☆ミriha (tatoeba) wrote in simplyephemeral,
☆ミriha
tatoeba
simplyephemeral

  • Music:

k-pop; i know secrets kill you (but my love can fill you) 1/3

Title: I Know Secrets Kill You (But My Love Can Fill You)
Pairing: Wu Fan/Yixing
Rating: NC-17
Summary: The same day Wu Fan gets assigned to write an article on the mysterious popular writer Lay, he meets the cute and similarly enigmatic man that frequents the same bar named Zhang Yixing who Wu Fan most definitely does not have a crush on.
Author’s Note: AU. 32,292 words. I feel like every fic I write comes from out of nowhere, but this fic I definitely didn’t expect. It has taken over my mind and soul and life for practically the past three months, but finally, FINALLY, it’s done and it’s here. T__T So yeah, my fic baby. ;~; I really love this fic, I loved writing it even though it hurt, lol, so I very much hope that you’ll enjoy it too. The title comes from the song Secrets by Tears for Fears. Also a special thank you to Annie for looking this over for me ♥ and to everyone on twitter who had to listen to me whine about this for ages. XD Anyway, that is all I have to say, I will go and celebrate that this is finally completed. XD



Wu Fan slides into his usual seat along the side of his favorite bar. It’s 8:33 on a Wednesday night, and Wu Fan sighs heavily as he places his leather briefcase and coat on the stool next to him. He only has to wait two minutes before Jongdae pushes a bottle of cold beer in front of him, resting on top of a small squarely-folded napkin.

“Overtime?” he asks, raising a brow as Wu Fan gulps down nearly half the bottle in one go.

“I’ll be glad when this project is over, that’s all I can say,” Wu Fan says, and the bottom of the bottle clangs hard against the wooden countertop when Wu Fan slams it down, a little harder than he means to. He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. “I’m gonna need another one of these.”

“Sure,” Jongdae says, but he grabs the bottle and sets it back atop the napkin. “But don’t get my counter all dirty.”

Wu Fan rolls his eyes as Jongdae slinks away, stopping by a pair of two men a few seats away to refill their drinks. Wu Fan fishes out a pack of cigarettes and lighter from his coat pocket and easily lights up, the heady drag quickly helping to calm his nerves. It’s been a very long week, and there’s still two more days to go.

“Your crush is here again,” Jongdae says, winking at him as he sets another beer in front of Wu Fan and pulls out a small metal ashtray for him as well.

Wu Fan raises a brow at him, sucking on the end of his cigarette for a moment before letting out a long breath. “And, who, exactly would that be?” he asks.

“You say that like you don’t come here to see him every night,” Jongdae says, leaning on his elbows on the counter, and he nods his head over to the end of the bar. Wu Fan glances down, at the slight man who sits at the very last stool, a notebook open in front of him and a glass of water beside his phone, from which hangs purple earbuds that are stuck into his ears. His face is mostly shielded by dark hair, but he glances up a moment later when Zitao, the other bartender, stops to bring him a beer, and his smile makes Wu Fan’s heart pound.

“I come here for a drink,” Wu Fan says, looking away resolutely and willing the heat in his cheeks down.

“Right,” Jongdae says, slowly, giving Wu Fan a clear look of disbelief. He straightens up and adds, “Well, I’m gonna go work, and leave you to pretend you don’t have a crush on mystery man over there.”

Wu Fan just narrows his eyes at him as Jongdae snickers and walks away. He sighs, cigarette poised between two longer fingers and he grabs his first beer bottle with his right hand and finishes it off.

He presses the cigarette between his lips again and glances over to the side where the mystery man sits. He’s seen him here every night that he’s been here, and it’s been nearly a year, now that Wu Fan had been dragged to the bar after his first day at the new office by his colleague Minseok, who insisted this place had a great atmosphere and even better drinks. He was right, and Wu Fan had fallen in love with the small bar and lounge, with their soft music and occasional live performances, and the quietness of the whole place.

It’s just what he needs after a long day of work, and he’s come by pretty much every night after that. At first he hadn’t even noticed the young man who sits at the end of the bar, but after a few weeks, Wu Fan realized it was always the same person. He was there before Wu Fan came in and stayed after Wu Fan left for the night, and according to Jongdae he only ever ordered a few drinks and spent the evening scribbling in his notebook with his earbuds in.

Wu Fan finds him interesting. He’s not sure exactly what it is, but the fact that the man seems completely uninterested in the rest of the world, focused on his music and his notebook, pulls at Wu Fan’s curiosity. He wants to know what he’s writing. He wants to know what he’s listening to, that makes him bob his head slightly up and down at times, or tap his foot against the step on the stool. He wants, more than those things, to know his name.

“You could just go talk to him,” Jongdae says as he comes back around. “Instead of creepily staring.”

Wu Fan clears his throat, crushes the end of his cigarette into the ashtray. “I don’t stare,” he says, but it’s a complete lie. He finishes off the rest of his second beer, then grabs his wallet and drops Jongdae a few bills.

“See you tomorrow, Wu Fan,” he says, saluting him with two fingers and making Wu Fan laugh.

He slides his coat back on and grabs his briefcase, heading out toward the door. He glances back at the end of the bar, where the man sits, a hint of a smile on his face that Wu Fan just barely catches as he walks by, and he sighs, shoving his hands into his pockets.

Maybe tomorrow.



-




Wu Fan jerks awake as a familiar voice snaps, “Get up, get up,” and he’s peeking his eyes open just in time to see himself get smacked in the face with a pillow. He groans and turns away and rolls straight off the couch, landing onto the break room floor.

“Ugh,” he groans, carefully picking himself and glaring up at the amused face of his coworker.

“We have a deadline in five hours and you’re sleeping?” Lu Han questions, crossing his arms over his chest.

“I’ve been here since five AM and I haven’t had a break all day, I deserve a little nap,” Wu Fan says, wincing as his neck pops loudly when he shifts it side to side. “And what are you freaking out about? Everything is almost done.”

Almost being the key word,” Lu Han says. “We can all sleep when we’ve got the new issue out.” He smacks Wu Fan in the arm with a rolled up stack of papers. “Now come on, I have to talk to you about something.”

Wu Fan grabs his suit jacket off the top of the couch and slips it on as he follows Lu Han out the door and down the hall. The office is loud and bustling, even more so than usual with an impending deadline in a few hours. Phones seem to be constantly ringing and the whir of printers add to the office soundtrack. It’s a mess but Wu Fan is used to it, and for the most part enjoys the thrill of it. He used to work at a small newspaper in his hometown back in China, but this, SM Quarterly, is bigger and brighter and everything he ever wanted.

Wu Fan likes to write. He used to scribble silly love songs and rap lyrics into the margins of his notebooks back in school. Those turned into short stories, the occasional poem, then random articles he’d write for the town paper but never actually sent in because who would want a seventeen-year-old kid’s musings. And those, in time, turned into real pieces that he submitted to his university’s weekly newspaper, and today he can proudly say he writes fun, compelling, and interesting stories every month for one of the biggest and most reputable magazines in South Korea.

“So what’s this about?” he asks Lu Han, leaning against the wall of Lu Han’s cubicle. He has one too many bubble tea cups lying around across his desk, almost as many as there are stacks of papers. It makes him uneasy because Wu Fan really likes his working space to be clean and orderly and the longer he stands there the more he will want to tidy up for Lu Han, which he’s sure the older man would only greatly appreciate.

Lu Han shifts around folders for a moment, until he pulls out a manila envelope and hands it to Wu Fan. “You’ve heard of the really elusive author who goes by the pen name Lay, right?” he asks.

Wu Fan raises a brow, opening the envelope and pulling out a few sheets. “Yeah, sure,” he says. “I’ve read his stuff.” He says it vaguely, figures Lu Han doesn’t need to know that Wu Fan is actually in love with Lay’s work, and has every copy of his novels on a shelf back at his apartment. “He’s good.” He shrugs. “What about him?”

“You know how he never does interviews, never goes on talk shows, right? He keeps to himself. Building up that mysterious author facade, or so he always tells me.” Lu Han rolls his eyes.

Wu Fan stops scanning the papers in front of him, a detailed list of Lay’s works that Wu Fan already knows by heart, to snap his gaze up at Lu Han. “Wait, you know him?” he asks and hopes he doesn’t sound too intrigued.

Lu Han nods, smiling. “We went to school together,” he says. “And we moved to Korea together. I haven’t talked to him in a few months though. He randomly changes his phone number and calls me when he wants to and--wait, why are you looking at me like that?”

Wu Fan clears his throat and shakes his head quickly. “Nothing,” he says, willing down the embarrassment that’s burning in his cheeks. “I’m just surprised.”

“Yeah, well we’re good friends,” he says happily. “And he’s finally, finally, after years of begging, agreed to let our magazine do a piece on him.”

Wu Fan’s eyes widen. “Really?”

“Yup!” Lu Han grins. “And I want you to do it.” He pokes Wu Fan in the chest.

Wu Fan gapes at him. Wu Fan, doing a piece on Lay, his most favorite author, possibly of all time? “But why me?” he questions. “Wouldn’t it be better if you did it?”

“I was going to, but he asked for someone else. It’s probably better that way anyway, since I’ve known him for so long, I’d end up talking about something dumb and tarnishing that mysterious aura he’s got going on,” Lu Han says with a laugh. “But if you don’t want to--”

“No!” Wu Fan cuts in quickly, startling Lu Han and poor Jongin who is walking by with a pile of papers that fall to the floor. Wu Fan winces as helps Jongin gather them up, turning to Lu Han and saying, calmly, “I mean, no, it’s fine. I’d love to work on this.”

“Good,” Lu Han says, clapping his hands together. Wu Fan hands Jongin the last few pages, and offers him an apologetic smile as he rushes away, then stands again. Lu Han points at the envelope in his hands. “All the information should be in there. Since it took so long for him to agree to this, let’s just do this his way. Contact him and meet up, go wherever he feels most comfortable and make it easy on him. He’s a cool guy. I think you’ll like him.”

“Okay,” Wu Fan says, and he tries to keep his internal delight at this opportunity hidden. “Thanks, Lu Han.”

“Now get to work. We have other things to take care of first before that, don’t forget!” he exclaims, patting Wu Fan on the shoulder in dismissal.

Wu Fan nods and heads down the row to the next one over and slides into his chair at his own cubicle on the very end. He pulls out the papers from the envelope and finds Lay’s contact information on the last page, just an email and a phone number.

He shoots off a quick email, heart pounding a little too rapidly in his chest at the prospect of getting to meet and talk to Lay, and sags back into his seat when he’s finished.

He grins at the message sent display on the screen and grins. He can’t wait.



-




“You’re in a good mood,” Jongdae notes as he hands Wu Fan his usual beer. “Something good happen at work?”

“You could say that,” Wu Fan replies, grinning around the rim of the bottle as he takes a satisfying swig.

Jongdae eyes him curiously then backs away. “I’m not even going to ask. Your excitement is actually freaking me out.” He puts his hands up before him as if to shield himself and adds, “I like you better broody and strung out.”

“Thanks,” Wu Fan say, glaring half-heartedly. “It’s nice to know you care.”

Jongdae laughs, dropping his hands and stepping forward so he can lean on the bar. “Okay, fine. I’ll bite. What’s up?”

“Have you heard of the writer Lay? The one no one’s ever interviewed or even seen a photo of or anything?” Wu Fan asks, trying to keep the excitement out of his voice because if Jongdae realizes how much he likes this guy’s work, he’ll probably never hear the end of it.

Jongdae nods, recognition in his eyes. “Yeah, sure,” he says. “He wrote that one popular novel, Airport Tears or something? They’re making it into a movie.”

“Yeah, that one,” Wu Fan says, and then, adds irritably, like Jongdae is an idiot, “And it’s Tears Airport, not Airport Tears.” When Jongdae blinks at him, he coughs behind a hand and continues, “Well, he’s just agreed to let our magazine do a piece on him.”

“And let me guess,” Jongdae says, grinning widely. “You’re getting to write it.”

Wu Fan raises his beer bottle in response and laughs before he takes another drink. Ever since Lay had replied to his email earlier that evening, confirming that communicating through email would be best for him at the moment since he’s traveling, and that he was excited to work with one of SM Quarterly’s finest writers, Wu Fan had pretty much been on cloud nine. The chance to talk to his favorite author, even if it’s just via email, was the best thing to happen to him all year. This, if he did it well, could get him even more recognition as a writer and reporter and bring the magazine more limelight as well.

“Well,” Jongdae says. “I understand why you’re so happy now, seeing how you clearly have a boner for this guy.”

Wu Fan spits beer down his front as he chokes, eyes widening as Jongdae just laughs loudly at him, never one to pass up an opportunity to ridicule Wu Fan at his most embarrassing moments. Wu Fan grabs the napkin on the counter and dabs his his chin. He frowns at the stains he’s left on his white button-down, and then throws the balled-up napkin at Jongdae’s forehead.

“What the fuck makes you even say something like that?” Wu Fan hisses, uncomfortably aware that there are people staring at him, and Wu Fan hates being judged for embarrassing moments more than anything.

“It’s pretty obvious, dude,” Jongdae says, taking pity on Wu Fan and handing him another napkin, before grabbing a wet dish cloth to wipe down the surface of the bar. He brings Wu Fan another beer, too, and Wu Fan gratefully thanks him. “You’re a little too excited about just interviewing some writer. It’s your job, you do it all the time.”

“Yeah, but this guy is different,” Wu Fan says, “and not just because I like his work, okay,” he adds hurriedly when Jongdae opens his mouth, no doubt to poke fun at him again. “He’s never done an interview with anyone before. It’s incredible to even get the opportunity.”

“Sure, sure, whatever you say,” Jongdae says, clearly deciding he’s no longer interested. “Just keep me updated, okay? Maybe your amazing writing skills will help you get into his pants.”

Wu Fan almost chokes on his drink again. He glares at Jongdae and says, “Shut up, I haven’t even met the guy yet.” He pauses, as a thought strikes him, and looks at Jongdae helplessly, “What if he turns out to be a complete jerk?”

Jongdae laughs, reaching across the counter to pat Wu Fan’s shoulder. “Then you’ll return to your broody, depressing self and I’ll be able to sleep at night.”

Wu Fan rolls his eyes, shrugging Jongdae’s hand off him, and Jongdae pulls away with a laugh. Just as Wu Fan opens his mouth to reply something witty back, he’s tapped on the shoulder and jumps, startled, as he whirls around and finds a familiar face standing beside him. Familiar, not because Wu Fan actually knows him; familiar only because Wu Fan’s seen him everyday for almost a year. It’s the man that sits at the end of the bar, hunched over his notebook with his earbuds in place. Wu Fan sees them now, the purple cord running up his chest from his pocket before splitting into two and fitting snug into each ear. Close up like this, Wu Fan sees how young he is, probably no older or younger than himself. His eyes are bright under hair that’s a little rough at the ends, perhaps from dye, and he’s looking at Wu Fan curiously, a smile tugging at his lips and drawing out a tiny dimple on the right that Wu Fan’s never noticed before.

He realizes he’s staring when Jongdae coughs surreptitiously behind him, and he clears his throat and says, “Yes?”

“Do you happen to have a pen?” the man asks, and his voice is a little too loud and it makes Wu Fan cringe. The man blinks at him, like he doesn’t understand the reaction, and Wu Fan points to his earbuds. He reaches up small hands to his ears and then laughs, softly, the sound rolling pleasantly into the pit of Wu Fan’s stomach, as he sheepishly grins at Wu Fan and tugs the earbuds out. “Sorry,” he says. “I forget I put them in sometimes.”

“I-It’s okay,” Wu Fan says, a little frazzled because he can’t believe this is the mysterious man who’s been sitting just five stools away for a year.

“So,” the man says lightly, and he’s got a nice voice, Wu Fan thinks, kind and warm, like his smile. “Do you have a pen? Mine just ran out of ink and I never think to bring more than one, and I really need to work on something.”

“I--yeah--sure, um. One second,” Wu Fan says, hastily turning toward the seat on his left and grabbing a pen out from his briefcase. He holds it out for the other man, who smiles broadly at him and takes it, his fingers brushing gently against Wu Fan and making his heart beat unnecessarily loud in his chest.

“Thanks!” he says happily. “I’ll be sure to return it.”

“Don’t-Don’t worry about it,” Wu Fan says dismissively, and watches as the man walks back to his seat, slipping his earbuds back into place and returning to work.

Wu Fan slowly turns away so he doesn’t get caught staring again, and Jongdae is watching him with an incredibly amused expression on his face. “What?” he snaps, grabbing his drink and downing the rest, mind still spinning a little from finally having talked to the mystery man, after all this time of wanting to and chickening out.

“That was really nice and all, but you could’ve asked for his name, too, since you’ve been whining for a year about how you don’t know it,” Jongdae says, and Wu Fan stares at him for a long time before he groans, shoulders slumping.

“Go away,” he mumbles and Jongdae, surprisingly, just laughs at him once and does, heading down the bar to see to the other patrons. Wu Fan glances over to where the man sits and contemplates about going over to talk to him. Really talk to him. The other man had broken the barrier and Wu Fan could easily bridge the gap now, if he wanted. He just feels a little ridiculous now, after acting so awkwardly towards him when he was just asking to borrow a pen. He groans again, rubs at his face, and reaches for the new bottle of beer.

He gets halfway through before the man comes back, sliding Wu Fan’s pen down before him and says, “It’s Wu Fan, right?”

Wu Fan looks up quickly, questions, “Um, how did you-”

The man laughs, and Wu Fan tries not to think about how beautiful he looks. “It’s written on your pen,” the man says, smirking. “Plus I’ve heard Jongdae call you that a lot over the past year.”

Wu Fan flushes, hoping against all hope that the man hasn’t heard much else other than his name. “Oh,” he says intelligently and the man laughs again.

“I’m Zhang Yixing,” the man says, and he slips up onto the stool beside Wu Fan. “Mind if I join you?”



-




To: callmelay@gmail.com
From: wufan@smqmagazine.com
Sent: Friday December 28, 2012 at 7:13 AM

Dear Lay,

Thank you for agreeing to our interview. As requested we can do this via email until your return when it would be best to set up a time to meet in person, if that is alright with you. For now, I've attached a short questionnaire that I would appreciate if you could fill out at your leisure. It’s just some simple background questions such as age, birthplace, etc.

I've read all of your books, and am a big fan, but, as you intended, I don't know anything about you. I’m hoping these simple questions will give me a place to start, and I am looking forward to finding out more. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you.

Wu Fan
SM Quarterly


To: wufan@smqmagazine.com
From: callmelay@gmail.com
Draft saved: Friday December 28, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Wu Fan, you don't have to sound so professional! I'm just a simple writer and emails are more fun when they're not so stuffy, don't you think? ^_^

Well, I'm answering your questions in this email because I tend to be a little forgetful at times and I'd probably fill out the attached form but forget to send it back or even lose it on my computer somewhere and then I'd have to fear your wrath which Lu Han tells me is very unpleasant. Do you really breathe out fire like a dragon?? (◎_◎;)

Oh right questionnaire!!
Age: 25

Birthplace: Changsha. Have you been there before? It’s so nice! I haven’t been back in a few years now and I really miss it. We should go there. Can we do that? As part of your special ~interview~?

Family: Is this question really necessary? What do you need to know about my family for? I don’t have any siblings. I’m not married. I don’t have any kids. That I know of...hmm. Okay, no, I don’t. It’s just me, my parents, and my grandparents. ^_^

Hobbies: Hobbies, really? Are you writing an article on a grade schooler? Okay, okay, fine, well. Other than writing, obviously, I like music. I play the guitar, and the piano. I’m not really that great at either since most of my time goes to writing and I haven’t had the chance in months to sit and practice properly. Do you play any instruments Mr. Reporter?

School: I made it through the first two years of university in Beijing but then dropped out. That was where I met Lu Han! When he graduated a year later, we moved here. You can ask him about that if you want to know more!

Oh, that’s all! Good, I was getting tired. It’s hard talking about myself. Maybe that’s why I haven’t done it before. ヘ(´ ω`)ヘ

Until next time then, Mr. Reporter!

Lay


To: wufan@smqmagazine.com
From: callmelay@gmail.com
Sent: Sunday December 30, 2012 at 8:18 AM

OH NO I FORGOT TO SEND THE EMAIL I'M SO SORRY I HAD IT WRITTEN TWO DAYS AGO. (/゚Д゚)/

Please forgive me. m(_ _)m


To: callmelay@gmail.com
From: wufan@smqmagazine.com
Sent: Sunday December 30, 2012 at 10:02 AM

You really are forgetful, huh. It’s okay as long as you don't forget what we’re doing or my name or something like that.


To: wufan@smqmagazine.com
From: callmelay@gmail.com
Sent: Sunday December 30, 2012 at 12:39 PM

I’m not that bad! I think. Wait. Who are you again?? Is this...Yifan? No, wait, it’s Kevin, isn’t it? Kevin!! I can call you Kevin, right?


To: callmelay@gmail.com
From: wufan@smqmagazine.com
Sent: Sunday December 30, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Wait, what, how do you even know about that?


To: wufan@smqmagazine.com
From: callmelay@gmail.com
Sent: Sunday December 30, 2012 at 1:01 PM


Lu Han has told me a lot about you, Kevin. (✿◠‿◠)


To: callmelay@gmail.com
From: wufan@smqmagazine.com
Sent: Sunday December 30, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Please don't call me Kevin.



-




What exactly have you been telling Lay about me?” Wu Fan demands Monday morning as he follows Lu Han out of their morning meeting.

“Who me?” Lu Han says, batting his eyelashes innocently, but Wu Fan knows better. He has only worked here for a year, but a year under Lu Han’s care was quick enough to learn just how deceptive the man really was. The pretty face that Wu Fan had met the first day was just a facade.

“Yes, you, you devil,” Wu Fan hisses, and Lu Han laughs loudly in amusement. “Kevin. I studied abroad for two years and you felt the need to mention that I’d picked out a new name to use because it’d be easier.”

“But it’s such a cute name,” Lu Han titters, stopping by Jongin’s desk to pat him on the head and ask him to bring him some coffee. Jongin sighs, but does as he’s told, slipping out of his chair at the large table where he and the other two interns work to head to the break room.

Wu Fan continues to follow Lu Han around the office, says, “I really hate you, you know.”

“Oh, I know,” Lu Han says cheerfully. “And what does it matter if he knows your secret alias, you’re supposed to build a rapport, you can’t expect him to tell you things about himself and not give a little back. It’s his first time doing this, remember?”

“I don’t mind telling him things about me, I mind when you do it for me,” Wu Fan says. “What else have you told him?”

“Not much,” Lu Han says, voice light and airy and he waves a hand around him like it’s none of his concern. When he catches Wu Fan’s glare, though, he stops, heaving a big sigh, and leans against the side of Minseok’s cubicle wall. “Really! I just told him a little about your background because he wanted to make sure some dope wasn’t writing this article about him.” He grins. “Since he’s replied to you, clearly he doesn’t think you’re a dope!”

“Yay me,” Wu Fan says dryly, even though that actually does make him kind of happy, a slinking giddiness spreading in his tummy.

Lu Han pokes him in the chest and says, “I know you’re happy. I hear you’re a fan.”

Wu Fan stares at him and groans. “Have you talked to Jongdae?” he asks and Lu Han cackles.

“Minseok and I went down there Saturday night,” he says and Wu Fan really hates his life. “Jongdae was very informative.”

“I need a new job. And new friends. And clearly a new place to drink beer.”

Lu Han pats him on the shoulder and says, “Not until you finish this article,” and then shoos him off with another wave of his hand.

Wu Fan groans again but leaves, heading down the aisle toward the break room to get his own mug of coffee. Jongin and Sehun are clattering about, fighting over the leftover donuts that Junmyeon had brought in for their meeting that morning. They straighten up when Wu Fan walks in, but he just gives them a small smile, which makes them both relax. He grabs a mug from the cupboard above the sink and fills it from the pot on the counter, then picks out one donut from the box and leaves, laughing to himself as he hears Sehun whine that that was the one he wanted, and Jongin snickering about him too slow.

In the comfort of his own cubicle, Wu Fan checks his email to see if Lay has written back to him yet. He hasn’t, just a message from Baekhyun about a piece he’s been working on that he wanted Wu Fan’s help with. He just marks it as unread, figures he’ll go over and talk to him later about it in person, and then slumps back against his seat, taps his fingers across his desk.

The difficult part, Wu Fan’s started to realize, about writing an article on Lay is the fact that there is no information anywhere about him. The only place he can get it is from Lay himself, and when Lay isn’t replying to his emails, there is really only so much Wu Fan can do.

He brought two of his favorite books from home with him to review, so he pulls the collection of short stories entitled Unicorn Blessings and flips to his favorite. It’s been awhile, and if he’s going to be writing a piece about Lay, he thinks he should re-familiarize himself with his work while he waits.



-




“I almost didn’t think you were going to show up today,” Yixing says, sliding into the seat beside Wu Fan not ten minutes after Wu Fan arrived at the bar.

“I’m here everyday,” Wu Fan says, flushing a little in surprise that Yixing came to talk to him so quickly.

“Not on the weekends,” Yixing points out, which Wu Fan supposes is true for the most part. At least, he didn’t stop in this past weekend. “I missed you the past two days.”

Wu Fan really hopes his face isn’t as red as it feels. “You missed me?” he repeats. “We don’t even know each other that well for you to feel that way.”

Yixing smiles at him, drawing out the dimple that Wu Fan saw numerous times during the night last week when they talked for the first time and kept on thinking how cute it was. He has a nice smile, he thinks, but tries desperately not to stare. “Aw, don’t be like that,” Yixing says, teasingly. “I’ve seen you here the past year, just like I’m sure you’ve noticed me. And we’re really the only two people who come in every day, so it’s like we share a bond already, don’t you think?”

Wu Fan snorts because that’s really some strange logic, and he tries not to think about how Yixing apparently has noticed him the way Wu Fan has. He busies himself with a drink from his beer bottle, then licks his lips and replies, “Well, if you say so.”

“I do,” Yixing says, and he’s got this brightness to his eyes that reminds Wu Fan of the way Lu Han gets right before he does something to make Wu Fan’s life incredibly miserable. He hopes Yixing isn’t quite like that. “And what I say goes.” He laughs.

“Oh really?” Wu Fan says, laughing back, and Yixing nods insistently. Wu Fan shakes his head in amusement and takes another sip of his beer as Yixing turns quickly to his notebook beside him to scribble something down within its pages. Now that he’s sitting right beside him, Wu Fan sees that it’s a nice, leather-bound book with a drawstring to wrap around to keep it closed. It’s expensive looking, the kind one would buy from a really good bookstore instead of spending less than a buck at a local convenience store. He tries not to stare too obviously, but he can see it’s over half filled with writing.

He wonders, not for the first time, what Yixing writes about, but he’s pretty sure it’s too soon to ask. Instead, he says, focusing on what Yixing had mentioned before, “You're right, you know, I have noticed you.” He chuckles when Yixing quickly looks up at him, blindly tucking his pen inside the notebook and closing the cover. “I've wanted to talk to you for the longest time.”

Yixing asks, “Then why haven't you?”

“Sitting in the corner with your earbuds in? Kind of antisocial, isn’t it?” Wu Fan replies, raising a brow, and Yixing laughs, nodding in understanding. He reaches for his glass that is now mostly water-downed alcohol and tiny slivers of ice and swirls them around before finishing off the rest. Wu Fan watches him closely, adds, “I figured you weren't looking for conversation. I was just curious about you though.”

Yixing smiles at him. “Maybe I was just waiting for you to come talk to me,” he says.

Right,” Wu Fan says, rolling his eyes in skepticism.

“Well, why not?” Yixing huffs in protest, but his eyes are sparkling in mirth. “Who wouldn't want the tall attractive blonde to come talk to them at a bar?” He winks at Wu Fan who feels his face heat up again. “You should've bought me a drink, I hear that’s an easy icebreaker in a place like this.” He grins widely, dimple showing again, and Wu Fan finds him so incredibly intriguing, even more than before when Yixing was just that nameless man who sat at the end of the bar every night. He didn’t think it was possible to find one person so interesting, but with almost every word that Yixing says, Wu Fan just wants to know more.

Wu Fan stares at him for a long moment, considering, and Yixing just blinks back, looking at him with a sort of blank expression on his face, even though his eyes feel like they’re burning into his soul. He smiles back at him and suggests airily, “Maybe I should buy you one right now.”

“Maybe you should,” Yixing agrees happily. “I would love a beer.” He blinks up at Wu Fan expectantly, and Wu Fan sighs exaggeratedly, like this is a huge inconvenience, but then orders another round of beers when Jongdae stops by and Wu Fan dutifully ignores the giant smirk Jongdae gives him as he leaves. “But,” Yixing adds as he reaches for his bottle, “don’t think just because you bought me a drink you can take me home or something.”

Wu Fan splutters, hastily wiping at his chin with a napkin as he stares at Yixing incredulously. Yixing just laughs at him, the sound more pleasant than the soothing voice of the live singer up on the tiny stage. “You should see your face,” Yixing comments, incredibly amused, and Wu Fan feels his ears grow hot.

“You’re terrible,” Wu Fan mutters, which only has Yixing laughing even harder. It makes his eyes curve into little crescents, his cheeks dusted pink in mirth, and he hides his mouth with a hand as he giggles. And Wu Fan, in that moment, thinks he’s possibly never seen anyone quite as beautiful.



-



“How’s it going?” Minseok asks, slipping into Wu Fan’s cubicle late in the afternoon. “Your secret project.”

“It can’t be that secret if you know about it,” Wu Fan replies. He peels off the yellow post-it that he’d stuck to the back of his copy of Lay’s Unicorn Blessings and presses it against the page where he’s been reading, then sets the book onto the desk.

Minseok grins at him, leaning carefully back against the flimsy wall, crossing arms over his chest. “It was supposed to be a secret, but Lu Han doesn’t actually know how to keep one,” Minseok says with a roll of his eyes. “He’s too excited about the prospect of having our magazine be the first ever to interview Lay.” He smirks at Wu Fan. “Probably even more excited than you are to actually talk to him.”

Wu Fan groans. “Does everyone know about that?”

“You forget I was there with Lu Han when Jongdae told us all about it,” Minseok says, and he laughs and pats Wu Fan on the back good-naturedly when Wu Fan groans again. “Relax, there’s nothing wrong with having a crush.”

“It’s not a crush,” Wu Fan hisses, because it’s not. “How can I have a crush on a guy I’ve only talked to about four times? And only through email?” He huffs and drops his gaze to the stack of books on his desk. “I’m just very fond of his work.”

Minseok makes a very skeptical noise, and laughs again when Wu Fan swivels around his chair to aim a kick at him. “So you haven’t met him in person yet?”

Wu Fan shakes his head, hoping that the disappointment doesn’t show on his face. “He’s traveling, I guess, and the emailing works pretty well, when he remembers to reply that is.” He smiles at little at the memory of how he had to send two reminder emails to Lay the other night so that he could answer the newest set of questions Wu Fan had prepared for him. Normally he’d find that sort of thing incredibly infuriating, but Lay’s spastic apologizes and emoticon-filled emails are somehow really...endearing.

“That is a really creepy look you have on your face right now, I hope you realize,” Minseok says and Wu Fan quickly schools his expression into one that (he hopes) is of indifference. Minseok just looks at him in amusement. “Are you sure you don’t have a crush? Because that’s the kind of look Jongin gets when he talks about Sehun, except on Jongin it’s not nearly as frightening.”

“Shut up,” Wu Fan says, but it doesn’t sound very threatening and Minseok knows him too well to be affected by it. “Why are you even bothering me? I have important work to do.”

“Mmhm,” Minseok says, “you’re just reading Lay’s work for the hundredth time.”

“This is research,” Wu Fan insists. “And besides, there’s only so much I can do when I’m waiting around for his emails. There’s no information on the guy anywhere.”

“Maybe you’re not looking hard enough,” Minseok says pointedly, and Wu Fan sits up straighter in his chair, stares at him. Minseok stares back for a long moment, then sighs and adds, “Come on, the guy is a famous writer! You don’t just publish books out of thin air. Someone has read his work. Someone knows him. And I don’t mean like Lu Han who just got lucky that his close friend became a famous writer.”

Wu Fan blinks. Why hadn’t he thought of this?

As if reading his mind, Minseok smirks and says, “I think your little crush is getting in the way of your work, Wu Fan,” and laughs when Wu Fan kicks him, quite literally, out of his cubicle.

“Thanks!” he shouts after him, sees Minseok waving a hand up at him as he disappears down the aisle. Wu Fan slumps back into his seat and flips open the top of his laptop, quickly pulling up the website for Lay’s publishing company.

A few clicks and he’s found a familiar name that he’s seen written in the dedication for Lay’s very first two works. He jots down the name and address of the publishing company onto a post-it, then grabs his coat from the tiny closet beside his cubicle. He pats the inside breast pocket to make sure he has his small notepad, then grabs the post-it with the address and heads out.



-




Do Kyungsoo is a small man with a perpetually shocked expression on his face, but has a kind presence to him that Wu Fan instantly likes. He's been in this business long enough to have dealt with his fair share of frazzled editors and agents who only seem to live on a constant clock of deadlines.

Kyungsoo lets him into his office and brings him a mug of coffee that Wu Fan gratefully accepts, then sits back in his seat behind a small, paper covered desk and asks, “So you're here about Lay?”

“Yes,” Wu Fan says. “I’m sure you know that he agreed to let our magazine do an interview with him.”

Kyungsoo nods. “He asked me about it and I said yes, because it was the first time he showed any interest in the idea,” he says. “He liked the whole mysterious writer persona, and to be honest, so did I. It made people more interested in his work, which is always good for business.” He laughs and Wu Fan smiles in return. “I’m not sure what you want from me, though.”

“Well, it’s always important to conduct interviews with close friends or family,” Wu Fan says easily, drawing out his notepad and pen from his coat pocket. “Since Lay is very private about that part, I was hoping you could help with some tidbits. What kind of person is he? Do you like working with him? Any interesting stories you’d like to share?”

Kyungsoo makes a noise of contemplation, leaning back more comfortably in his chair. "I've known Lay for a few years now. We met a year before he released his first book," Kyungsoo says, a soft gaze in his eyes like he's recalling a fond memory. "He was 20 at the time? He was trying to publish a short story. He was really persistent.” Kyungsoo laughs. “But he was still developing his skills. He was good, just not quite there yet and I wanted to help. We met a lot in the beginning and he had so many ideas, he would just keep throwing them all out. It was refreshing to see. He's a lot of fun."

Wu Fan smiles, feeling warm just listening to him, a little part of him inexplicably happy that Lay isn’t some terrible human being who just happens to write beautiful things. From the way Kyungsoo talks about him, it’s clear that Lay is a nice, kind person. Wu Fan, now more than ever, really wishes he will be able to meet him.

He spends nearly an hour there, listening to Kyungsoo tell him about Lay's little quirks, how he's always late with deadlines but he's so apologetic and mortified by it that it’s impossible to be angry with him, how he likes to drag Kyungsoo to bars or cafes so he can talk to him directly when he's stuck and ask for his opinions, how he spends days poured over research books and forgets to eat and even shave and will call Kyungsoo at three in the morning when he has a breakthrough.

Lay likes to listen to classical music and falls asleep on the phone while Kyungsoo talks to him about deadlines. He enjoys sweet things and doodling little figurines in the corners of his manuscripts. He likes to spend time with a close friend of his from college, which Wu Fan assumes is probably Lu Han. And he has a penchant for things with unicorns on them.

Wu Fan fills his notepad with pages of information, finding every new bit just as intriguing as the last. Lay, to Wu Fan, seems suddenly so much more than a writer he's incredibly infatuated with, and now a person who is just as every bit interesting as the stories he writes. He leaves Kyungsoo with his business card, welcoming him to let him know anything else if he so wants, and then returns to the office.

With all his new information, along with the emails he has from Lay already, Wu Fan finally feels like he can begin to write.



-




The soft strains of a guitarist greets Wu Fan as he stumbles into the bar from the cold, tugging off leather gloves and unrolling a scarf from around his neck. It’s fairly empty that night, which Wu Fan always appreciates, and he heads off to the bar automatically, the way he does everyday.

Except today, he catches sight of Yixing huddles in his chair at the very end of the counter, and, on impulse, changes direction to head towards him. He drops his bag and coat into the seat two away from Yixing and then slides into the one between them. Yixing doesn’t seem to even notice he’s there, head bowed over his usual notebook with his headphones tucked into his ears.

Zitao stops by to bring Wu Fan a beer, and he smiles his thanks at him, then turns to poke Yixing in the shoulder to get his attention.

Yixing jumps, startled, and whirls around quickly. His expression softens when he realizes it’s Wu Fan, and he smiles at him kindly. “Hello,” he says, a bit too loudly, and Wu Fan laughs, points at his ears.

“What’re you listening to?” he asks as Yixing sheepishly pulls one earbud out. He blinks at it, then holds it out for Wu Fan, who has to crouch just a little to share it and not tug the other from Yixing’s own ear. A beautiful orchestral piece fills his ear and he asks, “What’s it called?”

Yixing taps the screen on his phone and thrusts it up into Wu Fan’s face, a little too close that Wu Fan has to lean back so he doesn’t go cross-eyed trying to read it. Symphony No. 40 by Wolfgang Mozart, it reads, and he mouths the words trying to say it properly and Yixing laughs at him again.

“It’s Wolfgang Mozart,” he says with clear pronunciation and Wu Fan blinks at him, surprised.

“It’s nice,” he says. “Are you interested in this kind of music?”

“That is why I’m listening to it,” Yixing replies cheekily. “But yes, it also helps me think, focus on work.” He smiles. “I grew up with this kind of music. I play the piano, you know.” He says it a little proudly, and Wu Fan grins at him.

“Ah, the mysterious man at the bar has hidden talents!” he says, and Yixing half-heartedly punches him square in the shoulder.

“Give that back,” he huffs, tugging the cord out of Wu Fan’s ear, but instead of sticking it back into his own, he taps his phone again and turns off the music, wraps the cord around it and sets it back down onto the bar counter. Then he turns to Wu Fan fully and says, “Nice to see you again tonight.”

“You say that like you don’t know I will be here,” Wu Fan says.

“Well, it’s never good to assume,” Yixing says knowledgeably. “Maybe someday you’ll find a much cooler bar with better drinks and bartenders who don’t stop and eavesdrop and then you’ll leave me all alone.” He says it very over-dramatically, and giggles when Jongdae shouts “Hey!” from the other end of the bar, clearly having overheard.

“The bartender part is definitely good reason,” Wu Fan agrees, but then adds, resolutely keeping his eyes on his beer bottle, “but the company here is worth it.”

And when he chances a look at Yixing, he has a big, bright grin on his face that makes Wu Fan’s heart thump impossibly loud in his chest in a way that it hasn’t in a very, very long time. He’s not sure what it means, so he looks away quickly, flushing deep down his neck and Yixing’s laughter rings happily in his ears, the sound as melodious as the music he’d been listening to earlier.

“You’re really cute,” Yixing says, matter-of-fact, and Wu Fan wishes that everything about Yixing didn’t make him feel so completely off-balance.

He distracts himself with a slow drink from his bottle and Yixing shifts his attention back to his notebook, and Wu Fan can just barely see him filling a few lines with text before he closes the cover.

"So, Wu Fan, how was your day?" Yixing says, leaning his elbow on the counter and his chin on his palm. He stares at Wu Fan with a soft, intriguing look in his eyes.

Wu Fan clears his throat, always so surprised by the way Yixing looks at him like there's nothing else in the world more interesting. It makes butterflies flutter in his stomach and his chest a little warm. He smiles at Yixing, leans back against his seat and says, "Pretty good, actually." He takes a swig of his beer and his grin widens as he thinks back over the day. "I learned a lot about Lay."

"Really?" Yixing says, and he sits up a little straighter. "Do tell."

"Ah, you're just gonna have to wait for the article in the magazine like everyone else," Wu Fan says, holding up his bottle toward him and winking.

Yixing pouts at him, and Wu Fan tries not to stare at his pink lips. "Unfair," he whines, childishly, and it's really cute.

Wu Fan laughs. "I just met his editor," he says, "and he told me some interesting things. It's hard to learn everything that I want just through email, so I thought this would give me some information."

"Good plan," Yixing says with a tiny smirk.

"But enough about me, what about you?" Wu Fan says, and he mimics Yixing's posture, resting his chin on his palm. "Everyday you ask about me but never talk about yourself."

And its true. Yixing has this way about him that makes him easy to talk to and he’s always so curious, hanging onto Wu Fan's every word. He laughs when Wu Fan says something funny, pokes fun at his moments of weakness or stupidity, and engages in conversation in a way that makes Wu Fan want to tell him more. But now Yixing knows where he works, past articles he's worked on, bits and pieces of his hometown in China, and even what part of Seoul he lives in, but Wu Fan doesn't know much about him.

He stares him down and says, "You know you can't maintain that mysterious bar facade forever."

Yixing laughs at that and says, "I suppose not." He takes a drink from his beer bottle. “There’s not much to say, really,” he say after a long stretch of silence. “My life isn’t as interesting as yours.”

Wu Fan doesn’t believe that one bit, because someone as interesting as Yixing himself couldn’t possibly live a life any less. “Well, don’t tell me you sit here all day just waiting for me to come by every night.”

Yixing rolls his eyes, elbows him slightly in the side and says, “No. I see enough of this place as it is.” He grins. “I’m what you could call a starving artist? Maybe not so much on the starving side, but I write for a living.”

“So you’re not just scribbling things into the notebook for fun, huh?” Wu Fan asks, nodding towards the leather bound book that Yixing has been unconsciously tapping his fingertips across while speaking.

“This isn’t really work, just random ideas that pop up in my head. Notes about people I meet or things I see,” Yixing says, and he glances down at the book a little fondly.

“Am I in there?” Wu Fan says before he can stop himself.

“Oh, yes, there’s pages about the pretty blonde boy I met at the bar,” Yixing says, and he says it so lightly that Wu Fan can’t tell if he’s telling the truth or not.

“What kind of things do you write?” Wu Fan questions, even more intrigued about Yixing than he was before. “We do the same thing for a living and you never mentioned it before?”

Yixing smiles enigmatically at him, eyes soft in amusement. “I’m still trying to keep that mysterious aura around me, no matter how much you try to break it,” he says, and laughs when Wu Fan frowns at him.

“Does that mean you’re not going to tell me what you write?” he says, and Yixing pokes him on the tip of his nose and says, “Cute and smart,” and Wu Fan swats his hand away, feeling a blush creep up the back of his neck.

Words fail him from the delighted look on Yixing’s face, so he just huffs and turns away and tries not to think too much about what Yixing said and how it makes his heart thump pleasantly against his chest.



-




To: wufan@smqmagazine.com
From: callmelay@gmail.com
Sent: Thursday January 3, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Wu Fan, I’m so sorry it takes me ages to write you back, I really hope you don’t find me completely useless! I’m just not accustomed to this sort of thing, so I guess I’m still trying to get the hang of it. (^^;)

I hear you met up with Kyungsoo! I hope he didn’t tell you anything too embarrassing? You’re not going to embarrass me with this article are you? I mean, I’ve worked very hard to build up this enigmatic image and I’d hate for some random blonde-haired journalist to ruin it!!

I could sue you, I’ll have you know.


To: callmelay@gmail.com
From: wufan@smqmagazine.com
Sent: Thursday January 3, 2013 at 10:35 AM

I have no plans on embarrassing you. At least, not really, but you can’t blame me for doing my job if a rather questionable story or two gets included in the article now, can you?

And how did you know I was blonde?


To: wufan@smqmagazine.com
From: callmelay@gmail.com
Sent: Thursday January 3, 2013 at 10:57 AM

I don’t know how to tell you this but...

I’m psychic.


To: wufan@smqmagazine.com
From: callmelay@gmail.com
Sent: Thursday January 3, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Okay, okay I’m not psychic!! You don’t have to ignore me! (;ω;)


To: callmelay@gmail.com
From: wufan@smqmagazine.com
Sent: Thursday January 3, 2013 at 11:48 AM

I wasn’t ignoring you, I was just in a meeting. And it’s a good thing you’re not psychic, because then we’d have to be conducting a completely different kind of interview.

And, if you’re not psychic, how did you know?


To: wufan@smqmagazine.com
From: callmelay@gmail.com
Sent: Thursday January 3, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Your picture is on the magazine’s website.

You’re cute. (¬‿¬)


To: callmelay@gmail.com
From: wufan@smqmagazine.com
Sent: Thursday January 3, 2013 at 12:12 PM

That emoticon is really creepy.

And it’s kind of unfair that you know what I look like but I still have no idea what you look like, don’t you think?


To: wufan@smqmagazine.com
From: callmelay@gmail.com
Sent: Thursday January 3, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Not really, because everyone knows what you look like and no one is supposed to know what I look like. :P


To: callmelay@gmail.com
From: wufan@smqmagazine.com
Sent: Thursday January 3, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Your editor knows what you look like. Lu Han, too.


To: wufan@smqmagazine.com
From: callmelay@gmail.com
Sent: Thursday January 3, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Ask Lu Han for a picture then.


To: callmelay@gmail.com
From: wufan@smqmagazine.com
Sent: Thursday January 3, 2013 at 12:28 PM

I’d rather just meet you in person.


To: wufan@smqmagazine.com
From: callmelay@gmail.com
Sent: Thursday January 3, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Don’t worry, Wu Fan, you will. (⌒ω ⌒)



-




“What’re you creepily staring at your phone for?” Chanyeol demands around a mouthful of food as he and Wu Fan grab lunch at the burger place around the corner from the office.

“Nothing,” Wu Fan says quickly, trying to shove his phone into his pocket, but Chanyeol’s is faster, reaching out to swipe it from his hands.

Chanyeol scrolls down his email and slowly starts snickering, twisting his body around and away as Wu Fan flails across the table to grab it back. “Aww,” he coos, “how nice. He called you cute! Aren’t you happy?”

“Give me that,” Wu Fan hisses, and Chanyeol, surprisingly, does, handing it back since he’s seen enough.

“Are you sure you’re conducting yourself professionally, Wu Fan?” Chanyeol questions, a giant grin on his face that makes him look a little insane. He dips a french fry into ketchup and pops it into his mouth. “Those emails looked a little too...intimate.”

Wu Fan chokes on his drink and gives Chanyeol what he hopes is an unimpressed look. “Don’t be stupid,” he says. “He’s just an easy guy to talk to. I mean, he’s only a year younger than me! I was so surprised when I found that out.”

“Are you sure that’s all it is?” Chanyeol asks and Wu Fan kicks him under the table. “What?!” he exclaims. “It’s a legitimate question given your crush on the guy.”

“Will none of you ever let that go?” Wu Fan groans, dropping his face into his hands. “It’s not a crush. I still haven’t even met him, and I have a feeling he’s going to make it very difficult for me to do so.”

“Poor Wu Fan,” Chanyeol mourns solemnly, shaking his head. “Cockblocked by his own crush.”

“I fucking hate you,” Wu Fan hisses, throwing a french fry at Chanyeol’s head. It bounces off his nose and falls onto Chanyeol’s tray and Chanyeol just grins and shoves it into his mouth. Wu Fan sighs, shoulders slumping, and he grabs his half-eaten burger to take another bite.

“In all seriousness though,” Chanyeol starts after a stretch of silence.

“Are you capable of being serious?” Wu Fan questions, raising a brow at his friend, and Chanyeol narrows his eyes at him.

In all seriousness,” he repeats, “what do you think of him? Is he what you pictured?”

Wu Fan straightens his back, takes another bite of his burger and chews thoughtfully. Chanyeol stares at him, sucking the straw of his drink into his mouth, big eyes blinking curiously. Eventually, he says, “I don’t really know what I was expecting, to be honest. Maybe someone a little more...put-together? He’s terrible at replying to emails and he seems more interested in poking fun at me than actually answering any of my questions. And he uses way too many stupid emoticons.” Wu Fan dutifully doesn’t mention that all these things he finds kind of, well, endearing, to say the least. He’d definitely expected Lay to be a serious, straight-laced sort of person who would be easy to work with, but the reality is the complete opposite. At first it was rather jarring, but Wu Fan has come to look forward to Lay’s unpredictableness, his straightforward approach, and his tendency to make Wu Fan feel completely ridiculous with just a few simple words in an email.

Lay, Wu Fan has realized, is fun and charming and kind of cute. With his emoticons and his frazzled apologizes and his way of making Wu Fan feel like this is less of a work project and more like he’s just talking with a friend. The more they send each other emails the more Wu Fan starts to see Lay the way Kyungsoo had described him; an easy going person with a clear passion for writing and a penchant for making people like him really easily.

With every new email, Wu Fan only wants to meet him more.

He sighs, grabs his phone and pulls up Lay’s latest email. He thinks for a moment and then types up a response.



To: callmelay@gmail.com
From: wufan@smqmagazine.com
Sent: Thursday January 3, 2013 at 1:37 PM

You’re not going to make this easy for me, are you?


Chanyeol tries to peer across the table to see what’s he’s typing, but Wu Fan quickly sends off the message before he gets the chance. He pouts at him, cheeks puffed up a little with food, and Wu Fan rolls his eyes.

“Leave me alone,” he says before Chanyeol gets the chance to say something stupid or potentially embarrassing.

“I wasn’t going to say anything!” Chanyeol protests, holding up his hands, but the amusement in his eyes gives him away.

Wu Fan just makes a skeptical noise and returns to eating his lunch, mostly ignoring Chanyeol’s incessant chatter. When they return to the office, Wu Fan slips away toward Lu Han’s desk, leaning over the wall and asking, “Why won’t Lay meet with me?” Normally he would hate how much it sounds like he’s whining, but he’s really curious now so he doesn’t care.

Lu Han laughs, not even turning around to look at him as he types furiously on his laptop. “Did you do something to scare him off?” he asks.

“Of course not!” Wu Fan says, slightly offended by the accusation. “I’ve been great. So has he, really. He’s cool. But he doesn’t seem interested in actually meeting up. It’d be so much easier to do an interview in person.”

“Ah, because that’s totally the reason you want to meet him, isn’t it?” Lu Han says, and he finally swivels around to look at Wu Fan. He’s got a big smirk plastered on his face. “For work.”

Yes,” Wu Fan says firmly, not willing to let anyone else badger him about his not-crush. He’s gotten enough of that from Chanyeol today already. “Can’t you at least talk to him about it? I mean, you’re his friend and all.”

Lu Han purses his lips thoughtfully, blinking up at the ceiling as he exaggeratedly ponders, and Wu Fan resists the urge to roll his eyes at him, instead waits patiently. Finally, Lu Han shrugs and says, “I’ll see what I can do.”

Wu Fan sighs, returning to his desk and not feeling much hope at all. When he checks his email again, he finds a reply from Lay that makes a smile grow across his face, and thinks, maybe, that it’s okay just like this.


To: wufan@smqmagazine.com
From: callmelay@gmail.com
Sent: Thursday January 3, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Now, where would the fun be in that? ;)



part two
Tags: g: exo, genre: au, genre: romance, p: kris/lay, r: nc-17, type: fanfiction
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