Genre: Fluff, Romance.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything besides the plot.
Summary: Try as he might he cannot bring himself to draw. Bored of the usual faces in the manhwa, his manager sends him on an impromptu holiday and he ends up refreshing his drawing skills as well as finding his muse. ;-)
Changmin sighs as he watches the drawing board with something akin to deep dismay. His irritation is palpable on his face as he glares daggers into the board that is currently resting on its stand. The said board is pristine white, completely empty. And that’s the very reason Changmin is so irritated. The same sight of an empty board has been teasing him for the past six months. And it’s not just the board. His notepad is also squeaky clean, his paint software lays forgotten and his workplace doesn’t show any signs of it being in use by him. He has all of his gear out but all those colors are only giving him a headache. He had taken them all out thinking that he will at least prepare the first looks of his new manhwa characters but inspiration is far away and he is floundering so bad his head aches.
He picks up the first pencil. May be it’s because of all the colors. Maybe he should bring it back to the basics. Keep it simple and clean. It is the basic grey toned pencil used to draw the outlines. He looks at it for few long moments before putting it back down, heaving a long drawn out sigh. Changmin had never thought he would ever have a lockdown this bad.
He leaves his workroom and enters the kitchen, deciding that a cup of coffee is in order to wallow in self-pity over his maybe temporary artistic constipation. He opens the cabinet, only to find that he has run out of coffee. Today is an awesome day, isn’t it? he huffs in irritation before his eyes land on the jar of hot chocolate. He decides against going out to get the coffee and thinks that chocolate is a good choice.
He is in the middle of pouring his hot chocolate in an over large cup when his phone rings. It’s a particular ringtone, specified for one person only and Changmin groans as he picks up the cup and walks into the TV lounge to get his phone.
“Can’t live without me huh!” He smirks at the indignant huff he gets in return.
“Don’t be so full of yourself, you little shit. I am only with you for the paycheck.” Ren replies curtly although the heat is only there for show.
They are both very aware of the positions they hold in each other’s lives. They are both inseparable as well as irreplaceable.
“Right” Changmin rolls his eyes as he takes a sip of his hot chocolate and then smiles blissfully at the sweet taste that is warming his insides.
“You bet I am right! Really it’s the paycheck I love, not you” Ren replies, a smile of her own ghosting up her pretty lips and Changmin huffs in reply.
“Watchu doin’?” Ren asks in a cutesy voice.
“Oh God! Please don’t ever talk like that to me.” He groans. “Cute is not a good look on you”
“Jealous much Changmin-ssi”. Ren giggles and Changmin sighs audibly just to rile the pretty girl up who is indeed very good at ayego but he is never going to admit that in front of her, not in this lifetime.
“You using honorifics is never a good news.” Changmin smothers his laughter.
“Hey I am a very well-mannered girl okay. It’s just that I only use honorifics for people who ‘deserve’ them or when I am in a satirical mood. For you it’s mostly the latter.” She giggles a little more and Changmin smiles at her cuteness. They have done this enough times now that it’s almost natural.
“Yeah, Whatever” Changmin replies. “How was the ‘talk’ with the company high ups?”
“I managed to convince them to give you some more time. I didn’t have to try that hard though. You’re their gold mine so it was pretty easy to convince them to push the release date a little further.”
“How much time do I have?” Changmin asks brow wrinkling as he takes a sip from his mug.
“As much as you need. What you create is art Changmin, a bit graphic and creepy I must say, but it’s art nonetheless and no one should be allowed to rush it. So take your time and leave the higher ups to me.”
“Thank you Ren!” Changmin says with gratitude. He has no idea how he would be able to survive without having her near him at all times.
They have been through so much together that it feels as she was always with him, right from the beginning instead of becoming his manager/best friend in the past 6 years.
“It’s alright Changmin.” Ren’s voice softens and Changmin smiles yet again at her ability to pick up his moods so effortlessly, but before he can ask about her day Ren asks him about his.
“So how is it going by the way? Any progress?”
“I just came out of my work room after sitting there for an hour. It’s really bad Ren. I can’t bring myself to focus on anything. It’s like I am all out of ideas.” His irritation can be easily heard all the way to Japan, where Ren shakes her head and sighs.
“It’s alright. You are having a temporary burn out. Happens to everyone, every once in a while. You’ll get through. I know you will. So hang in there okay.” Her voice is really soothing and Changmin feels calm by her reassurance.
“You think so” He asks.
“I know so” She replies with a soft chuckle. “Did you go to see your family again?”
“No I haven’t yet but I will tonight.” Changmin places the phone between his shoulder and head, balancing it as he washes his now empty
mug in the sink.
“Tell them I said hi.”
“Will do so”
“Oh yeah and I almost forgot, I may be visiting sometime soon. Let me know if you want me to bring you something from your apartment
“I will text you to let you know. When are you coming by the way?”
“I have no idea right now but I’ll let you know.”
“Okay. Take care then.”
“You too. And stop stressing yourself okay.”
“Takes one to know one” comes the cheerful reply from Changmin as he smothers his laughter at the indignant mumbling from the other end.
“Alright I am hanging up now.”
“Bye and take care.”
“Bye, you infuriating little shit.”
He puts down his phone and smiles before staring at his watch. It’s only 10:30 so he decides to watch some TV for the lack of anything better to do. He still has a lot of time before he needs to leave for his parents’ house and since inspiration is far away he may as well kill time catching up with the world.
What the fuck!
No really, what the actual fuck?
What is it that life has actually planned for him?
Shim Changmin, hands down the most talented manhwa illustrator in all of Asia, widely known to be an unemotional git, is currently
staring slack jawed at the vision in front of him.
He had just disconnected a phone call from his mother, telling her that he’ll swing by around dinner and now he’s perilously close to dropping his fancy phone to the ground because he has all but forgotten the little technology wonder clutched loosely in his right hand.
His left hand is curled around the strap of his gym bag which is also holding on by a prayer if the strap slipping from his fingers is anything to go by.
What the hell?
There is Yunho in front of him, going to town with dumbbells that look like they weigh a freaking ton.
He gulps audibly at the sight of Yunho’s biceps rippling with the force of exertion. There is a light sheen of sweat covering the man’s bare arms and his breathy grunting can be heard from a fucking mile. Yunho’s jaw is set firmly and his nostrils flare at every upward movement of his arms and he looks so fucking sexy with a deep furrow between his eyebrows, that Changmin actually has to turn away before his traitorous body decides to react.
Goddammit! He can’t afford to have a tenting problem in the middle of a gym. He is wearing loose gym shorts and it really isn’t going to conceal anything. So he wills his racing heart to calm down as he takes a few deep breaths to stop himself from over reacting.
But really, what the heck?
Of all the goddamn places he could see the man, why the fucking gym?
He is only snapped out of his little meltdown when someone knocks into him from behind. His bag drops down due to the force of the hit and he hears an apology breathed in a heavy voice as he turns around to glare at the idiot.
“I am really sorry. Are you hurt?” The man asks him genuine concern written all over his face. Changmin decides not to yell at him. Well it was his fault for stopping so abruptly right in the middle of the entrance of the locker rooms of the gym.
“I am alright. It’s…” He chances a look at the face if the man standing right in front of him and stops mid-sentence. It’s the same guy from the night club. The one with the cross. Apparently he is saying something but Changmin’s brain is all fuzzy. It must be the force of the hit surely.
It takes several moments for Changmin to actually comprehend what the handsome man is saying. But as he opens his mouth to reply another voice interrupts his.
“Siwon, what happened?”
Then he comes in his line of vision, sweaty and a little out of breath as he approaches the tall duo.
“Nothing Yun, I just bumped into this guy by mistake.” The guy, Siwon, replies, throwing a smile at Yunho.
“It’s alright. As I was saying I am okay.” Changmin finally finds his voice eyes still fixed on Yunho in his sweaty glory. His eyes follow the stray sweat drop making its way down Yunho’s throat. Changmin really hates sweating and sweaty people in general but right now his hatred all but gone as he licks his lips watching that little drop disappear into Yunho’s tank top.
“Well that’s a relief, you looked lost, and I was a little worried.” Siwon smiles and Changmin forcefully pulls his eyes towards the smiling man to throw him a friendly smile of his own.
“Are you new here? I don’t think I have seen you here before. But you look familiar for some reason.” This time it’s Yunho who speaks and
Changmin looks at him frowning, as if he is trying to think where he has seen Changmin before.
Changmin holds his breath. For the first time in his life he doesn’t want to be known as the well-known illustrator. It’s weird but for some reason he just doesn’t want it.
“Yes I am new. I actually came here two weeks before.” He replies, sending a little prayer to heavens above that Yunho doesn’t
remember the god forsaken news report or tabloid report or the very source from where he believes that he has seen him before.
“Oh well, welcome to Seoul than, I am Yunho.” He says with a bright smile and then motions towards Siwon, who extends his own hand smiling.
Changmin shakes their hands, wincing a little and apologizing at his sweaty palm. It’s a good thing he has the excuse of just being done with his exercise.
Somehow Changmin ends up hitting the showers with the both them. Whose idea was it, he doesn’t remember but he is glad to have an excuse to ogle at Yunho a little more. They all come out of the shower stalls one by one and chat a little more, while putting their things in locker and packing up.
Yunho laughs out loud at something Siwon says and Changmin is left gaping at the older man who looks infinitely more beautiful when laughing. Changmin is not known to be the most smiley person around people but Yunho’s laughter is infectious enough for him to answer back in a smile of his own, even though he was unable to catch the joke properly.
They make it out into the parking lot where Yunho ends up inviting Changmin to the cafe where both Siwon and Yunho go to for refreshments after exercising. They are all dressed in casual clothes after the shower at the gym. Yunho looks good with a well fitted grey toned button down, matched with white pants. Changmin himself is wearing a grey toned tee-shirt and he smiles a little giddily at the fact that they match.
As soon as they order their drinks, Siwon excuses himself to listen to a call from his office and Changmin and Yunho are left at the table. Changmin is for the first time in his life, left fumbling with his words. He has no idea how to talk to the man who seems to notice his nervousness and his smiling a little too kindly at him.
“So,” They both say at the same time and laugh.
“You first!” They say again and Yunho laughs out loud attracting the attention of a lot of people with his mirthful and slightly awkward laughter.
“No please, you first” He says again after being done with his little fit of hysteria. Uncharacteristically Changmin finds his laughter adorable and is side eying himself like no tomorrow.
The waiter drops off their drinks and he thanks them, before grabbing his own and saying. “This is awkward.”
Yunho laughs as he takes a sip of his drink, “well now it is.”
Changmin smiles too.
“Okay I’ll start. How are you finding Seoul Changmin-shii?” Yunho asks.
“Well considering that I was born here,” Changmin flicks hair out of his eyes. “Not much different except from the obvious changes brought along by time.”
“Really you were born here?” Yunho raises an eyebrow. “But you said you were visiting.”
“Technically I am, since I have been living in Japan for the past seven years due to work.” He replies calmly, eyes trained on Yunho’s pout around the straw.
“Oh” Yunho makes a thoughtful kind of face and Changmin smiles at the cuteness. “So your parents must be really happy to see you.”
“Yes they are.” Changmin replies, finishing his drink and sitting back. “I am going to have dinner with them tonight.”
“Cool.” Yunho grins, “So what kind of work do you actually do, back in Japan.”
“I draw stuff, I am a painter.” Changmin really doesn’t want to talk about his work right now. And hey it’s not a lie. He actually is a painter.
“That’s even cooler. I can draw too but only a little bit and I usually have my own interpretations.” Yunho pouts a little than produces a pen out of his bag and proceeds to demonstrate his drawing on a napkin. Changmin feels his insides tickle at the look of utter commitment and concentration that is adorning Yunho’s face right now but it dies when Yunho shoves his creative master piece at his face.
“It’s a rhino.” Yunho says brightly.
Changmin looks at the weird blob on the napkin, then back at Yunho, then back at the napkin. And then he just bursts into a fit of laughter. It’s the weirdest Rhino he has ever seen in his life. In the good old days it could have survived if it was some Pokémon version of the animal but now a day’s even Pokémon staff wants their Pokémons to look believable.
He tries to hold in his wicked snorts but Yunho’s drawing and his expression at Changmin guffawing is not helping at all.
Yunho sighs a great big deal after dissolving into giggles himself as he crumples the napkin and throws it on the table.
“Okay not my best work, I’ll admit.” Yunho says defeated, as Changmin tries to contain himself again.
Right at the moment Siwon comes back apologizing yet again because he has to go back to his office for some reason. He picks up his drink and bag, waves them goodbye, apologizing to Changmin for not being able to stay for long and leaves.
By the time they both get up to leave the cafe they have exchanged numbers and have actually become gym buddies as they plan to schedule their gym together.
Ever since he has started to hang out with Yunho and his friend Siwon, he has noticed change in his demeanor. He is smiling more; he is looking forward to meeting his parents and friends more. It’s like Yunho has somehow managed to make him human again. He is always anticipating the time he is going to spend with the older man and he can’t for the life of him stop smiling. Ren has noticed his awfully cheerful voice and is hell bent on making him disclose all the details of his ‘shenanigans’ but he’ll be damned if he tells her anything right now.
It’s been roughly two weeks but he has already told Yunho about what he does, and the reaction that came out of the older man was something he’s not accustomed to. He’s seen people mildly disgusted, offended or superficially exaggerating his line of work. But he has never seen someone appreciate him with so much sincerity. Yunho really is the definition of perfection and he is finding it hard to believe that rather than going straight to fucking like his usual modus operandi he wants to know more about the guy.
Even though he is happy that Yunho is the one rousing all these strange feelings in him, he is also scared. His trust is scarred due to the last time he allowed himself the benefit of doubt and he should be wary of taking another chance but it’s Yunho and his bright and overwhelming persona and his overly obnoxious laughter that’s making him fall harder than he wants to.
He had sat himself down to go through with whatever it is that he is feeling and he had to remind himself again and again not to walk that path again, but it’s Yunho. And after the two hour long debate with himself he had decided that it’d be best if he didn’t complicate things for himself as well as Yunho. They are going to be friends, and it has been a while that he has found someone like that.
He is fully content to keep it that way, heart be damned.
A/N I: SURPRIIIIIISEEEEEEE :P. SO TELL ME WHO IS SURPRISED, ‘COS I CERTAINLY AM :D. Comments and feedback will be loved :D