Yukhei has always had a flair for the dramatic. It's a very obvious aspect of his personality that although intimidating at first, Mark has come to adore. It's just another thing that makes Yukhei who he is, and sometimes Mark can't help but wonder if he's so large because he needs room to store all of the different little things that make him special. From his strong ability to learn to his undeniable foolishness to the immense amount of love he holds for so many things, Yukhei is full of wonderfully endearing qualities that make Mark fall deeper and deeper in love every day.
His favourite thing about Yukhei has to be his heart. He is without a doubt the kindest, most considerate person Mark has ever met. He treats everyone like his best friend and is the first point out when something isn't right so he can try and fix it. He never lets anyone feel left out, or put down, and expects nothing in return. Somehow, even with a day full of using that big heart of his, he still has an incredible amount of love left for Mark. No matter what the day held, Yukhei gives his all to Mark.
He could be exhausted out of his mind and still find the energy to talk about their days. He could be angry and huffy and stomping around the apartment and he would still stop to plant a kiss on Mark's temple and tell him he loves him and reassure him that whatever's bothering him isn't his fault. Even when they argue Yukhei never lets his love falter for a second. He's always the first to crack, the first to fall apart and find the other, holding him tight while mumbling teary apologies and repeating over and over that he's sorry, please don't hate him.
Mark could never hate Yukhei. He thinks it might be impossible. Not with how funny or how sweet and romantic he is. Not with a face like his and a personality just as loveable to match.
However, one thing Mark finds just a little annoying is Yukhei's need to constantly make them the centre of attention. Usually, it isn't so bad, as it's just because he's being overly affectionate or loud or something else just as innocent.
On one date, however, Lucas took it to the next level.
"Can I propose to you right now?"
Mark nearly spit out his iced tea at that, choking on the drink instead and giving Yukhei the most confused look of his life. His boyfriend watched him struggle for a moment, seemingly not realizing how jarring his question was. Once Mark recovered and felt like he could breathe again, he let out a very appropriate response.
"What the fuck?"
Yukhei's eyes glinted with mischief as he leaned across the table on his elbows and grinned at Mark, neatly styled hair falling into his eyes just slightly. "Remember that one time we were here when we started dating, and some guy proposed to his girlfriend?"
"Yeah, I guess..." Mark furrowed his brows and glanced at the boy's attire, not seeing any hidden pockets where a ring could be stashed away. "What does that have to do with-"
"They got free dessert, remember?"
Suddenly, it became obvious to Mark what the boy was planning.
"They've got chocolate lava cake on special tonight. I bet if I proposed to you right now I could get us each a plate."
Mark sighed, relief washing over his body as he rolled his eyes. He should have expected his boyfriend to be pulling some kind of stunt, especially with his favourite dessert on the menu. He wanted to say no, to tell Yukhei that he would buy dessert and they could have it without the hassle, but the excitement lighting up his face is what persuaded Mark to smile at the boy and instead tell him,
"Knock yourself out."
Yukhei giggled and sat back in his seat, glancing around the restaurant before winking at Mark.
Mark couldn't help but shake his head and laugh, hands covering his face as the boy slid out of his seat and propped himself up on one knee. His empty hands reached out for one of Mark's, pulling it away from his already reddened face to hold it in his own. Already, the table next to theirs was watching, and a passing waiter had noticed them.
"Mark Lee," Yukhei started, lips unable to stop from curling up into a smile.
"Don't," Mark whined, not ready for everyone to hear a speech from Yukhei.
"Stop, I'm trying to be romantic!" Yukhei and Mark were both laughing at this point, drawing more attention to both of them. "I don't have a ring or anything so it's already hard."
Mark could feel a room full of eyes on him, and heard the coos and awws from some of those around them. Though he felt embarrassed, he couldn't deny that his heart was swelling in his chest. Yukhei was always able to give him butterflies, no matter the reason.
"I don't need a ring, because I love you, and you love me, and we both know that. That's what's important, right?"
Mark just nodded quickly and used his free hand to try and cover his painfully wide smile.
"So, will you marry me?"
Mark laughed and nodded again, making Yukhei cheer loudly. Those around them watching applauded as he stood, grabbing Mark's face to kiss him sweetly. Mark grinned into it, pulling away to mumble,
"You're an idiot."
"An idiot who's about to get lava cake."
As if on cue a waiter showed up at their table, a grin on her face. "Congratulations!" She enthused very genuinely, making both Yukhei and Mark thank her in unison. "Dessert is on us tonight. Good luck to the two of you."
As soon as she disappeared, Yukhei looked to Mark with a satisfied smile and sat back down in his seat.
"Hope you're still hungry."
The best part of that situation (besides the lava cake) was telling their friends, and watching them decide who was going to ask who to marry them next time they were out to eat.
Mark still won't admit it either, but hearing Yukhei ask him to marry him felt so right. A part of him wishes it wasn't fake because he wouldn't have even hesitated in accepting the offer.
After that, however, Yukhei seemed to develop a need to propose to Mark at the most inconvenient times, solely to fulfil his need for attention.
The next time it happened was New Year's Eve. Yukhei, being the hopeless romantic he is, surprised Mark with a trip to New York to see the ball drop in person. The only problem was that he told Mark about it when they woke up, approximately half an hour before they had to leave for their flight. Mark was left to scramble to put his things together while half awake, and Yukhei just laughed and watched him from the bed, already packed and ready to go.
"Do you like to watch me suffer?" Mark asked in exasperation as he shuffled through his closet to find something to wear for the day.
"It's cute." Yukhei teased, his shirtless figure still half-tucked beneath the blankets.
"I hate you."
"You won't when we're in New York."
Surprisingly, Yukhei did shut up. In fact, he was very quiet until they left and to Mark's delight, slept the majority of the flight. Yukhei has never been much of a plane person and would bother Mark for the entire flight to distract himself from the fact that they were thousands of feet in the air in what he described as a deadly soup can.
Him being asleep with his head resting on Mark's shoulder gave the latter a chance to get some work done before they got to New York and he wouldn't want to. He thought the trip would do him some good, allowing him to relax and just have fun with his boyfriend, even if it was only for two nights.
Upon landing, he dragged a drowsy Yukhei through all the necessary procedure before they set out for their hotel. He knew they couldn't afford much, especially after the plane tickets, but he was pleasantly surprised when Yukhei gave their taxi driver directions to a small bed and breakfast above a record store.
Though a little dusty and run by an incredibly old woman, Mark found the little, vintage room they were staying in to be quite sweet and frankly a romantic choice on his boyfriend's part. They didn't stay in it very long as Yukhei demanded they do some exploring before the night began.
Mark gladly allowed the boy to lead him around the area they were staying in, just outside of the main city space so it wasn't as obnoxiously hectic at Time's Square would be. They went into every little shop they could find, flicking through books, trying pastries, modelling hideous clothes and just enjoying the presence of each other. Mark couldn't think of anywhere else he would rather be until it started to get late. Once the streets began to congest with tourists and residents alike, he began to wish he was at home in his bed, watching the festivities from beneath his covers.
But Yukhei was beyond excited and insisted on dragging Mark along, making a detour into the park on the way. It was slightly less busy there, but it didn't stop people from surrounding them and honestly blocking Mark's view of anything.
Midnight was still hours away, but with Yukhei by his side, he was ready to suffer through the cold and crowd to ring it in with him. He was surprised when he realized the boy was very prepared, the bag he carried all day containing a blanket and some snacks, and Mark gladly accepted his suggestion of sitting for a while.
Mark nibbled on what Yukhei brought to eat, leaning on him as they sat in the grass and listened to the deafeningly loud voices and music coming from Times Square. At one point he drifted off to sleep and didn't wake until Yukhei gently coaxed him to about ten minutes from midnight. The boy had pulled him into his lap at some point and when Mark came to his boyfriend's nose was tucked in his neck from behind.
"Wanna get on my back?" He asked softly, and Mark nodded quickly, excited that he might be able to see something.
The boys stood and Mark scrambled up onto Yukhei, his thighs being grabbed as his arms loopedaround the taller's neck. He could see over a few people but they were much too far from Times Square to see any of the broadcasted celebrations. That didn't matter to Mark because he was with Yukhei and they were doing something new together. That was all that mattered to him.
Soon enough the countdown began and Mark tapped the boy to let him down. Once on the ground, he clutched onto his bicep, attaching him to his side. He bounced along with each number, his excitement skyrocketing opposed to how it would usually be at home.
He looked up at Yukhei and admired the way the city lights illuminated his soft skin and made his eyes look like they had tiny constellations hidden in them. The boy glanced down at him, grinning with anticipation as the numbers got lower and lower.
6, 5, 4...
Mark grabbed Lucas' scarf and tugged him down, slotting their lips together messily as the world around them seemed to burst.
"Happy New Year baby."
The boys parted as soon as the people filling the city began to cheer, commotion and excitement exploding all around them. They were only focused on each other, faces a mere inch apart and smiles overtaking both of their expressions. It felt like everything was moving a hundred miles per second but they were frozen, too wrapped up in each other to care.
"Thank you," Mark whispered, moving his hand to cup Yukhei's jaw.
"Giving me the best New Years I could ask for."
Yukhei chuckled and kissed him again quickly, before pulling away completely and spinning around to watch confetti blowing around in the air and fluttering down like snow.
"Grab some!" Mark exclaimed, suddenly getting an idea. "We can put it with our souvenirs!"
Just like that Yukhei was kneeling down to collect the little pieces of paper off the grass, his innocent action catching the attention of a woman next to them.
"Oh my goodness! I think he's gonna propose!"
Mark's head darted over to where she was excitedly grabbing her friends' attention, before looking back down at Yukhei. Instead of ignoring her clearly false statement and just continuing to collect confetti, Yukhei grinned mischievously and stuffed what he had in his pocket before looking to the woman.
"Don't ruin the surprise!" He teased, and Mark just rolled his eyes knowing what was about to come.
"Mark Lee," The boy grabbed his hands and gazed up at Mark overdramatically dreamily, making him laugh and shake his head in disbelief. "I know it's a little damp, and fucking cold out right now, but I have never felt more in love with you. Maybe it's this dumb city, or that woman pressuring a proposal, but I think we should get married."
"You're an idiot."
"Is that a no?"
Mark sighed, looking over the anxiously watching group of people. "No...it's a yes. I'll marry you."
Yukhei jumped to his feet and scooped Mark off of his, lifting him up and spinning him around before kissing him deeply. Those watching cheered and although he knew Yukhei's words were true, he couldn't help but feel disappointingly empty over the fact that it was all for show.
"Don't do that again please." He mumbled as he was set back on the ground, making Yukhei chuckle and adjust the shorter's scarf.
"Oh come on, you act as if you've never pretended to propose to someone in New York to satisfy onlookers."
"Well, I can't say I have, Yukhei."
The third time it happened was at a party, and Yukhei was a little drunk. Mark was never a party person until he met Yukhei, and in all honesty, they're not as bad as he thought. In fact, he grew to enjoy them as it gave him a chance to forget about school and work and just let loose with his friends for a few hours. He doesn't handle alcohol well, however, so he always made sure he didn't overdo himself. Yukhei liked that because it allowed him to be the slightly annoying, tipsy one out of the pair.
Johnny's birthday was no exception, and Mark found himself much soberer than those around him, including his drunken, particularly puppylike boyfriend. The two sat on the couch in the living room, Yukhei's head in Mark's lap as he played with his slightly overgrown hair, the scent of smoking wafting through the small space. Yukhei's eyes shut and he let out a long hum, appreciating the feeling of Mark's fingers scratching at his scalp mindlessly.
Mark giggled under his breath and flicked his boyfriend's nose, making him groan and open his eyes to glare up at him.
"Sorry," Mark pouted, trying his best not start laughing at the very unintimidating look the older was sporting.
Yukhei huffed shut his eyes again before stating, "It stinks in here."
"Wanna go somewhere else?"
One eye cracked open. "Where did you have in mind?"
Mark rolled his eyes, knowing exactly what the boy was hinting at with that simple question. Yukhei might not always be the easiest to read, but when what he wants is Mark, he can usually tell. He brushed his hair out of his face and smiled down at him, nodding towards the hall.
"Oh, I like where this is going?" Yukhei sat up and fumbled for his hand, his skin warm and clammy from the crowded and sweaty atmosphere.
The two stood from the couch and managed to slip away from the stuffy living room into the empty hallway. The air was already a little fresher by then, but Mark lead Yukhei further down until they reached a shut bedroom door.
"You know Johnny hates when we do stuff on his bed." Yukhei quirked up a brow at Makr, who just shrugged and let go of his hand to wrap his arms around his neck.
"He'll get over it."
Yukhei giggled and leaned down to press a messy kiss to the shorter's lips, making Mark unsure if his head was spinning because of its intensity or the alcohol swimming through his veins. He chased after the boy's mouth when he pulled away, whining for another kiss.
He knew he was being needy and he hated that, but he was tipsy and just wanted to make out with his big, drunken boyfriend.
"Wait until we're inside." Yukhei chided, thumb tucked under Mark's pouty bottom lip. "Then you can do whatever you want."
Mark nodded, pulling away to let them into their friend's bedroom and flicking on the light as he went. Yukhei shut the door behind them before Mark caught him in a forceful, desperate, kiss. Yukhei immediately moaned, his hands travelling to grab Mark's waist roughly. He walked the boy backwards until his legs hit the bed, making him drop onto it without breaking the kiss. Mark's soft hands dragged down Yukhei's neck before grabbing onto the collar of his jacket. He yanked on it, pulling the boy onto the bed beside him with a giggle.
"Been thinking about this all night," Yukhei muttered, dragging his legs up and motioning for Mark to move closer. "You, touching you."
Mark shuffled over so he was between Yukhei's legs, hands settling on his chest and lips touching to his jaw.
"Is that so?"
"You just look so pretty tonight." He tilted his head back to give him better access, pulling him up to straddle his hips. "You always do, but you did your makeup and you're wearing those jeans..."
"What do you mean, those jeans?" Mark teased, nipping at the lobe of the boy's ear.
"Don't play stupid...you know how good they make you look. So tight...rips all over the thighs...god your thighs..."
Mark laughed against his skin and sucked a bruise onto his neck, making him breathe out shakily and grab at his thighs with large hands. He slowly rubbed over the partially exposed skin, turning his head to catch Mark's lips in a sloppy, wet kiss. Mark noted how he tasted like cheap vodka and mint gum, making feel him feel more intoxicated than he already did.
"God I could marry you," Yukhei muttered, moving his hands to cup Mark's flushed face.
"Yuk..." Mark sighed, dropping his head so their foreheads bumped together lightly.
"M'serious Minnie..." Yukhei drawled, using one of his favourite nicknames for Mark, a play off of Minhyung that he came up with when they were cuddling one night. "I could fuckin' marry you. I would..."
"C'mon," The boy whined, mouth lazily trailing over Mark's chin. "Marry me."
"You're drunk." Mark stopped him, hating how harsh his voice was. "If you mean it, ask me again when you're sober."
Yukhei didn't ask him again after that.
Mark has to admit he's a little hurt by the fact that the boy's words were seemingly just drunken nonsense. Though he doesn't expect him to propose to him any time soon, it just bothers him that he either doesn't remember saying it at all, or he really didn't mean it.
For a while, Mark forgets the prospect of marrying Yukhei and just relishes in the parts of their relationship that are a reality, like Friday date nights, mariokart tournaments and lazy Sundays.
The latter is Mark's favourite, as his favourite thing to do with Yukhei is just exist. Being next to the boy while doing and saying almost nothing is so comforting, so reassuring that what they have is real and doesn't require much effort at all.
Today is one of those days. Mark wakes up to rain and snoring and rolls over in strong arms to face a very much asleep boyfriend. With his cheek pressed against the pillow, mouth hanging open and drool falling from his lips, Yukhei is the epitome of beauty to Mark. He smiles a little, reaching up to push his messy hair out of his face before bringing his hand down to trace his cheek. He watches as the boy shifts, nose scrunching before he snorts a little and awakens.
Mark giggles as he furrows his brows, eyes barely opening and hand travelling up to wipe his moistened lips with a grimace.
He groans, shutting his eyes again. "What time is it?"
"Why's it still dark?"
Yukhei groans again and pulls himself closer to Mark, burying his face away in his collar, hair tickling the boy's chin. He presses light kisses to Mark's partly exposed skin, lashing fluttering against it softly.
"What do you wanna do today?" He asks, his voice raspy and somehow even deeper than it usually is.
"Dunno. Just lay around with you."
"I like how you think baby."
Mark giggles and buries his nose in Yukhei's hair, kissing the top of his head. They lay together in silence after that, apart from the gentle patter of rain against the window and the distant rumbling of thunder in the distance. Mark can feel Yukhei's warm, slow breaths against his neck and they ease him into a state of near-sleep, his eyes fluttering shut and his fingers lazily playing with his boyfriend's messy hair.
He cherishes these moments the most, tucking them away in his heart to recall whenever he misses Yukhei. He thinks about the feather-light kisses the boy trails across his collar, the way he always giggles into them low and deep. He thinks about his hands wandering over warm skin, breathless sentiments aired between them.
"You want breakfast?" Yukhei asks quietly, bringing Mark back to reality with a hum.
"Nah, just wanna stay here for a bit."
Yukhei chuckles and before Mark knows it a pair of hands are sliding beneath his body and Yukhei is flipping himself over top of him. Mark lets out a sound of surprise, eyes opening wide as his boyfriend flops onto him like a dog. He buries his nose in Mark's shirt (which actually belongs to him) and inhales deeply. Mark laughs, feeling Yukhei begin to vibrate as he breaks into giggles too. He lifts himself up and hovers over Mark, hair dangling down into their faces.
"I love you."
Mark grins up at him, fingers hooking behind his neck to pull him down for a kiss.
"I love you too."
They pull away just slightly so Yukhei can breathe out, "Marry me."
Mark feels his stomach twist. "Yukhei, I told you-"
"You told me that if I meant it, to ask you again when I'm sober." He rolls over to prop up on his elbow. "I'm sober, and I want you to marry me."
Mark swallows hard, feeling his heart pounding against his ribcage as Yukhei's words repeat in his head. He wants him to marry him. Yukhei wants Mark to marry him. It doesn't sound real, likely because Mark's heard it so many times now and it's meant nothing. He shakes his head but Yukhei is already shifting across the bed to pull open the drawer of the bedside table.
"What are you-"
He stops mid-sentence as Yukhei pushes up onto his knees, small velvet box in his hand. Mark shoots up, eyes impossibly wide as they dart from the box to his boyfriend's nervous smile. He shakes his head repeatedly, hands flying up to cover his mouth as he feels tears pricking at his eyes.
Yukhei just nods, opening the box to reveal a ring that is very real.
Mark inhales sharply and as soon as he blinks he's crying, tears rolling down his cheeks at a rapid pace. Yukhei smiles at him, big brown eyes glossing over with tears too.
"Marry me, Mark Lee. For real this time."
Mark can't help but sob out at that, hiding his flushed face away in his hands. He feels Yukhei gently pulling them away and forcing him to look at him, tear-streaked cheeks to match his own.
"You're my whole world and more...please."
"Yeah..." Mark squeaks out, making Yukhei furrow his brows.
"Yeah, I'll marry you."
Mark swears he's never seen the boy smile that wide. He snaps the box shut so he can grab Mark and hold him in a bone-crushing hug, both boys sniffling into each other's shoulders. Mark balls up Yukhei's shirt in his fists and lets out a little hiccup before giggling. He's going to marry Yukhei. He's going to marry the love of his life.
Yukhei pulls away and kisses him, so gently, so deeply, and Mark melts into him.
When their lips part, he asks the boy, "When did you get a ring?"
Yukhei laughs sheepishly, cheeks turning pink. "After I pretended to propose in the restaurant."
"Seeing you so happy, even if it just because I was being stupid and pretending, made me realize that I wanted nothing more than to ask you for real. Your face, you just...lit up. I had never seen you look so in love with me."
Mark laughs breathlessly, the smell of the rain sneaking in through the window paired with the warm feeling spreading through his chest making him realize that it doesn't matter where he is, or when it is, and how he feels. Whenever he's with Yukhei, he's at home. That's enough for him to know that marrying him is the best decision he will ever make in his life.
"Wait until you see me walking down the aisle."