✖ mark/jackson; nc-17
✖ jackson wang is not in love with his best friend. jinyoung could suck it. 9212w.
✖ originally written over on my tumblr. now with more porn.
✖ thank you to marshmallow for putting up with me and falling into the markson trap ♡
Jackson’s piss drunk, is pretty sure that if someone stuck three fingers in front of his face, he’d see twelve. When Jinyoung does, laughing hysterically at Jackson’s dumb stupor, it’s Mark who pulls Jackson away, telling Jinyoung that only he was allowed to mess around with Jackson.
“You need to learn to pace yourself, man,” Mark laughs, arm slung over Jackson’s shoulders. He’s warm and comfy and Jackson’s shameless when he’s sober, but he doesn’t know the meaning of personal space when he’s this far gone. He drapes himself over Mark, to his best friend’s laughter and faked disgust. Jackson’s practically in his lap when he’s found a position comfortable enough to sit in, head burrowing into Mark’s neck.
Mark smells like some generic body spray, too musky but Jackson loves it on Mark. He really just loves anything on Mark.
“You’re my favourite, you know,” Jackson tells him, nodding solemnly, fringe falling into his eyes.
“Of course I am, you loser,” Mark laughs, but the smile he’s giving Jackson is nice. It makes something pleasant flutter in Jackson’s belly and he can’t help the giggle that escapes him, cozying up to Mark, still laughing.
Mark lets him cling for the duration of the night, even lets Jackson take a small nap before he gets Jackson to drink about three glasses of water. With his stomach ready to burst, Jackson tries not to think of the multiple bathroom trips he’ll be taking tonight.
He doesn’t really care though, because Mark’s still next to him. He lets Jackson put his legs in his lap, even takes Jackson’s snapback and puts it on over top of his own. Safekeeping, he’d whispered to Jackson, who’d moaned something unintelligible and rolled over.
When he’s sober enough to remember where he is – Jinyoung’s apartment – Jackson realises that he’s been hogging Mark. There’s a girl perched on the couch end, next to him, while Jackson’s sprawled out on the length of the couch.
“Aw, shit, you let me get this fucking drunk, again?”
“’Ey, I fucking take care of you and you’re gonna blame me, you little shit?” Mark bites, smacking Jackson’s thigh as Jackson works himself up into a sitting position. Mark has his lip caught between his teeth, something that he supposes is meant to look threatening but Mark had the sort of handsome face that looked good even when angry.
Jackson only laughs, reaching to pinch his cheeks, hands swatted away and feet thrown out of Mark’s lap as he gets up. Jackson thinks he’s gonna leave, maybe find an unoccupied corner of the apartment and show that girl he’s been chatting up a good time but instead, Jackson finds himself under attack. Mark doesn’t give him a chance to catch up, Jackson’s hands barely coming up to cover Mark’s onslaught of playful punches. It pulls out Jackson’s most awful sounding laugh, the one that’s too loud and could probably wake the dead.
“Respect your elders, twat,” Mark finishes, one last smack to Jackson’s head.
“You’re like, barely a year older than me,” Jackson retorts, screaming when Mark raises his hand, threatening to smack him again. Jackson pouts, a little out of breath before he glares at Mark. “I want nice Mark back.”
“Nice Mark isn’t real,” Mark tells him, finally getting up off of Jackson. It’s a relief, what with how heavy Mark is. He’s been b-boying more lately, and Jackson shouldn’t be able to tell that he’s put on more muscle but it’s a little hard to miss when Mark wanders around their dorm room in flimsy tank tops. Jackson wonders if Mark is as troubled by Jackson’s half nakedness as Jackson is with Mark’s.
“Nice Mark always kisses my booboos better,” Jackson whines, exaggerating his pout, lower lip jutting out adorably. Mark rolls his eyes and squeezes Jackson’s cheeks together with a hand, before leaving Jackson prone on the couch, claiming he was going to get them beer. Like Jackson needed to go through round two of too drunk to remember shit.
“So did you and Mark finally sort out all your unresolved sexual tension?” Jinyoung asks Jackson, smirking as he settles down on the couch next to him. The effect is ruined somewhat by the giant pink bow he’s wearing on top of his head in the form of a headband but Jackson’s sure Jaebum has something to do with that.
“Oh, so that wasn’t foreplay?” Jinyoung says, blinking, lips still quirked into a smug grin.
Jackson narrows his eyes at his friend. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“I was hoping you’d tell me,” Jinyoung sighs, draping an arm around Jackson’s shoulders and giving him a squeeze. “So oblivious. So dumb.”
“Your face is dumb,” Jackson sneers, but he lacks all the bite necessary for the insult to sting.
“Nice comeback,” Jinyoung says patronizingly, giving Jackson a pitying look. If Jackson weren’t so busy freaking out internally, he would shove Jinyoung to the ground and tickle him until he peed his pants but he was having a little trouble wrapping his head around ‘unresolved sexual tension’ and ‘foreplay’.
“What – ” Jackson starts, the rest of his question choking in the back of his throat as Mark hands him a beer, dumb, clueless smile going from Jackson to Jinyoung, who’s laughing uncontrollably now.
These were the friends Jackson had chosen for himself. He was so stupid.
“What’s going on?” Mark asks, handing Jackson a beer. Jinyoung takes it out of Jackson’s hand, winking at him coyly before disappearing back into his party, shaking his head at Mark. Jackson’s left to stare at his empty hand and Mark’s amused grin.
“Gimme a sip,” Jackson whines, reaching for the beer but Mark pulls it out of reach, wagging a finger in Jacksons face.
“You snooze, you lose,” Mark grins with a shrug, laughing when Jackson lets out a loud, frustrated sound.
“I thought you loved me,” Jackson accuses, and maybe this was what Jinyoung meant, but Jinyoung just didn’t understand that Jackson was an affectionate guy and Mark seemed okay with that.
“Aw, that’s cute,” Mark snickers but he gives Jackson the beer all the same, when it’s half empty. Jackson laughs and gives him a kiss on the cheek, in a completely heterosexual, bro to bro sort of way. Mark only smiles, big and wide and all for Jackson.
Jaebum sends him a text in the middle of Jackson’s stats class, when he’s about ready to fall asleep watching the girl next to him play flappy bird on her phone. The text message jerks him alert, and he tugs his snapback lower as he sinks in his seat, unlocking his phone.
we got a gig at crush
Jackson has to remind himself he’s in a classroom to keep himself from whopping out loud, always more excited than either of his friends about their gigs. He just has a lot of feelings all bottled up inside of him, and maybe he’s too loud but his friends don’t seem to mind all that much.
when is it!!!! he texts back quickly, glancing at the time to see how much longer he had to suffer through his lecture. Twenty minutes. Jackson wishes he’d left at the break.
Jaebum texts him back in a matter of seconds. this friday, 9pm
u better fucking come
Jackson snorts, the girl next to him sending him an annoyed look as she loses her game, flappy bird falling to his death before he could make it to the 11th pipe. He smiles at her apologetically before shoving his notebook into his bag; it’s not like he’s taking notes. Glancing at his professor, Jackson wonders if he can sneak out of class. He was at the back of the lecture hall, not like he sat anywhere else. (Except that one time he made the enormous mistake of taking Intro to Economics with Jinyoung and was forced to sit three rows from the front. Jackson couldn’t even fucking breathe without the professor staring him down.)
ur so dumb hyung ofc ill be there
Jaebum sends him a series of smiling emoticons in return and Jackson can’t keep the stupid grin off his face. Its short lived, wiped off completely when Jaebum also tells him to bring mark along
But Jaebum doesn’t respond, no matter how many times Jackson checks his phone in the last fifteen minutes of class. He rushes out when their professors dismisses them, telling himself that worrying over why Jaebum couldn’t tell Mark himself was irrelevant. Jaebum knows they’re roommates.
Sending a text wasn’t that fucking hard. Did all his friends think he had ‘unresolved sexual tension’ with Mark?
“Fuck my life,” Jackson mutters under his breath, setting off in the direction of his dorm.
Jackson doesn’t fixate on things. He’s never been so predisposed, and really the only time he can bring his focus down to something single-minded is when he’s dancing or fencing. Maybe when he’s trying to beat Mark’s ass in Super Smash Bros, but that was different.
The fact that he’s been trudging around with Jinyoung’s stupid comments floating around his head incessantly is somewhat worrying. Then again, Jinyoung liked messing with Jackson, so maybe this was a joke.
Except when Jackson had seen Mark that morning, he’d definitely stared at Mark’s bare arms for longer than was entirely straight and uninterested. But Jackson, well, it’s not like he’d ever said he only liked girls. It just so happened that he’d never been interested in a guy before, not that the thought of touching someone’s dick was horrifying to him. Touching Mark’s dick though…
Jackson faceplants into his textbook, ignoring the glares of everyone around him for making so much noise in the library. This was definitely not his style.
Jackson does end up telling Mark about JJ Project’s gig at Crush, and when Mark knocks on Jackson’s door to ask if he’s fucking ready yet, Jackson’s standing shirtless in his room staring at an ever growing pile of clothes.
Mark quirks an eyebrow in his direction but Jackson, never embarrassed about being seen shirtless before, feels the tips of his ears burn as he quickly snatches the first thing that comes to hand in his rejected club wear pile. Of course it’s the tank he’d thrown away for being too revealing, although when he’d bought it, it had been for exactly those reasons. His guns deserved to be seen.
“You okay?” Mark asks, stepping into the room as Jackson smoothed down the tank, running a hand through his hair. Mark, clearly, wasn’t fazed by Jackson’s half-nakedness so obviously Jinyoung was full of shit and Jackson was going to set Jinyoung’s phone background to a picture of his dick.
“Of course! Why wouldn’t I be?” Jackson grins, grabbing his varsity jacket and snapback from behind his bedroom door. Mark doesn’t bat an eye when Jackson slings an arm around his shoulders and half drags half jumps them out the door.
Everything was going to be fine.
It takes about an hour for Jackson to realise that things were certainly not okay. Jinyoung and Jaebum had taken to the stage to loud applause and Jackson was mildly buzzed as he screamed along with the crowd, jumping up and down. Mark had laughed, letting Jackson’s arm settle over his shoulders once more. Jackson doesn’t really notice the arm wrapped around his waist until he pauses to breathe from belting out the lyrics to Bounce.
After which point he can’t stop noticing how close and warm and comfortable Mark feels, entirely distracted by his best friend’s presence as he pretends to watch his friends work the crowd. This was not how his evening was supposed to go. Conclusions had been made. There was no sexual tension, there was just best friendship, and okay, maybe Jackson did really like crawling into Mark’s bed to sleep with him but bros could do that, right?
“Hey loser, I’m gonna get a drink, be right back,” Mark whispers in Jackson’s ear, and Jackson nods but really he’s freaking out over the shiver that just ran down his spine, Mark’s breath hot against his skin. Shit shit shit.
Jackson doesn’t watch Mark go, telling himself that crouching on the floor as he clutched his head wasn’t actually going to do anything for him. Maybe ruin his image but then, Jackson had never really cared about that.
Jinyoung’s telling the crowd they have a special guest today, but Jackson’s not paying attention. He wanders off to an empty booth, stretching out along the length of the seat and staring at the ceiling.
Okay. So what if maybe he wanted to touch Mark’s dick. That was no big deal? Jackson’s sure everyone has a crisis over liking their best friend at some point or another. This would pass. Soon he’d be back to not caring about Mark’s thick lips, and wondering how they’d taste, if maybe Mark would straddle him, smirking at Jackson’s desperation.
He rubs a hand over his face, jerking up when he feels someone tap his knee. It’s Mark. Of course it is. Who else would it be? Fucking fuck.
“You’ve been acting weird all night,” Mark says, staring at Jackson with a stich of concern between his brows. Jackson’s not very good at lying on the spot. He’s not good at lying period, actually.
“What? You’re the one being weird,” Jackson insists, grabbing the beer in Mark’s hand. If he notices how Mark’s pretty much standing in between Jackson’s legs, he doesn’t mention it because his stomach feels like it’s being blended right now. “I’m fine. I just remembered I have a stats midterm next week.”
“Jackson Wang, concerned about his academic career? Who are you and what have you done with my best friend?” Mark gasps, feigning surprise and Jackson hates that his first reaction isn’t to smack Mark in the stomach like usual, but rather to quell down the urge to tell Mark how cute he is.
“Oh my god, shut up, go bother someone else.”
“I don’t know anyone else,” Mark pouts, shoving Jackson into the booth to squirm in next to him. He could have sat across from Jackson. There’s empty space on the other side. Instead, Jackson feels like he’s been cornered, with Mark’s face way too close to his own.
“Yeah, you don’t know anyone else,” Jackson snorts, and maybe he’s conditioned himself into this, but he can’t help but reach out and touch Mark, hand curling around Mark’s neck for a brief second before he lets it drop, settle on Mark’s bicep. Even that feels like too much right now.
“Come on, Jaebum was saying they were gonna do a new song today,” Mark says, chin resting on the edge of Jackson’s shoulder, eyes looking up at Jackson. This is ridiculous.
“Alright, alright,” Jackson mumbles. “Lead the way, Commander Mark.”
“You fucking loser,” Mark laughs, giving Jackson’s face a light smack before he’s disappearing into the crowd. Jackson follows, slower, wishing he could brush this off like he usually did. But the knot in his stomach was only getting bigger and by the time he realises he’s lost Mark in the crowd it’s too late.
Mark Tuan has always been a lady’s man, not that Jackson’s far behind but today is different. Jackson’s not sure why his chest is squeezing so tightly around his heart but it hurts to breathe, lungs suddenly too small, light-headed. It’s not like he’s never seen Mark grinding with a girl before, hands on her hips. Normally he’d let out a wolf whistle, have the contents of her glass thrown at him for his friend’s sake. But he’s feeling none of that right now, only the surging desire to leave the club. Jaebum and Jinyoung would understand.
Jackson glances at Mark, regrets it immediately as he spots him backed up against the wall, lips locked and hands travelling south. His snapback is about ready to topple off, and Jackson, upset, hopes it falls on the girl’s face.
He leaves right after, angry at himself for being such a dick, but somehow the anger doesn’t dim the alarming sadness clustering up in his chest, swarming his stomach. Maybe if he ran home, he would be so tired by the time he reached his bed that he wouldn’t spend the night tossing and turning, thinking about Mark’s hands on that girl. About how the idea of Mark pinning him to a wall kept popping up in his head at inopportune moments. Why the fuck did Jackson ever listen to Jinyoung.
Jackson’s barely slept all night, lying awake in bed most of the night as he tries to get himself to stop picturing Mark and the girl. This was definitely the height of stupidity in his life. He’s just about to give up on sleep and maybe actually attempt to study for his stats midterm at fucking three am in the morning when the door to his room creeks open.
Jackson stills, telling himself he should just pretend to sleep. It was obviously Mark, although why he would be checking on Jackson and not banging the girl he most likely brought home, is another realm of thought Jackson doesn’t want to think about.
The last thing Jackson’s expecting, though, is Mark climbing into his bed with him, and wiggling in under Jackson’s covers. When Mark presses in against him, warm and solid, Jackson has to stop his mind from short circuiting. He scoots a little closer to the wall, to make room for Mark, who laughs, low and amused.
“Did I wake you up?”
Jackson can’t really see his smile, not in the dark, but he can picture it in his head. The soft one, the one that says he thinks Jackson is an endearing loser. Jackson’s favourite, maybe.
“Wasn’t asleep,” Jackson mumbles back and while this is a surprise, Mark sneaking into bed with him and not the other way around, Jackson still wants to curl up around Mark. It’s not like Mark hasn’t gotten used to his constant desire to cuddle, especially not when he lets Jackson use his arm as a pillow, Jackson draping an arm over Mark’s torso.
“So if you weren’t sleepy, why’d you leave the club? And you didn’t even tell me, asshole,” Mark scolds, but he doesn’t sound upset, more concerned.
“You looked busy,” Jackson comments as nonchalantly as he can. If the memory stings a little, Jackson makes sure to keep it out of his voice, attempting to sound a little rough, like he was on the verge of sleep.
“You’re still an ass for leaving,” Mark accuses. “And I wasn’t even…She was nice but I wasn’t interested, you know. I feel kinda bad.”
Jackson swallows, steadying himself. He shouldn’t let himself get his hopes up, especially when he didn’t even know what the fuck was going on. What exactly was he hoping for?
“You don’t – I mean, sorry I left you. Didn’t know you needed to hold my hand,” Jackson laughs, but he accompanies it by snuggling closer to Mark. He can smell Mark’s cologne, can feel the warmth of his skin seeping into Jackson’s and this was normal right? Bros spooned. Totally.
Mark doesn’t say anything for a while, hand sliding around the back of Jackson’s neck, thumb rubbing circles into the skin. Jackson’s breath hitches, heart stumbling as it forgets and then remembers how to beat, and he was so fucked. There was no doubt about it.
“What about you? Couldn’t find anyone to interest you? Is that why you left?” Mark asks, playful. Jackson has no clue what to say, not when he’s freaking out over the idea that maybe, yeah, he liked Mark. More than liked.
His throat feels too tight, clogged up with something Jackson can’t put a name to, fingers fisting in Mark’s t-shirt. “Nah, I’m not really looking for anyone.”
“Really? Why? You found someone special.” Mark’s teasing him, Jackson knows that but his heart is hammering in his chest, with such strength that he’s sure Mark can hear it, feel it.
“Something like that,” Jackson grumbles, squeezing his eyes shut to remind himself to breathe.
“What? Who is it?”
“It’s nothing. I don’t even know what it is, just whatever,” Jackson answers, voice rising as he finishes the sentence. “Let’s sleep.”
Mark squeezes his neck extra hard but doesn’t push it, never nosier than Jackson allowed him to be. And okay, Jackson really did like that about Mark but before it had been with the fondness of knowing he had a solid best friend. Now, it came with butterflies in his stomach.
“Fine, but you better tell me in the morning.”
Jackson spends the better half of the morning in the Fencing Room, going over his footwork. He’d slipped out of bed before Mark woke up, left a post-it note stuck to Mark’s forehead to tell him where he was going. He didn’t want to make it look like he was running away, or something.
At least, not to Mark.
He knew that was exactly what he was doing. And Jackson didn’t normally run away from anything. Eventually confrontation was inevitable, and Jackson’s always been far too blunt, never beating around the bush, to start now, but it feels like he needs some time to mull this over. Sparring with a dummy had him sufficiently preoccupied.
Except he’d been at it for four hours straight now and eventually he was going to have to leave and go home to an apartment he shared with Mark. Never in his life had Jackson been afraid to go home.
He rolls his shoulders back, hand running through his hair as he trudges over to his water bottle, dropping his sabre next to his bag as he takes a long swig from his bottle. His clothes are sticking to him, sweat drenching the back on his t-shirt. It’d kill a little more time if he just showered at the university, push back seeing Mark for a little longer. Jackson lets out a frustrated shout, sinking to the ground, back pressed against the wall. This was pathetic.
Still, the thought of seeing Mark sent his heart into a panic, throat closing up quickly. What was he supposed to say? How long could he get away with just ignoring Mark?
Groaning, Jackson knocks the back of his head against the wall a few times before grabbing his things and heading for the showers. He could clear his head up. Maybe even convince himself that this would pass. It was a phase. Jackson was obviously confused. After all, Jackson had been friends with Mark for almost two years and he’d never been bogged down with feelings like these before.
The showers are empty, just like the Fencing Room. The season was already over, and Jackson kept up with fencing more out of a desire to sustain his oldest passion than to win any competitions. He knew he was good.
Standing under the current, Jackson lets himself soak in the warmth hitting his skin, bracing himself against the wall when he bends forward, water cascading down his back. It eases up some of the knots Jackson knows will tighten up the second the adrenaline wears off.
He works his body wash into a lather, scrubbing down his torso, mind wandering to Mark’s mouth, parted open as he’d lay sleeping in Jackson’s bed. Truthfully, Jackson could get used to the sight, and the thought of waking Mark up with kisses made his cheeks burn, eyes squeezing shut. This was supposed to go away, not haunt him every fucking where he went.
Sighing, Jackson lets his shoulders sag, stubbornly refusing to give into the scenario quickly forming in his head but his resolve’s slipping away. His hand is already fisting around his cock, half-hard in his grip as Mark’s mouth jumped back to the forefront of his mind. Kissing Mark awake, maybe letting his hands drag down Mark’s sides until he could grip his tight little ass, push forward, grind their crotches together. Jackson’s hand picks up, head falling down, mouth hanging open.
Mark groaning in Jackson’s ear, Mark’s little, quiet sighs as he reciprocates, hand curling around the back of Jackson’s neck, mouth finding Jackson’s in his state of half-sleep half-awake. Jackson squirts soap into his hand, lathers it up to help him keep his cock slick, blocking out the direct spray from the showerhead by curling forward just a little bit more, until it’s just Jackson’s hand jerking his cock, Mark’s teeth sinking into Jackson’s skin. All the little marks he could leave, the ones Jackson wouldn’t bother to cover, shamelessness masking how much he liked the idea of belonging to Mark.
“Fuck,” he gasps, eyes squeezing shut, and he was so close, so close to Mark’s cock pressed against his thigh, Mark rutting against Jackson as Jackson kissed and sucked bruises into Mark’s neck, along his collarbone. He wanted to write his name onto Mark’s skin, wanted to sit in his lap, bounce on his –
Jackson comes so hard, his toes curl, body shuddering as he pants, recovers from the euphoria rushing through him. His heartbeat pounds in his ears, milking out his orgasm, dick sensitive as the last few drops of cum hit the shower tiles. They’re washed down by the steady stream of water but Jackson’s shame clings to him, chest tight as he realises what he’s just done.
By the time Jackson makes it back home, it’s past three in the afternoon, and he’s starving. Really he just wants to eat and then maybe sleep away his life; anything’s better than thinking about Mark, but he really should have known better.
Jaebum and Jinyoung are both over, and from the scent lingering in the air, they’ve ordered pizza. It makes Jackson’s mouth water, but he hesitates by the front door, toeing his shoes off and dropping his workout bag. He’ll grab it later, maybe when he can get his ass to go and do the laundry.
“Look who decided to show up,” Jinyoung grins as he grabs Jackson, pulling him down into a headlock and dragging him toward the small living room. Jackson laughs it off, loud and boisterous, while he struggles to free himself, hardly putting in the effort, as Jinyoung finally drops them both onto the couch. Jackson lands between Jinyoung and Mark, who gives him a big smile that Jackson can’t return.
He looks away quickly, attempting to swallow down his embarrassment as Jaebum grabs his attention, asking him where he’s been all day. Jackson can’t exactly respond with oh, just jerking off to the idea of fucking my best friend so he gives Jaebum one of his weird looks, eyes big, head titled forward as he stares at him. It makes Jaebum laugh, and Jackson eases up a little, sinking in his seat, acutely aware of how close Mark is.
“He went fencing,” Mark answers, smiling at Jackson again, smaller this time. Jackson kind of hates himself, maybe wants to shove the slice of pizza Jinyoung is eating down Jinyoung’s throat but he attempts to smile back. It comes out as a grimace.
“You already won the university gold, you can slow down,” Jaebum sighs with a roll of his eyes. Jackson flips him the bird before grabbing himself a slice of pizza, Jaebum’s eyes crinkling up with laughter.
“I have to stay fit. These arms were made to show off,” Jackson explains, already rolling up his sleeve to flex for Jaebum, who laughs louder as the slice of pizza Jackson’s holding in his mouth starts to break off. Luckily, Jackson has fast reflexes and catches it, eyebrows waggling at his obvious display of prowess.
“Amazing,” Jinyoung intones, clearly unimpressed but he breaks out into a smile when Jackson gasps dramatically, feigning hurt. Mark laughs next to him, body falling forward until he’s got his chin resting on Jackson’s shoulder, chest pressed into Jackson. There are goosebumps forming along Jackson’s arms, throat suddenly too tight to swallow down his pizza. He doesn’t have to worry about the rest of the slice, not when Mark takes it and starts eating it himself.
Jinyoung sends Jackson a look, assumptious and amused, and Jackson can only narrow his eyes in return. Everything seems to go over Jaebum’s head, as he claps his hands, grabbing everyone’s attention.
“Jinyoung said he has a movie for us to watch,” Jaebum declares, blinking at Jinyoung expectantly. Jinyoung nods his head, mouth full as he digs through his backpack. Jackson isn’t the least bit surprised when his friend pulls out some trashy romcom that Jackson’s never heard of.
Leap Year stares back at them and Jackson knows Jinyoung thinks romance is beautiful and wants his life to play out like a chick flick, but Jackson’s life is in a state of distress.
“So you basically only came over to steal our projector,” Jackson comments pointedly and Jaebum’s sheepish grin is telling. “Everyone just uses us.”
“You mean you. No one’s that mean to Mark,” Jaebum laughs, entirely amused as he takes in Jackson’s pained expression.
“Well, who’s gonna be mean to Mark when Jackson’s there to glare them down, right?” Jinyoung chirps, eyes crinkled up as he smiles sweetly. Jackson has never met someone eviler than Park Jinyoung and he prays that he never does.
“I need new friends,” Jackson mutters, arms crossing over his chest.
“But you’ll keep me, right?” Mark asks, still too close and Jackson doesn’t get a chance to answer, Jinyoung’s already speaking for him.
Jackson rarely finds himself annoyed enough to want to stay quiet, but he is right now so he lets himself enjoy Mark’s presence next to him, grabbing another slice of pizza. When Jinyoung gets up to connect his laptop with Jackson’s projector, he offers Mark a bite, and is possibly way in over his head because wow, Mark is so fucking cute.
They settle into watching the film, Mark’s arm draped around Jackson’s torso and Jackson can’t help but let his hand linger over Mark’s, despite the sly grins Jinyoung keeps shooting at him.
He really should have protested louder, or claimed he was extremely tired and wanted to sleep because every time Mark shifts next to Jackson, he seems to be getting closer and closer. Jackson hates how much he likes Mark’s weight settled against him, or the way he can feel Mark’s breath ghost over his skin every time he exhales. He feels like a hormonal teenager, just learning what a boner is or something.
The only thing the movie helps to do, of course, is inspire feelings of maybe if Jackson and Mark had a magical montage, they too, could fall madly in love. Jackson would obviously have to reject his fiancé for Mark, or maybe the other way around, but the point was obvious: true love conquered all.
Jackson tries not to cry at the predictability of the film but every time Mark’s laughter vibrates through Jackson, he forgets entirely about the film. Daydreaming about road trips with your best friend was one thing, but thinking about all the making out they could do along the way was another.
Road head may have crossed his mind, too, but by then Jackson was also scoffing at the lead characters for their complete inability to confess their feelings for each other. Like, really, it was broad as fucking daylight that they liked each other and –
Okay. So maybe Jackson had no right to judge two clueless people in love because he was clueless and potentially in love. And very much in denial about it.
“You okay?” Mark whispers, right when Anna from Boston glances toward Declan, but Declan is gone and Anna’s left with Jeremy, who sucks and is incredibly boring and Jackson really can’t imagine having to give Mark up to someone else. The very idea makes his chest feel like it’s caving in. He doesn’t think he’d be as noble as Declan.
“Yeah,” Jackson replies, mouth dry, tongue sticking to the roof of his mouth. He wants to swallow but he also wants to turn and maybe kiss Mark right on the mouth, Jinyoung’s smug, prying eyes be damned.
“You didn’t eat much,” Mark comments, and it’s just like him to concern himself over Jackson, especially when Jackson doesn’t think he does enough in return.
“Wasn’t that hungry,” Jackson lies, fingers lacing together with Mark’s and it’s nice, holding Mark’s hand. He’s done it before, accidentally, in an attempt to cheer Mark on, support him because Jackson’s not that great with words, he’s better with physical affection. He’s a little too sharp, has too much bite, but Mark’s kinda goofy at his worst, always sweet, smile big.
“Liar,” Mark accuses, but he doesn’t push it and Jackson spends the rest of their movie watching adventure, what few minutes were left since Anna was finally proposing to Declan, figuring out how he was going to avoid Mark Tuan for the rest of the day. Possibly for the rest of the week.
Avoiding Mark is not entirely impossible, not when years of having to get up at sunrise have trained Jackson to leave the apartment before Mark even gets up. Jackson already knows that most of Mark’s classes are in the evening, so he makes sure to come back around the same time, slip into his room and pretend to sleep when he hears Mark shuffle in.
The good thing about Mark is that he’s diligent, he always goes to class and that makes things easier. Jackson disappears to the library on the weekend, doesn’t come home on Friday night, which is Mark’s no class day.
He manages this for about a week and a half before Jaebum finds him in the library, where he’s hidden himself away. The look Jackson gets spells trouble, and Jackson gulps, preparing himself for the oncoming lecture.
“What’s going on with you?”
“I’m not sure what you mean,” Jackson attempts but playing dumb only works when the other person hasn’t already figured you out. He glances down at his stats textbook, the midterm for which Jackson actually did well on. Maybe all he needed was to fall in love with Mark a year ago. Haha.
“Really, Jackson Wang? You don’t know what I mean,” Jaebum deadpans, using his best authoritative dad voice. At least, that’s what Mark had called it once, his laughter spilling all over Jackson until it’d felt like Jackson had been enveloped by something warm and delightful.
Jackson doesn’t really have anywhere to go, not when Jaebum is blocking his only exit from the studying carousel. It’s Friday night. Jackson had asked Namjoon if he could crash at his place again but his friend, the asshole, had bailed on him. He’d decided to just camp out at the library after playing some ball with some of his fencing buddies, and then head home once it was late.
Jaebum, however, didn’t look too impressed. “Um.”
“Do you wanna tell me why Mark just told me he hasn’t seen you in almost two weeks?”
“What are you, my mom?” Jackson mutters, but he gets a smack to the back of his head for his trouble and a particularly vicious glare. Jaebum was a little terrifying when angry.
“Look,” Jackson starts, wracking his brain for an excuse. “I have a lot of midterms.”
Jackson Wang does it again.
“Really,” Jaebum says it like a question but Jackson knows better than to take it as one. “You’re being a really shit friend, you know that, right?”
“Why don’t you ask Jinyoung about what’s going on and leave me alone?” Jackson counters, because it’s not like he doesn’t already feel like shit for ignoring Mark. He still can’t stop thinking about him, nearly constantly and at inopportune moments like when he’s in his Intro to Buddhism class and he lets his mind wander for two fucking seconds. Bam. Boner alert.
“Jinyoung? What the fuck does – Oh. What did he say to you?” The angry firmness of Jaebum’s shoulders deflates a little, and he looks sympathetic. Jackson almost preferred the anger.
“Nothing. It’s nothing. I’ll, I’m going home.” Jackson grabs his notebooks and lecture notes and shoves them haphazardly into his backpack. The Hello Kitty pen he stole from a classmate he shoves into his pocket because Jackson almost always lost all his writing utensils unless he kept them in his jacket pocket.
“Are you seriously not going to tell me why you’re acting like some angsty fourteen year old?” Jaebum sighs, still blocking Jackson. He looks tired, a little frustrated and Jackson feels bad but what’s he supposed to say?
I think I like Mark. A lot.
“That’s it?” Jaebum asks incredulously and it’s not until Jaebum’s laughing that Jackson realises he fucking confessed out loud.
“Shit,” he curses, hand sweeping back his hair before tucking his snapback firmly in place. Yesterday, when he’d been bored out of his mind and had wasted two hours window shopping, with just a single purchase to show for himself, he’d nearly sank to his knees in the middle of the sidewalk. The snapback wasn’t even for him. It was for Mark. He’d bought Mark a gift and then shoved it as far back into his closet as he could, lying in bed like some lovesick puppy afterwards praying that in the morning he’d stop being in love with his best friend.
No such luck, of course.
“What do you mean, that’s it? My life’s fucking falling apart, you fucker,” Jackson growls, trying to keep his voice down. This was a library after all.
“First of all, it’s taken you like a fucking year to realise you like Mark. And secondly, asswipe, you still don’t seem to have clued in on the fact that he likes you back,” Jaebum explains, with all of the exasperation of someone who’s watched his friends dither about.
“Mark doesn’t like me!” Jackson counters, unable to think of anything else to say. The very thought has his heart kicking into hyper drive, stomach squirming.
“The next time Jinyoung pranks you, I’m so gonna help him,” Jaebum mutters darkly, before leaving Jackson sitting in the library with a stupid, unbelieving expression on his face.
Jackson supposes that even someone like Jaebum had limits to his kindness and insufferable need to coddle everyone.
Jackson spends an hour loitering outside of the apartment, unable to get himself to go inside and face his fears. The last time Jackson was this nervous, he was fencing for gold at the nationals, and it had been Mark’s shock of bright red hair in the crowd that had gotten Jackson to swallow down the lump of anxiety in his throat. Maybe he was impossibly dense. He’d been pissy and moody the entire time Mark had dated Suzy, but he’d attributed that to his decided lack of a girlfriend, not potential feelings for Mark.
He lets out a shuddering breath, finally forcing himself to get through the front door. The apartment’s dark, silent save for the flicker of the TV, volume on too low for Jackson to hear anything but static buzz. He feels like a stranger entering his own apartment, wandering in as quietly as possible.
Mark’s on the couch, tufts of his hair poking out from behind the armrest. Jackson knows he has to talk to him, apologise but his feet feel like lead with every step forward. When he reaches Mark, he realises that Mark is asleep, and he sighs with relief, instantly feeling guilty. He’s been a shit friend.
Staring down at Mark, Jackson feels his heart clench, curled up on himself, an empty mug sitting on the floor near him. He looks breathtaking, and Jackson’s not sure how much of that can be attributed to his own crush and how much is Mark’s attractiveness. Jackson reaches down to swipe his fringe out of his eyes, but Mark rolls onto his side at the exact moment and Jackson pulls his hand away.
He’s really not allowed.
Not after the last two weeks.
Jackson thinks maybe it’s stupid to just stand here staring at Mark sleeping, but he looks so pretty, and Jackson hasn’t seen him in weeks and he just wants to stare forever. Maybe freeze time, and devour every line, every curve of Mark’s face, until he’s memorized them.
Mark makes a small noise, something like a gasp, but not quite and he sounds adorable. Jackson contemplates waking him up, telling him to sleep on his bed but he doesn’t have the heart to do it. Instead, he runs over to his room and grabs the quilt he’d stolen from Mark nearly a year ago, and drapes it over his friend, careful not to touch Mark.
He’s just smoothing down a corner when he feels fingers wrap around his wrist. Startled, Jackson’s about to pull away but Mark blinks at him wearily, fingers tightening.
Jackson thinks he might throw up.
“You’re home,” he mumbles, hair all tussled up form sleeping on the couch. Jackson sinks down onto his knees, smoothing Mark’s hair out of the way.
“I miss you,” Mark snuffles, fingers loosening in their grip. Jackson clenches his jaw, guilt swarming up his throat. He wants to say something but nothing comes out and he’s the worst fucking human being ever.
Mark slips back into sleep, hand on Jackson’s wrist, warm. And this is all home really feels like, Mark’s skin against his.
Jackson wakes up at five am, eyes bleary, exhausted. He’s slept maybe two hours cumulatively the whole night, Mark haunting every corner of his mind, words hovering around Jakson’s ears, touch lingering on Jackson’s skin. It feels like he’s been burnt. Caught fire in the middle of the night.
Getting out of bed is hard this morning, dread knotting in Jackson’s throat, his belly, as he tells himself he has to talk to Mark today. Jackson’s ceiling is bare, endlessly white, but right now it’s like he’s seeing Mark’s face everywhere. When he closes his eyes, when he looks at the blankness. It’s Mark’s face.
Jackson remembers how much he’d enjoyed drawing as a kid, how he’d made pictures of his mother sitting on the balcony, the sun bathing her in warm sunlight. He’d kept the ones of her doing hand stands and split leaps to himself, always terrified that he’d never quite captured the beauty of the movement, the thrill.
Jackson’s memory is failing him right now, skill falling short. He isn’t doing Mark any justice, can’t imagine the shape of his eyes just right, the slope of Mark’s nose, the way his mouth curls shyly when he smiles. As Jackson tries to paint him in his mind, he’s failing, he’s getting mad at himself, and god, he just wants this to end. He wants to wake up kissing Mark and fall asleep kissing Mark, and hearts aren’t supposed to ache like this, right?
Throwing the blanket off, Jackson drags himself up, rubbing sleep out of his eyes. He’s cold in the knock-off jersey and shorts he went to bed in, but it doesn’t matter. Shuffling out of the room, Jackson makes it to the bathroom quietly.
He’s been keeping his showers short, more cold than hot, terrified of what his mind would conjure up next. He still needs to look Mark in the eye, maybe even swallow the harsh sting of rejection.
Jackson knows that Mark not liking him back isn’t the worst case scenario. That’s what’s been keeping him awake all these nights, terrified to even be seen by Mark’s shadow. Jackson’s too attached now, he doesn’t want to lose his best friend. He’s never had the time for a best friend, always too busy between one tournament and the next, the boys he grew up practising with turning into rivals, tension fissuring and splintering what they had. Jackson doesn’t want to lose Mark.
But, he owes him honesty. Jackson’s dad was stern, and half the reason Jackson acted out so much was to piss his dad off, but he’d always told Jackson to be honest. With others, with himself.
Jackson steps into the shower, the spray warm, just right.
Life isn’t a romantic comedy but as Jackson creeps a look into Mark’s room to find him sleeping in his bed, the couch abandoned at some point during the night, he kind of wishes it was. Everything always seemed to work out in romcoms.
He’d panicked for a moment, Mark’s presence missing on the couch but reassured, Jackson makes his way to the couch himself. He folds himself into Mark’s position, slightly rough fabric cold against Jackson’s warm skin. There’s water clinging to his hair, droplets rolling down his back, and Jackson should probably get a blanket but he’s tired. He tried rehearsing what to say in the shower, but nothing sounded right. Jackson almost thinks it’s funny how he’s run out of words now, when it’s the most important.
Flicking on the TV, Jackson watches some early morning show, the hosts currently tasting a smoothie a guest nutritionist’s made. Jackson listens to her talk about the health benefits of kale, a key ingredient, but zones out, not quite a health nut. Neither of them were.
He wonders if Jaebum’s awake, even Jinyoung would be okay, someone to talk to, but as Jackson hefts himself up, he finds Mark paused in the door of his room. It’s not even seven yet.
Jackson isn’t ready, throat tightening. Mark’s hair is dishevelled, the shirt he went to bed in wrinkled and messy looking. He maybe wants to smooth his hands over it, run his hand through Mark’s hair and kiss him awake. Slowly, softly.
Jackson’s heart clenches.
It’s not even seven yet.
“Hey,” he greets, nodding his head just slightly. He tries to smile but it’s not coming out quite right, and Mark’s expression is unreadable, eyes almost wary. Jackson can’t tell, the apartment’s dark and Mark is right there, in front of Jackson, but too far away.
Mark only nods his head back, bracing himself in the doorway. Jackson bites his lip, gingerly standing up, the tips of his fringe still wet. He pushes them back, hopes they’ll stay. Mark’s looking at him but not, and Jackson’s stomach twists painfully, feet nearly stumbling as he makes his way closer.
He stops a good two feet away, eyes falling down to Mark’s bare feet. Jackson glances back up quickly, hand twisting around the back of his neck, the other fisted by his side.
“I, uh,” he starts, wincing at the way his voice cracks. “I, I’m sorry for…not being around lately.”
Mark doesn’t look convinced, the tight press of his lips somehow worse than his father’s disappointment after Jackson hadn’t placed on the Olympics team so many years ago. He’d come to terms with that, more or less. Jackson didn’t wallow.
“I know I’m the fucking worst human being ever, and you deserve a better friend than me, but I, fuck, I’m really stupid, you know that. I’m an asshole, and you have every right to be angry and not speak to me and ignore me, but I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” Jackson pleads, finally meeting Mark’s eyes. He regrets it immediately, stuck there, unable to look away.
The tense coil in Mark’s shoulders seems to have uncoiled a little. And it really hadn’t dawned on him before, not like it is now, crashing down on him, how much he’d put at stake.
“I miss you, too,” Jackson mumbles, when Mark’s eyes soften a little. Really, Jackson knows how kind Mark is, too kind for someone like him who’s brash and stubborn and obnoxious.
“Do you?” Mark whispers, quiet, unthreatening. Jackson’s breath catches in his throat, the sound of Mark’s deep tenor nearly forgotten. Mark bites his lip, looking uncertain and Jackson can’t fucking believe himself. “Two weeks is a long time to ignore someone.”
Jackson takes a step forward without thinking, reaching for Mark before pulling back. He has no right, no right at all, and god he’s just about ready to fall to his feet and beg, thinks that Mark is deserving of so much more than this.
Jackson’s eyes sting, mouth dry as he barely swallows around the lump in his throat. “Of course I…Fuck. Okay, okay. The truth is, I don’t stop thinking about you, not even when I’m fucking sleeping. I can’t stop.”
Squeezing his eyes shut, Jackson sucks in a deep breath. It’s now or never.
When Jackson opens his eyes, it’s with all his courage mustered up, Mark’s expression a little surprised, a little confused.
“I like you. A lot. In a totally not best friend’s kind of way but also, in a best friend’s kind of way. Both. At the same time. And…I totally understand if that’s a lot to swallow…That’s actually why I was avoiding you. Because I’m a giant loser and I think about kissing you way more than any best friend should.”
Mark looks stunned, eyes widening. Jackson’s face is burning, heat spreading down his neck until he can feel it all the way down in the tip of his fingers. His heart’s beating too loud in his chest, overwhelming everything else. Jackson thinks about running away, back into his room and hiding here forever, but Mark reanimates, hands coming up to scrub at his face.
“You…like me?” He mumbles, barely audible.
“Yes,” Jackson answers, without pause because he’s fucked around enough. He needs to get his shit together now.
Mark’s hands fall away, and it looks like he’s trying to hold back a smile. Jackson’s heart surges up his throat, butterflies ready to erupt in his stomach as he waits for a response, something else, something more.
“Fuck, I thought, I thought it was just me,” Mark laughs breathlessly, and he’s the one closing the gap between them, he’s the one who’s left Jackson speechless, he’s the one who grabs Jackson by his t-shirt and pulls him impossibly closer.
He’s the one.
“Wait,” Jackson breathes, “wait, does this mean that you…Do you…?”
“Yeah,” Mark smiles, lips stretched too wide. “I like you, too, dumbass.”
Jackson barely waits for Mark to finish, before crushing their mouths together, and maybe he should have gone slower to avoid the way their teeth clatter together, the force of his impatience causing Mark to stumble backwards. But Jackson’s got this, he’s a pro kisser, he knows just how to tilt his head, how to wrap his hand around Mark’s neck, the other curling around Mark’s waist.
Mark doesn’t seem to care anyways, hand cupping Jackson’s face as he kisses back just as hard, dragging Jackson into his bedroom. It’s not until Jackson’s got his back pressed into Mark’s bed with Mark hovering over top of him, breathless, that Jackson realises who’s really got this. Somehow this doesn’t freak him out as much as he thought it would.
He pulls Mark down desperately, tongue sweeping along Mark’s bottom lip until he sucks it into his mouth, biting down on the flesh. His cock twitches in his shorts when Mark moans, his weight settling on top of Jackson comfortably. And fuck if this isn’t exactly what Jackson wanted.
Mark tastes like every dream Jackson’s ever had and then some, mouth soft, plush. This is all he’s ever needed.
Part of Jackson can’t believe this is happening, can’t believe that Mark is kissing him back, sucking Jackson’s tongue into his mouth, a hand curled into Jackson’s hair, grip tightening. Jackson gasps when Mark’s other hand drags over the arch of his neck, smoothing over the skin until it settles over Jackson’s pulse.
Jackson’s in overload, trying to figure out where exactly he wants to settle his hands, going from Mark’s shoulders to his neck, until he thinks fuck it, and lets his hand drag down Mark’s spine, all the way to his ass. The way Mark shudders when Jackson cups his ass, shamelessly grinding his crotch against Mark’s, has Jackson’s mind spinning.
Mark pants into Jackson’s mouth, ad Jackson doesn’t think he’s ever heard something so hot, so perfect.
“You’re the fucking worst, you know that?” Mark tells him between breaths, as Jackson settles his other hand on the jut of Mark’s hip, huffing in frustration at their lack of friction.
“I am, definitely,” Jackson agrees, licking his lips, diving in to suck on the skin of Mark’s neck, teeth scraping and sinking into the flesh. Mark’s breath hitches, the hand in Jackson’s hair tightening. His nose drags over the shell of Jackson’s ear, and then Jackson can feel Mark’s teeth biting into the cartilage, can feel Mark rolling his hips down, cock hard.
“You’re so fucking lucky I like you so much,” Mark reminds Jackson, fingers digging into Jackson’s shoulder when Jackson squeezes his ass, fingers digging in between Mark’s ass cheeks, the flimsy material of Mark’s pyjamas giving away easily.
“I am, so, so lucky,” Jackson repeats, pushing his hips off the bed to meet Mark’s halfway, the friction so deliciously good but not enough. There a thousand and one things Jackson wants to do with Mark, and he really should get to crossing everything off that list now, but Mark doesn’t seem to want anything more than rutting his hips against Jackson until they both get off.
And okay, they had the whole day ahead of them. Jackson could spend all afternoon stripping Mark of all his clothes, and getting well acquainted with his dick. His mouth waters at the thought, and he whimpers when Mark finds his mouth again, kiss sloppy this time.
Jackson uses his grip on Mark’s ass to keep them both slotted in place, grinding against each other until Jackson can feel the familiar tightness in his balls, the way his body feels hot all over, until he’s gasping into Mark’s mouth, “I’m coming.”
Mark bites his lip extra hard, nearly drawing blood, and Jackson’s moaning so loud, shamelessly so, coming in his pants, the wetness of his own jizz soiling his shorts. Except it doesn’t matter, because Mark’s got his face buried in the crook of Jackson’s neck, breathing shallow as he winds down from his own orgasm. Jackson’s not sure how long they lie there, Mark’s weight settled entirely on Jackson.
“If you ever fuck around with me so much again, I’ll fucking kick your nuts back into pre-puberty,” Mark threatens, but he’s rolling off of Jackson, settling down next to him. Jackson doesn’t think it’s enough contact so he rolls over to drape himself half over Mark, admiring the marks he’s left on Mark’s neck.
“You can whip me if I misbehave,” Jackson replies, finally sleepy. Mark snorts, hand playing with the strands of Jackson’s hair, until he angles Jackson’s head up to kiss him. Jackson likes this, very much so, and squirms up so Mark’s neck doesn’t have to bend awkwardly down.
He sighs into Mark’s mouth, finds himself back on his back, with Mark hovering over him from the side, and Jackson knows this probably looks pretty gross but fuck if he doesn’t love it.