11:58 am, Wedding Day
“Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh. Oh my-” Yugyeom walked calmly past a panicking Youngjae and hit him on the head with the edge of the place card he was holding.
“Hyung stop panicking, everything’s going great.” He had been repeating that sentence over and over for the past three hours, at Jinyoung’s request. Sadly, it had yet to take root in the older boy’s brain, leaving him hyperventilating and useless. Everything was not lost however, because Mark had planned on Youngjae being out of commission. Mark had planned for everything, and so far it was going fairly well. Okay, well, there were a few things Mark hadn’t planned on today.
Namely his husband-to-be wreaking havoc on everyone else. From the moment Jackson had stepped inside the venue and looked around, he had been ready to run away. About an hour after his arrival, Jaebum had locked him inside his dressing room, using his height to wrestle the smaller man inside. The other had protested profanely and angrily, but soon gave up.
Mark himself had holed up in his dressing room with a pile of books saying that "He’ll be fine, everything will be fine." And leaving them to it. Yugyeom wasn't sure if he was thankful or angry about that. If anyone could control Jackson, it was Mark.
And as if that wasn’t enough, Jinyoung and Jaebum had been running around like crazy, leaving Bambam, Youngjae and Yugyeom to clean and prep the venue for the afternoon ceremony. All of this would have been fine if someone had given any kind of direction to the younger boys, but since they had no specific job, their attention wandered. Youngjae had been panicking and crying intermittently, Bambam had gotten ahold of a bottle of champagne and Yugyeom was cleaning and straightening everything around. They were aimless and awkward, and Yugyeom was ready to tear his hair out.
“Jaebum hyung?” He reached the end of the hallway between the dressing rooms, popping his head into the door of Mark’s room. Mark was sprawled on the couch drinking tea and reading a book, wearing nothing but a pair of jeans and some socks. Jaebum sat next to him, looking panicked, and he snapped his head up when Yugyeom came in.
“Mark hyung you have to get dressed! We only have- What do you need?” The youngest shifted back, feeling like he was interrupting something.
“Uh yeah it’s just everything is set up and ready and I was wondering if everyone was ready because we only have an hour?” Mark calmly turned his page, making a show of ignoring them both.
“Hear that hyung? We have an hour before people start arriving, you really need to get ready, I have your tux and Jackson is already in his, and the photographer is gonna want to see you before hand, and-”
“I will, I will. We have plenty of time.” Mark waved his hand vaguely, almost hitting Jaebum in the face, focusing on his book. Yugyeom furrowed his eyebrows because he was fairly certain that that was not true. But Mark’s fiancé was too much of a nightmare for him to spend too much time worrying about it. That’s what Jinyoung and Jaebum were for. He slowly backed out of the room, Jaebum and Mark still quietly fighting, and closed the door. Then he steeled himself and took a deep breath, before knocking gently on the door of the other groom’s room.
“Let me out!” Jackson yelled, while Yugyeom unlocked the door, ready to wrangle his hyung so that he didn’t escape. As soon as the door was pushed in, he pushed his right shoulder hard against it, slipped in, and closed the door behind him.
“Jackson hyung you know I can’t.” Jackson sat back down on the couch and pouted angrily.
“Why do these doors lock from the outside anyways?” Yugyeom suspected it was precisely for situations like this, but he was pretty sure that was not what Groomzilla needed to hear. “Is Mark ready? This is gonna go great right? There aren’t any problems yet? Did you call the caterer?” The younger of the two took a step back uneasily. He didn’t want to be the one to tell Jackson that his husband had most likely had a mental breakdown and now was proposing he get married in jeans and a sweatshirt.
“Um, yeah. Yes. Nope, and yes. Everything is great. We just finished cleaning up and getting everything in place. Are you going to finish getting dressed?” Jackson’s shirt wasn’t completely buttoned, and he needed his jacket as well. Suddenly the older man whipped his head up, and looked Yugyeom dead in the eye.
“Do you think I’m doing this right?” He blinked owlishly.
“Doing what right?”
“The whole getting married thing, do you think I’m doing it right?” Jackson looked so vulnerable and scared in a way he had never seen him before. He sat down on the couch next to him and tried to look reassuring.
“I don’t have much experience getting married, but I think so.” Jackson laughed a little at that, and smiled down at his lap.
“I hope Mark wants this as badly as I do.” Yugyeom laughed, and remembered when Mark had said something eerily similar a few months back when they were planning the wedding with Jaebum.
“Trust me hyung, you guys are perfect for each other.”
12:15 am, Wedding Day
“Hyung! You have barely over forty five minutes to get ready! Have you even showered?” Jaebum was at the end of his tether when he called Jinyoung. However, it seemed that Jinyoung might as well have been arguing with a cactus for all the response Mark was giving them. He was 1) still in his pajamas, 2) eating potato chips and reading, and 3) not responding to their attempts to get him ready for his own wedding. “Don’t you even care that you’re about to get married??” Jinyoung finished his rant by slamming his hands down on the coffee table that Mark was resting his feet on. The oldest snapped his head up to look at him.
“I’m reading right now Jinyoungie.” Jaebum knew he made the right choice in calling Jinyoung however, when he mimicked his voice right back.
“Yeah and getting married. In about-” He checked his watch. “- 90 minutes.” Mark’s eyes widened in disbelief, much to Jaebum’s amazement. He had been trying to get his hyung to this point all morning.
“Oh. I am, aren’t I?” Mark said far too calmly for someone in the situation that he was. Jinyoung nodded exasperatedly at his friend. His best man took a seat on the couch and patted Mark’s denim clothed leg.
“Let’s get you dressed hmm?” Jinyoung said, and Mark looked confusedly up at him.
“Yeah. Yeah okay. Okay.” And he pushed himself to standing as Jinyoung rummaged through the plastic dress bag for Mark’s shirt and slacks. Jaebum took this as a good opportunity to leave and check on everyone else.
“So the, so then, sosso then, I wass like, like, ‘Whats up?’” Jaebum stopped mid stride when he hears slurred mumbling coming from behind the podium at the front of the venue. He considered ignoring it, but decided that it was best to investigate for the sake of the wedding. What he was not expecting, was a very drunken Bambam telling stories to himself.
“Oh Bambam.” Jaebum said disappointedly. He was not exactly thrilled that one of the groom’s best man was sitting drunk and confused an hour before the wedding. Jaebum hiked up the legs of his slacks and crouched down beside his younger friend. “Why are you drunk?” Bambam’s head lolled to the side and he tried to turn so that they were looking at each other.
“Well, well I just was thinking, what if, what if what it, what if Jackson doesn’t need me anymore? Jaebum hyung what if he leaves me for Mark?” Then he giggled, breaking the semi serious monologuing he had been going on with. Jaebum settled onto the floor next to him and sat with his back against the wall, realizing this talk might take a bit.
“Jackson isn’t going to leave you.” Bambam rolled his head to the left again.
“Yeah but how do you know?” Jaebum sighed through his nose. He didn’t have time for drunk Bambam now.
“Because Jackson has been your best friend since high school, I doubt he’ll leave you for anyone. Mark is so calm, he needs you so you can freak out with him. Now come on, let’s get you sobered up, huh?” The younger just allowed himself to be pulled up, and Jaebum slung an arm around his waist to keep him standing. “Yugyeom ah! Youngjae ah! Get in here.” The two in mention scurried out of their hiding spots, Yugyeom emerging from Jackson’s dressing room. The eldest stared them both down for a moment before speaking.
“Who left alchohol within Bambam’s reach?” Youngjae shook his head vigorously and Yugyeom shrugged. He decided it didn’t matter, as long as Jackson’s best man was sober enough to walk down the aisle with the rest of the procession. “You two are now in charge of figuring out how to sober him up enough in thirty minutes to walk with the rest of us. Goodluck.” The youngest sighed, but Youngjae nodded readily, and grabbed the stumbling Bambam away from Jaebum, leading him down the hallway to the bathroom. When they heard retching, Yugyeom winced.
“I swear, I leave for two minutes.”
12:45 am, Wedding Day
Because Mark was his best friend, Jinyoung was willing to let some things slide. Like the fact that Mark was apparently suffering from a mental breakdown and was now unable to fathom that in fifteen minutes, he’d be walking down the aisle. Okay, yeah, annoying and a bit irresponsible, but not impossible to deal with. Or the fact that Mark had lost his tie at the last minute. Again, annoying but not an impossible fix.
“Okay Mark, slow down. Repeat that all again.”
“My sister. Is at. The airport.” Jinyoung’s heart sank. Yep, he had heard it right. Grace Tuan was stuck in LAX, and the wedding started in fifteen minutes. This was what he had been so afraid of.
“Jaebum! How long will it take you to drive to the airport and pick up someone? Theoretically?” Jaebum turned around from the programs he was arranging to think for a minute.
“Um, probably around half an hour, why?” Jaebum looked far too relaxed for how Jinyoung felt.
“Grace. Is at. The airport.” The predicted look of horror spread across his face and contorted his features.
1:20 pm, Wedding Day
“I am so so sorry folks, but the ceremony has been pushed back to 1:30. Yes. Yes, I know, and I’m sorry. There is an emergency with one of the grooms, but we will be ready to proceed at 1:30. Mmhmm. No, it’s not Jackson. Yes, that does mean its Mark. Yes. No. Only direct family right now. No, he does not have cold feet. Ah, haha, sorry again Mrs. Wang.” Yugyeom stood at the alter, nearly like a podium, and tried to field the questions and complaints from the attendees. He looked tired and a little frazzled, but nothing compared to Jinyoung and Mark.
“Did you call Jaebum ah again? Where is he now? How close?” Jinyoung whipped his head around.
“I don’t know Mark! I’m not a mind reader!” Mark looked appropriately chastised, but he continued to anxiously pace. Jinyoung tried to have sympathy, because it had to be hell on the man’s anxiety, but the pacing was getting on his nerves. He fought to stay calm. Breathing in, and breathing out.
“He has ten minutes. Ten minutes Jinyoung! Did Grace even find him? I don’t think they’ve ever met, how will they know they have the right person?” Jinyoung rolled his eyes at the last one.
“Because Jaebum had a piece of paper with “GRACE TUAN” on it, I think it’s a safe bet that they found each other okay.” Mark rubbed nervously at the edges of his sleeves.
“Okay. Yeah. You’re right. But what about-” The door to the dressing room flung open wide.
“Hyung!” Jaebum and Grace stumbled into the room in a rush, and the man almost smacked his head on the side of the doorframe. Jinyoung sighed heavily and grabbed Mark’s hand. Now that the sister had been procured, it was time to get things moving again.
“Okay, now come on. Let’s go find your dad.” Mark tried to pull away to talk to the two arrivals, but his best man had him out the door and down the hall too quickly for him to protest.
1:30 pm, Wedding Day
When the music started, as corny as it was, Jackson pinched the skin of his left hand to make sure he was awake. It felt like lucid dreaming, where everything was coming at you too fast and from all angles, but all you can do is stop and stare.
And when Mark appeared at the other end of the room, Jackson could feel all the eyes on the two of them, as if everyone in the room was trying to share their private moment. It was strange and uncomfortable, but when he saw the dreamy look in the other groom’s eyes, he knew that it wasn’t just him that felt that way.
Finally, Mark reached the steps up to the altar, and let go of his father’s arm gently. Then he took a shaky step forward, and another. The carpet runner that went up the steps didn’t agree with the soles of his shoes, because the next thing Jackson knew, there was a loud collective gasp and Mark was in his arms, having tripped and fallen there. Jackson, unable to resist a moment, whispered in his husband-to-be’s ear as he lifted him back up.
“Looks like you really did fall for me.” Mark looked softly shocked for a moment. And then, he just giggled. A quiet, perfect laugh escaped before he clamped his mouth shut again. But Jackson could see the look on his face, and it clearly expressed the hilarity of the situation. Here they were, laughing and smiling, letting the whole venue full of people watch them.
And he realized, he had made the right choice.
7:36 pm, Wedding Night
Bambam had to stifle a scream when Yugyeom wrapped a hand around his shoulder and pulled him backwards into the bathroom.
“Shh.” The youngest made a shushing motion with one finger on his lips. As soon as he had pulled him into the bathroom and locked the door, he opened his mouth again.
“What are you doing?” Yugyeom stepped forward and caged his body against the tiled wall with a thump. He leaned in until his breath fanned hot across his face.
“What do you think?” Bambam tried to find it within himself to resist that, but what kind of logic could go against a hot dude pinning him to the wall? Albeit, it was at his best friend’s wedding, but he figured that if Jackson knew, he’d probably just high five him or something. He twisted his body slightly so that he could reach up to Yugyeom’s face.
“Can’t argue with that now, can I?” He purred, and the look on the younger’s face changed quickly into a look of surprise .Bambam smirked before he spoke. “The suit. Take it off.” Yugyeom continued to look shocked as he stripped in seconds. This is going to be fun.
8:05 pm, Wedding Night
When Bambam poked his head outside of the bathroom to see if the coast was clear, his blood ran cold. He barely managed to open his mouth to speak.
“How long have you been there?” Mark looked up from whatever he was scrolling through on his phone with a deadpan look. Bambam felt his cheeks heat up, but the reply was slow. His older friend made a show of checking the expensive watch that he’d borrowed from his husband for the wedding.
“Only the last ten minutes. Tell Yugyeommie to hurry up and get dressed, because Jackson wants you to do your toast soon.” His voice was smooth and cold, detached even, but his eyes were smirking. Bambam briefly wondered if he could just go back into the bathroom and never come out again. Yugyeom shuffled past him and down the hallway, quickly refusing to make eye contact with Mark. He followed him, but he spared a glance at the groom who was still leaning against the wall peacefully, like he hadn’t just destroyed them.
“Oh my god.” Yugyeom said, turning to him and covering his face with his hands.
8:43 pm, Wedding Night
The room grew silent when Jinyoung stood up and tapped a glass with his fork for attention. He cleared his throat, and everyone looked at him expectantly.
“I’ve known Mark since I was in college. I met him because I needed a science tutor, biology actually, and my teacher recommended him. If I had just done my homework, I might never have met him.” The audience laughed, and he smiled down at his seated friend, eyes crinkling at the corners. “But we did meet. And we became friends. Needless to say, I was around when Jackson first came along.” He paused for emphasis. “I’d never seen or heard Mark talk about someone the way he did about Jackson before. It was a whole new kind of love, and they were so happy. I even remember telling Jaebum about how I thought they’d last.” Jaebum interrupted him.
“You never said that.” Causing everyone to laugh again, and Jinyoung to make a face of mock insult.
“Anyway. I’ve also seen them develop and grow, and go through times that were less than great. But through all of that, they’ve always been in love. Anyone who knows them has probably seen this day a long time coming.” Jackson was beaming now, squeezing Mark’s hand like it was his lifeline. “Obviously, I’m biased. As Mark’s best friend, I was naturally a little suspicious of Jackson. Now, though, I can’t imagine him with anyone better. The look on his face when Jackson proposed is why I’m so happy for them. Congratulations to one of the happiest couples this century.” There was a smattering of applause and laughter, as Jinyoung sat back down. Next up was Bambam’s speech.
The younger boy stood up and rolled his shoulders back, before speaking.
“When Jackson first told me about Mark, the first thing I said was “He’s not your type.” His type then being primarily women.” More pauses for laughter. “But I didn’t actually meet him until four months into their relationship. When I did, I knew that he was different. Jackson smiles a lot, which I’m sure is not news to any of you. After knowing Mark for a few weeks, I discovered he had a special smile that I’d never seen before. We now call it the Mark Smile.” Mark looked at Jackson in surprise, where he was met with a nod of confirmation. “I decided that if he was special enough to make him that happy, then he should never leave. I can’t say that their relationship has been totally perfect, because it hasn’t. What I can say, is that they don’t need perfection. They have the kind of love that only comes around once in awhile, so let’s all celebrate today. Congrats guys.” The second round of applause was just as loud as the first, and Bambam returned to his seat between Yugyeom and Jackson. Youngjae narrowed his eyes at him in suspicion.
“Who did you pay to write that?” Bambam shrugged nonchalantly.
“No one.” Youngjae sat back in his seat, still wary. If one had been listening closely, they would have heard him in the lightest whisper, mutter.
9:28 pm, Wedding Night
“Did anyone else think Bambam was a little off there for a while?” Youngjae asked, testing the waters to see if anyone noticed his good work. Bambam had seemed effectively sober for most of the ceremony. Sadly, the ever observant Mark spoke up.
“Yeah, when he hugged me he smelled like Yugyeom’s cologne. Why? Is there something I should know?” That shut everyone up fairly quickly. The two youngest blushed profusely and Bambam even had the audacity to apologize. Mark just sat in his chair and watched on disapprovingly. Jackson hissed through his teeth and stirred his drink, turning back to Jaebum.
“Thank’s for helping out you guys. Seriously, that was a nightmare.” Jinyoung sniffed angrily in his direction.
“It’s not like you helped at all.” Jinyoung squinted at Jackson, and he clutched his chest in mock horror. Mark put a hand on each of their arms to keep them apart, as he spoke again.
“Hey, Jinyoungie, be nice.” Jinyoung mock scowled at him in retaliation. Jaebum rolled his eyes, and shrugged Youngjae closer to him.
“It was a beautiful ceremony.” Mark nodded and chewed his lip in thought, while Jinyoung’s whole face lit up. The atmosphere at the table was warm and comforting, the seven of them encased in a bubble of happiness. Mark had subconsciously grabbed his new husband’s hand, and neither of them seemed to notice. Bambam had calmed down, and was busy telling some long story about a dog he’d met to the table. Youngjae was leaning into his shoulder and the warmth from his skin seeped into his like a sedative. It was perfect.
Jinyoung interrupted Bambam’s story to ask the newlyweds a question.
“Shouldn’t someone throw the bouquet?” Jackson frowned and thought about it,
“Isn’t it a little late for that?” Jinyoung shook his head, looking extremely serious on the topic. Like it was life or death, even.
“No. We have to find out who will get married next!” Mark smiled in agreement, which was enough to make Jackson realize he’d already lost.
“I’ll do it.” The eldest stood up and picked up the flowers that Jinyoung had been holding during the ceremony. Everyone else stood up as well, and they slowly wandered outside to the parking lot, away from the families. They lined up in a row, with Mark a few feet in front of them. “You guys ready?” The response was a chorus of “Yeah!”s and “Go!”s. He lifted the flowers in his hands, and gently tossed them into the air.
Jaebum watched them fall, straight towards where he was next to Youngjae. But then he realized: they were heading straight towards the younger boy’s face. Without thinking any further, he grabbed them out of the air, water from the stems dripping onto his hand and amr. Youngjae flinched, but looked relieved when he saw someone had caught them.
Jinyoung squealed and Mark turned around to see the result of the toss.
“Hyung!” He was suddenly being crushed by five pairs of arms, including Jackson’s iron limbs.
“Can’t. Breathe.” Which was all he could get out before he was bombarded by questions from Jinyoung and Bambam, primarily.
“Who is she?” “Why didn’t you tell us hyung?” “Maybe he hasn’t met her yet.” “Oh yeah.” In the flurry of words, he spotted Youngjae standing on the edge of the circle, fidgeting with the hem of his sleeves and looking nervous. They made eye contact, but the younger looked away. It had been his decision not to tell anyone, but he’d never regretted it as much as in that moment.
“Youngjae ah.” Jinyoung froze on the spot. "It's...uh....It's Youngjae ah." He cleared his throat and shifted his eyes to Youngjae.
“What?” Youngjae had snapped his head up, wearing a deer-in-the-headlights look of fear. Jaebum awkwardly cleared his throat again and shifted as the group grew quiet. Mark said nothing but raise an eyebrow, having reached a conclusion faster than anyone else.
Seconds later, Yugyeom and Bambam were all over Youngjae, and Jackson and Jinyoung were asking even more invasive questions. The smile on Jackson’s face made him feel relaxed, as it was prone to, but it was the hand on his shoulder and the little nod from Mark that was reassuring.
10:00 pm, Wedding Night
A few hours ago, everyone would have put their money on Jackson to be the trashed groom. Now, Jackson himself was concerned that that may have been unfounded. To be fair, he had a much higher tolerance for alcohol compared to most of their friends. But as soon as Mark’s family left, the drinks kept coming. Bambam, Yugyeom and Youngjae were in various stages of inebriation, though for the most part everyone else was only tipsy.
“Don’t you think you should slow down a bit?” He worried a lip between his teeth and tried to look concerned, but his husband just laughed and slammed down another shot.
“I just got married. My sister almost didn’t make it. And I think that everyone else was too busy getting together at my wedding.” He had a point there, but he also reasoned, he’d been such a mess earlier that he had probably caused at least a little bit of Mark’s resolve to get trashed.
“Alright.” The logic was sound, and he really wasn’t one to talk on the topic of getting trashed at important events. And, in retrospect, his husband had been the one to plan and execute the wedding in such detail. The least he could do was let him get drunk. He motioned to the bartender to refill Mark’s glass.
He studied him in profile, and it hit him over and over, just how much he loved him. Even though the day hadn’t been the perfect one everyone had expected, it had been amazing. He wondered if Mark felt the same. His question was answered, though, when he felt the older’s hand slide into his lap and grip his own tightly, He intertwined their fingers, and brought his other hand up to examine the shine of the rings in the dim light. They were quiet, in the most comfortable way. Normally, Jackson always had something to say, something to fill the silence. But not then. Then, it was calm and warm and he was a little sleepy, and Mark was holding his hand.
He laid his head on his shoulder and closed his eyes for a minute, reveling in the feeling of total peace, for the moment.
12:00 pm, Wedding Night
Jackson snapped awake to Jaebum’s gentle shaking. His eyes took a minute to adjust to the low light in the room. When he was awake enough to process his surroundings, he felt dizzy. The room was now empty, and most of the tables were cleaned up and moved. Jaebum was standing at his right, carrying his jacket, and the first two buttons on his shirt undone. Behind him, Bambam was being supported on Yugyeom and Youngjae’s shoulders, though neither of them looked completely sober. He couldn’t see Mark anywhere.
“Jackson, it’s time to go. I called you a cab.” His brow furrowed in confusion,
“Oh, I didn’t really drink anything. I can totally drive right now, cross my heart.” Jaebum sighed through his nose.
“It…..Wasn’t really for you.” Jackson perked up for a second. Then it dawned on him.
“Where’s Mark?” Jaebum pointed behind Jackson, so he turned to look over his shoulder. Jinyoung was leaning against the wall with an extremely drunk Mark, supporting him with an arm around his waist.
“Crap.” Jaebum nodded.
“Yeah. There’s a cab outside, it’ll take you to the hotel.” Jackson nodded, and picked up his jacket from the chair as he stepped over to his drunken husband.
“Thanks hyung.” Jinyoung smiled, and gently tried to pass the weight of the groom over to him. Slowly but surely, they made it out of the venue and towards the line of cars. Jaebum and Youngjae got into one, together and smiling. Yugyeom managed to hail a cab without dropping his trashed friend. Then Jinyoung waved, and headed to his own car. As Jackson seated Mark and himself into the waiting cab, he was glad to be going back. He just wanted to go back to sleep.
1:00 am, Wedding Night
It was almost the next day when Jackson finally rummaged through his pockets for a room key, and pulled a stumbling Mark behind him inside. It was a nice hotel, he thought, fancy and the beds were huge. The bathtub could have been a hot tub, it was so smooth and electric. But at 1 am he was finding it hard to care about the layout, because he was so goddamn tired.
“Mark. Mark, wake up, you have to change.” His new husband was laying face down in the middle of the bed, wrinkling the tuxedo.
“I’ll sleep in the tux.” He slurred into the duvet. Jackson tugged on his arm gently, attempting to get him into a sitting position.
“Cmon just change. I have your pajamas right here.” He proved his point by cracking open one of their suitcases and throwing a pair of baggy pants at him. Mark just grunted and rolled onto his side, further wrinkling the tux and looking displeased.
“Good.” Mark furrowed his brow, but eventually pushed himself up, making a show of putting on the pajamas. Jackson just rolled his eyes and took off his shirt and jacket, laying them gently into the dress bag. As soon as his head hit the pillow, Mark was out cold. Jackson smiled, amazed by how happy he still felt. The high of knowing that he was his and vice versa seemed to still be going strong.
He crawled under the covers and moved them to cover the other. He turned out the light and wrapped an arm around Mark’s waist, resting his head on his shoulder and lacing their legs together. Jackson smiled into his skin and let his eyes slowly close. He inhaled the scent of Mark’s cologne and something else, maybe sweat. It didn’t matter, because it was purely him. His last thought was about how nice this was, how he could sleep this way for the rest of forever.