Canadian boy

Haechan is popular soccer captain, who is in love with Hana for nearly all his life. But when a new transfer student came and wins Hana's heart... Haechan decides that Mark is his new enemy. But, Haechan's heart doesn't seem to get that...


6. Chapter 6

They took their time unpacking, taking two hours just to empty one box in the living room. Every time Haechan came across some interesting ornament – and there were lots – he asked Mark about it, and Mark would patiently tell the story behind the souvenir. Because they never ran out of things to talk and laugh about, time passed so quickly that they didn't realize how late it was until Timmy jumped Mark and knocked him to the ground.

"Oh jeez," Mark grunted as he pulled his brother off. Haechan, who had been sorting several books into piles, looked up to see his sister wandering meekly over, rubbing her eyes.

"I'm hungry!" Timmy announced, grabbing Mark's head and climbing over in an attempt to kiss his brother's forehead.

"Alright, alright!" Mark said exasperatedly, grabbing Timmy's arms and slamming him onto the sofa. Squealing in delight, Timmy turned and launched himself at Mark, who scrambled to his feet and ran towards the kitchen, Timmy in close pursuit.

"Oppa, I'm hungry too."

Haechan looked over distractedly as Haneul dragged herself sluggishly onto him, pulling the hood of his sweater. "Yeah, I know." He said, lifting her up with a huff and heading towards the kitchen too. "Don't rub your eyes, did you wash your hands?"

Haneul whined and kicked, and he set her down.

"Looks like she's tired," Mark said lightheartedly, looking through the Italian restaurant menu thinking what to order for dinner. Timmy was dragging a cup of salad out of the fridge.

"Yeah, I think we should head home," Haechan said, half-reluctant and half-relieved. "Thanks for having us over."

Mark's eyes lit up in alarm. "Wait, why don't you stay for dinner? Are your parents coming home?"

"They aren't coming anytime soon." Haechan said dryly. "But we've been here long enough, I think it's time to go home –"

"I wanna have a sleepover!" Haneul exclaimed suddenly, grabbing his hand. Timmy turned, threw the cup of salad on the counter and jumped up and down.

"Yeah!" He shouted.

"Haneul, you've played all day!" Haechan said in dismay, annoyed by the fact that Mark was grinning. "We have to go home. Like seriously."

"No, I want a sleepover!" Haneul stomped her feet and crossed her arms, puffing her cheeks in a pout as she glared at him. "I bet Mommy would say yes."

She probably would, she doesn't care. Haechan gritted his teeth. "Haneul…"

Haneul glared at him a while longer, and when he didn't move, her lips trembled, and she started wailing.

"It's fine with me, you know," Mark said sheepishly, as Haechan clasped his hands over his ears. "If your parents are okay with it, I don't see why not."

Haechan turned to give Mark a glare too, but Mark just smiled hopefully. With an annoyed growl, he closed his eyes and said loudly, "Fine! Just let me phone Mom!"

"Yay!" Haneul and Timmy cheered in unison.

"Is pasta okay?" Mark said, grinning broadly.

Haechan gave him an accusing look. "You're happy about this, aren't you?"

Mark just laughed and turned, busying himself with ordering pasta. "Phone your parents and ask."

Sighing, Haechan pulled out his cell phone and walked into the other room, where it was less noisy. He speed-dialed his mom's number and waited for fifteen seconds before she picked up. As expected, she said yes, it was totally fine, and told him they had chicken in the fridge if he wanted to bring it over. Before she could run on to a list of what to bring, Haechan hastily said okay, thanks, love you, bye, and hung up. He walked back into the kitchen to see Timmy and Haneul sharing a giant cup of orange juice and cleared his throat to catch Mark's attention.

"What'd they say?" Mark turned briefly.

"She said sure, but I have to go back and get some stuff," Haechan said, stuffing his hands in his pockets and checking that his keys were still there. "Can you watch Haneul for me while I'm gone? I'll be quick."

"Yeah, sure," Mark said, brown eyes glowing with excitement. "They aren't much trouble when they're together."

Haechan gave the two another glance. "Yeah." He agreed, backing out of the kitchen. "What about your front door?"

"Eh, just leave it unlocked. You'll be quick, right?" Mark grinned. "Come back soon, Haechan."

"Thanks for the pressure." Haechan called sarcastically, and he walked out with Mark's laughter echoing in his ears. Jogging back to his house, Haechan quickly picked up Haneul's pajamas, towel, toothbrush, and stuffed unicorn, heading to his room and filling up the rest of his mini-duffel bag with his own stuff. Next he searched his pantry and found a bag of chips, then headed for the door and promptly remembered to feed the goldfish. After running through a quick mental check-list, Haechan went back out, locked the house, and ran next door.

He'd only been gone for eighteen minutes or so but as he walked in he could already catch the delicious tang of creamy tomato sauce. Peeking into the kitchen, he saw Mark leaning casually against the counter, talking to their siblings and laughing when Haneul said something indignantly. Feeling warm, Haechan paused for a moment and thought a little bit about what he was seeing. He was about to sleep over with the hot transfer student from Canada, who also happened to befriend his best friend, who also happened to play soccer, who also happened to be his neighbor… and what the hell? Was fate doing something because he'd been such a douchebag to Mark on their first day?

"What're you doing standing out there?" Mark called, and Haechan blinked and remembered to smile as he realized he'd been caught. Heading in, he placed the duffel bag in a corner on the kitchen floor and tossed the stuffed unicorn to Haneul, who grabbed it with a happy giggle.

"Thanks Oppa!" She said, and Haechan gave her a brief nod of acknowledgment.

"I brought chips, for later," Haechan said, placing the bag of Ruffles on the counter.

"Awesome, we don't have many snacks yet." Mark grinned at him. "I was craving junk food so badly that if it weren't for your sister, I'd kiss you."

Haechan stared at him for a second before he caught the fact that it was a joke – then, embarrassed, he laughed loudly and then stopped and cleared his throat. "Uh, I'll set the table."

Within an efficient five minutes, Haechan had all the plates and forks on the table and successfully lured their siblings into their seats. Mark came by with the steaming pot of spaghetti and placed it in the center. He filled all of their plates and as he came around to Timmy, the little boy took a deep breath and exclaimed,

"I love spaghetti!"

Chuckling, Mark took his seat next to Haechan and for a couple minutes they ate in semi-awkward silence. Then Timmy started up a conversation by saying his hair looked like spaghetti, and the awkwardness never came back. Everybody helped in cleaning up, Haneul volunteering to press the buttons on the dishwasher, and by the time they were done in the kitchen it was well past seven o'clock. Mark and Haechan watched television for a short hour while Timmy and Haneul coloured in the den, then at eight, once the episode of Running Man was over, Mark told them it was time to shower.

"I want to shower together!" Haneul said.

"Boys and girls don't shower together," Haechan began to explain, but Mark just shrugged and said,

"Why not."

When Haechan shot him a look, Mark laughed and gave him a small shove.

"Loosen up, they're just kids." He said, ruffling Timmy's long hair, which was starting to become frizzy. "Didn't you and Hana shower together when you were kids?"

It was the first mention of Hana for a long time and it jerked Haechan out of his happy-go-lucky trance. At first he flinched – then he recovered and sighed and gave Haneul a nod.

"I'll go get your clothes, and Uncle Mark will show you guys to the bathroom."

"Uncle?" Mark raised an eyebrow.

"It's because you're old," Haechan said with a grin.

"Oh, I'm gonna get you for that." Mark laughed as he turned to follow the little kids up the stairs. "You better watch out, Haechan!"

Their siblings ended up taking half an hour in the bathtub, playing with Timmy's action figures. Haneul, who usually had her bath right before bed, came out drowsy and grumpy, so Haechan asked Mark where she could sleep.

"She can sleep with me!" Timmy said brightly. "My new bed is big!" He held out his arms wide in an emphasis.

"She's a fidgety sleeper though, you don't mind?" Haechan warned, grinning at the little boy's enthusiasm.

"Not at all, she can have the covers because it's warm here!" Timmy said, pulling Haneul's arm away from her eyes and tugging her down the hall.

"I've never seen Timmy so eager to go to bed," Mark commented, as Haechan tucked his sister into bed and Timmy followed suit, crawling under the covers and blinking up at them with wide eyes.

"You gonna be okay here?" Haechan asked, handing Haneul her stuffed unicorn. She yawned, and hugged the plushie close and nodded her head.

"Don't worry, I'll make sure she sleeps." Timmy made a stern face and Mark laughed.

"Make sure you sleep," Mark said, pinching his brother's nose. "Haechan and I are gonna head to my room, if anything happens call okay? Good night guys."

"Night," Haechan echoed, following Mark out the door. "Er, am I sleeping with you?" He asked awkwardly, as Mark gestured for him to come into the next room.

"Well, yeah, that's the whole point of a sleepover." Mark said, raising an eyebrow. "That's how they do things here too, right? Don't worry, I have extra blankets. We won't have to share." He laughed. "It's early, I have an Xbox and a Wii in my room."

"Nice, really?" Haechan exclaimed, all else forgotten. "What games do you have?"

Mark chuckled as Haechan squished past him through the doorway, shutting the door until only a crack was left.

"I don't feel like zombies right now," Haechan said, immersing himself in the small box of game discs in front of a brand-new, thirty-inch television. "Hey Mark, are you rich? You have so much stuff."

Mark shrugged. "We get by with a bit of luxury."

"Hey, you have the new version of Smash Bros!" Haechan said happily, holding up a disc. "This was my childhood."

Mark laughed. "Same."

Haechan grinned, shooting him a side-ways look. "Bet I could crush you."

"Deal, winner gets the bigger blanket," Mark replied smoothly, pulling another box towards him and reaching for the Wii console.

They played for over three hours – Haechan won the first three games, then lost three in a row and promptly raged, changing his character every time for the next five games while Mark just smiled and watched his Pikachu kick ass. In the end Haechan got a neck cramp and ended up on the floor for a minute, after which Mark shut the Wii down.

"One more, winner takes all," Haechan begged.

"Nope, I win fair and square." Mark grinned smugly. He opened the closet and as he reached up to pull another quilt from the top shelf, Haechan tackled him, bowling him flat onto the bed. Laughing as the blanket followed and tangled them up, Mark emerged first and pinned Haechan under the sheets, growling playfully. "Oh you're on."

Under the sheets it was stifling hot and Haechan could barely move with Mark's weight on top. He squirmed out the side, lifting the sheets up and throwing it over in an attempt to smother Mark. Mark dodged and grabbed Haechan from the side, squishing him into the mattress, laughing as Haechan struggled underneath him.

"Okay I give up!"

"Already?" Mark straightened with a grin and Haechan rose instantly, reversing their positions and pinning Mark down by the shoulders.

"Just kidding." Haechan gloated, but then he realized Mark wasn't struggling and glanced down to see the boy staring at him dazedly. He suddenly became aware of the fact that Mark's shirt had been pulled up from the struggle and his warm, hard body was pressing against Haechan's abdomen. For a moment he was frozen, not sure how to react, and they stayed like that, awkwardly. Then he let go and turned around, sliding off the bed. "I get to shower first then." He said in an offhandedly bright voice.

"That's cheating." Mark protested as Haechan fetched his clothes from his bag.

Haechan turned and gave him a dark grin. "Who said there were rules? Don't worry, I'll try to leave you some hot water." He winked and Mark's expression eased into a smile. Then Haechan turned quickly and went into the bathroom to hide his surfacing panic.

Even so, the hot water's calming effects cleared his head and by the time Haechan was done, changed into an old soccer shirt and shorts, he had already forgotten most of what happened.

"Shower's ready." He announced, tucking his towel and old clothes carefully into his bag.

"Okay. I'm taking the left side, make yourself at home." Mark said, picking up a fresh pair of boxers on his way to the bathroom.

Haechan glanced at the clock on the bedside table, under a lamp with light blue shades. The numbers blinked 11:25 – a little earlier than he was used too, but then again, he was tired from packing and sore from yesterday's training – and three hours of sitting hadn't helped. He climbed into the right side under the thin quilt, propped the pillow up, and sat checking his cell phone. He'd neglected it for a while – there were about a dozen missed texts and a missed call from Hana. Areum had texted him asking if he wanted to go for ice cream with the cheerleaders after their game on Tuesday. Mika texted him three times – the first asking if section 5.4 in their Chemistry textbook was due, the second asking if section 5.5 was due, the third telling him never mind because she finished it anyway. One was from Mr. Park, telling him to see him at lunch on Monday because he wanted to talk about the new recruit – that meant Mark. Sighing, Haechan replied them all before checking Hana's thread.

Good morning Haechan~

Oh wow it's such a nice day today, are you busy with anything?

~ Metrotown with Areum and Sora. You seem busy, what's up?

Do u have Mark's #?

Did u go to Mars or something? Eating at SushiTown… bumped into Jeno and Mika's twin bro, ended up eating with them. You'd think it'd be awkward but he's not that bad today.

Going to sleep, night Haechan!

Haechan blinked, aware that the sound of rushing water had stopped. He sent her a quick, Sorry, sweet dreams princess, then put his phone on the counter. A couple seconds later the bathroom door opened and Mark stepped out, completely naked except for a pair of dark red boxers and a towel around his shoulders.

"Did you forget your clothes?" Haechan said, grinning.

Mark gave him an odd look. "No, I sleep like this."

Haechan felt his smile disappear. "Bro, we're sharing a bed." He said slowly.

Mark gave him a quizzical smile. "Are you saying you mind? We have separate sheets." He ruffled his hair with the towel and tossed it into the laundry bin.

Haechan cast him a brief glance, then tore his eyes away and promptly turned the lamp off, throwing the room into darkness."Yeah, a little." He admitted, annoyed. "It's not even that hot."

"Really? It is to me." Mark said in bemusement, getting on the bed, and Haechan cringed as he felt the mattress shift.

"Right, Canadian boy." Haechan muttered, more to himself than anything, but Mark laughed.

"And I guess you lived here all your life?"

"Pretty much." Haechan said, closing his eyes. It became quiet and in the silence he could hear Mark breathing. It wasn't like he expected to be able to sleep or anything – besides, he was too tense to even move. It was probably his imagination, but he thought he could feel the warmth from Mark's body seep through the blankets. Then he heard Mark sighed and opened his eyes briefly, glancing at him. "Something on your mind?" He said, trying to act casual.

"Yeah." Mark stared at the ceiling thoughtfully. "I was admiring how well you deal with girls."

"Hah!" Haechan couldn't help but laugh. "It comes with time."

"Don't people laugh at you for being so friendly with them?" Mark said, sounding reluctant. "I mean, not to say I find it weird or anything –"

"Please," Haechan scoffed. "They've got nothing on me." He laughed to show he was joking, and Mark smiled hesitantly.

"You really have a lot of patience and self-control, to be able to stay next to Hana all this time."

Haechan felt himself stiffen. "Well, there's nothing I can do." He said, forcing himself to shrug.

Mark tilted his head back and sighed heavily. "If I were you, I would have grabbed her and kissed her and told her I loved her a long time ago."

"And what," Haechan laughed shakily. "She'd be like, 'I like you too, we're good friends right?' Then what?"

Mark was silent for a while, and Haechan took a trembling breath and swallowed past the tightness in his throat. He turned away, pulling the blankets up to his chin even though it was warm in the room.

"Actually, Jeno told her that I liked her already." He said finally.

"What?" There was loud rustling as Mark sat up. "What'd she say?"

"She was betrayed, so I assured her he was exaggerating, I said we were good friends and that was it." Haechan grimaced.

"Goddamnit Haechan." Mark sounded pained and Haechan turned his head.

"What're you sounding beat up for?" He said grumpily.

"It's just… really frustrating." Mark held his head in his hands and groaned. "Trying to act like friends when you want more."

Haechan eyed him warily. "Hey, when Sora asked you if you'd ever done it with a girl you didn't reply." He said, changing the topic.

Mark looked up and gave him a wry smile. "I didn't want to make a big fuss. Besides, it was none of her business."

Haechan stared at him. "Wait –" He blinked, speechless, and tried again. "You mean you actually… holy…." For a moment the image of Mark, his hard body lit with dim lamplight, holding the soft, smooth body of a young woman flashed into his mind and he shook his head to get rid of it.

"Oh come on, I did some stuff with my ex-girlfriend, but we didn't go all the way," Mark cringed. "And what's the big fuss? She was three years older than me."

"No! I'm just…" Haechan grinned. "What was it like?"

Mark gave him a look. "Are you seriously going to ask me to tell you about it?"

"Well, I'm curious," Haechan said defensively. "I haven't even kissed anyone yet."

Mark stared at him. "Really."

Haechan raised an eyebrow. "Yeah, I'm a good boy. Just because I'm surrounded by girls doesn't mean I do what I want with them."

Mark turned away with a smirk and Haechan turned towards him, suspicious.

"Now what's with that creepy smile?"

Mark grinned and turned his face so that his lips were inches away from Haechan's mouth. He blew hot air over his lips, causing Haechan to turn a deep shade of red. Out of instinct, Haechan opened his mouth slightly.

"Nothing." Mark chuckled, leaning back on his shoulders. The summer moonlight streaming through the half-open blinds lit his shadowed body in bright slits, the dark russet of his hair turning a glittering bronze. He glanced over and for a moment his brown eyes were caught in the light. Then he smiled, and Haechan realized he'd been staring.

"Do you want me to put some clothes on?" Mark said softly, eyes darkening.

"I…It's fine." Haechan muttered, looking away but stealing another glance. "Oh by the way, Coach wants to talk to me at lunch on Monday about you. We have a game on Tuesday, it's an easy win but I have a feeling that's what it's about." He rambled, struggling to focus on something normal. Shit, I'm hard… what the hell, why? Was it because of earlier?

Mark rolled over onto his stomach, closer to Haechan, who flinched away. "An easy game?" He said curiously. "What are the standings right now?"

"We've won everything in Districts so far, we have two more games including this one and then we can go to the City Showcase Tournament." Haechan explained. "But we have to beat our nemesis, that's our last game. It's the Tuesday after this one. We lost last year and ended up not being able to go to provincials." He curled his fist at the memory. "It was a close game too."

"Well, we'll win this year," Mark said, reaching his hand over. Haechan flinched, but Mark just gave him a pat on the chest.

"Yeah." Haechan sighed, turning and promptly bumping into Mark. "Oh, sorry –"

"No, it's fine," Mark said quietly, grabbing his arm tightly.

Haechan pulled his arm away. "Uh…"

Mark's blinked and sat up suddenly. "Sorry," he laughed a little nervously, ruffling his hair. "Excuse me for a sec." He slid off the mattress and went straight into the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

Haechan stared at the closed door for a moment, then sighed in relief and thought of spiders. His little one calmed down immediately and he rolled over onto his left shoulder, a habit he'd developed a long time ago, and tried to sleep.

It was peaceful for a couple of minutes, that he actually fell asleep – for about a couple seconds anyway, before his phone vibrated with an incoming call and he reached for it drowsily, forgetting he was in Mark's house.

"Hello?" Haechan sighed, closing his eyes again.

"Haechan? Sorry did I wake you? I didn't think you'd be asleep yet." Hana said anxiously.

"No, it's fine. I'm at… uh…" Haechan trailed off, thinking it wouldn't be the best idea to say he was sleeping over with the guy she liked without asking him about – oh yeah, he was supposed to set up a date…

"At? Are you over at Sora's house again?" Hana's voice turned a little sharp.

"No, it's nothing," Haechan assured her, about to ask her what kind of date she'd prefer when Mark walked out of the bathroom.

"Sorry – oh, sorry," Mark repeated awkwardly when Haechan turned to glance at him.

"Who was that?" Hana said curiously, and Haechan grimaced.

"It's Mark. I'm at his house. Trying to, you know… keep my promise." He lied, struggling to keep his eyes off Mark's toned body as the boy pulled open the sheets and stared at the mattress for a while.

"It's so hot." Mark sighed. "Who's calling?"

"Hana." Haechan said, at the same time she squealed.

"Oooh, can I talk to him?"

Haechan held out his phone reluctantly. "She wants to talk to you."

Mark made a face that looked like a mixture of annoyance and hurt but quickly struggled to smile as he took the phone. "Hey, Hana." He began casually. "What're you doing up so late?"

Haechan lay back down on his pillow with a heavy sigh, wondering briefly if the spaghetti had kept Mark in the bathroom – because if it had, then he was worried about his own stomach. It wasn't exactly the most resilient.

They talked for a while and he tried to tune them out, feeling pangs when he caught bits of Hana's excited voice. Then Mark turned to speak to him and he knew he couldn't pretend to be asleep because he was having a hard time wiping the frown off his face.

"Haechan she asked me to the movies. Please get me out of this, come with us." Mark whisper-begged.

Haechan stared at him, then reluctantly took the phone back. "Hey, Hana? Mark says he's not comfortable going alone, why don't I bring Sora and come along." He winked. "It'll be like a double-date."

"Why Sora?" Hana said, obviously irked. "What about Renjun and Mika? They're a legit couple, maybe it'll rub off on us."

"Don't worry," Haechan said, biting his bright words off bitterly. "Sora and I can be a way more lovey-dovey than those two, if that's what you want."

"…Well…" Hana said quietly. "I didn't mean to ask you to do anything with Sora…"

"Why not? We all know she has a crush on me." Haechan forced himself to laugh. "Well she has a crush on a dozen other boys, but we all know I'm the best."

Hana laughed hesitantly. "If… If you don't mind, then. Thanks. Can I speak to Mark again?" She asked.

Haechan gritted his teeth. "Uh, he went to the bathroom. Why don't I tell him goodnight for you? We're tired, and we want to sleep… if you get what I mean." He laughed again and Hana joined in, but it was only brief.

"Okay. Thanks Haechan! Good night."

"Sweet dreams Hana," Haechan replied softly, shutting his phone off. He stared at it for a moment, then threw it against the pillow with a frustrated growl. "Damnit!"

Mark gave him a helpless look. "Haechan, I'm sorry –"

Haechan collapsed on the pillow, grabbed his iPod from the bedside table, and plugged the earbuds in. "It's not your fault." He muttered, shutting his eyes and letting the music sweep his tortured rage away.

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