Gratitude

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This story is part of a series.

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            When Up10tion members streamed into the phone accessories store, the clerks there looked taken aback.  Hwanhee loved having so many members, loved going everywhere in a big group, showing up wherever they went ten at a time.  Jinhoo always reminded them that because there were so many of them, it was even more important for them to mind their manners, so they didn’t cause an inconvenience, and Hwanhee knew that he was right.  But it was still fun to see people’s startled faces at the sight of all ten of them piling into a room.

            Everyone had a different idea about which kind of phone case to get.  Hwanhee didn’t know what he wanted!  After poking through the bin, he found one with music notes.  “This is nice, right?”

            “Yeah, that’s cute,” Bitto said, taking it from him.  “Should I get this?” Bitto asked, turning to Kuhn.

            Deprived of his choice, Hwanhee complained.  But he didn’t really care that much; his heart wasn’t in it.  Giving up and letting Bitto have it, he wandered around the store.  Being nosy, he checked on his other hyungs.  Kogyeol and Wooshin were comparing shiny, glittery cases and Sunyoul was looking for one like Niel had.

            Hwanhee was drifting around when Xiao popped up, grinning, and shoved a case in front of him.  “Get this one!”

            That was EXO’s logo!  “Stop it!”  Shocked, blushing, he pushed Xiao’s hand out of his face.  “Don’t, oh my god.”  He glanced around, embarrassed, hoping that none of the clerks had noticed.

            “Aren’t you an EXO-L now?” Xiao teased, pinching his waist.

            “No!”  Wait, he didn’t want to give the wrong impression in public.  “Of course, I mean, I respect our EXO sunbaes, they’re really talented, they’ve set a great example for us.  But I’m not an EXO-L, don’t say that.”  He had to distract Xiao somehow.  “What kind of case are you getting, which color do you want?”

            “I don’t know, nothing’s pretty.”

            They dug through the bins together.  Xiao went from not liking anything to having three different favorites, and went to ask Jinhoo which one to buy.  On his own, Hwanhee looked around some more.

            “Kids, let’s hurry up,” Jinhoo called.  “We’re going soon.”

            Ah, shit.  Maybe he should just get the one with the music notes.  Conflicted, feeling pressured, he went to the next aisle.

            “What are you getting?” Kuhn asked.

            “I don’t know, I don’t really like anything.”

            “You gotta have something.  Phones aren’t free, I don’t want you to drop it and break it.  Here.”  Kuhn reached into a nearby bin.  “Just grab one of these cheap ones, slap one of these babies on it, and you can buy a better one later.  What do you like?”  Kuhn grabbed three cases at random, holding them up.  “Rainbows, skulls, or puppies?”

            Puppies.  Mesmerized, Hwanhee gazed at it.  It was a pale blue case with little puppies romping all over it.  Little black-and-white puppies chasing after red balls.  Brown-and-white puppies wagging their cute tails.

            It was a cheap, plastic case like his cheap, plastic dog bowl.

            “Members!” Jinhoo called.  “Kuhn?”

            “There in five!” Kuhn called.  He started backing down the aisle, holding out the cases.  “Five.  Gotta choose, kid.  Four,” he was backing away, “three,” Hwanhee drifted towards him, hypnotized, “two,” time was almost up!  Gasping, Hwanhee darted forward, snatching the puppy case out of his hand.  “One!”  He grinned at Jinhoo as they arrived at the counter.  “Made it.”



            Frustrated, Suho hung up.  He didn’t know if he was overthinking things again, or what, but every conversation with Jinhoo seemed like an exercise in frustration.  It was like talking to a wall; he just never felt like he was getting through.  Not a stone wall, not brick, nothing rough or unpleasant.  A glass wall.  Thick glass, impenetrable, but nice and smooth.  Everything slid right off of it.

            Maybe he needed an interpreter.

            The next member of Teen Top he happened to see in person was Changjo, so he started there.  “Maybe I’m being a hypocrite,” he said while the two of them were leaning over the island in EXO’s kitchen, finishing dinner.

            Changjo grinned.  “Okay.”

            “Don’t just agree with me!”  What kind of dongsaeng was this?  “It’s about Up10tion.  I think that when Sehun and Hwanhee meet, I think that it’s fair for it to happen at both dorms.  It doesn’t have to be one-for-one, absolutely equal.  But I think it would be fair if it happened here sometimes and at their dorm sometimes.”

            Changjo nodded.  “Sure, I don’t care, go ahead.”

            “It seems hypocritical,” he admitted.  “Sehun went to your dorm so often, it was almost always over there.  And now it’s happening here, and I want a change.  I should apologize to Chunji,” he realized.

            “You could apologize to me.”

            No, he didn’t feel guilty enough for that.  “I’ve mentioned it to Jinhoo, I brought it up a few times, but he doesn’t seem interested.  I just don’t know why.”  If he knew why, he’d be able to let it go.  Not having a reason for it bugged him.

            “He’s protective,” Changjo said.  “Number one, if things don’t work out, it’s easier to break things off on his end.  You’ve never seen his dorm, you know less about his members, smooth getaway.  Number two, he’s trying to keep up appearances.  Have you seen your dorm?”

            “Yes.”  Of course he had, he was standing in it.

            “Yeah, they don’t live like this.”

            Well, that was just ridiculous.  “Of course they don’t.  No one expects three-year sunbaes and rookies to have the same dorm.  That’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”

            “What he has to do is accept that this is a long-term thing.  It’s happening, it’s all locked in, he doesn’t need to hold back in case it breaks apart.  Because then, once he accepts that, then he starts looking at the perks.”

            “What perks?”  He loved it when Changjo spoke to him so frankly.  These blunt peeks inside Changjo’s mind felt like trust.

            Changjo wiped his mouth with his napkin.  “He can have EXO’s Sehun walking into his dorm.  He can have all of those little people who follow wherever Sehun hyung goes gossiping about how Sehun hyung and Up10tion are close.  Sehun hyung likes hyungs, he doesn’t make friends with a lot of dongsaengs and rookies, so if chic, handsome Oh Sehun is close with a hoobae, and it’s a hoobae from a different company?  Sehun hyung’s fans want to know about it, Up10tion’s fans want to brag about it, and as long as Hwanhee’s humble and doesn’t start name-dropping in public, Jinhoo comes out ahead.”

            Suho was uncomfortable with those sorts of calculations.  He didn’t like looking at the situation so coldly.  But he knew that Changjo was right.  It might be a boost.  A minor one, sure, but for a rookie, any positive attention was welcome.  “I just don’t want too many people talking.”

            “People talk about everything EXO does,” Changjo said.  “If Sehun hyung and Hwanhee visit each other, they’ll see it and they’ll talk about it.  You already agreed to let that happen, you can’t stop it.”

            True.  He pouted, thinking it over.  “All right,” he decided.  If people were going to talk anyway, if they noticed Sehun and Hwanhee’s friendship, it wouldn’t matter if they noticed it more in front of this apartment building or that one.  “Do you have any more advice for your hyung?”

            “Tons,” Changjo said, chewing.  “About what?”

            He leaned forward, and Changjo fed him a bite.  He swallowed and asked, “How do I get Jinhoo to see it that way?”

            Changjo shrugged, eating.  “I’ll handle it.”



            As soon as Hwanhee found out, he started cleaning.

            His prince was coming over!  He envisioned it like royalty visiting a humble peasant’s cottage.  He worked hard, tackling every corner of the dorm.

            Prince Sehun’s visit wouldn’t be for a while, but he didn’t let that get to him.  The extra days were just an opportunity to prepare the cottage.  He wanted it to be at its best.

            He did laundry, nagged at his members to clean up, washed dishes, nagged at his members, cleaned out the fridge, nagged at his members, cleaned out his closet, and nagged at his members some more.  They were all interested in having an EXO member come over to the dorm in person, but they didn’t feel any of the same urgency that he did.  They just said, “I’ll get to it, don’t worry about it, he won’t be here until next Tuesday,” and then sat around playing videogames.

            The closer Tuesday came, the more preparing his cottage preoccupied his mind.  He started waking up early to clean up before the other members got in his way.  He stayed up late, folding laundry.  Jinhoo told him to go to bed, and he said, “I will, I’m going, I just want to finish these towels,” and then he slipped some more clothes into the washer, just one quick load, and then he noticed that his hyungs had left more cups sitting around the living room, and then, well, the sun was coming up and he was on his hands and knees, fishing out old socks from under the sofa.

            He tried to convince Xiao to help him clean up their room, but Xiao didn’t want to.  They fought about it, because his prince was coming over and this was really important to him and this was the one room that Sehun was definitely going to be in and he just needed the maknae to hang up some fucking clothes, how was that too much to ask for?!  Xiao got pissed off at him and sulked and wouldn’t even talk to him anymore, so he just did it himself, he just fucking did it himself, he cleaned their whole goddamned room.

            Sunday night, he couldn’t sleep.  He felt like a raw nerve, twitching; he couldn’t even lay down in bed.  Jinhoo came into the bathroom to pee at like four that morning and found him scrubbing the toilet.  He explained that it was best to do it while the members were asleep, so no one was in his way, but Jinhoo said that there were too many members, the toilet would be gross again by Tuesday anyway, and Jinhoo was right, it was true.  He was working so hard for his prince, he just wanted to make things nice, he just wanted a clean cottage for the royal visit, but he couldn’t, he just couldn’t get it done.  He had too many members and none of them cared.  Everything he cleaned up they just got dirty again.  He did laundry and immediately there was more of it, he cleaned the kitchen and he turned around and there were dishes all over the sink, he’d worked so hard on his bedroom and Xiao had thrown clothes all over the floor.

            Frustrated, hopeless, he cried.  He cared so much and he’d tried so hard and he was failing his prince.

            Jinhoo crouched down beside the toilet with him and patted his back.  Jinhoo promised to help him to clean up for Sehun’s visit, promised to get the whole dorm tidied up.  “We need to do it anyway, I don’t want to live in a big mess.  And you’ve already done so much laundry, you’ve already taken care of the worst part, it’ll be easy to finish up the rest.”

            He wanted to believe Jinhoo, wanted to believe that it would all be okay in time for his prince, but he was too worn out, too disappointed in himself, too lost.

            Jinhoo took him to bed.  They made out, but it was too slow, too tender, too nice.  He went down on Jinhoo, hungry for it, such a greedy slut, he was such a filthy, greedy slut.  Jinhoo screwed him, and it felt good, but it wasn’t enough.  He didn’t feel like he’d had enough.

            Jinhoo told him to get some rest, but he couldn’t.  Every time he closed his eyes, they popped back open.  Wide awake, he lay in the dark next to Jinhoo, his thoughts spinning.  He felt tense, felt really alert, on edge.  He wanted to go down on Jinhoo again.  He needed to remember to change his sheets on Tuesday.  He wished that Jinhoo had screwed him for a little while longer.  He had to focus on the rooms that Sehun was sure to be in, had to sweep the living room, had to make sure that there was nothing left in the hallway.  He really wanted to go down on Jinhoo again.  He wondered how soon his hyungs would start waking up, and if any of them might be horny.  Only a couple more hours.  He could wait a couple more hours.

            He couldn’t wait that long, he needed it now.

            Oh, god, he was such a slut.  The realization hit him hard, and shame covered him in blistering heat.  He really was a greedy slut.  But there was no purpose to it, no prince here.  He wasn’t degrading himself to prove something.  He just wanted it.  He was just a huge slut, all on his own.

            He was so ashamed, he didn’t know what to do.  Unable to hold still any longer, he leapt off of Jinhoo’s bed.  He’d clean.  His needs didn’t matter, only his prince’s did, right?  What the servant wanted wasn’t important.  He’d clean, that would help, he’d focus on doing his best.

            He was halfway to the door when a hand caught his wrist.  “Ya,” Kuhn whispered from the other bed.  “You okay?”

            “I’m going to sleep in my room.”  He was lying, and he was bad at it.  He didn’t sound believable at all.  He had no intention of going near his bed.  He had to get back to the bathroom; his cleaning supplies were all there, all set out, waiting for him.  He had to make the cottage sparkle for the royal visit.  That was something he could work on, something he could do.  He couldn’t do a thing about being such a goddamned slut.

            “Ya, come on, come here.”  Kuhn reeled him in.  “It’s late, have you gotten any sleep?”  The lamp between the beds was still on, and Kuhn gazed up at him with a hyung’s concern.  “Come here, you can sleep with me.”

            He didn’t want to sleep, he wanted sex.  He’d just had sex, why wasn’t that enough for him?  Why wasn’t it ever enough?  He wanted to get laid again, and Kuhn knew it, and he didn’t want to do it to please Kuhn, to make his hyung happy, he just wanted some hard cock.  Ashamed of his greediness, ashamed to be such a selfish slut, he whined, trying to pull away.

            Kuhn frowned, right hand releasing him, left hand still on his wrist.  “Come here, sit down.”  Slowly, Kuhn tugged him closer to the bed.  Resisting the truth of what a slut he was, he didn’t get on the bed, just stood there with his legs against it, whining.  “This is bad,” Kuhn said softly, stroking his arm, trying to pull him down.  “When’s the last time you got any sleep?”

            “Last night,” he lied.  “The other night.”  He didn’t remember.

            “You gotta calm down,” Kuhn said.  “You gotta…”  Kuhn sighed, grimaced, then peeked past Hwanhee, looking at Jinhoo.  Reaching up, he cupped Hwanhee’s face in both hands, pulling it down to his.  “Look,” he whispered, like this was a secret, just between them.  “You need to rest, and I only know one way to put you to sleep, okay?  So can we try that?”

            He moaned, hating himself.  No one else had to be dicked to sleep.  Why was he like this?  Wei kept trying to tell him things like, “It’s just sex, it’s a physical thing, you get off, you’re satisfied, it wears you out, you sleep better,” and it all sounded like it made sense, but it was different, for him.  It wasn’t the physical release of his orgasm that soothed him, not really.  It wasn’t just the exercise of it tiring him out, like going jogging would work just as well.  It was the pleasure of sex, the intensity of it, the sensation of penetration, time with a hard cock.  His hyungs’ satiation always felt so much richer than his own, somehow, and no one else seemed to feel that way.

            He wanted to spend hours with a big, hard cock.  He wanted to do well and make his hyungs happy and get them satisfied and pleased with him.  He wanted to be pounded and used.  Being used meant being useful, and that was what let him relax enough to sleep.

            Really conflicted about all of this, he just wanted to go scrub the toilet again.  If the toilet sparkled, that would be something he could point to, something to prove himself.  “I don’t want to be a greedy slut,” he whispered.

            Kuhn looked taken aback and almost kind of horrified, and he immediately regretted saying a word.  This was why he kept his mouth shut, this was why he tried to hold it in and deal with it, this was why he tried to figure things out on his own and pretend to be like everybody else.  Because whenever he talked about sex out loud, talked about what he wanted or what it felt like, people got all upset and confused.  It hurt and it made him feel lonely, and there was nothing worse than feeling so ashamed and so alone when he was in bed with someone he loved.  Moaning, he pulled away.

            “Hwanhee,” Kuhn whispered, dragging him back.  “You’re not.”  Kuhn was trying to make him sit down, and he really didn’t want to, but he also didn’t want to fight, so he sat.  “You’re not a slut,” Kuhn whispered.  “Don’t talk about yourself that way.”

            “I just had sex,” he whispered.  “I shouldn’t want it again.”

            “Sure you should,” Kuhn whispered.  “I’m a great lay, of course you want it.”

            “That’s not what I’m talking about!”

            “I know,” Kuhn said, putting an arm around him.  “I know, come on.  Don’t worry so much about it.  You like sex, I like sex, everybody likes sex, it’s just that some people like it more and some people like it less, and you like it more.  It’s life, it happens.  Everybody likes movies, some people only go to the movies once in a while, some people see everything that’s out, some people make movies for a living.  You like me, right, Kogyeol likes me, Honey10 likes me, I’m obsessed with myself.  I’ve loved me for years, I spend all of my time with me.  You like sex more than some people do, so what?  I like me more than anyone else likes me, and I think that’s great.”

            He looked down at his feet.  It was nice of Kuhn to try to make it seem normal, but it wasn’t.

            He remembered what Sehun had said, though.  “What turns you on is your business, no one else’s.  It doesn’t matter what’s typical or what turns other people on or what they might think about it.”  If he wanted unusual things, if he had desires no one else had, that was his business.  Sehun thought that it was natural.  Sehun had called it healthy.

             “I like some weird stuff,” he admitted.  “I wish we had more members.”

            “More?”  Kuhn seemed surprised.  “More for what, you want to start soccer teams?”

            “I want to get laid more.  If we had more members, I might get it more often.”

            Kuhn looked concerned.  Not disgusted or confused, though, just concerned, like a patient hyung.  “I’ve told you, if you want it, just ask for it.  I like sex, too, we all do, we’re down for it.”

            Maybe it was easier to talk about because they were whispering in the shadows.  Maybe it was easier because he’d said so much and done so much with Sehun, and he was more used to facing the truth and saying it all out loud now.  “I don’t like to ask for it so much.  I already ask for a lot.  I don’t want to bother anybody.”

            “You aren’t bothering anybody.”  Kuhn rubbed the back of Hwanhee’s neck.  Seeking comfort, he snuggled up against Kuhn’s shoulder.  This was a really good hyung to cuddle with.  “If you aren’t happy, Jinhoo’s not happy, and if Jinhoo’s not happy, I’m not happy, and if I’m not happy, Kogyeol’s not happy,” he continued, building momentum, “and if Kogyeol’s not happy, well, no one really cares, I guess,” he said doubtfully, petering off.

            “Honey10 cares,” Hwanhee said.  “Probably.”

            “Right, Honey10,” Kuhn said, getting back into it.  “And we don’t want Honey10 to be upset, that would be a disaster.  So we gotta keep the main vocal happy.  If that means more sex, then I will do it, I will sacrifice my cock.  And Gyujin will lend you his cock, too.  And Wei’s axe, and Kogyeol’s bow, it’s a fellowship in here, except it’s all cocks.”

            “The fellowship of the cocks,” he said, laughing.

            “It’s like five in the morning, I don’t know what the hell we’re even talking about,” Kuhn said.  “Let’s just pork real hard and go to sleep.”

            “Pork,” he repeated, snickering.  “Are you going to pork me?”

            “Yeah, I’m going to pork you,” Kuhn said, grinning, pushing him onto his back.  Arousal raced through him and he smiled, his body lighting up as Kuhn climbed on top of him.  Heart racing, he pulled Kuhn closer.  This hyung was so good to him, and he really needed to be fucked again, and it always felt good, so good, when Kuhn got off inside of him.

            “I hope you come hard,” he whispered, blushing.  If he had to be a greedy slut, at least he could be an honest slut, too.

            “God, with you?” Kuhn asked, grinning, pushing down his underwear.  “I always do.”



            First, Sehun talked to Suho.  “I have to travel with a thing.”

            “What thing?” Suho asked absently, lounging on the couch, reading a script.

            “A thing.”  Suho was still reading, barely listening to him.  “A private thing,” he said with emphasis.

            And now he had Suho’s attention.  “How private?” Suho asked, swinging his feet down, sitting up.

            “Very private.  I need to take it from here to Hwanhee’s dorm.”

            “You want to go across town with it?” Suho demanded.  “Maknae, no.  I don’t know what it is, but, no, I don’t care what it is.  Someone could see it, you might drop it, our van could be in an accident, someone could get excited and try to grab it out of your hands, no.”

            “Does your brain automatically come up with worst-case scenarios, or did you write down a list one day?”

            “Those aren’t even worst-case scenarios,” Suho said.  “There could be a windstorm and-”

            “Okay, there’s not going to be a windstorm,” he said, sitting down beside Suho on the couch.  “It’s a small thing, I can wrap it up and stuff it in a bag and put it in my jacket.”

            “Fans will notice a bulge in your jacket.  They notice the bulge in your pants all of the time.”

            He shrugged, grinning.  “Don’t be jealous of my huge balls.”

            Suho rolled his eyes.  “No one’s jealous, maknae.”

            “I know carrying shit around is a risk, that’s why I’m trying to get your permission and not just sneaking around.  I should get credit for that, I don’t have to be this honest.”

            “You don’t get applause for being responsible, Sehun-ah.  You’re an adult now, you should know that being mature and honest is important all on its own.”

            God, he couldn’t stand Suho sometimes.  Sighing, he slumped to one side.  Forget trying to convince Suho, he’d just find a different way to smuggle it in.

            “If you had a reason to take a package into their building,” Suho mused.

            He raised his eyebrows, interested.  Slowly sitting up again, he watched Suho’s face.  “Mmm?”

            “Hush, maknae, I’m thinking.”  Suho pouted at the coffee table.

            Crossing his arms over his chest, he sat back again, letting Suho take all of the time in the world to mastermind his plan for him.

            “We’ll take them a gift,” Suho said.  “I’ll take them a gift.  We’ll slip it in there.  And then when we get to their dorm, it’s your responsibility to deal with whatever your thing is.”

            “You’re going to carry it?”  He had not expected that.  “What if you get caught with it?”  He knew that he was destroying all hope of getting the object out of the dorm by asking that question, but his concern for Suho overrode everything else.

            “We are one,” he said, facing Sehun.  “If you get caught with it, so do I, it’s all the same.  I’ll carry it,” he said decisively.  “My fans wouldn’t dare to grab something out of my hands, and I’m stronger than you if I need to fight somebody off.”

            “You’re not stronger than I am.”

            “Don’t joke, maknae, this is serious.  Now we have to figure out what to take to Up10tion’s dorm.  I don’t know what Jinhoo would like.”  He looked baffled for a moment, like Jinhoo was a mystery.  Sehun couldn’t blame Suho for that; he felt the same way.  “Ya, how big is what we have to carry?  We have to fit it into the packaging.”

            “Just, maybe like this,” he said, gesturing.  “I can make it pretty small.”

            “Good.”  Suho patted his knee.  “I’ll arrange it.”

            Wow.  “Thanks, hyung.”  He smiled, admiring Suho.  “You’re pretty great.”

            “Don’t bother flirting, it’s Chanyeol’s night,” he said, picking up his script again.

            Second, Sehun talked to Jinhoo.  He grabbed a minute in the van between schedules.  After they got through the polite “how are you” and “have you eaten” part of the conversation, he said, “I have a favor to ask you.”

            “A favor from me?” Jinhoo asked.

            “Yeah.  It’s important to me.  I want to leave something at your place.  If you’ll let me, if it’s okay with you.  But it’s really private, so it would need to be kept somewhere really safe.  I wouldn’t want anyone to see it and be embarrassed by it or be confused about it.”

            “Something private,” Jinhoo repeated.

            “I wanted to ask Hwanhee to hold onto it for me.  Is there a safe spot in his room where he can keep something that no one else would bother?  Something that the other members wouldn’t get into?  Does he have privacy?”

            “You know what a crowded dorm is like,” Jinhoo said.  “No one has much privacy.  If I knew what it was, I’d have a better idea.”

            Sehun hesitated to reply.  He wasn’t about to say it over the phone.  He also wasn’t going to expose Hwanhee.

            “If it’s inside my dorm, I need to see it.  But if it’s going to stay inside my dorm, I can find a place for him to keep it.”

            “You can’t see it.  I’m sorry,” Sehun said.  “I don’t want to be disrespectful, but it’s private.  My privacy matters to me, and Hwanhee’s privacy matters to all of us.”

            There was silence, and for a second, Sehun thought that Jinhoo would agree with him.  Then Jinhoo said, again, “If it’s inside my dorm, I need to see it.”  And the conversation was over.



            Hwanhee spent Monday night bouncing around his dorm, excited and thankful and sticking his nose everywhere, trying to help.

            His members were cleaning!  It was a dorm event!  They were doing everything he’d been asking them to do, and more!  Kuhn was moving furniture and Sunyoul was sweeping floors and Wei was picking things off of the top of the refrigerator and asking, “What the hell is this?”  Hwanhee helped Wooshin to scrub the floor of the shower and helped Bitto to arrange videogames and helped to clean out the leaders’ closet.

            It was all so great, he couldn’t stop smiling.  When Kogyeol told Wei to stop spending so much time on top of the fridge and try cleaning the inside, Wei said, “Hwanhee already did everything.  It looks great in there, it’s not so scary anymore.”  Then he high-fived Hwanhee and said, “Thanks.”  In the bathroom, Wooshin said, “Didn’t this sink look way worse before?  This isn’t that bad, I can do this.  Did you already scrub this?” and Hwanhee said, “Yeah, the other night,” and Wooshin smiled at him very prettily and said, “That’s because you’re a good dongsaeng who makes his hyung’s life easier.”  A little bit later, Sunyoul asked, “Wait, is all of this clean?  When you were doing all of that laundry and washing everything, did you do my stuff, too?” and Hwanhee said, “Yeah, I tried to do all of it, it’s just that there’s so much, there’s at least twenty more socks and ten more pairs of underwear every day,” and Sunyoul’s eyes widened.  “I didn’t know you were washing our stuff, too!  Oh my god, you did everybody’s?”  Sunyoul patted at the piles of folded clothes, blinking in surprise.  “Gyujin-ah!  Ya!  Your laundry’s already done, it’s all in here!”

            “What?”  Gyujin walked into the laundry room, looking around.  “Hey, it’s done?”

            “I told you!” Hwanhee exclaimed.  “I told you that your clean clothes were all folded, I asked you if you’d put them away.”

            Gyujin shrugged helplessly.  “I didn’t know what you were talking about.”  He stared at the stacks of folded shirts.  “God, you did all of this?”  Then he put an arm around Hwanhee.  “You didn’t have to do that.  Thank you.”

            It was really nice to hear, and Hwanhee hugged him.  “You’re welcome.”

            “Yes, thank you,” Sunyoul said, gathering up his clean laundry.  “I can’t wait for these guys to start wearing clean clothes, this is going to be so great.  Oh my god, I forgot I had this shirt.”  He smiled at Hwanhee, bright and happy.  “I didn’t know anybody could do this much laundry!  Don’t we all have the same number of hours in a day?  All I’ve been doing is coming home and crashing.  If Jinhoo hyung makes that chore chart he keeps talking about, I think you should be off of laundry duty for a year.”

            “Totally,” Gyujin agreed.

            With a winning smile and an armload of shirts, Sunyoul headed out the door.  “So we’ll make Gyujin do it.”

            Gyujin’s mouth opened.  He reached futilely after Sunyoul, pointing.  “I…  Ah…”



            Sehun texted Hwanhee again.  How’s it going?

            Hwanhee texted back immediately.  My members won’t leave!  Why won’t they leave?  They keep changing clothes and doing their hair and saying “five minutes!”  It doesn’t take this long to get ready for a showcase!

            Grinning, Sehun texted him back.  It’s okay.  I know all about it, my members treat me that way, too.

            Hwanhee sent him a string of laughing emojis.  You’re a maknae!

            He rolled his eyes.  Not to you.

            Finished getting dressed, he talked Kai and D.O. into giving him a minute alone.  With the door locked, he took his gift out of the box under his bed.  He rolled it up and tucked it inside a white plastic bag, then tucked that inside a black plastic bag, then put that inside a paper bag.  No one could tell from the outside what it was.

            Holding onto it, he went to Suho’s room.  “Can we go?”

            “Yes, one second,” Suho said, zipping up.  He gestured to the bag on his bed.  “That’s Jinhoo’s gift, what do you think?”

            He thought that the black shopping bag from a luxury store was the perfect thing to put his gift in without drawing too much attention.  “I’ll carry it.”

            “I already said that I’d carry it, we’re not fighting about this.  I’m asking you about the gift, maknae, do you think he’ll like it?”

            He didn’t really care about the gift.  He knew that he should, though.  He had to curry favor with Jinhoo however he could.  He peered into the bag.  “Cologne?” he asked, picking up the box inside.

            “Changjo said that he’d want it.”

            “Are you sure that Changjo doesn’t want it?”  He opened the box.  Sprayed the cologne, sniffed it.  Hunh.  “Can I have this?”

            “No, you can’t have it,” Suho said impatiently, taking it from him.  Suho put the cologne in the box and the box in the bag.  “I don’t know about it, but Changjo said that he’d like it, and I don’t have any other ideas.”  Suho held out a hand.

            He looked at Suho’s hand, then reached around Suho and put his gift into the bag himself.

            Suho watched him, then gave him a solemn look.  “I’m sorry, maknae.  I have to know what it is.”

            No, he didn’t.  “It’s private.”

            “I know, and I’ve respected your privacy as much as I’ve been able to.  I respect your privacy, and I respect you, and if you don’t know that about me by now, then you don’t understand me at all.  But if you’re going to take this out of our dorm, and across town, and into another idol’s dorm, and I can’t see it?  Then you shouldn’t have it at all.  I won’t let you put yourself in jeopardy.  I won’t let you risk another team, either.”  Suho held his gaze, speaking quietly but firmly.  “You have to show it to me, Sehun-ah, or you have to get rid of it.  I know that you wouldn’t bring anything into this dorm that you couldn’t explain, so if you have it, then it has to be something that I can see.”

            Sputtering and cursing, Sehun couldn’t believe that Suho was doing this to him.  “You won’t even understand what you’re looking at!”

            “Then if I’m confused, you can explain it to me.”

            He clenched his jaw.  “It’s for Hwanhee.”

            Suho nodded respectfully.  “That’s fine.  It’s probably very nice for him that you,” Suho looked doubtful but plowed forward bravely, “give him things.  He’s a special dongsaeng to you, now, and you want to protect him.  I know how protective you are, and I’ve been proud of you for that.  It’s good that you want to shield someone who means so much to you.  But I’m your leader.  And I have to protect you and EXO.  What’s in that bag, maknae?”

            Sehun dropped his eyes from Suho’s patient, unyielding gaze.  He didn’t know what to do.  He could argue and complain and act petulant, but Suho wasn’t going to waver.  So his only choices were to show it to Suho or to get rid of it altogether.

            Showing it to Suho meant exposing something private to Suho.  He didn’t mind that for himself, at all.  If it were only his own reputation at stake, he’d wave the gift all around the dorm.  He’d want his members’ attention on it.  He’d titillate Lay and flirt with Xiumin and intimidate Chanyeol.  He’d dangle it in Baekhyun’s face.  Kai wouldn’t care and D.O. would only care for two minutes and Chen, god, he’d love to show it to Chen.

            But this wasn’t about him.  It was about his pet.  He’d never expose Hwanhee.  Suho was the one who’d started this “a dom’s responsibility is real” shit, so how could Suho look him in the eye and demand that he share something so intimate about his pet’s sexuality?

            Because a leader’s responsibility was real.  God, fucking…  Groaning, Sehun dragged his hand through his hair.  This chain of command bullshit was seriously grating on his nerves.

            But he loved Suho.  And he trusted Suho.  If he unwrapped the gift, Suho wouldn’t tell anyone about it.  Suho wouldn’t tease Hwanhee or make insinuations or gossip behind their backs.  Suho was the king of privacy.

            That little conversation he’d had with Hwanhee about leaders and owners - - that conversation that he wished they’d never had - - had stuck with him.  In a sense, a very general and metaphoric sense, Suho was his owner.  Responsible, protective, nurturing, punishing, making decisions for him whether he liked them or not.

            He could trust Suho.  Even with his pet.

            “This is private,” he said, stepping away to lock the door.  Both of them already knew that, he didn’t need to say it, but he had the urge to reinforce it, anyway.  He reached into the shopping bag and pulled out his gift.

            “I understand,” Suho said seriously.

            He unwrapped the plastic bags and held out a black leather harness.

            “I don’t understand,” Suho said.  He squinted at it.  “You’re giving him stage clothes?”

            Oh, god.  He laughed.  This hyung was adorable.  “No, it’s not stage clothes.”

            Suho frowned at him.  “Then what…  Oh!”  Suho hopped back suddenly, turning bright red.  “Maknae!”  Darting forward, Suho grabbed his wrist, shoving it down and staring around like someone might have snuck into the room to take photos.  “Where did you get that?”

            “From a pet supply store.”

            “A what?”  Suho looked baffled, then pulled away from him, staring down at it.  “Oh Sehun!”  Suho looked indignant.  “Is that for animals?!”

            “It’s a dog harness.”

            “What are you thinking?” Suho demanded.  “You can’t give him that!  You have to get a real one.  He won’t be comfortable in that, is it even the right size?”

            Sitting on the side of the bed, he stared at Suho in wonder.  He loved this hyung.  “You want me to get him proper fetish gear?”

            “Is that what it’s called?” Suho asked.  “The harnesses and things,” he gestured around his own torso, “people wear them, I think they have them for women and men.  They sell them with gags and whips or - - now, I don’t think that you should get a whip.”  He shook his head.  “That doesn’t seem safe, you could really hurt somebody with that.  I don’t even know how we’d explain that, if he had to see a doctor.  And you couldn’t explain why you had a whip in the first place.  The housekeeper comes in and takes photos and the next thing you know, you’re all over the news.  But this, it looks like stage clothes, doesn’t it?  I think that I’ve worn one like that.”

            “You aren’t upset,” Sehun told him, in case he wanted to change his mind.

            “Well, no, I don’t want to be judgmental,” Suho said.  His hands on his hips, he studied the harness doubtfully.  “But a dog harness!  He’s not a dog, he’s a man, he should have the proper outfit, equipment, what do you call it.  Gear.  But where, how do you - - we can’t just walk into a BDSM store, that’s ridiculous.”

            “That’s why I got it at the pet store.  It should fit, he’s not really that big, anyway.”

            Suho smiled at him.  “He’s a cute little thing, isn’t he?”  Like Suho had any room to talk.  But he smiled back.  Suho’s opinion of his pet meant a lot to him.  “I guess we can’t get a real harness, can we?  It seems like such a shame.  I wonder what Key does.”  Looking at the harness again, Suho shook his head.  “We can’t ask.  Or, we can ask, but he’d never tell me.”

            “Can I give it to Hwanhee, or are you going to make me throw it away?”

            “It’s a little…”  Suho blushed again.  “Well, if you want to give it to him, I think that it’ll be all right.  You have two cover stories, you can say it’s a new kind of stage gear or you can say that it’s a dog gift.  Just don’t mix your stories up.  It would help if Up10tion had a dog,” he mused.  “A big dog,” he added, eyeing it.

            Sehun had been right to trust him.  He was being generous, and he wasn’t freaking out.  He was trying his damnedest to be supportive, even though he didn’t really understand.  His support was precious, and it was also unwavering.  He’d always looked out for Sehun, and even when he’d made decisions that Sehun vehemently disagreed with, he’d always done what he thought was best.  He’d always put Sehun first.  Even when it meant risking his own reputation, his own career.  “Thank you, hyung.”  Pulling him close, Sehun hugged him.

            Standing between Sehun’s knees, he hugged back.  “I didn’t know that we’d end up like this when I met you,” Suho mused.

            “No?” he asked.  “You couldn’t tell?”

            “No.  But it’s all right.  You deserve your own private life.  Did you really just buy it from a pet store?  I hope that it fits.  Could you return it?” he asked, pulling away.  “If you kept the receipt, you could return it.  We might be able to find one in storage, over at the company building, the stylists might have one.  I wouldn’t want to steal it, but we could buy it from them.  Some of those are so flimsy, though.  This one seems sturdier, that’s good.  It must be for a really strong dog.  Some of those big dogs, have you seen them, they’re really powerful, you wouldn’t want something that’s going to snap.”  He reached for it.

            Then he froze with his fingers in mid-air.  Touching it, apparently, was going too far.

            Watching him trying not to panic, Sehun took pity on him.  Turning aside, Sehun started bagging it back up.

            Clearing his throat, he paced away.

            Sehun put it back in the gift bag and gave him a minute.

            Rubbing his hands on his thighs, he turned back around.  “We should go, don’t want to be late,” he mumbled quickly.  He picked up the gift bag without looking in it.

            He had his hand on the doorknob, and Sehun was right behind him, when he stopped moving.  Like it was just then dawning on him, he turned around, gazing up at Sehun.  “It’s for a dog,” he said, and Sehun could see him having the revelation, could see him putting the pieces together.  “Is that part of it?  Is that why you-”  And then he blinked, and Sehun could see the overload happen, could see his brain glitch.  He was stuck on that for a second, staring into space.  And then he said, “I don’t want to know that,” and he left the room, and he never brought it up again.



            As the other members streamed out of the dorm, Jinhoo hugged Kuhn.  “Bye, babe.”

            Kuhn kissed his cheek.  “If you want me to stay-”

            “We’ll be fine.”  Jinhoo handed him a credit card.  “Don’t eat anywhere expensive.  I’ll call you when Hwanhee’s finished.”  Jinhoo smiled at him.  “If things run long, you can always go to the practice room and-”

            “Night off,” Kuhn said emphatically, taking the card from him, snatching it quickly like he might try to take it back.  “We have a night.  Off.  Practice is off-limits.”

            “All right.”  He gave Kuhn a knowing, skeptical once-over.  “If you think that you can afford to skip a night.”

            Kuhn stepped forward, flexing on him.  “I can skip a whole twenty-four hours.  I know my moves.”

            Laughing, he pushed Kuhn away.  Grinning, Kuhn kissed him, then backed up.  “See you!” Kuhn called, waving to Hwanhee.  “Have fun!  Or - - is it fun?  Have fun!”

            “Bye,” Hwanhee called.

            Kuhn herded Sunyoul out, then closed the door.

            Jinhoo checked the time, then turned to Hwanhee and Wooshin.  “I guess now we wait.”



            Sehun was impatient.

            He wanted to be there already.  He wanted to have his pet under him, vulnerable and grateful to be there.  He wouldn’t have to go through all of this just to get time alone with his pet if people would fucking respect him more.  If everyone else recognized in him what his pet saw in him, he wouldn’t have these problems.  Arranging schedules and making phone calls and begging leaders and all of this bullshit, just to get his hands on what already belonged to him?

            “Public faces,” Suho murmured as the elevator doors opened.

            They got off on Up10tion’s floor.  Public faces.  That was one of those terms Suho had picked up from Sunggyu.  There were too many of those terms.  He didn’t like someone he hadn’t personally vetted and approved having so much influence over his Suho.  “You spend too much time with Kim Sunggyu,” he muttered under his breath.

            He glanced at Sehun over his shoulder.  “We’ll discuss the fact that you chose to say that to me later.”  Stopping in front of a door, he rang a bell.  “You might want to think about how you want that conversation to go.”

            Hwanhee opened the door.  His smile was wide, and then it was self-conscious, and then it broadened again.  “Hi!  Hello, hello, please, come in.”  He bowed to them as he backed up.  “Hello, welcome to our dorm!”

            “Thanks for inviting us!” Suho was saying.  Sehun paced forward, following Hwanhee in.  He wanted to stalk Hwanhee around the whole dorm, from room to room.  His eyes locked on Hwanhee, he ignored all of the other greetings, handing over his phone automatically.  His pet was starting to look flustered, blushing, shooting him thrilled, scandalized looks.  Something touched Sehun’s fingers; Suho was trying to push his gift into his hand.  He closed his hand around it, gripping it tightly.  He relished the shape of it, the feel of it, while he stared at his pet.

            Jinhoo was admiring the cologne.  Someone else was there, someone Sehun immediately dismissed.  He knew that it was Wooshin, but he didn’t give a fuck; he mentally categorized it as an anonymous one of Hwanhee’s members and stopped caring.  “Can you show me around the dorm?” he asked Hwanhee.

            “Is that what we talked about?”

            Hwanhee glanced at Jinhoo, then at Sehun, Sehun’s hand, Jinhoo again.  Only because his pet was responding to it did Sehun bother to tear his gaze away from his pet to look at Jinhoo.  “What?”

            Jinhoo smiled at him politely, gesturing to his hand.  “Is that what we talked about?”

            He wanted to say “no” and dare Jinhoo to confront him on it.  But then his brain reminded him of hoobae bowling.  He had to cooperate with the leader.  “Yes.”

            Hwanhee looked intensely interested.

            “Would you excuse us for a moment?” Jinhoo asked Suho.  “Let’s talk about it in my room,” he told Sehun.  Then, to Hwanhee, with a considerate touch, “You can wait in your room, if you want.”

            Jinhoo’s light touch to Hwanhee’s arm felt like a direct challenge.

            It especially grated on him because he couldn’t touch Hwanhee right now.  He was very careful about how he treated his pet in front of other people’s eyes.  Not only in public, but in front of their own members.  He wanted everyone to know, and he especially wanted his pet to know, how respectful he was of his pet’s independence and sense of self.  No matter how much he might want to lay a claiming hand on his pet, he made an effort to be polite and restrained, to be sensitive and courteous.  He didn’t want to give people the wrong idea in public, didn’t want their members to see him treating his pet lightly and expose his pet to dismissive taunting, and never wanted to send his pet the wrong message.  It had been easier, before, because he’d been dealing with a sunbae and hyung.  He was still working out his public balance with Hwanhee, figuring out how to interact with a dongsaeng.  The casual way he’d treat another dongsaeng might come across badly in the context of their private relationship.  And all of that was on his mind because he gave a fuck, because he was a good owner, because he knew what the hell he was doing, and he didn’t need some random guy who knew nothing about him to decide that he wasn’t good enough.  How did this piece of shit get to be the sole arbiter of Sehun’s right to own a pet just because TOP Media had slapped the label “leader” on him?

            “It’s a gift for Hwanhee,” he said.  “I’ll show it to him, first.”

            “Do you want something to drink?” Wooshin asked Suho, taking a step back, drifting away from the rest of them.

            “Yes,” Suho said, like it was a terrific idea.

            As the two of them went to the kitchen, Jinhoo said, “I’ll go and play host for a minute, if you want to show Hwanhee his gift.”

            Sehun told himself not to contradict a leader’s authority.  He didn’t want to make Hwanhee choose between them, didn’t want to push Hwanhee to go against whatever Jinhoo said.  But, fuck it.  “I’m not giving this to you in the middle of the dorm,” he told Hwanhee as soon as Jinhoo was gone.

            “It’s okay,” Hwanhee said, already moving closer in front of him.  “I didn’t think that you were going to bring me anything!  Is it,” Hwanhee’s gaze flickered from his face to his hand and back, fascinated, “is it sexy?  Is it…”  Hwanhee glanced towards the kitchen, then lowered his voice to a whisper.  “Will it help me serve you better?  I was looking up servants’ uniforms.  I thought I should get one like they wore in the Joseon Era, something old-fashioned, but that’s not really sexy.  I could get something people wear around now, like what they wear at hotels.  Or should I get a maid’s costume, would that look funny?  Would you like that?”

            “I would love that,” Sehun said honestly.  He knew that he had to be careful about the behavior he encouraged.  His words carried a lot of weight with his pet; if he made an offhand comment about finding something a turn-on, his pet might run with the idea whether he intended it or not.  But, damn, the idea of Hwanhee in a maid’s outfit really did it for him.  Part of his mind leapt ahead, plotting for how to arrange it, while the rest of him just stared at Hwanhee in erotic contemplation.  God, that would be an intense night.  Especially with this particular pet, fuck.  Hwanhee was such a cheerful, grateful, devoted servant, some maid cosplay would be perfect.

            “Maid costume,” Hwanhee said.  He patted his pockets.  “Oh, I need my phone.  Jinhoo hyung said that we had to - - here it is.”  He went over to the table by the door.

            “What are you doing?” Sehun asked.  He was so enthusiastic, he might intend to buy it on-line right that second.

            “My list,” he explained, thumbing the screen.  “I have lists of things to do for you.  There’s a list of what to buy, and things I can do for you, and things we can try.”  He went back to whispering.  “Positions and stuff.”  When Sehun moved towards him, he scurried away, out of reach.  “No!  You can’t look, some of it’s a surprise.”

            “Dongsaeng-ah.”  He was so adorable and so earnest, the last thing Sehun wanted was to discourage him.  His trust, his innocence, were inspiring.  But, god, “You can’t keep lists like that in your phone.”

            “Why not?  No, it’s okay,” he said reassuringly.  “They aren’t bad.  Most of it’s code and key words.  Maybe it would be okay if you saw it, you might not even understand it.  Xiao didn’t.”

            “Xiao’s seen it?”

            He nodded.  “I was asking for help.  There’s a lot of stuff that servants do for princes that I can’t do for you, so I’ve been asking my members for ideas.  Wooshin had a lot of good ones.”

            There were a lot of aspects to their relationship that Hwanhee treated as if they were normal.  Not universal, but normal for him.  He was brave, and he was resilient, and he didn’t like to feel embarrassed, so he tried to turn his embarrassment into other things.  He couldn’t be embarrassed about something if he accepted it, so whenever he was able, he faced whatever bothered him, confronted it, processed it, embraced it.  He was kinky, he wanted a prince, he wanted to be a servant, and he’d rather claim that as a genuine part of himself and treat it as another fact of his life than hide it away in shame.

            Curious, Sehun asked, “Why are you whispering?”

            “Suho sunbae’s in the kitchen!”  He blushed at that.  “Besides, this is supposed to be private, right?  We aren’t supposed to talk about checkers or princes in front of anybody.”

            “Would you be upset if your members knew?”

            “About what?  They already know all about me.”  Then he cringed, looking worriedly across the dorm.  “I don’t want them to know everything.  About the,” he put a protective hand to his mouth and whispered, “dog bowl,” and then flinched.  “That, no, no, that has to be a secret.  That’s too weird, I know that’s weird, you can’t pretend that’s not weird.”  He grabbed Sehun’s arm, blushing an ashamed red, his eyes lighting up.  “Is that what you brought me?  Is that my gift?  Is it about that, is it something I can use to prove myself?”  His eyes shining, he moved close to Sehun, his upturned face radiant, his voice a hopeful whisper.  “Can I humiliate myself for you?”

            Sehun’s hormones overwhelmed him for a second.  He grunted, the demanding throb of his cock almost making him double over.  “Fuck,” he breathed, rubbing his face, trying to stay in control of himself.  “Yes,” he told Hwanhee.  “Yes, you can do that tonight.”  He sat on the edge of the couch, needing to take a moment.  Sometimes his pet seemed too innocent, painfully vulnerable, and sometimes he suspected that his pet was way ahead of him.

            Hwanhee sat at his feet.

            “Up here,” he said, exasperated.

            “I can touch you when we’re not playing checkers,” Hwanhee reminded him, and climbed right on top of him.

            He told himself to create distance, to reinforce boundaries, but he was already pulling Hwanhee closer.  With Hwanhee seated on his thigh, he put his arm around his pet.  Quietly, his voice pitched only for his pet’s ears, he said, “It’s a dog harness,” and put the gift in his pet’s hands.

            “Dog,” Hwanhee started to say, but he couldn’t finish it.  Looking ashamed, conflicted, he squeezed the gift in both hands.  “For a dog,” he whispered.  He clutched it to his chest, anxiety flickering on his face.  “You want me to wear it.  It’s for a dog and you want me to put it on.”

            Sehun nodded, unflinching.  “Yes.”

            He was stroking it, feeling over it with both hands.  He looked agitated, embarrassed, unsure.  “Can we do it in my room?  I don’t want Suho sunbae to see.  I think I’d die.”

            The ways his pet misunderstood him spoke volumes.  “We’d only do it in private, I’d never want to embarrass you in front of anyone.”  His arm tightened around his pet’s waist.  “I asked your leader if I could bring you a present, but I didn’t tell him what it was.  He wants to see it, in case it’s not something that he wants in the dorm.  If he doesn’t want it here, that’s fine,” Sehun explained, when Hwanhee started to frown.  “I’ll keep it at my dorm, we don’t have to get rid of it, we can still use it, just at my place.  But if you want to keep it here, he has to see it first.  I don’t want to make that decision for you, I want you to decide what you’re comfortable with.”

            Hwanhee hesitated, laughing self-consciously.  “He doesn’t have to see it on me.”

            “No,” Sehun said.  “Hell, no.”

            “What does it look like?” Hwanhee asked, starting to open the paper bag.  Then he quickly rolled it back up.  “No, no.  I want to see it in private, when I put it on.  Can you show it to Jinhoo hyung without me?  I want to see it for the first time while we’re playing checkers, so it’s all,” his eyes narrowed fractionally like he was trying to remember something, “inside the scene.”

            Sehun wanted to kiss him.  Cupping a hand over the side of his neck, Sehun held him close for a minute, breathing in his shampoo.  He was a goddamned treasure.  “Yeah,” Sehun said quietly, stroking his soft skin.  “Yeah.  Go to your room, wait for me there.  I’ll show Jinhoo in private.”

            Jinhoo’s room was very neat.  There was no sign of the infamous sole bottle of lube that was kept in the leaders’ room.  Oh, shit.  Lube.  How the hell had Sehun forgotten about lube?

            First things first.  Sehun handed Jinhoo the bag.  It was a bullshit thing to do, to confront him with it without explanation of what he was about to see.  But Sehun had patience only for Hwanhee tonight, and no one else.

            He unwrapped it calmly, layer by layer.  He looked no more or less interested in the harness itself than in the paper bag.  Holding it up, he studied it with mild detachment.  “Where did you get it?”

            Sehun hated to tell him this, absolutely hated it.  “I bought it online from a pet supply store.”

            “Pet supply.”

            Fuck him.  “I’m in fucking EXO, I can’t walk into a leather store and buy fetish gear.”

            “But you can store it in my dorm.”

            “It’s a harness, not a two-foot butt plug,” Sehun snapped.  “It doesn’t even have to be a dog harness.  He can say it’s stage clothes and hang it in the back of his closet, who’s going to know?”

            “You’ve thought this out.”

            “For Hwanhee’s sake, yeah, I have.”

            “Good.”  Jinhoo handed it back to him.

            What did that mean?  His anger faltering, Sehun felt unbalanced, now.  “Can I give it to him?”

            Jinhoo nodded like it had already been decided and he didn’t understand why Sehun was still discussing it.  “Yes.”

            Now Sehun had no idea how to act.  “I don’t want anyone mocking him for it.”

            Sehun had more to say about that, but Jinhoo met his eyes and said, “I don’t, either,” and the rest of his insistent tirade evaporated.

            Okay.  Uh.  “The, uh, lube.”

            Jinhoo looked perplexed, and Sehun thought that might have been a genuine emotion.  Then he said, “Oh, it’s in his room.  He wanted to get everything ready for you.”

            “Thanks.”  Sehun knew that he was pushing his luck, but he had to stand up for his pet.  “He needs his own lube.  Not just for me, for himself.”

            Jinhoo looked resistant, for a second, and then he said, “I’ve been thinking about it.”

            They’d made so much unexpected progress in the last couple of minutes, Sehun decided not to push his luck.  “Thanks,” he said again, and he went to see his pet.



            Hwanhee darted around his room, adjusting everything.  He’d already put everything exactly where he wanted it, but he’d been obsessively admiring it all and making minute adjustments all night.  His prince was too important, and this was the first royal visit.

            The room was clean, thank god.  His bed was made.  He’d only thought of buying new sheets at the last second, and he was pissed at himself for that, but clean sheets would be okay, he hoped.  He’d swept up the floor really, really well, because he might have to spend a lot of time down there, and Sehun liked to make him lick the floor.

            He had music playing, some dance tracks that Bitto had found for him, just beats without words like Sehun played.  He had the lube right by the bed.  And tissues and wet wipes, and the trash can was empty.  He had blue polka-dotted panties on under his jeans.  There were some white handkerchiefs and a blue necktie on top of his dresser, the closest thing he had to what Sehun had bound his wrists with.  There were two dishes on the top of his dresser, too, clean bowls.  Not dog bowls, not the real thing, but he could pretend, if Sehun wanted him to.  He had lotion, in case Sehun wanted a massage.  He had bottled water and juice.  He had some snacks set out.  He’d tried to recreate the way he’d seen hotels do it, with the stuff he’d been able to find at the convenience store down the street.

            Now all he needed was his prince.

            He wondered if he should wait for his prince on his knees, with his hands behind his back.  Would it be too much if he waited naked with his ass pointed at the door, holding himself open?  Just in case Sehun wanted to walk in and use him right away?  No, no, that seemed like going too far.  Probably.

            It was kind of hard to tell.

            He walked around the room again.  He refolded the tie on top of his dresser.  Then his fingers drifted down the front of his dresser.  He tapped at the drawer pulls, silently arguing with himself.  Squeezing his eyes shut, he gave himself a quick, “Fighting!” and then he opened the top drawer.

            His silver bracelets were in there.  He took them out and put them on.  Sehun liked them; Sehun thought that they looked pretty.  They weren’t real handcuffs, just pretend.  See, he could move his hands just fine!

            He sat on the edge of his bed.  Putting his hands behind himself, he swung his feet.  He tried not to think too much about the dog harness.  Once the scene started, yes, once they were playing badminton, absolutely, but now?  Just alone in a room on his own?  He wasn’t ready for the way it made him feel.  He wanted to do it for real, first, dive into it.  He wanted to experience it as something that his prince did to him.  Kinky shit was a lot easier to take when it started with Sehun.  If he wanted to wear a dog harness just to wear it around, that was freaky.  If Sehun put it on him, then he was just doing something for his prince; of course he’d do anything for his prince.

            Sehun walked in and he jumped up, ready to start.

            Sehun closed the door.  Groped at the knob and looked down at it, frowning.  “God damn it,” Sehun said.  “These doors don’t lock?”

            He shook his head.  “Sorry.”  That wasn’t a deal-breaker, was it?  Oh, god, it probably was.  “I’m sorry, we aren’t allowed to have locks, nobody is, the 100% hyungs and Teen Top don’t, either.  Jinhoo hyung won’t come in here, I swear, they won’t walk in on us.  And if they do, I’ll look way worse than you, right?”

            Sehun glared around the room.  Not at him, personally, just at his stuff.  Wincing, he wondered how to make this okay.  “I’m sorry,” he said again.

            “It’s not your fault.  Is this your side of the room?”

            “Yes.”

            Sehun picked up Xiao’s whole nightstand and put it in front of the door.  Then he looked around again and gestured.  “Give me that tie.”  Quick to fetch and serve, Hwanhee handed over the blue necktie from on top of the dresser.

            Sehun took the tie with one hand and grasped Hwanhee’s fingers with the other.  “You put your bracelets on.”

            “For you.”

            He squeezed Hwanhee’s fingers.  “Pretty.”

            When Sehun let go, Hwanhee curled his hand against his chest, smiling.  He might have to like these bracelets again, after all.

            Sehun tied one end around the doorknob and the other around the drawer handle, anchoring the doorknob.  “That’ll slow them down.”

            Hwanhee was glad that he’d had that tie right at hand.  His preparation had paid off!  “Sorry.  Maybe I can get some kind of lock for next time?  Just for when you visit.  Nobody gets to disturb a prince’s privacy, right?”

            “It’s all right.”  Sehun cupped his face in both hands.  “I’d never let anyone think that you look worse than I do.  If anything ever happens, if anyone ever sees us together, I’ll do everything I can to protect you.”

            He loved this kind of skinship, when Sehun got right in his face.  “Okay, but, no one’s going to walk in on us, right?”

            “No, I wouldn’t play checkers with you if we weren’t safe.  I just want you to know that I’ll shield you, if you need it.”

            It was amazing that he would say that, that he would offer to sacrifice his own reputation - - EXO’s reputation! - - for him.  He didn’t think that he could let that happen, but it meant a lot to him that Sehun would even say it.

            Sehun’s thumbs stroked over Hwanhee’s cheeks, and then he said, “Badminton.”

            He was supposed to go down on his knees now; that was the signal.  He dipped a little, but he couldn’t go anywhere when Sehun was holding his face.  He whined, not sure what to do now.  He wanted to prove that he remembered Sehun’s instructions; he’d really been looking forward to it!  But Sehun was still touching his face, holding onto him.

            “So fucking delicious,” Sehun whispered, and bit his cheek.  It was slow, really deliberate.  Sehun’s teeth scraped over his cheekbone, and he moaned, shuddering.  He needed to touch himself.  Sehun licked across his face, tongue slithering over his nose, and gnawed on his other cheekbone instead.

            “Oh, oouhh-hh, oh.”  Groaning, he started undoing his fly.  Too late, he remembered to thrust his ass out, and he arched his back.

            “I’ve been looking forward to seeing you again.”  Sehun spat on his cheek, then rubbed it in, thumb pressing in hard circles, dragging down the side of his face.  “My hot little pet.”

            “Prince Sehun,” he breathed, already so, so grateful.  He let his pants drop to the floor.  “How can I serve you?”

            Sehun’s gaze raked over him like fire, and then Sehun cursed.  Biting his jaw, Sehun grabbed his ass in both hands.  Pulled suddenly against Sehun’s body, he groaned at the contact.  He could feel Sehun’s jeans against his thighs, could feel the bulge of Sehun’s hard-on.  Grinding himself against Sehun’s arousal, he patted at the air.  He really wanted to touch Sehun, to hold on, but he couldn’t tell if he had permission or not, so his hands fluttered near Sehun’s shoulders, clutching at nothing.  Sehun’s hands were clutching at him, kneading his ass and wedging his panties up the crack of his ass.  “I want to touch you, please, may I have permission?”

            Sehun smirked at him.  Squeezing his ass in one hand, Sehun rubbed a thumb over his mouth, pushing his lips against his teeth.  “No.  I like your cute, slutty mouth, Hwan-ah.  Every time I look at your face, I want to see you with a cock in your mouth.  Jizz dripping off of those puffy, slutty lips.  Anything in your mouth, anything dripping on those lips, I don’t even care what it is.  I want to see you sucking on my fingers, I want to see you blowing a water bottle, I want to smear food on your face.”

            Hwanhee was fully erect now and loving it, groaning and grinding against Sehun’s hard cock.  The way Sehun was plucking at his lower lip, pulling and squeezing, made it hard to talk.  “I will,” he said, “you can.  Anything for my prince.”

            Sehun smacked a startled yelp right out of him.  “On your knees.”

            Gasping, he scrambled downward, not wanting to get caught moving too slowly again.  “Yes, hyungnim.”  On his knees, wrists behind his back, back arched, ass out.  He’d practiced it all week, he knew just how to do it.  Hopeful, he looked up, wanting to see if Sehun approved.

            Sehun was walking away.

            Wondering where Sehun was going, he watched.

            Sehun strolled past his bed, prodding at his mattress.  Picked up the lube the way Gyujin did, weighing it to see how much was in there; set it back down.  If Sehun was interested in the lube, then Sehun might be interested in screwing him.

            Sehun picked up a bottle of juice next.  He had a sexy, careless way of handling Hwanhee’s things that showed how much power he was used to having, showed how cool he was.  “Is this for me?”

            “Yes, hyungnim.  Everything’s for you.”

            Sehun poked at the snacks on the tray, literally tapping his fingers around on the food.  He broke a flavored cracker and ate half of it.  Opened a bottle of juice and drank some as he gazed around the room.  He ate a few grapes.  Then he strolled towards Hwanhee.  “Face up, mouth open.”

            For his cock?  Obedient, always ready to serve, Hwanhee tilted his head back and opened his mouth.

            He poured the orange juice on Hwanhee’s face.  Just a trickle at first.  He wasn’t even trying to get it in Hwanhee’s mouth; he kept pouring it on Hwanhee’s upper lip, on Hwanhee’s nose, making it run down.  It kept coming, sweet and acidic.  His smirk was so mocking, so overtly sexual, that it made Hwanhee flush with shame.

            There was orange juice all over Hwanhee, pouring down his chin, running down his neck.  His shirt was soaked; orange juice puddled on the floor.  He tried to hold it in his mouth, tried to capture it without swallowing.

            As the flow petered out to a trickle, Sehun rubbed the mouth of the bottle over Hwanhee’s lips.  “Not going to suck it?”

            He released the juice in his mouth, letting it dribble over his slack lower lip and down his chin.  Staring up at Sehun, he moaned, deliberately drooling juice, letting Sehun see more.

            “Oh, you’re good,” Sehun said, laughing.  “My first time here, I thought we’d go slowly, maybe take it easier today, let you get used to it.  You want to go for it?  All right.”

            Starting off by pouring juice all over him was taking it easy?  Anxiety skittered through Hwanhee, quick and alarmed; what had he just provoked?

            “Take your shirt off and clean up the floor with it,” Sehun instructed.

            He pulled his shirt off and-

            Sehun kicked his thigh, hard.

            He gasped, doubling over.  Clutching himself with one hand, he caught himself before he hit the floor, palm skidding in a pool of juice.

            “Not your face,” Sehun snapped, and kicked his arm.  “I said the floor.”

            “Sorry, I’m sorry, hyungnim, I’m sorry, I won’t, I won’t.  I’ll listen better, I’ll work harder.”  Refocusing, he worked diligently, wiping the floor dry.  There was a lot of juice, so he mopped up the last of it with the leg of his discarded jeans.  His face was wet and sticky, his chest damp, beads of juice still trickling down his neck.

            Maybe he’d taste good the next time Sehun bit him.  Loving that thought, he finished cleaning up happily.

            “Ready for your present?”  Sehun carelessly tossed a paper bag into the air, letting it drift down wherever it wanted.

            “Yes, yes, please, Prince Sehun, I’ll be grateful for anything you give me, I’ll be proud to wear it for you.”  He watched Sehun’s hands avidly, eager to see his new humiliation.  Tonight had been really mixed so far, some good moments mixed in with some real failures, and he was desperate to prove himself.  Sehun’s first visit mattered too much, he had to get this right.

             Sehun tossed a plastic bag into the air, and then another one, and then there it was.  The harness.

            It didn’t look complicated, there weren’t that many parts to it, but he had no idea how it went on.  It was black leather.  Thick black leather, not sleek and delicate but industrial looking, with heavy buckles.

            Coming towards him, Sehun said, “Arms up.”

            Obediently, he raised both arms overhead.

            Sehun walked around behind him.  His arms went through the straps.  He could smell the leather.  “Arms down.”

            The harness fit snugly over his chest.  It crossed over his pecs.  He could feel it tightening as Sehun buckled him in.  It fastened behind his shoulders and then lower down again beneath his shoulder blades.

            And there had to be a leather strip running between the two buckles, because he felt Sehun pull, right there.  Surprised, he swayed backward, arms flying up for balance.

            “Nice.  There’s an O ring back here,” Sehun explained.  “So I can attach a leash.  Take you for a walk.  Up and down the street, maybe.  Take you to a dog park, let you make some new friends.  Play a little fetch.”

            Moaning, he closed his eyes, picturing it.  “Fuck me in the grass,” he moaned.  “Give it to me doggy-style.”

            Sehun was stroking the leather.  Not him, the harness, fondling the straps.  Everywhere Sehun’s fingers happened to brush against his skin, he felt sparks of warmth, flickers of pleasure.  “You’re even sluttier tonight than usual,” Sehun said.  “That’s really fucking slutty, Hwan-ah.  What happened, too much cock this week or not enough?”

            Embarrassed, he admitted, “Not enough.  I’ve never had too much cock, I don’t think I could.”

            “You know what your problem is.”  Sehun plucked at the straps, tugging on them with swift jerks like he was seeing if they’d hold.  Hwanhee flexed, holding tense against them so Sehun wouldn’t yank him off of his knees.  “People don’t fuck dogs, Hwan-ah.”

            No.  He grimaced, resisting that.  “I’m not a dog.”

            Sehun’s fingers slid along the crack of his ass, stroking where his panties were wedged between his cheeks.  He whimpered, shifting on his knees, pushing his ass out farther.  “I don’t see a difference, Hwan-ah.”

            He felt conflicted about that.  He wasn’t a dog.  But he didn’t really mind if his prince saw him as one.  “You own me.  You can see me however you want, it’s okay.”

            Sehun laughed, plucking his underwear out from between his ass cheeks and smoothing it out.  It felt like Sehun was adjusting it just right, stroking the fabric against his skin.  He squirmed happily, grateful that his owner took care of him so well.  “You think it’s just me?  You think that other people don’t see a cum-puppy when they look at you?  You think no one else can see what a cock-starved freaky little slut you are?”

            Shame spiked, the heat of it scalding him.  Groaning, he shifted anxiously, scooting forward in his agitation, rocking.  Not knowing what to do, how to take it, he adopted the starting position, his hands behind his back.  “It’s for you,” he insisted.  “I’m that way for you, it’s not for anybody else.”

            “Oh, it’s just me?”  Sehun pulled on his harness, making him lean back.  Groaning, he struggled to balance himself, trying not to fall on his ass.  As his muscles locked, Sehun licked the back of his neck, tongue dragging over him, slow and slippery.  “It’s my fault that you’re such a freaky slut.”

            “No, it - - it’s me, I’m a freaky slut,” he confessed.  “But it’s not for them, it’s just for you.  I’m not everybody’s freaky slut, I’m your freaky slut.  You own me.”

            Sehun hissed at him, making him shiver, and he felt teeth in the back of his neck.  “Say it again.”

            “I’m your freaky slut,” he said.  “You own me.”  God, it felt so good to say.  “You own me.”  Sehun was hissing, “Say it, say it,” but he already was, he couldn’t stop saying it, it felt amazing.  “I’m your freaky slut, Prince Sehun, I’m your cock-starved cum-puppy, I’m yours, you own me, you own all of me.  Thank you for owning me, thank you for giving me permission to be a freaky cum dog for you, I’m so grateful.”

            “Good pet.”  Sehun’s hand was on his chin, tilting his head back.  Sehun moved against him, urging him back, and then Sehun was grinding against his ass.  “Good pet, good pet,” Sehun whispered, low and dirty.  Sehun’s hand drifted down the front of him, over the harness, fondling the straps, and he could feel the hardness of Sehun’s erection rocking against his ass.  He didn’t know why Sehun was still dressed, didn’t know why his prince wasn’t inside of him already, and he rotated his hips, writhing against it.

            The praise was intoxicating, rewarding him, making him feel fantastic about what he’d just said.  “Please fuck me, you can fuck me, you can use me however you want.”  Staring downward, he watched Sehun’s pale hand caress the black leather.  He was really wearing a dog harness.  It was on him, on his body.  It fit perfectly, the straps flush against him, snug around his torso.  He could feel that starting to worry him, and he quickly tried to soothe himself, to make it okay.  “I’m a good pet,” he reminded himself, “I’ll be a good pet.”

            “Such a sexy pet.”  Sehun’s fingers hooked in the O ring centered on his chest, thumb rubbing around the edge of it.  “You have a nice body, Hwan-ah.”

            Did he?  He hadn’t known that Sehun thought so, hadn’t been sure.  “Thank you, Prince Sehun.”  His prince’s compliments meant everything to him.  Watching Sehun’s hand fondle the straps on his chest, he looked at his body with a sense of contentment, of pleasure.  He was bucking with Sehun’s thrusts, rocked forward by the insistent pushing of Sehun’s hips, pulled backward by Sehun’s grip on the handle.  It was forceful, rhythmic, and the rigid bulge of Sehun’s cock driving against his ass was making him wild.  He wanted to feel Sehun inside of him, wanted to feel the intensity of penetration that came when Sehun fucked him.  “You can use me, I want you to use me, you can do anything you want to me.”  Sehun bit him, bit right over where the strap crossed his shoulder, and he cried out at the sharp stab of pain, his back arching, his head going back.  “Ahh, ah-ah!  Anything,” he panted, as Sehun’s teeth worried at his skin, digging in.  “You can do anything to me, I want you to, I can take it.”

            A sudden harsh yank to his handle - - god, he had a handle, that fucked with his head, he couldn’t deal with that - - snatched him backward, pulling him off of his knees, and then Sehun sent him flying forward.  “On your back.  Feet on the floor, hands on your head.”

            He rolled fast, sure that he was about to be kicked into position.  “I’ll do it, I’m doing it, right now,” he panted.  Feet on the floor, okay, his knees were up, hands on top of his head.  He laced his fingers, and, fuck, god, yes, yes, Sehun was crawling on top of him.

            Sehun was staring raptly at the harness, looking fascinated by it, attracted to it, fingers crawling over it.  It was so fucking creepy that Hwanhee’s heart knocked in his chest.  He wanted to lift his knees to his shoulders, wanted to offer himself, but he had to keep his feet where Sehun wanted them.  Frustrated by that, wanting to be fucked, he squirmed.  He had a real love-hate relationship with this harness, but if it made Sehun pay this much attention to him, it was about to be a pure love relationship.

            Sehun took off his T-shirt like it was just a distraction.  He smiled as he traced the horizontal strap running under Hwanhee’s pecs, and then his other hand pushed at Hwanhee’s thigh, an irritated slap.  “Wider.”

            Grunting, Hwanhee shimmied, planting his feet farther apart.

            Sehun’s hand closed over the front of the harness and pulled.  His chest drawn upward, Hwanhee gasped, letting Sehun control his body.  His back was forced into a deep arch, his weight on his shoulders, his torso on display.  His harness on display.

            Leaving him like that, Sehun caressed his harness, admiring it.  Sometimes Sehun’s touch was light, fluttering over the leather; sometimes it was rougher, groping it, testing it, the way Sehun yanked on it in front making it dig into his back.  Panting, making himself hold the pose, he felt like the frame around a great painting or the pedestal holding an ancient vase, just a functional object to showcase something of real value.

            But his prince had chosen him to be the picture frame, not someone else.  He would keep his back arched, he would hold any pose, he was proud to serve his prince.

            It was a dog harness, though, he was wearing a fucking dog harness, that was not okay.  Feeling agitated about it, getting anxious, he squeezed his fingers together, pressing down on the top of his head.  It was fine, this was great, every humiliating act of complete debasement was just another way to prove himself.  “Grateful, I’m grateful,” he whispered, and he felt better, felt the words soothe him, reminding him of his purpose.  “Thank you for giving me permission to wear this for you.”

            Not replying, not interested in him, Sehun tugged on the front of the harness.  Groaning, he let Sehun drag his chest upward, his body contorted.  “Thank you,” he panted, “thank you.”

            Past the line of his own chest, he watched Sehun move.

            Sehun was undoing his fly.  Pulling his cock out.  Oh, god, he was still fully erect.  “Yes,” Hwanhee said, “yes, please.  Thank you for letting me see it, thank you for showing it to me.  You’re so beautiful, Prince Sehun, you’re so handsome, thank you.”

            Masturbating, stroking that sexy cock, teasing the head, Sehun crouched over him.  He panted excitedly, whimpering, wishing that Sehun would let him have it.  Was Sehun going to fuck him now?  God, he loved watching Sehun’s balls swing, it was hypnotizing.

            “Yeah, uh, ah!”  With a grunt, Sehun came.  His cum splattered over Hwanhee’s chest, and he snarled a little, a soft, triumphant sound, baring his teeth.

            “You came on me.”  The warm rain of Sehun’s cum was a gift.  “You came on me,” he repeated, cherishing it.  He wished that he could experience it over and over again, the sight of Sehun’s erection looming over the rise of his arched torso, Sehun’s thumb flicking over the head, jets of cum spurting towards him.

            Sehun’s hand ran over his chest.  Moaning, he treasured the sensation of Sehun’s palm spreading slick cum over his skin.  “Thank you, hyungnim.  You’re so generous with me.”  Sehun stroked the harness, smearing cum over it.  “Thank you for letting me wear your jizz.”

            “You have pretty nipples,” Sehun said.

            A shock of pleasure went through him.  “Really?  Thank you!  Thank you, hyungnim.”  He was so flattered, he felt embarrassed.  He was amazed that Sehun had noticed that he had nipples at all, at the moment.  Sehun had seemed so absorbed by the harness, it was like Hwanhee had stopped existing, for a minute.

            Sehun pinched his side and got up.  “Relax.  You can move around, but don’t get up.  I like seeing you on the floor.”

            “Thank you, hyungnim.”  He relaxed his back, groaning, his relieved muscles aching.  Wincing, he rubbed his back.

            Sehun tucked himself away, pulling his jeans up over his skinny hips.  Shirtless, he walked away, going over to the snack tray again.  He was going back to it?  He liked it?

            Hwanhee rolled over and crawled over there.  He couldn’t touch Sehun, he didn’t have permission, his prince’s personal space was sacred.  But he hovered close, watching as Sehun’s long fingers selected a cracker.  He didn’t want to be a pest, but, “Do you like it?  I tried to find things that you might like.  If you tell me what you want to eat, I can get it for you.  I can get it for next time, or I can go out and get it now, the store’s still open, I can go and run right back.”

            “We could both go,” Sehun said.  He ate a whole cracker this time, not just a half.  “I could put you on your leash and walk you down the block.  What’s the store down the street like, do they let dogs in there?”

            “I’m only a dog for you,” Hwanhee said.  “Not for them.”

            “Oh, right.”  Sehun ate another cracker.  “What’d you call yourself?” he asked.  He wouldn’t look down, but that was okay.  “A freaky cum dog?”

            Hwanhee gave a start.  No, no, he couldn’t have called himself that!  A what, a freaky - - no!  A cum dog?  The words seemed to reverberate, echoing around in his mind, bouncing off the inside of his skull.

            Sehun picked up another cracker.  His hand reached towards Hwanhee.  And then he crushed the cracker in his hand, crumbling it an inch from the top of Hwanhee’s head.  When he opened his hand again, all of the crumbs fell down into Hwanhee’s hair.  Dusting his fingers off, he went back to the tray.

            It was such a weird thing to have done, Hwanhee just stared at him, speechless.  That wasn’t even sexual!  That was just rude!

            He ate a few grapes.

            Hwanhee dusted the crumbs out of his hair.  “I’m very grateful to you,” he said, but his heart wasn’t necessarily in it this time.

            Sehun snorted and kept eating grapes.

            This was kind of a weird relationship.  Definitely a weird relationship.  Incredibly weird to anyone on the outside looking in.  It was amazing, for Hwanhee.  Sehun was his fantasy come to life, a sexy, commanding prince who gave him the sensations he’d been chasing.  Being with Sehun was intense, and it was fulfilling.  It fulfilled his dreams.  Fulfilled his desires.  Fulfilled those deep, desperate needs he’d thought would always just ache miserably inside of him.  Playing badminton with Sehun left him satisfied.  Genuinely sated in a way he’d never experienced before.

            And Sehun…  Wondering, he asked, “Why do you like being an owner so much?”

            Sehun picked up a bottle of water.  “Because I can do anything I want to you, and you keep coming back for more.”  Finally looking down at Hwanhee, he gestured.  “Face up, mouth open.”

            Again?  Wait-

            Sehun twisted off the cap.  “Are you hesitating?”

            “No!”  Horrified, he quickly assumed the position.  Face up!  Mouth open!  He put his hands behind his back.  “I’m sorry, hyu-uhhh-”  He couldn’t talk with water pouring over his face, so he stopped trying.  Once he shut up, Sehun poured it slowly, watering him in a gentle trickle like he was a potted plant.  It splashed on his nose and ran all down.  But it was just water, he was used to water.  He decided that he liked it.  He chased the stream, making a game of it, trying to capture it in his mouth.  Sehun started moving the bottle on purpose, making him work harder, and he laughed, leaning this way and that, trying to get right under the flow.  Right at the end, he caught a bunch in his mouth, and when Sehun set the bottle down, he let it out, spilling it down his chin.  This was his favorite new trick, he loved this game.

            “You’re a clever little pet,” Sehun murmured, and he sounded so approving, Hwanhee blushed happily.  Sehun started rubbing the water on his face, smearing it around, and he closed his eyes, moaning.  He kept his mouth open, in case Sehun wanted to use it for anything, and he swayed gratefully as Sehun pushed his face this way and that.  “Get some cola next time, I want to see you all sweet and sticky.”

            “Yes, Prince Sehun,” he mumbled, basking in Sehun’s attention.  “I’ll be glad to, Prince Sehun, I’ll get anything you want.”

            “And milk,” Sehun said.  “I want to pour milk all fucking over you.”

            He shuddered, turned on by the lust in Sehun’s voice.  “Yes, hyungnim, thank you, hyungnim, I’ll buy it for you.”

            “Clean this up,” Sehun said, and went back to eating grapes.

            He wanted to stay there and let Sehun’s attention sink in, but he didn’t dare to hesitate to obey.  “Yes, hyungnim, I’ll do it right away,” he said, opening his eyes.  Wait, how?  His shirt was still wet from the orange juice, it wouldn’t absorb enough.  He grabbed his jeans and tried to mop up with them.  The water had puddled everywhere.  It was all over him, too, but he didn’t mind dripping.  Oh, god, his underpants were having a wet T-shirt contest.  The soaked front of his underwear was plastered to his hard-on, clinging to it.  Not that he’d thought that he could hide his arousal from Sehun, but it was embarrassing, the way the head of his cock was so clearly defined.  Blushing, he just focused on his task, on mopping up, on serving his prince.  “Grateful, I’m grateful to serve you,” he said, and he meant it wholeheartedly.  He was grateful to be the one serving his prince, the one his prince made use of, the one his prince strapped harnesses on, the one his prince crumbled crackers on.  “I can feed you grapes, if you want, or-”

            “You talk a lot,” Sehun said.

            He winced.  “I’m sorry, hyungnim, I-”

            “You make a lot of noise.”  Sehun crawled right onto Hwanhee’s bed, right on top, long and sexy and carelessly rumpling the sheets.  Stretching out on his stomach, he crossed his arms in front of him and looked at Hwanhee.  “Moan for me.”

            “Uhhhh,” he tried.  He shook off his self-consciousness and tried to remember how it had felt when Sehun had been grinding that hot cock against his ass.  “Ooo-ooh-hhh.”  The memory immediately turned him on, and his moan came out long and urgent, shuddering with pleasure.  “Oohh-hhh-hhh.”

            “Yeah,” Sehun said, grinning.  “Keep going.”

            He moaned again, and again.  It was easy to keep it up when there was so much inspiration right in front of him.  Just looking at Sehun’s cool smirk, remembering Sehun’s touch on his face, Sehun’s whisper in his ears, the times Sehun had been inside of him, he didn’t even have to try to keep moaning, it just happened, passion and pleasure welling up within him.

            “Ya,” Sehun said, cutting him off.  With a gasp, he closed his mouth, trying to trap the next moan inside.  “Whine for me.  That desperate sound you make when you want my cock.”

            At the first words, he wasn’t sure which sound Sehun meant.  But then he heard, “when you want my cock,” and he was already whining.  He did want Sehun’s cock, he needed it, and he whined insistently, crawling forward on his hands and knees.

            “Louder, Hwan-ah.”  Sehun propped his head on one hand.  “It doesn’t sound like you really want it.”

            But he did!  He’d never wanted anything more, how could Sehun ever doubt that?  He got louder, and louder, and then he was making all kinds of noise, staring pleadingly into Sehun’s face, pressed to the side of the bed, groaning, whimpering, clutching at the edge of the mattress.

            Sehun grinned and poked his forehead.  “Back up, Hwan-ah.”  He did, skittering back immediately.  Maybe if he demonstrated enough obedience, he’d get that cock after all.  “I like you on all fours,” Sehun mused, so he immediately dropped forward.  Hands and knees, back arched, ass up.  Ass always up, always on offer.  Just in case Sehun wanted to use it.  It was always possible, and he wanted to be ready for it.  “Moo for me.”

            “Moo?” he repeated.  What?  “Like a cow?”

            Sehun nodded, running his hand through his hair, looking bored now.  “Moo for me.”

            He didn’t know how, but he’d figure it out.  “Moooo,” he tried.  No, that wasn’t good enough.  “I can do it,” he promised.  He licked his lips and tried again.  “Mooooo.”  No, it had to start deeper, it had to sound rounder.  “Mmmoo-ooo-ooo.”  Oh, that was way more like it!  “Mmmooo, mmoo-ooo-ooo, mmmooooo!”  He mooed more loudly as he felt more sure of himself.  Princes asked for weird things sometimes, but a good servant was always eager to serve, always dedicated to getting it just right.  “Mmmooo!  Mmooooo!  Mmmoooo!”  Getting into it, getting enthusiastic, he mooed earnestly, making it resonate through the room.  Mmmooo-ooo-ooo-oo!

            “Fuck,” Sehun said.  Smiling, he shifted on the bed, putting a hand down and adjusting himself in his jeans.  Oh, his prince really liked it!  He was getting it right, after all.  “Bark for me, Hwan-ah.”

            Bark.  Bark like a dog.  For a second, he felt so deeply ashamed, he was disoriented.  But he couldn’t afford to hesitate, and he pulled himself together, forcing himself to keep up.  “Ruff,” he said, getting one quick bark out of the way so that Sehun would know that he was trying, would hear that he wasn’t going to refuse.  “Ruff,” he said again, buying himself time, but he knew that wasn’t good enough.  He swallowed, hearing the words “freaky cum dog” echoing around in his head again, seeing that big, black dog bowl.  He was wearing a dog harness and he was down on all fours and he was barking like a dog, what the fuck, what the fuck, what-

            But it was for his prince, his prince wanted it, he’d do anything for his prince.  If this was humiliating, then, good, every second of degradation was proof of his commitment to servitude.  He should be grateful for this opportunity.  His prince had asked him to bark like a dog, and this was his chance to prove that he could bark like the best dog there was.

            “Rrruff!  Rrruff!”  He barked at Sehun energetically.  “Rrruff!  Rrrruff!”  His barks deepened as he got more used to it.  “Woof!  Wwoooff!  Wwwoof!”  God, he was really doing it!  He wanted to try every kind of dog there was.  A little dog!  “Row!  Rrow!”  Barking like a puppy, he pounced forward, then pounced playfully to one side, then towards Sehun again.  “Rrow!  Rrow!”  He shook his ass, like he had a tail, and then he made short, inquisitive barks.  “Rruf?  Rruf?”  He crawled around in front of Sehun, parading around, pouncing back and forth, trying to get Sehun to play with him.  “Rrow!  Rrow!”  Growling happily, he lowered his chest to the floor, raising his ass, making a playful challenge.  Then, yipping excitedly, he leapt forward.  “Rrip!  Yip!  Yip!”  But he’d been told to bark!  “Rrruff!  Rruff!”  Glaring at Sehun, he pawed at the floor, shaking his ass.  “Rruff!  Rruff!”

            “God.”  Laughing breathlessly, Sehun sat up, undoing his fly.  “Keep going, pet, bark for me.”

            The more Sehun liked it, the more Hwanhee loved it.  Embracing his task, he barked all over the room, crawling on all fours.  He was a big, happy dog and a nervous, little dog and a guard dog barking out furious warnings.  He barked invitingly at Sehun and barked at the speakers to shut up and barked hopefully at the snack tray like he wanted a treat.  He had on his dog harness, he was all dressed up, he wanted Sehun to take him out!  He barked his way to the door and back and over again, hopeful and eager, trying to invite Sehun out for a walk.

            Sehun masturbated through the whole thing, fondling himself.  The longer his cock was out, and the harder it got, the more excited Hwanhee was.  Loving this opportunity to prove himself, Hwanhee barked loudly, focusing on being as realistic as possible, wanting to be the best barking dog anyone had ever heard.  When Sehun started undressing, he got so enthusiastic and flustered that he started mooing again, loud and urgent like a herd of cows had just wandered into the room.

            “Take your underwear off and lube yourself,” Sehun said.  Then he added, “And keep mooing.”

            He was so eager to prove himself and so eager to prepare his ass for Sehun, it was hard to focus on everything at once.  So he focused on his ass and let the mooing just happen, let those resonant, bellowing sounds just come out of him.  On his knees, fingering himself, mooing loud and long, he watched avidly as Sehun got off of the bed.  That long, lean body, those taut muscles, that jutting erection, he served the most handsome prince in the world.

            “On your feet, hands on the side of the bed,” Sehun said, pointing to the mattress.  “Arch your back and make whichever sounds you want.”

            “Yes, hyungnim!  Thank you, thank you, I’m doing it,” he said, getting into position.  Scrambling to his feet so suddenly made him dizzy, and he leaned over, bracing his hands on the bed.  Back arched!  Ass up!  “Thank you, hyungnim!”

            The first thrust of Sehun’s cock was quick and deep.  It was exactly what he’d wanted, exactly what his body had needed and his soul had been pining for.  He’d been mooing so insistently that as Sehun drove into him again, filling him up, he mooed again, enthusiastically.  Sehun cursed, grabbing his handle.  The quick jerk to his harness pulled on his shoulders, and he cried out ecstatically.  “Yes, yes, use me,” he moaned, loving it.  This was what he was for, his meaning, his purpose.  “Yes, thank you, yes.”

            Sehun’s hard thrusts hammered his ass, and Sehun’s grip on his handle kept him in place, bent over the bed.  He clutched at the mattress desperately, both to keep his balance and in a determined effort not to touch himself.  His cock was completely erect, throbbing urgently, bobbing uselessly around.  He couldn’t let it distract him, his focus was on his prince, on being the best vessel possible.

            He loved how steady Sehun’s thrusts were.  It made the way he was being fucked seem even more relentless, a merciless drilling he had no control over.  He moaned ecstatically, joy and pleasure racing through him, sparking and popping with every forceful thrust.  He only made human sounds, now, his need and his gratitude for this intense pounding coming out in familiar ways.  Sehun’s grip on his handle created a constant pulling sensation, like Sehun was trying to drag him up and back the whole time, but he kept his feet firmly planted, kept his back painfully arched, kept his death grip on the bed.  This was where Sehun had told him to be, so he would not move.

            “Face on the bed,” Sehun said, shoving him forward.  “Hold yourself open.”

            Grunting, he braced himself for impact at the last second and just let himself fall.  If Sehun wanted it, then he loved it, and he landed right on his face, resisting the urge to catch himself.  As soon as he was down, his hands flew back.  His fingers crawled over his ass, finding his slick, tender hole.  It felt sore, pain and pleasure making him shudder as he touched it.  Shoving his ass up into the air, he hooked his fingers inside himself, spreading his hole open.  Crying out at the exquisite pleasure of the stretch, he pulled it wider.

            “Fuck, fuck, Hwan-ah,” Sehun said, and then Sehun came on him.  Grateful, rejoicing in the hot splash, he cried out, howling blissfully into his bed.  The squirt of Sehun’s cum was all the reward he ever could have wanted.  “Fuck,” Sehun panted, and he moaned, savoring the sound of it.

            “So grateful to serve you,” he said.  Afraid that Sehun wouldn’t hear his sheet-muffled voice with the music playing, he shouted it.  “I’m so grateful!  Thank you for using me, thank you for giving me permission to wear your cum!”

            “God, god, okay.”  Sehun was moaning, laughing, making such a happy, new sound that he wanted to turn around and see Sehun’s face.  “Let go of yourself, pet, I get it, let go.”  Prying his hands off of him, Sehun patted his ass.  “Relax, get on your knees.”

            “Ooouhh.”  Feeling incredibly sated from Sehun’s orgasm, he slid down onto his knees, putting his hands behind his back.  But he was facing the bed, and he wanted to see Sehun, so he squirmed around, turning and looking up.

            Sehun smiled down at him, stroking his hair.  “Good job, pet.  I came hard.”

            He felt like he was in a dream.  What an incredible moment, what fantastic words.  “Thank you, Prince Sehun.”

            “Now.”  Sehun lifted a foot, toes prodding Hwanhee’s erection.

            He winced, tensing up to keep from coming without permission.  Oh, god, “Oh, god, oh, god,” that felt amazing.  Pleasure lit him up from balls to scalp, his toes curling.  “God, hyungnim.”

            “What are we going to do about that?”

            He didn’t know, but if Sehun rubbed against him like that again, he wasn’t going to have any choice but to come.  Panting, he tried to get his shit together.

            “I might let you come,” Sehun said, and he groaned helplessly.  “But what do I want you to come on?”

            “The floor?”  Sehun had told him to do it before, maybe Sehun liked that.

            “I’ll let you decide,” Sehun said.  “Close your eyes.”

            He closed them.  “They’re shut, hyungnim.”

            “Good.  Keep them that way.”

            He listened intently.  He couldn’t hear anything.  What was going on?  He really needed to come, like, his balls were about to erupt, seriously, was it time yet?  He really needed permission, here.  “Hyungnim?”

            “Eyes open.”  Sehun crawled past him, settling onto the bed.  A hand on the back of his head forced him to face front.  “Those are your three choices, Hwan-ah.  Choose one.”

            “Three?”  He only saw two things.

            “You can come on the floor,” Sehun said.  “Or you can come on your jeans.”  They’d been spread out, ass up.  “Or you can come on the tray and eat up your mess.”

            He swallowed, staring.  The silver tray sat in front of him on the floor, beside the jeans.  Everything else had been taken off of the tray; only the crackers remained, scattered around.

            There was no question which would be the most degrading choice.  He didn’t even have to think about it.

            “Thank you, hyungnim,” he said, rushing towards the tray.  He crawled around it eagerly on all fours, circling it, whimpering, trying to find the best angle.  He wanted Sehun to see everything.  Turning at an angle, he crawled over the tray.  What an opportunity!  This was way, way better than just jizzing on the floor and maybe being given permission to lick it up, what had he been thinking?  This was way more degrading!  “This is fantastic, hyungnim, thank you, thank you so much,” he said, shifting eagerly over the tray.  “Can I start now?”

            Sehun smiled at him, lounging naked on his bed, looking sexy and indulgent.  “Go ahead, pet, get yourself off.”

            He jacked himself quickly.  Orgasm was right there, right in front of him, he was right on the edge of it, he was so close on the verge of coming that he was already shuddering.

            But in a minute, he started to get a weird feeling.

            And a minute later, he started to get agitated.

            God, god, no!  Not again!  What was wrong with him, what was wrong with this stubborn thing?!  “Come, come,” he whispered anxiously, hot with shame.  Why did his body get this way in front of Sehun?  Only in front of Sehun?!  Was it performance anxiety or something?  “Come, just come, just do it,” he insisted.

            He pumped his cock faster, but the more he strained, the farther off orgasm seemed.  He was fully erect, his balls aching, everything in him fired up, Oh Sehun’s sexy naked body right in front of him, but he couldn’t make it happen.

            “Having trouble?” Sehun asked.

            “I can do it,” he panted.  The pressure had been mounting with every second that Sehun’s eyes were on him, and now that Sehun was asking about it, the situation was even more dire.  He’d been given such a simple task, why couldn’t he do it?

            “You’re cute, wrestling that big cock.  But I think you’re losing, Hwan-ah.”

            “Doing it, I can do it, I’ll come for you.”  He had to make this happen, it was for his prince.  He closed his eyes, thought about Sehun’s thrusts ramming into his body, thought about Sehun standing over him and pouring orange juice on his face, thought about Sehun buckling him into his harness.  Thought about all of the wonderful, degrading ways that his prince had used him, just tonight.  All of the viciously humiliating things his prince had done to him before.  Thought about Sehun carelessly, obnoxiously crumbling crackers in his hair.

            Gasping, he felt ecstasy spike.  There was a slow, white-hot burst, an explosion of pleasure.  And then a shocking, joyful high.  Succumbing to it, shaken by it, he moaned rapturously, spurting all over the tray.  “Milk it out,” he told himself, still jacking his cock.  He wanted as much cum as possible, wanted to make a big mess.  “Get it all, milk it all out.”

            “Milk it like a cow,” Sehun suggested.

            He mooed weakly, breathlessly, as he dribbled thick little squirts.  Sehun laughed at him, and he finally let go of himself, weak.  God.  Sagging a little, he stared at what he’d done.  There were crackers scattered over the tray, and they were covered in gooey, creamy cum.  Not even Sehun’s cum - - that would have been amazing!  But his cum.

            He had to eat his own cum like it was part of a delicious snack.

            Oh, god, this was gloriously degrading.

            Leaning down close, he picked up a cracker.  Moaning eagerly, he shoved it into his mouth.  Bending down even farther, he put his face right over the tray.  He scarfed the crackers up and chewed them with his mouth open.  As jizz-covered cracker bits fell out of his mouth, he crammed more in.  Grunting, he ate fast, to make a show of his enthusiasm, so Sehun would see how much he wanted this.  But with his mouth open, it made the process take longer, so Sehun could get a good look, so it would be obvious that he wasn’t rushing to get it over with.  No, he wanted this to last, he wanted his humiliation to sink in.

            When he was down to just crumbs, he licked the tray.  Licked every inch of it, licked everything up, every tiny splatter of cum.  He wanted that tray clean enough for Sehun to eat off of.

            When he was done, he pushed himself up on one arm.  Staring at Sehun, he dragged his hand across his mouth, his silver bracelet rubbing over his lips.  “Thank you, Prince Sehun.  Thank you for giving me permission to eat.  It was all delicious.”

            Rolling onto his stomach, Sehun stared at Hwanhee.  “Come here, pet.”  His voice was soft.  He gestured with a slow curl of his fingers.  “Come to me.”

            There was a dark intensity lurking behind Sehun’s gentleness.  Fascinated, Hwanhee crawled right to him.

            As soon as he was near the bed, Sehun reached out, cupping his face in one hand.  Drawing him closer, Sehun slithered closer to the edge of the bed in one sinuous, muscular wriggle, and then Sehun’s face descended to his.

            Sehun licked his cheek.  Eyes closing in bliss, he hummed, tilting his face up for more.  There was more, more, so much more.  Sehun licked across his face, nibbled one cheek and then the other.  It kept going, biting, sucking, Sehun’s teeth scraping over his jaw, Sehun’s tongue snaking over his eyelids.  Sehun nipped at his nose and sucked on his eyebrows and god, it was like being kissed but so much more intense, it was like Sehun was having sex with his whole face.  Moaning, he gave himself over to it, his head tilting from side to side as Sehun angled him for another lick, a sharper bite.

            “You’re a good pet.”  Sehun’s face pressed to his, cheek to cheek, hot and smooth.  “Thank you, Hwan-ah.”  Sehun’s voice was a whisper, and the moment was so rewarding, so intimate, that he couldn’t believe that Sehun would give this to him.  “I ask you for one thing, and you give me everything.  I take so much from you, and you give me so much more.  You worked hard tonight, pet.  You worked so hard, you served me so well, I couldn’t ask you for anything else.”  Sehun’s face nuzzled against his, and then, quietly, “Badminton.”

            Badminton.

            If he didn’t open his eyes, it didn’t have to be real.

            Slowly, Sehun started to pull away from him.

            Denying it, he whimpered.

            “It’s all right,” Sehun said.  Sehun’s gentle tone and the light caress at his cheek seemed impossible.  “It’s all right, Hwanhee-ah.”

            He stayed there, on his knees.  He didn’t move.  Sehun kept caressing his face, lightly, reassuringly, and that felt amazing.  But then that stopped, too.

            He swallowed.  He opened his eyes.  He wasn’t ready to look at Sehun yet, so he didn’t.

            “Let me unbuckle that,” Sehun said, sitting up.

            “No!”  He hugged himself, scooting back.  Not going far, maybe like an inch, but far enough to make the point.  No!  Crossing his arms tightly over his chest, protecting his harness, he let his fingers play over the straps.  He didn’t feel at all rational for a minute, just all bubbling emotions.  Then he looked at Sehun, wary, wanting to be sure.  “How does this work?  Is this mine, now?  Can I keep it?”

            “Yes.”  Sehun watched him like he was interesting.  Not judging him, just interested in him.  Reassuring him, too.  “Yes, you can keep it.  When I gave it to you, I meant it for you.  You can do whatever you want with it.”

            Good.  “Can I put it on next time?  When you, if you, come over again?  Can I wear it for you?”

            “When,” Sehun said.  He said it firmly, but he said it gently, too.  He was always really nice to Hwanhee after they played badminton, like he had to be careful.  Which maybe made sense, since Hwanhee felt really volatile and fragile.  Hwanhee had kind of flipped out on him last time.  “When I come back.  Yes, please, if you want to, I’d like to put it on you again.”

            “Do you want to put it on me?” Hwanhee asked.  This was important.  “Or do you want me to have it on already?”

            “I’d rather put it on you,” Sehun said.  “I like dressing up my pet.”

            So important to get everything right.  “The snacks, you liked the grapes?  I can get more grapes.  What else do you want?  Cola, milk.”  He had to update his lists, he needed his phone.  “I mooed,” he said suddenly.  “I mooed a lot.  I don’t, normally, I - - I’ve never mooed in my life.”  Shaken, he hugged himself more tightly, flinching away from memories of the atrocious, animal sounds that had come out of his mouth, his throat vibrating with each deep, lusty moo.  “I mooed for you,” he said, and he couldn’t believe it.  He didn’t want to believe it.  “You put crackers in my hair!” he suddenly accused.  He wasn’t angry, but - - no, he was angry - - no, he wasn’t angry, he - - “You’re such a fucking bully!”

            “I can text you some of the things I like to eat, if I think of some,” Sehun offered.

            “I barked like a - - I need this off now,” he decided.  His heart racing, he clawed at the straps, trying to reach the buckles.  “I need-”

            “I’ve got it, dongsaeng-ah, I’ve got it,” Sehun said reassuringly, sliding off of the bed.  Kneeling behind him, Sehun unbuckled it right away, quick and efficient, not teasing him, not wasting time.  Gasping, he shook it off of himself, getting away from it.  Leaving it behind, he escaped onto his bed.  He could still feel it on him, clinging to him like a ghost, could still feel the straps wrapping around him, digging into him when Sehun pulled too hard.  Rubbing his chest, rubbing his sides, he scooted away and pressed his back to the wall his bed was tucked against.  He stared at the harness on the floor, making sure that it stayed put.

            Getting up, Sehun left it down there.  “Can I sit here?” Sehun asked.

            “Yeah, yeah.”  As soon as Sehun sat down beside him, he wrapped himself around Sehun’s arm, pressing close.  He just needed to hold onto his prince for a minute.  “What do I do with it?  I can’t just leave it there.”

            “Do you want to keep it?” Sehun asked.  “Do you want me to keep it for you?”

            He was tempted, for a second.  But, “No.  You said I can keep it here, right?  I want it.  I just, I don’t know, what do I do with it?  Should I hide it under my bed?  Do I keep it in my dresser with regular clothes?  Can I wear it?”  He shook his head, wrapping his arms more tightly around Sehun’s arm, immediately negating that.  “I don’t want to wear it if you’re not here.”  But he might want to look at it sometimes.  Take it out and think about his prince.

            “You need to clean it,” Sehun said.  “And treat it, I can get you some stuff for that.”

            “Treat it?”  He’d heard about that, about treating leather.  Baseball mitts and horse saddles, right?  “I can do that, I’ll figure it out.”  That would be great, he’d love to have to put effort in to take care of the special gift his prince had given him.

            “It looks like stage gear,” Sehun said.  “So you can hang it in the back of your closet.  Do you have other stage clothes you can put beside it?”

            “Oh.  Yeah.”  That almost made it seem normal.  Right in the closet!  “Like it’s real clothes.”  Knowing the answer already but needing to hear it, he rested his head on Sehun’s shoulder.  “You aren’t going to tell anybody about this, right?  You don’t tell people about what we do together.”

            “No, no,” Sehun said.  “I’d never gossip behind your back.”

            Good.  “I don’t.”  He grimaced, embarrassed.  “I don’t want anybody to know about the, you know.”  Blushing, he just said it.  “The crackers.”

            “No, Hwanhee-ah, I’d never tell someone about that.”  Then Sehun asked, “The ones you ate or the ones I put in your hair?”

            “The - - both!” he exclaimed.  “Both, both!  I ate those crackers, I ate all of them!  I came all over them and then I ate them, who does that?  I can’t believe that I did that, why do I do things like that?”  Then, suddenly uncurling himself, he turned and smacked Sehun’s arm.  “Why did you put crackers in my hair!  You’re such a jerk to me!  Why do you do shit like that?!”

            Rubbing his arm like that had hurt, he smiled at Hwanhee.  He looked kind of guilty and proud all at once.  “Because you let me.”

            He didn’t have a good comeback for that.  “I let you,” he admitted.  Wilting, he flopped back against the wall and then slumped against Sehun’s shoulder again.  “I let you and I love it.”  Looking down at himself, he squirmed, grimacing.  “I’m disgusting, there’s juice and stuff all over me.”

            “We have time,” Sehun said.  “Do you want some skinship?”

            What?  “I just said,” he said, turning to Sehun and gesturing at himself.  “I’m gross.”

            Sehun looked at him like he wasn’t making sense.  “I don’t care.”

            He totally wanted skinship.  He wanted all of the skinship there was.  So Sehun lay down, and he snuggled right into Sehun’s arms, and Sehun cuddled him.  Being held against Sehun’s chest, with those long arms wrapped around him, with Sehun’s bare skin all right there for him to touch, with Sehun telling him how brave and special he was and how hard he’d worked and how he didn’t need to work so hard anymore now because he’d already proven himself, it was the best place to be.

            He hated, hated for badminton to end.  But after it was over, he got this.  These quiet moments where Sehun hugged him and thanked him for working so hard.  Where he felt satisfied, like he’d served well, like he’d done enough.

            No one was ever satisfied with him.  Not management, not the fans, not the staff, not himself, nobody.  There was always more to do.  Always voices in his head telling him to work harder, dig deeper, give another ten percent, fight.  But when Sehun whispered, “Thank you, dongsaeng-ah,” those voices went quiet.  The silence felt like a miracle.



            Sehun got dressed again, and Hwanhee put on sweatpants and a clean T-shirt to walk him out.  He untied the doorknob and put the nightstand back, and then Hwanhee reached for his hand, tugging him back.  Immediately willing to give whatever his pet wanted from him, he turned.

            Hwanhee looked up at him with a guilty, blushing expression.  “The music was loud enough, right?  You don’t think they heard me barking, do you?”

            “No,” he said, stroking Hwanhee’s arm.  “No, they didn’t hear.”  Shit, though.  He grinned.  “Main vocal?  You get hella fucking loud.”

            “Hyung!”  Embarrassed, Hwanhee laughed, bouncing in front of him.  “Don’t tease me!”

            “I’m just saying, your lungs-”

            “Hyung!” he protested, eyes sparkling.  “Shut up.”  He hugged Sehun’s arm, consoling himself, tucking his burning face against Sehun’s shoulder.  “Don’t mock, I know I’m loud.”

            “I love your voice,” Sehun said, ruffling his hair.  “I love your moaning and groaning and shouting.”  Sehun kissed the top of his head, cherishing him.  Then Sehun whispered, “And your mooing and your barking, too.”

            “Hyung!” he exclaimed, wriggling.  “Get out!” he insisted, pushing Sehun toward the door.  “No, back, come back,” he immediately corrected, catching Sehun in a hug.

            Hugging him back, Sehun kissed his ear.  “Thank you for everything, Hwanhee-ah.  You did a lot for me tonight, you always do.  You’re right, I’m a jerk to you, I’m a bully, but you make me feel like a prince.”

            Hwanhee hugged him more tightly for that.  He patted Hwanhee’s back, in no rush to let go.  “You’re not a jerk,” Hwanhee said.  “You’re my owner.  If you own something, you can treat it however you want.  I don’t ask my socks how they feel about being on my feet all day, I just use them.  You can do whatever you want to me.  That’s what I’m for.”

            God, his pet was incredible.  “You’re amazing,” he said, cupping Hwanhee’s face and kissing one cheek.  Looking into Hwanhee’s trusting brown eyes, he said, “That’s what you’re for.  To be amazing, beautiful Lee Hwanhee.”

            Hwanhee’s expression brightened into something radiant.  He gazed up at Sehun with unwavering faith.

            Unable to resist him, Sehun kissed his cheek again.

            “Well,” he said, blushing.  “I’m not beautiful.”

            “You really are.”  Sehun kissed the corner of his mouth, breathing him in.  He smelled like sweat and musk and sweet orange juice and a hint of new leather.  Sehun’s favorite new scent combination.  “Thank you, Hwanhee-ah.”



            Suho had to say it.  And he’d prefer to get it out sooner, rather than later.  In the van, as they were pulling away from the curb, he spoke up before Sehun could slip into a post-visit fugue state, where he was smug and lazy with satisfaction and also ready to pounce on any member in sight.  “Sehun-ah.”  He looked down, avoiding Sehun’s eyes, pretending to need to fix his seatbelt.  “Turn the music up louder next time.”

            There was a split second of silence, and then Sehun made an explosive, horrified, laughing sound.  “Oh, god, no.  Fuck, no, you’re kidding, right?”

            “I said what I said,” he mumbled grimly, unbuckling and rebuckling dutifully.

            “God, no, oh, Hwanhee.”  Sehun slouched back in his seat, spreading his legs in all directions, and then sat up straighter again.  “What happened, what did they do?”

            “Wooshin laughed,” Suho said.  “Jinhoo turned up the TV.”

            “He’s so loud,” Sehun said.  “He’s just, he’s loud,” he repeated helplessly.  “It…  What am I supposed to do?”

            “I don’t know,” Suho said impatiently.  How was he expected to have a solution?  “Try gagging him.”

            Beside him, Sehun made a choked noise.

            Suho realized what he’d just said.  And to whom.  And about what.  “Oh, leave me alone,” he snapped, and spent the rest of the ride staring at his phone.



Series page: "Let's Love"



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Copyright May 2017
by Matthew Haldeman-Time