subject: fwd: re: re: re: re: re: guaranteed to brighten up your day! CLICK HERE FOR MORE!
Kyungsoo's eye twitches when he reads the timestamp. 9:21am. It's too early to deal with Chanyeol’s e-mails. Frankly, it's too early to deal with Chanyeol.
Idiot, he types out quickly on his phone. You forwarded chainmail to the entire firm again. He taps the send button as angrily as he can on a touchscreen. He misses his old phone, with its actual keyboard. It’s on his list of things he liked best about his old phone, right up there with didn’t have annoying ringtone and didn’t let me install Candy Crush.
His old phone also didn't beep nearly as cheerily when someone sent a message. It sounds especially ominous, Kyungsoo notes sourly, when it's Chanyeol replying.
oops my bad! won't happen again. the cat one is rly funny tho! make sure to check it out ^_^v
Kyungsoo stares at the text, then stares at his computer screen. It’s already open to the cat picture, a tiny kitten wrapped in a fast food wrapper captioned with i can haz cheezeburger?, like they still live in 2008 or something.
Behind that window is a picture of a hedgehog wearing a tiny flower crown that Chanyeol sent two days ago along with the text, last one i SWEAR!!! :)
Kyungsoo buzzes his personal assistant and intones "Coffee," with the least irritated tone he can manage. He can already feel in his left temple that it's going to be a long day.
Jongin scurries out of Kyungsoo's office, only spilling a quarter of his coffee today, just as Jongdae saunters in. Kyungsoo doesn’t know what Jongdae has against knocking.
Kyungsoo ignores him even as he flops noisily down on Kyungsoo's plush leather couch, in favour of an asset purchase agreement that needs to be filed by the end of the day. There's a stain from where Jongin splashed coffee on the right corner of the form.
Kyungsoo closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, and exhales. It's fine. He’ll get Jongin to print a final copy for the clients later. He can deal with this, and then the deposition at eleven, and then the phone conference with the Jung sisters later in the afternoon. The coffee stain is not a problem at all.
Only then, Jongdae starts humming the Harvard fight song under his breath exactly half a note off-key, and Kyungsoo's phone chirps and flashes Chanyeol Park, and when Kyungsoo flips the page he sees that the spot of coffee has actually bled through all of the pages of the agreement.
Somewhere in Kyungsoo's briefcase is a bottle of painkillers. Kyungsoo's briefcase is lying behind Jongin's desk today, stained with what could have been Kyungsoo's first cup of coffee.
He sighs and closes his work file. Some things just aren’t worth the fight.
"Jongdae. What can I do for you today." The lack of enthusiasm in his voice isn’t accidental.
It doesn't deter Jongdae, not that Kyungsoo expected it to. "Actually, I was wondering if you could do me a quick favour," Jongdae says, like the last time he'd come to Kyungsoo's office for a favour hadn't ended in an ungodly amount of Jell-O and the tears of the poor receptionist from Accounting.
The sentiment must read clear on Kyungsoo's face because Jongdae holds his hands up in a placating manner, like Kyungsoo is a particularly angry terrier puppy he needs to placate. "Hey, I learned my lesson from last time, okay. No more fun and games in the office when Kyungsoo Do's around. I'm here strictly on business. Kind of." He rummages through his briefcase for a few seconds and pulls out a small stack of envelopes. Kyungsoo eyes them suspiciously. "Before you say anything, these actually aren't yours. It’s just that as much as I'm sure Jongin is lovely secretary," Jongdae says as he slides the envelopes over, "I don't have much need for his mail."
Kyungsoo picks one up by the corner and reads the address. Sure enough, it’s written out to Jongin Kim, not Jongdae Kim. It’s also a little wrinkled, like whoever handled it was too oafish to understand how to properly hold a piece of paper without destroying it.
"You could have just given these to Jongin yourself," Kyungsoo says as he stacks the envelopes neatly. "You didn’t need to come waste my hours with this."
"You’d be completely right, except that this is the third time it's happened this week. Jongin's cute enough to talk to, but I'd rather not act as my own mail carrier when we have a staff on hand to take care of things like this."
Kyungsoo turns back to flipping through his own papers. "And what does that have to do with me?" There's a prickly feeling on the back of Kyungsoo's neck that tells him exactly what it has to do with him.
"Well," Jongdae says, sprawling back on the couch. His grin is as trustworthy as the oil exec Kyungsoo defended last month on tax evasion charges (he’d been guilty, but Kyungsoo had gotten him declared innocent anyways). "Somebody in this room happens to be on close terms with the mailboy, and it sure as hell isn't me."
Kyungsoo flips to another page before he looks up. "There's plenty of employees in the mailroom. You don't know that it's Chanyeol," Kyungsoo argues, like they both didn’t see the rings of Red Bull cans staining all of the envelopes.
Jongdae raises a perfectly arched eyebrow.
"It's probably Chanyeol," Kyungsoo admits begrudgingly.
"You and I both know without a doubt it’s Chanyeol. I’ve never even met the kid and I feel like I know him incredibly well from his company-wide e-mails." Jongdae checks his phone. "Speaking of, here's another one from him, six minutes ago. A teacup pig sitting in a teacup. That's...pretty cute, actually," he says, squinting at his screen while standing up. "When you talk to your mailroom friend though, tell him that instead of looking up pictures of baby animals, he should pay more attention to the mail he's sorting." With a jaunty wave, he walks out of Kyungsoo's office.
Kyungsoo resolutely does not throw his pen at Jongdae's retreating figure. Instead, he clicks refresh on his browser and sees (1) new e-mail.
subject: fwd: VERY CUTE!! DEFINITELY READ re: re: re: re: re: re: have a sweet cup of tea to start the day!
Kyungsoo's phone flashes again. 3 new messages, all from Chanyeol.
i sent u smthg! sry 4 hitting reply all last time lol
i think i did it again sry hahahahahah
do u get it tho bcuz the teacup pig is in a teacup! lol!
Yes, Kyungsoo thinks as he looks blankly at the text. Yes, Kyungsoo does get it.
Jongin Kim and Jongdae Kim are two different people. Get it right.
With that, he puts his phone on silent and clicks the favourite button on the e-mail before flipping back to the agreement form. He has actual work to do.
Baekhyun has a gleam in his eye when he slides into the seat across from Kyungsoo’s at their usual lunch place. Kyungsoo ignores him and keeps his focus on the steak in front of him. Baekhyun’s late, and neither Kyungsoo nor Jongdae are the type to wait.
“Sorry I'm late,” Baekhyun offers, even though Kyungsoo didn’t ask for an explanation. “I was drowning in e-mails. For some reason, there seemed to be more junk mail than usual today.” Baekhyun shoots a look at Kyungsoo.
The steak, Kyungsoo notes, is especially well flavoured today.
Jongdae, the traitor, grins up from his pasta. “Funny, I’ve been having problem with mail, too. Lots of mix-ups. I wonder if it could all be the same person?”
“Probably. Whoever it is must be too incompetent for life,” Baekhyun agrees, nodding seriously. If his eyes gleam anymore, they’re going to melt out of his skull. “Can you imagine wanting to get involved with someone like that? Ghastly.”
Kyungsoo’s hand flexes on his steak knife. New York law is harsh on second degree murder, but he’s a good lawyer.
Baekhyun must have a death wish, because now he shifts his attention directly to Kyungsoo. “Speaking of mailroom workers, Kyungsoo -”
“No.” Kyungsoo doesn’t even look up.
“So cold,” Baekhyun clutches at his chest. “I was sure that the picture of the baby pig that Chanyeol so kindly sent to everyone would have cheered you right up.”
Kyungsoo puts down his knife. “I could probably get the charges down to voluntary manslaughter instead of secondary,” he muses out loud to no one in particular.
The first e-mail, a five minute Youtube clip of a ferret chewing on a blade of grass, had been bewildering, but ignorable. Parkcy was probably some newbie, maybe one of the new associates who still hadn’t mastered the art of corporate e-mail. They’d probably get shit in the bullpen, learn their lesson, and move on from poorly recorded clips of animals in the future, or at least keep their hobbies to themselves. Seriously, ferrets?
Only the e-mails hadn’t stopped. A Shiba Inu taking a nap with a baby duck. Panda cubs sneezing in each others’ faces. A Holland Lop with a tiny top hat perched between its ears. Two weeks of e-mails later, after the ten minute video of a capybara staring vacantly into the distance, Kyungsoo had been ready to strangle.
It had been worth the hour of interrogating the first year associates with his dead eyed stare to get the name of parkcy, more commonly known as Chanyeol Park, “some clerk in the mailroom oh my god Kyungsoo please stop staring at me.”
What Zitao had failed to mention was that Chanyeol Park was a towering ape of a man, one who laughed too loudly and used too many words that he didn’t actually mean. “Sorry, I’ll stop sending those from now on” had turned into “I’ll try to stop sending so many but Kyungsoo, they’re so funny! Did you see the picture of the corgi in the sweater I sent?” had somehow turned into “Are you really going to come here every time to hit me when I send out mass e-mails on accident? Here, I’ll give you my number, just text me instead of walking down here on your short little legs,” which had led to Chanyeol’s number being stored into Kyungsoo’s neat, professional use only cell phone.
What Chanyeol had actually meant at the time was, "Give me your number so I can assault you at all times with poor grammar and obscene amounts of emojis.” Kyungsoo had looked up precedent to see if he could sue for trauma. There hadn’t been, but at least now, he’s spared from hearing dumb, gut-wrenching laughs and having to stand on his tiptoes to smack anyone on the head.
After lunch, Kyungsoo all but stomps back into his office. He thinks of it as authoritative, but Baekhyun says he looks like a five year old throwing a tantrum. Baekhyun is also a hack who barely makes his annual billables.
“I’m busy this afternoon. Don’t let anyone in,” Kyungsoo says to Jongin, before he firmly shuts his office door.
Safely behind his desk, Kyungsoo flicks a look at his watch. He has two hours until his phone conference. It’s been just as many weeks since he last had to explain the proper etiquette of professional communication to Chanyeol in person. Now that he's chosen text messages as his method of conveying how moronic Chanyeol is, Kyungsoo should be using his free time on something productive.
Instead, he clicks open his favourited e-mails and scowls at the hoards of cat macros and useless internet memes. Admitting exactly how many he's saved would be utterly humiliating. Then again, everything about Chanyeol’s existence is humiliating. Kyungsoo can’t believe the hassle he’s managed to put himself in.
As if he knows what Kyungsoo was thinking, there's a chirp from Kyungsoo’s phone and another message from Chanyeol. It's a picture of two envelopes, one for Jongin and one for Jongdae. Chanyeol's hand is between the two, making a peace sign. There's what appears to be a pizza stain on his sleeve. Kyungsoo doesn't know whether he should laugh or cry.
"I hate to break it to you, but you know that you can’t melt your phone by staring at it, right?" Kyungsoo's head snaps up in time to see Baekhyun walking through the door. Jongin is sleeping at his desk.
"You don’t say," Kyungsoo deadpans. He deftly slides his phone under a stack of papers, but Baekhyun has always been both too observant and too nosy for his own good. He smirks at Kyungsoo smugly, but doesn't say anything. "What," Kyungsoo snaps. He can feel the tips of his ears going red.
Baekhyun raises an eyebrow, but he doesn't lose the smug look. "Hey, I didn't say anything. It’s just weird that you haven’t tried to sleep with him yet. It isn’t exactly your usual style."
Kyungsoo opens his mouth to retort, but nothing comes out. After all, Baekhyun isn’t lying. Kyungsoo goes after what he likes with tenacity, and he likes his men tall, with legs long enough to drape over his shoulders and ankles crossed at the back of his neck.
He also likes them competent and terrifyingly good at their jobs. There's a little calendar in the mailroom that Sehun made that proclaims 0 days since our last fuckup!
“It’s hard to explain,” Kyungsoo finally says.
“I think you could get fired for saying that as a lawyer,” Baekhyun says as he flops into the chair across from Kyungsoo; he knows it’s a bullshit answer as well as Kyungsoo does. “But I’ll play nice for now. Besides,” Baekhyun leans forward in his chair just a little too quickly. “I hear you’re having a video conference with the Jung sisters today.”
This time, Kyungsoo does throw his pen.
By the time he’s kicked Baekhyun out of his office, conferenced with Jessica and Krystal Jung, and subsequently written a detailed memo to himself about why he should never get on their bad side, it’s six in the evening and the sky is already flooded with light from skyscrapers instead of from sunlight. Kyungsoo shrugs into his coat and strides out of his office. There’s a bottle of Scotch at home with his name written on it, and an entire night to spend with it.
It's second nature by now for Kyungsoo to pull out his phone when he steps into the elevator, double checking that he's responded to any e-mails he needed to. In fact, he's so preoccupied with a client's last minute e-mail that he doesn't notice that the ding of the elevator doors isn't for the ground floor, and walks straight into the freakishly tall figure of Chanyeol. Of course.
"Woah, slow down," Chanyeol laughs, and puts his hand on top of Kyungsoo's head to push him away, like he's a kindergartener or something.
Kyungsoo huffs indignantly. "What are you still doing here," he asks as flatly as he can. Chanyeol's usually out of the building by four, dashing off to the nearest happy hour with the rest of his mail room buddies. Not that Kyungsoo keep tabs on Chanyeol's schedule or anything.
"Nice to see you too," Chanyeol says, and his eyes crinkle behind the glasses that he apparently wears (Kyungsoo's still trying to sort out his feelings on that one). "We had a little mail mishap and may or may not have gotten the order of all the incoming mail off by one floor." When he leans over to jab at the garage level button, Kyungsoo confirms that yes, that is a pizza stain on the sleeve of Chanyeol’s shirt.
Kyungsoo closes his eyes and counts to five. He doesn't understand how this firm is still standing. "I don't understand how this firm is still standing," he voices.
Chanyeol laughs again, but this time he at least has the decency to sound a little sheepish. "Don't worry about it, we managed to fix it all eventually. Your mail's in good hands." He waggles his fingers, like that will make Kyungsoo believe that he's competent.
Before Kyungsoo can do something like put his hand over Chanyeol’s mouth to make him stop talking, or even worse, take him out to dinner so he can further Kyungsoo’s crisis about his taste in men, the elevator doors open at the ground floor. That Scotch has only gotten more appealing.
He's barely taken two steps across the threshold when Chanyeol suddenly calls out "Hey, Kyungsoo." Kyungsoo turns around to see Chanyeol leaning his arm against the elevator doors, which are trying their best to close around Chanyeol's fidgety limbs. Even the dings sound victimized by Chanyeol's existence.
Kyungsoo waits. Chanyeol fidgets some more. He has never seen Chanyeol this nervous, not even when he had bumped into Joonmyun Kim, the managing partner, and proceeded to spill coffee down his entire suit.
Kyungsoo is about to give up when Chanyeol finally blurts out, “Do you want to get drinks sometime? With me. Together. Drinks together, sometime, with me.” Kyungsoo hasn’t seen this kind of fumbling since first year mock trials at Harvard.
Kyungsoo's not an idiot. Nobody sends that many winky faces in their texts unless they're trying to send a signal, and Chanyeol has been trying to blind Kyungsoo for the better part of two months. Except Kyungsoo had assumed Chanyeol would be too chickenshit to actually ask him out, and now for the second time today, Kyungsoo loses his ability to use words in coherent sentences. If Jongdae were here, he'd be taking bets on who will blink first.
It's Kyungsoo who loses out, but Chanyeol is the one to give in, stepping back into the elevator with an awkward smile and an even more awkward “You know what, forget I said anything.”
In a movie, this would probably be when inspiring christmas music played while Kyungsoo ran towards Chanyeol, catching the elevator doors just in the nick of time to lay out the big confession scene before the scene faded to black. But it's not a movie, and instead, Kyungsoo walks out of the building without looking back to see if Chanyeol's still holding open the doors.
“No offense,” Jongdae had said the first time they’d met, both first year associates fresh out of law school. “But you don’t really look like the kind of lawyer that rakes in the big money.” Kyungsoo had rolled his eyes, then.
He’s always been small, quiet, and wide-eyed, never quite what people imagine a corporate shark to look like. But what had given Kyungsoo a corner office with floor to ceiling windows is the fact that he walks into negotiation rooms armed to the teeth with calculations and counterarguments, comes out winning in any situation almost every time. Kyungsoo Do is prepared for anything and everything.
Everything, apparently, except for Chanyeol.
Chanyeol shows too many teeth when he's telling bad jokes and not enough when he gets off the phone with his parents, who call once a week to ask when he plans on finishing his degree. Anyone can tell how funny he finds something by how far he bends over when he laughs. He only sends out so many chain e-mails because he knows it riles Kyungsoo up. Chanyeol has a million and one tells that should be simple for Kyungsoo to decipher, but he’s always half a step behind, always ten seconds later than he should be.
It’s not like Kyungsoo would have said no.
For a firm that's up to its ears in casework, everybody seems to be tremendously invested in Kyungsoo's personal life. By the time he reaches his office, Kyungsoo gets no less than four dirty looks, two sympathetic looks, and...whatever Yixing was trying to convey with his thousand yard stare. Even Jongin hands off Kyungsoo’s morning coffee with a pat on the shoulder that’s probably meant to be consoling, but is actually just very, very awkward.
He’s not even an hour settled in when he hears Jongdae’s voice floating down the hall. "I'm not looking for your condolences," Kyungsoo says without looking up when his door opens.
"Good, because I'm not here for that," Jongdae says. "If anything, I applaud your sense of idiocy, because it's been a long time since I've seen someone this-"
“I don’t know if you’re one to talk,” Kyungsoo cuts in drily. Jongdae’s been spending a suspiciously long time in Joonmyun’s office as of late, and Kyungsoo isn’t sure he wants to know the details. "If I want a lecture on my personal life, I'll let you know."
Jongdae mimes zipping his lips, waits thirty seconds, then promptly starts talking again. “You're lucky there are people in this firm dumber than you, or else we’d be having a real talk about your stunted emotions. But some first year fucked up paperwork that an infant could probably complete, so congratulations!” He tosses a thick case file at Kyungsoo’s desk. “Woolim Corporation’s suing S.M. group for 300 million claiming corporate fraud, and you get to lead the defense with me.”
The file is the size of Kyungsoo’s head and there’s probably more documents piling up in the records room. Kyungsoo can already feel the wheels turning in his head, what precedents he can pull up and what he can claim to get S.M. off the hook for yet another fuck-up. This case is going to be life consuming.
“Get Jongin to cancel all of my appointments.”
For three weeks, the only things Kyungsoo sees are Jongdae, associates assigned to the case, and the bottoms of various takeout containers. He’s the last one out of the office nightly, reading through case agreements and calling anyone who’s willing to cut a deal with him. It’s the kind of pressure Kyungsoo thrives under, the kind that pulls all of his focus to a singular point.
It’s almost anti-climactic when the two companies settle out of court, even though Kyungsoo knows that it’s the best course of action. Sometimes, it feels like law shouldn’t be this easy.
“Ah, but it is that easy,” Jongdae says over his (fourth) finger of celebratory Scotch. “You just like to make everything sound more complicated than it is.”
"Maybe I do," Kyungsoo says agreeably. He's matched Jongdae glass for glass so far. Jongdae's office couch is so comfortable.
"Is that what you did with that Chanyeol kid? Overthink everything?" Jongdae’s face is far too composed for someone who’s drunk that much. Kyungsoo feels like he’s been tricked into something he’s not ready for. He hadn’t thought about Chanyeol once during this entire case.
Kyungsoo holds out his glass. "It's complicated."
Jongdae pours out barely half a finger. "Chanyeol is literally the opposite of complicated."
Kyungsoo downs it in one swallow, glaring at Jongdae as he does. He closes his eyes against the burn in his throat, waits for it to fade before answering.
“Chanyeol’s simple,” Kyungsoo agrees. He keeps his voice as steady and measured as he can. His heart is beating in an unfamiliar pattern. “Everything is so simple with him. Maybe that’s the problem.”
“So you’re saying that you won’t sleep with him because it would be too simple,” Jongdae says slowly, and eyes him from over his glass. “I don’t think you understand the definition of complicated.”
Kyungsoo scoffs and sips from his glass before he remembers it’s empty. “You don’t get it.”
“No, I think you don’t get it. You like Chanyeol. Chanyeol likes you, which is a mystery that will never be solved by our generation. It’s not rocket science.”
Kyungsoo squints at him; he doesn’t know how trustworthy blurry Jongdae is, but he sounds incredibly convincing. “So you’re saying it’s that easy?”
Jongdae raises his empty glass in a mock toast. “I’m saying it’s that easy.”
“Special delivery,” Chanyeol sang out, seconds after he barged into Kyungsoo’s office.
Kyungsoo looked up from his computer. “I didn’t know they let trolls out of the dungeon.”
“Even trolls need a breath of fresh air,” Chanyeol replied breezily. He flopped down on Kyungsoo’s couch, his head pillowed on one end and his feet dangling off the the other. “Man, this is an insanely comfortable couch. Is this what people pay the big bucks for?”
“What are you doing here, Chanyeol,” Kyungsoo said. He definitely was not eying the way Chanyeol’s body stretched across the length of the couch.
“What, I can’t come up to visit my favourite soulless corporate drone?” Chanyeol grinned cheekily.
“Well, when you put it like that,” Kyungsoo deadpanned. He tried not to zero in on the “favourite” part.
“Okay you got me,” Chanyeol conceded. “You’re my second favourite, right after whoever writes my paychecks. You should be flattered that I came to see you first instead of him. It’s Stockholm Syndrome, I think I’m going to need therapy.”
“If you’re here for therapy money, you’re shit out of luck,” Kyungsoo said. His computer screen was flashing with a million flashing e-mails, all tagged with words like URGENT and TIME SENSITIVE. “Didn’t you say something about a special delivery?”
“What, are you saying that this,” Chanyeol gestured to his body, “isn’t enough for you?”
Kyungsoo stared at him as a response. How did people like Chanyeol manage to find employment?
“Your silence hurts almost as much as your punches,” Chanyeol said sadly and stood up. “I’m going to leave now because I actually do have to go see payroll. Maybe they’ll appreciate my body more than you.”
“Get the hell out of my office,” Kyungsoo said, something like fondness creeping into his voice.
The morning after is predictably hellish, to say the least. Kyungsoo is glad people don’t depend on him to take care of their huge stacks of cash for his job. Oh wait.
He stumbles into work an hour late because fuck it, he’s a partner now, and that means he can have a little leeway. At least he’s not passed out at his desk wearing sunglasses, like Jongdae is. Did he even go home last night?
Jongin is waiting at his door, holding a lukewarm cup of coffee. It is godsend, and Kyungsoo says a barely coherent thanks.
Usually at this point in the morning, Jongin sits back down at his desk to schedule Kyungsoo’s clients, and Kyungsoo goes into his office to make fortunes for said clients. Jongin breaks the mold today and follows Kyungsoo into his office. He rocks side to side on his feet. Waits for Kyungsoo to inhale his coffee. Stares at Kyungsoo until Kyungsoo realizes he isn’t going away and finally asks him, “Yes?”
Jongin’s shoulders sag with something like relief. “Well first off, sir, congratulations on yet another successful case. Your work ethic and tenacity really paid off, and showed what it truly takes to be a quality employee of Kim and Associates.” He sounds like he’s reading off a cue card. Jongin usually doesn’t try this hard. “And secondly, I was wondering if you’re not busy, if you could do me a huge favour.”
Kyungsoo rolls his eyes, because of course. “Your pay raise is scheduled on a yearly basis, Jongin. It’s very clearly outlined in your contract.”
“What?” Jongin looks confused. So maybe not an of course. “Oh, yeah, I know about my contract, you were pretty thorough on that when you hired me. It’s actually about Chanyeol. Chanyeol Park,” Jongin elaborates, as if there’s any other Chanyeol he could be talking about.
Kyungsoo inwardly cringes. “Chanyeol Park and I aren’t on close terms, so I don’t know if there’s anything I can do to help in regards with him,” he says neutrally. What does Jongin need with Chanyeol? He thought the mail issues were sorted out weeks ago.
“But I thought you two had like...a thing.” Jongin uses air quotes around "thing". Kyungsoo doesn’t want to know what he means by that. “And I don’t want to pry into your personal life because you’re my boss and that’s just weird to think about, but do you think you can talk him into texting me...less? Or just not at all. I don’t have unlimited texting in my plan.”
Kyungsoo blinks. “Chanyeol’s been texting you?” This is news to him. He’d assumed that Chanyeol had lost his phone, judging by how quiet Kyungsoo’s phone has been lately.
“Yes? And kind of incessantly? Annoyingly so? Not that I think your boyfriend is annoying. Sir.” Jongin looks like he’s going to give himself an aneurysm. Kyungsoo is too hungover for this.
“Three things,” Kyungsoo says, one hand already rubbing his temple. “One, don’t call me sir, I am literally one year older than you. Two, Chanyeol is not my boyfriend, so definitely don’t call him that. And three,” Kyungsoo steels himself. “Yes, I’ll go talk to Chanyeol later today and talk to him about...proper office communication procedures.”
Jongin backs two steps away from giving himself massive brain damage. “Thank you sir. I mean Kyungsoo. Sir.” One step closer.
Kyungsoo sighs. “Just go get me another coffee. Please.”
Jongin almost runs into the door in his haste to leave. Kyungsoo wonders if it’s too early to start drinking again.
After three cups of coffee and a pastry swiped from the break room, Kyungsoo feels almost like a fully functional human being again, not that he lets it show. By eleven, he’s powered through roughly half a ton of paperwork, a quarterly finance meeting, and signed a new client to boot. It’s one of those days where Baekhyun refers to him as Lawyer-Bot. Kyungsoo doesn’t see how that’s an insult.
Jongdae had come by to check if they were still on for lunch at noon and Kyungsoo had declined with a dismissive wave of one hand, the other hand still scribbling notes on the side margins of his newest contract.
“Suit yourself,” Jongdae had said before skipping off with Baekhyun to do...whatever evil little people did in their free time. Kyungsoo wouldn’t know. He’s too busy being productive.
There’s a knock on his door. “Kyungsoo?” Jongin peeks his head in.
Was being productive.
Kyungsoo sighs, but puts down his pen. Secretary’s Day is coming up. He should probably start being nicer to his. “Yes?” he says before he remembers. “Right, Chanyeol. I promise, I’ll get to that as soon as I can.”
“Kyungsoo, please.” Kyungsoo has never heard a grown man whine before, but it’s a fairly accurate term for what Jongin is doing. “This is getting really weird, really fast.” His phone is chiming in near constant beeps.
Kyungsoo’s eyebrow goes up. “Is that all Chanyeol?”
Jongin nods pathetically and hands Kyungsoo his phone. Kyungsoo scrolls through the still oncoming messages: Lunch?, Today?, Now?, and ^^, all sent as individual messages, followed by a stream of food emojis, some that Kyungsoo’s never even seen before. Is that a baby bottle of milk? Kyungsoo really doesn’t want to know what that’s supposed to mean.
Kyungsoo sighs again. Today is a shit day to start treating his secretary better. “I’ll go talk to him right now. Just. Don’t reply to any of those.”
“I’ve never even replied to one of his messages before,” Jongin says dolefully before following Kyungsoo out of his office.
Kyungsoo spends the elevator ride rehearsing what he’s going to say when he sees Chanyeol.
Listen Chanyeol, did you trade in inappropriate mass e-mails for inappropriate one on one messaging while I wasn’t looking? Listen Chanyeol, can you stop flirting with my secretary? Listen Chanyeol, I’ve wanted to take you out to dinner since the first time we met, since forever ago, can you show me what your mouth is good for besides spewing the dumbest shit I’ve heard?
Maybe scratch the last part.
By the time Kyungsoo reaches the sixth floor, he’s confident that that his talk with Chanyeol will be precise, clinical, and professional.
All of his words fly out the window when he sees Chanyeol.
Chanyeol is sacked out at a table, head pillowed on his arms; naptime is apparently taking precedence over lunchtime today. He’s wearing those glasses again, and there’s a little spot of drool at the corner of his mouth.
Somewhere in the span of three weeks, twenty-two measly days, he’s changed his hair, deep red instead of black, slicked with hair gel instead of swept down in messy bangs.
Kyungsoo’s mouth goes dry. His legs feel like cement stuck at the doorway of the mailroom. He doesn’t know what he’s doing, probably never has when it comes to Chanyeol. It’s an unsettling thought.
After a few seconds, Kyungsoo forces himself to move. He is a grown man, and he is completely capable of having a mature adult conversation. Maybe.
Chanyeol must not have been asleep for very long, judging from the way he stirs as Kyungsoo walks over to him. He stretches (a flash of pale skin where his shirt rides up), yawns (the sound of a disturbing number of bones cracking in his jaw), finally looks up at Kyungsoo and says --
Kyungsoo is well aware that he's staring. He hates Chanyeol so much. It's almost a struggle to slip on his lawyer voice, the one he's practiced for years and years, the one that masks how fucked he feels sometimes. "Don't get ideas, Park. I'm here strictly on business."
"And what business would that be?" He still smiles so wide.
"The business of stop trying to get into my secretary's pants," Kyungsoo snaps. He's still business like. He's still in control. He's got this.
Chanyeol's eyes open wide. "Wait, can we rewind a little, go back to the previously on? Who is it that I’m trying to sleep with, again?”
“The guy you won’t stop texting. Jongin Kim. My secretary.” The heat in the pit of Kyungsoo’s stomach isn’t jealousy. How is Chanyeol working him up this much without doing anything.
“So the guy I’ve been texting non-stop for the past week is your secretary?" Chanyeol doesn’t sound nearly as shocked as he should.
"That's what I said, isn't it." Kyungsoo's blood pressure is skyrocketing by the second.
"Wow.” Chanyeol links his fingers behind his head, leans back in his chair, and smiles in a way that can only be described as smug. “Imagine that.”
Kyungsoo’s blood runs cold. He can literally feel the gears in his brain turning, and judging by how Chanyeol looks even more self-satisfied, he can, too. “You already knew that,” Kyungsoo says slowly.
“I already knew that,” Chanyeol agrees. He’s grinning with his teeth again and when Kyungsoo looks carefully, he sees the calculated angles, the gleam in Chanyeol’s eye that goes beyond amusement. What the fuck.
“You’re playing me,” Kyungsoo says. The gears in his brain jam up.
Chanyeol shrugs. “It’s what lawyers do, right?” He stands up, saunters right into Kyungsoo’s space like he’s already won. “How am I doing so far?”
From this close, Kyungsoo has to crane his neck to look Chanyeol in the eye. Slow and steady wins the race. "I'm not the type to lose."
"Pretty sure you just lost right now," Chanyeol points out and that’s it, game over.
Kyungsoo doesn't even care that Chanyeol is just goading him, winding him up like he’s a teenager just discovering what rebellion tastes like. He drags Chanyeol down by the scruff of his neck just as Chanyeol grabs the neatly creased lapels of his suit jacket and tugs up.
Their first kiss is anything but slow, Kyungsoo fighting for space inside Chanyeol’s mouth and Chanyeol still teasing, still asking if that’s all Kyungsoo has. Kyungsoo tongues his way along the edges of Chanyeol’s teeth, says you haven’t seen anything yet with a swipe along Chanyeol’s canines. Chanyeol’s mouth tastes a thousand times better than cheap beer in some ratty anonymous basement.
Kyungsoo can feel Chanyeol’s grin against his mouth, but he refuses to give up a single inch; he’s trying to make a point here. It’s a valid point, a very important point, a point that’s becoming increasingly harder to remember as Chanyeol slides his hands down until he has a firm grip on Kyungsoo’s hips and uses the leverage to reel him in impossibly closer. It makes Kyungsoo have to tilt his head that much more to keep his mouth on Chanyeol’s.
Kyungsoo slides his fingers up into the short hairs on the nape of Chanyeol’s neck and gives a sharp tug in retribution. It makes Chanyeol groan against Kyungsoo’s mouth, press up against him even harder which, interesting. Kyungsoo stores the information for later and sets out to find out what else gets Chanyeol to make that noise.
Chanyeol, it turns out, is an incredibly vocal kisser. Big shock.
By the time they pull apart to catch their breaths, Kyungsoo has catalogued: one, the hair thing, two, the biting thing (right at the center of Chanyeol’s bottom lip, where it’s most plush), and three, the neck thing (Kyungsoo wonders if he can combine it with the biting thing and leave some really spectacular marks). If Kyungsoo’s being honest with himself, the hair thing affects him the most. It’s hard to ignore, especially when Chanyeol tilts his head with it, like he’s asking Kyungsoo for more.
“You dyed your hair,” Kyungsoo mumbles against the side of Chanyeol’s neck.
“Yeah, two weeks ago,” Chanyeol says. Kyungsoo pulls at the strands again, relishes the hitch in Chanyeol’s breath. “You would have known if you’d been following my Instagram.”
“What does that even mean,” Kyungsoo groans, and kisses Chanyeol again before he can open his mouth to explain.
Kyungsoo is late coming back from his lunch hour. Lunch two hours. It might have turned into three hours, if Chanyeol hadn’t pulled away to ask if he didn’t have “lawyer-y things to do” and laughed Kyungsoo out of the mailroom. Chanyeol, the responsible one. Who would have imagined.
He’s sitting at his desk, trying to smooth everything down as much as possible (his suit jacket, his tie, his hair - everything is skewed), when Jongdae walks in.
“Hey, the case is almost wrapped up, there’s just a few more forms we need to look over...” Jongdae looks up and sees Kyungsoo. “Holy shit,” he says, and walks right back out, taking Kyungsoo’s reason to tidy up with him.
Jongdae has never been a discreet person. Kyungsoo doesn’t expect any mercy.
Thirty minutes later, Jongdae is back, bringing with him Baekhyun, confetti, and a cake with “Congrats for fucking the mailboy!” written on it. It looks professionally iced. Kyungsoo doesn’t want to know if they’ve been saving it or if they actually paid someone an exorbitant rush fee to make it.
“Now don’t go trying to thank us too fast, Kyungsoo. Before you ask, yes, this cake is fresh and yes, I did pay an unreasonable amount of money for it,” Jongdae grandly announces, like it’s something to be proud of.
“We’re just so proud of our little boy,” Baekhyun says, and dabs imaginary tears out of his eyes with his imaginary handkerchief. “Now, when are you going to bring home your special someone to meet us?”
“And why do you never call anymore?” Jongdae asks.
“We just want you to be happy, son,” Baekhyun adds.
“What the fuck,” Kyungsoo says.
He kicks them out when they cut the cake and try to feed it to him.
“We’re lawyers, not clowns, you morons,” Kyungsoo snarls as they laugh their way out of his office. Baekhyun might actually be in tears now.
Kyungsoo ends up giving the cake to Jongin. “Happy birthday,” he says.
“It’s not my birthday,” Jongin says. He looks traumatized.
“Consider it an early gift,” Kyungsoo says. “And by the way, I talked to Chanyeol. He won’t be bothering you anymore.”
The news doesn’t make Jongin look any less traumatized.
It’s a good thing he gets paid so well, Kyungsoo thinks, as he walks back into his office and pulls out his phone.
Dinner tonight at 7. I’ll pick you up. Don’t make me wait.
Chanyeol makes him wait.
Kyungsoo watches as the clock in his car hits 7:15 before he decides that fuck it, he’s going to have to drag Chanyeol down if they’re going to make the reservation on time. He checks and rechecks his car alarm, then jogs up the stairs to Chanyeol’s apartment complex to jam the buzzer next to the hastily scrawled CY Park placard.
Kyungsoo waits impatiently for a few seconds until Chanyeol finally responds. “Yeah, I’m coming, ow, fuck. Who is it?” Chanyeol’s voice sounds frazzled through the distortion of the intercom.
“Who else could you possibly be expecting,” Kyungsoo demands.
“Jongin? No, I’m kidding, I know it’s you, Kyungsoo.” The door makes a buzzing sound as it unlocks. “Please don’t beat me up when you get up here.”
Kyungsoo is making no such promises. As he climbs up the stairs, he wonders what Chanyeol could have misunderstood about Don’t be late, if it’s too late to back out of this, if his brain will finally realize the colossal mistake he’s making. Mostly he wonders what the architect of this building had against elevators.
By the time he reaches the fifth floor, Kyungsoo is out of breath and ready to give Chanyeol a piece of his mind.
What he’s not ready for, apparently, is Chanyeol answering the door in a worn white singlet, a hideously patterned tie knotted haphazardly around his neck and looking like he hasn’t bothered with his hair since Kyungsoo had mussed it up hours ago. Kyungsoo wants to wreck him even more than he already looks.
“Hey,” Chanyeol says, sounding just as distressed as he did over the intercom. “Sorry, I don’t really know what to wear to a fancy restaurant so I was-”
“Shut up,” Kyungsoo says as he shoves Chanyeol back into his apartment. He takes advantage of a surprised Chanyeol, pulls him down by his ugly, ugly tie to kiss him hard, keeps kissing him as he walks them backwards, until the backs of Chanyeol’s knees hit the couch.
Chanyeol gets the hint to sit, and Kyungsoo is on him again, knees bracketing his thighs and hands wrestling at the offensive piece of cloth around Chanyeol’s neck. It doesn’t even deserve to be called a tie.
“What the hell did you do, do you even know how to tie a tie,” Kyungsoo demands, before he kisses Chanyeol hard. It’s a mixed message he’s sending.
“Um,” Chanyeol says intelligently. He’s looked dazed since Kyungsoo first stepped into apartment. Kyungsoo tallies that in his win column. “Dinner plans?”
He’s tired of Chanyeol reminding him of what he should be doing. “Dinner can wait,” Kyungsoo says, grinds slow and dirty in Chanyeol’s lap until Chanyeol isn’t saying anything at all.
“Hey, Kyungsoo,” Chanyeol says into Kyungsoo’s hair. “Kyungsoo. Kyungsoo. Kyungsoo.”
Kyungsoo, who’s sprawled out on top of Chanyeol, lifts his head up to stare at him. God, how is he still this annoying. Kyungsoo’s already made him come twice. “I’ve made up my mind. You’re only allowed to say my name that many times if it’s when we're fucking,” he says.
"You seem awfully confident," Chanyeol grins, lazy and satisfied. He’s put himself back together with a quickness that’s almost offensive. “Who says I’m going to say your name even once?”
Kyungsoo distinctly remembers the way Chanyeol had come undone not ten minutes ago, gasping and grinding down on Kyungsoo’s fingers, chanting please and Kyungsoo until Kyungsoo had finally put his hand around his dick, made him come in two strokes flat. He raises his eyebrow.
Chanyeol shrugs in response. “Yeah, I’m just not that impressed yet.” He says yet like he knows there’s going to be a next time, like Kyungsoo’s a sure thing and all he has to do is push the on button. “I guess you’re just going to have to try harder.”
Kyungsoo lays his forearm across Chanyeol’s throat and presses down, just hard enough so he can see Chanyeol’s eyes darken. “Is that a challenge?”
“It might be,” Chanyeol grins.
Kyungsoo leans in.