giggling hongbin (julyfix) wrote,
giggling hongbin
julyfix

Love Coach [2]

[Previous]

Drinking himself to sleep was a mistake. His alarm goes off and he blearily hits the snooze button, rolling over and groaning as the entire length of his spine pops in rapid succession. It takes him a while to actually get up out of bed, and it takes a little longer to finally get into the shower… But after about an hour of pampering he emerges wearing his favorite microfiber robe, wrapping himself up in the warm fabric and moving into his study. His phone on the charger is blinking with a few alerts, and when he checks them, last night’s conversation with Zitao comes hurtling back into his brain full force.

From: Zitao
Text Minseok ASAP.

Kris resists every urge in his body to hit his head on the desk, and instead picks up the phone to dial Minseok as he sits down. Elbows propped up on the desk, head in his hands, he listens to her cute ringtone, and then feels his anxiety rise when she picks up.

“Hi, Kris~”

“H-eyyyyyyo,” he exhales out. Good job. Ahem. “Hello, Minseok. I had a very interesting conversation with Zitao last night…”

Minseok sounds shy, “Oh-- I was going to call you today about that!”

“Would you really be willing to make such a commitment?” Kris asks, still a bit hesitant on the idea.

“Chanyeol is a really good guy,” Minseok says warmly. “I enjoyed our date, and I’ve been really enjoying talking and getting to know him. This situation… honestly could benefit me, as well.”

“How so?”

“My family doesn’t know I’m a-sexual,” she says, voice wavering a bit. “And it… It has always been a thought of mine to have an arrangement like this, so that they wouldn’t worry about me. All of my other sisters are married off and enjoying life and it hurts my parents to see me single. They wouldn’t understand if I tried to explain my preferences. And I understand Chanyeol is in the same boat, so… I was hoping we could help each other.”

Kris is quiet as he mulls things over. Minseok basically just said everything Zitao did - although much nicer. In his contemplation the other line on the phone beeps and he apologizes to Minseok, letting her know he’s switching lines briefly.

“Kris--!” It’s Chanyeol. “Kris, I just had the craziest idea.”

Kris idly opens up his laptop, “You’ve been talking with Minseok, found out she’s a-sexual, and want to hatch a plan that involves marrying you two to each other in order to better benefit your filial ties?”

The wind is out of Chanyeol’s sails when he replies. “How did you know?”

“Because other people in this circle hold a higher code of morale than you do, apparently,” Kris says blandly.

“Hey--” Chanyeol pouts. “I was going to tell you. But I wanted to get to know Minseok before I even brought up the idea.”

“You’re not in trouble, Chanyeol,” Kris says, with a soft sigh. “It’s just a lot for me to process. This is the most haywire gig I’ve ever had.”

“Sorry…” Chanyeol says softly.

“It’s ok. Look, let’s meet for lunch later with Minseok. I have her on the other line.”

“Ok,” Chanyeol perks up a little bit. “Text me the time and place!”

When Chanyeol hangs up, Kris switches back over to Minseok and confirms lunch plans. When he sets down his phone he stares at his black laptop screen, barely able to see his own reflection. Chanyeol must not have any idea of Kris’ feelings. Minseok didn’t say anything about it, either. If that’s the case, Kris has a chance of setting them up together and getting away scott free. No one really needs to know his feelings about Chanyeol -- and Kris doesn’t need to complicate things further by doing something stupid like confessing. Things are already messy enough as is.

Right. He’ll set up Chanyeol and Minseok and start the motions of planning their wedding, get them married, and then cash his check and go buy that yacht.

He just hopes he can save face while accomplishing all of that.

--

“Kris, control your face--?”

Kris shakes himself slightly, annoyed. Chanyeol and Minseok are giving him odd looks and he promptly ignores them, pulling up his wedding planner spreadsheet on his tablet. “Alright. So you two have been dating for…”

“Two months,” Minseok clarifies.

“And Chanyeol will propose on…” Kris continues, using his stylus to write things in.

“Friday.”

Kris’ gaze snaps up to Chanyeol. “What?”

“We have to get the ball rolling,” Chanyeol says. “There’s only five months left of the contract, and if we want to have a nice wedding we need to start planning now.”

Kris raises a brow. “That’s… awfully conscientious of you.”

Chanyeol sniffs, “I’ve always wanted a nice wedding.”

Minseok smiles. “I’m actually kind of excited.”

Those words ease some of the tension in Kris’ shoulders, and he regards the pair of them quietly. Just looking at them, one wouldn’t guess that they would be each other’s type. But they both smile at each other warmly, kindly, with soft eyes and stretched lips, and skinship is very natural between them. Kris knows better; it’s more… familial, than romantic -- two people who have incredibly similar problems that have found a solution in one another. Kris has the mind to be thankful that of all the women Chanyeol will marry… it will be Minseok.

They will take good care of each other, since they have a deep understanding of one another.

“Ok. So, it is up to you guys to announce it to your families when you are engaged. Chanyeol, have you gone ring shopping?”

Chanyeol grimaces a little. “N...o....” he ruffles his hair. “I haven’t the faintest idea of how to do that.”

Kris smiles at Chanyeol’s antics. He really is clueless. “Well the good news is, is that it’s not a surprise you’ll be proposing. So Minseok can go with you to the store and pick out something that she likes.”

Minseok blinks, and then blushes. “Wh-what?”

Kris glances at her with a wry grin, “You don’t want to pick out your own ring?”

She squishes her cheeks idly, wriggling in her seat, but her smile is unmistakable. “If that’s ok, I’ve never really thought about it, but… I’d like that.”

Kris nods. “Good.”

“You have to come,” Chanyeol groans. “Please? I’ve never been inside a fancy jewelry store before. I don’t know what to do.”

Kris rolls his eyes a little, “You go to the counter, get Minseok’s finger sized, and then tell the worker what you want.”

Chanyeol’s puppy eyes turn on in full force. “Please come?”

Minseok smiles warmly. “You can help Chanyeol pick out his ring.”

Ouch. What was that weird pain in Kris’ heart? He sighs in resignation, and then nods. “Alright, I’ll come. We’ll go after lunch.”

Chanyeol and Minseok hi-five each other and it’s honestly so cute. The whole time they’ve been together this afternoon, Kris has been studying their relationship. They’re soft with one another, and it’s a side to Chanyeol that Kris finds refreshing. Even though they don’t have romantic feelings for one another, there’s a tenderness… a mutual respect for one another in anticipation for the bond they’re about to share.

After everyone finishes their food, Kris pays the bill (at Chanyeol’s behest) and then suggests what ring shop they venture off to. On the walk towards downtown Chanyeol and Minseok are arm-in-arm, chatting about this and that, and to anyone who didn’t know any better, they would look just like a newly in-love couple. Kris is suddenly at least eighty-percent sure that this whole thing will work.

Once in the jewelry store Chanyeol urges Minseok to browse, before turning his lost gaze towards Kris. “I’ve never worn a ring in my life.”

Kris snorts. “I think that should be the least of your worries…” He walks over to the men’s jewelry case, leaning on it with his elbow so he can get a closer look at the bands on display. “But your taste matters. You should get a ring that complements hers.” He glances over at Minseok, who is allowing a clerk to size her finger. “She looks like she prefers silver over gold. So, you can choose a silver band, or any other alloy with a finish of anything but gold.”

“No gold,” Chanyeol says. “Got it.”

“You don’t do construction or much work with your hands, so you don’t need one that’s extra durable…” Kris says, moving away from the tungsten rings.

“You really know a lot,” Chanyeol says in mild disbelief.

Kris glances up to see Chanyeol’s grin, and then straightens from where he was leaning, offering his own grin in return. “I have to, don’t I?”

“What kind of ring would you choose?” Chanyeol asks, putting his hands in his pockets and chewing his lower lip.

Humming, Kris shrugs. “I like gold, so probably just a simple band. Maybe a few diamonds, for flare.”

Chanyeol laughs, “Huh. I never thought about putting diamonds on the man’s ring…”

Nodding, Kris looks back at the rings. “I don’t think there should be any rules when it comes to accessorizing -- including wedding bands. You should get something that you will be happy and proud to wear; something that solidifies your union with your significant other.”

“Which is why I should get one that complements her ring,” Chanyeol says in understanding. He leans over the case, peering at the displays. “I like that one…”

Kris looks at the one Chanyeol is pointing at, and then lofts a brow. “White gold. Nice choice.” He calls over a clerk to have her take the ring out and show it to them, and Kris nods in approval. “That one would be great. There’s an option to get diamonds in the beveled edge.”

Chanyeol looks pleased. “It’s pretty.” He seems sure and satisfied, and tells the clerk his size just as Minseok comes up to them.

“I found one~” she announces, holding out her hand. The display ring is on her pointer finger, too large to go onto the proper finger, but it looks beautiful nonetheless; elegant and simple with one diamond and a silver band. “Is that your choice?” She asks, smiling at the ring Chanyeol is holding.

“Yeah,” he holds his ring up next to hers, grinning. “We kinda match.”

Minseok smiles huge and then hugs her hand to her chest. “Even I can appreciate the excitement of all of this.”

“I’m glad,” Kris says, honestly. “It’s important to me that you two are absolutely positive that this is what you want -- and can -- do.”

Minseok moves to Kris and grabs his lapel, pulling him down so she can kiss his cheek. “Kris, you’re a life saver,” she whispers, before pulling away with glittering eyes.

She leaves to go back to her clerk before Kris can say anything in return, and Kris turns to Chanyeol, rubbing the back of his neck idly. “She’s a doll.”

Chanyeol chuckles a little, glancing over at her. “Yeah… she is.”

Ouch. Again, that weird feeling in Kris’ gut, but he brushes it aside as Chanyeol hands the ring back to the clerk. Clearing his throat, Kris makes a gesture with his hand. “I think you two have it from here. I’ve got some things I need to do.”

Looking up, Chanyeol blinks in surprise. “Oh-- really?”

No, not really. Kris nods his head and straightens his blazer. “Yeah. I have to book a venue for the wedding; I’ll call you guys and let you know.”

Before he can leave, Chanyeol catches Kris’ wrist. That weird feeling in his gut intensifies, and Kris almost can’t meet Chanyeol’s gaze.

“Hey-- when we announce the engagement, you’re going to be there, right?” Chanyeol asks.

Kris tries to smile as naturally as possible. “No-- that’s a private thing that you two should do together.” Chanyeol starts to pout, and Kris cuts him off. “Chanyeol, I won’t be able to hold your hand through everything. You have to make some decisions on your own. And when you’re married, I’ll be out of the picture.”

… Well. That was definitely something Kris didn’t want to say. Ever.

Chanyeol’s brows furrow a bit, his expression turning concerned. “But… You’re my best man, Kris.”

Oh no. Ohhhhh no no no. Kris has never been a best man at anyone’s wedding. His job is strictly to get everything in order, attend the wedding in good standing, cash his check and get the hell out of Dodge. Chanyeol springing it on him that he wants Kris to be his best man is possibly an even bigger derailment than Kris learning that the man was gay. Carefully, so as not to offend Chanyeol, Kris pulls his wrist from the other’s grasp.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Kris decides to say. That’s a pretty neutral response, right?

“Why not?” Chanyeol looks genuinely confused. “You’re like, my only friend.”

“What?” Kris raises his brows in surprise. “You’re kidding.”

Chanyeol looks embarrassed. “I’m not kidding.”

Kris doesn’t have it in him, even in his ice cold heart, to tell Chanyeol that the only thing that brought them together was money, and it will be the very thing to split them up as soon as the contract is over. At the same time, he simply can’t be Chanyeol’s best man at his wedding. He feels weird. He doesn’t like this feeling at all, mostly because he’s never felt it before.

“We will talk about it later,” Kris finally says. He offers a soft smile, nodding over towards Minseok. “Spend some time with your future wife.”

Chanyeol still doesn’t look happy, but he gives Kris one last measuring look before turning around and walking towards Minseok. As soon as Chanyeol’s back is turned Kris makes a beeline for the door, letting himself outside.

He can’t breathe. He feels dizzy.

Is this what dying is like?

--

“Am I dead?”, are the first words out of Kris’ mouth when he comes to, blinking blearily up at a pristine white ceiling.

“No,” an unfamiliar female voice answers. Kris focuses his vision and turns his head to the side to see a nurse checking an IV drip. “You had a panic attack.”

“I had a what,” Kris says, immediately sitting up.

The nurse puts a hand on his shoulder and, with surprising strength, pushes Kris to lie back on the bed again. She tuts. “Don’t raise your blood pressure.”

“There must be some kind of mistake,” Kris says. “I’ve never had one of those before. I don’t-- I’m not an anxious person--”

“Really?” The nurse asks, bemused. Her nametag says Jongdae. “Because you’re acting like an anxious wreck right now.”

Kris grumbles as he sinks into the soft pillows. “Is that how you’re supposed to talk to your patients?”

Jongdae smiles sweetly, “Sometimes the best medicine is a harsh dose of reality.”

Rolling his eyes, Kris pinches the bridge of his nose. “Who brought me here?”

“A very attractive couple,” Jongdae says, sitting on the edge of Kris’ bed. “They said you were shopping with them, and then you left in a hurry… and then they saw you collapse on the sidewalk.”

Kris groans and covers his eyes with his hands. “Oh no.”

“Oh, yes,” Jongdae says, using a hand to smooth the bedsheets on either side of Kris’ body, tucking him in. The cocoon actually feels sort of good.

“Are they still here?” Kris asks, voice muffled by his hands.

“I assured them I would take good care of you.”

Kris peeks at Jongdae through his fingers. “Thank you. You have no idea what that means to me.”

“So,” Jongdae adjusts her skirt so she can sit more comfortably on the bed. Her dark brown hair is up in a neat bun, some tendrils falling around her ears. “You’ve never had a panic attack before?”

Kris shakes his head, blinking up at the ceiling.

“The last time you were admitted to the hospital was because you collapsed due to exhaustion,” Jongdae tilts her head. “Is this going to become a pattern?”

“Don’t patronize me,” Kris tries to glare, but he’s sure he looks like an angry teddy bear.

Jongdae’s smile is… beautiful, when she replies, “I need to know if I should give you some medication to help you with stress.”

“You’re the Devil,” Kris accuses.

Her smile broadens. “Probably.”

“I don’t need medication,” Kris says, propping himself up on the bed with some pillows. “This was an isolated incident.”

“Are you sure?” Jongdae presses. “Your chart indicates otherwise. You were admitted just eight months ago.”

Kris thinks about snapping back… but then turns reflective. He’s never had a panic attack before, and the exhaustion… he had mistakenly taken on three clients at once. But this whole thing with Chanyeol marrying Minseok, and Kris’ own misdirected feelings… Could this happen again?

“I…” he licks his lips. “I don’t know.”

Jongdae’s demeanor softens a bit. “If you’re going through a stressful time in your life, you should consider going to a therapist.” Kris sniffs a little, and Jongdae puts a hand over his. “Your friends were worried sick. I had to kick them out before I admitted them for a panic attack.”

Kris sighs. “I’m under an… unusual stress right now.”

Jongdae lifts a brow. “An unusual amount of stress, or a stress that in itself is unusual?”

“An unusual stress,” Kris clarifies.

Nodding, Jongdae pats his hand and stands up. “I dosed you with some medication, so after thirty minutes you’re free to leave. You’re also allowed to rest as long as you like.”

Kris offers a wry smile, feeling brave. “When does your shift end?”

There’s a twinkle in Jongdae’s eyes when she replies, “In two hours.”

“Then that’s when I’ll leave.”

--

“You left with the nurse?” Chanyeol asks, three days later. He then grins, “Kris, you dog.”

Kris laughs a little, waving a hand. “It wasn’t like that. I took her out to dinner, we had a nice time.”

“And you’re gonna see her again?” Chanyeol’s grin widens, almost missing his mouth with the straw of his drink.

“I think so,” Kris nods.

Jongdae is a welcome distraction in the chaos currently happening. She’s down to earth, honest, and a bit of a bully, but she’s amazingly fun and gorgeous. It’s been a long time since Kris has been attracted to any woman, especially while working a case, and he selfishly thinks that Jongdae is the kick in the rear to get himself in order. Having feelings for a client is against his own personal rules - and having feelings for a male client threatens to turn everything that Kris knows upside down. Isn’t it a little too late in his life to deal with these things? Jongdae is fresh and fun and it feels so natural to be around her.

Kris deserves this, right?

“That’s really cool,” Chanyeol says, pulling Kris out of his thoughts. He sets his drink on the table. “When can we all hang out?”

“I think we’ll go on a few more dates before I decide to let you attempt to scare her away,” Kris says, grinning.

Chanyeol pretends to look offended, “Scare her? She was friendly enough at the hospital.”

Kris rolls his eyes. “It’s her job to be nice to people at the hospital.”

Chanyeol grins, “She kind of looks like a cat.”

Kris squints. “... What goes on in your brain?”

Chanyeol shrugs, sipping on his drink again. “She’s a lot different than Zitao. She also looks like a cat.”

Sitting back in his chair, Kris nods. “Polar opposites, actually. Which is good, because Zitao was too much to handle.”

“Any girl is lucky to date you,” Chanyeol says, sure as stone as he smiles at Kris.

Kris does his best to convince himself that the butterflies in his stomach are from the prospect of entering a relationship with Jongdae… and not because Chanyeol is so effortlessly handsome. “Thanks, Chanyeol.”

“Make sure you wine and dine her before getting frisky,” Chanyeol says, mocking seriousness.

Kris grins. “Yeah, yeah.”

--

“Shouldn’t--” Kris’ words get cut off by Jongdae’s persistent mouth attacking his with kisses. “Shouldn’t I wine and dine you first?”

Jongdae laughs breathlessly as she climbs onto Kris’ lap. They’re in his apartment and Kris had been under the impression that he was going to cook dinner for them, but as soon as they entered the living room, Jongdae had pushed him down onto the sofa. Which he doesn’t mind at all -- it’s been about a month since they’ve started seeing one another.

“What for?” She asks, starting to unbutton Kris’ shirt, smirking against his mouth as she nips at his lips.

“Cordiality?” Kris replies, but her kisses are distracting and he’s starting to get hot under his collar.

“Hmmm,” she hums thoughtfully, like she’s actually contemplating it. “You can feed me after you fuck me.”

Kris lets out a whoosh of a laugh and starts returning her kisses, his hands moving to the small of her back to press her small body down onto his groin. She takes the invitation and starts grinding against him, her dress riding up her thighs, one of the straps falling off of her shoulder as she works against him. Her hands finally get his shirt undone and then she laughs in disbelief, pulling away and looking down.

“You’re wearing an undershirt!”

Kris just smiles hazily up at her, “I’m a modest guy.”

“You’re awfully inconvenient,” she laughs again, before wriggling on his lap and whining. “Take it all off--”

“Ok, ok,” he laughs as well, shifting so he can slide his button down off of his shoulders, and then pull his v-neck off of his body and over his head, uncaring about how he ruffles his hair.

He’s rewarded immediately when Jongdae leans forward and starts mouthing at his neck, her petite hands pressing down on the front of his slacks. He sighs contently and angles his hips a little and she grins pulling away so she can start undoing his belt.

“I’ve been thinking about this since the moment I saw you,” she admits, eyes heavy and dark as she looks up at Kris.

He exhales, trying to keep himself under control as he arches a brow and smirks. “Have you?”

Kittenishly, Jongdae smiles and slides off of Kris’ lap and down onto the floor, resting on her knees as she pushes his thighs apart. “Mhm~”

“Well then, I’m not the kind of man that denies a beautiful woman what she wants,” he says as she starts undoing his belt. This playful banter between them is refreshing - Zitao always got annoyed with him whenever he made dumb jokes or tried saying really… anything, when they were getting intimate. But Jongdae welcomes it and even tosses it back and ah, this must be what it’s like to be with someone on the same wavelength as yourself.

Finally Jongdae gets into Kris’ pants and pulls out his cock, her eyes lighting up at the sight. Kris’ balls tense as arousal shoots through his body at the way she hungrily stares at it, and when her hot, wet mouth encircles the head it takes everything in him to keep his eyes open and focused on what she’s doing. His hands move to her hair, tangling in the soft bouncy waves, anchoring himself as her mouth takes him to new heights. She’s sloppy and passionate about it and Kris can’t help but shift his hips slightly, helping her swallow down his length.

“Dae…” he breathes out. It’s been so long since he’s been intimate, he’s afraid of reaching his peak too soon and oh, he can’t handle that embarrassment.

Jongdae peeks up through her fringe, her long lashes fluttering and catching on the strands, and her eyes glimmer as she pulls off of his cock, a string of saliva connecting her lower lip to the leaking head. “Mm?”

He tries to keep the embarrassment out of his voice as he grunts, “Maybe we should, uh, kiss for a bit more…”

Jongdae blinks slow, and then shakes her head, her smile bright enough to light up a city block. “Nope!” And then she swallows him whole, this time, the head of his cock passing into the tight passage of her wet throat, clearly intent on taking what she wants.

And Kris gives. He orgasms before his brain can catch up, his vision going dark and his whole body stiffening as pleasure courses through him from head to toe, his grip on Jongdae’s hair unrelenting - which doesn’t seem to bother her, because she stays on his cock, swallowing everything down without spilling a drop. Coming down is slow, as he opens his eyes and looks down at her, untangling his fingers from her hair and then brushing her fringe out of her face. She looks absolutely pleased before she climbs up onto his lap again, nuzzling her nose into his neck.

“You taste good,” she comments, voice a little hoarse.

“I have a healthy diet,” Kris replies mindlessly.

Jongdae barks out a laugh and then covers her mouth, dissolving into giggles as she shifts so she can sit on the couch next to Kris, her legs draped across his thighs. “Glad to know that’s not a baseless rumor.”

He chuckles as well, closing his eyes and taking a moment to gather himself. His big palm rests on top of Jongdae’s milky thigh, his thumb sliding inwards. “Alright. Give me a moment… and then I can return the favor.”

Jongdae sits up, kissing his cheek and swatting his hand away. “That’s ok~”

Kris blinks as she starts to stand, fixing her dress as she goes. “What--”

“You clearly needed that much more than I do,” she laughs, sending him a reassuring smile. “You enjoy it. I’m going to learn my way around your kitchen.” She pulls her hair up atop her head, gathering it so she can start making a ponytail. “What were you going to make for dinner?”

“Uh…” Oh no. He can’t remember what he was going to make for dinner. Something dumb and healthy, he supposes.

Jongdae’s smile turns amused. “Well then. I suppose I can surprise you.” She leans down to kiss his cheek before walking away towards the kitchen, and the sound of her opening cupboards and grabbing pots and pans is… calming.

This is the best Kris has felt in years - and it’s not just because he had an orgasm.

This is what he’s been waiting for.

--

“What are you waiting for?” Kris grouses, checking his watch as he leans against a wall.

“This suit is a little small,” Chanyeol call from inside his dressing room.

“Pick a larger size and we can tailor it,” Kris suggests.

Chanyeol huffs. “They don’t have a larger size.”

Kris rolls his eyes. “I’m sure they do.”

Chanyeol whips back the curtain so only his head is showing as he hisses, “I asked.”

Kris levels his gaze, “Then choose a different suit.”

“But I like this one,” Chanyeol whines.

Kris pinches the bridge of his nose. “Don’t be like this.”

Chanyeol huffs and opens the curtain the rest of the way to show off the suit currently on his body. It is a nice three-piece suit, and yes, it is a little small at the sleeve cuffs and ankle hems… but it still looks nice.

“You’re complaining about a suit that is a centimeter too small for your abnormally long limbs?” Kris asks.

“I don’t want to look dumb,” Chanyeol is still whining, tugging awkwardly on the cuffs.

Kris reaches forward and swats Chanyeol’s hands away from their fidgeting. “You don’t look dumb.”

“You really think it’s not too small?” Chanyeol’s voice is nervous, but slightly hopeful as he lifts his gaze towards Kris’.

“The suits you wear are more roomy, but think of it this way: You are only going to wear this suit once, and never again.” Kris says as he starts adjusting the lapel, feeling inside the breast pocket to gauge how roomy it is for a kerchief.

“And no one will notice it’s too small?” Chanyeol insists.

“Chanyeol,” Kris’ hands grip the breast of Chanyeol’s tuxedo jacket, forcing him to make eye contact. “It’s snug. Not too small. It looks great.” The eye contact and closeness make Chanyeol shut up, and Kris is reminded of the night he confronted Chanyeol about his sexuality. The vulnerability, the trust… Pulling away, Kris clears his throat and nods. “You look great.”

Chanyeol visibly relaxes, smiling huge. “Thank you Kris. I don’t know how I could have done any of this without you.”

“You couldn’t have,” Kris says smugly.

“You’re totally right,” Chanyeol laughs, turning to look in the mirror. He seems to become more satisfied the longer he looks, and then he glances at Kris’ reflection. “Do you have a suit ready?”

Kris nods, “The only thing I need to match is the vest.”

“Minseok picked great colors,” Chanyeol says, relief in his voice. “I don’t think I would be able to do pink or yellow.”

Kris chuckles. “You two surprise me more and more with your compatibility.”

Chanyeol runs a hand through his hair, “I know. It’s crazy. Sometimes it actually feels… real.”

Kris tilts his head, curiously, silently encouraging Chanyeol to keep talking.

Laughing a bit awkwardly, Chanyeol turns so he can face Kris. “She’s just so… great. If she weren’t a-sexual I would feel bad about hogging her all to myself. She could really make someone happy.”

“Chanyeol,” Kris can’t help but smile. “She’s making you happy. And you’re making her happy. And even if this might all be some weird half-baked sham… You two deserve happiness, no matter what the situation.”

Chanyeol blinks over at Kris. “Huh.”

Kris arches a brow, suddenly feeling a bit self-conscious. “What.”

“Nothing,” Chanyeol shrugs, before his lips split into a huge grin. “That was just the most human thing you’ve ever said.”

Rolling his eyes, Kris turns around. “Get that suit off and get ready to meet Minseok for cake testing.”

“Aye aye!”

--

“Aiiiiiiiiish,” Jongdae whines as she flops onto the ottoman in Kris’ office. “I gave so many flu shots today I think I have carpal tunnel.”

Kris quirks the corner of his lip in amusement, keeping his eyes on his laptop as he types away. “But think about all the good you did today.”

He can sense Jongdae’s eye roll as she sits up. “It’s all fun and games until you get the people that are all squeamish about getting shots.” Kris glances over just in time to see her smile get wicked. “Then it’s a party.”

Laughing, Kris shakes his head and rests his elbow on the table, chin in his hand as he regards his girlfriend. “I’m lucky you decided to be nice to me.”

“I think you’re confusing niceness for pity,” Jongdae says teasingly.

“Ah, that’s what it’s been for the past three months,” he says with a hum, before returning back to his laptop, his lips thin but his eyes crinkled with a smile.

Jongdae stands up and walks over to stand behind Kris, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and resting her chin on his head as she looks over what he’s doing. “Last minute wedding plans?”

“It’s only a month away now,” Kris says, idly scratching his nose. “Minseok and Chanyeol did pretty much everything, I’m just going over it all to make sure there won’t be any hiccups.”

“What’s your relationship like with Chanyeol?” Jongdae asks curiously.

For some reason, that question makes Kris get a bit stiff. “What do you mean?”

He can feel Jongdae’s head tilt by the rolling of her chin on his skull. “Sometimes you talk about him like a proud father, but most of the time you seem annoyed by him. You must have a long history.”

Kris tries to shake some of the tension from his shoulders as he shrugs, and then shakes his head. “Chanyeol and I met eleven months ago when his parents signed the contract.”

“Really?” Jongdae can’t hide the surprise in her voice. “You two seem so close.”

Kris frowns a little. “We do?” Not that he’s offended by that thought, not at all - but he hasn’t really thought about what their relationship looks like to outside people since the whole Zitao debacle. “We have a business relationship.”

“Have you ever been the best man to one of your clients?” Jongdae asks, pulling away slightly.

“...” Kris licks his lips. “No.”

Jongdae starts massaging the rounds of his shoulders. “I think you need to lighten up. It’s obvious you care about Chanyeol. When this is all over, he won’t be your client anymore. You should really pursue a true friendship with him. He loves you.”

He loves you.

“And of course he does -- you’re the first person he talks to about anything. He always includes you in things even though I’m sure he and Minseok would be fine doing things together alone.” Her fingers feel so good digging into the tension of his clavicles. “He’s a good guy.”

Kris purses his lips and nods slowly, leaning back in his chair. Jongdae’s hands slide down over his chest, palms applying the perfect amount of pressure, his brain cogs feeling a bit jilted as he processes her words. Jongdae has only met Chanyeol a handful of times - and unlike every other girl that has met him, Jongdae doesn’t seem to realize the man’s sexuality. Of course, that just proves that Minseok is the perfect camouflage, which reassures Kris that this whole thing is actually going to work. But for Jongdae to see something that Kris has been trying so hard to ignore…

Tipping his head back, he smiles softly up at Jongdae. “Have you decided what you’re going to wear to the wedding?”

“Yes,” she says with a smile. “And I’ll look ten times hotter than you.”

He snorts, “We’ll see about that.”

He loves you.

--

“Of course he loves you, you fucking idiot.”

Kris is 100% sure that if Zitao could reach through the phone and strangle him, she would. It’s a week before the wedding and Kris’s conscience has been getting heavier and heavier, and he’s about to reach his breaking point. Jongdae has been so good, so perfect - her intelligence, her wit, her kindness, their chemistry in the bedroom. Everything has been so good but Kris still can’t grit his teeth and hunker down comfortably with her. It’s driving him mad, and it’s also driving Jongdae away, little by little, even though she still smiles warmly and kisses him softly when she sees him.

“Like-- love loves me?” Kris asks.

Zitao huffs. “Kris, I swear to God. Do I need to fly out there?”

“No--” Kris shakes his head. “No, God no. Don’t.”

“Because you know I will,” Zitao threatens.

“I know,” Kris says. He’s pacing in front of his balcony French doors. “What do I do?”

“We’ve been through this,” Zitao drawls. “You help Chanyeol and Minseok get married, make them look good on their special day, wait a few weeks, and then start an affair with Chanyeol.” She pauses. “Duh.”

Kris pulls idly on his hair. “I can’t do that.”

“You love him too, don’t you?” Zitao asks, but it doesn’t really sound like a question so much as a rhetorical inquiry.

“I… Zitao,” Kris’ voice gets a little distressed. “I don’t know if I love him or if I’m just being committed to my job. We talk every single day, texting or calling or meeting up, but it’s always been about business. Preparing for the wedding and helping them get their finances together so they can move into their new condo.” But, now that he thinks about it, he’s never spent this much time with a client before.

“You went on a date with him once.”

“A pretend date!”

“You even called and said you had a good time!” Zitao’s voice gets a little shrill - but she doesn’t yell. It’s not ladylike to yell, in her little personal rulebook.

“Oh my God.” Kris faces the balcony doors, all thoughts leaving his brain as he looks out at the cityscape. It’s nearing midnight and he’s not wearing his glasses, all of the lights a little fuzzy with pretty halos around them, and he feels like a damn idiot. Well, he knows he’s an idiot, but that realization is a little… heavy.

After a few beats of silence, Zitao speaks again. “Jongdae sounds like a wonderful woman, Kris. And in another life, she could be your soulmate. But the cards you were dealt are a different hand and you need to play it the way it was meant.”

Kris puts his hand on the glass door, feeling the coolness spread through his fingertips and palm. He sighs, his breath fogging up the glass, and then speaks quietly. “What do I do?”

“Be honest with your grown ass self and stop calling me to whine about your middle school problems,” Zitao says, but he knows she’s smiling. “No matter what happens, you have people who care for you and support you. Including Jongdae.”

He groans. “I have to break up with her.”

“She’ll understand,” Zitao replies. “And if she’s smart, she will let it happen.”

“But then what? I break up with Jongdae and then go tell Chanyeol that I lo--... That I care about him?”

Zitaos norts. “You can say you love him, you know.”

“Let’s get past that for now,” Kris waves a hand, turning around to walk into the kitchen. “How do I tell him? He’s getting married.”

“AND HE IS GAY FOR YOU.” Zitao reminds him noisily.

“There is no good timing for this,” Kris says, shaking his head.

“You know, for being a love coach? You are seriously misguided.” Zitao huffs. “There’s no such thing as good timing, or right timing. Just time. And it’s damn time you tell that idiot how you feel. Idiot.”

“You can stop calling me names,” Kris sniffs.

“No thanks,” Zitao says simply. “Look, you can be polite and wait until after the wedding. But the sooner you do it, the better you will feel.”

“What if he thinks I’m crazy?” Kris drums his fingers on the countertop. “Tao, we haven’t had a single romantic moment.” Kris’ heart has fluttered a few isolated times but other than that, things have been pretty… bland. So why should Chanyeol feel the same way when there haven’t been any sparks? Isn’t love supposed to be electric?

“Ok. Stop thinking. Just shut up.” Zitao says sharply. “You are going to confess your feelings, and you are just going to have to wait and see what happens.”

Kris idly massages behind his ear with his fingertips, before sighing softly. “Ok.”

“I will see you Saturday,” Zitao says before hanging up.

Well then.

Kris has never been in love before. Which might be a little pathetic for a love coach but hey, he’s been focusing on his career and professional life. But as far as he knows, love should be more exciting, shouldn’t it? All of the clients he has worked with have glowed, radiated their love for their partner, and their affection has always been so… obvious. Yes, Kris and Chanyeol get along well - and yes, Kris feels a strange pull in his chest towards Chanyeol, but… he thinks, naively, that there should be fireworks. Exclamation points. Rose-colored glasses, even.

He puts his phone down on the counter and stares at the lock screen. 12:28AM blinks back at him and he ruffles his hair, not really feeling any better about the situation than he felt before he called Zitao.

He of all people knows love isn’t easy. But he, more than anyone, understands that with love comes sacrifice - he just has to be more willing than before to take the risk.

Saturday is five days away.

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Tags: exo, kris/chanyeol, krisyeol
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