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Mark smelled change before he laid eyes on him. Sweet and sharp like the garden his mother used to keep.

 

“Excuse me, is this yours?”

 

Friday afternoon in the non-fiction section of the library, wrist deep in his stack of put-backs, Mark looks over his shoulder before he turns completely around. He’s faced with almond eyes steeped in plum eyeshadow and lips glossier than he’s used to seeing on guys around campus. Mark’s brain blows into a million mushy pieces. The scent of flowers in bloom, ripe for slaughter wafts up his nose while his tongue ties into knots and he starts to sputter, mouth filling with saliva in that gross-nervous way even though this (pretty) stranger is holding his ID card between his knobby fingers, nails the color of bleeding hearts.

 

“Earth to,” the boy pauses, looks down at the card, “Mark-eu Lee? That’s you isn’t it?”

 

They’re the same height and he’s got dark hair falling to his brow in soft waves, a face for cherubs, and he’s raising one slitted eyebrow at Mark’s dumbass face. 

 

“Yeah, sorry, that’s mine,” he laughs, making to grab for his ID but it’s pulled out of his reach.

 

“Donghyuck, Lee Donghyuck,” ID thief says, leaning against the bookcase Mark is working on. 

 

He’s wearing the same sneakers Jeno, his most reliable dongsaeng, spent three hours waiting in line for last week, jeans ripped to high hell with legs a mile long, and a shiny black puffer coat. He doesn’t look like he should be talking to Mark. Mark who still rolls up the cuffs of his pants so high you can see his white ankle socks (no matter how many times Jaehyun tells him he looks like a nerdy fuckin’ momma’s boy), his round wire-framed glasses that have always felt just a tad too big for his face, and braces that make it hard for him to smile the way he wants to.

 

“What?”

 

“My name, Lee. Dong. Hyuck,” Lee Donghyuck emphasizes, eyeing Mark so heavy he stands a little straighter.

 

Mark goes red, the same flaming red of the pen Donghyuck pulls out of his bag to write his name and number on the inside of Mark’s wrist, the sleeve of his Oxford pushed up tight on his forearm while he peeks around the sunlit library while Donhyuck tugs little facts out of him. You’re studying finance? You graduate next year? You work here on which days? Will you text me later, hyung? You will. 

 

He’s gone as quick as a dream, taking his flowery scent with him. Mark’s still in the quiet library, sunlight warming his back, his put-backs still not put back, but feels like he might burst at the seams. Who is he now after getting the number of a guy like that? If he’s learned anything, life can do nothing but take a nosedive after accidentally reaching a pinnacle like Lee Donghyuck. 

                                                                                                                    //

Mark’s just trying to make it through this one degree. He doesn’t like finance but his parents do, and that’s where the money is. Mark goes to class, works in the university library, comes back to the dorm he shares with Jaehyun, studies hunched over at his desk for hours for tests that are weeks away. Jaehyun comes back from his late classes to eat dinner with him and ramble while Mark picks food out of his braces in a handheld mirror. 

 

Sometimes Jeno comes over, or the foreign exchange student who always introduces himself with his full name, Dong Sicheng, but Jaehyun seems to be fond of him. Mark thinks Dong Sicheng is an anomaly. Jaehyun says Mark’s sweater vests are more of an anomaly than anything else. 

 

Jaehyun keeps telling Mark he needs to meet new people, especially since he’s graduating this semester, and he and Jeno (and Dong Sicheng) aren’t enough. Hyung just wants you to get laid, Jeno snickers when Mark grumbles about it. Jeno’s fucking some nutty Chemistry major who functions on two hours of sleep and eats venti iced americanos with four extra expresso shots for breakfast, so he doesn’t exactly have to worry about “meeting new people”. 

 

Mark’s experience totals up to nothing in comparison, only drunkenly kissing a few people in a closet during a party Johnny threw his sophomore year. It’s those geek clothes you love wearing because your mom says you look handsome, Jaehyun reminded him last week. No, he’s just oblivious and shy, Jeno shot back, poking around Mark’s closet. Dong Sicheng didn’t comment from his perch on Jaehyun’s bed. 

 

But when Mark bursts into their smoky dorm room in the middle of Jaehyun passing Jeno the biggest blunt Mark’s ever seen, he announces that he’s got fucking news and flashes them Donghyuck’s faded number on his wrist (already typed into his phone during his lunch break). 

 

Dong Sicheng actually raises his eyebrows from his cocoon of Jaehyun’s blankets, lowering his phone. His eyes are low and red, high as hell already. 

 

“You’re not gonna die a virgin after all, huh?” Jaehyun smiles and lays back on his bed, head pillowed on Dong Sicheng. “So, what’s their name?”

 

                                                                                                                        //

 

Jaehyun and Jeno don’t just know of Donghyuck, they know him. Lee Donghyuck who takes 18 credits a semester because he’s driven, has a 3.9 GPA because he’s a genius, gets up early to do his own fucking makeup, and broke so many hearts in his hometown that his whole family had to move to avoid being burned at the stake. Oh, and he rooms with Na Jaemin, spawn of satan and espresso shot psycho. Hey, he’s my espresso shot psycho, Jeno cut in. 





Mark scrolls through Donghyuck’s Instagram (with a whopping 37, 500 followers), head floaty from the weed and texting back and forth with Donghyuck. It’s almost one in the morning and he’s got mid-shift at the library tomorrow. He hasn’t even ironed his clothes. Jeno’s half-asleep beside him on his tiny bed, blinking his heavy eyes and laughing at nothing every so often. Jaehyun and Dong Sicheng are still playing Animal Crossing, giggling softly. 

 

“Why didn’t you guys introduce me to him before?” Mark asks, almost shy.

 

Jeno wriggles to face him fully, plucking at his bottom lip and his slitted eyes trawling over Mark’s face. His mouth feels dry, heart picking up pace when Jeno looks at him, just like anyone else’s would. Jeno’s face is just as soft and bubbly and charming as his personality. He could like someone like Mark: uptight, brace-face at 20, dorky Mark Lee, and it would be believable, expected even. Jeno with his heart of gold. But Lee Donghyuck who must’ve been a homewrecker in his past life (and could be one now if he so wished it) becoming infatuated with Mark? Nothing he could’ve ever come up with. 

 

“Because boys like that ,” Jaehyun speaks up before Jeno can, as serious as he’s ever heard him, “will break your heart and then keep it.”

 

For a long second, Animal Crossing on Dong Sicheng’s phone is the only noise in the room. Jeno turns to look towards the photos tacked to the wall above Jaehyun’s desk, most of them of Jaehyun, Johnny, and Taeyong. Johnny and Taeyong are already gone, flushed out into what Mark calls the Real World where you’ve got to work a 9 to 5 and get eight hours of sleep and try to not get fired within the first three months. They disappeared there together and Taeyong only left a sticky note on their door last February to let Jaehyun know he’d be going back to Chicago with Johnny. sorry i didn’t tell you sooner. be good, love you :). 

 

Mark never saw Jaehyun cry about it, never one to get upset where people can see him, but he’s kept Taeyong’s name out of his mouth like some sort of jinx. Doesn’t pick up any calls from him or Johnny, but he doesn’t reject them either.  The funny ringtones Jaehyun used to love bouncing off the dorm walls at odd times of the night, you have reached the voicemail box of--



“Donghyuck didn’t seem like your type, I guess, hyung,” Jeno finally says. 

 

They leave it at that. Donghyuck sends Mark a picture before he goes to sleep. He’s bare-faced, a peace sign to his cheek, and a message: night, hyung. talk to you in the morning. 

 

“Oh,” Jeno slurs, squinting against the phone’s glare beside him, “isn’t he a confident bastard?”

 

He promptly starts snoring afterward. 

 

                                                                                                                             //

He gets pictures of Donghyuck’s outfits every day for almost two weeks, usually when he’s already in his 8 am finance seminar or manning the desk during his mid-shift at the library. Mark has to press a fist to his mouth to suppress a smile and tells Donghyuck that he looks nice (or cute when Donghyuck pushes for more). 

 

They’ve barely been able to meet between their classes and Mark’s job, but Donghyuck stops by the library for ten or fifteen minutes at a time, trailing behind Mark, whispering dumb shit to get him to laugh ( I wanna see your braces, what color are they, again?) and smelling like strawberries or vanilla bean or Mark’s favorite crushed-petal-smell, before landing a soft kiss on Mark’s cheek and leaving with a shy text me later, hyung. He leaves a sticky, cherry balm patch in the shape of his mouth on Mark’s cheek every time. Mark stopped trying to rub it off when he noticed his fingers and wrists would smell like Donghyuck’s mouth for hours, and that left him hot under his stupid collar until he got back to his dorm. 

                                                                                                                           //

“Are you gonna’ keep texting him like a eunuch? It’s been like two weeks, dude, ask him out on an actual date,” Jaehyun says on Mark’s way out to class. 

 

Dong Sicheng is gone from the room without a trace and its not even 7:30 am.

 

“I’m getting to it, okay, jeez.”

 

On his way to class, he sends Donhyuck a picture of him smiling awkwardly in the too bright sun, copying his peace sign to the face. He opted for a graphic t-shirt and a windbreaker instead of his usual button-up and decides to say this: my bands are white, in case you forgot hahaha. 

 

While his professor drones on about--whatever it is they drone on about--Donghyuck texts him back. 

 

Hyuckie: your mouth looks cute. send me moreee <3.

 

The clock on the wall tick tick ticks while Mark thinks of a response, leg bouncing. When the girl next to him side-eyes him for making his chair squeak, he says fuck it. 

 

To Hyuckie : what’s your favorite color? haha?

 

                                                                                                                          //

It takes another two weeks for Mark to ask him out on an actual date. Not just slow walks to Donghyuck’s dorm at night, shoulders bumping under the lights lining the paths until their pinkies lock and then burst into full-on hand-holding. The first time he was brave enough to ask Donghyuck if he could walk him back to his room instead of parting ways at the library once his shift was over, he dragged Mark, poor Mark, and his tangled feet, into the grass where the lights didn’t reach to kiss him sweet and eager on the mouth, soft hands cradling Mark’s surprised face.

 

It was the first time he didn’t mind the sting of his braces digging into his lips.

                                                                                                                        //



At the end of the second week, Donghyuck comes into the library right before it closes, batting his doe eyes and telling Mark he needs a book in Latin. 

 

“Could you please help me, mister?” he fake pouts, leaning over the reception desk in a purple parka and a loose, grey t-shirt. 

 

Mark trips over his feet to get around the desk, apologizing to the small study group a few feet away when he knocks an empty wire organizer over. Donghyuck holds in a laugh and tugs him away by the pinky. 

 

They go to the back where the old cameras don’t work, where the old language books go to die and couples do things Mark hates to stumble upon.

 

But Donghyuck corners him against the Latin stacks and slips Mark’s glasses off carefully, placing them on the bookcase behind his head. His hair is almond brown this week, a fresh dye job, and violet rimmed eyes that make Mark want to squirm under his demure stare. 

 

“Take off your elastics, hyung,” Donghyuck commands, low and breathy.  

 

Mark tilts his head, confused, but finds himself unhooking his rubber bands anyway when Donghyuck begs ( c’mon, take them off for me, hyung, just really quick, we won’t get caught ), tucking them away in his pocket. 

 

Donghyuck’s right, no one catches him kissing Mark’s mouth softly once, twice, cherry balm making their lips stick, and then dipping his tongue inside easily, rolling right over his braces so smooth Mark whimpers, hands scrabbling to hold Donghyuck’s tiny waist. Those drunken nights at Johnny’s parties were nothing like this: Donghyuck echoing Mark’s small noises with a moan of his own, Mark chasing Donghyuck’s mouth when he tries to pull away, doesn’t care that he can’t breathe, and digging his fingers into Donghyuck’s hips.

 

“Slow, slow, like this,” Donghyuck whispers, trying for calm when Mark gets desperate, too much spit and trying to stuff his tongue down Donghyuck’s throat, playing keep-away with his hips because his dick is pressed hot and hard to his zipper. 

 

He sweeps Mark’s hair from his forehead before kissing him achingly slow and deep, sucking on Mark’s tongue, and rolling his hips gently with these small, kittenish whimpers. They only stop when Mark’s jaw is aching something fierce and the last announcement for the library closing is made over the tinny speakers. 

 

Even then, Donghyuck just fists the hair at Mark’s nape and noses behind his ear, forcing Mark to keep him bookmarked between his body and the cold metal of the bookcase. 

 

“I like you so much, hyung,” he murmurs, visceral.

 

There’s no one but the long forgotten languages, dust mites, and Donghyuck to hear him say it, finally. 

 

“M-me too, Hyuck-ah,” Mark barely wheezes it out, his heart like hummingbird wings. 

 

When Donghyuck finally backs away, taking one last lungful, nose tucked tight against Mark’s throat, he’s all droopy, horny eyes with a swollen mouth and cock. This is no schoolyard crush, Donghyuck can, and probably will, obliterate him, the type of devastation that only miracle boys, blessed way before their birth, can deliver. 

 

Mark fumbles to put his elastics back in with shaking hands and tells Donghyuck to wait in the front until he’s done helping close up, can’t bear to look straight at Donghyuck’s face when he can still feel his heartbeat in his fucking dick. 



Mark walks him home after like he isn’t blue balled and panting for just one more taste. 

                                                                                                                                //

 

(He runs his tongue along his braces over and over and over while he ambles back to his dorm, thinking of Donghyuck’s cherry-flavored mouth all the while).

 

                                                                                                                               //

Jaemin and Mark meet once (1). He’s sitting on Mark’s bed when he comes back from dropping Donghyuck off. Jeno and Jaehyun are playing Mario Kart on Dong Sicheng’s (not pictured here) new Switch (on Jaehyun’s generous dime), huddled on the floor between the beds. 

 

“Hyung, you remember Jaemin, right?” Jeno waves without looking up.

 

“Uh--yeah, hey.”

 

Jaemin watches him go through his usual routine: taking off his shoes at the door, hopping over Jeno and Jaehyun to set his bag down on his desk, takes out his elastics, texts Donghyuck that he got in safe, and turns around. Jaemin’s got a i-know-something-you-don’t-smile and serial killer eyes. Mark’s never trusted him anyway, not since Jeno said he puts cilantro in his ramen. 

 

“Did Donghyuck make it in okay, hyung?” Jaemin smiles, all his perfectly straight teeth showing. 

 

“Yeah. I walked him to the door.”

 

He doesn’t say that they sucked face one more time before Donghyuck pushed him away so he could make it back before it got too late. He’s sure Jaemin must see it on his face, dazed. 

 

When Mark goes to step over Jaemin’s legs and Jeno’s head, Jaemin stands, sudden and in Mark’s face so fast he freezes. Jeno squawks, wriggling, one of Mark’s legs in his line of vision, but Mark doesn’t move--can’t move, when Jaemin leans in towards his ear, smelling like Jeno’s favorite cologne.

 

“You know, I bet Hyuck could smell virgin on you like a second skin from the moment he met you,” Jaemin whispers and backs away, still smiling, “ hyung .”

 

                                                                                                                             //

 

Donghyuck texts him again when Mark is under his blankets, trying not to make a sound as he jerks off to the picture Donghyuck sent him earlier; fresh out the shower, his damp, hazel hair a halo on his pillow, and his mouth open to show Mark the slick-pink of his mouth and the black hole of his throat ( do you think my tonsils are swollen? ), and says he wants to see a B-rated horror flick their school is showing in the small theatre of the main building for their first official date and is that okay? 

 

Mark texts him back, yes, anything is okay, when all he’s really thinking is yesyesyes, anything for you , while he spills over his fist, jaw clenched so tight his orthodontist is going to have to fix a broken bracket when Mark sees him in the morning. 

                                                                                                                              //

 

The student manning the ticket booth outside the theatre looks Mark up and down as he walks up, eyebrows raised as she stops leaning her chin on her hand. The tickets are only 7,000 won each and printed on thick paper, the ink faded. It’s a slow Friday night with most of the students preferring to bar crawl than watch a movie on university grounds, while sober to top it off. 

 

Mark trots over to the heavy, metal doors of the theatre to wait for Donghyuck. Jaehyun and Jeno dressed him for the occasion. I call this Nerdy but Make It Hot, Jeno claimed. Jaehyun snorted as he perfected Mark’s side part. Wearing an Oxford shirt and khakis was nothing new, but the navy blue graphic sweater with a pair of converse he never wore is. Bears? He said, looking at himself in the mirror as Jeno folded the shirt and sweater to his elbow, nice and neat. Yes, now shut up and get out of here. Donghyuck is gonna bust a nut when he sees you.

 

“Confidence, Mark Lee, confidence,” he mutters as he adjusts his glasses and sees Donghyuck strolling up to him. 



Donghyuck’s hair is lighter, almost blonde, and wind-whipped. He’s smiling so wide his tongue pokes through his teeth and his bubble coat is open to show his gauzy, black button-up with tiny white hearts, the top few buttons undone to expose his neck and chest, and a silver choker sitting snug against his throat. He’s got on black jeans, the ones ripped at the knee that make Mark go a little nuts, and heeled boots. 

 

What really has Mark going starry-eyed is his eye makeup; glittery gold like his highlight dusted across his cheeks and nose, Mark’s learned small things from him. His lipgloss is flecked with glitter, too, and he looks dreamy, nothing Mark could have conjured up on his own.

 

“Do I look okay?” Donghyuck laughs, chin high but his eyes skitter away.

 

“Shimmery,” Mark tries to say, but he’s got a lisp after getting his braces tightened, so it sounds more like thimmery , and he cracks an embarrassed laugh after. 

 

“Hyung. Open your mouth.”

 

His orthodontist looked at him funny when he chose it. That’s not like you, that’s a bright color, the old man inquired but he changed Mark’s bands quickly, fixed the bracket Mark broke, and tightened his braces. Nothing about his visit was ordinary. 

 

“You said it was your favorite color,” Mark says and gives Donghyuck a wide, childish smile so he can see his new bands. 

 

Rosy red: the color of Donghyuck’s nails when he met him, the ink he wrote his number in on the thin skin of Mark’s wrist, the color of Donghyuck’s cherished cherry lip balm, and of every heart Donghyuck still has hooked on a line, dragging in the dirt behind him wherever he goes. 

 

“Mark-eu Lee,” Donghyuck steps close, close enough for Mark to smell strawberries on his breath, “take off your elastics.”

 

And he floats past Mark into the theatre. 

 

                                                                                                                               //

If someone told him--scratch that, no one needs to tell him that there was only a .1% of Mark, with his sweater vests, high water pants, and white ankle socks, and dorky brace-face, getting to take homme fatale Donghyuck with his shimmery eyeshadow, glossed lips, and heartbreak smile on a late-night date. 

 

But Mark beat all the fucking odds. 

 

In the back of the dark, mostly empty theatre, Mark’s trying to pay attention to the movie. It’s almost done, about 30 minutes left judging by all the screaming the female lead is doing. Truth is, his eyes won’t really focus on the screen when Donghyuck’s been squeezing the entire length of his leg, starting from his knee and slowly working his way up, just to do it all over again when his knuckles brush feather-light against Mark’s crotch. His legs kept slamming shut at first but Donghyuck would just nudge them back open without even looking Mark’s way. 

 

When someone on screen finally dies, Donghyuck takes Mark’s right hand and drags it over to his side, slides Mark’s sweaty palm down his warm thigh until he feels the bare, soft skin of his knee. He wonders if Donghyuck can hear him semi-hyperventilating. Donghyuck lifts his hand away, eyes still on the movie, and Mark decides to get brave (desperate) and wriggles his fingers into the rip, pretty sure he’s stretching out the material trying to get his entire hand inside. 

 

Donghyuck’s skin is flower-petal-soft, especially behind the knee. He must’ve shaved just for this, for Mark, although Mark doesn’t care, he’s just grateful he gets to put a hand on him. He tucked into his left pants leg and he’s paying for it, cock drippy-wet and pulsing against his thigh because getting his hand as far up on Donghyuck’s bare leg as possible might as well be sex to him. 

 

“Tell me if this is okay,” Donghyuck suddenly whispers in his ear, sounding out of breath. 

 

Mark turns to ask what, but ends up gasping, thighs slamming together with the suddenness of Donghyuck’s ring and middle fingers curling right under his balls, cradling them through his khaki’s, and his thumb running along the length of his shaft. 

 

“Okay, very okay,” Mark croaks and eases his twitching legs open. 

 

He keeps his blurry eyes on the screen while Donghyuck pinches at the tip of his cock, making precome dribble out of him like a leaky faucet, and massages the rest of him with a curious hand. He purrs into Mark’s flaming ear, pleased, and cups his sac with a gentle hand. Mark’s holding onto Donghyuck’s thigh for dear fucking life. 

 

When the credits suddenly go rolling and the lights start to come back on, Mark slips his hand from the inside of Donghyuck’s jeans and sits up, head spinning from an almost-orgasm. 

 

“Hey, hyung,” Donghyuck nudges him with his elbow, voice faux soft. 

 

When Mark looks over in the low light, Donghyuck is slouched indecently, hand down his own jeans to readjust his dick so it tucks into his waistband. He flashes Mark the sticky tip of him, an angry red, and collects the slick gathered there with his thumb. His heart hammers hard enough for his vision to go fuzzy as Donghyuck reaches over to smear his precome over Mark’s bottom lip. He doesn’t have to force his way into Mark’s mouth as he runs his thumb across his sore gums, his tongue, and pushes it as far back as Mark will allow. 

 

Mark almost jizzes himself right there, thinking that he’ll be able to taste Donghyuck’s slick in the back of his throat when he beats off to this moment later on. He just has to get out of the theatre and take Donghyuck back to his dorm and he’ll be free to scuttle off to his room and jerk his dick raw. 

 

“Come back to my room, Mark hyung,” Donghyuck rasps, taking his thumb back and sucking Mark’s saliva off. 

 

There he goes, turning Mark’s life upside down again. Yeah, the only thing Mark never had a chance against was Lee Donhyuck and his shimmery eyeshadow. 

 

                                                                                                                              //

 

Thing is, Donghyuck’s got fuck me eyes, the ones like the pin-up girls in the old-timey skin mags Mark found in the archives of the library once. And he always smells like he wants to be eaten, leaves Mark starving, wanting to devour him whole. Mark didn’t know what that was like before him.  He sends Mark pictures of his plush mouth and big eyes and messy hair with innocent messages. Mark’s been sweet about it, respectful like his parents taught him to be, but almost 21 years of abstinence and weeks of pining, Mark couldn’t have stopped this. 

 

They sped walked to Donghyuck’s dorm room, Donghyuck’s hair glowing under the streetlights and Mark feeling out of his element; skin tight and hot. It was deathly silent in the hallway as Donghyuck fumbled to get his key out and unlock the door. 

 

They tumbled into the dark room, knocking noses as the door slammed shut, tripping over clothes, shoes, and textbooks just to flop down on Donghyuck’s single bed, toeing off their shoes. The moon and amber lights from outside let Mark see Donghyuck’s black hole eyes and pillowy mouth, left him wondering what Donghyuck saw of him before he was yanked down by his collar into another whirlwind kiss. 

 

Here, now, Mark can’t help the way he ends up popping the last few buttons, tearing Donghyuck’s shirt open so he can kiss from the sweaty hollow of Donghyuck’s throat, down the middle of his bird bone chest, kiss over his stiff, tawny nipples, and down to his heaving, soft belly; a light trail of hair disappearing into his jeans. 

 

“I can’t believe hyung got his bands in my favorite color, that’s so sweet,” Donghyuck gasps out of nowhere, hand on the nape of Mark’s burning neck where he’s sucking a daisy ring of hickey’s around his belly button. 

 

Mark groans and licks a hot path back up Donghyuck's body. Mark didn’t get flowers but he got him a semi-permanent place in his mouth, and Mark hates standing out. But he’d think of Donghyuck every time he looked in the mirror or ran his teeth over his braces the whole day, and, by extension, so will everyone else who notices the outlandish color of his bands. Jaehyun saw him when he got back and called him a fucking genius. If the kid didn’t want you to fuck his brains out before-- and Mark had to cover his mouth from the explicitness of it all. 

 

Donghyuck sucks on his tongue while Mark settles in between his thighs to rut down against him, play-fucking Donghyuck into his squeaky mattress. It’s every wet dream he’s had for weeks and he could come like this, fast and messy, Donghyuck’s legs hooked tight around his waist, but that’s not what he came here for. Not tonight. 

 

“I don’t know how to—I’ve never—“ Mark blurts, breathless and grinding his hips in dirty circles.

 

“I know, I know, it’s okay,” Donghyuck coos, letting Mark pull away. 

 

He’s illuminated only by the streetlights outside and the moon and whatever else Mark can make out in the dark, but he’s unreal. Glittery eyes and damp mouth, his torn shirt pooled around him, neck glistening. Lee Donghyuck is an anomaly, too, or maybe a succubus or an incubus, Mark always forgets the difference. 

 

“I know you don’t know how this goes, but you’ll get the hang of it. I’ll teach you, hyung,” Donghyuck gives him a sleazy smile. 

 

“Okay, okay, you devil.”

 

“Take off your sweater before you sweat to death, let’s start there, Can-ah-da,” Donghyuck sing-songs.

 

Mark’s brow is sweaty and his hair is starting to fall in his face. He sits back on his haunches to tug it off, his Oxford shirt bunching up over his stomach, but he decides to take that off, too, while he’s at it. When he finally gets his undershirt over his head, Donghyuck is propped up on his elbows, stroking his stomach with one hand and staring at Mark’s cock pitching a tent in his khakis. He doesn’t know whether to be proud or to cower away.

 

“How far do you want to go?” Donghyuck asks as he sits up to unbuckle Mark’s belt with deft, gentle fingers, slow enough in case Mark wants to stop him. “It’s fine if you don’t want to go all the way.”

 

“I—uh, I don’t know, can we just—whatever?”

 

“Yeah, we can whatever, hyung,” he murmurs hotly, eyes on the prize. 

 

He yanks Mark’s khakis and boxers down together and tells him to lay back as he stands up. Donghyuck’s belly is flat but soft where Mark’s got muscle, and he’s got little pudgy hips, and an hourglass figure Mark couldn’t see while he was dressed. He gets rid of his jeans and keeps his briefs on as he sinks down to his knees, easy. 

 

“C’mere,” he rasps, tugging Mark down by his thighs until he’s sitting on the edge of the bed. 

 

Mark can hear his heartbeat in his ears as Donghyuck takes him in his warm hand and strokes him loosely a few times before getting his mouth on him. Mark moans loud, surprised by the wet suction, toes curling in his socks. Donghyuck bullies his way past his quivering thighs to take him deeper, setting a steady, sloppy-wet rhythm immediately. 

 

“Oh my god , oh my fucking Jesus —I don’t think I’ll last,” he pants, his s’s dragging, and digging one hand into Donghyuck’s shoulder.

 

Donghyuck just moans and fits a hand under his chin to fondle Mark’s balls, his mouth following after, tonguing 

each of them so sweet it has his eyes crossing and jaw dropping open, making Mark forget how sore he’s felt since getting his braces tightened that morning.

 

“Do you wanna fuck me?” Donghyuck murmurs from between his legs, might as well be begging with those eyes. 

 

Mark gulps and nods, he probably won’t last long enough for Donghyuck to enjoy it but he’s got to start somewhere. He’s wanted nothing more than to finally get his dick in him. 

 

Donghyuck shoots up and staggers towards the corner of the room to rifle through his drawer, shimmying out of his underwear. He finds the lube and Mark can only see his silhouette from the bed; the curve of his spine as he reaches back, tippy-toe’d, and slips something tiny and silver out of his hole with a relieved moan. 

 

“Was that—the whole time?” Mark squeaks as Donghyuck comes back towards him in the muted light. 

 

“Yeah, didn’t want to wait if we got this far. Next time I’ll let you finger me, but not right now,” he pants, climbing into Mark’s lap, knees on either side of his hips. 

 

He’s still got the silver choker on and his chest is pushed into Mark’s face as he fits a couple of lubed fingers up his hole quickly. Mark steadies him with a hand on his hip and fits his mouth around a nipple while he tries not to get too into his head or he’ll come untouched. 

 

“Alright, think that should be good,” Donghyuck spits and settles back down, reaching behind himself to slick up Mark’s aching cock.

 

“Shouldn’t we lay down?” Mark slurs, leaning back on one hand, the other still keeping Donghyuck steady from his perch in his lap. 

 

“No, no,” he says in a rush, “you’ll come quick anyway, I don’t think I’ll last either, so just like this—want it like this, hyung.”

 

Mark’s thighs tremble as Donghyuck sits on him, hole fluttering and Mark’s cock throbbing in response. His eyes roll back and he tries not to cry out, thin gasps leaving him as he tries not to come before Donghyuck has even got him all the way in.

 

“It’s so wet—and hot ,” Mark stammers, “I wasn’t expecting it to feel—“ 

 

Donghyuck shudders a laugh as Mark breaks off into a gurgle, trembling a little in the circle of his arms. He hasn’t gone even a little soft the whole time either.

 

“You thought about fucking me that much, hm?” Donghyuck croons into his ear, breath hitching as Mark’s hips buck into him impatiently. “Just don’t go shooting off early like a virgin.

 

Oddly, Mark remembers Jaemin’s words then, while Donghyuck starts egging Mark on, licking the shell of his ear and whining about how he thinks he can feel Mark in his stomach. Maybe Donghyuck could smell virgin on him like a second skin the first time they met.



They fuck like that, Mark wrapping an arm around his waist, feet on the floor so he can pound up into him. Donghyuck rides him as best he can, bouncing on his knees. He holds Mark’s head to his neck, lips pressed to his sweaty temple, sobbing every time Mark curls his hips and digs into him. 

 

“You feel so good, hyung, you’re so deep, wanted you to do me like this since we met— oh my god,” Donghyuck whispers sloppily into his mouth.

 

Mark holds him tighter at that, leans forward so he can get his free hand around Donghyuck’s cock. He’s stiff and dripping, squealing as jolts in Mark’s lap while he strokes him off. Mark didn’t think about how his thighs might burn or the sting of his hips meeting Donghyuck’s ass, everything is new and too good, and he can’t help the way his balls draw up tight as he fucks to come. 

 

“Can I come inside? Do I?” Mark sputters, drool collecting in the corner of his mouth. 

 

Donghyuck slows in his lap, leaning away with his eyebrows drawn together, makeup and hair a mess. Mark groans, ruts into the tight clutch of him, whole body on edge, he’s never needed to come so badly in his life. 

 

“Yeah, hyung, I’ll let you come in me,” Donghyuck says, thumb sweeping over and then into Mark’s mouth, rubbing over his braces. 

 

Mark plants his feet steady to pound up into him again and Donghyuck throws his head back on a shout. It doesn’t last long, of course.  He comes holding Donghyuck down on his dick, quivering hips pressed to his ass, snarling into Donghyuck’s shoulder. His jaw pops as he spends himself inside, feels like he throbs into Donghyuck forever, the best fucking orgasm Mark’s ever had. 

 

He barely remembers to get Donghyuck off, too, muttering a weak apology as he licks his palm and fits his hand around him. Mark leans back a little on his free hand to watch Donghyuck grind down on his slowly softening cock, mouthing at his chest and telling him how good he felt, how hard he made Mark come, and how he’s glad Donghyuck was his first. That makes Donghyuck shoot over their chests, sobbing weakly, and clenching around Mark over and over until Mark is nothing but a live wire, gasping from oversensitivity so intense it feels like he’s coming a second time. 

 

Afterward, lying flat on his back with Donghyuck sitting up in his lap, Mark dips his fingers inside of him, warm with Mark’s cum and lube, and finger fucks him until he’s shaking through another orgasm. Just because. 

 

“We should get you to the showers, Hyuckie,” Mark says, running his hand along Donghyuck’s spine. 

 

Donghyuck doesn’t say anything and they continue to lay in bed, listening to bar crawlers stumble to their rooms in the hallway and the vibrations of one of their phones on the floor, until the lone street lamp outside the window flickers out completely, leaving them with only the moon. Donghyuck leans up to kiss him lazily every so often and to see his red bands, a smile on his sleepy face. Mark can smell fresh flowers on Donghyuck’s pillow and sheets and hair and skin. He doesn’t ask where it’s coming from, doesn’t really care when it reminds him of the first time they met.

 

“Alright, c’mon, let's shower and then sleep.”

 

                                                                                                                             //

 

He wakes up bleary-eyed to Donghyuck kissing his forehead, his temple, and cheek, calling for him to wake up, sleepyhead, so pretty in the pale sunlight. Jaemin never came back and Mark tries not to think too hard on that as he shuffles into his clothes, still sorta asleep. Donghyuck is wearing Mark’s daisy chain around his belly button and a loose t-shirt and sweats while humming happily; fluffing his hair in the mirror. 

 

“You look hot,” Mark says, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes and popping his jaw. 

 

“Of course I do,” he snorts, smiling. 

 

While Donghyuck is promising him another good fuck later ( but I want you to eat me out before I let you fuck me again) , and locking his room door, Mark remembers his 8 am seminar he was supposed to be at. But Donghyuck convinces him to skip as they walk out the building. Mark shields his face against the sun and the hustle and bustle of the campus. Donghyuck kisses him goodbye and squeezes his hand while Mark stands there trying to get his bearings. His jaw is still sore and he forgot to put his elastics in and his shirt feels itchy, but he feels fucking good.

 

He stumbles back towards his own dorm room to pass out in bed. Fuck his 8 am (and the rest of his classes). Mark sleeps deep, Donghyuck an echo in the dark, and doesn’t wake up even when someone comes in.

 

                                                                                                                               //

 

When he finally does come back from the dead, Dong Sicheng is standing in the space between the beds, bookbag on, face stony as always. But his oracle eyes peer down at Mark, waiting. 

 

“Hey—“

 

“I think he’s good for you,” he says.

 

Mark blinks up at him for a little, not shocked because Dong Sicheng is weird, but also shocked because Dong Sicheng is usually not weird to him. 

 

“Thanks, man.”

 

Sicheng leaves the room, door clicking shut.

 

Mark sits up in the afternoon sun, looking to start on homework or something while he waits for Donghyuck to finish with his classes. The mostly bare space above Jaehyun’s desk catches his eye, though. There’s only a single picture of Jaehyun and Sicheng, smiling as wide as Mark’s ever seen them, taped to the wall, fluttering in the gentle breeze from the open window. 

                                                                                                                            //

 

(Maybe it was the seagull eyebrows, the wide eyes, the small mouth that spread into a naive smile, revealing a brace-face no one could resist, not even Donghyuck. It could also be how Mark saw god in the gloss of Donghyuck’s mouth and couldn’t stop staring. Or was it how the single vein in Mark’s wrist pound-pound-pounded under Donghyuck’s pen as he wrote his name and number down, how Donghyuck imagined the red ink sinking deep, so that Mark would keep his name (and number) in his bloodstream forever. 

 

More than likely it was just Mark-eu Lee in his stuffy shirts and khaki pants and dorky laugh, and his sacred “party trick”, which was just him strumming his elastics like guitar strings, an absolute fucking nerd. Then getting embarrassed when Donghyuck didn’t laugh about it immediately. That’s what knocked him on his ass. 

 

Renjun asked what was so special about Mark Lee, the poster boy for geeky virgins everywhere, when Donghyuck wouldn’t shut the fuck up about him. Not when they’d eat, not in class, not while Donghyuck was painting his nails or doing his makeup. Do you think he jerks off thinking about me? Do you think he’s got a big dick? I wonder if he’s one of those gross nerds. I’d love that shit. I wanna make his dick wet. I know he’s a virgin, Renjun, I can see it in him. It’s so hot knowing that I’m gonna snatch it. And the fact that he wants me to? I’m gonna fuck him up for anyone else, ever

 

Donghyuck is the one who got away because he never wanted to be the one in the first place. Renjun was sure he’d leave Mark in the dust, too. Like Donghyuck did with Lucas, Yang Yang, that one TA Taeil, and a whole other bunch of no-name-wannabes that never got a first date. 

 

But Renjun spied on them once when he followed Donghyuck to the library. Donghyuck had heart eyes the size of the moon, even from afar, and Mark had origami’d a rose out of a page of a book for him. He offered it up with a timid smile, scratching the back of his neck like he wasn’t dicking Donghyuck down on the regular at that point. Renjun approved after that.)




                                                                                                                             //



Mark’s brother warned him that college was weird. It’ll be weird as fuck , he actually said, right after his own college graduation while they were taking a picture, smiles stiff. Mark thought he was just being overprotective. 

 

His brother didn’t warn him about Jaehyun with his half-shattered heart and Dong Sicheng, who Mark is still convinced is not from this world at all (though sometimes Mark caught him staring at the pictures above Jaehyun’s desk like he could incinerate them), and Jeno who looks like he never pay attention in class but still gets straight A’s, and Jaemin with his bottom-dweller eyes, his shark smile, and perpetually pink hair, and Renjun’s ability to be neither here nor there, eyes in someplace other than what’s in front of him, and all the other oddities he’s met up until this point. 

 

Jaehyun flips the mattress with one last sigh while Mark watches, standing near the door. Most of the other people in their dorm have already left but he and Jaehyun are taking their time. This February isn’t as cold as last year’s so the window is open, the curtains parted to let the sun in. 

 

“That’s that,” Jaehyun says, mouth in a thin line, dimpling his cheeks. 

 

Mark clears his throat, “Yeah, time for you to go into the Real World, hyung.”

 

The graduation ceremony was a blur, just like this whole semester, unsurprising when he was seeing through rosy-eyes as he was. Mark skipped class more than he’s ever done in his life, met people he’d only seen in passing, and his balls have never felt so light. 

 

“Funny how it all starts out,” Jaehyun smiles, bathed in sunlight, like a memory already. 

 

Mark barely finds the energy to laugh. He’s got a lot to be grateful for but this just feels--

 

“I’m glad he left.”

 

Mark startles, mouth gaping as Jaehyun giggles. 

 

“Yeah, yeah, me too,” Mark rushes out, only half true. 

 

Taeyong still texts him and he still talks with Johnny often, too. But it was still fucked up, leaving Jaehyun fucked up. They don’t say much after that, they can only smile.

                                                                                                                                //

 

“Hey, hyung?” Donghyuck mutters, head on Mark’s shoulder.

 

They’re waiting for Donghyuck’s parents to pick him up from in front of the dorms. Jaehyun and Sicheng long gone with everyone else. Jeno, Jaemin, and Renjun all left at the same time without much to say, they’d see each other next semester anyway. 

 

“Hm?”

 

“What was the first thing you noticed about me?” Donghyuck asks, turning to put his head on Mark’s shoulder. 

 

Mark doesn’t have to think. 

 

“You smelled like flowers, fresh flowers. Right before you pick them.”

 

Donghyuck isn’t wearing makeup or his lipgloss, Mark doesn’t smell his cherry lip balm either, but he’s just as pretty without it, chin on Mark’s shoulder and a ditzy smile on his face. Mark’s bands are a watermelon hue, the same as Donghyuck’s chipping nail polish, and he’ll change them to whatever color Donghyuck likes until he gets his braces off. 

 

“Hyung, take off your elastics.”