Genre: Fluff. Romance.
A/N: Part 1 of my Christmas gifting series!!
Summary: Sometimes, love could just appear out of thin air.
The sky was clear today. There were a few wisps of clouds in the distance and he could see them unraveling slowly before his eyes until they dissolved into the blue heavens. Abruptly, he felt like a cloud himself— a floating enigma that would disappear before people, literally. His skin would itch sometimes and when he looked straight into others eyes, they would always give him the same expression, a blank unnerving stare. Jaejoong had the ability to turn invisible and he used to wonder if there was anyone else out there who was like him, but then it was rather pointless considering that they might walk pass each other and never know because they were both being invisible.
Jaejoong's specialty actually made his life incredibly simple to live. Whatever he touched with his bare skin turned invisible as well and this even applied to people—he remembered accidentally bumping into someone once and he had flung his hands out to stop himself from falling onto the ground, inadvertently clutching at her arm, which gave the poor girl such a bad fright for it was as if she saw herself disappearing before her eyes and some force was literally clutching at her arm.
He learned to keep his hands tucked safely into his pockets after that. He would steal his food from convenience stores and shoplift any clothes he might need. He even ate a cup of yoghurt in the store once, and then placed the empty cup back on the shelf with its wrapper open. It proved to be quite an exhilarating experience when he was a young boy. These days, he saw it merely as a convenience that others could not enjoy.
Considering how easy his trait was to use, Jaejoong did not apply it often and no one, not even his parents knew what was going on. The thought of someone unraveling his secrets made him sober enough to use it sparingly. There were a few close cases when someone would glance around and catch his form fading away or they could see his shadow against the wall when there was nobody there. It even prompted some students at his university to bring up ghost stories again. Mainly, it had more to do with seniors conjuring up stories to scare the female juniors during overnight school camps.
Most of the time, Jaejoong only used his ability to climb to the disused staircase at the end of Block D and break open the padlock that led out onto the roof. It was really dirty up there, with bird droppings littering the concrete and stale rainwater collecting in the pipes but Jaejoong did not mind because it was the only time he felt free. He did not even think he needed to use his power that much when nobody would actually dream of visiting the school rooftop.
He was here again today, leaning against one of the air vents and smoking a cigarette as he watched the clouds in the distance. Jaejoong started humming to himself, a silly light tune that made no sense as he turned himself invisible and amused himself by blowing smoke out of his mouth. Once it left his lips, the acrid smoke turned visible again and drifted away from him in hazy ribbons. It appeared as if the air vent was on fire.
He was so preoccupied that it took him a moment to realize that someone was pushing open the emergency door.
The jangle of the padlock knocking against the door alerted Jaejoong moments before it swung open to reveal a student who had large square glasses and a striped gray sweater. Jaejoong's breath caught in his throat and he ducked behind the air vent with tears in his eyes—whatever smoke that he had left in his lungs was burning in his throat as Jaejoong tried to keep the smoke from escaping. He hurriedly stubbed his cigarette out on the ground. His entire body was shaking and his heart felt as if it could hammer its way out of his chest. What in the world was going on?
Jaejoong shuffled warily to the edge of the vent and peeked out to catch the student standing on the lip of the roof with his head hanging down… looking all the way down to the ground floor.
Ice trickled through his veins and Jaejoong's breath left him in a sudden gush. Suicide was a scary thought and Jaejoong had no intention of watching someone die in front of his eyes. A thousand scenarios raced through his mind as he hid behind the vent and watched the boy, who had suddenly started to cry and snivel into his palms.
The burn in his throat was making it hard to concentrate and Jaejoong slapped a palm over his mouth, swallowing down the raspy cough.
The boy had raven hair with razor sharp bangs that hung over his puffy eyes as he shuffled towards the edge. “I'm really tired God… I don’t think I can continue this anymore…” his small whisper drifted across the open roof to freeze Jaejoong in his crouch. The boy spread his arms wide and teetered dangerously near the edge with his eyes closed. He had his face turned up towards the bright sun and his bottom lip was trembling uncontrollably.
He could not accept that someone was about to die before his very eyes. Jaejoong used his fist to beat painfully at his thudding heart and then he blinked the tears out of his eyes, and when the itch in his throat grew more than he could handle, Jaejoong coughed, loudly.
The boy snapped his eyes open and whipped around with a strangled yell. “Who’s there?”
Jaejoong's mind turned blank— he had no choice but to turn visible again. “Um.”
The boy shook his head and blinked, really hard. “Wha…?”
Confusion clouded his features and he took a step back from Jaejoong, teetering dangerously near the edge. Jaejoong felt himself counting down the seconds before gravity actually came into effect and the boy’s weight proved to be too much. The knowledge seemed to be reflected in the boy’s wet eyes before his mouth parted in a silent scream and his body started to fall back, in excruciatingly slow motion, as if someone had chosen to press the matrix button.
Everything seemed too surreal to be true, one moment Jaejoong was standing near the air vent and the next moment he was scraping his cheeks along the dirty cement with a completely immobile body atop of him. He was breathing really hard and the boy was staring down at him with pressed lips, as if he was trying not to let Jaejoong know that his chin was quivering. Like quicksand, Jaejoong felt the boy’s weight slowly take effect, compressing his skinny body.
The clouds were still moving overhead at their own sedate pace, quiet spectators to this unbelievable chain of events. The wind was still blowing, ruffling the boy’s hair till black strands tickled his button shaped nose. In the time that it took for Jaejoong to become aware of his surroundings the boy had opened and closed his mouth a couple of times, resembling a fish struggling for air. Their faces were inches apart and Jaejoong blinked from the glare of the sun beating down upon their bodies.
“You’re the ghost in the hallways.” The boy finally managed to breathe out. And then he promptly fainted… lying slack against Jaejoong's body.
Warmth. He curled his toes and tightened his fingers, pulling the sheets closer to his body as he shifted in his bed and lay on his side.
And then he banged his head against a metal railing— Junsu's eyes flew wide open and he sat up with a start. The room was entirely unfamiliar and sunlight was still streaming through the wide glass windows. A vase of artificial lavender flowers stood on the bedside table next to his… Junsu looked down at the white sheets and partially drawn curtains around his bed— he was in one of the resting beds in the nurse’s room.
Junsu rubbed at his eyes and looked at the person sitting in the chair next to his bed. The man’s face was troubled in his sleep—he had a small frown etched between his thin eyebrows and his teeth kept biting down on his full lips. Junsu derived that the man had a weird face because his nose was too straight and pretty and he had the longest eyelashes he had ever seen on a man, and his skin was too pale and drawn tight over his sharp cheekbones.
Junsu looked closer at the man and tried to recall if this was the man who had brought him here. He only remembered crying and running up the haunted staircase at Block B only to find that the padlock was broken and then he remembered looking down into the school courtyard from the roof. Junsu scratched at his cheek with a finger and looked at the man again. He knew that the man had black eyes but that was weird considering that the man was asleep and Junsu could not possibly have seen his eyes before…
Junsu gave out a quiet whimper.
The man was the ghost. The one that everyone was spreading around in school. The one that people would catch around corners or witness his form fading into a shadow.
Junsu frowned and peered at the man’s face that looked perfectly… well, human. There was nothing ethereal about his appearance and there was no blood spontaneously leaking out from his body. The fact that the sun was shining onto him and he was not combusting away into thin air was also another indicator. Junsu shuffled closer to him and lifted up a quivering finger towards the man’s eyebrows.
If he touched the man and he was real and solid, then he was just another student in his school and Junsu could carry on his life without someone haunting him. Or so he assumed because as he neared the man and was about the brush his finger against the man’s forehead, the man woke up and was staring back at him with two overly large eyes that belonged more on a girl, or a deer.
“Um…” The stranger faltered.
Junsu shrieked and scrambled backwards only to bang his elbow on the metal railing bordering his bed.
It turned out that the man’s name was Jaejoong and that he was completely human, in fact, he was actually studying one of Junsu’s modules right now. He had rescued Junsu away from the lip of the school roof and then proceeded to stay by his side in the nurse’s room. Thankfully, when asked why Junsu was unconscious, Jaejoong had lied and told her that he had found Junsu lying on his side in a hallway and that he had brought the boy as fast as he could. He was also Junsu's age.
And now Junsu found himself staring blankly at Jaejoong with the silence in the medical room thick and heavy.
“So, you just really look like a ghost?” Junsu smoothed down the sides of his hair repeatedly. It seemed to have a calming effect.
“Why were you trying to kill yourself?”
“What!?” Junsu hissed in a whisper.
Jaejoong leaned closer and Junsu unconsciously shifted slightly backwards. “You kept saying you couldn’t take it anymore. What is so unbearable that you can’t even continue living anymore?” His eyes were widened in genuine curiosity and Junsu decided that this Jaejoong, whoever he was, could be a little touched in the head.
“That’s private.” Junsu crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes. “Wait a minute, there was no one on the roof when I went up and then suddenly, you appeared out of nowhere behind an air vent. I did not even hear the door swing open. How did you save me!?”
Junsu already knew Jaejoong had a weird face, and thus, when he smiled, it seemed to Junsu as if he was caught between baring his teeth in a painful grimace and breathing out an awkward laugh. “That’s private.” He deadpanned.
Junsu resisted the urge to stick his tongue out and chose to throw off the blankets instead. He swung his legs over the side and managed to stand up properly. Jaejoong came over to try and help but Junsu waved him off and just stuck his hand out like a stiff pole. “Thank you for saving me.” He said.
Jaejoong was looking down at his extended hand with a neutral expression. An odd sort of whine escaped past his lips and then Junsu's hands were grasped in a larger palm that felt raspy and warm. All at once, Junsu frowned and looked up through his bangs to find that the same weird smile was on Jaejoong's face. He made that same whine again.
Junsu only realized much later that Jaejoong had actually been laughing at him. That was the man’s laugh—a whine. How weird.
He never saw that man the next week. Or even the week after that. Junsu checked the library, kept a lookout when he was eating in the cafeteria, alone. He even peered into some of the empty stalls in the boy’s room, wondering if someone had scribbled an insult regarding Jaejoong that went along the lines of ‘the weird boy that looks like a girl, let him suck your cock at this number…’ or something offensive like that. But there was nothing, no trace that there was ever a raven haired man with deer eyes and an unnaturally straight nose within his university.
Just when Junsu had resigned himself to the fact that he had probably dreamed the whole encounter up, the man appeared before him again in an outfit that screamed expensive. Junsu had been in the lecture theatre reading his notes as students shuffled in through the wide doors, and then he spotted a tuft of messy hair sitting down a few rows before him. A fitted jacket covered his arms and shoulders and a thin cotton shirt clung to his chest with a V neck that dipped down to reveal pale collarbones. Even his jeans were tight, tucked into imposing black military boots. Junsu found himself unconsciously clutching at his notes and shooting glances in between the period at Jaejoong's exposed neck. There was a beauty mark right in the center of his spine bone.
Junsu decided to corner the man after class ended. He could not fathom the reason why. It was not as if the man was obliged to be his friend after saving his life… maybe Jaejoong was just a really weird, but morally righteous guy who happened to seize the chance to prevent someone from committing suicide. Junsu did not even think he had the right to call the man weird when he himself was another social outcast with big geeky spectacles and different colored socks. He just worshipped Vogue a lot and was well… obviously gay.
Nasty notes about his mother passed around classrooms, fart bombs were pushed into his locker and some even went as far as stealing his hair gel. Junsu was used to the solidarity but he had hoped, for a time that someone could have been his friend. And that someone was Jaejoong— who had disappeared, yet again. Junsu had been so absorbed in his own little musings that the man had slipped off into oblivion and class had already ended. He searched frantically through the crowd to no avail and slumped back into his seat five minutes later with a heavy sigh.
“Looking for someone?”
Junsu let out an undignified squeal and dropped all his books out of his backpack. A few students lingering around started laughing and Junsu turned his head away, cheeks burning. There was a stinging pain in his eyes and Junsu scrubbed at them roughly before bending down to pick up his files. Another set of hands appeared in his blurred vision and they began stacking books atop of each other. Junsu glanced up and peered through his bangs at Jaejoong's little frown as the man concentrated on the task. “I couldn’t find you.” He said in a small voice.
The hands stilled and Jaejoong returned his gaze. His eyes were black and unreadable, abruptly looking very alien and distinctly unnatural. Something surfaced in those hard eyes before flashing away behind a smooth mask. It sent a jolt through Junsu's veins, electrifying. It seemed as though, for a moment, Jaejoong had looked vulnerable. “I didn’t let you find me.”
“What do you mean?” Junsu frowned.
“Why were you looking for me?” Jaejoong's voice had lowered down to a soft murmur, as though he was talking to himself.
Junsu shifted closer and took the books from Jaejoong's hand, stuffing them into his leather backpack. “I don’t know,” He trained his gaze on his working hands, afraid to look up. “I suppose I thought someone would acknowledge me nicely for once.”
“Acknowledge?” A hint of incredulity had crept into Jaejoong's voice.
Junsu gritted his teeth and slammed his backpack onto the dusty floor. By now, there was nobody left in the lecture hall except for the two of them. “Yeah, acknowledge. I wasn’t even asking to be your friend. Is that funny to you? Is it funny that I'm such a pitiful creature that I'm satisfied with simply having someone’s acknowledgement that I'm a person and not simply a freak!?”
Junsu choked on his words and glanced around with wide eyes. There was nobody there.
“Can you acknowledge me now?” It was Jaejoong's voice that echoed through the lecture hall. It sounded extremely close and Junsu shivered, suddenly feeling ice slithering down his back. He had been right all along, Jaejoong was the ghost and now he was being haunted by hallucinations and creepy voices. “I'm right here.” The ghost said.
It began as a smudge in thin air before bleeding out into colors and transforming into a shifting landscape of the hazy outline of a man. Junsu tried to scream but found that his vocal chords had sewn themselves up in his fear. He could only stare and watch with the whites of his eyes showing as the distorted colors settled into Jaejoong's form.
“Fuck.” Junsu said.
To Junsu, a lonely boy of barely twenty years who was a devout atheist and a brilliant student at biology, Jaejoong was like a Pandora box that Junsu had unwittingly opened. After recovering from his shock, he found that Jaejoong was actually a pretty sane guy who had no friends whatsoever and suffered from an overdose of cigarettes and quiet shyness. They were like two peas in a pod, or two stranded humans on a drifting boat, whichever.
There remained an awkward moment that only the both of them shared, when Junsu had finally managed to yell out expletives within the lecture hall and punched Jaejoong in the arm just to make sure he was real and solid. Jaejoong's spluttering and his groans of pain managed to break the tension as Junsu had tripped over himself in trying to apologize. It proved for a unique combination and they ended up breaking out into fits of laughing that bordered on hysteria.
Hours later, they had moved out into the university gardens, sitting side by side on a wooden bench. Junsu asked if anyone else knew and Jaejoong shook his head, staring down at his hands. Junsu then asked the reason Jaejoong revealed his secret and Jaejoong shook his head again, this time with that little frown pulling his forehead together.
“Are you uncomfortable talking about it?” Junsu's voice had gone soft, laced with sadness.
Jaejoong jerked and looked at Junsu sharply. He weighed his words upon his tongue and blew out a shaky sigh. “I'm still trying to understand why I did it in the first place. All this time, I kept it all to myself and carefully prevented anyone from finding out… But, suddenly,” Jaejoong spread out his hands in front of him and shrugged helplessly. “it’s like… I just took a chance.” He clenched his fingers together to make a fist.
Underneath the shade of the birch tree, Jaejoong was shielded from much of the glare and Junsu noticed how pale he really was— his skin had the undertone of whipped cream or soapy foam, pristine and fluffy. Junsu shook his head and pinched himself a little, shaking those thoughts out of his mind. Did he just compare someone to the fluffiness of a cloud? “Sometimes, taking chances is a good thing. We all need change, we’re only human. Simple as that.”
“I felt like I needed a change.” No more of this suicide, self-destruction shit. Junsu quirked a small smile.
Jaejoong nodded to himself and tightened his scarf around his neck. “Change…” He repeated to himself. It gave him something to think about and occupy his brain.
A slow smile spread over his features the longer he considered it and he turned towards Junsu, reaching out a hesitant hand before straightening Junsu's sweater and patting down the buttons. Leaning back, Jaejoong made that same odd whine at the back of his throat again. “Thank you for telling me that… Junsu.”
Junsu nodded and decided that Jaejoong actually had a very nice smile.
“Sometimes, I wish I could be like you…” Junsu hunched over his drawn legs and rested his chin on a bony knee. He was staring at the floor and used the tip of his sneakers to scruff at a piece of dried bird dropping. Jaejoong was on his second cigarette and he shot a curious glance at Junsu's pursed lips.
“Why would you say that?”
“People whisper, they say stuff,” Junsu shrugged and twisted his lips in a bitter grin. “they say I'm a freak that no one would love.”
Jaejoong froze. He had his cigarette halfway up to his lips but then he suddenly stubbed it out on the concrete and shifted around to face Junsu squarely. “You are not a freak.” He frowned and there was a strange luminosity in his eyes, like twin crescent moons underneath the harsh glare of the sun. “Never let anybody say that to you, ever. You have every right to be loved…” There was a brief pause and then Jaejoong decided there and then to curl his fingers over Junsu's lax palm, squeezing those small fingers tightly. “Do you love yourself? Every single part of yourself?”
The question took a while to sink in, until Junsu finally turned towards Jaejoong and asked, “Do you?”, staring intently at Jaejoong's face.
“Well…” Ducking his head down, Jaejoong rubbed at his neck and answered carefully. “I used to think that my gift made me a freak, but I eventually realized that I could live with it. The lack of friends in school is self-imposed for my own protection. Can you imagine how many people would want me to help them steal stuff?” Jaejoong laughed softly before leaning closer to look Junsu in the eye. “I don’t have friends because I choose to, not because I'm weird or socially awkward. I laugh, talk, and have the same interests as everyone else. Tell me, do I seem weird to you?” By now, there were so close that it seemed as if their noses were going to bump into each other at any time. Jaejoong could feel the soft press of Junsu's breath feathering across his upper lip.
Junsu's adam apple did a cheery dance as he struggled to swallow down his suddenly, dry throat. “No…” He stuttered. At such close proximity, he could see every individual, minute eyelash along Jaejoong's eye. He watched as they brushed against the purplish skin lining Jaejoong's eye-bags with each blink. As they continued breathing out together, slowly matching each other’s rhythm beat for beat, Junsu finally answered. “I believe in myself.” He said firmly, “I’m different from the rest and I won’t, cant, change myself just to blend in with everyone else… Right? You don’t think I'm weird do you?” His forehead wrinkled together as he bit down on his lip.
“Stop it.” A warm spot grazed against Junsu's lips with Jaejoong's finger stilling on the bottom pout. He laughed breathlessly, smiling suddenly at Junsu's furrowed brows. “You're the most sane person I've ever met.” He stated matter-of-factly, squinting his eyes against the glare of the sun. “You must be the most stable, grounded, sensible man I've ever met for not running away the moment you saw me re-appear out of thin air. Being accepting of others for their whole character, no matter their flaws is the key to the secret of life. I can respect a man like that.” And then the moment was gone, snatched away by the brisk wind. Only the both of them knew what had just occurred and Junsu could see the knowledge of the moment glimmering within Jaejoong's dark eyes.
A trail of bitter smoke wisped past Jaejoong's full lips, curling around Junsu before tattering apart on the autumn chill. Wrapping his jacket closer around his shoulders, Junsu stared at Jaejoong's back and smiled secretly to himself, cheeks burning from the cold. “I don’t think I want to disappear anymore,” He said quietly to Jaejoong. “I just want to be here, next to you.”
“Yes.” Junsu nodded quickly.
Jaejoong turned around and stared at him. “Then…” A faint trail of smoke danced along with his voice. Jaejoong scooted himself back towards Junsu, abruptly collapsing over Junsu's lap. He blew out a sigh, settling his head comfortably against Junsu's hip, grinning with his eyes closed. “Stay here,” He spoke out to Junsu's still form. “always close to me like this.”
After a moment’s hesitation, Junsu took his time to let his fingers comb slowly through Jaejoong's fringe, smoothing out his heavy bangs neatly. The task preoccupied most of his attention and Junsu found himself with a mind free of clutter, unspooling into the heavens above with each stroke of his hand. “Ok.” He said quietly.
The sky appeared as a pale and dirty sheet of ice, a reflection of the city slush surrounding his pretty new fur boots. They were a gift from his parents and in the perfect shade of brown that he loved. Junsu stood under a street lamp, wrapped snugly in double layers with a thick woolen scarf around his neck. Fur rimmed around his hood, shielding his face away from the glare of the winter sun until only the tip of his red nose could be seen. His eyes darted around the entrance of the subway station, flitting from face to face that streamed out into the city square.
His phone buzzed in his back pocket and when Junsu finally managed to answer the call with his cold, nerveless fingers, he could hardly make out Jaejoong's voice over the crackle of loud voices and traffic. “Where are you?” Junsu raised his voice slightly, kicking at a piece of cold ice with his new boots.
“…I… you—” Abruptly, the static faded away to a muffled drone in the background. “I said, walk towards the tree on your right.”
Junsu frowned but listened to Jaejoong either way, walking away from the congested crowd towards a spindly shaped tree on his right.
“Ok, stop.” “Ok, stop.” Two voices echoed back at him and the muscles in his stomach clenched the moment the phone went dead.
Carefully, a million thoughts shooting around in his head, Junsu shoved his phone back in his jeans and called out in a whisper. “Jaejoong? Are you here?” He glanced around, persuading himself that he did not look like an insane person speaking aloud to thin air. The sound of crunching ice caught his attention and Junsu's mouth fell open; he could make out the outline of a pair of boots imprinted in the snow. “Jaejoong…” Junsu hissed, narrowing his eyes.
“I'm here.” The voice sounded to his left. “I’m surprised you figured me out so fast.” Jaejoong sounded sincerely impressed. Junsu looked but there was nobody there.
The uncomfortable disconnection between the reality of his sight and what his brain was telling him made Junsu whip his head around so fast that he lost his stand on the slippery ice. His flung his arms out, eyes wide open as he tilted backwards. All he could think about was how useless his boots were for winter even though they looked exceptionally good on him— a gust of warm air touched his cheeks. “I’ve got you.” Jaejoong's voice sounded right next to his ear now and Junsu could feel something hard around his body, steadying his entire weight. “Stop looking so shocked, people will think you're touched in the head with fever.”
Closing his mouth tightly, Junsu blinked once, then twice. It took him a few moments to recover as he processed the feel of Jaejoong's arm wrapped around his chest. He could feel the heat of the man, but he could not see him. His stomach clenched again, twisting a wave of nausea over his senses.
In a shaky voice, devoid of any conviction that Junsu wished he had at that moment, he said, “Appear now, or disappear,” Steadying his trembling heart, Junsu looked up at where he thought Jaejoong's face would be and glared. “and don’t you dare do this to me ever again.”
Jaejoong was still smiling at him whilst Junsu nursed his coffee with bare hands. The warmth felt delicious after waiting out in the freezing winds and the blush in his cheeks continued to persist even after Jaejoong had finished laughing at him.
With a petulant glance, Junsu looked up again to catch Jaejoong sipping at his coffee. “It’s not funny you know,” Junsu shot back, hands tightening around his coffee mug. “anyone would be equally shocked after hearing a voice right in their ear out of nowhere in the freezing cold.”
“Why were you,” Junsu shifted his eyes around the café. “invisible anyway!?”
Jaejoong choked on his coffee and swatted at Junsu's hands, wheezing for air. He surfaced with red cheeks, laughing silently as he coughed into his hands. “That is how I take public transport. There’s no sense in paying the price of a ticket when I can literally board any train and go anywhere I want for free.” He shrugged when Junsu glared at him.
“Tell me whatever you want for Christmas.” Jaejoong uttered suddenly, his dark eyes steadying on Junsu's face.
Folding his hands across his chest, Junsu resolutely tucked his chin in and mustered up the most horrifying glare he could and shot it back in Jaejoong's face. Hah, take that for making me embarrassed and looking like a fool. Seriously, everyone was looking when he laughed. That’s just… not fair! He smiled inwardly when Jaejoong abruptly sighed, and his heart did a sudden double flip when Jaejoong reached over to take his hands. Locking eyes with Jaejoong for the second time, Junsu found that he simply could not look away from the man’s piercing stare. “Wha… what is it?” He muttered.
“Anything you want, anything.” Jaejoong repeated, emphasizing his point by tightening his fingers around Junsu's smaller hands.
“Anything…?” Junsu ventured forth slowly. “Like,” he licked his lips. “even the most expensive thing in the world?”
Nodding his head solemnly, Jaejoong answered simply, “If it can be found anywhere within Insadong, I can get it for you.”
Junsu stared at the man as if he had gone crazy. If he was following the logical path, considering Jaejoong's unique and somewhat abused talent, he would not wish to increase the chances of imprisonment for his friend. A security vault hidden deep within the recesses of the national treasury would most definitely be eliminated. For all Junsu knew, there could be heat sensoring cameras around that could pick up Jaejoong's heat signature… not to mention DNA!
Even then, the residual tingles of shock still sent chills down his spine and Junsu thought long and hard before making his decision.“…Hmm… Ok, fine!” He declared, leaning forward to whisper his wish into Jaejoong's ear. “I want a chocolate cake this big!” using his hands, Junsu swung them around in a large circle, looking carefully at Jaejoong's poker face as he continued gesturing.
“Of all things to get, you just want a Christmas cake?” Jaejoong raised his brow, unable to believe what Junsu was suggesting. He had expected demands of an entire truck of Elle magazines or twenty packs of face masks from the nearest beauty store. A chocolate cake that had to come in the shape of a circle certainly did not jump to the fore of his mind. Studying the blank expression on Junsu's face, Jaejoong grew confident that the man could very well be the most innocent soul he had ever come across.
Standing up and swinging his backpack over his shoulders, Jaejoong nodded his head. “Expect a call in thirty minutes.” And then he left.
What if his powers suddenly faded away because he simply had no energy left in ‘storage’ due to the fact that he had missed breakfast earlier on in the day, and then Jaejoong would suddenly re-appear like a magical apparition, hands encircled around a huge chocolate cake inside the bakery? If he could still turn invisible without being completely butt-naked, like in the movies, then how exactly did Jaejoong's power really work? He had understood the basic mechanism from the various times Jaejoong had exhaustively tried to explain to him, but the convoluted physics that came with his power were still labeled as mysteries.
If Jaejoong could turn his boots invisible, but not the snow on the ground that were touching his boots, did it mean that Jaejoong could only turn things invisible with the touch of his bare skin? What kind of power would that be? Primary invisibility, not secondary? “Is he actually baking a cake for me…?” Junsu sighed and looked down at his wandering fingers, noticing that in his stupor, he had drawn what appeared to be the vague shape of a person’s backside on the window. He hurriedly swiped the condensation away, wiping his damp fingers on a nearby napkin as he glanced again at the led lights on his phone— there were five minutes left.
His coffee was cold. The people in the café were slowly trickling away, thinning out into the frosty night air with each jingle of the bell above the café door. He had been sitting by himself for the past twenty-five minutes, desperately wishing he had a book or a newspaper to read, anything.
‘Meet me at the alleyway beside the coffeehouse. Sincerely, your invisible friend.’
‘If my mum read this, she would think I’m crazy. And my chocolate cake better be hugeeee!!!’
Stuffing all the random bits and pieces he had managed to dig out of his bag in the past half an hour back into his haversack, Junsu made his way out of the cosy café straight into the blast of a sudden gust of wind. Wrapping his woolen scarf around his face till only his eyes could be seen, Junsu squinted and tried to look for any sign of Jaejoong.
Something hard and sharp pulled at his jacket, yanking him backwards with such force that Junsu could only flail his arms around, falling straight within Jaejoong's firm grasp. Trapped between two brick walls on either side, Junsu could not move more than a few inches to disentangle himself from their mess of intertwined arms. Instead, he choose to simply surrender, letting himself enjoy the warmth and blessed silence the little pocket of space afforded to the both of them.
“Junsu,” Jaejoong said quietly. “I brought your cake.”
With his chin on Jaejoong's shoulder, chest to chest, arms wrapped around the man’s waist, Junsu had no intention of moving. “Mmm,” He mumbled, biting down on his lip to fight the sudden lethargy that threatened to seep into his bones. “Within those thirty minutes in which you suddenly abandoned me, did you actually manage to get it or you actually went ahead to bake it?”
He could feel the smile hidden within Jaejoong's voice as the man laughed, arms tightening around Junsu's waist, neither wishing to let go. “I managed to find a bakery down the street that had a large chocolate cake, but because of the weather, I hope it hasn’t turned to ice yet…”
“Is it normal for me to feel so comfortable with you right here, beside me?” he asked suddenly. “I don’t feel afraid or nervous around you at all… not like I usually do around people.” Jaejoong shifted his body and took a step backwards, leaving a small gap between their bodies. The sudden loss of warmth woke Junsu's senses up, making him acutely aware of how surreal the current moment seemed. Sight, taste, sound, touch, and even smell were preoccupied with Jaejoong. A shivery tingle worked its way down his back again, pumping up the beat of his heart till it thudded painfully within his chest. The smell of Jaejoong's shower gel blossomed within the pocket of air between them. His eyeballs seemed to be continuously open, snapping down immediately to catch Jaejoong's addam apple bob as the man swallowed down a dry cough. “I’ve never felt so… good in my entire life than within those past five minutes with you. Do you think it’s strange?”
Junsu shook his head.
Jaejoong frowned. “You don’t? I feel as if I’ve known you for a very long time.”
Junsu nodded. He could not focus on talking, too preoccupied with feeling.
“Huh,” Jaejoong smiled slowly, as if afraid to ruin the something. “Maybe we’re just really wei—!?”
Junsu kissed him.