“You didn’t start liking him, did you?”
Kibum shuts the door, rubbing the bridge of his nose, his brows furrowed together tightly. Taemin’s eyes on him pierce through the darkness and right through his skin, even though he can barely see anything, he feels them. “Shut up, Tae,” he says tiredly, taking his jacket off while he moves his feet to the kitchen. His throat is dry. He hears Taemin coming after him and he wishes he wouldn’t. His judging stare burns his back as he pours himself a glass of gin, downing swiftly before he fills it again.
Taemin’s hand on his wrist stops him, and he looks up unwillingly.
"Did you kill him?” His gaze is intense, stern, and Kibum averts his eyes, yanking his wrist from Taemin’s grip and drinks up.
“Kibum, did you kill him?” Taemin repeats urgently, once again gripping his wrist to stop him from taking a third glass. “Tell me you—”
"I did!” Kibum shouts, shoving Taemin away roughly, eyes clenched shut and his words slurring already. “I fucking did it, so you can leave me the fuck alone and stop fucking worrying about it. I killed him, job done.”
"Good.” Taemin’s voice is cold and Kibum’s eyes snap open. “Because that is our job.” He steps closer, so close their noses are almost touching, stares at him intensely, not allowing Kibum to look away. “It’s the only way we can survive, we have to do it. And you know it.” He grips Kibum’s chin, forcing him to keep looking at him when he turns his head away. “Look at me. You were the one who taught me not to get close to a target, hyung. ‘Get as close as possible but always keep your distance.’”
Kibum closes his eyes, face scrunched up and lips pressed together tightly. “I know. I fucking know, Tae, but it’s not just that easy—”
"I know it’s not.” Taemin’s voice softens for a moment, but it’s still strict, still urgent even when it falls to a whisper. “But we have to remind ourselves. Always. We need to survive, we’re first. We can’t afford mistakes, we can’t afford weakness, we just can’t, hyung.”
It’s not often that Kibum looks at him like this, so lost and small, desperate to hold on to something, to him. But it makes Taemin give in, always give in and he pulls him close, lets him bite down on his lips, his neck, lets him dig his nails into his skin and take him to bed, where he rips his clothes off his body and lets him forget about everything for just one night.