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Lee Chan | Dino Requests

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Okay, so maybe he shouldn’t have chosen a college without looking into the location.

To be fair, the school did have a really good dance program, which wasn’t common by any means, so who could blame him? It wasn’t his fault that the campus happened to be located in a kinda (read: very) sketchy town that was hundreds of miles from where he grew up. And he had always wanted the TV-show college experience, so it was a no-brainer when he was asked to choose between off-campus housing and living in a dorm.

Unfortunately, this was decidedly not the TV-show experience.

The main character in a TV-show didn’t get bullied in college . That’s right: bullied. In college. Chan had thought that kind of thing just didn’t once you got out of high school. Surely everyone was far too mature for that now that they were all working on their degrees.

Nope. Not at all. If anything, it was worse than high school. Because Chan didn’t get bullied at all in his small town high school with a graduating class that totalled around 30 people. He didn’t talk much to anyone other than his close friends, but his classmates knew and liked him. Getting punched in the face was practically unheard of throughout the entire school.

It was a rather common occurrence here, though. There was one specific group of guys who wandered the campus, looking for anyone who appeared to be especially vulnerable to an attack. And it seemed that Chan was their latest target.

The breath was knocked out of him as he was slammed against the rough brick wall. Even though it was dark, too dark to see just a few inches in front of his face, he knew who it was that had grabbed him and pulled him into this alleyway.

“Did you really follow me all the way into town, Dongsuk? You couldn’t just let me go to the post office? Are you that desperate?” he groaned, determined not to let his nervousness show.

“I know you told Professor Park,” Dongsuk said slowly.

“Of course I did. I’m not gonna let you get the credit for the project that I did by myself.”

A fist caught him in the gut. He groaned again; if not for the fact that he was being held up against the wall, he would’ve keeled over.

“You know how seriously that old man takes ‘honesty’,” he jeered the last word, as if the very thought of it disgusted him. “I already have enough strikes. You could've lost me my scholarship.”

Despite himself, Chan couldn’t help snorting. “It’s a wonder you got one in the first place.”

Dongsuk growled and landed one more blow on Chan’s left cheek before backing away and motioning to one of the boys that had been standing behind him watching the scene unfold.

“Ooh, you gonna sick one of your lackeys on me?” Chan mocked. The fake confidence that he hoped was present in his voice faded soon after. There was a glint, the singular small stream of sunlight that came into the alley bouncing off of whatever the lackey had removed from his pocket. Chan paled—the town he was raised in was fairly safe, but he had lived in this place long enough to know what that was: a switchblade.

“Woah, woah, woah, maybe we can talk about this—”

“Not so cocky now, huh?”

He tried to muster up the words, but nothing came out except a small squeak that, in any other situation, would’ve had his face burning. But now that humiliation was the least of his worries. After all, he was pretty sure that he was now facing imminent death.

Well, this was less than ideal. He had never imagined his last memories to be in a musty alleyway in a not-familiar-but-not-unfamiliar town so far away from basically everyone he cared about.

Mom, Dad, please forgive me. I’m sorry I never graduated like you always wanted. I’m sorry that you have to bury your son. I’m sorry I couldn’t live up to your expectations. I’m sorry—

“What’s going on here?”

Chan’s internal panic paused and went to the background for a moment to make room for his confusion. The other guys also froze, turning to look at the owner of the voice. Standing in the entrance to the alley were three men, all of them looking to be taller than everyone here.

“I said: what is going on here?” the one in the middle repeated slowly. He was obviously the leader of the trio as the other two stood a step behind and let him do the talking, but some part of him knew that they could still hold their own pretty well.

At the man’s words, Dongsuk recovered from his surprise and regained his previous confidence.

“What, you know this little bitch?” he scoffed.

“No,” the same man said. “But I don’t like it when someone is being picked on by someone bigger than them. And it looks to me like you are trying to beat up this kid for telling the teacher on you.”

The taller man next to him snorted. “Sounds like something that would happen in elementary school, not college.”

Dongsuk glared. “Watch who you’re talking to buddy.” He dropped his grip on Chan’s front, letting him slump to the dirty ground, and stalked over to the tallest man. He looked a bit taken aback when he realized just how much taller the man was than him, but it didn’t stun him for too long before he pulled back his fist. The man easily caught it.

“I suggest you remove yourselves from our turf before we make you,” he growled.

He lifted his sleeve to reveal… something. Chan couldn’t make it out, but it must’ve been bad judging by the way Dongsuk’s face drained of all color.

“Shit, man!” he cursed, backing away from them frantically. “Let’s go!” The lackeys hesitated for only a moment before they followed him out the alley, tripping and spitting curses all the way.

That left Chan and his three mysterious saviors. As he looked up at their approaching figures, his mind raced with all of the things he wanted to say, starting with thanking them for saving—

“Who are you?”

The leader chuckled. “Cutting right to the chase, huh? I see how it is.”

Chan flushed. “Thank you for stopping them from…” he trailed off, shuddering.

The third one, the one who hadn’t spoken yet, crouched down next to him. His hair was black, a stark contrast to Chan’s own sandy blond, and his eyes were bright like the only thing he ever did was smile. “Hey, he was just joking. You’re okay. My name is Jisoo. That’s Seungcheol,” he pointed to the leader, “and that’s Mingyu,” he pointed to the tallest man. “What’s your name?”

“Lee Chan,” he introduced. His jaw already felt sore from being decked, and talking only made it worse. He rubbed it while he talked. “I’m a freshman up at Pledis University.”

Jisoo stood up, brushing some dust off of his pants before reaching a hand out to help Chan up. “A freshman? You’re the youngest one here.” His eyes caught on the bruise forming on Chan’s cheek. He frowned. “I’m sorry we couldn’t stop them from doing that. Looked like you took a few good hits. Do you need bandages or anything?”

Chan grimaced and wiped some blood off his lip. “Nah, I think I’ll be good.”

Seungcheol’s phone rang and he answered. Chan could hear muffled talking from several different voices. There was screaming in the background. His eyes darted between the phone and all three of his saviors. Seungcheol hung up the phone.

“Is everyone okay?” Chan asked cautiously. No one else looked concerned, which was puzzling.

“Oh, yeah,” Seungcheol brushed him off. He said the next part more to Mingyu and Jisoo. “Seungkwan pranked Soonyoung and now HQ is in chaos. Everyone’s waiting for Seokmin to take a side before they make their own alliances.”

“We better get going then,” Mingyu said, “I wanna see how this plays out.”

Jisoo looked back at Chan. “You gonna be able to get back to your dorm on your own?”

Chan nodded, watching them in faint bemusement.

“Good. We might see you around. Till next time,” Jisoo said, motioning like he was tipping a hat, a smile cracking on his face. Mingyu snorted and shoved him lightly.

“Stop being cheesy.”

They walked into the darkness, the opposite direction to which they entered from, and it took Chan a moment to remember that there was a dead end. Yet when he turned around to tell them, they were nowhere to be seen.

 


 

“No, you have to understand: they came out of nowhere! I’ve never seen them before!” Chan repeated for what felt like the hundredth time, running his hands through his hair. He was sitting on the couch (which, though not the most comfortable, was in better condition than his own) in his friend's dorm, trying to explain to her what exactly had happened to him a few days ago. 

It seemed like she was having a bit of trouble getting it.

Or maybe he was just bad at explaining things.

“Channie, surely you realize how strange this sounds,” Yeri said. “Three men—whom you’ve never met before—approached you in an alley and roughed up your bullies?”

“Don’t call them that,” Chan muttered, even though he knew it was true.

She snorted. “That’s besides the point. It doesn’t make any sense.”

The door opened. They looked over to see Yeri’s roommate, Sooyoung, taking her jacket off by the door, grocery bags on the ground next to her. “What doesn’t make any sense?” she asked.

So Chan retold his story, expecting much of the same disbelieving reaction. Except that’s not what he got.

“Well, from what I could guess,” she began from where she had moved to sit on the edge of the counter, “you’ve gotten yourself mixed up with Seventeen.”

They gave her equally clueless looks. She sighed, rolling her eyes.

“Jesus, do you guys never get out? They’re… well, I guess they’re kind of like a, for lack of a better word, gang. But as far as I’m aware, they don’t deal in drugs. Vigilantes, I guess fits better. They protect their turf, but they’re not afraid to get violent while doing it.” She paused for a moment. “Don’t take my word for it, though. I only know this much because Juhyun-unnie is friends with Junmyeon-oppa whose younger brother is Sehun-oppa who’s friends with Seo Youngho who’s friends with Yoon Jeonghan who’s a part of Seventeen.” They gave her half-impressed-half-scared looks, and she shrugged. “Anyways, I have play rehearsal in, like, fifteen minutes, so I better get going.”

After she left, they sat for a good few minutes in silence, trying to process everything that just came out of her mouth. 

“So…” Chan said slowly, “what do I do now?”

“Are you kidding me?” Yeri exclaimed. “A gang of vigilantes just saved you from getting your ass beat.”

“Okay, well, first of all: part of a gang. Second: I would not have gotten my ass beat. Third: how is that supposed to clarify things for me?!”

“Right, I forgot how bad you are at social cues—don’t try to deny it. Obviously, you thank them.”

“Oh yeah, Yeri? And how do you suppose I do that?” Chan did feel bad for snapping at her like that, but in his defense, he was feeling just a little frazzled. Besides, she didn’t seem too offended by it. In fact, she looked more amused than anything else. “I can’t just send them a thank you card, can I? Hey, I heard you guys are a bunch of gang members. What’s that like? By the way, thanks for saving my ass back there. Send my love to the kids! XOXO, Chan.” He snorted derisively. “Yeah, that would go over real well.”

“Not like that, you big drama queen,” Yeri responded, punching him on the shoulder. He couldn’t help smiling at the nickname, which would normally be something to defend himself against. Now it felt like a form of stability, a reminder that he had friends to help him figure this out. “You can bring them some sweets or something, as a gift.”

“Yeri, I don’t know if you remember the last time I tried to bake, but it didn’t end well.”

(The campus refused to move him to a different dorm, and he can still feel the glares of his neighbors on his back. Some people got really stuck up on being woken up by the fire alarms in the middle of finals week).

She smiled. “That’s what I’m here for.”

 


 

Chan stood in the middle of the entrance of an alleyway with a plate of cupcakes in his hand, feeling very, very stupid.

(Chan looked at the cupcakes skeptically as Yeri wrapped them up in saran wrap.

“You’re sure they’ll like these?”

She hummed a tune and shrugged. “I don’t see why not. Everyone likes red velvet.”)

Only once he got into town did he realize he had absolutely no idea where to find Seventeen. Seungcheol had said something about an HQ, so maybe there? But, of course, he had no way to get there. So, after wandering the streets for a while, he eventually found his way back to the alleyway that started it all, and figured that this place was as good as any.

So he went inside, slid down to sit on the dirty cement, and waited. He didn’t know how long he was there for; it all kind of faded together after the first rat tried to get to the cupcakes. Eventually, though, it started storming. Not a light shower— storming. Rain poured out the sky, thunder booming and lightning flashing every second. Within minutes Chan was soaked to the bone, and there was no sign of it letting up anytime soon.

The streets were clear of most people, and while he may have walked here, it was going to be a lot more difficult when it was raining sideways. Chan didn’t really know what he could do except wait out the storm.

Luckily, he didn’t have to wait for long.

“Funny meeting you here,” Jisoo said. Chan stared. “You look to be in rough shape.”

“You could say that again,” Chan said. “I’ve been waiting here for a while.”

“So I’ve been told. I’m sorry no one came to get you. We didn’t know you were waiting for us.”

“I have cupcakes,” Chan changed the subject. “I hope you guys like red velvet.”

“Of course we do,” Jisoo answered. “Who doesn’t? Now, then, follow me.”

“Follow you?” Chan spluttered. “To where?”

“HQ. You didn’t think we were gonna just leave you here in the rain, did you?” Jisoo scanned him. “Take my jacket. Use it as an umbrella. It’s not a far walk.”

“But what about you?”

“I’ve dealt with worse than a little rain.”

It didn’t take long to get there. The building itself was rather inconspicuous, looking just like a normal office building in a small college town like this one: a few stories tall, brick walls with a flat roof. Inside it was even less threatening. They walked right into what appeared to be a reception area.

The lady at the front desk gave Jisoo a nod as the two of them entered the elevator. To Chan’s surprise, instead of pressing one of the numbers, Jisoo pressed the button that would call the fire department.

“This is Joshua,” he said into the microphone. “I’m coming down with a guest. Make yourselves presentable.”

And then the elevator started moving down. It shouldn’t have been possible; there were no buttons to indicate a maintenance floor or anything of the sort.

When the doors slid open, they were greeted with a normal looking living room. In fact, it looked so normal that it made Chan suspicious. Not a second after they stepped out, a man ran by screaming. A few seconds later, another, shorter man emerged. This one, though, stopped when he saw them.

“So you’re the kid those three have been talking about, huh?” He looked Chan up and down, as if searching for something. Then he looked at Jisoo, and a mischievous grin appeared on his face. “Well, he certainly is as cute as you’ve been—” Jisoo lunged forward, slapping a hand over the man’s mouth.

“Ignore him, Chan,” he said. “Jihoon doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

“Oh, so we’re telling him our real names now?” He turned back to Chan, paying no mind to the look Jisoo was giving him. “I’m known as Woozi, though my actual name’s Jihoon, as Jisoo-hyung already mentioned.”

“I’m Chan.”

“So I’ve heard. You’ll do good, kid. If he trusts you enough to bring you here then you’re good in my book.” With that, he continued his chase.

Another man emerged from the hallway. “Why is Soonyoung running from Jihoon?” he asked, before noticing Chan. “Hi there, Chan. I’m Jeonghan. I’ve heard a lot about you these past few days. Why don’t you go get dried off in the bathroom while I talk to Jisoo? It’s the second door on the left.”

“Uh, yeah, sure,” Chan said slowly. “Where do you want me to, uh, put these?” He motioned with the cupcakes.

“Just put them on the coffee table for now,” Jeonghan waved him off. “There’s a change of clothes in there, by the way. We put them there once we knew you were coming.”

“...Thank you.”

When Chan came back out of the bathroom in thankfully dry clothes, still rubbing his hair with the towel they provided for him, he froze out of shock. Instead of there just being the two people there when he left, there were… a lot of people. Twelve, to be precise. 

“You!” One of them shouted, pointing at Chan, who took a step back. “I love you! These cupcakes are amazing.”

“Calm down, Soonyoung,” another one laughed, “you’re scaring him.”

“He’s not scaring me,” Chan said quickly. “I’m not scared at all. Nope, not me, no-siree, not scared at all.”

In the back, someone chuckled. “You’re really fooling us all with that, Chan.”

“Oh, sure, you try being in this situation!” he snapped back. “I wouldn’t see you being so high and mighty.”

“There’s the spitfire they told us you had,” the same one observed. 

“Why have you guys been talking about me so much?” Chan finally asked. “I’m not that interesting in general, there’s no way you got that much from me in the five minutes we spent talking to each other.”

Someone coughed. “Couple days,” he muttered. The person next to him elbowed him hard in the ribs and hissed, “Seungkwan, zip it.”

Still, Chan zeroed in on the words. “What do you mean, a couple of days?”

They pointedly avoided eye contact.

“We sent some people to watch you,” Mingyu finally broke and said, much to the annoyance of everyone else in the room. “You caught our attention when we saved you from those bullies, so we sent some people to watch you after.”

“Nothing creepy!” Seungcheol rushed to assure him, though it wasn’t much comfort. “No one watched you change or shower or anything. We didn’t even track down your dorm. We just sent some of our people onto campus to observe.”

Chan felt like he should be freaked out, and he was, but not nearly as much as he thought he should’ve been. Replacing that was simply… weariness. He slumped down on a bench by the wall and scrubbed a hand down his face.

“How did I not notice?” he wondered.
“Minghao and Jun are our best intelligence gatherers. Even the most highly trained agents would have difficulty spotting them, let alone a college freshman.”

The two that Chan assumed were Minghao and Jun nodded their heads in acknowledgement, graceful and proud smiles donning their faces. 

“Speaking of freshman,” the one named Seungkwan said, “how old are you, Chan?”

“Nineteen… why?”

“Ha! Guess what guys?” They all gave him blank looks, except for the one standing next to him, who had an exasperated yet fond smile. “We’re not the youngest anymore! You don’t get an excuse to baby us!” He hooked an arm around the person next to him.

“What does that—” His question got drowned out by the numerous protests to Seungkwan’s statement. He watched as both him and the person he was next to—who was called Hansol, if he was hearing the others right, and was presumably the same age as Seungkwan—were grabbed by the older members and put into headlocks, given noogies, and were tickled.

Chan watched the chaos happen and thought that if he was truly going to be welcomed into this, as was implied, he wouldn’t mind it too much.

 


 

“We meet again,” Chan sneered. The situation was eerily familiar. It gave Chan a certain sense of deja vu.

He was once again in an alleyway—the very same alleyway as the first time. At this point he oughta question why he found himself back here so often. And he was once again being threatened by the same group of people. It seemed that they had forgotten what happened the last time, or maybe they just thought that the people who had stopped them had realized that Chan didn’t deserve to be saved. It was a fear he himself was not yet done battling.

“Yeah, we do,” Dongsuk spat. “Maybe if you stopped being a fucking snitch we wouldn’t find ourselves in this position so often.”

Chan could feel the attitude coming. He knew it wouldn’t end well. It never did. But he was nothing if not a smartass, 

“You wish you could find yourself in a position with me,” he muttered.

A few of the lackeys let out soft chuckles, but stopped immediately once Dongsuk rounded on them, his glare sharp and warning.

“And you still haven’t learned any manners,” Dongsuk said. He pulled his fist back. “I guess it’s time to teach you some.”

But before he could punch Chan square in the jaw, a different hand caught his fist and twisted his arm back.

“Remember me?” Jisoo whispered. “I’m back with some new friends.”

Dongsuk and his gang must’ve remembered at least what kind of capabilities Jisoo and his group had, because it didn’t take long for them to book it out of there, spitting and cursing the whole way.

“Did he hurt you?” Jun asked, pushing his way to the front. “I’m sorry we couldn’t get here as soon as we would’ve liked.”

“Nah, you’re good. They just roughed me up a bit, didn’t actually land anything good.

“Still,” Minghao frowned from a few feet away, “we don’t like it when you’re hurt at all.”

Chan raised his eyebrows, finally realizing the group of people before him. “You’re not who I would expect.”

“We had to do several rounds of rock-paper-scissors to decide who could come,” Wonwoo said quietly. “I’m glad I won.”

“I’m glad you guys are here,” Chan said. “Usually I only serve to anger them more.”

Jun laughed and rested his cheek against Chan’s head. “One of the reasons we all love you, Channie.”

“Yeah?” Chan smiled. “I love you guys too. Thanks for being my knights in shining armor.”

“It’s our pleasure,” Jisoo, taking his hand and kissing it playfully. Chan laughed and pretended to swoon.

He also somehow managed to worm Wonwoo into giving him a piggyback ride back to HQ, which he was exceedingly proud of. He couldn’t say that he didn’t expect the ensuing babying and care that he received upon arriving there with the rest of them, but that didn’t mean that he had to enjoy it.

(P.S.: He did enjoy it—just a little bit. He would never admit that to them, though, and he would kill anyone else who did.

What? He had an image to keep up around here).