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“Giving up already?” Jongdae says, pulling an earphone from his ear as he glances over at Baekhyun.

“No,” Baekhyun says quickly even as he’s struggling to catch his breath. He lowers the speed on the treadmill a little more so he’s walking slowly along instead of at a brisk pace. Next to him, Jongdae is still at a steady jog, and the smirk on his face says he’s totally pleased about having outlasted Baekhyun once again. Baekhyun just narrows his eyes at him, tries not to get distracted by his toned arms in his tank top, glistening a little with sweat, or the pretty curve of his lips.

Baekhyun hastily grabs his water bottle and downs about half of it in one go, feels his ears burn a little when Jongdae laughs out loud.

“Well, take your break then and come join me again,” Jongdae says. He tilts his head to the side. “If you can, that is.”

“Fuck you,” Baekhyun says instinctively, but Jongdae only cackles again and puts his earphone back in, leaving Baekhyun to not only annoyed but now also filled with the image of actually fucking Jongdae, which is, well, something Baekhyun’s wanted to do since they met about three months ago.

It’d been the first time Baekhyun had stopped by the gym; his previous gym had spiked its membership fees and Baekhyun, in an attempt to keep his spending costs down, had spent over a week finding a different place he would work out that was still close enough to his apartment. This place isn’t as fancy or well-equipped as the other, but it’s cheaper, and it also has Jongdae.

They’d struck up a weird sort of friendship in the first week Baekhyun had come in, something that’s transformed into Baekhyun actually looking forward to seeing Jongdae everyday he comes in. They challenge each other to see who can last the longest on the treadmill (Jongdae), or who can lift the most on the weights (Jongdae, again), and Baekhyun finds it both motivating and highly distracting because, well, Jongdae is really hot.

Baekhyun’s spent what’s probably an embarrassing amount of time wondering what it’d be like to kiss him, to be pinned down by those amazing arms, or feel Jongdae wrap his muscular thighs around his waist. Sometimes he accidentally thinks about it while he’s on the elliptical, watching Jongdae run on the treadmill; he can’t help it, though, not when he gets such a good view of Jongdae’s perfect little ass in his shorts.

Okay, so Baekhyun’s got it bad. Like really bad. It’s been months and this terrible crush isn’t fading one bit. It doesn’t help that like, Jongdae’s a cool guy on top of being totally hot. He’s funny, he’s got these cheekbones to die for, and he doesn’t seem to mind Baekhyun’s friendliness. In fact, he’s just as touchy, if the way he smacks Baekhyun’s butt is any indication.

Baekhyun might’ve gotten off to fantasies about Jongdae spanking him for real for about a week.

Shit, Baekhyun thinks, shaking his head. He’s doing it again, getting lost in his thoughts. He forces his gaze down to the numbers on the machine so he’s not tempted to look at Jongdae again and make it all worse, and chugs the last of his water.

Baekhyun ignores the little chuckle Jongdae gives him when he shuts the machine off entirely, stepping off to go refill his bottle from the water fountain in the back of the gym. He collapses onto the bench beside it, lifts up the bottom of his shirt to wipe at the sweat at his neck and takes another drink of his water, slowly letting his heart rate settle down in his chest. Not even ten minutes later, Jongdae is joining him, flopping into the bench a little too close, their knees bumping together, and he swipes Baekhyun’s bottle from him to drink instead of filling his own back up.

“Don’t be stingy,” Jongdae complains when Baekhyun elbows him to get it back, and tries not to think about the indirect kiss they’ve just shared because god, Baekhyun is not fucking thirteen, even if sometimes this stupid crush makes him feel like it. Jongdae watches him for a moment as Baekhyun drinks again, long enough that it starts to make him a little self-conscious, but then he’s grinning and slinging an arm around Baekhyun’s shoulders. “I think you’re getting better, Byun. You definitely lasted longer on the treadmill than last week.”

“Soon I’ll beat all of your records,” Baekhyun says, smirking, and Jongdae laughs loudly at that.

“I’d like to see you try,” he says, clearly amused.

“I will,” Baekhyun says with far more confidence than he has. He sits up a little straighter and Jongdae’s arm falls from his shoulders, and he does his best not to focus on how Jongdae’s hand is much closer to his hip now. “You’ll see!”

Jongdae laughs, clearly amused. “Alright, I’ll look forward to it, then.” Before Baekhyun can respond, Jongdae is patting his thigh and standing up. “C’mon, let’s see if your weight-lifting has gotten any better, too,” he says, stretching his arms over his head.

Baekhyun gazes at the thin strip of skin at Jongdae’s belly that peeks out under his shirt, the faint hairs that disappear into his shorts and feels his throat go dry again. He lifts his bottle up to his mouth again; he’s going to need a lot more water tonight, he can just feel it.

Jongdae’s smirking at him a little when he looks back up, like he knows, and Baekhyun, not for the first time, is wondering if switching gyms really was the right decision.

-

“C’mon, it’s Iron Man all the way,” Baekhyun says, staring down at Jongdae in horror. He can’t believe what he’s hearing.

“Nope,” Jongdae retorts with a popping sound as he pushes a weight over his head and then slowly back down to his chest. “I’ve always been Team Cap. How can you not be?”

Baekhyun, who’d been momentarily distracted by how Jongdae’s chest heaves when he lifts the weights, quickly blinks back to reality, eyes darting over to stare at Jongdae’s knee instead. Much safer. “Cap is great, but between him and Iron Man? There’s no competition, okay?” he says, jumping right back into the conversation and hoping Jongdae didn’t notice him staring. “Stark knows what he’s talking about. The Avengers should be under control.”

“Now you sound like Ross,” Jongdae says, mouth twisting in amusement when Baekhyun gasps, offended.

“I hope you drop that weight on your face,” he says, pouting, but Jongdae only laughs, pushes them up again.

“As long as you kiss it better after,” Jongdae returns easily, catching Baekhyun’s eye and making him lose his breath for a moment.

Baekhyun almost chokes when he remembers oxygen is, in fact, important, and Jongdae’s laughing again as he settles the weights back in place onto the handles and then sits up on the little bench. He leans forward, stretching his arms out and practically arching his back like a cat in heat, and Baekhyun has to look away real fast before he kills himself for forgetting to breathe all over again.

“You okay?” Jongdae asks when Baekhyun stays quiet for far too long, and thankfully, when Baekhyun turns back to him, Jongdae is no longer stretched over the bench but standing, dabbing at the sweat along his hairline with the back of a hand.

“Yeah,” Baekhyun gets out. He’s never gonna get the image of Jongdae’s lying on the bench like that out of his head. “Just got a little tired all of a sudden.”

Jongdae eyes him a little disbelievingly but doesn’t question. Instead, he gestures towards the bench and says, “Did you want a turn? I can spot you, too.”

“Nah,” Baekhyun says, shaking his head. “I think I’m gonna call it a night, actually.”

Jongdae glances up at the clock on the far wall and nods, running a hand through his hair. “Oh yeah, I feel you, we’re here later than usual,” he says with a light laugh. “Must be because you talk my ears off.”

“Please, like you keep totally quiet whenever we’re together.” Baekhyun rolls his eyes, retrieves his own water bottle and phone that he’d set aside before they head back toward the small locker room. Jongdae just smirks at him over his shoulder as he retrieves his things from his locker and Baekhyun leans to the side of his, checking the messages on his phone, first. There’s a bunch from Chanyeol, about their plans tonight, and Baekhyun glances over at Jongdae for a moment, then back at his phone. Considers.

He clears his throat and says, as casually as he can, “So a couple of friends of mine are meeting up for karaoke tonight. You wanna come along?” Suddenly a little panicked by the prospect of rejection, Baekhyun adds before Jongdae can speak, “I mean, you told me you’re a vocal coach and all, so karaoke must be a breeze for you, but you’ve never sung against me.”

He’s hoping Jongdae rises to the bait, and when his laugh fills up the room, Baekhyun manages to breathe a little easier, finally looking over at him and watching as he shoulders his gym bag. “Sounds like fun,” Jongdae says, “but I’ve already got plans tonight.”

Baekhyun really hopes his disappointment isn’t visible on his face, shaking his head as he looks away, finally attempting to open his own locker. “It’s cool, I know it was last minute.”

“Maybe another time,” Jongdae says, smiling so prettily it’s difficult for Baekhyun to be too upset. “See you, Baekhyun.”

He waves cheerfully and then he’s gone, and Baekhyun struggles with the lock on his locker for another minute before he gives up, groaning as he sits down heavily on the bench in the middle of row. He glances down at his phone, Chanyeol’s message from earlier still pulled up, and types up his reply, letting him know he’ll be there. Drunkenly singing along to the latest Taylor Swift album sounds like just what he needs tonight.

-

“Come on, it’s been months,” Kyungsoo says, stepping around Chanyeol who is loudly and enthusiastically singing along to something by Muse. “Why don’t you just ask him out for real? This crush is pathetic.”

Baekhyun shrugs a shoulder, staring fixedly at the songbook in his lap. He knows if he looks at Kyungsoo, he’ll just stare pitifully at him like Baekhyun is a hopeless case. Baekhyun kind of is a hopeless case, especially in regards to Jongdae, but he doesn’t want to give Kyungsoo the satisfaction of knowing that. “I don’t know,” he says after a moment. “I can’t tell if he’s into me.”

“You said he touches your ass at least once a week,” Chanyeol booms into the microphone, waggling his brows at Baekhyun over his shoulder. “I’d say he’s into you.”

“Yixing does that, too,” Baekhyun says, and he gestures wildly toward Yixing himself, sitting on the other end of the couch and looking three sheets to the wind already.

“Yixing does that with everyone,” Kyungsoo says with a roll of his eyes. “Also, he doesn’t count--you guys used to date, remember?”

“Oh, right,” Baekhyun says, smirking a little nostalgically as he remembers. Yixing grins back at him when Baekhyun catches his eye. “Why did we break up again?”

“I don’t know, something about being better as friends?” Yixing says, tapping at his lips contemplatively, and Baekhyun whines, shoving the book off his lap and into Kyungsoo’s so he can crawl over to Yixing and curl into his side.

“I take it all back,” Baekhyun says, pouting. “It was never this hard with you.”

Yixing just laughs, the high-pitched sort of laugh he does when he’s drunk, but still manages to pet Baekhyun’s hair consoling. If Yixing wasn’t in a serious relationship with his new boyfriend of four years and Baekhyun didn’t have this overwhelming crush on Jongdae, he’d consider trying things over again. But maybe that’s just the alcohol talking now. “It probably isn’t this hard with, uh, what was his name again?”

“Jongdae,” Baekhyun supplies and almost yelps when Yixing starts violently coughing on his drink.

“Did you say Jongdae?” Yixing asks once he’s caught his breath, eyes a little wide when he looks over at Baekhyun.

“Uhhh, yeah?” Baekhyun says, confused, casting uncertain looks over at Kyungsoo and Chanyeol, who’s finished his song and is standing in the middle of the room with the mic still, as Alive starts to play in the background. It’s one of the songs Baekhyun put in, but suddenly his focus is far from belting to Sia. “Do you know Jongdae or something?”

“Maybe?” Yixing says, suddenly looking a little shifty. “The name sounds familiar? I might’ve heard it from Han.”

“Yeah, sure, but that does not explain your reaction,” Kyungsoo says with a shake of his head, but he looks amused if the quirk of his lips is any indication. He lifts his own drink to his lips and watches them like they’re a particularly interesting television show.

“It’s nothing,” Yixing says. “Really,” he smiles warmly at Baekhyun and pats his knee in reassurance. “I was just surprised, that’s all.” He downs the rest of his drink and clumsily sets the glass down on the small table in front of the couch. “So, you like him, huh?”

Baekhyun’s still not sure what that all was about just now, but Yixing is looking at him expectantly, so he answers, “Yeah, like, he’s great?” He sighs, pushing a hand through his hair and pouting again a little as he thinks about Jongdae. Kyungsoo’s somehow wrestled the mic from Chanyeol and is singing Ariana Grande as Baekhyun continues, “He’s funny and hot and really nice and really hot and like--he actually isn’t dating anyone as far as I can tell, I mean I talk to him almost everyday and he’s never mentioned it so...he’s perfect, basically?”

“Sounds like a good bet to me, too,” Chanyeol says. He’s spread out across the other side of the couch, his long legs taking up way too much space, and he’s flipping idly through the song book.

“I just don’t want to mess it up and then have to find a new gym all over again because I made everything awkward,” Baekhyun pouts, and Yixing chuckles, reaches up to pet Baekhyun’s head again. Something about that still never fails to calm Baekhyun down, and Yixing, thankfully, seems to have gotten over his earlier shock, too, which helps.

“I agree,” he says. “You should go for it. You’ll drive yourself crazy if you don’t.”

“What if he says no?” Baekhyun whines again.

“I’ll let you take me out instead,” Chanyeol offers, flashing Baekhyun a grin. “It’ll practically be the same.”

Baekhyun snorts at that, some of his uncertainty fading away as he realizes they’re right. It’s getting a little pathetic and Baekhyun’s never been one to shy away from going after something he wants. It’s time he stops being so scared, he decides, reaching for the second mic and jumping up to join Kyungsoo in the middle of his song. The next time he sees Jongdae, he’s asking him out.

-

The next time Baekhyun sees Jongdae, he does not, unfortunately, ask him out. He’s not even expecting to see Jongdae at all, because it’s one in the afternoon on a Wednesday and Baekhyun’s nowhere near the gym. Instead, he’s ducked out of the office to get something to eat from the deli down the street and he’s just finished paying when he turns and finds Jongdae in line.

“Hey,” Jongdae says, brightening up instantly at the sight of him. It gives Baekhyun a spark of hope, but he’s still too surprised to think much on it. “I never imagined I’d run into you here.”

“Small world, huh,” Baekhyun says, grinning. He hefts his wallet and sandwich in his hands and hovers beside Jongdae, uncertain if he should stick around or head back, but Jongdae thankfully takes the decision out of his hands.

“Wanna join me for a bit? I don’t have another class until three,” he says, and then blinks, slowly, and lets his eyes travel down Baekhyun’s body.

Any other time Baekhyun would find that pleasing, but he hasn’t quite gotten over the shock, so instead he fidgets and gives Jongdae a look. “What?” he demands, pushing his lower lip out in a pout.

Jongdae laughs, shaking his head, and steps up to the counter to pay for his own sandwich and drink. “Nothing,” he says. “I was just surprised--you really are a doctor, huh?”

“You didn’t believe me?” Baekhyun exclaims, unsure whether he should laugh because it’s ridiculous or because he’s offended.

“It’s hard to believe anything that comes out of your mouth,” Jongdae says, but his eyes are sparkling in that way Baekhyun’s come to learn means he’s teasing. It’s kind of weird, seeing Jongdae outside of the gym, but he’s still the same Jongdae, smiling the same smile, and looking just as good in his jeans and button-up as he does in his workout clothes.

Baekhyun, who has been dealing with sick, crying babies all morning, doesn’t feel nearly as put together in his scrubs, but Jongdae doesn’t seem to mind that. “Wow,” he says, shaking his head, “and here I thought we were friends who trusted each other.”

Jongdae laughs again, takes his change from the cashier and nods toward an empty table by the door. They settle down and unwrap their sandwiches easily, Jongdae asking Baekhyun about his day so far and Baekhyun responding in kind. It’s just as comfortable as it always is at the gym, even if Baekhyun feels like he can’t look away from Jongdae more than usual. His hair is styled up from his face and he looks smart and handsome in his day clothes and Baekhyun is finding himself even more infatuated now, watching as Jongdae laughs at his jokes with a hand covering his mouth, and the way he licks mustard off his lips like he’s in a goddamn porno.

They fall into their usual debate about Iron Man versus Captain America, and Jongdae tells Baekhyun all about the ridiculous argument he got into with one of his students. “As if she knows better than me,” he says with a slight scoff, but the quirk of his lips tell Baekhyun he’s not really that mad.

“Kids these days,” he replies anyway, and grins when it makes Jongdae laugh.

It’s exactly the kind of time together that Baekhyun’s been dreaming about since they met in June. It’s the end of August now, and Jongdae is easy to be around, easy to talk to, and it’s clear that Baekhyun is definitely into him. He’d be worried about just how much if Jongdae hadn’t started eyeing him again like before, his gaze lingering a little too long at times that Baekhyun’s wondering if something is actually wrong.

“Why do you keep staring at me?” he asks. “Is there something on my face?” He reaches for his balled-up napkin but Jongdae laughs again and shakes his head.

“No, it’s not that,” Jongdae says, and a slow, sinful smirk stretches across his lips. “You just look really hot in that outfit.”

Baekhyun chokes around the bite of sandwich he’s just taken, eyes widening in surprise as he forcibly swallows and reaches for his glass of water to clear his throat. He’s trying not to look too shocked by this, because Jongdae is carrying on eating like he hasn’t said anything unordinary at all, and Baekhyun hopes he’s not blushing madly the way he feels his face heating up. “Well, of course,” he manages to choke out. “I always look hot.”

The corner of Jongdae’s kittenish lips quirks up as he replies, “That’s debatable,” but laughs when Baekhyun throws his napkin in his face.

“Will I see you tonight?” Baekhyun asks later, when they’ve finished eating and head toward the doors. A second late, he realizes just how his questions sounds, and splutters out, “At the gym, I mean.”

Jongdae laughs, but shakes his head. He holds the door open for Baekhyun, lets him through first, then follows out into the hot sunshine. “I’ve actually got plans tonight, so I went this morning.”

“Oh,” Baekhyun says, trying not to sound too disappointed. “Got a hot date or something?” he teases, nudging Jongdae in the side.

“Or something,” Jongdae responds, and there’s an equally teasing smirk playing at his lips. “See you tomorrow, Baekhyun.”

He gives Baekhyun a wave before joining the crowd of people crossing the street and Baekhyun heads back to the clinic feeling suddenly very dejected. Baekhyun runs into Sehun, one of the newer pediatricians here whom Baekhyun had befriended him within days of his arrival, and Sehun takes one look at him before laughing.

“What’s with that face?” he asks, poking Baekhyun’s cheeks, and Baekhyun just pouts more, blinking at him imploringly.

“Would you go out with me?” Baekhyun asks, jokingly, and Sehun gives Baekhyun an appraising look before he rolls his eyes.

“You wish,” he says, but then squints at him curiously. “Why, did you get dumped or something? Is this a real question?”

Baekhyun laughs, shaking his head as he leads the way down the hall. “It’s nothing,” he says, even though he’s not sure he sounds convincing. He’s just a little confused, maybe, because he’s still reeling from Jongdae calling him hot, and wondering why, despite all the teasing, the occasional flirting, it seems like their friendship is stagnant. Baekhyun knows he should just come out with it, ask Jongdae on a date, but it’s definitely harder than it seems, when he can’t even tell where exactly they stand with each other.

“It’s something alright,” Sehun says, looking at him in amusement. “Or someone, I’m guessing?”

“Maybe,” Baekhyun laughs, not wanting to give Sehun too much information that he’d only use against him in the future. “We’ll see.”

“Go get ‘em,” Sehun says, patting his shoulder as they part ways in front of their offices, “If anyone can, it’s you.”

“You sure about that date?” Baekhyun teases and Sehun smirks.

“As sure as I was five minutes ago,” Sehun says and Baekhyun pretends to look wounded just to hear him laugh. “Now stop flirting with me. It’s gross. Get to work.”

-

The rest of the week goes by with little fanfare. Baekhyun doesn’t run into Jongdae outside of the gym again, but he sees him in the evenings during their usual hour, running on the treadmills or challenging each other to the weights. Jongdae is distracting as usual, making it difficult for Baekhyun to keep up, which Jongdae only gleefully reminds him of every time.

“Whatever happened to our bet?” he asks when Baekhyun’s given up on the elliptical for the night. “I thought you were gonna show me.”

“You can’t rush perfection, okay,” Baekhyun simpers. “Besides, I never said when I’d beat you, just that I would. Eventually.”

Jongdae eyes him even as he slows down the speed of his machine to match Baekhyun’s. “Sneaky,” he says, almost like he’s impressed. “I like that.”

Baekhyun is proud of himself for not reacting, just laughs it off and quickly drops his gaze. It’s been like this far more often lately. The teasing. The flirting. Jongdae will say something, an offhanded comment about Baekhyun’s pretty fingers, how he should stop by Baekhyun’s work just to see him in scrubs again, or he’ll look at Baekhyun, the way he did just now, like he’s assessing every little part of him. Baekhyun’s been on the receiving end of plenty of elevator eyes before but there’s something to the way Jongdae looks at him like it’s more than that, or like he’s interested but finding Baekhyun lacking and it’s only a little mortifying for Baekhyun to realize he wants to be good for Jongdae.

And that’s not even all of it. Maybe Baekhyun’s just imagining it, seeing what he wants to see, but he swears that Jongdae’s suddenly gotten more touchy. There’s all the usual moments, when Jongdae claps him on the back in encouragement between sets, or when he clutches Baekhyun’s arm as he laughs at something exceptionally funny. But there’s also these softer touches, the times when Jongdae pushes Baekhyun’s hair out of his face for him in the middle of conversation and Baekhyun chokes on his words, or when Jongdae rests his head on Baekhyun’s shoulder as they catch a quick break.

And Baekhyun’s not complaining. Not really. He’s just surprised. And maybe a little turned on. He’s good about keeping that hidden until he gets home, though, or at least he hopes he is, but Jongdae hasn’t stopped touching him completely so he figures he’s doing well enough. It’s all very encouraging, too, because maybe Jongdae is into him and this is his way of letting Baekhyun know.

“Just ask him out already, Jesus,” Kyungsoo says when Baekhyun has lunch with him over the weekend. “I’m sick of hearing about how much he touches you.”

“But--”

“No buts,” Kyungsoo says sternly, fixing Baekhyun with a Look. “I don’t care if it ruins everything, just fuck him and get it out of your system, you’re driving me crazy.”

Baekhyun slumps in his seat, pouting. “You’re so mean,” he says, putting more of a whine into his voice for effect. “I do really like him, you know.”

“I can tell,” Kyungsoo deadpans, but there’s a slight quirk to his lips that tells Baekhyun he’s amused. “He sounds pretty cool, and despite better judgment, he seems into you, so just try. It doesn’t have to be a date right away, you know. Ask him to get lunch, ask him for his number, and talk to him more. I bet he’ll be cool with it.”

“I know, I know,” Baekhyun cries, sinking his hands into his hair and rousing it all up. Kyungsoo’s acting like he doesn’t know him now, focusing on his lunch, and Baekhyun’s pretty sure he’s getting the stink-eye from the couple sitting two tables down, but he’s in crisis, so he doesn’t care. “I just don’t want to screw anything up.”

Kyungsoo sighs, setting down his burger to give Baekhyun his full attention. “Listen, if you tell anyone I said this, I’ll castrate you, but--you’re a good guy. You’re cute and funny and you’d probably make a great boyfriend. I mean, Yixing’s the nicest person on the planet and he dated you for some reason, so clearly you’re doing something right.”

Baekhyun snorts, trying hard not to laugh out loud because Kyungsoo looks far too serious in his attempt to praise and pacify him. It’s cute.

“The point is,” Kyungsoo plows on, his ears a little red. “If this Jongdae guy isn’t interested, it’s his loss, not yours, okay?”

“Aww, Kyungsoo,” Baekhyun simpers, reaching across the table to grab his hand in both of his. “I didn’t know you cared so much.”

To Baekhyun’s surprise, Kyungsoo covers their joined hands with his other one and says, seriously, “I only ever think of you, Baekhyun.”

They stare at each other for a few seconds, then simultaneously burst out laughing, dropping their hands as they settle back into their seats, grinning. “Thanks,” Baekhyun says, because Kyungsoo’s made him feel much better, much less worried and terrified about what might happen if he really actively tries to pursue something more with Jongdae.

-

Baekhyun heads to the gym that Monday with renewed vigor. He’s going to finally do this. Ask Jongdae out. At the very least, invite him to have lunch again like they did the week before. It was nice, he’ll say. We should see each other more often outside of here. He’s gonna play it cool. He can totally do it.

He’s even wearing his scrubs today, as added insurance. Maybe Jongdae won’t be able to say no if he sees him like this again. Okay, so it might be an underhanded tactic, but Baekhyun’s kind of desperate. He’ll try anything at this point.

But Baekhyun’s feeling good about this. He’s confident. He is not, however, expecting to find Jongdae in the locker room with some other dude literally hanging off his back. Baekhyun’s never seen this guy around before, but he’s laughing at something Jongdae’s just said, a toned arm wrapped around Jongdae’s waist, chin tucked over his shoulder, and that is far too close for Baekhyun’s comfort. Who the hell is this guy?

Before Baekhyun can loudly clear his throat and demand answers, Jongdae’s turning and catching his eye, smile megawatt bright as he says, “Baekhyun! There you are!”

“Here I am,” Baekhyun says as casually as he can, smiling. He’s trying hard not to eye Jongdae’s friend, who is still leaning on him, but he can’t help it. Jongdae doesn’t seem fazed at all either, and Baekhyun’s earlier confidence wanes second by second.

“Ohhh, so you’re the Baekhyun I’ve been hearing so much about,” says Jongdae’s human-koala. He grins at Baekhyun over Jongdae’s shoulder, a crooked little smile that shows off his gums, but makes his face light up, and shit, he’s really cute. “It’s good to meet you,” he says. “I’m Minseok. Jongdae’s boyfriend.”

Baekhyun’s certain that for a moment, his brain short-circuits. He can’t think, practically feels like he can’t breathe, but then, in the next second, it all comes back like he’s been struck in the back of the head with one of the large dumbbells from the gym. “Wh-What?” he chokes out, finally tearing his eyes from Minseok, the boyfriend, to Jongdae, who is still smiling, unknowingly fueling the ache that’s begun in Baekhyun’s chest.

“My boyfriend, Minseok,” he says, sliding an arm around Minseok’s waist. “I was sure I’d mentioned him before.”

Baekhyun wants to yell that no, no you haven’t!, but all he can do is stare blankly at the two of them.

“You weren’t lying about the scrubs,” Minseok says, and his eyes roam up Baekhyun’s body even as he speaks into Jongdae’s ear, still loud enough that Baekhyun can hear him.

Jongdae’s pleasant smile turns into a smirk. “Right?” he says. “It’s hot.”

Baekhyun feels his heat flood his face, and he’s not sure if he’s humiliated or somewhat, strangely, turned on. The only thing his befuddled mind is able to do is make him blurt out, “I-I’ll be right back,” and then he’s turning on his heel and locking himself into the first empty cubicle in the bath area he can find.

His gym bag drops to the ground by his feet with a shlump, head falling back against the door to the cubicle just hard enough to hurt but at least that tells him that this isn’t, actually, a nightmare. This is real. Jongdae has a boyfriend. A really hot boyfriend, from the looks of it. And Baekhyun…Baekhyun is an idiot. Sure he can’t remember a single time Jongdae mentioned Minseok, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t. For all Baekhyun knows he was too busy thinking about sucking Jongdae’s dick to pay attention to what he was actually saying.

Suddenly Baekhyun remembers Yixing’s weird reaction at karaoke, when he’d brought up Jongdae’s name, and fuck. Fuck. Baekhyun really is an idiot. He scrambles into his pocket for his phone and pulls up his last conversation with Yixing, tapping rapidly on the screen through his mortification that he practically misspells nearly every word.

u knew jongdae had a byfrend??? u knw abt minseok? why dint u say aythng!!!

He’s not even really mad. He’s just horrified. He feels stupid for not realizing. For letting this crush get so big. For the way his chest is squeezing so tightly it feels like he still can’t breathe.

“Fuck,” he groans, banging his head against the door again and scrubbing his hands over his face. His eyes closed, he can see the way Minseok was hanging off of Jongdae, see the smiles they shared. He can’t believe this.

“Baekhyun?” comes Jongdae’s voice, cutting clear through Baekhyun’s little pity party. “Are you okay?”

“Uh, yeah,” Baekhyun chokes out. He winces at the sound of his voice, clears his throat with a quick cough, and adds, “Yeah, no worries. I’ll be out soon.”

“All right,” Jongdae says, though he still sounds concerned, which, if possible, makes Baekhyun feel worse. Jongdae’s a good guy. It shouldn’t be a surprise that he already has a boyfriend. “Come join us soon!” He gives the door two raps with his knuckles, like a substitute for patting Baekhyun on the back, and Baekhyun waits until he hears him walk away before he takes a deep breath and ventures back out.

He changes into his gym clothes slowly, hoping that maybe Yixing will respond to his text and give him a little strength before he has to face Jongdae and Minseok again. It’s not often Baekhyun feels embarrassed, but he does now, a little, rubbing his hands over his face again before he closes up his locker and makes his way out of the room.

He notices Minseok first, doing pushups on the open area in the back of the gym and Baekhyun’s eyes instinctively drag over the defined muscles in his arms, his back. He’s got thighs that could rival Baekhyun’s own but Baekhyun isn’t annoyed so much as appreciative. Minseok’s hot, and Jongdae is a lucky guy. As if Minseok can hear Baekhyun’s thoughts, he looks up at that moment and meets Baekhyun’s eyes, a slow little smirk crossing his lips before he grins and pulls himself back to kneel.

“There you are,” he says, as if he and Baekhyun haven’t only just met. “Jongdae--He’s alive.”

Jongdae, who is at one of the weight machines a few feet away, cranes around to look at Baekhyun, too, and there’s something like relief in his eyes. “Baekhyun!” he calls, lowering the weights down so he can wave him over, and Baekhyun, because he can’t exactly avoid either of them here, goes.

“Hey,” Baekhyun says, plastering a cheerful smile on his face. “Sorry about that, earlier. I’m good now.”

“You’re not sick or anything, are you?” Jongdae asks, and the concern in the furrow of his brow makes Baekhyun feel worse, if that’s possible.

“No, no, nothing like that,” he says, shaking his head. “Really, don’t worry. It’s just been a long day, I guess.”

“Then it’s time to relieve some stress, right?” Minseok says, smiling up at him. Now that Baekhyun’s not clouded by his shock, he can really take Minseok in. He’s shorter than both him and Jongdae, but not by much, and he’s got that kind of presence that tells Baekhyun not to underestimate him. His hair is a soft brown, and his surprisingly youthful face seems to contradict his banging body. Baekhyun tries not to stare too much again, but it’s hard. He’s always been weak to attractive men.

“Yeah,” Baekhyun agrees, probably a beat too late, darting his eyes up to Minseok’s face, then glancing over at Jongdae. His chest aches still, finding out after he’s let this crush fester for so long that Jongdae is taken, but he figures, at least, he didn’t make a fool out of himself by actually asking him out. At least the rejection isn’t because Jongdae finds Baekhyun repulsive or something. “So,” he says, smiling a little easier now, “are we just gonna stand here, or are you gonna watch as I beat your last rep?”

Jongdae barks out a laugh at that, shoving Baekhyun playfully as Minseok looks on, amused, and this, Baekhyun can do. This is okay. He looks between them and grins and pushes everything else, all the feelings, aside.

-

“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me,” Baekhyun whines into the phone as he struggles to balance the box of pizza in his arms, the bag of groceries hanging off his wrist, and manage to unlock his front door. “You knew this whole time that Jongdae had a boyfriend and you didn’t tell me?”

Yixing, to his credit, does sound terribly guilty on the other end. “I’m sorry! Look, I wanted to, but if he hadn’t already told you about Minseok then I figured he had a reason. It didn’t feel like my place.”

“What kind of reason could he possibly have for not telling me?” Baekhyun gripes, even though he knows Jongdae doesn’t owe him anything. He lets out a yelp of success when he finally manages to get inside and shut the door without dropping anything, quickly kicks off his shoes and heads into the kitchen. “I’ve known him for months now, it’s something that should’ve come up in conversation!”

“Are you sure he didn’t tell you? Maybe you blocked it out of memory,” Yixing laughs and Baekhyun pouts as he sets the pizza down onto the counter and pulls the groceries from his wrist, wincing a little at how the heavy plastic bag had cut into the skin.

“I swear I would’ve remembered if he’d said something,” Baekhyun insists, lowering his phone to the counter too and switching to speaker so he can put things away easier.

“Really?”

“Yes!” Baekhyun exclaims instinctively, then, sobering up, mumbles, “No.” He slams his fridge shut and tosses the empty bag onto the counter to put away later. He flips open the top of the pizza box and tugs a slice free. “But, see, that’s why you should’ve told me!”

“What good would it have done then? You’d probably cancel your membership to the gym and never see him again,” Yixing says knowingly and Baekhyun pouts around a mouthful of his pizza even though Yixing can’t see him. “At least now you’ve decided not to be brash and stick around so you and Jongdae can keep being friends.”

“I guess,” Baekhyun mumbles as he tosses the crust off his pizza into the box, then picks the whole thing up, along with his phone, and migrates to the couch. He props his feet up onto the coffee table and grabs another slice.

“Look, you’re kind of a bulldozer when it comes to flirting,” Yixing says, an amused lilt to his voice, and Baekhyun splutters, attempting to protest, but Yixing goes on, “If Jongdae really wanted you to stop, he probably would’ve said so.”

“I’m not sure if that makes me feel better or worse,” Baekhyun says around another mouthful of pizza. He swallows, suddenly wishes he had thought to bring a beer from the fridge over with him, and sighs. “How do you even know them? How come you’ve been keeping your hot friends secret from me?”

Yixing’s laugh makes Baekhyun smile. “I know Minseok through work,” he says and Baekhyun chokes on his next bite.

“Wait--work?” he gasps out. “Your clean nine to five work as a music teacher or the one where you moonlight as a stripper?”

“Take a wild guess,” Yixing sing-songs, and the piece of pizza in Baekhyun’s hand slips back down into the box as his whole body goes a little slack in surprise.

But then, just as quickly, he realizes that this shouldn’t be very surprising at all. Baekhyun’s seen Minseok. With his thick thighs and toned arms and flirty little smile--Baekhyun can just as easily picture him up on the stage in tiny shorts as he can Yixing, and he can picture Yixing vividly because he’s only seen him dance about a thousand times. “Shit,” he says, slumping back against the couch and staring up at the ceiling. “How are they both so hot?”

“I think you’re hot, too, Baekhyun, if that helps,” Yixing offers, and Baekhyun can just imagine the teasing smirk that’s on his face.

“Thanks,” he says wryly. “You’re not so bad yourself.”

“I know.” There’s a moment’s pause, and then they both laugh, and Baekhyun feels, inexplicably, better about everything. “I am sorry I didn’t tell you about Minseok,” Yixing adds. “It just wasn’t my place.”

“I get it,” Baekhyun says. “There’s nothing I can do about it now anyway. I’m glad I found out before I made a fool of myself.”

“You say that like you hadn’t already made a fool of yourself,” Yixing teases and Baekhyun makes an affronted noise around his next bite of pizza that practically has him choking.

He figures he really could get something to drink now, and sets aside the box to drag himself back into the kitchen. “Don’t be mean,” he whines to Yixing. “I’m suffering. I got dumped today.”

“You did not,” Yixing says in that placating voice of his that never fails to make Baekhyun feel better. “Stop throwing yourself a pity party, Baekhyun. You’ll find someone else to crush on soon enough.”

Baekhyun wants to protest and say that it’s highly unlikely he’ll find anyone as great as Jongdae, but he bites his tongue and instead focuses on uncapping his bottle of beer to take a swig. “Yeah, we’ll see,” is all he says, but even as he leans against the fridge and closes his eyes, all he sees is Jongdae, smiling at him, with Minseok’s arm wrapped around his shoulders.

-

Baekhyun doesn’t really expect to see Minseok again. He’d mentioned the day they met how he tends to work out in the afternoons, instead, but that Jongdae had been trying to get him to change his schedule around a bit. Baekhyun might have, secretly, hoped it wasn’t working, so maybe that’s why he’s surprised to find Minseok at the gym when he goes back the next day and even again, the day after that.

“Jongdae can be very persuasive,” he says about it, when Baekhyun casually brings it up.

Beside him, Jongdae leers, leaning into Minseok’s face as he says, “You like it,” and Minseok chuckles softly but turns to give him a kiss. Baekhyun has to look away quickly, but it’s not really that he’s upset by it. Or jealous. It’s confusing, because mostly he thinks it’s kind of hot? And that’s a whole can of worms he doesn’t want to be thinking about but it’s hard, especially when Jongdae and Minseok are so touchy.

It’s the way Jongdae’s been touchy with Baekhyun, except he and Jongdae aren’t dating. He can’t lean up to give Jongdae a kiss the way Minseok does when he’s doing sit-ups and Jongdae’s holding his feet down for him. He can’t press Minseok up against the lockers in the backroom to make out with him like Baekhyun’s unfortunately (or, perhaps, fortunately) has walked in on at least three times within two weeks.

He’s starting to think maybe he needs a break, maybe he should drag himself to the gym in the morning or go later when he knows Jongdae and Minseok won’t be there. It’s a little pathetic, but Baekhyun feels trapped in his own confusion. His feelings for Jongdae haven’t gone away, and, weirdly enough, the more he sees the two of them together, the more he starts to like that, too.

Of course, the very night Baekhyun considers this, as the three of them are packing up in the locker room to head home, Minseok pats his shoulder and says, “We’re gonna go get something to eat. Wanna come?”

Baekhyun doesn’t even think, blurting out, “Yes!” before the weight of the request hits him. Fuck, he thinks, as they head out together, he’s such an idiot. He wanted to avoid spending more time with them. But, at the same time, Baekhyun’s been dying to spend time with Jongdae outside of the gym for months and he can’t very well pass up the first opportunity, right?

If Jongdae and Minseok notice Baekhyun’s excitement, they don’t mention it. Instead, as they settle down at a table at a cafe nearby, Minseok says, “Jongdae’s been talking about you for ages but he mentioned you guys barely see each other outside of the gym. How come?”

“You should ask Jongdae!” Baekhyun says. “I invited him out before.”

“Like once,” Jongdae snorts, but he looks amused.

“At least I tried,” Baekhyun sniffs. “You act like you never want to see me outside of the gym.”

“Maybe I’m just shy,” Jongdae shoots back, and they all stop to look at each other for a moment before laughing so loudly they get looks from the people sitting nearby. “Okay, you got me, I just see you enough as it is.”

“Rude,” Baekhyun laughs. “At least Minseok is nice. Asking me to eat with you guys.”

“Hm, my motives might not be so pure,” Minseok says with a sharp look in his eyes as he glances over at Baekhyun. “I’ve been curious about you for awhile.”

Baekhyun tries not to read too much into that, chuckling nervously before taking a bite out of his sandwich. He says, “Oh? What do you want to know?”

“Many things,” Minseok says simply, with one of his crooked little smiles. They’re very charming, those smiles. Baekhyun has to force himself to look away. “Let’s start with the easy stuff. What do you do, again?”

“Ah, you already know that, don’t you?” Baekhyun says, glancing between the two of them. “You’ve seen me in the scrubs.”

“I still can’t believe that, honestly,” Jongdae says with a shake of his head, and Baekhyun pouts at him, only slightly offended. “It’s just not what I pictured.”

“Hey, the kids love me,” Baekhyun defends himself. “See if I ever save you when you’re dying.”

Jongdae just laughs and he nudges his foot against Baekhyun’s under the table, almost affectionately as he says, knowingly, “You still would.”

Baekhyun can’t really deny that, but he just narrows his eyes at Jongdae and reaches across the table to pluck a crouton off the salad he’d ordered. He pops it into his mouth with a grin and then turns to Minseok. “So, what about you, Minseok? What do you do?” He says it without thinking, and it’s not until Minseok replies rather evasively that he’s a dancer, that he remembers with a start that Minseok works with Yixing. As a stripper.

“But I’m really just trying to finish my masters,” he says, easily turning the topic away from work. “I had to take a break for awhile, so I’m just catching up now, you know?”

Baekhyun nods. “What’re you studying?”

“Architecture,” Minseok says and when Baekhyun stares at him blankly, he laughs. “That surprising?”

“No, no,” Baekhyun says with a wave of his hand. He gives Minseok a slow little once-over, settling his gaze back on his face with a smirk. “I can see it. Working at a firm, wearing really nice suits, looking over floorplans. No one would suspect that you can bench-press two hundred.”

Minseok grins, clearly satisfied with this answer, while Jongdae chuckles, “Minseok wishes he could bench-press two hundred.”

Minseok swats his shoulder in response, but he’s laughing, and Baekhyun watches them, his gut churning a little, at the fond looks in their eyes. He’s still growing used to that. Baekhyun drops his gaze and focuses on finishing his sandwich, trying not to let this get to him. He’s really doing a terrible job of getting over his weird crush. Maybe he really should have said no to coming out with them tonight.

He doesn’t get the chance to regret his decision much once Jongdae nudges his foot under the table and says, “I bet Baekhyun wishes he could bench-press that much, too.”

Baekhyun laughs, shaking his head quickly. “Nah, I’ll leave that to you. I’m not looking to be the Hulk.”

“What’s wrong with the Hulk,” Jongdae demands, and Baekhyun shrugs.

“Nothing. He’s just not Iron Man,” he says and Jongdae scoffs.

“Is that the kind of guy you’re into, Baekhyun?” Minseok asks with a curious glance and Baekhyun laughs again, lifts a hand to count on his fingers.

“Let’s see, he’s rich, he’s smart, he’s a superhero, and did I mention, he’s rich?” he says. “What’s not to like?”

Minseok chuckles while Jongdae rolls his eyes, but his expression is fond when looks at Baekhyun. “You’re a pretty easy guy to please, aren’t you?”

Baekhyun nods wryly. “I’d like to think so,” he says. “All I need is someone who can keep up with me.”

“Good luck with that,” Jongdae says and Baekhyun reaches across the table to shove him lightly.

Jongdae just grins as Baekhyun sits back in his chair, pushing aside the thoughts of how Jongdae is pretty good at keeping up with him. That’s not the kind of thing he should be thinking about, especially not when Minseok is sitting right there. He wonders if Minseok can see it, that Baekhyun’s had a crush on Jongdae for months, and suddenly feels awkward, shifting in his seat and pulling his phone from his pocket just for something to do with his hands.

There’s a message from his brother, and another from Chanyeol, and Baekhyun taps up a reply to the latter as he forces himself to calm down. He remembers what Yixing had said, that Baekhyun’s flirting is obvious enough that Jongdae would’ve cut it short if he really wanted to. Minseok probably doesn’t care. After all, he’s the one dating Jongdae.

Baekhyun shakes that thought out of his head as his phone buzzes in his hand, a quick reply from Chanyeol. He smiles down at his phone as he reads and it takes him a moment to even realize Jongdae’s saying his name. “What?” he asks, looking up with wide eyes. He sets his phone onto the table, feeling a little guilty for getting so caught up in it.

“What’s more interesting than us, huh?” Minseok teases, gesturing between himself and Jongdae, and Baekhyun laughs, drums his fingers over the screen of his phone.

“Everything,” he shoots back and laughs harder at the offended looks on both their faces. Then, impulsively, he says, “You guys should give me your numbers.” When they stare at him, he holds out his hands. “Come on! We’ve known each other for how long and we haven’t exchanged numbers? I thought we were friends.”

“Yeah, Jongdae, aren’t you friends?” Minseok laughs as he pulls his phone out from his gym bag. “Here,” he says, handing it over to Baekhyun after keying in his passcode. “I’ll give you his, too, since he’s being stingy.”

“I’m not being stingy,” Jongdae whines. “I was just surprised, is all.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t send you nude selfies unless you really want it,” Baekhyun says, surprising even himself with his boldness, but it seems to do the trick.

Jongdae laughs loudly and so wholeheartedly, that it takes him a few minutes to calm down. By then, Minseok and Baekhyun have swapped their phones back, and Minseok is relaying Jongdae’s number so Baekhyun can type it in. “There,” he says when he’s done, shaking his phone in the air. “Now maybe we can actually plan to meet outside of the gym more often.”

He says it as casually as he can, hopes Jongdae nor Minseok can’t sense the anxious butterflies in his stomach. Thankfully, they both just smile at him, almost a little indulgently, and Jongdae says, “Yeah, we definitely will.”

-

This definitely goes against Baekhyun’s previous decision to remove himself from Minseok and Jongdae’s presence, but he never really expected that plan to work. Afterall, he was the one to suggest exchanging phone numbers and to suggest meeting up more. It’s like he’s magnetized to them both, and can’t drag himself away. It’s a problem, but Baekhyun thinks, hopes, that he will at least keep a cool head about it, and maybe spending more time with them will also help him get over his crush.

That doesn’t explain the potentially terrible decision he’s making tonight, though. After Minseok vaguely mentioned dancing for work the last time, Baekhyun hasn’t been able to stop thinking about it. He hasn’t been to the club where Yixing works in ages, but it’s easy to find his way back, to pay the cover to get in and order a drink from the bar.

Heechul, the bartender, even remembers him. “It’s been so long, Baekhyun,” he says cheerfully. “What brings you here?”

“Came to see Yixing,” he says with a shrug, because it’s easier than saying he’s secretly-not-secretly intending to spy on his new friend. Is Minseok his friend? His friend’s boyfriend. Whatever.

“Well, he should be on soon, I think,” Heechul says, nodding toward the stage. “Here,” he pushes a drink across the counter. “This one’s on me.”

Baekhyun beams at him in thanks and heads up toward the front. It’s a Saturday night, so it’s pretty crowded, and Baekhyun’s only looking for an empty place to sit, when something better catches his eye. Jongdae, sitting at a table, by himself, glancing down at his phone as Baekhyun approaches. It makes sense he’d come here to watch his boyfriend, but Baekhyun hadn’t really considered it.

“Come to these kinds of places often?” Baekhyun says as he slips into the seat next to him, and Jongdae startles so much he drops his phone into his lap.

There’s surprise in his eyes when he finally looks over, his mouth parted cutely, but then he seems to recover quickly, and Baekhyun is only a little disappointed. Nothing ever seems to ruffle Jongdae. “What’re you doing here?” he asks, cocking a brow.

“Isn’t it kind of obvious?” Baekhyun says, gesturing toward the stage. When Jongdae looks at him curiously, Baekhyun laughs, shakes his head. “Nah, actually I’m here to see a friend.”

“A friend or a friend,” Jongdae says, waggling his eyebrows, and Baekhyun’s so far gone that even that is cute to him.

“Well, Yixing and I dated a long time ago, but it’s not like that anymore,” he responds, and Jongdae, who had been taking a sip of his drink, suddenly chokes. “Are you okay?”

“You know Yixing?” Jongdae gasps, and Baekhyun, suddenly, realizes that despite Yixing having kept Minseok a secret from him, he’d kept his relationship with Baekhyun, a secret from both of them. Baekhyun is gonna kiss him for it, later, he thinks, as he smirks back at Jongdae.

“Yeah, we’re friends,” he says cheerfully. “Now that you mention it, I think I might’ve heard Minseok’s name from him before. That’s why you’re here, isn’t it?”

Jongdae nods. “I come sometimes to watch. It’s fun.”

“I used to do that a lot too, when Yixing and I were dating,” Baekhyun tells him. “I haven’t been here in a long time, though.”

Jongdae makes a vague noise of understanding, but then the music changes and the dancers onstage steadily walk off to make way for the next act. Baekhyun’s not sure what to expect, honestly, but when Minseok and Yixing walk out dressed in fitted black slacks and vests, top hats perched on their heads and silver canes in his hands, he laughs, delighted, and leans back in his chair to watch.

He’s seen Yixing dance so many times he appreciates it now more for the art that it is than for how hot Yixing looks, not that he doesn’t look incredible, sensually moving down the stage, popping buttons on the vest one by one. Minseok, on the other hand, that’s a whole other matter. Baekhyun’s only seen Minseok do pushups, run on a treadmill, look devastatingly attractive sitting across from him at the cafe, laughing at one of Baekhyun’s jokes. The Minseok on stage is toned arms, thick eyeliner, and perfectly tousled hair when he finally flings his hat off.

He’s downright sinful, sliding a hand down his chest as he lowers himself to his knees and rolls his hips deliciously against the cane. Beside him, Jongdae hoots loudly, and, on a normal day, Baekhyun probably would too, but he can’t seem to find his voice. His throat feels dry as Minseok slips the vest off completely and Baekhyun gets a wonderful view of a tattoo across his back, the ink dark against his skin. He turns around before Baekhyun can tell exactly what it is, and then he’s distracted by the fucking glitter shimmering all over his abs.

Baekhyun discreetly crosses his legs, takes a long sip from his drink. He’s gonna have to beg Heechul for another soon.

Yixing catches Baekhyun’s eye around halfway through the song, and he smirks a little down at him. It’s what Baekhyun needs to resurface for air after watching Minseok pulled him deep under, and he cups his hands around his mouth to loudly cheer for him. His reprieve doesn’t last very long, because Minseok is moving closer to where he sits, and this time, the hip rolls he does against the cane are literally right in front of Baekhyun’s face. He’s also lost his pants, sometime since then, and the tiny, tiny black shimmering shorts hide nothing.

“Fuck,” Baekhyun hisses under his breath, then quickly flushes, hopes that Jongdae didn’t hear. God, this is the worst. What was Baekhyun trying to do by coming here again? Not only does he have a hopeless crush on Jongdae, he thinks he might be building up one for his boyfriend, too. Baekhyun is a goddamn idiot.

He downs the last of drink quickly, dragging his eyes off the stage to stare at something safer, like the floor. He’s pretty sure Jongdae gets up to pass Minseok a few bills, or something, Baekhyun’s not sure because he refuses to look, and thankfully, not long after that, the song comes to an end and both Minseok and Yixing leave the stage to tumultuous applause.

Baekhyun only looks back up when Jongdae nudges him with an elbow. “Hey, I was gonna go say hi quick,” he says, gesturing toward the back door. “Want to come with?”

That’s about as terrible an idea as coming here was in the first place, but still Baekhyun says yes, follows Jongdae around the tables to the door. The dressing room is a flurry of activity and Baekhyun almost gets trampled by a few guys who are rushing out to stage for the next performance. Jongdae laughs in his ear, his hands resting on Baekhyun’s hips from behind and carefully guiding him through the crowd, and Baekhyun’s heart is louder in his ears than the music blaring from the club’s speakers.

They find Minseok and Yixing easily enough, sitting on an old couch to a side of the room. Minseok’s pulled on a pair of sweatpants but Yixing is just lounging in his underwear, which makes Baekhyun laugh when he sees him. It draws their attention, and Yixing is jumping straight out of his seat to pounce on Baekhyun.

“You didn’t tell me you were coming!” he says, sounding far too excited. The force of his hug has Baekhyun stumbling again, back against Jongdae’s chest, but then Jongdae is stepping away, the warmth of his hands on Baekhyun’s waist disappearing.

Baekhyun catches him wandering over to Minseok, who has stood up, too, and swallows down the disappointment. Of course he would go say hi to Minseok. Minseok, his boyfriend. Baekhyun needs to get a grip. He turns back to Yixing with a smile and says cheerfully, “Surprise! I was feeling pretty bored, thought I’d come see how you were doing.”

There’s a knowing look in Yixing’s eyes, but thankfully he doesn’t say anything. Just smiles back and gives Baekhyun’s butt a pat. “It’s good to see you,” he says.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen Yixing that happy to see anyone,” Jongdae says, and Baekhyun pulls out of Yixing’s embrace just enough to turn to him. Jongdae and Minseok both are eyeing Yixing and Baekhyun curiously. Minseok doesn’t look surprised to find they know each other, so maybe Jongdae had explained just now.

“Yeah, he’s barely this excited to see Han,” Minseok says, but there’s a little teasing quirk to his smile.

“That’s because I see Han everyday,” Yixing laughs. “He is my boyfriend, we do live together.”

“What would Han say if he saw you clinging to some other guy like this?” Jongdae questions, and Baekhyun thinks he’s teasing, he must be teasing, because Baekhyun knows Han, knows he doesn’t care, knows that Yixing is just like this all the time, but there’s something in the way Jongdae is still staring at them, like maybe he isn’t joking around. Like maybe he doesn’t like the way Yixing has his arm wrapped around Baekhyun’s shoulders, or the way Baekhyun’s fingers are curled around Yixing’s naked waist.

Baekhyun doesn’t know why Jongdae would care, so he says lightly, “As if you have room to talk, Jongdae. I remember far too many butt touches at the gym.”

“Really now?” Minseok asks, glancing over at Jongdae with a raised brow. He doesn’t seem annoyed though, just amused, and Baekhyun watches with amazement as Jongdae’s ears turn a little pink.

His gaze is sharp though, when he turns to Baekhyun, and says, without question, “You’ve got a nice ass.”

Yixing laughs in Baekhyun’s ear, and Baekhyun stares back at Jongdae, preening just a little. He knows he does. He doesn’t expect Minseok, however, to walk straight around to appraise him, too. “It is pretty nice,” he says, grinning at Baekhyun, who can only muster out a flustered giggle.

“I think that’s my cue to leave,” Yixing says, shaking his head in amusement. “I’m gonna get a drink. Don’t have too much fun back here!”

He gives Baekhyun’s butt one last pat and wanders out, laughing a little to himself, and Baekhyun wishes he could drag him back, because Yixing is like an anchor, and now, without him there beside him, he’s not sure what to do. What to say.

Thankfully Minseok takes that worry out of his hand. “What’d you think of the show, Baekhyun?” he asks, finally tearing his gaze from Baekhyun’s ass to look up at his face. There’s a hint of a smirk playing at his lips.

“I, uh,” Baekhyun says, his throat suddenly too dry to speak as he’s vividly reminded of how Minseok had looked on stage, rolling his hips against that silver cane. He swallows thickly, tries to gather his thoughts, and continues, “It was good. Really good. I liked the song.”

“Just the song?” Minseok laughs, stepping closer, and Baekhyun is suddenly aware of how Minseok is practically naked in front of him, a lingering sheen across his chest from sweat, his abs still shimmering with glitter.

Baekhyun impulsively reaches out to touch them, his body moving before his brain tells him no, and he licks his lips as he feels the smooth flesh under his fingertips. “Nice--glitter,” Baekhyun pathetically says, and Jongdae laughs from somewhere behind him, but it thankfully doesn’t sound too mocking.

“It’s a bitch to get off,” Minseok says. He isn’t telling Baekhyun to stop touching, so Baekhyun doesn’t, isn’t actually sure if he can stop, like his fingers are magnetized to Minseok’s amazing abs. “Though Jongdae enjoys helping.”

Well, fuck, if that isn’t a visual Baekhyun didn’t need and will now never forget. He drops his hand quickly then, as if suddenly reminded that he’s feeling up his friend’s boyfriend. He glances up nervously at Minseok’s face, and Minseok is smirking.

“Maybe next time you can help, too,” he says.

This is flirting. This is definitely flirting. What the fuck. Baekhyun only manages a helpless laugh because he’s not...he isn’t sure how to deal with this. Jongdae’s flirting Baekhyun is used to, but Minseok flirting with him is new. Minseok flirting with him while his boyfriend stands not three feet away is nothing Baekhyun knows how to deal with, even if it’s kind of everything he wants.

“Stop teasing him,” Jongdae says, cutting through the tension that’s settled on Baekhyun’s shoulders. He tears his eyes away to look at Jongdae, who is grinning at them, clearly unperturbed by the fact that Baekhyun just had his hands all over Minseok’s body.

“But it’s fun,” Minseok says, but thankfully tears his eyes away from Baekhyun to turn to his boyfriend.

“He does make it pretty easy,” Jongdae agrees and Baekhyun feels his face heating up as they talk about him while he’s right there. He would comment on it, but something about the way they’re speaking doesn’t feel that bad. He kind of likes that they’re talking about him. “But maybe you should save it for later,” Jongdae continues, wandering over to Minseok and gently pushing his hair back from his face. “Don’t you have to head back on stage soon?”

“Yeah, I should probably change,” Minseok says, and he leans in to give Jongdae a kiss, then another, in quick succession.

Baekhyun’s mouth is suddenly dry, watching them like this, Minseok still shirtless, Jongdae’s fingers coming up to instinctively rest on his chest, both of them laughing when he tweaks at a nipple. “II need another drink,” Baekhyun blurts out, probably too loudly, but he doesn’t care, doesn’t wait for their reaction, just turns on his heel and walks straight back out into the club.

“Make it strong,” is what he tells Heechul when he slumps into a stool at the bar, and Heechul just looks at him curiously, but thankfully does not comment, turns away to fix Baekhyun another drink.

This is the second time Baekhyun’s impulsively run out in front of Jongdae and Minseok. They probably think he’s idiot, but Baekhyun is too freaked out to really care. He lowers his head to the counter with a little thud, trying to rid his mind of the image of Minseok on stage, the image of Minseok and Jongdae together, backstage, the curl of Minseok’s lips when he’d checked out Baekhyun’s ass, the dark look in Jongdae’s eyes when he’d watched the way Yixing had clung to him.

Baekhyun’s not new to having multiple crushes on people, but he is new to having a crush on a couple. Is that even a thing? To be interested in each person individually but also together? It must be, because Baekhyun is pretty sure that’s what he’s feeling and it’s driving him crazy. He’s not sure what to do about it. Isn’t sure if there’s anything he can do about it.

He thunks his forehead against the counter again, like he’s hoping it’ll scramble his brain and maybe erase all these confusing thoughts. Maybe it’ll erase his attraction to Jongdae and Minseok entirely and Baekhyun can find someone actually attainable to fall in love with. That’s not asking for much, right?

“Are you okay?” says Jongdae suddenly, cutting through Baekhyun’s thoughts, but before he can even pull himself up, a warm hand comes to settle on the back of his neck, squeezing gently.

Baekhyun shivers from the touch, his stomach swooping. He turns his head to the side just enough that Jongdae’s hand doesn’t slip away, looks up at his amused face. “Did you want a drink too?” he asks, just for something to say.

“I’m fine for now,” Jongdae says, and he’s still softly rubbing his fingers against Baekhyun’s neck. If he keeps it up Baekhyun might just moan. His neck has always been sensitive.

“Here you go, Baekhyun,” Heechul says, returning with Baekhyun’s drink, and, reluctantly, Baekhyun picks himself up from the bar, Jongdae’s hand slipping from his neck to instead rest against the small of his back. That’s not so bad either, Baekhyun supposes, but he pulls away in the next moment, gestures back toward their earlier table.

“I’ll be back,” Baekhyun tells Heechul, because he’s really going to need more alcohol to get through this night, especially if Minseok ends up on stage again.

“Don’t drink too much, now,” Heechul says, but grins at him as Baekhyun slides off the stool and follows Jongdae.

“You know him?” Jongdae asks, and then, makes a sound of remembrance. “Oh right, you’ve been here before.”

“Yeah,” Baekhyun says. “A lot, actually. Like I said before, when Yixing and I dated.”

“You guys still seem pretty close,” Jongdae comments, glancing at him curiously, and Baekhyun laughs, nods.

“He’s one of my closest friends,” Baekhyun says, grinning. Yixing’s on stage right now, he notices, dancing toward the other side of the stage from where they’re sitting, but looking just as good as always. When he looks back, Jongdae is still eyeing him rather interestedly, and Baekhyun feels only a little spark of nervousness. “What?”

“You still don’t have feelings for him or something, do you?” is what Jongdae asks, and definitely not what Baekhyun is expecting. He splutters around his drink, quickly setting it down on the table and shaking his head furiously.

“No! No, definitely not,” he says, half-laughing in incredulity. “We’ve been just friends for years. And he and Han are really great together.” Baekhyun dabs his chin with the back of his hand, wiping away any of the drink that he spilled, all the while trying to wrap his mind around Jongdae’s question. Is he asking because, as Yixing’s friend, he’s worried Baekhyun is like, still in love with him and poses a threat? Or is he...maybe worried that Baekhyun’s in love with Yixing because Jongdae is--No. Of course not. Baekhyun shakes his head, rids himself of all the weird thoughts.

Jongdae is still staring at him a little assessingly, but then he smiles and nods. “Good,” he says, and then, to Baekhyun’s surprise, he reaches out a hand to rest on Baekhyun’s knee.

Baekhyun stares at his hand for a moment before dragging his gaze back up to the stage and trying desperately not to make a big deal out of this. It’s no different than how touchy Jongdae is usually, right? He grips his drink in his hand and takes another long, long sip. He’s going to need much more of this, he thinks, watching as Minseok walks onto stage in boots that go up to his thighs and glittering body jewelry.

Minseok catches his eye and winks. Baekhyun downs his drink. Yeah, he’s definitely going to need more.

-

Baekhyun’s never drinking again. That’s the first thought he has when he abruptly wakes up the next morning, feeling like he’s been run over. The throbbing in his head is disorienting and the light streaming through the windows is practically blinding.

With a groan he attempts to sit up, feels the world spin a little as he blinks through the haze. It takes a moment before he starts to realize he’s not in his room. “What the fuck,” he says, but even his voice sounds like a gunshot to his sensitive...everything.

He’s in a small room that seems to serve as an office, with a large desk against the opposite wall, set up with a PC and also a laptop. A pair of large headphones rest on top of it. At first Baekhyun thought he was in a bed, but it’s a simple wooden futon and when he looks down, he also realizes he’s mostly naked.

“Jesus fuck,” he says, lifting up the blanket that’s over him, trying to find his clothes, but groaning all over again because every movement is painful.

“Look who’s up,” says a familiar voice from behind him, and Baekhyun turns around to find Jongdae leaning in the doorway, arms crossed over his chest. “About time.”

“Jongdae,” he says, feeling both relieved and embarrassed at the sight of him. He looks great in his skinny jeans and low v-necked t-shirt, while Baekhyun is hungover like fuck and also naked. “Where are my clothes?”

“They’re on the chair over there,” Jongdae says, gesturing, and sure enough, when Baekhyun looks over, there they are, nicely folded and everything. “Don’t worry, we didn’t strip you or anything. You ended up doing that yourself.”

Baekhyun blinks at him and suddenly, like an onslaught, the memories of last night come flooding back. “Oh my god,” he says, dropping his head into his hands and squeezing his eyes shut as if that will help block it all out. Minseok’s dancing, Jongdae’s casual flirting, the far too many drinks Baekhyun had, the brief conversation with Yixing who tried to get Baekhyun to slow down before Jongdae offered to take him home. Baekhyun clinging like a leech all the way up to Jongdae’s apartment, flinging off his clothes before he barely made it out of his shoes.

“Are you normally like that when you drink?” Jongdae asks, an amused lilt to his voice.

“I don’t normally drink that much,” Baekhyun mumbles into his palms. He scrubs at his face and then drops his hands with a deep sigh. “I’m sorry for last night. Really. Thanks for, uh, bringing me back here.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Jongdae says with a wave of his hand. “It was pretty entertaining. And I’m sure the video I took of you drunkenly singing Lady Marmalade will be useful in the future.”

Baekhyun instinctively throws the pillow behind him at Jongdae’s face, grinning as Jongdae laughs loudly, filling up the whole room and darts out his hands to block the attack. The pillow falls at his feet and he picks it up easily, wandering inside to swat at Baekhyun’s shoulder with it.

“Get up, Baekhyun,” he says. “Come eat. I bet you’re starving.”

Now that some of the ache in his head is beginning to clear, Baekhyun realizes he really is hungry. His throat feels parched too. “Yeah, give me a sec to get dressed,” he says, flushing a little when Jongdae eyes him, gaze traveling from Baekhyun’s abs back up to his face.

He smirks. “You keep saying your body isn’t ready, but you’re looking pretty good to me,” he says and Baekhyun feels that flush in his face spreading all the way down to his chest.

Half of him is tempted to cover up with the blanket, but the other, more pressing half, is pleased by Jongdae’s comment. Sure, Baekhyun’s no Minseok or Yixing, but he definitely is growing far more confident in his body, and he knows he looks good. He grins back at Jongdae and eyes him just as Jongdae did earlier, taking in the way the sleeves of his shirt fit around his arms, how the v-neck shows off pale beautiful skin. “It’s not very fair you get to see me like this and you’re all dressed,” he teases and, to his own surprise, even reaches out to boldly tug on the little v-point of Jongdae’s shirt.

Jongdae laughs, his eyes bright. “Maybe if you’re good, I’ll reward you later,” he says, like that isn’t a line straight out of one of Baekhyun’s many late-night fantasies. He has to fight back the instinctive moan threatening to leave his lips. Jongdae smiles at him almost knowingly, but all he does is poke Baekhyun’s forehead and says, “Get dressed. There’s an extra toothbrush in the bathroom for you. You’re welcome to shower, too, if you’d like.”

“Thanks,” Baekhyun says, and he waits until Jongdae’s left the room before he finally gets up. He still feels that blistering headache beneath his skull and thinks a shower is probably a good idea. He grabs his clothes from the chair and peeks out of the bedroom door, making sure there’s no one to see him dart across the hall in just his underwear.

There’s a soft blue towel folded up on the edge of the sink with a toothbrush on top, still in the packaging, and Baekhyun smiles at it as he strips. He’s definitely gonna have to pay back Jongdae--and Minseok, he remembers, with a start--for all of this. For now, he dives under the water and cleans up quickly, curious to see the rest of their apartment, and fill in the missing holes from last night. Plus, he’s fucking starving.

When he wanders out some twenty minutes later, it’s with a much clearer head and refreshed sense of being. He wishes he had different clothes to wear, but he wasn’t exactly expecting to get so drunk he needed to be dragged here in the first place. He’s just glad he has today off from the clinic, because the last thing Baekhyun would want to do is be hungover around a bunch of kids and their parents.

He follows the scent of coffee and spices in the air down the hall, taking in everything as he goes. It’s only just really hitting him that he’s at Jongdae and Minseok’s home, where they clearly live together, framed photographs on the shelf in the living room, filled with books and DVDs, a couple of familiar manga. There’s a large television set up with game consoles, leather couches and a coffee table, stacked with a few thick looking textbooks and a Mac laptop.

Further still is the kitchen, a small dining area beside it with a four-person table, already set up for three, and, in the kitchen, Baekhyun finds Jongdae and Minseok, pressed up against a counter, kissing. He suddenly feels like an intruder, walking in on an intimate moment, their private space. He was never meant to be here, really, because they never invited him. He should turn around and just leave, honestly, but he’s rooted to the spot, unable to tear his gaze away, and all the weird, confusing thoughts that have been plaguing him for days come rushing back. He remembers now, just exactly what made him drink so much last night.

He takes a deep breath and says, plastering a smile to his face, “Hey, third party present.”

Jongdae pulls back first, glancing over his shoulder where he’s got Minseok pressed against the counter, and grins at Baekhyun. “There you are,” he says cheerfully, releasing his boyfriend’s hips to walk over. To Baekhyun’s immense surprise, he ruffles Baekhyun’s hair. “You look like a wet puppy after a shower.”

Baekhyun laughs, swatting at Jongdae’s hands. “Am I a cute puppy?” he teases, batting his eyelashes, and Jongdae doesn’t even hesitate for a second to answer.

“Very cute,” he says, and then asks Minseok, “Don’t you think?”

Minseok makes a noise of agreement from where he’s standing over the stove now, spatula in hand, and then smiles at Baekhyun when he turns. “Are you hungry?” he asks and Baekhyun nods, rubbing at his stomach.

“You didn’t have to go through all this trouble,” he says, gesturing toward the table. “I should be the one treating you guys for letting me crash here last night.”

“Ah, from what I’ve heard about your attempts in the kitchen, I’d rather not risk food poisoning,” Jongdae says and laughs when Baekhyun shoves him.

“Really, though, let me pay you back somehow,” he says earnestly. He really does feel bad. It’d be one thing if Yixing had dragged him home, but despite knowing Jongdae for a few months and knowing he and Minseok both are some of the nicest people ever, he feels like he’s imposed too much. They rarely see each other outside of the gym and now Baekhyun’s in their house? It’s like they’ve jumped ten steps.

“We’ll think of something if it’s that important to you,” Minseok says. “For now, let’s just enjoy lunch, okay?”

They settle easily around the table and dig into lasagna that Minseok and Jongdae prepared. Baekhyun starts to relax more as he gets food in him, pushing aside the feelings of intrusion when it’s clear that neither Minseok nor Jongdae are annoyed at him being there. Instead, they chat with him like usual, poke some fun at his drunken antics, and keep things fun and entertaining. Baekhyun practically moans at how good the food is, and feels a little delighted at the way it makes Jongdae choke on his own mouthful, how Minseok’s gaze sharpens. That’s something he has to explore more later, he thinks, not even hiding his smile as he continues to eat.

“Are you free today, Baekhyun?” Jongdae asks suddenly, and Baekhyun wracks his brain to remember if he has any plans. He’s off work, but he doesn’t recall anything else. When he nods in the affirmative, Jongdae continues, “We’re going to meet with Han after, to play soccer. If you want to come.”

Baekhyun processes this as he chews around his food. Going home, or spending even more time with Jongdae and Minseok, and even Han, who he hasn’t seen in awhile? There’s really no contest. “Sure,” he says, pleased to even be asked, honestly. “That sounds like fun, actually. Do you guys do this a lot?”

“Most weekends, if Minseok’s not working,” Jongdae says with a little shrug. “He and Han are really into it. I just go along for the ride.”

“Don’t pretend you don’t have fun, too,” Minseok chides, giving Jongdae’s ear a little tug. “You and Yixing get just as competitive as Han and I.”

Baekhyun’s heart sinks a little at that, understanding dawning. “Ah, is this a couples thing?” he asks, tries to put a teasing tone to his voice but he doesn’t think he manages very well. “I don’t know how I feel about being the fifth wheel.”

“You’re not,” Jongdae says so seriously that Baekhyun blinks in surprise. “We want you to come.”

Minseok nods beside him, the two of them looking at Baekhyun imploringly, even hopefully, and well, how can Baekhyun say no to that?

“All right,” he says, heaving a sigh as if he’s put-upon, but the smile forming on his lips gives him away. “Let’s play.”

-

As it turns out, Yixing has work and it’s only Han who’s waiting for them at the nearby park, dressed in sports shorts and a t-shirt, already kicking around a soccer ball on his own. “Baekhyun!” he exclaims, surprised, when he catches sight of them, abandoning the ball to bound over, slinging an arm around Baekhyun’s shoulders. “I wasn’t expecting you to be here.” He pauses, blinks at Baekhyun, then looks between him and Minseok and Jongdae. “Wait, did you come here together?”

“Did Yixing not tell you?” Jongdae laughs. “Baekhyun here got so drunk last night we had to rescue him.”

“It wasn’t that bad,” Baekhyun protests just to be contrary, but Jongdae is giving him an incredulous look as if to ask who he’s fooling.

“I have video evidence that says otherwise,” he says, pulling his phone out of his pocket and Baekhyun lunges for it as Han says, “Oh, you’ve got to show me that.”

“Boys,” Minseok sighs, catching their attention. He’s got his own soccer ball in hand and has rolled the sleeves of his shirt up to his shoulders which is a very effective distraction for Baekhyun. He releases Jongdae without a word. “As much fun as it is to tease Baekhyun, why don’t we get this game going?”

Baekhyun flushes at his words but nods, and they split up into two teams: Minseok and Baekhyun on one, and Jongdae and Han on the other. It’s mostly on Han’s insistence, saying it’s a prime chance to switch things up a bit since Yixing’s not there. Baekhyun thinks Han just knows how terrible Baekhyun is at soccer and doesn’t want Baekhyun on his team, which is fine, really, because Baekhyun’s glad to spend more time with Minseok anyway.

Not that they have much chance to talk. Jongdae wasn’t kidding when he said Minseok and Han are super into the game. Jongdae’s not so bad either, but Baekhyun has trouble keeping his eyes off Minseok, who is dressed similarly to Han in shorts and cleats and his makeshift tank top. Baekhyun’s already seen Minseok in much less, but there’s something far more tantalizing about his thighs when they’re peeking out from under the hem of his shorts instead.

His wandering eyes get him in trouble, making it easier for Han or Jongdae to steal the ball from him in the few instances Minseok passes to him. “Pay attention,” Jongdae teases, nudging him with an elbow when he gets close, and god, does he get close, doing his best to block Baekhyun from receiving any of Minseok’s kicks.

“I am,” Baekhyun says back, because, honestly, Minseok’s thighs are way more interesting than soccer. Baekhyun’s always been more of a martial arts kind of sports guy, having taken hapkido throughout most of his childhood. Baekhyun doesn’t remember the last time he played soccer. “It’s just fun to watch him. He’s good.”

“He is,” Jongdae agrees, nodding appraisingly at Minseok as he and Han shuffle side to side, at an impasse. “But we’re still gonna beat you.”

With that, Jongdae rushes back up to help Han, the two of them working together to steal the ball right from between Minseok’s feet. Cursing, Baekhyun rushes to catch up as they run toward the baseball cap Jongdae had thrown to the ground to serve as a goal line. He and Minseok are too late though, and the first goal is made by Han, who cheers loudly and high-fives Jongdae in success.

“Don’t get too cocky,” Baekhyun exclaims, and they all laugh good-naturedly as Minseok kicks the ball back into play.

It’s a surprisingly fun afternoon. The late summer heat is relentless and running around gets tiring, but doing something with Jongdae and Minseok that isn’t working out at the gym is great. Minseok gives Baekhyun’s butt a resounding smack when he makes their first goal and Baekhyun flushes deep to his bones but lets that encourage him to play better, successfully blocking Jongdae a few times, and even once stealing the ball from Han.

“Are you sure you don’t play?” Han asks, laughing, when Baekhyun and Minseok make another goal. They’re tied now, three for three, and they’re planning to call it quits at whoever makes it to five first. “You should play with us more.”

“Yeah, you should,” Jongdae agrees, slinging his arm around Baekhyun’s shoulders. “A few more games and you could be as good as me.”

“You say that like I’m not already,” Baekhyun replies back smoothly, grinning at Jongdae’s indignant squawk. “I have made more goals than you.”

“He’s got a point there,” Minseok agrees, wiping his brow with the back of his hand. He retrieves a few water bottles from a bag he’d brought along, tosses one to Jongdae, another to Han.

Jongdae doesn’t even release Baekhyun to drink, and Baekhyun watches the way his adam’s apple bobs in his throat as he swallows and feels suddenly ten times more parched than he did before. He wonders what it’d be like to kiss him there, maybe leave a mark that everyone could see--

He’s jerked away when the crunching plastic sound of a bottle lands at his feet and he slips out of Jongdae’s one-armed embrace to pick it up, not looking anyone in the eye. He’s sure they noticed, but he doesn’t need to give them the satisfaction that it gets to him, so he takes a much-needed drink himself and a long, deep breath to shake away the weird thoughts.

“Let’s finish this thing,” Jongdae says, clapping Baekhyun’s shoulder before he runs back out onto the field. They play for maybe another hour or so, becoming more and more aggressive as they get closer to the end. Han makes the next goal for his team, but Minseok evens the score right back in the next few minutes, ruffles Baekhyun's hair in thanks for the good assist.

Jongdae starts to play dirty in the last round, so Baekhyun does too, and there’s lots more laughing and frantic time outs because they trip each other on purpose or yank too hard on clothing. It’s almost inevitable that they end up on the ground, but Baekhyun doesn’t expect it quite like this, with Jongdae falling against his chest, legs tangled together as the soccer ball they were trying to steal from each other flies toward the goal.

It’s Han who scores, letting out a loud whoop in triumph, and Jongdae is laughing into Baekhyun’s neck. Baekhyun can’t even be mad that he just lost, not when Jongdae is basically straddling him, his thighs snug on either side of Baekhyun’s hips. This is a position he’s imagined Jongdae in many times and it takes all his willpower not to touch him as he slowly sits up, his face far too close to Baekhyun’s for his liking. His eyes dart to Jongdae’s mouth and god, it would be so easy to kiss him, right now, the way Baekhyun’s wanted for ages and lowkey been thinking about all over again since he walked in on Jongdae and Minseok making out in the kitchen this morning.

Of course he doesn’t, though, just curls his fingers into the grass at his sides and takes a low, steadying breath, and when Han says, “Are you guys just planning to stay like that?” it breaks the tension, pulls a laugh out of Baekhyun’s chest.

“I don’t know,” Jongdae muses as he pulls himself up, eyes sparkling even as he continues to sit on Baekhyun. “He’s pretty comfy.”

“You can use me as a pillow anytime if you’d like,” Baekhyun says with a little smirk, and gives Jongdae’s butt a pat in an attempt to urge him off, not that Baekhyun really wouldn’t mind staying here with Jongdae straddling him like this.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Jongdae laughs as he finally stands. He holds a hand out for Baekhyun to take and helps him up, too, and his fingers squeeze gently around Baekhyun’s for a moment before he lets go, so quick that had Baekhyun not been hyper-aware of the touch, he might have not noticed it at all.

“Sorry we lost,” Baekhyun says to Minseok, but Minseok just shakes his head and slides an arm around Baekhyun’s waist, pats his hip with a warm hand.

“It’s cool,” he says. “You played really well. We’re definitely going to have to drag you out here more.”

“Looking forward to it,” Baekhyun says with a grin.

-

“Okay, fess up. What’s going on with you, Jongdae, and Minseok?”

Baekhyun takes a big bite out of his burrito and looks across the table at Han with wide eyes. Han doesn’t buy the act for a minute, pointing a finger at him and adding, “I’m not blind, Baekhyun. I saw the way you were looking at them the other day. I’ve heard things from Yixing.”

Damn it. Baekhyun swallows, licks some guac from the corner of his lips and caves. There’s no point in hiding it, not when Han called Baekhyun out to eat just for the purpose of this conversation. Baekhyun shouldn’t even be surprised, really. “Okay, so, I might’ve had a crush on Jongdae for ages,” Baekhyun admits. “But that was before I knew about Minseok! Now I’m just...I don’t know. Trying to move on?”

“Yeah, you’re doing a real good job of that,” Han snorts.

“It’s hard, okay?” Baekhyun whines. “Jongdae is so great. And Minseok! Minseok is like, really hot. I might be, I don’t know, into both of them?”

“Huh, well. That certainly makes things easier.”

Baekhyun squints at Han curiously, swallows down another mouthful of his burrito before he asks, “What does that mean?”

“They’re into you,” Han laughs. “Both of them. It’s pretty obvious?” He’s giving Baekhyun a look like he can’t believe he has to tell him this. “They can be subtle when they want, but they definitely were not. I felt like the odd one out the other day.”

Something akin to a flare of hope sparks in Baekhyun’s gut. He’s not sure he can believe Han, but...Well, Baekhyun can’t deny that there might be something there. Jongdae and Minseok flirt with him all the time, don’t they? Baekhyun’s been brushing it aside, figuring it was just how they are, the way Baekhyun is, too, but maybe it’s all on purpose. Is that even possible?

“You’re teasing me,” Baekhyun says. “Right? You just want me to do something stupid.”

“You do stupid things enough on your own, you don’t need me for that,” Han says with an eyeroll. “I’m serious. They’re into you.”

“So what?” Baekhyun demands. “They’re trying to recruit me for a threesome or something?”

Han’s expression turns wicked. “Or something, all right.”

Baekhyun is starting to feel like he’s missing the punchline of a joke that only Han knows. “Do you know something about them that I should know?” he asks. “I mean it when I say I like them. Both of them. I don’t want to screw anything up, okay?”

Han sucks on the straw of his drink, eyeing Baekhyun closely for a long moment until he nods, setting his cup aside and picking up his burrito. “I don’t know what they’re thinking,” he says around a mouthful. “But they’re a pretty solid couple. They’ve been dating for years, but they’re also definitely not limited to each other if you get what I mean.”

“They’ve done this sort of thing before?”

“You’ll have to ask them about it,” Han says. “I’ve only heard a couple of stories.” He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and takes another large bite. “It’s different with you, though. Seems more serious.”

“You think?” Baekhyun asks, a spark of hope settling in his chest.

Han nods, dropping his burrito back into its bowl and wiping his hands messily on a balled up napkin. He points at Baekhyun. “So, what’re you gonna do about it?” he asks.

Baekhyun chews thoughtfully around a bite of his burrito. He doesn’t really have to consider for long. It’s like everything he’s been thinking and worrying about ever since he met Minseok has led to this moment. He grins widely at Han, and says with confidence, “I’m gonna make them mine.”

-

Baekhyun does his best to not shy away from the things he wants. He’s been careful with Jongdae and with Minseok because he likes them a lot and he values their friendship. So as much as he’d love to waltz right up to them the next time they meet and let them know he’d definitely let them fuck him, he pulls the urge back and he takes it easy. He’s willing to go slow, to see where all of this leads naturally. He doesn’t want to throw himself at them in the off-chance that he’s wrong. That Han was wrong. How embarrassing would that be?

No, he’ll play it cool. He’ll keep things as it is but he’s not going to let himself be confused or freaked out by his feelings anymore. After fantasizing about being tag-teamed by Jongdae and Minseok so hard that he comes, twice, it’s difficult to pretend he isn’t a hundred percent interested.

And as it turns out, Baekhyun’s drunken escapade turned out to be a blessing in disguise. In the days following their little soccer match, Jongdae sets up a group chat for the three of them and begins sending message after message at random times throughout the day. A cat video he found on the internet. An old Spongebob meme. Pictures of his lunch. Complaints about the weather. It’s all so Jongdae that every new message only makes him more endearing.

Minseok doesn’t spam nearly quite as much, but when he does send anything other than a simple reply, it’s a video of him practicing a new dance routine, or a picture of his abs. It’s the kind of thing that makes Baekhyun check his surroundings twice before opening his messages in public. At first Baekhyun replies are pretty tame. He’s not trying to annoy them right away, the way he texts with Chanyeol or Kyungsoo. But during lunch one day, he impulsively takes a picture of himself and sends it off.

He doesn’t get a response until an hour later, feeling his phone buzz in his pocket while he’s with a patient. After he’s sent mother and daughter along with a prescription, does he check, a grin working its way across his face as he reads.

Jongdae: what the fuck
Jongdae: warn a person before you send your hot doctor pictures!!
Minseok: It really is a good look for you, Baekhyun
Jongdae: i do my best to forget about it and now you send me this
Jongdae: fuck you baekhyun
Minseok: Do you think Yixing and I could incorporate this sort of thing into a routine?
Minseok: I’m gonna ask him

Baekhyun laughs at Jongdae’s mostly responding keysmash. He didn’t expect such a reaction to his photo; he forgot for a moment there, just how much Jongdae had seemed to like seeing him in scrubs. He types: didn’t know you had such a medical kink, jongdae. don’t worry, next time you’re sick, i’ll take care of you ;)

He sends it before he can think twice, unsure of what kind of response he’ll get this time. Thankfully, he doesn’t have to wait nearly as long, his phone buzzing the moment he sets it down.

i’m holding you to that!

-

“So my birthday is coming up,” Jongdae says conversationally as he’s testing between two dumbbell weights to decide which one to use today.

“Is this some thinly veiled nudge for me to get you a present?” Baekhyun laughs. He’s sitting on the floor mat, legs outstretched, having given up on his sit-ups. He clutches his water bottle in his hands. “That’s what he’s doing right?” he asks Minseok.

Minseok doesn’t even look up from his push-ups. He just chuckles softly, lowering himself to the floor and pushing back up. “Not very subtle, is he?”

“Shut up,” Jongdae whines, and Baekhyun smirks. “I don’t need a present, unless you’re feeling magnanimous and get me something anyway.”

“Then what’s up?”

“I’m thinking of having a little party,” Jongdae says. “Nothing fancy. Just some drinks and dancing.”

“You wanna go clubbing on your birthday,” Baekhyun says, because, for some reason, he wasn’t really expecting this.

“Definitely,” Jongdae says with a grin. “It’s the best way to get free drinks.” Baekhyun laughs. He’s got a point there. “So, you gonna come or what? Do I have to beg?”

“Maybe,” Baekhyun says haughtily. “I’m a busy person, you know. I have a lot of friends. Who says I can just drop everything for something so mundane as a birthday party.”

He’s kidding, they must know he’s kidding, but still, Jongdae sets the dumbbells down onto the rack and crawls over to where Baekhyun is sitting. “Come on, Baekhyun,” he says in a low, lilting kind of voice as he gets far too close into Baekhyun’s space. “I really want you to be there. It’ll be fun. Please?”

It’s totally unfair that despite all of Baekhyun’s efforts to play it cool, Jongdae can still throw him off like this so easily. He can feel his face flushing and he does his best not to drop his gaze to the cut of Jongdae’s collarbones or the sharp line of his jaw. Close like this, Baekhyun can see the long length of his pretty eyelashes, the little pout of his lips, and that’s definitely not where Baekhyun should be looking. He tears his eyes away and laughs, nervously. “I’ll...I’ll see if I can’t clear my schedule,” he says, like it isn’t already obvious that Baekhyun will definitely be there, come hell or high water.

Jongdae’s laugh is bright and he pats Baekhyun’s knee as he slinks back. Even Minseok’s got a little smirk on his lips when Baekhyun finally turns back. These two are definitely too much for him, he thinks weakly.

“Mind if I bring a friend along?” Baekhyun asks. He thinks he could use Kyungsoo’s total indifference to keep him in check. He can only guess that Han and Yixing will be around, too, but they’re also useless when they’re together.

“Sure,” Jongdae says with a shrug, though he eyes Baekhyun for a beat too long, like he’s uncertain. “The more the merrier.”

“Plus, we’ve never met any of your friends,” Minseok adds, back at the push-ups. “Well, none that we didn’t already know, anyway.”

“That’s because you guys keep declining my invites to karaoke,” Baekhyun pouts. “My friends think I made you both up.”

That has Jongdae cackling as he finally settles on the tens and lifts them both up to his chest. Baekhyun stares resolutely at his face and not his arms. “Okay, okay. Next time, we promise. We’ll show up.”

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Baekhyun says, but he smiles regardless, pleased.

It takes Baekhyun a week’s worth of dinners to convince Kyungsoo to come with him to Jongdae’s party. “You’re so full of it,” Baekhyun gripes. “I know you want to meet them anyway.”

“Yes, but your need for me to be here is far greater than my need to see what all the fuss is about,” Kyungsoo says with a little smirk, slinging his arm around Baekhyun’s shoulders and giving him a not-so-comforting pat.

He’s unfortunately got a point and well, it’s too late to back out now that they’re here, wandering into the crowded club and fighting their way toward the booths in the back. Minseok sees them before Baekhyun notices, getting to his feet and waving with a big smile on his face.

“You made it,” he says, looking pleased. His eyes cut over to Kyungsoo, and it’s surprisingly a little assessing. “And this is…”

“Kyungsoo,” Baekhyun says. “He was complaining about his boring night so I dragged him along.”

Kyungsoo rolls his eyes. “I’m here to make sure he doesn’t drown himself in alcohol.”

“We could’ve taken care of him if he had,” Jongdae says easily. There’s something of a frown on his face as he looks at Kyungsoo, but Kyungsoo doesn’t seem bothered. In fact, he’s smiling like he understands something that Baekhyun can’t quite catch.

“I’m sure you would have,” is all he says before he nudges Baekhyun into the booth across from Minseok and Jongdae. “I’ll go get us some drinks. What do you want, Baekhyun?”

Baekhyun orders a beer for now and watches as Kyungsoo disappears into the crowd before turning back to the others, startling when he finds them both staring at him intently. “What?” he asks, feeling like he’s got something on his face, but Minseok just laughs as he shakes his head and Jongdae lifts his own drink to his lips wordlessly. He’s not sure what’s up with them, but says anyway, “Happy birthday. When you’re done with that, the next one’s on me.”

“I knew inviting you was a good idea,” Jongdae says with a grin and Baekhyun feels himself ease a bit.

“Somehow I have a feeling we’ll be needing to make sure you don’t drown in drinks tonight,” Baekhyun laughs.

“That is exactly why we’re having this little party tonight, you know,” Jongdae reminds him. “My birthday’s not until Wednesday.”

“Any special plans for the actual day?” Baekhyun asks, glancing between them with an exaggerated wiggle of his eyebrows.

“I’ve got some ideas,” Minseok says with a tiny smirk. “But nothing’s set in stone yet.”

“He’s trying to keep it a surprise,” Jongdae says.

Baekhyun laughs. “Well, let me know if you need any help,” he offers. “I’m good with surprises.” He’s not sure if it comes out as flirty as he means it, but Jongdae looks amused while Minseok nods as he takes a drink from his glass.

Before Baekhyun can begin to wonder where Kyungsoo is with his drink, Kyungsoo’s returned, holding two bottles of beers. “Look who I found,” he says, jerking his head over his shoulder. He slides Baekhyun’s drink over as he settles into the booth, scooting Baekhyun down so he ends up at Jongdae’s other side. Yixing and Han are right behind him, grinning and reaching around to pat Jongdae’s shoulder, yelling “Happy birthday!” far too loud.

“Seems like you guys got a headstart,” Baekhyun comments with a laugh.

“Nah, you’ve just got some catching up to do, Baekhyun,” Han says and Baekhyun raises his bottle at him in acquiesce before taking a drink. A few minutes later bring forth a couple more of Jongdae and Minseok’s friends, Amber and Soojung, who reach across the table to shake hands before Amber drags Han to the bar to get drinks, slinging a tattooed arm over his shoulder, and Soojung takes his seat.

“So you’re the Baekhyun we’ve heard so much about,” she says, voice lilting in amusement. She rests her elbow on the table and her chin delicately in her hand. The look she gives him is slow and intriguing before her gaze shifts to Kyungsoo. “Your boyfriend?”

Baekhyun chokes on his drink. “No, no, god,” he laughs, feeling himself flush. “Kyungsoo would date a streetlamp before he dated me.”

“That’s not entirely true,” Kyungsoo says, sliding a hand around to the back of Baekhyun’s neck to squeeze gently.

“Well, he’s also painfully straight, so there’s that,” Baekhyun adds, and Soojung’s gaze sharpens as she assesses Kyungsoo, eyes traveling from his face down and then darting back up.

“Is that so?” she says, and Kyungsoo smirks at her but says nothing.

“Have you known Baekhyun a long time?” Minseok asks suddenly, and Kyungsoo tears his gaze from Soojung to nod.

“Yeah, since high school, actually.”

A sense of dread fills Baekhyun quickly as Jongdae and Minseok practically perk up at the admission, eyes gleaming. “What was teenage Baekhyun like?” Jongdae says. “Was he cute?”

“Oh, he’s always been cute, it’s part of his charm,” Kyungsoo says with a laugh, the hand at Baekhyun’s neck sliding around to his shoulder to give him a little pat. “He hasn’t changed much, honestly. Hasn’t grown much either.”

“Hey! Look who’s talking!” Baekhyun swats Kyungsoo’s chest with the back of his hand and Kyungsoo grins, unrepentant.

“So do you know all of his little secrets?” Minseok says, leaning toward Kyungsoo. “What can you tell us?”

Nothing!” Baekhyun exclaims, that earlier dread now full-blown panic. Kyungsoo knows way too much about his life and isn’t nearly as nice as Yixing to keep it all to himself. “You can’t say anything.”

“Don’t worry,” Kyungsoo says. “I won’t embarrass you. Much.”

Everyone at the table laughs and Baekhyun can only sit in horror as Kyungsoo tells them about Baekhyun’s teenage crush on Seungsoo, Kyungsoo’s older brother, that time he almost got arrested their senior year of high school, or when he dressed as a girl and did a cover of a Girl’s Generation song because he lost a bet with Chanyeol.

“I think I still have that video, too,” Kyungsoo says, pulling his phone from his pocket to Baekhyun’s horror while Jongdae and Minseok are practically dying of laughter. “Chanyeol put it on YouTube and it got almost two hundred views before Baekhyun logged into his account and deleted it.”

“He shouldn’t make his password so easy,” Baekhyun grumbles. “And if you show them that video, I’ll never talk to you again.”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing,” Kyungsoo replies with a little raise of his brow, but he dutifully puts his phone away. When he mouths later at Jongdae, Baekhyun pretends not to notice.

He doesn’t mind if Kyungsoo shows them, not really. Baekhyun doesn’t have much shame, but he just wasn’t expecting Kyungsoo coming along with him to backfire like this. “I looked amazing in that girl’s outfit, okay, you guys were all probably just jealous.”

“What would it take you to do that again?” Jongdae asks, eyeing him curiously.

Baekhyun lifts his drink. “A lot more of these,” he says, then finishes off his bottle.

“That could be arranged,” Jongdae says and Baekhyun laughs, waggles his brows.

“That eager to see me in a dress, huh?” he says. “Maybe if you ask nicely I’ll do it for you for free.”

The quirk of Jongdae’s lips sends a little fizzle of heat down Baekhyun’s spine. He holds onto Jongdae’s gaze as long as he can manage, before feeling his face flush and he looks away with a laugh. He lifts his bottle to his lips again, only to remember that he’s finished his drink and then nudges Kyungsoo’s side. “Let me out,” he says, then turns to Jongdae once he’s out of the booth. “Birthday boy, what can I get you?”

Jongdae orders another of his same drink and Baekhyun heads off for the bar, joins Amber and Han who are still lounging by the counter. They’re discussing something related to soccer that Baekhyun only vaguely understands, but he listens as he waits for his drinks and scans the crowded club, taking in the mass of people dancing, a group of rowdy college kids who are dragging their friend toward the door, and a pretty boy at the end of the bar sending pointed looks his way.

He flashes a grin at him and turns back around when the bartender slides his drinks over. He thanks him, drops a few bills onto the counter, and then heads back to the booth. “You might want to head up there if you want your drink,” he tells Soojung. “Amber and Han got sidetracked.”

“Figures,” she says with an eyeroll, but stands anyway. She glances back at Kyungsoo and asks, “Come with me?”

Minseok gives a low whistle that has the rest of them laughing and Baekhyun smacks Kyungsoo’s butt in encouragement as he walks off with Soojung. Baekhyun sits down next to Yixing, pushes Jongdae’s drink over to him, and takes a long sip from his own.

“Kyungsoo and Soojung, huh?” Yixing says, an amused smile at his lips. “I can’t say I expected that.”

“I can’t believe he ditched me for the first girl that looked at him,” Baekhyun says but he’s really not that mad. It’s the sort of thing he’ll be able to tease Kyungsoo with for awhile and he’s definitely looking forward to it.

“Don’t worry, Baekhyun,” Yixing says, patting his knee. “I’ll keep you company.”

And Yixing does, dragging him out to dance by the time Baekhyun finishes his drink, before Baekhyun can even ask if Jongdae and Minseok want to come, too. He figures they’ll join in soon enough anyway, lets Yixing slide his hands to his waist and move them together to the beat of the music blasting loudly from the speakers. Dancing with Yixing is second nature, and he laughs and enjoys himself as he gets into it, sliding his hands around to pat Yixing’s ass.

They make it through two songs before Han shows up, nudging Baekhyun away from his boyfriend to take his place. Yixing smiles fondly at Han, presses this little kiss to the side of his face, and Baekhyun grins at them, turns to leave for the bar again. Minseok is there, with Kyungsoo and Soojung, the two of whom are talking together, leaning in close to hear each other over the music.

“Where’s Jongdae?” he asks as he approaches, swipes Kyungsoo’s drink to finish it off and grimaces at the taste. He orders two more when the bartender comes back around, and leans against the bar next to Minseok, looking out over the crowd.

“He headed to the bathroom,” Minseok says.

“Aren’t you gonna dance?” Baekhyun asks and as soon as the words leave his mouth, he wonders how it’d be like to dance with Minseok. If he’s anything like Yixing, he thinks it’d be a good time.

Minseok makes a noise of consideration, eyeing Baekhyun over the rim of his glass as he lifts it to drink. “Soon,” he says. “I need a little more of these before I can loosen up.”

That has Baekhyun laughing, and Minseok’s crooked little grin tells him he is joking. “You can dance on stage in practically nothing and you need liquid courage to dance in the middle of the crowd?”

“I’m shy,” he says, in much the same way Jongdae had from what feels like ages ago now. They laugh together, loudly enough that it draws Kyungsoo’s attention, and he gives them an amused look, a raised brow.

“It’s nothing,” Baekhyun says with a wave of his hand. “You having fun?” He glances over at Soojung who is talking with the bartender, tucking a strand of her long dark hair behind her ear, and then back at Kyungsoo.

“Yes,” Kyungsoo answers shortly, and then points a finger at Baekhyun when he opens his mouth, cuts him off with, “Don’t. Shut up. Go dance or something.”

“You’re no fun,” Baekhyun whines. “Why did I bring you again?”

“Yeah, why did you?” Kyungsoo returns, shooting Minseok a look that’s pointed enough for Minseok to blink, glance between them. Baekhyun flushes down his neck, shifts awkwardly on his feet, and Kyungsoo laughs, pats Baekhyun on the shoulder, as he leans in to whisper into his ear, “Han was right, you know. They’re into you. Go with it.”

He’s smirking when he pulls back and leaves Baekhyun and Minseok at the counter with a wave as he and Soojung disappear into the crowd with their drinks. Baekhyun was not expecting that from Kyungsoo and it’s left him a little panicked, a little excited. If Kyungsoo, too, thinks there’s something there, after only knowing Jongdae and Minseok for a couple of hours, then maybe…

“What was that about?” Minseok cuts through Baekhyun’s thoughts, causing him to vibrate a little in surprise as he turns back to him. There’s a curious look in Minseok’s eyes and Baekhyun clears his throat, clears his mind, and downs the last of his drink before he attempts a reply.

“Don’t worry about it,” he says as coolly as he can. “Just Kyungsoo being Kyungsoo.” Minseok is still watching him closely and Baekhyun considers his next move. Brushing it off, getting another drink, standing here by the bar and attempting to bridge the gap he so desperately wants to cross, or taking a leap of faith that his friends are right about Minseok, and about Jongdae, and putting himself out there.

“Let’s go dance,” Baekhyun says, and he doesn’t wait for Minseok’s answer, boldly grabs his wrist and pulls him into the throng. Minseok is laughing behind him, tugging his hand out of Baekhyun’s to instead hold onto his hips from behind, letting Baekhyun guide them to a good spot. He catches sight of Han and Yixing a few feet away, and Jongdae talking with Amber in the middle of the crowd. They’re not dancing, just standing there, and it doesn’t take long before Jongdae feels the weight of Baekhyun’s gaze. Baekhyun’s not sure where this courage suddenly comes from, but he keeps his eyes on Jongdae as he puts his hands over Minseok’s on his hips, pushes his hips back against Minseok’s pelvis, smirks when he hears the small gasp from over his shoulder. His surprise only lasts a second, because he’s easily meeting Baekhyun back, dancing with him as the music plays, matching every beat the way Baekhyun knew he would, and all the while Jongdae watches, his conversation with Amber completely forgotten.

Jongdae excuses himself quickly enough, winding around other dancers until he’s stepping up in front of Baekhyun. “Can’t believe you guys are having all this fun without me,” he says, his lips pursing in a little pout.

Baekhyun laughs, reaches out to hook his fingers into the belt loops of Jongdae’s jeans. He pulls him closer and says in a low voice, “Are you gonna join us then, Birthday Boy?”

Jongdae’s gaze shifts from Baekhyun to the side, clearly glancing at Minseok. Baekhyun’s not sure what they’re communicating in that silent look, but in the next moment, Jongdae is grinning, looking back at Baekhyun and stepping in closer. “That’s exactly what I’m gonna do,” he says softly and slides a hand up Baekhyun’s chest to rest at his shoulder.

It has Baekhyun shuddering despite the heat of the club, the heat from how close they’re standing, dancing along as the song changes yet again. They fall together easily, Jongdae in front of Baekhyun, watching him, watching Minseok, eyes so dark and intense Baekhyun could drown in them, and Minseok behind him, steady and sure, just what he needs to stay grounded, remind him this is real. Their hands on him, their hands on each other, it’s dizzying, it’s beautiful, it’s everything Baekhyun’s wanted for weeks now.

Baekhyun’s only minimally nervous about it. He tries not to overthink anything, like how close he can be or where to put his hands. Instead he lets it come naturally, sliding them both to Jongdae’s slim waist, dips his fingertips under the hem of his shirt. If Jongdae minds he doesn’t show it, his eyes fluttering shut for a brief moment, and they’re so close Baekhyun can see the delicate curl of his eyelashes against his cheeks.

On impulse, Baekhyun lets one hand continue further around Jongdae’s waist to slip into the back pocket of his jeans. That has Jongdae opening his eyes again slowly, a little huff of a laugh falling from his lips. They’re so close Baekhyun can feel it, warm against his skin. He gives Jongdae’s butt a little squeeze and this time his laugh is louder, brighter, has Baekhyun grinning back, unrepentant. He doesn’t remove his hand.

He feels like maybe he should ask, make sure this is okay, even though he knows that it must be. The music changes again, the crowd shuffling, shifting, pressing in tighter, bringing the three of them closer. Baekhyun swallows thickly as Jongdae fits against his front, grinds against him in time to the thumping bass, and it’s all he can do to bite back the little moan threatening to spill from his lips. He’s not drunk enough to deal with all of this, but at the same time, he’s glad he’s sober. He doesn’t want to forget the weight of Minseok’s hands on his hips, the look in Jongdae’s eyes, the way they dance together like it’s the hundredth time instead of the first.

The hand on Baekhyun’s shoulder gently moves around to the back of his neck, Jongdae’s fingertips brushing along the short hair at his nape. Arousal is starting to fill Baekhyun’s veins, and he’s not sure he can stay here much longer without getting hard. He should try to leave, he really should, but minutes pass and still he stays, rocks his hips back against Minseok’s crotch, feels the heat of his breath against his shoulder blades, the way his hands tighten at his hips.

“Fuck, Baekhyun,” Minseok hisses behind him, and Baekhyun laughs, incredulous, because he can’t believe this is really happening. Jongdae looks at him for a long moment, watches until Baekhyun’s laughter dies down and he’s left, instead, with butterflies in his stomach as Jongdae leans in closer, so close Baekhyun thinks, for a moment that maybe he’s going to kiss him.

At the last second, Jongdae smirks, and he turns just enough so he can meet Minseok’s lips over Baekhyun’s shoulder and fuck--Baekhyun can’t hide the groan this time, unable to look away as he sees them kiss so close, still touching him, still holding him like they want him there, like he’s a part of this.

And maybe he is, maybe that’s exactly what they’re trying to tell him, that when Jongdae pulls back, laughing, Baekhyun gives in. He gives into every desire, every spark of hope that this isn’t all one sided, every flirty smile and every lingering touch, all of those feelings he’s tried to bottle up for far too long. When Jongdae turns to him, the little kitten corner of his lips quirked, Baekhyun gives into all of it. He doesn’t think, he doesn’t even breathe, he just leans in and kisses Jongdae.

For a moment it seems like nothing’s happened, but then Jongdae kisses back, lips moving against Baekhyun slowly, softly, and everything around them seems to fade away in favor of this long-awaited moment. It’s soft, it’s gentle, it reaches deep inside Baekhyun and fills him with warmth, with excitement, with so much pleasure he didn’t think it was possible to feel this way. He kisses Jongdae like he’s desperate for it, like this is the only thing that will soothe the ache in his chest. And then there’s Minseok whispering, “Finally,” against the shell of Baekhyun’s ear, but loud enough that Jongdae, too, can hear, and that’s what pulls Baekhyun back, a laugh bubbling out of him to be lost in the deafening din of the club as it all comes back. Jongdae’s got a smile on his face, a beautiful, affectionate smile, and Baekhyun’s a little lost, but a lot happy, a lot turned on, so it’s easy to turn his head and kiss Minseok, too.

Finally, Baekhyun thinks, doesn’t even begin to cover it.

-

They do eventually leave the dance floor. Baekhyun’s not sure how long they were out there, how many soft, lingering kisses they shared, but when Minseok says he needs a drink and peels himself off from Baekhyun’s back, Baekhyun and Jongdae don’t question it. Minseok gives Baekhyun’s ass a little squeeze before he leads the way, and Jongdae’s hand ends up in Baekhyun’s, fingers laced together as he gently tugs Baekhyun after him. Baekhyun is pleasantly stunned.

Jongdae doesn’t even let go when they’re pressed up against the counter, Minseok having ordered for the three of them. Baekhyun doesn’t mind, of course, lets Jongdae gently rub his thumb over his knuckles. Baekhyun can’t seem to stop smiling. It stays on his face even as Jongdae eyes him curiously, prompting Baekhyun to tug on his hand and question, “What?”

“Oh, nothing really,” Jongdae says in a tone that suggests anything but. He laughs when Baekhyun narrows his eyes at him, and adds, “Just thinking that you’re a surprisingly good kisser.”

Baekhyun makes a noise of outrage as he struggles to find the words to reply, not expecting that comment at all. “Surprisingly?” he exclaims. “What’s that supposed to mean!”

“I don’t know,” Jongdae says with a one-shoulder shrug, but he’s grinning. “Somehow I pegged you to be a lot more eager.” His grin widens. “Like a puppy.”

Jongdae laughs loudly when Baekhyun shoves him, their linked fingers slipping apart but still Baekhyun can feel the warmth from Jongdae’s touch tingling under his skin. “Fuck, you’re terrible,” he grumbles. “Both of you,” he adds when he catches Minseok laughing, too, watching on with amusement. “I’m taking those kisses back.”

“You can’t do that,” Minseok says in a low voice. He reaches up to brush his thumb over Baekhyun’s upper lip and all Baekhyun’s annoyance fades away in an instant. “I liked it.”

Baekhyun’s gaze locks in with Minseok’s, heat coiling low in his stomach, and he licks his lips once Minseok’s pulled his hands away. “You should see what else I can do with my mouth then,” Baekhyun says in an effort to regain his footing, not that the offer doesn’t stand as it is.

Neither of them seem to be expecting that reply, and Baekhyun delights in the little moan that escapes MInseok’s mouth while Jongdae mutters, “Shit,” and clutches the edge of the counter like he needs the help to keep standing. “What’re we still doing here?”

“It’s your party, idiot,” Minseok laughs, nudging Jongdae with his hip. “We’re here for you.”

“Fuck,” Jongdae says, like he’s totally forgotten. Baekhyun’s a little smug about it, pleased that just a couple of kisses has messed Jongdae, messed all three of them, up so much. “Well, let’s have a few more drinks then and wrap this up.” He eyes Baekhyun, lip curling. “Wanna come home with us, later?”

Baekhyun looks between them, the promise clear in their eyes, bright like the spark of want that’s burning in his veins. He doesn’t even have to think. “Yes,” he says, and grins.

The rest of the night is a blur of drinking and dancing and, to Baekhyun’s pleasure, even more kissing. They’re nothing too scandalous, just slow, languid kisses shared as he and Jongdae dance or when Baekhyun leans against Minseok in the booth and Minseok presses a little kiss to the corner of his mouth just because he can. He catches the smug looks Yixing and Han send him from the other side of the table, but Baekhyun lifts a finger to point at them and hisses, “Not a word.”

“I wasn’t gonna say anything,” Yixing says, but the glint in his eyes suggest otherwise. “Were you?” he asks Han, who shakes his head but is grinning one of his wide grins that makes him look ridiculous.

“You guys are such filthy liars,” Baekhyun says. “You were just waiting until you could rub this in my face.”

Han mock-gasps, places a hand over his chest. “Who, us? We’d never.”

“Never what?” Kyungsoo says, showing up at the table suddenly like the crowd around the dance floor threw him out. He picks up Baekhyun’s half-full glass and downs it with a slight grimace.

“Never make fun of me,” Baekhyun supplies and Kyungsoo snorts, eyeing Han and Minseok.

“Yeah, right,” he says and Baekhyun laughs while Yixing smacks Kyungsoo’s butt in reprimand for betraying them. Kyungsoo just takes it in stride, shrugging, then glances back over at Baekhyun and seems to finally notice the way he’s curled into Minseok’s side. “Baekhyun,” he says, “You okay?”

Baekhyun blinks up at him, sees the slight furrow between his eyebrows and sits up straight, smiling at him. Minseok slides a hand down Baekhyun’s thigh to rest at his knee and Baekhyun’s smile brightens as he says, “Yeah, I’m good.”

“Do you need me to take you home?” Kyungsoo asks, but he’s smiling, too, because he already knows the answer. Baekhyun appreciates that he still asked, though. He knew bringing Kyungsoo was a good idea.

“Not tonight,” he says and pointedly drops his hand over Minseok’s on his knee, easily laces their fingers together.

Kyungsoo grins, reaches out to tug on Baekhyun’s right ear until he yelps. “I’m heading out then,” he says.

“Alone?” Baekhyun waggles his brows. “Or with Soojung?”

Alone,” Kyungsoo says firmly, but then his lips curl into a smirk. “But we might have a date next weekend.”

Baekhyun cracks up, half-laughing, half-cheering, smacking Kyungsoo’s arm in his mirth. He’s never forgetting this. Even Han and Yixing are ribbing him gently and Kyungsoo’s ears are turning a little pink by the time Jongdae wanders back over with fresh drinks in his hands. “What’s so funny?” he demands, looking between all of them.

“Nothing,” Kyungsoo says quickly, shooting Baekhyun a glance that has him closing his mouth obediently. “I’m leaving.”

“I’ll call you later, okay?” Baekhyun says, reaching his free hand out toward him, making clawing motions with his fingers until Kyungsoo laughs and gives his hand a little squeeze.

He makes his goodbyes with Yixing and Han, and even clasps hands with Jongdae, telling both him and Minseok how nice it was to finally meet them. Jongdae grins, says they should meet up again sometime, and waves after him as Kyungsoo heads out.

The rest of them don’t say much longer after that either. Baekhyun is antsy, now, thinking of going back home with Jongdae and Minseok, still reeling from their kisses, earlier, and he’s barely paying attention to the conversations around him. Amber and Soojung return with another round for everyone, which they all seem to agree will be the last, and Baekhyun stays close to Minseok’s side as he watches. Han and Soojung bicker over something he can’t make out and Amber takes photos on her phone, occasionally pipes into their conversation and always on Soojung’s side.

Yixing is talking with Jongdae, but when he catches Baekhyun’s eye, he smiles, a little smug. Baekhyun sticks his tongue out at him as he presses against Minseok’s shoulder, and Minseok laughs, having caught their exchange, and pats Baekhyun’s knee. Baekhyun feels good, relaxed, as he finishes off his drink, and the night winds down. When Yixing drags Han out to dance once more, Soojung and Amber decide to go, too. Baekhyun’s about to tag along after them, when Minseok says, “I think we might actually call it a night.”

A round of low, teasing whistles suffice as a response, and Baekhyun punches Han in the shoulder because he’s closest. “Have fun,” Amber singsongs, wriggling her fingers in goodbye, and Jongdae yells at her to be quiet, before he’s turning back to look at Minseok, then at Baekhyun. His eyes are warm and full of promise.

“Let’s get out of here,” he says, and Baekhyun can’t agree fast enough.

Baekhyun initially thought he’d be nervous, but all he feels is excitement and ease as he falls through the door to Minseok and Jongdae’s apartment. He’s laughing, they’re all laughing, and barely even gets his shoes off before he’s being pressed back against the door and kissed.

“Hasty,” he hears Minseok chuckle from somewhere in front of him, telling Baekhyun it’s Jongdae who's got his tongue in his mouth. Baekhyun sighs into it, hands falling to Jongdae’s hips and dragging him closer. It’s the deep, soul-wrecking kind of kiss Baekhyun’s been wanting to have all night, the kind that makes his skin hot, hotter than it even was in the club, and the arousal he’s been pushing back resurface with the speed of a bullet train.

Baekhyun bites against Jongdae’s lower lip, laughs breathlessly when he pulls back to mutter, “Fuck,” and meets Baekhyun’s eyes for a moment before he dives right back in. This time doesn’t last nearly as long because suddenly Jongdae is being pulled back, yelping as he stumbles away from Baekhyun and into Minseok instead, who has a fistful of Jongdae’s shirt in his hand.

“Let’s take this outside of the doorway, yeah?” Minseok says and when Jongdae pouts at him, Minseok pecks him on the lips before releasing his shirt and wandering further into the apartment.

Baekhyun and Jongdae are quick to follow and Baekhyun’s mind is still spinning from the kiss, from the sheer fact that he’s here, that they want him here, want him. His cheeks hurt from the way he can’t stop grinning.

“Do you want anything, Baekhyun? Water?” Minseok asks, and Baekhyun looks to him, takes in his tousled hair from when Jongdae had mused it up on the dance floor, the way his thighs look in his jeans, and licks his lips.

“How about I just have some of you instead?” Baekhyun blurts out and immediately feels heat rush to his face as Minseok and Jongdae share a look and burst out laughing.

Minseok recovers quicker, smirking as he looks Baekhyun up and down, settles on his face again with a little cocked brow. “I suppose that could be arranged,” he says, and comes up to take Baekhyun’s hand.

They end up in the bedroom; Baekhyun never got a look in here the last time but doesn’t get much of a chance now either, not when he’s being easily pushed back onto a fully-made bed, sheets cool under his palms. Minseok slips in between his legs, slides his own hands up Baekhyun’s thighs and Baekhyun sighs, letting himself fall back completely and welcoming the way Minseok kisses him. It’s slower, a little more gentler than the kiss he just shared with Jongdae but strokes the same burning fire throughout Baekhyun’s body.

The bed dips beside him and fingers brush across Baekhyun’s forehead, pushing back his hair. He tips away from Minseok to look up at Jongdae, who is watching them with dark, dark eyes. He can sense the weight of Minseok’s gaze on him, too, and suddenly Baekhyun feels overwhelmed.

“I’ve never done this before,” he says quickly, hoping that they haven’t already gotten the impression that Baekhyun knows what the hell he’s doing, lying here between them.

“What, sex?” Jongdae says with a smug look on his face and Baekhyun pulls his hand from where it’s clenched itself into the sheets to punch him in the shoulder instead.

“Shut up,” Baekhyun says without real feeling. “No, I mean. This.” He gestures awkwardly between the three of them, wonders if he looks as helpless as he feels.

Minseok chuckles softly, thankfully not mocking. He noses against Baekhyun’s chin, then pulls back so he’s sitting between his legs. “You’ve never had a threesome,” he says simply and Baekhyun nods, unsure if he should be embarrassed or not. Most people have probably never had a threesome. Minseok and Jongdae just make Baekhyun feel so completely out of his element, but that’s exactly what he likes about them.

“Cute,” Minseok teases, fingers drumming along Baekhyun’s thighs.

“We don’t have to fuck, you know,” Jongdae adds as he stretches out next to Baekhyun on the bed. “We can go slow.”

“Yeah,” Minseok agrees. He seems more distracted now. Even though his eyes still watch Baekhyun closely, his fingers are sneaking up to the waistband of Baekhyun’s jeans. “You said you were good with your mouth, didn’t you?” he says. “Why don’t you show us?”

“Shit,” Baekhyun groans, voice thick with want. Every single fantasy he’s had about this moment flashes through his mind. “Yeah, yeah, okay. I can do that.” He leans up on his elbows, drags his gaze slowly from Minseok to Jongdae and then grins. “Who wants to go first?”

“Me,” Jongdae says without pause and Baekhyun laughs as he looks to him. “I’ve thought about it a lot.”

“Really?” It’s still astounding to Baekhyun that they want this, too. He hopes he doesn’t sound that surprised, taking the opportunity to pull away from Minseok so he can push Jongdae back against the bed and climb over him, throwing his legs on either side of his hips. “So have I.”

The corner of Jongdae’s mouth lifts and he slides a hand to the back of Baekhyun’s neck, draws him down into another kiss. Kissing Jongdae is becoming familiar now, addictive, and Baekhyun doesn’t have to think or worry about what to do or where to put his hands. He just lets instinct take over, lets the deep, overwhelming feeling guide him, slipping fingers up under Jongdae’s shirt, traces the lines of his abs, the faint hairs just under his navel that lead down to the waistband of his jeans.

Jongdae groans into his mouth and Baekhyun pulls back, feeling satisfied. When Jongdae quirks a brow at him, Baekhyun tugs at his shirt and says, “Take this off.”

He kind of expects Jongdae to be difficult about it, but maybe he’s tired of waiting, too, because he just lifts up long enough to ease the shirt up off his shoulders. And Baekhyun’s seen Minseok shirtless before, and Jongdae’s seen Baekhyun, but Baekhyun’s never seen this. Jongdae is slim but toned. Nice abs, beautiful pale skin, incredible arms, and fuck--

“Is your nipple pierced?” Baekhyun moans, and he doesn’t even wait for Jongdae’s answer to reach out and rub his thumb over the shiny barbell on Jongdae’s right nipple. “Fuck. How did I never notice this before?”

“Clearly you weren’t paying enough attention,” Jongdae laughs. He looks both immensely pleased by Baekhyun’s reaction, but also even more turned on, his Adam’s apple bobbing as Baekhyun continues to rub over his nipple with his fingers.

“Do you have any secret piercings, Baekhyun?” Minseok asks, and Baekhyun shakes his head, letting his hand drop from Jongdae’s chest.

“Nah, I’m pure,” Baekhyun snickers. “But I’ve thought about a tongue piercing, once or twice.”

The look in Minseok’s eyes sharpens at that, gaze dropping to Baekhyun’s mouth and then flicking back up. “You really shouldn’t say shit like that.”

Delighted, Baekhyun scoots back off of Jongdae so he can make himself at home between his knees, and swiftly yanks off his own shirt. It falls behind him to the floor and he grins. “Why? Are you thinking about it now?” he asks coyly. He keeps his eyes on Minseok as he smooths his hands up Jongdae’s chest and lowers his mouth to lick a clear stripe up Jongdae’s abs.

“You damn well know we are,” Jongdae says. “Now are you gonna blow me or not?”

“Pushy, pushy,” Baekhyun laughs but dutifully moves onto unfastening Jongdae’s jeans, tugging them down his hips as he kisses up to his chest. “Can I?” he murmurs, hovering over Jongdae’s pierced nipple, and when Jongdae breathes out a hasty, “God, yes,” Baekhyun dips down to lick over it.

The moan Jongdae lets out has Minseok laughing and Baekhyun glances over to see him spread out along the bed beside them, poking Jongdae in the cheek until Jongdae turns and meets him for a kiss. Baekhyun watches for a moment, taking in how naturally they move together, and it only builds his arousal, validates every fiber in his being that there’s nowhere else he’d want to be but here.

Baekhyun’s wasn’t lying when he said he’s never done something like this before, but the truth of it is, it’s also been awhile since he’s had sex at all. The last time had been with a guy he’d dated for a few weeks and that had been a whole month before he’d met Jongdae. But as he curls his fingers around Jongdae’s cock, half-hard in his palm, and fits his mouth around the tip, he pushes aside the simmering nervousness and does what comes naturally. He has always been good at giving head.

“Fuck,” Jongdae hisses against Minseok’s mouth. He pulls away and looks down, meets Baekhyun’s eyes, and groans again. It’s a little difficult to maintain eye contact like this, so Baekhyun lets his fall shut as he focuses on sucking Jongdae off, slowly takes him in until his lips meet his fingers wrapped at the base, then slips back up. Lets his tongue swirl around the head, press against the slit as he jerks his hand up and down purposefully, dragging moan after moan out of Jongdae’s lips.

When Baekhyun opens his eyes again, it’s to lift off completely, catch his breath, and find Minseok watching him closely. The front of his jeans are tight, erection clear, and Baekhyun lets out this breathless laugh against Jongdae’s thigh that has him shuddering. Jongdae’s long eyelashes flutter against his cheek and he’s staring up at the ceiling instead of at Baekhyun, as if watching Baekhyun suck him off will only make him come faster. It’s cute and frustratingly hot, and Baekhyun wants to see what Jongdae looks like when he comes, wants to hear him, feel him.

This time when he takes him into his mouth, he doesn’t stop until he’s all the way, tip of his nose pressed into coarse hair and Jongdae’s cock against the back of his throat. He swallows around him, sucks softly, and Jongdae lets out the loudest moan yet that goes straight to Baekhyun’s own neglected cock. “Holy shit,” Minseok says, sounding much further away than he is, and Baekhyun would laugh again if he didn’t have a cock down his throat.

Instead he eases back until just the head is in his mouth, then does it all over again, flicking his gaze up to Jongdae’s face. His jaw is slack, his eyes squeezed shut, and a pretty flush spreads down his neck. Baekhyun watches the way his abs tense, the way his left hand is clenched in the sheets, and the right is grasping Minseok’s wrist, feels the way Jongdae’s cock pulses on his tongue. Baekhyun slips a hand up to Jongdae’s chest, teases his pierced nipple between his fingers and it’s game over; he pulls back enough for Jongdae to come on his tongue, drinks him down obediently as Jongdae whimpers, trembles, falls beautifully apart under Baekhyun’s touch.

Baekhyun lifts off entirely, sitting back on his knees and wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. A grin spreads across his lips as he takes them both in, watching him with something akin to awe and raw desire, and he slides a hand through his hair, pushing it back from his face as he laughs. “You okay there, guys?” he asks, delighted, and Jongdae manages a little weak groan while Minseok narrows his eyes, impatiently waves Baekhyun over.

“Come here,” he says in a low, commanding sort of voice that Baekhyun wouldn’t ever want to disobey. He crawls over to Minseok and is pulled easily into a kiss, and now that Baekhyun isn’t focused on getting Jongdae off, his own arousal is rising back to the surface, reminding him of how desperately he needs to come, too.

Minseok, thankfully, seems to be in the same boat, and they’re quick about shedding the last of their clothes, jeans pushed roughly down to ankles along with underwear, just far enough out of the way that Minseok can grasp their cocks together in his hand.

“Oh fuck,” Baekhyun moans, hips jerking instinctively against the friction, and Minseok’s teeth catch on his lower lip as if in agreement.

“Gonna come, Baekhyun?” Jongdae says softly to his right, but Baekhyun’s too lost to reply. His and Minseok’s kisses have grown more desperate, and Baekhyun’s slid his fingers into his hair, and it’s all he can do to hold on as Minseok works their cocks together, his hand wrapped warm and tight and perfect. “Come on, do it, you’re close aren’t you?” Jongdae continues like he’s seen Baekhyun’s dreams and knows just what to say, “Let me see you.”

And just the knowledge that Jongdae wants to see Baekhyun come apart is enough to send him over, Baekhyun groaning into Minseok’s mouth as he spills into his fingers, onto Minseok’s abs. Baekhyun curses under his breath again, delirious from his orgasm, from how fucking insane this whole situation is, but he has just enough sense to remember Minseok hasn’t come yet, to dip down and take his cock into his mouth and finish him off, too.

Baekhyun flops over onto the bed on Minseok’s other side after, stretching out languidly once he’s kicked his jeans off to the floor. He licks his lips, staring up at the ceiling, then glances over at Minseok and at Jongdae, who both look that sort of fucked-out gorgeous and adorably dazed. Baekhyun laughs, curling over to his side, his heart beating loudly in his chest even as the rest of him feels happy and sated.

“Mind if I crash here tonight?” he asks them teasingly and Jongdae rolls his eyes, reaching over Minseok’s shoulder to give Baekhyun a little shove.

“What do you think?” he says, but he’s grinning, and Minseok is, too, nestled between them looking soft and cute.

So Baekhyun kisses him, a short little kiss, and then laughs and lets Jongdae yank him into one, too. His head is dizzy with so many thoughts, so many questions, worries about what everything will be like come morning, but Baekhyun doesn’t want to think about any of that now. Right now he’s happy, right now he feels good. Right now he’s exactly where he wants to be and that’s all that matters.

-

There’s a little sense of deja vu when Baekhyun wakes the next morning. Thankfully it’s not as terrible of a hangover as last time. There hadn’t been anything to run away from, last night, no reason to distract himself when everything was going just as he could’ve wanted. It only takes him a few minutes to remember where he is, stretching out on the bed in Jongdae and Minseok’s room.

“Hey,” says Jongdae’s familiar voice, surprising Baekhyun as he hadn’t realized he was there. Jongdae’s got one of those kitty smiles on his face, watching Baekhyun closely, and Baekhyun is reminded with a start of every single thing that had happened last night. Kisses on the dance floor, Baekhyun’s hands in Jongdae’s jeans, Baekhyun’s mouth around Jongdae’s cock, Minseok’s hand on his own, the cool smooth touch of Jongdae’s piercing under Baekhyun’s fingertips, the hoarse laughter as they’d cleaned up and curled against each other, Minseok’s fingers in Baekhyun’s hair, Jongdae’s curly smile.

It’s that smile he’s wearing now and Baekhyun wants to kiss him all over again. But just as suddenly as last night’s memories flood him, so do all the uncertainties he’d pushed away. He’s suddenly not sure if he’s allowed to kiss Jongdae. Isn’t sure he should even be here.

Before he can turn away and escape, hide in the bathroom or something until he calms down, Jongdae is sliding a hand over and squeezing Baekhyun’s knee through the bed sheets. “Hey,” he says softly. “Stop thinking so much. I can practically hear your empty brain struggling.”

Baekhyun rises to the bait easily because it’s much more welcome than the actual thoughts in his head. “Who’re you calling empty?” he demands and lunges, tackling Jongdae against the mattress and digging his fingers into his sides.

Jongdae’s laugh is loud and bright, even in the early morning. Baekhyun’s not sure how early it really is, but he doesn’t feel like he slept particularly long. It doesn’t matter, really. He doesn’t mind. Waking up like this, with Jongdae’s beautiful smile staring up at him is a better start to the day than Baekhyun’s had in a long time.

Their combined ruckus eventually draws Minseok out, too, stopping at the doorway and crossing his arms over his chest as he watches them. “Children,” he says, even as his lips curl in amusement. “If you’re awake, you could help make breakfast.”

“Or you could come join us back here,” Baekhyun offers lightly, rolling onto this side and looking at Minseok imploringly. He grins even wider as Jongdae curls up behind him, rests his chin on Baekhyun’s shoulder.

Minseok’s gaze is dark as he eyes them, but then he laughs. “As tempting as that is, I’m going to pass,” he says. “Get out of bed already.”

“What time is it anyway?” Baekhyun asks, glancing around the room for a clock. His phone is probably dead on the floor with the rest of his clothes.

“Just a little after ten,” Minseok says as Jongdae releases Baekhyun to sit up, lets Baekhyun fall back against the sheets and stretch languidly along the mattress, arms over his head and toes pointed off the bed.

He smirks when he catches the look on Minseok’s eyes. “Not as early as I expected,” he murmurs and turns to Jongdae when he pokes his hip to get his attention.

“Do you have anywhere to be?” he asks and when Baekhyun shakes his head, Jongdae grins. “Come on, then,” he says, grabbing Baekhyun’s wrist and tugging him off the bed. “Let’s shower.”

“Don’t stay in there too long,” Minseok warns them, but otherwise just rolls his eyes in amusement before head retreats, probably back to the kitchen.

Baekhyun almost wants to go with him because showering with Jongdae seems like everything’s moving too fast, nevermind all that they did together yesterday. But when Jongdae presses him up against the slick walls and kisses him, nose wrinkling only a little at their morning breath, Baekhyun can’t find anything to complain about. He falls into it just as easily as he did last night, Jongdae’s hands warm on Baekhyun’s hips under the cool spray of the water, Jongdae’s lips gentle but insistent, soft yet teasing.

It probably takes them longer than it should to shower, and they only ever make-out. Okay, maybe they jerk either off, too, rough and quick. By the the time they venture out, their skin is a little pruned but they’re grinning widely and all of Baekhyun’s earlier worries have faded away.

“Here,” Jongdae says, tossing a shirt onto the bed from the closet. “You can borrow this if you want.”

“Thanks,” Baekhyun says with a grin as he finishes doing up his jeans. He snags the shirt off the bed, dangling it out in front of him to assess, then easily slips it on over his head. The moment it’s on, Jongdae grabs a fistful of the fabric and pulls Baekhyun in for another kiss. Caught off guard, Baekhyun can only manage out a shocked little moan, grasping at Jongdae’s hips to hold on until he breaks away.

“Looks good,” Jongdae says, smoothing down the shirt and stepping back, his lips curling into a smirk at the way Baekhyun just stares at him, dazed. “Come on. Let’s go help Minseok.”

The apartment is the same as the last time Baekhyun was here, neat and orderly. He must be looking around curiously because Jongdae laughs and says, “Minseok’s a bit of a clean freak. He’ll go off if I leave a shoe out in the doorway.”

“I’m not that bad,” Minseok calls from the kitchen and Baekhyun laughs when they join him, finds him glaring at Jongdae. “It’s good to keep your home clean.”

“If you ever come to my place, you’ll have to give me advance warning, then,” Baekhyun says, and then feels his face flush because, well, just the thought of Jongdae and Minseok at his apartment is a little much. Not that he’s never thought about it before, but now he realizes it’s something that could really happen and that’s both exciting and nerve-wracking.

“You would be a slob,” Jongdae says with a shake of his head, but grins unrepentantly when Baekhyun punches his shoulder.

“It’s just not up to this standard,” Baekhyun insists, but when Jongdae and Minseok stare at him, disbelieving, he huffs and changes the subject. “Whatever. Can I help with anything? I can make pretty decent omelets, if you want.”

“Go ahead,” Minseok says. “Eggs are in the fridge. Use whatever you need.”

Baekhyun doesn’t even remember the last time he cooked with anyone like this. His culinary skills are pretty limited to eggs, cup ramen, and boxed mac and cheese. Whenever he has friends over, he orders food, or Chanyeol will come a little early and whip something up and kick Baekhyun out of his own kitchen lest he ruin everything with his mere presence. Jongdae and Minseok are fun and relaxed. They move around their kitchen easily and somehow Baekhyun fits right in, laughing at stupid jokes, bumping each other out of the way as they try to make pancakes and bacon, too.

There are the little lingering touches, too. The kisses. Jongdae patting Baekhyun’s ass when he needs him to move, Minseok perching his chin on Baekhyun’s shoulder to watch him cook, leaving a kiss to the side of his neck before he retreats. Baekhyun, too, can’t keep his hands to himself, and it all seems to come naturally. He doesn’t have to think about it. It’s nice. They’re not kicking him out after last night. They want him there.

Baekhyun’s still unsure about many things, but he’s sure about this.

They eat around the coffee table in the living room, Minseok turning on the television to check the news. Baekhyun borrows a charger from Jongdae and boots up his dead phone, which beeps and buzzes in his hand from a multitude of missed messages. There’s a call from his mother, a few texts from Chanyeol, two emails from work. Baekhyun checks his work emails first, responding to them carefully, and by the time he’s finished sending the second, the familiar sounds of Girl’s Generation’s Genie catches his ears.

“No,” he says, horrified, whipping around to catch Jongdae and Minseok peering at Jongdae’s phone. He groans loudly. “I’m gonna kill Kyungsoo.”

“Don’t,” Minseok laughs, looking up at Baekhyun with mirth in his eyes. “I like him.”

“When did you guys even exchange numbers, god,” Baekhyun whines, slumping over onto the floor. “This is the worst.”

The music cuts off thankfully, and suddenly Jongdae is crawling over Baekhyun, peering into his face. “You don’t seem that mad though,” he says, amused. “And besides, I don’t see what you have to be so upset about. Your thighs looked great in that dress.”

Baekhyun smirks. “They did, didn’t they?”

Jongdae’s hands slide over said thighs, squeezing gently through Baekhyun’s jeans, and Baekhyun surges up to kiss him just as his gaze grows dark. Baekhyun still can’t quite believe he can kiss Jongdae like this, that Jongdae kisses back with equal enthusiasm, that this is real after all that time he spend dreaming. He needs to get a grip, honestly, but it’s difficult when everything seems to be moving so fast and yet so slow.

“Hey,” cuts through Minseok’s voice, pulling Jongdae back slowly. “Eat your breakfast before you desecrate the floor.”

“Aw, did you want a kiss, too?” Jongdae coos, leaving Baekhyun in favor of slinging his arms around his boyfriend and planting a smacking kiss on his cheek.

Boyfriend. The word hits Baekhyun suddenly, like he’s been underwater too long and only just made it to the surface for breath. He looks down at his plate and tries to keep his expression cool. Jongdae and Minseok are boyfriends, have been boyfriends for years, but what...What is Baekhyun?

Baekhyun shovels some omelet in his mouth but tastes nothing as he wills himself not to blurt out the questions in his head and ruin everything. Jongdae and Minseok don’t seem interested in talking about this yet, and Baekhyun doesn’t want to make it all awkward. He knows they still want him here, knows that whatever they did last night wasn’t spur of the moment, because Jongdae’s still kissing him, and Minseok is, too, and that is enough. That has to be enough for right now.

Baekhyun takes a deep breath, gulps down half his glass of orange juice and almost splutters when Jongdae pats his shoulder. “What’s up, you suddenly got real quiet,” he says. “You’re not still mad about the video Kyungsoo sent us?”

“No,” Baekhyun says with a laugh. “It’s nothing, I was just thinking that my omelet skills could use some work.”

Minseok snorts. “They’re not that bad,” he says. “The bacon Jongdae cooked, though…”

“Hey, what’s wrong with my bacon!”

As they bicker, Baekhyun picks up his phone again, smiling down at the screen as he pulls up his chat history with Kyungsoo and sends off a quick, You’re dead to me.

He checks his new messages from Chanyeol, about how he’s got a gig Thursday night and Baekhyun should come see him play, it’s been ages, and how Sehun’s been bugging him for another karaoke night since he missed the last one, so Chanyeol’s already booked them a room this Saturday in Ktown. Baekhyun sends him a couple of thumbs up emoji and his phone buzzes in his hand with a reply from Kyungsoo.

Nice try. How was your night, are you alive?

Baekhyun grins. it was gr8 actually, he types. free 4 lunch tomorrow? i’ll tell u all about it

He’s stealing food off Jongdae’s plate and avoiding his fork stabs when Kyungsoo responds again. Pass. I don’t want to hear about who touched your dick, Baekhyun, he says and Baekhyun almost chokes on a bite of bacon. Jongdae helpfully reaches over to pat his back.

Another message comes in after that before Baekhyun can respond. I’m glad you got what you wanted though, it says, and that sobers him up a bit, because, Kyungsoo’s right. This is what he wanted. Despite all the uncertainties, he’s happy, right now.

yeah, he sends back, looking up at Jongdae and Minseok and smiling and feeling so full. me too.

-

Life continues on as if nothing’s changed but everything’s changed at the same time. Baekhyun will finish up with a client Monday afternoon and be suddenly, inexplicably, reminded of what happened over the weekend. He’ll space out over lunch with Jongin in the breakroom and remember being pressed together on the dance floor between Minseok and Jongdae. He’ll close his eyes for a moment too long and be flooded with images of Jongdae and Minseok kissing, of the shiny piercing against Jongdae’s pink nipple, of Minseok’s beautifully toned abs. He’ll get a text on his way home from Jongdae and think about how good his cock had felt in his mouth. Think about how much he wants to do it again. Think about how it might be like to fuck him, fuck both of them. What it’d be like to see them fuck each other while Baekhyun watches, hand around his cock.

Needless to say, Baekhyun’s a bit of a mess. Despite the chaos in his head, he still goes to the gym as usual in the following days and Jongdae and Minseok smile and greet him like nothing is wrong. And if that greeting is pressing him against the lockers to make out for five minutes before they actually go to work out, Baekhyun’s okay with that, too.

When Jongdae’s actual birthday rolls around, Minseok calls Baekhyun up toward the end of his day at the clinic and says, “Jongdae’s feeling pretty tired, so we were gonna skip the gym tonight and have dinner here. Watch a movie. He wants you to come, too.”

Baekhyun doesn’t have to think before he says yes. He shows up at their doorstep a few hours later, having stopped at home after his shift to shower and change, and picked up a small cake from a nearby bakery in celebration. He’s a little nervous, because this is the first time Baekhyun’s come over on his own and while he’s completely sober.

It all vanishes in the face of Minseok’s bright grin as he answers the door, steps back to let Baekhyun in. “It’s good to see you,” he says, like they didn’t see each other last night at the gym. “Long day?”

“Wasn’t too bad,” Baekhyun says, and then, boldly, leans forward to give Minseok a little kiss.

When he pulls back quickly, Minseok cups Baekhyun’s jaw and holds him in place. A brow quirks as he says, “That’s all I’m getting?” and laughs before he kisses Baekhyun again, harder.

It pulls a moan from Baekhyun’s lips and that, perhaps, is what draws Jongdae’s attention, calling out loudly, “Hey, save some of that for me!”

Baekhyun laughs, pressing his mouth to Minseok’s once more before he pulls away, and they finally head inside. He hands off the cake to Minseok who leaves for the kitchen to store it away, and returns with a beer for Baekhyun as well. Jongdae’s sitting on the couch and he grins up at them as they join him, and Baekhyun’s surprised when Jongdae snags his wrist and tugs him right into his lap.

“I figured you’d come here straight from work,” Jongdae says, nosing behind Baekhyun’s right ear.

“You wanted to see me in scrubs again,” Baekhyun laughs. “I think you’ve got a real kink here, Jongdae.”

“Maybe,” Jongdae agrees. His breath is warm against the nape of Baekhyun’s neck and it makes Baekhyun squirm helplessly. “I guess you’re okay like this, too.”

“I better be,” Baekhyun says haughtily. “I dragged myself all the way over to see you. I even brought you cake.” He twists around so he can look into Jongdae’s amused face. “Happy birthday. Again,” he adds, eyeing Jongdae’s pretty mouth.

Jongdae notices, of course he does, smirking a little as he stares right back, almost challenging, so Baekhyun closes the space between them eagerly. Jongdae tastes mostly of beer and he kisses back with just as much vigor that makes Baekhyun completely content with just sitting there in his lap until they’re both breathless and their lips are bruised. Instead, his grumbling stomach breaks them apart, and Jongdae and Minseok laugh at once, leaving Baekhyun feeling slightly mortified.

“Come on, then,” Minseok says, tugging Baekhyun off of Jongdae. “Let’s figure out what we should order.”

They end up with pizza and wings and settle down with Kingsman. They chat and drink and eat and Baekhyun sits between Jongdae and Minseok on the couch, leaning against Jongdae’s left shoulder, legs thrown over Minseok’s lap. It’s comfortable and fun but the thing is it’s so easy to get distracted. Minseok’s hand on Baekhyun’s knee is warm and halfway through the movie, Jongdae’s wrapped an arm around Baekhyun’s chest, fingers dipping just under the collar to brush over his collarbones. Baekhyun's not sure he’s even paying attention to anything on screen and he’s slipping into that sort of blissful state where he could fall asleep at any moment or potentially come in his pants like a fucking teenager.

And while neither of those options sound particularly pleasing, Baekhyun’s sure he’s definitely inching toward the latter. It’s hard not to because every touch is electrifying. It’s a reminder of what’s happened, of what else can happen, and Baekhyun's like a man parched, that despite everything they’ve done, it’ll never be enough.

This time it’s easy to twist, to nose against Jongdae’s neck, to press little kisses there until Jongdae’s losing focus, too, dipping down to catch Baekhyun’s mouth in a real kiss.

“Bored already?” Jongdae laughs, slipping his fingers from under Baekhyun’s shirt to instead smooth his palm down Baekhyun’s chest. The corner of his lips quirk when Baekhyun gasps at the touch of his fingertips over a nipple through the fabric.

“Just thinking we could move onto something more entertaining,” Baekhyun returns softly. “It is your birthday.”

“Yeah, and you didn't even get me a present, you punk.”

“Well, you can have me if you want,” Baekhyun says without really thinking about it. The words hang in the air between them for a moment, and in that time, Baekhyun feels heat flood his face. Then Minseok is letting out this low chuckle of surprise while Jongdae shifts so he can look at Baekhyun properly.

“Are you serious?”

Baekhyun licks his lips and nods with certainty. He doesn’t think he’s ever been more sure about anything. “Yes,” he breathes. “Please.”

“Shit. Okay,” Jongdae says, running a hand through his hair, then yanks Baekhyun into a rough kiss. Baekhyun pulls his legs off Minseok’s lap, swings himself around to climb right onto Jongdae’s instead, hands cupping either side of Jongdae’s face. It’s deep, filling, a little frantic, this kiss, knowing what’s to come this time. Baekhyun’s heart is racing and he feels so breathless when they pull apart sometime later a minute, two, maybe an hour, for all he knows.

He laughs as he slides off Jongdae’s lap to stand, stretches his arms over his head with a satisfied sigh as he drops them back down and looks between Jongdae and Minseok. He quirks a brow. “Well?” he says, but doesn’t really give them the chance to answer, reaching out to grab a hand each and pull them up to their feet, too.

“We should clean--”

“Are you seriously thinking about cleaning now?” Baekhyun looks at Minseok incredulously, and Jongdae’s laugh rings throughout the apartment as they head down the hall.

“I told you he’s intense when it comes to cleaning,” Jongdae says, smiling at Minseok fondly and giving him a little peck on the cheek when Minseok frowns. “Don’t worry, babe, we’ll help out afterward.”

“Yeah, right, you’re both gonna be all fucked out later to do anything, but cuddle, I can already tell,” Minseok says with a roll of his eyes, but still he follows them into the bedroom, smiling as Baekhyun starfishes himself across the bed.

Jongdae climbs up between Baekhyun’s legs and jabs two fingers into Baekhyun’s stomach, making him recoil and whine. “Take off your clothes,” he says in a low voice and in an instant the lighthearted air turns intense, the amusement in his eyes now dark, longing, and Baekhyun doesn’t hesitate a second to obey.

“You, too, Jongdae,” Minseok says, tugging at the hem of Jongdae’s shirt and Jongdae flashes him a grin as he pulls his shirt off over his head, lets it fall behind him to the floor.

“What about you?” Baekhyun asks Minseok, who takes a look between them and smirks.

“Don’t worry about me,” he says and lies down on the bed to Baekhyun’s right. “I think I’m just gonna watch for now.”

Just the thought of Minseok watching as Jongdae fucks Baekhyun has Baekhyun groaning in anticipation. Jongdae, too, seems wholeheartedly into the idea, leaning over to kiss Minseok hard on the mouth. “I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing that,” Baekhyun finds himself saying, much to the amusement of the others as they pull apart with a laugh.

“You’re adorable,” Jongdae says and Baekhyun would retort, except, well, he’s not wrong, and Jongdae chooses that moment to slide his palm over the front of his underwear where his cock is steadily growing harder, making it impossible for Baekhyun to do anything at all except moan. “Oh, that’s a nice sound.”

“Keep on touching me like that and you can hear more,” Baekhyun returns with a little laugh as he makes to push his underwear down his hips. Jongdae helps to slide them off entirely and then he’s back with his hand, curling around Baekhyun’s cock with purpose and stroking him firmly. Baekhyun jerks his hips right up into his loose fist, already so eager, and Jongdae makes a soft reassuring sound as if to calm Baekhyun down.

Baekhyun tries, he does, but he feels so wound up just from the smooth press of Jongdae’s fingers, the way his free hand slides up his thigh. Lying here, completely naked, completely hard, while Jongdae and Minseok are still mostly dressed, it has Baekhyun hot and desperate and maybe a little powerful, too, because all their focus is on him and Baekhyun’s always shined under attention.

“Do you have lube?” he asks, and Jongdae curses low under his breath, releasing Baekhyun’s cock to make for the nightstand to his left. Minseok is there already, though, rolling over to rummage through the drawers, and Baekhyun hooks his calf around Jongdae’s leg, pulls him right down against him. He drags his fingers up his back, feels the way hs shivers as they kiss, and groans at the sharp chill of Jongdae’s nipple piercing rubbing up against his chest.

“Here,” Minseok says, nudging Baekhyun’s shoulder, and Baekhyun pulls back to take the small tube from him, meeting his eyes for a moment. Minseok’s eyes are pitch black with desire and if Jongdae wasn’t currently grinding onto Baekhyun’s cock, Baekhyun thinks he could get lost in Minseok’s gaze. As it is, he just cranes his neck over to kiss him slowly, deeply, then, once he’s pulled away, roughly flips Jongdae over onto his back.

“Fuck,” Jongdae groans loudly, hands instinctively falling to Baekhyun’s hips, eyes wide as he stares up at him. “You’re stronger than you look.”

“All that time at the gym must be paying off then,” Baekhyun says with a little wink, as he squeeze lube onto his fingers. “Now just stay there and watch.”

It’s easy for Baekhyun to work himself open, pushing a finger in slowly at first, then a little harder, a little deeper. That sense of power builds in him now, sitting in Jongdae’s lap as Jongdae and Minseok can only watch. Or, well, Minseok watches, gaze heavy on Baekhyun’s skin, while Jongdae grips Baekhyun’s thighs or lets his hands slide up to his chest and then back down. It’s soothing, comforting, just the kind of thing Baekhyun likes as he fits a second finger inside, then a third soon enough.

“Fuck,” Jongdae says again as Baekhyun slips his fingers out, wipes them off over his thigh. “Fuck, Baekhyun.”

“That’s the idea,” Baekhyun laughs, scooting back enough that he can finally work Jongdae’s pants and underwear off completely. He picks up the condom Minseok had pulled out, too, easily rolls it down Jongdae’s cock, grinning at the way he hisses from the touch. “Unless you’ve suddenly changed your mind?”

“Are you kidding?” Jongdae says, looking up at Baekhyun incredulously. “As if we’re gonna stop now when I’ve got you here.”

“Good,” Baekhyun says brightly before he smoothly sinks down onto Jongdae’s cock.

Jongdae’s moan comes deep from his throat. He’s a lot louder in bed than Baekhyun expected, but he likes that. Beside him, Minseok is biting his lower lip, a hand down the front of his pants, curled around the base of his cock. Baekhyun laughs breathlessly, delightedly, as he rotates his hips in a slow little circle, seats himself fully in Jongdae’s lap, enjoying the way he’s got both of them so hard, so fixated on him. Baekhyun’s own erection is begging attention, but he’s pretty sure he can put it off awhile longer, at least long enough to make Jongdae come first. It’s only fair. It’s Jongdae’s birthday, after all.

Baekhyun rides Jongdae with purpose, intent. He’s thought about this many times before and none of it comes close to the reality, the way Jongdae feels hard and hot inside him, the sweet sounds that fall from his lips when Baekhyun squeezes around him just right, how Jongdae can’t seem to look anywhere but at Baekhyun, eyes dark and deep and beautiful. It feels so good and Baekhyun’s wanted this for so long that if he thinks too much about it he might do something embarrassingly like come too fast, or, worse, cry.

Thankfully he’s got enough sense of mind to shake the overwhelming thoughts aside and focus on the sensation, the heat of Jongdae’s hands at his hips and how he takes Baekhyun by surprise when he plants his feet on the bed and thrusts up.

“Oh fuck,” Baekhyun moans, hands clutching at Jongdae’s shoulders to hold on, ground him. He hangs his head, gasps for breath, and leans even closer to wrap his mouth around Jongdae’s nipple piercing when the silver catches his eye.

That has Jongdae moaning, too, fingers gripping tighter at Baekhyun’s hips and Minseok laughs softly, the bed creaking a bit as he undoubtedly shuffles closer. Sure enough, when Baekhyun lifts his head up, Minseok is leaning into Jongdae’s side, sliding a hand up his arm. He catches Baekhyun’s eye and smirks as he asks, “Is it good, Jongdae? How does he feel?”

Jongdae lets out this little breathless laugh, like Minseok’s asking a totally ridiculous question, and he looks over at Minseok, amused, then up at Baekhyun who raises a brow and waits, eager for a reaction. He even sits back up and lifts off Jongdae’s cock until just the head remains inside, then slams back down, as incentive.

“Yeah, Jongdae,” he eggs on. “How’s it feel?” He clenches around him fully, bites back his own pleasured moan in favor of asking, “It’s good, right?”

“Tell Baekhyun how much you thought about this,” Minseok adds as he smooths Jongdae’s sweat-dampened hair back from his face. Baekhyun feels a spark of delight at this comment, but files it away to bring up later. Right now he just grins wickedly at Jongdae who looks more flushed than ever, the rhythm of his thrusts growing a little erratic. He must be close and he can’t seem to find the words he wants to reply to either of Minseok and Baekhyun’s questions.

“Why so quiet?” Minseok teases. He’s playing with Jongdae’s piercing now, too, almost absentmindedly, his eyes on Jongdae’s face. “Are you going to come soon? Maybe I’ll fuck you after you’re done, Jongdae, would you like that?”

Jongdae groans, but he’s not the only one; Baekhyun can’t help it either, because the thought of Minseok fucking Jongdae is just as enticing as everything else that’s happened so far. “I would, fuck,” he says almost too eagerly, suddenly wrapping a hand around the base of his cock to ebb the arousal building even faster for him now.

There’s an amused look that Jongdae and Minseok share, a short little chuckle as Minseok pulls away from Jongdae to sit up, reach out for Baekhyun with a hand curled around his nape. “Somehow,” he says, “that doesn’t surprise me,” and kisses Baekhyun soundly on the mouth.

Baekhyun whimpers, clutches at Minseok’s arm as he kisses back, and lets out a full moan when Minseok’s hand joins his own around his cock. He takes over, pumping Baekhyun steadily, and Baekhyun isn’t sure how much longer he can hold out, not when Jongdae feels so good inside him and Minseok’s pulling him toward the edge with his skillful touch.

“Come on, Baekhyun,” Jongdae says in a soft, encouraging voice, but Baekhyun isn’t about to give up on his plan to make Jongdae come before him.

He breaks from Minseok’s kiss to meet Jongdae’s eyes again, and rolls his hips a little faster to wipe the slight smirk off his face. “You first,” he challenges, clenching tight around Jongdae’s cock. It seems fitting, somehow, that Baekhyun and Jongdae, who had built a strange friendship on challenging each other at the gym would find contest like this, too. But while Jongdae still has the upperhand there, Baekhyun’s already caught onto what makes Jongdae weak here.

Baekhyun fucks himself on Jongdae’s cock a little harder, groans aloud at how deep Jongdae goes, cock brushing up against Baekhyun’s prostate again and again, and, just as Baekhyun thinks he’s held out enough, he reaches down to tweak Jongdae’s pierced nipple between his fingertips. And that’s it--Jongdae comes hard and with a sharp moan, hips stuttering and hands clenching, grasping at Baekhyun’s thighs, reaching out to Minseok, who laces their fingers together and kisses Jongdae’s forehead as he comes down.

“Fuck, that was so hot,” Baekhyun breathes, unable to look away from Jongdae’s heaving chest, the lingering clench of his jaw, the way his long long eyelashes flutter against his cheeks. It doesn’t take much to get Baekhyun to finish after that, either, not with how Minseok still has a hand around his cock and jerks him off with renewed vigor, and Baekhyun spills all over his and Jongdae’s stomachs within minutes, thighs trembling as he struggles and fails to stay upright.

He pitches forward into Jongdae’s chest, and Jongdae fists a hand in Baekhyun’s hair, yanks him up just enough so they can kiss. Baekhyun sighs into his mouth, feeling wonderfully content and full and sated, like nothing could bring him down from this high. He pulls back with a grin, sliding off Jongdae’s cock to flop onto the bed to his left, and asks, “So, how was that for a birthday present?”

With a laugh Jongdae stretches his legs out and his arms over his head, and seems to consider it for a moment. “I give it a seven out of ten. For effort,” he replies, and then jerks away when Baekhyun swats his thigh.

“Asshole,” Baekhyun returns but he’s still grinning, and Jongdae, too, is looking at him with fond eyes.

“Don’t worry, I’ll make up for his lacking mark,” Minseok says as he lifts Jongdae’s legs out of the way so he can settle between them. When he catches Baekhyun’s pout, he laughs and reaches out to poke Baekhyun’s lower lip. Baekhyun’s not really mad anyway, so he smiles, settles down against the bed to watch as Minseok turns to Jongdae, slides his hands up his bare thighs. “You good like this, or do you wanna move?”

“I’m fine,” Jongdae says. “You should take off your clothes, though. I want to see you.”

“Me, too,” Baekhyun adds, curling into Jongdae’s side and resting his chin on his shoulder.

Minseok smirks. “All right,” he says. “And you should probably get rid of that.” He gestures toward the condom, and Jongdae laughs, rolling himself off the bed so he can take care of it. Meanwhile Minseok sheds his pants and underwear, pulls his shirt off over his head and, unlike Baekhyun and Jongdae, who just tossed their clothes to the floor, Minseok deposits them nicely to the armchair in the corner of the room.

Baekhyun would laugh except he’s suddenly getting this delightful view of Minseok’s body. He’d forgotten about the tattoo there since he saw it that once at the club, but this time he has a much better view of the tattoo on his back. It’s stark black against pale skin, the winding body of a dragon from his hip up to his shoulderblades.

When Minseok looks back over, he catches Baekhyun staring, and laughs. “Like what you see?” he asks, thinking Baekhyun’s been checking him out, but Baekhyun grins, says, “I like your tattoo.”

“Yeah?” Minseok’s expression softens and he returns to the bed, sitting on the edge so Baekhyun can get an even closer look. “I got it years ago. Actually, Amber--you remember her? She did it for me.”

Baekhyun shuffles over so he can touch. Minseok shudders just a little under his fingertips, but otherwise stays still, glancing over his shoulder with a small smile to watch Baekhyun’s face. “It’s pretty,” he says, tracing the curved lines up Minseok’s body. “Why a dragon?”

“He just thought it was cool,” says Jongdae, returning from the bathroom. He’s cleaned himself a bit it seems and is smiling indulgently at Minseok as he climbs onto the bed. “It’s nothing serious.”

“It is cool,” Minseok retorts, swatting Jongdae’s hip.

“It is,” Baekhyun agrees, finally dragging his eyes away from Minseok’s body. He finds Jongdae and Minseok looking at him, and flushes. “What?”

“Nothing,” Jongdae sings as he flops back against the bed and nudges his foot against Minseok’s leg to get him to turn around.

“Do you have any tattoos, Baekhyun?”

Baekhyun shakes his head, lying back on his side as Minseok settles on his knees between Jongdae’s legs again. He watches as Minseok takes up the lube and coats his fingers. “I’ve never really thought about it before,” he says. “I like it on other people, though.”

“I could tell,” Minseok says smugly and Baekhyun waggles his brows at him to make him laugh.

“Have you thought of getting more?” he asks, his attention on Minseok shifting when Jongdae lets out a low moan at Minseok’s fingers pushing into him just right.

“Yeah, I want to fill out the rest of my back eventually,” Minseok says. “I just have to figure out what I want exactly.”

“Tattoo my face onto your back,” Jongdae offers and Minseok snorts, retaliates by pressing in three fingers fully into him to make the Jongdae groan.

“No, thanks, I see enough of your face as it is,” he teases and Jongdae shoves his shoulder with his palm.

“Fuck me already,” he says and Minseok hums, considering, as he slows his fingers down.

Minseok looks over at Baekhyun with a quirked little smile. “What do you think?”

Laughing, Baekhyun assesses them both, eyes traveling between Minseok’s hard cock, Jongdae’s flushed, eager body. He, too, is getting hard again from Minseok’s fingers inside him, from the anticipation of being fucked, and he whimpers at Baekhyun almost pleadingly. It’s so cute, Baekhyun leans over to kiss his temple. “I think he deserves it,” Baekhyun says finally.

“Damn right I do,” Jongdae agrees but the last of his words turn into a moan as Minseok replaces his fingers with his cock. “Ahh, fuck, that’s good,” he says, one of his hands curling into the bedsheets, while the other grasps for Baekhyun’s, laces their fingers together.

Minseok is a steady, attentive lover, with the way he fucks Jongdae smoothly and fully, and Baekhyun rests there beside them both, watching with wide, interested eyes, trying to drink in every single thing that’s happening. Every moan Jongdae makes, every press of skin against skin, every flutter of Minseok’s eyelashes and the way he sinks his teeth into his lip as if to keep his own noises down. It’s clear in the way they seem to communicate without words just how long they’ve been together, just how well they know each other, and Baekhyun thinks he could feel like an outsider all over again, but Jongdae is still holding his hand, and begs for Baekhyun to touch him when he’s close.

It reminds Baekhyun that they want him here, even when it’s just the two of them so intimate like this. It’s all three of them, now, as Baekhyun curls his fingers around Jongdae’s dick and strokes him off in time to Minseok’s thrusts.

Minseok finishes first, hands sliding up Jongdae’s thighs to his waist as he pushes in deep and stills, his shoulders trembling as he makes a low, low sound. Jongdae must squeeze around him because Minseok suddenly hisses and pinches his side in reprimand and snaps, “Cut that out.”

“You like it,” Jongdae returns, but the smug look doesn’t stay much longer on his face either, not when Baekhyun is intent to make him come again, jerking him off faster and fixing his mouth to Jongdae’s neck, sucking a bruise there. He comes over Baekhyun’s fingers soon after, and Baekhyun licks up his neck to his lips to kiss down the sounds of his whimpers.

When they part, it’s to Minseok slipping out between Jongdae’s legs and looking down at them fondly. “Good?” he asks, lingering on Jongdae’s face, then shifting over to Baekhyun, letting his eyes roam down his body. Baekhyun knows he’s a mess still, and watching Minseok fuck Jongdae has made his cock interested again, but not so much that a cold shower probably wouldn’t fix.

So he says, “Yeah. Really good. Really, really good,” and grins as they both smile back at him.

They end up cleaning up not just themselves, but the sheets on the bed and the mess they left in the living room earlier, before settling back on the couch with the cake Baekhyun had brought with him. Baekhyun and Minseok sing happy birthday to Jongdae, Baekhyun singing much louder and more obnoxiously than Minseok, which gets him a swipe of frosting to the face. Before Baekhyun can retaliate, Minseok yanks him back with a fistful of his shirt and says in a low voice, “If either of you get cake anywhere in this room, I’m kicking you out.”

So they calm down and eat quietly, picking back off in the movie they’d been watching before, and Baekhyun will probably have to leave after this, because he’s got work tomorrow and he doesn’t actually live here, but despite that, he feels right at home.

-

It’s loud in the room, louder than it usually is when Baekhyun joins his friends for karaoke. This time though, with the addition of Minseok and Jongdae, there’s even more of them here, packed into one of the larger rooms with couches around one side of the room, facing the large screen on the other.

Jongdae and Chanyeol are singing enthusiastically to One Direction, of all things. They’ve gotten on real fast in the two hours they’ve been here, and it makes Baekhyun a little proud to watch. It’s not that he’d been worried about his friends not accepting Minseok and Jongdae, but it’s nice to see the way they’ve welcomed them in like it’s not a big deal that Baekhyun has this...thing going on with them both.

Minseok’s been talking with Han and Sehun, who has somehow managed to get Minseok to dote on him completely in that sneaky way he always does. Baekhyun watches with a smile for a little, and when he looks away, he catches Yixing’s eye. Yixing smirks at him and Baekhyun pouts, demands, “What?”

“Nothing,” Yixing says evasively and Baekhyun laughs because it’s clearly something.

He gets up to sit beside him, gets into his face to say, “You don’t give me that look for nothing.”

Yixing smiles this time, amused but also a little fond. “Just thinking that it’s nice that things have worked out, isn’t it?” he says, and then, suddenly, he pulls Baekhyun in close, pets his hair. “I’m proud of you.”

Baekhyun laughs because Yixing is ridiculous, but also because he’s right. Baekhyun’s a little proud of himself, too. He’s about to say as much, when Jongdae suddenly cuts in, voice loud through the microphone, “Hey, Yixing, hands off the boyfriend!”

A flurry of emotions slam into Baekhyun with that last word, and his eyes go wide as he stares at Jongdae over Yixing’s shoulder. Yixing is laughing again, pulling back, but he leaves an arm around Baekhyun’s shoulders as if to challenge Jongdae. He looks between them, then asks Baekhyun, “Boyfriend, huh?”

Baekhyun licks his lips, not entirely sure what to say, what to even think. He hadn’t given either Jongdae or Minseok any title when he’d introduced them earlier, and they haven’t talked about this since the last time they were all together, fucking in their bed on Jongdae’s birthday. Sure there are the kisses and the never-ending touches but boyfriend is completely and entirely new and Baekhyun...Baekhyun likes it. He wants it. He laughs and snuggles into Yixing’s side. “It’s news to me,” he says, a little teasing, even though it’s true.

It’s Minseok who says, in that low decisive voice of his, looking straight at Baekhyun, “Definitely boyfriend.”

Baekhyun’s heart jumps in his chest. He looks from Minseok, to Jongdae, who is smirking. “Okay,” he says, unbelievably giddy but trying his best not to show it. From the way Sehun makes a gagging noise and Chanyeol laughs loudly into his mic, he must not be very successful.

“You’re guys are so cute,” Yixing says serenely and Baekhyun grins.

By the time they’ve sang and drank to their heart’s content, it’s past midnight and they’re all parting ways in the chilly night. The air wakes him up a bit, and even though Baekhyun only had two simple drinks, he’s glad for the chance to clear his head. Baekhyun slings an arm around Minseok and Jongdae’s shoulders as he stands between them, and casually offers for them to crash at his place tonight. “It’s closer,” he says.

“Is it clean?” Minseok teases and Baekhyun’s laugh is probably too loud on the street.

“I think it’s passable,” he replies. “Don’t worry, I won’t make you sleep on the couch.”

Jongdae snorts, wrapping his arm around Baekhyun’s waist. “Is your bed big enough for the three of us?”

“Enough,” Baekhyun says. It’s definitely not a king sized bed like Jongdae and Minseok have, but it should do. “We might have to snuggle.”

“The horror,” Jongdae laughs. “Snuggling with my hot boyfriends. Whatever will I do?”

There’s that word again. It makes Baekhyun as excited as before, but now, in the cold open, he’s curious. He wants to talk about it more. They should talk about it. Figure this all out in real terms instead of just letting everything hang about uncertainly. It might be that Baekhyun’s the only one uncertain. Afterall, Minseok and Jongdae live together, are together, they’ve probably discussed this before. He’s happy to be welcomed in, to be a part of this, but he still needs to know for sure where they stand.

They reach the subway station by the time Baekhyun’s sorted through all his thoughts, so he figures it’s best to wait until they get back to his place to bring it up. It’s not a long commute, and Baekhyun is fending off teasing from Jongdae and Minseok about the state of his apartment as they climb the stairs and he lets them in.

“I’m telling you, it’s not that bad,” he insists, slapping at the wall to turn on the lights. His place is pretty modest, all things considered, and he has cleaned it recently. The worst offense are the dishes in the sink and some socks lying out under the coffee table.

Jongdae whistles low and then laughs, nudging Baekhyun’s side as he slips out of his shoes. “Being a doctor’s got it’s perks, huh?”

“I’m no surgeon, but I do all right,” Baekhyun smirks. “Do you guys want anything? Are you hungry?”

“Just some water would be great, actually,” Minseok says while Jongdae shakes his head, curiously wandering around Baekhyun’s living room. Baekhyun grins at them both and retreats to the kitchen, grabs two glasses from the cupboard and fills them both with water. He hears the clear, dulcet sounds of his keyboard from the other room, the notes slowly forming the first line of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

When Baekhyun returns, Minseok is splayed on the couch, smiling at him when he hands over a glass, and Jongdae is at the keyboard. “I didn’t know you could play,” he says, glancing at Baekhyun over his shoulder.

“I learned from my mom,” Baekhyun replies. “But I don’t play as much as I used to anymore.”

“You can play with me,” Jongdae says. “I didn’t know you could sing like that, either.” He turns fully to give Baekhyun a curious little once-over. “Karaoke was a surprise.”

“Right back at you. I know you said you were a vocal trainer and all, but, wow.” Baekhyun raises a brow, returning Jongdae’s appraising look with one of his own. He lifts his glass to his lips and says, “Makes me wanna see just how well you can use your voice.”

Jongdae’s eyes darken, but Minseok’s soft laugh breaks the building tension. “As fun as that would undoubtedly be,” he says, standing. “Tonight, I need sleep.”

“Laaaame,” Baekhyun says, drawing out the sound, and Minseok gives his ass a little warning smack in response. It makes him laugh and he leads the way down to his bedroom, suddenly feeling a little nervous as he remembers what he wanted to talk about. It fades away soon enough as Jongdae throws himself out on Baekhyun’s bed with a deep sigh and Minseok climbs up after him, the two of them acting as normal and as comfortable here as they do in their own place, and that. That helps. Baekhyun hadn’t quite realized he was nervous about that too until now, but watching the way Minseok draws Jongdae into a little kiss and then tugs at Baekhyun’s wrist to give him one as well soothes away the uncertainties.

They wash up easily, bumping hips in the bathroom as Jongdae and Minseok use Baekhyun’s mouthwash and strip out of clothes like it’s nothing. Baekhyun offers them extra clothes to wear, but only Minseok takes him up on it, complaining about the cold. Baekhyun’s sweatpants are a little too long on him, and Jongdae coos, “Cute,” as he lounges against the pillows.

“So,” Baekhyun begins as he pulls his shirt over his head, not quite looking at either of them. “About that whole boyfriend thing…”

The following silence isn’t exactly reassuring. Baekhyun fiddles with the hem of his shirt as he looks back up, takes in the slightly amused looks on Jongdae and Minseok’s faces. He lets out a huff of a breath and says, “Are we not going to talk about it?”

“No, we should,” Minseok says, and he pats the space on the bed next to him. “Come here. You don’t have to look so serious.”

“Yeah, relax,” Jongdae agrees. “Besides, we’re at your place. You have all the right to kick us out if things go south.”

Baekhyun laughs a little easier at that. “I wouldn’t do that,” he says, shuffling over to the bed. He sits beside Minseok. The three of them make a little circle, even though Jongdae is still lying across the mattress, looking perfectly at home. “I don’t think anything could go wrong, anyway.”

“Good,” Minseok says with a smile. He slides a warm, comforting hand along Baekhyun’s thigh. “What’s on your mind?”

Baekhyun takes a deep breath, tries to gather his thoughts. “I like this...thing, we’ve got going,” he says honestly. “I like you. Both of you.” Jongdae grins at him at that and Baekhyun’s nerves melt a little, but he still curls his fingers together in his lap. “It’s just--The two of you have been already been together so long and you know each other so well. I don’t want to be an intruder.”

“You’re not,” Jongdae says instantly. “You’re not alone in this. We like you a lot, too. Both of us.” The corner of his lips quirk teasingly. “I mean, that much should be obvious.”

Baekhyun snorts. “You are right about that,” he agrees. They wouldn’t be here right now if there wasn’t that mutual interest, that mutual affection and attraction and want to be as close as possible, as together as possible.

“The other part,” Minseok continues, keeping the conversation on track. “It’s true that Jongdae and I have known each other longer than we’ve known you. And that we have history.” He gives Jongdae’s foot a little nudge with his own and Jongdae easily kicks back, grinning. “But, Baekhyun,” Minseok says, squeezing Baekhyun’s thigh gently, “you’re not just joining us, we’re...we’re building something new, instead.” He laughs awkwardly, that crooked smile of his that Baekhyun finds so charming. “Does that make sense?”

“He means that despite what Minseok and I have, we want this thing between the three of us to be like a fresh start, almost,” Jongdae jumps in before Baekhyun can open his mouth. “We can’t erase our past, but like, if we ever make you feel like an outsider, that’s on us. And, you should tell us. So the three of us can work through it.”

“It’s more than just being attracted to you and wanting to have sex, okay,” Minseok adds, earning a laugh from Baekhyun and from Jongdae. “We like you a lot, and we want you to be with us. However you want.”

Baekhyun licks his lips as he takes it all in. His mind is reeling, a little, but he feels sure when he says, “And if I do want us to be boyfriends?”

“Then that’s what we are,” Jongdae says decisively. “So come here, boyfriend, and let me kiss you.”

Baekhyun always seems to be laughing around these two, he thinks, the chuckles falling unbidden as he leans over and allows Jongdae to pull him into a kiss, then two, and three. Minseok’s hand has moved from his knee to the nape of Baekhyun’s neck, caressing soft and soothingly, and Baekhyun is so happy, his heart is so full.

“We’re going to make this work, okay?” Minseok says as the three of them finally sink into bed, blankets up to their shoulders and legs tangling. Baekhyun finds himself in the middle, Jongdae curled around his back as Minseok brushes the hair out of Baekhyun’s face.

“Okay,” Baekhyun says and leans forward to steal one last kiss.

-

“It’s like ever since you went and got yourself two boyfriends, I never see you anymore,” Kyungsoo says as he dumps a handful of chopped onions into the frying pan. The onions sizzle loudly from the heat and Baekhyun takes a surprised step back that makes Kyungsoo smile.

Baekhyun turns away from the stove in favor of wrapping his arms around Kyungsoo’s waist from behind, resting his chin on his shoulder. “Aw, Kyungsoo,” he coos. “Did you miss me?”

He gets an elbow to the gut for his trouble and groans exaggeratedly as he pulls away, rounding the corner so he can watch Kyungsoo cook and not get in the way. It’s not the first time he’s played spectator in his own kitchen, so it’s easy to lean against the counter and try to follow along with Kyungsoo’s steps.

“It’s just been awhile since we’ve hung out is all,” Kyungsoo says, and the tips of his ears are turning a little pink. He’s resolutely not looking at Baekhyun, focusing instead on chopping some green peppers. “I’d like to know you’re alive.”

“You do miss me,” Baekhyun croons, and laughs when Kyungsoo throws a piece of pepper at his face. “It’s okay, Kyungsoo. I won’t tell anyone.”

“You’re such a menace,” Kyungsoo says without any heat. “How you managed to get two boyfriends is beyond me.”

“Hey, I’m a total catch,” Baekhyun says.

“You do seem to fit in well with Minseok and Jongdae,” Kyungsoo muses aloud. “It made sense, to me, when I saw the three of you together.”

Baekhyun swallows thickly. “Yeah?” he asks, curious. It’s not that he doesn’t think he belongs, but it feels different when Kyungsoo says it. Like validation.

The knife in Kyungsoo’s hand stills and he looks up, meets Baekhyun’s gaze. “Yeah,” he says seriously, but then his brow furrows as he takes in the look on Baekhyun’s face. “Why? Did something happen?” He looks like he’s ready to fight someone with the knife and Baekhyun would laugh but he’s feeling a little fuzzy from Kyungsoo’s immediate concern.

“No, no, nothing like that,” Baekhyun says quickly. He gnaws on his lower lip, trying to figure out how to explain. “Everything is really good. They’re really good. But I don’t know...it still feels kind of surreal.”

Kyungsoo nods in understanding, shifting focus back to the food just long enough to toss the peppers into the pan and then continue onto the tomatoes. “Well, you’ve never had two boyfriends before,” he says. “That’s bound to take some getting used to.”

“I guess,” Baekhyun says, slumping on the counter. “It’s been almost two weeks though.”

“It’s been longer than that if you really think about it,” Kyungsoo points out, and Baekhyun cracks a little smile, because he’s not wrong. “Two weeks isn’t that long, you know.”

“Yeah, but--”

“But what?” Kyungsoo asks. “What’s really got you so worried?”

“I’m not worried,” Baekhyun says but Kyungsoo arches a brow at him and he deflates, sighing. “I just...maybe don’t want to...mess anything up.”

“Baekhyun,” Kyungsoo says softly, a little exasperatedly, and when Baekhyun looks up at him, his expression mirrors the tone of his voice. “If you really want this, I don’t think you could mess anything up.”

Baekhyun gapes at him, because that, well, that makes sense, even if it also makes everything sound so easy. Before Baekhyun can say as much, Kyungsoo continues, “You’ve wanted this for a long time, and from the looks of it, so did they. And they could’ve just approached you and asked you point blank if you wanted to date, or if you wanted to fuck them, and that could’ve been it, you know?” He pauses long enough to dump the tomatoes into the pan and gives the whole pan a little shake, moving the ingredients around.

“They didn’t do that, though,” he continues. “They waited to get to know you. They waited until you were comfortable. Until all three of you were comfortable and sure of what you wanted.” He pins Baekhyun with a pointed look. “I think just the fact you all took your time means you really want this to work, don’t you?”

“I really hate when you’re all reasonable and shit,” Baekhyun groans, waving his hands at him, and Kyungsoo smirks.

“That’s what you get when you’re friends with a lawyer,” he says. He pulls out a package of mushrooms from the bag of groceries he’d brought with him, knowing full well that Baekhyun wouldn’t have fresh ingredients in his fridge at all, and begins to slice those up as well. “You just have to be patient, Baekhyun,” he continues. “I know that’s hard for you,” he adds, laughing when Baekhyun squawks, “but things aren’t always going to fall into place right away.”

“I really like them, Kyungsoo,” Baekhyun admits, a flush heating up his cheeks.

The smile Kyungsoo gives him only makes him more embarrassed. “I know you do,” he says. “And that’s why I know things will be okay. So don’t overthink it. Just be yourself. For some reason they like that.”

“Shut up,” Baekhyun laughs, but he feels better already. Kyungsoo’s right. There isn’t any use in worrying himself over nothing. He doesn’t know what’s going to happen but he knows he wants to be with Jongdae and Minseok for as long as possible.

And the past two weeks have been great. After all the time they spent dancing around each other, it feels only natural the way they’ve come together. They still meet nearly every day at the gym in the evening and they’ve skipped the gym altogether once or twice in favor of getting dinner instead. Baekhyun’s a touchy person by nature, and when he’s in a relationship, he’s worse, but Jongdae never shies away from it, always holding hands under tables or letting Baekhyun rest his head on his shoulder. Minseok is a little more careful in public but even he doesn’t mind when Baekhyun clings to his arm down the sidewalk or slips into the shower with him at the gym and kisses him soundly on the mouth.

Just the other day he’d met with Minseok in the morning before work and before Minseok had to head to a class. “I wanted to spend time with you one on one more,” Minseok had said, smiling at Baekhyun from behind the dark-rimmed glasses he’d been wearing. That had been a pleasant surprise. “Jongdae’s known you longer than I’ve known you.”

Minseok had bought Baekhyun’s coffee and they’d spent maybe an hour talking. It’d been really nice. He’d laughed at Baekhyun’s stupid jokes and swatted his shoulder hard when he made suggestive comments, and he’d brushed Baekhyun’s hair out of his face when they’d stepped back into the street, even let Baekhyun curl his fingers into the collar of his shirt and pull him into a short, sweet kiss. Baekhyun had been in such a good mood that both Sehun and Jongin teased him about it until Baekhyun left for the day.

Everything else...Jongdae and Minseok’s history, the looks they share sometimes that Baekhyun hasn’t learned to decipher yet, the fact that they have a home together with pieces of each of them...those are the things Baekhyun will have to learn how to get used to, how to deal with. It will take time. Baekhyun isn’t a patient person, but he’s going to have to learn to be, to make this work. And he already knows he’s willing to try.

As if they can hear his thoughts, Baekhyun’s phone vibrates in his back pocket, startling him so furiously he almost falls over. He pulls it out as Kyungsoo continues to cook, adding the chicken he’d marinated earlier to the pan. There’s a message from Jongdae on Baekhyun’s phone, and he smiles as he pulls it up.

You’re free tomorrow evening, right? We’re gonna see a movie and have dinner!!

Before Baekhyun can even respond, his phone buzzes in his hand with another message.

Hope you’re having a good night with Kyungsoo. See you tomorrow :*

Baekhyun grins so wide his cheeks hurt. Kyungsoo throws a dish towel at his face. “Stop being so gross,” he says, but he looks amused more than anything. “Go get some plates so we can eat.”

“Okay, okay,” Baekhyun says hastily, tapping his response to Jongdae easily and then flashing Kyungsoo a smile.

can’t wait ♥

-

Baekhyun will never tell him, but Kyungsoo was right. It takes time. The days pass with ease as always. Nothing has really changed just because Baekhyun’s found himself in this new and exciting relationship. At the same time, a lot has changed. Baekhyun feels happier, looks forward to seeing Jongdae and Minseok more than ever before, brightens in the middle of the day from a simple text.

It’s not easy. There’s still a lot to overcome. Baekhyun’s still getting used to it, still finding his footing. But they try to talk and meet as much as they can, make it easier for all of them. And Baekhyun likes to think maybe they miss him, when he’s not around, because sometimes Baekhyun stays over, curling into their large bed, arms wrapped around Minseok with Jongdae’s feet tickling his, but sometimes Baekhyun’s got an early morning and he goes home, where his own empty bed never feels like enough.

Baekhyun kind of wants to be around Jongdae and Minseok all the time. It’s probably a little scary, that, but he’s always been the clingy type, always been the one to surround himself with friends rather than being alone.

“I’m pretty sure they want to spend time with you too,” Yixing says when Baekhyun talks to him on the phone on the way home after an hour at the gym. It’d been on the tip of his tongue, asking if Jongdae and Minseok wanted to come back to his place, but he’d swallowed the words down and said goodbye instead. “I know they do. You’re falling back into that space you were when you were trying to ask Jongdae out all those months ago. But this is different. You don’t have to worry so much. You’re already together.”

“But--”

“But nothing,” Yixing laughs. “I know this is all really new, but you can’t just wait for them to make the first move, Baekhyun. They like you. They want to be with you.”

Baekhyun runs a hand through his slightly sweaty hair and sighs. Yixing, like Kyungsoo, is not wrong. He’s already regretting not inviting Jongdae and Minseok over, regretting not asking if he could go home with them. All he’s got to look forward to now is his empty apartment, some cup ramen, and another night of LOL. While that used to be enough, Baekhyun doesn’t find it quite as appealing anymore.

“You’re right,” he says finally, with a heavy sigh. “Thanks, Yixing.”

“Anytime, babe,” Yixing says, the way he used to when they were dating, and it makes Baekhyun laugh, his heart a little lighter.

They chat a little more, about work, about Han, and Baekhyun makes Yixing promise to keep the next Saturday free so he can take him out for a belated birthday lunch. Yixing bids his goodbye just as Baekhyun makes it back into his apartment, struggling to yank his keys out of the lock and not dropping his phone. He sighs as he heads inside, dumps his gym bag to the floor by the couch and keys and phone to the coffee table.

The silence of his apartment greets him. Baekhyun sighs, drags a hand through his hair again and cringes. A shower is in order, he decides. Then, food.

It takes Baekhyun all of five minutes to realize he’s being totally stupid. This isn’t where he wants to be, alone, at home, thinking about Jongdae and Minseok and what they’re doing. He wants to be with them, and he can’t just keep waiting around for them. He has to stop being so uncertain, so afraid.

He showers quickly, trades his gym clothes in for jeans and an Iron Man shirt, slips on a leather jacket. It’s starting to get colder now as October treads closer to November, but he feels warm with purpose and hope as he heads out. He contemplates texting Jongdae, letting him know he’s on his way, but he also doesn’t want to face the potential disappointment that he and Minseok aren’t home. He kind of wants to surprise them, too, if they are.

The look on Jongdae’s face when he answers the door some thirty minutes later is definitely full of surprise. “Baekhyun!” he exclaims, eyes brightening and a smile blooming across his face. It ebbs away the lingering uncertainties clinging to Baekhyun’s chest. Jongdae’s happy to see him. “What’re you doing here?” he asks, head tilting a bit as he assesses Baekhyun. “Missed us that much?”

Baekhyun laughs. “Actually yes,” he says, and Jongdae blinks rapidly, clearly not expecting that answer when he’d only been teasing. “I brought food. Hopefully you guys haven’t eaten?”

The surprise on Jongdae’s face has faded into something a little more like concern. “Are you okay?” he asks, and Baekhyun darts forward to kiss him. Jongdae makes a little cute noise of surprise, but then returns it, and Baekhyun’s heart is burning hot with pleasure and happiness.

“I am now,” he says, and Jongdae grins as he lets him in.

Minseok is on the floor by the coffee table, glasses perched on his nose as he flips through notes spread out in front of him. He looks up when they walk in and smiles at Baekhyun. “Hey, Baekhyun,” he says. “Wasn’t expecting you.”

“Do you mind?” Baekhyun asks, setting the bag of takeout on the edge of the coffee table so he can remove his coat.

Minseok looks at him like that’s the most ridiculous question he’s ever heard, and it probably is. Baekhyun knows he’s being ridiculous. It still helps to hear it when Minseok says, “Of course not,” and pats the spot on the floor beside him.

Baekhyun flops down immediately, stretching his legs out under the table and resting his head on Minseok’s shoulder and Minseok lifts his shoulder just a little to accommodate him. “Studying?” he asks quietly, glancing across the notes in front of him that look more like gibberish than anything.

“Yeah, but you brought food, so we can take a break,” Minseok says, dropping his pen into his notebook and closing it. He shuffles everything aside to make room. “Jongdae was gonna heat up leftover spaghetti so you’re right on time.”

“You say that like my spaghetti is terrible,” Jongdae whines, joining them on the other side of the table with plates and utensils. Baekhyun halfheartedly pulls himself from Minseok’s side to help, drawing the containers from the bag out.

“The Thai food Baekhyun bought is just better,” Minseok returns and Baekhyun laughs as they bicker. He’s been here for ten minutes and already he feels better than ever. He doesn’t know why he was so scared.

For the next hour, all of that fades away as they eat and talk and laugh. Baekhyun learns so much as Jongdae tells him about how his sister-in-law is pregnant, how his brother and her live across the country and Jongdae’s gonna have to plan a visit when the baby is born. Minseok complains tiredly about his schoolwork, the projects he has to complete soon and Baekhyun, who has no idea what a degree in architecture even entails, asks curious questions that Minseok seems only too happy to explain. There’s so much Baekhyun doesn’t know about them, so much he’s still discovering, and every new little thing makes him fall just a little more.

He doesn’t dwell on that now though, instead choosing to tell them about how Sehun keeps pestering him to hang out again, with all of them, and that even Chanyeol asked why he was keeping his boyfriends such a secret. “You guys are charmers,” Baekhyun laughs. “Stealing all my friends.”

“They just have good taste,” Jongdae says. “Then again, you clearly have taste, too, since you’re here.” The hand he has resting on Baekhyun’s ankle squeezes pointedly and Baekhyun grins.

“What can I say?” he says. “I’m weak for really hot guys with cute butts.”

Jongdae barks out a loud, delighted laugh, and Minseok, too, snickers in amusement beside him as he lifs a forkful of noodles to his mouth. “Cute butts, huh?” Jongdae asks, eyeing Baekhyun.

“I’m not quite on Yixing’s level, but I do appreciate a nice butt when I see one,” Baekhyun says as seriously as he can. He’s probably not being very successful, an amused laugh threatening to bubble out of his mouth. He bites down on his lip to keep it back.

Jongdae’s gaze drops to his mouth at that. “Well, you’re welcome to appreciate mine if you want,” he says, slowly looking back up, and Baekhyun can’t help it, he laughs.

“That was terrible,” Minseok says, shaking his head as Baekhyun practically doubles over in mirth, and Jongdae, at least, doesn’t look offended, just amused, as he watches.

“Hey, I’m just putting it out there, that’s all,” he says, but he kicks Baekhyun’s thigh with his foot as Baekhyun continues to laugh, slumping back against the couch now with tears starting to cling to the corners of his eyes.

“You could’ve said it differently,” Minseok says. “But you went for it. I give you that.”

“I hate you both,” Jongdae groans and that only makes Baekhyun laugh more.

When he finally manages to catch his breath and his laughter has turned into the occasional giggle, Baekhyun nudges Jongdae’s hip with his foot and says, “You’re serious about that offer, huh?”

“Of course I am,” Jongdae says with a short chuckle. He pins Baekhyun with a look. “You can’t tell me you haven’t thought about fucking me.”

Baekhyun bites back a groan at the thought, at it being laid out bare like that. “Hmm, I guess I have. Maybe once,” he says flippantly, and Jongdae yells, “Yah!” before scrambling up and around the table to tackle Baekhyun to the floor.

Once again, Baekhyun’s laugh fills the room, loud and irrepressible, much like the way his heart beats in his chest in happiness. Jongdae’s hands slide under his shirt to twist a nipple until Baekhyun’s yelping, and Minseok is quickly jumping to his feet to avoid being collateral damage.

“The two of you will destroy this place one day,” he says, picking up his empty dishes to put away, “I foresee it.”

“Take mine too,” Baekhyun says, nudging at his plate, then gasping when Jongdae manages to get him into a loose chokehold.

“What am I, your slave?” Minseok demands as he leaves for the kitchen. A minute later, he’s back, picking up Baekhyun’s plate, and Jongdae’s, and returns to the kitchen without a word. Baekhyun grins at him, elbows Jongdae in the ribs, and the two of them slump onto the floor, halfway across each other, wheezing.

The sound of the faucet in the kitchen has Baekhyun moving, stretching. “We should help,” he says as he gets to his feet, and smiles fondly at Jongdae when he holds his hands up for help. He hauls him up, too, lets Jongdae step into his space and press a kiss to the tip of his nose. Laughing, Baekhyun shoves him back. “I’d like a little more than that,” he says.

“We have all night,” Jongdae says, picking up the last of the mess on the table and leading the way into the kitchen.

“You’ll have to play without me though,” Minseok says with a sigh, glancing at the clock on the microwave. “I’ve got work tonight.”

“Aww,” Baekhyun pouts, coming up behind Minseok to hug him, notching his chin on his shoulder. “How can you leave me alone with him?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jongdae demands, pinching Baekhyun’s side as he comes up side them, takes the dishes Minseok cleans to dry off with a soft blue towel.

“I’m sure you’ll both be fine,” Minseok laughs. He doesn’t shrug Baekhyun off, so Baekhyun stays, watching as they do the dishes, pointing out when Jongdae doesn’t dry a plate properly.

“I thought you said you would help,” he gripes and Baekhyun grins wickedly.

“I’m supervising,” he says, and Jongdae rolls his eyes. “And keeping Minseok warm.” He snuggles against him a little tighter.

He’s pretty sure Minseok is rolling his eyes too, but all he says is, “He is really comfortable. Makes it hard to leave.”

“Come on, Byun,” Jongdae says, tugging Baekhyun away. “Let Minseok get ready for work. Wanna watch a movie or something?”

“Sure,” Baekhyun agrees, letting Jongdae drag him back to the couch. Baekhyun curls up next to him as Jongdae pulls up Netflix and browses through the movies, and Minseok disappears down the hall to get ready. He returns barely ten minutes later, dressed in jeans, looking much more fresh-faced, and carrying a backpack. “Do you study when you’re not on stage?”

“Yeah,” Minseok says as he carefully puts his notes and books from the coffee table into his bag. “It’s not the best place for it, but I can usually review some notes when I’m there. Yixing helps quiz me sometimes.”

“I should come see you guys perform again,” Baekhyun says and Minseok laughs, looking up at Baekhyun with soft eyes.

“Yes, you should,” he says, then leans over to kiss him softly on the lips. “Are you still gonna be here when I get home?”

Baekhyun makes a contemplative noise as he snuggles in closer to Jongdae’s side, makes himself more comfortable. “As long as Jongdae doesn’t kick me out,” he teases.

Jongdae whines loudly, “Why would I do that!” as Baekhyun laughs, and Minseok consoles Jongdae with a kiss to his pouty lips.

“See you guys later, then,” he says with a bright smile and a wave, and Baekhyun hears him putting on his shoes in the doorway before he leaves, the door clicking shut behind him.

There’s heavy silence in the air once he’s gone, but it doesn’t last very long. Jongdae picks a movie and they settle into watch, chatting over the the dialogue so much they end up having to rewind scenes to know what's going on. Baekhyun ends up with his head in Jongdae’s lap at some point, not even sure how it happened but deciding he doesn't care, because Jongdae’s fingers gently brushing through his hair is so nice, so comforting, Baekhyun thinks he could stay like this forever.

“Hey,” Jongdae says quietly during a little lull in the movie. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

Baekhyun shifts just enough that he can glance up at Jongdae. He’s looking down at him, brows furrowed in concern, and Baekhyun is reminded of hours earlier when he’d shown up on impulse at Jongdae’s door and Jongdae had been concerned then, too. Baekhyun licks his lips. “Yeah,” he says slowly, trying to find the right words to explain. “I’m…I’m still figuring things out, little by little.”

Jongdae tugs on his ear, almost in reprimand. “You don’t have to do that alone, remember?” he says. “We’re in this together.”

“I know,” Baekhyun says, because he does. He’s really starting to understand that. “It’s just--I was gonna ask you guys to come over after working out but then I didn’t. When I got home, I regretted it. Not being able to spend more time with you even though I wanted to.” He swallows, glances at a spot just over Jongdae’s shoulder as he adds, “And I wasn't sure if you’d want to spend so much time with me.”

“Has anyone ever told you you’re an idiot?” Jongdae says, tugging on Baekhyun’s ear again, this time harder until Baekhyun smacks his hand over his to stop him. “We miss you when you’re not around either, okay?”

“Really?” Baekhyun says in a lilting voice, batting his eyelashes up at Jongdae. “How much?”

He’s expecting Jongdae to quip right back, but instead his expression smooths out into something far more affectionate and the hand still in Baekhyun’s hair continues to brush through softly. “A lot,” he says in a tender voice that Baekhyun feels, deep in his heart.

It has him darting up to kiss Jongdae soundly on the mouth, curving a hand around his neck to draw him closer, eagerly devouring every little sound, every little brush of his lips, the slick heat of his tongue. When Baekhyun pulls back, Jongdae’s still got that affectionate look on his face, and Baekhyun hopes Jongdae sees the same on him.

“I really like you,” Baekhyun says, and even as he says it, it doesn’t quite seem like enough, as if what he’s feeling is far more intense and he’s not sure just how to describe it.

Jongdae, to his credit, doesn’t seem perturbed by Baekhyun’s sudden confession, just laughs delightedly and dips down to plant another kiss to his lips. “I really like you, too, Baekhyun,” he says, and Baekhyun beams with full confidence. None of those pesky uncertainties from earlier linger now. He feels bright and pleased, glad to have discussed this with Jongdae. When Minseok gets back, they will tell him about it, too, and Baekhyun can already imagine Minseok reacting much the same, that Baekhyun is an idiot for thinking they don’t want him around just as much as he does.

Baekhyun is an idiot, but he’s starting to get the hang of this. Together, he thinks, with Jongdae, and with Minseok, everything will turn out okay.

-

“Hey,” Minseok says tiredly as Baekhyun lets him into his apartment. “I hope I didn’t wake you.”

“Nah, I was still up actually,” Baekhyun says, and he takes Minseok’s bag from him as he shrugs out of his coat and shoes. “Long day?”

“Yeah, it was bad,” Minseok says with a sigh, following after Baekhyun into the living room. Baekhyun dumps his backpack on the couch and then beelines for the kitchen. Minseok follows. “I know I work at a strip club but sometimes it feels too much of a stereotype when customers get so drunk they get into fights and have to be escorted out.”

Baekhyun laughs softly as he hands Minseok a glass of water, watches him gulp down nearly all of it at once. “Does that happen often?”

“Thankfully no,” Minseok says. “The last time I wasn’t on stage when it did, but today I got to see it all go down. Another asshole got a bit too handsy, too.”

That has Baekhyun frowning. “Are you okay?” he asks, stepping closer and scanning over Minseok’s body as if he’s gonna find bruises or something. Minseok is dressed for the weather though, in long sleeves and sweatpants, and Baekhyun can’t see much except the pale slope of his neck, the jut of his collarbones.

“I’m fine, Baekhyun,” Minseok says, but he still looks tired and run down, so Baekhyun brushes back the hair in his face and leans in to kiss him soothingly. “This definitely helps,” Minseok chuckles when Baekhyun pulls back.

“Yeah?” Baekhyun says as Minseok finishes off his glass of water, smirking a little around the rim of the glass. “There’s plenty more if you want.”

Minseok laughs fully now, the clear sound loud in Baekhyun’s kitchen. It’s three in the morning and Minseok is here after a long shift, brightening up Baekhyun’s boring Friday night in ways he couldn’t have imagined months ago. “I might take you up on that,” Minseok says, setting the glass onto the counter. “Mind if I shower first?”

“Go ahead,” Baekhyun says, gesturing down the hallway. “I already put an extra towel in there for you.”

“Aren’t you thoughtful,” Minseok says, dropping one last kiss to Baekhyun’s lips before he leaves. Baekhyun returns to the couch where he’d been playing a game of LOL while waiting for Minseok to come over. Minseok usually heads back to his place with Jongdae after work, but Baekhyun had gotten a message while he’d been at Chanyeol’s for dinner if Baekhyun didn’t mind Minseok came to his place instead. It’s shaping up to be a shitty day, and your place is closer, he’d said and Baekhyun had easily replied he was welcome anytime.

Baekhyun taps around on his laptop, closing out of his game and open programs, then shuts the top. He flops out across the couch and nearly smacks his head on Minseok’s bag which he moves to the floor. It’s heavy with books. He wonders if Minseok got much studying done today. Stretching his arms over his head, he lies on the couch, eyes closing and the sound of the shower running down the hall almost enough to lull him straight to sleep.

He doesn’t though, because Minseok is here, and Baekhyun doesn’t want to be asleep when his boyfriend is here and in need of a little comfort after a long day. Minseok doesn’t take too long though; the sudden silence of the apartment tells him Minseok’s finished, and soon enough he hears the familiar sound of the bathroom door opening, Minseok’s soft footsteps.

“Are you falling asleep on me?” Minseok asks when he’s close, and Baekhyun opens his eyes to peer up at him standing just beside the couch, looking down at Baekhyun’s face.

“‘Course not,” he says, flashing Minseok a grin. “Just waiting for you to finish.” He takes in Minseok’s wet hair falling into his eyes, and suddenly notices that he’s not wearing a shirt, just his sweatpants, and his abs glisten with lingering water. “Fuck, you’re so hot.”

Minseok bursts out laughing. He straightens up, a corner of his lips quirking, as he pushes his hair out of his face. “You’re not so bad yourself, you know,” he says, letting his gaze trail down Baekhyun’s body. The shorts Baekhyun’s wearing have ridden up his thighs, and Minseok’s eyes stop there for a little longer before he looks back up.

“Come here,” Baekhyun says, pulling at the waistband of Minseok’s sweats until he dutifully climbs onto the couch, sliding in between Baekhyun’s legs. Minseok looks so good like this, a lingering hint of eyeliner at the corner of his eyes, stubborn flecks of glitter still on his chest. Baekhyun slides his hands up to trace the lines of his abs. “Kiss me,” he says.

The smile Minseok gives him is part soft, part smug, but he indulges Baekhyun without question, leaning down until their lips touch. It’s gentle at first, sweet, and Baekhyun tastes coffee on Minseok’s tongue. He melts into it, relaxing against the couch and dragging his hands from Minseok’s abs around his back instead, pulls him closer. He groans into Minseok’s mouth as Minseok shifts, pressing down against him fully, legs stretching, tangling together. Minseok is solid and warm in Baekhyun’s arms and his kisses are deep, eager to make him tremble.

And Baekhyun does, once Minseok’s slipping a hand up his shirt, palm flat against Baekhyun’s stomach before moving up to rub his thumb over a nipple. He groans again, and Minseok laughs, breaking their kiss in favor of sitting back, gazing down at Baekhyun in amusement as he tweaks Baekhyun’s nipple once more.

“If you’re hoping to make me come like that, you’re out of luck. I’m not like Jongdae,” Baekhyun says, but he thinks if Minseok tried, he could make Baekhyun do it. He licks his lips and asks, “Are you just gonna stare at me?”

“I’m deciding what to do with you,” Minseok says lowly and, fuck, if that doesn’t make arousal spike throughout Baekhyun’s entire body.

“I have a few suggestions,” he says, hands falling to Minseok’s thick thighs. His sweats are in the way, but Baekhyun presses down away.

“Like what?” Minseok asks. He quirks one eyebrow, curious, and dips back down to trail his lips along Baekhyun’s neck.

Baekhyun shivers, but manages to say, “Well, you could fuck my face if you wanted. I haven’t had a chance to feel you in my mouth since that first time. It’s a shame since you felt so good, too.”

“Fuck,” Minseok hisses against Baekhyun’s skin, his breath hot.

“Or,” Baekhyun continues, gaining momentum, pleased already by Minseok’s reaction, “you could suck me off. That would be nice.”

“Are you hard for me already?”

“I’m getting there,” Baekhyun promises with a laugh. He can feel his cock swelling in his shorts and he’s sure Minseok can, too, against his hip. “Maybe after you do that, you could open me up with your fingers. Or maybe you’d like to see me do it myself?”

“I would,” Minseok agrees, pulling back just long enough to see how his eyes have darkened, how into this he is. He slips his hands out of Baekhyun’s shirt and grabs the hem instead, tugs it upward for Baekhyun to pull off. “What else, Baekhyun?”

“You could--ah, fuck, you could just do this, while I fingered myself open for you,” he says as Minseok latches his mouth around Baekhyun’s nipple, letting his tongue swirl around, his teeth gently scraping over the hardened nub. “Then--Then, when I’m ready, you could fuck me. Right here. Right on this couch.”

Minseok’s laugh tickles Baekhyun’s sensitive skin. “Here, huh? Just like this?”

“However you want it,” Baekhyun says in a rush. “Bend me over the fucking coffee table, fuck me on the floor, Minseok, I don’t care, just do it--please--”

“Fuck, okay,” Minseok says, breathless, and he laves his tongue over Baekhyun’s nipple once more before retreating. His hands fall to Baekhyun’s legs, palms running up from his knees along his thighs, pushing the fabric of his shorts out of the way as he goes. It pulls a shiver out of Baekhyun again, the chill of the air against newly exposed skin, the heat of Minseok’s touch, and he sighs. “Where’s your lube?”

“In the coffee table,” Baekhyun says and he reaches out toward the small drawer in the middle, but can’t quite make it.

Minseok pulls it open instead, even though he’s arching a brow at Baekhyun. “You keep lube in your coffee table?”

“Well, not usually,” Baekhyun defends with a pout. “But after Jongdae came over the other night and blew me in the kitchen, I figured I should be more prepared.”

Minseok almost drops the lube at that. “You have lube in your kitchen.” This time it’s not a question, and Baekhyun grins, shark-like.

“If you decide to fuck me in there, you can find out where I hid it,” Baekhyun says and Minseok snorts, amused, drops the little tube on Baekhyun’s stomach so he can instead grab the waist of his shorts and pull.

“I think I’m fine right here,” he says easily. He pulls Baekhyun’s underwear off, too, and Baekhyun stretches his legs out along the couch, his half-hard cock lying against his stomach. Baekhyun curls his fingers around it slowly, watches the way Minseok’s gaze gets impossibly darker, and strokes himself once, twice.

“Aren’t you gonna touch me?” Baekhyun asks coyly. “Or do you just plan to watch some more?”

“You’re such a menace,” Minseok says. His hands rest on Baekhyun’s thighs but don’t move. Instead, he watches the way Baekhyun continues to jerk himself up to full hardness, the heavy weight of Minseok’s gaze more than enough to help. “Maybe I will just watch. You seem like you’re good at putting on a show, and I am tired.”

Baekhyun groans, releasing his cock in favor of grasping at Minseok’s wrist and squeezing. “No, please,” he whines. “I need you to fuck me.”

Minseok seems to consider this for a moment, trailing his eyes from Baekhyun’s cock up to his face, then slowly down. Baekhyun shifts again, curls a leg around Minseok’s waist and pulls him a little closer in encouragement, hands tugging at the waist of his sweats, eager to get them off. Minseok laughs, and he lowers himself in order to kiss Baekhyun, says, “You’re so needy,” in between presses of their lips.

“Because you’re being slow,” Baekhyun returns, rocks his hips up against him, whimpering at how his cock rubs up against Minseok’s pelvis.

Minseok sucks in a breath at the feeling and then he’s pulling back, sliding off the couch just long enough to strip off his sweats. Just the fact that he leaves his clothes on a pile on the floor is enough to tell Baekhyun he wants this just as much, and he grins as Minseok joins him again, kneeling between his legs and sliding his hands up Baekhyun’s thighs. Baekhyun hands him the lube and Minseok chuckles, leans down to kiss him again, and Baekhyun hears the familiar click of the cap twice as Minseok undoubtedly coats his fingers.

The first press of fingers between his legs has Baekhyun shuddering in surprise, even though he’d been waiting for it. Minseok huffs a laugh against Baekhyun’s lips and Baekhyun slides a hand up Minseok’s back to curl his own fingers into the hair at the nape of his neck. Baekhyun remembers the way Minseok had prepped Jongdae, what feels like ages ago, careful and considerate, and he’s the same now. His fingers aren’t as long as Baekhyun’s but he knows what he’s doing, crooking the first in with purpose, then a second soon after when Baekhyun gets restless.

“Relax,” Minseok breathes. “You’re worse than Jongdae when he’s this needy.”

Baekhyun laughs, the sound petering off into a moan when Minseok adds another finger, pushes all three inside to the second knuckle. “What’s he like?”

“Demanding,” Minseok says with a little glint in his eye, amused and affectionate.

“Is impatient really worse than demanding?” Baekhyun asks, his voice turning a little breathless as Minseok strokes his insides with precise thrusts of his fingers. His free hand has taken to roaming the length of Baekhyun’s body, leaving goosebumps in its wake from the underside of his thigh, over the planes of his stomach, the sharp line of his collarbones. Baekhyun gasps when his thumb presses over a nipple again, but then Minseok switches tactics, takes Baekhyun’s cock in hand to rub across the slit. “Oh, fuck, fuck, Minseok--”

“I said relax, didn’t I?” Minseok says lowly, eyes steeling, and both his hands coming to a stop. Baekhyun wants to complain, wants to cry out for more, but he’s already surrendering.

He whispers, “Yes,” and sighs when Minseok releases his cock so he can instead cup the side of Baekhyun’s face.

“Then be good,” Minseok says, leaning in again. His thumb traces over Baekhyun’s upper lip and Baekhyun trembles down to his toes. “Be good for me, Baekhyun, and I’ll give you what you want.”

Baekhyun nods twice quickly, then cranes his neck up to meet Minseok’s mouth. Teeth catch on his lip, Minseok’s tongue is hot in his mouth, and Baekhyun moans when he finally picks up his ministrations, sliding his fingers out only to push them back in in quick succession.

It’s like Minseok is determined to make Baekhyun come just like this, without even fucking him with his cock. Baekhyun wants to come so bad that he’d be okay with that. He’s got a pretty good refractory time anyway. He could come again.

He feels it building, low in his belly, spreading out throughout his veins. His cock, hard and heavy against his stomach, begging for attention. Minseok hasn’t touched him again, though, focuses only on working Baekhyun open with his fingers and he’s really fucking good. It’s the first time they’ve been like this, but the way Minseok seems to know just here to press, just when to crook his fingers, when to stretch--it’s like they’ve done this many times before.

“Minseok,” Baekhyun cries out when Minseok’s fingers push up against his prostate. He digs his nails into Minseok’s shoulder, rocks his hips down onto Minseok’s hand. He’s going to come soon, he can practically taste it, on the tip of his tongue--

And that’s when Minseok pulls back, just short of Baekhyun spilling all over his stomach. Slides his fingers out and leans back on his knees, watches with dark eyes as Baekhyun gasps, trembles, like he’s come anyway, even though his cock is still hard and aching.

“Fuck,” Baekhyun half-groans, half-laughs. “You’re evil.”

“I think you like it,” Minseok says, swiping his fingers up Baekhyun’s thigh. “Condom?”

“In the--in the drawer--” Baekhyun says, still catching his breath. He’d been so close, but fuck, Minseok is pulling off his underwear now, kicking it to the floor, and Baekhyun gets a good look at his cock, thick and leaking at the tip, curving toward his stomach.

The second Minseok gets close, carefully ripping open the condom with his teeth, Baekhyun gets his hands on his cock, strokes him with both from base to tip. And Minseok, who has been so focused on Baekhyun, so good about keeping his own arousal hidden, lets out his loudest groan yet, fumbling forward and catching himself with a hand to the armrest by Baekhyun’s head. The condom package falls from his mouth to Baekhyun’s chest.

Baekhyun laughs, teases his fingers over the slit of Minseok’s cock. “Hurry up,” he coaxes.

“It’s impossible to get you to be patient, isn’t it?” Minseok asks with a resigned sort of sigh.

“Yes. I like seeing you try, though.”

Minseok finally gets the condom out, nudges Baekhyun’s hands away from his cock so he can slide it on. “Next time,” he says, rubs the tip of his cock against Baekhyun’s entrance. “Next time, I’m gonna take my time with you, make sure you learn just how worthwhile it can be to listen.”

The promise in his voice makes Baekhyun’s arousal only spike; he’s already thinking about it, wondering what Minseok would do, wondering if maybe Jongdae would join, too, the two of them trying, together to teach Baekhyun a lesson. “Fuck,” Baekhyun whimpers, “fuck, please.”

Minseok laughs softly, gazing down at Baekhyun with something akin to amazement and fondness. “You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” he asks.

“Right now, I’d like it more if you’d fuck me,” Baekhyun says pointedly, rocking his hips down against Minseok’s cock, and Minseok, finally, seems to decide that they’ve both waited long enough.

He pushes in slowly, carefully, and Baekhyun keens from the pressure, the way Minseok’s cock stretches him open so well. He’s thicker than Jongdae but feels just as good, and he doesn’t stop until he’s seated to the hilt, his hands gripping Baekhyun’s hips tight. Baekhyun squeezes his muscles around him pointedly.

“Christ,” Minseok gasps, throwing Baekhyun a dirty look when he does it again. “Let a guy catch his breath.”

“Come on, Minseok,” Baekhyun laughs. “Show me what you’ve got.”

Minesok, instead of answering, leans forward to kiss Baekhyun hard on the mouth. Baekhyun welcomes him easily, sliding his hands down the slope of Minseok’s back to grasp firmly at his ass. He pulls him forward, impossibly deeper, and Minseok’s loud moan is just barely muffled against Baekhyun’s mouth; Baekhyun can almost feel the sound building from Minseok’s chest pressed to his.

Baekhyun, who has been on the edge for what feels like hours now, knows he’s not going to last very long, not with how good Minseok feels. And Minseok, too, seems to have abandoned all his patience as he pushes Baekhyun’s legs toward his chest, hands secure under Baekhyun’s knees, and fucks him hard, and deep, like he’s aiming to punch every sound, every gasping breath from Baekhyun’s lungs.

It’s hot and heavy, the leather of Baekhyun’s couch clings to his sweaty skin, his shoulders might bruise from the way he’s pressed against the armrest, but it’s amazing. It’s so good. Baekhyun remembers the way Minseok moved on stage, the way he had fucked Jongdae weeks ago, hips rolling with ease, with a fluidity only a dancer could have. Baekhyun’s thought about this for a long time, and everything, right now, far exceeds his fantasies.

And maybe he’s not the only one with fantasies, because Minseok swears under his breath, pulls back so he can look down at Baekhyun fully and says, “I knew you’d be good.”

“Yeah?” Baekhyun laughs. “Tell me how good.”

Minseok releases one of Baekhyun’s knees in favor of curling his hand around Baekhyun’s cock. “I don’t think your ego needs the stroking,” he says.

“You’re right, my cock does,” Baekhyun says, rocking his hips up, his cock further into Minseok’s hand, and Minseok lets out this little exasperated sigh, even as he complies.

“You talk a lot during sex, don’t you?”

Baekhyun flashes Minseok a grin. “Next time you can gag me if you want.”

“Shit,” Minseok hisses, thrusting into Baekhyun hard, the hand not around Baekhyun’s cock, falling to Baekhyun’s hip instead, pressing him down as he groans. Baekhyun feels the way his cock pulses inside him, and he clenches around it, eagerly drawing Minseok’s orgasm out.

“Just do it,” Baekhyun urges desperately, Minseok’s rhythm faltering as he undoubtedly gets closer. “I’m getting a cramp in my leg.”

Minseok shuts him up with a kiss, and Baekhyun stretches his legs out carefully, hooks the left around Minseok’s waist and rolls his hips to meet his every thrust. Baekhyun was sure he was going to come first, but it’s Minseok instead, biting into his lower lip to drown out the sound as he finishes, pushing all the way in and tensing in Baekhyun’s arms.

It’s more than enough to push Baekhyun to the end, too, his cock jerking from where it’s trapped between their stomachs. Baekhyun groans when Minseok lifts up to get a hand there instead, wrapping his fingers back around Baekhyun’s cock and stroking him fast. “Baekhyun,” Minseok whispers, his eyes intense, thumb rubbing right over the slit of Baekhyun’s cock, and Baekhyun comes like that, unable to look away.

When Minseok smiles at him, one of those crooked smiles that Baekhyun finds so charming, Baekhyun grins back, a sated, unbidden laugh falling from his lips. His hands curl into Minseok’s hair, pull him down for a kiss or two, and Minseok’s hands come down to massage his thighs gently when he draws back, lowering Baekhyun’s legs from around his waist.

“Feel better?” Baekhyun asks him softly. Nothing like sex after a long day, he thinks, scratching idly at his stomach where little droplets of dried come linger. Minseok’s eyes follow him his fingers for a moment, then he smiles again, looking back up at Baekhyun.

“Yeah,” Minseok says, leaning back in. “I do.”

-

Baekhyun works the next day and Minseok complains about how he’ll probably be spending all day holed up in the study trying to finish a project. They get ready together and Baekhyun presses Minseok against the bathroom sink and kisses him until their lips feel bruised, and afterward lets Minseok pick out a shirt from his closet if he wants. Baekhyun’s still got the clothes Jongdae had offered him weeks ago, but he doesn’t particularly feel like giving it back yet. He’s not stealing. Really. He just likes seeing it there with the rest of his clothes, likes that it still carries the familiar scent of the detergent Jongdae and Minseok use.

They have enough time to catch a quick breakfast and Baekhyun texts Jongdae to meet them there if he’s awake. “He should be,” Minseok says, glancing at the time on his phone as Baekhyun locks his door behind him. “He’s an early riser, even if he doesn’t have class until later.”

It’s getting colder out these days and Minseok clutches onto Baekhyun’s arm as they walk. It makes Baekhyun’s heart warm, a smile sticking to his face, and he buys Minseok’s coffee for him once they make it to the cafe. Baekhyun gets the drink Jongdae usually likes, too, along with a bagel and juice for himself, and they settle down at a table far from the door to stay as warm as possible.

Jongdae shows up about ten minutes later, wearing dark rimmed glasses and a leather jacket. He sweeps down to kiss Minseok’s lips softly then settles into the chair beside Baekhyun and kisses him, too, then takes one look between the two of them and says, “You guys fucked last night, didn’t you?”

Baekhyun chokes on his drink. Minseok laughs, amused, and hands Baekhyun a napkin so can he can dab at this chin. “We did,” Minseok says, when Jongdae continues to look at them expectantly, and Baekhyun blurts out, “Why, are you mad?”

Jongdae gives him a bewildered look and shakes his head, takes his own drink that Minseok pushes toward him. “I’m only mad I didn’t get to see it,” he says in a whiny voice. “Next time invite me.”

“It was already three in the morning,” Minseok says with a roll of his eyes. “You’ll have plenty of chances to watch some other time.” He turns to Baekhyun, nudges his foot under the table. “Did you really think Jongdae would be mad?”

Baekhyun, surprised by the question, gapes at Minseok, then at Jongdae, and back. He drops his bagel back to the small plate and licks his lips. “I--well, it’s not that I thought he’d be angry or anything. I know we talked about that before, when we started all of this--that it won’t work if any of us are jealous or feel left out or--or whatever. I mean, no offense, I wasn’t even thinking about Jongdae like that yesterday when we were together, so I don’t know why I said that just now, why that was my first instinct--”

“Baekhyun, hey, calm down,” Jongdae says, looking somewhere between alarmed and bemused. He wraps an arm around Baekhyun’s shoulders, gives him a comforting squeeze.

Baekhyun takes a deep breath and whispers, “Sorry,” then takes a big bite out of his bagel to prevent himself from saying anything else. His face feels hot in embarrassment and he doesn’t look at either of them.

Jongdae’s fingers tap gently at his arm, a soothing motion that helps Baekhyun relax. “You don’t have to apologize for that,” Jongdae says in a soft voice. “We should talk about these things when they come up.”

“Were you worried Jongdae might be upset because we fucked or because we did without him being there, without him knowing?” Minseok asks. “And that it feels a little like cheating?”

“Yeah, that, the second one,” Baekhyun says in a rush. Talking about it out loud makes it feel so stupid, makes Baekhyun feel so stupid, like he’s the only one who is a complete mess, but at the same time--he likes it. He likes this. He likes that they’re not judging him, not accusing him, or mad at him; they want to understand and want to make things better and Baekhyun can’t even remember the last relationship he was in that was this open about communication.

“Do you want us to do that, then? Tell each other?” Jongdae says. “You didn’t seem to feel this way after I blew you a couple of days ago.”

Heat floods Baekhyun’s face and he knows he must look like a goddamn tomato, if the way Jongdae and Minseok’s little smirks are anything to go by. He hides his face in his hands and mumbles, “This...me and Minseok...the first time, so…”

“You are so cute,” Jongdae laughs, tugging at Baekhyun’s wrists and Baekhyun fights him reluctantly. “I can’t believe this is what embarrasses you.”

“We are talking in public, you know,” Baekhyun whispers even though he’s pretty sure no one can hear them, or cares.

“You didn’t answer the question,” Minseok says. He’s always good at keeping them on track and Baekhyun appreciates it. “Would it make you more comfortable if we told each other before we fuck?”

“What do you guys want?” Baekhyun asks quickly, glancing between them. “You’re only asking about me.”

“We want you to be comfortable, idiot,” Jongdae says without even stopping to think about it. He pulls his arm back from around Baekhyun’s shoulders and rests his hand on Baekhyun’s knee instead. “We can adapt. I think we were already more open to this concept than you were, and that’s fine. We can go at your pace.”

Baekhyun licks his lips, glancing between them again. Jongdae’s comment reminds me of what Han had told him ages ago, something he probably should’ve asked the two of them long before. “Have you...Have you guys done this before then,” he says. “I’ve been meaning to ask. Han mentioned it once but…”

“Did he?” Minseok says, looking a little surprised as he lifts his coffee to his lips.

“He didn’t go into details, he just said it wasn’t the first time you’ve been interested in potentially adding a third person to your relationship,” Baekhyun says. He pokes at his bagel with a finger, contemplating if he’s still hungry enough to finish the other half.

“You sound jealous,” Jongdae teases, nudging Baekhyun’s side with his elbow, and Baekhyun cracks a grin at that, because he’s not. He’s just curious. “Did you want to be our first?”

Baekhyun splutters out a, “No,” but laughs when Minseok and Jongdae both do. He nudges Jongdae back as revenge, but then shuffles a little closer to lean against him with a sigh. “So,” he asks, “have you? Done this before?”

“The short answer is yes. We have,” Minseok says. “We can tell you whatever you want to know about it tonight, if you want. You have to go to work soon, don’t you?”

Baekhyun pulls his phone out of his pocket and curses at the time. “Shit, you’re right,” he says, pushing his chair back and standing. Time always seems to go by so fast when he’s with the two of them. “I should go. Sorry.”

“We’ll see you later,” Jongdae says, patting his back as he stands, too. “Talk about everything. All of it.” Baekhyun’s not sure what kind of face he’s making at that, but Jongdae laughs, tugs at the lapels of his coat to smooth it down and adds, “Don’t worry. We’ll work everything out.”

Baekhyun spends the rest of his day thinking it all over. Not just about what happened with the last person they’d been with, because, in the end, that isn’t the most important thing. What is important is figuring out what to do to keep things comfortable for all of time, since they never really made a decision. He’s probably overthinking it but Baekhyun doesn’t want to make a mistake. Everything’s been going so well, and this is their first Big Conversation since he’d asked them about being boyfriends.

“What do you think?” he asks Jongin when they break for lunch, eating sandwiches in the small breakroom. “It’s probably weird to do that, right? Tell each other when we plan to fuck. Like it feels kind of embarrassing.”

Jongin looks like he’d rather be anywhere else than having this conversation, his ears a little red after Baekhyun’s explanation. Still, he seems to consider the dilemma thoughtfully and says, “Maybe it is a little embarrassing, but you’ve never been that shy about, uh, sex, in the first place, right? So you’ll get used to it.”

Baekhyun nods because Jongin’s not wrong about that, and after a moment of silence, Jongin adds, “If it helps you to feel better about it, like you’re all on the same page, then isn’t that for the best? It’s probably hard, since they live together and you aren’t with them all the time, so this could help with that, too, when you’re not all together.”

“I--yeah, that’s a good point,” Baekhyun says, having not thought of that. He spends a lot of time at Minseok and Jongdae’s place that sometimes he forgets that he doesn’t actually live there.

“Then you should do it.” Jongin smiles at him, one of his pretty smiles that make all the moms who come in with their kids fall for him. “And eventually, when you’re more comfortable and gotten used to the fact that there’s three of you together, you probably won’t need to do it anymore.” He shrugs, takes a bite out of his sandwich and pops a few pieces of potato chips in his mouth after.

“That’s true,” Baekhyun says. He leans back in his chair, sighing with relief as he mulls over what Jongin’s saying. Anxiety had been lingering in his veins since that morning, but he’s starting to feel better about it now. More hopeful that things will work out better this way. “Thanks, Jongin,” he says, nudging Jongin’s foot under the table.

Jongin shrugs a shoulder, like it’s no big deal, but he’s got a shy smile on his face as he eats some more of his sandwich. “I know that you’ve been really happy lately, like more than usual,” he says. “I don’t know if it’s because of them, but I’m glad to see it. So, you know, whatever you decide, I’m sure it will work out.”

“Aww, Jongin,” Baekhyun coos, seconds away from jumping up and rounding the table to pinch his cheeks. “When did you grow up?”

“Shut up,” Jongin whines in a very childish way that makes them both laugh. “You know, you still haven’t introduced me to them.” He pouts pointedly and Baekhyun reaches across to pat his hand.

“Okay, okay. When are you free?” he asks as the door to the break room opens and Sehun walks in, looking disgruntled. “We can have dinner one day. Sehun can come, too. He’s been wanting to see them again.”

“Your boyfriends?” Sehun perks up at that, flopping into the chair beside Jongin and stealing his bag of chips. Jongin reaches back for it, but Sehun smacks his hand.

“Yeah. I’ll talk to them about it tonight,” Baekhyun says with a smile.

“Count me in,” Sehun says. “They seemed cool. Way cooler than you.”

Baekhyun kicks his chair under the table, laughs at the way Sehun teeters backward for a moment before Jongin rights him. Laughing, Baekhyun stands and says, “I know,” and heads back to work.

-

“Hey, you’re right on time,” Minseok says when he opens the door for Baekhyun that night. “I’m finishing up dinner.”

“Thank god, because I’m starving,” Baekhyun says as he stumbles inside. Minseok presses him to the door after he closes to kiss him soundly, running fingers through Baekhyun’s hair, and it feels so nice, so soothing, Baekhyun melts right away, tension draining from his shoulders. “Hi,” he whispers when they pull back, and Minseok grins at him, pats his hip as he steps back. He’s wearing an apron over the clothes he’d put on this morning and a little spark of heat settles low in Baekhyun’s stomach at seeing him still in his shirt. “What’re you making?”

“Kimchi jjigae,” Minseok says, leading the way into the kitchen once Baekhyun’s taken off his shoes and shoved his coat onto a hanger in the hall closet. “You’re good with that, right?”

“Yeah, it’s fine,” Baekhyun says, mouth already watering from the delicious smell. “You know how useless I am in the kitchen. The only time I have home-cooked Korean food is when my parents visit, or when I go see them.”

“Do you see them often?” Minseok asks and Baekhyun shakes his head.

“Mostly on holidays,” he says. “Since they live in L.A. Baekbeom, my brother, he’s in upstate New York, though, so I do see him and his family sometimes. My sister-in-law makes the best galbijjim.”

Minseok smiles at him. “I could make that for you, too, sometime. I’m better at the jjigae though.”

“Are you trying to win me over with your cooking?” Baekhyun asks, coming up to wrap his arms around Minseok from behind. He’s the perfect size for this, allowing Baekhyun to rest his chin on Minseok’s shoulder.

“Is it working?”

“Yes,” Baekhyun admits, and then kisses Minseok’s cheek before he pulls away. “Where’s Jongdae?”

“He’s been working on something in the office,” Minseok says, nodding down the hallway. “Go check on him?”

Baekhyun salutes Minseok obediently and Minseok rolls his eyes, but his smile is still indulgent. Baekhyun raps on the door to the second bedroom-slash-office, the place where he’d woken up hungover what feels like years ago now, but he doesn’t get an answer. He frowns, turns the knob, and pushes the door open. Jongdae is sitting at the desk with headphones in, tapping at the computer.

Smiling, Baekhyun wanders in and brushes his fingers along Jongdae’s nape to get his attention. Jongdae jerks in surprise, yanking his headphones off as he looks up, and his expression fades into happy surprise when he notices Baekhyun. “Hey, sorry for disturbing you,” Baekhyun says.

“No, you’re not,” Jongdae returns knowingly, but he’s already set his headphones onto the desk and is pulling Baekhyun into his lap.

“You’re right,” Baekhyun agrees. “I wanted your attention. How can you work when I’m here, after all?”

Jongdae nods somberly. “You are a distraction,” he says and doesn’t protest when Baekhyun kisses him. Jongdae tastes like coffee and this is definitely something Baekhyun has to get used to between the three of them, considering just how much Minseok and Jongdae consume the vile drink. The gentle press of his lips, the heat of his tongue, it’s enough to balance it out, to make Baekhyun forget, kiss him harder and deeper and only pulling apart when they’re both breathless.

“I should, ah, I should shower,” Baekhyun gasps, letting his fingers that have somehow tangled themselves into Jongdae’s hair slip down to his chest to put some space between them. He knows he stinks of the clinic and antiseptics and sick children and if he stays here any longer, he’ll probably still end up out of his clothes but not in the way he needs to be.

“Alright,” Jongdae says a little reluctantly. He places one last kiss to Baekhyun’s mouth before he pulls back, lets Baekhyun get back to his feet. “Do you want to borrow something?”

“It’s fine. I’m gonna throw this back on because I’m on call tonight,” Baekhyun says, stretching his arms over his head and dropping them back with a sigh. “If I get too comfortable I won’t want to leave.”

Jongdae laughs, patting Baekhyun on the back as they leave the room. “We’ll make sure you feel totally awful tonight then.”

“That’s all I ask,” Baekhyun says with a solemn nod and Jongdae grins as he shoves him into the bathroom.

Baekhyun takes his time, enjoying the warmth of the water and the chance to clear his head a little before he heads back out there. He runs through everything he’s thought about today, his conversation with Jongin, and he feels a lot better by the time he finishes, toweling dry his hair and yanking on his clothes. He finds Jongdae and Minseok in the kitchen, putting the final touches on dinner, and Baekhyun easily joins in to pull plates and utensils out of the cupboards and drawers. He’s been here so much lately that he knows where everything is now, and it’s a nice feeling, fitting in so seamlessly.

“You’re on call tonight?” Minseok asks as he settles into a chair at the table.

“Yeah,” Baekhyun says. He grabs three beers from the fridge and shuts the door with his hip. “But hopefully all the kids are asleep and won’t bother me until the morning.” He laughs, hands Jongdae and Minseok a can before sitting down in the chair opposite Minseok. “Are you working tonight?”

“I was supposed to, but Yixing needed a trade so I’m taking one of his earlier shifts this weekend instead,” Minseok says. “So you’ve got me all night.” He waggles his brows but then laughs at himself, looking down at his food.

“Hey, me too,” Jongdae adds as Baekhyun laughs around a mouthful of rice.

“Well, I figured that much,” he says and Jongdae kicks his foot under the table for speaking while eating. Baekhyun swallows, flashing him a grin, and adds, “You’re the one with the most normal hours.”

“Except when he’s up late composing and forgets to come to bed,” Minseok says, giving Jongdae a look that tells Baekhyun they’ve talked about this before.

Jongdae just shrugs a little apologetically and Baekhyun asks, “You’ve been writing music? Why didn’t I know this?”

“It’s kind of new,” Jongdae says, leaning back in his chair. “I used to write lyrics in college but it’s been awhile. I found some of my old stuff the other week and started poking around at adding music to them, you know? Just testing the waters.”

“Is that what you were working on earlier?”

“Yeah, I can show it to you later if you want.”

“Definitely,” Baekhyun says with a grin. “I have a great ear for these things, you know.” Minseok snorts at that but Baekhyun laughs. “You should talk to Chanyeol. He writes music all the time and he’s really good at it, too. I’ve helped him out a few times.”

“He did mention that when we met for karaoke,” Jongdae says, perking up and pulling his phone from his pocket to tap at the keys. “He gave me his number, right? Ah, yes, he did.” He grins at the screen and starts typing quickly, probably sending a message. “Thanks. He was cool, it’d be nice to talk with him again.”

“Speaking of friends who want to see you again,” Baekhyun says, remembering Sehun and Jongin’s eagerness from earlier. “Sehun. I don’t know what you said to him, Minseok, but he totally loves you already. And Jongin really wants to meet you guys since he couldn’t make it that night. We should do dinner sometime? Invite them over?”

“Sure,” Jongdae says with a smile as Minseok laughs, “You mean here, right? So that I can cook.”

“I’ll help,” Baekhyun insists with a pout and Jongdae shakes his head as he sets his phone aside and picks up his chopsticks again.

“You can buy all the groceries and stay far out of the kitchen, how about that?” he suggests and Baekhyun sticks his tongue out at him but agrees.

He’ll text Sehun and Jongin about it later, or tell them in person tomorrow. He’s already excited about it though, liking the way his friends and his boyfriends are so interested in getting to know each other. Baekhyun’s always liked being surrounded by lots of people and he’s happy to see the way his family of friends is expanding.

“So,” Minseok says, glancing at Baekhyun. “Did you give some thought to what we talked about this morning?”

Baekhyun looks between them, and they’re staring back at him, open and curious and smiling. It helps to keep all that previous uncertainties at bay. Baekhyun knows what he wants now. “Yeah, some,” he says with a little shrug that makes Minseok roll his eyes affectionately.

“And?” Jongdae prompts.

“Aaaaand,” Baekhyun drawls, shifting in his seat so he can sit comfortably cross-legged. “I wanna hear about your past relationship first.”

“Why? Is that going to affect your decision?” Jongdae asks, and for a moment, he looks concerned, but then relaxes when Baekhyun shakes his head.

“No, I just want to know. I wondered about it for a long time. Han said it never got really serious, like, not the way we have, so…”

“It was what, four years ago?” Jongdae says and he looks over at Minseok who nods in confirmation. “Junmyeon, he was a colleague of mine, actually, at the university. But we met him before he started working there through Han.”

“What was he like?” Baekhyun asks, curious, and Minseok and Jongdae exchange a fond sort of laugh.

“Totally hot but kind of a dork,” Jongdae says and Minseok adds, “He was so funny,” which only makes Jongdae groan. “Are you kidding?” he says. “He had the humor of a 45-year old dad.”

“That didn’t stop you from mooning over him,” Minseok points out and Jongdae smiles sheepishly, shrugging a shoulder. “Anyway, we were both pretty into him, and we’d talked about it between us for awhile. You know, trying to figure out if it was something we wanted to do, sorting out our feelings about adding someone else to the mix.”

“At first things were good,” Jongdae says. He reaches over the table to pick up a piece of jeon that Minseok had made, too. “We were careful, but he seemed interested, and we went out a few times. Tested the waters. It was very new to all of us.”

Baekhyun nods as he spoons some more of the jjigae into his mouth. It sounds similar to the way things happened for them, too. Slowly, carefully. “So what went wrong?” he asks once he’s swallowed.

“We told you, when we started this thing, that’s important to tell us if you feel left out. And we were serious this morning about making sure you didn't feel like you were cheating because that’s important to us, too,” Minseok says.

“I know. I’ve already sorted my thoughts out on that, really,” Baekhyun says and Minseok smiles at him reassuringly.

“Junmyeon...he wasn’t quite able to do it,” Minseok says. “And maybe we weren’t as ready as we thought we were, or we didn’t handle it the way we should have. Like this. With a lot of discussion.”

Baekhyun laughs. “You mean you guys don’t normally talk this much?” he teases.

“He was nice to us both, and seemed interested in us both,” Minseok adds, lifting his drink to his lips. He takes a few sips then continues. “It was clear pretty soon that he was really interested in Jongdae.”

“What can I say? I’m a likeable guy,” Jongdae jokes, but glares at Baekhyun when he snorts. “Anyway, it wasn’t gonna work for us like that. Some people can do it, you know? Open relationships where one person has an outside partner and that’s cool. It’s not what we wanted though.” He looks over to Minseok and says, “It was both of us or it was nothing.”

Minseok smiles softly back at him, lets Jongdae lace their hands together atop the table, and Baekhyun grins between them. It makes sense to him, and he feels like he understands so much more about them, and about this new relationship between the three of them now. “How Junmyeon picked Jongdae over me is still a mystery though,” Minseok says, and Jongdae makes an affronted noise as he snatches his hand back. Laughing, Minseok continues, “So, as you can see, it didn’t work out. It didn’t even go on for that long, maybe a month?”

“Sounds about right,” Jongdae agrees. “It’s been a lot longer with you.”

“We really wanted to make this work,” Minseok says, the mirth in his eyes from seconds earlier replaced with seriousness that makes Baekhyun’s heart warm.

“I do, too,” Baekhyun says confidently. “And speaking of making this work…about what we talked about this morning. I thought it over a lot and it might be a little weird at first but. I think it’d be good to be on the same page, you know? Telling each other when we’re doing something...I’d like that.”

“Yeah?” Jongdae asks, and when Baekhyun looks up at them, neither he nor Minseok look annoyed or insulted or anything by Baekhyun’s request. They look relieved, almost, and pleased. Pleased to find a solution, pleased to do whatever they can to make this work.

“Yeah,” Baekhyun confirms with a smile. “At least for awhile. You guys were right. I haven’t done anything like this before, haven’t really had a lot of time to consider all the elements of it.” He laughs a little, embarrassed, and runs a hand through his hair. “So, until we all get settled, I think it’d be good.”

“Sounds good to me,” Minseok says. “I’m glad we talked about it.”

“Me, too,” Baekhyun agrees. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but Baekhyun knows it’s important to keep communicating like this, otherwise everything they’ve been doing will be for naught.

“Okay, but can we agree not to send each other dick pics as a way of communicating if we’re gonna fuck?” Jongdae says, and he pins Baekhyun with a knowing look that makes Baekhyun gasp in mock outrage.

“I can’t believe you think I’d do such a thing!” he exclaims, placing a hand over his heart, and Minseok rolls his eyes.

“You would one hundred percent do it,” he says.

“Well, you’ve guaranteed that I definitely will now,” Baekhyun tells them brightly and Jongdae lets out a deep sigh, even though he looks mostly amused.

“You are unbelieveable,” he says.

“You love me,” Baekhyun shoots back.

And Jongdae, Minseok, they don’t say anything, but they both look at Baekhyun with such soft smiles on their faces that almost convince Baekhyun that, yes, maybe they do. And, maybe, Baekhyun does, too.

-

The weather gets chillier as the days creep toward the end of November. Baekhyun sees far more kids with their worried parents, fighting off fevers and the flu, and does his best not to fall sick, too. In between exhausting days, Baekhyun is immensely glad to have Minseok and Jongdae. It’s been a long time since Baekhyun’s last full relationship, but what he has right now feels similar to back then and yet, nothing alike at all. He’s happy, though. Jongin wasn’t wrong about that. Baekhyun’s a pretty positive guy in general, doing his best not to let things knock him down, but having two incredible boyfriends who really like him definitely puts an extra spring in his step.

Everything starts to fall into place, too. Minseok comes over more often after work when he’s too tired to make the commute back to his and Jongdae’s apartment, and Baekhyun likes the way it feels to fall asleep next to him and wake up to the fresh smell of coffee every morning, even if he runs away each time Minseok tries to make him drink it. He meets Jongdae for lunch during the week occasionally, slipping out from the clinic to talk in a McDonald’s over fries.

And after their usual hour at the gym, Baekhyun goes home with them, too, fitting easily into their apartment like he belongs there. He no longer has to ask where the plates and utensils are, or how to work the stove in the morning when he wakes up early enough to make breakfast, wearing another stolen shirt from Jongdae and just his underwear and smiling wide when his thighs never fail to distract.

Baekhyun hosts dinner on a Friday night with Sehun and Jongin, who show up with wine and bright smiles and take to Jongdae and Minseok like they’ve been friends for ages. Minseok had taken over Baekhyun’s kitchen to cook something that smells amazing, and Jongdae practically adopts Jongin as his own, slinging an arm around him and talking animatedly about one of the upcoming Marvel movies.

Baekhyun doesn’t think he’ll ever get tired of seeing his boyfriends and his friends get along so well. It’s a good night, his apartment filled with loud laughter and stupid drinking games, and Baekhyun becoming more and more of a lush as the hours pass by. He’s leaning heavily against Minseok by the end, when Sehun and Jongin wave goodbye, and Jongdae is grabbing his wrists and hauling him up to his feet.

“Let’s get you to bed, you drunkard,” he says, wrapping an arm around Baekhyun’s waist, and Baekhyun tries to grab Minseok, too, to bring him along.

“I’ll be right in,” Minseok says, waving them off. He’s not drunk at all, and Baekhyun kind of hates him for it, but he leaves Minseok to undoubtedly clean, following Jongdae to his room.

His bed feels really nice and comfortable when he falls face-first into the mattress. “Goodnight,” he mumbles into the pillow and Jongdae chuckles as he climbs up over him. Baekhyun rolls himself over easily, feeling simultaneously lightweight and heavy-limbed. His head is buzzing but Jongdae is staring down at him with a pretty, pretty smile and he doesn’t have to think to lean up and kiss him.

Jongdae kisses back, soft and sweet, tasting mostly of beer. He’s also not nearly as drunk as Baekhyun, which makes him frown as he pulls away. “You and Minseok need to drink more so I’m not the only one dying in the mornings,” he whines, and Jongdae laughs as he settles in Baekhyun’s lap.

“Don’t worry,” Minseok says, walking through the door, a glass of water in his hand. “We’ll take care of you if you’re hungover.”

“You’d better,” he says, but smiles at him gratefully when Minseok hands the glass over. Baekhyun sits up to drink it all down and then flops right back against the bed, blinking up at the ceiling, then to Jongdae, who is sliding his hands up Baekhyun’s shirt. “Hi,” he says, smiling up at him, and Jongdae flashes him a grin.

“Hi,” he says, fingers brushing over Baekhyun’s nipples at once and sending a shiver down to his toes. He kisses Baekhyun again then, much more insistent this time, and Baekhyun does his best to keep up, but he’s feeling far too lazy about it, content with just kissing even though Jongdae seems interested in more.

“If you want me to fuck you,” Baekhyun manages to get out between kisses, “you’re gonna have to wait until tomorrow.” There’s no way Baekhyun’s gonna get it up tonight, honestly.

“We gotta work on your tolerance,” Jongdae laughs, pressing another kiss to Baekhyun’s lips before he climbs off the bed.

“You could just keep the drinks out of arm’s reach,” Baekhyun says, stretching across the bed before he curls up onto his side, glancing over at Minseok who is perched on the edge and staring at his phone. “That’d probably be easier.”

“Probably,” Jongdae agrees from where he’s rummaging through Baekhyun’s drawers. He pulls out Baekhyun’s Iron Man t-shirt and tosses it to the foot of the bed. Baekhyun whistles when he strips his jeans down to his feet and Jongdae laughs. It pulls Minseok’s attention up from his phone, glancing between them, and smiling slowly at Baekhyun when he shuffles closer. A hand falls to his hair, brushing the strands back, and Baekhyun curls into the touch.

“Tomorrow is your day off, right?” he asks and Baekhyun nods. He does his best not to drink so excessively if he’s got to work in the morning. “Good. Han wanted to meet up for soccer again before it starts to get too cold.”

Jongdae snorts from the foot of the bed. He’s dressed in his boxers and Baekhyun’s shirt and is grabbing Baekhyun’s ankle to pull him closer. “If Baekhyun’s even alive for that,” he says.

“You guys can play and I’ll sleep on the grass, it’ll be fine,” Baekhyun laughs softly and helps Jongdae to strip him. He doesn’t bother searching for something else to put on, just yanks the covers back and climbs under in just his underwear.

“I’ll tell him we’ll see how we feel in the morning,” Minseok says, tapping at the screen of his phone, and Baekhyun rolls back over to watch him, perching his chin on Minseok’s knee.

“You don’t have to miss out on my account,” Baekhyun says with a little pout. He yelps when Jongdae pats his ass as he joins them in bed, kicks his foot back in retaliation.

“It’ll be more fun with you,” Jongdae says and Baekhyun feels his chest grow warm at the sincerity in Jongdae’s voice, his gaze. Minseok, too, is nodding in agreement, and Baekhyun wonders for a moment how he got so lucky.

“That’s true,” Baekhyun says grandly. “I make everything more exciting.”

It has the desired effect: Jongdae smacks Baekhyun’s butt again and Minseok rolls his eyes as he stands, setting his phone to the bedside table. “Go to sleep, Baekhyun,” he says, and Baekhyun catches his wrist before he walks away, tugs him down for a quick kiss.

Minseok smiles at him and pats his hand before he leaves, probably to wash up before he joins them to sleep. Baekhyun curls back under the blankets, rolling over to Jongdae’s side. His eyelids are already drooping, but it doesn’t stop him from sliding his fingers up under Jongdae’s shirt to tweak at his nipple piercing just to hear Jongdae groan. Jongdae turns around to kiss him again, and they’re still making out by the time Baekhyun feels the mattress dip, signifying Minseok’s return. He watches the way Minseok and Jongdae kiss, too, right above him, the gentle yet firm press of their lips, Jongdae’s hand against Baekhyun’s shoulder and Minseok’s sliding down his thigh to his knee. It’s hot and pleasant and satisfying, just like this, snuggled between them, it’s easy to fall asleep.

Baekhyun does fuck Jongdae in the morning like he promised, letting Minseok finger Jongdae open until he’s writhing and groaning, every word that falls from his lips a demand for more, faster, fuck me now, goddammit. And Baekhyun is only too happy to oblige, holding his cock steady as Jongdae sinks down onto it with a satisfied little sound that makes Baekhyun surge up to kiss him. Jongdae is tight and hot around his cock, knows exactly how to make Baekhyun whimper and groan and the throbbing in his head he’d woken up with is now replaced by the throbbing in his dick.

“So good,” Baekhyun moans out as Jongdae bounces in his lap, watching as he kisses Minseok sloppily, a hand curled around the back of Minseok’s neck.

Once Jongdae comes, Baekhyun rolls them over, pulls Jongdae’s legs over his shoulders and fucks him fast and deep. He basks in the flush that spreads down Jongdae's neck, the way his long eyelashes flutter against his cheeks, every sound he makes as Baekhyun’s cock fills him up. Jongdae’s still wearing Baekhyun’s Iron Man shirt, bunched up around his chest, and it makes Baekhyun laugh as he kisses him slow until he comes, too, Jongdae’s muscles clenching around him deliciously. Baekhyun’s never going to be able to look at that shirt the same way again.

He blows Minseok in the shower after as Jongdae washes his hair and trades lazy kisses with Minseok, and it’s such a great start to the morning, Baekhyun doesn’t know what to do with himself. He likes how domestic it feels, how he walks into the kitchen later to find the mess from last night cleaned, just a few dishes leftover in the sink, and thanks Minseok by pressing him to the fridge to kiss him.

They eat toast and cereal out on the couch, Baekhyun’s legs thrown over Jongdae’s lap while Minseok watches the news intently. Later, they’ll meet Han and Yixing for soccer and Baekhyun thinks he might even be able to play, his hangover mostly a dull headache. As he relaxes on the couch beside his boyfriends, smiling at the way Minseok and Jongdae bicker over what to watch, he feels that everything is as it’s meant to be.

-

“I can’t believe you guys are leaving me all alone over Thanksgiving,” Baekhyun whines. “What kind of boyfriends are you?”

“The kinds who had the forethought to take off work,” Jongdae returns with a laugh and Baekhyun pouts even though he can’t see him.

“It hadn’t occurred to me,” he says, because it hadn’t. Baekhyun doesn’t usually make a fuss out of Thanksgiving. Sometimes he visits Baekbeom, but most years he just works right through the holiday. Three years ago his parents flew down to visit, but that’s about as much as Baekhyun’s done any celebrating. “And you guys only mentioned it last week and by then it was too late.”

“You know we’re sorry, right?” Jongdae says softly. “We’d have loved it if you could’ve come along.”

“I know,” Baekhyun says, poking at the remnants of his cup ramen with a fork. It’s late on a Saturday night and Baekhyun is at the clinic finishing up paperwork after a long shift. The cup ramen was his pathetic excuse of a dinner. Jongdae had oh-so-kindly texted him the amazing steak he and Minseok had had for dinner about an hour ago and Baekhyun had replied with about a foot-length worth of crying emojis. “I’m not really mad, you know that, right?”

“Obviously,” Jongdae replies and Baekhyun imagines that he’s rolling his eyes. “There’s still a couple of days before we fly out anyway. You should just stay at our place until we go.”

“Aww, you wanna spend that much time with me, Jongdae?” Baekhyun coos. “Afraid you’ll miss me too much?”

“Yes, that’s exactly it,” Jongdae says in deadpan voice that reminds Baekhyun so much of Kyungsoo he laughs. “We’ll see you tonight when you’re done with work, right?”

“Yeah, I’ll see you at the club,” Baekhyun says. Minseok has a new routine and Jongdae and Baekhyun have been aching to see it after he’d demonstrated a part of it for them a couple of nights ago. Naked. Baekhyun still remembers it vividly when he closes his eyes.

“Okay,” Jongdae says brightly. “I’ll let you get back to work then.”

Baekhyun makes a kissing noise in return and Jongdae laughs loudly before he hangs up, leaving Baekhyun to do the same, setting his phone aside. He sighs, staring down at his work and pouting. He really should have thought about the upcoming holiday sooner so he could have joined Jongdae and Minseok on their trip to Seattle to visit Jongdae’s brother. There’s nothing he can do about it now. Besides, meeting family feels like such a tall order when they’ve only been dating for a little over two months. It’s probably for the best that Baekhyun’s staying in New York.

He is a little uncertain because it’s the first time they’ve been really apart since getting together. He’s not sure what to expect, if it’ll change anything or not. He doesn’t think it will, at least not for him, but he can’t help but wonder, anxiety settling into his gut.

As it turns out, Baekhyun really had nothing to worry about. Jongdae and Minseok text and call him almost constantly while they’re away. Messages from JFK during their early morning flight that wakes Baekhyun up again after he’d kissed them goodbye and stumbled back into bed, a call from Denver during their layover where Minseok tells him how Jongdae drooled on his shoulder as he slept on the plane, a couple of pictures sent here and there of their lunch, their tired faces, the Denver airport. It’s like Baekhyun’s there with them the whole way.

Baekbeom and his family end up coming down Thursday, a last-minute decision when Baekhyun tells his brother over the phone that he has no plans. It’s been awhile since Baekhyun’s seen them, and he’s glad they even bothered to make the long commute into the city because being by himself in his apartment with all the leftover tidbits of Minseok and Jongdae strewn around only reminds him of how they’re not there, how he still has three more days to go before he can see them again.

Baekhyun’s four-year-old niece has grown even more since the last time, and has apparently developed an affinity for tutus. “She won’t take it off,” his sister-in-law sighs as she attempts to fix her daughter’s messy pigtails. “She wants to be a ballerina.”

“Didn’t she want to be a T-rex last Christmas?” Baekhyun laughs, holding his arms open for his niece to run into.

“Yes,” his sister-in-law says, smiling indulgently. “At least it’s easier to dress her as a ballerina than to find T-rex outfits.”

Baekhyun gets roped into becoming his niece’s ballerina partner while his brother and his wife cook in the kitchen. His phone buzzes on the coffee table, but his niece refuses to let him check until she’s done putting his hair into tiny little bows.

“You’re so pretty, Uncle Baek,” she says happily, and he scoops her up into his arms and kisses her cheek.

“Not as pretty as you,” he tells her seriously and she giggles and squirms out of his hold, picks up his phone.

“Picture!” she yells and Baekhyun laughs as he takes the phone from her to fulfill her request. There’s a missed call from Minseok and a few texts from him and Jongdae in their group chat, but he ignores them for now to have a mini photoshoot with his niece. She’s very particular about each shot, and looks over every photo afterward to give her approval, even telling Baekhyun to send them to her mom so she can print them out at home.

He does as he’s told because he’s learning fast that she gets whatever she wants and by the time they finish, it’s almost time to eat. His niece runs off to the kitchen to see what her parents are up to, and Baekhyun enjoys his little reprieve, reading his missed messages. It’s mostly a few comments checking up on him, making sure he’s alive.

i can take care of myself just fine u know! he types back, even though he’s grinning. He sends off one of the selfies he took with his niece, where they’re making silly faces at the camera and Baekhyun’s hair is still parted off in little pink and purple bows. i might’ve been taken hostage by a 4yo, but i’ll survive!!!!

He stares at his phone awhile longer, hoping for a quick reply, but when he gets nothing after a few minutes he sighs and sets the phone back onto the coffee table. They’re probably busy. They’re not gonna be waiting around for Baekhyun’s replies. He shakes the thoughts out of his head and pulls himself to his feet, heads to the kitchen to help set the table.

Lunch is fun and delicious. Baekbeom keeps laughing at Baekhyun’s hair and Baekhyun’s niece insists he looks pretty, which only makes Baekbeom laugh more. Baekhyun takes it all in stride, helping to make sure his niece eats all her food and not just mashed potatoes. His sister-in-law talks about work and all of his niece’s latest antics and Baekhyun returns it with what he’s been up to, but taking care not to go into too much detail about Minseok and Jongdae. He hasn’t told his brother about them, but he knows he should before they leave this weekend. Instead, he checks to make sure they’ve taken his niece to the doctor for flu shots and that she hasn’t been sick, reminds them what to do if anything happens.

“You can call me anytime if she’s not feeling well,” he says, smiling at her as he dabs at her face with a napkin.

“Don’t worry, we will,” Baekbeom says. “It’s good to have a doctor in the family.”

Baekhyun beams, turning to his niece to ask her, “You wanna be healthy, right? Then you gotta eat everything on your plate.” He turns the plate around so that the broccoli and carrots that have been pushed aside are facing her. When she pouts, he adds, “I know you can do it. All ballerinas eat their vegetables.”

“They do?” she asks, peering at him, then at her parents, looking half-amazed, half-suspicious.

“Your uncle is a doctor,” her mother says. “You gotta listen to what he says.”

She frowns but after a few seconds, dutifully eats her veggies and Baekhyun pats her head gently. Baekbeom laughs, amused, and fixes Baekhyun with a look as he says, “And where’s that same logic when it comes to you and cucumbers?”

“Cucumbers are an abomination,” Baekhyun says with a shudder.

Baekhyun rinses out the dishes after they eat and stacks them in the washing machine. It’s been a long time since that thing was full enough to even be used. His brother, sister-in-law, and niece have settled onto the couch to watch Frozen, his niece’s favorite movie, and when he joins them, his brother holds up Baekhyun’s phone and says, “It’s been buzzing nonstop. Didn’t know you were so popular.”

“It could be work,” Baekhyun says, taking it from him. It’s not, though, it’s more messages from Minseok and Jongdae, commenting on how ridiculous (Jongdae) and pretty (Minseok) he looks in the bows that Baekhyun completely forgot are still in his hair, and how cute his niece is. Baekhyun considers typing something back, but after a moment of staring at the blinking cursor, he decides to call them, instead.

He retreats to his bedroom as the phone rings, stops in front of his mirror and laughs at his reflection. He’s pulling the hair ties out when the line connects and Jongdae says, “Baekhyun! You called.”

“I missed your voice,” Baekhyun teases easily, even though, in many ways, he really has. “How’re you guys doing?”

“It’s much warmer in Seattle, I’m not sure if we’re gonna come back,” Jongdae says with a laugh that gets louder at Baekhyun’s yelped protest. “I’m kidding, I’m kidding. We can’t leave you behind. Who else would I constantly tease?”

“I see how it is,” Baekhyun huffs. “That’s all I am to you, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” Jongdae says solemnly. “I’m sorry you had to find out this way.”

They last a few seconds before falling into mutual laughter, and the remnants of uncertainty that Baekhyun had been able to push back by distracting himself with his brother and his niece finally seems to melt away entirely. He’s not sure why he thought anything would change. It’s barely been two full days since Jongdae and Minseok had left, but it’s not like they suddenly forgot about Baekhyun, or that Baekhyun forgot about them. Baekhyun can’t stop thinking about them, honestly, and maybe that’s the biggest change of all. He didn’t expect to miss them quite this much.

“Your brother came down to visit?” Jongdae asks and when Baekhyun says, “Yes,” he continues, “I’m glad. We were worried you’d be all alone today. Minseok almost cried at the thought of you eating ramen as your Thanksgiving meal.”

“I did not cry,” Minseok yells in the background and Baekhyun chuckles, his chest growing warm. He’s finally got all the bows out of his hair and he does his best to pat all the wayward strands down.

“Well, you didn’t have to worry,” Baekhyun says. “I was gonna order pizza or something but my brother showed up with a bunch of food. I didn’t even have to do anything. It was great.”

“Good,” Jongdae says and he sounds pleased and maybe a little relieved. “My brother is mad I didn’t just drag you along with us, you know. He says you definitely have to be around over Christmas so he can meet you.”

“Meet me or vet me?” Baekhyun laughs, but he’s hit with another more filling wave of warmth at the thought that Jongdae’s brother wants to meet him. That Jongdae told his brother about him. It makes it even clearer that Baekhyun has to tell Baekbeom what’s going on. It’s not that he doesn’t want to, he’s usually open about his relationships with his brother, but what he has with Jongdae and Minseok isn’t exactly the most conventional, and Baekhyun’s not sure how to explain he doesn’t have a boyfriend, but two.

“Meet,” Jongdae says. “Probably. It’s hard to know with him.”

Before Baekhyun gets a chance to reply, Baekbeom is poking his head into the room, brows raised curiously. “Hey, Jongdae,” Baekhyun says, glancing away from his brother quickly when he notices the smug look of understanding spreading across his face. “I gotta go. We’re watching a movie. I’ll talk to you later? Tell Minseok hi from me, and to stop worrying.”

Jongdae’s soft laugh settles in Baekhyun’s chest. “Will do,” he says. “Have fun. We’ll call you later.”

“Bye,” Baekhyun says and he sighs as he hangs up, slips his phone into his pocket. “Sorry about that,” he tells Baekbeom, not quite meeting his eyes.

“Who’s Jongdae?” Baekbeom asks, and when Baekhyun does look at him, he’s leaning against the doorframe, arms crossed, and is watching Baekhyun expectantly. The slight quirk of his lips makes Baekhyun much more flustered than he expected to be when having this conversation. “You hadn’t mentioned you were dating anyone lately, but your phone’s been going off all day and you don’t usually pass off a chance to sing along to Disney songs but you called this guy on your own.”

Baekhyun chuckles at that, running a hand through his already messy hair and takes a few steps back to sit at the edge of his bed. “I wasn’t sure how to bring it up,” he admits, thinking his words through carefully. “I am dating, but, it’s uh, not how you might think.”

When Baekbeom stares at him expectantly, clearly waiting for an explanation, Baekhyun continues, “I think I mentioned him before...The guy at the gym that I thought was cute?”

“You did,” Baekbeom says with a nod. “The cute guy is Jongdae?”

“Yeah. And well, it turned out that he had a boyfriend.”

“Oh,” Baekbeom says. He’s looking confused now, like he’s not sure how any of this connects to Baekhyun currently dating anyone. “That sucks, bro.”

“Yeah, it did, at the time. Except, you see, uh, it actually worked out okay,” Baekhyun says with a laugh. It sounds crazy, thinking about everything like this, trying to put it into words. “Because I’m sort of, well, dating them both? Together?”

Silence follows Baekhyun’s confession, and Baekhyun can practically see the wheels turning in his brother’s head as he clearly tries to understand. “Wait, so, you have two boyfriends?” Baekbeom says loudly, shocked. “Is one not enough?”

“I know it’s...unusual, but we’re making it work.” He shrugs a shoulder lightly. “I really like them,” he adds, and suddenly feels embarrassed as he looks back up at his brother. It feels different, saying it out loud like this to family instead of his friends.

Baekbeom stares Baekhyun down for a few seconds before he laughs, finally drawing himself away from the door to walk over and sit beside Baekhyun. He throws an arm around Baekhyun’s shoulders and says, “I can’t say I’m not surprised. This is definitely new. But I’m glad you’re happy.” He narrows his eyes. “You are, right?”

“Yes,” Baekhyun says honestly.

“Good.” Baekbeom roughly ruffles Baekhyun’s hair and then stands, dragging him up with him. “Let’s go back, then.”

Baekhyun follows him out, feeling lighthearted, happy. His sister-in-law gives them a curious look when they return but his brother fends it off with a wave. Baekhyun does tell her, later, when his niece has fallen asleep on the couch and they’re quietly talking around the coffee table. She pats his knee and says she’s glad for him. “You look happier,” she says, pleased. “And, honestly, you probably need two boyfriends to keep you in line, don’t you?”

“She’s got a point,” Baekbeom laughs as Baekhyun whines in protest.

It’s mostly for effect, though. Baekhyun feels good right now. Relaxed, and happy. It’s nice, being surrounded by family who are happy for him, and he’s finally starting to not miss Jongdae and Minseok so fiercely. It might comeback tenfold when Baekbeom and his family leave, but for now, Baekhyun is happy. In a few days, he’ll see them again, and until then Baekhyun will look forward to every text and call, and think of the best way they can make leaving him behind up to him.

-

Chanyeol’s birthday wraps up the end of November. Baekhyun joins him and Kyungsoo at a bar after work, and Minseok and Jongdae make it over twenty minutes later, just as one of the pool tables in the back open up and Chanyeol practically falls off his stool in order to claim it. Baekhyun hasn’t played in ages so he’s rusty, but surprisingly, Minseok and Jongdae are pretty good at the game, too, so the three of them even out against Chanyeol and Kyungsoo.

“You guys are good,” Baekhyun says, wrapping his arms around Jongdae from behind and resting his chin on his shoulder. “There’s still so much I don’t know about you.”

“We can say the same about you,” Jongdae says, patting Baekhyun’s hands where they’re resting at his stomach. “That’s what makes this fun, right?”

Baekhyun makes a little noise of agreement into Jongdae’s neck, smiling against his skin when he squirms but doesn’t pull away. They watch as Chanyeol fails to make his next shot, and then Baekhyun reluctantly lets Jongdae go so he can play. He rounds the table, tries to figure out the best angle to shoot, and Baekhyun lets out a teasing whistle when Jongdae leans over, his ass on display. Minseok laughs as Jongdae gives Baekhyun a wink over his shoulder.

“I haven’t had enough drinks to deal with your gross flirting, Baekhyun,” Kyungsoo says, and both he and Chanyeol groan when Jongdae takes his shot and sinks the 9-ball into the corner pocket.

“That’s just something you’re gonna have to get used to,” Baekhyun retorts, giving Jongdae a high five before he continues onto his second shot. “Speaking of drinks, I could use another. Come with me to the bar?”

“Hey, this is your last one, then,” Minseok says, and when Baekhyun opens his mouth to protest, Minseok covers it with a palm and says, “You asked us to make sure you didn’t overdo it, remember?”

Baekhyun nods and Minseok drops his hand, gives his hair a little ruffle. “Thanks for watching out for me,” he says and Minseok smiles. “Did you want anything?”

“I’ve gotta head to work soon, so I’m good,” Minseok says.

“Okay,” Baekhyun says, handing Minseok his cue to hold and then leaving for the bar with Kyungsoo, who slings an arm around his shoulders as they walk.

“So you’ve gotten over that little freakout you had awhile ago, huh?” Kyungsoo asks and Baekhyun ducks his head into Kyungsoo’s shoulder, a little embarrassed as he remembers.

“It’s been really good,” he says finally, once Kyungsoo’s shoved him off and they’ve ordered drinks for themselves and for Jongdae and Chanyeol. “We’re on the same page and we get along so well.”

That much is obvious,” Kyungsoo says with a smirk. “I don’t know if I told you before, but I’m happy for you.”

“I don’t think you have,” Baekhyun says. He leans against the counter and beams at Kyungsoo. “Are you really?”

“Why wouldn’t I be?” Kyungsoo looks mildly offended. “The three of you fit together so well it’s nauseating. And it’s clear they care about you a lot, even making sure you don’t drink too much.”

“They are good like that,” Baekhyun says with a nod.

“I’m glad,” Kyungsoo says. “That everything is working out and that you feel better about it.” The bartender stops by with their drinks, sliding the glasses across the counter, and Kyungsoo hands two over to Baekhyun before taking the remaining drinks himself. “It’d be nice if you guys last for a long time, wouldn’t it?”

Baekhyun hasn’t really thought much about the future, not when the day to day is so good, but now that Kyungsoo brings it up, he can’t help but agree, a smile stretching across his face, unbidden. “Yeah,” he says. “That would be nice.”

Kyungsoo looks at him for a moment, smiling slightly as if he can hear the sentimentality in Baekhyun’s voice. Maybe he could, maybe it was obvious in Baekhyun’s words. He doesn’t tease, though, thankfully, just lets out a small laugh and shakes his head. “They’ve got their work cut out for them, honestly, having to deal with you.”

“Hey!” Baekhyun protests loudly, but Kyungsoo is grinning as he takes his drinks and head back toward the others.

“C’mon, Baekhyun,” he says. “We shouldn’t keep your boyfriends waiting.”

Baekhyun wants to retort, but finds that instead he’s grinning, too, at just hearing Kyungsoo calling them that. He should be used to it by now, but it still makes butterflies run loose in his stomach instead. “Yeah,” Baekhyun says cheerfully. “We’ve got a game to win.”

-

"Wow, Byun, you clean up well."

Baekhyun flushes despite himself. It's not often that he wears a suit, but he felt it was appropriate for the occasion, what with going to Jongdae's actual place of work. Baekhyun doesn't want to look like a slob in case they end up meeting any of Jongdae's colleagues, which is totally a possibility. Sure, they're just going to watch the choir perform their annual holiday concert, but still. Baekhyun figured he could look nice. He even did up his hair.

"You don't have to sound quite so surprised," Baekhyun retorts, tugging at the hem of his blazer. He's wondering if he's overdressed, now. Jongdae's in nice slacks and a simple, dark red button-up that fits so nicely across his chest. Minseok's wearing a cute sweater vest over his. They both look really good, but then again they always do. Baekhyun wonders if after the performance, he could tempt them into letting him undress them.

"It's just nice to see you in something other than a Supreme hoodie," Minseok teases, and he reaches out to smooth down Baekhyun's collar. "You look good."

"So do you," Baekhyun says, and smiles into the kiss Minseok gives him.

"C'mon, or we'll be late," Jongdae says, but he's smiling, too, and slips his hand into Baekhyun's once he's put on his coat.

It’s been years since Baekhyun has been anywhere near the NYU campus where Jongdae works. The last time he remembers was visiting Chanyeol during a break their senior year of undergrad, before Baekhyun had moved from L.A. to go to med school. It’s interesting being back on school grounds, walking together through the light feathering of snow across the ground with Minseok and Jongdae beside him. It’s mid-December now, and the weather hasn’t been favorable. Baekhyun’s going to get his fancy shoes totally ruined by the end of the night.

“Hard to imagine we were once so young,” Minseok says as they settle into their seats in the theater. There are students on stage running about, getting prepared, saying last-minute goodbyes to family members.

“What were you guys like in school?” Baekhyun asks, realizing he doesn’t really know much about that time in their lives at all. “Wait, did you guys meet in school?”

Jongdae laughs as he shrugs out of his coat, lets it rest behind him in his seat. “Yeah, we did,” he says. “We’re both NYU alum, actually.” He cocks his head at Baekhyun. “You’re the odd one out, you strange West Coaster.”

Baekhyun makes a face at him, says, “Hey, West Coast, best coast.” Then he laughs. “I guess New York isn’t so bad. I’ve only been living here for years. I went to med school at Columbia. Can’t I be an honorary East Coaster?”

Jongdae and Minseok exchange a look as if they’re deeply considering this, and laugh when Baekhyun whines at them, pouting for effect. “I guess you could,” Minseok says, dipping down to kiss Baekhyun lightly on the mouth, just a brief touch of lips. This is where Jongdae works, and while some of Jongdae’s colleagues know about Minseok, they don’t know about Baekhyun. They figured it was best to keep it that way, and Baekhyun understands. Other than Sehun and Jongin, who are more friends than they are colleagues, no one at work knows about Baekhyun’s relationship either.

Baekhyun smiles at Minseok, pleased by his answer, and his kiss. He slides a hand down Minseok’s thigh to rest at his knee. They chat amongst themselves until the show starts, then focus their attention to the front, watching as students pile onto the stage. Baekhyun hasn’t seen a school production like this in ages so he’s excited, wriggling a little in his seat in anticipation. Jongdae tugs on his ear and whispers, “Relax,” in a low voice that has Baekhyun biting his lip in an effort to not get suddenly distracted.

It’s a good show. Baekhyun’s going to have Christmas carols stuck in his head until February, but it was good. Jongdae kept up a running commentary, pointing out students he’s worked with, criticizing a couple of the performances and song choices. Baekhyun and Minseok follow Jongdae down to the front afterward, watching as Jongdae greets some of his colleagues and the students who run up to say hi. Baekhyun leans against Minseok, smiling softly. It’s interesting, seeing Jongdae here, in his element. He’s friendly with the students, expression bright as he laughs, and Baekhyun has to look away when he gets the urge to kiss the soft lines around the corners of his eyes.

He’s thinking of where they could go eat after this when an unfamiliar voice calls out to Minseok. Minseok suddenly straightens up, making Baekhyun stumble a little, too, and says, “Oh, Junmyeon, hi.”

Baekhyun’s not sure how he completely forgot that this is also where Junmyeon works. He never considered the possibility that he would ever meet Junmyeon, and he hasn’t given much thought about him since Minseok and Jongdae had talked about him so long ago. Baekhyun never asked if they were all on speaking terms, but once Minseok says his name, Baekhyun has no chance to prepare himself. All he can do is look up at the man that’s approaching them. Junmyeon is handsome, polished, even if he’s dressed in a really ugly Christmas sweater. His hair is coiffed and he’s got a pretty smile.

“It’s been awhile,” Junmyeon says as he looks between Minseok and Jongdae, who has bid goodbyes to his cluster of students and turned to join their conversation. Junmyeon looks at Baekhyun, too, a little curiously, but then smiles at Jongdae. “It’s good to see you, Jongdae. And, you, too, Minseok. Did you like the show?”

“Yeah, it was wonderful,” Minseok says and Baekhyun almost jumps when he feels Minseok’s familiar warm touch on his lower back. “Junmyeon, this is Baekhyun.” He doesn’t explain what Baekhyun is to him, to them, but Baekhyun doesn’t mind. It’s probably better that way. Yet, somehow, when Baekhyun looks at Junmyeon, and reaches out to shake his hand, there’s a flash of understanding in his eyes.

“Ah,” he says, smiling a little more fully. It eases the anxiousness in Baekhyun’s gut. “It’s good to meet you, Baekhyun. I hope you liked the show, too.”

“I did,” Baekhyun says, grinning back in the way he knows charms everyone, even ex-boyfriends, or whatever Junmyeon is to Minseok and Jongdae. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a show like this. I’m glad Jongdae dragged me with him.”

“I didn’t drag you,” Jongdae huffs immediately, swatting at Baekhyun’s arm. “I brought it up and you said you wanted to go.”

“Hmm,” Baekhyun says, tapping a finger to his lips. “That’s not how I remember it happening.”

“You little brat,” Jongdae says, reaching out for him again as Baekhyun dances back. They don’t get far before Junmyeon’s laughter interrupts them, and Baekhyun can definitely understand the appeal. His eyes curve into little crescents and he hides his mouth behind his hand. Baekhyun beams at him, even as Jongdae wraps an arm around his shoulder and lightly shakes him. “What’s so funny?” he asks of Junmyeon, who just shakes his head.

“Nothing, nothing,” he says, but he’s still looking between the three of them with amusement. “I’m just glad to see that you’ve found what you wanted.”

Baekhyun’s chest burns at that, and he feels partly embarrassed, partly proud. He says, “I am quite the catch, aren’t I?”

Jongdae pinches his arm just as Minseok lightly smacks the back of his head and Baekhyun ends up stumbling away from them both, whining. It makes Junmyeon laugh all over again. “You’re funny, Baekhyun,” he says. “You should let Jongdae drag you to more of our school functions in the future.”

“I suppose I could,” Baekhyun agrees, and weasels his way back into Jongdae’s side when he rolls his eyes.

“Well, I should head off,” Junmyeon says. “It really was good seeing you both again. And meeting you.”

“Likewise,” Baekhyun says, and smiles wider when Minseok tells Junmyeon not to be such a stranger. When Junmyeon is gone, Baekhyun looks between Jongdae and Minseok and says, “So that was Junmyeon, huh?”

“That’s Junmyeon,” Jongdae agrees. He’s still looking off in the direction that Junmyeon left, before shaking himself a little and turning back to Baekhyun with a smile. “Sorry,” he adds. “I didn’t think we’d run into him. I don’t see him a lot even though we work here. Different departments and all that.”

Baekhyun shrugs. “It’s cool,” he says. “I mean, I can see why you’d be into him. He’s hot.” When Minseok and Jongdae stare at him, a little surprised, he adds, “But, don’t be fooled or anything. You guys totally upgraded when you found me.”

He cackles when they groan and Jongdae shoves him away forcefully. Baekhyun just hops right back over, throws his arms around their shoulders and begins to march them toward the exit. “C’mon boys, let’s get food,” he says. “We can talk about Junmyeon and his ugly sweater while we eat.”

-

Making fun of Junmyeon’s ugly sweater comes back to hurt Baekhyun two weeks later when he’s shoved into an offending sweater of his own during Christmas Eve with Jongdae and Minseok. They’re at Baekhyun’s apartment only because it’s bigger and both Jongdae and Minseok’s siblings are joining them for dinner. Baekhyun’s a little nervous. This feels Important. Baekhyun had never cleaned his apartment so thoroughly before. Even Minseok was impressed.

He’s cooking in the kitchen now, moving around the space with the same kind of familiarity that Baekhyun feels at their place. It makes him warm to see how well they fit in here. Jongdae is pulling plates and utensils out of the cupboards and setting the table. He’s wearing a dark green sweater that’s just as hideous as Baekhyun’s. Minseok’s is red, and Baekhyun’s is a deep blue. The material scratches at his neck.

“Why am I wearing this again?” he whines as he flops over the counter, away from where Minseok has laid out food. “It itches.”

“Poor baby,” Jongdae says softly, ruffling Baekhyun’s hair as he passes. “It’s Christmas. Get into the spirit! You don’t even have a tree. This is the least you can do.”

“I never really had any reason for a tree before,” Baekhyun says. He usually visits his parents back in L.A. for Christmas, but this year they’re in Seoul with family and Baekhyun hadn’t expected to have anyone over at his place until Jongdae mentioned potentially moving their gathering over only a few days ago. It made sense, and still does, because Baekhyun has a larger dining table and more space, but now he does feel kind of stupid for not putting up decorations.

“Next year,” Jongdae says decisively, “We’re putting up a tree.”

Baekhyun is too happily stunned by Jongdae even considering spending Christmas together a whole year from now to say anything to refute it. He just grins. “But no itchy Christmas sweaters.”

“These are cute, okay!” Jongdae insists, tugging at the front of his and looking down at it. He has a silly looking Rudolph on the front, with a pom-pom nose. It’s ridiculous, but Baekhyun does agree that Jongdae, at least, looks cute in it.

“Whatever you say,” Baekhyun says in a placating tone, and laughs when Jongdae glares at him.

“Minseok!” Jongdae yells. “Back me up here!”

Minseok, who has been quietly and dutifully cooking at the stove, blinks when he turns to look at them. “What’re we talking about?” he asks, like he hasn’t been listening to everything they’ve been saying. The little twitch of his mouth gives him away.

Baekhyun just laughs as Jongdae groans, muttering under his breath about stupid boyfriends, and a knock at the door brings everything to a quick halt. Baekhyun straightens quickly, nervousness slamming back into him as Jongdae says he’ll go answer and disappears down the hall.

“Hey,” Minseok says softly, winding an arm around Baekhyun’s shoulders and giving him a gentle squeeze. “Relax. It’s gonna be fun, and they’re gonna love you. Just be your charming self.”

“You think I’m charming?” Baekhyun asks, fluttering his eyelashes at Minseok even as his words help to ease away the churning in his stomach.

“You have your moments,” is Minseok’s reply, but he kisses Baekhyun all the same, a small, reassuring kiss that has Baekhyun smiling in return.

Despite all of Baekhyun’s nervousness, it turns out to be a really great night. Jongdae’s older brother, Jongdeok, reminds him a lot of Baekbeom, and Baekhyun enjoys every ridiculous story about teenage Jongdae he has to offer. His wife is four months pregnant and asks Baekhyun question after question about what to expect, and although Baekhyun works mostly with young children, he answers everything he can with ease and even gives her the number of a friend he went to med school with that he knows works in the Seattle area.

He even gets along well with Minseok’s younger sister, who’s finishing up an MBA at UPenn and calls Baekhyun cute so many times that Minseok admonishes her for trying to steal his boyfriend.

“What, I can’t help it,” she says as she slips an arm around Baekhyun’s elbow and holds on tight. “He’s cute and a doctor, totally my type. Besides, you’ve already got a boyfriend.” She waves a hand toward Jongdae who is watching on in amusement, and Baekhyun laughs loudly and freely at the disgruntled sort of look on Minseok’s face.

Baekhyun pats her hand and says, “What if I keep my boyfriends and instead I give you the number of a friend of mine that’s single?”

She peers up at him inquisitively. Her eyes are the same as Minseok’s. “Is he cute?” she asks, and Baekhyun laughs again, thinking of Sehun.

“He’s cute,” he confirms with a nod, and she seems to consider this for a moment before smiling brightly at him.

“You’re the best,” she says, before pulling away entirely, sliding off the couch. “You can have him back, oppa,” she tells Minseok, patting his shoulder as she passes and Minseok lets out a heavy sigh.

“Please don’t encourage her,” he says to Baekhyun, who just shrugs a shoulder and smiles as he lifts his glass of champagne that Jongdeok had brought.

“I can’t help it,” he teases. “She’s cute.” When Minseok narrows his eyes at him, Baekhyun adds, “I think you’re cuter, though,” and laughs at the way Minseok gets a little flustered.

The night goes by faster than expected. Baekhyun gets more comfortable, forgetting all of his earlier worries in favor of laughing and chatting with everyone. He learns more about Jongdae and Minseok, too, as their siblings seem perfectly happy at revealing secrets at every opportunity.

“We can never invite them over again,” Jongdae says later that night, after everyone’s headed out. Minseok’s sister returned to her apartment and Jongdeok and his wife returned to their hotel for the weekend. They refused to leave before ensuring that Baekhyun would join them for lunch at least once before their flight back to Seattle. He’d given Jongdae’s sister-in-law his number to contact him while Jongdae had watched warily.

“Aww, c’mon, it was fun,” Baekhyun says, slinging an arm around Jongdae’s shoulders and leading him down to the bedroom.

“Yeah, sure,” Jongdae grumbles. “Just wait until we meet your brother and we’ll see how you feel about it then.”

Baekhyun visibly shudders at the thought. “Well, you’ve already met Kyungsoo, so I guess it can’t be much worse than that,” he says with a sigh.

“Ah, yes,” Jongdae says, perking up a bit. “I need to plan a date with him. See what he’s been up to. Level the playing field.”

He laughs when Baekhyun shoves him, but Baekhyun is laughing, too, even if the prospect of Kyungsoo telling Jongdae all of his secrets is a little terrifying. “He’ll tell you anything you want to know,” Baekhyun says. “The worst.”

“Don’t worry,” Minseok says as he emerges from the bathroom completely shirtless. “We won’t pry. Much.”

Baekhyun doesn’t believe a word of that, but decides it best to just let it go in favor of finally getting out of his ridiculous Christmas sweater. “I never want to see this again,” he says, tossing it into his closet and ignoring Jongdae’s scandalized shout. “Or least not until next Christmas.”

“So mean,” Jongdae says while Minseok steps into the closet to pick the sweater up and fold it properly. “You looked cute.”

“I always look cute,” Baekhyun says, wriggling out of his jeans and shaking his butt at Jongdae as if to prove his point. He gets a little smack on the ass for his trouble, but he laughs as he climbs up into bed. He rolls over and struggles to grab charger cord for his phone lying along the floor between the bed and the night stand. When he finally manages to reach it, he lets out a triumphant yell that turns into a groan as Minseok joins him in bed, climbing right over Baekhyun’s legs and giving his ass a little squeeze.

Baekhyun flashes him a grin over his shoulder and earns a smack this time when he waggles his eyebrows suggestively. Minseok laughs, leans in to kiss him and then slides off to the side, hands Baekhyun his own phone so he can plug that in to charge as well. By the time Jongdae practically flings himself into bed, too, it’s past one in the morning and Baekhyun is exhausted.

They celebrate Christmas the next day by staying in. “It’s cold out,” Baekhyun whines when he wakes thanks to Jongdae incessantly tickling the bottom of his feet. “I don’t wanna move.”

“You’re a big baby,” Minseok chides. “Come shower with me, at least.”

Baekhyun peers an eye open to look at him. Minseok is just wearing sweatpants and his brow is cocked like he knows Baekhyun is going to give in and the real question is a matter of how long it will take. Baekhyun waffles for all of ten seconds before he’s climbing out of bed, practically tripping over his underwear as he struggles to get them off while he follows. Baekhyun ends up fucking Minseok against a tiled shower wall, water sloshing against them, and Minseok reaches back to grasp at Baekhyun’s hip as Baekhyun traces the lines of Minseok’s tattoo with his fingers, and his lips.

Once they’ve emerged, skin a little pink from the heat and hair dripping onto their shirts, Jongdae has made pancakes and is waiting for them in the kitchen. Minseok sucks his dick at the dining table in thanks, and leans over Baekhyun’s after to kiss him, shares the taste of Jongdae on his tongue. “If this isn’t a merry Christmas, I don’t know what is,” Baekhyun teases, and splutters when Jongdae rolls his eyes and shoves a forkful of pancakes into his mouth to shut him up.

They get through half of How the Grinch Stole Christmas before Jongdae is palming Baekhyun’s ass and Baekhyun slides on top of him, grinding back on his dick until Minseok chucks the lube at them from the coffee table drawer and Jongdae ends up fingering Baekhyun until tears gather at the corner of his eyes. He pushes his dick between Baekhyun’s thighs after and comes all over his skin, leans down to kiss him hard while Minseok’s fingers gently comb through his hair.

Baekhyun’s sex life hasn’t been this fulfilling since he dated Yixing, and that was so long ago he’s forgotten what it’s like. It’s as if every lingering touch sets him off that day, gets all three of them going and impossible to stop once they’re hooked. But it’s not just the sex that has Baekhyun so happy, so full of life he can’t seem to contain it. In between all the hot, heavy kisses are the sweet gentle ones, traded as they strip the sheets from Baekhyun’s bed to clean and as they reheat the leftovers from the night before as a late lunch. There’s the warmth of Jongdae’s arms around him as they nap in the fresh sheets, lounging on Baekhyun’s bed, Jongdae’s soft voice humming Christmas songs into Baekhyun’s ears. There’s the sweet, indulgent looking smiles Minseok gives Baekhyun when he rests his head on his shoulder or tugs at his sleeve to get his attention.

There’s even the fact that despite agreeing weeks before not to bother with presents, they had all gotten each other something anyway. Jongdae’s were the ridiculous Christmas sweaters from the night before, and Minseok says he’s gotten tickets for them to see a musical just after the New Year. Baekhyun couldn’t help himself when he’d found the set of Marvel iPhone cases and he brandishes them out like they’re made of gold. He’s kept Iron Man for himself, of course, but lets Minseok and Jongdae fight over Hulk and Captain America, watching on with a bright, bright unrelenting smile on his face.

They leave the apartment late in the evening, just long enough to pick up ice cream from the nearest store and cheap wine. They share the tub of mint chocolate chip amongst them, gathered up on the couch and finally getting around to finishing How the Grinch Stole Christmas, legs tangled, elbows knocking together, licking ice cream off each other’s lips.

It’s the best Christmas Baekhyun’s had in years.

-

“There’s something…different about you,” Yixing says. He’s eyeing Baekhyun up and down, brows furrowed, and Baekhyun laughs as he slumps back against the armchair in Yixing’s apartment.

“Is there?” he asks, tilting his head to the side. “I don’t feel any different.”

Yixing makes a thoughtful noise as he continues to stare at Baekhyun. He’s sitting at the bench in front of his keyboard, but the song he’d been playing is forgotten in his favor of scrutinizing Baekhyun. “I don’t know how to explain it,” he says eventually. “Just, something.” He waves his hands around, gesturing towards Baekhyun’s entire being.

“If you pull a line from a movie and say I’ve got a new glow to me or something, I’m leaving,” Baekhyun laughs. “I’d expect such a thing from Han, not you.”

Yixing laughs, too, and shakes his head. Han, if he were here, would probably loudly protest, but he’s at work. Baekhyun hasn’t seen Yixing in ages, so he made a point to stop by after his shift ended while Yixing has a break before he has to head to the club. “It’s not really that,” Yixing says. “I don’t know. You just seem good. Happy.” He smiles. “It’s nice to see.”

“I’m always happy!” Baekhyun insists and Yixing rolls his eyes a little fondly before he turns back to continue playing the song he wanted Baekhyun to listen to.

His thoughts are on Yixing’s words more than the music though. He’s been hearing this a lot recently, that he looks happier. He finds that he doesn’t mind. He feels happier, lately. Sure, not much in his life has really changed. He still works seemingly endless hours, deals with crabby parents and the difficult kid that makes all the other, well-behaved kids look like angels. He still goes to the gym almost daily, sees his friends as much as possible, and still forgets to do his laundry until he’s practically out of underwear.

Being in a relationship, being with Jongdae and Minseok, hasn’t changed the day-to-day that drastically. But it has changed. Baekhyun’s probably changed, too. He’s got more options these days. More to look forward to. Instead of his empty apartment, Baekhyun can spend his time at theirs, fall asleep with his head in Jongdae’s lap. Instead of living off cup ramen, Baekhyun’s got Minseok and Jongdae’s combined cooking skills. He’s probably gained ten pounds in the past month. Instead of waking up alone, he wakes up to two warm bodies beside him, warm hands, warm touches, soft kisses, and whispered good mornings.

A lot has changed but it’s the kind of change that’s welcome. The kind of thing that makes Baekhyun happy. So maybe Yixing is right, that there is something different about him.

“I am happy, you know,” he says after a moment, nudging the curve of Yixing’s butt with his foot. “I’ve got a lot to be happy about.”

“Yeah? Like what?” Yixing teases, swatting Baekhyun’s foot away.

“Like you,” Baekhyun returns easily. He scrambles off the chair so he can instead wrap his arms around Yixing’s shoulders, purses his lips up like he’s gonna kiss him. Yixing’s cute laughter fills up the room as he fights Baekhyun off, and Baekhyun manages to plant a wet smacking kiss to his cheek before he releases him. “Jongdae and Minseok make me happy,” he says as he perches on the arm of the chair, watches as Yixing wipes his cheek with his sleeve.

“I know they do,” he says softly, smiling. Then, before Baekhyun can stop him, he’s reaching forward to pinch Baekhyun’s cheeks with his fingers. “You’re so cute, Baekhyun.”

Baekhyun smacks his hands away, almost toppling off the chair as Yixing continues to reach for him. He falls back into the seat, laughing, and Yixing smiles at him fondly.

“Speaking of Jongdae and Minseok,” he says after a moment, “what’re you guys doing for the 20th? Any special plans?” He gives Baekhyun a little suggestive little eyebrow waggle that would make Baekhyun laugh if he wasn’t so confused.

“What’s on the 20th?” Baekhyun asks.

Yixing’s face drops. “Oh,” he says, suddenly looking a little shifty. “They didn’t mention it?” When Baekhyun slowly shakes his head, Yixing sighs. “It’s their anniversary.” The words hit Baekhyun hard, that sort of overwhelming feeling you get after holding your breath underwater for too long. He isn’t sure what he was expecting, but this isn’t it. “I’m sorry,” Yixing’s saying, clearly taking Baekhyun’s silence as worrisome. “I figured you already knew. I only just remembered earlier today myself, so--”

“No, it’s okay,” Baekhyun says, cutting over Yixing once he’s finally found his voice again. He shrugs a little. “They hadn’t mentioned it. I guess I’ll ask them about it later.” He smiles at Yixing so he’ll stop looking so concerned, like he spilled some big secret that Baekhyun was never supposed to know. Baekhyun knows better than to think it’s really like that. They probably forgot. It doesn’t make it any less surprising, though.

It lingers in the back of his mind until he meets Jongdae and Minseok later at the gym, trading his jeans and sweater in for his workout shorts and t-shirt. They’re already there when Baekhyun emerges from the locker room, stretching out on the mats in the open area by the weights. They grin at him and Baekhyun smiles back, some of the earlier unsettled feeling in his gut fading away. This doesn’t have to be a big deal, he reminds himself as he flops down beside Jongdae and stretches his legs out in front of him.

“How was Yixing?” Jongdae asks and Baekhyun happily takes the bait to talk about Yixing while he sorts out the rest of his thoughts.

Eventually he says, “So, I hear your guys’ anniversary is soon.”

Minseok and Jongdae pause in what they’re doing and look at each other for a moment. It’s one of those looks Baekhyun hasn’t learned to figure out yet, and it makes his stomach churn a bit. “Were you just not gonna tell me or what?” he asks and winces when his voice comes out a little sharper than intended.

“Of course we were going to tell you,” Minseok says immediately.

“Do you even want me around then?” Baekhyun says, and Baekhyun’s always had a problem with speaking before he thinks but right now it’s like his mouth is taking all the weird, uncomfortable feelings and morphing them into horrible words to spew out without consideration. He wants to take them back the second they leave because he knows, he knows better than that, and yet, he stares at his sneakers and waits.

“Baekhyun, come on, what kind of question is that,” Jongdae says from beside him and Baekhyun groans, “I don’t know!” as he runs a hand through his hair and pulls his feet back, sits cross-legged on the mat and finally turns to look at them.

“You don’t tell me about it, and it’s in like a week,” he mumbles. “What do you expect me to think?” Before either of them can answer, he continues, “It’s something important to you so like I guess it’d make sense if you don’t want me around then but I--”

“Hey, stop,” Jongdae says, stretching a foot out to nudge against one of Baekhyun’s. “You’re an idiot. Of course we’d want you there.”

“But it’s your day--”

“Yeah, and now we’re making it our day.” Jongdae pokes Baekhyun’s foot again, this time a little harder until Baekhyun looks at him. “Get it?”

“Oh,” Baekhyun says. The longer he looks at Jongdae, the more expectant his expression becomes, and Baekhyun lets out a soft laugh as he drops his gaze to his feet again. “Okay.”

There’s a moment of silence then, and Baekhyun only looks back up when a familiar squeeze to the back of his neck surprises him. Minseok is smiling down at him now. “Hey, we’re sorry,” he says. “We should’ve told you about it long before.” He gives Baekhyun’s nape another squeeze and then pulls his hand away, shoves it into the pocket of his sweats. “To be honest, we sort of forget about it ourselves. We don't make a big deal out of it. But that’s still no excuse.”

Baekhyun takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, lets all of the uncertainties that have plagued him since he found out about this leave with it. “It’s okay,” he says, because it is. “I get it. I was just, surprised. I don’t know. It’s been a lot easier to forget lately that you guys have been together so long.”

“Is that a good thing?” Jongdae teases and Baekhyun laughs, fully, truly.

“I think so,” he says as he finally gets to his feet, stretches his arms over his head with a happy sigh before dropping them to his sides. “I mean, I don’t really forget. But like. Instead of feeling like I’ve joined you late, it feels like we’re, I don’t know. We’re all starting from the same point, making something together.” As he speaks, he feels heat climb up his neck to his cheeks and he cover his eyes with a hand. “Ahh, fuck, this is so lame.”

“It’s not,” Minseok says sincerely and Baekhyun peeks at him from between his fingers. “We feel the same way.”

Jongdae is nodding too, when Baekhyun glances at him. He lowers his hand. “Good,” he says, and then, to change the subject, “So, what are your anniversary plans? Anything special?” He waggles his brows pointedly the way Yixing had done earlier.

Jongdae laughs, shaking his head in amusement as Minseok says, “Nothing, really. We usually just go out to eat. Keep it simple.”

“Boring,” Baekhyun sings and cackles when Minseok gives his ass a little smack before heading toward one of the weight machines. “Let me know if you want anything.”

“All we want is for you to be there,” Jongdae says, as if to remind Baekhyun that he is welcome. That he is meant to be there with them.

“Don’t worry,” Baekhyun says. “I will be.” He grins wide. “You’re not getting rid of me so easily.”

-

It’s not until a week into February that it hits Baekhyun. He’s in line at the grocery store, a basket full of little things he’s been meaning to pick up: bags of chips, milk, some post-its for the office, toothpaste. Amongst all of that, there are two new toothbrushes, in different colors, two new fluffy towels, and even nice coffee mugs. They’re for Minseok and Jongdae, but Baekhyun had put them into his basket without even really thinking about it. Sure, it’s been there, in the back of his mind for awhile, that it’d be good if they had their own toothbrushes for when they stay over at his place. Baekhyun has his own at their place, but he does spend way more time overnight there anyway. Except Baekhyun’s also thought about how his supply of towels could probably expand especially considering how terrible Baekhyun is at keeping up with laundry, and that Jongdae and Minseok’s love of coffee means they could use some good, sturdy mugs instead of the mismatched set of china Baekhyun has in his cabinet.

It’s all so very domestic, he realizes, staring into his basket, realizing even the bags of chips he bought are ones that Jongdae favors. It should be scary, a little, but instead, Baekhyun finds himself smiling, heart warm and full and delighted at the thought of making space for his boyfriends in his apartment, that they’ve become such a part of his life in the past five months, that he doesn’t even need to remind himself to do these things. He just does them.

As he heads home that night, he realizes there’s probably something else he should do to take this just a little step ahead. It’s probably about time.

He gets the keys made within the next few days but he holds onto them another week, never quite sure how to bring it up. Feeling suddenly embarrassed by it whenever he thinks about them. It’s not the biggest step--he’s not asking them to move in--but still. It feels important. A major moment in their relationship. They haven’t given Baekhyun a key to their place, but that doesn’t bother Baekhyun. Baekhyun’s there so much regardless. Jongdae’s almost always there in the evenings anyway, considering his more regular work schedule.

He puts the keys onto the chain with the rest of his keys for safekeeping, but he sometimes takes them out to look at them, running his thumb over the groves along the edge. He’s excited, but nervous. They haven’t talked about this yet, but Baekhyun doesn’t think it’s too soon. As the days go on, Baekhyun finds more and more of Jongdae and Minseok left in his apartment. Jongdae’s shirts in Baekhyun’s closet, one of Minseok’s sweaters left at the kitchen table, their favorite drinks in the fridge, a forgotten phone charger hanging out of the socket by the couch. And, Baekhyun, too, has more than left his mark at their place, as well.

The more he thinks about it, the more right it feels.

It hits him again, another epiphany, so soon after the first, that it shocks him into silence. He’s staring into the fridge, at a small tupperware box of leftover spaghetti that Jongdae had made a few days ago. There’s a post-it on the lid that just says eat up! eat up! in Minseok’s familiar writing, and Baekhyun stares and stares, and lets all the cold air out of the fridge until it starts to beep from being held open so long, but not even that is enough to jumpstart his brain.

It’s not until Kyungsoo, who had been over for dinner, comes into the kitchen to find out what’s wrong, that Baekhyun jolts, blinking rapidly as he closes the fridge slowly, still holding the tub of spaghetti.

“What the hell is up with you?” Kyungsoo asks.

“I think I’m in love with them,” Baekhyun breathes out as he looks up at Kyungsoo. It’s clear that this is not what Kyungsoo was expecting and it pulls a low chuckle out of Baekhyun as he looks back down at the food in his hands. “I might love Jongdae and Minseok.”

“Okay, first, give me that, it’s gonna burst from how tight you’re holding it,” Kyungsoo says, tugging the box out of Baekhyun’s hands. “Second, really? You’re only realizing this now? Because of some leftover food in the fridge?”

“I--” Baekhyun starts, but then stops, because he’s not sure what he wants to say. He runs a hand through his hair and looks at Kyungsoo a little helplessly. “I don’t think it’s really the first time,” he admits. “Like, it’s probably been building, for awhile. But yeah. I guess there’s just something about spaghetti.” He swallows thickly, trying desperately not to freak out suddenly as the weight of his realization presses down on him. “Kyungsoo, fuck, what do I do?”

To his credit, Kyungsoo doesn’t laugh or tease Baekhyun the way he usually would. He sets aside the container onto the counter, then takes Baekhyun’s hand and pulls him back to the couch, makes him sit. “Breathe,” he says finally. “What’s wrong? Is this a bad thing?”

“It’s not,” Baekhyun says quietly. “I don’t think.”

“Then what’s got you so panicked?” Kyungsoo sits on the arm of the couch and gently rubs a palm up and down Baekhyun’s back. It’s soothing and reminds him to keep breathing, to not let this overwhelm him.

“Do I tell them? Do I just keep it to myself? I haven’t felt like this in a long time,” Baekhyun admits, and Kyungsoo laughs softly.

“Look who you’re talking to,” he says. “I’m so swamped with work, I barely get the chance to date, let alone have a relationship.”

“Hey, I thought things were going well with Soojung.”

“They are,” Kyungsoo says with a rare little shy smile. “They really are. But, that’s a topic for another time. We’re talking about you.”

“As we should always be,” Baekhyun says haughtily, and yelps when the hand on his back slides up to smack him upside the head. “Did I tell you I got keys made for them? For my apartment? So like, they can come here whenever they want. If they want.” Kyungsoo looks surprised for a moment and Baekhyun sighs. “I haven’t given them to them yet.”

“Why not?”

Baekhyun shrugs a shoulder. “Nervous,” he says. “It’s not like I think they’ll say no, or won’t accept them, but. It still makes me nervous.”

“There’s nothing wrong with that, you know,” Kyungsoo says. “You like them a lot.”

“Yeah, yeah, I do,” Baekhyun says, smiling unbidden at the mere admission. He feels so warm as he says it, as he thinks about how it’s even more than that. How he really might be in love. It’s a little scary, but also exciting.

“Then don’t think about it so much,” Kyungsoo says. “Sometimes you get lost in your head, you know.” He pokes Baekhyun’s forehead for emphasis and smirks when Baekhyun whines at him. “Give them the keys. I’m sure they’ll be happy.” His smirk fades into a softer, more genuine smile. “As for being in love with them, I think it’s great. Just because you realized it doesn’t mean you have to tell them right away.”

“Yeah, I know that,” Baekhyun says. “I think I just freaked a little. It’s not like I was expecting to realize it, you know?”

Kyungsoo nods, pats Baekhyun’s shoulder. “Come on, get up. Let’s go get some dessert, I’ll treat you.”

“Wow, Kyungsoo,” Baekhyun says, hopping up to his feet and following Kyungsoo to the door. “To what do I owe this honor?”

“I just want some ice cream, okay?” he says, but then, as Baekhyun struggles to slip on his boots, adds, “And I think you could use a little distraction from all your feelings.”

“Feelings,” Baekhyun says with a shake of his head. Kyungsoo’s not wrong. “So troublesome.”

“It’s best to have a black heart, like me,” Kyungsoo says as they step out into the hall and Baekhyun locks the door behind him.

He laughs, shoving his keys into his coat pocket, and then grabbing Kyungsoo’s arm to hold onto as they walk. “You’re many things, Kyungsoo,” Baekhyun says, “but black-hearted is not one of them.” He smiles, snuggles in a little closer, and adds, “Thanks.”

“Anytime,” Kyungsoo says, returning Baekhyun’s smile with a heart-shaped one of his own, and then reaches up to tug on Baekhyun’s ear, just because he can.

-

It’s a rare Saturday morning where Baekhyun wakes up first. Jongdae and Minseok are still sound asleep beside him, Minseok curled toward the edge of the bed and Jongdae in the middle, drooling onto his pillow. Baekhyun smiles softly at the sight as the hands of slumber slowly release him. The apartment is silent save for the typical New York City traffic filtering in through the windows like the sunlight through the blinds.

Baekhyun lounges in bed for a while, stretching out the kinks in his bones, determining whether or not he’ll be able to fall back asleep. It’s clear that he won’t, that he’s awake for good, and that’s when he quietly rolls out of bed. He casts a glance back over at Jongdae and Minseok and smiles again as they continue to sleep on before he heads to shower.

The spray of the water helps to wake him fully and he feels much more refreshed when he steps out, wiping the condensation off the the mirror and peering at his reflection. A purpling bruise on his shoulder catches his eye, and he touches it gently, remembering the way Jongdae had bit him last night as he’d fucked Baekhyun, and as Minseok had fucked him. It’d been hot, fast, desperate, Jongdae stretching Baekhyun out so well even when he could barely move, trapped between Baekhyun and Minseok, and Baekhyun had his fingers in Jongdae’s hair but his eyes on Minseok over Jongdae’s shoulder, watching the way his brow furrowed and sweat clung to his collarbones as Jongdae had pressed his face into Baekhyun’s shoulder and come hard.

“Shit,” Baekhyun groans, quickly flicking on the faucet in the sink so he can splash cold, cold water on his face. He shakes his head a bit, pushing the vivid memories away, and roughly dries his hair with a towel.

He returns to the room buck naked and rummages quietly through his drawers for underwear and a shirt. He’s surprised that Minseok and Jongdae are still sleeping, but he leaves them to it. Once dressed, he grabs his phone from the bedside table and retreats to the kitchen, carefully closing the door behind him so they can sleep without distractions.

The hardwood floor is cold under his bare feet. He puts on the coffee first thing, pulling out the mugs he’d gotten recently for Minseok and Jongdae and setting them aside for when it’s done. He wasn’t hungry when he woke up, but now that he’s in the kitchen, his stomach seems to have woken up, too, rumbling a little for attention. “Yeah, yeah,” Baekhyun says, patting himself softly. “I’m on it.”

He ends up making himself a bowl of cereal, feeling a little too lazy to cook anything, and stands in the large sunspot on the floor that cascades through the window to keep warm. Baekhyun looks out over the sliver of city he can see, mostly other highrises beside his, some cars on the street. A dog barking loudly from what sounds like the next door balcony. It reminds him it’s been ages since he’s seen either of Jongin or Sehun’s puppies and makes a mental note to visit soon. He wonders if Jongdae and Minseok would like to go with him, then smiles as he thinks about how they both seem more like cat people. He’ll have to ask, later.

The last of his cereal is getting soggy at the bottom of his bowl when a gentle knocking sound jolts Baekhyun out of his thoughts. When he looks over, Jongdae is leaning against the wall on the other side of the kitchen. He’s in just a pair of boxers that Baekhyun’s pretty sure are his, probably left out on the floor from last night. A fizzle of heat spreads throughout his whole body.

“Why’re you up so early?” Jongdae asks, his voice hoarse from sleep. He shifts a little on his feet and his nipple piercing shines from the light of the sun. Baekhyun sticks his spoon into his mouth to keep from moaning. “Come back to bed.”

“Okay,” Baekhyun says, because he never has to be persuaded about these kinds of things. He sets the bowl in the sink and steps up to Jongdae, who smiles his curly little smile and lifts a hand to Baekhyun’s nape before he kisses him, once, just short and sweet. Baekhyun, effectively giddy, follows Jongdae back to bed, where Minseok is also awake, but looking rather grumpy about it. “Still sleepy?” Baekhyun asks as he settles in beside him.

“Just a little,” Minseok admits, and Baekhyun makes a little cooing noise as he gently runs his fingers through Minseok’s hair. It softens the expression on Minseok’s face almost instantly, his eyes fluttering back shut as Baekhyun pets him.

Jongdae laughs, amused, as he lounges back against the pillows on Baekhyun’s other side. He’s got his phone in his hand, checking through messages. “Amber wants to know if you’re ever gonna get another tattoo,” he says, and Minseok snorts.

“I’ll get one when I get one,” he says and Jongdae laughs, says he’s gonna tell her exactly that. “Maybe she could get Baekhyun inked instead.”

“I’m good,” Baekhyun laughs, though the idea isn’t that terrible. It could be nice. If he ever figured out what he wanted, or where to get it.

As if reading his mind, Minseok reaches up to take the hand in Baekhyun’s hair and plays with his fingers, thumbs sliding along over his knuckles. “You’d look so good with finger tattoos,” he says. “Your hands are pretty.”

“Yeah?” Baekhyun says, staring at his hands. He’s heard it before, but suddenly it’s making him flush. The way Minseok continues to caress his fingers isn’t helping much either. “Unfortunately, that’d probably horrify most of the parents I see on a regular basis.”

“Shame,” Jongdae says, shaking his head. “Maybe I should get one.”

“You should get your other nipple pierced,” Baekhyun says and he reaches over to flick said nipple, laughs at the way Jongdae hisses and smacks his hand away, but then he leers at Baekhyun and says, “You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”

“Obviously,” says Baekhyun, and Minseok, at the same time, and they all end up laughing at that together.

Jongdae sets his phone aside and slouches into the sheets, rolling to his side to look at Baekhyun. He slides a foot up Baekhyun’s calf, then kisses Baekhyun’s shoulder through his shirt. Baekhyun smiles at him, then glances over at Minseok, who has closed his eyes again but continues to play with Baekhyun’s hand, letting their fingers lace together, then apart, traces his fingers around Baekhyun’s wrist. Between them like this, on a soft, sunny, Saturday morning, has Baekhyun filled with so much love he thinks he might burst with it. He rests his head back against the headboard of his bed and finally says, “I got you guys keys.”

Minseok touches pause and he flicks his eyes open to look up at Baekhyun. “What?” he asks, and Jongdae, too, is sitting up straighter to look at Baekhyun in surprise.

“Keys. You know. For the apartment. This apartment. My apartment.”

“You got keys made for your apartment?” says Jongdae, and a smile starts to tug his lips wide with each word he speaks.

“Yeah,” Baekhyun says with a little shrug, like it’s not a big deal. Like hasn’t been thinking about this for days. “I, uh, thought it’d be good. For you guys to have them, so you can come over whenever. Let yourselves in if I’m late from work or something. I’ve been carrying them around for like two weeks, so really, you should take them off my hands.” He licks his lips, forces himself to calm down, and adds, “I want you to have them.”

“You made us keys,” Minseok says in a very fond voice that has Baekhyun’s heart melting.

“Yeah,” he says again, firmly. Sure.

Minseok and Jongdae stare at him for a moment, then look at each other, and Jongdae says, loudly, “Fuck, we should’ve thought of that first. I can’t believe it!”

“Hey, this isn’t like an incentive to get a key to your place,” Baekhyun adds quickly, even though he’s grinning. “You guys should decide that on your own terms.” He shrugs again. “This just feels right to me.”

"It feels right to us, too," Jongdae insists, grinning back at Baekhyun. "We'll go get your key made tomorrow. Or today, if you want. Maybe after lunch."

"Okay." Baekhyun beams, and Minseok gently squeezes his hand as if in confirmation.

There's so much more Baekhyun should tell them. Like how he's possibly, maybe, potentially, completely in love. But as they finally decide to face the day, Minseok climbing out of bed first and begging Jongdae to do the same, he watches them and realizes there is time. Plenty of time. He doesn’t have to rush this, not when it’s so important.

"What're you thinking about so seriously now?" Minseok asks, catching Baekhyun's eye in the mirror as he stands before the dresser, a shirt in his hands. He turns around, raises a brow at him.

"Oh, nothing," Baekhyun says, but he's still smiling and he knows he's fooling no one. He looks between Minseok and Jongdae, who has found his pair of jeans from the floor. "I just like you guys a lot. Did you know that?"

He means it teasingly, but the looks they give him are much more affectionate, and Minseok is walking back to the bed as Jongdae says, "You might have mentioned it once before."

Baekhyun laughs, but preens under the attention as Minseok leans forward to kiss Baekhyun's forehead. "We like you a lot, too," he says, and gives Baekhyun's hair a little ruffle as he pulls away.

"Good," Baekhyun says with a nod, but there was never any doubt. When he looks at them, he feels it in his veins, how much he likes them, loves them, and he sees it in their eyes when they look back at him.

Baekhyun knows he'll tell them he loves them when it's right, and he's not panicked enough anymore to think they won't say it back. He’s starting to realize it doesn't matter if they do, because his feelings are real and that's what matters. He thinks, eventually, they'll all come to love each other. The past few months have proved that they can, and will, make this work.

More than anything, Baekhyun is confident in that. In his boyfriends, in himself, and in the three of them, together.