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Ten Sided Coin

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It’s always been ten or nothing.

The world never feels right when one is missing. Sure, the show goes on, the world spins, time turns, but none of them will ever forget the deep, scarring pain of watching Shinwon walk out the door, eliminated from Pentagon forever, for all they knew. Since their debut, since their comeback, they’ve faced hardships together, and have only had each other to pull through it all.

That’s why it’s so much pressure. That’s why the burden is so heavy on Hui’s shoulders (if only he could steal an inch or two from Shinwon, then maybe it’d be lighter, ha).

But Hui loves his members. He loves them. Not like a brother, or as a leader. Not like a friend (although that’s all so true). Hui loves each and every member of Pentagon so much, that he can hardly contain it in his small-er-ish body.

He adores Jinho, the way he manages to care for each member oh-so larger than he- and Hui loves Hongseok,  how he keeps them from falling apart at the seams. He’s infatuated with Kino, so fluid as he dances– and E’dawn, the body that snuggles with him at night, the person who holds his hand and silently supports him from behind. Oh god, and how Hui loves his big dogs, Yeo One, Wooseok, Yuto, Shinwon, Yanan -

That’s why Hui must be a good leader. That’s why he needs to stay up late, wake up early, push himself to smile always and urge them forwards. 

He’s grateful for them – for how much they tolerate his clinginess. Hui can’t help it! He loves them. He loves taking their hands and kissing their cheeks and feeling large arms pick him up from behind.

Tone it down the manager warns one day, as Hongseok and Jinho cuddle each other in front of the camera, Yuto and Wooseok taking turns picking up Kino, and watching him scream.

“Why?” E’dawn asks, defensive already – and Hui is thankful for him, always ready to say the ugly things Hui is thinking; he's never afraid to ruin whatever reputation he has. “People like it.”

“Yeah, but you’re a bit too good at it.” The manager teases, and it’s not very funny. Hui doesn’t laugh, nor E’dawn. Shinwon changes the subject, and the cameras turn back on, but Hui still feels something tug in his gut, unsettled and annoyed.

They’ve worked too hard to get here. They’ve got so much more work to do. If they find any kind of comfort in each other, that’s nobody else’s business.

Hui looks down when he feels brave fingers tangle with his own, and E’dawn is looking forward, face neutral; it makes Hui smile.


 

“Kiiiiiino,” Hui sings, late at night, flopping down on his bed and rubbing his cheek against his – “Kiiiiiiiiiiino~”

The frown that was previously there lightens into a sharp giggle; a hand comes up to push at Hui’s forehead. “Hyung.”

“What’s wrong?” Hui asks, wrapping his limbs around Kino. Yanan is watching from across the room, smiling into his hand, and it’s kind of absolutely adorable.

“Nothing,” Kino says, and squirms to accommodate Hui. “I’m fine.”

“I know the schedules are tough~” Hui rubs his cheek against Kino’s round one, “If you need anything-“

Kino laughs, a hand pushing his face away, “It’s okay, hyung.”

“He’s upset over what the manager said,” Yeo One says. He comes out of the bathroom, towel around his waist, and laughs when a pillow is thrown his way.

“Big mouth!”

Hui blinks, smile faltering, as he sits up off Kino. He scoots to give him space, “Am I bothering you?”

“No!” Kino grabs for him, “No. I like us. I like the way we are.”

“Ah,” Hui shifts. “Me too. Don’t change for anyone, Hyunie.”

Kino’s face turns a little pink, so he pushes until Hui is standing up off the bed, “Whatever.”

“What’s so bad about us?” Yanan asks, long legs pulled to his chest.

“Nothing.” Yeo One steals a pair of Yanan’s sweatpants out of his drawer. “The manager is just being a stick in the mud.”

“We have to be careful,” Hui says, unhappy about playing devil’s advocate, but stepping up anyways. “As much as I’d love to French dip Jinho on camera, there’s only so much PDA we can do before someone suspects something.”

There’s a pregnant silence in the room, before Shinwon barks from the hall, “That’s dumb as fuck.”

“Stop eavesdropping!” Yeo One yips back.

“You’re one to talk! This isn’t even your room!”

Hui notices Yanan drawing nervous circles on the fronts of his shins with his nails, so he flops over to his side of the room.

“Let’s focus on music, okay?” Hui says as calmly as he can, brushing the bangs out of his eyes. A large arm wraps around his shoulders, so Hui leans into it. “Don’t look so worried.”

“Does it have to be such a secret?” Yanan aks, low in that gentle voice of his. It makes the weight on Hui’s shoulders so much heavier, makes his gut flip flop with butterflies and guilt.

“We’re not exactly conventional."

Yanan shrugs, “Yeah, I guess.”

Hui stares at his long, pretty fingers, and draws a pentagon in his palm, the notion making Yanan smile. He runs his nails up to the pads of his fingers, finally saying, “All of you are mine. I won’t let anything bad happen.”

“Yours, huh?” Yeo One grins. He bounces his way onto the small bed as well.

“Well duh,” Hui sticks out his tongue. Yeo One snaps his teeth playfully, and Hui sucks his tongue back in with a laugh. Hands reach out, but Hui rolls off the bed, giving Yanan’s fingers one last squeeze before standing up. “Sleep, kiddos.”

Kino rolls his eyes, “We have a bedtime now?”

“It’s almost one in the morning,” Hui flickers the lightswtich by the door, on and off and on and off, “Sleep! Sleep!”

“Alright! Alright!”

“God, hyung-“

“Goodnight,” Yanan says sweetly, so Hui blows him a kiss, and shuts the door. There’s muffled –

“Move over-“

“Changgu! Get out of my bed, your hair is still wet-“

“It’s just damp, you big big baby-“

“Go sleep with Shinwon and his towel girlfriend.” 

“Make me~”

Hui walks away, a weird concoction of affection and grief mixing in his gut.

They’re weird. He knows it. They all know it. They give affection without boundary, hold each other up, jokingly tear each other down, and bite anyone else that comes close.

Hui rubs at his eyes, yawning, resisting the urge to go crawl in bed with E’dawn. He still has work to do – he’ll let the others sleep. They’ve worked for it.

The next morning, Kino wraps an arm around his waist, mumbling a thanks for what you said last night, before sleepily kissing his cheek, and wandering off to eat breakfast.

 


 

Hui doesn’t want them to worry, so when he’s pulled aside by the manager, and torn to shreds, he comes back with a smile.

There’s a lot they need to work on, he knows. Just –

There’s a new manager. Call me J, he says.  He’s young and ambitious, and doesn’t know them too well. He’s nice, Hui guesses, but he’s pitifully hetero, and doesn’t find the skinship cute whatsoever.

“It’s not them,” J-nim says, arms crossed. “It’s you.”

“What?” Hui stares, hands behind his back, posture straight.

“Chill out with the kissing,” J says. “I get it, the girls love it, but you’re borderline uncomfortable.”

“Got it..."

“I care, you know.” J sighs, standing up, getting closer. “I don’t want rumors.”

“Of course,” Hui swallows.  J-nim has a crooked tooth, the only thing unattractive about his face – you know, besides the permanent scowl he wears.

“You’ll make a decent leader,” J says. “One day. Trust me kid.”

His tone doesn’t sit well with Hui, but he respectfully bows, and agrees to cool it with the coddling.

 


 

A large hand slips into his back pocket as cameras flicker and people call orders. Hui looks out of the corner of his eye, smile in place, and sees Wooseok folding around him. Hui leans into him without thinking twice, relaxing just a little, even as Wooseok squeezes his ass. He’s so tall, so handsome at only 20.

But J-nim is standing, frowning, so Hui pulls away, and gives Wooseok a half-smile. He looks put off, for just a second, before sliding back over to Yuto, and wrapping an arm around his waist instead.

J looks happier, so Hui goes back to smiling cutely at the camera.

 


 

Hui

Hui

Hui

Meet me in my office.

Stay later.

Practice harder.

Watch your words.

Tone it down.

Hui.

Meet me in my office.

 


 

“Leeeeeader,” Shinwon slinks an arm around his shoulders, using his full weight to throw Hui off balance. Hui jumps, almost slipping on the kitchen floor that Hongmom just mopped (thanks babe).

“Shinwon!” Hui exhales, clinging onto the counter. “You scared the shit out of me.”

“Ooooh, language,” Shinwon teases, wiggling his arms around Hui’s waist. “Someone’s feisty tonight.”

Hui swallows, the touch around his waist burning, more than anything. J isn’t here, he knows- but he can still feel that glare. That disappointed look.

“I’m just tired,” Hui says, pulling away from Shinwon’s arms; something that used to feel so good.

Shinwon frowns, “Hey. Are they overworking you?”

“We’re idols. They’re supposed to,” Hui offers a smile, going back to the fridge for that can of pears he was sure is still in there. Unless Wooseok is a little liar, and ate them anyways. Brat.

“You should come sleep with us tonight,” Shinwon says. He tries once more to hug Hui from behind. He rests his chin on his shoulder easily, breath warm against his ear, “Hongseok misses cuddling with you.”

Hui misses it too. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? When was the last time he came home before midnight?

No, it’s fine.

Work hard so your team doesn’t have to.

Hui turns, lightly pressing a kiss to Shinwon’s cheek, before pulling away again, “I’m taking a shower. Go to bed, we have a long day tomorrow.”

Shinwon shifts on his feet, rubbing behind his head, “Okay.”

 


 

“Hui,” J starts, that unamused look on his face. “The MCountdown performance.”

“We always do it,” Hui defends himself. He tries to offer a smile as a peace offering. “It’s part of the choreography.”

“To grind on each other like that?” J raises an eyebrow, “It’s gross.”

“But-“

“It’s stupid.” J says, curt, and rough.

Hui grinds his teeth, “Kino choreographed it.”

J stands up, “But you’re not – you don’t have the,” he waves his hand around, “sex appeal, I guess. You know what I’m saying.”

Hui feels gross, too full of emotions that he’s not fond of. Annoyance, insecurity. Guilt, anger.  He swallows, “No…I don’t.”

“It’s your nose…” J smiles, “I mean, your whole face. Body, I mean. It just doesn’t work for the concept. Leave the skinship to the visuals, please.”

It feels a little bit like a kick to the face. Hui never- he knows he’s not beautiful, like Yanan, or stunningly handsome like Yeo One and Yuto, but-

He loves his boys. That's all he's ever done.

“I-“

“You’re doing good, Hui.” J leans closer, over the desk, “Listening to what I say. I promise it’ll pay off. You’ll gain fans by the thousands, Leader.”

Hui stands up a little straighter, “Then can’t I talk more? Why can’t I have fun with my members?”

“It’s better this way,” J pats him, with a smile. “Go get some rest, kid. I want progress on those two new songs by Wednesday.”

“Yes sir,” Hui agrees, soul, body, heart – tired.

 


 

“I’m so happy!” Jinho beams, rocking back on his heels. “Manager-nim had so many nice things to say today.”

Hui chews on his bottom lip, hands gripping his toes as he stretches, the windows already dark. The artificial lights clicked on a long time ago, heating the room just slightly.

“This next comeback is gonna’ be rad.” Kino grins, fist bumping Wooseok.

Shinwon woops, from where he’s being carried piggy-back style on Yuto’s back, “Hell yeah. Hard work, team spirit, wop wop yada yada.”

“We should go get ice cream.”

“Diets, dude.”

“Ahh, but I haven’t had ice cream in forever,” Yanan sighs.

“I’ll help pay,” Hongseok offers.

“Me too!”

“Same!”

“Leader?”

Hui looks up, and sees E’dawn staring, eyebrow raised. He extends a hand, “Are you coming?”

Hui stares just a moment too long, at how pretty E’dawn looks, hair sticking to his forehead with sweat, tattoos showing where his sleeves are rolled. Hui accepts his hand with a smile, standing up, “Ah, I have to stay a little longer.”

“Whaaat?” Yeo One pouts, “You stay late every night.”

“Leader perks~” Hui sings. He notices, heartbeat quickening, that E’dawn hasn’t let go of his hand. He looks to their fingers – then to E’dawns very, very unamused face.

“Come with us,” E’dawn demands, more than asks.

Hui pulls his hand away, the warmth leaving with it. He smiles, “Eat one for me.”

There’s a silence in the studio.

“I’m sure J-nim will let you go,” Yuto frowns. “I’ll go ask him right now-“

“No, no.” Hui gives another bright smile, “It’s fine. Please, enjoy yourself.”

Jinho frowns, but gives him a goodbye hug, arms wrapping around him with a surprising amount of strength. “Don’t stay too late. You worry me.”

Hui laughs, the hug so much more comforting than it should be. J isn’t here – but he can feel it. Feels some kind of guilt attached to it – to looking across his boys, his. boys. and wanting nothing more than to flop on top of them and get carried away, in soft kisses and hand holding.

But J might be onto something.

He pulls away before Jinho can kiss him, because if he does, Hui will surely lose.

For the team. For them, he’ll endure. He’ll skip meals, sleep less, stay late and practice, because if his face isn’t enough, he’ll become better. Enough to deserve being the leader of this team.

He misses E’dawn’s eyes, narrowed, and full of heat.

 


 

So, here’s the deal about Hui. Here’s the scoop. The rundown.

E’dawn doesn’t play fucking games when it comes to Hui, because Hui is the sun, the moon, the stars, the only good thing left on his god forsaken hell hole of a planet, you know, besides the other members of Pentagon.

But that’s besides the point.

Hui means so, so much to E’dawn. To every member, but especially to E’dawn. He’s everything E’dawn isn’t – stunning voice, gorgeous visuals, a personality that envelopes you. Hui makes you feel like the most important person in the world, and he’s saved E’dawn’s life more times than he can count.

If anything, anything, were to happen to Hui, E’dawn would kill everyone in the room, and then himself. There would be hell to pay. Hell.

That’s why E’dawn stands here, arms crossed, nine/tenths of Pentagon sitting around in their living room.

“Alright,” E’dawn says, “I think you all know why I called this emergency meeting.”

“I literally can’t sleep,” Hongseok sniffs, Jinho in his lap. “He came home at three last night. Three!

“Hui-ah stays late just to practice?”

“I think he’s writing songs, too.”

“We tried dragging him home last week,” Yuto mumbles. “I picked him up, but-“

“He flinched, like Yuto was going to hurt him.” Wooseok frowns, eyes shimmery.

E’dawn swallows down the emotion in his throat- something Shinwon doesn’t bother doing –

“I swear to god, if one of you-“

“Nobody did anything,” E’dawn interrupts. “I think he’s doing it to himself.”

“I don’t know…” Yanan sighs, “It just…it’s not like him. He – he loves spending time with us. He refused to sleep in his own bed for months.”

Jinho quotes with a sad smile, “Why sleep alone when I have you?”

It’s silent. There’s nine of them here, gathered on the floor, on the couch, but… it’s just not right. Not without Hui. Their Hui.

“So, what’s the plan?”   

 


 

It’s a long day,  too busy to feel homesick; long practices, streams, promotional videos – they’re about to film for a new MV, which is a whole new level of production.

E’dawn keeps a steady eye on Hui. He directs them so confidently, but his smile; it’s fake. Fake. It’s never fake, ever.

“Save some ramen for me!” Hui beams, when the clock strikes ten.

“We will,” Jinho nods.

Yanan offers a hug, and Hui returns it half-heartedly, before slinking away. J-nim appears in the doorway.

“Boys! You’re still here.”

“Just headed out.” Kino shakes his hand.

“Get going,” J winks. “Get some sleep. Eat good food.”

“Hongseok is cooking~” Shinwon coos. “It’ll definitely be delicious.”

“Better than Wooseok’s sloshy ramen.”

“Hey, at least I tried.

Their goodbyes are shortlived, and very much pretend, because when the door shuts, they pause, all eyeing each other.

“All right,” Kino whispers. “We all know where we’re hiding?”

“Yep-“

“Hallway.”

“I’ve got the back door.”

Some of the lights go off in the building, a sign that most of the Noonas and directors are leaving.

They put their hands in, like a football team before a game, whispering a soft go! before sneaking back inside the building.

 


 

E’dawn sits outside the studio door for an hour, waiting for anything interesting – but there’s nothing. Only their title track, played again and again, as Hui dances over and over.

E’dawn doesn’t understand. His form is perfect; everything about Hui is perfect. Vocals, footsteps. Even his facial expressions are practiced, as he knows exactly where the cameras will be.

There’s a muffled, “Again,” of which E’dawn assumes is their manager. Which doesn't make much sense? Their manager isnt a choreographer. 

Yuto, Shinwon and Wooseok are down the hall, sitting in the dark, waiting for any movement –

“-nough. Come with me-“

E’dawn panics, scrambling away from the door, and down the left hall. The studio door flies open; J-nim is there, with an exhausted Hui in tow. It makes E’dawn’s heartstrings pull, low, deep into his gut. The three giants down the hall move out of the way, unseen in the darkness, as they round the corner, and into the manager’s office. Cube is so eerie without the lights and the loud chitter chatter.

E’dawn stealthily follows behind them.  He sees Yanan asleep on the floor, with Kino crouched next to him. E’dawn waves, motioning that he’s following Hui, and Kino nods.

The door is slightly open, so E’dawn is able to hear. Carefully, he gazes through the crack.

“-still sloppy.”

“I’m sorry,” Hui rubs his eyes. His voice is gravelly and exhausted. “I don’t know what else to do.”

“More practice,” J-nim scowls. “You’ve been slacking off. I saw you go home early the other night.”

“I didn’t!” Hui defends, “I stayed, like you said. I re-recorded the entire track.”

“You’re getting defensive.”

Hui shrinks, “Sorry.”  

The room is silent. E’dawn watches, dread making his heart heavy. He’s not stupid. Slowly, everything over the past few months begins to make sense.

“Don’t you want to be good enough? To stand up with your team?”

“Of course, J-nim.”

“Right now….” J laughs, “…right now you’re a joke. You know that, right? Leaders have pretty faces, Hui.”

Silence, before –

“There’s…there’s nothing I can do about my face.”

“Right. So what are you? A better singer than Jinho? Do you dance better than Kino? Taller than Wooseok? Pretty like Yanan?”

Hui’s voice cracks, “Please-“

“You’re a worthless leader. What kind of f-“

 

E’dawn kicks open the door, the back doorknob hitting the wall with a resounding smack. There’s footsteps down the hall, yelling –

Hui’s face is the definition of shock, tired eyes swollen wide, mouth hanging open, as their manager stands behind his desk.

There’s talking, but it falls on deaf ears. E’dawn rounds the desk, squares his fist, and punches J-nim right in the jaw.

There’s yelling now. Loud, calls of his name.

“Hyojong! Hy-“

E’dawn pulls back his fist, and punches him again. Again. Again. His knuckles pop. 

“Stop! Stop!”

It’s not coming from Hui. Hui is frozen, wordless.

It’s Yuto and Wooseok who grab him, pulling E’dawn off J’s body; but E’dawn isn’t done. He kicks, screams, throws his arms and almost smacks Yuto in the face.

“Calm down!” Yuto tells him, deep and rumbly. “Please-“

E’dawn screams, loud enough to shatter glass- “You heard him! You heard!”

“You’re fucked!” J spits, rubbing the blood off his jaw. “I could ruin your career, you rat.

“No,” Jinho holds up his phone, “you’re fucked. Sir.”

 


 

Hui doesn’t know what to do.

The car ride is….it’s…

They forced E’dawn into a different car, Wooseok and Yuto there to hold him. But here, Yanan, Kino, Jinho,  Yeo One – they’re all staring at him, like some kind of broken dog in a shelter.

Hui doesn’t say a thing, mostly because he’s not quite sure what to say.

“Hyung.”

He doesn’t answer.


 

For whatever reason, Hui thought maybe the car ride would be enough to calm E’dawn down, but when he tries to sneak into his bedroom, he finds he was very much wrong.

“You get back here!”

“Leave him alone, hyung-“

“No!” E’dawn scowls, “Get back here-“

Hui pauses in the hallway, nine sets of eyes on him. He looks to the floor, the ceiling, remembers how to smile, and offers a broken one, “Please Hyojong. Don’t be mad at me.”

E’dawn stares, wide eyed, before he sags in Yuto’s arms, all the fire burning out of him, like a blown out candle. Frustrated, he bites, “I’m not mad at you. I’m mad at everyone but you.” He pauses, “But I’m also kind of mad at you. Why didn’t you tell us?

“I thought I was doing what was best for the team,” Hui says. His throat is dry. He hides his hands in his pockets. 

"Leaving us alone? Don't you know how lonely it is without you?"

“It’s not Hui’s fault.” Hongseok says.  “I can’t believe he said such mean things to you.”

Hui shrugs, still not quite sure what to say.

“I’m so mad,” Shinwon huffs from the couch. “As if you're not already the best leader in the world."

“Hui,” Hongseok offers. “What are you thinking?”

"Wasn't he right?" Hui asks. "In the slightes-"

"No." He's cut off.  

"Never, hyung. You hear me? Never."

“Is this okay?” Hui blurts. “Are we okay? Am I okay? What’s, what’s-”

It doesn’t make sense, but when Hui starts to cry, it’s Yanan that’s there in one easy stride, picking him up for a hug that he hasn’t received in weeks. 

 


 

Dogs. They’re like dogs.

Cuddly and cute, a variety of sizes. Small, big – they give kisses, cuddle into your side, lay on your lap, sleep on your legs.

They’re very much like dogs. Hurt what’s close to them, and they will eat you.

That’s why J is fired the next day, when Jinho stalks up to the company board with his phone in hand, Yuto and Wooseok behind him for intimidation purposes.

“Do you think you’re ugly, hyung?” Yeo One asks, from where he’s wrapped around Hui like a noodle.

“I don’t know,” he honestly answers.

Wooseok and Shinwon are taking up the majority of the couch, long limbs looking more attractive than awkward. It’s always captivating, the way they’re all so familiar with each other.

“You’re not." Wooseok's deep voice shakes Hui out of his thoughts. “J was an idiot.”

“Fucker,” Shinwon curses. “I’m so jealous of E’dawn.  I wanted to punch the shit out of him too.”

Hands come down from behind the loveseat, carding through Hui's hair, long nails belonging to none other than Yanan. Hui sags, head flopping back on Yeo One’s shoulder, letting the nails run down his scalp, “Hyung, you’re really pretty.”

“Ah, you flatter me,” Hui teases. “I know there was partial truth. I don’t – exactly look like a leader. Or act like one. Forgive me.”

The fingers that were previously in his hair, pull back to smack his forehead lightly, “Wrong answer!”

 Yeo One scoffs, “Who else would be leader? Me? E’dawn? E’dawn is all good and fine, but he’d go around punching anyone that touched us.”

“Shinwon would help him, too.”

“Hell yeah I would.”

Hui starts to laugh, squirming a little bit in Yeo One’s arms. It’s nice. Really nice, to not be afraid  of what others will think. To just...roll in the hands and the words, and think mine mine mine, my babies, mine.

Jinho comes pattering from down the hall, and uses his running start to jump on Wooseok and Shinwon.

"Ngh!-"

“Ow! Hyung!”

“My Hui senses were tingling,” Jinho calls, climbing Wooseok way too well.

“Untrue, you were listening down the hall.”

Hui laughs harder, and it’s a relief, really.

Yanan leans down, using his height to press his mouth to Hui’s ear from behind, whispering, “Hyung, you’re beautiful,” before pulling away. Hui feels his face run red, the warmth seeping down his chest. Yeo One laughs – so Hui hides his face in his shoulder, and laughs it off.

 


 

Hui

Hui

Hui

You’re our favorite.

 


 

Hui crawls in bed before eleven, and it feels like a miracle. They’re in the works of looking for a new manager – there’s a mess reorganizing the music video filming – they have new choreography to learn – but right now, it’s of no concern to Hui. Time is passing, and already Hui feels much better than he did before.

He’s really a sunflower, growing only in the light of his suns. They're too good to him. He's quite undeserving. 

The covers are pulled back abruptly, a smaller, colder body climbing into his sheets. Hui jumps, squinting in the darkness to see E’dawn shuffling in with a pout.

“Dawnie.”

“I missed you,” E’dawn says, scooching closer, until they’re sharing a pillow. He smells good, newly showered, probably with Yuto, because he smells like Yuto’s shampoo.

“You smell good,” Hui hums. An arm is thrown over his waist, nudging until they’re much closer, legs tangling. E’dawn isn’t wearing pants, just a long shirt and boxers, but what else is new.

“Yuto called dibs on you tomorrow night,” E’dawn says.

“Where is he now?”

“Hongseok and Kino passed out on the couch, so he’s probably putting them to bed.”

“Good boy,” Hui whispers.

“Hm."

Then, there’s silence.The hand swells down to his hip. It rubs, slowly, in circles, lulling Hui into a moment of peace. His fingers are deft, feeling around his hipbone, pushing up his shirt, and repeating again. He draws lines with his nails, little hearts.  “I’m sorry,” E’dawn whispers.

“What?”

“A couple weeks ago. When, when everything went down.” E’dawn swallows. “I didn’t handle it right. None of us did.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t stand up for myself,” Hui sighs.

“You were only thinking of us.”

“All I think of is you.”

E’dawn’s breath hitches, and the hand runs down to his thigh. It rubs, fingers digging in, and Hui softly exhales. Lips find his in the darkness. It’s a proper kiss – where E’dawn leans up on his elbows, and moves his lips in a way that’s practiced and warm. Hui makes a short noise, but brings his hand into E’dawn’s hair, and pulls. It's tingly and electric and everything Hui remembers about kissing E'dawn. 

Lips slip together like they’re meant to be, and Hui lets go. That conditioned feeling, the gross guilt that J planted in him, slips away through time, and through kisses.

It goes on forever; a push and pull, tongue and noises. Hui melts into the mattress, and E’dawn melts into him.

They pull apart sleepily. Hui slinks closer, resting his nose into the crevice of E’dawn’s neck, feeling where others had left soft bites. He falls asleep, finally, before midnight.

Ten or nothing. That’s what they’ve always been.

It’s better together, Hui decides. He’ll work hard, so they can all work hard. He’ll pull ahead, so they can follow. He’ll be the best leader, because he loves them. With every fiber of his being.

It’s Pentagon thing. You wouldn’t understand.