Chaz (mertlekang) wrote,

Baggage CHAPTER 4

Title: Baggage
Pairing(s): JB/JR, Markson, Yugbam, past Youngbam, past Markson
Rating: NC17
Warning(s): Drug abuse, major character death, smut, characters with HIV, homophobia, angst
Summary: Rent!AU - Jaebum and Youngjae have been living together in a shitty apartment on the wrong side of town for years, struggling to pay their rent and carrying the weight of their past mistakes. With the introduction of a new neighbour, a meeting with an old flame and the help of a stranger after a mugging, new relationships are built and their lives grow all the more complicated.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

The night was cold, a clear sky and a pale moon illuminating the grass Jinyoung and Jaebum sat upon. The original plan had been to meet up at the park, but the others were taking so long Jinyoung had already pursuaded Jaebum to pop open their cheap champagne, the two of them drinking the whole bottle a little too fast before the others even arrived.

Honestly, Jinyoung had forgotten there were other people in the world apart from Jaebum. His lips were hot against his own, arms warm and strong around his waist as he sat in Jaebum's lap, pulling away with a giggle. He'd drowned in Jaebum the past few days, finding every excuse to visit his apartment, even going so far as to clean his own - with the help of Mark and Jackson.

There was only so much he could hide from Mark, the older boy saw through Jackson's attempts at hiding Jinyoung's weakened state from him easily. He was forcing three meals a day down his throat, making him rest and watching him like a hawk whenever he was around. He'd flushed all his dope away after a heated - yet short - argument, and Jinyoung let it be. He wasn't alone anymore, he could quit.

He had a new addiction, now, anyway.

'I'm giving up my vices. I'm going back to art school.' He breathed as Jaebum nipped at his collarbone teasingly. 'What about you?'

Jaebum detached from him reluctantly, looking at him slowly. 'I don't do resolutions, I never keep them.'

Jinyoung slowly slipped his arms around Jaebum's neck, adjusting himself in his lap and leaning in to brush their noses together softly. 'Don't think of them as resolutions then.' He leaned away slightly, looking down at Jaebum. 'I want to remember this year, the drugs make me forget. And I want to finish a painting before I die.'

'Don't say that-'


Jaebum swallowed thickly, closing his eyes for a moment before meeting Jinyoung's gaze once again. 'Okay. I'll write you a song. That's my resolution.'

Jinyoung smiled softly, and Jaebum tugged him down for a kiss, rolling him over onto his back on the frozen grass as he laughed against his mouth.

'How long until New Years day?'

Jaebum rolled off him, and Jinyoung opened his eyes to see Jackson standing over them, scantily clad in a tightly fitted girls school uniform, rouge on his lips and a cheap blonde wig sitting lopsided on his head. Mark stood beside him looking tiredly amused, dressed as he normally would with his hands shoved deeply into his coat pockets. He shrugged at Jinyoung's questioning gaze. 'Don't ask him why he's dressed like this.'

'What on Earth are you wearing Jackson?' Jaebum chuckled, taking in the full glory of him as he stood proudly, glitter twinkling on his eyelids.

'Don't opress me, Jaebum. Gender is fluid, get with the times - I can dress as Britney Spears if I want to. New Year, new me.' He rambled, snapping his fingers with a hand on his hip as Mark rolled his head back tiredly. Apparently he'd recieved the same answer. Jinyoung just chuckled, blessed to be surrounded by such idiots.

'Ok, ok, where's Youngjae?'

'He went to meet up with Bambam and Yugyeom, he'll be here in a minute.' Mark supplied, setting down a bag of cheap booze and sitting beside Jinyoung with a sigh.

Jinyoung raised an eyebrow. 'They're back together?'

'Seems like it. I don't really understand the whole situation, really.'

'Nobody answered my question!' Jackson whined, sitting down in front of the three of them cross legged and exposing parts of his anatomy Jinyoung really didn't need to see. Jaebum checked his watch, clicking his tongue.

'Ten minutes until another shitty year.' He announced dully, and Jackson grinned, cooing as he reached for Jaebum's face, tugging at his cheeks teasingly.

'Poor baby, I thought you'd be excited.'

Jaebum fought him off with a half-hearted frown, quirking an eyebrow. 'Why would I be excited? I'm broke, it's cold and every year I'm closer to my dea-'

'-Yeah yeah, okay Mr Doom. What about love?' He grinned stupidly, and Jaebum cringed visibly. 'Ain't it nice to have someone to smooch into the new year? Remember to wear protection kids- oh, I guess it's too late for that talk.'

'That's dark, Jackson.' Mark chuckled, swatting at his bare thigh before Jackson caught his wrist and pulled him into his lap with a smirk.

'Better to laugh about it than to cry like this big baby over here.' He pointed at Jaebum and the older man jumped forward as if to bite the digit, making Jackson recoil with a yelp, to Jaebum's visible pleasure. 'He's rabid, call infection control.'

'You're an ass.'

'Who's an ass?' Youngjae asked, collapsing beside Jackson with a wide grin.

'Jackson's an ass.' Mark supplied loftily, and Jackson nuzzled his throat, making him giggle.

'I think you meant to say I have a great ass.'

'Definitely not what I meant to say.'

'Enough of the PDA guys, I don't want to throw up until at least 4am.' Youngjae laughed brightly. He grabbed another bottle of champagne, popping the cork and taking a swig as the foam dribbled down his chin before recoiling from the taste. 'Is this legal?'

'Probably not, but it works.' Jinyoung chuckled, proving the statement by winking drunkenly.

'I thought you were meeting Bambam and Yugyeom?' Mark asked inquisitively, taking the bottle from Youngjae as he suppressed a belch.

'Oh, they started bitching at each other so I gave them some space.' He nodded to the entrance of the park as two figures entered, 'I think that's them.'

An excited, indecipherable screech sounded from that direction, and they all nodded. 'Yeah, that's Bambam.'

'Woah, okay - that's definitely Bambam. At least you're not the only one dressed up, Jackson.' Jaebum scoffed as the two of them came into sight, revealing Bambam zipped into a skintight PVC catsuit. Yugyeom was just wearing his typical long coat, scarf wrapped around the lower half of his face as he shivered.

'Hey, guys.' He greeted softly, muffled by his scarf. Mark patted the space beside him and Jackson, and Yugyeom looked visibly relieved to be welcomed. Bambam draped himself over Jaebum's lap, his outfit creaking with every move as Jaebum pushed him off roughly. He just snickered, sitting beside Youngjae instead and leaning against him heavily.

'Jackson! I love the outfit.' He drawled, and Jackson raised his bottle of champagne in acknowledgement.

'How'd you fit yourself into that?' Jackson nodded towards his painfully tight attire, and Bambam waggled his eyebrows.

'Persistence and lots of talcum powder.'

Yugyeom groaned weakly, closing his eyes and throwing his head back tiredly. 'It was a mess. I'll be cleaning my apartment for months.'

'Okay, New Year's in three minutes. Let's get somewhere to see the fireworks.' Mark announced, jumping to his feet and pulling Jackson up eagerly.

Jaebum stood, holding out a hand for Jinyoung, and he took it, warmth spreading through him when Jaebum pulled him to his side and wrapped an arm around his waist firmly.

Happy New Year indeed.


Fireworks crashed overhead, and Youngjae watched with a soft, sad smile as his friends held each other and exchanged kisses, illuminated in changing pink, blue and yellow. It wasn't loneliness or jealousy that made his smile falter and his heart tighten, but the lingering question of whether he'd ever see another New Year with them all again.

It was 8am before they finally stumbled home, blind drunk and giddy, giggling like idiots in the early winter sunrise. Their smiles faded as soon as they approached, though, and Youngjae ran up to the front door of their apartment building in confusion, numb fingers closing around the padlock and shaking it in disbelief.

'It's locked! What the fuck!' He yelled, banging on the door fruitlessly as the others exclaimed in surprise.

He turned at the sound of a loud scrape, seeing Mark hauling up a nearby trashcan without hesitation as he shook out the contents and carried it over to the door. 'Stand back, guys.' He grunted, trash can under his arm like a battering ram.

'Woah, be careful Mark-'

'I've got this!' Mark slurred, smiling lazily back at them before he turned back to the door and swung once, twice, three times, the bin smashing against the door loudly before the padlock cracked open and he dropped the bin triumphantly, turning to the with raised arms as they all applauded.

'Where did you learn that?' Youngjae gasped in awe, eyes drooping as he smiled stupidly. Mark just shrugged, latching back onto Jackson's bicep as his boyfriend gazed at him lovingly.

'I've done it plenty of times before.'

'That was seriously the most erotic thing I've ever seen.' Jackson drawled, and Jaebum snickered beside him.

'What about the time you got a hard-on when the rehab nurse gave you an enema.'

Youngjae doubled over in laughter, Bambam screeching and Mark simply staring at Jackson in awe. Jackson punched Jaebum in the arm hard, and Jaebum dragged him in for a headlock, the two of them dissolving into an impromptu street fight that took a good ten minutes to break up.

Punches were still being thrown when they trudged into Jaebum's apartment, Yugyeom holding Jackson back with surprising ease while he wriggled and spat childish insults at Jaebum's taunting grin.

Youngjae had seen it all before, knowing it was in love rather than hate. He'd caught most of it on camera for posterity, anyway, and left the two of them to it, walking past them to set his camera on the coffee table before he paused.

A letter was placed there, and he was sure it wasn't there before. He took it in hand, squinting as he tried to read it with blurry eyes. Jinyoung peered over his shoulder as his face began to cloud, a hand coming to rest on his shoulder comfortingly as he read the words Youngjae was reading.

'Hyung,' Youngjae breathed, turning back to the brawl that was still ongoing. 'Hyung!'

Jaebum paused, and Jackson took the opportunity to dig him in the ribs, making him curse. 'Fuck, what?!'

'Look at this.' Youngjae offered the letter, and Jaebum limped over, clutching his waist with a grimace before he snatched it from his hands. His eyebrows furrowed further and further as he read before he closed his eyes for a long moment, taking a long breath. He closed his fist on the letter crumpling it up angrily and throwing it to the ground before he sat heavily on the sofa, head in his hands.

'Bastard.' He muttered, and Jackson tottered over, picking up the balled up paper and unfolding it.


'What's wrong, guys?' Bambam asked, peering at their pensive faces, Yugyeom looking just as confused.

Youngjae shook his head in disbelief. 'Our landlord wants to evict us - well, he is evicting us. Apparently he's already warned us, but I've never seen any letters.'

'I didn't think it would come to this.' Jaebum sighed, leaning his head back against the sofa. Jinyoung sat beside him, frowning.

'Come to what? I live here too, what's going on?'

'My dad called me yesterday-'

'What's your dad got to do with this?' Youngjae asked, baffled.

Jaebum avoiding his eyes, licking his lips and answering slowly. 'He owns the building.'

'Your dad is the landlord? Are you fucking kidding me?' Youngjae bristled, dropping formalities momentarily. 'Why did you never tell me this? I live here! This is my life too!

Whatever's going on with your family, keep me and Jinyoung out of it.'

'Watch who you're talking to, Youngjae.' Jaebum uttered darkly, looking at him sharply, buy Youngjae didn't flinch this time.

'Why do I get evicted just because you're having problems with daddy? Bullshit.'

Jaebum stood abruptly, squaring up to Youngjae with a tight jaw, challenging him to say more, but Youngjae stood his ground, glaring back at him. Yugyeom quickly slipped between them, placing his palms on their chests to keep them apart.

'Woah, woah guys. Relax. This can be resolved, just chill. You're technically squatters if you stay here, but there's legal action you can take. Let's talk through it tomorrow when we're sober and less... tense.'

Youngjae and Jaebum didn't break eye contact for a few long seconds before Youngjae shook his head, sighing. 'If it's because you've fucked up the rent again then I can fix this. Just this once.'

'How?' Jaebum grumbled, and Youngjae frowned.

'The news network that bought my footage of the riot offered me a job. I didn't want to sell my soul, but it seems like I'll have to if I want a pillow to sleep on. I'll ask for an advance on my wages.' He bit the words out, and Jaebum actually looked guilty. 'Hyung, this is the last time I help. Get your life back on track or I'm gone and you can solve your own problems for once.'

Mark sighed before Jaebum could respond, cutting the tension with a simple suggestion. 'Lets make some resolutions.' He flopped down onto the sofa and patted his knees lightly, the group turning to look at him in surprise. Youngjae was thankful for the change in tone, even if he was still furious.

Jinyoung smiled softly at Mark, resting his feet on the coffee table and swigging the remnants of his champagne. 'I'll drink to that.'

'Let's always stay friends.' Jackson suggested cheesily, squeezing onto the chair beside the two of them, thick thighs pale and garish in the daylight. His lipstick was smeared all over the place from the multiple makeout sessions he and Mark had sneaked off for during the night and his mascara was a tragedy.

Yugyeom smiled softly, 'We fall out a lot, though. Might be a hard one to keep.' He shared a glance with Bambam, who stuck his tongue out.

'This family's got deep roots.'

'Friendship is thicker than blood.' Mark beamed sunnily, and Jaebum shrugged, always one to rain on the parade.

'That depends.'

Youngjae rolled his eyes, 'Depends on trust.'

'Depends on love.' Jinyoung asserted, locking eyes with Jaebum, and Youngjae let his argument rest.

He brushed shoulders with Jaebum for a moment, whispering, 'Depends on not denying emotion.' Jaebum looked at him in confusion, but Youngjae just grabbed the nearest beer and raised it, yelling cheerfully - 'It's gonna be a happy new year!'

Everybody raised their own drinks, or their empty palms in a loud shout.



By noon Bambam and Yugyeom were curled up on the couch together, dead to the world while the others sat on the floor and ate breakfast. Youngjae was the first to leave for bed, snapping a photograph of the two sleeping teenagers before nodding sleepily at the rest of the group and shuffling away.

They'd managed to force Jackson to cover his indecency with a robe at some point, and he tightened it around his waist suddenly, getting to his feet with a deep sigh. 'Okay, I'm beat.' He announced, and they all murmured their assent. Mark wobbled to his feet, a mix of drunkenness and exhaustion, and Jinyoung followed after them as they made for the door.

An arm blocked his path when he tried to leave the apartment after them, though, Jaebum pressing close to him with a palm on the doorframe. Jinyoung heard a noise of surprise as Mark tripped on the stairs, but he didn't glance away from Jaebum's piercing gaze, trapped. Jaebum closed the distance without hesitation Jaebum, lips warm and firm, slow but insistent and somewhat needier than usual.

When they broke apart for air, eyes lingering on one anothers lips, Jinyoung brushed a stray lock of copper hair from Jaebum's forehead, his hand lingering at his neck. 'Happy New Year.'

'This time, I think it might be.'

Jinyoung watched him for a moment before moving in for another kiss, the sweetness from before quickly turning into something rich and indulgent until tongues were entwined and Jaebum was walking them backwards towards his bedroom. He slipped his palms down Jinyoung's back until he was cupping just beneath his backside, pulling Jinyoung's thighs up around h­­­is waist effortlessly while Jinyoung's hands quickly wrapped around Jaebum's wide back to hold himself up.

Jinyoung felt himself harden scarily fast, because, fuck, Jaebum was strong. He turned them around, lips leaving Jinyoung's to bite and suck at his neck, keeping his eyes on where he was walking as Jinyoung gripped him tighter and gasped. Kicking the door to his room open he practically threw Jinyoung onto his bed, giving Jinyoung no chance to look around nosily before he was spreading his thighs and climbing between them, reclaiming his lips hungrily.

The kiss was cut short as Jinyoung pushed him away for a moment, palm flat on his chest, and Jaebum looked down at him in confusion as if Jinyoung was refusing him. Jinyoung trailed his fingers over Jaebums jaw as he watched him quizzically, taking in the moment. He'd never wanted something so badly before, but now that it was happening he wanted every second to last as long as possible.

'What's the rush?' He breathed, and Jaebum cocked an eyebrow.

'I didn't take you for the foreplay type.' He smirked, and Jinyoung didn't back down from the teasing.

'Who doesn't appreciate a hard, slow fuck every once in a while?' He purred, watching Jaebum's eyes darker, 'Besides, it's a holiday.' He wrapped his legs around Jaebum's waist, rolling his hips teasingly as the older man groaned roughly, 'We have all the time in the world.' Jaebum's eyes fluttered shut for a moment before he stared down at Jinyoung with intent.

'I haven't done this in a while, so bear with me.' He uttered gruffly, and Jinyoung chuckled. 'What's so funny?'

'That's really cute, old man. It's a shame, I wanted this to last more than ten minutes, but I wouldn't want you to break a hip.'

'I'm one more witty comment away from gagging you and fucking you into the matress.' Jaebum breathed roughly against Jinyoung's ear, a sharp breath leaving Jinyoung's lips before the older man leaned away. He pulled his shirt off gracelessly before practically tearing at Jinyoung's, and Jinyoung had to pause for breath at the sight of him, taking in the planes and dips of jaebums torso, the definition in his thin body.

He was much broader than Jinyoung, more masculine but still slight and undernourished. A spark of self consciousness rose in him as Jaebum eyed his uncovered flesh, and his breath hitched as his hand smoothed over his chest too gently, his eyes too adoring. Even back when he was with Mark it was never like this - with Mark there was no hesitation or anticipation, it was something that happened in the spur of the moment and turned into something comfortable and convenient.

After Mark he'd thrown himself at whoever he felt like having that night, numb and uncaring, mind detaching from his body until his partner was done and spent before he'd roll off the bed, pulling on his clothes and walking home - rinse and repeat. Now it was unhealthy, frightening how much he wanted Jaebum, how awestruck he was that he wanted him back. He'd never been touched so gently, looked upon so fondly, and Jaebum paused in his caress, hand leaving his chest to thumb at his cheek and wipe away a tear.

'Why are you crying?' He asked softly, leaning over him on his elbows, face so close that his nose brushed Jinyoung's and his hair tickled at his forehead, coal eyes searching for something deep in Jinyoung's core.

'I'm not.'

'You are.'

'I changed my mind. Do it rough and fast and get it over with-'



'What are you afraid of?'

'I don't want to start this and leave it unfinished like everything else in my life.'

'Not everything has to finish.'

'Yes, it does, Jaebum - this will end and it will hurt and I'm tired of hurting.' Jinyoung couldn't hold back his tears anymore, tumbling down his cheeks without abandon as his lips quivered with repressed sobs and sentences too painful to construct died on his tongue. 'Don't look at me.'

'Don't tell me what to do.' Jaebum breathed, smirking softly, brushing his lips over Jinyoung's bitten ones. 'Not unless you're telling me to touch you.'

'Touch me, then.'

Jaebum pressed his lips to Jinyoung's wet cheeks, kissing away his tears before returning to his mouth and kissing him deeply, pressing against them firmly enough to bruise as his hands trailed down Jinyoung's sides once again, fingers dancing over his ribs deftly.

Jinyoung gasped when Jaebum pulled away to mouth at his jaw and suck at his throat, moving lower and mapping out every inch of his torso, shoulders, arms, wrists; kissing every freckle and blemish, running his lips over the track marks littering his forearms. Jinyoung was mesmorised, clinging onto the sheets for some semblance of safety as jolts of pleasure shot through him at Jaebum's silken touch, ticklishly light then stirringly firm.

The light of the day was pale, turning his hair gold where it was splayed over Jinyoung's chest, making his olive skin turn to marble. Jinyoung's chest was tight, a lump in his throat as he watched Jaebum silently map out his skin diligently, unashamed to worship him so blatantly.

It was a shock to Jinyoung's system, this side of Jaebum. He'd only known him a short amount of time, but they'd made out and fooled around plenty in the past week or so and he never seemed this enraptured by Jinyoung. It was frightening, the realisation that jaebum might hold more than lust for him. A four letter word pricked at Jinyoung's mind, stirred his heart, but he just closed his eyes, pressing back into the pillow and focusing on the sensations running through his body.

There was a pause, a lack of contact as the bed shifted, and Jinyoung opened his eyes to see Jaebum leaning over him again, capturing his jaw softly and tilting it towards him.

'Don't close your eyes.'

'Why not? It's embarrassing.'

'That's stupid.' Jaebum deadpanned loftily, and Jinyoung pinched his bicep sharply in irritation as Jaebum chuckled, rubbing at the wounded spot quickly before he sat back on his calves, unfastening his belt and popping his button. His tight jeans slipped lower on his hips and made Jinyoung's lower half stir once again in anticipation.

Jaebum discontinued his striptease to reach for Jinyoung's jeans instead, tugging them off roughly as Jinyoung squawked in surprise, a sinister smile on his lips. It seemed like he really enjoyed seeing Jinyoung squirm, and Jinyoung repressed the urge to cover his tented boxers, choosing to fake confidence to hide how insecure he felt.

He spread his legs wider, watching Jaebum's face coyly as he ran a hand down his chest slowly, over the dip of his bellybutton before reaching into his boxers and taking himself into hand beneath the fabric, his head rolling back briefly at the contact. Jaebum simply watched, and Jinyoung envied his composure. Jaebum was unreadable, looking amused if anything, like he could grab a box of popcorn and sit there for a while, but soon enough his hand moved back to his own jeans, shucking them down to mid-thigh along with his black briefs.

Unlike Jaebum, Jinyoung was an open book, eyes glued to the gift he was being presented with as his own cock pulsed in his palm and a mortifying whine left his lips. Jaebum had large, masculine hands, and his member still looked impressive in his grip, straight and stiff, the head the same blushing colour as his lips and beading with precum. While Jinyoung might not have been able to read Jaebum's facial expressions, his lower half told him everything he needed to know.

Jinyoung made to move to his knees, eager to have Jaebum in his mouth, but Jaebum pressed a hand to his shoulder, pushing him back down to the bed before climbing atop him and kissing him filthily. He pushed a hand down the front of Jinyoung's boxers, batting away Jinyoung's fist to fondle him. With a gasp, Jinyoung's hand knotted in Jaebum's hair as his knees fell open wide and his hips canted with every pull of Jaebum's fist.

He gasped into Jaebum's mouth as they kissed loosely, and the older man pulled him onto his side as he flopped down beside him, kicking his jeans and boxers off completely before pressing close to Jinyoung, their cocks nudging against each other and making them both groan.

Jaebum broke the kiss for breath, and Jinyoung sighed, mouth ajar and lips swollen and wet. He couldn't help but chase after Jaebum's lips, almost like a magnetic pull, but Jaebum just smirked, dodging him teasingly. He released Jinyoung's member, hand slipping over his hip to squeeze his ass, softly then firmly, making Jinyoung moan unabashedly into the pillow.

'Lie the other way.' jaebum muttered, voice rough and thick with arousal, a sound that made Jinyoung's mouth water. He moved to roll over, but Jaebum held his hip to stop him, shaking his head slightly. 'No, facing me - legs up here.' He rasped, and Jinyoung could've came just at the mental image, tentatively shifting down the bed so a thigh was slung over Jaebum's shoulder and the copper haired mans' cock was an inch away from his lips, hard and dripping.

He lapped at the head tentatively, pride swelling at Jaebum's reaction as he gripped Jinyoung's ass roughly, groaning as his cock jumped visibly and left a wet trail on Jinyoung's cheek. He blew gently over the tip, preparing himself mentally before he wrapped his lips around the head and sucked, steeling himself when Jaebum's hips jumped slightly before he could control himself, a guttural moan ripped from his throat.

He took him in deep, expertly, saliva dripping down his chin as his nose brushed against his balls, and Jaebum choked. 'Fuck, do you not have a gag reflex?' Smug pride rose in him at the fact he could shake Jaebum's stoic demeanour so easily, tongue flat against the underside of his cock as he bobbed his head steadily.

He felt strong hands part his buttocks roughly and moaned around Jaebum's length at the sensation of a wet, hot tongue suddenly lapping at his spread hole, hips twitching abruptly as he struggled to keep his pace, his own cock dripping as Jaebum pressed inside.

A slender digit traced the ring of muscle slowly, teasingly, before dipping in alongside his tongue and stretching him slowly. He pressed back as best as he could in his position, hole twitching and tensing as he sucked Jaebum harder, the older man's voice breaking with every bob of his head. His finger pressed deeper as he removed his tongue and bit at the soft flesh of his ass, a second digit entering without hesitation and making Jinyoung whimper from the back of his throat.

Jaebum teased him open almost strategically - just slow enough not to hurt, but fast enough that he could feel it. By the time he was scissoring three fingers and sucking bruises into his upper thigh, Jinyoung was trembling, cock achingly hard to the point of pain, and he pulled off Jaebum's cock sloppily, gasping for breath and unable to hold his voice in.

Jaebum pulled his fingers out suddenly, leaving him gaping and empty, clenching around nothing compulsively. He tilted his head as best as he could, watching with blown pupils as Jaebum spread his ass wide again, admiring his work before he slapped a cheek sharply, making Jinyoung gasp in shock and arousal, flinching from the assault before pushing back in anticipation.

Another blow never came, Jaebum pushing his thighs from his neck and shifting to his knees, leaving Jinyoung to scramble after him dizzily until they faced each other again. Jaebum moved his lips to speak, but Jinyoung pressed a hand to his chest firmly, pushing him back onto the matress and slinging a thigh over his hip, straddling him.

He was a mess, chest heaving for breath and lips red and ruined, cheeks wet with tears from taking Jaebum so deep, and Jaebum looked up at him in awe. 'You're a demon.' He breathed, and Jinyoung smirked, leaning down to kiss him slowly as he reached back to ease Jaebum's cock inside him slowly, the two of them abandoning the kiss to moan open-mouthed as he stretched around him, hot and thick.

He didn't pause, rocking gently in Jaebum's lap, sitting back and resting his palms on the older man's knees for leverage. Jaebum tried to roll his hips, but Jinyoung had him pinned, savouring the feeling of total control. The copper haired man could only claw at him blindly, mouth slack as breathy moans left his lips with every cant of Jinyoung's hips.

Gripping Jinyoung's folded knees, he pulled them out from under him to spread them before him, leaving Jinyoung exposed, the new angle pressing Jaebum's cock deeper inside him. His cock grazed Jinyoung's prostate, and the younger man cried out, head rolling as his back arched.

Jaebum took advantage of his lapse in concentration to fuck up into him hard, making him nearly choke on his wanton moans. Sitting up quickly, he flipped them over so he was on top, slipping his arms beneath Jinyoung's thighs and pushng them up to his chest, not losing pace once as his eyebrows knitted together in exersion, sweat slick on his skin as he slammed into Jinyoung without abandon.

Jinyoung was gone, the fantasy of dominating Jaebum easily discarded in place of submitting to him, staring up at him with wide, blown pupils as he fucked him into the matress. The headboard smacked against the wall with every thrust, Jaebum practically folding Jinyoung in half as he leaned down to capture his lips messily.

Jinyoung's blunt nails dragged red lines down Jaebum's back as his toes curled and his balls tightened, gasping sharply against Jaebum's lips, taken off guard by his own orgasm. Shaking apart, vision blurring and ass clenching around Jaebum's length sparodically, all he could hear through the white-hot bliss was the sound of his own heart beat and Jaebum's harsh grunts of pleasure.

Feeling Jaebum moving inside him while he climaxed was almost too much, Jinyoung's hands scrabbling for purchase over his skin as he bit his lip hard, oversensitive but desperate for everything Jaebum had left to give.

He watched with distant eyes as Jaebum gasped, his pace slowing as he thrust deeper, erratically before freezing above him, head thrown back and long neck exposed to Jinyoung's hungry eyes. His cock pulsed inside him as Jinyoung stroked Jaebum's back, down his chest, soothing the bite of his orgasm until he came back down from his high, the older man deflating and collapsing beside him heavily with a guttural sigh.

Jinyoung felt too heavy to move, too light to think, and Jaebum slung an arm over his waist sluggishly, pulling him close and bringing him back to reality as he looked dazedly into his eyes with an indulgent smile.

'That wasn't so scary, was it?'

Jinyoung had always thought people were bullshitting when they talked about compatibility, how sex feels better with the right person, but now he had the undeniable proof. They slotted together like jigsaw pieces, every touch in the right place, every kiss at the perfect sweetness.

Jinyoung had tasted Jaebum now, and he doubted his thirst would ever be quenched.

'Could've been better, but at your age it's probably a stretch to ask for another round.' Jinyoung quipped snootily, yawning and stretching dramatically. It was an invitation to war, and, of course, Jaebum fucked him over and over until he couldn't feel his legs.

The winter sun was setting and painting the room a soft peach by the time they were done, turning Jaebum's hair to amber, and as he lay there, sheets tangled around his feet and Jaebum wrapped around him like a sweaty coat, his heart wouldn't rest. The moment was bittersweet, a fantasy that would end in agony, and Jinyoung could only wish selfishly that the virus would take him first, that he wouldn't have to watch Jaebum waste away.

It was as if he'd unwrapped a gift only to know it was on loan, that he was only renting it, that something or someone could come along and snatch it from his fingertips at any second.

Jinyoung would hold on until his hands bled.


Mark watched the clock tick painfully slowly, counting the seconds until the five minutes left of his shift would run out. Jinyoung had insisted he was too weak to work, but he felt fine - lightheaded and a bit sick, but no worse than usual. He needed to get out and do something, be someone instead of just existing and wasting away. He had a bed, a boyfriend and a job. He was almost normal, and that was good enough for him.

The past four months with Jackson and Jinyoung and everybody else had been a deep breath of air for his drowning, burning lungs. He had a family again, people who cared about him while he cared about them. Twirling a straw around the rim of an empty glass, he shifted from foot to foot. His shifts were always dead, barely a soul entering unless they were the usual lonely alcoholic regulars looking to find a friend in the bottom of a whiskey glass.

He had a sneaking suspicion the manager had given him the graveyard shift on purpose, that she'd caught the tremor in his hands when he'd set down his resume, the bags beneath his eyes during their interview. As much as he longed to be busy, he wasn't blind to the fact that his body was aching more lately, that he couldn't find his breath more often than not, that he started most mornings hunched over the toilet.

Glancing at the clock again, dead on midnight, the door swung open, crisp april air blowing in as Jackson strode up to the counter with a broad smile. Mark beamed, heart thudding as it always did when he saw those twinkling eyes.

'I didn't know you were coming to pick me up.'

'Oh, come on Mark, don't tell me you forgot?'

'Forgot? What?' He asked with a laugh, walking out from behind the bar and grabbing his coat. Jackson spread his arms wide with a stupid grin.

'It's your birthday!' He crooned, excited, and Mark scoffed.

'My birthday's tomorrow, Jackson.' He flicked off the lights before walking to the door, Jackson striding after him as they left the building.

'It's exactly one minute past midnight, so technically tomorrow is today, so today is your birthday.'

Mark just smiled tiredly, ready to fall into bed and far too tired to figure out what Jackson was rambling about. If he wanted it to be his birthday, it was Mark's birthday. 'If you insist.'

'I do insist.' Mark rolled his eyes, locking up the door behind them and turning to Jackson expectantly. On cue, Jackson pulled him in by his waist, kissing him soundly before it deepened, Mark sighing into the kiss as Jackson walked him back til his head hit the door of the bar, tongues entwining and hands wandering.

Jackson pulled away breathlessly, smiling cheekily. 'Happy 21st, Mark.'

When they arrived back at Jinyoung's apartment, Mark was genuinely surprised when they opened the door to streamers popping obnoxiously loud, screams of 'Surprise' coming at him from all angles.

'Good god.' He yelled, clutching his chest in shock before Jinyoung jumped at him, swaddling him in a tight embrace. He pecked him on the cheek before whispering in his ear.

'Told you you'd make it. Now you have to stick around to see me turn 20.' As he pulled away, Mark spared him a sad smile, heart aching. He remembered the words he'd screamed in anger at Jinyoung as he lay on that hospital bed, voicing his fears without a filter in his panic, rambling of how he'd never see 21, how his life was dust now that he was diseased.

He'd see Jinyoung turn twenty if it was the last thing he did, if only to make up for the hurt he caused him.

The flat was still a dump, but fairy lights were scattered around the space, beers unopened on the table and music echoing off the walls. Bambam and Yugyeom waved from the sofa where they were entwined, and Youngjae snapped a photo suddenly, blinding him before patting him soundly on the back with a wide smile.

'Group photo time, guys, squash up!' He bellowed, setting a timer on his camera while Jackson and Jinyoung dragged Mark over to the sofa forcefully, the lot of them squashing together on the small seat. Jaebum was standing awkwardly beside Youngjae as the younger man set the camera up on the coffee table, arms folded, and Jinyoung beckoned him over to no avail.

Jackson groaned, grabbing a party hat off the table and stomping up to Jaebum, tugging it over his head and letting the strap snap against his chin. Jaebum moved to whack him but Jackson grabbed him in a headlock and pulled him over to the sofa, pushing him down beside Jinyoung who efficiently wrapped himself around him with a grin as the older man glared somberly into the lens.

Mark chuckled lightheartedly as Jackson sat back down beside him, and Jaebum glanced at him, smiling softly as if they were sharing a secret.

'Yah, look at the camera guys!' Youngjae hollered, jumping into the frame and stretching himself out along the back of the sofa sensually. Bambam immediately began to eye-fuck the camera, Yugyeom throwing up a peace sign while Jackson pressed a wet, lingering kiss to Mark's cheek, causing him to scrunch his face up in discuss. Jinyoung leaned his head on Jackson's shoulder, arms and legs octopussing Jaebum, who subtly pulled off his hat, placing it on Mark's head instead and smirking at the camera as if it took great effort to participate.

The flash went off, and the group cheered, a chorus of 'happy birthday' breaking out as Mark flushed beet red. He hated copious amounts of attention.

A few crates of beer into the morning, Yugyeom remembered he'd baked a cake, stumbling into the kitchen to grab it. Bambam followed him, and a good twenty minutes later they returned covered in frosting with guilt painted over their features, a sad-looking plate of dishevelled sponge cake in Yugyeom's hands.

Mark just chuckled, while Jackson commented on the frosted handprints on Yugyeom's backside, making the teen blush tomato red while Bambam just winked and shrugged. Jinyoung popped a candle into the tragedy of a cake daintily, lighting it with a grin. 'Make a wish, Mark.'

They all sat around the table, Mark suddenly reigning king of the sofa somehow, and his cheeks were red from drinking, eyes drooping drunkenly. Jinyoung was watching him closely from where he was sat beside Yugyeom on the floor, as if trying to read Mark's thoughts, and Youngjae quietly sat back, camera rolling.

The mood had shifted, warm and thick and quiet as everyone slowly succumbed to the sleepy pull of alcohol, and only Jinyoung could guess how sad this moment felt to Mark. Would he ever blow out candles again?

Jackson squeezed his thigh from his seat beside his knee on the floor, and Mark pulled himself from his thoughts, realising he'd zoned out. He closed his eyes for a moment, taking a long time to think even though he knew what he was wishing for, before he leaned forward and blew the candle out, the flat plunging into darkness as the few of them still awake clapped softly.

Yugyeom and Bambam had drifted off while he was lost in thought, leaning against each other, and Jinyoung was rubbing his eyes sleepily. Jaebum raised his beer, arm slung over Jinyoung's shoulder. 'Happy birthday, Mark.'

The rest of them joined in the toast, clinking their bottles together while Jackson just tipped his all over himself, mumbled an apology and stumbled haphazardly to the bathroom.

'Sorry we couldn't get you any gifts, moneys tight-' Youngjae began, but Mark shook his head, blinking the wetness in his eyes away.

'It's fine, really. I'm just... I'm happy to be here. With you guys. That's all I could ask for.'

Jinyoung sniffed loudly from across the table, covering his face immediately as his back shook with repressed sobs as Jaebum pulled him to his chest, fingers combing through his hair soothingly.

Mark chuckled thickly, voice breaking. 'What are you crying for, idiot? It's supposed to be a happy birthday.'

'Then don't say sad things, you asshole.' Jinyoung squeaked into Jaebum's sweater, pulling away as his wet eyes gleamed in the moonlight. 'We're gonna live until we're old and gross and die together on a yacht covered in money, like you promised.'

Mark choked a laugh, sighing shakily, comforted by Jackson's hand on his thigh as he returned to his seat silently. Youngjae was pretending to look through his photographs, Jackson and Jaebum leaning in to observe, as if the moment was for Mark and Jinyoung alone and the rest of them were there to keep them from crumbling to pieces

'I never promised anything.'

Jinyoung wiped his eyes sullenly, reluctantly looking Mark in the eye once again. 'What did you wish for?'

'You know telling a wish means it won't come true.'

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