You, colour me
You colour my soul
Paint me red in places once filled with gold
"Well, this sucks."
It’s nearing 5 o'clock in the afternoon when the air around them changes. It's a pleasant Friday for the group of college students that walked towards the exit of the campus, ready to take on the night, hoping to get some booze in their system so they could lose all the stress that has piled up on their shoulders after almost two weeks of facing nothing but their books and exams. Like any other student, Donghyuck only wants to go back to his dorm so he could put on some pretty eyeshadow and meet his friends at some party that one of the frat houses have invited them to. But fate gets in the way when a golden band wraps itself around Donghyuck's index finger. It’s not impossible to notice it when Donghyuck is glued to his phone, sending texts to his friends about going to the party. It was impossible to not notice the ring that has appeared out of nowhere, glowing yellow and making his heart stop a beat.
Jeno notices it immediately, who then quickly nudges Jaemin, who is by his side and points at Donghyuck's finger with his stupid eye smile, seconded by Jaemin who let out a shriek in the middle of the pathway that the three are walking on.
"Oh, holy fuck!" Exclaims Na Jaemin, medical student, aspiring Doctor but also an excellent skater. His small face is filled with delight as the blonde boy immediately hops to snatch Donghyuck’s hand into his, inspecting it closely, eyes wide with joy in contrast to the dumbfounded expression on the owner's face. Instead of having his eyes on the ring, Donghyuck traces the luminous string attached to it, one that no one else could see except him and the person who is at the other end of it.
Soul string — as everyone calls it. The glowing string that would lead you to where and who your soulmate is, he has heard of it so many times, from the moment anyone is born, they are told of the string that will lead you to where your other half is. Donghyuck has witnessed some people walk blindly as they follow the string that only they see while Donghyuck follows them from behind; it is what happened to him and Jaemin until it led them to Lee Jeno, who was in the middle of the library surrounded by his books.
And now it seems to be Donghyuck's turn while his friends urges him on, asking him about the soul string, telling him to move his way and follow it. But the thing is, Donghyuck is scared. Of course he had thought about finding his soulmate in a matter of time, although there was also the possibility of him not having one— he knows of some people that spent their whole life alone— but for him, Donghyuck just knows that he has someone even though that did not stop him from messing around.
"Who said you can't have fun while waiting?" It’s what he has always said to his friends whenever he ends up staying the night at someone else's flat just to sneak his way out the moment the dawn rises. And have fun, he did. A lot of fun, actually. So when the moment finally arrives for him, the infamous Lee Donghyuck, who has a lot of people running after him because of his wits and unexplainable charm. He, unmoving on his feet, only snaps to consciousness when Jeno shakes him.
"What do you mean it sucks? Shut up and follow it!" The architectural student laughs too close to his ear; Hyuck frowns at him and shakes off the boy's hold on his forearms and biceps.
"Don't tell me the ever-confident Lee Donghyuck is scared?" Jaemin raises an eyebrow at him, eyes knowing, glinting— one that Donghyuck hates. He snorts. A wrong move from him because that is his tell that he's bluffing and the stupid duo in front of him knows that too well.
Donghyuck huffs. "No, I'm not." But it doesn't really sound convincing even to himself.
Jeno claps his hands. "He is scared." Emphasizing the is .
"Who would've thought that the time Lee Donghyuck gets cold feet is because of the soulmate system finally catching up to him," Jaemin says. "Come on, Hyuck, there's nothing to be scared about. Whoever is wearing the other ring will accept you with loving arms." As if to prove a point, Jeno comes close to Jaemin and wraps an arm around his waist.
In truth, he believes in his friends. He has also seen Renjun find his own soulmate and it gives him Wong Yukhei, a pretty and puppy-like Yukhei that drains Renjun's energy with how outgoing the Hongkong boy is compared to the life Huang Renjun is living as a Fine Arts student. But they make it work. Jeno and Jaemin made it work despite being complete strangers.
Besides, Donghyuck should know better about the terms of meeting strangers— hell, he sleeps with them. So what is there to be scared, really?
In the end, Donghyuck was able to send his friends away, albeit hardly. With a promise that he'd call them as soon as he meets the boy, or girl that he is bound to spend his life with, Donghyuck watches his friends leave before he turns on his feet, intent on following the string with his heart thudding against his ribcage.
Compared to the times that he was beside his friends when they met their own partners, Donghyuck ks alone when he carefully traces his way around the campus. There are still students loitering around; he tries to nod and acknowledge those people he passes by that he recognized. He walks around with his hand stuffed in the pocket of his jacket, not wanting anyone to know that he is officially off from the market without knowing who his ride or die is supposed to be first.
The time was painstakingly slow, it was the most uneventful ten minutes of his life and Donghyuck swears that whoever his soulmate is, they are playing with him.
He saw Yukhei meet Renjun halfway like a giddy puppy. Jaehyun literally drove from the other side of the city to their campus' gate to where Mark had just emerged from. So what was stopping Donghyuck's soulmate from seeking him out too? It's killing him. But then again, Jaemin had to point to Jeno that their rings are connected because of how the latter is too focused on his drawing and tracing paper. So Donghyuck just hopes that it is the case for his own; he'd rather not see them lounging around, waiting for him to find them.
Or else their first meeting won't be remembered as romantic like most couples.
Donghyuck walks for another minute until he finds himself on the football field. No way , his mind supplies when he sees the almost empty field except for the football team that's running laps around with the team's coach keeping a close eye on his players.
Oh no, no fucking way. Please no. Fear creeps in Donghyuck's skin. He feels it before he sees it. The sound of drums echoes in his ears; his chest feels too constricted for him to be able to breathe properly, his hands inside his pockets felt too clammy. He takes them out, dropping on his sides, and he clearly sees it.
Donghyuck's eyes follow the string, excruciatingly slow, but somehow his eyes stopped at a tall figure among the players that's performing their exercises on the field.
On top of the tall figure is a brown plop of hair that's too bouncy and soft-looking even from a distance, long legs, wide shoulders, and the softest deer-like eyes, which finds him from across the field.
"Oh fuck," Donghyuck mutters under his breath. No, not him, he thinks to himself. And just like that, Donghyuck meets his soulmate in the person of Jung Sungchan, university star player and a genius, the perfect guy— also known as the sophomore that the Donghyuck turned down in front of the whole school.
However, his rejection did not come from his distaste towards the younger boy; it was far from it actually. In Donghyuck's defense, he was caught off guard with the idea of the boy that he has been secretly crushing on, genuinely, with no mischievous agenda intended, standing in front of him and telling Donghyuck that he finds him interesting and charming and beautiful . So with the way things were going at that time, with the junior student still hanging off from the high after their department's musical performance, surrounded by his professors and blockmates and friends, all he could do was flatout tell the football player a big fat no and walk away to where his fling at that time was standing, waiting for him with a smirk. An ugly one compared to the subtle grin that Sungchan casts at him from afar.
After that incident, Donghyuck made it his mission to avoid the younger boy at all costs. He tries to forget the fuzzy feeling in his chest whenever he hears his name after every match their team wins. But now, with a new situation at hand, one that he can't escape from this time, Donghyuck gives way to defeat and waits for the younger on the bleachers.
He sends Jeno and Jaemin a quick text saying he'll call them later on before Donghyuck turns off his phone and shoves it into his bag. He can't avoid being distracted this time around, not when his crush ends up being his soulmate.
When Sungchan takes notice of the ring that has appeared on his hand, the team was in the middle of getting a serious sermon from their coach and he knows too well that it won't do him good if he excuses himself in search of his other half. So he stays; he joins in on the training even if his mind is preoccupied with the thought of who could he be linked with. He knows that his teammates have noticed the band that sits gloriously on his finger but chose not to comment on it when their Coach Nakamoto Yuta shouts at them about their next match. So Sungchan tries to keep it cool, keeping his eyes low and focuses on the ball by his feet.
That is until the presence that answers his questions struts in his peripheral view and his heart starts to beat loudly in his ears.
"Hi, sorry," Sungchan says as he approaches Donghyuck on the bleachers, sport's bag hanging by his side and a water bottle in his other hand. "Coach was too fired up about the next match, so any excuse to exit from practice wouldn't do good for the team."
Donghyuck nods; he only watches as Sungchan gets close to where he is sitting, his long legs doubling the strides until he stops a meter away from Donghyuck, who is sitting still, no words coming off from him and that makes Sungchan tilt his head at the older boy, waiting.
"What? Is that it? No snarky remarks on how I rejected you before only for us to end up as—" Donghyuck stops, he makes a small shift in his eyes which landed on Sungchan's pair of brown orbs, he quickly averts his gaze to the ground.
"Soulmates?" Sungchan finishes for him, but there was no teasing lilt in his voice, only the steadiness that the younger boy always carries with him. "I know the word can be pretty intimidating, but we're here now, aren't we?" The football player sets his bag and water down before taking a seat on the bleacher, just one seat below Donghyuck. "And no, whatever remark you were expecting is not coming. Not everyone has to shield themselves with witty comebacks like you."
And ouch, that hits so close to home that it almost made Donghyuck conjure up a witty comeback like what Sungchan had just said, but the younger beats him to it with a smile cast up at where Donghyuck sits.
"Stop smiling like that," Donghyuck spits out, softer than what he intended for it to sound. It drives a chuckle from Sungchan. Well, fuck, that was cute.
"What? Are you gonna fall for me now that we're actually destined together?"
Hyuck rolls his eyes. "Don't get too ahead of yourself, Jung. We might be soulmates, but I can still say no."
Sungchan quirks a brow at him and shrugs. "Come on, Hyuck. You wouldn't still be here if that was the case." The tall boy stands up, slings his bag over his shoulder, and offers a hand to Donghyuck. "Am I right?" He adds, eyes questioning with patience that stirs a flurry of emotions in Donghyuck's chest.
Well, that's true. Donghyuck could have turned on his heels the moment his eyes landed on Sungchan, signifying that their fate is now connected, but he chose to stay; he chose to wait for half an hour until his football practice ends. Not because he has to tell him off saying some shit about not wanting to be involved with each other, but Donghyuck stayed because he knows he should, and his whole being agrees with that. So he takes Sungchan's hand, and it was a sight to witness when the younger smiles at Hyuck like he just won the national football game.
For Sungchan, it does feel like it, but Lee Donghyuck doesn't need to know that, for now.
Their eyes meet and like it has pierced the string that connects them, it disappears, signifying that the two do not need it anymore to lead them to each other.
The two boys get onto their feet, close to each other but having no thoughts of putting distance. They're comfortable that way— somewhat, without actually thinking about it.
"So you don't hold a grudge against me?" asks Donghyuck, chancing a look up at Sungchan, who stands tall beside him, walking as if he has no care in the world even if the people around them have started to look their way. Not that Donghyuck has ever cared before and will start to give one now, but it feels different knowing that a ring is sitting boldly on his hand. On their hands.
Sungchan simply shrugs. "You actually thought that I would reject you?" the younger questioned. "I should have been the one worrying about that, don't you think? You did it to me once, you could have done it again." He casts a glance at Donghyuck, who glared at him.
Sungchan laughs. He has always found the older boy charming with the way he approaches the situations around him. Lee Donghyuck commands the atmosphere, makes it his own no matter what and there is no explaining how Sungchan gets pulled in with it even before knowing that he is his soulmate.
"Can we forget about that part now?" Donghyuck groans; he stops on his track to look up at Sungchan. With piercing eyes, he contemplates from within, arguing with himself if he should let the younger know about his prior hidden feelings. "I'm hungry and tired, I'm sure you are too. So can we take care of that first before we talk about feelings?" He decides on that instead. Yeah, they can talk about his pride later.
"Sure, we can talk about you rejecting me in front of the whole school after dinner."
Donghyuck tuts. "Nope, not after dinner, Jaemin will actually kill me if I don't show up at that party tonight. So, tomorrow. Non-negotiable."
"I can just go with you to the party then," Sungchan offers.
The older one raises a finger. "No, you're not supposed to party nor drink before a match. I know that much," Hyuck grins. But Sungchan narrows his eyes down at him, a playful glint clear in his eyes. "What?"
"Nothing." Sungchan replies; he puts a hand over Donghyuck's shoulder to urge them both to walk forward. "I just find your nagging cute."
"I'm older than you, kid."
"Which only makes it cuter," Sungchan answers and musters up the full courage to put an arm around Donghyuck's shoulders. Every person they pass by looking at them with evident confusion and astonishment in their eyes.
It doesn't help the raging flush blooming on Donghyuck's cheeks. It's all new to him, too new. He was always the one to make someone flustered, but with Sungchan, Lee Donghyuck has been disarmed.
They grab a meal at some Pizza Parlour due to Donghyuck's insistence; Sungchan delighted at the sight of Donghyuck getting flustered of his indifference towards the older boy's witty antics until they parted ways.
But not before the time when Jaemin's call comes through as soon as Donghyuck turns his phone on.
"Holy fuck, Lee Donghyuck, we thought you found your soulmate who turned out to be a serial killer and killed you! Where the fuck were you?" Were the words that came through Donghyuck's phone that Sungchan didn't fail to hear because of how loud the medical student's voice was.
And before Donghyuck could speak into the phone, Sungchan leans forward to the table that they were eating on and speaks, much to Donghyuck's shock. "Last I checked, I'm not a serial killer."
What comes next is a mixture of shouting from both Jeno and Jaemin and an unexpected arrival of Huang Renjun who yelled, "You motherfucker, you got the guy you've secretly been crushing on as your soulmate!?" before the call got cut off and sent Donghyuck flying off from his seat. In tow is Jung Sungchan, who's never gonna let him live it down.
You, colour me
You colour my soul
Make me dream of things I never did once before