Chapter Title: Inspiration
Pairings: 2U friendship abound. Implied Yunho/Jaejoong.
Summary: Yunho hasn’t painted in almost a month and needs inspiration. Yoochun meets up with him at a local Starbucks one Sunday afternoon and pushes him in the right direction. The second story in a series of (unfinished) vignettes set in the Café Bisco fic-universe.
Un Petit Bisco[tti] Pour Toi
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:: Deux ::
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“Whoa.” Yoochun’s eyes were as wide as saucer plates. “What’re the chances of this happening?”
Despite himself, Yunho was as surprised as he was amused. The whole situation was a little more than ironic, after all.
“Well, we both live downtown. We’re both in our twenties, and we’re both artists-of-sorts.” Yunho shook his head. “The parallels speak for themselves, don’t they?”
“Says you,” Yoochun smirked. He slapped Yunho’s arm, a playful gesture eliciting a small grin from the other man. “Nice to see you, hyung.”
“Nice to see you, too.” Yunho laughed. “Yoochun-ah.”
They took a table in the far right corner of the Starbucks Express, Yoochun saving a seat for Yunho while the older one went in line to retrieve his coffee. While waiting, Yoochun flipped through the sketchbook Yunho had brought along with him.
The dog-eared pages that stare back at him were fascinating. He had never seen Yunho’s art before this, though he had been there to help the older man set up for the arts festival the five of them went to back in September.
When he turned to the last of the dog-eared pages, what awaited him was so unprecedented, he laughed out loud. Good thing Yunho still hadn’t come back with their coffees.
As soon as he came back, though, Yoochun made sure to make his admiration for the artist’s work known.
“You’re really awesome,” he announced the moment Yunho returned to the table, putting down their drinks. “I really liked the Lolita with the combat boots.” One eyebrow lifted. “Metaphor?”
“Something like that. Oh, but—!” Yunho suddenly started flailing, nearly knocking his drink over in the process. He reached for the pad sitting underneath Yoochun’s arm, failing to retrieve it. “Y-You didn’t…flip through the whole thing, did you?”
Yoochun didn’t reply, pulling out his phone.
“’Jaejoongie.’” Ever so calmly pressing keys as he wrote his message, Yoochun’s voice was the epitome of deadpan amusement. “’Your boyfriend used you as a model while you were sleeping. What do you think about—?’”
“Wow, hyung – that’s a pretty nice shade of red on your face….” Yoochun snickered, putting his phone back in his pocket. “What’s the big deal? I’m just messing with you.”
No you aren’t, Yunho wanted to protest. But, realizing his petulance would be misconstrued, he decided against it.
“Well…w-what do you do when your inspiration runs dry?” Yunho took another sip of his beverage. “What inspires you?”
“Huh.” Yoochun thumbed the edge of the beautifully rendered artwork of Jaejoong in question. “September 10th…wasn’t that the day we went down to the Seoul Arts’ Festival?”
He isn’t listening to me. Either that, or he’s pretending not to hear me. Exasperation laced in his tone, Yunho sighed. “Yoochun-ah…”
“Actually, this is my favorite piece in here.” Holding up the offending sketch to Yunho, “It really looks like Jaejoongie, too—”
“Yoochun-ah.” A warning cadence as he pressed the sketchbook back down onto the table, willing his burning cheeks to lighten. “C-Can you please answer my question?”
Blinking fast. “Why, you’re out of inspiration too?”
Now it was Yunho’s turn to stare. “…The better question is, are you out of inspiration?”
Yoochun shrugged. “I come here whenever I’m out of ideas. Get out. Talk to some friends. It works. Most of the time, anyway.”
Before replying, Yunho downed the rest of his drink in one gulp.
“So,” he rested his head against the adjacent wall, “what happens when that doesn’t work for you?”
Yoochun’s hand hovered above the napkin dispenser (wanting to wipe his dripping coffee off the side of his mug), dark eyes aglow. “Hyung. Your cell phone works, right?”
Why do I feel like I know where he’s going with this? “Of course. Why, yours isn’t getting service, or—”
“I think I got it now.” Yoochun stood abruptly, moving past Yunho’s side of the table. “My inspiration. Thanks a lot for keeping me company, hyung.” He sent a fleeting smile in his direction, brief but genuine. “Oh, and by the way. Your sketches were awesome! Think I’m getting some inspiration now just thinking about that combat Lolita…”
“W-WAIT, just a sec—” Yunho sputtered, scrambling to his feet to try and follow. “Yoochun-ah! W-Why did you ask if my cell phone was working?”
“Give Jaejoongie a ring,” Yoochun called back, not turning around as he pushed open the front door leading out to the busy Seoul street side, “and you’ll find out why.”
He watched Yoochun go, feeling a bit silly for hoping Yoochun could have stayed longer so they could have talked more. But his melancholy didn’t last long.
As if on cue, seconds later a chime sounded out through the droll hum of the emptying Starbucks corner café. He looked at the message he had just received.
Then, looking up to the familiar figure calling his name and waving to him in the storefront window, his mouth fell open.
“Hi,” Jaejoong greeted him at once, embracing the taller man the moment he came inside. “Sorry I’m late.”
“Late?” Yunho asked, puzzled. “How can you be late if I didn’t even ask you to meet me here?”
“You didn’t?” Jaejoong frowned. “But I thought Yoochun-ah said…”
Oh. I guess he was actually texting Jaejoong-ah after all, then.
“Never mind,” Yunho said, more to himself than anything. Taking notice of Jaejoong’s state of dress, “More importantly, where are you off to, dressed like you just came off the set of a photo shoot?”
Rocking on the heels of his high-top boots, he replied jauntily, “This is how I always dress on weekends.” Jaejoong adjusted the collar of his turtleneck sweater. “It’s not like this is our first date or anything, Yunho-yah.” Then, skeptical: “Are you feeling okay today?”
“This is how I always am on weekends,” Yunho quipped, eliciting a small laugh from the older one as he slung an arm over Jaejoong’s shoulders. “Well…”
“Seeing as how this isn’t our first date and I gave you first choice last week,” Yunho grinned, “where to now?”
When Jaejoong smiled, unrestrained and making the action seem effortless, Yunho realized what Yoochun had been talking about.
(He wished he had brought his watercolor set, wanting desperately to capture the reflection of light in those gray-blue eyes in the moment Jaejoong laughed, radiance not in the least obscured by the contact lenses the older man was wearing.)
“Anywhere’s fine.” Lacing their fingers together. “Actually, how about that one crepe place Junsu-yah mentioned?”
“Sure.” Yunho let Jaejoong lead him out the door, grinning. “My treat, though. Since you paid for dinner last week.”
He would have to thank Yoochun later.
[ fin. ]