Category: Romance, NC-21, Chaptered
Cast: Cha Eungi, Choi Siwon, Cho Kyuhyun
Kyuhyun forces himself to get out of his bed no matter how powerless he feels today. Seems like the extreme weather finally took its toll on his immune system and the first sign of his fever starts from his runny nose he experiences this morning. He ignores the heaviness in his head and swallow down some aspirins for a quick remedy before he continues to prepare himself to go to his class that Friday. He’s going to have a meeting with her this afternoon and uses that as his drive to get out from his apartment and drag himself to his class.
When he meets her in the same café the after class, Cha Eungi was already busy arguing in Dutch to somebody with her phone. Kyuhyun walks towards the bar and order himself a cup of coffee to Vincent and once again he observes the Dutch guy in front of him intensely. Is his job really just waiting table in a café? If that’s what he does, Kyuhyun doesn’t have to worry about his position in Eungi’s eyes, at least that’s the thought he keeps in his mind to avoid any kind of discomfort during today’s meeting.
“Good afternoon! You’re meeting with Cha, right? She told me earlier and she’s in that table over there.” He points to Eungi, “I’ll deliver to your table soon.” The Dutch man greets him kindly before he prepares the order.
Cha? Is that the way he calls her? is that some kind of cute lover name or what? He tries to swallow his annoyance but his thought once again fills with unnecessary questions about their relationship while he tries to stick to his positive thought.
He approaches her table, takes off his coat and scarf before he sits across her. Eungi gives him a quick nod while pointing to her phone, signs him to wait until she’s finish arguing with whoever it is. Kyuhyun rests his back to the chair behind him and takes his waiting time to studies her appearance. He notices she’s taking some effort to put on some make-up today, she lets her hair falls on her shoulder naturally, and Kyuhyun can smell her sweet scent from his distance. He smiles a little with the thought that she probably did it to impress him, but his happy thought quickly erased after he sees what she’s wearing. In this cold and windy weather, she only covers herself with a thick sweater and dared to wear an above the knee dress without even trying to cover up her legs. If she plans to reminds him on what he missed from her, then she succeeded but Kyuhyun really didn’t need that kind of show to remembers how much he missed her—at least not during this cold weather.
Minutes later Eungi finishes with her call and at the same time Vincent also delivers his drink into their table. Kyuhyun politely thank him and takes his glass closer to him, he expects Vincent to leave soon, but seems like he’s about to get disappointed one more time once the Dutch guy takes a chair next to Eungi and lets himself sit together with them.
Eungi takes a gulp of her latte before she introduces both men, “Vincent, this is my student Kyuhyun and this is Vincent my former classmate that apparently had done some legal case in his work as a professional architect before.”
Kyuhyun only focus on the term ‘former classmate’ and ignore the rest.
Vincent smiles to Kyuhyun and begins talking, “She told me about your stolen work and consulted me since I used to experience something similar in the beginning of my career.”
Kyuhyun takes his gaze away from Vincent to Eungi and he feels his face gets hotter when he sees her biting her lips nervously while gathering some papers in her hands.
“I consulted Professor Van Wijk last night and he didn’t say that it’s impossible…” She begins to explain to Kyuhyun.
“But it won’t be easy either, schat. Especially since the journal already published.” Vincent cut her words before she even finish explaining her plan.
“Will you let her finish her words before you interrupt her?” Kyuhyun shoots Vincent with a sharp look. He already hates the fact that he’s sitting in between them and he’s more annoyed when the Dutch guy called her ‘schat’ again.
Vincent lifts his hands and turns his head to Eungi to let her continue talking.
“I see your point, Vince. The journal already published and I have to face more legal problems to encounter, that means more people will get sued and more paper works to deal with. But this guy had stolen my work back then and I never thought he’d be this low to repeat his mistake for the second time.” She takes a piece of paper and show it to Vincent, “I did my research on how to proceed with intellectual property rights claim and all I need to prepare are the evidence and some testimonies.”
“So you’ll tell the international board that you let him go once and now you’re suing him for his second offence?” Vincent scoffs, “I don’t need to sit in law school to know the first argument they’ll throw at you—why now? Why you didn’t proceed with the court in the first offence?”
“I had my reason back then.” Eungi clears her throat and avoids Kyuhyun’s gaze. “But I can’t let this go.”
“Do you want to hear the second defense?” Vincent smiles and continues talking, “Your student work are indeed under the legal property of the campus. We all know that our research belongs to the campus or facility where we’re doing it. He’s doing his final project and he asked this Hwang guy to approve his letter of recommendation through his essay—for all I know, Mr. Hwang gets all the credits as counselor and he’s allowed to do whatever he wants with the paper.”
“Without his consent!” Eungi points to Kyuhyun while glaring at Vincent with clear emotion in her eyes.
Kyuhyun fells like he’s currently watching a really interesting football game as he turns his gaze from Eungi to Vincent every time they switch argument. He always enjoys the sight of Eungi looking smart whenever she delivers her defenses, it makes her looks more desirable in his eyes. Another reason he’s enjoying the debate is because he’s aware that Eungi is defending him towards the guy that’s now begin to look flustered from arguing with the witty woman next to him.
“Look Cha, I know this might annoy you so much but you missed your first chance to sue him and to be honest, your claims this time aren’t as strong as the first one. At least if you sue him back then, you had the full rights of your work since you weren’t tied down to any institution back then.” Vincent turns his seat to Eungi and places his hands on both of her shoulders, “I’ll help you as far as I could, I just don’t want you to get disappointed in the end and I have to be the one that breaks it down for you, the court journey for this matter will be long and exhausting.”
Kyuhyun clears his throat to vindicate his presence in the room to them, he stares sharply to Vincent’s hand that’s on her shoulders.
Eungi glances at him and her face blushes just by seeing the sharp and cynical expression on his face. She never planned to tease him this way but she can’t help not to feel delighted seeing him being affected by a casual gesture her friend did to her.
“In your opinion,” Eungi swifts her seating so Vincent takes his hands away from her, “What’s the best way for me to proceed with this? what kind of claim I should write down? And which attorney I should call?”
Vincent’s attention is diverted by the rings of his phone, he takes a look into his message, reads it and returns to their talk. “Shoot! I have to leave very soon, but I’ll give you his card.” he gets up from his chair and walks towards the bar.
Kyuhyun takes a sip of his coffee while staring blankly to Vincent’s empty seat, “Is he your boyfriend?” He’s almost whispering but Eungi can clearly hears what he said.
“He’s a married man.”
“Wow, and he called you ‘schat’? does his wife know that?” he still tries to maintain his cool no matter how ridiculous he sounds right now.
Eungi lifts her shoulder, “He was my close friend, we were in the same class during our master degree and that’s just how he addresses me from back then.”
“So he’s not just a barista?”
Eungi scoffs, “This café is his passion and upstairs is his consultant office. Why am I explaining these to you?”
“Keunyang.” He takes another sip of his coffee. “He seems too touchy.”
Eungi was ready to argue with him but Vincent returns to their table with a little business card in his hand. “This is the contact of my attorney, he’s specialized in intellectual human rights and you can come to his office in Utrecht if you want. Please listen to me Cha, you’re fighting a battle without enough weapon in your hands. I don’t mean to discourage you, but this can turn ugly and in the end you just spend a lot of money or worse you’ll get sue in return. Please learn your facts first before you really proceed with this matter.”
She takes the card from him and put it in the pile of papers she has with her. “Appreciate it Vince, I won’t give up on this.”
“Kyuhyun, I know you’re annoyed with the fact that your work being stolen without your consent, but please convince this lovely lady not to take any rough decision based only on her vengeance.” Vincent talks confidently to Kyuhyun, “the legal world is a whole different level from our area of expertise and they play dirty most of the time, I’m just preventing both of you from losing even more than a paper.”
“It’s not just a paper Vince.” Eungi presses her tone to affirm her case.
“I’ll talk to her more later.” Kyuhyun close their conversation before Eungi begins to bombard Vincent one more time.
“I have to pick up my daughter, the door will automatically lock from the outside so just leave once you’re finish with your business, okay? See you when I see you, schat.” Vincent gets up and kisses her check three times, “Pleasure to meet you Kyuhyun.”
“Take care.” She kisses him back, “Thanks again for this, I’ll get out of here soon enough.”
“Take your time. Bye.”
Eungi takes a deep breath and she begins spreading the papers in front of her based on categories, seems like she really did her homework in finding a way out for this legal matter. Kyuhyun takes out his laptop from his backpack and prepares his proof of data that he planned to represent to Eungi.
“You heard him, Kyuhyun-ssi, this will be hard and long battle but I hope you don’t quiver just because two people said it’s hard.” Eungi opens the talk, “Now, do you bring the evidence I asked you to prepared?”
He nods and gets up from his seat, he takes his laptop with him, rounds the table and sit in the chair next to Eungi. “It’s easier this way to show you my works.” He explains his reason of shifting seat even though Eungi didn’t ask.
Kyuhyun then begins his presentation of his previous work to her, his research background, his research method and even his time schedule when he conducted his work. After the basic covered, he continues to explain the steps he’s taking during the field research and he showed her the pictures he took from his observation. He then shows her the invention he discovered with his mate from material engineering department and he finally showed her the essay he wrote to get himself into their campus in Delft.
He’s taking his time to carefully show her what kind of hard work he did during his final semester in his bachelor degree and also showing her all kind of scientific procedures he took to make his final project his solid master piece yet. Kyuhyun explains to Eungi that the eco-tarmac roof tile he was talking about in his proposal to Professor Van Wijk has never been done before and that he really discovered that in the lab with his mates from another department.
She pays careful attention and takes some notes on some of the detail that might be useful for their claim later on. She’s trying so hard to concentrate on what he has to say to her while her attention is divided between the screen of his laptop and to Kyuhyun himself.
Eungi notices that he’s not really in his best condition today since Kyuhyun continuously choughs when he was talking, his voice is rather soar and he’s busy sniffing his runny nose during the talk. She feels the need to stop him from talking when she sees him having a hard time explaining some chemical term while he’s continuously touching his head, as if he’s fighting a massive headache.
“To conclude this meeting, noona.” He clears his throat to get rid of his soar voice, “I just want to prove you that I really did all these myself. I fought for my graduation card fair and square and I want to make you proud.”
Eungi’s caught off guard and she’s speechless with his straight forwardness.
“I appreciate your effort to help me with this legal case, but I can’t risk it. I can’t let you go out there to defend me while we both know our claim is too weak to even get a hearing from the court.” He takes a deep breath and rest his heavy head onto the back rest of his chair. “I’m sorry if I can’t help you to avenge him and I apologize that I was the cause you lost your initial battle in the first place.”
“Why are you being like this? if we give up now, that guy might take advantage of another student later on and this will continue every year. It’s not fair Kyu! Not fair to you and not fair for those future students.” She raises her voice to defend her believe.
Kyuhyun nods, “Let me ask you this, why are you fighting so hard for this matter?” He uses his remaining strength to argue with her, “It’s clear what your friend said about the research done in an institution belongs to the institution itself, we will lose with that argument alone noona. And the best result we can get is that my name be cited as the student that collaborated with the project.”
Eungi opens her mouth to talk but she’s running out of argument already. She’s too shock to witness how much Kyuhyun has grown in front of her. He used to be a whiny brat that uses his ego as his drive, seeing him being so calm and composed while talking wisely about his own disadvantage has somehow makes Eungi’s jaw drop in confusion. Is the man in front of her the same man she used to look after? Why it seems like Kyuhyun is the one that should take care of her these days?
“I can redo all kind of research that I’ve done—I have the time, the facility and hopefully the perfect coach for that—especially since I can use the previous invention I found in the lab back in Seoul. I know I’m well credited as one of the founder and that should be enough to save my ass in Professor Van Wijk class.” Kyuhyun takes several deep breaths to ease the pain in his head before he continues, “he accused me being a plagiarist because the report I turned to him was 90 percent similar to what Professor Hwang presented in the journal—since he copied that from me, I guess the similarity was inevitable. It has nothing to do with the invention that I found, I still can use that for my master thesis project.” Kyuhyun tries to explain the advantage he still has from his bad fortune.
“But, I thought you wanted to fight for this.”
Kyuhyun smiles bitterly while thinking of the best answer. He glances to her side and notice her angry stern face has return.
“Honestly, I agreed to do this just to have a little time to be next to you.” He gives his honest answer, “I guess I miss you that badly to the point that I’d do whatever it takes to communicate with you.”
Eungi closes her eyes as she takes some deep breaths, she prepared herself today for a legal talk, not this kind of talk.
“Please stop this legal battle here noona, I don’t want to harm you more by proceeding with this.”
She gets up from her seat and quickly stack up the paper she prepared in front of her. Eungi’s too confuse with her own feeling at the moment, she’s obviously angry because Kyuhyun is trying to convince her to give up on their case before they even begin, she’s flattered by the calmness in his voice when he said that he misses her yet at the same time annoyed with the way he delivered that message, she’s too flustered with her own emotion and instead of facing her problem, Eungi chose to takes her purse with her and takes her step towards the front door.
“Ya Cha Eungi, where are you going? It’s drizzling outside!” Kyuhyun quickly gets up from his seat to grabs his coat and follow her.
She ignores his warning and blast open the front door and continues to walk. “Drizzling, pst! This is not drizzle, it’s the evening weather in this country, dumbass!” She mumbles her annoyance towards Kyuhyun to herself.
Kyuhyun follows next to her to spread his arms on top of her head while covering her with his coat. Eungi stops and grabs the nearest fabric of his coat that she can reach to pull it down and away from her head. “Why don’t you cover yourself, you look like you’re about to faint anyway. I don’t need this kind of gesture from you, Kyuhyun-ssi, I can take care of myself.” She takes out a small compact umbrella from her purse and open it before she walks away from him.
He rolls his eyes but actually speechless by her reaction. He too never planned to win her back in the cheesiest way he could imagine like this, he just genuinely worries about her and the way Eungi pushed him away annoyed him even more. Kyuhyun quickens his step to walk next to her and he keeps on following her from the side no matter how many sarcastic looks Eungi throws at him.
“I’ll walk you home.” He glares back at her with equal sarcasm and continues to walk beside her. “I’m not taking ‘no’ as an answer.”
“Do whatever you want.” She keeps on looking forward as her effort to maintain her flat expression in front of him.
Eungi tried to act cool but then the windy weather teased her, a hard wind blows their way and its blast resulted in Eungi’s short skirt being lifts up. She automatically shrieks from the sudden exposure and the sudden cold that attacks the rest of her thigh while Kyuhyun’s attention quickly drives from looking at her facial expression down to her exposed legs. Kyuhyun is fighting his urge to laugh and do separate long cough to covers his laughter instead. He steps faster to position himself in front of Eungi to shelter her body from the wind and quickly wraps the arm part of his coat around her waist and ties them tight to make sure it won’t fly the way her skirt did.
“It’s almost winter for God’ sake, wear something that covers more than this.” He grumbles to her face while he’s busy tying the coat on her waist.
Eungi believes she can fry an egg on her face when he treats her like that, she’s too embarrassed to reply so she continues to walk while staring down to her feet.
She’s silently enjoying his attention to her choice of outfit today, she knows it’s not the best attire to counter the cold weather, but summer is still too far for her to wait to show him her legs. There’s this huge ego in her that insisted on showing Kyuhyun about what he missed from leaving her and she knows how much he adores her long legs—so she chose an outfit to accentuate her asset today, which bit her back once it’s purpose was disturbed by the rough Netherland wind.
She lets Kyuhyun walks her to her place and they both just look down to their foot as they walk. She’s honestly curious about a lot of things that doesn’t even relate to his abandonment over her. She wants to know how he’s been doing all these time, where he lives, how did he get himself to this campus, what his major of choice, how he’s been adapting to the culture, does he like the food here, and so on. Those thought alone are the perfect fuel to start a small talk with the man that’s now walking quietly next to her, but she’s still shackled in her own pride to even opens her mouth simply to ask whether he wants to share her umbrella or not.
Twenty minutes later, they arrive in her home and Kyuhyun waits patiently as she digs her key from her little purse. Eungi takes out her key, opens her front door and gives her umbrella for him to use while she’s taking off his coat that wraps around her waist.
“I don’t live too far from here, it’s okay.” He steps closer towards her to return her umbrella but he wobbles in his steps. The headache he experiences all day has gotten worse since he showered his head with the cold evening rain and he almost lost his own balance in front of her.
“Are you okay?” She finally says the words she’s been dying to ask him all day.
Kyuhyun nods and uses the frame of her door as his support to stand up, “I just need to lay down I think. Well, you’re home. Keep that coat with you so I have a reason to knock on this door next time to pick it up.” He tries to give a charming smile towards her before he coolly takes a step back from her doorway.
His second step are the last step he managed to take before his body falls freely onto her patio.
Eungi gasps in surprise to the sight of he’s falling right in front of her face. She quickly gets closer to his body and wiggle him a few times, she tries to rolls him on his back in order to check for his breathing and his heartbeat before she takes a conclusion that Kyuhyun just passed out on her doorway. She runs her hands to touch his face and the heat from his skin startled her.
“Aish Kyuhyun-a! how could you walk around when your fever is this high! Stupid guy.” Eungi takes her palm away from his forehead and does her first effort to lift him up—and fails at once.
She’s trying to lift him up for the second and third time but Kyuhyun’s body weight is obviously heavier than her. Eungi runs inside of her home to get a wide thin blanket to help her task of moving him inside easier. She gives all of her power to rolls him flat on his back so his body placed within the area of her blanket then she begins pulling the edges of her blanket inside her home.
She managed to bring him into her bedroom but then the next challenge arises, she has to lift his body from the floor onto the bed. Eungi places his upper body so close to her bed, position herself to kneel in the edge of her bed and uses his pits as her anchor to lift his whole body up to the bed. It’s a slow and long process but Eungi manages to get him on her bed in the end—even though she’s sweating a lot after the hard work she’s done.
Eungi quickly lift his upper body part again to takes off his drenched sweater, she then lays him on his back again before she begins unbuttoning his black shirt and does her next effort to strip him down from his wet attires. She’s slapping herself from having some dirty thoughts when she begins pulling down his pants away from him, she needs to keep telling herself that what she’s doing at the moment is necessary to prevent him from getting a higher fever.
She left his boxers on since it’s not drenched and she’s still trying to keep her self-control intact with her. Eungi quickly runs to the bathroom to prepares a warm bath to wipe his feverish body and she takes her time to softly pats the warm towel across his damp body, dries his wet hair then spreads some vapo-rub on his chest before Eungi takes one of her oversized sweater and wrestle her way to put the sweater on his naked upper body.
Eungi then turns the heater in her home on full blast to make sure the man that’s still fainting on her bed feels warm and hopes this step can help to lower his fever. She checks her first aid kit to find some remedies for cold and prepares them on the nightstand next to Kyuhyun with a glass of water for him to drink later once he’s conscious.
She’s giving herself a pat on her shoulder once she’s done taking care Kyuhyun in his helpless stage, she wouldn’t think that she’d manage to move his body from her front porch into her bed at all earlier. However, seeing her man now sleeping peacefully in her bed has been a wakeup call for her.
Eungi takes her place on the bed next to him and lays herself close to Kyuhyun, her finger begins to trace down the silhouette of his face and she let her head rests in the nook oh his neck before she wraps her arm around his body.
She sheds her tears quietly from having her dream becoming reality.
He’s here next to her, she can embrace him the way she used to, and she hasn’t feel at peace like this in a long time. Eungi misses his presence so much to the point that she doesn’t care if what she’s doing at the moment counts as ‘taking advantage of him’, she just wants him back in her arms and she doesn’t even care about his reasons to left her anymore. She’s ready to swallow the bitter truth as long as she can hold him in her arms like this forever.
She falls asleep while hugging him and that’s the most peaceful sleep she got ever since he left.