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The Only Exception

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Jaehyun dropped his backpack the moment he was home. He toed off his shoes and kicked them in the general direction of the shoe rack, uncaring of the obstacle they created for anyone else who might have wanted to enter the apartment. He knew he would get yelled at for it later, but that was all the more reason to push his backpack to lie in the middle of the hallway as well.

A smile crept onto his face when he heard the soft, familiar tone of Doyoung’s voice coming from the kitchen, singing along to some Bazzi song. Jaehyun didn’t know the words to it, but Doyoung had been listening to the song in the shower for the past couple of weeks, so he could hum along to the tune, let it carry him into the kitchen.

Doyoung was standing with his back to the entryway, chopping vegetables for their dinner. The edge of his knife glinted as he moved it across the chopping board and Jaehyun took a moment to admire the way Doyoung’s long, slender fingers wrapped around the handle. He waited until Doyoung had put the knife down before he cleared his throat.

Doyoung still jumped, clutching onto the front of his sweater vest. “Jaehyun! Jesus Christ, you scared me.”

“’m not a god yet, hyung, just Jaehyun is enough for now.”

Jaehyun caught the carrot chunk Doyoung sent flying at his head and popped it into his mouth, chewing as he made his way over. Doyoung lightly smacked his mouth when Jaehyun sidled up to him. Jaehyun rewarded him by spitting the remnants of his carrot piece into his palm.

“Jaehyun!”

Jaehyun smiled innocently, fluttering his eyelashes for good measure. Doyoung scoffed, but turned to turn on the faucet of the kitchen sink instead of smacking him up the head, chewed-up carrot in his palm and all. While Doyoung lathered his hands in soap, Jaehyun sneaked his arms around his waist from behind, hooking his chin over his shoulder.

“Sorry,” he mumbled against the shell of Doyoung’s ear. “Don’t be mad at me, hyung, please.”

Doyoung huffed, his elbows bumping into Jaehyun’s side as he dried off his hands, but then there were cold fingers cupping the side of Jaehyun’s face. Their eyes met in the window above the sink. Doyoung smiled at him, in that special way that was reserved for Jaehyun and always made Jaehyun feel like his heart might burst.

“I thought you’d be at practice until later.”  

Jaehyun shrugged. “Coach let us go home early because Donghyuck threw a basketball at Mark’s face and Mark’s nose wouldn’t stop bleeding, so Coach had to call an ambulance.”

Jaehyun watched in the window glass as Doyoung’s brows knitted with concern. “Is Mark okay?”

“Yeah, he even apologised for getting in the way of the ball when Donghyuck started crying.”

Doyoung snorted. “I think it’s safe to assume he’ll be fine, then?”

Jaehyun nodded, giving in to the urge to bury his face in the crook of Doyoung’s neck. Doyoung’s scent was one of Jaehyun’s favourite things in the world, as testified by the sweatshirt hidden under his pillow. He had stolen it from Doyoung’s hamper a couple of weeks ago when Doyoung had stayed late for one of his student council meetings. Doyoung always smelled clean, like cotton and soap and just a spritz of the cologne that Jaehyun had gotten him for his last birthday. It made Jaehyun’s cheeks and belly burn to know that Doyoung actually used his gift. He had spent a good two hours with Yuta in the perfume section of their local Emart to find the perfect one.

He was forced to lift his head when Doyoung pulled up his shoulders, clearly trying to shrug him off. “Go on and wash your hands. Dinner will be ready soon and I know you didn’t do it when you came in.”

Jaehyun felt his lips press together in a pout, but he sighed and peeled himself off of Doyoung’s back. He knew Doyoung was not above making him sit in front of an empty plate until Jaehyun submitted to his cleanliness and after he had skipped lunch at school to squeeze in another half an hour on the basketball court, he felt like he was starving.

He was halfway out the door when Doyoung called after him, “And put your shoes on the rack! I better not find your sweaty sneakers blocking the front door again!”

Jaehyun could barely contain his grin as he made his way to the guest bathroom. Doyoung knew him so well.

*

“Jae!”

Jaehyun blinked out of his haze and, at the last moment, caught the basketball flying at his face.

Glaring at Yuta, Jaehyun threw the ball back at him. “Hey, watch it!”

Jaehyun had no interest in ending up like Mark, who was running around at the other end of the court with a giant plaster covering half of his face.

“Get your head in the game!” Yuta shouted before he took off, running after Sicheng who had snatched the ball right from his hands.

Sicheng yelped when Yuta caught up to him, yelling something that vaguely sounded like “Breaking Free is a better song!”

Jaehyun pried his eyes away from his friends to look back up at the stands. Classes had ended about half an hour ago, but it was a sunny day so the benches were filled with students. Most of them were either doing homework or watching the basketball team chase each other around the court. Doyoung belonged to the former, and Jaehyun could already foresee the crick in his neck that Doyoung would suffer from tomorrow, judging by the way he was slouched over his books.

He waved when Doyoung looked up, and felt his heart flutter at the smile Doyoung gave him in return, giving him a thumbs-up. Ten, who was sitting next to Doyoung, looked up from his phone long enough to shoot Jaehyun an unimpressed look. Jaehyun would have given him the finger, but Kun, reading a novel on Ten’s other side, was already slapping his book against Ten’s chest. Besides, Doyoung would have reprimanded Jaehyun for it, on top of Coach Choi, who was looking in his direction just this moment.

Jaehyun hurried to run over to where Yuta and Sicheng were still squabbling over the ball and snatched it right from under Yuta’s arm, dribbling towards the three-point line. Yukhei tried to intercept him, but before he had a chance to take the ball from Jaehyun’s hands, Jaehyun had already thrown. The ball went through the hoop and Donghyuck below the net let out a whoop.

There were cheers from the stands, applause coming from those students who had been watching the game, and Jaehyun felt his cheeks heat up at the praise. His good mood only soured when he saw that Doyoung hadn’t been watching him, was bent over his books again. Jaehyun’s eyes met Ten’s instead, who uttered a visible huff before he shifted in his seat to read along with Kun’s book over his shoulder.

Jaehyun felt his muscles tense with anger, but he forced himself to remain calm. As much as he disliked it, Ten was Doyoung’s best friend and Jaehyun knew that it would break Doyoung’s heart to know the two most important people in his life didn’t get along. Ten had never been outright rude towards Jaehyun, either. He just wasn’t as in love with Jaehyun as everybody else was. Jaehyun wouldn’t even have cared, had it not been for the fact that the way Ten treated him was always so deprecating.

The sharp blow of Coach Choi’s whistle diverted his attention back to the court and Jaehyun hurried to join the circle that was forming around the Coach.

“That was a nice three-pointer, Jaehyun!”

Jaehyun ducked his head. “Thank you, Coach!”

“Yuta, try not to let Sicheng distract you so much the next time around. Everyone else, good game! Now to the showers with you lot, you stink!”

Jaehyun was eager to get off the court so he dodged the arms Yuta and Sicheng tried to throw over his shoulder and made sure that he was the first one in the showers. Despite his earlier ambition to not let Doyoung wait, the hot water felt just a tad too good on his sore muscles and he lost some time under the spray. 

Once he'd finally made it out of the gym building, Jaehyun was happy to find Doyoung waiting for him under the street lantern that marked the entrance to the car park. Much to Jaehyun’s dismay, Ten was right there next to him.

“Finally,” Ten murmured when Jaehyun reached them, but Jaehyun paid him no mind as he focussed on the hand Doyoung laid on his arm in greeting.

“Are you good to go? You’ve got all your stuff?”

Jaehyun nodded, lifting his bag in proof. The pride in Doyoung’s eyes made his cheeks heat up and Jaehyun wished desperately that they were alone, so he could hug Doyoung without care and hide his face in the crook of his neck.

“Yo, Jaehyun!”

Jaehyun whipped around to see Yuta waving at him from where he was sitting on the hood of Sicheng’s car. In his hands, he held a thin folder of what Jaehyun knew to be next week’s Maths homework.

“Oh, I gotta say goodbye! I’ll be right back!”

“Don’t take too long,” Ten said, eyes glued to his phone once again. He dodged the punch Doyoung aimed at his shoulder.

“Here,” Yuta grinned when Jaehyun arrived in front of him. “I got them from Taeyong so you know they’re right."

"Thank you, you're a life-saver!" 

"Don't sweat it." Yuta waved him off. "Are you coming with us or is Doyoung giving you a ride? Don’t seniors have half-days on Wednesdays?”  

“He waited for me.” Jaehyun struggled to keep a smile off his face as he slipped the folder into his bag.

“That’s nice of him, though me and Sichengie will miss you when we go through the McDonald’s drive-thru.”

Jaehyun couldn’t resist raising an eyebrow at his friend. “Are you sure about that?”

Yuta blinked at him, the picture of pure innocence. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“Sure, you don’t.” Jaehyun forewent poking any more holes into Yuta’s façade in favour of shouldering his bag and punching Yuta in the arm. “I’ll see you tomorrow. Don’t skip first period again.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Yuta lilted as he waved goodbye.

When Jaehyun returned to where Doyoung and Ten were still waiting for him, the two of them were standing with their arms crossed in front of each other and Jaehyun didn’t have to be able to see Doyoung’s face to know that they were having an argument.  

“… way he looks at you is fucking weird, is all I’m saying.”

“I don’t know what you mean.” Doyoung’s voice was perfectly calm, but Jaehyun could tell by the way tension built up in Doyoung’s shoulders that he was getting annoyed.

It took all the self-control Jaehyun had not to shove Ten into the bushes behind him, take Doyoung’s hand and drag him towards their car so that they could leave without the other senior. As it was, Jaehyun tried not to let any of his anger show on his face as he sidled up next to them.

“I’m good to go.”

Ten outright rolled his eyes at him, but Jaehyun couldn’t find it in himself to care when Doyoung turned his full attention to him. With Doyoung looking at him so fondly, Jaehyun felt his smile come easy. He giggled when Doyoung pushed his hand into his hair, still wet from the shower, and clacked his tongue. “Don’t you have blow-dryers in those locker rooms?”

“The sun will dry it, hyung.”

“Yes, and by the time we’ll be home, the sun will have gone down. Here, let me pull up your hood.”

Jaehyun stood still as Doyoung curled his fingers into the fabric of his sweatshirt, one hand coming up to hold his hair in place as he used the other to pull the hood over Jaehyun’s head.

“Yes, not that the baby gets sick."

Jaehyun glared at Ten over Doyoung’s shoulder. “I’m only a year younger than you, you know.”

“Guys,” Doyoung said and that was the end of that argument.

“Sorry, hyung,” Jaehyun mumbled as they started for Doyoung’s car, willing the unhappy expression on Doyoung’s face to disappear. It did a moment later when Doyoung glanced at him.

“He doesn’t mean it. He’s just been in a bad mood ever since Johnny's started working and he can't spend as much time with him anymore.”

Jaehyun felt his smile die on his lips. He didn’t like Johnny Seo, which was maybe also another reason why Ten didn’t like him. “It’s fine, hyung. I have you, don’t I?”

“Of course.” Doyoung let their shoulders bump as he procured the car keys from his pocket. “You’ll always have me, Jaehyunnie.”

*

To Jaehyun, Doyoung was the most handsome man on the planet. Doyoung was simply perfect, with his sharp features and soft eyes and smile that could change Jaehyun’s mood in a second. Jaehyun often found himself admiring Doyoung's slender frame and broad shoulders and his fingers that Jaehyun wanted to kiss every single knuckle of. To Jaehyun, Doyoung was everything he could have ever dreamt of. The most handsome.

But if Jaehyun had to name a second place, he probably would have named Johnny Seo.

Jaehyun’s mouth had dropped open the first time he had met him, stunned by how tall and good-looking and present Johnny was. Johnny had a way of speaking that had drawn Jaehyun closer to him, the palm of Johnny’s hand warm as he had proffered it for Jaehyun to shake. Jaehyun blamed it on the way Johnny’s appearance had stunned him that first day that he hadn’t realised what was going on until it had been too late for him to prevent it.

It was Doyoung’s scream that woke him up that night, after he had spent an evening watching Finding Nemo with Doyoung and Johnny on the couch. Jaehyun’s heart pounded in his chest as he skidded across the hallway in his pyjamas, his old baseball bat in hand. Johnny was older than him and considerably taller, but if he was hurting Doyoung, Jaehyun had to kill him. That was Jaehyun’s only thought as he tip-toed his way to Doyoung’s door, eager to have the element of surprise on his side.

He was about to rip the door open and swing his bat at the first inch of Johnny Seo within reach when another scream rang out from behind the door. It was quickly muffled and then Doyoung’s cry dropped into a moan, a moan coupled with the sound of something heavy hitting the wall in a steady rhythm. Jaehyun stumbled backwards with the realisation of what was really going on behind Doyoung’s closed door.

Clasping a hand over his face, he stumbled back into his room. His bat clattered to the floor as he buried himself under the covers of his bed. It was a vain attempt to drown out the noises still reaching his ears, drilling into his skull. Jaehyun fell asleep long after the screams and moans had ceased, and when he woke up, his pyjamas were stained with dried patches of his own cum.

Johnny came over semi-regularly after that night and Doyoung and he slept together every single time. Jaehyun found himself raging with jealousy and hurt until he caught Doyoung and Johnny talking late one night, several weeks and three ruined sets of Jaehyun’s pyjamas later.

“You know, you could join Ten and I. Ten would love it. The more people he gets to order around, the better.”

Jaehyun thought he might have thrown up right that second, until Doyoung laughed, loud and bright and denying Johnny, “Oh, please. I wouldn’t make it a week being with the both of you. No, I’ll leave you to yourselves.”

“Are you sure?” Jaehyun cursed Johnny and the honest concern in his voice. “You wouldn’t be lonely with us.”

“Oh, I don’t feel lonely. I’m busy with school work and the student council anyways, and if I do get bored, I have Jaehyun to do stuff with.”

“What about sex?”

“Isn’t that what Ten’s lending you to me for?”

“You know what I mean.”

“Johnny.” A warning.

“What? I’m just asking. He's been living with you for what--three years now and he’s only a couple of months younger than you. Besides, he adores you. He looks at you like you hung the moon.”

There was silence for such a long time that Jaehyun was feeling close to fainting from the lack of oxygen reaching his lungs.

And then, “I liked you better when you were fucking me into the mattress instead of asking stupid questions.”

The both of them laughed.

Johnny stopped coming over after that night.

*

Jaehyun snatched up the postcard that Doyoung had propped against the basil plant in their kitchen.

“My mum sent it.” Doyoung didn’t look up from the sauce he was stirring in a pot on the oven. “It’s more of a letter of apology than anything else, though. Another month they’re not coming back.”

Jaehyun hummed, skimming over the contents of the card. He didn’t particularly miss either of his parents ever, but he knew the same did not go for Doyoung and his mother. He figured it was a part of Doyoung’s deal, being a huge nerd and mama’s boy and all that.

“They’ll come back eventually.”

“Eventually,” Doyoung mumbled, sounding entirely too grim for Jaehyun’s taste.

Jaehyun inhaled loudly, clutching his stomach. “Is it time for dinner soon? I’m starving and what you’re making smells so good.”

The corner of Doyoung’s mouth quirked upwards, his expression softening before he frowned. “Did you wash your hands?”

“Yes.”

“No, you didn’t.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“Off you go.”

“Off I go.”

“I can’t believe I still have to tell you.” Doyoung had been full on smiling when Jaehyun had chanced a last glimpse at him on his way out. “You’re eighteen years old, Jaehyun, you should know this by now.”

“But I like it so much better when you tell me, hyung.”

*

Jaehyun knew, objectively, that his time was running out. There were few months of school left and Doyoung would graduate soon, which meant that he might move out and leave Jaehyun behind and the thought alone was enough to keep Jaehyun lying awake at night, wondering and worrying and, at times, crying with all the intense feelings in his chest. The thought of losing Doyoung was unbearable. Jaehyun wouldn’t survive it.

“Hyung?” Jaehyun was careful to knock before he entered Doyoung’s room.

Out of all the things Doyoung was uptight about, his room was at the very top of the list. Doyoung’s room was his sanctuary. The only time he had ever truly been angry with Jaehyun was when Jaehyun had broken into his room, shortly after he had moved in, to steal some of Doyoung’s socks because he himself had run out.

Doyoung had been furious, and Jaehyun had suffered the next two weeks in the silence that Doyoung had punished him with, no matter how many times Jaehyun assured him he hadn’t taken a glimpse at the diary he had found hidden away underneath the socks. Doyoung was peculiar about his room and his belongings. That was also why Doyoung could never know of the stolen sweatshirt. Though, Jaehyun hoped, he might not have to hide it any longer, if everything went well.  

“Come in!”

Jaehyun inhaled, straightened out his posture because Doyoung always told him to do so and entered Doyoung’s room. Doyoung was sitting at his desk, poring over some books, and Jaehyun felt himself smile at the rare sight of Doyoung’s hair down and without product, and the way he seemed to be drowning in what Jaehyun belatedly recognised to be one of his own sweatshirts.The sight made Jaehyun’s chest ache with longing and fear.

Doyoung’s smile fell when Jaehyun’s did, his brows knitting together with worry. “Jaehyun? Is everything all right?”

Jaehyun blinked, his heart hammering in his chest as made a beeline for Doyoung’s bed. His knees gave out just as he let himself fall onto the duvet that was neatly tucked in, neatly arranged just like everything else in Doyoung’s room. Doyoung was by his side within a second, gently pulling him into a hug. Jaehyun took in a shuddering breath. Cotton, soap, and a spritz of the cologne Jaehyun had given Doyoung for his last birthday.

“Oh, Jaehyunnie,” Doyoung’s voice was soothing, “what’s wrong?”

Jaehyun shook his head, and though it physically pained him, he extracted himself from Doyoung’s arms. He had to be able to look Doyoung in the eye.

“Hyung.” He saw his own agony mirrored in Doyoung’s eyes, brimming with concern. Another intake of breath, just enough air to breathe out the truth. “Hyung, is it so bad?”

“What are you talking about, Jaehyun?”

“Is it so bad?” Jaehyun felt tears prick at the corners of his eyes and this time he let them fall. If he had to give Doyoung his tears so that Doyoung might believe him, Jaehyun would gladly do so. He would have given Doyoung everything. “Is it so bad that I like you, hyung?”

“Jaehyun—” Doyoung’s voice was gentle, a new edge to it, but still gentle because Doyoung always took care of him, always took care so that Jaehyun never got hurt.

“No.” Jaehyun shook his head, squeezing his eyes shut. “Please, just—please. I love you, don’t you know? Do you hear me? I love you, hyung! Doyoung!”

Doyoung’s eyes widened in shock, making him look like a deer caught in the headlights and Jaehyun thought his heart might die when Doyoung shook his head, nothing but a miniscule tilt of his head.

“No.” And then Doyoung met his eyes and there was heartbreak written all over his face, Jaehyun’s favourite face in the world. “You don’t mean that. It’s not right. Jaehyun, it’s not right. We shouldn’t—"

Jaehyun felt panic rise in his chest. He couldn’t bear it. He wouldn’t survive it if Doyoung rejected him. He loved him. He loved him. Surging forward, he framed Doyoung’s face with his hands and pressed their lips together in a frantic kiss, willing all the love and devotion he felt for Doyoung to translate into the slide of their mouths against each other.

Kissing Doyoung, finally kissing him after so many nights he had spent imagining what it would feel like, took the air right out of Jaehyun’s lungs. There was no sound that came over his lips when Doyoung pushed him away. Jaehyun went blind with the tears brimming in his eyes. Helplessly, he reached out for the front of Doyoung’s jumper, anything to keep him from leaving.

“Hyung, no! I’m sorry. Please, don’t leave. Forgive me, please—”

“Jaehyun.”

Jaehyun went still at the harsh tone of Doyoung’s voice, so unfamiliar to him. Willing the shaking of his hands to stop, he let go of the front of Doyoung’s jumper. He blinked the tears out of his eyes so that he could gauge Doyoung’s expression. It was empty.

“Hyung,” he whimpered. “Doyoung, please.”

“What were you thinking?” Doyoung asked him. Harshly, he grabbed Jaehyun’s face. Gently, he wiped the tears from Jaehyun’s cheeks. “What were you thinking kissing me, Jaehyunnie?” Jaehyun felt his throat close up when Doyoung leaned forward. “What were you thinking telling me you love me?”

“I love you.” It were the only words Jaehyun could think of, filling his mind. His only truth with Doyoung’s face so close to him.

Doyoung’s eyes fluttered close, lines marring his face that Jaehyun recognised too late as pain.

“What are you doing to me?” Doyoung whispered as he closed the distance between them.

Jaehyun thought that he might never need air again, if it meant that he could keep kissing Doyoung forever, if it meant he could trace his tongue along the seam of his mouth and taste the mint of his toothpaste and have Doyoung sigh into his mouth forever.

“We shouldn’t do this,” Doyoung mumbled as he pushed against Jaehyun’s chest, following him this time so that he was lying on top of him, straddling Jaehyun’s hips. Their mouths slotted together naturally. Kissing Doyoung was as easy as breathing. “God, what are we doing?”

“I love you,” Jaehyun’s breath hitched when Doyoung grabbed onto his hips to keep him from bucking them, “and you love me, too.”

Doyoung sighed when Jaehyun ran his hand down his back. “Since the very first moment I saw you.”

Jaehyun felt himself go boneless with the weight of Doyoung’s confession before he felt heat spread throughout his body, setting his chest and his neck and his face aflame and pooling in the pit of his stomach. He gasped when Doyoung pushed his hands under his shirt, trailing kisses down the line of his neck.

Jaehyun obediently lifted his upper body off the bed when Doyoung asked him to and let Doyoung pull off his shirt. Goosebumps erupted on his arms at the cold air hitting his bare chest and the fingers Doyoung dragged down his abs, before he discarded his own shirt. To Jaehyun, Doyoung had always been the most beautiful man. Mesmerised, Jaehyun ran his hands over Doyoung’s naked chest, before leaning up to close his mouth around his left nipple, sucking on the sensitive bud. The moan Doyoung let out was obscene, causing Jaehyun’s cock to stir in his pants and this time it was Doyoung who bucked his hips.

Jaehyun kissed his way to the other nipple, flicking his tongue against that bud, before he pulled away so he could look Doyoung into the eyes. “I want you, hyung, I want you so bad. Will you sleep with me?”

Doyoung’s smile was breath-taking and helpless when he leaned down to kiss him again, his hands roaming down Jaehyun’s body, tugging on his jeans. Jaehyun made quick work of the zipper and Doyoung pushed himself onto his knees above him so Jaehyun could kick his jeans off and off the edge of the bed. Doyoung’s trousers were next. Jaehyun found his hands shaking as he popped the button, pulling down the zipper. The outline of Doyoung’s cock was clearly visible through the fabric of his boxer briefs and Jaehyun felt his mouth water.

He pulled Doyoung’s pants down to his thighs and left Doyoung to shimmy them off the rest of the way. Once Doyoung was naked on top of him, Jaehyun couldn’t resist the urge to flip them over, taking Doyoung’s cock into his hand as he pushed his legs apart with his knees. Doyoung went pliant, gasping moans into his mouth when Jaehyun began to stroke him.

“Stop,” Doyoung hitched out eventually, “stop, or you’re going to make me come.” Jaehyun kissed his neck, barely registering it when Doyoung added, “I want you inside me when that happens.”

Jaehyun groaned at the thought, his cock jerking between his legs and he let go of Doyoung’s length, but Doyoung’s body was addictive. Even when Doyoung pulled away to procure a bottle of clear gel from the top drawer of his bedside table, Jaehyun’s hands never left his body.

“Have you ever opened someone up before? Or done it to yourself?”

Jaehyun shook his head to both, feeling ashamed now that he hadn’t. He should have prepared himself better. He could have been better for Doyoung.

“Hey, now,” Doyoung’s voice was gentle when he called out for him. He looked almost as amused as he became whenever Jaehyun told him the dumb jokes he liked to steal from Yuta, “don’t look so sullen. It’s okay. You can watch while I do it to myself.”

“I’ll be better next time,” Jaehyun swore as he watched Doyoung squeeze some of the clear gel onto his hand. “I’ll know more.”

Doyoung dropped the bottle and used his free hand to grasp onto Jaehyun’s hand resting on his thigh, intertwining their fingers. “You’re already perfect.”

Watching Doyoung working himself open nearly drove Jaehyun insane with arousal, his cock begging for attention, but he refused to touch himself. If he did, he wouldn’t last very long and he’d already let Doyoung down once. So he squeezed Doyoung’s hand in his and he watched as Doyoung prepared himself, watched as the rim of his hole stretched to take everything that Doyoung was giving, sucking it in.

“Okay,” Doyoung sobbed out eventually, pulling three fingers from his hole. “Okay, Jaehyun, come here now. I need you.”

Jaehyun felt his gut clench at the desperation in Doyoung’s voice, the way his name sounded from his lips now. The way it was his name that Doyoung was calling out. Jaehyun grabbed onto the base of his dick, groaning when jolts up pleasure ran up his spine, and then he was aligning the head of his cock with Doyoung’s entrance, pushing in.

Doyoung screamed, his nails digging into the muscles of Jaehyun’s arms and Jaehyun was about to pull back out when Doyoung shook his head, looking up at him through teary eyes. “No, no, keep going. It’s so good, keep going.”

Jaehyun did as he was told, rolled his hips and then he was inside of Doyoung, Doyoung’s walls clenching around him, so tight and hot and slick from all the lube that Jaehyun felt his breath fall short as he bottomed out.

“Breathe, baby, breathe for me, yes, that’s right.”

Jaehyun forced himself to breath in and then he rolled his hips, pulling out half-way before pushing back in. The noise Doyoung let out lay somewhere between a whimper and a whine, and Jaehyun leaned down so he could press their lips together in an open-mouthed kiss.

“I love you.”

Doyoung’s smile was brilliant, sweat running down his temples. “I love you, too. I love you so much, Jaehyunnie, you have no idea.”  

Jaehyun let his head fall to the crook of Doyoung’s neck and thrusted his hips, picking up pace with every moan, every whimper and every shout of Jaehyun’s name Doyoung uttered. There was nothing in the world except for the feeling of Doyoung around him, below him, Doyoung’s hands in his hair and the taste of his skin against Jaehyun’s tongue.

*

“What are we going to do now?”

Asking the question out loud made Jaehyun’s gut fill with dread, but he had to ask. He had to know. “We will be together, right?”

All his fear and worries dissipated the moment he looked up to find Doyoung smiling down at him, such gentle love in his gaze that Jaehyun thought that whatever the answer was didn’t matter as long as he been given this moment.

“We’ll be together.” The way Doyoung said it made everything sound so simple.

Jaehyun was almost tempted to lay his head on Doyoung’s chest again and doze off like he had been doing for the past hour or so, but they had to talk about this. His heart hurt with how in love he was with Doyoung, and how badly he wanted to protect him from the world.

“People will talk.”

“They would, and that’s why we will keep it a secret. Do you hear me, Jaehyun? This—us being in love, no one can know.” At times, Jaehyun forgot how smart Doyoung was, how the air of naivety he gave off was an illusion. “No one can know but us.”

Jaehyun’s heart hurt at the thought of having to hide what he felt for Doyoung once again, but he nodded. It was the only sensible thing to do and like always, Doyoung found the right words of consolation.

“I will graduate in a couple of months and then I’ll move to Busan and attend PNU. I already got my acceptance letter in the mail. You can come visit me on the weekends and during the holidays and next year when you’ve graduated, you’re going to come live with me. We can rent one of the studio apartments that student housing offers. No one will know us in Busan and we can just be us, together.”

Jaehyun felt his mouth drop open at the intricate details of Doyoung’s plan. “You’ve really thought this through.”

Doyoung’s smile was exasperated, and fond in that special way that Jaehyun recognised as reserved for himself. “I didn’t just fall in love with you yesterday, Jaehyun. I may have done some research, just in case.”

Doyoung’s ears turned pink at the admission and Jaehyun felt his heart soar. He pushed himself up on his knees so he could straddle Doyoung’s hips. It wasn’t until he had left Doyoung breathless with kiss-swollen lips, moaning at the feeling of Jaehyun’s cock entering him for the second time that night that Jaehyun felt complete again.  

*

Jaehyun made Sicheng pull over on the ride home to buy roses. He knew that it was cliché, but it had been a month since Doyoung and he had become a couple and Jaehyun wanted to be a proper boyfriend to him, even if he couldn’t do it in public yet.

“Yellow roses?” Yuta inquired from the passenger seat when Jaehyun slid back onto the backseat. “Are you trying to woo someone?”

“No.” Jaehyun smiled. Yellow was Doyoung’s favourite colour. “They’d be red then, wouldn’t they?”

“Leave Jaehyun alone, Yuta,” Sicheng interrupted, his voice even deeper than usual as he glared at Yuta. “Jae’s a boy and he can like roses.”

“Hey now, babe, you know that’s not how I meant it!”

“Don’t call me that!”

Jaehyun was content to just sit back and listen to his friends bicker until Sicheng pulled up to his apartment building.

“I’ll see you guys tomorrow. Thanks for driving, Sicheng!”

Sicheng waved him off while Yuta waved after him, nearly ripping out the aux cord in the process. Jaehyun exhaled as soon as he had thrown the car door shut behind him, feeling giddy. Careful not to crush the roses in the process, he slung his bag over his shoulder and skipped into the lobby of their building.

He dropped his bag the moment he had thrown the door of their apartment shut behind him and toed off his shoes, tucking them neatly into the shoe rack before he made a beeline for the kitchen.

There was cluttering coming from the sink and Jaehyun smiled as he rounded the corner.

“Oh, Jaehyun! We were waiting for you!”

Jaehyun stopped dead in his tracks. In front of the kitchen island didn’t stand Doyoung, but Doyoung’s mother. A brilliant, gummy smile pulled her lips apart as she beckoned him forward into a hug and Jaehyun felt his heart still as she closed her arms around him, patting him on the back before she let go.

“And you’ve got roses! Are those for me?”

“Y-yeah.” At last, Jaehyun remembered how to speak. And then his mind was racing. “Doyoung called me.” Doyoung had called him, three times. Jaehyun had assumed it was just to remind him to come home right after practice. “He told me you were home.”

Belatedly, he proffered the bouquet to Doyoung’s mother. She took it, cooing at the flowers.

“Doyoungie’s such a sweet boy, isn’t he? He cooked up a real feast for us, as if he knew we were coming home today. He’s always been so smart. They’re in the living room right now, setting the table.”

Numbness spread through Jaehyun’s body as he followed Doyoung’s mother into the living room and there Doyoung was, arranging the last of the bowls with his father.

“Jaehyun!” The old man greeted him, much more subdued than his wife but still warmly. “How have you been, son?”

Jaehyun sought out Doyoung’s gaze, but Doyoung wasn’t looking at him and Jaehyun felt tears well up in his eyes with the realisation of what that might mean, but he couldn’t cry. Not here and not now. And still Doyoung wasn’t looking at him.

“I’ve been great.”

“Basketball is still going well?”

“Really well.”

“Good.” The old man clapped him on the back. “We should sit down to eat, then. I bet you boys have loads of stories to tell.”

Doyoung kept his gaze on his plate when Jaehyun sat down next to him, only looking up whenever one of the adults addressed him directly. Jaehyun felt nauseous with every bite he took, though Doyoung had cooked the meal perfectly. Spicy pork, Jaehyun’s favourite. It wasn’t until they had cleared off their plates that Doyoung cleared his throat.

And then Jaehyun felt the ghost of a touch against the inside of his wrist, fingers brushing against his own where he had balled them into fists on his knees and relief hit him like a freight train. Doyoung held his hand for only a split second, but it was all that Jaehyun needed. They were still them. Nothing had changed. This was just a bump in the road.

“Excuse me,” Doyoung said as he pulled himself to his feet. “I’ll go and get the dessert.”

“Oh, honey, dessert too?”

Doyoung smiled. “Of course, Mum. Peach ice cream.” Jaehyun's favourite. 

Doyoung disappeared into the kitchen and Jaehyun felt his absence like an open wound. But it was okay. They were still them. The sound of porcelain cluttering rang from the kitchen.

“Jaehyun, it seems that Doyoung needs a little bit of help. Why don’t you go and help him?”

Jaehyun looked up when he was addressed and he smiled, first at Doyoung’s mother and then at his own father.

“Of course, Dad.” He pulled himself to his feet, eager to steal just a few precious seconds with Doyoung alone. “I’ll go and help my brother.”