The new in-house lawyer is supposedly cold and unapproachable, but Chanyeol has never backed away from a challenge. Plus this contract needed to be signed like ... last week, so he hopes that his charms are as legendary as he believes them to be. He knocks on the door to the small corner office and certainly doesn't hold his breath.
"Come in," sounds from the other side of the door, and Chanyeol figures that's a good start. Permission to enter granted.
He opens the door, huge smile in place, and starts talking before he even lets go of the handle.
"Hello, you must be Oh Sehun. We haven't met yet but it's great to have you on the team," he starts. Then he halts because the office is rearranged, with the chair and the desk right by the window, the printer in a corner and the big metal rack that Chanyeol always wondered about behind the door. Which is why the door hits the said rack and causes a racket. The person sitting in the chair jumps a little, and Chanyeol is met with a glare and lips in a thin line.
"Right," the man in front of Chanyeol says, and he doesn't bother standing up. "You needed something?"
Chanyeol considers saying no, that he just wanted to meet their new team member because he's a good coworker like that and was on vacation when Sehun started, but he changes his mind as he watches the man sitting up straighter and arching an eyebrow at him.
He looks the part of cold, strict, stern lawyer. Only he also looks young, maybe Chanyeol's age, and his hair is auburn and kind of fluffy. Chanyeol blinks. The man, Sehun, moves a half of an inch forward.
"Are those cat ears?" Chanyeol blurts out, and Sehun goes red in his face. Is he trying to hide them, is that why his hair looks such a cute messy fluff.
"Is that what you needed to come by for?" Sehun asks. Chanyeol stares as the ears flatten and practically disappear. Sehun is still a bit flushed and a bit fidgety, and his mouth is still in a thin line and somehow it's ... cute. The desk by the window, in the sunny patch of office space, suddenly makes so much more sense even if Sehun must see very little on his screen.
"No," Chanyeol finally gets out into a stretching silence. "No, of course not. May I pet you?"
Chanyeol wants to slap himself, and the urge is so strong he ends up flailing his arms and hitting his own thigh at least. It's just ... this is so exciting. Sehun is a cat. Chanyeol doesn't know many cats. People say he's a dog person, and Jongdae and Baekhyun are pups, and well yes Chanyeol fits in all too well for being one hundred percent human. But he always wanted to be a friend with a cat, to get to know cats better. They seem so regal and sophisticated and graceful, everything Chanyeol will never be.
It's just his luck his work place is mostly dogs and humans and the only cat, a cute girl in controlling, punched him in the stomach for asking this exact same question, at Chanyeol's first Christmas party in the company during which he sadly overdid it on punch, and she never spoke to him again, unless absolutely necessary.
"I'm not a pet," Sehun says now, and suddenly there's a long auburn tail swishing angrily behind him.
"No, I mean I know. Oh god. It's just. I'm sorry. Don't hit me? I'm an idiot. I'm so sorry."
Sehun looks disgruntled and ruffled, but also slightly flabergasted probably because Chanyeol is flailing again, the papers with contract terms spilling from his hands as he shakes them in front of him then tries to bow in apology.
"At least you asked first," Sehun mutters then, and Chanyeol freezes.
"Did someone pet you without permission? That's ... that's absolutely not good. You know you can report that, right? Our HR is really good about it, I'm sorry again, I just ...." Chanyeol takes a deep breath. "I think I should come by later. This contract can wait another day. I'll go and think about my shortcomings, and next time I'm, I'm ... your tail is so long and pretty."
Chanyeol can't help it. It's mesmerizing, the way it swishes, much more languidly now. It must be so soft. Sehun actually kind of looks soft. And he's blushing, still or again, and just looks on incredulously at the train wrack that is Park Chanyeol in the face of a magnificent cat who also looks cute and has extremely attractive eyebrows.
"No, no one has touched me without my permission here," Sehun finally says then coughs. "Chanyeol?" he asks, finally standing up, and it is as graceful as Chanyeol knew it would be. "Is it?"
"Yeah, uhm Park Chanyeol, head of marketing. Please don't hate me. I'm sorry. We'll work closely together. I'm sorry for that too I think, I--"
"Sit down Chanyeol. Maybe breathe?" Sehun interupts again and bends down to pick up Chanyeol's papers. Chanyeol just looks on and feels so very doomed. Why did no one prepare him for the fact that their new in-house lawyer is a beautiful and also hot cat, uhm man, with the most fascinating tail and shiny fur?
"I can stay?" Chanyeol gets out as Sehun straightens up again.
"For now," Sehun says, and it sounds almost hesitant. He looks down and his ears are flat against his head again, but Chanyeol just thinks he's embarrassed. "But no petting. Not until you tell me what these papers are about. I think maybe by then I might need an ear rub."
Chanyeol blinks. Sehun blinks back, face blank again, cheeks still blushed, tail swishing, lips very pink. Not cold at all. Maybe guarded. Understandably so.
"I think I need to buy you a cup of good coffee from the café downstairs and to tell you the secret of how to make the coffee in our kitchenette taste bearable before we discuss that again." Chanyeol decides. "Unless you really need, uhm, help, that is." He folds himself into an extra chair, watching as Sehun makes himself comfortable in his own, eyes already skimming the text.
"So tell me," he says, back to being all business-like and pointing to the papers now spread on his desk. And Chanyeol can see it, Sehun being extremely efficient and firm. He can absolutely see it again, but he likes that; it makes business negotiations so much better to have someone like that on your side.
So Chanyeol tells Sehun all he can, and then listens to Sehun's additional questions, and all the while does his best to look at Sehun's hands or his face but not at his ears or the tail that is now resting against Sehun's thigh. He promises to send Sehun the Word file of the contract for easier corrections, and then gets up, ready to flee and marinate in his own shame.
He's almost out the door when Sehun clears his throat.
"I ... I could use a coffee right now. Maybe run down of this company from someone else than just our boss, you know," he says.
Sehun's been here for over two weeks now, but Chanyeol can see it, people judging him by his guarded front and efforts to be absolutely professional because being a cat is not easy still. He can see how it's possible that no one is cutting him any slacks for it.
"I'd be happy to oblige. Prepare yourself for some shocking revelations," Chanyeol says, and he grins again, wide and very relieved.
"So the blend in the kitchenette, now?" Sehun asks, grimacing.
"Ah, you just want to know my secrets," Chanyeol points out.
"I'll tell you one in return," Sehun says as he stands up. "I don't like my tails touched, not very much, but my ears, they're..." He stops like suddenly he wishes he didn't even start speaking, then continues, "they're super sensitive. I ... I don't like to purr on the job."
Chanyeol's fingers twitch because now he wants to touch even more, but instead he just smiles wider.
"Dully noted. I'm sorry I weirded you out and offended you, too. I was just surprised and you're really very magnificent. I mean your cat side is, I ... well I guess not just that, but." Chanyeol splutters, but somehow he thinks it makes Sehun feel better to see Chanyeol this flustered.
"You do not smell like a dog, but you're worse than the most overexcited pup I know," Sehun laughs. "It's terrible. How do you get anything done?"
Chanyeol finally opens the door, laughing. "Oh, you know, I apply my legendary charm."
He trips over the doorstep, and Sehun laughs, out loud, showing his teeth, his canines sharp and cute, and his fingers wrap around Chanyeol's wrist to steady him and pull him closer. Chanyeol once again relearns that first impressions, even more so those made on other people, can be so very wrong.