Moonlight with a sparkle of stardust twinkling and melting onto linen bed sheets with the feather comforter tangled in between aching legs. Kyungsoo is shot into consciousness with tear stains carving lattice patterns down his face by the bullets speeding into his abdomen. His lungs are constricted into a stranglehold and he struggles to calm the agony, trying to stand up from his bed but only succeeding in toppling to the floor. He gasps, trying to in sufficient amounts of air but the precious sustenance is escaping him as his breathing becomes more ragged.


He tries to rake at the excruciating pain with his fingertips digging crescents into his stomach but only failing, making him a squirming mess. He finally succeeds in inhaling a full breath of air and takes the opportunity to wobble to his door and out into the hallway where he can call for help. The second the wooden door opens, he fumbles again and his limbs fold underneath him as he collides with the ground head-first. Luckily, Jongin’s ascending the stairs now and witnesses the scene so he rushes over, powered by his instincts to help those in need. He manages to pull Kyungsoo’s head into his lap and lightly but urgently taps his profusely sweating face.


“Hey! Kyungsoo, are you alright?”


“...Hn... Jongin?” Kyungsoo replies wearily, his eyes barely opening to peer at the younger man. Another claw of pain reaches in to grab hold of his organs again and he doubles over, gripping the flesh of his midsection and clenching his teeth in order to endure it.


And in Jongin’s flurry of worry, he drags Kyungsoo into his arms and hauls him into his bedroom, easing him into his bed as the older man is groaning in misery. Kyungsoo folds his body up into a tight ball and whines when Jongin tries to push his limbs into a different position.


“I know it hurts right now but I really need you to lay on your stomach, Kyungsoo,” Jongin urges soothingly.


Still gasping for air, Kyungsoo tries his best to be obedient even with the convulsions wracking his body and splitting his intestines apart. Tears are spilling down Kyungsoo’s face in waterfalls as he tries to contain the torment. “J-Jongin... it h-hurts...”


“I know, it’ll be okay,” he responds softly. Jongin peels his spouse’s shirt from his body, the cold sweat saturating it down to the hems. He positions his hands along the spine and presses his fingers into the drenched and scorching skin, massaging the area there firmly like he remembers in his medical school training.


After almost half an hour, Kyungsoo’s breathing calms a bit and his tears slow down, his muscles finally relaxing just a tad and the pain diffusing into tolerable zings and jolts. He lets out a hot breath of relief as he closes his eyes, focusing on the pleasure fluttering from Jongin’s fingertips into his burning back.


Jongin gazes tenderly down at Kyungsoo’s form for a bit, feeling his heart palpitate with guilty feelings for having broken his promise earlier. “...I’m sorry for not taking you home. I forgot that I had a meeting to go to.”


Kyungsoo’s quiet for a second, his strangled emotions from earlier fading into a smokey ache before responding, “It’s okay... It couldn’t be helped. Suho drove me back.”


“Suho did?” Jongin reaffirms, surprised because Suho is every bit as busy as he is.


“Yeah, I’ll have to thank him again. He’s really very kind,” Kyungsoo answers with a faint blush coming to tinge the tips of his ears with the hue of cherries. Jongin notices this infinitesimal display of emotion and there’s something unknown and uncomfortable lodging itself into his heart as he thinks of the two of them together.


Noticing that Kyungsoo’s breathing is getting more even, he looks down and tilts his head a bit to stare into his spouse’s face to see that he’s sleeping. Somehow a slight smile graces his face and out of fear of bringing the pain back once again, he deftly slides into bed next to Kyungsoo and continues to rub the small of his back tenderly while gazing at his face.


This... isn’t so bad.


And as he’s drifting off into slumber, the whispering in his heart is back and his dreams are stitched together with swirls of cream and Kyungsoo’s warm smile.





Kyungsoo wakes up to a throbbing pain kicking at his spine and his body tenses in surprise when he sees the angelic face of the person sleeping soundly next to him. His wide eyes slide around the room and he recalls that he had fallen asleep in Jongin’s bed last night due to the intense side effects of his procedure. He’s too terrified to even breathe properly though, afraid that one wrong move will wake the other person. He’s aptly aware of Jongin’s arm slung over his waist though, most likely having fallen asleep from massaging his back for him. He blushes a bit at the thought, always noticing Jongin’s consideration.


He flinches when a loud and incessant beeping bursts into the silence of the room from behind him and he watches as Jongin’s peaceful face crinkles cutely with annoyance as he reaches over Kyungsoo’s body and turns off the alarm, his eyes still closed from exhaustion. Kyungsoo’s frozen in his place with the heat from Jongin’s chest radiating into his shoulder and Jongin seems to notice that he’s not alone now so he jerks his body away from his guest and into a sitting position.


“Sorry,” he mumbles, a tint of pink flooding his cheeks as he’s made more aware of the pressure building in between his legs.


“You have to go to work now, right?” Kyungsoo asks shyly, half of his face buried into the pillow. And as he inhales, his eyes widen just a bit as he takes in the attractive and unfamiliar scent. He closes his eyes for a second to savor it; the deep and rich smell of Jongin.


Jongin pauses for a moment at the question, mulling over it with his tousled hair sticking up on the side of his head. It’s not as if he’s forced to go, having accumulated quite a bit of vacation time over his years of being a workaholic. Today he’s hesitant to leave Kyungsoo alone especially after witnessing the intensity of his pain last night.


Still feeling jolts and flickers of screaming cells throughout his body, Kyungsoo’s husky morning voice is quivering as he tries to reassure Jongin, not wanting to be a nuisance. “Don’t worry about me. I can just call my friends or my parents to look after me. I made your lunch yesterday before my appointment and it’s in the refrigerator so you can go to work without worries.”


Hearing this bit of consolation that he’ll be fine on his own, Jongin decides that he doesn’t want to push the issue too much. So he reaches into his bedside table and emerges with a small bottle of pills. “Okay. Here are some painkillers in case it hurts while I’m getting ready to leave. You should call someone to look after you though.”


Twenty-eight minutes and a groggy phone call later, the doorbell rings and Jongin’s buttoning the cuffs on his shirt as he opens the front door to a half-asleep Chanyeol with a serious-looking Baekhyun dragging him by the arm.


“Hi, you’re Kim Jongin, right? I’m Byun Baekhyun and this is my spouse, Park Chanyeol,” Baekhyun introduces politely as his eyes trek over Jongin’s form from his toes to the top of his head. As Baekhyun hauls him inside, Chanyeol looks Jongin over too.


“It’s nice to meet you. Please come in. Kyungsoo’s upstairs,” Jongin replies with a polite nod.


Just then, Chanyeol’s eyes light up with a flame of recognition and he’s wide awake as he points right at Jongin’s face. “Hey! The guy from the picture! Kyungsoo’s eyes must be bad. I think he looks cuter in the photograph,” Chanyeol remarks loudly.


“Chanyeol!” Baekhyun hisses, slapping him on the arm and earning a whine. He lets out a nervous laugh before trying to resolve the issue, intent on keeping Kyungsoo’s photo of Jongin a secret. “Don’t mind him. He’s kind of weird.”


Jongin eyes them with caution lingering on his face and he thinks that Kyungsoo has some odd friends. He brushes away the thought though, grabbing his jacket from the adjacent closet and proceeding to tie his polished shoes. “I’ll be back at about seven tonight. If you need anything, Kyungsoo knows how to contact me.”


Baekhyun nods and tows Chanyeol up the stairs and into the bedroom where Kyungsoo is as Jongin lets himself out of the front door. Kyungsoo’s eyelids are too heavy right now and the exhaustion is consuming him as he teeters out of his dozing state when the door opens. “--Jongin?”


Warm limbs are wrapping around his body and he relishes in the soothing body heat coming from the person who is now pressed against him. He doesn’t smell anything like Jongin’s dark and mysterious scent but Kyungsoo ignores that inconsistency and hugs him back. “I’ll be Jongin if you be Baekhyun, Kyungsoo,” Chanyeol whispers.


“Are you cheating on me?” Baekhyun screeches, thwarting his husband with a pillow.


And there’s a plethora of giggles and laughter coming from them as they fumble and Kyungsoo hasn’t felt this happy in so long so he ignores the screaming coming from his nerve-endings.



Jongin’s on his way to see a patient as he’s walking down the tiled and brightly-lit hallways slowly, contemplating Kyungsoo’s current condition. Just as he’s rounding the corner, he comes face-to-face with a certain somebody with twinkling eyes.

But those eyes aren’t smiling at him today. They’re glaring.

“Did you work the graveyard shift? Those eyes look like they’re trying to kill me,” Jongin remarks somewhat jokingly.

“Rather than worrying about me, you should care more about your partner,” Suho replies with venom lingering in between the letters.

Suddenly Jongin feels a rush of something odd and dangerous as he also glares back at Suho, a steely look in his dark eyes. The same uncomfortable feeling from last night is emerging again as he thinks of Kyungsoo and Suho together and he doesn’t like it. He doesn’t like it one bit. He’s never been one to back down in his opinions and choices just because others are against his way of doing things though so he takes this battle head-on. “Is that so? How is it any of your business how I treat my spouse? Are you saying that you can take care of him better than I can?”

A spiteful smirk reveals itself on Suho’s usually calm face at this counter. “IRIS is not very forgiving of people who abuse their partners, you know. As a doctor, it’s my responsibility to report any offenses against my patients.”

Jongin’s eyebrow twitches in a flurry of anger and he steps a bit closer to Suho, increasing his intimidation and lowering his voice frighteningly into a growl. “Is that a threat?”

“Only if you want it to be.” And Suho’s not scared of a fool like Jongin so he pushes passed him nonchalantly and continues walking down the hallway.

Jongin stands there with his fingernails digging crescents into his palms in a tidal wave of animosity.




Jongin returns home that night upset and drowning in the miasma of a bad mood, the ill-feelings spiraling and slicing the air around him furiously. As he’s removing his shoes in the entryway, his ears pick up the bright sound of laughter and he thinks that he’s never heard Kyungsoo laughing before. He quietly ascends the stairs and stands outside of his bedroom door, listening to the cheerful voices on the other side.

“Chanyeol’s been harrassing me every night!” Baekhyun exclaims, exasperated.

“The procedures and surgery cost a fortune! I want to make the most out of it and start right away! We’re not getting any younger!” Chanyeol retaliates, flinging his arms in the air dramatically.

Baekhyun pouts and stares at Kyungsoo’s youthful and innocent face. “Hey, does Jongin ask for it?”

“What? Oh, er... no...” Kyungsoo responds rather softly, taken off-guard by this sudden question. And he blushes at the thought, knowing he’s not quite close enough with Jongin yet to do such a thing despite the fact that they’re married now.

“That guy seems so cold. Of course he’s not asking for some,” Chanyeol shoots back.

“Yeah, my first impression of him was like that too. Sorry Kyungsoo but he’s lacking in the fatherly department...” Baekhyun notes, rubbing his head rather sheepishly, half-afraid of hurting Kyungsoo’s feelings.

Jongin’s fingers twitch uncomfortably as he takes in the words. He’s always known that he’s rather unfriendly to people, keeping a rather unhealthy distance. And he knows that this is his biggest flaw but also his greatest strength. This way he’ll never be hurt by others, right? Those days in his childhood where he eagerly waited for his parents to come home and the days when he was so hopeful about being able to spend time with them are long gone now, having learned to only trust himself the hard way.

But he didn’t think that this would pose a rather large problem once they have their child. Will he be able to open up to their child unlike with others? Will he properly be able to love their child despite not loving his partner? Even he doesn’t know.

“You’re wrong.”

And Baekhyun and Chanyeol are surprised by the firmness of Kyungsoo’s voice, expecting him to agree with them and spill his dark inner thoughts about his spouse. “Eh? Why would you think that, Kyungsoo?” Baekhyun asks, confused. Jongin’s also confused but a butterfly of happiness tinged with astonishment tickles his lungs and his mood is easing into a better one at these words.

“Jongin’s considerate, caring, and hardworking. He’ll surely make a terrific father,” Kyungsoo states confidently.  

Jongin feels his heart lodge itself in his stomach as he mulls over what Suho had spat at him earlier and he knows that Suho’s right. He knows that he’s not the greatest husband in the world to Kyungsoo but even so, why does Kyungsoo think so highly of him? What could he possibly have done to receive such unconditional adoration? As he’s lost in his stream of thoughts, the bedroom door opens and his muscles tense into a flinch.

“H-hi there,” Baekhyun stutters nervously, scared that Jongin had overheard their conversation earlier. “Er, it’s probably time for us to leave. Chanyeol, let’s go.”

Chanyeol shoots his head up from where he’s sitting cross-legged on the bed and his features darken noticeably with the carvings of a frown. Kyungsoo looks up from his sitting position under the sheets and smiles brightly. “Welcome home, Jongin,” he greets warmly. As Chanyeol is leaving, he narrows his eyes at Jongin menacingly and Jongin notices the small gesture, feeling the smoky sensation of annoyance pounding through his veins again. “Did your lunch taste okay?”

But Jongin ignores him and sits down on the edge of the bed, making Kyungsoo’s expression sag with worry and concern with the silence creeping in between them. Jongin’s thoughtful eyes drag themselves towards Kyungsoo’s arm as it rests on the bed in front of him. He rakes it mentally, from the shoulder to the elbow to the wrist and down to the well-kept fingernails.

Out of a strange impulse, he reaches out towards it and ghosts the pads of his lithe fingers over the nails and they dance up the back of Kyungsoo’s hand slowly before caressing the back of his wrist. Kyungsoo’s lungs are constricted by the unexpected action and his breathing halts as he stares wide-eyed at Jongin in shock and bewilderment. His mind is blank even as Jongin’s fingertips linger around the cuff of his long-sleeved shirt, playing with the fabric there before sneaking inside to fondle his veins.  

It’s a ticklish feeling that affects even his heart chambers as they become obstructed with cotton candy, making the strings reel and shake with excitement. The pent up desire that he’s been holding for Jongin hurries to drown his cheeks and ears with crimson. And he can’t bear to look at Jongin right now because he knows that Jongin’s staring holes into his soul. The fingers finally halt their invasion and there’s a time-stopping infinity before Jongin whispers to him with his voice steaming. “How are you feeling?”

Kyungsoo thinks carefully about his reply, uncertain of what Jongin will do next before mumbling, “...Better...”

“Then... it’s okay... isn’t it?” Jongin breathes huskily, grasping Kyungsoo’s wrist gently and tugging him towards himself. His thumb slides over the smooth skin sensually, feeling the knobs of his wrist bones before bringing it to his lips and tenderly kissing the blue veins.

Kyungsoo’s fingers start to tremble with nervousness and this situation with Jongin is so unfamiliar to him but he’s also burning with the need to touch each other. There’s an abrupt thrill of excitement that goes straight to his groin when Jongin the bottom of his wrist lustfully. And Kyungsoo’s heartstrings break as his body spirals deeper into a flurry of want, rubbing his thighs together to appease the sensation.

Noticing the look in Kyungsoo’s eyes that mirror his own raging emotions, Jongin pushes him down and straddles him before kissing him adoringly. The soft pillows of Kyungsoo’s lips press back against him tentatively and that whispering in his heart is back, urging him to listen. Their breathing gets more ragged and uneven as Jongin slides his tongue inside, tasting Kyungsoo’s mouth. When they disconnect, Jongin lets out a shaky and scorching breath onto Kyungsoo’s cheek as he scatters gossamer kisses along his jawline and down his milky neck. A throaty moan escapes Kyungsoo’s lips when Jongin starts to plant menacing red marks on his skin, the imprints burning with territorialism after his encounter with Suho earlier.

It’s Jongin’s curious hand sliding up Kyungsoo’s tender waistline that stops everything when Kyungsoo flinches and lets out a pained gasp. Sensing that it’d be better to stop now before he can’t turn back anymore, Jongin pulls away and Kyungsoo stares up at him with an apologetic look painted on his face.

“You should get some rest,” Jongin advises as he untangles himself from his spouse to get ready for bed. And the heat that was once brewing between their bodies is quickly leaving as a flood of cold air comes to fill in the gaps.

“I’m sorry. Goodnight,” Kyungsoo whispers, disappointment lingering on his features.

And both of them are laying in bed with their backs facing each other, unable to sleep that night.


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