Mark sat in the library with Bob and Wade, trying to study. The latter two were, of course, stuffing around and not really bothering to work, whilst Mark was trying his best to memorise these goddamned definitions that made no sense. Why was history so complicated, anyway? He tiredly flicked through his notes, not really absorbing any of the information. He sighed. And his exam was only a couple of days away.
“Hey Mark,” Wade said, breaking into his thoughts. “The bell’s about to go. You wanna head out early and beat the locker crowd?”
“Yeah,” Mark replied, shutting his books. “That’s probably a good idea.” As Bob and Wade stood up, still making jokes about boners (or something, he wasn’t exactly paying attention), he packed all of his books away. He hoisted up his folder and followed them out of the library, not really paying attention.
They’d already reached their lockers and begun collecting their books for the next class when Mark realised he was missing his writing book. “Shit,” he muttered.
“What’s up?” Bob asked.
The bell rang. “Shit,” Mark said again. “I left one of my books in the library. I gotta go get it.”
“You’ll be late,” Bob pointed out.
“It’s just math, I’ll catch up,” Mark waved him off – he was already walking away. “Tell the teacher I’ll be a little late!” he called over his shoulder.
“Will do!” the two chorused.
Mark rushed back towards the library, mumbling apologies to fellow students he bumped into. He weaved in and out of people heading to classes, greeting those he recognised.
When he finally made it to the library and looked inside, there was only one person there, who was facing away from him and had a notebook in his hand. He was engrossed in whatever was written there.
With a pang, Mark realised that the person standing there was Sean, no, Jack McLoughlin , the loud Irish boy in his year. And Jack was reading Mark’s notebook.
Mark blushed as he saw how happy Jack looked reading Mark’s writing. Mark had always admired how easily Jack got along with people, despite his loud and boisterous nature. He was the polar opposite of Mark, who only had two friends and sat in the back corner trying not to get caught writing by the teacher. He’d always liked how Jack stood up for his friends, how he wasn’t afraid to really be himself.
And okay, okay, Mark had developed a little crush on the Irishman. Not that anybody knew, of course.
He studied Jack’s figure. He was so casual, leant up against a desk with one foot crossed over the other. Wait… was Jack blushing?
As Mark looked closer, he saw the slight pink tinge that was creeping up the boy’s pale skin. His skin was so… pale, unlike Mark’s own Korean-toned skin. He saw Jack’s hand go up and cover his mouth.
Oh shit oh shit oh shit, Mark’s brain screamed frantically. Was he reading that page?
Oh no. I’m doomed, he thought, biting his lip. Maybe it would be better to pretend I just got here. Yeah, that would be best.
Deciding that it was now or never, he walked in and said, “Excuse me?”
Jack jumped and looked up. When he saw that it was Mark standing there, smiling politely, his blush seemed to deepen and he snapped the notebook shut. “M-Mark?” he stammered. “Uh, hi!”
Mark decided that Jack looked absolutely adorable when he was blushing. “Hey,” he said. “I, uh, left my notebook in here earlier and came to get it. I think that’s what you’ve got there.”
Jack looked down at the book at his hands, and his eyes widened, like he was scared. He held it out to him. “Uh, yeah, sorry,” he stuttered. “It fell open on the floor and I picked it up to see whose it was and, uh, yeah…” he trailed off into a mumble, looking down at the floor.
Mark cocked his head slightly to the side. “Did you read it?” he asked quietly, taking the notebook from Jack, who shoved his hands in his pockets and nodded slightly, shuffling his feet. Mark felt his face heat up, and he scratched the back of his neck nervously. “Oh, uh, no worries, that’s okay. I didn’t really plan for anybody to read those, as none of it’s really finished-”
“You should,” Jack interrupted. “Finish them, I mean,” he said, slightly quieter. Mark wasn’t sure what to think – he’d always seen Jack as the loud, confident one. This shy and embarrassed version of him was new and, quite frankly, very cute.
“You think so?” Mark asked.
“Yeah,” Jack replied, his voice more confident now that he realised that Mark wasn’t angry with him. “They’re really good!”
Mark blushed. “Thanks,” he said.
Jack bit his lip. “Look, Mark,” he began. “I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean to read so much of it, and I guess I kinda got hooked, it’s really good, and I, uh, well…”
Mark smiled gently, and looked down at the notebook. He held it in both hands and let it fall open, knowing that it would fall open to the place it was last held open for a long period of time – if it had fallen open on the floor and Jack had read it, it would fall open to that page.
The book fell open, and Mark’s eyes widened as he saw what page it was. And sure enough, it was that page. The page that Mark had written about Jack, just to get it off his mind. He’d written that he’d admired Jack since the day he transferred in their sophomore year, the way he was always so chipper and bright, and the way his ocean-blue eyes sparkled when he was happy. The way he always defended his friends, the fact that he had a decent number of friends, and how he made them so easily.
The page where Mark had written that he was bisexual, and that he definitely had a crush on Jack.
He had never let another human being even touch that notebook, and Jack had just read everything.
He looked up to see Jack’s face getting redder and redder by the second, and he grinned. Yep, Jack was definitely cute.
“Thanks for picking it up for me, Jack,” he said. “I’d better go, I don’t want to be late.”
Jack nodded, not meeting Mark’s eyes. “Sure,” he mumbled. “I’ll see ya ‘round, Mark.”
“See ya,” Mark replied as Jack hurried past him and out into the corridor.
Mark watched him go, and then looked back down at the open notebook, before dog-earing the page and gently closing it. Whether Jack felt the same way or not, the truth was out now.
The next day when Mark was once again hurrying to one of his classes, he bumped into Jack in the hallway. Jack mumbled an apology, but when he saw that it was Mark looking at him, his cheeks seemed to go pink again. Even when Mark apologised in return, the pink tinge didn’t go away, and Mark wasn’t sure whether this was a good or a bad thing.
Unfortunately, Mark had his history exam, and couldn’t stay to talk. But Jack’s adorable, blushing face still haunted his mind.
Oh, boy, Mark thought as he hurried away. That face was not helping his crush in the slightest.
The end of the day finally came, and when Mark finally got home from school, all he did was collapse on his bed.
Why couldn’t he get Jack out of his head? It was messing with his studying. Why did this have to happen in exam week?
He groaned, and got up to take off his jacket. But when he took it off and chucked it on the floor, a wad of paper flew out of one of the pockets. Mark stared at it, confused – he never remembered having a loose piece of paper in his pocket, everything was kept in his notebook.
The notebook that Jack read.
Trying – and, needless to say, failing – to prevent a blushing Jack from entering his mind again, he picked up the piece of paper. It was folded a fair few times, making it tiny. Unfolding it once, he saw writing:
Figured I deserved payback.
Turns out that I probably am the luckiest Irishman in the world. Hopefully.
Park fountain @ 4:30?
Mark gulped, feeling nervous for some reason. He unfolded it, noticing that there were two pages. He sat down on his bed, and began to read.
Well, it’s been a bloody long time since I’ve written in this thing. Ma told me to – something about memories, I wasn’t really listening. I mean, I’m 17. Who the fuck keeps a journal. It’s not like I’m gonna write a biography or anything.
Originally, I wasn’t going to write anything, but something interesting happened today, and I kinda wanna get it down before I forget.
So, I’m bisexual, yeah? Got over that a long time ago. My parents and siblings are supportive, blah blah blah, nothing really interesting there. I’m grateful to them, believe me, but that was four years ago.
So, here in the US, I’m at a new school and I’ve made a bunch of friends. I’m surprised they can handle me – I’m one loud, foul-mouthed motherfucker. And I’m Irish.
But for a while now, there’s one guy here that just keeps getting on my nerves. Not in a bad way, but in the fucking worst way possible. If that makes sense.
It started when I first moved here, in “sophomore year”, as they call it here. My first day of school was fine, a couple of guys took me under their wing and showed me around, it was all good. But then one guy turned up late for class (got called up to the office or something at the end of break), and when I looked up to see who it was, I was blown away.
I had never seen a more gorgeous kid in my entire life. And I didn’t even know his name.
I learnt it pretty quickly, though. Mark. Suits him. Mark Fischbach (think that’s how you spell it, it’s German or some shit like that). I should probably just say that we were both 15 at the time, and holy shit, he was cute. Two years on, and I still think the same thing.
I think he’s Asian on one side, he has that look about him. Slightly darker skin, black hair and eyes, and muscly. Words can’t describe how he looks, but if you saw him you’d know where I was coming from. Seriously, I can’t even think of words right now. And that’s me saying that as an Irishman that never shuts the fuck up.
And I haven’t even spoken three words to the guy, something I really regret, cause he seems really nice. Although, it seems like he’s only got two friends (Bob and Wade, I think?), which is a shame. He could make friends in a heartbeat.
I’m rambling now, but seriously. I never thought a perfect human being was possible until I saw Mark.
See why he gets on my nerves? Because whenever I see him smiling, it takes ages to get him out of my fucking head. Bloody hell, I’m such a mess right now.
But knowing my luck, he’s probably straight. How ironic, I’m an Irishman with the worst luck in the world sometimes. Jesus fuck.
I’m going to stop now, before I go crazy.
Mark stared. Jack thought that he was cute? What? Mark didn’t understand, he was far from cute. Before he could contemplate it too much, he put that page on the bed beside him, and began to read the next page.
I fucked up. I seriously fucked up this time. But in a good way, I hope. Let me start from the beginning.
So, I was in the library today, studying for an exam, but didn’t get much work done – Mark was there too, I spent most of the time staring at him, I’ll admit it. So, the bell went, and Mark and his two friends left straight away, I’m guessing they had an exam to get to, too. But one of Mark’s books dropped on the floor, and he didn’t notice. So I went over and picked it up to give it to him, but when I looked up, he was gone.
So, without thinking, I looked at the page it had fallen open to, and started reading for some reason. I’ve noticed that at random times he opened that notebook and quickly writes something in it, and somehow he’s never gotten caught as far as I know. He always has it with him, and I don’t think his friends have even seen whatever’s in it.
So I started reading what seemed to be a short story, and it was good. And I mean, really good, and I’m not much of a reader. But it ended halfway down the second page, so I turned the page to see if there was any more.
And what was on that page was more than I bargained for.
It was a description of a character. Two, actually. The first one was Mark himself, and he described his appearance and his personality. Then he said that he was bisexual.
I immediately thought, “Oh my fucking god, he’s bi, I have a chance with him!” and I kinda started fanboying. Unashamedly.
So, I kept reading. And the next character description was me.
And holy shit, he got it perfect! He described my appearance and personality perfectly, every tiny little detail. I was astounded. He really paid that much attention to me. Oh my god.
I’ve barely said words to the guy, holy fuck.
And then guess what happened?
He walked in. He saw me reading that page. We talked for a little bit (he didn’t seem angry, thank god) and I know that he knows that I was reading that page.
So, I guess I deserve payback. I’m going to slip him two pages of mine in return. Who knows? I could end up being the damned luckiest Irishman in the world.
And no, I’m not thinking dirty. Shut up!
I can’t even think of words to describe what I’m feeling at the moment. Mark, the guy I’ve been crushing on for two years, likes me back. But how the heck is this going to work? I don’t even know if he wants to be in a relationship, if he’s just… ah, I dunno. Fuck’s sake.
I’m just gonna go now, before I make an even bigger fool of myself.
That was it. Mark sighed and flopped down on the bed, staring at the page. So, that was that. Then he remembered the first note, and flipped the first page over and found it.
Park fountain @ 4:30?
He checked the time on his phone – that left him twenty minutes until he met Jack. If he walked fast enough, he would be a few minutes late at the most.
He grabbed his jacket again and almost raced out of his room, speeding past his brother in the hallway.
“Where are you going?” he asked.
“Out, Tom,” Mark called over his shoulder. “I don’t know when I’ll be back.”
Mark bit his lip nervously as he walked into the park. The fountain was right in the centre of the park, with four benches surrounding it. He saw a figure sitting on one of those benches, side-on to Mark. Mark gathered up his courage, stuffed his hands into his pockets and continued his walk over to him.
As he walked, he saw that the figure was indeed Jack, who sat with his knees drawn up to his chest and staring into the sparkling water.
“Jack?” Mark asked tentatively, and Jack turned to face him, before scrambling to his feet, his cheeks turning pink again.
“Mark!” he said. “Y-you came!” He seemed unsure, and Mark smiled as an attempt to alleviate the tension.
“Of course,” he said softly, feeling his own face heat up slightly. “Why wouldn’t I?”
Jack flushed. “I, uh, I wasn’t sure if you were actually serious or if that was old and you were over it, or if you would actually take my note things seriously or if you would think it was just a prank or if any of this was actually genuine…” he babbled on, seemingly unable to stop, and he looked down at his feet.
Mark put his hands on Jack’s shoulders and his head whipped up. “All of it was serious,” Mark said softly. Mark looked him in the eyes, so Jack would know that he was serious. Jack’s eyes widened and he opened his mouth to say something, before shutting it again and looking away, biting his lip. Mark brought one hand up to cup Jack’s cheek. “And it’s not old. It never has been,” he went on, to fill the silence. “I didn’t really want you to find out this way, I’ll admit, but I suppose I never would have gotten around to telling you anyway, I was so afraid…” he trailed off, distracting himself by running his thumb along Jack’s cheekbone.
Jack smiled, bringing his own hand up to touch Mark’s. “Well, I never really wanted you to find out this way, either, but I guess some things don’t happen the way we want them to.” His smile turned into the crooked grin Mark adored. “Maybe it’s better this way.”
“Maybe it is,” Mark hummed in agreement.
“So, can I just say it out loud before I chicken out? Again?” Jack asked, and Mark smiled.
“Go on,” he said, resisting the urge to kiss him then and there.
Jack took Mark’s hand away from his face, much to Mark’s disappointment, but laced their fingers together. Jack sighed. “I’m not good with words, but I really like ye, Mark, and I always have.” In his nervousness, he seemed to slip into a thicker Irish accent than his usual one, where he seemed to make an effort to sound less Irish so people could understand him. Mark decided he liked Jack’s normal accent. “Ye read it all, I know ye did, and I did too, but I guess I just, ahhhh, fock it.” He mumbled the last part, making Mark smile.
“Trust me,” Mark began with a sheepish smile. “The feeling is completely mutual.”
And because he couldn’t stand just looking at Jack’s adorable, blushing face any longer, he clutched onto Jack’s hoodie and pulled him into a gentle kiss.
And god, Jack’s lips were perfect. In every way.
Jack made a little noise of surprise, almost making Mark giggle as he pulled away again. Jack was staring at him with wide eyes.
“Do you believe me now?” Mark asked gently, smiling.
Jack’s face went bright red, and he coughed in embarrassment, looking down, and Mark did laugh at that.
“Well?” he prompted again, and Jack just brought his head up again and pulled Mark in for another kiss.
And this moment, with the two of them sharing a kiss under the occasional spray of the fountain, erased any stress Mark had been feeling at all over the past week. It made him feel whole, complete, and happy.
It was perfect.
Mark felt that the most nervous he had ever been was when he finished a story, and when he willingly held the notebook out to someone for the first time. The story in question was fiction, but based on true events – the event that had just filled the little part of him that had been missing.
He was silent as Jack read it, occasionally mumbling parts to himself or giggling, but he was always smiling. He couldn’t really stand the wait (it was a rather long story) so he picked up a book and started reading where he left off. But despite reading the words, he wasn’t really taking it all in because he knew that Jack was still reading behind him.
However, not a minute later he heard movement but before he could turn around, arms had already wound their way around his neck and a chin rested on his head. He knew it was Jack – he’d know those arms anywhere. Jack had Mark’s notebook in his hands, and Mark gently took it from him.
Before Mark could ask, Jack had already murmured “I love it” in his ear, and suddenly he was grinning like an idiot.
“Really?” he found himself asking, just for reassurance.
Jack gave it, leaning down and planting a soft kiss on his cheek. “Really! It was great!”
Mark leaned back into Jack’s arms, the latter resting his head on Mark’s shoulder. “Thank you,” Mark replied.
Jack chuckled. “I don’t know what you were nervous about, honestly. It was great. As I’ve mentioned, I’m not an avid reader, but that was actually amazing.”
Mark raised his eyebrows and turned to look at him. “Well, if you don’t read, what do you do during your spare time?”
Jack thought for a moment, smiling. “Eh,” he said. “Mainly play video games.”
Mark grinned. “Always fun.”
Jack laughed, and kissed his forehead. “You should have more confidence in yourself, sometimes, y’know? Because you’re gonna do great things, Mark.” He then pressed his forehead gently to Mark’s.
Mark’s hand wandered up to Jack’s cheek, and they both smiled, making Mark lean in to kiss him, and Jack returned in kind.
That thing that Mark was missing? That thing was Jack, and now he felt whole, like he had never felt before. And that kiss proved it.