sehun/luhan, side jongin/kyungsoo | romance, angst | pg-13
warnings (highlight to see): drug abuse, character death, male prostitution
inspired by the a team by ed sheeran. you should listen to it while reading the fic.
luhan hugs his knees close to his chest. it’s cold, and sehun isn’t back yet.
he looks up at the clock. it’s thirteen minutes slow - 3.18 am. luhan furrows his brows; he really needs to talk to sehun about fixing the clock.
he hears someone unlocking the door - it’s all too familiar, with that lone key clicking against the doorknob.
sehun looks dead tired, with eyeliner smudged and clothes ripped. in his hand, he clutches a wad of notes tightly. luhan smiles.
“rough night?” he asks, taking sehun’s coat off for him. sehun only sighs.
“yeah, you could say that,” he answers. he presses a kiss to luhan’s forehead. “you’re home early, though.”
luhan nods. “he was shitfaced drunk, so i just took his money, stripped him and dumped him on his bed. i made sure to leave some traces of me there, though.” he winks at sehun and sehun laughs hollowly.
“you didn’t have a choice, did you?”
“no, i didn’t.” luhan agrees. “we didn’t.”
that night, luhan doesn’t get much sleep. instead, he chooses to count the crickets in the apartment and watches sehun’s chest move up and down. eventually, he drifts off, dreaming of fresh bread and warm houses.
sehun wakes up to sunlight streaming through the painfully thin curtains. by his side, luhan snores peacefully, arm draped over his chest as if protecting him from some hidden force. sehun’s lips turn up at the corners.
looking up at the clock, he notices that it’s 11.15 - or as he likes to think, 11.02 am. he gets up from the tiny mattress they share, careful not to wake luhan up from his slumber. he tiptoes over to the closet and opens it. the creaking never fails to make him cringe.
quietly, sehun takes out the box where they store all their earnings. he counts the meagre amount left inside and sighs.
he jumps when he feels two hands on his shoulders. spinning around, he sees luhan who giggles in delight and runs away when sehun attempts to start a tickle war. sehun captures him almost immediately.
needless to say, they don’t get much done that morning.
they lie on their backs, panting in exhaustion.
“hyung,” sehun turns to face luhan. “we don’t have much money left.”
luhan sags visibly. “is it enough for tonight, though?”
sehun shakes his head and sighs again. “i’ll try to snag two later?” he asks hopefully. the older regards him seriously.
“yeah, do that. get the stuff on your way here and i’ll prepare everything by the time you get back.”
they smile at each other.
(they pretend not to hear the grumbling of their stomachs.)
it’s 3.25 when both sehun and luhan head out for their jobs - sehun washes the dishes at a nearby coffee shop, while luhan sells magazines on the streets. they part with a light kiss.
luhan waits at joonmyun’s counter and smiles when joonmyun walks in from his toilet break. joonmyun smiles back.
“today’s cold, you know,” he says, stacking up the magazines for the day. “do you have a sweater? i could give you one.”
luhan raises his eyebrows and joonmyun chuckles before he ducks into the back of the shop to find luhan a sweater.
joonmyun’s really nice, luhan muses. he’s known it all this time, but somehow he’s especially nice today.
“take care of yourself, okay?” joonmyun says, handing him the magazines and sweater.
“yeah, sure,” luhan beams at him and heads out of the shop.
luhan shivers. despite the woollen sweater, he isn’t quite sure if his body is completely free of ice. he spots someone who seems to be nice enough to buy a magazine, and runs over with his magazines.
“hello, sir! would you like to buy a magazine? it’s only…” luhan falters when the woman merely shakes her head and walks away quickly, heels clacking loudly against the hard pavement.
“well, that was polite,” he sniffs. he looks around for another buyer.
eventually, he gives up and simply sits down in front of a shop. he holds the magazines out forlornly and watches as the apathetic passersby walk past him without a glance at him. occasionally, someone will take pity on him and buy a magazine.
the sky quickly transitions into evening streaked with pale pink clouds. it’s still snowing and luhan is freezing. just one more magazine to sell for the day, then he can go back and prepare for the night job.
he all but throws himself into a stranger’s path and brandishes the magazine. “hello, madam, would you like to buy a magazine? please do, it’s the last one and i promise the contents for today are extremely exciting!” he beams at her. she’s taken aback and slowly, she takes out her wallet, all the while looking at him apprehensively. luhan’s beam fades.
when she’s finally gone along with the magazine, luhan grins.
he grins even wider when joonmyun lets him keep all the money for the day.
on his way back, luhan spots a flower shop. there, a row of primroses sit in the display glass. he contemplates it for a while and looks at the money in his pocket.
he leaves the shop with a primrose. after all, it’s a special night, and he should get something for special nights, shouldn’t he?
luhan returns to the apartment at 8.39 pm. the lights are on, which would mean sehun’s back.
he finds sehun at the mirror, meticulously applying concealer over his eyebags.
“oops,” luhan says sadly. “i wanted to do my make-up with you.”
sehun laughed. “go get a shower, i saved up enough water for you. i’ll wait for you so we can finish it up together.”
luhan grins and presses his lips to sehun’s forehead before rushing off to the toilet.
“stay still!” luhan grumbles as he attempts to apply eyeliner for sehun. it’s been half an hour and he’s still not done.
“your hand’s really shaky, it’s not my fault,” sehun grumbles back. “i’m gonna do my makeup on my own now.”
luhan pouts. sehun cackles.
“don’t be like that. everything will be fine tonight,” he whispers soothingly. luhan smiles wistfully.
“yeah, it’ll all be alright. all this will end, won’t it?”
they laugh in unison. dying is funny. ending this life of struggle against an addiction you can’t fight is funny, because all your life, you’ve been living like this and suddenly, it’s time to throw it all away. it’s also funny how the things you live for can sometimes be the things that kill you.
it’s all a joke, isn’t it?
they part at 10 pm sharp, dark eyes smouldering with purpose. luhan doesn’t look like luhan, and sehun doesn’t look like sehun: thick eyeliner, styled hair, formal suit and tie.
“hook up the rich ones, okay? it’s gonna be perfect tonight,” luhan reminds sehun. sehun laughs, a tinkly, fake laugh.
“i wouldn’t ever forget,” he tells luhan in the saccharine sweet tone he reserves solely for his customers.
they part with a kiss and luhan remembers the primrose in the apartment. he hopes it doesn’t wilt too quickly.
luhan waits by the road. a gust of wind roars in his ear and instinctively, he pulls his coat around him tighter.
it’s a slow night. barely any cars are here and he’s about to find another road when he sees an incoming headlight which seems be slowing down near to him. smirking, luhan pulls off his coat with a flourish and struts over to the car. the window winds down for him.
“hello,” he purrs. this guy is loaded - in the dark, luhan can make out a glinting omega watch. the car is a mercedes benz, he notes. the driver quirks an eyebrow up at him and luhan’s smirk widens.
“it depends on the quality you want, mister – the better the more expensive. if you have kinks that you want me to fulfill, the fee’s also higher. how about it? i can guarantee a good night for you,” luhan winks seductively at him. something flashes in the man’s eyes. of course, no one has ever rejected luhan before; he’s certain that he won’t get rejected this time, either.
luhan gets into the car, a satisfied smile on his face. a hand creeps up onto his thigh, but he leaves it there.
it’ll all be worth it in the end, he convinces himself. everything will be over tonight.
the guy promptly collapses after he screams his orgasm out. luhan snorts; weakling.
gingerly, he pulls out of his client – kris, was it? – and clambers over to the side of the bed where kris’s clothes are. glancing into his wallet, luhan grabs a few big bills and makes sure to leave a little behind.
he doesn’t look back when he shuts the door.
it’s 11.47 pm when he unlocks their apartment door. without hesitation, he gets the lighter, pipes and scented candles from the closet.
then he sits down in front of the set up, hands folded around the primrose. it’s for sehun.
sehun’s a little tipsy from all the drinking. damn, that guy was really kinky; at least he paid up for it. sehun considers buying a bottle of wine with the money he now has.
he stumbles towards the dim light of the drug store. the owner greets him like an old friend.
“yixing,” sehun greets back. yixing beams.
“the usual, then?” he bustles around the shop, not bothering to wait for an answer.
“more than the usual. do you have any alcohol here - preferably wine?” sehun calls out. no reply. but yixing comes back with a bottle of beer and four packets of heroin.
“the beer’s on the house. just take it.” sehun shakes his head vigorously and holds out all his earnings. yixing sighs and takes the money in exchange for the goods.
as sehun leaves, he can’t help but think that he asked for wine. beer is substandard wine, but since when has anything in his life been more than substandard?
sehun jiggles open the lock with his lone key. the packets are in his pocket; he makes sure not to act suspiciously.
he opens the door and sees luhan asleep on the floor, candles in front of him. in his hand, he grips a primrose tightly. sehun smiles - he knows what those mean.
he sets the bottle down and shakes luhan gently. the elder jolts up and stares at sehun with wide eyes before relaxing. “oh, it’s you.”
sehun laughs. “of course it’s me.” he holds up the beer. “i brought alcohol.”
luhan beams at him. “go get the glasses, i’ll light the candles.”
they sit across each other. the three candles are the only source of light in the apartment; the scent of lavender is stifling.
“to us,” luhan speaks, holding up his cracked wine glass.
“to us,” sehun echoes, following his movements. they clink their glasses together and down it all in one go.
“i got this primrose for you after my shift today,” luhan begins, fingering with the primrose. “the florist told me it means eternal love.”
sehun takes the primrose from him. “yeah, i know.” he twists a leaf around his finger.
“do you think this primrose will die tonight?”
luhan shrugs. it’s 1.47 am now.
“come on, it’s time.”
sehun empties his pocket; out comes the heroin and the money.
“oops,” he says without regret. luhan laughs.
“put it in the box. maybe someone will find it.”
they laugh together; who would want to enter their apartment?
scrunching up his face in concentration, luhan tips the white powder into the crack pipe. with a click, he flicks the lighter on and a flame lights up. he puts the lighter to the pipe. beside him, sehun does the same.
for the last time, they kiss each other.
then they take a deep breath.
(the petals are scattered on the floor.)
Police found 2 drug addicts dead in their apartment at 10 am yesterday morning. It has been confirmed that the cause of death was heroin overdose. Neighbours said that they last saw them heading out together at about 10 pm, dressed up in black coats and suits. It is suspected that they worked as male prostitutes, and…
“hyung, do you think we’ll end up like them?” jongin whispers to kyungsoo.
kyungsoo’s hand reaches out to circle jongin’s wrist. “of course not,” he murmurs back soothingly.
they stare at the newspaper for a long, long time. the empty eyes of sehun and luhan linger in their minds.
and in a pipe, we’ll fly to the motherland
or sell love to another man
it’s too cold outside for angels to fly
the angel will die