[twelve]

Catch Taemin If You Can
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Taemin didn’t go to the cafeteria today. Someone should check the calendar and mark the day as it is an astonishing historical event, but everyone has their glued to their chairs, nose dropped between their thick history books. And Taemin is among his classmates, filling his notebook with neat writing instead of skipping class to fill his stomach with ramen or chocolate or something. Incredible, Baldy gapes from the side window, as he scratches his head cautiously so that his wig doesn’t fall off.

Taemin sprawls on to his desk but his hand doesn’t stop writing. He writes over his writing over and over, until it’s all black and continues to write the same thing underneath, over and over again.

It does matter.
It does matter.

The lead breaks and Taemin clicks his pencil, writing and writing and writing.

How could it not matter?
How could it not matter?

Good going, Lee Taemin. I can’t deny Jieun telling me that I have serious problems if I keep showing symptoms of mental issues… I should transfer schools and stop hanging around psychos and stalkers- oh my god I’m going to be jailed in a mental hospital oh my god-

Taemin scribbles over his notebook in fury and jumps up from his seat unintentionally, disturbing the peace and bringing everyone’s attention to him. The teacher is about to open to yell at Taemin when a familiar melody rings from his pockets. Taemin hastily reaches for his phone and turns it into silent mode. Ms. History brings her hand to her throbbing temples, Taemin was in class for once and she should play nice if she wants to keep him in her class in the future. She attempts a crooked smile and turns back to the chalkboard. Sighing in relief, Taemin slumps back in his seat and sees that he’s gotten a new text message:

[If there’s one thing in the world I can’t stand, it’s getting stood up. I’ll give you a chance to make it up to me. Meet me at the piano room at lunch. –Jung Soojung]

…Right, he was supposed to see her yesterday. Or so she thought, since she had just announced it and left without hearing Taemin’s response.

[If there’s one thing in the world I can’t stand, it’s you.]

Taemin writes but deletes it off his phone, it would just bring him more stupid texts from Soojung. He’ll just go to the piano room and “make it up to her” or whatever during lunch.

***

Jongin didn’t show up during any of the three breaks before lunch. Not that Taemin blames him; he did more than enough this morning to scare off anybody in their right mind. Feeling his brain warp into an impossible knot, Taemin moves his heavy feet towards the old piano room.

Soojung is sitting on the piano when Taemin opens the door. Taemin had thought that this day couldn’t get worse, but his anticipation slowly rises as the girl lights up a cigarette and fits it between her perfectly glossed lips. If it’s Jung Soojung, anything was possible.  

Puffs of smoke release between Soojung’s lips.

“You are going to get me expelled one of these days.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll turn myself in if we get caught again. Anyways, try me your best. You did commit the unforgivable but since I am a more mature and kind-hearted individual than you are, I’m planning a good conduct of pretending to listen to your excuse. Go, speak.”
“…What the hell are you talking about?”

Taemin walks past the girl and opens the cover of the piano.

“I waited for an entire hour yesterday.”
“Why?”
“Incase you missed me, of course.”
“Trust me, I wouldn’t try this hard to avoid you if I really did. Let’s just live our lives naturally, I beg you.”
“Naturally?”
“Yes, naturally. Our eyes may meet as we pass each other in the hallway, we may hear things about each other, but let’s just ignore it. Now doesn’t that sound wonderful?”
“Huh. …Did you have a fight with Jongin?”
“…What?”
“You’re always so y when you have a fight with him. It’s not like you guys are datin-”
“My god, ! Really?!”

Taemin jerks up from his seat, knocking over the piano chair in the sudden process. He was angry all of a sudden, this was driving him crazy.

“Kim Jongin, Kim Jongin, why is it always Kim Jongin when it comes to me?! Can’t I have a friend? Does it look like I can’t function without him or something?! Just leave me alone, OK?! !!”

Taemin’s shoulders rise up and down, air is lacking in his strained lungs. His heart is pounding fast and the piano room suddenly feels too small to provide him oxygen. The cigarette between Soojung’s fingers flicker as she stares at Taemin, hanging open. Having realized that he has never seen Soojung look so shocked, Taemin feels a bit out of hand and raises the chair back up.

“……So don’t tie Jongin with me all the time.”
“……”
“It’s been getting on my nerves lately.”

Ash falls from the of Soojung’s cigarette and Taemin takes it to his own mouth. He inhales and warm smoke fills up his insides. It’s his first encounter but the disgusting taste and the fuzzy feel brings back his conscience and Taemin then realizes why people smoke. Soojung also recovers from the shock and comes back to her normal self.

“So you guys did fight, that was a whole lot of ing.”

Back to her crazy self.

“Why do you care? Does everyone really have nothing to do with their time? I have psychos and s barging into my life, Kim Jongin whining about love and girl problems, Baldy who wants parents when my so-called “parents” are infinite kilometers away and I can barely ever contact them, what the do they want me to do? !!!!”
“I’ll gladly listen to your problems but if you keep “”-ing I’m seriously going to slap that mouth of yours.”

Taemin looks at Soojung and she flashes him a bright smile as she takes the cigarette back.

“I thought you wanted attention.”

Taemin doesn’t answer her. He takes a new cigarette from Soojung’s vest pocket and sticks it in his mouth instead.

“You like getting attention. You date anybody if you’re interested, you accept everyone’s confession, you look for attention from somebody else after you believe you’ve received enough from one person. Don’t you?”
“…What’s your point?”
“But now that I see you ing like this, I feel like I could be wrong. You may look like you’re the center of everyone’s attention… Maybe all, except from that one person that actually really matters to you.”
“……I didn’t understand any of that. Just tell me why you wanted to see me.”
“It’s not something I can just “tell” you.”

Soojung sits on the piano chair next to Taemin.

“Isn’t it weird? You’re bad-tempered, shallow, and most of all an irredeemable jerk, but girls still fall head over heels for you. It makes me laugh, really. But then there’s Jongin, who’s stayed around you for the longest time ever. Has anyone else stuck around you that long after watching you switch people like used up batteries? Aside from me, of course.”
“……”
“He’s your best friend, but you draw a line and never cross it.”
“……”
“You’re scared. You’re scared for the time you’ll be alone, without having Jongin beside you.”
“…When did you come up with these things?”
“Can’t deny it, can you?”
“I can’t, 'cause I don't see your point.”
“In a nutshell, you really need to cut yourself a break from Jongin. He’s all what you think about though you pretend like you don’t.”
“……”

Soojung smiles.

“By the way, why did you lie?”

Taemin drops the cigarette and steps over the spark as he turns his head to Soojung. She smiles and stands up in front of Taemin.

“Is Jongin going out with his imaginary friend? ‘Cause if not, how did I not know about this girlfriend he had for eight years? I mean, I thought Jongin had a huge crush on this one girl for eight years. A girl named Jung Soojung. Did I ever go out with him?”

Choi Sulli. Crap, Taemin thinks, he shouldn’t have got himself involved. Soojung playfully pokes at Taemin’s nose.

“You wish it was you, don’t you?”
“Shut the up.”
“You may look like a cold bastard on the outside but I know the real you. People think you have control over Jongin in the relationship, but you really don’t.”
“……”
“Do you know what your face screams when you look at Jongin?”

Soojung's lips curl upwards as she questions Taemin. Taemin doesn’t want to hear it.

‘I’d die without you.’ It’s true.” 

Irritation was just on the verge of explosion. Taemin breathes out for self-control when Soojung lifts one hand on his shoulder.

“I’ll help you. I’ll help you leave him.”

Just when Taemin is about to respond, Soojung’s lips touch against his own. Taemin’s eyes widen but he can’t do anything, shock has overtaken his senses for it’s something he had never expected to happen.

Soojung’s lips are soft. It tastes of fruity gum, with a hint of bitter cigarette. Soojung’s eyes are closed and her long hair tickles at his collar. Taemin believes that the aftereffect of smoking is kicking in because his conscience is getting fuzzy and his eyelids are begging him to close them.

Taemin’s eyes are half-closed when a figure caught by the end of his sight rattles him back to conscience much too clearly. Someone is looking at them from the open doors of the piano room. Taemin pushes Soojung off of him and stands up to his feet. His body had reacted too quickly before his brain could instruct, and Soojung falls back hard on the piano as the instrument rings of uncomfortable dissonance.

Taemin stares back at the figure by the door. Soojung whips her head around.

…You are going to be sorry this time, Jung Soojung.

Taemin bites his lip.

“Jongin…?”

Soojung says as she brings herself up. Taemin lowers his head and he hears footsteps walking slowly into the room. The pricking in his guts grow stronger and the lump in his throat gets bigger as Jongin approaches him, closer and closer. 

Taemin understands. Jongin has every excuse to be mad.

[You don’t lie to me.]

Taemin suddenly remembers that moment at the playground when Jongin had said that to him. His voice, his expression, his laughter, everything is so crystal clear in his head and Taemin can’t bring himself to lift his head. He sees Jongin’s feet stop in front of him; a chocolate residing in his hands. Taemin swallows the lump in his throat and raises his head.

“Jongin-ah, …it’s not what it looks like-”

The rest of Taemin’s words are blocked by Jongin’s punch into Taemin’s face. The room’s stillness shatters as Taemin falls back against the stack of chairs by the wall, the steel rungs crashing down on top of him.

“Taemin-ah!!!”

Soojung screams and removes the chairs fallen on top of Taemin, helping him up to his feet. He must have hurt his head because the room was spinning and Taemin shakes his head to gain his conscience back. He spits the rusty taste out of his mouth and the floor splatters with red saliva, mixed with blood. Taemin wipes at his mouth to find red stains covering his hands.   

“Oh my god, Taemin, you’re bleeding…”
“I know. Shut up, my head is ringing.”
“Your head is bleeding!”

Soojung covers and Taemin touches his head. Sticky blood smears his hand as Taemin feels the blood trickle down his forehead.

“Kim Jongin…”

Taemin looks up at Jongin. Jongin’s face is cold and the chocolate in his hand is smashed into pieces.

Again, Taemin understands. It’s been eight years. And it’s none other than Taemin, Jongin would trust him to know that his feelings were sincere as Taemin witnessed those eight years by his side.

Jongin’s lips quiver and he throws the chocolate at Taemin’s feet. He turns without a sound and Taemin watches him go and slam the door behind him.

It hurts.
It hurts like hell.

Taemin doesn’t give a about the blood and the scar and the bruise; those can be fixed with some patching and bandaging. But nothing, nothing will be able to fix what just happened between them. He can tell through Jongin’s cold expressionless face. Taemin continues to stare at the closed door. Everything is his fault. He should’ve known from the beginning.

Taemin looks at the shattered bits of chocolate on the dirty floor. Soojung was right; he should’ve seen this coming and should’ve run away from Jongin before he realized ‘it’.

His head throbs with pain and Taemin touches his forehead with his palms. His hands slide down to his eyes and he feels tears streaming down his hands to his arms.

Why didn’t I know before…?
I like Kim Jongin so much that it hurts like , why didn’t I know this before?

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi guys! Sorry for the late updates, i'm trying, really :( 

As you have read from my fic, I see Taemin and Kai as the best of friends. And some of you may feel that the plot is going just way too slowly, but I kind of wanted to insert the reality that realizing that you may love someone that you thought was your best friend could be hard, confusing, and really complicated for both sides of the relationship. I hope watching the slow development and the significant change of TaeKai's relationship is sparkling a bit of fun in this fic! (also, hence the title, which I hope makes some kind of sense). /lol/ Please don't hate Soojung so much, though I can't really blame y'all tee hee. 

I'd really appreciate it if you guys comment, they really help me to write!

www.myjonginnie.tumblr.com is my tumblr so just visit, follow, and msg me anytime you like! 

HEARTEU to ALL OF YOU♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

 

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minniemac #1
Chapter 41: Needed something to distract my mind last night so I decided to reread this for like the 7th time. Now it's morning and I'm grinning like an idiot on my train to work. I'm pretty sure everybody thinks I'm mad but I just rediscovered something that I loved and have fallen in love with again. I love everything about this story and I love you for writing it! Thank you!! Hope you're gonna have as great of a day as you just made mine!
NCTNCity27 #2
Chapter 36: Oh my goodness!!! This chapter made me laugh so hard my sides are still hurting. I absolutely adore your writing style and honestly, someone should make a K-Drama out kf this fic. Thankyou for writing this.
michaelj316 #3
Chapter 42: honestly?? i cant even use words to describe how much i love this fic like !!!!!!! its so good !!!!!!! i love evry single piece, every single word/character/you name it lmao !!!!! ty for your hard work in this fic~
riplings #4
i think it's been like 2 years since i last read this?? but i reread it all last night and i totally remembered how amazing this story is. thank you so much for writing this masterpiece!! i loved all the characters and honestly this is like one of the stories you could read over and over and never get tired of ^^
reyaakoh
#5
Chapter 12: This part is so hurting
reyaakoh
#6
Chapter 9: Wow amazing chanyeolliiieee
reyaakoh
#7
Chapter 8: This story is cheeky hehehe
lovekiller_tsuna
#8
Chapter 42: Slow but sweet~
I love taekai! <3
Keyq1998 #9
Chapter 42: this is really really good!!!
EstherShawol #10
I just wanted to say that you inspired me to start writing. I loved this very much and I hope my writing will someday be as good as yours~