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Creative Accounting

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Why in Hell was he picked to be one of the five management trainees again?

No, wait. Why in Hell was there such a thing as a Management Trainee Program in the first place?

Those were the questions Jonghyun constantly had as he stared at the sheet of numbers before him, calculator placed next to his endless stack of papers. His right hand moved to the side of his glasses, adjusting, before staring at the numbers once more, still unable to figure out what they were trying to tell him. Suddenly, Jonghyun was distracted by a hand coming into his vision, index finger tapping impatiently at the sheet of paper he was previously staring blankly at. Said finger was long and pretty, very much unlike his hyung's chubby (but scarily strong) fingers.

"Jonghyun? Jonghyun!" A loud shout next to his ear shocked him out of his reverie, causing him to almost jump out of his seat.


"I said, you wrongly debited this amount instead of crediting. And same for this other entry." The voice sighed exasperatedly. "Didn't I explain this an hour ago?"

"Er." Jonghyun replied intelligently. Hey, it wasn't as if he hadn't warned his supervisor that he was bad at math, even worse at finance, and probably couldn't count to save his life.

As part of the Management Trainee Program's rotation, Jonghyun was currently (and unfortunately, for both him and his supervisor) assigned to Hell's Finance department, which was singlehandedly managed by Hell's sole accountant, Nakamaru Yuichi. Before his rotation began a week ago, Jonghyun didn't know much about his supervisor other than the fact that Yuichi used to be Heaven's accountant but fell a few centuries ago, and that despite the time passed, Yuichi could still shine the Light of Goodness at any demon who got on his wrong side. (Rumour has it that even the Devil had been on the receiving end of it before).

One week in, after Jonghyun had tried but failed miserably and ended up causing multiple imbalances in the balance sheet, there was still no Light of Goodness shone at him. Jonghyun had now come to have utmost respect for Yuichi's ability to tolerate Jonghyun's inadequacy at anything related to numbers.


Hearing the tone in his supervisor's voice, Jonghyun couldn't help but straighten his posture, realising that he was caught again for not paying attention. Maybe that tolerance was reaching its limit?

Yuichi used his knuckle to push his glasses up the bridge of his nose, before sighing loudly once more. "You know what? Pass me the whole stack. I'll fix it."

Jonghyun gleefully passed the stack of papers to his supervisor, even if a tiny part of him felt slightly guilty. He's a demon though, so the guilt passed in a few seconds. Sadly, his glee also lasted for only a mere seconds when the door to the Finance department opened and his head supervisor - otherwise known as "Slave Driver of Hell's Management Trainees" - strolled in like some pop idol.

A loud smack resonated in the room when a clipboard connected with Jonghyun's head.

"Ouch! That hurts!" Jonghyun whined as he rubbed the back of his head. "You're just going to kill all my brain cells if you keep doing that, and that's obviously going to make me screw up the work even more. Don't you see the vicious cycle?"

"Kim Jonghyun."

"Yeah? What?"

"I have absolutely no idea what the Devil sees in you to pick you for the program."

"I wonder about that too!" Jonghyun laughed, his grin getting bigger when he noticed the scowl on his head supervisor's pretty face. "Hey, there is something we can agree upon after all."

"Kame, give Jonghyun some slack." Yuichi interrupted, upon seeing Kame's eyes narrow into dangerous slits. "I mean, yeah, he makes me spend more time fixing his work than actually helping, but hey, give him credit for the effort. After all, he can make fraudulent accounting entries without even realising it."

Jonghyun turned to Yuichi and smiled while nodding eagerly, just like a puppy. Kame just rolled his eyes.

"You're useless, Kim Jonghyun. You should take a leaf out of the other trainees' books. They're performing fantastically. Especially Jinki."

"Jinki-hyung isn't even doing anything! Can it even be counted as part of the program?!" Jonghyun protested as he pointed towards two other demons who had been quietly lounging in one corner all this while, one reading a manga, the other playing a mobile game.

The latter, having heard his name, paused his game and looked up, gazing across the room as if he was trying to ascertain his location. Then, his gaze stopped on the room's youngest demon, eyes turning into slits as he broke into a smile.

"Were you talking about me, Jonghyun?"

Despite the gentleness in Jinki's tone and the dazzling smile that accompanied it, Jonghyun still felt a shiver run down his spine when his hyung addressed him, a sense of fear and anticipation at the same time.

"I asked you a question, Jonghyun. Aren't you going to answer me? It's a very simple question." Jinki said, and Jonghyun swore that Jinki had a way of hypnotising others just by speaking.

"Yes?" Jonghyun replied without remembering what Jinki asked him in the first place. He sincerely hoped he hadn't just agreed to one of Jinki's strange requests, although he didn't actually mind all that much if he did.

Fuck, Jinki had again stopped his brain from functioning properly.

Kame made a face when he noticed how Jonghyun looked like he was going to drool like a dog. He coughed to get back the younger demon's attention. When that didn't work, Kame resorted to snapping his fingers in front of Jonghyun's face.

"What?!" Jonghyun answered agitatedly, before cowering under Kame's glare.

"Maybe I should make you stay in Finance for the next rotation, and the next, until you fix the mess you've made."

Two pairs of eyes widened at Kame's threat.

"I don't think you should do that, Kame." Yuichi said, immediately.

"Yeah! I'm way more useful in say, the Choir!" Jonghyun added, quickly putting on a puppy-eyed expression even if he doubted it would work on the other.

"Jonghyun reminds me a lot of Akanishi."

"WHAT?!" Kame snapped his head towards Ueda, who flipped his manga closed and threw it onto the couch as he got up from his seat to stretch.

"I said." Ueda began, as he sauntered towards the trio. "Jonghyun here reminds me of-"

Kame lifts a hand to signal to Ueda to stop. The last thing he wanted was for Yuichi to be reminded of his ex-lover who had been expelled from Hell a century ago. Instead, he slowly turned back to Jonghyun, glaring. He'd be damned if he let Yuichi fall in love with this brat.

"Fine. You'll take over from Kibum in the next rotation."

"YES!" Jonghyun did a little victory jig, while Yuichi sighed in relief. He really didn't want to tolerate another week of 'creative accounting' by the younger demon.

"Does that mean I'm free to collect Jonghyun now?" Jinki turned to Yuichi, who felt his eyebrow twitched at the phrasing of words, but decided that he would really rather not know. Ueda did mention before that the younger demon wasn't as naive as he appeared.

"Sure, Jonghyun's work is done." Or rather, it's best for Yuichi's mental health for Jonghyun to stop his work once and for all.

"Thank you so much for looking after Jonghyun this week." Jinki bowed politely.

When in Hell were demons polite? Or was that sarcasm? Yuichi wondered, as he watched Jinki stroll confidently towards the youngest demon. Yuichi definitely didn't miss how easily Jinki slid his hand into Jonghyun's.

"Come on, Jonghyun. Let's go. We have things to do."

The rest of them watched the younger two demons leave the room, amusement on their faces.

"That kid's got talent. He is going to rule the world."