chooseylover31 (chooseylover31) wrote in pseudoai,
chooseylover31
chooseylover31
pseudoai

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Spectrum (Sequence 3)

Author: chooseylover31
Length: 19,000..and counting
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Romance, Angst (?)
Warnings: Too many narratives…?
Disclaimer: There’s a ton of reference here about angels. But like any other story about them, I made my own rules, symbolisms, and mixed pedagogies with my reality. EXO belongs to themselves, propriety-wise to SM I think, story belongs to me.


The feeling Minseok had was unexplainable, even to him. Sure, he had been attracted to men in his college days, he had worked with a hundred male models since he began his career, he even dated some of them for the fun of it, but he never really paid them any attention that required him to go out of his way and change his routine. He had dated seriously once, before his career made a huge leap, but that man left him for a more stable relationship – one that doesn’t include waiting out for Minseok every single night without any certainty if he would actually go home or sleep out. So when that relationship went down the drain, Minseok decided to focus all his energy to his work, ignored all personal relationships other than his best friend, satisfied his needs through occasional visits to the bartender near his apartment (they had the somewhat beneficial relationship of hitting it off without any labels), and watched out for Chanyeol and his career.

Things began to change when he met Lu Han; or when Lu Han decided to take over his life. He began changing his orders of coffee in the morning. His lips had the trouble of chapping because sometimes he would just find himself smiling to no one in particular. Recently, Kyungsoo had developed the habit of bringing him back to reality when he starts daydreaming.

Just the other day, in the middle of a mock presentation of one of Minseok’s staff for their client, Kyungsoo elbowed him a few times before he turned to his assistant with a sour face.

“What is it,” Minseok had hissed. Images of him and Lu Han drinking coffee immediately vanished from his train of thoughts.
“Daehan said he wasn’t sure if you’d prefer this shade of green over the other because the palettes given to the team didn’t have the CMYK or the RGB codes.”

Minseok had racked his brain, and cleared his throat one too many times in embarrassment. He told his team to get back to the client for the code and reconvene in three hours for the completed template. Out of habit, he told his team they’ve worked hard, but work a little bit harder on their communications. In the end he apologized for being half there, and half somewhere else, but warned his team that they shouldn’t think he wouldn’t notice any slip up.

When it was just him and Kyungsoo in the conference room, the assistant had asked if there was something disturbing the executive.

“It’s nothing worth to be bothered by, don’t worry,” Minseok had said, restraining a smile that was beginning to form on his lips at the mere thought of his imagination. “I’ll get over it for the next meeting. Did you say Jongdae wanted to see me?”

“Yes,” Kyungsoo had answered as he flipped through the pages of his planner. “And your day off is in the next two days. Please, I’m begging you, please either rest, or go out with someone.”

*
So Minseok did, and that was how he ended up spending the whole day in The Beans hiding behind his laptop and pretending to people watch when in fact he was waiting for an opportunity to talk to Lu Han. But the barista, who was now sporting a light brown hair color, wasn’t giving Minseok anything more than a polite smile. He did stop a bit to chat with Minseok about the weather when he brought the executive his coffee and sandwich, but that lasted for three minutes tops and that wasn’t enough for Minseok to throw his pitch. Not when it was Lu Han who began and ended the conversation.

It was out of Minseok’s character, waiting for a chance to be into perspective, patiently waiting for an opportunity, a time of day. He doesn’t wait; he jumps over timings and creates opportunities. He hated to admit it, but he would forget everything around him and focus solely on his goal. It was the primary reason why he hasn’t kept anyone close to him, save for Chanyeol, but it was how he was able to bag all the successful projects under his belt. And not feel guilty about leaving anyone behind.

But Minseok felt Lu Han was a bit different, just like the first time he has met the man on his first day behind the cash register. It seemed that Lu Han was able to read his mind and translate it into words that doesn’t really sound like it came off his head. Lu Han’s translations were softer, gentler, more humane than what would probably roll off his tongue. He further clarified it the first time he asked Lu Han to suggest a drink. He had been thinking the same thing but, again, Lu Han’s words weren’t sharp like those in his head.

Lu Han wasn’t like Chanyeol. His best friend had been around long enough to earn enough credits to actually read his mind. And despite living with Chanyeol for the last decade, the tall man still miss out on some of his thoughts.

A couple of hours after lunch, Minseok finally had his chance. He was sending an email to Jongdae arguing about a client’s demand to speed up a proposal when Lu Han slumped on the couch opposite him, black apron crumpled in his left hand. It was clear he was tired after the lunch rush but he was still smiling, brightly, cheerfully.

“I didn’t think you’d still be here, Mr. Kim,” the brown-haired man said, suddenly sitting upright when he realized he was talking to a customer, regular or not.

“I like to spend the whole day in this place when I’m out of the office,” Minseok supplied, feeling his lips tug at the end.

“But it’s such a beautiful day outside. You should be out there and not behind your laptop.”

“It wouldn’t feel any different since I’d still be alone, you know?”

Lu Han’s smile faded at little, but it didn’t vanish, “I thought your friend Mr. Park would hang out with you?”

“I thought so too,” Minseok admitted, bitterness slightly setting in. “But he forgot to mention he has rehearsal today and he’d be hanging out with his boyfriend, who also happened to be -”

“Your assistant?”

“Yes, wait how did you know?”

“Jongin told me you used to go here with your assistant but then he started dating your best friend and your best friend Mr. Park probably thinks it’s inappropriate? I just assumed that, by the way.”

Minseok snorted but he pulled down the lid of his laptop so he could look at his companion without having to crane his neck. Screw that email to Jongdae, he’d deal with that later tonight.

“What time are you getting off?” Minseok asked boldly. He was back in character and he really thought this was a good opportunity to get to know the man who intrigued him.

“I’m done for the day,” Lu Han said after contemplating a little. “Why?”

Minseok felt the smile tugging at his lips, and Lu Han’s was so infectious he decided to be dragged into his world. “Take me someplace you think is nice, you know, with the beautiful weather and all.”
*

Minseok didn’t expect Lu Han to take him to an amusement park in the outskirts of Seoul, but he did and it was all fun. They queued up for rides, and screamed at the top of their lungs. Minseok just let everything go.

Lu Han talked a lot, too. He filled in when Minseok just felt like listening. The executive learned that Lu Han came to Seoul earlier in the year and Sehun was the only person he knew. The younger man sort of adopted him and introduced him to Jongin. Lu Han tried to learn everything from the back room, because everything was new. That was why he didn’t come out front until well after a month in the storage area.

“What about you, Mr. Kim?”

“Please, I’ve told you plenty of times to just call me Minseok. We’re of the same age even.”

“You’re still a regular at the coffee shop.”

“Then call me Mr. Kim when you’re on-duty,” Minseok pleaded. “What do you mean what about me?” he asked swiftly moving to the next topic as if the case was closed.

“What exactly do you do, Minseok? I know you’re a big shot at a huge advertising company, but what’s really your story?”

Minseok thought for quite a long time while they walked along the beautiful spring flowers on display. He doesn’t really have a story to tell, but he also didn’t want to sound boring.

So again, Minseok did something that was out of character, he played it safe. “What do you want to know?”

“Hmmm,” Lu Han looked up the sky for a bit before turning back to his companion. “You’re single, you’re parents are more than compensated for, you live in a posh apartment with your best friend, you practically live off commercial coffee, hmmmm, how do you usually spend your weekends?”

Minseok shrugged the bugging feeling that Lu Han probably knows a lot more than he has already said – or didn’t say, for that matter. He must have read a lot about him in interviews or have heard about him on the news. His life certainly isn’t closed to the general public after all.

“I don’t usually have weekends,” Minseok finally said as he pointed to a corndog stand, urging Lu Han to follow him as he spoke. “I just take a day-off when the schedule permits.” He stopped to order two corn dogs and 2 colas from the seller.

“Like today?” Lu Han asked, his eyes not leaving Minseok’s face.

“Like today.”

“So how do you spend your precious day-off? I refuse to believe it’s just at The Beans despite our shop selling the best coffee.”

“Take it or leave it, Lu Han,” Minseok laughed, one for the books, if he must admit.

“You should do that more often,” Lu Han said as he took the colas from the seller.

“Do what? Hang out at The Beans?

“That,” the brown-haired man smiled. “And laugh. You should laugh more often. It sounds good, and you look good with it.”
*
At first, Chanyeol thought that his best friend was dating someone. It occurred to him that there probably was someone, but he couldn’t quite put a finger on who it was.  He has heard about Lu Han; Minseok has told him about the man, but only in passing. He used to be a muse, but Chanyeol wasn’t sure if Minseok even continued the interest.

He was sure it wasn’t Kim Jongdae. That kid who was Minseok’s junior in college got some serious personality problems and Minseok was definitely not patient enough to keep up with his mood swings. Granted, that man have always had a huge crush on Minseok, he just never admitted it straight out.

He noticed, however, in the two times he visited their office, that there was a cup of coffee of the same coffee shop sitting in the middle of Minseok’s table. He doesn’t keep them there. He throws them out whenever there’s an opportunity, sometimes even before entering their office building on cold winter mornings.

When he asked Kyungsoo about it when they had dinner that following night, the assistant acknowledged that he was also curious about it. Chanyeol had mentioned Lu Han before, but his boss only showed little signs of interest when he brought out the topic of possibly dating. And the only tell-tale sign for the assistant was the name of the coffee shop they used to go to on the cup holder, and the different mix of coffee, he added.

“You know how he likes his Americano strong,” Kyungsoo had said in between bites of his steak. “If you look at the empty cups closely, they aren’t Americano. There’s milk in there, Yeol. And we both know he doesn’t use milk in his coffee.”

That was the turning point for Chanyeol. And it helped that Kyungsoo have let on that his boss has been smiling a lot recently, too, albeit only when he’s alone.

The composer meant to ask what was inspiring his best friend lately, but it seemed his best friend was already one step ahead of him.

When he was packing up from recording Byun Baekhyun’s new song a few days after Minseok had his first day off in months, his best friend sent him a message to bring Kyungsoo for dinner.

He sent the confirmation and called Kyungsoo. “He wants to see you at home. You’re not his assistant off hours, okay?”

“Ahh, Yeol,” his boyfriend had said. “I work for him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, remember?”

“Not when you’re meeting him as my boyfriend,” Chanyeol said as he frowned at his phone. “Are you still in the office? I’ll pick you up in fifteen minutes.”
*
The moment Chanyeol stepped into the living room, he was welcomed by singsong voices somewhere in the kitchen, accompanied by the smell of what seemed like Spanish Sardines.

When they were in college, Chanyeol heard from Minseok’s mother that the latter never steps into the kitchen. And she was right, because the only times Chanyeol had seen Minseok hold out pans and pots were when the older guy wanted to eat ramyun – which rarely happened because Chanyeol would be the one to cook it for the both of them anyway.

“Hyung?” Chanyeol called as he motioned for Kyungsoo to put the soda cans on the table in the living room. The assistant thought it was inappropriate to offer alcohol to his boss when he’s technically still on duty.

“In the kitchen!” came the bright reply. Chanyeol looked over his shoulder where he saw Kyungsoo stopped removing his coat. Even he was surprised by the tone used.

A brown haired man peered out on the open room and Chanyeol stared at the beautiful face. Kyungsoo nudged him back to reality, and when Chanyeol looked down at his boyfriend, he knew he must have had the same reaction.

“This is Lu Han,” Minseok said as he appeared behind the man. “He works at The Beans and… well, I invited him over since you seem too busy to drop by the coffee shop to meet him.”

Chanyeol stared at his best friend. It hasn’t really been that long since Minseok’s behaviour changed. But this is certainly something he should be grateful for. The man was smiling, ear to ear, his eyes shining; he’s clearly happy. And Chanyeol almost cried because it’s as if his best friend has come back to life.
*
Perhaps it’s the good food, or the good wine, but it was right then, on their first dinner date, that Kim Minseok had boldly asked Lu Han what he thought of a relationship with him.

“You’re a beautiful person, Kim Minseok,” Lu Han answered, reaching out to touch the other man’s hand on the table. “Anyone in a relationship with you would be the luckiest if not most blessed.”

“Then will you be that person?”

Perhaps it was the lighted candles and the sound of violin in the background that Lu Han smiled. Perhaps it was the growing feeling inside his chest, threatening to burst that he kissed Minseok’s hand and said, “Yes.”

And Minseok walked over to Lu Han and pulled the other man close. He pulled him close enough to see the twinkle that made Lu Han’s eyes shine brightly.

Minseok settled a finger under his date’s chin, slowly, and slowly Minseok’s lips touched Lu Han’s as they shared their first kiss.
Tags: kim minseok, lu han, lumin, spectrum, xiuhan, xiumin
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