[Fic] Someone Like You - 9/11
Author: Coley Merrin
Pairings: Henry/Donghae (with Tablo/Eunhyuk)
Genre: AU. Angst. Romance.
Summary: Five years ago, Donghae failed to escape his Uncle Lee's crime organization and disappeared from Henry's life. But when Donghae has to kidnap Henry to keep him safe, it is still Uncle Lee that stands in the way of them ever having a normal life.
This is a follow up to For Always (QMi, SiHan, HenHae). One can be read without the other, but it does include more detail of the HenHae background and story. :)
Chapter One ** Chapter Two ** Chapter Three ** Chapter Four ** Chapter Five ** Chapter Six ** Chapter Seven ** Chapter Eight ** Chapter Nine ** Chapter Ten
There was no telling what an initiation might look like, Eunhyuk mused. Tablo could only tell them about his, and hope that it was any little bit useful to them. Would it involve a test of courage, of loyalty? Would they have some task to perform? It was like wondering how strong the sunlight would be on the next day, because there was no way to predict. Tablo’s initiation had been to run point on a raid against one of the better known gangs. And when he had done so, Uncle Lee had congratulated him. But even if Eunhyuk was Uncle Lee’s nephew, there was no guarantee of easy passage. If anything, it could be the opposite.
How did they prepare for something they didn’t know anything about?
For Donghae, he seemed to immerse himself in Henry, cuddled together watching movies or hanging out in their room doing things Eunhyuk didn’t want to imagine. They’d even cooked dinner a few times over the last week since the announcement. To varying levels of success. But whatever was in Donghae’s mind, it seemed that Henry was happier, and that was one thing Eunhyuk could check off of his mental list of worries.
Tablo in his bed was a different thing entirely. Having a man in his room who seemed to have no compunction about changing in front of his flaming face. Or complaining that his shirt was in the way when they were sleeping. Because he liked to touch, apparently. He guessed. He’d probably reached out and ran a hand down Tablo’s skin a few times as they kissed himself. And it had started a little slow, as though Tablo weren’t really sure if he’d be kicked out if he got too aggressive. If he touched too much.
And then, he thought it became kind of a test. How turned on he could make Eunhyuk with his mouth and teasing hands before he cracked and forced the issue? It was just like Tablo. Just like their interaction from before had been. It just felt a lot better.
He was almost sure he could hear his pulse in his ears every time Tablo’s shirt crept up his stomach, his chest. It was probably against the laws of reality that someone not built like a Greek god could make him want like that. No, it was because he was better. He was real. And staring at Eunhyuk as though he were a banquet table in front of a very hungry man.
And when he shed his own shirt, he knew what exactly was being seen because he saw it in the mirror every morning. In only a few moments, they’d scoot together, ostensibly to sleep, and start making out. It wasn’t like he was trying to hold out, exactly. He’d embarrass himself any minute of the day imagining Tablo’s hands on him, but sometimes it was just different.
It wasn’t teasing, just too real.
“Ah, you’re gorgeous...” Tablo whispered.
He squirmed. “No one’s ever told me that before.”
Stupid. Stupid, shooting his mouth off. Stupid being stupid for wishing he hadn’t said anything, as though that would make Tablo change his mind.
“Clearly no one looked before,” Tablo said, his mouth twitching. “But believe me, I have.”
“Crazy for you, baby,” Tablo said, leering.
They spent the next minute muffling their laughter on each other’s skin. And then Tablo started making playful noises.
Tablo, for once still in his pajama pants and t-shirt, settled closer. “What, you think they’re going to care, after they’ve been sharing a room for this long?”
Friends didn’t share on friends, but he knew Tablo knew better. “You know they haven’t.”
“You mean we’re going to beat them?”
He could just make out the lines of Tablo’s face above his as he blinked up. “What...makes you say that?”
Maybe it was the kissing that said that. The kissing, and the touching, and the teasing. The scrape of Tablo’s teeth against his chin, his hair dense between Eunhyuk’s fingers. And the sheet as Tablo tugged it down to his waist, until it was just his bare skin and Tablo’s hands.
The sheet and blanket was a little bit too much restriction, and there was no subtle way to get it off with Tablo’s weight on it. He thought he was succeeding, but Tablo was laughing against his neck.
“Need some help?”
His glare was not helping him as he grabbed the hem of Tablo’s shirt and yanked up. And after nearly breaking one of their arms knocking them together, they managed to scrape the cloth over every bump of Tablo’s face. Tablo raised a hand to his nose, as though making sure it was still there.
“Only you, Hyukjae... You’ll make it up to me?”
Too much talking, he thought, his face burning at the repeating of the familiar taunt.
So he kissed Tablo instead, tracing the skin they had bared. The lines of his collar bones, his shoulders, ribs.
“Yeah, like that,” Tablo whispered, and his tongue traced the inside of Eunhyuk’s lip. For some reason, the kiss tasted of oranges, like he had been eating them. It would have made his stomach growl if he wasn’t too busy, well, kissing. And with Tablo’s hand massaging his hip, he was less than willing to sacrifice his concentration for something so trivial.
That hand was very close to where he wanted it, and not nearly close enough.
The blanket was kicked down with relief, and had it been his decision, that wouldn’t’ve have been the only thing.
But the way the tip of Tablo’s nose traced his skin, the barest brush of his lips in the hollow of his throat, made his hips very restless. And Tablo was trying to control that as well.
“Stop,” he hissed, trying to grab for Tablo’s hips.
“Stop what?” Tablo asked, somewhere in the vicinity of his ear.
“Don’t be in such a ru...ushhh, agh...”
Eunhyuk lurched upward, dislodging the supporting arm, a leg around Tablo’s waist to wrestle him down. It didn’t matter if he could breathe as long as he had something to rub against. He wanted too much.
For a second, he was frozen, Tablo heavy on him, shoulder to knee, and as Tablo shifted uncontrollably, the press of his erection. He rotated his hips as best he could, and the friction sent electricity along his skin.
And Tablo moaned.
Eunhyuk’s head flopped back in triumph, or weakness, or glory one. “That’s what I thought.”
It was a little harder to be embarrassed about being aroused when the man on top of him was as well, but somehow he managed. His face burned beneath Tablo’s lips, but still... He had some presence of mind, hands tight on Tablo’s back. Arching slowly, teasingly, deliciously...
He tipped his face closer, and whispered, “Daniel.”
He wasn’t surprised by the strangled sound Tablo made, or the punishing teeth on his neck, or the frenzied movement of their bodies together. If he got that response, he would repeat that name over and over. His body wanted really only one thing, and he would do anything he could to get it. And with the man above him moving like he was, grunting against Eunhyuk’s mouth, it seemed it wasn’t long for either of them.
“Yeah...” Tablo gusted. “Yeah, like that...”
He fell first, the touch of that hand too much. He gasped, head falling back as Tablo moaned his name. And he was blind and deaf to everything, realizing belatedly that there was a man panting into his shoulder and that all was still, skin hot and damp against each other. A soft kiss against his neck made him squirm, his hands fisting on Tablo’s back.
“Was it okay?” he asked, and kicked himself mentally.
Tablo laughed sort of breathlessly. “Not okay. Really great. Could have been different, but I couldn’t remember how to get our pants down.”
Eunhyuk stared at the hovering face, and couldn’t help the grin though he did try. As though he had been much better...
“Well, maybe...” he said, words trailing off.
“Maybe next time?” Tablo finished, head cocking.
Eunhyuk cleared his throat. Next time. Real sex. Sex with... “Yeah.”
The kiss was soft against his mouth, a reassurance and a promise. “Yeah, next time. How about I help you with cleaning up…Hmm.”
Eunhyuk got the picture as Tablo pushed down the edge of his pajama pants.
“Cleaning or gr-groping?”
He cursed himself that he stumbled over that word. Of course that wasn’t forefront on his mind, getting his hands into Tablo’s underwear. There hadn’t really been any opportunity to see what they were getting themselves into, and Eunhyuk meant that more toward himself. But as his underwear cleared his hips on the tide of Tablo’s hands, it was a little too late for thought there. Still, he wasn’t going to be the only one bare for long. Probably, if he’d had much control over his brain, he would’ve found some way around stripping down. But to deny it felt good, that he couldn’t do. No, not that he was aroused, exactly. Though if Tablo had kissed his stomach for much longer…
And he’d been vetoed when he’d made to go for pajama pants, or at least underwear. He’d never slept naked before. Though as he felt Tablo’s thighs rub against his, the skin of his chest, lips against his neck, he didn’t care. He wasn’t sure if he fell asleep in the middle of the kiss or not. But he definitely wasn’t fretting about anything but getting closer.
He woke to fingers teasing the small of his back, and another hand waking him in a very different place. He got out a moan instead of a good-morning, because Tablo was kissing him and still so very naked, hot and solid against him. The room was bright in the early morning light, as they disentangled their mouths.
“I nearly woke you up in the middle of the night," Tablo murmured. "But I figured you'd want to be awake for this."
“For this?” he said weakly. They were naked. They’d gotten each other off. This seemed rather obvious. And his body was definitely giving him the go-ahead.
“W-What if Donghae bursts in here?" he asked, trying to insert logic into a completely illogical situation.
"I locked the door."
“And things? We need things—”
It was a totally different experience, as Tablo scooted on top of him. Not just because they were naked. Okay, because they were naked, but also because his mind was exploding. He could see every emotion crossing the face above him, the lust, the affection. Even when he could barely keep his eyes open.
Tablo kissed him, smiling. “Don’t worry, Hyukjae. I’ve got us taken care of.”
And it seemed he did. It was a good thing he didn’t make a habit of rummaging in the bedside table, or he’d have gotten the shock of his life to see the bottle Tablo extracted. But his concentration was kind of taken up by the lips so temptingly nearby.
“Have you done this before?” Tablo asked, hand in places he had once been sure hands should not be.
He tried to make some sound, some logical collection of syllables that would indicate his answer, and ended up doing some interesting sort of gurgle instead, punctuated by a gasp.
“I’ll take that as a no.”
“No,” he got out. “No. But yes. Want. Oh.”
Their fingers tangled on his belly, tag-teaming in the stroking that was making his eyes cross. At that point, Tablo knew everything there was to know about his body. And he still wanted. And for a few blissful moments, he coordinated himself enough to reach, and make Tablo moan against him, too. He knew how the whole sex-deal worked. Whatever had been bought for lubrication, he couldn’t smell it, which he thought was good. Any other sensory experience would’ve just made him die. He could smell Tablo, and that was enough.
And it seemed that Tablo wanted to keep them as they were, face to face. The kiss they shared was not lazy, but anticipating what they both knew was next. The sleek mouth trying to arouse him as much as his body was. Their lips were still brushing, chests heaving, when Tablo opened his eyes. “Ready?”
All he could see was fuzzy brown, and the beat of his pulse in his ears and in every place they pressed together. It was hardly even a question, because he could not possibly be more so. Not with Tablo’s hand on his thigh, and name on his lips.
He rocked his hips up, and caught Tablo’s inhale. “Yes.”
Yes, because he found it hard to breathe, and yes because the words he was hearing were spoken so softly. Yes, because he wasn’t really sure what to expect, and hoped he wouldn’t tense up like a clay soldier and ruin it. Tension meant pain and discomfort, slick as it was, and Tablo was murmuring to him, urging him to relax, to let his body welcome him. His mind was telling him one thing and his body was trying to do another, like some kind of weird game of stop and go. And he thought yes, that’s it, and I hope I’m doing something right. But he couldn’t have possibly done anything to take away the ecstatic kiss when he realized, seconds belatedly, that there was nothing left parting them.
And he was babbling with it.
“That’s it? That’s it. I didn’t know. I thought it would be…”
What had he thought it would be? Strange. Too awkward. Too much that he would have to grit his teeth and bear it. And it wasn’t like it was over. Tablo wasn’t just going to pull away and they’d get things done another way. There was the having sex part of it, too. Which meant. Not just feeling okay and pretty good, but feeling better.
He’d hit some kind of jackpot. A really sexy jackpot with a sweaty man staring down at him with wide eyes and a wry smile.
“Hopefully you mean that it feels okay, and not that you’re underwhelmed by, ah.”
“No, that is just fine,” he burst out, face on fire. “Better than fine!”
Tablo settled it by moving, which shut them both up, except for the fact that he didn’t have control over the sounds being torn from his throat. Because he’d underestimated that part.
He wasn’t just having his cake, he was having metric tons of it.
He didn’t have any clue what to do with his arms or his legs or his mouth. He just knew he wanted to help make sure what was happening kept happening, and that Tablo’s hand kept moving, and possibly that he didn’t start crying like a little girl because he wanted more and got more and then for a while maybe more than he expected.
He had no thought but Tablo’s body as he took several sucking breaths, arching, crying out into Tablo’s shoulder as he came between them. Hands grasping as he heard Tablo make a sound almost near a growl, the pace picking up almost painfully until Tablo jerked against him. He was puffing like a freight train into the soft hair, thankful when their hips came to a rest, so that he could just feel. Bliss or pleasure or oh hell yes. He slapped down his libido that reached greedily for more.
And the head that lifted off his shoulder went slow, as though it was heavy. A sloppy smile on that face.
“Hyukjae, you’re amazing,” was the hoarse statement.
He would’ve squirmed if the thought hadn’t made him whimper. “You were…pretty good, too.”
“Pretty good? Is that better or worse than okay?”
“Way better.” He felt drunk on it and he’d never been drunk in his life. “So way better.”
“Good. Good. Probably should get up.”
“Mmhmm,” he agreed. But settled on helping Tablo lay back down and getting them appropriately smashed against each other. His nose somewhere around Tablo’s temple. He was hot and sweaty, and needed about five showers. And his mind was in some hazy, wonderful place.
“Good morning,” he murmured, and felt Tablo’s laugh.
It was pretty obvious what was going on when Tablo stopped sleeping on the couch. And it wasn’t as though it changed the way Tablo teased Eunhyuk, but it did change the way he was responded to. Eunhyuk didn’t tense up like a toy soldier. So, in Donghae’s opinion, everything was better. He and Henry weren’t fighting, Tablo and Eunhyuk had created a little love nest. Not that he had any desire to know what they were doing in it. Having Henry to snuggle up against in the middle of the night was plenty enough for him.
He’d kind of wanted to bleach his eyes when Tablo came strolling out of That Room with a stupid grin on his face. He wasn’t a total idiot and knew what that meant. So go Eunhyuk, and that was all he needed to know. Henry had comforted him when he complained, though. Well. Distracted him, was more like it. It was kind of a twofold stab, not wanting to image those two having sex, and knowing they were having sex when he and Henry weren’t yet. So he retaliated by getting Henry off in the kitchen while those two were gone a couple days later. Tablo and Eunhyuk might never know, but he did. And that was enough.
Where his brain was, he’d never know. He knew Henry was showering, because they’d been talking from their respective rooms. He’d heard the water start, knew it was safe to go in and start brushing his teeth. Simple. Really.
The sound of the varying fall of the water as it slid off Henry’s body was only a small distraction to him, focusing on his toothbrush and checking out his face in the mirror. Not bad, really.
“I am going to destroy you next time,” he called out, referring to their earlier bout of boxing via video game.
“Not with those wimpy arms,” Henry replied, sounding smug. “I’ll just keep beating you until you cry for mercy.”
“There is no mercy in boxing! You’re going down!”
As a prank it was a stupid one, grabbing the water bottle to try and spray Henry with the coldest water possible in the middle of his shower. He anticipated girly screams and retribution.
And what he got was a kick to his own brain as he opened the door, watching Henry’s head turn. His hair sliding wetly into his face, skin that he had seen and knew. But it was different. They weren’t playing around on the bed. The light was fully on, and Henry was standing. It was different. Intimate.
Henry was slimmer, just a little. The product, somewhat, of getting a little older. But still, Henry. His eyes careened from his chest, to his stomach, the scattering of hair beneath his belly button, his hips, his…
He realized there were years between them. Years of lovers and liaisons that he would never know about. He knew about a couple. And maybe it was that Henry just liked women more, or… Maybe it was they just needed to find something in each other. The thought of someone touching that body, pleasuring that body. It was his, Donghae’s. Henry was his. They’d claimed each other, fought for each other. Even when Henry thought Donghae had given up on him, it wasn’t true. He had always wanted.
He realized he was staring, his breathing harsh, and he turned. He heard the water shut off as he went out the door, trying to calm his throbbing body. He wanted, yes. There was no lying about that. He wanted to rub himself against Henry, or use that mouth, or… Something, anything to ease the tension. It was beyond human effort that he did not touch himself. If he could just last until Henry was out of the bathroom, he could get some privacy.
He chose a spot far from the door, pretending to be getting clothes. All he had to do was make it past Henry, and it would be okay.
“Donghae?” A warm body was pressed to his back, and arousal lurched through him. It wasn’t fair. He was trying so hard, and it wasn’t fair.
When he turned, the skin of Henry’s neck was just a little damp, and fragrant from the shower. He spent a moment there, experiencing it, hands on Henry’s sides. Henry’s mouth was parted, pressing close, tugging him forcefully when he would not go. And as their hips fit together, he realized that Henry was just as turned on as he was. Henry’s mouth muffled his whimper, and he gave into the need. It was like they were trying to have sex standing up, the way they staggered and moved. Mouths fused, hands and arms gripping, groping.
“Bed?” he panted, and Henry moaned.
Maybe this was the way he could find out, fear warring with sickness and need inside him. If Henry was really committed, then he wouldn’t fight him on this. He wouldn’t… They left their clothes at the side of the bed, and then skin to skin, stretched out on the sheets. Henry beneath him. It wasn’t what he wanted. He wanted to feel that weight on top of him, the security of it, the joy of it. But he had told Henry he did that for no one, so if Henry trusted him, there was only one way that it was happening.
“Do you trust me?”
“Of course I do?” Henry answered, sounding confused as Donghae broke their kiss long enough to rummage in the drawer beside him. Condoms, several, since he didn’t trust his shaking hands, and the slick liquid that would ease his passage. Condoms were something they had never used, in the stupidity of youth hadn’t even thought about. And he realized it was a cold slap in the face of reality, a barrier between them, an acknowledgement of the distance that had been there. They weren’t monogamous, they weren’t committed, they were just screwing around.
“You want this?” he asked, challenged, hands stroking down the inside of Henry’s thighs. And he hated himself a little at the flicker of doubt in Henry’s eyes.
“First time for everything,” Henry said, putting on a brave tone.
Some of the tenseness, the bravado, left him, settling instead on the warmth of Henry’s mouth. That was all he focused on, touching Henry, making him want again. That Henry would do this for him. It was a test that Donghae should never have had to try, and never should have even considered.
He didn’t know what he was supposed to expect, when he managed, careful, to settle inside of Henry. He pressed kisses to the tense cheeks, heart thudding. Of course, he wouldn’t be ecstatic, it was different and new. To Donghae, of course, it felt amazing, but it wasn’t enough. He wanted it to be that way for Henry too. Had he screwed up even that with his pride?
He hoped Henry knew the care he was taking. So careful in fact that he was in danger of losing his drive all together. They had been wild for each other, they should have been tearing up the bed. Instead it was awkward and slow, and Henry was looking at him with that look in his eyes. There was so much feeling there that it scorched him, and when he spoke, Donghae could hear the words he didn’t let finish spinning in the air.
“Don’t you dare say it,” Donghae hissed.
Henry gripped the back of Donghae’s neck, and held him there. It had been a mistake. Such a big mistake.
Henry hurt in a way that was far from physical. They never had done it this way, Donghae inside of him. And he had been willing to give, seeing that Donghae needed that from him. Watching Donghae fight himself was a terrible thing. Fighting between what he wanted and what he thought he wanted. There wasn’t any passion left in it after that, and it wasn’t that Donghae was hurting him, exactly, but there was something missing. He shouldn’t have to say “Maybe next time, it’ll be better,” to himself, because it could’ve been good this time.
He was whispering “I trust you, I trust you,” but he thought they both knew what he was really saying. If he could just telegraph that to Donghae somehow. But he wasn’t ready to give up. If they stopped now, would they even have another shot?
“Donghae,” he whispered, stroking his back.
But got a jolt when Donghae pushed upright, the loss of heat, the rocking of the bed making his heart leap.
“Hey, what—” he asked as he realized Donghae was stripping himself of the condom and backing down the bed. But he didn’t have long to wonder, gasping as he felt Donghae’s mouth move to try and make him regain the hardness he had steadily been losing. His hand gripped at Donghae’s hair, gurgling at the movement. Donghae seemed to know exactly what to do, how much pressure, how much wetness, how much… His body was instead now hyper interested, keeping his hips from jerking up, seeking more of the warmth of that mouth. He didn’t even comprehend the sounds he was hearing, the opening of the bottle, or the strange movements.
But he wasn’t anywhere near finished when Donghae lurched up his body.
“You want me?” Donghae asked, lips red.
He moaned into the too-short kiss, furious and quick, as Donghae pulled on his shoulder. “Then come on.”
He didn’t really get it. Maybe it was the sexual haze or whatever, but he didn’t fully understand until he was on top of Donghae, and there were knees scraping at his ribs. Donghae with Henry’s face cupped in one hand, the dark gaze raking from his lips to his eyes. He gasped as a slick hand gripped him, stroking, guiding. Donghae molded their mouths together for a long moment.
“I trust you,” he said, voice rough. And those words sent a shiver down Henry’s spine.
He…Donghae wanted him to…
“Why are you doing this?”
“Because I want to.”
And Henry’d lied to himself about how much he’d wanted it, too.
He obviously remembered how it was done, and with Donghae’s help, they managed. Working together, looking to each other for reaction, instruction. Only minutes before they had been in the reverse, and now it was him on top, inside. In some semblance of control. And caught in a whirlwind of sensation and memory.
It wasn’t like his body remembered what it had felt like all those years ago. His mind did, somewhat. Even half inebriated, back then when he had been staring down at a crooning Donghae, realizing that he was on top of a guy, having sex with him, and he hadn’t even kissed a guy until about 12 hours before. But they’d taken care of that plenty of times in the time they’d been together.
So yeah, he remembered. He wasn’t drunk this time, and Donghae was so hot, around him, under him. His head was back, baring his convulsively working throat, and there might have been tears tracking down his temples, but Henry would never have told. He just kissed Donghae, and absorbed his moans, and rocked into the embrace that he thought had been totally lost to him. How long had they lasted that first time? Not long. But this time was different. He hiked Donghae’s legs up higher, leaning on him harder, and nearly came when he saw the look of rapture that stole over Donghae’s face when he managed to get a hand between them, moving it with the rhythm of their hips.
The tension between them was unbearable but it was the kind he had craved. There wasn’t any holding back in Donghae, moving, moaning, kissing, as though right there was the only place he wanted to be. All that existed for them was each other. The worries were gone. The memories were gone. He just wanted.
He was babbling out words, phrases, meaningless things and endearments. Not knowing why that Donghae wasn’t responding until he realized he had been speaking in some convoluted stream of French and English and Chinese.
They had no need for words as Donghae pleaded with his eyes, and their mouths mated, every gasp and plea and moan, until Donghae’s name burst from his lips and Donghae convulsed under him. And then it was his heart galloping, head fuzzy as he rested on Donghae’s sweaty chest, utterly spent. They had… They had actually done it.
“You’re heavy,” Donghae grunted.
“Sorry.” He slid off, but didn’t really allow Donghae to move away at all, pulling him along, squeezing him as much as he could. But he didn’t really get any resistance.
“Was…satisfying,” he said, trying that out and seeing if it was a word at all.
Donghae just kind of snorted and kissed him to shut him up.
He nearly followed Henry into sleep, but realized he had to get up, go help Eunhyuk lock up for the night. Even if Tablo was there, it had become their ritual. Luckily he managed to slide away without waking Henry. He stretched, swiveling his neck, and decided he felt better than he had in ages. He was closer even to elated than he was to anything else, which felt strange after holding himself away from feeling much of anything. He kind of wanted to wake Henry back up just to kiss him, but he settled on going to wash and toss on clothes.
He found Eunhyuk in the kitchen.
“You finally did it, huh?” Eunhyuk asked.
Donghae flopped down in one the chairs. Why couldn’t he hide anything? “What? How did you know?”
“You look like you’re not sure whether you want to grin or cry.”
“It doesn’t mean...” Eunhyuk was frowning at him. “You know what it means to me. You know that to Uncle Lee, it can’t mean anything at all.”
“So let him believe he’s just your boy toy. I don’t think he’ll psychically get from you what I am,” Eunhyuk assured him.
“What about you and Tab...”
“It doesn’t matter,” Eunhyuk interrupted. “They can think what they want.”
There was more there that he wasn’t getting, but he didn’t really have the mind to explore it. All he really wanted was to go back to into the room.
Henry half woke when he was crawling back into bed, that instinctive hand reaching for him, croaking his name. He chuckled, kissing the corner of Henry’s mouth. “S’ok. Sleep.”
He insinuated himself against Henry’s body, the arm looping over him solid and real. Henry was asleep again in seconds, naked against him, and unconcerned. He worried about this, that if they committed to each other again like this, that he’d lose control over his heart. He held Henry tighter, breathing him in. But really he knew where his heart had been all along.
Henry woke before him, kissing his face, and he was smiling even before he was fully awake, hand sliding against Henry’s skin.
“Morning,” Henry murmured.
“Good morning. Goooood morning.”
The happiness in that face, it was so plain, so clear to him. It made him wonder what there was behind it, what he’d seen over the past month. Something that had led them to this. Trusting each other with something that had been important to both of them, and was again. Maybe Henry had forgiven him, but he was finding it harder to swallow that he’d have to forgive himself.
He watched the smile waver on Henry’s face, and knew he had paused too long.
“There’s a hurt I caused in you that I don’t know how to fix. It’s scary, because I want to try, but I don’t want to feel guilty every time I look at you.”
“I’d rather you feel happy,” Henry said, as though it were obvious.
“I don’t know if anyone can come back from something like I did to you.”
“I’m here, aren’t I? Do you trust me?”
Donghae studied Henry’s face. The soft mouth, the open expression. Trying to keep happiness from shining out of every one of those pores sometimes was like cloaking the sun in plastic wrap. If he just stayed there, soaked that joy in long enough…
“I can count on three fingers how many people I trust, and you’re one of them,” Donghae said. “I trusted you, so that wasn’t the reason I left. That’s one thing you can believe.”
He used those fingers to cup Henry’s face, holding him so he could kiss that smile, absorb that joy. Just to feel Henry’s lips meeting his, pressing back, wanting that touch.
Donghae gripped him, face focused. “Henry...”
“I missed this,” Henry whispered. “Missed you...”
“When you were looking for me, those prostitutes?”
“Were nothing. Nothing. I was trying to find you and couldn’t think of any other way.”
“I never…” Henry squirmed. “I paid them, but I never had sex with them.”
“Henry.” He laughed, moving them into a mini tickle fight, breath light and quick together. He ended up with his head resting on Henry’s chest, long fingers stroking his face and neck and shoulders. It was an oasis from his life, this time with Henry. He imagined putting Henry on a plane, never seeing him again. To imagine his life without him, again? And realized he had pressed his face down into Henry’s chest, gripping at him with bruising fingers.
“I don’t know if I could let you go again,” he said, the words burning through his lips.
Henry slapped his shoulder, forcing his chin up. “I’d be really pissed off if you even tried.”
“Yeah. Me too, you have no idea.” He sat up, getting his knee over Henry’s waist.
“You keep talking about what you did to me, and how must time went by. But it’s kind of weird, you know? To some people, a year would be too long, much less five years. But to others all those moments are leading to the end, you know? If there’s someone at the end who still wants you.”
“And if what you finally find doesn’t disappoint you.”
“A thousand things I missed, I’m getting right now.”
It was impossible not to kiss Henry after that. Maybe he didn’t believe all the pretty words with all of himself yet. He got what Henry was hinting at though. To some, lengths of time were greater than others. That Henry seemed to understand him, why he had done what he had done, and yet still wanted to be beside him, was humbling and thrilling and scary all at once. It wasn’t as though he had reason to be angry with Henry, but he understood Henry’s logic. They had come back together after all that time, sliding into each other like they had left grooves, impressions of themselves, that molded them intimately to each other. That made them fit, after years apart and all the near misses of fighting each other. Whether they stuck was yet to be seen. Whether he wanted them to was a different thing entirely.
He brushed Henry’s chin with his lips. “I think we managed it this way once or twice,” he murmured, wiggling his hips to indicate what he was talking about.
Henry’s mouth bowed, letting his fingers trail along Donghae’s thighs. “I think we did. You think you’re up for it?”
He watched with pleasure as Henry’s eyes closed, absorbing the feeling of their bodies rocking together. And maybe enjoying the thought of Donghae on top of him- on top of him in the way they both wanted.
“Feels like it,” he said.
And then proved it.
Eunhyuk was standing beside Donghae went the call came. It was Tablo who got the call, and he sent a sideways look to Donghae who was trying to divine what was going on through the only part of the conversation they could hear.
“Tomorrow, 8AM,” Tablo confirmed. “Yes, we’ll see you.”
“They’re sending someone to pick up you two, tomorrow. For the initiation.”
He caught out of the corner of his eye, Henry reaching for Donghae’s hand. But he was most interested in seeing what emotion was there for Tablo. Resignation was most of what he saw, that mouth in a flat line, eyes hard. But they softened, letting Eunhyuk see the concern as they stepped together.
“Not much notice,” he said.
“I didn’t get much either,” Tablo said. “Enough to put you on edge, but not enough so that you’ll relax.”
“I wish we knew more.”
“You might be glad we don’t. It makes me angry that we don’t. I want to be able to help you.”
“It’ll be okay,” he said, and was the one that wrapped his arms around Tablo first, not caring that Donghae or Henry might be looking.
Tomorrow really couldn’t come fast enough, and they had a whole night to fill. He was so keyed up, he didn’t know how he was going to sleep. But there wasn’t any question, and they had no pretenses, clothes gone before they slid into bed. Using each other until they were exhausted and dazed. His heart slowly slid into evenness as Tablo stroked his back. Slowly, as he faded, the worry still there, but buried. And he was glad. All he knew was that when he slept, he hoped that the morning would be better than whatever he could imagine.
He felt Tablo get out of bed, happy to keep dozing, knowing he didn’t have to get up yet. Probably just a bathroom run or something. He snuffled his nose into his pillow, happy to be warm and knowing Tablo was still in the room.
“Hyukjae,” he heard, a hand shaking his shoulder, pushing him back out of his pillow. He acknowledged that he was being kissed, touching Tablo’s sleeve and pressing back.
“Do we have to go?” he asked, thinking of the time.
“No, I’m going first. Someone else will come for you.” Another kiss. “Hyukjae, I love you. I’ll see you later.”
“Mmk,” he murmured, reaching for one more, willingly given kiss.
Tablo stroked over his neck and shoulder, letting him relax back. The door had been softly closed for several seconds as he ran that series of kisses back in his head. Too bad they didn’t have time to do more. He wondered why Tablo was heading out early? Different orders, he supposed.
He kind of forgot to breathe, bolting upright in his bed as a particular portion of the conversation rolled over him like a cement truck.
“‘I love you?!’” he squawked into the empty room.
Ringing Tablo’s cell phone got no response, so he gave in. He showered and dressed because there wasn’t any sleeping after that. Henry was sprawled at the table eating, while Donghae poured himself some cereal, so he guessed he wasn’t the only one who hadn’t been able to sleep. It had been a while since they had all gone, leaving Henry at the house alone, and he knew that was one more worry on Donghae’s shoulders. There would be no locking Henry in the room today. He would be free to get away if he needed to and that was all there was to it. None of them thought Henry was a danger to run. Definitely not when it was increasingly obvious around the house how close they were getting. Donghae, who had always seemed so reserved, who now found any reason to press himself up against Henry for a smile and a laugh. He’d seen that happy side of Donghae sometimes, but he was glad to see it more.
All he could really do was worry, because not only were they going, but Tablo wasn’t with them. And that made him even more unsure of what he was to expect.
Donghae was finding it hard to breathe, standing in front of Henry. Only a few minutes left before a car would pull up to take him and Eunhyuk away. Whatever it was, short of death, he wasn’t going to have to give up Henry again, he consoled himself. Not Henry’s mouth or his legs or his heart. That Henry wanted to be with him now was so much a miracle, he didn’t expect a second. He would rather face a hundred worse options for his own safety than face sending Henry away. And he didn’t even think that Henry would go, not really.
And leaving him there alone, when he knew what kind of danger Donghae had left him in at the safe house, didn’t help. Not all of the organization would know that both Donghae and Eunhyuk would be gone, but there would be some. And not everyone liked him.
“I’m leaving you a gun,” he’d said that morning. They’d been over basic things. Checking the clip, the safety. The basics of how to shoot, without actually doing so. Henry held guns like he thought they would bite him, and Donghae didn’t blame him. But there wasn’t any way he was leaving Henry without some protection.
“Protect yourself if you feel you have to,” he said, letting his nose trace Henry’s jaw. “Keep it near you just in case. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
“You don’t think… You won’t be in really bad danger will you?”
“I don’t know. I really don’t know.” They’d been over that a hundred times. “The reason I worry, is you.”
“Don’t. Come back because you want to be okay, not because you’re worried for me.”
“I do want to be okay. Because I want to see Canada with you, and… You know that, don’t you?”
He was being selfish, staying with Henry instead of helping Eunhyuk with his nerves. But he needed that kiss. Tasting Henry, feeling him, warm and real. Feeling his love, too. He had no doubt of that.
“They’re here!” Eunhyuk almost yelped.
Henry pressed one more kiss to his lips, and pushed him away. They didn’t speak of love. That felt like an ending. There was time for love later.
It was not a long ride, no more than twenty minutes. And there had been no extra cars waiting as he and Eunhyuk piled into the backseat, so at least no one was immediately going to try and make a run on the house. Henry knew every single possible exit, in case of attack, or a fire. How to hide. He’d done everything possible.
Donghae wasn’t allowed a gun, as they stepped onto the elevator. Just the two of them, and two other men. The right hands of Uncle Lee. They weren’t really smiling, but he didn’t think they really did ever.
His ribs felt like they were made of concrete, when they stepped out onto the roof. It was the tallest building for some distance, so they could see all around them. Twenty stories, maybe. And his instinct had him looking for escape. Not really feasible, at that height. And Uncle Lee waiting for them.
Every initiation was different, he’d been told. Intentionally, so that no one ever knew what to expect. He would’ve paid such a huge amount just to have some foresight as to why they were one some building’s roof, just them and three others.
“You made it,” Uncle Lee said. “I guess you wouldn’t miss this, after how much you’ve given up to be here.”
He wondered that Uncle Lee looked at him most significantly, and shrugged it off.
“We do what needs to be done,” he said, and Eunhyuk confirmed it.
“We just have to wait for the rest of the guests to get here. They should be…Ah, yes. Here they are.”
Guests? His stomach knotted, and they turned together. He felt Eunhyuk stiffen beside him when a woman was helped out onto the gravel roof by Tablo. He’d never met her in person, but he knew who she was. Eunhyuk’s sister. His bad feeling only got worse, and for good reason.
Because the person who stepped out next was Henry.