Author's Notes: Welllll hello there. True story, I got Chinese food recently and got the same damn fortune I gave Lasercorn at the beginning of The Fortune Cookie Told Me To. So I took that to mean only one thing - SEQUEL TIME! All these Jovanthony hints in the recent Game Bangs and elsewhere have been punching me right in the feels lately, and I got to thinking - heeeey, that would make a pretty story to tell in the Fortune Cookie universe. So here we are! Tbh, I'm not very good at working on two stories at once. I'm not sure how often this will be updated because I'm using it more as a way to get myself out of my writer's block for Perfectly Imperfect, but I'll do my best to not let both of the stories stew for too long. Either way, hope you enjoy! And also, to stay true to my n00b days of writing Fortune Cookie, I'm going to mostly address the people by their aliases - so Joven, Lasercorn, and Sohinki rather than Joshua, David, and Matt. Thanks for reading!
Scrolling through his e-mail and twitter account had become something Joven dreaded. Ever since he lost his bet with Lasercorn and had to make his public love confession to Mari on that episode of 'Why We're Single,' any place people could reach him was flooded with messages questioning the outcome, wanting pictures, asking when the wedding was, so on and so forth. Each message a painful reminder that she had turned him down, each comment a knife in the gut to emphasize that she said she was with someone else.
Joven skimmed his messages idly, looking past the crap to see if there was anything actually useful in his inbox. He was happy for Mari, he honestly was. She seemed to have found a great guy, even if none of them had actually met him yet. But she always seemed to be in a good mood, and whenever she talked about her mysterious boyfriend, a smile would light up her face that both gutted Joven and elated him. Things hadn't changed on the surface between him and Mari. They were still friends. They still joked. He even still played pranks on her from time to time, but even in spite of his desperate attempt to keep things the same, they weren't.
And that didn't just go for things with Mari. Everything had changed as soon as Lasercorn and Ian started openly dating. They didn't see much of Lasercorn anymore. Before Iancorn became a thing, Lasercorn was always at the studio - either playing games in the background or just hanging out in general. Now they would only see him when he was scheduled to film something, and even then, there was a strange sort of tension between him and Sohinki. Joven had no idea what that was about, but he wished things could just go back to the way they were. It was as though every familiarity he had was crumbling around him and all he could do was sit back and watch.
"Are you still moping around over there?" Sohinki turned in his chair to address Joven, jarring him out of his thoughts.
"What? Why would I be moping?" Joven furrowed his brows. "I was just checking my e-mail. Nothing interesting."
"Huh. I thought maybe Lasercorn would've sent you something."
"Why would he do that? He could just text me," Joven spared one final glance at his screen before preparing to close it - only to have something catch his eye. It was a message from the Smosh account. His mouse hovered over it just to make sure it wasn't a figment of his imagination.
"You sure he could spare the time between making out with Ian to shoot you a text?" Sohinki grunted bitterly.
"Do you have a thing for him or something? Because that sounds an awful lot like jealousy."
"What? No way!"
"A little defensive there, Sohinki," Joven smirked. "Don't tell me you're gonna be the next one embarrassing themselves on 'Why We're Single'..."
Sohinki looked as though he was about to say something before he got red faced and turned back to his computer screen, "You're an idiot."
"So it's been said. Multiple times, in fact. I even tend to agree." He remarked in self-deprecating humor before sobering. "Seriously, though. What happened between the two of you? Everything's been weird since he started dating Ian. I wouldn't think that'd be enough to change him..."
"Yeah, well, you never know what's gonna happen until it happens. He's the one with an issue. Not me," Sohinki shrugged it off dismissively and quickly changed the topic. "Anyway, you should stop sulking around and check out this game. I'm thinking we should play it in an episode of 'Backseat Gaming.'"
"For the last time, I'm not sulking," Joven grumbled.
"Sure looks like sulking. Sure sounds like sulking."
Joven took a sheet of paper, crumpling it up and tossing it at Sohinki's head - only to miss wildly. "Shut it."
"Not until you drag your chair over here and check this game out. You have to move anyway to pick up the paper you threw."
He rolled his eyes, "Hang on. I wanna read something first..."
"You know if you keep doing this to yourself, you're never gonna get over her," Sohinki didn't pry his attention away from his monitor for a second, blasting his way through his enemies. "It's for the best if you just step away from the fan questions and put your focus into other things. I might give you a hard time, but I do wanna see you happy, Joven."
Joven furrowed his brows, "This has nothing to do with Mari, but thanks for your concern. It's from Anthony, actually. Something about a convention over in Vegas that Smosh is supposed to do a panel at, yaddayaddayadda, Ian can't make it - so he thought one of us could go with him to represent Smosh Games. Huh."
"Oh, cool. I could go for a night out in Vegas."
"Hey, hold on. He sent the e-mail to ME. Why should you be the one who goes?"
"Uh...because I'm the best, obviously," Sohinki fixed his collar. He grinned when Joven finally got up and joined him. "But actually, you know what? You're right. You should be the one who goes. You've had a crappy few weeks. You deserve it."
"You act like I'm wallowing in despair," he settled beside his friend. "I'm fine. I'd be even more fine if you stop bringing up how miserable I'm supposed to be. Now c'mon. Don't you have a game to show me?"
Sohinki regarded Joven for a moment, looking as though he was about to say something again - but he clamped his mouth shut and nodded. Joven arched a brow, wondering why Sohinki kept clamming up. First on the subject of Lasercorn, now on the subject of, well, he didn't even know. He shrugged it off, though. Joven had enough changes lately, he couldn't deal with losing Sohinki, too. So he shut up and focused on the game, thinking to himself that maybe it would be a good idea to seek out his own change in life. He wasn't sure when, and he wasn't sure what - but maybe a change of pace would get him out of the perpetual rut he was trapped in. It was worth a try.
And that try started with accompanying Anthony to Vegas.
Lasercorn sat on the sidelines, watching Anthony and Ian film a scene for their latest Smosh video. He held an unopened bottle of water in his hands, and his only instruction was to toss it to Ian when they got to the cue. As much as he adored spending time with Ian and Anthony, the whole thing was boring. Lasercorn wasn't the type of guy who could sit patiently without having something to occupy himself - moreover, some kind of gaming controls beneath his fingertips. But what could he do? To go hang out with Joven and Sohinki meant actually facing Sohinki...and fuck that. Fuck Sohinki. It was totally not cool for him to let Joven go ahead with the bet knowing full well he never stood a chance with Mari because Sohinki had secretly got there first.
It was difficult to face both of them having this knowledge - so Lasercorn extricated himself and occupied his time being the waterboy for Ian, or whatever other menial thing they needed. He supposed it was nice to be helpful to them, but they weren't trusting him with any of the bigger tasks, and he felt more that they were simply humoring him because he was their friend (or in Ian's case...boyfriend.)
Still as soon as Ian said his line, Lasercorn tossed the bottle in his direction and the filming went on. At least he wasn't Joven. He was sure it would have taken several takes and Ian being pelted a couple of times before they got it right. But for as many faults and failings Joven had, Lasercorn really did want to see him happy. He just wasn't sure what he could possibly do to make that happiness a reality. All he held in his hands was the key to making Joven even more miserable, and the keys to his car because he was pretty sure Ian and Anthony were going to be finishing soon.
Lasercorn's assumption was right as only a few minutes later, the crew called it a wrap and the group dispersed. Ian approached him, and Lasercorn smiled, tilting his head up to meet the kiss he was greeted with. Ian sank onto the seat next to him, planting his hand on his knee and giving it a pat, "You know I appreciate you coming out here and helping us..."
"There's a but coming. I can sense the but. What's the but?"
"But you look so bored. I don't want you to feel obligated to be here just because we're dating. I mean, you can and totally should spend time with the guys back at Smosh Games HQ. You seemed happier there."
"Things have changed, Ian. Either place I go, I'm not happy," he paused, realizing what he just said. "I mean, not that I'm not happy here. I love spending time with you and throwing water bottles to you - and OKAY. Yeah, I'm bored out of my mind. But I just can't find it in me to face the mess back at the office."
Ian uncapped his water, draining a bit, "You mean with Mari and Joven?"
Lasercorn looked at him. He hadn't told Ian he walked in on Sohinki and Mari kissing if only because he knew Ian would tell Anthony and then it would be even worse if everyone knew EXCEPT Joven. But he was tempted to say it now - to blurt everything out and get some advice because he had been bottling it inside for so long. In the end, though, he held his silence. "Yeah...that."
"You don't have to feel responsible for that, Lasercorn. Joven's a big boy. He could've turned the bet down if he wanted. If anything, you being there would probably be a big help in returning things to normal. I mean, what? Not only did he lose Mari, but he also lost you being there?"
Lasercorn frowned, "Damnit, Ian. Why do you have to be right all the time?"
"I don't know. One of my many talents - emphasis on the many," Ian wiggled his eyebrows and sensually licked his lips causing Lasercorn to roll his eyes with a smile and push him away.
"Asshole." He stared up at the ceiling thoughtfully. "I just wish there was something I could do. Maybe I could find someone for him to go out on a date with - or just something to get his mind off of things. Even if nothing comes of it, it'd be a nice distraction to get him on the right path to normalcy."
Just then, Anthony's voice rang clear over all the other chatter. He was talking to one of the crew members with a beer in hand, and although he had makeup on to hide most of his fatigue and stress from the camera - there was something exhausted and weary about his eyes, "I just don't know how she could look me in the eye and say she wants to see other people. I proposed to her. We were planning our wedding together. How could she just uproot her life when she'd agreed to spend the rest of it with me?"
Lasercorn stared at Anthony as an idea formulated its way into his mind.. He turned to Ian, and before he could even say anything, Ian must have read his thoughts because he shook his head, "No."
"C'mon. Don't you think they get along great? It'd be a good distraction for the both of them - a rebound to pick themselves back up and start over again."
"Does Joven even like guys that way?"
"He could?" Lasercorn answered uncertainly, scratching behind his ear. The truth was he had no idea. "It's worth a try! What's the worst that could happen? They just hang out as friends? They become closer as buddies? C'mon, Ian. Help me smoosh them together, pleeeease?" He rested his chin on Ian's shoulder and gave him puppy eyes until he gave in. "Pretty pleeeease? Pretty please with a cherry on top? Pretty please with YOU on top?"
"Alright, alright. Fine. You win."
He reached out and wrapped his arms around Ian's shoulders, "You're the best!" Lasercorn drew back and clapped his hands, rubbing them together deviously, "Alright. Let Operation Jovanthony commence."
To be honest, he didn't really expect anything to come of it. But if Lasercorn could succeed in getting two guys who were having a rough time to hang out and feel better about themselves, then he would consider it a win. If nothing else, it was worth a shot.