Disclaimer: I do not own BOF or any of the characters.
~ Chapter 1 ~
JiHoo had been friends Goo JunPyo since kindergarten, and while he truly believed that it was impossible to know everything about a person, he thought that he knew enough about JunPyo to trust him with JanDi. But as he poured the boiling tea into the two cups arranged on his living room table, one for him and one for the shaken girl on the couch, he wondered if he had been horribly mistaken.
The rain had been pouring for hours now, and JiHoo had been content, reading in his living room, listening to the soft beat of the descending drops as they struck his roof. He had long lost track of time, and when the soft knock against the door reached his ears as he turned a page, he was surprised to discover that it was already quarter past eleven. The time mixed with the weather confused him as to who was visiting this late? Maybe his grandfather had locked himself out of the house?
Marking his page, JiHoo gently lay his book down and rose from the white plush chair, stretching on his way to the door. He had been expecting his grandfather, and at the strangest a visit from one of the F4. He had not at all anticipated his eyes meeting with Geum JanDi's.
JiHoo was in the kitchen preparing the tea, his mind reeling. For JanDi to come all this way so close to midnight could only mean that there was a problem. Of course it wasn't unlike her to come and visit every so often, but normally she had the common sense to come when the sun was still up. And if that wasn't enough, her appearance only further arose suspicion.
She had been drenched as though she had walked all the way to his front door which was absurd considering the distance from his house in proximity to the surrounding area. She had skipped a button while doing up her coat, her shoes hadn't matched, and matching the theory of her soggy appearance, she wasn't carrying an umbrella. Sirens rang loud in his head, something was very wrong, and naturally it irritated him.
Placing the cream tea cups and identical pot on a spotless tray, he carried them into the living room where JanDi sat shaking on the couch. JiHoo had given her a sweater and matching pants of his so she wouldn't catch a cold in the soaking wet attire she had been wearing. She also had a towel over her head, attempting to dry her drenched disheveled hair. Even in such a circumstance JiHoo couldn't help but smile lightly at her in his clothes that devoured her small frame. It was cute, even innocent.
He set the cups on the table in front of her and began to the pour the tea; the steam rising up and disappearing before him had an almost tranquil effect in the room that well accompanied the sound of the unrelenting rain outside. It would have been perfect if not for the still dazed JanDi. After pouring the tea JiHoo resumed his seat in his chair next to the couch, motioning to the cup instructing JanDi to drink.
Picking up her cup cautiously, she subtly sipped her drink. The warm liquid seemed to be serving its purpose in calming her down; JiHoo observed as he took a taste from his own cup. Silence persisted but it wasn't awkward. It was the familiar comforting silence that the two shared on many occasions, and was the reason why JanDi had come to JiHoo. Like warm tea, he was comfort.
JiHoo understood that JanDi was probably too overwhelmed to want to talk. Her still stunned state only verified that. However with JanDi no longer soaked, he could clearly see the fading red around her eyes. She had been crying, and that alone was enough to send JiHoo over the edge, even though he would never show it in front of her. Either way for once he couldn't just sit there and keep quiet.
"JanDi, what happened?" He had learned from past experience that it was best to be blunt with her, that's just the kind of person she was.
At first he didn't get a response. She just sat there, staring numbly at the floor, eyes blank. JiHoo could remember with frightening clarity the last time he had seen the dismal expression. When JunPyo had gone to Macau and abandoned all contact. JiHoo recalled it well, and he still agreed with himself that it was not a suitable expression for Wonder Woman JanDi.
JiHoo sighed accepting the silence and was about to stand, deciding to prepare a room for his guest, when a timid voice drew him back down. "He's gone. He just…left," JanDi's voice was surprisingly steady but remained low and faintly fearful, as though saying it out loud would be confirming everything. JiHoo thought she would stop, but the words continued.
"We fought. I don't even remember what it was about. But he said that…that he h-hated me," tears were welling in the corners of her eyes, but still she persisted with the story. "I told him that I hated when he was stubborn. That he was acting like a child. He just screamed. And he told me that…that, I –" she took a breath, struggling to compose herself, but she was too far over her breaking point. "That I'd never understand," The tears brimmed over and trailed down her flushed cheeks. "He left. He walked out the door, and he hasn't come back for three days. He's gone."
Somewhere during her explanation and tears, JiHoo had found himself instinctively by her side. He reached into the front pocket of his stainless white jeans and pulled out a clean white handkerchief and began to trace the tears away. But the tears continued to fall, faster then they could be dabbed away. He placed the handkerchief aside and unconsciously wrapped his arms around JanDi in a protective embrace. Shielding her from her surroundings and hopefully comforting her, all the while somewhere deep down, he felt the distant pang of anger.
Anger towards JunPyo for doing this to JanDi; and to himself for not hearing the warning bells sooner.
"I'm sorry JanDi," JiHoo whispered into her ear. "I'm sorry that your firefighter failed you. I'm sorry that I'm so late."
JanDi woke up jaded and sore to the faint sounds of pots and pans clanging. She rubbed her stinging eyes as she adjusted to the dark light emanating from the open window. The sky was a pale blue and dark clouds littered the sky, but oddly enough, JanDi felt more at ease then she had for a long while. And for a slight moment, underneath the warm cotton sheets and lying on top of the soft feather mattress, JanDi forgot about the past three day and the thunderstorm. All she remembered was JiHoo holding her which made a faint smile appear on her lips, but dissipated just as fast at the realization of why she was even at JiHoo's house in the first place.
Sighing, she threw the blankets off of her and kicked her feet around as she sat up yawning and stretching, which was minutely awkward considering that she was drowning in clothes that were a few sizes too big for her. Once on her feet, she walked over to close the window that was letting in a bitter breeze, foreshadowing the possibility of another storm.
JanDi threw the covers back up onto the bed; her own futile attempt at making it. She understood quite well that later in the day the maids would come and fix it themselves, but she felt wrong leaving the bed in such a cluttered state when she shouldn't have been sleeping there in the first place.
JanDi's aimless thinking was interrupted by the sounds still carrying in though the slightly cracked open door. Only now instead of clanging metal, it was gentle sizzling and glass clinking in harmony. Her curiosity was getting to her, and she carefully opened the door just enough to slip though. She tiptoed down the hallway, the noises slowly growing louder as she approached the large open kitchen.
The scent of butter, frying meat, and sugar filled the room and the sight of JiHoo standing at the stove, flipping pancakes while singing tunelessly to a nonexistent audience involuntarily made her smile. JanDi laughed silently as she crept her way to the nearest counter. The intoxicating smell was driving her crazy. She hadn't eaten dinner and just the thought of food made her mouth water almost savagely.
JiHoo turned around and jumped at the sight of his guest sitting on his kitchen island staring at the ground, watching her feet swing back and forth. He laughed off his shock shaking his head.
"Ahhh, good morning," JanDi woke up from her distraction. "Sunbae, you didn't have to make all of this." She motioned towards the table that was laden with porridge, bacon, sausage, not to mention that mound of pancakes that sat cooking on the stovetop.
"It's nothing," JiHoo wiped his hands off on the towel in front of him. "It was my turn to cook breakfast anyway. Grandfather is getting ready for work, he should be out soon. You should start eating, it'll get cold." He flashed a smile and returned to the stove.
JanDi awkwardly jumped off the counter and sauntered over to the small banquet. She fixed her plate with a generous amount of food. JiHoo soon came over and directly placed a pile of pancakes on her plate next to the sausage.
"You can start eating," he gave another flawless smile. "I promise I didn't poison anything."
JanDi fed herself a forkful of pancake grinning at the taste. "It's delicious! But Sunbae, aren't you going to eat too? You made a lot of food."
"Of course I'm going to eat. I just wanted to make sure this feast was to your specifications." JiHoo sat down across the table making his own plate.
"You just wanted me to test the food for you. I'm not a guinea pig and if these pancakes weren't so amazing I would be really angry right now."
JiHoo shook his head playfully at her mock pout. "I would never do that JanDi. Besides, if I were to compare you to an animal it would be much cuter than guinea pig."
JanDi was prepared with a retort but JiHoo was saved by the appearance of his grandfather.
"Good Morning you two," He took a turn to look at them both before sitting down and preparing the plate before him. "JanDi, I didn't know you were here."
"Oh I'm sorry, I came in late. I needed JiHoo's help with something but umm, I can leave after breakfast." She bowed her head in apology frantically trying to cover up her late night escapade.
"Oh no, don't leave on my account. You aren't over here nearly as much as you should be. Who knows, with you around again maybe JiHoo will feel inspired to do more then read and stare at videos of orchestral arrangements."
"It's all for work,"
"Whatever you say JiHoo," JiHoo rolled his eyes. "Either way I'm sure you're welcomed to stay as long as you like." He glanced over at his grandson.
"Of course, the invitation has always been open. Grandfather, aren't you going to be late?"
"You're right," he quickly finished his breakfast and ran to get his coat. "Sorry to have to leave like this JanDi, I hope to see you soon. And JiHoo can you try to do something more productive than what you normally do? It's getting depressing to watch."
Once he was gone JiHoo stood up to clear the table. "Really that man, he treats me like I'm still six years old."
"He just cares about you," JanDi chuckled at his frustration. "It must be nice having someone care about you so much."
"I guess it's not too horrible." JiHoo placed the dishes carefully in the sink and begun running hot water. JanDi picked up her own plate to carry over. JiHoo had noticed how much better she looked compared to yesterday, but he noted the distant sadness that lurked in her eyes. "JanDi, what are you doing today?" She was standing next to him putting her dishes in the sink besides his.
"Nothing really. The boss gave us off of work for a week, and GaEul is off with Yi Jung."
"Grandfather is right about me not doing anything besides reading recently. Do you want to go out shopping with me? I've needed to buy a few things from the store for a while now."
JanDi lit up at the invitation. "I would love to Sunbae." JanDi wouldn't admit it to JiHoo, of course he probably already knew, but going out would be a great distraction for her. After all, it was better then sitting at home alone waiting.
~~~Reviews are always appreciated~~~