acatwhowrites: (Daehyun♡love)
A Cat Who Writes ([personal profile] acatwhowrites) wrote2017-05-26 11:10 am

Love Me Right

title: Love Me Right
players: Kim Joonmyun/Suho, Byun Baekhyun, Kim Jongdae/Chen, Kim Jongin/Kai, Oh Sehun
rating: PG-13
word count: 5,350w
summary: Jongdae feels justified in punishing Baekhyun a little bit when he's ignored in favour of a kitten.
a/n: Originally written for Baekbitfest. (Prompt #25 Jongdae is Baekhyun's catboy and boyfriend and he gets terribly jealous when his Baekhyun gets home with a new cat.)
Read on: AFF || AO3 || LJ

Baekhyun wakes up slowly. He's comfortably warm, burrowed in his bed with the blankets pulled up over his shoulders and untucked from the foot of the mattress, so his bare legs are uncovered. His pillow is firm, and he vaguely recognises a sort of drawn-out, rhythmic rumble, like an idling engine.

He stretches with a deep inhale and hugs his pillow tighter just to nuzzle his face into it more, and it shakes beneath his cheek.

"Time to wake up." Fingers pet through Baekhyun's hair and trail down his neck. Jongdae has nice fingers; Bekhyun's always liked his hands. "Baekhyun." He nuzzles against Jongdae's hip again, kissing the hot skin and sighing. He whines again when Jongdae shakes him. "You need to wake up."

Baekhyun finally pulls up his legs and pushes his knees into the mattress, shoving himself upright and looking at his boyfriend with narrowed eyes. "You're too comfy. It's all your fault."

Jongdae smiles, unperturbed and still purring. He leans over and kisses Baekhyun's cheek, rubbing the spot with his own cheek before turning to kiss him again and then kiss the corner of his mouth. "You'll be late, if you don't get moving." His eyes curve when he looks at Baekhyun's hair; he knows it's a bird's nest of a mess.

"Maybe I'll call in sick, spend the day in bed."

"Then you'll be spending it alone," Jongdae teases, sitting back against the wall, "because I have plans."

Baekhyun groans. "You are absolutely no fun."

"I'm plenty of fun." He rubs his fingertips over the pulsepoint on the inside of Baekhyun's wrist.

"You're sending mixed signals, Dae." Baekhyun crawls over him, tripping but catching himself somewhat gracefully when his leg gets caught in the blankets. "Telling me to leave but touching me."

Jongdae lets his hand slide down Baekhyun's waist, grabbing the waistband of his boxers just to snap them against skin. "I like touching you."

"I know you do!" he calls from the bathroom. It echoes a bit. "And I like being touched, but that doesn't make me want to go to work at all."

"Next time I'll pour ice on you, then."

Baekhyun's head pops out from the doorway, toothpaste frothing at the corners of his mouth. "Pwees doht," he says around his toothbrush.

Jongdae stretches his arms over his head and arches his back, digging his heels into the mattress to lift himself and move his tail. His vertebrae pop deliciously, and he groans softly. As much as he loves sleeping with his boyfriend, Baekhyun is clingy, and he doesn't allow for a lot of shifting when he literally wraps himself around Jongdae.

He usually returns the favour by applying himself to Baekhyun's back while he tries to get dressed.

Since living together, their two-bedroom apartment became a single, as they adopted the second bedroom as a large closet. Jongdae slithers out of bed and meets Baekhyun there, making a pest of himself and trying to remove whatever Baekhyun puts on.

"You are not helping!"

Jongdae smiles and sits on his hands, conveniently hiding the socks Baekhyun pulled from their drawer.

He's finally dressed, minus socks and shoes. Shoes are piled by the door, but he knows he just had his socks, a pair he'd bought to match Jongdae's. They were just here; socks don't usually walk off by themselves. "Jongdae, didn't I just have...?" He sees the bratty gleam in Jongdae's eyes. Socks don't usually walk off by themselves, but they often get a lift from his boyfriend. "You little—"

Jongdae turns tail, socks in hand, baiting Baekhyun to chase him. He lets himself be "caught" and caged in by the coffee maker, relinquishing his prisoners for a kiss and even adding a travel mug of fresh coffee to the deal.

Baekhyun slips his feet into his shoes, holding the doorknob for balance. "Okay, I'll see you later—" He squawks when he turns around right into Jongdae. The catboy has a habit of just appearing. His boyfriend crowds him against the door; Baekhyun recognises the merry wag to his tail. "Jongdae, if I'm late, it'll be your fault."

"I know," he says, "but I can't let you go without saying goodbye." He leans in, pausing just shy of Baekhyun's lips, and dips to nudge behind his ear, instead. Baekhyun's knees buckle a little when his boyfriend sucks a bruise high on his neck, but Jongdae has a hold on his waist and keeps him upright. With a deceptively cheerful smile, he kisses Baekhyun's cheek. "Have a good day."

"Do you know how much I'm teased because of your incessant marking?" Baekhyun grumbles, rubbing the bruise. It's always someplace that's awkward to hide or someplace intimate that's innocently revealed when he stretches or bends to pick up something. "Is it a cat thing?"

"Maybe." Jongdae kisses him again, this time full on the mouth, with a purr. "Could just be a 'me' thing." Baekyun highly suspects it's a Jongdae thing, because most other cats he's met just shed and rub all over their people or claimed territory. "It's just another mystery of life. Now go. Have a good day. Make lots of money."

"I love you, too, Jongdae." Baekhyun flinches when Jongdae pinches his butt, but he resists the urge to retaliate and dashes to the elevator when he sees the time on his watch. He should set his alarm earlier, to accommodate his needy boyfriend's playing, but Jongdae would just turn it off to be a brat, anyway.

He isn't terribly late. Just late enough to be asked what kept him, although Chanyeol's loud discovery of Baekhyun's new bruise explains everything to his coworkers.

Jongdae is a blessing and a curse. Baekhyun adores him, regardless, and cringes hours later when he has to tell Jongdae he'll be home late. Again.

It's usually no big deal. Sometimes he stays for his friends' performances after his own, sometimes they go for drinks after—sometimes Jongdae even tags along. Jongdae doesn't mind when his boyfriend texts him, although it does wake him from his catnap.

On the other side of the city, sprawled across the floor with the blush of the sunset on his face, Jongdae frowns at his phone but acknowledges it with a shrugging emoji and string of hearts. On his right, Sehun rubs his eyes a bit, but he rolls over and drapes his tail over Jongdae's leg. On his left, Jongin just sleeps on like the dead. Both boys are shirtless; Jongdae's wearing one Jongin's sleeveless shirts, and their arms and sides kind of stick together with sweat, but they're too lazy to really care a whole lot about it. It's too hot to really care about much of anything.

Plus, the younger cats are both gorgeous, so Jongdae likes to flaunt their beauty whenever he can just to make his boyfrend jealous.

To show him what he's missing by being late, Jongdae snaps a quick photo and texts it to him. Predictably, he gets a pageful of crying emojis.

"Hyung, stop squirming." Sehun turns his head on his arms and squints at Jongdae.

"Sorry, Sehunie." He sighs and smiles, setting his phone beside his head. "Baekhyun says he'll be late again."

Sehun yawns and nuzzles into his arms again with a sigh. "His loss." Jongdae pets his hair for a little while, checks his phone again, and sets it to silent.

Jongdae dozes until the younger boys are hungry; since living together, Sehun and Jongin have synced their stomachs, so they both start pawing at Jongdae and whining about food as though they were still helpless kittens. They're not; they're just spoiled. Joonmyun allows them to do whatever they want, whenever they want. Within reason. He's not a complete pushover.

Joonmyun returns before the sun's completely set. His pets wrap themselves around him, purring like twin engines, and Jongdae politely rejects an invitation to stay until Baekhyun gets home. He'll be fine on his own for a little while, and he doesn't want to interrupt the boys' time with Joonmyun, who works a steadier schedule than Baekhyun in an office with enough stress to make him go bald if he didn't have his "kids."

Jongdae regrets his decision after he pays the taxi driver and faces his apartment building. His footsteps echo on the concrete stairs, and the door creaks as he pushes it open to his floor.

It's still quiet in their little apartment when he unlocks the door. The lights are off, and the only sounds are the ticking of a wall clock and the soft hum of the air conditioner. The loads of laundry he'd left in the washer and dryer have long since gone silent.

This is what Jongdae hates the most about living with someone: being home without him. He doesn't think he's clingy necessarily, but he does get lonely by himself. Watching a movie, reading a book, playing a video game, or singing can only distract him for so long before his shoulders tense with the background quiet.

With Baekhyun, there's pretty much never any quiet. Even sleeping, he makes little noises and curls around Jongdae to snore in his ear.

His ears stand up, listening intently. Someone's on the stairs. They only live on the third floor, and the stairwell is just across the hall from their apartment, so it's not much of a walk that way while the elevators are at the opposite end of the hall. Most days, they'll just take the stairs. The downside is they're not temperature regulated, so they practically freeze in winter and melt in summer.

The stairwell door opens, but it's not Baekhyun. By the easy sort of shuffle along the carpeting, it sounds like Yixing, a friend and neighbour with a love for music and strange fear of birds.

He's lost interest and drops the video game controller onto its charger after stretching to stand. There's nothing much that sounds worth doing except for showering and using up the hot water. If Baekhyun was home, they could share, but since he's not, he'll have to miss out and suffer.

Jongdae takes his time toweling off his skin and blow-drying his fur. A few strokes with a soft brush has his tail silky soft and straight. He doesn't hear anyone in the hall but catches the sound of a key in the front door.

"Jongdae-yah," Baekhyun sing-songs. "I have a surprise!"

Jongdae peers around the corner, curiosity piqued but feigning disinterest rather than leaping into Baekhyun's arms like he wants. Some of Baekhyun's surprises are honestly pretty lame, but they always manage to have fun with it, and Jongdae knows the only reason Baekhyun even tries to surprise him—with anything—is to make him happy, and he'll suffer through whatever embarassment or wheedling for the proud smile Baekhyun wears.

"Close your eyes."

Trusting him implicitly, Jongdae leans against the wall and closes his eyes expectantly, thinking Baekhyun is just going to kiss him and cutely apologise for being late while begging for forgiveness.

What he doesn't expect is the cool pressure to his cheek and mouth and then whiskers along his nose.

He opens his eyes and crosses them at the kitten held against his face.


Jongdae's ears fall a little as he leans back. "You got a cat?" Black from toe to tail, its yellow eyes seem to glow in its face. Jongdae likes cats well enough, and, more importantly, he understands them. Some do better with cats than dogs or dogs than cats; some like children; some hate men. Each one is unique, and Jongdae personally knows that he has a bit of a possessive streak.

Baekhyun's oblivious to his boyfriend's dulled mood. "A kitten! Heechul hyung's mom's cat had babies, so he was looking for homes for them all. This guy's the runt, supposedly, but he was pretty much the size of the others I saw. Isn't he cute?" He is actually a she, Jongdae knows. She paddles the air during the short distance to Baekhyun's shoulder. The little meow is more a squeak, and Baekhyun coos at her.

The kitten stares at Jongdae with wide eyes, as though asking, Is this normal?

Rather than giving an answer, Jongdae passes Baekhyun, whacking his legs with his tail, and says he's tired.

Baekhyun doesn't comment. Jongdae wonders if he even notices, with the new kitten curled perfectly in his palms.

He lays awake in bed and listens to Baekhyun give the kitten a tour of their home. Dishes clink together as they're set on the floor, and he hears the rustle of newspaper. Jongdae thinks that he'd better not be asked to shop for the kitten, although he'd probably do it if asked. The kitten follows him, mewing and toddling to keep up. Baekhyun laughs and meows right back.

He does yelp when the shower is cold, which brings a little smile to Jongdae's face.

When Baekhyun slips into their room and kisses Jongdae's neck, Jongdae pretends to be asleep. He removes the kitten when she tries to climb over his hip, placing her neatly on Baekhyun's face. She's content to curl up, chin lining neatly alongside Baekhyun's nose. It's cute. Baekhyun raises a hand in his sleep, probably to push the cat away, but it just rests on her back, and Jongdae's side is cold where Baekhyun's arm used to be.

They go shopping for necessary cat things. Jongdae was looking forward to just lying around, since it's Baekhyun's day off before the band's performance, but no. The new baby needs supplies, and Baekhyun wants Jongdae to feel involved, so he got dragged along. Literally. Baekhyun had Jongdae's tail in his hand the entire elevator ride.

He'd thought Jongdae would be excited about the kitten. She's a cat, he's a catboy; they have more things in common than Baekhyun does. It's felt a bit cool at home, though, when he notices how Jongdae's never around when he looks for him. He sits apart from them and sleeps earlier or later, as if he's trying to avoid the kitten.

Honestly, Baekhyun's not sure how he'd feel if someone sprung fatherhood on him, but he wants to do his best to raise his furbaby right and wants Jongdae's support. First time fathers are nervous; they can be nervous together.

"What do you think of this?" Baekhyun holds up a soft toy with obnoxiously coloured feathers on the ends.

"I think she's a baby and will play with literally anything you give her."

Baekhyun laughs. "As long as she doesn't play with my heart!"

Jongdae cringes. That was gross. He picks up a package of tuna flake treats, stealthily switching them out for the dried kibble type in Baekhyun's basket. If he's honest, it's not bad, living with an actual cat-cat. She explores and finds places to sleep away from Baekhyun's wriggly fingers and shrill cooing and doesn't respond when they call her name, Jinju. She is very sweet and seeks Jongdae out when Baekhyun is being particularly annoying. Brief naps merely punctuate the otherwise constant coddling, and that is what's grating.

BC, before cat, Baekhyun's Instagram was filed with pictures of him and his friends, Jongdae, and places they went on dates. Now, it's blown up with kitten photos and videos and has rocketed his followers into the thousands. Kittens are adorable, Jongdae agrees, but the message he's picking up on is the kitten replaces the boyfriend, and he does not agree with that.

Baekhyun actually surprises him in a good and acceptable way on a day they both thought he'd be at work a long time. He comes home early and finds Jongdae asleep on their bed at three in the afternoon. The kitten's beside him, mimicking the starfish pose even as its paws twitch. Baekhyun tickles the kitten but lightly presses his hand over his boyfriend's torso.

Jongdae hums contentedly, revelling in the soft massage down his belly and up his chest and back again. Slow, rythmic movements. He stretches when the fingers dip under the waistband of his sweatpants and grabs the wrist. Baekhyun laughs.

"Time to wake up, Jongdae, or you won't sleep at all tonight." And when Jongdae can't sleep, he's not respectful of the rest of their building. He's loud. Their neighbours like to call it caterwauling, on a good day. Thankfully, the kitten's not witnessed it, yet, or Baekhyun worries it'd pick up on the behaviour. That's not the kind of lesson a conscientious parent teaches their child.

"You're back already?"

"Want me to leave again?" Baekhyun kisses the corner of Jongdae's mouth, sitting at his hip. "We finished early. I thought we could go out, but I find you still asleep, you sack hound."

"You actually willing to leave your child alone for that long?"

"Huh?" Baekhyun hasn't picked up on the cool response Jongdae's had to the kitten. They play well together, and they're obviously okay enough to sleep together. He thinks things are going great and has been sending Heechul excited texts and cute photos. "She should be okay for a couple hours, right? Or should I actually call someone to watch her? I don't want her to feel lonely; she's never been by herself."

Jongdae grabs him before he can dig for his phone. "She'll be fine. It was just a question, anyway." He sits up and crosses his legs. "Buy me dinner?"

"I was thinking a movie. I have to buy you food, too?"

Jongdae hits him. "I'll pay for the movie. Wine and dine me like the good old days." Baekhyun fails to take the bait of good old days, thinking of when they'd first met, and he'd tried so hard to impress Jongdae but just ended up making a fool of himself yet still charming the catboy. He rubs the kitten's soft belly one last time, laughing when Jongdae takes it and pulls him to the door.

The movie is mediocre but not award-winning, in Jongdae's opinion. They meander and buy street food and beer instead of sitting at a restaurant They're having a perfectly lovely time in the fading summer sun, but Baekhyun keeps checking his phone, and that bothers Jongdae. If he's literally within touching distance, Baekhyun's hands have no business being elsewhere.

"What's the matter?"

"We've been gone for a couple hours. Is Jinju okay?"

"I can all but guarantee she's still sleeping and that she wouldn't call, anyway, if she felt lonely." He spots an ice cream stand and succeeds and reclaiming Baekhyun's attention for a while. They take a taxi back to their apartment after the sun's completely set. Jongdae's tail can't sit still and drapes over Baekhyun's thigh, twitching and curling. When he was being wined and dined, it wasn't uncommon to end the night making out until they fell asleep and it was too late to go back to their own apartment.

Baekhyun actually remembers that and pushes Jongdae to the sofa by his shoulders, kicking their apartment door closed with his foot. He follows and sits on Jongdae's thighs, struggling to shrug out of his shirt with his one unoccupied arm. Jongdae runs his fingers up Baekhyun's thighs to his trim waist, leaning up to meet him for an eager kiss. There's a purr beside Jongdae's pulse beneath Baekhyun's fingers.

His ears catch a squeaky sort of sound—Mrow!—and he drops to the cushions with a sigh. "Your daughter." A bottlebrush tail touches his fingers dangling off the couch, and he tugs it lightly.

Baekhyun blinks dumbly until he remembers he's a cat parent, now, and frowns. "Why's she only my daughter?"

"I don't interrupt intimate moments. I initiate them." He pushes at his boyfriend's shoulders to let himself up. "She wants Dad-time, so go for it. I'm going to bed."

"It's still early..." Jinju purrs in his arms.

"I'm just tired. See you in the morning."

Baekhyun doesn't call him back, absorbed in playing with Jinju's tiny kitten toes.

They don't talk about their date night. Baekhyun's at work all day, and although Jongdae does watch the band's performance, he leaves right after. He's not even sure why, necessarily; he just doesn't want to see Baekhyun but wants to be with him, at the same time. Punish him but love him, because even when he's home, it's like he's checked out of reality and only sees Jinju the kitten. Yes, she's cute, but so is Jongdae, his boyfriend who was also there first. It's only been a few days, and it's already becoming a trend.

Jongdae is kind, though, and gives Baekhyun one last chance. A very easy test. Pass or fail.

When he gets home, Baekhyun's ambushed, dragged to their bedroom, and trapped by his boyfriend, who peppers his face and neck with kisses and doesn't let him scoot up the bed even as he's sliding to the floor.

"Not that I'm complaining, Jongdae," Baekhyun murmurs, "but what's with all the kisses?" His fingers dip under Jongdae's shirt, just to touch his warm skin, and he finally gets his feet under him to move onto their mess of blankets.

Jongdae hums against his jaw. "No reason." He settles on top of Baekhyun. They're about the same size, although Jongdae's ears give him a height advantage; their hips and chests align nicely. Jongdae's just offering lazy kisses, however, and Baekhyun's more than okay with going along with it, although he smiles when his hand running down Jongdae's spine elicits a happy purr.

Not everyone is happy and content, however.

Skrtch skrtch skrtch.

"What's that?" Baekhyun turns his head, trying to hear better. Jongdae purrs louder and nuzzles over his pulse.

"What's what?" His ears twitch and rotate towards the door. He knows what's "what," but he'll be damned if he lets it interrupt his time with Baekhyun. This is the real test.

Skrtch skrtch skrtch.

"That. It sounds like scratching."

A light bump follows the noise, punctuated by a drawn-out mewl.

"Did you close the door on Jinju?"

"Maybe." Jongdae shrugs a shoulder.

"She sounds lonely."

"She's fine."

Baekhyun removes his hands from Jongdae's waist and back—unacceptable. He starts to push himself upright, silently signalling for Jongdae to get off—doubly unacceptable. As the last straw, he says, "I'm going to let her in."

Jongdae sits up and somehow manages to center all of his weight on Baekhyun's lap. "She's just fine by herself." Usually, Jongdae is a very easygoing sort of cat. Baekhyun loves that about him; he can match Baekhyun's energy, drive it, or calm it. They work well together and don't often disagree and even less often seriously bicker.

"What's gotten into you, Jongdae? You're not usually so stubborn."

The slender tail lifts and falls, barely heavier than usual, but Jongdae wonders if Baekhyun feels it. "Maybe I just don't like to be interrupted when kissing you."

"I can understand that, because I don't liking to be interrupted while being kissed, but ever since the kitten came home, you've been acting strange." His own words trigger a conclusion. "Are you jealous?"

"Of a kitten? Of course not." Of course he is. Baekhyun absolutely fawns over the little beast. Distant cousin or not, Jongdae feels justified in his jealousy. He was here first, for one. It's his home, too. Baekhyun is his boyfriend. He feels entitled to some alone-time and affection without a tiny third wheel toppling between them and stealing all of Baekhyun's attention. "But if you're so concerned," he sighs, "I'll let her in."

"Hey..." Baekhyun reaches for him as he crawls off of him and stands, only grasping fur on his tail. "Jongdae!"

The catboy slips out of reach, smiling over his shoulder. "No worries, Baek. The baby needs time with you, too." He opens the door, and the kitten blinks in wonderment as the dark, obstructive block is removed, and she toddles inside with a passing sniff to Jongdae's toes. Jongdae flips her tail with his foot. "Enjoy yourselves."

He feels a little bad, closing the door after himself, but Baekhyun changes his tune pretty quick from whiny protests to high-pitched coos and laughter.

He sends a quick text to Baekhyun's phone and hails a taxi to Joonmyun's. He needs someone to vent to, and Joonmyun's always sympathetic.

Unfortunately, he's not home; Sehun opens the door and leaves him at the door with an open invitation to come in or leave. He closes the door behind him, greets the younger catboys, and doesn't give any explanation. They don't ask for one. He sits and stares out the window, and they let him. He'll talk if he wants.

"Hyung, if you stare at that bird much harder, it'll burst into flames." Sehun laughs at his own joke, but Jongdae's ear doesn't even twitch. His tail rises and falls with irritated thwacks. "Hyung... hyung!"

"What?" The bird startles, hitting the window in its flurry to escape.

"You've been zoned out this whole time," Jongin comments sleepily.

Sehun picks at the proverbial scab and asks, "How're things with the kitten?"

"They're fine. Baekhyun's obsessed and absorbed as usual."

"Did he seriously not tell you before bringing it?" Jongin yawns and rolls onto his back, stretching his legs over the arm of the sofa.


Sehun snorts. "What a dick."

Joonmyun walks in on the tail-end of their conversation and sighs. "Sehun, language, and Dae...please watch your claws."

Jongdae blinks and looks at his hands. His fingers have been anxiously shredding the top of the sofa; he smooths the ruined fabric and tucks his hands in his pockets. "Sorry, hyung."

"Is this about your kitten?"

"She's not my kitten."

"I thought Baekhyun brought her home for you."

"Without even asking me. I didn't want a kitten. If he thinks I'm lonely, it's because he works so much," Jongdae grumbles. "I'm fine by myself; I liked it just being us."

Jongin purrs when Joonmyun runs a hand over his chest, and Sehun sidles up beside him for attention. "I understand you both, I think, and I am sorry." He straightens the hair falling around Sehun's tall, black ears. "You've got to get used to the concept of sharing, though."

"He's my boyfriend," Jongdae hisses softly. He sounds like a brat, but so what. "I don't think I'd mind sharing, if it was mutual, but she is everywhere, and Baekhyun absolutely fawns over her." It's like I'm not even there. His ears sit out from his hair like irritated airplane wings.

"You're going to have to learn to deal with it, Jongdae. Was it appropriate or fair for Baekhyun to adopt something wthout your consent? No. But holding a grudge helps nothing." He waddles as best he can with Sehun draped over his back and deposits the catboy in and armchair, perching on the armrest. "Did you even tell Baekhyun how you feel?"

"He's too dense to understand." Jongdae perks up, realisation dawning on his face. "So maybe I'll show him."

"Interpretive dance, hyung?" Sehun snipes. Jongdae ignores him.

"Why hate the cheated when it's the cheater's fault? I'll just make myself and the kitten scarce for a while. He comes home and wants to cuddle? We'll be asleep. A day off? We're shopping." Joonmyun listens with an anxious half ear; he knows firsthand that cats hold grudges. He feels he should text a warning to Baekhyun, but that would spoil the valuable lesson.

If asked to describe Jongdae, no one would say "petty," but that's exactly what Jongdae is for the next couple of days. He conveniently forgets to plug in their coffee maker in the morning, uses up the hot water before Baekhyun can shower, and doesn't stop Jinju when she plays with charger cords or shoe laces, shrugging when Baekhyun finds them defaced and ruined by sharp milkteeth and claws.

He also reminds his dear, dense boyfriend of what he's missing by going to work and spending so much time photographing the kitten. Before work is the best time to do this, and a Tuesday morning finds Jongdae fresh from his shower and sprawled across the chaise sofa Baekhyun had insisted they needed, his towel no longer secure around his hips. An end lies down the side of the sofa while the other barely covers his modesty, alluding to classic Greek nude art. The kitten's on his belly, eyes partly closed and purring loudly as Jongdae runs a finger up and down her spine.

"You're gonna be late, Baekhyun."

"And you're gonna catch a cold."

"I run hot," Jongdae replies, turning onto a hip. "You know that."

Baekhyun's kind of running hot himself. He grabs his jacket and stuffs his cell phone into his pocket, jamming his feet into his shoes. Pointing aggressively at Jongdae, he says, "Photos."

"I don't want to distract you at work."

"You distract me everywhere else. Why should work be any different?" He leans down, but Jongdae dodges the kiss, catching it on his cheek rather than lips. He's never done that before. Even Jinju pulls her chin from his fingers.

"Go to work, Baekhyun."

So he goes, confused and kind of hurt, and he asks his bandmates if he's done something wrong, lately. They're no help, though, immediately saying yes.

Whatever he's done—and he can't think of anything—he'll apologise for it when he gets home. He's felt kind of lonely without Jongdae's constant presence or his messages throughout the day. He's been moody, lately, and not very communicative. He's still not texted any photos, and Baekhyun wonders if he really is jealous about the kitten and is acting out about it. It doesn't sound like something Jongdae, the most easy-going person Baekhyun's ever known, would do, but there's literally nothing else he can think of.

When he wants the day to go fast, it drags, and he is tired and anxious by the time he finally heads home. Traffic seems to be against him, too, as well as the weather, which cracks open the clouds and drenches the city.

Jongdae's on the sofa when he unlocks the apartment, singing along to a commercial jingle and petting Jinju's ears. They both look up when the door opens, and Jongdae immediately sits up. "I'll get a towel."

"Hey, Dae—wait." Baekhyun holds his breath, afraid to scare Jongdae away or piss him off. He just stands there, though, head tilted and lips curled like he's got a joke in mind.

"Just hold that thought. You look like you swam home, and I don't want to hear you whine that you got sick later." He leaves, and Baekhyun waits. Jinju watches with half-closed eyes, purring softly. Something feels different.

Jongdae returns with a towel and the blanket from their bed. He rubs at Baekhyun's hair, leaving the towel over his head like a veil, and starts taking off Baekhyun's wet clothes. They get left on the floor; Baekhyun wraps the blanket around his shoulders and sits on the sofa. Jinju hops onto the back and tucks her paws beneath herself, already looking like a queen watching over her subjects.

He barely controls his flinch when his boyfriend sits on the sofa beside him and leans against him. Baekhyun lifts an arm, letting Jongdae tuck himself against his side and covering them both again. "I'm sorry, Jongdae."

"Good. I don't feel like playing, anymore," Jongdae says.

"This is because of Jinju, right? I should've asked; I thought you'd be happy."

"It's about you deciding something without me. I'd've been fine, if I'd known, I think, although maybe happy is a stretch." He takes Baekhyun's arm and pulls it across his chest like a seatbelt. "I don't really like sharing you with anyone."

"Were you always so clingy?"

"I didn't have competition for your attention before. You were just being dense. That's the problem, isn't it, Jinju?" Jinju meows and climbs down the sofa arm to nuzzle against Baekhyun's thigh, tail around her side. She seems to smile at him.

"I'm feeling like I'm going to regret introducing you two even more, now."

Jongdae and Jinju purr loudly, contentedly laying against Baekhyun's sides.