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...

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7. Chapter 7

That night, he dreamed so intensely that when he woke up, his whole body was sore, his head was massively dizzy, and he had the biggest morning wood he'd ever gotten in his life. The last part he wasn't sure why – he was pretty sure his dreams were purely emotional, but he couldn't remember the details because they'd been so intense. Sunlight was streaming in powerful glowing rays through the slits in the window blinds, letting him know it was another nice day. The room was uncomfortably hot and he was sweating. His blankets had been kicked to the ground and he realized he was lying sprawled all the way across the bed. His shirt had also disappeared.

Then Haechan caught a wiff of something delicious, like roasted almonds. Curious, he pushed himself up. And realized he wasn't in his own room.

Oh shit! Haechan scrambled around and realized his shirt was underneath him. What is this doing here?! When did it come off?! Then his stomach growled, and he doubled over with a groan as it cramped in longing hunger. Whatever…Rolling off the bed as usual, he crawled over to his duffle bag in the corner and dragged out a change of clothes, then headed into the bathroom for a quick morning shower.

Fifteen minutes later, Haechan headed down the stairs in khaki shorts and a white t-shirt, his hair towel-dried and sticking up everywhere and his morning erection well taken care of. Aside from the television – sounded like a kids show – it was suspiciously quiet, and Haechan stopped to peer cautiously into the kitchen.

Mark was leaning casually against the kitchen island, watching the pot of oatmeal in front of him with hazy eyes, apparently having nothing better to do. His hands were tucked in the same camouflage shorts and he was wearing a white vest hoodie. In the family room beyond, Haechan could see Pororo playing on the television and guessed their siblings were there.

Steeling himself, Haechan slipped into the kitchen. "Hey."

Mark's head jerked up like he'd been pulled from a dream. His eyes widened for a moment, like he'd forgotten Haechan was there, but then he smiled warmly. "Morning. Is oatmeal okay?"

"Sure." Haechan said, ruffling his hair self-consciously. As he sat down in one of the bar stools, he saw that the oven clock read ten-thirty.

Mark grabbed them two bowls and Haechan frowned at the second one as the red-haired boy bent back down to look for spoons.

"You haven't eaten?"

"No, I was waiting for you." Mark stood back up and placed a shiny spoon beside each bowl, then grabbed the pot and poured equal portions of oatmeal for them. "Don't worry," he added in response to Haechan's deepening frown. "I haven't been up that long. It was too hot and I couldn't go back to sleep."

"Yeah, it's getting warm." Haechan agreed off-handedly.

"Sugar?" Mark offered, holding up a jug of sugar cubes.

Haechan shook his head.

"Suit yourself." Shrugging, Mark popped several into his bowl and placed the jug back into the cupboards, then took a seat beside Haechan.

"When did Haneul wake up?" Haechan said, still feeling a little sluggish. As if on cue, he heard a spurt of laughter from the living room.

"After I came downstairs, they wandered down." Mark replied.

"Oh." Haechan said, and decided to concentrate on not burning his tongue.

After breakfast, they washed the dishes and Mark brought orange juice for their siblings. Haechan borrowed the blow dryer for a minute to dry up the rest of his hair, and while he was upstairs he packed their things back into his duffel bag. Returning downstairs, he prepared himself to suggest leaving, but the moment he walked into the kitchen, Haneul jumped up to him and gave him a hug.

"Good morning oppa!"

"Morning." Haechan said, a little warily. Haneul was rarely this sweet unless she wanted something.

Haneul looked up at him with wide brown eyes. "You're such a good brother. We should show Mark and Timmy around town!"

So that's it. Annoyed, Haechan nudged her forehead with his finger. "Silly, there's nothing to show."

"Yeah there is!" Haneul said indignantly, pulling away from him and crossing her arms with a pout. "We can go swimming!"

"Haneul, you don't even like swimming." Haechan pointed out irritably.

"Yes I do!" Haneul squealed indignantly, squeezing her unicorn.

Haechan sighed and opened his mouth, then sighed again and gave Mark a look.

Mark, snapping out of his daze again, gave him a smile. "Why not?"

Timmy's eyes widened and he hurriedly gulped the rest of his orange juice, gasping. "Yes please!" He said excitedly. "I haven't gone swimming in ages!"

Looking helplessly at the eager faces in front of him, Haechan slumped defeatedly against the wall and looked up at the ceiling. "I have to get our swimming suits. And we'll have to walk there…"

"No problem." Mark said, patting his pocket. "Why don't you head back to your house to ask your parents and get your stuff? I'll take care of Haneul. We can meet up in front of your house."

Haechan gave him a look, then gave Haneul a look. "Are you sure?" He said skeptically.

"I'll make sure she behaves herself!" Timmy boasted, trying to flex his little arms.

Mark chuckled. "I'll take good care of her."

"Yeah," Haneul added.

Haechan bit his lip, then picked his duffel bag up and slid the strap over his shoulder. "Alright, I'll be quick. Jeez…" he shook his head. "You guys." He headed out the door, pulling it shut to the sound of their laughter.

......................

 

"Mmm, the smell of chlorine."

Haechan stopped short and gave Mark an incredulous look, but the boy just looked back and grinned.

"What? I used to work out at the pool back in Canada. It was one of the most luxurious places in town." He stopped at the end of the hall, looking between the three doors. "So uh, which one?"

"We need to go into the family change rooms." Haechan said, tugging Haneul closer to him as a middle-aged couple squeezed past them into the door in front. "You guys can go to the male change rooms if you don't mind."

"Let's go together," Timmy spoke up, grabbing Haneul's hand.

"Yeah, I might get lost." Mark laughed. "Wouldn't want to lose me, would you Haechan?"

Haechan flushed and pushed ahead. "Yeah, right…"

They were lucky – Sunday afternoons at the pool were busy, but they only had to wait about three minutes before a room became free. Once inside, Haechan busied himself helping Haneul into her bathing suit, doing his best to ignore the fact that Mark had stripped his clothes before helping Timmy tighten his swim trunks. By the time Haneul had finished fussing and was wrapped snugly in a towel, Haechan straightened to realize that everybody was ready to go but him. He blinked, surprised.

Mark smiled, a dark twinkle in his eyes. "Come on. Did you forget your trunks?"

"Please, I already changed in the house." Haechan replied nimbly, slipping his shirt over his head with one fluid motion and stuffing it into his gym bag. "Ready to go in less than a second." He bragged, telling himself that Mark's eyes weren't lingering a little too long on his body. It was soccer season, he couldn't be that out of shape…

To be honest, Haechan hadn't expected the pool to be fun at all. Because Haneul was so scared of water, whenever he went with her he ended up following her around in knee-high water, lifting her out of the wave pool whenever the waves came and watching her splash around in the baby pool. And it wasn't as though she didn't know how to float – she'd taken some beginner swimming lessons – but she simply did not like the waves. Even so, this time around he was surprised. As usual she demanded to be pulled out of the wave pool when the beeping signal warned about incoming waves, but Timmy stayed. The little boy was an awesome swimmer, despite his age – he darted about in the water like a little fish, joyfully attacking the waves head-on. Haneul watched wide-eyed from the baby pool – and twenty minutes later they were jumping around in the waves together.

"Amazing, she never believed me when I said it wasn't scary." Haechan sighed, wincing as the water slammed into him from where he was sitting in the shallow end, keeping an eye on Haneul. She'd climbed onto fake rescue boat nearby and was shooting water at everybody. He couldn't help but glance again at Timmy, a little red dot in the distance. "How old is your brother, anyway? He swims like a pro."

Mark chuckled, wiping water from his face and flipping back his bangs. "He's already eight, he's just small for his age."

Haechan looked back at Haneul. "My sister's six and she only knows how to doggy paddle. He's still really awesome." He was about to look at Mark, but thought better of it and pretended he was concentrating on his sister's safety.

"He's just energetic." Mark replied modestly. "Hey come on Haechan, I'm tired of sitting here."

Haechan chuckled, about to comment when he was pushed roughly forward. Falling on his hands and knees, he was promptly hit with a blast of chlorinated water and it took him a couple seconds to recover. Then he swiped his dripping hair out of his face and lunged at Mark, dragging the grinning boy down and locking their limbs together, drowning in the fierce waves together until a sharp whistle sounded and a lifeguard told them to stop being idiots.

As Mark sat up Haechan became aware that their skin was touching everywhere – at which point he scrambled backwards and turned away, searching frantically for Haneul even though the waves had subsided by now. Then he distinctly heard the sloshing of water as Mark stood up and turned back, but the boy was walking away already.

"I need the bathroom." He called apologetically over his shoulder, hands in the pockets of his swim trunks. "Watch Timmy for me alright?"

"O-Okay." Haechan said, too surprised to be over thinking it.

...........................

 

Mark returned after five minutes and they stayed at the pool for another hour before Haneul started complaining that her skin was getting wrinkly. They waited fifteen minutes before a family change room became available, and by then it was nearly two o'clock and Haechan was too hungry to care about getting naked in front of Mark. Timmy and Mark showered first, and Haechan helped Haneul out of her swimming suit while they were waiting. Deciding it would be more convenient, he stripped too and packed up all their wet stuff, wrapping a towel around his waist just before Timmy and Mark came out.

"Your turn." Timmy chirped, heading over and rummaging their bag in search of clothes.

"Thanks." Haechan turned respectfully away from Mark, wishing the boy had thought to bring a towel with him, and carried Haneul around to the shower. They took a little longer because he had to wash Haneul's hair or it'd become dry and knot, but within fifteen minutes they were packed up and out on the streets in search of food.

Mark had been thought to bring a soccer ball, so they headed up to the park across from their school, where they ate lunch at a Japadog stand. Then, out of habit, Haechan led them to the soccer field at the center of the track where he usually trained with the district team, and they played there for a good couple hours. They teamed up with their siblings and took turns being on defense – kicking being one of the only things Haneul was good at. Then, when the little kids were tired, Haechan and Mark had a go at each other. They ended up wrestling more than kicking the ball, even though Haechan wasn't a wrestling kind of guy. For some reason, it just felt natural to be pinning each other to the ground.

By five-thirty they were so hot and sweaty that they couldn't go on. They cooled down at the spray park, then watched their siblings romp at the playground for another hour before Haechan stood up and announced that he wanted dinner. They took a five-minute bus to a nearby Red Robins, where Mark received lots of attention, then returned to the park where they sat by the lake to cool off and watch the darkening sky.

"I've never stayed out so long with Haneul before." Haechan said wearily, sitting back against the bench. It was situated on the quiet side of the lake, facing the sunset. "My parents must be having the weekend of their lives." Haneul and Timmy were plucking flowers and coaxing ducks towards them near the grassy shore, and Mark was sitting beside him. The only thing between them was the soccer ball.

"I'm having the weekend of my life."

Haechan glanced over to see Mark smiling softly into the distance, the sunset warming his golden skin and turning his hair to dark flames. Mark noticed and looked back, smile broadening. Haechan couldn't help but turn his gaze off to the side a little.

"Yeah, it was fun." His cheeks felt embarrassingly warm.

Mark chuckled, and Haechan felt his face flush deepen. "It's never like this in Canada…" He placed his hand on the soccer ball as he gazed at the sun's reflection on the lake, his finger tips millimeters from Haechan's arm. "Today made me really glad that I came here."

Haechan glanced back and was promptly captivated by Mark's eyes, turned a hazy blend of brown and hazel in the burning light. Mark's lips were slightly parted, smiling slightly at the ends.

"…Thanks, Haechan…"

Something brushed his arm. Haechan swallowed. Mark's lips… looked soft…

"…Haechan…?"

"Oppa!" Haneul's squeal pierced his head painfully and Haechan blinked, startled to find himself leaning towards Mark. Shocked, he got off the bench and opened his arms for his sister just in time, grimacing as Haneul leapt into his arms and buried her face in his thigh.

"I'm tired, I want to go home!"

"Aw," Timmy trailed behind in protest. "But I want to play…" He trailed off with a yawn.

"Sure, we're neighbors, we can always visit each other." Mark's voice was bright, but when Haechan glanced over he could see a troubled expression on the boy's handsome face. It was rare for Mark to look bothered – but then again, bothered was an understatement. For Haechan, he was inutter horror and confusion. What had just happened? What would have happened if Haneul hadn't interrupted? He tried to imagine it and mentally freaked out, not realizing that it showed on his face until Haneul gave him an odd look.

"Haechan you look funny."

"I know I do, I'm a funny guy." Haechan replied dazedly, grabbing her hand. "Come on, let's go home."

"Yeah," Mark said detachedly, stuffing the soccer ball into his bag before following after them, calling for Timmy to stop running.

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