Haechan has always been special to mark, and that's never been a problem. They've practically grown up together. That's never been a problem, either.
Together, they've been through bullies, long distance, step brothers and even magic. Oh, and Haechan is a witch.
That's actually never been a problem (well, maybe a little one at first, when the boy didn't know how to fully control his magic...).
Overall, their relationship has always only been called one thing by mark: perfect. Sure, it isn't always smooth, and they bicker constantly. But they've always been best friends, and that's good enough for him.
Unfortunately, Mark has recently noticed a problem.
It came very unexpectedly, a couple of years ago, when his older step brother started dating someone.
Johnny has always been smooth, flirting with every single person on the planet, much to Mark's embarrassment. However, it startled him to watch Johnny suddenly become very unsure of himself when it came to Taeil, a boy who had transferred to their high school in his junior year. Johnny quickly developed a crush, and started panicking over every small thing like his clothes and even the way he stood. Mark always wondered why you'd want to be around someone so much if they just always made you nervous.
Guess it comes with having a crush.
Mark noticed that Johnny always found excuses to hug or hold hands with Taeil, to the point where the older boy would be in a perpetual state of blushing, and Johnny never failed to tease him for it. Mark decided that real crushes were weird. Sure, there were kid crushes, little feelings of affection for someone that usually lasted a month at most. Mark had been through those, and so had all his friends. But the feelings that Johnny had talked about before he got the courage to ask Taeil out at prom, now That was a real crush. Crushes were simply Different when you were older, Mark noticed. They made you act unsure and paranoid, and the feelings for the other person sunk down into your heart like a chocolate chip cookie in some milk. Only, crushing on someone wasn't as fun as eating a milk-soaked treat.
Mark knew this from experience, because he slowly began to realize how he started acting as nervous as his brother whenever he was around Haechan. At first, Mark felt nothing but denial, but watching Johnny clumsily interact with Taeil forced him to see how similar mark had become with his own best friend. Holding hands was normal for Mark and his friends and none of them ever really felt self conscious about it, even as they got older. But Mark found himself coming up with strange excuses to hold Haechan's hand ALL the time, even when they were playing video games. This was the only time when Mark's best friend would whine and push his hand away, grumbling about his score. Johnny was good at saying all the right things, but he was always stuttering and scratching nervously at his neck around Taeil before they even got together. Mark and Haechan always clicked naturally, but lately Mark would find himself forgetting what they were even talking about, becoming absorbed with how Haechan's hair did a little flip at the edges and how pretty his eyes looked with his rainbow eye shadow. When this happened, his poor friend would have to yell to get Mark's attention again.
Mark finally came to terms with his feelings a few months back when he found himself up extra early one morning before school. He had gotten up so he could make Haechan's favorite blueberry pancakes to bring to him later, and he nearly jumped out of his fuzzy socks when he saw a very sleepy looking Johnny slowly shuffling to the door. "Bro! What the heck? Why are you up this early? You never get up past 5 minutes before we leav-" eyes still mostly closed, Johnny put a finger to Mark's mouth and muttered, "Taeil was craving a smoothie yesterday. There's no shops near him. Gonna get him one from the store down the road. Be back in five." Mark watched in awe as his brother heroically trudged to the car, still in his pajamas, and when Johnny had returned, two brightly colored smoothies in hand, he gave Mark the same look of astonishment.
"What?" The boy asked defensively.
"Nothing....just...you always get up later than me." Mark's cheeks became hot as he shrugged, "Yeah well, Hyuckie is always complaining about how he wishes he had time to make pancakes for our lunches so we could have a super special brunch day." They were both silent for a moment, as the early morning sky made their little kitchen a bit brighter and they both stared at the lopsided, uneven pancakes the younger had attempted to make.
Mark was not gifted in cooking, a fact that they both knew all too well from past experiences. The boy didn't even like cooking to begin with, even grumbling when he made toast.
Slowly, Johnny blinked down at mark, as if he was seeing him again for the first time. A smile that Mark did not like one bit crept up his face. "You got it bad."
"What?! No I don't! Donghyuck just wanted something special, so I decided to be nice and...and..." the boy's words slowly faded as he looked back at the stupid pancakes, the exploded blueberry stains in the batter, and his face paled as Johnny's words sunk in.
You've got it bad.
No, no no NO! Not his best friend!! Anyone but Haechan!
Johnny decided to fulfill his job as the older brother and rub Mark's back sympathetically as the boy buried his face in his hands and groaned in horror.