,” in a more serious tone and got in his way again.  “You - - don’t, just listen to me for a second.”

            His problem wasn’t Woohyun.  His problem was Chen.  His problem was himself.  But it wasn’t Woohyun.  So he stood there and let Woohyun talk.

            “I’m sorry,” Woohyun said.  “About earlier, in your room.  That wasn’t right.”

            “Do whatever you want.”  It didn’t make a difference.  Whatever Woohyun did wouldn’t change who Chen was.  Wouldn’t turn Hoya into the man Chen wanted.

            “I’m an asshole,” Woohyun said.

            He nodded.  Was he supposed to disagree?

            “I think that I took you for granted,” Woohyun said.  “I won’t do it again.  I might still be an asshole,” he admitted, smiling.  “But I won’t do that again.”

            “Eh, you’ll always be an asshole.”

            When Woohyun hugged him, he hugged back.  They went back to the dorm together.  Sunggyu was up, pretending to have other things to do but making it embarrassingly obvious that he’d been waiting for them.  They were scolded for staying out too late, and then ten minutes later, Sunggyu crawled into his bed and made hot, demanding love to him all night.

            The next morning, in the van, Sunggyu said, “You should talk to him.”  He had no idea that Sunggyu was even speaking to him until Sunggyu got annoying about it, poking and prodding at him.  “You should talk to him!”

            Okay, now he understood that Sunggyu was speaking to him, but about what?  “Talk to who?”

            Sunggyu’s eyes widened in an exaggerated stare.

            “To Chen,” L said.

            “Are we talking about that?” Dongwoo asked.  “Sungjong said that we weren’t talking about that.”

            “Finally!” Sungyeol exclaimed.

            Hoya didn’t blink.  “Talk to him about what?”

            “He’s not ready to talk about it,” Sungjong said.

            “Does that mean that we’re all sworn to silence until the next full moon, or something?” Sungyeol asked.

            “Yes,” Hoya said.

            “I’m not being silent,” Sunggyu said firmly.

            “You never are,” L said.  When Sunggyu glared at him, he gazed innocently out of the window like he’d never said a word.

            Finally finished scowling at L, Sunggyu turned back to Hoya.  “You’re going to talk to him.”

            “I think that he’ll like it,” Dongwoo said.

            “You think that rainbows are tangible,” Hoya said.

            “If you don’t talk to him, I will,” Sunggyu said.

            That sounded like the worst possible outcome.  But Sunggyu was only saying it to provoke him into action.  Maybe if he didn’t argue, Sunggyu would back off for now.  “You’re hyung, I can’t stop you.”

            “I don’t want to talk to him!” Sunggyu exclaimed, like Hoya had made some terrible suggestion.

            “I do,” L said.

            “No, we’re sworn to silence until the next full moon,” Woohyun reminded him.

            “I think that we should stay out of it,” Sungjong said.  “All of us.  It’s Hoya hyung’s life.”

            “My dancer is unhappy,” Sunggyu said firmly.  It was interesting; usually he said, “My visual is unhappy,” like it was a national emergency and he expected everyone to jump to action.  Occasionally it was, “My lead vocal is unhappy.”  It had never been “my dancer” before.  Hoya wondered if he mattered to Sunggyu more than he’d realized.  Or if he was unhappier than he’d realized, and it was showing more than he’d realized.

            “What’s wrong, do you not think that Chen feels the same way?” Dongwoo asked.

            “Ask Suho,” Woohyun said.

            And already, they’d come up with a new worst possible outcome.  That was horrifying and impressive.  “No one needs to talk to anybody.”

            “Well, somebody should talk to somebody!” Sunggyu said.

            “Nope,” Hoya said.  “Oh, good, we’re here.”  Ready to get away from this conversation, he was opening the door before the van was fully stopped.

            He told himself that whatever L whispered to Sunggyu on the way into the building had nothing whatsoever to do with him.

            Lounging in Kai’s bed, Chen traded languid kisses with Changjo.  He could hear Chunji and Baekhyun going at it in the next room, and he kind of wanted to go and watch, but he’d just gotten off, and he felt kind of lazy.  Besides, if he stayed put, C.A.P. or someone would walk in, so there was no real rush to get up and go anywhere.

            Mmm, this is nice,” Changjo said, palming his cock.

            “You like it?” he teased, kissing Changjo again.

            “Yeah.  So sexy, I love a hot bottom with a great cock.”

            Mmm.”  While Changjo’s hand drifted back to his ass, they kissed again.  He’d bet anything that Changjo was talking about Suho.  “Like Niel?”

            Changjo grinned at him, eyes sparkling.  “Like Hoya hyung.”

            Immediately, he wanted to hear more.  Maybe it was just his own perversion, but the guys he couldn’t have seemed unbearably sexy.  Since he’d never done anything sexual with Hoya, he was weirdly fascinated by Hoya’s cock.  And he knew that Teen Top and Infinite did things together, but he’d never seen any of it, and he could only imagine what it was like.  The term “no holds barred” came to mind.  “You like him?”

            Changjo laughed.  “What’s not to like?  ‘Harder, Changjo-ah, harder,’ and his meat’s jerking like an animal in my hand.  I love making him shoot his load.”  Changjo’s thumb brushed over Chen’s lower lip, and he eyed Chen’s mouth, smiling.  “You must love getting that hyung’s cock in your mouth.”

            God, he wanted to.  “I don’t, um, we don’t do that.  With each other.”

            “Are you making things up?” Changjo asked.  “What are you talking about?  He’s got a cock like that and you have a mouth like this and you haven’t sucked that hyung dry?”

            Ya!”  He felt flattered and self-conscious, both.  And turned on.  “I don’t have to suck every cock I see.”

            “But you should,” Changjo said.  “You’re really good at it.  Hasn’t Hoya hyung sucked yours?”

            He shook his head.

            “Ah.”  Changjo sighed, flopping back, rubbing his hand over his chest.  “You’re missing so much.”  His hand drifted down to his stomach.  “But maybe I see a different side to him,” he admitted.  “I’ve heard a lot about him from L hyung.  You know how it is between the Infinite members.”

            “They make love,” Chen said.

            “Yeah, that,” Changjo said.  “And they fucking go wild on each other.  Shoving their cocks in each other’s faces, rimming each other for hours, taking turns on Sungyeol hyung like they’re trying to set a record.  And all of the stuff that L hyung’s told me.  Now whenever I see Hoya hyung, all I can think about is that he’s made my boyfriend come more times than I have.  I used to think of him as boring and sarcastic, and now I’m like, damn, this hyung has things to teach me.”

            “Teach you?”  Did he mean it?  “It seems like you already know everything.”

            “Well, I learn fast,” Changjo said, nimbly rolling on top of him and grinning.  Squeezing Changjo’s firm ass, he smiled.  “But Hoya hyung has a head start.  And really horny, demanding members.  With some of the pickiest bottoms I’ve ever met.  Seriously, if he has Sungjong hyung begging for it like that, he’s doing something I want to know about.”

            Chen wanted to know about it, too.

            When Chen came home, he smelled food.  He hoped that whoever had it planned to share.  “I’m here!” he called, heading straight for the kitchen.

            “Chen-ah?” Suho called.  “Come and eat.”

            Suho was in the kitchen, unpacking delivery bags and directing Sehun to find bowls and plates.  L was there, too, leaning on the island in a black shirt, looking like an ad for sexy countertops.  “Sunbae,” Chen said, bowing, smiling.  Honestly, after that weird shopping trip they’d gone on, Chen wasn’t sure how to feel about him.  It seemed unreasonable to hold it against him, though.

            “Don’t be so formal,” L said with a gorgeous smile that made Chen want to forgive him everything, ever.  Wow, it was really hard not to fall for that.  Leaning farther across the island, he put a hand forward like he wanted to reach for Chen.  “I’m sorry about that misunderstanding.  When we went shopping together for the fans, it seems like it didn’t go as well as I thought.”

            He hadn’t expected L to say anything about it.  Had Hoya told on him?  He was kind of grateful to have it out in the open, though.  “I misunderstood, it’s my fault.  You were only doing it for our sake, we should be thankful.”

            “Get the chopsticks, maknae, we can’t eat with our fingers,” Suho said.

            “It wasn’t personal,” L said.  “I do that sometimes, it’s just how I am.”

            Yes, but was that okay?  Chen didn’t want to be rude or anything, but it seemed like L didn’t have the healthiest mindset.  Then again, like the members said, there were reasons that Suho had adopted dongsaengs like L and Changjo first.  “I understand.”  Hopeful, trying to connect, he asked, “But it went well, right?”

            “Don’t pour so much all at once,” Suho chided.

            L smiled again.  “The fans liked it.  And Hoya hyung and I had fun.  I didn’t know that you’d be so nice to shop with.”

            “Get some food for our guest,” Suho said.  “And don’t be stingy, I want to see L eat well.  More than that, maknae, are you listening?”

            The four of them ate together.  Chen was glad that L had come to visit.  While Sehun cleaned up and Suho went to take a call, Chen and L talked on the couch.  After a while, Sehun walked out of the kitchen, and Chen said, “Maknae.  Did you leave a mess in there?  Is everything put away?”

            “It’s clean, it’s fine,” Sehun said, still walking.

            “Is it?” he asked.  “Don’t just go to your room if you’ve left it all dumped in the sink.”

            Groaning, Sehun turned around and went back to the kitchen.

            “Maknaes,” Chen said, shaking his head.

            “I’m so glad that we have Sungjong,” L said.

            “Oh, that’s right,” Chen said, grinning.  “You were almost Infinite’s maknae.”  That sounded like hell; Sunggyu was so much worse than Suho.  “But maknaes are spoiled, it wouldn’t be that bad.”

            “So spoiled,” L agreed.  “And so manipulative.  ‘L hyung, buy me this.’  ‘Sungyeol hyung, don’t you think I’m pretty?’  ‘Hoya hyung, you’re so sexy.’  He has Hoya hyung wrapped around his little finger.  Like he thinks that Hoya hyung’s his stand-in boyfriend.”

            Chen wondered.  Out of everyone in Infinite?  “Is Hoya hyung the boyfriend type?”

            “He’ll do anything that the maknae wants.  Always spoiling him, flattering him, buying things for him, telling him how pretty he is, kissing him and rimming him and giving it to him whenever he snaps his fingers.”  L chuckled.  “I think that Hoya hyung likes them young and pretty.”

            “He must love you, then.”

            L smiled, acknowledging that.  “He should get a real boyfriend,” he decided, leaning back.  “Stop spoiling the maknae and find someone who appreciates it.  I’d like to be treated like that.  It’d be great to have some handsome hyung taking care of me and admiring me all of the time.”

            “Ah, our L-ah,” Suho said.  Walking in, he sat down, rubbing L’s thigh, smiling into L’s face with adoring fondness.  “You ate well, do you need anything else?  Is Chen keeping you entertained?”

            “Okay,” L told Chen, rubbing his nose with an embarrassed look.  “You don’t have to laugh so hard.”

            “It’s all right for my members to go over?” Suho asked.  One hand holding his phone, he dug through his closet for his blue shirt.  It had to be in there somewhere.

            “It’s okay,” Sunggyu said.  “The kids will like it.”

            “I’ll tell them not to bother you,” Suho said.  “They know to leave you alone.  I wish that I could go, too.”  If he didn’t have this meeting, he’d be there in a heartbeat.

            “Maybe you can come to pick them up.”

            He smiled, forgetting all about his blue shirt.  “That’d be okay?  It won’t be too late for a visit?  If my meeting runs long…”  He didn’t know what he was doing; he didn’t want to talk Sunggyu out of inviting him over!  But he didn’t want to be inconsiderate and make Sunggyu wait up for him.

            “Come anyway.”

            He already looked forward to it so much, he was thinking of ways to make the meeting end faster.  “Okay.”

            “Who’s coming, Xiumin?”

            Mmm.  Xiumin hyung, Lay, and Chen, for sure, and-”

            “Not that one.”

            “Not who?” he asked, surprised.

            “Not that Chen one, I don’t want him.”

            Baffled, Suho turned around to stare at Chen’s empty bed.  What in the world?  “Did something happen?  Did he say something?”

            “He upsets my members.”

            “When?”  No one had said anything about it!  “Which members?”  Conflicts were bound to come up, but everyone had been getting along so well!

            “Anyone else can come over, but not him,” Sunggyu said.

            “Okay, hyung, I’ll tell him not to go.  But what happened?”

            “What’s that thing you always say?  What’s private is private.”

            Private!  “Chen is my responsibility, and if he’s done something to upset your members, I want to know about it.”

            “Who are you speaking to?”


            “Don’t take a tone with me.”

            “I’m not taking a tone.”

            “That’s a tone!”

            Exasperated, Suho stopped and took a deep breath.  “Sunbaenim,” he said calmly.  “You seem upset.”

            “I’m not upset.  I’m not the one who’s upset.  My dongsaeng’s upset, he’s been upset for a long time now, and it’s not getting any better, and I don’t want your main vocal making it worse!”

            As Sunggyu’s boyfriend, he hated that Sunggyu was this upset.  As Infinite’s friend, he wanted to fix whatever was wrong.  As Chen’s leader, he was frustrated that he had so little information.  “We’ll talk about it tonight, while I’m there.”

            “I said too much,” Sunggyu grumbled.  “I like you too much, it’s hard to keep things from you.”

            “Well, that’s good, though, isn’t it?”

            “Wear something nice,” Sunggyu said, and hung up.

            This hyung.  Smiling, Suho set his phone aside.  As he started looking for his striped shirt instead of the blue one, his smile faded.  Sunggyu was unhappy and flustered and feeling protective.  Maybe whatever was wrong wasn’t tragically serious, but Chen had definitely done something, and he needed to know exactly what.

            Dressed, he went into Xiumin’s room, where most of the members had gathered.  They greeted him cheerfully, with a chorus of questions about whether it was time to go or not.

            Ignoring all of that, he said, “Chen-ah.  Come out here and talk to me.”

            The members exchanged glances.  “Hyung?” Chen asked, getting up but looking puzzled.

            Silently, he ushered Chen out and back to their room.  After he closed the door, he faced Chen.  “I just talked to Sunggyu sunbaenim.”

            “Sunggyu hyung,” Chen corrected him, smiling.

            He didn’t smile back.  “He asked me to tell you not to go along with the other members tonight.  It seems like you’re not welcome in Infinite’s dorm anymore.”

            Chen’s eyes widened, his mouth opening in shock.  “What?  Hyung, why?!”

            That looked like genuine surprise.  Maybe Chen hadn’t deliberately kept something bad from him; maybe it had been a misunderstanding.  “You should tell me everything now, so that when I see Sunggyu hyung tonight, I can speak up for you.”

            “But what are you talking about?” Chen asked, looking confused.  “Why, I don’t get it?  Sunggyu hyung’s angry?  But I haven’t talked to him.”

            “He says that you’ve upset one of his dongsaengs.”

            Chen shook his head, looking completely lost.  “Does he have dongsaengs I don’t know about?  I don’t know, the last person I argued with was Kai!  Are you sure that he meant me?”

            “When you think of the Infinite members, there’s no one you feel guilty about?  No one you have regrets over?”  A faint flash of something crossed Chen’s face, a sudden blink of embarrassment and hope and desire amid the confusion.  What was that, what had that been?  “Chen-ah?”

            “There’s nothing,” Chen said.

            But there was something.  “Chen-ah,” he said more firmly, staring into Chen’s face, wanting to see it again.

            “Ah, it’s nothing,” Chen insisted, taking a step back.  He grimaced, visibly uncomfortable.  “It’s not about this, it has nothing to do with Sunggyu hyung.”

            Now he had to know.  “Kim Jongdae,” he said stubbornly, stepping right into Chen’s personal space.

            Aish.”  Chen grimaced again and sat on his bed.  “I have some, what you said.  Some guilt and regrets over Hoya hyung.  But it’s personal, it’s - - it’s not about this.”

            “Hoya?”  This was all new to Suho.  Sitting beside Chen, he squeezed Chen’s shoulder.  “Tell me.”

            Chen hesitated, then glanced at him.  “I don’t want to start a fight.  But it’s private.  If I have to respect your privacy, you can’t respect mine?”

            He nodded, thinking that over.  “You don’t have to tell your leader.  But I’d like it if you told your hyung.”

            “You’re always my leader,” Chen reminded him.

            He rubbed Chen’s arm.  “I’m always your hyung, too.”

            He watched all of Chen’s defenses crumble right in front of him.  Looking relieved, Chen turned on the bed, facing him.  “You can’t laugh.  It’s already embarrassing.”

            “I won’t laugh.”

            Chen’s eyebrows quirked, and then he smiled an adorable, vulnerable, hopeful, trusting smile.  “I think that I kind of like Hoya hyung.”

            Hoya.  Chen and Hoya.  His Chen?  And Sunggyu’s Hoya?  “Our Lee Howonie?”

            “Do you know any other Hoya?” Chen demanded, laughing.

            Hobaby?” he asked, blinking, trying to wrap his mind around it.  “I say Ho, you say Ya?”

            “You promised not to laugh!”

            “I’m not laughing!  I’m shocked!”

            “He’s handsome,” Chen insisted, and he sounded so loyal and sincere that Suho immediately wanted to support him in this, one hundred percent.

            “He’s very handsome.”

            “And he’s really, really talented.”

            “He’s a great sunbae, he’s achieved a lot.”

            “And he’s so funny, hyung, he’s hilarious.”

            “He’s really sexy, too,” Suho said.

            Chen gasped, then hugged him, laughing.  “Hyung!”

            “What, it’s not true?”

            “He’s totally sexy.”  Chen sat back again, looking flushed and happy.  “I think that I kind of like him.  Maybe it’s a crush.  But it’s a little weird between us.  Things go well, and I think that we’re really close, and then something else happens, and I think, oh, maybe we’re not so close anymore.  He has a lot of contradictions like that.  When I’m with him, I like him so much, I’m so glad.  And then when I’m not with him, I don’t know if I made the whole thing up, if I read too much into it.”

            Suho knew, from gossip, that Hoya was sexually active with different members to different degrees, but he didn’t remember hearing how Chen fit into that.  “Are you one of the members that he…?”

            “What?  No.”  Chen laughed self-consciously.  “I don’t know if it’s weirder that you’d ask me that, or that you don’t know about it already.  But no, we don’t do those things.  We just talk.”

            Suho didn’t want to spoil Chen’s happiness, but, “Is that maybe why you’re attracted to him?  Because you’ve already had everyone else, so he seems more interesting?”

            “No.  No, that’s…  It’s a part of it, but…”  Chen sighed, rubbing his own arm.  Then he smiled like he couldn’t hold it back, like just thinking about Hoya brightened everything.  “He holds things in, so I don’t want to rush him.  If I thought that he’d like it, I’d call him every day and go to see him all of the time and invite him out.  It isn’t only about sex.  I like being with him, I like talking to him.”

            “It seems like there are other members in Infinite who might be more your type.”

            Chen looked hurt.  “Are you trying to discourage me?”

            “No.  No, Chen-ah.  If this is where your heart is, I’ll support you.  If you’re sure about it, then I want you to have what you want.  I’m only worried that you’ll be hurt.  I like Hoya, too, it’s very comfortable between us.  But you’re precious to me, and I don’t know if you’re precious to him.”

            “I’m not,” Chen said.  He tried to smile bravely, but his smile wobbled.  “I’m not precious to him.  It’s not that he hates me, we always get along.  But he doesn’t think of me when I’m gone.  He likes who he likes, he’s very clear about that.  He has his friends, and he has his members, and he doesn’t need anyone else.”

            Suho could see how badly Chen was hurting.  “L felt the same way, and look at him now, he has a boyfriend he wasn’t even looking for.  If L can open his heart, maybe Hoya can, too.”

            “I don’t want to tell him about it.  I don’t want to burden him.  We get along, and I don’t want to ruin it.”  He hesitated, then admitted, “I thought that I might try to blow him tonight, though, I thought that if I offered, he might let me.  He doesn’t want me like he wants some of the other members, but it can’t hurt to ask, right?  But if I can’t go - - why can’t I go?  What happened, I don’t understand why Sunggyu hyung’s angry.  Is it some other member, did Chanyeol do something stupid and get me in trouble for it?”

            “I don’t have any details, but I’m going to talk to Sunggyu hyung about it.”  He nibbled on his lower lip, thinking.  “There’s only one solution.  You should talk to Hoya.  Even if you don’t confess to everything, you should tell him that you want to be closer.  Call him more often and invite him places, do the things that you’ve been wishing that you could do.  Give him a chance to see you in a new light.  If you keep holding back, you’ll never know what might happen.  Changjo and L held themselves back for too long, and it only caused a big mess.”  Chen still looked uncertain.  “Don’t you remember what Xiumin hyung said?  If you aren’t clear, and you hold yourself back from the truth, then Hoya doesn’t have all of the information he could have, and however things turn out, you’ll always wonder what might have been different.  Don’t live with regrets, Chen-ah.”

            “It sounds so right when you say it,” Chen said.  “But Hoya hyung isn’t interested in me.  It’s not romantic between us.  It’s not even sexual between us.  He’s just not attracted to me, it’s like I’m a plant or a piece of furniture in his eyes, for as much as he notices me sexually.  It would be ten times easier to start a relationship with C.A.P.”

            “I’d like that,” Suho said.  “You and C.A.P., I think that it could work.”

            “Hyung, that’s not the point.”

            “But it would be cute.  He’s a lot more sensitive than you think, he just doesn’t show it.”

            “I don’t want to date C.A.P.”

            Suho sighed.  “It would be nice if you had a boyfriend.  A hyung.  You deserve it, Chen-ah, you deserve to be happy.”  He just wasn’t sure about Hoya.  He needed to get to know Hoya better.  Hoya just wasn’t as much of an open book as other guys, like Dongwoo.  He thought about it, his lower lip poking out.  He didn’t want to betray Chen’s confidence in him by making it obvious, but he’d have to get closer to Hoya.  Would a close relationship like this be a bad complication?  Maybe it would be; he could already foresee problems.  But he couldn’t deny the fact that Chen deserved happiness.  If Hoya was Chen’s happiness, then Suho would try to make it happen.  “I’m sorry that you can’t go tonight,” he said honestly.  “I’ll straighten everything out.”

            “I have to stay here?” Chen asked.

            Alone?  While all of the other members went to Infinite’s dorm and had all of the sex with Hoya that Chen had never experienced?  Suho had started off this conversation ready to issue punishments, but he could see that Chen honestly felt innocent, and he still had no idea what Sunggyu was actually upset about.

            If Chen had done something wrong, then Suho would punish him later.  But for now, Suho wanted to treat him well, to make things easier on him.  “Give me a minute, let me make a call.”

            Minho had the night off.  He was alone, and bored, and very willing to let Chen come over.

            When Xiumin led the kids into Infinite’s dorm, Sungjong said, “Hey, hyung.”

            He waited for Dongwoo to burst in, calling him “Mini” and squeezing his ass.  He didn’t see Dongwoo anywhere.  Sungyeol came out and said hi, and a weird look passed between Sungjong and Sungyeol.

            The others started talking and flirting, but Xiumin didn’t like the dorm’s strange quiet.  “Where’s Dongwoo?”

            “He’s here,” Sungjong said.

            “Woohyun?  Hoya?”  Were they hiding?  Was everyone asleep?

            “Woohyun’s here,” Sungyeol said.  He tugged at his ear.  “Hoya went out.”

            “He’s not here?” Sehun asked.

            “No, just us,” Sungyeol said.  He put his arm around Lay and smiled.  “Want to come to my room?”

            Xiumin caught Sehun glancing at him, silently checking in with him.  Sehun felt uneasy, too, and wanted to know if the mat-hyung felt the same way.  Okay, something was up.  Infinite had never been this disinterested in a visit before.  Dongwoo should’ve met them at the door, and Woohyun should’ve come sniffing around, and why had Hoya left entirely?  “Is something going on?  The mood in here’s a little…  Did we come at a bad time?”

            “Is it about Chen?” Lay asked.

            “Chen?” Sungyeol asked.

            “Right, Suho said that Sunggyu hyung didn’t want Chen to come over tonight,” Lay said.  “Why?  What did he do, what’s Sunggyu hyung angry about?”

            “That’s nothing,” Sungjong said.

            “Yeah, let’s not worry about it,” Sungyeol said.  “They’ll straighten it out.  Why are we standing here talking when we have better things to do?”

            Sungyeol didn’t seem horny; he seemed nervous, and he was trying to distract them.  “Go screw if you want,” Xiumin told the kids, and walked away.  “Jang Dongwoo!”

            Sunggyu’s door flew open.  “Who the hell is yelling all over my dorm?” Sunggyu demanded, storming out.  “You,” he said, focusing on Xiumin.  “Get out if you’re going to be like this.”

            Before Xiumin could even figure out how he wanted to respond to that, Dongwoo came out from behind Sunggyu.  “I’ll be going, too,” he said, walking right past everyone, heading for the door like he didn’t see any of them.

            “Good!  Get out, then!” Sunggyu snapped.  “Anyone else want to run away?”

            “Hyung,” Woohyun said, trying to pull Sunggyu back into the room.  Sunggyu shook him off, glaring at Dongwoo’s back.

            Moving out of Sunggyu’s range, Xiumin hurried over to Dongwoo.  “Where are you going?”

            “To the practice room.”

            “Do you want me to come with you?”

            Sunggyu made a furious, frustrated noise and stormed back into his room.

            Dongwoo nodded at Xiumin, so he put his shoes back on.  “Stay here,” he told his members.

            “What the hell is going on?” Sehun whispered.

            Dongwoo was opening the front door when Sunggyu stormed back out.  Everyone froze, and Xiumin watched him warily, braced for whatever the hell he might say or do next.  Ignoring them, he came right over to the door and shoved his feet into shoes.  Then he glared at Dongwoo.  “I’m going with you.”

            “Hoya doesn’t need to be yelled at,” Dongwoo said.  “He needs to be understood.”

            “I don’t understand him?” Sunggyu demanded.  “What don’t I understand?  I understand everything about it!”  His glare was intense; he radiated such strong emotion, he seemed like the most powerful thing in the room.  “Are you driving or do I have to get there myself?”

            “I’m going to the practice room,” Dongwoo said.  “I don’t know where else to go.”

            “Go there, that’s where he is,” Sunggyu said impatiently.  “He’ll be there, because standing outside of some hoobae’s building staring up at the windows is the only other place he wants to be.”  Abruptly turning, he told Woohyun, “You’re in charge.  Keep these kids comfortable, Money won’t like it if they’re worried.”  Then he walked out.

            Dongwoo followed.

            Xiumin followed.

            In the elevator, Sunggyu crossed his arms over his chest.  He was so tense and frustrated and restless that there seemed to be five of him, filling the space.  “Running away, it’s not right, he can’t be like this.”  Suddenly he glared at Xiumin.  “You’re here?”

            Um.  “Yes,” Xiumin admitted.

            He scowled.  “You can stay in the car.”

            “Okay, hyung.”

            He sat in the backseat and kept his mouth shut while they drove across town.  Sunggyu kept squirming in the passenger seat, and then falling still, and then suddenly bursting out with things like, “I’m only protecting him, isn’t that my job?!” and “This is how you drive?!”

            “You can’t protect him from what’s in his own heart,” Dongwoo said.

            “I told him to talk to that kid, I told him to take care of it, didn’t I?  He’s the one who wanted to keep hiding and running away!  If he’s not going to solve his problems, then I have to solve them for him!  And if he says not to solve them one way, I have to solve them a different way!  He won’t talk to the kid, I can’t talk to the kid, what’s left?  All I can do is get rid of the kid!”

            “Like you got rid of C.A.P.,” Dongwoo said.

            “Don’t you start with me!

            “Like you got rid of Chunji.”

            “You and Chunji are fine!  It worked out, didn’t it?”

            Xiumin raised his eyebrows.  Sunggyu had to know how ridiculous that sounded.

            “Those things aren’t my fault!” Sunggyu insisted.  “C.A.P. got rid of himself.  You and Chunji are the ones who fought, I didn’t start any of that.  You all caused your own problems, getting all emotional and upset over a bunch of horny guys.”

            “Falling in love doesn’t cause problems,” Dongwoo said.    

            “What, does it solve them?” Sunggyu demanded.  “That sparkly dongsaeng you’re in love with is a handful of problems.  Two handfuls!  Ten!”

            “Then is Young Money a problem?” Dongwoo asked.

            “Yes!  I can’t get rid of Chen because of him!  Now I have to figure out how to fix all of this, just because of him.”

            Dongwoo glanced at Sunggyu.  “Then you have to solve your problems because you’re in love.”

            Sunggyu glared at him.  “Don’t act wise.  I know you’re wearing cartoon underwear.”

            When Dongwoo parked the car, Sunggyu grunted.  “I can’t leave you out here where everyone’s watching.  Come inside.”  So Xiumin hopped out of the car and went into the building.

            It was dark; it felt abandoned.  Sunggyu fixed him with a threatening stare.  “Don’t poke around and don’t go anywhere.”

            “Okay, hyung,” he said, holding up his hands to show that he was innocent.

            Dongwoo was already walking away.  Sunggyu glared at Xiumin, looking dissatisfied, then went after Dongwoo.

            Xiumin rocked on his heels, looking around.  He waited.  Then, silently, he followed.

            He knew where Infinite’s practice room was.  Judging by the light under the door, they were in there.  Gingerly, he tested the knob; not locked.  He couldn’t go in, though, so he let go.  He pressed his ear to the door, but he couldn’t hear anything.

            “Lee Howon!” Sunggyu shouted.

            Xiumin jumped back, startled.

            “What?!” Hoya shouted.  Xiumin skittered back a step; it sounded like Hoya was right on the other side of the door.  “What do you want?!”

            “I want you to talk to him!  I told you that!  No one listens when I talk!”

            “You’re always running your mouth!”

            Gyu hyung, hyung, no,” Dongwoo said suddenly.

            “Let him,” Hoya said.  “Let him hit him if he wants to hit me.”

            “I don’t want to hit you!” Sunggyu shouted.  There was a rough thud against the door, and Sunggyu’s voice was closer.  If Hoya was still between Sunggyu and the door, then that rough thud had been Hoya’s body.  “I’m trying to help you!  You don’t want help!  I’m trying to protect you!  You don’t want that, either!  Is it me you don’t want?  I can’t do anything right, I should just give up?  I don’t give up!” Sunggyu shouted.  “I don’t quit!  We don’t quit!  If it doesn’t work, figure out how to make it work.”

            “You can’t force everything,” Hoya said.

            “You haven’t even tried,” Sunggyu accused.  “You haven’t even started!  You must not be Infinite’s Hoya, I don’t know who you are.  The Hoya I know, my Hoya, he works hard on everything, he doesn’t stop until he’s done his best, he works on himself and improves every day.”

            “I can’t improve any more than this,” Hoya said.  “You want me to change reality?  Chen doesn’t want me, he doesn’t want this, I can’t turn myself into someone he’d look at.”

            “What does Chen want?  You tell me, tell me all about it, what’s he looking for?”

            “Someone his age, someone hot, someone romantic, someone-”

            “He wants love, you asshole.  He wants someone to care about him and make him feel good about himself.  He wants someone he can show himself to, who will stick by his side.  You think that Young Money’s in love with me because of my great abs?  All of those stats and details and things are filler, they’re fluff.  You don’t have to be this tall or be born on this date to be right for Chen, and if he thinks that you do, then get the hell away from him.”

            “He doesn’t want me,” Hoya said.  “He doesn’t look at me.  He’s nice to me, he’s friendly, but he’s that friendly with everybody.”

            “Like the sun,” Dongwoo said.  “He makes you feel so warm, but he warms up everyone else, too.”

            “Then what do you want to do?” Sunggyu asked.  “You want to keep hurting like this?  You want to keep taking it and loving him?  You want to keep hating yourself?  Maybe that’s fun for you, but I can’t do it anymore.  You either take him, or you get rid of him.  And if you don’t do it, I’ll do it for you.”

            “This isn’t 2012 anymore,” Dongwoo said.  “It’s happening again, we’re going to lose EXO like we lost Teen Top?”

            Xiumin’s eyes widened.  Oh, hell, no.

            “No,” Sunggyu said.  “No.  My members are never going to grow up, they’re going to cause the same problems over and over again, but I don’t have to stay the same forever, too.  We’ll keep Chen and Hoya apart for a while, but we’re not going to burden everyone else.”

            “I’ll stay away,” Hoya said.  “He doesn’t have to know anything about it.  How the hell would you explain it, anyway?  How are you going to explain tonight?  All of a sudden he can’t visit our dorm anymore?”

            “I’m hyung, aren’t I?  I’m sunbae?  I don’t have to explain myself to him.”

            “You have to say something to Young Money,” Dongwoo said.  “He’s going to want to know, he’s that kind of leader.”

            “Are you going to talk to Chen?” Sunggyu asked.

            “No,” Hoya said.

            “Do you really think so badly of him, that you think that he’s so selfish and shallow and immature that he could never care about you?” Sunggyu asked.  “The Chen I know is better than that.  Or do you only think badly of yourself?  You’re worthless trash that no one good could ever want, right?”  Xiumin winced.  Hoya stayed silent.  “All right.  Then I’ll let Chen come around whenever he wants, and you can run away and hide as much as you want, and I’ll tell Money that it’s all straightened out after all.”  Sunggyu’s voice hardened.  “Make yourself miserable.  Keep yourself miserable.  Don’t talk to me again until you’re ready to grow up and face the world like an adult.”

            Xiumin only had an instant to absorb that, to feel shocked and wounded.  And then there was sudden movement on the other side of the door, a scuffle.  “No, no, stop it,” Dongwoo said, and then, “No!  Stop it!”  His voice rang with such authoritative vehemence that they actually stopped.  “What are you doing, you can’t be like this.  This won’t solve anything.”

            “Fuck you,” Hoya snarled.  “Fuck you, fuck both of you, fuck all of you.”

            The door opened so abruptly that Xiumin didn’t have time to hide.  Hoya stormed out, his face dark and furious, tears streaking his cheeks.  He didn’t even seem to know that Xiumin was there.

            “Fuck,” Sunggyu muttered.  Then, “Ya, what’s that muffin doing out there?”

            “He’s not a muffin, he’s a dumpling,” Dongwoo said.

            Well, as long as they knew he was there, there was no sense in hiding.  Xiumin edged into the doorway.

Dongwoo ran worried hands over Sunggyu’s body and examined his face.  “You didn’t duck fast enough.”

“I ducked,” Sunggyu argued.  He rubbed his jaw, then winced.  “I’ve told him to stop punching people in the face.  No one ever fucking listens to me.”

“It’s going to bruise?” Dongwoo asked.  His touches were so tender and solicitous, Xiumin wondered, not for the first time, if Chunji was the only guy he was really in love with.

“He punched you?” Xiumin asked.  Sure, he’d shoved Suho before, but even at his most outraged, he’d never punched his leader.  In the face?!  He couldn’t imagine one of the dongsaengs even trying it.

“The members fight sometimes,” Dongwoo said.  “I hate it, that’s no way to solve problems.”

“But you punch each other?”

“The kids punch,” Dongwoo said.  “Sunggyu hyung slaps us across the face.”

“Don’t tell people that,” Sunggyu said.

“Woohyun thinks that it’s okay for the members to fight sometimes, because it’s natural,” Dongwoo said.  “But it’s not the answer, violence doesn’t solve problems.”

“Only loves does, right?” Sunggyu asked.  “What am I supposed to do, love Hoya until he makes sense?”

“I don’t think that he doubts Chen,” Dongwoo said.  “I think that he doubts himself.  Then love really is the answer.  He has to love himself more.”

“Where did he go?” Xiumin asked.  He hadn’t walked outside looking like that, angry and crying, had he?  In front of the fans?

Bigstar’s dorm,” Sunggyu said.

“No, they’re in Japan,” Dongwoo said.  “He won’t go back to Busan, will he?  It’s too late to leave Seoul, we have schedules tomorrow.”

Sunggyu grimaced, dragging his hands through his hair.  “He’s going to stand outside EXO’s dorm like a sasaeng, waiting for a look at Chen?”

“Chen’s not there,” Xiumin remembered.  “He’s at Shinee’s dorm.”

Shinee?” Dongwoo asked, curious.  “What’s he doing there?”

Um.  “Having sex with Minho,” Xiumin admitted.

Sunggyu blinked.

            When Suho got to Infinite’s dorm, Sehun let him in.  It looked like Sehun and Xiumin were playing cards with Woohyun and Sungjong in their underwear.  “Everyone’s getting along?”  He could hear Dongwoo and Lay and, ah, Sungyeol from one of the bedrooms.

            “Yep,” Xiumin said.

            He squatted down to watch them play and to steal some of their snacks.  He didn’t know this game, and he asked a lot of questions about it just to annoy everyone.

            Apparently they were playing for turns in the bedroom.  Immediately upon winning, Woohyun cheered happily for himself, then popped up and went into the bedroom, calling Sungyeol out.  “Fresh meat!” Dongwoo said cheerfully.  Sungyeol emerged, red-faced and laughing, legs shaking, streaks of cum on his chest.  “I, uh,” he said, tugging his underwear up more securely, and he hurried away toward the bathroom.

            Well, they were all playing nicely together and taking fair turns, at least.  Suho ruffled Sehun’s hair and got up.  He checked the other two bedrooms; no one.  He went to Sunggyu’s room and knocked on the door.

            “What?” Sunggyu demanded.

            “Hyung, it’s Joonmyun,” he said.


            He smiled.  “It’s EXO’s guardian leader Suho.”


            He sighed, rolling his eyes.  “It’s Young Money.”

            “You can come in.”

            Turning the knob, he entered the room.  L was in there, on the desk chair, and gave him a small, warm smile when he walked in, but he could tell that things weren’t great.  Seated in the middle of the bed, Sunggyu looked distracted.  “I’m interrupting?  I can go and wait.”

            “No, I’ll go,” L said, pushing himself up.  “It’s time for leaders to talk, right?”

            “And leaders will handle it,” Sunggyu said.  “Don’t start plotting weird ideas with that other team’s maknae.  This is a situation for adults.”

            “Maybe just a back-up plan,” L suggested, grinning a little as he backed toward the door.

            “No plans!”

            “A small back-up plan.”


            Smiling, L left, pulling the door shut behind himself.

            “Now we have to solve it, or they will,” Sunggyu said.  “I don’t want that kid fixing my problems for me, how does that look?”

            “Changjo comes up with good ideas,” Suho said, sitting on the bed.

            Sunggyu scowled at the wall, fingers picking at the sheets.

            “I could come up with ideas, too, if I knew what was wrong.  Can you tell me more about it?”

            Sunggyu turned that scowl on him.  “If it was for you to know about, you’d already know about it, and if you don’t know anything about it, then it must not be something for you to know.”

            “Is this what we talked about on the phone?  Is it about Chen?”

            “Who, Choi Minho’s Chen-Chen?”

            Suho blinked.  “How do you know that he’s with Minho?”

            “That little biscuit one told me.”

            Biscuit?  “Xiumin hyung?  He’s a dumpling.”  Suho crawled up to sit against the headboard, his usual spot.  There wasn’t much room between Sunggyu and the headboard, so he stretched his legs across Sunggyu’s lap.  “I can’t know about what’s wrong, but Changjo can?”

            “L tells that criminal everything.”

            “He’s not a criminal,” Suho said.  “You can’t tell me everything?  When it comes to your members, you can’t trust me?”

            “If somebody feels a certain way and it’s obvious enough that his leader knows about it, then his leader knows everything already and doesn’t need to be told.  And if somebody doesn’t feel a certain way, or doesn’t feel it strongly enough and his leader can’t tell, then I’m not exposing my member’s heart for nothing.”

            Suho really wished that Sunggyu would speak more plainly, sometimes.  But if this was all about Chen, then “somebody” was Chen and that somebody’s leader was Suho.  And Chen did feel strongly, about something, someone, in particular.  “This is all about Chen?”

            “If you don’t know that, then you don’t know anything.”

            “I have an issue with one of your members, too.”

            “My members?” Sunggyu demanded like it was out of the question.


            They looked at each other.

            Sunggyu’s eyes narrowed.  “What about Hoya?”

            Suho crossed his arms over his chest.  “If you can protect your members, I can protect mine, right?”

            “You’re not some guy’s leader, you’re my boyfriend,” Sunggyu argued, pushing his legs aside and crawling toward him.  “Tell me everything.”

            “I’m their guardian!” he protested, laughing as Sunggyu crawled over him, sinking back against the pillows, titillated by the aggression.

            “You’re my boyfriend,” Sunggyu insisted.  “You have to tell me.”

            Wrapping his legs around Sunggyu, pulling Sunggyu tight between his thighs, he gazed up into Sunggyu’s face, breathless.  “You tell me first.”

            Slowly drawing up his shirt, Sunggyu eyed his body contemplatively.  “Your problem is my main dancer.  My problem is your main vocal.”

            “Seems like it.”  He loved the way Sunggyu looked at him, like he was sexy, like Sunggyu really lusted after him.  He knew how many options Sunggyu had, how many other people Sunggyu was with and could be with, but Sunggyu made him feel wanted.

            “Maybe our problems could solve each other.”

            Did Hoya like Chen?  Was that what was wrong?  Hoya had feelings for Chen?  But why would something that simple upset Sunggyu this much?  Unless they were strong feelings.  Very strong feelings.  Suho tried to picture Hoya desperately in love with Chen.  He could almost see it, kind of?  It might help if he could concentrate on the issue, but he was really distracted by how close and on top of him and irresistible Sunggyu was.  Licking his lips, he ran his hands over Sunggyu’s sides, pulling on Sunggyu’s shirt.

            “Not kissing time,” Sunggyu scolded him.  “Horny puppy, it’s still talking time.”

            No, he really needed to kiss Sunggyu.  Desire was a burning knot in his chest.  Fascinated by Sunggyu’s pink lower lip, he rubbed his thumb over it.  So plump and soft.  “We could kiss a little.”

            Tapping a finger over Suho’s mouth, Sunggyu kissed his forehead, then looked into his eyes.  Sunggyu’s expression was so patient and confiding that he fell in love all over again.  “I think that it would be good if your problem talked to my problem.  But if we force it, they’ll get upset, right?  So it has to seem natural.”

            He undid his fly, wanting it to be super clear that Sunggyu had access to everything down there.  “Make it seem natural.”  He could lust after Sunggyu and make plans at the same time.  He could sing and dance at once, right?  He was great at multi-tasking.  “Like they’re just bumping into each other.”

            “Alone.  In private, somewhere they can talk.”

            “Dorm?”  He stroked Sunggyu’s jaw with both hands, captivated by how handsome Sunggyu was, how sexy.  Smoothing Sunggyu’s sideburns, he crossed his ankles, needing to be sure that Sunggyu would stay, just needing to keep Sunggyu right there, with him, for a little while longer.

            “Practice room?” Sunggyu suggested.  His smile was charming, his eyebrows quirking.  “Are you paying attention?”

            He dragged his mind back to their conversation.  Practice room, dorm, right.  He caressed over Sunggyu’s eyebrows.  So skeptical and straight and sexy.  “How can we get them alone?  We have too many members around, too many interruptions.”

            Sunggyu eyed him warily, looking suspicious.  “Is there something between your Chen and that Choi Minho?  Do I have to worry about him?”

            “What?  No.”  He pulled Sunggyu’s shirt up, baring skin, and then he ran his palms all over Sunggyu, relishing the sensation, relishing having the freedom to do this.  It meant a lot to him to have a hyung he could be himself with, someone he could touch how he liked, when he liked.  Being open with his desires felt liberating, and the more he did it, the more confident about it he became.

            Mmm.”  Sunggyu nodded decisively.  “I know what we’ll do.”


            “Details later,” Sunggyu said, putting a hand on his waist, warm against his bare skin.  “This is kissing time.”

            Minho walked Chen out, going with him downstairs to the building’s front door.

After EXO’s van pulled away, he went back upstairs.  It had been nice to have Chen visit.  As he was getting out of the elevator, his phone rang.  “Hey,” he said.

“What’s up?” Taemin asked.

“Nothing.  Chen just left.”

“Yeah?  Is Hoya still there?”



“Infinite’s Hoya?  I haven’t seen him.”

“What?  I let him in.  He said that he was there to see you.”


“Like three hours ago.”

“I didn’t see him.”  Baffled, Minho hurried to his door, but there was no one there waiting, no sign of Hoya.  “Did he get lost?”

“Maybe you were too busy with Chen to hear the bell.”

“Maybe.”  He didn’t think so, but he didn’t have any other explanation.

When he got off of the phone, he called Hoya.  There was no answer.

            Chen didn’t know why they suddenly had to return Sunggyu’s T-shirt that very afternoon, like they wouldn’t see Sunggyu soon enough anyway, or like Sunggyu had nothing else to wear.  He still wasn’t clear on why Suho had Sunggyu’s T-shirt in the first place, since Suho was way too cautious to be caught with another idol’s clothes, and he was sure that Suho hadn’t worn it out of Infinite’s dorm, accidentally or on purpose.  Sunggyu had left it behind at their dorm?  But that didn’t match any of the facts.  All he could come up with was that Suho had deliberately smuggled it out of Infinite’s dorm, secretly, just to have something of Sunggyu’s, and then had regretted it?  That was just weird, though.

            He understood the basic desire to have something of Sunggyu’s, though.  Because he really kind of wanted something of Hoya’s.  A T-shirt would be good.  Or a piece of jewelry.  Or he could steal Hoya’s earbuds, so Hoya would call him and he could sing Hoya to sleep.

            He checked his phone again.  No new messages.  He’d texted, “Hi,” and Hoya had texted back, “Hmm,” and he’d asked, “How’s it going?” and Hoya hadn’t replied.  But Hoya was probably busy.

            When they pulled up in front of Infinite’s dorm, Suho was on the phone.  “Chen-ah, take this up,” Suho said, handing him a plastic bag.

            What?  Him?  “Hyung,” he complained.

            Suho shot him a chastising look and turned away, still on the phone.

            He turned to - - hey, why was he the youngest member in the van?  Aw, shit.  Baekhyun was watching videos, Lay was asleep, and Xiumin gave him a look that clearly said, “Don’t look at me, I’m not doing shit for you.”

            Resigned, he opened the door.

            “And get my watch,” Suho added.

            “What?”  His watch?  Had they traded personal items on purpose, or something?  Was this some weird game?

            “My watch,” Suho repeated, and went back to his call.

            Hyungs.  Sighing, Chen got out of the van.  He gripped the bag tightly; it was a small, generic bag with the shirt folded up inside, so that no one would recognize what it was.  He smiled at the waiting Inspirits, trying to look friendly, and Infinite’s manager let him inside.

            When he got to Infinite’s door, L pulled it open.  “Hey,” L said.

            “Delivery,” he said, holding up the bag.  “Is there a watch in here?  Suho hyung might have left it.”

            “Oh, maybe,” L said.  “Check in our grandpa’s room.  I have to run out for a minute.  Bye!” he called, and he left.

            Chen had no idea who was in the dorm.  He went to Sunggyu’s room, but it was empty.  He set the bag on the desk chair, then looked around.  It took him a moment to find what he was looking for.  He found some of Hoya’s stuff, though.  A heavy silver link bracelet, and another bracelet, a thin leather strip.  He wondered what they were doing in Sunggyu’s room.  Maybe Hoya had taken them off in here.  Undressed in Sunggyu’s room.  His gaze slid to the bed, and he imagined Hoya there, naked.  Hoya’s body always looked so firm, so hard and capable.  Every time he thought about the night they’d slept together, he wished that they’d done more than just sleep.  If he’d realized that it would be his best shot at sex, he would’ve made a move.  There had been so much sex going on, he’d taken it for granted.

            There was no reason that he couldn’t make a move now, though.  The fact that he and Hoya hadn’t done anything together before now didn’t mean that they couldn’t do anything, ever.  All he had to do was ask, right?  Maybe Hoya would say no, but he might get a yes, too.  He might not be Hoya’s type, but he knew how to do things that Hoya would like, anyway.

            He wondered if sex would only make things worse.  Maybe it would hurt too much, if his feelings were one-sided.  It might be painful to like Hoya this much and know that, for Hoya, it was just sex.  What if they were in the middle of it, and he felt really excited and into it and in love or something, and he looked into Hoya’s eyes, and realized that Hoya was just carelessly admiring his technique?  Just imagining it made him feel sick.

            But wouldn’t it be better to have sex, anyway?  What was he gaining by holding back?  Was he rescuing his pride?  Protecting his heart?  Was it effective, or worth it?

            Troubled, he ran his thumb over Hoya’s bracelet.  He stood there for a long time, hurting and yearning and frustrated.  Shouldn’t love be easier than this?  And when had he started thinking in terms of “love,” anyway?  Was he in love?  And why with Hoya, why with someone so easy to talk to and so hard to get a handle on?  He could’ve fallen for someone more romantic, like Woohyun, or someone his own age, like Ken, or someone he was already close to and comfortable with, like Baekhyun, or someone he knew would take care of his heart, like Suho.  He could’ve tried it with C.A.P.; he was pretty sure that he could train C.A.P. to be what he wanted.  Why had he chosen someone who was none of those things?

            Was he wrong; was it really that hard to get a handle on Hoya?  Or maybe he was wrong about Hoya being easy to talk to; the other EXO members seemed to see Hoya a different way.  But he’d always liked talking to Hoya.  He loved Hoya’s sense of humor, sarcastic and contrary and sometimes corny.  He wished that he had a better idea of how Hoya felt about him.  He would’ve thought that Hoya didn’t feel any particular way about him at all, that he was a complete non-issue, but what about all of those times when Hoya had invited him out?  But he’d never gone, and Hoya had stopped asking.  Their relationship seemed to be a disjointed path of golden memories and missed opportunities.

            Remembering that his members were waiting for him, he dropped the bracelet.  He found Suho’s watch  and pocketed it.

            He wanted to say good-bye, to let someone know that he was leaving, but he didn’t know who was in the dorm.  Maybe - - he wondered.  He went to Hoya’s doorway.

            The room was empty.

            Disappointed, he checked Dongwoo’s room.

            Someone was on his hands and knees, shirtless, digging for something under the bed.  Chen took a moment just to stare at him.  This tight, breathless, fluttering sensation was new.  It felt like Chen’s heart was trying to take flight.  “Hyung?”

            “Shit.”  Hoya whipped around, transitioning into a crouch like he’d been practicing the move for weeks.  He stared at Chen, unblinking.  “What the hell are you doing here?”

            It wasn’t exactly the cheerful welcome Chen had hoped for.  “I’m dropping off something for Suho hyung.  Or picking something up.  L let me in.”

            Hoya nodded and rose to his feet.  He looked wary.

            “Were you looking for something?”  Chen didn’t want to go.  Not yet.  His gaze skipped down Hoya’s bare torso; he couldn’t help it.  The slim black line of Hoya’s treasure trail drew his eyes.  He really hoped that the Infinite members took their time licking Hoya there.  If he could, he definitely would.  Auugh, liking someone this much hurt; his yearning was a physical ache.

            “Nothing important.”  Hoya crossed his arms over his chest, one hand cupping his shoulder like he was trying to cover himself.  Was he shy, embarrassed about being shirtless?  Or did he just not want Chen to look?  “Did you finish what you came to do?”

            He hadn’t really been invited over here, and this was Hoya’s private home, so it wasn’t unreasonable for Hoya to prefer to be alone.  But it felt like a personal rejection.  “Yeah.  I’ll go, I guess.”

            Hoya nodded, eyes never leaving him.

            But he didn’t want to go.  And he was being a coward.  He liked Hoya, and there was no reason for Hoya not to like him.  “Do you want to go out sometime?  I feel like we’ve talked about it a lot but we almost never meet up.”

            “I’ve been busy.”

            He wasn’t going to let it go that easily.  He didn’t want to get hurt, but he wasn’t going to run away at the first sign of resistance.  This mattered too much.  “You spend a lot of time practicing, right?  I could come by your practice room sometime.”

            Hoya frowned, his eyes narrowing.  “Why?”

            “To hang out.  Watch you dance, whatever.  I have some free time later this week.  I’ll call you, okay?”

            “I might be busy.”

            Refusing to be deterred, he smiled and repeated, “I’ll call.”

            He left.  He didn’t let himself feel hurt by Hoya’s lack of interest.  He even told himself to feel hopeful.  He was going to make this happen.  At the very least, he’d do his best.  He didn’t know if he could get Hoya to feel anything for him, but he wasn’t going to give up until he’d done everything he could.

            Taking his watch, Suho scanned Chen’s face.  Chen looked too normal!  That meant that nothing bad had happened, but had nothing good happened, either?  “Everything went okay?”

            “You, uh, who was there?” Xiumin asked.

            “You took forever,” Baekhyun said.  “Got laid?”

            “He doesn’t look like he got laid,” Lay said.

            “There’s nothing like that!” Chen said, buckling his seatbelt.  “L let me in, and Hoya hyung was there.”  He glanced at Suho, and something hopeful and excited flashed across his expression.  “We’re going to hang out later, sometime this week.  We have time, right?”

            “Yes,” Suho said.  They had a date?  Then things had gone well!

            “You have a date?” Xiumin asked.

            “It’s not a date,” Chen said, blushing.  He looked nervous and really pleased.  He was so vulnerable like this, Suho wanted to protect him, to make everything go well for him.

            Sunggyu walked into Hoya’s room.  “You have a date?”

            “I don’t have a date,” Hoya said.  From the other bed, Sungjong looked between them, like this was all news.

            “Date, no date, I don’t care.  You have plans with Chen,” Sunggyu said, not interested in debating semantics.

            Hoya didn’t bother to have an expression.  “He’s not going to show up.”


            “He’ll get busy, he’ll get distracted, something else will come up.  Something better.”  Licking his lips, Hoya looked down, rubbing his hands together, studying his knuckles.  “Someone better.”

            “This is how things are, now?  My main dancer sits around feeling sorry for himself?”

            “Yeah.”  Hoya breathed in and looked up at him.  “That’s how things are.”

            Sunggyu sounded frustrated.  “If your main vocal cancels-”

            “He won’t cancel,” Suho said.

            “If he-”

            “He won’t cancel,” Suho repeated.  “This matters to him.  If there’s no date, it won’t be because of Chen.”

            Chen never spent this much time figuring out what to wear.  But he wanted to look good.  Honestly, he wanted to look sexy.  He was confident in his looks, and confident in his body, but he didn’t know what would draw Hoya’s eye.  What did Hoya like, what did Hoya look for?

            “Hey,” Baekhyun said, walking into the room.  “You’re coming, right?”

            “Coming where?”  Standing in front of the closet, he pulled out a black shirt.  Put it back.  Pulled out a red one.

            “To get laid.  We’re talking Suho hyung into letting us go over to Teen Top’s dorm tonight.  There are a bunch of hard cocks over there with my name written all over them.”

            That sounded great, actually.  But, “No, I’m going to see Hoya hyung.”

            “You’re what?”  Baekhyun rubbed the side of his head, squinting at Chen.  “What’d you say?  I think that I heard you wrong.”

            Ya, you know what I said.”  Embarrassed but sure of himself, he repeated it.  “I’m going to see Hoya hyung.”

            “You’d rather hang out in a practice room than hop on C.A.P.’s cock?”

            “Yes.  Now shut up, I’m trying to get dressed.”

            “You know that I’m talking about having sex with Teen Top, right?”

            “Yes!” he exclaimed, laughing.  “I understand every word.”

            “Do you hate sex?  Are you punishing yourself?  Is Hoya hyung blackmailing you over something?”

            “I told you to shut up!”  The more strongly he committed himself to Hoya, the better he felt.  Smiling, he put the red shirt back and chose a gray striped one.  “This is cute, right?”

            “God, you have the worst taste,” Baekhyun said.  “In clothes and in men, too.”

            His sudden spike of fury surprised him.  Taken aback, he held still for a moment, processing it.  It had only been a light insult, and he knew that Baekhyun hadn’t meant anything by it, really, but he actually felt angry about it.  He wanted to make Baekhyun take it back.

            “Suho’s calling C.A.P. to talk about it,” Xiumin said, strolling in.

            “Chen’s not coming,” Baekhyun said, in a tone that implied that he wanted Xiumin to talk some sense into him.

            “Right, you’re going to see Hoya, aren’t you?” Xiumin asked.  “You’re not going to wear that, are you?”

            “Does that even seem right?” Baekhyun asked.  Chen didn’t know whether he was referring to going to see Hoya instead of Teen Top, or to wearing the shirt.

            “Come on, you can borrow something,” Xiumin said, gesturing Chen out of the room.

            “We can’t borrow your clothes,” Chen said, surprised.

            “We aren’t allowed,” Baekhyun said.

            “Special occasion, one time only,” Xiumin said.

            Interested, Chen followed him.  Why now, why tonight?  It was tempting to make a joke about how whatever he chose might not fit, but while he was being so nice all of a sudden, it seemed like a bad moment to piss him off.

            Baekhyun apparently didn’t follow the same logic, or just didn’t have as much at stake.  “You sure, hyung?” he asked, following them.  “I don’t know if Hoya hyung’s into doll clothes, but maybe-”

            Pulling Chen into the room, Xiumin closed the door in Baekhyun’s face.

            Hoya ate with Dongwoo on the practice room floor.  When his phone pinged, he ignored it.  Or, he told himself to ignore it.  He wondered who was texting him.  He wondered if it might be Chen.  He wondered if Chen was texting just to turn him down politely.  Like: Sorry I can’t meet tonight, hyung, but something came up.  Something like Minho.  Something like other guys, other friends, company sunbaes, or whatever else Chen had preferred over him all of those other times.

            He kept glancing at his phone, wondering.  Nodding, making “sure, right, hyung” noises, not really listening, he studied his phone.  The black screen.  Maybe it hadn’t been Chen texting him at all.  Maybe it had been Feeldog.  Sungjong.  A sasaeng.  He’d just check.  He’d just take a look.  It was his phone; he’d see it sooner or later, right?

            It was from Chen.

            You’re still in the practice room?  I’ll be there soon!

            Staring at the words onscreen, he felt his eyebrows going up.

            Wait.  Was Chen really coming?  As the words sank in, he felt a surge of euphoria.  Then, just as suddenly, dread swamped him.  He’d been so sure that Chen wouldn’t actually show up, he hadn’t bothered to prepare for it.  He hadn’t dressed for it.  He looked like a sweaty mess.  He smelled like a sweaty mess!  Pawing at his damp, flat hair, he grimaced.  Having an entire wall of mirrors to tell him how awful he looked really seemed like overkill.  How long ago had Chen sent that text?  He had a couple of minutes, right?  He could wash up in the bathroom, and there had to be hairspray or gel or mousse or something in the building.  “Hyung,” he said, cutting Dongwoo off.  “Can I borrow that shirt?  And can you leave?”

            Laughing, Dongwoo plucked at the front of his shirt.  “Do I get yours, are we trading?  Or do you want me to walk out half-naked?”  Dongwoo smiled at him, looking curious.  “Why do I have to go?  Oh, is Chen-Chen coming for your date?  Is it time?”

            “Yeah, he-”

            There was a sound.  A knocking sound.  At the door.

            No.  Shit.  That was Chen, it had to be Chen, and that made Hoya so happy, he was embarrassed by his own eagerness.  He also felt caught.  He wasn’t ready!

“Chen-Chen?” Dongwoo asked, hopping up.  Hoya tried to grab at him, but he was already loping away.  Catching up handfuls of air instead, Hoya grimaced, groaning.  Ah, shit.

With seconds to prepare, Hoya stared at his reflection, appalled.  It wasn’t a date, and Chen wasn’t attracted to him, and he hadn’t planned to be sexy and stunning, but he’d at least wanted to look good.  Not L-on-the-red-carpet good, but clean would’ve been a good start.

“Oh, hey,” Chen said cheerfully.  Hoya looked over to see him hugging Dongwoo.  He laughed when Dongwoo squeezed his ass.  Both hands, great.  Damn, his ass looked good.  He looked great all over.  He had on a blue button-down open over a white T-shirt, and he looked so handsome and fresh that it was like a spring breeze had carried him into the room.

“I shouldn’t stay, right?” Dongwoo asked.  Walking back in Hoya’s direction, he started to lift his shirt.  Disbelieving, Hoya tried to signal for him to stop, but he took his shirt right off and held it out.

If he tried to tell Dongwoo to put the shirt back on, he’d just get a response like, “Aren’t we trading?” and then he’d have to sit there and converse about it.  It would be easier just to play along and hope that Chen didn’t think much of it.  Resigned, he took his shirt off and switched, putting on Dongwoo’s.  It was cleaner and drier than his, at least.

“Infinite shares clothes?” Chen asked.  “It’s not allowed, on our team.”

“Those aren’t Xiuminnie’s?” Dongwoo asked.

Glancing down at himself, Chen laughed.  “How can you tell?”

“Did you just get caught lying that easily?” Hoya asked.

“It isn’t a lie!” Chen protested, chuckling, his hands splayed over his chest.  “It’s just a one-time thing.  Xiumin hyung felt generous tonight.”

“I wish that I had a fun, tiny, sexy hyung like Mini,” Dongwoo said.

“A fun, tiny, sexy hyung,” Hoya mused.  “No, I’ve never had anyone like that.  Sounds nice, though.”

“I’m not fun?” Dongwoo asked, pretending to be insulted.

“He means that you’re not tiny,” Chen said, putting an arm around him.

Grinning broadly, he squeezed Chen’s ass again.  “You know exactly what size it is, right?  You know all about it.”

Laughing, Chen hugged him.  “Yes, I know.”

Dongwoo kissed him, then backed up.  “You two play nicely!  Where is Mini tonight, did he go out?”

“I think he’s trying to go to see Teen Top,” Chen said.

“But Chunji’s meeting me,” Dongwoo said.

“That still leaves five other members for him,” Hoya pointed out.

“But he’ll miss Chunji,” Dongwoo said, like it was unthinkable.  “I’ll call him,” he decided, and he left, closing the door.

“He really likes Chunji,” Chen observed.

“Yeah.”  Hoya closed up the remains of their dinner, putting it all back into the bag.

“Everything’s okay with them?”  Chen sat beside him.  “Ever since you told me how things were between them, I’ve been a little worried.  I don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

“They seem happy.”  Glancing at the mirror, he ran his hands back through his hair.

“What are you working on?” Chen asked.  “New choreography, or just keeping the old stuff in shape?”

“Minute and a half intro for the military special.”  It kind of killed him that Dongwoo had just kissed Chen, and he couldn’t.  Chen was so easy and friendly with everyone else, why was he left out?  What was so different or wrong or undesirable about him?  Or was it not that Chen was pushing him away, was he keeping himself back?  If he leaned over, would he get the same light-hearted reception that everyone else did?  Did he want that, did he want to be just one more name in the roster of guys who had easy access?  He wanted to be special, but he had no idea how to be special to Chen.  No possible way to make that happen.  Was anyone special to Chen?  Sunggyu was.  Minho?

“That long?” Chen asked, looking interested.  “What are you dancing to, which song?”

“The new one from that American group, ‘Energy.’”

“Oh, Chanyeol played that for us yesterday!  I like it.”

“Yeah, it has a good beat.”

“A great beat.  Can I see it?”

He nodded, but he didn’t get up.  He didn’t want to dance in front of Chen.  His head wasn’t in the right space for it.  Licking his lips, he looked at the floor for a minute.

“Is everything okay?”

He looked at Chen directly.  “What are you doing here?”

Chen’s eyes widened.  “I came to see you.”

He shook his head.  “You never come to see me.”

A tic, like a guilty flinch.  “We haven’t met often, but-”

“You only see me when you have to, when it’s something you can’t avoid.  Backstage, or when our teams get together, or when you’re going out with L anyway and you don’t want to be alone with him.”

Chen looked shocked.  “That’s what you think?”

“You don’t want to see me, so why are you here?  Couldn’t you be going out to see Teen Top instead?  Or are you in trouble, your guardian leader won’t let you get laid, so this is the best you can do?  Choi Minho’s busy tonight?”

“What about Minho hyung?”  He looked baffled.  “I want to see you, I wanted to hang out.  I feel bad that we never spend time together, I hate it.  I thought that we could change that, that we could see each other more often.”  His smile was so earnest and hopeful, Hoya felt like a criminal for snapping at him.  “I’d like it if we became closer.  I already have a tiny, sexy hyung or two, but I don’t have one like you.”

Feeling embarrassed and put on the spot, he didn’t know how to take that.  Now that he’d brought it up, though, he wanted to know.  “Is there something between you and Minho?”

“No.”  His laughter was bright and self-conscious.  “Nothing different from what’s between me and your members, anyway.”

So they’d had sex.  But he’d known that.  He wondered what Chen thought of sex with Minho.  “He’s pretty good at that.”

Chen’s smile was so intrigued and happy, he felt a little dazzled.  “You’ve done that?  You liked it?”

“I expected him to be more well-hung.”  When Chen laughed, he added, “It was great.  I just expected a little more.”

“But you live with Sunggyu hyung, you have a lot of expectations.”

He shrugged.  “It was nice, anyway.”

“Well, he’s strong, and you like it kind of, uh.  Forceful.”

He wondered what Chen had noticed about his sexual habits, what Chen thought of them.

“I wondered - - can I ask?  Is it too personal?”

“Ask what?”

“About - - the way your members are with you.  Everybody knows about Infinite making love.  Is it always forceful?  Do you like it other ways?”

That was kind of personal.  He was okay with people seeing what he did in front of them; if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t do it.  But his relationships inside of Infinite were private.

“I shouldn’t ask,” Chen said.

“Ah.”  Unsure about how much to say, he rubbed his jaw, uneasy.  “I like it hard, but I like it other ways, too.”

“It seems like you and C.A.P. would get along well.”  Chen’s smile was teasing and assessing.

He smiled a little; he could see why Chen thought so.  “We’re compatible,” he agreed, and Chen chuckled.  “But all of that lovemaking we’re famous for - - is it lovemaking?  We’re not famous for rimming, now?”

Chen looked delighted.  “That, too.”

Great.  “That’s good, that’s definitely what I want to be known for.”  Sighing, he got back to the point.  “The lovemaking is good, too.  I don’t complain about it.”

“Is that only with Sunggyu hyung?  Does Woohyun hyung make love to you, too?”

Was that what EXO thought, that it was only Sunggyu?  “Both of them, and L does it, Dongwoo hyung does it.  Sungyeol and Sungjong, too, sometimes.”

Chen looked surprised.  “Sungjong?  Then he - - do you?”

“What?”  What was Chen asking him?

“Do you do other things?  Or do you, when you make love to him…”

“What, do I put my cock in him?”  He couldn’t imagine why Chen needed graphic details on this.  “Yeah, sometimes.  Well, a lot of the time.  He really likes having cocks put inside of him.”  Not that Hoya couldn’t relate.

For a second, it was like Chen wasn’t breathing at all.  And then he breathed in deeply, his chest heaving, and he stared at Hoya with this fascinated, marveling expression, like he’d just seen the sun come up for the first time.

Wary, Hoya wondered what was going on here.  “You know there are things you can do besides cock-in-ass, right?  You can jack each other off, or blow each other, or hump against each other, or - - I don’t want to dwell on rimming, but that’s part of it, too.”

Looking distracted, Chen said, “I know those things.”  Then that delighted, captivated smile broke over his face again.  He looked really…sunny.  Swayed by his happiness, Hoya chuckled, smiling back at him, and that only made him happier, his eyes crinkling.  “Do you really make love to your maknae that way?  It can be like that?”

“Are you a secret fan?” Hoya asked.  “Lay wants to see me with Dongwoo hyung all of the time, you secretly have a desire for the Hoya-Sungjong couple?  I top him sometimes, I make love to him sometimes, yes.  Do you want to see it, should I invite you over to watch next time?”

His eyes widening, Chen laughed, covering his mouth with the back of his hand.  He looked kind of turned on, like yes, he kind of did want that, actually.  Maybe there were aspects to his sexuality that Hoya should’ve paid more attention to.  Was he a voyeur?  He’d watched Hoya a few times before, but Hoya had assumed that was just orgy behavior; everyone checked out everyone else.  “I only, I didn’t know that you did it, did those things, that way.”

“The maknae’s kind of demanding,” he admitted.  “It’s easier to give him what he wants.”

“Is there anyone else you’ve made love to?  As a top?”

“Ah.”  Licking his lips, he wondered why Chen was so interested.  “I guess so, yeah.  You know, with Dongwoo hyung, or L, or Woohyun, or Sungyeol, a couple of times.  We’ve been together long enough that we’ve done pretty much everything at least once.”  Chen was paying such close attention, he kept talking.  Was he way more fascinating than he’d realized?  “Making love is one of those things where sometimes you’re just trying to be so close, you don’t really care what goes where, you just want to be intimate.”

“They must really like it.  Being close to you that way, making love.”

A lot of really good, like embarrassingly good, memories made him blush.  “I guess I don’t get a lot of complaints.”

“Do you make love with other guys?  Outside of Infinite?”

He shook his head.  He didn’t want to sound like L, or anything, but that wasn’t something he could do with just anyone.

“But you have sex with other guys.  Teen Top, and Shinee, and Bigstar, and my members.”

“Yeah.  That’s just sex, though, it’s not - - it doesn’t mean anything.”

“Not even with Feeldog?”

“No.  I mean, we’re close, but sex between us is just sex.  It’s just to get off.  It feels good.  We don’t do it that often, either.  I’d rather dance with him than have sex with him.”

“You.”  Chen hesitated.  “I can’t tell if your sex drive is lower than other people’s, or if you’re just picky, or if it’s something else.  Maybe you’re just not that attracted?”

“Eh, you just listed the only partners I have to choose from, right?  Shinee, EXO?  My standards are higher than that.”

It took a second, and then Chen burst into laughter, smacking his shoulder.  “Hyung!  Ah, stop teasing!”

Grinning, he shifted, hugging his knee.  “No, it’s not personal.  I like what I like, and I know who I can get it from.  It’s habit, maybe.  Why bother fumbling around with somebody else when I can just get it at the dorm?  I don’t need a lot of variety.  And with new guys, you have to figure out what they want, what they’re into, are they going to give you what you’re looking for.”

“We all want the same thing, don’t we?  Like Dongwoo hyung says, it’s all about rubbing up against somebody else and feeling good.”

Mmm.”  He grimaced, not sure that he agreed with that.  Not entirely.  “Dongwoo hyung could scrub trash cans with somebody or have sex with somebody and have the same emotional experience.  His body is so active and his feelings are so…  It doesn’t matter to him what he does or who he does it with, as long as no one gets hurt.  I can’t get that involved with just anybody.  As long as the orgy’s already going on and sex is already happening and there’s a hot cock in front of me, I guess I won’t turn it down, but.”  He shrugged, not sure that he was getting his point across.  “I like sex with my members because I’m comfortable with them.  I don’t know your members that well, so when I go down on Baekhyun, I’m basically just there for his cock.  Chanyeol doesn’t care, but Xiumin hyung gets insulted.”

“He does?”  Chen nodded to himself.  “I can see that.  Xiumin hyung likes to make it personal or get a reaction.”

“Yeah, I get enough of that from my own members.”

“Then you…  You don’t like for sex to be personal?”  Chen’s expression bordered on confused, or hurt, or regretful.

He almost said that was true, but Chen seemed to be taking the conversation so seriously, he hesitated.  He wasn’t used to talking about his emotional motivations for sex.  The people who wanted to figure him out already had, and it didn’t matter if anyone else really understood his deep underlying feelings about being drilled against a wall.  But he’d learned a while ago that he liked confiding in Chen.  The way Chen listened to him made him want to open up, made him feel earnest, made him want to connect.  And Chen was really listening to him tonight.  “It’s easier if it’s superficial, right?  I get what I want, the guy gets what he wants, we all go home satisfied.  The more personal it is, it gets messier.  With my members, things are already messy and deep and complex, and we know that about each other, and we understand each other, and whatever goes on between us, I can be really pissed off and still have amazing sex, or I can be really in love and have a careless quickie.  The feelings are all there, and sex doesn’t change any of that.  But with other guys, I want the physical sensations without the emotional crap, so I’d rather focus on the cock than the person.  It’s easier.  Get the cock, get off, get out.  And since I can get more cock back at the dorm, I don’t really want to bother unless I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be good.”

Slowly, Chen shook his head.  “I don’t like impersonal sex.  Even if it’s just for a few minutes while we’re together, I want to connect with my partners.  Like, we’re doing this thing together, and it feels great, and we’re both enjoying it.  I want to hear that he’s into it, or see it.  It’s so much better that way.”

But Chen was that kind of guy.  Cheerful.  Everybody’s best friend.  Happy and supportive and teasing.  Interested in people, but he could engage and disengage just as easily.  He was confident in himself; he was emotionally resilient.  He could get emotionally involved, because when he was finished, he could pull away and bounce back and move right on.  He was a sincere person, and when he connected with someone he meant it, but it didn’t take anything out of him.  It didn’t involve any personal risk.

Hoya envied him, but he was a lot more extroverted than Hoya could imagine being.

“I guess that I don’t understand,” Chen said.  “How you can have those amazing experiences, making love with your members, and then prefer meaningless, impersonal sex.  Like other guys are just blow-up dolls to you.”  He didn’t sound judgmental; he sounded confused and kind of sad.  Or hurt.

“I don’t want to start a relationship every time I blow somebody.”

“It’s not a whole relationship.  But these aren’t even strangers, they’re your friends, people you know.  You like Sehun.”

“I like his cock,” he said, but Chen was too unhappy to enjoy the joke.  Uneasy, he said, “It’s pretty good with Sehun.  We’re used to each other.  He gives me what I want.”

“Like C.A.P.”


That must’ve been the wrong answer; Chen looked more upset than ever, now.  Pressing his lips together, he looked down, like he was scanning the floor for answers he knew he wouldn’t find.

“You’re taking this really seriously.”  Hoya didn’t understand why.  “It’s not an insult to you, we’ve never done anything.  You’re offended that I don’t treat your members better?  They don’t care.  Kai doesn’t want me to be in love with him.”

Leaning back, his shoulders against the wall, Chen rubbed his forehead.  “I don’t get you.”

Maybe he shouldn’t have opened up.  It hadn’t made them closer; it seemed to have made things worse.  He’d tried to share something about himself, and now Chen was estranged and liked him less.  Stung, he licked his lips, not wanting to look hurt.  He regretted opening up, and he hated that.  Had he been wrong to trust Chen?  He didn’t want to think that.  Uneasy, he got up.  “I have to practice, so.”

Chen nodded, looking distracted.

He moved toward the stereo, ready to get into the music, into the dance and out of his head.

            Chen was so torn, he didn’t know how to feel.  Why was it so hard to get a handle on Hoya?  Why was it that every time he thought that they were close, or that he understood Hoya, it turned out that he had the wrong idea?

            Hoya liked intimate, romantic sex.  Lovemaking.  He even made love to the other Infinite members!  The same kind of personal, erotic, emotional experience that Sunggyu and Woohyun had given Chen, Hoya did that.

Hearing about it had been a revelation.  It meant that what Chen yearned for, he could get here.  He could get that amazing, sensual experience from Hoya, they could share it together.  It wasn’t even something he’d have to coax and cajole and convince to get; it was something that Hoya already did and enjoyed.  He just had to get Hoya to do it with him.

But Hoya would rather treat him like a blow-up doll.  Like a sex toy.  Like some inanimate object.  “Get the cock, get off, get out.”  Hoya’s ideal sexual experience sounded like a fast-food drive-through.

Xiumin was a bad partner because he liked guys to respond and react?

Why did Hoya even bother with sex, then?  But he didn’t, really.  He sat on EXO’s couch and played videogames and waited for the orgy to be over.

Was he too fundamentally disconnected, too emotionally distant, for Chen ever to connect with him?  Should Chen give up on him now, to save heartache and frustration?  He was capable of something richer, of something intimate and deep, but he seemed to reserve it for Infinite.  He didn’t even share himself with Feeldog!  What hope did Chen have?

Chen had shown up tonight feeling determined.  He’d been confident that he could make this relationship work, that if he gave it his best shot, he’d win Hoya over, that they’d be happy together in no time, that a fantastic relationship was right on the horizon.

Now, he didn’t know what to think.  Didn’t know how to feel, besides discouraged.  Besides alienated.  If this was who Hoya really was, then was he even attracted to Hoya anymore?  What he’d heard tonight was so at odds with the kind of man he wanted to be with, he was tempted to walk away without looking back.

But his heart was already too deeply involved.  He was worried, but he couldn’t let go.  And where did that leave him?  Besides wanting something he could never have?  Besides left trying to force Hoya to be someone Hoya was never going to be?

He remembered the different times he’d mentioned Hoya to his members, and how they’d responded with confusion and smart remarks.  They’d never been encouraging.  They’d indicated that they didn’t know what he saw in Hoya; they’d seemed to think that the two of them were a bad fit.  Maybe they’d been right all along.  Maybe whichever alluring traits he saw in Hoya weren’t really there.  Maybe they knew Hoya better than he did, and he’d been kidding himself, thinking that he had an inside track.

Watching Hoya dance only added to his turmoil.  He couldn’t help himself; he really liked it.  He tried to harden his heart, tried to remind himself how completely incompatible they were, but Hoya was so skilled, he just melted back against the wall and stared in mindless admiration.

Hoya danced incredibly well, every move precise.  He was so aware of every part of his body, so in control of each muscle, that Chen became more aware of his body, too, of the arch of his back, of every undulation and thrust, of his pointed toes and corded arms.  The focused look in his eyes, the cocky way he lifted his chin, were so self-assured, Chen found him irresistibly sexy.  At the beginning of the performance, he had a practiced move where he rubbed his jaw, and the slow way his fingers dragged over his skin was so arrogant, so sensual, that Chen started moaning every time he did it, trusting the music to cover the sound.  It was obvious that this was an arena where Hoya was confident, and Chen loved seeing him so completely in his element.

It meant everything to Chen to be there, to be the sole witness to this private performance, to be let in to see this important part of Hoya’s life.  And he was glad that Hoya was intently focused on the choreography, on the mirror, so that he could lust and marvel and eat Hoya up with his eyes, without being caught.

            He didn’t know how much time passed.  The song had played over and over again so many times, and he’d become so deeply engrossed in watching every detail of Hoya’s movements, that he was probably going to get a hard-on every time he heard it from now on.  Finally, Hoya turned it off.  He wanted to applaud, but he felt so intensely emotional, all he managed was a weak, encouraging smile.  He never got this worked up, watching Kai dance.  He was pretty sure that he was in love.  God, that wasn’t good.

            “Decent?” Hoya asked.  Grabbing a small towel, he blotted sweat from his face and neck.

            Chen nodded.  He felt really turned on.  Really horny and attracted to Hoya, like his desire was turned the whole way up.  He felt emotionally charged, like the air around him was thick.  He didn’t want the moment to break or the night to end.  He wanted Hoya to take him home and give him what he needed.  He wanted to run his hands over Hoya’s muscular thighs and press his face to Hoya’s sweat-damp T-shirt and hold on until his heart stopped pounding with this clamoring, yearning need.  He wanted to say “I love you” and have any tiny shred of hope that someday Hoya would be capable of saying it back.

            He breathed in and hoped that his voice would come out steadily.  “It’s really good.  Who choreographed it?”

            “Oh, I did.”  Hoya opened a bottle of water.

            He felt his eyebrows shoot up to his hairline.  “By yourself?”

            Hoya nodded and drank.

            “You’re shitting me.”  He’d seen enough idol-choreographed routines to know that, nine times out of ten, a professional choreographer should’ve been hired instead to save everyone some embarrassment.  Laughing, he fell in love just a little bit more.  There was always more to learn about this hyung.  “But it’s really good!”

            “Let’s hope the audience thinks so.”  Hoya ran his hands through his hair, pushing his bangs off of his forehead.  “I should probably get going.”

            Already?  Trying to come up with an excuse, a way to talk him out of it, Chen checked the time.  Oh, wow!  “I didn’t know it was so late.”  He hated to admit it, but Hoya had a point; they should probably go.

            “Do you need a ride?”

            He didn’t want to get up.  If he wanted to move at all, it was to get on his knees, to pull down Hoya’s shorts and rub his face in Hoya’s crotch.  He’d only get a face full of sweaty balls, but that only made his attraction more intense.  He wanted to get high on Hoya’s musk.  Trying to seem normal, he smiled.  “I can get a cab.”  He’d much, much rather stay with Hoya than get in a cab with some stranger, but if the two of them were enclosed in the dark interior of a van together, he’d dive onto Hoya face-first.  As it was, they were at least a yard apart in a brightly lit room, and he was having trouble controlling himself.

            They walked to the lobby together, and Hoya didn’t seem to notice his hard-on, and he managed not to grab desperately at Hoya’s body.  Or lick Hoya’s jaw.  He’d never been so hot for someone’s chin before.  That jaw-rubbing move had done permanent damage to him.  “Thanks for letting me hang out.”

            “It was such an exciting night, I didn’t know if you’d be able to handle it,” Hoya said.  “Seems like you got through it okay.”

            Laughing, he barely kept himself from throwing his arms around Hoya.  “I had a great time.”

            His cab pulled up outside, and Hoya opened the front door for him.  As they walked outside, he said, “Call me.  Or I’ll call you.”

            “Sure, okay.”

            Looking into Hoya’s eyes, he hated to leave.  He wondered if the man looking back at him would ever see him as someone to make love to, someone to care about, someone to connect with.  Or if he’d always be held at arms’ length.  He didn’t want Hoya to think of him as a sex doll, as a disembodied cock, but would that be a step up from whatever nonsexual, impersonal way Hoya saw him now?  He had no idea.  He felt completely confused and estranged, and he felt longing and desire, and he didn’t want to go.  If he walked away, he’d leave a part of his heart behind.

            A faint smile.  “Can I help you with something?” Hoya asked.

            If it hadn’t been for the fans with cameras standing a few feet away, he would’ve launched himself at Hoya’s mouth.  “You’ll call me.”

            “I’ll text you.”

            Was he always going to ask for more than Hoya was willing to give?  Should he take this as a gut-wrenching sign to stop now?  But he couldn’t make himself give up.  Hoya mattered too much to him.  “Then text me soon.”

            “Okay, hyung,” Hoya said formally, feigning obedience.

            He laughed, and that made it easier to leave.  As the cab pulled away, he sat back, telling himself not to turn around, not to look.  His fingers crept over his jaw, and then he blushed, dropping his hand.

            The cab was rounding the first corner when his phone beeped.  He had a text.

            Too soon?

            Smiling, he felt a glow of warmth.  You took forever!  I was starting to think that you wouldn’t text at all.

            Ah, sorry, we shouldn’t lose touch like this.  I’ll make more of an effort in the future.

            God, he wished that were true.

            Back at the dorm, he felt strange.  Conflicted, he stretched out in bed.  He wanted to think everything over and come to a conclusion.  But he couldn’t calm his mind down enough to think logically; he couldn’t interpret Hoya’s behavior or assess his own reactions when he felt so keyed up.  After a while, he got out of bed and hunted Xiumin down and asked Xiumin to make love to him.  They went into Xiumin’s room and closed the door, and they had the kind of slow, steamy sex that he craved.

            Once it was over, he felt sure of himself again.  He felt clear-headed, he felt like he was on more solid footing; he felt good.  Oddly, now that he felt great, now that he’d recovered his equilibrium, all of his worries poured out of him.  He told Xiumin everything, all of his pain and hurt over what Hoya had said, all about Hoya’s preference for emotionally disengaged, meaningless sex.

            “I’ve seen him around his dorm, with Infinite,” Xiumin said.  He looked thoughtful, and then he hopped up.  “Hold on.”  Opening the door, he called, “Maknae!”

            “What?” Sehun called back.


            “For what?”

            Xiumin raised his voice.  “I said c’mere!”

            “I’m busy!”

            “No, you’re not!”

            “I’m having sex!”

            “Who with?”

            “With Kai!”

            “Come here!”  Naked, Xiumin climbed back onto the bed.  “He’s not as useless as he looks.  He has these theories about people, about how to have sex with them.”

            “Theories?” Chen repeated.

            “Yeah.  Tell him what you just said about Hoya, about the lovemaking and the impersonal sex and all of that.”

            In his underwear, with his hair all over his head, Sehun walked into the doorway.  “What.”

            Ya, maknae, stop yelling all over the dorm,” Suho said from behind him.  “Oh, Chen-ah!  How was your date, how’s Hoya?”

            Chen pulled the sheet over his junk.  Xiumin flipped it off again.  Laughing, he left it off.  “Ah, I was just about to tell Sehun what we talked about.”

            Suho came in and sat on Lay’s bed, settling in to listen.  Sehun sighed and sat beside Suho, his mouth a grim, resigned line.  Ignoring the maknae’s petulance, Chen told them everything, going through it all over again.  Partway through, Sehun nodded to himself, like he suddenly understood everything, relaxing.

            When Chen had finished, Xiumin asked Sehun, “What do you think?  Does it sound like that thing we talked about?”

            “Like-?”  Sehun’s eyebrows went up.  “Yeah.  No, not like that, but yeah, kind of.”

            “Are we all talking in code?” Suho asked.

            “We’re talking about you,” Sehun said.  “But, okay, who’s a good example?  When Xiumin hyung has sex, he’s like, ‘Come on, react to it,’ right?” he asked Chen.  “And he gets along great with Baekhyun hyung.  He’s like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it, I want to feel everything.’”

            “But Hoya hyung doesn’t want to feel anything,” Chen said.

            Mmm, no,” Sehun said.  “He doesn’t want to open up and feel everything with some random guy, every time he wants to get off.  He feels it with the people he’s closest to, but it’s not something he wants to give to just anybody.  He’s trying to protect himself, or preserve himself.”

            “So he’s like you,” Xiumin said to Sehun.

            Sehun nodded.  “Yes, but no, but partly.  I haven’t seen this magical lovemaking thing everyone keeps talking about, but I’ve seen a little bit with his members here and there.  When he and Woohyun hyung kiss, it’s intense.  I don’t think that he wants to open up and share that much of himself with every guy he gives a blowjob to.”

            “What do you mean, you’re talking about me?” Suho asked.

            “Nothing,” Xiumin said.

            “What do you mean, he’s like you?” Chen asked Sehun.

            “I asked Xiumin hyung to stop messing around with my emotions every time he screwed me,” Sehun said.  “Like let me just have sex once in a while, without all of the rest of it.  That’s what Hoya hyung wants, too, to be able to get off without giving everybody access to his heart.  Casual sex, like Baekhyun and Chanyeol and Kai and everybody else has.”

            Suho tucked his hands under his thighs, pouting thoughtfully at the floor.

            “But sex where you don’t feel anything at all, what is that?” Chen asked.  “If you only want to feel good by yourself, masturbate.  I want to feel good with somebody else, and know that he feels good, too.”

            “You’re like, who is he like?” Xiumin asked Sehun.

            “Woohyun hyung?” Sehun guessed.  “You share good things while you’re doing it, and when you’re finished, you smile and shake hands and it’s over.  Some people can’t let go that easily.”  He glanced at Suho, who was frowning at the floor.  “I think that Hoya hyung makes it impersonal on purpose, because he feels like he has to protect himself.  Or else he’d share too much, he’d share everything with everybody.”

            “But that would be great!” Chen argued.  “That’s the best kind of sex there is!”

            “Chen-ah,” Suho said sternly, his head coming up.  “Be more understanding.  Some things come more easily to you than to other people.”

            What - - oh.  Oh!  Suddenly, he got it.  Oh, he’d been so foolish!  He knew what they meant, now.  If he put together what Hoya had said with what they’d said about Baekhyun and what he knew about Suho, it made sense.  He’d been thinking of it from his own perspective, but he’d been too self-centered.  He should know by now that everyone’s experience, everyone’s perspective, was different.  And what felt just right to him might feel like too much, to Hoya.  Just like it was just right for him, but too much for D.O., and not enough for Chunji.

            Then Hoya didn’t want impersonal, robotic sex.  That was just what felt safe, with casual partners.  He’d heard what Hoya had been saying to him, but he hadn’t heard what Hoya had really meant by it.

            Hoya wasn’t callous.  Hoya was sensitive.  Oh, it was so sweet, Chen felt his heart melting.  It was too good to be true!  Hoya was perfect, so perfect.  Chen wanted to make tender, romantic love with him over and over again.  But, wait.  “Then should I have impersonal sex with him, until he’s used to me?”

            “Do what he wants,” Sehun said.  “Ask what he’s comfortable with.  Don’t make a big deal of it, just tell him that you’re interested, but he’s hyung, so you’ll go at his pace.”

            “Offer to rim him,” Xiumin said.

            “How much does he like you?” Sehun asked.

            “I told you, I have no idea.”  It was so frustrating, he felt desperate, or despairing.  “I can’t tell.  He doesn’t hate me.”

            “He talks to you more than to the rest of us,” Xiumin said.  “And to Suho.”

            “Maybe he’s in love with Suho,” Sehun suggested.

            Ya, don’t be stupid,” Suho chided.

            “Has he said anything about Chen?” Xiumin asked.  He grinned, arching an eyebrow.  “Has your boyfriend told you anything about it?”

            Blushing, Suho threw Lay’s pillow at Xiumin.  Snatching it up, Xiumin jumped up and landed on top of Suho, trying to smother him.  Pounding on Xiumin’s shoulders, he twisted on the bed, trying to wrestle himself free.  Laughing, scolding him for being such a bad dongsaeng, Xiumin pinned him down.

Suho was so happy and flushed, and Xiumin looked so strong and in charge, it was like sexy, physical, hyung foreplay.  Chen really wanted to join in, but he didn’t want to do anything that might interrupt.

“I’ll be more respectful,” Suho promised, his shirt twisted up and his gorgeous abs exposed, his hair in his eyes.  “I’ll reflect.”

“You should set a better example,” Xiumin chided, climbing off of him.  “Be more responsible.”

“Yeah, why are you so irresponsible?” Sehun asked.

Seizing the pillow in both hands, Suho swung it hard, right at Sehun’s face.

“Ah!  Not the visual!” Chen warned, laughing, as Sehun cried out and fell back flat on the bed.

Ya, since when?” Suho demanded, tossing the pillow aside.  “I’m the visual.”

“Oh, so arrogant,” Chen marveled.

“Excuse me, who’s the visual?” Xiumin asked.

Rubbing the bridge of his nose, Sehun sat up, glancing at Chen.  “Well, at least we know who it’s not.”

            The last thing Hoya needed was another argument.  When he got back to the dorm, he tried to sneak in quietly, intending to go right to his room and avoid any overbearing grandpas who might be lurking around.

            Unfortunately, there was an overbearing grandpa lurking in his room.  Sungyeol and Sungjong were asleep on the other bed; Sunggyu was seated on his bed, against the wall, asleep.

            Silently, on his toes, he backed out of the room.  He crept down the hallway, went into Sungyeol’s room, and slept in Sungyeol’s empty bed.

            He was fast asleep until he heard, right in his ear, “Avoiding me?”  Immediately, his brain recognized the sound of Sunggyu’s voice.  Groaning, he tried to pretend that this wasn’t happening, but Sunggyu’s knees were on either side of him, hemming him in.  He was on his back, and he could swear he felt Sunggyu’s breath on his face.  Refusing to open his eyes, he pretended to be asleep.  Maybe this was like a bear attack, and he’d survive if he played dead until Sunggyu lost interest.

            “Ashamed to face me?” Sunggyu asked.  Then his voice became quieter.  “It didn’t go well?  It wasn’t what you wanted?”

            How could he possibly know that?  Unless he’d checked up on Hoya.  Talked to Chen?  Talked to Suho?  That was great, it was perfect; half of Hoya’s members had guys circling them, guys hanging on them, guys they didn’t even want, guys they weren’t interested in.  And Hoya couldn’t even get one single person’s attention.  How much use did Sunggyu even have for Chen, really, but Chen had him on a pedestal.

            “It hurts,” Sunggyu said softly.  “But you’ve played hurt before.  It doesn’t mean that you give up.  You have to keep trying.”

            “There’s no point,” he muttered.  Finally opening his eyes, he looked away, over Sunggyu’s shoulder in the dark.

            “Then you don’t care anymore?  Chen’s worthless to you, none of it matters to you?  We’ll find a nice boyfriend for him, then, or should Woohyun take him, that would be okay with you?”

            It was like a dagger in his chest, and it hurt so much that he just breathed through it for a minute.

            “Then you’ll keep trying,” Sunggyu said.  “You’ll really try.  Not this holding back, feeling sorry for yourself.  You’ll give it one hundred percent this time.”

            “It won’t work,” he told the air behind Sunggyu’s shoulder.

            “This isn’t working, either,” Sunggyu said.  “Tell me that you’ll try.”

            Blinking, he tilted his chin up, looking at the ceiling now.  Chen wasn’t attracted to him, and he didn’t know how to change that.  He’d tried opening up, and Chen had responded badly, and now he regretted it.  And he hated that feeling, he absolutely hated feeling slapped down for trying to share something private.  But the way he felt about Chen wasn’t going away.

            What was the worst that could happen, if he threw himself into it one more time?  He’d embarrass himself?  Chen would know how he felt, and mock him for it?  Chen was a nice guy, though.  Things might be incredibly, horribly uncomfortable, but he didn’t think that Chen would turn on him or humiliate him.

            He’d never actually tried to start a relationship before.  He hadn’t even wanted this weird, seven-person relationship he was in with his members.  Circumstances and their hellish persistence had forced him into it.  He was probably going to be terrible at it, at attempting it and, if a miracle happened, maintaining it.  He had high hopes and distant fantasies about what life as Chen’s boyfriend might be like, but in reality it would all probably fall apart one month in.  And, damn, that was going to hurt.

            He avoided Sunggyu’s eyes.  “So when I fuck everything up, are you going to throw it in my face every chance you get?”

            “If you do your best, no,” Sunggyu said.  “If you try, and he doesn’t appreciate you, I’ll hold it against him forever.”  Sunggyu rubbed his side, hand sliding under his shirt, stroking his ribcage.  “Come on, agree to try.  I want to be nice to you.”

            Finally looking into Sunggyu’s face, he raised his eyebrows.  “Did you come in here to give me a pep talk, or to get laid?”

            “To talk,” Sunggyu said.  “But now I’m on top of you, and my body expects things.”

            Licking his lips, he wanted to make a wisecrack.  He wanted to push all of these painful, complicated feelings away.  He wanted to say that he didn’t really care that much, and that Chen didn’t really matter to him, and that he didn’t want Sunggyu to make love to him, anyway.  It would be so much easier that way.

            He could still back out.  He could pretend that he didn’t care about Chen; he could say it over and over again, he could squash his feelings.  Eventually, it would be easier and easier to ignore how he felt.  Eventually, love would fade, or he’d become more used to living around it.  Eventually, Sunggyu would give up.  And Chen would never know.  And they could all move on like none of this had ever happened; as far as Chen would know, it never had.

            He wondered why Chen had insisted on getting in touch.  He knew that Chen had been unhappy with him tonight; their conversation had gone badly.  But Chen had been really insistent about calling, and when he’d mentioned texting, Chen had said that he had to do it soon.  What did Chen want from him?  Was it just some internal issue with not getting along with people; had the night going badly made Chen more determined to make it go better in the future?

            Was Chen so used to being friends with everyone, that he couldn’t stand not being friends with Hoya?  Then it wasn’t about Hoya at all, really.

            Hoya felt a rebellious spark.  He was tired of being overlooked and ignored.  He was tired of Chen taking him for granted and pushing him aside.  Chen couldn’t go on worshipping Sunggyu and adoring Woohyun and fawning over L and cuddling up to Dongwoo and neglecting him.  Chen never would’ve canceled a night out with one of them.  Never missed an opportunity to blow them.  And he knew better than anyone that they weren’t that great.  Anyone who thought that they were super sexy and super funny and super handsome had to think that he was just as great, seriously.

            He wasn’t going to sit on the sidelines anymore.  He was going to make Chen notice him.  He was going to ask Chen to see him, really see him, for once.  He was going to commit himself to this.  “I’ll try.  For real, this time.”

            “Good.”  Sunggyu kissed him, rubbing his side.  “Good.  How?”

            He laughed breathlessly, feeling relieved and a little bit terrified now that he’d made his decision.  “I have no idea.”

            “How to make a relationship work?” Dongwoo asked.  “But I’m not in a relationship!”  Did that make any sense?  “You should ask L, he has a cute boyfriend.”  L and Changjo were adorable together.

            “And why ask me?” Woohyun asked.  Sprawled across Dongwoo’s bed on his back, he looked really sexy.  He had all of his clothes on, but that was fun, too.  Now Dongwoo could think about how to take them off.

            “Don’t try to tell me that you’re not in relationships,” Hoya told Woohyun.

            “He has a leader and a puppy, those aren’t boyfriends,” Dongwoo said.  “And I don’t have anybody.”

            “You have Chunji,” Hoya said.

            That hurt.  He knew that Hoya hadn’t meant it to hurt, and he knew that it shouldn’t hurt, so he told himself not to feel that way, but it stung, anyway.  Chunji’s not mine to have.”  He’d tried once, but it was nature.  He’d held on too tightly, and Chunji had flown away.

            “You’ve learned something about relationships,” Hoya said.  “How to get a guy’s attention in the first place, and how to hold it.”

            “Oh, then we definitely need L here,” Dongwoo said.  “He gets all of the attention.”

            “Chen wants romance,” Woohyun said.  He undid his fly with one hand, slowly, lazily, like it wasn’t a big deal, like it was just time for it.  Dongwoo wanted to kiss his hand and nuzzle in, lick his cotton boxer-briefs as he exposed them.  “Give him romance.  Take him to dinner.  His members are used to him, they’re not giving him anything special, and Teen Top only gives him fun and sex.  Treat him in ways that no one else does.”

            “But don’t overdo it,” Dongwoo said.  “Don’t do things now that you won’t still do in three months.  If you start out with too much, and you can’t keep it up, it’s only disappointing later, because you teach people to expect things you won’t give them.”

            “You can’t be too romantic in public,” Woohyun said.  “But it doesn’t have to be over the top.  You just have to pay attention to him.  Make him feel sexy and interesting and special.”

            “But how?” Hoya asked.  He looked so bewildered that Dongwoo laughed.

            “Look at him like you want to kiss him,” Woohyun said.  “Listen to him when he talks, really listen, like you care.  Ask him questions, let him know that you’re interested.  You don’t have to take him to the most romantic restaurant in the city, just take him somewhere he wouldn’t grab a bite with Baekhyun.  You don’t have to show up with flowers, just wear something nicer than you’d wear to hang out with me.  It just takes a little bit of effort, a few signals that he’s not just another hoobae to you.  He’s in the middle of EXO, he’s lost in the crowd.  Let him know that you’ve noticed him.”

            “You want to make him feel good, right?” Dongwoo asked.  “It’s not about putting pressure on him, that’s not it, if you’re constantly trying to impress him and making a big show about it, that’s uncomfortable.  It’s more about letting him know that you like being with him.  It’s what Woohyun said, listen when Chen-Chen talks, smile at things, laugh with him.  Show your heart a little.  But just a little, just gently.  Romance is like everything else in life.  Like sex.  Start gently, just the tip, just ‘I like you.’  Don’t rush it, don’t jam the whole thing in at once.”

            “But don’t hold back too long, or you’re just a tease and he’ll either get frustrated or bored and find someone who can deliver,” Woohyun said.

            “It’s good advice,” Dongwoo said.  “Did we help?  Is this what you wanted?”

            Hoya crossed his arms over his chest, shifting his weight.  “Maybe I will talk to L.”

            “Oh, Gyu hyung has a boyfriend now,” Dongwoo remembered.  “Talk to him!”

            “Relationships are easy,” Changjo said.

            “No, they’re not,” L said.

            “Sure they are,” Changjo said.

            L chuckled, shaking his head.  “They’re not.”

            “Chen hyung’s really simple,” Changjo said.  “You could be his boyfriend in a month.”

            Hoya was sure that this would be terrible advice, but morbid curiosity made him ask, “One month?”

            “Sure,” Changjo said.  “Three-pronged attack.  One, communicate with him.  Talk to him, really talk to him, tell him all kinds of things about yourself and get him to tell you everything there is to say about him, too.  Lots of it in person, face-to-face, looking into each other’s eyes, but call and text a lot, too.  He’ll feel like the two of you have shared a lot and built a really strong connection.  Send him selcas, text just to tell him stupid little things, and then have long, deep conversations about his childhood, crap like that.”

            L was studying Changjo and nodding like it was good advice.

            “Two.”  Changjo held up two fingers.  “Kiss him a lot.  He doesn’t get kissed enough.  He’ll love it.  Pay him that kind of attention, and he’ll eat it up.  Kiss him hello, kiss him good-bye, little kisses, soft kisses, kiss him just because he’s cute.  And make out with him, kiss him like you really want him, keep it going for a long time.  Make it seem like you don’t even want sex, you just want to kiss all night.”

            “Okay,” Hoya said slowly, waiting to see what the third prong might be.

            He held up three fingers.  “Screw him.  Really give it to him.  Do whatever else you want, have all kinds of sex however you like it, but get your cock in him, at least once.  And that’s it.”  With an innocent blink, he clasped his hands in his lap.

            L nodded.  “That’ll work.”  He turned his gaze on Hoya.  “If you’re sure that you want him.”

            He was sure.  But Changjo’s plan seemed too simple.

            And, at the same time, too difficult.  Opening up like that?  He wasn’t sure about it.  And just kissing Chen at any time, for any reason?  Yeah, it sounded terrific, it sounded like a dream, but could he do it?  What if Chen rejected him?  What if he made it awkward?  He wasn’t used to acting like that.  Could he pull it off?

            It was what he wanted, though.  It was what he’d secretly, privately wanted all along, in the back of his mind.  He just didn’t know how to get it into the realm of reality, how to live it out.  In the moment, it wouldn’t go as smoothly as it did in his fantasies.  Life never did.

            But he’d promised Sunggyu that he’d try.  And if he pulled this off, if he had even one single day like that with Chen, it would be worth it.  God, it would be so worth it.

            Thinking it over, though…  Uh.  He scratched his jaw.  “I might need some practice.”

            “Kissing?” Changjo asked.  “Topping?”

            L grinned.  “Taking selcas?”

            Well, now that he mentioned it.  “All of that, yeah.”

            Chen waited impatiently for Suho to get back to them about their schedule.  He kept going over his plans in his mind.  They were pretty straightforward plans, though!  He was going to ask Hoya out for a date, a real date.  And then he’d see how it went.  He wanted to invite Hoya back to EXO’s dorm afterward, but maybe Infinite’s dorm would be better.  Hoya would be more comfortable there.  And then he’d make a move.  Flirt, offer a blowjob, see what Hoya was into.

            The more he thought about it, the more he wondered if part of their friendship being so nonsexual was his fault.  He’d thought that since Hoya hadn’t expressed interest, Hoya must not be attracted to him, but was that necessarily true?  Hoya didn’t jump all over the other members, either.  It was just that the other members were more assertive; they asked for it, or moved on Hoya.  He’d taken that one “no” that one time as some kind of semi-permanent barrier.  He should’ve asked again!  He had no trouble asking anyone else for it.  He’d let himself get shy just because he liked Hoya so much, and that was silly.  Maybe Hoya wasn’t panting after him, but Hoya didn’t make a big show of lusting after Sehun, either, and Sehun certainly got plenty of action.  He’d probably had a good chance of getting somewhere all of this time; he just hadn’t asked!  All of that wasted time.  He couldn’t stand it.

            Suho gave him a print-out of their updated schedule, and he sat down to look it over.  He already had permission for a date and a sleepover, so he only had to decide when!  As soon as possible was ideal, and as he studied their free time, he smiled, eager to fill it up with Hoya.

            His phone rang.  Surprised to see Hoya’s name on his ID, he laughed.  “Hyung?”

            “Chen-ah.  I was just thinking about you.”

            He really liked hearing that.  “I was thinking about you, too,” he admitted.

            “How’ve you been?”

            “Fine, everything’s okay.”  He was really glad that Hoya had called.  “I was just talking to Suho hyung about our schedules, about what we have coming up.”

            “Ah.  That’s good, um.  I hope that you have some free time in there.  I was, uh, hoping that we could go out.”

            What?!  He couldn’t believe it.  It was so good to hear, he got up, energized, and sat down again.  Then, needing to share this moment with someone, he got up a second time and went into the kids’ room.  Waving for attention, he sat on Sehun’s bed and put the call on speakerphone.  “You want to go out?”  D.O. stood over him, and Sehun sat beside him, leaning in, listening.

            “Yeah.  I wanted to take you to dinner.”

            Yes!  Feeling a huge smile overtake his face, Chen looked up.  Sehun smiled back, and they high-fived, a silent celebration.  “Dinner?  Yes, that’d be great.”

            “Ah, good.  Um, is The Point okay?”

            The Point!  Astonished, he stared at D.O.  That was a real restaurant!  This was a real dinner!

            Covering his mouth with one hand, trying not to laugh, Sehun waved at the phone, reminding him to answer.

            Oh!  “Yes, yes,” he said hastily, smiling from ear to ear.  “I’d like that, hyung.  I’ve never been there.”  Curious, he wondered, “Are we celebrating something?”

            “No, just eating.  Do you have time this Wednesday or maybe Thursday?”

            “Wednesday, yes, I’m free.”  This was really happening.  Hoya was asking him out.  Really asking him out!  Not just meeting up to grab coffee.  This was a date.  And Hoya was asking him.  Had he made a way better impression than he’d thought, last time?  He couldn’t possibly have.  Did Xiumin’s clothes look that good on him?

            “Great.  So I’ll, uh, pick you up around seven?”

            Pick him up!  Joyful, Chen pounced on Sehun, tackling him down across the bed.  Not “meet you there,” but “pick you up!”  This was a date-date!  “Seven’s great, hyung, seven’s good for me.”  He sounded too happy for no reason, but he felt ridiculously happy and he had great reason!

            “Good,” Hoya said.  “Good, good.  What’s that, hyung?” he asked, raising his voice, and Chen laughed, because it was too obvious that he was faking it.  “Ah, okay.  Sorry, I have to go, he needs me.”

            “Okay.”  Chen loved this hyung so much.  His confusion and consternation were gone.  He felt like he understood Hoya now.  He couldn’t wait for this date, couldn’t wait for them to grow closer.  Couldn’t believe that Hoya had just asked him out!  “I’ll see you on Wednesday, then.”

            Mmm.”  Hoya hung up.

            Aahhh!”  Squeezing Sehun, Chen rolled across the bed.  “Date, it’s a date!  He asked me on a date!”  Laughing exuberantly, he pulled D.O. down, too.  Hoya had asked him out!

            Dropping his phone, Hoya leaned back on the sofa.  Slowly lacing his fingers behind his head, he breathed in.  Breathed out.  Wow.  Okay.  It was done.

            Chen had said yes.

            “What is it, did you call yet?” L asked, walking over.

            “It was terrible,” Sungyeol said from his left side on the couch.

            “Chen hyung said yes,” Sungjong said from his right.

            “So awkward,” Sungyeol said.  “‘Uh, um, yeah, uh, okay.’”

            “Chen hyung sounded happy about it,” Sungjong said.

            Chen had said yes.  Hoya smiled.  He’d done it.  It had gone well, and Chen had seemed to like it.  And now he had a date.

            “You’re not going to be that awkward on the date, are you?” Sungyeol asked.

            Licking the corner of his mouth, he looked over at Sungyeol.  He thought about making a comment about how awkward Sungyeol was onstage.  Or, even better, how awkward Sungyeol was in bed.  There was a lot of material to work with.  But he had a date.  He could afford to be generous.  “Nope.”  Rubbing his thighs, he looked at L.  “You got a few minutes?”

            “Sure,” L said.  “For what?”

            He needed to practice.  Getting up, he gave L a look and moved towards the bedroom.

            Ooohh.”  Sounding amused, L followed him.

            “You know, it’s not choreography,” Sungyeol called after them.  “You don’t have to do it eight hours a day to get the moves down.”

            “Don’t discourage him!” L called back.

            Date night!  Chen had been gloating about it for days, and he could tell that he was getting on his members’ nerves, but he didn’t care.  He had a date!  A real date, at a real restaurant.

            By the time he was getting ready for it, getting ready to be picked up by his date, everyone was so annoyed that most of the members avoided him.  But Suho hung out with him, talking about Hoya and the restaurant.

            “You’ve been there?” he asked as he got dressed.

            Mmm.  I’ve taken Changjo a couple of times.”

            That made it even more of a date night restaurant; Suho treated Changjo like a fiance.  “We might go back to Infinite’s dorm, but if we come here, is it okay if we’re in here?”  He couldn’t just kick Suho out of the room; he had to be nice and ask politely and hope that Suho went along with it.

            “Sure, we’ll give you privacy,” Suho said.

            He didn’t want to get ahead of himself; maybe nothing would happen.  But he couldn’t stop anticipating what might happen!  There were so many ways the night might go, he had dozens of scenarios in mind.  Fun, sexy, perfect scenarios.

            “It’s nice, to be seeing someone,” Suho said.  “But it’s not as nice for your friends to feel left out.  Remember to be considerate of their feelings, too.”

            What?  Surprised, he paused with his shirt halfway on.  “You think that I’ve been mean?”

            “No, it’s nothing like that,” Suho said.  “But the more you see of Hoya, the more you’ll have to make sure that you’re giving your friends a chance, too.  It can be hard to find a balance.  I’m struggling with it, too.  You’ve always been close to Baekhyun and Chanyeol, and they’re a little jealous that you’re so excited about someone else.”

            What?!  Was that what was wrong with everybody?  “Jealous of what?”

            “You’re a good friend,” Suho said.  “They’re used to coming first.  You haven’t had anybody to put before them, until now, and they don’t like it.  You don’t have to coddle them, they have to grow up sometime.  But it would be nice to reassure them now and then.”

            “Well, that’s stupid,” Chen said.  He smiled.  “You know that I’ve always put you first, way before Chanyeol.”

            Suho smiled back at him.  “I know, but he likes to pretend.”

            When Hoya got out of the shower, the dorm was quiet.  Good.  The last thing he needed was random members hanging around pestering him while he got ready for his date.  Date, god, he had a date?  He was used to meeting up and hanging out with friends, and he was used to getting together specifically for sex, but this “date” thing he wasn’t sure about.  It couldn’t be that complicated.  He just had to pick Chen up without making it super awkward, and pay for dinner, and then say good night without making it super awkward.  The worst part was going to be figuring out what to say, what to talk about over dinner.  An entire dinner?  He could count on Chen to do most of the talking, he hoped.  Maybe he should call Changjo and ask what, exactly, he was supposed to get Chen to talk about.  Childhood stuff, right?  Trainee era anecdotes, that was always an easy conversation starter.  But Chen hadn’t even been a trainee for that long.  Shit.

            His towel around his hips, Hoya went into his room.

            Everyone was in there.  L and Sungyeol were making out on one bed, Sunggyu and Woohyun were seated on the other, and Dongwoo and Sungjong were going through the closet, pulling clothes out and holding everything up.

            He considered turning around and walking out.  He’d grab clothes from the laundry room and leave.  But, despite himself, he appreciated their interest.  He was kind of glad that they wanted to help him.  He just wasn’t going to admit that to them.

            Sighing, he walked in.  “Nothing interesting on TV tonight?”

            “Not as interesting as this,” Sungjong said, eyeing his body.

            Flattered, he crossed his arms over his chest.  “Do you all have to be in here?”

            “Yes,” Woohyun said, nodding.  Staring right at Hoya, Sunggyu spread his legs and leaned back on his hands, deliberately taking up more space.

            “Clothes first, then hair,” Dongwoo said.

            “I’m not doing my hair,” he said, touching it, smoothing it down in back.

            “You should wear your glasses,” Sungjong said.

            “Not doing that either.”

            “First step, panties,” Dongwoo said.  He held up black boxer-briefs and bright purple briefs.  “Which one?”

            “Purple, purple,” Woohyun said.

            Hoya took the black pair.  To be realistic, he was never going to get them to stop watching, so he went ahead and took off his towel, handing it to Sungjong.

            “What kind of look are you going for?” Dongwoo asked, unfolding a pair of jeans.

            “Dressed,” he decided, putting his underwear on.  Clean, no stains or weird smells.”

            “The bar won’t be that high,” Sungjong said.  “It’s Chen hyung, not Key hyung.”

            “We should get him off before he goes,” Sunggyu decided.  “It’s a confidence boost, right, it makes you feel good?  Maknae, on your knees.”

            “Dongwoo hyung, don’t you want to do it?” Sungjong asked.

            “Sure,” Dongwoo said.

            “Wait,” Woohyun said, putting a hand out.

            Hoya eyed Dongwoo’s mouth.  He hadn’t really planned on getting off before he left, but it wasn’t the worst idea he’d heard.  And if Dongwoo was into it, who was he to say no?  Had to go along with what his hyung wanted, right?

            “If it’s a confidence boost, it should be significant, right?” Woohyun asked.  “And this is a special night, right, their first date?  I think that you should do it, hyung.”

            Nodding, Sunggyu looked at Dongwoo.  Then he seemed to realize that everyone else was looking at him.  Dramatically feigning shock, his eyes popping and his jaw dropping, he turned to Woohyun, pointing at himself.  “Me?”

            “Yes, you,” Woohyun said, laughing.

            It was a little weird, how they all pretended that Sunggyu didn’t give head.  He gave incredible head, and a lot of it, behind closed doors, when he was “being nice” to them and making them feel good and giving them everything that they needed.  It was just that he didn’t do it out in the open, so it seemed like a private thing.  A special thing, just between them.

            “Why me?” Sunggyu demanded.  “No, no.”  He waved both hands at Woohyun, shaking his head.  “It’s Chen’s date night, not mine, let him do it.”  He turned back to Hoya.  “Chen will do it for you.”

            “I think that you should do it,” Sungyeol said, surfacing.  His shirt was twisted up around his long torso, his mouth was red, and his cheeks were flushed.  L was wrapped around him, sleepy-eyed and contented-looking.

            “You’re busy, stay out of it,” Sunggyu scolded.

            “You really should do it, hyung,” Sungjong said.  “How’s he going to feel if you don’t?”

            “Wait, though, let’s not pressure Gyu hyung into sex,” Dongwoo said.  “That’s not right.”

            Hoya snorted.  “Who’s pressuring who into sex?  ‘Come here,’ ‘roll over,’ ‘I have something for you.’”

            Sungjong shot Sunggyu a disgusted look, then smiled prettily at Hoya.  “I’ll do it for you, hyung.”  He planted a quick kiss on Hoya’s lips, then knelt down.

            Hoya leaned back against the closet door, closing his eyes.  Mmm, “Ah,” yeah, that felt good.  His lips parting, he shuddered, hardening in Sungjong’s mouth.  He couldn’t help it; his thoughts went straight to Chen, to Chen’s laughing eyes and sexy mouth.  Imagining that Chen was the one rubbing his balls, that Chen was the one down there, he got off fast.  Ahhh, hooo.”  Damn.  Coming back to himself, he rubbed his eyes.  Okay, yeah, he was glad that he’d done that.  “Thanks.”

            Getting up, Sungjong kissed him again.

            He got dressed, mostly by talking to Dongwoo and ignoring everyone else’s advice.  He talked them out of styling his hair, and just left it down.  “Your skin looks great today,” Dongwoo said, caressing his cheek.  Dongwoo’s smile was pleased.  “So handsome.”

            Embarrassed, he cleared his throat, looking away.  “Well, I’ve been taking good care of it.  Eating crap, not getting enough sleep, that kind of thing.  Strict regimen.”

            He was dressed too quickly, and then he had time to kill.  He didn’t want to show up at EXO’s dorm too early; he’d either seem overeager or inconsiderate, and neither one was really the impression he wanted to make.  He went to the bathroom, and he drank water, and he checked the time every few seconds.  When Sunggyu called for him, he went to Sunggyu’s room, hoping that he wasn’t in for some embarrassing talk, or a scolding, or a pep talk, or - - basically, he couldn’t think of any good reason that Sunggyu might want to talk to him all of a sudden.

            Sunggyu closed the door and backed him against it.  Finding himself trapped between Sunggyu and the door, he moaned when Sunggyu kissed him.  His temperature soaring, he parted his lips, inviting Sunggyu in.  He hadn’t expected this, but, god, he couldn’t deny how immediately, how hotly he responded to it.

            Sunggyu’s hand was on his fly, then inside his underwear, on his cock.  He’d just gotten off, he couldn’t, he - - oh, god, he could.  Shuddering, he moaned again, his cock stiffening, trained to love Sunggyu’s touch.  He kissed Sunggyu more fervently, coiling his arms around Sunggyu, muscles in his thighs quivering as Sunggyu jacked him in slow, tight strokes.

            Lightly, the tip of Sunggyu’s tongue flicked over Hoya’s bottom lip.  “You want hyung on his knees for you?”  His voice was soft, a whisper, and his thumb rubbed around the crown of Hoya’s cock, slowly, so slowly, making Hoya ache.  “That’s what you want?”

            Any other time, it would have been a threat, a warning to give the right answer.  But there was no tension in Sunggyu’s voice, only yielding softness.  Turned on, needing, pleasure pulsing between his thighs and building in his chest, Hoya met Sunggyu’s eyes and nodded.  Yes, yes.  That was what he wanted, right now, god, yes.

            Sunggyu kissed him again, and he felt everything that held him together loosen, felt his self-control unravel, felt the walls around his heart tumble down.  Gripping Sunggyu with both hands, he kissed Sunggyu passionately, love and desire burning in his chest.  The erotic slide of Sunggyu’s tongue against his turned him on so much, he undulated against the door, grabbing a handful of Sunggyu’s sweatpants.  One hand still on his cock, keeping him rock-hard and panting, Sunggyu ran a hand over his back, and he moved with it, his spine arching.  Sunggyu kissed his chest, slow kisses through his shirt, taking a meandering, sexy trail downward, and he groaned, staring down at the top of Sunggyu’s head.  “Oh, god, unnnhh.”

            Sunggyu glanced up at him, a flicker of eye contact, and then Sunggyu’s lashes lowered, and Sunggyu’s tongue was slipping around the head of his erection.  “Ah, ohh-hhh, ohh.”  His chest heaving, he grabbed at the door, squeezing down hard on the doorknob, holding on for dear life.  From this angle, Sunggyu’s features were all curves, smooth cheeks, soft lips, and he gasped, bucking against the door, when Sunggyu started sucking on the head.  His cock was in Sunggyu’s mouth, he could see it, the way Sunggyu’s lips fit around him, he could feel it, the steady suckling sensation, the way it pulled on him, pleasure ratcheting upward.  “God, god, oh.”  The throbbing ecstasy was so intense, he was relying on the door to hold him up, his legs shaking.  Sunggyu had one hand on the base of his erection, one hand between his legs, rubbing seductive, tender circles behind his balls, massaging him in just the right spot in just the right way to make him vibrate.  Shuddering, he pulled on the doorknob, his hand clenching around it spasmodically, pleasure running up his thighs in electric sparks.  Huu-uuunnh, ooohh, ooohh, oh!”

            Sunggyu started bobbing his head, going in a slow, steady rhythm.  His thumb teased the base of Hoya’s cock, flicking up and down the shaft, the added stimulation increasing the pleasure, increasing the intensity, making Hoya’s need that much more urgent.  His lips slid up and down Hoya’s erection, pink and wet, mesmerizing, soft and snug.  Wanting to appreciate that this was really happening, needing to connect, Hoya put a shaking hand on top of his head, fingers sinking into his hair.  He made a soft, reassuring sound, a quiet hum in his throat, and sucked harder, his head bobbing faster now, his fingers stroking back to the tight pucker of Hoya’s asshole.

            Ahh, ah, unh!”  That was it, god, that was everything.  Groaning, Hoya bucked again, his body jerking against the door.  Sunggyu’s rhythmic, sensual suction nursed his cock, and the expert way Sunggyu teased his asshole, flirting and massaging, had hot jolts of pleasure striking him in lightning flashes.  Biting his lip, he tried to bear it, the back of his head meeting the door.  He couldn’t watch anymore, it was too much, too good, but he had to look, had to witness this incredible sight while he could, his erection in Sunggyu’s mouth, Sunggyu’s lips wrapped around his hard, naked cock, Sunggyu kneeling in front of him.  “God, oh, oh, hyung, f-f-f-fuck.”  He came in fierce, ecstatic pulses, pleasure radiating through him, his fingers tightening on Sunggyu’s hair.  “Oh, huh, oh, oh!”

            Come, oh, he’d come, “Ooouunh.”  Damn.  Blissful and a little bit embarrassed, he melted against the door.  There were blowjobs, and then there were blowjobs, and Sunggyu knew exactly how to get to him.  Catching his breath, he tried to get himself together, but he felt too fantastic to do anything but just smile goofily.

            Sunggyu planted light kisses on his thighs, then tugged his pants back up and stood.

            It was a little embarrassing to meet Sunggyu’s eyes, especially when he was licking cum off of his pink, full, lower lip.  “Better?” he asked, cupping the side of Hoya’s face.

            Hoya nodded, and Sunggyu kissed him.  “Good.”  Sunggyu squeezed the side of his neck and gave him an encouraging smile.  “You can do anything, right?  Just work hard at it.”  He nodded, gazing into Sunggyu’s eyes, drawing on Sunggyu’s strength to fortify himself.  Sunggyu was right, he could do this.  It didn’t even seem that difficult anymore.  It was just dinner, just Chen, and Chen was easy to be around.  He’d eaten food before, so that part wouldn’t trip him up.

Sunggyu kissed him again, and he kissed back, feeling good, feeling kind of sexy.  Running his fingers over Sunggyu’s nape, he kept the kiss going, lingering, touching his tongue to Sunggyu’s again, again.  “Too shy to do this in front of the other members?” he asked, brushing his lips over Sunggyu’s.  “Ashamed of your technique?”

Sunggyu gave him a flat, heavy-lidded, petulant stare.

Grinning, he kissed Sunggyu again.  “See you later.  Don’t wait up.”

            Chen wanted to play Infinite H albums and talk to Sehun about what it was like to have sex with Hoya, but what Suho had said was still on his mind.  Once he was dressed and ready to be picked up for his date, he went to the living room, where Baekhyun and Chanyeol were on the couch.  He plopped down between them, and they elbowed him, complaining.  Unrepentant, he rubbed Baekhyun’s thigh.  “Will you be up when I come home?  I want to talk to you.  It’s no fun if I can’t come home and tell you everything.”

            “Aren’t you staying over at Infinite’s dorm?”

            “I don’t know.”

            “I’m not staying up all night just in case, if you’re going to sleep over somewhere else.”

            “Okay, then we’ll talk in the morning.”  He slumped down, his head on Baekhyun’s shoulder.

            “This is weird,” Baekhyun said.  Chen laced their fingers together.  “It’s weird that you like Hoya hyung so much.  You ran around talking about finding a boyfriend and telling me that hyungs weren’t so great, and then you chose him?”

            “Maybe hyungs are okay, after all.”

            “I told you that!”

            “I should’ve listened!” he admitted.

            “So, hey.”  Chanyeol nudged him, and he turned his head to find Chanyeol eyeing him with a lusting, self-conscious smile.  “Once you have a boyfriend and everything.  You’re not going to be, like, off-limits, are you?”

            Laughing, he tapped Chanyeol’s chin.  “It’s okay, you can still climb into my bed at night, trying to convince me how good it’ll be.”

            “Good,” Chanyeol said, visibly relieved.  Scratching his ear, he said, “I wasn’t sure if Hoya hyung was going to want you to be monogamous or something.”

            I don’t want me to be monogamous.”  He didn’t think that was really a boyfriend’s decision.  Unless it was a deal-breaker?  But it would be a deal-breaker for him, too.  He wasn’t giving up sex with his members.  “I don’t think that he’d ask for that, anyway.”

            “Right?  Who’d give up sex with L if he didn’t have to?” Baekhyun asked.

            The doorbell rang.

            Chen squeezed Baekhyun’s hand.  “Wish me luck!”

            “Is that him?” Sehun called from another room.

            “Let’s not embarrass Chen,” Suho called back.

            “Why not?” D.O. asked, heading for the front door.

            “Good luck!” Baekhyun said, bolting from the couch and racing for the door.

            “No, no!” Chen protested, laughing.  Chanyeol threw him back and hurried after Baekhyun, and by the time he got there, all of the members had gathered.  Xiumin reached for the doorknob, and Chen barely had time to tug at his clothes and pat at his hair before Hoya was standing there, looking handsome and amused and skeptical.

            “Hey, come in,” Xiumin said, pulling Hoya into the dorm and closing the door.

            Hoya’s gaze roamed over Chen’s members, one eyebrow arching at the sight of Kai’s underwear.  “Am I taking the entire team to dinner?”

            “No,” Chen said quickly, laughing.  “No!  Just me.”

            “Good.  Because some of you,” he took in Kai again, “aren’t dressed for it.”  Quickly turning, he squeezed Sehun’s shoulder.  “Sorry, but that shirt…”

            While everyone burst into laughter, Chen pushed his members aside, making his way to Hoya.  It was so hard to keep his hands to himself!  He smiled at Hoya, glad that they were together, looking forward to dinner, to the chance to spend time together, just the two of them.  Hoya smiled back, and if everyone hadn’t been around, staring, he really might’ve tried for a kiss.

            “Have a good time,” Suho said.

            “Stay out as late as you want,” Chanyeol said.

            “Right,” D.O. said.  “Chen has permission to stay out all night and go to your dorm and everything.”

            “Or you can both come back here,” Baekhyun said.  “We promise not to watch if you don’t want us to.”

            “Although I wouldn’t mind it,” Sehun said.

            “Yeah, I’d be down for that,” Chanyeol agreed.

            “Oh my god!” Chen exclaimed, laughing.  “Shut up!” he insisted, punching and pushing at everyone within reach.

            “Well, thanks,” Hoya said.  “It’s good to know what the options are.”

            “Enjoy dinner,” D.O. said.

            “Order the most expensive thing on the menu!” Chanyeol called from just out of striking range.

            “Talk about yourself all night!” Baekhyun added.

            “Don’t bring up that weird rash, it might be off-putting,” D.O. advised.

            “I don’t - - there’s no rash!” Chen said hastily.  Hoya nodded at him, looking suspicious, and he laughed.  “No rash at all, I promise.”

            “All right.  We’ll just see if there’s a clinic near the restaurant, in case.”  Hoya’s hand settled on his hip, and while he was still enjoying that, Hoya put out another hand, covered Lay’s eyes, and kissed him.  A light kiss, right on the mouth.  It was astonishing and wonderful and immediately, he wanted more, he wanted to do it again, he wanted to kiss back, but Hoya was already opening the door.

            “What, what happened?” Lay demanded.  “I missed it!”

            Chen high-fived Suho on his way out of the dorm.

            The walk down the hallway was okay.  The ride down in the elevator was good; they made small talk, but it was easy, not stilted.  Getting past fans and into the van was normal, although when someone asked if they were dating, Hoya burst into laughter that he was pretty sure sounded like surprised giggling.

            The van ride was a little awkward.  Hoya was too conscious of his manager’s presence, too aware that someone was listening, the three of them trapped together in a moving vehicle with no distractions and no exits.  The only conversation topics which came to mind were questions he wanted to ask over dinner, and if he burned through all of his good material now, what was he going to do later?  He could already picture it: the two of them eating in complete silence punctuated only by his desperate, periodic, “How is it?” every once in a while, Chen’s reply a polite, “Tasty,” every bite seeming to last forever.  Chen would never want to go out with him again.

            At the restaurant, the hostess took them to a table in a hushed corner with mood lighting.  When they were seated, Chen said, “I wonder if this is the table Suho hyung gets.”

            “This is where Suho eats?”  He patted his pants, feeling for his wallet.

            Chen laughed.  “He brings Changjo here.”

            Really.  “Does he know that Changjo has a-  He coughed over the word “boyfriend.”

            Chen smiled at him, leaning forward.  “Really?  You think this is that kind of restaurant?  For relationships?”

            Oops.  Clearing his throat, Hoya leaned back in his seat, opening his menu.  “So, looks like they have a lot of food here.  Lots of kinds of dishes.  Beef, pork, ah, pasta…”  He ran his eyes over the pages, feigning great interest, while Chen laughed.

            This was what falling in love felt like.

            Everything sparkled.  The stars.  The candlelight.  Hoya’s eyes.  God, when Hoya relaxed and smiled at him, his heart tried to rise right out of his chest.

            Everything was fun.  Everything made him laugh. Hoya was hilarious.  The food was delicious.  He wanted to talk all night.  He wanted to hear all of Hoya’s stories; he soaked up the details of Hoya’s life like a sponge.

            He wanted the night to go on forever.  He wanted to walk home together hand-in-hand, through the moonlit streets.  He felt hopeful.  He was breathless, aroused; he wanted to know what the skin of Hoya’s cheek would feel like against his own.  He felt giddy and buoyant; it was like he was a little bit drunk, a little bit high.

            A few times, he realized that he’d been doing all of the talking.  Hoya was just too easy to talk to!  Hoya listened well, and nodded like he was saying interesting things, and watched his face, and made him feel smart, and insightful, and handsome.  When he suddenly caught himself going on and on, he stopped and asked questions.  He wanted to know about Hoya’s history, Hoya’s priorities, the little bits and pieces of experience that made up who Hoya was.

            Usually, with Hoya, it was a little tough to get under the surface.  Some people, like Dongwoo, wore everything on the outside; some people, like L, had some obvious chinks and access points.  But Hoya had a hard, smooth outer shell, and it hadn’t been easy to get inside, before.  Tonight, though, Chen got to see more of the man behind the silence and the jokes.  Hoya was relaxed tonight, and open with him, letting him see someone sincere and loyal and passionate in there that he really wanted to know, that he ached to grow closer to.

            He wondered what had changed, what had made Hoya so confident and warm tonight.  As they finished eating, he felt a nervous flutter in his gut; he didn’t want the night to be over.  He wasn’t ready to say good-bye.  He was just about to ask if they could go to Infinite’s dorm, when Hoya asked, “Do you want to go somewhere else?  Get dessert?”

            “Yes!”  Catching himself answering too enthusiastically, he laughed.

            Hoya’s eyebrows went up.  “Really into dessert?”

            Really into Hoya.  He wanted to say it, too; he wanted to confess how he felt and find out if Hoya might feel the same way.  This was a date, wasn’t it?  Was it not?  Hoya had kissed him at the dorm!  Okay, so Hoya had sex with his members sometimes, so one little kiss might not mean anything, but it felt like it meant a lot.  To his heart, it meant everything.  “I, uh.”  He couldn’t think of a suave way to answer the question, so he changed the subject to something he wanted to know about.  “You don’t bring Feeldog to places like this, do you?”

            Hoya’s gaze wandered the décor.  “Ah, no.  No, we go to cheap places just to hang out.  The nicest restaurants I go to are usually with the members, when we’re abroad and it’s like a treat.”

            Chen nodded.  “We do that.  There’s this restaurant in a hotel in Shanghai, what’s it called, it’s French.”

            “A French hotel?”

            He laughed, shaking his head.  “No, the restaurant’s French.  The hotel’s Chinese.”

            “The grape place?  With the huge tables?”

            “Yes!”  He should’ve guessed!  “You’ve been there?”

            “No, never heard of it,” Hoya said seriously, taking a drink.  “What’s it like?”

            Bursting into laughter, he sat back, putting his napkin on the table.  “Hyung!  Really.  Have you eaten there, do you like it?  They had these tiny little portions, I thought that we weren’t going to get enough food, but then they kept bringing out more and more.”

            “So many courses,” Hoya said.  “I thought we’d never finish.  And grapes everywhere.  Aren’t there paintings of them all over the walls?”

            “I think they own a winery or something.  The food’s really good, though, everything tasted great.”

            “We did rock, paper, scissors and made Sungyeol pay.”  Hoya smiled like it was a good memory.  “He sulked about it for a week.”

            “Aw, but it’s fair that way, he can’t sulk about it.  You have to be a good sport about these things.”

            “You have a good attitude about everything.”

            He blushed; he loved that Hoya had good things to say about him.  “That’s the best way to go through life, right?”

            Hoya grinned at him.  “Then if we do rock, paper, scissors now, you won’t complain about paying for dinner?”

            “I might complain a little,” he teased.  “How much was everything?”

            Hoya chuckled.  “Are you cheap?”

            “I’m not the one they call ‘Young Money,’” he retorted.  “Who came up with that, anyway?”

            Hoya coughed into his fist, then looked away, rubbing his nose.

            He was so cute and so obvious, Chen laughed, adoring him, wanting to hug him.  “You!  What kind of name is that?”

            “I didn’t know he was going to start hanging out at our dorm!”

            “Does he know you started it?”

            “I think he thinks that it’s Sunggyu hyung’s fault.”  Hoya grinned at him.  “Nothing wrong with letting him keep on thinking that, right?”

            “I won’t tell,” Chen promised.  He extended his hand, pinky finger out.

            Across the table, Hoya held Chen’s gaze.  He smiled a little, just enough to make Chen’s heart leap, just enough to make Chen’s breath falter.  Slowly, he reached out, and they linked pinkys.  Such a little move, such a minor gesture, it barely counted as skinship.  But he was looking at Chen like he was glad that they were together, like this moment was a good one, and his expression was so warm and open, Chen felt like falling in love with him had been inevitable.

            Dinner was over, but that was okay, because their date wasn’t.  Hoya paid, and they left.  Infinite’s manager dropped them off at a park.  Trailed by fans, they went to a dessert stand.  Hoya bought him ice cream and signed autographs.  Licking the ice cream, he hoped that the fans’ photos did justice to how great Hoya looked in person.  He was developing an obsession with the arch of Hoya’s back, with the way it pushed Hoya’s chest out, with that high, tight ass.  He loved Hoya’s soft, sexy, perfectly shaped mouth and sharp, white canines and rich skin tone.  He loved Hoya’s strong jaw and skeptical eyebrows and busy tongue, always licking, always tempting him.  Hoya had the kind of nose that stylists tried to contour everyone else’s to look like.  And how thick was Hoya’s hair?  It looked gorgeous.

            Hoya came over to him, meeting his eyes with a faintly questioning expression.  Recognizing that as a silent, “You ready to go?” he smiled, nodding.  He got a subtle nod in return, and Hoya turned.  They walked away in step, and Chen enjoyed the sense that they were getting used to each other, that he was learning Hoya’s cues and habits.  He spent a lot of time around people like Baekhyun, who never shut up, and Chanyeol, who was full of opinions and ideas, but he liked how quiet Hoya could be.

            A moment late, he realized, “You didn’t get anything?”

            “Nah.”  Hoya shoved his hands in his pockets, studying the path ahead, then glanced at him with a subtle, cocky grin.  “Just wanted to watch you lick things.”

            Shocked, he burst into laughter, smacking at Hoya’s arm.  Hoya just grinned at him.

            The fans hurried ahead of them, snapping photos, then circled back behind.  Gradually, the fans fell back, giving them space.  Sometimes there was a grace period where, if they let fans have enough access, they got a moment of relative privacy in return.  With the fans at a distance, it was a peaceful moment, just the two of them together on the winding path.  With the natural setting and the moon overhead, it felt romantic, like a scene from a film.  He was really glad that Hoya had brought him here, that now he had special moments with Hoya in another setting.  The kiss at the dorm, dinner at the restaurant, ice cream in the park.  He felt like he was collecting up memories like snapshots.

            He finished his ice cream.  They came to a fork in the path, the right side leading towards well-lit benches, the left leading toward shadowy fountains.  Hoya moved off to the left, and he wondered if that was a deliberate choice or just happenstance.  He’d dated noonas before, but never a hyung.  Never a sunbae.  Never an adult.  He wondered what it would be like.  This quiet, relaxed hyung he was with tonight wasn’t pushy at all.

            The third fountain wasn’t running.  Hoya sat on the edge of it, and Chen sat beside him.  It was darker over here, lit only by the stars overhead, by the soft yellow glow of tiny lights underwater.

            Hoya shifted a little, planting his feet.  The fans hung back, a few fountains away.  Out of earshot, especially with the other fountains bubbling and gurgling.  He crossed his arms over his chest, cupping his elbows, thumb whisking back and forth.  Chen was completely absorbed, attuned to his every movement.  If there had been no one around, or if they’d been private citizens, Chen would have leaned against him, cozied up against his side.

            “Dark,” Hoya said.  He squinted.  “I can’t see shit out here.”

            Laughing, Chen squeezed his thigh.  “It’s okay, hyung.  We’re in a park.”

            “Thank god.”  He squinted again more closely, then blinked.  “Thought we’d wandered into a really grassy neighborhood.”

            This hyung!  “You should’ve worn your glasses,” Chen scolded.  He didn’t lift his hand.  Hoya’s thigh felt hard under his palm; there was no give at all.

            “You aren’t supposed to know about those.”

            That was adorable.  “Are you vain?” he asked, curious.

            Hoya snorted, glancing up and flicking at his own bangs.  “Obviously, all I care about is my appearance.”

            “Your hair looks great.”  He smoothed Hoya’s bangs back into place, taking his time at it.  Enjoying the intimacy, he sighed, gazing into Hoya’s eyes.  “You’re so good-looking.”

            Time seemed to come to a stop, the two of them suspended in the moment.  They looked at each other, into each other’s eyes, unmoving.  Barely breathing, Chen felt drawn in, felt like this moment was so, so right but everything would be even better if he leaned in and made sure that Hoya’s lips were as soft as they looked.

            For a second, Hoya’s gaze dropped to his mouth.

            Then Hoya eased back a bit.  “So, this is normal.”  Rubbing his upper arm, he looked away.  “Totally normal.  Just two people, having a conversation.”

            “Right.”  Trying to seem natural, Chen shifted away a little bit, breathing in and glancing up at the moon.  “Nothing going on.”  Their eyes met, and they chuckled, and Chen liked how absurd Hoya seemed to find their situation.

            “Forgot your glasses, too?” Hoya asked.

            For a second, he didn’t get it, and then he realized what Hoya was referring to - - “You’re so good-looking” - - and he made an exasperated sound, smacking Hoya’s thigh.  “I see just fine!”

            “Okay.”  Shrugging, Hoya looked away again, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth.  “Just checking.”  A moment passed, and then he stood up.  “Come on.”

            “Where?” Chen asked, getting up.

            Hoya smiled at him.  “Just come on.”

            “What, I can’t know?” he teased, curious.

            Hoya started walking off, and he kept up, falling into step at Hoya’s side.  “You don’t know this neighborhood?”

            “I don’t know.”  He’d been paying way more attention to the way the streetlights played over Hoya’s skin than to the drive over here.  “We aren’t just in a really grassy part of Seoul?”

            “No, I heard that this is a park.”

            “Oh, it’s a park?  I see.”

            Hoya snickered, and he laughed, and he couldn’t believe that the night was going so well.  He felt closer to Hoya than ever.

            He wondered why Hoya had asked him out.  It had to be because Hoya liked him, right?  Hoya had asked him out before, but didn’t seem to have tried it with any of the other members.  So there had to be something about him, only him, that Hoya liked.  Did Hoya feel comfortable with him because things weren’t sexual between them?  But things weren’t sexual with D.O. or Suho, either, right?  Which brought him right back to: Hoya liked him, specifically.  Enough to call him up and ask him out, and spend tonight with him, and buy him dinner at the kind of place Suho took Changjo.

            Enough to open up and warm up and smile at him like being around him felt good.  He felt like he was seeing a side of Hoya tonight that not just anybody got to see.  And he loved it.

            They walked out of the park.  A couple of blocks later, he burst into laughter at the sight of a familiar building.  “We’re here?”

            “Oh, you know this place?”  It was where Infinite practiced, where they’d hung out last time.

            “Did you bring me here to teach me how to dance?”

            “Someone should,” Hoya said, unlocking the door.  When Chen said, “Hey!” and punched his shoulder, he just laughed.  “It’s someplace we can talk, and it’s closer than the dorm.”  He led the way inside.  “And no members.”

            “I thought that Infinite spent twenty-four hours a day in the practice room.”

            “That was before.  We’re a bunch of old men, now.  It’s only twenty-two.”

            Instead of going to the practice room, Hoya led the way down another hallway.  Opening a door, he flipped on lights.  They were in a small, carpeted room with vending machines and a blue leather couch.  Once Chen was in, he pulled the door shut, closing them in.  Just the two of them.  They hadn’t been alone all night, and as they sat down, Chen felt a flutter of nervous eagerness, of hope and desire.

            He couldn’t even pretend to play it cool.  As soon as they were sitting, he shifted closer, turning with one knee up on the seat, facing Hoya, leaning close, his arm on the back of the couch.  He ran his fingers through Hoya’s hair, caressing it lightly.  He’d really needed to touch Hoya all night, and indulging the impulse quieted his urges, soothed some of his lust.  But it felt so good that now that he was finally touching, he didn’t want to stop, and his hand dropped to Hoya’s shoulder, skimming down a little before resting on Hoya’s upper arm.

            Hoya’s gaze flickered toward his hand, casting a quick, assessing glance at it, like Hoya was curious about what he might be up to.

            “Hyung.”  He wanted to say so many things.  He had so many questions!  He had so much to say, so many feelings building up inside of him.  He hardly knew where to start, but one of his biggest questions in this moment was why Hoya had chosen him, why Hoya had chosen now, why Hoya was opening up to him.  Who else was Hoya like this with?  “Who are you closest to?  Who do you think really knows you?”

            Hoya rubbed his jaw, and Chen’s thumb stroked over his biceps, a tiny echo of the movement, the intense desire to caress him expressing itself.  “Nobody shocking.  My family, my members, Feeldog, Baram hyung.”

            “You and Sungjong seem really close.”

            “He’s pretty.”  Amusement flickered in his eyes; his lips quirked.  “Bad temper, though.”

            They were in a private enough place that Chen could finally move into personal territory and discuss things without worrying about being overheard.  “You like pretty guys?”

            That earned him an arched eyebrow.  “Doesn’t everybody?”

            “Yeah, but.  Some people are into butch guys, older guys, flower boys, I don’t know.  What are you into?”

            “What are you into?”

            Exasperated, he squeezed Hoya’s arm.  “I’m trying to find out about you!”

            Hoya looked thoughtful for a second, then shook his head.  His expression was honest when he said, “I don’t think that I have a type.”

            “Who’ve you liked before?”

            “No one.”

            Chen would have thought that he was hiding something, shutting Chen out, but he still had that open, relaxed expression.  “But who’ve you gone out with?  If you don’t want to tell me about after debut, what about before debut?”

            “No one,” he repeated.

            There had to have been someone.  “Even if it wasn’t a serious relationship.”

            He studied Chen for a moment in silence.  Slowly, his eyes narrowed, and his expression became still, and for a second, it seemed like he was putting up walls again, becoming distant.  Then he visibly relaxed.  Immensely relieved, Chen relaxed with him, not realizing until then that they’d tensed up together.  With a hint of a smile, he shifted to face Chen more fully, one shoulder against the back of the couch.  “You’ve had a lot of dates?”

            “Not a lot.  I can’t - - since debut, you know, I’ve made a lot of friends, but there hasn’t been anyone special.  Before, yeah, there were some guys.  I was young, so there was nothing serious.  People I met at school, or,” he laughed at the memory, “I had this thing with my neighbor’s cousin, it was so stupid but it seemed so important and sexy at the time.  And I did date some girls, but that was different.”

            Hoya nodded.  “I.”  His thumb rubbed over the corner of his mouth.  “I haven’t done it.  Dating or relationships.  It wasn’t important enough, or I didn’t know how, or it didn’t interest me, or it didn’t seem worth it, or I had other things I cared about more.  I had friends and music.  Dancing, my career.  That’s what matters to me.”  He was quiet for a second, and Chen rubbed his shoulder, wanting to hear more.  “Relationships seem messy.”

            “They don’t have to be.”  Chen needed him to understand that.  Needed him to give this a chance.  Desperately needed this to be a story about how things had used to be, not the lead-up to why they couldn’t happen.  Maybe Hoya had felt that way in the past, but this didn’t have to be the reason there was no chance for them to be together, now.

            “I’ve had, I mean, I have hormones, I’ve been attracted to people.”

            Curious, he asked, “People, or…?”

            Hoya’s expression was so skeptical and amused, Chen felt happy, he felt horny, he felt like he’d never, ever been so attracted to anyone before, never felt so good about being with someone.  “People or what?  What else do you think is an option?”

            Surprised, he burst into laughter.  “I didn’t mean it like that!”  Shit, wow, no.  “I meant, men, or women, or doesn’t it matter?”

            “Ah.  Men.”  Hoya looked kind of tickled, and his smile made Chen feel terrific.  “Did you really not know that?”

            “I can’t tell!  It’s not right to make assumptions.  People can be surprising.”

            An amused nod.  “Okay.  Well, I’ve been attracted to guys.  But I haven’t dated anyone.  There are friends, and there are guys I talk to, and there are guys I look at, and there are guys I do things in private with, and there are my members.  And there’s, you know.”  He scratched his chin.  “Whatever you are.”

            Floored, Chen hung onto his shoulder.  Oh, god, this was a lot to absorb all at once.  “Hyung, are you saying - - are you telling me that you’ve never been on a date before?”

            “I just said that.”

            “But you haven’t been on one date?  Not one?  Not at all?”

            “Are you hard of hearing?” Hoya asked.  “My Mandarin’s not that good, how’s your Japanese?”

            “How old are you?” he demanded.

            “Older than you by, I don’t know, when’s your birthday?”

            “We’re eighteen months apart.”

            Hoya eyed him, smiling.  “Checked on that, did you?”  He blushed, feeling caught, a little self-conscious now.  “You’re younger than I thought.”  Looking fond of him, Hoya touched his face, knuckles brushing his cheek.  It was so unexpected and so affectionate and so nice, he smiled, feeling warm all the way through.  Oh, so embarrassing; was this what it was like, dating a hyung?  He wanted to act cute so that Hoya would touch him like that again.

            That made him wonder, “Do you have a thing for younger guys?”

            Hoya shook his head.  “Don’t have a type.”

            “But you like Sungjong.”  He wanted to add, “And me,” wanted to brag about it, wanted Hoya to confirm it.

            “Eh.”  Hoya thought about it, then shrugged, looking dissatisfied.  “I like him for a bunch of reasons, he’s pretty, we get along, but I don’t think that it’s just because of that.”

            “Is this your first date?”  He didn’t want to make too many assumptions; was he being too bold?  “Is this a date?”

            Hoya smiled at him, a real smile, affectionate and amused and a little embarrassed.  “Seems like one.”  When Hoya looked at him like that, he felt warm inside, all the way through, his cheeks burning, his skin hot like he’d stood too close to the pyro.  His pulse was going fast.  He’d never understood so perfectly well what people meant by “heart-fluttering,” but nothing in his life had ever made his heart flutter like this hyung.  And then Hoya’s hand slid over his thigh, firm and sure.  “How’s it going so far?”

            Was it too early to confess that he was completely in love?  “Perfect.”  His fingers curled in Hoya’s sleeve, tugging Hoya just a little bit closer.  “It’s been perfect.”

            Hoya leaned in, slowly, and he realized with delirious joy that Hoya was about to kiss him.  Unable to believe his good fortune, he watched as the black fringe of Hoya’s lashes drifted downward.  Hoya’s lips brushed his, and his eyes closed, too.  It was a tender kiss, slow and sensual.  A romantic kiss.  Moaning, he parted his lips, his hand skimming to Hoya’s nape, his fingers threading up into Hoya’s hair.

            “You’re my type.”  Hoya whispered it, still close enough to kiss, and when Hoya’s thumb brushed over his cheekbone, he felt precious and desired, felt like he was special to Hoya.  “If I have a type, it’s Chen type.  Chen type, that’s my type.”

            That was a confession.  It was even more than he’d hoped for, more than he’d imagined that he’d hear tonight.  This wasn’t just friendship, this wasn’t just a nice dinner, this wasn’t just a little lust on the couch.  Hoya had just confessed to him, and it meant everything to him.  “Hoya type is the best type,” he said, and he kissed Hoya again.  “God, hyung, I like you so much,” he breathed, because it was the closest he could get to the truth without using the word “love.”  Another kiss, and he slid his tongue into Hoya’s mouth, coaxing Hoya out to play.

            Hoya made a soft, throaty sound, tongue stroking against his.  Hoya’s hand slid to his ass, cupping him, urging him forward, scooping and coaxing.  Moaning, he went where Hoya pulled him, right across Hoya’s lap, face-to-face, swinging a leg over.  Deepening the kiss, he pressed closer, moving right in, and as Hoya’s hands stroked over his back, he nudged against the hardening protrusion of Hoya’s arousal.

            Ooonnnhh.”  Hoya’s head fell back, his hands cupping Chen’s ass again, pulling Chen flush against him.

            Ohhhhh, hyung.”  It felt so damned good, Chen writhed, grinding against him again, moaning.  The friction felt amazing, and having Hoya under him, against him, turned on and heavy-lidded and looking at him like he was the only thing in the world, was even better.  Breath coming fast, Chen couldn’t stop rocking against him, cock against cock, pleasure building in hot pulses.

            “Chen-ah,” Hoya breathed, lips meeting his in another kiss.  A long, deep kiss, their tongues twining, Hoya’s hands stroking his back.  He was so turned on, and he felt so good, that he kept moaning, purring, making an unceasing stream of soft, happy noises into Hoya’s mouth.  He’d wanted this, he’d wanted it badly, and it was even better than his fantasies.  “I want you, I want you so much,” he whispered, needing Hoya to know it.

            Hoya broke their kiss, thumb skimming over his lips.  Hoya’s gaze was focused on his face, memorizing him, eating him up.  “I want you, too.”  Hoya stroked his cheek again, still studying him, like he was too enchanting to look away from.  “I’ve wanted to kiss you for a long time.”

            “You have?”  Hope and eager yearning unfurled in his chest; he needed to hear this.  “Since when, how long?”

            “Ah.”  Embarrassment tinged Hoya’s smile, and he caressed Chen’s cheek again, brushed his thumb over Chen’s nose.  “Since our teams got together for the first time.”

            Shocked, he laughed.  “Do you mean the orgy?”

            Smiling, Hoya nodded.

            “Hyung!  That’s no place for that!  How did you even notice me, in between going down on Chanyeol and having sex with Sehun?”

            Hoya’s eyebrows quirked.  “You memorized my itinerary?  How do you know what I did in which order?”

            Now it was his turn to be embarrassed, and he dropped his gaze, running his hand over Hoya’s chest.  Hoya’s body was hard, and its muscular firmness lured him in.  “I talked to my members a little.  We compared notes, you know, we talked about everything, after.  Anyway, you never touched me, so how was I so interesting?”

            “You were good-looking.”  Hoya rubbed his thigh with a slow squeezing motion that felt so good, he sank forward against Hoya’s chest, his cheek on Hoya’s shoulder.  Hoya’s other hand covered his back, and he snuggled in, feeling encouraged to stay.  “Do I have to tell you everything?”

            “Yes.”  He ran his thumb over Hoya’s nape, so glad to be there in Hoya’s lap that he wanted to make the most of it.  “Yes, you have to tell me all of it.”

            Hoya sighed, sounding tragically put-upon, and stroked his back in a soothing up and down motion, riding his spine.  “The game, in the beginning.  I thought you were sexy.  And you’re really cute.  And then everybody else was either screwing or asleep, and I walked in and saw you in the kitchen, cleaning up, and I thought, hunh, there’s someone who doesn’t only think about himself.”

            Shit, now he was glad that he’d stayed in the kitchen!  “I didn’t understand you,” he admitted.  “I didn’t know why you wouldn’t want to have sex with my members.  But then you did some things and had sex with Sehun, and I felt better.  Sehun really liked it, he said that he had no idea that you could be so sexy.”

            Hoya was still stroking his back, slow and intimate, making him feel lazy and sexy.  “When did you first notice me?”

            He chuckled.  He felt too good to be embarrassed.  “Should I be honest?”

            “Eh, you don’t have to be.  Go ahead, lie to me.”

            Laughing, he kissed Hoya’s neck.  “I’ll tell you the truth.  There were two times.  One was the first time we went on MT, when we played the game.  We’d been wondering what it would be like with Infinite, and how everything might go, so I was really curious about your members.  And then the game started, and I saw your cock, and I thought, oh!  Well, if it’s like that, then we’re going to have a great time!”  Hoya was laughing, and he sat up straighter to look into Hoya’s face, wanting to see Hoya’s happiness.  “Really!  It was so sexy, I felt jealous.  I wanted to blow you, too.  We were there to try things with new people, and your members got to have all of the fun!  It didn’t seem fair.”

            Covering his mouth with one hand, Hoya kept laughing.  His eyes sparkled and danced, and he looked so happy that Chen kissed his forehead, smoothing his hair.  “I didn’t know you had such low standards.”

            “Don’t pretend!  Your cock is gorgeous, it’s one of my favorites.  It’s way sexier than - - well, I shouldn’t name names, that might be too mean.”

            Smiling, Hoya kissed him, giving his thigh a light squeeze.  “I like yours, too.”

            God, that turned him on.  Breathless, he ran his hand up Hoya’s chest, unable to look away from Hoya’s brown eyes.  “Did you ever think about sucking it?”

            Silently, holding his gaze, Hoya nodded.

            Ooohhhh.”  Deeply aroused, he leaned in, and their mouths met for a slow, deep kiss.  Cupping Hoya’s jaw, he moaned, slicking their tongues together.  They made out for a while, trading intimate, sensual kisses.  The desire simmering between them, the sweet bliss, kept him coming back for more and more.  They didn’t rush it, didn’t escalate, just kissed, sharing this private, erotic pleasure.

            Finally, slipping away from his mouth, Hoya trailed kisses across his cheek.  “So pretty,” Hoya murmured, caressing his cheekbone.

            His members didn’t talk to him this way, and it made him love this hyung even more.  Kissing Hoya’s cheek, he hummed happily.  “Should I move, am I getting too heavy?”

            Mmm, no.  It’s okay, I’m used to it.”

            Really.  “A lot of guys sit on top of you?” he asked, wanting to hear more about this.

            “Dongwoo hyung, Woohyun, Sunggyu hyung, Sungjong, yeah.  My members like to demand attention,” he added with a smile that told Chen that he didn’t mind it at all.  His thumb brushed back and forth over Chen’s chin, his gaze drifting from Chen’s eyes to mouth and back again like his focus was pulled in two directions.  But both of those directions were Chen, and Chen felt very good about that.  “What’s the other time when you noticed me?”

            “Do you remember when we went to karaoke?  You and Dongwoo hyung, and I was with Xiumin hyung and Lay hyung, and we met VIXX and Teen Top?”

            Hoya nodded, gazing into his eyes.

            He kissed Hoya again, softly, just because damn, Hoya’s mouth was sexy.

            Hoya blinked a couple of times, licking his lips, like Chen had completely broken his concentration and he needed to reset.

            Testing his effect on this hyung, he did it again, stealing a tender kiss.  As soon as he broke contact, Hoya took his mouth again, deepening the kiss, cupping the side of his face, holding him in place.  Moaning, he loved how often Hoya kissed him, how well Hoya kissed him.  If kissing was always going to be like this, so romantic and erotic, turning him on and capturing his heart and promising him the passion of a lifetime, he was going to end up even more in love than he already was.

            “Karaoke,” Hoya murmured, still kissing him.

            He had no idea what Hoya was talking about, and he couldn’t be bothered to ask.  He was too busy kissing, too absorbed in the way Hoya was making tender, masterful love to his mouth.  This hyung’s tongue was good at so many things.  “Hmm, oohhh…”  When Hoya broke their kiss, he went back for more, sliding his fingers into Hoya’s thick hair.  “Oh, hyung, I love the way you kiss.”

            Mmm.  Chen kisses are the best kisses,” Hoya said, kissing him again and then again.  “You noticed me at karaoke?”

            Right.  Okay, yes.  Clearing his throat, he remembered now what they’d been talking about.  “Ah.”  It was flattering, it felt really good, how he had all of Hoya’s attention.  He was right there on Hoya’s lap, but, still, Hoya wasn’t constantly looking away or checking the vending machine or pulling out a phone; Hoya watched him, focused on him, tracked his gestures and expressions.  He felt like Hoya was really listening to him and cared about what he had to say.  “It was a really good night, right?  I had a lot of fun.  When you and I talked, when you told me about Dongwoo hyung and Chunji, and about Sunggyu hyung and Ricky, and all of that, it was really nice.  You’re so funny, you were great, I liked talking to you.”

            “You laugh a lot,” Hoya said, hands sliding warmly over his waist.

            “You say a lot of foolish things.”

            Hoya’s eyes widened slightly, like he was astonished and affronted, and then he grinned.  “Not me.”

            “Then Sunggyu hyung and Ricky are really that much in love?  Suho hyung might get upset if he finds out.”  He rested his arm on Hoya’s shoulder, toying with Hoya’s hair.  “What do you think about our leaders being together?  I think that it’s cute.”

            “It’s okay.  He makes Sunggyu hyung happy.  So as long as nothing ever goes wrong and they never break up, it’ll be good.”

            Dismayed, Chen chuckled, tugging at a lock of hair.  “That’s no way to look at things!  You should just be glad that your hyung’s happy and in a good relationship.  I think that it’s nice.  I’ve never seen Suho hyung so in love with somebody.”

            Hoya rubbed his nose and squinted.  “I’m not used to being happy for that grandpa.  Usually I either ignore him or mock him.  Being happy for him, eh, it’s a little uncomfortable.”

            Laughing, Chen kept playing with his hair.  “Why do you pretend not to like each other?  Nobody believes you.”

            “Eh, he’s too wrapped around Woohyun’s finger to notice me.”  Hoya studied him.  “What’s it like being the leader’s favorite?”

            “It - - I’m not the favorite!”

            Hoya snorted.  “Who do you think it is?”

            “I don’t know.  Suho hyung says that he doesn’t have favorites.  He’s always been close to Kai, though, and he spoils Sehun, and he likes D.O.”

            Smiling, looking satisfied, Hoya tucked a hand behind his head, leaning back.  Mmm.  I like Sehun, too.”

            Scandalized, Chen ran a hand over his shoulder, staring at his smug smile.  “Hyung!  You’re on a date with me, don’t talk about sex with some other guy!”  Then Chen grinned.  “It’s great, isn’t it?  What do you like about it, how does it go?  I haven’t seen enough, I’m always busy with your members.”  He was eager to have this conversation; he couldn’t wait to find out what Hoya was into.

            “Chen cock is the best cock,” Hoya promised, kissing him.

            He was seriously delighted to hear that, and he thought that it was really sexy and sweet for Hoya to try to reassure him.  “You haven’t even had it yet.”

            Hoya’s grin was just suggestive enough and just flirtatious enough to make tendrils of heat uncurl in his stomach.  “Eh, we’ll get around to it.”  Hoya kissed him again, rubbing his side.  “Ah, Sehun?”  Hoya relaxed, looking thoughtful, then shrugged.  “He’s good-looking and he fucks hard.  I’m not greedy, I don’t need more than that.”

            “You like it best with your members.”  If he wanted to learn more about Hoya’s sexuality, that was the place to start.  “Who do you have sex with the most often?”

            Ahhh.”  He licked his lips, thinking it over.  “Dongwoo hyung, maybe, but don’t tell Lay.”  His hands rubbed over Chen’s thighs.  It was fantastic, being so close, constantly touching like this.  “I do a lot with Woohyun and L and Sunggyu hyung, too.  They four of them, they’re constantly asking for it.”  He grinned.  “Well, ‘asking…’”  His voice trailed off.  “The old man doesn’t do a lot of asking.”

            “It’s like that?”  Sexual fantasies whirled through Chen’s mind.  “He’s not polite?”

            Hoya snorted.  “He’s a dictator.  Leader’s privilege.  He thinks that he should get to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.”

            Chen had to ask.  He held Hoya’s gaze.  “Do you mind?”

            Hoya coughed into his fist, looking away.  He cleared his throat and massaged Chen’s thighs.  Then he met Chen’s eyes again, looking mildly confused.  “What?  Mind what?”

            “You like it,” Chen accused, tickled.

            “I didn’t say that.”  He was smiling like he couldn’t help it.

            “You don’t have to!”  Chen kissed him, turned on by these insights into his sex life.  “It’s fantastic with Sunggyu hyung, isn’t it?” Chen murmured, kissing him again.  “He makes it so good.”  Aroused, mind conjuring up kinds of ideas, all kinds of images, Chen moaned.  “I’d love to watch him give it to you, hyung, it would make me so hot.”

            “Shit,” Hoya breathed, and then Hoya was kissing him harder, sucking on his tongue.  Cupping his ass, Hoya urged him forward, and his hips rolled, nudging him against Hoya’s cock.

            “Is it too much, is it embarrassing?” he whispered between deep, fervent kisses, his hands sliding over Hoya’s chest.  “It turns me on, hyung, you’re so sexy, I love seeing you taking it, I love seeing you getting off on a big, hard cock.”

            “Shit,” Hoya said again, panting hard and kissing him hungrily, rubbing his ass, moaning when he rolled his hips and their cocks dragged against each other.

            “You’re so sexy, so sexy,” he whispered again, teasing the hard nubs of Hoya’s nipples.  “You know what you like, you know what you want.”

            “You,” Hoya said, his voice rough, his kisses demanding.  “I want you.”

            When the van stopped in front of EXO’s dorm, Chen asked, “You want to come up?”

            Hoya nodded.  Then he smiled.  “That’s how this works, right?  Gotta walk you to the door.”

            Chen smiled at him.  Chen was an easygoing guy who seemed to enjoy life and smiled all of the time anyway, but Chen had also been smiling right at him all night, really happy smiles, and it was making him feel kind of…high.  Giddy, or something.  He felt really good and light.

            Once they got out of the van, they had to stop holding hands.  On the way into the elevator, Chen bumped against him, so he bumped against Chen right back, pretending like it was an accident and he hadn’t noticed a thing.  Chen laughed and nudged him, so when Chen tried to push the button for EXO’s floor, he batted Chen’s hand down.  Chen tried again, and he brushed Chen’s hand away, and that went on for a while, and Chen was laughing merrily and exclaiming, “Hyung!” and he was smiling so much that his cheeks hurt.  Eventually, Chen jumped onto his back, and he was so surprised that Chen got to the buttons a second before he did.  Chen didn’t even try to get down, and he liked having Chen up there, so he just hiked Chen into a more comfortable position and rode the elevator like that.

            When they got to EXO’s floor, Chen slid down.  He leaned back, all casual, with his arms over his chest, pinning Chen between himself and the wall.  Laughing, Chen hugged him from behind.  “Hyung, this is my floor, we have to go now.”

            “Oh?”  He made a big show of looking around, noticing his surroundings.  “Oh, yeah.  Sure, we can go.”

            When they walked into EXO’s dorm, they had about five seconds of peace, just enough to get inside and close the door, and then Chanyeol yelled, “Chen’s back!” and there was a dorm-wide commotion.  While everybody called out questions and jokes and gathered around to stare, Chen took Hoya’s hand.  “Do you want to go to my room?”

            He looked down at their hands, thinking about it.  He really did want to, yes, but he didn’t know if it was the best move.  Chen really mattered to him, and he wanted things to go well between them.  He really wanted to make this work, and make this last.  Make their relationship last, make this happy feeling last, make Chen’s smiles last.  He had to do things right, and he didn’t want to mess up and go too slowly, but he didn’t want to rush it, either.  Biting his lip, he ran his thumb over Chen’s knuckles.  Then, tugging at his ear, he met Chen’s eyes again.  Chen was waiting for an answer, looking hopeful, and that really made him want to say yes, made it almost impossible to say no, because what if the light in Chen’s eyes died?  “I think, if I stay…”  They’d have sex.  He was too attracted to Chen and too horny and too amped up after all of that making out, and Chen hadn’t exactly been putting the brakes on, and if he stayed, they’d have sex.  All kinds of sex.  But this was supposed to be romantic, and serious, and different from what Chen got from everyone else.  So he wanted it go a little slower.  “Maybe next time, another time.”

            Chen’s gaze narrowed, scanning his face, and he didn’t know what to say in front of everybody to make Chen understand.  But then Chen nodded, giving him a tiny, fleeting smile.  “Okay.”  And then Chen hugged him.  A good, secure hug, and it felt so good that his eyes closed.  He coiled his arms around Chen slowly, savoring the moment.  “Thank you for dinner.”  Chen’s voice was soft, and the words sounded real, sounded sincere and grateful, not perfunctory.

            Relieved that Chen was still happy with him, he held on.  If this was his last hug of the night, he wanted it to last.  “Thanks for my first date.”

            Chen hummed happily and kissed just below his ear.  “It was a perfect date, hyung.  You did really well.”

            “Well, you know, Chen dates are the best dates, right?”  He made himself let go, and Chen smiled at him, rubbing his arms, looking really happy and fond of him and kind of proud.  He liked it so much, he got embarrassed, and he cleared his throat, looking away.  Wanting to see if Chen was still looking at him like that, he peeked, and Chen just looked even happier.  Laughing, he said, “I’ll call you.  Maybe you’ll want to go out again.”

            “I will,” Chen said immediately, and he laughed again, and Chen said, “Really, I will, ask me any time!”

            He kissed Chen, and he liked it so much that he stayed, cupping Chen’s face.  The way Chen kissed him back and made a soft, purring noise and pulled him closer really turned him on, and he started getting into it, arousal like a swift burn, building fast.  Shit, Chen really did it for him.  Breaking away, he licked his lips.  And remembered that the entirety of EXO was staring at him.  Clearing his throat, he said, “Yeah.”

            Chen opened the door for him.  “Bye, hyung!” Chanyeol said.

            “Good-bye!” Baekhyun added.

            “You’ve worked hard,” Sehun added, and everyone cracked up.

            “Would it be easier if you moved back in with your parents?” Hoya asked.

            “I’ll think about it,” Chen said.

            He nodded.  “Good night.”

            Chen looked so cute, smiling at him like that, he didn’t want to leave.

            Closing the door, Chen melted against it.  Oh, Hoya.  He’d had no idea that it was going to be like that!  He’d had no freaking clue what he was in for!  Damn, that hyung was too sexy, and too funny, and too sweet.  Why hadn’t anyone warned him that Hoya was going to be so sweet?

            “How was it?” Lay asked.

            “Is this going to be a thing, now, you dating Hoya hyung?” Sehun asked.

            “He gives great head, right?” Chanyeol asked.

            “Where’d you go, where’ve you been?” Baekhyun asked.

            “You looked really cute together,” Suho said.

            “It was perfect.”  He told them how the night had gone, and then he went to his room and sat down with Baekhyun and went over it all again, but in detail this time, telling Baekhyun all about how Hoya had opened up to him and how well Hoya kissed and how it had been a real date, not just the two of them hanging out but really connecting.  He felt really close to Hoya, felt like they were comfortable with each other now, felt like they were creating an actual bond.  “I’m disappointed that he didn’t stay,” he confessed.  “I didn’t want him to go.”

            “You wanted to get laid.”  Baekhyun’s grin was knowing.

            “Yeah,” he admitted, and Baekhyun laughed.  “Yeah, I did.  I didn’t even care what we did, I just wanted to do something!”  He’d become too spoiled; he was used to getting sex when he wanted it, how he wanted it.  He had a lot of sex partners these days, and most of them were pretty aggressive; he never got turned down.

            But his relationship with Hoya wasn’t about sex; it was about everything.  And he hadn’t gotten laid, but he had gotten a good night kiss at the door.  So old-fashioned!  So sweet.  It had really proven that they’d been on a date, that their time together was about romance and about building something lasting.  He could get sex anywhere, and they both knew that, but this feeling that Hoya gave him, this desire and intoxication and fulfilling happiness, this was unique.

            He’d been looking for a boyfriend, wishing that he had someone special, someone to share an emotional bond with.  Now that he’d found it, he wanted to hug this feeling tight and hold onto it forever.

            Hoya let himself into the dorm.  Taking his shoes off, he glanced around, assessing doorways, wondering who was home and who he wanted to go to.

            He made a silent beeline for Dongwoo and Woohyun’s room.  One of them would probably be in there, and might still be awake, and at this point, he wasn’t feeling picky about which one.

            They were both in there, talking.  Dongwoo was seated in front of the computer; Woohyun was up and near the door, dressed up and smelling like leather.  Hoya moved in on Woohyun, since he was closest, and started undoing his shirt buttons.

            “You’re back,” Dongwoo said.  “How was it, how’s Chen-Chen?  Good date night?”

            “Um, hi,” Woohyun said.

            “It was good.”  He kissed Woohyun, dragging Woohyun toward the nearest bed.  Responding fast, Woohyun kissed him deeply, pushing him down, moving right on him.  On his back, kissing Woohyun passionately, he started undoing Woohyun’s pants.  He needed it, and he intended to get it now.

            Woohyun gave him exactly what he needed, and then Dongwoo gave him a little more, and then Woohyun gave it to him again.  Finally sated, he caught his breath and let his blood cool.  He got up and took a shower.  He texted Chen.  Sleep well.  Dream about good things.  After he hit “send,” he licked his lips, embarrassed, not sure about it.  It seemed too sappy.  But Chen would like that.

            When he passed Sunggyu’s door, the light was on.  He coughed loudly, right outside the door, and then went to the kitchen.  Poked around there, doing nothing, killing time.  He was opening cupboards when an arm locked around his neck, dragging him back.  Laughing, he pulled away from Sunggyu.  “It’s late.  Shouldn’t grandfathers be asleep?”

            “How’s Chen-Chen?” Sunggyu asked.  “Tired of you yet?  Still likes you?”

            He grinned, shrugging.  “Seems okay with me so far.”


            He waited.

            Sunggyu looked at him.

            They both knew what was going to happen here.  He wasn’t going to ask for it.

            Sunggyu didn’t move, just kept looking at him.

            Licking his lips, he leaned back against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest.  He had all night.

            Sunggyu gestured him over.

            Lazily, taking his time, he unfolded himself and stepped closer.  Rubbing his jaw, he looked to the side, pretending to find the sink interesting.  Finally, he dropped his hand and met Sunggyu’s eyes.

            “Playing games?” Sunggyu asked.

            He widened his eyes, looking innocent, like he had no idea why Sunggyu would accuse him of something like that.

            “On your knees.  Hyung has something for you.  You know where to find it.”

            Thank god, he didn’t know why this had taken so long.  On his knees, he pulled Sunggyu’s cock out.  He’d needed cock in his mouth all night, and he hadn’t gotten enough yet.

            “Take your time.”  Sunggyu’s hand rested on the top of his head.  “Hyung wants to watch you enjoy yourself down there.”

            Playing around with cute neighborhood guys had been one thing, but Chen had never had an adult romance.  It was so much fun!  He loved everything about it!  Every aspect of it was great.  Hoya called him just to talk, just to say hi, just to find out how he was doing.  He called Hoya just to hear Hoya’s voice and leave cute messages.  He checked his phone constantly, and it was worth it to see that Hoya had texted him.  It didn’t even matter what Hoya said; he got the same happy flutter in his stomach no matter what.  They texted each other selcas, too, and he was sure that Hoya took terrible ones on purpose.  A couple of times, if they were on the phone late at night, he’d sing Hoya to sleep, and it was so freaking precious!

            He was in such a fantastic mood, he felt rabidly horny, and he was constantly making out with his members, crawling on top of them, pulling them on top of himself, pestering them for kisses.

            They were both performing at the same event one night.  He felt really joyful and antsy; he couldn’t wait to get out of the dressing room to go and find Hoya.  Suho had a thousand last-minute instructions, and then he had a whole back-and-forth thing with the stylist, and he was still in the dressing room, practically bouncing up and down, frustrated and eager to run to Hoya, when someone tapped at the door and he heard, “Any idols in here?”

            Whirling around, he was so thrilled and surprised to see Hoya standing there, he burst into laughter.  “Hyung!  You came!”

            Hoya smiled at him, trying to look cool.  “Eh, I was in the neighborhood.”

            He was so used to Hoya holding back and being guarded, he couldn’t get over how terrific it was, how much it meant, for Hoya to be the one to come to him.  They hugged, and then he held Hoya at arms’ length, staring, amazed.  “God, you look too handsome.”

            “Make-up,” Hoya said.  “Tricks.  Lies, it’s all lies.”

            No, the shape of Hoya’s mouth wasn’t a lie; he knew it too well.  The line of Hoya’s jaw wasn’t a lie, either.  And styling Hoya’s hair up like that, well, that was just good sense.  “Handsome,” he repeated, tangling their fingers together in case that would soothe his urge to touch.  “How are you?  Sit down!  Have you eaten?”

            As soon as they were seated, Chanyeol and D.O. were there, piling onto the couch with them, staring attentively.  “Excuse you,” Chen said, trying to shove Chanyeol aside.  “Hoya hyung - - Hoya sunbaenim,” he emphasized, “doesn’t need to be bothered.”

            “Oh, Hoya sunbaenim,” Chanyeol repeated, laughing.

            Hoya raised his eyebrows.  “Problem?”

            Ooohh!”  Laughing, Chanyeol backed away fast, abandoning them.

            Hoya looked at D.O.  “Woohyun’s in the other room.”

            D.O. mulled that over, then left.

            “That’s better,” Chen decided.

            “So.”  Hoya stretched his arms along the back of the couch, spreading out.  “Doing anything tonight?”

            Laughing, he tucked his legs up, leaning comfortably against Hoya’s shoulder.  “I was thinking about going onstage later.”

            Mmm.  Puppet show?”

            “I thought I could sing.”

            Hoya nodded.  “I’ll try to catch it.”

            He was so glad to be with Hoya again, he took a moment to enjoy just being together.  He preferred Hoya’s street clothes, but this dramatic stage look did it for him, too.  They hadn’t met in person since their date, and it was really fulfilling to be face-to-face again, to share the same physical space.  He loved all of the subtleties of Hoya’s expressions, and he was really drawn to Hoya’s body.  Really, really drawn to it.

            “How about Monday, you doing anything then?”

            “No.”  Anticipation expanded in him.  He hadn’t had this Monday off before, they’d had a schedule, but their plans had changed that morning.  As soon as he’d learned that Monday was free, he’d wanted to ask Hoya for a second date, but he’d wanted to wait until he had a minute to think it over and make real plans.  Their first date had been so great, he’d wanted to ask Hoya out for something specific, something nice.  Was Hoya asking about Monday as a coincidence, or did Hoya already know that he was off?  How did Hoya know so fast?  “No, not doing anything.”

            “Do you want to meet somewhere?  I thought that we could go to the movies around seven and then have dinner.”

            A date!  It was another date, a real date.  Feeling like he was beaming as brightly as the sun, Chen nodded.  “I’d like that, yes.”

            Hoya smiled at him, then looked away.  Hoya’s arm came down from the back of the sofa and settled around him, hugging him a little bit closer.  Humming happily, he relaxed more cozily against Hoya’s side.

            The stylists and managers had cleared out.  Most of Chen’s members were gone, too; only Suho was still there, puttering in the corner.  Sunggyu walked into the room, went right up behind him, and then just stood there.  Oblivious, Suho kept fiddling with papers and microphones.  Sunggyu waited.  Chen shared a look with Hoya, amused by their foolish leaders.

            Suho turned around, finally noticed Sunggyu, and burst into happy laughter.  “Hyung!  You scared me!  What are you doing, just standing here?”

            “I don’t have anything better to do.  It’s boring in my dressing room.  It’s nicer in here.”

            “Boring?” Suho repeated.  “There’s nothing boring about your members.  How could it be nicer here?”

            “It’s prettier,” Sunggyu said.

            Hoya groaned.  Chen laughed.  “They’re so cute!”

            Sunggyu looked appalled and repeated, “Cute,” like it was a mortal insult.  Cupping Suho’s elbow, he pulled Suho a couple of feet over, farther away from Chen, like now he’d be out of earshot.

            “Embarrassing,” Hoya said.  “Some people shouldn’t flirt.”

            “Flirting’s nice,” Chen said.  “It’s fun.”

            “He’s not wrong, though.”  Hoya studied Chen, his brown eyes assessing each feature of Chen’s face.  It was such an attentive examination that Chen held still, enjoying it.  “It is a lot prettier in here.”

            Delighted, Chen accused, “That’s flirting!”

            “No, no,” Hoya said, wrinkling his nose and shaking his head.  “No, I don’t flirt.”  He shifted his legs, resting his ankle on the opposite knee.  Then he whispered, “I like the way you laugh,” and looked away.

            Chen relished every second with this hyung.  “Monday’s going to be the best.”

            “Chen day is the best day.”

            “Chen day,” he repeated, loving it.

            “Best day of the week,” Hoya said.

            L walked in.  Didn’t say anything or really even look at anyone, just walked in and sat down on Hoya’s other side.

            “Guess it is good-looking in here,” Chen said.

            “Must be the lighting,” Hoya mused, scanning the ceiling.  “Oh, well, now it’s ruined,” he said as Dongwoo walked in.

            “Hyung!  Be nice,” Chen chided, nudging him.

            “Are you going anywhere?” L asked Hoya.

            “Not until we have to go on.”

            L leaned against Hoya’s shoulder and closed his eyes.

            “Sure,” Hoya said.  “Do you need something?” he asked Dongwoo.

            “I came to see the new baby.”  Grinning, Dongwoo sat on the armrest, right at Chen’s side.  “How’s our Chen-Chen?”

            New baby!  Dongwoo was too much.  “I’m okay, hyung.”  He rubbed Dongwoo’s thigh, just because it was so much fun to be able to touch this hyung whenever and however he wanted.  “How is everything?  Is Hoya hyung being a good dongsaeng?”

            “Hey,” Hoya said, sounding mildly alarmed.

            “Are you worried how he’s going to answer?” Chen asked, amused.

            “No, no, not worried at all.”  Hoya shot Dongwoo a beseeching look, and not a discreet one.

            “It’s nice, it’s been fun around the dorm lately,” Dongwoo said.  “And in the practice room!  Hoya’s in a good mood these days.”

            A good mood because of him?  Chen smiled, liking this, wanting to hear more.  “He’s happy lately?”

            “He dances and sings everywhere he goes, all over the dorm,” Dongwoo said.  “And he always wants to play!  I’m going to get worn out!”

            Play?  Was he talking about sex?  Titillated, Chen grinned at Hoya.  Wincing, Hoya looked away, pretending to find the other side of the room interesting.  “Worn out?” Chen asked Dongwoo, wanting to keep him talking.

            “He wants to play all of the time!  He usually doesn’t ask for it this much!  Hoya’s one of those guys, if you want to play, you have to ask him, but not lately!”

            “Hyung,” Hoya said desperately.  “Let’s talk about something else.”

            “No, no, I want to talk about this,” Chen said.

            Dongwoo smiled and tickled Chen under his chin.  “How about you?  Are you playful these days?”

            He laughed, embarrassed.  “I am!  It’s something in the air lately.”

            “You should come over and visit!  Woohyun and I would be glad to play with you.”  Dongwoo’s eyes danced, his wide smile appreciative.  “Both of you.”

            Oh, damn, yes.  “That would be great,” Chen said honestly.  Not for his first time with Hoya, but would his second be too soon?

            Laughing gleefully, Dongwoo squeezed his arm.  “I like this baby!  Gyu hyung won’t let us play with his toys.  I like sharing, it doesn’t hurt to share!”

            For a second, Chen almost pointed out that Dongwoo didn’t have anyone to share, and might feel differently if he did.  But Dongwoo only ever encouraged people to adore Chunji as much as he did, and seemed to support Chunji’s robust sex life.  “Suho hyung’s cautious about that.”

            “Cautious!  Are we dangerous?” Dongwoo asked.

            “Yes,” Hoya said.  “Yes, hyung, when it comes to that, you’re very dangerous.”

            Dongwoo laughed like it was a joke, and Chen smiled.  Hoya was actually right, but that was one of Chen’s favorite things about Dongwoo.

            “Kids,” Sunggyu called.  “It’s time.”

            Disappointed, Chen wanted to cling to Hoya, but he made himself let go.

            “Oh, you should come, too,” Dongwoo said.  L roused himself slowly, making Chen wonder if he’d legitimately fallen asleep.  “You can watch Hoya stretch!”

            Immediately, Chen perked up.  Could he?

            “No distracting hoobaes,” Sunggyu ordered.

            Aw.  Disappointed but getting over it, Chen hugged Hoya.  “Work hard, do well.”  Hoya hugged him back, and while Hoya still had an arm around him, he looked into Hoya’s eyes.  “Do you mind sharing?”  It was going to come up a lot, so he wanted to be sure how Hoya felt about it before things got more complicated.  He didn’t know if Hoya would be totally okay with all of it, or want to hear about it but not see it, or would be okay with him doing whatever he liked as long as Hoya never had to know about it, or what.

            “I don’t mind.  Members are members, and…”  Hoya’s voice trailed off and he shrugged.  Something light and subtle and warm flickered in his eyes.  “Maybe we can talk about it on Chen day.”

            “Chen day,” he repeated, hugging Hoya again.  Damn, he loved this hyung.

            It was Monday.  Date day.  Chen day.

            Hoya took one look and rejected everything in his closet.  He was giving up when Sungyeol came in and found where he’d stashed new T-shirts in the corner.  He thought that they might be too boring, or too casual, but Sungyeol said, “You don’t need a tux, you just need to look good.”

            Hoya took a second to absorb that idea, then called, “Make-up!”

            Laughing, Sungyeol shoved him.  “I’ve seen you in make-up.  It won’t help.”

            “Ah.”  Accepting his fate, he shrugged.  He held up one T-shirt, then another, then looked back at the first.  “These are familiar.”

            “I think L has those, too.  Inspirit gave them to him.”

            Great.  “They’ll think I’m wearing L’s clothes.”  He dropped them onto his bed and went back to his closet.

            Sungyeol pushed him back towards his bed.  “Just put them on.  Who cares if you wear L’s clothes?”

            “They’ll think he gave them to me.”

            “No, they’ll think that you’re wearing them because you’re close.”

            “Because we’re screwing.”

            “You are screwing,” Sungyeol reminded him.

            He didn’t know if that made it better, or worse, or completely irrelevant, then.  “Comparison photos.”  He would not come out ahead in a “who wore it better” situation.

            “Will Chen see you standing side-by-side?” Sungyeol asked.  “Who cares how you look?  You never do.  Do you think that Chen doesn’t know what you look like, and you have to impress him tonight or he’ll give up on you?  He’s seen you in bad clothes, and sweaty clothes, and no clothes at all.  He’s seen you sucking up some other guy’s cum.”

            Hoya grinned, rubbing his chin.  “Is that not a good look for me?”

            “I don’t know, that’s kind of how I prefer you.”

            “Okay.”  Hoya pushed him out of the room.  “Thanks for your help.”

            “Hey, though.”  Catching his elbow, Sungyeol pulled him in, eyes full of happy anticipation.  “When you get back tonight, can I have dibs?”

            “What, on my ass?”

            “Yeah, I guess.”  When Hoya snorted and pushed him away, he asked, “Hey, what about your mouth?  Dibs on your mouth?”

            “Oh, are we calling dibs?” L asked, passing by, sounding interested.

            “Hyung has dibs,” Sunggyu called.  “Hyung always has dibs.”

            Hoya started to close the door, then pulled it open.  Sungyeol smiled at him, looking hopeful, and he said, “L has dibs.  You can have his sloppy seconds.”

            “Damn, I love seconds,” L said.  Wanna trade?”

            Sungyeol high-fived him.

            “Hyung has dibs?” Dongwoo asked, wandering up.  “I’m hyung!  What do I have dibs on?”

            “Me,” L said, smiling at him.

            Ooohh!  If it’s you, I like you,” Dongwoo said, grinning and shimmying and moving right in on him.

            Hoya went back to getting dressed.  He was in black jeans, picking at the T-shirts strewn over his bed, not sure, when Chen texted him.  Happy Chen Day!  Are you coming soon?  Do I have to wait until seven?  It seems too far away!

            Chen’s energy made his own anticipation pick up.  Happy you day!  Be there soon.  He wanted to be with Chen, not standing around his own bedroom wasting time.  Suddenly decisive, he grabbed a shirt from his bed.  If L’s fans thought that it was good enough for L, then it had to be okay.  Moving with more confidence now, he finished up and headed for the door.  “Leaving!” he called, putting on his shoes.

            “Already?”  Sungjong came over to him and kissed his cheek.  “I thought that you weren’t meeting Chen hyung until seven.”

            Hoya felt a big, boastful smile spread over his face.  “He misses me.”

            “Smart boy,” Sungjong said, strolling away.  “Have fun!”

            Chen beat everyone else to the front door.  Hoya gave him a soft, brief kiss that was everything at once: light and suggestive, intimate and romantic, sweet and sensual.  Their lips only touched for an instant, but he felt it all the way to his toes.

            They sat in the back of the van, away from the manager, and looked up movie listings on their phones.  Hoya’s hand was on Chen’s leg, rubbing his inner thigh, turning him on, and it felt so good he couldn’t imagine asking Hoya to stop it, but, shit, he was about to go spring to a full erection right then and there.  They were hip to hip, knee to knee, shoulder to shoulder, and Hoya squeezed lightly, tugging on his thigh, urging him closer.  “Why are you the whole way over there?”

            His laugh was high and shaky.  He loved all of this touching, but he’d never expected Hoya to be so hands-on.  Was it always going to be like this between them now?  That was amazing, damn.  “I can’t get any closer.”

            Mmm.”  Slouching, Hoya rested the back of his head against the top of the seat, then gave him a sexy smile and said, in a soft voice, very private, just for him, “I think that I liked it better when you were in my lap.”

            Oh, yes, okay, was it like that?  Chen slouched down, too, closing his legs, trapping Hoya’s hand between his thighs.  “Yeah?  You like it when I sit in your lap?”

            A suggestively raised eyebrow.  Mmm.”  A light squeeze to his inner thigh.  With his legs closed, Hoya’s knuckles pressed into his other thigh, too, hitting some kind of nerve and sending sparks of pleasure shooting straight to his groin.  Moaning, he slid his hand over Hoya’s wrist, holding Hoya’s hand in place, right there, needing it to stay.  Hoya was gazing right into his eyes.  “Yeah.”  Softly, privately.  “I like it when you’re on top.”

            Oh, god.  “Hyung,” he tried to say, but it came out like, “Hyuu-ooohhh, oh, ohh.”  Everything felt good, everything sounded good, it was all sex and intimacy and Hoya’s brown eyes.  “You want me to be on top?”

            Hoya nodded, holding Chen’s gaze, the tip of his tongue wetting his lips like an unconscious tease.

            “It’s funny,” Chen whispered.  “I keep thinking about you being on top.”

            “You want me to,” Hoya’s gaze dropped to his mouth, “do that for you?”

            Mmm.”  Hoya’s hand was right next to his balls, right next to his hardening cock, and he was practically panting now, desire making him ache.  “I want you to do everything to me.”

            “Chen-ah.”  Hoya squeezed his thigh, leaning closer, intent on his mouth, and he moaned, his pulse racing, and he’d never been so ready to be kissed.

            “Kids!” the manager called.  “Not in the van!”

            They both froze.  Chen knew that the manager was right, but he couldn’t make himself move away, couldn’t make himself give up on the moment, on his own desire, on the erotic possibilities between them.

            Hoya closed his eyes.

            Trying to calm down and maybe semi kind of succeeding, Chen spent a moment gazing at Hoya’s face, at Hoya’s smooth cheeks and peaceful eyelids and small nose.

            Inhaling, Hoya sat back.  Sat up straighter.  Took his hand out of Chen’s lap.  When he’d scooted to sit up straighter, he’d kind of shimmied, and arched his back, and that made lustful thoughts about his body derail Chen’s plan to calm down.

            Hoya took a deep breath.  Cracked his neck.  “So, movies.”  He glanced at Chen, and he laughed.  “Not in the van!  You heard him.”

            “I’m not doing anything!”  Only sitting there perfectly still, lusting and needing and fantasizing and sporting a not very subtle hard-on.  Hoya glanced down at his lap, expression speculative, and he blushed, squirming and trying to hide it and pushing Hoya away.  “Don’t look at it!  It’s your fault, anyway.”

            “Movies turn you on that much?”  Hoya glanced at his phone.  “No blockbusters for you, then,” he said decisively, thumbing the screen.

            “Oh, shut up.”  He looked away from Hoya out of the window, and tried to think about distasteful things.

            “Which - - oh, I can guess.  You like romantic movies.”

            Caught, he smiled.  “I don’t dislike them.”

            Nodding, Hoya studied the screen.  “This one?  This one?”

            He looked over the movie posters onscreen.  “Oh, that one!  I wanted to see that.  Is it still out?”

            “Yep.  Starts in, ah, twenty minutes.”

            “Good!  Is it okay?  You won’t mind it?”

            “It’s okay.  I like her,” Hoya said, giving the poster another look.

            “Not him?”

            Hoya shrugged.  “Not my type.”

            Chen smiled.  “Who’s your type, then?”

            Hoya’s smile flashed white teeth.  “Chen type.”

            They couldn’t touch during the movie.  Or talk.  But it was nice to be together, anyway.  Hoya liked being there for all of Chen’s reactions.  There were so many of them!  Chen made sympathetic sounds at the sad parts, and cheered the characters on, and said, “Ooh, ooh, daebak!” at the surprises.

            He loved Chen’s laugh.  It was really distinctive.  Really infectious.  He could’ve listened to the sound of Chen’s voice all day.

            After the movie, they went to dinner.  They’d talked a lot since their last date - - first date - - other date, but now they were face-to-face.  He didn’t know how, but he found a hundred things to say.  They just sat there and talked, long after the food was gone, discussing the movie and laughing at everything.

            Finally, they realized that they’d been holding onto the table way too long.  Hoya left a big tip and called for a ride.  As they got up, he asked, “Where do you want to go?  Your dorm, my dorm?”

            “Is the practice room okay?” Chen asked.  “If you want to-”

            “No, no, that’s okay.  I don’t want to rush.”

            “It’s not that I don’t, oh, you know.”  Chen laughed.  “I don’t know what to say!  But let’s go somewhere we can talk.  I want to talk.”

            If they were only going to talk, and not do other things, then even the practice room wasn’t safe.  Hoya was used to having sex there, too.  “Maybe your practice room?”

            “No, no.  I don’t know if that’s a good idea.  Big companies have a lot of eyes and ears.”

            Really.  “Mine, then.”  He’d just have to control himself.  “Maybe there’s a coat shop on the way.  We can buy you a nice, big coat.  Cover you up from head to toe.”

            “That wouldn’t help me,” Chen said.

            “Still have your imagination?”

            “Still have my memory!  I don’t think that it’s fair!  We did too many of the last steps first.”

            “At least we know what we’re in for.”

            Chen made a helpless sound, distressed and laughing.  “That’s part of the problem!  I already know what to expect, and I like it too much.”

            As soon as they were back on the blue couch, Chen settled right onto Hoya’s lap.  Cupping Hoya’s jaw, he kissed Hoya right away, no hesitation, all assertiveness and lust.  Hoya’s hands slid over his ass, scooping him up and pulling him in.  Kissing hard, stroking Hoya’s nape, he rocked his hips, grinding against Hoya’s cock.  Mmm, hyung, I want it.”

            “Yeah, god, I want you,” Hoya breathed, hands stroking up his back.

            Things got really hot really fast.  They’d kind of agreed that nothing was going to happen, so they didn’t escalate much, but they couldn’t stop, either, so they made out forever, kissing each other and needing each other and humping as much as they dared.  Hoya kissed way, way too well, and Chen was in love with him, and his hard cock was right there, and so for most of it Chen was groaning and super turned on and kissing him like they’d both drown without it.

            Finally, Hoya said, “Wait, wait.”  Breathing raggedly, Hoya pushed at his chest, forcing him back a couple of inches.

            Chen made an involuntary, desperate noise and grabbed a handful of Hoya’s shirt, leaning in for more.

            “Ah, ah.”  Hoya braced both hands against his chest, holding him at bay, leaning back, out of kissing range.  “Give me a minute, we gotta stop.”

            “Stop why?” he demanded, too turned on to be patient.

            “Because you said that you want to talk, right?  This isn’t talking.”

            “Screw talking.”

            Hoya laughed, still flushed, still breathless, and he was so sexy, Chen leaned in to kiss him again.  Ya, ya, hey.”  He pushed Chen off of his lap.  “Get up, take a walk, get some water or something.”

            Frustrated, he got up.  Damn, his pants were tight.  Adjusting himself, he walked over to the vending machines.  The packages inside meant nothing to him, so he stood there until his brain calmed down and his body cooled off and he felt reasonable again.  It took a while.  Finally, he was at a point where he still wanted to burrow right under Hoya’s clothes but he only felt super horny, not feverishly fuck-or-die.

            Then he turned back around and saw Hoya still seated there on the couch, knees spread, arms stretched along the back of the couch, waiting for him.  And he was turned on all over again.  God damn it.  “You shouldn’t be so responsible.”

            Hoya grinned at him.  “No?”

            “No!”  He went over and sat down beside Hoya, right up against Hoya’s side, loving this hyung too much to stay away.  “No.  We could be having the best sex in the world right now.”

            “Oh, best in the world?”  Hoya looked amused.  “Your expectations might be too high.”  Then Hoya patted his thigh.  C’mere.”

            It was courting dangerous temptation, but he couldn’t possibly resist.  He knelt up and swung a leg over, resuming his favorite spot.  Hoya’s members were really smart to have started this trend.  “You’re so handsome tonight,” he confessed, running his hands over Hoya’s chest, his palms rubbing over Hoya’s hard pecs.  “I love you in this shirt.”

            Hoya grinned, hands on his waist.  “This shirt?”

            “Very handsome.”  So flattering.  It totally worked with Hoya’s build, the black set off his skin tone, it brought out his eyes, he loved everything about it.  “When are you going to dye your hair again?”

            Hoya raised his eyebrows.  “You liked the pink?”

            “Pink!”  What in the world!  “When did you have pink hair?”

            Hoya feigned shock.  Omo.  I hope that Inspirit doesn’t find out about this.  You don’t even know about my pink hair?”

            “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he said, laughing.  “I’m so sorry, sunbaenim, I’ll be more attentive in the future.”

            “There was blue, too.”

            “Blue?  I haven’t even seen the pink!”

            “Then what were you asking about, dye it again?”

            “Blond!  Weren’t you blond?”

            “Oh, that?  What, did you like it?”

            “I like everything.”  He had to see this pink hair.  He couldn’t wait to look up photos.

            “Don’t even know about my pink hair,” Hoya said, shaking his head like it was a shame.  Then Hoya rubbed his sides.  “What don’t I know about you?”

            Hmm.  “I’m addicted to the street food outside of ‘Music Bank.’”

            “The cart!”  Hoya burst into laughter.  “Not you, too!”

            “What?  You know it?” he asked, delighted.

            “It’s that cart!  We eat there all of the time!  We sneak out to get some.  We bribe each other to go get some when the manager’s not looking.”

            “I thought that I was the only one!  But it’s so good, right?”

            “Your members don’t like it?”

            “No, they don’t care!  They think that I’m weird.”  He loved this.  “We should go together!”

            Hoya grinned.  “Next time we’re both in the building, we’ll make plans to meet there.”

            They talked about street food, and the best places to grab drinks on the way to a schedule, and their members’ weird eating habits.  L was so much weirder than Chen had realized, it was hilarious.

            Then Hoya drummed his fingers on Chen’s thigh and said, “So.  Sex.”

            “It’s time for some now?” he asked, hopeful.

            Hoya smiled and shook his head.

            “Are you sure?  Don’t we both get a vote?  If you say no, but I say yes, then maybe-”

            “Okay, so first we’ll talk about how consent works.”

            Bursting into laughter, he gave in.  “Sorry, sorry.  Okay, I’ll behave.  No sex.”  He took a deep breath, calming himself.  “What do you want to talk about?”

            “Nothing serious.  Just, we’re both bottoms.”

            “Isn’t that great?”

            Hoya looked skeptical.

            “It is!  It’s like, I know that you like me for me.  With some guys, don’t you get the idea that they’re interested in you because they’re making assumptions about you?  They treat me like, ‘Oh, he’s a cute bottom, he’ll be easy, that’s fun,’ and that’s why they’re interested.”

            “Everybody thinks that I’m a top.”

            “Really?”  That was so sexy.  “Do you have hot bottoms hitting on you?”

            He nodded.  “Sungyeol usually gets all up in the middle of it, though, and tries to pick them up.  Or Woohyun shows up and everybody swoons.”  He grinned.  “Or Sungjong shows up and scares them off.”

            “Your maknae’s scary.”

            “Scarier than yours.”

            It was so true, and it shouldn’t have been.  “Do you think that since we’re both bottoms, there’s a problem?”

            “No.  I just,” his gaze flickered uncertainly, and he licked his lips.  “I don’t want you to expect things.”

            “I’m not looking for a top.”  That wasn’t true.  “I kind of am.”  It was hard to organize his thoughts when Hoya was so close and so freaking kissable.  “God, I like you so much,” he confessed, and Hoya smiled, stroking his sides.  With that off of his chest, he could think more clearly.  “I don’t want you to be anybody that you’re not.  I don’t want you to burst into the room and ravish me, or pound me raw twice a day, or dominate me.  I don’t have expectations like that.  I do want you to top me sometimes, you can get in me whenever you want, I’d love that.  I’d really love that,” he emphasized, and Hoya chuckled.  “There’s something that I get from being penetrated like that, that I really want to get from you and feel with you.  But I don’t need it to be like that to get off, we can do all of those other things.  And I can get cock from anybody, so for regular sex, for an everyday poke, I can just go to my members.  It’s just that once in a while I’d really like to be with you that way, too.  It’s important to me, it’s fulfilling.  I think that if you aren’t willing to do that at all, then we should talk about it, because I’m going to want that sometimes, at least.  Once in a while.  But there are other things that we can do, that I’d really like to do with you.”

            “I.  I don’t really do that,” Hoya said.  “I’ve been practicing, so I can make it good for you.  But, really, I mostly only ever do it for Sungjong, because he’s really demanding about it, and it’s easier to give in and let him have it.”

            Wait, wait.  “You’ve been practicing?”

            He nodded.

            “Practicing that?”

            Grinning, he nodded.

            “Practicing for me?”

            Another nod.  “L thinks - - oh, I’m not supposed to talk about sex with L.”

            This hyung!  This asshole!  Playing coy!  “You’ve been fucking your members?!  L thinks what?!” he demanded, aroused, his nostrils flaring.  “How much practice, how often?”

            Hoya’s grin was unbearably, perfectly smug.  “You know me, I don’t rest when it comes to practicing.”

            Ohhhh, hyung.”  Wrapping his arms around Hoya, he sank against Hoya’s chest.  “Don’t tell me things like that unless you want me to slide on your cock right now.”

            Hoya made a satisfied sound, wrapping him up in muscular arms.  “Are there things that you’re shy about, or don’t like?”

            “I like everything, I think.  Well, spanking and things like that, being tied up, those kinds of games, I’m not into that, very much.  But I’m not shy.”  He wondered, “You do those things?”

            “Those games?  Sometimes.  Living with that tree, I’ve ended up trying some of everything.”

            That was…interesting.  “Can I watch sometime?”

            “No.  Seriously, are you a voyeur?”

            He chuckled.  “I’m not!  I don’t know, maybe I’m so used to seeing my members do everything right in front of me, I’ve forgotten about privacy.  And you’re so in love with your members, I’ve thought so much about what it’s like between you.”

            “I’m not in love with my members.”

            “Yes, you are.”

            Hoya snorted.

            He tsked and let it go.

            Hoya rubbed his back.

            “I really can’t watch?”

            “Some hairy tree slapping me around?  No.”

Curious, he sat up, looking into Hoya’s face.  “He slaps you around?”

“He - - ugh.”  Hoya winced, trying to hug him and pull him close and avoid looking at him again.  “He doesn’t do anything, it’s nothing.”

Oh, wow.  “Are you a sub?”  Like L.Joe?

He pulled out his phone.  “There’s a video you should watch, it’s called ‘Sexuality Is a Spectrum,’ and-”

“Okay, okay.”  He took the phone from Hoya, setting it aside.  “I don’t have to know everything today.  Maybe we’ll talk some other time.”

Hoya snorted.  “You try living with Sunggyu hyung, Dongwoo hyung, and Nam Woohyun for years, and not being a little bit kinky.”

“I just ignore Sehun,” he admitted.  “And Xiumin hyung’s good at respecting boundaries, he doesn’t ask me for things much anymore, he just goes to Baekhyun.”

“Boundaries?” Hoya repeated.  “You and your members have boundaries?”  He shook his head, looking amazed.  “Mine think that access to my body is in the contract somewhere.”

“My members are very polite,” Chen admitted.  “Kai and Suho hyung make us.”

Hoya grinned.  “Imagine if Lay were in charge.”

Chen laughed.  “Oh, damn.  I think he’d literally have us recording porn videos.  He’d turn us into his own private collection.”

Hoya shrugged, looking thoughtful.  “I might watch that.”

“Would you?” he teased.

“Eh, you know.”  He grinned.  “If it’s a slow night on TV.”

            Hoya asked Chen out again and again.  They went to dinner all over Seoul.  They went to a soccer game together; they met Feeldog and Baram for karaoke; they went to a batting cage.  They spent a lot of time talking, just talking.  And they spent a lot of time on that blue couch, making out and whispering about the things that they wanted to do to each other.

            Chen called him up at night just to sing him to sleep.

            Maybe he was moving too slowly, but he’d never had anything like this before.  He liked the flutter of anticipation in his gut whenever he and Chen had plans.  He liked the happy way Chen answered his calls, like it was good to hear from him.  He liked spending so much time just gazing into Chen’s eyes and feeling all of that possibility spark between them.  Seeing Chen gave him an electric feeling, hopeful and erotic and a little bit possessive.

            They spent so much time on the blue couch that twice they fell asleep there.  Once, Chen’s phone ringing insistently woke them up.  The second time, he woke up to find Sunggyu standing over him, on the phone with Suho, saying, “I found them, ya, you worry too much.”  It took a while for Sunggyu to get over having to get out of bed and go across town to find him, and he made sure to have Chen back on time, or early, after that.  The last thing he needed was for Chen to like him this much but Suho to shoot him down and decide that he wasn’t a reliable date.

            They were on the blue couch again one night when Chen said, “Let’s double-date next time.”

            “Two dates in one night?  I could do that.”

            Laughing, Chen ran his fingers through Hoya’s hair.  The stylist kept wanting to cut his hair, but he kept putting it off.  He’d told her that it was because he wanted it to be a more dramatic change when he did cut it, later; that seemed like a more public-friendly reason than how much he liked it when EXO’s Chen played with his hair when they were alone at night.  “You know what a double-date is.  Who should we ask?”

            Dating one guy wasn’t enough, now he had to ask out couples, too?  “Not L and Changjo.”

            “Maybe L’s too private for that.”

            Or Changjo was too nosy.  “Not the Grandpa-Money couple.”

            “No, no!  We can’t double-date our leaders!”  Chen twined a lock of hair around his fingers.  “What about Dongwoo hyung and Chunji?”

            Hoya grimaced, shaking his head.  “Too much magic.”

            “That hyung and his magic!”  Chen laughed.  “But it would be fun.”

            “No hyungs.”

            “Then Dongwoo hyung and Xiumin hyung are out, too.”

            He thought about it.  L.Joe and Sehun?”

            Bursting into laughter, Chen tugged on his hair.  “Hyung!  I don’t think they do that.  They’re not a dating in public kind of couple.”

            “Oh?  No?”  He feigned ignorance.  “What kind of couple are they?”

            “You know what kind of couple,” Chen said, a teasing glint in his eye.  He smoothed Hoya’s hair back.  “Oh, what about Woohyun hyung and Key hyung, then?”

            “I’m not dating my members.”

            “Kai and D.O.?”

            He didn’t really want to date Chen’s members, either.  Sighing, he rubbed Chen’s thighs.  “What about our favorite Sunggyu hyung and Ricky couple?”

            Chen laughed so happily, he felt like a genius for that suggestion.  “Oh!  Could we?  Wouldn’t it be weird?”

            It would be awful, but it might also be hilarious.  “Can you handle it?  I know how you feel about our grandfather.”  He’d felt threatened by that before, and jealous, but he was more confident in how Chen felt about him, now.  Sunggyu might still hold some special place in Chen’s heart, but he had his own place, too.

            “It’s not like that!  But he’s your hyung, and we already said, no leaders.”

            They were ruling out too many couples.  “L and Changjo?”

            “That’s the first couple you said no to!” Chen reminded him.

            “Ah, they don’t seem so bad, now.  They aren’t leaders or hyungs.”

            “Well, you ask them.  L will say yes to you before he says it to me.”

            “Do I have to pay?” Hoya asked.  “Who knows how much that kid eats.”  And he knew already how much L would eat.

            “If L agrees to come, and be himself, I’ll pay,” Chen said.

            Be himself?  “Oh, you want dinner with Myungsoo?”  When Chen nodded, Hoya thought it over.  “I’ll see if he can come.”

            Chen really liked the idea of double-dating.  Mainly because double-dating meant two couples together, and he was in one of the couples.  He and Hoya were a couple.  It made their relationship more real, more solid.  This would be their first outing with friends.  A couple debut.  It brought their relationship into the open, and he was really glad to take this step.

            Hoya came to pick him up, and kissed him at the door.  Those kisses really lingered, now, and it was never perfunctory.  It always felt intimate and romantic, like Hoya really meant it, and it always made the moment special, made him feel terrific about the evening ahead.  They didn’t attract big crowds anymore, but there was usually a member or two around, watching, just for the sake of being annoying.

            In the elevator, Hoya said, “They’re in the van.”

            “L and Changjo?”

            Hoya shook his head.  Myungsoo and Jonghyun.”

            Oh, god.  Chen laughed, wondering how to take that.  “I don’t think that I’ve ever met them.”  He had a stage name, but internally, he was just Jongdae, all of the time.  He liked it that way.

            “Don’t make any sudden moves,” Hoya said.  “Might scare them off.”

            “I’ll remember that!”  Curious, he followed Hoya outside and into the van.

            They were in the backseat.  Changjo was turned to the window, watching the fans.  “Oh my god, she’s so excited.  Don’t - - ah, they bumped right into each other!  Look at Suho hyung’s fan, she doesn’t even care, she hasn’t noticed Chen hyung at all.”  L was draped across his back, leaning on his shoulder, smiling a little.

            “Hi,” Chen said, climbing to the middle row with Hoya.

            L smiled at him, looking warm and friendly.  Changjo pressed a hand to the window, then smiled at him.  It had been a couple of weeks since he’d seen Changjo, and he didn’t remember Changjo looking so young.  So fresh.  “Hey, hyung.  How’ve you been?  How’s Suho hyung?”

            “You and your Suho hyung.”  L laughed, gazing right into Changjo’s face when he smiled, like Changjo was the most interesting thing on the street.

            “What?”  Changjo’s laughter was carefree.  “I’m his favorite dongsaeng, I can’t ask how he’s doing?”

            “You like him more than you like me,” L teased, hand stealing over his stomach, tickling him.

            He laughed happily, like the light attack surprised him.  “Only a little.  Ah!  I don’t, I don’t, I’m kidding.  I like you, really.”

            This was different from normal, but it was different even in some ways that Chen couldn’t articulate.  He shared a look with Hoya.

            “This was your idea,” Hoya said under his breath, stretching his arm around Chen’s shoulders.

            Leaning into Hoya, Chen smiled, casting a look toward the backseat, where Changjo was describing his last fight with Niel in enthusiastic detail and L was gazing at Changjo, smoothing his sideburns for him and looking happily fascinated by his every expression.  Was this dating or baby-sitting?

            Dinner was fun, really fun.  They went into a private room, where they could be away from curious eyes.  Hoya was relaxed, teasing L and flirting with Chen.  Chen loved him when he was like this, when he laughed easily and he let himself enjoy the people he was with.

            L smiled a lot and laughed too hard and ate shamelessly, devouring whatever was in front of him and then reaching for more.  He wasn’t chic or cool and he didn’t seem to care what he looked like.

            Changjo talked a lot and ate quickly.  He radiated happy energy.  And he didn’t flirt.  Not with Hoya or Chen, at all.  There were no knowing looks, no sexual innuendo.  He was just a guy, a dongsaeng, having dinner with his hyungs.

            They didn’t act like idols at all.  They didn’t care about their image or their appeal or impressing anyone.  They were such average guys, it took Chen back to his pre-debut days, to his high school days, when he’d been foolish and innocent and nothing like a celebrity.  He let go and relaxed with them, played with them.  It was an opportunity to forget about his stress and his schedules and what everyone else expected of him, and he threw himself into it.  He could be who he was, in the moment, and not worry about tomorrow.

            First up, screw dietary restrictions, he was eating whatever the hell he wanted to eat.  He ordered more food.  He laughed with L and he had a competition with Changjo to see who could eat the most dumplings in sixty seconds.  He crawled around the table just to sit beside Hoya, and Hoya fed him lettuce wraps and flirted with him a lot and played about a hundred games of rock, paper, scissors with Changjo.

            They were there for hours, until they were finally full and the table was a complete mess.  Chen and Hoya were arguing over who should pay when the door opened.

            Gasping, Chen exclaimed, “No!  No leaders!  Don’t come in, aw, don’t!”

            Grinning, looking very proud of themselves, Sunggyu and Suho walked in, pulling the door shut.  Sunggyu took one look around and burst into laughter, and Suho asked, “What’s this, eating without us?”

            “What are you doing here?” L asked, looking delighted to see them, his smile warm and wondering.

            “Date crashing,” Hoya said.  Chen glanced at him, checking on him, but he was relaxed, his expression amused, like their leaders barging in on them was fun and expected.  If he was happy with it, then Chen was, too, and Chen smiled.  It was good to have new people come in to keep the party going; Chen hadn’t wanted the night to end yet.

            Sunggyu and Suho ordered more food and sat down.  Suho was goofy and cute, cracking terrible jokes and doing aegyo and not acting like anybody’s leader at all.  He and Changjo made weird faces at each other and acted like the four-year gap between them was four days, at the most.

            Sunggyu was in a great mood.  He scolded and got exasperated, but only for fun.  He laughed and played and really seemed to enjoy everybody, seemed to like everybody, teasing them and cracking up at their nonsense and adding cheerful warmth to the table’s energy.  It was easy for Chen to see how close he and Hoya were, how well they knew each other, how much history they shared.

            Chen relished getting to see them all like this, without their responsibilities, without their celebrity.  Suho was completely embarrassing.  Sunggyu wasn’t a leader but couldn’t stop being a hyung.  Changjo glowed with playful energy.  L was completely foolish.  And Hoya was Hoya, the relaxed, corny, sexy guy that Chen had been with for weeks.

It wasn’t that Hoya had trouble letting go tonight; he was the same tonight because he’d shed his outer shell on their first date.  He’d already shown Chen exactly who he was.  And now that sweet, sensitive guy with bad jokes and seductive kisses was familiar.  This was the guy Chen had gotten to know over all of their perfect dates and long talks.  The guy Chen fell in love with every date night, every kiss, every late night phone call or bad selca.

It felt great to know that they could be themselves with each other.  That they could trust each other with themselves, and their goofy friends, and their embarrassing leaders, and not feel worried or defensive or ashamed.  Chen didn’t have anything to protect from Hoya, didn’t have anything that he wanted to dress up to make sure that Hoya was impressed or didn’t get the wrong idea.  He wanted Hoya to know him for who he was and understand his life for what it was.  He’d already told Hoya about his regrets, about the times he’d doubted himself or lost his temper or treated someone badly, about his struggles and his frustrations and his weaknesses, and he was glad that he’d done that, because he wanted Hoya to love him, to be truly in love with him, and so he needed Hoya to know who he was, all the way through.

“What now?” Sunggyu asked after the last round of food was gone.

“It’s too late to go to the zoo,” Suho said.

Changjo laughed.  “Who’s going to the zoo?”

“Nobody,” Hoya said.  “He just said, it’s too late, they’re not open now.”

“Yeah, maknae, I just said that,” Suho teased.  Changjo mimicked him, making weird faces, and L fell against Hoya, laughing.

“I think this is a zoo,” Sunggyu said.  “You all belong in a zoo.  Where are we going, what are we doing, we can’t stay here forever, this is no place to live.”

“I could live here, there’s plenty of food and a bathroom right down the hall,” Hoya said.

“Do you want to go to karaoke?” Chen suggested.

“Dessert?” L suggested.

“Is the zoo open?” Hoya asked.

“What is with you and this zoo?” Changjo asked, laughing.

“We could pet the zebras,” Suho said.

“Up, up, everybody in the van,” Sunggyu said, shooing and pushing.  “Good thing he’s so pretty,” he mumbled to himself, getting up.

“What?” Suho asked, turning around at the door.  When Sunggyu froze, caught, he laughed, advancing.  “What, what’d you say?”

“Nothing,” Sunggyu said, laughing, backing away, his hands out.  “No, you misunderstood.”

“You weren’t talking about me, were you?” Suho asked, grinning, cornering Sunggyu.  “That wasn’t about me?”

“No, no, of course not,” Hoya said.  He grinned, and Chen laughed, seeing it coming.  “You’re not pretty.”

With a happy cry of outrage, Suho rounded on Hoya.  Hoya backed up fast, but not fast enough, and Suho pushed him into the wall, protesting incoherently and mock-punching.  Chen was laughing too much to help, enjoying Hoya’s feigned, laughing terror, and Sunggyu separated them, pulling Suho back with solicitous hands, apologizing and soothing.

In the van, Changjo and Suho insisted on playing old songs at top volume and singing along badly.  Chen happily joined in, while Hoya alternated between wincing at how loud and off-key they were, and singing along with made-up lyrics full of puns and horrible rhymes.

They ended up at Infinite’s dorm.  No one else was there.  “Videogames?” Chen suggested.

“Orgy?” Suho suggested, and Changjo burst into laughter.

Ew, nobody wants that,” L said, grinning and scratching the back of his head.  “Let’s watch a movie.  I’ve been trying to watch that Christmas comedy all month, but I keep falling asleep on it.”

“A Christmas movie, now?” Chen asked.

“I haven’t gotten past the first half hour,” L said.  “Every time I start it, it puts me to sleep.”

“Which Christmas movie?” Suho asked.  “The one with Kevin?”  He clapped his hands to either side of his face and cried out.  Changjo did it, too, and Chen did it with them, fake-screaming and then laughing.

“No, not - - stop that,” L said, pushing at them and hugging them and laughing.  “God, no, I’ve seen that one.  The new one that came out last year.  That sunbae from my drama’s in it, and I promised that I’d watch it.”

“Movie time,” Sunggyu said, shooing them toward the couch.  “I’ll make popcorn.”

You? Hoya asked in dramatic surprise.

“No more food, no,” Chen moaned, rubbing his stomach.

“We have popcorn?” L asked, interested.

“I get the couch!” Changjo declared, throwing himself across it.

That was just asking for a fight.  Chen, Suho, and L wrestled with Changjo and each other, piling onto each other and fighting for couch space.  Hoya helped by laughing at them and catching whoever fell off the couch.

“Off, off, all dongsaengs, off of my couch,” Sunggyu said, dragging them off unceremoniously, one by one.  Chen abruptly found himself on the floor with L and Changjo.  “You’re pretty, you can stay,” Sungyyu told Suho.

Getting comfortable, taking up space, Suho beamed.  “Hey, he’s pretty,” Changjo objected, gesturing at L.  “Why can’t he sit up there?”

“Because I don’t want popcorn and butter and old kernels all over my furniture,” Sunggyu said, handing L a bowl.  “Somebody start the movie.”  He sat beside Suho, knees spread.  “What is this, is it funny?  Scary?”

“Scary,” Chen repeated.  “Hyung, who’s heard of a scary Christmas movie?”

“It’s supposed to make everybody cry at the end,” L said.

Hoya started the movie, then came over and sat down beside Chen.  They pushed Suho’s legs out of their way and leaned against the front of the couch.  Hoya put his arm around Chen, and Chen snuggled in, liking the cozy, friendly atmosphere.  Sitting in the dorm, watching a movie with his boyfriend, having a comfortable date night, it was the best.  It was exactly the kind of intimate, everyday romance that he wanted.

The movie started.  Changjo poked L incessantly.  “Still awake?  Asleep yet?  Still awake?”  L threw popcorn at Changjo, and Sunggyu kicked them both.  The movie was terrible.  Chen laughed at the awkward dialogue and cheesy, histrionic scenes.  Hoya whispered the awful lines to him, repeating the dialogue in a pleading, romantic voice that cracked him up.  No one cried at the end; L actually burst into laughter, and Changjo asked, “What?  What?  Is that - - what just happened, they ended it like that?”

The four of them turned around to find Sunggyu and Suho slumped against each other, asleep.  Changjo decorated them with popcorn, dotting it over their bodies and faces, planting careful kernels in their hair.

Letting the leaders sleep, they went into Hoya’s room.  They flopped around aimlessly and poked around in Sungjong’s things and watched videos.  They were completely unprepared when Sunggyu and Suho burst through the door, hurling handfuls of popcorn at them.  Showered in fluffy, white kernels, Chen laughed helplessly, throwing it back and hiding behind Hoya.

Hoya threw both arms out, bravely taking the brunt of the attack, shielding him.  “Get behind me!  Save yourself!  I won’t let you die like this!”

“Why is there no butter?” Changjo demanded.

“Why did you make us watch that terrible movie?” Sunggyu demanded, dumping the rest of his popcorn over L’s head.

“Who watched it?” Hoya asked while L laughed and tried to shake off the popcorn.  “You slept through the whole thing.”

“What’s this mess?” Suho asked, looking around.  “Hoya, how can you live like this?”

“Clean this up,” Sunggyu ordered.

“Me?” Hoya asked in disbelief.

“Now,” Sunggyu said.

“I have to go,” Changjo said.  “My hyungs need me back at the dorm.”

“Hey, wait,” Hoya said.

“We’ll go, too,” Suho said around a mouthful of popcorn.  “We shouldn’t stay out so late.”

“I - - shit, why don’t I have anywhere to go?” L asked, looking around in dismay.

Chen wanted to stay and be a good dongsaeng and help to clean up.  But it was a big mess.  There was popcorn everywhere, damn, covering both beds, scattered all across the floor, strewn across the desk, loose kernels in all crevices.  “You’ll forgive me if I abandon you, right?” he asked, hugging Hoya.

Sighing, Hoya patted his back.  “Yeah, it’s fine.  I’ll make L do most of it, and Sungjong can work on it when he gets back.”

“You’d make Sungjong clean this up?” he asked, looking into Hoya’s face.

Hoya nodded and kissed him.  “That’s what the maknae’s for.  Go ahead, I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“It’s down my shirt,” Changjo said, shaking out his clothes.

“Messy kids,” Sunggyu said.

Scratching his head, L stared around the room like he had no idea where to begin.

“Thank you for the date,” Chen said, his arms still around Hoya.  He kissed Hoya.  It was hard to leave.  Hoya was always the one who dropped him off at his dorm and left him there; he didn’t have experience in being the one to cut things off, and he didn’t want to do it.  Being with Hoya made him feel too good.  He tugged at L’s sleeve, and L blinked, coming out of some internal reverie and looking at him.  “Thanks for the double date.”

L smiled, cute and dimpled.  “It was fun.  Thanks for dinner.”

“No thank you for the triple date,” Hoya told Sunggyu.

“Too bad we never got to the zoo,” Suho said.

“Stop talking about the zoo!” Changjo exclaimed.

“You had a nice nap, though, so that’s good,” Chen said.

“Yeah, I liked that movie,” Suho said.  “I’ll watch it the next time I can’t sleep.”

They drifted out to the front room.  Hoya and Chen hugged again, and the other two couples hugged, and then Suho hugged L, so Chen hugged Sunggyu, and then they were all hugging each other, passing each other back and forth.  Sunggyu got impatient and opened the door and started shooing people out.  He pushed Chen and Changjo into the hall, and then Hoya, and then Suho, and slammed the door shut.

The four of them looked at each other.  Chen laughed, Hoya shrugged, and the four of them moved a couple of steps down the hallway.

The door opened.  “Get in here,” Sunggyu muttered, grabbing Hoya’s arm and snatching him back inside.  “Good night.”  The door closed again.

“Well, that was fun,” Chen decided, putting an arm around Changjo as they headed for the elevator.  “I like double dating.”

“Triple dating,” Suho said.  Changjo pushed the button for the elevator at least six times.

“No, I didn’t like that part,” Chen said.  “But the double date was fun.”

“Can I go to your dorm?” Changjo asked.  “Can I stay over?  I don’t have to be back at my dorm until ten in the morning, you can call my hyungs and ask them.”

“Not until ten?” Suho asked, pulling out his phone.  “What time does the zoo open?”

            “Double dating was fun,” Chen said, pulling him into the room.

            “Maybe for you,” Hoya said, locking the door.  Ever since he’d wakened to find Sunggyu standing over them, he’d started locking the door, just in case.  “You didn’t have to clean up the popcorn.”

            “Neither did you.  Isn’t that what maknaes are for?”

            “I changed my sheets and I still keep finding kernels in my bed.  I think that Sungjong saved some.”

            “To torment you?” Chen asked.  He must not have been sitting down on the couch fast enough, because Chen pushed him the rest of the way down and straddled him.

“Yes.  Months from now he’s still going to be sneaking popcorn into my bed and my desk and my pockets.”  He cupped Chen’s ass, and Chen’s hands ran up his chest, and they were already kissing.  Immediately turned on, he groaned.  Chen was kissing him passionately, not playing around, and he pulled Chen flush against himself.  “It’s the couch, right?” he breathed.  “You really want to fuck this couch.”

“I want to fuck you on this couch.”  Cupping his face, Chen kissed him, their tongues stroking together.  He loved it when Chen said things like that.  It turned him on, how sexually confident Chen was, how assertive Chen was.  He still couldn’t believe that Chen wanted him this much, that Chen got so hot for him; it made him feel sexy, gave him an ego boost.

They were used to going so far and no farther.  Usually, it was up to Hoya to stop them, to decide when to cut things off.  But each time they were on this couch, he could think of fewer and fewer reasons to stop.  They both knew what they were getting into, and they both wanted it.  He wanted their first time together to be romantic and fulfilling, the kind of experience that meant so much to Chen, and a sudden screw on the couch wouldn’t do it.  But, damn, he needed something to happen tonight, needed to satisfy some of this lust burning them up.

Chen’s hips were rolling, grinding against his cock.  Heat suffused him, his arousal hotter with every twitch and push of Chen’s hips.  The friction, Chen’s bold kisses, the way Chen caressed his jaw and stroked his neck and rubbed his chest, all turned him on and told him how much Chen wanted him.  He let it go on until he couldn’t take it anymore, until he hit his limit, until he had to either hit the brakes or get off.

He didn’t hit the brakes.  Twisting, he pushed Chen down on the couch.

On his back under Hoya, Chen looked up with dazed, appreciative eyes.  “Hi, hyung.”

“Hi.”  Undoing Chen’s fly one-handed, he searched Chen’s expression.  “This okay?”

“God, yes.”  Pulling him down, Chen kissed him hungrily.  Tugging Chen’s fly open, he slid seeking fingers over the front of Chen’s underwear, feeling over the prominent bulge there.  Groaning, Chen gripped his side, mouthing his jaw.

Licking his lips, he savored this first meeting with Chen’s cock.  So hard, so sexy, it felt as good as it had always looked.  Pulling on him, fingers digging into his side, Chen kept moaning, nuzzling him, and he loved how into it Chen was.  “Love your cock,” he whispered, rubbing it.  He looked down, admiring how it looked in Chen’s underwear, that hot bulge, the head so prominent against the cotton.  “Sexy Chen cock.”  The more he rubbed it, the harder it got, straining against Chen’s underwear.

Chen was getting louder and louder, rumbling groans vibrating out of him as he rubbed his nose against Hoya’s cheek and kissed Hoya’s neck.  His hands were busy, pulling on Hoya’s hips, stroking Hoya’s sides.  “Hyung, hyung.”

“Chen cock is the best cock.”  Pushing down Chen’s underwear, Hoya exposed his erection.  “Damn.”  This wasn’t Hoya’s first view, but it was still a gorgeous sight.  He had a straight, handsome cock, and when Hoya wrapped a hand around it, they both groaned together, making rough harmony.  Unnnhh, oh, you’re so hard,” Hoya breathed.  Desire knotted in Hoya’s gut, aching between his thighs, and he jacked Chen slowly, getting familiar with the way the shaft fit in his hand, running his thumb around the head.

“Don’t stop,” Chen gasped, “don’t stop.”

“You think it feels good?”  Chen’s skin was so satiny, he couldn’t wait to feel it against his lips.  Dragging his attention away from it, he flicked his gaze up, meeting Chen’s eyes.

Breathing raggedly, Chen was watching his face.  “Feels, ooohh, feels so good,” Chen moaned, stroking the side of his neck.

Mmm.  “Let’s see how it tastes.”  He slid downward, Chen’s fingers threading through his hair.  He leaned in, brushing his lips against the shaft, giving it soft, adoring kisses.  Running his hand up and down the shaft, pumping it in slow, lingering strokes, he heard Chen moan again and felt arousal pulse between his thighs.  Clear drops of pre-cum oozed out like fat, precious pearls, and he licked them up, rolling his tongue around his mouth and savoring the taste.  Chen was delicious, and Chen’s musk turned him on, his body responding to the primal scent.  When he guided Chen’s cock between his lips, a sense of eagerness overtook him, his sexual hunger urging him.  His mouth closed around Chen’s shaft, and his back arched, his thighs aching, his own cock throbbing, his asshole contracting, spasms of pleasure and need shuddering through him.

“Ah!  Ouunnnhh, hoouunh, hyung, oh, damn.”  Chen undulated, pushing greedily between his lips, one foot slipping off of the couch to the floor.  Gotta, unh, oh,” Chen writhed under him, “hyung, yeah,” tugged on his hair, “yeah, damn, please.”

Groaning, he got down to business.  They both needed this.  He’d needed it for months.  He started off with his hand wrapped around the base, kissing his fist every time he bobbed his head, but he could take more than that, and he wanted the whole thing, needed all of it.  Letting go, he lowered his hand to Chen’s balls, fondling them in a similar rhythm, sucking Chen’s erection to the back of his throat.

“Damn, oh,” Chen pawed through his hair, “hyung,” a helpless, broken laugh, “it’s so good, it’s so good, why are you so good at this?”

Because he loved it.  Because he loved cock, and he loved Chen, and he wasn’t afraid for Chen to know it.  He was all over Chen’s cock, licking it enthusiastically, sucking it like he needed it, his tongue snaking up and down the shaft.  He couldn’t hold still, and he started grinding, his hips rolling, dancing to his own beat.  Chen was eager for it, panting, “Suck it, it’s so good, please get me off,” and being egged on only made him want it more, only intensified his lust, until he was deep-throating vigorously and sucking at a fast, demanding pace.  He’d held back as long as he could, but he needed cock tonight, needed Chen, needed to swallow that cream.

“H-h-h-uhhh, ooohh.”  Chen cried out, and he felt long, thick jets of cum pump into his mouth.  Ahh, hyung, oh!  Oh!  Oh!”  He kept sucking, wanting it all, and he felt another spurt, then a weak dribble, bitter cum coating his tongue.  “Oh, oohh-hhhh, so good, so good, I came.”

Raising his head, Hoya closed his eyes, savoring the thick drip and slide as Chen’s cum melted down his throat.  Groaning, he licked his lips.  Mmm, yeah.  Need and desire hummed through his body, but he felt a deep sense of satisfaction, too, rich pleasure.

“God.  Hyung.”  Chen sounded breathless and awed.  “What the hell.”

Gradually relaxing, he exhaled, opening his eyes.  Looking down at Chen, he grinned.  “Never had your cock sucked before?”

“Not like that!”  Pulling on his arms and tugging on his shirt, Chen urged him closer.  Smiling broadly, Chen devoured him with bright eyes.  “Are you trying to make me like you more than I already do?  You thought that I didn’t want you enough already?”

Flattered, he kissed Chen.  “You have a great cock.”

Mmm.  I have the best cock,” Chen corrected him, kissing him again, looking delighted.

“Chen cock is the best cock,” he agreed.  Chen nuzzled him, sighing happily, and he smiled.  He’d never known happy, uncomplicated love like this.  It was so easy with Chen.  They rubbed noses, and Chen’s fingers sank into his hair again, and they kissed.  “Chen everything is the best everything.”

Chen’s leg curled over his thigh, and light fingers walked down his shoulder.  “Switch places?”

Licking his lips, he shook his head.  Sucking in a deliberate breath, he collected himself together, and then he hopped up, tugging his shirt down over his hard-on.  “Some other time.”

“Aw.”  Chen sat up, tucking himself back into his underwear.  “Really?  We have to stop now, like this?  It doesn’t seem fair if I can’t return the favor.”

“Next time.  Some other time.”  It wasn’t like he didn’t want it, but what he wanted even more was for Chen to feel some sense of romance.  Chen had plenty of other guys to go down on, and he didn’t want to be just another one of them.  He wanted Chen to have a different experience with him.

“At least let me see it,” Chen said, reaching for him.

Surprised, he danced back, putting himself out of reach.  “You’ve seen it before.”

“That was never for me.  You were hot for other guys and turned on by whatever they were doing.  This is - - well it sounds weird if I explain it!” Chen said, exasperated.

Laughing, he said, “I’ll let you see everything soon.”

“Everything?”  Chen looked hopeful and lustful, his gaze roaming greedily.

Hoya sank to his knees in a sinuous drop.  Prowling, he put a hand beside Chen on the sofa and dragged himself forward, undulating his way in between Chen’s legs.  “How soon can you get it up again?”  Chen cupped his jaw, guiding his face up, and he kissed at the corner of Chen’s mouth, pulling Chen’s pants down.  “Any time you want it, any time, I’ll do it for you, I’ll swallow your cock.”

“Damn, hyung,” Chen breathed, kissing him.  “Keep moving like that, keep talking like that, I’ll be ready in seconds.”

            They were finishing up dance practice when Hoya sidled over to Woohyun.  “Hey.”

            “Hey.”  Woohyun drank some water and watched Sungjong and Dongwoo make out.

            “Can you do something for me?”

            Irritated, Sungyeol reread the scrap of paper in his hand.  The address of a flower shop, and an order number.  “We really have to do this?”

            “You don’t want to help out?” L asked, tying his shoes.

            “How is it going to look?  What am I doing with a bunch of flowers?”

            L smiled up at him.  “Maybe you’re bringing them to me.”

            “I don’t give you flowers!”

            Chuckling, L stood up and kissed him.  “Maybe you should.”

            “I’m not gonna…”  His voice trailing off, Sungyeol gave L another look, grinning.  “Why, do you want some?”

            L just smiled and kissed him again.

            Who - - oh, Hoya was calling!  Chen answered brightly.  “Happy Chen day!”

            His members looked baffled and annoyed.  He shushed them.

            “Happy Chen day,” Hoya said, and Chen could hear that he was smiling.  “Ah, Chen-ah.”  The smile was fading; was something wrong?  Chen listened more closely.  “I can’t pick you up tonight, there are too many solo schedules with the other members, I won’t have a van.  Or a manager.  I’m sorry, I didn’t know.  Do you have a ride?”

            “Oh.”  He couldn’t miss tonight’s date!  “Maybe we can use one of our vans, I can ask one of our managers to drive, tonight.  It’s only right, we’ve used your van every time, your manager must be tired of driving me around.  I’ll ask, okay?”

            “Sorry,” Hoya said.  “I could ask Dongwoo hyung to drive us, but I don’t know.  I don’t want him on our date.”

            “That would be fun!”  When Hoya didn’t agree, he laughed.  “I’ll ask my manager, okay?  I’ll call you back.”

            “Okay.  You aren’t upset?”

            “No!  No, Infinite’s busy and I’ve used up a lot of your manager’s time.  And gas mileage.  EXO can pitch in, too.”

            “Okay.  Happy Chen day.”

            He wanted to say, “I love you,” but he only said, “Bye.”

            Immediately, he asked Suho if he could have a van.

            Suho pouted, thinking it over.  For a moment, Chen worried.  But then Suho said, “Okay, we can do it.  If we drop everyone else off first, then you can ride along with them, and then you can pick up Hoya and go to dinner.  But it’ll mean that when they’re ready to come back to the dorm, you’ll have to cooperate.  You can’t keep the van all night and leave them stranded.”

            “Yes, all right,” he said quickly.  He was ready to make concessions if it meant that he got to keep his date.  And the other members wouldn’t want to cut their nights short, so he’d have plenty of time, right?  Unless they all had permission to come back to the dorm for sex.  He’d figure something out.

            He was so used to having Hoya come to pick him up, he looked forward to doing things the other way around, for once.  He’d be the one kissing Hoya at the front door!  Eager to get there, he tried rushing his members that night.  The annoying slowpokes took forever to get ready, until he had to complain about being late.  He wasn’t going to keep Hoya waiting just for another five minutes on Chanyeol’s hair!  Seriously!  “Be more respectful of your sunbae’s time!”

            “I like how they’re our super important sunbaes that we have to respect no matter what, whenever it’s convenient, and then they’re just some random hot guys we bone sometimes, the rest of the time,” Chanyeol said.

            “What?” Suho asked, giving Chanyeol one of his “I can’t possibly have heard you right” looks.  Oh, damn.  “Is that how you think of the Infinite and Teen Top members?  Do they stop being your sunbaes the minute you start spending time with them?  You don’t have to respect them anymore once you’ve become close?”

            “That’s not-”

            “All of their hard work, all of their effort, it doesn’t mean anything anymore?” Suho asked.  “The work they put into practicing, their years of training, all of those performances and concerts and videos and achievements, it never happened?”

            Chanyeol looked exasperated.  “Hyung, I-”

            “Or is it that you can’t respect someone once you’ve had sex with him?” Suho asked.  “Is that it?  I’d like to know, I think I’d like to know if that’s how you feel.”

            Chanyeol’s jaw dropped.  “I, that’s not, what, hyung!  I didn’t mean anything like that!  I was only saying, what I meant was, like, we’re all close and we’re all friends, and we’re all messing around, and then someone pulls the sunbae card whenever it’s convenient.  Chen doesn’t care who we keep waiting, but all of a sudden he’s in a rush to see Hoya hyung, and suddenly Hoya’s some big important sunbae, like that.  Like you and Changjo.”

            Chen groaned.

            “What about me and Changjo?” Suho demanded, raising his chin.

            “You, I…”  Stammering, Chanyeol looked like he regretted ever saying a word.  Chen regretted it, too.  It was another ten minutes before they got out of the dorm.  Fortunately, even after dropping off the other members, Chen still made it to Infinite’s dorm on time.

            Anticipation made him light on his feet as he hurried through the building.  Being the one to pick up Hoya was fun!  He bounced on his toes as he waited for Hoya to answer the door.

            The door swung open, and Hoya smiled at him.  “Hey.  Come in.”

            As Hoya stepped back, letting him in, his gaze ran over Hoya, taking everything in.  Hoya had on his favorite jeans and a thin, dark blue knit shirt that highlighted the swell of Hoya’s firm pecs.  Usually, Hoya did the talking first and then the kissing, but this was his night to do the picking up, and he didn’t see any reason to wait.  He kissed Hoya, his hand sliding over the side of Hoya’s neck.  Hoya kissed him back, and when he deepened the kiss, Hoya’s arm circled his waist.

            They stood there, kissing, for a few minutes.  It was terrific.  Chen loved just kissing, and Hoya was fantastic at it, and they’d never made out in Infinite’s dorm before.  He liked doing this in Hoya’s home; it seemed really intimate, somehow, doing this private thing in Hoya’s private space.

            More private than he’d expected.  Where was everyone?  Did Hoya’s members not feel the need to line up to watch, like Chen’s did?  Were they just not around?  Breaking the kiss, Chen glanced around.  The dorm looked cleaner than he remembered, and smooth R&B was playing.  And there was a low table set out, covered with dinner.  And there were flowers everywhere, bouquets sitting around the table and on either side of the couch.  Dinner, music, flowers, candlesticks!

            Damn, someone was having an elaborate date!  “Who is this for?” Chen asked.  “Should we hurry out?  I don’t want to interrupt!”  Was Sunggyu doing this for Suho?  Was L doing this for Changjo?  He didn’t know which one would be weirder.  Woohyun and Key didn’t have this kind of relationship, did they?  Maybe Dongwoo and Chunji?  Did that make sense?

            “Um.”  Hoya snickered helplessly.  He tried to get control of himself, but his lips twitched upward again.  Bursting into laughter, he fell back a step, covering his mouth with one hand.

            R&B.  Purple bouquets.  “Oh, god!  Wait, is this for us?  For me?”  Grabbing Hoya’s arms, he looked eagerly into Hoya’s face.  When Hoya just kept laughing at him, he had to laugh, too.  “But I thought that we were going out!”

            “Oh, okay.  Sure,” Hoya tried to usher him back to the door, “we’ll go, we’ll eat out.  It’s okay, maybe my members will want to eat this when they come back.”

            “No!  No!  Don’t you dare!  He forced Hoya back across the room.  “This is my dinner, I’m eating here!”

            “No, but if you don’t want to,” Hoya said, trying to drag him to the door again.  “I understand, you’d prefer a restaurant.”

            “Shut up!”  Thrilled, he hugged Hoya.  Then he stared at the dinner again.  “You got candles.”

            “If you sit down, I’ll light them.”

            “Yes!”  Hurrying, he sat down in front of the table.  Expectant, his heart pounding, he studied the table, wanting to catch every detail.  He’d never thought that Hoya would do something like this!  Just for him, all for him!  Disbelieving, he snatched up an empty bowl, staring at it.  “Hyung.”

            “Hmm?”  Hoya knelt across the table from him, lighting candles.

            “Where’d you get these plates?  Did the caterers bring them?”

            “Bought them.”

            What?  “You bought them?”

            Nodding, Hoya lit another candle.

            “Just for this?  What about the candlesticks?”

            “How else would I get them?  You think I stole them?”

            Hoya’s teasing smile made him want another kiss.  “You didn’t have to do all of this!”

            Hoya glanced over the table, then shrugged.  “Do you like it?”

            “Of course I like it!”

            “Then I had to do it, right?”

            Chen couldn’t believe it.  God, it was so much.  It was so romantic.  It was so thoughtful!  “How long have you been planning this?”

            “I don’t know.  It took some time.”  At his questioning look, Hoya explained, “I couldn’t just bring a bunch of crap and flowers and everything into the dorm all in one afternoon, and then have you show up an hour later, that’s too obvious, right?  We take a lot of risks, but Inspirit’s not stupid.  So I got the plates one week, and the glasses another week, and the candlesticks another week, like that.  I bought the glasses on-line, and I asked Sungjong to pick them up, and I asked Dongwoo hyung to pick up the candlesticks, so it wasn’t all just me.  Woohyun picked up the wine the other day, and L picked up the food.  Sungyeol got the flowers yesterday, so it wouldn’t be obvious today.  They still look fresh, right?”

            “They’re freaking beautiful,” Chen said with feeling.  They were perfect.  Everything about this night was perfect.

            “You’re not even looking at them.”

            No, he was looking at Hoya.  At the man who cared enough about him to do all of this for him, to plan everything out so carefully, to go to all of this trouble.  Weeks, it had taken weeks.  All of this time together, all of those terrific dates, and Hoya had been working on this.  The flowers were in gold vases, and the candlesticks were gold, and the plates and bowls were white with gold trim, and he felt really certain that was on purpose, that Hoya had wanted them to match.  None of this was haphazard.  None of this was careless.  It was all careful, deliberate, thoughtful.  “You did this for me.”

            It took Hoya an extra second to answer, and in that extra beat, his gaze flickered.  Chen recognized that pause.  It meant that he almost reflexively gave a flip answer, but he caught himself.  He was choosing to be honest, choosing to let Chen in.  “I wanted you to have something nice.  I wanted to give you a good memory, something romantic.”  He licked his lips.  “I wanted you to know that someone cares enough about you to do this for you.”

            Chen was so moved, he didn’t know what to say.  “Hyung.”

            Clearing his throat, Hoya got up.  “I’ll turn off the lights, we should turn off the lights for the candles, right?  Pour the wine.”

            It was the perfect romantic dinner.  Just the two of them.  No waiters interrupting, no strangers passing by, no policing what they said in case someone overheard.  In the candlelight, with the flowers around, the dorm was transformed.  They talked freely, and Hoya was hilarious, and the food tasted great, and Chen made him go through all of the dinner planning step by step, wanting to know all about his decisions and where he’d bought everything and how he’d talked Sungyeol into picking up the flowers for him.

            For dessert, there were little chocolate cakes.  Smiling, Hoya held his out for Chen to take the first bite, and when he sat back, sucking chocolate off of his thumb, it seemed like the sexiest thing Chen had ever seen.  “I can’t believe that you’re this romantic,” Chen said.  “I feel like I’m keeping some amazing secret.”

            “Romance is Woohyun’s concept,” Hoya said.

            “Not anymore,” Chen decided.  “He’ll have to choose something else, after tonight.”

            “He’ll need a new concept?”  Hoya thought that over.  “Maybe he’ll learn to sing now, that’d be good.”  Chen laughed, and Hoya took another sip of wine.  “Why do you keep checking your watch?  Can’t wait to get away?”

            “No!  No, I - - I want to stay.  It’s just my members, when they want to go back to the dorm, our manager’s going to take me back, too.  But I can call, I can ask him to take them back and get me later.”

            Hoya nodded.  “I don’t want to make assumptions, but.  You can stay.  I mean, it’s already arranged, I don’t think your manager’s waiting for you.  I asked the leader couple about it, and my members are staying at your dorm tonight, so if you want to stay here, you’ll have privacy.  We’ll have privacy.”

            Whoa, what?  God.

            “I asked Suho not to tell you, but I figured it was easier to clear it with him and make arrangements, so I didn’t accidentally schedule all of this on a night when you couldn’t stay over.”  Hoya’s eyebrows went up.  “Not that you have to stay!  You can go now if you want, should I call a cab?” he asked, reaching for his phone.

            “Stop it!”  Laughing, Chen grabbed the phone from him and tossed it aside.  “Don’t call anyone!”

            “I just want you to know, I’m not, you know.  I’m not making assumptions.  There’s no pressure to do anything.”

            “I want to do things!  I want to do everything, are you kidding?  I’ve wanted to do everything with you since forever!”

            “Good, because I made Sungjong clean up our room, and I put on clean sheets and everything.”

            Chen loved that.  “Purple?”

            “What?  God, no, not purple, that would be a cliché, isn’t that too obvious?”  Hoya rubbed his chin.  “They’re eggplant.”

            Ooohhh, eggplant!  Classy.”  Chen wanted to roll all over those sheets, wanted to rub himself between those clean sheets and Hoya’s naked body.  “Can I see them?”

            “Is that - - are you trying to be subtle?” Hoya asked, grinning.  Chen laughed, caught.  “Is that your version of being discreet?  You just want to admire my sheets?  Is that how it starts?”

            “I love sheets!  I’m really into sheets.”

            “Oh, are you an expert?  You’re a collector?”

            “You didn’t know?  I thought that we were close, and you don’t even know about my sheet collection?  I have all of the best sets!”

            “Well, if you have all of the classics, you aren’t going to care about my boring old eggplant sheets,” Hoya said.

            “No!  No, twin eggplant?  From this year?  That’s famous, I’ve never seen them in person.  I have to look,” Chen said, getting up.  “The twin size, you must not realize how rare it is.”

            “Oh, I didn’t know,” Hoya said, feigning astonishment.

            “The stitching,” Chen said.  “It’s unique.  I’ll go and take a close look.”  He turned on the lights and came back, taking Hoya’s hand.  “Come with me, I want to point out all of the important features.”

            Hoya blew out the candles, then let Chen pull him to his feet.  “An expert on sheets.  I must have a lot more to learn about you.”

            “I want you to learn a lot of things about me tonight,” Chen said, smiling at him and tugging him towards the bedroom.  “I want you to wake up tomorrow and think, ‘Ah, that Chen!  I’ve seen a whole new side of him now.’”

            Hoya’s grin was appreciative and knowing.  “I’ll look forward to it.”

            Hoya’s room really was clean.  The bed was made up with fresh sheets in a rich eggplant.  Chen ran his hand over the sheets and was surprised by how soft they were.  “Are these new?”


            Hoya had really prepared everything.  Just for him.  Just for them, for their romance, for their relationship.  He was so, so ready for this to happen between them, he didn’t think that he could wait any longer.  He peeled his socks off and climbed onto the bed.

            “Need an up-close look at the stitching?” Hoya guessed.

            “So close.  Come here, I want you to see it, too.”  Reaching for Hoya, he lay back.

            “Maybe we should give the sheets a stress test.”  Hoya crawled on top of him, so agile and sexy, damn, his heart was racing.

            “A really strenuous test,” he agreed, suddenly breathless.  Hooking his fingers in Hoya’s belt loops, he tugged Hoya closer, and then they were kissing, and it was perfect.  This was what he wanted, this was the moment he’d yearned for.  To be in love, to make love, to have this intimate moment and share his body with someone he’d already given his heart to.  Running his hands over Hoya’s shirt, he needed to get to the body underneath.  Kissing Hoya, tasting chocolate, he pulled up Hoya’s shirt, stroking over Hoya’s warm, taut skin.  Damn, Hoya’s body felt incredible, so agile, so muscular.

            Hoya sat back, pulling off his shirt.  Hating to let him go for even a second, Chen rubbed his thighs, wanting to draw him back down.  He undid his fly, and then, his hips rolling, he leaned down again, fuck, he moved so sinuously when he wanted to.  Chen never would have been able to look at, or think about, anything else than his open fly, and the exposed V of purple underwear, and his cock, if it hadn’t been for the look in his eyes.  Gazing up into his brown eyes, all Chen could think about was how open and vulnerable and honest he looked.  So handsome and so sexy and so trusting.  “Chen-ah.”  Chen kissed him, and his kiss was intimate, seductive.  “Chen-ah.”  His voice was soft, so soft, and he licked his lips, gazing into Chen’s eyes.  “I love you.  You know that, right?  I’m in love with you.”

            Oh, god.  “Hyung.”  He blinked, and Hoya didn’t disappear.  The room didn’t vanish; the bed under him was real.  “Is this really happening?”  Amazed, he didn’t know how something like this could happen, how he could be so in love with someone who loved him back.  It seemed like too much!  “I love you, too.  I do, I really do, I’m so in love with you.”  He ran his hands over Hoya’s shoulders, cupped Hoya’s face, stared into Hoya’s surprised, uncertain eyes.  “God, hyung, I love you so much!  I didn’t know when to say it, I didn’t know how to find the right moment, I didn’t know if it would be too soon, maybe it would scare you.”

            “Shit, you love me.”  Sounding relieved and breathless, Hoya sank down against him, forehead against his chest.  “Shit, thank god.”

            Surprised, he laughed.  “You thought I wouldn’t!”  He loved Hoya so much, and he’d hoped so intensely that he could get Hoya to love him back, that now that the moment was actually here, he felt giddy.  And he understood Hoya’s relief; he felt like he’d been carrying around so much hope and yearning, now that it was all settled, tension was draining out of him, leaving him light and free.

            “I didn’t know.  Shit.”  Hoya laughed, shaking himself and pushing himself back up.  He looked so happy that Chen felt even happier, just looking at him.  “God.”  He mimed wiping sweat from his forehead.  “Whew.  Wait, are you sure?  It’s me, it’s Lee Howon, from Infinite.”

            “Yes!  Yes, it’s you, it’s always been you.  I’ve been in love with you for a while, I know what I’m saying.”

            “Really?  A while?”  Hoya looked curious.  “Oh, hold on, this isn’t romantic.  Sorry, hold on, I can get back into it.”

            As Hoya leaned in, he ran his hand over Hoya’s bare chest.  He was so attracted to Hoya’s body, damn, he loved the dusky pink of Hoya’s nipples.  “But how long have you loved me?”

            “Ah…”  Hoya wrinkled his nose.  “Love’s weird.  I don’t know how it happens or how it starts.  I was in love for a long time, before, and it took me forever to realize that’s what it was.”

            Chen felt his eyes widen.  “Before?  With who?”

            “Sunggyu hyung.”  Hoya gave him a puzzled look, then laughed.  “I’m talking about my members!  What, there isn’t anybody else.”

            “Oh, thank god!  I didn’t know, I all of a sudden thought that there was some other guy in your past!  I thought that I knew all about you already, and then - - don’t scare me like that!”

            “No, there’s no one else,” Hoya laughed.  “There’s nothing shocking, you don’t have to worry.”

            “Say it again.”  Smiling, Chen coiled his arms around Hoya’s shoulders.  “Tell me that you’re in love with me.”  He wanted to hear it.

            Hoya’s smile was happy and a little bit shy.  And all for him, just for him.  “I love you.”  A soft, intimate kiss that tugged on his heart.  “How should I say it?” Hoya whispered, kissing him again.  Moaning, savoring this, Chen held him closer, arms tightening around him.  “I love you, Chen-ah.”  Hoya’s lips brushed the corner of his mouth, his cheek.  “I love you, Kim Jongdae.”

            “I love you, too,” he whispered, gazing into Hoya’s eyes.  They kissed, and if he’d been sure about this before, he was even more confident now.  He wanted this to happen between them tonight.  It was time, it was past time, it was right.

            Hoya’s body was deliciously firm, with all kinds of tempting muscle definition that fascinated his fingertips.  The sinuous rolling of Hoya’s hips felt incredible, and he groaned, suddenly realizing that he might have actually underestimated what sex with this hyung might be like.  They’d spent almost all of their time with him on top, but now that Hoya was on top and clothes were coming off, it was a whole new experience.

Mmm, oh, hyung.”  Hoya’s seductive kisses pulled on him, drugged him on romance.  He needed to feel all of this rolling and thrusting more intimately, more directly, but he couldn’t take his hands off of Hoya to get to his own clothes.  Groaning, he worked on Hoya’s clothes instead, pushing Hoya’s jeans down.  When he ran his hands over Hoya’s ass, Hoya moaned, undulating, practically begging to be touched.  So high, so tight, Hoya’s ass was muscular against his palms.

Hoya rose up, stripping, kicking everything off.  Chen started to undress, too, and Hoya helped him, until they were both naked and kissing, and he could feel the press and glide of Hoya’s hot, bare skin against his own.  Wanting to feel it everywhere, he wrapped himself around Hoya, catching Hoya between his thighs, luxuriating in the intimacy of their naked bodies against each other.  Their hard-ons stroked together, stiff and sensitive, and electric pleasure made Chen moan.  Aching to feel Hoya inside of him, he writhed against Hoya’s cock, gasping.

“Yeah, I know what that means,” Hoya said, kissing him.  “Okay, hold on.”

When Hoya reached for the lube, Chen groaned gratefully.  “Don’t tease, can I really have it?”

“It’s what you want, right?  That’s what Chen day’s about.”

Eager for it, turned on just watching Hoya with the lube, Chen pulled his knees up.  “I feel like I’ve been waiting for this forever.”

“Face-to-face is okay?  I want to see you, I want to watch.”

“Yes, yes.”  That was what he wanted, too.  He felt a touch at his hole, a light stroke, and then he groaned, welcoming the intrusion as pressure turned into penetration.  Mmm, oh, yes.”  Rocking a little on the bed, he worked himself against Hoya’s fingers, groaning again.

“I’ve got you, I’ve got it,” Hoya promised, kissing him.

He kissed Hoya back, moaning breathlessly.  Hoya’s fingers stroked him expertly, touching him just right, his hips bucking with repetitive jolts of pleasure.  It was perfect, damn, it didn’t feel like their first time at all, it felt like Hoya had been his lover all along and knew his body as well as he did.  Mmm, more, more,” he urged, shuddering at another erotic burst.  He clutched at Hoya’s shoulder, dragging his nails up to Hoya’s nape, kissing Hoya hungrily, demandingly, like the kissing and the pleasure were connected, like if Hoya’s tongue stopped doing sexy, seductive things to his mouth, Hoya’s fingers might stop doing wicked, hot things to the rest of him.

The longer Hoya fingered him, the more intensely his pleasure built, ecstasy mounting as Hoya gave his body a taste of what it craved.  When Hoya’s fingers slipped out, he moaned, but Hoya whispered, “I’ve got you,” and he felt the blunt knob of Hoya’s cockhead nudging into him.

Hoya entered him in a long, smooth slide, pressing deep, filling him up until he felt a deep, erotic ache in every cell.  Ooounnh, hyung.”  It was what he’d needed, to be united like this, to hold Hoya snug inside of himself, and when he looked up into Hoya’s eyes, a sense of joy welled up in him.  “God, it’s so good,” he breathed, brushing his fingertips across Hoya’s jaw.  “I love you.”

“I love you, too.”  Gazing into his eyes, Hoya shifted against him, nudging deeper, kissing him.  He moaned, cupping Hoya’s firm ass in both hands and clutching Hoya against himself, and Hoya whispered, “I love you,” again, and started moving against him, started rocking into him.

The slow, even thrusts hit him with one burst of pleasure after another.  “Yes, yes!”  He kept trying to pull Hoya closer, deeper, greedy for more.  “Oh, ohh-hh-ounnh, ah, ah!”  Hoya’s hips rolled steadily, in perfect control, fucking him at just the right angle to make him cry out on every thrust.  “Ah!  Yes!  Ooh!”  He felt fantastic, and he was getting really loud, and Hoya was delivering ecstasy straight into him, thrust after thrust.  “Oh, yes, oh, oh!”

“Yeah, it’s good?” Hoya panted.  It was getting more intense, Hoya rocking into him more forcefully now.  Hoya was on top of him, against him, gazing down into his eyes, and he felt surrounded, felt everything narrow down to this bed, this moment, just the two of them and this incredible intimacy between them.

“Amazing, it’s amazing, don’t stop,” he moaned, dragging Hoya to his mouth for another kiss.  “I love you, I love you.”  Each thrust rocked him, sending him that much closer to climax, and he cried out wildly, arching under Hoya’s thrusting body.  “Yes, yes, do it to me.  Mmm, unnnh, hyung, give it to me, yes!”  He shuddered, ecstasy starting to spike.  Hoya whispered, “Shit, Chen-ah, you’re so gorgeous like this,” and then, “I love you, I hope that you know it, I’m so deep in love with you,” and the words brought the same intense, explosive joy to his heart that Hoya’s direct, powerful thrusts brought to his body.  Crying out one last time, he came.  Orgasm brought profound ecstasy, and he bucked against Hoya, spurting in messy spatters.  “Oh, oh god, oh.”  Panting for air, he dragged his hand over Hoya’s muscular, satiny back.  He was in a state of joyous shock, transcendent and incredulous.  “Oh, wow.”

“So good, unh, Chen-ah.”  Hoya’s thrusts were quick and urgent.  Gonna come, ah.”

“Yes, yes, inside me.”  He held Hoya close, and when Hoya tensed against him, they moaned together.  He watched Hoya’s features tighten, watched orgasm draw Hoya’s face into a grimace and then relax it into a smile.  With a soft, contented moan, Hoya gazed into his eyes.  He already felt incredible, but seeing how serene and satisfied Hoya’s expression was made him even happier.  “I love you so much.  And that was freaking amazing.”

Chuckling, Hoya kissed him.  “It was good?”

“Good?  It was the best.”  He ran his hands over Hoya’s hard, muscular thighs, and Hoya’s nose rubbed against his, and they kissed again.  “I didn’t know,” he confessed.  Hoya kept nuzzling a little, kissing a little, and he loved how intimate it was, loved how sweet it was, loved having Hoya so very close.  “I didn’t know that you’d be so good at this.  I’m sorry, hyung, I think that I underestimated you.”

“Is that a compliment?” Hoya asked.

Laughing, he said, “Yes, yes, it’s a compliment, it’s good.”

“Better than disappointing you.”

Mmm.”  He smiled, basking in this intimacy, in Hoya’s love.  “You’ve never disappointed me,” he murmured, brushing his thumbs over Hoya’s cheekbones.  Hoya kissed him tenderly, slowly, and he didn’t think that he’d ever have enough of Hoya loving him.  “Thank you for dinner.  For everything.  For thinking of me so much, and making love to me like this,” he whispered, gazing into Hoya’s eyes.  “You gave me everything that I wanted.”

“I want to give you everything,” Hoya said, smoothing his hair away from his face.  “Everything that you want, and everything that you haven’t thought of, and, just, everything.  I want you to have all of it.”

Knowing that Hoya meant it made Hoya’s love for him that much more profound.  “What can I do for you?”  They kissed again.  He couldn’t stop kissing, couldn’t stop touching, couldn’t think about letting Hoya go.  “What can I give you?”

A pause, and then Hoya grinned.

Oh!  “Besides that,” he said, caressing Hoya’s sides.  He was totally willing to try penetrating Hoya.  Tonight had definitely raised the bar, though.  “We can do that, too, but what else?”

Hoya studied his face, looking optimistic.  Curious.  Hopeful.  “Will you be my boyfriend?”

“Yes!”  His answer burst out of him before he thought about it, but he didn’t need to think about it.  Or maybe it was more like he’d been thinking of it all along.  “Yes, yes, let’s be boyfriends.  I’ll be yours if you’ll be mine.”  He felt happy; he felt triumphant!  “This makes it official, right?”

“Should I have waited to ask until we had our clothes on?”

“No, no, this is perfect.”  Running his hands over Hoya’s shoulders, down Hoya’s chest, he felt gleeful.  Gleeful and smug, definitely smug.  “We’re going to be the best boyfriends.  So we’ll be monogamous, right?  Not with sex, but emotionally, no new relationships, no other guys.  No dating-dating.”

“I don’t want anyone new, I’m still figuring out how to make things good with you.”

“Things are perfect with me,” Chen told him.  “So we’ll still have sex with our own members, and each other’s, and Teen Top, and Shinee, and - - it’s a long list, but everybody we’ve already had before, that’s okay.”

“If you pick up someone new, I’d like to hear about it,” Hoya said.  “But it’s not a deal-breaker.”

“I want to tell everybody that you’re my boyfriend.  Who can I tell?  I can tell our members, right?”

“I think that Teen Top already knows most of it, already, so you can mention it to them, if you have to.”
            “I have to,” he said immediately.

“I don’t think that Shinee needs to know.  I don’t think that Shinee cares,” Hoya said.  “But you can tell them if you have to, if it comes up.”

He wrapped his legs around Hoya, anticipation curling his toes.  “I want to gloat and brag.  I’ll save them for later, I’ll tell them some other time, so I can have fun breaking the news.”

“Brag?” Hoya repeated.  He grinned, arching an eyebrow.  “You think I’m a great catch?”

“You’re the best catch,” he said fervently, tugging Hoya down for a kiss.  “Hoya hyung is the best hyung,” he whispered, caressing Hoya’s nape.

“Love you,” Hoya whispered, and kissed him.

Series page: "Let's Love"

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