Title: i love you so matcha
Word count: ~5600
Author's notes: Happy new year conchobar!! I apologise for any inaccuracies (I am the furthest thing from a culinary school student) but I hope you like this nonetheless ♡
Summary: In which Mark and Jinyoung meet in culinary school, Jaebum is a stupid excuse for a best friend, and Jinyoung tries to woo Mark with wine and good food.
There are many benefits to sharing an apartment with Jinyoung, Jaebum realises.
Firstly, Jinyoung has rather acute OCD, so Jaebum is more or less free to leave messes around the house and trust completely that Jinyoung will pick up after him. (Though the nagging is something he could really do without.)
Secondly, Jinyoung is organised and responsible, so he always settles chores like grocery shopping and sorting out the bills and all Jaebum needs to do is follow whatever Jinyoung tells him to do.
But Jaebum thinks that the biggest benefit he reaps from living with Jinyoung would be his cooking.
Having chosen to attend culinary school in the hopes of opening his own restaurant one day, Jinyoung has been cooking and baking in school for about two years now. Every night, he brings home the latest recipes from class for Jaebum to try, and even though he often sets the food down onto the kitchen island and laments the fact that his cooking is still subpar, Jaebum still inhales whatever Jinyoung brings back with greedy eyes and a satisfied smile.
Today, it's no different.
Jaebum is sprawled across the couch, head pillowed on the armrest and black glasses perched on his nose bridge as he browses through his business textbook when the front door opens and Jinyoung walks in, calling out his usual “I’m back!” before toeing off his shoes and putting them aside. They’ve lived together for so long that Jaebum doesn’t even need to look up to know what Jinyoung is doing: he’ll see Jaebum’s messily strewn shoes, wrinkle his nose, look over his shoulder at Jaebum before sighing and arranging his shoes for him. Then he’ll pad over to the kitchen, lay the food out on the table and call Jaebum over to try his food and have dinner together.
But today, when Jaebum slides onto the kitchen chair and gets ready to eat, he notices the muted and quiet energy around Jinyoung and remembers that today was the last day Jinyoung’s cooking bench partner was going to be around. His name was Yugyeom, and Jaebum knew how much Jinyoung liked Yugyeom and how close they were. Unfortunately, Yugyeom’s family had decided to migrate, so he had no other choice but to pull out of culinary school and continue cooking in the country they were moving to. When Jinyoung places their cutlery down on the table and settles in his seat, Jaebum opens the two containers and sees makguksu and a colourful myriad of chapssaltteok.
“These are two of Yugyeom’s favourite recipes. He gave these to me today, as a goodbye gift.”
Jaebum looks up when he hears Jinyoung’s voice, and he’s glad to see that Jinyoung is smiling and not about to cry or get emotional. Jinyoung’s always been more sensitive, whereas Jaebum has always been the guy who’d wince at sappy situations, so he’s relieved he doesn’t have to do any of that awkward comforting shit tonight.
“They look so good, seriously,” is what Jaebum replies.
Jinyoung rolls his eyes, calls Jaebum a pig, and before Jaebum can retaliate Jinyoung picks up a chapssaltteok and stuffs it into Jaebum’s mouth.
Sure, Yugyeom might be moving away, and Jinyoung’s not going to deny that he won’t miss him. But he’s going to get a new bench partner tomorrow, and at least he’ll always have Jaebum.
Provided he doesn’t choke to death first.
The next day, Jinyoung walks into class, greets his teacher, grins and fist-bumps some of his closer friends, and for a moment everything feels perfectly normal.
But then he reaches his cooking bench and there’s no Yugyeom sitting on his stool, no Yugyeom who looks up as Jinyoung nears and flashes him that bright and eager beam, no Yugyeom who starts rattling about his night before Jinyoung even sets his bag down and puts on his apron.
Jinyoung feels a strange pang of emptiness in his chest.
Just as he settles onto his stool and fires off one last message to Jaebum in a reply to his frantic how the fuck do I crack an egg without the shells falling into the pan this is my fourth egg and there aren’t any left I’m going to starve, their teacher for the semester on Cuisines of the Mediterranean, Chef Jang, calls the class to attention before looking out the door and gesturing for somebody to come in.
Jinyoung’s too busy talking to Jaebum that all he catches are transfer student from America and please guide him along helpfully and welcome your new course mate Mark Tuan, but once he’s assured by Jaebum that he managed to crack the fifth egg successfully and that he’s on his way to cooking up the best fucking scrambled eggs man has ever known, Jinyoung looks up as Mark walks in and immediately, his mouth goes dry.
Mark has tousled reddish-brown hair with tips that brush against his eyes, which are toffee brown and almond-shaped and curve up into small crescents as he smiles a little shyly at the class. When he bites his bottom lip tentatively, Jinyoung sees a row of sharp, white teeth and pink lips and he really can't stop staring. Chef Jang points out the empty seat next to Jinyoung to Mark, who walks over and slides into his it, dumping his bag lightly on the floor before chancing a glance over at Jinyoung. Jinyoung is a naturally amicable and friendly person, so he smiles warmly at Mark and bows his head a little in greeting.
"Hi, I'm Jinyoung. It's nice to meet you," Jinyoung says, his standard greeting.
Mark seems slightly taken aback at Jinyoung reaching out to him, but pleasant surprise flickers across his eyes and his lips curl up into a small but genuine smile in response. Jinyoung tries extremely hard to look Mark in the eye and not at his pink lips. "I'm Mark."
Their conversation gets cut short as the class starts, both boys smiling a little sheepishly with silent promises in their eyes to continue talking later. Jinyoung reaches for his bag and fishes around for his pen and notepad, falling into his usual routine of taking down the recipe of and the steps involved in making the day’s dish, which is risotto alla zucca. Jinyoung is noting down something Chef Jang has just said when he sees Mark run a hand through his hair and ruffle it messily out of the corner of his eye. Jinyoung chances a glance in Mark’s direction, and from the furrow in his brows, the slight downturn of his lips and the fact that his notes are full of blanks and cancellations, Jinyoung probably can guess why Mark is feeling frustrated.
Ripping out a page of his notepad, Jinyoung scrawls a messy you okay? onto the paper before balling it up in his hand. Once Chef Jang turns her back to the class, Jinyoung's tongue pokes out of his mouth as he half-rolls, half-throws the paper ball across the distance between himself and Mark. He feels likes he's back in high school all over again when Mark jumps as the paper ball lands against his arm and tumbles onto the bench.
Mark has really pretty hands is what Jinyoung thinks when Mark's pale fingers grip the paper ball to unfurl it, eyes darting up once instinctively to the front of the class and sweeping his peripherals before focusing on the note in his hands. Once he finishes reading, he casts Jinyoung a sideways glance, and Jinyoung can’t help the amused quirk of his lips even as he keeps his gaze trained resolutely in front. Jinyoung swears he sees Mark’s lips curl at the corners in the beginnings of a grin and it causes Jinyoung to smile now, full and proper, as Mark clicks his pen and scribbles back.
When the paper ball lands back in front of Jinyoung, Jinyoung smoothes it out and writes back quickly after reading Mark’s reply, which was the language barrier isn’t helping matters when I’m trying to figure out what’s supposed to go into the dish and when in small and neat hangul. Jinyoung folds the paper this time instead of trying to crush it softly, sliding it across the bench and failing to hide his grin when Mark stops the paper with his palm without even looking down at it.
Don’t worry, I’ll help you once theory ends, is what Jinyoung had scrawled back.
Thank you. This is beginning to feel a lot like high school. Bet you got caught passing notes a lot because you’re smiling like an idiot. Stop that.
Mark barely manages to suppress his laughter when Jinyoung shoots him a mildly offended look after reading his reply. But Jinyoung can see the crinkles at the corners of Mark’s eyes and how they’re curved into crescents, and the sight alone is enough to make him forget Mark’s attempted jab at him and to want nothing more than to see Mark’s smiling face in full.
Mark jerks his head up at the sudden greeting, but the shocked expression on his face soon morphs into a relaxed one as he recognises Jinyoung pushing himself off the wall and walking up to him.
"Hi," Mark replies, lips curling at the edges into a small but genuine smile.
Jinyoung nods at the container of risotto alla zucca in Mark's hand. "Had a chance to try your first dish yet?"
Mark shakes his head as they start to walk down the corridor. "After I brought my plated dish to the front, I just packed the rest away."
Jinyoung hums, thinking for a moment. "Do you have any other classes today?"
Mark shakes his head again. "I'm just supposed to stop by the administration office in about," Mark glances at the black watch snug around his left, skinny wrist. "Half an hour."
Jinyoung grins then, mischievous but bright, and gestures for Mark to follow him with a tip of his head as he makes his way to the school's dining hall. Mark's almond-shaped eyes widen in awe when Jinyoung pushes open the tall double doors of the dining hall and he takes a tentative step inside. The ceilings are high and the hall is spacious and luxurious, wooden tables and chairs littering the area as the culinary school's students chatter and laugh over trays of scrumptious-looking food. It's slightly past four in the afternoon now, an odd time for meals, which explains the lack of a queue for the food that is laid out neatly at the opposite end of the hall, buffet-style. Mark is still looking around like a lost puppy even as he slides into the seat opposite Jinyoung, and Jinyoung watches him, smiling.
"I'm guessing your previous school didn't quite look like this?" Jinyoung begins conversationally, pulling out his own risotto alla zucca from the bag he had packed the container in.
Mark finally sits down proper, getting his bangs out of his eyes with an unconscious flick of the head that still manages to make Jinyoung stare. "It was much smaller, and I'm pretty sure that counts for everything," Mark replies, smiling jokingly and opening his container of food.
Jinyoung smiles back, watching as Mark takes a couple of bites of his own food. “How is it?”
Mark’s brows furrow slightly. “The rice is a little hard.”
“Here,” Jinyoung says, pushing his container over to Mark and encouraging him to take a bite. “Try some and tell me what you think.”
Mark is glad to accept, gesturing for Jinyoung to take a bite of his dish in exchange. Mark chews thoughtfully before swallowing, and Jinyoung follows the movement of Mark’s Adam’s apple with his eyes before realising what he’s doing and hurriedly looking back up at Mark’s face.
“The rice is softer, but slightly more bland, right?” Jinyoung asks, grinning when Mark nods and takes another small bite of his dish.
“That’s because we chose different types of rice,” Jinyoung explains, tapping first at Mark’s container. “You used the Vialone Nano rice variety, which absorbs condiments better than Carnaroli, but has a higher chance of getting overcooked because it cooks faster. That’s why our dishes taste different,” Jinyoung finishes with a smile.
There’s a hint of admiration in Mark’s eyes as he meets Jinyoung’s gaze, and Jinyoung allows himself to feel a little proud of that. “You really do know a lot, Jinyoung-ssi. You’re a good cook.”
Jinyoung is positively glowing. To receive praise in this culinary school is rare, because the students are immensely competitive and the chefs only commend their students if their plated dishes are truly up to their standards. So to have Mark - this cute and earnest transfer student that Jinyoung is most definitely not interested in - compliment him like this, so genuinely, makes Jinyoung feel really good.
"Speak for yourself. Your dish tastes just as good, honestly, and you're a pretty fast learner."
The smile that spreads across Mark's face is bright enough that it shows his canines and reaches his warm brown eyes, and Jinyoung's heart flutters in his chest at the sight. "Thanks for helping me tidy up my notes and for essentially holding my hand through the practical. If you hadn't helped me I'm pretty sure I would've plated an unidentifiable pile of shit instead of risotto."
Jinyoung laughs, loud and uninhibited, and they spend the next half an hour before Mark has to disappear off to the administration office like that, testing the waters with easy questions and light laughs and boyish grins.
By the time Jinyoung gets home, he still can't quite shake off the warm, familiar feeling in his chest from spending time with Mark that even Jaebum's incessant whining about how it was absolutely sinful that Jinyoung didn't pack home any food for him doesn't bother Jinyoung in the slightest.
When Jinyoung goes to bed that night, he sees sparkling brown eyes, small, sharp canines and pink lips pulled into a shy smile at the back of his eyelids.
They spend the rest of the week getting introduced to and trying their hands at preparing various fundamental dishes of Italian cuisine. Mark still struggles with the language barrier, tongue curling awkwardly around foreign syllables and brows furrowing in frustration at unfamiliar hangul. But Jinyoung is there beside him everyday, always ready with a friendly smile when Mark taps him carefully on the arm with dough-stained fingers and with a question about the next step or ingredient to use at the tip of his tongue, if not then it's Jinyoung taking the initiative to slide up next to Mark, spatula in hand as he peers at the older boy's pot and asks if everything is going okay.
It's on Friday that Jinyoung decided to make his first official attempt at wooing Mark.
They've just finished their practical lesson, with everyone either carrying their plated dishes to and from the table up front, clearing up their cooking benches or packing any leftover food into Tupperware and containers. Jinyoung and Mark are at their cooking bench, Jinyoung keeping his stirring bowl and whisk into the cabinet under the bench whereas Mark is alternating between taking small bites of his own tiramisu, Jinyoung's tiramisu and furrowing his brows in thought. Jinyoung closes the cabinet and gets back up, dusting his hands on his apron and chuckling once he sees Mark’s thoughtful expression.
“Hyung,” Jinyoung begins with a laugh, smiling brightly because even though it’s been days since they’ve dropped the honorifics, Jinyoung still loves calling Mark hyung. “Can I help you?”
“Do Koreans just make food better than Taiwanese-Americans? Because for every dish we’ve made so far since I got here, you’ve done it better than I have,” Mark replies, frowning a little even as he takes another spoonful of Jinyoung’s tiramisu.
Jinyoung laughs, pushing the container over to Mark and wiping down the bench as Chef Jang finishes assessing the final plate of tiramisu. “Honestly, I’ve just been giving you the wrong translations for ingredients and steps this whole time.”
Mark’s eyes actually widen in shock, and Jinyoung has to suppress his laughter so that he can grip onto Mark’s arm briefly and reassure him that he wasn’t actually serious. “I’m just messing with you, hyung. Do you really think that lowly of me?” Jinyoung asks, feigning hurt.
Mark rolls his eyes and shoves Jinyoung's pathetic, pouting face away, metal spoon still dangling from between his lips that are dusted with hints of tiramisu powder. Jinyoung feels the strange urge to pull the spoon away and press his lips against Mark's.
But it's then that Jinyoung is hit with a good idea, as he stands there and watches Mark with a spoonful of the food that he prepared in his mouth. Jinyoung realises that Mark really does seem to like his cooking, judging from how he finished Jinyoung's risotto on their first day of meeting, often offers Jinyoung earnest and sincere praises about the quality of his cooking and still continues to eagerly try (and usually finish) the food that Jinyoung cooks for class.
And that is how - on their first class after the weekend break - Mark walks into class and sees his own, specially-made lunch box sitting neatly on his side of the cooking bench. Mark drops his bag onto the floor slips on his apron before carefully prying open the lid of the container to peer inside. It’s his very own doshirak, complete with kongchaban, jangjorim, gim and myeolchi bokkeum as side dishes. The presentation is neat and clean, and there’s a warm feeling in Mark’s chest as he gently slides the lid back onto the container, touched at receiving his first doshirak since coming to Korea, and handmade, nonetheless, by someone who’s been nothing but friendly and welcoming to him ever since he enrolled in this culinary school. There’s no doubt in his mind that Jinyoung was the one who made this. If the impeccable presentation wasn’t enough of a giveaway in itself, Mark remembers having told Jinyoung fleetingly about how he had always wanted to try his very own homemade doshirak. Mark wasn’t familiar enough with preparing Korean cuisine yet so his side dishes would probably end up lacking quality, and he remembers Jinyoung laughing his usual bright laugh when he explained that his roommate, Jackson, was an incompetent ass from Hong Kong who only ate bread and pizza and Chinese takeout because he had almost burned down their kitchen one night in a valiant attempt at cooking ramyun. Mark didn’t expect Jinyoung to remember anything from that conversation, which took place during a walk to class, but somehow he did, and now there’s an authentic doshirak sitting before Mark. To say he was touched was perhaps the understatement of the century.
He glances to his right, wanting to thank Jinyoung for doing this for him, but the younger boy isn’t there. Mark turns to look around at the back of the class and spots Jinyoung’s mop of black hair easily, and the younger boy is currently laughing along with another of their coursemates who Mark recognises as Youngjae. Just as Mark’s about to turn back and face the front and wait till Jinyoung comes back to their bench to thank him, Jinyoung’s looks up and meets Mark’s gaze as though he knew the older boy had been watching him for a while.
Mark mouths a thank you and Jinyoung smiles knowingly, eyes bright and crinkled at the sides, and somehow Mark feels heat rising to his cheeks so he ducks his head and faces the front again.
Jinyoung brings food for Mark everyday, for the rest of the week and even into the next, and even though he gets interrogated and teased relentlessly by Jaebum at home about how whipped he is that he’s even halfway to fully domesticating himself (Jaebum’s wicked call of throw in a pink frilly apron and some bright pink slippers then you’re all set had earned him a smack across the back of the head with the stainless steel spatula), has to make more runs to the supermarket for ingredients and stays up later than usual to prepare the food, the way Mark’s eyes light up and lips curl in happiness as he receives the lunchbox and praises Jinyoung for his cooking makes it all worthwhile.
It’s an atypical Friday night in Jinyoung’s and Jaebum’s home.
Jaebum usually ends school earlier than Jinyoung on Fridays, and Jinyoung always comes home to Jaebum either sprawled across the living room floor with his glasses perched on his nose bridge and surrounded by textbooks and notes, or lying across the sofa in deep sleep. Today, though, Jinyoung is lounging on the sofa, half-paying attention to the drama showing on television as he chats with Mark on Line when he hears the jingling of keys and the front door is pushed open, Jaebum cursing under his breath when he stubs his toe as he stumbles across the threshold looking as though he’s been through hell and back. It’s a busy time for Jaebum now, Jinyoung knows, with two reports due, mid-terms around the corner and the new tutoring position he had just taken up for a Thai kid named Kunpimook eating up every last drop of Jaebum’s energy. Jinyoung doesn’t say a word, doesn’t even nag like he usually does when Jaebum kicks his shoes off messily, throws his bag onto the floor beside the couch and drags his tired body to the bathroom for a shower. Instead, Jinyoung tucks his phone into the pocket of his sweatpants and stands, going to arrange Jaebum’s shoes, place his bag in his room and heat up the kimchi jjigae he had prepared for Jaebum for dinner. Jinyoung has just placed the food on the table, alongside a hot cup of green tea and a couple of Tylenol pills lined up neatly at the side when Jaebum emerges from the bathroom, towel slung across his back and wet strands of hair matted to his forehead. All those years of being best friends has allowed Jinyoung to move like clockwork in giving Jaebum what he needs when he’s stressed and has migraines, and vice versa. Jinyoung settles into the other chair at the kitchen island as Jaebum takes his seat in front of his dinner, downing the pills with the tea wordlessly before picking up his fork. Jaebum doesn’t need to say anything for Jinyoung to know that he’s grateful.
“You’re talking to Mark again, aren’t you,” Jaebum asks, jabbing his spoon in Jinyoung’s direction.
Jinyoung rolls his eyes. “Since you already know the answer to that question, then why are you asking?”
Jaebum arches his brows and takes another spoonful of his dinner. “You know,” Jaebum begins, swallowing. “Instead of hiding behind those lunchboxes you make for him and hoping that he’ll somehow guess that you like him, why can’t you just invite him over here and cook him a proper meal? Lay the table with a red tablecloth and a vase of roses and a bunch of candles and finally put all that expensive cutlery of your’s to good use. Buy some good wine and play some romantic music and maybe you’ll get some.”
Jinyoung pauses in his typing and purses his lips in thought. “As much as it annoys me that you seem to think I’m only interested in getting into Mark’s pants and that your suggestion actually sounds good, I think I’m going to try this.”
With that, Jinyoung gets up from his seat and heads to the living room, throwing himself down onto the sofa as he asks Mark whether he’d be interested in coming over for dinner tomorrow.
When Mark replies with an I’d love to, I thought you’d never ask (✿◠‿◠), Jinyoung smiles so wide and kicks his legs against the arm of the couch in such excitement that Jaebum can see the shadows of his movements from the kitchen.
“You’re welcome, ungrateful bastard!” Jaebum calls loudly.
“Don’t drip kimchi jjigae all over the table, asshole!” Jinyoung barks back.
“If you adjust that fork one more time I swear to God I’m going to slice your fingers off with that knife you love so much.”
Jinyoung pales a little. “I can’t help it. I’m actually fucking nervous.”
Jaebum’s eyes soften as he regards his best friend, the one who’s stuck by him through his worst years as a teenager and the one that Jaebum has seen try and fail at starting a promising relationship one too many times for someone who loves so deeply. Jaebum gives Jinyoung’s thick black hair a playful ruffle, smiling as it falls messily into his eyes and at the whine it elicits from Jinyoung who smacks his hand away and frets as he re-arranges it.
“Are you not leaving?” Jinyoung asks, gesturing pointedly at the door.
Jaebum holds his hands up in surrender, picking up his backpack and slinging it across one shoulder. “I’m going, I’m going. Just thought someone had to be around in case you got a panic attack.”
Before Jinyoung can smash Jaebum’s face into the wall, the doorbell rings. Jinyoung panics a little, wanting to head back to the kitchen to check his table setting one last time, but Jaebum just rolls his eyes, grabs him by the wrist and all but flings him at the front door.
“Hey,” Mark greets, smiling such that his canines show.
Jinyoung probably takes too long to reply, busy wondering how someone can look so good in a plain white shirt, sweater and skinny jeans, so Mark’s eyes flicker over his shoulder to where Jaebum is slipping on his shoes and getting ready to leave the apartment.
“Hi,” Mark greets again, this time bowing his head a little at Jaebum since they’ve never met before. “I’m Mark. You must be Jaebum-ssi?”
Jaebum steps forward with a grin and Jinyoung tenses beside him. “Yeah, that’s me. It’s nice to finally meet you, Mark-ssi. I’ve been wanting to see just who Jinyoung has been making all these lunchboxes for instead of me.”
Mark laughs when Jinyoung elbows Jaebum in the stomach and steps into the apartment with a grateful smile when Jinyoung holds the door open wider.
“Leave,” Jinyoung hisses to Jaebum dangerously.
Jaebum’s grin only grows wider. “Love you too, Jinyoung-ah. Bye, Mark-ssi! Hope to see you again soon.”
Mark waves back and hides his chuckle as Jinyoung forcefully shoves Jaebum out of the apartment and slams the door in his face. But when Jaebum calls out a loud play safe and use protection! from the other side of the door, Mark coughs as he feels his cheeks burn and Jinyoung looks torn between passing out and castrating Jaebum with a chainsaw.
“Um,” Mark begins, clearing his throat and glancing at Jinyoung fleetingly before looking around the apartment. “You have a really nice place.”
Jinyoung takes a deep breath to collect himself and smiles happily at the sincerity in Mark’s voice. “Thanks. As much as it pains me to admit, if I didn’t have Jaebum I probably wouldn’t like this place as much.”
Mark laughs, eyes sparkling and a few stray strands of hair falling into his eyes. Jinyoung has to curl his hands into fists to keep from brushing them away. “I get what you mean. Exact same sentiments for living with Jackson.”
Jinyoung smiles and tips his head in the direction of the kitchen. “You hungry?”
Mark’s answering grin is wide and bright.
Dinner flies by so much better (and faster) than Jinyoung could’ve ever imagined. One moment Mark’s eyes are wide in awe and his mouth is agape as he marvels at the food Jinyoung had cooked: there’s sirloin steak with sauteed onion, french fries, broccoli, carrots and garnished with chives, popiah, oyster omelette and tteokguk laid out on the table, as well as a bottle of red wine that Jinyoung pours into two wine glasses for them. And in the next moment they’re eating and talking and laughing, Mark’s eyes positively glowing in happiness when Jinyoung explains that the dinner he prepared had dishes from America, Taiwan and Korea because he wanted Mark to be able to enjoy the familiar tastes of home alongside the unique cuisine of this new country he was now living in. When Jinyoung brings out the apple pie he had baked for dessert, Mark is so moved that he reaches across the table to curl his fingers around Jinyoung’s hand in thanks, telling Jinyoung childhood stories of how his mom and dad always baked apple pie for him and his siblings during family gatherings and holidays. Mark’s eyes light up like a little kid’s when he takes his first bite of the apple pie and Jinyoung is so, so happy that he’s the one who put that warm smile on Mark’s face.
Night falls too soon, and although Jinyoung rejects Mark’s offer to do the dishes together, he’s secretly relieved that Mark had narrowed his eyes at him and knocked his hips against Jinyoung’s so that he had space to stand in front of the sink because Jinyoung doesn’t think he’s ready to let Mark go home just yet. They spend another good half an hour washing and drying dishes as well as flinging soap suds at one another, stomachs full and feeling content. Eventually, though, it does get late, and Mark has to leave before he misses the last train home, and Jinyoung knows it isn’t fair to force Jaebum out of the apartment for so long.
“I’ll walk you to the door,” Jinyoung says, getting up from where they had been sipping wine on the sofa to put the two glasses in the sink as Mark grabs his sweater and gets ready to leave. Jinyoung unlocks the door and pulls it open slightly, watching as Mark slips on his black sneakers before turning to face him.
“Thanks for having me over and cooking for me,” Mark says, voice soft but full of sincerity and it warms Jinyoung’s heart. “I knew Jackson before moving here and he was always telling me about how Koreans weren’t as outgoing as Americans, but you’re warmer than so many of them.”
Jinyoung’s heartbeat stutters. “Thanks for coming, hyung. I want to do this again for you soon.”
Mark’s grin is wide and familiar, and it softens into a smile as he takes a step closer to Jinyoung. “Could you do something else for me, too?”
Jinyoung’s eyes reflect his unspoken question of what?, and Mark’s gaze drops slightly to the front of Jinyoung’s shirt as he lifts his hand to curl his fingers into the soft material. “Kiss me.”
Jinyoung is convinced he’s misheard Mark, so he doesn’t move, doesn’t breathe, only feels his breath hitch in his throat when Mark leans up a little so that his lips are mere inches away from Jinyoung’s. “Jinyoung-ah,” Mark whines, and then Jinyoung snaps.
In one swift motion, Jinyoung’s lips are against Mark’s and he wraps both arms around Mark’s thin waist to pull him closer. Mark’s other hand comes up to clutch at Jinyoung’s shirt and his fingers tighten in their grip in the soft cotton when the front door shuts, forgotten, as Jinyoung swipes his tongue against Mark’s soft, bottom lip and sucks it gently into his mouth. Jinyoung’s head is spinning as he tastes the sweetness of the apple pie he had baked and a hint of the red wine they had been drinking in Mark’s mouth, and he swears a part of him dies a little on the inside when Mark lets out a little rumble of appreciation when Jinyoung tangles his fingers into Mark’s reddish-brown hair, so happy that he can do this whenever he wants to now.
“So,” Mark manages to get out, cheeks flushed slightly, hair mussed and lips kiss-swollen. Jinyoung can’t believe that he was the one who did this to Mark. Him. “I’m guessing that my hunch about you trying to seduce me with your wonderful cooking, romantic lunchbox gestures and home-cooked, candlelight dinner was dead on point?”
Jinyoung can’t resist leaning down to press another kiss against Mark’s soft lips, smiling when the older boy yields so easily under his touch. “The romantic home-cooked, candlelight dinner was Jaebum hyung’s idea, unfortunately, but yeah, the rest is pretty much accurate.”
Mark blushes a little and Jinyoung likes how the tables are turning. Perhaps he won’t be the only flustered one in this relationship after all.
“So,” Jinyoung mimics Mark, tightening his grip around Mark’s waist and pulling the older boy closer to him so that he can lean down and playfully nip at Mark’s bottom lip. Mark keens a little when Jinyoung pulls away, black hair covering his eyes slightly as he whispers against Mark’s lips. “Have I succeeded in seducing you with my cooking?”
Mark’s response to Jinyoung’s question is a harsh tug at the front of his shirt and his back hitting the front door as the older boy pushes him against it in a surprising show of strength for someone with such a slight, wiry frame. But Jinyoung doesn’t mind all that much, though, because Mark’s lips are firm yet soft on his own and his pretty, pale fingers are carding through Jinyoung’s fringe, and Jinyoung thinks Mark tastes better than any dish they could ever make.
It’s when Jaebum walks in on Mark teetering dangerously on the edge of the kitchen island, hands tangled in Jinyoung’s hair and caged between Jinyoung’s arms as they kiss that he loses a bit of his sanity.
“NO KINKY SEX IN THE KITCHEN, FOR FUCK’S SAKE. I EAT HERE!”
[readers, don't forget to leave a comment! anonymous is on if you're shy.]