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dear sunflower

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In the five years they’ve known each other, maybe six at this point, there is only one thing that Wooseok is certain about: he is a sunflower and Cho Seungyoun is the sun.

Seungyoun burns bright, smiles blindingly, and is so beautiful that he makes Wooseok’s heart ache sometimes, even if Wooseok will never admit it. 

But right now? 

Wooseok cannot fucking stand him.

wooshin
dude
dude
dude
im gonna fucking murder him

baby sun
bro what
who
oh seungyoun

wooshin
hes so…
i kno hes going thru a tough breakup but???
ive never wanted to strangle someone more

baby sun
i find that hard to believe
arent u into breathplay??

wooshin
ok u kno what fuck u

Wooseok turns his head and looks over to where Seungyoun is curled up on the other end of the couch, sniffling pathetically and getting snot all over Wooseok’s favorite blanket.

wooshin
all hes done the past four days is cry 24/7
and mope around the apartment uselessly
I ALSO DONT THINK HES SHOWERED
OR CHANGED OUT OF THE SAME PAIR
OF PAJAMAS SINCE THE BREAKUP???

baby sun
cut him some slack
that breakup was…
really terrible for both parties

That reminds Wooseok he should probably go and visit Seungwoo at some point, see how he’s holding up. Naturally, everyone in their friend group has taken sides, even little Dongpyo and (not-so) little Dohyon. But the thing is: there’s no one they can really antagonize for the breakup, because both Seungwoo and Seungyoun have clammed up about the reasons why they broke up, telling nobody the details of their anniversary night. (They don’t even know who broke up with who; although, Wooseok has an inkling it was Seungwoo who broke up with Seungyoun.)

All Wooseok knows for certain is that Seungyoun came back to their apartment two hours after midnight; his eyes were puffy from crying and his lips were kiss-swollen and Wooseok felt guilty because the only thing he could think about was how terribly pretty Seungyoun looked—tears pooling above his waterline, cheeks blotchy-red, and a cut on his bottom lip from god knows what.

(Wooseok knows what.)

Seungyoun came home that night, neck bruised, littered with lovebites, and Wooseok kept trying not to think about how Seungwoo must have pressed his tongue flat to Seungyoun’s pulse point, how he must have closed his lips around Seungyoun’s Adam’s apple, how he must have made Seungyoun’s breath stutter and catch in his throat. Maybe it was a goodbye.

(Wooseok doesn’t think about that.)

Wooseok kept trying not to think about what it must be like to press a blooming, sticky kiss to Seungyoun’s collarbones, to imprint a tattoo onto Seungyoun’s skin in the shape of his mouth, to make his eyes flutter shut and make his lips part and make him ache because Seungyoun makes Wooseok ache all the time.

Decalcomania, butterflies, and sunflowers.

(Wooseok definitely doesn't think about that.)

baby sun
cook him some food or something
that always makes ppl feel better

wooshin
u dont think ive tried???
i cooked him ramen an hour ago and all he did
was stare at his bowl until it got cold and then
when i told him to stop being a baby he started
crying into the broth and i had to throw it away

baby sun
YOU TOLD HIM TO STOP BEING A BABY
WOOSEOK YOU CANT JUST DO THAT

wooshin
i do what i want

Again, Wooseok glances over at Seungyoun. He squints his eyes and sees that Seungyoun has only started to sob even harder into Wooseok’s blanket. You know, Wooseok thinks, scrunching his nose, maybe I should just let him keep that blanket. Sorry mom.

wooshin
but like, what am i even supposed to do
he wont even tell me why they broke up
or what i can do to help
has seungwoo said anything to anyone?

Wooseok wonders if Seungwoo is hurting just as much as Seungyoun is, wonders if Seungwoo feels sorry for putting out his fire, for ripping off his wings, for causing his flowers to wilt and crumpling up the petals in his hand. He wonders if Seungyoun did the same to him.

baby sun
radio silence
i think he’s holding up a little better tho?
not great, but def better than seungyoun
idk wooseok
no one was expecting them to break up

As far as everyone thought, the two of them were fine. Hell, in all of the years Wooseok has known Seungyoun, he doesn’t think he’s ever seen him happier than he was with Seungwoo. Wooseok thinks about his favorite smile of Seungyoun’s, the smile that makes Wooseok feel like he’s an astronaut out in space, like his oxygen tank is depleted yet he’s still reckless enough to try and touch the sun with his bare fingertips, yeah, that smile. So many of those smiles were caused by Seungwoo these past two years.

Which is why none of it makes sense, none of it. The sudden breakup on the night of their second anniversary and the fact that both parties refuse to open up about what happened. Nothing about this makes sense to Wooseok.

wooshin
yeah

Wooseok doesn’t know what else to say, so he puts down his phone and walks over to the other side of the couch.

“Seungyounie.”

His puffy eyes peek out from where they’ve been hiding underneath the blanket. Wooseok looks at Seungyoun’s hands and sees that he’s practically white-knuckling his phone. Wooseok looks even closer and sees that he’s been staring at a selca of him and Seungwoo. Wooseok feels his eye twitch at the pathetic display.

“You haven’t eaten yet. Do you want to get dinner with me? Real dinner. Not microwave ramen. My treat.”

And here’s the thing: Wooseok is trying, he really is. He’s trying to be a good friend, but whenever he tries to comfort or even just talk to Seungyoun these days, all he gets in response is a choked whimper.

Like now. A miserable whining noise sputters out from Seungyoun’s mouth, and Wooseok thinks that he’s just blown his nose into the blanket. Yeah, he’s definitely letting Seungyoun keep that.

And here’s the second thing: Wooseok gets it, he really does. Well—not really, considering he’s never been in such a committed, two year long relationship with anyone, but he gets it, kinda. Seungwoo is patient, he’s cool-headed, he’s affectionate and forgiving and compassionate. Seungwoo doesn’t hold grudges like Wooseok, and he doesn’t have trust issues or ice walls guarding his heart—like Wooseok.

Seungwoo is great. Seungwoo is perfect. Seungwoo is everything that Wooseok is not.

So Wooseok gets it. Wooseok gets why Seungyoun loved—loves?—him.

(And, as much as he wants to choke Seungyoun in the unsexiest of ways right now, Wooseok definitely, definitely, gets why Seungwoo loved—loves?—him too.)

Seungyoun-ah,” Wooseok insists once the boy has officially gone despondent. “Let’s go to the chicken place you like.”

“You just want—” hiccup “—chicken feet.”

“Yeah, well . . . fine. What do you want?”

“Seungw—”

“Don’t—”

Sniffle, frown, repeat. “Let’s order pizza.”

Wooseok exhales a happy sigh now that Seungyoun’s finally decided to act like a living, breathing human being again. “You got it.”

And here’s the third thing: maybe it’s more of a problem than anything but—you see—whenever Seungyoun smiles, whether it be one of the smiles that sucks all the air out of Wooseok’s lungs, or one of the smiles that gives Wooseok the confidence to touch the sun, Wooseok’s heart stops and he’s pulled into Seungyoun’s catastrophic orbit. Whenever Seungyoun smiles, Wooseok’s center of gravity changes and everything, everything Wooseok knows to be true crashes down to revolve around that cheesy grin, that unabashed unapologetic eye smile. And now, now that becomes his purpose. Now that is what, who, he is. Wooseok is breathing, he is blooming, and he is burning.

Right now: Seungyoun smiles back.

Right now: Seungyoun is beautiful.

Cho Seungyoun is the sun, and Wooseok is only a flower that turns with the light.

☀︎

They met in high school.

Seungyoun was the infamous and beloved class clown slash all-rounder. Captain of the soccer team, president of a capella choir, and even an underground rapper from time to time. Wooseok was the pretty boy slash ice king all the girls, and maybe some guys here and there, crushed on.

They met when Wooseok was sixteen and Seungyoun was barely seventeen.

Seungyoun was one of the few people to look beyond Wooseok’s pretty face, to see him for who he was. A boy who loved to sing and dream for the stars, who loved chicken feet and stupidly oversized shirts, who liked Hunter x Hunter more than Naruto—much to Seungyoun’s dismay. A boy who would get shy around strangers but would flirt with all his best friends just to see them blush. A boy who would break hearts every now and then, even if he never meant to.

They met in chemistry class; it was the third day of school. Seungyoun was fresh off a suspension and the first thing he said to Wooseok was, Dude your bone structure gives my bone structure.

Seungyoun had the cheesiest, dumbest grin on his face, and that’s really all it took to melt the ice king down; just a little bit of heat, persistent and lingering, just enough to make him sweat. The Bunsen burners they used for labs had nothing on Seungyoun’s fire.

They met in high school, and Wooseok is forever grateful that they did, because throughout the years, Seungyoun was always there for him. So now, Wooseok wants to be there for Seungyoun.

“Hey, um . . . Do you want to talk about it?” Wooseok asks. He doesn’t really know why he asks this. The other boy has half a folded pizza slice stuffed in his mouth, cheese melted and stretched between his lips and the pizza. Please don’t start crying again, Wooseok wills silently.

Seungyoun manages to frown even with a mouth full of pizza. He mumbles out something close to, “Why?”

“Um—” Wooseok pulls the ends of his sleeves into his hands, bunching up the fabric as he balls his hands up into fists, “—I, I don’t know. I just thought that maybe talking about it would do you some good? I wanna help, Seungyounie.”

Chewing, Seungyoun looks down timidly, eyes wavering. His lips are shiny with pizza grease, but Wooseok finds him pretty all the same (—that’s a secret he’ll keep with him to the grave). “Thanks. I know I’ve been—a mess these past few days.”

“That’s an understatement,” Wooseok says bluntly.

Seungyoun chuckles, and the sound buzzes in Wooseok’s ear like a bee drawn to honey, like cicadas singing in the summer nights. “Sorry. It . . . it was just a lot. At once. All of a sudden.”

“The breakup?”

“Yeah.”

Huh, Wooseok thinks. Then even Seungyoun wasn’t expecting it. He thinks he’s about to figure out the puzzle, so he decides to delicately investigate further: “Did he break up with you? Or . . . ?”

“Yeah,” Seungyoun answers after a small pause. His voice is quivering, thin, and hollow, but he smiles at Wooseok anyways. Wooseok wants to tell Seungyoun that he doesn’t have to put up any airs when it’s just the two of them—two half-empty boxes of greasy pizza balanced on their thighs, their legs tangled under a blanket as they lounge on the couch—but then he realizes that Seungyoun isn’t holding back his heart for Wooseok’s sake. He isn’t smiling for Wooseok, but for himself. He’s smiling to keep himself from wilting. “He broke up with me. I got dumped.”

Wooseok’s heart is beating fast, beating beyond reason. “Do . . . do you know why?”

Something flashes in Seungyoun’s eyes, and it Wooseok catches a small, almost unnoticeable flinch. It almost looks like guilt.

Guilt, huh?

But then he blinks and, whatever it was, whatever it was that looked a lot like guilt, flashes away. Wooseok forgets all about it because Seungyoun gives him the brightest, most blinding smile he can manage, and Wooseok’s heart is too busy breaking. Wooseok heart breaks because he can see himself in Seungyoun’s eyes, a pool reflecting and refracting light and love and everything in between. Wooseok feels his throat close up, and a part of him wants to burst into tears even though he has nothing to be crying about.

He doesn’t understand what this familiar ache in his chest is.

“Don’t worry about it.”

Wooseok can tell that’s Seungyoun’s way of telling him to drop it, so he does. Pouting slightly, he ends up saying, “I just . . . I just want you to be happy, Seungyounie.”

“I’ll get over it soon,” Seungyoun reassures brightly. (Wooseok hopes he’s right.) He pokes Wooseok’s inner thigh with his toe, and says, “Don’t worry about me. Worry about your own happiness, okay, Wooseok-ah?”

Wooseok presses his lips together, a half-smile, like it’s a secret just between the two of them. “When the hell did you grow up without me knowing?”

Seungyoun grins. “It was around the time you stopped growing—ow! Dude! You can’t throw a pizza slice at me? I just got dumped by my boyfriend, you can’t—STOP WASTING THE PIZZA WHAT THE FUCK?

☀︎

baby sun
so how is he

wooshin
u were right
food helped
we ordered pizza and now we’re staying in

baby sun
oh thats awk
i was gonna ask if u wanted to come over
seungwoo-hyung just got back from work

wooshin
aw ugh… i cant leave seungyounie alone rn
i havent seen seungwoo-hyung in like a few
days though. can i come over tmr morning?
i have work, but yohan can cover my first hr

baby sun
yeah sure
oh no wait
seungwoo-hyung just told me he’s
TAing for a 7am class? idk if u can
catch him before he goes
…it’ll just have to be the 2 of us ;)

wooshin
nvm i would rather choke myself

baby sun
again thats not fair bc of ur choking kink

wooshin
literally fuck off?
(ill come by at 8)

baby sun
i know u love me <3
(and yeah 8 is good)

wooshin
i just…… cannot handle seeing seungyouns 
snotty face for any longer dude. im losing it.

baby sun
speaking of seungyoun
also make sure he like…… actually
goes to his classes tomorrow okay
hes. missed way too many classes

wooshin
hes just being a crybaby
lmao… if he fails he fails

baby sun
KIM WOOSEOK

☀︎

“How’s Seungyoun-hyung?” Yohan asks once there’s a lull at the cafe.

Wooseok squints at the younger boy, belatedly realizing Yohan has stolen his favorite beret and has been wearing this entire time. He doesn’t bring it up, even though internally he’s thinking, What the fuck . . . when did that happen . . . the nerve of this kid . . . because Yohan’s giving him puppy dog eyes, his thick lips pouting cutely as he waits for Wooseok to answer.

“Irritating. Annoying. Pathetic—”

“Hey, that’s rude—!”

“You don’t live with him, Yohan-ah.”

The mole above Yohan’s eyebrow disappears in the folds of his forehead when he frowns, like a star fighting against the sky at dawn, the sunlight eclipsing everything in its path. Cute.

“Fine,” Yohan mumbles. “I can see how he might be a handful.”

Wooseok scoffs, but he doesn’t comment any further. Instead, he simply wraps his arm around Yohan’s waist and buries his head in the back of the younger’s shoulder. Yohan squirms a little, but surrenders much quicker than he used to, easing into the friendly skinship. “Seungyounie’s really hurting right now and I don’t know what to do,” he confesses softly, speaking into the fabric of Yohan’s shirt.

Vulnerability has never been one of Wooseok’s strengths, but he’s found over the years that he can give and take a little (read: a lot) when it comes to Seungyoun’s happiness.

Yohan hums, looking forward when he says, “I mean, maybe it’ll help that he’s meeting with Seungwoo-hyung this morning. Closure and all, you know?”

Wait.

“Huh?” Wooseok exclaims, backing away from Yohan in shock. When a few customers turn to follow the noise, Wooseok blushes and shrinks in on himself. Quietly, he adds, “They’re what—?”

Yohan puffs up his cheeks like a penguin. “They went to go get breakfast somewhere to talk. Did Seungyoun-hyung not tell you?”

“No? Seungyoun was gone by the time I left, and Jinhyuk said Seungwoo-hyung told him he was TA’ing for a class this morning.”

Yohan tilts his head, scrunches his face up like a bunny. “Seungwoo-hyung’s class meets on Mondays and Wednesdays. Today’s Friday.”

Wooseok’s head spins with worry, even though he knows it shouldn’t. He’s pouting before he even realizes it. “Seungyoun didn’t tell me about that,” Wooseok reveals timidly. “So that means Seungwoo-hyung lied about it to Jinhyuk too?”

Yohan’s lips twist into an uncomfortable frown, mouth opening and closing several times as he struggles to find the right words to say. “I don’t know, sorry, hyung. I just know about it ‘cause I asked Seungyoun-hyung if he wanted free food from the cafe to cheer him up. Also, by the way, please don’t tell our boss I’ve been giving away free cake slices to people who look like they’re having a bad day. Anyways, that’s when he told me that he was meeting with Seungwoo-hyung and couldn’t come.”

“Oh.” And that’s all Wooseok is able to say before a customer comes up to the front. As Yohan takes their order, Wooseok feels something catch in his throat—it might be his heart, or a lung. Maybe it’s a flower petal or two.

☀︎

When Wooseok gets back to his and Seungyoun’s apartment, he decides not to let Seungyoun know that he knows about it. If Seungyoun didn’t tell him, Wooseok rationalizes, then he must’ve had a reason.

That’s what he tells himself, anyways.

But, as he walks in, he’s surprised by the sight of Seungyoun, who has showered and changed his clothes for the first time in days, cooking dinner. He’s surprised by how put together the other man looks.

Objectively, Seungyoun looks good—very good. He’s wearing a light, baby blue button down, the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, and he fills out his slacks much too well for Wooseok’s sanity.

Over the past few days, a part of Wooseok has forgotten that, when Seungyoun tries, he can look really good.

A part of Wooseok has forgotten how dangerous Seungyoun can be.

“Oh hey, Wooseokie. I’m making noodles.”

“I . . . can see that. Uh, why are you dressed up?” Wooseok asks, mouth going a little dry at the sight of one of Seungyoun’s collarbones peeking out from where the top buttons of his shirt are undone.

“Ah,” Seungyoun utters, looking down at his clothes before chuckling awkwardly. “I met up with someone this morning, and I guess I just never bothered to change out of this, hah.”

“Someone.”

And Seungyoun makes that cute, closed-mouth smile of his where the corners of his lips are just barely upturned, cheeks soft and full.

All the stars in the universe must revolve around this boy, Wooseok thinks. (But it’s more like: all the stars in Wooseok’s universe revolve around Seungyoun. Everything in Wooseok’s universe revolves around Seungyoun, Seungyoun, Seungyoun. Wooseok just doesn’t know it yet.)

“Someone,” Seungyoun repeats, looking Wooseok right in the eye.

There’s something in the air between them that Wooseok doesn’t quite understand, so he unconsciously does a little baby pout, as Yohan has termed it, and drops off his stuff on the counter, facing away from the other boy when he asks, “So, how was it? Meeting with that someone?

Wooseok counts how many seconds pass before Seungyoun gives an answer. One, two, three, then—

“Good. It was good.”

And that’s that.

Later, Wooseok will find out on his own that those words couldn’t be farther from the truth. Later, but not that much later.

After dinner, Wooseok takes a shower. After that, he stumbles into Seungyoun’s room to borrow some moisturizer since he ran out. And that, that is where the real story begins.

☀︎

The summer before turning eighteen, Wooseok experienced his first heartbreak. His girlfriend at the time asked to meet him at the playground near his house. When he got there, she was waiting for him, dragging the heels of her shoes through the rocky sand as she swayed back and forth on one of the swings. Wooseok remembers thinking that she was really pretty then, but she was barely a silhouette in front of the burning black clouds and the catastrophic gradient of the sky.

Wooseok remembers liking her a lot.

She was his first girlfriend, his first kiss, and his first—love? Wooseok doesn’t know if he would call it love.

But he knows that it hurt when she told him that he was too closed off, that he never let his real emotions show even around her, and that she wanted to break up because of it. Wooseok didn’t argue, didn’t disagree. She gave him a goodbye kiss, pressing her lips to his—softly, tenderly, and Wooseok found his eyes fluttering shut, found his lips longing hers even when she pulled back.

She tasted like peppermint and her chapstick made Wooseok’s lips tingle.

Wooseok remembers the slight ache in his chest, remembers it because it was the same ache that squeezed at his heart when he saw Seungyoun kiss Seungwoo for the first time, the same ache that crushed his lungs when he heard Seungyoun and Seungwoo through the walls for the first time.

Now, he aches again.

You see, Seungyoun isn’t crying, but he’s curled up in the corner of his bed, holding his knees to his chest, pouting as he stares at the wall. 

And that’s the thing: Seungyoun has never been afraid of wearing his heart on his sleeve, he just doesn’t—usually, that is. Seungyoun holds his heart, too big for his body, in cupped palms; and maybe that brazenness is what makes everyone overlook it, overlook the withering petals that accompany the blooming sprouts. But now, Seungyoun lays his delicate heart down on his sleeve; and there’s no fear, no ugliness.

No moths, just butterflies.

He’s always admired Seungyoun for that courage.

“Hey, Seungyounie,” Wooseok begins carefully. Seungyoun’s head lifts, and his eyes widen as if he didn’t even realize that Wooseok was in the room. “Can I borrow some of your face lotion? I ran out of mine.”

“Yeah sure,” Seungyoun answers, his voice tired. “It’s in the first drawer.”

Wooseok closes the distance between them, and it feels like he has to sail across the Pacific Ocean trying to get there. He fishes out the moisturizer he’s looking for, but ends up just putting it down on top of the table.

“You okay?” he questions, and he feels stupid right after asking because, of course Seungyoun isn’t okay; he’s going through a terrible, terrible breakup and Wooseok is perhaps the worst best friend in the world who can’t do anything but uselessly think about how pretty Seungyoun looks when he’s sad.

“I’m trying to be.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine. I’ll be fine. I told you this already.”

Wooseok frowns and goes to sit on the bed in front of Seungyoun, grabbing one of the jumbo cat plushies on the bed and hugging it to his chest. “Yeah, but—you’re not fine right now,” he offers uselessly. “And I wanna help.”

Seungyoun changed out of his clothes from earlier. He looks small like this, wearing a tank top and sweatpants, and now Wooseok can see all the tattoos he usually hides.

It can’t always be the same, huh?  

Wooseok wonders what it would be like to wear his heart on his sleeve for once. To wear it out in the open instead of hiding it within his ribcage. 

Skeleton bones for a timid heart.

“There’s not much you can do, Wooseok, sorry. Everything sucks right now, and the worst part is, I don’t even have anyone to be mad at but myself.”

Wooseok scoots closer to place a gentle hand on Seungyoun’s knee, his thumb drawing circles on Seungyoun’s thigh, the plushie abandoned between their legs. “Why would you be mad at yourself?”

“Because . . . it was my fault we broke up.”

“Did you do something wrong?”

Seungyoun takes a few seconds to answer, taking those few beats to study Wooseok’s face as intently as if he were looking for the answer to the question in Wooseok’s eyes, looking for new constellations to discover in Wooseok’s cheeks, looking for specks of stardust in the flimsy medium between them. (But Seungyoun is the one who is full of wonder, not Wooseok, definitely not Wooseok.)

“No,” Seungyoun utters, lips barely moving. “I don’t think so.”

“Then it’s just a misunderstanding, right?”

Seungyoun laughs softly, to himself, and Wooseok doesn’t understand what’s so funny about it. “I think Seungwoo-hyung understands it better than I do, honestly.”

“Understands what?”

“Nothing,” Seungyoun is quick to say.

“It’s not nothing if you broke up over it.”

“Yeah, well—it’s going to be nothing.”

“You can’t just do that.”

“Do what?”

“Make something important turn into nothing.”

Seungyoun frowns. “But—I have to.”

“Why?” Wooseok presses.

“Because—I shouldn’t be feeling this way.”

Wooseok doesn’t understand. “Huh?”

“Don’t worry about it, Wooseok-ah.”

Wooseok doesn’t know what to say to that, so he just lets the storm calm, whoosh over his head as he sits with his legs and thighs in a v-shape. He and Seungyoun change the topic to something lighter; they end up chatting about Yohan’s new boyfriend, then Jinhyuk’s new brother-in-law who cannot be older than thirteen by the looks of it, and then they somehow stumble to the topic of Wooseok’s first and only girlfriend.

“God I hated her. She was terrible,” Seungyoun groans. “She only dated you because you were popular.”

“Shut up. I liked her,” Wooseok defends. “She was cool and pretty and she taught me how to kiss.”

I could’ve done that, Wooseok. No need to get a girlfriend for that.”

Oh.

Wooseok’s heart is a mess; it beats loudly, wildly in his ear. Wooseok’s heart is a mess, because Seungyoun has spent the better part of five, six years saying things like that when he can’t just say things like that. Wooseok is twenty-two and he is no stranger to arrhythmias of the heart.

“Yeah,” he exhales shakily. “Hah.”

Seungyoun is smiling like what he just said was inconsequential.

Wooseok’s heart is a mess.

Seungyoun moves on. “Who was the next person you dated? Jinhyuk, right?”

Wooseok is quick to say, “Please don’t bring that terrible time of my life up.”

“Hey, I think it was an important stage of your adolescence—”

“I like to think of it as the biggest mistake of my teenage years,” Wooseok deadpans.

“What about that time you danced to Taemin’s ‘Move’ in front of the whole school, but you didn’t know the choreo so you just grinded on the fl—”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about. Not a clue.”

“I still have the video.”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“I would. You know me.”

“I do.”

Seungyoun smiles, cheeks full, and Wooseok’s heart flutters like the flapping of butterfly wings, pitter-patters like rain, and he blooms beautifully. His head turns, and in that moment, he’s nothing but a flower following the sun.

“Hey, Wooseokie, wanna watch Naruto?”

This is how it begins, the real story.

☀︎

Seungyoun leans against the wall, knees no longer pressed to his chest. Wooseok sits right beside him. The bed is a bit small for them both to sit comfortably apart, so they sit shoulders touching, legs tangled, and Wooseok doesn’t know where he ends and Seungyoun begins. Wooseok’s laptop is balanced on both their thighs, and an episode of Naruto plays at half volume, blankets and throw pillows strued all over the place.

It’s almost 2 a.m., and they’re eleven episodes in. 

Usually, when they watch things together, Seungyoun is always making a comment or loudly reacting, but he’s been silent so far. 

Wooseok wonders if he fell asleep at some point. So he sneaks a glance, peeking at Seungyoun to see if he’s still awake, and—

Seungyoun is only staring at him.

So Wooseok’s eyes flicker back to watching his laptop screen shyly, cheeks pink, and he tries to make sense of it; maybe Seungyoun doesn’t like this particular arc—although, how can you not like the Five Kage Summit arc?

He tries to rationalize it even further; maybe Seungyoun’s seen these episodes so many times he’s gotten tired of it—although, how can you just get tired of winter, lightning, tear-filled confessions, and never ending loyalties?

It doesn’t really make sense, considering that Seungyoun is the one who wanted to watch Naruto together, that Seungyoun is the Naruto fan out of the two of them.

Wooseok sneaks another tiny glance, and again, again Seungyoun is only looking at him.

Suddenly, Wooseok couldn’t care less about winter, about lightning, about the fragility of the world, because Seungyoun is only staring at him. Because Seungyoun practically said oh, I could have taught you how to kiss. Because now all Wooseok can think about is kissing Seungyoun, sitting in his lap like his first girlfriend sat in his, and ruining their friendship.

God, Wooseok wants to ruin their friendship so, so bad right now.

Throughout all of this, Seungyoun doesn’t stop staring. Seungyoun must be drunk, he must be half-asleep, he must be anything but lucid right now.

Wooseok doesn’t understand. Wooseok is not a star in the night’s sky to be stared at in the dead of night; Wooseok is a lone astronaut wandering the black galaxies, Wooseok is merely one flower of many in a field, Wooseok is inconsequential. Wooseok is not beautiful like Seungyoun is, so why—?

A garbled noise of “Fu—agh—” and a loud crash interrupts his thoughts.

Seungyoun ends up tumbling to the ground, the blanket they were sharing and most of the pillows falling down with him. The laptop closes shut and nearly falls too, if it wasn’t for Wooseok tugging it away and setting it aside on a table.

“You okay?”

Wooseok isn’t sure how this happened. He thinks that Seungyoun was trying to adjust himself, but he ended up losing his balance and rolling off the side of the bed.

“Wooseok-ah,” Seungyoun says gently instead of answering the question. “Come down here with me.”

“No. There’s literally a bed.”

He can imagine that Seungyoun is pouting right now. Not that duckish, heart-shaped pout, but one of his soft pouts where his bottom lip looks soft and plump enough for Wooseok to suck on. Delicately, just enough to hear his breath stutter.

He wonders what Seungyoun tastes like.

“But everything fell on the ground,” Seungyoun points out. “It’s like a fort!”

“You’re a child.”

“And you’re a grumpy old cat.”

Wooseok goes down to the floor to join Seungyoun anyways. It isn’t as uncomfortable as he would’ve imagined, surprisingly. The comforter is oversized and thick enough to act as both a mattress and a blanket for the two of them. The pillows are haphazardly scattered all over the floor like flower petals, but Wooseok finds it charming. He lies down right next to Seungyoun, realizing that they have much more room on the floor than they did on the bed. (A part of him misses the forced closeness of their bodies up there, but he supposes this will do.)

He lies on his side, facing the other boy.

“Go to sleepy, dummy,” Wooseok mumbles.

“I will, I will.”

Without the light of the laptop screen, the room is dark and Wooseok can barely see a thing. But their apartment is a little old, and the doors don’t close completely, so light leaks out from the top of the door. It’s enough to illuminate Seungyoun’s face—the highlight of his cheekbones, the bridge of his nose, and the pinkness of his lips.

His eyes are closed, lashes full and pretty. It’s 2 a.m. now, and maybe Seungyoun’s fallen asleep that easily. Maybe.

Maybe Wooseok could just—

He won’t. Wooseok won’t.

Because Seungyoun is heartbroken. Because Seungyoun is in love with another man. Because Seungyoun is his best friend.

Because Seungyoun is Seungyoun.

But what if he does?

Wooseok has spent his entire life trying to be as selfless as he could, but—it can’t always be the same, can it?

So what if Wooseok just—

You can’t just kiss people while they’re sleeping, Wooseok tells himself. Especially when they’re going through a breakup. Especially when they’re still in love with someone else. Especially when they’re your best friend. You can’t.

But.

But—fuck it. Wooseok has held back for five, six years, even if he never knew it. Even if he still, still doesn’t know why he wants to kiss his best friend more than breathing.

God, fuck it all. Wooseok wants to kiss him, and Wooseok wants to ruin their friendship. This will ache, but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter, because Wooseok has wanted to kiss him every single day he’s known him, has wanted to kiss him since he was sixteen and he didn’t know that he liked guys that way, since he was seventeen and he learned that Seungyoun definitely liked guys that way.

It doesn’t matter, because it already aches.

This will hurt, this will ache, but Wooseok is kept awake on four shots of espresso and the thought of pressing a kiss to the center of Seungyoun’s mouth. Soft, just a touch.

And that’s what he does.

Wooseok knows his lips are chapped because he’s been biting them all day, a nervous tick of his, but Seungyoun’s are supple, honeyed, and full.

He lingers, lips barely touching Seungyoun’s, but when he pulls back, a hand is placed at his waist, fingers at the small of his back, dipping below his shirt to touch his bare skin.

Oh.

And then—it’s Seungyoun who kisses Wooseok. Kisses him on the corner of his mouth, licks his bottom lip, and Wooseok will never be the same.

Wooseok wants this forever.

Oh, oh.

—Wooseok bolts out of the room, nearly tripping over their mess on the floor. (Seungyoun is left alone, lying on his back, staring up at the ceiling, touching his lips like he’s just been burned.)

☀︎

wooshin
i know its late but
can i sleep over?

baby sun
sure dude
you okay?

wooshin
no

baby sun
???????????

wooshin
jinhyuk i fucked up
i really fucked up

☀︎

“So, you kissed him.”

“I did.”

“While you thought he was sleeping.”

“I did think that.”

“But he wasn’t sleeping.”

“He wasn’t.”

“And he kissed you back.”

“He did.”

“And then you ran away.”

“I did.”

Jinhyuk groans. “You’re a mess.”

Wooseok squints his eyes, feeling annoyed even though Jinhyuk is one-hundred percent correct. “Shut up. I already know that.”

“Why’d you even kiss him in the first place?”

“Because—” Wooseok doesn’t know why, except, “—because I wanted to.”

Jinhyuk blinks. “Well, yeah, that’s not a surprise. You always look like you wanna kiss him.”

“I what?

“Yeah, but let’s not get into that right now.”

“Into what—?

Jinhyuk smiles, and he looks a little bit like a fox, a little bit like the devil. “Another time, Wooseok, not when Seungwoo—”

“Who did Wooseok kiss?”

Wooseok’s head whips around to see Seungwoo, a towel around his head, shower water dripping onto his beige shirt.

Oh, the irony.

Technically Wooseok knows he should feel guilty. Technically he should feel more than a pebble of guilt skipping across his stomach. 

But—they’re broken up. Seungwoo broke up with Seungyoun. Seungwoo broke Seungyoun’s heart and shattered it into a million shards of glass, so what’s wrong if he tries to pick up the pieces?

(Maybe Wooseok’s initial lack of guilt is what makes the guilt grow.)

“Uh, I, uh—” Wooseok splutters.

Jinhyuk tries to save the day and says, “Yohan.”

“Yohan?” Wooseok hisses out under his breath.

“First person I could think of,” Jinhyuk whispers.

Wooseok imagines how nice it would be to choke out Jinhyuk right now. “I am going to kill you one day.”

Jinhyuk only shrugs casually. “And I’m waiting for the day you do, Wooseokie.”

“Yohan?” Seungwoo asks, brewing himself a cup of coffee, facing away from the two of them at the table. Wooseok holds up his knife threateningly when Seungwoo isn’t looking. “Wooseok-ah, why would you want to kiss Yohan? Doesn’t he have a boyfriend?”

The look on Jinhyuk’s face tells Wooseok that he forgot about that. “Uh. Hah. That’s why Wooseok is freaking out right now. Because of that.”

Wooseok is running on three hours of sleep and his brain is fried, so he just—goes with it. “Yeah. I kissed Yohan. Who has a boyfriend. And then I ran away.”

“But he kissed you back?” Seungwoo asks, brows furrowed incredulously, settling down across the table from Wooseok with a cup of coffee. “Why would he do that?”

“I, I don’t know why. I’m confused about that too,” Wooseok replies, mushing his food around with a fork. “I don’t really know why I kissed him either.”

“Huh,” Seungwoo muses. “I never knew you liked Yohan.”

I don’t like Yohan—”

“Then why’d you kiss him?”

“Yeah,” Jinhyuk agrees. “Why did you kiss him?”

“He just—” Wooseok frowns, puffing his lips out, the corners pulling down into a frustrated pout, “—looked really pretty. And I really wanted to kiss him. That’s it.”

And there’s nothing deeper to it, Wooseok tells himself. So what, he’s thought about kissing his best friend more than the average person? So? So what, he’s actually gone and kissed his best friend? So? And it’s not like he has feelings for Seungyoun, not like it’s Seungyoun who makes his heart beat.

(Oh, but it is.)

“Well,” Seungwoo exhales after a bit of thinking, “it shouldn’t be a problem as long as you don’t do it again. I mean, one time is enough, right?”

“Y-yeah,” Wooseok lies.

(Once is not nearly enough for Wooseok.)

“And you guys don’t even like each other in that way, right?”

Even though Wooseok tries to hide his wince, he fails miserably. “Yeah. We don’t like each other in that way.”

(He thinks it’s the truth.)

“Then maybe it didn’t mean anything,” Seungwoo offhandedly remarks. Wooseok droops a little bit at the comment, but he doesn’t know why. Does he want it to have meant something?

“But you should probably, you know, talk to him about it. Just to be sure,” Jinhyuk advises. “You don’t know why he kissed you back, after all.”

Seungwoo nods his head in agreement, taking a sip of his coffee.

“Yeah . . . Talk to him . . . Yeah,” Wooseok agrees absentmindedly, instead willing himself to think about the paper he never wrote, or the seminar he has in an hour that he’s absolutely fucked for. He doesn’t think too much of this conversation.

☀︎

“You’re being stupid.”

Wooseok’s eyes go big. Yohan’s never usually this direct, usually always looking for a polite, roundabout way to say the same thing. “Huh?

Yohan places both of his elbows on the counter behind him, leaning back lazily. “Nobody kisses someone they don’t like on a whim. By the way, I don’t appreciate Jinhyuk-hyung throwing out my name like that. Now Seungwoo-hyung thinks that there’s something going on between us. I have a boyfriend, hyung.”

Wooseok digs the palms of his hands into his eye sockets. He left his glasses and his contacts back at his and Seungyoun’s apartment, and this time, his head is a mess—a goddamn mess. He’s thankful Yohan presumably decided to play along when Seungwoo must have questioned him about the kiss. God, he owes Yohan his life.

“Sorry, Yohan-ah,” Wooseok mumbles. “We couldn’t just say that—”

“That you kissed Seungwoo’s ex-boyfriend days after they broke up?” Yohan asks bluntly.

Wooseok squints a little. Okay, now that’s out of character for Yohan. “Whoa, dude what’s got you all worked up?”

Yohan frowns, looking a little guilty for lashing out. “Sorry. I know that even though we have taken sides, we shouldn’t be, since no one really was at fault, or—at least that’s what Seungwoo-hyung says. But, he loves Seungyoun-hyung a lot, so I don’t think that he wanted to break up with him. I know Seungyoun-hyung is really hurting too, but so is Seungwoo-hyung.”

After everything that happened yesterday, Wooseok forgot that Seungyoun told him he thought it was his fault he and Seungwoo broke up, even if he did nothing wrong.

Huh.

Why did Seungwoo break up with Seungyoun?

“So,” Wooseok says, his mouth feeling a little dry, “you’re saying that—?”

“I don’t know what I’m saying. It’s already so complicated, hyung. I feel bad for them,” Yohan ends up saying, his lips drooping into a frustrated pout.

Wooseok pats his black apron, adjusting his uniform. Huh, he never did get that beret back from Yohan, but he decides he’ll just let the younger boy steal it for now. He doesn’t have the energy to complain about it, because everything is messy, everything is complicated, and Wooseok just feels dread start to bloom in his stomach.

“It’s fine. I won’t complicate things any further. Sorry that Jinhyuk and I dragged you into this, Yohan-ah,” Wooseok says. “I don’t really know why yesterday happened. It was a mistake.”

Then Yohan stares at him silently for a couple seconds, studying his face, and questions, “A mistake?”

“Yeah,” Wooseok answers, as if it’s obvious. “A mistake.”

“You didn’t want to kiss him?”

“Well, of course I wanted to kiss him,” Wooseok objects, blushing after he realizes what he’s just said. “But it doesn’t really, like, mean anything. It was just a kiss.”

Yohan looks at him with big, expressive eyes, and it seems like he’s about to say something to that, but then his gaze flitters to the front door, where someone’s just walked in. Wooseok has been facing Yohan, his back to the rest of the cafe, so he doesn’t realize what the big deal is—

“Hey, Yohanie.” (Wooseok would recognize that high-tone anywhere, everywhere.) “Wooseokie,” Seungyoun tacks on at the end.

Wooseok wants to run away, and he really is about to make a break for the back storage room, but Yohan hooks two fingers in the back of Wooseok’s apron, keeping the smaller boy in place, turning him around to face Seungyoun. So Wooseok tries his hardest to avoid Seungyoun’s eyes, zoning in on a spot at the back of the room instead.

He hates this, feeling awkward around Seungyoun. Wooseok has never had to avoid him, not since that one time in high school Seungyoun had said, quite truthfully, that Wooseok wasn’t going to grow anymore, and Wooseok stubbornly wouldn’t talk to him for days. Not until Seungyoun had enough of it one morning, patting his head, scooping him up in his arms, and telling him that it only meant Wooseok would be cute forever. Wooseok melted.

(Then Seungyoun called him a cute little kitten. Then Wooseok punched him in the stomach.)

“What would you like today?” Yohan asks with a smile.

Head lowered, Wooseok mumbles a quiet, “Let me go, Yohan-ah.”

“Nope!”

“Uh,” Seungyoun exhales. “Actually, I don’t really wanna order anything. I kinda just wanna talk to Wooseokie. Is that . . . okay?”

Wooseok’s head lifts, and he’s floored. He never really got a good look at Seungyoun until now, and god does his heart skip a beat. Wooseok doesn’t know why: Seungyoun doesn’t even look that different than usual, black hair swept back a little, smile as pretty as usual. His cheeks are a little flushed, though; maybe he’s just as embarrassed about last night’s kiss (kisses?) too. 

Hm.

“No,” Wooseok mutters, just as Yohan shouts, “He’d love to! His break starts in a few minutes. And—” he gestures to the near empty cafe, “—it’s not as if you’re interrupting any business.”

Yohan.” 

“You owe me.”

“Get fucked,” Wooseok hisses.

Yohan winks, grinning stupidly. “Kinky, but I do that on my own time.” 

Wooseok seethes as Yohan shoves him, hands on his shoulders as he manhandles the smaller, uncooperative boy past the espresso machines and to the other side of the counter. “Have fun!” he says, giving Wooseok a final, playful thrust, offsetting his balance so that he trips and falls face first into Seungyoun’s arms.

It’s not the first time Yohan’s done that, push him into Seungyoun so that the taller boy has no choice but to catch him—hell, Wooseok thinks it was Junho who started treating Wooseok like he was tiny and pushable—but it throws him off, makes him feel even more pliant than usual.

Pliant enough to let Seungyoun wrap a hand around his wrist and softly drag him to a booth in the corner. Wooseok turns around, gives Yohan the finger (—to which the boy only gives him a thumbs up), and pouts silently.

Wooseok hates it.

The guilt, the dread, the confusion—everything.

Why did Seungwoo break up with Seungyoun, why did he kiss Seungyoun last night, and why, why did Seungyoun kiss back last night?

Over and over these three questions turn in his head, one after the other. Wooseok is plucking the yellow petals off a sunflower, picking up new bright flowers each time he’s ripped one empty. He’s left sitting alone in a field of scattered petals and scarred flowers.

Three questions and no answers.

“So,” Seungyoun says once he’s they’ve both sat down, “we kissed last night. Twice.”

Seungyoun was never one to beat around the bush.

“Sorry,” Wooseok mumbles, still avoiding eye contact. “It was a mistake. I shouldn’t have—” Wooseok pauses, playing with the ends of his sleeves that have flopped past his fingertips, “—initiated it. I shouldn’t have initiated it.”

“Wooseokie—”

And the dam bursts.

“I feel terrible about it. I know you’re struggling a lot with the breakup, and I know that there’s so many residual feelings between you two, and I don’t want to make this any harder on you and any more complicated than this already is, and I know that I fucked up. It’s just, you know when you feel like you have to do something you know you shouldn’t, and you impulsively do it? And regret it the second you do? That was me kissing you last night. I don’t want things to be ruined between us, because you mean a lot to me and you’re my best friend and I can’t lose you and—”

“I liked it.”

The world drones around them, but it feels like time has stopped for Wooseok. Oh, but it goes on, breathes on, even if Wooseok’s breath has stopped.

Wooseok gapes, blinks dumbly for a few beats as he looks right into Seungyoun’s eyes for the first time. He’s sincere.

“You . . . ” is all that Wooseok is able to get out.

“I liked it,” Seungyoun repeats, maintaining firm eye contact. “You’re right about . . . the residual feelings, but regardless . . . it felt kind of nice?”

Wooseok doesn’t know how to restart his heart.

“Relax,” Seungyoun says uselessly. (It helps.) “I don’t hate you or anything, and nothing’s ruined, okay?”

“Okay,” Wooseok mutters. Quieter, “Thank you.”

“You freaked out last night when you ran out, didn’t you?”

Wooseok doesn’t want to talk about how he ran over to Jinhyuk’s apartment, cried in his arms a little, refused to explain why he was crying until the morning after, and forced Jinhyuk to cuddle with him until he could fall asleep, so he lies and says, “Just a bit.”

Seungyoun’s eyes narrow, looking at Wooseok suspiciously. “Because Jinhyuk said that you—”

“Fuck Lee Jinhyuk,” Wooseok interrupts coldly, cheeks burning. He really is gonna kill that man  one day.

But Seungyoun just bursts into laughter and all Wooseok can do is think—like an idiot—pretty, pretty, pretty. “Anyways,” Seungyoun giggles, trying to control his wheezing and failing terribly, “I knew you’d overthink the hell out of last night, so I just wanted to let you know that it’s not a big deal. It was nice.”

Seungyoun keeps saying that word, he keeps saying the kiss was nice, and Wooseok has no idea what he means by it.

“Nice?”

“Yeah,” Seungyoun answers, almost nonchalant about the whole thing. “I liked it. I appreciated it.”

Wooseok feels stupid. He doesn’t understand at all. “You liked the kiss?”

“I kissed back, didn’t I? I mean, I guess it wasn’t much of a kiss, since all we really did was touch lips, and I would’ve wanted to do more than that, but—”

Excuse me?

If you touched his skin right about now, Wooseok is certain you’d get scorched with how much he’s burning right now.

Seungyoun only laughs again, and Wooseok is waiting for him to reveal that he’s just messing around, just playing a joke to see Wooseok flush, but it doesn’t come. Instead, Seungyoun flashes him a half-grin. “Don’t worry about it too much, Wooseokie,” he dismisses, not touching upon the I would’ve wanted to do more than just touch lips part at all. “We don’t need to make things weird.”

But things are already weird. Things are already so unbelievably complicated.

Seungyoun has always been the one to preach on endlessly about healthy communication and honesty, but this conversation has done nothing for Wooseok’s sanity, done absolutely nothing to answer any of his questions.

“Let’s just go back to the part where I’m a crying, snobby mess over Han Seungwoo and you’re the unlucky best friend who has to deal with my ass, ‘kay?”

Wooseok should feel relieved, should feel happy that things are gonna go back to normal, but—

Seungyoun liked the kiss. Seungyoun wanted to do more than just touch lips.

—Wooseok doesn’t know what to do with that knowledge. He doesn’t know what to do with the fluttering feeling in his chest, butterflies pressing on his ribcage.

“Yeah, we can do that.”

Wooseok doesn’t know what this feeling is, but it’s anything but gentle.

☀︎

Things go back to normal for the most part.

Seungyoun goes back to being a crybaby, and Wooseok goes back to being annoyed. Although, Seungyoun is a bit more bearable this time around—less breakdowns, more anime marathons with Wooseok. 

After a few days pass, they decide to play rock paper scissors to determine who gets to decide what they binge that night instead of arguing for hours.

Seungyoun is oh-for-three.

“You’re cheating.”

“You can’t cheat at rock paper scissors. You just suck.”

“My boyfriend broke up with me. I’m heartbroken, Wooseokie.”

“You cannot keep playing the breakup card, Seungyounie.”

Seungyoun hurls a pillow at Wooseok’s head. Wooseok barely dodges.

“You’re a terrible best friend,” Seungyoun says dryly.

“And yet you’ve dealt with me for the past five years.”

Seungyoun bumps Wooseok’s thigh with his knee. “Isn’t it six?”

“Who cares? It’s all the same,” Wooseok dismisses, typing in the address for the streaming site, trying to ignore the way Seungyoun smiles fondly at him, eyes glinting brightly, thinking that he can’t see him in his peripheral.

“Really? A Studio Ghibli movie?”

“I thought maybe we’d switch it up tonight.”

“Yeah, considering this week you’ve made me watch eleven hours worth of Hunter x Hunter this week,” Seungyoun deadpans, trying to subtly tug more of the blanket onto his side. “Which one are we watching?”

“Grave of the Fireflies?”

“I thought the purpose of these anime nights was to cheer me up.”

“Fine. Spirited Away?”

Seungyoun laughs under his breath. Barely a rasp of sound. “I don’t know what it is about that movie, but it makes me cry even more than Grave of the Fireflies.

Wooseok’s heart clenches.

“How ‘bout Howl’s Moving Castle?”

Seungyoun grins wide, his pretty eye smile glittering in the low light. “Now that, Wooseokie, we can do.”

Things go back to normal for the most part, but that one percent that doesn’t? That one percent sprouts into two, then buds into fours, then blooms to the n. And then the truth is, nothing goes back to normal because Wooseok is moonstruck twenty-four-seven, because that butterfly-like ache Wooseok felt the other day is all he feels around Seungyoun now.

☀︎

“Your pillows are so flat,” Wooseok complains during a lull in the movie. “My back hurts.”

“Yeah?” Seungyoun hums back. “And what do you want me to do about that?”

“Get new pillows.”

“But I’m not a pillow princess like you.”

Wooseok pauses the movie in anger, mouth dropping open as he turns to face Seungyoun, absolutely speechless. “What?

“You’re a pillow princess.”

I am not a pillow pr—

“Okay, whatever you say, princess,” Seungyoun teases, smiling stupidly as he presses the play button on his laptop.

Princess.

His heart beats wildly in his chest.

Huh, now when did that happen?

Wooseok shrinks in on himself, unable to retort because the characters started speaking again, the music quieting down, almost to a soft lullaby in the backdrop. His cheeks are burning, but the thing is, he wasn’t kidding about his back hurting because of Seungyoun’s shitty pillows. He shifts around a lot, head replaying Seungyoun’s words as he tries to find a more comfortable position—

Seungyoun presses pause and groans, “Oh my god you’re so annoying.”

Suddenly, Seungyoun shoves his forearms under Wooseok’s thighs and he’s picking the boy up, plopping him into his lap. Wooseok’s back is to his chest, ass atop his thighs, and Seungyoun’s arms around his waist.

What.

“There, comfortable?”

Wooseok gulps. “Uh.”

“You’ll stop moving around now, right?”

Wooseok doesn’t know what words are anymore, so he just nods a little dumbly, hoping that Seungyoun can’t see how much he’s blushing right now.

“Good boy,” Seungyoun praises, patting Wooseok’s head.

Oh god. Oh god.

☀︎

Hyperaware of his position on Seungyoun’s lap, Wooseok can’t focus on the movie. Hell, he has no idea what’s going on even though he’s watched this movie countless times before. Howl is hot, but that’s the only thought about the movie that Wooseok’s little pea brain can manage right now. His brain is too occupied with thoughts like holy shit Seungyoun’s chin is hooked over my shoulder, I’m sitting on top of Seungyoun’s thighs, I’m sitting in Seungyoun’s lap.

And if anything, Wooseok is more uncomfortable than before, but that’s mostly because he’s too afraid to move at all, because Seungyoun patted his head and called him a good boy for staying still. Dear god, Wooseok can’t focus on anything tonight.

Seungyoun’s arms are still around his waist, hands resting on Wooseok’s stomach, playing with the fabric of his shirt occasionally, and Wooseok is going crazy. At one point, Seungyoun lifts his shirt up slightly, just to run the fabric between his fingertips, and his knuckles brush Wooseok’s bare stomach.

Wooseok’s breath hitches.

“Seungyounie,” he mumbles weakly, not even realizing he’s said anything until after Seungyoun hums in response. “You’re distracting me.” It’s not a lie.

Wooseok turns his head a little to face Seungyoun, and that’s when he realizes how close they really are right now. His face is just an inch or two away from Seungyoun’s, and it wouldn’t be that hard to close that distance, to just lean in and—

“Oh,” Seungyoun says casually, pulling his hands away from Wooseok’s stomach. “Sorry, was it that?”

“Y-yeah,” Wooseok breathes, trying not to sound too disappointed at the loss of contact, trying not to stare too obviously at Seungyoun, but he can’t help himself from doing either. His lips make an unconscious pout, and his eyes focus on Seungyoun’s skin, the way the light from his laptop screen creates a sort of pretty glow on Seungyoun’s face. 

He isn’t paying attention to the movie at all anymore.

After a few minutes, Seungyoun’s hands find themselves back at Wooseok’s abdomen—except this time they forgo toying with his shirt entirely, going for his stomach directly. Seungyoun’s cold palms press against Wooseok’s stomach, the pad of thumb drawing loose circles all around.

When Seungyoun’s fingers dip a little lower, just barely brushing the band of his sweatpants, Wooseok’s hips jerk back, and he lets out a loud, breathy exhale at the touch.

“Stop moving,” Seungyoun warns quietly, right into Wooseok’s ear.

“I can’t help it, Seungyounie,” Wooseok breathes. (It’s something close to a whine.) “You keep teasing me.”

Oh god. That sounds dirty, Wooseok realizes.

“Do you want me to stop?” Seungyoun asks sincerely.

This is: inappropriate. This is inappropriate beyond all means, but Wooseok doesn’t want to stop this, whatever this is.

But Wooseok doesn’t exactly know what to say, so he just turns his head again to take a good look at Seungyoun again, and he feels his cheeks burn. The boy’s hair has gone loose, falling over his eyes, and his eyes look a little lidded, a little hungry, but maybe that’s just Wooseok’s horny brain speaking.

“No,” Wooseok admits, finding that his mouth speaks before his brain can even process it. He doesn’t know what’s going on tonight to make him act this obediently. Maybe it’s something to do with the moon. “Please don’t stop.”

So Seungyoun just grins, ruffles Wooseok’s hair playfully, and says innocently, “Then just sit still and be a good boy, okay?”

“Okay, Seungyounie,” Wooseok utters mindlessly, feeling a little dizzy, a little lightheaded.

And that’s it, for the most part. Until Wooseok realizes he’s hard.

Oh my god. Wooseok is hard.

Oh my god. Wooseok is hard while watching Howl’s Moving Castle.

Oh my god. Wooseok is hard while sitting in Seungyoun’s lap.

Did Seungyoun just get him hard? Oh my god.

Wooseok’s eyes go big like a bug, mouth parting in abject horror, and he has no idea what to do from here. He can’t just run away because Seungyoun is still drawing shapes into his stomach, pulling stars from the sky, painting heaven onto his skin. He can’t just run away, because maybe Seungyoun will notice, maybe Seungyoun will realize, and oh god Wooseok’s head is turning to face Seungyoun once again. He doesn’t know why, doesn’t know why he keeps doing this, but each time he does, their faces end up closer and closer. It’s a half-inch between them, and Wooseok can feel Seungyoun’s breath on his.

“Yeah?” Seungyoun exhales. “What’s up?”

“I,” Wooseok utters airily, getting distracted by Seungyoun’s lips, how pink and plump they are, how much he wants to see them all shiny-wet and spit-slick. He forgets what he was gonna say, so instead he whispers emptily, “We can’t do this.”

“Do what?” Seungyoun asks, as if he doesn’t know.

How infuriating.

God—fuck it all.

This.

Wooseok kisses him square on the mouth, turning around in Seungyoun’s lap without breaking the kiss. He sits his ass down right atop Seungyoun’s crotch and—oh. Oh. Seungyoun is hard too.

Oh.

Seungyoun kisses back.

Oh.

Wooseok places his palm on Seungyoun’s chest pushing him down, falling back onto the bed. The movie plays on. Wooseok couldn’t care less.

“We can’t do this,” he grunts out, grinding down onto Seungyoun’s dick, moaning against his mouth, running his tongue along Seungyoun’s bottom lip.

Seungyoun parts his mouth and kisses him hard, kisses Wooseok like he doesn’t care if he breaks. And maybe he doesn’t—maybe he doesn’t care. Wooseok sure as hell doesn’t.

Maybe Wooseok wants to break—just a bit, just a little—so he lets Seungyoun slips his tongue into his mouth, fucks it in and all Wooseok can feel is his hot breath, and all Wooseok can feel is Seungyoun taking him over, his head cloudy and dazed.

He realizes that Seungyoun’s laptop has toppled off the bed, Studio Ghibli be damned.

“Hm,” Seungyoun sounds, dragging the swell of Wooseok’s plump bottom lip, almost bruised with kisses, between his teeth, nipping it wetly. “And why can’t we do this?”

“Because,” Wooseok rasps, hating how wrecked his voice sounds from just a kiss, “because—”

Because you’re my best friend.

Because Seungwoo just broke up with you.

Because this will hurt me. Because this already aches. Because this is already tearing me apart.

Seungyoun takes Wooseok’s jaw between his fingers, tilting his chin up and exposing his neck, forcing Wooseok to look right into his eyes before he mouths softly below his jawline, puffy lips littering Wooseok’s skin with kisses. Fuck. Wooseok can feel himself crumbling.

“Are you okay with this?”

Wooseok wonders why this hurts so much. It shouldn’t, what with Seungyoun pressing flowers and tattooing them onto his skin. It shouldn’t, because—isn’t this what Wooseok wanted?

“Yeah,” Wooseok breathes, staring at the way Seungyoun’s eyes have gone lidded as he kisses all the way down to his collarbone, sucking wetly at his skin. Sloppy and biting and bruising and everything in between. Fuck it all, huh? “Yeah, I’m okay with this."

Seungyoun takes a fistful of his hair, tugs hard enough for him to gasp. Wooseok lets out a tiny moan, his tongue slipping out a little as his lips part cutely, cheeks turning blotchy-pink when he hears how whiny he sounds.

“This too?”

Wooseok doesn’t trust his own voice, too afraid to let out another whine or whimper, so he only nods jerkily. But his breath catches when he feels Seungyoun tightening his grip on his hair. “Out loud, Wooseokie.”

“W-what?” Wooseok stutters out, head clouding even more.

“Is this okay?” Seungyoun reiterates impatiently. And when Wooseok doesn’t answer instantly, “C’mon, princess, it isn’t that difficult of a question.”

There it is again. Princess. Wooseok feels his brain melting into mush, feels a little drop of drool slip out of the corner of his mouth. He doesn’t even know what’s happening anymore, doesn’t know why Seungyoun has so much power over him right now, doesn’t know why he’s giving in so easily. Fuck.

“ ‘ssokay,” he mumbles mindlessly, finding that his words have slurred together, that his eyelids have started to droop, that his body is beginning to slump over. 

Seungyoun lets go of his hair, smushing their lips together for a pillowy kiss. “Good boy.”

In spite of that praise, Wooseok can’t help but squirm on top of Seungyoun, attempting to quietly grind on his thigh, hoping that he doesn’t notice.

He does.

Seungyoun bends his knee, lifts his thigh, and chuckles as Wooseok lets out a loud whine at the sudden friction—at getting caught. “Needy, huh? We’ll work on that another day, I guess.”

Wooseok’s heart beats loudly in his ears, lips parting dumbly, trying to form unspoken words, not knowing what to say, not knowing how to react to those words—to the promise of another day.

“C’mon, baby, you can get off on my thigh if you want,” Seungyoun offers, kissing his cheekbone so gently that Wooseok wants to cry, just a little.

He moans quietly when he realizes how hard he is in his sweatpants, when he remembers that Seungyoun is right there, that Seungyoun is offering. He tries to get up, to rest his weight on his palms, but when he can’t even do that, he just decides on his forearms. Hovering right on top of the other boy, face positioned right above Seungyoun’s, Wooseok forgets for a moment that he shouldn’t be doing this—that they shouldn’t be doing this—and lets himself fall in every sense of the word.

“Seungyounie,” Wooseok whimpers weakly.

“Yeah, princess?” Seungyoun asks, gently brushing away some of the strands of hair that have fallen loose over Wooseok’s glassy eyes, smiling when he sees how peach-pink Wooseok’s cheeks are.

“Can I really?”

Seungyoun eyes go soft as if he were endeared, as if he were fond. Almost.

He places a hand on the back of Wooseok’s ass, pushing down lightly so that Wooseok has no choice but to grind forward and rut against his thigh. “Go wild, sweetheart. You won’t get to do this next time, okay?”

Wooseok doesn’t really know what that means, doesn’t really know what he’s agreeing to when he mutters out a careless okay, because he’s so unbelievably hard. So fucking wet that there’s a damp spot on the crotch of his sweatpants. He whines at the embarrassment, but continues to grind his cock against Seungyoun’s thigh because—fuck.  

“Thank you,” he whimpers out, high-pitched and needy, almost as if it were a reflex.

Wooseok squeezes his eyes shut as he leans on his elbows, rolling his hips back and forward. Frantically, like he’s gonna die if he doesn’t take what Seungyoun’s giving him. He starts to bite his lip once he realizes how vocal he’s being, but little whimpers slip out and he sounds like he’s sobbing but Wooseok is too far gone to stop now.

Too far gone to care at how desperate he’s being.

The wet patch over his sweatpants grows, and he feels more drool start to leak past his lips, all wet and slick and puffy and, oh. Oh—Seungyoun is kissing him again, Seungyoun is sucking on his tongue, Seungyoun is ruining him.

Seungyoun tastes like salt, but then Wooseok realizes that’s him—that he’s started to actually cry at some point during the kiss.

Oh god.

Wooseok gasps, a wet, choked-out noise from the back of his throat. “Seungyounie,” he pants, as if it’s all he knows how to say. And it might as well be, with how fucked out he feels right now. He feels a line of saliva fall from his bottom lip, dripping down onto Seungyoun’s mouth, messily. He shifts a bit, still moving frantically, desperately, but this time he accidentally brushes against the swell of Seungyoun’s cock with the side of his thigh and. Fuck. Fuck. Wooseok wants that inside of him. Wooseok wants Seungyoun to fuck him so bad, so fucking bad that it’s all he can think of. That all he can think of is getting filled and fucked full and— 

“I wanna, wanna come. Can I come? Please?”

Seungyoun’s eyes widen and he rambles, “Holy shit. Holy shit you’re perfect.”

Wooseok lets out another cry, another sob, and he really thinks he’s gonna do it. Really thinks he’s gonna fall apart right like this. Right on top of Seungyoun, mouth open and barely able to kiss back, barely able to get himself off. Barely able to do anything but beg to come.

“Please, Seungyounie,” he gasps, eyelashes wet with tears, lips slick with spit. “I wanna, I don’t think I can—fuck, I, I—Seungyounie, I can’t. I need to, fuck, please, please, please let me come, I, I’ll do anything, please. Please.”

For a few seconds, there’s nothing but heavy breathing and breathy whimpers. Seungyoun does nothing but stare—lips swollen and puffy, cheeks flushed prettily. Seungyoun does nothing but stare carefully, right until he rasps a question: “Anything?”

“Anything,” Wooseok sobs, and it’s the truth.

Wordlessly, Seungyoun grabs Wooseok’s thin wrist. Wooseok almost loses his balance with the sudden manhandling, but he simply shifts his weight onto one forearm. Wordlessly, Seungyoun positions Wooseok’s hand right over his cock. And, god, oh god—Wooseok’s mouth waters and he’s tempted to shove his hand down Seungyoun’s pants just to feel his cock without any fabric in between, just to feel him skin-to-skin. But he just wants to come, just wants Seungyoun to let him come.

“You can do two things at once, kitten, can’t you?”

Kitten. Wooseok thinks he might just come on the spot.

Wooseok nods eagerly, thighs starting to shake as he feels Seungyoun through his sweatpants, through his boxers. But he continues to grind, chasing his own pleasure mindlessly, groaning at the nice feeling of Seungyoun’s cock, full and thick, right in his hand.

Seungyoun groans at the touch, hips starting to create a rhythm with Wooseok’s erratic thrusts. He lets Wooseok set the pace, however inconsistent it may be, and he rides along—and he lets Wooseok ride.

“God,” Seungyoun moans, voice thin and Wooseok can tell from the stutter of his hips that he’s close too. “God you’re so perfect, fuck. What the fuck.”

Wooseok feels his eyes start to sting with more tears. “Please, Seungyounie,” he sobs, palming Seungyoun’s cock messily, too absorbed in his own pleasure to do anything but just fucking take. “Don’t. Don’t tease me. Please stop being so mean, I—I’ve been so good, so, so—”

“Oh baby,” Seungyoun chuckles. “You really want it, don’t you?”

Wooseok whimpers something close to a yes, I want it.

Seungyoun’s hand returns to guide Wooseok’s, since he’s devolved into lazily rubbing him off. Now, since Wooseok’s hand is curled tightly around his cock, Seungyoun says, “I’m close too, Wooseokie. Don’t worry.” And, as if Wooseok were an afterthought: “You can come too.”

Ahh,” Wooseok whines, not even grinding anymore, just pressing his plump cock over and over again into Seungyoun’s thigh with soft, pulsing, needy thrusts. And it’s easy; he’s so easy. “Hnn, hngh, thank you, thank you, gah.

Then he feels a warm, almost-sticky wetness in his hand, and he realizes that Seungyoun has just come, that Seungyoun has just come in his sweatpants, just spilt all over his boxers, just got himself all messy with cum and god, god—that’s it for Wooseok.

Nghh,” Seungyoun gasps, voice a wreck. “Oh baby. Baby.

Wooseok lets out a loud, broken whine, high-pitched and pathetic as he sobs real tears, weakly thrusting against Seungyoun’s thigh, whispering soft thank you’s into his neck, mouthing at his skin. Not even doing anything but writhing and whining and everything and anything in between as he finally comes. Finally spills white and gets himself dirty, filthy, and it wracks his entire body with a wave of euphoria. Wooseok rides it out, feeling a lot dizzy, a lot lightheaded, and all he can think is Seungyoun, Seungyoun, Seungyoun.

There’s a pool of drool collecting in the crook of Seungyoun’s neck from where Wooseok’s been messily kissing at. His face is wet with tears, sweat, and his own spit. He feels like a mess and he knows he’s a mess, his sweatpants and underwear soaked and seeping with cum, body completely collapsed over, heavy as it rests on Seungyoun’s.

“So good, Wooseokie, did so good for me, baby,” Seungyoun praises, barely a whisper, barely a rasp of sound, patting Wooseok’s head, looking at him with fond affection in his eyes, something scarily close to love, but not quite so.

For a second, Wooseok thinks he almost looks sad.

Minutes of heavy panting and whispered praises from Seungyoun pass by, and it finally dawns on Wooseok what it is they just did.

Fuck.

☀︎

Six years ago, Wooseok learned about this thing called the sunflower phenomenon.

Young, barely bloomed flowerheads follow the sun’s path across the sky, turning to face its light. And each night, after the sun has set, they turn eastward, prepared to start all over again.

And that is their purpose, that is what they were made for: to follow the sun.

(Living and breathing is a mere consequence of that purpose, of their being.)

Six years ago—or, maybe it was five—Wooseok saw a plot of sunflowers outside his high school. (It was the morning of his first day.) Wooseok stood from afar, quietly admiring how cute the flowers were, all baby-like and blooming as they bathed in the sunlight, and then this idiot pushed idiot number two into the small flowerbed, crushing each and every single one of the sunflowers.

For destroying school property, idiot number one and idiot number two each ended up getting suspended for a day. When idiot number two came back to school, he sat next to Wooseok in chemistry, gave him a cheesy grin, told a stupid boner joke, and Wooseok has in been in full bloom ever since.

Wooseok was made to always follow Seungyoun, to always watch him and never look away.

Circadian, like a curse—

☀︎

The next morning, they have breakfast together.

It’s awkward. It’s . . . really awkward, considering they haven’t talked at all about what happened since it happened—even after they both came down, came to.

But Wooseok feels awful just not talking about it, so as Seungyoun pours himself a bowl of cereal, he speaks up, says: “I’ve . . . I’ve never done that before. Last night. I’ve never done that before.”

A beat.

“Wooseok,” Seungyoun deadpans, once he sits down across from Wooseok at the table, staring at him dryly. “I know you’re not a virgin.”

“No, I mean—” Wooseok licks his lips, shrinking in on himself as he plays with his sweater paws, feeling smaller and smaller as he practices the words in his head. “I mean . . . it was my first time not being in control.”

Seungyoun drops his spoon. It clatters as it falls back into his bowl, milk splattering—just a little.

“Oh.”

Wooseok panics. “It’s not—it’s not a big deal!” (It is.) “I just thought you should know that.”

“Holy shit, I—sorry. I, I thought . . . I don’t know, I just assumed ‘cause . . . because you took it so well, I guess?”

Wooseok’s entire body blushes pink.

“I’ve never . . . acted like that before. I don’t know why I did . . . ” (That’s a lie—the biggest fucking lie because Wooseok knows exactly why. There’s only ever been one reason why.)

“Well—I found it hot. Seeing you all shameless and needy and obedient like that,” Seungyoun word vomits, trying to comfort Wooseok from embarrassment, but only making the smaller boy blush even more.

“Thanks,” Wooseok mumbles, heat in his cheeks. “I . . . uhm . . . I liked it too, even if I’d never done anything like it before.”

“Yeah,” Seungyoun chuckles, his eyes sparkling, and it’s like a flip has been switched. “I could tell you liked it. I didn’t even have to do anything for you to start rutting your pretty little self off on my thigh, huh?”

Seungyounie,” Wooseok nearly whines, thighs squeezing together not by his own accord. Fuck.

“Sorry, sorry—I’m just teasing you,” Seungyoun says, laughing brightly. “You were so shameless last night though. Kinda caught me off guard.”

Thinking about last night makes Wooseok feel a little dizzy—he isn’t sure if a good or bad sort of dizzy, yet. “Was not,” he argues weakly, pouting.

Seungyoun laughs. “You need me to show you how desperate you get for me, sweetheart?”

Cherry blossoms fluttering, morning glory falling, roses blooming—that’s what Wooseok’s heart feels like right now.

They weren’t supposed to do this. They were supposed to talk about it, say it was a mistake, agree it was never gonna happen again.

And yet—

Here they are, eyes never leaving each other.

Wooseok knows this was stupid, knows that wanting to kiss your best friend isn’t normal. Wooseok knows that having sex with your best friend, riding his thigh to the point of tears, isn’t normal. Wooseok knows that wanting to have sex with your best friend twice isn’t normal.

And yet—

Here Wooseok is, nodding his head slowly, heart catching in his throat, breath held in his lungs.

Wooseok knows that he should try to figure out what this fluttering feeling in his chest is before surrendering to that inexplicable and undeniable attraction he feels to Seungyoun.

Wooseok knows that he should try and understand why there are butterflies in his stomach that makes him want to throw up sometimes when he’s around Seungyoun.

Wooseok knows, knows that first he should try and understand why he would pull the moon and all its stars down from the sky for Seungyoun—any day, any night.

And, most importantly: Wooseok knows that he’s nothing more than a goddamn rebound, that he’s only being used for rebound sex, that he’s letting himself be used.

And yet.

Chapter Text

(Best) Friends with Benefits.

Is that what you’d call it?

Wooseok doesn’t know. Right now, Wooseok doesn’t give a damn. Wooseok couldn’t care less about what it’s called, because Seungyoun’s dick is inside of him and god, god—Wooseok can barely think, barely breathe, and he wants nothing else than this forever.

“You said you’ve never done this before, Wooseokie,” Seungyoun rasps, his fingers teasing at Wooseok’s hole, right next to where his cock is sliding in and out, “never given up control, but why do you take it so easily then, hm? Must be ‘cause you were made for this.”

Wooseok lets out a choked whine, head lolling back, eyes starting to tear up, thighs quivering as he tries to keep up the pace, tries to keep riding Seungyoun. “You can’t, nghh, you can’t just say that, Seungyounie, what the fuck.”

“And why can’t I, baby?” Seungyoun asks, fucking up into Wooseok. And then—fuck, because he does this thing with his hand, does this thing where he curls his whole hand around the head of Wooseok’s cock, not even jerking him off, just forcing Wooseok to squirm. “God, you must’ve been made for me.”

(They’ve crossed a line. They’ve crossed so many lines.)

“All needy and obedient, just for me, huh? Comes so easy, doesn’t it? You just needed someone to put you in your place, didn’t you?”

“Shut up, shut the fuck up,” Wooseok whines, completely falling apart because of Seungyoun’s hand around his cock, because of Seungyoun’s fingertips slipping in teasingly beside his cock. “You’re a goddamn jerk. Fucking sadist assh—ngh, ahh—

Seungyoun coils an arm around Wooseok’s neck, bringing him down for a kiss, interrupting any and all of his words, his thoughts. He smiles into the kiss when he sees that Wooseok has just melted, one-hundred percent lost in the kiss.

“A bit mouthy though,” he mumbles, muffled because of how persistent Wooseok is, needy for more kisses. He pulls back with a soft laugh, rubbing Wooseok’s bottom lip with his thumb, spit gliding easily from his tongue to his lips and down his chin. “I wonder what we should do about that, Wooseokie.”

“Y’can, you can—gah,” Wooseok gasps out, feeling so full, so filled to the brim, that his head is cloudy, eyes unfocused. His tongue is peeking out from between his parted lips, and he doesn’t even realize. All he can do is want. All he can do is want Seungyoun. “You can come in my mouth? Please?”

Seungyoun lets out a choked moan. “Fucking shameless. Fucking insatiable. God, princess.”

(They’ve definitely crossed the line, wherever it was, but—Wooseok finds that he doesn’t really care, not in the slightest. He’s no stranger to bad decisions, after all.)

They keep going.

☀︎

Ass up, legs spread, and knees pressed to the sheets, Wooseok feels like he’s on the verge of death. Seungyoun has wrapped his arms around Wooseok’s thighs, forcing them apart, forcing Wooseok’s cock to rub against the sheets as he eats him out.

This must be what heaven is, or maybe it’s hell. Wooseok doesn’t think there’s a difference, not when Seungyoun’s got his fat tongue pressing against the fluttering muscle of Wooseok’s hole, licking against the tight rim and god, Wooseok is weak. Wooseok is so, so weak, because all he can do is wail and cry and make the sheets a mess, soaked with his tears and his cum and god knows what.

When Wooseok lets out an especially loud, an especially needy whine, Seungyoun takes it as a sign to thumb at his perineum, messy with his spit, and push his tongue in deeper. Perhaps he shouldn’t have told Seungyoun he’s never been eaten out before. Perhaps he shouldn’t have let Seungyoun manhandle him onto his stomach right after he came for the first time. Perhaps he shouldn’t be pressing his ass up right now, pressing softly and insistently and helplessly up into Seungyoun’s mouth.

(Perhaps they shouldn’t be doing this in the first place. Perhaps.)

But—

“Hngh, Seungyounie. Feels, feels so good. Please don’t stop, ngh, please, please—ahh.”

Leaving a gentle kiss right onto Wooseok’s hole, Seungyoun rasps out, “God, baby. You’re so good, so perfect, even if you’re so needy.”

Pupils fucking blown, Wooseok looks back at Seungyoun, sobbing a choked out whine when Seungyoun starts to make up for the lack of his tongue by rubbing his thumb against his hole, slipping it in teasingly every now and then. “I’m not needy. Stop, nhh, stop saying I’m needy.”

“Okay baby,” Seungyoun chuckles lightly, pressing his entire thumb past the tight ring of muscle, laughing cruelly when Wooseok rocks back and forth against it, whimpering whenever his cock rubs against the sheets. “Sure.”

“Don’t, don’t make fun of me, Seungyounie,” Wooseok tries to tell him firmly, but it comes out as more of a whine than anything. He feels his eyes begin to sting with more tears, feels his throat start to close up, and he doesn’t know why—doesn’t know why he feels so vulnerable right now, like he’s ready to give up everything for Seungyoun right now. (Maybe he already has.)

“ ‘m not making fun of you, kitten.”

Fuck.

“Please, Seungyounie,” Wooseok sniffles, and he doesn’t know exactly what it is begging for, but it sounds like a prayer. It might as well be. “Mmnh, mgh—ah, ahh, feel too good. Too good. Can’t take it.”

“Is my baby overwhelmed right now?”

“Don’t call me your baby, fuck, fuck.

“How can I not when you’re being so good, huh? Crying oh so prettily for me, rubbing your pretty cock against the bed, whimpering all pretty. Everything about you is just that: pretty,” Seungyoun rambles, and it’s obvious how affected he is too.

Wooseok wants to cry. He doesn’t understand why. “Seungyounie.

“Yeah?” Seungyoun asks, removing his thumb and replacing it with two fingers, pushing in until the knuckles.

“Gonna, gonna come again. Can’t take it, baby can’t take it. ‘m sorry, kitten can’t, he can’t—gah. Wanna come.” Wooseok hates himself for how desperate he sounds, how desperate he is, but all he can think of is Seungyoun’s fingers inside of him, of Seungyoun calling him his princess, of Seungyoun calling him his baby. “Seungyounie, I think I’m gonna come, fuck. Kitten’s sorry, sorry. Kitten needs to—”

Seungyoun only laughs. “Don’t be sorry. It’s not your fault you’re such a slut, princess. You can come.”

This must be heaven, or something close to it. It doesn’t matter, because either way Wooseok is breaking. Wooseok is falling apart, coming together, and everything in between.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

☀︎

“You’re a fucking monster,” Wooseok groans after he comes back from his shower. Every part of his body feels sore, but he can’t say it wasn’t worth it. “There are legitimate bruises on my hips.”

The worst part is, Wooseok isn’t even kidding; he spent the ten long minutes Seungyoun was gone taking his own shower staring at the ceiling, so fucking dazed because of Seungyoun, even if he did stay with Wooseok for the entire come down, bringing him down with soft words and burning touches.

Seungyoun only laughs as Wooseok crawls into bed next to him, slipping under the covers with a pained whimper and an overemphasized pout, all with the intent to make Seungyoun feel at least a little bit guilty. (It doesn’t work. Seungyoun thinks it only makes him look even cuter than usual, but Wooseok doesn’t need to know that.)

“Poor baby.”

Wooseok squints, glaring (non-threateningly) as he jabs his elbow into the other’s side. He feels some sort of satisfaction when Seungyoun lets out a sharp ouch, what the fuck? Wooseok merely grumbles, “You know, I never knew you were a fucking asshole in bed, Seungyounie.”

“Yeah, well I didn’t know you were an absolute cockslut in bed, Wooseokie.”

Wooseok’s jaw drops. “You—”

He isn’t allowed to let his anger to run for very long, because Seungyoun smushes their lips together without warning, and Wooseok finds that curve of his bottom lip, plump and full, fits perfectly between Seungyoun’s lips, and—and what was he mad about again?

Eyes fluttering shut, heart pattering like rain.

Seungyoun’s lips leave his and Wooseok longs for another touch, so he opens his mouth a little, pouting just like that, whining just like: “Seungyounie.”

But all he gets is a soft pat on his head. He opens his eyes to see that Seungyoun is grinning at him, his cheeks full like the moon and smiley like the sun and Wooseok’s heart beats just a little quicker, just a little louder.

“Huh. You did the same thing earlier when we were fucking,” Seungyoun says brazenly. “It’s like you have an off-switch. When you’re mad at me, all I have to do is kiss you and you’ll melt and forget everything and get all needy. You’re so cute.”

Wooseok burns. Absolutely burns—his ears red, his cheeks pinker than peach. God, there’s just something about Seungyoun lately that just makes Wooseok feel so shy, makes Wooseok feel so small

“Not true.”

“Is too.”

He doesn’t know what else to say, doesn’t know what to do about this feeling in his chest, so he just curls in on himself. He brings his knees to his chest and frantically tries to will his blush to calm down, keeping himself from smiling too wide. 

“Why do you do that thing with your smile?” Seungyoun asks, his bottom lip jutting out softly.

“Huh?”

“Where you like, try to make it smaller. When you press your lips together and your cheeks do this cute little thing where it makes me just wanna do this.” Seungyoun pokes where his cheek indents on the left.

Wooseok just came down from the clouds, but he feels like Seungyoun’s gonna bring him back up, bring him to another fucking galaxy at this point. Wooseok’s head feels light, feels dizzy, but his heart—now that’s another matter. Something weighs him down, keeps him grounded, keeps him on Earth. Dissonant.

“I don’t do that,” Wooseok protests weakly.

“You do a bunch of cute things all the time.”

“Shut up. No I don’t.”

“Yes you do, kitten.”

“Don’t call me that.”

“Hey, you liked it when I called you it earlier!”

“Yeah, well, that doesn’t count.”

“And why exactly doesn’t it count?”

“Because . . . ” Wooseok bites his lip, trying to come up with something quick and finding that the answer he thinks of makes his throat close up, makes his mouth feel dry, makes his heart feel heavy, heavier than should be allowed with Earth’s gravity. “Because nothing that happens while we’re fucking counts.”

He wonders why that hurts so much to say; it’s the truth, after all.

Seungyoun hums thoughtfully. Wooseok can’t read the look on his face. “I guess you’re right then,” he concedes, looking a little sad when he does. But then he looks Wooseok right in the eyes and asks, “But that has to mean . . . right now, right now must count, right?”

Wooseok has to wonder why Seungyoun’s pupils are shaking, why Seungyoun’s breath softly hitches, why Seungyoun looks so, so desperate right now. “Yeah,” Wooseok says, staring back at him, licking his lips. “Sure. We’re not fucking right now. It counts.”

A breath, a beat, a goddamn tick of the clock, then Seungyoun presses their mouths together, much softer than the teasing, playful kiss from earlier, and Wooseok feels like he’s dying. But, it’s weird, because Seungyoun kisses him with a hesitation Wooseok has never felt from him ever before, and he is again left wondering through the kiss—wondering why Seungyoun is barely moving his lips. It’s as if he’s trying to commit this feeling, this kiss, to memory, trying to burn an imprint of Wooseok’s lips onto his own, trying to press a soft flower between their lips and breathe it in as if it’s a remedy.

And even when Seungyoun pulls away, when he grins at Wooseok like he’s just done something very, very right, Wooseok has to wonder why, wonder what he meant by that kiss.

Breathe and wonder. Wonder once again.

☀︎

Later at the cafe:

“You horny fuck.”

“Listen—”

“I’m listening.”

Wooseok bites his lip, glancing at the clock to how much longer he has until his break ends, only to see that it doesn’t end for another twenty minutes. He’s stuck, and he doesn’t really know how to defend himself or any of his actions, so he just says: “He’s . . . hot.”

Jinhyuk stares at him blankly from across the table. “So is Byungchan. And you don’t see me fucking Byungchan,” he spits out, rubbing his temples with his fingertips. With an exasperated sigh, Jinhyuk downs the rest of his coffee. “How long have you two been doing this anyways?”

Wooseok glances at his feet, trying to avoid the other’s judging gaze. “It’s only been like a week, okay?”

“Yeah, because the brevity makes it all better,” Jinhyuk deadpans. “Dude, he’s your roommate. He’s your best friend. He’s Seungwoo-hyung’s ex-boyfriend. This is stupid. You’re stupid. You’re both gonna get hurt.”

“It’s fine. No one’s gonna get hurt, because we can’t exactly get attached. We’re best friends.” (Wooseok has told himself that so many times that some part of him actually believes it.)

Jinhyuk bursts out, “You’re both already—” but he stops himself from finishing the statement, sighing exasperatedly. He blinks once, blinks twice, then asks, “You can’t be that stupid.”

“You’d be amazed at how far his stupidity goes.”

Instantly, Wooseok turns his head to see who just spoke. He’s met with the sight of Jinhyuk and Dohyon high-fiving. “Dohyon, what the fuck?” he questions, feeling a little betrayed that they’re ganging up on him.

“Sorry, hyung,” Dohyon says, grinning with that cute, neat smile of his, and it almost distracts Wooseok from what he says next: “I don’t know what this one is about, but I’m sure it’s all on you.”

“The fuck?” Wooseok gasps, scrunching up his forehead in utter shock and confusion. Jinhyuk’s having the time of his life from the other side of the table, hands at his stomach as he wheezes, nearly folding himself in half, nearly falling out of his chair with how much he’s laughing.

Jinhyuk’s laughter booms throughout the small cafe. Wooseok wants to die just a bit more than usual.

“Oh man, as much as I wanna continue scolding you for being an idiot, I think Dohyon’s got me covered,” Jinhyuk says, breathing finally calming down as he grabs his backpack from where it’s been tossed under the table. “I’m gonna try to get to class on time for once. Dohyon, please keep it up.”

“Jinhyuk, what the fuck?” Wooseok asks again, but it falls on empty ears because Jinhyuk has already left the cafe, throwing away his empty coffee cup. 

Dohyon takes Jinhyuk’s seat. “So,” he begins, “is there anything you’re being stupid about in particular? Or is Jinhyuk just making fun of what a mess you are in general?”

Wooseok’s eye twitches. He would much rather get lectured by Jinhyuk about this, rather than Dohyon, a baby. Dohyon, the college freshman who is two years younger than the rest of the freshman class. Dohyon, who is probably even less experienced at relationships than Wooseok.

Dohyon.”

“Yes?”

Sigh. “Ugh whatever. It’s nothing. You don’t need to know about it.”

Dohyon clears his throat, evidently taking this role much too seriously thanks to Jinhyuk, but he looks excited about it, so Wooseok decides he’ll indulge the kid this morning. “Does this happen to be about Seungyoun-hyung?”

Resigning himself to his fate, Wooseok sighs tiredly. “How’d you know?”

“Because it’s always about him when it comes to you,” Dohyon explains matter-of-factly.

“Not true.”

“It kinda is though,” Dohyon insists, and it doesn’t even sound like he’s joking or making fun of Wooseok this time. “You and Seungyounie-hyung are like the binary star systems I’m learning about in this astrophysics class I’m taking this semester. You two are, like, gravitationally bound to each other, if that makes any sense. You orbit around each other.”

“You lost me at astrophysics. Speaking of which, why on earth are you, a music major, taking an astrophysics class?”

A shrug of Dohyon’s shoulders is the only answer Wooseok gets.

“So what’s new about this? You’re always being dumb about him.”

“Huh?”

Dohyon stares at Wooseok like he’s stupid. “I thought everyone gets dumb around people they’re in love with,” he clarifies, and it’s as if he’s reminding Wooseok of a very well-known fact. 

Wooseok must be having some sort of weird fever dream right now. That’s the only reasonable explanation. “I’m in what with Seungyoun?”

“Haven’t you been in love with Seungyoun-hyung since you two met?” Dohyon asks, scrunching up his face, frustration and exasperation clear on his face. “Everyone talked about it as if it was a thing back in high school so I just assumed—”

Everyone? High school?”

Dohyon blinks.

“Yeah? Jinhyuk-hyung, Yohan-hyung, definitely Hangyul-hyung—” and it’s like he’s making it his mission to name every single person in their circle. “I think everyone but Seungyoun-hyung and Seungwoo-hyung, honestly.”

Wooseok’s head is spinning. “What the fuck?”

“Oh man . . . I’m sorry, are you not? Because if not, that’s really awkward because I’ve spent the past four years—by the way, oh my god, I’ve known you for four years already?—anyways, I’ve spent the past four years thinking that you were in love with Seungyoun-hyung.”

“Dohyon-ah,” Wooseok says very seriously. “If I was in love with Seungyoun for years now, by that logic, why haven’t I done anything about it?”

“Uh . . . I don’t know? Jinhyuk-hyung always told me it was because you didn’t know you were in love, but it’s been years now, so I just thought you figured it out at some point—”

“JINHYUK said that? LEE JINHYUK?”

Dohyon shrinks in on himself, but it doesn’t really work considering how big he is. “Maybe . . . ”

Wooseok comes to a scary realization. “Is this something you all talk about behind my back?”

All of a sudden Dohyon looks squeamish. “I think I’ve said too much, hah.”

Dohyon.”

“Can you make me an iced coffee?” Dohyon flails nervously, trying to change the subject, eyes wandering anywhere but Wooseok. “I’ll tip you extra, I promise.”

“Dohyon,” Wooseok repeats a little more sternly, “answer the question.”

A beat. “Okay, it isn’t all the time, but—” Dohyon grimaces, looking guilty. “Yeah. Sometimes we talk about it. It’s just, like, a thing.”

“A thing,” Wooseok repeats dumbly. “It’s a thing.”

Dohyon scrunches his nose, and Wooseok thinks he resembles a confused, frustrated hamster. “So are you not? In love with Seungyoun-hyung, I mean.”

Wooseok’s heart is beating loud, beating outside his chest, beating out of reason when he says, “No, Dohyon-ah, I am very much not in love with Seungyoun.”

Dohyon studies Wooseok’s expression for a few seconds, not being the least bit subtle about it. He looks a little conflicted, like he wants to say something but is too afraid to ruin some sort of fragile peace between them. “Sorry about that then,” he eventually utters sheepishly, letting go of whatever it is he wanted to say. “Do you want me to tell the guys you don’t like him after all? I don’t know if they’d believe me though.”

“Sure, go ahead,” Wooseok says, but he doesn’t truly care what the rest of them think, not really. Something else is bugging at him even more, tickling at his throat like butterflies are about to fly out. “But—why do you all even think I’m in love with Seungyoun?”

Guilty, Dohyon chews on his lip for few seconds before explaining, “Well, before I even met you, Hangyul-hyung would always joke around about it, and everyone kind of treated it as a given? But I think I was never really convinced about it until Seungyoun-hyung and Seungwoo-hyung met two years ago. You looked really sad for the first few weeks they were dating.”

Wooseok tries to remember what Dohyon’s talking about, tries to remember what he felt when Seungwoo and Seungyoun started dating two years ago, but then his chest starts to ache and he decides it’s better to stop dwelling in the past—in what could have been, in what never was.

“I did?” Wooseok can’t hear anything but his own heart, beating past his ribcage. He doesn’t know how to keep it from rupturing.

“Yeah. Really sad,” Dohyon admits reluctantly, gnawing on his lip, avoiding eye contact. “You never wanted to hang out and you spent all your time at the library. When they broke up, a part of me thought you’d be happy, honestly. I know no one should ever be happy about something like that—particularly because, well, it’s them, and they both deserve the world and more, but I don’t know.”

Was he happy when they broke up?

Wooseok doesn’t think so. Seungyoun was too much of a handful for Wooseok to feel anything but annoyance.

(But maybe it was nice. Maybe some part of Wooseok liked taking care of Seungyoun, liked knowing that Seungyoun needed him, liked having Seungyoun all to himself for the first time in two years.)

“And not to mention that you always look like you wanna kiss him,” Dohyon adds, just to rub salt in the wound. “Twenty-four-seven. Like, even when he’s doing something stupid. Especially when he’s doing something stupid.”

He vaguely recollects Jinhyuk saying something similar last week. Fuck.

The worst part is: Wooseok can’t even argue with that, because kissing Cho Seungyoun has been on Wooseok’s mind ever since the day they met, ever since his first girlfriend taught him how to kiss for real, ever since Seungyoun came out of the closet all those years ago.

It was never anything deeper than curiosity, nothing more than a mere: what if? So Wooseok never thought too much into it, never thought about why he wanted to take Seungyoun’s bottom lip between his teeth and nip softly at the swell, pink and full. He never thought about why he wanted to fuck his tongue into Seungyoun’s mouth sloppily, messily; make him gasp, moan, breathe hard. Wanted to bloom pretty bruises of pink onto Seungyoun’s skin, like soft pressed flowers and a gentle decalcomania. Wanted to taste Seungyoun and run his fingertips over craters, birthmarks, moles shaped like stars.

But now, Wooseok finally wonders: why does he want to kiss Seungyoun all the time?

Huh.

Dohyon squirms in his seat, all squeamish and anxious because Wooseok hasn’t responded for a while. The only sound that floats between them is the natural whirr of the cafe, the gentle drone of customers, and a ballad playing quietly in the background. 

Two minutes pass like this, Wooseok mid-crisis, then Dohyon asks, “Can I still ask what the stupid thing is you did?”

Wooseok rolls his eyes, head spinning like crazy. “I’ll go get you that iced coffee.”

“Is that a no?”

“That’s a no.”

Wooseok has thought about kissing Seungyoun a lot, but he’s never thought about why, because the thought of liking Cho Seungyoun as anything more than a friend was something so impossible, so unthinkable, that Wooseok would have sooner reached the loneliest star in the galaxy than have realized the truth, the gravity, or the reality of his feelings.

Having feelings for Cho Seungyoun was never an option. Wooseok didn’t have the capacity to dream like that.

But now he dreams; now he wonders.

☀︎

After his shift at the cafe ends, Wooseok has what is probably the worst afternoon of his life. Wooseok has such a bad afternoon that the talk he had with Dohyon flies far from his mind—at first.

  • It starts pouring, and Wooseok has neither a rain jacket nor an umbrella.
  • He remembers that he was supposed to be at the library to work on his group midterm for Music Theory 401, so Wooseok not only has to hightail it and run across campus in the downpour, but he is also very, very late.
  • Consequently, all of his group mates are (understandably) very, very mad and very, very passive-aggressive toward him the entire time. He has to hold back tears for the rest of the hour, clothes soaked and cheeks blotchy with embarrassment.
  • As he runs back to his apartment, the rain still not relenting, he realizes he left his phone at the library, and he has to double back.
  • Wooseok feels like he’s about to break.

So when he gets home, he plants himself face first into the couch cushions and lets himself cry. Lets himself wallow miserably and whimper quietly, tears slipping from the corners of his eyes, red-rimmed and puffy. 

Lost in his thoughts, Wooseok doesn’t even notice the door to their apartment opening, doesn’t even notice that Seungyoun’s right there, that Seungyoun’s been asking him what’s wrong until he physically sits down in the space right by Wooseok’s head.

“Baby, what happened?” Seungyoun asks, running his fingers through Wooseok’s brown mess of hair, still wet from the rain.

Blushing, Wooseok rasps out stubbornly, “Don’t call me baby.”

“Sorry,” Seungyoun mumbles sheepishly, sounding embarrassed. “It just slipped out.”

“ ‘s fine,” Wooseok utters. When he realizes that his voice is muffled against the cushion, he tilts his head so that only his cheek is pressed against the cushion, facing inward toward the body of the couch, pouting and sniffling. “I’m just having a bad day. Nothing important.”

“It’s important to me,” Seungyoun mutters, barely a whisper, almost as if Wooseok wasn’t meant to hear it. He continues stroking Wooseok’s head, alternating between soft pats and playing with his hair. Wooseok already feels a little better. “What happened?”

“Don’t wanna talk about it.”

“That’s okay.”

When Seungyoun doesn’t leave, Wooseok can’t resist the stubborn urge inside of him to whine a petulant please leave me alone. He grimaces as soon as he says it, because he really, really doesn’t want to be alone right now.

“You don’t mean that. Last time I left you alone when you were this sad, you were mad for days. Even though you told me to get out.”

“Not true,” Wooseok mumbles, his cheeks warm because that definitely happened, his cheeks warm because oh, thank god, Seungyoun will stay with him.

It’s always been hard for Wooseok to let himself be vulnerable, to lay his heart out in the open—but not when it comes to Seungyoun.

Seungyoun is the one exception, like always.

“Sure, Wooseokie,” Seungyoun hums, mindlessly brushing Wooseok’s damp hair away from his forehead. “You should change out of these clothes. You’re soaked.”

“Don’t want to.”

“Stubborn cat.”

“Shut up. I‘m not a cat.”

“Yeah. You’re right, I’m sorry. You’re a kitten.”

Wooseok’s face burns uncontrollably. He decides to finally sit up so that he can look Seungyoun right in the eyes. “And you’re an asshole.”

Seungyoun smiles, eyes going bright when he brings his hand up to thumb away at Wooseok’s tears, messily slipped down his blotchy-pink cheek, dripped down to his lips. Seungyoun rubs at his bottom lip, salt-wet and puffy. “There we go. There’s my Wooseokie.”

“I’m not yours,” Wooseok utters, heart pounding, lip jutting out. “Shut up.”

Seungyoun chuckles in response, patting Wooseok’s head again. “Oh! I have an idea,” he says excitedly, unzipping his orange hoodie and throwing it over Wooseok’s shoulders. “You must’ve been cold.”

“I wasn’t cold,” Wooseok insists, pouting. But he puts on the hoodie anyways. It’s big, oversized even for Seungyoun, so Wooseok feels like he’s drowning. He sniffles a little bit, throat still thick with tears, and that’s when he realizes how much the hoodie smells like Seungyoun. Wooseok’s body shivers, but he melts too.

“Feeling better?”

Seungyoun’s sweatshirt is warm, just like him.

“No,” Wooseok lies. He still feels like shit, but he feels a little less like he’s about to break at any moment. He lets the sleeves of Seungyoun’s hoodie flop over his fingertips—a habit he’s trying and failing to break—and curls in on himself, just a bit.

Seungyoun frowns. “How do I cheer you up?”

“Afraid you can’t.”

“There’s nothing I can’t do.”

“How confident of you.”

“Sexy, right?”

Wooseok breathes out a laugh. God, this is so stupid but Wooseok feels so unreasonably fond. “Yes, Seungyounie, I’m so fucking turned on right now,” he deadpans.

And then two problems arise.

Problem #1: Seungyoun’s eyes are filled with so many stars that Wooseok is too distracted to fight back when Seungyoun pulls him into his chest.

Problem #2: A hug doesn’t seem to be enough for Seungyoun because Wooseok finds himself being pulled away from Seungyoun’s chest and into his lap.

“Why?” Wooseok groans, blushing wildly.

“Sorry, I don’t know,” Seungyoun apologizes, like it’s out of his control. “I think I just like you better there.”

“In your lap?”

“Yeah. In my lap.”

“I’m getting your clothes wet.”

“Doesn’t matter. You’re worth it.”

With a soft, embarrassed whine, Wooseok presses his flushed face to Seungyoun’s shoulder. Seungyoun’s heart thrums under Wooseok’s ear, his chest rising and falling and Wooseok can do nothing but let himself rise and fall with each breath that isn’t his own. Wooseok thinks of sunflowers again, thinks of the Circadian curse, thinks about that flowerbed Seungyoun ruined all those years ago.

Then Wooseok thinks of what Dohyon was saying earlier, something about binary star systems, something about being gravitationally bound to each other, and he decides that that metaphor doesn’t work for them; if anything, Wooseok is bound to Seungyoun, but never the other way around. Wooseok is a small flower that turns to the light, Wooseok is a small planet that orbits around the sun, Wooseok is a small human who gets fuzzy feelings whenever he sits his body in Seungyoun’s lap, who gets dizzy and flushed whenever Seungyoun pats his head and calls him a good boy.

In each and every universe, Seungyoun is big, so much bigger than him, and Wooseok’s world and all its stars revolves around him. And no matter what, Wooseok revolves around him.

Oh.

Oh.

Oh.

Something finally clicks, finally catches in Wooseok’s throat. A butterfly wing, a flower petal, or perhaps even the loneliest star in the universe catches in Wooseok’s lungs because, oh god, oh god. Dohyon was right. Jinhyuk was right. 

Everyone was right.

Oh god, oh god.

Wooseok is in love and he’s been in love for a long time now.

This is why Wooseok always wants to kiss him. This is why he’d pull down the sun and the moon if it meant he could give Seungyoun the world. This is why he’d grab each and every star down from heaven if it meant Seungyoun would be happy forever.

This is why; this has always been why.

Oh.

He wants to cry, just a little bit (read: a lot).

“Your heart’s beating really fast, Wooseokie.”

Wooseok’s heart is screaming I’m in love with you I’m in love with you I’m in love with you and Wooseok doesn’t know what to do. Wooseok doesn’t know what to do because these feelings aren’t new. Wooseok doesn’t know what to do because it’s Seungyoun, because Seungyoun is his best friend and Wooseok can’t lose his best friend on account of this, whatever this is.

Wooseok doesn’t know what to do because he’s scared.

God—he’s fucking terrified, but at least it’s Seungyoun. If it’s anyone in the whole goddamn universe, this universe with half as many stars that are held in Seungyoun’s eyes, at least it’s him, and that’s the only thing giving Wooseok solace.

It’ll all be okay, because it’s Seungyoun.

“You can hear my heart?” he asks, voice thick with held back tears.

“ ‘s really loud.”

“Sorry,” Wooseok mumbles, face feeling even warmer than before. I love you, I love you, I love you.

“Don’t be. It’s cute.”

It’s amazing how fast one word can turn Wooseok into an absolute mess. “Shut up. I’m having a bad day.”

“Yeah? Tell me about it, baby.”

Baby. Wooseok decides he’ll let that one slip, because maybe a (not-so) small part of him wants to be Seungyoun’s baby. “Lots of little things.”

“Haha,” Seungyoun chuckles. “You’re a little thing.”

Wooseok whines, high-pitched and embarrassed. “Asshole.”

And they stay like that for at least a few minutes; Wooseok’s heart is so, so full of love, beating for Seungyoun. (Maybe Seungyoun’s beats for him too.) For a couple minutes there, Wooseok really believes it could.

At least until the front door opens. Wooseok lifts his head from Seungyoun’s shoulder to see who just came in, and—

Oh.

Seungwoo.

“Sorry, I thought—” Eyes wide, Seungwoo gulps and takes a deep breath. “I thought you wanted me to just let myself in.”

“Fuck, sorry, I totally forgot. Hey, Wooseokie, can you—” Get off my lap? he seems to ask, eyes desperate and pleading, the spell breaking.

“Sure yeah, of course,” Wooseok hurries to say, scrambling to sit on the other side of the couch, curling up into a little ball—suddenly insecure, suddenly self-conscious that Seungwoo just saw him sitting pliant in Seungyoun’s lap. Wooseok wonders if his eyes are still puffy and red from crying. Wooseok wonders if Seungwoo can tell.

“Sorry, Wooseokie. I, uh, I have some stuff to give back to Seungwoo, and I told him yesterday that he could come over today since he still has a key. It’ll be quick, I promise.”

Because he doesn’t really know what else to say, Wooseok utters quietly, “It’s fine.”

Hesitantly, Seungyoun smiles. “Sorry again,” he says, giving Wooseok one last head pat before he stands up and goes over to Seungwoo.

Seungwoo looks over to where Wooseok is on the couch, then he blinks, looks down at his feet, and smiles that Snoopy smile of his. But—he looks sad. Sad Snoopy? Wooseok doesn’t know, but what he does know is that Seungyoun looks sad too, that Seungyoun looks guilty.

But guilty of what?

Seungwoo eventually stops staring at his own feet and starts staring at Seungyoun, and all they do is look at each other like that, not talking, just looking at each other. Tenderly, longingly, like they miss each other. Like they want each other back.

Do they?

Wooseok wonders why he suddenly feels sick. He stops watching them and pulls out his phone to distract himself, but suddenly Seungyoun wraps his hand around Seungwoo’s wrist and drags him to his room, wordlessly.

Jealousy: that must be what Wooseok is feeling right now. That ache in his heart that started two years ago and hasn’t ever gone away in full, it was jealousy all along, wasn’t it?

Wooseok wants Seungyoun all to himself.

God, he feels sick.

He feels even sicker when he realizes that the door to Seungyoun’s room is left open, that he can still see the two of them from where he’s sitting. He doesn’t want to watch, but he can’t not.

“Uh,” Seungyoun says first, “there’s your stuff. Sorry it took me so long to get it all together.”

Seungwoo looks to where Seungyoun is pointing, nodding his head. “It’s fine, Seungyoun.”

And, as Seungwoo leans down to pick up the box of all his things, Seungyoun suddenly blurts out, “Hyung, are you sure there’s no way we can’t try to make it work?

Oh. Seungyoun does want Seungwoo back.

Of course he does.

Seungwoo stands up straight, the cardboard box still untouched. “Seungyoun, we talked about this already.”

Is that why they met that day?

Wooseok’s never heard Seungyoun more desperate than now, his voice cracking when he asks, “But why can’t we? Why can’t we try and make it work?”

Seungwoo smiles that sad Snoopy smile of his again, but this time he looks Seungyoun in the eye. “You know why.”

Seungyoun doesn’t respond.

Once again, Wooseok is left wondering. (Left wondering why they broke up, why Seungyoun looks so guilty right now. Left wondering what could be keeping the two of them from getting back together.)

But then—

Seungwoo changes Seungyoun’s grip on his wrist so that their fingers interlace, and Wooseok realizes that Seungyoun’s been holding onto him this entire time. Seungwoo pulls him into a kiss, lips just barely touching. 

Wooseok’s breath stops, and maybe his world does too.

So he looks away, burying his face between his knees.

It makes Wooseok think of his and Seungyoun’s first kiss.

“I’m sorry,” he hears Seungyoun say.

“I know you are,” Seungwoo replies.

Then Seungwoo picks up his box of things and leaves unceremoniously, placing his key on the counter. When the front door shuts completely, Wooseok lifts his head from his knees and looks over to Seungyoun.

Seungyoun hasn’t left from where he was standing, rooted in the ground.

Wooseok squints a little, and he sees that Seungyoun has started to cry.

And, well?

Because he’s in love, Wooseok gets up from where he was curled up on the couch. Because he’s in love, Wooseok wraps his arms around Seungyoun’s body and fits himself underneath Seungyoun’s chin. Because he’s stupidly in love, Wooseok brings his hands up to Seungyoun’s face to rub his tears away, just as Seungyoun did for him earlier.

And, because Wooseok is Wooseok, he has to go onto his tiptoes to kiss Seungyoun’s cheeks, full like the moon, salt-wet like the sea.

“Wooseok,” Seungyoun utters. “You don’t need to do this.”

“But I want to, okay?” Wooseok responds stubbornly, both his hands going to hold Seungyoun’s, squeezing when Seungyoun’s hands stay limp. He goes on his tiptoes again to kiss him on the lips, his heart starting to break when he tastes salt, when Seungyoun’s lips don’t move back.

Seungyoun furrows his eyebrows. “You don’t need to do this for me.”

Wooseok frowns, lips falling into a pout. “Do you not want me to?”

“Wooseokie,” Seungyoun whispers, eyes glossy, mouth pink and stinging. “You’re not—”

“I’m not what, Seungyounie?” Wooseok breathes, his heart breaking even more. The flowers caught in his lungs start to pile up, yellow petals rotting black, and Wooseok doesn’t know a remedy. “Enough?”

“No, what? You, you—you’re always enough,” Seungyoun gasps out. “It’s just, you, you’re . . . ”

“I’m not Seungwoo,” Wooseok finishes, letting go of Seungyoun’s hands.

(Seungwoo is perfect; Wooseok is not.)

“It’s not that. You’re my friend, Wooseok. You’re my best friend.”

Wooseok knows that better than anyone, knows that better than Seungyoun. “That didn’t stop you from sleeping with me,” he spits. That didn’t stop me, either, he thinks. “Or does that only apply when you’re not emotionally vulnerable?”

“It’s not like that,” Seungyoun insists, resolute.

“Then what’s it like?” Wooseok asks, spit-fire.

Seungyoun’s head falls. He doesn’t respond.

Wooseok stares at him for a few more seconds, giving him another chance to say something, to say anything, but Seungyoun stays silent.

So Wooseok scoffs and exits the room with a huff, cheeks flushed.

He finds his phone from where he left it on the couch and opens up his texts, eyes stinging with tears of his own. As he blinks the wetness away, he thinks about asking Jinhyuk if he can come over, but then he realizes Seungwoo is probably there.

So instead—

wooshin
hey
are u free right now?

puppy
yeah
why?

wooshin
can i come over to ur dorm room
i think i need someone right now

puppy
of course
bad day?

wooshin
haha
yeah
you could say that :)

The only boy stupid enough to try to touch the sun freefell into the ocean, wax wings melting, white legs disappearing into green water—the world apathetic like always.

(Wooseok thinks he might be even more stupid than Icarus because Icarus didn’t fall in love with the sun.)

☀︎

A week passes, and Wooseok barely sees Seungyoun. It’s honestly impressive, considering they’re literally roommates and they’ve somehow managed to avoid each other like their lives depend on it. In Wooseok’s case, perhaps it does. He thinks he might die if he has to talk with Seungyoun after everything that happened.

A week passes where Wooseok barely sees Seungyoun, and he spends a lot of that week with Yohan. He spends too much of that week with Yohan.

One afternoon when they’re cuddled up in bed together for a nap, Yohan mindlessly and casually mutters, “You know, random thought, but I really didn’t think you could get any more stupid, hyung.”

“Yohanie, Shut up,” Wooseok mumbles sleepily, thinking of the similar conversation they had at the cafe the morning after he kissed Seungyoun. Oh, how things have changed. “You’re literally failing calculus.”

“Big talk from the man who tried to suck his TA’s dick to save his grade in stats.”

“Oh, fuck off. You know he had a thing for me.”

“Yeah. He also had a thing for his girlfriend.”

Wooseok punches Yohan’s upper arm, wincing when it ends up hurting his own fist more than it probably hurt Yohan. He pouts quietly and hopes that Yohan doesn’t notice. (But Yohan does, in fact, notice. He giggles and pokes Wooseok’s cheek. Cute, Yohan teases.)

“I’m heartbroken, Yohan-ah. You can’t be mean to me,” Wooseok complains, taking a page from Seungyoun’s book.

“Took you long enough to realize you’re in love with him.”

Ouch. Wooseok pouts slightly. “Too far.”

Eyes softening, Yohan pulls Wooseok in close to snuggle the boy tighter, a leg splayed over both of Wooseok’s. (Yohan’s always had this tendency to treat Wooseok more like a stuffed plushie than an actual human being.) “Sorry, hyung.”

“You’re fine,” Wooseok assures. 

They spend a couple more minutes cuddling; Wooseok feels like he’s about to fall asleep with Yohan’s body cocooning his. One of Yohan’s playlists is on shuffle in the background and it’s all songs Wooseok doesn’t know.

“I’ve been meaning to ask this,” Yohan wonders aloud, voice slipping into the dark but gentle, sunrise-like timbre of his playlist, “why am I saved as puppy in your phone? Wasn’t I bunny?

Wooseok laughs. “It’s cause I met Jeongguk and realized he’s even more bunny than you. You’re cute as a puppy too, so it’s fine.”

“Hyung!”

“Shut up,” Wooseok mumbles, blushing at how Yohan is rubbing their cheeks together. God, this kid is an actual puppy. “By the way, are you sure Hangyul’s fine with me staying over again?”

“As long as you don’t deplete our Smirnoff stash again. You owe us like thirty dollars.”

Last week, when he came to Yohan right after storming out of his and Seungyoun’s apartment, he ended up staying with Yohan and Hangyul for the entire night, treating the Smirnoff bottle like water, hugging it to sleep.

“Who the hell drinks strawberry vodka anyways?”

Me and Hangyul. And shut up. We mix it with juice.”

“You two are lightweights.”

“And you’re an alcoholic.”

“Fuck off.”

“No can do, hyung. It’s my job to help you get un-heartbroken.”

“Oh?” Wooseok asks. “Now what exactly does this job entail?”

“Lots of cuddling. Lots of getting drunk together. Lots of beating Hangyul at Smash. Maybe we should invite Jeongguk for an actual challenge.”

“You two act like you have the biggest crushes on each other despite literally being boyfriends,” Wooseok groans bitterly.  (Yohan goes pink.) He and Jeongguk are cute, Wooseok will admit, but he doesn’t know if he can take the cute overload tonight. “I’d rather invite Tae and Park Jihoon.”

Yohan scrunches up his face like a bunny at the thought of it. “Oh fuck no. They’re the disgusting ones. Taehyung would try and suck Jihoon’s face the entire time and make Jihoon sit in his lap in front of us. And then Jihoon would start crying in embarrassment, and then Taehyung would get turned on, and then they’d leave to go have sex.”

Wooseok shivers, because that’s actually happened before.

“Maybe it’ll just be you, me, and Hangyul tonight then.”

Yohan hums. “That sounds good.”

That’s the plan. But it’s just a plan, after all. 

Maybe Wooseok shouldn’t have anything less than absolute anarchy, since Yohan and Hangyul are probably the biggest idiots Wooseok has ever had the pleasure of knowing.

☀︎

Two hours later, when Hangyul gets back from dinner, it’s not just him.

“So, let me just get this straight,” Wooseok hisses out, eye twitching as he glares at Yohan. “You told Hangyul that it was perfectly fine to bring Seungyoun over because Seungyoun wanted to avoid me? And I’m the dumb one here?”

Yohan laughs awkwardly. “Haha. I forgot you were here. Honest mistake.”

Trying to help Yohan, Hangyul says, “Yeah. You’re so small. Easy to miss.”

Hangyul,” Wooseok growls, trying to be as threatening and intimidating as possible.

“Hyung, no offense, but you’re kind of adorable when you get mad,” Yohan teases.

“Like an angry kitten,” Hangyul adds uselessly. He and Yohan high-five each other.

Before Wooseok actually murders dumb and dumber, Seungyoun speaks up, “Wooseokie, I can go if you want. You were here first.”

“No, it’s fine. I’ll go. You can stay.”

“I don’t mind leaving.”

“Neither do I.”

“Are you sure? I can go.”

“I’m sure,” Wooseok repeats. (He makes no effort to leave, still standing in front of Seungyoun.)

“You don’t need to. I’ll be the one.” (Seungyoun stays where he is, feet planted to the ground.)

“Fine.”

“Fine.”

Wooseok doesn’t really know what they just agreed on, but what he does know is that, although neither he nor Seungyoun left, Yohan and Hangyul did. He really is gonna murder those two one day.

“What the fuck,” Seungyoun utters when he realizes, looking behind him to see the swung open door.

“I hate those two,” Wooseok spits out, storming past Seungyoun to find them, but then there’s a hand around his wrist pulling him back.

“Wait, don’t go—”

Seungyoun manhandles Wooseok into sitting on Yohan’s bed. Wooseok isn’t really able to fight back when Seungyoun shoves him around like this. Seungyoun doesn’t do it often; he’s always the one catching Wooseok whenever he gets pushed around, always the one to treat Wooseok as gentle as possible, but—

He puts both his hands on Wooseok’s shoulders to prevent him from escaping. Wooseok gives in, face scrunching up to frown at Seungyoun.

“What are you doing?”

“Trying to make things better.”

“As if you care.” Wooseok regrets those words the moment he says it, because of course Seungyoun cares. Seungyoun always cares, and that’s why Wooseok’s heart is forever in bloom.

“Wooseokie,” Seungyoun starts sincerely, sitting down next to Wooseok, a hand on his thigh. “I’m sorry.”

“For what?” Wooseok asks, scoffing. “Being in love with Seungwoo? Wanting him back? That’s not your fault, Seungyounie.”

Seungwoo and Seungyoun have history, they have baggage that neither of them seem ready to let go of. Wooseok knows this. Wooseok knows this, knows that two years don’t just disappear with a breakup.

That’s why he isn’t angry at Seungyoun, not truly. (Wooseok is angry at himself for thinking that a kiss was enough. Angry at himself for thinking that he was enough.)

I don’t want him b—” Then Seungyoun bites his lip, swallowing whatever it is he wanted to say. 

“Huh?”

But then Seungyoun moves on without clarifying. “That’s not what I’m sorry about. I’m sorry about making you feel like I was using you to get over him. I know that’s what it probably felt like, ‘cause we never talked about it, not really, but I promise that wasn’t what I wanted to do. That’s not what this was meant to be.

“Then what was this meant to be?” If you weren’t using me to get over Seungwoo, then what were you doing?

Seungyoun looks like he has a secret. Looks like he has something he’s too afraid to say. Looks like he’s holding back. (He doesn’t end up saying it, not yet.) Wooseok counts his own heartbeats; it takes sixty-five for Seungyoun to finally say something.

“You’re hot?”

Wooseok rolls his eyes, smacks Seungyoun’s hand off his thigh, and goes to stand up. “If you’re just gonna be a dick and not take me seriously—”

“Wait, Wooseokie, fuck,” Seungyoun scrambles to say, panicking and wrapping his arms around Wooseok’s waist, backhugging him to keep him from leaving. “I mean it. I didn’t mean to take advantage of you, but I did anyways.”

Breathe, Wooseok, breathe. Don’t think about Seungyoun’s arms around your waist, his chin on your shoulder. Don’t think about it.

“It’s okay,” he mumbles, his brain turning to mush with how Seungyoun’s draped over him right now. Huh, he wonders, so this is what being in love does to the brain. “I let you. I let you use me and do whatever you wanted because I didn't mind. And I feel like I took advantage of you and your emotional state too. I don’t know why, but I thought that kissing you would help somehow, but that was wrong, and I shouldn’t have done that. You were sad. Making out wouldn’t have helped.”

“No no, Wooseokie. This wasn’t you. This was all me being stupid over Seungwoo. It was me just being a jerk. You were trying to help when you kissed me, and I made you feel like I didn’t want your help. I was just being selfish.”

Wooseok’s mouth twists. “Selfish?”

“I wasn’t using you to get over Seungwoo-hyung, I promise you that, but I was just doing what I wanted, Wooseokie, which wasn’t fair to you,” Seungyoun confesses. He looks so torn, looks so guilty and Wooseok doesn’t want that. Wooseok doesn’t want Seungyoun thinking this is all on him, because when it comes down to it—

It was Wooseok who started everything. It was Wooseok who kissed him first; it was Wooseok who cried and grinded on his thigh. It was Wooseok who fell in love.

“Hey,” Wooseok breathes, placing his hands over Seungyoun’s. “I liked it. I liked everything you did, Seungyounie. Whatever you wanted, I wanted too. If you were being selfish, so was I.”

(Selfish. Wooseok is being so utterly selfish.)

“Are you sure?”

Wooseok has never been more sure of anything in his life. “Of course I wanted it,” he murmurs shyly. “You’re hot too, okay?”

(Selfish. Wooseok doesn’t want them to stop this, whatever this is, even though he knows that they should.)

“Oh, Wooseokie!” Seungyoun cheers, happily squeezing Wooseok’s little body even tighter. He picks Wooseok up and spins him around, but Wooseok doesn’t think that’s why he feels dizzy. 

As they topple onto Yohan’s barely-made bed together, Wooseok thinks of cherry blossoms, fluttering feelings, and falling in love.

“Are we okay now?” Wooseok asks with a small voice.

“You’re so cute. I hope you know that I love you a lot. You’re always more than enough for me, Wooseokie.”

“That’s not—” Wooseok is flustered, fuck. “That’s not answering my question, Seungyounie. What the fuck.”

Seungyoun laughs. “Yeah, yeah we’re okay.”

Maybe Wooseok isn’t a sunflower; maybe he’s a cherry blossom instead. Cherry blossoms fall at five centimeters per second, and Wooseok has been falling, falling, falling since the day he and Seungyoun met.

Even if there wasn’t gravity on earth, Wooseok would still probably fall for Cho Seungyoun eleven times out of ten.

☀︎

Cats have nine lives, but Wooseok only has one, and he is one-hundred percent sure that Seungyoun is trying to end it.

“Ngh, Seungyounie,” Wooseok mumbles sleepily, breath hitching when Seungyoun starts to mouth at his neck, hands wandering under Wooseok’s shirt. “We just woke up.”

Seungyoun presses a wet, open-mouth kiss right over his pulse point, sucking hard enough to make Wooseok gasp. “Wanna make it up to you.”

Ever since he and Seungyoun made up a few days ago, Seungyoun has made it his goal to make it up to Wooseok in every way possible. Usually via sex. Mostly via sex. Almost always via sex, and Wooseok feels like he’s about to die.

“Don’t need to,” Wooseok groans, feeling himself getting hard in his shorts, the pink velvet shorts that Hangyul got him as a birthday gift one time. The stupid little shorts that barely cover his ass. The stupid little shorts that Wooseok wears as pajamas nowadays, since Seungyoun has grown something of a like for them; easy access, easy fuck, he says.

“Wanna make you feel good then,” Seungyoun rasps. “Always wanna make you feel good, baby. And I know you like getting fucked first thing in the morning.”

Wooseok moans, because, yeah. Yeah he does. “F-fine. But I’m not doing anything.”

“Pillow princess, I told you.”

“Shut up.”

“But is it okay if you do something small for me, baby? It won’t be a lot, I promise,” Seungyoun asks, palming Wooseok’s cock over his shorts.

“W-what is it?” Wooseok hums, hesitantly, hips arching into the touch. His head feels cloudy, a little dizzy with Seungyoun on top of him, caging him in, but he’s starting to get used to it, starting to realize that this is how Seungyoun makes him feel.

This is what being in love is like.

“I wanna see you touch yourself for me.”

Wooseok lets a choked, high-pitched whimper escape his throat. “But that’s embarrassing,” he whines.

“I’ll take care of you, kitten, don’t worry.”

“You always do,” Wooseok utters, not really thinking about what he’s saying. “ ‘m never worried.”

“So can you do this for me, baby? Wanna see you playing with yourself for me.”

“Did your horny ass just wake up and think, Oh! I wanna see Wooseok fuck himself this morning?”

Seungyoun laughs, eyes sparkling, skin glowing, and Wooseok feels just a little bit deeper in love. “Nah. I think about you playing with your pretty self all the time.”

Fuck.

Wooseok doesn’t understand how Seungyoun can just say things like that, how he can just say that he thinks about Wooseok all the time, how he can just say that he thinks Wooseok is pretty, as if every part of Wooseok’s entire being isn’t already peach-pink.

Seungyounie.”

“Hey, I’m serious,” Seungyoun says, pulling away from Wooseok to sit up against the headboard. “I’ve thought it through. I’d get you to sit in my lap like this—”

Then he manhandles Wooseok’s body, sleepy and pliant, so that Wooseok’s back is against his chest, so that Wooseok is in between his spread thighs.

“—so that I could watch you, okay?”

“Hng—hhh, I don’t know, Seungyounie,” Wooseok whines, squeezing his eyes shut as he buries his face in Seungyoun’s shoulder behind him.

“You don’t have to do it if you don’t wanna, but—” Seungyoun slips his hand under Wooseok’s thigh to tease at his hole, a little loose from last night from when Seungyoun fucked him open. The velvet fabric of Wooseok’s shorts barely does anything at all. “But I promise I’ll take care of you. And I promise I’ll fuck you afterward, kitten, if you’re good. Just wanna see you be good for me.”

“Can’t you just fuck me on your own?” Wooseok mumbles petulantly, brain starting to melt with how easy it would be for Seungyoun to just push his fingers in right now.

“Lazy kitten.”

“Shut up, ‘m sleepy and you said you’d take care of me.”

Seungyoun presses his chest to Wooseok’s back and starts to suck on his earlobe, just for a little, before he whispers, “Can’t you be a good kitten for me for once? C’mon, Seokie.”

God, Wooseok is weak.

Wooseok is so fucking weak, because he closes his eyes again and brings his hand down to his cock. “I have an assignment due tonight, hngh.”

“Good thing it’s only six a.m., babe.”

“Fuck you, honestly.”

“Yeah?” Seungyoun murmurs, laying his hand over Wooseok’s. “Keep going. I’ll help you if you need me to.”

Wooseok tries to palm himself over the velvet gently, tries to take himself apart slow and easy, but Seungyoun’s hand is pressing down harder than he can take, and little moans start to bubble out from his throat.

“Seungyounie,” he whimpers. “Not fair.”

“Take those shorts off,” Seungyoun demands, ignoring Wooseok’s complaints. “Wanna see your pretty little cock.”

“It’s not little. Shut up.”

Seungyoun chuckles. “Fine. I wanna see your pretty cock then, better?”

“Much better,” Wooseok sighs, pulling them off, whining when he sees that his white briefs have a damp spot where his cock is, knowing that Seungyoun is gonna make fun of him for it. (And he does.)

“So worked up already?”

“Fuck you,” Wooseok says again, going to pull off these too, but—

Seungyoun beats him to it, peeling off his briefs and throwing them somewhere off the bed, onto the ground. Wooseok groans, annoyed because one of them is gonna have to pick it up, but then Seungyoun is spreading his thighs wide apart, placing them atop his own thighs, and nothing else matters.

“Be my good kitten, okay?” Seungyoun orders, rucking up Wooseok’s shirt to expose his chest, fingertips dancing teasingly over his nipples. “I’ll help you up here.”

“O-okay, Seungyounie, I’ll try,” Wooseok hums, starting to fall, head clouded deliciously, being pushed further and further with each touch. He trusts Seungyoun, knows Seungyoun will take care of him. “I’ll be good.”

Curling up a fist around the head of his cock, Wooseok starts to drag his precum up and down the shaft, biting his lip when he realizes how wet his hand is, how wet his cock is going to be.

He’s never done this in front of someone else, never showed someone else what he’s like when he’s getting himself off, and Wooseok is suddenly filled with pink-hot embarrassment because it’s Seungyoun, because Cho Seungyoun is the first person to see him like this.

Oh god, god, his cock is so fucking wet and his hand is already sticky, and he wants to cry, wants to hide his face.

And when he tries to, Seungyoun lightly slaps his cheek. Wooseok’s mouth goes wide, letting out a little betrayed whine. He feels a little bit of drool seep from the corners of his mouth, feels a little bit of precum spurt from his cock. Oh god, oh my fucking god, that turns me on?

“You said you’d be good, Wooseokie, so don’t try and hide your pretty, blushing face,” Seungyoun reminds him, pinching a nipple with one hand, pushing down on one of Wooseok’s thighs with the other.

Wooseok nods his head, but then he remembers that Seungyoun doesn’t like it when he doesn’t say things out loud, so he mutters, “I won’t.”

“Good boy,” Seungyoun says, kissing the top of Wooseok’s head. “Now keep going. And keep your eyes open. Want you to see how pretty you are when you touch yourself.”

Wooseok lets out another quiet affirmation as he continues to stroke himself, pale thighs starting to quiver because of how sensitive and slippery he already is. His eyes tear up and he’s thankful that he doesn’t have to see how desperate he is, how red his cock is.

Knowing that Seungyoun is watching him, that Seungyoun can see every part of him, every part of his body right now terrifies him, but something about it brings a rush to Wooseok’s cloudy head. Like he’s about to freefall any moment now—but he won’t. He can’t.

Wooseok doesn’t realize that he’s been biting his bottom lip so hard that it’s started to bleed until Seungyoun smacks his thigh, a lot harder than when he tapped Wooseok’s cheek, and warns, “Kitten, if you want to keep yourself quiet, then you know what to do, don’t you?”

“Y-yeah,” Wooseok mumbles. “I’m sorry. Kitten’s sorry.”

And then he slips two fingers inside his mouth, just like Seungyoun tells him to do whenever he starts to bite his lip or bite at his drawstrings while they’re fucking. Wooseok thinks a part of Seungyoun must be sick, because Seungyoun likes seeing Wooseok get all messy, likes seeing Wooseok gag on his own fingers, likes seeing Wooseok get himself all messy with his own spit.  (Wooseok thinks he must be sick too, because he likes it just as much. Maybe even more.)

“My pretty baby always needs something in his mouth. Lips stretched over something. Not his fault.”

“Thank you,” Wooseok sobs around his fingers.

“So pretty. So obedient. Like a little doll.”

Oh, oh. That’s a new one.

Wooseok’s hips buck into his own hand, his cock leaking precum, making the slide even easier. It’s frightening, how easy it is for Wooseok to suck on his own fingers, how easy it is for Wooseok to do whatever Seungyoun wants, how easy it is for him to let himself fall apart in Seungyoun’s hands or lap or whatever.

Running his tongue all over his fingers, coating them with spit, Wooseok starts to lose himself, and Seungyoun can see it—Seungyoun knows.

So he taps Wooseok’s thigh again, all pale and plush and perfect, and says, “Hey, cutie, can you do something else for me?”

Wooseok’s eyes shine as he sucks on his own fingers, waiting for Seungyoun to go on.

“Since you got your fingers all wet already, can you finger yourself too, doll?”

Wooseoks lips part, fingers slipping out of his mouth as he lets out the neediest whine ever. “Yeah, I can, mmnh, I can do that.”

“So perfect for me,” Seungyoun utters, voice a stupid balance of high-pitched and raspy, right in Wooseok’s ear, right as Wooseok is bringing his hand down between his cheeks, his other hand playing with his dusky pink cock.

Slick with spit, Wooseok’s fingers circle around his hole, fucked loose but clenching, starting to push inside. The hand playing with his cock goes slower, trying to calm his body down because it feels too good. Too good that Wooseok can’t think of anything but Seungyoun’s cock inside of him, think of how Seungyoun promised he’d fuck him after he did this, think of Seungyoun praising him and rewarding him and calling him good.

“Feel good, baby? Making yourself feel good?”

“Baby, ngh, he—I feel good. Feel so good, hmm,” Wooseok struggles to get out, blinking away the sting of tears, fingers pumping in and out of his hole. But it’s not enough. “But, kitten wants, hnn, I wanna be filled. Wanna be fucked.”

“Oh baby. You’re so good,” Seungyoun groans. If Wooseok pushes back, just a little, he feels how hard Seungyoun is.

It makes him feel warm inside to know that that is what he does to Seungyoun. It makes Wooseok feel special to know that Seungyoun feels the same way when they do this, because—

“You’re so perfect, kitten. All cute and needy and you always do so well. Always take it so well, like my perfect doll.”

—Wooseok knows that Seungyoun doesn’t feel the same way any time else. Wooseok is selfish like that, so he cherishes times like these.

Lazy mornings like these when Seungyoun takes him apart, lays him down easy.

Wooseok’s cock is too slippery, too wet for him to handle, and he’s so fucking sensitive, so fucking overwhelmed when Seungyoun starts to praise him, starts to talk about how cute and perfect he is. “Seungyounie, fuck, hah, hngh, oh, ‘m gonna, mnhh, feel so good. Feel like I’m, baby’s gonna come?” he hiccups, face wet with tears, confused at why he’s crying so much when all he did was get himself off.

As he thumbs as Wooseok’s perked up nipples, Seungyoun kisses a line up Wooseok’s back, wet fluttering kisses between his shoulder blades, landing at his shoulders where he sucks bruising kisses onto Wooseok’s pale skin. Wooseok feels bruised everywhere, peachy soft and bruised.

“Go ahead, baby. Get yourself all messy. I wanna see,” Seungyoun utters, hands roaming around the smaller boy’s body, touching everywhere but where he wants, so Wooseok struggles to jerk himself off with how slippery wet everything is, distressed little wails escaping into the heady air. 

Fingers scissoring himself open, pumping himself full, Wooseok leans back lazily, body splayed out right on Seungyoun’s lap, a goddamn sight as he finally comes messily into his hand. Cum seeps out from between his fingers, shoots all over his stomach, and drips onto his inner thighs.

Wooseok whimpers the entire time, incoherent murmurings of how good he feels, of how good Seungyoun always makes him feel, and his heart pangs in his ear, pounds in his heaving chest. He thinks that Seungyoun is patting his head, telling him what a good kitten he is, but it takes him a little while to come to.

But maybe he doesn’t really comes to, because the first thought in his mind is—

“Ngh, wait. You’re still hard.”

Seungyoun lets out a surprised noise. “Oh, uhm, haha. I was just gonna get off in the bathroom or something. Don’t worry, Wooseokie, I just wanted to make you feel good.”

And then Wooseok, god, Wooseok just whines, pushes himself onto his stomach—back arched, ass up, peachy thighs spread—and looks back to Seungyoun who has the dumbest expression on his face right now.

He pushes two fingers inside of his puffy hole, two fingers from the hand he came all over, and starts to plug himself up, starts to grind back on those two cum-slick fingers mindlessly.

Staring right into Seungyoun’s eyes, Wooseok pouts and mewls petulantly, “But you promised you’d fuck me if I was good.”

And—just to drive his point home, just to make sure Seungyoun tips over the edge, just to fuck him Seungyoun up even more, Wooseok hooks another finger from his other hand inside, and spreads his hole wide open. Pink and fluttering loose, stained white with his own cum, just for Seungyoun.

“Was kitten not good?”

Cho fuck-it-all Seungyoun loses his god fucking mind, and Wooseok lets himself be ruined as if nothing has changed.

☀︎

It’s cold outside.

It’s the last day of exams, the last day he and Seungyoun are on campus. Wooseok thinks he’ll get trashy-drunk tonight on Yohan and Hangyul’s cheap vodka. He deserves it. Life is hard.

It’s cold outside; maybe it’ll snow tonight, he thinks, exhaling to see a white puff of breath. Huh, I better get to the cafe before my fingers freeze off. Shivering a little, he puts his hood up, going to pull on his drawstrings, but, oh—he hadn’t noticed that he was chewing on them. Pouting, he curls up his fingers in his sweater paws and walks a little faster, just until he hears a voice from behind him—

“That’s Seungyoun’s hoodie, isn’t it?”

Slowing down, Wooseok turns to the side to see Seungwoo, who smiles and pats his head. “Hyung,” Wooseok mutters, cheeks warm because of the cold and because, oh, this is the hoodie Seungyoun gave him that day he was crying in his lap. Because, oh, he never gave it back. Because, oh, he likes it a lot, because he wears it all the time, because he hadn’t even remembered it was Seungyoun’s. He blushes even more when he realizes that Seungwoo caught him chewing on the blue drawstrings.

“Yeah, I guess it is.”

“I saw you wearing it that day I came over too,” Seungwoo remarks casually. Now he’s walking side-by-side with Wooseok, a hand on his back whenever he strays a little too close to the road.

“I haven’t seen you since then,” Wooseok realizes aloud. “How long’s it been?”

Seungwoo hums. “A month?”

How many seconds are in a month? How many centimeters has Wooseok fallen? A month passed, and all Wooseok did was free-fall.

“Been a while, then.”

“It’s because you never come over to me and Jinhyuk’s anymore.”

“Been busy,” Wooseok mumbles. It isn’t a lie, but it isn’t the reason why he stopped coming by either. Nowadays Jinhyuk is the one who comes over to his and Seungyoun’s place instead.

“I get that.”

They walk in silence for a couple more blocks, but only until Wooseok asks, “Are you coming to the cafe?”

“Nah. The performing arts department is close, so I thought I’d make sure my favorite kitten gets to work safely.”

Wooseok blushes. “Shut up, weirdo. Just come in and buy a coffee while you’re at it.”

“Maybe.”

When they get to the entrance of the coffee shop, Seungwoo pauses; Wooseok pauses as well. Smiling quietly to himself, looking down at his feet, Seungwoo lips part and close several times, struggling with what he wants to say; Wooseok is patient.

“Wooseokie,” Seungwoo starts quietly.

“Yeah?”

Wooseok missed Seungwoo. He really wanted to hate him at first, but it was difficult, since Han Seungwoo is Han Seungwoo, and he’s probably the closest thing to perfection you can get on earth. Truly, Wooseok likes him a lot, and they get along well in ways that just aren’t possible with Jinhyuk or Yohan or even Seungyoun.

But—

Eyes shaking, Seungwoo finally faces Wooseok head on and says, “I know it wasn’t Yohan you kissed a while ago.”

There’s always Seungyoun.

There has always been Seungyoun.

Wooseok feels like a flower falling five goddamn centimeters per second, because he never stops falling, falling into an orbit that isn’t his. “Yeah, it wasn’t,” he finds himself confessing quietly.

Seungwoo nods, like he was expecting it. Like he needed the confirmation. Like he knew from the start.

Seungwoo knows, but he isn’t mad. Huh.

Why did he and Seungyoun break up in the first place? (Wooseok never found out.) Why did they decide not to get back together? (Wooseok never found out.)

It’s cold outside; every time Wooseok exhales, he can see his breath. He knows that his nose is red, because his cheeks are warm and he’s not wearing much other than a white shirt, light blue jeans, and Seungyoun’s orange hoodie. It’s cold outside; it’s almost break, so he and Seungyoun are planning to go home together like they do each year.

It’s cold outside when Seungwoo tells Wooseok, “I won’t be mad if you ever do decide to go for it.”

“Go for . . . go for what?”

Seungwoo smiles. “I gotta head out. Seungsik’s gonna be pissed if I’m late again.”

“Hyung—”

But Seungwoo is gone already, and Wooseok has no idea what just happened.

Go for it, huh?

☀︎

stripper
wooseok? where’d you go???????
yohan checked all the bathrooms

wooshin
hangyul whtre did YOU gi

stripper
ive been in the room the entire time

wooshin
its COLDDDD OUTSIDR :(

stripper
wooseok are you outside??????????

wooshin
pls dnt gey angry m sorry
kitren is sorry

stripper
wooseok im not mad wtf
why are you outside????
bro u didnt even drink that much
me and yohan made sure of it???

wooshin
u kno the water bottke i broguht!
haha
it wad actually fillef with vodak…

stripper
DUDE WHAT THE FUCK
WHERE DID YOU GO??
YOURE NOT OUTSIDE OUR DORM
WOOSEOK WHERE ARE YOU?????

wooshin
tbh idk lol

stripper
HOLY SHIT WE LOST OUR CAT
WE LOST OUR DRUNK CAT???

Wooseok doesn’t know exactly how he managed to get outside, but he does remember wanting fresh air since Yohan and Hangyul’s room was too stuffy.

He looks around, and—huh. It is snowing.

Wooseok feels warm, even though it’s snowing, even though snowflakes are landing on top of his brown hair, on top of his pink nose. He sits down somewhere dry, right next to a small plot of blue winter flowers, blooming quiet.

He takes out his phone to see that Hangyul and Yohan are texting him like crazy, but Wooseok ignores their messages.

He starts to think about what Seungwoo meant this morning about going for it. Going for what? Wooseok pouts, dragging his heel in the snow and drawing shapes, pulling stars and planets down from the sky, rings and orbits and satellites all under his little feet. What did Seungwoo mean when he said to go for it?

Wooseok doesn’t know how much time passes like that until someone sits down next to him, until he realizes that someone is Seungyoun.  

It’s always Seungyoun.

“Hey, Wooseokie,” Seungyoun greets, wrapping an arm around Wooseok’s waist. Wooseok leans into the touch, into the half-embrace. Seungyoun is warm. (Seungyoun is always warm.) “Hangyul and Yohan spammed me like crazy, asking me to help them find you—like a lost cat.”

“ ‘m not a cat.”

“I know, kitten.”

Wooseok doesn’t feel like arguing about being called kitten tonight, so he just lets it go, cuddling closer to Seungyoun. He’s wearing a real coat now, but Seungyoun is so much warmer. “How’d you find me?”

“Remember how we shared all our locations with each other ever since Eunsang got lost when we went club hopping? Yohan and Hangyul are just stupid and forgot, probably.”

Then Wooseok smushes his face to Seungyoun’s shoulder. It’s hard to think right now, but he feels so warm, and it isn’t just the alcohol. “They didn’t even drink.”

“Yeah? Was it ‘cause you were drinking and they wanted to take care of you?”

“Shut up. They just know they’re lightweights.”

“They’re athletes, kitten.”

“Well, I think I’m drunk.”

Seungyoun laughs, and to Wooseok’s drunk brain, it sounds like literal sunshine. “I think you are too, Wooseokie.”

As he turns his head to look up at Seungyoun, Wooseok feels like a flower. Seungyoun is pretty, some snowflakes falling onto his eyelashes, onto his black hair, onto his pink lips. Pink lips curled prettily, prettily, prettily. Wooseok feels like a blushing flower because Seungyoun is pretty like a star, and Wooseok thinks he was made to love Seungyoun. Wooseok is drunk, but he knows this, knows that Seungyoun is a star, knows that he’s merely some silly flower in orbit.

“You smile like a star,” Wooseok mumbles out, not really knowing what he means, but he knows that it’s sincere.

Seungyoun laughs, and even the sound of it is pretty. God, Wooseok is so in love. Wooseok is hopelessly and helplessly in love with this boy.

“I do?”

“Yeah. You’re pretty.”

“You’re pretty too, Wooseokie. Now let’s get back to our apartment, okay?” Seungyoun insists, poking Wooseok’s cheek. We have to catch an early train in the morning.”

“I don’t wanna move, Seungyounie,” Wooseok complains, eyelids fluttering shut, feeling snow melt on his skin, soaking his hair a little.

Seungyoun sighs, terribly fond. “You can get on my back. I’ll text Hangyulie and Yohanie so they know you’re alright,” he explains, pulling his phone out of his pocket.

“You always take care of me,” Wooseok mutters, not thinking about what he’s saying, as he sways to the side, trying not to crush the winter flowers like Seungyoun crushed the sunflowers all those years ago.

“You always take care of me too, babe.”

“We take care of each other.”

“Yeah,” Seungyoun hums thoughtfully. “We do.”

Before Seungyoun turns around to let Wooseok jump onto his back, Wooseok takes one last look at Seungyoun. (Too many stars in his eyes, too many flowers blooming under his blotchy pink cheeks.) Wooseok licks his lips and clears his throat, heart wrenching out stuttered beats like a sputtering meteor right by the moon, because all he can think about is how much he wants to kiss Seungyoun senseless.

In this stupidly warm state of mind, he knows that he has to tell Seungyoun, even if it means risking their friendship one last time.

He owes Seungyoun that, at the very least.

Maybe he owes it to himself as well, to go for it.

(To go for what, exactly? Wooseok doesn’t know either.)

☀︎

The first movie Wooseok ever watched with Seungyoun was 5 Centimeters per Second. It was the first week of freshman year, and some guys were blasting bubblegum K-pop down the hall. Neither of them could fall asleep, so Seungyoun suggested they watch something together. They argued over Haikyuu and Kuroko no Basuke, over Durarara and Noragami, but they just ended up deciding on a movie neither of them had seen before.

It was the first time, and by no means the last time, Wooseok saw Seungyoun cry.

Out in an empty field, clouds painting the pretty blue sky, a girl was crying, and a rocket zoomed by. Seungyoun was saying something about how sad it must be to love someone who couldn’t ever love you back, to be in love with someone who couldn’t ever feel the same.

Something like that.

Wooseok doesn’t remember.

Wooseok doesn’t remember a thing about the movie; not because he hasn’t watched it in over three years, but because he spent the entire sixty-five minutes sneaking looks at Seungyoun, wondering why he looked so pretty when he cried. To eighteen year old Wooseok, heart filled with so many stars just for Seungyoun, pink petals and blue skies didn’t stand a chance.

Not at all.

Wooseok hasn’t thought about that movie ever since he watched it all those years ago, a pillow between him and Seungyoun, sitting on a couch they stole from the lounge, so he doesn’t know why he thinks about it as he’s carried piggyback, arms wrapped around Seungyoun’s shoulders.

“Seungyounie,” he mumbles, nuzzling sleepily against Seungyoun’s hair. He almost sneezes at the itchy feeling.

“Yeah?” Seungyoun mutters, hitching Wooseok up by his thighs so that he doesn’t fall from his back. Wooseok lets out a little whine at the bounce.

“Can flowers grow in space?”

“Why?”

“ ‘cause, if cherry blossoms fall at five centimeters per second, you’d have to start at like, Venus or something to still be falling, right?”

Pause. “You’re weird when you’re drunk.”

Weird? All Wooseok can think of is the sun, the stars, and all the planets in orbit. Think of how nothing compares to Seungyoun. Maybe it is weird, how much he likes Seungyoun, but he can’t help it. Can’t help himself from saying—

“It’s ‘cause I like you so much.”

Time stops; Seungyoun stops walking, and Wooseok buries his face in the back of his neck, embarrassed, but too drunk to realize the gravity of what he just said. Time stops; the snow keeps falling, the planets keep moving, and the stars keep burning.

All the stars, especially Seungyoun.

Seungyoun doesn’t say anything for a long while, and they just stand there in the snow, brown and black hair coated with white. After that long while—snow falling on a small, delicate flower not meant for winter, snow falling on a star who is not as big as he seems—Seungyoun merely laughs it off.

“You’re my best friend, Wooseokie,” Seungyoun says; his laughter is pained, forced. He sounds sad when he mutters, “I like you too.”