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Of Ballroom Dances and Black Suits

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“Lee Donghyuck, I hope you're not still in bed! If I come up there and you're not dressed, I'm shipping you off to your grandmother's for a month."

Donghyuck groans into his pillow, why can't he just take a nap? Is that so wrong?

Begrudgingly, Donghyuck slinks down out of his bed, and got to his feet. It's unfortunate, but he really had no choice but to get out of bed. It's 2 in the afternoon, but Donghyuck has always had sleep as a priority and he doesn't ever miss a chance to nap. But Donghyuck has approximately 20 minutes before his mother comes storming in to fix his hair and it would not be good for his mother to come in and see him still snoozing.

With a clap of his hands, his bedroom lights turn on, nearly being blinded by the sudden brightness. Donghyuck makes a note to have the wattage of those changed later. He walks into his en suite bathroom, a shiver going down his back when his feet make contact with the cold marble tiling.

Donghyuck sheds his clothes in record time, and hops into his shower. He doesn't bother to wait for the water to get hot, he probably has closer to 15 minutes now to get his suit on, he doesn't have time to wait. After scrubbing his body with some coconut scented shower gel, he turns off the shower.

Donghyuck grabs a soft fluffy towel off the rack and wraps it under his armpits, because, fuck being manly, his back is cold. Grabbing his blow dryer and putting it on the highest setting, Donghyuck nearly fries his hair in his haste to dry it. When Donghyuck thinks it feels dry enough, he turns it off, and speed walks (runs) to his closet to get his suit out.

Thankfully, one of the maids had ironed it for him earlier today, so it was already set out ready for him to wear. After pulling on some boxers, Donghyuck gets to work putting on the stuffy suit. He picked out a red dress shirt to wear under the jacket, which his mother will not like, but

Donghyuck doesn't care. He never wanted to have this party in the first place, so he has to rebel somehow.
By the time his mother gets upstairs, Donghyuck has his suit on, even if it is slightly wrinkled and his tie is on incorrectly. Still a win.

"Goodness Donghyuck, are you really going to look like this welcoming your husband home." She nags.
"He is not my husband." Grumbles Donghyuck. This has been an ongoing conversation for quite some time now.

"Not yet. But after tonight, your engagment is going to be official. Everyone who is an anybody will be there tonight, so no acting up, got it?" By now, his mother is well aware if all of his antics and stupid ideas and she expects them now.

"I know, I know."

"Watch yourself, boy. Your grandma is one phone call away." His mother threatens but with no heat, playfully pulling on his tie tightly.

------
Donghyuck pulls on his tie, feeling rather uncomfortable standing around the ballroom by himself. Mark has yet to arrive, leaving Donghyuck to deal with their nosy, prodding, and obnoxious family. Mark had come back from a trip that same morning, and their mothers decided it would be wonderful to celebrate his return as well as the official engagement party.

When he first arrived to the venue, he chatted with his friends, Renjun and Jeno, but his mother soon after wanted him to talk with investors and in-laws. Currently, he is standing off to the side, adding his input every now and then to a conversation between some of Mark's distant cousins.

He really just wants to leave. Not that Donghyuck doesn't like his in-laws, in fact, he actually enjoys their company. Mark's brother, Johnny, was kind of like a big brother to him as well. And his cousin Jaehyun is quite pleasant as well. It's just, Donghyuck has never been confident while talking to Mark's family, because he expects them to judge him. Even if they love him, Donghyuck is still self conscious. Usually with Mark there, he can tell when Donghyuck gets uncomfortable and tries to divert everyone's attention away from the younger.

But then again, Mark also has a knack for throwing Donghyuck off guard and turning him into a bumbling teenager.

Donghyuck hates to admit it, but he is a bit nervous to see Mark again. He has been gone for the better part of three months, and that was before the dates for the engagement as well as the wedding were set.

Everything is becoming more real to Donghyuck, even though he has been preparing for this his whole life. Sometimes he wonders what his life would have been like if he wasn't intended to Mark. Not that Mark was necessarily holding him back, but it would have been nice to broaden his horizon.

"Donghyuck! There you are dear, come. Mark just arrived and I want you to go welcome him back. Remember, smile and don't say anything insulting in public please." Donghyuck almost becomes dizzy from how his mother whisks him away and practically drags him over to the main entrance.

Right on cue, Mark and his cousin Johnny walk through the doors. Mark is looking only mildly uncomfortable wearing his custom designer made suit. Donghyuck refuses to admit that his heart skipped a beat when he saw that Mark is wearing the tie Donghyuck had gifted him as a mock birthday gift.

With his mother not so subtlety nudging him up front, Donghyuck all but stumbles in front of his intended. For a moment the two just stare at each other, Donghyuck with slight embarrassment and Mark just with confusion.

Mark awkwardly clears his throat, "Um, are you okay Hyuck?"
"I'm just fine!" Donghyuck internally cringes at how fake he sounds. "Welcome back!"

Donghyuck awkwardly moves to wrap his arms around the slightly taller boy and nearly shudders when he feels Mark's arms wrap around him just as robotically. There are coos coming from the crowd and Donghyuck really just wants to go somewhere where no one can see or hear them. Unfortunately, the purpose of this whole event is to show off their relationship to some old farts.

The party gets started after that. Both Mark and Donghyuck go around greeting people, their parents introducing them to people that they don't know from Adam, and servers stuffing their faces with random appetizers. By the time dinner comes, Donghyuck's feet are already hurting from the uncomfortable dress shoes and he really wants to go to sleep. Alas, the party still had at least 2 hours to go, so Donghyuck just sucks it up.

Dinner goes by with not many problems, though Donghyuck can feel his mother's calculating stare at his plate and Donghyuck makes sure that he doesn't eat all of it.

Then, the band starts to play again except this time it's not just white noise. The middle of the ballroom is cleared of all the food and drinks that occupied the space before, so now it's just an open floor. When the slow music starts, Donghyuck just wants to high tail it out of there before he could get wrapped up into a dance wi-

"To celebrate the new couple", The DJ announces. "We're gonna have them start us off with a dance."

Donghyuck melts on the inside while the guests clap, cheering on the two. Mark looks embarrassed as well, the tips of his ears are red. This isn't the first time they've been asked to dance with each other, and most definitely not the last, but it's just as embarrassing as before (Well maybe not just as embarrassing. There was this one time Donghyuck accidentally tripped over Mark's untied shoelaces and face planted on the floor).

"Come on Hyuck, let's get this over with." Mark grabs his wrist and leads him to the dance floor. The DJ plays a slow song, one that Donghyuck is sure that his parents used to listen to years ago.

"Just follow my lead." Mark whispers in his ear.

Donghyuck feels one of the older male's hands rest on his waist and the other takes his own hand. Belatedly, Donghyuck wraps his arms around the dark haired boy's neck. They're close, a little too close for comfort. The tanned boy can feel Mark breathing against him and Donghyuck tries not to make it obvious that he's freaking out.

Somehow, with Mark's guidance, the two flow across the dance floor. One step back, one step forward. Don't make a fool of yourself Lee Donghyuck.

"You're thinking too much, calm down Hyuck. Pretend that it's just me and you here.”
For the first time that night, Donghyuck looks into the pair of eyes he's been trying to avoid.

And he's glad he does. Those warm brown eyes immediately comfort him. It's like Mark is trying to convey a message through his eyes, and even though Donghyuck doesn't know precisely what the message is, he feels himself understand anyway.

Donghyuck tightens his grip on Mark and moves closer, their bodies practically one now. He leans his head on one of Mark's shoulders, one of his favorite places to rest. There has always something nice about how Mark would allow him to lay on his shoulder, and how Mark would pull him into his arms and rest his own head on top of Hyuck's.

Donghyuck likes to pretend that he doesn't know what that flittering in his stomach is, but as he and glide across the floor in each other's arms, he knows exactly what it is.
----
Later during the night, Mark suggests that they escape to the garden while Mark's father is talking. Donghyuck is relieved that he is not the only one who was about to cry out of boredom.

The two wander around in silence for some time, admiring the beautiful flowers that have been groomed to perfection. When they come across a stone bench almost completely surrounded by bushes of roses, they sit down next to each other.

"Welcome back, hope you had fun helping people,"
Donghyuck whispers into his fiance's ear. He knows that he had already welcomed him back earlier, but that time wasn't very genuine and Donghyuck prefers to talk to Mark in private. "And leaving me here to get chewed out by our families."

Mark grins sheepishly at him. "Sorry, but you know that we've been planning that trip since last year."

"Yeah yeah, you're coming of age trip or whatever. You could have invited me."

"We barely can even be in the same car together. What would make you think they would let you leave the country with me?"

"Stop being so logical Mark. Let me be a salty bitch." "You're always a salty bitch."
"And you're a dickhead."
"Thanks."

"Fuck you."

Though he tries to sound peeved, Donghyuck can't help that giddy feeling inside of him. Being with Mark like this has always been easy. Growing up with him Donghyuck feels comfortable around him in a way he is with no one else. Its quite funny how much of a cliche they are. He voices his thoughts.

"l feel like we are such a cliché.” Donghyuck leans back on the garden’s bench, “I mean, we’ve known each other all our lives. We were basically engaged since birth. All for a big merge or whatever.”

Mark chuckles, “Well at least we’re not mortal enemies who can’t even stand being in the same room together.”

“Speak for yourself.” Donghyuck responds haughtily.

“Oh shut up, you know you love me.” Mark says, leaning over to make a kissy face at the younger.

Donghyuck pushes him away, and pulls a face. “Eww, that’s disgusting. Don’t try being flirty, that’s my thing.”

“I'm pretty sure that I just saw you blush.” Teases Mark.

“Then those contacts must not be doing the job for you Markle, because I most definitely did not blush. Not one bit.”

“Nope, you definitely did. Look you’re doing it now!” Mark laughs at Donghyuck’s red face. “Fuck you.” Huffs out Donghyuck, a small pout donning his lips.

The atmosphere calms after that. Both of them can’t find anything else to say that would be appropriate for the time. Their engagement night certainly not a time to be joking around. This is the rest of their lives that they’re dealing with. Donghyuck knows that, he’s been told since he could understand the word ‘married’ and all that came with that. Growing up, Donghyuck has always been told to be the best he can be. That his in-laws won't want him if he is just average. So Donghyuck did just that, he stayed on top of his grades, averaging a GPA that rivaled Mark’s own. He was a member of the student council, he was even the editor of the school newspaper. He did all of this just for this day. The day when he and Mark would finally be officially announced as engaged.

And it was hard, never having the chance to date anyone, because everyone knew that he was Mark’s, has been since birth, and that no one could have a chance with him. But Donghyuck never minded that much. How could he when he was basically dating the most perfect boy, Mark Lee? Donghyuck can't lie, he always has had a massive crush on his intended. Mark has always been so kind to him, always buying him nice things, taking him to nice places, giving him rides from school. Mark was the perfect boyfriend, even if they weren’t technically dating.

“.... Hyuck?”
“Huh, what? I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.” Donghyuck blinked at the other male.

“S’okay. I was just asking if you.. uh. If you wanted to come with me Monday to look at some apartments.”
Apartments? Oh yeah, starting next month, he and Mark are supposed to live with each other.

“... and mom said that it would be good if we go together since we’ll both be living there and you should be able to pick out where you’ll be living. But if you don’t want to, I’ll jus-“

“Yeah, I’ll go with you Mark. I have class on Monday though.”

“That’s fine, I can just wait until afterwards.

Donghyuck nods along, not knowing what else to say. It’s funny how their dynamics work. First they’re teasing one another relentlessly, and the next moment they act like a bunch of awkward tweens.
----

"Jeno wanted me to ask you and Mark if y'all want to go out with us on Friday night." Renjun comments off handed, seeming like he was just now remembering.

"What, like a double date or something?" Donghyuck snorts. Jeno is such a romantic, it was a wonder how he and Renjun ended up dating.

"Yep."

"I guess, we don't have anything better to do." Donghyuck shrugs. He enjoys spending time with his friends, even if they were disgustingly romantic sometimes.

"Great, now Jeno can stop whining about nobody liking him." Renjun rolls his eyes, but Hyuck can see the fond smile on his face.

"Literally everyone loves Jeno, is he blind or what?"
Renjun shakes his head, "That's what I say. But he's convinced."

"He's such a dork. I can't believe you like him."
"I can't believe I like him either, but here we are."

Donghyuck doesn't get a chance to respond because of his phone blasting 'Stupid Hoe' by Nicki Minaj.

"Oh look, its Nana." Donghyuck answers the call and puts it on speaker so Renjun could hear as well.

"Hey babe! How is my favorite engaged boy doing?" With Jaemin in Jeju for the year, he has constantly been calling Donghyuck for the latest updates on his and Mark's love life. With no romantic life of his own at the moment (though him and Jisung have been talking quite a lot about each other), Jaemin just lives vicariously through his best friends. Renjun stopped answering calls after about the third time of Jaemin asking him if he and Jeno made out yet, so now he wants every single detail from Donghyuck.

"You asked me like two days ago, nothing life changing can happen in two days, Nana."

"Didn't you say that you went to dinner with him? How was that? What'd you talk about? Did he make you pay?"

"Yes, we went to dinner, it was fine, we just talked about general stuff, nothing fancy. And no, he did not make me pay." Donghyuck answers for the sake of Jaemin's sanity. He knows that the slightly younger boy just wants to keep up with his friends.

"Oh, that's good. How about Renjun, how is he? He hasn't been answering my calls, but I know that he sees me calling him."

Renjun speaks up after that, "I'm fine, Nana. I'd be even better if you didn't call me everyday to ask about Jeno. Call Jeno for that."

"Oh, I already do. Jeno tells me everything. I just love to bother you, you know?" "I hate you, Na Jaemin."

"I love you too, Injunnie." Jaemin coos, and Donghyuck just knows he's making a stupid kissy face. "But I have to go now, my mom wants me to help her outside. I'll talk to you bitches later."

"Bye Nana, try not to die before my wedding."
"Wouldn't dream of it bae, you need your best friend there."

"Do I really?" Donghyuck asks playfully because of course he needs his best friend. He's gonna need all the support he can get.

Donghyuck would never tell the younger, but he really looks up to Jaemin. They've known each other since their first year of middle school and they're still best friends, even with Jaemin's temporary move. Jaemin can act a bit eccentric sometimes, but Donghyuck knows he's not really like that. Jaemin is actually quite quiet most of the time, observant too, much to Donghyuck's chagrin. He's always been kind, too kind sometimes, and Donghyuck has been saved from many break downs by Jaemin.

It was nerve wracking not having Jaemin with him every step of the way, but he has been only one phone call away, which Donghyuck greatly appreciates.
Because with this stupid engagement thing, Donghyuck has found himself calling the other in the wee hours of the morning a lot more frequently.

------
When Donghyuck walks out of his school building on the following Monday, Mark is already

outside waiting for him. Donghyuck notices that he's talking to some of his old teammates from the soccer team. Even though Mark had graduated last year, he still comes to pretty much every event the school has not only for Donghyuck, but for his other friends as well. They pretty much had the same friend group, so Donghyuck doesn't even want to know what would happen if they ever broke up.

When Mark sees Donghyuck bounding down the stairs of the student parking, he quickly bids his friends goodbye and goes to meet Donghyuck.

"Hey Hyuck. How was school?" He takes Donghyuck's bag from him and tosses it into the backseat.

Donghyuck slides into the passenger seat and shrugs. "It was alright. You know the usual, Ms. Jeon being as crabby as ever. Jeno being Jeno. Renjun falling asleep, same as usual."

"I'm glad nothing has changed since I left."

Donghyuck rolls his eyes, "You're acting like you're so old, you graduated like last year."

"Exactly. So I'm like a year wiser now."

"Really? You seem pretty dumb to me."

"Shows how much you know, I'm going to the most prestigious college in South Korea." Mark boasts with his head high.

"Hey, they'll send anyone there that can pay enough." Snickers the younger boy.

Their banter continues, a light, jocular atmosphere in the car. Donghyuck plays his favorite Michael Jackson playlist and happily sings along. Mark doesn't join in, but he laughs when Donghyuck's would crack every so often.

Before he realizes it, Mark is pulling up into a parking lot of an apartment complex. The building is tall and expensive looking. Not that money is a problem with either of them, but Donghyuck feels snobby just parking there.

"Come on. This is the first one my mom wanted us to look at.”

"I don't know, looks too extravagant for just the two of us." Donghyuck points out. "How far away from the university are we?"

Donghyuck would start going to the same University when he finishes his last year of high

school. He had already been accepted in earlier that year, which Donghyuck was only smug about a little.

"Like 15 minutes." Mark says breezily.

Donghyuck follows Mark into the lobby, which looks like a ballroom. There is a chandelier hanging in the middle of the entrance, with two smaller ones on either side. The marble floor is so reflective, Donghyuck can very much see himself in it. Donghyuck gets self conscious at the noise his sneakers make on the squeaky clean floor.

"Welcome! Your mother told me that you would be coming." A middle aged woman greets them. She looks like she would be strict, but the kind smile she has on her face makes Donghyuck feel welcome. "My name is Mrs. Choi, I'm the owner of these apartments and an old acquaintance of your mother’s.”

She then surprises both teens when she engulfs Mark into a tight hug. "I was so excited when I found out that you're interested in living here, I haven't seen you since you were a tiny baby, Little Minhyungie, is what we called you. Gosh, you've grow so much."

Mark let's out an awkward laugh which makes Donghyuck snort. "No one has called me my Korean name for years."

She pulls back from the hug and fondly ruffles his hair, "Yes, I heard that you go by Mark now. Just like your brother I swear."

Then she turns to Donghyuck, and before he knows it, he's being attacked.

"So you must be Donghyuck!" Mrs. Choi squeals in his ear. "I've heard so much about you, you're even cuter in person! God, I thought Minah was exaggerating when she said how adorable you are, I really just want to eat you up!"

Eventually, the woman lets them go check out the apartment after she finishes gushing over the both of them. Donghyuck follows Mark to the big glass elevator. There is a special keycard that Mark swipes in order to get to the penthouse. He still thinks it's way too extravagant, but it is a really nice place. They go up to the top floor of the building and they exit when the doors open with a ding. The elevator opens up to the main entrance of the apartment.

Donghyuck immediately is taken aback. The place is beautiful. The design is simple, contrary to the rest of the building. The walls are colored an off white, the couch that sat in the middle of the living room was red and there was the softest rugs scattered around. He's surprised, it looks a lot less sleek and cold than the rest of the building suggests.

Wandering around some more, Donghyuck finds two bedrooms with the biggest beds (even

bigger than his one now) and a two walk in closets that meet in the middle. Donghyuck can really go for that. Maybe he can see himself living here.

"What do you think?" Mark asks him when they finally leave.

"I actually really love it, Mark. At first I thought it was a bit much, but I love the apartment so much. And there's enough room for us, and it's close to school- I think it's perfect for us."

"I'm glad. I like it too."

"So, are we getting it?"

"I guess so. I'll tell Mom that we picked this. She'll get the payment set up for us."

"So now that we finished early, can we go out to eat?" Donghyuck says, batting his eyelashes and making a pout. But he knows he doesn't have to do that to get what he wants from Mark.

"Yeah, let's go. But you're paying." "Cheap."

"I've spent almost 1,000,000 won on you this weekend alone, Hyuck. It's time I start getting paid back.

"Whatever penny pincher." Donghyuck rolls his eyes, but he can't ignore those stupid butterflies in his stomach and his heart beating a mile a minute.
----
In March, Mark's family puts on another event that, of course, Donghyuck has to attend as well. His parents are unfortunately unable to come because they're out of town. The timing is bad, since Donghyuck will be moving in with Mark this week, but no matter how much Donghyuck begged them to stay they still left.

So Donghyuck rides in the back of the car in silence. He's nervous, he's never gone to an event by himself before. At least Renjun and Jeno, and even Jaemin, will be there for him tonight. There's no telling what will happen here, but Donghyuck can never get comfortable, not until he has a ring on his finger. At least that's what his mom tells him.

"Donghyuck-ah, we're here." His driver informs him.

"Thank you. There's no need to pick me up afterwards, I can get a ride." Donghyuck says, he'll probably stay with Jaemin tonight anyway.

"Of course, but tell me if you change your mind."
"I will." With that, Donghyuck gets out of the sleek black car.

Mark's family owns a mansion out in the country, Donghyuck has been her many times when he was a child, but he hasn't been here for many years. The all brick outside and big fountain in the front makes Donghyuck nostalgic. Things were so much more simplier when they were both just kids. None of these complicated feelings to distract them.

Donghyuck is immediately tended to when he walks up the marbled steps, one of the many servants of the manor takes him by the arm and leads him inside away from the brisk night air. He takes his coat off in the foyer and he is left to himself.

He knows that he is being overdramatic, but he is quite scared to walk through the huge door. And for some reason, he doesn't know why, he really doesn't want to see Mark right now.

It feels like the whole party stops to stare at him when he enters through the doors. Donghyuck flushes red, he's never had to deal with all of the attention himself, usually his parents are there to communicate with people and liven the room. He gulps, making a silent prayer that he won't embarrass himself in front of everyone.

"Donghyuck!" Jaemin is the first of his friends to greet him. Donghyuck has to admit, Jaemin looks really good in his navy blue suit that accentuates his lean body. He's gotten taller, the other notices, since the last time they've seen each other. His hair, which was a light pink (long story don't ask) a few weeks ago, is now jet black.

"Jaemin!" Donghyuck can't contain the smile that spreads across his face. It's been awhile since he got to be with his best friend. He doesn't even complain when Jaemin lifts him off the ground some with how tightly he hugs him.

"I've missed you so much!" Whines Jaemin, even adding an exaggerated pout. "I haven't seen you in forever.”

Donghyuck rolls his eyes fondly, "We talk with each other almost every day."

"Yeah but that's not the same thing as getting to see my beautiful face!" Donghyuck rolls his eyes at the younger, follows Jaemin over to the area that he is hanging out at with Renjun and Jeno. They both greet him, though not as dramatically as Jaemin, and Donghyuck makes himself comfty with them for awhile.

He hasn't seen Mark yet, which means that he is probably busy talking with some old folks. Donghyuck doesn't need to go look for him, he isn't needed, and he sure as hell doesn't want to

be dragged into entertaining people. He'll sit back until he is called for awhile. It's not everyday he has the chance to enjoy a party.

So he indulges in the light spread of appetizers that are set out on the long table in the middle of the room and he talks to his friends.

Jaemin goes into his fascinating few months in Jeju, like he hasn't told Donghyuck all of this already, but Donghyuck listens just as well. These types of gatherings can be quite a bore, so he needs something to talk about.

Renjun and Jeno are in their own world, as always. Their anniversary is in a few days and Donghyuck swears if he sees them kiss one more time, he is going to puke out the caviar he ate.

"Excuse me, may I get your attention please?"

Donghyuck looks up from his plate when he hears his fiancé’s voice on the speaker. On stage, in his brand new suit Donghyuck bought for him, is Mark Lee looking handsome as ever. Donghyuck hasn't seen him for the past week and it seems during that time he dyed his hair back to black. He has to admit, Mark has never looked better.

"Donghyuck, can you please come to the front?"

Suddenly, all eyes are on him. The brunette squirms a little in his seat. It takes a not so subtle nudge from Jaemin for Donghyuck to rise from his chair. He is a but confused as to why Mark is asking him to come on stage. There isn't really any reason for him to, at least not that he is aware of.

But he joins the older male at the front of the room anyway, he does have an image to uphold.

Mark takes Donghyuck's tanned hand into his own and guides him to stand in the middle of the stage.

"Donghyuck, I know that you aren't the type of person to take value in materialistic things, " Mark begins, he sounds a bit nervous, which has Hyuck worried as well.

"But I... I wanted to give you this. Just to show you how much you mean to me and that I want you to be with me until we're old and wrinkly." The crowd coos at this, but Donghyuck cringes. This is not a conversation that he wants everyone to hear.

"Mark, you know you don't need to get me anything."
"I know that, but I still want to." Mark looks like he's about to run off stage, but he closes his

eyes and takes a deep breath. When he opens his eyes again, he calmer than before but Donghyuck can see the doubt in his eyes.

When Mark pulls out a small velvet box, Donghyuck instantly panics. Mark. Is. Giving. Him. A. Ring.
Time seems to stand still and all he can see is that little ring box. Why is Mark giving him a ring? Does he like him? Which told him to? Is he buying him? But no, Mark would never do that. He knows that Donghyuck is independent, that he doesn't need Mark, he doesn't need any money. He's worth more than a ring isn't he?

Before he even knows what's happening, there are tears welling until his eyes, and he doesn't even know why he's crying. He's overwhelmed, he feels a panic attack coming on, and fuck he needs to get out of this place.

"Donghyuck!" He hears somebody call, but Donghyuck is already running. He can't let these people see him like this. He rushes pass through the crowd, not even caring about who he pushes into. He feels his heart hammering away in his chest, he needs to breathe.
He slams open the ballroom doors and runs, runs as fast as his legs can take him. He doesn't know if anyone is following him, and he honestly doesn't even care. He just needs to breathe.

Outside is freezing since it's already well into the night, and Donghyuck didn't bother to grab his coat.

Unfortunately, his phone is in his coat, so he can't call his driver to come pick him up. Sighing, Donghyuck collapses on the bench that is sat right by the small fountain. The tears that he'd been holding in finally start to fall, first one by one, but soon enough there is a stream of tears falling down his face. Donghyuck brings his knees up to his chest and wraps his arms around himself.

He sobs, he feels pitiful. He doesn't even have a reason to be this upset, nothing even happened, but he is still crying. He starts to shiver as well, the icy cold wind blowing right on his wet face.

Too caught up in his self pity party, Donghyuck doesn't even notice when a jacket is put on his shoulders. Or the familiar body that sits next to him.

"Are you alright?"

Mark is standing there, as handsome as always, with a small smile on his face. Donghyuck sniffs and tries to stop any more tears from falling, already embarrassed enough for running away from the party. The last thing he needs is to get pity from Mark fucking Lee.

"What are even doing here? Haven't I been embarrassed enough." Donghyuck is tired. He

doesnt have the energy to appease to Mark. He's tired of trying to please people. His parents, his teachers, people he doesn't even know. Mark. He's tired.

“I’m sorry for making you upset. I didn't mean for the present to be offensive." Mark sighs. He is sitting next to the younger boy, too close, and Donghyuck scoots slightly to the left.

"Hyuck, look I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."

Donghyuck lets out a chuckle, though no one says anything funny. "You're apologizing and you don't even know what for."

"It was the present, wasn't it?"
"I'm not so sure myself, Mark." Donghyuck admits. "I think in just a bit overwhelmed right now."

"Are you not wanting to do this?" Mark is quick to ask, "Because I would never force you into this. You know that."

"No, it's not that."

"Then what?"

"It's just... Why did you get me that ring?"

Mark is quiet for awhile, and Donghyuck starts to think that he isn't going to respond. But he does after some time.

"You know, you have always been so hard to figure out Lee Donghyuck. One minute, you're this loud and feisty Donghyuck that doesn't take shit from no one. The next, you're shy and quiet and you look like you just want someone to come save you."

"I've known you all my life, but I still don't actually know you. I'm not your best friend, there's so many things I don't even know about you. I thought, if I bought you something, then you'd see that I'm trying. I'm trying to get to know you better. I want to Hyuck. And I want you to let me do that."

Donghyuck doesn't know how to respond to that. Does he really want to get closer to Mark? Sure, he enjoys being with Mark, and he has a big crush on him, but is he ready for that? Why is he so hesitant to let Mark in? They're close, they have the same group of friends. So what's holding him back?

"Do you even want to go through with this engagement, Hyuck? Because if you don't, it's better

to tell me now than to wait until after we get married to regret it." Mark runs his hand through his hair, stressed.

"I-” Donghyuck doesn't want to cancel this, he's sure of that. "I don't want to cancel this, I don't hate you Mark. It's just that sometimes I get a little overwhelmed at the fact that this whole marriage is just for show."

"But it isn't just for show." Mark mumbles. He has a light blush crawling up his face, and Donghyuck's heart beats a little faster.

"Wha-what do you mean?"

Mark takes a deep breath in, "I mean that I'm not just marrying you for show. I actually kind of..... like you. I like you a lot."

Donghyuck's heart stops. Did Mark just what he thinks he just say? Mark likes him?
"....Are you going to say something." Mark mumbles.
"I.... I might have a crush on you too." Donghyuck confesses, but adds. "Just a little though." Mark relaxes and he is back to his regular self. "Sure keep telling yourself that Hyuck."

And that's how the night ends. With the two of them bickering back and forth. The air is still freezing, but Donghyuck didn't care anymore. Because he is with Mark, and Mark always makes him feel safe.

Especially when he wraps his arms around Donghyuck and kisses him like there is no tomorrow. Donghyuck can definitely get used to that part.