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25 February 2016 @ 06:16 am


Crosspost with chocolatewinbox's Valentine Fic Event

Medium(s) Used: Words - aroma, blind
Pairing: Best friends/ flings/ pairing/ Minhoonam (You go figure out who’s what)
Length: 6k
Rating: R
Warning: Semi-explicit sex scenes. Cheating scenarios. Figuratively messed up and depressed as hell relationships.
Summary: A storm wrecks over Taehyun's apartment, and he has to come back to confront a storm he ran away from. One he created.
Author's Note: No judgment here – we’ve all done terrible things under the name of love. Or if we knew what love is at all.

( w e a r e w h a t w e t h r o w a w a y )

When the flood emergency alert came off on his phone in the middle of lecture, Nam Taehyun didn't give it another thought before turning it off. The alerts have been going off all week, and they never applied to him. Flood? What kind of flood is going to affect him? His apartment is on a hill. Of all people, he shouldn't be the one to worry about a flood. Especially when he is hardly home during the weekdays. The unprecedented rainstorms that have been terrorizing the city didn't have him worried for that same reason: he usually just sticks to the office until the weather cleared up. Closing the windows and he wouldn't even know if the sky collapses outside.

That was precisely why he still couldn't fathom the scene of his apartment, wrecked by the storm during the time he wasn't home. He got back just in time to find a bunch of strangers gathering in front of his apartment, with humongous machines - later on someone informed him that they were called dehumidifier - attempting to unlock the door to fix the interior.

"Sir, you need to find somewhere else to sleep tonight. Your apartment is flooded."

What kind of joke is this? Taehyun couldn't believe, but that was less about his personal beliefs and more about where the hell he should stay for the night.

"Do you have anywhere to go, sir?" Someone asked again but Taehyun didn't say anything. He got onto his car and lit a cigarette.

"Hey." He thought for a good ten minutes before sending the text to a number without a contact name. The last text sent to the number was also from him, and it was marked as "seen" six months ago. He thought of sending a proper text explaining his current situation, but decided not to. If it were to be ignored anyway, just keep the damage minimal. That was also why he deleted the contact long time ago but still kept the message thread. Minimize the damages. As if without a proper identification, certain pain couldn't be named.

"Sup." The other number texted back. He stared at the screen until it went black on its own. He pressed on the screen to activate it again just to make sure he wasn't seeing things. He thought long and hard about what to say, but decided not to, and opened an app to look for hotels instead.

The phone suddenly rang. Taehyun recognized the number and freaked out.

"Hey there." A familiar voice that came through the line. "It's been a while.”

"Yeah." Taehyun swallowed with difficulty. "How have you been?"

"Good." The answer came through without any delay. "I didn't think you would ever call me again. Especially after what I’ve asked of you… you know?"

Taehyun felt a small ache in his heart. He forced a smile thinking of the last text, "I'll see you then." - he had said, a day of many days ago, without ever making it happen.

"My house got flooded." He exhaled as he spoke. "I don't have a place to go."

The other stayed silent. For one moment, Taehyun regretted even picking up this call.

"You know what, I gotta go." Taehyun said quickly, but froze moments before he could hang up.

"Come here then."

He thought he heard it wrong.

"Come to my place."

Taehyun had thought of this particular moment for days on end but never managed to figure out what he would say or do if it ever happens in real life. In the end, he just murmured, admitting defeat.

"I'll see you then."

+ + +

It was raining, and windy, and Nam Taehyun made it to the door of that same apartment he so frequented for the last three years without misplacing one footstep. He had learned by heart the exterior of the building, even the sound his shoes made when stepping on those wooden staircases, to the point he didn't have to think while walking. The way his body memorized this place made him restless. He used to think at one point the brain would detox and unnecessary parts of memory would come out - especially those he so desperately needed to forget.

Ring the bell once. Then twice. Taehyun couldn't really focus; a strange sensation came over him. He remembered being the one having the keys to this apartment. At one point, the owner of this apartment always turned to him and asked, "do you have the keys, I forgot mine." He would then scoffed, pretended to act annoyed (but oh so secretly happy because he would then feel needed) - and at one point he was really annoyed, because he knew the question was less a question and more so a challenge, a personal task to see how much he’d put up with.

Especially, when the guy has gotten a person by his side who was supposed to do that.

And it wasn’t Nam Taehyun.

"Glad you came." He looked up from his feet when hearing a familiar voice. A man with a bright smile held the door open for him. Hair slicked back, white T-shirt, dark gray sweatpants, he looked no different than the freshman he was best friends with few years ago. His tanned skin glowed in the dark; the light behind him illuminated the edges of his face.

"Minho." Taehyun smiled back.

"Can't believe your apartment got flooded. Come in." The guy stepped back to make way for Taehyun. Here he was, soaked in water, standing in the hallway of an apartment that never was his place, regardless of how long he had stayed. He looked further into the door crack. Behind Minho, he could see the light from the living room; the sounds from TV and the smell of homemade food, and there were these smiling beautiful people whose lives are nice and warm and, well, together - a total contrast image of his own home and his current state. Cold, dark, wet, and utterly alone.

"I'm bothering you guys again." He closed off the umbrella before putting it into the holder next to the door. ("You got an umbrella holder? That's extra. I thought this is a frat house." Taehyun said on the first day moving in. Minho shrugged as he replied, "It's the other guy's. None of my business and I don't mind. He's gonna keep the place clean if he's so inclined.")."Where is Seunghoon?"

"In the guest room. He's making your bed."

Taehyun almost corrected him. "You mean my old room." But he stopped just in time, because Minho subtly slipped into his neutral statement that he would be staying in a "guest room," meaning only two things: welcomed, but only for a short period of time. He tried to avoid Minho's eyes. He was confident Minho didn't know anything.

Taehyun was always just a roommate.

"Nam Taehyun." A tall, slender guy walked out from the master bedroom, blankets and pillows on his arms. His hair was much longer than Taehyun remembered; his bangs were down, and water from the wet locks of hair tugged behind his ears kept dripping into his white shirt. "It's been a while."

"Lee Seunghoon." Taehyun mumbled; he looked away from the guy who just entered the scene. He got slightly mad at himself again for spotting right away the new tattoo on Seunghoon's neck, or the subtle change of the highlight on his hair, or the fact that he could almost smelled the fragrance of shampoo and body wash coming from the old roommate. "I will bother you tonight then."

"That sounds erotic." The guy bemusedly raised his eyebrows while opening the door to the other bedroom, separated from the master bedroom by the storage in between. "I will be looking forward to that, you bothering me and all." Minho, who was kicking back in the sofa, laughed at his joke. "Keep the Peter in your pants, babe." He shouted at Seunghoon who only responded by his laughter. Taehyun awkwardly stood in the middle of the room; hands holding tightly to the edges of his pants.

("I will be looking forward to that, you bothering me and all." The neat freak greeted both Minho and Taehyun. "I am claiming the master bedroom and for that I will pay an extra of 50,000 won. I got to choose because I am the first to rent here and my name is on the lease, so this will not be up to debate. Nice to meet you all." Taehyun just looked at the guy sitting on his desk with a thick book open - a biology encyclopedia if he wasn't mistaken - who didn't even glare at them while speaking. Minho, as usual, lazily turned to him and whispered, "like I said, I don't care. Bigger the room, bigger the messes. You care at all?" Taehyun nervously asked:

"But we only have two bedrooms."

"You two can share one." The guy looked up; he rolled his eyes up and down to scan both of them quickly. "You won't be here much," he said to Taehyun, "and your friend is fine whenever as long as he has his PS4. The couch can be his, I don't mind."

"I made your room." Seunghoon appeared again with a pack of clothes. "You didn't bring your pajamas did you? Change into this." He handed Taehyun the clothes. His gesture made Taehyun feel like being stripped naked: he was coming over to stay at someone else's house and didn't even think of packing anything with him, not even a change of clothes or a toothbrush. "No worries, really. I got everything ready for you." Seunghoon said when he noticed Taehyun unconsciously rubbed the back of his thighs.

"See, Taehyun. That's why you should always date an OCD dude."

"Not funny, babe." Seunghoon walked pass Taehyun to get to the kitchen. His shoulder brushed Taehyun's and in one second the shampoo's fragrance overwhelmed his senses. Seunghoon's face was this close to Taehyun's nose and in that one moment he could have sworn he saw Seunghoon's lips twitched into a smirk.

"Why what did I say again?" Minho wailed at the couch. "You always complained about me."

"I'm just a neat person. OCD patients are those who have medical conditions that need special treatments and they are not always bleaching themselves and their surroundings. So, jerk move. Not funny." Seunghoon said as he opened the oven. Taehyun's stomach made a sound and he remembered he hadn't eaten anything since the morning. "Food is almost ready."

"Didn't you guys have dinner?" Taehyun asked. "It's almost ten."

"I did." Minho said. "But Seunghoon didn't, he started cooking more to make sure we'll have food by the time you're here."

"You didn't have to." Taehyun said before walking into the room and closed the door behind him. From behind, Seunghoon stared at him. "My pleasure," he said.

("Thank you for cooking." Minho stuffed with a kimchi lettuce wrap into his mouth. "I have a feeling my college experience will be much better than cheap beers and take-outs."

"Drinking beer after 6pm will give you a belly." Taehyun knowingly teased; his classmate Minho, who he had been friends with since highschool and went to the same college with, was just losing a tons of weight in his first year, and he just was not in mood to talk about belly fat. Not ever.

"Really now, fucker." Minho gave Taehyun a side-eye while actively putting another big wrap in his mouth. "Watch me."

"My kimchi is low on sodium." Seunghoon nonchalantly said as he made a small wrap for himself. "Carbs are not the only thing that will make you gain weight."

"Can I marry you?" Minho almost shed tears at Seunghoon's rescue, only to get a cold shoulder. Seunghoon slowly chewed his food and replied with his usual one-liner:

"Only if you drop five more kilograms."

Taehyun thought he would die of laughing. Seunghoon looked at him, seemed to be amused.

* * *

Here Taehyun was, in his old room, without having to share it with Minho – the guy has permanently claimed a spot in the master bedroom now. Seunghoon’s pajamas, which he himself handed to Taehyun, and it had that smell. That smell of one-time wear, dry and neatly folded, placed into the laundry basket; that smell of I knew what you did in the dark laundromat with my clothes, that smell of do you remember how much of a coward you are, that smell of hereby I challenge you with what got you off throughout your college, that smell of are you going to give in now, like you always did. Taehyun held the clothes tightly against his stomach and he knew, behind this door, Seunghoon was still staring at him. So he quickly came into the bathroom, took off his wet clothes, turned on the hot shower. The one-time-worn pajamas that he brought with him stayed silently on the rack. Taehyun sat down on the bath tub for a good ten minutes, then reached over to grab the shirt from the rack.

(Taehyun first started doing this the first time he volunteered to do laundry. Normally, Seunghoon was the one who took care of everything cleaning-related in the household, but Taehyun insisted. It made him feel stupid enough to rely on Seunghoon on cooking and keeping the house clean, what’s with his best friend Minho being a slouch whose function was as good as a guard dog. With his masculine figure, he sure could scare off a lot of troubles come knocking at their door. Aside from that, he stayed for days on end in the couch, which Seunghoon said he didn’t mind – in his words, “as long as he doesn’t move anywhere and keep the damage minimum” – but Taehyun could tell that Seunghoon didn’t like it. Hell, even he himself didn’t like it. So, he decided to chime in and helped. Said he’ll take care of the laundry.

But he’d only take his clothes and Seunghoon’s to the further laundromat. There were two laundromats in the whole complex, and nobody used this one, because it was slightly further, almost hidden in a corner behind the storages. He actually didn’t plan all of this, but maybe, just maybe, in case he wanted to explore Seunghoon’s clothes, he wouldn’t be caught. He was confident he wasn’t going to be caught, but his heart kept beating really, really fast, when he untangled the layers of clothing, meticulously like an artisan crafting her masterpiece. All of Seunghoon’s dirty clothes are just one-time worn, neatly folded and placed into the basket. There was no underwear – the guy would wash and dry them himself. He recognized the T-shirt Seunghoon wore on Monday. The button shirt he wore on Tuesday would be on top of it. On Wednesdays he’d usually go to the lab, so the lab shirt would be there next. He changed pants every three days, and never wet-wash his jeans. Taehyun laid out the clothes on top of the washer and ran his fingers through the fabrics. He felt a throb in-between his thighs.

The few first times when it happened, he’d feel so ashamed of himself, so he just threw everything into the washer and exited the mat as soon as possible in hope that no one would see him meddling with someone else’s clothes. Then the time after that, and the time after that – it wasn’t an one time curiosity that got the best of him like he had wishes. He had gone as far as smelling the worn-off cologne on the T-shirt collars, and wearing them on his bare skin.

It didn’t take long till he started touching himself with Seunghoon’s T-shirt against his nose.

“Are you taking a bath, Taehyunnie?” Seunghoon called from outside the bathroom.

He almost dropped the shirt into the tub.

“Uhm, yes, I will be there in a minute. Why don’t you eat first, hyung?” He shouted out.

“I don’t want to eat alone.” Taehyun startled because he could hear Seunghoon so much more clearly this time. “Minho left to see his friends. So come eat with me.”

Taehyun was determined not to look behind because he could imagine the only way he could hear Seunghoon over the sound of water was that the man was in fact so very close to him.

“I will be right outside, hyung. So… don’t come any closer.”

“Are you sure about that?”

Taehyun closed his eyes as he felt a shadow casting over him. And the distinctive fragrance that haunted his young memory invaded his personal space. The hot breath against his ears indicated how closely the man’s lips were held against him.

“Leave, Seunghoon.” Taehyun covered his lower half body, which clearly disagreed with him, with the shirt. Seunghoon lightly chuckled.

“Why do you still lie to yourself?”

(“I think he’s hot.” Minho once said in the midst of writing final essays. “Don’t you agree?”

“What are you on now?” Taehyun didn’t even look at his friend.

“You must also think he’s hot. He’s definitely your type.” Minho scoffed with suggestive voice. Taehyun had reasons to think that Minho was just trying to dig information from him. But he wasn’t entirely sure why.

“No, he’s your type. Isn’t he a bit like that old crush of yours. Kang Seungyoon. They’re both from the same city, right? You have a type.”

“My crush? You mean your ex. You beat me to it.” Minho laughed heartily while Taehyun kept silent. “No, I didn’t beat you to it. You knew I was into him so you pushed him to me. That’s why it ended so badly. I hate it when you play that match-maker role.”

“No I didn’t. You beat me, I was jealous, that was all.” Minho still smiled and tried to act like losing Kang Seungyoon to Taehyun wasn’t why he acted out in his second year and almost got expelled from highschool. Taehyun was so guilty that he couldn’t even look at the guy without imagining Minho’s darkened expression – so the whole relationship went out the window after just a few weeks. Minho punched him in the face that day – Taehyun still remembered the way Minho looked when he heard the news. He punched Taehyun right in the face, while gritting his teeth, “I shouldn’t have let you have him.” It took them half a year to even talk again.

“Nah, I’m not into Lee Seunghoon.” Taehyun shrugged; it didn’t take a genius to see where this conversation was going.

Minho murmured something, but just laughed it off when Taehyun asked. He shouldn’t have pretended that he didn’t hear anything, because one, he did, it was “You promise?,” and two, Minho was right. They always have the same type.

“I’m not doing this, hyung.” Taehyun put the pajamas over his thighs and pushed back. He could feel the warmth spreading on his back from the man who stood too close.

“You mean, not anymore?” Seunghoon stood straight and stepped back. “What difference does it make?”

“Dammit.” Taehyun wanted to grab him by the collar, but Seunghoon was too far away to try without risking exposing himself. “You chose him, lest we forget that.”

“That didn’t stop you though. From wanting me.” Taehyun just wanted to slap that smirk off Seunghoon’s face.

“Because we’re fucking horrible people, that’s why.” Taehyun said, restlessly. “And disregard of what you think I am incapable of, Seunghoon, I am trying. I stepped out of it, a long time ago, so don’t try to pull me back.”

“I’m not trying. I just do what I feel like doing. What I did I do, but what you do, you can’t blame it on me.” Seunghoon leaned on the vanity sink. His white shirt has gotten almost transparent from all the water splashing from the running faucet. “I’m like drug, Taehyunnie. I’m just there being a pill is all. If you take it, then you’re the one at fault.”

“You’re worse. You’re poison.” Taehyun turned off the water. The tub was two third full.

“Said the one who’s dying.” The man ran his hand on the wet surface of the white sink. The slow movement of his fingers did things to Taehyun’s lower stomach. He shook his head:

“Why are you doing this?”

“Because it’s extremely throbbing. You know.” Seunghoon smiled with his eyes slightly closed. Your eyes always undressed me to my bones and you could not hide your trembling breath when you see me. It got me wonder, how do you desire someone so much, it… intrigues me.” The sounds coming from his barely parted lips were sent straight into Taehyun’s crotch and he pushed himself so hard against the cold surface so Seunghoon wouldn’t see he’d trembled.

“But you’re still with Minho.” Taehyun lowered his voice to sound calmer.

“That’s because you gave me up, Taehyun.” The matter-of-fact answer that Seunghoon didn’t have to think twice to give was expected. Taehyun shook his head again:

“No, don’t pin this on me. You don’t get to do this. You don’t make decisions based on those I didn’t make.”

“But you did, didn’t you?”

(Taehyun was just waking up that day when he found Minho sitting tight on the couch, wearing proper clothes instead of just sweat shirt and pants. Seunghoon was on the other side of the coffee table, having his breakfast while reading a magazine. It was a Sunday morning of spring. Minho saw him walking in the room, so he said, a little bit hurriedly:

“Seunghoon. I like you.”

Taehyun stopped right at the kitchen door but didn’t dare to look back, so he didn’t know Seunghoon stared at him, long enough to make Minho uncomfortable. The guy nervously asked:

“What do you think about me?”

“I think…” Taehyun opened the refrigerator and took out some milk, pretending he wasn’t a part of the conversation, and right, he wasn’t. He went on to make himself a cup of coffee, all the while facing away from whatever was happening in the living room. The slow, accentuated words flowing from Seunghoon’s mouth following him into the kitchen. “You are one hell of a fine guy. I like the way you… look at me…” Taehyun almost burned himself trying to pour hot water into a cup. “I like the way you smell too.” Taehyun’s eyes became wide open. He turned around to look at Seunghoon. The kitchen cabinet hang above the built-in bar surface only left enough space for him to see half of his face, from his lips up. “It lingers on the clothes you wear…” The man stood up from his spot and walked over to Minho. From his angle, Taehyun saw the man slowly rising up; he softly put each step on the carpet, reaching the couch where Minho was sitting dazedly. He put one knee on Minho’s laps, sat down, and pulled the other knee close. His face geared towards an extremely embarrassed Minho as he breathed out each word slowly. “Don’t you want me?”

Taehyun left his coffee on top of the stove and ran back to his room. He closed his door just in time Minho mumbling ‘yes’ before exhaling a deep breath when Seunghoon smiled into the side of his neck. Taehyun sat down on the floor, back against the door. Every moves and small little noises they made painted a vivid picture in his head. “Yes, I want you.” He whispered over and over again while holding tightly to the edges of his shirt with both hands. He didn’t want to give in to the overwhelming stimulation that the noises outside brought to him. The tight and stung feeling in his pants would not go away, especially with the breathless moans coming from – he knew - those sweet lips that he so desired to fill up against with his. He cracked the door open to see Seunghoon on the couch, his legs spread wide open, and Minho with his back facing the door, kneeling down in front of him, his head slowly moving up and down. Taehyun saw Seunghoon with lips slightly open, hands holding on Minho’s hair, inhaling in fast and short breaths. Then the guy lets out a small moan while directing his eye contact from Minho to him through the small open crack of the door.

“Yes, I do. I do. I do.” Taehyun held the hot, painful, reactionary manhood that had no pride in his hand and came after mere seconds. He wanted to punch the wall right moments after, when hearing Minho’s loud finishing noises, and seeing his own mess on the floor. He dropped the pants hanging on his knees and used it to wipe them clean.

“Don’t you feel guilty, ever, at all?” Taehyun stepped out of the bath tub, reached pass Seunghoon to grab the sweatpants on the rack and put them on. He felt the man’s gaze following his every move, to every inches of his bare skin, but acted like he didn’t care. This, in the end, wasn’t the first time he was exposed in front of the man’s eyes, literally or figuratively.

“Do you?” Seunghoon took one step closer.

“Why did you think I moved out?” Taehyun scoffed.

“I figured you just… lost interest.” Seunghoon took another step; the bare distance between them shrank proportionately.

“I did.” Taehyun looked away to deny the foreseeable scenario. In five second, Seunghoon would reach him; he would curl down his head to snuggle up on him, so closely, so personally Taehyun would even forget that the man wasn’t his. Taehyun would, unconsciously, open his arms to welcome the man, grab him by the shoulders, then tilt his head to meet him by the lips; they would do that, so skillfully and naturally, as if this thing they did didn’t cause thousand heartbreaks or sleepless nights from both ends.

“You did?” Here Seunghoon came again, lips barely apart from his ears; the hot and wet breath sent a shiver down his spine. “You lost interest in me?”

“No. Not you.” Taehyun closed his eyes in a desperate attempt to stop whatever was going to happen. “The situation. I was done with it.”

“It’s fine.” Seunghoon murmured. “Hush, it’s fine.” He used his fingers to lift Taehyun’s chin over. Taehyun saw the way the man looked at his lips, and believed him. He better do because in moments, their lips would be touching, and it would be no use trying to rationale the consequences.

He had always believed Seunghoon when he said that “it’s going to be fine.” Since the first time the man invaded his personal space in the laundromat and gave him a close-up experience of what he really smelled like on his neck, his underarms, and wherever corners hidden away by fabric. Seunghoon always made him believe that he wasn’t, at all, full of betrayal.

(“We shouldn’t be doing this.” Taehyun jerked his head backwards when Seunghoon got down on his knees in front of him. “You are with Minho.”

“It’s not that serious.” Seunghoon mumbled as he unbuckled the belt. “We’re mostly fucking at this point. Unless you want me to dump him for you.”

“No. No. He can’t know of this.” Taehyun held Seunghoon’s head using both hands. The man was clearly doing something to his body, because both knees went weak and the blood was boiling in his veins. It wasn’t much about the action itself –lived in this world looking like he was, Taehyun knew sex; but the rareness of stolen intimacy and the guilt that ate him alive every time he thought of his best friend must have been thrown into the mix and made the best orgasms possible. It was almost like Taehyun didn’t know how to say no to Seunghoon, and in their dirty little secretive world, everything else was just an audience for a big stage.

Do not judge Taehyun. He tried to move on. He really did. With girls, with guys. But every time he brought someone home, the look on Seunghoon’s eyes convinced him that he was fighting a losing battle. He always ended up doing blindfolding himself and gagging the others, just so that the physical contact wouldn’t mess with the images and sounds from Seunghoon that he kept replaying in his head.

“Why are you messing with your best friend’s partner, Taehyun? Do you like him?” Seunghoon once asked while Taehyun was going down on him. “Is this some kind of ‘I can’t have you so I’ll screw the one closest to you and pretend it was you’ television plot thingy?”

“No.” Taehyun said after making Seunghoon’s knees go limp with the twirling motion of his tongue. He lathered his mouth across the stick, and Seunghoon made a small grunt in the back of his throat. “He’s just my best friend.”

“That doesn’t answer anything.” Seunghoon grabbed Taehyun by his hair and pulled aside, forced him to make eye contact. “I like you too, maybe I should dump him for you.”

“No. You can never dump him.” Taehyun went deep throat after the statement and Seunghoon forgot momentarily the point of the conversation.

Taehyun used to wonder if he was just a kinky bastard who could only get off by stealing from his best friend. But he wasn’t forced to confront the idea: from the first glance, Seunghoon seemed to be the perfect match. He was that guy who loved cheating with his boyfriend’s best friend. They couldn’t judge each other. They never really did.

Except Seunghoon knew that the only way he could reach Taehyun was by staying as Minho’s partner.

* * *

“What are you two doing in the bathroom? Reunion sex?” Minho knocked loudly on the door and Taehyun pushed Seunghoon aside. The man tripped and almost fell to the bath tub full of water. Luckily, he held on to the sink and stabilized himself. He gave Taehyun a cold glare.

“I wish.” Seunghoon unfazedly answered through the door. Taehyun looked at him in disbelief. “Hwangja forgot how to turn on the hot water in this poor bathroom, so I’m helping him. You might have to check the water source, babe. The water is either too hot or too cold.” He said while unplugging the drainer.

“Why the fuck is he home?” Taehyun freaked out and tried to find the shirt. He found it laying in the tub when the water was drained out. “This is not good. Why is he home? I thought you said he went out.” Seunghoon looked at him like the craziest piece of work.

“Who do you think would go out in this kind of weather?”

“You told me he left. You told me that.” Taehyun put the shirt on anyway. “Get me another shirt. This shit is cold as hell.”

Seunghoon sniffed and shook his head.

“Why are you still standing there?” Taehyun almost yelled at him.

“And you said you didn’t give me up.” He then shouted to the door. “Give me another sweatshirt, darl. Hwangja wets his clothes.”

Some laughter, then some exchanges proceeded. The door opened, the door closed. It all happened in front of Taehyun like some sorts of sped-up motion pictures. Minho came in with another shirt while making fun of how clumsy Taehyun was. Both of them left after closing the bathroom door, leaving Taehyun alone in the cold, wet bathroom with a new pack of clothes. This time, they only smelled of detergent.

(“It’s not you. I just don’t like being attached. I’m not… emotionally available, I think that’s the phrase.” Taehyun whispered to Seunghoon’s ears after stealing him once too many times again. The man with his smooth back laying on top of him slightly turned around to meet Taehyun’s eyes.

“Ah. Classical jerk move.” Seunghoon chuckled. Taehyun reached out a bit to kiss Seunghoon’s temple. The soft, damped hair with the lingering of whatever perfume that Seunghoon always wore tickled his nose; the scent aroused his senses silently and insanely, Taehyun slid his hand into the slender man’s unbuckled pant which he didn’t fully pull up.

“Mm.” Seunghoon kept the small grunt in his mouth while reaching over his head to pull Taehyun down and kissed the corner of his mouth. “You greedy little bastard. You can’t get enough of me, can you?” – “Nah.” The interlinked lips curved into petite smiles before Taehyun filled up all of Seunghoon’s mouth with his hungry, impatient kiss.

It lasted a little bit too long and ended too softly for Taehyun to ignore the voice screaming inside his head. After Seunghoon had fallen asleep, Taehyun sneaked out, go back to the room he shared with Minho which he had all to himself at that point, and finished packing.

The door automatically locked behind him. Taehyun pulled hood over his head and started walking down to the parking lot. By the time he left, the clock strikes midnight.

+ + +

“But you need to eat something first.” Minho tried to hold Taehyun back when he insisted on leaving. “It’s almost midnight and you haven’t even eaten anything.”

“No, it’s fine. The housing administration just called me. They booked a hotel for me and they have excellent room service there. I’ve stayed with them before.” Taehyun said while packing up his wet clothes into a paper bag. He looked at neither of the men before him. Seunghoon was sitting on the couch; the food on the the coffee table had gone cold for at least half an hour.

“It’s okay, darl.” Seunghoon said while picking up the plates. “We can eat them later. Let the boy go, he must be tired.”

Taehyun tried not to look back at Seunghoon who walked pass him to the kitchen. Minho held out his arms to cuddle while his partner passing by, talking in baby-voice: “I’m so sorry my best friend is an asshole. That’s why he’s still single till this day while we’re happily engaged.”

“Engaged?” Taehyun paused to ask.

“Yeah.” Minho cheerfully answered. “Just the other day. We haven’t told anyone, so you’re the first to know, buddy.”

“Congrats.” He swallowed with difficulty and directed his gaze to the kitchen. Seunghoon didn’t say anything while putting the left-over food to some food containers.

“Are you sure you don’t want to stay?” Minho asked again; he was still concerned about Taehyun so determined to leave in the middle of the night.

“I’m good, man. It was good seeing you for a bit. It’s been forever.” Taehyun pulled Minho’s handgrip into a shoulder tap. “I’ll talk to you later.” He exited the living room, passing through the kitchen door where he stopped for a second and said:

“Goodbye, Seunghoon.”

Then he walked out, stepped into the cold hallway still wet with rainfalls, went downstairs and disappeared into the parking lot where all the lights had been knocked off by the storm.

+ + +

When Taehyun settled to his car, his phone vibrated in his pocket. Taehyun pulled out to see a new text. He opened the message, which came from the same number without a contact name. In the lit-up screen, the only light source of this total darkness Taehyun submersed himself into, presented the text: “Thank you, Taehyun. I know I asked the hardest of you.”

Taehyun stared at it for a while, before finally shaking his head and replying back.

“You’re fine, man. I do what I need to do. I’m glad it worked out after all.”

Another text came right away.

“I’ll see you then?”

“I’ll see you then.”

He started the car, and drove away. From the window in the second floor, Seunghoon looked at the car leaving, way until it was totally swallowed by the darkness.