Subject: editor in the house
Saw your ad around campus for a video editor for your youtube channel. Here’s a demo reel in case you need one or something.
I’m pretty much available at all times (what is sleep) and only need a starbucks venti americano with 6 espresso shots as payment for every video edited.
P.S watched some vids and ur hella cute. Feel free to just hit me up if u need someone to make you blush (✧ω✧)
Subject: RE: editor in the house
Jesus christ, two shots of espresso and you’ve got a deal.
Hope u don’t die of caffeine overdose before u reply.
Subject: RE: editor in the house
Four and ill even film some shit for you ( ˙▿˙ )
Subject: RE: editor in the house
Deal. Meet me in the linguistics section of the library today at 7pm.
Looking forward to working with you,
“First of all,” Donghyuck grimaces, staring at the string of emails Mark is showing him on his laptop. “I can’t believe someone actually responded to your ad when you didn’t even offer money, what poor soul would put themselves through that? And who the fuck drinks an americano with six espresso shots?”
Mark shrugs wholeheartedly. “I’ve got no fucking clue. She sounds cute though. Jae Minna? She said I was hella cute, why not.”
“Jesus christ,” Donghyuck slumps back into his own chair at the table they’re sat at in the library. It’s 6:45PM and Mark’s due to meet his new editor soon. “She’s got no taste. Literally and figuratively. Six shots? Bro, she’s crazy, it sounds like she wrapped you into a porn deal for coffee in just two e-mails. She didn’t even sign her e-mails! She’s a serial killer.”
Donghyuck suddenly leans in close to the screen again, squinting. “Wait, is that her e-mail?”
“No, the e-mail that sent me the e-mail is definitely not the e-mail that sent me the e-mail,” Mark deadpans. Donghyuck glares at him.
“Okay smartass. Jaeminna-at-smuni?” Donghyuck stills, quirking a brow up and suddenly asks, “You’re bi, right?”
Mark’s face scrunches up into a scowl. “Yeah? What the fuck does that have to do with anything?”
Donghyuck starts laughing this evil laugh that he does when he knows something that Mark doesn’t. It’s a laugh Mark hears way too often. He laughs so hard he falls back into his chair again and holds onto his stomach. Mark would feel embarrassed if the library wasn’t empty—nobody cared about the linguistics section apparently.
“Are you done?” Mark asks when Donghyuck finally calms himself down, taking deep breaths.
“Oh yeah man, listen, I’m gonna head out. You have fun with—Minna, was it? Yeah. You have fun.” Donghyuck slams his hand on Mark’s shoulder because the fucker doesn’t know how to gently pat somebody apparently, packs his shit up and leaves.
Mark rolls his eyes and dives into a Youtube video black hole while he waits for Minna to get there. Hopefully she finds him, because it suddenly occurs to him that he has no idea what she looks like. She said she watched his videos so she at least knows what Mark looks like, but that puts him at a disadvantage. She could be observing him from afar. She could totally just be out to murder him.
Mark startles when someone sits in the seat across from him at the table. The dude smiles at him and Mark takes a second to blink in awe of how pretty and fucking cute he is before wondering why the hell he couldn’t have sat anywhere else in this empty section.
“Hi,” the guy grins and oh my god, Mark’s heart does a fucking one-eighty-kick-flip-ollie-whatever-the-fuck.
“Uh, hi,” Mark hopes that Minna doesn’t come before he can get this guy out of here so he doesn’t risk embarrassing himself in front of his new editor. Or like, give her reason to kill anyone, really. If she’s like that. You never know.
Mark really shouldn’t have printed out those papers with his ad and just stuck them anywhere he could find on campus. Somehow, he still only got one reply.
“I’m Jaemin?” The guy’s smile deflates just a little bit, brows knitting together, a bit confused, like Mark’s supposed to recognize him or something.
“Okay?” Mark exhales because on one hand he’s kind of annoyed and on the other he’d like to stare at this Jaemin guy all fucking night. “Look, I’m supposed to be meeting someone soon—”
“Yeah, the editor? That’s me, Jaemin,” the guy’s gaze does a sweep of Mark’s surroundings and gives off super judge-y vibes. “And I don’t see an americano in sight.”
Mark blinks. “Jaemin…” He says weakly, slowing the words down and thinking back to the stupid fucking e-mail address Donghyuck had been laughing at. “…Na. Jaemin Na. Right. Sorry.” He’s so dumb. He’s so, so dumb. In his defense, he didn’t really sleep last night.
Mark's mind is everywhere as his hand plunges into his backpack to try and fish out the memory card from his camera that he put somewhere in here. Do they sell cases for SD cards? He should look into that. “Sorry, I just, uh—” He closes his eyes to take a breather then frowns when he opens them. “It’s seven PM. You want an americano with four espresso shots at seven PM?”
“Well, usually I have six but,” Jaemin shrugs and narrows his eyes like it’s all Mark’s fault. “Now I’ve got none.”
“You’re going to die,” Mark’s only just met Jaemin, has only corresponded two e-mails in total with him, thought he was a girl named Minna for almost an entire day and yet he’s already concerned for his well being. “I will not be giving you americanos past four PM,”
“Make it six shots and you’ve got a deal.”
“Nothing past two P.M, then.”
Mark sighs. “Six shots.”
“Deal! Looking forward to working with you!” Jaemin brightens up so fast it gives Mark whiplash. He rubs his nape with his palm like it might soothe the phantom pain and briefly wonders what the hell he just got himself into.
“How the fuck does he make everything look so pretty?” Mark murmurs, sat at his desk and hunched over his laptop in his dorm. He’s watching the latest video on his channel for like the millionth time because somehow Jaemin manages to outdo himself every damn time. Mark just needed someone to slap clips together. Somehow, he found himself a fucking producer that lives off of heart-attack-inducing americanos.
“I wanna know who’s dick he sucked to get you a hundred thousand more subscribers in two weeks.” Donghyuck scoffs from his side of the room where he lounges on his bed.
The thought of Jaemin doing sexual favours for Mark’s Youtube career to take off doesn’t sit well with him, makes his stomach feel sick. “Ugh, don’t say that.”
The whole Youtube shtick had all been for fun anyway. He wanted some way to show his friends back home what he was up to, because he’d probably forget by the time they talked. Same thing with his mom—she’s been adoring the new style, everything that Jaemin’s put into it. He’s all she fucking asks about now. God, Mark hopes they never meet.
Anyways, the point is that Jaemin’s making Mark’s small Youtube channel into something way bigger and all for a fucking death drink.
“Was it your dick?” Donghyuck’s tone is probing and instantly makes Mark annoyed. Curiosity killed the cat, he thinks and specifically, Donghyuck is the cat and Mark would be curiosity if he kept fucking asking questions like that.
(And because he won’t let the fucking Jae Minna thing go.)
“I’m not trading sexual favours with my editor to get a million views.” Mark grumbles. He briefly thinks about which top Youtubers might doing that though. He thinks it’d be better to fool around with his editor than some random old white Youtube exec or whatever.
Not that he’s thought about fooling around with Jaemin.
Definitely not often.
(What? He’s pretty! Sue me, Mark thinks)
“Nice use of deflection there,” Donghyuck clicks his tongue annoyingly. “Instead of calling him ‘the guy I now spend all of my time with and extra money on to get him coffee’ you called him your editor. Way to distance yourself from the issue.”
“Shut up,” Mark grunts, softly hitting his forehead onto his desk.
It’s so hard not to stare at Jaemin when they sit together at the library so Mark can give him his stupid americano that the Starbucks barista judges him for buying. He hadn’t meant to stay but he needed to study and was already in the library so he had just stayed with Jaemin while he edited. And then it became routine—at the library, coffee shops on campus, the cafeteria. Mark’s pretty sure he stares at Jaemin more than he does his own computer—and he’s been caught more times than he can fucking count. He’d need like, eight more hands, probably.
A familiar ping makes Mark raise his head to look at his laptop maybe a little too quickly.
Donghyuck snorts at him. "Is that your booty call?"
Mark just grumbles at him to shut up when he clicks on the messages from Jaemin.
JaeminNA: guess who's the best editor/producer/manager in the world?
JaeminNA: me!!! ☆ ～('▽^人)
Marktube: when did u get so many titles?
JaeminNA: that's what you focus on here?
Marktube: you haven't told me anything yet???
JaeminNA: you got an email from a potential sponsor
Marktube: holy shit
JaeminNA: a fashion company
JaeminNA: I havent looked into them or responded yet but listen. this is amazing #firstsponsor
Marktube: k cool i wanna make sure they arent like shein or fashion nova or zaful type brand u know?
JaeminNA: look at u being all charming and caring for the world and the danger fast fashion does all around
Marktube: o shit u know about this shit too?
JaeminNA: i watch a lot of videos during the time i spend not sleeping
JaeminNA: u wanna meet up to go over it now?
Mark glances at the time. It's getting kind of late but he could definitely pop over for like an hour or two. Jaemin lives a five-minute walk away in some house he shares with other students.
Marktube: yea sure
JaeminNA: coo i'll meet u halfway
JaeminNA: I wanna stop at the corner store i want ice cream(☆ω☆)
Marktube: no wonder you don't sleep jesus christ
Marktube: do u ever not eat sugar?
JaeminNA: do u want me to answer that truthfully?
Marktube: how did you even get into my e-mail to see the sponsor i never gave u the pw for that
JaeminNA: see u in 5! °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°
"I'll be back in like, two hours," Mark says, getting up from his desk and shoving his wallet into the pocket of his sweater and putting a baseball cap on.
"I don't mind having the room to myself for the night, you know," Donghyuck hums. Mark's already moving out the door but if he had anything to throw, he'd have aimed for Donghyuck's head.
Mark spots Jaemin leaning against a street lamp near the store, waiting. He looks comfortable in his oversized hoodie and sweats, though Mark does question the slides and socks he's got on. Mark wishes he would've had the sense to change out of his own jeans but whatever, he's not gonna be out for too long so he'll live.
"Hey!" Jaemin brightens up when Mark approaches. He leads the way to the corner store around the block and Mark ends up buying junk food for himself (and a chocolate bar for Donghyuck, because he's a good roommate).
"And you're the one who gave me the hard time about sugar," Jaemin scoffs when they leave, two tubs of ice cream richer.
"I'm not eating this now," Mark defends himself. "I'm saving it! And I know you're going to be done like, half a tub by the time I go back home."
"You're right," Jaemin sniffs. "And I don't like it."
Mark snorts and follows Jaemin down the road and to his house. The door's unlocked, which is slightly concerning but Mark can hear that other people are awake and home so it's not too worrying that Jaemin would just leave during the dark without locking his damn door.
(Mark worries about him sometimes, okay? About the sugar and these habits. He's valid.)
He follows Jaemin into the kitchen and watches him put away one tub of ice cream in the freezer and get two spoons out of a drawer. They stop in the living room on the way to the stairs, where there are three dudes sitting in front of the TV.
"Guys, this is Mark," Jaemin waves his hand vaguely at his roommates. "Mark, this is Yangyang, Lucas and Xiaojun. I think Hendery's out on a booty call right now, but you'll meet him eventually."
Mark juts his chin out in greeting, not really knowing which name belongs to which face but assuming Jaemin went in order. "Sup."
"Hey," the smallest of the three salutes with two fingers. "You're the Youtube guy, right? Jaemin won't shut up about you."
The two other guys, occupied with whatever video game they were playing on the TV, let out snickers that has Jaemin grabbing Mark's wrist with an "Okaaaaay!" and pulling him up the stairs.
Mark feels confused, flustered, and a little proud at the same time. He's got no idea what fucking chemicals are mixing in his brain right now and it's too wild to even attempt to digest so he just lets it fester into a bright blush spreading over his cheeks to his ears as Jaemin brings Mark into his bedroom and closes the door behind them.
Jaemin's bedroom is tidier than Mark's, with a big ass bed that Mark wishes he could fit into his own stupid twin shared dorm room and a really elaborate computer setup that makes Mark picture Jaemin on in the dead of night doing some super-smart shit like programming a virus that takes out the city's electricity grid or something.
(Can computer viruses do that? Mark has no idea, but he's seen it in movies! Totally valid.)
"You can sit anywhere," Jaemin puts his tub of ice cream on a TV tray next to his computer desk. "But if you want ice cream you gotta sit next to me."
Mark puts his bag of snacks on the ground by the door and heads to Jaemin's bed, sitting on the edge. He almost moans. It's been so long since he's sat on something so comfy, holy shit.
Jaemin sits in his fancy computer chair, the one that Mark sees all those gaming Youtubers own, cracks open the container of ice cream and hums happily to himself when he has the first bite.
"So," he says after three more spoonfuls. "I actually lied, you've got three sponsorship deals. Two are fashion brands, one is skincare. The skincare company sent samples to our P.O box so we should be getting that soon, and then one of the fashion brands is fast fashion, so fuck that, and the other is this startup that seems pretty legit and ethical. Have you heard of the Johfam brand?"
Mark rolls his eyes to the back of his head, trying to absorb all the information Jaemin's giving him—it'd be easier if the guy didn't speak so fucking fast in two-times speed. Mark sighs, laying himself down on Jaemin's bed (God, it's like floating on a cloud) and staring up at the ceiling. "Okay, wait, when did we get a P.O box? And I don't even do skincare or talk about it in my videos."
"I know, I'm running out of moisturizer and I don't want to give my address so therefore, P.O box."
"Okaaay," Mark thinks that trying to understand will just make his head hurt, so he moves on. "What about the fashion brands?"
"Well, I've already taken the fast fashion out of consideration, but I ordered some sweaters and caps from Johfam that you'll look cute in. The bear mascot is precious." Jaemin smacks his lips together, eating more ice cream while staring at his computer, his back towards Mark who's raised himself on his forearms, staring at him. Mark's not sure if he's amazed or scared of Jaemin.
"You're insane," Mark breathes, words falling out of his mouth before he can fully think them through. "How the fuck did I get so lucky for you to be the only person who responded to my ad?"
He sees Jaemin straighten up a bit (Mark swears to god Jaemin just preened a little. That's what that was, right?) and he starts typing on his computer. "Can I get deposit deets for your bank account? Or like, a paypal account or something so I have something to give these brands when they pay you for an ad."
Mark pulls his phone out of his pocket and starts typing. "I'll send it to you if you send me yours."
The clacking of a keyboard stops and Mark looks up from his phone to see Jaemin turned around, looking at him. "Why?"
"To... pay you?"
Jaemin's eyes dart around awkwardly. "Just give me like, two americanos per video and I'm good."
"Dude, I'm not gonna be your literal sugar daddy, you're doing more work than I am at this point."
Mark spies the little smile at the corner of Jaemin's mouth before he spins back around to his computer. "It's just for fun," Jaemin murmurs, though Mark gets the notification of a text with Jaemin's Paypal e-mail a second later.
JaeminNA: thnx sugar daddy ٩(♡ε♡)۶
“Bro, you have your own subreddit now, what the fuck,” Donghyuck grumbles from his side of the room, wrapped in a cocoon of his blankets because it’s late Sunday morning and they don’t have shit to do. Well, there’s probably homework, but whatever. “I hate this so much, you don’t even know what a subreddit it is.”
“Nope,” Mark smacks his lips together. He knows of Reddit and he also knows Donghyuck lives on it, therefore, Mark doesn’t want anything to do with it. He lightly strums his thumb over the lowest string of the guitar in his lap.
“I hate this,” Donghyuck repeats. “I can’t believe you’re getting famous and I’m not.”
It’s a weird topic for Mark. He didn’t go into it to be famous, mainly just because he’s shit at keeping up a journal and wanted a place to visualize his memories and experiences. Also because his mom asked for videos. Jaemin literally turned this whole thing into a budding career.
“You can use me for clout if you want, I don’t mind,” Mark shrugs. He strums a few more times on his guitar. “Didn’t you say you were going to finally talk to Jeno once you reached a certain number of followers on Instagram?”
“Yeah, but that was—I didn’t think it would ever be in the realm of possibility.” Donghyuck curls in on himself further, almost completely disappearing in his mound of bedding. “I was content with being a lowkey campus coffee shop open mic night singer. So much praise, so little clout.”
Mark snorts. “That’s a big fat lie, you’re just saying that because you’re nervous Jeno is coming to tomorrow’s open mic.”
“I’m gonna fucking kill Renjun for doing this to me. Is Jaemin coming too?”
"No," Mark tries to sound inconspicuous. "Why would he?"
Donghyuck's head pops out from the sheets, eyes narrowed. Mark ignores him, thumbing the guitar strings harder.
"You didn't mention it to him, did you?"
"Why would I?"
"Because you're friends? Because it's good content?" Donghyuck slowly unravels himself. "Or... because you're just like me and you get nervous at the thought of someone you like being there?"
Mark plucks a string a little too hard and doesn't say anything.
Donghyuck smirks to himself and settles back into his nest, content with whatever conclusions he just jumped to. "You know," he drawls. "There are some people who think you two are dating—"
Mark slaps a hand on his guitar and leaps off the bed. "I'm going to practice somewhere else. Goodbye."
Donghyuck only snorts as Mark leaves the dorm with just his guitar and phone, wearing the sweatshirt and sweatpants he slept in last night. Not great, but it's a Sunday morning so he's not worried about running into anyone who matters on campus.
(Karma's a bitch, Mark Lee.)
Mark settles himself on a couch in an open area of one of the arts buildings close by. There isn't anyone else around, so Mark takes the liberty of playing as loudly as he wants, though he does keep his singing to a lower volume. He just can't hit some of those notes like Donghyuck can.
The sun keeps rising and shines brightly through the large window that takes up the wall Mark sitting next to, warming him up so much he starts getting drowsy. His playing slows and he fights to keep his eyes open.
Mark jolts upwards like he's been electrocuted, head snapping towards the source of the voice.
Jaemin smiles at him, amused. He looks good too, like he actually showered before heading to campus unlike Mark, who literally just rolled out of bed and is a warm sweaty mess. Fuck.
(Not that Mark, cares. Well, he shouldn't care. Right?)
Jaemin sits next to Mark and pulls his camera out of his bag. "Mind if I film you play?"
Mark has to take a moment to sit back comfortably again. As comfortably as he can when all he can smell is his own B.O now that he's hyper-aware of it.
"Yeah, just," Mark clears his throat. "Just don't put my face in. I haven't even shaved."
Jaemin chuckles and Mark's heart starts racing, nervous now that he's playing in front of Jaemin, which is crazy because Mark hardly ever gets nervous when it's just one person. A crowd is different, that's a lot of eyes on you but for some reason, Jaemin's gaze holds even more weight than a coffee shop that's overcapacity.
Mark doesn't know how long he plays for, only that when he looks over Jaemin's not even looking at the viewfinder. He's watching Mark from over the top of the camera, which is also in a position that is definitely capturing Mark's face in the shot.
Mark flushes pink and lightly pushes the camera away with a whine. "I look like shit, stop."
"You look comfortable!" Jaemin insists but he puts the camera away, which Mark is thankful for. "The Johfam merch is supposed to be delivered tomorrow. Did you want to come over to try them out and film if we like it? Then I can tell them if we agree to the sponsorship or not."
"Uh, I can't tomorrow," Mark shrugs, trying to play it off cool. "I'm busy."
"With what? You don't have class."
Mark forgot he basically gave Jaemin his complete schedule so that he could arrange their filming and editing schedule. Not that Mark needed to be there when Jaemin edited his videos but he liked being part of the process, okay! And when else is he going to give Jaemin his americanos!
Mark is acutely aware of his sweatshirt sticking to his skin from being under the sun for so long. It's uncomfortable. He wants to go back to the dorm and take a long shower instead of answering Jaemin.
"Oh," Jaemin says quietly. Mark looks at him with wide eyes because he hasn't actually said anything. "It's fine if you don't want to tell me. Sorry if I was being—"
"No, no!" Mark scrambles to assure him because he'd rather Jaemin come to the open mic than think he was being a burden to Mark.
(Mark suspects he secretly wanted Jaemin to come the whole time, but he doesn't want to dissect that thought just yet.)
"It's not that, I just have this open mic performance thing on campus with Hyuck tomorrow night that we do every couple weeks. I'm just—nervous." About you being there.
"Is it... okay if I come?" Seeing Jaemin be more soft-spoken and reserved was dizzying. Mainly because somehow his voice got lower the softer it was and because Jaemin always seemed so sure of everything.
"Yeah, yeah, of course," Mark croaks and feels compelled to overexplain himself. "I wasn't trying to keep it from you or anything—I just didn't know if it was your thing or if you would want to come or... you know." God Mark, shut up.
Jaemin breaks into a smile, shyness suddenly gone. "Do I make you nervous?"
"No," Mark scoffs, looking away. After a moment, he toys a finger over one of the guitar strings, lightly enough to barely make a noise. "Maybe."
Jaemin hums. "Cute. Well, I'll let you practice. I'll see you tomorrow night!" Just like that, Mark is left staring at the wall, no thoughts, head empty.
When he gets back to his dorm, he smacks a napping Donghyuck to wake him up. "Jaemin's coming tomorrow so we gotta practice."
"I close my eyes for two seconds," Donghyuck grumbles but gets up anyway, sitting at the edge of his bed. "Whatever, better than finishing my assignment." He scrunches his nose when he looks at Mark. "Dude, you fucking reek."
"Thanks," Mark rolls his eyes, then remembers he'd spent the last hour with Jaemin in this exact state. "Fuck."
Donghyuck looks at him with pity. "Were you just with Jaemin like that?"
Mark's grimace is enough to answer Donghyuck, who sighs.
"Okay, well shower first, then we'll make sure your playing is attractive enough for tomorrow so he forgets you're just a disgusting college boy like the rest of us."
Somehow, that still isn't very assuring to Mark. Why does he even want Jaemin to see him as attractive anyway?
Donghyuck tells Mark he looks like a nervous fucking wreck an hour before their performance when Mark is totally and completely fine! He punches Donghyuck in the arm for good measure. Not like, super hard, but hard enough.
He's definitely not a wreck. He is totally, appropriately nervous. Who doesn't get nervous when they're about to get one stage? He's fine, seriously.
Half an hour before their performance, Mark still hasn't seen Jaemin. Not that he's looking. Maybe he's not coming after all. That should ease Mark's nerves but it doesn't—it sends them into overdrive. Maybe he's just running late.
Ten minutes to go—still no Jaemin. Donghyuck has shyly waved at Jeno in the crowd and Mark could barely bring himself to tease him about it. That's how they both know how bad it is and Donghyuck makes the smart decision to refrain from commenting on it.
Their set is four songs, around fifteen minutes. Three songs are covers and the last is an original Mark wrote. It's the first time they're performing it. So maybe it's just a large combination of things that are making him shake like a fucking chihuahua.
Mark scans the crowd a minute before they go up. He still can't spot his editor-slash-manager-slash-do-everything-er.
Mark takes a shaky breath and Donghyuck claps him on the back as they go up on stage in front of the packed coffee shop. Donghyuck stands in front of the microphone and introduces them, while Mark sits on the stool and tries not to feel disappointed since he'd been adamant about not having expectations in the first place.
He shakes his head, clears his mind from all other thoughts except music, and begins to play.
The first song finishes and Mark realizes he's been staring at the floor the entire time, which isn't abnormal per se but he probably looks zoned out as fuck, which doesn't give great performance vibes.
Halfway through the second song, Mark looks up into the crowd—in the very back corner of the shop, half-hidden behind some girl, Mark locks eyes with Jaemin.
Relief washes over him and he can't help but smile. His heart does a little 'whoopee!' when Jaemin returns it with a thumbs up.
It's hard not to keep looking over at that damn corner again and again. Mark and Donghyuck breeze through the rest of their set and the original song does surprisingly well. Mark feels like he's on cloud nine when they leave the stage to the loudest applause they've ever gotten before.
Mark follows Donghyuck out of the coffee shop for air—like they always do. It's nice having such a big crowd but it's really nice to have a breather right after. Mark slings the guitar onto his back, takes a deep breath and high fives Donghyuck so hard the both of them wince at the sting.
"Not gonna lie man, I didn't think this was gonna go great but fuck, you really pulled through," Donghyuck sighs in relief, hand on his chest. "I'm proud of you."
"Shut up," Mark grins. "I'm proud of us."
It's comical, the way Donghyuck pales at the sound of his name being called by a certain someone.
"Hey Jeno," Mark nods over Donghyuck's shoulder, watching Jeno approach from behind. It's fun to see Donghyuck freak out for a split second. Jeno smiles at Mark and waits for Donghyuck to turn around and acknowledge him.
He does (eventually) letting out a high pitch "heeeeey!" that has Mark excusing himself so he can't completely ruin the moment they're about to have.
Mark slips back into the coffee shop and heads to the far back corner, where he squeezes in beside Jaemin on the couch that lines the shop's back wall.
"Hey," Jaemin whispers to not disrupt the girl singing on stage right now. "You were amazing."
"Thanks," Mark's cheeks hurt from smiling. "I almost thought you weren't gonna show."
"I thought it'd make you nervous if you saw me, so I hid," Jaemin shrugs, apologetic.
Mark doesn't know what fucking possesses him in the moment but he pats Jaemin's thigh. "Don't hide next time, say hi." He quickly shoves his hand into the pocket of his sweater like it's been burned.
They watch the rest of the open mic, Jaemins films some of it and at one point Mark spies Donghyuck and Jeno slipping back into the shop and sitting together. Donghyuck flashes Mark a hidden thumbs up and Mark returns it.
The event ends and Mark and Jaemin have only just stood up when they're approached by some guy Mark's never seen before. (It's a big campus, it's not surprising.)
"Hey man! I watch your Youtube videos, they're fucking rad," the guy gushes and Mark takes a second to blink and process. It's the first time he's ever been recognized in person before and it's a little fucking surreal.
Jaemin's elbow digs into his ribcage and Mark snaps back into reality. "Oh fuck, thanks man, I appreciate it."
"Yeah, no problem," the guy turns to Jaemin, looking a little sheepish. "You must be Jaemin, right? Sorry, I feel like I just kinda recognized Mark right away."
Jaemin shakes his head, smiling. "No, no, it's fine, it's his channel anyway, he's the star."
Mark scoffs. "Jaemin's the one who does literally everything else, okay? We should put you on camera more."
"I don't think anyone would object to that," the guy agrees and Jaemin does this small little chuckle that makes Mark think he's a little flustered by the compliment. (It's cute.)
"Uh, sorry," the guy continues. "My name is Danny. Do you think I could get a selfie with you guys?"
Mark looks to Jaemin, who hikes his shoulders up, not opposed. "Sure."
Mark and Jaemin flank either side of Danny as Mark takes the photo with the phone Danny handed to him. He takes a few, just in case, and then Danny is thanking them, wishing them a good night and heading off with his friends.
"What's it feel like to be famous?" Jaemin nudges him in that same place in his ribcage and Mark winces, rolling his eyes.
"He knew you too!"
Jaemin laughs, a full breezy laugh that sends tingles up Mark's spine. The coffee shop has emptied significantly and Mark can see Donghyuck outside waiting for him.
"Before we go, we should take a picture too," Jaemin suggests, pulling out his own phone and holding it up. Mark automatically moves closer and he basically stops breathing when their cheeks touch and Jaemin snaps a few photos. Their first selfies. Not that it's a milestone or anything.
(Should it be? No, right? Right...)
"Cool," Mark says, because he's great with words. "Send that to me later. I'll come over tomorrow to try on the sweaters after class?"
"Yeah, sounds good," Jaemin nods. "See you tomorrow, Mark."
(God, he really likes the way Jaemin says his name.)
Mark meets up with Donghyuck outside the shops, who huffs a "finally" at him before they walk back to the dorm, both giddy for a variety of reasons.
JaeminNA: [photo attachment] open mic night cutie!!!!! ꒰⑅ᵕ༚ᵕ꒱˖♡
Subject: Thank you!
Hey Mark & Jaemin,
Just wanted to properly thank you both for the video you put out today unboxing your Johfam goodies. We’re all really excited to see where this partnership can take us both in the future.
This is a little last minute, but we’re on the final steps of our new limited edition line—and we were interested in getting you two out here to Chicago to be part of the advertising campaign. We’ve also noticed that the channel’s inching towards a milestone of 1million subscribers! Perhaps some sort of giveaway is in order? ;)
Let me know what you guys think and we can arrange a call to further discuss details.
Head of Marketing
YOU’LL NEVER GUESS THE E-MAIL WE JUST GOT FROM JOHFAM
Subject: RE: BROOOOOO
I can see AND JUST FUCKING TEXT ME????
“So, how’re you feeling?” Jaemin sits back down beside Mark on the floor after turning the camera off.
“Fucking wild,” Mark stares at the feet of the tripod in front of them in disbelief. “We just filmed a thank you for one million subs video. With a giveaway. For clothes we modeled, in Chicago. What the fuck, dude.”
Jaemin laughs. “You work hard, you deserve it.”
Mark glares at Jaemin, shaking his head and pushing Jaemin’s shoulder with his. “Shut the fuck up, this is our thing now, not just mine. I would’ve never gotten here without you.”
Jaemin nods his head, biting at his bottom lip and looks away. Mark’s own cheeks are tinged pink for no good fucking reason. They do that a lot around Jaemin apparently.
Jaemin looks up again. “We should have a party to celebrate. Just us and our friends.”
“Yeah? Your housemates are gonna be cool with that?”
Jaemin scoffs as he gets up. “Please, they’ve been begging. They’re due one and it’s the perfect excuse. Not that they’d ever need an excuse, but you get my point.”
Jaemin offers out his hand and Mark takes it, getting pulled off the ground and to his feet. He swears to God Jaemin’s hands linger longer than they’re supposed to, longer than socially acceptable at least. Whatever socially acceptable hand holding for friends is. Mark’s not quite sure, his closest friend is Donghyuck, so he’s got no fucking clue.
“Alright,” Mark manages to smile. “Party at your place then.”
Mark’s always had his suspicions but this party is confirmation that Jaemin’s housemates are wild. At least it’s their own house so they’re the ones who have to clean up but Mark’s just really glad they don’t have a pool or something in the backyard otherwise he’d have to worry about someone fucking drowning.
Other than carefully observing Hendery and Yangyang’s chaos so that he doesn’t get wound up in the middle of it, Mark chills out, happy with his drunken buzz while he hovers in the kitchen, snacking and bobbing his head to the music playing.
Mark pops his head out to see Jaemin waving at him from the dining room table, decked out in red cups only five feet away.
“Come join us for beer pong! Me and you versus Donghyuck and Jeno.”
Mark shuffles over and joins because even sober he has a hard time saying no to Jaemin. He’s got this glint in his eyes, like everything’s going according to whatever plan he’s schemed up.
Mark goes along with it, buzzing.
Their tosses are shit because they’re drunk, and then they get progressively more drunk as it goes on so it just gets worse. Even Donghyuck, who usually tries to strategize and takes every game of beer pong very seriously, is weakly tossing the ping pong ball as he hangs off of Jeno’s arm.
The ball doesn’t even hit the table—it goes straight over Jaemin’s shoulder to hit the wall and even if it isn’t that funny, they all break into laughter. It’s different on either side of the table though. Mark snorts at Jaemin’s shocked expression when he almost got nailed in the head and Jaemin laughs at Mark laughing. Mark turns to look at the perpetrator, who’s giggling with Jeno, so close together—their noses brush, Mark blinks and Donghyuck and Jeno are suddenly attached at the mouth.
Mark’s mouth falls into a little ‘o’.
Jaemin snorts now and after gathering the lost pong ball, he throws it into one of the cups on the other side.
Jaemin nudges Mark. “C’mon, we can win while they’re distracted.”
Mark’s certain Jeno or Donghyuck might just clear the entire table off with one swoop of an arm, they’re that engrossed in each other. “I think they forfeited, man.”
Jaemin ignores him, fetching the ball again and attempting to throw it into a different cup. It hits Jeno’s arm and bounces away. Mark can’t help but laugh at how gone they are, and then he laughs harder because he’s drunk and everything’s funny.
Jaemin laughs with him, a gentle touch to his elbow that makes Mark giggle so Jaemin pinches him a little harder. “What’re you laughing ‘bout?”
Jaemin sighs with a smile on his face. He looks at their friends that refuse to unlock from each other. “I wanted them to do something, but not ruin my fun at the same time.”
Mark’s pretty sure this is exactly what Jaemin was hoping for. He picks up one of the red cups of beer at their table and starts drinking from it.
Jaemin grabs one of his own and pulls Mark by his wrist with the other. “Let’s find a new game.”
No party is a party without Super Smash Bros. Mark’s pretty shit at it but it doesn’t matter because they’re all drunk and they’re all shit except Xiaojun, apparently, who’s really fucking good. Lucas is passed out and takes up the entirety of the couch except the edge where Xiaojun is perched, so Mark and Jaemin sit on the floor, shoulders knocking together as they mash the buttons as best they can.
Mark’s fingers don’t feel very strong, kind of loose, so his character doesn’t really do the things he wants them to do, but again, it doesn’t really matter because Xiaojun destroys them anyway and then declares them both useless at the same time he congratulates them on their one million milestone.
“Thanks, m’done anyway,” Mark slurs, head lolling to the side. It lands on Jaemin’s shoulder. “Tired.”
It’s well into the morning hours, probably. The party is coming to a sludging slow stop. Mark feels heavy, like a zombie. He wants to sleep and curl into something warm.
Even drunk, Jaemin has more sense than he does. “Hmm… upstairs. Comfier.”
Getting to Jaemin’s room is a journey in itself. They’re forced to stop four steps onto the flight of stairs and then they have to crawl the rest of the way up.
It probably would be easier if Jaemin wasn’t holding Mark’s hand the entire time. Not just regular holding either, interlaced fingers hand holding. Mark can barely think straight.
Not that there’s anything straight about his sober thinking either. He’s pretty gay.
They make it to Jaemin’s room in one piece, thankfully. Jaemin let’s go of Mark’s hand and it makes Mark pout, sad. They undress, because sleeping in jeans would be uncomfortable and Mark barely has time to register that he’s only in his underwear when he’s pulled onto the bed and has covers thrown on top of him.
Jaemin is close, and his skin is warm. It’s inviting, Mark curls inward towards Jaemin. Goosebumps where their skin brushes together. Mark closes his eyes, feels the heaviness take over, and mumbles something incoherent before he passes out.
Roommate #1: how incoherent tho
Roommate #1: do u think u said something stupid
Roommate #2: hyuck, this is me we’re talking about
Roommate #1: ur right, definitely something stupid
Roommate #1: maybe he didnt hear
Roommate #1: or if he did maybe he forgot
Roommate #2: ok but what if he didnt
Roommate #1: just bc u said it doesnt mean it nullifies the possibility
Roommate #2: im too hungover for this
Roommate #1: jeno says to stop worrying, tell jaem how u feel and bone it out
Roommate #2: right, bc u two are the experts on this
Roommate #1: exactly
Roommate #1: also don’t come back until the afternoon, we have to put ur sheets in the wash
Roommate #2: I fucking hate you
Roommate #1: I always mix up my left and rights when im drunk…
The worst part about now being mildly internet famous is that people talk about you on the internet like you’re full blown famous. Like you have no feelings and exist to be picked apart, examined, discussed. Like you aren’t just casually scrolling through Reddit when you find a gossip thread on the front page speculating that you’re dating your editor-producer-manager-right-hand-man.
(He stopped looking at the subscriber count when they passed two million. He can’t wrap his mind around even more people being interested in their channel.)
Fuck Donghyuck for introducing him to Reddit. Fuck these people who have nothing better to do than write paragraphs about shit they don’t know anything about.
Five hours of Mark’s life he will never get back.
(He read the entire thread. Every single comment. He was very fixated on some about the ‘look’ Jaemin gives him. What look? Does it mean what they say it means?)
It had been waking up in Jaemin’s arms, hungover that it all really hit Mark. That he’s in love with him. Like, ‘I could stare at you all day and never ever get tired of it’ kind of in love. The kind that makes your heart flip three times at the thought of getting to spend the entire day with someone. Which Mark gets to do, a lot, which is great! But also really horrible at the same time, now that he’s really conscious of this whole thing now.
He’s super fucking jittery around Jaemin now, antsy and fidgety. Like he’s filled to the brim and about to explode. He should definitely say something, tell him how he feels and, a la Donghyuck and Jeno, ‘bone it out’.
Except it’s not that simple. They work together. They’re partners in the non-married-romantic way. Literal business partners. Not that Mark thinks it would ruin everything and he definitely cares more about having Jaemin as a friend overall rather than a business partner—fuck the Youtube shit, seriously. But if Mark gets rejected, he doesn’t know if he could do any of it anymore. It’s not just his thing now, it’s their thing.
Their thing currently has them on a plane to Disneyland, California, courtesy of Johfam for their reading week break. It’s a long enough flight for Jaemin to fall asleep on Mark’s shoulder and for Mark to over-think everything he’s ever done or said.
He really shouldn’t have watched that ‘proof Markmin are in love’ video. He can’t stop thinking about it. Also he’s been trying to catch that ‘look’ everyone comments about but then he just ends up staring at Jaemin until he gets caught and then Mark’s just a blushy mess. Not that he wasn’t before—it’s just worse now.
There’s two people who work for Johfam waiting for them when they get off the plane. Moon Taeil, who Mark and Jaemin have met before when they went to Chicago, and then some big burly guy who looks about six foot five and could probably crush them both under his shoe, no problem. A security guard, Mark realizes. Wow, they’ve really gotten to that point, huh? He had been pretty sure someone had been whispering excitedly about them when they’d been walking to baggage, but he hadn’t wanted to assume.
“I’m in town for other business but Taeyong wanted to make sure you guys were welcomed properly,” Taeil smiles at them in the car. “And the security is yours for the week. Taeyong also mentioned you two probably wouldn’t have thought about it.”
“Taeyong’s a mind reader,” Mark breathes out. “You guys spoil us too much. Like, you’re literally unreal. This is unfair, we can’t work with any other brands after this.”
Taeil only laughs, probably because it’s one of their strategies or something. Mark’s not worried about it anyway, he likes Johfam, he literally wears it to class almost every day cause it’s actually comfy.
The treatment doesn’t end there though. Mark and Jaemin end up in the fucking fairytale suite at the Disney hotel. An entire suite, decked out like an enchanted castle with a view of the park—Mark literally can’t believe his eyes. Jaemin instantly has the vlog camera out, filming a tour.
Mark stands in front of the window, hands in his pockets, watching the sun start to lower on the horizon. They could go out and go to the park now before it closes, but traveling is always tiring and Mark would absolutely love to just pass out. He still feels light though, like he could do at least a fifty jumping jacks before it really got to him.
He feels Jaemin approach and he knows the camera is pointed towards him. “Hey.”
Mark smiles and keeps looking out the window. “Hey.”
“What are you thinking about?”
Mark shrugs. “Nothing. I just feel… happy. Grateful. Amazed.”
Jaemin doesn’t say anything. They stand there for a while—Mark stays still so Jaemin can get whatever shot he needs but it goes on for a while. When Mark turns to actually look at Jaemin, the camera is already down and Jaemin’s just watching him.
Mark lifts a brow, questioning. Jaemin gives him a small smile and Mark’s heart does an insane 360 backflip.
They order room service, watch a movie in one of the beds and they pass out beside each other before it even ends.
“I feel like we’re more recognizable with the Johfam hats on,” Jaemin sighs. Not an annoyed one, but they really can’t just walk anywhere peacefully without at least one person asking for a photo. They made it 10 minutes without anyone at one point and that was the most exciting 10 minute walk Mark’s ever been on.
Not that he doesn’t appreciate it! But there’s only so many selfie poses he can do! They ask for a photo and run off! He feels used!
“I know, but they’re my favourite,” Mark can only laugh at himself. He didn’t even think to pack a regular hat. Maybe he should just buy a Disney one.
“Can we get more churros? I want more churros.”
“We’ve literally already had like, six, Jaemin.”
“Okay? And what harm could six more do to me?”
“How are you alive?”
Jaemin smiles that ever so charming smile, the one that makes everything kind of slow down around Mark for a little bit until he has to jog to catch back up.
They take selfies with their millionth churro and Mark can’t help the thought that creeps into his head.
What if I just turned my head and kissed you?
What if I told you I’m in love with you?
Disney’s definitely the least private place to do that but now it’s in his head, bounces around and it won’t go away.
It doesn’t go away even after being convinced to go on Splash Mountain. Again, it’s insanely hard to say no to Jaemin.
It doesn’t go away during dinner either. The sky is painted the same kind of beautiful pink, yellow and orange it was the day before. Something out of a picture perfect movie. Mark’s skin tingles as he tries not to stare at Jaemin too much. He thinks he might burst.
It doesn’t go away even after the last damn churro of the day, Jaemin promises. (Mark isn’t convinced.)
It especially doesn’t go away when they lean on the brick wall of a bridge when the sky gets dark and the fireworks start.
Mark feels like he just might be dreaming. Is this the Disney effect or some shit? Did he get high before this? He’s got no fucking clue but Jaemin presses his shoulder into his and Mark isn’t even looking at the fireworks anymore, he’s watching the colours reflect off of Jaemin’s face instead.
There are so many people around them—so many of them that recognize them too. The last thing Mark wants to do is cause any sort of scene. Even if in some universe it was reciprocated, Mark can’t just do whatever he wants anymore
He exhales harshly, looking down at his hands that just won’t stop twisting together, really not fucking believing how he got himself into this mess—in love with Jaemin. I want to kiss you so fucking bad right now.
Mark looks up and Jaemin’s staring at him with glimmering eyes. Mark’s confused until it hits him—that's the look and no, fuck, he didn’t just say the kiss thing out loud, there’s no fucking way he actually—
Jaemin’s shoulder is still pressed to his. Somehow, he manages to get even closer, hips bumping together. If Mark’s heart is still beating he can’t hear it over the ringing in his head—the absolute fucking mortification—what if he just ruined everything, fuck—
“Save that thought for later, alright? I wanna come back to that later,” Jaemin whispers. There’s a delicate touch to Mark’s hand and then it’s gone. Mark can breathe again, but barely.
“Fuck,” Jaemin sighs through gritted teeth. “Why did you have to say that in the middle of Disneyland, man? Do you know how hard it is not to jump you right now?”
Scratch that—Mark has stopped breathing again. He’s not even registering the fireworks anymore even though they’re fucking loud.
“What’s stopping you?” Mark murmurs because his filter went to shit the second kissing Jaemin became an actual possibility.
“Don’t do this to me Mark Lee—you saw how much sugar I ingested today. I’m gonna keep you up all fucking night.”
Mark wants to fucking sing. He’s never wanted to leave an amusement park so badly before. Could the fireworks end soon, please?
Five more minutes of standing around with tensed shoulders, Mark leans in to whisper to Jaemin. “If we leave early we can avoid the crowd.”
Jaemin cracks a sly grin. “I like it when you’re the smart one.”
The urge to hold Jaemin’s hand as they slide through the crowd back to the hotel is immeasurable. Mark keeps pulsing his fist by his side like it’ll help.
The elevator up is the longest elevator ride ever and the hallway seems ten times longer than Mark remembers it being. They get into their suite, the super fucking fancy castle suite and they turn to each other, just a breath away.
Jaemin’s staring at Mark’s lips.
Mark swallows. Jaemin watches that too.
“We should… probably talk about this first?”
Jaemin purses his lips. “What if you kissed me first and then we talked about it?”
“And if I can’t stop?” Mark strains. He really doesn’t think he’ll have the restraint.
“Then we’ll talk in between,” Jaemin waves him off, resting his arms on Mark’s shoulders, pulling him closer and fuck it—Mark goes for it.
He doesn’t care that Jaemin’s lips are dry, Mark kisses him and he licks them and he quickly coaxes Jaemin’s mouth open to deepen their embrace.
Jaemin meets him with equal fervor, fingers laced in Mark’s hair, trying to keep him impossibly close. It almost feels like Jaemin’s been waiting for this as long as Mark has.
“Since before the open mic,” Jaemin says between kisses. Mark must’ve spoken out loud again—can you blame him? He’s got a lot more important things to concentrate on. “Where you were playing your fucking guitar in your soft cute sweater and shit, fuck.”
Mark can’t help but laugh into Jaemin’s mouth. He pulls back only to smile. “You always thought I was cute too. Hella cute, if I remember right.”
Jaemin hums. He leads now, kissing the corner of Mark’s mouth and going along his jaw. Mark has to remember to breathe—inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale—Jaemin’s kissing you right now holy fuck—inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.
“So like, what does this make us, really?” Mark’s brain decides to fucking work at the worst time. “Does this make us like—do you just want to kiss me because I’m cute or is it with feeling?”
Jaemin pulls to look at Mark, head tilted. He leans in and presses his mouth to Mark’s in a long kiss, one that makes Mark’s heart restart three times.
He pulls back again with a small smile. Mark is breathless.
Mark clears his throat. “Cool, yeah. Cool. Me too.”
Jaemin laughs and plants a big sloppy smooch on Mark’s neck, with tongue and teeth and Mark feels a different kind of energized. “We should probably keep this a little private at first though. I just… I don’t want the Youtube stuff to ruin what this could be, you know? Obviously our friends and family will know but the general public…”
It’s so nice to know your own worries are reciprocated. One of Mark’s hands plays with the hem of Jaemin’s shirt. “When school’s done do you wanna like, go on a vacation together? Me and you at some remote cottage for the summer so we can really explore… this.”
Jaemin makes a strange growl sort of noise in his throat and kisses Mark with so much vigor he almost falls backward. “See that’s so fucking sexy of you, what the fuck—this is why we work so well, fuck—”
Mark can only laugh in disbelief. He slows Jaemin down, bringing his hands down from his shoulders so Mark can hold them in his together. “I just want to prioritize this. I know it’s like, really fucking early, but it’s what I’ve been thinking about since ever.”
Jaemin lifts their hands up and presses his lips to the back of Mark’s, nodding. “We’ll figure this out.”
“Cool,” Mark exhales because his brain has stopped working again, apparently.
Jaemin’s smile turns into a mischievous grin as he untangles their hands and slips his underneath Mark’s shirt, feeling him up.
Mark’s skin tingles. “So about all that sugar you had…”
Somehow, someway, Jaemin grins even brighter. “Oh, I’m awake baby.”
Mark leans in and licks over Jaemin’s lips. “Perfect.”
(They crash less than two hours later, tangled in sheets and each other.)
Roommate #1: YOU BONED IN THE FAIRYTALE SUITE?????
Roommate #1: HOW FUCKING DARE YOU????
Roommate #1: THIS IS SO UNDISNEY OF YOU????
Roommate #1: IM REVOKING UR DISNEY PLUS PRIVILEGES
Roommate #1: DISGUSTING
Roommate #1: CINDERELLA WOULD SPIT ON YOU
Roommate #2: would you have rathered me do it in ur bed
Roommate #1: alright. Point taken. Happy boning u heathens
Subject: RE: New Launch
Hey Mark & Jaemin,
Glad you liked the designs! You didn’t hear this from me but Yuta was jumping around the office after your video call yesterday.
It’s crazy to think we’ve been working together for well over a year now, and I can honestly say everyone at the company is so stoked to know you guys want to do this reveal and launch with us.
Once the merch is made, we’ll call again to arrange your flight to Chicago so we can get the photoshoot done. :)
Wishing you both the best,
Head of Marketing
Subject: FWD: RE: New Launch
We’ll be chicago natives at this point (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و
Subject: RE: FWD: RE: New Launch
We’re literally lying in the same bed right now. Why do you do this to me even when we live together
Former roommate #1: the way I just saw u and jaem on the cover of a teen magazine bro wtf
Former roommate #1: david dobrik and liza koshy WHO
Former roommate #2: they broke up literally years ago are u trying to say smthng
Former roommate #1: ok but theyre still iconic. Like the youtube couple print. Except now theres u two
Former roommate #1: markmin 5ever
Former roommate #2: im blocking u
Subject: Are You Happy Now?
Dear Mark & Jaemin,
Are you two happy now? You’ve made my head of marketing burst into tears because your merch launch was just that cute. I had to send him home early. There are grey hairs on my head now. Why are all my staff crying? I can’t do this anymore.
I will say again what I said at the photoshoot months ago:
Anyways, this was a mandatory e-mail thanking you for your continued support and how fun it has been to work together. I hope this journey has been as amazing for you as it was for us, just a start-up when we met you, and we’re so excited to keep going in the future.
Just please stop making my staff cry. I’m looking over at Taeil right now. He’s staring at the giant poster of you two in your Johfam sweaters and he’s sniffling. There is only so much crying I can take before I break.
Wishing you well,
Founder & CEO
Subject: FWD: Are You Happy Now?
how is he so informal both irl and in email at least balance it out bro
Subject: RE: FWD: Are You Happy Now?
You really stopped kissing me to write this fucking email. To me. Beside you. Waiting here. Blue balled.
P.S. this is why taeyong is head of marketing and pr
P.P.S also I think theyre husbands
Subject: RE: FWD: Are You Happy Now?
OH MY GOD THAT EXPLAINS THE RINGS?????? ‧˚₊*̥(∗*⁰͈꒨⁰͈)‧˚₊*̥
Subject: RE: FWD: Are You Happy Now?
WILL YOU JUST FUCKING KISS ME