The next time he sees Mark after the break is a week into the new semester. Mark had invited him over to his apartment for a quick session before his afternoon classes, and Donghyuck had all but jumped at the chance.
Mark had wasted no time backing him up against the door as soon as he arrived, kissing Donghyuck without so much as a hello. Donghyuck smiles into the kiss, arms locking around Mark’s neck to pull him flush against his body. Mark's hands hook underneath Donghyuck's thighs, lifting him up to trap him between his body and the door. Donghyuck lets out a surprised gasp at the sudden motion, instinctively wraps his legs around Mark's waist and scrambling to grasp at his shoulders to balance himself.
"Eager, much?" Donghyuck teases, voice a little breathless as he looks down as Mark. "A little warning would've been nice."
Mark laughs as he hikes Donghyuck up a little higher, head moving down so he can mouth along the length of Donghyuck's neck, biting down at his pulse point like he knows Donghyuck likes. "It's been a while, you can't really blame me for being excited."
Donghyuck lets out an appreciative hum that turns into a moan as Mark presses their hips closer together, evidence of how excited Mark actually is pressing up against his ass. He lets his head rest back against the door, looking down at Mark with half-lidded eyes as he entertains a thought. "Hey, Mark?"
Mark lets out a sound to let him know he's listening, too busy sucking a pattern of bruises across Donghyuck's collarbone for a proper response.
"Do you think you can fuck me like this?"
That makes Mark pause. He looks up at Donghyuck's contemplative expression with a crooked smile on his face. "What, like against the wall?" Mark asks. Donghyuck nods. "Honestly, probably not."
Donghyuck pouts. "That's disappointing." He pauses for a beat, thinking about Mark's thighs, and what it'd feel like wrapped around him instead. And then, "Would you let me fuck you like this?"
Mark moves a hand up from his thigh to pinch his ass, eliciting a pained yelp and making Donghyuck squirm in his arms. "I'm not about to risk injuring either of us just to satisfy your wall sex fantasies, Hyuck.” He pauses then, as if considering it. “At least, not until the season’s done."
"Well, it was worth a shot." Donghyuck leans down to capture Mark's lips in a kiss, a sweet little thing, before he moves to whisper into Mark's ear, voice lowering in anticipation. "Now, take me to bed, Mark."
They’d only been separated for less than a month, and Donghyuck couldn’t believe how much he’d missed this.
Donghyuck's head falls back against Mark's shoulder, one of Mark's arms wrapped around his waist to hold him up against his chest as he fucks into him. It's so good, even better because of how long it's been, and he knows Mark's getting close from the way he's losing his rhythm, hips snapping erratically as his grip around Donghyuck tightens.
He wonders whether he should consider it good luck or bad luck then, that Mark's phone starts ringing just as Mark finishes inside of him—a FaceTime notification from his mother blinking back at them like a bad omen.
They try to ignore it, Mark reaching around to sloppily fist Donghyuck to completion, but the ringing continues. They end up rushing to make Mark look presentable, Donghyuck pulling him in by the shirt to fix his hair with a hissed, “Mark, you literally have sex hair, oh my god come here—”
Donghyuck hastily grabs what he thinks are his clothes from the floor and leaves the room just as Mark answers the call, angling his phone away from the door and greeting his mom with a wave of the hand.
He dithers around the living room after putting on his pants, realizing that he’d picked up the wrong shirt again. Instead of leaving like he'd initially intended to, Donghyuck makes his way into the kitchen, hoping to scrounge together enough ingredients to make a proper lunch.
He’s never really used Mark’s kitchen before, but he knows Mark wouldn’t mind. Donghyuck opens the fridge and frowns at how bare it is. He makes a mental note to take Mark out to buy proper groceries before taking the carton of eggs out of the fridge.
He's about halfway done making omelettes for the both of them when Mark walks out of his room, pausing at the sight of Donghyuck standing shirtless by the stove.
"You're still here," Mark says, an odd tone to his voice.
"Yep," Donghyuck says, not bothering to look up from the pan. "Grabbed the wrong shirt again so I think mine's still somewhere on your floor." He rummages around the cabinets for plates, setting one down onto the counter. "Lunch?"
"What?" Mark asks, wide eyes blinking back at Donghyuck, almost as if he’s not believing what he’s seeing.
"Omelettes," Donghyuck points out, looking back to raise an eyebrow at Mark. "It's nothing much, but dude, do you even realize that your fridge is almost totally empty?" He moves to plate the eggs, Mark moving to lean against the counter as he watches him work. "Like, what do you even eat?"
"I don't cook that often, actually," Mark answers, grin sheepish as Donghyuck slides the plate in between them. He murmurs a quiet thanks for the food before continuing, "I can cook like, really, really basic stuff, but it's usually either take out or my brother dropping stuff off on the weekends."
Donghyuck pauses, fork halfway to his mouth. "You have a brother?"
Mark hums, nodding in response. "Older brother, yeah. He's a grad student here, actually. But he lives with his boyfriend downtown instead of near campus. It's why I live alone, he moved out earlier this year."
"Huh," Donghyuck says, offering Mark a bite on his fork. "I dunno why, but I had you pegged down as an only child."
Mark smiles wryly at the comment before accepting the bite. "Y'know, somehow? I get that a lot."
"I wonder why," Donghyuck snorts. "How's your mom?"
Mark hesitates for a second before answering the question. "She's fine," he says, fidgeting a little where he stands. "She uh, thinks I'm seeing someone though."
Donghyuck's heart stops dead in his chest. "Oh?"
"She could tell someone else was home," Mark says, frowning. "Demanded that I finally introduce her to the girlfriend."
"What—" Donghyuck swallows. "What did you say?"
"I told her that I didn't have a girlfriend."
Mark sighs. "So then she said she wanted to meet my boyfriend."
Now, that's an entirely different situation altogether. "Well... what did you say to that?"
Mark’s head drops back against the cabinets with a dull thump. "I, uh, didn't? Really? Say anything," he murmurs, looking over at Donghyuck from the corner of his eye. "I kind of hung up on her? By accident, I swear."
"I know!" Mark winces. "I know. I panicked, okay? I'm sorry, Hyuck."
"Damn right, you did—wait, why are you sorry?" Donghyuck asks, bewildered. "Why are you saying sorry to me?"
Mark looks at him, a troubled expression on his face. "I know you're not my boyfriend, but I didn't deny it," he says. "I don't want to make you uncomfortable since she'll probably call again."
"How'd she even know I was here? What made her assume you were even in a relationship in the first place?"
Mark levels him with a pointed look. "You know how you left your clothes on the floor? She must've seen them or something, because that, coupled with these—" Mark pulls on the collar of his shirt, emphasizing the array of marks trailing down the side of his neck. Some of the older bruises have already faded, but others—the ones that Donghyuck had put there less than thirty minutes ago—are only starting to bloom a bright red.
Mark shrugs, fixing his shirt. "She probably put two and two together. Or maybe it's just her mom-senses tipping her off, who the fuck knows."
Well, shit, Donghyuck frowns. This was technically his fault then. "Can't you just deny it?"
Mark shakes his head. "No, she'll probably see right through me," he says, sighing. Then, he pouts. "I told you to lay off above the collar, Hyuck." His hand moves to pinch Donghyuck's cheek, pulling to distort the frown on his face. "But it's fine, I'll figure something out."
"Still, I'm sorry," Donghyuck says, properly admonished. He rubs a little at his aching cheek. "Is there anything I can do? Like, did you want me to talk to her?"
Mark raises an eyebrow at that. "You'd do that? What would you even say?"
Donghyuck doesn't quite know how to answer that question. He's not about to introduce himself to Mark's mother as one of her son's fuckbuddies, after all. Even then, he's not quite sure that's just what they are anymore—not since Christmas, anyway.
He isn't proud of the hours of sleep he's lost to thinking about Mark while lying in bed, the little bear keychain dangling from his fingers. They've never talked about it, but while Donghyuck hasn't been with anyone else since they started whatever this was, there wasn’t really anything stopping Mark from sleeping with other people.
Donghyuck doesn’t usually let himself continue that train of thought—it makes his stomach churn more than he’d like to admit.
He opens his mouth, ready to come up with some bullshit excuse, when the phone on the counter starts ringing. They share a quick, panicked look before he nods, gesturing for Mark to pick up the call.
Mark holds the camera up so that Donghyuck's off-screen. "Mom—"
"Mark Lee, how dare you hang up on me."
They both wince at the reprimand, and Mrs. Lee cuts Mark off before he could stutter through a proper apology.
"I know they're there, Mark, you’re a terrible liar." Damn, Donghyuck thinks. Mrs. Lee is scary. "Put them on the screen."
And maybe it's the spike of terrified adrenaline that shoots through him at the sound of Mrs. Lee's voice, or maybe it's because of the tremor he hears in Mark's voice—but the next thing Donghyuck knows, he's stepping into frame, interrupting Mark's remorseful answer of "Wait, I can explain—" with a voice more confident than he feels.
"Nice to meet you, Mrs. Lee. Apologies for Mark's earlier behavior. My name is Donghyuck, and I'm dating your son."
A handful of seconds pass in awkward silence, both Mark and Mrs. Lee seemingly stunned speechless at Donghyuck's sudden declaration. Donghyuck feels himself break out into a cold sweat, regret instantly flooding him as he looks into the camera. He’d always known his lack of a filter would be the end of him one day—he just didn’t think it’d be at the hands of his not-boyfriend’s mother.
Luckily for him Mark recovers quickly, an arm winding around Donghyuck’s waist in a show of support. “Sorry for not telling you, mom. It’s kind of a new thing? And I didn’t want to scare him off too early,” he says with a laugh, voice steadier than what Donghyuck was expecting.
Mark’s a better actor than he gave him credit for.
There’s a terrifying few beats of silence while Mrs. Lee seems to process the new information, her eyes darting back and forth between Donghyuck and Mark’s hand around his waist before finally breaking out into a wide smile.
“It’s so nice to finally meet you, my dear,” she says, turning her full attention onto Donghyuck. “I’d love to hear all about the guy that had my son glued to his phone the entire time he was here.”
Donghyuck raises an amused eyebrow in Mark’s direction, who could only pout at being exposed in front of his supposed “boyfriend”.
The rest of the call goes smoothly enough, Donghyuck and Mark’s mother apparently finding common ground in teasing Mark until he was red in the face, head buried into Donghyuck’s shoulder in a show of embarrassment. Fortunately for them, the call doesn’t last very long either, as Mark’s mom had to leave for some errands, but not before making both of the boys promise to ring her up again soon—emphasis on the both of them.
They breathe a collective sigh of relief once the call ends, before Mark turns to Donghyuck with an incredulous look in his eyes. Donghyuck can only look back at him sheepishly, one shoulder raised to shrug in feigned nonchalance.
"At least now she won't be bugging you about it anymore?" Donghyuck says. "Think about it this way, you can always just tell her we broke up when you find someone you want to date for real. It’s no big deal."
Mark's face shutters into a strange expression at that last bit, and Donghyuck thinks he may have said the wrong thing. But then he leans over to kiss Donghyuck's temple, a teasing smile in place when he pulls away.
"Yeah," Mark says. "We both know it’s just a lie anyway. It doesn’t have to change anything. Thanks, Donghyuck."
Donghyuck isn’t expecting the twinge in his chest at the way Mark had said those words, but he powers through it anyway with a tight smile of his own.
It's a sunny afternoon in February when Donghyuck decides to watch one of Mark's games.
He'd waited until right before it started to send that last message, with the idea that Mark would be distracted, looking around the crowd to see if Donghyuck would actually show up. They've never really attended each other's games before, but he was curious to see Mark in action—he’d always wanted to see what Mark would be like in his element.
Donghyuck arrives just before the starting whistle, squeezing into the bleachers on their side of the field. He sees their school's uniformed players scattered all over, warming up with stretches and practice drills. Donghyuck scans each player for the '02' he knows is embossed onto Mark's dark blue jersey.
He finds Mark surrounded by a few teammates, and Donghyuck even recognizes one of the players as Lucas, one of the guys from his econ class from sophomore year. They’re all huddled around the clipboard in Mark’s hands, faces turned towards Mark in rapt attention as he talks.
Eventually, the group breaks, and Mark turns his attention towards the stands one more time, crosse stick and helmet in hand. His face lights up in a bright smile as soon as he spots Donghyuck a couple rows up, raising his crosse a little and waving it in his direction. Donghyuck can’t help but to return the smile, tossing him two thumbs up, and mouthing a small “Good luck!” that he hopes Mark could see from afar.
He can tell that Mark got the message when he nods before putting on his helmet, waving one last time before jogging back to the rest of the team.
The game starts and Donghyuck can’t keep his eyes off of Mark long enough to focus on the actual play.
It's like he's a completely different person on the field, he muses, watching as Mark receives a pass and tears down the field, light on his feet. An opposing player tries to slash at Mark's stick to try and get him to drop the ball, but Mark just pushes back, landing a clean hit on the guy that sends him toppling down into the grass.
He hadn’t realized that lacrosse was such an aggressive sport. And later on, as Donghyuck watches Mark body check another player down by the opponent’s net, he hates the fact that he also finds it kind of hot.
Their team wins 12-11 in the last few minutes, and Mark gets lost in a dogpile after scoring the winning goal. Donghyuck bites back a smile, fingers tapping out a quick text to send to Mark's phone for when he gets back to the dressing room.
It's a short message but he knows Mark will understand.
'Wait for me.'
Donghyuck bides his time, stalling until long after the crowd disperses after the game and the team has gone back inside. He's well-acquainted with how long debriefs usually take, and how long it usually takes teams to shower and file out after a good game.
He makes his way down to the dressing rooms, and lets out a pleased smile when he finds it completely empty. There's not a soul in sight, but Mark's bag is still in his stall, so he's probably still around.
Donghyuck doubles checks, makes sure there's nothing else in any of the other stalls, before heading over to the showers. He hears the water running near the far end of the room, and he knows without a shadow of a doubt that it's Mark.
The sight that greets him as he rounds the corner is even better than he could have anticipated. Mark's back is turned towards Donghyuck as he stands under the shower, head tipped back, the water cascading over his shoulders and running in rivulets down his back.
Donghyuck’s mouth goes dry as he takes a second to just take Mark in, standing motionless before he makes his presence known. He knows Mark’s attractive—that’s just a fact at this point, anyone with eyes can see it—but rarely does he get a chance to just stop and see.
“Are you going to say something, or were you just gonna pretend I couldn’t feel your eyes on my ass this whole time?”
“I mean, it is a nice ass, even by my standards. Ten out of ten would stare again,” Donghyuck says, smirking as Mark turns around to level him with an unimpressed stare. “Good game today, Captain. You were great out there.”
“I was on my best behaviour today,” Mark says, the corner of his lips quirking up at Donghyuck’s antics. “Had an audience to impress after all. There was no way we weren’t gonna win.”
Donghyuck hums, finally kicking off the wall opposite of the showers, moving to stand right in front of Mark’s stall. He’s still fully clothed as he rakes his eyes slowly over Mark’s naked body in front of him, and when he reaches Mark’s face, Mark meets his interested gaze with a raised eyebrow, completely unfazed.
“Good to know you got my message then,” Donghyuck says.
Mark smirks. “Which one? The one before, or after?”
“Both,” Donghyuck grins, and reaches back to take a condom and a packet of lube out from his back pocket, holding it up between two fingers for Mark to see. “But speaking of after, I’m here to cash in what you owe me for all those dumb movies.”
Mark probably wasn’t expecting him to be fully prepared, surprise flashing on his face before he settles into an exasperated smile. “Here? Now?” He huffs a small laugh as Donghyuck starts stripping to join him under the spray. “Really, Hyuck?”
Donghyuck grins like he was the one who won the game. “Yep.”
He pushes Mark back against the cold tile of the wall, feeling him shiver at the sharp contrast from the warmth of the water he was just under. Donghyuck steps under the spray himself, getting his hair wet and slicking it back before he siddles up to Mark, pressing their bodies flush together as he leans in closer. “And besides,” he whispers, lips brushing against Mark’s with every word. “Game winners deserve a prize too, don’t you think?”
Instead of answering, Mark closes the distance between them with a kiss, hands coming up to Donghyuck’s hips to flip them around so that Donghyuck was pressed up against the wall instead. He pulls back after they’re both breathless and panting, but not before leaving one last peck to Donghyuck’s lips.
“Hands on the wall,” Mark orders, guiding Donghyuck into position with a hand on the small of his back. He leans down to press a kiss to Donghyuck’s shoulder when he follows without complaint. “Good boy.”
Donghyuck bends further down and arches his back, pushing his ass back against Mark’s hardening cock impatiently. “Just hurry up and get on with it. I’ve been waiting for you to fuck me since the beginning of the game.”
He jumps when Mark’s hand lands on his ass in a light slap, the sound echoing in the nearly empty space. “Liked what you saw then?” Mark teases. Donghyuck lets out a small groan at the smugness in Mark’s voice, shivering at the residual sting from the slap as Mark’s hand traces over the reddening skin.
“Shut up, asshole,” Donghyuck rasps. “So you looked hot while taking someone down, or whatever.” Mark starts trailing open-mouthed kisses up his back, and Donghyuck can’t help the breathy moan that leaves him when Mark bites down on his shoulder particularly hard. “You know I like it when you’re rough, you should’ve expected this.”
“Mm,” Mark agrees, tone light as he lands another slap to Donghyuck’s ass, smiling as Donghyuck whines at the pain. “I know.”
Mark spreads Donghyuck’s legs further apart, his hand sliding down Donghyuck’s back, slick from the water, traveling lower and lower before he reaches for the lube in Donghyuck’s hands. He tears the packet open and lets it drip down liberally onto Donghyuck’s ass, spreading it messily as his fingers circle his rim.
Donghyuck lets out a shaky exhale as the first finger slips inside, head dropping down between his shoulders as he pushes back instinctively, and Mark’s eyes widen when he’s met with minimal resistance. “Did you—Hyuck, did you plan this from the start?”
“I fingered myself just before the game, yeah,” Donghyuck confirms, voice weak as Mark slips in another finger, scissoring them to make sure he’s properly stretched. “Whether you won or lost, it didn’t matter. I was gonna get you to fuck me either way.”
“You’re unbelievable, you know that?”
Donghyuck looks back, eyes half-lidded as he smiles back at Mark, all sin and nothing else. “It’s all part of the charm, baby.”
They make quick work of prepping him, and soon enough, Mark has three fingers sliding in and out of Donghyuck’s ass, Mark’s other hand working his cock as his moans fill the room. Donghyuck knows his back is probably covered in marks, can tell from the way Mark’s mouth had trailed down his spine, but he finds that he doesn’t mind it. Not at all.
“I’m ready,” Donghyuck gasps, body shaking as Mark’s fingertips brush against his prostate. “Mark, c’mon, I’m ready.”
He feels Mark tap his shoulder, a sign for him to hand over the condom, and it doesn’t take long before he feels the blunt head of Mark’s cock pressing up against his hole. Mark’s hand comes up to cup his jaw, turning his head to pull him in for a filthy kiss, swallowing Donghyuck’s moan as he slides inside with one quick thrust.
It still catches him off-guard sometimes, how good they are together. It’s like Mark knows his body better than even he does, knows exactly where to touch and how to fuck him in a way that drives Donghyuck crazy—it’s so fucking good that sometimes, Donghyuck’s a little afraid that he’s been ruined for sex with anyone else.
Mark sets a steady rhythm, fucking Donghyuck with long, deep strokes that has him clawing at the slippery tiles. He knows he’s being loud—and he probably shouldn’t be, considering this isn’t exactly a private space—but he knows Mark likes it, gets off to hearing how good Donghyuck feels when he’s taking it.
Mark pulls Donghyuck back by the elbows, drawing his body away from the wall and using his arms as leverage when he picks up the pace. “That’s it,” he whispers. “You’re doing so well—”
“Mark! Cap, you still in here?”
The sound of Lucas’ voice reverberating in from the dressing room makes them both freeze.
“Yeah?” Mark calls back, his hand coming up to cover Donghyuck’s mouth as he starts moving again, quick, shallow thrusts that have his eyes darkening at the muffled noises escaping from under his hand.
“The guys are going out for drinks at the Rec Room, you down?”
He pulls Donghyuck up flush against his chest, the new angle letting Mark hit his prostate with the next thrust, and Donghyuck’s muffled whine is overshadowed by the sound of the running water. “Yeah, I’ll catch up with you guys in a sec!” Mark yells back. “Go on ahead!”
“Cool! I’ll see you there!” Lucas replies.
They give it a second before hearing the door to the locker room slams shut, before Mark drops his hand from Donghyuck’s face, moving down to grip at his hips as he fucks into him harder, faster. Donghyuck still tries his best to keep quiet though, the fear of being caught still running through his veins. His own hands move to jerk himself off in time with Mark’s thrusts, unable to hold in the gasps of Mark’s name that fall from his lips as he lets go, come splattering against the wall as his legs threaten to give out from under him.
Mark pulls out of him then, mindful of the oversensitivity, and he turns Donghyuck around to pull him in for a languid kiss, pressing him back against the wall for support. Donghyuck pulls the condom off and finishes Mark off in slow, tight-gripped strokes, letting him spill over his stomach and hands with a low groan.
They stay like that for a while, just exchanging slow, lazy kisses against the wall before cleaning up, all traces of what they’d just done washing away with the water.
“Who would’ve thought you had it in you,” Donghyuck says, voice hoarse. “You’re just full of surprises, aren’t you, Mark Lee?”
“What can I say,” Mark replies, his smile terribly fond as he looks down at Donghyuck’s twinkling eyes. He leans down to steal one last chaste kiss. “You’re a terrible influence.”
“Mark?” Donghyuck calls out, stepping out of Mark’s bathroom, his sweatpants slung low on his hips and a towel over his head as he dries his hair. “D’you mind if I borrowed a shirt? You tore off a couple of buttons on mine when you—”
He stops, blinking at the unfamiliar face staring back at him. “You’re not Mark.”
The stranger is standing in Mark’s living room, a paper bag in one hand and his phone in the other. He studies Donghyuck’s face for a second, before his lips quirk up in a wry smile. “Nope. Definitely not,” he says. “I didn’t realize Mark had company though, is he home?”
“Uh, yeah…” Donghyuck tilts his head as he looks over the man in front of him. “Mark!” he calls out louder. “There’s a really pretty stranger in your living room here to see you!”
Donghyuck’s voice has Mark’s head peeking out of his bedroom. “What? Who—” Mark cuts himself off, eyes widening as the stranger turns his attention over to him instead. “Oh, shit.”
“‘Oh, shit’ is right. Mark, I texted you that I was coming over like, an hour ago?”
“Sorry,” Mark answers weakly. “I was… busy?”
“Clearly.” The stranger’s expression is unimpressed, a single eyebrow raised in judgment. “You knew I was coming over today to drop these off.” He lifts the paper bag a little higher to make his point.
Mark winces, even shrinks a little back into his room. “Sorry, ‘Yong. I kind of, uh, forgot? That it was today.”
Donghyuck watches the awkward exchange, hiding an amused smile behind his towel. He has a pretty good idea of who this person is, but it was fun watching Mark be put on the hot seat for once, so he keeps quiet.
Plus, as far as first impressions went, meeting Mark’s brother while half-naked isn’t the worst thing he’s ever done. Not by a longshot.
“It’s fine,” Taeyong sighs, before shaking his head. His eyes dart back and forth between Mark and Donghyuck, a smirk growing on his face as he takes in Mark’s quickly reddening cheeks. “Well, I’d hate to interrupt.” He turns to Donghyuck, grinning. “I’m gonna head out. It’s nice to meet you…?”
“Donghyuck. Lee Donghyuck.”
“Wait,” Taeyong blinks in apparent shock. “So you’re the guy pretending to be Mark’s boyfriend for our mom?”
“Uh, yeah?” Donghyuck throws a confused glance over to Mark. “Yeah, I am?”
“Alrighty!” Mark exclaims nervously, finally stepping out of his room to usher Taeyong back to the front door. “Well, I’m gonna walk my brother out,” he says, before turning to Donghyuck. “Feel free to grab a shirt from my closet, Hyuck. I’ll be back in a sec.”
“O...kay?” Donghyuck turns to Taeyong, who’s sporting a shit-eating grin as he continues looking between the two of them. “It was nice to meet you too, I guess?”
Any reply Taeyong might have had is cut-off as Mark pushes him further down the hallway. Donghyuck takes a second to question Mark’s odd behaviour before he shakes his head in exasperation, heading into Mark’s bedroom to find a shirt so he could leave.
Mark comes back a couple minutes later, cheeks still a little red as he apologizes for his brother. “Sorry about that, Hyuck. I honestly forgot that he was coming over.”
“It’s fine,” Donghyuck says with a shrug. He winks up at Mark. “Besides, that just means I did a good enough job distracting you with my dick, so I’ll take it as a compliment.”
Donghyuck hums, as he grabs his stuff, getting ready to leave. “So he knows about us then?”
“Uh, kinda?” Mark answers. “He knew about the call and that you were my friend, but he didn’t know about—well, everything else? At least, not until now.” Mark frowns, biting his lip in worry. “Sorry about that, does it make you uncomfortable? I know we said we weren’t gonna tell anyone about all of...“ he gestures vaguely between the two of them. “This.”
“Hey, hey,” Donghyuck’s hand comes up to cup Mark’s cheek in reassurance, the other’s expression bordering on absolutely miserable. “It’s fine, it doesn’t bother me. Honest.”
“Yeah.” Donghyuck drops his bag, both hands coming up to frame Mark’s face properly, angling his face to look him in the eye. Mark’s hands instinctively come up to rest on his hips, and he can feel the warmth radiating from his palms through the thin material of Mark’s shirt.
“I like… whatever this is,” Donghyuck whispers, a little bit of his own uncertainty peeking through his voice. “I don’t want it to stop if you don’t want us to.”
“Then we won’t,” Mark whispers back, before dipping his head down to capture Donghyuck’s lips in a chaste kiss. “I’ll see you next week then?”
Donghyuck nods against him, before pulling away and picking up his bag. “Next week it is,” he says, pausing by the door to Mark’s bedroom. He hesitates for a second, before deciding against it. “See you around, Mark.”
He lets out a shaky breath once he exits the apartment. The ache in his chest is back, and he’d very nearly asked Mark if he could stay.
It’s getting harder and harder to leave when he should, Donghyuck realizes, and that’s never a good sign.
Donghyuck taps his foot impatiently, staring at the still-closed door to Mark's apartment. He'd rung the doorbell almost five minutes ago, and had even sent Mark a couple texts letting him know that he was there, but still, no answer.
He gives in with a sigh, taking his phone out of his pocket to dial Mark's number. The line rings, and rings, and rings. Still no answer. Donghyuck frowns, looking down at his screen as he hits the call button one more time.
Mark had texted him earlier on in the day to come over after dinner. He's getting worried though, Mark isn't usually the type to bail without letting him know—at least not without a text to give him a heads up about what was going on.
His call finally goes through, and he hears Mark's voice, rough and scratchy, answer the phone with, "Hello?"
Donghyuck's frown deepens at how out of it Mark sounds. "Mark, it's me. Dude, I've been outside."
He hears another murmured "What?" and an "Oh, fuck—" before he hears the sound of Mark scrambling on the other side. The door opens a few seconds later, revealing a thoroughly disheveled Mark Lee, face apologetic as he looks up at Donghyuck's unimpressed expression.
"Hyuck—" Mark starts. "God, I'm so, so sorry, I must've passed the fuck out after the game and lost track of time—"
Donghyuck's brows furrow in concern as he takes Mark's appearance in. He's dressed in sweats again, very obviously having just woken up from a nap. There are bags under his eyes that weren't there the last time he'd seen Mark, and he's leaning heavily against the doorframe, holding himself unnaturally still.
"Mark," Donghyuck cuts him off, hand reaching out to him. "Are you okay? Did something happen?"
Mark winces when he moves to take a step back to avoid Donghyuck's hand, the sudden action making him seize up in apparent pain.
"You're injured?" Donghyuck asks, unconcealed worry lacing his voice. "What the hell happened to you?"
Mark sighs, before moving an arm to gently cover his left side. "One of the assholes from the other team decided it'd be a good idea to test out his cross-checking skills. Got me right in the ribs and took me out for the rest of the game."
Mark shakes his head. "No, just bruising, luckily. But it’s bad enough that I’m out for the next couple of weeks." He looks back up into Donghyuck's eyes, remorse clear on his face. "I really didn't mean to keep you waiting. I took a couple of painkillers and I guess they knocked me out cold. I'm sorry, Donghyuck. It sucks that you came all the way over for nothing."
Donghyuck shushes him with a shake of the head. "Don't apologize, you dork. It's not your fault." He looks down at his watch. 8:02 pm. "Mark, have you been asleep this whole time? Have you even eaten dinner yet?"
Mark's silence is all the answer he needs before he gently ushers Mark back inside. He follows him into the living room, and he can see Mark's uncertainty painted clearly on his face. "Hyuck, you don't have to stay—"
"Mark," Donghyuck interrupts. "Shut up and let me take care of you. You've mentioned it before, right? We're friends. I want to help."
Mark studies his face for a few seconds before he nods, giving Donghyuck a small, grateful smile. Donghyuck returns the smile with one of his own as he reaches out to take one of Mark's hands, squeezing it in reassurance.
"Go take another nap, and I'll make us dinner." Mark opens his mouth to protest again but Donghyuck cuts him off. "No buts, get your ass to bed. The sooner you get better, the sooner you can make this up to me."
That manages to startle a soft laugh from Mark, but he can't hide the pained grimace that follows at the action. "Ugh, don't make me laugh, Hyuck. Please," he says. "But alright. Wake me up if you need anything, okay?"
"I won't," Donghyuck retorts. "I know my way around your kitchen, Mark, it’ll be fine. Now go on, get some sleep before I drag you in there myself."
Mark raises his hands in surrender before slowly making his way back into his bedroom. Once the door closes behind him, Donghyuck takes a second for himself, letting out a long exhale. He wonders how many lines he's going to be crossing tonight.
He breathes in one last time, and gets to work.
“Mark?” Donghyuck whispers, opening the door to Mark’s bedroom an hour later. It’s dark, and Donghyuck can just barely make out a lump on the bed that he assumes is Mark’s sleeping form. “Are you awake? I’m coming in, okay?”
The lump shuffles for a bit, before Mark’s head pokes out from underneath the blankets. He squints up at Donghyuck’s figure by the door, silhouetted by the light from the living room. “Hyuck?” Mark mumbles, voice raspy from his nap. “How long was I out for?”
“Just a little under an hour,” Donghyuck answers, closing the door behind him and moving to sit on the side of the bed. “How are you feeling?”
“Still sore, but better,” Mark says, bracing his side as he reaches over to his bedside table to grab his glasses. “I had a headache earlier too, but it’s gone now.”
Donghyuck hums, a hand coming up to brush Mark’s bedhead down in an attempt to tame it. “Told you the nap was a good idea,” he quips. “Did you wanna eat in here? Or did you want to eat in the living room? The food’s ready.”
Mark smiles up at him, all sleepy and cute, and Donghyuck’s heart flutters in his chest at the sight. “Here’s fine,” Mark says. “Join me? We could put on a movie or something while we eat.”
Donghyuck’s hand moves down to caress the side of Mark’s face, thumb stroking over his cheek before he snaps out of it, tugging at Mark’s ear playfully before getting up.
“Fine, but I’m vetoing anything involving Middle Earth,” Donghyuck says, back turned to Mark as he makes to leave the room. He hopes that Mark didn’t see the beginnings of a blush blooming high on his cheeks at getting carried away. It was too close, his touch a tad bit too tender to be considered just friendly.
He blames it on that damned smile. That, coupled with Mark’s big, sparkly eyes? Donghyuck needed to get away before he did something stupid.
After dinner—and despite Donghyuck’s earlier protests—he somehow manages to find himself sitting up against the headboard as the first Hobbit movie plays on Mark’s laptop in front of them. Mark is laying down on his good side, head in Donghyuck’s lap as Donghyuck keeps a hand on the ice pack against his bruised ribs. His other hand comes up to start petting at Mark’s hair, fingers running gently through the strands.
It’s nice, Donghyuck thinks, just being with Mark. He doesn’t remember the last time they just hung out without the pretense of having sex later on in the night.
“So, you mean to tell me that they managed to drag out one book—one!—into another goddamn trilogy?” he asks, a whine in his voice. “Why? Haven’t we suffered enough?”
He jumps when Mark pinches his thigh in retaliation, but is quick to apologize when he hears Mark let out a pained grunt at the sudden movement.
“How are you even complaining?” Mark mumbles into Donghyuck’s thigh. “I thought you liked Martin Freeman.”
“I mean, I do,” he says. “But not as a hobbit.” Donghyuck’s hand continues its ministrations in his hair, looking down to see Mark’s eyes flutter sleepily at the motion. He frowns a little in concern, considering the fact that Mark just had a nap less than an hour ago.
Donghyuck tears his eyes away from Mark and the movie to look around the room—Mark’s discarded lacrosse bag by the foot of his bed, a box of supplies for the outreach that he remembers Mark picking up from their apartment, and his MCAT workbooks piled high atop what Donghyuck thinks used to be Mark’s study table.
He must still be so tired, Donghyuck thinks. And then to add an injury on top of everything. Oh, Mark.
It only takes a few more minutes of Donghyuck petting his hair before Mark falls properly asleep, his breathing even, dark eyelashes fanning across his cheeks. He repositions the ice pack, careful not to disturb his sleep, and he uses his other hand to set an alarm on his phone for after the movie ends, just in case he falls asleep too.
His legs are already starting to feel numb and he knows that his back’s going to hurt like a bitch when he wakes up tomorrow, but he figures he can stand to put up with a few more hours of The Hobbit if it meant that Mark could catch up on some well-deserved rest.
(And if his heart starts beating a bit faster whenever he looks down at Mark’s peacefully sleeping face, well—he’ll just keep that little secret all to himself.)
Donghyuck hasn’t seen Mark in weeks.
It only takes a couple of days after his last visit to Mark’s apartment for Donghyuck to make the unfortunate realization that Mark being too injured to play lacrosse also meant that he was too injured to have sex—or at least, too injured for anything more than an unsatisfying handjob or blowjob.
This naturally meant that there was no reason for Donghyuck to be hitting him up for their usual late-night rendezvous sessions.
He figured that the time away from Mark would do him some good though. It would give him the space he needed to figure out whatever the fuck was going on in his head about what he felt for the older boy. Contrary to what a lot of his friends think, he’s not an idiot. He knows what he feels for Mark goes beyond simple physical attraction.
Still, he doesn't particularly have the best track record when it comes to long-term committed relationships. His longest partner had lasted about three months before Donghyuck had gotten tired of him, and that was all the way back in his first year at the university.
Suffice to say, this thing with Mark that's been going on for what? Almost eight months now? Completely uncharted waters. This urge to go see Mark, for no other reason other than to just spend time with him? Terrifying as a concept.
He's getting restless, both because this is the longest he's gone without having sex since the holiday break, but also because Mark's little smiley face emojis through text isn't enough anymore.
That's how he finds himself swallowing his pride, and knocking on his roommate’s door.
Renjun opens the door and before he could even open his mouth to ask what he wants, Donghyuck beats him to the punch.
"I want to help. With the kids. For the outreach... thing."
Renjun looks at him like he's officially lost his mind. And well, maybe he has. Stupid Mark.
"Donghyuck," Renjun starts, almost cautiously. "You're a business major. We're teaching the kids about science. Why in the world would you want to go to this thing?"
"Because I love kids?"
Donghyuck groans. "Because I'm having a crisis and I need a distraction, okay?" He really hopes Renjun takes the bait. "I promise I won't disturb you guys or anything. I'll just like, watch and be the cool one that all the kids will flock to when they get bored of you guys."
Renjun just rolls his eyes and makes to close his door in Donghyuck's face, but Donghyuck wedges a foot in there and pushes back. "Junnie, I am begging you here," Donghyuck pleads, exaggerated pout in place. "Please? I'll owe you one."
"There's literally nothing you have that I would want, Hyuck—"
"I can hook you up on a date with Wong Yukhei."
Renjun squints at him. "Bullshit. How?"
"I have a friend that owes me a bunch of favors, and where he goes, Lucas follows." Sorry, Mark.
There's a moment of deliberation, where Donghyuck can tell that Renjun is seriously considering his offer, when he adds, "And ugh, I'll buy you a new printer."
He almost topples over when Renjun suddenly swings the door wide open. "Deal," he says. "But you're getting me an Inkjet. Friday at 3 pm, and you’re paying for our Uber there."
Donghyuck rushes forward to land an obnoxiously wet kiss onto Renjun's cheek, Renjun pushing him away in disgust as he wipes at his cheek. He laughs before running away, just barely avoiding Renjun making a grab for his shirt.
"You're the best and I love you!" Donghyuck hollers before running back into his room and closing the door behind him.
He sighs, leaning back against the door. This is crazy. He’s going crazy. But he imagines how surprised Mark’s going to be when he sees Donghyuck at the event, and he can’t even bring himself to care.
This is totally rational behaviour for someone you think of as ‘just a friend’, the voice in the back of his mind supplies. Like before, it sounds suspiciously like Jeno.
And again, Donghyuck chooses to ignore it.
Maybe he should have reconsidered his decision before asking Renjun to put his name down as a volunteer. He didn’t really know what the event was going to be like or what they were supposed to do, but he was a little disappointed to find out that they were basically just glorified TAs for the day—tasked with showing a bunch of first graders the wonders of science. Although in Donghyuck’s case, it was probably closer to being a magician’s assistant. He just needed to stand there and look pretty, while occasionally passing an item over to whoever’s doing the presentation.
It had taken a bit of prodding—and what he’d hoped was subtle questioning—before he figured out which classroom Mark was teaching in. Unfortunately for him, since Renjun was running the whole damn thing, it also meant that Donghyuck had to be there for the entire duration of the event. And as it turns out, Mark was only slotted in for the second half in the afternoon, so he wasn’t even here yet.
All in all, it kind of sucked.
“Hyuck? What are you doing here?”
The bewildered expression on Mark’s face as he steps into Donghyuck’s classroom is priceless, wide eyes blinking back at him from behind his glasses. It almost made the last couple hours he’d suffered through worth it.
“Renjun roped me into it,” Donghyuck smoothly lies, grin in place. “Said you guys were short-staffed. That, and I think he just needed a ride.”
Thankfully, Mark seems to believe him, and they make small talk before Mark’s ushered to the front of the room for his presentation. He hadn’t really been paying attention to the other guy he was helping out earlier in the morning, mostly because a lot of the “experiments” were just colourful demonstrations of what happens when you mix acids and bases together with a bunch of soap.
Still, the kids seem to love it, and Donghyuck has to admit that Mark looks absolutely fucking adorable in a lab coat and safety goggles. It’s a different side of him, one that Donghyuck hadn’t seen before. It’s not the Mark that he’s seen out on the field, barking out orders in the middle of a game, nor is it the Mark that Donghyuck is privy to behind the walls of his apartment, crying over really bad CGI from 2001.
This Mark is softer, and a little more mature, voice enthusiastic when he’s talking about their dumb little science experiments—a preview of the future, Donghyuck thinks. It’s a good look on him.
So wrapped up in watching Mark, he doesn’t even realize that Renjun had stepped into the room until he feels an elbow gently nudge into his side. He tears his eyes away from Mark, who had been pouring a pink liquid into another flask, to look at Renjun. There’s a knowing glint in his eye, and Donghyuck freezes.
He knows Renjun can see right through him.
“It’s Mark, isn’t it?” Renjun asks, already knowing the answer. “The one you couldn’t tell us about.”
Donghyuck runs a hand through his hair as he lets out a defeated sigh. “Yeah.”
“I figured,” Renjun says. “I’ve had my suspicions for a while but it’s nice to have them confirmed.”
“What do you mean?” He raises an eyebrow at that. “How’d you figure it out?”
Renjun snorts. “You mean, other than the obvious?” He gestures around them, voice lowering so no one could overhear them. “No one in their right mind would subject themselves to a full day of this.”
“I mean, you did,” Donghyuck grumbles. “Mark did, too.”
“I had to. You didn’t,” Renjun retorts. “And Mark’s Mark, so he doesn’t count.” They both laugh a little under their breaths at that. “But on a serious note,” Renjun continues. “You should see the way you look at him, Donghyuck. Even when we’re just at home. I haven’t seen you look at anyone like that in… well, ever, actually. But I didn’t want to assume.”
Donghyuck’s brows furrow at the last comment. “What do you mean? How do I look at him—”
They’re interrupted by a flurry of excited screams, and both Donghyuck and Renjun turn their attention to the front, where Mark had apparently caused a small explosion of multi-coloured bubbles, overflowing from the desk. He’s laughing alongside the kids as they surround him, crouching down to give a few of them soapy high-fives.
“Like that,” Renjun says, voice quiet. “You look at him like that.”
Donghyuck frowns, and he’s about to ask Renjun to elaborate when they’re interrupted again, but this time by Mark himself.
“Hyuck,” Mark calls out from the front of the room. “Do you mind giving me a hand with this?”
Renjun pats him on the arm, gesturing for him to go to Mark, but not before giving him a pointed look that says their conversation is far from over.
He makes his way over to the front of the room, eyeing the mess all over the presentation table, before pouting as Mark hands him a small towel. “You’re really putting me on clean up duty?” Donghyuck whines. “Mark, I thought we were friends.”
Mark laughs, taking off his safety goggles and replacing them with his regular pair. “You’re on clean up duty because we’re friends,” he says. “Gotta suffer with me, after all.”
“Asshole,” Donghyuck whispers, making sure the kids won’t hear him as they file out of the room. He sticks his tongue out childishly to prove his point, and Mark flicks soapy water at him in retaliation, giggling more when Donghyuck just scowls back at him.
“I’ve missed you, Hyuck,” Mark says, his grin softening to a small, shy smile. “It’s been a while.”
Donghyuck hates how easily affected he is, a pleased fluttering settling in his stomach at Mark’s words. He scoffs, but he’s smiling too. “It’s only been a couple weeks, Mark. You couldn’t have missed me that much.”
“You’d be surprised.”
Donghyuck blinks up at Mark in shock, the bold honesty in his statement catching him off guard. He looks back down at the table, focusing on the clean up to hide the heat he feels building up in his cheeks. “Yeah, well,” he trails off, unsure of what to say to that. “How are you feeling? How’re your ribs?”
“It’s gotten a lot better. I can finally move around without too much pain, I think. The bruise is still there, but I’ve been cleared to join practice starting next week.”
Donghyuck perks up at that. “Already?”
Mark grins. “Yep.”
He lets out a pleased hum at the news, and they continue the rest of the clean up in comfortable silence.
Donghyuck can’t help but think of the implications of Mark being back in commission, and what that meant for their little arrangement. He sneaks the occasional glance at Mark from the corner of his eye as they work, startling when he finds Mark staring back.
There’s a pause as Mark breaks eye contact to glance around the room, taking in the fact that they were the last ones in there, before he makes his way over to him. Donghyuck stops what he’s doing, turning his full attention to Mark as he’s backed up against the edge of the table.
“I was actually planning on texting you about it, but since you’re already here,” Mark reaches out to cup his cheek, tipping Donghyuck’s head up to meet his gaze. He leans in closer, a teasing smile on his face as he speaks, voice impossibly low. “I was actually wondering if you wanted to come over soon.”
Now this. This was familiar territory. Donghyuck smirks, leaning in closer. “To catch up?”
Mark nods, their lips only centimeters apart now. “To catch up.”
Donghyuck deliberates for a second, before changing course, leaving a swift peck onto Mark’s cheek before pulling away. He laughs at Mark’s shocked expression before grabbing his stuff, making his way over to the door to leave.
He turns, and Mark’s still watching him, an inexplicable smile on his face.
“I’m free tonight, so let me know what time you want me to come over.” Donghyuck hesitates for a second, hand on the doorframe, before calling out, “And Mark?”
“I missed you too.”
It takes a bit of trial and error, finding a position that takes it easy on Mark’s ribs, but it ends with Donghyuck straddling Mark as he sits up against the headboard, riding him in slow, rolling motions that has Mark muffling groans into the crook of his neck.
Mark’s fingers dig into his hips, guiding him as he grinds down against him in his lap, one of his hands eventually moving to circle around Donghyuck’s cock, trapped and leaking between their bodies. He lets Donghyuck fuck his hand as he rolls his hips, the stimulation from both that and Mark’s cock against his prostate making him tremble, head thrown back as small whimpers fall helplessly from his lips.
He doesn’t know if it’s because it’s been a while, but neither of them last very long tonight.
Mark finishes inside him first, coming with a choked-off moan as he holds Donghyuck still above him, and it only takes a few more strokes for Donghyuck to follow right after, collapsing against Mark’s chest as he tries to get his breathing back under control.
Mark winds an arm around his waist, keeping him close as he shifts to make them more comfortable, enjoying the warmth of Mark against him and not wanting to separate quite yet.
Donghyuck chuckles as he nuzzles tiredly into Mark’s shoulder. “Guess getting injured didn’t make you lose your touch.”
“To be fair,” Mark says, a hand stroking up and down Donghyuck’s back. “You did most of the work.”
“Mm, yeah, I’ll take credit for it this time.” Donghyuck sighs sleepily. “God, I’ve missed your dick. Is that weird to say?”
He feels Mark laugh under him. “A little, but you’ve said weirder things, so it’s okay.” They stay like that for a while, a comfortable silence settling between them as the bask in the afterglow. Mark continues to stroke down his back, tracing odds shapes and words that he can’t quite make out.
“Are you staying over tonight?” Mark eventually asks.
As much as Donghyuck wants to, he knows he has a conversation waiting for him at home, and Renjun usually doesn’t like to be kept waiting. “Not tonight, unfortunately.”
A few moments pass as they slip back into silence, before Mark quietly clears his throat, tapping Donghyuck’s shoulder to get him to look up at him. “Are you doing anything over March Break?”
Donghyuck blinks up at the sudden question. “I don’t think so? Why?”
“I was actually gonna ask if you wanted to stay over?”
Donghyuck looks up at him in shock. “The whole week?”
“Yeah,” Mark shifts, eyes looking everywhere but at Donghyuck himself. “My uh, mom is under the assumption that we’re spending the break together since I told her I wasn’t going back this year. So she said she’ll be calling more often? It’d be easier if you were actually around.”
It’s a flimsy excuse and they both know it.
And then Mark shrugs, throwing caution to the wind. “And if I’m gonna be honest, I’m not about to say no to a chance to just hang out with you for a whole week. I like spending time with you, Donghyuck.”
Donghyuck stills at the admission. He doesn’t say anything for a few beats, and he can tell that Mark's starting to get flustered at Donghyuck's lack of a response because he flushes down to his chest and starts fiddling with the hair on the nape of Donghyuck's neck. "I mean, only if you want to? I don't want to pressure you or anything like that, it's fine if you don't want to—"
"Mark," Donghyuck cuts him off. Somehow, this reminds him of the first time they met, all the way back in that dingy bathroom, and Mark had offered to take him home. He'd interrupted him then too. "I'd love to."
Mark's eyes widen, surprised at how seemingly easy it was to get Donghyuck to agree to it. "Really?"
Donghyuck smiles, sitting up in his lap. "An entire week of uninterrupted sex? With you? How could I say no to that?"
Mark laughs, tension from earlier bleeding from his shoulders as his hands come up to curl around Donghyuck’s nape, pulling him in for another kiss. “I’m glad.” He nips at Donghyuck’s bottom lip playfully, before moving down to trail kisses down his jawline. “And I promise I’ll make it worth your while.”
Mark continues to kiss his way down Donghyuck’s chest, and Donghyuck rolls his hips down once, then twice, arousal stirring in his gut once more. His hands tangle in Mark’s hair, pulling him back up to capture Mark’s lips.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Donghyuck whispers, feeling Mark smile into the kiss.
It looks like Renjun’s just going to have to wait a little longer, after all.
He gets home just after dinner, to find Renjun in the living room with his laptop, a re-run of some shitty sitcom running on mute in the background on their TV. Donghyuck drops his bag as soon as he gets through the front door, tiredly flopping down onto the couch and leaning his head down on Renjun's shoulder.
"What does it mean when a guy you've been casually fucking randomly asks you to spend a whole week over at his house?"
Renjun stops typing, turning incredulous eyes over to Donghyuck's troubled face. "Seriously?"
Donghyuck could only nod pathetically. "I’m so fucked, Jun. I'm in, like, way over my head with Mark. "
Renjun closes his laptop and places it on the coffee table in front of them. He gets up, and Donghyuck pouts even more, thinking he's being abandoned, but then Renjun tugs on his hand to get him to stand too.
"I'm gonna need a drink for this, and I think you do too," he says, pulling Donghyuck up and pushing him into the kitchen. "And then, you're going to tell me everything. From the beginning."
They break out the bottle of tequila that Jaemin had hidden in their apartment just for the occasion—a hand-written post-it note with the label "For Severe Emotional Breakdowns Only" haphazardly taped to the front of the bottle—before they settle down on the floor in front of the couch, mixed drinks in hand.
"So," Renjun starts. "When and how did this thing between you two even start?"
Donghyuck sighs, staring down at his drink. "D'you remember that stupid varsity thing that Jeno dragged me out to at the end of last summer?" Renjun nods. "He was at the afterparty and well, you know how it goes,” he says, smiling wryly in recollection. “And I guess it just never stopped?"
"Hyuck—" The disbelief is clear in Renjun's voice. "You've been fooling around with Mark for what? Seven months?"
"Closer to eight," Donghyuck mumbles. "But yeah."
"... Just Mark?"
Donghyuck squeezes his eyes shut. "Yeah," he confirms, voice weak. "I haven't hooked up with anyone else." And then, in an attempt to justify himself, he adds, "But I mean, he was convenient? And it was easier than going out and finding someone new every time."
"Holy shit, Hyuck. You’ve been hooking up with just him all year?" Given how often Donghyuck used to come home well after Renjun had already fallen asleep, he can understand why it’d be a little surprising to find out it’d only been because of one person. Still, the walk of shame from Mark’s place was still better than the risk of getting caught fucking in their apartment.
There's a pause, before Renjun hesitantly asks, "Has Mark been with anyone else?"
"I don't know," he answers. "Not that I know of?"
"Honestly, Donghyuck, do you think he has?"
"Then, congratulations. You're officially in what most people would consider a monogamous relationship—"
"No," Donghyuck cuts him off with a frown. "That's not—that's not what he wants. We've known from the beginning that this didn't mean anything." He catches his mistake and corrects himself. "That it doesn't mean anything."
"People can change their minds, Hyuck. I mean," Renjun says. "Didn't you?"
He doesn't say anything for a while, unable to come up with a proper reply.
"I don't... want to ruin this," Donghyuck admits. "What we have now, it's… good. It’s easy—” He shakes his head. “God, it's so easy with him, Renjun, it's never been like this with anyone else." He takes a breath to ground himself, a sad smile on his face before he shrugs. "I don't have the best track record for these kinds of things, and you know that. It won't end well. I can’t risk fucking it up by asking for more."
"Hyuck, you're not gonna fuck this up. I know it because I've seen you two together." Renjun frowns, brows furrowed in concern. "Have you even talked to him about this yet? About what he feels about you?"
Donghyuck shakes his head. He can't. He's too much of a coward.
"I like him, Renjun," Donghyuck whispers, and it's the first time he's ever said the words out loud. "I like him more than I think I should." And he’s terrified to think of what would happen if Mark decides that he doesn’t feel the same, so he’d rather keep things as they are, rather than lose Mark because he was foolish enough to get too attached.
“I really think you should talk to him, Donghyuck,” Renjun says. “Before either of you get hurt.”
Donghyuck says nothing, just reaches out to finish off the rest of his drink.
Mercifully, Renjun takes the hint and changes the topic. "So, what's this about him asking you to stay over for a week?"
"Over March break," Donghyuck clarifies. "And I'd already said yes." He brings his legs up, dropping his head down onto his knees with a groan. "Fuck, what am I even doing anymore? What if I have to lie to his mom again?"
“His mom?” Renjust asks, eyebrows shooting up into his hairline. “Back the fuck up there, Donghyuck. What? You’ve met his mom? Why?”
Donghyuck freezes at that. So much has happened with Mark over these last few months, that he forgets that most people wouldn’t know that it isn’t just about the sex. “I, uh, may have also lied to his mom and am kind of? Pretending to be Mark’s boyfriend? But just to her—”
Renjun brings a hand up to stop him before he could go any further. “From the beginning, Hyuck. You’re going to tell me everything.”
Donghyuck sighs, and takes a shot for courage before he talks. He tells Renjun about everything—from all the nights he’s spent over at Mark’s not having sex, the first phone call with Mark’s mother, meeting Taeyong, and all the way up to now, including Mark and his injury. He’d even told him about the stupid Lord of the Rings marathons that Mark had subjected him to (although he’d left out certain details that his friend was better off not knowing about).
Renjun’s left speechless by the time he’s done, reeling at just how entrenched Mark’s become in Donghyuck’s life, and vice versa, from what it sounded like.
“Hyuck,” Renjun’s face is pinched as he looks at Donghyuck. “Are you blind, or are you just an idiot? Forget what I said earlier about talking to Mark, he couldn’t have made himself any more clear.”
“If it hasn’t been painfully obvious to you yet, Donghyuck. You guys are already basically dating.” Renjun laughs then, patting Donghyuck on the knee. “Please get your shit together. And once you do, don’t forget to invite me to the wedding.”
Donghyuck keeps going over his conversation with Renjun in his mind. It feels like there's a weight off his chest, now that he's finally admitted to himself that he actually likes Mark—and in more than just a convenient-friend-that-gives-great-head kind of way. He can’t help but revisit all their previous interactions, looking for signs that might hint to his feelings being more reciprocated than he originally thought.
And once he starts thinking about it, he can't get himself to stop, not even as he finds himself ringing the doorbell to Mark's apartment, a week's worth of clothes stuffed into the duffel bag in his hand.
The first couple of days go almost exactly how Donghyuck had expected it to. Unable to keep their hands off of each other for very long, they end up fucking on almost every available surface in Mark's apartment that they can—bent over the back of the couch, on top of the kitchen counter, against the windows to Mark’s balcony, and hell, it'd taken a couple of hours of Donghyuck riling him up, but eventually, Mark had even agreed to the wall sex.
Everything is good. Great, even. It’s been a surreal past couple of days for him.
But the thing is, it's not just the sex that's been good.
It's waking up to Mark burning breakfast in the kitchen, and Donghyuck banning him from cooking for the rest of his stay there. It's in the warmth radiating from Mark's body, his arms wrapped tightly around Donghyuck’s waist, as he watches him work over his shoulder.
It's the quiet comfort that settles between them as they watch TV, Donghyuck's head cushioned on Mark's shoulder as they take turns ripping apart whatever is playing because—and Donghyuck is pleasantly surprised to find this out—with the exception of the Lord of the Rings franchise, they actually have quite similar tastes in things like music and trashy reality shows.
It's Donghyuck finding out that Mark can play the guitar, and then Mark finding out that Donghyuck liked to sing, and the hours and hours lost to their little jam sessions in bed. It's Donghyuck looking at Mark and his smile as he watches Donghyuck from the corner of his eye, and how it makes him think back to Renjun’s last words.
It's all so painfully domestic—a reminder of what they're not— and Donghyuck is close to losing his mind.
It all comes to a head on the third day, when Mark's mother calls in some time just before lunch, and she'd asked Donghyuck if he'd wanted to learn a Lee family recipe to make for their meal. She'd clearly just wanted an excuse to get Donghyuck alone though, because she sends Mark out to pick something up from Taeyong's place only a few minutes into the call.
Donghyuck had told Mark to go ahead and that he’d be fine, a nervous smile on his face as he pressed a kiss onto Mark’s cheek in front of the camera for show. He tries to convince himself that he's perfectly capable of handling Mark's mother without supervision, but he can't help the sense of unease that settles in as soon as Mark leaves the apartment.
Tablet perched on a stack of Mark’s books in the kitchen, she talks him through preparing the ingredients for a simple stew, making small talk about how things have been going with him at the university, and if Mark's been treating him well. It's basic stuff, and Donghyuck finds that he doesn't even have to lie when it comes to questions about Mark. As casual as their arrangement had been, he'd never been anything but a gentleman this entire time.
"I was so surprised, you know," Mrs. Lee starts, voice softening as she changes the topic. "When Mark told me that he wasn't coming back home for the break."
"Oh?" Donghyuck keeps his focus on the task in front of him, hoping she can’t see the slight tremor in his hands at the nerves.
"He's never done this before, not since he moved out there. He tends to get homesick after a while, and he usually jumps at the chance to come back and visit." She smiles at him through the screen, and it's kind. "I actually don’t think he’s even done this for any of his previous partners, so you must be really special to him, Donghyuck, that he chose to stay. I'm glad you found each other."
Donghyuck's hands still on the cutting board, heart skipping a beat at her words.
She continues though, unaware of the storm brewing in Donghyuck’s mind. “Gosh, dear, you should’ve seen him when he came home last Christmas! I’ve never seen Mark so antsy to go back to the university, so I should’ve known that there was someone there waiting for him.” She laughs, a light, twinkling sound.
A few more moments pass, as Donghyuck continues to follow her instructions, letting the stew simmer away at the stovetop as he turns his attention back to her face on the screen. She studies Donghyuck for a beat, before beckoning him to come closer to the screen.
Her voice is quiet when she speaks, but her words are clear. “I… know he may not look it, but Mark used to be very lonely. You know how he is, and how hard he is on himself, with everything that he’s trying to do. He must be so tired.” Donghyuck thinks about the millions of things that Mark has going on at the university—thinks back to that night he fell asleep in his lap—and he nods to let her know he’s listening.
“I’ve always felt so horrible that there was never much we could do for him because of the distance, so I wanted to personally thank you, for being there with him.” Her smile reminds him a lot of Mark’s, and he can see where he gets it from. “When he visited over the break, it was like he was someone else, you know? You’ve made him really happy. He’s lucky to have you, Donghyuck.”
“No, ma’am,” Donghyuck shakes his head, throat constricting with the emotions flooding through him. “I’m the one that should be considered lucky here. Mark is… very very special to me.”
“I know things are still pretty new with you guys,” she says. “But I trust that you’ll take good care of him for me over there, won’t you?”
“Of course,” Donghyuck chokes out, his stomach churning. “Always.”
“Okay,” she says, closing her eyes for a moment before she looks back up at him, eyes glassy. “Thank you, Donghyuck.”
The call ends shortly afterwards, and while Mark’s still not home, Donghyuck allows himself a few tears, shoulders hunched as he leans against the countertop. Donghyuck hates the fact that he’s lying to her, but even more than that, he hates just how desperately he wants to believe her—how much he wants to be everything she said he was for Mark, and more.
He’s never wanted something to be real so badly in his life.
When Mark gets home, Donghyuck is still in the kitchen, eyes dry but the ache in his chest ever-present. He feels Mark cup his face, tilting it up to meet his eyes and Mark’s brows furrow in concern at whatever it is he sees in Donghyuck’s expression.
“Hyuck?” Mark gently calls out. “How did everything go with my mom?”
“It went—” Donghyuck croaks, before he clears his throat. “It went great. Your mother was lovely.”
He feels Mark’s thumb brush against his cheek, and his heart clenches at the gesture. “Are you okay?” Mark whispers.
Donghyuck stares at Mark’s face, into his eyes, taking everything in before he nods. “I’m fine,” he says, moving forward to capture Mark’s lips in a gentle kiss. “It’s nothing.”
Mark blinks back at him, and at the unexpected kiss. They don’t usually kiss unless they know it’ll lead to something else, and for a second Donghyuck is afraid that he may have crossed a line. But then Mark smiles, Donghyuck’s heart beating rapidly at the sight, before leaning in again for another kiss, this one longer, more sure.
The fluttering in Donghyuck’s chest is back, but this time it’s different—this time, it feels a little bit like hope.
Everything changes on the evening of the fourth day.
The day starts off normally enough. They both wake up sometime in the late morning, lazing around in bed before they force themselves to get up. They’ve settled into a routine of sorts—arguing over what to watch over lunch before Donghyuck inevitably wins, Mark following him into the shower before they move it to the bed, and then the post-coitus afternoon nap that has Donghyuck waking up unbearably warm under the sheets.
There’s an undercurrent of something softer, something quieter underneath their usual friendly banter, ever since their kiss in the kitchen the day before. He catches Mark looking over at him more often—although, he supposes it’s only because he finds himself looking back just as much, unable to keep his eyes off of Mark for very long.
Mark decides to take Donghyuck out for dinner that night, a relatively nice Italian restaurant that is decidedly not somewhere you would take someone who was strictly ‘just a friend’. The restaurant is filled with almost exclusively couples, from what Donghyuck observes, and he’s both impressed at Mark’s forwardness, and terrified of the implication.
He tries to text Renjun while Mark’s in the bathroom, but all he gets in reply is an unhelpful ‘enjoy your date!’ followed by a string of very inappropriate emojis.
Despite Donghyuck’s internal freakout over the fact that this was (probably) a date, it really isn’t any different from any of the other times he’s gone out with Mark. It’s comfortable, as it always is with him, and he finds himself quickly relaxing, the rest of their surroundings falling away until all he could focus on was Mark in front of him.
The hours pass between coquettish smiles and furtive touches, their legs interlocked under their table almost the entire meal, and before they know they’re already back home, Mark’s hand on his lower back as he leads them back inside.
“Do you want a drink, Hyuck?” Mark asks, as they step back into the apartment. “I bought a couple bottles of red before you came over, if you wanted to try it.”
Donghyuck grins. “Mark Lee drinking anything other than craft beer? I’ll believe it when I see it,” he teases, following Mark into the kitchen. They’d already had a couple drinks at the restaurant, but he figures a couple more wouldn’t hurt. Plus, he likes seeing the flush on Mark’s cheeks—it makes it terribly hard for him to say no to anything Mark asks for, really.
“Like you’re one to talk,” Mark says, pulling out two wine glasses from his cupboard. “Renjun told me all about that White Claw addiction.”
“That traitorous bitch,” Donghyuck pouts, accepting his glass. “They’re easy to drink, okay. And they’re still better than your shitty IPAs.”
Mark makes a noncommittal noise as he fills both their glasses, the corner of his mouth quirking up in amusement. He leans his hip against the counter, taking his glass and lifting it in Donghyuck's direction. "Cheers, Hyuck," Mark says, clinking their glasses together. "I'm really glad you're here."
Donghyuck smiles back at him from behind the rim of his glass. "I am too."
They talk for a while, enjoying each other's company as they drink through half the bottle. The liquid burns bittersweet in the back of his throat, and neither of them brings it up—the dinner, what it was actually supposed to be (was it a date?), or about the weird energy that's been culminating between them since the first night that Donghyuck decided to stay over.
They slowly gravitate towards each other as the night drags on, leaning against the counters almost shoulder to shoulder. Mark’s in the middle of telling him an anecdote about something involving the lax team but Donghyuck isn’t listening, not really. Not when Mark’s standing so close to him, the warmth from his body radiating through the thin material of his shirt and the marks he’d left earlier just peeking above his collar.
He knows he isn’t being subtle about it but god, Donghyuck wants.
Mark stops mid-sentence when he meets Donghyuck’s gaze, before reaching over to take Donghyuck's glass from his hand, setting it aside on the counter as his other hand comes up to cup Donghyuck's cheek. He doesn't know whether it's the pleasant buzz from the wine—or because he can feel something between them about to shift—but Donghyuck covers Mark's hand with his own, closing his eyes and nuzzling his face into the warmth of Mark's palm.
He can feel Mark step in closer, breath ghosting over Donghyuck's lips as he hovers hesitantly, almost as if he was waiting for permission. Donghyuck opens his eyes and looks up to meet Mark's gaze, heavy with arousal and another emotion that he can't quite place. Donghyuck waits for a beat before nodding minutely, a thrill running up his spine as Mark rushes forward to capture his lips in a kiss that threatens to take his breath away.
It's different, Donghyuck notes. It feels different from all the other times Mark has kissed him. There's a tenderness to the way Mark caresses his face, and in the hand that gently lays itself across his lower back to pull him in even closer.
Mark's the first to break away, thumb tipping Donghyuck's head back to give him access to his throat, kissing down the constellation of freckles that he's come to know so, so well. Donghyuck feels every kiss pressed into his skin as if it burned like a brand, Mark's lips traveling lower and lower, fingers deftly undoing the buttons on his shirt. Donghyuck feels his knees weaken, start to buckle under the touch, and the only thing holding him up is Mark's body pressing him up against the counter.
It's not enough. God, it will never be enough. Not with Mark.
"Mark," Donghyuck pleads, reaching up to tangle his hands in Mark's hair, fingers twitching between the urge to pull Mark in even closer or push him away to give him a moment to think. "Can we—ah—"
Mark draws himself back up, pushing Donghyuck's shirt off his shoulders to pool by his elbows and gripping Donghyuck by the hips to lift him up to sit on top of the counter. His legs spread open to make room for Mark, pulling him in for another bruising kiss as he fumbles with undoing Mark's belt.
He feels Mark's hand come up to stop him as he reaches for the button on Mark's jeans, the both of them pausing at the action. They're both panting, breathing heavily as they take each other in, Donghyuck's heart pounding so heavily in his chest so hard he swears Mark could hear it.
Mark takes Donghyuck's hand in his, bringing it up to press a featherlight kiss onto his knuckles.
"Tell me what you want tonight, Donghyuck," Mark whispers. "And I'll give it to you." Then, he leans in for a proper kiss, lips brushing against Donghyuck's like a promise. "Anything you want."
Donghyuck is silent for a while, pulling back to search Mark's face—for what exactly, he isn't sure, but he thinks he's found what he's looking for when he nods, arms circling around Mark's shoulders to pull the older boy flush against him, leaning up to whisper directly into his ear.
"You," Donghyuck says simply. "I want you." All of you.
They make their way back to Mark’s bedroom eventually, clothes pulled off and discarded between rough kisses, pressed up against the walls. Mark’s hands can’t seem to get enough of him, touching him everywhere, mapping out his skin and pulling him impossibly close. He walks them backwards onto the bed, Donghyuck pulling him down roughly on top of him, not even giving him a second to breathe before crushing their mouths back together in a fervent kiss.
Mark’s the first to pull away, smiling as Donghyuck whines at the loss of contact. He smooths his hands over Donghyuck’s thighs, coaxing them to spread further apart as he kneels in between them, leaning back to take a good long look at him.
“Why’d you stop?” Donghyuck asks, breathing heavily against the sheets. He feels himself start to flush under the scrutiny, Mark’s gaze hot and heavy as he rakes his eyes over his body. Despite the number of times they’ve fucked in the past, something about this moment feels raw—like he’s exposed, and Mark’s seeing him for the first time all over again.
Mark shakes his head before shifting forward, planting his hands on either side of Donghyuck’s ribs and brushing his lips down the side of Donghyuck’s neck. “It’s nothing,” he murmurs. “Just taking you in.” He nips gently at his pulse, before soothing it over with his tongue. “Trying to decide where I want to touch you first.”
“Fuck,” Donghyuck groans. “Literally anywhere, please.” His hands fly up to brace against Mark’s arms when Mark sucks down particularly hard, right where his neck meets his shoulder, before trailing down lower, licking and biting marks that he knows will last for days. “Mark.”
Mark chuckles lowly against him, hand coming up to tip Donghyuck’s head to the other side, giving him access to more skin. Donghyuck’s hand moves up from his arms to curl into Mark’s hair, pulling him off and up to lick into his mouth instead, biting down harshly onto Mark’s bottom lip to stifle a moan as Mark rolls his hips down, pressing the length of his hard cock against his own.
“I’m still stretched from earlier,” Donghyuck groans. “I don’t need much prep, so—ah—” His back arches off the bed when Mark traces over his nipple with his tongue. “Fuck,” he whimpers. “I’ve wanted you inside me since dinner, Mark, so don’t make me wait anymore. Please.”
Mark must be more affected than he let on, because instead of arguing like Donghyuck expected him to, he just nods, leaning up for one last kiss before reaching off to the side for his bedside drawer.
“Mark, wait, don’t—” Donghyuck stops him with a hand on Mark’s outstretched arm, thighs coming up to cage Mark’s hips in place. “Can we—” He swallows, before looking Mark straight in the eyes. “No condoms.”
“I’m clean.” They’ve had this conversation before, but have always preferred condoms for the easier clean up. Donghyuck feels his cheeks heating up at the request, eyes darting past Mark’s face as he admits, “and I… I haven’t been—y’know, with anyone else. Not since you.” And then, in a quieter voice, “There hasn’t been anyone other than you.”
Mark’s eyes soften as he searches Donghyuck’s face, looking for any trace of uncertainty. “Alright,” he says, grabbing the lube and setting it aside before dipping his head down for a tender kiss. “Whatever you want, Hyuck,” he whispers. “And you know it’s the same for me, right? There hasn’t been anyone else for me either, not while I had you.”
Something settles within him at the confirmation, nodding before he wraps his arms around Mark’s neck, pulling him in closer to whisper in his ear. “Don’t pull out then,” he says, pausing before he adds. “I want to feel you come inside me.”
“Donghyuck,” Mark rasps, the sound of his name going straight to his cock. “Christ, you’re actually trying to kill me, aren’t you?”
Mark makes quick work of stretching Donghyuck out, two fingers sliding in easily, still loose from their afternoon session, but he takes his time after adding a third, knowing exactly where to crook his fingers to make Donghyuck scream. Donghyuck watches, eyes half-lidded, as Mark strokes himself with his other hand, getting off to the sight of Donghyuck writhing from just his fingers.
“Baby, please,” Donghyuck pleads, grinding his hips down, desperate for more. “In me, now. Please fuck me already, I can’t—”
Mark gently shushes him with a kiss as he withdraws his hand, Donghyuck clenching around nothing, before Mark’s leaning over him and Donghyuck feels the lubed head of Mark’s cock against his rim. He throws his head back with a high-pitched keen when Mark enters him in one quick thrust, and he can’t remember ever being this aroused. It’s intense, the feeling of Mark’s cock inside him with nothing between them, and he can only imagine how good it feels for Mark himself.
“Fuck,” Mark says with a short, breathless laugh, arms are braced on either side of him as he leans down to rest his forehead against Donghyuck’s shoulder. “Oh my god, Hyuck.”
Donghyuck runs his hands along Mark’s back, feeling the tension in his muscles from holding himself back. He clenches around Mark experimentally, smiling as Mark hisses out another expletive. “Good?”
“You have no idea,” Mark says, before he reaches up for another languid kiss, slow and unhurried as he shifts forward to push in even deeper.
Donghyuck’s answering moan is all the prompting he needs before he’s lifting Donghyuck’s legs to rest over his shoulders, driving his hips forward with slow, deep thrusts, Donghyuck bent almost in half as Mark aims for the spot he knows will make him cry out in pleasure.
His fingers tangle in the sheets to ground himself when Mark brushes against his prostate, and Mark starts to pick up the pace, watching Donghyuck’s face as he fucks into him, eyes squeezed shut and lips parted as he gasps out Mark’s name over, and over, and over again.
“God, you feel so good like this,” Mark pants, the rhythm of his thrusts becoming more erratic. “Fuck, you’re incredible. I—” Mark cuts himself, leaning in to kiss Donghyuck instead, who arches up into him.
“Mark,” Donghyuck whispers brokenly. “Please, I want—”
Mark slows down as he shifts, dropping Donghyuck’s legs from his shoulders so that he could wrap them around his waist instead. He drapes his body over Donghyuck so that their chests are flushed together, holding himself up with one arm braced against the side of Donghyuck’s head as he sucks more bruises along the column of Donghyuck’s throat.
Mark’s other hand reaches out to detangle Donghyuck’s fingers from the sheets, locking their fingers together before he brings their joint hands up to pin it against the bed on the other side of Donghyuck’s head. He rocks into Donghyuck slowly—not gentle by any means, but still slow, almost painfully intimate.
They’ve never fucked like this before, and Donghyuck knows he isn’t going to last much longer. Not with the way that Mark starts whispering coaxing praises into his ear, kissing him so sweetly, so tenderly that Donghyuck feels like he’s about to cry.
When he comes, he does so untouched, a shuddering cry of Mark’s name falling from his lips as a couple of tears slip out and trail down his cheeks. He feels absolutely overwhelmed, but in a good way, heart full of something he doesn’t want to put a name to quite yet. He doesn’t let go of Mark, keeps him locked in place with his legs as he rides out his own orgasm. Mark groans low into the crook of Donghyuck’s neck, his cock twitching as he spills inside of him, making Donghyuck shiver at the sensation.
A few moments pass as they both try to catch their breath before Donghyuck eases his aching legs back down onto the mattress, Mark dropping his full weight down onto him with a soft sigh. Arms wrapping around Mark to hold him close, they lay there, tired and sated, before Mark rolls them over onto their side.
He knows they should probably clean up. They should probably talk things through too—he knows everything will be different come tomorrow morning, and that he needs to hear the words come straight from Mark’s mouth. But as his eyes struggle to stay open, and with Mark tucking him under his chin and holding him close to his chest, he can’t find it in himself to care. Not right now, not when he can hear the steady beat of Mark’s heart under his ear, matching the thundering of his own.
Mark pulls the blanket over them both, just like that first night all those months ago, but this time, Mark dips his head down for one last kiss to Donghyuck’s forehead, fingers coming up to drag through his hair in the way he knows Donghyuck likes.
“Sleep, Donghyuck,” Mark murmurs into his hair. “Tomorrow. I promise.”
He nods, arm coming around to circle Mark’s waist as he buries deeper into the nook of his shoulder, giving in to the pull of a dreamless sleep.
Donghyuck blearily blinks awake before the sun has even fully come up, the room still dark enough that he can just barely make out the outline of Mark’s body sleeping next to him, his arm curled around Donghyuck’s waist. He slowly moves to get out of bed, carefully so as not to wake Mark up, and he grimaces at the remnants of dried come all over his stomach—a physical reminder of everything that transpired last night.
He can feel his cheeks heat up as flashes of last night play in his mind’s eye. He remembers the way Mark had looked at him all throughout dinner, all of the tentative brushes of skin, and how Mark had held him close and fucked him so sweetly. He remembers everything.
Donghyuck sits on the edge of the bed, heart hammering in his chest. The thought of running away briefly enters his mind, as he’d done so many times in the past, but he quickly dismisses the idea. He knows he has to talk to Mark. It’s been a long time coming, and they’ve gone past the point of being able to ignore it any longer.
He opts to take a quick shower instead, to clear his mind and give him some time to prepare for the inevitable confrontation. Donghyuck stares into the mirror inside the bathroom, looking at the array of marks that litter his skin, tracing it with his fingers as he remembers every press of Mark’s lips against them. It’s a little embarrassing, how much he’s come to like them—and by proxy, how much he’s come to like Mark.
Said boy is still sleeping soundly by the time Donghyuck finishes his shower and peeks into the bedroom. The sun’s fully risen, but Donghyuck decides to let him sleep in. He steals one of Mark’s many sweatpants, forgoing a shirt as he heads back out to the kitchen.
He busies himself with making them a quick breakfast, thoughts of what he wanted to say to Mark spinning circles in his head. He thinks about the past year, and all the little ways that Mark’s incorporated himself into his life. He thinks about the little bear keychain that now dangles on his soccer bag, his very own good luck charm during games, and how he’d started unironically using ‘haha’ while texting. Mark was everywhere, in all the little things, and Donghyuck can’t believe it’s taken him this long to realize it.
He wants it all with Mark, wants a proper relationship. He wants the sleepy mornings, and the late nights, and everything in between. Everything that Mark would be willing to give him.
Renjun was right, he really was an idiot.
So lost in his thoughts that he doesn’t even realize he’s starting to burn the eggs until he feels an arm wrap around his waist, and lips pressed against his bare shoulder.
“You’re pulling a me,” Mark mumbles. His hair is damp as it tickles Donghyuck’s cheek, and he isn’t wearing a shirt either, skin still warm from the heat of the shower. He hadn’t even realized that Mark was awake.
Donghyuck hums, turning the stove off to try and salvage what’s in the pan. “Looks like you’re eating toast for breakfast.”
Mark chuckles, and Donghyuck feels him pull him in closer, flush against him. Neither of them say anything for a while, as Donghyuck finishes up, movements deliberately slow. He’s stalling.
“Hyuck,” Mark whispers, pressing another kiss to his shoulder. “Are we going to talk about this?”
“That depends,” Donghyuck answers, tone light as he leans back against him. His arms come up to cover Mark’s around his waist. “Depends on how the conversation’s gonna go, I guess.”
Mark snorts, before he turns Donghyuck around to look at him properly. There’s a determined look in his eyes and blush high on his cheeks, and Donghyuck is smitten, heartbeat picking up in his chest at the sight.
“In case you’ve missed the memo these past few months,” Mark starts. “I’m kind of stupid about you. It’s actually kind of embarrassing how obvious I’ve been, but I guess it wasn’t obvious enough.” He smiles then, the crooked little grin that Donghyuck’s come to adore. “I’m surprised it took you this long to catch on, really.”
Donghyuck stares at him, dumbstruck at the confession. “You—” he shakes his head in disbelief. “Why didn’t you say anything?”
“I didn’t want to scare you off? I knew you weren’t really looking for anything serious, and I was content with just being friends at first, but well—” Mark shrugs, grin softening into a small, shy smile. “I fell for you a long, long time ago, Hyuck. I was willing to wait for however long it took until you were ready.”
“God, I must’ve been such a pain in the ass to deal with,” Donghyuck whines, head dropping down onto Mark’s shoulder with a groan. “I’m sorry for being such a dense idiot.”
Mark just laughs, arms circling around him once more as he presses a kiss into Donghyuck’s hair. “I wouldn’t say you were that bad, but it’s okay,” he says. “I love you anyway.”
Donghyuck lifts his head, and the kiss comes naturally, the instinct to reach out for Mark almost muscle memory by now. It isn’t their first kiss, not by a longshot, but it’s definitely one for the books. His hands come up to frame Mark’s face, a contented sigh escaping him as Mark tilts his head to deepen the kiss.
Donghyuck is the first to pull away, resting his forehead against Mark’s as he fights to keep a lovesick smile off of his face. “Can you say it again?”
“I love you.”
“C’mon, please? Again?”
A fond, but exasperated sigh. “I love you.” A pause, and a teasing grin. “Unfortunately.”
Donghyuck bites his lip, unable to hold back the giddy laugh as he pulls Mark in for another kiss. “I’m sorry it took so long,” he whispers against Mark’s lips. “But I love you too.”
Mark smiles, and it warms Donghyuck to the core before he leans in for one last peck. “I know.”