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maddened to the marrow, smitten to the spleen

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It was a regular holiday- in the sense of a day off, not a special occasion- or so Baekhyun thought. In reality, it was both. But he didn’t realise until the afternoon, when he surfaced from the videogame that had kept him occupied since morning to finally notice Chanyeol running around like a headless chicken. “What’s up with him?” he asked Junmyeon, who for some reason had paint stretching his lips into the Joker’s smile over a powdered face.

Without looking up from his phone, Junmyeon replied, “His costume isn’t here yet.”

“Huh?” Baekhyun said intelligently.

“It’s Halloween,” said Junmyeon, pinching the bridge of his nose between gloved fingers as he screwed his eyes shut. Wasn’t it too early for him to be done with Baekhyun? “How do you not know it’s Halloween?”

“I don’t know, maybe because the world acts like it’s fucking Halloween every fucking day of the month!”

“All right, don’t swear,” said Junmyeon.

“So how come you’re the Joker?” said Baekhyun, swinging around in his swivel chair. “Joker, Junmyeon, is it your names?”

“Aren’t you going to get ready?”

“I’m too old to go trick or treating,” said Baekhyun, doing another revolution in the swivel chair, before stopping abruptly, mouth agape. “The party!” He cried as though a thunderbolt had struck him from above, getting the electric signals in his brain to finally make connections.

“Yes, the party,” said Joonmyun. “Are you planning to stay home to comfort Chanyeol?”

“Um, no?” Baekhyun pulled his knees up in the chair as it turned. “Are you shitting me? I’ve had my costume ready since the beginning of the fucking month and it’s gonna wipe the floor with everyone else’s.”

“Okay, stop, you’re making me dizzy.”

“Maybe you were scrolling too long.”

Junmyeon went off to fix his bowtie. After a couple more rounds in the swivel chair, holding his elbows out and then his arms, and one round standing in it, Baekhyun decided he should probably start getting ready if he wanted to make it in time. His costume wasn’t simple to put on. It’d be quite the process. In fact, he couldn’t do it alone, he needed someone to help him.

Baekhyun wandered off to check out what the other EXO members were wearing, and see if anyone was staying home and willing to help him. Chanyeol was skipping, but Chanyeol was also the sourest overlarge grape in all the casefiles of sour grapes. Finally, Baekhyun enlisted the help of Kyungsoo, who was also skipping, and Jongin, who’d finished getting ready.

The makeup noonas did up his face first. Jongin scrunched a face when they put his contacts in. “Creepy?” said Baekhyun. Kyungsoo was owlishly unfazed.

“I don’t know if it turns me on,” groused Jongin. Kyungsoo rolled his eyes.

Baekhyun waggled his tongue. “You’re only like this cause my blood’s all gone after mummification, Mr. Dracula.”

“I bet I could still get some blood circulating to your dick,” said Jongin, voice dipping, his tongue flicking out to lick at the tip of one of his fangs.

“I’ll leave you to it,” Kyungsoo said in a long-suffering manner, and he left them to it. Except Baekhyun’s crotch had already been bandaged around by the stylists, and they were working their way up to do his torso as well. This was unfortunately no time to take Jongin up on his challenge, and the frustration was all the more acute because Jongin made such a sexy, delectable Dracula.

Jongin ambled over to stand behind him, their reflections meeting gazes in the mirror. Without warning, he bent to nuzzle into Baekhyun’s shoulder, nipping at his neck. Baekhyun nearly yelped. The stylist halted, arms full of paper rolls, then got over herself and continued.

“What the fuck?” Baekhyun whispered. “My dick doesn’t have room to stand in this costume, Nini! Be a little considerate ya fucker.”

“I can’t help it.” Jongin bared his fangs in a devilish grin. “I’m teething.” He bit down on Baekhyun’s clavicle, soothing over it with his tongue after. His hooded gaze raised to watch Baekhyun’s reflection, hungrily mapping the rising flush on Baekhyun’s face. The stylist asked Baekhyun to raise his arms a little, and kept doing her job with stuttering hands.

Baekhyun felt like all the blood from his mummified parts was flooding to his face, neck and ears. “Cut it off,” he said sharply. “After the party you can suck me dry.” When Jongin showed no signs of flagging in his efforts, Baekhyun added, “Disobey me now and for a week you’re not getting any. Not from me.”

Jongin drew back at that. Baekhyun chuckled at his look of shock in the mirror, breaking into a full laugh when Jongin whined. “You said it yourself, I don’t turn you on like this.” Softly, meaningfully, he cupped Jongin’s face and murmured in his ear. “You can unwrap me later. I’ll be the perfect present. All yours, all to please you.”

Jongin wet his lips, taking a shaky breath.

“Um, Baekhyun?”

“Yeah?” Baekhyun turned to the stylist, who continued in a small voice, “I have to start on your arms now.”

Jongin behaved himself after that, and the stylist was able to finish without having a breakdown. Baekhyun waited until his head was swathed and she stepped back before turning to Jongin and grinning, “That’s a wrap.” Jongin scoffed fondly, only widening Baekhyun’s grin.

'ㅅ'

“Hey there Alice, how’s wonderland so far?”

“Oh, hey, Donghae.” Baekhyun sipped his drink. Jongin waved. “What are you supposed to be?”

“Washio from Crows Zero.”

“I don’t know what the hell that is.”

Donghae shrugs. “What kind of mummy wears lights?”

“The PUBG mummy?” Baekhyun says with a tone like, isn’t it obvious?

“So you’re dressed as some obscure fannish character too,” Donghae nods. “Cool. I won’t call you out on your hypocrisy.”

“Bruh. Everyone knows PUBG, literally everyone plays it.”

“Whatever.”

Jongin ambled over, evidently done with the event photos everyone had to pose for. Baekhyun had been ogling him not-so-discreetly the whole while until Donghae claimed his attention.

“Babe.” Baekhyun smirked. “Dracula never looked so fine.”

Jongin scoffed, too loudly. Baekhyun cursed the dim lighting. He wanted to see Jongin’s gorgeous blush.

“See any costumes to rival mine?”

“I don’t know, hyung,” said Jongin evasively. “Everyone’s wondering who the Groot is.”

“Do you think they’ll start bets by the end of the night?”

“Taeyeon came as Annabelle,” said Donghae suddenly.

“Right,” said Baekhyun. “I’m still fucking iconic.”

“Right,” said Donghae, “so now… will you be haunted by your breakup?” He guffawed loudly while Baekhyun deadpanned at him.

“You tried,” Baekhyun patted Donghae, who was hailed over to the other side of the room by Shindong in some hippie-looking getup. Baekhyun turned to Jongin, who was scrolling through his phone. Baekhyun took advantage of Jongin’s inattention to take an impromptu selfie- or in this case, a ‘couplie’ as Baekhyun liked to call it, much to Jongin’s chagrin.

“Hey, want to watch the kids have their shoots?” said Baekhyun after stowing his phone away safely, satisfied.

“Uh, sure,” said Jongin, putting his phone away too. Sometimes they sexted while next to each other in the same room. Baekhyun was glad this wasn’t one of those times. He wasn’t dressed for such an occasion.

Some of the NCT kids were up for their shoots next. Jaehyun and Jungwoo as Jack and Rose respectively, made Baekhyun giggle when they took the Titanic pose. Eyebrowless Ten looked just a little unnerving as Mona Lisa. BoA, in a leopard-print jumpsuit, posed with her paws curled. That made Baekhyun wish he was on the kind of terms with her that permitted him to go up to her and say, “Hey, pussycat, want some cream?” but he knew he’d never not bow every time he greeted her.

“You should cross-dress next time, hyung,” said Jongin.

“No way. It was bad enough doing it for that fanservice selfie. And the CBX VCR.”

“You like doing it though. Or you wouldn’t do it so often.” At Baekhyun’s questioning glance, Jongin stooped closer and said, “I’ve seen the pictures. That time you crossdressed predebut.”

“O-oh.” Jongin’s hand had moved from the small of his back to his ass, and it was unfair how Baekhyun was feeling it even through the stiff bandaging.

“You had your collar uneven, you know,” Jongin continued, voice lowered, roughened, “so that it exposed one shoulder. One complete, pristine collarbone… begging to be marked.” Since the only parts of Baekhyun that were both unbandaged and without heavy makeup were his ears, Jongin nipped the tip of one with a low growl. “You wore such tiny shorts, too. Your legs are great, hyung.” Jongin gasped into Baekhyun’s ear, a tingling, maddening breath that curled Baekhyun’s fingers and toes. “Your thighs especially. Cross-dress for me.”

Baekhyun’s resolve broke. “J-just for you… privately,” he choked out, and Jongin hummed approvingly, licking into the shell of his ear. Baekhyun didn’t think he could get hard under all the mummification, but he just did, and it was unbearable, a tight squeeze that made any sort of relief impossible. It was not unlike the times he had to endure a bound cock for Jongin. (He enjoyed those times too, but still.)

“Fuck.” Baekhyun grabbed Jongin’s wrist. “Let’s go.” Jongin quirked a dark, perfect eyebrow. “I want to fuck you,” Baekhyun bit out impatiently, “C’mon.”

And that’s how the paparazzi captured them leaving together.

'ㅅ'

Jongin unlocked the door. Baekhyun stepped in after him and, before he could find the switch, called, “Hey, Jongin.”

“Yeah?” Jongin turned back.

Baekhyun said, “You turn me on,” and switched on the lights of his costume. Jongin began laughing, reluctantly, helplessly. The sound brought the stylist out, who turned on the other lights, making them blink.

She’d napped while they partied. She was now on standby to get him out of his costume, but he didn’t want her to start unwrapping him only to be faced with the bulge in his pants. So he allowed her to remove his makeup and the bandaging on his head and arms before telling her to go home early and leave the rest to him. The moment the door closed behind her, Jongin pounced, taking huge rips off his costume, and Baekhyun couldn’t say he minded, he was just as impatient. He’d wanted to jump Jongin as soon as he was able to move freely.

The moment he was divested of the last of the paper, he was in Jongin’s arms, exhilaration fluttering through his bones. Butterflies felt like this, he supposed, when they tore through their cocoons, when they fluttered for the first time, fluttered into the lap of a flower. Baekhyun wanted to tell Jongin how hot he was with his hair slicked back like that, how the tips of his canines prodding his plush lower lip made him want to have his own lips pulled by those teeth every time they broke a kiss. Baekhyun wanted to tell him that sometimes he burned up for him, but other times he longed and longed, to be tucked under Jongin’s chin, to be tangled with him, all tired limbs and tousled heads; he longed to just be held and that was an ache that didn’t go away even in the sweat-soaked, cum-cloaked highs.

Baekhyun wanted to tell him, but he had to use his mouth for other things; he couldn’t stop kissing him, the drag of Jongin’s teeth against his lips as addictive as he’d imagined. They undressed each other, and too often Baekhyun couldn’t help but pause, shirt lifted halfway up a torso or belt unbuckled waiting to be slithered out; pause for another kiss, break for breath to continue.

Jongin nuzzled into his neck before biting. There, then at his pulse point, then the juncture of his shoulder, then around his adam’s apple. Colours swirled in Baekhyun’s mind, passionate reds and hazy whites. He shuddered, held onto Jongin for dear life, even though he was lying on the bed and there was nowhere for him to fall. He flipped them over and rested his cheek against Jongin’s bare chest for a few minutes, just listening to the beat of his heart, listening to how it kindled inside his own chest, while Jongin thumbed his tailbone, rubbing circles, pressing, tracing. Jongin shifted slightly under him, gripping his shoulders to keep him in place, and now he was tucked under Jongin’s chin, tucked in his arms with his heartbeat.

“Hey. I want to be fucked,” said Jongin eventually, his voice rumbling up into Baekhyun’s body from the hum in his chest. His thumb, pressing restless patterns into Baekhyun’s tailbone. Baekhyun sat up. He’d wanted to fuck Jongin too, before stronger currents carried him away.

When Baekhyun finally thrusted into him, he gripped Jongin’s hip with one hand, hipbone in palm like ball-and-socket, and the other hand he flattened on Jongin’s chest, caressed Jongin’s neck, held Jongin’s wrist, brushed hair from his temple and stilled his fingers there, not to part from his pulse. Jongin groaned, and Baekhyun wanted to flop on top of him, have his voice vibrate through his being. Baekhyun pulled out, closed his palm over the head of Jongin’s cock, ball-in-socket. When Jongin was close, Baekhyun aligned their bodies perfectly, hip-to-hip, and shuddered with him, the rattle of bones in a furnace.

'ㅅ'

Later, they cleaned up and cuddled, slotted together, Baekhyun the little spoon. After an eternity of warmth and contentment, Baekhyun said, “Jongin?” When Jongin hummed in response, Baekhyun thrummed with him, and wished they could stay like this forever.

“Do you think… what do you think about us dating?”

Jongin went rigid. Baekhyun assumed the worst until Jongin started running his hands up and down Baekhyun’s arms, mellowing him. And then he spoke. “I wouldn’t want you to like anyone else. If I’m with someone… I want it to be just the two of us.”

Baekhyun said, his voice smaller, “I could be for you. Just you.”

“But that’s not how you love, Baek,” said Jongin, surprise evident in his voice.

“I could… I could try.”

“No.” Baekhyun held back from flinching. “No, Baek,” Jongin repeated, softer, “that’s not a compromise you should make. For anyone . Okay?”

He was right. Baekhyun knew he was right. But- but still. “I love you so fucking much,” he choked out, “what does it matter if I like others?”

Jongin bristled, putting distance between them. It was just a finger’s width, but Baekhyun panicked. “It matters to me,” Jongin said quietly.

“Yeah I know, I don’t know why I said that, I’m sorry,” babbled Baekhyun, and Jongin was holding him again thank god, rubbing his arms and murmuring shhhhh, it’s okay, murmuring it into his hair. Baekhyun soaked it in until he stopped trembling.

Jongin murmured, “Look at me. Are you okay?”

Baekhyun turned over and nodded before nuzzling into his chest and trying not to cry at Jongin’s warmth, at Jongin’s heartbeat, at just Jongin , all of Jongin.

“Look here,” Jongin cupped his face, and Baekhyun tilted his head, met his eyes. “Don’t, Baekhyun, okay? It would ruin everything.”

“Okay,” whispered Baekhyun. When Jongin still looked worried, he pulled his cheeks into a fragile smile. It was enough. Jongin relaxed and held him closer.

'ㅅ'

“Seriously?” said Baekhyun indignantly. “I didn’t place at all?”

“Okay, Voldemort was pretty cool, Key deserved it,” said Chanyeol, stroking his chin.

“You weren’t even there.”

“And I got impressed just by the pictures. So.” Chanyeol threw his hands up like that settled it.

“And Groot deserved it,” said Jongin, eyes twinkling. “Everyone was talking about her the whole time.”

“Agreed,” said Baekhyun, “but Mask?! He looked like he was just wearing a SHINee stage outfit without washing off his skincare routine.”

“Oh em gee, I’m gonna tell Key,” teased Jongin, rolling out of the way when Baekhyun tossed a cushion at his side of the couch.

“Why didn’t I winnnnn,” whined Baekhyun.

Jongin picked up the cushion, hugged it and said, “Cause you’re too daddy to be a mummy.” Junmyeon choked, and coughed to cover it.

“Shut up,” laughed Baekhyun. He didn’t regret his costume though. They’d found plenty of uses for it even after ripping it. Baekhyun bound Jongin’s wrists to the bed’s headboard once, and it was worked great, not leaving marks or chafing him. Jongin still liked his handcuffs, but Baekhyun didn’t like to hurt him, so they’d be using mummy paper more often.

Jongin wanted to try binding Baekhyun’s cock with it next time. Jongin had a thing for denying Baekhyun an orgasm until he was a begging, half-delirious wreck. And Baekhyun loved it. Almost as much as he loved crawling into Jongin’s lap and snuggling up to him, as he did now. “Hold me like a pillow, make me feel right,” sang Baekhyun into Jongin’s ear. Jongin blushed, and obediently replaced the couch cushion in his embrace with Baekhyun. Backhugged, blissful Baekhyun, with the ache that didn’t leave his bones.