pairing: mark lee x reader
inspo: 1999 - charli xcx, troye sivan
word count: 2.6k
author’s note: hi! i hope you are doing well and are healthy. this is my first long writing piece so i hope you enjoy! just to let you know there is going to be a part 2 to this. i wrote this while binge watching ghibli movies so i apologise for any errors. ♥ ♥
The familiar outline of your childhood house came into view and you smile to yourself, your thumb tapping the car wheel in excitement. The grass in your front yard looked greener than you remember and the patio furniture was definitely new. Your mother had most likely gotten rid of the old garden chairs that had a wired design. Your family would sit on them during some sunny Sunday mornings and enjoy breakfast. They were replaced by more comfier white armchairs arranged around a glass table. They complemented the patio more and matched with the white wooden decking that outlined the patio. Your mother had an eye for aesthetics and you really did admire her for that. Maybe that’s where you got your skills to pay attention to the smallest of details, which your boss was extremely thankful for. “Honestly, I don’t know what we’d do without.” She’d say every time you’d point out an error.
You pull up into your driveway, two cars already parked there. The black one belonging to your dad and the red one belonging to your older sister, which meant she was home too. You didn’t own your own car, not that you didn’t have the money, you’d just use a company car instead and saved time trying to fill out mileage forms and all. Your job required you to travel a lot so you just used taxis and other forms of public transport. Having your own car and worrying about parking spaces in a huge city brought unnecessary stress, and you didn’t need that no matter how well you could deal with it. You’d rented a car to drive from the airport to your home. Of course, it meant that you would have to drive it back to the airport, to return it but you didn’t need to think about that just yet.
You collect your belongings from the car, deciding to take out your suitcases later once you’d greeted your family. You hadn’t seen them in years and you were sure that your nephew had probably grown up quite a lot over the years. You snap up the visors of the car closed and step out, slipping your phone in the back pocket of your blue jeans and the grey handbag in your hand secured on your arm. You closed the car door, as gently as you could, not to draw attention since you hadn’t exactly told your parents you were coming. They had called the night before to break the news of your sister expecting another baby. Of course they saw the suitcases but automatically assumed it was in relation to your job. You walk up the path that was lined up with small flower bushes on each side and up the stairs leading to the front door. Smiling to yourself and thinking about how your mother continued to look after her beautiful garden, despite her old age. You press the bell and wait. The familiar silhouette of your mother’s figure could be seen through the frosted glass.
“Coming!” She exclaimed almost at the door before opening it. Her eyes grow wide as her mouth opens to form a sentence but she is unable to, so she pulls you into a tight hug. You melt into your mother’s arms just like you used to when you were a little kid. “Oh (y/n), I missed you so much.” She squeezes you softly in her arms and you swear you nearly started crying when you heard her voice in person. You missed her. God, you missed her so much. You missed your dad. You missed your sister, despite the constant teasing. You missed your friends. You missed the memories you made here during your childhood. You missed home. Sure, it was nice back in Seoul, you had your own place but it was so lonely in such a large apartment. On top of that, you didn’t have many friends outside of work since you had to regularly travel and your life basically revolved around your job. This also meant you didn’t have any time for relationships, although that you did date a boy in one of your classes back in uni, but that only lasted a couple of weeks since you two didn’t really spend much time together. On the other hand, your sister had found herself a guy, who was in the same profession as your dad, only a couple of months after she started to work as a nurse and they began dating. Since he worked in a hospital under your father, when the time came and your sister’s boyfriend asked for your sister to become his wife, your father had no objections. The wedding date was set shortly after and you booked a flight home the second the news got round to you. She had allocated you to be her maid of honour and your cousins as the other bridesmaids. The wedding was beautiful and your sister looked stunning in her white, floor length bridal gown. You slightly envied your sister, she had a husband who made enough so that she didn’t have to work much, though she continued to work on weekends. She had a son and another on the way. She pretty much had everything figured out and was happy with her life.
“Mum, who is it?” You heard your sister call out from the kitchen. Your mother let you go and gestured to you to come in, asking about your luggage.
“It’s in the car, I’ll get it in a second. Where’s dad and (y/s/n)?” You closed the front door behind you and walked down the hallway to the kitchen. You poke your head into the kitchen, where you dad, sister and nephew were seated around the oak dining table.
Your dad was the first to notice you as he looked up front his newspaper, his reading glasses resting on his nose. “(y/n)?” The tone in his voice sounds rather surprised and he had every right to be surprised, his daughter was home and not miles away in a different country.
You set your bag on the kitchen countertop before making your way to your dad. You give him a half hug as he’s still seated in his chair and he pats your back. “Good to see me in person, rather than through a phone screen, right?”
“Yeah.” He replies with a warm smile he still wore after so many years.
Then you turn to your sister and nephew who were seated on the opposite side of the table from your father. She smiles at you too and your nephew bounces out of his chair to run to you. “Auntie (y/n)!”
“How was my little trouble maker?” You pick him up and hug him too.
“Mum made me a yummy sandwich and then she said I can watch cartoons when I’m finished.” he points to his plate on the table and explains.
“Well, I’ll let you do just that then, shall I?” You place him back down, no longer being able to hold him for more than 3 minutes. He’d definitely grown and so did his energy. He quickly sprints back to his chair the moment his feet touched the ground. You greet your sister too and your mother urges you to take a seat as she fixes you a meal too. She tuts and shakes her head when you confess that you had only had a cup of coffee this morning when you left. She complains how skinny you have gotten over the years. You laugh it off saying that you missed her cooking and you will eat more while you’re here. Once you’ve finished off your meal you place the plate into the sink where your sister is washing the dishes and grab a cloth to start drying them.
“So…” your sister turns to you as she finishes off washing the last plate and leans against the sink, facing you.
“So?” You look at her with confusion. The way she had her eyebrow raised and that smirk on her face suggested that she was definitely up to something. Or she knew something you didn’t.
“Have you found anyone yet?” She piped up and you let out a laugh in pity, shaking your head. You place the plate you were drying among the others in the cupboard above the sink.
You awkwardly adjusted your red T-shirt, as your sister went quiet. She crosses her arms as if she were mentally debating telling you something. She used to do that a lot and you chuckle at her old habits. The silence made you run your hand through your hair, fiddling with the strands of it as you waited for her to speak her thoughts.
“You remember Mark?”
Of course you did.
He was one of your closest friends growing up and your neighbour’s son. However, when high school came around you slowly began to see him differently. He made your heart beat violently against your chest every time he got too close. Or how you’d get intoxicated off his scent when you’d take his hoodies. Or the time when your hand accidentally brushed against his when walking home together and you couldn’t stop blushing. Or that time you both had climbed onto your roof, looking at the stars and talking about how he had passed the auditions so he was going to move to Seoul to join an entertainment agency called ‘SM’. You felt your heart ache with sorrow when he told you he was going to leave, but not to worry since you still had Johnny and Jaehyun. But Johnny and Jaehyun weren’t Mark. You cried such much the day he left but you didn’t let him know, he was going to make something out of himself and he was your best friend for God’s sake. You should’ve been happy for him! But you were more sad than happy.
“He’s coming back.”
Your heart stopped for a moment.
He was coming back?
You looked at your sister, appalled and tried to study her face to see if she was being serious or trying to make a fool of you. She continues on. “For only a couple of weeks though. I heard mum talk to his mum yesterday in the kitchen. I thought you may have wanted to know.” She smiles at you before leaving to join your parents and her son in the living room.
You are left standing alone in the kitchen.
You try to remember the last time you’d seen him, in person. Or the last time, you’d heard his voice over the phone. It had been too long and you don’t even know why the both of you stopped talking. Of course you had seen him online and watched a couple of music videos when you’d stay up on your phone for a little too long, scrolling endlessly. You’d pretty much had listened to most of the music by the groups he was in too. You knew how overworked he was, also recently being placed in a group called ‘SuperM’. The boy never seemed to get a break, did he?
You open up the fridge door to look for a sweet drink and your eyes lay upon a small carton of chocolate milk. You take it and rip off the straw on the side of the carton as you pierce it through the foil circle. Taking a big sip to calm your mind that was still buzzing about the news of possibly seeing your best friend after years.
You were so lost in thought that you didn’t notice your mother walk in. “(y/n) dear, are you okay?” She asks, walking past you to the fridge and you hum in response, slipping away at your chocolate milk through the straw. “Oh god! (y/d/n), didn’t you bring any milk?”
You’re scanning over the bottles of milk placed in a neat orderly fashion and your nephew’s hand is in yours. You pick up a bottle and look at your nephew. He nods in approval and you begin making your way to the cashier to pay for the item.
“Can I please get some candy? Please?” He tugs at your hand towards the sweets and snacks aisle and you nod, muttering something about how his mother won’t be very pleased. You watch your nephew with adoration as he awes over the many colourful sweets on display.
“Johnny can pay for these right- wait (y/n)?”
You snap your head towards your name at the familiar voice who had called out to you. It was Jaehyun? You blink. One. Twice. But your eyes weren’t deceiving you and it really was your high school friends. Choosing to continue to crouch down next to your nephew who still had his eyes debating between the colourful packaging of gummy bears or the popping rocket candy that looked like it had twice as much sugar than most kids should consume. “Oh my god- you guys, what-” You struggle to form a sentence in your shocked state which made the group of boys laugh.
“Haven’t seen you in ages! How have you been?” Johnny asks and you look up at the tall boy. Even while standing up, he was towering over you. He was wearing a hoodie, similar to the colour of your own top and his hood was up. Beside him stood Mark and Jaehyun with their arms overloaded with snacks you remember feasting on during exam season back in university.
Who would’ve guessed in all the places you’ve traveled and they’ve toured, that you’d meet them in your hometown’s local supermarket. But here you are, having a mini reunion with your childhood friends in the sweet aisle. The boys and you fill each other in about what has been happening. Although, you already know how they were in a kpop group and when you start singing a line from one of their songs, more specifically ‘Cherry Bomb’, they’re eyes widen.
“You’ve heard our songs?” Mark asks and you nod.
“Of course! Why wouldn’t I support you guys?”
“This one!” Your nephew startles your group of friends as he raises a complete different packet of sweets than he was first about to choose. It was a small pack of strawberry laces and you gave him a nod. He clutches the sweet close to his chest and you ruffle his hair.
“Well, I better get going guys. I gotta make sure this little one gets to bed on time,” Remembering how your sister had mentioned that your nephew had to be back for his bedtime and you gesture to your nephew. You reach for your phone in your back pocket and unlock it. “but I’ll give you my number and we can catch up another time. How’s that sound?” They nod and you give them your phone number. You part ways with the boys with the promise of buying them food and walk away to pay for your goods with your nephew who’s happily skipping alongside you.
“Who was that auntie (y/n)?” He asks as you place the items to allow the cashier to scan them.
“My friends.” You reply.
“Oh,” He nods slowly in acknowledgement. “The one with the green hoodie looked a little sad when we left.”
“What makes you think that?” You squeeze his hand as you leave the store and walk towards your car. He was talking about Mark. Was Mark sad to see you? Did he miss you too? Did you say something that upset him? The possible reasons don’t leave your head until you’re lying on your bed, unable to sleep because of your mind racing. You turn onto your back, staring at the ceiling and replaying the conversation you had in the supermarket.
Why would Mark be sad?