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    Red

 

    Red is something Donghyuck has always felt a lot ever since he was a little kid, and especially in the place he is right now. Red is one of the first memories he has. 

    The first time he remembers feeling red he was a small kid, around 9 years old. He and his little sister were watching TV in their old living room, while their mother was doing the laundry.

    A Shinee performance was playing, and Donghyuck was mesmerized.

    He got out of the couch and sat on his knees in front of the TV, ignoring his mom’s nagging.

    Red, Red, Red. I wanna be like them. They’re so cool. I want to sing and dance like that too one day.

 

    Donghyuck’s eyes sparkled as he turned to his sister. “I’m gonna be like them when I’m grown!” he crossed his arms and smirked down at her.

    The girl rolled her eyes. “You could never be that cool.”

    He gasped and furrowed his eyebrows, offended with what his sister had said. “Why not?”

    “You’re lameeeeeee!” she dragged out the last syllable and stuck his tongue at him.

    “No, I’m not!” the boy puffed his cheeks. “I’ll be on a stage someday and on the TV and you’ll see! And I won’t speak to you anymore!”

    “I’ll be waiting. But it will never happen.”

    “Mooooooooom!” he screamed.

 

    After that moment there have been many other reds; when his mom signed him up for piano lessons and singing lessons, when he got casted for a school play, when he stepped on stage for the first time, when he got to sing in front of people for the first time. 

    Singing, performing, and dancing, those are his reds, they always were and he will never grow tired of feeling red.

 

    Red,

    I was made for this.

 

    Green

 

    Donghyuck has always been very confident in himself and his abilities. He grew up surrounded by love, support, affection and kind words, which always made him feel good about himself. However, that quickly changed when he was thrown into a competitive environment. He was no longer the best but completely surrounded by talented people who keep constantly improving and getting better — better than him, and better than what he could ever try to be. 

    He couldn’t help but feel icky, feel green. 

    He felt especially green towards Mark, it was dark. The kid had only joined a bit before him but he was already so good, everyone liked him, everyone complimented him. And he could see why, he understood that Mark was talented, that he deserved all that attention — but he was a kid, and kids are naive and self-centered. He wanted to be perfect, the best of the best, but in his point of view, he couldn’t because Mark was there and Donghyuck would never reach his level of perfection.

 

    “Hurry up, I want to go back and sleep. I’m tired.”

    “I just need to finish this dance one more time. I’m still lacking.” Mark said, going to play the song again.

    “It’s late, you’re tired, of course you’re lacking. Go rest for tonight and tomorrow you’ll be perfect as usual.” he rolled his eyes and walked next to Mark, stopping him from turning on the speakers again.

    “Tomorrow is the evaluation, I have to do good.”

    “Hey stupid, I don’t know if you noticed but it’s the evaluation for all of us, not just you.”

    Mark pouted. “I’m not stupid. I just… have to do my best, this is important to me.”

    “You’re so…” the younger one let out a bitter laugh. “Do you think it’s less important to me or anyone else? You think you’re better than everyone-”

    “I don’t!”

    “Well! It fucking seems like it.”

    “I don’t think I’m the best, it’s the opposite, actually. I just want to do my best! I don’t want to fall behind and disappoint people.”

    “Spare me the “I’m not the best” speech.” Donghyuck air quoted, angry. “You’re already everyone’s favorite, you’re already the best, you know it. It’s kinda frustrating you know?” he furrowed his brows. “No matter what, no one will ever be better than you.”

    “I don’t-”

    Mark is interrupted by the younger walking away. “Well, I’m going home now. With or without you. Goodbye.”

 

    That wasn’t the first time Donghyuck felt green towards Mark, and it certainly wasn’t the last. Even when years go by and things change, and Mark blooms into thousands of different colors in his heart, there’s always the underlying green.

 

    Green,

    I will never be like you, no matter how hard I try.

 

    Yellow

 

    Yellow is very special to him. It reminds him that everything has a purpose and that he’s doing things right. 

    He remembers every moment he feels yellow, he remembers the warmth and swelling of his heart.

    I made it.

    There are 4 moments in which he felt incredibly yellow, which he holds the most dearly to his heart. The first is, of course: passing his audition and making it into SM Entertainment. 

    It was one of the toughest days to audition on, a Saturday. There were hundreds, if not thousands of other people there, ready to grab their one chance at success. He told himself that he wasn’t nervous, that he didn’t have anything to lose, only things to gain if he passed. And pass he did.

    A week after the audition they called him and asked if they could see more of him, and evaluated his potential. He remembers being so happy and confident after he got the call, he remembers his mom buying him pretty clothes and styling his hair. He remembers feeling so proud of himself for making it, and for making others proud.

    The second was his debut with NCT 127.

    Looking back at his past self, no matter how proud he may be of himself, always makes him feel awkward in some way. Whenever he sees clips of his debut or his younger self he feels embarrassed and also feels himself crying physically. Nevertheless, looking back at his first debut he can still feel the warmth and the butterflies in his chest, the pure satisfaction and feeling of belonging when he stepped on that stage. It’s still the same now, every time he steps on the stage. The deep feeling of belonging, he is made to be on that stage, it’s his purpose.

    This is my home.

    The third, and his favorite out of the three is his first music show win.

    He always makes fun of his Dream group mates when they remember that day, claims that they cried a lot, and denies all accusations when he’s told that he also cried.

    He remembers feeling so yellow when they’re backstage holding their trophy, all of his friends teary-eyed. Jeno holding Jisung in his arms while he cried, Donghyuck and Chenle making fun of Renjun for crying, Mark staring at them with a proud smile adorning his face, the type of smile reserved only for his younger friends.

 

    “You can’t lie to me! I saw your eyes shining!” Renjun exclaimed, glaring at him while pointing a finger to his chest.

    “It was the stage lights! You have no proof!”

    “Lies!” Donghyuck crossed his arms and stuck his tongue out at his friend.

 

    (He did cry, but will never admit it.)

 

    The fourth was during their first tour.

    Seeing all those fans in real life, in front of him, not just numbers, followers and likes, but actual people, made him feel bright and warm and so so yellow. It’s a reminder that people like him outside of the media, that he’s doing it right. All the sweet messages, the tears, the screams — a constant reminder that there are people out there cheering for him.

 

    Yellow,

    I’m proud of myself and where I am right now.

 

    Indigo  

 

    Indigo is a sad feeling, but not everything that comes with it is sad.

    He remembers feeling the most indigo at the end of 2018. 

    Things were looking bright, they were training for the end of the year promotions and preparing a new comeback. It was a very important moment in his career, with the showcase of NCT 2018, and also the graduation of Mark from NCT Dream. He couldn’t miss it.

    But he did. 

    He remembers the sharp pain in his leg as he took a wrong turn. 

    Indigo Indigo Indigo , as they took him to the hospital. The feeling grew darker and darker when the doctor said he would have to take an undetermined time off, and could no longer practice, or use any of his leg’s strength, or participate in the shows.

    Indigo, this time lighter when he got to see his family.

    Indigo when he was sitting in his childhood bed, watching his friends perform. In the New Years’ as he remembered he couldn’t be there and say goodbye to Mark with the others.

    During that time there were a lot of indigos, about the situation, about his thoughts, his feelings. 

    But it also brought him closer to Jaemin, someone who had been through a similar situation. The two were never as close to each other as they were with the other peers, but there was a mutual understanding between them, and their shared experiences. During his hiatus, they talked a lot on the phone and in texts, Jaemin keeping him updated about any sort of endeavors the Dreamies got themselves into. He made him feel less indigo.

    And then there was Mark. They talked every night. They talked more during that period than ever before. Late-night texts, I miss you’s, non-explicit confessions. It wasn’t helpful. 

    He bloomed red and violet, but it wasn’t enough to overthrow the indigo.

 

mark

hi haechannie!

johnny-hyung did this today! reminded me of you.

[video attachment]

hope u’re well. :D

how was your day?

 

my day was okay

i didn’t do anything, just watched some tv shows

that’s so funny tho agafdah 

i wish i was there with you

 

mark

you’ll be here in no time! dw 

it was super funny im glad i recorded it

i immediately thought of sending it to you haha

miss you

 

i miss u more

cant wait to be back

 

mark

cant wait to have you back here with me

my days are a little less bright without you here

 

what can i say?

i’m just such a bright presence in everyone’s lives

also be careful hyung

i might start thinking you actually like me

 

mark

and if i do?

 

    He threw his phone to the side and screamed into his pillow.

 

    Indigo, 

    I can’t feel like this .

 

    Violet

 

    Violet is what he feels when he returns and during the American Tour. It’s what he feels when he and Mark finally stop dancing around each other and confess their feelings to the other and decide to try it out, when they kiss. He felt oh so violet.

    It was late in the night and they were in Miami. Coincidentally they were rooming together, the only night they roomed together during the entire tour.

    They were tired, their throats hurt and they just wanted to sleep.

    Donghyuck threw himself on the middle of both beds, face down, and stayed there, half-awake half-day-dreaming.

    He only moved when he felt a body on his, and water droplets falling on his back.

 

    “Markkkk.” he whined. “Get off. You’re cold and wet!”

 

    He struggled to move away but Mark only wrapped his arms around his waist.

 

    “Payback for what you did to me at the beach! Now, you must suffer with me.” he teased and laughed evilly, but let himself be easily maneuvered when Donghyuck turned around and let himself be free from his grasp. 

 

    The younger looked at his best friend in awe. Mark was giggling, his fringe covering his eyes and the little water drops kept falling on the mattress of the bed. It was bare, almost raw. No make-up, just Mark in a white shirt and some ugly old shorts that he told him to throw out multiple times, yet here they were. But despite all of this, he was still so beautiful that it made Donghyuck’s heart skip a beat and his breathing stopped. He wanted to see Mark like this, forever. 

    Violet.

    The two were laying side to side, Mark trying to shake the fringe out of his vision.

 

    He let out a giggle as well. “Can you even see anything?” the older shook his head and Donghyuck gently brought his hand to the other’s forehead, moving his fringe away from his eyes.

    “Hi.” Mark said, expression softening as he saw Donghyuck.

    “Hi, you.” the younger replied, mimicking the same expression.

 

    The two stayed in silence, just taking in each other’s presence. 

    Donghyuck’s hand was still up, Mark noticed and grabbed it with his, bringing it to his lips and pressing a soft kiss on each of his knuckles.

 

    The younger’s breath hitched. “Mark?”

    Mark looked up at him, mouth still pressed on his hand, and hummed. “Hm?”

    “W-What are you doing?” 

    “Kissing your hand.”

    Donghyuck’s cheeks flushed. “I can see that, I mean… why.”

    “Cause we’re here, and I wanted to do that to you. So why not?” He pulled his lips away from his hand and looked at his best friend. “I’ve wanted to for a while, y’know?”

    “You did?” Donghyuck’s voice was quiet, almost as if he was afraid to speak. 

    “Yeah. What do you think about it?”

    “M-Me?” he stuttered. “I like it…I like it a lot.”

    Mark’s smile lit up. “You do?” 

 

    Donghyuck nodded and looked away from Mark, burying his face in the older’s chest, too shy to face him after the semi-confession.

 

    “Hey.” the older laughed and gently cradled his face between his hands, forcing him to look back up at him. 

 

    The vocalist looked at everything in the rooms but the other’s eyes. His face was burning.

 

    “Donghyuck…” the call of his birth name made him look at Mark again. He hadn’t heard the other call him that in almost 3 years, it made his heart swell. “Can I?” he looked down at his lips.

 

    Donghyuck gulped, looked down at Mark’s lips, and back up at him nodding slowly.

    Mark didn’t hesitate for a second, as he got the consent to do it, he immediately connected their lips in a tentative and short kiss. 

    They pulled away too soon. When they did, the rapper giggled against his lips and pecked him again, and again, and again.

    They stayed like that for most of the night, until they were too tired to fight the sleep trying to overthrow them. Pressing soft kisses on the other’s lips, whispering confessions and secrets in the other’s ear, giggling and touching each other in ways they hadn’t gotten the chance to yet, getting to know the other like never before.

 

    Violet

    Finally,

    I like you so much.

 

    Blue

 

    Donghyuck feels blue most of these days. 

    For the past years, he’s been doing pretty okay, not many ugly greens or hurtful indigos, he’s been doing better than ever.  

    Everything is kind of the same in his relationships, his life and in his career (although 10 times better). He is happy. He accepts his feelings, he does his best, and he’s proud of himself and all of his achievements throughout the years.

    There’s this sense of blue that is always keeping him company; when he goes into the recording booth, when he is practicing with his friends, when he’s hanging out with his hyungs, when he’s singing, when he’s gaming, when he kisses Mark. 

    Blue is a constant in his life. He likes blue.

    He lays in bed and covers his eyes with his arm, sighing loudly. 

    He smiles after a while and uncovers his eyes, grabbing his phone to check what time it is.

    He doesn’t know where Johnny is and there are only a few minutes left until he turns 21. He hopes they get him a cake, and that Mark isn’t wearing the awful shorts again when they surprise him at midnight.

 

    “This is nice.” he says to no one but himself. “Let’s see what they do this time.” he smiles.

 

    Blue, huh?

    I think I could feel like this forever.

 

    Orange  

   

    Orange is his favorite feeling.

    He feels orange a lot, ever since he was little. 

    He feels orange when he goes back home and sees his family, when Mark tells him his lame jokes, when Jaehyun calls him baby, when his hyungs pay for his food and let him get away with his teasing, when he gets to pet random stray cats on the streets, when they win on music shows, when he sings, when he performs, when he’s playing around, when someone compliments him, when he is being himself. 

    Orange is his number one feeling. If he could choose only to feel one thing for the rest of his life, it would be the utter and most pure of oranges. The kind of orange he feels when he knows he’s loved.

    He feels orange right now.

    It’s currently a little past midnight, but his and Johnny’s shared room is filled with way too many people, some of which don’t even live there, singing Happy Birthday. His phone is lighting up and buzzing with notifications, probably from his other friends.

 

    “Happy Birthday!” they all try to say at the same time, some succeeding, some not.

    “I’m gonna put this cake down before I drop it.” Mark quickly moves to his boyfriend’s desk and puts the cake there, careful to not touch any of his precious gaming stuff.

    Donghyuck laughs at his boyfriend’s antics and turns to his hyungs. “Thank you so much, guys. You didn’t have to.” he smiles warmly at them.

    Doyoung rolls his eyes and sighs, next to him. “If we didn’t do this you would complain about us not giving you the proper attention for months!” 

    “That’s true.” he lets out another laugh as Doyoung pulls him into a side hug.

 

    He happily watches everyone having fun and talking amongst them. He sits in his bed and eats the delicious birthday cake they got for him.

    Mark quickly notices that he’s alone and makes a bee-line to sit next to him.

 

    “Happy Birthday.” the older says, smiling and bumping their shoulders together.

    “Haven’t you said it already?”

    “Yeah, but not like this… privately.”

    “Oh…” he quirks an eyebrow and smirks. “Privately?” he says teasingly.

    “Shut up!” Mark punches his arm softly and he feigns hurt, dramatically dropping his fork on the table and falling back into the bed. The other laughs and hits his knee. “Come back here!” Donghyuck gets back up and sits closer to his boyfriend. “Happy Birthday, for real. I made you a silly little card since you always say I have a better way with writing than with words.” he hands it to him. “Yeah… Just wanted to say that I love you a lot and that I’m very proud of you.”

    The younger boy smiles and presses his lips against his boyfriend’s cheeks. “I love you too, thank you, you hopeless romantic.” he giggles and opens the letter, against Mark’s protests to not do it there.

 

    Orange,

    I’ve come so far.

    I’m happy.