Time Machine

AN: 8k of cringe before we drown into tears in the final 2 chapters!






He could feel movement around himself. He could hear voices but for some reason he couldn’t open his eyes. No matter how much he tried. He couldn’t move his limbs either. He felt like he was trapped in his own body.


He heard someone talking. He knew that voice. Felt familiar. But he couldn’t pinpoint exactly who it was.


“I don’t know really. He…he was the one to find Jinyoung first and then he kind of just…..froze. Didn’t speak at all. Stood there like a statue beside Jinyoung’s bed. I was really scared….I came with Jinyoung in the ambulance. It was a mess at that time. I really couldn’t pay attention to him.”


“I called his family. Mark didn’t go there. And he doesn’t really have friends apart from us.” Another panicked voice hit his ears. “Jack, you were the last one he called. What did he say exactly?”


“He just said that I needed to go to the hospital because they might need me here since I have the same blood group as Jinyoung and then he cut off.” The third voice said. He wanted to say more but was interrupted by a phone ring.


“Oh god, where the hell are you Mark? I have been calling…..” The voices started to fade away,


Jinyoung felt like he was falling back into sleep. The last words he was able to catch were…”What the hell are you saying? Nobody died. He is out of danger now…” And then he lost his consciousness again.




All he could see was white when he opened his eyes. He lay there looking at the endless emptiness for what felt like hours until very slowly thoughts started forming in his mind.


He had forced Mark to go drop the guys… He got the sharpest knife from the kitchen… For a second, he had wanted to stop, to not do it... He thought of BamBam who had just hugged him and told him that he loved him… He thought of Jackson who had ruffled his hair and asked him to smile more cause it suited him… He thought of Yugyeom who had told him that even if every single person in the world left him, he would still be there for him… And he thought of Mark, who had looked at him with a mixture of hope and anxiety and told him that he was just coming back, before heading out of the door… He thought of not causing this much pain to the people who loved him so much… But then his own pain and insecurities over-powered him and he did the unthinkable…


He slowly moved his stiff neck to look downwards. Both his hands were bandaged and covered in needles and tubes. He was in a private hospital room and the date on the clock on the front wall told him that he had fully regained consciousness after 2 days. He found Jackson sleeping, crouched on the couch near the wall. Jinyoung’s eyes teared up in seconds. Every time he had gained a little consciousness during the last 2 days, he had never found himself alone. Someone was always there. Those people weren’t related to him by blood or anything. They had no obligation to do this much for him. They had their own lives, their families, their jobs… which they were so selflessly sacrificing for his sake… and he in return caused them so much pain and agony…. Tears slipped down his eyes and absorbed into the pillow.


“Jac…Jack…son…” His throat was dry. He needed water. Or maybe he just wanted to see Jackson smile at him and talk to him. But his voice was too weak after so many days of not being used to carry all the way to the older.


“Jackson,” He tried again, a little louder.


Jackson woke up with a start. Even in the dim light in the room, Jinyoung could see his eyes widening but the next second he jumped from the couch and came up to him.


“Jinyoung….are you up? How are you feeling? Are you okay? Does it hurt anywhere? Do you want me to call the doctor?” Jackson was saying frantically, his hands caressing Jinyoung’s face and shoulders.


Jinyoung held his hand and squeezed it tightly. Jackson needed it. Jinyoung, himself, needed it too.


“Jinyoung, why are you crying? Does it hurt? Please tell me I’m getting worried.” Jackson begged him.


Jinyoung sniffled, wiping his eyes roughly with his other hand and shaking his head. “Water…my throat…is dry.” He whispered.


Jackson nodded vigorously before pouring him a glass of water and helping him take a few sips.


“Do you want more?” Jackson dried his lips and chin with the hem of his sleeve. He had a comforting smile on his face but the glistening of his eyes wasn’t hidden from Jinyoung. Jinyoung quietly shook his head.


“I… I really need to tell the guys. They were so worried. In fact, Mark must be outside somewhere. The guy hasn’t left the seat outside your door for even a second.” Jackson said excitedly and was about to turn when Jinyoung held his hand.


“Seun-ah, I’m…sorry….” He whispered between muffled sobs.


Jackson shook his head as he wiped his eyes for him. “You are okay now, so I’m okay too.” He smiled and went out of the room. Jinyoung knew he was going to cry outside.




“AAAAA….” BamBam took a spoonful of soup and coaxed Jinyoung to open his mouth.


The older chuckled quietly. “I’m okay now, Bam-ah. Let me eat this myself.” He was half-lying on the hospital bed, a lot of pillows tucked behind his back.


“Drink it while he is being nice or I’m gonna take over and shove the food down your throat myself,” Yugyeom, who was arranging the flowers Jackson had brought in a vase on the bedside table, said in a nonchalant tone.


Jinyoung huffed and took the bite BamBam was still offering. “Why have you turned into bullies since I woke up?”


“Because when kids can’t take care of themselves, wiser people have to do it for them.” BamBam said, extending another spoonful in his direction.


“Yeah, whatever, grandpa.” Jinyoung teased. Just then, the door opened. Jinyoung turned around with hopeful eyes. But…


It was only Jackson.


Jinyoung felt something cracking inside him.


“Hello, my Park Gae. Are you not happy to see me? You look like you have just discovered a piece of lemon in your pizza.” Jackson wailed exaggeratedly.


“You went to bathroom like 2 minutes ago, Jack. Is he supposed to welcome you back with a band and drums?” Yugyeom pointed out.


“Ahhh… Always the killjoy.” Jackson scrunched his nose at him.


Jinyoung smiled softly looking at his friends bickering with one another. Was he really about to give up on this much joy because of the insecurities someone had inculcated in his mind? No, he didn’t want that. And that thought brought his mind back to the person he had been so persistently thinking about since waking up. The person who was so disappointed in him that he hadn’t come to see him even once.


Once the argument died down, Jinyoung looked at Jackson. “So, till when is Mark going to stay mad at me?”


“Ah….what…what do you mean?” He nervously looked at the other two. “Why would he be mad at you?”


“He is just really, really busy at the office.” Yugyeom came to Jackson’s rescue hurriedly.


Jinyoung looked at him pointedly. “It’s been two days since I woke up, Gyeom. And someone who was once ready to drop off a subject in school because I was sick, couldn’t take out a few minutes to come see me??? I know he doesn’t want anything to do with me now.” He said dejectedly.


“It’s not like that, Jinyoung-ah.” Jackson sat on the edge of his bed and took Jinyoung’s hand in his comfortingly. “You know that how much you mean to him.”


“Then why isn’t he coming? I miss him, Jackson.” He teared up.


“I…I wish I could answer that. He has been so distant lately. He just doesn’t talk. I have no idea what’s going on in his mind. He spends the whole day sitting on the bench outside your room, but doesn’t come inside even if we beg.”


Jinyoung looked at him with wide eyes. “Is he still…”


Jackson nodded.


Jinyoung looked at Yugyeom. “Can you please open the door?”


Yugyeom obeyed. Jinyoung couldn’t see Mark from here but he was sure he would be able to hear him in the empty corridor.


“Mark hyung…” His voice shook terribly. “Mark hyung, I’m sorry.” He was talking in Korean. “I’m sorry that I hurt you like this, when I knew how much you all loved me.” Jinyoung rested his head on the pillows, closing his eyes, silent tears flowing down his cheeks. “I promise I will try again. I promise that I will give life another chance. Please don’t be mad at me. It’s…it’s so ironic that I’m saying that when this is only what I did to you for 7 months. But… Mark hyung, you have always been so kind to me. I can’t take this. Please forgive me.”




Outside the room, Mark sobbed bitterly standing against the wall, his hand firmly placed on his mouth so the others won’t hear his sobs. He wasn’t mad. How could he ever be mad at Jinyoung? He was just disappointed and shocked. Disappointed in himself more than anyone else. Disappointed that he had failed Jinyoung as a friend so badly that the younger considered dying easier than living.




A few minutes passed in complete silence until Jinyoung heard the shuffling of feet around him and then the door closed. He felt the mattress dipping near his foot-end.


“How…how are you feeling?” Mark’s voice was hoarse but apart from that there was no emotion in it. Jinyoung opened his eyes to look at his most dearest friend in the world. He was sitting there, fidgeting with the hem of his sleeves, looking anywhere but at him.


“I’m fine.” Jinyoung said softly.


“Hmmm….good.” He replied, pointedly avoiding his gaze.






“Look at me.”


And Mark did. He hadn’t learned to say no to Jinyoung.


Jinyoung’s eyes fixed on his red orbs which were otherwise dry now. “My wrists hurt, make them better.” He extended both his bandaged arms in Mark’s direction.


Mark looked at him, a thousand emotions flashing through his eyes in seconds. He gulped and scooted forward near Jinyoung, taking his right wrist in his hand and placing a gentle kiss on it. If Jinyoung saw Mark’s lone tear absorbing in the fabric of the dressing gauze, he didn’t comment on it. Mark placed a kiss on the left hand too, before placing it back gently in Jinyoung’s lap. It had been Jinyoung’s ritual for years now. Making hurt go away, as he called it, with these kisses.


“I’m sorry, Mark.”


“Don’t be.”


“No, please let me say this. I totally know what you are feeling and….”


“You what?” Mark snapped at him suddenly.


“Huhhh?” Jinyoung looked taken aback.


“You know how I am feeling? What a joke!” Mark laughed bitterly. “What the do you even know, Park Jinyoung? Do you know it felt like a blunt knife cut open my heart, every single time I saw you with Jaebeom? Do you know I endured all that pain just so you could be happy? Do you know how many times did I die when you were in here struggling to hold on to life? No you don’t. You don’t ing know a single thing. You don’t know that you have snatched my sleep from me. I don’t think I would ever be able to sleep peacefully from now on. The thought that I might wake up in a world where you are no more present will never let me sleep. Do you know how essential you are to me? I… I need you to breathe, Jinyoung-ah. But you….you will never know.” He stood up and left the room, the door closing behind him with a thud, not even stopping to see what havoc his outburst had caused.




“Jinyoung, what’s wrong? You have been awfully quiet since the morning. What happened? Did Mark say something?” Yugyeom, who was staying with him for the night, asked.


“Do you remember the engagement event Jaebeom held for me?” Jinyoung who was lying on the bed, in the dim lights of the room, was staring at some far away point.


“Jinyoung???” Yugyeom was baffled. “Why do you keep thinking about Jaebeom?”


“Jaebeom? I haven’t thought about him in months Yugyeom. It’s Mark who I keep thinking about.”


“What about Mark?” Yugyeom lay on the couch. Heart to hearts were best done while not looking at each other.


“The engagement party was at the cruise, remember?”




“While I stood there in the lime light receiving congratulations, I noticed how every single person was enjoying themselves, indulging in liquor, dancing, laughter….except him. For most of the time, he stood away from the crowd, eyes not leaving the ocean. When I went to him, his nose tip was red, and he was sniffling as if he had been crying. But he just waved me off saying it was because of the cold air. Do you know what he said to me that night?”




Jinyoung felt himself reeling back to that night almost 2 years ago.





Mark fixed him with an intense gaze. It made Jinyoung nervous. It was strange. Jinyoung hadn’t felt like that before. But then Mark hadn’t looked at him like that before either.


The older extended his arm and very gently touched a strand of gelled hair that had come on his forehead because of the cold breeze.


“Go to Jaebeom, Jin. I’ll be fine. Eventually.” He smiled his beautiful smile, that almost looked melancholic.




Jinyoung hadn’t understood the context of his sentence back then. And today when he did, he felt like he wouldn’t be able to breathe.


“You have no idea, Yugyeom, how much I loved and respected him. He was my family. The way he took care of me after my parents….he ing knew about my illness more than me, he learned a language he would never need just for me…..he…. And I promised myself that I would be his guardian angel in return. I would never let any hurt come near him. I would never let anyone make him cry. And now I just got to know, that I myself have been the cause of his so much tears…. How am I going to live with this guilt now?” His voice quivered.


“Oh….” Realization dawned upon the younger. “He told you finally.”


“He didn’t tell me. He was just in the heat of the moment and….I’m sure he wouldn’t even have realized uptil now.”


“What’s done is done, Jinyoung. There is no point crying over past.”


“So since when did you know?”


“From the very start, I guess. Nobody told me actually, it would just get so obvious at times that….” Yugyeom left the sentence in the middle. “What are you going to do now?”


“I…” Jinyoung took a long breath. “I’m going to go to therapies regularly, and I’m going to get better real quick and then….I am going to shower him with all the love and affection he deserves.” A smile came on his lips.


“Jinyoung, you are going to force yourself to fall for him now?”


Jinyoung smiled. “There is just one emotion in the world that can never be forced. Love!”




“So you are telling me Mark kicked me out?” Jinyoung wailed dramatically, as Jackson suggested him to stay with him after the discharge.


“No, he did not, drama queen!” Yugyeom rolled his eyes. “It’s just that we thought….you might not wanna go back to that room after….” He looked at others for help. “you know… and then, also hospital is closer to Jackson’s place, it will be easier to come for your therapy sessions and…..”


“I’m gonna live wherever Mark lives. Go tell him. Otherwise ask him to give my keys back, it’s not like I don’t have a place of my own.” Jinyoung said sulkily, crossing his arms in front of him, dissipating the heavy mood that was threatened to ensue after Yugyeom’s sentence.


“Waaah…. Manipulative ,” Jackson grunted as he narrow-eyed Jinyoung.


Jinyoung smirked. He knew he had won.


“Alright go, sit in the car, all of you. I’m coming.” Jackson motioned for the three of them to leave.


As soon as they were out of the room, Jackson called Mark.


“I don’t know what happened between you two that all of a sudden you don’t want to live in the same place as him when I literally begged you for 4 years to do the same, but he didn’t agree.” Jackson informed his friend.


“What does it mean he didn’t agree?” Mark asked.


“He says he is gonna live wherever you live. Quoting his exact words. Or otherwise he is gonna go live in his own place. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not gonna let him live alone in a house where he hand-picked everything according Jaebeom’s taste. Especially not when his therapy has just started.”


Mark sighed. “Alright!”


“We will be there in an hour.”






Jinyoung opened the door of his room to find Mark frantically going through the drawers of his bedside tables. As soon as Mark sensed his presence, he stood up immediately, hiding something behind himself.


“Jin…Jinyoung, hey, welcome back,” The elder gulped nervously as his eyes ran over Jinyoung, lasting a tad too long on his bandaged wrists.


“What were you doing?” Jinyoung slowly came towards him, stopping just a few steps in front of him.


“No…nothing,” Mark stammered. “Just making sure you had everything you need.”


Something felt different in the room from the last time. Jinyoung looked around. The full-body mirror on the wall beside the door was gone. So were the glass-framed paintings and yes….that crystal vase that had escaped his wrath the day before his attempted suicide had gone too.


“Ahhh… there were… a few cracks on the mirror….. and the wooden frames of the paintings were being eaten by termites….so…I sent them away…to be fixed…yeah.” Jinyoung didn’t remember the last time Mark had stuttered this much in front of him.


His eyes fixed on the older, Jinyoung closed the distance between them so much that the tips of their shoes touched. Jinyoung gently placed his hands on Mark’s elbows and brought his hands forward from behind his back. Mark didn’t resist.


There were a number of things clutched in his hands. Jinyoung’s razor, a pair of scissors, his tranquilizers that he had recklessly prescribed for himself after Jaebeom and Youngjae left….


Jinyoung felt like he was hit by a thunderbolt. What was going through Mark’s head.


“I’m…I’m sorry.” Mark spoke, his eyes fixed on his hands held in Jinyoung’s. “I’m sorry. I’m scared. I’m just scared, Jin.”


A wave of emotions engulfed Jinyoung as he took those things away from Mark, threw them on the bed behind him and engulfed Mark in a tight embrace. His face was hidden in the crook of Mark’s neck. Mark returned the hug immediately.


“I’m sorry for putting you through this turmoil, Mark.” His voice was muffled against Mark’s shoulder. “But, I’m trying now. All of a sudden I have found a reason to live. So please…please don’t give up on me.” He begged.


Mark tightened the embrace to assure the younger that he would be always there for him. He did wanted to ask what this new reason was, but maybe that was question for some other time. He had other things on his mind right now. “Promise me, Jin…. Promise me that you would never do this again. Never. Whatever is going through your mind, come and talk to me. No matter if it’s the middle of the night or 5am….I’ll always, always listen to you. We will try to solve everything together. But promise me you will never try to harm yourself again. Please.”


“I promise.” Jinyoung said with conviction, having no idea himself that he was going to break this promise after 5 years!




Mark his side once again. It had been 2 hours since he was trying to sleep but to no avail. Jinyoung looked more than fine today. Almost like before. They talked a lot. Went out to eat together. Just the two of them. Then bickered about what show to watch. And Jinyoung seemed happy. Not overly-enthusiastic like the day before his attempt, not severely depressed. But still Mark couldn’t bring himself to sleep calmly.


Should he go sit in Jinyoung’s room? He could watch over him until the night faded away and his anxieties had lessened.


He was going over different ideas in his head, when the door opened.


He sat up at once. Jinyoung was standing in the door, his pillow clutched to his chest, looking absolutely adorable in his black pyjamas.




Jinyoung closed the door behind him and came to his bed. He moved Mark’s pillow a little forward, and placed his own on the available space. He then climbed on the bed, only to be hit with the awe-struck Mark, sitting cross-legged in the middle of the bed.


“Scoot over,” Jinyoung lightly pushed his shoulder. Mark was too surprised to object. They had never shared a bed together before!


“Thank you,” Jinyoung smiled like a satisfied puppy and lay down. “Well, come on!” He patted Mark’s pillow, apparently telling him to lie too. Mark did.


“Why are you here, Jinyoung?”


“To return you your sleep.” Jinyoung said simply. “Give me your hand.” He scooted closer to him, so that their fronts almost touched. Alarm bells started going off in Mark’s head to move away, if his sanity was dear to him.


“Okay, but do we have to be this close?” Mark asked moving a little away.


Jinyoung gave him a plain look. “I can move to the edge. But can your arm reach all the way over there?”


“But what do you need my arm for?”


Jinyoung took his hand in his own and placed it over his chest, right above his heart. “For this.”


Mark stilled. He could feel Jinyoung’s heart beating beneath his palm. His eyes moved slowly to meet Jinyoung’s, who was smiling at him with shining eyes.


“Will you be able to sleep now?”


Mark nodded as if in trance.


Jinyoung smiled before placing a kiss on his forehead. Mark closed his eye tightly at the touch.


“Good night!” Jinyoung said before closing his eyes.


“Good night,” Mark mumbled, before unconsciously scooting a little closer in younger’s warmth.




Mark couldn’t pinpoint exactly what but something had changed in Jinyoung’s behaviour since he came back from the hospital 5 weeks ago. The way he looked at him…. was exactly the way Mark looked at him. Like Mark meant the whole world to him.


He would so casually say things like:


“Your lips are pretty.”


“You smell so good.”


“Your ab looks hot.”


And Mark would spend literally the whole day thinking about those few words. The intention behind them? The hidden meaning?


They hadn’t talked about Mark’s outburst in the hospital, so Mark thought that Jinyoung hadn’t paid much attention to it. But looked like he had. And it started annoying Mark. Was Jinyoung pitying him?


His heart told him to not be this unsatisfied, ungrateful brat for once and accept whatever affection he was getting from the person he loved the most. But his brain told him that he loved Jinyoung, and wanted only love in return.


And that day it got too much for him.


He was invited to a dinner by his colleague. He was getting ready for it. As much as he hated these social gatherings, he couldn’t say no to this particular one. He wore a simple black button up with fitted pants and a dinner jacket. Nothing too extravagant.


He was about to leave and stood in front of the dresser for one last look, when Jinyoung came inside his room. (the younger had very conveniently forgotten the knocking rule after implementing it himself seven months ago.)


Jinyoung gasped as he looked at him, which drew Mark’s attention. Jinyoung was looking at him with wide eyes which were filled with pure, unhidden attraction and want.


Mark felt blood rising to his face just from his one gaze.


“Hyung,” Jinyoung whispered as he placed one hand on the edge of the dresser for support and leaned into Mark’s space so much that Mark could swear he could feel the tip of Jinyoung’s nose grazing his cheek. “My heart skipped a beat just now. Are you freaking Apollo?”


Mark felt his breath catching somewhere inside his lungs. He didn’t know what to say right now.


“J…jin,” a throaty mumble came out. Oh god, Mark was embarrassed.


“I should have dumped him for you ages ago. Where the was my eyes?” Jinyoung said before placing his lips on Mark’s cheeks. It was just a small peck. But it was full of conviction.


Mark had to hold the table to steady himself. “Stop joking, Jinyoung. It’s not funn…”


“Will you like to be my boyfriend, Mark?” Jinyoung cut his sentence in the mid, looking him squarely in the eyes.


Not even in a million dreams, had Mark thought of this moment. The time he had realized that he had fallen for the younger, he already knew that Jinyoung loved someone else. There was no space to dream this. He should be happy, right? But what was the thing that was unsettling him.


“Please say yes. I think I have fallen in love with you.”


And those words snapped him out of his reverie and reminded him of exactly what was irking him.


“No you haven’t,” Mark snapped, pushing Jinyoung away.


“What?” Jinyoung looked confused.


“You don’t love me Jinyoung. Stop lying.” Mark said heatedly. This wasn’t something Jinyoung should play with. His ing heart was involved in it.


Jinyoung looked at him in disbelief for a few seconds before his expressions turned stale. “Yeah? And how exactly do you know that?”


“Cause I have common sense and I am mature enough to distinguish between fantasy and reality? We are not in some cliché novel that I told you I had been in love with you and the next day, by some miracle you also fall for me when that didn’t happen in the last 4 years. Do I look this dumb to you? It’s just your over-kindness making you do this. You couldn’t digest the fact that someone might be in pain because of you, even if unintended. But I don’t need this. I don’t need your pity. Cause this hurts more than being in an unrequited love. So please, stop lying for god’s sake. You DO NOT love me.” Mark yelled.


His outburst was followed by few seconds of complete silence. Jinyoung looked so stunned until his eyes started tearing up. “Twice….in just three minutes you said it twice that I don’t love you and Mark here I am standing thinking that what the did I do wrong for four years to make you think I don’t love you.”


“You know I’m talking….” Mark started to speak but Jinyoung didn’t let him complete.


“You have been my inspiration, my centre, my home for four years and I don’t think I have loved anyone more than you since the death of my family. I know it wasn’t romantic love because Mark…” He sniffled. “I didn’t see you as an option then. Heck I never saw anyone in the world as an option after I fell for Jaebeom. But now that I see you as one, I know how much I want to love you beyond a friend or family. I want to kiss your lips and hold hands with you and cuddle all night and…..” Jinyoung threw his hands in the air, lost for anymore words.


Mark cleared his throat and approached the younger, bit calmly this time. “Jin, I really think you are forcing yourself after my rant at the hospital…”


“Don’t take credit for my feelings, Tuan.” Jinyoung glared. “They are my own genuine, pure feelings.”


Mark clicked his tongue. “You aren’t even over him.”


“I have been over that bastard a lot of time ago. I don’t pine over cheaters.” He retorted.


Another lie. Had he been over him he wouldn’t have tried to die for him just 5 weeks ago.


“You don’t….”


“You know what, I have gotten that you have rejected me today. No need to make pathetic excuses. But I’m persistent. I’ll keep wooing you until you say yes. I’m Park Jinyoung after all. Let’s see till how far you can resist me.” Jinyoung huffed and left the room.


Mark looked at his retreating back. Wasn’t he in tears just seconds ago, where had this cheeky Jinyoung come from all of a sudden?


“As if I ain’t already in the deepest hellhole of love for you, what’s even left to woo, idiot?” He mumbled before taking off his jacket and throwing it away. He wasn’t going to any dinner, consequences be damned. He was going to stay in the bed and mop all night.




From that day on it was like a civil war at home. Jinyoung would try to appease him with his antics (which were rather cute, but then when did Jinyoung do anything uncute?) and Mark ignoring him completely. Sometimes he felt bad for him but what should he do with the doubtful demons and insecurities in his brain that didn’t let him be happy?


“Yah, Mark Tuan, move over. Make space for me.” Jinyoung whined when he kept lying on his bed, his back towards Jinyoung and eyes closed, faking sleep.


“Alright, if this is what you want.” Jinyoung dropped his pillow on the carpet and lay down on the bed behind Mark, head perched on the little space that was available on Mark’s pillow. And since there was a little space from edge, Jinyoung pressed into him, throwing an arm over his middle, spooning him completely. “I’m fine with this too.” He said happily as he stuffed his nose into Mark’s shirt and sniffed. “You smell so good, hyung.”


Since he was faking sleep, he couldn’t fend this giant koala off too. So he just lie there, all tensed up and dreading the morning wood he would wake up with, with Jinyoung’s hand so close to his groin.


“Yah,” Jinyoung whispered. “Calm down please. Your body is going to get sore, all tensed up like this.” He said before gently swiping his palm on his shoulder.


Mark sighed as he moved a little forward to make more space for him, then turned around and pulled Jinyoung towards himself, hiding his face quickly in younger’s shoulder before he could see it.


The war could be continued in the morning. For now he had gotten too used to Jinyoung’s warmth to sleep without it.




“Mark hyung, I brought food. Let’s eat together.” Jinyoung called him from the kitchen. Mark ignored him and kept typing on his laptop. “Hyung, it’s getting cold. There is dessert too.”




“Hyungggggg….” Jinyoung whined.


Tch. Mark clicked his tongue. This brat was so loud. “I have eaten already.” He shot back.


“Okay. I can eat everything myself. Including the three donuts.”


Mark sighed. This boy really knew how to get his attention. He placed his laptop aside and got up. In the kitchen he was greeted with Jinyoung’s eating grin as if telling him ‘See I know your weakness’. Mark ignored him and snatched the box of donuts from in front of him.


“Awwww…. I thought you weren’t eating.” Jinyoung laughed as he ate his pasta.


“I suddenly crave sweet. What about it?”


“Nothing.” Jinyoung shrugged. “I bought them for you anyways.”


Mark gave him a look before treating back to the lounge. On opening the box, he was surprised to find ‘I think I love you’ written on the donuts. Mark himself wasn’t aware of the smile coming on his lips.




Then another fateful evening, Jinyoung insisted Mark to go clubbing with him.


“I have told you already that I won’t go Jinyoung.” He said tiredly when Jinyoung asked him for some two hundred and fortieth time.


Jinyoung pouted. “Do you know how many days have passed since you last called me Jin? Jinyoung from your mouth makes me cringe. And now you won’t even go to the club with me. Alright, I’ll go by myself and get drunk alone.”


He said before closing the door of his room behind him.


“I don’t care.” Mark called after him. But really, who was he even kidding. Of course he cared. But it really was the time he at least tried not giving in to Jinyoung’s mild threats.




Ten minutes later, Jinyoung came out of his room and put his arms around Mark’s neck, hugging him from the back, who was sitting on his work desk. The pleasant scent of the cologne told Mark that Jinyoung had gotten ready.


“How do I look?”


“I don’t know. I haven’t even seen you. And don’t want to.” Mark said, ignoring Jinyoung’s breath touching his face.


“It’s okay, you can see it when you come to find me in the club.”


“I’m not coming.”


“You will. I know that.” He said confidently before pecking his cheek and going away.






Mark did try not to worry about him but well… the try failed. He tried asking Yugyeom to go and check on him, but it was exams season in the university and he and BamBam were busy. Jackson was in Toronto because of work.


So Mark just swallowed his pride and went to the club that they used to frequent before things changed so drastically.


Inside the club, among a mess of sweaty, grinding bodies it was a mammoth task to find Jinyoung.


He finally did find him on a stool near the counter.


“Mmmmmarkkkkkieee….” Jinyoung giggled happily, extending his arms like a child who wanted to be lifted up by his mother. “I knewwwww you would come….my prince.”


“Oh god, how much have you drunk, Jinyoung-ah?” Mark reached near him and held his hands in concern.


“Not much…. Just this…this much.” He slurred, trying to keep his thumb and index finger apart to show to the elder.


“Thank god, you are here. I swear if he asks me one more time if cat with a dog head would look cuter than a dog with a cat head, I will throw him out,” The bartender snapped.


“It’s because you don’t know the answer.” Jinyoung shrieked. He clearly was drunk a lot. “But my Markie is a genius, genius, you know. He will tell me. C’mon Markie, will a cow look cuter with a cat’s tail or…. will a cat look cuter with a cow’s beak?”


“Cows don’t have beaks Jinyoung,” Mark gritted his teeth.


“But do cats have tails?” Jinyoung asked, cocking his head to the side.


Okay, well that was cute. Mark did melt a little. But what the heck? Why was he discussing dogs and cats at 1 in the morning?


Mark looked at the bartender apologetically and quickly paid the bill.


Then he grabbed Jinyoung’s arm. “Come. Get up. Let’s go home.”


“Our home?” He asked.


“Yes, our home, where else?”


“Okay. I like it when we have shared things.” Jinyoung said contently.





“Hyung?” Jinyoung called him as he followed Mark outside the club.


“Hmmm?” Mark was carefully making way for both of them, his arm around the younger’s waist so he won’t trip.


“There were so many people. But when you were coming towards me, you shone so bright. You know…. You are the brightest star out there. You stand out in the crowd.”


Mark was speechless for a few seconds. “Th…thank you.”


“You are always welcome,” He chirped, trying to tuck in his seatbelt. Of course he failed. Of course Mark did it for him.


“Hyung?” He called again.


“Yes?” Mark said, eyes rained on the road.


“So the cows….”


“Jin, I did not study zoology. Please spare me.”


“OMG. YOU CALLED ME JIN. YOU CALLED ME JIN,” The younger started clapping his hands in joy.


“Yeah, but please quiet down. They gonna put us in jail at this rate.


“Oh,” Jinyoung instantly put his instantly finger on his lips. “We can’t go to jail. How will I court you there? No, no, no.” He whispered.


Mark groaned. Was Jinyoung less cute, in the everyday life that now he had to test him like that?





Mark made him sit on his bed. “Wait I’ll get your pyjamas from your room.” Jinyoung nodded obediently.


But when Mark returned with his clothes, Jinyoung wasn’t there and Mark could hear shower running in the bathroom.


Mark found the door of the bathroom ajar and Jinyoung standing underneath the shower with all his clothes on.


“Yah, Park Jinyoung! What are you doing?” After so many years, Korean automatically slipped out of his tongue whenever he was pissed at Jinyoung.


“It is hot outside. Why are you turning off the showerrrrr…..” He whined, kicking his heel on the floor.


“Because you have drenched your new jacket, Jin,” He turned off the shower and dragged Jinyoung with him and made him sit on the counter. “And I can’t stand the moping around the house that you are going to do the next whole week about it.”


Jinyoung mumbled some unintelligible words and dropped his head on Mark’s shoulder. “Jin, let’s get changed quickly.”


“I’m sleepppyyyyy….”


“Let’s get changed real quick and then we can sleep. Huhhh?”




Mark didn’t know that drunk Jinyoung was stubborn too.


“Please….” Mark jutted out his lower lip.


Jinyoung smiled, holding both his cheeks between his thumb and index finger, squeezing them from side to side. “You are so cute.”


“Thank you. Can I get you out of this now?” He tried getting the drenched jacket off Jinyoung.


But Jinyoung’s eyes widened in surprise for a second, before he hid his face in his palm squealing like a child.


“Jin? Mark was surprised.


Jin slid his hands down a little so his eyes were peeking through his fingers. “My crush just asked me if he could take off my clothes. I got shy.” He went into another frenzy of squeals and giggles.


Mark could swear that he did not want to smile….but like how could you not? How could you not smile when Jinyoung was being this adorable?


He shook his head in disbelief, a smile plastered on his face, as he helped the younger out of his jacket and then the shirt.


“I’ll just close my eyes so I won’t feel shy.” Jinyoung said.


And the whole time, Mark dried his hair and body with a towel, he really sat quietly with his eyes closed and lips stretched in a smile like a puppy.


Only Mark knew how he had controlled himself not to pin the younger beneath him right then and there and kiss him so hard that he would forget the world. So he just kept gulping, trying his best not to let his eyes wander too much on Jinyoung’s perfect skin, and his perfect chest, and his perfect back and his perfect….okay he needed to stop. With a slight shiver in his hands he put the towel down, once he was sure that Jinyoung’s hair and upper body had dried.




“Yasss?” He said like an over-enthusiastic child.


“I’m standing just outside the door. Change into these pants, okay?”


Jinyoung scrunched his nose and shook his head. “Why can’t you change that yourself too?”


Mark’s face heated up even more. He was already finding it hard to keep his hands to himself and….


“Jin!” He tried to sound stern.


Jinyoung pouted. “Alright.” He pushed Mark towards the door. “So much hassle, when you are going to be taking everything off me anyways.”


Oh! MY! GOD! Jinyoung really had no filter in his mouth. Mark carded his fingers through his hair to compose himself, before getting the now fully-clothed younger to the bed.




When he came out of the bathroom, after freshening up himself, he was surprised to find Jinyoung sitting cross-legged in the middle of the bed. He had thought that the younger would be asleep by now.


“Why aren’t you sleeping, Jin?” He sat near him.


“My hands are cold. Make them warm.” Jinyoung ordered, extending his arms in Mark’s direction.


Mark shook his head as he sat on the bed and took Jinyoung’s hands in his, rubbing his palms together.




“No,” Jinyoung’s eyes were fixed on him, as if he wanted to see his eyes right to their depth. Mark couldn’t break the eye-lock. Or maybe he didn’t want to at first place.


With their gazes fixed, Mark slowly put Jinyoung’s palms on either side of his checks and squeezed them. “Now?”


Jinyoung just shook his head.


Mark let his hands, that were entwined with the younger’s, slide down a little, till they lay on either side of his neck. He saw how Jinyoung gulped visibly.


“Y…you could…try harder,” Jinyoung stuttered. And for some reason Mark knew it wasn’t because of alcohol. Somehow Jinyoung didn’t look drunk at all right now.


Mark cupped his hands and placed them in front of his face blowing air into them.


“More,” Jinyoung demanded.


Mark gave him a deep look before placing his lips on Jinyoung’s palms.


“Now?” Mark whispered.


Jinyoung nodded quietly.


Mark wasn’t dumb. He could sense where things were going. He could sense the tension around him. And for a change he did not want to stop. He wanted to let the things happen like they were happening.


So when Jinyoung leaned in and pecked his lips quickly, he did not flinch. Instead he closed his eyes and let the pleasure seep into the deepest core of his soul.






“I really, really want to kiss you right now.”


“Me too.” Mark replied looking straight into Jinyoung’s eyes.


“If I kiss you, you won’t reject me, right?”


“Why don’t you try it and find out?”


Jinyoung grabbed his shirt at the shoulder and twisted it to pull him closer. “You better not back off in the morning,” And then he crashed their lips together.


A wave of current travelled through Mark, as he willed himself not to shiver and do something. Like kissing back, for example. He wound his arms around the younger and pulled him closer.


Their lips dancing in perfect rhythm in a searing kiss. Mark knew he had never felt like this before. Like a thousand butterflies were roaming in his stomach and wanted to burst out any moment.


Jinyoung swiped his tongue on his lips and Mark moaned. This was too good. Just too good. As he accepted Jinyoung’s tongue in his mouth, he forgot the whole world. He forgot himself. All he remembered was this guy in his arms whom he wanted more closer. Kissing didn’t seem enough all of a sudden. He wanted to devour him.


He pulled Jinyoung more closer, who lost his balance and toppled forward with Mark beneath him. But their kiss did not break. Their lips moved together wildly as Mark started caressing Jinyoung’s back, keeping hands in check impossible now.


Jinyoung’s shirt had moved a little when he fell forward, exposing his lower back. Mark teased his hands on the bare skin, not knowing if it was okay yet, but the moan and Jinyoung’s lips pressing into him even harder were all the positive signals that he needed.


He felt his hands burning as they journeyed over Jinyoung’s smooth back muscles. He wanted to know this body like no one else had ever known. He wanted to know every crook and corner of it. He wanted to drown it in so much love that the trace of everyone else will disappear like it never existed.


Jinyoung broke the kiss first, breathing heavily, he placed his face in Mark’s shoulder and lay flat on him. They stayed quiet, getting their breaths back to normal, basking in the euphoria of what they had just done.


“Our first time had to be a whole make-out session and not just a sweet, simple kiss.” Jinyoung giggled in his shoulder. “We are so extreme.”


“Jinyoung, can you please look at me.”


Jinyoung lifted his head up and perched his chin on Mark’s chest. Mark smiled at him, pushing his bangs away from his eyes.


“It’s a little old news. 5 years roughly. But let me tell it to you anyways. I love you. I really, really love you, Park Jinyoung. You mean so much to me that it sometimes scares me. Thank you for loving me back.”


“I know. I know, hyung.” Jinyoung pecked the corner of his mouth. “But I want you to know that I love you too, Mark. I know you fell first, but I swear I fell harder. It’s been 2 months since I started thinking about you as something more than a friend, and now you have become my everything. I’ll cherish you beyond your imaginations. You’ll be blown away.” Jinyoung’s trademark mischievousness made a comeback at the end.


“I have no doubt about that. I trust you.” Mark ruffled his hair. He finally did decide to trust Jinyoung.


“Can you just make one promise to me hyung?”




“We are best-friends before anything else and that will never end. If at some point you feel like our relationship can’t go any further, talk to me. We will end it amicably. But our friendship will always remain. I cannot lose you, hyung. I survived when Jaebeom left, because I had you. But if you leave, I’ll have no one. So, please promise me we will always, always stay best friends and family, at least.”


“As if I can survive not having you in my life,” Mark leaned up to kiss his cheek. “I promise, Jin. You’ll always have me.”


Jinyoung smiled his sunshine smile and Mark knew this was the happiest moment of his life.


“Okay, so now that everything is settled, let’s come to the main point.”


“Which is?” Mark brushed his thumb at Jinyoung’s jaw.


“The kiss. Did you like it?”


“Like doesn’t even come close to how I felt like about it.”


“Great. So can I try it again? There is always room for improvement you know?”


“How about…” Mark winked at him, before turning them over so now Jinyoung was pinned to the bed. “I do it this time?” before leaning in to let their lips meet again.




Mark opened his eyes to find Jinyoung looking at him, okay glaring might be the right word. He looked around. It was morning already. The flashes from last night came running to his mind. Was that all a dream?


No but he and Jinyoung were lying shirtless (pant-less too maybe, but what was the need to mention that) and the hickeys littering Jinyoung’s neck looked more than real. So, it wasn’t a dream after all.


A wave of shyness overcame him out of nowhere, and he slowly turned his eyes to Jinyoung with a meek smile and a small “mornin’.”


Only then Mark noticed the glare. “Jin? What’s wrong, baby?”


“What’s wrong? You dare ask me what’s wrong?” Jinyoung huffed. “Why did you sleep so early last night?”


“Early? Baby, it was well beyond 5, if I’m not wrong. And I did not plan to sleep. I just… fell asleep.” Mark defended.


“I don’t care about the time. But it was early because I did not get to you.”


Mark choked on his saliva. How on earth did Jinyoung do this? Saying the most inappropriate things with such a straight face. He sighed and chuckled. Jinyoung was such a filter-less boy, but he was his boy.


“I’m sorry baby. But it’s not like we had just one night. We have quite a lot of time at our hands. Our whole lives to be more precise!” He pulled Jinyoung closer and covered themselves with the sheets.




Everything was perfect after that. For both of them. Their friends were the happiest for them. Mark’s family had already adopted Jinyoung years ago, so there obviously was a no problem in that aspect too. They got themselves a new house, nearer to their offices. They dated for about three years before tying the knot in a private setting.


Yugyeom had joined Jinyoung’s company after graduation, and BamBam established his own fashion brand. They never heard of Youngjae and Jaebeom again. Life was almost turbulence-free until the day when that first letter arrived at their little paradise, 5 years later.


Through the years they had let go of their past. Forgotten all the bitter memories and kept the sweeter ones. But there was one thing that was still there, buried so deep in Mark’s unconsciousness that he himself didn’t know about its existence.


And that was Mark’s belief that Jinyoung loved Jaebeom so much that he had tried to die for him.


Mark had no idea that this belief was going to snatch away his most beloved possession away from him!



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