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Sehun was so glad to have his pet back, relief rolled over him in waves every time he thought about it. The nightmare was over; L.Joe was his again.
He resolved never to put his pet through that again. He was determined to be a good employee and an obedient maknae so that Suho would have no complaints. He texted L.Joe all day, little meaningless messages, just to celebrate being in contact again. And he searched on-line for gifts for C.A.P. and Chunji. It seemed like a good idea to stay on their good sides.
He felt great, and all of his hyungs were in a good mood, too. Everybody was playful and full of jokes. The whole day flew by. As soon as they were back in the dorm that night, everybody went straight for the living room couch. After all of the fear and anger and stress of losing his pet, he was ready to feel good, and he joined right in, going down on Chanyeol and sliding his fingers into Lay. The free-for-all was easy and fun, everyone kissing and teasing and climbing over everyone else, and when it was over he collapsed with Kai on the floor, running his fingers through Chen’s hair while Chen kissed over every inch of his body. Damn, he felt great. Everyone did.
After he ate, he locked the door to his room and called L.Joe. At first, L.Joe tried to apologize to him about last night and the hoobae bowling, but he cut that short. “Your members were right. They’re only looking out for you. Sunbae, it’s going to be hard for me. My life isn’t mine, it belongs to EXO and SM and EXO-L. Things would be different if I could do things my own way, but there will be a lot of times I have to let you down. I wish that you were my only responsibility and I could put you first, but that isn’t possible. I feel like it’s not fair to you if I don’t give you a chance to find somebody else.” It was hard to say, but it was the right thing to say. He had to be strong for L.Joe’s sake, so he said it calmly and sincerely.
“Ya. Are you joking?” L.Joe demanded. “Is this a game to you, that you can say something like that to me today? I’m not going anywhere else.”
The bolder L.Joe was with him in everyday interactions, the more he liked it. It was great and kind of hilarious that L.Joe felt confident enough around him to scold him like any dongsaeng. “Yes, sunbae. I understand.”
“Good.” L.Joe still sounded disgruntled.
“Sunbae, are you in the dorm? Are you alone?”
“Mmm, Chunji and Niel are here.”
“I’m going to start anyway, okay? We’ll just do a little.” Already turned on, his body heating up, Sehun slid one hand into his shorts.
“Television,” he said quietly, giving his aching cock a long, slow stroke. “Take out that toy that Niel likes so much.”
“Not C.A.P. hyung’s favorite toy. Niel’s. Do you have it ready?”
“I, uh, yes.”
“Start playing. Did I ever tell you about my favorite pet?”
“Ah, my favorite.” Pushing his shorts down farther, he rubbed his cock. “Uunnh, the memories are so good. He had these pretty brown eyes, so pretty, and he looked at me like I was the most important thing in the world. All he wanted to do was follow me wherever I went and make me happy. I couldn’t take him everywhere, because he was just a pet, but I wanted to take him all over and show him off. He was really, really pretty and he knew all of the best tricks.”
L.Joe’s breath caught. “Tricks?”
“Mmm. He was a really good pet. So obedient, he did whatever I wanted. He’d mess up sometimes and I’d have to punish him, and he was so cute! He got all confused and upset, like he really felt bad. Sometimes I’d go easy on him, because he was so cute, but sometimes I had to be firm with him and really punish him hard. Pets need a lot of discipline, don’t they, hyung?”
L.Joe’s helpless, mewling gasps made his cock throb in his hand. “Yes, Sehun-ah, yes. Oooohh…”
“He was the prettiest pet I’ve ever had. Those brown eyes, I loved the way he looked at me. His hair was so soft, I loved holding onto it. It felt like silk between my fingers. And he was such a good pet. He’d lick up any mess I made.”
“Unh, ooouunhh, Sehun-ah.”
Hearing L.Joe’s voice breathless and needy turned Sehun on. God, he’d missed that sound. He grunted, his hips shifting as his hand sped up on his cock. “Such a pretty pet,” he murmured. “But only a pet, a possession, an animal, a thing. It only had primal urges and nasty, animal needs. It was an uncivilized, rutting beast who only cared about what felt good. That’s why I had to be so strict with it and punish it so much. You should have seen it, drooling on me, humping everything, always whining and desperate for attention. It was always hungry, always wanting more, always so eager to put something in its mouth. Such a pathetic, needy, noisy pet.”
L.Joe’s ragged, shaky moan hummed between his thighs. “D-d-don’t.”
“Are you telling me what not to do?”
L.Joe’s next moan was so tormented and conflicted, he could picture L.Joe’s needy shudder.
“He was a messy, cheap, disobedient animal sometimes, but he was always my favorite pet,” Sehun said, rubbing his thumb around the head of his cock, teasing himself. “If he were here with me right now, I’d give him a big, hard bone to lick.”
L.Joe’s irrepressible whimpers were so anguished and ecstatic, Sehun knew it was time to be merciful. It had been too long since they’d played together, and his pet could only take so much.
“Go ahead and finish with that toy, hyung. It’s a shame that you have to play alone, but maybe we can do it together soon.”
L.Joe’s gasping, barely stifled cries were so tormented and blissful and sexy, they echoed in Sehun’s ears even after the call ended.
It was his night to see Suho. Talking to L.Joe had put him in an intense mood, the exact kind of mood he’d always tried not to take into Suho’s bed. He took a long, cool shower to calm himself down.
He’d been so furious and resentful and betrayed over the past few weeks that his relationship with Suho had really suffered. Now that Suho had gone so far to prove commitment to Teen Top, now that he had L.Joe again, he was willing to put all of that behind them. His life had become awful and everything had gone to shit, but Suho was putting it all back together. And even when he’d hated Suho and been at his angriest, he’d known, he’d really understood, that Suho had done it all for him.
He’d barely gotten laid at all over the past few weeks, and Suho hadn’t touched anyone. Last night the whole team had finally gotten laid, and tonight things were great, and he hoped that Suho would let him in. He’d said some harsh things that he’d designed to hurt, and it might be hard for Suho to get past that.
In his underwear, he went to Suho’s room. The door was open, so he went in and closed the door.
Seated on the bed, reading, Suho looked up. He was still dressed, and he had a leader’s patient, expectant expression. “Maknae?”
“I want to apologize for everything. I was upset, but-”
“No,” Suho said, setting aside his book. “It’s my wrongdoing, I should apologize. I regret all of my behavior, and I’m sorry that I put you and L.Joe through so much. I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to make it up to you.”
Seeing how sincere Suho was made him feel better. Suho’s commitment to Teen Top would make it easier for him to keep his promise to L.Joe. “You did what you thought you had to as a leader.”
“I was wrong,” Suho said. He messed with his bangs, pouting solemnly. “I was very wrong about a lot of things, and I’m sorry.”
Sehun didn’t want Suho to beat himself up over this. He always held onto things too long and dwelled on things he should let go of. Maybe if he saw that everyone forgave him, he’d feel better. “Can we be close again? Can I sleep here tonight?”
Suho looked so serious and concerned, Sehun heard his “no” before he spoke. “That might not be a good idea. You haven’t been happy with me, and I don’t want you to feel obligated. Let’s not force the issue tonight.”
“It’s not obligation. I want to do it.” He really did. “I won’t do anything you’re not comfortable with.”
“Here, sit down for a while. There’s something I want to talk about.” He sat, and Suho kept looking too serious. “When you and L.Joe can’t see each other, his members, ah, help him, right?”
What did Suho know about that? Sehun nodded, wanting to see where this was going. He really wanted to talk to Chunji about it, but he knew that L.Joe would hate that.
“It would be good if your members would help you, too, wouldn’t it?”
“If they could, I wouldn’t need L.Joe sunbae.” He liked the thought, but, “None of the members do it right. It’s not the same, it’s not something they really need and it’s not right for me.”
Suho nodded, then looked completely resolute, like he’d made up his mind and there was no turning back. “Sunggyu hyung would say that a leader’s responsibility is real.”
When he didn’t say anything else, just sat there looking determined, Sehun frowned, trying to figure out what that meant. And then it clicked, and he jumped away from the bed. “Hyung!” What the hell! “No!”
Suho pouted at him like he was the unreasonable one. “Isn’t it my job as leader to-”
“No!” He couldn’t say it emphatically enough. “God, hyung. No, just no.”
Suho nodded at him. “We’ll try it when you’re in a better mood.”
“I’m not in a bad mood! Hyung, you don’t understand. I can’t do those things to you. You won’t like it. You’ll hate it, you’ll never be able to handle it. And you’re my leader! I can’t be that way with my leader!”
Suho frowned, looking insulted. “You think that I can’t handle it?”
“Hyung! You can’t handle regular sex! You can’t handle anything!”
Standing up, he only looked more determined. “We’ll do it next time. Eight days.”
“A leader’s responsibility is real,” he said firmly, like it was etched in stone somewhere.
Damn Kim Sunggyu. “I won’t do it. Hyung, seriously, I would be the worst dom in the world if I did that to you. You can’t take it.”
“My own maknae thinks I’m too weak?”
Oh, god, now he was offended. This was too much. “You’re not weak. If you were weak, you wouldn’t be a good leader. But come on, hyung, you’re too sensitive when it comes to sex. And it’s not right for me to treat my leader like that. You’re hyung, you’re our guardian, you should always have the upper hand.” He shook his head. “I like you too much, hyung, I won’t do it. And I don’t want you to feel obligated. I don’t want anyone who feels obligated. I want to be with someone who needs it from me.”
“But if Changjo and Chunji can help, so can I.” Suho bit at his lower lip, then said, “I’ll practice with Xiumin hyung, and-”
“No! Oh my god, hyung, don’t you dare!” How was this getting worse and worse?! “That’s not safe, Xiumin hyung doesn’t even know what he’s doing! This isn’t a game, you can’t take it so lightly. You’re not Baekhyun hyung, you can’t just jump in and do whatever you want.”
Suho glared at him. “If Baekhyun can do it, I can do it.”
Oh, god. “That wasn’t a challenge!”
“I’ll practice with some of the other members, and then you’ll see that I can take it, and then you can come to me whenever you can’t have L.Joe.”
It was a nightmare. “No practice! You can’t, I mean it, hyung, no practice.” Suho was too vulnerable, and the idea of anyone taking advantage of that horrified him. He wanted to think that the members would have enough sense to tell Suho no, but the temptation might be too much. At least for him, anyway, the idea of pushing Suho’s limits and making Suho suffer and beg was an enormous turn-on. It always had been, which was part of why he was so careful around Suho. Suho’s sexual responsiveness and uninhibited, uncontrolled, helpless need were exactly what he was addicted to. But Suho was his leader, not his pet, and he’d never do anything that might take away from Suho’s authority over him.
He’d always tried to be careful with Suho, to give Suho a safe sexual outlet, to show Suho a good time without compromising Suho’s balance. Did Suho even realize that? Maybe not, or they wouldn’t be having this conversation.
“A leader’s responsibility is real.” Suho stubbornly crossed his arms. If he said that one more time, Sehun was going to lose it. “It’s my job to take care of you and make sure that you have what you need. I’ll talk to Woohyun, and he can teach me whatever I need to know.”
Sehun’s jaw dropped, and he stared at Suho in horrified amazement while he tried to process what he’d just heard. The idea of Suho going to Infinite for BDSM tips was shocking, and the idea of Suho in another dom’s hands filled him with furious terror. “No! You’re not learning from Woohyun hyung or practicing with Xiumin hyung, and I don’t even want you to talk to Kim Sunggyu anymore!”
frowned. “Is this part of it, are we starting,
or did you just decide to yell at your leader?”
“When it comes to this, I’m the leader,” he said firmly. “I’m EXO’s BDSM captain. And I’m telling you to stay away from all of it. No practicing.”
“We’ll talk again in eight days,” Suho decided.
Sehun held himself very still. He wanted to push Suho against the wall and pin Suho there and whisper nasty, nasty things into Suho’s ears until Suho writhed and wept and begged him, until Suho was humiliated, mortified, rock-hard and broken and submitting, obedient, entirely his. He wanted to strip Suho down and lay every vulnerability bare. Suho didn’t understand his own weakness, and Sehun wanted to confront him with it bit by bit until, used and abused, he reveled in his own degradation. He was so responsive, so vulnerable, so ripe for it, he’d been made for this, been made to suffer and plead and worship cock, and Sehun-
“I need to go,” Sehun said, heading for the door. “Don’t do anything, don’t practice, I mean it!” Hurrying from Suho’s room, he couldn’t get away fast enough. Needing to shake off this dark, compelling sexual energy, he jogged around the dorm a few times. Taking an icepack from the freezer, he held it to the back of his neck, and when that didn’t help, he put it on his- “Yaaaach!” Holy shit, that was cold!
“Jesus,” Baekhyun said, staring at him and laughing. “Are you masochistic now, too?”
Ignoring that, he hobbled out of the kitchen and went to his room. Kai was naked in bed and D.O. was sitting there playing with his hair. “Can you sleep with Suho hyung tonight? I can’t take my turn.”
“Then shouldn’t it be Xiumin hyung’s turn?” Kai asked.
“No,” he said vehemently. “No, it should be you.” He couldn’t believe that he had to say this. “Suho hyung thinks that it’s his duty to help me when I can’t see L.Joe sunbae, and he wants to try BDSM. I have to talk him out of it and convince all of the members not to let him practice with them.”
D.O.’s eyes were huge. “What?” Kai’s mouth hung open in bafflement.
“Don’t do anything weird with him,” Sehun warned Kai. He knew that Kai was the last person he had to worry about, but he was still on edge. “Don’t try anything, no experiments, no games, not even if he asks for it. Tell him it’s either the same old stuff or nothing.” And now that he thought about it, “Hurry, go now before he decides to ask Xiumin hyung to try spanking him.”
“Oh, shit,” Kai said, scrambling to his feet.
Sehun couldn’t believe this. Now he was going to have to talk to all of the members about not playing kinky games with Suho. And he had eight days to convince Suho this was the worst idea ever. And he was a thousand times hornier and more sexually obsessed with Suho than he’d already been. “Fuck.”
Lay frowned. “But if he’s consenting, isn’t it okay? If Suho consents, and I consent, then we can do whatever we want.”
Sehun looked upset. “No, hyung, I mean, yes, but Suho hyung-”
“Suho hyung’s right here!” Baekhyun said suddenly.
“Ah, hyung, um, hi,” Chanyeol said cheerfully and nervously.
“We weren’t talking about you at all,” Baekhyun added.
Suho didn’t seem to mind one way or the other. “I’m going to ask Sunggyu hyung if I can go over to apologize. If he agrees, does anyone want to come?”
“Yes,” Xiumin said.
“Let’s all go,” Chanyeol said. “We’re one, right?”
“Okay, I’ll call.”
While Suho walked away, Xiumin shifted on the couch, licking his lips. “Just thinking about him begging me to spank that-”
“No!” Sehun exclaimed. “Hyung, you agreed! You promised!”
Inhaling, Xiumin stared after Suho, making a sexy little lusting sound, one eyebrow going up. He looked so turned on and ready for sex that Lay wanted to go down on him right then and there.
“Okay, if it’s going to be like this, then no one sees Suho hyung,” Kai said.
“What?” Chen demanded.
“Hey, no,” Xiumin said, coming out of it. “I made a promise, right? I’ll keep my promise.”
“This isn’t a joke,” Kai said.
“It’ll be fine,” Xiumin said. “I won’t do a thing. Don’t you trust me? I’m an angel.”
Lay loved it when he grinned so wickedly.
Suho sat on the foot of his bed and dialed Sunggyu’s number.
“Hello, this is Old Man Sunggyu’s phone.”
Suho smiled. “Hello, this is EXO’s Suho. Could I speak with Sunggyu hyung, please?”
“Hold on, he’s almost, ah, almost… Ah, there it is.”
Suho told himself that Sunggyu was finishing up something ordinary. A videogame. Sit-ups. Not anything interesting. Squirming, he tried to ignore the eager pulse between his legs.
“Ah, Young Money-ah.”
Did Sunggyu sound out of breath? Practice, they were probably at practice. “Ah, hyung. I wanted to apologize to you and to your members. I’ve made a lot of mistakes lately and I want to tell you how sorry I am. I wonder if you’d let me come over and apologize in person?”
Suho’s question was met with silence. The longer the silence dragged on, the more dread settled in the pit of his stomach. He’d gone too far, he’d taken Infinite for granted, and there would be no forgiveness. Sunggyu hadn’t wanted to become involved with EXO in the first place, and he’d proven that instinct right.
“This is your last chance.” The sound of Sunggyu’s voice surprised him after all of that quiet, and he sat up straight, immediately attentive. “Do you understand ‘last chance?’ This is it.”
He was grateful to have any chance at all. “Yes, hyung, thank you.”
“Not tonight, Infinite isn’t at your beck and call. Monday night. You can come over then.”
Monday, okay. “Thank you, hyung.”
“Mmm.” Sunggyu hung up.
“Answer your phone,” Changjo said as the phone rang and rang. “Answer. Answer your phone!” he yelled, shaking his phone and glaring at the screen.
L never answered.
Annoyed, he called Suho.
“L hyung’s being a jerk.”
“I think that I was the jerk,” Suho said.
“When are you making up with Infinite?”
“On Monday, I hope.”
“Okay. Do you want to hang out or anything before that?”
“I’d love to. Tomorrow?”
He grinned. He’d really missed Suho. They made plans and talked some more, and then they said good night. After he hung up, he texted L. Stop brooding, this is real life, not some drama. Then he sent, I just talked to someone who’s really worried about you and really misses you. He likes you too much, it’s embarrassing. Then he added, I guess that I like you too, sometimes, a little. But not that much!
Then he decided to see if he could get Niel to blow him while he looked through L’s selcas.
L rolled over in bed. Hugging his pillow, he tapped at his phone. Visiting one of his fan sites, he scrolled around. As he read, a new post popped up. “Guardian-Creation Couple, Where’s Our Myungsoo? Photos!” Frowning, he clicked the link.
Photographs filled his screen. They were timestamped from that evening. Suho and Changjo shopping together, getting drinks, crossing the street. No make-up, casual clothes, just a happy couple out together. They were smiling in every single shot. Changjo had that goddamned watch on again.
L threw his phone across the room to Sungyeol’s bed and rolled away.
The change in Suho’s members had been terrific. Now that things were settled with Teen Top again, everyone was energetic and easygoing. Moods around the dorm were vastly improved. There was a lot of conversation about dates and MT but Suho couldn’t blame them; they’d just gotten back something they’d thought was gone for good, and they wanted to celebrate.
For Suho, though, it was too early to celebrate. He’d gotten over one hurdle, but he still had a second ahead of him. He’d begun to patch things up with Teen Top, but what about Infinite?
Teen Top was tied to EXO because of Sehun and L.Joe’s special relationship, but they didn’t have that kind of connection to Infinite.
He was sure that Changjo had argued on his side, but he didn’t think that L would.
He’d proven his commitment to Teen Top by masturbating in front of Ricky. What if the Infinite members wanted proof, too?
He’d do whatever he had to. This was all for his members’ happiness. He’d ruined things, so it was up to him to set them right again.
He just… Privately, he wasn’t very confident about proving himself to Infinite. After having done that with Ricky, he should have felt more sure of himself, but there was no one like Ricky in Infinite. Teen Top would always be sunbae, but they were younger. Most of Infinite was Suho’s age or older, and sunbae to boot, and he didn’t know what they’d expect of him. He didn’t know what would satisfy them.
When it came time to visit Infinite’s dorm, he asked his members to take the meeting seriously. They had to be on their best behavior, and they couldn’t assume that everything would go well. He apologized to his members, and he asked them to understand if Sunggyu decided to stay estranged.
In the van on the way over, Baekhyun and Chanyeol calculated the odds of a good outcome. They thought that Sungyeol might want to see them again, and Kai could convince Sungjong, and Xiumin could convince Dongwoo. They argued with each other over how the night might go, and Kai kept telling them to quit worrying about everyone else because the only opinion that mattered belonged to Sunggyu.
A manager met them outside and took them up. Standing at the door, Suho fixed his hair, and Chen gave him a hushed, “Fighting!” Feeling better, he rang the bell.
Ugh, already? They’d just gotten in; Sunggyu hadn’t had a chance to wash yet. Gesturing with his water bottle, he told Dongwoo to get the door. “Members! EXO’s here!”
“Now?” Sungyeol demanded from out of sight. “I’m naked!”
“So get dressed,” Woohyun said, laughing.
Sunggyu hadn’t intended to have this conversation in stage clothes and full make-up, but maybe it was better this way. Maybe it would remind him and Suho that he was Infinite’s leader, not some soft hyung to be taken lightly.
“What are you going to do?” Woohyun asked him.
“That depends on what Young Money says.”
He and Woohyun walked into the living room as EXO filed in. Dongwoo was greeting everyone personally, and Sungjong hung back, watching. Sungyeol joined them, wet-haired and scrubbed fresh, in shorts and a T-shirt. Behind him, the bedroom door closed. Sunggyu wasn’t surprised that L wasn’t coming out to say hello.
Hoya walked in, then backed up with a laugh. “Whoa, sorry. Aren’t we feuding?”
Sehun winced, looking embarrassed, and Suho said, “I’m sorry about that misunderstanding.”
“It’s fine,” Hoya said. “Don’t worry about it. I love having EXO-L cursing my name everywhere I go.”
Some of the members winced, some shifted uneasily, and Suho said, “It’s unfortunate that our fans don’t realize how lucky we are to have such great sunbaes as you and the other Infinite members. I’d like to make that more plain to them.”
“What did you come here for?” Sungjong asked.
“To apologize,” Suho said immediately. “I made a lot of mistakes and wrong decisions in how I handled things recently. I should have listened more to Sunggyu hyung. It was a mistake to push you all away, and I’m sorry.”
“I don’t get it,” Dongwoo said. “You want to be friends, you chase after us, then all of a sudden we can’t talk anymore, and now you’re back? Do you want to be close or not? This isn’t how you treat friends.”
“We do want to be close,” Suho said. “We really do. You’re right, I’m sorry, this isn’t how friends should be. That’s my fault, and even if you can’t forgive me, I hope that you won’t hold it against my members.”
“So, what, now we’re all friends again?” Sungyeol asked. “We can call each other and hang out and go on MT?”
“I’d like that,” Suho said. “I’d be really grateful if things could be that way again.”
“Why should we trust you?” Sunggyu asked. “Why should we bother? What’s the point if you’re just going to get scared and run away again?”
Suho faced him directly, looking stubborn. “I’m sure this time. I don’t have doubts anymore. I’m committed to this one hundred percent now. Being close with Infinite is what’s best for my members, no matter what.”
“You told L that you love him and then you threw him away,” Sunggyu reminded him. “What will make you keep your promises this time?”
“I.” Suho chewed on his lower lip.
He was cute, but Sunggyu wasn’t going to cave this easily. L had been hurt; Suho could afford to struggle.
“I did something to prove myself to Teen Top.”
Chen put his hands on Suho’s waist. Kai said, “Hyung, no,” like Suho was going too far.
“It seems like I don’t have as much at stake as everyone else does,” Suho said. “Would it be reassuring if I committed myself in the same way that everyone else has?”
“What same way?” Sungyeol asked.
Sunggyu frowned. He didn’t mean that, did he? “Are you talking about sex?”
“No,” Kai said.
“Yes,” Suho said. “Kai, be quiet.”
Sunggyu felt his frown deepen. “We don’t want your virgin sacrifice.”
“I’m not a virgin,” Suho said.
“Are you sure?” Sungjong asked.
“Yes.” Suho spoke right to Sunggyu again. “Is there something I can do to prove to you that I’m as committed to this as everybody else is?”
Sunggyu looked over the EXO members. D.O. was watching Suho worriedly, Chen was holding on with both hands, and Kai looked ready to fight off anyone who came too close. They were too protective. What did they think was going to happen? How far had Suho gone to prove himself to Teen Top? And if it had been that bad, why was he making the offer to Infinite?
“Okay, we’ll handle it in private,” Sunggyu said, stepping backward.
“This isn’t right,” Kai said. “You can’t ask someone to put his body on the line to prove a point to you.”
“It’s fine,” Suho said. “I told you before, it’s what I want to do. It’s better this way, I’m glad that I did it.”
This kid was impossible. Now he had some idea of noble sacrifice. “Come on,” Sunggyu said. To everyone else: “No kissing, hands to yourself.”
“No problem,” Sungjong said, crossing his arms over his chest.
Sunggyu took Suho into his room and closed the door. Leaning his back against the door, he glared at Suho. “You broke my visual. How are you going to fix him?”
Sunggyu snorted. “Do you think that Hoya’s the visual? Yes, L. He’s angry and sad and all he does is sulk all of the time. What are you going to do about it?”
“I want to talk to him,” Suho said. “I feel terrible. I promised him that I’d stay by his side, and I broke my promise. But that’s why I want to do this, to prove my commitment, so that he won’t have to doubt me.”
“Should we bring him in here, then, so he can watch?” Sunggyu offered.
Suho nodded. “If it would help.”
“What are you offering me?” Sunggyu asked. “Are you going to suck my cock? Do I get to mount you, fuck you, dress you up and ride you raw, whatever I want?”
Suho licked his lips and answered quietly. “We have to trust each other if our teams are going to be close. If that’s what you need to do to trust me, then I’ll endure it.”
“Oh, that’s the catch,” Sunggyu said. “You offer me anything I want, and then you act like a noble martyr, and you think that I’ll be impressed and let you go. Is that how it went with Teen Top? It was enough just to make the offer?”
“No. That’s not how it is, hyung. I did something to prove myself to Teen Top, and I’m glad. It’s better now that there’s no turning back.”
“You’ll do anything to be close to Infinite, but if I’m the kind of man who would take advantage of your virgin sacrifice, isn’t that the kind of man your members shouldn’t date?”
“This is what my members want,” Suho said. He looked determined. “They had it, and I lost it for them, so it’s my responsibility to get it back.”
Sunggyu nodded. “I’ll tell L that you’re here to blow him, then.”
“Wait.” Suho bit his lip. “I’m sorry, hyung, can’t it be anyone but L? It’s too complicated, it’ll only make him more upset and confused.”
“Whoever you think.”
Sunggyu acted impatient. “I’m asking you!”
“Then I think.” Suho squared his shoulders. “I think that it should be you. After L, I think you’re the one I have to prove myself to the most.”
Sunggyu nodded. “Find another way to prove yourself, because I don’t accept virgin sacrifices. If you’re stupid enough to agree to sex you don’t want, that’s your problem, but I like my partners horny and enthusiastic, not scared and nobly self-sacrificing. No MT and no EXO members are welcome here, but if my members want to go on dates or have sex at your dorm, I won’t stop them.” Reaching behind himself, he opened the door and moved out of the way. “You should go now.”
Suho didn’t budge.
“You aren’t going to think that I mean it until I do it.” Suho pulled his T-shirt off over his head.
“The door’s open,” Sunggyu reminded him.
“My members have seen everything before.” Pushing his pants down, he stepped out of them. Then, in his socks and underwear, he crawled onto the bed.
“My members haven’t. Should I invite them in?”
“It’s up to you.”
This impossible kid. Sunggyu watched him calmly sit there and pull off his socks. He was so determined, he was probably stubborn enough to go too far. “I don’t care how brave you think you’re being. I’m not going to take advantage of you.”
“It’s not taking advantage. I’m old enough to know what I’m doing.” He leaned back on his elbows and lifted his hips and - - oh, god, he was taking his underwear off!
Hastily jerking the door shut, Sunggyu spun around, turning his back. Hiding his face against the door, he put his hands up to shield his peripheral vision. “Put that back on! Put that thing away!”
“Do you want me to have sex with my clothes on?” Suho asked.
“There isn’t going to be any sex!”
Suho sounded like he might laugh. “Are you shy?”
“There’s a time and a place for that, and this isn’t it!”
“But we’re in your bedroom,” Suho pointed out. “Where else is better?”
This impossible hoobae! Sunggyu pivoted and marched over to where Suho was lying on the bed. Pointing down at Suho’s naked crotch, he said, “There! I see it! Happy?” Grabbing the sheet, he draped it over Suho the whole way up to the neck, then sat. “And now we’re in bed together. Satisfied?”
Suho was laughing, like they were at a comedy show. “Yes, hyung, okay.” He looked happy. “I didn’t know that you’d be so shy about it.”
“I didn’t know that you’d be so bold about it! You’re too stubborn sometimes. You hold onto ideas too much.”
Suho looked around the room like he’d been too busy with his plans to notice anything earlier. “So this is Kim Sunggyu’s bedroom.” He glanced down at the mattress, shifting a little and hugging the sheet against himself. “Infinite’s leader gets a double bed?” He grinned. “Am I in Nam Woohyun’s spot? Should I move?”
“There’s no Nam Woohyun spot. I’m an adult, I need room to stretch out and relax.” And it was too hard to have a three-way in a twin bed. Stretching out beside Suho, he propped his head on one hand. “What are you going to do about L?”
Suho started to move onto his side to face Sunggyu. He was halfway there and saying, “You,” when he looked down at himself. He froze, and his face was caught in a state of barely contained panic. There it was, that was the moment Sunggyu had been waiting for. He looked trapped and horrified and right on the verge of losing his shit. He breathed in a couple of times but his breath caught like he couldn’t fill his lungs, and then he inhaled more deeply. Licking his lips, he slowly picked up that stubborn, determined look again, and then he fixed his hair and rolled over to face Sunggyu. He had a double-fisted death grip on the sheet, but his voice was mostly steady. “L is very important to me and I want to do whatever I can for him. He’s upset right now, but I deserve that.”
“He isn’t talking to that overgrown maknae anymore.” Sunggyu wanted to hand over Suho’s clothes, but he decided to let Suho take the lead. If Suho wanted to pretend not to be freaked out, he could play along.
“Changjo? I know, and I hate that the most. It seemed like they were finally becoming close. After their fight they really accepted each other.”
“It’s good for L to have a close dongsaeng. He likes having someone to baby. And Changjo can be cute. Evil, but cute.”
“He’s not evil!”
“You’re too naïve.”
“He’s a good kid! He’s just playful.”
“He steals and lies and manipulates.”
“He’s growing up. He just needs a little encouragement.”
“You can’t trust him,” Sunggyu insisted.
“Then why do you let L get so close?”
“Well, he’s not a bad kid,” Sunggyu said, and Suho laughed. “He’s okay. You just have to watch him.”
“He’s really sweet,” Suho said. “When he wants to be.”
Suho was clutching the sheet to his chest, but his shoulders and arms were bare. He was very pale, and more muscular than Sunggyu had expected. He was one of the best-looking dongsaengs who’d ever been in this bed. He was stubborn and frustrating and too nervous and full of conviction, but he was very, very good-looking. Too bad he was so skittish and complicated; if they’d met another way, Sunggyu might have wanted to make a move.
Dropping flat on his back, Suho pulled the sheet up to his chin and stared at the ceiling like ghosts up there haunted him. “I ruined everything. I turned all of my members against me and abandoned my dongsaengs and alienated two whole sunbae groups. I’m starting to make amends, and everyone has been forgiving, but the guilt is too much. I don’t feel like I have the right to ask for anyone’s trust.”
“You know what to do,” Sunggyu said. “Use it to motivate yourself to be a better leader in the future. The guilt can remind you to honor your commitments and trust your members more from now on.”
Suho pouted, and his lower lip poked out like he was a sulking kid. “Is a leader’s job ever easier?”
“No. These kids never grow up. They think that because they’re older and more successful that they can take care of themselves, but they’re wrong. They’ll always need you.”
Suho smiled a little and glanced at him. “Is it okay if I like the sound of that?”
“You just want to be everybody’s parent. Spoil them and scold them and give them their vitamins.”
Suho chuckled. “And you only want to scold them?”
He laughed, because it was funny, and then he glared. Suho burst into laughter and relaxed his hold on the sheet.
Dongwoo was on Lay’s lap on the couch, talking to Xiumin. Sungjong was with Kai and Chanyeol in the kitchen. D.O. and Woohyun had gone into Woohyun’s bedroom. Sungyeol was flirting shamelessly with Baekhyun and Chen.
Sehun went to the doorway of Hoya’s room. “Hyung.”
Seated on the side of his bed, Hoya glanced up with a silent question in his eyes.
“I’m sorry about fans bothering you. You’ve never been rude to us once.”
Hoya nodded. He didn’t look happy; he rubbed his jaw. “Anti-fans are part of the job, right?”
“It’s too easy to get them,” Sehun said. “Do one wrong thing, say one awkward thing, frown at the wrong time.”
“Do everything right and you still get them,” Hoya said. “Some idols have antis just for not being handsome enough. Not me,” he added quickly. “I wouldn’t know anything about that. But I’ve heard.”
“I don’t dance like Kai and I don’t rap like Tiger JK, so I guess I should never have debuted at all.”
“But you’re good-looking, though,” Hoya said. “You don’t have to be good at anything if you’re handsome.”
“I - - hyung! I’m good at some things.”
Hoya nodded. “Yeah. But is it okay to have anal sex onstage?”
If he hadn’t been completely naked and in a bed and barely covered by a thin sheet and about an inch away from a sexually confident sunbae he’d personally heard both L and Chen describe as being the best they’d ever had, Suho would’ve been having a great time. Sunggyu was adorable and hilarious, and in between scolding him and lecturing him said so many funny things and made so many cute faces that he even liked the lecturing. He loved Sunggyu’s happy smiles and sudden laughter and comically suspicious glares. Sunggyu fussed and teased but listened really earnestly and confided in him in a way that made him want to be even closer. He’d never had a hyung like this, and now, more than anything else, he wanted one.
No wonder L loved Sunggyu so much. He was demanding and authoritative, but he was so hilarious and cute and fun, it made everything okay. Suho wanted to please him and make him smile, make him laugh, make him proud.
He had on stage make-up, and he looked gorgeous, his eyes lined in dramatic black, his full lips lush and pink, his cheeks soft and smooth. Suho felt really, dangerously, exhilaratingly, terrifyingly attracted to him.
Sunggyu poked him in the forehead. “You stare too much.”
“You’re too good-looking.”
Sunggyu’s eyes widened in comical surprise, and then he burst into laughter, throwing his head back. He laughed with so much hearty enjoyment that Suho smiled, just watching him. Then, abruptly as he’d begun, he stopped, scowling at Suho in disappointment and warning. “Don’t joke.”
“I’m not! You’re good-looking. Why do you listen to your antis and not your fans?”
His scowl deepened. “My fans are the ones who call me a hamster.”
A hamster? What - - oh! Suddenly, Suho saw it. Snickering, he covered his mouth with one hand. “That’s - - ahem! - - that’s awful, hyung.” Oh, god, he couldn’t help it, he was laughing. It seemed like the funniest thing all day. A hamster!
“You aren’t so perfect, either!” Sunggyu complained. “You have lots of flaws, probably, that I could find if I really - - is there anything wrong with you?” he asked suddenly, helplessly. “Do you have any - - like, a weird mole behind your ear or a funny-shaped toe?”
“I’m not very tall,” he offered. “My fans think that I make awkward faces and I can’t dance.”
“Ah, my fans say that I can’t dance, either.”
“You’re a better singer than I am.”
Sunggyu rubbed his ear. “Ah, you have a pretty voice. You sound smooth like an angel.”
Wow. That meant a lot coming from this sunbae. “Thank you, hyung.”
Sunggyu blushed, scratching his head. Suho couldn’t believe how cute he was. How could someone so stern be so adorably bashful? This hyung could steal hearts in an instant.
This was why Suho had tried to avoid Sunggyu and stay at a polite distance. He had a forceful personality. He was too insistent and too magnetic. He pulled and pushed and controlled and demanded. But he was so sure of himself and so authoritative that he always seemed right. And he was so funny and so charming that Suho’s defenses kept tumbling down. He was so dominant that Suho wanted to keep him at bay, but then he smiled and said something funny and Suho wanted to be his favorite dongsaeng. He was dangerous. And he was irresistible.
Sungyeol pushed open the door to his room. It was dark in there. L was in bed, facing the wall. “Hey.” He hated seeing L look so lonely. “It’s depressing in here. All of the EXO members came over, come and say hi.”
L didn’t respond.
Going over, Sungyeol squatted down beside his bed and rubbed his shoulder. “L-ah. Wake up. What are you going to do, hide in bed forever?”
L’s voice was quiet and angry. “Go away.”
“Come on.” He didn’t want to be a jerk, but this wasn’t right. “At least come out and say hi to Suho. How long do you think you can hold a grudge?”
L grabbed his quilt and pulled it up over his head.
Annoyed, Sungyeol flipped on the light just to irritate L. Then he spotted L’s phone on the desk. Picking it up, he saw missed calls from Changjo. In the texts, Changjo was asking for a selca. Sungyeol snapped a shot of L’s bed and sent it.
Changjo called. The ringtone was set to Teen Top’s “Clap” like L still lived in 2010. “Hi, this is Lee Sungyeol.”
L sat up, shoving the quilt down, and stared at him like he was some kind of shocking criminal.
“Hyung, it’s Changjo.”
He backed towards the doorway, where he’d be closer to light and witnesses and safety. “Hi, how are you?”
“Good, hyung. Do I hear Chen hyung? Are you with EXO?”
L scrambled out of bed, fell on the floor like a goofball, and lunged toward him. “Yes, they’re all here. Do you want to say hi?” he asked, backing out of the room.
L chased him, grabbing at him, while Changjo asked, “Can I talk to Suho hyung?”
“No, he’s busy. Here, talk to Hoya. Catch!” Sungyeol called, tossing the phone.
Reaching out fast, Hoya grabbed the phone. “Hello?” he asked, putting it to his ear. L roughly shoved Sungyeol aside and started across the room. EXO looked surprised. “Hi, yeah, how are you?” he asked. As expected, he was quick on his feet, dancing back, feinting left, darting right, while L tried to catch him without knocking over hoobaes. “Have you eaten? Ah.” He skipped and spun and then moonwalked away. “Hold on for a second. Nam! Changjo,” he called, and he threw the phone.
“For me?” Woohyun asked innocently, catching it. “Changjo-ah? How are you, you don’t come over anymore.” L was closing in fast, and Woohyun ducked and dodged, trying to keep people between them. “We miss you, it was nice having a toddler around again. Oh?” He laughed, making a break for the couch. “Phone for you, hyung,” he said, passing the phone to Dongwoo and jogging away.
Dongwoo gave the phone a questioning look, then raised it to his ear. “Hello?”
L looked like he might cry or punch someone. Storming over, he snatched the phone out of Dongwoo’s hand. Dongwoo gave him a surprised look, but he missed it; he was breathing hard and staring at his phone. Holding the screen in front of his face, he screamed, “Stop! Fucking! Calling! Me!” and threw the phone into Dongwoo’s lap. Stunned, Sungyeol watched him storm back to their room and slam the door.
“Hyung,” Sungjong said, hurrying after L. He grabbed the doorknob, frowned, and tugged on it. “Hyung?” he asked, twisting it. “He’s locked it,” he told Sungyeol.
Sungyeol had a locked door and a screaming dongsaeng and staring, freaked-out hoobaes. He felt horrified and worried and embarrassed. “Should, uh, someone call Changjo back?”
“To. Um. Say what?” Chanyeol asked nervously.
Sungyeol had no idea.
Suho’s panicked look kept coming and going, but Sunggyu decided not to mention it. Teasing him about it would only make it worse. He deserved to be teased, though! Why did he jump into situations he couldn’t handle? He was too stubborn and idealistic.
They were on their sides, facing each other, pillows tucked under their heads. He tugged at the sheet now and then to make sure it was up over his chest, but he wasn’t clinging to it like it was the only thing keeping him alive anymore. His emotions were all over the place - - he joked and laughed like he was having a great time, and then he got that panicked look, and then he acted comfortable and familiar like they’d been close for years, and then he blushed and got shy and awkward. But he was a smart, funny kid, and he was interesting.
Their position was so relaxed, it was exactly the way Sunggyu talked in bed with the Infinite members all of the time. Except with them, there was a lot more skinship. It made Sunggyu want to touch Suho, too. But if he tried, Suho would probably shriek and faint, so he didn’t try it.
Suho got a thoughtful look for a moment, chewing on his lower lip. Sunggyu waited for him to work out whatever was going on in there. Finally, he met Sunggyu’s eyes again. “Hyung, can I ask you about something private?”
“Mmm.” Too bad Suho and L weren’t screwing. It would look great. Eh, it would look great if Suho could handle it. He’d probably get all fired up with determination, jump on L’s cock, realize he was actually being penetrated, and shriek and faint.
“How much do you know about things like BDSM?”
Surprised, he laughed. “What do you know about it?”
“Enough, I think. What does it take to be good at it?”
“The same things it takes to be good at everything. You have to like it, and care about it, and put practice in.”
Suho nodded thoughtfully.
“Worried about your maknae?” he guessed.
“Mmm? No, it’s me. But you just said that practice is important, and I said that practice was a good idea, and someone told me not to. How much sense does that make? Of course if I want to get better at something, I should work hard and get more experience.”
Sunggyu stared at him, trying to make sense of the nonsense coming out of his mouth. “Did you get a sex puppy?” The idea of Suho as anybody’s master was the funniest, saddest thing he’d ever heard.
“Puppy?” Suho repeated, looking confused. “No, I’m - - I need to try being the, doing the.” He raised his eyebrows. “I guess that I’m the puppy.”
Astonished, Sunggyu sat up in bed. “What?!”
“I can do it,” he insisted. “How hard can it be? If Key and L.Joe can do it, I can figure it out. Enough for once in a while, anyway.”
“Once in a while? Once in never! Look, little puppy, I don’t care if you want to play little slap and tickle games with your members. If it’s just stupid little ‘look at us, we’re so kinky’ bullshit that doesn’t mean anything, go ahead, have all of the fun that you want. But if you’re talking about real BDSM with a real dom, then I need you to tell me who it is, so I can warn everybody I know to stay the hell away from him. Anybody who’s trying to push you into BDSM is either too stupid or too dangerous to have sex with.”
Holding his arm across his chest to keep the sheet in place, Suho sat up a little, looking indignant. “Why does everyone think that I can’t handle it? I’m an adult! I’ve had a lot of sex!”
“Do you like feeling helpless?” Sunggyu asked. “Do you wish that your partners would humiliate you more? Do you sit around wishing that somebody would whip you or hurt you or tie you up and leave you in a puddle of your own cum and piss?” Suho looked stubborn and frustrated. “Do you lie awake at night wishing that your partners would be more aggressive and hurt you and make you feel worthless and force you to do things you don’t want? I don’t mean you think, ‘Yeah, okay, that could be kind of hot.’ You have to want it, it has to feel important to you, you really have to wish that someone would come in and take complete control and override everything you say and do. Do you get off on being hurt and vulnerable?”
Suho squeezed his eyes shut. His cheeks were red and he looked so tense and miserable, Sunggyu could tell that he was holding something in. He turned his face away, and Sunggyu wanted to reach out and reassure him. How could Sunggyu not feel bad when he looked so upset? Quietly, still turned away, he asked, “Could you look away, please? I want to get dressed.”
The right thing to do would be to leave and give him some privacy, but Sunggyu didn’t want to leave him alone like this. He needed help. Help with what, Sunggyu had no idea, but this awkward little puppy was struggling with something painful.
“Yeah,” Sunggyu said. He got up, off of the bed, and went over to the door. He looked at the door and scratched the back of his head and wondered what was going on. Something he’d said had struck a nerve, but he didn’t know which part. He’d said a lot of words. Not that his members had a point about him running his mouth all of the time.
“Okay,” Suho said in that same quiet, mournful tone.
Sunggyu turned, seeing that Suho was dressed again, and opened his mouth. Then, out of nowhere, he heard an anguished, furious scream. “Stop! Fucking! Calling! Me!”
L. Sunggyu’s whole body went on alert, and Suho’s head came up, and then Sunggyu was pivoting, jerking the door open.
Everyone was standing around looking stupid, and Sungjong was pulling on L’s doorknob saying that it was locked. Sunggyu went right back into his room and got his keys. By the time he was out again, Suho was knocking on L’s door and saying, “L-ah, it’s Suho hyung, let me in.” Sorting the keys on the ring, Sunggyu looked around. The guiltiest face was Sungyeol’s, so he started there. “What happened?”
“Changjo called,” Sungyeol said. “I answered, and we passed the phone around. I don’t know why he’s so upset, isn’t Changjo supposed to be his favorite dongsaeng these days?”
Sunggyu glared at everyone else. “Stop staring, go in your rooms and talk.”
His members scattered, taking the EXO members with them.
Alone with Suho, Sunggyu brushed him aside and unlocked the door. They’d either find L crying or seething or horribly embarrassed. Going inside, he turned on the light.
Crying and seething. This poor, stupid, sensitive kid. L sat huddled in the corner of his bed where the headboard met the wall, hugging his knees, his face miserable and enraged, his cheeks wet. “Get the fuck out,” he snarled, and then his face crumpled and he sobbed into his elbow.
“Where am I going to go, I live here,” Sunggyu said. Walking over, he sat down and put his arm around L. “Had a hard day? Feeling sorry for yourself? I know, it’s rough,” he said sympathetically, patting L’s back. “So good-looking and rich and popular, and now you’re fighting with both of your hot, successful boyfriends at once. It’s been hard on you.”
“Go away,” L muttered, trying to get away from him to hide against the headboard.
Sunggyu sighed, feeling sorry for him. “C’mere, cry on hyung,” Sunggyu said, coaxing him in. He gave right in, slumping against Sunggyu’s chest. He was crying so hard that he was shaking, and Sunggyu hugged him, stroking his hair. He hadn’t gotten this upset in a long time, and it was hard to see. So dramatic, so sensitive, thank god that not all of the members were like this.
Suho sat on the edge of the bed. When they’d first heard L scream, Suho’s head had whipped around like - - not like he’d heard an alarm, but like he’d heard an alarm he’d been waiting for. Like an animal recognizing the cry of its young, like a father near a playground who always had one ear tuned to the voice of his kid and had suddenly heard an unhappy sound instead of a happy one. It was that kind of behavior that made Sunggyu respect Suho as a leader. But this time it hadn’t been for EXO, it had been for L, and that made Sunggyu like Suho even more. He’d responded like L was his.
Sniffing, L shifted. Hugging Sunggyu, he hooked his chin over Sunggyu’s shoulder. Loving him no matter what, Sunggyu rubbed his side.
“L-ah,” Suho said quietly. L’s whole body tensed against Sunggyu. “It’s okay if you hate me. But you can’t take everything out on Changjo. You can’t treat him like this.”
L whipped around, looking so furious that Sunggyu wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d spat fire. “What about how you treat him?” He was so desperate with rage, he was probably going to get violent in a second. “Out, out, out, get out!”
L lunged at Suho with a cry of incoherent fury. Grabbing at his arm and catching hold of his shirt, Sunggyu dragged him back. “Starting another fight so soon after the last one?” Sunggyu demanded, giving him a shake. “Get control of yourself.”
Breathing hard, he glared at Suho like he’d never seen something more disgusting. “Get that hoobae out of our dorm.” He said the word “hoobae” like it was the worst slur in the world.
Sunggyu gestured for Suho to get up. Reluctantly, Suho did, moving slowly toward the door. “Stay in here until you have your shit together,” Sunggyu told L. He got off of the bed, then shooed Suho out of the room and closed the door behind them.
“I should talk to him,” Suho said.
“Some other time,” Sunggyu said. He liked how worried Suho was, but he liked how reasonable Suho was, too. Really, Suho was a good hyung, responsible and concerned but not too emotional to be useful to anybody. “Maybe it’s time for EXO to leave.”
“I don’t want to go when he’s like this,” Suho said, looking at L’s door. “It’s my fault, he wouldn’t be upset if it weren’t for me.”
“He’s not going to get over it in the next five minutes, and EXO can’t stay here all night.”
Pouting, Suho nodded. Then he asked, “Would it be all right if I stayed? My members can go back to our dorm. I won’t bother you, but I don’t want L to think that I can just walk away without looking back.”
“That’s a terrible idea,” Sunggyu said.
“I wouldn’t leave D.O. like this.”
“Does D.O. act like this?” Sunggyu asked, gesturing at L’s door. “If he doesn’t, can we trade?”
“No, I’d never part with D.O.,” Suho said. “Would you take Baekhyun?”
“Hey!” someone exclaimed from one of the other bedrooms.
Ignoring the laughter following that, Sunggyu said, “You can stay if you have to, but don’t cause trouble. And send your members away, I don’t need this many kids in my bathroom.”
Suho looked surprised that he’d said yes. “Thank you, hyung.”
Sunggyu nodded. “I’m very generous,” he decided, satisfied with himself. Suho smiled.
Suho took a moment with his members. They were agitated - - L had rattled them, they were worried about him and what he’d done with Sunggyu and what might happen if they left him alone, and being around Infinite had made them horny and excitable. Kai wanted to stay with him, and he wasn’t thrilled that his dongsaeng thought that he needed a baby-sitter. Firmly, he sent them back to the dorm, telling them to behave themselves and follow the rules.
Then he found himself alone with Infinite. He’d visited L so often that he was used to being in Infinite’s dorm, but he’d spent most of that time tucked away in L’s room. Not out in the open with nothing to do.
Hoya and Sungyeol walked over to look at him. “Uh,” Hoya said.
Sungyeol said, “Yeah. Um.”
Hoya turned to Sungyeol. “We could not have sex tonight.”
“What? No!” Sungyeol exclaimed. “He can wait in one of the bedrooms. With headphones on. And the door closed.”
“We could do it in the bedrooms with the door closed,” Hoya suggested.
Sungyeol frowned. “Where’s the fun in that?”
“Where are you going to sleep?” Hoya asked Suho.
“On the couch?” he guessed.
“No one’s come on it in the last twenty-four hours,” Sungyeol said, shrugging.
“Ah,” Hoya said. “This morning…” His voice trailed off and he coughed into his fist, looking away.
Suho tried not to remember how many times he’d sat on that couch. He sat on the couch at his own dorm, and he knew exactly what happened there, but at least those were his own members.
“You can sleep with me,” Sungyeol offered, grinning.
“No, thanks,” Suho said.
“Hoobaes sleep on the floor,” Sunggyu said. “Go and pee now, we all have to shower and I don’t want you walking in on me. You, set him up with videogames and headphones and a drink and everything he’ll need so he can stay in one spot for a while and not interrupt things.”
It was going to be an interesting night. “Yes, hyung,” Suho said, obediently trotting off toward the bathroom.
Hoya was overly solicitous in getting him settled in, calling him “honored guest” and “guardian leader” and offering him all kinds of impossible snacks. He played videogames for a while. One by one, the Infinite members showered, showing up fresh-faced in casual clothes. Dongwoo walked past completely naked and cheerfully unselfconscious, and he didn’t want to be freaked out about it, but he couldn’t help it, it really shook him. He focused more intently on the game after that, turning up the volume, worried about what else he might notice if he paid attention to his surroundings.
After a while, Woohyun came over and sat with him. He still felt uneasy, but he couldn’t be rude, so when Woohyun offered to play with him, he agreed. Woohyun was so funny and easygoing, he eventually relaxed. It was a comfortable setting. These weren’t his members, but it was still familiar to have people moving around aimlessly, to half-hear meaningless conversation from other rooms, to have guys wandering around flirting and arguing and complaining that there wasn’t anything to eat.
Woohyun left him and Sungyeol joined him. He and Sungyeol were talking strategy when the sex began. At the shocking sound of Sungjong’s first ecstatic cry, he gave an involuntary start, his fingers twitching on the controller and sending his assassin into a ditch. There wasn’t just one cry, there were a lot of them, bubbling and blissful, and he could imagine - - he didn’t want to imagine - - oh, god, he had to get away from this.
Sungyeol laughed at him. “You okay?”
He could run out of the dorm, but that would cause a scene. He could escape to the bathroom, but chances were that he’d still be able to hear it. And he’d have to leave the bathroom sometime, and what then? He had to stay where he was and endure it. He could endure it. This shouldn’t even faze him. His members had sex in front of him all of the time, and that didn’t bother him. He was an expert at ignoring sex that had nothing to do with him, and this had nothing to do with him, so why did he feel so agitated?
He couldn’t help it. And it wouldn’t stop. It went on and on like that, like an unending nightmare. Tense, turned on, trapped, Suho had to listen to a constant stream of sex, like someone had locked him in a porn movie with the sound turned up. Every time someone stopped, someone else started up, and sometimes they overlapped, which was a thousand times worse. Sungjong’s ecstatic cries, Sungyeol’s enthusiastic moans, Hoya’s aching groans, it all echoed. The way Woohyun moaned with such fervent, sensual intensity made his cock throb, and the way Dongwoo said, “Yeah, that’s it, open up wide for it,” made wild, erotic images flash vividly in his mind. The things Dongwoo said, the raunchy flow of words, it was all so gleeful and crude that he’d never wanted someone to shut up more.
In agony, sweating, he stumbled to the bathroom. Locking the door, he moaned miserably when he realized that, yes, he could still hear everything. Making humiliating, mewling noises, feeling doomed and helpless, he pulled his erection out of his pants. Grabbing up toilet paper with his other hand, he masturbated urgently, desperate for relief. He came hard, his knees buckling, barely catching the flood. Panting, he dropped the soggy tissue into the toilet.
He stayed in there as long as he dared, washing his face with cool water and trying to calm down. It had been a mistake to stay; he wasn’t doing L any good, anyway.
He’d been so proud of himself, jacking off in front of Ricky. He’d thought that he’d matured, that he’d finally become seasoned enough to be able to conduct himself with the same freedom as everyone else. He’d thought that his sexual experience and all of those conversations with L and Changjo had finally made a difference.
No. No, he was just as weak as he’d always been. Weaker, even, if it was possible. He felt so frustrated, so helpless. Was he going to be this way forever? He was an adult, he was a leader, he was experienced, what else did it take? Why was he stuck here like a blushing, scared teenager when everyone else around him could have cheerful, casual sex under any circumstances whatsoever?
Between worrying over L and feeling guilty about Changjo and wondering what his members were up to and being spooked by every little sound in case it signaled more sex, he spent the rest of the night tense and fretting. He watched TV for a distraction, wishing that he had a member on hand with a problem he could solve. Nothing put his mind right like sorting out a member’s problems.
“He’s a hoobae,” he heard Sunggyu say.
“He’s a guest,” Dongwoo said. “Shouldn’t we be hospitable?”
“I don’t want a hoobae in my bed,” Sunggyu said. “He can sleep on the floor.”
“He can have my bed,” Dongwoo said. “I can sleep with you.”
“I don’t want you in my bed, either.”
Dongwoo laughed. “Yes, you do. You love me in your bed.”
“If you’re there, I’ll just fuck you.”
“I know,” Dongwoo said with relish. “That’s the best part.”
“I don’t want to fuck you,” Sunggyu complained. “I’m not having sex tonight.”
“What? Why not? None?” Dongwoo asked.
“We have a guest, don’t we?” Sunggyu asked impatiently. “I’m being polite.”
“Oh, should I not have done that, earlier?” Dongwoo asked.
“I’m not going to tell you not to have sex in your own dorm.”
“Why not? You always tell us what to do. Isn’t that a leader’s job?”
“Okay, stop having sex,” Sunggyu said.
“Okay. Wait, where’s Young Money sleeping, then?”
“On the floor.”
“We have beds all over! He can have my bed, and I’ll sleep somewhere else. Without having sex. I’d better not share Woohyun’s bed, then!”
“Or Sungyeol’s. Or Hoya’s. Or L’s. Or Sungjong’s,” Sunggyu said.
“Ooohh, it’s difficult,” Dongwoo admitted. His laughter sounded happy. “I think that I like our members too much!”
“He’s still here,” Sungjong said, strolling out of his room, on the phone. “Yeah, he’s right here, I’m looking at him,” he said, his gaze raking over Suho. “I don’t know, I’ll ask. But you’ll come too, right? Ask your leader, then, I’m not even going to bother if it’s just Changjo.”
Changjo? Suho wondered who he was talking to.
Brushing his bangs out of his eyes, Sungjong stood there in silence. Then he drifted toward the kitchen. “Sunggyu hyung?” he asked in a sweet voice.
“Oooohh, he wants a favor,” Dongwoo said, laughing.
“Changjo really wants to come over. I think that he’s really upset about L hyung. I feel bad for him.”
“What, now?” Sunggyu asked. “No, it’s too late.”
“It’s not very late,” Sungjong said. “L hyung’s so upset, I think that we should do something. Maybe if Changjo talks to him, it’ll help.”
“I said no,” Sunggyu said. Suho bit his lip. He wanted to argue, but he couldn’t contradict Sunggyu’s authority in front of Infinite.
“What am I supposed to say?” Sungjong asked. “Changjo’s so upset.”
“Since when do you care so much about Changjo?” Sunggyu asked. Suho heard Sungjong say, “Hyung!” and then Sunggyu asked, “Ya, who is this?”
Suho got up and went over to L’s room. He knocked lightly. “L-ah? It’s Suho hyung.” If it were one of his own members, he’d go in. “L-ah?” He tried the doorknob. Locked again. How long could L stay in there? “Dongsaeng-ah, I’m spending the night. I’ll be here if you want to talk. Our Changjo is trying to come to see you, but he might not have permission to visit tonight.” Was L awake, or was he talking for nothing? “We’ll talk in the morning. I’m sorry that you’re having such a hard time.”
The door seemed unsympathetic.
Sighing, Suho walked away.
“Pajamas!” Dongwoo came out of the kitchen. “Suho! Are you comfortable? Do you want pajamas?”
“I’m okay, hyung, thank you.” It was nice of Dongwoo to ask.
“I’ll get you some,” Dongwoo said, turning away. “What’s clean?” he asked himself. “Whose size are you?” he asked, turning back again. Looking Suho over, he laughed. “My size?”
“He doesn’t want to wear your clothes,” Sunggyu said from the kitchen doorway. “Go get L’s clothes from the clean laundry.”
“They’ll be too big.”
“Are you a stylist? He’s sleeping, not going onstage.”
“Okay.” Dongwoo wandered off.
Suho was relieved that the dorm seemed quiet. “Changjo’s not coming?”
“It’s too late,” Sunggyu said. “I don’t need him here riling things up. If L wants to talk, he can talk to you.”
Dongwoo was back with clothes. “It’s clean,” he said, handing it over.
“Thank you.” Suho wondered why Sunggyu had decided on L’s clothes, specifically, since he was probably closer in size to some of the other members. But he was relieved, because he’d be more comfortable in L’s clothes than someone else’s. He was too nervous, tonight, and everything agitated him; he didn’t know the other members well enough to wear their clothes without feeling like it was too intimate. But he was comfortable with L and it didn’t bother him.
He changed in the bathroom. Shorts and a T-shirt, both black. Maybe L would hate it, but now he felt more relaxed, like he was settling in for the night.
When he went back to the living room, Woohyun sat down on the couch with an exhausted, relieved sigh. Woohyun told him that he looked cute and asked about tomorrow’s schedules. He asked about Infinite’s schedules, and then Sungyeol came out and joined them. He sat on the floor, and after a while Hoya sat beside him. The four of them talked comfortably about this and that, and he let himself relax, gave himself permission to unwind, just enjoyed being among friends.
They were arguing over old movies when a door opened and L emerged. “Hey, I have your phone,” Sungyeol said. “Changjo texted you like a hundred times.”
L grunted and went into the bathroom.
“Ya, why does he look so handsome when he’s been crying all night?” Woohyun asked. “I cry and I look red and puffy all over.”
“Woohyun always cries for Inspirit,” Sungyeol told Suho. Pressing his fist to his chest, he bit his lip and looked at the ceiling, blinking and sniffing like he was trying to hold in his emotions. He looked so noble and moved that Suho had to laugh.
“You look better than Dongwoo hyung does,” Hoya said. “Even if I did an impression I could never look that bad.”
Coming out of the bathroom, L went into Hoya and Sungjong’s room. He closed the door, and Suho heard the lock click.
Hoya looked around like he was searching for answers. “That’s my room.”
“You can sleep with me,” Sungyeol offered.
“Or me,” Woohyun said.
Sungyeol pointed at himself.
Woohyun grinned and threw Hoya a heart.
“Dongwoo hyung,” Hoya called, looking away. Suho burst into laughter. Sungyeol and Woohyun batted at each other, chuckling.
“Yes?” Dongwoo called back from another room.
Hoya scratched his chin thoughtfully, like he was considering something.
“Come on, me, me,” Sungyeol whispered.
Woohyun grinned at Hoya. “Oppa knows what you like.”
Hoya shook his head, waving them away. “Dongwoo hyung?”
“Yes?” Dongwoo called again.
“He’s just going to play around,” Sungyeol said. “I’ll handle business.”
Hoya raised his eyebrows like it was a good offer. Suho breathed evenly; it was just banter and flirtation and negotiation, the playful conversation EXO liked all of the time. Hoya turned his gaze on Woohyun like he was silently soliciting a counter offer.
“You know I’ll handle business,” Woohyun said. “And I’ll eat you out first.”
Hoya nodded, reaching out a hand to shake. At the last second, he veered and reached toward Sungyeol instead. Sungyeol chuckled and shot Woohyun a smug look. Just as their hands were about to touch, Hoya moved toward Woohyun instead, then sat back and skimmed his hand over his hair and called, “Dongwoo hyung!”
“Yes! Yes! Yes!” Dongwoo exclaimed, coming out of his room, shirtless and exasperated. “Can’t anyone hear me? I’ve been answering you!”
The four of them collapsed with laughter, Woohyun and Sungyeol leaning against each other on the couch. Hoya covered his mouth with one hand, eyes sparkling, looking as happy as Suho had ever seen him. “Sorry, hyung. It’s this hoobae’s fault, he was distracting me.”
Suho pushed at Hoya’s thigh, laughing and surprised by the betrayal. “I didn’t!”
Hoya gave him a surprised onceover, then grinned and mimicked his action, pushing at his thigh. “You did!”
He pushed again, harder this time. “Don’t lie to your hyung.”
A happy challenge glittered in Hoya’s eyes. “Don’t distract your sunbaes when they’re talking.” He shoved Suho’s shoulder.
Suho caught himself and shoved back. “Liar.”
“Okay, okay, don’t fight with our guest,” Dongwoo said, before Suho could retaliate. “That’s no way to show hospitality.”
“Sorry, hyung,” Suho said automatically.
“My money was on Suho,” Sungyeol said.
“Are you joking?” Woohyun asked. “Hoya could take him.”
“I don’t know, he could be muscular,” Sungyeol said.
“Hoya’s strong, have you seen his thighs?”
Sungyeol laughed. “What, are they kicking each other? Hoya just looks mean-”
“Hey,” Hoya said.
“-you know he’s a pushover.”
“Ya!” Hoya exclaimed.
“He has muscle,” Dongwoo said, and suddenly he was squatting beside Suho, feeling up Suho’s upper arm.
Flustered, Suho laughed. “There’s a little,” he admitted. Not sure what else to do with this examination, he flexed.
“Oh, that’s nice,” Dongwoo said, squeezing his biceps appreciatively.
“Mine keep going away,” Sungyeol admitted, rubbing his own arms. “They looked amazing last month, but I’ve been busy.”
“Nam has the best body,” Dongwoo said. His touch was drifting over Suho’s back now, lightly, erratically, and since he didn’t seem to mean anything by it - - he didn’t necessarily seem aware that he was even doing it - - Suho didn’t mind. “He’s a gorgeous, muscular, love machine.”
Hoya burst into laughter and coughed into his fist. Sungyeol did a double take and stared at Woohyun. “Love machine? Did you pay him to say that?”
“You got all the way to ‘love machine?’” Hoya asked Sungyeol. “I got stuck on ‘gorgeous.’”
“Hey,” Woohyun said, grinning. “I’m the second best-looking member of Infinite.”
Sungyeol laughed. “You’re not even the fourth best-looking person in this conversation.”
Woohyun pointed at Suho. “He’s skewing the results!”
Sungyeol smacked at his hand. “What skewed your face?”
While Suho and Hoya burst into laughter, Woohyun wrestled Sungyeol down against the arm of the couch and Dongwoo got up to intervene.
“What’s all of this noise? Why is everyone still up?” Sunggyu demanded, walking in. “Go to your room, get in bed, you should be asleep by now.”
To Suho, it sounded like Sunggyu’s usual complaining, but Woohyun laughed, climbing off of Sungyeol and asking, “What happened to your mood?”
Sunggyu scowled, then rubbed at his elbow. “I’m horny.”
Hoya licked his lips. Embarrassed, Suho looked away, only to see Dongwoo rubbing himself. Feeling hot, he tried to find something else to look at. And not the knowing, appreciative way Woohyun was smiling at Sunggyu.
“Want help?” Sungyeol asked.
“I don’t need help. Go to bed. Money, come with me.”
“Young Money,” Sungyeol corrected. “Young Money’s a rap name. Just ‘Money’ by itself is weird, like you’re calling him ‘won.’”
“Yeah,” Hoya said, “and no one would name a kid ‘won’ anything, that would be stupid.”
Wasn’t Hoya’s name - - Suho didn’t have time to verify that, because Sunggyu was leaning down and grabbing his wrist. He got up, and Sunggyu pulled him away. “Sleep well,” he said to the others.
“Good night,” Woohyun called.
Now he’d never know who Hoya had chosen to spend the night with. That seemed like such an absurd thing to be disappointed about that he almost laughed at himself as he followed Sunggyu into the bedroom.
“Sit,” Sunggyu said, pushing him toward the bed. While Sunggyu closed the door, he sat on the foot of the bed, folding his legs in. Sunggyu sat beside him. “L interrupted what we were talking about earlier and you - - what?”
“Nothing.” The last time they’d been in here, Sunggyu had been made up and styled, and now he was bare-faced, his hair clean. The contrast was fascinating. He didn’t look as dramatic, and without the color and contouring he looked natural and approachable and handsome. Stage-ready, he was sexy, but now, he looked, he was, he…
“You’re staring,” he said warily.
Suho’s gaze dropped from his eyes and their long, straight lashes to his pink, full lips.
Suho’s first thought was that he really, really wanted to kiss Sunggyu.
His second thought was the panicked realization that he had to get out of there.
“Not going to touch you,” Sunggyu said, leaning away from him. “Don’t freak out, nothing’s happening. I just want to talk.”
He hated being so obvious; it was humiliating. It was unfair of him, but he resented Sunggyu for mentioning it. It was embarrassing enough to freak out over every little thing; he at least liked to pretend that not everyone noticed it.
“You have to learn not to show so much on your face,” Sunggyu said.
Collecting himself, embarrassed and annoyed, he pretended to straighten his shorts. He wanted to get this conversation over with so he could get away from Sunggyu. At least with Changjo he was better at controlling his reactions. He felt too exposed to Sunggyu. “What do you want to talk about?”
“I want you to promise me something.”
He expected there to be more after that. When there wasn’t, he waited a second more, then asked, “What promise?”
Sunggyu shook his head. “Make the promise first.”
“But I don’t know what I’m promising. How can I honor my commitments if I make promises I might not be able to keep?”
“I’ll tell you what it is after you agree. You don’t trust me?”
This wasn’t even a little bit fair. But he’d rather agree to trust Sunggyu than refuse. “Okay. Promise.” He would have offered his pinky finger but he wasn’t ready to be touched. He hoped that didn’t seem obvious.
“Then you won’t do any BDSM,” Sunggyu said.
Wait, he couldn’t agree to that! “I have to. It’s my responsibility.”
“Did you hear what I said before? Do you remember any of it? Handjobs and kissing are for people who want handjobs and kissing. Bondage and domination are for people who want those things. Do you speed and race every time you’re in a car? Do you take a parachute and jump out of every airplane you get on? You don’t have to go so far to prove things. Stop undressing and getting into strange men’s beds, and stop talking about BDSM. It’s not for you, there’s nothing to practice.”
“I know what I have to do. Aren’t you the one who told me about a leader’s responsibility? I’ve let down my members too much already. If I can step in, then it’s my duty.”
“Who is asking you to do this?”
He didn’t want to expose everything if he didn’t have to. Not for the sake of his own privacy, but for Sehun and L.Joe’s. Then he realized what the most honest answer was. “No one is.” Sehun hadn’t asked for it. “I’m offering because I want to do what’s right.”
“He hasn’t asked you for it? He hasn’t begged? He isn’t complaining that you don’t do this for him already?”
“No. But I know what I need to do.”
“Does he want you to do this?”
“He will.” It would work out.
“What about kink do you like? What masochistic fantasies do you jack off to?”
“There aren’t any,” he admitted. “But I can learn.”
“Have you ever seen BDSM? Not kinky porn, real people?”
“If you don’t want it, it’s abuse. If you aren’t eager for more of it, it’s cruelty. It’s not a boring TV show you can endure until it’s over. If you’re in that kind of situation and you don’t really, really want to be there more than anything, then you’re going to be very, very hurt and you’re putting your partner in a bad situation where he’s being abusive to someone he thinks is enthusiastic. No good dom wants a partner who’s only going through the motions. How is he going to feel if he does something to you and you get hurt or have regrets?”
He didn’t want to admit that Sunggyu was right. “What am I supposed to do? Wouldn’t you do anything for your members?”
“Doesn’t he already have L.Joe? What else do you think he needs?”
“L.Joe isn’t always around. I am.”
“L.Joe is a sub. You aren’t. It’s not something you can fake. You’re like someone who never learned to swim trying to save someone from drowning. Get out of the water and find a lifeguard!”
Suho didn’t like Sunggyu’s answers. He hadn’t liked Sehun’s, either. But Sehun was right. He couldn’t handle regular sex. With a sense of envy, he wondered what it was like for L.Joe. He didn’t know if they were too similar or too different. “I want him to have a back-up,” he said, looking down. He felt like he’d been defeated.
“Has he asked for one?”
“No. He says that there’s no one else but L.Joe.”
“Maybe you should listen to him.”
“It can’t be impossible to do it with someone else.”
“You could ask around. Maybe Key will feel sorry for him and do it once.”
checked Sunggyu’s face. It was very
expressive sometimes and hard to read the rest of the time, and at the moment,
it gave away nothing. “Are you joking?”
“Yes, yes, I’m joking,” Sunggyu said, suddenly exasperated. “He’s happy with the way things are. Everybody is. Stop finding ways to solve problems no one is having. And stop worrying about everyone else’s sex life. Take care of yourself first.”
He winced. He had ideas about how to help the others, though. He didn’t know what to do about himself.
“You’re good at taking care of your members,” Sunggyu said. “If you had this scared, uptight visual named Joonmyun in EXO, what would you tell him?”
“To relax,” Suho admitted. “To trust his members and be more selfish.” It made sense, it was easy, if he applied it to someone else.
“Selfish,” Sunggyu said. “Take what you want? What do you want?”
“Sex,” he said, right out loud, right into the air. The ceiling didn’t crash down on his head. “I want to feel good,” he confessed. It wasn’t very easy to say, but he wanted to get it out, for once. He looked down at his hands and pretended that the person at his side was Changjo or L, and he could keep going. “I want it to be fun and easy like it is for everyone else. I want it all of the time, a lot of it. I want to be able to try things with my members. I want to be as confident as Xiumin hyung and as carefree as Baekhyun. I want to stop feeling so weak and ashamed. I want L. I want Changjo. I want-” He clamped his teeth shut. He couldn’t do this. He couldn’t say it.
“If you want L, go and get him. He’s here,” Sunggyu said. “Walk in and tell him that you’re ready to start something. If you can come in here and take your clothes off for me, you can do it for L. You know what you want. Take charge of your life and do it.”
Take charge of his life. Take charge of his life. Right. Suho rubbed his hands over his thighs, trying to psych himself up. He knew what he had to do.
“There’s your determined face,” Sunggyu said. “Ready to start?”
“Yes.” He was going to do this. He was going to do what everyone else would do. He was going to be bold and selfish and casual. He was going to ask for what he wanted and he was going to stop being afraid.
He got up. It was a very ordinary thing to do, but it felt monumental. Excited, nervous, feeling resolute and defiant, he ordered himself to take charge of his life.
He walked over and locked the door. He was committed now; Sunggyu would always know that he’d done that, and he couldn’t pretend that he had any other intentions. He walked right back to the foot of the bed, where Sunggyu sat, and took off his shirt.
“No,” Sunggyu said.
That “no” rattled him, and he almost quit, almost fled. He’d exposed himself and humiliated himself enough, and he couldn’t take more rejection.
Then he thought about Xiumin. What would Baekhyun say? What would Changjo do? “Yes,” he told Sunggyu, pushing down his shorts. “Why not?”
“I don’t want your noble sacrifice! Go and give this to L. You don’t have to prove anything to me.”
He didn’t want to prove anything to Sunggyu. He wanted to prove it to himself. But suddenly he realized that he might have miscalculated. He couldn’t assume that Sunggyu was interested in him like this. Everybody was so quick to hop into bed with everybody else, he’d taken it for granted that Sunggyu would take him up on the offer, but what if Sunggyu wasn’t attracted to him? From everything L had said, it sounded like Sunggyu had a very satisfying sex life, full of horny dongsaengs and intense lovemaking. Oh, god, he was embarrassing himself even more than he’d realized. “I’m sorry, hyung.” Burning with shame, he snatched up his clothes from the floor, clutching them in front of himself.
“Don’t panic so much,” Sunggyu said. “You overreact to everything.”
“I’m sorry,” he said again. He had to get out of there, away from Sunggyu. He dreaded ever having to face Sunggyu again. What did he think that he was doing? Had he really just so boldly thrown himself at another idol? Mortified, he fumbled with the doorknob. Escaping into the dark hallway, he stood there for a second. He wanted to get his real clothes and leave, but his conscience wouldn’t let him run away like a coward when he’d promised L that he’d stay.
He suddenly realized that L was there, staring at him, only a few feet away.
He stared back. He had no idea what to say. His mortification crashed into his worry and guilt, and he couldn’t have formed a coherent sentence to save his life. He didn’t know how to explain, but he didn’t want L to misunderstand.
Shock widened L’s eyes, and then anger drew his eyebrows together. He looked furious, confused, and betrayed. “What the fuck are you doing?”
He tried to answer, but nothing that came to mind made sense. Despair flooding him, he admitted, “I don’t know.” He felt so stupid, so ashamed, so helpless. What was wrong with him, why couldn’t he get anything right? How could he lead his members when he couldn’t handle his own personal life? Just when he thought that he was on the right track, he found a new way to mess everything up. What had he been thinking, coming onto a sunbae like that? What would he have done if Sunggyu had actually taken him up on it? Had he really been convinced that he had to jump into BDSM? What was he doing in his underwear in Infinite’s dorm, humiliated and rejected in the middle of the night? Was this really how EXO’s guardian behaved?
“Shit,” L said. He pulled Suho away from Sunggyu’s door and into the kitchen, where the light was still on.
Under L’s tense, searching gaze, Suho tried to look normal. He’d made things bad enough already; he didn’t want to make L worry about him on top of everything else. He put the shorts and T-shirt on but didn’t feel any better. He wondered if Sunggyu was laughing at him or disgusted or had forgotten all about it already. Probably Sunggyu felt sorry for him, for how pathetic he was. Unable to bear that, he pressed his lips together, struggling to endure it. He’d created this horrible situation, and now he had to live with it. He’d apologize to Sunggyu in the morning. Facing Sunggyu again was the last thing in the world that he wanted to do, but he had to take responsibility for his actions.
“You’re scaring me.” L scrubbed his hands through his hair, pulling on it, looking so conflicted that Suho wanted to reassure him.
“It’s okay, it’s nothing to worry about.”
“I don’t feel sorry for you,” L warned him, and then all of the anger on L’s face melted into concern. “What happened?”
He didn’t want to admit this to anyone - - he’d really rather take it to his grave and, if possible, forget all about it on the way - - but after everything, he owed L honesty. “I.” He licked his lips, wishing that there were a less embarrassing way to phrase it. “I made a pass at Sunggyu hyung. I asked him to, to, to,” he cringed as a fresh wave of mortification hit him, “to have sex with me.”
“What?!” L seized hold of his shoulder, staring into his face. “Why?! Hyung!” L’s eyes widened, and his gaze suddenly dropped down Suho’s body. “Did he do it?”
That was, actually, the worst part. “No,” he admitted, wincing, his voice small. Or was that the best part? He didn’t even know. Rejection was bad enough, but what if Sunggyu had actually taken him up on the offer? He thought of being back in Sunggyu’s bed, of Sunggyu crawling over him, of Sunggyu’s hand sliding over his bare skin, of - - of - - oh, god, he wanted it so badly, he felt like he had a fever. Covering his mouth with one hand in a desperate attempt to smother his whimpering moan, he felt a hot, urgent pulsing between his legs.
“God, hyung, what,” L said, shaking his head, holding onto Suho’s upper arms. “When’s the last time you got laid?”
He hated letting anyone see him like this. At least it was L; it would have been so much more humiliating with anyone else. “Last night,” he admitted. He ran his hand through his hair, trying to collect himself. “I, it’s been a few days in a row. But it was a while before that, it’s been - - but that’s no excuse.”
L looked displeased with him. “How long did you go without it?”
It was awkward to admit it. He felt self-conscious discussing his sex life, and he felt guilty about having gone celibate again, like he’d seem ungrateful for all of L’s advice and support. “Since the blind item came out.”
“Hyung!” L pushed his shoulder, looking exasperated. “Why are you like this? That long?!”
“It didn’t seem right, and everyone was so unhappy, and-”
“You’re so full of shit!” L exclaimed.
He winced; he felt like he deserved that.
“Are you doing it again? You’re letting your members take turns?”
He blushed; what if someone overheard? “Yes,” he admitted. “Let’s not talk about this here.”
Just then, a door closed. It confirmed that other people were up and around, and it made Suho tense, wondering who was up and what had been heard.
“Come on,” L said, moving away. He followed as L tried doorknobs and peeked into rooms. Dongwoo and Woohyun’s door was locked; Sungjong was in one room, Sungyeol in another. To Suho’s embarrassment, L tried Sunggyu’s room, and to Suho’s surprise, it was empty. “If he’s in there, he’s not coming out for a while,” L said, gesturing to Dongwoo’s locked door. “Come in.” L pulled him into Sunggyu’s room, then closed the door.
There was a bottle on the nightstand. A bottle with a discreet black matte finish, a pump, and no label. It might have been something as ordinary as hand lotion. It also might have been lube. That might be what Sunggyu used on the Infinite members, teasing them open before - - Suho shuddered, crossing his arms over his chest and backing away.
“Do you want to go back to your dorm?” L asked. “Whose turn is it?”
“Chen’s. No, I can’t, I don’t want to leave before I’ve talked to you.” What was he doing, he’d lost all of his focus. “L-”
L frowned, shaking his head. “Not that, I don’t want to talk about that now. Go back to your dorm, let Chen get you off.”
“I said that I’m not leaving.”
L sighed. Then he licked his lips and raised his eyebrows. “Do you want me to do it?”
“Oh, but you’d let Sunggyu hyung screw you?”
“That was a mistake,” he said, embarrassed.
“Why’d you ask him?”
Because he’d wanted it. He’d really wanted it. “I want to be the kind of person who does those things.” And he felt - - he didn’t like Sunggyu, that was stupid, but, “I think he’s, he’s kind of, he’s attractive.”
“You barely even let your members touch you.”
That wasn’t fair. “Did, ah, did Changjo tell you what I did with Ricky?” L frowned. Right, no, of course not, the two of them hadn’t talked since that night. Something else that was completely wrong and Suho’s fault. “L-ah-”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” L snapped. He sat on Sunggyu’s bed, looking unhappy. “What did you do with Ricky?” He blinked, looking surprised. “Ricky?”
Suho wasn’t thrilled about getting comfortable in Sunggyu’s room, but he didn’t want to make things more awkward for L, so he sat beside L. He explained what he’d done with Ricky, and he answered L’s questions about it, and he admitted that it had been horribly mortifying but in the end he was glad that he’d done it. He told L that he wanted to do more things like that, that he was tired of being so afraid and weak all of the time. “Sunggyu hyung said something, he was talking about BDSM-”
L’s eyebrows went up.
“It doesn’t matter why,” Suho said, rushing ahead. “He said how in BDSM, the, um, the sub is helpless and vulnerable. But for me…”
L studied him. “Sex is always that way for you.”
He nodded, ashamed, relieved that L understood him enough that he didn’t have to say it himself.
“It doesn’t have to be that way. When we talked before, you felt confident about it. When you get laid more often and sleep with your members every night and ask them for what you want, everything’s better, isn’t it?”
He nodded. L was right; he did feel more confident then. It was something he struggled with and had to relearn over and over again. Every time that he got into a consistent pattern and went ahead and just had regular sex, something happened that threw him off. “Things were better,” he admitted.
“But the blind item stopped you?”
“The blind item stopped everything. I was wrong-”
“I don’t want to talk about it!”
“We need to,” he said firmly. “I was wrong, and I’m sorry.” With that finally out, he sighed, feeling sad. “I’m really sorry. I handled everything in the wrong way. I should have stayed by your side. I was a bad leader and a bad hyung. I never wanted to hurt you,” he said, putting his hand on top of L’s. L stared sullenly at the floor. “I thought that I was doing what was best for my members. But it was wrong of me to abandon you. You’re not in EXO, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t precious to me. I’m not your leader, but you’re still my dongsaeng, and I have to do a better job of taking care of you.” Sighing, feeling regretful, he stroked L’s hair. “I’ll still love you, even if you have to hate me. I understand.”
L looked at a different spot on the floor. His eyes were wet. Seeing him so upset and unhappy tore at Suho’s heart. He hadn’t wanted to trust Suho from the very beginning, and Suho had convinced him, and now things had ended up like this after all.
“I’m sorry,” Suho said again, quietly, really meaning it. “I wanted to show you that the world was a kinder place than you realized it was, and I taught you everything opposite of that.”
Pressing his lips together, L inhaled, and then he breathed out hard, blinking and looking at the wall. “What about Changjo?”
“Your relationship with him shouldn’t suffer because of me. It’s not fair to put him in the middle, either. I’d like it if we could get along for his sake, but I understand if that’s not possible. But we can both still be close to him. I won’t leave him, not again, not for anything, but your relationship with him is important, too.” Suho smiled, still stroking L’s hair. “I think that he likes you.”
L gave Suho a weird look, then shook his head.
“Really,” Suho said, grinning. “You didn’t know?”
“It’s not like that,” L mumbled. He picked at the hem of his shorts. “We could still go out sometime,” he said without looking up. “All three of us together, if you want.” He suddenly glared at Suho. “And you have to keep getting laid. Sleep with your members every night. Do it in the morning, too, every morning.”
In the morning? “Every morning?” he repeated in amazement. There wouldn’t be time for that, but that wasn’t his biggest problem. “If I start off with that, I’ll be no good for the rest of the day. I won’t be able to do anything, my brain will be - - no, I can’t.”
“Twice a day,” L insisted.
“But I tried it, I told you, and it wasn’t good. I felt so strange all day.”
“You said that it was fantastic and you felt amazing,” L reminded him.
That was true; he couldn’t deny it. “Yes, but I was so distracted, I was so giddy, I felt so happy. I can’t focus like that. I just wanted to laugh and make out all day. I couldn’t keep my hands off of my members, it was awful.”
“Did they mind?”
“Twice a day,” L said again. “Go home and start now.”
“I don’t want to leave you.” He slid his hand into L’s, and he was grateful when L’s fingers closed around his. They’d be close again, things would be okay, he’d make sure of it. “I want to stay until the morning.”
“Chen has to miss his turn,” L said. “Poor guy. You should let him do it tomorrow.”
“I don’t think that he’ll mind very much. He has plenty of sex with the other members.”
L shook his head. “You should make sure that everyone gets a turn. If you have to be away from the members, you should pick up where you left off when you get back.”
“Won’t that make it more confusing?”
L laced their fingers together. “You could skip taking turns and just have sex with whoever you want, whenever you want.”
“No.” That would only make everything worse. “I can’t play favorites.” And he liked structure. It was better, it was comforting. He didn’t trust himself to make the right decisions if it was all up to him.
They talked some more, and it felt good. It felt natural. He even got L to laugh a few times, and he felt some of the burden lift away from his heart. When he told L to get some sleep, L asked if they could sleep together, and he agreed immediately. He liked sharing a bed with his dongsaengs.
Then he realized that L intended to sleep right there in Sunggyu’s bed. Nervous, he said that they should go to L’s bed, instead.
“It’s better here, there’s more room,” L said. He smiled a little. “You think you’re going to get turned on, don’t you? Do you like Sunggyu hyung that much?”
“It’s nothing like that.” He was lying, and he was so flustered that he knew that L could tell. “Are you sure that it’ll be okay here? This is his room, he’ll come back. I don’t want to be in his way.”
L locked the door.
“You can’t lock your hyung out of his own bedroom,” Suho objected.
“Come on, you said that I need sleep.” L turned on the lamp, turned off the overhead light, and got into bed.
“He’s not going to like this,” Suho said, feeling unsettled. He got into bed, and L rolled over, and, oh. His eyes were dazed and his heart fluttered. This wasn’t just any dongsaeng. This was L. Licking his lips, feeling warm all over, he gazed into L’s gorgeous, soulful eyes.
Looking interested, L smiled. “I’m not going to be able to sleep if you’re going to be like this.”
Maybe they didn’t have to go right to sleep.
No! No, that was a terrible idea. He couldn’t complicate things with sex, that would be awful. And L had barely started to trust him again.
But he wanted to commit himself to L. He wanted to hold onto L the way he held onto his members. This was something that he did with his members, something that he shared with them, a way he trusted them with a part of himself he didn’t give to anyone else. He trusted L. He wanted to share himself with L the way he did with Xiumin and Chanyeol.
But if he did this with L, shouldn’t he do it with Changjo, too?
Maybe it was time. Maybe this was something all three of them were ready for.
He’d made so many mistakes lately. He couldn’t be sure that this was the right step to take. But the decision wasn’t only his. “L-ah.” He licked his lips. He didn’t feel exhilarated and defiant, the way he had with Sunggyu. He felt cautious, but he thought that whatever L said, it would be okay. “Do you want to have sex?”
L burst into laughter.
Embarrassed but still comfortable, he laughed, too, pushing at L. “Ya! It’s not funny.”
“Hyung!” L hugged him. “You’re so weird.”
Hugging L felt so good, he stayed there. “If you don’t want to, just say no.”
“I’ve always wanted to.” L looked into his eyes. “Do you want to?”
While L’s gaze searched his face, he nodded. “I think that it’d be nice. Wouldn’t it bring us closer? But I don’t want to push you into it,” he added quickly. “If it’s not okay, we won’t do it. I don’t want to make things awkward.”
L’s expression became serious. “You won’t regret it?”
Touched, he smiled, brushing his fingers over L’s cheek. “I think that I’ll regret it more if I don’t do it. Even if I make another mistake later, and you can never trust me again, this will always be a special memory.”
L smiled nervously. “Are we really going to do this?” He looked hesitant. “What about Changjo?”
“I. I think that. When I see him, I’ll ask him. If he wants to.”
L was laughing at him. “If he wants to? Don’t you know anything about him?”
“He didn’t want to watch me masturbate! He wouldn’t even let me take off my underwear.”
“How could he know that you were going to be like this?”
“I’m not being like anything.” Suho sat up and pulled off his T-shirt, then wriggled out of his shorts. He left his underwear on. He’d take it off soon, just, maybe not yet. “Don’t judge if everything isn’t great. I’m not as experienced as your members.”
“Do you really want to go the whole way?” L asked. “Is it okay?” He laughed, pulling the sheet farther away from Suho’s body. “Who knew you looked like this under your clothes?”
“You know I work out,” he objected, pulling the sheet back up to his waist. “We can do anything. I’ll like whatever you want to do.” He said it to be reassuring, to create a low-pressure situation, but he knew that, technically, it was very true. He’d like anything, anything that L did. That was what was so embarrassing, that he got so turned on by every little thing.
“We’ll do whatever feels good,” L said, touching his arm. “Whatever’s comfortable. I’ll be respectful, okay?”
He nodded. It was such a relief to be able to trust L, but it was humiliating that his dongsaeng was the one trying to soothe him.
Sitting up, L undressed. Wow, he really was that handsome all over. So soft-skinned and muscular. He looked like something out of a sensual fantasy. And his - - oh, his - - Suho blushed, looking away, but heat was already building in Suho’s body, desire rising up urgent and fast. It couldn’t be right to be this turned on, to want it so badly when they hadn’t even kissed yet, but Suho couldn’t slow down the fiery lust taking hold of him.
If he could see L this well, then L could see him. Would be able to see him, during whatever happened next. “Can we turn the light off?” he asked, glancing at the lamp beside the bed.
“No,” L said with a smile, moving toward him. “Kiss me.”
Oh, god, he wanted to, so badly. Licking his lips, he ran his hand over L’s bare shoulder. The affection in L’s eyes made him feel so good, he realized how much he loved L and how incredible this could be. “I don’t want to make the first move,” he admitted, because he could trust L with anything. “God, you feel good.” He hadn’t meant to say that, but L’s skin felt like satin under his palm. He stroked down L’s muscular arm and the whole way back up again, fascinated.
“Thanks. I’ll take care of everything else,” he promised, his knuckles brushing Suho’s chin. “But you have to kiss me first, so I know you’re ready for this.”
He was ready. He felt comfortable with L. He wanted this. It was new, and it would be different from sex with his members, but he was ready for it. “I love you,” he said, and he kissed L.
And it felt right.
And then L kissed him back, and oh, oh, god, yes. Flooded with pleasure so intense that he ached, he moaned, gripping L’s shoulders. L’s kisses were so deep, so sensual and skilled, that he felt it all over, everywhere, the heat of each kiss humming through his body. Every sinuous stroke of L’s tongue made him moan, excitement vibrating between his legs. He kissed back passionately, eager for it, his hands sliding into L’s hair.
“Yeah,” L breathed, kissing him again and again, sending flames licking over his body. “Mmmm, hyung.”
He was so turned on, he needed more. Leaning back, he lay down, pulling L down on top of him. L moved right with him, tongue slicking into his mouth, one hand sliding up his side. The feel of L’s hands stroking directly over his bare skin made him groan, pleasure scorching him, his back arching. “L-ah, please,” he moaned, running his hands over L’s body, addicted to the feel of L’s hot, smooth skin, corded muscle shifting under his palms.
“Shit, hyung,” L groaned. When L’s hand caressed up over his thigh, he gasped, his nails digging into L’s side. “God, hyung, oh.” L stroked his hip, tugging lightly at his underwear, and he moaned into L’s kiss, the cotton stretched too tightly over his cock. “I know, I know,” L whispered, kissing him again and again.
He loved the way L kissed, and he kissed back fervently, sucking on L’s tongue and making hungry, demanding sounds. L’s skin was hot against his, L’s caresses reassuring him and making him feel good, making him feel safe, making him feel like it was okay if he lost his shit and cried out like a wild animal, which he did over and over again because god, he was so turned on, he needed it so much, he couldn’t hide the way he ached. L’s cock was stiff and smooth against him, and he rocked against it restlessly, greedy for the feel of it.
When L stopped kissing him, he panted, trying to center himself, trying to get a grip, but he was so turned on that he couldn’t think about anything but kissing L again. “L-ah.”
L kissed his cheek, and then his neck, and his fingers sank into L’s hair. Oh, it was good, it felt so good, and he writhed, groaning, as L pressed slow, hot kisses across his collarbone. Unhurried, not neglecting an inch, L progressed downward, kissing everything, nuzzling everything, humming against his skin, licking him with that sexy, talented tongue. It was incredible, it was intimate, it turned him on and made him feel like a treasured partner, like what they were doing was erotic and special for both of them. When L’s mouth was on his treasure trail and L’s hands peeled down his underwear, it felt so natural, he moaned, feeling nothing but relief and anticipation. “Yes, yes, L, aahhhhh, yes.” At the sucking heat of L’s mouth, his pleasure spiked, and he dragged a pillow over his face. Crying out as his hips bucked, he gripped the pillow with both hands. The steady pull of wet suction felt incredible, drawing enthusiastic, wailing cries from him, and he squirmed, trying to get deeper down L’s throat. He didn’t want it to stop, it felt so good, “Aaahhhh,” it was fantastic, “aaahhhh,” he was shaking and arching and rocking on the bed, selfishly seeking more of this perfect, blazing pleasure.
When he came, it was sudden and explosive, his hips jerking in quick spasms, his head going back, ecstasy overwhelming him. The sudden punch of orgasm left him wrecked, and he gasped for air as cum streamed out of him in an endless flow. Shivering, stunned, he relaxed his grip on the pillow, panting. Oh, god. He’d be embarrassed later; at the moment, he felt nothing but fantastic. Wow.
“Fuck.” L coughed, cleared his throat, coughed again, and burst into laughter.
Blushing, he held onto the pillow again. “Don’t laugh.”
“I thought my hyungs were messy. That was the biggest load I’ve ever swallowed.” L kissed his stomach a few times, so sweet and sexy that Suho loved him even more, and then crawled up his body, smiling at him. When L pulled the pillow out of his hands, he let go easily, and when L kissed him, he moaned gratefully, thrilled, immediately kissing back. “How was it?”
He was so caught up in L’s deep, licking kisses that it took him a while to answer. When he did, all he could say was, “Amazing, thank you, thank you,” while he kissed L over and over again.
L laughed at him, looking so happy and affectionate that he kissed L again. He’d thought that he’d just known some of the greatest ecstasy of his life, and then L’s erection nudged his stomach. Fire flared through him, and he groaned, writhing against L’s cock. God, it was so hard. Imagining how it would feel inside him, he clutched at L, dragging L even tighter against his body and sucking hard on L’s tongue. When L’s hand pushed his leg aside, guiding his knee up, he made an eager, ragged sound and shuddered. “Yes, yes, aahhhhhh, please.”
L kissed him and nuzzled his neck. “Do you want to roll over?”
Grateful that L understood him so well, he kissed L’s cheeks. “Yes, okay.” L shifted, and he rolled onto his stomach. L reached over to the nightstand. That black bottle really was for lube. Something about being in another team’s dorm, in another idol’s bed, using lube from the same bottle that Sunggyu used to lube up the Infinite members, was so forbidden and sexy that Suho moaned, squirming, feeling very naughty and incredibly turned on.
“Mmm, I’ve thought about this a lot,” L murmured, caressing him right there. Wanting it, he made a high-pitched, eager sound and arched his back. When he felt the slow penetration of L’s fingers, he shuddered, twitching, his hips rocking backward. Two fingers right away, god, L was getting right to it. Loving that, he panted, whimpering happily as L caressed him and pleasure hit him in electric pulses. “Can I talk dirty?” L asked. “Can I tell you how sexy your hot, hungry hole looks and how wide I’m going to spread you open?”
Shocked, Suho was so turned on that he cried out, his muscles squeezing tight around L’s fingers. Oh, god, he couldn’t take it, he couldn’t be talked to like that. He loved it. “More,” he panted, burning up.
“Mmm, I’m going to get this ass nice and wet,” L murmured. The stroke of L’s fingers in and out, in and out, was rhythmic, and he rocked with it, whimpering enthusiastically. “Then I’m going to slide my fat knob right inside your juicy, spread hole.”
“Yes, ahhhh, ahhhh, yes, oh.” It was too much, he couldn’t take it. Feeling L’s fingers slip out of him and then brush lightly over his pucker, he moaned, his hips rotating in circles, trying to entice L back in.
“Mmm, just like this,” L said, his voice thick, his tone appreciative. Suho shivered, too turned on, too sensitive. The thick press of L’s cockhead felt scandalously, impossibly good, and as he sank in, deeper and deeper, Suho was wracked by a hot, blissful fever. Pleasure spiked over and over again as he rocked into Suho in steady, controlled thrusts.
Full of delicious, hard cock, Suho groaned, relishing every instant of it, every searing stroke. This was exactly what he’d needed, exactly what his body had been begging for. Instead of being ashamed of how he writhed and moaned, he felt like he hadn’t gotten worked up enough. This kind of deep, magnificent fucking deserved even more grateful excitement. Rocking, encouraging L on, he cried out enthusiastically. He didn’t care how he looked, he didn’t care how he sounded, he just wanted more, more of this incredible sex, more of L’s hard cock. “Ahhhh, ooooh-ohhh-ohh, L, L, fuck me!”
“Fuck,” L panted, kissing his back, his neck, between his shoulders. The intimacy of it, the sensuality, made his pleasure even more intense, and he pressed back against L, moaning. L’s hand stroked over his abs, and as it slid downward, he shivered, the sense of anticipation so exquisite that the moment seemed to last forever. “Feels good?” L asked, still thrusting into him evenly, steadily. “You like it?”
“Yes, yes, yes.” When he finally felt L’s hand close around his erection, electric pleasure sizzled through him. The lusty throbbing of his cock made him groan, and the tight slide of L’s fist along the shaft was wicked perfection. He couldn’t believe that someone he’d never been naked with before could touch him so well, but being handled so expertly turned him on more. L was even better at sex than he’d imagined, and he’d imagined a lot.
Even being penetrated and jacked off at the same time, he’d always taken some work to get off. Tonight, the excitement of a new place and a new partner had him close to climax, and he rode the edge of it for a while, L’s pace matching the rhythm of his ecstatic cries. L was hot against his back, kissing his back and moaning breathlessly in his ears, stroking his cock like it had been shaped to fit L’s hand, fucking him at an angle that sent explosive shocks of pleasure through him on every thrust. The fact that he’d gotten off earlier didn’t make a difference; when he finally came, orgasm rocked him to his foundation. Dizzy, winded, he squirted all over the bed, not sure if he was still moaning or if his recent cries were still echoing off the walls.
“Fuck,” L groaned, “oh, huhh-ohhh, oh, fuck, hyung.” L’s teeth scraped his shoulder and L’s hips jerked, losing the beat. “Fuck, wow.” Squeezing his hip, L panted against the back of his neck. “I came, I came.”
Feeling like he’d just survived an epic storm, Suho took a moment to do nothing more than breathe and recover. In a sticky puddle of his own cum, with L heavy on his back, he closed his eyes. L’s “Fuck, wow” seemed like the best assessment of what had just happened.
L nuzzled the back of his neck. It felt really good. It was soothing; it reminded him of how close he and L were, that he’d made the right choice. When L rubbed his hip, he rolled over, and they kissed as naturally as if they’d been lovers for years. L’s nose brushed against his, and they nuzzled each other, smiling. L had a way of looking at him with so much affection that he felt filled up with love. “It was good,” L said.
“Yes.” It really, really had been. He skimmed his fingers over L’s eyebrow and down one cheek. “Thank you. I’m glad that we did this.”
“Mmm.” L kissed him again. “Me, too.”
They made out a little more, slowly. It felt good; everything felt good. His first time with someone new had never been so easy. “I love you,” he said, cupping L’s face in his hands.
Looking troubled, L broke their kiss.
“You aren’t sure about me yet.” That hurt, but he understood. He was going to have to prove himself to L, and it wouldn’t be easy. One apology wouldn’t solve everything; sex wouldn’t, either.
“I can’t say it back to you.”
The emotional conflict on L’s handsome face, the confusion and regret and wariness in L’s eyes, weighed on him. Guilt pierced the warm bubble their intimacy had created. He nodded, accepting the return of reality. “I understand. You don’t have to. I’ll say it anyway. I do love you, whether you love me or not.”
Still looking unsure, L nodded. Then he kissed Suho’s cheek and sat back.
Now that he wasn’t intoxicated by sex or lost in L’s eyes anymore, Suho was starting to realize some uncomfortable truths. Like the fact that he’d just had sex in someone else’s bed. And that he hadn’t been quiet about it, at all. Licking his lips, he eyed the door. “Do you think that your members slept through it?”
L glanced at the door, then laughed at him. “No.”
Mortified, he curled forward, his face in his hands. “I’m ruined.”
Still chuckling, L patted his back. “It’s okay, hyung. They’re used to it. None of us are quiet, anyway.”
“Key hyung isn’t quiet, either.”
Surprised, he lifted his head. “They do that here?”
“They have sex here, yeah. Not the,” he twirled one finger in the air, “but regular sex. And Key hyung is loud.”
He’d never seemed that loud to Suho, no more than anyone else. Then again, Woohyun probably knew how to push buttons that Suho’s members didn’t.
He didn’t really want to sit around, sticky with cum. He had to clean up, but he had to leave the room to do it. Maybe all of the members were still in their rooms, anyway. He wasn’t ready to be face-to-face with anyone yet. And might not be, ever. “What do we do about the...” He eyed the bed. “Do you have clean sheets?”
“Sunggyu hyung won’t care.”
That seemed impossible. “I care.”
L sighed. “Can’t we just go to sleep?”
“No. I’m going to wash,” he decided, getting up and finding his underwear on the floor. “Change the sheets.”
L made a face. “Yes, hyung.”
Suho pulled his clothes back on. Then, impulsively, he kissed L’s cheek. “Thank you.”
Licking his lips, Woohyun raised his head from Sunggyu’s lap. “It’s over?”
“No,” Sunggyu said, pushing his head back down. “It’s not over until the stuff squirts out, you know that.”
Laughing, he ducked Sunggyu’s hand. “I meant Young Money. I don’t hear anything, are they finished?” On the other bed, Dongwoo and Hoya were passed out, Dongwoo wrapped around Hoya, music audible from Hoya’s earbuds.
“Ugh, I hope so.” Sunggyu made a face. “So noisy. L’s not that good.”
“Yes, hyung, I understand,” Woohyun said, caressing Sunggyu’s erection and grinning up at him. “You’re the best, hyung, you’re always the very best.”
Sunggyu nodded, looking satisfied. “I think so, too.”
L couldn’t sleep. Suho was asleep, and now that he was alone in the dark, all of his doubts were resurfacing, gnawing at him, eating away at the sense of closeness and security that he’d reestablished.
What if Suho ditched him again? What if Suho decided that he wasn’t worth it? What if Suho was just a dongsaeng collector and would lose interest in him once someone else came along? What if Suho woke up and regretted the sex and hated him for it? What if Suho blamed him for taking advantage in a weak moment? What if Suho hated him and Changjo got jealous and he ended up on his own?
He shouldn’t have taken Suho back. He shouldn’t be so forgiving. He shouldn’t have given in so easily. He couldn’t trust Suho; why had he thought that he could, even for an instant? He’d felt sorry for Suho and he’d let his hormones take over, but he had to stop it, now, he had to remember that Suho was a selfish coward. Suho would never be loyal to him; Suho would always put EXO and SM and being an idol and everything else, everything, first.
He could hurt Suho. He should hurt Suho. He had Suho in the most agonizing, vulnerable position possible; he had sexual leverage. He could devastate Suho all at once or he could break Suho down bit by bit by bit. He could keep Suho twisting for years if he wanted. And he should, he should do it, Suho deserved it, for hurting him, for ditching him, for abandoning Changjo.
He couldn’t look at Suho; he didn’t know how it would make him feel. He got up and paced around the dorm, walking into and out of the bathroom, turning the TV on and off, sitting on his bed and watching Sungyeol sleep. Memories of sex and Suho crowded his mind. He couldn’t believe that they’d done all of that. He couldn’t believe that Suho had let him. Was it all some kind of ploy, just another step in the game, a way to lure him back in and win him over again? Funny how all of a sudden when he refused to forgive and play nice, that was exactly when Suho was ready to have sex with him. Sex was a weapon Suho used to keep EXO on edge, to string people along, to reward and punish, and now he’d fallen for it, too.
His phone was on his desk. He had a lot of text messages from Changjo.
You’re a jerk.
Jerk jerk jerk jerk jerk.
I hope your face breaks out.
I hope the next time you’re onstage, your voice cracks and you fall on your clumsy ass.
I’m going to edit together clips of you looking ugly and stupid and mean, and I’m going to upload them to every anti site I can find. Look forward to it.
That hyung really loves you, you know. He feels like shit and he’s beating himself up with guilt and he can’t forgive himself even more than you can’t forgive him.
What would you do to protect your members? I would do anything, everything, for my members. Other people can’t make sacrifices to protect theirs?
You would fuck up the world for that stupid Lee Sungyeol. Don’t lie.
Wow, Infinite has a lot of TV shows. You look stupid as hell in all of them. So many clips to choose from. Don’t worry, I’ll work hard!
I have a question for you. L’s mom has seven sons. Her sons’ names are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and indigo. What’s the name of her last son?
It’s probably better if we don’t see each other anymore. Or talk to each other. What’s the point of being close if you’re just going to throw me away someday if I say one wrong thing or make one wrong move? You can call me dead inside as often as you want, but who’s been the most loyal?
There weren’t any messages after that.
L stared at that last question until his vision blurred. Then, inhaling, he got up. Dialing, he went into the bathroom and closed the door. Lowering the lid on the toilet, he sat down, rubbing at his face.
“Unh. What do you want, I’m sleeping.”
“Did you finish making the video?”
“No, I’m still working on it,” Changjo said. L had never heard his voice like this before, grumpy and sleepy. It was too cute and too sexy; L wanted to hug him. “There’s a lot of footage. You’re a really stupid, clumsy person. I don’t know who cast you as an idol, but they should be fired.”
“I know.” He scratched the back of his head. “Did you really forgive Suho hyung? For real?”
“Yes. You’re so stupid, you think that good people are so rare, they can’t exist. Really, good people are so rare, you should hold onto them and keep them when you find them. I’m keeping Suho hyung.”
Feeling hesitant, unsure, he licked his lips. Looking down, he studied his bare toes. He looked at the sink. He really needed to know. “Will you keep me?” Squeezing his eyes shut, he rubbed his hand over his mouth.
“Yes,” Changjo said. “But you’re an asshole. And you need to make up with Suho hyung.”
“Okay.” He wanted to, he really did, he just didn’t want to get hurt again. He didn’t want to end up betrayed. He didn’t want to be a fool.
“I know there was that time with that other guy where you got hurt and it seemed like he didn’t care. I know it was really bad for you and you thought that it was easy for him to let you go. But it’s not like that with Suho hyung. It wasn’t easy for him to let you go. He didn’t just walk away and move on. I hope that you understand that it’s different.”
L nodded, letting that sink in. He hadn’t thought of it that way. C.A.P. hadn’t really seemed to care. He couldn’t picture C.A.P. being wracked by guilt over the end of their friendship. It had seemed like a non-event, like misplacing a favorite pen. But it was different, with Suho. He knew that Suho cared, he could see it, he could feel Suho’s worry for him. And Suho’s guilt. And Suho’s love, and Suho’s trust. “I understand.” He sat back, leaning against the toilet tank. “It was L.”
“The mother’s seventh son, it was L.”
“I’m going back to sleep,” Changjo said, and hung up on him.
He smiled. Getting up, he went back to Sunggyu’s room. Standing over the bed, he watched Suho sleep. What a complicated hyung. So confident and strong and ready to lead. So vulnerable and pouty and awkward.
He hadn’t had sex with someone new in a long time. And he hadn’t expected to have sex with Suho at all, really. But he was glad that they’d done it. He felt like he’d been included in some private circle with the EXO members. Since debut, the only people Suho had even offered sex to had been him and EXO. And Sunggyu, and he was really going to have to tease Suho about that relentlessly. Seriously, Suho really had to be going through a rough time to go that far.
As he crawled onto the bed, Suho stirred. “Mmm. Dongsaeng-ah,” Suho mumbled. One hand patted up L’s arm, reaching his shoulder and tugging him down. “Here, you should be asleep.” Guiding him close, Suho hugged him. “Let’s sleep,” Suho said, stroking his hair, and just like that, Suho was out again.
He had no idea if Suho even knew that he wasn’t one of the EXO members. He couldn’t even be sure that Suho realized that they were in Infinite’s dorm. He looked at Suho’s face, and even in the dim lighting, he could see how pretty Suho was. Asleep, Suho didn’t look tense at all, only calm, and pretty, like an angel. The thought made him smile. Suho really had a hold on his heart, after all. But maybe he had a hold on Suho’s heart, too. So maybe it would be okay.
August 23, 2015
by Matthew Haldeman-Time