Jooyeon went home that day with a bunch of roses, a giant teddy bear, enough chocolate to last a life time, and plenty of glares from fangirls that could have potentially kill her if glares could hurt.
She felt completely flustered and at a loss to do. It was the first time she had been so actively pursued by a guy, even though a junior, but still, a male. In fact it was the second time a guy had ever expressed interest in her, since she had been rather a turn off when she had her giant spectacles and bird's nest hair back in Daegu.
Come to think of it, the first time a guy actually expressed interest in her was.....Taemin.
Jooyeon wrinkled her nose as she looked about. The girls in the premise glared intensely at her and she gulped, darting her gaze back to the particular piece of floor she had been standing on with great interest.
She wondered if Kai knew Taemin had claimed that Jooyeon was her soulmate. She wondered if Taemin knew those flowers and chocolates were from his brother. Why had these two brothers decided to set their sights on her, that she didn't understand.
However she couldn't help but be vaguely curious about what Taemin felt about this whole fiasco. She blinked and shook her head. *Why should I care what that guy feels?* she pouted.
She twisted her legs about impatiently, waiting for the bus to arrive. It was later than usual, and she couldn't wait to get back home to her warm bed so she could think about what happened today. Shock, disbelief, surprise. You name it.
It was such an unexpected move of Kai, especially since he looked so cool and collected all the time. She didn't think he'd involve himself in mushy tactics together with Sehun. Oh who was she kidding, she didn't think he'd look at her in any other way except for a noona.
She sighed, wondering how she was supposed to turn him down nicely, when she heard a deep voice calling out to her from behind. "Jooyeon noona!"
Jooyeon spun around and saw the exact person who gave her these gifts, the attention and the headache she was sure was surfacing in no time. Kai smiled softly at her from the other end of the road and waved. He wanted to cross the road over to her and Jooyeon panicked.
She wasn't ready to spend time with Kai alone. Especially after he just confessed his love for her in front of the whole school in the most attention grabbing manner ever. She thanked the heavens when her bus came right at that moment and she hopped onto it without a moment's hesitation, urging it to go before Kai had a chance to catch up with her.
"Guy troubles?" an ahjuma on her right asked.
Jooyeon blinked and nodded awkwardly. *More like guys troubles.* she pouted.
She hung on to the handle with all she had as the bus drove on, leaving Kai behind. Clumsy as she was, it was safer for her to hug the pole on the bus especially with all that presents she had to carry. She was just about to start sinking into her usual daze when the bus let out a loud rumble before coming to a stop.
Jooyeon blinked in surprise. "Jwesonghabnida yeorobun!" the bus driver came out from his seat and apologized, red in the face. "The bus has failed us. I'm afraid you have to walk from here onwards."
Jooyeon sighed and looked at the giant teddy bear in her arms. *What a day to fail me.* she pouted. She hauled the roses and teddy down the bus and began to make her way home, which was around 4km away. She prayed she wouldn't die of exhaustion before then, knowing that her fitness level was far from acceptable.
It came to her as a surprise when she saw that familiar sunny smile at the corner, directed at her. She rubbed her eyes and looked again, but Taemin was still there, grinning. "Taemin oppa?" she gasped.
Taemin beamed and walked over to her, pushing a two sitter bicycle. "I knew the bus would fail today." Taemin chuckled as he fixed her bangs slightly, the hair that had gone all into her face but she had no way of pushing it away because her hands were occupied. He thumped his chest. "Aren't I the super hero to save you from a 4km walk?" he grinned.
Jooyeon rolled her eyes and giggled. "Pfft big head." she muttered, but got onto the bicycle anyway. With the teddy bear tied safely to the back of the bicycle, Jooyeon encircled her arms around Taemin's waist lightly as he took off. Her heart skipped a beat when she realized how romantic this scene might look like to people whom they passed.
Epitome of young love, really.
At that moment, Taemin's back seemed exceptionally broad, his scent of the usual banana milk slightly musty with a manly odor. He didn't look that much of a kid as usual as his back muscles flexed while he rode the back. Jooyeon bit her lip and shook her head. *Something is wrong with me.*
She closed her eyes and starting to recite the alphabet from backwards, hoping that by the time she reached A, her mind would return to it's usual state.
It took longer than expected for her not to be too mindful of the back she was hugging, and she had to recite the entire alphabet series four times. When she opened her eyes, she was surprised to find that Taemin had stopped riding and was chuckling at her while she hugged his back with her eyes closed.
She jerked away in surprise and looked around them. It wasn't the way home. It was the park.
"Why are we here?" Jooyeon blurted curiously, hopping off the bike. Taemin followed suit and pushed the bicycle along as he led her along.
"I thought it'd be nice to take a walk in the park, don't you think?" he asked, smiling. Jooyeon made a face at him and wrinkled her nose. "Yeah yeah. Saving me from walking home and then making me take a walk in the park." she murmured.
Taemin laughed and pinched her nose. "Aigoo what am I to do with you, Yeon?" he grinned. Taking her hand, he walked them in the circular round path that encircled the entire park once. Jooyeon blinked at their intertwined hands as memories of how they held hands when they went to save Kai resurfaced in her mind.
"Thinking about that day when we saved Kai?" Taemin probed curiously.
Jooyeon pinked. "No!" she defended, not knowing that those pink tints had betrayed her. Taemin smiled knowingly but didn't make a comment on it. Instead, he looked forward with a small grin. "I never got to thank you, Yeon. For coming with me." Taemin murmured. "For willing to risk your safety to save Kai. Thanks."
"No problem." Jooyeon's cheeks turned redder at his sincere gratitude. She fanned herself discreetly, wondering why the weather turned so hot all of a sudden. She decided to change the topic and gazed at him curiously. "Who is Dansen Choi?" she blurted. "Why did he want to catch Kai?"
Taemin grinned. "I was wondering how long it would take for you to ask that." he commented. "Dansen Choi and his father, Dave Choi...they're our fatal enemies." Taemin's voice grew harder.
He sighed and led her to one of the benches as he started the story.
The Lee family was vibrant and rich. And how could it not when it's family members all had super powers within them that aided them in everything they did?
Nobody knew why, but the Lee blood had some special magic in them that enabled their descendants to be able to perform special abilities, no matter guy or girl.
For centuries, they had been the object of envy for many other families and thrived even though their numbers were small. But with great power, comes great envy.
People were jealous of the abilities that the Lee family members had, and had tried to steal those powers away. And the family that was most besotted with this aim was the Choi's.
The Choi's had come up with experiment after experiment in hope to retrieve the powers out of the Lee family members in the name of science. The first two people to be caught in this mask of science research were Taemin's grandparents.
And next his aunts. Uncles. And everyone he knew next.
The Choi's came looking for Taemin's parents once they had exhausted the Lee line. Taemin's parents dodged and hid as well as they could, sometimes even avoiding getting caught because of Taemin's powers. But one fateful night, the Choi's had managed to get them.
They had told Taemin's parents that they were just going to extract the powers from them. They were not going to get killed. It was either that or death.
Taemin's parents had agreed. Having a life without powers was better than without a life.
They had strapped Taemin's parents to huge machines that growled loudly, rumbling like an earthquake, zapping the energy from them. The powers were away from Taemin's parents slowly but surely, and when it came to the time for the Choi's to stop, they didn't.
They wanted every bit of magic possible, and greed blinded their eyes even when Taemin's parents begged to be let off.
"In the end, they were killed brutally when all their energy were being up by those vicious machines." Taemin whispered. "Just like that. Life out of them."
Jooyeon softened and touched his arm lightly. She had known that his parents had passed on early in his life, but she didn't know they were taken away from him in such a brutal manner.
Taemin collected his expression and forced a small smile. "The Choi's want powers. I suspect the Choi devil wants to use my future seeing ability and Kai's mind reading one to take manipulate the South Korean government to his fancy so that he can continue operating his illegal gambling dens."
"They want our powers, that's why they keep pursuing us even though they've already killed our parents in the process." Taemin explained.
"Taemin oppa..." Jooyeon whispered softly, not knowing what else to say.
Taemin chuckled an ruffled her hair. "It's okay Yeon. We've gotten used to the fact. Kai doesn't even really remember our parents and my memories are vague. At least we have our powers to depend on to make us a living with the stocks and such." Taemin grinned.
Jooyeon smiled, glad that Taemin took things lightly. Or rather, that he was strong enough to smile and laugh about something bad in his life.
Taemin elbowed her playfully. "Why Yeon?" he teased. "Touched after hearing the story? Aigoo you know you're my soulmate, I won't mind if you want to cry on my shoulder."
Jooyeon punched his arm lightly. "Aish!" she grumbled. Her gaze darted to the giant teddy bear and back to Taemin. Clearing awkwardly, she glanced at him. "By the way...did you know those things are from Kai?"
Taemin nodded. "Hm-Hm."
Jooyeon blinked. "You knew?" she blurted in surprise. "And you're affected? I mean..." she turned pink. "Not that I'm inferring anything else, but aren't you worried I might like Kai back?"
Taemin blinked at her several times before bursting into laughter. He ruffled her hair and punched her nose affectionately. "Aigoo Yeon! You're so cute!"
Jooyeon frowned and scratched her head. *Ehh?*