There’s seven days a week, approximately seven days before they inevitably die. There’s also seven people in this spacecraft.
Jaehyun, Mark, Johnny, Jaemin, Jeno, Jisung, Donghyuck.
Seven people, with seven days left to spend.
Donghyuck is going to die.
What becomes of him won’t really matter. He won’t be there to deal with the fallout.
They’re allowed to bring things on board. Mark brought with him six movies.
Star Wars, Stranded, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. All six of them are space movies.
None of them can really compare to being up here, even as he sits here waiting for his death. It was something that was going to happen anyway— why would Donghyuck complain, dying in the place of his childhood dreams?
Mark looks at him with skepticism. You really don’t seem like yourself, he says.
They’re going to die. That’s fine, that’s sunken in. What’s the benefit of living— of feigning normalcy?
Donghyuck’s going to die.
That thought leaves him hollow. Empty as the space that surrounds their ship.
Donghyuck was five when his father took him to the outskirts of town.
He drove for miles on his car, away from the blinding lights of the city, and set up a tarp for them to lay on.
With the light pollution far, far away, Donghyuck could see the stars.
He saw flashing red too— moving in the sky. Satellites. You see those strung together? That makes up Orion’s belt. Oh, that one. That’s Venus, the morning star. She’s not a star— she’s a planet, like how Earth is ours.
That surreal space, that’s where he is right now.
Donghyuck, Jaemin says. You’re stinking up the mood. Five days left to live and you’re really using that time to mope?
Jaemin has Jeno’s head in his lap. Jeno’s eyes are closed, and he lays, peaceful and still.
Something dark and ugly comes to life in Donghyuck’s belly, swirling and swallowing everything. A black hole.
He’s known Johnny and Jaehyun for four years.
Johnny is tall. Johnny doesn’t like cuddles, but says he’ll make an exception for them. Johnny is a good person, and more importantly, a good friend.
Johnny was also born four years before Mark.
Mark. Johnny likes Mark— Mark likes Johnny too.
They remind Donghyuck of white dwarfs, drawn to each other’s orbit.
Mark, live a little. Tell Johnny you wanna make out with him. Swap spit. Do what you must.
Mark’s face flushes red ever so slightly. Fuck you, he grumbles. I already did, Donghyuck. You should tell Jaehyun about your crush too.
“When did that happen?”
“Two days ago, when you were lying in bed all day. Donghyuck, you have four days left to live. And maybe you have no reason to resolve things or do anything meaningful, but I care about you, and I think it would be better for you to spend the rest of your days happy.”
Mark knows what to say to make Donghyuck emotional. It makes Donghyuck angry— why does Mark have to know him so well? Why does he have to care?
“Do this for my sake, if not for yours,” Mark pleads, galaxy eyes shining.
“Fuck you,” Donghyuck says. He lets himself fall into Mark’s arms.
Three days before they’ll be swallowed back into the atmosphere. Three days before they crash and burn.
Three days to live.
Three days before their scheduled doom, he tells Jaehyun.
“I like you,” Donghyuck says, voice unsteady. He feels like shit as he forces the words out of his mouth— there’s a reason why he chose emotional constipation and moping over this.
“I like you,” he says, tongue dry and heavy. “And I wasn’t ever planning on telling you, really. Stay in denial forever, that was the plan. But we’re going to be dead in three days and don’t have time for that shit. So I was wondering.”
Jaehyun’s ears glow red ever so slightly, like red dwarves. Those stars that burn cold and steady and will be there for millenia to come.
He swallows, waiting for Jaehyun to formulate a response. It’s like swallowing cotton.
“Donghyuck,” Jaehyun breathes. “I like you too.”
Jisung is two years younger than him, and Donghyuck hasn’t talked to him in two days. He has two days left to spend with everyone, and that needs to include Jisung.
Jaemin and Jeno. Mark and Johnny. Jaehyun and Donghyuck.
Jisung. Jisung is eighteen. Two years until he hits Donghyuck’s twenty. The only people besides Jisung are wrapped up in each other— oh, that’s so shitty.
Donghyuck walks up to Jisung and hands him the last ice-cream bar. Melona. The sort of stuff Donghyuck’s parents would buy during summers.
Is it summer now? What day is it, on Earth?
“Where do you see yourself in two years?” Donghyuck asks.
Jisung shrugs. “We’ll be dead in two days,” he says, but his hands shake. The tell-tale sign.
“I suppose that’s true.”
He holds out his hand, and Jisung takes it. Follows him into the comms room, where everyone is waiting.
Seven people on this spacecraft, part of one crew.
Jaehyun pinches all his moles, calls them constellations on his skin. Donghyuck squeezes Jaehyun’s butt in return.
They’re gathered in comms room, marathoning through Mark’s six space movies.
Jaehyun’s got big hands compared to his. His skin is so white too— skin color is indicative of status, Donghyuck’s mom once told him that. He really doesn’t give a fuck about that though; it’s just Jaehyun.
Jaehyun’s a bit of an asshole, a nerd, a dork. He’s funny and sweet and handsome, and he’s got five of his fingers enlaced with five of Donghyuck’s, squeezing so hard that it almost hurts.
As this one character rambles on and on on the monitor, Jaehyun manages to kiss Donghyuck four times. Left cheek, right cheek, nose, mouth.
Three couples watching this movie, one singled out. There’s a rule against PDA on this ship, but no one has the heart to give a shit anymore. They’ve given into themselves.
Donghyuck kisses Jaehyun, with tongue, messy and open mouthed and drooling. When they fall over and crash on the ground, his head spins round and round.
“Ow!” Jaehyun mutters, rubbing his bum.
They’re going to die soon, hurtling down at a velocity so great that they’ll catch fire. Maybe they won’t make it back to the ground; maybe they’ll burn out before they’ll make it there.
Donghyuck’s also falling in a different sense.
He drags Jaehyun into the storage room and locks the door.