"But I don't want to," Donghae says immediately, eyes narrowed in fierce concentration.
His parents exchange a glance, his father grimacing in distaste. "Donghae, we really don't have much of a choice. We put off the binding as long as we could in hopes that you would find someone on our own, but you nver managed to find anyone--"
"They threw themselves at me, father," is the protest, rushed and bitten. "I want to make a connection with someone. A connection like you and mom had!"
A smile pulls at his mother's lips. Donghae knows she finds this funny, because she finds everything funny, a trait she gave to her sons, and his father mirrors the joy he feels through their bond with an almost imperceptible twitch of his lips. But then it's gone and he's frowning and Donghae feels a weight pushing down upon him, pinning him back against the sofa.
Donghae knows what's coming now and he scowls even as his mother rises and leaves the room. His father watches her go before turning back to his son. "You'll be twenty-one in a month, Donghae. Unless the binding ritual is initiated within the next few weeks, the curse will consume you. You've waited so long already, I'm sure it's getting painful by now. The tingling in your extremities, the wash of dizziness when you walk into rooms where your brother and I are sitting. Even now, just you and I, as I impose my will upon you -- doesn't it feel like your limbs are burning?"
Donghae says nothing, betrays nothing, but it's true, and he knows his father can tell. His feet tingle, like there is a current of electricity running along beneath the rug under his feet, and the burn in his arms is so strong now that his hands are numb, and it's an understatement to say that it hurts.
But Donghae doesn't complain, merely pressing his lips into thin smile that his father mirrors in kind. "It's not so bad," Donghae wants to say, but he's not sure the words even make it past his lips. If they do, his father gives no indication of having heard them, and the next few minutes are spent in a pressured silence.
His mother returns a few minutes later with a delighted hum and in her wake walks a thin boy that Donghae is sure he doesn't recognize. No, he knows they haven't met before because this boy has hair that is so blond that it's almost white, an unnatural and almost unheard of color for anyone that happened to be considered normal. Even with a dye, that white-blonde is impossible to achieve.
There is an anxious twist in the pit of his stomach as the other boy takes a seat beside him at the gentle instruction of Donghae's mother. Their fingers brush and, in an instant, Donghae feels his chest tighten. A weight presses down against his limbs, harder than his father had done before, and Donghae knows this feeling, having listened to his father lecture Donghwa and himself more times in the past several years than he wishes to remeber -- it was the touch of a Keeper, the beginning of an eternal binding.
His father has let him go by this point, probably upon seeing the muscles under his son's skin contracting as energy that is not his own lines his veins, but Donghae is still unable to move away. there is a sense of lethargy taking over his limbs, replacing the usual hum and buzz of activity that endlessly plagues him, paralyzing him in a new manner that Donghae is entirely uncomfortable with until, as quick as the foreign feeling had washed over him, is disappears. Something in his chest clicks into place with a sound that only Donghae, and appearantly the other boy, can hear.
"Donghae," his mother is smiling as her son turns to face her, a bone-weary exhaustion lining his movements. the frown melts from his lips, because Dongahe could be as angry as he wanted at his father, but he didn't have the heart, or lack thereof, to feel anger for his mother. She, like his father and brother, only wanted the best for him. "Donghae, this is Lee Hyukjae." Donghae sees the boy in question, Hyukjae, glance up at the mention of his name, eyes flashing a startling silver before fading back into a more neutral grey-green, the eyes of a Keeper.
Hyukjae looks embarrassed and he dips his head in greeting to Donghae's father and mother, though he's already exchanged words with his mother, Donghae is sure, before he turns to Donghae himself. "Hello, Donghae." His tone is formal, but his words themselves, as well as the tone, are not, like he doesn't know what to say and Donghae takes an instant....not really disliking, but more of a lack of liking, to the boy.
"Hello, Hyukjae." Donghae stares him down, lips curling in the beginnings of a frown. Hyukjae flinches back a bit, far less than Donghae would have liked, and the smile he is wearing flickers, brilliance fading. Hyukjae turns away, head ducking a degree, and Donghae turns back to face his parents, both of whom are trying hard to smile at the less than social interaction.
"May I please be excused?" Donghae asks, eyebrow arched in mild inquiry.
His father frowns, glancing between Donghae and Hyukjae before opening his mouth, probably to diffuse the thick tension layering the air around the boys. His mother intervenes, however, with a smile that settles Donghae's father back against the cushions, similarly putting Donghae at ease. "Of course, sweetie. We'll see you at dinner, okay?" Donghae nods, obedient, and heads for the stairs. He doesn't say goodbye to Hyukjae, and he doesn't look back
Donghae stares at himself in the mirror, lips pressed into a thin line of distaste. His brother, Donghwa, is at his side, fingers ghosting across his scalp as he coaxes Donghae's unruly hair into compliance, trade-mark smile etched onto his face. Donghwa, Donghae thinks, watching his brother through the reflection the mirror offers, is happier than I am for this partnership, which is both funny and almost insulting, all things considered. But Donghae doesn't open his mouth to voice his opinion, and Donghwa continues to dance around his younger brother, humming a familiar melody that Donghae cannot place the words to.
An hour later, Donghae finds himself standing in front of an older man with a large book that, when Donghae eyes it skeptically, comes to decide must weight more than the man himself; it's huge, the pages browned with age, and it smells vaguely of dust and earth and maybe just a little bit of that clean smell that comes after a rainstorm. When Donghae opens his mouth, he can taste chocolate and cloves in the air, rich and melting and warm, with just a drip of heat as warm as the sun, and there's even a trace of home as well, not even a smell or taste, but a layered feeling, one of comfort and tenderness, and Donghae's shoulders slump slightly as he relaxes for the first time in hours.
The magic from the air alights upon his skin, dancing across the flesh of his face, and Donghae feels it seeping through his pores. Then it's in his veins, in him, running, humming, singing, filling him with a light that it achingly familiar but nameless. The closest thing Donghae can attribute it to is love, and even then, it's not enough.
The man opens the tome to what appears to be a random page of text and the cloying smell of familiarity floods the air, heightened and concentrated in the short distance between them. He begins reading without pause, even though there was no way of telling whether he'd opened the book to the proper page to begin with, but the chant that falls from his lips, just as familiar as the smell, puts Donghae at ease. He knows these words, has heard them before when his brother was bound; sure, there are a few discrepancies here and there, but the overall pattern and cadence is the same, Donghae recognizes that much.
A rustle of movement to his right catches Donghae's eye, and he turns his head to watch as Hyukjae straightens, body quivering. His knees are no longer locked like they were at the start of the ceremony, but they do shake beneath his weight, and his muscles are tense with the effort that comes with restraint and forced silence. Blood drips from the cuts in his palm where nerves-bitten nails have dug out shallow slivers of flesh. His jaw is tense, teeth together in an entirely too familiar way that manages to tug at Donghae's heart; a light is lit within Hyukjae's eyes, and Donghae recognizes the pain he sees. A fire burns beneath Hyukjae's skin now, the same fire that, for days and weeks and months, had burned beneath Donghae's skin, searing him from the inside out. It's one of the many ties that will hold the two together after this day, the pain.
It is said that should the two ever be apart and one if in need of the other, the current they share beneath their skin would prickle, alerting the other to their need. But Donghwa had never mentioned anything like that, nor had his partner, so Donghae wasn't particularly inclined to believe such nonsense.
After a long, long minute, Hyukjae's shoulders collapse inward. His body does not crumple like Donghae expects, but Hyukjae is also a male, and the only other binding ceremony that Donghae had been witness to had been that of a man and woman. The woman had been frail, much like Hyukjae appeared to be, but she'd also been female, and perhaps that was what made the ultimate difference -- the gender. Either way, the woman had crumpled into a heap, one that only regained consciousness shortly before the end of the ceremony.
But Hyukjae does not crumple, nor does he lose consciousness. Hyukjae stands tall and firm, keeping poise in the face of pain that has Donghae cringing at the reminder. But the look of utter accomplishment on Hyukjae's face, because he's probably seen enough bindings to know the Keeper usually breaks beneath the weight of alien magic, but Hyukjae didn't and Donghae feels a subtle but rising sense of pride.
Even as the man looks to him now, the words and cadence altering, Donghae feels the pride. It hums beneath his skin at the sight of Hyukjae's smile, and a feeling that Donghae isn't quite sure how to name -- accomplishment shock glee power confidence excitement -- but he goes with pride, because it feels the same, burns at a place near his heart.
Hyukjae's fingers brush his again, perhaps on accident but possibly on purpose, no doubt in search of reassurance now that he's passed the first hurdle, and the vice slams down around Donghae's chest. His breath shortens into sharp gasps that rushes past his lips in a whisp of sound, lungs unable to expand for proper air flow. At his side, Hyukjae spares him a curious glance -- perhaps he has noticed that Donghae's muscles have locked again, like during their first meeting when the binding ritual was first initiated -- but if he notices, he says nothing, and Donghae isn't sure whether to be grateful or annoyed. But then Hyukjae's looking toward him without turning from the man, and his eyes are molten silver, the color melting and shifting and churning, and it's beautiful, Donghae notes with absent but brutal clarity as the grip around his chest tightens. He tries to inhale once more, fails, and struggles valiantly to push back the grey that has begun to creep at the edges of his vision. Then, as swift as it had arrived, the vice loosens.
Donghae's lungs fill with air, a rush of sound as his heart hammers away against his ribs, drilling a cadence that sounds too loud in Donghae's ears. His world resharpens, recolors, no longer tinted in the dreary grey.
At his side, Hyukjae smiles an encouragement and Donghae resolutely glances away. He's convinced that Hyukjae touches him on purpose, all the while knowing full well that his touch is like a drug to Donghae's body.
"The ritual is complete," the man murmurs after a long moment of silence, the stretch that Donghae spends unwittingly watching Hyukjae whose lips have thinned into a tight line. The tome closes with low but audible whuff of sound, the dust-earth-chocolate-cloves-home scent fades in an instant, the magic fading from the air. Donghae glances sideways at Hyukjae who's head is bowed now, shoulders hunched as if the weight of the world is bearing down upon him, and for a moment, all Donghae can feel....is guilt. Then it's gone again, replaced by something akiin to anger -- what right does he have to feel this sadness? I am the one jailed to him -- and Donghae has to resist the urge to shove out and away from the crowd that are rushing from their seats toward the newly-bound couple.
He doesn't want their congratulations, however warm they may be; it is only a stark reminder of the reality that Donghae must now face.
In an instant, Donghae feels one hundred years old, and all he wants now is to go home.
Of course, he has a new home now, one that may take him a while to get used to, especially since he's now sharing it with Hyukjae.
"Donghae, I'm making dinner." Hyukjae peeks around the doorway into the study where Donghae spends most of the daylight hours. And, sure enough, Donghae is there now, pouring over a guide given to him by his father on how to work the magic he'd been born with. Hyukjae stands just inside the door now, blond hair falling into his eyes, and Donghae glances up at him, shaking his head once. "Not hungry. Besides," he adds, "this is why we have maids."
Hyukjae flinches. "I know you-- we do, but I've always done things on my own, so I don't know why I should stop now."
Dongahae blinks, nonplussed, "Because they're paid to do these things?"
"Well, yes, but--" Hyukjae bites his lip, face staining a flushing a pale pink before he takes a step back out of the room. " I'll leave you something in case you get hungry later, okay?" Dongahe grunts, noncommentally, and Hyukjae flees from sight.
Donghae can only sigh and, with a glance that is most definitely not filled with reluctance, return to his studies.
He isn't sure how long he's been sitting there when he hears voices outside of his room. It's the cleaning crew, a group of maids assigned to that level of the house. The maids outside don't notice the fact that the door's open. Or perhaps they do, but simply don't care about possible reprocussions. After all, it's not like Donghae is investing time in this marriage of convenience. They continue their conversation as they work outside his room, voices soft and lilting through the dusty air.
"....and then Gibwoon said that Woohyun noticed it crying yesterday." There is glee in the voice, and the unfamiliar vice pulls at Donghae's chest. "And when he went to ask what was wrong, it brushed him off while saying that it had been too clumsy and had fallen; it even offered to help clean up the vase that had shattered."
One of the girls, Donghae thinks it's Jessica by the distinct sound of her voice, says, "I remember that. I walked past them with Amber, and that stupid girl actually bent over to help him clean it up. She ended up pulling shards from her palms for a solid hour last night."
A third voice scoffs. "Amber is so unlady-like! Why does she even work here?"
"I heard it was because she was the friend of Master Donghae's cousin. She was in need of a job, and Donghae offered it to her." This voice is brisk, matter-of-fact, and perhaps even slightly annoyed at this conversation.
"Boring~" Someone, the first girl, singsongs.
There's a clutter and crash of sound form the hallway, the noise immediately faltering before, after a stretch of silence, resuming. Someone is down the hall, bouncing in place, weight causing the floor to squeak. "Guys, it's leaving the kitchen! Hurry up, hurry up!"
The sound falters and dies once more, footsteps receeding until someone speaks, their voice cutting unnaturally through the silence. "Why are you doing this in the first place-- why hurt him?" This is an unfamiliar voice, not having spoken yet, and is pitched at a lower tone than that of her comrades, not because of hesitance, Donghae is sure, but more like restricted anger. "What does it matter that you make him cry?" This last phrase rings familiar, and Donghae places a name and face to the voice -- Lee Sungjong, a scrawny stick-thin girl that Donghae's mother had found wandering the streets a few short weeks before the announcement of his binding.
The first girl, Jessica, Donghae is sure it is her now, because Jessica seems to be the only one who dislikes Sungjong, sounds flippant. "Because it doesn't deserve our master."
Then there's more silence, and Donghae thinks they've all left, so he's surprised when there's a soft knock at his door, a faint "Pardon me, sir?" accompanying it. Donghae glances away from his book and motions her in, hardly recognizing that since the beginning of thet maid's gossip he'd not made any decent headway in his research.
The girl shifts awkwardly as she steps into the room, glancing to him in a way that suggests she isn't sure what she's going to say. Soft brown hair frames her face, brushing her shoulders and falling into her eyes, a pair of eye that peer out at Donghae, pleadingly, from behind the layer of stray hair. "Master Donghae, I have been asked by Myungsoo to tell you that Master Hyukjae has requested your presence at dinner this evening.'
Donghae arches an eyebrow at the news, nodding once. "So he has."
Another awkward shift; fingers clasp and twine. "I believe I speak for the rest of the staff when I say that we, as well, would enjoy your presence in the dining room this evening." And this is a bold faced lie, Donghae knows right off the bat, just as he knows that it would be more than easy for him to call her out on it, but the girl's posture has straightened, and she appears so confident in her words that Donghae doesn't have the heart to say no.
And, really, there's no harm in agreeing, is there?
Of course, there had been harm in agreeing, Dongahe later reflects. Someone had mixed something into the soup that Hyukjae had made for himself and Donghae, and the former had a mild case of food poisoning whereas the latter, made from sterner stuff, set about the house in a silent but deadly rage.
When he fires Jessica and her accomplice Hyoyeon a few days later, he istructs the butlers Myungsoo and Woohyun, and Sungjong by default, as the girl sticks to Myungsoo like glue, to tell the rest of the staff that it was because the maids been caught harassing others, which had always been firmly stood against. And Sungjong, who perhapsknew the truth of the matter, keeps silent and slips back into the background.
Time passes quickly. The season changes, and fall is well underway. In just over three weeks, it will be time for the annual Holiday Ball, and now that Donghae is bound, he is expected to attend. His magic, no longer so free and shapeless, will help him stay collected under the different pressures he encounters there.
Unfortunately, that also means that his Keeper would be forced to attend as well.
Donghae blinks, darkness swarming his vision. For a moment, disoriention clouds his sense, but his eyes adjust to the dim lighting after a moment. Lightning flickers outside his window, rain pattering against the pane of glass.
He's always been a light sleeper, awake at the crack of dawn when light begins flooding his room. Nights in his childhood were spent flickering between wakefulness and sleep as his brother stayed up late into the night working on papers and assignmennts for school. More nights, these in the recent past, when Donghwa would sneak in and out of the house in the middle of the night to meet his girlfriends.
Yes, Donghae is a light sleeper.
So what was he doing awake now?
A faint sob from down the hall answers his silent inquiry, and Donghae rolls out of bed without pausing to think about what he's doing. He wanders from his room, shuffling down the hall unutil he reaches Hyukjae's room. The door is cracked open, and the sobs are louder now.
When Donghae aligns himself with the crack, light spilling across his face, he can see Hyukjae sprawled across the floor by the window. A hand is pressed against the glass pane, heat from the hand fogging up the glass. His fingers curl uselessly, shoulders shaking; his face is angled skyward, lighting strobing across his features, highlighting fresh tear tracks that angle down his cheeks.
Something in Donghae's chest tightens, an action that leaves him breathless and uncomfortable as Hyukjae whimpers something, a litany of sound, his voice hoarse and shattered. It takes Donghae a minute, a long minute of holding his breath and ignoring the ache in his chest, to hear the broken words. "....sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so...."
Donghae jerks away, as if he's been burned. The murmuring continues as he steps back down the hall to his room, an unfamliar weight pressing down on his shoulders, and he hears one more muffled cry before all is silent again -- "I wish Donghae could love me. I wish I had never been born a Keeper; I wish I'd never been born at all."
When Dongahae finally curls up in his bed, he finds it impossible to fall back asleep; the vision of Hyukjae's tear-sained face turned heavenward is burned into the darkness behind his eyelids. It is that image that haunts him that night.
It is still dark when Donghae crawls from his bed. He is in desperate need of coffee and soemthing warm to eat, and the staff is still asleep or in their own cottages, so he meanders though the kitchen, gathering ingredients for breakfast. He's in the mood for pancakes, something he hasn't had in what seems like months.
Hyukjae shuffles downstairs a litle under an hour later. His eyes are shadowed and ringed in red, and his face is puffy, but when he sees Donghae sittng there at the kitchen table, his face brightens in a way that leaves Donghe breathless.
When Hyukjae finds the still-warm plate of pancakes, left for him, no doubt, he smiles, lips stretching wide across his face, and whe Donghae sees gums peeking out, Hyukjae rushes to hide it, but Donghae swears it's the most beautiful smile he's ever seen.
After that, Donghae goes a little more out of his way to be there with Hyukjae. He no longer takes dinner in his study, opting to share the dining table with the blonde. He learns that Hyukjae has an older sister that is roughly Donghwa's age. One evening when the power has died due to a fierce storm, Donghaee learns that Hyukjae has a lovely voice and that, with the proper motivation and song playing, Hyukjae will dance, and the passion that Donghae sees in his moves takes Donghae's breath away.
The Holiday Ball arrives soon after that, and Donghae, as the most recent binding in the community, finds himself at the center of everyone's attention. He desn't like it, and throuh the rapidly strengthening bond that he and Hyukjae share as Cured and Keeper, he can tell the blonde likes it just about as much as he does, but Hyukjae has yet to complain, merely standing by Donghe's side, posture too rigid to be relaxed.
Donghae pushes Hyukjae gently toward a chair after a short while when he realizes that the people there are only present for him. Hyukjae leaves with a grateful smile, one that Donghae hesitantly returns before he dives back into his conversation.
At some point, perhaps two hours after arriving there with Hyukjae by his side, Donghae glances across the room only to see Hyukjae dancing with a shorter male with brilliant red hair. A fierce and unrivalled anger burns in Donghae's gut, and before he's even conscious of his own actions, he's shaking off the group of people he's been talking with and is halfway across the room.
He reaches Hyukae's side in seconds and wrenches the other male away from the blond, scowling in a manner that shrieks danger. "What are you doing?
The question is open for either to answer to, but it is Hyukjae who fially ressponds. "We were just dancing, Donghae. It was a friendly dance, I swear. His Partnered was talking to you, and I knew him from before, and we were just catching up--"
Donghae silences Hyukjae's babble with a stern look before turning to the second Keeper. "What is your name and who are you partnered with?"
"Taemin," the boy squeaks, green eyes wide. He must be no more than seventeen, Donghae decides as he leans closer, an early partnership. Tears have gathered in Taemin's eyes by this point, wetting his lashes. "My name's Taemin and I'm partnered with Choi Minho; he works with your father, and--"
Donghae cuts him off with a wave of his hand, "Taemin, please return to your partnered at this time. Hyukjae and I have something to talk about."
Taemin blinks, almost as if in shock, before smiling in away that puts Donghae on edge, "Of course, sir. Then perhaps you'd like to know that he's just run of?"
Donghae turns and, sure enough, Hyukjae is gone. When he glances back to Taemin in hopes of garnering his Keeper's location -- or, at least, the direction he'd run off in -- Taemin is disappearing back through the crowd of people, no doubt on his way to Minho's side.
Donghae lasts maybe ten minutes before the guilt that hs been gnawing at his insides forces him into action. Exucsing himself from the conversation he's in with Kyuhyun and Henry, two of his classmates, Donghae exits the building and makes his way outside.
Something pulls out past the first line of hedges pulls at Donghae, and he follows without hesitation. But what he beieves to be a border or fence turns out to be a maze, and Donghae finds himself turning left and right every other second, backtracking when his chosen path leads him into a dead end. After about five minutes, Donghae loses track of which way is which, and he's utterly lost, but the familiar pulling sensation in his gut urges him on, and Donghae doesn't stop to question it. Seconds, minutes, hours later, Donghae stumbles into a clearing in the maze.
Hyukjae is hunched over a bench, shoulders heaving with every breath he takes, and Donghae's heart plummets when he hears the familiar litany of words falling from Hyukjae's lips. "Hyukjae?"
The noises stop. Hyukjae freezes. He doesn't look up.
"Hyukjae, please look at me," Donghhae murmurs, stepping forward.
"What do you want, Donghae?" Hyukjae sounds exhausted, weary.
"I..." Donghae doesn't know. "I want....."
"Do you want me to leave, Donghae?" Hyukaje glances up now, and his face is red, eyes are red. His chest is heaving and tears streak down his face without abandon. "If that is what you want, I will leave and never come back." Donghae's gut drops and his heart wrenches as Hyukjae digs at his wrists, fingernails cutting into the flesh. "I'd die if you wanted me to, Donghae; I just want you to be happy."
Donghae panics, rushing to Hyukjae's side. "Don't, wait, stop!" Someone is screaming, and he doesn't recognize the voice as his own until after Hyukjae freezes, looking up at him with wide eyes.
"But why?" And Hyukjae looks so helpless, so broken, that Donghae's heart lurches painfully. "Why do you hate me?" Hyukjae cries as Donghae pulls the unresisting male to his chest.
Donghae frowns and hugs him closer. "I don't hate you. How could you think that?" But Donghae already knows the answer. It's hard to forget the memories of the first few weeks, how much he hated Hyukjae at that point.
"You didn't look at me for for a week after the binding Donghae. You left me there in that house, practically alone, for days. The maids bullied me, tripped me, trashed my room and personal items. And I'm pretty sure they poisoned me at least twice before they were caught bullying someone else."
The matter-of-fact way that Hyukjae speaks stabs at Donghae's heart as and he protests, "But I don't hate you! Hyukjae, I could never hate you." But it's not enough, Hyukjae is pushing at him, hands beating against his chest, and Donghae blurts the first thing that comes to mind in a desperate attempt to keep Hyukjae there beside him. "I want you!"
Hyukjae freezes. "You....what?"
"I want you." Donghae repeats, more assured this time.
"You want me?" Hyukjae's voice rises in confusion.
"But.....you hate me?" But it's a question now rather than a statement.
"I could never hate you," Donghae assures him, grip tightening once more even though Hyukjae has made no attempt to get away.
"But you did," Hyukjae protests weakly.
Donghae nods, because it was only the truth. "I hated you at first; I didn't like that parents found you for me. I didn't like not being able to find and make the connection with someone on my own."
"Oh," is all Hyukjae says. Donghae only nods. After a moment more, Hyukjae struggles in Donghae's hold again, "Then what was all that
Donghae is suddenly thankful for the darkness, because he's sure his face has flushes red. "You were dancing with him," he mumbles, burying his face against Hyukjae's neck.
Hyukjae is silent for a long moment before he sputters with laughter. "You were jealous of Taeminnie?"
"No!" Donghae instantly protests. Then, "Well, yes. Maybe a little."
"We were only dancing, Donghae. It had been months since I'd last seen him; him being here meant he'd found a partner, and you were busy... I didn't think you'd mind."
"But I did mind!" Dongahe says, and he hates how it sounds like he's whining.
Hyukjae grins, and even though Donghae can't see it, he can feel it. "Lee Donghae, were you jealous of Taemin?"
"Haven't we established this yet?" Donghae grumbles instead of answering.
Hyukjae's grin widens and he pulls away so that he can scrutinize Donghae's expression. "You were jealous," he says, "of Taemin, no less. Why would you be jealous of Taeminnie?"
Donghae mumbles something inaudible and Hyukjae leans closer. "What did you say?"
"I said, 'because I like you', you idiot," and then Donghae closes the distance between them, pressing his lips to Hyukjae's.