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Where We Should Be

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No one had prepared him for what it was like to actually search for a job.  School had been a picnic compared, it felt as though he’d put about a million applications out there, only hearing from a few before a company actually seemed to take an interest.  Most of the places Can had applied to hadn’t even responded, the few that had apologized that he wasn’t quite what they were looking for, they wanted experience .  Something he couldn’t get if no one was willing to take him on and so that he could get it. His first two years at the university had been rough, his attention span had been tested, but once he’d matured some his grades were actually not bad after he finally started to take things seriously.  Though he’d graduated he still didn’t actually know what he wanted to do for a living.  He’d literally applied anywhere he saw that was hiring.  The place that finally hired him had interviewed him a grand total of four times, something Ley had mentioned seemed weird, but he needed the work.  It wasn’t as though he could live at home with his mom for the rest of his life, nor did he in truth really want to.

They’d hired him though!  His mom had even helped him get some nice shirts, pants and even a few ties so that he could look professional when he went into work.  The job itself didn’t sound so bad, he was an assistant, he just did whatever the guy he was hired to help asked of him.  The company he hadn’t actually heard of before, and it was true he should have researched it before he actually took an interview, because now not only was he nervous, he was intimidated .  Medthanan Enterprises owned half of Bangkok, had stakes in other parts of Thailand and sometimes worked in both the UK and the US.  

Can fidgeted with his tie as he walked into the large house, the man he was to follow around and assist requested he come straight to his home instead of heading to the office because he intended to work from home that day. Apparently that was a fairly common occurrence. Resting just on top of his tie was a badge that hung by a lanyard around his neck that had a small picture of him, a large M.E for the company and his name, much to his distress it said Cantaloupe instead of Can like he’d requested. Just under his name it read, “Tul Medthanan’s Assistant”.  Tul had done the first two interviews before the man he later found out was actually his father took over.  He seemed nice enough, had a pleasant disposition though something felt off.  It wasn’t off enough that he could put his finger on it, but he saw something just below the surface in the man he didn’t quite like.

A job was a job though, and he wandered in after kicking off his shoes to find him sitting at a table surrounded by paperwork.  “Cantaloupe!  You’re early, I’m pleased.  I don’t have a lot for you to do yet, but here, take this file and run it to my dad's office for me?  It’s just down the hall, up the first set of stairs, it’ll be the only door.”  Can almost winced at the use of his full nickname.  He held it back, offering a deep wei to his boss before he took the file in his hand.  

“Thank you, Mr. Medthanan sir, I’ll get that right to him,” He didn’t wait before he set off in that direction, biting his tongue to keep from begging him to just call him Can .  It also took a lot once he was out of view to not peek inside the file, which from the small tab read Medthanan, Tin.   That seemed weird, in the research he’d done that name hadn’t come up, just Tul and his father… but mostly Tul if he was quite honest.  He kept the file shut, forcing himself to remember that he wasn’t being paid to be nosy, instead just do as he was asked.  A thing he already struggled with, so focus was important.  He’d barely put one foot on the stairs when another man appeared from around the corner, pausing at the top of the stairs to look down at him.  It wasn’t Tul’s father, nor anyone from the company he’d met thus far.  He was handsome though, ridiculously so.  By now Can was far more aware of himself than he had been when he’d started college.  While he assumed most people sorted out their sexuality by the time they were teenagers, Can had taken until he turned twenty to get a full grasp on it.  

He’d gone from thinking he liked girls, to thinking perhaps he liked both… to knowing damn well he wasn’t just gay, he was hopelessly gay. He wanted a relationship with another man, yet couldn’t quite achieve it.  It wasn’t because he hadn’t tried, it was because he lost interest the moment someone showed interest in him.   But this man, in all his tall handsome glory, was pushing just about every button in him.  He slowly walked, one foot in front of the other as he started up the stairs, the man’s indifferent, cold eyes now on the badge that rested on his chest.  “My brother's new assistant?  Don’t mess up, he fires at the drop of a hat, or should I say… file,” Can had fumbled with the file in hand the moment he spoke, his eyes wide as he paused near the man, allowing his glance to dart from him to the door.  Keep your temper in check Can, keep it in check.

“Seems nice enough to me,” he offered, pushing a wide smile across his face even as he felt his face heating up. “I’m Can, nice to meet you, he just asked me to bring his dad… your dad… this,” he nodded down to the file before he fixed the man with a curious stare.  

Cantaloupe ,” the man corrected with a glance again at his name badge, “Tin Medthanan, as I said, don’t mess up.” With those words, Tin walked down the stairs, leaving Can with his cheeks puffed out, his teeth pressed into his tongue as he tried again, not to correct him and to not loudly announce that he wouldn’t mess up.  He knew himself well enough to know he probably would mess up, focus wasn’t ever on his side but he was going to try his damnedest, he needed this job.  Tin’s pretty face didn’t help, nor did the flutter in his stomach at just watching him walk away, particularly how his ass moved as he hopped down each stair.  Quickly, he shook his head, returning his focus on the door.  Don’t you dare look at your boss's brother's ass, Can, stop this.

 

==

 

The rest of his first day had gone well, he’d managed to deliver the file and get back to Tul without major incident. Mostly it had been tiny family incidents throughout the day that left him feeling cold.  Tin hadn’t shown up again until the end of his shift, while Can was helping Tul sort through paperwork, moving things into order by date and doing his best not to let Tul see him counting the months on his hands under the table.  The moment Tin showed back up in the kitchen where they sat, the air around them had turned icy .  And Can noticed that it didn’t actually seem to be Tin’s fault.  No, Tul seemed to get some kind of weird pleasure out of egging Tin on, despite Tin being very careful not to engage with him.  On the outside the interaction looked as though it was just Tul attempting to make small talk with his little brother, something he’d called him several times, but Can had caught something in his eyes that left him feeling uneasy. 

The moment he’d caught it, he’d let his eyes drift over to Tin, who met with his eyes and what he saw there only confirmed it.  There was sadness, pain, and Can himself didn’t like the sinking feeling in his chest as they stared at one another.  Tul seemed to pick up on something there as well, though he didn’t say anything or press the matter, he mentioned Tin several times throughout the rest of the day, as though he was studying Can for something.  He only hoped whatever he was looking for, it wasn’t bad and he hadn’t found anything in it. For an awkward moment, Tul had even tried to introduce them, a small smile on his face that left Can feeling uneasy.  Tin, confirming quietly that they’d already met, left Tul with his gaze moving between them.  Can himself let his eyes focus entirely on the paperwork in front of him.  If he focused entirely on the dates that he was meant to be sorting, his eyes wouldn’t drift over to Tin like they so badly wanted to do.

Tul was still looking for something, though Can was unsure what.  The entire interaction left him confused.  It didn’t feel how siblings were meant to act with one another, it certainly wasn’t how he and Lemon were.  They bickered, but none of it felt cold, or calculating.  In the very same moment, Can mentally shook his head at himself.  Clearly he was reading way too far into it, he didn’t know them well enough to judge.  There was a chance that this was just rich people .  They were so weird.