(ღ˘⌣˘ღ) (deplore) wrote,


limerence: an involuntary state of mind resulting from 
a romantic attraction to another person, combined with an 
overwhelming need to have one’s feelings reciprocated.

The careful, deliberate way that Sunggyu moves during a handjob, Hoya reflects, is still the same as when they were trainees, when they lived together and practiced together, ate together and talked together, and sometimes casually exchanged sexual favors under the careful understanding about which parts of their relationship were genuine and which were simply for convenience. “It’s natural to want it,” Sunggyu would say. “And it’s not like we have girlfriends to do it with. It’s not weird as long as we don’t make it weird.”

And it’s still the same now, even as they stand pressed against each other in the recording studio’s bathroom as they take a break from a television interview: Sunggyu slips a hand past the waistband of Hoya’s boxers to cup his hardness. “You’re a little hopeless, aren’t you?” he says absentmindedly, into Hoya’s ear. Hoya doesn’t deny it, and lets Sunggyu stroke at his dick until he closes his eyes and throws his head back and comes.

"Okay, now let me do you,” he says after a moment or two to recover his breath, reaching to unzip Sunggyu’s pants. “We still have time, right?”

But Sunggyu just bats his head away and shakes his head. “I don’t need it,” he insists, even though that’s not how it works: they always exchange favors, never do they simply give. And Hoya doesn’t believe it, to be honest, because there’s just a twinge of something in Sunggyu’s eyes that speaks depths in foreign languages Hoya can’t understand. In his gut, he knows that something’s different this time - something about their relationship is changing, or has already changed, without his even noticing it until it has already been irrevocably set into motion - but he bows his head and reminds himself not to make anything of it, because that’s how it always has been and therefore how it must be.

So instead of asking him why, Hoya teases Sunggyu a little more harshly than usual when they start recording again, and he says things that are more mean than they are funny. He expects Sunggyu to snap back with something equally biting, as he usually does, but instead he just gives a tight-lipped smile and changes the subject.

- - -

Later, when the interview is on the television, he concentrates on watching Sunggyu very carefully. “Sunggyu-sshi is a strict leader, but has he ever shown you his emotional side?” the interviewer asks. 

Hoya hears himself as the him on the television screen answers, “Sunggyu-hyung... I’ve seen him cry three times before, but even when he cries, it’s only a little bit. He’s not that type, honestly.” 

He notices Sunggyu-on-the-TV looking at him, with that same strange, intense look again, and Hoya wonders if he’s thinking about those three times too: the first, long before the idea of Infinite was even formed in anybody’s mind, and Sunggyu can’t stop a few tears of frustration before they fall, because their dreams seem too far out of their reach. The second, when they get back to the dorm after their debut performance, of relief. The third, two days after they win their first award, as if it took so long to sink in before he cries of happiness. Each time, Hoya remembers, only lasts a few seconds each before he’s back to normal Sunggyu, and anybody not looking for tears might not even find them at all. Hoya thinks he might be the only one who’s seen Sunggyu cry at all.

“Of course I’m not,” the Sunggyu-on-the-TV says, looking away from Hoya-on-the-TV. “With these kids around, if I were that emotional, I would be crying every day.” Hoya-on-the-TV does not even notice Sunggyu’s expression, because Hoya-on-the-TV is too busy looking into the camera, busy being the well-mannered pop idol he’s expected to be.

Hoya-in-real-life stares at Sunggyu and idly thinks it might be nice to kiss him, but lately Sunggyu won’t even touch him and he doesn’t know why it bothers him so much.

- - -

Three years of occasional handjobs culminate like this: “Hyung, let’s fuck,” Hoya suggests one afternoon when they are alone, looming in the doorframe as Sunggyu lies on his side in front of a space heater, motionless.

For a few moments, Hoya’s not sure if Sunggyu heard, because he stays lying on the floor for a few moments, face turned away. But then, he drags himself up into a sitting position and looks straight at Hoya for the first time in days, and asks, “Is that really what you want?” 

Hoya doesn’t know if that’s what he really wants. “Yes, that’s what I want,” he says.

Sunggyu’s expression is dark and Hoya can’t quite make out exactly what emotions are surfacing but he can’t look away or Sunggyu will know that he’s uncertain. “Okay,” Sunggyu says. “Let’s.”

So Hoya tugs Sunggyu into his room and they take each others’ clothes off. Hoya asks, “Is this okay?” far too many times and Sunggyu says, “Yeah, it’s okay” every time, even when Hoya can clearly see that it’s not. Hoya pretends like he believes it for Sunggyu’s sake. 

When he pushes into Sunggyu for the first time Sunggyu makes a desperate, whining noise and Hoya’s mind goes blank with pleasure, and for a few moments he lets himself completely go, not thinking as he thrusts harder and faster, pace erratic. He is not sure whether the groans Sunggyu makes are from pain or pleasure, but they sound so nice that Hoya wants to hear more and more - he tries not to care about it, but he can’t, no matter how good it feels. He comes, and then he reaches over to make sure that Sunggyu does too - even now, though, Sunggyu denies him and murmurs, “Just keep going until you’re done, I’m alright, I can take it.”

So Hoya obeys: Sunggyu strokes his cock until he’s hard again, and then Hoya fucks him again, even more desperately, like he’s trying to push the answers he wants out of Sunggyu. There is nothing romantic about it; he is running on pure instinct, fueled by emotion and confusion and a terrible longing to know what’s changed between them. He comes for the second time, and the sensations of pleasure leave him so numb that he has to think very carefully about how to make his limbs move the way that he wants them to. 

When he’s done, he sighs and slides off of Sunggyu, and neither of them say a word to each other. Hoya wants very much to reach over and interlace his fingers with Sunggyu’s, but instead he closes his eyes and pretends like he’s sleeping. In his head, he starts counting up, and he just reaches seven hundred and forty-one when he hears Sunggyu get up and leave, quietly and quickly.

Of course he wasn’t going to stay, he tells himself. Don’t make something of it that it’s not. Don’t push it more than you already have.

There’s a prickling feeling in the corner of his chest and a tightness in his throat. He wonders if it’s guilt or something else that makes him feel so wretched.

- - -

The next day, it’s as if nothing happened, except that Sunggyu stops looking him in the eye completely, and walks a little more delicately than usual. Honestly, Hoya thinks, he doesn’t know why he’d expected anything different.

He occupies himself with other things: he tries out for a few dramas, he spends a little more time in the practice rooms. He schedules extra voice lessons only to cause the instructor to yell at him for being too distracted. When he has the time, he follows other members on their schedules, under the excuse of supporting them, and thoroughly exhausts himself so that when he comes back to the dorm every day, all he wants to do is collapse in his bed and go to sleep.

His dreams, though, are traitorous. 

- - -

Another interview, another tryst in the studio bathroom. Hoya doesn’t know what possessed him to ask Sunggyu for this after what he asked for the last time, but he feels almost as if this is the only way he can see Sunggyu these days. He’s proved right - Sunggyu’s determination to avoid him folds only when Hoya grabs him by the arm and asks if they still can and stares at him until Sunggyu agrees. He doesn’t understand why Sunggyu gives in, but after Sunggyu bolts the bathroom stall and unzips his pants he decides it’s okay to not understand as long as Sunggyu is looking at him, thinking about him, here with him.

Nothing’s changed, but everything’s different. For some reason, Hoya is strangely fixated on staring at Sunggyu’s face, his eyes, his lips -  “Can I kiss you?” Hoya asks on an impulse, words spilling out before he’s even processed the thought completely.

Sunggyu freezes for a moment. “No,” he says.

He knows he should have expected it, and he’s not even surprised this time when Sunggyu won’t let Hoya touch him in return, but he is when Sunggyu sighs and says, “I think this has to be the last time. I mean it.”

Hoya is quiet as he zips his pants back up and Sunggyu washes his hands in the sink. It’s only when Sunggyu turns towards the door that Hoya says, “What if I’m not ready for it to end yet?”

Sunggyu gives no indication that he’s heard. He pushes the door open and leaves Hoya alone to wonder what the end is supposed to mean, for them.

- - -

Lately, Sunggyu won’t even be in the same room as him, unless he absolutely has to. Instead of waking him up in the morning, Sunggyu sends Woohyun into his room to nudge him out of sleep. The only time that he can seem to get Sunggyu to acknowledge his existence is during dance practices, if he moves a little too slowly or doesn’t quite get his gestures right, and it’s not the kind of attention he wants, because whenever Sunggyu notices the little mistakes he frowns and snaps out criticisms before he turns his gaze away again.

“If I’m doing it so badly, why don’t you help me?” he replies after one sharp comment too many, fed up with the fact that Sunggyu only seems to disdain to look at him when he’s at his worst. 

Sunggyu pauses where he is. Both of them stare at each others’ reflections in the practice room’s mirror wall until Sunggyu sighs and turns away and says, “I know you can do it just fine without any help, so don’t pretend like you need me.”

“What if I’m not pretending?” Hoya asks in return, pretending like this whole conversation isn’t loaded with some whole other meaning. The rest of Infinite seems caught somewhere between horrifically transfixed, or actively trying (failing) to ignore the blow-up occurring in the middle of practice.

“You don’t need my help to learn it properly and both of us know it. Aren’t you supposed to be Infinite’s dancing machine?” Sunggyu retorts, then turns to the rest of the group and raises his voice to say, “What are all of you staring at? We’re getting back to practice, so concentrate.”

Sunggyu keeps them an extra forty minutes, getting upset at even the smallest missteps they make, but he ignores Hoya completely, even when Hoya purposely bumps into Dongwoo in the middle of the chorus. Sungjong looks close to tears by the end of it; Woohyun glares at Hoya like he wants to tear Hoya’s throat out.

Strangely, it’s Myungsoo that claps a hand on Sunggyu’s back and says, “At least we got it right eventually. That’s all that matters, right, hyung?”

Hoya looks one more time at Sunggyu’s reflection in the mirror, hoping to catch a glimpse of Sunggyu looking back too. He doesn’t.

This cannot be the end, Hoya decides. He won't let it be. He can't let it be.

- - -

“Is Sunggyu-hyung mad at me or something?” he asks Sungyeol over coffee one morning, as they both stand hovering over the kitchen sink. Sungyeol, he thinks, is a safe person to ask for a third opinion, because Sungyeol is honest, and he cares about Infinite even if he doesn’t care for every individual in it.

In response, Sungyeol snorts and replies, “Mad? I don’t think so. But you know what I do think? You’re both idiots. Genuinely utter idiots.”

“Hey,” Hoya says, frowning and looking at Sungyeol in a way that clearly says well that was uncalled for, you jerk, why do I even bother asking you these things in the first place.

“You know, he was asking me the same thing just the other day,” Sungyeol continues, “‘Hey, Sungyeol, do you think Hoya’s upset with me?’ And you know he only asks me my opinion on the things he thinks are really dire.”

“Why would I be mad at him?” Hoya replies.

“Aren’t you the one who asked him to have sex?” Sungyeol replies.

Hoya chokes on his coffee a little bit. “He even told you that?” he says, sure he looks about as horrified as he feels.

“Ah, whatever, like it’s a big deal to me. It’s not like I’m gonna spread rumors or anything.” Sungyeol rolls his eyes. “I care literally zero about what you or Sunggyu do behind closed doors, except when it bleeds into the rest of our lives, which is why we’re having this pleasant conversation, isn’t it?”

“Why would he think I was mad at him for that, anyways?” Hoya says, attempting clumsily to change the subject.

“You are an utter idiot,” Sungyeol says again. “Even bigger than Sunggyu, seriously. You know what else I think? I think Sunggyu’s the type who’s bad at faking his feelings, so he avoids showing them completely. He’s more transparent than plastic wrap and he knows it.”

Then Sungyeol pours the rest of his coffee down the sink and says, “And please, for the sake of everybody else who has to live in the same small, enclosed space with you two, why don’t you try asking him why he’s mad or whatever instead of me.” 

- - -

He lies on his bed and thinks a lot about how things were, how they are, how he wishes they would be. He makes wagers in his mind of things he would give up to get Sunggyu to look at him again (he could deal with some minor public humiliation for that), to get Sunggyu to touch him again (maybe if he sprained an ankle, Sunggyu would be forced to, even though that would mean he wouldn’t be able to perform properly for weeks), to get Sunggyu to smile at him again (all of his lines in all of Infinite’s songs, all of his chances at getting another television role, all of his solo dance breaks), to get back what he once had with Sunggyu (deliriously, he thinks maybe he could even give up Infinite for that).

A memory surfaces of running together along the Han River as trainees, cursing how long it is and how out of shape they are. Another, of eating crouched under playground equipment - a child takes one look at them and runs to his mother, pointing at them and calling them beggars, and Hoya would feel humiliated except Sunggyu is with him and together they are rich in dreams. Taping interviews together and jerking each other off during bathroom breaks. Touching Sunggyu when the cameras are on and calling it fanservice, when really, he just wants to be reassured that Sunggyu is still next to him.

After thinking for too hard and too long, he realizes - those are the thoughts of somebody in love, aren’t they?

“I really am an idiot,” he says to the ceiling. 

- - -

So Hoya corners Sunggyu in his room one day and presses his back up against the door so Sunggyu has no choice but to stay there until he’s willing to talk. Sunggyu has the look of a scared animal, trying to put as much distance between himself and his hunter by standing on the opposite end of the room, but a cornered animal is the most dangerous kind of all: Hoya isn’t sure who’s more scared in this situation.

“I want to know why,” Hoya says. 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Sunggyu replies, but he speaks a little too carefully and Hoya knows that the worst kind of actor is the one who makes it too obvious he’s acting. 

“What changed?” he asks.

“Nothing changed.”

“We can stay here until you’re ready to stop lying,” Hoya says.

They stand in silence for a while. Hoya feels as if they’re standing on opposite ends of a tightrope, walking towards each other - one of them must give to the other eventually, or both of them will fall. He is determined that it must be him.

Finally, in a small voice, Sunggyu says, “I don’t know what you want me to say.”

“I just want to know why you won’t look at me anymore,” Hoya replies. “I want to know what changed. You said all those times that things aren’t weird unless we make them that way, didn’t you? So why is it weird now?”

There’s a pause. “If it’s about being friends with benefits - or whatever you want to call it, I don’t know - if it’s about that,” Sunggyu says, “it’s not like you can’t find somebody else to help you out if you want it.”

“It’s not about that, hyung, it’s - I don’t know how to say it. But it’s about you. It’s about us, being us, except that right now we’re not. And I don’t know what to do to put it right.” Hoya pauses and wishes fervently that he could speak better, more eloquently, but this is the best he can do. 

When Sunggyu replies, it’s so quietly that Hoya can barely make out his words: “I can’t do it anymore, alright,” Sunggyu says, voice cracking slightly. “I can’t take it anymore, I can’t, I just want to do what’s right so so so badly but every time I see you, I just know I’m going to mess up and I’m not going to be able to put it right. So please. Don’t do this to me.”

“I can’t give in like this, hyung,” Hoya says.

Hoya,” Sunggyu says, and the way Sunggyu says his name breaks something inside of him a little. “Please. I’m telling you not to push it.”

“I can’t give in like this.”

Sunggyu closes his eyes; Hoya can see him begin to crumble. “You’re going to make me say it, aren’t you,” he murmurs. “You’re in love with me, aren’t you?”

It’s not a question. “I’m in love with you,” he says, words falling out. “I’m in love with you and I don’t know if you’re in love with me, but it's not about that. You won't believe me, but it's true, I don't care if you say you aren't. I just want you to be you again.”

Sunggyu looks up and laughs, but it sounds more like he’s crying. “Here was what I was hoping for most, and here was where I was going to reject it anyway,” he says. “I was going to reject you, and then reject my own feelings, and that would be for the best. Because I need to do what’s best, don’t I? I’m in love with you too. I love you and I’m hopeless because even if you said you loved me too I can’t, I can’t. I can’t.”

For the first time in days, their eyes meet, and in his gaze Hoya can see clearly all the doubt, all the reasons he had denied himself, all the longing and pain and sacrifice. He sees Infinite in Sunggyu's eyes, and the future, and all the possible endings that could come. He walks over, reaches out, and touches Sunggyu on the back. 

“Hyung,” Hoya says softly. “I knew Sunggyu as my friend before I ever knew him as a leader, you know. And I loved Sunggyu as a person before Infinite even was. You’re allowed to be just Sunggyu, too.” A pause. “And I like you best as just you, too.”

They are quiet. Hoya rubs at Sunggyu’s shoulders lightly, and he can start to see Sunggyu allowing himself to stop being the leader of Infinite, even if it’s just for a few moments.

“I’m sorry,” Sunggyu says, shoulders hunched. “I love you. I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your fault,” Hoya says, and pulls him close as tears start to gather in the corners of Sunggyu’s eyes. It occurs to him as he holds Sunggyu into his arms that he can definite their entire history by the times that he has watched Sunggyu cry, and he wonders if that, too, is a way of being in love.

- - -

“For the once in my life, I wanted something more than to sing and it was something I couldn’t let myself have,” Sunggyu says. “I fell in love and I wanted to be loved back. What am I supposed to do? Honestly. What should I do?”

Three years of being in love and trying to not be in love while desperately wanting to be loved back culminate like this: Hoya leans over and kisses Sunggyu for the first time.

- - -

fandom: Infinite
rating: R18, for sexual content
length: ~3500
description: Hoya/Sunggyu. Hoya and Sunggyu exchange casual handjobs until it's not so casual anymore, and their relationship all but collapses in on itself because neither of them are willing to give in to themselves.
author's notes: some of my wip notes while I was writing this: "HOW DO I WRITE HOYA" "ugh wat m i doin" "me muero" "how many ways can i describe a handjob god i should have had them giving each other bjs too" "no but seriously HOW DO I WRITE HOYA this fic is getting real dumb cause I DUNNO WHO YOU ARE"
Next time I'll write about Hoya being a megadork and wanting to be called Hobaby or Sunggyu being a whiny butt in bed instead of this soap opera bs, ok, I promise it :')
Tags: f: infinite, g: soap opera, p: hogyu
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