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[personal profile] lirazel
Title: we heard the fireworks, rushed out to watch the sky
Fandom: KPOP: Infinite/Shinee
Characters/Pairings: Woohyun/Key
Rating: PG-13 (maybe R? idk ratings are hard, feedback on this topic appreciated)
A/N: This is proof that I AM SUCH A PUSHOVER. For a certain someone’s birthday, because she demanded it. And a certain other someone’s approaching birthday as well because if I can't give her Woohyun performing onstage in a slutty yellow bathrobe, I can at least give her this. I tried. I have no idea if this is any good at all, but conventional wisdom assures me that it’s the thought that counts, so you have to say thank you even if it’s bad.
Summary: They end up locked in the single occupancy bathroom during their break, taking turns on their knees, because that’s what they do when Kibum is single.


Kibum isn’t dating one of his models at the moment. He strolls into the recording studio one morning and announces that he’s single. Woohyun’s heard this before, so he’s pretty sure it won’t last more than a week or two. Kibum likes to have someone available at all times for stringing along, if nothing else.

“What about the one with the big nose?” Woohyun asks, flipping through his sheet music.

“His nose was perfectly proportional to his face.” Kibum has arranged himself on his side on the couch with his head propped up like he’s modeling for a French painter. Of course. “Do you really think I would have picked one with a disproportionate nose? I don’t settle for less than aesthetic perfection when I don’t have to. And I never have to.”

Woohyun snorts. “It was a bird’s beak. Like a toucan. But then I guess not everyone can have a nose as perfect as mine.”

“Your nose is too pointy.”

“It’s perfect. The fangirls write poetry about it.”

“The fangirls’ perception is warped by your grease.”

“They love my nose as much as they love my abs.”

“They love your abs because when you’re flashing them they have something to distract them from your nose.”

“Yes, the perfection can get a bit much sometimes—it’s nice for them to be able to rest their eyes a bit.”

“Keep your obnoxiously big lips closed. It’s too early in the morning for me to deal with your pathetic attempts to be clever.”

Shinee’s Key is known for his sharp tongue, for his ruthless truth-telling, but nothing he ever says to Woohyun stings. Woohyun grabs his bottle of water and heads into the recording booth as the producer and sound engineer enter. He makes sure to purse his lips in an imitation kiss at Kibum through the window before the music starts, and Kibum throws his head back and laughs. The producer compliments Woohyun on his ‘joyfully expressive’ singing.

They end up locked in the single occupancy bathroom during their break, taking turns on their knees, because that’s what they do when Kibum is single. Woohyun would never admit that he looks forward to Kibum’s breakups as much as he looks forwards to full nights of sleep. After all, he isn’t gay, and Kibum’s ego doesn’t need any more fodder. Still, there’s no point in pretending he wasn’t whimpering and shaky-kneed just seconds before—after all, he’d reduced Kibum to the same when it was his turn—though he tries to calm his breathing as quickly as he can. Can’t go letting Kibum think he’s better at this than he really is. Or as good.

“I hope you’re aware of how flattered you should be.” Kibum wipes the back of his mouth with his hand, but his lips are still swollen and a little shiny and Woohyun really shouldn’t let himself stare at them. “The Almighty Key doesn’t go down on his knees for any reason other than a dance move.”

It doesn’t mean anything. No, it does—it means they’re best friends, and Kibum trusts him enough to be real instead of a perfect construction of sharp-edged sass with just the right gilding of arrogance. It’s means they’re best friends, and so Kibum lets his mask dangling around his neck when they’re together. That’s what it means. “Aren’t you worried that word will get out among the models of the world that the Almighty Key doesn’t blow and then your options will dry up?” Woohyun’s lungs still feel raw from panting, but his heart is slowing down. His dick is still tender as he tucks it back into his pants. “I mean, your ass isn’t that good. You might have to settle for toucan-noses all the time then.”

“My ass is flawless. Men have been known to weep over it. And I didn’t say I don’t blow,” Kibum corrects, moving in front of the mirror to fix his hair. “I said I didn’t go down on my knees.”

That’s pure Kibum: making sure he doesn’t do anything that doesn’t allow him to be the one in control. Woohyun tries not to imagine one of Kibum’s perfect physical specimens sprawled out on a bed somewhere with Kibum moving down his body and—

“I wouldn’t get on mine either if you didn’t,” Woohyun says, turning on the water as cold as it will go to scoop up a handful and press his lips into it. Sungyeol had caught him once right after one of his and Kibum’s bathroom encounters—backstage at some music show (after they’d performed, of course, because he and Kibum are nothing if not professional)—and dragged him into an empty dressing room and shoved a cold water bottle at him. ‘Your lips are even fatter than usual; you can’t go out where anyone can see you like this—everyone will know. It’s obscene.’ Woohyun was just glad it was Sungyeol and not one of the others.

“Why do you think I’m willing to do it?” Kibum’s reflection asks Woohyun’s, all arched brows, and Woohyun flicks some water at him. Kibum laughs, and Woohyun’s heart settles back into place.

The concept involves bunk beds. Jonghyun, dropping in to visit the set with Taemin, gives it a skeptical look. “Are you supposed to be twelve?”

“The fans will love it,” Woohyun and Kibum say at the same time, and it’s true: toothpaste and domesticity, and the suggestion of a girl they’re both pursuing to keep everything appropriate. It won’t even matter that the song is completely obnoxious.

“The song is completely obnoxious,” Sunggyu says. “I hope it tanks so I don’t have to hear it ever again. But your voices sound good together,” he allows.

“You do sound good, hyung,” Sungjong agrees, and that’s almost fawning coming from Sungjong.

“And you get to play around with your best friend,” Dongwoo says. “Are you having fun, Woohyunnie?”

Woohyun won’t admit how much.

It had been Woohyun’s idea, but Kibum was the one who talked it into being. When the rumors first started going around about a merger, Woohyun had dismissed them.

“Yeah, we lost money on the tour, but we didn’t lose that much. CEO-nim would never give up control.”

“Your tour was incredibly poorly organized,” Kibum retorted, taking another shot of soju. “You lost money you didn’t need to lose because no one involved knew what they were doing. Your CEO is at least smart enough to recognize that. SM knows what it’s doing—it always knows exactly what it’s doing, even if what it’s doing is complete shit. But Infinite is top-tier enough now that he’ll probably be able to negotiate something that lets him keep most of the control. I’m not surprised it’s happening.”

“I don’t believe it,” Woohyun insisted, pouring another round.

“I got this straight from Jinri. She’s never wrong. It’s true.”

Woohyun still wasn’t convinced, but he threw back another shot. “Hey, maybe it means you and I can form a unit. Or at least do a couple of stages together.”

When the announcement was made, Woohyun turned his eyes away from the other members’ gobsmacked faces and pulled out his phone.

guess we’re on for that unit

already working on it, Kibum answered. It was a joke, but it wasn’t.

There had been some convincing to do, but not that much. Shinee is established, veterans in an industry swarming with nugus, and Infinite are the trend-dols of the moment. Known best friends, Key’s famous 91-line, a singer who dances and a dancer who sings: it made sense. Woohyun wishes it weren’t happening right before Infinite’s own comeback, but if there’s anything he’s learned since debut it’s that things in the idol world never happen when you want them to. You have to jump from one train to another because nothing’s going to slow down just so you can switch lines safely. Don’t complain about the speed: just be happy when the rails lead in the direction you want them to go.

Woohyun gets to spend more time with Kibum than he has since they became friends. Yeah, it’s work, but Woohyun doesn’t know who he is anymore without work anyway. Or without Kibum.

They grab the Styrofoam boxes that hold their lunches and tuck themselves back behind the bunk beds. The production designer will probably be testy about the possibility of them spilling something, but the escape is worth the risk.

“It’s almost camp,” Kibum says around his chopsticks, and though he sounds satisfied, Woohyun hears that ‘almost.’

“You really want people to know, don’t you?” That’s always amazed Woohyun about Kibum. He throws these hints, hints Woohyun wouldn’t even realize were hints at all if Kibum didn’t explain them to him. ‘The ones who are looking will catch it,’ Kibum says often. ‘And the international fans. Nobody else will see it at all.’

Kibum’s eyes are sharp as they look down into the mess of noodles swimming in the sauce, but it’s a different kind of sharpness than the one he lets most people see. There’s a desperate edge to it, something almost heartbroken, and Woohyun has always thought that’s what Kibum is talking about when he says that he found another self in Woohyun. That’s another kind of heartbreak: that this is what the two of them have in common, what the two of them see in their reflections in each other’s eyes. “I want to be who I am. This is as close as I can get.”

Woohyun picks at his food. “Don’t you worry you could push too far?” He doesn’t want to say I worry that you’re going to push too far. He doesn’t need to.

“Everyone knows I’m careful,” Kibum says, doesn’t say You know I’m careful. “And there’s a power to people knowing without knowing.”

Kibum says power, but Woohyun hears safety, hears thrill, hears rebellion, hears risk, hears armor.

Woohyun hears the palimpsest of Kibum’s words, but it doesn’t mean anything. It means they’re best friends.

“I like the purple,” Kibum says, twisting his fingers in Woohyun’s hair. It tugs sharp arrows of pain into Woohyun’s scalp, because Kibum isn’t gentle. Woohyun likes it.

The bathroom again, and Woohyun’s knees and the edges of his mouth are aching, but he likes that, too.

“They never let you have the fun hair.” It’s frustrating, how much control Kibum has, that he can have a conversation while they’re doing this, but then that control is won through experience, and Woohyun can hear the Kibum’s breath is coming fast even through his nose, and he knows Kibum’s toes are flexing inside his shoes, and for all the hair-tugging is supposed to be casual, Woohyun can feel the desperation in Kibum’s fingers. He wants all of Kibum’s desperation. He wants to give Kibum his. “It’s smart of your stylist, keeping you and Myungsoo as the conventionally handsome ones. But the edgy styles are the most fun.”

There’s a single streak of blonde in Woohyun’s purple hair, a single streak of purple in Key’s. The stylist noona had grinned at them, pleased with herself. ‘It’s the perfect finishing touch, don’t you think?’ Woohyun can’t see Kibum’s fingers, but he likes to think the blonde strand is the one Kibum is tugging on.

A few minutes later, when they switch positions, Woohyun’s fingers find their way to Kibum’s hair. Kibum hates having his hair pulled under any circumstances, but especially during—so Woohyun usually keeps his hands far away. But as pleasure starts to pulse through him, he slides a single fingertip along the purple ribbon of color cutting through the blonde, and then he has to throw his own head back and knot his hands into fists at his side because Kibum’s expertise is won through experience, too.

Woohyun has seen SunggyuDongwooHoyaSungyeolMyungsooSungjong with toothbrushes sticking out of their mouths, shaving cream smeared on their faces, hair unkempt and pajamas wrinkled every morning for years. The sight is so familiar that he’s stopped even seeing what he sees, eyes so accustomed to the scene that he pays it no more attention than the sound of traffic outside his window.

But he hasn’t seen Kibum like this before, and even though it’s staged, even though there are big hot lights beaming down on them and a crew scuttling outside the edges of the frame, it’s endearing. Woohyun thinks even if he saw Kibum like this every day, he’d still pay attention.

They smear the shaving cream on each other, bits of it spraying everywhere when their laughter puffs out, mime gagging and shock (‘You suck as an actor,’ Kibum says later, nothing Woohyun doesn’t know. ‘But you’re good at this because you know how to poke fun at yourself.’), pretend to fight. Between takes, Kibum tells him, “You can actually pull my hair, you know.”

“You hate it,” Woohyun says. Doesn’t say, I have to keep my fingers from tuggingtuggingtugging showing you my desperation.

“Well, yeah. But it’s for the video. And it’s you.”

Woohyun pulls the next time. But not as hard as he wants to.

“I can’t believe you haven’t picked out a new candidate yet.” The air smells hot and sparking like fireworks, like being a little kid at a New Year’s celebration. It’s dark, too, and when Woohyun blinks, a phantom image lurks on the back of his eyelids, but it’s not the flare of the twirling firecrackers, but Kibum’s face illuminated by their light.

“In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been busy,” Kibum says, gesture to the noisy soundstage they’re standing on, but that’s bullshit, because Kibum is always busy and he’s never let that stop him from finding a new boy toy before.

“I thought that one Thai model was texting you. The one with the earrings?” Woohyun doesn’t know why he’s pushing this. Why he even knows which pretty man is texting Kibum. Yes, he does.

One of Kibum’s eyebrows goes up, accompanied by the edges of his mouth. Woohyun hears what he’s going to say before he says it: Worried you’re going to lose your free access to not-your-right-hand-induced orgasms?

But that’s not what Kibum says.

“Maybe I just want to focus on my best friend right now,” he says instead, and Woohyun tries not to let his gut spark like the firecrackers, not to let his eyes blur with the sting of the smoke. “Who knows when we’ll get to do this again?”

Sulfur lingers bitter sharp on Woohyun’s tongue, acrid dry in his nose and lungs. Something’s pounding in his ears, too, but it’s just the music starting up again.

“Besides,” Key says, sidelong glance sly as a cat. “I’m still getting off regularly. Why go looking for a new mouth when yours is right here and I invested so much time into teaching it what to do?”

Woohyun shoves him, and he goes tripping and laughing over a cord, waving a dismissive hand at the lighting guy who snaps a warning that all this is dangerous. The firecracker swirls around and light and shadow flash over Kibum’s face, and smoke builds up in front of Woohyun’s eyes.

“Do you think it makes me gay?” Woohyun addresses the ceiling. He’s surprised the word gay doesn’t imprint itself on the plaster in big letters. He kind of wishes it would. An answer.

Sungyeol gives him an amused look over the top of his magazine and nudges him with his toes. There’s no particular reason for them both to be on Woohyun’s bed, but Myungsoo is filming and Sungjong is downstairs with Howon again, and when Woohyun had wandered in and found Sungyeol sitting on the end of his bed, he’d just flopped himself down onto his back instead of yelling at Sungyeol to move. “I think it means you’re a guy who’s getting blowjobs on the regular and should think of all the guys who aren’t and be really fucking grateful.”

“I’m getting blowjobs from a guy,” Woohyun points out. “I like girls.”

“So do I,” Sungyeol says. “But I still wouldn’t turn down an offer from a not-at-all-disgusting-looking guy.”

Woohyun wants to say that that would surprise no one at all—Sungyeol’s sexual frustration is legendary to the point of joking—but Sungyeol is fragile in ways Woohyun understands, so he bites his tongue.

“It could mean you’re bi,” Sungyeol suggests after a moment of page-turning and ceiling-staring. “That’s a thing, apparently.”

Woohyun has vague knowledge of people who like both genders, but he doesn’t hear about it much. He’s gotten used to the idea of other people being gay, and it honestly doesn’t bother him anymore. But he’s really fucking confused about himself right now.

“But probably you just like getting your dick sucked. Who wouldn’t? It’s not like you’re in love with him or something.”

Woohyun stares and stares at the ceiling, but no words appear.

Woohyun modeled some before he became a trainee, but photoshoots still feel unnatural to him. The camera and the assessing eyes of the photographer always make him too aware of his stubby body, his short legs, his round face. Kibum isn’t tall, but he’s slender in all the right ways, and he has cheekbones the light and shadows curve around like a caress.

But Woohyun is a professional, so he ignores the plastic scent of hair products and the way his skin itches under the bb cream and he smolders at the camera. He and Kibum joke around while assistants adjust the lighting or a noona perfects their makeup, swapping gossip and lines that are only funny to them, and then it’s time for the individual shots.

Woohyun tilts his head so that the light will catch it in that way he knows makes his face look more defined, and when the photographer yells that they’ve got enough, he opens his eyes and the organs in his torso try to lurch out of his body.

Kibum is standing by the camera, a little smile on his face as he looks at Woohyun, and feigns a yawn because he doesn’t know what else to do but he knows he can’t show what he’s really feeling, whatever the fuck that is.

But he knows what it is.

Woohyun shoves him into the bathroom and then shoves him again when the door is closed. It doesn’t make Kibum stop laughing.

“I can’t believe you didn’t hold out your flower at the end!” The light in here is so different than the light onstage. Kibum looks like a different person. Smaller. Not carved from wax. Something. “You looked like an idiot with your arm stuck out for no reason.”

“I can’t believe you hit me! Nobody would have noticed otherwise!”

“Please! Everyone noticed immediately. Split pants, no flower—can you get any stage right?”

Woohyun goes to shove him again, but Kibum grabs him by the elbows and leans into him, still laughing, and Woohyun’s heart stutters, and then he’s ducking his head and Key’s laughter breaks off.

Blowjobs are one thing, sexual frustration and release, easy to pretend it’s a pretty woman’s mouth and not your best friend’s not that Woohyun has ever, ever done that. But kissing is different, and they’ve never done it before except maybe that one time they got so drunk Woohyun doesn’t remember what they actually ended up doing, but for some reason he feels like kissing might have been involved, but it doesn’t matter because they’ve never talked about it again, and they’ve never kissed again, except now they are. Because Kibum presses back into him, fingers twisting in Woohyun’s hair again, sharp and demanding as always, but it’s different now because Kibum’s tongue is in his mouth and sparks are exploding all over Woohyun’s skin and his back hits the wall because Kibum’s grabbed onto his lapels and has shoved him there and kissing is different.

They break apart, gasping, and stare at each other for only a second before their mouths are seeking each other again, and the cool of the wall has made its way through Woohyun’s jacket and shirt and into his skin, and it feels so good, such a relief, like Kibum’s mouth. Woohyun doesn’t know what this means, but it’s Kibum, and it means something. When they finally stop and Kibum is looking at him with eyes Woohyun can’t describe but that make his stomach jump, Woohyun can’t stop himself.

“Don’t find another model, okay?” Woohyun gasps, voice unfamiliar. But Kibum’s smug grin is anything but.

“Took you long enough to ask.”
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January 2017


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