Pairing(s): KaiSoo, BaekYeol, XiuHan, TaoRis
A/N: Next to Xiuhan, this is probably the OTP that's going to give us all the most grief. Also. Let's just all applaud D.O.'s face okay because OAO is so cute I cannot is my bias showing I hope not welp.
Joonmyeon huffs as he tries to help Sehun start moving the suitcases into the living room so they can start sorting things out. He’s glad that Jongin and Sehun’s parents had already had the moving company bring and construct the beds into the extra rooms that the two younger men are going to be using from now on. It’s already going to be hectic enough for Joonmyeon to start graduate school and help with Sehun and Jongin adjust to living away from home—and settling into university life.
It was nice being the oldest when they were younger because whenever their nannies had them play with each other at dinner parties while their parents were dealing business, Sehun’s nanny and Jongin’s nanny always had them bow to Joonmyeon first and he was allowed to pick the movie they’d watch, the game that they’d play.
Now, though, it’s just a big headache.
Because Joonmyeon went off to university first, naturally, was given the biggest apartment in the building (in the nicest building, on the nicest side of town—but that’s a given because their families, their status), graduated first, sent to graduate school, and now has to babysit his dongsaengs.
And, at the current moment, one of his dongsaengs isn’t cooperating.
“Jongin-ah,” Joonmyeon says and tugs at Jongin’s sleeve so maybe the younger man will stop staring at the apartment door and actually help Sehun carry in the bags. “Sehunnie is going to be a hunchback in about three minutes if—”
“Who’s the guy who just brought me and Sehunnie here?” Jongin asks suddenly, looking at Joonmyeon curiously.
Joonmyeon blinks. “Kyungsoo-shii? The receptionist?”
Jongin frowns (Sehun has managed to drag Jongin’s largest suitcase halfway towards Jongin’s bedroom). “He’s kind of young to be stuck working as a rece—”
“He goes to the university,” Joonmyeon says. “He was a freshman when I was a senior last year, and he’s on scholarship so I think the apartment gives him free rent with his own room if he works on the days he doesn’t have class.”
Jongin glances back to the door (Sehun gives the suitcase another tug before falling flat on his face in the doorway of Jongin’s bedroom). “Oh,” he says.
Why is the sky so blue today?
Why is the breeze so perfect only today?
Chanyeol turns at the sound of his name, blinking. He waves brightly when he looks down and meets eyes with Jongin. “Where’re you going?” he asks, as Jongin leans against the receptionist desk. Chanyeol walks around the left side from behind the desk and goes to stand next to Jongin at the front.
Kyungsoo, who is sitting behind the receptionist desk (because he’s the receptionist), shrinks in his seat and ducks down closer to his homework to the point where his nose is nearly touching the paper and Chanyeol personally doesn’t think that Kyungsoo’s eyesight is that bad nor is composing a short five-part medley that hard.
“Dance battle,” Jongin says, offering a friendly smile and tugging at the cap on his head playfully. He presses himself closer against the high, circular barrier of the desk (that Chanyeol is glad he’s taller than, so his armpits don’t have to ache when he rests his elbows on it) and attempts to look into the desk pit. “D’you like watching dance battles, Kyungsoo-shii?”
Kyungsoo scribbles out a chord.
Chanyeol blinks—scuttles around back into the desk pit to tap Kyungsoo’s shoulder because—
But then—okay—because a stinging ache hits Chanyeol in the ankle and that’s clearly Kyungsoo trying to injure Chanyeol, so Chanyeol doesn’t say anything because Kyungsoo kicks really hard. The journalist looks at Jongin apologetically and the dance major shrugs back, sighing, as he turns and walks out of the lobby.
“He likes you,” Chanyeol says sympathetically, and pokes Kyungsoo’s cheek once younger man lets out his breath and looks up after Jongin leaves.
Kyungsoo looks at Chanyeol. “No,” he says. “He just wants to get into my pants.”
“You don’t know that,” Chanyeol frowns.
“I see him and the other kid that rooms with Joonmyeon-shii drunk every night they come back from lectures,” Kyungsoo says. “They hang out with the other screwy freshmen who can afford to be screwy because their parents have enough money for them to be screwy.”
Chanyeol places his hands on either side of Kyungsoo’s face and squishes Kyungsoo’s cheeks in. “You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,” he says brightly as Kyungsoo flails and tries to wriggle his face out of Chanyeol’s grasp.
“Thanks, Socrates,” Kyungsoo says, and swats Chanyeol’s hands away.
Sometimes Luhan regrets making it clear and obvious that he’s a translator, and that he can both comprehend and speak fluent Korean because it probably would’ve been a lot funnier and more advantageous on his part if people thought he was on the same level of comprehension as Yixing since Yixing actually understands a lot more than people think he does, but usually pretends he doesn’t when it’s convenient.
Luhan doesn’t have that luxury.
And he really wishes he did, especially, for moments like these—moments like Kyungsoo The Receptionist (the poor kid’s ears are bright red) trying to articulate to Luhan that the translator needs to stop steaming buns so loudly and noticeably and in the hallways. And sometimes in the elevators. And sometimes in the emergency stairwells. And also the lobby.
“Did you talk to Minseokie about it yet?” Luhan asks, propping his elbow on the top of the desk guard and resting his cheek against his palm lazily.
Kyungsoo’s ears flame even further, shrinking behind his desk a little. “I thought—like—maybe—haven’t seen him today—so—pass it along? I—yeah. Please. Thanks.”
“Who’s complaining again anyway?” Luhan says, squinting. “Wufan? Is it Wufan again?”
“I don’t think I’m—um—allowed to divulge—”
Luhan laughs. “Okay,” he grins. “So it’s Wufan again.”
Kyungsoo rubs at his face, stretching his cheeks left and right until his eyes bulge and Luhan laughs harder. “It’s not just Wufan-shii this time, Luhan-shii,” the receptionist says, agitated. “Like—the new people moving into the floor that was added last month have been complaining since every time they use the elevator, you and Minseok-shii—I—yeah.”
“Sure, sure,” Luhan says, playfully appeasing. “I’ll pass the message along and we’ll try to keep it in our pants.”
Kyungsoo doesn’t look convinced, but seems to let the matter slide. He pulls out a box from beneath the desk, finally, and hands it over to Luhan. “Here’s your package,” he says.
Luhan grins, because Zitao always knows what Luhan misses best from their home country, and the younger man usually always includes pictures of what he’s been up to while Luhan’s away—along with pictures of Luhan’s parents and news of how they’re doing, and sometimes even letters that the phone calls can’t replace (Luhan also usually uses the food Zitao sends over as bribes for Yixing and Wufan).
The translator is about to ask Kyungsoo how much shipping rates have gone up when Kim Jongin of 1217 sidles up next to Luhan and looks at the package curiously. “From China?” Jongin asks, blinking.
“Yup,” Luhan smiles. “My dongsaeng sent it,” he says, “he’s going to move here next month so he can go to the university.”
Jongin raises his eyebrows. “Really? That’s cool—I’ll show him around when he gets here,” he smiles back at Luhan, before peering over the desk guard to where Kyungsoo is suddenly extremely preoccupied with adjusting the keyboard. “Have you ever been to China, Kyungsoo-shii?”
Kyungsoo shifts the keyboard to the right, and the mouse to the left.
Luhan sucks the insides of his cheeks in and digs his teeth into them because Jongin already looks so distraught that if Luhan laughs, it would just be human cruelty and Luhan doesn’t like being cruel. He pats Jongin on the back three times before steering him towards the double doors so the dancer doesn’t have to feel any more pathetic than he already looks to Luhan.
“Thanks for the package, Kyungsoo-ah,” Luhan says cheerily, taking the box into his arms as he catches sight of Minseok coming out from the elevator.
(“What did Kyungsoo want to talk to you about?” Minseok asks, blinking, as Luhan balances the box under one arm and uses his free hand to curl fingers into Minseok’s belt loops.
Luhan shrugs. “Nothing,” he smiles, and drags Minseok right back towards the elevator, “Baozi.”)
Jongin is sure that Kyungsoo doesn’t hate him.
Kyungsoo doesn’t even know Jongin, so while the choral major might have misconceptions of Jongin’s general personality and character from what Kyungsoo sees when he passes by Jongin on campus or what goes on during the one class (World Music History) they have together, there’s no way that Kyungsoo actually knows what Jongin is like so, therefore, Kyungsoo can’t actually hate Jongin.
Kyungsoo most likely just misunderstands Jongin, and that’s okay because Jongin can change all of that—can fix those misunderstandings and misconceptions based on the accidental fact that Jongin’s family has enough money to build a university for him if he hadn’t gotten in so thank Jesus Almighty that he had.
However, Jongin would have an easier time breaking those misunderstandings and misconceptions if Kyungsoo would speak to him.
And look at him.
Actually, at this point, Jongin would be fine with one or the other rather than both because currently neither has happened and it’s getting sort of depressing. He wonders if Kyungsoo even knows what Jongin looks like, or remembers, since the last, only, and first time Kyungsoo looked at Jongin was when he had to take Jongin and Sehun up to 1217 to move in with Joonmyeon.
Usually, Jongin’s noticed, people tend to be a lot friendlier to Jongin after they look at his face. People have told him that his face is rather attractive. And he personally also thinks he has a rather nice face. So maybe if Kyungsoo looked at it, there would be something to start building off of.
Because, presently, Jongin isn’t even at square one anymore. He’s like fifteen miles behind the starting line with brick walls blocking off the first four miles in.
Cheese cubes help.
Is it that I’m childish or a bit slow?
I can’t believe it
Zitao is rather fond Kim Jongin of 1217.
He’s in music composition whereas Jongin is in dance so they actually don’t see each other around campus as much as Jongin said they might when Luhan had first introduced them to each other at the apartment, but they do have one class together and Jongin is nice to Zitao there. Jongin’s friend, another dance major, Oh Sehun, is also nice to Zitao.
They take him out to eat sometimes and offer him drinks so naturally he drinks with them, and the fun part usually starts when Jongin and Sehun drape themselves over each other tipsily while Zitao gets to watch because he can hold his alcohol better than they can.
But, really, Jongin is nice and Zitao likes him, so it strikes him as strange that Do Kyungsoo—of 1211, the receptionist, a choral major but also in the same class Zitao has with Jongin—doesn’t. “Why?” Zitao asks, after Kyungsoo’s led him downstairs to the desk while Luhan steams buns in Minseok’s room (Zitao does really hope that Chanyeol will pass by like Kyungsoo said, since Zitao likes flowers).
“What do you mean why?” Kyungsoo says, staring as Zitao takes a seat on the edge of the desk. “You see him around campus too. Him and his messed up millionaire friends.”
Zitao feels himself squint at the choral major because Kyungsoo just used too many words in too few seconds—and, words that Zitao doesn’t really know—or at least strung together in a way that Zitao isn’t really sure of. “What?”
“Jongin,” Kyungsoo says, more slowly, “and his bad friends. Jongin’s bad and his friends are bad and they all have a lot of money. Don’t study. Bad. Drink a lot. Bad.”
Zitao blinks. “Jongin-shii studies,” he says. “And drinking is fun.”
Kyungsoo’s mouth falls open a little. “That’s not the point,” he says.
“Jongin-shii’s also very attractive,” Zitao tries again, because maybe that’s the point that Kyungsoo is trying to get at.
“Oh my God, that’s really not the point,” Kyungsoo says, agitation starting to leak into his voice.
Kyungsoo’s agitation, Zitao thinks, is funny. “You should make your point easier to find then,” Zitao says.
The receptionist covers his face with his hands.
Contrary to what everyone might think, Kyungsoo doesn’t actually hate Jongin.
He doesn’t dislike Jongin—but he doesn’t like Jongin either. Kyungsoo has no problem with Kim Jongin existing because everyone has a right to exist except for mass murderers of the unforgivable degree like Hitler and Kim Jongin is obviously not Hitler. Jongin isn’t a terrible inhabitant to deal with since 1217 hardly ever has any problems especially ever since Joonmyeon learned DIY plastering methods.
Kyungsoo’s problem, in short, isn’t Kim Jongin.
His problem is the fact that Kim Jongin seems to be interested in Kyungsoo—whether as a friend or romantically (and by romantically, Kyungsoo means sexually because people like Kim Jongin don’t have romantic relationships, they have sexual relationships until they are forty and balding and then they have romantic relationships because they can’t have sexual relationships with anyone other than those available through financial payment—and even those romantic relationships probably wouldn’t be romantic anyway).
Because Kyungsoo has no interest in being friends, let alone date, someone who drinks his way through university, probably has sex with everything that moves, and gets a free ride through university solely because he’s the reproductive result of two terribly financially successful people.
And for Chanyeol, Kyungsoo’s own best friend who doesn’t have the heart to believe that Jongin could mean any harm (because Chanyeol has always liked looking at the good in people a little too much), Kyungsoo has told time and time again that there is proof because he’s the receptionist and sees Jongin and Sehun come home drunk four days a week—obviously everyone knows that Jongin, Sehun, and Joonmyeon are all respectively the spawn of the terribly financially successful—and—Kyungsoo’s seen Jongin chatting up and kissing too many men and women at the corners of campus (and, okay, while that doesn’t prove that Jongin sleeps around, the dancer probably does and that’s that).
Kyungsoo didn’t like Joonmyeon when the choral major first started manning the receptionist desk and Joonmyeon was reaching his last year of university, but as time went on and Joonmyeon had to grow up to face graduate school, Joonmyeon became more likeable and now Kyungsoo likes him. Kyungsoo also has no problem with Sehun, despite Sehun having the same traits as Jongin.
And thus, Kyungsoo would also have no issue with Jongin if only Jongin would stop showing unneeded, unwanted, and ridiculous interest in Kyungsoo.
Personally, Wufan doesn’t like it when there’s interference to his mopus operandi. He likes the way he does things and the way he does things have always worked fine for him, so the fact that Do Kyungsoo is trying to alter Wufan’s mode of operating is mildly offensive. “Why?” he demands.
Kyungsoo squints over the desk guard, as Wufan leans against it. “Because that’s a breach of privacy,” the receptionist says. “And you’re friends with Luhan-shii. Go ask him.”
“I don’t want to ask him,” Wufan says. “I’m asking you.”
“Here’s a cool idea,” Kyungsoo says, putting his homework down and looking up at the reporter’s eyes head on. “How about you ask Zitao-shii?” He looks a little irritated now, which Wufan doesn’t think is called for because Wufan’s also rather irritated right now at the interference to his mopus operandi.
“I’m not Chanyeol,” Wufan shifts his weight to one foot, resting an elbow on the guard easily.
“At least Chanyeol got the job done and look,” Kyungsoo says, “now he and Baekhyunnie are dating.”
Wufan raises his eyebrows. “You know our entire floor almost died in the process? You know Jongin-shii was almost bulldozed?”
“Almost is the sad part,” Kyungsoo mutters. “And Zitao-shii isn’t your type anyway. I have a class with him. He’s not.”
The reporter almost smiles. “What’s my type?”
“A sexy, annoying flirt like Luhan-shii.”
“You don’t think Zitao-shii is sexy?” Wufan asks—it feels weird to have a new name in his mother language that he has to add Korean honorifics to.
Kyungsoo meets his gaze. “He’s not an annoying flirt,” the receptionist says. “When you get to know him, he’s really not sexy. He’s just kind of cute. He’s like five.”
“He does wushu, though, right?” Wufan says thoughtfully, leaning in close enough so that all he can see is Kyungsoo’s round eyes (the younger man shrinks a little deeper into the desk pit and away from Wufan’s face). “That’s sexy. He’s probably bendy.”
“He’s your ex-boyfriend’s dongsaeng,” Kyungsoo says, voice rising incredulously.
“Okay,” Kyungsoo says when three minutes pass and Wufan doesn’t respond, “okay. I have to go to class.” He stands up and slings on his backpack. “Ironically, the class I have with Zitao-shii.” Wufan watches as the choral major puts up the sign that lets passing inhabitants know that the receptionist for the next shift will be arriving shortly. “And can you stop spamming the complaint page with your complaints on Luhan-shii and Minseok-shii? I know you’re just doing it because you think it’s funny.”
Wufan steps to the side to let the younger man out of the desk pit. “Have fun with Jongin-shii,” he says and waves, curling his fingers twice.
Kyungsoo stares. “I know I’m supposed to keep work and personal shit separate when I’m on shift,” he says, “but I’m not anymore. So—okay—I hate you.” He turns on his heel huffily, heading for the door.
“I’m glad you’re in a good mood,” Wufan calls out as Kyungsoo reaches the lobby doors.
Joonmyeon looks up proudly as the door opens. “Guess what?” he says before Jongin and Sehun can announce that they’re back from class. “I bought cheese cubes—that aren’t past the expiration date.”
Sehun bursts out laughing, walking right past where Joonmyeon stands in the middle of the living room with a tub of cheddar cubes in one hand. “He doesn’t need them anymore, hyung,” Sehun says, dropping his bag on the dining table.
Jongin neatly slips his shoes off, plastered wall going completely unharmed. He lightly and airily steps across the living room, passing Joonmyeon just like Sehun did and drops his bags on the sofa. “We’re doing a group project for music history,” Jongin says brightly, bouncing onto the couch and stretching out.
Joonmyeon blinks from the tub of cheese to Jongin.
“And guess who’s my partner,” Jongin grins widely.
“Guess,” Sehun rolls his eyes.
Joonmyeon stares at the tub for another moment before meeting Jongin’s gaze. “Oh my God.”
“It’s okay,” Baekhyun says, cutting Chanyeol’s voice off from the profuse apologizing the taller man is doing through the phone. “We can make it up some other time.”
“Thanks,” Chanyeol’s voice comes gloomily. “I’m—like—I really am really, really sorry. It’s just—he’s my best friend and he’s kind of breaking down, so I need to be there for him.”
Baekhyun balances the phone against his shoulder as he tries to open his laptop up to check his emails. “I understand—really—it’s okay. I’ve kind of been wanting to hang out with Zitao-shii too anyway, and I keep bailing out on him, so maybe I’ll go over and see what he’s up to.”
“Sounds fun,” Chanyeol says, bright again. “Okay—yeah—do that—go have fun. I’ll talk to you later, okay? I have to go down to the store and get some more Tylenol for Kyungsoo.”
“Tell him to cheer up,” Baekhyun says in what he hopes is a supportive voice, “and maybe to not break anymore lamps. The lobby’s kind of dark now.”
“Sure,” the journalist says, and Baekhyun smiles inwardly when he can practically hear the grin on the other end. “Bye.”
I like you
What do I do?
Do Kyungsoo has a weird smile.
He doesn’t have an eye-smile because his eyes are like golf balls, Jongin thinks. So maybe when Kyungsoo smiles widely enough there’ll be an eye-smile appearing, but as far as Jongin’s seen, Kyungsoo doesn’t have an eye-smile. It’s just this weird, usually embarrassed, sometimes embarrassed for someone (mostly when Park Chanyeol is involved), sometimes shy, but every time—just purely happy.
Kyungsoo, despite grumbling all too audibly about every inhabitant on the twelfth floor (because that’s the floor that the receptionist lives on and somehow also the floor with the most troublesome inhabitants), actually smiles that weird, quirky smile to every single inhabitant that goes through the lobby. Not every single day, maybe, but Jongin always sees Kyungsoo smile once or twice every hour of his shift.
Kyungsoo’s smile is weird and full and quirky and strange and embarrassed and shy and odd and uneven and it’s always directed at everyone who isn’t Kim Jongin.
Jongin just wishes Kyungsoo would smile that smile at him.