Chapter 00 | 01 | 02 of ?
Characters in this chapterJaejoong, Heechul, Han Geng, Sungmin, Changmin, Eeteuk, Yoochun, Siwon
Pairings in this chapter: implied!HoRella, HanChul, KyuMin, implied!YooMin, implied!KangTeuk, SiHan
Disclaimer: I own no one and nothing but the plot.
Summary: A story of a simple, small café. Kim Jaejoong owns it, and as guessed, Han Geng is the head chef.
Afternoon came, and Jaejoong breathed in relief. There were only two tables occupied; people had finished their lunch and tea time was not supposed to be so early at three. He glanced around, eyes sweeping through a couple sitting on the far corner; the girl was sipping his cup of tea while the guy was busy with –Jaejoong frowned– his blue PSP, and a man was sitting on the other end of the café, face hidden behind newspaper.
He turned and saw Sungmin who was wiping the counter for the second time since two thirty.
“Hyung, someone’s looking for you,” Changmin said as he passed through the counter, bumping to Sungmin’s back intentionally. Sungmin frowned and slapped Changmin’s hand, and Changmin half ran into the kitchen.
Jaejoong twitched at the funny sight between his two boys, glancing at the clock on the table on his right, just next to the cashiering machine. 3:24. Who could have come at this hour of the day, he wondered. He roughly washed his hands and went out.
Jaejoong blinked in disbelief. Never once did he imagine he would hear that voice there in his café. Never once did he expect his cousin to be there.
Heechul frowned. “What’s wrong?”
“Shouldn’t you be filming or something?”
“I just want to say a breaking news,” Heechul said, pulling his legs up crossing below the table, reaching to the opposite chair –Jaejoong twitched, seeing his soft fluffy baby blue expensive chair was dirtied by Heechul’s shoes which only god knew where he had gone into. Heechul leant his back lazily and turned to face Jaejoong, smirking, “I got new boyfriend.”
That’s not a surprise, Jaejoong thought, since his cousin there dated a lot. And he really meant: A LOT.
Heechul frowned (again). “That’s all?”
“I don’t think it’s fun listening to your stories of boyfriend after boyfriend,” Jaejoong replied.
Heechul retracted himself back, sitting neatly on the chair, and signaling Jaejoong to come closer. Jaejoong did, and Heechul pulled him down, whispered slowly on his ear, “it’s him,” a pause –Heechul thought Jaejoong didn’t understand, and repeated, “Jung Yunho.”
Jaejoong blinked. Again, that’s something he’d never expected.
“Isn’t that great?” Heechul grinned and immediately stood up. “Bye, Jaejoongie, have fun~ I have his date tonight!”
“Jae, I’m having my break–”
Suddenly, an accented voice popped out of nowhere, stopping both Jaejoong and Heechul on track. Heechul blinked, surprised, but no, he couldn’t be surprised. But yes, indeed, he was surprised at the sight. But hey, how couldn’t you be surprised if you saw a hot foreigner suddenly popped out in your cousin’s café out of all places?
Han Geng stopped, deadpanned, replying those two’s stares, and was really confused.
“You never told me about this guy,” Heechul’s voice broke the silence.
“Do I need to tell you everything,” Jaejoong sighed and signaled Han Geng to come closer, “this is Hankyung –Han Geng, my chef here,” and threw his cousin a glare, “and that’s my cousin, Kim Heechul.”
“Hi,” Han Geng smiled and offered his hand, which Heechul accepted oh-so-willingly, “nice to meet you.”
Heechul smirked. And Jaejoong thought it’s definitely not a good sign.
“It’s my pleasure, Hankyung-sshi.”
“Thank you,” Sungmin said cutely as the couple paid the bills and left the café, as he tried to ignore the guy’s deadly stare upon him when the girl smiled ever so big to him and left a good more tips on the table.
He put the cups and the plate with some traces of black forest cake left upon it on the tray, and wiped the table in one fluid motion before returning back to the kitchen and spotted Han Geng was having his lunch. Was that ramen he saw on the bowl? Sungmin’s not sure.
Han Geng looked up to him, confusion clearly written on his face.
“Jungsu’s not back yet?”
Sungmin blinked and looked at his watch. 3:34 indeed, four minutes passed Jungsu’s break hour, and he’s not back yet. He shook his head.
Han Geng groaned and reached his phone, and Sungmin’s sure, dialed Jungsu’s number. He kept standing there, waiting with Han Geng’s eyes upon him.
Ten seconds passed.
“No answer,” Han Geng sighed.
“Perhaps he lost track of time,” Sungmin offered, which they both knew wasn’t.
Han Geng merely nodded and redialed again and Sungmin left the kitchen and returned to the floor, just to meet a frowning Jaejoong.
“He’s late,” Jaejoong stated as a matter of factly.
Sungmin thought he’d better not to say anything. A fuming Jaejoong was not someone he hoped to see. He shivered, remembering the incident a month ago when Siwon came over to see his boyfriend and Han Geng went missing for a not-so-good fifteen minutes before coming back with flushed face and sweaty palms. Sure their manager, their boss, was a nice guy. But not when he’s angry.
Five minutes passed, and the back door was slammed open, and Jaejoong quickly got up to the back. Sungmin sighed, being the only one on the floor does not help, especially when he saw two more tables were occupied when he was in the back before.
“I’m sorry,” Jungsu said, throwing his bag carelessly into the rack in the corner before going into the washroom and carelessly he washed his face.
Han Geng frowned when Jungsu got out.
“You look pale,” he said. “Have you had your lunch?”
Jungsu blinked. “No, I’m fine,” he replied, taking his apron from the counter and putting it round his waist, hands scrambling on the back, “and I have.” Another ten seconds passed and he still couldn’t manage to do so, as his hands were wet (if not sweaty) and he cursed in silence.
“Hyung,” suddenly a voice came from behind, squeezing his hand gently and taking over the ends of his apron and slowly tying it. “You should relax for a moment,” Changmin said, “Hankyung-hyung is right, you look pale. Did something happen?”
Jungsu, violently, just shook his head. “Nothing happened,” he said breathlessly, “thanks,” and he was about to go out when the boss stormed in.
Changmin, behind him, startled, and quietly pulled himself back. While Han Geng quickly walked over the sink and washed the bowl he was eating his ramen earlier. Jungsu knew they both would leave as soon as the door’s free and Jaejoong walked through the middle of the room they were at that moment; really, no one wanted to deal with Jaejoong in his current state.
“You’re late,” Jaejoong said.
“I know,” Jungsu nodded.
Jaejoong frowned. Not one response he’d expected.
“I told you we need to talk right? Then I’ll just ask it now, what did you say to Jung Yunho?”
“Jung Yunho,” Jaejoong groaned in frustration, “you know the guy this morning?”
“Yeah,” Jungsu cut in shortly, “why with him?”
“You did something wrong to him,” Jaejoong stated, which earned a frown from Jungsu, “I don’t know what you did, but I don’t want to see that situation happens again in the future, got it?”
Jungsu blinked. That he had no damn idea what he did wrong… especially to a Jung Yunho. And before he could say another word, he was pushed out to the floor.
Lee Sungmin, for once in life, never expected to see his friends coming to where he worked. Even more, it’s two of his friends. It was five plus in the evening, and he was about to have his afternoon snack (two pieces of cookies and a glass of ice tea with a slice of lemon in it) when he heard the voice he recognized.
“Sungmin-hyung!” The voice called him, beamed in happiness, and Sungmin cursed in silence as he walked over to the two guys on one end. It’s Kyuhyun and Junsu there.
Junsu smiled as Sungmin walked to his table, just between him and Kyuhyun. “I drop by because I met Jungsu-hyung,” he grinned, “I didn’t expect to see you here either.”
I didn’t expect to see you coming either, Sungmin thought, looking back and forth between Junsu and Kyuhyun. He tried to smile, his best one, and professionally took out his pen and order note.
“So, what will you have?”
Sungmin went back to the counter to put in the order, and he’s sure he could feel Kyuhyun’s gaze following him. Hell, looked like he care, he looked at Jungsu came out from the backside and smiled while shoving the order of–
“Strawberry cheesecake and a pot of tea?” Jungsu blinked.
“Yeah, It’s Junsu,” Sungmin replied as he saw Jungsu bent down to get the teabags. “Junsu said you told him to come,” he added when Jungsu turned to the cake display and opened the door, carefully taking the strawberry cheesecake out and putting it on the counter.
“I don’t ask him to come,” he replied, “he asked and I just answered him.”
“And he brings Kyuhyun here.”
Jungsu raised an eyebrow. “Cho Kyuhyun?”
“Yeah,” Sungmin pouted and leant against the counter, “the one and only.”
His eyes glanced around the café before landing on two figures on the right near the large tall window. Loose white lacey curtains half covered the opened windows, blocking some rays of sunlight as it passed through. Junsu was the one facing his side, but he was talking to Kyuhyun while sometimes gesturing with his hands and Sungmin felt it’s good that it’s Kyuhyun’s back he saw from where he was standing at the moment.
He felt a hand patting his back and turned, startled to find a plate of strawberry cheesecake, with some flower pattern with (perhaps) strawberry syrup drawn on the plate just below the cake, whipped cream on the side and two pieces of cherry sitting firm on the other side.
Sungmin knew that Jungsu knew that he loved strawberry cheesecake, and he had this strong urge to just take offered plate to the backdoor and eat it all.
And he was about to take the offered plate when it was pulled back.
“Hyung~” he whined, not liking the idea of Jungsu being suspicious of him eating the supposed to be served cake.
“Why you hate Cho Kyuhyun so much?” Jungsu instead asked, taking out a tray from the rack and carefully, but quickly, putting on a pot of tea and two empty cups and that sugarbowl.
Sungmin blinked feverously. “I don’t hate him.”
“Why you don’t like him then?”
Sungmin groaned, eyes shut fast, and opened again just when he saw the couple on the other table called him. He mumbled a “customer” and left Jungsu, who merely shook his head in disbelief, that Sungmin, again, fled from answering his question.
Jungsu sighed and tightened his apron, before going out of the counter to the table near the window, bringing that tray on his left with the cake on his right.
“Hyung,” Junsu grinned, and Kyuhyun turned just in time when Jungsu reached the said table.
“Hi Junsu,” Jungsu grinned back, turned to Kyuhyun, “and Kyu. What bring you two here?”
“You, hyung,” Kyuhyun laughed, “Junsu kept telling me to come with him since he doesn’t want to go in alone.”
“Hey,” Yoochun grinned seeing Jungsu taking a seat on his left. Jungsu smiled back.
It was almost two in the morning in one corner of the city, and Jungsu knew exactly where to find this friend of his. On the other hand, Yoochun never expected he would see Jungsu came over to him. But, oh, it’s a Friday night, that’s a reason, probably.
Park Yoochun was twenty-eight, he’s a fashion designer for a quite well-known brand in Korea, and he played stocks and knew exactly how to invest, and it’s clear that he’s one of the ‘top’ class in Korea. Although only few people knew, he’s an important factor how Café Cythera did exist. As a close friend with Kim Jaejoong, it only took few hours and few signatures from Yoochun for Jaejoong to build the café.
And yes, he loved spending his time just sitting at bars drinking (usually just one or two glass a night) and it’s easy to spot him because he always got to specific bar on specific day.
A bartender on the stool approached them, and Jungsu shook his head. No, he could never stand alcohol, and he didn’t plan to embarrass himself either. Yoochun twitched an eyebrow and called the bartender back and ordered screwdriver on the rocks, Jungsu frowned.
“I met him.”
Jungsu frowned, looking at Yoochun in disbelief. Was Yoochun merely joking or really he having no idea? Yoochun blinked, clearly did not understand what had gone wrong.
Yoochun’s eyes narrowed as the name said. The bartender slid on their front and Yoochun shifted the drink to Jungsu merely shook his head.
“Drink,” Yoochun shoved the glass further close to Jungsu’s mouth, “it helps.”
“Nah,” Jungsu groaned, unwillingly accepting the drink on his hand. “You don’t tell me he’s in town.”
Yoochun stared at his drink and did not lift his head for the next minute.
“I don’t feel I need to tell you.”
“Just because you fuck up your relationship, it doesn’t mean I should be your babysitter right?” Yoochun added lazily, sipping the last drop of his drink at the moment.
“As if you’re lovey-dovey with Changmin,” Jungsu snapped back. His hands squeezed the glass tighter and watched Yoochun’s hand stopped midway in the air as he was about to call the bartender again.
Yoochun slowly turned towards him, eyes staring menachingly. “You’re on his side huh?”
“It’s not his fault he’s busy with school and stuffs,” Jungsu shook his head.
“As if he’s busy,” Yoochun sighed, “he never answers my calls. I’m tired.”
“He has school.”
Yoochun’s gaze was back on his glass, empty but a last drop at the bottom, and said nothing for a moment before turning his attention back to Jungsu. He thought of the name said, thinking if it’s better for him to tell Jungsu about it. The empty state was soon forgotten.
Instead he just asked, “So, what did you say?”
Jungsu rolled his eyes.
“I said he called the wrong person,” Jungsu paused, glancing back at Yoochun. Still, he could not read anything on the designer’s eyes. “And I left.”
“You’re such a bitch.”
Han Geng laughed groggily as he checked on his watch; ten past two in the morning already. Getting out of the lift to his floor, he pulled Siwon’s hand, half walking and half dragging his feet to his flat. Siwon merely sighed and took Han Geng by the waist, leading their way to his boyfriend’s flat.
“Why we always end up at my place?” The Chinese guy whispered as he slung his hand on Siwon’s neck.
“Because I have a flatmate and I don’t want to make news in morning paper?” Siwon answered hastily, feeling his boyfriend’s breath on his neck. He smelled of alcohol, and Siwon promised himself to take his boyfriend away from a drinking Jaejoong how busy he was.
Well, he knew Han Geng didn’t drink too much. Or too often. Or too drunk. And he knew he couldn’t blame his boyfriend to drink while waiting for him to finish filming until one, right? After all, it’s rare for his boyfriend to have an evening shift the day after that they could spend their morning together.
“Well,” Han Geng paused, “I think it’s nice to have a change sometime.”
“I have a week break on tenth.”
“I’ll be taking a leave then.”
“Well…” The corner of Siwon’s lips turned upwards forming a smile. “I love that–”
He stopped. Han Geng frowned, completely confused, and turned to see what caused his boyfriend to stop just near to his flat, and he saw a guy on his door.
The guy was leaning just next to his door, he wears a long dark red overcoat with a white turtleneck sweater, his hands resting loosely on the chest, eyes closed, and it took another five seconds for him to recognize that guy.
Heechul blinked, eyes opened and looked at him. Then he glanced to Siwon (on whom his hands were still hanging on the Chinese guy) and grinned.
“Hi, Hankyung-sshi. Can I come in for a moment?”
A/N So, I'm rewriting chapter 03 since I'm not satisfied (_._) the plot is dancing in my mind but I seem cannot write them forgive me, it'll took some time.