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And They Were Roommates

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Yukhei lugs his suitcase up the flight of stairs with one hand as his other grips the straps of the backpack carelessly slung over his shoulder, his head’s bent over an awkward angle as he tries to keep his phone wedged between his ear and shoulder.

“Yes, ge. I just arrived—”

“Do you have all your clothes? Your toiletries? What about your underwear?” Yukhei makes a strangled noise at the back of his throat and inwardly, he curses Kun’s mothering tendencies but thanks all that his holy that he didn’t decide to put his phone on loudspeaker while climbing up.

“I’m not a kid! Of course, I got ‘em all here. Don’t be such a mom.” Kun’s offended gasp is delivered clearly through the phone and Yukhei grins as he imagines the older’s face right now.

“I told you not to call me that Wong Yukhei I’m—You’re such a child! I can’t believe you’re already in college! I can’t even believe you survived high school really…”

“Well, I live to surprise you I guess...” Yukhei answers dryly, heaving his luggage up the last stair with a small grunt. “And clearly, my will to disappoint you is so strong it managed to push me through college,” he finishes off, looking around the empty corridor of his dorm floor.

“Whatever. Did you arrive at your dorm?”

“Chill. I just got to the floor,” he answers, pulling his suitcase up with him as he strolls through the doors, trying to find his own room. “Aaaand, found it. Room N99, very fitting. Get it ‘cos I’m a—”

“99-liner, I get it. Now, you have a roommate right? Every freshmen’s in buddy system the first year. At least that’s what happened when I was there.”

“Yep,” Yukhei answers, slotting the key inside and twisting the doorknob open.

Huh, empty. Guess his roommate’s still not there yet.

He steps inside. A small living room adjacent to the kitchen…three doors, probably a bathroom and the two rooms for him and his roommate. It's pretty spacey for a college dorm. “This place is not bad at all?”

“Yeah, well you're lucky you can afford the better dorms. Back in my time, I wasn’t as lucky as you.”

“Stop it with the reminiscing, ge. You make yourself sound old,” Yukhei teases as he walks around the small living room, plopping himself on a beanbag chair and looking up at the  white ceiling. This is it. College. God, Yukhei can't believe he made it through sheer will power. It was tough, being in varsity and managing to keep all his grades good enough to snag this college scholarship. Yukhei worked his ass off for this and he's glad he's made it.

Now, if only he can survive college scat-free as well.

“Well, I am old.” Kun admits, bring his attention back to his phone and Yukhei snorts out loud.

“You said that! Not me!” He chimes in, holding back his laugh.

“Yeah, well I choose to disrespect myself before you can go and disrespect me," the older huffs, Yukhei can practically see him rolling his eyes right at this moment. “Now, go unpack and get some rest. And remember, be kind to your roommate! You’re gonna be living together for a whole year after all.”

He hums as response, “As long as they’re not an asshole, we’d be cool.”

“Oh you mean as long as they’re not like you?” Kun laughs but before Yukhei can voice out his complain, the older ends the call. He pulls his phone away from his ear and stares at the screen incredulously, as if his glare could somehow be transferred to Kun. "I'm not an asshole..." Yukhei mumbles under his breath, standing up and brushing his jeans. Looking around the empty room, he sighs.

Time to unpack.

 


 

 

Yukhei’s in the middle of folding his shirts when he hears the dorm room open. Curiously, he steps out of his room and peeks his head out.

Much like he had been earlier, his roommate (or so he'd guessed) is lugging his suitcases (with ‘s’ as in plural) in while talking to someone on the phone. Yukhei decides he might as well step out and meet his roommate, be all kind and welcoming since he got there first after all.

As he walks closer to the (admittedly) smaller man, he can vaguely hear the other’s conversation on the phone.

“—yes, hyung I just got in…No, I didn’t forget—Hyung. Hyung…HYUNG! You helped packed my stuff last night, do you really think you left anything out? No? Exactly. Taeyong hyung, you’re one of the most meticulous person I’ve ever—Oh…hi," the other man trails off as he sees Yukhei's tall self lurk at the corner.

Yukhei answers with a friendly grin and a small wave, the other replied with a slight smile before turning back to his conversation. “I’ll call you back. Yes, I promise to check everything when I unpack. Now go back to Jaehyun hyung, I can hear him whining through the phone!” The smaller laughs, ending the call and turning back to Yukhei with a smile and a stretched out hand.

“Hi, I’m Mark Lee!” Yukhei nods and shakes Mark’s (baby) hand enthusiastically.

“Wong Yukhei. Nice to meet you, roomie.” Mark laughs and pulls on his suitcases, Yukhei blinks and thinks if he should offer to help the other or if that would that be too familiar already.

“Nice to meet you too, I guess we’d be roomies for a year? I hope we get along uh…”Mark trails off a bit, biting his bottom lip in uncertainty as he looks at Yukhei, as if he wanted to add more but he’s still deciding to say it or not. Yukhei decides he’d help him out.

“We’ll get along well as long as you’re not an asshole…and hates puppies…or animals, in that matter…AND MARVEL, never forget Marvel! We are a Marvel-loving dorm, I already established that since I got here first,” the taller blabbers on and he smiles when he sees the uncertainty washing away from Mark’s face.

“Let me assure you right now, I’m not an asshole, I love animals and I’m a certified Marvel nerd…” Mark answers lightly and Yukhei nods his head in satisfaction before giving the other a pointed look, Mark just stares back at him with wide eyes.

“And…? C’mon dude, you can say your terms, I already said mine,” Yukhei says, encouraging the other to talk.

A long silence and he waits patiently for Mark to start talking, keeping his smile friendly as he gently nods his head at the smaller man. Finally, Mark sighs. Rubbing the back of his neck, the smaller starts to fidget in place while looking down on his shoes.

“Oh…uh…I’m gay? I mean, I’m bi. But I tend to like boys more than girls—uh, I hope that’s cool with you?”

Yukhei paused. He wasn’t expecting that, but he’s got no problems with it. (Oh, how wrong was he. So, damn wrong.)

“Hey, man. I’m cool with it. But I mean, I know it’ll be hard since I’m so charming and all, but don’t fall for me so easily,” he jokes, winking at Mark’s direction and effectively lightening the mood and the weight on Mark’s shoulders. The other man laughed brightly and shakes his head.

“Whoa, so confident. Don’t worry, you’re real handsome but I don’t fall for looks that easily,” Mark answers back, his tone lighter than before. He starts tugging his suitcases back in again and Yukhei decides it’ll be good roommate bonding session to help the other settle in.

“Oho, don’t be so sure. Here, lemme prove my charm and help you lug your stuff in,” the taller takes the other suitcase from Mark’s hand, and carries it in with ease. “What a charmer,” Mark deadpans before he laughs, trailing after Yukhei.

As their banter finally fills the empty room, Yukhei thinks it’s not so bad. Mark’s cool, he’s definitely someone who Yukhei can be friends with. Plus, he likes animals and Marvel. Maybe he can finally have someone to binge watch all those Marvel films with.

And…yeah, this year doesn’t sound so bad.