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My Own Masterpiece (On Your Skin)

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When Changkyun was little and he saw tan and gold painted across his mom’s pale arms he thought nothing of it. That was until middle school sex ed came and introduced soulmates. He guessed he really never thought about it until now, thinking of his tiny elementary aged self seeing blues and pinks and greens painted across his classmates’ arms and shoulders and even sometimes their face.

Here he was, an awkward middle schooler with bad acne and no clue about the world around him.

Little did he know six different hues would be on his skin one day.

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Changkyun’s first group disbanding was wildly off plan of how he decided to find his soulmate. He had hoped than one day when he stood on a stage with many others stars he would shake hands with one of the members of another group and color would erupt and spread throughout his hand. Or maybe it would happen during a fan meet, a fan would come up and greet him and tell Changkyun he was their favorite. Then they would do a high five and color would burst.

Too bad it never happened.

When K.Will had invited him to join a survival show to become a rising kpop group he took the chance as fast as he could.

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“Lim Changkyun, you are chosen to debut”

He felt his whole heart shatter and rejoice at the same time. Emotions could be so complicated sometimes. He watched as Jooheon cried, leaning his head against Gunhee’s shoulder and said his final goodbyes to his best friend

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’M SORRY

Changkyun’s brain seemed to be yelling out to someone, he didn’t know. Maybe it was to his new members, I’m sorry you can’t be with Gunhee, I stole his place. Maybe it was to Gunhee, I’m sorry I stole your place. Maybe it was to his parents, I’m sorry I couldn’t be your perfect son, who went to college and got a job and started a family. But instead joined and idol group and failed twice, once back then and twice right now, when nobody wants me.

He stood on the stage with his head hung low. His arms wrapped around himself protectively, as if that could shield him from the glares and the rude comments directed towards him. He wanted to curl in on himself, be swallowed up the floor or just suddenly implode. Maybe then, everyone would get what they wanted.

For him to disappear.

Changkyun dragged his feet, shuffling behind the other boys as they piled into the van to get to their dorms. It was silent, dead quiet. He knew how they felt about him, Changkyun wasn’t oblivious to the stink eyes and the little to no acknowledgement of his existence. On another note, he noticed none of them had colors painted across their arms or any of their exposed skin. Huh.

As they arrived at the dorms, one of the boys had shown him around, albeit stiffly. Changkyun understood why. He crawled into his bed and wished this nightmare would end but also, he just wanted his dreams of becoming an idol to come true. Was this really worth it?

Changkyun continued the next few days in silence.

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Changkyun wanted to get closer. That was that. They were to debut in a couple months and it would look bad if they hated each other. Changkyun was still quiet, treading on thin ice as to not accidentally piss them off by stepping out of line.

The boys now tolerated him, a neutral feel. They weren’t too buddy-buddy, but they didn’t shut him out and completely ignore his existence like they did at first.

Changkyun was on a middle bridge. A large gap between two islands. One island was paradise, where they acknowledged him and gave him affection and love and apologized for the way they treated him during No.Mercy. The other island seemed closer than he would like. It towered over him somehow, the looming reality haunting him.

It was dark and cloudy, there seemed to be no sun, just never ending despair. The reality of them hating him so much that they would have to disband scared him.

Hopefully, he would be able to fix this before it would come to that. The first member on his list of relationships to fix was Jooheon. Maybe Jooheon hated him the most, but they both produced in the same room literally inches away from each other, and the tense silences were suffocating.

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He quietly trailed behind Jooheon the next day, heading to the cramped and stuffy studio. After sitting down, they began. Jooheon messed around with the laptop, editing the beats as Changkyun played any type of melody that popped into his head.

The quiet was killing Changkyun when he finally decided to speak up.

“Hyung?... ”

Jooheon looked over at him and Changkyun froze. The atmosphere was tense; he tried so hard to get the words out, but they didn’t seem to want to dislodge themselves from his throat.

Changkyun took a deep breath to regain his composure before he continued.

“Why do you hate me so much?”

Jooheon was taken aback. He never expected Changkyun to directly talk to him, let alone ask him something like that so boldly.

“I… I don’t hate you.” He was hesitant, he wasn’t even sure if it was the truth. He couldn’t maintain eye contact with Changkyun as he answered, lowering his head as if he were ashamed.

“I-It’s just that I do care ,but everyone else seemed to not want to reach out first. I was afraid to be the odd one out. I didn’t want to be seen as the one member who went out of his way to be nice to the outcast. It would’ve ruined my appearance for the rest of the group. It’s a lot of pressure, y’know.”

Changkyun nodded in understanding, he seemed to be doing that a lot nowadays. He didn’t know what to say. Until he did know.

“It’s okay hyung. I get that you don’t want to ruin the reputation you have. I just wish you reached out a little sooner I guess…”

Changkyun trailed off and in that moment, Jooheon realized how young Changkyun really was. He still had his baby fat on his cheeks and his eyes were big and wide, and unaware of the horrors of the real world. Except, he did know.

Jooheon was suddenly hit with a waterfall of emotion and reached out to grab Changkyun’s shoulders, hoping he wouldn’t flinch like he would whenever the other members raised their hands.

The second Jooheon’s hands had made contact with Changkyun’s shoulders, jolts of electricity went down his arms and Changkyun jumped a bit at the sudden feelings.

Shades of red slowly bled to the edges of changkyun’s t-shirt. The different hues seemed to glow against his faded gray shirt as they stopped just above his elbows. Some of it was a deep wine-like color, while others were a soft red, bordering pink.

Jooheon’s head snapped up to gouge Changkyun’s expression. Both of them were wide-eyed and completely still, frozen in shock and confusion.

What the hell just happened?!

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They stared at each other in shock.

Y-You’re my soulmate?” Jooheon spluttered. Changkyun looks in amazement at the red painted on his upper arms.
“Woah,” Changkyun was mesmerized by the bold color against his pale skin. This was definitely not how he thought he would find his soulmate, but it hit him in full force why it hurt so much when Jooheon ignored him.

They were bound by fate

Jooheon couldn’t help himself, he threw himself at Changkyun, pulling him into a tight embrace. Changkyun could feel his shoulder getting wet. Was Jooheon crying?

“I’m so sorry, Kyunnie” He mumbled through his sobs. Changkyun finally had the courage to wrap his arms back around Jooheon since this whole ordeal happened. When he placed his arms around Jooheon, he made sure to press his arms against the bare skin. He watched his own colors spread.

In the shitty fluorescent lighting, he could see the reflective gold on Jooheon’s skin. He never thought of himself as a gold...

“It’s okay hyung, I understand, you don’t need to be apologizing” Changkyun whispered back to him. Jooheon pulled back and put his hands on the younger boy’s face. Both of them could feel the color spreading all over Changkyun’s cheeks and neck. Whether it be from the blood all rushing to his face or the red touch of Jooheon on him, no one would ever know.

“You’re way too forgiving, we don’t deserve you, I don’t deserve you.” Jooheon declared before pulling away completely.

Changkyun noticed that Jooheon didn’t even bring up their relationship now. Were they friends? Were they supposed to be a couple now that the splotches of color on his skin showed up? Changkyun’s head was cleared, mostly with the confessions, and now that the truth was out, the air in the studio was light and breathable again. But the smattering of color across his arms and face and how Jooheon addressed none of it made him overthink and he became anxious all over again.

What if Jooheon doesn’t want to date me? What if I really am unwanted? I bet he was faking it this entire time. No one could ever like me. What if the universe made a mistake to put me and Jooheon together? Why does it matter? Do I even like him like that?

Changkyun couldn’t help the thoughts but shoved them to the back of his mind and worked and smiled with Jooheon with ease.

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When Changkyun had come back from producing with Jooheon the members were drawn to the colors on their arms and (in Changkyun’s case) face. Jooheon told them how they found out with less of the details of their conversation during and they congratulated them before leaving the conversation at that.

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The soulmate thing had complicated things, but now that he and Jooheon were on good terms, Changkyun decided to move onto his next hyung. Kihyun, the mother hen of the group. He knew that this would take careful planning as to not disturb Kihyun’s daily tasks of making sure the boys wouldn’t suffocate in their own filth.

His chance came 2 days after the Jooheon incident, when Kihyun was making dinner and Changkyun was released from rap training earlier than expected. Changkyun watched for a bit; mesmerized with how gracefully Kihyun danced around the kitchen (unlike his actual free style dance but changkyun would never say that to his face). He took small tentative steps onto the white tile in the kitchen and Kihyun was quick to notice his presence.

“Do you need something, Changkyun?” Kihyun asked.

“Would you like some help with dinner hyung? I used to help my mom with dinner all the time so I could be of use to you.” Changkyun stepped a little closer assuming Kihyun would say yes. Luckily Kihyun did.

“That would be great, Changkyun, thank you” Kihyun smiled as he got back to work

“Could you start cutting up the vegetables for me?” Changkyun nodded and grabbed a knife and cutting board. Kihyun was just about finished cutting the meat so he washed off the knife and held it out to Changkyun to take. Changkyun carefully grabbed the handle of the knife where Kihyun’s hand was and that was when it happened.

Like an electrical shock, colors burst on Changkyun’s palm spreading to the back of his hand. Differing shades of silver, some patched more white and some more of a darker silver but all beautifully painted across his skin. Right where Changkyun had touched Kihyun gold had peered back at him.

Changkyun’s thoughts had immediately exploded at him.

I have two soulmates?!?

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Changkyun looked in horror at the shades of silver slowly creeping their way up to his wrist and stopping just past his carpus. Kihyun dropped the knife and stared at the blossoming gold on his knuckles, also spreading to where Changkyun’s had stopped. Kihyun blinked once… twice, before coming back to reality.

“I’m your soulmate? But I thought Jooheon was already yours?” Kihyun thought aloud. Changkyun was bewildered as well. Though it wasn’t uncommon for people to have multiple soulmates, he didn’t think that the universe would grant him such a blessing of numerous partners to love for all eternity.

“I… don’t know, hyung.” Changkyun faltered, maybe the universe was that kind.

Meanwhile thoughts were racing through Kihyun’s head.

Oh my god. He’s my soulmate. But he probably only likes Jooheon, I won’t have a chance with him. I’ve been too mean for him to forgive. But he forgave Jooheon and they’re best friends now so I have to have a chance!

Kihyun’s thoughts quickly caught up to his mouth as he, quite abruptly, yelled out,

“Changkyun I’m sorry! I’m sorry how I treated you, you didn’t deserve it!”

Changkyun was startled by the sudden volume change but smiled and responded,

“It’s fine hyung, I understand how you feel.” Kihyun wasn’t much for skinship so he only grinned and thanked him before glancing at him a bit longer and continued working on dinner. He had realized they had spent way too much time distracted by their soul marks and that the other members would be coming home very soon.

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That night at dinner the boys were pleasantly surprised with warm food countering the frigid air outside. Kihyun grinned in pride and had told them how Changkyun had helped. Changkyun could feel his cheeks heat up in embarrassment as they all turned their attention on him.

“You did good kid”, Wonho complimented, Changkyun mumbled back a thanks in his embarrassment and shoved some of the food into his mouth. Damn, it really was good.
The atmosphere seemed to shatter for Changkyun when Shownu asked him,

“Hey, what’s on your hand?” Changkyun had hoped he wouldn’t notice. Changkyun thought for a second before figuring he shouldn’t fib in case it backfired and they would go back to hating him again for lying.

“Umm… It’s Kihyun-hyung’s soul mark, it appeared on me today when we were cooking” Everyone’s eyebrows seemed to furrow or shoot up.

“So Kihyun and Jooheon are both your soulmates?” Shownu questions, and both Changkyun and Kihyun nod.

“Well”, Shownu sighs, “Just don’t let it get in the way of the group okay?” Changkyun and Kihyun nodded with understanding again and the rest of dinner goes on smoothly. Well, other than the occasional glances from Jooheon.

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After finding out that Kihyun and Jooheon were soulmates they talked to him more. Jooheon and him had more casual conversations everyday and soon became very close. Changkyun is falling in love with Jooheon. He never meant it to happen but speaking with Jooheon everyday and noticing small habits and his heart melting everytime Jooheon smiled at him made it unavoidable. Honestly, who can’t help but falling in love with the beauty of Lee Jooheon?

Kihyun is also getting closer to him too. They make dinner together every night and there is always conversation. Kihyun asks him about his day and Changkyun responds. When he messes up in practice and Wonho blows up Kihyun is always there to defend him and so is Jooheon.

Somehow in the midsts of all the preparing for their debut Changkyun has falling in love with both of them. Luckily for him though, they’re both his soulmates.

The other members also seemed to be nicer to him. Changkyun has no idea how it happened but he wasn’t complaining. Hyungwon made occasional conversation and Wonho and Shownu would also talk to him sometimes. Changkyun was just happy this would make his attempts of getting closer to them easier.

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The change in attitude towards him made it easy to start getting ready to get closer with his loud and clingy hyung, Minhyuk. He had to tread extra careful with this hyung as Changkyun knew how angry and how much he had hated him but he seemed to be okay with him now so maybe he would let his guard down a little.

His chance had come one winter afternoon. He and Minhyuk were the only ones at home while the rest were scattered among different idol duties. Changkun walked out of his room to see Minhyuk shivering in a blanket cocoon watching TV. He took soft quiet steps toward his hyung before asking,

“You seem very cold hyung, do you wanna cuddle? I’ve heard that I’m very warm.” Minhyuk beamed a bright smile at him, opened up his cocoon and patted the spot next to him in an invitation.

Changkyun grinned right back at him before jumping into the space next to Minhyuk. Changkyun’s basketball shorts ride up a bit as Minhyuk wrapped his arms around his shoulders and throw his legs on top of Changkyun’s.

And that’s when both boys had felt an electric shot suddenly burst on their skin. Both of them looked down where they felt the shock to see right where Minhyuk’s legs had rested orange and yellow were now splotched on Changkyun’s thighs.

Changkyun froze, only being able to stare at what looked like sunsets smeared around his mid-thigh. The colors spread up his legs, disappearing under his shorts and stretching all the way past his knees.

Are you serious?!

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Minhyuk stared at the colors too. “Huh,” Minhyuk huffed “I guess you have 3 soulmates.”

“I-I guess so” Changkyun stuttered. Minhyuk seemed to shrug it off, “We can figure it out after I nap.” Changkyun was hesitant but obliged.

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When they woke up it was because Lihyun was shaking them awake. Well, Kihyun was only gently patting Changkyun’s face but was aggressively shaking minhyuk back and forth.

 

“Yah! Wake up lazy!” Kihyun huffed at Minhyuk angrily. “I’ve been trying to wake you two up for the past 10 minutes!” Kihyun took the edge of the blanket wrapped around them and yanked it off.

And that’s when he had took notice, There was orange and yellow smattering the skin all over Changkyun’s legs. Gold was also all over Minhyuk’s arms and a bit on his neck where Changkyun was tucked his head in while they napped.

“Minhyuk is also your soulmate?!?” Kihyun said, incredibly. Changkyun could only nod as that sentences brought the attention of the other members.

“How many soulmates do you have?” Wonho asked, his eyebrows furrowed. “I... have no idea” Changkyun truthfully said.

As leader, Shownu was quick to take charge of the situation. “Okay now that we have established that Minhyuk is also your soulmate, we can have dinner now.” Everyone agreed wholeheartedly. Changkyun had forgotten that they all just came back from practice, they must be really hungry. He felt bad for holding them up from eating and also…

“Ah! Kihyun-hyung! I’m sorry I didn’t help you with dinner today!” Changkyun apologized, eyes downcast. Kihyun’s lips twitched up in a smile, “Hey, it’s fine. It’s not like I don’t know how to cook without your extra help.”

Kihyun patted him on the shoulder and everyone could see the color peeking out from his wide-necked sweatshirt. The silver reflected off the lights as they got up to go have dinner.

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Things were looking up for Changkyun. The other boys were nicer to him and talked to him more, still not at the skin ship level yet but they were slowly getting there.

After the Minhyuk incident, Minhyuk was extra affectionate. There wasn’t ever a time you could see Changkyun’s skin free of Minhyuk’s sunset orange and yellow. Some common places you would see color was: yellow and orange on his arms and sometimes of his knees; red on his knees, arms and occasionally his back and shoulders; and silver on his hands and wrist and sometimes the nape of his neck.

All this affection and really getting to know Minhyuk was making him fall. Hard. He could always feel his heart skip a beat whenever Minhyuk smiled his famous bright grin. He was glad Minhyuk was his soulmate.

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Changkyun spotted his next chance for his next hyung. The sleepiest boy, Hyungwon. They had come back from an extra-grueling practice, nonstop for almost 12 hours and only 10 minute breaks every 4 hours.

They all shuffled to the car, too tired to even lift their feet. The boys all sluggishly sat in their seats and promptly collapsed in the uncomfortable car cushions.

Changkyun would usually sit next to someone he was familiar with, like Jooheon or Minhyuk, but today he didn’t even take notice. Too exhausted to care, he flopped into the seat right next to the window so that he could rest his head on the glass. Hyungwon, very slowly, sat down next to him and immediately started to lull to sleep.

Throughout the ride, his head rocked side to side or wherever gravity and physics decide to move his head. Changkyun, despite being half asleep still noticed and grimmanced . He’s going to have a really bad kink in his neck when he wakes up.

Changkyun decided then and there that this was his chance. He rubbed his eyes awake, and nudged Hyungwon awake. He didn’t wake up. That’s fine. I’ll just push his head onto my shoulder instead.

Gently pulling Hyungwon’s head onto his shoulder and placing it down caused a way too recognizable lightning strike on his neck and shoulder. Right where Hyungwon’s head lay.

I guess the gods decided also that this could wake Hyungwon up and he shot up (narrowly hitting Changkyun’s face in the process). Hyungwon stared at the place where he had felt the electric pulse on Changkyun neck with half open eyes before realizing what it was.

Changkyun did know what it was though, just by the feeling and scrambled for his phone’s camera to really confirm it.

And there it was, a royal blue mixed with some lighter and darker shades on the crook of his neck, dipping beneath his collar.

What the hell, Universe?

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“Oh”

It was very quiet but the whole car had heard and all his hyungs shot awake to look at him and get a view of the colors. As Changkyun looked at the dark blues and soft pastel blues and wondered how they looked so well together. They also kind of looked like a very large, confused bruise, but that could be addressed another day.

Shownu squinted skeptically at Changkyun’s neck before rubbing his eyes, ‘This is your 4th soulmate now, correct?” Changkyun mumbled a confirmation.

“Look,” Shownu sighed like an over-exhausted dad, he basically was one at this point. “I don’t care who also ends up being your soulmate, I just need you to focus on debuting. Of course I’m not telling you to ignore it completely, but just don’t get too distracted okay? He looked back up at Changkyun, who could see a very faint smile twitching at his lips before he turned back to the front and promptly fell back asleep.

Changkyun kept his eyes down at his lap and attempted to get back to taking a nap before they got to their dorms but a soft melodic cut into his thoughts.

“You okay, baby?” Changkyun’s neck could’ve snapped at how fast he looked up at Kihyun. Did he just call me baby?! Changkyun didn’t even respond to the question as he pouted

“I’m not a baby, hyung” Changkyun whined. It seemed that Minhyuk and Jooheon caught on because they were also wide awake, cooing at him as if he actually was a baby. Changkyun pushed out his bottom lip and made quiet objections, but the soft flush spreading across his face gave him away. Jooheon had reached out and tugged on his cheek fat and Minhyuk had leaned over to place a wet and sloppy peck on his cheek. Changkyun could feel his cheeks get even hotter because he know that both of them left red and yellow-orange, respectively, on his face.

They were cut short when Hyungwon smacked their hands away and voiced out, “Alright that’s enough, give me back my pillow!” Hyungwon grasped his arm and laid his head down on his shoulder again. Changkyun whispered a soft “Sweet dreams, Hyungwon hyung.”

“’Night Baby

“Hyung!”

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The days were getting do much better. His hyungs talked to him so much, smothering him in their affection, and he couldn’t be happier.

He was falling in love with Hyungwon and he didn’t even care. Shownu and Wonho were both so much kinder with him, yet Wonho still seemed to lose his temper on long nights at the dance studio, but Changkyun couldn’t blame him for that.

Their debut got closer everyday, but Changkyun was confident that by the time their debut day rolled around, he would have made amends with each member.

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Changkyun had coincidentally gone to the gym at the same time as Wonho. He stepped into the near-empty room, and quickly noticed his sweaty hyung. Changkyun doesn’t know why, but he hid, using machines where you couldn’t see his reflection and staying a good distance away from the his hyung. After a while of taking breaks between repetitions to peer at Wonho, he realized that Wonho had stopped. He rested his head back on the machine, just sitting there with his eyes closed.

Changkyun’s feet seemed to take him to Wonho by itself without the consent of his thoughts and couldn’t help the words that had blurted themselves out of his mouth.

“Are you alright, hyung?” Changkyun doubted that Wonho would answer, but he did.

“I… think there’s something wrong with me” Wonho whispered. Changkyun furrowed his brows, “You seem fine though hyung?”

“Not like a sickness from bacteria but I’m obviously sick in my brain somewhere.” He mumbled. “I don’t understand hyung. What do you mean?” Changkyun was thoroughly confused.

“I-I don’t know,” Wonho sighed. “Its weird, I find women attractive but lately I’ve been looking at men the same way and I think I’m sick.” It was at this point Changkyun saw the tears rapidly making their descent down his face. Changkyun connected these voiced out thoughts to a memory he had from back in America. His friend had the same feeling and said it was called bisexuality. Oh. So that’s what he was feeling.

Changkyun squared up his shoulders and grasped Wonho’s big and blistered hands in his, missing the bolt of lightning that he felt. But Wonho had felt it clearly and bent his head to get a look at his hands but Changkyun had cut his off before he could see.

“Hyung look at me. You are not sick” Changkyun declared. “That is called being bisexual, and it’s when you like both boy and girls. Lots of people feel that way and you are not alone hyung”

Wonho looked at him. They stared at each other for a while, Changkyun wasn’t keeping track, getting lost in each other’s eyes.

“Its.. nice. I like having a name for it” Wonho finally spoke. They finally broke apart and they both glanced down at their hands.

Purple was washed all over his hands. Lavender and violet covered the expanses of Changkyun’s hands. He looked at Wonho’s hands and they were same way but with metallic gold.

How does this keep happening?!

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After Changkyun was done ogling the tint of colors on their hands he looked, only to be cut off of lips smashed into his. It took him a second to respond, but soon his hands had found a place at Wonho’s nape. Wonho’s hands were cradling Changkyun’s face. Matching Wonho’s messy rhythm and sometimes accidentally knocking their teeth together, they sat there in the stuffy, hot gym. Eventually, they had to pull away for air, but suffocating while kissing Shin Hoseok didn’t seems like a bad way to go.

“What was that” Changkyun breathed, still attempting to catch his breath. A soft dusting of pink was seen on Wonho’s face as he scratched the back of his neck shyly, “I’m sorry but you looked really cute and the soul marks were whispering to me to kiss you and wow this sounds dumb…” He rambled then trailed off.

“It wasn’t dumb hyung. I was just surprised, give me a warning before you do that kind of stuff,” Changkyun pouted.

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The rest of the evening went by fast. Both Changkyun and Wonho came home at 2:30am that night. Wonho offered up his bed to cuddle and Changkyun happily obliged.

When Kihyun was waking the members next morning he almost had a heart attack seeing that Changkyun wasn’t in his bed. He immediately went to alert Shownu but calmed down when his spied the maknae snuggled into Wonho’s bed. And then freaked out again seeing the purple on his cheeks and a bit on his ears.

He yanked the blanket off them and watched as Wonho moved his leg off Changkyun’s bare limb. Lilac and plum tinting the skin all over the youngest’s body. Kihyun shook them awake, and Changkyun sat up and yawned and furrowed his brows at the unfamiliar surrounding before noticing Kihyun staring at him and Wonho.

“Wonho-hyung is also your soulmate?” Kikyun accused. Changkyun caught sight of Wonho still asleep and bashfully nodded a confirmation. Shownu was also awake and rubbing his eyes.

“I… Okay.” The leader just shrugged and walked off. The two of them followed him with their eyes before he disappeared into the bathroom.

The situation quickly diffused as Kihyun woke up the rest of the boys. They all eventually found out about the purple (though it wasn’t that hard to miss the hues of color) and became a bit jealous, each of them leaving little bits of color on Changkyun.

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Changkyun was absolutely ecstatic. Despite have one more hyung to go, the rest already adored him and it wouldn’t be long before he had them wrapped around his pinky finger, absolutely loving Minhyuk’s sometimes overbearing skinship and the very subtle affection with Kihyun and Hyungwon.

There never was a day you could see Changkyun’s skin without 5 different colors smattered on him.

And Changkyun felt complete. Well, almost.

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A few days later, they had another all-nighter in the dance studio. Exhaustion was grabbing hold of Changkyun and he couldn’t shake it off.

“Let’s start again!” Shownu announced, just as they had finished it for the umpteenth time. He walked over to the speakers that kept playing their debut song over and over.

Changkyun was very drowsy and thought to himself that he didn’t think he could hold himself up for any longer. Jooheon, as ever observant about Changkyun’s mood and feelings, stepped towards Changkyun. Cradling his face he asked very softly. “Are you tired? We can take a break if you want.” Jooheon was looking at him with such compassion, the younger almost collapsed in his arms right there, but managed to somehow fight through it. Everyone else is tired but they’re not complaining, so I shouldn’t be either. He thought and told Jooheon.

“I’m fine hyung. Let’s keep going” They looked at him skeptically, but complied anyways. Minhyuk came by him, gently lifting a water bottle to his lips to drink some water and Changkyun could just barely remind himself to thank Minhyuk.

As everyone got back into place and the music started up again, Changkyun’s limbs suddenly felt like they each weighed a million pounds. He tried his best to keep up but they all could tell he was at least half a beat behind.

They were midway through the song when it had happened. Everything seemed to go in slow motion, as Changkyun couldn’t move fast enough and tripped over Wonho’s leg backing up. Changkyun’s face screwed up as his ankle twisted weirdly and he fell back landing right on his already hurting ankle. Tears filled his eyes as pain rippled through him when he attempted to shift his weight.

Kihyun was first to run over, dropping to his knees and helping to move Changkyun off his injured ankle. Jooheon and Minhyuk kissing the escaping tears off his cheeks ad Wonho placing him in his lap, just holding him. Shownu had bent down to ask him. “Did you hurt your ankle? Where does it hurt?”

He examined Changkyun’s ankle. He gently twisted Changkyun’s ankle, checking its mobility. It was red and dark purple and worryingly swollen.

Seeing the severity, Shownu had called for practice to end and Kihyun called their manager to have someone pick them up. “I’ll carry him home since I was the one who made us stay to practice so long.” Shownu volunteered.

He swooped down and slipped his arms underneath Changkyun’s upper back and behind his knees as Changkyun wrapped his arms around his neck.

Even in pain, Changkyun could recognize the way too familiar shock running through his veins. He looked down to where his leader’s hands were wrapped around his legs, and there it was.

Green covered his knees. Lime green, pine green, and emerald green inked across his legs. The colors spread from his knees to about mid-thigh and mid-shin. And if Changkyun leaned far back enough he could see flashes of gold from his own hands on Shownu’s neck.

Oh.

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The elder glanced at Changkyun and his grip loosened a bit but regained his thoughts and readjusted Changkyun again in his arms. “I guess we’re all your soulmates.” He remarked, chuckling. Changkyun leaned up to kiss his cheek before saying, “That’s great and stuff, but my ankle still hurts.”

Shownu then remembered why he was carrying Changkyun and looked over at Kihyun.

“Is the van here yet?” He inquired Kihyun.

Kihyun looked up from his phone, aggressively tapping at his screen.

“Manager-nim says he’s only five minutes away.” Kihyun said, making his way to Changkyun. The other members crooned at Changkyun attempting to get his mind off the pain.

“How are you feeling, Baby Boy?” Kihyun hummed.

“Doesn’t hurt as long as I don’t move too much” Changkyun answered. His low voice was very soft as he basked in the feeling of all his hyungs coddling him.

Soon the members heard a ding, signaling a text.

“Oh, manager-nim is here!” Kihyun exclaimed.

The members gathered their stuff ,and Wonho grabbed both his and Changkyun’s belongings as they made their way into the unmarked van.

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For such a bulky person, Shownu was gentle. He treated Changkyun like glass as their manager swiftly drove to the hospital. The doctor informed them that the injury was only minor, but he should stay off it for a while. Changkyun had it wrapped in bandages, and with that, they headed back to the dorm.

When they finally stepped into their dorms, it was three in the morning. Minhyuk happily volunteered to help Changkyun shower and get ready for bed. He also offered to share his bed with Changkyun since it would be hard for him to get to his top bunk. There were some very loud objections to this from Jooheon and Kihyun.

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The next morning he woke up to the sound of talking. He rolled around only to stop short because of the pain and the tight seatbelt-like arms around him. He scrunched up his nose and looked around, taking in his surroundings. The clock read 1:47pm so he assumed that they had a free day and decided to slept in. The second thing he noticed was his two hyungs conversing with each other, Shownu and Kihyun. Shownu had coincidentally looked over Kihyun’s shoulder from his seat on Jooheon’s bed, which was notably empty. “Oh, Kkukkungie, you’re awake? How are you feeling?” Shownu asked, kneeling down in front of Minhyuk’s bed to hesitantly peck his forehead. Kkukkung? That’s a new one. Wonder what it means. I can just ask later.

Changkyun suddenly felt so small. Snuggled into Minhyuk’s arms and getting coddled, he felt like he could curl up and sleep forever, knowing that his hyung would always be there for him. He was just so content.

Shownu looked back at Kihyun for a second before Kihyun just nodded. “ Kyunnie, we’re gonna have a group meeting tonight, okay?” Shownu told him and he only nodded in reply. “Now that that’s said, do you need anything?” He asked and Changkyun just mumbled out a small “...Hungry” Shownu smiled patting his hair before stepping out of the room and once again it was just Changkyun and his thoughts… well Minhyuk too, but he was still asleep.

I wonder what they want to talk about? Maybe it’s about the soulmates thing? What if they don’t wanna share a soulmate with 5 other guys? What if none of them like me? What if they don’t care if we’re soulmates and have been acting this whole time?

The thoughts didn’t make any sense, but they still bombarded his brain. He closed his eyes and blocked out the conclusions. Then he heard a quiet whisper. “You’re thinking so hard I can hear it,” Minhyuk giggled. Minhyuk turned him around so that they were facing each other and he asked “What’s got you thinking so hard, Maknae, huh?” Changkyun shrugs and Minhyuk narrows his eyes at him.

“You can always tell hyung if you need to talk okay?” Minhyuk reassured before pressing a kiss on his nose. It left a yellow dot in its place and color bled out in streaks around the perimeter and Minhyuk couldn’t help the giggle that left his lips. It looked like a tiny sun had planted itself right on the tip of his nose.

“What’s so funny, hyung?” Changkyun asked innocently. Minhyuk only smiled affectionately. “It’s nothing, Kkukkungie!”

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It had been on his mind all day. He tried to ignore it but when the time came for the group meeting he couldn’t really avoid it. Wonho placed him in between Hyungwon’s long legs and he leaned back into Hyungwon and just loosely wrapped his arms around him.

Shownu looked around and announced. “Okay, now that everyone is here, let’s start.” Changkyun could feel himself get very fidgety and butterflies seemed to have settled in his stomach. Hyungwon seemed to have noticed because he placed his hands in Changkyun’s lap, idly tracing shapes into his thigh to calm him down.

“If you didn’t realize, we’re here to talk about Changkyun and how we’re all his soulmates” Shownu informed them, though, most of them already knew judging by the looks on their faces. Changkyun was buzzing with every second this went on.

“I just want to ask if everyone is okay with sharing Changkyun as it seems that we’re all his soulmates, but not each others.” He said and Changkyun lost all the tension in his body as he watched all his hyungs agree.

“...You’re really okay with it?” Changkyun inquired, making sure he wasn’t going crazy or it wasn’t a dream. Jooheon had leaned over in his seat in their circle to grin at him “Of course we’re okay with it, Baby! As long as you’re happy.”

Changkyun was so thankful he was blessed with the best hyungs, best friends, and soulmates in the world.

For the first time since joining No.Mercy he felt like he belonged.

He felt loved.

He felt utterly complete.

Chapter Text

It has been a month since the group meeting has happened. The members were so affectionate and careful with him, he loved it. He could confidently say that the were his boyfriends too. They had also filmed for their debut and it was set to be posted in a couple days and he couldn’t be more excited (though it had taken the makeup noonas so much foundation to cover up the colors the members left so often).

Changkyun could also say that their relationship was very stable. They talked out each others’ feelings at least once a week and it seemed to be going well. Well… that is if they could work out their jealousy. If the colors had faded and weren’t replaced by new marks (which was a rare occurrence) they members made it a competition to see who could be the first to make as much of their color appear on Changkyun’s skin as possible. It was like a turf war with Changkyun’s skin being the area they need to cover. Changkyun just let it happen, ignoring their true intentions and paying attention to the affection they gave him instead.

Today was one of those days. Changkyun skin was mostly clear and the boys had first noticed when he had come fresh out the shower. There were faint red and silver marks on his hands and arms, and the yellow-orange was so faded it looked like discolored skin (which it was, technically, but let’s not get into technicalities).

Hyungwon and Wonho were watching a drama rerun on the couch when they had saw Changkyun. They had given each other a look before dashing towards an unsuspecting maknae. Hyungwon’s long legs had given him an upper hand but Wonho used his advantage against the light turtle member. Strength. Wonho had shoved Hyungwon off his path to leave oceans across Changkyun’s skin and made it to him first.

“HAH, I’m first!” Wonho triumphantly reached out for the maknae but was cut off when someone had stolen him away. Hyungwon smirked as he pushed himself off the ground. “You seemed to forget I had my phone with me. I texted the group chat about him.” He said smugly.

Wonho could only gape as Kihyun as he lead Changkyun over into his room. “Let’s get your hair dried, Baby. We wouldn’t want you getting sick now would we?” Silver spread up and down Changkyun’s bare arms and Kihyun threw a victorious look at them over his shoulder.

Kihyun’s hands made their way from his arms to his waist, spreading around Changkyun’s bare upper body, before disappearing behind their room door. Wonho and Hyungwon quickly recovered and both of them walked off to plot their next plan of action.

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Meanwhile in Changkyun and Kihyun’s (and also Jooheon and Minhyuk’s) shared room, Kihyun had sat him down on Minhyuk’s bed and pulled out a hair dryer. Kihyun turned around to grab an extra towel to drape across the youngest’s shoulders, but when he had turned back around, Jooheon and Minhyuk arrived and latched onto Changkyun. Jooheon had taken his left and Minhyuk his right, looking like two koalas fighting over the same eucalyptus branch.

Kihyun clicked his tongue in annoyance, glaring at the two beagle members. Jooheon grinned mischievously at his hyung. “What wrong, hyung? Weren’t you gonna dry Kyunnie’s hair?” Minhyuk also had a crooked grin on his face as he and Jooheon let their hands roam.

Yellow-orange and red flowed across Changkyun’s shoulders and body, running along his stomach and disappearing beneath the towel that was still loosely wrapped around his waist. Kihyun was irked the entire time; he ruffled around Changkyun’s soft dark chocolate hair, hot air from the hair dryer was a constant feeling against the maknae’s head.

Once Kihyun had determined that Changkyun’s hair was dry, he turned off the hair dryer and put it away, along with the towel. He glanced at Changkyun’s face noticing halfway through the session his head lolled onto Minhyuk’s shoulder.

When he peeked around Minhyuk’s body (When did he get on Minhyuk’s lap?), Changkyun had fallen asleep. His eyes were barely closed and he mumbled a garbled “hyung..?” Kihyun had cooed softly as his pinched Changkyun’s cheek, silver smeared across his right cheek.

None of them had wanted to wake him up, considering the busy schedules they'd had since their debut was so close. They gently coaxed him into a pair of boxers and one of Jooheon’s oversized hoodies and tucked Changkyun into Minhyuk’s bed.

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When Changkyun woke up, he realized then wasn’t on his bunk and the view was a lot lower. After a bit of looking around, he deducted that he was in Minhyuk's bed. Also notable that none of the other members who slept in this room were in sight. After a bit of searching, he found his phone and squinted at the bright display. It read 1:27pm. He sat up, rubbing his eyes tiredly., and somehow found the strength to step out of the warm covers and stumble to the living room, where he was promptly pulled into someone’s lap.

He looked up to see the leader’s smile and just went limp in his lap. He sat with his eyes closed (not really helping the fact that he was about to fall asleep again), letting his hyung run his hands up and down his arms and experiencing what felt like invisible water flood over his thighs where they touched Shownu’s. The green mesmerized him and he slowly drifted back to sleep before hearing a slightly shrill voice. “Baby! You’re awake!”

Kihyun rushed to Changkyun and the piercing sound immediately woke him up again.

“No more sleeping, Kyunnie. You been asleep all morning and you need to eat.” Kihyun nagged.

Kihyun dragged his still fatigued body up from Shownu, tugged his body over to their dining table, and sat him down. After a couple minutes, Kihyun came back out of the kitchen with a plate of pancakes and took a seat next to Changkyun. He told Kihyun that he was full within minutes. Kihyun just frowned at him, out of the 5 pancakes he had given the maknae had only eaten 1 and a half.

Wonho walked in at that moment. He approached the quite distressed looking Kihyun and the just woken up Changkyun.

“What wrong Kihyun-ah?” Wonho asked as he sat down in the seat on Changkyun’s other side.

“Changkyun won’t eat,” Kihyun reported to him.

Wonho looked at Changkyun but the maknae was avoiding his gaze.

“...Am I in trouble hyung?” Changkyun whispered, looking up at Wonho and Wonho couldn’t help it. His heart melted and pulled Changkyun into his lap.

“You’re not in trouble, baby,” crooned Wonho. “We just want to make sure you’re not starving yourself. How about I feed you the rest of the pancakes, hm?”

Changkyun giggled as Wonho tickled his sides and wriggled around on his lap. Wonho looked pleased with himself as he had made Changkyun smile. He picked up the fork and knife, and cut the flat cakes to little pieces to feed them to Changkyun, who hesitated at first, but soon opened his mouth to devour the pancakes.

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After Changkyun had finished, both Wonho and Kihyun were done kissing his cheeks and praising him for eating all the pancakes, he made his way back into the living room. There was a new person on the couch alongside Shonwu. Hyungwon and Minhyuk were watching some new movie, and Changkyun marched straight towards them and dropped himself right in-between them.

Both Hyungwon and Minhyuk grunted at the sudden force of Changkyun’s weight. Minhyuk recovered and looked happy as he wrapped his arms around Changkyun’s waist and Hyungwon latched himself on his shoulders.

“What do you think you’re doing, baby?” Hyungwon acknowledged him by pressing a chaste kiss against Changkyun’s temple. Changkyun whined faintly at the nickname, but snuggled closer into the limited space between his two hyungs anyways.

Oceans took over the left side of his body, spreading and mixing with the bright sunshine on his right, and Changkyun couldn’t help but grab both their arms, tracing his own designs into their skin.

Soon, Shownu leaned over to the clumped up boys and rested his head on Minhyuk’s lap and idly wrote random things over Changkyun’s legs. Green made its way around the skin and he loved the feeling.

Eventually Jooheon came back from the studio and Wonho back from the gym.

Jooheon looked exhausted, with bags deep enough to carry all of his equipment in the studio, he turned his attention to the couch and immediately brightened. His posture straightened as he made his way to the couch and laid on Hyungwon’s side. Jooheon lounged himself on Hyungwon’s other leg and interlocked his fingers with Changkyun and kissed the back of the maknae’s hand.

After Wonho had come out of his room in search of Shownu, he noticed the big pile of people on the couch, and couldn’t help but grin as placed himself on the floor next to Shonwu’s right leg. Wonho took it as his liberty to also start spreading purple all across Changkyun’s leg.

Kihyun slumped into the living room after doing all the house chores to find everyone (except him) crowded against Changkyun. A soft expression took over his face and he strided up the the group and stuck his hip out and put his hand on it sassily.

“How come I wasn’t invited to the party?” Kihyun accused without any actual bite to it.

“Couldn’t find you” Jooheon slurred with his eyes closed.

But Kihyun knew that knew none of them tried. He wasn’t mad, he knew this was a spontaneous thing that just happened. He sat down next to Changkyun’s unoccupied leg and leaned his head on the youngest’s knee. Silver flowed down his leg, starting from Kihyun’s head down and the comforting feeling started to make Changkyun drowsy.

Being surrounded by his boyfriends was very comfortable and he let himself fall into a deep sleep. Eventually they all fell under the spell of sleep and honestly,

it was all they could ever ask for.

Chapter Text

Changkyun rapped his lyrics with Jooheon on the bright stage; the piercing screams of the girls in the crowds spurring him on. He danced with all he had and soon the performance was over. All the boys smiled, waved,and bowed as they slipped backstage.

Staff members were quick to crowd around them, fixing hair, makeup, and clothes. They thanked the workers and dropped onto the couch in their waiting room.

“Good job out there guys,” Shownu announced. He obviously meant it to the whole group but he was only looking Changkyun. Changkyun could feel his face heat up and scrunched up his shoulders in bashfulness.

And suddenly, he was off the couch and on a lap. He twisted in his seat, or on the lap he sat on, and was face to face with Wonho. Wonho leaned towards Changkyun to kiss his forehead, then his nose, and lastly his lips. It turned from soft and sweet to a little more PG in a couple seconds and Kihyun had to pull Changkyun away, telling them that they had to get back on stage in a couple minutes.

Kihyun dragged Changkyun to the makeup-noonas. They frowned at his smudged lip tint and the purple hickey under his jaw.

They wiped up the smudged lip tint and reapplied the soft pink onto his lips. Hopefully no one could tell his lips were kiss swollen… The makeup-noonas also tried to cover the hickey but ended up only toning down the bright purple just a bit.

“Sorry noona.” Changkyun shyly said. She stepped back after realizing trying to hide the hickey completely would be impossible and looked at Changkyun.

“It’s fine Changkyun-ah. Just be careful okay?” She assured pinched his cheek. “Now get out there with your boyfriends!” She nudged him in the direction of the door where the members were waiting.

“Thank you noona!” Changkyun exclaimed as he rushes up to the group and Minhyuk tucks the maknae under his arm.

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They stood on the stage with the others idols. It was crowded and Changkyun kept to Minhyuk side. The announcers that week spoke into the mic and congratulated the winners of said week. Confetti fluttered down and Changkyun caught some in his hands before playfully throwing it at Jooheon. The screams of the crowd got louder at his actions.

Soon after that, they were dismissed and hurried back into the waiting room. The group changed into their street clothes and headed to the van.

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The door burst open as the members flooded into their dorm. Changkyun sat on the couch pulling out his phone, waiting for the other members to shower. Hyungwon flopped himself, long limbs and all, right next to Changkyun and narrowly missing hitting Changkyun in the face. He noticed and sat up to kiss Changkyun’s cheek as an apology and laid back down.

Changkyun giggled and settled on top of Hyungwon and Hyungwon wrapped his long arms around the boy. He moved about for a bit before finally settling down in the position where Hyungwon spooned the younger boy.

They both didn’t even realize they fell asleep. Kihyun would be the one to discover the two boys spooning on the too small couch. Changkyun’s mouth was open and drooling with his arm dangling off the couch. He was snoring away on Hyungwon’s arm, which was bound to be numb in the morning and Hyungwon was shoved into the couch. Hyungwon’s long legs hang off the couch end and Kihyun decided he’ll just watch them suffer in the morning.

But he wasn’t completely evil so he grabbed a blanket and covered them up and turned off the lights as he slipped into the bedroom.

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The next day was a free day. Hyungwon woke up with a numb arm (as Kihyun had predicted) and both of them had bad kinks in their neck and other body parts. Shownu decide to make it a resting day but also a bonding day.

They let Changkyun choose the first movie as they all settled either on the couch or on the floor. Kihyun strolled into the living with 2 bowls of popcorn, one for each side of the coffee table.

Wonho sat at one end of the couch with Minhyuk at his feet on the floor. Hyungwon sat at the other end with Jooheon at his feet. Shownu and Changkyun were squished between Wonho and Hyungwon and Changkyun head was on Shownu’s lap and legs in Hyungwon’s lap. Kihyun sat down on the floor in front of Shownu and Changkyun and he started the movie.

Throughout the movie, Changkyun would trace designs and random words into the members arms, legs, or any bare skin that he could find. The words were usually along the lines of “beautiful” and “perfect” and when they recognized the what the words being traced into their skin they would lean down and kiss his hands or face.

After the movie they asked why Changkyun kept moving around. Changkyun laughed gleefully as he looked at the gold on their arms and legs and for Jooheon and Minhyuk, their face.

“I was creating my own masterpiece on your skin, hyungs!”