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Which The Thirsty Takes For Water

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“What makes the desert beautiful,’ said the little prince, ‘is that somewhere it hides a well…” - Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Junmyeon takes another drag of his cigarette and considered masturbating again. It will be another six hours before Sehun gets off work and two more after that before any of the halfway decent bars in their tired, desert town will open. His cellphone pings next to him – 11am and already over 90 degrees outside.

He licks the taste of nicotine from his lips. If he went to the pool, he could at least escape the heat for a while and if there wasn’t anyone around, he could find a moment’s secret pleasure in rinsing his spunk off in the cool, chlorinated water, no one the wiser. He stands and extinguishes his cigarette in the overcrowded ashtray on his desk. Scooting a few of the papers around on his desk in some attempt to appear as though he worked on something that day, Junmyeon grabs an old towel and his swimsuit. If he is lucky, Joohyun will be sunbathing next door.

He is just starting to get hard again from the fantasy of maybe, possibly, actually talking to his gorgeous next-door neighbor when his phone rings. Junmyeon flips dramatically onto his bed, delighted when his younger friend’s name blinks up at him from the display, “Sehun? Aren’t you supposed to be making my father an obscene amount of money?”

Junmyeon can practically see Sehun petulantly roll his eyes at the comment, “I don’t know, Mr. Kim. Aren’t you supposed to be at a delightful lunchtime gathering of the company’s most important investors, looking fantastic and charming them into renewing their commitments for the next quarter?”

“Excuse me?” Junmyeon replies, his mind already racing to reconstruct the weekly agenda that Sehun sends home with him every week, a usually failed attempt to get Junmyeon to participate in the company’s activities.

Sehun sighs, “Put on some clothes and get to the office. Fuck, Junmyeon…”

+

Junmyeon hadn’t always been like this. Anyone who had known him in high school or even the first couple years of college, before he gave up and dropped out, would have told you that Kim Junmyeon was the brightest star in a galaxy of accomplished young men. He was ambitious, he was talented and he was gorgeous.

 

Then Kris had walked out on him, leaving Junmyeon to flop like some discarded fish back home into the arms of a worried mother, a frustrated father and the best friend who didn’t quite know how to put all the pieces back together. His degree went unfinished, his pack a day increased to two and Oh Sehun, who had trailed behind his best friend for years, looking up to his elder like a big brother, was hired right out of university to manage the sales department of the Kim family’s multinational corporation. Junmyeon had been put on the payroll as a consultant and moved back in with his parents.

He is 24 and lives with his parents.

Junmyeon reaches into his coat pocket for his cigarettes.

+

These parties are all the same – too many drinks for the early afternoon and lonely girls and politicians looking for handout for their next campaign. Finger food is passed around and Junmyeon eats too much of it. Another drink, and Junmyeon asks for more whiskey, less Coke. Sehun gently lets him down, pressing a plain can of soda into his hand. Junmyeon still isn’t sure when Sehun became the mature one in their relationship. It frightens him, but he takes the drink anyway.

Junmyeon sips regretfully at his soda, listening, in theory, to the excited rambling of the tall, almost elfin looking man in front of him. He knows the man’s face from many of these exact same meetings, but he never seemed to stick. He is just tall. Junmyeon likes tall boys, tall boys who would wrap you up in their arms and turn you into putty, tall boys who would hug you from behind and kiss your neck and tell you that you were the one. Junmyeon likes tall boys. Tall boys like Junmyeon who is small and pliable and –

“Is my husband boring you?” a bright voice exclaims, a raven-haired young man slipping his arm around the tall man’s middle.

Junmyeon shakes his head emphatically, the soda fizzing on his tongue.

The new arrival smiles, his eyes sparkling mischievously, “Chanyeol, baby, can I get another drink?”

The tall boy – Chanyeol – doesn’t even hesitate, taking the other man’s empty glass. His fingers slide over his husband’s with some kind of reverence that speaks of love before he leaves the two of them to find a waiter. Junmyeon remembers being touched like that –

“He’s not the smartest thing I’ve ever bedded, but he’s rich, he’s strangely loyal and he has a huge cock.”

Junmyeon nearly chokes on his soda.

The other man laughs, a high pitched thing that drips with alcohol, “You look like you needed saving. You don’t look like you belong with these people at all. You’re not here.”

Junmyeon struggles to recover but manages to barely whisper, “Do you know who I -?”

“Of course I know who you are. And I’m Baekhyun. It’s nice to meet you, Kim Junmyeon.”

Baekhyun runs his elegantly long fingers through his hair and away from his eyes just as Chanyeol returns, pressing the glass into Baekhyun’s hand and stepping possessively between Junmyeon and his lover. Baekhyun cocks an eyebrow at Junmyeon and glances down towards Chanyeol’s tight pants, inviting Junmyeon to take a look.

“Sorry about that,” Chanyeol continues in his deep voice, warm like hot chocolate. Junmyeon tries to concentrate on the words coming out of the businessman’s mouth, but the words “huge cock” keep ringing in his ears. How long had it been since Junmyeon has slept with anyone? The string of pretty, blonde girls Sehun supplied to him as pity fucks didn’t count, Junmyeon decides with another despairing sip of his soda.

Chanyeol smiles and reaches out to shake Junmyeon’s hand, “I just hoped that you would pass along a few words about our project to your father or even Mr. Oh. I know they value your opinion very highly.”

“Sure,” Junmyeon agrees, training his voice to remain noncommittal, neutral. Chanyeol’s hands are huge and envelope Junmyeon’s completely. Junmyeon imagines them for a moment, wrapped around Baekhyun’s delicate frame. God, he is pathetically horny. He shakes Chanyeol’s hand twice and pulls away, giving an unnatural amount of attention to the potted cactus beside them.

Chanyeol doesn’t seem to mind or notice Junmyeon’s inattentiveness, his big smile never fading, even as he started towards the buffet table, laughing something about pastries. Baekhyun follows closely with a smug glance behind him in Junmyeon’s direction, his hand trailing down to cup Chanyeol’s ass. Their eyes meet. Junmyeon sputters an apology into the air and returns to the cactus. He pours the rest of his soda into the pot, watching the dry soil soak up the sugary liquid. He instantly regrets it, realizing too late that the rush of sugar and the tactile coldness of the can in his hand were the only things keeping him from smoking.

Junmyeon isn’t sure how much time passes (the soda can was still cold, but only just) when Sehun slides next to him, “What do you think of Mr. Park then? Should we –“

“I have no idea where he even works,” Junmyeon admits sourly. “This is ridiculous. Don’t they know that I’m nothing? That I don’t really get any say in what happens with the company’s money?”

“You look good in that suit though,” Sehun says with a smile, adjusting his best friend’s tie, “You always look good.”

“I’m not drunk enough for your sad attempts at flirting with me,” Junmyeon shrugs, pulling his tie askew again, feeling a bit childish but enjoying the rush of rebellion. Sehun had always been so delightfully unavailable; it gave Junmyeon a strange satisfaction to place false boundaries on their relationship, boundaries he himself would love to push one day.

“Are you inviting yourself over then?” Sehun laughs. Sehun is tall, Junmyeon considers for a moment, his eyes drifting to his best friend’s lips. Sehun is tall and has big hands and a big-

“Because if you wanted to come over, you just had to ask,” Sehun continues, “I have beer and probably something strong, but mostly I just need you to stay usable for tomorrow.”

Junmyeon feels gross for blushing, “You want to use me?”

Sehun rolls his eyes, “For the investor breakfast tomorrow. I need you to show up and look not completely hung over when your father gives his speech.” Sehun fixes Junmyeon’s tie again and lets his hand linger at Junmyeon’s neck a beat too long, “Tell me that you’re doing better, Junmyeon. Please. Tell me that you’re doing better. I want my best friend back.”

Junmyeon takes a step back and Sehun’s hand falls away, “I’m coming over tonight. Can we sleep in the living room?”

+

Sehun’s apartment is on the top floor of a stylish, art deco building in the city center and in the living room is a skylight that makes Junmyeon feel like a child. Kris had been an astronomy major at the university and he had hypnotized a naïve and desperate Junmyeon with stories of stardust and supernovas and the multiverse. Junmyeon feels small beneath the skylight, feels naked beneath the intense gaze of the stars, and when Sehun climbs into the sleeping bag next to him, he slots himself against his best friend’s side, under his arm.

“Did you get enough to eat at dinner?” Sehun whispers into Junmyeon’s hair. It’s all too intimate for people who are just friends, but Junmyeon doesn’t complain. He’s desperate for this.

“It’s going to be alright, Junmyeon,” Sehun continues, his lips tickling Junmyeon as they brush through his hair, “I don’t mean to be cruel to you, if I am. I know you’re hurting and I … The sun is going to come up for you. Soon. You’ll come back to the world soon. Maybe we should go on a vacation? Some time away? Just us?”

Junmyeon considers telling Sehun that he is hungry though and wishes that he had eaten something more than a couple chocolate buttons from Sehun’s candy jar before bed. Junmyeon considers telling Sehun about Baekhyun the handsome flirt from the party and his husband with the huge cock.

“Please sleep tonight,” Sehun says simply, interrupting Junmyeon’s careful deliberations and rolling over, leaving Junmyeon to stare at his friend’s long back. Sehun is tall and has a long body that could hold him close, keep him warm. Sehun has big hands and a big –

+

Junmyeon is particularly numb to the gold-rimmed plate of eggs and bacon that is placed in front him the next morning. Junmyeon hasn’t been awake in time for breakfast in months and the smell of the rubbery eggs and the salty meats made him feel more than a bit sick. Shoveling the eggs as far away from him as possible, while keeping the mess on the plate, occupies him for a moment.

“You should have ordered the pancakes. They were too sweet, but better than … whatever that is,” Baekhyun’s silky voice advises him, the mysterious flirt sliding into the unoccupied chair to Junmyeon’s right.

Junmyeon glances up and puts on his best business-friendly smile, “I’ve been told I should have protein with my breakfast.”

“By Mr. Oh?” Baekhyun laughs, eyes piercing across the room to where Sehun and Chanyeol stand, laughing and gesturing as they chat about production costs or another equal painful subject. Baekhyun puckers his lips and sends a kiss across the hall. Chanyeol’s smile in response is radiant, “Is he your keeper, then? Mr. Oh?”

“A friend,” Junmyeon replies, nibbling at a bit of bacon and regretting it, “Sehun and I have been friends since we were very young.”

“Does he know you like him?” Baekhyun asks with a hint of a giggle in his voice, “You were practically melting into him at the party yesterday, when he went to fix your tie.”

Junmyeon’s face burns, “I hardly know you and you definitely know nothing about me and I … don’t think we should be discussing this. I’m here as a representative of my father’s company and –“

“You’re rambling,” Baekhyun states simply, “It’s cute. Does Mr. Oh think you’re cute too?”

“You’re making me uncomfortable,” Junmyeon replies. The eggs aren’t looking so bad.

“I’ll suck you off in the bathroom if you want. They won’t even know we were gone.”

Junmyeon drops a piece of bacon into his lap in shock and nearly jumps from his seat when Baekhyun reaches down without hesitation to retrieve it, tossing the greasy meat back onto Junmyeon’s plate. The eggs are oozing and there is condensation on his glass of orange juice. The room is too cold, an aggressive A/C unit blowing streams of nearly arctic air down towards their table. A pop classical album plays as background to the constant hum of conversations. Sehun snorts when he laughs sometimes and Junmyeon has never told him that it’s sort of adorable. Sehun snorts at something Chanyeol says. It’s adorable.

Baekhyun leans in a little closer, “Do you want me to swallow for you? Do you want me to kiss my husband with that mouth?” Baekhyun’s smile remains so innocent and warm that Junmyeon can’t actually believe this is happening.

“You’re making me uncomfortable,” Junmyeon repeats, but he doesn’t move away. He’s hard and he’s hungry.

Baekhyun laughs under his breath and places an unshaking hand over the bulge in Junmyeon’s pants, “I can help you with that. I can make you very comfortable.” Baekhyun presses down subtly and Junmyeon keeps his lips pushed together to keep from reacting, “Or am I being too forward? Do you want to pretend to seduce me yourself?”

“No,” Junmyeon says under his breath, “I don’t like to … I like to be…”

Baekhyun’s smile is like a child’s and it is completely unsettling and yet, the most delicious thing Junmyeon has seen in ages. He drowns in it and lets Baekhyun wrap long fingers around his thick hands and pull him towards the bathrooms.

It’s too clean, Junmyeon thinks, as Baekhyun sinks to his knees, pushing Junmyeon against the door to the bathroom. It’s too clean in this bathroom and it still smells like cleaning products and he’s about to let a married man swallow him. Baekhyun doesn’t seem to give their surroundings more than a glance, his pink, puckered lips already kissing along the line of Junmyeon’s hardness, pressed against his pants and aching for it. His fingers make easy work on Junmyeon’s buttons and Junmyeon is surrounded by warm wetness before he can formulate another argument against this. He wants this, he realizes. He wants to be used like this.

Baekhyun must feel the surrender shake through him because he bites his nails into Junmyeon’s hips and pulls the older man against him roughly. Junmyeon moans against his better judgment, the head of his cock pushing against the back of Baekhyun’s throat and he can already tell that he isn’t going to last very long. Baekhyun is looking up at him, eyes big and with lips stretched and Junmyeon wonders how he compares to the Chanyeol who has a huge cock. He pushes against Baekhyun’s lips, a gentle fuck into that welcoming mouth.

Baekhyun’s tiny hum of approval at the moment silences all of Junmyeon’s hesitations.

“Can I –“

Baekhyun nods just slightly but it’s enough. Junmyeon feels his sexuality bubble just under the surface, a heat he hasn’t felt quenched since Kris walked out of their shared apartment. His skin burns and his hands feel clunky but purposeful wrapping around the back of Baekhyun’s head and pushing him deeper.

“You feel so good,” Junmyeon says, instantly regretting how pathetic he sounds but Baekhyun seems encouraged; his eyes are brighter and he swallows. His nose is buried in Junmyeon’s pubic hair and the sight is something from Junmyeon’s heaviest wet dreams. He must look completely wasted on hormones because Baekhyun pulls back and unrolls his tongue in a gross display.

“You wanna come for me?” Baekhyun says in a voice that is high pitched and begging, “You want me to swallow for you, baby?”

Junmyeon isn’t sure how he feels about being called ‘baby’, but he wants so badly to watch his come slide down Baekhyun’s throat, so he nods and grabs his own cock tightly, jerking himself to completion. He hasn’t had an orgasm like this in ages and it has his legs shaking to watch the thick ropes of heady come coat Baekhyun’s lips. The younger man licks up the mess seductively, groaning for more even when it’s obvious that Junmyeon has nothing left. He pulls pathetically at his spent cock, trembling at the overstimulation. Baekhyun smiles that childish, impish smile and Junmyeon wonders if he should feel something – should he be ashamed of this?

Baekhyun’s hands are quick as before, tucking Junmyeon back into his pants and pressing a kitten soft kiss to the lingering bulge, “Run away with me.”

“What?” Junmyeon says, his mind still hazy and useless.

“Take me away from here,” Baekhyun continues, finally cleaning off a smear of come from his bottom lip with the sleeve of his jacket, “I don’t love him and I don’t want to waste away as the prize, the trophy husband to some businessman in a dying city.”

Junmyeon’s head is pounding and he shakes his head, “I don’t understand.”

“What’s there to understand?” Baekhyun says, “I don’t want to be here and you’re … unhappy, to say the least. You have a car, right? We could leave right now and no one would ever catch us.”

“I have… responsibilities,” Junmyeon argues, pathetically really because everyone who knows anything about him (and Baekhyun seems to know everything about him, including how sensitive the underside of his cockhead is) knows that Junmyeon’s primary responsibility is making sure his mother knows when the upstairs bathroom is almost out of toilet paper.

Baekhyun shrugs and moves to the sink to adjust his hair, “Suit yourself. If you’re happy here…?”

“Where would we go?” Junmyeon asks, noting that Baekhyun makes no move to wash out his mouth.

“Wherever we want to go. Take the highway into the desert and live like we were dying or some bullshit,” Baekhyun says, softly and romantically, like he’s telling Junmyeon a bedtime story, a fairy tale. “Just us…”

“And Sehun,” Junmyeon says suddenly and he doesn’t know why. He covers his mouth and tries to swallow his embarrassment when Baekhyun glances up at him in mirror. Baekhyun’s eyes are rimmed thick with black eyeliner and the look is tragically beautiful where the makeup has smeared. The fact that he is already so made up at nine in the morning makes Junmyeon wonder if this boy even bothered to clean up last night. Junmyeon shakes his head and looks down at the tiled floor, “I can’t go without Sehun.”

“Mr. Oh,” Baekhyun says with a hint of laughter in his voice, “You don’t think he would tie you up and keep you home at the very mention of this little adventure?” Baekhyun actually laughs this time, “Or maybe you would like that…? To be tied up by Mr. Oh?”

“Sehun,” Junmyeon says again, more quietly, feeling defeated.

“Are you agreeing to go with me? Into the desert?” Baekhyun says, whipping around. His voice is darker now, but it’s sexy in a way that Junmyeon can’t describe. It’s terrifyingly grown up and wrapped in the smile of a daydream.

“Sehun,” Junmyeon says one more time. Baekhyun smiles.

+

“Where exactly are we going?” Sehun asks from the backseat of Junmyeon’s rarely used sports car for the eighth or ninth time, his voice getting more annoyed with every unanswered repetition.

“To the beach, I told you,” Baekhyun says with heavy breath, “At the edge of the world, you can watch the sunrise and we’ll free of that place.”

Sehun’s face distorts into a look of disgusted disbelief, “I don’t get signal out here. Junmyeon,” he whines,” I don’t get signal out here. How long is this trip across the world going to take?”

Junmyeon yanks the handle at the bottom of his seat and reclines all the way back, allowing him to look up at Sehun from newly supine position, straddling the two worlds of Baekhyun and Sehun. Sehun’s heart softens only slightly when he sees the smile that is plastered across his best friend’s face. He hasn’t seen Junmyeon smile like this in months. “Junmyeon, I don’t get signal out here.”

“Doesn’t it feel great?” Junmyeon whispers, reverent, as though this car is sacred space. Baekhyun glances over at him from the driver’s seat (though Junmyeon isn’t sure exactly when he gave this virtual stranger the keys to his car). Junmyeon is embarrassed to feel his face flush with excitement at the other man’s glance and he hopes that Sehun won’t notice. It’s a hope against hope though; Sehun has known him for years. Sehun was there the night that Junmyeon met Kris. Sehun watched Junmyeon lose all sense of reason and fall head over heels into the arms of a painful dorky Canadian with big hands and a bigger –

“I’m not sure that ‘great’ is how I would describe it,” Sehun says, slightly grumpy.

Baekhyun laughs from his belly, “It’s about freedom, Mr. Oh. It’s about getting away and being… free.”

Junmyeon chooses to ignore Sehun’s patented eye roll and instead basks in the thought of not having to wake up to his father’s knocking on the door. Will you do anything today, son? No, Father, Junmyeon thinks, today, I am free.

“That’s very inspiring, Mr. - I’m sorry? Mister what exactly? Park?” Sehun asks, putting his phone away in resignation to his fate.

“Byun. Byun Baekhyun,” the driver says with a dramatic flourish to his last name.

Junmyeon smiles mostly to himself, but he knows that Sehun has noticed it too, “A superhero then. Byun Baekhyun, alliterative. Like Peter Parker or Clark Kent.”

Baekhyun says nothing at first, but pushes his foot down. The car roars and they accelerate through a hyperspace of cactuses, half of them white with death. “Something like that.”

+

The motel they find around a bend in the road is lonely and the paint is chipping. The woman behind the counter looks so much like Joohyun that Junmyeon almost startles from his shoes. Her name tag reads “Irene” and she is lazily completing a crossword puzzle. She doesn’t look up at them, taking their money without a glance. Sehun bends over to check a display of maps and dated advertisements for long gone tourist attractions and she manages to tear her eyes away from her newspaper to judge his backside. Junmyeon doesn’t blame her. They might even be friends in another life.

“Do you guys have wi-fi?” Sehun asks desperately, pulling out his phone.

Irene shrugs, “We have a fitness center. But both treadmills are broke.”

They have to walk back out into the cold desert night to get to the other side of the building and to the door for their room. A stray dog with a pretty, shining coat runs towards them, tongue flopping out of its mouth. Junmyeon rushes to pet the thing, but leans back on his heels with the smell of sewage reeks from the animals upon closer inspection. The pup hurries to Baekhyun, who scratches the rejected thing without a second thought. It rubs against his leg, eager for more praise, depositing its stink onto his pant leg.

Their room is simple, two beds and a desk. It’s old, rather than dirty, but Sehun still makes a face, having grown used to his expensive sheets and the skylight that leaves you bare to the universe. Baekhyun throws himself onto one of the bed and seems to invite Junmyeon to join him, but Sehun tosses both of their things onto the other bed and starts to turn down the sheets. He searches them for bedbugs and gives a thumbs up when the bed passes his inspection.

Junmyeon finds a limp towel being pushed into his hands a moment later, Sehun shooing him into the bathroom. “Get that dust out of your hair,” he insists, forgetting that neither of them have anything to change into once they’ve showered. Junmyeon takes extra care to lay out his clothes before he climbs into the shower, not wanting them to get wrinkled.

The water muffles most of the conversation, but Junmyeon can tell that Sehun is still interrogating Baekhyun in the other room. It makes him feel a strange satisfaction to know that Sehun has grown this possessive of him. His cock twitches at the thought of being possessed by Oh Sehun. Junmyeon puts his head under the lukewarm water and wets his hair, though there is no shampoo.

He’s not used to this sort of unpleasantly tepid shower and climbs out of the stall long before he normally would. The walls are thin in this place and he can hear Sehun’s voice clearly, Baekhyun’s shriller words following rapidly.

“You two have never…? Really?” Baekhyun asks, incredulous.

“He’s my best friend,” Sehun responds sharply, “Do you always fuck your best friend?”

Baekhyun’s voice gives his smirk away, “Yes? Jongdae and I spent most of high school giving each other blow jobs in exchange for test answers.”

Sehun doesn’t respond and Junmyeon has to bite into his fist to keep from laughing. He can already see the expression on Sehun’s face, the corners of his lips turned down in distaste at Baekhyun brazenness.

“And right now, Mr. Oh,” Baekhyun says, Sehun’s family name coming out slimy and teasing, “Mr. Oh, I’m looking for answers about Kim Junmyeon and what makes him tick. I’m willing to make an exchange.”

Junmyeon drops his towel. He leans against the wall and suffers the scratchy wallpaper to hear more.

“You don’t have anything I want,” Sehun answers and Junmyeon is pleased to hear it, though it burns his cheeks to feel that way.

He dresses quickly and joins them in the main living space. He sleeps curled like a baby, Sehun spooning him from behind, a protective arm wrapped around his best friend’s middle. The bed is too small, but neither of them complains. Their bodies click together like they have since middle school and Sehun is soon peacefully snoring behind Junmyeon.

Baekhyun turns towards him, rolling over on his side and locking eyes with Junmyeon across the narrow walkway between the beds. Even in the dark, Baekhyun’s dark eyes are hauntingly pretty and his makeup still hasn’t faded, making him appear ethereal and untouchable. Like a picture in a magazine or a dream in the desert. Junmyeon feels poetic tonight and wants to tell Baekhyun all these things. Junmyeon starts to speak, but Baekhyun’s raises a careful finger to his lips and silences him, nodding towards Sehun.

They are silent in the dark, Junmyeon hypnotized by the white ghost of Baekhyun’s pale skin, illuminated by the faint light from the digital clock on the night stand. It stains him blue. Baekhyun puckers his lips and sends a bedtime kiss to Junmyeon. Junmyeon catches it with his ego and feels wanted.

+

They drive and drive and drive and it’s over one hundred degrees in the endless desert and the sand and dirt starts to look like an ocean.

Junmyeon falls in and out of sleep, waking up once with Baekhyun’s hand down his pants, squeezing his erection. Sehun’s snores from the back tell him this is okay and Baekhyun jerks him to a lazy orgasm. Junmyeon stares up into the sky and the blue turns into a swimming pool and his come splashes onto the diving board of Baekhyun’s pale hand. He doesn’t move, keeps staring, but he hears Baekhyun lick the evidence from his skin, a kitten lapping up milk.

Sehun’s phone makes one last sad cry from the backseat and dies.

+

“It’s like the Odyssey, an adventure” Baekhyun laughs when the radio stops picking up signal, the sun sets behind the horizon and they are alone to their thoughts only.

There is no motel on this stretch of road. Junmyeon starts to believe that they are past civilization. Kris used to say there were no places untouched anymore, that adventures were a thing of the past so long as one stayed on Earth. Junmyeon smiles to prove him wrong.

“Here we are, in our own little boat, happy,” Baekhyun continues, “And there he is… Chanyeol, my Penelope. Probably slutting it up with a new corporate rep to get his products in stores.”

Junmyeon likes to think of his sports car as a boat, immigrating him far from his problems, but Sehun coughs, “That is literally the exact opposite of what happens in The Odyssey.”

The sun continues to set and it’s darker now than Junmyeon even imagined possible. Baekhyun suggests they rough it in the car and Sehun shifts, his knees awkwardly bent in the small backseat.

“It gets cold in the desert,” Sehun says, “We should keep going. We have plenty of gas.”

Baekhyun pulls over onto the shoulder and forces the car dangerously into the sand, “Body heat.”

Junmyeon helps Sehun out of the back of the car, just as Baekhyun pulls a set of blankets from the trunk. Sehun glares, “Where and when did you even get those? The motel?”

“Yep,” Baekhyun says simply, spreading out the garish comforter on the dirt. The headlights illuminate the oranges and browns and reds of the blanket. It looks like something from another world, laid out like this in the wild. Junmyeon shivers, scared of snakes and scorpions and the things that live beneath the sand, but Baekhyun is smiling, “Some of us were thinking ahead while others raided the vending machine.”

Sehun chokes on nothing, “Did – did you always intend to get us stuck out here?”

“Is there anywhere more private for us to get to know each other better?” Baekhyun winks at Junmyeon, taking the older man’s hand and guiding him down on their pitiful bed. Junmyeon falls to his knees – not unlike his first night with Kris, he hates to think. A sharp something beneath the blanket stabs up into his leg, but Baekhyun’s lips are soft when they crash into his. Junmyeon sighs. Sehun scoffs.

“Are we seriously doing this right now?” Sehun says, but his voice is shaky.

Junmyeon pulls away from Baekhyun, a line of shining saliva connecting their lips for a moment. He turns to his best friend and the look on Sehun’s face, confusion and arousal, reminds Junmyeon of high school. It’s different than the memories of Kris, which burn like anger. These memories are cold, regretful. He extends his hand, “Not without you.”

Baekhyun bites his lip and twists the corners of his lips into an impish grin, when Sehun bends to join them on the blanket, “You should undress him, Junmyeon.”

The air feels thicker than it should, and Junmyeon hesitates his hands an inch from Sehun’s chest. Sehun smiles genuinely for the first time on this trip and leans in, guiding Junmyeon’s small hands against the hard plains of his body. For all the times that Junmyeon has slept curled against that chest, he never gave more than a passing thought to how strong Sehun was underneath it all, his body still scuptled from years of dancing before business school took his rhythm from him. He pushes Sehun’s jacket from his shoulders.

“I’m not drunk enough for this. Neither of you, I - ” Junmyeon whispers, watching the expensive jacket fall into the dust.

Sehun makes no move to recover it, “I never needed to be drunk.”

The words shock through his system in the most pleasant tickle, a truth that he always knew but didn’t want to know. He recovers slightly when Baekhyun wraps delicate arms around his middle from behind and presses their bodies together, “We’re free out here, Junmyeon. You can touch whatever you want and be whoever you want.”

“Or you could just be my Junmyeon,” Sehun corrects, taking the initiative and reaching up to unbutton his own shirt. He slows only when he sees Junmyeon’s eyes crease in the corners, “Or we could get back in the car and forget about this. We don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.”

Baekhyun’s hands skirt along the top of Junmyeon’s jeans, dipping down to press against the straining head of his cock. Baekhyun is a stranger, Junmyeon has to remind himself, but it’s hard because the other man’s mouth is sucking circles into the most sensitive place on his neck (how did he know?) and when Junmyeon’s eyes meet Sehun’s, he feels all the things he felt with Kris, except it’s more like summiting a mountain victorious and less like falling. He feels wanted and sexy and when Sehun’s eyes pan down to watch Baekhyun slowly unzip Junmyeon’s pants, he feels harder than he has ever been in his life.

“Junmyeon,” Sehun says, and it sounds like begging, a starving man at a feast, “Tell me you want to.”

Baekhyun is holding Junmyeon’s cock in his feminine hands now, his thumb playing over the head. Junmyeon feels exposed in the most amazing way. Sehun can barely tear his eyes away from the display in front of him. It’s something from a fever dream and Junmyeon feels his lungs expand. The air is cleaner out here.

“I want to,” Junmyeon says too loudly and suddenly, but there is nothing out in the desert to judge him and Sehun is too busy pushing his pants off as quickly as he can to even crack a joke. His boxer briefs join the jacket in the sand, dirty. Sehun is naked in front of him and it’s not like the showers they shared in high school. It’s completely erotic and Junmyeon wants to be caught up in it. Junmyeon feels overdressed.

Sehun cups Junmyeon’s face in his hands and Junmyeon parts his lips, aching for a kiss. He hardly notices when Baekhyun slips from behind him and crawls between the two of them until he feels that warm heat again, Baekhyun’s mouth on his cock. The sounds of Baekhyun’s mouth on him are filthy and wet. He starts to whine when Baekhyun pops his lips away from Junmyeon’s eager head, but stops himself when he sees Sehun’s breath gasp away. Baekhyun swallows down Sehun’s cock quickly, pressing it down, down his throat and swallowing until the always put together Mr. Oh is trembling. Junmyeon cautiously places a hand on the back of Baekhyun’s neck and pushes down.

Sehun’s bottom lip trembles, “Tell me you want to.”

Junmyeon nods and, encouraged by pornographic moans from the stranger between them, leans in and kisses his best friend.

+

Junmyeon is sore when he wakes up, curled in the passenger seat, and his eyes open slowly. The world smells like rot and salt. It is still dark outside. Baekhyun is already awake in the driver’s seat, toying with a cell phone that Junmyeon didn’t know he even had. Sehun is snoring in the back, the soundtrack to Junmyeon’s new life.

“Good morning,” Junmyeon whispers and Baekhyun smiles.

“We made it,” Baekhyun replies, “To the end of the world. I brought you to the end of the world, Junmyeon.”

Junmyeon adjusts himself in his seat and looks out. The desert has given way to a rocky beach. Waves crash into a sea wall. An old man walks his dog. A food stand is setting up shop just down the way, the smell of eggs and chilies making Junmyeon’s stomach groan with hunger.

“If Mr. Oh wants to wake up, we can watch the sun rise,” Baekhyun continues, his eyes trained on his phone. He isn’t smiling anymore.

Junmyeon stretches dramatically and reaches back to shake Sehun awake. Sehun is quick to crawl from the back of the sports car, the thought of a hot breakfast far more attractive than remaining curled in the inhospitable backseat. Baekhyun tells them to go ahead, that he needs to make some calls. Sehun buys Junmyeon a tortilla filled with hot and fluffy scrambled eggs. They are so yellow, they almost look fake. Junmyeon swallows it in a few bites.

They sit on the edge of the sea wall and wait for the sun. They don’t talk about last night.

“Do you want another?” Sehun asks after a minute, “Did you eat enough?”

“I’m okay,” Junmyeon says, though he could eat three more without a problem.

Sehun laughs under his breath, “That’s all I want. For you to be okay.”

The sun interrupts their conversation, ascending, and they are lost for a moment in the simplicity of this moment. Neither of them is really sure at what point the sun stops “rising” and just is, so they linger. The old man’s dog starts barking in the distance. Junmyeon glances up to see how far they have gone and his heart sinks.

The car is gone.

Baekhyun is gone.

+

Six months after Sehun begs a phone from the food stand and makes the call that comes to save them and Junmyeon still isn’t sure that that weekend wasn’t a dream. Shortly after their return, Sehun accepts a promotion that takes him to Europe. They have coffee whenever Sehun is in town and every time Sehun asks Junmyeon to join him. Junmyeon makes an excuse and they share a pastry or two in silence. Sometimes Sehun touches Junmyeon hand and they both know it couldn’t be a dream.

Junmyeon takes an art class from the community college in their sleepy desert town. For his final piece, he paints white cactuses. It’s praised by his professor and it gets him readmitted to the university. Junmyeon isn’t happy, but he is free.

Junmyeon runs into Park Chanyeol at a bar sometime later. He is still wearing his wedding ring and Junmyeon asks him casually about business. Chanyeol doesn’t know what happened (no one can) and Junmyeon is told a long and tragic story about Chanyeol’s missing husband (maybe Junmyeon remembers him from that party?) and all the money that disappeared with him. Junmyeon wants to swallow his tongue. He swallows Chanyeol’s cock instead. It is huge.