Category: Romance, NC-21, Chaptered
Cast: Cha Eungi, Choi Siwon, Cho Kyuhyun
Eungi takes her heavy steps against the strong wind that becomes a natural thing in the Netherlands, she’s been living here long enough to know how to dress properly to cover herself from the heavy wind but sometimes—especially during autumn/winter—even the thickest coat that she has isn’t enough to make her warm. At one point she enjoys the coldness that’s now attacking her face because it gives the sense of numbness to her expression, she was crying again all night after she met with the man she’s been missing in the past year and the world doesn’t need to know her pain the next day because she’ll cover it up as usual.
She couldn’t believe her eyes at first and she believed she was having another episode of her delusion over him, but he was real. He was there to greet her and he even touched her hand and begged her to stay. Eungi recalls that Kyuhyun said something about he didn’t leave her that day but she couldn’t really remember what he said exactly since she was too shocked to pay attention. What she could think yesterday was only how good it was to see him again, how much she actually wanted to run into his embrace, and how much she missed him. She didn’t want to look easy in front of the man that has played with her heart so she uttered the words she thought would hurt him and judging from his expression, Eungi knew she nailed her short speech. Although she spent her night regretting doing that since she’s now missing his presence even more than before and she’s afraid that last night was the only chance for her to ever see him again.
Her initial plan for today is to sink herself into her own misery one more time and call in sick to her promotor so she could stay in bed pathetically. Her plan was ruined because this morning Eungi got a call from her old professor, he asked her a favor to be his assistant in choosing the student candidates for him to assist throughout the year. If it’s anyone else, Eungi would probably refuse to help, but since it’s Professor Joost van Wijk, she put all her lazy means behind and get her ass to the campus. Sir Joost (Read: Yous)—that’s how she calls him—is her old promotor when she was studying her master degree and she had considered that man as her own father since the old man has helped her a lot with her studies and also her personal matters throughout her study time.
Eungi got into his office, looking like a real mess with her hair spreading all over her face and shoulder completes with her watery eyes from the strong cold wind she had to encounter earlier. She lets herself in and makes herself comfortable sitting in the arm chair before she begins taking off her scarf.
“Rough wind today, no?” The old man greets her and hands her a cup of coffee.
“You have no idea, I planned to stay in today. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t drag myself that far.” She gladly takes the coffee and sips some, “What kind of assisting you need me to do, Sir?”
“Master thesis proposals. I know it’s still too early for them to actually begin the whole research but I need to start selecting from now, next semester would be too late.” Sir Joost takes piles of paper from his desk and put them next to Eungi.
“What do you want me to do with these?”
“Scan them.” He takes his seat on the arm chair next to her and gulp down his coffee. “You know what kind of ideas that enlightens me and I don’t have time to sit and read them all. As you know my specialty are traditional building and sustainability so if you see any proposal that doesn’t belong in that area—toss them aside.”
Eungi carefully reads the main titles of the papers on the table, she places one pile to the next to see the kind of potential that her Professor could assist and she’s relieve that most of the tittle alone already eliminated the papers from forcing her to read the content altogether.
“There’s this Korean guy in my class,” Sir Joost talks while Eungi is busy scanning through his papers, “I don’t remember his name but he reminds me so much of you.” He chuckles while reminiscing his memory when he first met Eungi.
“Is he as driven as me?”
“He’s passionate about what he does.” He nods, “So I read his proposal first before I read the others. I was really disappointed to know that he’s just a plagiarist.”
Sir Joost nods then gets up to walk to his desk and take the paper he’s been talking about. “Listen to this title, Heating Reduction Over Korean Traditional Houses Using Eco-Tarmac Roof Tile as Alternative Substitute to Traditional Roof Tile—Cho Kyuhyun.”
Eungi’s heart sinks at once, was that really his name that’s been called out by her professor? Suddenly her heart beats faster in the thought of her man returning to her in a very classic way possible. Does he enroll here for his master degree? Does he do it because he wanted to or because he wanted to get closer to her again? Is it possible he’s here because of her? Does he plan to fix their broken relationship or maybe he had no idea that Eungi was actually studying here again?
Her heart is full of questions but her mind takes over to confirm the more important thing, she lifts her face then gets up to come closer to his desk and takes the paper from her Professor’s hand. She reads the title carefully and immediately quick-read his whole research background and research purposes.
“You said he plagiarized? How?”
Sir Joost clears his throat and types something on his computer and a while later signals Eungi to come closer so she can read the proof he found.
“The international journal about the very method has been published in this year’s summit last month, the title is slightly changed but the content is almost 90 present the same. I initially wanted to assist this Cho guy since his idea captivates me but this is stealing people’s idea and I doubt if he’d be able to finish his research if the first proposal built from someone else’s work.” Sir Joost explain while Eungi is paying all of her attention to the writings.
She never really read his academic writing so she can’t tell if the language Kyuhyun’s using is his own or of he stole it, but Eungi is certain that there’s no way Kyuhyun would do something that low—especially after he knew how much she hated the act of plagiarism. But it was then when she thought she knew who he was. Who knows he’s changed into this mean person all over again and her good judgement was wrong.
“Whose paper is it?” She scrolls up to find the writer’s name.
“A Korean professor, I don’t really remember his name, you Koreans have your name so hard to pronounce.”
“Yeah, like your name is written in regular pronunciation, Sir.” Eungi replies cynically, then her eyes fix on the writer’s name before she makes an odd statement. “Sir Joost, you’ll believe my judgement, right?”
“So whatever I say to you right now, you have to trust me and give me a chance to prove it no matter how irritating it might seem for you.”
“Are you threatening me?”
“That student of yours, Cho Kyuhyun, take him under your wings.” She can’t believe how easy it was for her to say his name, “I guarantee you that he’s not stealing anyone’s work, it’s his work that’s been stolen. And I guarantee he’ll amaze you and won’t let you down—academic wise—because he was my student and this guy can be an amazing architect one day.”
“How are you so sure that your student wasn’t wrong?”
“Because this guy.” Eungi points to the name of the writer on the screen, “He once erased my name from my own international seminar and exchanged it with his. This Hwang Ho Jin, I let him go back then but I’ll bring this to the court for sure this time.”
It took Eungi two days to actually finish reviewing all papers that submitted to Sir Joost, she didn’t just have to read all of it, she had to cross check the references to make sure it’s cited well and wasn’t plagiarized—because she knew how much her old Professor hated it. The old man is somebody who’s been taught by the old way of teaching and he endured his study back then when all the sources available were mostly books and journals that stacked in the library, unlike students these days that can rely on full internet source database for their papers. Eungi also toss the papers that cited most from Wikipedia and first articles showed in google, since it only means the student weren’t working hard enough to gather their data and she had a great time crossing the pages when she saw the copy-paste crime being done in most of the papers. When it comes to academic writing, Eungi is also a strict person and that’s one of the main reason Sir Joost promoted her as his assistant for this matter—that, and because he knows Eungi understand his style and his liking so he doesn’t have to explain much to her anymore.
Eungi picked seven candidates from fifty that applied to be under his wings and she had to reduce the number down to three students only. To do that, she asked her Professor to announce the selected students to do an interview with her in her favorite café owned by her friend she did her master degree with near the campus and she’ll decide from that to conclude the eligible ones.
She’s been coming back and forth into the restroom to check her appearance for the hundredth times, one of the student that name she included in the interview today is Cho Kyuhyun and she’s been feeling restless the whole night and day with the thought of meeting him. She makes sure that her hair is ties up perfectly, her complexion is flawless, her teeth are clean, and she sprays some more perfume to boost her own confident, she doesn’t understand herself for preparing this much to see him while she still has a huge resentment towards the man. Somehow she wants to show him that she’s been doing just fine without him yet at the same time impress him with her looks to remind him what he missed.
When she gets out of the restroom, her friend that owns the café points her to the big oval table that’s now occupied with seven students that’s ready to do an interview with her. She glances over and her heart stops once she lock eyes with Kyuhyun. Seems like she’s not the only one that’s trying to impress today, Kyuhyun has put on a casual white shirt underneath his navy sweater that frames his figure perfectly while his coat hangs behind his chair. His messy hair is still his choice of style since he knows how much Eungi likes to see him arrange it that way, the way he confidently sit in his chair with slight hesitation in his eyes succeeded to mess with her heartbeat.
“Give me my regular order and make it Irish please! I need to loosen up Vince.” She places her order to her friend and walks to the table to greet her interviewee.
She walks towards the table while trying to keep a steady step, she’s not affected by the six other student that are now staring at her with anticipation, only one student that manage to force her mind to count her steps carefully and that student is Cho Kyuhyun. One of the male student gets up from his seat and slide the chair next to him for Eungi to sit down and he greets her politely.
“Okay, since it’s Thursday and we know that means all of you will have your own party schedule tonight let’s make it very quick.” Eungi takes the papers from her backpack and places it on the table. “My name is Cha Eungi, I’m a post-doctoral student in our department and I’m responsible on reviewing your papers of thesis proposal. You’re chosen from so many applicants that wished to be assisted by Professor Van Wijk. He entrusted me to select three of you and this interview is necessary because I need to understand the prospect of your final thesis.”
The students are paying full attention to her and one girl even takes notes on what she’s saying.
“He was my promotor back then during my master degree here and I assure you that he’s the perfect person you could ask to assist when your interest involve sustainability and traditional form of architecture, so if any of you having a second thought about you early proposal, I suggest you to resign quickly before it’s too late.” She explains more while trying so hard to avoid looking at the only person she wants to see in the room.
None of the students try to back out from being Sir Joost student so Eungi continues to her next agenda.
“Well, if all of you are certain with the decision, then I will begin digging into your paper. I’ll begin with Agatha Maarten.” She lifts up the paper in the front and look around to see which one that own the paper and a redhead woman looking older than Eungi herself lifts her hand. She smiles politely to the lady and begins her questioning. “Hello, how are you?”
“I’m great and nervous at the same time, I really want this.” She chuckles nervously.
Eungi gives her a smile before she evolves to be the monster Sir Joost expects her to be.
“So, what really makes this research worthy of his attention? I read your title and to be honest it’s not that original, the method you’re trying to conduct to reduce heating in tropical country doesn’t seem to be very practical.” Eungi turns the pages of the paper in her hand to begin reading some notes she has written to be revised by the writer. “shall I begin with which tropical country that you implied here? Because the climate from one country to another are different so I think you need to be more specific with your title alone—use a case study to make it more precise.”
Agatha starts to write down what Eungi says, this is the first time for the lady to be dictate by someone that looks younger than she is and it’s pretty shocking for her since Eungi’s kind face has turned stern once she begins to evaluate the papers.
“Using clay as an option to reduce heating, that probably works in a Mediterranean climate, the clay would crack if it applied in tropical country unless you figure out a new form of clay that could adapt to the heat, good luck collaborating with our friends from the Chemistry department in that part.” She continues to bombard the paper, “Using vegetation to cover the housing, come on! We’re supposed to design something to be useful at least 50 years from now, not 10 years back. It’s so ten years ago when people tried to invent vertical garden.”
All of the students that sit in the table begins to stare at each other with huge worries in their eyes. When they knew that Professor’s Van Wijk assistant will be reviewing them, they didn’t think she’ll be as though as the professor himself and now they begin to get the restless feeling from their own writings.
“Here you go, Schat. Regular latte with a twist, specially made to calm you down.” Her words are interrupted with Vincent that’s bringing her order to the table. Vincent tap and squeeze on her shoulder and smile sweetly to Eungi before he winks to the rest of the student and wish them good luck.
“Thanks Vince, might not be my only glass for this afternoon.” Eungi smirks cynically while pointing the papers with her eyes.
“No worries, I’m open until ten for you.” He winks to Eungi and returns back to his bar.
Kyuhyun didn’t really care about that man earlier until he hears him addressing Eungi ‘schat’ which he understands as a way of the Dutch addressing their lover. Moments earlier he was enjoying his women toasting one of the applicant with her witty comments and now he doesn’t care anymore about the interview as he became more intrigued with the man that just delivered her coffee.
He’s paying his full attention to the Dutch man that’s now busy working on his laptop behind the bar, studying his appearance and guessing what kind of relationship he’s having with his woman. If he didn’t hear it wrong, Eungi called him ‘Vince’ earlier, who is this Vince guy? Kyuhyun runs his eyes towards the man, he’s definitely taller than Kyuhyun but that’s expected from Dutch men, he has a short dark hair, warm dark blue eyes that makes him look like he’s smiling even though he’s not, his facial hair covers certain parts of his face to frame it perfectly and to top it off, the Dutch man has dimples that Kyuhyun knows Eungi likes.
Kyuhyun’s mind now occupied with every kind of speculation and he’s completely taking his attention away from the hot debate Eungi’s having with her next interviewee. What’s important for him right now is not about his contender on getting Professon Van Wijk as his promotor anymore, Eungi’s love life here is much more important and he wishes that he has his laptop with him right now to begin searching about the Dutch guy. Could it be she has moved on from him? Kyuhyun takes a glance over Eungi and notice how beautiful she looks today, earlier today he thought she dressed prettily to impress him but he might be wrong, she might dress like that to impress Vince instead—and he doesn’t like that idea at all.
He’s aware that Eungi has every right to leave him and be with another guy and Kyuhyun understands that he has no right to feel jealous if that happens. It was his own fault that turned things around this way and if she slipped away from his hands then it’s entirely his fault. But really? Has she really moved on from Kyuhyun while he himself is still struggling to fight his own desire to hold her every time he thinks of her? Eungi is still the only woman that sits on the throne of his heart and the playboy persona he has had long gone after he fell in love with her, he never takes a look on any other woman after her and he kept his promise not to embrace another girl ever again.
Kyuhyun is too busy with his own thought that he forgets to pay attention to his surroundings. Eungi has sent the interviewee one by one after she’s done questioning them and now she’s left with Kyuhyun alone.
She tried to look and sound professional while doing her job but seeing him so close to her has made her waver. She wants to move her seat next to him, cling her arms around him and pretend to forget the fact that he broke her heart. Eungi just dying to be with him but at the same time she can’t let herself fall into the misery he created.
“Kyuhyun-ssi?” Eunggi calls his name for the second time and she’s knocking the table in front of him to get his attention, “Are you there?”
He quickly sits straight and braces himself to look at her in the eyes. “Yes, Professor Cha,” he looks around to find his other contender but then realized that he is the only remaining left.
“I sent your friends home once they’re done, did you not notice? Are you even prepared for this interview?” She returns to her old witty self.
Kyuhyun looks at her carefully, taking his time to enjoy the face that he’s been yearning for the past year. She still as beautiful as he could remember, her porcelain skin is just as bright as always, her rosy cheeks blush prettily, and her sexy full lips still as inviting to him as always. Just by one look, Cha Eungi has took his breath away one more time.
“Heating Reduction Over Korean Traditional Houses Using Eco-Tarmac Roof Tile as Alternative Substitute to Traditional Roof Tile.” Eungi begins her attack, “Nice title, did you come up with that yourself?”
Kyuhyun nods, still astonished by her.
“I’ll ask one more time,” She places the paper right in front of Kyuhyun, “Is this your own research? Are you sure you’re not copying it elsewhere?”
He curls his brow wondering what she really implies from her question but he nods again, “I plan to continue on from my last final project in bachelor degree.”
“Comparison of Roof Tile Arrangement in Japanese and Korean Traditional Houses and Its Impact in the Housing Climate. I based my research on the materials of the roof tile, its arrangements, its degree of slope, and also its height in order to keep the houses cool during the summer and stay warm in the winter.” He begins to explain something he’s been dying to share to her during his hardship while finishing his final project.
“What about the new roof you’re implying here?” She lifts one eyebrow as her effort to hide her real expression.
“During the research, I collaborated with some guys from the material engineering department to come up with the idea of tarmac as roofing option. We all know how hot and heavy it usually is but what involve here is not a real tarmac, it’s more of a lab-tarmac that’s actually made from modified soil.”
“And you did it yourself?”
“No, I collaborated with those guys I mentioned but I did all the field search myself, I went to villages and I even went to Japan to really dig into this matter noona.” His gaze still fixating on hers, “That’s why I couldn’t visit you when you’re back to Seoul in May, I was in Japan back then.” Being stared down by Eungi has made him blurts out things he shouldn’t say to her.
“I searched for you, noona. Do you really think I could live with the thought that you might be elsewhere with the pain I caused you?”
For a second she forgets why she’s here and that she needs to finish digging into the plagiarism matter in his paper. Did he say he searched for her? why she never heard anything from him? if he’s here studying in the same place as she is, why she only sees him now? Where has he been all these time before?
“What I did to you was so unforgivable but that doesn’t mean I stopped loving you, Eungi-ya. If you let me explain myself maybe, you’ll get a new perspective…”
“I’m not interested in discussing personal matters, Kyuhyun-sii. Don’t flatter yourself, I’m here to interview you so that my old professor won’t stuck with student that can’t comprehend his interest. It has nothing to do with you, so if you don’t mind I’ll continue with my professional question.”
Kyuhyun’s mouth close shut by her words, he swallows the disappointment then calm himself down.
“What did you do with your report?” Eungi continues with his paper.
“I did a presentation once and after that the professors that attended my final defense asked for the file and data.”
Eungi takes a deep breath to prevent herself from slapping Kyuhyun with his own papers on his head. This is exactly why Sir Joost thought Kyuhyun had plagiarized his work. “Give me a specific name of the lecture you gave your file to.”
“Professor Hwang.” He innocently replies.
Eungi takes her hands away from the table and covers her face while she’s grunting in annoyance. “Aish! Is there anything that you can do right once?!”
“Are you an idiot? How many times do I have to tell you to be careful with your works? Especially in that campus! Aish Cho Kyuhyun!” Eungi takes the paper she printed out from the international journal and slams it in front of him. “You might want to read that, go ahead take your time.”
Kyuhyun is puzzled by her rude attitude towards him but then he still feels like he’s the one with mistake in this table, so he obeys her and begin reading the paper Eungi gave him. At first he didn’t really understand why he’s told to read the journal, but after the third page, his mind finally clicks and he turns the paper quickly then finally understand why Eungi was so mad.
“This is,” He stutters, “Noona, I swear I didn’t steal anyone’s work. I know you’d hate that so I never do that. It’s my final project paper and also the early proposal I sent to Delft during recruitment, I had to asked his signature for letter of recommendation, maybe that’s the time when he copied it. I swear noona, I dodn’t steal anyone’s work.”
“I believe you.” She replies shortly but her short sentence managed to makes his heart racing on its own. “That’s why I talk to you last, if people don’t understand they will think you plagiarized and words could get around and disadvantage you—it could humiliate you and I don’t want to do that. I knew the first time I read your paper and compared it to the article that you’ve been fooled by him, but I need to confirm it myself before I talk to Sir Joost to take you into his consideration.”
He once again is caught off guard by her constant believe of himself. He had hurt her in the past but Cha Eungi has proved herself to be above and beyond any other people Kyuhyun ever met in his life. He let her down once but she still believes in him and that’s exactly what captured his heart the first time around.
“Noona, why?” He’s lost for words, why she’s busting her ass to help him one more time but refuse to listen to his reasons.
“I’ll bring this matter to court, Kyuhyun-ssi.” Eungi ignores his question.
“I had sacrifice my own research once for your sake.” She carefully takes a closer look to the man in front of her, “I will hunt that man down now and I’ll do anything to takes off his title away from him this time. All you need to do is trust me and provide me with all the data you collected during your research.”
“I’ve been too quiet about his attitude and his time is up now!” Eungi stares at the man in front of her with fire in her eyes. She’s mad at Kyuhyun for what he’s done but she’s more annoyed with the confirmation that Kyuhyun has been tricked into giving his hard work for the sake of Professor Hwang. “Can you do that for me, Kyuhyun-ssi?”
Kyuhyun nods. He’s taking any slim chance to be around her anytime and he’s willing to start it all over again to climb his way back into her heart from ground zero—as long as he can stay by her side and keep her safe.