Title: This love ain’t some voodoo magic
Warning(s) Attempted Humor
Summary: Lu Han says it’s a coincidence. Chanyeol says its fate. Jongin’s pretty sure it’s bad luck.
Author's note: Hope you enjoy, recipient! And a big thanks to the mods for all the last minute extensions! ^^
He’s so very late and if Chanyeol doesn’t get his ass to work in the next ten minutes, his boss was gonna wring him dry. Now Chanyeol’s boss, Yifan, is a pretty nice guy. But, Chanyeol figures, even the nicest guys could be very threatening when the manager of their store arrives one hour and seventeen minutes late for work.
Make that an hour and eighteen minutes.
Chanyeol taps his foot impatiently against the ground and tries to refrain from checking the time on his watch for the nth time. He hadn’t meant to be late, of course. But was it his fault that his alarm clock decided to die overnight? And for that he was paying the price, as the city bus makes its way through the roads at a snail’s pace.
Finally, the bus comes to a stop (finally!) and Chanyeol makes his way to the front. He tries his best to smile politely at the ahjussi who had somehow managed to make an eight minute bus ride into sixteen minutes. He jumps of the vehicle and breaks into a run towards the music shop he works at, the cold winter wind a menace against his thin t-shirt and unzipped jacket.
His feet are pounding against the snowy sidewalk. A corner of his mind thinks that someone really should put salt on the sidewalks before an accident happens, but his thoughts are too busy running through excuses that would appease Yifan. He doesn’t think that he himself should be careful while running across the slippery path; his mind was already conjuring the image of his boss waiting impatiently for him, arms crossed and looking scarier than any fairytale dragon.
And honestly, the morning had already started off horribly. Why did he expect it to get better?
He doesn’t see the guy until it’s too late. He doesn’t see the shiny plate of ice on ground either, not until he’s skidding against it at breakneck speed, sliding towards the guy who has his eyes plastered to his phone. He barely manages to shout out a hurried “Watch out!” The guy looks up, surprised, and ooh he has pretty eyes, before a gangly mess of limbs knocks into him at full force bringing the two of them tumbling to the ground.
The guy takes the brunt of the fall, landing on the ground on his back and letting out an oomph! as Chanyeol falls on top of him.
“Uughh,” Chanyeol groans, trying to lift himself up but his arms slip on the ice as he tries to push himself upwards, and he falls back down on top of the guy lying underneath him. The other guy is silent, and oh no, is he alright? Is he hurt? Did he get a concussion!? Is he alive!?!
The pattering of footsteps pulls him out of his internal panic. It’s getting closer and closer and Chanyeol hears the sound of barks and a, “Monggu slow down!” He looks up to see a fluffy brown dog running towards him, its tongue lolling out and looking like it’s found the fattest squirrel to chase. His owner is running behind him, pulling at the leash and shouting for the dog to stop running.
At this moment, the sun decides to peek out from behind the buildings, casting a beam of light that hits the plate of ice, making it shine like diamonds.
The dog jumps when it reaches the edge of the ice, soaring over Chanyeol and his fallen comrade like a bird with wings. Chanyeol cranes his neck to see the canine leap, and it’s beautiful, really. Like something out of a movie.
The dog’s owner, however, isn’t as lucky.
If this really was a movie, Chanyeol thinks, then this would be the part everything went in slow motion, a second by second depiction of the following scene.
But this wasn't a movie and everything goes by startlingly fast. The owner slips on the ice, the dog’s leash falling from his hands. He skids towards them and it's funny seeing him fumble like a windmill as he tries to catch his balance, but then there's a heavy weight on Chanyeol’s back, knocking the air out of him.
“Oh my god, I am sooo sorry,” the guy on top starts, trying to get off him, but his hands slip and he plops back down on Chanyeol, and oh yeah, his back was gonna feel that tomorrow. The guy below him lets out a pained noise.
Chanyeol groans. “I'm so sorry,” the guy apologizes again finally managing to get off. He falls back onto his butt, scooting towards the edge and Chanyeol turns to look at him. His eyes are met with tan skin, dark hair, and ooh he has pretty lips. “My dog started running off all of sudden and I was trying to get him to stop and I didn’t see the ice. He’s not usually like this. I have no idea—”
“It’s fine.” Chanyeol cuts him off, finally managing to get himself on all fours. He turns his attention back to the other guy, whose face was currently obscured by a mass of fur.
“Monggu, don't do that!” Pretty Lips scolds, reaching out to tug at the dog's leash. But before he can do anything, an injured moan is let out, and the dog, Monggu, backs off.
“Ugh,” Pretty Eyes groans out, trying to lift himself onto his elbows.
“You're alive!” Chanyeol says ecstatically. He had been worried. Chanyeol takes a good look at the other male, at the thin lips and the flop of blond hair. He’s cute, Chanyeol decides.
“Barely,” he says, wincing in pain and Monggu goes back to licking at his cheeks.
“Monggu!” Pretty Lips pulls at the dog's collar, tugging him away from Pretty Eyes. “Are you okay?” Pretty Lips asks tentatively.
“I will be,” he replies, letting out a pained sigh as he tries to get up. Chanyeol rushes to do the same, Pretty Lips following suit.
Pretty Eyes brushes himself, accessing the situation. He looks at Pretty Lips, then at the dog that’s sitting down next to his feet, looking up at him with its tongue out and happily panting. He then turns his gaze to Chanyeol who gulps.
“I’m sorry for running into you like that,” Chanyeol rambles. “I didn’t see you because I was late for work and running too fast and my bus was going really slow and I also didn’t see the ice and someone really should put some salt here before—”
Chanyeol stops when a hand comes up to his face. “Shut up,” Pretty Eyes says, looking annoyed. Then he turns around to walk away, stumbling slightly on the ice but managing to catch himself. A couple steps before he turns the corner and then he’s gone.
“Well, um… I’ll be going then too,” Pretty Lips mumbles, holding tight to Monggu’s leash as the dog keeps on tugging on it to follow Pretty Eyes. “Sorry again.”
Chanyeol waves him off, and the guy smiles at him awkwardly before walking away. He’s cute too.
Chanyeol sighs when Pretty Lips is gone from sight and rubs at his back. He pulls his jacket tighter around himself and trudges towards work, nearly slipping on the ice again. He glances at his watch.
An hour and forty-six minutes.
Yifan was going to be so pissed.
It’s Saturday night and Chanyeol whistles a joyful tune, swinging his grocery bags as walks to his car. He had thankfully managed to keep his job. Yifan really was a nice guy, and Chanyeol had only been late to work, like five other times before that incident, so the older man had let it pass (if a bit begrudgingly).
It’s Saturday night which means curling up with his Deadpool body pillow and having a movie marathon, while binging on fatty snacks and cheap beer and pretending he’s not hopelessly single and lonely. Maybe he’ll even call his mom.
He’s in his car, putting the key into the ignition when remembers, “Shit! I forgot the drinks!”
He hurries back into the store, cursing himself for wasting precious time which he could be using to cuddle with his Deadpool pillow or crying over his existence. Thankfully there’s one bottle left of his favorite beer. It’s on the highest shelf and Chanyeol reaches to grab it, but another hand beats him to it, yanking it down before Chanyeol even has a chance to touch it.
“Hey, I was gonna get that!” Chanyeol spins to glare at the drink stealing offender but then his eyes widen in shock. “Pretty Eyes!”
“What?” The other male looks at him in confusion, which changes to recognition, and then gets replaced by irritation. “Oh, it’s you again.”
“You’re still not mad about the ice thing, are you? It was an accident. And, by the way, I was going to get that drink.”
Pretty Eyes opens his mouth to reply, but another voice interrupts him. “Excuse me, do you guys know where to find the dog food? I’m not really familiar with this store.”
They both turn to look at him. “Pretty Lips!” Chanyeol gasps out.
Pretty Lips eyebrows knit in confusion. “Umm, do I know you.”
“No you don’t,” Pretty Eyes says before Chanyeol can respond. “And the dog food’s in Aisle 10.”
Pretty Lips beams, thanking them and scurrying off towards the pet section. Pretty Eyes turns to Chanyeol. “Do you usually call people by a body part you find pretty?” he asks.
“Well, um, no.” Chanyeol rubs at the back of his neck. “But he does have pretty lips. They’re so pink!”
Pretty Eye sighs and shoves the drink into Chanyeol’s hands. “Here,” he says, before spinning on his heel and stalking off.
“Wait!” Chanyeol calls out but he’s already gone.
Chanyeol pouts, gripping the drink, feeling disappointed. He goes to check out and heads back to his car. Maybe he’ll just go straight to bed.
Chanyeol is dozing behind his spot at the counter when the door opens, bell ringing to indicate a costumer. Chanyeol startles before composing himself and flashing his trademark grin. “Welcome to Dragon Beats! How may I help—It’s you again!”
Pretty Lips freezes from where he’s standing at entrance. His eyes dart around like a cornered animal before settling on Chanyeol. “Um… Is this a bad time?”
“No! Not at all,” Chanyeol says hurriedly. “Sorry, that was the wrong thing to say. Please come in!”
Pretty Lips looks like he regrets entering the store but he steps in, closing the door behind him. He tentatively walks towards Chanyeol, stopping in front of the counter. “You look a little familiar.”
“Yeah, we saw each other at the grocery store on Saturday night. And then there was the whole ice fiasco…”
“I don’t really recall,” Pretty Lips says slowly, looking a little bit suspicious, “but I’ll take your word for it.”
“Great! I’m Chanyeol, by the way.” Chanyeol holds out his hand for the other man to shake.
Chanyeol falters. “You—you do? How…” Chanyeol’s eyes travel to where Pretty Lips is pointedly looking at his chest. “Oh! Of course. My name tag. I can be so clueless sometime.” Chanyeol laughs embarrassedly.
Pretty Lips stares at him in silence. He has nice skin, Chanyeol notices.
Chanyeol laughs again, this time sounding nervous. “And you are…?” His arm drops a little.
Pretty Lips grabs its. “I’m Jongin.”
“Hi, Jongin!” Chanyeol shakes his arm enthusiastically, the name pleasantly rolling of his tongue. “How can I help you today?”
“I’ve gotten the sudden urge to learn how to play an instrument,” Jongin says plainly, drawing his arm back.
“Well,” Chanyeol starts, “have you played any instruments before?”
“Nope. Never touched one in my life.”
“Oh. Um, then do you have any idea on what instrument you want to learn?” Chanyeol asks, leaving from behind the counter to go to the corner where they sell instruments. He gestures for Jongin to follow him
“No, that’s why I came here,” Jongin replies. “What would you suggest?”
“Maybe a flute?” Chanyeol picks up a silver one and hands it to Jongin. That decision definitely didn’t arise out of the fact that Jongin’s lips would look hot wrapped around a flute.
Jongin takes the flute, bringing it to his lips, but then the bell rings and he stops. They both turn to the door where there's a new customer walking in.
It’s Pretty Eyes.
Pretty Eyes looks around the store before stopping on them. His eyes widen. “You two again?”
Jongin looks confused. “Do I know y—”
Chanyeol waves him off, stepping closer to Pretty Eyes. “Nice to see you again. How can I help you?” he asks cheerfully.
Pretty Eyes looks irritated for a moment, then lets out a sigh, deciding it’s not worth it. “I came to buy an album.”
“Sure.” Chanyeol tells Jongin to browse the instruments and then walks Pretty Eyes over to place where the albums are located. “Which album?”
“DBSK’s debut album,” he says, following him. “I could’ve sworn that I already had a copy, but when I checked my collection, there wasn’t one. And I don’t simply lose important things like DBSK albums.”
Chanyeol raises an eyebrow. “You know most stores stopped keeping that in stock, like, years ago. You’ll have to buy it online.”
“Oh.” Pretty Eyes looks confused. He has nice skin, too. “Well, I’ll just get this one.” He picks out the album closest to him. “Seventeen’s… Love & Letter.”
Chanyeol raises both eyebrows. That doesn’t seem his style. “I like pop,” Pretty Eyes says defensively.
Chanyeol puts his hands up in surrender. “Ohhh-kay. Anything else I can get you?”
“No, that’ll be all.”
“Alright, let’s ring you in, then.” They both head over to cash register and Chanyeol’s handing Pretty Eyes his receipt when Jongin decides to try out his new flute. They both wince when the high-pitched sound reverberates through the store.
They both turn to Jongin, who’s standing nearby, looking at the flute in his hands contemplatively.
“You need to work on your flute blowing skills,” Pretty Eyes tells him.
Jongin looks up to glare at him. “You wish you could get a taste of my flute blowing skills,” he scoffs without thinking.
Total silence. “Savage,” Chanyeol whispers.
Jongin’s eyes widen, seeming to only register the meaning of his words. “I—I mean—that’s not what—I didn’t mean—” Jongin face flushes and he drops his face in his hands, still holding the flute.
Pretty Eyes looks shocked and there’s a pink tint on his cheeks. “I’ll just be going then,” he manages to force out. He grabs his purchases and head toward the door, exiting as quickly as possible.
“Wow,” Chanyeol says.
Jongin makes a noise from where his face is buried in his hands. “Can I just die?” he squeaks.
“Please don’t. My boss wouldn’t appreciate that.” Yifan would really be pissed if that happened. “Maybe you should try guitar instead.”
It’s a beautiful day.
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and Chanyeol could’ve sworn that the mean old lady that lived next door had smiled at him.
To celebrate the day, Chanyeol decides to take a walk in the park. He’s not usually the walk-in-the-park type but today just seemed like a day where he had to. There was an urge and Chanyeol wasn’t going to deny it.
He’s strolling down one of the paths in the park, humming to himself, when Chanyeol spies a familiar figure walking a distance away.
“Hey Jongin!” Chanyeol calls out, jogging towards the other male, who’s holding a leash. Monggu barks happily when he sees Chanyeol. “Hi!”
Jongin turns around at the sound of his name, and—thankfully—seems to recognize Chanyeol. “Sungyeol, fancy seeing you here. How are you?”
Chanyeol grins. He is not deterred.
“It’s Chanyeol actually,” he corrects. “And I’m doing great! You? How’re the guitar lessons coming?”
Jongin replies, “I’m doing fine. And I got a friend of mine to teach me, so it’s coming along gr—” he gets cut off when, all of sudden, Monggu starts barking uncontrollably.
“Monggu, what’s wrong?” Jongin asks, voice laced with a mixture of confusion and worry. He leans down towards Monggu and his grip on the leash loosens. Monggu takes the opportunity to dart away, bounding down the path, far out of their reach.
“MONGGU! Come back!” Jongin yells and starts running after him. Chanyeol follows after, in case Jongin needs help.
Monggu is fast, Chanyeol quickly realizes. Chanyeol also realizes that he hasn’t worked out in a long time.
He’s nearly out of breath when Monggu slows his pace. The dog seems to be ambling towards a man jogging a little distance away.
“MONGGU NO!” Jongin screams when they both realize Monggu’s target. But it’s too late and Monggu’s is already springing into one of his flying leaps. That dog could win the doggie Olympics for jumping or something.
The man topples over when Monggu crashes straight into his back, the two of them hitting the ground hard. Chanyeol winces and follows Jongin to the man-dog pile.
“Oh my god, I am sooo sorry,” Jongin apologizes and Chanyeol experiences a moment of déjà vu. Jongin leans closer to the guy. “Are you alright, sir?”
The man lets out a pained groan, sounding familiar. And sure enough, when he looks up, it’s Pretty Eyes.
“You!” he says harshly when he sees Jongin. His eyes turn to Chanyeol. “And you!”
“Hey, it’s you again.” Chanyeol grins. “How’ve you been?”
Pretty Eyes glares at them. He opens his mouth to throw a cutting retort, but Monggu takes that moment to start licking long stripes across Pretty Eyes’ face.
“Stop it Monggu!” Jongin pries the dog off, holding tight as Monggu tries to escape, and Pretty Eyes wipes the drool off his face with a sleeve. Chanyeol helps him get up and he starts dusting off his bright red tracksuit.
“I’m so sorry. I don’t why he’s being like this,” Jongin apologizes again. “And by the way, that tracksuit is horrendous.”
“Excuse me?” Pretty Eyes snipes. “You’re mutt is horrendous.”
Jongin lets out a horrified gasp, moving his hands to cover Monggu’s ears. Monggu doesn’t look bothered, still trying to escape Jongin’s grasp probably so he could jump on Pretty Eyes again.
“Hey now guys,” Chanyeol starts, “Don’t fight.”
“You should tell that to him,” Pretty Eyes says. “He’s the one who insulted my clothes.”
“Oh please, anyone could tell you that that tracksuit is a disaster.” Jongin retorts, rolling his eyes.
“You’re opinion holds nothing,” Pretty Eyes sniffs, looking rather pretentious. He moves to leave. “And you should keep that monster you call a pet on a leash.”
Jongin sputters, looking outraged, but Pretty Eyes is already off.
“Hey wait!” Chanyeol shouts. “What’s your name? We’re probably gonna see each other again!” But he’s too late. Pretty Eyes is already out of hearing range. Or maybe just ignoring him. Chanyeol sighs.
Jongin gets up, carrying Monggu so he doesn’t run off again. He starts heading in the opposite direction. “What an asshole.”
Jongin and Chanyeol are both in an elevator heading to the top floor of a sixty story building.
How they had ended up there was a weird, albeit short, tale.
It was a Wednesday afternoon and Chanyeol didn't have a shift at the shop during that time. He hadn't wanted to stay cooped up in his apartment so he decided to take a walk through the city and see where the streets of Seoul took him.
Coincidentally, he had run into Jongin in front of a fancy office building.
“I'm getting this massive urge to head to the top of this building,” Jongin states.
“Same,” Chanyeol replies and that's how the two of them found themselves standing side by side in an otherwise empty elevator.
There's a pause when they reach the twenty fifth floor. The door opens and Chanyeol isn't even surprised when Pretty Eyes walks in looking rather handsome in a suit and tie. Chanyeol resists the urge to drool.
Pretty Eyes doesn't notice them when he walks in, attention fixed on the file of papers in his hands. He spares a glance when he looks up to push a button on the panel, but then resumes looking through the file.
Chanyeol clears his throat.
Pretty Eyes looks up quickly, eyes widening when he sees the two of them standing there.
“You two again! Why are guys everywhere?” Pretty Eyes ask, voice laced with exasperation. “Are you guys stalking me or something?”
Jongin scoffs. “As if anyone would wanna stalk you. We didn't even know you worked here."
“Then what are you doing here?”
“Why does matter to y—” Jongin starts indignantly, crossing his arms but Chanyeol cuts him off.
“We just wanted to go to the top and see the sight,” Chanyeol answers.
“Of all the tall buildings in Seoul, you had to pick this one?”
“It just felt like it had to be this one.” And it had, as if someone had tethered a fishing line to his gut and pulled him in this direction. Maybe it was instinct, maybe it was fate, but either way Chanyeol had a feeling Jongin had felt the same.
“You've got to be kidding me,” Pretty Eyes groans, running a hand through his hair, which somehow made the styled blond locks look even bother.
“It's not like we can't,” Jongin says, looking annoyed. “No one tried to stop us.”
“You're right,” Pretty Eyes says and Jongin looks surprised. “You can do whatever you want.”
The elevator dings, indicating a stop. “This is my floor. You guys have fun at enjoy your sightseeing.” The door opens and Pretty Eyes steps out, turning to walk away.
“Wait!” Chanyeol shouts, sticking his arm out so the elevator door doesn't shut. “Can we get your name?”
Pretty Eyes turns back and stares at him, then sighs. “Fine,” he huffs out. “It's Lu Han.” And then he stalks away.
Chanyeol lets the doors close, catching one last glimpse of Lu Han’s back. “Lu Han,” he whispers, testing the foreign syllables.
“What a jerk,” Jongin says.
“He's hot, though.”
Jongin sighs but doesn't deny it. “A hot jerk.”
“Seriously? All three of us just happen to be craving Chinese food tonight?”
Unsurprisingly, Lu Han’s workplace isn't the last they see off each other. The three of them are in a hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant where, “coincidently”, they had all decided to have dinner in.
“Well I live nearby. What's your excuse?” Jongin shoots back.
“I come here all the time. The waiters even know me by name.” That was true and it had been proven when Lu Han first walked in. “And if you live nearby, how come this is the first time I'm seeing you here?”
“That's because I moved here recently!’
The two of them turn to Chanyeol, looking expectant. He shrugs. “My mom recommended me the place. I thought I'd check it out. That was true as well. Although it was weird that his mother had done, now that he thought about it. She was more likely to send food herself.
Jongin and Lu Han go back go bickering and Chanyeol goes back to trying to make them stop. They were sharing a table as the rest of the restaurant was packed. The waiter comes in and they order, Lu Han telling them what was best on the menu.
That night Chanyeol learns that Lu Han is a Chinese native who moved to Korea during uni and that Jongin is a dance instructor at a nearby studio. He also learns that Lu Han is afraid of heights and that Jongin love his dog, Monggu, more than anything else in the world.
They split the bill three ways and head out together. They don't make plans to meet up again but Chanyeol knows this won't be the last he sees of Lu Han and Jongin.
Chanyeol heads back to his apartment, stomach full and feeling happier than he'd felt in a long time.
“Why is your dog so obsessed with me?”
“I wish I knew,” Jongin sighs. He's standing next to Chanyeol by the lion habitat and the two of them are watching Monggu running circles around Lu Han, barking joyfully liked he'd met the doggie version of Jesu Christ.
The three of them had run into each other at the zoo, or Chanyeol and Jongin had run into each other and Monggu had led them to Lu Han, who had been staring intently at his phone.
“What are you even doing here anyway?” Jongin asks Lu Han. “You don't look like the zoo type.”
“And he does?” Luhan says, pointing his thumb at Chanyeol.
“Hey!” Chanyeol defends himself. “For your information, I come here very often. I like looking at the ferrets as they remind me of the ones I had when I was younger.”
Lu Han stares at him weirdly for a couple long seconds. “Oooh-kay then. I came here to play Pokémon Go.”
“Seriously, ” Jongin says, giving Lu Han a look. “Nobody even plays that anymore.”
“Well I still play it and I'm not nobody,” Lu Han retorts.
Jongin opens his mouth to snipe back but Chanyeol, sensing another argument, interrupts before he can say a words.
“Who wants to get some popcorn and hotdogs?”
Well no one can say no to free lunch do the two let Chanyeol drag them off to the food court.
Chanyeol ends up dropping his hotdog. Lu Han and Jongin laugh at him, but at least Monggu seems happy, leaving Lu Han's side to press his soft fur against Chanyeol’s ankles and to eat up the fallen food.
The next time the three of them see each other, it's at the hairdresser's.
Jongin’s there for a haircut. Lu Han wants to dye his hair brown. And Chanyeol…
“I'm thinking about getting a perm.”
“Don’t,” Jongin and Lu Han say at the same time.
Chanyeol pouts but agrees. He walks out the hairdresser's with his hair a bit shorter and dyed a bright red. Surprisingly, it looks good on him.
“I told you it would,” Lu Han says, looking proud.
Jongin rolls his eyes and the three of them go out to get ice cream.
“I think it's fate.”
“Hmmm,” Lu Han mumbles, not even looking up from where he had his face buried in some manga.
“Why we keep on meeting up like this?” Chanyeol continues, setting his book on tapeworms on the table. “I think it's because fate is making us do it.”
Chanyeol couldn’t come up with any other reason why this could be happening. Over the pass months, the three of them had run into each many times in many places, ranging from the streets to shops and malls, and even the Aquarium once. They had even run into each other at Chanyeol’s mom’s place and he still isn't sure how that happened.
Even now, fate was pushing them towards each other. Today, they had crossed paths at the library; Jongin needing to check out a couple books for some classes he was taking, Lu Han who had the sudden urge to reread all the Tokyo Ghoul manga, and Chanyeol because—
Well, Chanyeol wasn't sure of the reason he was here, but he was pretty sure it was a good one.
Lu Han snorts. “They're just coincidences, Chanyeol.”
“C’mon, that many coincidences can't happen!”
“Maybe we all just have really bad luck,” Jongin says, plopping down on his chair at the table they were sharing and setting down a rather large pile of books.
“Really? You'll believe in bad luck but not fate?”
“Even fate wouldn't go to such extreme lengths to bring three people together,” Lu Han says.
“Then why do you think all this is happening?” Chanyeol asks.
“Any reason I come up with will sound ridiculously farfetched, so I'm sticking with a bunch random coincidences.”
“Maybe it's good luck?” Jongin adds in. “Either way, does it really matter? We're all here aren't we?”
“True…” Chanyeol says quietly and Lu Han nods, turning his attention back to his manga, Jongin following suit with his own books.
Chanyeol lets the silence reign on, lost in his own thoughts. Jongin had made a good point and it didn't really matter in the long run. But whoever or whatever had caused, Chanyeol would like to thank them. The three of them had started off as strangers, and along the way they had turned from acquaintances to friends. And maybe somewhere along the line, Chanyeol hoped, they could become even more. Either way, Chanyeol was happier than he'd been in while and he wouldn't have it any other way.
“He’s late. Why am I not surprised.”
“Give him a break Jongin. It's only been three minutes.”
“Well I got here ten minutes ago!”
“Not everyone's like you, Jongin.”
“You got here on time.”
“Why do you sound so surprised. I can be punctual.”
“The first time I met you, you were running nearly two hours late for work.”
“I thought you didn't remember that?!”
Jongin chooses not to respond, instead crossing his arms and leaning back on his chair, looking hot and annoyed at the same time. He's wearing a purple button-up that contrasts gorgeously with his skin and Chanyeol tries his hardest not to stare. He doesn't think he's doing a very good job.
“Sorry I’m late!” A voice calls out and then there's Lu Han running in. He's wearing a blue dress shirt with black slacks, his hair perfectly styled and Chanyeol wonders how he ended up at dinner in a fancy restaurant with two ridiculously hot guys.
Lu Han stares at them, checking them out from top to bottom. He lets out a low whistle. “How did I end up at dinner in a fancy restaurant with two ridiculously hot guys?” He asks.
Chanyeol hopes he's not blushing too hard. Jongin, on the other hand, is not deterred. “What took you?”
Lu Han plops down on the third remaining seat at their table. “There was a cat on the way here. I had to stop to pet it.”
“Oooh,” Jongin says and the sour look vanishes instantly from his face. He nods his head like that makes complete sense. “I see.”
Chanyeol doesn't bother asking about it. He's gotten used to their quirkiness by now.
The waitress arrives and they place their orders. They talk quietly, tinkling laughter and the sound of consumption filling the table. They're halfway through desert when Chanyeol says, “You know, I just realized that this is the first time we met up on purpose.”
“You mean without running into each other coincidentally?” Lu Han asks.
“Huh, you're right,” Jongin says. “So does this count as our first meeting?”
“Well it beats the whole “slipping on ice and falling on top of each other” thing,” Lu Han answers.
“You know, I barely remember that day,” Jongin says thoughtfully.
“Suuure,” Chanyeol says, rolling his eyes.
“That’s because you fell on the top and felt the least pain. I, on the other hand, remember that day vividly since it’s kinda hard to forget being crushed by two guys.”
Chanyeol and Jongin laugh, Lu Han joining in. “Hard to believe that was so long ago,” Jongin whispers.
Chanyeol agrees. But this moment he never wants to forget. This moment, he wants to sear into his mind because it had never felt so perfect.
They’re bickering again.
“I want to get Chinese!”
“We got Chinese last week. Let’s have fried chicken.”
“We always have fried chicken.”
Chanyeol sighs exasperatedly at his boyfriends. For two grown men, they sure knew how to act like kids. “Well, they sell chicken at the Chinese place…” he tries tentatively.
Lu Han turns to him with a grin and Jongin with a glare.
Chanyeol sighs again, pinching the bridge of his nose as they walk through the busy streets.
But then Lu Han stops abruptly. “Lu Han, what’s wrong?”
“Of course,” the smaller male mutters, and then he’s off again, heading straight into the busy traffic to the other side of the road.
“Lu Han! You shouldn’t jaywalk!” Jongin calls out hesitantly, but Chanyeol’s already running after Lu Han and he knows Jongin will follow.
They catch up to Lu Han who’s standing in front of a gaudy shop covered in what looks likes Halloween decorations. Auntie Byun’s Witchcraft and Fortunes.
“Lu Han…” Chanyeol starts when he reaches Lu Han but he’s already entering the store. Jongins sighs and the two of them follow.
“Baekhyun!” Lu Han shouts. The inside of the store is, if possible, worse than the outside. The place is filled with shelves that are full of dusty, old books and other assorted knickknacks that look like they were stolen from a stereotypical witches’ cave. The place is dim and Chanyeol catches a whiff of… garlic?
“Lu Han hyung!” A guy appears from behind a big desk at the end of the store. He’s wearing a bright and colorful shawl over his regular jeans and t-shirt and his head is covered with an equally blinding bandana. There are bangles hanging from his wrists and big, hoops earrings dangling from his ears. Chanyeol’s not sure what to make of him, but for some reason, he seems familiar. “Long time no see!” the guy says cheerfully, grinning widely.
“Baekhyun,” Lu Han growls out, “have you been messing with my life again?”
“Me? Of course not!” The guy’s, Baekhyun’s, eyes widen in shock almost comically. “I thought you didn’t believe in those things.”
“I don’t,” Lu Han says, “But you make weird things happen. I don’t know how, but you do.”
“Well even I did,” Baekhyun starts, sitting on top of his desk and nearly making the crystal ball on top of it fall, “shouldn’t you be thanking me? You do have two hot boyfriends now.” He turns to Chanyeol and Jongin, giving a little wave. “Byun Baekhyun, at your service.”
“You’re Auntie Byun?” Jongin asks.
“Ah no, that’s my grandmother,” Baekhyun replies. “She’s dead now, so I took over her store.”
“Your grandmother is very much alive. And she’s not into witchcraft,” Lu Han says coldly.
Baekhyun waves him off. “Details. Details. And is it my fault that Uncle Byun doesn’t sound as cool?”
“Do you actually get customers in this place?” Jongin asks, looking at box full of small dolls.
“Yes! Business is absolutely booming,” Baekhyun replies happily. “And those are limited edition voodoo doll. Would you like one?”
“Um, no thanks.” Jongin moves away from the box.
“He has second job as a singing coach,” Lu Han says, “and his parents are paying for this shop because they’re rich, so he doesn’t need customers.”
“Hyuung.” Baekhyun pouts, sounding whinier than any child Chanyeol’s ever heard. “Why are you giving all my secrets away?”
“Hey don’t I know you?” Chanyeol asks before Lu Han can reply. “You were in one of my composition classes in college, right? You were the one reading everyone’s fortunes by looking at their hands.”
“Ah yes, Chanyeol, was it?”
“Yep. You told me I was gonna die the day after graduation in a freak guitar accident.”
“Did I?” Baekhyun asks vaguely. He taps at the crystal ball on his desk, staring into it for a moment. “Oh, looks like your fortune has changed. You’re going to pass away in your sleep at the age of ninety-four.”
The three of them stare at Baekhyun.
He giggles. “Awwww, you three are so cute. Did you know that your love was written in the stars?”
“Ummm…” Jongin looks at Lu Han, a little panicked.
“Riiight,” Lu Han says, not looking surprised at Baekhyun’s eccentricity. “We’re leaving. I don’t know what it is you do, but whatever it is, stop it.”
“Sure thing, hyung,” Baekhyun replies with a serene smile. “Come again~”
Lu Han grabs his and Jongins elbows and starts dragging them towards the exit. Chanyeol looks back at Baekhyun gives him a wink. Thank you he whispers.
“Well that was certainly interesting,” Jongin says when they’re outside again.
“Ugh,” Lu Han moans, shaking his head. “That was Baekhyun. His parents hosted me when I first came to Korea as an exchange student. He’s kinda… weird.”
“No kidding,” Chanyeol mutters.
“Right. Just forget about him,” Lu Han says. “So where are we gonna eat?”
Jongin opens his mouth, probably to say “fried chicken” but Chanyeol beats him to it. “We’re getting hot pot,” he says, grinning and looping his arms around Lu Han and Jongin’s. He doesn’t let them say a work but he’s knows they’ll let him.
Baekhyun watches as the door swings shut behind the three lovers. He hears Kyungsoo’s footsteps as he comes in from the stock room holding another box full of dolls. “Did we get customers?” he asks.
“Nah,” Baekhyun answers. “It was just Lu Han hyung.”
“Did he finally tell you to fuck off?”
“Yea—Hey be careful with those!” Baekhyun shouts as Kyungsoo tries to put the box in one of the higher shelves. The box tilts and one of the dolls fall out, hitting the floor with a thump!
“Kyungsoo!” Baekhyun screams. “I told you to be careful!” He scrambles over to quickly pick up the fallen doll, patting the top its head as he assesses it for damage.
“They’re just dolls, Baekhyun.”
“No they’re not!” Baekhyun tells him for nth time. “You need to be more compassionate. Somewhere out there, Oh Sehun just broke a limb.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Kyungsoo replies waving him off. He’d had this conversation far too many times and he wasn’t planning on having it again, so he changes the subject. “So, how was it? Did the other two come?”
Baekhyun’s eyes light up and he forgets about the injured doll in a heartbeat. “Yes!” He puts the doll back in a box. “Oh Kyungsoo, you should’ve seen them! They were so adorable! My best work yet.”
“Uh uh,” Kyungsoo says grabbing another stack of boxes to take to the stock room.
“Honestly, I’m such a matchmaker extraordinaire. I should do you next!”
“Please don’t.” Kyungsoo shivers at the thought.
“Ahh, but why not?” Baekhyun whines, but Kyungsoo already heading towards the stock room, effectively ignoring him.
“Party pooper.” Baekhyun pouts. He heads back to his desk where a black journal is laid open. Written on it are many dates, times, and places along with Chanyeol, Lu Han, and Jongin’s names. “Guess I won’t need this anymore.” Baekhyun shuts the journal, tossing it in a shelf containing more journals.
“My work here is done.”