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To The World I Close My Eyes To See

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Changbinnie

meet me at the cafe at 3 pm?

i've got something to tell you

 

Both Chan and Jisung had quickly texted the other to let him know they were already on their way to meet him. That’s how Chan found himself quickly taking his wallet and heading towards the cafe downtown. As soon as he got in, he spotted the table where his two best friends were waiting for him, sitting next to the big window facing the street. When he set down, Changbin asked him what he wanted to drink and went to the cash register to order.

 

“What do you think he wants to tell us?” Jisung asked, curiosity dripping from his voice. In reality, Chan was just as excited as Jisung was, he simply knew how to hide it better. 

 

“I really don’t know. Some news about the song he’s working on maybe?” Chan guessed. Even though they knew there was nothing to worry about, Changbin had been so cryptic that, deep down, both of them were hoping that the news he had to tell them was nothing but positive.

 

When Changbin came back, placing their drinks on the table and smiled brightly at them, they knew that everything was alright if Changbin was so excited about it. They set down and, for some minutes, no one said anything, both Chan and Jisung watching Changbin expectantly, waiting for him to talk.

 

“So? Are you going to tell us or do we have to beg?” Jisung asked offended, the effect his scoff had to make was slightly ruined because of the smile painted on his lips. Changbin chuckled at their friend’s antics.

 

“So, you know Felix, right?” Changbin asked.

 

“Your best friend from high school?” Chan questioned confused and Changbin nodded. It wasn’t like he personally knew the guy, but Changbin had talked about him a few times before. Felix had been Changbin's best friend since the two of them attended the same high school and Changbin had been assigned to tutor Felix. They were still very close even after Felix had moved back to Australia for college and Changbin had stayed in Korea.

 

“He’s coming to visit for a couple of weeks,” Changbin exclaimed loudly, joy painted all over his face. It had been a while since Jisung and Chan had seen Changbin so happy and excited. It was pretty heartwarming to see and the two couldn’t help but smile at the news, even if they didn’t personally know Felix themselves.

 

“Hyung, that’s great!” Jisung said, looking just as excited as Changbin was. “Is it the first time you two meet again after he moved back there?” he curiously asked, his head tilted to the side.

 

Chan watched as a nostalgic expression made his way on Changbin's face, being soon replaced by the happy smile he couldn’t take off of his face.

 

“It is. He moved there two years ago and when he visited his grandparents here last Christmas, I was on a holiday with my family so we didn’t get to meet,” Changbin explained, pouting a bit, realising it had indeed been almost two years since he had last seen his best friend.

 

“I really don’t know how you do long distance,” Chan murmured, regretting it the moment he said it. Unconsciously, he rubbed his collarbone right where his soulmate mark was hiding under the collar of his black shirt. 

 

“It’s not that bad. We still get to text a lot and video call when we can,” Changbin explained softly. When he realised where Chan’s hand had stopped, he understood what he was thinking about, “Hey, don’t overthink it right now. You’ll meet them, I promise you.”

 

Chan and soulmates were a delicate topic. He had seen his friends get their marks and find their soulmates in a matter of days or weeks, while he was still waiting for something to change. He did get his mark, a beautiful constellation on his collarbone but, even after almost three years, his soulmate was nowhere to be seen.

 

The soulmate mark appeared on a part of your body the day of your twentieth birthday. It became visible in the same place on your soulmate’s skin but, according to when they turned twenty, they could either have it already or you would have to wait for them. 

 

Changbin had found his soulmate immediately after starting college at the age of twenty, the feather tattooed on his wrist soon matching with the one Minho had tattooed in the exact same place for the past year. Jisung found his happiness with Hyunjin, even though he still hadn’t got his mark. The two were childhood friends and had developed crushes on each other for long before the pretty rose appeared on Hyunjin’s hip bone. Now, they were just waiting for Jisung’s to appear on the day of his twentieth birthday, a couple of weeks away. 

 

Chan regretted bringing the mood down, knowing how Changbin and Jisung often felt guilty about spending time with their own boyfriends because that meant leaving him alone.

 

“Yeah, of course, you’re right. So, Felix? When is he coming?” Chan asked, trying to change the topic and bring those smiles on his friends’ lips once again. 

 

“He’s coming in late August and staying until mid-September probably. He’s on winter break during those weeks,” Changbin announced. It was currently the beginning of August so that meant Felix was arriving in Korea in less than a month.

 

“I was planning to show him around a bit. If you want you’re welcome to join,” Changbin suggested and Chan’s heart warmed at how thoughtful his friend was, wanting to include Chan and Jisung in his time with Felix.

 

The rest of the afternoon was spent planning all the attractions and places they could bring Felix to. Chan didn’t think about the mark on his collarbone even once again but he still couldn’t give a reason to the warm excitement he felt about meeting the boy Changbin was so fond of.

 

 

The end of the month came unexpectedly quickly and, as Changbin, Chan and Jisung were trying to organise the best holiday Felix could spend with them, the younger of them was still at home in Australia, packing his luggage, ready to leave the next day.

 

He was so excited to finally travel back to Korea. 

 

It had been years since he had seen his best friend in person and he couldn't help but be thrilled to visit the country he had so many good memories in. Ever since he was a kid, his parents had taught him a bit of Korean which had made it slightly easier for him to survive the first months of high school in the country. Now as well, even though he had moved back home and his Korean wasn’t as fluent anymore, he practised with both his parents and Changbin every time the boy called.

 

With adrenaline running high in his veins, Felix didn’t manage to close his eyes for even a minute during the thirteen-hour-long flight. As soon as the plane touched down, he sent a quick text to Changbin letting him know he was in Korea and he was going to be at the arrival gate in just a few minutes.

 

When he finally collected his luggage, he made his way to the terminal. It didn’t take him too long to spot his best friend’s mop of dark hair among the small crowd of people. Changbin noticed him at the same time as he did and, with fast steps, he ran to him, laughing loudly. 

 

Felix threw his arms around Changbin and the older did the same, happily hugging each other after ages of being so far from the other. Their laughter made some people around them turn around and smile softly at the scene.

 

“Oh my god, you’ve grown so much,” Changbin said pulling away and shaking him by his shoulders. “You used to be so tiny and cute, what happened to you?” Changbin teased, realising how Felix was now just as tall as he was and his cute chubby cheeks had lost all the baby fat they used to have.

 

“It’s nice to see you too, hyung,” Felix said laughing, his eyes turning into crescents and his whole face scrunching up. It was when two people stopped beside them that Changbin remembered he didn’t come alone to the airport.

 

“Oh, yeah!” he exclaimed. “Felix, this is Jisung and this is Chan. Guys, this is Felix,” Changbin introduced them, pointing to the two boys and then to Felix.

 

“It’s nice to finally meet you,” Jisung said, smiling warmly at the younger who smiled back at him. Jisung noticed how Chan was just blankly staring at Felix without saying a thing and he lightly elbowed him in the ribs.

 

“Yes, we’ve heard a lot about you,” Chan snapped out of his thoughts, his voice quieter than he wanted it to be.

 

Felix was exactly how Chan had imagined him to be and, at the same time, he was also the complete opposite. Changbin had described him to them with the exact same words he had used before, tiny and cute. And he was. But he was also more graceful than what he had expected and his voice had one of the deepest tones he had ever heard. He was cute and handsome at the same time.  

 

“Felix struggles a bit with Korean but he will manage,” Changbin informed his two friends, knowing that only Chan could speak English to Felix while Jisung, just like him, couldn't.

 

“Are you kidding? My Korean is amazing,” Felix answered back in Korean, clearly teasing the older with an offended pout on his lips. All three of them chuckled at the slight mispronunciation and the thick Australian accent peeking out.

 

“Of course it is,” Changbin mumbled throwing an arm around Felix's shoulders and leading them to the exit. “You can switch back to English with Chan-hyung though, he’s Australian too,” Changbin said to Felix, the younger’s eyes widening.

 

“Really? Changbin has never mentioned it,” Felix asked Chan, his brain immediately finding comfort in the familiar language.

 

“Yup, my English name is Chris,” Chan explained, matching the language Felix was using.

 

“I’m really happy you’re here, Lix,” Changbin confessed as he noticed the conversation between the two of them had come to a stop.

 

It was when they reached the parking lot and a particular ray of sunshine illuminated Felix's face that Chan noticed his freckles. For a second, his heart stopped and a weird sensation made its way through his whole body. In his mind, those freckles instantly reminded him of the constellation tattooed on his collarbone. 

 

When Jisung nudged him again, the picture of those stars vanished from his mind.

 

“What’s up with you today?” Jisung mumbled, not really expecting an answer before dragging Chan to the car, Changbin and Felix already waiting for them inside. Chan followed without saying another word but he couldn’t scroll off that odd warmness of him. Placing a hand on his collarbone, he noticed how his skin was a bit hotter there. 

 

He tried to push all thoughts about the topic away, focusing on following the conversation going on in the car, feeling familiarity at the way Felix’s accented English sometimes slipped in the middle of his Korean, reminding him of home.

 

 

The day after finally arriving in Korea, the tour Changbin, Chan and Jisung had organised weeks before finally began. The first place they decided to take him to was simply downtown Seoul, where they took a walk around the town before taking a break in the cafe the three of them always visited. 

 

Felix felt over the moon at not only being able to finally spend time with his best friend but also to have made a good impression on Chan and Jisung as well. Jisung was very loud and affectionate, that Felix had understood from the very beginning. Chan was a bit more reserved and quiet but every time he had talked directly to Felix he was nothing but friendly and nice to him. Felix couldn't be happier to have clicked with those two, too.

 

Even if the weather in Korea wasn’t anywhere as hot as summers in Australia, it was still very warm and the air conditioning in the cafe made them instantly cool down. Shaking his head fondly, Changbin ordered for Felix’s drink since the younger preferred not to address other people besides his friends in Korean and when the waiter left them with their orders written down on her notebook, the silence she left between the four of them didn’t feel tense.  

 

“So, when am I going to meet Minho?” Felix asked in Korean. Ever since he had arrived, he had always tried to speak only Korean, knowing that Chan was the only one who could fully understand English and he didn’t want to leave anyone out of the conversation because of his poor skills in the language. 

 

“It’s Minho-hyung for you,” Changbin pointed out, not scolding him but rather teaching him. “I know honorifics are weird for you but you need to remember those, yeah?” Changbin advised and Felix nodded a bit guiltily.

 

“Minho is with his family now, right? When is he coming back?” Chan asked sipping on his iced Americano. 

 

“He should be back on Monday, he’s spending his weekend with them,” Changbin explained. They had, in fact, asked Minho to come over for dinner on Monday so he could meet Felix, together with Hyunjin, Jisung’s boyfriend. “By the way, Lix, when are you planning to go back home?” Changbin asked the younger.

 

“I just got here yesterday and you’re already thinking of when I’ll to leave, Binnie?” Felix asked pouting, fake-offended. Changbin chuckled, knowing him too well to take him seriously, slapping his arm playfully.

 

“Binnie- hyung ,” Changbin corrected once again. “And you know what I mean,” he whined.

 

“I’m probably going to fly back home the day before my birthday or around that time,” Felix explained. He still hadn’t bought his plane ticket so he had a wide range of options.

 

“Or you could spend your birthday here. It’s been ages since we’ve celebrated either of our birthdays together,” Changbin sulked, not looking like the twenty-one-year-old boy he was supposed to be at all. 

 

“You know what happened when mum got the tattoo. She wants me home when I get mine, just in case,” Felix reminded him, his voice taking a slightly worried tone.

 

When Felix's mother had got her mark all those years ago, it had hurt her incredibly bad. She hadn’t been able to move for a couple of days, her calf burning so much that she just wanted to make it stop. Thinking back at it now, Felix realised it might have been a warning for the terrible partner his mother found later on in her soulmate. Nevertheless, she was worried that it could happen again to one of her children, so she had begged Felix to be home that day.

 

“Yes, of course. It makes sense,” Changbin said, thinking back at the story Felix had told him on a particularly emotional day. “It just sucks I won’t be here when you mark appears,” Changbin mumbled, a bit embarrassed but not any less truthful. 

 

“Come on, hyung. You know you will be the first one I show it to anyways,” Felix tried to reassure the older, leaning slightly against him. 

 

Felix and Changbin had always been really close, ever since they had met on their first day in high school. When Felix had announced he was moving back to Australia because he had been admitted to the college of his dreams, Changbin had felt a bit left behind but was nothing but supportive of his decision. Their friendship had remained strong even against the distance and Felix couldn’t be more glad of that.

 

“When is your birthday?” Jisung asked Felix when the atmosphere relaxed again and the silence settled down. 

 

“September 15th, I’m turning twenty this year,” Felix said, his voice more excited than it was before. He was a bit scared to end up like his mother but he couldn’t help but feel warm at the possibility of someone out there meant just for him.

 

“Really? My birthday is just a day before yours and I’m turning twenty too!” Jisung exclaimed loudly, excited by the information and by the idea of finally matching his boyfriend's rose.

 

“Oh, so you’re also getting your soulmate mark!” Felix said, to no one in particular.

 

“Jisung actually already has a boyfriend even though he doesn’t have the mark yet. There’s no way they’re meant for anyone else, when you see them together you will get what I mean,” Changbin teased from beside him, making gagging noises at the squirrel-faced boy sitting on the other side of the table.

 

“As if you and Minho weren’t just as bad as those two are,” Chan pointed out, Felix laughing at his words and Jisung thanking him for sticking out for him.

 

“Yeah, hyung, I haven’t even met the guy yet but from what you’ve told me you two are absolutely whipped for each other,” Felix teased Changbin, the red covering Changbin’s whole face making both Felix and Chan laugh out loud.

 

“Look at you two, you don’t even know each other and you’re already teaming up against me,” Changbin whined, hiding his head between his crossed arms on the table.

 

“Aussies have to stick together,” Chan proudly said. 

 

At the words, Felix turned to Chan, smiling brightly at him and the older felt his heart skip a beat at the beautiful sight in front of him. Chan guessed that there was no reason to feel guilty about finding Felix absolutely ethereal. 

 

....

 

When Monday came, Chan was happy at the idea of hanging out with his friends but slightly worried about it as well. He loved them, he really did, it was just that sometimes, without wanting to, they all focused on their own boyfriends, forgetting about Chan being left alone in his own company. Despite that, he found himself at Changbin's that evening, arriving ten minutes later than all the others, since he had just finished his turn at the local convenience store he worked at.

 

Apparently, Felix had already met both Minho and Hyunjin considering how the three of them were particularly engrossed in a conversation about dancing, Changbin watching them with adoring eyes. The idea of his best friend clicking so quickly with every single friend he had in Korea was extremely heartwarming to him.

 

“Isn’t it cute how all three of them get along so well? Sungie too,” Changbin asked Chan as soon as the older made his way beside him. Chan couldn’t help but agree. What he found even cuter was the oversized sweater Felix was wearing, swallowing up his whole body. Chan guessed that, for now, that was a thought he could very much not share with Changbin.

 

When Felix raised his eyes and met Chan’s stare, the younger smiled brightly, waving cutely at him. Chan's ears turned pink, his own smile making its way on his lips. Chan reasoned that it was absolutely normal to feel shy at such an adorable sight. What he couldn’t really reason with was how his soulmate mark had started to feel warmer for the past few days.

 

An hour later, when the pizza was eaten and the dishes were washed, Chan found himself alone with Felix. Exactly as he had expected, Changbin and Minho were currently in the kitchen, washing up what was left from dinner, while Jisung and Hyunjin were giggling to themselves, cuddled up on the armchair in the corner of the room.

 

Every time that happened, Chan would find himself alone, just scrolling through his phone or directly heading home. This time though, Felix was there, watching him expectantly. The older swallowed heavily, sitting down next to him on the floor, struggling a bit to fit between the sofa and the coffee table.

 

When more giggling came from the armchair behind them, Chan scoffed lightly but couldn’t help the fond expression on his face.

 

“Those two are so gross,” he announced starting the conversation. He wasn't being serious, of course, but it still couldn’t hide the slight bitterness he was feeling. Not because of Jisung and Hyunjin specifically, just because of his poor luck.

 

Even though he didn’t know the older that well, he could still clearly understand that he was kidding. “You’re such a grump, hyung,” Felix said giggling, quickly switching to English now that they were alone. “They are all so cute together,” he sighed, his voice sounding almost dreamy. Chan guessed Felix was thinking about having something like that in the near future.

 

“Let’s talk about that at the end of your weeks here,” Chan said, chuckling lightly, noticing how Felix suddenly smiled at the sound.

 

“What about you, hyung? No lucky soulmate in your life yet?” Felix asked curiously, nothing but genuine interest in his expression. For the first time, Chan didn’t feel annoyed about talking of his nonexisting soulmate to someone else.

 

“Nope,” he said popping the p . “I’ve got my mark but still haven’t seen a trace of them,” Chan explained, watching as Felix's expression didn’t change in one of the pity people always seemed to feel for him. 

 

“Ah, I get it, hyung. Well, it’s their loss anyway,” Felix nudged his shoulder, his smile nothing but sincere. It didn’t seem like a comment meant for any particular reason but Chan felt that warm feeling in his body again, almost as if the sun had suddenly shined on him only. Above all, Felix was the first one who hadn’t asked him about where his soulmate mark was or what it was. It seemed like many people thought they had the right to know even though it wasn’t their business at all.

 

“You were talking with Hyunjin and Minho about dancing before, right? Do you dance, too?” Chan asked, interested to take advantage of the time he had alone with Felix to get to know him better. He was glad that they both shared the same language so that Felix was comfortable with talking to him without having to translate everything in his language first.

 

“Oh, yeah, I do. I mainly dance hip-hop but I’m not really good at it,” Felix clarified, his hands gesturing wildly as if he was suddenly afraid of Chan having too many expectations on him.

 

“That’s bullshit, he’s actually great,” Changbin said out of the blue, making his way in the living room holding Minho's hand. Felix just shook his head but stayed silent, his eyes staring at the ground.

 

“And did you know Chan-hyung is a great rapper and producer?” Changbin asked a surprised Felix. Chan couldn’t understand why Changbin was suddenly playing matchmaker. 

 

“I was actually just about to tell him before you came here,” Chan mumbled. He was pretty good at rapping and producing but it wasn’t something he’d usually say out of the blue. He guessed that was why Felix was so reserved about his dancing, too.

 

“For real? That’s so cool, hyung! You should let me listen to something someday,” Felix suggested excited, his shyness suddenly forgotten and being replaced by pure awe instead. 

 

“Only if you let me see your dancing,” Chan countered, smiling at the younger.

 

Too busy finally having his first proper conversation with Felix and trying not to make a fool out of himself, Chan didn’t notice how Jisung and Hyunjin were watching them with knowing eyes, giggling to themselves. What he also didn’t realise was how the skin where his mark was tattooed was suddenly stinging in a ticklish way. 

 

People said that it was one of the effects of being near your soulmate.

 

...

 

It was not any later than ten in the morning when Chan’s phone started ringing, the screen showing a name he didn’t think would have ever appeared there. When Felix had first got to Korea, Changbin had created a group with the three of them and Jisung, just in case Felix needed something and Changbin wasn’t available. That’s how he had got Felix's number, which was now calling him.

 

“Felix, hey. Is everything okay?” Chan asked when he picked up the call, his voice sounding a bit worried but also perplexed.

 

“Hey, hyung. Sorry, did I wake you up?” Felix asked back, not answering the first question. Chan pretended not to notice how his heart did a small flip in his chest just at hearing the younger's voice.

 

“No, don’t worry. I've been awake for a couple of hours now,” Chan reassured. He had indeed woken up way before the phone call, his head full of lyrics that hadn’t let him sleep any longer.

 

Felix sighed, glad he hadn’t disturbed the older too much, but he otherwise stayed silent. Chan was just about to ask if there was something wrong when Felix explained himself.

 

“It’s just that lately Changbin and Minho haven’t had time for themselves because I'm here and Minho is staying over now. I was just wondering if I could hang out at your place for a couple of hours? Just to give them a bit of space,” Felix explained, his voice sounding suddenly shy as if he was afraid Chan was about to reject him altogether.

 

Chan found it endearing how Felix kept forgetting about honorifics every time he switched back to English, only using them when he was addressing the person directly.

 

On the other end of the phone, the silence that followed was just because Chan was taken aback by the question. Not in a negative way, of course. In fact, his ears turned a darker shade of pink just at the idea of having the younger over at his small apartment.

 

He had probably stayed silent for a bit too long because Felix misunderstood his lack of response.

 

“It’s completely fine if you don’t want to, hyung! I can just hang out downtown by myself一” Felix rushed out, just wanting to take back the suggestion Chan had probably found totally out of place.

 

“No, of course, you can,” Chan interrupted him quickly, the younger’s panicked voice snapping him out of his thoughts. “Sorry, I just got a bit distracted. But yeah, I’ll text you the address. Come over whenever you want,” he reassured, his voice sounding softer than he intended it to.

 

“Awesome, thank you, hyung!” Felix exclaimed. Chan didn’t know how, but he could feel it in himself when the younger was smiling that breathtaking smile he showed whenever he was really happy.

 

When the phone call ended, Chan rushed to clean at least a bit of the mess that his tiny apartment was, excitement running through his veins just at the idea of having Felix over. He wasn’t a fool, he knew there was something odd with the way he always felt around Felix but he didn't want to get his hopes up because he knew that having feelings for the younger wasn’t an assurance that the boy felt the same about him.

 

Above all, Chan was extremely afraid of possibly having a crush on someone who wasn’t meant to be his soulmate. Felix didn’t even have his mark yet and for all he knew, the younger didn’t even know what his was. Chan didn’t want to convince himself of something that could have been ripped away from him in the course of a single day. 

 

When the doorbell rang, Chan realised he had been standing in the middle of his living room staring into nothing for the past ten minutes. He quickly rushed to the door, opening it just to find a casually-dressed Felix in all his glory. Chan had long come to terms with the fact that he found Felix absolutely beautiful, no matter what he was wearing or how his hair was styled. He guessed that could have to do with the whole crush thing.

 

“Good morning, hyung,” Felix said brightly, his smile as warm as the summer day outside. Chan then noticed the two coffees in Felix’s hands and raised an eyebrow at him while stepping aside to let him in the apartment.

 

“Oh, I stopped by the cafe and bought us coffee. I hope you’re okay with iced Americano, it’s your usual,” Felix explained, his cheeks tinted pink, his blush covering those freckles Chan was so fond of.

 

“You really didn’t have to,” Chan said but his smile reassured the younger that he was very happy and pleased with the gesture. Chan still couldn’t quite understand how Felix had managed to make his way under his skin in no more than ten days.

 

“Come, let’s go to the kitchen,” Chan suggested, placing his hand on the small of Felix’s back to lead him to the room. He didn’t notice how the blush on the younger’s face became even darker.

 

The two set down at the kitchen table, silence settling in the room. Chan was quite impressed at how that silence didn’t feel heavy at all. On the contrary, it felt oddly domestic to drink coffee together in the morning, the hot rays of the sun lighting up the whole room.

 

“Hyung, have you had breakfast yet?” Felix broke the silence, his deep voice keeping the atmosphere quiet and relaxed.

 

Despite having woken up a few hours earlier, Chan had been so engrossed in his lyrics that he didn’t even think about making himself breakfast. 

 

“I actually haven’t. Have you?” Chan asked back, Felix shaking his head in response. The older didn’t know what he was supposed to suggest now but it turned out he didn’t have to do anything because Felix’s eyes lit up and a mischievous grin made his way on his lips.

 

“Hyung, do you know how to make pancakes?” Felix asked, his grin only getting wider when Chan shook his head.

 

“I should have the ingredients to make them though if you’re up for it,” he said, not really knowing if Felix was actually suggesting to make them or if he was just as clueless as Chan was.

 

Felix jumped on his two feet, making his way to the stove, and waited for Chan to help him take out what he needed.

 

“Should I trust you won’t burn my whole apartment down?” Chan teased while he placed the flour and the butter on the counter. He figured that if Felix had suggested it he had to know what he was doing, at least he hoped so.

 

“We’re Australian, all Australians should know how to cook. You’re like the exception that proves the rule,” Felix pouted at him, clearly taking no offence in his words. Chan couldn’t help the soft smile at the sight. 

 

Since he was pretty useless in the whole pancake-making deal, he just stepped back watching with adoring eyes as Felix made them breakfast. He had to admit the mere idea made his heart beating twice as fast.

 

What he realised not even ten minutes later was that Felix was a liar and couldn't be trusted. As he watched Felix turn pancakes still not cooked, splashing mixture everywhere or turning them when they were already on their way to been burned, he sighed.

 

“Felix, I have no clue on how to make pancakes but I’m pretty sure that’s not how it should be done,” Chan called from beside Felix, the younger pouting once again, looking at the sad disaster in front of him. 

 

“All Australians can cook,” Chan mocked, his voice dropping lower to imitate Felix’s. The younger couldn’t help a short chuckle even though his eyes were still looking at the pan. “Let me give it a try,” he continued, trying to get Felix to smile again.

 

The younger stepped aside and, when it was clear that Chan was doing a way better job than he had, he just set on the counter, watching the older flip the pancakes.

 

When Chan finished cooking and turned around to announce exactly that to Felix, he froze in the middle of the movement, his eyes staring at the sight in front of him. Felix was sitting on the counter, his legs kicking the air back and forth. The sun was shining behind him forming a sort of halo around him, his freckles standing out twice as much. His shirt was too big on his lithe frame and his hair wasn’t styled, his bangs falling naturally all over the place.

 

If Chan had thought for even a second that his feelings for Felix were nothing more than platonic affection for a new friend, his heart begged to differ at that moment. He became a blushing mess in a matter of seconds, a sudden warmth focusing specifically on the lower part of his neck, right where his mark was hidden.

 

Felix was luckily looking around the kitchen, focusing on all those details that made the room incredibly Chan’s. The older took a few seconds to regain his composure, before finally clearing his throat and announce to Felix that their breakfast was ready. They took their coffees and the pancakes to the living room, Chan setting them down on the coffee table just in front of the sofa where he had been working on lyrics before Felix had arrived.

 

“Thank you for making breakfast, hyung,” Felix said, breaking the silence once again. Chan didn’t like how he still looked a bit guilty, probably because he had suggested making pancakes in the first place but turned out to be really bad at it.

 

“Thank you for bringing coffee,” Chan thanked back while Felix seemed to realise that it was indeed something he had done just to be nice to his hyung.

 

Felix’s eyes trained to the sheets messily lying on the table, his mouth opening in recognition.

 

“Hyung, are those lyrics?” he asked, his eyes shining in awe. Chan felt both pride and dread in his veins so he just nodded, his own eyes never leaving Felix’s impressed expression.

 

“Can I see them?” Felix asked for permission, bouncing like an excited kid in a playground. Chan couldn’t help but find it extremely cute so he just nodded once again, Felix not losing a moment to take the papers and slowly read through them.

 

“Chris,” Felix called after a while, his eyes wide open while awe was written all over his face. Chan’s blinked quickly at the use of his real name sounding so natural coming from Felix’s lips. “I mean my Korean sucks but, from what I can understand, these are amazing,” Felix said, watching Chan as if he couldn’t believe what he had just read.

 

People before had told Chan how his lyrics were truly great, Changbin and Jisung among those people, too. But for some reason, the praise coming directly from Felix, the freckled boy he had become so attached to, meant more than any other word could. 

 

And that was how they lost themselves in talking about Chan’s lyrics, the ideas behind them and the melodies he had in mind to accompany them. Chan had never been particularly keen on sharing his music with people that weren’t his closest friends. But for the second time, exactly how it had happened with the conversation about his mark they had had, Chan couldn't find a reason to mind.

 

When Felix made his way back to Changbin’s place after hours spent in Chan’s apartment, the older had made sure to remind him he had to show him his dancing now that he had heard about his music.

 

 

Chan and Jisung were hanging out at Chan’s place when he finally mustered the courage to ask his friend about the question that hadn’t wanted to leave his mind for the past few days.

 

“Jisung?” he called, the younger lying on his back on the couch as he played with his phone. He simply hummed to let the older know he was listening. “Has Hyunjin’s mark ever tingled out of nowhere?” he asked, knowing the two shared everything about soulmates.

 

Jisung’s interest was surely captured if him locking his phone was anything to go by. He was now looking straight at Chan.

 

“He says the skin there is usually just warmer when he’s around me but it had started to tingle sometimes, yeah,” Jisung informed him, his eyes curious about the sudden question. “People say your mark usually heats up when you’re around your soulmate,” he finished, realisation drowning on him when Chan touched his collarbone on instinct.

 

“Has it happened to you too, hyung? When? With who?” Jisung questioned, quickly sitting up on the couch, watching his hyung with happiness written all over his face. When Chan stayed silent, debating on whether to reveal it already or waiting for a confirmation, a teasing smirk made its way on Jisung’s lips. 

 

“It’s Felix, isn’t it?” he asked, his voice both teasing and excited. Chan's eyes went wide open, he knew he wasn’t that subtle but he also didn’t think even Jisung could figure it out.

 

“How do you know it?” Chan asked, his voice a bit panicked at the thought of Felix having realised it, too.

 

“I've literally never seen you get attached to someone so quickly. It took months for me to even be able to come over, while Felix spent half of his days in Korea here with you,” Jisung answered, laughing in disbelief, not wanting to believe that Chan really thought it was hard to notice the enormous soft spot he had for the boy.

 

“How long have you known by now?” Jisung asked again, this time sounding a bit more serious than he was before. Of course, he was more than happy if Felix really turned out to be Chan’s soulmate but it was clear how Chan was still freaking out a bit because of it.

 

“I think my mark has always been warmer every time I was around him but I didn’t pay it much attention since it’s summer. I thought it was just the weather,” Chan mumbled, Jisung giving him a death glare before whispering a “ weather ” under his breath, shaking his head. “He came over a couple of days ago and he was sitting on the kitchen counter and when I looked at him my mark just started to tingle as if the sun was shining on my skin,” Chan explained, his voice sounding a bit lost, almost as if he was losing himself in the memory.

 

Jisung stayed silent for a few seconds, smiling to himself.

 

“How did you feel the first time you’ve seen him at the airport?” Jisung asked, both because of his curiosity and because he was trying to understand something he still didn’t voice to Chan.

 

“What is this? A therapy session?” Chan mocked, not really understanding where the question came from.

 

“Shut up and answer. I might know something,” Jisung shot back a second later, already knowing Chan didn’t like to go all sentimental for no reason.

 

“Well, of course, I was surprised because he looked gorgeous and I didn't quite expect that,” he started, ignoring Jisung’s snicker. “But then I noticed his freckles and I suddenly thought of my mark. They kind of reminded me of stars,” Chan finished, his voice getting slower with each word, almost as if he was slowly starting to assimilate the fact just saying it out loud.

 

Jisung smirked.

 

“It’s not something that many people pay attention to but did you know that soulmate marks are usually something that represents your other half? Like a symbol that can somehow constantly remind you of them,” Jisung explained, his voice turning softer.

 

Soulmates were so common but also way more underestimated than one would think. Not many people knew much about their own marks, most of the times they usually just focused on finding their matching one. Jisung’s mother had made it her mission to tell her son all she knew about them, while Chan was still pretty clueless about it all. He had honestly never thought about what could stand behind his mark.

 

“For example, when Hyunjin and I were in seventh grade, I gave him a rose for Valentine’s day, claiming it was my favourite flower and he had to keep it safe or I would be really sad. Turned out his soulmate mark is a rose,” Jisung continued, trying to make Chan see his point.

 

“What you’re saying is that...” Chan began, not knowing how to voice those words. He had had a slight feeling, or at least hope, for Felix to actually be his soulmate but having Jisung point out all the proofs to his hypothesis was still a bit overwhelming.

 

“What I'm saying is that I believe you were reminded of your mark when you met him because the stars you have tattooed should be a representation of Felix’s freckles. Your soulmate’s freckles,” Jisung announced, his voice gentle but sure. 

 

Chan stayed silent, the words had made him freeze. He was happy, absolutely ecstatic, but at the same time, he was now absolutely clueless about what he was supposed to do with the new information. 

 

“Felix is going back to Australia in three days and he’s getting his mark only two days after that. I think you should tell him before he leaves,” Jisung suggested gently, just voicing his own opinion.

 

“I don’t think so, Jisung-ah. I mean, we aren’t that close yet. I can’t just go over to him and blurt out I'm his soulmate. I think I should wait for him to get his tattoo and when I’ll be sure this is for real I'm going to tell him,” Chan decided, not liking the idea that much but believing there was nothing else he could do.

 

“You’re going to tell him you’re his soulmate over the phone?” Jisung asked frowning a bit. It wasn’t like he was judging or anything else, it just felt a bit wrong.

 

“Don’t look at me like that, I don’t like it either. It’s the only thing I can do to let him enjoy these last few days he has here with Changbin,” Chan confessed, his voice taking a light sad tint, not really enjoying the fact of lying to Felix and waste the chance he had to spend time with his soulmate face to face.

 

“Whatever you decide to do, I'm here for you, hyung. And I'm sure Felix is going to feel the same,” Jisung reassured, his smile making Chan feel a bit better about this whole deal.

 

For now, Chan tried to focus on other things as long as they could stop his mind from thinking about those adorable freckles covering Felix’s cheeks and how much his heart was going to hurt when Felix had to take that plane back home, away from him.

 

 

When the day of Felix’s departure came, it wasn’t hard to notice how sadness took over the usually lively atmosphere when they were together. It wasn’t the end of the world, they knew that Felix could still visit some other time or they could go to Australia too, getting to know Chan and Felix’s hometown. It still wasn’t easy to come to facts with the idea of breaking that routine all four of them had created while Felix had been there. It was weird to think about going back to their usual lives, no Felix to hang out with anymore.

 

Even though the atmosphere was indeed pretty sad, Felix did his best to keep the smile on his face, making sure to make Changbin laugh from time to time, knowing how the older was, in fact, just as sad as he was.

 

“Are you dressed enough? It’s still cold back there, I don’t want you to fall sick, getting out of the airport in a t-shirt,” Changbin asked, throwing the hoodie he was holding in his hands at him. While summer was melting them in Korea, winter was not over yet in Australia.

 

“Hyung, I'm fine really,” Felix said laughing when Changbin started to fix his hoodie as a dad would do before sending their son off. They had arrived at the security checks, meaning that the moment for goodbyes had come. Felix stood in front of Changbin, Chan and Jisung as they watched him with sad eyes.

 

“I had a great time, guys. Thank you so much for everything you did for me in the past three weeks,” Felix thanked all of them, his smile shining brightly as his eyes turned just that little glossier.

 

“We had a great time too with you here, Lix. Don’t disappear now that you’re going home, yeah?” Jisung teased, being the first one to get closer to Felix, hugging him tightly.

 

“Why would I? And I wanna know everything about your mark tomorrow, I can’t wait to see that rose on you, too,” Felix said sincerely, wanting nothing but the best for both Jisung and Hyunjin.

 

“Of course,” Jisung whispered, his eyes getting wet with tears. 

 

When he stepped back, Chan spoke.

 

“Make sure not to burn your kitchen down making pancakes at home, yeah?” Chan teased, his smile nothing but soft for the younger. Felix laughed, whining a bit at the older.

 

“And you make sure to keep me updated with your music, Chris,” Felix said smiling from ear to ear. Chan felt extremely miserable at the idea of not being able to see that smile for who knows how long.

 

Felix was the first one to step ahead this time around, throwing his arms around Chan’s shoulders and hugging him tightly. Chan’s mark burned so much he was afraid Felix could feel it too through his shirt. Apparently, he didn’t because a moment later he pulled away, his smile nothing more than a pull at the corner of his lips and his eyes glossy. For the first time, Chan believed that he wasn’t the only one miserable at the thought of parting ways.

 

Felix then turned to Changbin, the two of them sharing a small smile before silently hugging each other.

 

“Call me when you land, okay? And I wanna be the first one to know about your soulmate mark, even if it’s in the middle of the night,” Changbin warned, his voice firm but so gentle that Chan had the feeling they were intruding in a private moment.

 

“Bold of you to assume I would have cared of waking you up anyways,” Felix tried to joke but a small sob made his way through his lips together with his words. Chan noticed how a tear fell on Changbin’s cheek too.

 

“It was amazing to spend time with you again, Lix, I'm gonna miss you so much,” Changbin said, their hug becoming tighter. Felix whispered something back, probably an “ I'm gonna miss you, too ” so silent that Chan couldn’t hear it.

 

Felix’s flight was called and that was the cue for the younger to make his way through the checks. With one last wave and his eyes just as puffy as Changbin’s, he turned his back to the three of them, getting further away, step after step.

 

In his sadness, Chan noticed how his mark had suddenly lost all its warmth, turning cold again. A coldness he hadn’t felt since Felix had arrived in Korea, bright smile and freckled cheeks for him to fall for.

 

 

It was five in the morning when Felix was woken up by a weird feeling running through his whole body. He had been back in Australia for two days, having spent the day before face-timing Jisung, who had excitedly showed him the beautiful rose on his hip bone, Hyunjin’s mark finally having a match. Jisung had told him that his mark appeared out of nowhere while he was having lunch with the others, that it hurt a bit but the feeling was exactly the same as having a normal tattoo done.

 

Felix didn’t dare to move.

 

At first, still dizzy because of sleep, he started to panic because he couldn't understand what was going on. Then he realised it was indeed his birthday and that was probably his soulmate mark finally appearing on his skin. He didn’t know if freaking out was the right reaction but that was all he could do.

 

No more than five minutes passed and the feeling went away as if nothing had happened. Felix threw his blankets off of himself and in a matter of seconds, he took off his sweatshirt standing in front of the mirror. He felt his eyes starting to water at the sight in front of him. Right on his collarbone, a series of stars was tattooed, one following the other in a pattern that could be nothing else than a constellation that he didn’t recognise.

 

Felix caressed the mark, the skin there still feeling a bit numb but Felix guessed that was normal after getting a tattoo done. He had always been fascinated with stars. When he was little, he used to read books about stars being the muses of brave men or guides to those who were lost. He wondered if he and his soulmate were meant to be each other’s guides too. 

 

Quickly unplugging his phone from the charger, Felix dialled Changbin’s number which he knew by heart. A second later, he decided to opt for a video call instead since he couldn’t wait to show him the mark he now had. He waited for a couple of minutes, feeling slightly guilty for waking up Changbin so early in the morning.

 

“Felix, it’s too early for this. What do you want?” Changbin mumbled, his eyes still shut as he held his phone at a weird angle above his head. Felix would have felt offended if he didn’t know the older took at least some minutes to understand where he was when he woke up. “Felix, my god, put a shirt on what’s up with—” Changbin complained again once his eyes finally opened before they focused and he suddenly jumped up, now sitting on the bed. “Is that what I think it is?” he asked.

 

“I just got it now,” Felix said, smiling as brightly as the sun. “I woke up because it was tingling and when I looked in the mirror there it was,” he explained, his hand unconsciously coming to rest on the mark as if he was trying to protect it.

 

“Did it hurt? How do you feel? Are you happy?” Changbin shot question after question, his voice sounding as excited as Felix’s was. He couldn’t help but laugh at how his best friend shared his feelings even if it wasn’t even about him.

 

“It hurt a bit but I guess that’s pretty normal,” he started and Changbin hummed, confirming his words. “I'm– I’m really happy. Hyung, I've got a soulmate, can you believe it?” he exclaimed, flopping down on his bed, a dreamy sigh leaving his mouth. By doing so, his hand was now not covering his mark anymore and he watched worriedly as Changbin’s eyes went wide open.

 

“Lix, Felix, is that– is that a constellation?” Changbin asked, getting closer to the screen as if he could see it better. Felix’s excitement was soon replaced by fear at his best friend’s reaction. He nodded, unable to say anything.

 

“I can’t believe it,” Changbin exclaimed, his laugh sounding loudly through the phone. Felix felt a bit better knowing Changbin wasn’t worried but rather excited. “This is awesome, oh my god, I can’t believe it,” he kept saying, still not explaining anything to Felix.

 

“Hyung?” Felix tried to call for his attention, Changbin snapping out of his thoughts as if he had remembered only then that Felix was still there.

 

“Lix– Lix, I think I've seen that mark before. I might know who your soulmate is,” Changbin announced as if it didn't make Felix jump on his feet, being a mess of confusion, excitement and fear. He stuttered some incoherent sounds, trying to come over the shock.

 

“W-who? How? Hyung—” Felix stuttered. “Hyung, who are they?” Felix asked, his heart so, so warm at the idea of already having a name to associate with the mark.

 

“I’m sorry, Lix, I need to make sure I got it right before I tell you anything,” Changbin apologized, calming down a bit, his excitement becoming more serious. “I swear I'm telling you as soon as I've got the confirmation,” he reassured, a small smile making his way on his lips because of something Felix didn’t know yet.

 

Felix heard another voice mumbling something through the phone and he soon recognised Minho’s voice. He heard the boy ask Changbin what time it was and Changbin quickly explaining that Felix had just got his tattoo and they were now facetiming. Minho’s face suddenly appeared on the screen as well, smiling tiredly at Felix who greeted him.

 

When Minho’s eyes focused on his mark, his reaction was similar to Changbin's.

 

“Stars? Isn’t that—” he started but Changbin soon cut him off, not wanting him to say anything before being sure of his words.

 

“Lix, I'm going to call you back as soon as I can, okay? Oh my god, this is gonna be epic,” Changbin exclaimed and without even waiting for Felix to say something else, he ended the call, the room now silent and dark.

 

So, not only did Changbin know who his soulmate was but so did Minho. When he realised there was no way he was going back to sleep after that conversation, he got up again, staring at his mark in the mirror. Felix could easily understand that the stars there weren’t just casually placed. It must have been some sort of particular constellation he ignored the name of. He decided to sit down in front of his laptop and try to search for some more information. 

 

It wasn’t easy to find something on the web since Felix didn’t know how to search for the constellation when he didn’t know anything that could help him out. The mark on his skin was pretty simple but beautiful at the same time. The stars tattooed there weren’t that many but it was easy to see the three bigger ones, being placed one after the other in a vertical line, creating almost a straight segment. The stars around them were just a little smaller but not any less beautiful. When he was just about to give up, not finding anything even remotely similar to his mark, he gave a last try, searching for all the constellations made of three stars in a vertical line.

 

It wasn’t that much later that he finally found it, the constellation in the picture representing exactly the one Felix had tattooed on his collarbone. Apparently, the constellation was called Pyxis and had been named by a French astronomer in the 18th century. The constellation represented a compass used by navigators and seamen while sailing the oceans. 

 

Felix’s heart warmed at what that new-found information meant. His soulmate and he were supposed to be each other’s compasses, guiding each other through difficulties until the day they were meant to find their way to one another, someday, somehow. Felix could feel his eyes watering up again at the idea of having something like that in his future.

 

He was snapped out of the daze he had fallen in when his phone lit up with a message from Changbin.

 

Binnie-hyung

can you send me a pic of your mark?

i swear i'm gonna explain it later pls

 

Felix frowned a bit through the tears that were still threatening to fall from his eyes but snapped the picture anyway, sending it to his hyung. He couldn’t avoid being a slightly bit hurt that Changbin was hiding something so important from him, but he also understood how Changbin didn’t want to rush things when he still wasn’t sure. For now, he settled with trusting the older, knowing there was no way he would do something to hurt him.

 

Ever since he was a kid, Felix had always been slightly afraid of the idea of soulmates, knowing what had happened to his mother when she met hers. Felix had wanted to believe that he had someone out there who was looking for him just as much as he was looking for them, but he had never been able to silence that voice telling him he was going to end up as his mother did. 

 

Now, with his mark freshly tattooed on his own skin and the meaning of that beautiful constellation carved into his heart, he couldn’t stop the relieved tears from falling on his cheeks at the idea of finally having a match somewhere in the world.