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“Can I get your number?”

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Mark was an English major down at the college, junior year. He has read the dictionary more times than he can count. Mark has been obsessed with words ever since he was young, loving the way he could make others feel the same as he does with a simple piece of paper.

He never stumbled. Words would flow easier than water does downstream for him.
That was, until he laid on eyes on a certain ethereal boy he saw enter the bar.

For once in his life, Mark was at a loss for words.

-*-

Donghyuck only decided to come because he knew Jaemin wanted to get drunk and he sure as hell wasn’t going to be left alone.

He could basically see the headlines in front of him;

Breaking News: 20 year old male, raped and murdered in the alley behind the famous Neo Bar.

Donghyuck shook the thought away. Being a psychology major, he knew the side effects of overthinking mixed with his college lifestyle that he’d probably end up like Jaemin.

Speaking of, the pink haired boy is currently trying to take two shots at once.

Key word, trying.

He was failing quite miserable. Donghyuck smirked and made his way over.

“Jaem! I think you have to take one after another.” He yelled over the awful karaoke.

Jaemin turned to him and his face broke out into a huge smile, “Hyuckie! Take a shot with me, please!”

Donghyuck shook his head and held up his water in answer.

Jaemin frowned a little but bounced back, “Guess I have to take them both!”

“I love three drink Jaemin. That’s when he is happy.” Donghyuck thought, grinning fondly at his best friend.

-*-

Mark felt as if he had just been taken to hell and the torture was he had to sit and watch that gorgeous smile from afar.

Lucas judged him out of his stupor, “Got your eye set on someone?”

“More like my whole fucking heart.” Mark mumbled, “He’s…. absolutely perfect.”

Lucas followed his gaze.

Sitting on a bar stool was a boy, no younger than them, with light brown -almost orange- hair that shined in the purple tinted lights. He had a green sweatshirt and jeans thrown on as if he had just woken up and found the first clothes on the floor.

Lucas shrugged, “Yeah, if you like him then go ask him to dance.”

Mark debated it for a minute, “Maybe I should.”

He threw back the last few ounces of his beer and grimaced at the burn. Mark wiped his hands over his clothes, making himself look presentable before approaching the seemingly glowing boy.

Lucas yelled behind, “Whoo! Go confident gay Mark Lee!”

-*-

Donghyuck was trying to get Jaemin to drink water in between drinks to at least keep him aware and not blackout when he heard a loud whoop from across the bar.

“Whoo! Go confident gay Mark Lee!”

He turned to see two guys. One sitting at a table and laughing while the other was red in the cheeks and whisper yelling at the other.

“He’s cute.” Donghyuck thought.

Jasmin hummed, “He sure is.”

Donghyuck blushed, “Shit, I didn’t mean to say that out loud. And he is nothing like your type at all.”

Jaemin furrowed his brows, “I was talking about the guy who looks like he needs an inhaler with how he’s laughing.”

“Oh,” Donghyuck said softly, “I thought you meant the boy with-“

He was interrupted by a nervous voice

“Uhm, sorry to interrupt. I can wait if you need to finish saying something.”

There stood the subject of Donghyuck’s precious fragmented sentence.

“No!” Jaemin said, all too loud, “We aren’t talking about anything other than how damn single this dude is sitting in front of me.”

“Damn you 5 drink Jamin, you always set me up.” Donghyuck cursed in his head.

“No we were not.” Donghyuck said pointedly, “Can I help you though?”

The boy ruffled his hair anxiously -Donghyuck felt a goddamn arrhythmia- and took a deep breath. With a nervous smile he asked, “I was wondering if you wanted to dance with me?”

Donghyuck swears that time stopped. He flatlined as he sat paralyzed.

“Fuck yes.” He wanted to say. But he turned and barely saw Jaemin cotton candy hair, and Donghyuck made his choice.

“I’m sorry but I can’t.” Donghyuck smiled apologetically.

Mark smiled back and laughed a little, “Completely fine. You don’t have to say sorry for anything. I just want to say I think you taking care of your friend is so sweet. Have a good night.”

“Na Jaemin I am going to murder you tomorrow. This guys is perfect and I’m ditching him for you.” Donghyuck cursed in his head  

Donghyuck smiled at that and Mark turned around.

He sat down at the table with Lucas who had an incredulous look in his face.

“Are you really just going to let him say no?” Lucas asked innocently, “Don’t people like it when you are persistent?”

Mark sighed, “Some people like it when you are persistent but only when it is obvious.”

He took a sip of water and sighed, “And I have no right to ‘let him’ choose to say no. It’s called consent, dude.”

Donghyuck’s insides felt warm and fuzzy at that.

“Wow, I’m so sorry dude I didn’t know. Jungwoo wanted me to keep chasing after him and he’s my first relationship so I’m not sure how to approach other people. Not that I would because I’m so fucking in love with Woo!” The taller male spoke.

Mark grinned, “I know you didn’t mean it big guy. The fact that you want to learn means you didn’t do anything wrong. And we know you love Jungwoo.”

Lucas giggled, “Have I told you about his little snores…”

-*-

“And I have no right to ‘let him’ choose to say no. It’s called consent, dude.” The cute guy spoke up.

“Jaemin I’m such a good friend. I’m not dancing with the most perfect guy ever because it is your night to have fun safely and I’m not going to guilt you for having fun.” Donghyuck thought, “But I’ll be damned if I can’t get his number.”

Donghyuck turned and asked the bartender for a water bottle. Once the woman handed it to him, he went over to the cute boys table.

Donghyuck pulled out a high chair, making sure he could see Jaemin easily but not staying too close that he ruined the other boys chance to have fun. Safely obviously.

The cute boy furrowed his brows as he turned to look at Donghyuck.

“He looks like a puppy how cute” Donghyuck cooed in his head.

Donghyuck shifted so he was facing Mark, but a familiar smile was still in his peripheral vision.

“Not that I’m complaining at all, but why are you over here?” Mark asked, setting his own water bottle down.

Donghyuck shyly smiled, “I didn’t want to dance with you because my friend trusts me to take care of him while he’s getting wasted and I know the minute you came up to me that if we started dancing I wouldn’t want to stop.”

Marks mouth formed an O. He raised his seagull eyebrows, “You aren’t just sitting here because you feel bad? Because it’s honestly fine. I’m no one if I make you feel obligated to make me feel better.”

“FucK!” Donghyuck almost said out loud, “I feel like I’m floating.”

Donghyuck giggled, opting instead to say, “I’m sitting here because not only are you super attractive, but you seem really sweet. Every word you have said so far is either a compliment or empowering the fact that I have a choice over myself.”

“We stan a respectful man.” Donghyuck can basically hear Yuta saying.

Mark’s face broke out into a gummy smile, “I’m Mark Lee.”

Donghyuck held his hand out to shake Mark’s, “I’m Donghyuck but you can call me Hyuck.”

Mark took his hand and shook it.

“Whoa your hands are really soft.” Mark said, turning Donghyuck’s hand over to trace his fingers over the soft skin.

“BIIIIIITCH” Chenle and Jisung screams echo in his head as his heart responds the same way.

Donghyuck raised his eyes to make sure Jaemin was fine.

Said boy was currently talking to the bartender, who was laughing as Jaemin seemed to be talk about something funny. He saw the tightly closed water bottle Jaemin was cradling and set a reminder in his head to not let the other set it down and drink it again.

When Donghyuck turned back, Mark was still playing with his fingers.

“I hope this isn’t weird seeing as we just met about four minutes ago, but I’d really like to get to know you more.” Mark said softly, halting his motions.

Donghyuck took the chance to link their fingers together, “How about we start now then?”

Mark smiled that wonderful, full smile again and Donghyuck felt himself smile back.

-*-

They talked for hours. No joke there seeing as Jaemin likes to take his time on the dance floor and both Mark and Donghyuck never wanted the night to end.

Donghyuck giggled as Mark told the story of his cousin, Johnny, literally tripping over and suffocating his now fiancé, Ten.

“He just went timber over the poor guy and when he got up to apologize Johnny just yelled ‘I CANT BELIEVE I ALMOST KILLED SOMEONE SO PRETTY.” Mark said grinning.

As Donghyuck laughed into his hand, Mark stared fondly at the younger.

“I would write every story, direct any movie, compose any song to see such beauty before my eyes again.” Mark thought.

Donghyuck stood up from his chair, “I’m going to go check on Jaemin and go to the bathroom. The only reason I won’t come back is because I’m dead because I’m having more fun with you then I’ve had in years.”

Mark felt relief when the younger boy said that, “I’ll wait here for you then. The only reason I won’t come back is if I finally wake up from this dream that such an amazing guy decided to sit with me tonight.”

Donghyuck blushed as his smile felt genuine. He winked and walked away.

Mark watched his head to make sure nothing was going wrong and when he saw the light caramel and pink hair walk into the bathroom, he relaxed.

Mark jumped a someone slapped his back, “BRO!”

He turned to see Lucas, “That guy came to talk to you, I assume it’s going well?”

Mark nodded with a dumb smile, “Lucas I swear I’m falling in love.”

“I’m so happy for you man. Really.” Lucas’s phone buzzed and he checked it, “Are you good to drive?”

Mark nodded, “I had a beer three hours ago but water from then. So yeah I am.”

Lucas nodded and handed him the keys to the car, “Jungwoo is picking me up cause I’m still a little buzzed and need to go home.”

Mark stood up, “Do you need me to take you?”

“No man! Woo is up front right now. Plus, you could take your new friends back to their houses.” Lucas smiled before waving and making his way out the door.

Mark waved and looked through the window to watch Lucas get in the car safely.

When he turned back around he saw a familiar sweater stumble out of the bathroom with a weird man holding him up.

Mark immediately stood up and made his way over.

That was Donghyuck’s friend Jaemin, obviously drunk as hell.

Mark pushed through the crowd and found the man trying to buy a room for the two.

“Jaemin! Baby, there you are!” Mark said, waking closer to the boy with half lidded eyes.

The big man turned to Mark, “You his boyfriend?”

Mark rolled up his sleeves and cocked an eyebrow, “Yeah. And you are?”

“Uh,” The guy had obviously been caught and tried to make an excuse, “I was going to get him a room?”

Mark glared, “Well I’m going to take him home to his own room. Thanks though.”

Mark moved closer and put his arm around Jaemins shoulder to hold him up. Jaemin sobered at the sudden shift and started to move his feet as Mark moved him to the table.

Setting Jaemin where he was sitting before, Mark made eye contact with the bartender and asked for a bottle of water. She nodded, seeing Jaemin lolling to sleep, and made her way over with one.

“Thanks Ko Eun.” Mark said and the she patted his shoulder.

Mark helped him drink from the bottle, narrating everything, “I’m Mark. I’ve been talking with your friend Donghyuck all night. This bottle is new, I’m opening it now to get you to drink some. I swear it’s a new bottle and nothing is in it.”

Jaemin blinked his eyes open more and grinned, “Thanks man. I see why Donghyuck likes you.”

Mark blushed but remembered, where is Donghyuck?

Speak of the devil, a loud shout came from the dance floor, “Jaem?! You locked me in the fucking bathroom where are you?”

Mark turned and waved him over, “Hyuckie! I have him over here.”

Donghyuck turned to the warm voice and nearly cried out in relief. He pushed through people to get to the table.

As soon as he reached Mark he sighed in relief, “Thank you so much. Someone pushed me in and grabbed Jaemin then locked the door.”

“Yeah, some guy was going to get a room with Jaemin. It’s fine though, Jaemins here and we can get him home just fine. Don’t worry about the past.”

Donghyuck had tears in his eyes, “Thank you, Mark. I just don’t know what to do sometimes and I’m scared that this bitch will one day get taken adavantage of and-“

“Hey, hey, hey,” Mark reached a hand over and wiped his tears, “It’s fine. You both are here, safe and sound. Don’t get mad about something you had no control over. You did everything right. I know next time you probably aren’t even going to let him breathe without you clutching him.”

Donghyuck sighed and nodded.

“I drank one beer about three hours ago and have water since then but I know you’ve only drank water. Are you fine with me driving or would you rather?” Mark asked, moving his hand from Donghyuck’s cheek to stroke through his hair comfortingly.

Donghyuck thought for a moment and said quietly,, “I would feel safer if I drove.”

Mark nodded, “Perfect. Let’s get Jaemin and you home then?”

Donghyuck felt so relieved in the moment to have met Mark this night. He smiled and took the keys Mark was holding out.

Mark leaned down and said to Jaemin, “I’m going to carry you to the car, is that okay?”

Jaemin sat for a minute, Mark thought he was asleep, before mumbling, “Good luck man. I’m like 70% muscle cause Jaehyun drags me to the gym. I weigh like 150.”

Mark grinned, almost grateful for the opportunity to show Donghyuck his strength.

He leaned down, picking Jaemin up easily. Mark tried to hide his smug smile as Donghyuck’s breath hitched.

“Hyuckkkkk,,, he could fucking throw you at the wall.” Jaemin mumbled, “I’m sure your masochistic ass would love these hands around your ne-“

Donghyuck screeched and grabbed the water bottle in Jaemins lap. He turned it upside down and poured it on his face.

“NANA WHAT THE HELL!” Donghyuck yelled before turning to Mark, “I’m so sorry about him he’s being an asshole.”

Mark grinned, “It’s fine. If it makes you feel better, I’d rather hold your hand then your neck, but I’m down for either.”

Donghyuck let out a noise only to be described as “what a keyboard smash would sound like.”

Mark laughed, both blush flushed red.

“That’s so gay.” Jaemin slurred.

“How far away did you park?” Donghyuck said hurriedly, hoping Jaemin wouldn’t say more.

Mark nodded his head to the black car parked in front of them, “We are right here.”

Donghyuck moved around the car to get in the drivers side and Mark set Jaemin in the back and sat with him.

They made their way out of the parking lot and onto the road when Jaemin spoke up again, “Mark..”

Mark learned down to hear better, “Yeah?”

Jaemin whispered, “Hyuckie told me he thinks he’s falling in love with you in one night.”

Donghyuck froze, trying not to make it obvious he was listening.

Mark chuckled in relief, “Can you keep a secret?”

Jaemin nodded.

“I think I am falling in love with him too.”

-*-

Mark carried Jaemin into his apartment. Donghyuck changed him into new clothes and Mark grabbed water, a bucket, and aspirin for his hangover.

Mark got a call from Jungwoo, saying Lucas was passed out at his house and Mark would have the dorm alone.

Mark wanted to stay so badly, especially when Donghyuck asked him to. But he had a class early in the morning and everything set out at his dorm.

Donghyuck walked Mark to the door, and right as he turned to leave, Donghyuck pulled him back.

He raised his head and pressed a feather light kiss to Marks cheek.

When Donghyuck pulled away, Mark was left blushing and gaping.

They smiled at each other before Mark had to leave. He walked out and made his way home.

That night he laid awake for a while just thinking about possibly the best night of his whole life.

Mark ended up missing his first lecture.

-*-

“Fuck!”

“Bitch shut up I’m hungover!” Jaemin yelled across the apartment to Donghyuck, “What’s wrong?”

Donghyuck appeared in his doorway, frantic, “I never got Mark’s number.”

Jaemin took a minute to remember what that meant before- “OH MY GOD HYUCK YOURE SO DUMB!”

“I KNOW!”

-*-

“Fuck!”

“Mark Lee, no swearing!”

“Oh shut up Johnny, go eat Tens ass or something.” Mark grumbled.

Ten raised his head up, “What about my ass?”

Johnny kissed his head, “Nothing, babe. Mark, who do we need to kill?”

“No one. Honestly I’m ready to just cry.” Mark sighed, “Last night I met the most amazing guy. I swear Johnny, he was my soulmate. And I didn’t get him number.”

Ten cooed, “Aww, poor baby lion.”

Mark just slumped down from his chair and fell to the floor, not wanting to get up.

-*-

The rest of the day went by and Mark felt hopeless.

He looked everywhere.

His pants, sweatshirt, laundry basket, phone.

No luck.

Right when Mark was ready to give up and die alone, he went to meet Jeno.

“Mark! What’s up man, I haven’t seen you in a week.” Jeno smiled, that alone making Mark feel better.

Mark smiled, albeit strained, “Yeah. I’ve been busy with basketball. Last night was my last game of the season so Lucas and I went out.”

“Oh?” Jeno asked, “One of my boyfriends went out last night too. Which bar did you go to?”

“Neo.”

“No way! That’s where he went too!” Jeno nearly yelled. “He’s actually on his way right now with his friend if you want to hang out for a few.”

Mark said fuck it, “Sure, why not?”

They talked about their past week. Being childhood friends, a week can feel like forever to not see each other.

Renjun came a little after Mark and was currently in line to get coffee for everyone.

“Last night, man. I met this guy and he was absolutely perfect, deadass felt like love.” Mark started.

Jeno nodded along, “What’s wrong then?”

“I didn’t get his number.”

“I DIDN’T GET HIS FUCKING NUMBER!”

A loud voice said at the same time as Mark.

Mark turned to see, well, possibly the most gorgeous boy alive.

Donghyuck had his head stuck in a backpack, looking for something. Jaemin was leading him by his arm. It didn’t matter though cause Jaemin was on his phone and they both kept bumping into stuff.

“Jeno! That cute boy I was talking about last night, I never got his numb- e.. r.”

The words fell from his lips slowly as he lifted his head to see the very boy he was talking about.

“No fucking way.” Jaemin whispered and walked over to kiss Renjuns cheek as he set down the coffee.

Mark and Donghyuck sat frozen, staring at each other.

Jeno spoke up, “Am I witnessing like a mass hysteria or something?”

”I think they are malfunctioning like Taeyong.” Renjun said.

Jaemins hushed them, “Babes, they were talking about each other. They met last night.”

“Ohhhhh,” Jeno said, “Is Hyuck going to stand there and stare all day then?”

“Maybe?” Jaemin said.

Mark stood up and walked around the table nervously to Donghyuck, “Hey so-“

Before Mark could get the rest of the sentence out, Donghyuck lunged up. Grabbing Mark’s face, he pulled him into a kiss.

Mark responded immediately and kissed back.

He wrapped his arms around Donghyuck’s waist and stroked softly.

It was a light kiss. Lips on lips, small pecks molded together. Lasting only a few seconds.

They pulled away and Donghyuck cleared his throat, “I’m glad to see you again.”

“Y-yeah,” Mark stuttered, “One question though.”

Donghyuck pecked Mark’s lips again before pulling away, “Anything.”

“Can I get your number?”