[thirty-five]

Catch Taemin If You Can
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Taemin sat in the middle of his bare living room floor, glaring intensely at the phone in his hands. One of those countless numbers that the machine held had to be calling him any minute now… or so he hoped. It was New Years Eve, the last romantic day of the year. Taemin was praying for anybody to call him, maybe even Jiyeon at this rate. Taemin was just that desperate for an excuse to get himself out of this stupid voyage. Of seeing the ing sunrise.


 

Taemin continued to shoot lasers from his eyes, and something fuzzy dropped on his head.


 

“Earmuffs?” Taemin scrunched his brows, as he raised his head to see Jongin peering down at him.


 

“It’s going to be cold today.”


 

Jongin replied, picking up the bright yellow earmuffs as Taemin just glanced down at it idiotically. Putting the earmuffs on Taemin’s head, Jongin commented blandly as he rubbed his nose.


 

“You look stupid.”


 

Taemin reached for his head to yank it off, and Jongin grabbed Taemin’s wrists. 


 

“Keep it on.” He said. 


 

Throwing Taemin a smirk, Jongin made his way to the kitchen to make sure that they haven’t forgotten anything for the fourth time. Two gigantic stuffed backpacks sat on the kitchen table, and Jongin nodded in satisfaction. Taemin groaned. First of all, he was not happy with the fact that he was out of bed at six o’clock in the morning on a Sunday. Secondly, he was not prepared to go all the way to Jungdongjin Beach not only with Sulli, Soojung, and Chanyeol, but on top of that, his very own Jongin.


 

To Taemin’s dismay, this sunrise trip was more than just seeing a yellow circle pop up from a blue horizon. Sulli had announced a grand plan of their trip, already having made arrangements with her uncle –who just happened to run a small resort at Jungdongjin– to spend the night there.


 

The doorbell rang and Taemin violently whipped his head. Jongin lightly tapped Taemin in the arms, telling him to get up, and Taemin quickly grabbed Jongin down.


 

“I think I have a fever.” Taemin cried desperately, making the best I’m-sick-so-take-pity-on-me face as best as he could. “Like you said, it’s freezing out so I think I should just stay home-”


 

“Nope, you’re fine.” Jongin said as he checked Taemin's fine forehead, and fixed the earmuff firmly on his friend's head.  “Keep your earmuffs on.”


 

Without a second glance, Jongin hurled Taemin’s bag over his shoulders and reached for the door. Taemin reluctantly followed, and uncounsciously found himself sighing as he saw Sulli and Soojung buried in layers of thick clothing at the door.


 

“Is Sulli’s forehead purple or am I just seeing depressing things because of my mood.”


 

Taemin muttered as he eyed Sulli’s ridiculous form. The girl’s forehead was colored as if bruised, and Sulli smiled brightly as she waved an innocent greeting.


 

“Don’t even get me started.” Soojung grumbled, as she stripped the band-aid off from Sulli’s forehead. “She’s been bumping into every single pole we came across, and the redness of my face is not from the cold.”


 

Soojung glared at Sulli, and Sulli rubbed her head as if it still throbbed. Trying to hold back a laugh, Jongin cleared his throat and pushed Taemin out the door.


 

Taemin gave a little squeeze on his earmuffs; his insticts were telling him to brace himself... as best as he could.




 

***




 

Freezing wind whipped by five high-schoolers standing and waiting by the express bus terminal, and Sulli unwrapped a lollipop as the rest of them turned their heads at the rustling of the wrapper. Taemin swore, if he ever got to see that damn sun rise, the first thing he’d wish for was to Sulli to go back to where she came from, because she definitely wasn’t from this Earth’s dimension.


 

“Let’s go, losers!”


 

The express bus arrived, and Soojung chirped cheerfully as she slapped the back of Chanyeol’s head.


 

“Did you just call me a loser?!”


 

Chanyeol cried indignantly, his already loud voice rising just enough for everybody at the terminal to hear.


 

“Shut up and get on the bus, lanky legs. Ow, as if your head carries anything useful.” Soojung snapped, as she examined her palms. “My limbs just tend to towards you unconsciously and I can’t help myself.”


 

Soojung looked up at Chanyeol, and continued as her lips curled to a knowing smirk. Chanyeol frowned, and Soojung flashed him a bright smile.


 

“Especially my feet. Towards your important balls down ther-”


 

Failing to keep his usual cool, Chanyeol hastily shoved Soojung’s scarf into and successfully blocked the rest of the girl’s words that would’ve revived him of his worst nightmare. Sputtering the fuzzy wool out of , Soojung flipped her long hair behind her shoulder and strode past Chanyeol on the bus.


 

As expected, the bus was full. As if Sulli wasn’t the only delusional person that thought riding the express bus eight hours to Jungdongjin was the most productive way to spend the last day of the year, the bus was completely full of people on their way to see the first sunrise of the coming year. The front half of the bus being already taken, Taemin followed Soojung towards the back, scanning for a comfortable spot. Plopping down on a seat near the back, Soojung tapped on the cushion seat beside her.


 

“Come here, Taemin-ah. We’re sitting right here.”


 

“I don’t think he wants to spend the next eight hours beside an iron big-toe that might break his .”


 

Chanyeol deadpanned before Taemin could respond, and Soojung narrowed her eyes to a scowl. Taemin quickly slid into a seat on the opposite side of Soojung by the window, and Jongin naturally followed until Chanyeol kicked his leg across, blocking Jongin from sliding into the seat.


 

“What do you think you’re doing?” Chanyeol smirked, his jeering tone obvious to incite an argument.


 

“Trying to take a seat so that I don’t ing stand through my ride, moron.” Jongin replied cynically, completely ignoring Chanyeol’s attitude.


 

“You’re not sitting here.” Chanyeol said, and plopped down right next to Taemin.


 

Taemin was just about to tell Chanyeol off that he wasn't going to be sitting here either, when Jongin stole his chance and grabbed the back of Chanyeol’s red hoodie. Lifting Chanyeol up with an immense amount of strength, Jongin pulled Chanyeol out of his seat. Chanyeol sprang out, having been utterly unprepared of this sudden attack. Jongin sat down next to Taemin, and Chanyeol hastily straightened himself up from the embarrassing fall.


 

“What the hell!?”


 

Chanyeol yelled, but the rest of his words were drowned by the sudden shriek from the opposite side.


 

“OH MY GOD CRAZYPOP I REFUSE TO SIT BESIDE YOU- I CANT- EIGHT HOURS- OH MY GOD JUST KILL ME INSTEAD”


 

Soojung was screeching at Sulli who had taken the seat next to her, while Sulli popped a candy in , completely immune to Soojung’s screaming. Turning away after seeing that it was just Soojung, Chanyeol too started yelling at Jongin, the two of them shaking the bus with exceeding decibels.


 

Two minutes later, all five of them were shooed to the very back of the vehicle by a very annoyed bus driver. He and other passengers who were waiting behind had just about enough of them, and the gang was forced to sit in a row altogether.


 

Taemin rapped his head against the frosted window, hoping for an announcement of the ride being delayed due to a sudden snowstorm he prayed for. To his dismay, the bus started without any further ado.


 

“Lollipops, anyone?” Sulli piped up from the other end of the row.


 

Taemin groaned audibly and hit his head against the window, this time in hopes to knock himself out unconscious.




 

***




 

Three hours passed, and the bus was still speeding down the open highway without any signs of a flat tire (another one of Taemin’s disregarded hope). The air of the bus was light and cheery, full of families talking and laughing, and couples whispering to each other. Everyone seemed delighted to be on the bus, except for a specific number of teenagers seated at the very back. Sulli was staring at the scenery passing by in a blur, Soojung and Chanyeol were endlessly bickering with each other, and Taemin sat restlessly, as Jongin scrunched up his face and moaned.


 

With dews of sweat on his forehead, Jongin covered his mouth everytime the bus lurched. Taemin couldn’t believe it. Kim Jongin was ing carsick. And he looked like he wanted to throw up everything he had since last night, his face getting paler by each second.


 

“Kim Jongin, you can’t throw up here.” Taemin said, trying his best not to freak out wheneve the bus gave a slight bounce. “We’re stopping at a rest area soon, so just hold it in for a little… HOLD IT!”


 

Taemin shrieked, covering Jongin’s mouth with his hand and determined to keep the bus he was on vomit-free.


 

“…Why… the … is the bus… spinning…”


 

Jongin mumbled, face sweaty and helpless like a dying puppy. Looking utterly drained, Jongin grabbed onto Taemin for support. Taemin quickly reached for Chanyeol’s bag.


 

“Here, if you really can’t hold it throw up in here…” Taemin said, opening the bag and flailing it towards Jongin.


 

“ no, not happening.” Chanyeol snatched the bag away. Taemin watched Jongin uneasily, frightened out of his wits that Jongin would throw up all over him and pass out at any minute.


 

Taemin had no idea that Jongin got carsick this badly. Jongin was always the athlete, the fit and agile one that was capable of any sporting activities. It was shocking to know that Jongin would get sick in a mere car ride on flat ground, not even on lurching sea or high up above the grounds. This was something Taemin would laugh about for weeks in Jongin’s face, only if his friend didn’t look like he was going to spurt out unpleasant stuff all over his face right now.


 

Scruntinizing Jongin who was beside him, Chanyeol curled his lips to a sly smirk.


 

“I’m starving, aren’t you?” He said innocently, turning towards Jongin. “I’m kinda craving for cheese pizza, double mozzarella with cheese crust and cheese fries that’s deep fried in oil that hasn’t been changed in weeks- oh, and maybe a side of lard pudding with whipped cream on cheese waffle would be nice too…”


 

Chanyeol went on, clearly to provoke Jongin’s already irritated stomach. Jongin’s face turned paler to a shade of blue, and Chanyeol was now starting to gross Taemin out too.


 

“Oh and for dinner we can have burritos that are stuffed with eggs, cheese and potatoes, a cup of chili and corn chips, preferably with lots and lots and lots of salsa-”


 

Chanyeol droned on as the bus entered into the rest area, and Jongin practically flew out of the bus as soon as the vehicle stopped moving. Taemin shot Chanyeol a judgmental look, and Chanyeol guffawed as he followed Taemin down the bus aisle.


 

The morning air was chilly, and people filed out of the bus to buy the rest area’s specialty snacks at the food stands. Unfortunately, Taemin wasn’t one of them.


 

“You didn’t even eat much this morning!” Taemin said in irritation, as he continued to smack Jongin’s back. Jongin was practically crying into the toilet. “What are you even throwing up?!”


 

Taemin’s tap against Jongin’s back gained more strength by the second, and Jongin writhed his body as if it hurt.


 

“You know what? Just let it all out.” Taemin said again, “That way I’d feel safe to sit beside you.”


 

“…Shut…up…” Jongin groaned from beneath him. “Get out, …I don’t need… you to be here… ASDFJKLASF”


 

The upchucking continued, and Taemin sighed.


 

“I can’t just leave you like this, …”


 

Jongin turned around, his pallid and sweaty face meeting Taemin. Taemin cleared his throat, and went back to tapping Jongin’s back.  


 

“Don’t you take long rides on your big games?”


 

Taemin asked, still shocked at the fact that he hadn’t known about Jongin’s carsickness all these years.


 

“Did you always get sick and barf before the games?”


 

“…I forgot to take the pills today.”


 

Jongin replied bleakly, and Taemin stared back.


 

“…….”


 

Pills? Nausea pills?


 

Taemin snickered, amused by the fact that he had discovered Jongin’s fatal weak spot and Jongin glared back.


 

“Don’t you dare ing laugh at me.”


 

Taemin laughed anyways.




 

***




 

By the time Jongin and Taemin came out of the washroom, the long line-up by the snackbar was gone. Staggering to a nearby bench, Jongin plopped down.


 

“I bet you’re going to pass out before we reach Jungdongjin at this rate.”


 

Taemin clicked his tongue. Jongin didn’t respond, unable to muster anything.


 

“Wait here, I’ll go buy some medicine…”


 

Taemin started, when a hand dived in front of him with a nausea-settling drink sitting on its palm.


 

“Five dollars.”


 

Chanyeol said, nudging the drink forward when Taemin only stared. Taemin received it and handed it to Jongin, and Jongin scanned Chanyeol with great suspicion. Chanyeol shrugged innocently, taking a huge bite of his corndog.


 

Jongin gulped down the medicine, and sighed as if he was feeling better.


 

“ing embarrassing, huh.” Chanyeol smirked, and Jongin’s brows arched in annoyance. “Getting carsick. That is just completely ego-crushing, don’t you agree, Taemin? I mean, just by looking at him I thought we were going skydiving-”


 

“It’s because seeing your face gets me sick, jackass.”


 

Jongin retorted and Chanyeol snickered, pretending to look surprised.


 

“Oh hey, you can talk without covering your mouth now.”


 

“I SAID SHUT THE UP”


 

“Shame that medicine kicks in so fast.”


 

Chanyeol jeered, taking another bite of his corndog. Standing between the two was exceedingly uncomfortable, and Taemin had another gut instinct that it was a mistake in coming. As the cool wind caressed their hair, Chanyeol opened his mouth.


 

“So, are you guys going out?”


 

Both Taemin and Jongin’s heads shot instantly towards Chanyeol.


 

“What the , Chanyeol.” Taemin said, signaling death-warnings to Chanyeol with his eyes.


 

“What’s up with the innocent there-is-no-homo-going-on atmosphere?” Chanyeol’s lips twitched in amusement. “Do I need to revive both of your gay memory or…”


 

“Oh shut up, before I stick that corndog down your throat-”


 

Literally about to keep to his words, Taemin reached for the corndog as Chanyeol lifted his arms up. Taemin jumped on his toes, floundering about Chanyeol and trying to reach the corndog. Taemin tripped over his own two feet and almost crashed into Chanyeol when Jongin stood up from the bench, and forcefully pulled Taemin to his side.


 

“So what if we are? Why do you even care?” Jongin spat irritatedly. 


 

Both Chanyeol and Taemin stopped what they were doing and stared at Jongin. Taemin’s arms fell to his sides. The dizziness from all that upchucking must’ve gotten to Jongin’s head. Either that, or Jongin was still sick. Taemin frowned.  


 

“So you guys are going out?” Chanyeol asked again.


 

“I don’t see why you’d need to know.” Jongin replied flatly. “If you have so much time to shove your face into everyone’s business, I advise you to practice basketball. No wonder the basketball team doesn’t want you.”


 

Taemin could actually see a palpable spark ignite between them. Chanyeol’s brows dangerously scrunched up into a scowl, and Jongin held Chanyeol’s gaze with a nonchalant expression over his face.


 

“…For the record, I turned down the offer of being on the basketball team.” Chanyeol growled back. “And I don’t think you’re the one to talk, who the quits on their team just because they sprained their ankle? What a .”


 

This time, the spark flickered in Jongin’s eyes.


 

Taemin took a step back and blinked twice. The intensity building around them was suffocating… and it was about soccer and basketball. They were glaring at each other as if hoping for some psychic power to suddenly burn the other into ashes, and it was so ing ridiculous and immature that Taemin wanted to gag.


 

Taemin snorted, and the other two instantly glared at him.


 

“I didn’t say anything.” Taemin said, after clearing his throat. “Just that, I’ve seen seven-year olds fight better than this.”


 

“…Lee Taemin, I’d shut up if I were you.” Jongin said after some time.


 

He sounded serious, and Taemin found himself getting extremely annoyed.


 

“Don’t take your anger out on me. The reason we’re here in the first place is because you agreed to come on this stupid trip!”


 

Taemin yelled. Chanyeol snickered beside them, and this time it was Jongin and Taemin who sharply turned their heads.


 

“What are you laughing about?” Jongin shot. “This is all your fault, you know.”


 

“What the , how the hell is this my fault.”


 

“I’m not the uninvited one, getting on everybody’s nerves.”


 

“I was totally invited by crazypop, and do you have some kind of personality disorder?!”


 

Jongin and Chanyeol were at it again with Taemin stuck in between them. Or more like they were showering Taemin with their spit, and Taemin couldn’t help but think how retarded they all were. His head started to ring from all the yelling, and Taemin disheveld his hair in irritation. And when he raised his head back up, Taemin froze in his spot.


 

“I’d just shut up and try not to barf, unless you want me to shove a nausea pill up your .”


 

“Shut the hell up before I stick that corndog down your throat and pull it out from your .”


 

Ignoring Chanyeol and Jongin who looked like they were ready to pounch on each other, Taemin hastily pushed their chests apart.


 

“No, seriously.” Taemin said. “Both of you, shut up.”


 

Surprisingly, they both did. The sudden silence finally allowed Taemin to think, but he couldn’t believe what was happening in front of his eyes. The words choked at his throat, and having noticed of Taemin’ metal breakdown, Jongin opened his mouth.


 

“…What?” He asked in confusion.


 

“…Jongin-ah…” Taemin breathed.


 

“Yeah?”


 

“Th, that bus… That bus right there… is that our bus?”


 

Jongin followed Taemin’s gaze. So did Chanyeol.


 

They saw a bus leaving the parking lot and heading for the highway.


 

“OH !!!!!!!”


 

Chanyeol’s corndog dropped to the floor. Taemin stood blankly, staring after the bus when suddenly his eyes caught Soojung through the window of the backseat. Taemin immediately snapped as soon as he saw her sleeping face mushed against the window glass.


 

“…N, NO!!! STOP!!!!! STOP!!!!!”


 

Taemin screamed, running as fast as he could towards the bus. Jongin and Chanyeol ran right behind Taemin, also screaming ‘STOP’ at the bus that seemed to be completely oblivious of their existence.


 

The cold wind whipping into his clothes, hair, and nostrils, Taemin continued to run like he never ran before.


 

“STOP!!!! THERE ARE PEOPLE LEFT BEHIND, STOP!!!”


 

“, I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT BOTH OF THEM ARE SLEEPING”


 

“SHUT UP AND RUN FASTER MORON!!”


 

The three boys ran and ran and ran and ran towards the bus, their flushed faces freezing from the slaps of the icy wind. Taemin wasn’t used to running so fast, and the pain sparked in his chest. He slowly tottered to a stop. Jongin and Chanyeol darted past him. The bus was already on the highway, leaving him with Jongin and Chanyeol in the middle of… God knows where. 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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...is it just me or are the chapters getting longer and dumber?

 

nicorobin ♡ if you've fangirled over taekai's dumb then i'm satisfied :) lol thank you so much for reading and commenting!

ShiJae ♡ chantae is hard, i know hehe. i hope you liked this chapter too :)

itstia ♡ /fans self at your comment/ haha i think everyone found it satisfying when jiyeon punched jongin in the face XD i'm so flattered that you created aff account to comment on this story ;~; i really appreciate it a lot, thank you!

fairydust ♡ i'm glad i made you laugh :D thank you for reading and commenting!

mintsmvp ♡ jealous!jongin brings out the most unexpected things from jongin's mouth, right? lol :) i hope you enjoyed this chapter too!

Icy_Heart ♡ lol that punch was totally necessary *wink* you'll soon see what's going on with jongin :) thank you~

N_Precious ♡ taemin is dumb, so he attracts all the other dumbs. lol jealous!jongin is so fun to write XD thanx for commenting!

GalaRxn ♡ you're so nice /sobs/ thank you so much for reading and commenting! i hope to see you in the future too :D

Bobbie539stern270 ♡ i'm so happy you guys loved this chapter :) i hope you liked this one too! thank you<3

Rawr27 ♡ ...did he? lol jongin is keeping you on edge, isnt he ;) thank you for commenting!

dancingMonkeys ♡ i think everyone wanted to punch jongin and then jiyeon came and so now everyone is like HURRAH lmao XD thank you for reading and commenting!

SHINeeWorldForeva ♡ lol jiyeon in the taekai fanclub XD i like that idea haha. thank you for your comment :)

taimaken ♡ nuuu ur not dead u kept alive to read this one ;) hehe thank you for reading and commenting! i hope you enjoyed this chapter as well~

imsocuriousyeah ♡ lol i decided to add a twist to jiyeon's character because heck, you can never have enough helpers in taekai's relationship... and they're still dumb psh. my fave genre to read and write about is comedy, but i'm never sure if what i write is ever really funny or just plain stupid /covers face in shame/ but i'm forever happy if you laughed at my (stupid) attempt! and sure, you can have jiyeon i'll gladly give away my girls (as long as i have my boys) teehee thank you so much for your compliments<3

Pequinessa ♡ thank you so muchh!! that's why i added jiyeon in there so that u guys can be pretend to be her and punch jongin in the face ;D 

 

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i just had to. the synchronization...!

 

 

 

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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~