"You could've at least tried to hide how much you hated P'Thanu earlier, you know."
"He could've at least tried not to be an asshole and not fuck with my best friend's feelings, but here we are."
Kit sighs, leaning his head on Mark's shoulder. Mark wraps an arm around him, bringing him closer. Kit closes his eyes, listening to the rhythm of Mark's heartbeat beneath his ear.
"I feel so terrible for Yu, to have his heart broken twice in a year. It's not fair."
"I know, P'Kit. I've tried so hard to find someone for him. I don't know why it's so difficult. Yu's like, the most adorable person I know."
"Yes," Kit agrees, "he's very cute."
"Smart too," Mark adds.
"He's so caring," Kit continues, sitting up to face his boyfriend, "but also like, it would be an honor to be the one to take care of him."
Mark nods enthusiastically, "Exactly! And when he smiles at me, it's like none of my problems even matter."
"When he cries," Kit adds, "I feel like the whole world is crashing down on my feet."
"Whenever I see him and P'Thanu together, I imagine doing very violent things just to get P'Thanu away from him. Don't even get me started on what I would do if I saw P'Pha again."
Kit blinks, suddenly aware of what exactly he and Mark were talking about. He's never told Mark this, of course, but there was a reason he was so keen on helping Yu when they first met. And it's not because he's Pha's best friend.
The dynamic between him and Pha, and Mark and Yu, have always been very different. But Kit sees something else when he looks at his boyfriend now, a fire in his eyes Kit's come to love. He thinks back to everything he's witnessed Mark do for Yu, going above and beyond without hesitation for the science student every time. Something very obvious starts to click in Kit's head.
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
"Are you thinking about how Yu hasn't texted me yet if he's home?"
"No, I was thinking- Wait, what? He isn't home yet?"
"No," Mark confirms, frowning at his phone, "I'm starting to get worried."
Mark does. Yu picks up on the second ring, the tears evident in his voice. Mark's hand clenches around the phone, and when Kit looks down, his own are similarly fisted in anger in his sheets.
"What happened?" Mark asks, voice dangerously calm.
"I'm okay, Mark. No need to worry."
"You're upset. What did Thanu do?"
Kit opens his mouth to berate Mark for dropping the honorific, but then he realizes he doesn't care.
"Nothing. He didn't do anything. He just said I might not see him for a while. It's fine, Mark. Don't worry about me. Enjoy your evening with P'Kit."
"How'd you know he's here?" Kit asks, before Mark could.
"I'm in Mark's room," Yu answers, laughing, "I kinda missed it when we toured the freshies earlier. Besides, you two aren't exactly subtle."
"Yu has a key to your room?" Kit whispers, feeling a strange sense of jealousy that Yu seeks comfort in his boyfriend's space. It's an empty room and Mark is with him, but what surprises Kit the most is the immensity of the desire building in his chest. He wants them both to be here, with him, in his space, whenever either of them seeks comfort. He wants it so bad he could burst with it.
Mark nods distractedly, his attention wholly on his best friend.
"Okay, stay there as long as you need. I have nori snacks and the vitamin jelly you like and also some food from Mae in the fridge."
"Thanks, Mark. I'll see you tomorrow. Bye, P'Kit."
Mark stares at his phone for a bit after Yu hangs up, frowning, before he turns back to Kit.
"What were you saying?"
Kit stays silent, looking at Mark intensely, trying to gauge how welcome his idea would be.
"What is it, P'Kit? You're scaring me."
Kit looks down, taking both of Mark's hands in his. Mark shifts so he's facing Kit directly on the bed. Kit adjusts his hold, bringing Mark's knuckles to his mouth, pressing kisses slowly to each in imitation of what Mark did for him before. He hears Mark's breath hitch, feels his awed stare without looking up.
"You care for Yu, don't you, Mark?" Kit asks when he's done.
Mark, still dazed, nods slowly. "Of course, he's my best friend."
"You're in love with him," Kit says. It's not a question.
Mark's eyes widen and he flinches, trying to scoot back. Kit tightens his hands around his, not letting him retreat.
"Of course not!" Mark exclaims, despite his head moving up and down, "I only love you, P'Kit. He's my- Yu's my- just a best friend. Friend! I've known him since M1. I was there when he saw P'Pha- I'm not- I'm yours, P'Kit. You know that, right?"
Kit can't help the smile that blooms on his face, looking away and rolling his eyes to draw attention away from it.
Mark squeezes his hands, "You know that, right? Why are you saying that I'm in love with Yu? Because it's just you, P'Kit. Just you."
"I know. I know that, Mark. I was just thinking about earlier today and - You said it yourself. You don't like seeing Yu hurt."
Mark nods, watching him closely.
"I don't either. I don't like anyone being close to Yu the way the two of us are."
Kit lets his words hang in the air, waiting for understanding to light up Mark's face.
"I don't get it," Mark admits, "I mean, I agree. But I think you mean something else. You need to explain it to me."
Kit pouts in frustration, blowing air out of his mouth.
"I'm thinking, maybe the reason you haven't found the right person for Yu is because you're looking in the wrong direction."
"And where should I be looking?" Mark asks, almost as a challenge.
Kit merely raises both their hands in response.
The light bulb goes off above Mark's head.
"Oh shit," he says.
"Oh shit," he repeats, waving their hands in the space between them, "Really? The both of us?"
"What do you think?" Kit asks, his confidence wavering now that he's got the suggestion out.
Mark sits back, and Kit's pleased to see that he's giving the idea some serious thought. He won't push him - Kit is perfectly happy where they are now, but he doesn't think he can forgive himself if he doesn't at least try.
He's known Yu since he and Pha started dating. He's not proud of it, but he knows he's always felt something for Yu. It's part of the reason why it took him so long to accept Mark's affections. He wanted to be sure that his heart belonged to Mark completely before committing to anything because he knows he's going to be here for the long haul.
And it does. Kit's never been so sure of anything than the fact that he loves Mark.
"Wait," Mark says, "so you like Wayu too?"
"See, you said too!" Kit points out, "so you do like him!"
"I don't- I'm not-"
"I'm not mad, Mark," Kit says, figuring the problem out, "It's okay. I know you love me. That's not what I'm asking."
"I love him," Mark whispers, staring down at their hands, still connected, the watches bumping gently against each other.
"I love Yu. I can't remember a time I didn't. But he's my best friend, and I want what's best for him. I thought that meant being with P'Pha, but clearly I was wrong."
Kit forces himself to put aside his turbulent feelings for his own best friend, like he's gotten used to this whole semester, and moves closer to Mark. He crawls between his legs, turning around and wrapping Mark's arms around him. Mark, like Kit knew he would, folds Kit into his embrace.
"So we both like Wayu. The next step seems logical, doesn't it?"
"Okay," Kit feels Mark nod into his hair, breathing deeply.
"But if we're going to do this, we're going to have to be completely honest with each other. So you're going to tell me exactly when and how and why you started liking Yu."
"What, like now?"
"Why not? I told you mine."
"That doesn't count," Kit insists.
"Well, it all started when we were in middle school, right? Yu grew up travelling because of his Dad's work, and they didn't settle in Bangkok until we were in M1. I was friends with everyone of course, but Wayu was different. He was a really tiny kid..."
"Why'd you stop?"
"Aow, I was waiting for you to interrupt me."
"No," Kit grins, "go on, I'm having fun thinking of you and Yu as children."
"Not fair. I asked you first!"
Kit's grin drops. Mark was right. He should tell him.
So he does.
"The first time I met Yu, he was waiting for Pha in front of the Medicine building. He was chatting with his faculty friends, but the moment we went down the steps, he zeroed in on Pha. It's like the whole world melted away and it was just the two of them. I wanted that."
Here, Kit pauses and looks meaningfully at Mark. And now I have that with you. Do you understand? It seems like he does, because Mark only hides his face in Kit's shoulder and mumbles at him to continue.
"The second time, I was in the library pouring over some lab sheets. I looked up and Yu was there, because apparently if you're Yu, librarians just let you in even if you're not from that faculty. So anyway, he must've seen how stressed I was because he just took it and fixed some of the calculations I overlooked like it was nothing."
"He does that, yeah," Mark mumbles in agreement.
"If I let myself think about it, it was a bunch of little moments..." Kit trails off, "But then I met you. And then Phawaree left. So I let it go. I felt responsible because sometimes I feel like he just sees Phawaree when he looks at me. Like I'm a reminder that Pha left."
"Of course not," Mark vehemently denies, "Baby, you're twice - no, thrice the man Pha could ever hope to be."
It's still so novel, Kit thinks, the way Mark just says these things. Without a care about just how full it makes Kit's heart feel.
So instead he just says, "Let's hope Wayu agrees."
"While I was... while we were getting to know each other, did you still like Yu?"
Oh. Kit's so stupid. Mark can be so easy to read sometimes. He needs to remind himself of that.
He turns sideways, gently taking Mark's face in his hands. His sweet, sweet Mark. His precious, precious boy.
"Mark, look at me."
"Ever since I knew him, Yu was with Pha. He was always an impossibility. He was like a pipe dream, a crush. I couldn't think about my feelings for him without betraying either of them so I didn't let myself. And then you were there, and you were beautiful and intriguing and really, really persistent. It was annoying how you were all up in my space. I was so upset at myself because even at the start, I knew I liked you being there."
Kit can see the beginnings of a smile curl at the corner of Mark's mouth. His thumbs move to trace them, stroking gently.
"And you were," Kit breathes out, "Everyday, you were there without fail. And everyday, I found myself falling for you little by little until one day I woke up and realized I loved you."
"Does that answer your question?"
Mark sniffs, surging forward again to hide his face in Kit's neck. Kit laughs, then forces himself to stop when Mark sniffs again. He wraps his arms around Mark, content to just hold him close.
"Whatever happens… Whether we push through with this or not, I'm not- I'm not gonna let you go, Mark. Ever. Do you understand?'
"Yeah, okay," Mark mutters, "same here."
They stay there for a while, just holding each other without looking. Kit can hear Mark thinking, but he's said his piece. If Mark doesn't want to do it, then okay. They'll stay as they are, and do their best to keep Yu company. If he does...
"Let's do it," Mark says finally, his voice back to its default loud, enthusiastic tone.
"You're sure?" Kit asks, pulling back, "Just like that?"
Mark smiles, stealing a kiss against his cheek. "Why wouldn't I be? We're gonna court him together, right?"
"Yeah," Kit answers, suddenly, incredibly soft for the man he loves, "together."
"Okay! Let's go!"
"What? Where are we going?"
"To my apartment, duh."
"Because I thought of Yu all alone there when he can be with both of us," Mark whines, shaking Kit's arms.
"Think of it as a test drive," Mark coaxes, pouting, "na? Na na na?"
"Why don't we just ask him to come here?"
Mark looks at him incredulously. "The driver probably already left. You know Yu doesn't drive."
When they get there, Yu is curled up asleep in the middle of Mark's bed, hands slack around his Cells at Work manga and a neatly tied plastic bag of empty Taokaenoi wrappers on the bedside table.
Mark puts a finger up to his lips. Kit nods. Ever so gently, Mark takes the book out of Yu's hands. He stirs, and both Mark and Kit freeze.
"Mark," Yu mumbles, eyes closed.
"Hey," Mark whispers, "you fell asleep reading."
"P'Kit," Yu sighs, turning to his side, hands closing tightly over Mark's fingers.
Mark turns to look at Kit, eyes wide.
Kit moves to Yu's other side, brushing his hand over his shoulder.
"Yu, is it okay if we sleep here tonight?"
Yu blinks his eyes open slowly, making both Kit and Mark hold their breath, and smiles.
He closes them again soon after, though.
"Mmkay," Yu says, before his breathing slows down again into sleep.
Kit's and Mark's eyes meet over him for a long moment. Then, Mark shrugs. He turns to the closet, pulling out a pair of pajamas for Kit.
When they settle back to the bed, the only space is, of course, on either side of Yu.
"Test drive," Mark reminds Kit, taking the left side and snuggling into his best friend. Yu instinctively curls into him, tucking his face in beneath Mark's chin.
Kit is more hesitant.
"P'Kit, just lie down," Mark quietly urges.
"Yeah, P'Kit," Yu agrees, still asleep.
Kit exhales, tugging the covers up and folding himself under, reaching across the bed and handing Mark the other end.
"Good night," Kit whispers.
"Yeah, g'night," Yu answers, shifting just enough that Mark can comfortably lay an arm over his stomach and still touch Kit.
Mark does so. "Good night."