Length: Oneshot (~2900w)
Rating: PG-13 (for slight language and alcohol use)
We Sell Real Tea
This was it- everything Kyungsoo had ever dreamed of, standing right in front of him in all its tall, magnificent splendor. His eyes grew wide as he pushed through the cluster of chattering girls standing in his way, nothing but the prize on his mind as cameras flashed behind him. None of the girls were making a move to enter the store like he was, probably all stunned by brilliance as they whispered “it’s Yifan it’s Yifan!” while staying far away from what they knew they could never have.
But Kyungsoo wasn’t them. Kyungsoo could have it. Kyungsoo deserved it. And no one deserved it more than him.
The tall blond man in the middle of the store jerked his head up at the sound of the glass door slamming shut behind an incoming patron, his eyes widening at the boy barreling straight toward him. He’d had plenty of fans brave enough to approach him in public before, but never a man, and certainly never a man as cute as this one. With every step, Yifan knew his time was running out.
Act cool Wu. Act cool, he repeated like a mantra in his head and lazily shifted his weight to one foot, cocking his hip out and pulling his face down just enough to let his sunglasses fall a bit lower on his nose. Without the tinted glass blocking his vision, he could see the boy’s rounded face a bit clearer in the dimmed store. His eyes were wide and set with determination, his narrow shoulders squared as he took one confident step after the other. Oh yes, Yifan was going to like this one.
Just a bit more, Kyungsoo thinks, so close he can almost taste it. If the blond refuses, Kyungsoo has more than enough ways to change his mind- if he scares him, so be it. It might even be to his benefit to rile the man up a bit. With only a few steps to go, Kyungsoo steels his resolve and stops dead in front of the taller man, lips pressed together and stance solid.
Go go go.
Yifan smirks and bows his head a bit. This fan is a small one. Small, but cute and just his type. He admires the boy’s determination as he squares himself up to speak, and Yifan decides to make it a little bit easier on the boy. Anything for his fans.
“Can I help you?” Yifan asks, turning his charm up tenfold and angling his head at just the right angle to show off how great he knows his jawline is. The boy blinks owlishly, and Yifan knows he has him right where he wants him. It’s just a matter of-
“You’re in my way,” he says flatly. “Move.”
Yifan loses his footing and nearly falls back against the shelf, his elbow catching against the edge and making him flinch ever so attractively. “Ow what the- what?” he spits out, but the boy doesn’t budge.
“You’re in my way,” Kyungsoo repeats. “The crockpot is mine.”
It’s entirely too late that Yifan realizes the boy’s gaze isn’t on him at all, but a foot or so behind him. Yifan turns as the boy lifts his arm to point at the merchandise on the shelf: a shiny, new, top-of-the-line Slow Cook Master by elite chef Kim Seokjin. He continues to gape at the boy as his eyes flick back and forth between the two, but he’s only met with a hard glare, the boy’s eyes cold and void of any recognition or regard for Yifan at all.
“Wha- You- Do you have nay idea who I am??” Yifan sputters, leaning down a little bit (a lot bit) to be at the boys eye level, sucking in his cheeks ever so slightly to make sure the other can see his award-winning cheekbones.
Kyungsoo sees, but he doesn’t budge. “Look pal,” he says. “I don’t care who you are; the pot. is. mine.” He only gives Yifan a few seconds before finally pushing past him and grabbing the crockpot from its shelf, seemingly not at all perturbed by the fact that the appliance takes up almost his entire torso and probably weighs about half as much as he does. He glares at Yifan once more and spits out a sharp “Mine,” for good measure.
Yifan is left frozen in shock, but gets over it just in time to follow the boy waddling up to the front counter, sputtering the entire way to the register while Kyungsoo deliberately ignores him.
“Wait, what do you mean? You have no clue who I am??” Yifan asks incredulously. “None at all??”
Kyungsoo only takes the time to give the blond a short up-down after handing the cashier his money, and then promptly returns to ignoring him. “Nope. Don’t know, don’t care,” he says flatly. Yifan nearly has an aneurysm.
With his face plastered on the cover of every magazine and appearing approximately every six to eight minutes on every television and radio station in existence, Yifan isn’t used to people not being even the least bit familiar with his face. “Yifan. Wu Yifan. Kris Wu?” he says, hoping his name would at least spark some kind of recognition. Much to his dismay, it does not.
Kyungsoo doesn’t even turn around this time as he thanks the cashier and heads for the door, the tittering of the crowd growing louder and louder as Yifan follows him and they both exit the store. “Nope, never heard of him,” he throws over his shoulder. “And if you’re trying to get my attention, my name is Kyungsoo, not any of those. Nice try though.”
Yifan can barely hear him over the crowd of fans and almost immediately loses sight of him as the mob closes in. Kyungsoo’s head quickly disappears in with the rest as Yifan towers above. In desperation, he booms out a “WAIT!” as he reaches a long arm out to him, and everyone goes quiet.
Cameras go off at light speed when Kyungsoo turns and the chattering rises again, this time all focused on the mysterious boy Wu Yifan is suddenly chasing after. It doesn’t take much to get the crowd to make a path between the two of them, but Kyungsoo looks just as unimpressed as ever from behind his shiny new box when Yifan finally catches up.
“Listen,” he deadpans, and the crowd (including Yifan) does. “It’s too late now buddy. It’s a done deal.”
Confusion mars Yifan’s face until he notices the boy waving a receipt in front of his face, the crockpot’s new box cradled lovingly in his arm. The crowd explodes again as Kyungsoo turns to walk away, burying Yifan under a flood of questions and camera flashes as the fans swarm in to block his path. Just like that, Kyungsoo is gone.
No matter what Yifan’s friends say, he refuses to admit that he’s “sulking” about The Incident. Fansites exploded with theories of who the boy international celebrity Wu Yifan chased out of a store could possibly be and what their “done deal” was. The boy’s face was plastered on every gossip page imaginable and littered with rumors of secret romances gone wrong. Yifan also refuses to admit that he’s personally monitored every single comment section on said gossip and fan sites to see if anyone knew more than the boy’s first name, but his efforts prove fruitless. As long as no one checks his internet history, Yifan figures he can get away with it for now. Besides, there’s no way this Kyungsoo person could not know who he is by now- even if Kyungsoo doesn’t look at celebrity gossip himself, one of his friends must have seen the pictures of them and asked about it by now. Not everyone lives under a rock.
But after three weeks, the hype has died down and Yifan finally resigns to the fact that he’ll probably never know who the Crockpot Boy is beyond a picture and a first name. He’s still definitely not sulking about it, no matter what the picture pulled up on his phone and the half-finished glass of whiskey in his hand say. He knows that wearing sunglasses in a dimly lit bar and pulling his hat down low while starting at blurry picture of someone’s face is anything but inconspicuous as he relentlessly taps his foot against the legs of his bar stool, but his manager had told him to lie low for a bit and he couldn’t risk anyone getting a picture of him in such a pathetic state. Not that he’s pathetic or anything; because Wu Yifan is still definitely not sulking.
He takes a deep breath and sighs anyway because that’s just what people do when they drink alone at a nowhere bar in the evenings, and rubs his hand over his covered face. Someone comes to sit down at the stool beside him, but he pays no mind until the person speaks.
“Gin and tonic please,” the newcomer orders, his voice velvety and familiar, and Yifan nearly jumps out of his skin.
He whips around fast enough to put a crick in his neck, but once he sees the boy’s face, he knows it was worth it. “Kyungsoo??” he almost shouts, and the boy turns sharply with his arm raised in defense. It’s a messy start to a messy second meeting, but Yifan will take it. He quickly turns off the screen of his phone and flashes his best smile at the boy, lowering his sunglasses to let him see his face. “Hey, relax, it’s just me.”
Kyungsoo narrows his eyes and leans from side to side, his face blank and void of recognition. “Am I supposed to know you?” he asks, and Yifan’s smile falters.
“Wu Yifan? From the appliance store a few weeks ago?” Yifan supplies, and finally finally recognition flickers in the boy’s eyes, but instead of staying there, they pinch in something akin to disgust and Kyungsoo pushes himself away from the bar.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” he says. “If you’re still after that crockpot I’m calling the police you-”
“What? No!” Yifan sputters. “I’m not after the stupid pot, I’m after you!”
It’s not until Kyungsoo backs away in horror that Yifan realizes what he said probably wasn’t any better, but he’s quick to raise his hands in surrender and shake his head back and forth. “No! No no no no! That’s not what I meant! I’m just after you for you, not the pot. I mean- I wanted to talk to you. Not about the pot. At all.”
He knows he’s babbling, but it gets Kyungsoo to stop backing away, and Yifan considers that a small victory. Despite the skeptical glare still securely on Kyungsoo’s face, Yifan take his silence as a chance to go on. “I just thought that maybe since our pictures together are all over the internet I should at least find out who I’m rumored to be dating this month,” he says with a slight chuckle, fingertips rubbing at the back of his neck as he prays Kyungsoo doesn’t try to run off again.
His prayers are answered in the form of Kyungsoo tentatively taking his seat back at the bar and taking the drink left for him on the counter. His eyes don’t leave Yifan as he takes a slow sip and hums lightly before he speaks. “Alright,” he relents. “I guess that’s fair since all of your information is more or less at my immediate disposal.”
Yifan sets his own drinks down and practically beams. “So you do know who I am?” he preens, puffing his chest out a bit just to get deflated all over again a second later.
“No,” Kyungsoo deadpans. “I just typed the name you gave me into Naiver when I got home to see what the fuss was about. Don’t flatter yourself.” He turns back to his drink with a scoff and takes a long swig, pointedly looking back at Yifan over the rim of his glass as he does.
Yifan isn’t entirely certain how to respond to that.
The celebrity flounders and stutters over every thought that comes to his mind while Kyungsoo remains entirely unphased and isn’t this supposed to be the other way around? He’s the famous one here damnit, but how could anyone expect him to think clearly when Kyungsoo’s plush lips are wrapped around the edge of his glass like that and sucking ever so slow. It doesn’t help when Kyungsoo’s tongue peaks out to swipe the remains of his drink off his upper lip, and Yifan has to try really hard to pull his attention away from it. He has a reputation to defend here.
With a dry swallow of his own, Yifan tears his gaze away from Kyungsoo’s lips to the boy’s eyes instead as he gulps down the rest of his own drink; he’s going to need a hell of a lot of courage for this.
Before he can say anything though, Kyungsoo takes the liberty to start it off himself. “You obviously already know my name somehow, so what else do you want to know? I’m surprised such a big celebrity like you would both to have anything to do with someone like me,” he says, and Yifan is at a loss. He’d been preoccupied for weeks with finding this boy and speaking to him for real, but now that Kyungsoo is actually in front of him, he can’t come up with a single thing; he didn’t think he’d actually get this far. He buys himself a few extra seconds by crunching on a piece of ice, and Kyungsoo’s eye twitches at the sound. Great start.
“Well,” Yifan begins, swallowing the ice quickly to try to quell the burning in his face, “I’m kind of curious how you’ve never heard of me. I don’t mean to toot my own horn but… I’m kind of everywhere.” At just that moment he happens to catch one of his own commercials flickering on the TV behind him, and he flashes a matching smile, hand gesturing back at the TV screen and raising his eyebrows in expectation.
Kyungsoo spares the screen a quick glance, but remains unimpressed. “Huh,” he says. “I guess you are.” He takes another drink and shrugs. “All you big time celebrities blur together after a while. I’m not terribly concerned with it.”
Yifan balks. “But you can recognize a crockpot from across the street??” he nearly shouts.
“I recognize important things,” he says so matter-of-factly that Yifan nearly falls out of his chair.
“How is cookware that important??”
Kyungsoo wraps his lips around that damn straw again and sucks the rest of his drink up, his eyes never leaving Yifan’s as he does. “Because I’m a cook,” he says slowly, “and that particular pot happens to be very important to me. Much more than a bottle of- what was that? overly processed factory made iced tea?”
Yifan makes a sound of protest in the back of his throat because hey, the tea isn’t that bad, but it dies on his tongue when the rest of Kyungsoo’s sentence processes. “You’re a cook?” he asks instead, and Kyungsoo nods.
“Opened my own place a couple months ago,” he answers. “We sell real tea.”
Yifan doesn’t miss the slight jab, but he also doesn’t miss the way the corner of Kyungsoo’s plush lips twitch up into a hint of a smile as he absently swirls the remaining ice left in his glass. It occurs to him none too slowly that he wants to know more about this man who doesn’t pay attention to television and that both of their drinks are entirely too empty for such a conversation. With a fleeting glance to the swirl of Kyungsoo’s drink as he sends the ice spinning round and round, Yifan flashes a smile of his own and leans just a hair forward. “Well, then how about the next round on me? Consider it a… congratulations of sorts,” he says, and Kyungsoo narrows his eyes at him.
“Are you coming on to me?” he asks slowly, but he still hasn’t made to leave again, so Yifan decides to take his chances.
“Maybe,” he answers. “Or maybe I’m just supportive of small business owners. Who knows?” He raises his glass to draw another piece of ice between his lips, and this time it’s Kyungsoo following the path of his tongue as he licks the drops of leftover whiskey away, almost as if in consideration. When their eyes meet again, Yifan would swear they were at least a shade darker.
The smaller man clears his throat and looks down the bar for the bartender, craning his neck a bit even though the man is standing only a few feet away. He picks up his glass and shakes it a bit in the bartender’s direction, the smile on his lips lingering just a bit longer than the first. “Cover this one too and I’ll consider it,” he says, and Yifan is more than willing to accept.
“Deal,” he says just as the bartender makes his way toward them and fills their glasses. “Tell me more about your restaurant and I might even buy you dinner later.”
This time, Kyungsoo’s smile doesn’t fade.