"I can't - I can't get this button undone," Gong Jun says, and the next moment he's dissolved into giggles. Zhehan blinks his eyes open to look at him, and - Gong Jun is nervous, he realises suddenly.
The script calls for at least eight kissing scenes that Zhehan can remember, but this is the first one they're shooting, and Gong Jun is - well, he's fairly new to the industry. He's a talented actor, though, and easy to work with. Zhehan felt it from the first day, that quick chemistry that sparks from the first table read, that lets you know whether you'd work well with a costar or not; he'd known right away that they were going to have something special, and so far he hasn't been proven wrong.
It's almost been too perfect to be real, the kind of easy chemistry and level of comfort he finds with Gong Jun, and everything has been smooth-sailing, even in the scenes where they have to hold and hug each other. But this is their first kiss scene, and Zhehan is a hundred percent sure that Gong Jun must have had kissing scenes in his previous dramas; but this is the third time he's fumbled shooting this scene, and they've barely even actually kissed.
Gong Jun isn't looking him in the eye, instead tugging at the offending button on his pajamas, twisting it this way and that as if he's trying to pull it clean off. He's still got his leg slung over Zhehan's, his hips tilted over Zhehan's body in what must be a pretty uncomfortable position, in order not to lean his body weight fully on him. It's - sweet, actually. It's not like Zhehan would care or mind, but it's nice to see how respectful Gong Jun is.
"You're going too fast," the director says. "Remember, be slow and tender first, and then you guys have to go harder into the kiss. Don't rush into undoing his buttons, Gong-laoshi."
Gong Jun still isn't looking at him; instead, he turns his face towards the director. "Slow first, harder later, okay, okay, I got it."
Zhehan isn't sure if he does get it. He's still pulling at the button on Zhehan's pajamas, not trying to undo it, just - yanking mindlessly at it. Gong Jun's fingers are long, his hands large, and the button looks absurdly small even clasped in just his fingertips. On impulse, Zhehan grabs hold of Gong Jun's hand and presses till it stills and spreads flat on his chest, fingers spread wide.
Damn, Gong Jun's hands are huge. Zhehan can feel the warmth radiating from his palm, right in the centre of his chest, through the thin fabric of the pajamas.
Gong Jun looks at him this time, his eyes wide, and Zhehan gives his hand a reassuring squeeze. "Did you get way too overwhelmed kissing me and just had to rush into ripping my clothes off?" he asks laughingly. "Am I that good a kisser?" Maybe joking about this, showing Gong Jun it's no big deal, would help him relax.
Instead, Gong Jun pulls his hand away like it's been burned and looks away. And - Zhehan can't be sure, the lighting for this scene is warm and dim - but Gong Jun looks flushed, his cheeks pink. His cheekbones are limned by the high colour in his skin, and - okay, it's not as if Zhehan has never thought this, he's filmed five weeks in close proximity with Gong Jun after all, but sometimes that face of his strikes Zhehan as too handsome to be real.
The director's saying something to the lighting crew, and no one's really paying attention to them for now, so Zhehan says, soft, "Hey."
This time, Gong Jun finally turns and meets his eyes. He's schooled his face into a picture of calm, but he's an actor after all, and he's good at hiding uncertainty or nervousness. Zhehan wants to help him.
"It'll be fine," he says, and smiles. "You just - just kiss me. Slowly at first, okay? I'll guide you along, and all you have to do is follow my lead when I start to deepen the kiss."
Inexplicably, Gong Jun turns even redder. What the hell is going on?
"Sorry," Gong Jun says at last. He drops his eyes again, this time to the triangle of exposed skin above that top button of Zhehan's pajamas that seems to aggravate him so much. It's only then that Zhehan remembers: after they kiss, Gong Jun is supposed to kiss his way down Zhehan's chest and stomach, undoing buttons as he goes along, until Zhehan eventually pushes him away for the last part of the scene.
"Ah," Zhehan says understandingly. "Here, let me help - "
He pushes the first button a little way into the buttonhole; just enough that it won't look obvious on camera, but would make it easier for Gong Jun to slide it the rest of the way through with one hand and pull his pajama top open. "Like this, okay? Then it won't be so difficult."
He moves down to the second button and does the same, and then on to the third; and pauses when he glances up at Gong Jun's face. And - there's no mistaking it now - it's flaming red, his eyes round as they follow Zhehan's hands as they move down his chest, loosening his buttons. Zhehan can see his Adam's apple bob when he swallows.
Abruptly, Gong Jun sits up. "I need some water," he calls, and one of the crew hurries over with a bottle, while the stylists converge on him, taking the opportunity to rearrange his hair, straighten his clothing. Zhehan shakes his head when some crew members approach him; his own role in this scene requires him to lie unmoving in the bed at this angle, and he doesn't want anyone to shake him out of his positioning.
When the bustle dies down and Gong Jun turns back to him, he seems - calmer, at least. The colour in his cheeks has ebbed, and he looks normal now - or as normal as a devastatingly handsome, tall, young actor who was an ex-model can look.
"Sorry, I'm ready now," Gong Jun says, and folds himself back onto the bed in the way they're supposed to be: one leg slung over both of Zhehan's, his hand on Zhehan's chest. Except that when he lies down, he lies down next to Zhehan instead of half on top of him.
"Closer, Gong-laoshi," the director shouts. "You're supposed to be on top of him - kiss him, then work your way down. How are you going to do that if you're six inches away from him?"
Gong Jun hesitates; then he lifts himself on one elbow and finally drapes himself over Zhehan, face hovering over his. His thigh slides between both of Zhehan's, and then Gong Jun's body is on him, a long line of heat pressed against him from abdomen to calf, and with a jolt Zhehan realises that Gong Jun is - well. If he's not fully hard yet, then he's at least partway there; there's no mistaking what he's feeling pressed against his hip.
That explains why he's being so weird, then.
Gong Jun isn't looking at him again, focusing on his throat - or maybe his mouth, Zhehan can't tell. He wonders why Gong Jun is being so awkward about this. They're both dudes - getting hard during kissing scenes or bedroom scenes isn't uncommon, it's happened often enough to Zhehan himself. It's not like Zhehan is going to get offended by it. They're just acting.
"Hey," he says softly. "Junjun."
Gong Jun's eyes snap to his, and for a moment Zhehan's distracted by how bright and clear his eyes are before it hits him that he's never called Gong Jun that before. They tend to call each other by their characters' names in the drama - but maybe a bit of familiarity and informality like this would help to put him more at ease?
"It's okay," he says, wondering how to convey please don't be concerned about your cock getting hard next to mine as we kiss in a more, well, subtle way. "Don't worry about anything, all right? Whatever happens - it's totally normal for a scene like this. Just - don't be nervous, remember to go slow, and I'll help."
Gong Jun's mouth opens a little as if he's going to say something, but before he can the director shouts, "Ready? We're going to take it again - move your face a little closer, Gong-laoshi, that's it - okay, guys, whenever you're good, let's go."
"Ready," Zhehan says, gazing up at Gong Jun's face above his. They're a mere two inches apart, so close he can feel Gong Jun's breath against his lips. He can hear Gong Jun take a deep, shuddery breath, feel it when his body pushes itself harder against his for just a fraction of a second; and then Gong Jun exhales and says, "Ready."
There's a couple of seconds when neither of them moves, and then Gong Jun tilts his head slightly to the side and slowly, almost cautiously, presses his lips to Zhehan's.
Zhehan responds like the script calls for: tiny little kisses, almost like he's sipping from Gong Jun's mouth, and Gong Jun, quick learner that he is, mimics him with these soft, small, tender kisses. This close, Zhehan can smell his shampoo, the scent of the makeup on his skin; and suddenly he's very aware of the way Gong Jun's thigh is slotted between his legs.
Nope, he thinks to himself. Not going there, and parts his lips so he can deepen the kiss, like the script says to.
Here's the thing Zhehan knows about filming kissing scenes: there's generally no tongue involved. Even if the scene calls for a deep, long, openmouthed kiss, actors try to be circumspect and respectful and tongues stay in their respective mouths at all times. Zhehan's learned to curl his tongue up when he's filming an openmouthed kiss, so he won't accidentally touch his costars' lips or tongue or teeth with it.
But this time - he can actually feel Gong Jun's sharp little inhale when he deepens their kiss, sucking the breath out of Zhehan, and then he's licking into Zhehan's mouth.
Zhehan's brain goes on the fritz for about two seconds, and when he blinks and the world comes back into focus, he realises that he's - actually kissing Gong Jun back. Gong Jun's running his tongue along the inside of his lower lip, and Zhehan's letting him, and Zhehan's sliding the tip of his tongue over Gong Jun's warm, exploring one, and -
The hand that Gong Jun has resting on Zhehan's chest clenches convulsively like he's trying to pull himself back, wrinkling the fabric of his pajamas, and Zhehan reaches up to grab it before he remembers that no, he can't hold Gong Jun's hand because Gong Jun needs it to undo his buttons; so he settles it on Gong Jun's bicep instead, squeezing lightly, trying to tell him without words that it's all good, Zhehan is chill, Gong Jun can do whatever he needs to do to keep this scene going.
Gong Jun pulls off instead, and Zhehan almost lifts his head to chase his mouth on pure instinct before he remembers that he's supposed to remain immobile. He lifts his eyes to look at Gong Jun; and almost wishes he didn't, because Gong Jun's cheeks are flushed again, his breathing audible in quick shallow puffs. His mouth is red and wet and - fuck. They're still pressed together, and Gong Jun is definitely hard now, just from kissing Zhehan for a few moments, his cock fitted snugly into the crease between Zhehan's thigh and hip.
Zhehan gives himself a mental shake to clear his head, and reminds himself that they're filming, they're still in the scene. He squeezes Gong Jun's bicep again, and it seems to work; Gong Jun takes another deep breath, and then lowers his head to kiss slow and soft along Zhehan's jawline and down his neck, like he's supposed to in the script.
Except - the kisses he's laying on Zhehan's neck, over his Adam's apple, down over his clavicles, are wet and openmouthed, like he's trying to suck marks into Zhehan's skin. Zhehan's sure he's not, there's no suction, but just the feel of Gong Jun's lips moving over him, the very tip of his tongue dragging hot across his skin - and now he's getting hard too, and Gong Jun's thigh is pressing against him, there's no way in hell Gong Jun won't notice -
Gong Jun's mouth moves down his chest, right above the first button that had given him so much trouble earlier, but this time, he slips it through the buttonhole smooth and easy, thanks to Zhehan's little bit of help. Zhehan glances down to see Gong Jun tug the folds of his pajama shirt open with his teeth - oh fuck, that definitely wasn't in the script, and Zhehan's trying his level best to lie still and pretend like all the blood in his body isn't rushing into his cock.
Gong Jun kisses his way down to the next button; he seems to be growing more confident and daring, as if he's surer of himself now that he knows Zhehan isn't going to yell at him or something. He undoes the second button a lot quicker, with just a flick of his fingers; and perhaps watching Gong Jun undo his buttons was a bad idea, because suddenly all Zhehan can think about are those long, gorgeous fingers making their way between his legs, opening him up for Gong Jun's cock.
Oh fuck, oh fuck, this is absolutely not a good idea.
He feels his cock twitch against Gong Jun's thigh, and as if Gong Jun's body is responding, he can feel Gong Jun's cock swell just a little bit more against his body. And it feels - Gong Jun is tall, so his dick is probably going to be big, Zhehan knows, but to actually feel the shape of it, the thickness pushed so clearly against the crease of his hip -
Gong Jun's unbuttoned all the buttons of his pajama shirt by now, and he slowly pushes the shirt open to reveal Zhehan's body from chest to abdomen. It's only because Zhehan is staring at his hands that he can see the minute tremble in them. Then he lowers his head to kiss Zhehan's abs, and - Zhehan's prepared for this, because the script includes this, but it's all he can do to hold back the gasp threatening to spill from his throat when Gong Jun drags his lips right down to the waistband of his pants.
Then Gong Jun curls his fingers into the waistband at his hip, as if he's about to tug Zhehan's pants down, and Zhehan's jolted for a moment before he remembers this is in the script too and what this cues him for.
He moves for the first time, sitting up and pushing Gong Jun off him; when Gong Jun rolls to the side, Zhehan grabs the blankets tangled around his legs and draws them up around them both, because he's fucked if he's going to let the crew see how hard they are, how fucked up they got from a couple of minutes of kissing, in a way he's never experienced with any other costar.
He's not sure if Gong Jun has forgotten his line - if he has, they're going to need to reshoot this scene, and Zhehan thinks he might actually need to call for a break and jerk off quick and fast before he can bring himself to do this a second time - but then Gong Jun says his line softly, "What's the matter?", like he's supposed to.
Zhehan gathers himself together and bites his lip, willing his dick to go down, now that Gong Jun is no longer all over him and kissing him. "I think we should just go to bed," he says.
Gong Jun swallows visibly, and Zhehan lies down next to him, keeping several inches away from him like the script says. "Goodnight," he says, and then waits.
"Okay, good," the director's voice rings out, and then the set explodes into activity again; lights coming on, crew and cameramen moving about, stylists coming over to lift both him and Gong Jun into sitting positions so they can tidy their hair, touch up their makeup.
Zhehan keeps the blankets over his lap as they fuss over him, and notices that Gong Jun does the same. They just sit, silently, and don't look at each other.
Zhehan only gets out of the bed when the director declares the take perfect and that it's a wrap for the day; his dick has mostly gone down, thank god.
The AD and director are both looking over the footage when he heads over to them, Gong Jun following silently.
"Hey, take a look, Zhang-laoshi, that's really good," the AD says, gesturing at him to look. "I don't know what you guys did, but that looks completely real. Look at that - both Zhang-laoshi and Gong-laoshi are actually trembling." He points at the screen, and Zhehan feels a momentary horror. He was trembling?
He's suddenly very conscious of Gong Jun close behind him, also looking at the footage.
"Excellent work, you both," the director says. "Perfect chemistry. First kiss scene, aced it, right off the bat."
Zhehan smiles weakly. "Thanks."
Gong Jun clears his throat. "Thank you, director," he says formally. Then he turns towards Zhehan for the first time since filming for the scene had wrapped, and says, "Thank you, Zhang-laoshi", before he turns and walks off the set without waiting for a response.
For a moment, Zhehan is speechless. What the hell was that? If he didn't know Gong Jun better, he'd think that was rude; but Gong Jun has always been respectful and never rude. Besides, they both get along well, and he hasn't seen Gong Jun be as stiff or formal around him since the first time they met. Or actually, not even that; he remembers reading for a scene at the table read where Gong Jun had to take hold of his hand, and Gong Jun had done it so easily and naturally, looking him right in the eye as he did so, and maybe that was the first but not the last time Zhehan had realised that Gong Jun had beautiful eyes and was a heartbreakingly gorgeous man.
Fuck. He rubs at the bridge of his nose, and decides to get back to his trailer where he can take a cold shower, have a hot drink, and try to go to bed without thinking of the way Gong Jun's tongue felt along the seam of his lips, or the way Gong Jun's mouth was soft and warm and wet as he trailed kisses down Zhehan's body, or Gong Jun's cock against his hip -
Zhehan escapes to his trailer as quick as he can, and turns the shower on to cold.
He's just stepped out of the shower and is towelling his hair dry when there's a soft, tentative knock on the door.
Weird. The crew and his own staff usually don't bother him after filming has wrapped for the day; they know he likes his privacy and quiet, and he takes time at night to prepare for the next day's scenes. But the knock comes again, a little louder this time.
"Who is it?" he calls, grabbing the bathrobe that's slung over the back of an armchair and pulling it on.
"It's me," someone replies, and Zhehan starts, because - that's Gong Jun's voice.
He belts the robe closed before he opens the door. "Junjun? What are you doing here?"
Gong Jun is dressed for bed too; he's wearing soft sweatpants and a wifebeater that shows off his perfectly straight, broad shoulders, his biceps. He stands on the lowest step of Zhehan's trailer and licks his lips, as if he's nervous. At this level, Zhehan and he are the same height, staring at each other eye to eye.
"I'm sorry to disturb you," Gong Jun says. "I came here because - I wanted to apologise. For earlier."
For a moment Zhehan thinks he means the part when he walked off the set so abruptly; but then Gong Jun says, his words tumbling out in a rush, "I shouldn't have kissed you like that. Like - for real. I'm so sorry. I got carried away, and I - "
"Was that for real?" Zhehan hears himself ask.
Gong Jun blinks at him, and it's then that Zhehan realises how nervous he really is. He's licking his lips every so often, and his hands are clenched into fists at his side. Sometimes he unfurls his fingers and fidgets before curling them into fists again.
Zhehan's finally seeing it; finally understanding why Gong Jun was so messed up over a simple kiss scene, why he was hard three seconds into it.
"Was it?" Zhehan repeats.
Gong Jun's lips part, and it's suddenly all Zhehan can think of, to pull him in and kiss him again. For real.
"I - yes," Gong Jun says quietly. "Yes. And - I'm sorry. It was inappropriate, and unprofessional, and it won't happen again - "
"Junjun," Zhehan says, "are you - do you find me attractive?"
Gong Jun looks up at him, eyes wide and shocked. The light from the trailer makes his face look like it's highlighted; he looks exquisitely handsome, as always, even without makeup and with messy hair.
There's a long pause, so long Zhehan thinks Gong Jun might never respond; but then Gong Jun sighs, and says, soft, "Yes. Very much."
Gong Jun looks like he's incredibly unwilling to answer, but Zhehan stays quiet and patient, and he eventually says, "I don't know. The first day on set. Or maybe our first table read. Or maybe when I looked you up when I knew you were going to be my costar."
Zhehan is reeling. Their first day? Gong Jun's basically had a crush on him this entire time and he never knew?
"Why didn't you say anything to me?"
Gong Jun wets his lips again. "Because you're Zhang Zhehan, and I - I'm just an industry newbie. You're the star in this show, you're carrying me in this. Why would you care anything about a new actor fawning over you?"
Because you're special, Zhehan wants to say. Because I felt it from our first day together too. Because, hell, I just want to kiss you too.
He doesn't say any of that out loud. Instead, he says, "You want to come in?", and steps aside so Gong Jun can enter.
Gong Jun looks startled. He doesn't move, as if he can't believe Zhehan's actually offering. Zhehan hadn't known Gong Jun is this overawed by him. Good actor, indeed; he's been hiding it well.
Zhehan tugs the belt of his bathrobe loose, and shrugs it off his shoulders. He watches Gong Jun's eyes grow huge, watches as Gong Jun follows the way the robe slithers down his body and pools at his feet. His eyes hang on Zhehan's every movement like a hungry tiger might eye its prey, gaze slipping up and down from Zhehan's face, to his shoulders, to his abs and cock, his thighs.
"Come in," he says again; and this time, Gong Jun does.