A/N: I'M BACK
I'M SORRY THIS HAS TAKEN FOREVER
HERE TAKE IT *cowers in a corner*
But seriously, I'm sorry this took me so long. I started it aaaaaages ago, but school crap has caught up with me, and it's only the the second/third week!
I'll be doing Phil's soon, I promise! But for now, I hope you enjoy this one! :D
The "In The Minute Before Midnight" series, set in the same universe:
I hope you enjoy~ :D
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.
Mark Fischbach, second son of the late king of their kingdom, was one of the two, the other being Sean - or Jack, as he preferred to be called - McLoughlin, fifth child born into the wealthy, high-class noble family.
So similar, and yet, so different. And yet, they were soulmates.
Mark felt Jack's cool hands on the back of his neck, sending shivers down his spine. He suddenly wished that there were less clothes between them as he held Jack close to him. He felt his soulmate running his hands up through his hair, and it felt nice.
He managed to get his fingers under Jack's shirt again, and he gently brushed his thumbs along cool skin, grinning against their kiss as he felt the younger boy involuntarily shiver.
Jack gently pulled away, but only a little, keeping them close together. He had a disapproving expression on his face, but Mark could clearly see that he was fighting back a grin. He began to say something along the lines of "Why, you little-" but Mark had already cut him off with another kiss, which Jack responded with in earnest. This one was needy and passionate, to contrast their first kisses, which were soft and gentle and loving.
But now, all Mark wanted was to keep Jack close to him and never let go, because he had been waiting for this for far too long.
If he was perfectly honest, he'd never expected his soulmate to be another male, but in this moment he didn't care. In fact, he almost preferred it this way - Jack was his match, and that's all that mattered. He'd already fallen for those baby blue eyes and his foreign accent, and his slender frame seemed to fit perfectly into Mark's broader figure. And the way their lips moved against each other's was perfect - in only this little while, he'd learned so much.
And he was enjoying every second of Jack's beautiful kisses.
He ran his hands along Jack's waist and back, across his pale skin, over every curve and bump. He felt Jack smile, and Mark pulled him closer.
He knew he wanted this. He did. He barely knew anything about Jack, but he knew that he wanted this one slice of happiness more than anything. All the parties and all the wait was worth it, if he got Jack as compensation.
He had fallen hard and fast for this boy.
But wasn't that was soulmates were?
His hands seemed to move on their own, higher and higher-
Jack's hands suddenly gripped his arms, and he was pulling away from the kiss again. "Easy, there," he whispered. "We have all the time in the world."
Mark dropped his hands so they were loosely wrapped around his partner's waist again, and Jack's grip loosened to match. Mark gently touched his forehead against Jack's, sighing. "I'm sorry," he mumbled.
Jack smiled. "Hey," he said softly. "It's okay. Let's just... not go that fast, okay?"
Mark couldn't think of anything to say, so he just apologised again, almost embarrassed.
"Well," Jack began, after a moment of silence. "Thank you for stopping when I asked."
When Mark looked into Jack's kind eyes, he could see that he meant those words. Mark smiled to mirror the boy, and nodded slightly.
Jack grinned. "Besides," he said. "I don't really know much about you."
"You know one thing," Mark countered with a sly smile.
"That my soulmate happens to be the prince?" Jack giggled.
"Oh yeah." Mark smiled as Jack laughed. "Well, I was going to say something slightly different."
"That I really like kissing you." Then he stole another kiss, which Jack willingly gave.
"You sneaky little bastard," Jack giggled. "But that is completely mutual." Mark chuckled, both of them smiling gently now.
Jack took a little step back, but still close enough to allow Mark's hands to loosely sit on his hips. Jack's hands came back to sit on either side of Mark's neck, with one of his thumbs softly running up and down his jaw. Mark saw the twinkle in Jack's eyes, and he adored it.
"What are you thinking about?" Mark asked.
Jack raised an eyebrow, but answered anyway, looking up at the sky. "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." Mark felt like he could listen to this all night. "The stars are also very pretty, and this tree is, too. And, of course," Jack looked back down at him, with a crooked and almost mischievous grin. "About how stunningly attractive you are, too."
Mark's heart threatened to melt as Jack brushed Mark's fringe off his forehead, and then ran his hands through his hair again. It felt so nice.
"Why did you ask?" Jack asked him, but it didn't sound teasing it berating at all - he was genuinely curious.
"Well," Mark began. "As you said, we don't exactly know much about each other, so I want to learn how you think. Is that okay?"
Jack nodded, humming his agreement. "In that case," he said. "What are you thinking about? Be honest."
"Why would I lie to you?" Mark asked, slightly surprised, and Jack rolled his eyes, indicating that Mark should just answer the question. So Mark was silent for a moment as he thought, deciding to be completely honest, as Jack had asked. "Honestly, mostly about you," he answered. Jack tilted his head to the side a little, and Mark elaborated. "All the tiny little things that I already love, mostly. You have this little sparkle in your eyes that's impossible to ignore. Your accent is amazing, and the way you talk. I also love the way that in general appearance, I guess we're opposites, which makes you beautiful." As he talked, one of his hands drifted up to Jack's face, his thumb brushing over his temple as he continued to fall in love with those eyes.
Jack's grin widened, and his cheeks turned red. "This is the happiest I've ever been, I think."
"Me too," Mark agreed. And with that, he stepped back a little and took one of Jack's hands in his own. "Sean McLoughlin, 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." He then bowed slightly, pressing a gentle kiss to Jack's knuckles, trying to show Jack all the love that he felt in that moment. He looked back up to see tears in Jack's eyes, but Jack himself was smiling.
"I- I don't know what to say," he whispered.
A tear escaped the corner of his eye and Mark reached out to gently brush it away, smiling. "It's okay," he responded. He opened his mouth to say more, but Jack had stepped forward and pressed their lips together again.
Mark was surprised, but soon melted into the kiss, their lips moving together like they'd been moulded like that. This kiss was, in a word, perfect, making Mark never want to move away from Jack ever again. He wanted to stay like this forever-
But evidently, life had other plans, because a swish of leaves made them jump apart in surprise. Mark looked over to where he had heard the noise, and he saw the hanging leaves of the willow tree - where the leaves fell the closest together so you couldn't see past them, like a curtain - swaying back and forth, too heavily for the wind.
"Who is there?" Mark called out, instinctively stepping in front of Jack. There was silence for a few seconds. "Who is it?" Mark called again, the authoritative tone he had been taught as a prince slipping into his voice. "Show yourself!"
There was a second more of silence, and then the rustling of leaves, before the curtain of leaves was pushed aside once more, and a handsome young boy stepped hesitantly into the clearing. He walked forwards into a lighter patch before stopping, placing a hand over his heart and bowing.
"I apologise for disturbing you, your highness," he said. His voice was nervous and high-pitched, and had an English tone to it. "I did not realise that there was anybody else out here."
Mark glanced back at Jack, who looked just as surprised as he was. He looked back at the boy. "Are you alone?" he asked.
The boy hesitated, before answering yes, but Mark could hear the lie in the hesitation.
"Tell me the truth," Mark demanded, and the boy straightened up slightly. Mark noticed that he, too, had blue eyes, but instead of the baby blue of Jack's, they were a brilliant blue, and very bright. Ebony hair also contrasted his pale skin. He looked a few years older than Mark himself; he didn't recognise the boy by sight.
"No, I am not," he answered, looking up at Mark.
"Who else is here?"
The boy bit his lip, and Mark felt Jack place his hand gently on his shoulder. He looked back, and Jack was staring at him with concerned eyes.
"Easy," Jack murmured. "I don't think he's planning anything. Look at him."
Mark looked back, and saw that the boy was nervous, but seemed determined to keep some sort of stance.
Mark took a deep breath, calming himself down. Jack's hand, which had now trailed down to the small of his back, helped a great deal. He exhaled, and softened his expression. "It's okay, I apologise. You just startled me. Who else is here?" He asked again, but softer this time, and saw the boy visibly relax.
He then turned and called over his shoulder, "Dan, it's okay! You can come over." A few seconds later, another boy emerged from the trees, and this one looked even more nervous than the first. He looked to be about Jack and Mark's age, and Mark could just make out brown hair and eyes. The boy made a hasty walk to the first boy's side, where he placed a hand over his heart and bowed to Mark, but he didn't say a word.
"What are your names?" Jack asked, stepping slightly towards the side of Mark, who was grateful for his support.
The first boy bowed his head and said, "My name is Phil Lester, my lord."
Now Mark remembered who he was - he'd seen him at a few parties before, along with his elder brother, Martyn. They were of the Lester family, a lower-class noble family, lower than the McLoughlin family.
Phil turned and nudged at his companion to speak, but all he did was straighten up and take a small step towards Phil, like he was trying to hide himself. Phil turned back with a small, gentle smile and said for him, "This is Dan Howell, my lord. I hope you do not mind if I speak in his place."
Mark smiled. "Not at all," he promised. He also recognised Dan's surname, Howell. It was one of the higher-class noble families, in the same class as Jack's family. And while it seemed a little strange that Phil should speak for Dan and not the opposite, he didn't particularly mind.
"It's nice to meet you both," Jack went on. "My name is Sean McLoughlin, but please, call me Jack."
"It's an honour to meet you both," Phil said with a smile. "And once again, I apologise for disturbing you. As I said, I wasn't aware that anybody else was out here."
"We weren't aware of it, either," Mark replied, a little embarrassed, and Jack giggled.
"Well, I guess there's no going back now," Jack murmured in his ear.
"There was never a choice to begin with," Mark responded softly, turning to face him. "We're marked."
When he looked back at Dan and Phil, he saw that the older boy had wrapped an arm around the other's waist, and Dan was practically clinging to Phil.
Phil placed a kiss on Dan's temple, and when Mark saw Dan start to relax, and lean his head against Phil's shoulder, he knew that they weren't the only ones that met their soulmate this night.
Did they have their first meeting tonight, or were they finally meeting again after a time? Mark thought the former, because he didn't remember having a Howell boy at his mother's parties before, only his mother and father.
"Should I ask?" Jack asked quietly, and Mark nodded slightly - he didn't want to be the one to ask such a personal question. And by Jack's hesitant tone of voice, neither did he, but was still curious.
"Are you two marked, too?" Jack asked, louder this time, and Phil looked over at them, before looking down at Dan.
This time it was Dan who answered. "We are," he said, his voice trembling, but with a confident tone to it. His accent was also English, like Phil's, but sounded more sophisticated.
Articulate, Mark decided.
He noticed Phil looking almost proudly down at his partner, who had once again lost his confidence and looked not unlike a frightened child, but when Phil looked back up to Mark and Jack, his gaze turned wary, like they wouldn't approve.
"Too?" Phil asked, the corners of his mouth turning up slightly.
Mark felt his face heat up and he looked down slightly, out of embarrassment.
Jack giggled, and Mark wanted to groan. Of course, Phil had probably seen the two of them kissing. He wasn't sure if Jack was uncomfortable in this situation, so he turned to look. But Jack didn't seem to mind at all, judging by the smug little grin on his face. Jack then looked at Mark, who raised his eyebrows in mock disapproving manner, but he could feel the smile on his face, too.
"I guess I'm not the only lucky one tonight, then?" Phil mused, giggling.
Even Dan laughed a little. "I've heard that midnight is a lucky time," he said, and as Mark turned back, he could hear confidence in his voice, even if it was small at first. "I guess that makes me even unluckier than I already was."
As Mark wondered what he meant by that, Phil poked the side of Dan's head with a "Hey!" This made all four of them laugh, and Dan leaned up to kiss Phil's cheek.
In this moment, Mark felt happy - happier than he'd ever been, with his soulmate by his side, and two boys in front of them who were also marked for each other.
More than one couple found happiness this night.