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They’d closed their last show for the semester to thunderous applause hours ago, but somehow, Namjoon still feels like he’s performing. It doesn’t make sense; he’s a director, not an actor. Still: he’s never been comfortable in big parties, and while he’s mostly stayed by the bar, he doesn’t quite feel like he can leave. If he did, everyone would be blowing up his phone, asking where he went. They’re celebrating him as well, Taehyung had said earlier, and Namjoon felt powerless to refuse.

It’s all of those things that lead him to where he is now, leaning against the kitchen counter of whoever’s house this is (Jackson, maybe), beer in hand, chatting with Seokjin. The party continues to thrum around them, the crowd seeming to have doubled in size despite the catering packing up an hour ago. Now it’s just a regular party with all their professors and moderators and funders gone home; now suits are rumpled and neckties undone, heels set aside to dance properly.

Seokjin, who is somehow still thinking of what he could have done better: the play ended perfectly, so much so that back in the darkness of the tech booth, Namjoon almost didn’t believe it. Not a hitch in sight for their last run, and yet here Seokjin is, casually listing his mistakes.

“No,” Namjoon says emphatically. “You did well. I know when you don’t.”

Seokjin shrugs, taking a sip of his drink. Namjoon doesn’t know him well enough—not really, despite the year and a half that they’d been together in the university’s student theater organization. This recent run of Suzue Toshiro’s Fireflies finally got Namjoon his chance at directing, and over the course of the past four months, he’d learned some of Seokjin’s quirks. He also learned what he needed to do to lift his spirits.

Namjoon blows at an errant strand of hair on his forehead and hums. Beside him, Seokjin looks pensive. Namjoon didn’t expect him to be the type to hide away from a party, but maybe he’s just as tired as Namjoon.

“Sometimes—like tonight—when you’re on stage, you shine so brightly that I want to...” Namjoon sighs. “I want to kiss you, if only to take some of that light for myself.”

Seokjin laughs, soft and low and unlike how he usually sounds, as if he’s embarrassed by Namjoon’s words.

Namjoon can’t imagine why. It’s a great compliment.

“You’re drunk,” Seokjin says. Then he hums, considering as he takes a sip, then adds: “But you always talk like this, don’t you?”

“How do you know I’m drunk?” Namjoon grumbles.

“You’re a little pink.”

“It’s the light,” Namjoon snaps. He moves to go, but Seokjin catches his shoulder and holds him in place. Taking advantage of Namjoon’s momentary shock, he reaches up to touch Namjoon’s cheek. “Nah,” he says, voice gone low again, too soft to be heard over the din of the party. Namjoon finds himself leaning closer. “You’re definitely drunk.”

Namjoon makes an annoyed sound at the back of his throat and gestures to the glass in Seokjin’s hand. “Not like you’re any more sober than I am.” He can’t explain why he’s suddenly feeling argumentative.

“No,” Seokjin agrees, and laughs at the furrow forming between Namjoon’s eyebrows. “So?” he asks, taking a step towards Namjoon and steadying them both as Namjoon falters backward. “How about it?”

“About what?” Namjoon asks, taking a sip from his beer and downing the rest of it when he realizes there’s barely any left. Seokjin does the same: swallows down his drink, his throat working. Namjoon stares at his lips and how they wrap around the clear edge of the glass.

Trust Seokjin to be drinking from crystal when the party has devolved to the point of breaking out the plastic cups.

Seokjin puts his glass down on the counter behind Namjoon and smiles at him.

Namjoon feels caught, bracketed against the bar behind him and Seokjin’s wide shoulders.

“Cute,” Seokjin says under his breath, more to himself than Namjoon, but they’re so close that Namjoon hears it anyway. “Well, Namjoon-ah?” he asks, meeting Namjoon’s gaze. “Limited time offer.”

“Fucking hell,” Namjoon mutters, and his cheeks feel even warmer; this, he knows for sure, isn’t the alcohol. “Do you just go around offering to kiss people?”

Seokjin laughs and slaps Namjoon’s shoulder. “Yeah, I’m not shy. I kissed Taehyung a hundred times over the past month, or did you forget?”

Namjoon forces out a laugh, because what the hell is he supposed to say to that? It doesn’t help that the alcohol is finally beginning to settle in. “This is stupid,” he says, running his hand over his face.

“Why?” Seokjin asks, and he sounds so genuinely confused that Namjoon has to stop himself from rolling his eyes. Seokjin moves to lean against the counter behind Namjoon and props his elbows up on it. At Namjoon’s silence, Seokjin nudges Namjoon’s arm with his shoulder. “It’s just for fun,” he says. “And you’re the one who brought up kissing.”

Namjoon laughs again, distress giving way to disbelief. “Yeah, sure,” he says, shaking his head. “Just two guys making out for fun.”

Seokjin tilts his chin up and looks down at Namjoon. “You clearly haven’t had enough experience making out for fun,” he says imperiously.

“No, I haven’t,” Namjoon says, nonplussed. He wishes he had something more to drink. “I don’t think many people have?”

Seokjin snorts and looks away. “The production team is always so square.”

They’re quiet for a while; Seokjin hums as he thinks, and Namjoon contemplates offering to get them both a drink. If only he could remember where the cooler with the beer was hidden away.

“You’re probably the type who kisses people with meaning,” Seokjin scoffs, as if there was no lull in the conversation.

Namjoon frowns. “Why—how—can you make that sound like it’s a bad thing?”

Seokjin waves him off. “I didn’t mean to,” he says, and continues despite Namjoon’s sputtering. “It’s just like—boring.”

“Boring,” Namjoon repeats flatly.

“I mean, how can you get better at it if you just do it with one person forever?” Seokjin muses, head tilted up as he considers the ceiling.

Namjoon doesn’t know what to do with his mouth, with his face. “Do you go around asking for feedback?” He blurts out, flabbergasted.

Seokjin looks back down and meets Namjoon’s gaze. “Yeah,” he says, frowning at Namjoon. “Don’t you?”

Namjoon’s jaw clicks shut, and he stares at Seokjin. Seokjin stares back. He can feel the way his attention zeroes in, aided by the alcohol: the rest of the room seems to fade away, and the fighting feeling from earlier makes a comeback.

“Prove it,” Namjoon grits out.

Namjoon expects Seokjin to be shocked. Instead, Seokjin arches his eyebrow and smirks. Namjoon only has a moment to reorient himself, then Seokjin reaches up and cups Namjoon’s cheek.

“Okay,” he says, and Namjoon blinks, trying to process everything that’s happening all too suddenly. He almost jerks back when Seokjin tilts Namjoon’s jaw down and kisses him.

A beat passes, and Namjoon’s eyes slip shut just as Seokjin threads his fingers through Namjoon’s hair. He moves slowly, as if Namjoon might startle, but it’s too late for that; even just like this, Namjoon feels like he’s losing himself to the kiss.

Seokjin tugs gently on Namjoon’s hair, angling his head to slot their mouths together more comfortably.

The world feels like it’s spinning, and Namjoon fights down the urge to open his eyes and check. He squeezes his eyes closed, reveling in the feeling of Seokjin’s lips against his. Seokjin makes a pleased little hum, and Namjoon can feel the vibration instead of hearing it.

Seokjin sucks Namjoon’s lower lip into his mouth, making Namjoon gasp at the sensation. He feels Seokjin lean forward, crowding into Namjoon’s space, and he slips his tongue into Namjoon’s mouth. It’s all going so fast, and Namjoon tries to keep up; he parts his lips a bit wider, noting the way Seokjin follows the movement. He tentatively touches Seokjin’s tongue with his own, and his knees almost buckle at the sudden jolt of pleasure that shoots through him. To keep his balance, he grabs the front of Seokjin’s shirt, pulling him closer.

Seokjin huffs a laugh against Namjoon’s mouth, but Namjoon can’t bring himself to care; it feels too good, and he’s afraid that it’ll end too soon. So he copies Seokjin’s earlier move and sucks on Seokjin’s lower lip. Seokjin hums again before pushing Namjoon’s mouth open with his and sliding their tongues together.

Namjoon groans. Has kissing always felt this good? If it was going too fast just then, now it feels like time has slowed down; their kiss is languid, exploratory. Namjoon follows Seokjin’s lead on how to move his lips, his tongue, and moves his hands where Seokjin places them (his waist, his neck). Namjoon is surprised at the sound of loss that slips out of him when Seokjin pulls away.

Namjoon sucks in a shaky breath, and Seokjin huffs out a laugh, looking all too pleased with himself.

“You’re a great kisser, hyung,” Namjoon admits. Even to his ears, even through the haze of alcohol, he knows he sounds awed. He doesn’t even feel embarrassed. It’s only just ended, but Namjoon feels like the kiss was bordering on a religious experience.

Seokjin tosses his head back and laughs. “I know, right?”

Namjoon must look as shell shocked as he feels, because Seokjin reaches over and squeezes his shoulder. “Hey,” he says, peering at Namjoon, concerned. “You okay?”

“Yeah,” Namjoon says, straightening up. He wants—he wants to kiss that well. He wants to make someone’s knees feel like jelly through the sheer power of his lips. And sure, he might be the kind of person who kisses other people with meaning, but he wants to make sure that the next time he does, the meaning isn’t lost in a lackluster liplock.

He feels no pride when he catches Seokjin’s wrist as he’s already turning away (probably to find a drink). Seokjin looks back at him, eyebrows raised in question.

“Can you teach me?” Namjoon asks.

Seokjin’s lips part, but no words come out.

Namjoon’s breath catches in his throat. “Nevermind,” he starts, just as Seokjin says—“You’re not a bad kisser.”

“Oh,” Namjoon says, and he notices that he hasn’t let go of Seokjin’s hand. He drops it unceremoniously and looks away, suddenly shy. “Thanks.”

Did people really just do this? Casually compliment each other on their kissing ability?

“We’re drunk,” Seokjin says, sounding a little embarrassed, as well. It’s not a tone Namjoon is used to hearing from Seokjin, and he looks back at Seokjin to check.

Seokjin meets Namjoon’s gaze and gives him a crooked smile.

“Yeah,” Namjoon agrees, feeling like he needs to say something. If only to prevent silence, at least.

“Listen,” Seokjin starts abruptly, then clears his throat. “I mean, I’m game. If you—if we remember this in the morning, then hit me up.”

“Yeah?” Namjoon asks, once again, distress giving way to disbelief. He tries to cover it up, and grins at Seokjin. “Two bros making out for practice?”

Seokjin laughs. “So cute,” he says, shaking his head as his laugh ebbs out of him. “That you think I need practice.” He reaches over and pats Namjoon’s cheek. “No, this is hyung teaching his dongsaeng his secrets.”

Namjoon bites back a laugh. “Okay, seonsaengnim.”

Seokjin nods back at him, drawing himself to his full height and feigning seriousness. “That’s right.”

Namjoon covers his mouth to hide his smile, and nods. He’s about to say more, absurdly wants to say thank you, but Seokjin beats him to it.

“Yoongi’s going to kill me,” Seokjin says, after glancing at his phone. “Get home safely, Namjoon-ah.”

“Oh,” Namjoon says, straightening up. “You too.”

Seokjin smiles at him and leans forward to press a chaste kiss to Namjoon’s lips. “For the road.”

 


 

Namjoon wakes up to the sound of music and groans. He scrubs sleep from his eyes as the throbbing in his head slowly begins to match the beat outside.

“Hob-ah,” Namjoon groans. He pushes himself up and yawns. “Hoseok-ah!” He tries, louder this time, and the music cuts off. Namjoon slumps back down just in time for the door to open and for his roommate to stick his head into the room.

“Good afternoon!” He grins. “Get up!”

“No,” Namjoon says pitifully. He’d stayed out much later than he’d meant to, even after Seokjin had left. At the thought, all the memories slam into each other in Namjoon’s mind: the banter, the kiss, the offer. “Oh, fuck,” Namjoon groans, grabbing a pillow from his side and throwing it over his face.

He lets the pillow absorb the pathetic noises he’s making, only stopping when his bed dips with Hoseok’s weight.

“Namu-yah,” Hoseok says, gingerly lifting the pillow up. “Coffee first before whining?”

“Have you ever asked anyone for feedback after kissing them?” Namjoon blurts out. There are two Hoseoks floating in his vision, blurry from the sudden shift of darkness to light.

Hoseok makes a choked sound, then scratches the back of his head. “Eh?” He says.

Namjoon peers up at him. It’s not confusion on his features, but shame. “Not you too.”

“People just tell me!” Hoseok says defensively, hands flying up as if in surrender. “I don’t ask them!”

“I’m a bad kisser,” Namjoon says, turning to look out the window and contemplate his fate. He’s not usually one for dramatics, but he’s hungover and thinking of every single person who’s had the misfortune of being kissed by him. “No one’s ever told me I was a good kisser.”

“You don’t know that,” Hoseok says gently. He reaches over and pats the top of Namjoon’s head. “Come on, I’ll make you some coffee.”

Namjoon doesn’t move, instead taking a few more moments to watch the trees outside the window sway with the breeze. The memories from last night, so loud and insistent earlier, have faded into something easier to go through. Namjoon blinks once, twice, then remembers Seokjin’s offer.

“He can teach me,” Namjoon murmurs.

From the door, Hoseok’s voice startles him out of his musings. “What?”

“Nothing,” Namjoon says quickly. He eases himself off the bed and reaches for his phone, scrolling to find Seokjin’s number. He looks up when he feels Hoseok’s gaze still on him. “Coffee?” He prompts.

Hoseok gives him one last quizzical glance before leaving, and Namjoon takes a deep breath.

Kim Seokjin

Sun, Nov 22, 4:24 PM

Kim Seokjin
Taehyung told me to tell you that you better not miss the wrap party
Kim Namjoon
He couldn't text me himself?

Kim Seokjin

Sun, Nov 22, 4:24 PM

Kim Seokjin
Taehyung told me to tell you that you better not miss the wrap party
Kim Namjoon
He couldn't text me himself?

Kim Seokjin

Sun, Nov 22, 4:24 PM

Kim Seokjin
Taehyung told me to tell you that you better not miss the wrap party
Kim Namjoon
He couldn't text me himself?

Kim Seokjin

Sun, Nov 22, 4:24 PM

Kim Seokjin
Taehyung told me to tell you that you better not miss the wrap party
Kim Namjoon
He couldn't text me himself?

Kim Seokjin

Sun, Nov 22, 4:24 PM

Kim Seokjin
Taehyung told me to tell you that you better not miss the wrap party
Kim Namjoon
He couldn't text me himself?

Kim Seokjin

Sun, Nov 22, 4:24 PM

Kim Seokjin
Taehyung told me to tell you that you better not miss the wrap party
Kim Namjoon
He couldn't text me himself?

Kim Seokjin

Sun, Nov 22, 4:24 PM

Kim Seokjin
Taehyung told me to tell you that you better not miss the wrap party
Kim Namjoon
He couldn't text me himself?

Kim Seokjin

Sun, Nov 22, 4:24 PM

Kim Seokjin
Taehyung told me to tell you that you better not miss the wrap party
Kim Namjoon
He couldn't text me himself?

Kim Seokjin

Sun, Nov 22, 4:24 PM

Kim Seokjin
Taehyung told me to tell you that you better not miss the wrap party
Kim Namjoon
He couldn't text me himself?

Kim Seokjin

Sun, Nov 22, 4:24 PM

Kim Seokjin
Taehyung told me to tell you that you better not miss the wrap party
Kim Namjoon
He couldn't text me himself?

Kim Seokjin

Sun, Nov 22, 4:24 PM

Kim Seokjin
Taehyung told me to tell you that you better not miss the wrap party
Kim Namjoon
He couldn't text me himself?

Kim Seokjin

Sun, Nov 22, 4:24 PM

Kim Seokjin
Taehyung told me to tell you that you better not miss the wrap party
Kim Namjoon
He couldn't text me himself?

“Namjoon-ah!” Hoseok’s voice is so sudden and explosive that it’s a small miracle that Namjoon doesn’t drop his phone. He does fumble for a moment though, startled enough to throw it into the air like he’d been caught doing something dirty.

Then, to his utter and complete dismay, he hears the swift notification noise of a message sent. “No,” Namjoon says, voice hushed with horror. “No, no, no,” he chants to himself, flicking his screen to life only to see:

Kim Seokjin

Sun, Nov 22, 4:24 PM

Kim Seokjin
Taehyung told me to tell you that you better not miss the wrap party
Kim Namjoon
He couldn't text me himself?

Today, 12:24 PM

Kim Namjoon
Fucking hell

Delivered

Namjoon stares.

Then his phone vibrates in his hand with its accompanying beep, and Namjoon throws his phone onto his bed and bolts out of the room.

“Hah,” Namjoon says breathlessly, and Hoseok frowns at him, retracting the cup of coffee.

“What happened,” Hoseok doesn’t say it like a question; it’s just a fact of life. When you live with Namjoon, sometimes he makes these small sounds that follow after giant disasters.

Namjoon reaches over for the cup of coffee and takes a long drink despite Hoseok’s sputtering. He clears his throat before he speaks, but before he can, he’s cut off by two quick rings from his phone—the apartment was so silent that it seemed as if the little ding, ding echoed through the walls.

Hoseok lifts his eyebrow and Namjoon makes a run for it.

“I don’t care enough to go in there!” Hoseok shouts. “As long as you didn’t break anything important!”

“I’m fine!” Namjoon shouts back as he reaches for his phone. He holds his breath as he swipes the notification.

Kim Seokjin

Today, 12:24 PM

Kim Namjoon
Fucking hell
Kim Seokjin
And a good day to you, namjoon-ah

Today, 12:57 PM

Kim Seokjin
See this is the part where you either a) greet me back and we’re cool or b) you ask if you can come over
Kim Seokjin
That was a freebie tip, by the way
Kim Namjoon
Sorry I meant to send something else
Kim Namjoon
?
Kim Seokjin
You’re not sure?
Kim Namjoon
No i mean
Kim Namjoon
Whatever! I’m just going to say it!!!
Kim Seokjin
Ok

Today, 01:14 PM

Kim Seokjin
I’m waiting
Kim Namjoon
Teach me your ways, seonsaengnim!
Kim Seokjin
Fuck that’s so much funnier than what I thought you’d say ㅋㅋㅋㅋ
Kim Namjoon
???????? What did you think I’d say?????
Kim Seokjin
Something like last night was cool let’s do it again but sober
Kim Seokjin
You’re usually more verbose
Kim Namjoon
Well
Kim Namjoon
Yeah
Kim Namjoon
That too
Kim Seokjin
ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ
Kim Seokjin
Well I don’t have anything planned today, wanna come over?

Namjoon plants his phone screen down on his bed and runs his free hand through his hair. He hasn’t even brushed his teeth. He hasn’t even showered. This is too much excitement for the day, and he hasn’t even kissed Seokjin yet.

More than that, he can’t quite believe that it’s this simple: he expected more hoops to go through, or something more mortifying. Then again, what’s the worst that could happen? He and Seokjin are friends—not best friends like him and Hoseok, but good enough friends that this isn’t weird. And distant enough that if it does get weird, it won’t sting so badly: Seokjin is graduating in four months, and he’d already signed off on not participating in any more performances so he can focus on his thesis for his last semester.

Namjoon shakes himself out of doing the mental math. Sure, he’s never done anything like this before but just last week Hoseok had told him to take a few more risks in his life. This feels like a safe enough risk.

Kim Seokjin

Today, 01:38 PM

Kim Namjoon
Okay. I’m just going to have lunch
Kim Seokjin
Yeah me too. sending you map pin
Kim Namjoon
Oh. I didn’t realize you live so near my building
Kim Seokjin
You’re so weird
Kim Seokjin
Don’t say sorry it’s funny

 


 

Namjoon tugs on his collar and takes a deep breath. Seokjin lives so close by that Namjoon’s hair hasn’t fully dried from his shower, but he couldn’t bring himself to wait any longer for fear of chickening out.

Namjoon counts backwards from five, then rings the doorbell.

Seokjin opens the door and beams at him. “Hi.”

“Hi,” Namjoon says, his pulse already beginning to quicken. This is so weird, and half of him is already thinking of backing out.

“Aigoo,” Seokjin says with a laugh. “I can feel you thinking from here. Relax.”

Namjoon breathes out and steps inside, kicking off his shoes. “Do you just...” he starts, and realizes he’s spoken without knowing how to end his sentence.

“I’m not going to push you against the door and ravish you,” Seokjin says flippantly, smirking at Namjoon over his shoulder as he walks into his apartment. “Sit down, turn on the TV. Want a beer?”

“Okay,” Namjoon says, following Seokjin through the short hallway and into the living room. It’s a big apartment, well-lit and furnished neatly. It has a much better view than Namjoon’s and Hoseok’s, which faces another building. From here, he can see the sprawl of their university.

Seokjin taps Namjoon’s hand with the neck of the beer bottle, making Namjoon turn away from the window to thank him. Seokjin nods and sits down on the couch before looking up at Namjoon expectantly.

“What?”

“You’re not like—” Seokjin pauses and takes a sip of his beer. “This isn’t some kind of, you know. You’re secretly in love with me—”

“No!” Namjoon nearly yells, cutting Seokjin off. “Oh my god, hyung, what—”

“Damn, okay, I just thought I should ask before we—”

“Has that happened to you before?” Namjoon recognizes that he’s gotten a bit shrill, and tries to calm himself down by drinking.

Seokjin laughs. “You wouldn’t believe how often.”

Namjoon rolls his eyes. “Of course.”

“I’m just—I just wanted to be sure, okay?”

“Well what about you?” Namjoon counters. “You’re the one who offered.”

Seokjin’s eyes widen in shock, an offended sound slipping past his lips. “Wow!”

“You asked first, I think it’s only fair,” Namjoon says sulkily. He sits down on the only free seat beside Seokjin and frowns at him for good measure.

Seokjin sits up and rests his hand over his chest, right on top of his heart. “I promise that I am not trying to take advantage of you.”

“Good,” Namjoon sniffs, turning his head up. “And I promise I’m not trying to take advantage of you either.”

“We’re doing this as friends.”

“Yes,” Namjoon agrees. “You’re helping out a friend.”

“Correct.”

They nod at each other, and Seokjin is so clearly trying to hold back a laugh that Namjoon laughs first. Seokjin follows suit, burying his face against Namjoon’s shoulder.

“Stupid,” Seokjin says between breaths, and Namjoon feels the urge rise up so swiftly inside him that he doesn’t even register acting against it: he takes Seokjin’s chin in his hand, tilts his head up, and kisses Seokjin mid-laugh.

Seokjin gasps against his mouth and Namjoon remembers last night; he licks Seokjin’s lower lip and slips his tongue into Seokjin’s mouth. The air seems to shift, charged with intent, and Seokjin rests his hands on Namjoon’s waist as he kisses Namjoon back.

Kissing Seokjin now feels better than last night—now, Namjoon’s senses aren’t dulled by alcohol. He can feel every shift between their lips, pushing and pulling against each other. Seokjin grabs the front of Namjoon’s shirt and pulls him closer: Namjoon gets the hint and turns so he can push Seokjin against the cushions, one hand on Seokjin’s jaw, the other on his shoulder. It’s an uncomfortable angle, but Namjoon can’t figure out how to fix it, but at least he’s not in a daze the same way he was last night.

Seokjin must sense how Namjoon is straining and squeezes Namjoon’s waist, guiding him up. Namjoon follows, moves his leg and follows as Seokjin continues to move him until his thighs bracket Seokjin’s hips. They haven’t stopped kissing, breaking apart briefly only to breathe and then diving back in, as if they’re running out of time.

Namjoon cards his hand through Seokjin’s hair, wanting to touch him everywhere, and Seokjin lets him. He takes control of the kiss eventually, one hand on Namjoon’s jaw and tilting his head this way and that. At one point he pulls away long enough that Namjoon leans back and opens his eyes to blink at him.

“Is—” he starts. Seokjin holds up a finger and Namjoon’s jaw clicks shut.

“You’re still a bit hesitant,” Seokjin says, running a hand through Namjoon’s hair. “With your tongue, I mean. I can tell that you’re still a bit shy.”

“Oh.”

“It’s okay,” Seokjin laughs, fond. “Started strong though. Come here,” he says, beckoning Namjoon forward. Namjoon follows, and Seokjin tilts his head up. “Again.”

Namjoon swallows and closes the distance between them: he rests one hand on Seokjin’s neck, and the other on the back of the sofa behind Seokjin. Seokjin nods at him, his hand rubbing up and down Namjoon’s back, the other on his waist. Namjoon feels warm: it must be the sunlight, or Seokjin’s patience, or the thrill of doing something totally new.

Seokjin licks his lips and Namjoon finds himself mirroring the action, and he breathes in before kissing him. This kiss is much more languid, almost as exploratory as the night before; Seokjin lets out a low groan when Namjoon moves his hand up Seokjin’s neck to run through his hair. Seokjin does the same to him, and Namjoon lets out a short grunt when Seokjin tugs on his hair, right by the base of his skull. “Like that,” Seokjin whispers against Namjoon’s lips. Namjoon nods, kissing him again, and experimentally forming a fist around Seokjin’s hair. He tugs softly, afraid of hurting. “It’s okay,” Seokjin murmurs, pulling away before squeezing Namjoon’s hip. “Harder.”

Namjoon swallows, kisses Seokjin again, slides his tongue along Seokjin’s and closes his eyes. He tugs harder, and a thrill shoots up his spine when Seokjin moans into his mouth. Namjoon feels like a livewire has gone loose in his mind, and he needs to hear that sound again: wordless praise, confirmation that he’s doing something right.

Seokjin pulls him closer, one arm around Namjoon’s waist. “Let me,” Namjoon says thoughtlessly; he wants to do well, he wants to figure it out himself. Seokjin hums in assent, loosening his embrace, letting Namjoon take the lead. Namjoon pulls Seokjin forward and away from the couch so he can run his hand down the planes of Seokjin’s back, smiling to himself when he feels Seokjin shudder. Namjoon keeps kissing him, and it feels so unbearably good just doing that, moving his mouth against Seokjin’s, breathing in just as Seokjin breathes out.

Seokjin pulls away and kisses Namjoon’s cheek, hushing him as he makes a noise of complaint. He tilts Namjoon’s head up, then kisses down Namjoon’s neck, and Namjoon feels all rational thought—barely existent at this point—melt out of his ears.

“Oh,” Seokjin says, his laugh hot against Namjoon’s throat. “You like that?”

“Yeah,” Namjoon says breathlessly. “I wanna—”

“Sure,” Seokjin says, leaning back on the couch and tilting his jaw up and to the side. Namjoon purses his lips and kisses Seokjin on the lips before copying Seokjin’s earlier actions: he thumbs Seokjin’s cheek and cups his jaw, holding him in place as he kisses Seokjin’s neck.

Seokjin breathes out slowly through his mouth.

“You like that too?” Namjoon asks, not bothering to look up at him, still focused on kissing and licking Seokjin’s neck.

“Yeah,” Seokjin murmurs. “If you want you can—”

He doesn’t need to finish his sentence; Namjoon didn’t realize he was waiting for permission, and he bites down gently on the soft skin above Seokjin’s jugular, thrilling when Seokjin groans.

“Good,” Seokjin says shakily. Namjoon hums, kisses the spot that barely has an indent from his teeth, then licks it for good measure. Seokjin shivers. “Are you sure you’ve never done this before?” Seokjin asks, sounding breathless.

“You’re just a good teacher,” Namjoon says, his lips brushing against Seokjin’s skin as he speaks.

Seokjin makes a low noise and tugs Namjoon up to kiss him.

 


 

For the most part, Namjoon doesn’t worry about it. He doesn’t have any reason to; each time they’ve hung out, it ends well. Which is to say, there was no residual awkwardness. Sometimes they play videogames after, or finish the movie they’d started but paused because they began making out, instead. Practice makes perfect, after all.

It’s still just kind of weird. It’s been a weird two weeks. Still, stepping out of Seokjin’s apartment feels like leaving a secret world each time he goes. No one knows—at least, Namjoon hasn’t told anyone. It’s just too weird for him to explain. But a good kind of weird, he decides, hitching his bag up his shoulder. How often has he thought the word weird over the past five minutes?

Last night was particularly fun, and Namjoon lets himself remember as he and Hoseok walk to class. Seokjin was getting a glass of water and Namjoon just wanted to kiss some more, like he was drunk off it, so he pinned Seokjin against the kitchen counter and done exactly that. Then, in a show of strength that took both of them by surprise, he lifted Seokjin up and carried him to the couch.

Namjoon remembers how Seokjin’s ass felt in his hands, and how his thighs tightened around Namjoon’s hips. Then, just like now, Hoseok called.

“Namjoon-ah,” Hoseok says, frowning. “I’m going this way.”

“Ah,” Namjoon says, mentally shaking himself from his thoughts. “Sorry. Yeah. See you later.”

Seokjin appears from behind a wall like an apparition: Namjoon can’t help but think of last night, and he feels himself flush.

Seokjin stalks over, a smirk on his lips. “You’re cute when you blush, Namjoon-ah,” he calls, and reaches over to pinch Namjoon’s cheek.

“Ugh,” Namjoon grunts, swatting him away. “Go to class, hyung.”

Seokjin laughs and waves as he walks off.

Beside him, Hoseok stares.

“What’s that about?”

Namjoon starts, then looks down at Hoseok. “Nothing. Just—” he reaches around his brain to think of a good excuse. “Theater stuff?”

Hoseok snorts. “Dumbass.” Then: “Didn’t know you two were close.”

It’s as much of an accusation as Hoseok can muster, Namjoon knows. They didn’t grow up together for him not to recognize these signs. “We have class,” Namjoon says with a sigh. “I’ll tell you later.”

Hoseok throws his hands up in surrender. “I’m not forcing you.”

“I know,” Namjoon says, sighing again. “But now I’ll feel weird if I don’t tell you.”

Hoseok huffs out a laugh.

“You know—I can be late to class.”

Hoseok’s already on his way to one of the benches by the quad. “Yeah, me too. Sit down.”

As soon as Namjoon sits, it’s as if a higher power unhinges his jaw and words flow out. He tells Hoseok about the party, and how it all started. How Seokjin had offered, and Namjoon had asked. (Hoseok is silent for the most part, but at this he makes a wordless exclamation, hands flying to his hair.) Namjoon finishes by talking about the night before, and how he’d come to accept that it’s a good kind of weird, hoping that Hoseok doesn’t berate him.

Hoseok stares at him. “What the fuck?”

“I know,” Namjoon says, sighing.

“I’m just—sorry, I’m kind of shocked?”

“Me too.”

Hoseok shifts, looks at Namjoon then looks away. He seems to be deciding on what to say, then he finally looks back at Namjoon and asks: “Does he know that you haven’t slept with anyone?”

“It’s not—you know.” Namjoon wrings his hands. “It’s not that important.”

“Oh my god,” Hoseok hisses, grabbing Namjoon’s arm to give him a shake. “I’m going to kill you.”

“It just hasn’t come up!” Namjoon yelps.

“But are you—?”

Namjoon wrestles his arm from Hoseok’s grip and rubs it for good measure. “He’d be the best one,” he says, sulking.

“The best one?!” Hoseok says, almost standing up with the strength of his cry.

Namjoon hurries to hush him when he sees some people give them funny looks. “I don’t...” he tries, then tugs Hoseok back to sitting down beside him. “You’re the one who told me to take risks!” he accuses.

“Yeah, like a fucking improv class Namjoon-ah!” Hoseok says, exasperated. He throws his hand over his face and groans. Namjoon stays silent, and Hoseok sits up to look at him, a frown still on his face. “Look, you know I’m all about free love and having fun. This just isn’t like you,” he says seriously. “Forgive me if I’m concerned.”

“I know, I know,” Namjoon says, holding his hands up. “It’s okay. I’m okay. It’s just like, easy with him. Low stakes.”

Hoseok lets out a low whistle. “If you were anyone else, I’d believe you. But you spent a week agonizing over the first time you kissed Jihyo.”

“I had a crush on her for three years!” Namjoon sputters.

“And?”

Namjoon considers Hoseok. He knows that he’s just looking out for him, that he’d do the same in Hoseok’s place. Fondness rushes forward and out of him so quickly that he laughs and nudges Hoseok’s shoulder with his. “And I don’t have a crush on Seokjin-hyung.”

Hoseok makes a face. “You don’t?”

Namjoon's confusion must show on his face, because Hoseok is quick to speak.

“I mean,” he backtracks. “I think everyone on campus kind of has a crush on Seokjin-ssi.”

The confusion doesn't wane, and a small noise escapes Namjoon's lips, not knowing what sentence to start first.

“Right? It’s like a fact of life.” Hoseok clarifies, and starts listing with his fingers. “Getting drunk at OK Pong Pong, having the library printer conk out, having a crush on Seokjin-ssi. We all go through it.”

“Oh my god,” Namjoon says in English, trying and failing to swat the back of Hoseok’s head. “Are you secretly jealous that I’m kissing him?”

“No!” Hoseok yells. “Fuck, Namjoon-ah. Kiss him all you want.” Hoseok takes a deep breath and huffs. “I’m just concerned.”

“Your concern is duly noted,” Namjoon says dryly.

“Okay, good.” Hoseok says, and with an air of finality, stands up. “And you know that—”

“Yes, yes,” Namjoon says, laughing as he waves Hoseok off.

As Namjoon walks to class, he realizes that only now can he truly put his mental gymnastics to rest. He wasn’t lying to Hoseok when he said that things were easier with Seokjin: there were barely any stakes for him to factor in, other than his fear. And Seokjin was quick to put that specific fear—the fear of not being good enough—to rest. What else was Namjoon practicing for, if not to get better for the person he decided to date? Somehow, Seokjin’s easy laughter, his casual confidence, his evident fondness for Namjoon tamed the wild beating in Namjoon’s heart; he’s never felt brave when it comes to romance. What he’s doing with Seokjin just feels like spending an extra hour in the library when preparing for an exam: probably not necessary, but fulfilling because of it.


Kim Seokjin

Today, 06:52 PM

Kim Namjoon
Hi hyung. Are you free tonight?
Kim Seokjin
Oh, sure
Kim Seokjin
Taehyung invited me to a party but I wasn’t feeling too up for it anyway
Kim Namjoon
Oh! Okay!
Kim Seokjin
Want to come over?
Kim Namjoon
You don’t mind?
Kim Seokjin
No, I offered didn’t i
Kim Namjoon
Okay just
Kim Namjoon
See you at 9?
Kim Namjoon
Unless you have no dinner plans
Kim Seokjin
Tsk just say you want me to cook for you, Namjoon-ah
Kim Namjoon
I want you to cook for me :^)
Kim Seokjin
Dork. Bring some kimchi i just ran out
Drop by whenever

Seokjin is busy grilling galbi when Namjoon arrives. It’s only been two weeks but it feels like a habit is forming between them: Seokjin calls Namjoon over and Namjoon curls himself around Seokjin’s back, and Seokjin turns his head so Namjoon can kiss him. This was one of Seokjin’s lessons: casual intimacy. Kissing whenever.

Namjoon stays with his arms around Seokjin’s waist as he cooks for a while longer, only pulling away when it gets too warm between them. He knows too, to reserve conversation for dinnertime. He sets the table then takes a seat by the counter to read while Seokjin finishes. It’s different from what he’s used to: the boisterous laughter between Hoseok and his boyfriend Jimin, when they cook in the apartment. With Seokjin, Namjoon was surprised to find that silence could be more comforting than awkward.

“Rice,” Seokjin says, right before the cooker chimes. Namjoon laughs to himself, endeared by Seokjin’s internal clock. He didn’t mean to get to know Seokjin this way—to learn about all the layers behind the sheen of Campus Heartthrob, but it’s nice. Part of the secret world he thinks they share.

He can count with his fingers how many times Seokjin has cooked for him, and it makes each meal a delight. Namjoon doesn’t hold back from heaping praises, and laughs when he sees Seokjin’s ears turn red as he waves Namjoon off. They talk about their week: finals are coming up, and Seokjin tells Namjoon about Yoongi’s complaints about his freshman roommate, Jungkook. “He’s still mad at me for moving out,” Seokjin laughs.

“Why did you?”

Seokjin shrugs, and Namjoon helps move the dishes to the sink. He doesn’t bother offering to wash, just immediately gets to it before Seokjin can stop him. Seokjin sighs, frowning at the suds on Namjoon’s hands, before looking up at Namjoon when Namjoon makes an inquisitive noise to prompt him.

“What?”

“Why’d you decide to move out?”

“Ah,” Seokjin says, leaning his hip against the counter and crossing his arms over his chest. “I was supposed to move in with someone, but we broke up over the summer last year.”

“Oh,” Namjoon says. He feels awkward, and he turns to face the pan he’s scrubbing. “Sorry to hear that.”

“It’s fine,” Seokjin says airily. “After everything I realized how I prefer being alone.”

“Yoongi-hyung doesn’t seem like a particularly difficult roommate,” Namjoon hazards. He’s only met Yoongi a few times, but he seemed reserved. Namjoon can’t figure out why Seokjin didn’t just move back in with him.

“He isn’t,” Seokjin says, and moves to Namjoon’s other side to begin drying the dishes. “But I like this apartment more.”

Namjoon hums in response. They’re silent as they finish up, and Namjoon finds himself trying to think of the smoothest way to start up a new conversation.

“You’re thinking too hard again,” Seokjin points out, smirking at Namjoon as he puts away the plates. “Spit it out.”

Namjoon freezes, caught as he dries his hands. He only relaxes when Seokjin laughs and tugs Namjoon towards him into a loose embrace. “Namjoon-ah.”

Namjoon buries his face in Seokjin’s shoulder. “I wanted to try something new,” he mumbles, his voice muffled by the soft fabric of Seokjin’s shirt.

“Oh?” Seokjin’s voice lilts up, bright with excitement. “What is it?”

Namjoon stays quiet and buries his face harder against Seokjin’s shoulder. Then he turns his head, brushing his nose on Seokjin’s neck. “Do you remember when you said that you’re doing this to help out a friend?”

He’s so close that he feels Seokjin’s throat bob as he swallows. “Yeah?” Seokjin seems to tense under him. “Can you look at me?”

Namjoon pulls away and takes a step back. Seokjin doesn’t have high expectations, he reminds himself. This is okay because it’s easy, and it’s just him and Seokjin, and Seokjin isn’t going to laugh at him.

“What do you get out of it?” He blurts out.

“I—what?”

Namjoon looks down at the floor, embarrassed still, despite everything. He fights down the urge not to speak. “What do you get out of it?” He says again, quietly.

Seokjin huffs out a laugh and tilts Namjoon’s chin up. “I get to teach you,” he says. “You’re better than me at everything else, so it’s nice that I can teach you something.”

“I’m not—” Namjoon starts, and Seokjin silences him with a kiss.

“You are,” Seokjin says when he pulls away. “Or have you missed the way everyone talks about you?”

“It’s not...” Namjoon trails off, then pulls Seokjin back in to kiss him again. He doesn’t want to have this conversation, and with Seokjin, he doesn’t have to. This part is easiest, and if Seokjin says that he’s happy to be better at Namjoon at this one thing then—well, he came here for a reason, and that reason isn't to dig deep into Seokjin’s psyche.

Namjoon walks them back towards Seokjin’s couch, but Seokjin seems to have other ideas: Namjoon’s back lands with a dull thunk against what he assumes is Seokjin’s bedroom door, and as soon as he realizes what Seokjin intends, he feels himself go hot all over.

“Just to lie down,” Seokjin assures him, and Namjoon nods.

“I want that,” he says, and experimentally slides his hand under Seokjin’s shirt, right above his hip. “I want...”

Seokjin holds Namjoon close by his waist and opens the door with his other hand before kissing Namjoon again. They walk together like this, Namjoon walking backward, his hand hitching up Seokjin’s shirt until the backs of his knees hit Seokjin’s bed.

Namjoon pulls away, then sits down and looks up at Seokjin. “Shirt off?” His brain seems to have gone offline in the short distance between the door and the bed.

“Want me to take it off?” Seokjin asks, then he smirks at Namjoon. “Or do you want to take it off me?”

Namjoon chews on his lower lip. “Together,” he decides, waiting for Seokjin to nod at him before reaching behind his neck to tug his own shirt off.

As soon as it’s off Namjoon realizes his mistake. He’s seen Seokjin shirtless before, countless times: onstage, backstage, during rehearsals and performances. But context is everything, and in this context, alone together in Seokjin’s bedroom—it makes Namjoon’s breath catch in his throat. He’s beautiful, almost ethereal with only the bedside lamp and moon illuminating the room.

“Fuck,” Seokjin says, his gaze sweeping over Namjoon. Namjoon starts, realizing that he’s not the only one appreciating. “You’re hot,” Seokjin elaborates, and Namjoon watches as he reaches over then stops midway, his hand hovering in the space between them.

Namjoon leans forward, lets Seokjin touch his bare shoulder. “You too,” he says, tugging on Seokjin’s waist.

“Hah,” Seokjin breathes out, still looking at Namjoon’s chest, his arms, his stomach. “Namjoon-ah,” he says, sounding close to reverent.

“Hyung,” Namjoon presses his face against Seokjin’s chest, feeling himself flush under Seokjin’s scrutiny.

“I knew you worked out but damn,” Seokjin still sounds like he’s in a daze, and he sweeps his hands over Namjoon’s shoulders.

Namjoon gives his waist an impatient tug and that finally gets Seokjin to move. He brackets Namjoon’s thighs with his knees and leans down, tilting Namjoon’s head up to kiss him. The kiss starts slow, tentative because of the newness of nudity—if only partial. It’s as if Seokjin’s still afraid Namjoon will bolt at any moment, only moving his hands from Namjoon’s shoulders to his neck, his hair: places he’s touched before.

Namjoon wants more. He makes a low noise in his throat and pulls Seokjin onto his lap. Seokjin pulls away with a shocked sound. “Please,” Namjoon says, taking Seokjin’s hand on his neck and dragging it down to his chest.

Seokjin nods. “You too.”

They kiss again: more heated, now, and Namjoon loses himself in it. It feels like lava is pooling in his gut, low and hot, as their mouths part and close against each other. He pants as Seokjin touches him—as if he’s trying to memorize with his touch.

Namjoon holds him closer, so close that their chests are flush against each other. Namjoon tugs on Seokjin’s hair and kisses his jaw, his neck, licking and biting the soft skin there. He must bite a bit too hard, because Seokjin groans and drags his nails down Namjoon’s back and it feels so impossibly delicious that Namjoon isn’t even embarrassed by the noise that slips out of his mouth.

Seokjin moans in response and pulls Namjoon up to kiss him, pulling him even closer so that he’s fully seated on Namjoon’s lap—and only then does Namjoon realize how hard he’s gotten. Then, like a flash of lightning: how hard Seokjin is, too.

Namjoon pulls away with a jolt.

“What?” Seokjin asks, breathless.

“Sorry I’m—” Namjoon gestures between them, where his cock is trying valiantly to tent his jeans.

“Yeah, and?” Seokjin asks, huffing out a laugh as he sits down a bit farther on Namjoon’s thighs, making space between them. “This is the desired response.”

“I know that,” Namjoon hisses. “I just—”

“Oh,” Seokjin says, sitting up. He moves as if to get off Namjoon’s lap and Namjoon grabs his waist to keep him in place. “Is this too much?”

“No,” Namjoon says fiercely. “Just. Give me a second.”

“Okay.” Seokjin dutifully stays silent and still.

“I want—” Namjoon clears his throat. “I mean, I don’t have experience. With these things.”

Seokjin nods at him decisively. He pretends to roll up his sleeves, somehow still impish despite Namjoon’s seriousness, and says, “Then I shall teach you, haksaeng.”

Namjoon huffs out a laugh. “You’re sure?”

“Of course!” Seokjin gets off Namjoon’s lap. “Pants off.”

Namjoon doesn’t know what he was expecting. Something positive, surely, because otherwise he never would have asked, but he’s still surprised by Seokjin’s steady self-assurance.

It’s only undercut by how impressive his flush is, and how he fumbles with the button of his pants. Namjoon hides a laugh behind his hand, and Seokjin punches him. “Off,” he instructs, tugging on Namjoon’s belt loop.

Namjoon huffs. “It’s easy for you,” he says, standing up to undo the fly of his jeans. “You’re an actor.”

“I’m not a fucking pornstar!” Seokjin squawks in protest. “I don’t get undressed on the regular!”

Namjoon laughs and kicks off his pants quickly, and sits back down to watch Seokjin do the same.

“So, what do you want to do first?” Seokjin asks, all business despite sitting beside Namjoon in his briefs.

Namjoon can’t help but notice that he fills them out quite well—and that despite their conversation, he’s still half-hard. He takes a deep breath.

“No pressure,” Seokjin says gently.

Namjoon can’t bring himself to say it out loud: even in his mind, it sounds crass, like a line from a bad porno. Seokjin squeezes Namjoon’s shoulder. And Namjoon reminds himself: low stakes, no pressure, just friends.

“I want to blow you.”

The room is silent, and Namjoon looks up just in time to see Seokjin flush. He watches the redness flare on Seokin’s ears and neck, then travel down to his chest.

Seokjin swallows and takes a deep breath. “Are you sure you want the first cock in your mouth to be mine?”

Namjoon nods. “You should teach me.”

Seokjin lets out a nervous-sounding laugh. “Okay.” Then he blinks a few times. “I was ready to suck you off, actually.”

“Oh, no,” Now it’s Namjoon’s turn to blush. “You don’t have to, it’s fine—”

Seokjin holds up his finger and Namjoon’s jaw clicks shut. “Here’s another lesson,” he says, shifting to sit on his knees and face Namjoon. “Communication. Be attentive. I’m offering, so let me do it for you too.”

“Okay,” Namjoon says.

“Unless you really don’t want me to, of course,” Seokjin says, leaning back to sit on his heels.

“I want you to,” Namjoon says quickly. Then he reins himself in: “But I want to go first.”

Seokjin barks out a laugh. “Okay,” he says, sitting down properly. “How do you want me?”

Namjoon looks at Seokjin, leaning against the pillows with his legs spread open. “What’s the best way to do it?”

Seokjin shrugs. “Depends on you, really. If I lie down, then you have more control on the pace. If you’re on the floor—” he gestures to the floor as he speaks. “Then that makes it easier for me to fuck your mouth.”

Namjoon feels himself flush at how casually Seokjin is explaining the logistics of it, as if they’re discussing something as mundane as blocking for a scene. His throat feels dry, and he swallows before he speaks. “Can we try that next time?” He asks, getting on all fours on the bed.

Seokjin’s responding smile is smug. “Sure, anything you want.”

Namjoon nods. “You’ll really need to—” he says, gesturing between his mouth and Seokjin’s still clothed cock. “Tell me.”

“I will,” Seokjin says, and waves him over. “Come kiss me first, so you stop acting so awkward.”

Namjoon laughs, keeps laughing into the kiss, and lets Seokjin take the lead. Lying on top of him sends a different kind of thrill through him; it feels good, bare skin against bare skin. Namjoon gets down on his forearms, bracketing Seokjin’s face as they kiss. Seokjin wraps one leg around Namjoon’s hip to draw him even closer.

Seokjin tugs on Namjoon’s hair—a gentle reminder to move down—and Namjoon follows easily. He kisses down the column of Seokjin’s neck, then pauses at his bare chest. He’s seen it done before, and decides to try it himself: tentatively, he kisses Seokjin’s chest, then dips down to lick Seokjin’s nipple.

Seokjin sucks in a breath and his body jolts up. “Fuck,” he hisses, looking down at Namjoon. Namjoon places one hand on Seokjin’s waist, ready to hold him down. Then, keeping his gaze locked on Seokjin, he flattens his tongue against the nub that’s already hardened into a stiff peak. Seokjin groans and fists Namjoon’s hair, moaning louder when Namjoon takes his nipple into his mouth and sucks.

“Fucking fuck,” Seokjin mewls, and Namjoon takes it as a cue to keep going. He lets his eyes fall shut and swirls his tongue around; Seokjin seems close to thrashing on the bed, and Namjoon smiles as a longer string of curses spill out of his lips.

“Don’t be a tease,” Seokjin says, but there’s no heat to it. He sounds breathless. Namjoon feels like a winner.

He pulls up and kisses the skin right beneath the dip of Seokjin’s chest, just above his rib. Seokjin’s grip on his hair goes slack as he kisses down Seokjin’s stomach, but his breath keeps coming in short pants. Namjoon pauses just at the band of Seokjin’s briefs.

“Take them off,” Seokjin says, his voice coming out strained. “Please,” he adds.

Namjoon pushes himself up and takes a breath to steady himself.

“You’re doing well, Namjoon-ah,” Seokjin says, smiling up at him. Encouraging and sweet, despite the flush on his skin, the quick rise and fall of his chest.

“Thanks,” Namjoon murmurs. He slides his hand down from Seokjin’s waist to his hip, pausing briefly before he dips his fingers past the elastic to tug them down.

“Next time,” Seokjin says, making Namjoon pause. “You can go even slower, draw it out a bit more. If you want to be a tease.”

Namjoon smiles to himself at the image. “Do you want me to be a tease?”

Seokjin laughs. “It’s good sometimes. But not tonight.”

Namjoon nods and lifts Seokjin’s leg up, bending it at the knee to slip the briefs off easily. Once it’s done, Namjoon lets his gaze sweep over Seokjin, finally and completely naked in front of him. He feels his mouth part at the sight: Seokjin’s cock is as beautiful as the rest of him, thick and heavy and curved up against his stomach.

Seokjin parts his legs, and the movement snaps Namjoon out of his daze. “Sorry,” Namjoon says with a short, embarrassed laugh. “You’re just.”

Seokjin makes an appreciative noise. “Thanks.”

Namjoon bends down. He doesn’t know where to begin, and he looks up at Seokjin, hoping to meet his gaze and convey the sudden helplessness overtaking him without having to say it out loud.

Seokjin blinks at him. “Right,” he says, seeming to understand Namjoon. “Use one hand to hold it up. Go slowly, mind your teeth, and use as much tongue as you want.”

Namjoon nods, more to himself than to Seokjin. Easy enough, even though he’s never done this before and never really thought of what it took to make it happen. He wraps his fingers around Seokjin’s cock, parts his lips, and takes the head into his mouth.

Seokjin breathes out a moan. Namjoon tries to move his tongue, and Seokjin makes a choked sound. “More,” he says.

Namjoon lets his eyes fall shut as he obliges, taking more of Seokjin’s cock into his mouth until his lips are stretched open. It doesn’t taste like anything, but the weight of it on his tongue is intoxicating. He’d placed his hand on Seokjin’s hip earlier, and he can feel Seokjin trembling under his touch.

He goes slow, goes as deep as he can before he feels like gagging, then stops. He breathes out through his nose, then slides back up, letting his tongue drag across the bottom of Seokjin’s cock. Seokjin groans. Then once Namjoon just has the head in his mouth, he tries to swirl his tongue over the tip, and Seokjin makes a sound like the air’s punched out of him.

“Th—that’s,” Seokjin says, clearly with effort. “That’s good.”

Namjoon hums in response, reluctant to let Seokjin’s cock out of his mouth. It feels good; he didn’t think it would. But it feels good to have Seokjin under him, to make him feel good. He moves back down a bit faster now, laying his tongue flat as he goes. He begins to set up a slow pace, letting himself adjust to the feeling, taking Seokjin as deep as he can before pulling up. Seokjin keeps up a steady stream of moans and curses.

“Good, good,” Seokjin says, breathless. The praise goes straight to Namjoon’s cock, feeling like a spark of electricity. Namjoon wants to hear more of it, so he goes quicker. With his hand, he tightens his grip slightly and twists.

“Yeah, like that,” Seokjin moans. “You can—move it up, when you—yes just like th—” Seokjin’s words die out and he keens as Namjoon follows his directions, moving his fist in time with his mouth. Namjoon opens his eyes briefly to look up at Seokjin, just to check, and he’s shocked to find Seokjin already looking down at him. His eyes are dark, his cheeks flushed red, and when their eyes meet Seokjin lets out a broken sound and tears his gaze away. His hands are gripping the sheets so tightly his knuckles are white.

In a moment of clarity past the haze of arousal, Namjoon can’t believe he’s the one making Seokjin look like this. It only strengthens his resolve: he wants to make Seokjin come. His jaw is beginning to get sore, but he pushes past it, bobbing up and down Seokjin’s cock. He feels hot all over and he presses his hips down against the bed to relieve some pressure from his cock.

Seokjin moves his hand to Namjoon’s hair. He doesn’t grip, doesn’t apply pressure. Namjoon wants him to. With his free hand, he curls his fingers on top of Seokjin’s and Seokjin moans with understanding, forming a fist around Namjoon’s hair and tugging.

Namjoon groans around Seokjin’s cock, and it feels like the most erotic thing that’s happened tonight. Seokjin makes a broken sound, his fingers tightening even more around Namjoon’s hair. “So good,” Seokjin says. “So fucking good.”

Namjoon feels wild with it all: desire, arousal, lust. He keeps going, switching between setting a pace that feels brutal, then pulling off to suckle at the tip of Seokjin’s cock, making him keen.

“I’m close.” Seokjin sounds breathless. He hasn’t stopped moaning. “Stop—stop unless you want me to come in your mouth.”

Namjoon keeps going. He wants to experience it all. He wants to know how it feels to have that happen. He’s so turned on that he’s close to grinding against the bed, but Seokjin’s pleasure is more important to him.

“Namjoon-ah,” Seokjin says. There’s a tremor to his voice, and he flexes his fist on Namjoon’s hair. “Namjoon-ah I’m—”

Namjoon opens his eyes and watches as Seokjin falls apart.

The experience is fascinating: he can feel Seokjin’s cock pulse as he comes. He tries not to gag when he feels the hot splash of come on his tongue, and the desire to swallow comes naturally. Seokjin’s thighs are quaking around his ears, and Namjoon feels good.

Seokjin uncurls his fist around Namjoon’s hair and lets out a shaky breath. “Come here,” he says, his voice rough.

Namjoon wipes his mouth with the back of his mouth and raises himself up, feeling equally shaky. He’d done that; he’s the one who’s made Seokjin look like this—flushed and slick with sweat, a boneless smile on his lips.

“That was so good,” Seokjin says, petting Namjoon’s hair and drawing him up into a kiss. “You did so well.”

Namjoon feels himself blush and he lets Seokjin kiss him. He didn’t think it was possible for him to get even harder, but it drives him a little crazy that Seokjin doesn’t care that Namjoon’s mouth was just on his cock and that he could probably taste himself on Namjoon’s tongue.

It’s still all too much, and he can’t stop himself from pressing against Seokjin’s thigh and letting out a soft groan. “Please,” Namjoon says, resting his forehead on Seokjin’s cheek.

“On your back,” Seokjin says, nudging Namjoon’s hip with his knee.

“No, I want—next time, please. I just want—”

Seokjin hums, understanding him. He bends down to kiss Namjoon and slides Namjoon’s boxers off. “Okay, let hyung take care of you.”

Namjoon lifts his hips and groans when Seokjin moves his thigh back, pushing against his cock. “Please, hyung,” Namjoon whines.

Seokjin kisses him again and flips them over in one quick motion. Namjoon looks up, his head narrowly missing Seokjin’s chin. Seokjin spits into his fist and Namjoon watches as he reaches between them and wraps his hand around Namjoon’s cock.

Namjoon groans and turns away. Already, impossibly, it feels too good. Seokjin’s hand feels different, warm and solid, and then he starts pumping up and down Namjoon’s shaft and it takes all of Namjoon’s willpower not to shout.

He scrambles up, needing to kiss Seokjin, needing to be closer. He drags one hand down Seokjin’s back, needing an anchor: he feels delirious with need. They kiss, open-mouthed and messy; Namjoon keeps moaning, he can’t stop, and Seokjin’s fist is tight around his cock, delicious and almost painful with his pace.

And even if Namjoon’s not doing anything, Seokjin looks like he’s back at that point too: his eyes are bright and he’s panting, urging Namjoon on with a filthy string of whispered words, his lips brushing against Namjoon’s as he speaks.

It’s too much. Already, Namjoon can feel the pull growing inside him. He grips Seokjin’s shoulder and with his other hand pulls Seokjin down for a kiss. He squeezes his eyes shut, the slick, tight drag of Seokjin’s hand on his cock is too good, too much, just enough—“Hyung,” he cries out. “Don’t stop, please don’t stop—”

“I won’t,” Seokjin says breathlessly. “Come for me, Namjoon-ah.”

Time seems to stretch out to infinity, then snap and fold into itself as Namjoon’s comes with a broken cry, spilling hot into Seokjin’s fist and onto his stomach.

Namjoon’s arms fall to his sides and he breathes out. When he blinks, there are stars behind his eyelids.

He turns to Seokjin, now seated beside him. Seokjin blinks at him, then raises his hand to his lips and licks at the cum that’s on his fingers.

Namjoon groans, and he feels his cock twitch in interest. “Fuck.”

Seokjin nods and reaches over for a wad of tissues, wiping them both down before flopping down beside Namjoon.

“Fuck,” Namjoon says again, drawing out the vowel.

Seokjin huffs out a laugh.

There’s a new part of Namjoon that wants to reach over, to curl against Seokjin. He doesn’t know if he’s allowed to do that. He almost decides against it, but remembers Seokjin’s words earlier. Communication.

“Am I allowed—” he starts. “Can we—?”

Seokjin makes a sound that could almost be a giggle. “Yes, Namjoon-ah. Come here.” He throws his arm across the bed and beckons Namjoon closer. “Stop being afraid of asking for things.”

“Hey,” Namjoon chides. He meant to sound more forceful, but he’s so tired that it comes out like a whine. “I asked you to teach me, didn’t I?”

“Yeah, and it’s like you spent all of your power to do that and have none left,” Seokjin says. His eyes are closed and his breath is evening out.

Namjoon harrumphs against Seokjin’s chest, and Seokjin hugs him closer.

“Harsh,” Namjoon murmurs.

“Sorry,” Seokjin says, voice soft and the word coming out like a sigh. “Don’t be afraid to ask me things,” he adds, and Namjoon has to blink away sleep to process what he hears.

“Okay, hyung,” Namjoon mumbles, well and truly exhausted that his brain to mouth filter turns off before he can coax it back on. “Can I sleep here tonight?”

“Yeah.”

Namjoon’s just about to fall back asleep, then Seokjin tightens his embrace and presses a kiss to the crown of Namjoon’s head. “Good night.”

 


 

Namjoon watches a lot more porn after that night, his own new form of research. At least, that’s what he tells himself; watching porn gives him an excuse to think of something other than Seokjin’s cock in his mouth when he gets himself off.

Though Namjoon’s pretty sure all the porn in the world won’t do anything for him, not after tonight.

“Seriously,” Seokjin still sounds breathless. “So good, Namjoon-ah.” He pushes Namjoon’s hip and flips them over so that he’s on top.

It’s Friday night again, and it’s something like a standing arrangement. They’re both keyed up—finals start next week, and Seokjin had asked if he planned to stay up all night studying or if he wanted to hang out for a while, instead. Namjoon had gratefully accepted the offer, and thanked Seokjin by dropping to his knees as soon as Seokjin closed the door behind him. Somehow Seokjin had maneuvered them to his room and onto his bed, and now Namjoon is on his back, catching his breath as Seokjin noses his collarbone.

“And now it’s my turn,” Seokjin says, kissing his neck.

“Oh,” Namjoon says shakily. “I—”

Seokjin shushes him and kisses his shoulder. “Don’t worry about making it last. Just let me make you feel good.”

“Oh—okay,” Namjoon says, pushing himself up on his forearms to watch Seokjin kiss down his chest.

“You’re so fucking hot,” Seokjin says, his breath hot against Namjoon’s stomach. Namjoon’s body jumps at the contact: no one’s ever touched him there, like that. Seokjin dips his head down and traces the line of muscle on Namjoon’s abs. “What kind of fucking college student has abs like this,” Seokjin murmurs.

“Hyung,” Namjoon whines, embarrassed.

Seokjin tuts. “One day I’m going to kiss you all over, Namjoon-ah.” Namjoon shudders with anticipation.

Seokjin busies himself with undoing Namjoon’s pants. Namjoon’s breath is caught in his throat as he watches. All week he’d denied himself the thought of this moment, afraid of what it would do to him if he let himself fantasize. But now Seokjin slides his pants and boxers off in one quick slide, and Namjoon breathes out.

He tries to focus on his breathing as Seokjin kisses up his thigh, chaste if not for his hand on Namjoon’s hip, inches away from his cock. “Such nice thighs,” Seokjin murmurs against his skin, and Namjoon jolts when Seokjin licks his way up the last stretch of skin before Namjoon’s balls.

“Hyung,” Namjoon manages to stutter out. He doesn’t know what he wants, not exactly. He just knows he needs more than Seokjin’s featherlight touch.

“Okay,” Seokjin laughs under his breath. Namjoon shudders and lets out a broken sound when Seokjin wraps his fingers around Namjoon’s cock, and without any other preamble, takes the head into his mouth.

Namjoon cries out at the sensation: hot, and wet, and tight. Namjoon forces his eyes open to watch as Seokjin slides his mouth down Namjoon’s cock, and he does his best to keep his hips in check. Seokjin’s mouth is stretched obscenely over his girth, and Namjoon knows without a doubt that this image will plague him for the rest of his life. Seokjin’s eyes are closed, as if he’s savoring it, and Namjoon knows the feeling. He tries to recall what Seokjin had done to him, when Namjoon went down on him like this.

Tentatively, Namjoon uncurls his fist from the sheets and runs his fingers through Seokjin’s hair. Seokjin opens his eyes and looks down at Namjoon, and it must be some kind of talent, how he can look smug with Namjoon’s cock in his mouth.

The realization nearly bowls Namjoon over: his cock is in Seokjin’s mouth. A month ago, when they’d made out at a party, Namjoon never imagined this. He’d never imagined any of this, and yet somehow, it’s better than anything he could have expected.

Seokjin’s mouth feels amazing, and Namjoon only notices that he’s making so much noise when he stops to suck in a breath as Seokjin pulls off.

“You sound so good,” Seokjin says, right before diving back in. Already, Namjoon can feel heat pooling in his core. It’s too much, too tight and too inexplicably glorious.

Seokjin moves his hands from Namjoon’s hips to part his legs wider, and his thumbs brush against Namjoon’s ass. Namjoon’s hips buck up at the sensation, foreign and strange but pleasurable.

Seokjin pulls off Namjoon’s cock with a lewd sound. “Oh,” he says, and Namjoon watches, breathless, as understanding dawns on Seokjin’s face.

As much as Namjoon cares for his body—eating healthy, hitting the gym at least thrice a week—there are still some things he feels are too foreign about it.

“Have you—” Seokjin starts, just as Namjoon blurts out: “I want to try.”

Namjoon knows he can take his time: Seokjin’s said it enough that he’s begun to believe it. But being with Seokjin—it feels like it unscrews a hinge in him, making him want to throw caution to the wind, making him want to dive right in and be as reckless as he never allows himself to be.

“I’ve never,” Namjoon clarifies, pushing himself back up on his arms as Seokjin sits to peer down at Namjoon. “But—if you’ll teach me,” Namjoon adds haltingly.

Seokjin’s ears are pink. He’s flushed from exertion, surely, and Namjoon’s surprised to hear that Seokjin sounds a bit breathless when he speaks. “Yeah, I can teach you.”

Seokjin clears his throat. His eyes still look vaguely glazed over in the soft yellow of the lamplight. “D’you still want to—or—?”

Namjoon huffs out a laugh, relieved that for once, he’s not the only one at a loss for words.

“Sorry,” Seokjin says after a moment, seeming to have come back to himself. “You’re just.”

Namjoon sits up properly to look at Seokjin, who is blinking to himself. When Seokjin doesn’t speak, Namjoon makes a soft, inquisitive noise, hoping to prompt him.

Seokjin bites back a smile and meets Namjoon’s gaze. “You’re something else.”

“What?” Namjoon asks, baffled. “Is it weird?”

“No,” Seokjin yelps, pitching forward and Namjoon feels the breath get punched out of him as he catches Seokjin in his arms. “I can’t believe you’re going to finger yourself for the first time and that I get to see it, is all.” Seokjin’s voice is muffled against Namjoon’s throat, but it’s for the better. In this position, he doesn’t get to see Namjoon blush.

“I am?”

Seokjin blinks up at him. “I could do it for you,” he says slowly. “But I think it would be better if you learned how to do it to yourself, right?”

“That makes sense.”

Seokjin taps his nose with his finger, and Namjoon laughs. It’s all a little crazy, really, and Namjoon buries his face in Seokjin’s shoulder as he laughs at it all. They’re both still naked, and his arousal has slowed down to a low simmer in his gut. Now he just feels light and happy, faintly excited for what’s to come.

It’s nice, really, that he can trust Seokjin like this. Maybe that’s what made Seokjin quiet earlier. It’s a sobering thought. He really trusts Seokjin, unlike any trust he’s given to anyone else.

Namjoon clears his throat and pulls away. “So, what now?”

Seokjin nods and moves to rifle through his bedside drawer, coming back with a small bottle. “First things first: lots of lube.”

Namjoon clicks his tongue. “I know that much,” he says. He’s never done it to himself but he’s seen it enough, he’s done his research.

Seokjin smiles fondly and pushes Namjoon onto his back. He takes Namjoon’s hand in his and squirts on some lube. It feels strange on Namjoon’s fingers: cold and viscous.

“You’ve never, not even in the shower?”

No,” Namjoon says more fiercely than he intends, surprised at how defensive he’s feeling. He flushes at the realization, as if he isn’t bare in front of Seokjin, and about to bare himself further.

“Okay, okay,” Seokjin says soothingly. “I just need to know how much I need to teach.” He guides Namjoon’s fingers, rubbing the lube onto his first two fingers with his thumb, then moves Namjoon’s hand between his legs.

“Wider,” Seokjin instructs. Namjoon shifts to follow. He glances at Seokjin as he moves: his body is coated with a light sheen of sweat, and his cock is half-hard already. Namjoon swallows. It’s still unbelievable to him that he can make Seokjin react this way.

“Try and relax, hm?” Seokjin says. With his hand around Namjoon’s wrist, he guides Namjoon’s hand down—his finger behind Namjoon’s, directing the movement.

Namjoon sucks in a breath when he feels his finger gently nudge his ass. He nearly yelps when Seokjin’s other hand suddenly curls around his cock; too many sensations all at once, and not all of them pleasant.

“This’ll help,” Seokjin murmurs, stroking him languidly. With his other hand, he moves Namjoon’s finger in a slow circle around his entrance. “Breathe.”

Namjoon tries: breathes in through his nose, out through his mouth. It feels weird, and he wonders when it’ll actually begin to feel good. Even stranger is how disjointed it feels compared to the sparks of pleasure Seokjin’s lazy handjob is shooting through him.

“Ready?” Seokjin asks, now that Namjoon’s cock is back to full hardness. “We’ll go slow.”

He nudges Namjoon’s finger in slowly, almost excruciatingly slow, and stops just before his first knuckle. “Breathe for me, Namjoon-ah.”

Namjoon makes an annoyed sound and huffs out a breath. “I’m not made of glass,” he grunts out. Even so, his ass is tight around his finger, and he can’t imagine it taking any more. It’s just a shade beneath painful, but it’s not enough to make him want to stop.

Seokjin snickers. “Damn, alright.” He pushes Namjoon’s finger in further, and Namjoon shudders at the sensation. It feels foreign and uncomfortable, and he wonders if it would be better if it was Seokjin’s finger, instead.

“That’s good,” Seokjin says gently. He keeps pumping Namjoon’s cock, and with his other hand, he gently guides Namjoon’s finger in a slow arc.

Namjoon groans. It’s strange, to feel himself like this—to feel his own warmth, his own tight heat.

“When does it get better?” He grits out.

Seokjin lets go of his hand and Namjoon doesn’t know what to do, so he stays still. He briefly considers offering to jack himself off instead, but Seokjin moves faster, squeezing a bit more lube onto Namjoon’s fingers.

“You think you’re ready to take another?” Seokjin asks.

“I don’t know,” Namjoon hisses. He’s beginning to feel awkward and unsexy and he gasps when Seokjin takes his chin and tilts his head up sharply.

“Hey.” Seokjin’s voice is low and commanding, and he stops all movement. “Do you still want to do this?”

Namjoon wilts under his gaze. “Yeah,” he mumbles. “It just...” he trails off and looks away, relieved that Seokjin doesn’t hold him in place.

“Oh, Namjoon-ah,” Seokjin says softly. He kisses Namjoon’s cheek and turns to catch Namjoon’s lips. This is much better: kissing Seokjin is always good, and pleasurable, and easy. Seokjin parts Namjoon’s lips open with his tongue, slow and insistent. Namjoon loses him in the kiss, overcome by how good it feels that he almost forgets everything that’s happening below his torso.

Then, of course, that’s the exact moment Seokjin begins stroking his cock. His other hand has moved back to Namjoon’s wrist, almost as if he was expecting Namjoon to jerk away.

Namjoon gasps into Seokjin’s mouth, and he flexes his hand instinctively, trying to do just that. Seokjin goes back to guiding Namjoon’s finger in a steady circle, working it in slowly until he’s down to his last knuckle. He doesn’t stop kissing Namjoon as he does all this, and Namjoon lets his head loll back, awed at Seokjin’s sudden show of dexterity.

“Another,” Namjoon breathes out, because he can feel it now, how he’s a bit looser than before. It’s a feeling in his gut, something he’s felt before, wanting to be filled.

He pulls away and sucks in a breath. Seokjin swallows, watching him, and Namjoon tries to steady himself; he needs all his attention to do this properly. As if sensing this, Seokjin stills his hand and rubs Namjoon’s thigh reassuringly. Namjoon takes another deep breath and moves his hand from Seokjin’s, uncurling his fist. He slides his finger out and wiggles a little before sliding two in.

Namjoon groans, his head dropping back. This feels better—right, almost, like it was meant to be this way.

“There you go,” Seokjin murmurs, spreading Namjoon’s legs wider with his thighs. He lets go of Namjoon’s cock and watches as Namjoon moves his fingers inside himself, slow circles that make him pant.

“Move your fingers apart.” Seokjin’s voice is rough and he clears his throat. He holds two fingers up and demonstrates a scissoring motion. Namjoon nods, and he’s shaking so much that he feels he might just fly apart, and mirrors the motion.

The sensation shocks a moan out of him—stretched, slick, warm. “Fuck,” Namjoon groans, drawing out the vowel, his eyes slipping closed with pleasure. He keeps doing that, moving his fingers in and out, spreading them open inside himself.

Namjoon startles when Seokjin moans, his eyes flying open. Seokjin is still watching him, his eyes dark, and Namjoon swallows when he notices that Seokjin’s getting off to this—to him touching himself.

“Don’t stop,” Seokjin’s voice has gone an octave lower; his lips are parted as he breathes. Namjoon licks his lips, his mouth suddenly dry at the sight: Seokjin is on his knees, stroking his cock, watching Namjoon hungrily.

Namjoon nods. The pain from earlier, vague as it was, is overtaken completely by pleasure. He’s not quite sure if it’ll get him off, but it does feel good, so much better than he’d expected. Namjoon forces his eyes open to watch Seokjin, the way his arm is straining as he moves, the erratic rise and fall of his chest. The sound of skin on skin is magnified by the silence between them, punctuated by Seokjin’s low groans, Namjoon’s helpless breath.

They don’t speak as they touch themselves, and Namjoon feels a spark of desire ignite in him when he looks up from watching Seokjin pump his cock and finds Seokjin already looking at him.

Seokjin surges forward and kisses Namjoon, messy and inelegant. Namjoon groans into the kiss, and nearly cries out when Seokjin slots their hips together, his cock hot and hard against Namjoon’s.

“Hyung,” Namjoon pants, still working his fingers in and out of himself. He doesn’t know if he can take any more of this; his body is alight with desire, each breath from Seokjin feeling like flames on his skin.

“Keep fucking yourself,” Seokjin grunts, kissing Namjoon again. Namjoon has no choice but to follow. He cants his hips forward, eager for more friction between them, and he hisses out a breath when that only makes him shift back onto his fingers.

Seokjin worms his hand between them, and Namjoon lets out a strangled cry when Seokjin’s hand wraps around both their cocks. “Oh fuck,” Namjoon mewls. It’s too much, too good. He finds himself babbling nonsense as Seokjin strokes them, hard and rough enough to rock his hips forward and back so that all he needs to do is keep his hand still.

“So good,” Seokjin breathes out, his lips brushing against Namjoon as he speaks. Namjoon can’t tell who’s trembling, at this point; everything is blurry with pleasure, and Namjoon squeezes his eyes shut.

“I’m close,” he pants, “Please don’t stop, please, please,” Namjoon lets himself beg, free from shame now that his orgasm has built up, up, up.

His orgasm feels like a lightbulb flashing too bright and cracking open, and he comes with a strangled moan. He’s left boneless, a low glowing filament, as Seokjin pushes himself up off Namjoon and finishes with his own low gasp; his come is hot on Namjoon’s stomach and chest.

Seokjin lies down beside him and Namjoon catches his breath. He feels his body cooling down, and his brain finally comes back online.

“Yeah,” he says nonsensically.

Seokjin hums and reaches over to grab some tissues. He wipes Namjoon’s body down, then reaches over to do a cursory swipe of his fingers.

“Did you mean to say more?” Seokjin asks, laughing a little at what Namjoon assumes is the dazed look on his face.

“I think I’m ready to get fucked by somebody.” It’s an inelegant choice of words, but he’s sure Seokjin knows what he means: it doesn’t have to be Seokjin who does it. It’s as if Seokjin just had a piece of a puzzle that was missing, and Namjoon didn’t realize he didn’t have it at all. It’s a nice feeling, like Namjoon can do anything now.

It’s probably all the oxytocin.

Seokjin huffs out a breath and smiles at Namjoon, looking worn out but relieved. Namjoon doesn’t blame him. “Good,” he says. “Finally.”

“Wow,” Namjoon sits up and away, stung by Seokjin’s flippancy. “I didn’t realize it was such a chore.”

“No, that’s not what I meant—” Seokjin sits up and grabs Namjoon’s wrist, as if he’s afraid he’ll leave. It shocks Namjoon then, that he realizes he wasn’t about to. “I mean, I’m glad that you’re finally ready to put yourself out there like that. Confidence suits you.”

“Oh,” Namjoon says, ducking his head and feeling his ears heat, embarrassed by his outburst. “Thank you.”

 


 

It’s late in the afternoon and the campus is bathed in the muted glow of oncoming snow. Namjoon finds himself looking up at the clouds as he walks, relieved to finally have finished all his exams. Now he has the whole of winter break to catch up on sleep.

“Hyung?”

Namjoon faintly recognizes the voice, which is the only reason he stops. He looks around and finds Taehyung jogging up to him.

“Hey,” Namjoon says, smiling. Around them, students are milling around, probably in the same daze as Namjoon—exhausted, relieved, looking for someone to rope in for a drink to wind down.

“Hi,” Taehyung says, stopping in front of Namjoon. He smiles up at him and bites his lip.

Namjoon raises his eyebrows, waiting. He’s not sure what Taehyung could need from him; they haven’t even decided on a screenplay for the spring semester, and it’s far too late for him to be asking for any constructive feedback from their past performance.

“You busy tonight?” Taehyung seems close to fidgeting, and Namjoon knows better than to let him start.

“No, I just finished my exams—”

“Ah,” Taehyung nods. “Wanna grab dinner?”

Namjoon feels his face heat. “Just us?” he clarifies, because he needs to be sure what Taehyung means. They’ve never done this before, and they’re not close. It’s not like Namjoon hasn’t thought of it before, either; it’s impossible not to notice Taehyung’s baseline level of attractiveness is higher than nearly anyone else’s on campus. More than that, Namjoon noticed that Taehyung would hang around sometimes, after rehearsals, with the flimsy excuse of not wanting to head home yet. Still, he needs to be sure.

Taehyung nods quickly, still biting his lip. His eyes are bright, eager, and Namjoon can’t help but feel a surge of affection.

“Sure,” Namjoon says, grinning. He tilts his head towards the exit. “What do you want to eat?”

The evening passes quickly: they talk about their finals, and spend a good deal of time talking about art—more than anything, Namjoon’s surprised at the depth of Taehyung’s knowledge on the subject. Taehyung confesses that he’d always found Namjoon attractive (to which Namjoon very unattractively almost chokes on his noodles) but he’d never worked up the nerve to ask Namjoon out until Jimin (“Oh, you know Jimin?” “Yeah, he’s my best friend!”) had confirmed that Namjoon was not, in fact, seeing Seokjin. At this last comment Namjoon actually does spit his water back into his glass.

“What?” Namjoon sputters.

“I saw you two making out at the wrap party,” Taehyung says with a shrug of his shoulders.

“Oh.” Namjoon dabs his face with a tissue.

He pays for dinner and offers to walk Taehyung home. Taehyung agrees and adds that on any other occasion he would have asked Namjoon to drink, but finals week had zapped him of any extra energy. Namjoon finds it endearing, how honest Taehyung is.

“This is my building,” Taehyung says. A bit of snow had begun to fall earlier, and now, without thinking, Namjoon reaches over and wipes an errant snowflake from Taehyung’s cheek.

Taehyung blushes and smiles bashfully at Namjoon. “Hyung,” he says, taking a step forward.

Namjoon takes a steadying breath. He’s done this hundreds of times at this point, and yet the moment still makes him nervous. Everything seems to fade away as Taehyung leans closer, and Namjoon cups Taehyung’s cheek before kissing him.

Taehyung parts his lips almost immediately, and Namjoon breathes in as Taehyung slides his tongue into Namjoon’s mouth.

It’s a good kiss.

Namjoon pulls away, and Taehyung takes a step back before licking his lips.

“Hah,” he says, brushing snowflakes off his jacket. He sounds—almost disappointed.

Namjoon’s too busy feeling relieved to feel anxious that his first Real Kiss wasn’t spectacular.

“I—” Namjoon starts. He doesn’t know what he’s trying to say. Sorry that didn’t work? Or, should we try again?

Taehyung seems to come to a decision and he beams at Namjoon. “Well! We certainly tried.”

“What?” Namjoon yelps.

“I mean it wasn’t just me, right?” Taehyung sounds so casual, as if he’s talking about the weather.

“No,” Namjoon stammers out. “It’s—it’s not that I don’t like you, I do—”

“It’s okay!” Taehyung laughs as he waves off Namjoon’s apology. “You’re a great kisser and you’re hot as shit, but I guess it’s just not. You know?”

Namjoon swallows, nods. What he’d do to have this easy confidence, this casual view of the world.

“Friends, then,” Namjoon says, after a moment. “Because I think it’d be great to go to a museum with you.”

“Agreed!” Taehyung says cheerily. He pulls Namjoon close and plants a wet smack on Namjoon’s lips. “Have a good winter break!”

And with a small flourish, Taehyung trots to his apartment building door and is gone.

Namjoon stares after him. A breeze comes when a car speeds down the street, and he shivers. The gears in his brain are working overtime, and he looks around to figure out where exactly he is.

Then he starts walking.

At least, it’s a walk at first; then he starts to jog, thankful that he’d worn sensible shoes. The sounds of the city are muffled by the snow, and he can feel the ground crunch under his boots as he picks up his pace. He focuses on his breath, and his feet, and his heart beating quickly in his chest. He’s trying not to panic.

He stops in front of Seokjin’s door breathless and only a little bit panicked. He takes a deep breath and rings the doorbell.

He’s midway through unwinding his scarf when Seokjin opens the door in glasses, a loose pajama top, and a pair of boxers.

Namjoon can’t help but laugh at the disjointed picture of him, keeps laughing until his laugh is almost hysterical, and he blurts out: “Hyung am I broken?”

“No,” Seokjin says simply, then he pulls Namjoon inside and into his arms. “What happened?”

Namjoon feels bad about getting grimy city snow on Seokjin’s pajamas, so he pulls away to shuck off his coat. With that done, he lets himself fall back into Seokjin’s arms: a different warm, infinitely more comforting. Seokjin hums and rubs Namjoon’s back. They stand by the entrance of Seokjin’s apartment like that for a while, until Namjoon finally feels brave enough to give voice to the errant thoughts that pinged around his head as he ran over.

“I had a really great date,” Namjoon starts, speaking more to Seokjin’s chest than to the man himself. “With Taehyung, actually,” he adds, because that might be important. “And then we kissed.”

Seokjin tucks Namjoon’s head under his chin, and Namjoon can feel him speak along with hearing it: “Is he a bad kisser?”

It’s a nice way to phrase it. Namjoon huffs. “No. It’s not that.” He squeezes his eyes closed. “It didn’t—feel right. What the hell is wrong with me?”

“Nothing,” Seokjin says soothingly. “It happens. Maybe you just didn’t have chemistry.”

Namjoon makes a small noise of protest against Seokjin’s throat. He feels like a child. He should straighten up and ask Seokjin to sit down, or something. But Seokjin keeps rubbing comforting circles on his back, so Namjoon doesn’t. “He thinks I’m hot,” Namjoon whines. “I think he’s handsome.”

Seokjin tuts. “You know that’s not all it takes to have chemistry.” What he doesn’t say hangs in the air: look at us.

“Well,” Namjoon says, trying for levity and making the joke before Seokjin does: “It’d be pretty tough to be a follow up act to you.”

Seokjin laughs and pinches Namjoon’s side, making Namjoon yelp and jump away.

Namjoon draws himself up and throws his shoulders back. “Okay then,” he says. “Can I try something?”

Seokjin looks up at him appraisingly. “What?”

Namjoon grabs the front of Seokjin’s shirt and pulls him in for a kiss. This—this is what was missing. The zing that shoots through him once their lips meet, the warmth that spreads through him when Seokjin cradles the back of his head, holding him closer as he parts his lips. The low thrum of arousal that builds when Namjoon slides his tongue against Seokjin’s.

Seokjin pulls away, breathless. “Yeah,” he says. “Still a good kisser.” He pushes his glasses up his nose and grins at Namjoon.

“You too,” Namjoon says, still feeling a bit winded.

Seokjin huffs out a laugh. “No need to flatter me.”

“I—hyung.” Namjoon doesn’t stomp his feet, but it’s a close thing. Seokjin laughs and heads towards the kitchen, and Namjoon follows. They don’t kiss any more, after that. Instead Seokjin curls up beside him and they watch a documentary. Namjoon finds out that Seokjin’s spending Christmas in Seoul, intent on getting a head start on his thesis. Before, the news would have come as a surprise: Seokjin doesn’t come off as the studious type. But it warms Namjoon to know that he knows better now. They agree on vague plans as they lie beside each other on Seokjin’s bed, and just as Namjoon’s about to fall asleep only does he realize he’d never asked if Seokjin was busy, if he could talk Namjoon down.

It warms him to know that Seokjin makes space for him like that. As if at this point, he doesn’t really need to ask for it.

 


 

Namjoon doesn’t do this often, but he lets himself into Seokjin’s apartment after his first doorbell ring goes unanswered. “Hyung?” he calls, setting the beers he’d brought down on the counter.

He finds Seokjin sitting on the couch, staring blankly out the window. The afternoon light is weak, marred by snow, but it makes Seokjin only look ethereal. Namjoon huffs and calls him again, and Seokjin finally turns to greet him. Namjoon puts off asking, and they have dinner in relative silence; the strange look doesn’t leave Seokjin’s face and Namjoon peers at him.

They move to the couch and Seokjin turns on the show they’d agreed to watch together.

Namjoon’s sure Seokjin doesn’t notice that he keeps looking at him. Seokjin seems to be brooding, which is more Namjoon’s style. When the episode ends without a single laugh out of Seokjin, Namjoon gets up to get a beer. He takes a long pull before finally asking what’s wrong.

“I think you broke me,” Seokjin says, sounding annoyed. He flops down onto the couch and grunts when his face hits a throw pillow.

“What?”

Seokjin makes a few inarticulate sounds then sits up to frown at Namjoon.

“I was on a date,” Seokjin says, moving so Namjoon can sit beside him. (Namjoon stops mid-step, and he feels his eyebrows draw together. Why does he care? He was just on a date a few nights ago.) “And then we kissed and it felt... not so good.”

“But you said it yourself. Maybe it’s a chemistry thing?” Namjoon hums as he thinks. “Or maybe it’s because you taught me what you like.”

Seokjin sighs.

“Yeah,” he says after a moment, flopping down on Namjoon’s lap and throwing his hand over his face. Namjoon looks at him, then Seokjin peeks behind his fingers and looks back at Namjoon.

Namjoon considers him, wondering how he can help.

Seokjin frowns, then lifts his hand from his face to take Namjoon’s hand in his. Namjoon follows wordlessly, and it feels like the cogs in his brain slowly begin to turn.

Seokjin shifts so he can rest his fingertips on the back of Namjoon’s hand, then he slowly begins to tail his hand up Namjoon’s wrist, his arm.

Namjoon’s brain grinds to a halt and he lets out a shaky breath, watching Seokjin’s fingers and the goosebumps they left in their wake.

“Huh,” Seokjin says, more to himself than to Namjoon.

At the sound, Namjoon snaps his head up to look at Seokjin: his ears are red, his cheeks flushed with a faint dusting of pink. Seokjin looks away from his hand and meets Namjoon’s gaze.

They don’t speak.

All at once, Namjoon understands what it all means, what’s been happening. Neither of them meant for this, but it happened anyway. He sees the same realization reflected in Seokjin’s eyes, acceptance arriving at the same moment.

Seokjin smiles at him; there’s no distress in his face, only faint disbelief that Namjoon can feel in his heart, as well. He turns his palm up and tugs Seokjin forward so he can meet him in the middle.

A beat passes as they inch closer toward each other, their noses almost touching.

Before this all started, Seokjin accused him of being the type to kiss someone with meaning. It was true then, and it’s true now. He was stupid to think that he’d ever stop being that way.

Seokjin closes his eyes and rests his forehead against Namjoon’s.

“Namjoon-ah.” It’s just his name; Seokjin says it often enough, and yet now it sends a small shiver through Namjoon.

“Yeah,” Namjoon breathes out.

Seokjin laughs, soft and low and unlike how he usually sounds. “We really thought that this was just—”

“Yeah,” Namjoon says again, huffing out a short laugh into the infinitesimal space between their lips.

“Stupid.”

They should kiss, probably. Namjoon thinks that they should kiss, but he feels that it’s important to verbalize what he’s feeling. After all, Seokjin did say: communication.

“I really like you,” Namjoon says in a rush.

Seokjin blinks his eyes open and pulls away to smile at Namjoon. “Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Namjoon says, nearly breathless with relief.

“Good,” Seokjin says, pulling Namjoon closer to the point that he’s sitting on Namjoon’s lap. “I like you too,” Seokjin whispers.

Namjoon’s heart swells and he feels he might just float out of his body. He reaches over and curls his fingers around Seokjin’s nape, leaning forward to finally, for the first time, kiss him with full meaning.