"Darling, darling, darling. It's no need to worry. It's just a couple things." were the lyrics that Mark had thought of when he got Yukhei's text. He was listening to the song Best Interest, which was not a good idea because how would he not worry about talking things out with Yukhei?
He wasn't supposed to know that he got feelings for him when they had a pact from the start to not catch feelings for each other, as their set up was only temporary. If it wasn't for his gremlin cousin, Donghyuck, he wouldn't be meeting up with Yukhei at 8 in the morning to talk about his feelings that he was running away from.
"Why on earth did my friends think it was a good idea to set me up on this date? I am still not prepared to face my feelings for him." Mark thought to himself as he entered the café that he planned to meet Yukhei on.
He spotted the man that he was thinking about, it was impossible not to, as he was the only one who looked like he could portray Leon S. Kennedy, if the game franchise ever had a live-action movie, at the café. Yukhei had spotted him and waved at him shyly. Mark waved back, slowly going towards the table where he was seated on.
As he sat, he sighed and said, "Good morning, Yukhei. I guess this is where the running ends, huh? But first, let me explain from the very start."
Mark didn't know how many times he told Yukhei to stop kissing him since he was going to be late for his Chemistry class, but Yukhei just laughed it off every time, telling him that it was okay to be late for the first time.
He can't remember how long they have been in this set-up, but one thing that he remembers is that Yukhei proposed this while they were playing video games, not to mention that he specifically proposed it when Ada kissed Leon. Mark was bored at that time, and he can't say no to his bro, so he accepted his proposal. Scratch that, he wasn't even finished agreeing when Yukhei already kissed him.
His cousins, Jeno, Donghyuck, and Taeyong told him that this set-up is going to bite him in the ass at some point. Johnny and Yuta, his best friends/roommates, respected his decision and decided to set up a rule about the sock. But whenever Yukhei comes over, Mark always notices the pointed look Johnny and Yuta give him. He doesn't mind, though. He knows that they already know about his feelings, and he hopes that only the two would know, no one else.
"Xuxi, please let me go. I'm ten minutes away from being late. I'll give you a lot more when I get home, just let me go to class." when he proposed that, Yukhei immediately stopped and let him go.
He escorted Mark towards the door, "Be safe, Minhyung!" when Mark was about to exit the door, he kissed him on his cheek and winked at him. Mark smiled at him nervously and closed the door immediately. He took a breath of relief.
He did the sign of the cross and asked God why is he like this while walking towards the parking lot of Yukhei's dorm. Johnny and Yuta were waiting for him in their car, so he walked faster for them not to be late for their class.
"Why do you look so constipated, bro?" Yuta commented on the facial expression that he was making, "did Yukhei do something to make you flustered?"
Mark sighed, "Good afternoon to you, too, Yuta. Yes, he kissed my cheek and told me to be safe, which he never does when we meet up for, you know. God, why am I like this? I wasn't supposed to catch feelings for him, but here we are! My cousins were right, this shit is going to bite me in the ass." he hit his forehead on the front seat.
"Aw, Mark. Fate surely does get a kick out of biting your ass, huh?" Johnny teased him while Yuta hushed him. Johnny still continued, "I mean, have you tried confessing by using the songs that you produced and uploaded on your Soundcloud?"
Mark whined, "There's no way that I'm going to send Yukhei that song. What will I even tell him? 'Haha here's a song for you bro, by the way, did you know that I accidentally fell for you?'" Johnny was about to speak when he cut him off, "Besides, you didn't have a hard time confessing to Yuta because you weren't in a set-up like this."
The couple sighed. "Sure, it wasn't a hard time confessing to him because we're not in a set-up like you two, but at some point, I was also afraid like you. At least get it out of your system, at the end of the day, even if he didn't like you back, what matters is that you told him truthfully about your feelings."
Mark gave out a sound of acknowledgment when Yuta began to say, "Although we're not quite sure he doesn't like you back. We see the looks that he has been giving you, but it isn't our story to tell. Why don't you confess so that you could find out for yourself?" Mark was about to ask him what he means when Johnny announced that they had arrived on the campus.
"This isn't done!" Mark told the couple as they parted ways. They laughed at him and told him to have the courage for once.
Mark arrived at their class on time, with one minute left before the class starts. He immediately spots Dejun and Taeyong, as they were the only ones that Mark knew from this class. "Thank you for reserving me a seat." he told the two as he was sitting down.
Dejun smiled at him and told him, "No problem, Mark. Also, I'm sorry about Yukhei for not letting you go even though you told him not to. I was worried that he was going to make you skip class." Taeyong laughed at him while Mark was turning red. He was about to respond when their professor walked in. He heard Dejun and Taeyong trying to suppress a laugh, making him shake his head.
He tried to make himself busy and stop himself from thinking about the conversation he had with Johnny and Yuta on their way here. His class has ended soon enough, and he was about to leave when Taeyong had asked him to meet up with his brothers.
Since Mark didn't want to go back to their dorm immediately wherein the couple is waiting to tease him, Mark agreed to hang out with his cousins for a few hours. They met up in a pizza parlor, with Jeno treating them for dinner, a promise that he made when Taeyong was about to confess to Jaehyun. Speaking of Taeyong's boyfriend, he also invited him for their dinner.
"So, Mark, when are you going to send Yukhei the song you made?" Donghyuck asked Mark before giving him the pizza slice he asked.
Mark snorted, "Probably never, Hyuck. I don't want to send a song entitled 'i wanna make it with you' to him, I don't want for him to know that I'm a lovesick fool that wants to hold his hand in a non-homo way ever." Jaehyun patted his shoulder as a sign of support and sympathy.
Hyuck, Jeno, and Taeyong shared a pointed look in which Mark didn't notice. Donghyuck took the chance when he was focused on eating his slice.
"Mark? Thank me later, okay?" Donghyuck winked at him. Mark was confused, he was even more confused when he saw his phone at the hands of his cousin. When he took it back, he immediately panicked. "What, and I can't stress this enough, the fuck, Donghyuck? Why did you send this to Yukhei?"
His cousins feigned innocence, while he was on the verge of crying entirely. He didn't know how many times he had asked God why is he living like this. He gave Jaehyun his phone and let the latter to read the messages.
markgeollee my baby:
i wrote a song about you aha
lmk when u listened to it
nooo xuxi ure so sexy:
are you sure this song is for me?
are you sure you like me?
He didn't have the courage to reply to Yukhei, so he left him on read as the coward that he is. As much as he hated his cousins' doings, he got no one but himself to blame, as he trusted the little gremlin. Curse Mark and his weakness for another slice of pizza.
When they parted ways, the three apologized though, so it's all good in their family again. Mark had entered their dorm when the two surprised him by asking if he's okay. "Man, I'm okay. But can you two not do that synchronically? I got scared of you two." They both apologized for surprising him and promised not to do it again.
"So uh, Donghyuck sent the latest song that I produced for Yukhei. I don't know if I'll ever get the courage to meet up with him again. Curse me, why don't I have the courage to just tell him that I don't care about our set-up now because my feelings got in the way?" he flopped down on his bed with the two comforting him.
"Oh, Markie. Do you want us to sleep here with you so that you don't get sad alone?" when they heard him sniffing under his blanket, they take it as their cue to comfort him with the power of cuddles. They let him do whatever he wants for the rest of the week.
They get why he wants to avoid Yukhei as much as possible, so they let him confront him and his feelings at his own pace. Mark was approved to take some classes via online streaming. Although he can't escape Yukhei, even in online classes, as he has the same class as him in some subjects. He can see that Yukhei hasn't been sleeping well, which makes him feel even more guilty for just ghosting him during the past few weeks.
Donghyuck had a video-call with him, he saw that he was with Dejun, Guanheng, and Jeno. They were collectively telling him to respond to Yukhei already since they can see that Yukhei was in distress because of his bro that hasn't replied to him in weeks.
"Please, can you have the courage to reply to him, Markie?" Jeno was using the tone that Mark can't exactly say no to. He sighed and said, "I'm sorry Jeno. But, I'll try. It's still hard for me to confront him about my feelings, you know?" They smiled sympathetically at him, so they dropped the topic, which Mark was totally grateful for.
This went on for weeks, until the two couples, Johnny and Yuta, Jaehyun and Taeyong, had teamed up and set him up on a date with Yukhei. They only told him when there were 30 minutes before the said date.
"Why did you just tell me when there were 30 minutes left before the date?" Mark had asked the four. "We were too caught up on being fed up that we forgot to tell you, we're sorry!"
Yukhei told Dejun and Guanheng that it's alright to leave him alone at the café, he was going to wait for Mark, no matter how long it'll take. He needed the spare time to organize his thoughts.
"Confess to him, alright? I can't believe that you two needed Donghyuck's acts before you two decided to confront each other about what you feel." Guanheng fixed his hair and they left him alone. They told him to text them when he was done so that they would know if it was time for them to pick him up.
He was deep in his thoughts when he saw Mark enter the café. He noticed how Mark's eyebags were deeper, and how sleep deprived he looks. He also noticed how he was wearing the hoodie that Yukhei owned before he gifted it to him on his birthday. He noticed how warm and cozy Mark looks on his hoodie. His wet hair makes him look like a lost puppy.
"Focus, Yukhei. You need to confess to him for real before kissing him with feelings and not kissing him as a friend anymore." Yukhei thought to himself when he watched Mark approach his table.
"Good morning, Yukhei. I guess this is where the running ends, huh? But first, let me explain from the very start," Mark sighed as he starts speaking, "First of all, yeah the song is about you. In fact, I have a lot of songs that I had written for you but I never got the courage to send it to you because, given our current set-up, it really isn't ideal to send a love song to you. Secondly, it wasn't me who sent you the song, it was Donghyuck, that fucker. And lastly, yes, I'm sure I like you. I don't remember how long I like you but it was just one day when we were cuddling and you were sleeping then, so I looked at you and you look like peace, like home. And that's when I started thinking that I'm in fucking jeopardy because we weren't supposed to have feelings for you, but I gu--" Mark didn't even get to finish his speech when Yukhei kissed him swiftly to shut him up.
"Mark, you don't have to explain, I like you too, dumbass. When you ghosted me, I thought you were just pranking me about that song and saying that it was for me. But then Donghyuck told me to hold on a little longer, so I waited. Fuck, I can wait for you for years and I'd still like you. The two couples may be demons sometimes, but they did the work of God this time. I get that you hesitated to say that you like me for real, because fuck, I'm stupid to even propose that friends with benefits thing for you. So, yeah, I like you too, Mark. And I want to try again for us to be in a relationship for real, this time." Yukhei finished, breathing out a breath that he didn't even know he had held while speaking.
He was too embarrassed to look at Mark in the eyes when he held his chin. Mark kissed his cheek and told him, "I like to try again, for real this time too, Xuxi." he winked at him. Yukhei felt that he was reddening, which caused Mark to laugh at him. Yukhei smiled at Mark's contagious laugh and told himself that it'll be alright this time, as there were no proposals to hold them back from expressing their real feelings for each other this time.