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the sweet heat of his breath (in my mouth)

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Donghyuck’s brother has a crush. That’s fine, he’s young after all and it’s okay if he thinks admiring someone means that you will marry them when you’re old enough. It’s chill if Donghyuck’s brother has a crush, but did it have to be Mark? 

The thing is, Mark Lee is a star. Not only is he the captain of the basketball team, but he’s also smart and friendly, he volunteers at the campus' animal shelter –  he rescues street animals and bathes them in his own fucking bathroom – he writes for the campus' journal and his favourite subjects to write about are politics and music because of course Mark Lee is the teacher assistant for the music class. He's everywhere, doing everything perfectly. Not only is he all that, but he's also still extremely cute and toned and strong. 

Donghyuck hates him. But he's getting ahead of himself here. This is a story of how Donghyuck's brother ends up with Mark Lee as his English tutor. Here's how it happens: Deoksu is a good brother and when he started having trouble with his English papers, Donghyuck offered his help. He's older and in college, majoring in social sciences with a minor in liberal arts and general studies, which makes him qualified to help his younger brother with high school level of English homework. He was excited to help Deoksu, even if it meant he had to ride a bus for two hours from his flat near campus to his mother’s house across the city every Saturday. 

He offered, their mother believed that would end up being great for them to bond and his brother accepted his help. Donghyuck failed to consider the fact that his brother is very alike him – which means he's stubborn and easily distracted by anything that might give him some time to procrastinate and, above all this, Deoksu is Donghyuck's brother: they are the exact same amount of evil. Helping his little brother with school work turned out to be impossible as they spent fifteen minutes every Saturday morning getting on each other's nerves before Donghyuck finally managed to make Deoksu open his damn books. The thing was damned from the start. 

He gave up. It wasn't his fault, there's a reason why Donghyuck was not majoring in education. Here enters Mark Lee. 

One day after class ended, a little before lunchtime, Donghyuck and his friends were leaving the classroom when Donghyuck bumped into Mark. He was holding a hundred flyers that went everywhere when they crashed against each other. Donghyuck's mother didn't raise an undomesticated asshole, so he made the mistake of helping Mark Lee pick up the flyers off the floor. 

Here's some background information on Mark Lee – that Donghyuck only got to know on accident because he happened to overhear some people talking about it, no, he didn't want to know anything about Mark Lee, shut up Yangyang –, he's majoring in education with minor studies in foreign languages and he's been tutoring a few classmates for about two semesters. The flyers he was carrying before Donghyuck bumped into him were informative flyers about his free hours for the upcoming tutoring classes he was able to offer, his number was written on the flyer and a few of his skills were also listed. Mark had smiled at him, thanking him for his help – as if it hadn't been Donghyuck's fault in the first place – and left. 

Donghyuck had noticed after Mark left that he was still holding one of the informative flyers. He doesn't know why, but he shoved the piece of paper inside his sweatshirt's pocket. That was his second mistake that day. The third mistake made itself known a few days later when Donghyuck's mother, on one of her rare days off, decided to come to his apartment uninvited and organised his room when he was out for booze with his flatmates. She found the flyer about Mark's tutoring classes and the rest is pretty self-explanatory. 

Donghyuck didn't know about the whole thing, he simply came across Mark Lee one day. They were waiting for the bus together in complete silence when Mark turned to him and said, "You're Lee Donghyuck, right?"

"Yeah," He replied. "Why?"

"I'm tutoring Lee Deoksu, that's your brother, isn't it?"


"I mean, I'm not tutoring him yet. I'm only available on Saturdays for off-campus matters. You know how hard it is to leave this place on a weekday."

"Right," Donghyuck had answered. "Wait, what?"

Mark looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "Dude, is everything okay?"

Donghyuck felt himself blush. He blamed the scorching hot sun. "I'm good, I was just surprised. My mum didn't say anything about the whole tutoring thing."

"Oh," Mark said. He fixed the strap of his backpack on his shoulder. "Is that okay with you?"

"Yeah, it's chill," He said. "Why wouldn't it be?"

"I don't know, I'm just making sure. You look like the protective type of brother."

Donghyuck snorted. "Deoksu is a little shit," He said. "Good luck. You'll need it." 

Mark laughed.

But Mark didn't need luck, after all. It seemed like Deoksu was willing to drive Donghyuck mad, but with Mark, he was the most adorable student. Focused, attentive, sweet. Donghyuck had been home once when Mark was teaching Deoksu. The study room's door was slightly open and Donghyuck was merely passing by –  because he had to pass by the study room on his way to the playroom, obviously –  and watched for a few minutes as Mark went over Deoksu's previous homework. 

Donghyuck had to admit, Mark was a good teacher –  he sounded firm, but kind when correcting Deoksu's mistakes, and Deoksu was actually getting better at building sentences that made sense when writing essays in English. Donghyuck's mother praised Mark over and over again and Deoksu was as enchanted by his tutor as every cheerleader that drooled over Mark at every game. 

It's been a month since Mark started tutoring Donghyuck's brother and that, somehow, made Mark start to act as if he and Donghyuck were close friends. Not that Donghyuck minded listening to Mark's rambling when they were riding the bus together after classes, but it's weird to have Mark all up his face so suddenly. A month ago, they barely talked. Of course, they knew of each other because Donghyuck volunteers at the animal shelter sometimes and because they have some friends in common, but it's different. Mark searches for Donghyuck when they are all having lunch at the on-campus restaurant as if Donghyuck is one of his friends. He's not really sure how to feel about it, but he knows that, deep down, he doesn't mind that much.


The library is not very often the place people would go in case they wanted to find Lee Donghyuck, not unless it was midterms or finals week. Today, though, Donghyuck walks straight to the library after his morning classes, dodging his friends' invites for lunch at the mall. He eats an apple on his way to the library and feels satisfied. He's a little bit nervous, his stomach feels funny, so there's no reason for him to eat more. 

The basis of his nervousness is the person who awaits him at the library: Mark Lee. Now, Mark Lee is not at all the person you'd go to in case you were looking for Lee Donghyuck and yet... Yet, Donghyuck finds himself crossing the glass doors of the library for a study date with Mark. It's not really a date, it's just that Donghyuck could use a little help for his Anthropology test and he happened to mention it when Mark was around. Mark had smiled at him –  he does that a lot – and offered his help. Turns out that Mark had outstanding grades in Anthropology and Donghyuck didn't see a reason to refuse his help. 

"Late." Mark says without looking away from his book. He's wearing a grey sweatshirt and the hood is over his head, covering his entire face from Donghyuck's eyes. 

"Sorry," He replies, sheepishly. "My professor wanted to talk to me after class."

Mark nods. "It's fine," He clears his throat. "Did you bring your notes?"

Donghyuck stares at him. "Mark? Are you okay?"

"I'm just tired." 

Donghyuck studies him for a second. Yes, you're tired, he wants to say, you spread yourself thin in this place. He doesn't say anything, just pulls his notes from his backpack and places them on the table. "Yes, I brought them. Here, see if you understand what the fuck I wrote. My handwriting sucks."

Mark snorts, pulling Donghyuck's notes over to his side. "Yeah," He says. "Deoksu's handwriting is way better."

"I can't be the good-looking brother and the brother with the good calligraphy. What would he be, then?"

Mark laughs quietly. "You're so full of yourself."

Donghyuck tilts his head. "I'm not wrong, though." He says, letting his eyes fall to the depths of his backpack as he searches for a pen. 

"Yeah," Mark says. "You're not."

He blushes, and changes the subject by finally finding a pen. "Well, aren't you here to teach me?"

"I'm here to help you. I hope you know most of the subjects."

“Mmmm,” Donghyuck murmurs. “I’m not sure. What the fuck is,” He looks over at his own notes. “Western colonialism?”

Mark laughs again, a little louder. “God, I hope you’re joking. Can’t be the good-looking but dumb brother, can you?”

Donghyuck bites his bottom lip. “I– I am joking. Did you know that anthropological efforts were often funded by imperial authorities to exploit indigenous cultures for conservative political ends?" 

Mark smiles, looking at him through his eyelashes. “Big brain.” He jokes.

They get to work after that. Donghyuck knew Mark was a good tutor, but having his attention entirely on him, the bright eyes staring at him as he talked about cultural anthropology felt very different. Mark seemed interested as if he really basked in hearing Donghyuck's ramble. They went over some bullet points that needed more attention together and Mark made it easier for Donghyuck to decorate a few important lines.

Donghyuck doesn't notice how much time passes, that is, until his stomach decides it needs attention. The silence in between them is so acute that his stomach sounds like a monster. Mark looks up at him unable to hold back his laughter. 

"Do you wanna get something to eat together?" Mark asks.

"I'm mortified by the sound I just made."

Mark smiles. "It's fine."

"I completely forgot about the time, how long has it been since we started?"

Mark unlocks his phone. "Three hours. Damn."

"That's your fault. I couldn't get past an hour without falling asleep with my actual professor."

Mark blushes. A soft, almost cherry-like flush. "Well thank you."

Donghyuck smiles at him. "How do you feel about Dakgangjeong?"

"Oh," He moans. "Yeah, let's get that."

They leave the library together, talking about their favourite snacks on their way to the bus stop. There is a restaurant two blocks away from campus, but Donghyuck whines about the length they'd have to walk and Mark accepts to ride the bus instead. He mocks Donghyuck, but he doesn't mind.  On the bus, Donghyuck dumps his backpack on Mark's lap and uses his hands to gesticulate as he talks. Mark laughs, nose scrunching cutely as he does so. 

Donghyuck is not the type of person who enjoys silence.  Talking is a very important trait of his personality – talking is how he loves. He talks about things he likes, he talks about his friends, he uses his speech to tease them, to accept them and Mark listens. He listens to every word of Donghyuck's incessant talking and he rejoices in doing so. It's like they fit flawlessly in each other's voids. 


Riding the bus with Mark becomes routine, so does having lunch with him after every study date of theirs. Mark makes a list of his favourite snacks and asks Donghyuck to do the same and so they pick one snack of each other's list every time they go out to eat. It's funny because Donghyuck's mother always said food brings people together. His family used to reunite in the kitchen every Sunday. His grandmother loved to cook for everyone because she knew it would make the family bond. Perhaps there's truth to that statement. 

Every time he tries one of Mark's favourite foods, Mark tells him a story about himself. He recites a memory about that food, he mentions his family, his friends from back home. It's easy to get to know him like this. Donghyuck is smitten with the way Mark speaks.

The restaurant two blocks away from campus becomes their spot. One afternoon, when Mark has the rest of the day free and Donghyuck purposely skips his last class, they walk together. They never run out of things to talk about.

"I never needed to come out to my mum," Mark says. "She always knew, I guess. One day she just talked about wanting a daughter-in-law and then after a second she added "or a son-in-law, I'm not picky" and that was pretty much it."

Donghyuck groans. "You're so lucky. I had to sit down with my parents after their divorce to tell them I was gay. Hated it. Would not recommend."

"They didn't accept you?"

"No, they did. It's just that the talk was mortifying."

Mark laughs. "I thought you loved talking."

Donghyuck slaps his shoulder. "Shut the fuck up."

It's hard not to enjoy Mark's presence. After weeks of being so close to him, Donghyuck starts to want him around – to need his presence by his side. Suddenly he can't understand how he went a year without having Mark so close.

On Saturday, Donghyuck goes home in the morning. Deoksu is still sleeping when Donghyuck gets there. It's very early and the only reason why he decided to come so early is that he wants to be here when Mark comes to tutor Deoksu. 

Deoksu's crush on Mark is going strong. He gets up early on Saturdays, chooses a shirt that their mother says highlights his eyes and awaits Mark on the living room's couch. Donghyuck giggles as he watches Deoksu from the armchair  across the room. 

"Oh," He mocks. "Deoksu has a crush!"

Deoksu throws a pillow at him. “Shut up.”

“Why are you wearing your nice clothes on a Saturday?” 

"All my clothes are nice." 

Donghyuck snorts. "In your dreams."

"Shut up!"

"No, you shut up."

"Ugly face."

"Ass face."

Deoksu throws another pillow at him. "Dick face." He says.

They are so focused on their silly argument that neither of them hears the doorbell, much less notice when Mrs Kang opens the door.

Donghyuck screams, "Poop face!" Right as Mark comes into the living room.

"You kiss your mum with that mouth?"

Donghyuck startles. "Oh," He says. His face burns up. "Hi."

Deoksu turns to Mark. "He started it!"

"Just because I was saying you have a crush–” 

Deoksu lets out a strangled noise. "Shut up!"

Mark laughs. Donghyuck winks at him. "Fine, I'll let you nerds study. I'm gonna be at the playroom having fun."

He busies himself with video games and then Youtube videos for two hours before he gives up and starts scrolling through Instagram. He searches for Mark's username and then stalks his account until he gets to the first picture Mark posted, over three years ago. Skinny Mark, with acne and rounded glasses, the caption said that was a picture of Mark before high school. He looked adorable. Donghyuck is careful not to like the photo accidentally.

There's a knock on the door and Donghyuck locks his phone right as Mark pushes the door open. "Hey," He says. 

"You going already?" 

Mark nods. "Came to say goodbye. I'll see you Monday, right?"

"Can't you stay a little longer?" Donghyuck asks. Then, he clears his throat. "We could play video games."

"That's an irresistible invite," He says. "But I really gotta go. I have another kid to tutor in," He looks at his watch. "An hour."

"Oh," Donghyuck says, tries not to sound so disappointed but if the way Mark's face softens is any indication, he sounded every bit as disappointed as he felt. "Fine."

"Monday, then?"

He nods. 

"Okay," Mark smiles. "Bye."

And then he leaves. 

“Fuck.” Donghyuck says when Mark is gone. “Fuck.”


After realising what he didn't want to realise, Donghyuck tries to avoid Mark. He fails. Three days later, Mark finds him after class and they walk together on campus trying to find a spot on the grass to sit down. There's a huge oak tree behind the business building and so Mark follows Donghyuck in silence. The oak tree is big enough to cover half of the grass and so they sit comfortably, hidden from the sun. 

"Did I do something?" Mark asks.

Donghyuck lays on the ground, using his backpack as a pillow. "No."

Mark shifts next to him. Because Donghyuck laid down, the rays of sun peeking through the oak leaves find their way to his face and he squints as he looks at Mark. "Hold on," Mark says. He takes off his snapback and places it on Donghyuck's face. It smells like Mark – vanilla mixed with cinnamon and a little bit of sweat. "Better?" He asks.

Donghyuck wants to groan. "Yeah, thanks."

"Before I left your house last Saturday, we agreed to meet on Monday." Mark says.


"And you cancelled through text."

"I did."

"And then you didn't talk to me for three days."

This time, Donghyuck actually groans. He's so grateful for Mark's snapback. It covers his face and gives him a sense of being safely tucked away from Mark's questioning eyes. "I'm stupid, that's all."

“I know that,” Mark giggles. “I was just worried I had fucked up our friendship.”

Under Mark’s snapback, Donghyuck winces. “You didn’t.” But I want to. 

“Okay, okay.” He says. “I’m glad I didn’t. I really like you,” Mark scoots closer to Donghyuck. “It’s been a while since I made an actual friend.” 

Donghyuck hums. “Hard to make friends when you’re a star?”

“Real ones, yeah,” Mark says. “I’ve friends on the team that like me because I’m their captain. And friends at the animal shelter that like me because I bathe the street dogs at my house. I’ve got the kids I tutor that ask me to be their friend because they feel lonely.”

“You have friends at home.”

“I can’t fly to Canada every Saturday. But I can go to your house and see you on the weekend. Feels like home sometimes.”

“You never stay after tutoring Deoksu, though.”

“I can’t, most of the time.”

“It’s fine, Mark.” He takes the snapback off his face. “I’m glad you feel this way about me. It’s how I feel about you too.” Not quite, his brain provides. He shuts it off.


“Stop fishing for compliments. You should do that with Deoksu.”

Mark laughs. “Stop throwing your brother at me. He is sixteen.”

“I’m not! But he’s got a crush on you, it’s obvious.”

“He’s not the–” Mark pauses. “He’s just a kid.”

“You know, I’m glad he’s got a crush on you. It means he has taste. I can stop worrying about what kind of people he’s gonna bring home.”

“You’re so annoying.”

Donghyuck laughs. 

They fall back to their routine quite easily after Donghyuck’s epiphany. A few days after their talk under the oak tree, Mark invites Donghyuck to one of his games. He says yes without thinking twice and then he runs to Yangyang’s dorm. Yangyang barely opens his door before Donghyuck starts to whine. “I’ll make a fool of myself if I see him playing.”

Yangyang looks at him. “Hi, bestie,”

Donghyuck shakes his head. “I’ve got no time for that. Mark invited me personally for his next game. He said he’ll save me a seat with his friends. I’ll fuck myself over.”

“I thought you guys were, like, best friends now.”

“We are– I mean, I think we are friends. Like, real friends? But I had a revelation a few weeks ago.”

“You want to fuck him.”


“That was very anticlimactic. I knew you wanted to fuck him ever since that day when you told me you hated him because he was too good of a person.”

“Why did I come here?”

Yangyang shrugs. 

“You’ll come with me.”

“Mmmm,” Yangyang shakes his head. “To a basketball game? I’d rather die–”

“You called me bestie.”

“I didn’t know you’d ask me to watch a sport.”

“Think of it as just a bunch of pretty boys running around like stupid puppies.”

Yangyang puckers his lips. “That could work, actually.”

It does. On Friday, Yangyang tags along with Donghyuck and two of Donghyuck’s flatmates to the game. It’s early evening and it’s hot enough for Donghyuck to wear a sleeveless shirt. They find their secured seats and Donghyuck doesn’t know shit about basketball, about any sports really unless it’s football – real football, not American football – and so he decides he’ll just cheer if he sees Mark’s friends cheering. It’s a good plan, he thinks. 

He gets comfortable and waits for the game to start. Mark is the first player to get to the court, he looks around with narrowed eyes as if he’s studying the place. He looks – well, gorgeous. The black and red uniform fits him perfectly, and this is not the first time Donghyuck sees Mark like that, all dressed up for a game, but it is the first time he sees Mark and he knows him.

He knows Mark now, and everything he thought he knew about perfect Mark used to make him think of Mark in a foolish way, but now all his brain can think of as he stares at Mark warming up on the court is that this boy is amazing, this boy is really fucking amazing and Donghyuck tries – he really fucking tries – to shut down some of his thoughts because this is not the place. Not the right moment. He doesn’t think there will be a right moment for him to scrutinise his thoughts. 

And so the game starts. Mark, as the captain, keeps shouting at his own teammates all through the game and Mark’s friends – Jaehyun and Yukhei – keep shouting at Mark.

“Fuckhead,” Jaehyun says when Mark trips on his adversary and falls on the court, near where they are seated. He touches Mark’s shoulder with the tip of his shoe. “Get in there.”

Mark winks at him, then he looks at Donghyuck and smiles. He’s up and running before Donghyuck has the time to process the smile or smile back. He lets out a shuddered breath. The game goes on – and on and on – and Donghyuck is not sure he knows more about basketball now than he did before, but then it’s break time and the cheerleaders come to distract the crowd. Mark disappears from the court for five minutes before showing up right in front of Donghyuck.

“How’s it going?” Mark asks. He’s drenched in sweat. Gross.

“Terrible,” Yangyang replies. “I don’t understand this fucking game.”

Mark laughs. “Well–”

“I can explain it to you,” One of Mark’s friends interrupts. “I’m very didactic.”

Yangyang looks at Donghyuck, then he turns his head to Yukhei. “I’m all ears.”

Behind Yukhei, Jaehyun groans. He unlocks his phone and opens Twitter. Mark snorts, then he crouches down and places both hands on each of Donghyuck’s knees to balance himself. “Hi.”

“Hi,” Donghyuck says. “I’d say you’re doing well, but I don’t really know…” He trails off.

“I am,” Mark says. “Well, the team is.”

“And you’re not?”

“I’m distracted.”

“What? Why?”

Jaehyun snorts. Mark tilts his head but doesn’t say anything. “I don’t know,” He murmurs. “Must be tired.”

“Do you know how many times per day you say you’re tired?”

Mark’s couch shouts at him to get back because the game is starting and Mark smiles apologetically at Donghyuck. He squeezes Donghyuck’s leg, an inch above his knees, before getting up and crossing the court in large steps.

“Damn, basketball slaps!” Yangyang says. Donghyuck rolls his eyes. 

When the game is over Donghyuck is ninety per cent sure Mark’s team won – well, the Hawks won, they have a name, but Donghyuck will keep calling them Mark’s team until they graduate. Jaehyun and Yukhei are the reason why he’s ninety per cent sure they won because Donghyuck kept his eyes on Mark the entire game and didn't look over to the score at all. Well, priorities.

An hour later, they’re out at a club to celebrate. Mark didn’t want to come because he has to be up at six in the morning on a Saturday to ride the bus all the way to Donghyuck’s house, but Donghyuck taps him on the shoulder and says, “Come on.”

“Fine,” Mark replies. “If your mum fires me–”

“She won’t!”

“If she does–”

“She won’t, you’re like her favourite person in the world for having made Deoksu smart.”

“He’s always been smart.”

Donghyuck snorts. “Defending your boyfriend’s honour?”

“He is sixteen,” Mark says. “You’re so fucking weird.”

The club is downtown in Itaewon and Yangyang is definitely getting dicked down tonight if the way Yukhei is looking at him is any indication, which it clearly is. The music is loud enough that Donghyuck feels it in his bones. There are drinks on the table in front of him, he doesn’t even know who paid for them. Some of these people he doesn’t know, they are acquaintances of the guys from the team, boyfriends and girlfriends, the cheerleaders came too.

Their side of the club is packed, Donghyuck is popular enough to have been in a hundred parties on-campus and off-campus, all the way to the med school student’s dorms or down the hall to Yangyang’s dorm with weird theatre kids who are actually pretty fucking nice. But the basketball team’s parties were never really his thing. He kinda likes it, actually. The guys are loud, a bunch of them are dudebros, but they’re kind – they are himbos. Mark doesn’t look out of place here. 

It’s funny, Donghyuck thinks, that Mark fits everywhere. Donghyuck has problems with making himself small to fit in places – he is, most of the time, too much of a person and that’s not really an issue – but Mark doesn’t look like he’s got this problem. He doesn’t make himself smaller to fit anywhere, the places make themselves bigger to deserve Mark. 

“So,” Mark says. He pauses to down a glass of gin. Then he uses the back of his hand to dry his mouth. “I was thinking–”


“We should do something you like next.”

“What do you mean?”

“You know how we either study or get lunch together,” Mark replies, he scoots over to Donghyuck’s side so their thighs are pressed against each other under the table and his mouth is really, really close to Donghyuck’s ear. “And I invited you to watch me play. So now you should invite me to do something you like. We could go, I don’t know, bird watching.”

Mark’s breath is so warm against his skin. “Bird watching?”

“Are you into that?”


“What are you into, then?”

Donghyuck laughs. Oh boy, he thinks. “I’ll tell you when I think of something. I know I look interesting, but I’m not Mark Lee.”

Mark scoffs. “Mark Lee? That guy sucks.”

“Shut up.”

“Tell me, okay?” 

“I will.”


Donghyuck is obsessed. Ever since he realised, he – quite fucking literally – could not stop realising. Mark is very fucking hot, and he’s kind and funny, there has to be a catch, right? And the catch is that he is simply not interested. He said so himself, he likes Donghyuck very much as a friend, as a real friend. A friend with whom he shares the most truthful parts of himself and now, what? Donghyuck wants to fuck him? What kind of friend he would be?

It would be easier if Mark just kept his distance for at least one fucking day, but the universe is not so kind and Mark seems to enjoy Donghyuck’s company more than anyone else Donghyuck knows, maybe even more than his own mother. 

The past weeks had him thinking too much about Mark. Once again, he finds his thoughts taken over by Mark in the most inopportune moments: when he's showering, when he's in bed trying to sleep. At this point, Donghyuck doesn't think he can pretend not to be attracted to Mark. That’s pretty much Deoksu’s fault – why did he have to suck at English so bad? He doesn’t even need the tutoring classes anymore. Why did he have to be crushing on Mark? Now he’s never gonna let Mark go until he graduates. 

Which is why Donghyuck decides to go home on Friday, after his morning classes he simply skips his afternoon classes. It’s a week before finals, he shouldn’t skip any classes, but his study dates with Mark have been paying off and he needs one – just one day with himself. He goes to his flat, shoves a few clothes inside a backpack and writes a quick note for his flatmates, telling them he will be back on Monday morning. In two hours he'll be home. Then he’ll have time to think, to put himself together and he’ll be just fine on Saturday when he inevitably meets Mark again, at his own house. 

At home, Donghyuck takes a shower. Mrs Kang makes him at PB&J sandwich and Donghyuck takes the plate upstairs to the playroom where he spends the rest of his Friday. When Deoksu gets home from school, they play against each other for a while.

“Hey,” Deoksu says. “Do you– Are you for real when you say I’m obvious?”

Donghyuck doesn’t take his eyes away from the TV. “Uh,” He says. “You gotta be more specific, dude.”

“About my, uh,” He sighs. “My crush on Mark.”

“Oh,” Donghyuck says. “I’m your brother and I was your age once.”

Deoksu rolls his eyes. “You’re 21, not 30.”

“Yeah, but I mean, like, when I was sixteen I got crushes all the time. It’s pretty normal.”

“Does he know?”

“I think so,” He doesn’t say he constantly makes fun of Mark for it. “I mean, he’s not stupid.”

“So I’m obvious. It’s what you’re saying.”

“Deok-ah,” Donghyuck laughs. “You blush when he says your name.”

“Ugh,” Deoksu throws the video game control on the couch and pushes his face against the cushion. “My life sucks.”

Donghyuck laughs. “It’s fine, I bet a hundred people are currently into him.”

“Yeah,” His brother agrees. “Like you.”


“You’re into him.”

Donghyuck chuckles nervously. “What?” He repeats.

“I’m your brother,” Deoksu says. “You suck at hiding the heart eyes. Dude, you’re in love.”

“You’re dumb,” He says. “I don’t– I am not–”

Deoksu laughs. “Pathetic.”

“Shut up.”

“I mean, I know I’m not going to date him–” His brother starts. “I’m not an idiot, but you could get him and yet.”

“And yet what?”

“Yet you run from him.”

“You’re sixteen. You should shut the fuck up.”

“You’re twenty-one. You should grow the fuck up.”

Donghyuck doesn’t answer. Instead, he gets the video game control, throws it at Deoksu’s head and they play in partial silence until dinner time. Donghyuck’s mother is on call tonight, so Donghyuck has to heat up their dinner and make sure Deoksu is in bed before eleven. When he’s done playing the big brother role, he runs to his room. On his bed, he unlocks his phone. There are a few texts from his friends, the group chat with his flatmates and Mark. Donghyuck sends Mark a quick text telling him he’s home and turns off his phone before Mark can reply.

His conversation with Deoksu is on repeat inside his head. He doesn’t believe he’s obvious – not as obvious as Deoksu is. And he’s not in love. He’s not. He’s attracted, he’s into Mark – but love? Deoksu is just a kid. He doesn’t know shit. 

Donghyuck falls asleep with Mark’s face behind his eyelids. 

Saturday arrives with a dark sky and heavy winds. The windowpane of Donghyuck's room is slightly ajar and he wakes with his feet cold. He turns his head on the pillow, searching for his phone to see the time. It's a little after nine. He rises from the bed to close his window before it starts raining. Damn, he was excited to spend the day by the pool. He doesn't remember the weather app telling him the weekend was going to be cold, but there it is. Dark and cold – just the way he hates it. 

Donghyuck's door flings open, startling him, and Deoksu says, "You should take a shower."

"You should fuck off."

Deoksu rolls his eyes. "Fine, don't shower then. Don't say I didn't warn you."

Donghyuck sits up. "Why should I shower?"

"For one, you stink. Also, Mark is going to be here in fifteen minutes."

“He’s here to see you, not me.”

“You’re making it so easy for me to be the good-looking and the smart brother.”

“Ha!” Donghyuck scoffs. “In your fucking dreams.”

His plan to stay away enough time to put his head in place wasn't foolproof, he has to admit. So he gets under the hot shower, puts on clean clothes – a soft blue sweatshirt and grey shorts – and pretends he's not anxious to see Mark. It's so fucking weird. He saw Mark two days ago. His talk with Deoksu the day before is still running around inside his head. The heater is on in the living room, but the rain is pouring outside. It doesn't feel like Saturday with the way the sky is dark. Deoksu is laying on the couch, on his phone, but he jumps to his feet when the doorbell rings before Mrs Kang gets to the room. Mark is soaking wet when he enters the hall. 

"Fuck," Deoksu says. "Can't believe you didn't bring an umbrella."

"It wasn't raining when I left."

"Still dumb of you." Deoksu giggles.

Donghyuck bites his bottom lip. "Deoksu, let Mark get inside properly, what the hell."

"Oh, right."

"Hi," Mark says. "I missed you."

Donghyuck blushes. "You look horrible."

Mark smiles. "Sorry."

"Come with me, you can shower in my bathroom."

"I don't–”

"Come with me," Donghyuck says again. "I'll get you some clean and warm clothes. You can't get sick because of my brother."

"How," Deoksu squeaks. "Is this my fault?"

"Because I said so."

Mark follows Donghyuck upstairs. He senses the weight of Mark’s stare on his back – he feels like a target. It's not a bad feeling, per se, but the last thing he needed right now was to get goosebumps all over his skin because Mark is watching him. In his room, Donghyuck gets a towel for Mark and shoves him into the bathroom. Mark's laugh echoes in the room. Donghyuck sits on the end of his bed; there's a joke in this situation, but he's not sure he gets the punchline. He wanted just one day away from Mark to gather his thoughts, but now Mark is in his bathroom, using his body wash. 

Mark doesn't take long in the shower. His head peaks from inside the bathroom, hair wet, and flushed cheeks. "I'll need these clothes now."

Donghyuck laughs, shaking his head. "That was so fucking stupid of you." He opens his wardrobe, searching for warm clothes.

"I didn't think the rain would fall while I was still on my way. I was supposed to get here at nine sharp. The bus was late. You know," Mark says. "This is one of those days."

Donghyuck offers him the clothes, but he doesn't walk away from the bathroom door. "What days?"

"You know when you wake up and instantly feel like you should stay in bed?"

"Yeah," He crosses his arms. "I do."

"I should've stayed home. I'm just–” Mark sighs. "Let me get dressed. It'll be a minute." Then he closes the door.

When he emerges from the bathroom, Donghyuck is lying on the bed. “Hi.” Mark says. 

Donghyuck pats the space next to him. “Come here.”

Mark flops on the bed, draws himself closer to Donghyuck's body. He tenses for a second, anticipating Mark's next move. Mark doesn't move. 

Donghyuck sighs. "Bad day?"

"I'm just stressed," He says. "Tired."

"You're always tired."

"I've got a lot on my plate."


"I know that."

Donghyuck clicks his tongue. "Sometimes it's fine to slow down."


"Do you want to take a nap?"

"I'm working."

"Well, technically," Donghyuck says. "I'm your employer and I'm giving you the day off." He gets his phone from under the pillow and texts Deoksu: Your tutoring class is cancelled.

Deoksu replies “Sweet”. Donghyuck laughs and shows the exchange to Mark. "You're free."

Mark laughs. "Donghyuck."


He doesn't say anything at first. Instead, Mark shifts on the bed – he throws one leg over Donghyuck's legs and hides his face on the crook of Donghyuck's neck. “It’s so hard to keep it to myself, so fucking hard.” He says. "I wonder if you feel it too." His breath is warm against Donghyuck's skin.

Donghyuck closes his eyes. "Feel what?"

Mark groans. "Wrong answer." He pulls away. 

“No,” Donghyuck says. “This is not one of our study dates.”

“It isn’t.”

“There’s no right or wrong answer.”

Mark hums. “There is, though.”  

“I need things spelt out for me.”

“Don’t play dumb.” Mark says. 

“I’m not.”

They lie side by side in silence for a whole minute. “I feel it too,” Donghyuck says. “If you’re wondering about what I think you’re wondering. Yes. I definitely do.”

“Okay.” Mark replies. 

“What are you going to do about it?” Donghyuck asks. He finds his feet again, turns on the bed so he’s facing Mark’s side profile. “You said you were wondering.”

Mark shifts too. They are very close, Donghyuck is breaking a few house rules with his closed door and this gorgeous boy on his bed. Jesus, Mark is so beautiful. He wants to kiss him. 

“If you’re serious–” Mark starts. 

Donghyuck interrupts. “I wouldn’t joke about that.”

“If you’re serious, then, I’d kiss you.”

“And what else?”

Mark leans in, presses his closed mouth on the corner of Donghyuck’s lips. He is still warm from the shower and he doesn’t smell like vanilla and cinnamon, he smells like almond and orange leaves – Donghyung’s scent. Mark’s lips feel soft and precious pressed on the sensitive skin of Donghyuck’s face. He pulls slightly away, only so that Donghyuck doesn’t get cross-eyed looking at him. “Wouldn’t you like to know, love?”

Donghyuck’s whole body burns. “When you said you liked me–” He starts. “The other day, you know?”


“You meant it– like– as friends?”

“You’re being purposely obtuse.”

Donghyuck giggles. “You said you didn’t want to fuck up our friendship because I was a real friend.” 

“You can still be a real friend and let me do this,” Mark says, leaning in and catching Donghyuck’s bottom lip between his sharp teeth. Donghyuck lets out a low moan, his hands instantly sweat and he presses his legs together. “Can’t you?”

“Fuck,” He whispers as soon as Mark pulls away from him – again. Enough of this pulling away shit, Donghyuck throws his arms around Mark’s shoulders and pulls him close enough that the tips of their noses touch. “Mark.”

“We can be friends still,” He says as he drags one of his hands down Donghyuck’s thigh. “I don’t see why not be both.”


“Friends and something else.” Mark squeezes Donghyuck’s thigh. “I thought I could do it. Be only your friend.”

“And you can’t?”

Mark hums, skidding his nose across Donghyuck's hairline. “I don’t think so,” He replies. “I kept slipping around you. Couldn’t keep my hands to myself – nor my thoughts. Couldn’t stop daydreaming about kissing you while your brother sat across from me because I couldn’t forget the fact that you were close by. Wanted you around all the time. Couldn’t stand not seeing you for even just one day.”

Donghyuck shrivers on the bed, wanting to get his hands on Mark, scratch him with his nails, bite him until the soft skin of Mark's neck is full of teeth bruises.

“You knew how to keep your distance," Mark says. "But you slipped once or twice. Sometimes you looked at me as if you were thinking about eating me alive."

"I do," Donghyuck says. "I want to eat you whole."

Mark laughs. He presses his crotch to Donghyuck's hip. "Good," He says. "I want you to."

Just as Donghyuck shifts on the bed again to get what he so desperately wants – Mark’s cock – the door to his bedroom springs open and his mother is right on the other side. She crosses her arms on her chest. “No boys allowed inside any bedrooms. No closed doors.”

Donghyuck sits up. “Uh–”

“I’m sorry Mrs Lee,” Mark says. “I was just–”

She raises a hand. “No need for explanations. Just–,” She sighs. “I came home to have lunch with my kids so that’s what we are all going to do. Come, Mark, you too.” She turns on her heels and disappears into the corridor. Donghyuck presses his lips together. He’s horrified. 

“I’m so fucking sorry.” He says, but Mark’s whole body is shaking with laughter. 

“It’s fine.” He says.

“I’m an adult,” Donghyuck whines. “This is unnecessary.”

“This is still her house,” Mark laughs. “Donghyuck, it’s fine. Look at me,” He holds Donghyuck’s chin and turns his head so he is facing him. “It’s fine. We can finish what we started later. Any other time. I won’t take back what I said.”


“Okay.” Mark nods.

Lunch with his mother is actually humiliating because she keeps sending him looks that everyone at the table notices. Still, Donghyuck sits at the dining room table, across from Mark, and eats his fucking vegetables.

They don’t actually finish what they started. Donghyuck only sees Mark again on Monday – it’s quick, he’s passing by Mark’s classroom while Mark is standing near the door with a few friends. He’s so exceptionally late for class that he can’t even stop to get a quick kiss, a hug or a fucking handshake. Mark smiles at him and instantly Donghyuck remembers the way his mouth felt when pressed softly against Donghyuck’s cheek. He is so touch starved, so needy that the only source of strength for him to get through his first period is remembering the weight of Mark’s hand on his thigh. 

After class, he gets stuck in the classroom because of a group project and by the time he’s done, Mark texts him saying he needed to cancel their study date because something came up in his music class and as the teacher assistant he had to be there. 

The whole fucking day sucks. 

It’s early evening when Mark texts him again. Donghyuck is focused on finishing an essay for one of his classes and Mark invites him out for a smoothie. The weather is still cold, but Donghyuck doesn’t say anything. He sends Mark “ be there in 10”.

In public, Donghyuck doesn’t know how to behave around Mark. Only now he thinks about the implications of their heavy flirting on Saturday. They used to feel at ease with each other, but the tension that exploded in between them wasn’t going to leave anytime soon. Donghyuck knows that– he can’t think of Mark without his mouth watering. Mark definitely feels the same, he has been feeling the same. While Donghyuck regressed to his high school days – feeling insecure, incapable of communicating and mumbling pathetically to himself – Mark was about to burst from the need to have Donghyuck under him. 

Jesus, they want each other so much it’s as if this desire, this need is something from past lives. Maybe a hundred years ago they didn’t get to fuck before dying on the hands of the Church. Maybe because of that it is now Donghyuck’s purpose in life to get on his knees and worship Mark. There are worse ways to spend life, he reckons. Getting on his knees to attend the mass in Mark's presence isn’t one of them. 

He shakes his head, pushes open the door for the smoothie place – it’s warmer here than outside. Why the hell would Mark want a smoothie? He searches around, finds Mark on a table across the room and doesn’t try to fight the rush of warmth that takes over his body inside out. That had nothing to do with the weather. Donghyuck walks up to Mark, dumps his backpack on the empty seat and sits across from Mark. Instantly, before they even greet each other, Mark’s foot finds Donghyuck’s leg under the table. 

“Hi,” Mark says. “You look cute.”

“Do I?” He asks. “My face gets red when I’m cold.”

“And you’re cold because it’s fucking cold and you’re barely dressed up properly.”

“Okay mum, listen, I’ve got a sweatshirt and a jacket.”

“It’s not enough.”

“Yes it is, and you’re all worried about the weather, why did you ask me out for a smoothie? You know they serve frozen stuff in here, right?”

“That’s because I had to run an errand around here, I wanted to see you outside campus because if anyone sees me there they’ll ask for something and I cannot– I can’t, I needed time out and I wanted it with you.”

Donghyuck sighs. “You know what I’m going to say–”

“Yeah, I do. I promise you I’ll slow down next semester.”

“God, you have to. How many classes are you taking? How many people are you tutoring? The animal shelter every Sunday. The job as a teacher assistant takes away your every afternoon plus your basketball practices literally every night.” 

“I get it.”

“You’re not a robot,” Donghyuck says. “Also, if your every day is filled up already how are we going to make this– this thing work.”

Mark smiles. “This thing?”

Donghyuck shifts on his seat, uncomfortable. “You didn’t name it.”

“Neither did you.”

“But you were the one who took the first step so…” He trails off. “Do you want to go somewhere else?”

Mark asks. “Your apartment?” 

“I have roommates.”

“So do I.”


Mark presses his lips together. “I mean, I don’t care if anyone– if anyone is around.”

“I’m loud.” Donghyuck murmurs.

“Oh,” Mark says. “Oh. Fuck. Hold on–” 

Donghyuck laughs. “Are you affected by that?”

“I’m positively affected by everything you say.”

“Lame ass.”

“Shut up,” Mark says. “Do you want to leave or not?”

It’s a no-brainer, honestly. They leave the smoothie place – holding hands, oh my God – and get on the next bus to Donghyuck’s building. It’s a fifteen-minute ride, and Mark doesn’t let go of Donghyuck’s hand. In fact, he brings Donghyuck’s hand to his face, places soft kisses on it until Donghyuck feels like he’s dying and pulls his hand back. They talk about Mark’s flatmates – they aren’t as close and Mark is planning on moving in with Jaehyun next year – and Donghyuck’s flatmates – they are close enough for them not to bother Donghyuck about bringing Mark home, but if he had to choose a flatmate, if would be Yangyang. 

“Why did you move out from home?” Mark asks. “I mean, your house is two hours away from campus. You didn’t have to.”

“I wanted to experience how it felt to be out of my mother’s reach,” Donghyuck says. “It sucked. I want to go back at least five times a week. But it made me grow.”

“Yeah,” Mark says. “Living away from your parents does that.”

“Often people leave their hometown for Canada,” Donghyuck says. His heart is under control so he reaches for Mark’s hand and brings it to his lap. He plays with Mark’s fingers. “You left Canada, though.”

“I did.”


“Because I wanted to do something for myself. In Canada, well, my mum is a teacher. She teaches at the most renowned university in the state, top list of the country. If I stayed there, I’d get in very easily. I’d stay in her shadow.  But here? No one knows about my mum’s outstanding career, and if they do, they don’t know I’m her kid. They only know me because I work very hard– I work extremely hard. Even if they realise who my mother is, they won’t think that I got where I am because of her. Everyone saw how hard I worked. Right?”


“And I don't have to live up to anyone’s expectations here. People don’t look at me and expect me to be a genius.”

“I think you’re a genius.” Donghyuck says.

“You’re just saying that.”

“No–” Donghyuck mutters. “I really do. I hated you, you know? God, you were so annoying with the perfect thing. You were perfect. I hated it.”

“You didn’t know me. I’m not perfect.”

“You’re right, I didn’t know you. When I got to know you I realised I was wrong about two things. For one, you’re better than I expected. Perfection doesn’t cover it. Two, I never really hated you. I wanted so bad to have you.”

Mark blushes – soft and lovely. He is so precious. “You don’t have to say things like that, you know, I will fuck you.”

Donghyuck wheezes. “You’re so fucking annoying.”

They get off the bus holding hands. How is it possible that they’ve held hands more than they’ve kissed? It’s so cute. There’s a sweet innocence to it. It’s not going to last, of course, because even the way Mark’s thumb is rubbing on the skin of the back of Dongyuck’s hand is getting him turned on, but it’s sweet. It makes him feel like they are courting in 1802. 

Donghyuck does not bump into any of his flatmates in the living room, maybe they aren’t home, maybe they’re locked in their own rooms. Either way, the walk to his bedroom is smooth. Inside his room, Mark takes off his jacket, his sweatshirt and an under tee. 

"God, you get cold easily? You're Canadian."

"Yeah," Mark says. "Canadian, not stupid."

"Fine," He replies. He takes off his jacket but keeps his sweatshirt, instead he takes off his jeans and jumps on the bed, pulling the comfort over his legs. "If I could delete one thing from the world I'd definitely delete jeans."

"Jeans are okay," Mark states. "Your legs look obscene in jeans." 

“You think so?”

“They were the first thing I noticed about you.”

“Oh,” Donghyuck says. Teasing, he continues, “Before my personality or my smile?”

“I got to them eventually,” Mark replies. He sits on the bed and pulls Donghyuck’s feet to his lap. “But the legs. Wanted them around me since the minute I laid eyes on them.”

“You know, I didn’t think you’d be so fucking filthy. Polite Mark, sweet Mark, who would’ve thought?”

Mark pushes the duvet off Donghyuck’s legs. It’s so quiet in the room, they can hear each other breathing. Mark gets both hands on each of Donghyuck’s legs, caressing them softly before squeezing his thighs until Donghyuck hisses. He leans down, tongue out – Mark licks a stripe from an inch above Donghyuck’s knee up to the hem of his underwear. He pushes the fabric up and kisses the unmarked skin. Mark does the same thing to Donghyuck's other leg, he blows on the trace of saliva he lets behind. Donghyuck's dick hardens inside his cotton underwear. "Good?"

"I think I need more than that."

“I’ll give you anything you need.” Mark says.

Donghyuck sighs as Mark curls his hand around his underwear, pulling it off. Once he’s naked from the waist down, he closes his eyes and lets his legs fall open. He hears as Mark lets out a tiny moan. “Fascinating.” Mark whispers.

“It’s just a regular dick,” Donghyuck says. “Bet you’ve seen many.” 

“I did, but I didn’t like the owner of these dicks nearly as much.”

“I feel like you’re trying to kill me.”

Mark laughs. “Not before I get my mouth on you.”

Donghyuck reaches for his dick, holding it at the base firmly. He balances himself on one of his elbows so he can look at Mark’s face in between his thighs. Donghyuck guides his dick to Mark’s mouth, he glides the wet tip of his dick on Mark’s lips. Mark’s mouth falls open but Donghyuck doesn’t give it to him, instead he ushers the head of his dick to Mark’s cheek, slaps it against his skin. “Come on,” Mark says. “I think I deserve the whole thing.”

“Hmmm,” Donghyuck murmurs. He gets the tip of his dick in between Mark’s lips again. “There you go.” And he falls to the bed at the same time Mark’s mouth overtakes his cock. Here’s the thing, Donghyuck thinks, this might not be a story of how his brother ended up having Mark Lee as his tutor. This might be, he’s almost sure it is, a story of how he ended up in love with Mark Lee.

Mark sucks cock like he does everything else – perfectly, with all his might. He does so in a way that makes you sure that no one else could’ve done it better. He ruins Donghyuck – in bed, for life. No one else will make Donghyuck feel like this ever again, just him. Just Mark. 

Donghyuck’s hands are interlocked in Mark’s soft hair, pulling and scratching his scalp as Mark takes him deeper and deeper and deeper until he feels like Mark’s is really about to swallow him. He moans and thrashes on the bed, it feels too intense, so intense that his own body doesn’t understand what’s going on – should he try to get away? Donghyuck’s mouth falls open, he’s breathing heavily, staccato. 

Mark pulls away, mouth spit-slick. “Oh, so this is what you meant when you said you were loud.”

Donghyuck lets out a small laugh. “I sense I’ve made a mistake in telling you that.”

“Maybe.” Mark replies. 

“How do you want to do this?”

“Either way works for me.”

“Hmmm,” Donghyuck moans. “I think you might have been made for me. I’m sure.”

“Oh, I hope so.”

“I want you to fuck me,” Donghyuck decides, taking off his sweatshirt. “But I wanna be on top.”


In bed they are as synchronized as they are everywhere else, it seems. He takes off Mark's jeans and while shifting to get in position, Mark puts a pillow under his head and Donghyuck mounts him. He reaches for the second drawer of his bedside table and pulls the lube bottle and a condom from there. 

"Do you want me to prep you?" Mark asks. His hands are busy with Donghyuck's thighs again. Donghyuck shakes his head. "Okay. I'm fine with watching."


Mark scoffs. "Says you."

They don't talk much while Donghyuck opens himself up with his skilled fingers. The only sounds in the bedroom are his small moans and Mark's encouraging words. Donghyuck has never enjoyed sex talk, dirty talk, any kind of talk in bed. But he can't deny that listening to Mark's raspy voice is getting him worked up. He can't deny that Mark's sweet words are getting to him. The way Mark sighs when Donghyuck makes any noise is very telling, it makes Donghyuck feel mighty. He gets himself ready with three fingers and then it's time to get Mark inside. 

Mark's dick is hard and long, the perfect girth to stretch Donghyuck even after prepping. It's gorgeous and now Donghyuck regrets not having returned the favour. He wants to know how Mark tastes, how would his cock fit in his mouth, how would it feel hitting the back of his throat. He wants to choke on it, to get the back of his throat bruised and sensitive, but it will have to wait for right now he's got his hands around Mark's dick, getting it wet with his precum and the strawberry flavoured lube. Donghyuck clenches with the thought of having Mark so deep inside him he'd get a belly bulge.

Sex is not often something Donghyuck craves desperately, not as often as some of his friends do. With Mark, though, the simple act of thinking about it makes his body burn and his heart skip several beats. Having Mark under him, naked and sweaty and flushed a soft red, bottom lip bitten raw – that's something Donghyuck could get addicted to. 

The wet tip of Mark's dick catches on his rim before sliding in. There's a burn, a pressure. Donghyuck whirls his hips, gets Mark's dick deeper inside and he places both hands on Mark's chest as leverage. He doesn't stop moving until he's completely seated on Mark's cock. His ass hotly and tightly pressed against Mark's crotch. 

“Fuck,” He draws out. "That's exactly what I had in mind." 

Mark settles both his hands on Donghyuck's hips. "You're so fucking tight."

"It's a gift."

"Yeah," Mark moans. "Jesus, it is."

"You better make it worth it."

Mark smiles, plants his feet on the bed and pushes his hips up. Donghyuck's hands slide on his chest, he almost loses his balance and he certainly lets out a throaty moan that leaves his throat aching for a few seconds. If he felt cold at all in the past few hours he doesn't remember. Right now, while Mark is thrusting up ruthless and cruelly into him, he can't remember how it feels to not be hot and dripping sweat. It's been a few months, more than a few months actually since Donghyuck last got fucked. He should take a few moments to adjust, he should make more effort to find his release. 

He doesn’t.

The pit of his stomach gets bubbly and tight and his thighs start to shake too soon. He loses control of what he says or the sounds he makes and the only movement he can order his body to make is keep circling his hips, clenching his hole so Mark grunts and fucks him harder. Mark slaps his ass once, twice and he cries out. He is loud, he knows he's loud – some people like it, some of his previous partners weren't so into it, but Mark apparently is. He notices what makes Donghyuck loud and he keeps doing it until Donghyuck's throat is aching like hell and his mouth is hanging open.

Suddenly, Mark pulls out. Before Donghyuck can complain, Mark manhandles him into another position. He gets Donghyuck lying on his sides and places himself behind him. It all happens so quick that Donghyuck lets out a yelp when he feels Mark entering him again. So deep, so fucking deep that Donghyuck immediately puts his hand on his lower belly expecting to feel Mark's dick there and he is sure, he's absolutely sure he does. Else he's actually getting dick-insane. 

"There," He moans. "There, like this."

Mark nods and bites his nape, sucks on the skin of where Donghyuck's shoulder meets his neck and doesn't slow down, he doesn't stop. Like a true athlete, Mark's stamina doesn't disappoint. Donghyuck is getting worn out, he's getting sloppy and his brain isn't responding as quickly, but Mark is still going hot, hard, intense. He lets out such beautiful noises, manly grunts, soft sighs. He's so good at this, he's so good at fucking Donghyuck. 

Donghyuck will never let him go.

"Are you close, baby?" Mark whispers against Donghyuck's ear. He sucks on his earlobe. 

Donghyuck tries to speak, but the only thing that gets out of his mouth is nonsense. Mark laughs. “I’ll take that as a yes.” He pushes Donghyuck so he’s lying on his belly and Donghyuck loses himself then and there. The weight of Mark on his back, the sting of Mark splitting him up, the burnt of Mark’s cock dragging in and out of him, their whole bodies touching, Mark’s mouth against his nape.

Fuck, fuck. This is the best sex he's ever had. Mark is so strong, manhandles him so easily and it's not like Donghyuck is weak or mellow, he could take Mark. He doesn't want to. He likes the feeling of being manhandled by his soft hands.

Mark stops thrusting, just grinds his hips, dick moving minutely inside of Donghyuck. Oh, Jesus, he's so close. 

"Almost," He says. "Almost there."

"I've got you," Mark says. He puts one hand on Donghyuck's hair and pulls it so hard that Donghyuck has to bend his head back so it won't hurt as much. "I've got you."

Donghyuck comes – spectacularly, incredibly. His head spins, he can't move or talk and he is so sure his sheets are soiled beyond repair. Still inside him, Mark comes too. They lay there, connected and exhausted, breaths uneven and sweat dripping down their bodies. 

“Mark,” Donghyuck rasps out. “Get off me.”

“Sorry,” Mark replies. He sags down on the bed, takes off the condom and turns on the bed just enough to get rid of it in the trash bin near the bedside table. “Hey, how are you feeling?”

Donghyuck stretches, feeling the sting of his muscles, he’s so tired but the absolute best kind of tired. He turns his head to look at Mark. “I’m just dandy,” Donghyuck laughs. “You did me so good, what the hell.”

“You aren’t really surprised, are you?” Mark says. He leans down to leave a lovely and sweet kiss on Donghyuck’s cheek. “I told you I’d give you anything you wanted.”

“Yeah,” Donghyuck smiles. “You did.” 

Donghyuck would like to say they didn’t stop having sex. He would like to say they avoided responsibilities for the rest of the week just so they could make out every day, but his boyfriend – his boyfriend – is Mark Lee and they started dating on finals week. Which means they saw each other sometimes but there was no time for making out sessions on the couch or the bed or the red brick wall behind their university building.

They studied together, ate lunch together, studied a little bit more. Mark laid his head on Donghyuck's lap while they quizzed each other. It's not that much different from what they used to do before they realised something was most definitely up in between them. But the way Mark likes to keep touching him, hand around his wrist, their feet touching under the duvets, under tables, he rests his head on Donghyuck's shoulder when they are riding the bus – those little touches are the difference. They are Mark's love language and they are for Donghyuck only. 

Because of finals some days they can only text. Sometimes even texting doesn't work because Mark always has such busy days. On Wednesday he comes over to study for his next test and it's too late for him to ride back to his place. Donghyuck convinces him to sleep at his flat and they cuddle on the bed until Mark couldn't keep his eyes open. 

This is how finals week come and goes. And then it's Saturday and Donghyuck is going home for lunch with Mark seated next to him. There's no tutoring class today. He's coming as Donghyuck's boyfriend to meet his mother. He puts his hand on Mark’s leg to stop its jittering. 

“Stop, oh my God. She loves you.”

“Uh,” Mark says. “As her son’s teacher. Not as her son’s boyfriend.”

“It’s not that different, you’re still the same polite and pretty boy she hired three months ago.”

“But now I’m fucking you. She’ll hate me. It’s on the mom book.”

“We aren’t just fucking, we are dating.”


“So it’s not the same thing. Besides, would your mom hate me?”

“Of course not,” Mark says, sounding offended. “She’ll love you. Who would hate you? Miserable people only.”

Donghyuck blushes but chooses to roll his eyes so Mark will understand how silly he’s sounding right now. “Then why would my mother hate you?”

“I don’t know.”

He’s still nervous when they get home. Deoksu is on the couch and his mother – that had switched her day off with a co-worker to be here today – is on the armchair, reading a book. Donghyuck knows she’s got the glasses on to look intimidating, she’s probably not even reading the damn book. But Mark staggers and holds Donghyuck’s hand so tightly it hurts. 

“Oh God,” Mark whispers.

“Stop.” He whispers back.

“Good morning,” Donghyuck’s mother says. “It’s great to see you, Mark. How are you?”

Mark licks his lips. “Good, ma’am, how about you?”

“I’ll feel better once I know what are your intentions with my Donghyuck.”


She throws her head back laughing. “I’m just kidding! It’s a joke! I bet Mark thought it was funny, didn’t you?”

Mark looks mortified. “I– I did. Yeah. Very funny.”

Deoksu laughs. “Mom, stop scaring Mark. Mark, welcome to the family. Sucks that it wasn’t through me, though.”

“Deoksu!” Donghyuck squeaks.

“What? You can make fun of it but I don’t?”

“Oh my God, this was such a horrible idea, Mark, I’m so sorry,” He turns to Mark. “I’m really sorry I forced you to socialise with them.”

“Oh, shut up,” His mother says. “Food is almost ready, wash your hands upstairs. No funny business up there, boys, I’m watching you.” 

Upstairs, Mark starts laughing. “Oh fucking hell,” He says. “I thought she was going to kick me in the balls for real.”

“She’s too much,” Donghyuck says. “And Deoksu, what the fuck.”

“Ha! Wait until you meet my family. This is child’s play when compared to the way they tease me. They’ll tear you down.”

“Hmm,” Donghyuck says. He closes the distance between them to kiss Mark: slowly, lovingly, until his lungs burn with the need for air. “I’m ready to meet your family.”

“You better be,” Mark replies. “You are stuck with me forever.”

“Jesus, say that again,” Donghyuck giggles against Mark’s mouth. “Love the sound of it.”

“And I love you.”

It’s the first time the L word is brought up in between them, but Donghyuck isn’t scared or doubting himself. He kisses Mark again, quickly and softly, and says, “I love you too.”

Mark leans in, catches Donghyuck’s mouth in a toe-curling kiss and before either of them move to deepen the kiss, Donghyuck’s mother’s voice reaches them as an echo as she screams, “I said no funny business!”

Donghyuck groans, mouth still pressed against Mark’s mouth. “How does she know?”

“Come on,” Mark takes a step back and pulls him by the hand. “Let me make a dazzling first impression.”

“Must you make every person in this family fall for you?”

Mark laughs – loud and cute and carefree – he says, “Yeah. Yeah, I do.” 

And yeah, Donghyuck thinks, this is definitely not the story of how Deoksu ended up with Mark as his English tutor, and it's not really a story of how Donghyuck fell in love with Mark Lee. This is the story of how Donghyuck found his soulmate when he wasn't searching, he wasn't expecting. This is a story about love, but mostly, about letting it come to you. Easily, quietly, sweetly: and, surely, it comes.