Wayu knows he dreamt, but the moment he wakes the dream slips from his memory like water through his fingers. Yet the feeling stays with him, warmth and comfort and everything he sought when he took the elevator up to Mark's room, crawling under the sheets and surrounding himself with the scent of Mark's shampoo on the pillows - the same scent that marked the easier days of high school.
It's not the same, Wayu thought, his face buried in his manga, not without Mark there. But Mark's with his faen, and Mark deserves that - truly, Yu believes, Mark deserves everything good in this world - time to bask in the feeling of loving and being loved in return that Wayu once drowned in. P'Kit won't let Mark drown, Wayu reassures himself, P'Kit wasn't like P'Pha. Wayu knows this. The way that the two of them looked on that yacht, staring at each other as they danced, the stars bearing witness to their love confirms his belief.
But then he also thought P'Thanu wouldn't turn out like P'Pha, and look where that got him.
Wayu tries to curl deeper under Mark's covers, willing himself to remain in the mellow, fuzzy trance between sleep and waking, reluctant to get up just yet and face the feelings of hurt and betrayal that persist after his conversation with P'Thanu the night before.
The pillow beside him is warm and Wayu pulls it closer, nuzzling into what he expects to be Mark's 100% egyptian cotton pillowcase. His nose rubs against colder silk instead and Yu frowns.
He opens one eye blearily, screaming as he comes face to face with P'Kit's chest.
"WHAT? What is it, Yu?" Mark asks, running into the room, wearing the most ridiculous frilled apron Wayu has ever seen.
"Why are you both here?" Yu asks, thoroughly confused.
P'Kit doesn't seem bothered at all, barely affected by Yu's scream. He just frowns in his sleep and pulls Yu closer.
Yu squeaks. Mark smiles. Kit mumbles "five more minutes" and nuzzles into Yu's shoulder.
"So cute," Mark coos.
Yu puffs out his cheeks, his face dwarfed by the cocoon of Kit's surprisingly muscular arms. He glares at his best friend (as much as Yu can glare), eyes demanding an explanation.
"This is my room," Mark reminds him.
"So? You weren't here last night. And what are you wearing?"
"You like it?" Mark asks, grinning wildly and doing a little turn, "I borrowed it from Sab a while back. The cafe did a maid theme last year."
Yu figures he's still dreaming and closes his eyes tightly, shaking Kit's arms off and turning to his other side.
The loss of Yu's weight against him is what finally wakes Kit up, immediately alert like the future doctor that he is.
"What are you doing?" Kit asks Yu, as if he wasn't just cuddling with his boyfriend's best friend in his boyfriend's bed.
"I'm trying to wake up," Yu mutters, burying his face in the (actual) pillow.
"You're already awake," Mark points out unhelpfully, pulling his pillow out from under Yu.
"Hey," Yu protests weakly.
"Mark, what are you wearing?" Kit asks, taking in Mark's outfit.
"I asked that already," Yu mutters.
P'Kit turns to him and smiles, small and shy.
Yu finds himself staring, wondering how Kit can look as fresh and put together as he does in the day when he just woke up. The heat from Kit's embrace lingers on his skin, not entirely unwelcome. Yu wraps his arms around himself unconsciously. If it's in an effort to retain the feeling or to stop himself from reaching out again, he doesn't know.
"It's a maid apron! Don't I look cute, P'Kit?"
Kit rolls his eyes as Mark does another twirl, and Yu stands up to make him stop with a hand on his shoulder.
"You're going to make yourself dizzy," he says disapprovingly, "I'm going to go, I'll see you at uni."
It's Kit asking now, standing up with Yu's manga in his hands. Shit, he forgot about that. Yu looks at him, belatedly noticing that he's wearing Mark's pajamas, the pants pooling at his feet since it's too long for him.
He shouldn't be here. The thought hits him like a freight train. He's intruding in Mark's space, and Mark has P'Kit now. It was selfish of him to barge unannounced into his room like he used to when they were younger. Back when it was just Mark and Yu, before P'Pha and P'Kit. Back when Mark can easily fix everything that made Yu upset. He can't anymore. He tries, but it's not the same.
"I-I'm sorry for last night, Mark. I should've asked before going here. I'm gonna go now."
Mark frowns at him, disappointment in his eyes. "But I cooked us breakfast."
Yu forces the words to come out of his mouth in a semblance of playfulness, "Go feed your doctor boyfriend then. Make him fall in love with you. Can't be that hard if it's you."
He ducks around Mark to grab his phone and keys, walking to the door and carefully closing it behind him before sprinting to the elevators.
If he heard both Mark and Kit call out his name, he can always pretend he didn't.
If Yu was being honest with himself, he probably was just using P'Thanu to forget about P'Pha. Or not forget, really. It was more like, to replace him. He can admit to himself now, that the time he spent with P'Thanu was used to collect the ways in which him and P'Pha were the same and the ways they weren't.
At first, it was just that they looked alike. Tall, dark-haired, handsome. And they acted alike, all gentlemanly and caring and attentive. But that's where it ended.
Thanu is shrouded in mystery. Always so distracted, and quiet. But it was okay, Yu thought it was good - that they can have those silences together. Thought it meant that they were comfortable enough with one another to just be. Yu knew fuck all about him aside from the fact that he was Kit and Pha's senior and P'Padbok hated him. And Yu still defended him so fiercely, so blindly loyal in a way he didn't deserve.
Yu from months ago would be glad, that P'Pha was still looking out for him in his own way. But Yu likes to think he knows better now. Mark always told him he trusted too easily. Maybe he did. He never had a reason not to. Now he has two.
"Yu? You okay, babe?"
"Pim! Yeah, sorry. I was spacing out. Where do you want this?"
"Okay, a little bit to the left, please. Higher, higher... there! Stop! That's perfect, thank you."
The Science booth was almost done. Yu's glad he came here instead of overthinking whatever happened that morning.
"Baaabe, last one. We just need to come up with a list of songs we'll put in a hat and have the freshies sing. Come, come."
Yu drops to the floor with a sigh, crossing his legs and leaning on Pim as their classmates sit together in a loose circle.
"Thank you so much everyone for coming to help," their senior says, smiling at the people around, "I'm so proud of what we've accomplished these past few days and I can't wait until all the freshies are here to enjoy it. And of course, to our previous college Beau and Belle, N'Wayu and N'Pim, the work is just starting for the both of you."
Yu just smiles as Pim laughingly drops into a deep waii, waving in all directions.
They finish the preparations quickly after, and Yu almost forgets about that morning until Pim brings Mark up.
"Hey, babe. Let's get lunch? Or is Mark and his faen picking you up?"
Yu freezes in the middle of packing up, dropping his bag on the floor.
"Hey, you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," Yu quickly answers, picking up his bag, "and they're not, so we can go. I'm starving."
"Great! Where's your army? They're not gonna kill me for eating out with you, right?"
"What? What army?"
"Your army of admirers? The Comm. Arts-Engg alliance that's been keeping P'Tall-Dark-and-Handsome away from you? I would've been blind not to notice, Yu."
Yu rolls his eyes, pinching Pim's side and giggling when she yelps.
"Stop exaggerating, babe. Mark's just being protective like always."
"Possessive's more like it. Him and P'Mhor'Kit both."
"What's the difference?" Yu asks, his heart suddenly beating faster in his chest.
"Protective is you hovering beneath me on that ladder earlier even though it was barely three feet," Pim explains, "Possessive is Mark deliberately setting you up with men he knows aren't your type."
"As if you were any different when it was me up there. And I don't get your metaphor."
"Give it some time, babe. You'll figure it out."
Yu sticks his tongue out.
His phone dies in the middle of late lunch. He doesn’t notice, because he and Pim head straight to the theater afterwards to watch the new blockbuster sci-fi movie. They speak and laugh over each other as they pinpoint the plot holes and almost get thrown out for the noise. After that, they must've spent at least two hours window shopping for skincare and makeup, Yu dutifully holding out his wrist whenever Pim wants to swatch something.
"Oh, babe," Pim sighs when they reach the mall exit, "If you weren't so gay, I'd date you already."
Yu just shakes his head. "Babe, if I wasn't genuinely afraid your girlfriend would ruin my life, I'd do the same."
Pim grins, her phone already to her ear. "She's at the parking already. Thanks for today, Yu. I'll see you in class tomorrow."
Yu hails a cab once Pim leaves, leaning forward to politely ask the driver if he can charge his phone. Without Pim, Yu is left alone to his thoughts.
Was she right? Was Mark...what? Possessive of him? That wouldn't make sense, right? Mark wanted more than anyone to find Yu a new boyfriend. He wouldn't have gone through all that trouble if he didn't want it to work.
Yu leans back, strapping the seat belt across his chest. Doing so suddenly reminds him of that morning, Kit's arms warm and safe and sure around him. His cheeks heat up at the memory. P'Kit always had a reassuring presence. Mark used to complain about how cold he was to him, right before he gushes about how it just makes the moments where he lets his guard down extra sweet. But Kit has never been cold or snobbish. Not to Yu.
Even P'Pha had prefaced their first meeting with how Kit can be a man of few words, that it would take some time before Kit would allow himself to open up to Yu, too focused on his goals to befriend everyone he meets. It turned out to be unnecessary. P'Kit and him had hit it off the moment they met.
It was why he was so eager for him and Mark to get together. He knows his best friend can be a bit much for some, but Mark's an angel. His heart swings wildly on his sleeve, but it's always filled with everyone's best interests. No one else could bring out the Kit Yu knows more than Mark can. And Kit is so disciplined and no-nonsense about his studies, exactly the kind of grounding presence Mark needed that Yu couldn't always bring.
His phone starts to light up, chiming steadily. The sound goes on loudly for so long Yu winces.
23 missed calls from Mark
5 missed calls from N'Sab
12 LINE messages from Mark
9 LINE messages from N'Sab
8 LINE messages from P'Kit
Even their icons next to each other look cute. Kit and Mark are perfect together. Yu's delighted they found each other. He's been rooting for them from the start.
So why does he feel so much dread at the thought of talking to either of them?
He swipes for a while, oddly comforted by the act of clearing his notifications until there's nothing left.
He calls Sab first.
"Nong, what happened? Is Por and Mae okay?"
"Phi, finally! Yes, they're fine. But P'Mark has been looking for you all day. Please call him back because he's been bugging me instead."
Yu feels like such a terrible friend.
"Why? I was with my classmates. Then I went out with Pim."
"Tell P'Mark that," Sab whines.
Sab hangs up. Yu stares at Mark's number for a little too long, the contact picture one out of the million selfies they have on his phone. Mark cups Yu's jaw with one hand, his thumb and index finger squeezing Yu's cheeks as Yu pouts into the camera, Mark grinning so wildly behind him his eyes disappear.
Those smiles belong to someone else now.
Wayu chides himself for the thought. Mark isn't like that. Mark has proven time and again that being with P'Kit doesn't mean he'll abandon Wayu. Right?
"Nong, we're here. That'll be X baht."
Yu takes out the appropriate amount of cash, bidding the cab driver good night before stepping out into his building lobby.
And straight into Mark and Kit.
"What are you both doing here?" Yu asks, deja vu creeping in.
"You didn't eat what I cooked," Mark pouts, "and you weren't answering your phone. We've been waiting here forever."
"Sab didn't know where you were," Kit adds quietly.
"I was with Pim," Yu answers, his voice small.
"Well, you should've told us that!" Mark bursts out - not angrily, just...worried. Yu doesn't know why Mark would be. He should've just enjoyed his Sunday with P'Kit. It's what Yu would've done if P'Kit was his boyfriend.
Wait, no. It's what Yu would've done if he had a boyfriend. Not necessarily P'Kit. Or Mark. Or- shit.
Kit puts a hand on Mark's arm to calm him down. Mark does so immediately, looking to P'Kit who stares him down. They have a silent conversation, all eyes and facial gestures. It's so sweet, Yu thinks, that their relationship has matured so fast that they can do couple-y things like that now.
It's sweet, Yu tells himself, so don't think about how that used to be yours and Mark's thing - talking without speaking. Or how you know exactly how calming it feels to have P'Kit touch you and talk you down.
Just be happy for them. Because he isn't, suddenly. He isn't happy for them, he realizes, feeling terrible. He isn't happy. He isn't anything. He's just tired. Just- he wants to be somewhere far away from anything that can remind him of Mark and P'Kit and P'Thanu and P'Pha.
"My phone died," Yu explains listlessly, pushing past the two of them on his way to the elevators.
"Yu, where are you going?" Mark.
Yu presses the buttons for his floor.
"We brought you dinner." P'Kit.
They're both so concerned. It's too much. They shouldn't be here, the way he shouldn't have been at Mark's last night and this morning.
They worry about him too much when they should be all wrapped up in each other. It makes Yu sick.
The elevator dings, parting its doors to reveal passengers who take way too long to leave.
"Yu," Mark calls. He sounds sad, and Yu hates himself a little. Yu turns back to look at him.
"Are we okay?"
He nods, stepping inside. He stares at the dark space separating the elevator from the lobby floor, a long dark line between him and MarkKit.
He presses the close button. Kit jams the one outside, preventing it from closing.
"Go on a date with us," Kit says.
"Maybe some other time, phi," Wayu sighs, "I'll even bring my film camera so I can take nicer pictures of the two of you."
Mark frowns, dragging Kit into the elevator with him, pressing the close button repeatedly and glaring at the resident who tries to enter. Yu finds himself walking backwards until his back hits the wall.
"No, Yu. He meant date us. All three of us, together. We want to be your boyfriends."