Mark is a lovely prince. Yukhei adores him to the moon and back, but right now he wants to rip his hair out rather than coo at him. That’s what Yukhei gets being the prince’s right-hand-man. Mark is supposed to be getting dressed to meet Prince Donghyuck, the only one that might be able to salvage this whole situation.
But instead, Mark is at his chair, gaming, with no shirt on. Yukhei takes three deep breaths before going up to him. Oh, why did the King and Queen think it would be a good idea to give Prince Mark an assistant who is the same age as him?
“Your highness,” Yukhei speaks, keeping his tone flat. The tapping on his foot on the plush carpet is the only sign that this interaction is any different than their previous ons. Mark didn’t notice Lucas’ entrance, so he nearly fell out of his chair. Lucas bites his cheek as not to laugh at him.
“Oh! Hi there, Yukhei,” Mark fumbles for his words, offering a hand to Lucas for a handshake. Lucas raises his brows, but shakes Mark’s hand anyway.
Still shaking Mark’s hand, Yukhei says, “Y’know you’re meeting Prince Donghyuck in 15 minutes right and you still haven’t showered.” Mark screams and starts running to his bathroom, throwing off his clothes as he goes. Bye socks, bye pants—
The bedroom door is swung open by a small man who Yukhei assumes to be Prince Donghyuck. Internally face palming, Yukhei strains a smile.
“Can I help you?” Yukhei asks. Maybe if he pretends Prince Mark isn’t mostly naked, his clothes will somehow find their way back onto his body.
“Perhaps,” Donghyuck says, eying Mark up and down, who has chosen to cover his junk with his hands instead of run away. “Is that Prince Mark?” Donghyuck points at Mark, but looks at Yukhei.
“Yes. This wasn’t how I intended for you two to meet, but I can’t change that. Prince Mark, you should probably still hop in the shower,” Yukhei says. Mark nods meekly and scootches backward until he is inside his bathroom. “Terribly sorry about that.” Yukhei pauses, looking for the right words to salvage the situation.
“Was Prince Mark playing Fornite?” Donghyuck leans so he can see the computer screen and it takes all of Yukhei’s willpower not to lean with him to block his view.
“I suppose he was,” Yukhei relents. At least Donghyuck doesn’t seem particularly turned off from the situation. Donghyuck takes a few steps closer and Lucas gets a better look at his dress. Tan trousers, white collared shirt with a coat over one arm and a crown atop his honey colored hair. Donghyuck looks every bit the prince he should be, whereas it took an army to make Mark wear something other than sweatpants.
“You’re very pretty for a servant,” Donghyuck points out, nearly within Yukhei’s space. That could be a backhanded compliment, but Donghyuck probably thought that was genuinely kind.
“Thank you.” Yukhei leans back slightly to counter Donghyuck leaning forward.
“Too bad I’m supposed to get together with Prince Mark; you’re pretty good looking yourself and I bet you’re a big softy.” Donghyuck ends his sentence by booping Yukhei’s nose. Taking a step back, Donghyuck clears his throat. “Anyways, is there anywhere fun to go around here?”
“Once Prince Mark exits the shower—”
“Hopefully with clothes,” Donghyuck interjects, smirk on his face and mischievous twinkle in his eyes.
“Yes, with clothes. Then you two can go down to the palace gardens. They are quite pretty this time of year,” Yukhei suggests. The kingdom may be a bit of a hot mess currently, but somehow there was still enough money for good landscaping. The gardens are the best place to relax after a long day or drink some tea on break.
“I think you should come with us,” Donghyuck says. Yukhei bites the inside of his cheek. Who knew being attractive would be a hindrance in this job.
“I think you should get to know Prince Mark instead.”
“Why can’t I do both?” Donghyuck counters, looking perfectly at peace.
“There is technically nothing stopping you, but I still think—” Yukhei tries to point out, but Donghyuck puts a hand on Yukhei’s chest.
“You’re the only one that really wants to get me and Mark together,” Donghyuck points out. “My letter of invitation was from you and so was any other correspondence between the two kingdoms. I trust you’re in the right here as things are a bit of a mess here, but I would still enjoy getting to know the brain behind the Southern Kingdom.”
Donghyuck raises some points. Yukhei isn’t technically in charge yet, but Mark is an only child and hates being the heir. He has said that he would trust Yukhei to tell him what to do, but that’s a lot of weight to put on Yukhei’s shoulders. Ultimately, all Yukhei cares about is Mark. Mark is anything and everything to him, so all he wants here is to secure Mark’s future happiness. Mark will be a great king, once he is allowed to be so. Mark has been a bit too open with his dislike of politics and his parents have begun to take notice.
“I supposed I can escort you two to the gardens,” Yukhei begrudges. Only five minutes into this and he’s already bending to what Donghyuck wants. This really isn’t the correct president to set. Before Yukhei can analyze the situation anymore, Mark calls from the shower.
“I’m out of the shower, but there are no towels in here. Can you guys either please leave my room or give me one because I would like to save some of my dignity,” Mark whines and Yukhei sighs. He is truly whipped for Prince Mark. Yukhei grabs a towel out of the closet and hands it to Mark through the bathroom door, head turned towards Donghyuck. He technically has seen Mark naked. They have known each other since they were babies after all, but he sometimes finds Mark’s physique distracting, so it’s best not to look at all.
“What an interesting relationship the two of you have,” Donghyuck comments. “I do think we should leave Prince Mark alone while he gets dressed, I’ve only just met him after all.” Yukhei nods and the two of them exit Mark’s bedroom.
“Where would you like to go?” Yukhei asks. “I can have Mark meet us there if you so choose.”
“You mentioned the gardens. Let’s go there,” Donghyuck says. “Plus isn’t it nearly lunchtime? We can have a picnic.” Donghyuck’s eyes shine and even though it’s within his job requirements not to say no to Mark, and by extension, Donghyuck, but Yukhei can’t even find it in him to want to deny Donghyuck anything.
“I think that would be splendid. I can escort you to the gardens and then fetch the necessary things for a picnic.” Yukhei replies, guiding Donghyuck through the halls and down a stairway.
“You’ll be joining us, won’t you?” Donghyuck asks. “It would be quite a shame if not.” Donghyuck stops in the middle of the stairs and Yukhei pauses, two steps below. The two of them face each other, Yukhei looking up at Donghyuck as he is illuminated by the early afternoon sun and the light fixtures above the two of them.
“I don’t think it would be appropriate,” Yukhei replies, still transfixed by Donghyuck’s features. Honey colored hair, plush lips, high cheekbones and a sparkle in his eyes.
“Mark clearly can’t handle himself alone,” Donghyuck points out. “He’s cute, I’ll give him that, but as I said earlier, he’s not the one looking for love here; you’re looking for him.”
“We both know that I don’t really have another option here,” Yukhei points out, tapping his foot. Donghyuck may be beautiful, but he’s also smart.
“I’m well aware, and I wouldn’t have accepted your offer if I didn’t think that Mark might make a wonderful husband. And the merging of our two kingdoms will strength them both in the long run. Now the only question is…” Donghyuck hesitates, clicking his tongue. “Is Mark fully aware of the circumstances regarding this meeting?”
“Partially,” Yukhei admits. “He thinks this is more a hopeful meet up and less a political move. Mark doesn’t really have an interest in politics, and all things considered I think this is the romantic encounter with the most chance for success.”
“I agree, I don’t think Prince Jeno or Prince Jisung would have found Prince Mark quite as endearing,” Donghyuck says, taking a step down the stairs. “Now I do believe we were retrieving picnic supplies.” Yukhei nods and they walk down the rest of the stairs all the way down into kitchens where all the staff don’t pay them any mind.
“What do you think we should get?” Yukhei asks. “The kitchen is always fully stocked, so there’s nothing you couldn’t think of.”
“Strawberries are always good,” Donghyuck thinks aloud. “Sparkling cider too.”
“Cheese and crackers are always good as well.” Yukhei nods and then walks around the kitchen, fetching the different items that they’ll need. He sets them all on the counter where Donghyuck is standing and is about to get glasses for the sparkling cider, but Donghyuck grabs Yukhei’s wrist. “Be sure to get three glasses and not two.” Yukhei doesn’t reply, but does grab three glasses as per Donghyuck's wish. Yukhei packs the things into a picnic basket and Donghyuck smiles.
“Let me text Prince Mark and then we will meet him in the gardens,” Yukhei says, phone in one hand and picnic basket in the other. Donghyuck trails along as Yukhei types and walks. After Mark confirms the text, Yukhei slips his phone away and Donghyuck takes his hand. “Why did you do that?”
“You look like you have strong protective hands, and I was right,” Donghyuck replies as the two of them exit the kitchens and head out into the gardens. Yukhei spots Mark who waves to them. He feels the urge to rip his hand away from Donghyuck, so Mark doesn’t get the wrong sort of idea. Which doesn’t even make sense as Mark is going to get together with Donghyuck in the long run— not Yukhei.
“Greetings, Prince Mark,” Yukhei says. “I do hope you will enjoy our picnic. I’m only tagging along as per Prince Donghyuck’s request.”
“Prince Donghyuck is right,” Mark replies, looking a tinge shy. “I also would like to accompany us.”
“Perfect,” Donghyuck chimes in. “Yukhei, will you lead us to a more secluded part of the gardens and Prince Mark, your hands look quite lonely, would you like to hold one of mine?” Mark flushes and stutters out something, but Donghyuck latches onto his hand anyway.
The three of them walk quietly into the gardens. Yukhei knows of a secluded spot, a patch of grass surrounded by rose bushes, but far enough from the castle itself that they will have plenty of privacy as Donghyuck wishes. Yukhei guides them to said spot and Mark gasps.
“How have I never been here before?” Mark asks, eyes wide in awe at the beautiful rose bushes all around them. “Yukhei, how did you even find this place?” Yukhei sets down the picnic basket and lets go of Donghyuck’s hand to lay out a picnic blanket from the basket.
“I only found it through the gardener. It’s nice to come here when I get a break,” Yukhei admits, pulling the other things out of the picnic basket. Mark drops to his knees and helps pull out the rest of the things. Donghyuck sits down onto the blanket with them.
“Strawberries?” Mark asks.
“Do you not like strawberries?” Donghyuck counters. “I always assumed them as a pretty universally liked fruit.”
“On the contrary, they’re my favorite, I’m just surprised you knew,” Mark replies. “It’s quite sweet.” Mark settles onto the blanket and gazes over at the roses.
“Mark,” Donghyuck says and Mark’s head swivels towards him. “Put this strawberry in your mouth.” Donghyuck holds one of the fresh strawberries in between two of his perfectly shaped fingers and extends it, so it’s only a few inches from Mark’s mouth. Yukhei doesn’t think that Mark could possibly turn any more pink, but he does. Reluctantly, Mark lets Donghyuck place the strawberry in between his lips, holding it in place.
Yukhei has no clue where Donghyuck is going with this, or even why he’s still here, but he still watches in fascination as Donghyuck cups Mark’s jaw and bites off half of the strawberry from his mouth. Their lips touch momentarily, but Donghyuck pulls away with his half of the strawberry. Yukhei doesn’t even consider himself someone who’s easily flustered, but even his ears burn a little bit. Whether in second hand embarrassment or jealousy remains to be seen.
“Yukhei, would you like one?” Donghyuck asks, holding a strawberry, just as teasing as with Mark.
“I couldn’t possibly,” Yukhei deflects, glancing over to Mark for some assistance, but Mark’s gaze is unfocused and his fingers are lightly touching his mouth.
“Prince Mark what do you think?” Donghyuck asks, moving the strawberry closer to Yukhei’s lips, but looking at Mark.
“I like the way you two look together,” Mark mumbles.
“While that’s not an answer to the question, it falls under the category of homoerotic, so I will take that as a yes,” Donghyuck replies, letting the strawberry touch Yukhei’s slightly parted lips. “Come on Yukhei, indulge me.” And who is Yukhei to deny Donghyuck? Yukhei parts his lips and Donghyuck rests half of the strawberry in Yukhei’s mouth. Donghyuck leans in, hands on Yukhei’s upper thighs and then half the strawberry is gone and there’s a feeling of lips against his, if only for a fraction of a second.
Mark whimpers, drawing Donghyuck and Yukhei’s attention back over to him. Donghyuck raises his brow and Yukhei takes in Mark. Mark has two of his fingers pressed against his lips and his thighs pressed together with his other hand stabilizing him. Yukhei wants to kiss Mark senseless, but this isn’t really his place.
“Oh, Prince Mark,” Donghyuck says. “You look a bit disheveled. Would you like some help with that?”
“Yes, please,” Mark whines.
“I’m assuming the two of you have been pining over each other for ages, but never did anything about it because of your positions,” Donghyuck suggests. “Because honestly, I have no idea how the two of you didn’t get together when you’re both so absurdly handsome.”
“That has nothing to do with—” Yukhei protests.
“You don’t want to kiss me?” Mark asks, voice high and sounding just a tinge disappointed. Donghyuck looks amused and looks to Yukhei with his head in his palm. Even though he doesn’t say anything, Yukhei can practically hear his voice asking the exact same question.
Yukhei sighs and looks at his lap. He’s always harbored feelings for Mark, but Mark is his Prince and he has been sworn to protect and serve him, not to kiss and pleasure him.
“Prince Mark, may I kiss you?” Yukhei asks.
“Please do,” Mark replies, surging forward to grab Yukhei’s bicep and press their lips together. Donghyuck gasps and giggles, saying something that Yukhei doesn’t quite catch. Kissing Mark feels like coming home and finally being able to feel at perfect peace. Yukhei loves Mark with all of his heart and only wants to see the best come to him in life.
Mark breaks their kiss apart to say, “But I have to marry Donghyuck in the end, don’t I? In order to secure a happy life and future for myself and for you.” The two of them turn to face Donghyuck who looks perfectly at ease.
“I’m happy as long as I get to kiss you both,” Donghyuck replies. “From the moment that I walked into that room, I knew that you two had something really strong even if Prince Mark is a bit of a dork.” Mark flushes and is about to defend himself, but Donghyuck isn’t finished. “Your highness, may I humbly request that you lay down so that me and the lovely Yukhei here may kiss your throat?” Mark is at a loss for words, but he lays flat onto the blanket.
Donghyuck and Yukhei come down to Mark’s level on either side of him. As is expected, Donghyuck is the first one to make a move. He strikes like fire against Mark’s neck, biting first, causing Mark to moan and slap a hand over his mouth. Yukhei takes Mark’s hand away and presses a kiss to it before letting his lips kiss the base of Mark’s neck, popping his top two buttons for a bit more access. Donghyuck is quite occupied with Mark’s ear and the skin right beneath it.
Yukhei holds Mark’s hip as he kisses his neck, loving every moment of it. Against Mark’s soft skin, Yukhei unleashes all his unspoken thoughts and declarations of his love, devotion and adoration for Mark. Mark, his prince, the one he protects and guides, the center point for all of his love.
Mark is pinned between Yukhei and Donghyuck, both showing off their abilities with him. The two are so different, but they come together to give the most unreal sensations as evidenced by the noises Mark continues to make. He bites his lips as a way to try and hold them back, but he can’t help himself. Yukhei is proud of the effect he has on Mark, the way he makes Mark quiver and gasp.
“Oh Donghyuck,” Mark moans.
“Isn’t that Prince Donghyuck to you?” Donghyuck counters, giving Mark a break from his mission of turning his neck blue and purple. Yukhei doesn’t stop kissing over Mark’s skin, he sucks on his collarbone and Mark turns to mush in his hands.
“Yes, but I— Yukhei please don’t stop,” Mark whines. “Please, Donghyuck, come back here.” Donghyuck comes back to Mark and kisses his mouth softly. Mark’s hands, which had previously been gripping the blanket as a way to stabilize himself, come to latch onto Donghyuck’s hair and Yukhei’s shoulder.
Donghyuck and Yukhei unravel Mark down to his very core in that courtyard. All three of them are exploring every inch of one another and in a way, coming to accept their new future. One that has the three of them working together as one to rule over two kingdoms.