"Where are you taking me now?" Minho laughed lightheartedly as Taemin dragged him through the busy streets of a small nearby town.
"Not far now," Taemin laughed, weaving around the crowd of people that were making it hard to navigate their way around. But Taemin had been here so many times before, he next exactly which direction to go.
"This is the second time today, I don't care where we go anymore," Minho said, having a hard time keeping up with the younger boy. "I just want to spend my time with you."
Taemin blushed, thankful that Minho couldn't see his face. "I know, I know," he giggled, slowing down slightly so that Minho could catch his breath. They had been running around for about twenty minutes already. "I figured you might be hungry, so..."
He stopped abruptly outside a small café. A sign hung above the door which read 'Mas-Isseun' in bold letters. As appealing as the cosy place looked, there seemed to only be a dozen or so people inside - most either on their laptops for the free wifi, or near the back with their dates.
"Here!" Taemin announced, gesturing towards the dainty café. "I used to come here all the time with Onew. He likes the chicken kebabs they serve," he explained, when Minho gave him an odd look.
Minho nodded, smiling. "It looks nice. Shall we?" He proceeded to open the door for the younger boy, who laughed at him in a fake, high-pitched voice, making Minho grin.
"Yah! We have more customers!" Taemin heard the woman behind the counter yell at someone who was in the back room, though no one responded. The woman grumbled to herself, her brow furrowing into a frown, but forced a smile once Taemin and Minho approached. "Welcome, can I get you a table?" she asked, bowing.
Minho returned the gesture. "Yes, thank you." The two boys followed the woman to a small, round table near the back of the café, but not too close to any of the other couples. Taemin thanked her again before taking a seat opposite Minho.
"They have nice homemade cakes here," Taemin noted, glancing towards the cake display on the counter where the woman had returned, now reading a magazine.
"Do you think she's okay?" Minho said to no one in particular. "She looks a bit..."
"Tense," Taemin finished for him. It was true: she seemed particularly stressed out for someone whose job was to simply serve the few odd people who arrived for afternoon tea. "Do you think we should say hello?" Taemin glanced around at the woman; she looked about the same age as them, though the bags under her eyes made her look considerably older.
"I don't know," Minho admitted. "Let's wait until she comes over to take our order." Taemin nodded before returning to the menu. After a few minutes of idle chatter and debating on what appealed to him the most, the waiter came back to their table.
"Are you ready to order?" she asked, trying her best to sound friendly, but Taemin could see how tiring this was for her. He didn't know what to say to her to make her feel better.
"Yes, thanks," Minho said for him, lifting up his menu and handing it over to her. Taemin followed suit. "I'll have the bungeoppang," he said, smiling gratefully as she took the menu out of his hand.
"And you?" She looked at Taemin.
"The same," he replied.
She bowed as she turned to leave to place the order, but Minho grabbed her arm. "Yahh! Sorry," he said as she gave him a questioning look. Minho had almost fallen off his seat trying to reach her arm. Taemin nearly laughed out loud, but held it in as he saw the woman's awkward glances. "Are you okay?"
"Why do you ask?" she said, clearly wondering why two boys had decided to talk to her about how she was feeling. Minho wondered if he was being rude, but continued to talk to her anyway.
"I don't know, you look a little..." Minho started but couldn't find the right words without offending her.
"Stressed," Taemin helped him, though that earned him a stern look from his boyfriend. Taemin blushed, apologising.
"No, it's okay," she laughed, smiling half-heartedly. She looked at the empty seat beside Taemin, as if to ask if she could join them. Minho nodded, grinning. She slouched on the chair, clearly exhausted. "It's just..." she groaned, not sure if she should trust these two strangers with her personal problems.
"What's your name?" Taemin asked, glancing at Minho as if searching for his approval.
"Ji-Min," she replied, extending her arm out to Taemin.
"Taemin," he replied, grinning. "And this is Minho." The other boy waved, smiling too.
"Nice to meet you," she said, blushing. "Though I have seen you around with that other boy - Onew, was it? He comes here often, and sometimes I see him with you," she said to Taemin. "He's very nice; he talks to me sometimes," she added.
Taemin was surprised she hadn't heard of them as a group - SHINee -, but in a city as quiet as this, he supposed it wasn't so strange. The three of them continued to chat about random and irrelevant things until Ji-Min suddenly jumped out of her seat: another customer had arrived.
"I'm so sorry! I'll talk to you later, it was nice meeting you. Say hello to Onew for me!" And she had ran off to the other end of the café, her face flushed.
"Maybe Onew doesn't come here for the chicken," Minho mused, laughing to himself.
"Maybe..." Taemin muttered, his mind elsewhere.
The two boys didn't even mind that Ji-Min hadn't given them what they ordered, they were simply happy they had made a new friend. Taemin left a generous tip in the jar on the counter before waving goodbye.
"I can see us coming here more often, now," Taemin said as he left the café, holding Minho's hand.
"But now, I just want to go home," Minho said wearily, suddenly tired. It had been a long day after all. Taemin nodded as they made their way back to the car, smiling to himself.
He'd have to talk to Onew about this.
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Punch Drunk Love (Jongkey/2MIN)Fanfiction
"I slightly steal a glance at you, you slightly narrow the distance between us. You hook me in and dig into my heart." The events prior to and after the Internet War concert. 샤이니