The Practice Room
Dongwoo nodded, then asked, “Why not?”
“What are the rules?” Sunggyu asked. “We don’t do that in the practice room. Not here, not in the van, not in the dressing room. Only in the dorm. Is this the dorm?”
“No, but why not in the practice room?” Dongwoo asked.
“It’s too open,” Woohyun said. “It’s too public.”
“No, it’s not,” Dongwoo said, looking around at the walls. “No one gets in, no one’s allowed close by.”
“There are manager hyungs,” Sungyeol said. “The Tasty hyungs.”
Dongwoo laughed. “Do Daeryong hyung and Soryong hyung care what we do in here?”
“What about the manager hyungs?” Sungyeol asked.
“This isn’t a debate,” Sunggyu said. “Members out, go.”
“Okay,” Dongwoo said. “But I-”
Sunggyu’s hand closed on the back of his neck, and Sunggyu looked hard into his eyes. “Jang Dongwoo. The rules aren’t there to be discussed. They’re there to be followed. Are you going to follow the rules?”
Dongwoo looked surprised and kind of hurt that Sunggyu would ask. “Yes, hyung.”
“Then let’s not discuss it again,” Sunggyu said, and pushed him lightly toward the door, letting go and turning to the others. Everyone trooped silently after Dongwoo.
Hoya pushed Dongwoo’s hands away, smiling. “Are you trying to get me in trouble?”
“Let’s remember the rules,” Woohyun advised.
“Why is that the rule?” Dongwoo asked, rolling onto his back and idly pedaling an invisible bicycle in the air. “No sex in here. Why not?”
“For privacy,” Woohyun said.
“Dongwoo hyung, you know that,” Sungyeol said. “Why do you keep asking about it?”
“I don’t like it. Does it make sense?” Dongwoo asked. “We have the same privacy here as in the dorm, don’t we? The doors lock here like they do at the dorm, don’t they?”
“It’s always a risk,” Woohyun explained. “Doing it anywhere is a risk. The more places we add, the more risks we take.”
“Should we not have sex with each other at all, then?” Dongwoo asked.
“Ya,” L said, looking up.
“Let’s not jump to wild conclusions, here,” Hoya said with a nervous laugh.
“Who wants to have sex in here?” Sungjong asked, looking around with distaste. “Nothing about this room is sexy.”
“Except for all of the hot, sweaty guys thrusting and gyrating and staring at each other’s bodies,” Sungyeol said. “Am, am I the only - - I mean, never mind, what?” he asked self-consciously as everyone laughed.
“It’s a sexy room,” Dongwoo insisted. “And we spend too much time here. All of the time we wait for each other before practice or all of the breaks we take, it seems like we live in here sometimes. It might be nice to get off once in a while.”
“Sometimes we’re here more than we’re at the dorm,” Sungyeol admitted.
“Maybe,” Hoya coughed into his fist, “someone,” he coughed again, “should talk to Gyu hyung about it. Ahem!”
“Are you okay?” Dongwoo asked, laughing, patting his back.
“Tree oppa! Tree oppa! Tree oppa!” Sungyeol chanted, clapping his hands. Hoya joined in.
“Ya, ya, ya,” Woohyun said, waving them away. “If you want to talk to him, you bring it up.”
“I did bring it up already,” Dongwoo pointed out.
“Tree oppa! Tree oppa!” Sungyeol and Hoya chanted.
“Do it when he’s happy and relaxed,” Sungyeol suggested.
“Like after sex,” Hoya suggested.
“Or after he’s finishing scolding us,” Sungyeol suggested. “Nothing like scolding a bunch of innocent members to bring a smile to a leader’s face.” Hoya nodded.
“And who’s innocent?” Woohyun asked. “You’re full of bad decisions, you’re full of shit, the maknae thinks he can get away with anything as long as he’s cute, this one thinks he’s too cool for rules, and you…” Looking at Dongwoo, he paused. Then he frowned. “Ya, stop being so good, you make the rest of us look bad.”
“No,” he said, grinning. “About what?”
“About the members.” Sunggyu imitated Sungyeol’s voice. “‘Tree oppa, tree oppa, tell him, ask him,’” he whispered, widening his eyes.
Snorting with laughter, Woohyun buried his face in his arms. Ugh, why were his members so stupid? Sunggyu must have heard Sungyeol and Hoya urging him when they got out of the van.
“What do those foolish kids want now?” Sunggyu asked, rubbing his back. “Whatever it is, they can’t have it.”
“No?” he asked, raising his head, laughing. “What if they want to do more chores around the dorm? What if they want to have more sex with you? What if they want to work harder and practice more?”
“No, they can’t have anything,” Sunggyu said without blinking. “Let them suffer.”
He chuckled. “You say they can’t have more sex with you, and then you say they can suffer? One of those things…” Laughing, he ducked as Sunggyu lightly smacked the back of his head. “Ya, be nice.”
“You be nice!”
He shifted around, rolling onto his side, propping his head on one hand. He decided to go ahead and ask, to raise the point at least and see what Sunggyu said. “The members were talking about having sex in the practice room. They think that it’s hard on them only having one place they can do it. We’re at the practice room so often, it’s like another home, isn’t it?”
“It’s not home,” Sunggyu said flatly. “It’s work.”
Woohyun studied Sunggyu’s expression. “Why so tense?”
“Tense? Who’s tense?” Sunggyu asked. “I don’t like the idea. It’s a bad idea.”
“You dislike it too much.”
“Does it matter what I like? The rules are set.”
“Rules can be changed,” Woohyun reminded him. “I don’t know if it’s the best idea. We would have to decide how it works. We’d have to be very careful, lock the doors. It can’t interfere with work.”
“It’s all work,” Sunggyu said. “When we’re in the practice room, we practice. It’s not the fun room, the good times room, the ‘what do we feel like doing today’ room. It’s the practice room.”
“We spend a lot of time there before practice, after practice, taking breaks. Waiting for a ride. Waiting while you talk to management. Waiting for each other. We’ve had time to nap there. How long do you think sex has to take?”
“No,” Sunggyu said clearly. “No, it’s a bad idea. Work is work. Work is separate. It’s hard enough to keep all of the kids in line.”
Woohyun wasn’t satisfied, but he decided to think it over before he started another argument. “Okay.” Sliding closer, he looped an arm around Sunggyu’s shoulders and smiled lasciviously. “If we did have sex outside of the dorm, where would you want to do it?”
“Nothing,” Woohyun said. “We didn’t talk about it.”
“Yeah, why not?” Hoya whispered. “Why do we have you on the inside if we can’t use you?”
“There’s no inside,” he said.
“Whispering?” Sunggyu’s voice asked.
Sungyeol jumped, Hoya froze, and Woohyun burst into laughter. “We’re talking,” he said, turning to face Sunggyu. “Is it okay if we talk in our own kitchen?”
“No,” Sunggyu said.
“Uh, hyung,” Sungyeol said.
Woohyun stared at him, warning him not to ask about the practice room.
“What?” Sunggyu asked.
“Nothing,” Sungyeol said hastily, flustered, looking away from Woohyun. “It’s nothing.”
Sunggyu gave him a narrow look. “How long has it been since you’ve been dicked?”
Sungyeol was beet red. “I, uh, yesterday.”
Hoya snorted. “Why do you lie so badly? What was it, Wednesday?”
“Tuesday?” Woohyun asked.
“I’ve had plenty,” Sungyeol protested. “From, uh, from L, and, I mean, from Dongwoo hyung.”
“Always so nervous when you’re horny,” Sunggyu said, pushing the waistband of his underwear down. “C’mere, I have something for you.”
“Oh, god, why,” Sungyeol moaned, already stepping forward, already going down on his knees.
Woohyun pulled himself up to sit on the counter to watch.
They spent a lot of time in the practice room. All of those hours learning new choreography, going over each step over and over and over again, the grueling repetition required for their trademark synchronicity. Being able to get a quick blowjob during a break would be a great way to shake off stress. There were times that they’d be too tired to do more than lean against each other and jack each other off, but that would help, too.
This would be good for the group. It might even be something they needed.
Woohyun resolved to ask Sunggyu about it again in private, but before he could, Dongwoo brought it up over dinner on the dorm floor. “Gyu hyung, did you decide about sex in the practice room?”
While Hoya winced and Sungyeol moaned and Woohyun wondered what was wrong with this hyung, seriously, did he know what “self-preservation” even meant?! - - Sunggyu asked, “Decide what? What’s to decide? Don’t we already have rules?”
Sungjong and L were eating with their heads down, drawing no attention to themselves. Dongwoo just chewed and said, “Yes, but aren’t we talking about changing them? Doesn’t everybody think that it’s a good idea? It’s okay to change rules if it makes sense. Rules aren’t laws, and even laws change, sometimes.”
“You tell me,” Sunggyu said. “Tell me how it works. Tell me how you think it goes. How do you picture it?”
“Sex in the practice room?” Dongwoo asked. “Like sex here, isn’t it? Just with more mirrors. Ooohhh.” He grinned, looking delighted and kind of turned on. “I like that.”
“Like sex here. Exactly the same,” Sunggyu said, like he didn’t believe it for a second. “No different.”
“Well, there wouldn’t be any beds,” Sungyeol said. “But we don’t always use the beds here, anyway. We’d probably have to be quicker. If you’re worried that it’ll interfere with practice, we can set guidelines for that, right? Everyone has to start on time, everyone has to stay focused, the same as always.”
“And during breaks, while everyone else is chugging water, L can chug my cock,” Dongwoo said. L shot him a fond, amused look.
“Do you have a second practice room?” Sunggyu asked. “One I don’t know about? One with other members? A happy place with rainbows where you and your friends meet to play?”
“No,” Dongwoo said. “Why do you hate this idea so much? If you hate it, we won’t do it.”
“The practice room is where we work,” Sunggyu said. “It’s where we sweat and we get hurt and I make you cry and you hate me. Work and home should be different, work and sex should be separate. We practice, and I tell you to do it again and do it again and do it again and you still can’t get it right, and we’re all angry and frustrated, and then we take a break and make out and kiss on each other’s faces?”
Something was just at the edge of Woohyun’s understanding, glimmering there, tantalizing.
And then Dongwoo brought it right into focus. “You think that it’ll be hard on us to separate sex with practice room Sunggyu hyung and around the dorm Sunggyu hyung? Does that make any sense? Aren’t you our leader everywhere we go?”
Maybe it was strange, but some of the moments when Dongwoo seemed irresistibly sexy to Woohyun were when Dongwoo understood Sunggyu better than he did. That silly, insightful hyung. The smartest and the most foolish person in any room.
“I’m your leader when we work,” Sunggyu said. “I’m not your leader now, there’s nothing to lead, we’re just sitting around the dorm eating.”
“If you’re not the leader around the dorm, why are you always telling us what to do?” Sungyeol asked with a nervous laugh.
“Ya, I’m hyung, aren’t I?” Sunggyu asked. “That doesn’t change.”
“I don’t know, it all kind of blends together,” Hoya said. “Leader, hyung, hyung, leader, dom, grandpa…”
L and Sungjong shuddered; Sungyeol laughed. “Dom? What dom, who’s a dom?” Sunggyu demanded.
“Do you know that it’s not normal to expect everyone to jump up and blow you whenever you snap your fingers?” Sungyeol asked. “That’s not how everyone else lives.”
“Don’t complain,” L said. “He might stop doing it.”
Sungyeol hesitated, cleared his throat, and went back to eating. Woohyun burst into laughter.
“I’m not your leader at the dorm,” Sunggyu said. “I’m not your sex leader. It’s different, bringing that into it. It’ll make things uncomfortable.”
“But you’re our leader all of the time,” Dongwoo said. “You’re always our leader. Leader Gyu onstage, Leader Gyu in the dressing room, Leader Gyu in the van, Leader Gyu in bed. It’s like being the oldest hyung, it’s part of you, it’s how Infinite works. We don’t stop being Infinite at the dorm, do we? We don’t stop being members when we walk through the door, do we?”
“How does it work when everyone’s frustrated and I have to scold you?” Sunggyu asked.
“Then if we’re not happy with each other, maybe we won’t have sex with each other,” Dongwoo said. “That’s okay, isn’t it? Or, if you’re frustrated, Woohyun can get you off to calm you down. If the maknae’s feelings are hurt, I can get him off. Then we can all go back to dancing, and maybe we’ll feel a little better about it.”
“That makes sense,” Sungyeol said.
“We could try it for a while,” Woohyun suggested. “Relax the rules and see how it goes. If it doesn’t work out, we can change the rules again.”
Sunggyu eyed them warily.
“Let’s vote,” Sungyeol suggested.
“Ya, what is this, there’s no democracy here,” Sunggyu said. “No votes.” He studied Dongwoo.
Dongwoo’s eyes widened. “What? I didn’t say anything.”
“You think of me as Leader Gyu in bed?”
Dongwoo nodded, chewing.
Sunggyu thoughtfully studied the ceiling, then said, “You should call me ‘leader’ when I’m fucking you, then. It would be nice.”
Sungjong rolled his eyes. Dongwoo laughed and said, “Okay, our leader.”
“I’ll adjust the rules,” Sunggyu decided. “Kissing, touching, blowjobs okay. No fucking, no anal penetration, none of that. Maybe later. Trial period.”
“I can’t wait,” Woohyun said. “Right in front of the mirrors.”
“Ya, and be careful where you come,” Sunggyu said. “Don’t do anything you can’t clean up.”
“Can I come on L’s face if I lick it off?” Dongwoo asked.
“Well,” Woohyun said. “I don’t think that anyone wants to make a rule that we can’t come on L’s face.”
L laughed, pushing at him. “Why does it have to be me?”
“You can come on L’s face if you have someone to help you lick it off,” Sunggyu decided.
“Me, me,” Sungyeol said, pointing to himself. “Pick me.”
Dongwoo laughed. “Why are we so quiet?”
“Let’s give each other head,” Sungyeol suggested.
“I think that Dongwoo hyung should be first,” Woohyun suggested. “Since this was his idea.”
“Oh, me?” Dongwoo asked, smiling. His expression saucy, bawdy, he looked around at the members, licking his teeth.
“Who do you want?” Sungyeol asked.
“Sunggyu hyung,” Dongwoo said impulsively, reaching out with both hands. “Our leader.”
Hoya sighed, scratching his forehead. “Dongwoo hyung, you’re supposed to say who you want to give you a blowjob. So you can be the first to come.”
“But I want to give Sunggyu hyung one,” Dongwoo said. His hands sliding over Sunggyu’s chest, he smiled, looking delighted. “Say it.”
Sunggyu grinned at him. “Dongwoo-ah.”
Dongwoo rose onto his toes, laughing.
“I have something for you.”
With a happy moan, Dongwoo melted onto his knees.
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by Matthew Haldeman-Time