“I have a question,” Donghyuck announced upon walking into Johnny’s apartment, pausing only to shuck off his shoes, “Are dragons real?”
Johnny, from where he’d been curled up on the couch, snuffling quietly with his head pillowed on Doyoung’s lap, shot up like a startled meerkat. “Is that...one of the children?”
“Mm,” Doyoung hummed, frowning at his phone as Ten canceled plans for dinner. The second time that week and the fifth time that month. Weird.
Johnny pushed himself into a more seated position, blinking in dazed confusion as Jaemin popped his head around the corner as well, following Donghyuck into the living room. “Wh- Ho- Did they just come in?”
“Doyoung gave us a key,” Jaemin grinned, flashing his teeth as he held up a small keychain.
“I gave Jeno a key,” Doyoung corrected, putting down his phone, turning to face Johnny’s expression of betrayal. “For emergencies. No where is safer than here.”
Johnny sniffled, glancing at the two younger boys and the sheer amount of excitement they were raidating before leveling Doyoung with an unimpressed look. “This,” he sneezed, “doesn’t look like an emergency.”
Doyoung grimaced, shoving a tissue in Johnny’s face with a blatantly disgusted, “ Ew .”
Johnny whined. “ Doyoung .”
Doyoung sighed, rolling his eyes. “Fine,” he turned to Donghyuck and Jaemin, who’d been observing their interaction with barely disguised fascination, “ Is this an emergency?”
“Depends,” Jaemin said, quicker on his feet to snap out of whatever trance the now-juniors went into whenever faced with the reality that Johnny was more than just a professor to them now.
Doyoung raised an eyebrow, “On?”
“On whether dragons are real.”
“Why dragons specifically?” Johnny asked with a sigh, resigning himself to the situation.
Doyoung snorted, small smile growing wider at the pout Johnny shot his way in return. A big baby.
Donghyuck, vibrating with a level of excitement Doyoung almost envied, pulled out a folded paper from his back pocket. “Because of this!”
Doyoung squinted. Next to him, he felt Johnny lean forward, also squinting. Donghyuck, realizing that they were both blind at the moment, muttered an exasperated, “ Oh my god ”, under his breath and came closer.
Doyoung accepted the piece of paper — a flyer from the weird “Paranormal Investigators” club on campus that Doyoung had avoided like the plague — frowning down at it. ‘Dragons amongst us? More likely than you think!’ the headline read above a massive photo.
Johnny, looking over his shoulder, snorted lightly. It had been a true struggle keeping him from seeking out the club just for shits and giggles. Doyoung had had to bargain his way into an agreement that went something like, Doyoung cooking for him at least once a week in exchange for Johnny not causing any unnecessary trouble.
Seriously, no better than a child.
“What’re we supposed to be looking at?” Johnny asked with a glance up to the boys.
“You tell us,” Jaemin replied, eyes glittering with a hunger Doyoung recognized. It was the same way Johnny looked when something particularly exciting caught his attention, like a dog with a bone.
Doyoung rolled his eyes but obliged, turning his attention back to the picture on the flyer. It was a little grainy, taken in the evening with fading sunlight on what was probably an iPhone, but...that really did look like a dragon flying in the distance over the city’s skyline.
“Huh.” Doyoung turned, holding the flyer up for Johnny to see, the warlock’s face doing something interesting as he frowned at the picture, dark brows coming together in consideration. “Dragons exist?”
Johnny plucked the paper from his hands and held it ridiculously close to his face, even worse than Doyoung was when it came to vision even though he could adjust his with a snap of his fingers. “I mean, they used to?” He turned to the undergrads, who looked over-eager and dangerously excited at even that little concession. “You sure this isn’t just a really big bird or something? Or that it’s even real?”
Donghyuck made a face that so clearly said he thought that was the stupidest question he’d ever heard. Doyoung almost choked on a laugh.
“It’s not a bird,” Jaemin drawled, equally judging in tone but more controlled with his expression, “And the picture was taken by someone we know who’s part of the club, so it’s legit.”
Doyoung laughed harder, snorting through his nose when he tried to stop it. Johnny, eyes narrowed at Jaemin in poorly hidden offense, wriggled a hand between them to pinch Doyoung’s side.
“I just wanted to be sure,” Johnny grumbled, stretching his arm across Doyoung to hand the flyer back to Donghyuck. “Dragons, officially, don’t exist anymore. They were, supposedly, hunted into extinction. So, if one has turned up here, there’s very little info on how to handle it.”
“Even in those old books you aren’t supposed to have?” Doyoung asked, blinking innocently up at him.
Johnny fixed him with a nonplussed look. “Yes. Even in those.”
“Well,” Jaemin’s mouth was twisted into a look of consideration, “that’s not good.”
“Yeah,” Donghyuck pursed his lips, “considering this isn’t the first time our friend’s seen that thing.”
“Dragon,” Johnny and Doyoung corrected at the same time.
Jaemin stared at them. “Right. Anyway, it’s not the first time. Renjun saw it last month, and Hendery — he’s the one who took that picture — saw it, like, five times last week alone. Swears it’s fucking with him.”
“Okay,” Doyoung said slowly, gaze shifting between both boys, “So, what do you want me to do about it?”
The two boys smiled.
“Find out if it’s actually a dragon?”
“Fight it and film it!”
Doyoung raised an unamused brow in Donghyuck’s direction before turning to Jaemin. “What’s in it for you?”
Jaemin’s smile slowly grew. “A bet may have been made, but aren’t you supposed to look into this type of thing anyway?”
Doyoung narrowed his eyes at him. Jaemin wasn’t wrong, per se, but he didn’t particularly like the fact that he felt like he was being strong-armed into looking for a fucking dragon because the kid had thrown his money in a pot.
“He’ll do it.”
Doyoung whipped his head around to glare at Johnny. “Excuse me?”
“He’ll do it,” Johnny said again, determination shining on his face. When he looked at Doyoung it was with a bright, winning smile. Damn it. “Won’t you, Doyoung.”
The nerve , Doyoung huffed to himself. He didn’t even bother making it sound like a question .
Johnny kept smiling. Doyoung kept staring, nonplussed but slowly caving. Like Johnny knew he would.
Someone — Donghyuck probably, because Jaemin always seemed content to silently observe a situation, rather than to intervene — cleared their throat. Doyoung sighed.
“Yeah,” he said, watching Johnny’s face light up as he gave in, smile growing wide, eyes curving into begrudgingly adorable crescents from the force of it. “I’ll look into it.”
Donghyuck made a chirping sound in his throat. “Really?”
Doyoung could feel a headache forming. Johnny, next to him, was practically vibrating in excitement.
“Yeah. Sure. Why not. Not like I have anything better to do.” Johnny snorted, ducking his head when Doyoung shot him a quick glare. “You know you have the humor of a middle school boy, right?”
Johnny laughed, shoulders shaking, forehead pressing against Doyoung’s shoulder in apology. “Couldn’t help it.”
“Ew,” Jaemin commented, tone mild.
Doyoung rolled his eyes. Children. “Leave me the flyer and the name of the person who took the picture,” he said, patting Johnny’s head so he’d raise it and allow Doyoung to get up, stretching out his back with a series of satisfying pops. “I’ll handle it from there.”
“Can we help?” Donghyuck asked, smiling ear-to-ear.
“Yes,” Doyoung said, tone sugar sweet, “You can give me the name of the person who took the picture and tell me all the places you’ve seen the dragon flying over.”
“He means, can we help you track it or something? Maybe get a proof shot when we find it?” Jaemin elaborated, as if Doyoung didn’t know exactly what Donghyuck and his terrifyingly aggressive smile meant.
“You are helping,” Doyoung repeated, smiling, using the tone he reserved for Johnny when he was being especially difficult. “Talking to your friend and having a list of locations will help me pin down where it’s made its nest.”
“No, but like, can we help help?”
Doyoung’s smile turned saccharine as he walked over to them, grabbing onto each idiot with a firm grip, spinning them towards the door and bodily walking them out. “So you can get eaten, or burnt to a crisp, leaving me with the awkward task of having to deal with the police when they come looking for your bodies?” he asked. “When hell freezes over.”
“Wha-” Donghyuck spluttered, trying to dig his heels in like a cat but finding himself utterly out-matched. “We would not!”
“Yes. You would. And you ,” Doyoung addressed an equally struggling and complaining Jaemin, “No proof shots. It’s bad enough your whole group knows about this stuff. The last thing I need is more of you running around, sticking your noses where they don’t belong .”
“Hey!” Jaemin huffed, offended, ready to argue his case if it weren’t for the fact that they’d already reached the door.
A firm push and they were out of the apartment. “Also, that key is for emergencies only. Abuse it and I will take it back.”
He closed the door on them with a slam, leaving them to grumble out in the hall before eventually sulking away. Johnny’s apartment was quiet again, peaceful even, save for the palpable excitement sparking off Johnny like firecrackers back in the living room.
Doyoung shook his head, tilting it back and squinting up at the ceiling. Patience. Patience.
“Yes,” he huffed, walking back into the living room.
Doyoung rolled his eyes, staring down at the fool on the couch. Johnny — all six-foot-something of him — was sitting up on his knees, just barely keeping himself from bouncing up and down like a child in the face of a present. His smile, almost unnerving in its eagerness, stretched from ear to ear.
“There’s not enough money or pride in the world that could make me go looking for a dragon by myself. So, yes, I’ll need your help. Yes, you can come along. And yes, you get to see an actual dragon.”
“Aww,” Johnny cooed, bounding up and over to cup Doyoung’s face between his hands, smacking a wet kiss on his cheek. Doyoung made a noise somewhere between a yowl and a hiss. Johnny, because he was annoying and teasing Doyoung was secretly his life’s purpose, kissed his other cheek too, for good measure. “I feel like this is progress.”
“Screw you,” Doyoung grumbled, accepting his fate to being man-handled. Johnny’s eyes went wide, glittering with mirth. Doyoung blinked once, twice, realized what dumb ass joke was about to be made, and quickly slapped his hands over Johnny’s mouth. “Don’t you dare.”
Johnny chuckled, the sound coming more from his chest, warm puffs of air hitting Doyoung’s hands. He tried mumbling something incoherent until Doyoung eventually relented with a roll of his eyes and a long suffering sigh.
“Thank you,” Johnny said, teasing grin still in place. “What I was going to say, was how excited I am to finally get to see a dragon.” Liar, Doyoung thought, loudly, hoping that maybe Johnny would be able to hear it. He was pretty sure Johnny could, if he wanted. “Gonna try and get a picture. Maybe a scale. For souvenir purposes only, of course.”
“Of course,” Doyoung deadpanned.
Not like a dragon scale would be the most potent thing in Johnny’s possession that he wasn’t supposed to have. At least, he hoped so.
“Are you sure this is the right place?” Doyoung asked.
“Mhm.” Johnny was huddled close, bundled up in two layers of thick long-sleeves, a long wool coat, and a soft looking scarf. He looked good. He sneezed, head ducking and whole body shaking. Sick, but attractive. “I used scrying and a tracking spell. I’m sure.” Another sneeze, accompanied by a hand sneaking around Doyoung’s arm to hold onto him, tugging Doyoung closer. “Why?”
“Because this park is like,” Doyoung scrunched his nose, tilting his head back, then to the side, looking back out at the city bordering the small park — a glorified patch of green, really — with a considering frown, “five blocks down from my apartment.”
“Mm.” Johnny dropped his head down to thunk against Doyoung’s, nuzzling his forehead slowly against Doyoung’s hair. “Weird?”
Doyoung gave a small shrug, deciding to take pity on the sick giant and not jostle him off even though he was starting to get a bit warm. “Don’t know yet. You said it’s further in, right?”
A nod. Doyoung sighed. His hair was going to be sticking up oddly at this rate.
Johnny raised a hand to point towards the center of the small park, where the trees and man-placed rock formations came together to create a somewhat intimidating thicket. “That way.”
Doyoung blew out a puff of air. “Of course. Let’s go, then.”
The more difficult it became to walk normally, crawling off the paved path and into the foliage, the more Johnny clung, making small noises of complaint whenever Doyoung made a move to step further away.
“I’m going to sprain something, you need to- Johnny . This isn’t working. We’re both too big to walk like this.”
“‘S cold though,” Johnny whined, stumbling forward with Doyoung when he tripped over a loose rock.
You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. “I told you not to go out with your hair wet so much.”
Johnny sniffled. “I’m sick, be nice to me.”
Doyoung gasped, genuinely offended. “I have been nice to you! I’ve been taking care of you and making you food even though you did this to yourse- oh,” he cut off as they stumbled out into an opening, “I think we’re here.”
And if they weren’t then Doyoung was really concerned about the groundskeeping for the park, because there was a massive radius of broken trees, upturned dirt that looked like it had been worked over by claws, and scorched patches of grass.
Johnny finally detached himself, leaving a chill where he’d been a furnace against Doyoung’s side, crouching down next to a particularly dug up spot. He plucked up something that shimmered faintly in the evening sun, turning it over in his hand. He held it up for Doyoung to see, twisting his body, a bright childlike smile on his face.
“Look! A dragon scale!” He shifted around a little, still crouching, using his free hand to stick his fingers into the pile of dirt, then all the way up to his wrist, before pulling it back out to hold it up too. “And gold! Old gold!”
Doyoung came over, plucking the scale out of Johnny’s hand first, holding it up to the rapidly disappearing sun. It was almost opalescent, the color shifting from a soft peachy orange to a richer rust-red.
“Pretty,” he murmured. “It looks like fire. Smaller than I thought it would be, too.”
“It’s probably a joint scale,” Johnny happily supplied, digging further into the mound of dirt, laughing to himself when he found more objects and coins made of softly glinting gold. “Those are usually the size of a Half-Dollar coin and softer. Main body scales are supposed to be the size of a hand-span and firmer. More like armor.”
Doyoung pursed his lips, considering. “Your hand or mine?”
Johnny shrugged. “My hands aren’t that much bigger than yours.”
“Sure, sure, but…”
“Mine I guess?” Johnny stood with a grunt and a cough, sickness temporarily forgotten in the face of all things shiny. “I’ve read they can be bigger or smaller, but,” he walked over, pockets loaded with stolen loot, looming over Doyoung to look at the scale with him, “this looks like it came from one that was in-between.”
“I mean, I’ve never seen one before,” Johnny beamed, “but I’m pretty sure.”
Doyoung raised an eyebrow. “‘Pretty sure’?”
Doyoung’s eyes narrowed, part in skepticism and part in distress. ‘Pretty sure’ was not reassuring. Not when coming from someone who’d probably survive a dragon attack, kept safe by his magic.
“Like, eighty-five percent sure.”
Doyoung sighed. That was...marginally better. At the end of the day, he did feel confident in the fact that Johnny wouldn’t let him walk to his death. Johnny was troublesome, and liked to tease and push when he knew he shouldn’t, but he’d never let Doyoung get hurt. Not anymore. Thankfully they were way past those days.
“Suppose it’s not that bad.” He held an arm out for Johnny, eyeing the way his coat pockets were weighed down, the things he’d swiped from the dragon’s hoard jingling lightly when he moved. “Should we wait for it to come back?”
“We could,” Johnny hummed, pausing what he’d been in the process of doing — making himself comfortable draped over Doyoung like a human blanket — to go grab something that’d caught his eye. “Or, I could just try casting a tracker on this.”
He lifted what looked like a torn up hoodie from where it’d gotten caught on a bush. Doyoung blinked, brows twitching, something niggling at the back of his mind at the sight of the hoodie. It looked...familiar?
“Can I see it?”
Johnny brought it over to him, sneezing into his elbow once the piece of clothing was in Doyoung’s hands.
The niggling in the back of Doyoung’s mind grew into a wave of unwilling recognition, something sharp squeezing around his lungs. The sweater was faded and soft from wear, torn as if someone had rapidly outgrown it, ripped at the seams and back. Doyoung traced his fingers over the ugly ass, hand-embroidered frog on the hoodie’s sleeve. Remembered him and Kun switching off on the stitching because they kept poking their fingers, until they eventually gave up on their joke gift scheme to cover the entire thing in different colored amphibians. He looked for the tag along the collar, jaw clenching when he found it marked with a sharpie-written ‘10’.
Doyoung closed his eyes, took a breath, scrolled through his memories to see if he’d ever noticed anything that would make finding this hoodie here make sense.
“Can dragons shift?”
“What?” He could hear the frown in Johnny’s voice.
“Can they shift? Turn into anything else?”
A pause. The air in front of him moved, Johnny stepping closer, concern creeping into his voice when he spoke. “Like?”
Doyoung opened his eyes, exhaling through his nose. “Humans. Can they turn into humans?”
Johnny’s eyes were searching his face, trying to pin down the emotions Doyoung was attempting to keep down in favor of rational thought.
“It’s not unheard of in legends,” he shrugged. “But you already knew that. You were hoping I’d seen or heard of something more concrete and recent.”
Doyoung ran a hand through his hair, ignoring the slight tremor in his fingers. “Yeah.”
“To be able to confirm, or deny?”
Doyoung bit his lip, the tightness in his lungs working its way up his throat. Breathe. Just breathe. “I- I’m not really sure.”
Johnny considered him. Seeming to come to a decision, he slid his arms around Doyoung’s waist in a loose circle, pulling him close so they were pressed flush from their hips down. “We don’t actually have to pursue this, you know. Those kids saw the dragon, but it hasn’t done anything to warrant being uncovered. We don’t need to pursue this.”
Doyoung sighed, hands clenching in the tattered fabric. “I know.”
But you’re still going to . Johnny didn’t need to say it, the same way Doyoung hadn’t needed to for him to know, either.
“You’re like a dog with a bone sometimes,” Johnny snorted, a small fond smile curving his lips.
“I can’t help it,” Doyoung admitted, voice smaller than he would’ve liked.
Johnny didn’t call him out on it, though. He never did, when it really mattered, knowing Doyoung well enough to not cross boundaries that would poke at insecurities. Something Doyoung had come to treasure.
Johnny’s smile turned a touch sad. No sympathy, just understanding.
“We all have our flaws.” Johnny took a step back, keeping an arm around Doyoung as he angled himself so the path to return to the main area of the park was clear. “I’m guessing I don’t need magic to track the owner of that, right?”
Doyoung shook his head. “No, you don’t”
“Hey, Do- oh my go- ”
Somehow, during the walk over, while stressing over how exactly to ask Ten about finding his sweater in the dragon’s clearing — because “Are you a dragon?” felt too straightforward and tactless — Doyoung had managed to forget that he was coming back home, with Johnny. Johnny, who Ten still teased Doyoung about ever since that night at the bar that they’d blown their cover. Who Ten still thought was a whole meal, not quite realizing the full scope of their relationship (Doyoung being more than happy to not elaborate).
Doyoung had forgotten, and now Ten was choking.
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” Doyoung griped, rushing over to help rub Ten’s back while Kun practically materialized from around the corner, keeping him on his feet from the other side. “Why are you such a disaster of a person?”
Ten had tears in his eyes from trying to catch his breath every time another wave of coughing hit him. He still managed to give Doyoung a pointed, watery glare though. Doyoung frowned, trying not to flush pink, hyper aware of Johnny hovering in the doorway behind him, craning his neck to try and see further into the apartment.
Doyoung shot him a quick pleading look, tilting his head towards the still open door. “Johnny, could you…”
Johnny let out a low, “ Oh ,” stepping inside and closing the door behind him, toeing off his shoes while Doyoung and Kun ushered Ten further in to sit on the couch. Ten, wheezing in lungfuls of air, and Kun, glancing over his shoulder at Johnny like he still couldn’t quite believe the taller man was in their mess of a living space.
Doyoung could relate. He couldn’t quite believe it either.
Because Ten was Ten, the very first thing out of his mouth when he finally could breathe properly again was, “You fucking liar! This does not look like a ‘ one time thing’ to me!”
And, Doyoung, because he was Doyoung (and wasn’t about to be accused of being a liar by an even bigger liar) snapped back with a shrill, “Fuck you! When were you going to mention that you’re a fucking dragon? ”
“I- wait, you’re a what now?” Kun asked with a bemused grin, hand stilling on Ten’s back.
Ten balked, mouth falling open. Doyoung froze, blinking rapidly as his brain caught up to what he’d just blurted out. Johnny, who’d perched himself on their dining table, snorted, tried to cover it up with a cough, and then ended up actually coughing.
“How-” Ten looked pale, any glee from possibly getting to tease Doyoung for life draining from his face.
Doyoung shoved the balled up hoodie they’d found in the park into his hands.
“That’s yours,” Kun said when Ten didn’t say anything, still confused, small smile slowly dropping at the corners. “Why’s it so ripped?” He leaned around to get a better look at Ten’s face. “Ten?”
Ten was looking straight at Doyoung, though, eyes sharp. Really looking. Considering. Panic giving way to something indecipherable. Doyoung entertained the growing probability of Ten trying to bolt and what he would do in that case.
Running after him would probably just make it worse…
“You’ve never changed in front of us.”
Doyoung frowned, not expecting that to be the first thing said. “What?”
Ten’s expression wasn’t quite accusatory, but it was significantly more guarded, though not as outright frightened anymore. He’d always been the most adaptable out of their little group. The quickest on his feet.
“You never change in front of us,” he repeated, gaze boring through Doyoung in a way that had him thrumming with the urge to squirm and shy away. “Even back when we were living in that crappy little dorm freshman year, you’d change when I wasn’t in the room, or wait until I was asleep.”
“It’s because you’re hiding tattoos under there, right? The ones all hunters get?” Doyoung tensed. Ten tilted his head, expression not quite softening but tension easing ever so slightly at Doyoung’s startled silence. “I’ll take that as a yes.”
“Is this a roundabout way of saying that you are the dragon that’s been using the park down the street as it’s landing pad?”
Kun made a vaguely distressed noise while Ten’s lips curled into a thin, dangerous smirk. “Depends on why you were looking for it, and,” his gaze flicked over to Johnny for the first time since this whole mess of a conversation started, “what role he plays in all this. Beyond being your... special friend.”
Johnny raised his hands in a placating gesture, an easy smile on his face. “I’m just here to make sure he doesn’t get himself killed.”
Doyoung watched Ten. He’s not going to buy that.
“A strong warlock like yourself?” Ten cocked an eyebrow, a mask of bravado Doyoung recognized. One meant to cover weakness, hide it from those who might be a threat. “You expect me to believe that?”
Johnny’s smile widened, something predatory slipping in, matching the faint hints of danger and challenge coming from Ten. “Believe what you want. Doesn’t matter to me either way, I already got what I wanted from this little search.”
To prove his point, Johnny dug a hand into his pocket, pulling it back out to brandish some of the gold he’d swiped. The noise Ten made in response was decidedly unfriendly — and wholly inhuman.
“ That’s mine .”
“I thought it was the dragon’s,” Johnny said with a small gasp of mock surprise. “My bad. Want it back?”
Ten, gaping, seemed torn between lunging forward to snatch the gold out of Johnny’s hands, and staying where he was, realization dawning on him that the growl rumbling in his throat and the way his eyes were blazing orange weren’t exactly human. Doyoung, tired and just done with this whole mess, gave Johnny an entirely unimpressed look.
“There’s...a lot I want to say about everything I’ve just heard,” Kun started, speaking up for the first time in a while, words coming slow and unsure, “but, I guess I’m still caught on the fact that you- both of you, apparently, were hiding reality shattering secrets from me?”
Doyoung opened his mouth, closed it. He...couldn’t really say anything to that. Judging by the cowed bend of Ten’s head, he couldn’t either.
Doyoung had felt a stinging sort of bitterness thinking Ten had been keeping this from him. In that, he’d managed to forget that not only had he been keeping a secret from Ten too, but that Kun was even more in the dark. Fully separate from anything supernatural. Lied to by omission by both of them.
“Were either of you ever going to tell me?”
Ten winced. Doyoung looked down at his hands in his lap.
It was answer enough.
Movement in the corner of Doyoung’s eye had him glancing over to see Johnny quietly padding towards the door. He gave Doyoung a small, gentle smile.
You’re safe, and this isn’t for me to be a part of . That’s what his expression said as he tip-toed over to the shoe rack. Doyoung watched him rewrap his scarf around his neck and mouth, a spark of fondness jumping into his throat when Johnny muffled a sneeze, his whole body shaking. Johnny gave him a wave that was more an endearing wiggle of his fingers, and then he was slipping out of the apartment.
When Doyoung looked back to his friends, it was to find them staring at him, matching thoughtful twists to their mouths.
Doyoung cleared his throat, running a hand through his hair, cheeks going warm. “You know what, I’m going to make some coffee. I think we’re going to be here a while.”
“I can’t believe you didn’t know you were a dragon,” Kun reached a blind hand out for the popcorn bowl, almost catching Doyoung on the nose. “How’s that a thing your parents didn’t warn you about?”
Ten shrugged, shoulder jostling Doyoung’s where they were pressed against each other. “Dunno. Think they thought it skipped a generation or something.” He yawned, rolling onto his side to wrap an arm around Doyoung’s waist. It was just this side of too warm. Something they’d all have to get used to, apparently. “They kept apologizing when I called them freaking out about it, said no one had been able to shift since my great grandfather.”
“Those things tend to do that,” Doyoung mumbled.
Kun jabbed him in the ribs. “Don’t think you’re off the hook either.”
“A hunter,” Ten mused. “Not what I imagined when my parents were going down the list of things to avoid.”
“In hindsight, that somehow makes more sense than you running off to study 24/7,” Kun huffed, sitting up to sip at the remains of his coffee. “Can’t believe you’ve been lying to us this whole time, though,” he paused, wrinkled his nose, “Can’t believe we bought it.”
“Can’t believe you’ve been lying about Professor Seo, too,” Ten grumbled. “Or should I say Johnny .”
Kun nodded in agreement. “Can’t believe we bought that either.”
Doyoung whined, shoving Ten off him. Cuddling privileges were revoked if the smaller man was just going to pick on him.
“ ‘It was just a one-time thing, Ten’”,” Ten said in a bad mimic of Doyoung’s voice. “ ‘Alcohol and end-of-term stress relief, that’s all’. ” Ten gave him a smug look. “I should’ve put two-and-two together when those hickeys didn’t fade, but wow, what a dirty, dirty lier.”
“To be fair,” Doyoung huffed, “it wasn’t a total lie.”
“Oh?” Ten snorted.
The corner of Doyoung’s lips twitched. “We don’t typically fuck in the bathrooms of sticky college bars.”
Kun burst out laughing, nearly tipping over his coffee mug from the force of it. Ten made an affronted sound that was absolute music to Doyoung’s ears, shoving hard at Doyoug’s shoulder.
“You- I didn’t want to know that!”
“Sucks,” Doyoung laughed. “Think of it as payback for all the oversharing you’ve done over the years.”
Ten mumbled something pettily under his breath, too low for Doyoung to catch, but it had Doyoung smiling wide regardless.
His friend was a dragon, Doyoung was a hunter, Kun was a human, and they’d be okay.
“Amazing how it only took the big reveal of your friend being a dragon for us to be able to do this at your place now,” Johnny mused, running his hands up Doyoung’s back in soothing strokes that had heat pooling pleasantly in Doyoung’s belly. Johnny’s hands were so big . “Better late than never I guess.”
“Shut up,” Doyoung told him, nipping at his jaw and rolling his hips from where he was perched on Johnny’s lap.
Johnny chuckled low in his chest, bringing his hands down to rest on Doyoung’s ass, encouraging his movements. “So bossy.”
Doyoung huffed, lifting his head to give him a short glare before kissing him straight on the mouth. The most effective way to shut Johnny up, in his vast experience.
They were still sitting like that, hands wandering under clothes, tongues sliding against each other with soft, slick sounds, when his roommates barged in.
“Ahh!” Ten screeched, startling Doyoung so badly he nearly went toppling off Johnny’s lap, saved only by the warlock’s reflexes and strength. “My eyes!”
“You weren’t supposed to be home until later!” Doyoung shouted right back, eyes wide and frazzled, mortification killing his arousal in one fell swoop.
“Ten left his consultation meeting early and picked me up from work,” Kun explained, significantly more calm, though that was probably because he seemed to be having a hard time processing what he was seeing.
Johnny, on their couch, hair rumpled and lips kissed red. Doyoung, on top of him, equally rumpled, whole face red.
“I can’t believe the audacity,” Ten gasped, placing one of the hands he’d been using to cover his eyes over his chest. “In our humble abode, on our couch- why I never!”
Doyoung narrowed his eyes, embarrassment slowly but surely shifting to irritation. He was contemplating chucking a pillow at Ten, or maybe something harder, like one of the three remotes they’d lost between the couch cushions, when Kun — reading the mood like he was best at — cut in.
“We’ll be back later,” he said, grabbing onto Ten’s arm. “Much later.”
“What?” Ten frowned but didn’t shake Kun off. Doyoung had never seen him shrug off Kun’s touch. “But I’m hungry. And tired.”
Kun turned to him with a sweet, guileless smile. A Kun Special that worked every time. “I have some errands to run. I’ll feed you while we’re out. Okay?”
Ten pouted, shooting a glance at Doyoung, a spark in his eyes saying that he would much rather stay and harass Doyoung in his currently vulnerable state than leave. It was Kun who was asking, though, so he gave in with a sigh, sidling up to the other man to lean his weight against him.
“Fine. But you’re paying.”
Kun laughed, letting Ten do as he pleased. “Of course.” He shot a quick wink over Ten’s head to Doyoung. “Text us.”
“Don’t fuck on the couch!”
“You of all people don’t get to say that!” Doyoung couldn’t help but snap, giving Ten the finger when the other man stuck his tongue out like a brat.
And then, like a whirlwind, they were gone, the door clicking shut behind them.
Doyoung sighed, dropping his head down to press his forehead against Johnny’s. “My friends are awful.”
Johnny raised his chin so he could press a quick, gentle kiss to Doyoung’s lips, smiling. “I promise, my friends aren’t much better.”
Doyoung snorted. He let his eyes fall closed, just listening to the soft sounds of their combined breathing. Feeling the rise and fall of Johnny’s chest under him.
“There’s something between them, isn’t there?”
Doyoung slid his eyes open. “Hm?”
Johnny tilted his heads towards where Ten and Kun had been. “Your friends.”
Doyoung considered it. He sighed, thinking of the way Ten looked at Kun, of the allowances Kun gave in return. “Yeah,” he said, “There is.”
“But they’re both absolute disasters when it comes to romantic relationships, even if Ten is the only one who’d come close to admitting it.” Doyoung leaned back so he could see Johnny properly. He raised a hand to card his fingers through Johnny’s hair, combing his fringe back out of his face just to watch the soft strands flop back down. “Not like us.”
“Ah,” Johnny smiled, leaning ever-so-slightly into the ministrations like a cat. “Because we were so much better.”
Doyoung matched his grin, slowly lowering himself down for a kiss. “So much.”
The first press of lips was chaste, soft. The second, less so. Doyoung sighed through his nose and melted against Johnny’s chest, the fingers he had in Johnny’s hair taking hold and tugging. He slipped his tongue into Johnny’s mouth when he let out a small grunt of pleasure, tasting and taking everything Johnny had to offer.
“Should we,” Johnny panted when they separated, a thin line of spit still connecting their mouths, “Should we move to your bedroom?”
A sharp, wicked smirk slowly pulled at Doyoung’s lips as he spread his legs wider, settling his weight more firmly over the bulge in Johnny’s jeans — which hadn’t gone down even the slightest despite his roommates’ interruption. Johnny hiccuped out a startled little moan, head lolling back, hips coming up to grind against Doyoung unconsciously.
“Nah,” Doyoung sighed, eyes almost fluttering shut, “I think we’re good right here.”