Pairing: Jaemin (jaejoong/changmin)
Genre: Fluff, Romance, Drama
Description: Jaejoong is a Korean Transferee at a prestigious school in the outskirts of San Francisco. Changmin is a high school student under the high school department of that same university. Jaejoong felt out-of place, Changmin blended in just fine. Jaejoong had no friends, Changmin had many. Nobody knew Jaejoong, Everyone knew Changmin. It's strange how fast the tables can turn. But in the end, no amount of friends or popularity can replace the other. Though things might have turned out a little too messy by the time they realize this.
A/N: Sorry this took so long...life is hard lol So anyway maybe I was trolling cuz this ain't the last chapter yet HAHA! Well it was supposed to be but...I don't know I ran out of ideas. So here you go!
Here in Seoul Korea, the skies are clear and the sun shines brightly, setting the few clouds that floated above in a glowing halo.
The weather was perfect for all kinds of outdoor events like weddings...birthdays...parties...
Yes. It was the perfect day for such occasions.
Which is most probably why everyone was in such a good mood, the cheers of several young teenagers echoing through the university avenues as their graduation caps all came flying to the air. Parents and siblings and relatives then entered the picture, rushing over to their child’s side, their cheeks still damp from the tears that they most probably have shed while watching them climb up that stage and receive their diplomas. It was such a heartwarming scene, everyone congratulating everyone.
But as we zoom in a bit, we spot a very familiar face among the many. A very familiar smile that stretched from ear to ear and a very familiar pair of mismatched eyes.
Yup. It’s Changmin. And yup. He’s part of the graduating crowd.
So with that I guess you could infer that we’ve skipped ahead a few years.
Like all others he constantly bowed and congratulated his fellow seniors. A few of their mothers would stop and talk to him, commending him for his consistence in his performance in school. He was always kind enough to respond, smile, and thank them back, though it was quite noticeable that he was in a hurry to be some place else.
“Changmin-ah! You wanna come with us? We’re going karaoke-ing with the class!” His classmates would invite every now and then. Though no matter how many times they ask, he would always have the same answer.
“Ani, kenchana. I might miss my flight.”
To which some of them would respond to with the following:
“Omo! Are you finally going back to that Jaejoong hyung you keep talking about??”
“Bwwoooh??? Does that mean you’re gonna meet the Jaejoong oppa you told us about?”
“It’s Jaejoong isn’t it? Ne? Ne?”
And Changmin could only reply with a bashful smile, before dodging his way through the crowd and hurrying to his waiting luggage.
Though before he could even get any further, A hand had caught him by the wrist. Swinging around to see who it was, he was surprised to find his parents smiling back at him.
“Umma? Appa? I thought you had work today!”
“You really think we’d miss our own son’s graduation day?”
“You did well son, Chukahae.”
“Ne, Appa and Umma are so proud of you.”
His mother planted a soft kiss on his forehead while his father affectionately ruffled his hair.
Changmin smiled sincerely. “Gomawo appa~ Gomawo umma~”
“Are your things ready?”
“Ne, I packed them yesterday!”
“Yesterday? Well you’re an eager beaver.”
To be honest, Changmin would have loved to stay and chat with his parents longer, though as he glanced at his wrist watch, his nerves tensed and he was on his toes again. He needed to get moving if he wanted to catch his flight.
“Umma, Appa, Thank you for comming really, But I really really have to go, you understand right?”
“Of course we do. Go on. Get going. Don’t want to miss your departure do you.”
“Will you come with me?”
“Mianhae, but appa and I still have work to get back to.”
“Kenchana~” Quickly, Changmin enveloped both of them in a tight hug.
“Saranghaeyo~ I’ll call as often as I can!”
Then before they even knew it he was jogging up to his dorm building to fetch his things.
I just graduated. He said to himself as he kept his eyes closed but his senses aware. I just graduated high school. And I’m moving to San Francisco. ... Where it all began.
He smiled to himself. Because for once, when he opened his eyes once more, he wasn’t dreaming. This wasn’t one of those restless nights he would constantly have tossing and turning on the bed, dreaming of the ever familiar red bridge, the ever familiar university, and the ever familiar face of a certain someone he could never stop thinking about. This here was the real thing, and it only excited him more.
Quickly turning to the source of the sudden noise, Changmin’s eyes fell on a tall, handsome man.
“Hey there. You ready to go?”
“Ka ja.” He smiled, coming closer to the younger boy and helping him with his luggage. As the two of them walked side by side down the halls of the dorm, a flood of memories came rushing back to both of them, enveloping them in a strong sense of nostalgia.
“It’s been ages since I’ve last walked here...”
The older boy nodded. For a few seconds he was silent again, until all of a sudden he lifted his hand to point at one spot by the ledge of the building.
“Jaejoong, Yoochun, Junsu and I used to eat by that spot all the time.”
Changmin followed Yunho’s gaze. “oooh..”
“You’re lucky you get to meet him again. I miss that stupid idiot.” Yunho laughed to himself. “But it’s kind of cool running into you. Who would have known I would one day run into a boy who happened to transfer to this school from san francisco and also happened to be a friend of my former best friend. Small world.”
The conversation soon died down and they were back to walking in silence. But it was a good kind of silence, one where neither of them felt awkward and neither of them felt like anything else had to be said.
* * * * * * * *
Changmin said his goodbyes.
Soon, after a taxi drive and an airplane ride away, the familiar, chilly San Francisco evening air had once again greeted him.
He was back.
And the first thing he promised himself to do was to visit the place where it had all began.
Though it was still vacation for many, though classes have still not resumed, all he wanted to do was be there. Just be there, and sink it all in. I’m in San Francisco again!
Okay maybe he was being modest, of course he was there because he wanted to ‘just be there’, but he would be lying if he said that that’s all he went for. He would be lying big time. Because it was quite obvious that he was also there to know whether the people he expected to be there were still there. You get the picture.
So as soon as he climbed the stone steps that lead up to the entrance of the University, he knew exactly where to go. He knew where to wait and who to wait for.
How? Well let’s backtrack to this one detail we forgot to mention.
The night before changmin’s graduation, He laid down on his bed, inside his half-empty room, staring up the ceiling absent-mindedly. His thoughts were everywhere, and this frustrated him because it deprived him of the rest and sleep he just wanted and needed for the next day. That was when someone knocked. And promptly changmin got up and headed to the door, half-glad that someone was out there to keep him distracted. Though little did he know that the person offered something far from distraction.
“....Sungsaengnim....” The younger boy yawned “...do you need something?”
“..Ani. But I’m just here to hand you this letter.”
“...bwoh??..” The boy took the envelope curiously.
“It came in this afternoon, though most of the students were busy preparing for tomorrow, so I figured that I should keep if for the meantime.”
Changmin took the neat, white envelope carefully into his hands. Nothing was written, no name, no address, nothing. Curiosity swelled within the younger boy.
“...Who is it from?” He said, still busy inspecting the strange letter.
“nado mola. But why don’t you go ahead and read it.”
“Have a good night then.”
“You too sungsaengnim.”
A final bow was exchanged and the teacher had now disappeared down the hallway. No longer prolonging his own anxiety, Changmin went back inside his dorm, closed the door, and propped himself comfortably back on the bed. Carefully he tore the top portion of the letter envelope open, revealing an equally neat and folded letter.
Not much words were written, but the few that were scribbled in in messy ink had Changmin officially in a state of restlessness for the whole night.
I hope you haven’t forgotten me.
I don’t know when this letter will get to you, but it doesn’t really matter, as long as you receive this. I’ll be straight to the point here, if you don’t mind.
It’s been 3 years since you’ve left, and that only means you’ll be graduating soon. How is it in Seoul? Are you doing okay? I hope so. I really hope so.
So, I don’t really know...if you’re coming back here. It’s embarrassing to admit but for the past few years, I had always found myself waiting. And I want to know...am I waiting for something? Or am I just making a fool out of myself.
If ever you do come back...come to the old oak tree behind the high school building around 12 noon or 6 in the evening. The one where we used to meet up. I promise I’ll be there.
Heading back to the present time, this simple, short letter held all the reasons why Changmin was currently sitting under a noticeably large oak tree by the high school building at around 6:05 in the evening.
As he counted the stars that showed themselves one by one in the sky, which was now turning a darker hue of purple, nostalgia filled him up instantly, causing him to remember the same days he would spend doing the same thing with the older boy a few years back. It brought a smile up his lips, though sadly, it disappeared almost immediately, because memories of the older boy only reminded him of the ticking clock. Which was now clearly way past 6:00, and obviously still no Jaejoong was in sight.
What if Jaejoong had wrote that letter a little too far back in time?
Well...he must have wrote it when three years have already passed since Changmin’s leave. But how many months back exactly? Had he grown tired of waiting? Did he grow frustrated? Did he decide that he had better things to do in life than wait for a silly little boy like him?
Did he...find someone better than him? Someone who wouldn’t leave his side for anything?
Thoughts like these began to cloud Changmin’s mind filling him with worry and fear.
Burying his face in his arms, he hugged his knees closer to his body as he let the tensing feeling of anxiety eat him up.
For a moment he stayed like this, the sound of the night coming to life as the cricket’s chirping grew louder and the glow of the lamp post shined brighter in contrast to the darkening surroundings.
For a moment everything was still, quiet, and calm.
Until out of the blue, Changmin felt the wet, slick of a tongue slobber saliva all over his cheek.
He wasn’t surprised to lift his head up and come face to face with a large dog.
“...Yah...” Changmin brought his hand up, cautiously moving it closer to the wagging mess.
“....Hey there...You waiting for someone too?”
The other responded with a soft whine.
“Haha...How long have you been waiting huh boy?”
This time the other took the initiative to sit down and lay it’s head on Changmin’s knees, making those little whimpering noises that dogs do to melt a human’s heart.
Changmin gently patted it’s head.
“You know what’s funny? You remind of a little puppy I got at a store not too far from here.”
The thought made Changmin smile.
“Hahaha! Ne! It looked exactly like you! That puppy I...gave to...”
His words faded off. Because a thought it had suddenly crossed his mind.
Could this be...
Shock coursed through him. He couldn’t believe it. Was this possible? Using both his hands, he gently took a closer look at the dog’s face. It’s eyes, it’s nose, it’s ears...everything, absolutely every fiber on that dog’s fur looked exactly like the puppy Changmin had bought years ago. It would have been easy to conclude that that puppy and this dog right here in front of him, were one and the same. Though, one thing hindered him from jumping to conclusions. One factor had him hesitating.
Where was the owner?
Upon crossing the thought, his head immediately whipped up, swiftly turning from left to right, front to back, scanning the perimeters of any sign of a familiar face, a familiar body, a familiar person. Though no one was in sight.
Changmin sighed. Maybe he was getting too worked up about this. After all, there were probably a million dogs in the world that looked exactly like the puppy he had bought.
“....guess it’s useless to wait huh. Wanna come along boy?”
Ruffling the dog’s soft fur, Changmin finally decided that he had waited enough. Though he wasn’t giving up. He knew that the minute the clock strikes 12 the following day, he’d be here. He was just calling it a night.
Finally getting up, he brushed the remnants of grass that stuck to the hem of his pants, grabbed his luggage and got moving.
Did the night end there?
Nope. Things were only beginning to get interesting.
As soon as the boy had turned his back and took his first few steps towards the exit, a familiar voice called out from behind, sounding rushed and tired.
He froze on the spot. For he’d recognize that voice even from miles away.
Changmin didn’t dare turn. He was afraid that the deep, husky voice he knew so well was merely a figment of his imagination. He was afraid to turn around and find nothing but the wind and air.
“...Sorry I was late boy. You don’t know how hard it is to persuade the cook to hand over some left overs.”
...In his head, Changmin ushered the voice to keep talking. So he could listen, listen and let the voice bring back color and life to his memories.
“Here you go.......”
Though as much as he loved to just stand there and pay attention, as much as he was willing to stay in that position, as long as he could hear that voice again, a separate voice inside him was practically screaming at him to turn around. Turn around Pabo! Turn around! Turn around before he disappears like does so in all your other nightmares!
And so gathering all his courage, all his determination, he took one swift 360 degree turn.
Please be real... Please be real... Please be real...
The scene unfolded before him. Looking exactly like it had in all his dreams. Though this time, he knew it was real.
There was Jaejoong, seated on the ground with his back towards the younger boy, his hands stretched behind him for support. Beside him, the dog (who Changmin supposed jaejoong named Vick) ate his meal happily.
“Did anyone come today huh boy?”
The dog ignored him, engrossed in his own world of food.
“...guess not.” Jaejoong softly brushed it’s fur with his fingers.
“Guess we’ll have to come back tomorrow huh? I’m not sure if I’d be able to snatch you any food again though...i’ll go ask kyu—“
The sound of luggage falling to the floor and rushed footsteps echoed in a matter of milliseconds before Jaejoong was cut off by a pair of thin arms encircling him from behind.
The older boy was too shocked to comprehend what was happening.
“Hyung it’s really you right? I’m not dreaming right?”
Changmin’s voice trembled. His embrace grew tighter.
Jaejoong on the other hand, sat there, wide-eyed in shock. Changmin?
“Are you...who I think you are...”
Though this time the younger boy couldn’t respond, his voice muffled by a series of hiccups and sobs.
But it wasn’t like Jaejoong was going to wait for a reply anyway, quickly standing the two of them up and turning around to take in the sight of Changmin crying, still looking like a 5 year old kid despite the time that’s passed.
He found himself smiling, pulling the other into a tight hug, that seemed to message out what they both wanted to say at the moment.
You’re here. You’re finally here.