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Half of Forever

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At first, there was heat, scalding, burning heat engulfing him from all sides. A warm sigh floated up the side of his neck, before the softer touch of lips, and then, cool wetness licking over his mouth. Gross.

“Hyuck,” he groaned. Yangyang only got a grunt in response, but Donghyuck settled down a bit, moving downwards for a protracted session of necking.

Yangyang closed his eyes, sighing at the sensation. He wondered where Mark was. He’d probably get a kick out of this. Vampires and necking. Yangyang let out a little giggle at the thought.

A second later, the showerhead turned off, and Mark walked into the bedroom, hair dripping and towel slung around his waist. He groaned and flopped onto the mattress, half-smushed between Donghyuck and Yangyang.

Yangyang wrinkled his nose at the sensation of cold water against his chin before he grumbled out a sigh, cracking his eyes open. There was probably no use in trying to go back to sleep at this point, anyway. He heard Donghyuck make a small purr of satisfaction and pull Mark into a good morning kiss, leaving Yangyang in peace.

This was the downside (the perk?) of dating Donghyuck, he liked to grab and grope whoever was closest to him as some sort of morning pick-me-up. It could be Mark or Yangyang, he wasn’t picky. But he was insistent.

Mark pulled back from the kiss with a wet smack, scrunching his nose. “Can we get out of bed now? It’s kind of hot in here.” Donghyuck mumbled a lascivious I bet, and Yangyang groaned.

Held captive, he figured now was a good a time as any to pop the question. “Are we doing date night tonight?” His boyfriends went uncharacteristically quiet at the question.

“Well you know I have the—”

Yeah, and the full moon?”

“—it’s the blood supply, you know?”

With that, everyone scattered, leaving Yangyang alone in the middle of their bed. He groaned and shoved his face into the pillow next to him. Hopefully, the lack of air would reduce their heating bill by a couple pennies.

 

☾✯☼

 

The thing was, after a year of dating, Yangyang still hadn’t gone on an actual date with his boyfriends— or at least one that hadn’t ended in disaster. And of course, they could always snuggle on the couch, but Yangyang wanted something more than that. Call him a romantic.

It was just that things that seemed simple always turned out to be profoundly un-simple when it came to his boyfriends:

With Donghyuck— Donghyuck was his first, first love, first one to be his. First— everything. When Yangyang signed up to help acclimate supernatural beings to normal human life he expected a zombie, a fairy maybe, someone nice and quiet and roommate-ly. Donghyuck wasn’t any of those things.

The first time he met Donghyuck he was sitting in an outdoor café with Kun, jumping at every odd noise, and hunching over like a comma whenever anyone came near him. He’s nice though, kind enough to Yangyang, and armed with a slight edge of humor that had him wondering what else he had in store.

Kun told him later— that Donghyuck was newly turned, didn’t have a pack of his own, poorly acclimated to his new werewolf senses, wary of everything and everyone. Lonely. Not for a first-timer, but well, Donghyuck was Donghyuck, so the rest was history.

Mark was a bit more accidental but no less beloved. He came by way of Xiaojun, who complained endlessly about who he’d deemed the saddest vampire of all time, and honestly, in those days Yangyang wasn’t sure if it was an exaggeration.

Mark might have been young for a vampire, but he spoke like he was older, acting stiff and formal when Yangyang first met him. Soon he learned that Mark was just as anachronistic as he looked, a boy from the 1930s turned by his vampire sire and cruelly forgotten.

The wake-up was momentous, all of the city’s night creatures gathered to congratulate themselves for saving a young boy from eternal sleep. Mark, living in an era that made no sense to him and separated by time and death from everyone he had loved, seemed to have thought differently.

When they found Mark, he was emaciated and half out of his mind, unable to feed or function, and Donghyuck got angry, furious at Mark’s callous disregard for his own life. Yangyang was more curious at first until he realized what would happen, stomach a sinking pit of inevitability.

It felt like he only blinked, and soon they became them. Mark and Donghyuck and Yangyang. Inevitable.

He always did have an affinity for strays.

 

☾✯☼

 

That said, loving his boyfriends was one thing— taking them out on dates was another.

 

☾✯☼

 

From Yangyang’s notebook— A list of dates that they can Never Try Again:

1. Restaurant

- Donghyuck ate three entrees and still was somehow eyeing the steak at the next table. (If Yangyang had known that dating a werewolf required such a large food budget, he would have… probably still have dated him, but with more dread in his heart). Mark, sweet thing, just sucked on the bloody equivalent of a capri-sun pouch and made sighing remarks about how much better blood was when fresh. He’d give it a 5/10, no one got kicked out, at least.

2. Movie

- Donghyuck gets scared of the loud noises, and not in a cute, hide-in-your-boyfriend’s-shoulder-way. 1/10 Popcorn everywhere. And they got kicked out.

3. Escape room

- They can’t even talk about this one. -100/10.

Between the dietary restrictions, restrictions based on human decency, and their increasingly relevant budget restrictions, it seemed that everyone had given up on normal human courting except for well, Yangyang. That didn’t mean he wasn’t determined to try, though.

 

☾✯☼

 

Between all the failed dates (and the one successful one), Mark had one of his self-denial episodes.

“Get up.”

“No,” Mark scrunched his face and started clacking at the typewriter keys faster, though still quite slowly if Yangyang was being honest. Mark could still only type with two fingers, bless him.

Donghyuck and Yangyang exchanged a long-suffering glance before making an executive decision, Yangyang going to one side of Mark and Donghyuck on another, pulling him away from the messy desk, and depositing him in the middle of their bed.

Mark— hungry, tired, and rambling, just flopped onto the mattress with a weak protest.

“Why. ‘Was on a roll. Gonna write the Great American Romance. The contract will be millions. Gonna buy Donghyuck so much kimchi jiggae….”

Yangyang snorted and flopped onto the other side of the bed, shooting a look at Donghyuck giggling over Mark’s prone form.  Between Donghyuck’s werewolf appetite, the constraints of Yangyang’s TA stipend and Donghyuck’s semi-regular coffeeshop earnings, their coffers were basically empty. Mark was convinced that once he’d sold his magnum opus they would be lifted out of poverty.

Yangyang sighed, poking at the fang sticking out of the corner of Mark’s mouth. “Not right now you aren’t,” Mark groaned in response.

Donghyuck smirked at Yangyang, teasing a fond secret between the two of them. “He’s so hungry. Idiot,” he murmured. Mark’s protest got muffled by the pillows.

Eyes heavy on Yangyang, Donghyuck laid beside Mark and unbuttoned his own dress shirt. “Drink,” he commanded, and Mark’s eyes went soft, liquid.

“No,” Yangyang blurted out, biting his lip a moment later. Dammit.

Donghyuck hummed questioningly.

“Let him drink from me. It’s been a while.”

Donghyuck frowned. “He’s too hungry. He could hurt you.”

Yangyang felt a seed of petulance sprouting in his chest. “It’s not fair. Just because I’m human.” He pouted. “Don’t I get to be the juice-box for once?”

Donghyuck furrowed his brow, ready to protest before Mark cut in. “It’s okay. Please. I’ll be careful.”

Donghyuck’s eyes flicker between them before he set his mouth, pulling Yangyang between their bodies so that he’s pressed between Donghyuck’s maddening heat and Mark’s comparative coolness. Equilibrium, Yangyang thought, deliriously calm.

Donghyuck’s fingers card through his hair pulling his head back against his shoulder, exposing the lines of his neck. If Mark looked hungry before, he looked famished now.

He felt the tickle of Donghyuck’s breath against his ear. As if he’s underwater: “I’m watching, you know. Don’t hurt our baby human.”

Mark’s mouth was moving against his neck when he spoke next. “I would never,” he purred. Donghyuck’s fingers tighten in his hair, and that’s the last thing Yangyang could note before he’s succumbed to pleasure.

 

☾✯☼

 

Yangyang didn’t know if he was woken up by the sound of the rain or the soft nudging of fingers in his hair. He played this game sometimes, trying to make sense of which of his boyfriends were touching him, in the space between wake and sleep.

Fingers warm, so likely Hyuck. But Mark had recently fed too. Crooked like Mark’s.

Yangyang sighed softly. He always gave up eventually, soothed into inevitable sleep.

 

☾✯☼

 

A conversation, or a dream. Yangyang wasn’t sure:

“—What are we going to do? Can you imagine life without him?”

“…and if we Turn him?”

“He’s done so much for us. It would be unbearably selfish to take his humanity.”

“It would be unbearably painful not to.”

 

☾✯☼

 

Yangyang didn’t know if most people would call an excursion to an incubus-owned sex-shop a date, but at this point he was willing to call it one. For the sake of his own sanity.

Mark walked through the aisles of the shop with his proverbial hackles raised, trying not to touch anything. Donghyuck and Yangyang follow closely behind, trying not to giggle at the scene.

“He’s being so precious about it… don’t you think they had sex toys in the 1930s?” Yangyang leaned his head closer to Donghyuck’s and whispered, as if Mark wouldn’t be able to catch it anyway.

Donghyuck snorted. “He called Emily Dickinson an ‘invert’ last week. We might need to cut him some slack.”

Yangyang stepped carefully around an intricately crafted condom display just as he heard a shriek as a vibrator went off in a nearby window display, and Mark nearly touched the ceiling.

“Hey!” Donghyuck yelled down the store. “Stop messing with him.”

Yangyang heard a muffled giggle before Ten bounded out from the back of the store, pressing a kiss against Yangyang’s forehead. “How’s my favorite human?” Ten cooed before flicking his eyes to his boyfriends and raising an eyebrow. “And your low-life companions.”

Mark snorted and Donghyuck stuck his tongue out at Ten.

“Don’t be mean,” Yangyang complained, and Ten scrunched his face in amusement.

Donghyuck interrupted the moment, earning a sour look from Ten. “Do you have it?” he questioned.

Ten perked up. “Yeah, hold on.” He shuffled through his pockets before pulling out a pendant, shaped like an interlinked sun, moon, and stars. He handed it over to Donghyuck who placed it carefully in his pocket.

The charm was meant to lessen the severity of Donghyuck’s monthly shifts. They had tried a lot of these types of talismans before, and many turned out to be junk.

Yanyang hoped this wouldn’t be one of them.

His thoughts got interrupted by a rustle from the other end of the store, and a girl with long black hair and dragon eyes poked her head out from the last aisle. “How are we supposed to tell the difference between the normal floggers and the magic ones?” Yangyang heard a giggle and a soft slapping sound further down the aisle.

Ten narrowed his eyes. “Aeri, Jimin get back to work!”

They only giggled in response. Ten sighed before turning back to their trio and pointing a weary finger at them. “Now you three. Scram!”

They left pretty quickly after that.

“I can’t believe he’s the only magical wares dealer in this entire city,” Donghyuck grumbled.

Yangyang shrugged. It seemed likely enough to him. Ten was always hardworking and cunning, if a little flighty. In some ways, this might have been the perfect job for him.

Mark glanced at the sky before his eyes landed on Donghyuck. He pressed the back of his hand to Donghyuck’s forehead before furrowing his eyebrows at Yangyang. “The moon will be in zenith soon. We should head home.” Donghyuck nodded in response and huddled closer to his boyfriends.

Overall, it was probably the closest thing to a date they had in months.

[The pendant works. It makes Donghyuck quite drowsy and cute during his shifts. The collar Donghyuck gets during the trip might be even better. Mark and Yangyang may have to send Ten a thank-you-note for this one]

 

☾✯☼

 

Yangyang stared forlornly at his document, willing a thousand words on hereditary psycholinguistics to materialize. He blinked once. Twice. He idly started wondering when the words started resembling TV static and sighed.

His mind wandered to the topic that was most often on his mind these days, which was to say, his boyfriends. Months had passed, and Yangyang had lost all hope of getting all three of them on anything date-adjacent, let alone an actual date.

Between all of the exhausted date options due to their supernatural natures, Yangyang’s grad schoolwork, and their discretionary income slowly dwindling to zero, there was probably nothing they could do for the next… year. Half decade maybe, depending on how long it took him to graduate. He put his head in his hands and sighed.

He’s disturbed from his reverie by the artificial tinkling of a video game, and he looked up to see Donghyuck playing— not Kartrider but sodoku, of all things, tongue sticking cutely out of the corner of his mouth and hair frazzled from running his hands through it.

Yangyang couldn’t help but smile. “Hey. Psst. Spare brain cell please.” He gestured to his laptop screen and made a pained expression. “I could really use it.”

Donghyuck laughed before he put his phone down to smirk at him. “I’d give it to you. But I only know how to transfer braincells by kissing. Sorry.”  

“Hmm.” Yangyang smiled, pretending to consider the offer. “Okay. But only if you use tongue.”

Donghyuck grinned, eyes full of mischief and an edge of something that Yangyang couldn’t name. “Fuck yeah!”

Three minutes into the kiss and he heard Mark’s beleaguered sigh from the kitchen. “Dumb,” he heard faintly. “They’re so dumb.”

They finally separate, with great reluctance from Donghyuck, at the sound of a knock on the apartment door. A few minutes later, Mark walked back with a sealed envelope and a slight frown on his face.

“What is it?” Yangyang asked.

“Certified mail. It’s from Neo Industrial, I worked there before… Oh.” Mark pulled out the letter from the envelope. “Oh.” Mark sat down heavily against the couch.

“What is it?” Donghyuck moved closer to Mark with a frown of consternation.

“I had stock in the company back when I worked there, before I died. I thought it must have dissolved by now, but I suppose not, because…” Mark put his head in his hands, refusing to speak anymore.

Donghyuck snatched the letter, skimming over the words quickly before his face went slack and serious.

Yangyang felt the blood drain from his face. “What’s happening? Does anyone want to clue me in because I’m—”

Donghyuck started laughing quietly, and Mark shook his head, still buried in his hands.

“Fuck, no. Yangles, they want to buy out Mark’s share, they— they’re trying to buy up stock to take ownership, but basically—”

Mark let out a half-sob before he finally looked up at them, wonder and half-hysterical happiness in his eyes. “By Jove,” he uttered. “We’re rich.”

 

☾✯☼

 

They made it.

By Jove, they’d made it.

Yangyang should have figured that neither of his supernatural boyfriends would have driver's licenses, or in Mark's case, a good understanding of how a car worked, but after a four-hour drive with a twitchy vampire and an overeager werewolf, they’d made it to the beach.

Donghyuck whooped as he ran in front of them, careening down the sand by the edge of the water. He and Mark lagged behind, bumping shoulders and smiling ahead at their mutual companion.

Yangyang couldn’t help his overwhelmed joy, grinning and grabbing Mark’s hand from between their bodies. “Mark, we are finally, finally on a date. A real date.”

Mark snorted, eyes crinkled into happy crescents. “I don’t quite understand your fixation on courting, but I am happy that you’re happy.”

“I am.” Yangyang grinned. “I am so happy, I might actually cry.”

Mark’s smile softened into something more sincere just as Donghyuck bounded back from up the beach, “You two!” he shouted. “Keep up, would you?” Donghyuck’s words end on a whine and Yangyang snorted in response.

“Slow down, then” he implored, pulling Donghyuck by his hand towards him and Mark. Donghyuck grinned and pulled both of their hands to his body, smile bursting like a thousand tiny sparks in the half-moon night.

Taking a second to look askance at the waves, Yangyang noted the set of Mark’s mouth, happy but wistful.

He squeezed Donghyuck’s hand tighter. “Hey,” he shouted over the waves. “No sad thoughts in your vampire noggin, okay?” Donghyuck chorused out a quick yeah! before pinching Mark’s arm.

Mark turned towards them in surprise, before smiling. “I’m not sad. I’m thinking. It’s so beautiful, and I’ve never written a poem for you two, so.” His face broke out into that crooked half-smile, the one that suited him so well. “I have some inspiration, I guess.”

Donghyuck wouldn’t have it. “You’re coming up with romantic poetry on our beach date? Dude, that’s gay.”

Mark narrowed his eyes at Donghyuck. “That is, quite literally, the point.”

Donghyuck fired back, and Yangyang zoned out to their bickering.

And all in all, it was good. Better than good. It wasn’t forever, at least not yet, but it was their own little half of it.

It was kind of perfect, actually.

 

☾✯☼

 

Something’s mystical about number three

Half of eight, not mathematically

Eight, being the sign

of infinity

— the never-ending-ness of eternity.