At his time with FUG, Bam had learned many things and traveled a great many places. He would have passed all those floors anyways, but with FUG’s heavy hand on his shoulder, they roomed him in the nicest hotels, and stored him away in lavish little apartments. Even so, still so cloistered with a luxury that almost seemed apologetic in its unrepentant presence, Bam discovered this one immutable fact that applied to every single floor:
Public restrooms are nasty.
Even the nice ones. Especially the nice ones. They were cleaned constantly by weak regulars with their heads tipped down, their hands worn, and filled by brisk-toed businessmen whose shoes clipped and sauntering regulars who’s shoulders slung with a dripping, entitled cockiness.
Bam hated the nice public restrooms.
This one, though, it was middling, which is the least offensive a public restroom can be. There wasn’t toilet paper strewn on the floor, there wasn’t a brackish pool of water in a clogged sink, and there wasn’t a toilet that seemed to radiate disease and filth. The bathroom appeared to have been cleaned, at least within the last few days, and it was well lit.
Maybe it was so wonderfully average because it was away from the main chaos and mess of all the regulars partying and preparing for the Workshop battle. If it was closer, it would have probably been properly gross and untended, overrun by the sheer number of patrons. But no. It was quiet.
He was washing his hands when someone else walked in. Something about his posture caught his eyes but Bam had also learned that eye contact was a big no-no in public bathrooms as well, so he didn’t look.
The person stopped. Stared. Bam glanced at him through the mirror. He was wearing a mask but something about him was terribly familiar.
Fuck bathroom etiquette. He turned. The single eye he could see was blue. His heart jumped to his throat. It couldn’t be—
“Bam.” The voice was broken and painfully familiar.
He couldn’t breath. He was alive. “Mr. Khun,” he choked.
Khun ripped the mask off, chest heaving. He stared at him. His eyes were so blue, impossibly wide. Then. “Hey.” His voice was breathy.
It was so casual, so normal—Bam couldn’t help but to laugh, broken and staring. Khun joined him, it hurt, how good it felt to hear that laughter. He stepped closer, drawn impossibly in by him.
Khun’s laughter died and he was staring at him, his gaze wondering, roving. “You look good.”
Bam wanted to be even closer to him and he bit his lip. He looked Khun over, the features sharpened by the years apart, his blue blue eyes, his pale skin, lips he had never thought to examine before and— “I hate your hair.” It was rude but it came out all on its own.
“What?” Even his eyebrows were blond and they raised.
“I hate it. Why are you blond?” His fingers trailed over it, and it wasn’t until he had crushed some of the dried gel under his fingers that he realized what he was doing. He snatched his hand back, but Khun was already leaning forward.
“It’s a disguise.” The words were said like an afterthought, and Khun was gazing into his eyes, not looking away, not blinking.
There was something there, some type of longing in his chest, something familiar and old and new and strange. It was constricting around his lungs, his heart, and he didn’t know if it’s because he was resisting or if it was because he was letting himself feel it for the first time in years.
Khun was still staring at him and Bam could see the control in the lines of his shoulders, the angle of his posture. It would have been invisible to anyone else, to anyone else he would have simply been standing up straight, but Bam recognized it. The same control was tight in his chest. He couldn’t breath and Khun wasn’t looking away, his eyes hypnotic and pulling Bam deeper into this strange, heady state.
He let his control lapse for a single second, so he could breath, so he could think, and he swayed forward, the single step he took so loud in the bathroom.
Khun inhaled, his eyes widening, and something about that slight intake of air caught in Bam’s chest, in his gut, magnetic and aching. The air was fine and thin in Bam’s lungs, and he didn’t know if he was panting or not breathing at all. All he knew was that Khun’s eyes were blue, and that he was alive and staring at him.
Bam needed—he swallowed. It hurt to need, even the simplest, smallest desire. It was unfamiliar, painful, and it ached in him, this wanting and the act of wanting itself, even he didn’t fully know what it was he wanted.
His hand lifted on its own, and—he was so afraid of this, for some reason, but Khun was there, and the air between them was filled with some unidentifiable quality that vibrated through him. Bam swayed again and Khun was so close, his breath hot on Bam’s mouth.
They shared air, inhaling each other’s exhales. There was a creaking and throbbing inside Bam, a tension twisting tighter and tighter with each hot gasp he stole from Khun’s mouth. He splintered. His hand, almost on its own, touched Khun’s arm.
Khun’s eyes widened and then. And then, his lips were brushing against his, his nose sliding along Bam’s.
It was still so fragile between them, Bam’s hand barely settling on his arm, Khun’s lips barely grazing against Bam’s. They were still more sharing breath than anything else, and Khun was still looking at him so tortured and blue. Bam nudged forward against the whisper of sensation at his mouth and Khun’s eyes fell shut. A choked sigh puffed against Bam and then they were kissing, still so soft, still trembling, still afraid of each other and of the future, but kissing, actually kissing, their lips pressed against each other.
It stirred something deep in Bam’s chest, and a feeling rushed through his body, a flush of sensation, and he pressed his mouth against him properly. That pulled a noise out of Khun, pulled him closer, and his lips were moving, pushing, pressing, pulling. Feeling choked in Bam’s chest and the only way to relieve it seemed to be kissing him back, to move his mouth against Khun’s. There was a hand at his neck, heavy and warm. The weight of it shocked Bam back to reality.
He pulled back, staring at Khun. This wasn’t safe for him. They had just been kissing in a public room that anyone could come into and FUG was already hanging the promise of his dead body over Bam’s head.
But that name. It tore through him, through every last defense, especially in Khun’s voice and his hand was still on his neck and Bam had been strong for too long.
He kissed him again, helpless, needy, lost. “I—“
“Bam.” And now it was being said against his mouth. Bam cracked, a broken noise escaping him, sobbing against him, kissing him again. Khun was holding the back of his head as they kissed, and something about the placement of his hand, the width and warmth of it, the weight of it, pressing right under his ponytail—it felt unbearably safe. Just that one hand, and Bam felt secure. But he wasn’t. And Khun wasn’t. He knew that.
He pulled back, the absence agonizing. “This is too dangerous for you.”
Khun’s hand tightened against him. “I’m a dangerous guy.” And he was kissing him again, or trying to but Bam couldn’t do this to him, no matter how much it tore into him to pull away.
“Not like this.” His voice was hoarse, and he pressed his forehead against Khun’s. “You mean too much.”
Khun made a choked noise right against Bam’s mouth and his hand was pulling him closer, their noses bumping and pressing against each other, staring into his eyes. “That’s not what you should say if you want me to stop.”
That tore a smile out of Bam, painful and sweet and then Khun was licking his own lips, staring at Bam’s mouth. “Just a little more. Just a little longer.”
“Okay,” Bam caved, something delightful in the concession, a small whisper of joy. If Bam allowed himself to hope, he could almost consider it a premonition of things to come, this tiny feeling blooming in him.
Khun paused and then Bam was getting pulled into the last stall, the door looked behind him. “This better?”
Barely. Enough. “Yeah.” And then Khun was holding his head and kissing him. Bam capitulated to the softness of his lips, to the small flame burning in him, to the tiny sliver of joy. His hands were on Khun’s hips and they were kissing back and forth, little breaths, little presses and then Khun pulled his lower lip between his own and sucked on it. It yanked at something deep and sleeping in Bam and a noise escaped his mouth.
It urged him forward, it pushed the ticking clock to the back of his mind, and Bam kissed him harder, his arms sliding around his back.
He could feel the tension leave and rise in Khun, the transformation of it, the shift of fear to something else. Khun panted against Bam’s mouth. “I want to show you something. Just follow my lead, okay?”
Bam nodded, past words, and then Khun was licking his mouth, a long swipe, the tip pointed and dragging along the crease of his lips and—“Open your mouth.”
Bam obliged and then Khun was smiling. “Not that much.” But he must have done something right, because Khun was licking into him, and then his tongue was rubbing up against Bam’s, dragging against Bam’s. Sensation swooped in his stomach.
It felt—Bam didn’t know how to describe it, but he found himself chasing the feeling, chasing Khun’s tongue with his own, pressing closer, teeth clicking against each other. Khun’s head tilted and then it was perfect. It was a new, marvelous knowledge, this taste and slick push and Bam didn’t want to stop to breath, to do anything but kiss him. His hand was restless on Khun’s back, pushing up and smoothing down. The texture of the fabric under his hand was magnified, scraping along Bam’s palm, the arch of Khun’s spine warm through the material.
The door opened.
Bam’s head jerked back. Fear rushed through him, icy and clarifying. His heart pounded as he listened to the person walk into a stall. He looked back at Khun, at his wide blue eyes. Khun was so still in Bam’s arms and his thumbs were stroking Bam’s head. He was so precious, warm and alive, and Bam didn’t know if he had ever been so scared. They stood there silently, breathing as quietly as they could, wrapped up around each other.
Bam couldn’t blink, couldn’t take his eyes off him for a second. Despite himself, he was sliding closer to Khun. Even the fear wasn’t enough to end this magnetic pull. Each puff of Khun’s breath was hot on Bam’s mouth and they needed to be quiet, silent.
He licked Khun’s lips, unable to stop himself, staring into his eyes. Khun’s eyebrows went all the way up, his hands tightening on Bam’s head. Bam licked again, dragging his tongue over the plush give of Khun’s lips. Khun’s gaze was wide, almost panicked, but he was pressing closer, the tilt of his eyebrows pleading.
He licked again, his tongue splitting his mouth open, and he pushed further, pressing against the smooth enamel of Khun’s teeth.
Khun’s eyes shut, his mouth falling open, and the person was washing their hands now. Bam licked at his top lip, pushing at it and Khun wasn’t breathing. He was completely still in Bam’s arms except for his head, his mouth, his desperate, pleading expression.
The person was drying their hands and Bam licked his teeth again, their lips brushing against each other, the bare skim almost painful in how good it felt.
The door shut and Khun took a breath and then they were falling into a kiss, deep, desperate, fervent. Bam gripped him close and Khun’s arms were slipping out from where they were trapped between them, clutching at his back.
And they couldn’t—this wasn’t a good idea but Bam was already addicted to the taste of him, the press of his lips. He slipped a hand into his hair and Khun made a noise and Bam ripped himself away. “I have to go.”
“No.” And Bam never heard him say it like that before, rough and begging and Khun was pulling him back, kissing him. How was Bam supposed to leave this? But—
“FUG—they’ll wonder what took so long.” Bam gasped and Khun was still pressing kisses to him.
“No,” Khun panted against him, kissing him, short and needy, “Don’t go.”
That broke inside Bam like a wave and he kissed him back, falling back into the tide of his mouth, the push and pull of his lips. “I missed you,” he said against Khun’s lips, “so much.”
A small noise came from Khun and he was getting kissed again, desperate. “I missed you too.” A kiss was pressed to his mouth, to his jaw, to his cheek, back to his lips. “Life didn’t feel real without you.”
That dug deep inside Bam and he kissed him, his hand tangled in his hair. “I don’t want to go.”
Khun clutched at his face. “I’m getting you back.” He kissed him. “I’m gonna get you back, okay?”
“Yeah,” Bam nodded, helpless, pure feeling expanding bright and painful in his chest. “Get me back.”
“I will,” and Khun was kissing him, grabbing his collar, the fabric of Bam’s suit crinkling under his hands.
Bam kissed back because he couldn’t not, his hand sliding over his cheek. “You promise?”
A kiss. A gasp. “I promise.” Another kiss and Bam was never going to leave if he didn’t leave now. He ripped himself away, panting, staring at Khun staring back at him, his heart mended and breaking all over again.
He couldn’t say anything. Anything he did, any words that escaped his mouth, it would shatter his control. He took another step back, and the distance wrenched something in him.
Khun was still watching him, his eyes wide and Bam could see only the barest tremor of control in him too. He was devastating, his lips shining, his hair disheveled, his clothes mussed.
Bam must look the same. “How do I look?”
“Perfect,” Khun breathed.
A laugh choked out of Bam. Emotion was caught in his throat, his chest. He wanted him so much. No. He needed him. He had always needed him by his side, he needed him safe, and now he needed his mouth under his own.
He took another step back and Khun’s chest heaved. Anything he said, any goodbye he gave, and promise or oath he made, it would shatter him. And he couldn’t handle that. Not with FUG. They couldn’t—
Khun’s eyes were so blue.
Bam ran. Anything slower, and he would have never left.