The Aftermath
Suho

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This story is part of a series.

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            Sunggyu let Suho into Infinite’s dorm.  A pack of hungry animals descended, took bags of food right out of Suho’s hands, and disappeared again.  Sunggyu took Suho and the remaining bit of food to his bedroom.  While Suho sat on his bed and looked very pretty and unreasonably nervous, he ate.  He talked about music and friends and nonsense until Suho relaxed and stopped looking afraid that “cute hoobae” might be the next item on the menu.

            Finished eating, he dumped his trash into the bag, rubbed his hands together, and nodded at Suho.  “You only ever call me when something’s wrong.  What is it this time?  Problem with my visual?  Fight among your members?”

            “That’s not how it is,” Suho said.

            “That’s exactly how it is.”

            “You make it seem like we aren’t close.”

            “Our members are close.  You only talk to me when you don’t know what else to do.”

            “It’s not like that,” Suho protested.  “Maybe it seems that way, but you’re busy a lot.  I can’t just come over to hang out.”

            He’d been waiting for Suho to ask him this, but it seemed like it was going to be his job to bring it up.  “Do you want me to be your hyung?”

            Suho looked like a cornered rabbit.  “What?”
            Scared of his own shadow!  He was afraid of himself, but he acted afraid of Sunggyu all of the time, too, and that was too much.  With other guys, he got excited and nervous and skittish, but when it came to Sunggyu, he looked panicked.  It was insulting.  Like he was afraid that Sunggyu was going to pounce on him, when Sunggyu had never laid a hand on him.  “You remember when I told you to make more friends, and you decided to talk to Key more often?”

            “Yes.  It was good advice, thank you.”

            “I told you that you need a hyung.  A close hyung you can confide in about anything.”

            He looked like he wanted to disappear among the pillows and never be seen again.  “I remember.”

            “Did you find one?”

            “No.”  He hugged his knees like if he pressed into a small enough ball, Sunggyu wouldn’t be able to see him anymore and this conversation would be over.

            “So ask me.”

            “Ask?”  His voice was higher all of a sudden.

            “Ask me, ask,” Sunggyu insisted.  He was a hyung, wasn’t he?  Suho came to him for advice, right?  What was so wrong with him, that he couldn’t do it?  Was he so awful, in Suho’s eyes?  “Fine, don’t ask,” he said when Suho just sat there and stared at him in silent panic.  “I’ll just do it.  I’m your hyung now.  You’ll confide in me and call me just to say hi and come over for no good reason and text me just to get attention.  Now talk to me like we’re so close you’d never even think of keeping something from me.”

            Suho didn’t blink.  Or twitch.  Or breathe, as far as he could tell.

            “This isn’t talking,” Sunggyu said impatiently.

            Suddenly in motion, Suho turned, grabbed the lube, and put it on the floor, under the bed.  Breathing audibly, he faced Sunggyu again.

            “Feel better?” Sunggyu asked.

            He nodded.  Rubbing his hands on his thighs, he seemed like he was calming down, finally.  “I.  I’m not sure about this.  About you.  About this.  You’re a little…”

            “Terrific, I’m terrific,” Sunggyu said.  “And very smart.  And handsome, don’t forget how handsome I am.”

            Suho smiled at him.  “You’re very good-looking.  And you always give me good advice.  But maybe you can be a little pushy, sometimes.”

            “I’m not pushy.”

            “No?”

            “No,” he insisted.  “I’m not anything like that.  I’m too nice, people walk all over me.  Footprints, I’m covered in footprints from people walking all over me.”

            “Okay.  You’re right, you’re not pushy at all,” Suho said.  “And you’re a wonderful vocalist.”  He nodded, agreeing with that.  “And a great dancer.”

            He narrowed his eyes.  “Don’t go too far.”

            Laughing, Suho relaxed.  They talked a little more, about a bunch of nothing.  He let the conversation flow wherever it wanted, letting Suho work up to whatever the problem was.  He liked spending time with Suho, liked it too much, liked Suho’s good looks and smart, earnest personality and foolish charms.  Sometimes it seemed like they got along great, like Suho thought that he was really interesting and funny, and it made him hope that they could be close, that he could see Suho more often and be the kind of hyung Suho wanted to turn to instead of some last resort in emergencies only.

After a while, Suho said, “I’ve been worried about something lately.  I already know what you’re going to say.  ‘A leader’s responsibility is real.’  But it’s tricky.”

            “What’s tricky?”

            “It’s my members.  Chen.  He asked me to do something for him, and I don’t think that I should.  I’ve always put it off-limits.”

            “Is it dangerous?”

            “No, it’s nothing like that.  It’s, it, it’s sex.”  Suho looked down at his hands in his lap.  “Anal sex.  He wants me to do that to him.  L and Changjo have been telling me to do it, too, at least for Chen and Baekhyun.  And for them, they said that I could practice on them.”

            “You need practice?”

            “I’ve never.  Done that.  Anal.”  Suho glanced at him uncertainly, blushed, and looked away again.  “It seems like too much.”

            “I’ve seen everything, it’s not that much.”

            Suho looked at him, confused, then burst into laughter.  Blushing, Suho fell against the pillows.  “Oh, hyung!”

            “What?  It’s more than a Q-tip, but I wouldn’t put it in the record books.  It’ll fit, trust me.”

            Giggling on the pillows, Suho looked flushed and happy.  “A Q-tip!  I’m not worried about that, I know it’ll fit.”

            “Then what’s wrong?  You don’t like boning hot guys?”

            Suho started talking about “taking advantage” and a bunch of other nonsense.  The longer he went on, the more earnest he became, like this was all really important and sincere.

            Getting impatient, Sunggyu cut him off.  Ya, there’s someone I want you to meet.  He’s an idol, a main vocalist.  He’s about this tall,” Sunggyu gestured nowhere near the correct actual height, “and he has brown eyes, and his name’s Kim Jongdae.”

            “Chen?  I know Chen,” Suho said, confused again.

            “Oh?  You already know Chen?” he asked.  “It seems like you don’t.  Do you know any of your members?  They love you and they trust you, and they’re confident adults who know their own minds.  If they don’t want something, they’ll tell you.  If they aren’t comfortable, they’ll tell you.  If it doesn’t seem right, they’ll tell you.  What about D.O., does he do sexual things just to keep you happy?”

            “No, but D.O. doesn’t like to play along just to appease anybody.”

            “You think that Xiumin does?”

            “No,” Suho said, pouting thoughtfully.

            “Chen wants to have sex with you.  He’s attracted to you that way.  He likes to be penetrated.  Good for him.  If you like the idea, go ahead and do it.  You’re not bullying or coercing anybody.  They aren’t doing it for you.  They’re doing it for them.”

            “But I’m the hyung, I’m their leader, their guardian.  There’s a power imbalance.”

            Sunggyu raised his voice.  “Maknae!”  Suho’s mouth opened.  “Hush.  Maknae!  Now, come in here!”

            The door opened behind him and Sungjong walked over beside the bed, looking bored.  “Hyung?”

            “Do you hate me?” Sunggyu asked.

            “Yes,” he said immediately.

            “Do I bully you?”

            “Yes.”

            “But you have sex with me.”

            “Yes.”

            “Tell Young Money that you feel coerced into it and you wish I’d stop.”

            “Why?”

            “Just tell him.”

            “I.”  Sungjong turned to Suho, then crossed his arms over his chest and turned back to Sunggyu.  “Why?”

            “What, just do it.

            “But it’s not like that!  I don’t want to make it sound that way.”

            “I’m your leader and I’m mean and I bully you.”

            “Yes, you’re the worst,” Sungjong said, laughing.  “I can tell you all about that,” he told Suho.  “He forgot his earbuds today and he made me come the whole way back here to fetch them for him.  And he kept calling me the whole time, complaining and telling me to hurry up!”

            “You were too slow,” Sunggyu complained.

            “I ran the whole way!  He made me jump up and down in the elevator because he said that would make it go faster!”

            “It works,” Sunggyu said.  “It’s physics, you can’t argue with math.”

            “That’s not how physics works,” Suho said, laughing.

            “So tell him how I bully you into having sex,” Sunggyu said.

            “Well, but you don’t,” Sungjong said.  “That’s the only good thing about you.”

            “I don’t want to imply anything about your situation,” Suho said.  “But doesn’t it seem like when someone tells you what to do all day, every day, and you always have to listen, when it comes to sex, it’s a little awkward to say no sometimes?”

            Mmm.  Yeah, I get that,” Sungjong said, nodding.  “Maybe it’s like that in other groups?  There are some groups where I don’t see how anybody would ever want to have sex with that leader, ugh.”  He shuddered.  “But for me, I mean, I love being in Infinite, don’t get me wrong.  But it’s so stressful sometimes!  I get so tired and so lonely and stressed out.  So I think that if we can be close to each other, or just feel good and get some physical pleasure once in a while, that’s a good thing.  I feel better once I’ve had sex with one of the members.  And with Sunggyu hyung, it’s like, okay, maybe he’s not so bad after all.  If he’ll stop everything and take the time to make me feel that good, I can like him.”

            “Doesn’t it seem like it’s about his pleasure, not yours?”

            “If I don’t want to, I just say no.”

            “You don’t do it just because it’s easier to give in?”

            Sungjong shook his head.  “No.  When he tells me to work on the choreography some more, yeah.  But when he tells me to blow him, no.  If I don’t feel like it, I don’t do it.”

            “See?” Sunggyu asked Suho.  “And he thinks that he’s the most put-upon maknae in the world.”

            “I am!  I took a poll, and I won,” Sungjong said.  “Or lost,” he muttered, sulking.

            “A poll of who, Infinite members named Lee Sungjong?” Sunggyu asked.

            He got all cute and angry.  “Can I go?”

            “Go,” Sunggyu said, pushing him away.  He left, closing the door again.

            Suho nestled back against the pillows.  “Maybe it’s like that,” he said thoughtfully.

            “I know all about your members,” Sunggyu said.  “You have that fairness captain, Kai.  There’s no way your members don’t know all about consent and coercion and all of it.  They know how to tell the difference between wanting something for themselves and feeling pressured into it.”

            “Changjo never seems like he feels pressured into anything, either,” Suho said.  “And his hyungs kick him in the back for fun.”

            “Start slowly, if you want,” Sunggyu said.  “Start with L, he’ll be happy.  No, don’t start with him, he shouldn’t have to suffer if you don’t know what you’re doing.  You can practice on Dongwoo first.”
            “Hyung!  No, it’s okay, I don’t need that.”

            “You have to practice on somebody.”

            “Chen…”  Suho blushed.  “Chen said that maybe it would be easier if I started, if we, um, if he got on top.”

            “Oh, this?”  Sunggyu made a shape with his hands, one finger poking upward.

            Laughing helplessly, Suho nodded.  “Yes, that.”

            “That won’t teach you what to do.”

            “I know some things!  I already know what to do with my hands.”

            “You have to know what to do with your hips!”

            “Don’t you know EXO’s choreography?  I know all about thrusting.”

            “I’ve seen you dance,” he said flatly.  Suho collapsed in laughter across his pillows.  Like he was joking.  “Here, which of my members do you like?  L’s too precious to me and Sungyeol’s too tight.  Hoya’s too picky.  Sungjong’s picky.  I have awful members,” he realized.  “Do you want Dongwoo or Woohyun?”

            “I don’t want any of them!  Hyung, really, it’s okay, I don’t need to practice.”

            “Dongwoo!” he shouted.  “Dongwoo!”  Nothing.  Suho was protesting; he waved Suho away.  “Somebody come in here!”

            “Don’t come!” Suho insisted.

            Woohyun opened the door.  “What are you two yelling about?”

            “Get Jang Dongwoo, I want him.”

            “Don’t,” Suho said.  “He doesn’t mean it.”

            “I know what I mean.”

            “Hyung.”  And there it was, that panicked look, Suho’s fear and desperation.

            “All right, go,” Sunggyu told Woohyun.  “Never mind.”

            Woohyun shrugged and left.

            Sunggyu glared at Suho.  “You aren’t worried about coercing anybody or being inexperienced or any of it.  It’s all excuses.  You’re afraid of something.”  While Suho tried to hide in the pillows, he eyed Suho suspiciously.  “You think that you’ll like it too much.”

            “How do you know these things?” Suho demanded.

            “Why are you so obvious?” he shot back.

            “I don’t want to be!”

            “Why are you so scared?”

            “I don’t want to be that, either!”

            “What happens if you like it too much?  Oh, no, you like sex, like almost every other adult I know.  Do you think that you’ll want it too much?  Not be able to stop?  What’s going to happen, you’re going to bone Chen every night?  Who do you think is going to have a problem with that?  It’s not Chen.”

            “You’ve never seen me, you don’t know,” Suho said.  “Ask L about it.”

            “Ask L about what?  You just told me that L’s encouraging you to start topping and offering up his own ass for it.  What do you think he’s going to say, that it’s a bad idea?  Make sense.”

            “Why are you so pushy?”

            “Why are you so cowardly?”

            “I can’t talk to you,” he said, getting frustrated.

            “You can tell me anything!”

            “I like sex too much!” he shouted.  “I love it, I love all of it.  I can’t help myself, I can’t control it, I’ll do anything and all of it feels too good.  Not just good, it feels too good, I can’t hold back, it’s like my whole body’s out of my control.  Not just my body but me, all of my feelings, my whole brain, once sex takes over I can’t do anything about it.”  His whole face was red and there were tears in his eyes.  “I feel helpless,” he said, his voice shaking, and tears rolled down his cheeks.  “It’s the worst thing in the world, I hate it.  And there’s nothing better, there’s nothing I want more.  Do you know how that feels?  Do you know what that’s like?!”  Sobbing, he turned away, too ashamed and too proud to let Sunggyu see him like that.

            This was the point Sunggyu had pushed him to, but now that it was here, Sunggyu felt bad for him.  “Come here, let me hug you.”

            He shook his head, turning farther away, still crying.

            “Don’t be stubborn, come here.”

            He scooted away, practically hiding inside the bedpost.

            Sunggyu sighed.  “This sounds bad, now, but come on, come here and let me hug you, we both know you want it.”

            He started laughing in the middle of his tears, laughing and crying together.  His laughter died down, and he stayed away for a while, but then he turned toward Sunggyu again, wiping at his face with both hands.

            “Not going to hug?”

            He shook his head again.  “I can’t.”

            “So you’re like a light with a switch,” Sunggyu said.  “On or off.  Nothing at all, or everything.”

            “Something like that.”  He sniffed, wiping the corners of his eyes.  “Except it’s a really loose switch and it flips on all of the time whether I want it to or not.  And people I don’t even want to have access to it keep playing with it.”

            “What makes it better and worse?  Is there anything that makes it easier?”

            A sniffle.  He dried his hands on his pants.  “I don’t know.  It seems like when I, um, when I, I have sex more regularly, I feel better.  It’s a little easier to take everything else, all of the random things that flip the switch, when it’s regular.  When I start holding back, everything gets so much worse.”

            “So you need to get laid more.”

            “I can’t physically do it more than I already do.”

            “No, there’s always room for more sex,” Sunggyu said.  “Maybe you need sex with more people.  Go on MT with my members.  Go to Teen Top’s dorm for a weekend.  Have some fun.”

            Suho looked horrified, his eyes huge and bloodshot from crying.  “I can’t.”

            “You need to relax.”

            “Do you know what would happen to me if I did that?”

            “Sex?” he guessed.  “I think sex.”

            “I would embarrass myself so much, I’d have to quit the industry,” Suho said.

            “Don’t think you’re capable of anything my members don’t already know all about.  If holding back makes everything worse, who are you holding back from?  Who’s playing too much with your switch?”

            He did his cornered rabbit impression again.

“Do we have time for guessing games?” Sunggyu asked, checking his watch.  “Lee Seunggi,” he guessed.  “Won Bin.  Yoo Jae Suk.  Gong Yoo.”

            “Stop, stop,” Suho said.  “It’s mostly Teen Top and Infinite members.  They’re around so much, and my members say things about them, and we’re all getting so close, and L and Changjo have told me so much, sometimes I feel things.”

            Mostly.  Mostly Teen Top and Infinite members.  But there was someone else on his mind.  And that “mostly” was a subtle way to leave people out, like Sunggyu, without being rude.  There was no doubt about Suho and L, and there was no question about Suho and Woohyun, but Sunggyu had never even been on the list.  Insulted, stung, Sunggyu got impatient.  “So spend an hour bent over for C.A.P. and you’ll feel all better.”

            Suho’s eyes were big again.

            “Should I phrase it differently?  That’s what you want, isn’t it?”

            Suho took a while to answer.  He nibbled on his lips for a while and then squirmed all over the pillows.  “It’s difficult for me.  There are things that my body wants.  But it’s not only physical, for me.  I can’t have casual sex.  I’m not ready to do that, with C.A.P.  My members are different, and it’s okay with L and Changjo, because I’m so close to them.  But if I did something with Dongwoo hyung, whatever he did to my body, he’d be doing all of it to my emotions, too, and I can’t take it.  It’s too much.”

            “Then you need someone to make love to you.  Someone who will be careful with you.”

            He picked at the hem of his pants.  “That’s always the answer, with you.”

            “I can’t help it if your members aren’t giving you what you need.”

            “It’s not like that!  You always make it sound like my members and I are failing each other.  They’re not lacking in anything.  I have a problem of my own.  That’s not their fault.”

            “You’re getting regular sex, and it’s not enough.  You need more extracurricular sex.  I don’t live inside your head, so you tell me.  Where’s the best place for you to get it?  Not where your cowardly brain tells you is the safest place.  Who plays with your switch the most?”  Looking down, Suho wouldn’t answer him.  “Gong Yoo,” he guessed again.  “Kim Jae Dong.”

            “Kim Jae Dong,” Suho repeated, surprised.

            “What, I don’t know your taste.  What are you into, idols, mostly?”

            He nodded.

            “Hyungs?”

            He was blushing, but he nodded.

            “Company sunbaes?”

            He shook his head.

            Hyungs outside of SM.  “Sexy dancers?  Tough rappers?”

            “V-.”  He stopped and cleared his throat.  “Vocals.”

            “Vocals are the best,” Sunggyu agreed.  “Who’s older than you?  VIXX’s Leo?  U-Kiss’ Soohyun?  MyName’s Gunwoo?  Insoo hyung?  What are you into, big eyes, nice abs?”

            He shook his head.

            “Well, say something, I can’t guess all night.  Park Jungmin sunbaenim?  G.O. hyung?”

            “It’s not important.  If I just stick to doing things regularly, and keep seeing L and Changjo, I’ll be okay.”

            “It’s not okay if you can’t even screw Chen.  Poor Baekhyun, he must think that you don’t even like him.”

            Suho frowned like he didn’t like that at all.  “My members know how I feel about them.”

            “Then it’s okay if your secret mystery vocal hyung knows how you feel, too.  Go confess to him.  He’ll love it.  You’ll make his whole day.”

            Suho looked down and picked at his socks.  His voice was quiet and he sounded really tense and sad.  “I did.  I tried.  He didn’t want me at all.”

            “What?”  Sunggyu wasn’t going to believe some nonsense like that.  “What, is he straight?  Is he married?  Did you fall for some straight, married main vocal with bad vision and no taste?  Does someone like that exist?”

            “You don’t have to mock me,” Suho said, getting up.  “I get it, I’m not your type, you don’t have to treat me like this.”

            “Where are you going?” Sunggyu asked.  He was moving fast, determined; he already had the door open.  “Where are you going and what are you talking about?” Sunggyu demanded, getting up.  He was already halfway down the hallway.  Sunggyu went after him, baffled as to what the hell happened in this hoobae’s brain sometimes.  “What are you saying and where are you going and why, why are you like this, how, what, stop for once!” Sunggyu insisted, grabbing his arm.

            He twisted, pulling away.  He reached for his shoes.

            Sunggyu grabbed them first and threw them across the room, out of reach.  “Make sense!”

            Suho whirled around and stared at him with panicked, furious eyes.  “Are you stupid?  Are you this stupid or are you taunting me?  Are you only pretending not to know or did you already forget me?  You can’t remember me?”

            “Forget what?” Sunggyu demanded.  He couldn’t think of anything when Suho looked so upset with him.  He felt like he was being accused of something beastly and traumatic, but he’d never done a thing!

            Suho snatched up his shoes.  “You don’t even remember.  You don’t care about me, I’m nothing to you, I get it,” he muttered, shoving his feet into his shoes.  “Then why do you have to treat me like this?  Why do you have to ignore me like I’m nothing and push me away like I’m worthless and then demand so much?  Just leave me alone, stop steamrolling right over me!”

            “How can I leave you alone?  You came over here!  This is my dorm, you walked in!”

            “I’m sorry,” Suho said.  His jaw was working and he wouldn’t look at Sunggyu and he looked like he would do anything in the world before he’d give in and cry.  “I won’t do it again.”

            “I didn’t mean that!” Sunggyu objected, but he was already walking out of the door.  “Don’t just-”

            The door closed.

            “What?!” Sunggyu demanded, throwing his arms wide.

            The door didn’t answer.

            “What, what.”  Gripping his hair in both hands, he turned around, looking for answers.  What had just happened?  What was going on in that hoobae’s mind?  How had everything stopped making sense?  What had he forgotten about?  What was Suho accusing him of?

            “What happened?” Woohyun asked from a bedroom door.

            “I don’t know.”  He didn’t know at all.  “Am I crazy?”

            “No.  Were you bossing him around too much?”

            “Bossing who?” he demanded, his hands dropping.  “I didn’t boss anybody, he came to me for advice.  When someone asks for my advice, what am I supposed to do, not tell them what to do?”

            “Then what’s he so upset about?”

            “Nothing!  Nothing!  I don’t know.  He thinks I know something I don’t know.”  L!  “It’s L!  Something happened with L, between them, and he thinks that I know about it.  He thinks that I’m teasing him about it.”

            “He said that he thinks you don’t care about him.”

            “Why would I care about him?  He’s nothing special.”

            Woohyun raised his eyebrows.

            Sunggyu pretended not to notice.

            Woohyun smiled.

            “I have things to do,” he decided, turning away.  He went to his room, but it was full of Suho, somehow.  Suho all over his bed, all over his pillows.  Asking him to-

            Wait.

            Asking him…

            “I did.  I tried.  He didn’t want me at all.”

            That wasn’t right.  No.  No, it hadn’t been like that.  It wasn’t a real rejection if it wasn’t a real offer.  And that hadn’t been a real offer.  Suho had been scared and desperate and trying to prove something.  That wasn’t desire, that wasn’t lust, that wasn’t sexual attraction, that was a leader’s sacrifice.  Suho looked at other men like they were fascinating and too sexy to handle.  Suho looked at him like he was a threat.

            He couldn’t stop thinking about it, though.  And then he got impatient with himself.  Okay, look, he’d just figure out who Suho’s secret Mr. Right was, the super-hot whoa-sexy guy that Suho wanted more than anything.  Then he’d have it all settled in his mind.  Then he wouldn’t have to wonder anymore.  Good.  Okay.

            He called L.  L didn’t answer.  He decided to make L practice for eighty extra hours all week.  He called Changjo.

            “Hello?”

            “Tell me who Young Money likes.”

            “Hyung?”

            “Do you speak Korean?  Tell me who Young Money likes.”

            “Ah, hyung, I can’t do that.”

            He scowled at his phone.  Fine.  He had another way.  “You know every idol, right?”

            “One way or another.”

            “Think of all of the idols who aren’t SM sunbaes.  It’s nobody in SM.  It’s somebody born before ’91.  And it’s a vocal.”  Who had he already guessed?  “Besides Leo, Kim Soohyun sunbaenim, Gunwoo, Insoo hyung, G.O. sunbaenim, and Park Jungmin sunbaenim, who is it?”

            “Um.  Any vocal, or main vocal?”

            “I don’t know, try main vocals.”

            “Does Shinhwa count as an SM sunbae these days?”

            “Probably, I don’t know, why do you ask so many questions?”

            “Is it Big Bang’s Daesung sunbaenim?”

            “No, too many abs.”

            “I’m running out of names.”

            “Who’s left?”

            “Well, hyung, the most obvious one would be somebody named Kim Sunggyu.”

            He hung up and dropped his phone on the bed.  He felt like it had bitten him.  He walked away from it.  He went into the living room and sat down.

            Was Suho attracted to him?

            He got up and walked into the kitchen.  He opened the fridge.

            What if Suho had really wanted him to say yes, that time?  Or what about that other time?

            He lifted his shirt.  It wasn’t like he didn’t have any abs at all.  Although he didn’t know if Suho knew that.  So rude; L should do a better job of bragging about him to other people.

            He went into L’s room.  Photos of L and Suho and Changjo smiled at him from the frames above L’s desk.  He felt weird, looking at them.

            Suho had L.  And Sunggyu had been in L’s life long enough to know that there were very, very few people in the world who, given the choice, would prefer him over L.  Especially when it came to things like sex and romance.  Really, so far, there were, like two, and Dongwoo was too foolish to count, so really there was just one.  Hell, if he weren’t Infinite’s leader, nobody would give him a second look.  People only noticed him because he had “idol” stamped on him.  If he were still cleaning tables and washing dishes, he’d be invisible.

            Suho had never been invisible.  He was pretty sure that Suho didn’t even know what it felt like.

            He stared at Changjo’s smirking face.  That kid.  Was Changjo messing with him, just to spin him around?  Just to get a kick out of making him imagine he had a chance where he didn’t?  Or was Changjo trying to tell him something real?

            Changjo was either trying to help Suho.  Or trying to humiliate Sunggyu.

            Sunggyu wouldn’t put either one past him.

            Needing to think about this, Sunggyu squatted down.  How had that conversation with Suho gone?  What had Suho said to him?  What had he said?  What had prompted that sudden offer?

            He remembered...  Well, he remembered Suho saying, “I want L.  I want Changjo.”  That he remembered clearly.  And then, “I want-  But Suho had cut off the rest of it, closed it up behind clenched teeth.

            “If you want L, go and get him.  He’s here.  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.”

            Suho had gotten that determined look.  And Sunggyu had told him to go for it.  And he’d gotten up, and Sunggyu had thought that he was finally going to make a move on L, finally going to let go of some of this sexual anxiety and have some fun for once.

            And then he’d locked the door and walked right over to Sunggyu and started undressing.

            It hadn’t made any sense.  Why Sunggyu?  Of course Sunggyu had rejected him, when he was being so ridiculous.  He’d only done it because he had something to prove.  He hadn’t meant any of it.  He’d never wanted Sunggyu.  So Sunggyu had pushed him away, and he’d gone to L, and everything had worked out.  In the end, it had all gone the way it was meant to.

            See, Suho had ended up with L.  So Sunggyu had been right.  He’d wanted L all along.

            What had Suho been about to say?  “I want L.  I want Changjo.  I want,” what?  What came next?  “I want hot guys.”  “I want lots and lots of nasty, lewd sex.”  “I want Shinhwa’s Shin Hyesung.”  “I want you, Sunggyu hyung, I truly want you.”

            Sunggyu couldn’t stand not knowing.



            Suho wasn’t going to cry over this.  He was in complete control of himself when he left Infinite’s dorm.  He was composed when he got into the cab.  He was dry-eyed in the elevator.  He put it firmly out of his mind in the dorm when he took off his shoes.

            Grim, stoic, he went into the kitchen.

            “Hey,” Lay said, turning to him with a smile.  “Did you see Sunggyu hyung?”

            He didn’t know if it was Lay’s open, honest expression or that simple question or suddenly having to explain himself or just the fact that in the privacy of the dorm he didn’t have to keep his public face on, but in an uncontrollable rush, he felt everything, like he was standing in front of Sunggyu again, back in Infinite’s dorm, cramming his feet into his shoes.  Mortified and frustrated and wounded, he hugged Lay.

            “Oh, no,” Lay said, hugging him back.  “It didn’t go well.  What’s wrong?”

            “Nothing,” he said, clutching Lay close to himself so that Lay couldn’t see his face.  Everything was wrong.  Sometimes when they were together, Sunggyu was so funny and he felt so relaxed and everything went so well, he thought that maybe Sunggyu liked him, maybe they were getting closer.  Sunggyu was direct and honest with him about things that there was no way Sunggyu would tell just anybody.  Didn’t that mean something?  And when Sunggyu was full of bluster and instructions, it seemed like that was just the way Sunggyu was.  It even seemed affectionate, like puffing up and telling people what to do was how Sunggyu cared.  And tonight, when Sunggyu had insisted on taking on the role of a close hyung, he’d thought that maybe there was something between them, maybe they could foster a sense of intimacy, maybe he could stop holding himself back so tightly and give things another chance.

            But Sunggyu didn’t care about him at all.  He’d stripped down naked and thrown himself at Sunggyu, and Sunggyu didn’t remember.  He’d taken a huge step, a gigantic risk, he’d opened himself up in the most vulnerable way he could, and it hadn’t even registered.  He meant nothing to Sunggyu.  The pet nickname, the advice, all of the time they’d spent talking in Sunggyu’s room, it was all worthless.  Sunggyu didn’t notice him as a man or respect him as a leader or give a fuck about him as a dongsaeng.  He was just another hoobae in a sea of idols.

            It was best this way.  Long-term, ultimately, this was good.  He’d been getting in over his head, anyway.  Things never would have worked out between him and Sunggyu, and then what?  It would have been awkward for their members, awkward for the two of them to see each other backstage, awkward to have to interact in public, awkward on variety shows, awkward, painful, terrible.  Besides, he didn’t even know what he wanted.  Not really.  Not exactly.  Not aside from all of the shy, brilliant fantasies he didn’t want to admit that he had.  Fantasies about sex and about Sunggyu’s bed and about Sunggyu looking happy to see him.  Sunggyu smiling at him.  Talking to him in that impatient, confident way that put things back in order.  Teasing him like he was cute.  Maybe calling him up, sometimes, just to talk.  Maybe kissing him.  Maybe coming over.  Sunggyu had never been to EXO’s dorm, not once.  He felt like he’d give anything in the world if Sunggyu would visit him here and sit on his couch and be among his members, and it humiliated him to feel that way, and it infuriated him, too.  Because Sunggyu would never bother to come here.  Sunggyu didn’t care enough about him to see where he lived.  To waste time on him.

            “Did something go wrong with Sunggyu hyung?” Lay asked.  “I told the members that you liked him, but no one believed me.”

            Lay knew?!  Had he been that obvious?  Augh, of course he had, he was obvious about everything.  The doorbell rang, and he pulled away, grateful for the interruption.  “I’ll get it.  Are you expecting someone?”

            “No, there shouldn’t be anyone,” Lay said.

            Another sasaeng?  Suho frowned, heading for the door.  They had to learn to respect the members’ privacy.  It wasn’t right to ring bells and knock on doors like this.  He checked the camera above the door.

            That wasn’t a sasaeng.

            That was Kim Sunggyu.

            Suho wasn’t proud of what he did next.  But he wasn’t EXO’s Suho in that moment, and he didn’t have his public face on.  He was a foolish dongsaeng in the privacy of his own home.

            He panicked.

            “I’m not here,” he said, grabbing the first member he saw.  It was Sehun, great.  He shoved Sehun at the door.  “Tell him that I’m not here.”  He ran past Lay, repeating, “Not here,” and went straight to his room and closed the door.

            Chen looked surprised to see him.  “Su-”

            He gestured for Chen to shut up for a second.  Leaning back against the door, he tried to hear what was happening over the pounding of his heart.

            “Hyung?” Sehun asked.

            “Is Young Money here?”

            “Ah, hyung?” Sehun asked.

            “Young Money.  Suho.  Your guardian leader.  Kim Joonmyeon.  The short, good-looking one.  Is he here?”

            “Ah, no, hyung, he’s not.”

            “When is he coming back?”

            “I don’t know, hyung, sorry.”

            “I’ll wait,” Sunggyu said decisively.

            What?!  Suho turned around, his chest to the door now.

            “Uh, hyung, I don’t know,” Sehun said.

            “He lives here, right?” Sunggyu asked.  “He has to come back.  He wouldn’t abandon you, right?  I’ll wait.”

            “He might not be back for a long time.  It could be a while.  Hours,” Sehun said.

            “He could call you when he gets back,” Lay said.  “We’ll tell him that you stopped by.”

            “No, I’ll wait,” Sunggyu said again.

            They had a hyung in the dorm.  A sunbae.  A stubborn sunbae.  Sehun wasn’t going to be able to get rid of him.  Suho looked around, but there was only Chen.  That wouldn’t work.  Chances were, even Xiumin wouldn’t be able to dislodge Sunggyu.

            “Maybe another member knows where he is,” Lay said.  “Or when he’ll come back.  I’ll ask, maybe, um, I’ll ask.”

            A sudden knock on the door startled Suho.  It seemed catastrophically loud.  He opened the door, dragged Lay inside, and shut it again.  “Get rid of him,” Suho whispered.

            “He’s in the dorm,” Lay whispered back.  “He’s on the couch, Suho, how can I get him off of the couch?”

            Sunggyu on the couch.  Suho had wanted it so badly, but not like this!

            “What’s happening?” Chen asked.

            “I don’t know,” Lay whispered.  “I don’t know at all!”

            This was ridiculous.  It was some horrible farce.  What was Suho doing?  Hiding in his bedroom like a coward?  Thinking that if he shut his eyes, his problems would go away, like a child?

            Sunggyu wasn’t going to go away.  How had he gotten over here so fast?  What did he want?  Hadn’t they said enough to each other, already?  Had he come to lecture?  To apologize?  Suho didn’t want an apology.

            No, that wasn’t true.  Suho wished for an apology.  Anything that would bring them closer would be better than feeling humiliated and rejected.

            “Go and tell the other members to stay in their rooms,” Suho told Lay.  Lay nodded at him, and he faced the door.  He put his public face back on, and he walked out.

            Sunggyu was smack in the center of the couch, sitting back, hands in his lap.  He looked like he was waiting.  He looked like he planned to wait there all night.

            When Suho approached the couch, Sunggyu didn’t even blink.  Embarrassed, Suho sat down.  He’d have to endure it.

This hyung was too unpredictable; had he come to scold?  It was too much for Sunggyu to barge into someone else’s living space, but Suho had caused a humiliating scene in his dorm, so maybe they were even.

Sunggyu suddenly turned to him, making a big show of noticing him.  “Oh, you’re here?”

“Yes, I’m home.”  He didn’t want to lie and say something like, “My members must not have heard me come in,” and he didn’t want to explain himself, because it was too embarrassing.  So he folded his hands in his lap and waited.

Sunggyu nodded.  “I see.”  He nodded some more, pressed his lips together, and looked around the room.

This was unbearable.  “Did you want to say something?”  If he’d come to scold, couldn’t he just get it over with?  Did he torment his members like this?  Suho had been under the impression that when he wanted to chastise his members, he didn’t hold back.

“There’s been a misunderstanding.”  Sunggyu gave him a careful, assessing look.  “Maybe more than one.”

Suho told himself that this hyung wasn’t handsome at all and shouldn’t get to him like this.  He looked at Sehun and D.O. every day, he made out with L, so why did Sunggyu make his heart pound and his stomach twist like this?

“You should be more clear when you talk,” Sunggyu said, suddenly sounding impatient.  “People are bound to misunderstand if you’re not more obvious about what you mean.”

Taken aback, he frowned.  “When was I not obvious?”

“You’re too stubborn and secretive and prideful!  You should come out with things.”

“Hyung!  Isn’t this too far?” Suho demanded.  “Who’s prideful in this room?”

Sunggyu’s jaw dropped.  “Are you calling me prideful?”

“Who else would I be talking to?” he shot back.

“Is this how you talk to a hyung?”

“You’re too confident sometimes!  You’re an arrogant bully, why are you always pushing me around?  I can’t even talk to you without you steamrolling all over me!”

“You came to me and asked for my advice!  If you ask me what I think you should do, I’ll tell you!  Isn’t that how advice works?”  Sunggyu glared at him.  “You’re too loud and angry today.  You should be nicer.  Everything I do, you either yell at me or cry.  Stay away from me, then, if I’m so awful to you.”

He snapped back with Sunggyu’s argument from earlier.  “Isn’t this my dorm?  You came over here!  How can I stay away if you’re the one coming to see me?”

“Should I go, then?” Sunggyu demanded.  “Should I leave?”

Yes!  No, no, that wasn’t what he wanted.  What were they doing, why did they keep arguing like this?  Leaning back, at a loss, he slumped against the back of the couch, rubbing his eyes.  “This is no way to talk.”  He was being too sensitive; he felt rejected and resentful and hurt, and he was letting his temper run away with him.  Sighing, he let his hands fall.  “I’m sorry, hyung, I’ll watch myself more closely.”  Pushing himself to sit up straight again, he tried to meet Sunggyu’s eyes.  “What did you come here to say?”

“It seems like you don’t like me very much.”

Surprised, he tried to imagine what could have given Sunggyu that impression.  Other than the way he’d just yelled.  “That’s not true.”  He really tried to meet Sunggyu’s eyes, to be polite, but he couldn’t quite make it.  Leaning forward, he rested his elbows on his knees.  “It’s not true that I only want to talk to you when I have a problem.  What I said earlier is true, I don’t want to bother you.  You’re busy, and I know that I annoy you.  I don’t want to be a burden,” he admitted.  It was hard to say, and he looked down at his hands, tapping his fingers together and examining his manicure.

“Who said that you annoy me?” Sunggyu demanded.

Despite himself, he laughed.  “You did.”

“Oh.”  There was a moment of silence, and then Sunggyu said, “I didn’t mean it.”

Well.  If that was true, “Thanks.”  Taking a risk, he flashed Sunggyu a quick smile.  Then he looked down at his hands again.  “I’m sorry if you thought that I didn’t like you.  I rely on you a lot.  You’re a good hyung, and a leader that I respect, and you’ve set a great example as a sunbae.  I have a lot to learn from you.”

“Maybe I read things wrong.  Normally I’m very perceptive,” he insisted, and Suho smiled at his prideful bluster.  “But maybe I let my own ideas or my own feelings tell me that you were telling me one thing, when you told me something else.  I didn’t listen clearly, and I didn’t realize some things.”  Then, sounding annoyed, he added, “But you could have been more clear.”

He couldn’t figure out what Sunggyu was trying to tell him.  He got the gist of it, but he felt like he was missing some elements.  Sitting up straight again, he tried to read Sunggyu’s expression.  “Could you be more clear?  What do you mean?”

“Like this.”  Sunggyu reached for him, hand passing lightly over his forearm.

It was only a brief, chaste touch, but heat sizzled over his skin, sparks shooting up to his elbow, down to his fingers.  He froze in place, his heart thudding in his chest, so tense that he couldn’t breathe.  Logically, he knew that he was fine, everything was fine, nothing was going to happen, nothing that he couldn’t handle.  But he couldn’t convince himself of that, and he found himself getting up, stepping back, tugging on the hem of his shirt like he had to prove to himself that his clothes were still completely on.  “I’ve been a bad host, I should offer you something.  I’ll get you a drink.”

“Is it like that?” Sunggyu murmured.  He was looking at Suho, but he seemed to be asking himself.

“I’ll, uh, be right back.”  Suho went to the kitchen, not seeing a thing that he passed along the way.  In the kitchen, he took bottled water from the fridge, but that seemed too boring, so he got out bottles of juice, but those seemed stupid, so he got beer, but then he thought about what it meant to hand Sungyeol a can of beer, and he wondered if Sunggyu would think that he meant something strange by it, and then he shoved everything back into the fridge and slammed the door shut and stared at it, too tense and confused to do anything.  What was wrong with him?  Why couldn’t he hold a normal conversation?  Why couldn’t he fulfill the basic duties of a host?  Why was he hiding uselessly from someone who’d never done anything to him?  The worst that Sunggyu had ever done to him had been to reject him, but that had been a kindness, it had been the right thing to do.

Ordering himself to get his act together, he snatched the water bottles out of the fridge again.  Then he marched back to the couch and handed one to Sunggyu.  Sitting down, feeling fed up with himself and determined to get everything right from now on, he drank.

“Maybe I’m pushy,” Sunggyu said.  “People say that I’m too demanding, and that I always think that I’m right.  But I won’t push anymore.  I’ll only tell you what I used to think, and then I’ll say what I think now, and you can tell me how it really is.”

“Okay.”

“You’ve been tense and stubborn,” Sunggyu said.  “You won’t take my advice, and you only talk to me when you have nowhere else to go.  You act like you’re scared of me, like you think that I’m going to hurt you or beat you or rape you.  I’m some annoying villain, and if I weren’t L’s leader, you wouldn’t bother with me.”

“It’s nothing like that,” he said, appalled.  “It’s never been that way.”  He stared into Sunggyu’s face, wondering how he could’ve been so misleading.  “I’ve always thought well of you.”

Sunggyu nodded.  “Now, what I think is this.”  He looked at Suho closely, and his scrutiny was so focused, Suho felt uneasy.  He was right, he was perceptive, and Suho didn’t want to be known this well.  “It only seems like you’re afraid of me.  Really, you’re afraid of yourself, like you’ve always been.  You stay away because you’re worried about what you’ll do when you’re around me.  You weren’t only making a noble sacrifice for your members’ sake.  You were asking for what you really wanted.  Only I was too stupid to see it, because I didn’t believe that someone like EXO’s Suho would want that from someone like me.”

At a loss for words, Suho licked his lips.  Sunggyu understood him too clearly, now, and he was embarrassed to have that humiliating moment brought up again.  He didn’t want to have those painful moments and sexual impulses dragged up and examined.  He didn’t want to talk about any of this at all, not anymore, not ever again.  It was bad enough having to live with it, inside of himself; having Sunggyu go over it was even worse.

But his mind was spinning in other directions, too.  Sunggyu really hadn’t understood him, before?  Sunggyu thought that there was something, what, something special about him?  Wasn’t that what those words meant, what Sunggyu had just implied?

What…  What if Sunggyu had understood his intentions, that night?  What might Sunggyu have said to him?  Would the answer have been different?  Would the rejection have been something else, instead?

“Maybe I didn’t think enough of myself, then, that I thought that you wouldn’t ever notice me,” Sunggyu said.  “Or maybe I think too much of myself, tonight, that I think that I’m the one you respond to so much you can’t help yourself when you’re around him.”

“It.”  Suho swallowed, turning his water bottle around in his hands.  It was cold and slippery, and he set it aside, wiping his hands on his pants.  These stupid pants, he always got too dressed up to see Sunggyu, he always cared too much about his appearance and wanted to make a good impression.  “I.”  What could he say?  He hadn’t confessed to anyone since debut, and never to a guy.  He didn’t know how this was supposed to go.  Sure, he told his members and dongsaengs that he loved them, but that was different.  This was a hyung.

A hyung.  His hyung.  Hadn’t they agreed to that earlier tonight, kind of?  Sunggyu had insisted on being his close hyung, someone he confided in, someone he could tell everything.

“I’ve been going through a rough time,” he confessed, and getting just that small bit off of his chest made some of his tension unknot.  “There’s someone I like a lot.  I have really strong feelings for him, and I think about him all of the time, and I want to be a lot closer.  I feel greedy,” he said, meeting Sunggyu’s eyes.  “I feel like I want too much from him, things it’s not fair to expect.  But I…”  He swallowed, but he’d started out with honesty, and he wanted to continue that way.  “He’s good to me, he says things that I need to hear, and I’m grateful for it.”  He smiled.  “He tells me things like, ‘A leader’s responsibility is real,’ and then I go around saying it, too, and everyone’s tired of hearing it from me, now.  But he’s too…”  It burst out of him.  “He’s too sexy to me!  It isn’t fair, I have all of these people around me all of the time, all of these dongsaengs and friends and members, everyone’s too good-looking and I’m always so turned on and it burdens me every day.  And then he shows up, and I can’t even manage myself.  He’s so sexy, and he’s always talking about things like making love, like he doesn’t know what hearing those things does to me, like it’s a simple, ordinary thing.  If I could live my life the way that I wanted to, if there weren’t things like consequences and reputations in the world, I’d show up at his door every day, asking him to give me a chance.  But when I tried, he told me no, so…  So I won’t bother him again.”

“Bother me,” Sunggyu said immediately.

Embarrassed, thrilled, he laughed, shaking his head.

“Really, bother me,” Sunggyu insisted.  “I want to be bothered,” he said, crouching in front of Suho.  “I like it so much, I love being bothered, I don’t want anything else.”

He felt too shy and too eager to know what to do, and he felt hot, embarrassment and excitement burning in his face.  Laughing foolishly, he put his hands out, and Sunggyu grabbed them, holding them tightly.

“Okay?” Sunggyu asked.  “Not too scary?  Touching like this is okay.”

“It’s okay,” he agreed, breathless.  The contact was just ordinary enough that he could bear it.  Sunggyu’s hands looked smooth and sexy and capable, and the way Sunggyu’s fingers curled around his seemed impossibly intimate.

“I didn’t know how it was, before,” Sunggyu said.  “I didn’t understand you.”  His gaze chased Suho’s, and Suho nodded.  They’d misread each other, and it had caused too much conflict, too much confusion.  They’d both hurt each other, and they’d both felt rejected.  He wanted to apologize for all of it, for ever making it seem like he didn’t care.  And he wanted to examine all of this new information and absorb it and reassure himself that that night when Sunggyu had so painfully shoved him aside hadn’t really gone that way at all.  “Hyung understands better now,” Sunggyu said, squeezing his hands.  “I’ll be more sensitive from now on.”

“You act like you know everything and you can solve everybody’s problems,” Suho said.  “I thought that you knew all about me.”

“I thought so, too,” Sunggyu admitted.  “But I made too many assumptions.  It didn’t make any sense that you’d like me this much.”

He smiled, glad that Sunggyu was still holding his hands.  “But I do.”

“Well, who knew you were so foolish?”

“I’ve always been foolish,” he admitted, laughing.  “Ask anybody.”

Sunggyu smiled at that.  “It’s late,” he said, “and hyung needs sleep.  Who sleeps by himself here, Chanyeol?”

He had no idea why Sunggyu was asking or what might come next.  Holding himself still, he carefully said, “Yes.”

“I’ll kick him out and sleep in his bed, he’ll survive.  Go see your members and get laid, and then come and sleep with me.  We won’t accomplish anything, I won’t try anything like that, but I sleep best when I have a pretty dongsaeng beside me.”

Sleep with Sunggyu?  In the same bed?  “Chen can do it.”  It was too much, it was impossible.  He wanted it so much that he felt like his chest was clenching around a tangible ache.

“I’ll expect you,” Sunggyu said.  Getting up, he let go of Suho’s hands with a squeeze.  “Go have your fun first.”  Walking away, Sunggyu called, “Park Chanyeol?”

Suho got up, rubbing at his forehead, then sat back down.  What had just happened, had he just confessed to Kim Sunggyu?  Sunggyu knew how he felt, at least part of it, and it seemed like Sunggyu kind of liked him, too, or was at least more attracted to him than he’d thought.  Sleep with Sunggyu?!  He couldn’t!  He had to!

His members were coming out of their rooms, crawling onto the sofa, whispering to each other and asking him questions.  “Hyung!”  “Sunggyu hyung, really?”  “You never told us!”  “How is it, really, do you like him?”  “Is it because he’s hung like that?”  “Does L sunbae know?”  “You should’ve told us!  We could’ve helped you.”

“Did you hear everything?” he asked.  Being crowded in by his members felt stabilizing; he was used to being surrounded by them.

“All of it,” Lay said.

He licked his lips, feeling embarrassed, and then he asked, feeling hope flutter in his heart, “Do you think that he might like me a little?”

They groaned and laughed and pushed at him until he was jostled on all sides.  “Hyung!  Don’t be stupid, he practically confessed to you!” Chen exclaimed.

“What are you going to wear to bed with him?” Sehun asked.

“Yeah, you have to look good for it,” Xiumin said.

Oooohh,” Lay breathed.  “Do you want to be sexy and sophisticated, and seduce him?  Or do you want to be innocent and cute?”

“Innocent, innocent,” Chen urged.

“Yeah, you don’t want to tempt him too much,” Baekhyun said.  “Or, I mean, I would, but you don’t want to make an offer you don’t want him to take you up on.”

“Wearing something sexy isn’t offering anything,” Kai said.

“Are your purple panties clean?” Lay asked.

“Why do you have purple panties?” Xiumin asked.  “And why haven’t I seen them?”

“They’re lavender, they were a present from Changjo’s fans,” Lay said.  “Wear those, and a white undershirt.  White’s virginal, right?”

Baekhyun snorted.  “Let’s not go too far.  No one here’s a virgin.”

“Speaking of, uh.”  Xiumin grinned.  “Suho, can I see you in private?”

“Yeah, go, go,” Chen urged happily, pushing him off of the couch.  “Go take care of things.  Sunggyu hyung’s waiting for you.”

Sunggyu was waiting for him.  That really did it for him; he felt so eager, he couldn’t pretend to be unaffected.  He went right to his room without leaving any last-minute instructions to his members on how to behave with a guest in the dorm.  He turned off the lights hurriedly while Xiumin closed the door, and he climbed onto the bed and took off his clothes all at once, not even bothering to clear the bed off first, letting Xiumin push him down on top of cast-off clothes and his tablet.

He was glad that it was Xiumin, tonight, because Xiumin’s pushiness was exactly what he needed.  He responded to everything, going up like fireworks, crying out fervently while Xiumin flooded him with pleasure.  The inescapable knowledge that Sunggyu was nearby, that Sunggyu was in the dorm, waiting for him, maybe even overhearing him, drove him wild, and he rocked hungrily against Xiumin’s thrusts, lust driving him to new urgency.

He’d gone into his room feeling like he’d never be satisfied, but Xiumin fucked him thoroughly, fucked him repeatedly, teased him just enough to make him admit how much he needed it, and then gave him everything that he wanted.  Feeling shaken and transcendent, he rolled over, catching his breath.

In the shower, he washed up quickly.  He didn’t know if Sunggyu would suddenly have to use the toilet and walk in and see him.  His nipples were a little tender, and he knew that it was only his imagination, but he swore that he could still feel exactly where on his back he’d felt the slow, light drag of Xiumin’s fingernails when Xiumin had whispered, “That’s it, kitten, it’s so good for hyung this way, keep begging for it.”  Remembering it, he shivered, and he turned the water colder, needing to clear his head.

He was grateful to his members for being so generous with him.  He was grateful to them for understanding him so well and protecting him.  Lay made sex seem easy and fun, and Kai made sex seem natural, and Xiumin was a lot more sensitive these days, only going as far as he could take, assertive enough to make it intense but not too aggressive for him to handle.  He felt more in touch with his sexuality than he’d ever been, more aware of his particular needs and desires, more sure of what to do about them.

But Sunggyu.  Introducing a new partner, was it a good idea?  He’d only just added L and Changjo, and he was still working out the details there, still figuring out what to do with them, and when, and how.  Just tonight, he’d been mortified and furious over Sunggyu; was he ready to open up that much to someone who could hurt him so badly?  His members were his members, he shared everything with them; L and Changjo were trusted dongsaengs, people he’d told everything about himself, people he didn’t hold anything back from.  Did he trust Sunggyu to be there for him?  To take care of him?  To stick around?

It was funny.  He felt like he could trust C.A.P. with that, more than Sunggyu.  After the blind item, after they’d reconciled, he and C.A.P. had a new understanding.  They’d co-parented enough, and been through enough, that he felt like if he fell apart in C.A.P.’s hands, C.A.P. would make sure that he was put back together.  Maybe it was because he knew where he stood with C.A.P.  As long as he was loyal to Teen Top, C.A.P. would be loyal to him.

Should he make sure of where he stood with Sunggyu?

Should he grow closer to Infinite as a whole?

Maybe they should co-parent, too.  It seemed like a weird thought; he didn’t have anything to offer a sunbae group.  But Teen Top was a sunbae group.  Well, but Infinite was older.  Dongwoo was the same age as Xiumin, and he was Xiumin’s leader, wasn’t he?  He argued nonsensically back and forth with himself until he realized that he was stalling.

Sunggyu was waiting.

Nervous now, anxious butterflies flying around in his stomach, he went back to his room.  Lay and Chen were there, arguing over whether he should wear a V-neck or crew neck white undershirt with his lavender underwear.  Touched that his members took such an interest, embarrassed that his sex life and private desires were so well-known, he took the underpants that Chen handed him.  Then he frowned.  “Where are the boxer-briefs?”

“Wear the briefs,” Lay advised.  “Briefs are more old-fashioned than boxer-briefs.  You’ll look more innocent.”

“I don’t want to look innocent,” he argued, but he put on what they handed him.  Chen fluffed his hair, and Lay tried to adjust his package, and he hurriedly told them good night and fled into the hall.

Self-conscious about his junk, now, he tugged at the front of the shirt, trying to cover himself.  He didn’t know if he was showing too much or not enough, not that there was all that much that he could do about it.  Standing outside of Chanyeol’s door, he felt foolish.  All of this fuss over sleeping with someone.  He shared a bed every night, lately.  It would only be sleeping, right?  So there was nothing to worry about.  They’d have to squish uncomfortably close in a too-small space, and he’d probably wake up sweaty from wherever they were pressed together, and if Sunggyu snored too much, it would be annoying.  This wasn’t a sexy, glamorous event, it was just the same old thing he did all of the time with someone new.

Feeling resolute, he tapped at the door and went in.  “Hyung?”

The room was dark, but Chanyeol’s computer monitor was still on, and when his eyes adjusted, he could make out a form on the bed.  “Hyung?” he asked again, edging closer.

Unnngh, Young Money-ah.”  Sunggyu sounded sleepy, his words vague and slurred.  “Here, there’s room here with hyung.”  Sunggyu scooted over on the bed, and a pale hand gestured him onward.

It reminded him of something, and then as he reached the bed, he realized what.  It reminded him of himself.  He remembered the dozens of times people had told him that he needed to be just a dongsaeng for once, that he needed to let someone take care of him, that he needed to find someone who would do for him what he did for everyone else, so that he could relax and let go.  Wondering, he crawled into bed.

“Small spoon,” Sunggyu mumbled, pushing at his hip.  He wriggled around until he was facing away.  He found himself clinging to the edge of the bed, not wanting to take liberties.  Sunggyu fluffed the sheet out, draping it over him, then wrapped an arm around his waist and hauled him backward.  Flush against Sunggyu’s body, he froze, holding his breath.  Wasn’t this too much, too intimate?  He could feel Sunggyu against him, thighs firm against his, chest solid at his back.  The arm around his waist anchored him.  “Hush,” Sunggyu said, reassuring him, chastising him, easing his tension.  “Hyung just wants to sleep, it’s been a long day.”  His breath started again, and it sounded too loud in the quiet room, but he was relaxing already, comforted by how calm and ordinary and in control Sunggyu seemed.  The arm around his waist tightened a little, and Sunggyu snuggled in closer, pressing him forward a little, getting comfortable against him, like he wasn’t an adult but a body pillow.  “Don’t mind it if things poke you,” Sunggyu mumbled against the back of his neck.  “It’s biology, not intentions.”

That was such a funny, candid thing to say, Suho smiled.  “Okay, hyung,” he said, and he closed his eyes.



            With Sunggyu away, Woohyun was in charge.  Rolling across Sunggyu’s bed, he reveled in his own authority.  What should he do?  Run a train on Sungyeol?  No, too time-consuming.  Seduce L?  Tempting!  Train and dominate Dongwoo?  Sitting up, he licked his lips.  “Hyung,” he called, getting out of bed.  “Oh, hyung…”



            Suho fell asleep feeling comfortable.  Completely comfortable.  As if he were relaxed after a long, productive day with a precious dongsaeng in his arms.

            He woke up so turned on that his heavy balls ached.  Arousal burning in his veins, he squirmed, trying to get comfortable, his erection straining in his briefs.  For an instant, he told himself that it was only because he was more used to morning sex these days, and his body had expectations.  But it wasn’t routine and timing that had him panting for it like this.  It was Sunggyu, and the masculine body plastered to his back, and the hand splayed over his hip.  He could feel each one of Sunggyu’s fingers where they rested over his pelvic bone, burning right through his skin and electrifying his nerves.  And he could feel the thick rod of Sunggyu’s erection, hard and unmistakable, pressing against his ass.  It was right there, physical and real, nestled in the cleft of his ass, and he imagined that he could feel it nudging against his split.  He imagined, too, that Sunggyu had put that hand on his hip to drag him back, to urge him against it, their bodies grinding against each other in the night.  Squeezing his eyes shut, trying to bear it, needing to get away from Sunggyu but tormented by his sexual urges, he bit his lip, cocking his hips back a little, just a little, shifting against that hard cock, like he was in bed with Sehun and Sehun was tugging down his underwear and they were about to do it.

            It felt so good that he gasped.  For a long, incredible moment, he just stayed there, with his ass pushed back against Sunggyu’s cock, pleasure thrumming between his legs, his breath coming fast.  Telling himself to get up, to get away, to get out before he humiliated himself, he shifted, leaning forward to roll out of bed.  The move subtly rubbed him against that big cock, and he closed his eyes, aching.  Oh, god, why did it have to feel so good?  Gripping the edge of the bed, he writhed against Sunggyu’s erection, his mouth falling open.  Fuck, mmm, yes, yes.

            Needing it too much, now, he silently prayed for Sunggyu to stay asleep.  He just needed a little more of this, just one more second, ahhhh, it was so good.  The sensation he craved was too muffled with his underwear in the way, and carefully, carefully, he peeled his underwear down, exposing his ass.  Feeling Sunggyu’s underwear against his bare skin, the soft cotton, the warmth of body heat, he moaned.  He squirmed, angling to lodge Sunggyu’s erection in his cleft, rocking back against it.  He was going too far, and he knew it, but his hand was already curling around his own cock, jacking.  He masturbated hastily, afraid to be caught like this, afraid to be seen like this, unable to stop.  Maybe Sunggyu was a heavy sleeper; maybe Sunggyu was used to squirmy dongsaengs.  He bit his lip, trying not to make too much noise, sure that the tiniest slap of skin against skin bounced off of the walls.

            The solidity of Sunggyu’s firm, masculine body at his back, curved behind him like a protective shield, fed into so many of his sexual, romantic fantasies.  The sensation of Sunggyu’s erection nudging between his cheeks was so erotic, he was shuddering and writhing against it, panting with the need to be fucked.  He’d always had trouble controlling his sexual responses, and Sunggyu wasn’t even doing anything, wasn’t caressing or seducing or kissing him, but he was already pushed to his limit, already going up in flames.  At the last second, he yanked up the waistband of his briefs, and he moaned as he came.  Climax was a deep, physical relief, and he groaned again, drenching his underwear with voluminous jets of cum.  Milking himself, he panted, getting it all out, giving up the last few messy dribbles with a deep, satisfied shudder.  Oh, ohhhh, yes.

            He closed his eyes, trying to hang onto this fragile sense of contentment.  But already, it was splintering.  Panic snaked through him, and his eyes flew open.  God, no, no, he hadn’t just done this, he couldn’t have just done this!  Horrified, berating himself in anguished disbelief, he threw himself off of the bed.  Too afraid to look back, yanking at his sticky, messy, twisted underpants, he ran like a coward.  Sprinting into the hallway, he fumbled the door shut behind himself, and then he fled to the bathroom.  He wrestled his clothes off and then scrubbed himself anxiously, like if he could get rid of his cum, get rid of the physical evidence, it never would have happened.



            Sunggyu waited until he heard the door close.  Finally risking it, he opened his eyes.  He was alone.  Grunting, he shoved his hand down the front of his shorts.  Fuck, Suho was going to kill him.  For a second, he fondled his balls, teasing himself, remembering the sweet, excruciating pleasure of Suho’s soft ass riding his cock.  Then, taking himself in hand, he got into it, got serious about it, masturbating with tight, urgent strokes.  Jerking himself off, he grimaced as he came, and then he threw his head back, drinking in long, refreshing breaths.

            If Suho was this desperate for it now, what would it be like when he got to respond and they were interacting, touching back and forth, turning each other on?  He was in for a lot of good times ahead.  And a lot of torment.  He could already tell.



            Suho’s members were full of questions again this morning, wanting to know how it had gone, what it had been like, how did he feel, was he okay, when was Sunggyu going to get up, should they prepare some kind of breakfast?  He told Chanyeol to make eggs, and he got dressed.  He had to get a grip; he was so unsure about his own urges, he wanted to put on two pairs of underwear, to protect himself.

            When his mind was clear enough, he sat on his bed and focused his thoughts.  He was too out of control.  He couldn’t behave this way ever again.  He had to get rid of Sunggyu and break this off before he went any farther.

            Even as he had that thought, he could hear L complaining.  Weren’t things always better when he acknowledged what he wanted and gave his body what it needed?  Wasn’t he always stronger and healthier when he had more sex, not less?  If wanting Sunggyu was such a problem, then what he needed was more of Sunggyu.  He should fulfill his desires, not deny them.  Embrace, not reject.  If wanting Sunggyu too intensely was the problem, then having sex with Sunggyu was the solution.  He’d never solve his problems if he ran from them.

            But he’d just gone too far!  Way, way too far, the first chance he’d had!  He was pretty sure that Kai would accuse him of molesting a sleeping man, and he was also pretty sure that Kai was right.  If he was so wicked that he was crossing into criminal behavior, he had to stop!

            He’d better confess.  He had to do what was right.  He’d apologize to Sunggyu, and he’d face the consequences.  Sunggyu deserved to know what kind of weak, reckless person he was.

            He didn’t want to think about what the consequences might be.  He wasn’t going to let his mind go down that painful road.  He’d face it when it came.

            Feeling determined, he got up.  Sunggyu was in the front room, seated at a low table with Chen and Xiumin.  The three of them were eating together, and they seemed very comfortable together, Chen’s laughter quick, Xiumin’s smiles bright, Sunggyu nodding energetically and listening a lot.  Not wanting to break up their happy moment, Suho held back.

            “I didn’t think so, but that’s what Hoya hyung said,” Chen added.

            “Why do you talk about Hoya so much?” Sunggyu asked.

            “What?”  Chen seemed surprised.  “Do I?”

            “Are you the one he’s always on the phone with?”

            “Am I?” Chen asked, looking taken aback.  “I didn’t think that it was so much.”

            “Always texting,” Sunggyu added, eating.

            “It’s not that much,” Chen said.  “He’s funny, we say hi sometimes.”

            “Maybe Hoya has a boyfriend that he doesn’t want you to know about,” Xiumin told Sunggyu.

            “Boyfriends are only distractions,” Sunggyu said.

            “L has a boyfriend,” Chen reminded him.

            “Ah, L,” Sunggyu said, nodding.  “That’s okay, L’s a good member, he works hard.”  He squinted at Chen.  “You think that Hoya’s funny?  Have you always been simple?”

            Suho was glad that Sunggyu had been spooned up behind him in bed, and not in front of him.  He hadn’t had to stare at Sunggyu’s face, and now he didn’t have any memories of gazing on Sunggyu while he’d felt that hot, wild pleasure, while he’d masturbated and craved that cock and gotten off.  Sunggyu hadn’t looked at him, and he hadn’t heard Sunggyu’s voice in his ears, and now being face-to-face was marginally easier to bear.

            He waited until they finished eating.  When Chen got up to clear the plates away, he walked over.  When they looked up at him, he made himself smile.  “Morning.  You’ve eaten well?  Could I speak with you alone for a second?”

            Sunggyu yawned, then nodded and got up.  “What do you want?”

            “Um.”  Suho led the way toward his room, shooed Baekhyun out, and closed the door.  Ugh, he hated having to hold sensitive conversations surrounded by beds on all sides.  He needed an office.

            Sunggyu looked around the room.  “Your fans like you a lot.”

            Suho had no idea if that was a reference to the fan art and fan gifts sitting around, or how well-paid he obviously was.  Deciding not to get into it, he simply said, “Thank you, yes, we’re very fortunate.  Ah, hyung.  Last night, or, this morning…”  He should’ve planned out what to say ahead of time.  But he had to do the right thing and admit to his wrongdoing.  He didn’t want to have to face Sunggyu with this burden weighing on him.  “You were very kind to me, and I repaid you with wrong behavior.  I’m sorry, but this morning, while you were asleep, I woke up, and-”

            “I wasn’t asleep,” Sunggyu said.

            A pit opened up in Suho’s gut.  “What?”

            “Wasn’t asleep,” Sunggyu repeated.  “It seemed like you didn’t want me to participate, so I let you finish on your own.  Is that something you do a lot?”

            “No!”  He couldn’t believe it.  He felt so much better and so much worse, he didn’t know what he felt.  Flabbergasted, he sat down, needing to process this news.  Then he realized that he was on a bed, and he bounced back up.  “You knew?”

            “I like my sleep, but I’m not dead,” Sunggyu said.  “It woke me up.”

            Shaking his head, Suho stared.  “Why didn’t you say anything?”

            “I didn’t want to bother you.  You’re so shy about those things, I thought that you’d rather finish by yourself.  I didn’t want to scare you if you were enjoying it.”

            Then Sunggyu knew all about it.  Sunggyu had seen it all.  Had heard him.  Felt him.  He’d been writhing around like some kind of sex fiend, touching himself and hot for cock, and Sunggyu had witnessed the whole thing.  Wanting to sink down through the floor, he burned with shame.  He’d never meant to expose himself to Sunggyu like that, to make it appallingly obvious how out of control he was.  He couldn’t even guess what Sunggyu thought of him now.

            “You think I’ve never seen a horny guy before?” Sunggyu asked.  “You think I’ve never had a dongsaeng use me for my cock, just wanting to feel good?  It’s nothing to worry about.  There’s nothing strange between us now.  I have to go soon, so hug me and say good-bye.”  Sunggyu opened the door, then stood there with an expectant look.

            Somehow, with the door open, he could breathe easier.  They weren’t trapped in here, surrounded by beds.  Someone might come in, but at the same time, he could walk out if he needed to.  Hearing Sunggyu discuss what he’d done so rationally made it all seem normal and acceptable.  He didn’t know if Sunggyu was being honest or just trying to make him feel better, and it didn’t matter; he felt reassured, regardless.  Calmer now, he told himself that it was just like hugging Onew or Xiumin, it was nothing, it was fine, he was just hugging a hyung, there was nothing more to it.  He put his arms around Sunggyu awkwardly and wondered how soon he could let go.  He didn’t want to jerk back immediately, that would seem rude, but he couldn’t stay long, either.

            “You can touch it next time, if you want to,” Sunggyu said.  Suho couldn’t believe that he’d just said that.  Oh, god, Suho felt hot all over.  He said it as matter-of-factly as if he were offering Suho a breath mint.  “I’m very easy, my members take advantage of me all of the time.”  He hugged Suho close, and Suho wanted to relax against him, wanted to hold onto him and savor being pressed against his body.  He felt Sunggyu’s hands shift on his back, inching up a bit and then patting downward.  “You have a great body, don’t you?”

            He was embarrassed, but it was funny, too, and he smiled.  “I work out sometimes.  I want to look good for EXO-L.”

            “And you’re vain,” Sunggyu said, letting go.

            He rubbed his nose, still smiling, and didn’t reply to that.

            “Come and walk me out.”

            Following Sunggyu to the door, he felt relaxed again.  He’d acted out in the worst way he ever had, and Sunggyu seemed completely fine with it.  That told him that he could be comfortable here, that maybe, after all, he could be himself with this hyung.  He desperately wanted that to be true.  As they reached the door, he remembered what he’d thought about last night.  “Hyung, do you think.  Maybe we could spend more time with each other’s members.  I’d like to be closer with your members, and I’d like it if mine got to know you better.”

            “Take them,” Sunggyu said.  “Dongwoo, Sungyeol, the maknae, take them whenever you want.  Do you want them now?”

            He laughed.  “Maybe if you have a night off, you could come over again.”

            “All right.”  He put his hand on Suho’s shoulder, a firm grip, a pleasant weight.  The steadiness of his gaze made time seem to slow down a little, calming Suho, reassuring.  “Call hyung if you need anything.  Call me just to talk, just to annoy me, for nothing at all.  Drop by to complain or to harass my members or to look pretty on my bed, any time you want.  Got it?”

            A close hyung.  Someone he could turn to and confide in and be completely foolish in front of, without worrying about the consequences.  Someone who would take care of him; someone he didn’t have to look out for.  “Got it,” he said, and then he threw his arms around Sunggyu and impulsively whispered, “Oh, hyung, it felt so good.”  It had been such an intense, scorching-hot moment, he had to tell someone about it.  It was such a relief to get it out, he closed his eyes, just holding on.

            “Seems like it did,” Sunggyu said, patting his back.  “It can feel good again, another time, just tell hyung what you need.”

            He wasn’t ready to take Sunggyu up on that offer, god, no.  But it made for a very exciting fantasy.



            Woohyun strolled into Sunggyu’s room and watched him get dressed.  “Want to talk about it?”

            “Nothing to talk about.”  Sunggyu looked over two oversized black T-shirts, chose one, switched it for a gray one, and put that on.

            “Nothing interesting to say?  Too used to sexy dongsaengs being in love with you?”

            “A lot of idols like me.”

            Woohyun smiled, sitting on the bed and leaning back on his hands.  “Okay.”

            Sunggyu messed around with earrings.

            Woohyun waited, watching.

            Sunggyu scowled at him.  “Don’t just sit, we’re leaving soon.  Finish getting ready.”

            “I’m ready.”

            “What’d you do to my bed, anyway?” Sunggyu asked.  “I come home and my room’s a mess.”

            “Your room was a mess, anyway,” Woohyun said.  “I had to train a rowdy puppy last night, he got a little excited.”

            Ew, don’t do those things in my room.”  Sunggyu climbed on top of him, and he relaxed onto his back, enjoying it, pulling his shirt up as Sunggyu’s hand slid up his side.  “Did you know that Young Money liked me?”

            He laughed.  “Everybody knows.”

            Sunggyu punched him lightly in the ribs.  “Tell me things like that!”

            “But you were so cute!  Worrying about him all of the time, you were so adorable, I liked it.”  Rubbing his hand over Sunggyu’s shoulder, he pulled Sunggyu down for a long, light kiss.  “It’s been a long time since you’ve liked someone so much,” he said softly, and Sunggyu kissed him again.  “I like seeing you like this.  It’s good for you to care about him.”

            “I didn’t think he liked me at all,” Sunggyu admitted.  “He won’t even keep L for himself, why would he want me?”

            “Maybe he just has bad taste,” he teased.  Then he drew his fingertips down Sunggyu’s cheek, gazing into Sunggyu’s eyes.  “While things are still so new, he might get jealous.  Do you want me to let you go?”

            “No.”  Sunggyu’s thumb rubbed over his treasure trail.  “No, I want him to see how things are.  This is my life.  I wouldn’t cancel schedules to make time for him, and I won’t kick you out of my bed to make room for him, either.  If he can’t share with you, then he won’t be able to share with Inspirit, either, and he has to understand how things are from the beginning.”

            Woohyun grinned, his hands on Sunggyu’s waist.  “Good.”

            Sunggyu kissed him again, then smiled at him.  “It’s good that I gave the right answer, right?”

            “Yep.”  His eyes slipped shut as Sunggyu kissed him, and the slow, confident caress of Sunggyu’s tongue in his mouth turned him on, making his hands tense on Sunggyu’s sides.  He’d volunteered to step aside to be nice, but if Sunggyu had agreed that he should get out of the way to make room for Suho, he would’ve made it his life’s mission to eradicate Suho from every aspect of Sunggyu’s life.  He was willing to share, but he wasn’t about to be replaced.

            “Don’t get scary,” Sunggyu murmured, and kissed him again, then nuzzled against his neck, making his head tip back, his breath coming faster.  “You’ll always be my favorite sexy tree.”

            “Good.   Mmm, ahhh…”  Pleasure warmed his body as Sunggyu’s hand slid between his thighs.  “You know if he ever hurts you, I’ll kill him.”

            “Don’t get violent,” Sunggyu said.  “No one’s hurting anybody.”

            “Good.”  He slid his hand into Sunggyu’s hair, mouthing his way along Sunggyu’s jaw until Sunggyu kissed him.  “That’s good,” he murmured.  “Because I kind of love you.”



            Suho got off of the phone and stretched.  The dorm seemed quiet; he wondered what everyone was up to.  He went to the bathroom, then wandered over to the couch.

            He turned on the TV and got comfortable.

After a few minutes it occurred to him that no one was around.  No one was making noise in the kitchen.  No one was flirting or arguing or complaining when he sang along with the commercial jingles.

Curious, he wondered why everyone was so quiet.

Suspicious, he got up.  Leaving the TV on so that they’d assume that he was still watching it, he crept across the dorm.

They were in Xiumin’s room.  The door was cracked, and they were using their “we don’t want to be overheard” voices.

“…private business,” D.O. said.  “I don’t think that we should interfere.”

“Yeah, Suho can make his own decisions,” Lay said.

“But it’s Sunggyu hyung,” Kai said.

“What do you have against him?” Chen asked.  “I thought that you liked him.  He’s always been really nice.”

“If Suho hyung’s going to get involved with somebody, I want to know more about him,” Kai said.

“You’re not his father,” D.O. said.

“I don’t know everything about Sunggyu hyung,” Xiumin said.  “But Dongwoo’s practically in love with him, so he can’t be that bad.”

“Since when are you so quiet?” Chanyeol asked.  “Say something.”

“I don’t know,” Baekhyun said.  “I don’t want to poke my nose in Suho hyung’s private life.  And I like Sunggyu hyung, I do!  But I don’t want Suho hyung to get hurt or have his heart broken, you know?  I think that Kai’s right, if they’re going to get involved like this, I want to know who we’re dealing with.  When we were just messing around with his members, it was okay.  But now he’s messing around with our leader!  Suddenly it’s like, hey, who is this guy, really?”

“What do you want to do?” Sehun asked.  “Interview him?  Find out who his exes are and ask them what kind of boyfriend he is?”

“Hey, could we?” Chanyeol asked.

“Changjo could find out for us,” D.O. said.  “So if you want Suho hyung to feel totally betrayed, that’s a good way to do it.”

“No one’s betraying anybody,” Kai said.

“I’m calling Changjo,” Baekhyun said.

“Why don’t we just get to know Sunggyu hyung the normal, old-fashioned way?” Xiumin asked.

Naver search?” Chanyeol asked.

“Conversation!”

Ow,” Chanyeol said.  Chen was laughing.

“Let’s go over to his dorm and talk to him,” Xiumin said.

“I want to talk to his members,” Sehun said.  “That’s how you get to know somebody.”

“They’ve already told us a lot about him,” Chen said.

“They talk about how horrible and mean and self-centered he is,” Chanyeol said.  “He sounds really lazy and full of himself.”

“But they also talk about how funny he is and how he looks out for them,” Xiumin said.

“They talk about how huge and fantastic his cock is,” Lay said.

“No, that’s what Chen talks about,” Chanyeol said.  “Come on, tell us again how great it felt when he plowed you open.”

“Hey, Changjo?” Baekhyun asked.  “Yeah, you know Sunggyu hyung?”

“Members,” Suho said, pushing open the door.

Some of them were cool enough just to look up at him; some of them jumped guiltily.  Baekhyun almost dropped his phone, fumbled to recover it, hastily said, “Yeah, uh, I’ll call you back,” and hung up.  “Hyung?” he asked, smiling, pretending that he wasn’t completely flustered, brushing his bangs out of his eyes.

“Let’s not bother Changjo with these things,” Suho said.  “It’s all right if you want to get to know Sunggyu hyung better.  I’d like that, too.  I want everyone to be close, all of the members, not just two leaders.  But there’s no need to interrogate anyone or do Naver searches, understand?  It’s nice of you to care about what happens to me, but don’t cross the line.”

“We understand,” Chen said.

“Sorry, hyung,” Chanyeol said.

“How long were you eavesdropping?” Xiumin asked.

“It’s not eavesdropping,” he insisted.  “I was just walking down my own hallway.”

“You didn’t, uh, hear anything about the, uh, about, what Lay hyung said?” Baekhyun asked, blushing.

Suho narrowed his eyes.  “What did he say?”

“Nothing,” Sehun said immediately.  “We were just talking.”

“Yeah, I’m hungry,” Xiumin said.  “What are we doing for dinner?”

“Didn’t we already eat?” Suho asked, not impressed by the sudden attempt to change the subject.  But abruptly, all of his members were up and moving around, talking, jostling each other and asking questions.  They were so determined to distract him that he decided that maybe he didn’t know want to know what Lay had said, after all.



            All of Sunggyu’s members had something to say about Suho, all of a sudden.  L hugged him and teased him and was happy for him.  Sungyeol wanted to know if Suho was his boyfriend, and if this meant that Suho’s sex life was suddenly open to the rest of Infinite or not.  Sungjong wanted to make sure that he wasn’t going to neglect his other duties, like work and practice and getting his members off.  Dongwoo was glad that he’d found someone so nice and said a lot of sincere, embarrassing things about how good it was to see him in a relationship.  It wasn’t even a relationship, it was just a situation, a thing.  Suho was his dongsaeng, not his wife.

            The only person who didn’t say anything to him was Hoya.  By the time everyone else had burst out with questions, congratulating him and seeking reassurances, it bothered him that Hoya had nothing to say.  Annoyed, he waited, and then finally he walked into Hoya’s room.  “I’m seeing Young Money.  We’re practically dating.  He’s going to be around more from now on.”

            Sitting up in bed, Hoya scratched the back of his head.  “Okay.”

            “I’ll be seeing a lot of him,” Sunggyu said.  “It won’t interfere with our schedules, but I probably won’t have as much time to sit around here, anymore.  I’ll be out, instead, with him.  Or I’ll bring him back to the dorm, and I won’t want everyone to interrupt, so you’ll all have to be quiet for once, and leave me alone.”

            Hoya nodded.  “Got it.”

            “Once we start screwing, I’ll want to save that kind of thing for him, so from now on, you can just get it from the other members.”

            Mmm.”

            “Okay.  As long as you understand.”

            “Yeah, I got it.”  Tucking his earbuds in, Hoya lay back again, one hand behind his head.  He crossed his ankles.

            Fuming, trying to act cool, Sunggyu turned to go.

            “Hyung,” Hoya said.

            Annoyed, he spun around.  “What?”  He sounded petulant and fed up, and he didn’t care.

            Hoya smiled.  “Just checking.”

            Checking on what?  To see if he’d respond when Hoya called?  Jerk.  “Young Money’s not here tonight,” he said, walking toward the bed.  “Hyung has needs, and you’re convenient.”

            Grinning, Hoya tossed his earbuds aside and pulled his shirt off in a quick, smooth move.  “I guess I can endure it this once, if he’ll take over from now on.”

            “Yeah, once I have him, I won’t look at you anymore,” Sunggyu said, climbing on top of him.  They kissed, and he guided Hoya’s hand between his thighs, where he knew that it wanted to be.  Hoya’s familiar kisses were passionate and demanding, and Hoya’s insistent, hungry touch turned him on so much he was already moaning.  “I’ll be glad not to have to settle for you anymore,” he panted, while Hoya reached inside his underwear.

            Nnn, fuck,” Hoya moaned.  “Yeah, and I won’t have some gross hyung pestering me for it.  I can’t wait.  Have a long, healthy relationship and stay away from me.”

            Tired of talking about it, wanting to get what he needed, he cupped Hoya’s face, covering Hoya’s mouth with his own again.  Moaning, Hoya gripped the front of his shirt, one muscular leg wrapping around him and anchoring him close.



            Suho had been putting this off, because he relished the idea of it but wasn’t so sure that it was real.  He cherished his fantasy of Sunggyu as his close hyung, someone he could call and rely on and turn to whenever the whim struck, but what if it didn’t work out that way?  What if he called, and Sunggyu brushed him off?

            He wouldn’t take it personally.  Sunggyu was busy, and if Sunggyu didn’t have time to talk, or didn’t even answer, that would be okay.  He didn’t always have a chance to answer Changjo’s calls, and that didn’t mean that his love for Changjo was any less real.  It just meant that he was a busy idol, and his time wasn’t his own.

            But the urge to make the fantasy real eventually overcame his inhibitions, and he dialed.  Listening to it ring, he nibbled on his lower lip.  He was in his room, seated on Baekhyun’s bed in his underwear.  He wondered if he should have put clothes on, but it wasn’t a video call, it didn’t matter.  He wondered if he should close the door, but he wasn’t going to say anything private.  Maybe Sunggyu wouldn’t answer.  But he wouldn’t get upset about that.  He’d just leave a nice message.  Or he’d text, he could just text.

            “Money?” Sunggyu asked.

            Oh!  Smiling, he felt foolish.  “Hyung.”  He licked his lips, leaning back and drawing his legs up.  “Hi.”

            “It’s late,” Sunggyu said, and he felt chastened; he shouldn’t have been inconsiderate.  “You have good timing, hyung’s finished with private things but not asleep yet.”

            He blushed, pretty sure that he knew what “private things” meant.  “Are, are you alone?  Can you talk?”

            “Dongwoo’s here, but it doesn’t matter, I can talk in front of him.”

            “Hi, Young Money,” Dongwoo called.

            “Hush, go away,” Sunggyu scolded.  Ya, I don’t know why you want to hear this, but L told me to tell you about other relationships and people I used to see, before.”

            “No, I don’t want to hear about that,” Suho said.  He was curious, and he wanted to hear about it if it came up naturally, but he didn’t need to hear some full disclosure up front.  Why would L say that?

            L.  What if L had said it because Changjo had brought it up?  What if one of Suho’s members had talked to Changjo after all?  Shit.  Hadn’t he already been clear?  He’d told them not to go around behind his back, checking up on things!  “I don’t want to hear it,” he said again, more firmly.

            “Good, then I won’t tell you,” Sunggyu said.  Immediately, he said, “I had some girlfriends, before.  Back before I debuted.  After I debuted, I was seeing someone, but it was a mistake, and it ended before it went too far.  There hasn’t been anything since then.  Music comes first, that’s what’s been important to me.”

            Who had that other idol been?  He didn’t need to know, but he really wanted to.  “It’s none of my business,” he said.  “It didn’t last, with the other idol?”  It occurred to him that he had no idea of that idol’s gender.  Was Sunggyu bi?  Sunggyu had used to date women, but so had he, and he was gay as hell.  Sunggyu had romantic and sexual relationships with men, but all of those men were Infinite members, and if it weren’t for them…  Shit, was Sunggyu straight?  Baffled, Suho shook his head.

            “No, it was a bad idea.  But there hasn’t been anyone else.”

            Then he was the only relationship since then?  Ugh, no, no, they weren’t even in a relationship, not like that.  He had to stop getting ahead of himself!  He’d never been asked to be Sunggyu’s boyfriend; they hadn’t made any big commitments to each other.

            “No one?” Dongwoo asked in the background.  “What about Nam Woohyun?”

            Ya, what about Nam Woohyun?” Sunggyu asked.

            “It’s okay,” Suho said.  “I know about Woohyun.”  He wished that there were a good way to ask, “Are you bi or what?” over the phone.  He was curious, now, about what Sunggyu thought about it, how Sunggyu labeled it.  He knew that some male idols saved romantic attachments for women and considered sex inside the group recreational, just an interactive way to get off, but those guys probably didn’t talk so constantly about making love to their members, not the way that Sunggyu did.

            He asked about Sunggyu’s day, and Sunggyu asked about his schedules.  They talked about long, boring van rides and their favorite rest stops and how many ways the weather had been awful lately.  He mentioned that he’d talked to Key, and Sunggyu mentioned talking to Onew, and then they talked about Shinee’s new tour.  It was only when he noticed Baekhyun hovering around his door that he realized how late it was.  “I’m sorry, hyung, I’m keeping you awake.  Should we hang up now?”

            “Are you finished talking?” Sunggyu asked.

            Actually, no.  “Could we make plans?  I want everyone to spend time together.  Not MT,” he added quickly, blushing, wanting to be clear.  “Just a few hours.  We could eat, maybe we could play games.”  Was it wrong to push so hard?  Was it unnecessary?  Their members were already close.  But the members had mostly bonded over flirtation and sex, and he and Sunggyu hadn’t been a part of that.

            “Okay.  Monday night?”

            “I’d like that.”  He was so happy to have Sunggyu on board, he was smiling.  “We could go over to Infinite’s dorm?  We’ll bring dinner.”

            Mmm.”

            “Okay.  That’s all, then.  Good night, hyung.”  He felt really happy and comfortable.  He was glad that he’d called, really glad.

            “Sleep well.”

            Warmth simmered in him, and he hung up.  For a moment, he stayed there, remembering the sound of Sunggyu’s voice.  And then his thoughts drifted to Sunggyu going to sleep, Sunggyu in bed, Sunggyu in bed with Dongwoo, Sunggyu and Dongwoo wrapped naked around each other.

            Whew!  Shoving those thoughts aside, he swung his legs down and got up.  He’d better check on his members.

            Baekhyun was in the doorway again.  “Suho hyung,” he said, his smile flustered and hopeful.

            “Did I monopolize your bed?” Suho asked, chuckling.  “Sorry, go ahead.”

            “Uh.”  Baekhyun edged left and then right, moving forward but not getting out of his way, blocking his path to the door.  “Tonight.  What about my bed?”

            “What?”  Then he realized what Baekhyun meant.

            “We always use your bed,” Baekhyun said.  “What if, I mean, it’s right here,” he said, gesturing to his own bed.  “It works.  What, uh, could we?  Do you think?”

            Would it be weird?  “I think that would be okay,” he admitted.  He was used to his own bed, and he was comfortable there; he’d never done anything sexual in the other members’ beds.  But he’d done things in hotels, before, so why not Baekhyun’s bed?  It was still his room, and they’d have their privacy.  Maybe it would be all right.

            Baekhyun grinned, backing him toward the bed, one foot nudging the door shut.  “Can we start now?”



            Kai wanted to respect Suho’s privacy, and he wanted to respect Suho’s boundaries, but he cared about Suho a lot.  He knew how vulnerable Suho could be.  Suho was a great leader, a strong leader, holding the group together and moving it forward despite everything, but when it came to sex, he felt protective.  He wanted to make sure that Suho’s trust was being invested in the right kind of person.

            On Monday night, they all went over to Infinite’s dorm.  He helped to carry the bags of food in.  After he’d set them on the kitchen counter, everyone shoved him out of the way, trying to get to dinner.  Laughing, he quickly stepped aside, letting them at it.

            “Hi,” Sungjong said, looking interested in him.

            Sungjong’s interest created a spark, and as their gazes held, the spark turned into a sizzle.  “Hi,” he said, moving in, backing Sungjong against the sink.  They kissed, Sungjong’s hands cupping his face, his hands sliding over Sungjong’s waist.  It was a long, warm kiss, Sungjong licking at him and sucking at his tongue, his fingers dipping under Sungjong’s waistband.  The conversation around them turned into a background hum, and the way Sungjong’s hand stroked the back of his neck encouraged him to keep going.

            Ya, kids.”  Suho’s reprimand cracked through his sexual reverie, and he blinked, lifting his head.  “None of that, this isn’t a time for those things.”

            Licking his lips, Sungjong looked resistant, then gave in and nudged Kai away.

            “There will be time for that later, before we go,” Suho said.  “Let’s just enjoy dinner and talk for a while, first.  Sehun-ah, get some noodles for Sungjong.”

            “Aren’t we playing games, after we eat?” Chen asked, elbowing Chanyeol out of his way and reaching for more pork.  “What do you want to play?”

            “What, games?” Dongwoo asked.  “Like pin the tail on the donkey?  Or like…”  He shimmied toward Xiumin with a lascivious grin.  “Pin the tail on the donkey?”

            “Let’s leave the donkeys alone,” Suho suggested, and half of the kitchen burst into confused laughter.  “Donkeys later.”

            Sunggyu walked in, then.  Kai watched him, watched Suho, wondering how they’d interact, wanting to see it all firsthand.  Everyone else was doing the same thing, holding back, observing, and all of a sudden the room was still and quiet, all eyes on the leaders.

            “Everyone has to be in the same place at once?” Sunggyu asked.  “Go and eat in the other room, there’s more space.  And don’t be so greedy, leave some food, we all have to eat.”  Indiscriminately shooing people out of his way, he moved to the counter.  Moving aside, they backed toward the door, but they stayed there, still watching.  He inspected bags and opened containers, and then he said, “Good, this is good.”  Cracking open a pair of chopsticks, he asked, “Nothing to drink?”

            “Here,” several people said at once.  Chen, Lay, and Dongwoo offered him soju, beer, and water.

            Grunting, he took the soju.  Then he reconsidered, set it aside, and took the water.  “Someone has to be smart, right?  All of these hormones,” he pushed at Dongwoo’s forehead, “it’s not going to be any of you.”  Picking up a bowl, he stirred noodles, and then he laughed at the cluster in the doorway.  “Nosy jerks.  Go, move, let’s sit down and be comfortable.”

            They went into the front room, and everyone sat down, spreading out dinner across the floor.  When Sunggyu sat down, Dongwoo sat beside him, and once Dongwoo was down, Xiumin and Lay were right there, too.  Suho sat with them.  Sungyeol and Baekhyun sat down together, and when Sungjong and Hoya joined them, Chanyeol and Chen did, too.  Woohyun and D.O. sat down together, talking, and Kai and Sehun sat with them.

            “Where’s L?” Dongwoo asked.

            “What?”  Sunggyu looked around the room.  “Not here?”  Immediately, he raised his voice.  “L!  L!”

            “You don’t have to-” Suho tried to say.

            Ya!”  Louder, now.  “Kim Myungsoo!”

            Laughing, Suho was protesting, like EXO’s leader had never yelled “Kim Jongin!” all over the dorm before.

            Sunggyu shouted it one last time, and a bedroom door opened.  L shuffled out, sleepy-faced, scrubbing a hand through his tousled hair.  Ya,” Sunggyu scolded.  “Come and eat, your guardian boyfriend brought food.”

            In black sweatpants and a T-shirt, L sat down, rubbing his face.  He slumped against Sungyeol for a moment, like he might go back to sleep, and then Sungjong fed him a lettuce wrap.  The food seemed to interest him, and he started to eat.

             “So, sunbae,” Chanyeol said.  “How’s the L.Joe couple?”

            “Stop calling them that,” Sehun said.

            “But it’s cute,” Chen insisted.

            “You and L.Joe need a couple name,” Baekhyun decided.

            “No, we don’t,” Sehun said.

            In between hungry bites, L told Chanyeol, “We’re fine.”

            Kai’s members looked unsatisfied with that answer.  Chanyeol looked like he was trying to think of something else to ask, and then Chen came up with, “Do you see each other often?”

            “When we can,” L said.

            “I never have to ask if Teen Top is in town,” Sungyeol said.  “If they’re around, Changjo’s here.  If they’re not, L’s on the phone.  I don’t have to ask when Niel’s coming back to Seoul, I just wait for Changjo to show up, and then I know.”

            “So many selcas,” Sungjong complained.

            “He likes to look at me,” L said.

            “Why?” Hoya asked.  Woohyun chuckled, his shoulders shaking.

            “The sex is great, though,” Sungyeol said with a grin.

            L shot Sungyeol an unhappy look.  “Don’t tell them that.”

            “Why not?” Sungyeol asked.  “Doesn’t everybody know that you’re doing it?”

            “You’ve seen it?” Lay asked.

            “Yeah,” Sungyeol said.  He glanced at L, like he was trying to decide how much it would be okay to say.

            Chanyeol stared.  “Wait, you’ve actually seen it?”

            “Well, I don’t stand over the bed, filming it and applauding,” Sungyeol said, laughing.  “I just see it sometimes.  We’re in the same dorm, we share the same bedroom, you see stuff.  Don’t you see your members have sex?”

            “It seemed like L sunbae was more private than that,” Kai said.

            “And we should respect his privacy and not discuss these things,” Suho said.  “Members, let’s not be rude to someone in his own home.”

            Kai couldn’t argue with Suho cutting the conversation off.  He wondered about L, though.  Maybe L didn’t share things with just anyone and everyone, but was more relaxed and open with Infinite.  So L held himself away from EXO, but didn’t care what Infinite knew or saw.  That made sense, and it said good things about the relationships inside Infinite.  Changjo wasn’t shy, Kai knew that, but this meant that L wasn’t secretive, either, not with his members, and that was a good sign.

            Not that there was anything wrong with having private sex behind closed doors.  Kai smiled at that thought.  Being an idol had really moved a lot of his expected boundaries.

            After they finished eating, Kai had to help Sehun and Sungjong clean everything up while the hyungs lounged around talking about nothing.  Dongwoo tried to help, which was really nice, and Xiumin talked him of it, because Xiumin was like that.

            “Let’s play some team games,” Suho suggested, when Kai came back from the kitchen.  “What if the Infinite members are with me, and the EXO members are with Sunggyu hyung?”

            “Okay,” Sunggyu said.

            “But the teams won’t be even,” Lay said.

            “We’ll take Chen on our team, then,” Suho said.

            “Why Chen?” D.O. asked.

            “Leaders shouldn’t have favorites,” Baekhyun complained.

            “Trust me, they always do,” Sungyeol said.  “And it’s never the member who deserves it.”

            “Yeah, it’s a shame that I’m underappreciated,” Hoya said, nodding.

            Kai didn’t think that Chen was on that team because of Suho’s preferences, but because of Sunggyu’s.  Suho wanted to see how the EXO members got along with Sunggyu, and everyone already knew how well Sunggyu and Chen got along.

            They decided to play variety games, and Suho suggested that L and D.O. should host together.  They played charades, and D.O. and L held up the cards and watched the timer while everyone else flailed around acting things out and making awkward, nonsensical, off-base guesses.  After Xiumin couldn’t come up with “octopus” no matter what Sunggyu did, Sunggyu grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him, and he just laughed and insisted that Sunggyu’s waving arms had him so confused, he could only think of tentacle porn.

            After the Suho-Infinite team lost, Sungyeol declared that charades was the wrong game to play, and that he’d do a whole lot better if they drew the answers instead of acting them out.  So they scrounged up paper and tried drawing, instead.  Halfway through the game, Sunggyu grabbed the pad of paper out of Sehun’s hands and demanded, “What is this?  Is this a hidden camera?  Is this a prank?  Trying to trick me?”

            “No, hyung, what?” Sehun asked, laughing.

            “Look at this,” Sunggyu insisted, paging through their scribbled, mangled drawings.  “What is this, are you in a contest to see who can be the worst?  Is the trick to make sure that each one is worse than the one before it?  Dog, this is supposed to be a dog?  It looks like a pillow with chicken pox!”

            Chanyeol was cracking up, and Baekhyun joined in with Sunggyu, making fun of everyone’s bad artwork, and D.O. started to draw what an accurate representation of a pillow with chicken pox might really look like.  L said that if their team wasn’t going to play properly, he’d have to declare the other team the winner, and Sunggyu shoved Sehun toward L and said that EXO’s maknae could be the host from now on, they were keeping D.O. on their team.

            Kai had to admit, Sunggyu was fun.  He took shameless advantage of his position as mat-hyung, and most of the time he was full of shit, full of bluster, full of himself.  But he didn’t go too far, and he responded well when people gave him shit right back, and he had great comedic timing.  If he’d only dished it out, Kai would’ve thought he was a jerk, but while he had his way with people, he let them have their way with him, too.

            “What’s next?” Sungjong asked, when the Sunggyu-EXO team had somehow miraculously won the drawing game.

            “Paper passing game?” Sungyeol suggested.

            “No one wants to play that,” Suho said.

            “I do,” Lay said.

            “We don’t have any paper,” Suho said.

            “Here, tear up the drawings,” Dongwoo said, reaching for one of the notepads.

            “Maybe Suho hyung could host this game,” Kai suggested.

            “It’s just a game, no one’s going to make out,” Sungjong said.

            “Suho hyung can stand on the end, beside me,” Chen suggested.

            “Dongwoo hyung should stand beside Hoya,” Lay said, as various guys started ripping paper into squares.

            “Do you know they’re not a real couple?” Xiumin asked, while Hoya walked away from Dongwoo.

            “I think it’s cute that he likes them together,” Woohyun said.  “If your team wins, they’ll make out in front of you for their punishment.”

            Hoya’s eyes widened.  “What are you volunteering me for?”

            “Then do we get to see Sunggyu hyung and Sehun make out if we win?” Dongwoo asked.

            “Let’s choose other punishments,” Suho suggested.

            “No, I like this,” Sungyeol said.  “I don’t want to see Sunggyu hyung and Sehun, though, I want to see Kai and D.O.”

            “Prepare for disappointment,” D.O. said.

            “Can we ask for just anybody?” Chanyeol asked.  “I’d rather see L and Sungjong than Dongwoo hyung and Hoya hyung.  No offense.”

            “Leave L and D.O. out of it,” Sunggyu said.  “And leave Young Money out of it, and leave me out of it, I don’t want to play your perverted little fantasy games.  But you can choose among each other, that’s okay.”

            “Wait, does this mean that kissing me is a punishment?” Dongwoo asked, laughing as he tore paper.

            “Never, hyung,” Woohyun said, ruffling his hair.  Still laughing, he shook it back into place.

            “Huddle up, team, let’s choose their punishment,” Sungyeol said, gesturing everyone closer.  Immediately, Kai’s members started gathering together on their side of the room, too.  On the Infinite side, Woohyun put an arm around Suho, drawing him into the circle.

            Kai voted for Woohyun and Sungyeol, because they were the most likely to pressure other people into performing for them, and it only seemed fair to give them a taste of it for once.  He thought that it was a little odd that he hadn’t seen the Infinite members do more together.  On MT, everyone was eager to be with someone new, someone from another team; they all tended not to bother with their own members.

            “Sungjong, Sungjong,” Chanyeol urged.  “He looks pretty when he kisses.”

            “Hyung,” D.O. said, turning to Sunggyu.  “Which of your members like kissing each other?  Besides you and L sunbae.”

            Sunggyu pursed his lips, studying the ceiling.  Then he nodded decisively.  “Dongwoo and Woohyun are a good choice.  They like it.”

            “It seems like all of the Infinite members like kissing,” Baekhyun said.  “They do so much of it.”

            “Of course, who doesn’t like kissing?” Sunggyu asked.

            “Who kisses best in Infinite?” Lay asked.

            “I do,” Sunggyu said, nodding again.

            Sehun laughed.  “You’ve never kissed yourself, how do you know?”

            “Ask them, they’ll tell you,” Sunggyu said.  Ya.”  He raised his voice, and the other team looked over.  “Who kisses best in Infinite?”

            Half of them said, “L,” and L said, “Woohyun hyung,” and Hoya said, “None of you,” and Dongwoo said, “You, hyung.”  He blinked at his other members, laughing, and asked, “Not Gyu hyung?”

            “Is there anyone who’s kissed all of you?” Lay asked.

            Shinee?” Chen guessed.

            “No,” Woohyun said thoughtfully.

            “C.A.P.?” Sungyeol guessed.  The other members nodded, agreeing.

            “Wait, C.A.P. kisses?” Suho asked.

            Kai couldn’t even tell if it was a joke or not, Suho seemed so surprised, and he cracked up, laughing.



            Chen liked being on Infinite’s team with Suho.  It was fun, to play with the Infinite members.  They pushed each other’s buttons relentlessly, but they cooperated just as easily.  The longer the games went on, the more comfortable L was, leaning on his members, hanging on them, hugging them, laughing at everything.  Woohyun and Sungyeol seemed to be in a subtle - - or not-so-subtle! - - battle for control of the team, both wanting to order everyone around and determine strategy.  Dongwoo didn’t seem to care who was in charge, as long as everything was fair and going along okay.  Sungjong flirted with Chen and ignored his hyungs as much as he could get away with.  Hoya mostly waited for everyone to stop chattering, or talked to Suho.

            When it was time to start the paper passing game, Chen pushed Suho to the end of the line, then stood beside him.

            “Okay, I’ll be next,” Sungyeol said.

            “No, you’re too tall, it’ll look awkward,” Woohyun said, pushing him out of the way.

            While Sungyeol and Woohyun argued over it, Chen laughed, flattered that they both wanted to be next to him.

            “He has two sides,” Sungjong said.  “One on his left, one on his right, okay?”

            “Then where will Suho hyung go?” Chen asked.

            It’s okay, Woohyun can stand between us,” Suho said.

            “He can?” Chanyeol asked, his eyes huge and wide.  He looked as shocked as Chen felt.

            “It’s only a game,” Suho chided, moving aside and gesturing Woohyun over.

            “Right,” Sehun said.  “Just a game.”  Across the room, the other EXO members shared disbelieving looks with Chen.

            Hoya moved to the other end of the line, shuffling pieces of paper.  “Here, hyung, I’ll get that,” Sungjong said, grabbing a couple of loose pieces of paper and moving to his other side, taking over the front position.  He grabbed Sungjong’s sleeve and dragged Sungjong across to his other side, reclaiming his spot in front.

            “Where, oh, here,” Dongwoo said, looking around and innocently stepping in front of Hoya.  “Should we start?”

            “Hyung,” Hoya said.  “Go stand beside Sungyeol.”

            “Beside - - oh!” he said, looking down the row and smiling.  “Beside Chen?”

            “Sure, hyung, right,” L said, guiding him down the line.  “Right in here, that’s good.  Everyone ready to start?”

            “I’m here,” Sungyeol insisted, trying to wave Dongwoo away.  “I already have Chen.”

            “I have to stand somewhere!” Dongwoo said, laughing.  “This is no way to play.  Down here?” he asked, heading for the opposite end of the line.

            “Ah, no, no, hyung, not there,” L said, catching him and corralling him away from Suho.  “Just right in here, it’s fine.”  L pushed him in between Sungyeol and Sungjong.  “I’ll time everything, are you ready?”

            “Ready!” Chen agreed, peering down the row.

            The Infinite members moved quickly, easily passing the first few pieces of paper.  Then Sungyeol started dropping the paper on purpose, just to kiss him.  He kissed back, because it felt nice, but that was no way to win the game!  The EXO members laughed, and the Infinite members scolded, and things deteriorated, everyone getting silly, fumbling, kissing, biting, giggling too much to play well.  Suho said that they had to move Sungyeol or they’d never get anywhere, and at that, the Infinite members bodily forced Sungyeol to the front of the line.  Now Chen was beside Dongwoo, and he had to say, things were a lot more efficient after that, but, wow, Dongwoo’s hands were not shy.

            It was really fun, playing this game with Infinite.  Dongwoo would hold him and press the first piece of paper on him.  Dongwoo passed him right on to Woohyun, the two of them guiding him around, and Woohyun would cup his face in both hands and seduce the paper right off of his lips.  Then Woohyun would let go of him and Dongwoo would pull him back for another go.  Dongwoo’s hand never left him entirely, and was always in motion, rubbing his hip or pulling on his shirt, keeping him in place or guiding him in one direction or another, squeezing his ass or pushing him toward Woohyun.  The faster the papers moved, the more his world narrowed down to just Dongwoo and Woohyun, and he pivoted back and forth, kissing one and then the other, not even caring about the slips of paper anymore.

            “Time isn’t up yet?” Suho asked.

            “Yeah, how long do we have left?” Sungjong asked.

            “Oh.”  L took a close look at his watch.  “We aren’t doing ten-minute rounds?”

            “Ten!”  Suho burst into laughter, and Sungyeol threw his remaining pieces of paper at L, showering him in white slips.

            Ya, why didn’t anyone stop us?” Woohyun asked the other team.  “Letting us go on forever, why?”

            “What, that’s not how you play?” Baekhyun asked, laughing.

            “Ten minutes seems okay to me,” Xiumin said.  “Keep going.”

            Ya!” Sungyeol exclaimed.

            Xiumin took a fake-aggressive step forward.  Ya, what?”

            Ya, hyung,” Sungyeol said, laughing.  “Why so handsome today?”

            “Okay, our turn, we’ll go now,” Sunggyu decided.  “Kids, line up.”

            The EXO members looked at each other, blatantly dismissed each other, and moved toward Sunggyu.  Chen laughed, watching them push and jostle.

            “We’ll stand in age order,” Xiumin decided.  “Maknae, go that way.”

            “No, since when?” Kai asked.

            “Do you want Sunggyu hyung to think that we’re all bad kissers?” Baekhyun asked Chanyeol.  “Go stand over there somewhere.”

            “What’s that supposed to mean?” Chanyeol asked, shoving him.

            “Who has a pretty mouth?” Sunggyu asked, glancing around, cupping Lay’s chin in his hand and taking a quick, assessing look.

            “D.O., but he’s timing,” Chen said.

            “Take Kai and Sehun,” Sungyeol advised.

            “Xiumin hyung and Lay,” Chen argued.

            “You can’t say my name?” Baekhyun demanded, charging across the room toward him.  He ducked, laughing, and Woohyun pushed Baekhyun back the other way.  “See if I ever kiss you again,” Baekhyun grumbled.

            “I’ll start timing soon,” D.O. announced.  “If you’re not ready to start, it’ll eat into your time.”

            “Wait, we’re not ready!” Chanyeol protested, shoving the papers into Sehun’s hands.

            “Hyungs, line up,” Sehun urged.

            “You seem like you’d be good at this game,” Sunggyu told Lay.  “Stay beside me.”  He moved past the other members and put himself next to Sehun.

            “Where’d you go?” Xiumin asked.

            Grinning, Sehun smiled at Sunggyu.  “Hi, hyung.”

            Sunggyu tipped Sehun’s chin up, eyeing his mouth.  “You’ll do.”

            “Okay, start,” D.O. said, holding up his phone.

            “Wait, no, what?” Chanyeol asked, scrambling into the line, pushing members this way and that.

            Sehun picked up a piece of paper and passed it to Sunggyu, who passed it to Lay while the other members shoved at each other and lined up.  Lay passed it to Xiumin, who turned toward Chanyeol, looked up, then reached past Chanyeol for Baekhyun.  “Height order,” Kai said quickly, grabbing at Chanyeol and pulling him farther down the row.  Baekhyun passed it to Kai, who gave it to Chanyeol, while a second piece of paper followed its progression.

            Sehun and Lay were great at the game, and cooperated a lot with their teammates.  Sunggyu laughed a lot and looked really sexy, his hand cupping the side of Lay’s neck over and over again, his fingers sliding across Lay’s skin.  Xiumin moved fast, getting competitive, and Kai got frustrated with Baekhyun and Chanyeol, who were too interested in watching everyone else to play right.  It was a little frustrating, how well the first three in the line played; Chen really wanted to see them forget all about the paper and just kiss.  Seeing them tilting their heads and pressing their lips together, with only the thin bit of paper in between, he could see exactly what it would look like if they kissed for real, how Sunggyu’s head would tip to the side, how Lay’s jaw would move, oh…

            Dashing Chen’s fantasies, Sunggyu raised his head and asked, “How much time?  What’s left?”

            “What?  Oh,” D.O. said, glancing at his phone.  “How long did your team go?” he asked L.

            “I don’t know,” L said.

            “Then what…”  Exasperated, Sunggyu paused to pass paper from Sehun to Lay.  Straightening again, he wiped his hand over the back of his mouth.  “Then how long should we go?  You don’t know how long they went?”

            “More than five minutes, but not ten,” L said.

            “That’s no answer!” Sungyeol said.  “How long should they do it, then?”

            “Oh, I don’t know,” L said again.  “How long has it been?”

            “I don’t know, I got distracted,” D.O. said.  “I was watching Lay hyung and I got distracted.”

            Chanyeol threw his papers up in the air.  “Then what was all of this for?”
            “Who won?” Sungyeol asked.

            “Who lost?” Baekhyun asked.

            “Should we do it again?” Dongwoo asked.

            “Yes!” Lay agreed.

            “Without paper this time?” Sehun asked.

            “Pervert,” Sunggyu said.  “We did great, so you must have lost,” he told Woohyun.

            “Oh, no,” Xiumin said, grinning.  “We’ll just have to make both teams take their punishment.”

            “Does that make sense?” Dongwoo asked.  “We didn’t all do badly!”

            “We’ll punish both teams,” Suho decided.  “Get it out of your system, and then we’ll play another game.”

            “Shouldn’t we punish L and D.O.?” Dongwoo asked.  “They messed it up.”

            “Yes,” Sungyeol said immediately.

            “Hold still,” Sunggyu said, moving toward D.O., his hand outstretched.

            D.O.’s eyes widened for a second, and then he backed up fast, moving across the room.

            “Come here,” Sunggyu ordered, laughing, following him around the room.  “Hyung needs to flick you.”

            “You deserve it,” Chen said.  “Throwing the game like that!”

            “Lay hyung distracted me,” D.O. argued, still backing up.  He and Sunggyu were going in circles now.  When Sunggyu grabbed his arm, he laughed and tried to pull away.

            “Hold still,” Sunggyu ordered, pushing him against the wall.

            His smile was big as he went limp, staying against the wall.  He looked up.  Sunggyu made a big deal of brushing his bangs aside, baring his forehead, and then flicked him there, hard.  He winced, shoulders coming up.  “Next,” Sunggyu said, gesturing the rest of their team over.

            As the other EXO members rushed over to flick D.O., who held his hands up and laughingly tried to fend them off, L got a wide-eyed, uncertain look.

            Chen laughed, reaching for him.

            “Ah, no,” L said quickly, hurrying away.

            “You lost the game for us,” Chen accused, as they closed in on him.  “You deserve it.”

            “Find strength and hold still,” Hoya warned as Sungyeol reached out with one long arm and grabbed the back of L’s shirt.  They crowded L against the side of the couch and took turns flicking his forehead as hard as they could.  By the time they were finished, he had a bright spot there, and they all felt better about their loss.

            Since Suho had said that they could do the kissing punishment, too, to get it out of their systems, they decided to go ahead with it.  Xiumin and Baekhyun had to kiss, and even though Chen had seen it a thousand times already, it still looked nice, especially when Xiumin started getting into it and turning the heat up.  Baekhyun got self-conscious too soon, though, and pulled away, blushing and asking if that was enough.

            Instead of announcing who they wanted to see kiss, the Sunggyu-EXO team played rock, paper, scissors.  Chanyeol and Lay won.  Lay walked right over and took Dongwoo’s hand, pulling him to the center of the room.

            When Chanyeol approached their team with a broad, anticipatory smile, rubbing his hands, Chen realized what was about to happen.  Chanyeol was going to select whoever Dongwoo had to kiss.  Laughing, Chen pushed Woohyun forward.

            Ya, what?” Woohyun asked, laughing and scooting backward again.

            Hoya reached on either side of himself and shoved Sungyeol and Sungjong forward.  Sungjong squirmed away and backed up; Sungyeol stumbled, flailing.  Suho moved out of the way, backing up; Chen and L joined him, letting the others battle it out.

            “Go ahead, hyung,” Sungjong said, trying to shove Hoya toward Dongwoo.  “You’re the porn couple, you should do it.”

            “No one wants to see that,” Hoya said, resisting.

            Woohyun and Sungyeol were pointing emphatically at Sungjong and trying to get Chanyeol’s attention.

            “Who should it be?” Chanyeol asked, putting his hands behind his back.  He relished his power too much!  “Ah, who, who?”

            “Maknae, choose the maknae,” Sungyeol urged.

            “He’s pretty, Dongwoo hyung likes him,” Woohyun said.

            “Since when do you think I’m pretty?” Sungjong asked indignantly.

            “See, so pretty,” Sungyeol said, cupping Sungjong’s face and squishing his cheeks.

            “I like kissing Dongwoo hyung,” Woohyun said.  “It’s a punishment, so it should be someone who doesn’t want to do it.”

            “I want to do it,” Sungyeol said.  “No, wait, I don’t want to.  What?” he asked, laughing.

            “Are you volunteering?” Chanyeol asked him.

            “No!  But Woohyun is.”

            “Sungjong is,” Hoya said.

            Ya, what’s so difficult?” Sunggyu demanded.  “Just kiss him!”  Striding forward, he grabbed Dongwoo’s face unceremoniously with both hands, then planted a kiss right on Dongwoo’s lips.  “See?  Kiss!”  He did it again.  “Kiss!”  Again.  “Kiss!”  Still gripping Dongwoo’s face, he gave them an exasperated look.  “Too difficult?”

            “That counts, right?” Hoya asked.  “So we’re finished?”

            “Not finished,” Dongwoo said, and pulled on Sunggyu’s shoulder.  Their mouths met in another kiss, Dongwoo’s hand sliding up into Sunggyu’s hair.  Their lips moved together, Sunggyu’s hands relaxing and splaying over either side of Dongwoo’s neck, and it was so steamy, Chen stared, unable to look away, wondering how they’d gone from complete nonsense to carnal seduction in seconds.  It was too romantic, it was too personal and passionate and erotic, who kissed like this?

            Way, way before Chen was ready, Sunggyu lifted his head and gave Dongwoo a light push, stepping back.  “Doesn’t count.  Go take your punishment and kiss one of your members.  What are we playing next?”

            “Shit, that was hot,” Lay said.

            “Yeah, not bad,” Xiumin said.

            “I, wait, I’m choosing who takes the punishment,” Chanyeol said.

            “You took too long, you don’t get to choose anymore,” Sunggyu said.

            Sungyeol, Woohyun, and Hoya shoved Sungjong at Dongwoo.

            “Choose Hoya, choose Hoya,” Lay urged.  “Hyung, choose Hoya.”

            “Oh, should I?” Dongwoo asked.  “It’s for our guest,” he explained, reaching for Hoya.

            “We’re not a real couple,” Hoya uselessly complained as everyone pushed him into Dongwoo’s friendly hands.  Then he took a fistful of Dongwoo’s shirt and pulled Dongwoo to his mouth.  As his tongue snaked between Dongwoo’s lips, Dongwoo moaned happily, both hands on his ass.

            Oh, wow.  There was nothing perfunctory about it, nothing shy.  They kissed like they’d been doing it for years and knew each other, inside and out.  Hoya wasn’t holding back, and Dongwoo kissed him back and squeezed his ass like getting to make out with him was a daily joy, a favorite treat.  They had their own natural rhythm, and Chen felt a deep, hot impulse to go over there and caress Hoya’s strong jaw.  No one else was doing it, and someone needed to.

            “Uh,” Woohyun said, laughing.  Chen shushed him, not wanting to interrupt them.

            “Guys,” Xiumin said.

            “Right, that’s totally how I suck face with someone I don’t want to kiss,” Baekhyun said.

            “So, next game?” Sunggyu asked.  His gaze flickered past Chen, and he said, “Oh,” and reached over, grabbing a handful of Dongwoo’s hair.  “Get off of him, that’s enough.  Next game?”

            While Dongwoo yelped and laughed and tried to grab Hoya again and danced on the end of Sunggyu’s hand, Hoya wiped at his mouth, glanced around like he wanted to make sure that no one had seen anything, and blended back in among his members.

            Chen wondered…  He glanced over his shoulder.

Suho was back there, red to the tips of his ears and bent over, very studiously picking lint off of his socks.

Aw, Suho.  Feeling affectionate and protective and guilty, Chen drifted closer, offering him a foot while he was down there.  He slapped at Chen’s ankle, but then he solicitously adjusted Chen’s sock, making sure that the cuff was just so.  Sunggyu had cut short the kissing just for him, to shield him from it, and Chen thought that was really nice.  It was good that someone had the sense to look out for Suho; Chen felt bad for having been too turned on and horny to do it.

            They played a few more games, and everyone messed around, getting competitive and teasing each other.  Chen had a great time!  It was always fun to hang out with friends, and he loved having a night off to joke and laugh.  They tried chicken fighting, and knocked each other all over the room, falling and shouting and cheering each other on.

            Finally, everyone was sprawled across the floor like knocked-over bowling pins.  They sent the maknaes to the kitchen to get drinks for everyone.  Once they were hydrated again, their energy began to pick up, and they started talking.  “If you want to go talk privately, go ahead,” Suho said.  “But in the bedrooms, only, and with the door shut.  It doesn’t have to be all over the dorm, and let’s all be considerate.”

            “That’s our cue to hang out in the kitchen?” L asked D.O.

            “I think there’s some pork left,” D.O. said.

            L’s eyebrows went up.  “Really?”  The two of them disappeared together.

            Chen turned to Woohyun, but Woohyun was putting a hand on Suho’s arm.  “Can I talk to you?”

            “Oh, sure,” Suho said, with his open “your leader is listening to you” expression.  “What do you need?”

            “Hyung, we’ll be in your room,” Woohyun told Sunggyu, getting up.

            “Where should I go?” Sunggyu demanded.

            “I don’t know, take Lay to my room,” Woohyun suggested.

            “Okay,” Lay said.

            Ya, don’t take all night,” Sunggyu complained.  “Go ahead, go play,” he added, giving Lay a gentle push.  “Go and rim Sungjong, he likes it.”



            Woohyun sat on the bed with Suho and talked to him.  They talked about their members, and the games, and what a scandalous cheater Sungyeol was.  It was a comfortable conversation.  It was nice that Sunggyu’s new puppy was Woohyun’s own age, so that they could relax around each other.

            Suho was the one who brought up the issue first.  “I know that you and Sunggyu hyung have been very close for a long time.”  He nodded at that, and Suho said, “Even if Sunggyu hyung and I become close, too, I want to respect your relationship with him, always.  You’re very precious to him, and I’m glad for that.  It’s good to see how much he likes being with you.”

            “It makes you jealous?” Woohyun asked.  He wanted to get everything out in the open, so that they all understood each other.  It would be no good, avoiding potential problems.

            “No,” Suho said, like he hadn’t seen that coming.  “No, I’m not a jealous person.  If I were, I’d only have one member, instead of so many, and I’d cling to him.  I’m glad that Sunggyu hyung’s so close to you, and to all of his members and friends.  I’m so busy, there are going to be a lot of times when we can’t see each other, and it’s good that he has so many other people in his life who can be there for him.  I’m glad.”

            He sounded sincere.  He didn’t sound insecure, and he wasn’t overselling it.  Woohyun nodded again.  “He’s going to be a good hyung to you.  He’ll listen well and give you advice and make sure that you have what you need.”  With that said, “What are you going to do for him?”

            Suho looked taken aback, and then pouted thoughtfully, really considering it.  “I’d like to be good to him, too,” he said slowly.  “But I don’t know what he needs.”  His expression was trusting and questioning.  “What could I do for him?”

            “You’re good-looking, and he likes that.”  Suho smiled, not denying it.  “It would be good if you’d be cute for him.  You can do aegyo.  Listen to him like you care what he has to say.  Let him make love to you, and then ask for more of it.  Be cute and sweet, and be romantic and pretty, like a happy couple at the end of a drama.  He should be with someone who makes him smile and makes him feel good about himself.  You know all about antis and stress and never getting enough rest and needing someone who feels like home, right?  He needs someone who can give him that.”

            Suho gazed at him with such a serious expression, he felt like Suho had solemnly taken in every single word.  “I understand.”

            “You have a lot of members and friends and responsibilities.  Are you going to make time for him?  Or will the rest of us be the ones who are there for him, and you’ll drop in whenever it’s convenient for you?”

            “No.”  Suho frowned.  “I don’t want it to be like that.  I know that it’ll be difficult, with our schedules, but I want to give him as much time as I have.  Any time I’ve needed him, he’s always been there for me, even when it wasn’t fun for him, even when it wasn’t convenient and I didn’t deserve it.  I want to be someone he can rely on.”

            Woohyun nodded.  “Are you going to keep pretending to be a scared virgin, or are you going to give him what he needs?”

            Suho’s expression tightened, like he was angry but didn’t want to show it.  “I’m not a virgin, and I’m not pretending anything.  What happens between me and Sunggyu hyung is private.”

            Woohyun shrugged.  “How do you think he feels, knowing you give it up to L so eagerly but won’t let him touch you?”

            He looked really hurt and insulted, but he held it all in.  He paused before he spoke, like he wanted to make sure that he had control over himself.  “Sunggyu hyung understands me.”

            “It’s really convenient, Sunggyu hyung having all of these horny members, right?  We can take care of all of the things that you don’t want to do, and pick up all of the slack, and you never have to worry about it.”

            Oh, he was pissed off, now.  He looked so tense and controlled, Woohyun had to admire how strong his self-discipline was.  “I’m grateful to Sunggyu hyung’s members for loving him and standing by him and being so close to him.  I’m glad that he has them in his life.  I don’t take them for granted, and I don’t want to compete with them.”

            “Compete?”  Woohyun smiled.  “You think that you can compete with me?”

            “I never said that, and I never thought it.”

            “Good.  That’s good.”  He leaned closer, putting a hand on Suho’s thigh.  Suho stared into his eyes, refusing to react to being touched.  He smiled again, more kindly this time.  “Sunggyu hyung likes you, and if you matter to him, you matter to me.  If you’re precious to him, then I’ll protect you.  But I don’t want to see him hurt.  And I don’t want some spoiled, confused hoobae denying him the things that he needs.  So get yourself together, and figure out how to take care of him.”

            Suho stared into his eyes, refusing to back down.  “Would you be happier if I walked away?”

            “No.  I’d be happier if you grew up.”



            Sunggyu scratched his head, watching all of the kids disappear into bedrooms.  Once he was alone, he looked around.  Discarded drinks everywhere.  Messy brats.  Feeling virtuous, he picked up his own bottle and carried it to the kitchen.

            L and D.O. were in there, eating and talking.  He watched L eat for a while, smoothing L’s hair.  He didn’t want L to feel weird or lonely or left out while everyone else had a good time.  “You should take Young Money to your room.  Sungyeol doesn’t have to be in there, he can use one of the other rooms.”

            L laughed at him.  “I think that Suho hyung would rather be in your room.”

            Ya, don’t assume things!”

            Woohyun strolled in.  “Nothing happening in here?”  He wrapped his arm around Sunggyu, leaning way too close, smiling, so Sunggyu kissed him.  He kissed back immediately, ready for it, and Sunggyu backed him against the counter.  Ever since EXO had walked into the dorm, there had been all of this sexual chemistry in the air, desire, impatience, everybody wanting to get to it and barely holding back, everyone flirting and hoping and teasing, and in the middle of it had been Suho, so beautiful, so adorable, leading and having fun and being foolish and being brave.  Sunggyu felt the entire dorm’s sexual tension crackling over his skin, and it was such a relief to get some of it out.  He wanted to unleash it all on Woohyun, to fuck Woohyun raw right over the kitchen sink.  Damn, it would be so good.

            He heard L’s voice.  “Go talk to Suho hyung for a while.”

            Quietly, calmly, D.O. said, “Okay.”

            A moment later, L said, “He’s gone,” and Woohyun unzipped Sunggyu’s fly.



Series page: "Let's Love"



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Copyright September 13, 2015
by Matthew Haldeman-Time