It was still five minutes to open, which meant five more minutes for Donghyuck to play Oasis on his phone before he was obligated to do things. Really, the five minutes didn’t make that much of a difference, and it wasn’t as if Donghyuck hated his job — he loved it, the dusty shop and its magical herbs and ancient books — but he was only a few hundred taps away from the next level, which meant he could finally add a lion to his Oasis.
So it got on Donghyuck’s nerves when he heard a little tap tap tap on the door and saw a teenage boy with ash blond hair and wide eyes on the other side of it. Donghyuck pointed at the sign that listed their hours, which very clearly said Tuesday: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. When the boy didn’t seem to get the message, Donghyuck slid off the rickety wooden stool behind the counter and approached the door.
Up close, he could see that the new customer was pretty good-looking. His eyes were wide, his ears stuck out, and his mouth was a little too small for his face, but somehow it worked on him, like they all came together to make a cute, if dorky, even handsome face. Which, by the way, was flawless save for a pimple on his cheek, close to his hairline. But that was just his face. Donghyuck wasn’t a fan of simplicity; he enjoyed minimalism, but simple and minimalist were two very different things in his book. Yet, the boy’s white t-shirt that hugged his very toned chest and hung over the rest of his torso — taunting Donghyuck, daring him to imagine just what lie underneath — and light-wash blue jeans that were rolled over just once, not even properly cuffed, screamed simplicity. And, Donghyuck’s more rational and less desperately gay part of his brain noted, incredibly heterosexual. Unfortunately, the desperately gay side of him won out, granted a powerful dose of energy by the boy’s arms that were neither too stringy nor too beefy, just perfect.
Donghyuck had a well-defined type, and this boy was it. He was the perfect boy, Desperately Gay Donghyuck thought not for the first time in his 17 years. The perfect boy to rile up before he made his move.
“We aren’t open yet,” Donghyuck said.
The boy looked down at his watch, then back up at Donghyuck, frowning cutely. “It’s 9:57.”
“Yeah, well, we open at 10, not 9:57.”
“Are you kidding?”
At the scolding of a voice in his head that sounded a lot like Jungwoo, Donghyuck resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He was trying to improve his bedside manners, so to speak, for Jungwoo’s sake. Instead, he opted for a snarky response. “Can you read?”
Donghyuck couldn’t hear it, but the boy scoffed and checked his watch again. “It’s 9:58 now.”
“Still not 10. Take math classes.” At that point, Donghyuck had long forgotten his phone game, and had no reason not to let the kid in other than to push his adorable buttons.
Looking very obviously put out, the boy sighed, muttering something that looked like “fine,” then leaned against the window to wait out the last two minutes. Donghyuck waved and gave him a too-sweet smile, to which he rolled his eyes. Donghyuck accepted the boy’s forfeit and returned to the counter, where he pretended to busy himself with his phone so he could sneak glances at the boy’s broad shoulders and annoyed pout.
Exactly two minutes later, there was another tap on the door. Except that time, it was more like a knock, like he wanted to let Donghyuck know he was annoyed. Donghyuck dragged himself back to the door as slowly as he could just to piss him off.
“Welcome,” Donghyuck said cheerily, as if seeing the boy for the first time. “Come on in.”
Donghyuck didn’t wait to see his reaction before walking back behind the counter, not realizing he was being followed until he turned back around and saw the boy standing right in front of him. Donghyuck raised an eyebrow. “Can I help you?”
The boy chewed on his bottom lip, and Donghyuck didn’t even try to be discreet about lingering his gaze on his mouth. The other boy saw and immediately released his lip, a pretty blush on his cheeks. “I, um.” He seemed troubled, which didn’t surprise Donghyuck since he didn’t seem like the type to find himself in one of those kinds of shops.
“My friends did a Ouija board,” he blurted out, and Donghyuck could only stare back in small surprise. Then, with much more hesitance, he added, “And it mentioned me.”
Donghyuck blinked once. Then twice. So he thought it was that kind of shop. “Congratulations,” he said. “You’re famous among the dead.”
The boy blinked. “What does it mean?”
Entertaining the boy would keep him in Donghyuck’s presence longer, so the decision to play along was easy. “Well, depends. What did it say?”
The boy’s blush deepened, and he couldn’t help himself from biting his lip again. He really needed to stop doing that. For Donghyuck’s sake. “It said, um. ‘Mark, you will be single forever.’ ” He said it with an over-exaggerated, deep voice, like he was trying to imitate a ghost.
The absurdity of the situation stunned Donghyuck into speechlessness, which made the boy — Mark — even more visibly nervous. “What does it mean? Is it true? How could they know that?”
It took a few more seconds for Donghyuck to gather his wits about himself again. “I don’t know, Mark,” he said, letting the k sound pop, testing it out. “Let me go ask our demon in the back room.”
Mark’s eyes widened impossibly more, comically more, and Donghyuck thought it was impossibly, comically pathetic how cute he thought Mark was. It eased him to know, though, that this handsome surprise was single, at least according to his friends’ Ouija board.
“I’m kidding, we don’t have a demon in here. Just me. Anyway, spirits don’t lie, Mark.”
Mark’s fearful expression evolved into full-on horror, and his eyes left Donghyuck’s settling absently at nothing in particular, and Donghyuck figured he was picturing an eternity of loneliness. “Really?” he said, quiet.
Donghyuck nodded sagely. “The spirits never lie. But people do.”
Mark frowned, looking at Donghyuck again. “Huh?”
It took all of his willpower not to just laugh in Mark’s face. “Ouija boards are fake. They’re an illusion, mentally and physically.”
“Seriously,” Donghyuck echoed. “Besides, even if all that shit was real, I’m pretty sure ghosts have no interest in your love life. Or lack thereof, apparently.”
Relief overtook Mark’s features, though his face flushed again. “Oh. Uh, well, that’s a relief. Wait.” Mark frowned again. If anything, the Ouija board should have told him he was going to wrinkle prematurely.
“So you don’t believe in ghosts? Or Ouija boards? Why do you work here, then?”
Donghyuck raised an eyebrow. “This isn’t a Ghostbusters giftshop, in case you haven’t noticed. We’re a witch shop.”
“A witch shop. Like, potions and pointy hats and shit?”
Donghyuck rolled his eyes. “More like tarot cards, herbs, runes and shit.”
“Oh,” Mark said, tilting his head to the side. “That’s cool. I don’t really get it, but it sounds cool.”
Donghyuck sighed and mumbled, “God, you’re lucky you’re hot.”
Mark’s eyes went wide again, but only for a second. “Uh, what?”
Straight, then, Donghyuck concluded. “I said, are you gonna buy something or not?”
“Oh,” Mark said, though he looked unconvinced. “No. Not today. But, um. Maybe I could stop by once your shift’s over and you can teach me about... about all this?”
So, not straight. Donghyuck grinned. “Sure thing, cutie. I’m done at four.”
Mark’s face lit up, and if Donghyuck thought he was handsome before, he was breathtaking with his small smile and sparkly eyes. “Okay, I’ll see you then, uh...”
“Donghyuck,” Donghyuck offered.
“Donghyuck.” Mark smiled. “Thanks for the help, Donghyuck.”
(“I can’t believe the Ouija board lied!” Renjun lamented as he paced back and forth in Mark’s apartment living room. “What else did it lie about?”
“Hopefully it lied about BTS having a comeback at the same time as Loona’s debut,” Jaemin said, a haunted look in his eyes.
Donghyuck rolled his eyes at their dramatics from where he was cuddled up to Mark’s side, Mark’s hand on his thigh. “Your friends are too much.”
“Guys, we should have known it wasn’t real when it told us its name was Chenle,” Jisung said, shooting a glare at Chenle, who was sitting on the opposite side of the couch Mark and Donghyuck were on, snickering.
Mark sighed. “Don’t I know it.” Donghyuck giggled and pressed a kiss to his boyfriend’s cheek.)