Minseok/Luhan/Yixing (side: Sehun/Luhan, Baekhyun/Chanyeol, others)
NC-17 | 9225 words
Yixing's caught in this dance with no rules and everything always comes back to Luhan
A/N: I've been working on this for quite a while now and it was only supposed to be 2-3K, but somehow slowly grew into this monster. Dedicating this to emberberry, because I've been dumping bits and pieces of this on her for weeks now and because we're otters who fic and hold hands :3
-- the title's from the song 'Video Games' by Lana Del Rey
“You forgot the milk again,” Luhan admonishes gently, hands on his hips in an unsuccessful attempt to be stern.
Yixing tries to school his expression to look more contrite, but a smile tugs at the corner of his lips at the sight of Luhan in his pajamas brandishing the empty milk cartoon like a weapon. “Sorry?”
“You’re not sorry,” Luhan pouts, leaning over to dump the cartoon in the bin and reaches for the condensed milk in the top cupboard, but Yixing is already there, handing his roommate a tin with an appropriately apologetic smile this time.
It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and neither of them is working for once. Yixing had crawled out of bed a little after 11 and it took another half an hour to get Luhan up and at nearly 12:18, he’s still not dressed. It’s raining out, has been for days and Yixing doesn’t feel like going out into the dreary cold when he doesn’t have to. Maybe they’ll stay in and watch a movie, or he’ll pull out his guitar and play something happy to chase away the clouds.
“What’s the plan for today?” He asks casually, smiling when Luhan shrugs sleepily even as he sips on his caramel cappuccino out of a packet.
“Maybe read something,” Luhan says. “I’ve got way too many books sitting in my bookshelf that I bought to read.”
“Maybe I can draw you when you read,” he says, scratching the back of his neck in embarrassment even though it’s not really a big thing. Yixing likes to sketch and it would be such a waste to not draw Luhan when he looks the way he does.
Luhan smiles, indulgent and strikes an exaggerated pose. “Too taken with my beautiful face, Yixing?” No one ever really accused Luhan of being too humble.
“You wish,” he says, kicking at Luhan’s chair and sending the other man spinning in a half circle.
Luhan lies on the couch reading and Yixing sits across from him sketching carefully. He’s using a B pencil today, simple and straightforward so he doesn’t lose himself in the colors and the specific shades of Luhan’s hair. Luhan has beautiful hair, hazel brown and soft-looking as his fringe falls into his eyes. Yixing takes his time with the details and he spends almost as long on Luhan’s hair as he does on the sweep of eyelashes and jut of cheekbone.
“Would you sleep with someone you didn’t love?” The question comes out of the blue and it sits heavy in the air; they’ve fallen into the comfort of silence and words seem sharper than they should be.
“I don’t know,” he answers truthfully, then after a pause. “I have before.”
Luhan looks at him, though he keeps his head in the same position. “I thought you liked Seohyun?”
“I did…,” he stumbles, unsure. “She was sweet and gentle and really, really pretty. She liked music and art and it was easy to see myself with her. I don’t think I loved her though, not the way I-” He cuts himself off, biting down on his tongue and there’s a moment where he thinks Luhan is going to ask him to finish the sentence, but when the other man speaks again, his voice is contemplative and he sounds like his thoughts are miles away.
“I want to sleep with somebody who I’d think about on the nights we’re not together,” Luhan says, voice soft but decisive. “I want a person I’d think about even if I was with someone else.”
There’s a knot in Yixing’s stomach and he wants to drop his sketchbook and cross the room; fall to his knees beside Luhan and kiss him until Luhan forgets about everyone else.
He swallows, tearing his eyes away and back down to his drawing. It’s a pale imitation of the real man lying a few steps away, but Yixing runs a finger along the lines of Luhan’s collarbone with infinite tenderness, showering attention on the dips and curves the way he can’t in reality.
He comes home early on Friday night which never happens, but his boss is celebrating his son’s graduation or something and decided to let them all leave. Yixing goes to pick up some groceries from the little supermarket on the corner, before heading back hoping to get there earlier than Luhan, so he can whisk up something for dinner. The apartment is empty when he gets home and Yixing takes a quick shower, before donning an apron and cracking open a jar of pasta sauce.
The apartment is rich with the smell of tomato and red wine, when Luhan texts him saying that he knows Yixing won’t be back till late anyway, but he’s staying at a friend’s house tonight. Yixing pours the pasta into a mixing bowl and covers it so he can put it in the fridge; his stomach churning with something that’s not hunger.
Yixing knows that Luhan sleeps around. By ‘friend’, he probably means Sehun, that hot waiter from the little café they frequent for their amazing cakes; or at least, just for the cakes before Sehun started. Sehun with his wicked smile and magnetic gaze and the number he slipped to Luhan on the napkin.
Sehun’s young, but he’s by no means naïve or innocent and Yixing rubs the heel of his hand against his temple to try and push away the thoughts of what the two of them are probably doing right now.
Yixing passes their study and his mood takes a further dive, remembering their talks of getting a roommate. The rent between the two of them is a little steep. They were managing, but it would be a lot easier with another person to share the burden. They’d delayed talking about it further or putting out ads, mainly due to Yixing’s reluctance. He’d made excuses about not feeling comfortable around strangers and how the two of them can probably save more if they ate out less, but the truth of it was Yixing not wanting someone to come in between this space that belonged to him and Luhan and no one else.
It’s a long, long time before he stops tossing and falls asleep and when he does, his dreams offer no respite.
Luhan comes back to him though and for that Yixing is always grateful.
The season turns and Sehun’s dating one of his fellow co-workers, a sweet kid named Jongin, or so Luhan tells him. Yixing’s not sure how he knows or how he’s so okay with this development. Luhan still drags him to Three Cups and Sehun still sneaks them a bigger slice of cake each time and dusts Luhan’s coffee with a ridiculous amount of chocolate; they still grin at each other and sometimes Sehun’s hand will linger on Luhan’s shoulder when he asks them how everything tastes. Luhan smiles when he sees Sehun and Jongin bickering behind the counter though and there’s nothing in his eyes that suggests the two of them had been lovers.
Yixing wonders what it all means and there’s a spark in his stomach as he thinks that Sehun isn’t the one either. He got to hold Luhan at night and love him in all the ways Yixing wishes he can, but at the end of the day, he’s just another shadow passing through and Yixing is the one who gets to stay in Luhan’s life. Sometimes, he thinks that he’s the luckiest one.
He chews on his grilled cheese sandwich and watches Luhan build a tower with sugar packets, laughing when it crumbles, eyes bright and Yixing is glad he is the only one who gets to see this everyday.
Yixing gets a rare day off work and he wakes up when the sun is high up in the sky and the apartment smells like coffee and eggs.
Luhan’s not in the kitchen when he gets up though, and there’s a note on the counter saying there’s a new shipment that came in and he’s at the book shop helping Joonmyun.
Yixing’s just unwinding in the shower when his phone rings and he curses the timing, wrapping a towel around his waist and just as he reaches his bed, the ringing stops. It’s from Baekhyun and a text comes in immediately after.
Yixing snorts and texts back, I’m busy.
Another ding. Doing what?
Showering, he types back.
You’re talking to me whilst you’re wanking? No one he knows types as fast as Baekhyun. The kid properly has lots of practice from texting horribly sappy things with Chanyeol all day, Yixing things, shuddering at the thought.
What?! No! You pervert, I’m just showering.
Sure, call it whatever you want lol. When are you coming over?
Yixing raises an eyebrow. I’m coming over??
Uh yeah, duh! Bring some food!
He texts back with a smile. Baekhyun never changes. You should make me lunch, you ass! See you soon, freezing my ass off here >:(
He runs back to his shower, letting the hot water wash off the chill and he groans when he hears his phone ding repeatedly in the next room. Baekhyun was totally going to flood his inbox, Yixing thinks, but he’s grinning even as he shakes his head.
They’re making plans to go out for a movie when Luhan gets the call and Yixing hears the sharp inhale as he’s searching the cinema website for the times.
“You bastard,” Luhan murmurs and Yixing gets up slowly from the computer, apprehension settling in his stomach, because Luhan sounded like he was about to cry.
It’s a long stretch of silence as whoever it is on the other end talks and Luhan lets out a choked little laugh. At Yixing’s concerned touch on his shoulder, Luhan shakes his head with a smile, mouthing it’s fine at him.
He finally hangs up after about ten minutes and Yixing is unprepared to have Luhan spin around and grab him in a hug. Luhan is grinning and his eyes are bright as he says, “It’s Minseokie. He’s back.”
Yixing feels his stomach clench.
Yixing’s known Luhan since 9th grade when he transferred into Luhan’s school and the older boy was given the job of showing him around and making him feel welcome. Luhan had been popular even then and they were nice to Yixing simply because Luhan seemed to like him. He had never been very good at making lots of friends, as though he did eventually, Luhan was special to him.
Luhan dotted on Yixing, enough to make his “favorite dongsaeng” (or so Jongdae insisted) jealous. Luhan liked looking after people, especially the ones younger than him, but it wasn’t Jongdae or even Zitao who took up most of his time, but rather Minseok. Minseok who was in Luhan’s class and who was older than them even if he did have the chubbiest cheeks. They’d known each other since they were seven and Luhan broke Minseok’s nose once with a soccer ball and Minseok had once accidentally pushed Luhan off the playground. Luhan sniped teasingly that he still has the scar on his shoulder. They’d shared food and a seat and more often than not, a bed they slept at each other’s houses so much. The two of them were inseparable until Minseok’s family had suddenly moved away and Yixing was left to pick up the pieces.
Now six years later, Minseok is back and Yixing clutches Luhan tight, a protest choking in his throat when the other man pulls away after a moment and he’s telling himself that the trepidation slithering down his spine means nothing.
They’ve come this far; Minseok is not going to change anything.
Minseok changes everything.
Minseok comes back with muscles and a sharper jaw, but he touches Luhan with the same effortless familiarity that Yixing never managed to replicate in all these years.
He’s on the couch when Yixing comes home one day, curled up with a bowl and with Luhan’s feet in his lap. They’re chatting animatedly and laughing between spoonfuls of ice cream. Yixing can tell by the way they are already easing back to their old routine that this isn’t the first time the two of them has met up. There’s no anger that comes with that realization or even surprise, but the heaviness in his heart is real.
“Yixing,” Luhan says with a grin and tugs on Minseok as if Yixing might not have noticed him otherwise. “Look who I ran into at the corner store!”
“More like who got dragged back here to be your footrest,” Minseok shoots back, shoving Luhan’s feet off and rising gracefully to hug Yixing. “It’s good to see you, Yixing. It’s been too long.”
It’s been long enough for us to move on, he thinks uncharitably as he hugs back. “Yes it has. What brings you back to Seoul?”
Minseok glances at Luhan. “I left something very important behind.”
Yixing was not a temperamental man, nor was he prone to aggression, but in that moment, he wanted nothing more than to punch Minseok in the face. He doesn’t though, not with Luhan watching. Luhan would not forgive even Yixing for something like that.
The three of them have dinner and by dinner, he means Chinese takeaway from the restaurant Zitao works at, because apparently Luhan and Minseok were too busy catching up to cook.
“So are you seeing anyone?” Yixing asks, nonchalant as he can make it.
Minseok meets his gaze straight on and he doesn’t even hesitate when he says, “Here and there, you know how these things go.”
He doesn’t know how these things go. Meaningless hookups have never really appealed to Yixing, even less so with Luhan in his life. He stabs a dim sum with his chopsticks and says, “Yeah, of course.”
Luhan on the other hand hums and nods in agreement. “Nothing wrong with a bit of casual fun, I say.”
“Did you tell Minseok hyung about Sehun?” Yixing doesn’t know what makes him say it, but the words are out before he can stop himself and Luhan’s eyes snap to meet his, before darting to glance at Minseok. He smiles, but his jaw is tense.
“Sehunnie is a friend, he works down at the café,” Luhan says and when Minseok smiles back at him, he clears his throat, relaxed again. “We mess around a bit, he’s lots of fun.”
Minseok smiles again and tells them about a guy called Kris who he’s been seeing on and off and how he fucks like a god. Luhan and Minseok are laughing at each other’s stories before long and teasingly arguing about whose lover is hotter.
“What about you, Yixing?” Minseok asks suddenly, turning to look at him. “Who’s caught your fancy?”
“No one…I don’t have anyone,” he mutters. His fingers fiddle with the sunflower tablecloth and he smoothes his palm against a faint crease.
Luhan sighs, chin resting on his palm and staring at Yixing then Minseok. “Yixing never tells,” he whines.
“Oh, really,” Minseok says, eyes too knowing for Yixing’s liking. The other man holds his gaze until Yixing looks away. “Is that how it is?”
Yixing feels like they’re fighting a battle and Luhan is the only one who doesn’t realize. It’s ugly and petty and Yixing wonders how they ended up here, when Minseok was his friend too.
Luhan passes napkins to Minseok and his fingers linger on the older man’s. Yixing looks away.
Minseok moves in two weeks later and Yixing feels the sharp edges of his presence clearly even if the only things that have changed is that the study is now Minseok’s room and there are more clothes hanging on the clothesline.
(and Luhan’s smiles, that too)
Baekhyun wrings the story from him the next time they hang out and Yixing is even quieter than usual.
He sets down his Wii controller, puts a hand on Yixing’s arm and says, “Tell me.”
Yixing tells him, about Luhan and the years they’ve shared together, about how Minseok had fallen back into their lives and how it seems like the two of them have fallen back into each other. He’s hugging his knees by the time he finishes and Baekhyun pulls him into a hug without saying a word.
“What am I supposed to do, Baekhyun-ah?” he asks wearily. “I feel like I’m losing him.”
Baekhyun smoothes back Yixing’s hair and clasps the back of his neck. There’s pity in his eyes and his voice is gentle when he speaks. “Yixing-ah, maybe he was never yours in the first place.”
Yixing jerks away feeling like his friend just slapped him across the face. “He was,” he hisses. “He is.”
Baekhyun looks at him, eyes wide and sad. “You deserve someone who loves you and no one else. I adore Luhan, but I don’t think he’s the one for you.”
Yixing grips Baekhyun’s wrist so hard it’ll probably leave bruises, but the other man doesn’t flinch and slowly, Yixing deflates. “I love him. I love him, Baekhyun. How can I just stop?”
“You can’t just stop,” Baekhyun says quietly. “You just have to take a step, and then another. Why don’t you take that trip, Yixing? You’ve wanted to go to Japan for years.”
“I want Luhan to come with me. I want to get lost in Tokyo with him.”
Baekhyun closes his eyes and pulls him closer. “Oh Yixing.”
Yixing learns to live with Minseok and for a while it’s not so bad. The apartment is brighter and there’s more energy to fill in the empty spaces. The three of them cook and watch television and play card games and Yixing feels like he’s back in high school, only they don’t have to worry about homework and they drink alcohol as much as they drink soft drinks.
Minseok makes Yixing laugh, which surprises him. Luhan had always laughed at Minseok’s jokes, sometimes not even his jokes. Minseok would say something and Luhan would look at him and just grin. Minseok’s generous with his humor and his laughter and Yixing enjoys his company. They bond over computer games whilst Luhan rolls his eyes and sprawls on the couch across both of them.
“No, no that level you can’t just go right in and start-”
Luhan cuts Minseok off by sitting up suddenly, almost knocking his head on Minseok’s chin and Yixing shifts as Luhan’s feet nudges too close to his crotch.
“I’m going out with Sehunnie for a while,” Luhan says happily as he disappears into his room. “He and Chanyeollie are going clubbing tonight!”
Yixing exchanges a look with Minseok and they resume their conversation until Luhan comes out in a v-neck shirt and jeans so tight Yixing stares. Minseok’s jaw clenches but he doesn’t say anything.
“How do I look?” Luhan asks, smoothing his hands against his thighs then running his fingers through his hair.
Good enough that Sehun won’t be able to keep his hands to himself, Yixing almost says.
“Really good,” he answers the same time Minseok says, “Don’t bend over or those jeans won’t be staying on very long.”
Luhan raises an eyebrow at the double meaning and grins. “Don’t worry I’ve got a belt to keep me a good boy.”
“It’s yours by the way, Yixing,” he calls out as he disappears out the door. “Love me anyway?”
Luhan’s gone before Yixing can answer, his laugh fading down the steps.
Yixing swallows and Minseok’s clearly not in the mood for game talk anymore. He moves to the balcony and watches Luhan hop on Sehun’s motorbike below.
More than you know.
Yixing wakes up without knowing why and the clock flashes 4:13 at him. He glances to his right and frowns when he sees the empty bed, the sheets untouched. It wouldn’t be the first time Luhan stayed elsewhere overnight and Yixing’s stomach clenches as he thinks about Luhan in Sehun’s bed right now, the two of them pressed close, flushed and bright eyed in the dark.
They’re stuck in some sort of cycle, where they’d move forward and closer and Yixing feels like they’re almost on the edge of something, but then Luhan runs away from him and into someone else’s arms and they are back to the beginning, more broken then ever.
The television is on in the living room, he can see the faint flickering light outside the door and he can hear muffled sounds filtering in through the door. He wonders if Minseok left the television on accidentally or if he fell asleep watching a movie. Getting up to grab himself a cup of water and to turn the television off, Yixing treads quietly down the hallway and the sounds become clear enough that he freezes with his hand on the door knob.
He moves closer, the knot in his stomach tightening to the point of pain as he peeks around the corner into the living room.
Luhan’s not in Sehun’s bed, he’s on his knees in the lounge room. He’s resting between Minseok’s legs, his head bobbing and his mouth making soft, wet sounds that echoes in Yixing’s ear. Minseok’s eyes are closed and his breathing harsh. One of his hands is thumbing Luhan’s collarbone and the other is tangled in Luhan’s hair.
Yixing knows he should move away, but it’s hard to breathe and all his limbs are locked in place. He watches with sick fascination as Minseok pull Luhan up onto the couch and into his lap, hands sliding around his waist and dipping below the waistband, their mouths meeting just in time to swallow the low whimper that Luhan makes.
Luhan’s hands reach up to tangle in Minseok’s hair, caressing before clenching none too gently and in the next second, he’s pinned beneath the other man who is growling playfully. Luhan lets out a breathless laugh which quickly melts into a pleasured gasp. Yixing flinches.
He runs, pushes himself away from the wall and back down the hallway. Yixing squeezes his eyes shut, gasping into his pillow, but he doesn’t cry until Luhan tiptoes in and climbs into bed nearly an hour later.
He watches them with his eyes open now and what he sees makes him want to run.
They make no mention of what happened and Yixing wonders if he would’ve remained oblivious if he hadn’t seen them. Or perhaps he would’ve realized when Luhan never talks about Sehun again.
Minseok brings out the best and the worst in Luhan and they fight like they want to hurl sharp things at each other and break something, but Minseok pulls down all of Luhan’s walls and helps him rebuild himself more vulnerable and stronger all at once. They push each other’s buttons and they’re hurtling towards something and Yixing’s left behind even when Luhan tries to hold his hand too.
They still have their drawing sessions, quiet and uninterrupted and Luhan’s more beautiful than ever, like he’s lit up from the inside and Yixing’s hand shakes as Luhan looks at him and doesn’t look away.
“Yixing-ah,” Luhan says, soft and hesitant. “Are you lonely?”
He stumbles and the pencil jerks on the last curve of Luhan’s ear. “What do you mean?” he asks, uncertainly.
“Baekhyun told me I should talk to you,” Luhan says. “He’s worried about you and so am I.”
“Because I care about you, Yixing-ah. I want you to be happy,” there’s hesitation in Luhan’s voice as he bites his lip. “You don’t seem happy, Yixing.”
Yixing drops his pencil, weighed down by all the words he wants to say and he’s biting on the inside of his cheek hard enough to draw blood. Love me back, he thinks.
“I am happy. I am,” he allows himself to say. This much is okay.
Yixing looks over the sketch later, when he’s alone in the bedroom and there’s the sound of honking cars far away. He touches his fingers to Luhan’s eyes and wonders over the sadness there, trying to remember whether it had really been there or if Yixing had just drawn it that way.
Baekhyun sends him over two dozen texts and eventually sends Chanyeol to come talk to Yixing and he’s not really angry anymore, but even if he was, Chanyeol’s sad puppy eyes would’ve been enough to make him cave.
“Such a low blow,” he throws at Baekhyun as soon as he steps inside their apartment. “As if you make poor Chanyeol do your dirty work.”
“What are boyfriends for?” Baekhyun says, grinning and tugging Yixing into a hug, before giving Chanyeol a peck on the cheek. “Thanks, babe.”
Dinner is fun and more than delicious enough to make Yixing forgive the other boy completely. There’s roast duck with pear sauce and chocolate brownies, for god’s sake. Yixing almost feels bad for being angry in the first place, damn Byun Baekhyun and his sneaky ways.
“Don’t do that again,” he says after dinner, but there’s no anger in his voice; it sounds more like a plea. “Luhan doesn’t need to know.”
Baekhyun huffs in frustration, but nods reluctantly. “Fine, I won’t interfere again, but you should talk to him.”
“I will,” he lies and Baekhyun is about to say something else when there’s a sound from the kitchen and Yixing grins to see Chanyeol tilting his head towards the ceiling, his glasses barely still hanging on his nose. Baekhyun rolls his eyes fondly and goes to help, sliding the glasses back up Chanyeol’s nose and brushing his fringe out of his face. They grin at each other, warm and happy and Yixing watches Baekhyun slip an apron on his boyfriend and tie it behind him, giving the taller boy a quick hug in the process.
I want this, he thinks. He wants this intimacy, this simple and straightforward affection between two people and where no one has to pretend they’re happy. He wants to be loved and not have to worry about losing it before he even experienced it.
But in the end, more than anything else, he wants Luhan.
Sometimes, he wants Luhan.
In a way, a part of him has always wanted Luhan, but now that he has seen firsthand the look on Luhan’s face when he’s turned on, heard the sounds he makes when he’s touched just right, Yixing can’t bury the need any longer.
It hits him unexpectedly at times, when they three of them are watching a movie and the heat of Luhan’s skin against his grows too much, or when Luhan comes back from a run, flushed and still trying to catch his breath.
Right now, it’s so innocent a situation that he feels even more disgusted at his body’s reaction.
Luhan’s sprawled on his back, head on Minseok’s stomach and they’re sharing earphones with their eyes closed. They are not speaking or looking at each other, but the ease at which they smile seem to Yixing an impossibility. Minseok’s carding his fingers absentmindedly through Luhan’s hair and Luhan is playing with his other hand, bending Minseok’s fingers and rubbing circles around his knuckles. The two of them are an open secret now and they don’t talk about it, but Yixing knows and they know Yixing knows.
Luhan’s tilting his head back and Yixing can see the expanse of smooth, pale skin on display, marred by the faint bruise at the hollow of his neck and Yixing shivers looking at it. He closes his eyes, trying to shake the thoughts of putting his mouth to that slender neck and marking out his own bruises. Minseok scratches his nails softly near the base of Luhan’s skull and Luhan makes a soft little hum of pleasure, his eyelashes fluttering and Yixing’s out of his chair and closing the bathroom door behind him before he lets out his breath.
The shower is cold and Yixing shivers as he strokes himself, imagining a tiny art studio in Tokyo with just the two of them. He paints Luhan in the afternoon sun and they come together on the floor, knocking over tins of paint and scrambling for purchase as they clutch at each other; Luhan with his head throw back and his legs around Yixing’s waist-
He staggers, bracing himself against the tiles and crying out Luhan’s name without realizing. He shakes with a mixture of excitement and shame and a heaviness on his tongue.
Yixing walks out of the bathroom and he freezes when he sees Minseok outside, leaning casually against the wall. Yixing goes cold and he runs, because Minseok heard him and now they could never pretend it was nothing.