Yunho had to admit, Tokyo was growing on him.
There was something about the city that had made its way into his heart. Everything had seemed so strange at first, the language and general ambience just seemed too different for him to like and it was probably because he was never one to really like change in the first place.
He navigated the streets with a better sense of familiarity as he tried to find a store that sold the particular manga his sister wanted. He held his umbrella a little tighter as he waited to cross the street as he shuffled slightly to make sure the tiny slip of paper he held in his other hand wouldn’t get wet.
Although he wasn’t the best in Japanese, he made do with his grasp of the language to ask around about a manga store. Several of the people he’d asked had given overly complex directions, so he’d been forced to smile politely and thank them before moving away to find someone else.
It was to his benefit that when he’d been out looking for someone else to ask he came across a store. He closed his umbrella and entered, passing by blushing school girls and some awkward looking young men as he tried to find the manga his sister wanted.
After ten futile minutes, he decided to find someone who worked in the store. He approached the man at the cashier and noted mentally that the man looked like he’d come straight from the cover of any of the shoujo manga sold in the store – he was just that good looking.
“Could you help me?” Yunho asked as he pulled out the slip of paper, “I’ve been trying to look for a manga, but I’m kind of having difficulty looking for it.” He added with a smile as he held out the slip of paper to the cashier. “Here’s the title.”
The cashier stared at him for a few seconds, and took off his headphones slowly. He blinked twice, and he smiled at Yunho shyly before he took the slip of paper in his hands. “Are you Korean?” he asked.
“You can tell?” Yunho blushed a little as he scratched the back of his head in embarrassment. “I guess my Japanese is a little worse than I thought it was.”
The man shook his head kindly, “It’s fine. Just a little accented.” He stood up from his seat at the counter, “This is one of the more popular mangas…” he glanced down at the paper then back at Yunho, “Are you sure this is what you want?”
“Is there something wrong with it?”
He blushed and shook his head, “No, nothing’s wrong with it.” The cashier replied, his eyes still focused on the paper. He looked at Yunho, “Uhm, just follow me and I’ll find it for you.” He said before he began to walk away from the counter and to one of the aisles. Yunho followed behind him, and he noticed that he’d somehow managed to attract the attention of most of the other people in the store. He glanced at his passing reflection in a mirror and thought that he looked fine, so he decided that it was probably because he had the attention of the handsome cashier to himself.
When the cashier stopped to pull something out of the shelf, it was only then that Yunho realized the genre of manga of the aisle he was in.
His sister had asked him to buy a yaoi manga.
“Here you go.” The cashier handed him the specific volume Yunho’s sister had asked for and Yunho could hardly think of anything to say as he took the manga into his hands.
“It’s actually one of the better ones I’ve read.” The man said as he glanced at the other manga in the shelves, seemingly avoiding Yunho’s gaze. “From what I’ve heard from the other customers though, it seems like the ending’s going to be sad. When you first came into the store, I wouldn’t have pegged you as the type to-”
“It’s not for me, it’s for my sister.” Yunho stammered with a blush as he looked down at the cover, two men in a tight embrace and lacking in shirts, “She – she asked me to buy it for her.”
“Oh.” The other man studied Yunho carefully, his look a little disbelieving. “Well, in any case, feel free to look around the store for something else you might like.” He said finally before he left Yunho alone in the aisle.
Yunho walked out of the aisle and slowly made his way around the store, the manga held tightly in his hands. It wasn’t that he was against yaoi manga, he was gay after all and it’d be weird for him to be disgusted by it when his life could probably be the plot of one – though it’d probably be considered more shounen ai than yaoi.
The thing that bothered him was that his sister read it. His seventeen year old sister who he had always thought was innocent. Now he knew why his sister was so curious about news if he had any boyfriends or if he thought anyone was cute.
She’d probably been shipping him with people.
He walked back to the cashier but drifted a short distance away while he waited for the group of girls at the cashier to finish their purchases. He looked through the shounen manga but stopped when he realized the girls at the counter were talking about him.
“Did you find out his name?” one of the girls asked as Yunho inched a little closer so that he could eavesdrop on the conversation.
“What? No.” the cashier replied, “I just helped him find what he was looking for and then I left. I didn’t do anything more than that.”
“Why? You don’t have a boyfriend, and he’s cute.” Another said, with a little more excitement than the previous one – reminding Yunho of his sister’s voice whenever she spotted someone she thought would look good with him.
“He’s tall and handsome, and he’s Korean like you isn’t he? Jaejoong, you should go up to him right now and flirt with him like in the manga I was –“
“He looks like he’d top you really well –“
Yunho glanced at the direction of the counter and paused when he realized every single person by the counter was staring at him. All of them, including the cashier, blushed profusely and looked away.
“Do you think he heard?”
“I don’t think so.”
“You’ve all embarrassed me in front of him.” Jaejoong muttered as he stuffed the manga inside a plastic bag for the girls. “I bet he heard all of you. You all talk too loud.”
The girls laughed, and the one that sounded like Yunho’s sister added, “If you find out his name, tell me. I’ll make a doujinshi.”
They all laughed again at the poor cashier’s expense and made their way to leave. Once they were out the door, Yunho walked up to him. Jaejoong blushed and Yunho did as well once their eyes met.
“I’ll get this.” Yunho said softly as he slid the manga slowly across the counter. “I promise you, it’s for my sister.”
Jaejoong bit his lip as he took the price off the manga cover, his eyes lowered while Yunho watched him carefully. He looked up, “Did you hear –“
Yunho blushed again and slowly nodded. “You’re Korean? I could hardly tell.” He said slowly, hoping to diffuse some of the awkwardness.
“I’ve been living here for six years.” Jaejoong replied in a nervous manner as he put the manga inside a plastic bag. “I was always going back and forth between here and Seoul in the first place, so when I got the opportunity, I moved here…Are you a tourist?”
“I’m here on business.” Yunho said as he took the bag out of Jaejoong’s hands. “I’ll be here for two more months at least, maybe permanently if the company here likes me enough.”
“Do you like it in Japan?”
Yunho nodded, “It’s really nice here. There are lots of interesting places, items and people. I’m having a hard time wanting to go back to Seoul.” He paused and blushed harder, “I’m sorry, but is it okay if I introduce myself? I already know your name after all.”
“Oh – okay.” Jaejoong replied, slightly surprised, but not at all unwilling to listen to Yunho’s introduction. “Oh wait, before you introduce yourself, I’m sorry about earlier – I keep telling those girls to get their own boyfriends so that they would stop bothering me, but they never listen and –“ the cahier blushed, “I’m sorry. Please do introduce yourself.”
They shook hands, and Jaejoong smiled apologetically. “I’m sorry about what those girls said earlier, if they made you uncomfortable –“
“It’s okay.” Yunho replied, “I’m fine with it.” He was about to say something further when his phone rang loudly. He shot Jaejoong an apologetic smile and answered it; only to find out he was needed back in the office.
He thanked Jaejoong quickly and left, rushing to get back. The rain had stopped, and he was glad because it made it easier for him to get to the train station. As he waited for the train, a sudden thought came into his head.
Ignoring the fact that international calls would lead to an expensive phone bill in the future, he dialed his sister’s number anyway.
“What are you doing reading yaoi manga?” Yunho asked, “You do know that –“
“Yunho, whatever, you’re so old fashioned. The one I asked you for has a plot anyway, so I don’t see what the big deal is. If you’re going to get mad at me, I’d prefer if you got mad at me in Korea.”
“No, it’s just that –“
“Did you see anyone cute yet?” his sister asked, completely cutting Yunho off. “I was thinking that since nobody in Gwangju or Seoul has really interested you, you might be into foreign guys.”
“Why do you spend so much time thinking about my love life?”
“Mom and dad don’t want me to date yet, so I have to live vicariously through you until I’m old enough.” Jihye replied, and Yunho could imagine that she was pouting. “Besides, it’s like a manga come to life – not to mention I wouldn’t mind having a good looking brother in law as well.”
“You’re so odd.”
“We’re related, so that means you’re probably odd as well.” Jihye snapped. “Anyway, did you see anyone you like in Japan yet? I’m sure there are some cute guys to catch your attention.”
Yunho checked his watch, “Well…”
“What does he look like?”
“Oh. So you’re not into foreign guys.” His sister noted with disappointment. “I was hoping you’d come home with someone that looked like Akanishi Jin. Anyway, please continue.”
“I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to talk about this with you.” Yunho said with a frown the moment he realized who he was talking to about his love life. “I’ll decide first if I’m going to talk to you about this in detail. I will tell you if I am successful with the guy though.”
“You’re so mean. You don’t do this to your number one shipper.”
“It’s weird enough that I have a shipper, so don’t make this weirder for me.” Yunho replied as the train came into view. “I have to go.”
“Okay, bye then.”
“One question though.”
“Is there any other manga you want?”
To be honest, Yunho didn’t really read anything that other people found interesting. His bookshelves back at his parents’ home in Gwangju were filled with his law textbooks and other random reading material that no one aside from himself was interested in reading.
So, when he found himself coming back to Jaejoong’s store to do nothing but ogle the handsome shopkeeper, he couldn’t help but feel awkward for not even attempting to strike up a conversation.
Yunho sighed and leaned his head against a stack of shoujo manga – glad that his sister had made another request so that he would have a legitimate excuse for being at the store this time.
“So, you’re here again.”
Yunho pulled away from the bookshelf and glanced at the direction of the voice, only to see Jaejoong staring at him with amusement. He blushed, “Yeah. My sister wanted another manga, so I’m here again.”
“Title?” Jaejoong asked, stepping so close that Yunho was fairly sure that it was inappropriate for a customer and manager to be that close to one another.
He took a deep breath and handed Jaejoong the usual slip of paper, “Here.”
Jaejoong’s fingers brushed against his, and he scrunched up his nose as he read the manga’s title aloud. He looked up at Yunho, “I think we’re out of stock on this one.”
“Oh.” Yunho breathed out, not sounding disappointed at all. “That’s…too bad.”
“I’m sorry.” Jaejoong replied before he handed the slip of paper back to Yunho. “If you want, there’s another store down the corner –“
“It’s fine –“
“I could go with you.”
“Do you usually advertise your competition like this?” Yunho asked, a small tugging at the corner of his lips.
Jaejoong turned red, “Well, I mean, your sister might –“
“It’s fine, really.” Yunho’s phone beeped. He checked the message, “I should go now.”
“Oh, okay.” Jaejoong stuttered as he followed Yunho out of the section, “Yunho?”
Yunho turned, “Yeah?”
“Remind me to give you a discount the next time you buy something.” Jaejoong muttered, a blush rising in his cheeks. “You’re always here…and I look forward to seeing you, so I think –“
“Thanks Jaejoong.” Yunho replied nervously, a blush appearing on his face as well. “I really like coming here. You’re – I mean, this place is really nice.”
The doors to the store burst open, and a group of girls ran in yelling for Jaejoong, pushing Yunho aside carelessly. He watched as they enveloped Jaejoong in a tight hug, crying about something.
“Oh my God Jaejoong, you won’t believe –“
“They’re together now!”
“It was so cute, and the sex scene was drawn so well –“
“I swear, the uke looks like you, and the seme looks like that other Korean guy –“
Yunho blinked twice, and Jaejoong muttered something quietly, and all the girls grew quiet before they all started laughing, hardly embarrassed. “You two are so cute together, why aren’t you two dating?”
“If you two don’t date soon, we’ll lock you in a room!”
Jaejoong blushed and bit his lip, staring at Yunho apologetically. He mouthed an apology and ushered the girls away to another section, telling them to leave the two of them alone.
“I’m sorry if they made you uncomfortable.”
“It – it’s okay. They remind me of my sister.”
They stood awkwardly in front of each other before Yunho’s phone beeped. He checked the message and smiled apologetically, “Well, I really do have to get back to my office now.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow.” Yunho said with a small smile. “My sister might have another request.”
Jaejoong nodded, “I’ll look forward to it.”
His answer made Yunho’s heart flutter, and it took all of his will power to not kiss the man in front of the giggling girls that were staring at them obviously from a distance.
So, instead of kissing Jaejoong like his mind wanted to him to, he settled for reaching out and brushing something off the other man’s hair.
Jaejoong blushed, and Yunho’s heart quickened its pace.
For now, small touches would do – the kisses could come later, when they were alone and not being watched by an overly excited group of teenage girls.
It was getting a little harder to control himself around Jaejoong.
Yunho was fairly sure that he’d become ten times more touchy than usual, finding himself constantly reaching out to touch Jaejoong, for any reason possible. He was being too forward, and he knew that.
The only thing Yunho wasn’t sure of was what to do next.
Was he supposed to kiss Jaejoong, or was he supposed to give an open declaration of love? It was confusing, and the mangas he’d read hadn’t really helped his decision making at all.
Yunho jerked upright and realized that he’d been staring at the floor for quite awhile. He looked at Jaejoong, “Oh. Sorry. What were you saying?”
“Nothing.” The other man replied lightly, “I was just wondering why you were glaring at my floor like that.”
“I…” Yunho trailed off and shrugged, “It’s nothing.”
Jaejoong shot him a disbelieving look, “Well, okay then. I’ll just return these back to the shelves, so if you see something you want, just tell me, and I’ll go back to the register so you can pay for it.”
Yunho nodded, and Jaejoong walked off.
He sighed and rubbed his eyes. To be honest, he was quite tired. Yunho yawned and checked his watch, realizing that it was only a little past six. He groaned and ran a hand through his hair.
He really had no kind of social life if he was getting sleepy before seven – in fact, he was fairly sure that his own grandmother had a more active social life than he did.
Yunho sighed and walked away from his original spot so that he could say goodbye to Jaejoong before he left for his apartment. He walked past several people whom he recognized as regulars and caught sight of Jaejoong placing things back in the shelves.
Just as Jaejoong reached for a higher shelf, Yunho took the manga out of his hands and placed it for the shorter man. His chest was pressed against Jaejoong’s back, and it was only then that Yunho realized how close he was to Jaejoong.
Before he could pull away in embarrassment, Jaejoong had turned around to look at him.
“Thanks.” Jaejoong muttered, his face equally red and his eyes downcast. “It’s a bit sad that I wasn’t able to reach the bookshelf on my own –“
Yunho licked his lips and unknowingly pressed his body closer to Jaejoong’s, closing the distance between them and pinning the smaller man against the bookshelf. He swallowed hard, and he was finding it hard to find a reason not to lean down and kiss Jaejoong.
“Yunho…” Jaejoong said softly, his eyes raised up off the floor in order to meet Yunho’s gaze. He licked his lips, and Yunho inched closer, ready to close the distance between their bodies completely and claim those lips with his own.
But just as he was less than an inch away, a loud shout scared the two of them and forced them apart.
“Yah! Jaejoong! Where are you? You promised me a –“
The man paused and stared at the two of them. He blinked twice, “You promised that you’d get me that…manga I wanted.”
Yunho pulled away from Jaejoong, his face aflame. He bit his lip and looked down at the ground while Jaejoong pushed past him to smack the taller man on the arm irritably.
“You are terrible Changmin.” He hissed, “I told you that I’d have it tomorrow!”
“Well if you stopped abusing all those emoticons in your texts, then I’d be more willing to read the alien code you call a text message! Do you know hard it is to read your messages when there’s a smiley face after every word –“
“I do not abuse emoticons, you’re just stupid –“
“You’re calling me stupid –
Yunho cleared his throat self-consciously and drew attention of the two men who turned back to look at him. His eyes widened in surprise, and he swallowed hard.
“Well, uh, Jaejoong, I’m going to go now.”
“So soon? I mean, you could –“
“You said that you were going to make me dinner.” The taller man once again interrupted with a frown, “And I’m hungry.”
Yunho glanced between the two men, unsure of their relationship, but didn’t bother to ask about it. He walked past them and was already out the door when Jaejoong called his name out.
He turned around, and Jaejoong jogged up to him.
“Sorry about his rudeness.”
“You really don’t have to –“
“He’s an asshole of a roommate, but I’ve known him for forever.” Jaejoong explained for no reason in particular, “I’m sorry if you got offended. He’s just naturally mean and snarky.”
Yunho laughed, “It’s okay, really –“
“…I’ll see you tomorrow, right?”
“Of course.” Yunho replied, “You know I always come.”
Jaejoong smiled, “Hopefully…”
Jaejoong blushed and shook his head, “Nothing. I’ll see you tomorrow.” He mumbled before he went back into the store and left Yunho alone.
Yunho blinked twice and shrugged, not bothering to think any further about Jaejoong’s odd behavior. He began to walk in the direction of his apartment, and he couldn’t help but hope that the next time he tried to kiss Jaejoong, there would be no more hindrances.
Romantic hindrances were after all, the difference between fiction and reality. In stories, there were never any cockblocking roommates or nosy teenage girls to interrupt the romantic moments.
“It’s raining.” Jaejoong noted morosely as he waved goodbye to a woman who had come into the store to look for her son’s favorite shounen manga.
Yunho turned his head to look at the store windows, “It is? Well…it has been raining a lot lately.” He shifted in the chair Jaejoong had purposefully placed at the counter for him and leaned a little closer. “I like the rain though.”
“It makes me sad.” Jaejoong commented as he fixed the things that littered his usually clean counter. “I don’t like it.”
They sat in silence as Jaejoong fiddled with the things on his counter, magazines, an absurd amount of different colored pens, doujinshi given to him by his customers, candy wrappers and other things that had accumulated throughout the day.
“You’ve been in Japan…for three months right?” Jaejoong asked as he threw things into the nearby waste basket.
Yunho nodded as he toyed with a bright purple pen he’d stolen from the pen holder on Jaejoong’s desk. “Three months and six days to be exact.”
“How long have you been frequenting my store and not buying anything?” Jaejoong asked with a smile as he returned to his seat.
“Two months and fifteen days.”
“You’re good with dates aren’t you?”
“I have a good memory.” Yunho replied as he set the pen back in its holder. “I think it came from all the texts I had to read back in university. I lost so many hours of sleep reading.”
Jaejoong pulled something out from underneath a stack of papers and placed it atop the counter. “Aoi made this for us. She’s also given us an ‘official’ couple name.”
Yunho leaned in closer and noticed the proximity of his face and Jaejoong’s. It was like every single feature of his face became even more fascinating up close, his long eyelashes and doe eyes, the red lips – it just became too much for Yunho to ignore.
Before Jaejoong could get another word out, Yunho inched closer and pressed his lips against Jaejoong’s hesitantly.
It was an awkward kiss – both of them were on opposite ends of the counter, and Yunho had to stand up slightly in order to reach Jaejoong – but that didn’t stop Jaejoong from opening his mouth for Yunho.
It was like time had slowed down, and all Yunho could comprehend was the fact that Jaejoong tasted heavenly and the feeling of their slow, languid kisses as they explored each other’s mouths – it was more than he could have ever asked for at the moment.
Unfortunately, every moment had to end – and theirs ended as soon as loud, piercing shrieks erupted from the front door. Yunho jerked back in shock and stumbled out of his chair, hitting the floor hard.
“We’re so sorry!” the girls squealed, Jaejoong’s friends – Yunho realized, before they ran away from the shop giggling.
Yunho stood up and sat back down on his chair, “Uhm, I think I should go –“
“No, you should stay –“
Yunho nearly fell out of his chair in his rush to leave, his face heating up incredibly and his heart racing. “That didn’t go so well, maybe I should go back to work-” He stammered, taking a few steps back, “You know, work and stuff. I’m supposed…to work.”
“No, you’re not.” Jaejoong argued before he reached back and pulled Yunho, preventing the other man from leaving, but also knocking him against the desk roughly. “Oh, I’m so sorry –“
Yunho groaned, “It’s okay –“
“This is awkward.” Jaejoong let out a small sigh and left his spot so that he could be closer to Yunho. He bit his lip, “I don’t think this usually happens in fiction. I can’t remember any manga where –“
Before Jaejoong could continue his sentence, Yunho had already brought the smaller man closer, his hands settled on Jaejoong’s waist, and he kissed him. He pulled away and laughed, “I like kissing you.”
Jaejoong blushed, “Of course, you should.” He averted his eyes, “Anyway, I’m hungry.” He raised his eyes shyly, “You are planning on taking me out for dinner, right?”
“Of course.” Yunho replied as he took one of Jaejoong’s hands in his and intertwined their fingers. He led Jajeoong away from the counter, but just as they were about to reach the door, Jaejoong stopped.
He turned around, “What?”
Jaejoong reached upwards and pressed another kiss to Yunho’s lips. He pulled away with a smile, “Kissing you is much better than looking at pictures of me and you kissing in a doujinshi.”
Jaejoong laughed and buried his face in Yunho’s chest, so his words came out slightly muffled, “The girls gave me doujinshi that had us as the main characters, and I’ve kind of been reading them whenever you’re not around.”
“Oh.” Yunho chuckled, “Well…I don’t think I really mind.”
Jaejoong looked up at him and smiled, “You’re nice.”
“Of course I am.” Yunho replied confidently before he began to lead Jaejoong back out the door, “Now let me prove to you that I’m an even more amazing boyfriend in reality than in fiction.”
As Jaejoong followed Yunho out the store, he was fairly sure that Yunho wouldn’t be wrong about that statement.
He couldn’t have imagined a more perfect way for them to start their own love story.
Author’s Note: Happy birthday Jeje. XD Sorry it’s late. I hope you like it! :3 Oh yes, this has been the longest time that I haven’t posted anything, so I do hope you all enjoy this! :D I kind of suck, since all I’ve wanted to write lately is angst. LOL. Hahaha. I’m sorry, I’m kind of weird and angsty that way. I’ll try to update my other fics soon, especially Distance. They’ll be on my priority, so yeah, look forward to those updates and hopefully my writing muse stays kind! XD Also, if any of you would like to talk to me, feel free to PM me or something if you don’t have a twitter. XD Also, I’m sorry it’s taking me forever to reply to comments. OTL Know that I love and appreciate all of the comments you leave for me. Thank you for reading! ♥