Pairing(s): XiuHan, mentions of past!KrisHan
Summary: Minseok was supposed to be a toy
A/N: This is a backstory, but it's necessary for XiuHan's present-day storyline. Meanwhile, about two weeks left until I'm back to updating WFLT/Cabi/Insane, and all the rest of my stories that're probably sitting under ten feet of dust bunnies by now.
I can’t help but wonder if you’re human
Who else in this world can challenge how cute you are?
He meets Kim Minseok two days after he moves back to Korea for his new job. Luhan resists the urge to kick Wufan in the ankle when the reporter introduces the translator as his ex-boyfriend because that’s not how anyone wants to be introduced when they’re meeting someone who could be a potential current boyfriend. Predictably, Minseok’s eyebrows furrow a little at that, but there’s still a polite smile on his face as he holds out his hand to Luhan and bows his head at the translator.
“Don’t,” Wufan says after Minseok and Jongdae head back out (they were just stopping by because Jongdae forgot the grade book that he needed for the parent teacher conferences).
Luhan glances up at the other man. “Don’t what?” Luhan smiles.
Wufan raises an eyebrow. “He’s not your type,” Wufan says, “you’d break his heart.”
The translator just shrugs, smiles a bit wider. “It’s okay to have fun sometimes,” he says, sticking his tongue out between his teeth and touching Wufan’s arm lightly.
“Good to see you haven’t changed,” Wufan says, “much.”
In the beginning, Minseok is just an easy target—just another target—and Luhan just wants to have some fun while he’s getting resettled in Korea. Even though he’s done it before, it’s been a few years since he’s lived in Korea and adjusting to his new job is hard (made harder by the fact that Wufan is his co-worker and Wufan’s always been a stickler to work with even while they’d dated), so Luhan needs something (someone) to take his mind off of that.
Minseok is a good option.
It’s not supposed to be and it’s not going to be something serious. It’ll be light and quick, and Luhan will break up with him in a few months time—or maybe, if he feels like trying hard enough, he’ll have Minseok break up with him in a few months time.
Wufan’s right, after all, Kim Minseok isn’t Luhan’s type.
is what Luhan decides to call Minseok three days after they meet when Wufan leaves them alone in Luhan’s apartment because Luhan had told Wufan that the translator will cut all of the electrical cords in 1225 if Wufan doesn’t find a way to get Luhan and Minseok together alone.
Luhan comes up with the nickname on the spot even though he’d been planning to premeditate it earlier. He just wanted some way to get Minseok talking (to get Minseok blushing), and it’s easier to do that if Luhan has a funny nickname to get Minseok to know that Luhan’s interested—that Luhan thinks about Minseok.
“So what do you do?” Luhan asks, standing on the other side of the island countertop. He rests his elbows on the granite and leans his face in his hands, smiling breezily at the other man.
Minseok finishes sipping at the lemonade, putting it down and tilting his head. “I teach,” he says simply.
“Mm,” Luhan hums lightly, “okay. What level do you teach? Elementary? Middle—”
“High school,” Minseok says, smiling back a little. “I’m not good with little kids.”
Luhan raises his eyebrows playfully. “Really? I’d think you’d be great with little kids.” He grins. “You’d fit right in.”
Minseok’s mouth drops open slightly. “Yah,” he says, but there’s laughter bubbling up in his voice suddenly and Luhan lets out a laugh of his own. “Hey—I’m pretty sure we’re the same h—”
“It’s not your height,” Luhan grins, and reaches over the counter to press his fingers lightly against Minseok’s cheek—
(getting the pleasure of watching the teacher’s ears turn bright red)
“—but c’mon, Baozi,” Luhan laughs again, pulling his hand back (Minseok’s ears just grow a brighter red), “you probably look younger than your students.”
Luhan knows he’s accomplished his goal for today when Minseok doesn’t even reply—merely picks up his glass of lemonade and tries to drown his entire face behind it (except it doesn’t cover his red, red, red ears).
Luhan is the one to ask Minseok out (just three weeks later) because the translator knows that otherwise things aren’t going to progress at the speed Luhan wants them too. Nowhere in Luhan’s agenda is there anything listed on getting to know Minseok and becoming close friends before becoming boyfriends because Luhan isn’t in this for a lasting relationship (Minseok isn’t Luhan’s type, after all). The translator is in this for something fun and short until he can find someone in Korea who is his type.
Minseok’s reaction to Luhan’s semi-confession is to promptly spit iced tea all over Luhan’s countertop.
“So that’s a yes, then?” Luhan asks brightly, returning with paper towels.
Minseok quickly takes the paper towels out of Luhan’s hands and starts mopping up the mess himself. “I mean,” he says slowly, ears scarlet, “you haven’t really known me—”
“But I like you,” says Luhan simply. He offers another smile, sweeter and even brighter than the last one. “And you like me, right?”
“I—” Minseok’s mouth opens blankly.
Luhan leans closer over the countertop, reaching out and pressing his knuckles lightly—playfully—against Minseok’s cheeks (the teacher starts blinking rapidly). “Great,” Luhan says, “I’m busy tomorrow and Thursday, so come by Friday night and you can take me somewhere, okay?”
That Friday, some things happen the way Luhan expected them to, but a few things don’t.
Expectedly, Minseok takes Luhan somewhere predictable. They go to an air and space museum because Minseok is a science teacher (a biology teacher, but he’s apparently always had a thing for space and Jongdae is an earth science teacher and they’re friends so Luhan supposes that makes sense), and Luhan nods at the right times and laughs at the right times and flirts with Minseok in ways that turns the teacher’s ears red at the right times.
It goes according to Luhan’s predictions up until it starts to get late—maybe around eight (because they’d gone out for dinner first), and they’re deep inside the museum. Minseok takes Luhan by the hand, no intertwining fingers or tight clasps—just lightly—and says with a small smile, “C’mon.”
From there, Luhan just follows the teacher dumbly because this is wildly out of Luhan’s expectations, and Minseok is leading Luhan through parts of the museum that are restricted unless open for certain special exhibition occasions. Apparently, however, Minseok has special access because he’s a teacher—more so because he’s a science teacher and there’re associations between the museum corporations and the board, etc.
Minseok ends up pulling Luhan into a closed off planetarium.
(With the way the stars litter the artificial sky, some streaking across it, small orbs representing planets in the distance, large telescopes scattered throughout the front of the room, Luhan is left a little speechless)
Minseok leads Luhan into the last row of seats, farthest back from the platform up in the front with all of the equipment and exhibition stands. They sit in silence for the first few minutes, and Luhan knows that Minseok is waiting for the translator to say something and Luhan plans to say something except everything he’s planned to say refuses to come out of his mouth for a reason that he has no idea about.
“Do you like it?” Minseok asks, looking over. It’s dark so Luhan can’t see the teacher’s expression too clearly, but there’s nervousness plain as day in the teacher’s tone.
Luhan still can’t seem to speak.
So he gives up trying, and kisses Minseok instead.
When Luhan gets home after that (after they walk back together and Luhan ends up kissing Minseok again when they part ways at Minseok’s door), he walks straight into his bathroom and splashes cold water over his face because that was weird.
He’d planned to kiss Minseok tonight on their first date, but he’d planned it a lot differently than the way it went. Luhan had planned to kiss Minseok while the teacher was stuttering and red and Luhan was calm and composed. Luhan hadn’t planned to kiss Minseok in a moment of impulse because Luhan had turned to say something to the teacher but couldn’t make the words come out and his body had just swayed in by itself and—
Yeah. That was weird.
I purposely want to make you cry
I’m curious if you’d still be pretty then
Luckily, as Luhan figured, it was just a little fluke in the grand scheme of things, and from that day on, most everything else continues accordingly.
About three weeks pass before Luhan decides that it’d be a good time to have their first fight right around now.
It’s not that Minseok bores Luhan—it’s not that Luhan doesn’t like Minseok—it’s just that for the past three weeks, Minseok is everything adorable and earnest and sweet and honest (and sometimes random little flukes happen and Luhan’s heart beats faster than it should, but Luhan just attributes that to little coincidences popping up in the agenda), and Luhan’s never dated that type before (because Minseok isn’t Luhan’s type and up until now Luhan’s only ever dated his type—obviously).
Luhan’s just curious. He just wonders how someone like Minseok would react.
(For the record, Luhan’s type is Wufan—loosely defined, more or less—Luhan’s type is cold on the outside and warm on the inside, and it’s not hard for someone like Luhan to get on the inside because Luhan knows how to charm and flirt and have the coldness worn away in a matter of months. Luhan’s type is someone who’ll protect Luhan and treasure Luhan, but in the end, if Luhan crosses the line, then Luhan’s type will leave because Luhan’s type still wants to protect his own best interests despite what Luhan might want.
That’s why Luhan never really blamed Wufan for going his separate way—Luhan was always too selfish anyway.)
Luhan decides to start the fight off in the morning, so that way once they both get off from work, Luhan can pretend to grudgingly forgive Minseok and the teacher can take Luhan out for a movie in recompense and their first fight will have smoothly occurred with no lasting damages.
He starts it off about literally nothing—coming over to Minseok’s apartment for all of fifteen minutes to blow up (Luhan vaguely remembers ranting on about how Minseok doesn’t see Luhan enough during the week and capping it off with a few arm flails and foot stomps before storming out, into the hall, into the elevator and down to go to work because he doesn’t want to be late).
Luhan doesn’t hear Minseok chasing after him, Minseok didn’t fight back (merely stood there silently, watching Luhan with wide eyes), and it’s a pretty boring reaction overall, but Luhan supposes he wasn’t expecting much. It just emphasizes further how Minseok isn’t Luhan’s type because back in the good old days, Luhan would never dare start off a fight for nothing because Wufan would refuse to speak to him for weeks afterward and Luhan would be equally stubborn and neither of them would relent and that would lead to tension and then to sexual tension and then to angry make-up sex and then the world would be right again.
Predictably, that’s not going to be the case with Minseok.
So Luhan waves to Kyungsoo as the translator walks by the receptionist’s desk, and heads off to work, hoping that Wufan remembers to bring the interview scripts because Luhan sure as fuck didn’t.
He’s already on the bus by the time he realizes that he forgot his umbrella at Minseok’s apartment after the argument and it’s supposed to rain later this evening.
“So,” Wufan says in Mandarin since there’re still others around them in the office, sitting on the edge of Luhan’s desk as the translator packs up for the day and tries to figure out the best way to get to the bus stop without being drowned (a tricky feat to accomplish considering Seoul seems to be going through a second Noah’s Ark tonight), “you were a bitch to him.”
“I was curious,” Luhan corrects.
Wufan blinks slowly. “You were a bitch,” he repeats.
Luhan grins. “Same difference,” he shrugs. “We’ll make up and then he’ll take me to that movie I want to see.”
“If you don’t drown first,” Wufan says, tilting his head towards the window (it currently looks like the window of a submarine rather than a window on the fifteenth floor of an office building). “Why don’t you just con Chanyeol out of his umbrella?”
“I’m not heartless,” Luhan says and smiles sweetly (to which Wufan snorts and rolls his eyes). “Besides, I think he already left.”
Wufan raises his eyebrows. “Mm,” he says. “Have fun, then,” the reporter says, before walking away.
Luhan watches the reporter head back in the direction of the set before Wufan stops suddenly halfway down towards the hallway entrance. The translator frowns—there’s a person that seems to have caught Wufan’s eye and even though Luhan can’t see that person too clearly from the distance, he can tell that they’re having a conversation and Wufan suddenly glances back to where Luhan is.
“What?” Luhan says blankly when Wufan ends up walking back to the translator’s desk. “Who was that?”
Wufan doesn’t respond, merely puts an umbrella onto the desk. “You don’t have to drown anymore,” he says.
It’s Luhan’s umbrella—red and black—the one that he took on his way out of his apartment, but left behind after going into Minseok’s. “Who was that?” Luhan repeats, confused.
Wufan just raises his eyebrows.
Luhan meets the taller man’s gaze for all of three seconds, before standing up, grabbing his bag, grabbing the umbrella, and bolting for the elevators.
It’s dark, it’s raining like the second coming of Noah’s Ark, Seoul is a flurry of people walking home from work covered in umbrellas and raincoats, there’re zooming buses and cars and taxis, so naturally Luhan has no choice but to walk straight back to the apartment building with no hope of finding Minseok on the way there.
But that’s okay.
Minseok is smart—Minseok walks to school just like Luhan walks to work, which means Minseok naturally had an umbrella of his own.
When Luhan storms into Minseok’s apartment (forgoing knocking and outright slamming his shoe repeatedly into the door until it’s answered), Minseok is dripping wet all over his kitchen floor and blinking blankly at the expression of what’s probably utter incredulity on Luhan’s face.
“Oh my God,” falls out of Luhan’s mouth, accompanied by, “you’re a complete dumbass.”
Minseok squints. “What?”
“You’re a complete dumbass,” Luhan tries again in Korean because it’d come out in Mandarin the first time, apparently. “Where was your fucking umbrella?”
Minseok blinks, hand absently traveling to his wet hair. “Oh—Jongdae forgot his and we were walking together, but he had to go home. So I gave him mine because I didn’t think it’d start raining until later on, and—”
“Then why didn’t you just use mine and turn back around?” Luhan blurts incredulously, and ignores how his voice just covered two octaves during the last word of that sentence.
Minseok squints again.
“Then why didn’t you just use mine and turn back around?” Luhan asks in Korean—and in a tone that doesn’t sound like a pig squealing.
Luhan blinks back, waiting.
“Because you needed your umbrella,” Minseok says, sounding as utterly confused as Luhan is. “And it’s raining really hard.”
“But now you’re wet,” Luhan says slowly because maybe Luhan’s Korean is getting botched up and the translator just hasn’t realized it right now—maybe Minseok can barely understand what Luhan is saying right now because it’s possible that Luhan’s accent might falter in times of great absurdity.
A small, brief laugh that completely shoves Luhan off the edge because this doesn’t make any sense whatsoever—because Minseok is being absurd—because Minseok is soaking wet and laughing—because Luhan doesn’t understand.
“It’s just water,” Minseok smiles. “I’ll take a shower, dry off—I’m good.”
This is all so fucking stupid.
“Besides,” Minseok goes on just when Luhan was starting to breathe again because maybe the absurdity was coming to a close, “you were really angry this morning—and I didn’t know—I don’t know—how to make it up to you? So it’s the least I could do.” He laughs again, this time sheepishly and apologetically (and fuck, Luhan feels like someone is twisting a knife into the translator’s ribs). “That’s a shitty apology though, so this weekend, if you want to go somewhere or want something, I’ll—”
Luhan throws his arms around Minseok’s neck, crushes his lips over Minseok’s mouth (presses their bodies together tightly enough that it only takes seconds until Luhan’s clothes are wet too).
(Luhan’s plan is ruined again that night because Luhan had planned to make Minseok wait and wait and wait for weeks until he gets frustrated enough to outright ask Luhan for sex, but instead, that night, Luhan kisses Minseok until they’re both gasping and pliant and then Luhan is the one who whispers feverishly into Minseok’s ear if he can slide into Minseok—if he can make Minseok scream—if he can drag his fingertips against Minseok’s cheeks—if—)
(Minseok nods, smiling breathlessly—smiling shakily—up at Luhan. “Do anything you want,” he says with that breathless, shaky, perfect, tiny smile, “you always can when it comes to me. You know that, right?”)
Seeing you makes me so happy
Before I knew it, my lips are saying ‘I love you’
If Luhan knew it was going to be like this, he would’ve never chosen Minseok. He would’ve never even come near Minseok—never would’ve even approached him with the intention of just being friends. Minseok wasn’t and still isn’t Luhan’s type, but the type that Minseok is has drastically changed from what Luhan originally thought it was.
Or maybe Luhan just underestimated Minseok—maybe Luhan had forgotten that the reason Luhan only searches for lasting relationships with his type is because Luhan can only be with someone who’s as equally selfish as Luhan is.
It doesn’t work when the other party is not only not as selfish, but utterly selfless—utterly amazing—utterly kind—and an utterly better person than Luhan can ever hope to be except that other party doesn’t seem to realize it. The other party seems to believe that Luhan is the better, more amazing person just because Luhan’s face is sort of nice to look at—just because Luhan knows how to shoot his mouth off with words that make people giggle and flutter.
(Personally though, Luhan thinks Minseok’s face is far nicer to look at—and Minseok’s words never fail to make Luhan laugh, never fail to make Luhan’s heart beat faster)
Wufan was right.
Minseok isn’t Luhan’s type and Luhan is going to end up breaking Minseok’s heart.
Right along with his own.