00:00 | Septiplier

Everyone is born with a tattoo that shows the time you first meet your soulmate. Sometimes it can be difficult. Other times, it might just work out. | Septiplier AU. Set in the same universe as "In the Minute Before Midnight".

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4. As the Willow Tree Danced | Jack

A/N: Oh my GOD this has taken FOREVER. I am so sorry XD

But hey, I think it turned out alright! :D I think I'll be going on to do Dan and Phil's version of this, and then moving on to what happens after this one XD No spoilers, though :D

But hey, I hope you enjoy! :D

A/N: Yup, this is all I have for now XD I hope you guys can be patient until I write the next ones :P


~~~

 

Under the weeping willow tree in the centre of the garden, two strangers shared their first kiss as the branches danced above them.

Except they weren't strangers - not really. They were soulmates, marked from birth to meet at midnight, though neither of them knew exactly when it would be. Until they met on the balcony at midnight.

They shared their first kiss, and then many more. It was a perfect moment for both of them.

One of the two was Sean – or Jack, as he preferred to be called – McLoughlin, fifth child born into the wealthy and high-class noble family, and the other was Mark Fischbach, second son of the late king of their kingdom.

The two of them were so much alike, and yet completely different. And yet, they were soulmates.

Jack’s hands were resting at the back of Mark’s neck, and he felt the shivers going down the older boy’s spine. Jack’s long fingers ran through Mark’s soft, raven hair, and he felt like there was nothing wrong with the world.

Jack felt Mark’s warm fingers find their way under his shirt and brush against his own cool skin, sending shovers down Jack’s spine. He pulled back and put a disapproving expression on his face – even if he didn’t really mean it, as he was fighting back a grin.

“Why you little-” Jack began, but Mark just grinned and kissed him again, which Jack happily returned. He felt that this kiss wasn’t quite desperate, it was needier, unlike their first kisses that were soft and gentle and loving and unsure all mixed together.

But for now, Mark just held Jack close, and Jack didn’t mind that one bit. His own slender frame fit perfectly into Mark’s broader figure, and he relished in that. Jack had never expected his soulmate to be a male, but he didn’t care because Mark was his math, and that was that. Jack felt like he had been waiting far too long for this, and he wasn’t complaining now.

Their lips seemed to move perfectly in sync with each other as Jack enjoyed every beautiful kiss Mark gave.

Mark’s warm hands moved around Jack’s lower back, and Jack supressed another shiver. Instead he smiled and moved closer to Mark, who did not complain in the slightest. Jack wanted to stay as close to Mark as he was now for a long time. All the parties he’d been forced to go to and hated were all worth it if, in the end, he got Mark as compensation.

But when he felt Mark’s hands slowly climbing their way up his torso, he panicked and his hands flew down to stop him, and he pulled back.

“Easy there,” he whispered, fighting to keep his voice steady. “We have all the time in the world.”

Mark froze, and dropped his hands so they were loosely around Jack’s waist, no longer touching his skin, and Jack let his grip loose. Mark leaned in and gently touched their foreheads together. “I’m sorry,” Mark mumbled, not meeting Jack’s gaze.

Jack smiled and put his hands on Mark’s shoulders. “Hey, it’s okay,” Jack reassured him. “Let’s just…” he struggled to find the right phrase, “not go that fast, okay?” he finished lamely, but Mark didn’t seem to care.

“I’m sorry,” he said again, and Jack could hear the embarrassment in his voice. Jack tried not to giggle.

Jack was silent for a moment. “Well,” he said, “thank you for stopping when I asked.” It was then that Mark finally looked up, his dark eyes meeting Jack’s own baby blue ones. Mark mirrored Jack’s smile.

Jack couldn’t help the grin then. “Besides,” he found himself saying. “I don’t really know much about you.”

Mark’s smile turned sly as he countered, “You know one thing.”

“That my soulmate happens to be the prince?” Jack guessed, giggling.

“Oh yeah,” Mark said with a smile, and Jack laughed. For a moment, they’d both completely forgotten that they were anything other than soulmates. “Well,” Mark continued. “I was going to say something slightly different.”

“Which is?” Jack asked.

“That I really like kissing you.”

Before Jack could react, Mark had already stolen a quick kiss.

And his heart.

“You sneaky little bastard,” Jack couldn’t help saying. “But that is completely mutual,” he promised, and Mark chuckled. Jack really liked the sound of that.

He took a small step back, but they were still close enough together that Mark could still rest his hands on Jack’s waist. Seemingly of their own accord, Jack’s hands went to sit on either side of Mark’s neck, and he softly ran his thumb up and down his jaw. He just studied Mark’s face, all the features that he never really seemed to notice before. How his eyes were so brown they were almost black, but they had a bright little sparkle in them that made him seem like the kindest person alive – which, frankly, he was, to Jack.

“What are you thinking about?” Mark suddenly asked.

Jack raised an eyebrow, but decided to answer honestly. He looked up at the sparkling sky as he said, “Well, about how it’s a very nice night. There are very little clouds, and the breeze is wonderful, although it does seem to be cooling down slightly.” He was rambling now, he knew he was, but he kept talking anyway. “The stars are also very pretty, and this tree is, too. And, of course,” he said, looking back down at the older boy and giving him a mischievous grin, “about how stunningly attractive you are, too.”

He reached up to brush Mark’s dark fringe off his forehead, and then ran his hands through the soft raven hair, his hand finally stopping at the nape of his neck. “Why did you ask?” Jack asked, genuinely curious.

“Well,” Mark began, seeming to choose his words carefully. “As you said, we don’t exactly know much about each other, so I want to learn how you think. Is that okay?”

Jack hummed his agreement, nodding. “In that case, what are you thinking about?” he asked. “Be honest.”

“Why would I lie to you?” Mark sounded surprised, but Jack just rolled his eyes. Mark was silent for a moment before he spoke. “Honestly, mostly about you,” he said simply. Jack tilted his head to the side a little, and Mark elaborated. “All the tiny little things that I already love, mostly.” Jack felt heat rising into his face as Mark spoke. “You have this little sparkle in your eyes that’s impossible to ignore. Your accent is amazing, and the way you talk.” Jack wanted to roll his eyes again, as he didn’t particularly like the sound of his own voice. “I also love the way that in general appearance, I guess we’re opposites, which makes you beautiful.” As Mark talked, one of his hands drifted up to cup Jack’s face, a thumb slowly brushing over his temple.

Jack couldn’t help but grin as his cheeks turned red. “This is the happiest I’ve ever been, I think,” he replied in all honesty.

“Me too,” Mark said softly. Then, to Jack’s surprise, he took a step back and took one of Jack’s hands on both of his own. Jack stared, confounded, as Mark began to talk. “Sean McLoughin,” he said, “I am so happy I met you tonight. I have been waiting sixteen years for this day, and now I realise that I would’ve waited so much longer if it meant I could have you in my life. But I’m glad it only took sixteen years of my life, and no longer. I am honoured to have you as my soulmate.” Then he bowed down slightly and pressed a gentle, chaste kiss to Jack’s knuckles. Jack felt tears swimming in his eyes as Mark looked back up at him.

Jack smiled. “I- I don’t know what to say,” he whispered uselessly.

He couldn’t help the tear that rolled down his cheek, and Mark stepped forward and reached up a hand to brush it away. “It’s okay,” Mark responded with a smile. He opened his mouth to say more, but Jack just stepped forward and kissed him again.

This one was a return from the needy kisses; this was full of Jack’s love, and Mark accepted it. Jack never wanted to leave Mark, he just wanted to stay here forever-

But it seemed that life had other plans, because a swish of leaves made them jump apart in surprise. They both looked over to where the noise had come from, and Jack noticed that the hanging leaves of the willow tree – where the leaves fell the closest together, so much so that you couldn’t see past them – were swaying back and forth too heavily for the gently breeze.

Mark moved in front of Jack and called out, “Who is there?” There was a short silence before Mark said again, “Who is it?” Jack could hear the authoritative tone of a prince seeping into his voice. “Show yourself!”

There was a second more of silence before the rustling of leaves filled it. The curtain of willow leaves was pushed aside again, and a handsome boy stepped cautiously into the clearing. He took a few steps forward until he was in the light before stopping, placing a hand over his heart and bowing, as was the custom when one encountered royalty.

“I apologise for disturbing you, your highness,” he said, his voice nervously high-pitched with English lit to it. “I did not realise that there was anybody else out here.”

Mark looked back at Jack, looking surprised. Jack shrugged slightly, just as surprised. Mark looked back at the boy. “Are you alone?” he asked.

The boy hesitated before answering yes. But Jack heard the lie in the hesitation beforehand.

“Tell me the truth,” Mark demanded, and Jack wanted to shrink away from Mark. He seemed like royalty in this instant, a person to be obeyed at all times. Even the boy straightened up slightly, his incredibly black hair, which contrasted his nearly white skin, falling across his face. His eyes were blue, like Jacks, but whereas Jack’s were a baby blue, this boy’s eyes were a bright and brilliant blue that could be seen from a mile away. He looked a few years older than Mark, and Jack didn’t recognise the boy.

“No, I am not,” the boy finally said, looking Mark in the eye.

“Who else is here?”

The boy bit his lip, and Jack felt suddenly fearful for him, so he gently put a hand on Mark’s shoulder. Mark turned to look at him, and faltered when he saw the concern on Jack’s face and in his eyes.

“Easy,” Jack murmured. “I don’t think he’s planning anything. Look at him.” Indeed, the blue-eyed boy looked nervous but determined to keep a stance.

Mark looked, and Jack saw Mark’s broad shoulders lower as he took a deep breath to relax himself. Jack moved his hand down to the small of Mark’s back, not wanting to move away.

“It’s okay, I apologise,” Mark said, softer, and Jack breathed a sigh of relief. “You just startled me,” Mark continued. “Who else is here?”

The boy visibly relaxed, and even smiled a little. He turned and called over his shoulder, “Dan, it’s okay! You can come over.” There was a few seconds of rustling, and then another boy emerged from the trees, looking even more nervous than the first. He looked to be more around Mark and Jack’s age, and Jack could make out brown hair and eyes in the moonlight. He hastily walked to the first boy’s side before placing a hand over his heart and bowing, but he seemed determined not to say a word.

“What are your names?” Jack asked, stepping forward to Mark’s side.

The black-haired boy bowed his head and spoke first. “My name is Phil Lester, my lord.”

Jack recognised the name, but not the boy. The Lester family was one of the lower-class noble families, lower than Jack’s own family.

Phil gently nudged his companion, indicating that he should speak, but all the brown-haired boy did was straighten up and take another small step towards Phil, like he was trying to hide. Phil turned back with a smile and said for him, “This is Dan Howell, my lord. I hope you do not mind if I speak in his place.”

“Not at all,” Mark replied.

Dan’s surname also rang a bell in Jack’s mind – the Howell family was a high-class family, the same rank as the McLoughlin family, Jack’s family. Normally, someone of Dan’s rank would speak for Phil, but he didn’t really mind in this case. Dan seemed nervous enough; there was no need to push it.

“It’s nice to meet you both,” Jack said, with a small bow of his head. “My name is Sean McLoughlin, but please call me Jack.”

Phil smiled. “It’s an honour to meet you both,” he replied. “And once again, I apologise for disturbing you. As I said, I wasn’t aware that anyone else was out here.”

“We weren’t aware of it either,” Mark said, sounding embarrassed. Jack giggled.

“Well, I guess there’s no going back now,” Jack murmured in Mark’s ear.

Mark twisted to face him. “There was never a choice to begin with,” Mark responded softly. “We’re marked.”

Mark then looked back at Dan and Phil, and Jack followed his gaze. Dan was practically clinging to Phil, who had an arm around his waist. When Phil pressed a kiss to Dan’s temple and Dan began to relax, Jack instinctively knew that he and Mark weren’t the only ones to meet their soulmate that night.

“Should I ask?” Jack asked Mark hesitantly, and Mark nodded slightly.

“Are you too marked, too?” Jack asked, loud enough that the other two could hear him. Phil looked over at him, before looking down at Dan again.

To Jack’s surprise, it was Dan who answered. “We are,” he said, a tremor in his voice. His accent was also English, but sounded more… articulate than Phil’s.

Phil looked proudly down at Dan, whose confidence had seemed to drain away again after that one time of spotlight. When Phil looked back at Mark and Jack, his gaze turned wary, like they wouldn’t approve. But then a little light went on in his eyes, like he’d just realised something.

“’Too’?” Phil asked, the corners of his mouth hinting at a smile.

Jack couldn’t help giggling, and Mark’s shoulders sagged slightly. Mark turned to look at Jack, who was looking at Phil with a smug little smile. Jack didn’t mind at all, so he looked down at Mark, who had his eyebrows raised in a disapproving manner. But Jack could see the smile tugging at the corner of his soulmate’s lips.

“I guess I’m not the only lucky one tonight, then?” Phil mused with a giggle.

Even Dan laughed at that. “I’ve heard that midnight is a lucky time,” he said, and Jack could hear the growing confidence in the boy’s voice. Jack was surprised at what Dan said next: “”I guess that makes me even unluckier than I already was.”

Phil poked the side of Dan’s head with a “Hey!” as Jack wondered what Dan had meant. But as Dan broke out into a grin, all four of them laughed, and Jack wrapped his arm around Mark’s waist. He watched happily as Dan leaned up to kiss Phil’s cheek.

Jack was finally happy – happier than he’d ever been in his life. He finally had his soulmate by his side, and watching the two boys in front of him that were also marked for each other made his heart soar.

 

More than one couple found happiness this night.

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