Derek presses his fingers against his soulmark briefly, studying the familiar phrase in the mirror before tugging his shirt on. It’s an old habit, running his fingers across the mark on his ribs, touching it gently with unending fondness. Even though it’s been years since the phrase appeared, and even though he has long since memorized the curves and arches of the writing, Derek loves looking at the mark.
He was only five years old when the words burned themselves into his skin. No one really knows how the marks work, just that they appear when the youngest of the pair is born, spelling out the first words that the soulmates will say to each other. By the time the last letter finished carving Derek’s skin, he was in tears. His mother had held him through the tremors and promised that the pain would be worth it in the end. After all, having a soulmark was a gift, the universe’s way of helping him find the one person to make him whole. (In Derek’s opinion, if the universe has the power to match people up, than it probably had the power to make the process painless, but what did he know.)
When the pain ended and his mark was legible, Derek wondered what type of person his mate would be. After all, who started a conversation with a proposal? It always seemed so presumptuous that their meeting would begin with an offer of full commitment, but at the same time Derek has always loved the originality of the statement. In comparison with something like ‘hello’ or ‘can I help you,’ his words have always stood out (though his mother’s words are ‘can I help you’ and his father’s mark reads,‘for starters, you can get that monstrous thing out of my way,’ so maybe even simple marks have something unique about them).