“Dude, you're staring.” His best friend doesn’t even have to look up to know what Jaebum is doing.
“Great observation on your part, Mark.” He spits out, annoyed that he’s being called out. He tears his eyes away from the Hong Kong native and steals a fish cake from Mark's tray.
It's a Tuesday, marking the second time he saw the boy.
His university was known for hosting exchange students and Jackson was no exception. His best friend Mark was a foreigner too, but in no way did he turn heads despite being an American in Korea in 1985. Well, he did (they both did) but Mark was one of those individuals who chose to ignore the attention which ironically, got him more attention. This didn't come as a surprise to Jaebum, Mark was beyond attractive and the two of them had equally hot topic reputations. They didn't mingle with any of the other students much but they still remained popular in their own respect.
He'd recently began chatting up Choi Youngjae, a sophomore who had introduced him to two other boys who were freshman, Kim Yugyeom and…BamBam. BamBam was another foreigner at their school and was also well liked amongst his crowd, but not so much outside the freshman and sophomore range. On the contrary, Mark and Jackson were popular with all the years, but they hadn't exchanged any words yet.
He wants to speak to him.
Jaebum wasn’t the one that was looking at him first, Jackson had started their little staring contest and he simply followed. Although he was sure that Jackson was gaping at his pink hair.
He has his second slip to go to the dean’s office burning in his jacket pocket regarding his hair, because he had lost the first one to putting out a cigarette on it.
He had learnt from Youngjae that Jackson was in Korea for extra training in fencing and that he was one of the best junior fencers in the world, and first across the Asian countries. An impressive feat, even Jaebum couldn't deny that but he didn't think it was necessary for the entire school to fall at his feet. Out the foreign line, Jackson was by far the star of the show. Jaebum almost fell prey to the boy's friendliness and charming character too, but quickly snapped himself out of it.
Jackson was too likeable and he hated it. He also happened to spend most of his time with people that Jaebum liked to associate with the ‘jock’ crowd in the American films Mark would show him. Not that he had any problem with it, he just thought that Jackson was far too nice to be hanging out with the likes of Sungjin and Chansung.
Whatever. It wasn't his problem anyway.
Like Mark, he too turned heads but mostly because he didn't fit the standard Korean stereotype that he saw all around him. Leather, piercings and loud music were not encouraged in the society he lived in, and he definitely was not on good terms with ‘it’ crowd but he didn't mind. He did like the recent sporty trend but, he was too young to be rebelling in the 70s, so he dragged it into his own youth, even if it were a decade late. It satisfied him to be hated by boys but loved by girls and the girlfriends of the boys who wanted to skin him alive.
He catches sight of Sungjin and his table of friends glance unpleasantly in his direction and he smirks, leans back in his chair and winks at them. Where they turn away in mild disgust, Jackson blushes slightly and it piques his interest.
“Stop, you'll make their dicks hard Jaebum.” He laughs and effortlessly catches the grape that Mark tosses at his mouth.
“I try Mark, I really do.” His friend sighs but Jaebum can see the smile he tries to hide.
He likes girls. It's the 80s, he has to, but really, he enjoys making boys squirm. Call it his past time. So he's really into why the fencer looked like he had almost creamed himself when there was no way in hell that he was affected by Jaebum's actions.
“Hey Mark, why don't you try talking to that Jackson kid? I mean, you both know Chinese, right?” He asks innocently, but Mark quirks an eyebrow at his smirk. “And English Jaebum, he knows English too, he's from Hong Kong.” He groans. “Fine yeah English too. So why haven't you spoke to him yet?” He presses on, letting his front drop briefly.
Mark doesn't look up from whatever he's jotting down in his notebook but he lets out a soft snort.“I’ve already spoken to him.”
At that, Jaebum sputters but quickly collects himself because he's in public. “Excuse me? When? Why didn't you tell me?” Mark shrugs and he wants to grab him by his collar for not acknowledging his mild panic.
“You didn't ask.” Jaebum simply doesn’t understand how Mark can remain calm, almost to the point where his eyes glass over, bored and indifferent. As much as he can pull the same trick with other people, he just can’t try it with Mark who can see right through him.
He thinks about their first meeting.
“You look stupid.”
Did he just hear the foreigner correctly? “Excuse me?” He whips around, eyes burning with anger. The American shows a hint of a smile and in his slow drawl, he repeats himself in English. “You look stupid.”
He shoves the other against the wall, hard, and he resists the urge to punch him square in the face when Mark doesn’t flinch as his head hits the wall with a dull thud.
"Is it your problem whether or not I look dumb?” His tone comes out calmer than he expected it to and he sees confusion flash across the other’s face before he smiles and pinches his cheek.
He doesn’t wait for whatever was going to come out of Mark’s mouth because he’s tired of holding back. He punches him on the mouth and a feeling of white hot anger possesses him when Mark tips his head back, releasing a loud laugh, neck impossibly stretched and adam’s apple bobbing. His eyes lock with Mark’s and finds that the blood trickling out of his wound looks stunning against the pink of his lips. He brings his thumb up to smear it across his mouth and inhales sharply when Mark takes the finger into his mouth, suckling at the tip delicately, never once breaking eye contact.
Jaebum swallows audibly when Mark releases his finger and tips his head further back.
“Kiss me.” He freezes at the words Mark breathes out. Rationally speaking, this is a bad idea, he knows this, but he can't help but admire the rough look on Mark and he doesn’t give it a second thought.
He cradles Mark’s head and messily kisses the foreigner, biting and tugging at his lips, enjoying the metallic taste in his mouth and he sucks on Mark’s tongue, groaning when the other pushes the taste of blood back into his mouth. He makes his way down Mark’s throat, relishing in Mark’s little whines and he pulls back, a single strand of saliva connecting them.
Mark looks debauched, a sick dream in front of his eyes and he begins to giggle, hysterically. The older joins him in his laughter, and he apologizes for being an asshole. Mark assures him that it’s quite alright.
When their laughter simmers down to smiles, he grabs Mark’s arm and takes him to the bathroom get cleaned up.
Mark hops onto the sink counter and Jaebum hands him a couple of paper towels.
“So, you’re into men then?” He asks the American casually and Mark grins, shaking his head.
“Hell no, you’re just hot as shit.” He raises a brow and Mark shrugs. “What about you darling?” Mark’s eyes sparkle with mirth and Jaebum shrugs as well. “Darling huh? No, but I don’t mind some dick once in a while.” He finds that as he says it, he really does think that some men are good looking.
He reaches around Mark to wet a paper towel and brings it up to his lips, dabbing at it gently, so as not to further hurt him.
“So we’re good?” He feels Mark say against his fingers. He nods. In return, he receives the first genuine smile from Mark and it makes his heart flutter. Not in a way that tells him that he wants to kiss the other again, but rather, that he wants to be friends with him.
“Let’s skip the next lecture?” He asks and resists the urge to draw the other in for a hug when Mark links their fingers and drags him out of the bathroom.
“I truly hate you.” He tries to sound serious but judging by Mark’s little grin, he fails to do so.
He looks towards Jackson’s table again and to his mild surprise, the fencer seems to be zoning out, gaze stuck on him. Who is he not to enjoy the unintentional attention?
He pulls out a strawberry lollipop from his pocket, unwraps it with quick fingers and makes a show of popping it into his mouth, letting his eyes flutter up to meet Jackson’s eyes. Next to him, he hears Mark choke on his water and he almost rolls his eyes but he’s on a mission here and eye contact cannot be broken, not when he’s caught Jackson’s attention once more, clearly having been snapped out of his daze. He rolls the stick around in his mouth and smirks when Jackson shifts in his seat. His eyes fall shut, sucking harder on the ball of candy and when he opens them, his eyes land onー
“Jaebum-hyung! Are you free to drop me home? My mom misses you!” Jinyoung says and he rests both hands on the bridge of his nose. He flexes his jaw and is utterly ready to shove his lollipop up the boy’s nostril.
Park Jinyoung: The university’s golden boy and, his oldest friend.
He sincerely enjoys the boy’s company, willing to be buried next to him and born into the next life with him by his side, however in this moment, he’d readily sell him to the devil. Jinyoung notices his annoyance and it takes him a second to realise the reason for his displeasure.
“Stop smiling Park, you don’t have to be a piece of shit and move out of the way for me, he’s already left the table.” He sighs, eye twitching when Jinyoung makes a cooing noise at him.
He shifts his gaze back to the empty table and he wants to know more about Jackson, about why the athlete seems to enjoy squirming when he looks at him. He wants to know everything.
His train of thought is interrupted when he feels something soft and cold hit his head.
“Did you just throw tuna at me?” He doesn’t mean to yell because Jinyoung lives to get reactions out of him and he always falls for the bait, but, even for him, that’s gross.
“Yes. In more important news though, there’s a band playing underground tonight, you and the boys up for it?” Jinyoung’s eyes sparkle and he can’t help but visibly perk up at this piece of information.
“Oh? The Dean's son decided that tonight's the night he'll tighten his pants? Replace linen with leather? Drop the glasses for eyeliner?” He says, tone laced with amusement. Jinyoung smiles with his whole face, eyes crinkling and he wishes he had his camera in his bag. The younger nods and he leans back, satisfied at the turn of the day. If he didn't have tonight to look forward to, he'd probably be stalking the midnight blue streets, smoking lightly and hoping for the stars to be out.
He thinks about wearing a choker and remembers that Mark has a new one—
The American, he observes, has been too quiet for the duration of the time he's spent with Jinyoung. Mark is not a man of many words but he's never silent on purpose. His quiet nature soothes Jaebum but right now, he wants nothing more than to let out an ugly laugh because he knows that look, a look that's being directed at Jinyoung. He kicks him from under the table and Mark's leg jerks up, knocking upwards into the table loudly, causing a few heads to turn in their direction. He plays it off by scraping his chair back, long legs spread out before him and hand resting casually at his mouth but his eyes turn cold when he makes eye contact with Jaebum.
He likes having the upper hand here.
He smiles and Mark doesn't have to use words to tell him to stop.
“Jinyoungie, are you going to ask Mark to come with?” He takes a long sip of Mark's cola and fails to hide his smug grin. Jinyoung turns to Mark, shooting him a dazzling smile and gently touches his thigh.
“Mark was invited when I asked you hyung, don't be dumb.” He rolls his eyes at Jaebum who in turn throws him a disapproving look for his use of language towards him.
“I was just asking, Mark here is especially eager to go.” He knows he deserves Mark's heel digging into his foot but he still pouts.
Mark has gone pale and when Jinyoung gets up to leave, he breathes out shakily, as if he'd been holding in his breath when Jinyoung was there.
His eyes fall to where Mark's hands are gripping the chair hard, knuckles white.
And while Mark definitely had women in his bed, he did on the odd occasion, tangle his sheets with the prettiest of men. Jinyoung was no exception when it came to being beautiful but Mark's eyes held an emotion that he believed was foreign to him. He didn't want to label it, but it seemed as if Mark didn't just want to enjoy Jinyoung for one night. The way his eyes hadn't left the doors his oldest friend had walked out of, or the way his face graced the smallest of smiles. He knew that look all too well.
Mark was falling for his Jinyoungie.
“He likes you, you know?” He throws out innocently and he almost doesn't breathe when Mark turns his head slowly to face him. They had been in the cafeteria longer than he'd thought because the sun was glowing softly, orange and warm, light gently caressing Mark's face. His glare had softened and his eyes were honeyed, the brown colour swirling and yeah, this was why Jinyoung had expressed countlessly that he was a romantic because nothing could have rivalled Mark in the hazy glow of the afternoon.
“So beautiful.” He whispers, awe evident in his voice and Mark smiles shyly, a light blush spreading across his cheeks.
“Let's hope Nyoung thinks so too.” He says equally as soft and gets up, not without ruffling his hair and Jaebum learns two things that afternoon.
One, that their sexual interests were going to pose a huge threat to everyone and everything and two; that Mark blushing is a sight to behold, and one that Jinyoung will get to see often.
Jinyoung hasn't ever openly expressed interest in men but he's seen him eye them once in a while. Jinyoung likes girls too, by default, but if he knows anything about his childhood friend, he knows that Jinyoung is smitten.
He wonders how Jinyoung is going to breakup with his girlfriend.
The next time he encounters the Hong Kong native, he’s drinking water at the fountain. He stalks towards him, and he thinks it’s cute that Jackson hasn’t noticed him yet. He bends down next to him and starts drinking alongside the other. He pauses, letting out a groan to get Jackson to look at him and, it works.
Jackson chokes and Jaebum sends a wink his way. He can see the panic on Jackson’s face and when he tries to leave, he shoots out his arm, stopping him mid turn.
“Why are you so scared?” He asks Jackson, voice low.
There’s still water left on Jackson’s lips, and he watches a droplet roll down his chin to his throat and really, he mentally applauds himself for not licking it off his neck.
“I’m not.” Jackson bites out and Jaebum throws his head back, letting out a loud laugh. Jackson looks like an angry puppy and he doesn’t think he can handle it.
“No need bark love. What’s your name?” He knows Jackson’s name, of course he does, but he wants to hear it come out his mouth, wants to hear it roll off his tongue.
“Jackson, Jackson Wang.” The fencer says breathlessly and Jaebum suppresses a shudder. The way Jackson says his own name, oh god. Everything about Jackson is warm and sweet, and he wants it all for himself. He wants his sweetness to burn his throat, wants to drown in the way his eyes turn a little bit darker when talking to him.
“Jackson.” He purrs, revels in the way Jackson lets his eyes briefly close, gulping quietly. “Don’t try to run away from me next time.” He breathes it into Jackson’s ear and grins against the soft skin when he sees Jackson’s hands fist at his sides.
He steps back, flashes him a grin and walks away, hands in his pockets. He knows he’s got Jackson right where he wants him to be. There’s no way he was going to let him slip through his fingers, not when Jackson was clearly into him.
He doesn’t turn back to look at him and it’s a shame really, because he misses the way Jackson brings a shaky hand up to gently touch his ear.