It turns out, sex with Mark the boyfriend isn't all that different from sex with Mark the friend with a lot of benefits.
If anything, Donghyuck would argue that it's gotten even better.
Mark still holds him close as he rocks into him from behind—his touch still tender, still burning as it trails along his sides, coming to rest at the crook of Donghyuck's shoulder as he slams in hard enough to make him see stars.
Only now, Mark knows that he can take his time, that Donghyuck isn’t going anywhere after they’re done.
Mark's rhythm stops, his cock grinding up insistently against Donghyuck's prostate as he leans forward, grasping at his chin to get him to look back. Face flushed and eyes glassy, Donghyuck isn't too far gone that he can't glare at Mark for his horrible habit of stopping when he's so damn close.
"Donghyuck," Mark whispers, kissing up a line from the tip of Donghyuck's shoulder. He trails up the side of Donghyuck's neck, unfiltered affection in every tender press of his lips. "Baby, I want you to ride me," Mark finishes with a final peck to Donghyuck's cheek, deceptively innocent, and nowhere near enough. "Want to see your face when you come."
Donghyuck can't hold in the tremor that wracks through his body at Mark's request, a soft groan escaping him as he pushes back against Mark's dick once more. "God, yeah—yes. Fuck. Get on your back."
Mark pulls out, and Donghyuck's thighs almost give out from under him, but he manages to push Mark down onto the bed, eagerly clambering onto his lap not a second later. He reaches back behind him to take Mark's hard cock in his hand, still slick with all the lube, and he lifts his hips a little as he positions himself over the blunt head, already steadily leaking with precome.
Donghyuck balances himself with one hand on Mark's chest, eyes never leaving his as he starts to sink down, deliciously slow, with Mark's hands coming to rest on his thighs, stroking appreciatively at the view above him. His eyes flutter shut at the new angle—it's deeper now, so much deeper, and Donghyuck gives himself a moment to get comfortable.
"Good?" Mark asks, hand moving to stroke Donghyuck's cock as he adjusts, earning him another whine as Donghyuck bucks forward, hips chasing after the warm friction of Mark's palm.
"Don't," Donghyuck gasps, batting his hand away and tugging at Mark's arm to get him to sit up instead. "I'm going to shoot my load before I even start to move if you keep doing that."
Mark grins, and Donghyuck hates how hot he finds it when Mark's being a tease. "Definitely can't have that then."
Mark winds an arm around his waist, leaning up with his other arm propped up against the bed behind him so that he could pull Donghyuck in for a messy kiss. Donghyuck begins to roll his hips, grinding his way down onto Mark's cock in a steady rhythm, one arm braced around Mark's shoulders for balance while his free hand tangles itself into Mark's sex-tousled hair.
He feels Mark's hand slip from his waist, sliding down his back before he grabs a handful of Donghyuck's ass and squeezes. Donghyuck moans into his mouth, breaking the kiss to pick up the pace, Mark's hands guiding him as he bounces in his lap.
"God," Donghyuck throws his head back with a small, breathless laugh, peering down at Mark through his lashes. "It's ridiculously unfair how good this feels, fuck—mm, Mark—"
Mark takes the opportunity to ravish the exposed column his throat, smiling against his skin as he sucks a pattern of hickeys that Donghyuck knows will last for over a week—ones that'll be visible above the collar of his shirts, ones that Donghyuck wouldn't be able to hide, even if he wanted to.
Not that he ever has, though.
He's never been particularly shy about these kinds of things, and he's never really minded it when Mark went to town with the marks. He supposes that it means even more now, now that they're actually together.
Nothing's really changed that much between them, if Donghyuck was going to be honest—and in hindsight, maybe it was because Renjun was right all along.
They really have been dating all this time.
When Donghyuck had agreed to bring Mark over for dinner to introduce him to the rest of his friends, he was expecting the usual—maybe some teasing, some jabs at Mark's (questionable) choice in men, or maybe even a chirp or two from Jeno for being part of the lax team.
What he wasn't expecting, however, was for Jaemin to take one look at Mark's face before blanching so suddenly that Donghyuck thought he was two seconds away from fainting on the spot.
Mark freezes at the threshold of the apartment, eyes widening in recognition.
"Shut it," Jaemin hisses. "Not one fucking word, Mark Lee."
Donghyuck stands in between them, stunned, eyes training back and forth between Mark and Jaemin's quickly reddening face. Jeno and Renjun peek in from the kitchen at the commotion, watching from the sidelines with raised eyebrows—Jaemin can be abrasive at times, but he’s never outright rude. And the fact that it’s Mark that elicited this kind of reaction perplexes them even more.
"Wait, wait, wait," Donghyuck says, eyes squinting in suspicion. "Hold the fuck up. You two know each other?"
Donghyuck turns to his boyfriend with a raised eyebrow, knowing he was the weaker link between the two of them. Off to the side, he hears Jaemin’s frustrated groan muffled into the couch cushions.
"I mean, I've only really met him once?" Mark says, turning his attention onto Donghyuck. "He was at one of the hockey team's kegsters last year." He hesitates for a second, before his smile turns sheepish, leaning in so only Donghyuck could hear him whisper, "We, um, kind of? Hooked up? But also like, not really?"
At Donghyuck's still confused expression, Mark lets out a small laugh. "It's hard to explain."
"You better not be telling him anything about that night, Mark, or I will literally end you," Jaemin threatens, glaring at them from where he's peeking over the back of the couch. "Donghyuck's new boyfriend or not."
(Donghyuck doesn't miss the pinched look on Jeno's face at the mention of that night.)
Mark grins, all mischievous and not the slightest bit unfazed, before sending Donghyuck a quick wink. "I'll tell you later."
Donghyuck snorts, pushing him further into the room. "You better," he says. "It sounds like perfect blackmail material, and I need more ammo on Jaem."
He turns to the rest of his friends, tilting his head in consideration as he looks around the room.
"Since all of you apparently already know him, I guess I don't need to go through the introductions anymore, now do I?" Donghyuck gestures from Mark to the rest of the room with a half-assed wave of the hand as he makes his way over to the couch. "Mark, meet the assholes I call my friends. Assholes, this is Mark."
Jeno is the first one to approach them, smile friendly as he holds a hand out for Mark to shake.
"Nice seeing you again, man. It’s been a while, eh?"
"Jeno, right? I remember you from the bonfire last summer," Mark says. "I saw a couple of your games back in October too. Sick saves, dude."
Donghyuck pauses at Mark’s words. October?
"Wait, what?" he says, turning back abruptly to face Mark. "You've watched our games?"
Mark's cheeks redden a little at the slip-up. "Yeah," he confirms. "I went to a few of them back before the playoffs. I was a little curious, so," Mark shrugs, smiling teasingly at Donghyuck's surprised expression. "You were great out there too, of course."
The image of Mark hiding amongst the crowd in the bleachers, his eyes trained on Donghyuck on the field, flusters him more than he'd like to admit. Donghyuck hates the fact that his heart picks up at the smallest things now, especially when it comes to Mark—hates that he’s so helplessly endeared, especially because he knows that Mark isn't even doing it on purpose.
With a blush blooming high on his own cheeks, he turns away to head to the couch, flopping down gracelessly to sit on the opposite side of Jaemin.
"You could’ve just told me, you know," Donghyuck mutters, crossing his arms in front of his chest, almost petulantly as he leans back against cushions, the beginnings of a pout forming on his lips.
"You know exactly why I didn’t tell you," Mark quips, moving to follow him. "You never would have let me watch otherwise."
Instead of sitting next to Donghyuck like he'd expected, Mark settles down onto the floor instead, leaning back in-between Donghyuck's legs and making himself comfortable. He bites back a smile when he sees Jaemin’s shoulders slump a little in relief from the corner of his eye.
Out of habit, Donghyuck reaches down to card his fingers through Mark’s windswept hair—a poor attempt at taming the mess—only for Mark to stop his hand in its tracks, bringing it down to leave a quick peck onto Donghyuck’s knuckles before lacing their fingers together and resting them over his shoulder.
"Disgusting," Renjun levels them both with an unimpressed stare, shaking his head as he turns and heads back into Jeno’s kitchen. "Absolutely disgusting. Me and my pathetically single ass are gonna grab drinks, did you guys want anything?"
☾ ☼ ☽
It’s well past midnight by the time they bid their farewells and leave Jeno’s apartment. It’s a chilly spring evening in early April, and they both opted to walk the twenty minutes back to Mark’s apartment.
"So," Donghyuck nudges Mark's shoulder with a sly grin. "You and Jaemin, huh?"
"I guess?" Mark says, one corner of his mouth lifting in amusement as he nudges Donghyuck back with a soft laugh. "Why, you jealous?"
"Are you kidding me? Jealous of you, maybe," he says, waving a dismissive hand in the air. "We’ve fooled around once or twice before, I know how good of a lay he is."
Mark blinks. "You’ve slept with him?"
"Of course," Donghyuck says. "I mean, you know what he's like in bed, who wouldn't?"
"Well, actually," Mark's grin turns sheepish. "No, I don't? I, uh, told you that it wasn't really a hook-up, remember? I’ll spare you the details but we both got a little too drunk, a little too messy, and there was some unsexy choking involved. We barely ended up doing anything by the end of the night."
"What a shame," Donghyuck says, letting out a hum as they walk down the sidewalk, hand reaching out to lace their fingers together. "It would’ve been kind of hot now that I think about it, the two of you together."
"You," Mark says, pinching the back of Donghyuck's hand in retaliation, "are insatiable."
Donghyuck stops them in the middle of the empty sidewalk, pulling at their hands as he steps into Mark’s space with a devilish grin. Mark matches him with a soft, fond smile of his own, still flushed prettily from the alcohol from earlier in the evening, and he wonders—not for the first time—how he ever managed to get so lucky.
He leans in to close the gap, capturing Mark’s lips in a short, tender kiss, hand coming up to cradle Mark’s jaw as Mark pulls them flush together with an arm around his waist. He pulls away, but not before leaving a cheeky nip on Mark’s bottom lip, tugging hard enough to sting, but not enough to hurt—just like Mark likes it.
"So," Donghyuck breathes, eyelashes fluttering innocently. His eyes are alight with the promise of later. "What are your thoughts on threesomes?"
"You’re—oh—absolutely sure?" Mark gasps, voice breathy as Donghyuck pushes him up against the front door to his and Renjun’s apartment, not even bothering to check if there was anyone else in the hallway with them. "What if he comes home?"
"He won’t," Donghyuck reassures, mouth busy mapping a path of hickeys down Mark’s neck. A hand slips underneath the hem of Mark’s shirt, his touch warm as his fingertips trace lightly at the tense line of muscle in Mark’s abdomen. "He’s got class all afternoon."
"Mark," Donghyuck interrupts. He stops and looks up at Mark’s face, eyes dark with barely restrained arousal and his grip on Mark’s hips almost painful as he wedges one knee in between Mark’s legs to grind their hips together.
He swallows Mark’s answering moan in another open-mouthed kiss.
"Do you know how hard it was to get out of class early for this?" Donghyuck murmurs in between kisses. "I’ve been waiting to fuck you since you left this morning."
He thinks back to earlier that morning, waking up to the feeling of Mark’s mouth wrapped around his cock underneath the sheets. He remembers pushing the covers back, wanting to appreciate the sight of Mark’s head, hair still damp from his shower, as it bobbed up and down the length of Donghyuck’s cock, lips stretched over the head as he met Donghyuck’s half-lidded eyes.
Mark had slept over after his game the night before, but since they were both too tired to go all the way, Donghyuck had given him his celebratory post-win blowjob and they’d both passed out shortly after. It figures that he’d try to return the favour as soon as he could—Mark was never really one to keep Donghyuck waiting for very long.
But of course, it was just Donghyuck’s luck that their early morning activities had to be cut short when Mark’s alarm had gone off for his early morning labs. He’d just barely had enough time to finish Donghyuck off, tucking him back into his pants and pressing a kiss onto his forehead in apology—and with a murmured promise to make it up to him later—before he was already out the door.
"You could’ve just waited until tonight, you know," Mark says, tangling a hand through Donghyuck’s hair and tugging, smirking at the pained hiss that Donghyuck lets out as his head tips back at the action. "Would’ve let you done whatever you wanted to do if you’d just been a little more patient."
"Patience, huh?" Donghyuck says. He presses Mark back against the door once more, a little rougher this time, and he can feel the hard length of Mark’s dick twitch against his leg. "So sending me dick pics in the middle of class is your idea of being patient?"
"Coach postponed practice, so I figured you’d appreciate the surprise," Mark continues. "But I do have another class tonight—ow, Hyuck, watch the teeth—in a couple of hours, so you better make this worth my time."
"Oh, believe me," Donghyuck whispers, feeling the shivers that wrack down Mark's spine at the proximity. "You won't be able to walk out of my room by the time I'm done with you." Then, his voice dips lower, reaching up to trace the shell of Mark’s ear with the tip of his tongue. "So, be a dear and get my keys out of my back pocket for me, will you?"
"Asshole," Mark grunts, but does as he’s told, reaching into Donghyuck’s back pocket and giving his ass a gratuitous squeeze before taking Donghyuck’s house keys out with trembling hands.
Donghyuck hastily takes the keys and fumbles with the lock, never breaking from his kiss with Mark, even as he opens the door and pushes them through, eager to get to the closest horizontal surface so he could make good on Mark’s promise.
Donghyuck walks Mark backwards into the apartment, only breaking the heated kisses to rasp, "Jesus, I can’t wait to get you on your knees—"
They both freeze at the unfamiliar voice, the sound of something heavy hitting the ground making them both jump apart, hearts pounding as their heads turn in the direction of the living room.
Renjun’s head peeks over from behind the back of the couch, hair absolutely disheveled, and face flushed. He’s glaring at them so fiercely that Donghyuck almost feels bad that he’d clearly just interrupted something.
Again, the keyword here is almost.
"Why the fuck are you home?" Renjun hisses. He looks down for a second, shaking his head minutely before turning his attention—and his glare—back to Donghyuck and Mark by the door.
"I could ask you the same fucking question," Donghyuck barks back, and Mark not-so-subtly moves to hide behind him in fear of being caught in the crossfire. "I thought you had labs all day?"
"They were canceled," Renjun says. "TA never showed up. What’s your excuse—" His eyes look past Donghyuck, to Mark and then back to Donghyuck, before pointedly looking down at his painfully obvious problem. "Actually, nevermind. You don't have to tell me, I don’t wanna know."
"Like you're any better," Donghyuck scoffs, face absolutely flaming at Renjun’s words.
They look at each other for another long second, before he raises an arched brow at Renjun's unmoving form. Without breaking eye contact, he jerks his head over just the slightest bit, over in the direction of the floor, where he knows the fourth guilty party is hiding against the foot of the couch.
"So?" Donghyuck continues, because if he's going down, he's taking Renjun down with him. "Who's your guest of honor?"
Lucas' sheepish face slowly raises next to Renjun, until he’s standing awkwardly—and very nakedly, Donghyuck notices (he’s taken, okay, not blind)—in the middle of the living room, one of Donghyuck's favorite throw pillows precariously hiding what little dignity he had left. There's a handful of fresh love bites dotting along his bare collarbone, and Donghyuck can hear Mark sputter behind him in shock. Lucas raises a shy hand and wiggles his fingers in greeting, face just as red as Renjun's.
"Uh, hey, Cap?" Lucas manages to squeak out. "Fancy meeting you here."
"You sneaky motherfucker," Donghyuck wheezes out with a laugh, his attention focused solely on his roommate. "You said you didn't want me to set you up anymore!"
"I said I didn't need you to set me up with him," Renjun murmurs, looking down, pointedly avoiding everyone's eyes on him. "Not that I wasn't interested."
"Aww," Lucas coos. "Babe, that’s adorable."
"Babe?" Donghyuck's cheeks were starting to hurt from how hard he was grinning. "I knew it—"
"Hyuck," Mark interrupts, tugging on his arm, warily eyeing Renjun’s rapidly darkening expression, like he was a ticking time bomb waiting to happen. "We should go."
Donghyuck turns to him, pouting. "But what about—"
"My place is free," Mark smiles at him wryly. He turns back to the other couple in the room, expression turning apologetic as he nods in goodbye, the awkward tension in the air between them almost palpable. "Sorry for interrupting. We're, um, gonna go? So, I guess…we'll see you two around."
Donghyuck coughs out another laugh as Mark pulls him back towards the door, throwing Renjun an exaggerated leer as he calls out, "Don't forget to practice safe sex, Junnie! I better not find any stains on that couch!"
"Go fuck yourself, Donghyuck."
Mark pauses before they both walk out of the apartment, hand on the doorknob as he looks back at Lucas one last time, lips twitching in an effort to keep his own smile in. Donghyuck leans his forehead against the back of Mark's shoulder behind him, his own shoulders shaking in an effort to hold in his giggles.
"A word of advice," Mark says, pushing Donghyuck out the door before he could do any more damage. "Mind the back, the boys tend to chirp you more for that than anything else."
Lucas flushes even redder before nodding, and the last thing Mark hears before he closes behind them is a choked out, "Duly noted."
"I'm sorry?" Donghyuck blinks. "Did I just hear you say what I think you just said? Do you wanna run that by me again?"
Mark groans once more, the sound of it muffled by Donghyuck's pillow as he watches Mark become one with his bed.
When Mark had texted him if he could come over, message punctuated with an uncharacteristically sad smiley face, Donghyuck had immediately replied with a yes—studying for finals be damned.
He'd opened the front door to let Mark in, and was greeted with a chaste kiss before his boyfriend wordlessly made a beeline for his room, belly-flopping down unceremoniously onto his bed. Mark then proceeded to blurt out all the changes he'd suddenly decided to make to his immaculate life plan.
"Don't make me say it again. It'll make it too real," Mark says, head turning to pout at Donghyuck by his desk. "I'm already regretting it."
"Mark," Donghyuck laughs softly in disbelief, scooting his chair closer so he could drag his fingers through Mark's hair in a comforting gesture. "Are you sure? Like, I know you'll kick ass either way, but a joint MD/PhD program, really?"
Mark nods. "I know it’s a pretty last minute decision, but honestly? I really enjoyed doing my thesis, and I’d always considered doing grad school anyway, so I figured? Why not? If I can get in, of course." He chews on his bottom lip as he regards Donghyuck in front of him. "...What do you think?"
Donghyuck thinks about it for a moment, before he shrugs. "If that’s what you want to do, then I’d say go for it?" he says. "Besides, if there’s anyone I know that was built for like what, nine? More years of school, it’d be you."
Mark lets out another muffled groan into his pillow. "Nine years," he echoes. "Nine!"
"See, I knew you were a masochist, but it’s nice to finally have it confirmed—"
"Kidding!" A beat. "Well, mostly."
The pillow thrown at Donghyuck’s head is well deserved, he thinks. Mark’s got great aim.
"But yeah," Mark sighs one last time before sitting up. "I'm going to have to take a year off to make the next deadline and retake the MCAT, but Taeyong's already mentioned that I can take on a job as a tech in their lab in the meantime." He shrugs then, the beginnings of a smile growing on his face. "Might even net me a couple papers if it works out well."
Donghyuck perks up at the unspoken message.
"So you're staying on campus for the summer then?" And that means no going back to Canada for three whole months?
"Yep," Mark grins, the first real smile since he'd entered Donghyuck's apartment.
He reaches out to take Donghyuck's hands, coaxing him onto the bed with him, shifting to sit Donghyuck on his lap.
"I'm all yours this summer," Mark whispers, hands coming down to rest on either side of Donghyuck's hips, their noses bumping as Mark leans in for a kiss. "Can't get rid of me now, unfortunately."
One of his hands comes up to frame the side of Mark's face as their lips meet in the middle, while the other travels down, thumb caressing the little freckle on the side of Mark’s neck. Donghyuck tips Mark’s head up with a finger under his chin to deepen the kiss, smiling as he feels Mark relax against him.
"Hey," Donghyuck whispers, pulling back just enough to look Mark in the eyes, searching. "Just to be serious for a sec, you know you'll do great, right? With whatever you decide to do."
He sees another flash of uncertainty flicker through Mark's eyes, and Donghyuck dips his head in for another sweet kiss, this one lingering—a reminder of his support, an assurance that Mark can always fall back on him, despite everything else.
"Plus," Donghyuck grins. "You'll have two doctors in your name. Do you know how fucking hot that sounds?"
That startles a small laugh out of Mark, shoulders shaking with mirth as he buries his face into Donghyuck's shoulder. Mark moves to wrap his arms around Donghyuck's waist, squeezing a little in thanks. Donghyuck answers by wrapping an arm around Mark's shoulders and pressing a short kiss to Mark's temple as he cuddles in close.
"You're ridiculous," Mark says, muffled against his shirt.
The I love you goes unsaid, but Donghyuck hears it loud and clear nonetheless.
It's almost three in the morning when Donghyuck sneaks into Mark's apartment, letting himself in with the spare key Mark had given him a couple weeks ago. He's half-asleep when he trudges through the silent apartment, shuffling footsteps muffled by his socks as he makes a quick detour to the living to drop off the books that Mark had left in his apartment.
His eyes start to water as he stifles another yawn with the back of his hand. God, he’s tired.
He opens the door to Mark's room as quietly as he can, tiptoeing so as not to disturb the sleeping lump on the bed, hidden under the thick duvet blankets. Mark's apartment is always freezing despite the early summer heat, the AC running at full blast, with Mark's bedroom always being the coldest place of them all.
Donghyuck wordlessly lifts the covers, slipping into the bed and wiggling over to Mark, sleepily burying his face into his boyfriend's back. Mark feels like a furnace under the sheets, and Donghyuck relishes in the warmth radiating from his body, snuggling even closer, until their bodies were pressed flush together.
Mark doesn't even bother opening his eyes as he turns around to lay on his back, one arm stretching out in invitation as Donghyuck moves to rest his head on Mark's shoulder. Mark’s arm comes around to rest on his shoulder, holding him close like he was just another one of his pillows. Donghyuck tucks his head into the crook of Mark’s neck, breathing in the comforting scent of Mark’s vanilla-scented body wash before he sighs contentedly, feeling himself finally start to relax.
A few minutes pass before Donghyuck feels more than hears Mark's break the silence of the room.
"Hyuck?" Mark croaks out, voice sleep-rough and gravelly. "You’re here? Everything alright?"
"Couldn't sleep," Donghyuck mumbles, shaking his head against Mark's sleep shirt with a small, unintelligible whine. He was too tired to explain—he hasn't managed to get a single wink of sleep tonight. "S’nothing though, I’ll tell you tomorrow. Sorry for waking you up."
"It’s fine," Mark says, and Donghyuck feels him press a kiss into his hair. Mark’s other hand comes up to run through Donghyuck’s hair, the ministrations lulling him further into sleep, and the last thing Donghyuck hears before passing out is Mark’s whispered, "G’night, baby."
☾ ☼ ☽
When Donghyuck wakes up the next morning, it's to the sight of Mark leaning against the frame of his bedroom door, fresh out of the shower and toothbrush in hand. He's standing there shirtless, a fond smile on his face as he watches Donghyuck blink up at him blearily, sleep rumpled and hair sticking up from where it was squished on the pillow.
Donghyuck scowls at the nickname, glaring at Mark through squinting eyes—the curtains are drawn wide open, the late morning sun burning bright throughout the room. It was entirely too early for him to be a functioning human being, not with what little sleep he'd managed to get last night.
He moves to lay back down, bringing the blanket back up and over his head. He hears Mark laugh from the other side of the room, feeling the edge of the bed dip when Mark sits down next to him.
Mark rips the blankets off of him in one go, earning a low whine as Donghyuck buries his head under the pillows.
"No can do," Mark says, although his words are a little slurred from the toothbrush hanging from his mouth.
He moves to stand back up, taking the blankets with him so Donghyuck couldn't go back to sleep, and heads back out to the bathroom. Donghyuck counts the seconds tick by in his head, waiting to hear Mark's footsteps pad back into the room. The bed dips one more time—on the other side this time, the side Mark usually sleeps in—and Donghyuck peeks an eye out of the pillow to see Mark laying on his side next to him, glasses askew as he raises a single judging eyebrow.
"Care to tell me why you snuck in here in the middle of the night?" Mark asks. "I mean, usually I wouldn't complain, but you'd normally give me a heads up before you come over."
Mark's grin is cheeky and Donghyuck rolls his eyes, but the way the corner of his mouth pulls up in the beginnings of a smile gives him away. He reaches out to fix Mark's glasses, righting them on his face before giving him a pat on a cheek—with a little more force than necessary, for waking him up so early.
"It's Renjun again," Donghyuck sighs. "And Lucas. But mostly Renjun."
Mark's eyebrows raise in surprise, but then he snorts, realization settling in. "Damn, they're really hitting it off, eh? Lucas slept over again?"
"Hitting it off too fucking well," Donghyuck says with an exaggerated eye roll. "Even we weren't that bad? At least we had the decency to try and be quiet."
Mark draws himself up on his elbows, resting his cheek in the palm of his hand as he looks down at Donghyuck's miserable form. "You know he's just doing this to spite you now, right? Probably payback for all the PDA."
Donghyuck glares. "PDA that you start most of the time, asshole."
"Not my fault you continue it."
Donghyuck opens his mouth, a snappy retort on the tip of his tongue, but he sees Mark raise a challenging eyebrow and his mouth snaps closed with an audible clack. He looks away, grumbling, "Yeah, well, whatever."
"Poor baby," Mark's pout is mocking, and Donghyuck tries for a kick but misses. "Getting sexiled in the middle of the night."
"I'd like to see how happy you would be if you had to listen to Renjun's bedframe slam into the walls at two in the fucking morning."
Mark laughs, but says nothing in reply. He goes to pull Donghyuck on top of him instead, wrapping an arm around his waist and letting him bury his face into his chest as the last remnants of sleep fade away. They're quiet for a while, a comfortable silence settling between them. Donghyuck thinks he could probably fall back asleep like this, to the rhythm of Mark's steady breathing under him, and to the residual warmth still radiating from his body from Mark's shower.
"Hey, Hyuck?" There's an odd note to Mark's voice.
"So I…" Mark begins slowly, a nervous edge to his voice, as if testing the waters. "I had an idea."
"An idea?" Donghyuck echoes. He leans on his elbows up to look at Mark's face, and he can see the beginnings of a slight blush, the tips of Mark's ears burning a bright red.
Mark always did have the worst tells, Donghyuck muses.
"Yeah," Mark says, eyes fixed pointedly onto the ceiling, avoiding Donghyuck's inquisitive gaze. "I was thinking…"
A beat passes. "Yes?"
"Since I'm staying in town for the summer, and you know, I'm gonna be working on campus for the rest of the year," Mark's voice wavers a little bit, but he continues on. "Given the whole Renjun thing, and how often you already stay over, I was thinking of asking whether you wanted to—"
"Wait," Donghyuck looks up at him with wide eyes. "Are you—"
"Yes," Mark blurts out, cutting him off. "This is me, um, asking you. To move in." Mark clears his throat one last time, voice weak when he adds, "With me."
He finally looks down to meet Donghyuck's eyes, his smile small, endearingly shy, as if he thinks Donghyuck would ever say no to him.
"I'm asking you to move in with me, Donghyuck," Mark repeats, this time more sure. "Only if you want to, of course."
"And if I say no?" Donghyuck grins, almost giddy. He knows what his answer is going to be, but he really couldn't resist—Mark's always been entirely too easy to tease.
Mark pouts and shoves Donghyuck's laughing figure off of him to topple back onto his side of the bed. Mark's quick to move though, pinning Donghyuck down under him by the wrists, his knees bracketing either side of Donghyuck's hips as he smiles down at him.
"If you say no," Mark begins. "I'll just have to find another roommate, I guess?" Then, he lets out a short, thoughtful hum. "Say, do you know if Jaemin—"
Donghyuck bucks his hips up, with enough force to throw Mark off of him, and he rolls them over to flip their position.
"If you even try to finish that sentence," Donghyuck growls. "I'm making you carry all my stuff over here on your own."
Mark laughs, hands coming up to frame Donghyuck's face, pulling him down for a kiss. Donghyuck tries to resist at first, partly because he likes being difficult, but also because he just woke up—Mark may have gotten a chance to brush his teeth, but he still hasn't. Mark's relentless though, head craning up to leave a quick peck on his lips before crashing back down onto the pillow, grin softening to a fond smile.
"So that's a yes, then?"
Donghyuck shrugs. "Living with you might come with a couple perks," he says, grinning. He leans down to leave a quick kiss to Mark's cheek. "So I don't see why not."
"Just a couple?"
"Your dick doesn't count, I think," Donghyuck answers solemnly, shaking his head. "I mean, I'll get that regardless of whether I live with you or not, so it isn't much of a bargaining chip."
"You're terrible," Mark says, amused exasperation lining his voice. A beat passes between them, as Donghyuck meets his eyes, voice earnest as he says, "I love you, though."
It's been months, and though they don't say it to each other as much as people might think, it still feels surreal every single time that Donghyuck hears the words for himself.
"I love you too," Donghyuck whispers, dipping down for a proper kiss. He pulls back then, a mischievous grin in place as he gets off the bed, looking back at Mark with invitation in his eyes. "And now that that’s been settled, how about we go celebrate?"
He winks, then moves to leave the room, leaving Mark to trail after him with his eyes from the bed.
"We can get a head start on christening the bathroom, if you wanna join me."
"Hyuck!" Mark calls out, waving at him from the other side of the entrance. "Over here!"
The foyer into the convocation hall is absolutely packed, full of graduates in their robes and caps, diplomas in hand as they're surrounded by their friends and families trying to squish in together for some last-minute photos.
Donghyuck tries to weave through the crowd, shouldering his way past a few dads-turned-cameramen and over to the other end of the hall where Mark was waiting, seemingly alone and his family nowhere in sight. Mark goes to meet him halfway, directing him off to the side and away from most of the excitement, face still flushed from the ceremony and grinning so widely that Donghyuck can't help the giddy smile that grows on his own face at the sight of it.
He takes a second to take his boyfriend in—dressed up in full graduate regalia, Mark's suit and tie hidden underneath their school's dark blue robes. Donghyuck reaches up to fix his cap, slightly askew from all the activity, before fisting a hand in the collar of his robes to pull him down for a sweet kiss.
"Congratulations, baby," Donghyuck murmurs as he pulls away, stealing one last peck before taking a step back, his hands smoothing down the front of Mark's shirt. His smile turns wry when he looks back up to meet Mark's eyes. "Lucky bastard, I can't believe you're done. I'm so jealous."
"Thanks, Hyuck," Mark grins, reaching up to pinch at Donghyuck's cheek for the comment. "But you do realize that you'll be standing here this time next year, right?"
"Mm, yeah," Donghyuck concedes, a little dismissively. He's only half paying attention though, distracted by Mark's stupidly handsome face, with his hair pushed up and away from his face—he has to admit that Mark really does know how to clean up well.
He leans in for another kiss, just because he can, a hand twisting itself in Mark's tie to coax him back down. Mark just shakes his head in fond exasperation before giving in, smiling against Donghyuck's lips when he feels the other sigh contentedly against him.
"You're so spoiled," Mark says, eyes twinkling when he pulls away.
Donghyuck just grins, all Cheshire cat-like, as he shrugs. "And you're a horrible enabler."
He takes a moment to look around, curious as to why Mark's alone when he knows his family should be somewhere close. Truth be told, he's still a little nervous, palms clammy as his eyes flitter across the crowd in search of the familiar faces—it's his first time meeting Mark's parents in person, after all, and the first time he's meeting his brother as his actual boyfriend.
Mark must sense the stress building up inside of him because he gently clamps his hands down onto Donghyuck's shoulders, rubbing soothingly to bring his attention back to him.
"Relax," Mark says. "They're not here, they're waiting outside."
Mark nods. "I figured it'd be best if we met up with them together." And before Donghyuck could even open his mouth to say his thanks, Mark grins, because he wouldn't be Donghyuck's boyfriend if he wasn't a little shit himself. "Plus, I figured I'd let you have a mini-breakdown with just me first, before I toss you out to the wolves. Taeyong's excited to 'formally' meet you, by the way. Said he hopes you have a shirt on this time."
Donghyuck groans, before tipping forward to bury his face into Mark's shoulder, rubbing his forehead against the scratchy material of the robe as one of Mark's hands comes up to pat at his hair.
"You're such a dick," Donghyuck whines, voice muffled. "I fucking hate you."
"No, you don't," Mark chuckles, his other arm coming up to wrap around Donghyuck's waist. "You love me," he says, matter-of-factly, before nudging his shoulder to get Donghyuck to look back up. "Which is why you're going to have to suck it up and suffer through the next couple hours of awkwardness with my family."
"I could break up with you right here, right now," Donghyuck pouts. "What do I even say to your mother? 'Oh, hi Mrs. Lee, so nice to finally meet you! So sorry for lying to your face for half a year'?"
Mark snorts, poking into Donghyuck's side in lieu of a proper comeback.
"Maybe walk that last bit back if you want to make it out of dinner alive," Mark says, finally tugging them away from the busy foyer and leading the way out the building, to where his family is waiting for them in the gardens. "We can save telling her the truth for when I know she won't kill us both."
"And when will that be?" Donghyuck snorts, jogging a little to catch up to Mark's long strides. "The wedding?" he jokes.
He doesn't miss Mark falter in his steps, continuing on a second later without another word, pretending he didn't hear that last bit. He's just about to apologize for the joke when Mark reaches back to catch Donghyuck's hand in his, lacing their fingers together so as not to lose him in the crowd, squeezing once to let him know that it's okay.
Donghyuck hates that his heart starts to beat a little faster at the sight of Mark's ears, a very telling bright red as he pointedly looks on ahead.
It only takes them a couple of days to move all of Donghyuck's things to Mark's apartment.
Most of Donghyuck’s friends had agreed to help him move out, the promise of a free lunch enough of an incentive to have them working through the blistering heat of the mid-July sun.
It's his last official day as Renjun's roommate though, and the only things left in the almost bare room are Donghyuck's bed (which he'll be leaving behind because Mark's queen bed was so much better than his shitty little double) and an assortment of paraphernalia that they're still trying to sift through.
"You know," Donghyuck says, a nostalgic note in his voice. "I think I'm actually going to miss fucking on this bed."
Mark raises a dubious eyebrow at him from the other side of the room. Donghyuck's standing in the middle of the room, a curious look on his face as he studies the ratty old mattress in front of him, free of Donghyuck's usually bright-colored bed sheets.
"Would it be wise of me to ask why?"
"Probably not," Donghyuck grins, one shoulder raising in a little shrug. "But I will say that this bed has served me pretty well over the last few years. It’s been through a lot."
"I can’t believe you’re getting sentimental over a bed, but not at the fact that you’re not gonna be rooming with Renjun anymore."
"Why should I?" Donghyuck pouts. "Do you even know what he said to me when I told him I was moving in with you?"
"I think my exact words were ‘Thank fucking Christ’ and ‘I’m finally fucking free’," Renjun says, smiling wryly with a hand poised up to knock against Donghyuck’s open door. "Right?"
One corner of Donghyuck’s mouth turns up at the recollection. "Something like that."
"All set in here?" Renjun asks, looking around the room. "Jeno has most of your stuff loaded into the truck, do you want us to go ahead?"
Donghyuck turns to look back at Mark, who nods before getting up and tossing a set of keys over to Renjun.
"That’s a spare key to my apartment, and another key to use the service elevator out back for the bigger stuff. Lucas should be over at my place though, so just ring the bell so he can let you guys in."
"Gotcha," Renjun says, pocketing the keys. "We should be back for the rest of the stuff in like half an hour?"
"Geez, Jun, it’s like you can’t wait to get me out of here," Donghyuck says. He flops down dramatically onto the bare mattress, arm outstretched in Renjun’s direction as his other hand clutches at his shirt, right over his heart. "Did our three years together mean nothing to you?"
"Yes." Renjun gives him a blank stare for his efforts, ignoring Mark’s bark of laughter in the background, before his lips twitch into a small smile. "It meant nothing, and I am absolutely going to celebrate the moment you leave."
Donghyuck scowls. "I’m visiting you every day just for that last bit, you dick."
"Not if I change the locks, you won’t," Renjun says, smirking as he turns to leave. "But okay, we’re gonna head out." He pauses for a second, turning back with narrowed eyes as he glares at the both of them. "No funny business, guys. Seriously. I’ll be back in a bit."
"Thanks again, Junnie!" Donghyuck calls out from where he was still laying flat on his old bed. There’s a grin growing on his face that he hopes Renjun didn’t see, and when Mark moves to close the door behind him, Donghyuck thinks that maybe Mark might’ve had a similar idea.
His grin stretches even wider when he hears Mark lock the door behind him, arms raised in invitation as he beckons Mark back over to the bed.
"You know he’s absolutely gonna kill you when he gets back, right?" Mark says, lips quirked up in amusement as he looks at Donghyuck splayed on the bed below him.
"That depends, I think," Donghyuck says. "On whether you and I are thinking of the same thing right now."
Mark sighs in defeat, before removing his glasses and reaching back to tug his shirt off all in one go. He snorts when he hears Donghyuck’s excited little ‘yay!’, and Donghyuck wastes no time in reaching out to tug at the drawstrings of Mark’s joggers to pull down onto the bed on top of him.
Mark dips his head down to capture Donghyuck’s lips in a slow, languid kiss, pulling back just enough to start trailing kisses down the side of his neck.
"Since we’re clearly already thinking of the same thing," Mark whispers against his skin. "What do you say about giving Renjun a taste of his own medicine, hm? One last time, for posterity’s sake."
"Dear boyfriend, are you seriously suggesting we sexile my soon-to-be-former roommate? While he’s out there, helping us out of the goodness of his own heart? How scandalous—" Donghyuck cuts himself off with a breathy gasp as Mark sucks down particularly hard at his pulse point. "Fuck, I knew I started dating you for a reason, yes. God, yes."
"That’s what I thought."
They’re in Mark’s bedroom—no, their bedroom now, Donghyuck internally corrects—and the setting sun peeks in through the open window to fill the room with a warm, ambient glow.
They’re both lying in bed, Mark propped up against the headboard, guitar in hand as he strums a tune that Donghyuck is familiar with, but can’t quite name. He’s laying on his stomach next to Mark, fiddling with his phone as he hums under his breath, unsure of the lyrics but confident in the melody. They make a comfortable image, he thinks, one that’s becoming more and more common in their household as the days pass by.
Donghyuck chances a look over at Mark from the corner of his eye, only to be met with the sight of Mark already staring back, smiling down at him with so much unabashed affection that Donghyuck can’t help the warmth that rushes up to his cheeks.
Briefly, he wonders how long it’s been since Mark had started looking at him like that. He wonders how he could’ve been so blind, all those months ago, as they both toed the line.
He puts his phone aside, stuffing it under the pillow before sitting up, gently pushing Mark’s guitar away as he shuffles forward on his knees. Donghyuck reaches out, both hands framing Mark’s face as he leans down for a kiss, just a soft press of his lips against Mark’s—short, almost fleeting, and he pulls away almost quickly as he had come.
"What was that for?" Mark asks, head tilting to the side in curiosity. He’s smiling that same crooked grin that Donghyuck’s come to know and love so well though, and he finds himself mirroring it back unconsciously.
Donghyuck shakes his head. "No real reason," he says. "Just because I wanted to, I guess? And because I can now." He leans in for another kiss, this time to the tip of Mark’s nose, laughing as Mark scrunches up his nose in response.
"Anywhere—" A third kiss. "—and anytime—" A fourth. "—I want."
A flurry of peppered kisses, all over Mark’s face.
Donghyuck stops after Mark starts giggling for real, thumb brushing across his cheek to get him to look back up.
"It’s almost been a year, you know? Since the retreat." Donghyuck leans in for one last, final kiss to the lips—a proper kiss this time. "And I’m really glad I met you," he says, voice soft, almost a whisper. His next words though, ring clear, almost echoing in the silence of their room. "I love you."
Mark sets the guitar onto the floor, hands coming up to Donghyuck’s waist to pull him forward into his lap. With a hand cradling the back of Donghyuck’s head, Mark pulls him in for their sweetest kiss yet, filled with everything that the words needn’t have said.
"I love you too, Hyuck. And I’m really glad I met you too."