Category: Romance, NC-21, Chaptered
Cast: Cha Eungi, Choi Siwon, Cho Kyuhyun
The winter vacation was over and they’re back to their daily life with much trust in each other. No matter how she’s still affected by his act of abandonment, Eungi now can convinces herself that Kyuhyun did it in his desperate time and it wasn’t intentional and that he won’t go anywhere this time.
Not long after they got back from Switzerland, he had to immediately fly to Seoul to give his greetings for the upcoming semester and to review the performance of his employee in the past six months. She had this worried face after he told her about his mandatory visit to Seoul, no matter how many times he convinced her that he’ll just be there for less than a week and he knew how restless she was when he’s about to leave.
That time Eungi followed him to Schipol Airport and hugs him tight until he really had to board his plane. The relief expression on her face once she picked him up a week later was priceless. The way she cutely stood with her expecting expression while holding a ‘welkom thuis—welcome home’ balloon as she waited for him to get out of the luggage area was something he’d remember forever as her way to deliver her worries and insecurity over him leaving her. As much as he enjoyed her best treatment once he hugged her, he really felt the urge to rest her worried mind and spontaneously asked her to move in together.
They spent some time to argue whether they should find a new place or move into her place that’s already bigger than his and more comfortable, in the end he gave in and moved all of his stuff into her home. It wasn’t so hard for Eungi to adjust herself of having him around her place from the time she wakes up until she closes her eyes at night, she lived with a man before and it wasn’t so hard to adapt herself to have him being around her all the time.
He, in the other hand had some difficulties at first. To get up next to her is always something he’s grateful for but he had to slowly swift his mindset. Usually when they have arguments, Kyuhyun could just let them calm down for a bit while they both think about their fights in their own homes, since he’s living with her, he had to sit and communicate better when they’re fighting and it really was a crash course in being a grown up couple for him.
Months after they’re living together, they basically feel like an official married couples since they really can’t be separated from each other.
He also noticed something is gradually changing from her behavior. Cha Eungi used to be the woman that dedicates all of her time for her research and studies, but since he lives with her, Kyuhyun saw how she slowly turns herself into a girly woman that cooks dinner every day for both of them. The Eungi that relies on take-outs has gone and replaced with the one that’s ready to be a housewife soon enough—not that he had any objection to her changes.
In her eyes, he also turns from the lazy student she used to coach into somebody that’s really pushing himself to the limit. This semester alone, she witnessed how frustrated he was when he didn’t get straight A’s in his report card and she was puzzled when he took extra hours just for the sake of changing his A minus into A during the summer vacation. Kyuhyun used to be satisfied with a C score but now he turned into this obsessed student and an obsessed researcher. When she asked for his reason, Kyuhyun just coolly said that he wanted to be better since he got the opportunity to study in one of the best campus in the world.
His real research began after the summer vacation. Since his initial goal is to create a better roof tile to reduce energy usage in Korean household, he had to constantly go back and forth to South Korea whilst Eungi was also occupied with her own research in Denmark. During this time, they were separated long enough but that doesn’t make them waver like the last time.
After two years of recovery, Kyuhyun’s father finally able to take back his throne in the campus, leaving Kyuhyun to live at ease after a couple of stressful years. He still holds his title as a vice-director and still has some responsibility over campus internal matter but at least he doesn’t have to be his father replacement anymore, therefore he can completely focus on his study.
It’s bizarre how fast their life revolve around them when they’re together. If she turns back the time to two years ago, Eungi wouldn’t think that she’d spend her days with him the way they’re living right now. They work simultaneously to perfect each other’s research and she couldn’t be happier to have somebody smart to discuss architecture related stuff with her that stand by her side every day. He has slowly growing into a man that she can really rely into, he’s her best friend, her research partner, her lover, and her protector all at the same time—something she thought she’d never have.
A big thing happened to him near the end of his study. He once entered his design into the international patent office in The Netherlands out of the blue just for the fun of it. But his playful intention was accepted as a patent pending until he conducts further proven result from his thesis. His design and invention of the roof tile is taken into the international forum of eco design and he was offered a join collaboration with the very cooperation that produces Eungi’s eco panel. He needed to slap himself a few times when he read his email about this announcement and only when Eungi jumps in happiness while congratulating him, he really realized that he just did a great thing.
No matter how much she tries to calm him down, Cho Kyuhyun just keep walking back and forth in front of their fire place while mumbling something as he read a little cue card in his hands. Eungi knows that feeling he feels right now and she’s actually very excited for him, tomorrow is scheduled to be his final defense presentation and the tensed expression in his face has amuses her somehow.
She knows the drill with final defenses since she’s been in quite a lot of those in her life time and she used to sit in the panel also, so she really knows that his worry isn’t necessary at all. However, she can’t take this moment away from him by telling him how it works and how the mean panel are there only to tease him before they give him the great news, so she just let him enjoys his nervousness.
He’s now sitting on the couch, reviewing his presentation again for tomorrow, cross-checking his references and tries to find some other counter arguments just in case it’s needed. Eungi takes her seat next to him and hugs him tightly as her effort to distract his attention. He budges a little but the focus in his eyes doesn’t swift a little bit.
“Are you really that nervous?” She grins.
“Does my insecurity amuses you that much?” He frowns and looks back to his laptop.
“What makes you worry? Tell me, who knows I can give you some tips.”
He takes a deep breath and slowly leans into her to lays his head on her thigh. “I worry because I have no idea how it’s gonna turn out. What if my idea is stupid and they hate it?”
She runs her hand through his hair while smiling sweetly. “Kyu, your project is awesome! You will present it tomorrow and you can brag about this eco roof tile that you created.”
“What if my tongue slips during the presentation? English is not my first language noona, anything could happen, I could stutter.”
“I will be there tomorrow to sit in the audience seat.”
“Yeah, that makes me less nervous.” He snaps with his sarcasm.
Eungi giggles to his witty reaction. “So would it be better if I don’t sit inside? Just tell me what you need me to do, you’re the king for a day and I’ll do whatever you want.”
“Why would you want to watch it anyway?”
“Because I’m so proud of you.” She pinches his nose. “I met you when you were this rebel brat and now you’ll be presenting your master thesis here, to top that, you also have secured yourself with the patent pending status of your eco roof tile—Kyu, I didn’t even have patent-anything when I was doing my thesis, it shows that you’re already much better than me in any aspect.”
“You think so?” He lifts his head to take a peek at her.
She nods, “You won’t understand this feeling that I feel right now.”
“What is it?”
“The proud feeling of a teacher towards her former student that does much better than she did.” She leans closer and lands a kiss on his forehead, “I taught lots of students and I had a blast whenever I see they’re doing great in their life. But you, you’re a special case and you turned to be this great and you proved me right, you proved me that I didn’t misjudge you the first time I gave you a chance to fix your mess in my class back then.” She places her hand on her chest to show him how touched she is, “It’s the greatest gift you can give to your teacher and I cannot thank you enough for this.”
He smiles and gets himself up to wrap his arms around her. “I just want to make you proud, noona.”
“And I am, I am very proud of you. I mean that eco tile you created, damn! I could brag about it in front of Van Wijk and tell him that ‘my boyfriend created that!’ and he won’t have anything to say back to me because he knows I’m right.” She cups his face and kisses him, “Don’t comprehend my words into a wrong meaning, but Kyuhyun-a, you’re my best discovery. I’m so happy that you do much better than me, as your teacher I’m proud of you because you proved those who misjudge you wrong and as your girlfriend I’m proud of you for so many reasons that I can’t even list out.”
Kyuhyun feels at ease for a moment, he really appreciates her way to takes his mind off his presentation and he’s really touched seeing the proud expression in her face. This is what he’s fighting forever since he knew her, he’s fighting his way into her life by constantly having the need to make her proud—and for the first time, he finally feels like he really deserves her appreciation.
“So rest assure, you will be fine tomorrow. In fact, I swear to you that you’ll miss this moment in your life. The excitement about sharing your research to the rest of the panel, debating over its necessities, defending your argument and getting some new point of views from the prosecutors.” Her eyes glistening with her own excitement over his future defense, “And that moment when you’re done, the expectation of the final result, the intense heartbeat you feel in your chest—oh, I miss those adrenalin pumping experience.”
“You’re a weird woman, you know that? people do bungee jump for adrenalin rush, not defending their research.” He messes with her hair, feeling slightly better after she gives some insights for him.
“But you’ll know what I’m talking about soon enough.” She laughs, “That second before they announce your fate, you’ll feel like your body is in its freezing point and you won’t be able to hear other noise around you—you just focus on the voice of your advisor that’s about to give you the final sentence. Then he will announce the final decision over your research, that moment you’ll feel like your soul is lift up off your body and you just float in the air, for a second you’ll feel so powerless and before you know it, your body will suck your floating soul back into it after you’re given the diploma.” She describes him the feeling she loves so much whenever she goes on one of those thesis defenses.
“Will I really be okay?” he takes her hand and holds them, “Fell my hands, it’s cold right? It’s already hard to breath for me right now.”
“I promise you it’ll be fine.” She caresses him, “I bet you’ll get the excitements I’m describing to you right now and I bet you’ll get addicted to it.”
She’s been convincing him from last night and has been trying to create a comfortable environment for him to ease his mind. She continuously tells him to relax and forget about his presentation for the night and just gets into his happy place instead. His happy place is obviously cuddling with her but even that cannot really take his mind off completely from the matter that awaits him.
The reason he’s being this nervous is not really about his presentation, nor his thesis. It’s something bigger than that and he can’t tell her yet about it. He knows he’ll do fine in his final defense, what he doesn’t know is what score he’s going to get for it. If he wants to continues on with his plan, he needs to—has to—get the perfect score. Only then he can be a valedictorian and only then he could prove himself worthy to be by her side to her professor/her godfather.
The morning of his presentation, Eungi really treats him like a king. She prepares his breakfast, his suit, his tie, shines his shoes and she makes sure he gets every material he needs in his bag before they leave for the presentation. She was ready to wait outside of the room if that helps to calm him down, but Kyuhyun takes her hand when his name is being called.
“I thought you’ll be nervous if I’m in the room with you?” She steps closer to him and fix his crooked tie.
“Come here.” He pulls her and hugs her tight and sinks his face in the curve of her neck, “You’re the only piece of comfort I could get in there and I need to focus my eyes on the price anyway. So please come inside.”
“Am I the price?” She giggles while patting his back.
“You’re the reason I’m here, and you’re my lucky charm, so let’s not separate ourselves in this very crucial moment.” He takes a deep breath and stands straight again. “Give me a good luck kiss.” He points his lips with his fore finger.
Eungi tip toes and use the edge of his suit as her anchor then gives him a quick peck on his lips, “Good luck in there Kyuhyun-a. I know you’ll do great.” She pecks him one more time. “Now go inside and kick some ass! I’ll give you some great treatment afterwards.”
He nods and takes his moment of silent say his prayer before he enters the room, Eungi follows from behind then takes one seat in the middle. She gives her thumbs up to him before he starts his defense.
“Good morning everyone.” Professor Van Wijk opens the session, “Today we’re here to hear a final defense presentation of my student, Cho Kyuhyun. His research concentrated in sustainable heating for housing, he will begin his presentation by telling us his problem statement and the method he used to conduct this research and we will listen to his conclusion before we begin the open discussion and take some advices for further research. I’m honored to be his advisor throughout this research and with no further delay, I’ll present you all Cho Kyuhyun.” He gives an encouraging nod towards Kyuhyun, “You have twenty minutes to explain your thesis.”
And so he begins explaining his research.
While he’s talking in front of the room, Eungi constantly covers her mouth to hide her shrieks of excitements. Cho Kyuhyun never looked sexier in her eyes than he is today. He wraps himself in a perfectly great suit that complimented with a perfect tie, he combs his hair a little bit this morning and her favorite part is the cufflinks in his shirt. Even when he looks very professional right now, Kyuhyun still managed to let loose a little bit by wearing Eungi’s last birthday present for him, that is a pair of limited edition Darth Vader cufflinks. But all those elements combined with his confidence while explaining his research, with the steadiness in his eyes and the way he takes his time to delivers his presentation—Cha Eungi really has to restrain herself from not jumping into him in front of all these people.
His time to explain his initial research is up and the questioning session begins. This is the break-it or make-it part—no matter how great one’s project is, the panel will always push the researcher to the limit simply just to prove that there’re still a lot of other things that can lead to a new research and also because that’s how it goes according to the tradition. Van Wijk takes his place really well to be Kyuhyun’s back up whenever the questions begin to get out of context and Kyuhyun also calmly taking notes from the panel to put in his list of revision later.
An hour later, after the long and endless debate session, his defense finally over. Kyuhyun is asked to stay in the room while the rest of the panel gets out to discuss his works in the other room. He sits quietly on his seat at the front of the room and closes his eyes, this is the feeling Eungi told him about last night—the anticipation and the twirl in his tummy that makes him want to puke at some point. He takes a glance towards her, feels a little better when she keeps cheering for him still while lifting two thumbs up to him and keeps mouthing ‘you did great’.
The panel enters the room one more time with stern look on their faces. He’s asked to stand in the middle of the room while Van Wijk will begin his announcement.
With wobbly steps he tries to stand tall, all eyes on him but only a set of eyes that matters to him right now, her eyes that now stares at him with the shine he’s never seen before.
“Earlier this morning, we watched a final thesis defense from our own student, Cho Kyuhyun.” Van Wijk begins the announcement session from his seat in the panelist, “He took his time to share us his amazing research and one more time, our campus had succeeded to conduct a research that led into another patent finder.”
Kyuhyun smiles a little bit, feeling proud of himself for that very achievement Van Wijk just said.
“After enough consideration from us, the panelist. I myself as his advisor is honored to announce his result today.” He clears his throat to create a dramatic effect.
Kyuhyun remembers how Eungi describe the feeling of his soul being lifts up from his body and that’s exactly what he feels right now. If it’s up to him, he just wants the opening formality to end immediately and get his result all at once instead.
“We came to a unanimous decision, that today, on July 7th 2019 Cho Kyuhyun has officially earned his Master of Engineering degree from the University of Delft. We hope he will continue to excel in his field of study and continues to bring changes into the worlds from his new title.” Van Wijk’s round face blushes happily and he winks towards Kyuhyun after he announces his new tittle. “He’s declared to graduate with honor of summa cum-laude, congratulation.”
The whole room begins to clap for him and to Kyuhyun this is the first time ever he feels like he matters. Those people look at him with such awe in their eyes and in between the chaos, he takes a glance towards the only person that really matters to him. Eungi’s eyes are glistening in happy tears, he knows just by one look that he finally made her proud.
Cha Eungi has to cover her mouth one more time so she won’t shriek, the look on Kyuhyun’s face right now is so priceless for her and she’s too happy to be able to share this moment with him. Kyuhyun in the other hand, is still floating in midair after hearing a new tittle added to his name. Just like what Eungi said, now he feels so powerless and he can’t even understand how he’s still manage to stand straight.
“Please come forward, Cho Kyuhyun, Master of Engineering. You need to sign some paperwork before you can continue into your graduation party next month.”
Kyuhyun comes closer towards Van Wijk’s and takes the pen available next to the pile of papers he needs to sign.
“Congratulation, Cho!” Van Wijk gives his hand and pulls Kyuhyun to hug him while he continuously pats his shoulder proudly.
“Couldn’t have done any of it without you, Sir.” He hugs him back.
“Nah, you’re a born-genius.” He chuckles. “I’m just a polisher to make that brain of yours shines brighter.”
“Summa cum-laude, Sir.” He lifts the paper in the table and show it to Van Wijk in the exact word. “I guess that makes me a valedictorian this year?”
Van Wijk nods.
“So do I get your blessing?”
“By all means.” He pulls Kyuhyun again and hugs him one more time, “It’s about time for her to get surprised anyway, I hope you have the ring already.”