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The fiftieth cough of the day racked through my body gaining me a stern look from the teacher. “Are you sure you don’t want to go get a drink of water Mr. Seo?” I just shook my head and returned to the reading we were supposed to be paying attention to. I felt another strong urge to cough tickle the back of my throat, so I tried to clear my throat as silently as I could, which wasn’t as quiet as I was hoping, if the look the teacher shot me was anything to go by. All of a sudden a small candy appeared on my desk, I glanced up at the person who dropped it there, only to meet eyes with a blonde-haired boy.

“It’s just a cough drop. It sounds like you need it.” His deep voice shocked me a little as it always does.

“Thanks Felix. That’s your name right?” He gave me a small smile.

“Yeah, no problem Changbin.” With that he returned to his work. I stared at the cough drop wondering if I should consume it or leave it, since it’s the only present I’ll ever get from the cute boy. As the next cough raked throughout me I decided to just accept the fate of the cough drop and take it. The sweet strawberry sensation exploded into my mouth as the cough drop started to work. Immediately the scratching sensation lessened, and I was able to focus on my work with little distraction from the people near me.

***

The coughing had worsened, so I hadn’t been to school in a while, which is why I was surprised to find another cough drop on my desk when I arrived back. My coughing was still very active, but no one would have known that. A little confused I lifted the cough drop from my desk staring at it. A very violent series of coughs went through me at that moment, making me clutch the cough drop more.

“Ah, it seems you found my present. I figured your cough would still be there since I had the same thing a while back.” I looked up at the beautiful boy in front of me. I gave him a slight smile and unwrapped the cough drop.

“Thank you again Felix.”

“No problem Changbin. Oh, there’s something written on the wrapper of this one.” A stain of pink laid upon his cheeks. “Ah, but don’t look at it until after school, okay?” With a curious glance, I accepted his request and placed the wrapper in my pocket to be forgotten about during the school day. He gave me a nod and sat in the seat next to mine.

***

Reaching to grab my phone from my pocket, I felt a square slip touch my fingers. I grabbed the forgotten cough drop wrapper and finally read what was on it.

I would like it if we talked more…
Felix: XXXXXXX

Actually pulling my phone out, I inputted the number and sent him a quick message:

[Me:] Hey Felix, it’s me, Changbin.

I placed my earbuds in my ears and clicked on my music app, but before I could play anything, a new message appeared.

[Felix:] Ah, I was beginning to worry you lost the wrapper since it’s so small

[Me:] I had it safely with me all day, don’t worry.

[Felix:] Things happen.

[Me:] Not if I take extra care of them ;)

Without an immediate response, I played one of my recent tracks to listen to on the way home from school. As I was about to place my phone back in my pocket, I realized how that message might come across.

[Draft: I meant if I have things with me then I’ll take care of them-]

[New Message]

[Felix:] Haha, I’ll be sure to leave more things in your care in the future then ;)

Now the pink stain was on my cheeks as I shoved my phone in my pocket and started to briskly walk home. For some reason, I didn’t feel like texting Felix in public where anyone could read the messages over my shoulder.

***

Felix was gone the next day, however this time I brought some tea to school which helped soothe my throat in the morning, and during lunch I refilled my thermos with water so I could have it during class. Not feeling well enough to eat anything solid during lunch, I pulled my phone out to let Felix know about his missing work.

[Me:] You know you’ve missed a lot in class so far today.

[Felix:] Did I? Like what?

I smiled a little at the automatic response.

[Me:] I don’t know if I can give that information out for free

[Me:] I might be able to accept cough drops in exchange though.

[Felix:] Sure Changbin, you can have as many cough drops as you want

[Felix:] Now, what did I miss?

[Me:] Wait, what flavor though?

[Me:] I have very specific tastes

[Felix:] Um, I have strawberry … I think?

[Felix:] Or Honey Lemon if you want those

[Me:] Strawberry sounds perfect

[Change Felix to Strawberry? Yes or No]

[Me:] Wait

[Me:] Instead of me just messaging you your homework, why don’t I stop by and drop it off for you?

There was a hesitant pause before I sent that message, and seeing I wasn’t going to get an immediate response, I sighed placing my phone in my pocket and looking at my friends who were at school.

“Messaging Felix again Binnie?” I sent a glare at Jisung for the nickname.

“No.” However, my face gave me away by heating up the moment I tried lying about my messaging habits by heating up.

“Hahahah, I can’t believe he’s trying to lie to us. Right Chan?” Chan gave me an odd look before turning to the purple-haired boy.

“Jisung, that same thing happens to you if Min-mff.” Jisung had moved at the speed of light to cover Chan’s mouth.

“Don’t you dare Kangaroo boy.” Jisung gave him an angry look before lifting his hand from Chan’s face.

“Wow, okay then. I was just saying it’s expected while talking about someone’s crush.” I stared at Chan confused for a moment before realizing what he was insinuating.

“I don’t have a crush on Felix.”

Yet.” Comes from Jisung’s mouth in a stage whisper. I swung my hand out to hit him, before glancing down at my phone seeing a response. I quickly picked up my phone (cue looks between Jisung and Chan) and opened the message.

[New message]
[Strawberry:] That could work

[Strawberry:] Warning though my house is a bit of a mess because I haven’t been feeling well

[Strawberry:] I say house

[Strawberry:] But it’s an apartment

[Me:] Ah, sorry, Chan and Jisung were talking to me

[Strawberry:] No worries, you can go back to them, if you need to

[Me:] Nah, it’s all cool now

[Me:] What’s your address?

[Me:] So I can look up the directions now

[Draft: and save them for later-]

[Strawberry:] Oh, yeah that’s important

[Strawberry:] It’s XXXX 3rd Avenue, Apartment 10

[Strawberry:] Be careful when you come

[Strawberry:] The elevator’s broken right now XD

[Me:] No problem

[Me:] I’ll see you then Felix

As the bell rings a message is sent to my phone, although I didn’t have the chance to look at it, yet just the slight buzz of the incoming message makes a small cross my face.

***

A yawn leaves my mouth as I lean back in my chair, tipping it slightly. Finally the school day was done, and I could go home, and sleep-no wait. I’m going to Felix’s. My heart started to go a little faster without my permission, and I reminded it, it’s just to drop off homework, chill out. My heart was not in the mood. It kept up the slightly elevated pace, as I grabbed my bag and collected my books. Running through the mental checklist in my head, I made sure I wasn’t forgetting anything. I stood up and swung my bag over my shoulder before nodding at Jisung and Chan, motioning that I was gonna head out.

“Have fun at your boyfriend’s house Changbin!” Chan was too slow to stop Jisung until it was too late, and the sentence was out there. I just sent Jisung the bird without turning back around. I was finally able to check on the message Felix had sent me during lunch. I brought out my phone, and before I could get distracted the dyed-blonde; I plugged in my earbuds, so the music could surround me.

[New Message]
[Strawberry:] I’m looking forward to it Changbin

Be still my beating heart. I thought to myself while I tried to calm the heat on my face. Nothing was working, and I had no idea how to respond to that message other than:

[Me:] On my way

I placed my phone back into my pocket, because I wasn’t expecting a text back. To my surprise, my phone started buzzing within seconds.

[Strawberry:] Please give me a second!

[Strawberry:] The door will probably be open, but could you send a message when you get to the building?

[Me:] Sure

There was a slight pause where I tried to figure out what I wanted to text next, since it was such an awkward thing to end on.

[Me:] Are you feeling any better?

[Strawberry:] I wasn’t feeling bad necessarily

[Strawberry:] More like a uh- shoot

[Strawberry:] What are they called?

[Me:] Mental health day?

[Strawberry:] Yeah! That, but I have been feeling a bit sick lately.

[Draft: Maybe you caught-]

[Strawberry:] I think I caught what you had XD

[Me:] Ah! I was about to send that

[Me:] How do you type that fast?

And on it went until I stood in front of XXXX 3rd Avenue.

[Me:] I’m in front of the building now

[Strawberry:] Nuuh! :(

[Strawberry:] I haven’t finished picking things up yet!

[Me:] I’m sure your apartment looks fine

[Strawberry:] Fine, head on up. The stairs please. I’m on the third floor.

[Strawberry:] Just know, the most of this mess is from my roommate

[Me:] Haha, I’m sure it’s not that bad

[Strawberry:] You’d think so

[Strawberry:] With me cleaning

[Strawberry:] All the time

[Strawberry:] But he still

[Strawberry:] Manages to make this big mess

[Strawberry:] And it astounds me how he’s able to do it

[Me:] You need a new roommate? ;)

[Me:] Oh shoot!

[Me:] I meant

[Me:] Jisung has been looking to move out of his parents house

[Me:] And into somewhere closer to school

Why isn’t he responding? Did he die? I found myself rushing up the stairs to Apartment 10 on the third floor of XXXX 3rd Avenue, where a blushing Felix was standing in the middle of a laundry pile, holding his phone loosely. He looked up at me as I rushed into the apartment, slightly breathless.

“Um, I was… I mean- uhhh.” It seems as though Felix couldn’t get a word out of his mouth, while he continues to just stand in the middle of the mountain of the laundry pile.

“Are those all your roommates? Do you need some help?” That seemed to shake Felix out of his stupor, as he glances disdainfully at the dirty laundry.

“You bet it’s all his. That dang freeloader.”

“Does he not pay rent or bills?”

“Oh no, he pays money every month.”

“Then how is he a freeloader?”

“He pays on time, but makes me clean everything up.”

“Oh, poor Cinderella.” Cue an adorable pout from the younger teen. I gave out a slight laugh, and made a mark on my mental checklist to change his name from Strawberry to Cinderella. “Do you need help though? I mean, I’m already here, and the only thing I said I had to do was drop off your homework. If you need help, I don’t mind helping.” Changbin, oh my god, shut up! You keep ranting.

“That would help a-” Felix gave out a very wet sounding cough, and then groaned. “Ugh, I need to go lie down. I still need to do this though…”

“Where’s the laundry machine?” Felix looked at me kind of shocked.

“What do you mean?”

“Where’s the laundry machine? I’m gonna do the laundry while you lie down.” The damned pink stain spread itself across Felix’s face, and crept up his neck.

“You really don’t need to do that. I can do it.” I sighed, and grabbed the laundry basket that was off to the side.

“I really do. Plus, that cough sounded like you’re coming down with something. Do you have any tea in the apartment?” Felix shook his head no.

“We ran out last week, and Minho and I haven’t been able to leave to go get some more.” I stopped in my tracks.

“Minho? As in Lee Minho?” Felix cocked his head like a puppy.

“Yeah? Do you know him?”

“Do I know him? He’s the only thing on Jisung’s- oh shoot, I’m not supposed to talk about that.” I turned towards the laundry basket, getting ready to fill it with the clothes at Felix’s feet for better transport.

“Does Jisung-wait, does Jisung like Minho? Because if I have to listen to Minho talk about this cute boy named Jisung that occasionally comes into his coffee shop one more time, I might actually combust.” I jolted a little at the confession from the deep-voiced angel.

“Minho knows who Jisung is? Chan and I thought he just stares at him creepily. Does he really like Jisung?” I stared at the beauty in front of me. This could finally get Jisung to stop talking about Minho so much. If they’re dating each other, they can just talk to each other about all that mushy crap. Perfect!

“Trust me. He knows who Jisung is.” Felix rolled his eyes, and then looked back at me. “Why, what would happen if Minho does?” I thought over the question for a bit, before deciding on a plan of action.

“Tell Jisung, so he can confess, and they can start dating, so I don’t need to hear about;” I clasped my hands together and lifted them up to my face, “the most perfect, beautiful person in the world. Have you seen his eyes? I can’t.” I let my hands fall. “If I have to listen to him talk about Minho and his crush on him anymore, I’ll be the one combusting.” We exchanged a smile, and then glanced down at the floor. I started placing some clothes into the basket, keeping my hands busy.

“Ah-” Felix cleared his throat,” if you’re going to do that, I think I’m actually going to go lie down. The laundry room is in the basement. I’m so sorry if I’m inconveniencing you. If you happen to come back while I’m sleeping, could you set my homework down on the table? It’s just past those doors.” I nodded my head. Felix disappeared behind one of the closed doors, and I finished filling up one of the baskets.

***

Once I finished with the laundry, and put it back in the room (there was a lot of laundry by the way, like more than there should have been for one person), I had wasted at least four hours here. Felix still didn’t have his homework, but judging the soft snores coming from his room of course I didn’t try to listen into his room he was knocked out cold. I laid the homework down on the table, and opened the room where Felix was sleeping to see if he needed anything else. Even though, yes I did just say there were soft snores coming from the room. I looked into the room so see a sleeping kitten curled up on the bed. And by kitten, I mean a curled up Felix. Who was cuddling a small plushy. How can he be this cute? I wonder if he’ll know if I just … I took my phone out, and snapped a picture of the angel. I gave him one last glance over, taking notice of the tissues surrounding his bed, and the open Tylenol bottle. I closed the door with a soft click and made my way out of the small apartment.

[Change Strawberry to Sleepy Cinderella? Yes or No]

[Change contact photo? Yes or No]

On the way home I made a quick pit stop.

***

“I see you made it back today.” Felix blushed that red tint, and looked a little sheepish.

“I’m sorry about yesterday. You really didn’t need to do that.” I smiled at the handsome boy in front of me.

“It was no problem. I seemed to get more out of it than just cough drops though.” At Felix’s confused look, I pulled out my phone and showed him the photo I got of him yesterday. His entire neck went red with the blush this time, and I gave out a slight chuckle.

“When did you, uhm, when did you take that?” I gave out a low hum pretending to think or a bit.

“I may or may not have taken it before leaving your apartment yesterday. You know, after I finished with your roommate’s laundry.” He put his gaze to the floor before letting it drift back up to me. He looked like he was about to say something, and ended up releasing the most adorable sneeze instead. He startled a bit at it, like it had surprised him too. I gave out another chuckle and handed him one of the strawberry-scented tissues I had picked up yesterday. He gave me a thankful look for the tissue, but then looked surprised at the scent. To be honest, I’m kind of surprised he was able to smell the tissue considering how many tissues were around his bed yesterday.

“Oh, do you happen to have any cough drops Changbin? I forgot mine today.” I rolled my eyes at the question, but then pulled out the strawberry cough drops I had picked out yesterday. As Felix gave me a weirded out look at all the strawberry (maybe it’s because I’m wearing all black? And strawberry isn’t usually a “dark” scent), I pulled out the strawberry gum.

“Want one?” I asked the slightly taller teen. He contemplated it for a second, before reaching for the pack. I pulled it out of his reach, and grabbed a pre-picked stick.

“There’s something on the wrapper. But don’t read it until after school.” I sent the confused boy a wink, and proceeded to my seat, where he joined the adjacent one within seconds looking slightly confused.

***

I want to get closer with you.

Want to go on a date?

Give me a honey lemon cough drop for no

And strawberry for yes

Tomorrow my Cinderella

***

I got no messages from Felix the night before which slightly worried me. I tossed and turned all night, causing my dark circles to stand out more than usual.

“Are you okay Changbin?” Jisung gave me a slight poke out of worry.

“I think he’s just out of it because Felix didn’t message him. Poor boy waited for something all night.” Chan replied, wrapping an arm around my shoulders. “But I’m sure he’s going to say yes. Like Minho did to Jisung last night.”

“CHAN!”

“What? I heard it was a need-to-know basis, and Changbin deserves to know.” The bickering continued around me while we walked the hallway to class. Only for me to stop in front of the door to the classroom.

“What? Why’d we stop?” Jisung glanced from me to the door and back again.

“I know what you’re feeling right now bud. And all I have to say is that when he says yes, it’ll be the best feeling ever.” Jisung patted my back, before stepping into the classroom and then pausing. “Oh. My. God.”

“What? What is it?” Chan followed Jisung into the classroom after pausing to give me a pat too. “Holy. Crap. Changbin- I’m- oh my god.” Curiosity killed the Changbin as they say, and I walked into the classroom.

“What. The. Fu-”

“It’s a most definite yes."

***

The classroom was exactly the same as it usually was. The seats were filled with students. All except two. Felix and Changbin’s. Changbin was standing in front of the door to the classroom. Felix was standing there by the door waiting for the small attractive male to pass into the room where a surprise was waiting for him. His entire desk was covered in strawberries, with small cough drops placed to spell out Yes in the strawberry wonderland. Once Changbin finally stepped into the class and spotted all of the strawberries, Felix approached him with a tentative smile.

“What. The. Fu-”

“It’s a most definite yes.” And then Felix pulled Changbin in for a hug that the smaller boy just couldn’t deny. Dark concept be damned.

***

Bonus:

Group Chat: These 3 Love Sriracha

[Me:] So, this was something I saw today.

[Image sent]

[Me:] I’m doing something crazy tomorrow

[Kangaroo:] Nothing illegal I hope

[Me:] You know me Chan, always one for fun legal activities

[Change Kangaroo to Dad: Yes or No]

[He Sang:] But the legal activities are always the least fun

[He Sang:] Wha- How did you get that picture?

[Me:] That’s for me to know

[Me:] And all I need is your help

[Dad:] [Change He Sang to Bad Child: Yes or No]

[Dad:] What do you need help with?

[Dad:] And I would very much like to know how you got that picture

[Bad Child:] Yah, see, Dad agrees with me

[Me:] You guys-

[Me:] *sigh*

[Me:] I took it. Happy?

[Draft: Now I need help finding a way to ask-]

[Bad Child:] YOU WHAT?

[Bad Child:] WHEN?

[Dad:] YOU WHAT?

[Me:] I have some important news for Jisung btw

[Me:] But like

[Me:] It’s not important

[Draft: what is important is how I’m going to-]

[Dad:] “Not important”

[Dad:] It is very much so important!

[Me:] I JUST NEED HELP ASKING FELIX OUT

[Me:] Stop attacking me like this Dad

Read 8:34 pm

[Me:] YOU GUYS CAN’T JUST LEAVE ME ON READ

[Bad Child:] What info do you have for me?

[Bad Child:] What can you trade in exchange for our expertise?

[Me:] I know something about a certain boy you like

[Bad Child:] YOU WHAT

[Change Dark Lord to Withholding Important Info: Yes or No]

[Me:] I’m not saying anything else unless you help me

[Change Bad Child to RO0D Child: Yes or No]

[Dad:] Why don’t you do something with strawberries?

[Me:] But that will ruin my “dark image” I need to maintain

[RO0D Child:] Why not ask him to do something with strawberries?

[Me:] ?????

[Dad:] Oh!

[Dad:] Like

[Dad:] Ask him to give you a strawberry cough drop for yes or something

[Me:] ...That’s actually a surprisingly good idea

[Me:]Thank you

[RO0D Child:] Now what was that about Minho?????

Read 8:52 pm

[RO0D Child:YOU CAN’T JUST LEAVE ME ON READ LIKE THAT

***

Bonus #2:

[Me:] [Change Cinderella to My Strawberry <3: Yes or No]

[My Strawberry:] [Change A Soft Boi to My Soft Boy <3: Yes or No]