*this chapter is not proof-read; sorry for any mistakes.
Apparently, Taemin and I did pass by the dessert cafe while we were walking around. In align with the theme of our Italian dinner, he decided on another Italian place for dessert. The place was called Dolce Bene. It was probably half the size of the restaurant we ate in earlier. Inside were couples and families with kids eating huge slices of cake and large scoops of ice cream and all of that.
"I was kidding, by the way." Taemin says as we were so closely approaching the cafe.
"Kidding about what?"
"That this place was expensive."
"It's super expensive."
I shrugged again.
"You're such a snob, Kai!" Taemin pushes my arm. I laugh.
"Sorry?" Was all I could come up with in between my fits of manly giggles.
Taemin frowns, though. "Why aren't you intimidated?"
"Should I be?"
"Well… yeah. I'm your hyung, I should be able to intimidate you."
"The first time I met you, you had hair extensions on. Up until now is the only time I see you actually look like a boy. The intimidation factor is pretty much gone, hyung."
"…but didn't girls scare you in middle school?"
"Remind me why I became friends with you?" I glare.
Taemin all but smiles too innocently. "Because I treated you a milk tea."
"I'm not Sehun."
"…we're always talking about Sehun."
He quickly changes the subject, but I play along.
"He's probably tripping all over the place or biting his tongue…"
"Poor guy, if that were true, his lisp would be terrible."
Once again, Taemin and I were laughing and laughing.
It wasn't until we calmed down from laughing over the expense of my best friend that we stepped inside the cafe.
"You're not going to try to talk or scare your way into paying for dessert again are you?" I ask as we walked to a free table. Taemin chuckles and shakes his head.
"I raise the white flag." He says.
We take our seats and are immediately greeted with a bubbly waitress with two menus in her hands.
"Hi! I'm Jamie!" She smiles at me and Taemin. I flash her a wide grin back. "I'll be your waitress for today, can I get you anything to drink for starters?"
Taemin politely shakes his head, "We'll look at the menu first." He tells her.
She nods and smiles, "Alright! I'll come back later for your orders!" With another wide grin, she walked away from our table.
"She's new!" Taemin quickly tells me, as I was opening the menu.
"The waitress! It's the first time I've seen her!"
"…so you're a regular here as well?"
"…I know the owner too, okay?"
I raise an eyebrow. How does he know all these people. "Do you know the owners cause you visit very often?"
Taemin purses his lips into a straight line. "Shut up." He says.
I shake my head and chuckle. Then turn back to looking through the menu. Let's see what did I want? Cake? Ice cream? What kind of cake? And what flavor of ice-cream? Wait. I just had ice cream this afternoon. With Sehun. I'm definitely getting cake.
My train of thought was interrupted when Taemin suddenly called out, "Cho-cho!"
I snapped my head up to look at Taemin. He was looking at someone behind me. I barely turned my head before a flash of red caught the corner of my eye and a girl with ash brown was standing by our table.
"Taemin! Long time no see!" The girl says happily. Then she looks at me.
I blinked. She was pretty. And probably not pure Korean.
She grins (or smirks, I couldn't tell) then turns her head to Taemin. "Oh, he's cute, Minnie!" She comments. Taemin all but glares at her.
"Not the right time to be a noona, Cho." He says, tone warning.
She shrugs, "Has anyone taken your order?"
That's when I noticed she was wearing the Dolce Bene uniform. I glanced up at her name tag. 'Savannah' it read. Why does Taemin call her Cho?
"None." I hear Taemin say, "We're still looking at the menu." He tells her. "By the way! This is my new friend, Kai."
She looks back at me with a warm smile. "Hey, I'm Savannah. I own the place." She says. I gulped. That was an intimidating introduction.
But Taemin snorts. "No you don't. Your mother does. You just work here and think you're all that."
"Sock it, Minnie!" She retorts. Then looks back at me, "Yeah, okay. I just work here." She says lightly. I chuckle.
"It's nice." I comment before I could look anymore awkward, she might think I'm mute since I haven't spoken.
"Thanks." She smiles. "But, I gotta get going… kind of." She says, "But! I will send you guys a slice of cake on the house, it's our newest thing on the menu. A white chocolate mocha tartufo cake." She grins.
"Ooh. Sounds delicious!" Taemin comments.
I had no idea what she was talking about but I flash her a smile that was meant to be really appreciative.
"Thank you." I say anyway before she could leave.
"You're welcome!" This girl was all smiles. "Is it your first time here?" She asks me.
I nod, "Yep. Taemin's choice to come here."
"Well," She starts, grinning, eyes darting at Taemin, "I don't doubt Taemin's taste." She says, quite cryptically might I add, "Hope you two enjoy your meals! Toodles!" And with that she was off to do whatever she had to do or tend to other tables.
"Later, Cho-cho!" Taemin said cheekily.
"Why do you call her Ch-cho?" I decided to ask Taemin before I worked on looking at the menu again.
"It's a nickname." He says simply. "Savanna." He says in English, "What is it in Korean?"
"Dae-cho-won." I answer.
"Cho." Taemin grins.
My eyes go wide. "Now I get it!"
He laughs. "Just like how you are Kai." He says. "How were you called Kai anyway?" Taemin asks. "It's nothing close to Jongin."
I chuckle. Well, it was only a matter of time he would ask about it. So I explained.
"It started around… middle school? Or before middle school… I was around 10 or 11 when I attended my first hip-hop dance class. Because prior to that, I did ballet and jazz, so I wanted to try something new and more modern. So Sehun and I enrolled in our first hip-hop class. There were two Jongin's in class though, so our instructor gave us nicknames. At first it was just 'KimJong' and 'LeeJong', because the other Jongin was 'Lee Jongin'. But, after a few sessions, our instructor asked if she could call me 'Kai'."
At this point, I knew I wasn't being clear with my explanation, but I paused to make sure Taemin was following. I continued when I saw him nodding, albeit with a slightly confused expression.
"Our instructor lived in Myanmar when she was a teenager, so she knows the Burmese language. And in Burmese, she told me, 'Kai' means strong or unbreakable, which, in her words, is how I am when I'm dancing or what best describes me as a dancer." I say, smiling at the memory. The nickname and the reason behind it was one of the biggest compliments I've ever gotten.
"That is so cool." Taemin exclaims, smiling brightly. "Now I can't wait to see you dance!"
I laugh, "Don't expect too much!" I lower his anticipation. "Anyway, yeah, then the nickname stuck even with my friends and then when I entered middle school," I paused, "So, yes, it was before middle school," I corrected, "When I got to middle school and my teacher asked if I had a nickname I said 'Kai'. So I kept it."
"I wish I had a cool name, too." Taemin sulks comically.
I chuckle, "Taemin is fine." I reassure. "I still prefer to be called Jongin by my close friends, though." I tell him.
"I was just testing it out." He laughs.
"…cause you plan to be my close friend?" I meant it as a joke.
"Why, yes." He grins. "But you are Kai to me for now."
"That's fine with me."
Eventually, Taemin and I decided on what to order. I got a Tiramisu (Lord only knows how much I love my coffee) and Taemin got a Mango Panna Cotta. When I told him what I wanted to get he told me about the first time he tried a Tiramisu, he said he loved it, but at the time, he had no interest in cooking or baking whatsoever. So when he started working in the kitchen more, he was craving for dessert and so he attempted to make a Tiramisu with his friend Key. Taemin said it was the ugliest looking Tiramisu in the history of Tiramisu's. But he argued, and I quote, "It was pretty damn good!". Now he can easily make varieties of Tiramisu and he loves the Panna Cotta because it is so simple yet delicious. I have yet to try a Panna Cotta, though. I was never much to linger on sweets.
The first thing that arrived was the complimentary dish of Savannah.
"This one's on the house!" Jamie reminded as she put the plate of cake down. "Enjoy!" She says cheerfully and heads back towards the counter.
"This looks great!" Taemin comments, "And by the way Jelly described the dessert, I can't wait to taste it."
I shrug, "You're the food critic. I'll probably like it either way."
I took a piece, stuck the spoon in my mouth and my god it was delicious. I didn't even notice I was scarfing it down until Taemin said, "Woah, slow down there, buddy!"
I look up at him, faced stuffed with dessert. Taemin bursts out laughing and I wipe my mouth with the back of my hand.
Taemin was still laughing, I glare at him, but he doesn't seem to notice. Finally he calms down.
"…well, that was unattractive." I comment.
He shakes his head, chuckling, "Naw, it was cute." He says. "I like when people enjoy their food." He nods.
"It was really good." I say.
He agrees, "Yup. I should tell Chocho to keep it on the menu." He grins.
"Yes. Cause she listens to you." I reply sarcastically.
"She does!!" Taemin counters. My eyebrows shot up in surprise. Then Taemin follows up with, "Err… at least, sometimes."
I nod, "That's cool." I say, picking from the small piece of cake left.
"…actually, Cho helped me get my first job, which landed me my job in Dream Tea." He shares.
"Oh?" I chewed slower.
"What was your first job?"
"Well, Cho's family owns a bunch of dessert cafes much like this one, and for a very short time, I worked there mixing drinks and stuff. It was fun and the place was really nice, but it didn't work out." Taemin tells me.
"I worked there during the summer, but it wasn't near where I lived or in university I would be studying in. So it wasn't convenient. So I had to talk to Cho and tell her I needed to quit for location and school reasons. I mean, it wouldn't be ideal to work so far from school when I was just starting college." He explains. "So she tells me she knows a friend who's opening up a milk tea cafe and suggested I should go apply. About a month into school, Dream Tea opened and I went with Kibum-hyung and we both applied as baristas and they hired us." He finishes with a smile.
"That's really nice." I smile back. "So you've been working there from the beginning?"
Taemin nods, "Well, sort of. We were hired like 2 weeks after they opened."
"Why did you need to work, though?"
"Ah," Taemin says. And pauses before he replies. "Well, I just thought I'd need the extra cash while I'm in college. I can't always rely on the allowance my parents give me and I don't want to ask them for more money anymore, so when I wanna spend and stuff, I have money of my own. And I wanted to get work experience, especially one that has something to do with food, cause it'll be helpful in the future." He says to me.
"So you don't work as a necessity?"
He shakes his head. "Not exactly. It's not like I'd die if I wasn't making the extra cash. But I like the work. I don't like being idle." He chuckles.
I nod my head, but I still asked, "So does that mean you don't have a lot of free time?"
"Not on weekdays." He tells me. "I can still go out with my friends on Saturday's. Like I told you before, our schedules don't allow us to see each other all the time."
"Oh. Okay. Well, your days seem tiring." I comment.
"It's manageable. I'm not like you!" He attacks. "Who hangs out with his friends all the time and stuff."
I gasp, rather loudly, feigning offense. "Hey! At least I have dance."
"Wouldn't it be great if you were paid to dance, Kai?"
I pause, "Actually, that would be nice."
"That's a called a job." Taemin says with a straight face. And I burst out laughing.
I don't even know how we've gotten to this kind of conversation but the way Taemin is talking to me right now was hilarious. Aside from being a total weirdo, Taemin constantly puts a smile on my face and makes me laugh and everything is just so easy with him. He doesn't make the atmosphere weird and I'm always comfortable when I'm with him.
It was nice. This was nice.
Our individual desserts arrived from a little after our small laughing fit and out of the corner of my eye I could see our waitress with an amused smile as she put down my Tiramisu and Taemin's Panna Cotta.
"Wanna try?" Taemin asks me after taking a bite of his Panna Cotta?
He pushes his plate towards me. "You said you've never tried it before. Go ahead." He says with a smile.
I use my fork to take a piece. I took a bite and smiled wide. "Oh wow, this is yummy!"
"Basically, they just cooked milk." Taemin tells me.
"But it's so good!"
"Right? Isn't it simple!" He exclaims.
"Yeah, you should make me one!" I , sticking my tongue out immaturely.
Taemin chuckles, "Of course!" He says enthusiastically, "Since you so politely requested." He comments sarcastically.
I roll my eyes then offer him some of my Tiramisu.
We ate off each others' desserts until all that was left to eat were our plates.
"That was a really good meal. Thanks for taking me here, Taeminnie."
"Taeminnie?" He asks amusedly.
"I mean--" . There was no way I would get out of this one.
He laughs, "It's okay, Jongin-ah." He replies.
And then I'm not embarrassed again. Little things like that, when Taemin can pick me up from my rather embarrassing mistakes, or play it off like I'm not a failure is what I really like and appreciate about him. I've never liked a friend this fast before.
"…and anyway, you're paying." Now he's the one sticking his tongue immaturely.
"Right." I laugh, pulling out my wallet. "You wanna go?" I check my watch for the time. Wow. Was that the time? It was almost 10. I mean, not like I had Cinderella's curfew or anything like that, but I thought it was still early. Time really does fly when you're having fun.
Taemin nods. "We can go." He says casually. So I flag our waitress down.
"Our bill, please?" I ask with a smile.
She nods with a smile and walks away to get our check.
I look back towards Taemin to find him staring straight at me.
"What?" I ask.
His smile was growing bigger and bigger.
"What??" I ask again.
"Look at your water, Kai. It's untouched."
I stare at my glass and we both start to laugh. I downed the liquid after I calmed down.
"Did your throat not hurt from all those sweets?"
"I tend to get caught up in the moment." I reply lamely.
"What moment?" He snorts.
I was about to reply when Taemin's friend Savannah pops up by our table again.
"Oh, hey Cho." He says. "What's up."
"I'm sorry to inform you, but you have no bill." She says with a serious face.
She looks at me amusedly, "It means everything's on the house, cutie!"
My mouth hung open. "R-really?"
"Wow! Thanks, Cho!" Taemin says.
"No problem, you guys! As long as I see you two back here more often!" She winks.
I nod, "Yeah! Thank you!" I add.
She turns to face Taemin and comments, "Which I have a feeling, I will."
Taemin laughs and shakes his head, "We'll see, Cho…" He says in a suspicious way. She giggles. "I'll see you around."
"Bye!" We both call out when she walks away.
"That was nice of her." I comment.
Taemin shrugs, "She's done it more than once." He says.
He nods, "That's why I don't like it when I see her before I've paid for the bill." He chuckles. "Anyway. Let's go?"
"Yeah." I nod once and get up.
We walked around a bit while we were looking for a cab. We got to my neighborhood before 11 and Taemin tells me his brother would be picking him up again.
"What time?" I asked as we were walking to my house.
"Didn't know what time we'd finish, so I just texted him now." He tells me. "And I don't know if he's still busy or not."
"You can wait in my house." I offer.
"Thanks." He says with a smile.
A comfortable silence fell over us until we reached my house. I invited him in and we slumped down in our living room couch.
"I've never seen your room." He comments after a while.
"I've never seen your house." I counter.
I laugh, "Wanna see it?"
Taemin nods. "Yeah!"
So I bring him up to my room and the first thing he says when he steps in is, "Holy ! Your manga collection!"
He rushes to my shelf, "Can I look?"
"You are looking." I pointed out.
"Hold it…" He glares at me.
I laugh, "Yeah, go ahead. Read what you want."
"Yeah." I say chuckling as I sit down on my bed, grab my laptop and open Facebook.
Taemin walks towards my bed. "Can I read these?" I look up at the copies he has.
"Mhmm!" I nod. And then we start doing our own things.
Eventually, I was sharing my laptop screen with Taemin because he started watching videos with me cause I had clicked all the dance video links Sehun sent me.
"So is this what you do in your free time?" He asks.
"Sometimes." I say, "It helps us think of choreography."
"Sehun and I like to make dances."
"Did you choreograph your dance for the showcase."
"Nah." I shake my head and pause the video currently playing.
"You guys should show me one of the dances you choreographed one time."
I grin, "Okay. On the day you cook for me. Err. Us." I say.
"Deal!" Taemin says a little too loudly.
A few minutes later his brother calls him and says he's in the neighborhood already.
"Well, I gotta get going." He says.
"Today was really fun." I tell him. "Thank you for taking me out."
"It was my pleasure. We should go out more often." I grins.
I was going to wave good-bye awkwardly when Taemin pulls me into a hug. "I had a lot of fun tonight, Kai."
I hug him back, "Me too."
Our hug lasted longer than most hugs, and before Taemin pulled away he squeezed me tighter.
"I'll see you soon?"
"Yeah, I need to give you tickets!" I say.
He chuckles, "Right! For your showcase! I'll be looking forward to it."
"I'll text you when I will be giving it to you."
He nods. "Alright."
"Bye Taemin, thank you so much again!"
"This wont be the last, Jonginnie!" He teases before walking out of my house. I watch him get into his brother's car and we waved good-bye as they drove off.
I hope this won't be the last. I actually hope this would be the first of many. And I especially like how at the end of the day, it was okay that he called me Jongin.
Was this really a date like what Sehun said? Friends can go on dates, right?
When I got back to my room, I saw some of the photobooth photos on the bed. I picked them up, looked at each one and smiled at mine and Taemin's faces. But I smiled mostly because I genuinely had a good time, and these photos were proof of that. To be honest, I was glad he dragged me to the photobooth. Like he said, at least our memories of tonight would be somehow documented. I knew he left them on my bed on purpose as a souvenir. When I was done looking over them, I placed the photos on my desk, I'd fix them some other time.
Later that night I got a text from Taemin revealing the truth of our desserts. He conspired with Savannah to pay for the bill, though she would have willingly given it for free, Taemin still wanted something to rub something to my face.
I'll get you back.
Was my last reply before settling in bed.
I'll be looking forward to it. ;)
Was the last message I received from him before drifting off to sleep.
Yes, today was a definitely a good day. Definitely one of my all time favorites.
THEIR DATE IS FINALLY DONE!!!!!!!!!!!! 2-3 more chapters, most likely, and this story will come to an end! :)
It's taken me longer than I had hoped to have this story finish. I used to update every day before, but hey, at least there's still progress even though it is slow. Lol.
So how was the chapter? :D I hope it was okay. Not too weird/awkward. In denial Kai is so cute. XDD
I havent started the next chapter yet, but I do have some ideas, and some few dialogues written out, so I'll a chapter will be born from that. I can't wait to write in Sehun and Luhan again. Kai and Taemin are so boring. LOLJK. But, yeah. I miss Kai's friends.
Anyway! As usual, comments are appreciated. Thank you, thank you to everyone who drops by with a little something, I enjoy reading your reactions.
ALSO! THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ALL MY SUBSCRIBERS. As of now, I am short 1 subsrciber to make it 100! I never would imagine! So thank you! Heehee.
To everyone reading this story, thank you, (especially for being patient with my updates) and I hope you're still enjoying the chapters! :D