a genius.

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Coming to school late felt normal at one point for the girl, evident by how casual Yumi was compared to those sprinting towards homeroom during last bell. She even took the leisure to stroll down the farthest path, just to stall some time before class. On this particular day, she could hear her rowdy classmates from outside of the hall. Either Mr. Byun gave up on his career, or the class decided to give up on their last leg of school. Finding both explanations quite plausible, Yumi entered the class to find her teacher missing. The baffled girl took her seat, wondering why she never considered his absence as one of the reasons. Maybe because Mr. Byun came to work with a high fever before and she was convinced then, that the man was entirely invincible. 


“He’s coming! He’s coming!” a student shushed the class as he spotted Mr. Byun on his way. 


In a split of a second, the room became quiet upon his arrival. Baekhyun could be seen panting, but had it under control once he pulled himself together behind the podium. As per usual, he took care of roll call in his head while ignoring all the faint whispers coming from his nosy students. If subtleness was a concept, each one of them would fail at how undeniably obvious they were being. 


“Must be a rough night,” he heard one whispering. 


Yumi watched in silence since she played a huge role in last night’s eventful mishap. To witness her classmates mocking him, irked the girl tremendously. Giving them a taste of their own medicine, Yumi purposely rammed her chair back at the desk behind her— who happened to be one of the louder students in class.


“Ow, watch it!” she barked at Yumi. 


“Quiet down.” Baekhyun shut the confrontation before she could give Yumi a piece of her mind. 


Life was much better when Baekhyun paid less attention to his students, Yumi thought to herself. Somehow it felt more of a burden these days than usual. She gave the girl another jab for her bad attitude, but mostly because she had the audacity to roll her eyes at Mr. Byun. It’s not that Yumi wanted to claim anything, but the only person who can make fun of him was her. 


“If you still need a partner, I will be pairing you up with someone today. Those with a partner already may use class time to work on your projects,” Baekhyun announced after roll call. He remained behind the podium as a few students began to come up. 


Unbeknown to the girl, Jaemin had already connected their desks together. “Did you fall out of bed this morning?” he joked, nodding his head at her bandaged wound.


Yumi reached for her cut on instinct. “Maybe…” she shrugged, following his addictive laughter. 


In all honesty, she was still quite taken back by his request. They were the most unlikely pair here, but it should work out somehow right? Although she can’t guarantee a high enough grade to meet his expectation, but he was the one who signed up for this in the first place. 


“You know I’ll just be dragging you down right?” Yumi warned him again in case he had a change of heart. 


“Come on, have faith in me. I’ll take care of you,” he winked. The disgusted look on her face had him cracking up once more, earning both a few looks from surrounding classmates and from the instructor, himself. 


“Mr. Byun?” a student called out to grasp his attention. Baekhyun quickly snapped back, shaking off the brief distraction that clearly bothered him for some reason. He barely reacted to all of the mockery from earlier, but the cheery pair nearby had him vexed in the weirdest way. 


At the end of class, Yumi intentionally stalled until it was safe to approach her teacher. She neatly placed a paper bag on his desk then automatically stepping back to leave a gap in between them. Baekhyun eyed the bag for a bit before shifting his attention back to her. 


“Your clothes…” she explained, “And thank you for last night.”


Yumi’s eyes darted back and forth, unable to keep it focused on one thing. Her poor heart kept reacting in ways she couldn’t explain. To save herself from another dreadful long silence, Yumi decided now would be best to make her exit.


“Wait,” Baekhyun called as her feet began to retreat. 


Signaling for Yumi to come over, he stood up from his seat then motioned a hand for her to sit instead. The front row seat definitely felt more intimidating than it looks, but the experience was nice. So this is what he sees, she looked around the empty classroom. It sure hit differently than that rusty metal chair of hers. While her amusement took over, Baekhyun pulled out a new bandage in his desk cabinet. 


“You had time to wash my clothes, but you didn’t even bother to change the bandage from last night…” he mumbled to himself, although loud enough for the girl to hear as well. 


With her hands plastered over the old bandage, it suddenly occurred to Yumi how unsanitary she came off. “I’ll d-do it myself!” she panicked.


Baekhyun crouched down to meet her at eye level, “You have 8 minutes left of passing period. Will you let me change this bandage or not?” he asked adamantly, though it was clear as day that she wouldn’t be able to leave until that bandage is changed. 


Yumi thought about ditching the man or going down with a fight, but the moment she met his puppy-like orbs, it was game over then. Who knew he had such kinds eyes up close. Plus, it was exceptionally hard to look away when they’re this close. For now, it should be fine right…she tried telling herself.


Baekhyun gently tore the old bandage off her forehead before cleansing it with a sanitized wipe. He then blew on the cut for the solution to dry completely. Yumi gulped on instinct, her fingers digging into the fabric of her uniform as his breath tickled her skin. That weird feeling in her chest only grew more bothersome by the minute. 


After the job was complete, Baekhyun handed her an extra bandage and wipe with clear instructions to follow. “Make sure you clean it well after lunch,” he advised. 


“If you speed walk now, you can make it to class in four minutes,” he added. 


Yumi threw on her bag in a hurry, not because she wanted to make it to clas

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