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sweet relief (pretty please)

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It starts with Jeno dragging him to the end-of-the-summer annual varsity retreat. It ends with Donghyuck in Mark’s hotel room.

"Oh, fuck."

Mark hovers over him, arms shaking by Donghyuck's side as he pushes in slowly. Mark's dick feels fucking huge and Donghyuck can't help the strained sigh that leaves him at the feeling of being so full. The burn of the stretch licks up his spine—a welcomed pain, one that Donghyuck is usually well-acquainted with—but it’s definitely been a while.

Donghyuck feels Mark push forward the last couple inches with a hard thrust, knocking the air out of him with a high whine. Mark leans his head down against the curve of Donghyuck's neck as he holds still, giving him time to adjust to the size.

"You okay?" Mark asks, genuinely concerned. He sounds just as winded as Donghyuck feels though, and he's trembling slightly. Donghyuck wonders how much he's holding himself back.

"Just peachy," Donghyuck manages to gasp out. "You're so fucking big, what the hell."

Mark chuckles, leaning back up to look down at him with a wry smile. "Not what you were expecting?"

Quite the contrary, Donghyuck has heard of the rumors. Mark Lee's made quite a name for himself around the varsity track, both for his reputation on the field and for his extracurricular activities.

Donghyuck knows what he signed up for when he followed Mark back to his room. What he wasn't expecting was ending up in Mark Lee's room in the first place.

(He's a bit hazy on the details, but it only took a couple hours and several shotgunned drinks for a pleasantly buzzed Donghyuck to meet his eyes from across the room. A raised eyebrow and a tip of the head later, and Donghyuck had found himself saddled with a brand new beer pong partner.

He couldn’t even be mad that Jeno ditched him again—hell, he might even be a little thankful that he did. 

Donghyuck hadn't intended to end the night pressed up against the door to the men's room, a well-toned thigh in between his legs and the handsome stranger's mouth sucking hickeys down the column of his throat, but he's not complaining. The man in front of him is slightly familiar, but Donghyuck's too distracted to focus on anything other than the warmth of the body pressed against him.

"Mark," the man had said, pulling back to take in Donghyuck's disheveled state. "Mark Lee."

"What?" he asked, a little breathless. A little dizzy from the alcohol, and all the blood rushing south.

"My name," Mark had said. "For later." He smiled then, shier than someone with his face had any right to be. "I mean, if you wanted to?"

Mark Lee. Captain of SMU's field lacrosse team. No wonder he was so familiar.

Donghyuck remembers nodding furiously, any semblance of shame thrown out the window as he grabbed the front of Mark's shirt, pulling him back down to crash their lips together in a filthy kiss.

"Fuck, wait—" Donghyuck had said, pulling back a second later in a moment of sobriety, his head thunking back against the door with a groan. "I don't—condoms. I forgot—"

"I have some back in my room," Mark had said, mouthing along Donghyuck's exposed collarbone. "But it's fine if you don't want—"

"No, no. I definitely want," Donghyuck had gasped as Mark bit down a little too harshly. That one was definitely gonna leave a mark. "Your room it is.")

It's still a little sacrilegious though, Donghyuck thinks, hooking up with a lax bro. Talk about fraternizing with the enemy—his own teammates would never let him hear the end of it if they found out. 

Donghyuck lifts his hands to frame Mark's face, pulling him down for a teasing kiss, just barely grazing Mark's lips with his. "It’s nothing I can't handle," he whispers, low and sultry, a challenge in his voice. "So c'mon, Captain, do your worst."

Mark dips his head down to capture his lips in a proper kiss before slowly pulling back, a hand braced on the bed next to Donghyuck's head. "Careful what you wish for," he says, grin cheeky, before slamming in deep, Donghyuck's surprised moan music to his ears.

Any retort he could have possibly had dies in his throat, as Mark starts up at an unforgiving pace. Head thrown back against the pillows, the only sounds Donghyuck manages to make are choked-off moans and these pathetic little gasps as Mark drives in deeper and deeper each time.

His fingers twist in the sheets, clenching and unclenching to ground himself, completely overwhelmed as Mark manages to brush against Donghyuck's prostate on every other thrust.

This is going to be over embarrassingly fast for him, and he can only hope that Mark feels the same.

Donghyuck tries to reach for his cock, leaking and desperate, but Mark catches his wrists and pins them above his head with one hand. Mark's grip is tight, but not enough to bruise. Donghyuck knows he can break out of it if he wants to.

"No,” Mark says. His other hand pushes his thighs further apart, his thrusts unrelenting as he leans down to whisper in Donghyuck's ear, voice husky. “You're going to come on just my cock, or not at all."

Donghyuck's brain promptly short circuits, heart stuttering in his chest. Good fucking lord, Mark Lee is already out to kill him, and it hasn’t even been a day.

Mark releases Donghyuck's wrists, letting him wrap his arms around Mark's shoulders to pull him down for a frenzied kiss. Mark's hips stutter as Donghyuck intentionally clenches down hard, Mark breaking away from the kiss to glare up at him in response.

Donghyuck knows he looks absolutely wrecked, but the grin on his face is absolutely devilish as he smiles down at Mark. Two can play at this game, asshole.

He watches as Mark shakes his head with an amused quirk of the lips before he pulls out completely, and Donghyuck can't help the whine that comes out at the loss. He doesn't even have time to complain as Mark manhandles him onto his front, hands on his hips to raise him up onto his hands and knees.

Mark slides back in easily, not even giving Donghyuck a chance to breathe before he picks up where he left off, the new angle lighting up Donghyuck's spine with every thrust. He feels it all the way down into his fingertips, and soon enough his arms give out from under him, helpless to do anything but take it.

"Oh, fuck," Donghyuck cries out. His moans are muffled into his arms as he feels himself hurtle towards the edge. "Mark—"

"That’s it," Mark croons. "You're doing so well for me, baby. Look at you just—fucking—taking—it." He punctuates each word with a harsh snap of his hips, and Donghyuck swears he's losing his mind at how fucking good everything feels. His cock, hard and leaking with precome, bounces in between his legs as he gets jostled up the bed with every thrust.

It really doesn't take much more after that. 

“I’m close,” Donghyuck brokenly sobs out. “So close, ah—fuck, please—”

Mark leans down, pressing hot open-mouthed kisses along the slope of Donghyuck’s shoulder. “Yeah,” he rasps, voice weak, and that's how Donghyuck can tell that he’s close too. “Yeah, me too. Come on, Donghyuck. Come for me.”

Maybe it was in the way that Mark had said his name, or in the way he had bitten down on his shoulder right after—Donghyuck isn’t sure, but his body tenses up, orgasm ripping through him so suddenly, so violently, that he doesn’t hear Mark hiss out a string of expletives as he tightens around him.

It only takes a few more thrusts after that before Mark finally comes inside of him, filling the condom. Donghyuck shivers at the sensation, spent cock twitching tiredly in interest despite the sensitivity. He feels Mark press one final kiss onto his shoulder before he pulls out, rolling the condom off to tie it, and discarding it into the direction of the bin beside the bed.

Donghyuck feels absolutely wrecked, unable to move from his previous position, ass still up in the air as he tries to regain feeling in the rest of his body. "Ugh," Donghyuck groans into the pillows. "Where have you and your dick been all my life?" He hears Mark laugh softly at him from the side of the bed, a hand stroking down his back in a comforting gesture.

Mark's hand travels lower and lower, and Donghyuck jumps at the feeling of a finger teasingly circle around his rim. He bucks forward weakly as Mark slips two fingers back inside, coming up to kiss a line up Donghyuck's spine. "I've heard about you, you know," he whispers. "You're pretty famous yourself."

It's a bit of an exaggeration, but he has an idea of what Mark's talking about. While Donghyuck isn't as well-revered among the rumor mill as Mark is, he's never been particularly shy at pulling during parties. Guys and girls alike, Donghyuck's proud to say that he’s had his fair share of repeat customers.

"I have a lot to live up to," Mark teases. "So I gotta make sure you remember me when you wake up."

Mark's quick to find his prostate again, the pads of his fingers rubbing insistently, making Donghyuck tremble at the overstimulation. He feels himself getting hard again at the ministrations, and wonders if he should be mad at himself for being so easy, or if he should be impressed by Mark's ability to get him going again.

Donghyuck barely registers his second orgasm as it hits, losing a little time as his vision whites out at the intensity. Mark eases him down lie onto the bed, gently rolling him over to his back to avoid the wet spot on the sheets.

Mark's expression is comically serious for someone who’s just given Donghyuck two of the best orgasms in his life. Mark's brows are furrowed in concern as he asks, "Are you okay? Was that too much?"

“You’re—” Donghyuck struggles to catch his breath, his entire body feeling like jelly. “You’re not half bad at this.”

Mark only snorts and gets up to go to the bathroom. He returns with a wet cloth and makes quick work of cleaning them both up. The cloth itself is warm, Donghyuck realizes, which he thinks is a nice touch. Bonus points for that.

He's about halfway asleep by the time Mark pulls him under the sheets, too tired to make the trek back to his own hotel room. There are about a million warning bells ringing in his head telling him that this isn't usually how one night stands are supposed to end. But as he feels Mark maneuver his tired body closer to his own, tucking his head under his chin and making sure to cover them both with the blanket, he can't really find it in himself to care.

"It's not fair, y'know," Donghyuck sleepily mumbles.

"What isn't fair?"

"I went twice," Donghyuck answers. "I still owe you."

He feels Mark chuckle next to him, an arm thrown around his waist as he settles in more comfortably. "You can just save it for next time."

Next time, Donghyuck vaguely remembers thinking. That sounds nice.

This isn't usually how he reacts to the prospect of a one night stand looking for more—his reactions tend to include more panicked rejections and ghosting.

He should've known then, that that was the first sign.



Donghyuck doesn't quite remember when their thing started becoming a regular occurrence. He’s grateful for the convenience that Mark brings—he's gotten tired of the old song and dance involved with going out just for some casual sex. Besides, they both know what this arrangement means. It’s just a way for them to relieve some stress—nothing more, nothing less. 

There are a few unspoken rules, of course, one of which was that they'd mutually agreed to keep it between themselves.

No telling friends, no telling teammates. Their lives kept separate. It's simple. And it works.

September arrives. It's been about a month since their first night together and they find themselves in Donghyuck's room, Mark's grip on his hips white-knuckled as Donghyuck rides him into the mattress. The bedframe underneath creaks with the movements, Donghyuck's staccato moans cutting through the otherwise silent apartment.

They're interrupted by the sound of the front door slamming closed, voices filtering through Donghyuck's walls as they both freeze, twin looks of horror on both their faces. They scramble to get off of each other as they hear footsteps just outside his door, trying to make as little noise as possible.

A knock on his locked door startles them both. "Hyuck?" Renjun's voice. "You home?"

"Shit—" Donghyuck hisses, diving off the side of his bed to hunt for their clothes. Mark tosses him a shirt from the other side of the room, already halfway into his pair of sweatpants. He hurriedly shrugs into the shirt and grabs the first pair of shorts he finds on the floor, in too much of a rush to make sure it was a clean pair.

Donghyuck silently signals for Mark to hide behind the door, opening it just enough for Renjun to see his face.

"Hey, Junnie," Donghyuck greets, smile plastered on his face. "What's up?"

Renjun raises an eyebrow at the breathless note in Donghyuck's voice, but he doesn't question it. He jerks a thumb over to the direction of the living room, where Donghyuck assumes the rest of their motley crew is waiting.

"Jaem's game got canceled so we brought lunch. Chicken and pizza. You coming?"

Donghyuck nods. "Yeah, I'll be out in a second," he says. "Just gotta finish up some, uh," Donghyuck chances a glance to the side, sees Mark trying to hold in a laugh behind a closed fist. "Homework," he finishes lamely. "Stats."

He curses himself internally for such a shitty excuse. Renjun looks at him like he's grown a second head before his lips twitch up in apparent amusement. "Homework," Renjun agrees, tone making it clear he isn't having any of Donghyuck's bullshit today. "Cool. We have class in like, an hour? So be out there in five minutes or I'm telling Jeno that your share of chicken is fair game."

"Yeah, yeah,” Donghyuck rolls his eyes before closing the door in Renjun's face. ”I'll be out in a sec."

He takes a second to breathe out a sigh of relief, before turning to the still shirtless boy next to him. Mark's shoulders are shaking with barely suppressed mirth, hair still mussed up from their earlier activities. Donghyuck takes note of the faint red scratches on his chest and feels a little bit vindicated at the sight.

Donghyuck scowls, but they both know it's for show. "Shut up," he mumbles, feeling his cheeks heat up in mortification—at the thought of them almost getting caught or because of the shoddy excuse to buy them some time, he isn’t sure.

Mark looks at him with a guileless look on his face, miming the action of zipping his mouth shut. Shaking his head, Donghyuck pokes Mark in the side, ushering him back towards the bed. 

"I'm gonna need you to stay here for the next little while, if that's okay? At least, just until they all leave," Donghyuck says, expression turning apologetic. "Sorry about this, I really thought they'd be out all day."

Mark reaches out to ruffle his hair before his hand comes down to caress the side of his face. "Hey, it's no biggie," he says, smiling softly. "I'm free until practice at five, so there's no rush."

Mark presses his thumb against Donghyuck's lower lip, eyes turning half-lidded when Donghyuck purses his lips to kiss the digit. Smiling, Mark frames his face with both of his hands, tipping his head back as he leans in for a languid kiss. He licks into Donghyuck’s mouth, almost teasing, and Donghyuck is painfully reminded of their unfinished business, can feel it against his thigh as Mark pulls his body in even closer. 

Mark pulls back and Donghyuck chases his lips with a small whine. "You'll just have to make it up to me when you get back, yeah?" Mark whispers, hand guiding Donghyuck's to cup at his semi. "Finish what you started."

With a herculean effort, Donghyuck manages to pull away, head dropping down to Mark's shoulder with a groan. "Don't make me horny before I have to go out there, you dick. S'not cool."

He feels Mark laugh against him before he's being pushed away towards the door with a pat on the butt. "Okay, okay. Go shoo, before your roommate comes back in here himself." Mark moves to lie back down in his bed. "I'll just take a nap or something. Don't worry about me."

It's not you that I'm worried about here, Donghyuck thinks. He chances one last look at Mark, briefly entertaining the thought of just locking the door and continuing where they left off—his friends be damned—before he sighs and makes to leave the room.




Donghyuck hums around a mouthful of chicken, attention turning to Jeno next to him.

"Since when do you listen to Coldplay? I thought you hated them?"

Donghyuck's brows furrow in confusion and Jeno points down to his shirt. "Did someone gift that to you?" He looks down and blanches at the fact that he recognizes the shirt he's currently wearing as the one he'd personally stripped off of Mark just an hour ago.

"Got you the wrong size too, from the looks of it," Renjun quips from behind his cup, eyes fixated on the loose collar and drooping sleeves.

Donghyuck's going to kill him.



"You fucking gave me the wrong shirt on purpose, didn't you?"

Donghyuck re-enters the room, leftovers in hand for Mark, to find him sitting at his desk. He's wearing one of Donghyuck's oversized hoodies, almost drowning in it, and is flipping through what looks like one of Donghyuck's old yearbooks from high school. Donghyuck lets out an indignant hey! before dropping the pizza box on the bed and ripping the book out of Mark's hands.

"Nope. Nuh uh. We're done," Donghyuck says, embarrassment lining his voice. "Time to go find someone else to get your dick wet because you are never going near mine ever again."

Mark just giggles at Donghyuck's reaction. "Dude, no! You were so cute," he coos. "Like, for real. Little Donghyuck with braces. Fuckin' adorable."

"Shut the fuck up, oh my god."

Mark gets up from his seat, biting his lips to hold in his laughter. "Sorry," he grins. Donghyuck scoffs and turns away from him, tossing the old book into the corner of the room. He glares at it, mentally wishing it’d spontaneously combust and take all evidence of 16-year-old Donghyuck with it.  

"I feel bad for snooping. Really, I am," Mark says, moving to wrap an arm around Donghyuck's waist. He ignores the elbow that Donghyuck's trying to dig into his ribs in protest, managing to press a kiss to Donghyuck's temple in apology. "But I really did find you cute though."

"And to think, I was gonna feed you," Donghyuck grumbles. He's stopped struggling though, so Mark counts that as a win. "You can go starve for all I care."

Mark perks up at that, looking over to the abandoned box laying on the bed. "You brought me food?"

Donghyuck wiggles out of his grip, and goes to take Mark's previously occupied seat. "Yeah, we had leftovers so you're free to take some if you're hungry," he says, crossing his arms over his chest, reminding him of the fact that he's still in Mark's shirt. "I felt bad about locking you up in here."

"Sweet, thanks man," Mark says. He sits down on Donghyuck's bed and opens up the box—Donghyuck would normally take offense to the idea of eating on his bed, but Mark looks so excited that he doesn’t have the heart to say no. Plus, he looks cute in Donghyuck's sweater, so he'll let him get away with it just this once.

"Sorry about the lack of selection, by the way," Donghyuck says. "They finished all the chicken and all that was left was Jeno's shitty Hawaiian pizza."

Mark shakes his head in response. "You kidding me? This is like, the best flavor? And I was never that big on chicken anyway, so it's no worries." He looks up and laughs again, Donghyuck's look of disgust clear on his face. "What?"

"You—" Donghyuck starts, voice pitched high in disbelief. "I've had your dick in me. What the fuck. I can't believe you live like this."

"It's not that bad." Mark pouts, but takes a bite of the slice anyway. “So, did your friends say anything? Think they could tell you were hiding someone in here?”

Donghyuck hums. “Probably not? They noticed the shirt though,” he says. “Which, by the way, rude. I’m not forgetting about that anytime soon, now my friends think I have shit taste in music.” Donghyuck waves a hand around dismissively. “But they figured it was a gift, so I think we’re safe for now.”  

“Wait, what’s wrong with my shirt?” Mark asks. “Coldplay’s cool though?”

Donghyuck's expression turns solemn as he turns his gaze down to Mark’s lap. "I'm seriously questioning all my life choices right now," he says, sliding his chair closer to the bed and reaching out to pet Mark's limp dick affectionately through his pants. "It's been a good run, but alas, your owner’s a Coldplay-loving, chicken-hating heathen. It was never meant to be." 

Mark just laughs and tosses a wad of tissues at him. Donghyuck stands up in faux indignation and tackles him back onto the bed. He sits on top of Mark's thighs and reaches over to close the pizza box, shoving it off the bed with a flourish.

“Oh, you’re totally gonna get it now,” Donghyuck says, settling back down to straddle Mark properly.

Mark smiles up at him, hands coming up to caress his thighs, fingers pushing his shorts up in anticipation. “Yeah?”

"Yep.” Donghyuck leans down, arms braced on either side of Mark's face, his own grin razor-sharp and dangerous. “So, where were we?" 



The first time anyone figures out that something was up, it was completely and undeniably Mark's fault.

What should've been just another regular afternoon of practice ended with Jeno accidentally tripping him during a scrimmage match, sending them both sprawling into the grass. Donghyuck takes a second to go over himself, making sure nothing was hurting too badly—he's laying on his back, knees bent up to avoid Jeno's prone body next to him.

"Jen," Donghyuck groans, eyes still squeezed shut from the vertigo. "I told you to watch out for that wet patch."

"Sorry, my bad." Jeno sounded breathless, Donghyuck figures the fall must've knocked the wind out of him. He feels Jeno get up next to him, then a foot gently nudging him in the side. Donghyuck opens his eyes, squinting up at Jeno's silhouette against the late afternoon sun.

"Need a hand?" Jeno asks. Donghyuck grabs the proffered hand and gets up with a grunt, dusting off the excess moisture from the wet grass off his shorts.

"Uh, Hyuck?" Jeno's voice sounds strained.

He looks up at his friend's face and takes note of the flushed cheeks. Jeno's eyes aren't looking at his face though, no—his eyes are fixated on his legs.

His thighs, specifically. And the way his shorts had ridden up after their fall.

Fuck, Donghyuck thinks. Busted. He doesn’t have to look down to know what Jeno’s looking at. 

He knew he shouldn't have gone over to Mark's last night, not knowing he had practice the next day. Flashes of their previous rendezvous play in his mind's eye, remembering the feeling of Mark in between his legs, sucking a line of bruises along his inner thighs as he fingered Donghyuck open.


Jeno holds up a hand, interrupting him. "You don't have to say anything, Hyuck," he says. "But please just tell me it isn't someone on our team."

"What? No!" Donghyuck hisses. "You know I'd never do anything to jeopardize the team like that." And no one on the team would be stupid enough to make it this obvious.

Jeno breathes out a relieved sigh at the confirmation. Then he grins, all charming eye-smiles. "I won't ask then, don't worry."

Donghyuck eyes him warily. He knows Jeno wouldn't push, not since Donghyuck had found out about his on-again-off-again situation with Jaemin and had kept his mouth shut about it. Jeno owes him that much. 

But still, he doesn't like the idea of anyone else finding out for real. He'd like to keep whatever it was he had with Mark just between them. At least for now.

Jeno's voice breaks him out of his reverie. "I’m glad you’re finally getting laid though," he says. "You've looked happier lately. Less stressed out."

Donghyuck blinks up at him. He hadn't felt any different lately, but it must've been a big enough change for Jeno to make a note of it.

Then, Jeno throws him a cheeky little grin. "Just make sure they’re more careful next time. Or at least, tell them to ease off before practice. You're not as good at hiding things as you think you are, Cap'n."

Donghyuck scowls and flips him off, making his way back towards the bench. 

And if he comes to practice the next week wearing compression shorts under his uniform, well—Jeno doesn’t say a word, just smiles in that knowingly infuriating way of his as he pats Donghyuck’s back on the way to the field. 



Donghyuck comes home late one night to the sight of Mark Lee sitting in his living room, a deer-in-headlights expression on his face as Renjun beckons him over to them. There’s takeout containers littered all over the floor around their coffee table, and a pair of laptops sitting haphazardly on top of scattered paperwork. 

It looks a little bit like a warzone in here, which wouldn’t necessarily be unusual for someone like Renjun—lord knows he’s used to his roommate’s weird eccentricities—but Donghyuck’s still flabbergasted at Mark’s presence in their apartment. 

He doesn’t remember the last time he’d seen Mark outside of the confines of a bedroom. 

“Um?” Donghyuck doesn’t even know where to start. 

“Mark,” Renjun starts, turning his attention back to his screen. “This is Donghyuck, my roommate. Hyuck, this is Mark, he’s helping me out with that science outreach thing I was telling you about earlier. You know, the one for the kids?” 

“Thanks, Renjun, but we’ve already met,” Mark turns to him, waving, and the panic must show on his face because Donghyuck can tell he’s trying not to laugh. “Donghyuck, right? Nice to see you again, man.”

Mark sends him a wink. Donghyuck feels like throttling him. 

“Uh, yeah,” Donghyuck answers faintly. “It’s been a while, I guess?” What?

His confusion must show on his face because Mark shakes his head minutely, eyes darting towards Renjun then back to his face. 

“Oh? You guys know each other?” Renjun asks, tearing his eyes away from his laptop to look back and forth between Mark and Donghyuck. “From where?”

“We met once, at one of those retreats for all the varsity athletes,” Mark explains.

Renjun nods and turns back to his work, throwing out an uninterested, “Ah, jock stuff, gotcha.” Then, he lets out a small tsk in irritation, getting up from his seat and walking towards the direction of the bedrooms. “Hyuck, can I borrow your printer? Mine’s acting up again.”

“Go for it,” Donghyuck says. “But you’re replacing the ink if you use it all up.”

Once Renjun was out of earshot, Donghyuck turns to Mark, voice pitched low in fear of being overheard. “What are you doing here?”

Mark shrugs. “Renjun and I have a lot of the same classes, but I didn’t realize he was your roommate until we were already walking up to your door.” He raises an eyebrow at Donghyuck then. “Besides, ‘Junnie’ isn’t exactly a telling enough nickname, so how was I supposed to know?” Donghyuck opens his mouth to retort, but Mark cuts him off. “It’s fine though, he doesn’t know about us. At least, not that I’ve told him.”

Donghyuck exhales a sigh of relief at the confirmation, leaning his hip against the back of the couch. “Okay, yeah. That’s good. I haven’t told him anything either.” 

No reason for them to stop then. 

He moves to take a seat on the couch, next to where Mark’s seated on the floor. “So, bio major, huh? Never would’ve guessed.”

“Well, you’ve never really asked.” Mark smiles up at him. “But yep, I’m just another one of those poor suckers trying to get into med school. Or grad school, if that doesn’t pan out.” He picks up what looks like a flyer for the program that he and Renjun are running and passes one up for Donghyuck to grab. “The outreach thing would look great on the resume.”

“On top of already being a varsity team captain?” Donghyuck whistles. “I don’t even wanna know how little sleep you get. I’ve been around Renjun long enough to know it isn’t pretty.” 

Mark shrugs. “It could be worse.” 

A few beats pass in relatively awkward silence, both parties unsure of how to navigate around each other outside of hooking up. Donghyuck’s the first to crack though, getting up from his seat and grabbing his bag. 

“Well, I’m beat, so I’m gonna go take a nap,” he declares. And then, in a lower voice, “Are we still on for tonight? Your place?” 

“Yeah,” Mark replies. 

“Any requests? Since you’re already here?”

Mark smirks. “Surprise me tonight. You pick.”

Donghyuck laughs as he turns to leave, but not before turning back to send Mark a salacious wink. “I’ll hold you to that then. And don’t worry, I know what you like.”



It's the first week of November, and they lose 3-1 against their divisional rivals in the conference semi-finals. Donghyuck feels restless, veins filled with the remnants of the adrenaline from the final minutes of the game coupled with the building frustration at himself for not having done better.

He was uncharacteristically silent as the team filed in after the loss, comforting pats on the back doing nothing for the disappointment building in his gut. His post-game debrief and pep talk felt robotic, even to his ears, and he'd done his best to ignore the concerned glances Jeno sent his way as he headed into the showers.

It feels like his body's running on autopilot, his feet moving by instinct, just walking and walking until the next thing he knows, he’s facing the now-familiar beige door to Mark's apartment.

Donghyuck rings the doorbell and briefly wonders when he started associating Mark's place—and by extension, Mark— with relief. His very own little safe haven, away from the responsibilities that come with just being Lee Donghyuck.

It takes a few minutes before the door opens, Mark's wide eyes blinking back at him in surprise. "Hyuck?"

Donghyuck's never really dropped by uninvited before, and he certainly didn't give him any heads up this time around.

He takes a second to study Mark in front of him, a bit different than usual, and certainly not in a bad way. Mark clearly wasn't expecting any guests. His hair's still damp from what Donghyuck guesses was a shower, and he's dressed in a sweater emblazoned with SMU's lax team logo and some worn-out joggers.

Mark looks homey. Cute, even. Totally unsexy. And yet, he can't help but find him attractive nonetheless.

The most curious thing though, Donghyuck notes, is that Mark's wearing glasses. He's never seen those before—didn't even know that Mark needed them.

There's a lot about Mark he doesn't know, he realizes.

"Hyuck? Is everything... okay?" Mark asks, stepping aside and gesturing for Donghyuck to come in. Donghyuck follows him inside, not having uttered a word since Mark answered the door. Mark takes his soccer bag from his shoulders and drops it by the side of the door.

"How did—” Mark hesitantly asks. "How did the game go?"

Instead of a proper reply, Donghyuck could only groan, dropping his head to rest on Mark's shoulder. The unexpected weight makes Mark stagger back against the door, but he makes no move to push Donghyuck away. If anything, Donghyuck's stiffens when he first feels Mark's hand come up to pet his hair in a comforting gesture, relaxing back against him at the touch.

He wonders how Mark knew he even had a game in the first place.

"That bad, huh?" Mark whispers against his temple. At Donghyuck pitiful nod, he wraps an arm around his waist. "That sucks, I'm sorry. I'm sure you did your best."

Donghyuck feels his heart clench uncomfortably at the words. Mark would know, more than anyone, what a loss like this would feel like. 

"You'll be okay, Hyuck," he says softly, before Donghyuck feels a hand tip his chin up to meet Mark's gaze. "And I don't wanna assume, but I'm guessing you came all the way here to…" Mark raises an eyebrow then, accompanied by a quirk of the lips. "Distract yourself?"

That hadn't been Donghyuck's original plan, if he were being honest. He isn't quite sure why he ended up here in the first place. But he looks at the interest displayed clearly on Mark's face, and finds that he wasn't about to say no to a gift horse in the mouth.

So instead of dignifying Mark's question with a proper response, he surges up to capture Mark's lips in a bruising kiss, pressing him back against the front door. It's rougher than usual, messier and lacking their usual finesse. Donghyuck still feels the undercurrent of energy from earlier, thrumming at the prospect of a proper outlet in Mark's proposition.

Donghyuck's the first to pull away, moving down to press open-mouthed kisses down the side of Mark's neck, hands slipping underneath Mark’s sweater to palm at his sides. He hears Mark's head drop back against the door with a soft sigh, and something about their current position takes him back to the night they first met—the night this all started. 

"Mark, can I—" Donghyuck pants. "Fuck, I wanna—"

"Yeah," Mark answers, because at this point he can read Donghyuck like an open book. "Yeah, anything. Whatever you want."

Donghyuck blinks up at him, surprised at how easily he’d given in. “Really? You’d let me—?”

“Yeah,” Mark confirms, eyes sparkling. “Why not?”



He's never been more thankful for the fact that Mark lives alone.

Mark’s bedroom is dark, black-out curtains drawn shut against the late afternoon sun. It takes some fumbling, Donghyuck almost tripping along the way as Mark navigates them both to the bed without breaking contact.

Donghyuck tugs at Mark's sweater as they get to the foot of the bed, impatient as ever. He watches hungrily as Mark pulls it over his head, immediately latching onto the newly exposed skin, hands everywhere, teeth biting hard enough to leave marks.

"Jesus, Hyuck," Mark grunts, hand coming up to tangle in Donghyuck's hair as he sucks down on the spot he'd just bitten. "The boys are gonna think I got mauled by an animal at the rate you're going."

Donghyuck smirks and pushes Mark down onto the bed roughly, following him down and grabbing Mark's wrists to pin them down next to his head. He takes a second to appreciate his handiwork—Mark under him, flushed all the way down to his chest, spots of red and purple blooming all over pale skin.

"I can't help it, you bruise so fucking easily," Donghyuck says, one hand tracing down, thumb pressing into a spot he knows is particularly tender. His eyes darken as Mark arches under his touch. "Shit, Mark, you're so pretty."

Donghyuck presses his hips down, letting Mark feel the hard outline of his cock, thick and noticeable even through his jeans. It's almost dizzying, the surge of arousal that courses through him as he watches Mark's eyelids flutter shut, lips parting slightly in a silent groan.

Mark's always been the quieter one between the two of them. Donghyuck's determined to change that tonight.

"I'm going to fuck you," Donghyuck whispers, leaning down to nip lightly at Mark's jaw. "But not before I finger you open, nice and slow, until you’re begging for it." He moves up, licking at the shell of Mark’s ear, feeling the full-body shiver that runs through the body underneath him, before whispering, “And what was that you told me that first night? Something about coming on my cock, or not at all?”

Mark groans, hips bucking up against him. “Big talk for someone who’s still fully clothed.” 

Wordlessly, Donghyuck leans back to discard his own shirt with a lazy grin, movements unhurried, as if he’s got all the time in the world. He dips his head back down for a proper kiss, Mark’s arms winding around his shoulders to keep him in place. One of his hands comes down to caress the soft skin of Mark’s stomach, feeling him tense at the touch before moving up, thumb rolling over a nipple just as Mark’s breath hitches into his mouth. 

Donghyuck breaks away from the kiss, smile insufferably smug as Mark looks past him up at the ceiling, refusing to make eye contact. “Sensitive?” 

“Shut up— ah,” Mark cuts himself off with a gasp as Donghyuck moves lower, flicking his tongue over Mark’s nipple. “God, you’re a menace. The absolute worst.”

Donghyuck lets out a sound in agreement, moving to catch the other nipple gently between his teeth. He hears Mark suck in a sharp breath, hands flying to Donghyuck’s shoulders as Mark growls out his name in warning. 

Mark’s voice sounds already absolutely wrecked, and Donghyuck hasn’t even started yet. “You’ll be singing a different tune by the end of the night, sweetheart. I can promise you that.” 

“I’d like to see you try,” Mark taunts, bringing Donghyuck’s face back up to crush their mouths together. “Shut up and grab the lube,” he commands, his other hand moving down to cup Donghyuck through his jeans. “So you can get this inside me.”

Donghyuck is more than happy to comply. 

He rolls off Mark, reaching over to rummage through his bedside drawer where he knows Mark keeps the lube and condoms. He’s been in this room enough times that he can probably get it with his eyes closed, Donghyuck muses, and he isn’t sure whether that’s a good thing or not. 

Donghyuck takes his pants off on the way back to the bed, kicking it away haphazardly, leaving him only in his boxers. Mark’s moved up the bed, and Donghyuck raises an eyebrow at the fact that he’s made no move to take his joggers off. 

Mark reaches out when Donghyuck gets a knee on the bed, tugging him down to sit up on the bed. He settles himself down on Donghyuck’s lap, grinding their clothed cocks together as he pulls Donghyuck in to make out some more. Donghyuck’s hands move down from where they were resting on Mark’s waist to slip inside the waistband of his pants, a pleasantly surprised noise escaping him as he cups Mark’s bare ass.

“Are you seriously not wearing any underwear?” Donghyuck asks, awe in his voice as he breaks away from the kiss. 

Mark blushes and looks away. “I mean—I was just at home? I don’t usually… you know? I wasn’t expecting you to come over.”

“So you just walk around commando, like, all the time?” Donghyuck squeezes and is gratified at the squeak that Mark lets out at the action. “Holy shit, I should totally drop by like this more often then.”  

Mark’s smile is wry as he replies, “Please don’t. Who knows what you’d walk into, you’re just lucky I wasn’t busy today.”

“Hm, your loss then.” 

Mark drags his pants down as Donghyuck lubes up his fingers, just far enough that it wouldn’t get in the way. His head drops down onto Donghyuck’s shoulder as the first finger nudges its way inside, a shaky exhale making its way out at the intrusion. It’s been a while for Mark, probably even longer than Donghyuck when they’d first met, and certainly not since they started doing whatever this was.

“You okay?” Donghyuck murmurs, watching Mark for any signs of discomfort. “Let me know if you want to stop.”      

Mark shakes his head, pushing back against Donghyuck’s finger as he adjusts. “You’re fine. Keep going.”  

Donghyuck takes his time after he adds a second finger, pumping them in and out slowly, distracting Mark by alternating between kisses and sucking hickeys down the length of his shoulder. 

“Hyuck,” Mark pants, chest heaving by the time he looks up at Donghyuck’s face. Mark’s fingers claw into his shoulders, but he barely even registers the pain. “Another one. C’mon, please.”  

Donghyuck nods wordlessly, coming up to swallow Mark’s moan in a kiss as he slips in a third finger. It’s an easy slide in at this point, Mark being as worked up as he is. Donghyuck watches entranced, achingly hard in his own boxers, as Mark starts to fuck himself back onto his fingers. 

It doesn’t take long before Mark’s pushing his hand away, tugging at Donghyuck’s boxers to get on with it already. “Fuck, Hyuck, off.”

Donghyuck grins as he pushes Mark onto his back, pulling his joggers off all the way. “You get impatient when you’re needy, did you know that?” He shimmies out of his own underwear, tossing it over the edge of the bed before tearing open the foil for the condom and rolling it down his dick. He grabs the lube, jerking himself a couple times as he looks down at Mark. “It’s adorable.” 

“How are you still talking?” Mark groans, throwing his head back against the pillows. “Aren’t you supposed to be fucking me right about now?”

Donghyuck shushes him, settling in between Mark’s spread legs before leaning down to kiss him. He lines himself up against Mark’s hole, pushing in at an almost glacial pace, feeling Mark trembling slightly underneath him with every inch. Donghyuck lets out a shaky exhale when he fully bottoms out, holding himself still until Mark gives him the go-ahead to move. 

“God, you’re so fucking tight,” Donghyuck gasps. “You feel so good, Mark. How have we not done this before?” 

“It’s cause you like my dick too much, I think.” Mark’s voice is strained, but he reaches above him to brace his hands against the headboard. He tries to push himself down, hips rutting against Donghyuck’s helplessly. “C’mon, Donghyuck. Fucking move.”

Donghyuck doesn’t need telling twice. He pushes Mark’s legs even further back, impressed at the other boy’s flexibility, before bracing his hands against Mark’s thighs and fucking into him hard enough to rock the bed. 

Mark’s hands are white-knuckled against the headboard, biting down on his bottom lip in an attempt to keep his noises in. It takes Donghyuck a couple of experimental thrusts before he manages to find Mark’s prostate, and he knows he’s found the right angle when Mark’s eyes fly open before squeezing shut, a loud moan escaping him before he clamps down on one of his own fingers. 

Donghyuck pulls Mark’s hands away, pinning them down beside him. “No, I want to hear you,” he whispers, leaning down to suck another hickey onto Mark’s collarbone. “You and all those pretty little noises I know you can make.” 

Mark glares up at him, but can’t stop the breathless gasps that’s ripped from his throat as Donghyuck picks up the pace. It really is a sight to behold, Donghyuck thinks, watching Mark come undone under him—the way his back arches off the bed after a particularly hard thrust, the flush that starts making its way down Mark’s chest, and the way Mark starts repeating a mantra of Donghyuck’s name.

Donghyuck can feel himself getting close, can feel the coil in his gut tightening almost painfully. He leans down, lips brushing against Mark’s ear as he whispers, “Do you think you can come untouched, baby?”

“Fuck, Donghyuck—”

“Think you can do that, Mark?” Donghyuck repeats, voice dropping even lower, the sound of it going straight to Mark’s cock. “Can you come for me?”

Mark’s answering whimper is all the warning he gets before Donghyuck feels him clench around his cock, impossibly tight, ropes of come painting Mark’s stomach as he fucks him through the aftershocks. It only takes Donghyuck about half a dozen thrusts after that before he’s coming too, holding himself still as he fills the condom.    

Donghyuck takes a second to collect himself before he pulls out slowly, tossing the soiled condom over the side of the bed, too tired to bother checking if it made it into the bin. Mark looks down at the mess all over his stomach and grimaces. “Ugh, dude. Gross. Are we always this messy?” 

Donghyuck snorts, rolling over onto his side to face him. “Welcome to my life. Just be glad I didn’t finish inside of you without a condom, that kind of cleanup’s a bitch and a half.”

Mark rolls his eyes but doesn’t say anything as he reaches over for some tissues to wipe themselves down with. Donghyuck watches him, boneless and sated—he feels lighter than when he first arrived, the residual stress from earlier gone. 

“Um, sorry about barging in like this,” Donghyuck says quietly. “And thanks, for y’know,” he waves his hand in a wide gesture over their still-naked bodies. “Everything.” 

“It’s all good, Hyuck,” Mark says. “And I can’t really complain, I got something out of it too? Besides, I figured you needed to get rid of the extra energy. I’ve been there before, and it’s easier than going out to pull.”

“What were you gonna do if I hadn’t shown up?” Donghyuck’s brows furrow in concern. “I didn’t interrupt anything, did I? Sorry—”

“No, no,” Mark cuts him off with a laugh. “Seriously, it wasn’t anything important.” Donghyuck watches as Mark fumbles around for his glasses. It really does suit him, the more he looks at it—gives him a sort of a boyish charm that Donghyuck doesn’t usually associate with someone like Mark. 

”I was, uh,” Mark’s grin turns sheepish. “I was just gonna marathon Lord of the Rings, actually.” He hesitates for a second before continuing, grin fading to a small smile, almost shy. “You can join me if you want, but I dunno if that’s your thing?” 

“Mark,” Donghyuck stares at him for a long while, lips twitching in an attempt to keep a straight face. He knows what he’s about to say is considered blasphemous at best, for someone like Mark. “First of all, I’m not a loser.” He ignores Mark’s indignant ‘hey!’ in favor of continuing his assault. ”And second, I’ve never seen a single Lord of the Rings movie in my life. I can’t get through the first ten minutes of it without falling asleep.” Donghyuck shakes his head then. “Believe me, my friends have tried. And have failed. Repeatedly.”

“Wh—Hyuck!” Mark sounds so offended that Donghyuck can’t help the laugh that bubbles up in his throat. “That’s it, you’re staying,” Mark says, a serious frown on his face. “You need to get through Fellowship, at the very least.”

Donghyuck raises an eyebrow at him, propping his chin up on one hand. “You know I can just up and leave right now? There is literally nothing stopping me.” 

Mark is silent for a while, studying Donghyuck’s face with an unreadable expression on his face. He breathes in then, eyes closed, before pouncing, rolling them both over so that Donghyuck lands on his back against the mattress. Mark hovers over him, glasses slipping down his nose precariously as he looks down at Donghyuck’s wide eyes. 

“How about I make you a deal,” Mark says. 

Donghyuck blinks up at him a couple of times before he smirks. “I seriously doubt you have anything that could get me to sit through that snoozefest, but you’re welcome to try. I’m all ears.” 

“I’m going to ignore that insult for your sake,” Mark pouts. “But here’s the deal, you sit through all three movies with me—”


“—the extended editions, by the way—”

“What? No—”

“—And I will owe you an orgasm for every single hour that you can sit through awake.”   

Donghyuck pauses. “I’m listening.”

“These’ll be in addition to all of our usual hookups, so like, you’re free to choose when to cash it in, I guess?”

Donghyuck raises an arched brow at him. “How many hours total?”

Mark grins. “Twelve, give or take a bit.”

Donghyuck hums.

“Yeah, okay. Deal,” he says, smiling as Mark jumps off the bed, excitedly rushing out to the living room to get his laptop. “But you’re paying for dinner!”



Mark hears a quiet sniffle and he tears his eyes away from the screen to look at the boy next to him. Donghyuck’s sitting cross-legged on the couch, face half-hidden behind a throw pillow. Donghyuck’s gaze meets his from the corner of his eye and he glares at Mark before burying his face fully into the pillow.

“Shut the fuck up, Mark.”

“Hyuck, you—”

“Sam made a promise!” Donghyuck lets out a muffled sob. “He couldn’t swim! Fuck that Mr. Frodo asshole, what the fuck!”

Mark’s laugh echoes throughout the apartment, and there’s something about the sound that warms Donghyuck to the core, a fluttering in his gut that he quickly wills away. 

He’s starting to veer into dangerous territory. 




hey!! are you free this weekend? my place?


yea im down, i can do sat? want me to stay over?


yes please, we still have the last movie to get through :)


mark ur killing me here

im starting to wonder whether ur magic dick is even worth this


but mordor!!!!!

"You should watch the Hobbit movies too."

Donghyuck looks up at Mark in incredulity, both of his legs thrown over Mark's shoulders. The angle was working so well for him before Mark stopped. He'd been so close.

"Mark, are you fucking kidding me right now? Your dick is literally still inside me." Donghyuck wiggles his hips down to get his point across. "Can we talk about this after? Or never, if that works better? I want to— oh—"

Mark braces himself over the bed, an arm wrapping around Donghyuck's waist to lift him up a little, before starting back up at a near-brutal pace. The combination of the new angle and Donghyuck's dick trapped between their bodies has him toppling over the edge in no time, Mark following inside him soon after.

They both flop down onto the bed, breathless and panting, before Donghyuck turns to Mark with a scathing glare.

"You," Donghyuck pants, "have the shittiest timing ever."

Mark just laughs and tosses the used condom into the bin, maneuvering them so that Donghyuck was laying on his chest instead. He can hear Mark's heart still thundering underneath him as Mark starts dragging his fingers through Donghyuck's hair, and that, coupled with the residual warmth from both of their bodies, has Donghyuck fighting off the urge to sleep.

"I'm just saying, once we finish the original trilogy, we could totally do the Hobbit movies," Mark says. "You'd like Smaug, I think."

There's a small voice in the back of his head telling him that he's getting a little too comfortable around Mark. The voice sounds a bit like Jeno, Donghyuck muses, so he pointedly ignores it.

Mark gently nudges him awake, Donghyuck blearily blinking the sleep from his eyes as he looks up at Mark's smiling face. "What? 'm listening, keep going." Donghyuck hides a yawn into Mark's shoulder. "If you're subjecting me to more movies, we're extending the deal. I'm still keeping count of the hours."

Donghyuck groans as Mark laughs under him, swatting a hand on his bare chest to get him to stop moving. Mark answers by moving more, dislodging Donghyuck from his comfortable position as he reaches over to his bedside table. He rummages around for a beat, before settling back down onto the bed with a small gift bag in hand.

Donghyuck props himself up on an elbow, an eyebrow raised as Mark passes the gift over to him.

"And what is this supposed to be?" Donghyuck asks.

Mark shrugs and gestures for him to open it. "Think of it as an early Christmas gift? I'm heading back home to Canada for the break, so I probably wouldn't have a chance to give this to you before then."

“Do you usually make a habit of giving gifts to people you hook up with on the regular?” Donghyuck asks with a smirk.

“Only the special ones,” Mark grins. "But really though, I won't be seeing you for a while, so," he trails off with a shrug. "Besides, you've sat through movies that you hated for me. I figured that at least makes us friends."

Friends. Is that what they were? Donghyuck’s never really put much thought into what he and Mark considered each other to be. ‘Fuckbuddies’ was never quite the right term—at least not to Donghyuck, that term was always a little too crass for him—although he supposes ‘friends with benefits’ came pretty close. 

He hadn’t realized how close Mark had gotten to him in the four (or was it five?) months since they first met. 

“Geez, Mark, way to make a guy look bad,” Donghyuck jokes, gingerly tearing open the bag. “I didn’t get you anything though—” 

He stops, taking in Mark’s gift—it’s a keychain. A small, brown stuffed bear holding a soccer ball. Donghyuck looks up at Mark with wide eyes, only to find him already staring back, a fond smile on his face as he reaches out for the trinket in Donghyuck’s hands. 

“Do you like it?” Mark asks, holding it up in front of him. “I saw it when I was shopping and immediately thought of you. Isn’t it cute?”

It is, Donghyuck thinks. It’s absolutely adorable, even by his standards. He’s almost touched that Mark would go this far out of his way for him. The fluttering in his gut is back again, a feeling that’s becoming increasingly more common the more time he spends around Mark. 

Donghyuck can’t say he hates it though. 

“I love it, Mark,” Donghyuck says softly. “Thank you.” 

He gently sets the gift back down on Mark’s bedside table, making sure it’s safe and out of the way as he throws a leg over Mark to straddle him. Mark’s leaning back against the headboard, hands coming up to his hips to keep him balanced as he leans down, pressing soft, almost tender kisses along the column of Mark’s throat. 

“I may not have an actual gift for you,” Donghyuck whispers, kissing all the way up until he meets Mark’s lips, nipping at them lightly before pulling away. “But I think I have a pretty good idea on how to make it up to you.” 

“Well,” Mark starts, eyes darkening as he rakes his eyes over Donghyuck’s naked body above him. “Then I guess it’s a good thing that we have all night.”



Donghyuck regrets his decision to stay on campus for the holiday break. He never should've taken up his friends' offer of spending Christmas together, not when he had no classes and no Mark to run away to, and especially not when said friends were being a bit too nosy for their own good.

It's how he finds himself holed up inside his apartment during Christmas Eve, waiting as the minutes tick by to midnight.

“So when are you gonna tell us who it is?” Jaemin asks.

“When am I gonna tell you who what is?” Donghyuck retorts, an eyebrow raised at the pink-haired boy in front of him.

They’re gathered around his and Renjun’s living room, Donghyuck taking up most of the space on the couch while Jeno and Jaemin are crammed into the loveseat. Renjun’s rummaging around in the kitchen, and Donghyuck hopes he comes back with something other than their shitty cheap beer.

He has a feeling he’ll be needing something stronger tonight.

“Don’t play coy,” Jaemin smirks. “It feels like we’ve barely seen you since the semester started, Hyuck. It’s like you never go out anymore?”

"I go out plenty, Jaem," Donghyuck scoffs. "I just don't go out with you."

"Oof, Hyuckie, that hurts," Jaemin slumps against Jeno, clutching his shirt over his heart as he feigns distress. "I miss the old Donghyuck, the fun one that we used to have to babysit at parties."

Donghyuck aims a pillow at Jaemin's pretty face, missing by an inch as Jeno pushes him away with a soft laugh. He's thankfully saved from Jaemin's retaliation as Renjun comes back into the room, a half-finished bottle of Jack in hand.

"He's not wrong though," Renjun says, jumping right into the fray. "You haven't been bringing anyone home recently either. It's been ages since the last time you sexiled me." He takes a quick swig of the bottle before passing it down to Donghyuck's outstretched hand. "Not that I'm complaining, of course. The walls are thinner than you think they are."

"Can we please not talk about this?" Donghyuck can feel his cheeks heating up at the fact that his sex life is apparently up for debate tonight. "I can promise you that I'm not dating anyone."

Renjun looks at him like he doesn't believe him. "Fine, not dating, but there is someone, right? I've seen the hickeys, Hyuck. You ain't slick."

"Finally! Someone else noticed," Jeno laughs out. He shrugs when Donghyuck turns his glare over to him. "Sorry, Hyuck, but the cat's out of the bag. I told you that you should’ve been more careful about the marks."

"Wait, Jeno knew?" Jaemin says, betrayal in his voice. "Who is it?"

"Jeno doesn't know who it is," Donghyuck grumbles. "And I'm not about to tell you guys either." He lets out a sigh of defeat, knowing they won't stop until he gives them something, at least. "It's no one, really, we barely know each other—"

His phone buzzes in his pocket.

"—And he and I both agreed we wouldn't tell anyone, so it wouldn't be fair if I told you."

Donghyuck reaches for his phone, looking down at the screen to hide from his friends' prying eyes. "Besides," he adds, keeping his tone light. He unlocks his phone, opening the unread message.

'i know it's early bc of the time difference but merry christmas, hyuck!! hope you have a good one haha :)'

"We both know it doesn't mean anything."

Donghyuck bites back a smile and tries to stifle the ache in his chest, shooting off a quick text in reply.

'you're right on time. merry christmas mark, see you soon ^^'

He doesn’t miss the questioning look that Renjun throws his way when he looks back up, shaking his head minutely before pocketing his phone.