Genre: AU!, Romance
Disclaimer: Even in my dreams, they own me.
Summary: For the silent man, letting the chance slip gave away to regrets that weighed him down unknowingly.
A/N: Written from Kibum's POV. Also it's recommended that you read Sungmin's POV first before reading this. But it can also be read alone. Dedicated to kendayawind. Hope you like it ^ ^
It had been a long day at work. Kibum took a deep breath. The cool autumn air around him had seeped into his cotton jacket, into his bones, relaxing him thoroughly.
He exhaled deeply, shoulders relaxed. He was walking back to his apartment after making a shopping trip down at the supermarket, ready for a night of instant noodles, chips and an intense gaming session or two. It had been too long since he has some free time for himself. And he intended on utilizing it as much as possible.
He quickened his pace as his mind ran through the list of things he needed to prepare for his trip back to the States. I have to settle the rent and bills before I go. Mails as well. Probably have to get Kyuhyun or Heechul to do it. Wait. That's not a good idea. I'll just ask Siwon instead. Those two are so unreliable. Maybe that's why they are living together. He grinned slightly at the thought.
Hmm.. Need to get some souvenirs as well. Can't exactly go back empty-handed. That's just bad etiquette. As he took the usual route back to his apartment, he looked up and saw the slightly run-down souvenir store that he passes by everyday on his way home. As usual, he walked passed the shop without sparing it a glance. Except... There was something new about the shop today.
He paused in his tracks and stared.
Looks like the boss decided to hire new employees. He thought dumbly as he continued staring.
There was a man in the shop. His elbows were resting on the table, chin on his hands. He seemed to be swaying to music only he could hear. Because there's no way that he could be dancing to that trash that's playing right now. He's too classy for that. Kibum was puzzled with his train of thoughts. He didn't even know this stranger. How could he just make such an assumption? But somehow, instinctively, he just knew.
What had caught Kibum's attention was the wistful expression on the man's face. Even though he couldn't see the stranger's facial features from where he stood, he could still see the hint of pout on the man's bow lips, looking as if he knew some worldly secret, keeping it inside because it would be devastating if the everyone else knew what it was. At the same time, he wanted to share it with someone, because it would be too lonely if he was the only one who knew.
He was so focused on that wistful expression, that he didn't realized that he entered the souvenir store until he heard the "Hello!" that broke him out of his reverie.
It's like listening to soft tinkling bells on a cold winter's night. His mind purred in contentment. Kibum numbly nodded and returned what he hoped to be a decent smile.
Well. Since I'm already in here, I might as well start looking for some souvenirs.
As Kibum was looking at the array of merchandise, he found himself thinking more about the intriguing man standing behind the counter. With every item he picked up from the shelf, he stared at them intently, hoping that they could tell him more about the man himself.
How old is he? as he picked up a few shirts, tried on a few caps and examined the bags.
How long has he been working here? he asked the magnets and keychains.
Is he from Seoul or is he from another province? as he examined the mugs and fans.
Why is he working here? as he browsed through the watches.
What does his smile look like? as he glanced through the wallets. His mind tried to imagine all sorts of smiles. But none of them felt right.
Is he single? His heart thumped at that question as he continued to browse through the shirts and caps once again.
By now, he had already circled the entire shop several times over. And the only thing that had managed to catch his eye was a handkerchief with a blue butterfly motif on it that would be perfect for his mother. That. And that man. His mind zoomed in on to the man as Kibum approached the counter.
There it is again. That wistful expression. I wonder why he looks slightly forlorn. It doesn't feel right. A smile belongs on that face. Nothing else. He mused.
Kibum was felt a slight pang of dejectedness as the man snapped out of his musings when he came up to the counter. He had wanted to stare at him for a little while longer while he still remained detached from his surroundings.
"Anything you are looking for in particular?" He heard it again. Music to his ears. It reminded him of the gentle sound the triangle makes. Soft. Rhythmic. Relaxing. Up close, the man was even more beautiful than he expected. Not handsome. Definitely beautiful. He was shorter than him. But his face. He was fair, with jet-black hair that fell right above his eyes. Instead of covering them, it actually managed to accentuate his dark brown eyes. They were soulful and bottomless; filled with so much emotions that he could get lost or drowned in them. And he wouldn't have minded one bit.
Wide eyed, the man asked "Anything you are looking for in particular?"
Mind still distracted, his mouth went on to the auto-pilot mode. "I'm actually looking for gifts for my parents. I can't really decide what to get." Kibum replied as he placed his groceries on the floor.
The man smiled. And Kibum was blinded by the sudden change of expression. His mind did not do this man justice when it tried to imagine his smile. It was blinding. As if his smile could light up an entire room. And just maybe, that lonely dark place in his heart that he forgot existed.
"Hmm. I'm not sure what's good to get for parents. How about some keychains or magnets?" Kibum followed the man blindly as he walked towards the shelf and pointed to a few selections.
He would have bought manure if doing so would give him the opportunity to see more of that smile. Or hear his most favourite sound in the world. "Hmm.. Maybe you're right. Thanks for your help." Kibum replied, giving him his best smile.
The man's face relaxed slightly. "No worries." Kibum stared at the man as he walked away. Even his back screamed at him. He had this sudden urge to just walk up and hug the man from behind. But Kibum wasn't the type who did these sort of things. So he didn't. And abruptly turned back to the shelf when the reserved man stood once again behind the counter.
Eager to hear that voice again and stare at the man, Kibum quickly grabbed a few magnets and keychains before heading back to the counter again.
I wonder what he keeps thinking about? Is he always so deep in thought? He thought in amusement, lips twitching upwards just a little.
"I think I'll just take these." Kibum said, pointing at the items on the table, snapping the man out of whatever musings he had.
He watched as the man took a deep breathe as he scanned the items before asking "Where are you from?"
So you were thinking about me? Kibum did a victory dance in his head. "Oh. I'm from America."
The man frowned slightly before asking again, this time voice honeyed with curiosity "Really? You don't sound very American."
Kibum found the frown endearing. His mind nodded in approval when it noticed just how much the man had noticed in a span of a few minutes. "Ah. I'm Korean. I moved to the States when I was younger but I spoke Korean with my parents. That's why I could still Korean up till now." He explained, feeling more intrigued by the observant man standing before him.
The man nodded. Even the simplest of action, the nod of his head, had Kibum's heart doing little summersaults.
"That would be 4500 won. So are you here on holiday?" Soft chiming bells. His mind purred.
"Actually. I'm here on a working visa. I'm heading back to visit my family."
He watched as the gleam in the man's eyes grew brighter.
Kibum didn't need anymore encouragement. He ventured out and asked "What about you?"
"Me? I'm studying here."
Eh?! He was taken back. "You're a student?" Of course he is. This could be a part-time job. There's no way a guy with smiles like shining stars and soulful eyes be working full-time at a dead-end job like this. Kibum slapped himself mentally.
"Yeah." As the man handed him his change. And there it is. That smile that made his heart stopped for a few seconds before he remembered how to breathe.
"Thanks. I hope you have a pleasant evening."
This is it. Ask him out. Ask for his name. Or at least find out when his shift is then you won't have to look like an idiot trying to find the phantom of a butterfly.
He opened his mouth.
"Thank you." before smiling and walking out of the shop.
The moment he walked out, he started cursing under his breathe. Great. You are officially declared an idiot. What's the point of having such a high IQ if you have sub-zero social skills? How hard could it be to have ask for his name or number before walking out of the shop?!
Kibum heaved a sigh, feeling a little regretful.
Well it's too late to ask now. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be. If it was, I'm sure our paths will cross again. In a place that's not that cramp souvenir shop.
Kibum shook his head a little, trying to clear his mind.
Where was I again? Oh right. Gaming session tonight. Have to call Kyuhyun and Heechul-hyung to check if they are free.... His thoughts trailed off as he planned out his night; his heart still filled with the images of the quiet man with the soulful eyes and starlight smile.
A/N: Yay! So here's the end of my first two-shots. This was fun to work with :) (Just realized that I've been doing quite a bit of rare pairings /bricks self)
Also, anyone still looking for a sequel? blue_mori is still demanding a sequel. The poor dear. Efforts are completely rebuffed by moi xD But we'll see. If I really write it, it would be in a very distant future. So expect a really long wait for it.
Comments and feedbacks are loved! ^ ^