wild_terrain: (JaeHo Forever yours)
[personal profile] wild_terrain
Title: Across the Line
Author: wild_terrain


Chapter: [3 / ?]
Rating: M
Genre: AU (flangst, romance)
Summary: When you're a kid, no one tells you how hard it is to grow up; how easy it is to forget who you are. But if you don't know who you are anymore, how are you supposed to deal with all the lines?
Hate/Love    Real/Fake    Hero/Enemy    Lust/Madness    Lost/Found    Past/Future
It's a strange new world across the line, but two men are going to have to cross it if they ever hope to find their answers—and each other.



A/N: A bizarre but necessary chapter up ahead! Enjoy~




∞CHAPTER 3∞


Tension was high. Seunghyun and Jay sat side by side at the table, staring ahead of them at the plate in front of them.

“Cut to your standards?”

Seunghyun’s eyes slid from the plate to Jay’s serious face, and then back to the plate. It was filled with carefully cut rectangular pieces of carrot about two inches in length.

“Approved.”

“Timer?”

Seunghyun tapped the phone sitting next to the plate of carrot sticks with his left hand and then hit the start button. “Go!”

Their hands shot out and suddenly it was a blur of limbs and carrots. Jay was so fast, grabbing one after the other. Seunghyun’s tactic was slow and steady. Their challenge was to build the highest carrot stick tower in three minutes. Jay had painstakingly cut the carrots up as evenly as possible while Seunghyun finished his sandwich on his lunch break.

The stakes were high—the winner would get to add a tally mark under their name and the person with the highest tally at the end of the month got to choose the restaurant they’d be going to at their monthly team-building dinner. The winner’s meal would also be paid for by the loser.

00:01:42:55

Seunghyun carefully added his third carrot stick onto his tower and snuck a glance over at Jay’s. He had more carrots stacked but they looked quite precarious. Any moment they were going to get knocked down and Seunghyun’s little sturdy tower would win him a tally.

00:02:03:47

There was a carrot earthquake and bits of orange scattered across the table. Seunghyun let out a delighted cackle and added another carrot block to his cube-shaped tower whilst Jay scrambled to start again.

00:02:15:23

Seunghyun reached for another piece—the same time Jay’s hand tugged on the plate and slid it out of Seunghyun’s reach. Seunghyun’s hand hit an empty table and he couldn’t help but let out a laugh before he quickly stole the plate back.

00:02:21:33

Jay had surprisingly made up for lost time. His carrot tower looked like an orange Japanese shrine gate. Seunghyun had faith in his carrot cube though.

00:02:37:10

A carrot fell from the top of Seunghyun’s tower but luckily his base was strong enough to handle the disruption.

00:02:45:03

Jay was gaining height. It was neck and neck.

00:02:49:27

There was no more laughter or cheating. It was going to be eleven seconds of far more concentration than the task probably even deserved.

00:02:59:12

Seunghyun finished his last layer.

00:03:02:00

“STOP!” both yelled and then moved back carefully from their construction site.

“Yes!” Jay yelled.

“No!” Seunghyun yelled back. “We’re measuring them!”

“Mine’s clearly taller than yours.”

“A centimetre at most!”

“Taller is taller,” Jay trilled and then stood up and started doing a victory jig by the table—what looked to Seunghyun like a mixture of Irish dancing and hyperactive body rolls.

“Stop it!” Seunghyun both laughed and groaned as Jay danced closer to him. “Ergh, get your rubber spine out of my face.”

His friend just grinned at him and then started chanting “Tally! Tally!” in time with his body rolls.

“You are not a very gracious winner,” Seunghyun grumbled good-heartedly as he reached over for their tally sheet.

“Because it’s 3-1, baby! Whoop whoop!”

“Yes, okay, you won this month’s dinner. Choose wisely, sir.”

Jay just grinned back at him and then bent across the table to grab a carrot stick and pop it into his mouth. He swallowed and then sniffed the air. “Do you smell that?”

“What?”

“Ddeokbokki.”

“Alright, alright,” Seunghyun laughed and then opened his arms up wide, preparing to scoop up all the bits of carrot into one nice pile.

“Wait-wait-wait,” Jay called out, swooping in to save their two towers from Seunghyun’s cleaning wrath and then whipping out his phone. “Instagram,” he explained and started to snap a few shots.

Seunghyun just shook his head and piled the last few bits of carrot onto the plate. Off to the side a shadow appeared at the sliding door and Seunghyun barely had time to comprehend anything before the old door slid open and Jung Yunho materialised from behind it.

Oh crap.

The tall tennis player stepped into the room and as his head turned to make sure he had secured the glass door back into place, Seunghyun quickly glanced over to his companion sitting mere metres away from the door. Jay’s head had risen from his phone and he was turning to look at what the noise was behind him—Seunghyun realised he was holding his breath—and then Jay’s eyes widened when he saw who was standing there. He looked shocked—so shocked he apparently couldn’t stop staring at their country’s only professional grand slam player standing right behind him in the flesh.

Oh Lord, Seunghyun thought. I forgot to warn him that Yunho would be stopping by sometime today. It would be their first face-to-face encounter and he had no idea how Jay would react to the man. Jay was still staring—but not hurling abuse, so that was something, right?

Seunghyun would do his best to make sure it wouldn’t be an unpleasant encounter for anyone. "Ah," he said out loud with a smile. "Good morning, Jung-sshi." Out of the corner of his eye he saw Jay's head almost imperceptibly jerk a little but he was still blessedly keeping his mouth shut.

Meanwhile, Yunho gave Seunghyun a smile of his own and returned the greeting. Then he noticed Jay at the table too and gave him a cursory nod.

Seunghyun pushed his chair back from the table and quickly joined Yunho by the door. He sure hoped Jay had stopped staring and was hiding the remnants of the carrot game they’d been playing. Lord knows what the tennis player would make of it. He was about to sign a contract and Seunghyun did not want him thinking he was handing his money over to a bunch of kids.

"Before I forget,” Seunghyun said with a smile, “Jung-sshi, let me introduce you to my business partner, Kim Jay." He turned to Jay and saw the shorter man slowly stand up from the table too. "Jay, this is our soon-to-be silent sponsor, Jung Yunho." He was quite proud that he’d resisted the urge to emphasize the word silent for Jay.

When Jay reached them, Yunho held out his hand for him to shake and Seunghyun was relieved to see Jay did so without any hint of derision.

"Nice to meet you," Yunho greeted, ever so polite.

"Likewise," Jay returned and stepped back.

"Jay is actually the father of this little brainchild. He had his heart set on fixing up this place, and he is very, very persuasive."

"Really?"

Where Yunho had shown polite interest in Jay before, the normally taciturn tennis pro was now openly smiling at him. It was an almost bashful happiness, Seunghyun decided, that seemed to peek through Yunho’s aloof demeanour whenever the old tennis courts were mentioned. It was clear that Jay had just received fifty bonus points in Yunho’s eyes. Were all tennis players this gaga over their sport? One look at Yunho’s face and one would think Jay had just rescued a shivering kitten.

Said hero, on the other hand, was starting to look uncomfortable. He hid it well—that right there was the perpetually level-headed guy Seunghyun had known for years—but Seunghyun could see the taunt shoulders and tightly held jaw that suggested otherwise.

Seunghyun had the feeling he had unintentionally offered up far more information about Jay’s role than the younger man was comfortable with. If there had been no one else in the room, Seunghyun had no doubt he’d be copping a few punches on his shoulder.

It was time to move the conversation along.

“Aside from us, there is one other member in our team,” Seunghyun explained to Yunho. “Our coach, Park Yoochun.” Realising how that sounded, Seunghyun stifled a laugh. “Err, that is to say, our club’s tennis coach; not our”—he motioned to himself and Jay—“business coach. God, Yoochun wouldn't even know how to run a lemonade stand by himself,” he said, quickly shooting a grin at Jay before returning his attention back to Yunho. “I am sure you will get to meet him sometime if you have any interest. He comes in the afternoons, when our lessons are scheduled.”

Yunho nodded. “That would be nice sometime,” he said.

“Great.” Seunghyun let out a deep breath of satisfied exertion and then gestured to Yunho. “Are you here to finalise the contract?”

The tennis player nodded and Seunghyun gestured for him to follow him into the office.

Dismissed, Jay sat back down at the table. The last thing Seunghyun saw before he closed the door behind them was his friend’s head bent over his carrot sticks. He was a weird kid, Seunghyun thought, but boy did he have great affection for him.

*

Yunho signed the page in front of him and passed it over to Seunghyun. It was done. The whole arrangement had started off on a whim but Yunho was glad it had happened. That didn’t stop him from laughing at himself a bit though. His coach Lee Yongtaek and his friend Shim Changmin had prescribed him a month away from tennis—a fortnight at the minimum—and here he was making deals with tennis clubs. It was just financial though… He wasn’t technically playing any tennis or jamming his head with strategies... And that was the story he was sticking to.

“Welcome to our little club.”

Yunho met Seunghyun’s gaze and smiled in return. “Thank you.”

“We’ll absolutely keep you updated on everything,” Seunghyun said before lifting himself up from his chair. “And you are of course welcome to come by any time and see for yourself.”

“I appreciate that.” Yunho accepted the club owner’s handshake and then followed the man over to his office door.

As Seunghyun opened it, he asked, “You prefer email, yes?”

“Email is fine.”

“Okay, great.”

“Have a good day,” Yunho said before he slipped through the door and back into the open space that was both familiar to him and completely rearranged. The couch and TV was an interesting edition. It was a little quirky. Quite telling of the new management. He couldn’t imagine the older men who used to run the place when he was a kid being so innovative and relaxed. The whole space was almost like a miniature bachelor pad. He liked it.

As he walked to the glass door, his hand touched his back jean pocket out of habit to make sure his car keys and wallet were still there. It was a good thing his body remembered habits easily because his mind had already started to wander. His mind always wandered, that was his problem. His tennis sucked and it was all because of his stupid mind. It was why he was here in the first place—here at the club on a whim, offering to finance courts he hadn’t seen properly in over ten years, and here at The Grove in general where his family still lived. They’d had to banish him from anything tennis-related and instead take a holiday to give his mind a rest. Already he was failing.

He gave himself a lengthy sigh just as a line of orange exploded into his peripheral vision. He turned his head. Seunghyun’s business partner, Jay, was leaning across the long table that took up half the room. Yunho found himself tilting his head to match the extraordinary angle the other man was leaning on. He seemed to be staring intently at the line of orange set up in front of him in delicate horizontal blocks.

Ah, that was the line of orange Yunho had seen on his way over. The orange blocks were set up like… Dominoes?

Backtracking a few steps, Yunho made his way over to the table to get a better view. To his surprise, the orange blocks the other man was setting up were actually carefully cut up carrot sticks.

“Carrot dominoes?” he asked out loud.

The man at the table looked up then—and Yunho was hit with a strong gaze. Dark hair and even darker pupils locked with Yunho’s and trapped him on the stop. What had Yunho expected though, breaking the man’s focus? They were beautiful eyes though, deep brown and full of…something. Yunho had a feeling that this Jay had that affect on a lot of people; that fiery gaze was right up there with a lot of powerful people he had met in the tennis world over the past few years.

And then Jay’s gaze returned back to the line of carrots set up across the table in soldier-like formation.

Wow. He’d seen that look a few times over the years as well. Often by other tennis players in the locker room who sized up their opponent and then disregarded them as though they were beneath them. Yunho knew how to deal with those kinds of people—one of the tricks his friend had taught him.

Yunho moved around the table and bent down to examine the orange assembly. Their maker could be as hostile as he liked, Yunho was fascinated by the domino concept and he was going to look as long as he wanted. It was pretty impressive. He’d never tried using carrots as domino pieces before but he supposed with enough weight in their width they would work as decent substitutes. In theory, anyway.

His gaze rose back to Jay’s. He had a burning question. “Did you cut all these up yourself?”

Jay was bent over a curved corner, carefully changing the angle of one of the carrot pieces. Once he had secured it, he slowly moved his hand away and answered Yunho’s question, “Yep.” As he reached for another piece of carrot, Yunho heard him mutter, “I know kids are starving in Africa but I can’t help it...”

“Actually,” Yunho said. “I was thinking that it was pretty dedicated. Your pieces are really even.”

Jay glanced up at him. “Oh. I guess...”

“Can I take a photo?” Yunho already had his phone out but there were some social conventions he could never ignore.

The silver bracelet Jay was wearing scraped softly against the tabletop as he dropped another carrot into place. “Sure.”

Yunho took a few pictures until he had all the different domino sections covered and then slipped the phone back into his pocket. Jay was bent over the table again, working on a very delicate twist in his formation. Yunho let out a whistle. “Your curves look good.”

An eyebrow quirked as Jay worked. “Can’t say someone’s ever said that to me before.”

Yunho blinked a few times and then he got it. “Oh! No.” He almost laughed at the absurdity. “I meant the dominoes. Not an S-line. Obviously.” He appreciated the joke, but even if he was interested in flirting with other guys—which he wasn’t right now—he wouldn’t be so obtuse as to insinuate they had feminine curves.

He watched the other man continue to set up his little project for a little while longer and then realised he had no intention to leave just yet. He felt quite invested in the whole experiment now.

As carefully as he could, he drew up a chair from the table and sat down with as little disturbance as he could to the delicate line of carrots. “You look like a pro at this.”

“Not really,” came Jay’s response. “It’s just measurement.”

Yunho hummed. “Mm, but you have really steady hands. My friend would have knocked it over by now.” There were only two carrots left and Yunho waited patiently for them to be put in place. “Nice,” he said as Jay stepped away from his design and surveyed his hard work for a moment with his hands on his hips. Then Jay nodded to himself, stepped back and called for his business partner.

The office door opened and Seunghyun appeared in the doorway. His eyes surveyed the orange dominoes lined up along the table and then raised his eyebrows in pleasant awe—then his eyes flashed to Yunho and horror erupted in them. But almost as quick as it came, the blaze simmered down when he took in Yunho’s unconcerned lean against the table. “What the…” was all Seunghyunn could say after that.

“I thought I’d recycle them,” Jay said by way of explanation and watched his business partner make his way over. When Seunghyun was at his side, he asked, “How much faith do you have that this will work?”

“Sixty per cent?”

Jay nodded thoughtfully. “Eighty per cent.” Then as an afterthought his gaze dropped to Yunho’s.

“Umm…” Yunho shrugged. “Seventy per cent?”

“Okay,” he said. “I guess we’ll see.” And then he leaned over to flick the first carrot into its companion.

It was a beautiful sight. Orange domino bumped into orange domino in a neat little dance. The first curved line twisted around in a brief pirouette and then the second. The formation fell apart a little by the end but only minimally.

“Ha!” The delighted noise burst from Yunho seconds before Seunghyun laughed in pleasant surprise. There was no verbal cheer from Jay but the smile on his face was striking; his cheeks were plump and his dark brown eyes were warm and bright. There was a youthfulness there in his face for the very first time. His happiness was simple but genuine. Almost infectious. He was like a completely different person…

Yunho didn’t realise he had been staring until both figures suddenly ducked out of view. They had bent over to clear away the carrot debris from the table. Yunho moved to help them. It didn’t take long and when they were all done, they stood gazing down at the bumpy orange pile in front of them.

“Geez, JJ,” Seunghyun chuckled. “You know I like thinking outside the box for games but that’s a hell of a lot of carrot.”

“I’m sure the starving children in Africa will forgive just this once,” Yunho replied before taking a glance at Jay. Said man looked over at him but his eyes had narrowed. Not impressed, huh? Back to the locker room attitude it was.

“Sorry,” Seunghyun said to Yunho as he gestured to the mess Jay had begun to shovel into a garbage bag. “It’s been a slow morning. There’s not normally an avalanche of carrots in our workspace.”

Yunho swiped at the air in a don’t worry about it gesture. “It’s fine. I probably should be going now though.”

“Oh yes, of course.” Seunghyun rolled the door open for him and Yunho stepped outside after a quick wave.

The sunlight assaulted his eyes straight away and he cursed himself for leaving his sunglasses in his car all the way across the field. Big shock there. His wandering mind was getting out of control…

He tried to shade his eyes from the glaring sun as he walked through the field and then glanced down at his shoes moving through the grass. With each step, he couldn’t help but wonder what he had gotten himself into with The Grove’s tennis club. The current club was still in its infancy and as nice as Seunghyun seemed, his business partner was a real challenge. A headache, his mother would say. Well, whatever his deal was, Yunho did not want to be involved. He had to deal with prissy egos enough as it was in his world and he’d come here to take a break from all of that.

Speaking of breaks… He’d been unsure of Changmin’s suggestion to let go of tennis for a month even after his coach had agreed with it, but now he had to admit it was kind of nice not having to worry about topspins and serve speeds and opponents weaknesses. He hadn’t looked at his tennis racket for days or thought about the sport much. Though he wasn’t sure how long that resolve would last—Case Study A: The Grove tennis club… He’d try and enjoy his break though. How hard could it really be to just relax a little?

When he had told his parents he would be back for a month, they had all but hugged and kissed him all over and then ushered him into his old bedroom. He hadn’t been in there for far too long but some things never changed. His room still managed to contain so many memories of an almost different life. There were old trophies and sport magazines (all issues before he’d been in them), and the very first racket his parents had bought him, which he’d never be able to throw away. So many relics from the days of trying to train whenever there was spare time away from school. He had been so desperate to make it into the ITF Juniors, and the day he had been allowed in had been the best day of his young life.

Those days were long gone. Now it was training first, life second. He liked it that way though. He liked working towards a clear goal and keeping his body really healthy at the same time with no distractions. Every day there was his gym training, his running sessions outdoors, and then practice on the courts. Even during his tennis-free break he hadn’t been able to let himself completely break the habit of at least doing his bench and leg presses at the gym. The gym at The Grove wasn’t as well equipped as his training facility in the city but it was good enough.

He wished he could train his mind as easily as he could his body. That was where the problem lay. He was stuck in a loop of self-sabotage on the court that he could not seem to break free from. He could only hope this tennis-free month was the answer. He didn’t know how much longer he could handle standing on that court in front of his opponent, staring him in the eye, then gazing at the spot he wanted the ball to go and never having it come to fruition. How many tournaments had ended like that? Him giving such poor performance in front of everyone? Even with players ranked lower than him! It was embarrassing and the frustration was just so toxic. He was starting to hate himself for it.

Gravel crunched beneath his feet and he could just see the silver of his car peeking through the trees. He dug into his back pocket for his keys and bounced them in his hands until he reached his car.

Maybe reliving the old days here would break the spell. It was kind of why he had sought out the old courts in the first place. He had really good memories there… For one, he’d had that boy who he’d aspired to be like. The one leagues above him who hit the ball almost as fast as the people on TV. The one who was just so very cool, who he had wanted to be friends with so desperately but never been able to because only the more outspoken kids had gotten close enough to him. God knew what that kid was doing now but maybe his essence could still be found here at the courts and Yunho could feed on it to channel his old inspiration or something.

It wasn’t just his old crush that he’d loved about this place. Anything had seemed possible there on those courts when he’d been a kid. He’d thought he could achieve anything he wanted as long as he worked hard. Soon enough he’d be a tennis champion, he would do his country proud, and he would sweat a hundred times his body weight until it happened.

Of course back then he’d had no proper concept of the talent he’d have to compete against to get there, or of the many foreign languages that he’d have to learn even though they all seemed to mix together. He definitely hadn’t been prepared for the psychology behind it all—the sneers in the locker rooms, the manipulation on the courts, the passive aggressive snark flung at you in other players’ interviews… If it hadn’t been for his mentor, he would have sunk.

Maybe it could be put down to something as simple as ignorance being bliss but even when he had been a beginner, learning tennis as a kid and then early teen, he hadn’t felt this pathetic. He’d had faith in himself back then and it had taken him far. It was all he had needed. Now his faith only extended to the inevitability that he’d play poorly in his matches. He had complete faith in that. Oh and in carrot dominoes.

Great! Not all was lost—he still had faith in carrots.

Yunho shook his head and slid into his car. Another gym session sounded really good right now… And then a long shower where he could loosen up and wash some of the fog from his mind. Then a nap. Then a call to Changmin… No, Changmin was probably sick of him. He was the one who’d had to deal the most with Yunho’s ridiculous emotional spells on the road...

Shim Changmin was an invaluable member of Yunho’s team and someone Yunho couldn’t bear to go to tournaments without—aside from his coach, but Yunho could only stand being selfish for so long. Yunho knew he should let him study so that he could finally get his degree and officially become his sport psychologist and all round pulling-head-from-ass guru. Changmin had been studying part time for far too long and sometimes Yunho didn’t know what the hell he had done to deserve such selfless support from his high school friend. And Yunho felt bad enough as it was interrupting Changmin’s studies all the time with his tennis tournaments let alone now when he was bored on his so-called break.

He’d let Changmin have a Yunho-free break this month. Maybe he’d ring his other high school friend instead… Kim Junsu, the semi-professional soccer player who would have loved those carrot dominoes.

Yunho grinned as he rolled the window down and started the ignition. Having some good old fashioned fun with Junsu sounded perfect. Hopefully he was in town…

*

Jay was busy with work when Yoochun arrived at the tennis man cave for his coaching. Yoochun hadn’t been able to get much out of the older man aside from their usual greeting before Jay had returned all of his attention back to his laptop. And he wasn’t playing secret computer games or watching porn—Yoochun had checked.

Yoochun was resigning himself to a boring thirty minutes of lying on the couch just watching Jay typing away, when Seunghyun emerged from his office and caught Yoochun’s eye, waving him over.

Yoochun beamed and escaped into Seunghyun’s office. His boss lingered in the doorway for a moment, peeking out at his business partner still solemnly typing away, and then he sighed.

“What’s with that?” Yoochun stage-whispered, cocking his head in Jay’s direction.

Seunghyun looked back at Yoochun with a momentary grimace and then gave one last look at Jay before quietly shutting the door.

“You guys been fighting?”

“No,” Seunghyun said, leaning against the door a little.

“Double-J’s just really into work today?”

“Yes and no,” Seunghyun replied. “It’s been busy today, that’s for sure. Which is why I’ve got to update you on some big developments.”

“Ooh,” Yoochun said with a small grin. “Colour me intrigued.”

“I didn’t want to mention anything earlier to you in case things fell through…” Seunghyun said quietly and Yoochun obediently moved closer to him, eager for more. “In a nutshell, a very important person has been around here, offering to help us financially.”

“A very important person as in the prime minister, or as in your parents?”

Seunghyun laughed at that. “Important as in Jung Yunho, the tennis player.” Yoochun felt his eyes bulging out and possibly his mouth too because Seunghyun laughed louder. “I know,” was all he said.

“Are you shitting me?” Yoochun exclaimed.

“The floor is free of shit.”

“No freakin’ way!”

“I swear it on my mother’s Yoo Jaesuk sock collection.”

“Well then!” Yoochun said, his laughter easing the shock from his features.

“The contract’s all signed,” Seunghyun explained with a smile. “We’ll be receiving his donation in instalments, and dare I say we’ll be able to start fixing up that dodgy old court within the month.”

“You go, boss!” Yoochun crowed, lifting his hand up for a high-five. The resulting smack of skin against skin was a delicious sound. “But how the hell did you score someone like Jung Yunho?”

“I didn’t,” Seunghyun returned with a little shrug. “That’s the thing, he came here. Just showed up out of the blue on Monday and started inquiring about the club.”

“That’s insane!”

“My head’s still spinning,” he admitted with a helpless smile.

“What was he like?”

“Jung Yunho?”

Yoochun nodded liberally and leaned closer.

Seunghyun’s face screwed up in thought. “He speaks rather matter-of-factly but also like a gentleman.”

“So he really is as serious as he is on the TV?”

“In ways yes, but then he doesn’t know us. We’re just another business he’s involved in. He wouldn’t exactly be skipping around, burping and making bad jokes.”

“Was that directed at me?”

Seunghyun burst into laughter. “No,” then he gave a wicked grin, “but now that I think about it…”

“Well damn. You’re in a good mood—understandably. And…” he stopped then and let out a long, “Ahhhhh.”

“What?”

“Ahhhhhhhhh!” Yoochun repeated. “Ahhh-hahhh.”

“What?” Seunghyun asked again, shifting his weight onto his other foot.

“I get it.”

He heard Seunghyun grumble an ‘I don’t’ as he scratched at his elbow.

“I get why Double-J’s so absorbed with his work. I almost forgot. I mean…” He leaned in closer. “Around here ungjay unhoyay isway abootay.”

“What? Your booty is around here?”

Yoochun rolled his eyes. “Pig Latin, dude, come on.”

“Okay,” Seunghyun nodded and clapped his hands together in a let it at me gesture. “Repeat.”

Isn'tway ishay amenay abootay?”

Seunghyun shook his head. “Nope. Nothing.”

Yoochun sighed. “Isn’t you-know-who’s name T-A-B-O-O around here?”

“Yoochun,” Seunghyun laughed, “Jay’s not a dog. If he can hear us now, he can also spell.” He chuckled a little longer and then sobered up. “But yes, exactly, that little factor has caused a bit of tension.”

“No wonder it’s all awkward sauce in there. Poor little fellow. Jung Yunho is freakin’ kick-ass, but whatever Double-J’s deal is, that’s gotta be a blow.” Yoochun slipped the office door open a crack and stuck his eye through. “Yep, that’s a sad-face Double-J.”

He heard Seunghyun’s sigh of agreement behind him.

“Don’t fret,” Yoochun told him, closing the door again. “We’ll cheer him up.” And then he swivelled on the spot to grin at Seunghyun. “In fact, I know a good way.”

“You have an idea?” Seunghyun asked, and then amended that with an, “Oh boy.”

Yoochun sighed and put his hands on his hips. “On a scale of one to Kim-and-Kanye-naming-their-child-North-West, I am about a two with my classiness!”

“You do know that knowing that particular fact completely undermines your case, right?”

He shrugged. “Haters gon’ hate.”

Seunghyun just shook his head and then said, “I’m all for cheering up JJ, but all I ask is that it’s nothing illegal, okay?”

“Oh, it won’t be,” Yoochun grinned.

“Somehow that is still not reassuring,” he heard Seunghyun mutter under his breath but he didn’t care—he was too busy scrolling through Google on his phone. And then he found it. He was a genius. A ge-nie’s-ass!

“Dude,” he announced with a grin, “Hallmark is going to be creating cards in my honour.”

“And I’ll be creating a watch in your honour,” Seunghyun teased. “Time to earn some money, Coach Park.”

Yoochun quickly bookmarked the site on his phone and then yelled, “I’m on it!” over his shoulder as he pushed through the door and then hurtled past Jay to retrieve his racket, all the while trying to slip his phone back into his pants without missing the pocket.


[TBC]


Yoochun’s pig latin:
1. Jung Yunho is taboo
2. Isn’t his name taboo


A/N:
Yoochun, you’re a worry. XD

There was actually originally five more pages to this chapter but those seemed more suitable for the start of the next chapter. Information overload. Let’s just let all the info in this chapter be processed first… Like the beginning of Yunho’s story.

Did YunJae’s meeting seem anticlimactic? Ah, but there lies another piece to the puzzle.

Anyway. This week has been cur-ay-zee for me so I’m going to jump into bed and not move for…a day. XD

Thank you everyone for your comments! *hugs and kisses*
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