Author: ANONYMOUS until reveals
Title: Poor Little Rich Boys
Length: 6,000+ words
Summary: Money, Youth, and Looks. Three things that Jongin and Kai both have in abundance. What they don’t have, however, is Kim Joonmyeon.
Warnings: Adult language/situations
Notes: I just want to say thanks to the person who gave prompt #142. It was a great prompt and I hope you like the direction I took with it. Since this fic is running so long, I decided to only submit part 1. When I have it all finished, I will post it on my asianfanfics account.
“What the fuck… why’d dad make us fly commercial? How come he didn’t just send the jet like normal?”
Jongin tossed his Armani shades into the plastic container next to Kai’s and slid it onto the over-crowded conveyor belt. “He said it was our punishment, remember?” Jongin looked over to his younger brother by two minutes who was hopping bare-foot on one leg, trying to yank off his other green, white, and orange patterned Nike.
“Punishment for what?” Kai huffed, tossing his shoe onto the conveyor rough enough to have the pissed-off looking security officer raise a well-manicured brow. She’d already been doing that pursed lips thing ever since the two of them had sauntered up to her lane. “We didn’t do anything.” He threw Jongin’s Doc Marten’s in with his bookbag.
If Jongin had a cookie for every time that Kai had said “we didn’t do anything” since they were kids, he would be one fat bastard.
“Yah! Don’t scuff those.” Jongin had just bought those boots three days ago and he didn’t want them to look like shit already. Unlike Kai, he liked to take care of his stuff instead of treating everything like crap and then just going out and swiping the parental’s card for a new pair. “And I’m taking a wild guess here, but I don’t think Mr. Cuttlewold thought that running our own escort service out of the boy’s dorm was nothing.”
“Cattleshit was just pissed off that we couldn’t get him laid.” Kai picked up Jongin’s precious boots and sat them upright before practically flinging the entire container down through the scanner. To be honest, Kai wasn’t that upset about getting kicked out of boarding school this time around. Even though this last one was probably his second favorite school after the one they went to in Kyoto, Japan when they were thirteen, he was getting tired of the Brit’s and their crappy food and even crappier weather. During their dad’s obligatory I-can’t-believe-you-did-this-I’m-so-disa
Kai made his way up to the full body scanner, wishing for the first time in his life that he had worn socks, and stood there waiting for the machine to do its thing. Of course the dumb piece of metal lit up like he was the freaking underwear bomber and he had to step off to the side while some short, penguin look-alike waddled over with a wand.
This is why I fucking hate flying commercial, he thought. “It’s my piercings,” he told the guy, not really trying to keep the annoyance out of his voice. He motioned to the litter of piercings in both ears, then to the two black studs, one below and one above the edge of his left eyebrow. He had his nipples pierced too but Jongin had had the forethought to tell him to take those out beforehand.
“I’m sorry, Sir but I still have to wand you.”
Kai blew out a breath and did as “Happy Feet” told him, spreading his arms and legs out wide and looking straight ahead.
Jongin snickered a little as he strolled right past the two of them and went to the end of the line, grabbing up both their backpacks along with their shoes, glasses, and his belt. Although he and his brother were identical twins, that situation back there kind of summed up their differing personalities in a nutshell. Whereas Kai always had to be difficult, Jongin just breezed right through.
Jongin stepped off a little ways to the side to shove his feet down into his boots and tuck the bottom of his black jeans back behind the tongue. When he raised up to slide his belt back into the loops, he noticed a group of girls dressed in some type of team uniforms—softball maybe— laughing amongst themselves and looking his way. He shook his hair out of his eyes—in a way that definitely wasn’t practiced at all—and smiled a little at the tall brunette in the middle and the group practically convulsed as one.
“Can you believe this shit?” Kai demanded. He had made it about halfway to where Jongin was standing but he still said it loud enough for the security officer to hear. “I’m the only one that has to be wanded down like a fucking criminal.” Jongin handed Kai his bookbag and was just about to say that the guy was just doing his job when the softball girls over in the corner caught his eye again.
“What are you laughing at?” Kai grumbled, unzipping his backpack to get at the black snap-back that he’d crammed inside earlier.
Jongin pulled his hand away from his mouth and stood up a little straighter, nudging Kai with his shoulder. “You see those girls over there?” Kai followed his brother’s gaze two lanes over to the group of American girls huddled together and nodded. “They were watching me before and like, giggling and stuff and when you walked over, I swear they practically pissed themselves.” Jongin’s laughter shook his slender frame as he slung his bag over his shoulder and turned to walk away. “I think one of ‘em might be pregnant.”
Kai sniggered a little and followed behind Jongin, perching his hat backwards on his short, corn flour blonde hair. He was used to people staring at him and his brother; it was nothing new. They’d even had some lady come up to them once when they were thirteen and just hanging out at COEX mall in South Korea and ask them if they would come audition for some idol company. Kai had just laughed in her face and Jongin had told her that he would give her five million won in cash right there if she would sing and dance to Bi Rain’s “Love Song.”
Needless to say, their offer to audition was rescinded after that.
“We should go talk to them,” Kai said. He glanced over his shoulder and saw that they still had a rather captivated audience. “It might help pass the time at least.”
“Please. What are they, like twelve?”
Kai could only see the back of his brother’s dark head but he knew that he was making that I’m-Kim-Jongin-and-I-look-down-my-nose-a
After a mumbled apology to the guy who had almost been the victim of an unfortunate segway accident, Kai caught back up with Jongin, falling in step beside him. “So tell me, Sir Douchebag, who is old enough for you?”
Jongin turned to look at him. “Remember dad’s Russian assistant last year?” Kai adjusted the strap on his shoulder and nodded, blinking behind the blonde strands in his eyes. “She was old enough.”
“She was like forty!”
“Was not. Anyway, she looked twenty.” Jongin still remembered her clearly, although for the life of him he couldn’t remember her name. It was something Russian sounding. Maria… Marinna… Annika?... It might have been one of those. She had long wavy blonde hair, sapphire blue eyes, a body that wouldn’t quit, and that accent. “She was fucking hot,” he said, ignoring Kai’s dissenting snort. “You even said so yourself.” It wasn’t until they’d made it to their terminal, C-6, that Jongin threw in his final two cents on the matter. “Plus, she wanted me.”
Kai looked at his brother like he’d just said that Maroon5 still made good music. “Are you fucking kidding me?” They picked their way over toward the mostly empty row of chairs in front of the large windows. “Just because she gave you a hand job once in the back room—”
“She did more than that.”
Jongin laughed at the way Kai’s voice went up about five octaves with each question and dropped his bag in the seat next to him to deter any weirdos who chose to ignore the fifty other empty chairs. “Last summer,” he said, simply. They’d spent the entire summer break in France last year with their dad, dividing up half the time in their townhouse in Paris and the other half in their country home in Normandy. Jongin preferred the tranquility and solitude of the countryside much more than the hustle and bustle of the city. Whereas Kai had bitched and moaned the moment they left Paris and their dad had only suffered it for two days before breaking down and sending him back out there to stay with a friend, leaving Jongin all alone with the hot Russian assistant. “Dad had gone off somewhere and the two of us had taken the sailboat out on the lake and.. she came on to me,” Jongin finished with a much too casual shrug.
Kai narrowed his eyes in that way that made one of them look smaller than the other. “Like how?”
“Like she told me she wanted to fuck me.”
Kai gawked at his brother, exhaling in disbelief. “O-kay..” He wasn’t sure if he was jealous or weirded out by the fact that a thirty-eight year old woman had practically thrown herself at a sixteen year old boy. On second thought, yeah, he was definitely just jealous. “So I guess they don’t beat around the bush in Russia.”
Jongin just laughed a little and reached into the outside pocket of his bag for his phone. “Well you know what they say, in Soviet Russia, bush beats you.” Jongin continued to smile incandescently at Kai even though he had tried to do a cheesy Russian accent and failed miserably.
“I could kill you,” Kai said, soberly. And in that moment, Jongin thought that his brother had never spoken so purely from his heart before.
Jongin laughed and grabbed his twin by the back of the neck pulling him into a one armed hug that Kai was by no means receptive to. Jongin figured that he wasn’t going to be going on the road with his Yakov Smirnoff routine any time soon but he didn’t care, those “in Soviet Russia” internet memes got him every time.
About twenty minutes later, a clipped, British accent came over the intercom asking all first class passengers and club members to head to gate two for pre-boarding. Both boys gathered their things and headed over to stand in the rather short line in front of the gate. Kai tuned out Jongin’s incessant chatter over whether to go use the bathroom before they boarded the plane or not and dug around in his bag for his boarding pass. At least dad had the decency to spring for first class, he thought. The man wouldn’t dare put them in economy seats no matter what they’d done. He wouldn’t be that cruel. His fingers curled around his ticket right as a thought struck him square in the face, one that he’d planned to mention earlier but he had completely forgotten it after Jongin had told that stupid Russia joke.
“I can’t believe you never told me about that.”
“The Russian chick.”
“Who said I had to tell you everything?” Jongin pulled the sleeve of his white sweater back over his collarbone where the strap of his backpack had tugged it down.
“I tell you everything,” Kai whined. If they were alone, he would have pulled out his cute pouty face bit even though Jongin had stopped falling for it about eight years ago.
“I know,” Jongin cooed in a disgustingly mushy voice. He reached out and grabbed a thumb and index finger full of Kai’s right cheek and tugged until his brother’s teeth showed.“And it’s cute too.” Jongin laughed and handed his boarding pass to the attendant before heading into the slightly sloping tunnel-like corridor and Kai followed closely behind, already over the eleven hour flight.
* * * *
It was a Tuesday night and Kim Joonmyeon was wasted out of his mind.
Thanks to Seth McFarlane he was about two sips away from blowing through the remaining third half of his brain cells. He and his roommate Sehun had been binge watching Family Guy on basic cable since six o’clock and about an hour in, Sehun had had the bright idea to throw a drinking game in the mix. There was only one rule and it was a simple one: someone says “Peter,” you take a drink.
Cut to ten minutes and two and a half beers later and Joonmyeon had started to seriously question his decision-making skills. He had really underestimated how often they say the name of Quahog’s resident Irish drunk in the space of a twenty-two minute episode.
Sehun had admitted defeat a little after nine, crawling over to his bed to wrap his long limbs around the cheap Scooby Doo plushie that Joonmyeon had bought for him as a joke at a rest stop earlier that year. It was anyone’s guess as to why Sehun had decided to keep the dumb thing.
Joonmyeon let his eyes fall closed and spread his arms out on either side of him, flinging his body backwards in the air. He imagined he was free-falling, bungee jumping off an eight hundred foot bridge with only a cord tethering him to solid ground. The impact jostled his brain a little and sent a river of aluminum rushing off of the side of the bed. He belched repulsively and tucked a hand under his white t-shirt, rubbing at the bloated feeling in his stomach.
“What?” Sehun sounded like he had a gym sock stuffed in his mouth and Joonmyeon found that incredibly funny for some reason.
“You know that new guy on the..uhmm.. on the lacrosse team?” Joonmyeon thought that he might have heard a muffled “yeah” in response, either that or he was way drunker than he thought. “We should...we should.. uhmm... do something for him,” he continued, sliding his other hand up to riffle through his hair. “He just got here and.. I don’t- I don’t think he has any friends.”
The sound of fabric swishing reminded Joonmyeon of the black Batman sleeping bag that he used to take out on his balcony at home on cool nights.
“I care,” Sehun mumbled, swallowing past the taste of cheap beer. Why should he give a fuck about some kid from China who was either too shy or too pathetic to make any friends? He had his own social life to worry about. He didn’t have time to go out and play find-a-buddy for every timid loser in the school. See Joonmyeon’s problem was that he liked to play Mother Theresa when he was drunk. He wanted to feed the hungry and adopt starving orphans and save little old ladies from trees. Was it little old ladies that were in trees?
“Hey, hey, Sehun? Do you.. do you wanna know.. the worst part of.. of being here?”
Sehun could tell from Joonmyeon’s “Keanu Reeves voice” that he was pretty smashed but not puking-in-a-pillowcase drunk which actually happened the last time that they snuck alcohol in the dorm. He didn’t understand why it was so hard for a seventeen year old to score alcohol in America. You were practically an adult. Well, he wasn’t, he was still sixteen, but Joonmyeon was. It’s not like those extra four years were going to magically make a person any more responsible than they already were. Case in point: his mom.
Mrs. Julia Oh was thirty-six as of this February and she still couldn’t even manage to keep food in the house without the help of at least one housekeeper and a personal assistant. But according to the law, she was responsible enough to go out and get wrecked on a bottle of Pinot Grigio if she wanted to—which she often did. That woman went through bottles of wine like a maternity ward went through diapers. If there was a time when she wasn’t floating in a Vicodin and wine-induced haze, Sehun wasn’t aware of it.
“You can’t jerk off to hentai porn unless I’m outta the room?” Sehun slit open his right eye long enough to see Joonmyeon splayed out on his bed like a washed up starfish.
“Hey, I.. dude. I- I told you that..wasn’t..what it.. looked like.”
Yeah, right, Sehun thought. So the hand he’d had down his pants was just a parlor trick? How to pull a rabbit outta your dick starring Kim Joonmyeon.
“It’s that I.. my dog…” Joonmyeon floundered, “is.. he isn’t here.”
Sehun groaned and slung one pale arm awkwardly behind his head. He felt a migraine coming on. Why? Why did he drink? He should never drink.
Joonmyeon and that damn dog; it’s all he ever talked about. The canine in question was a Boston terrier by the name of Marcos Paulini and the bane of Sehun’s existence. Sehun always felt like an idiot calling a dog Marcos Paulini—for some reason the dog was Italian—but Joonmyeon was just weird enough to give all his pets full names.
Marcos did this. Marcos did that. Marcos shit out a fucking Nobel Peace prize. Sometimes Sehun wanted to be an asshole and tell Joonmyeon that Marcos was just another dumb dog who licked his own balls with the same tongue that he licked Joonmyeon’s face with but his assholery did know some bounds.
“Why don’t you tell your mom to put him on the next time she Skypes you?” Sehun frowned when Joonmyeon didn’t respond. That was a perfectly good idea and what did he get? Nothing. He lifted his head up from Scooby’s fluffy mid-section and saw Joonmyeon breathing soundly into the crook of his right elbow.
Sighing, Sehun picked up the remote to turn off the tv, tossing it somewhere in the vicinity of the dresser afterwards. He wasn’t even going to bother with the overhead light. Joonmyeon would probably wake up and cut it off later anyway.
He drifted off to thoughts of Marcos in last Halloween’s Batman costume rescuing a little old lady from a tree.
* * * *
Joonmyeon moved down the packed hallway at a steady clip. He wasn’t exactly sprinting but he was walking faster than he normally did. He had a forty-five minute free period before he had be in Mrs. Lémieux’s French class so he was heading over to meet up with Sehun in the back courtyard off of the main cafeteria. He pulled the strap of his brown leather satchel up on his arm and shouldered his way into the stairway leading down to the first floor. Getting anywhere in the central building was a headache around noon because the freshman boys had their lunch period at this hour and didn’t give two shits about honoring the school’s rule of standing off to the side to let the upperclassman pass. Joonmyeon was pushed along into the surging tide with the rest of them, the only grey blazer in a sea of navy blue.
Only the seniors were allowed to wear grey and black. It was a Westcott tradition, all the way back to the school’s founding in nineteen twenty-two.
Westcott, or as the boys had so wittily dubbed it, “Westcock”, was one of the oldest and most prestigious all male boarding schools in the country and it didn’t just welcome anyone into its ample bosom.
Money and family. Two things you had to possess to even make it pass the ivy draped gates separating the school’s elite from the unwashed masses. Beyond that it was all about who you knew and how many zeros your parents could add behind the number directly above their signatures. Joonmyeon had been matriculating at this long-standing institution ever since he was fourteen and his dad had suddenly decided that he wasn’t getting a solid education at the posh, private school that he’d been attending in LA which actually translated to “Son, I feel really guilty about ignoring you these past fourteen years. Now I’d like to assuage that guilt by sending you three thousand miles away.”
Joonmyeon hadn’t even finished googling child emancipation laws in California before he was on a plane bound for Connecticut.
The first three months at Westcott had been less than stellar. He was home-sick. He missed LA. He missed his friends. He missed his dog. He even missed Mr. Juarez, the guy who tended to the shrubs and always waved to Joonmyeon when he passed by in the mornings on his way to school. Things had only gotten better after he’d met Sehun.
That first year, after everyone who’d been lucky enough to have parents who even bothered to send for them had come back from Christmas break, Joonmyeon’s old roommate, Rudy, an olive-skinned kid who did nothing but eat weird smelling jerky and play World of WarCraft on his computer all day, didn’t show back up. The rumor swirling around the school’s urinal drain was that Rudy’s dad had been arrested in New York and arraigned on charges of tax evasion and fraud. As unfortunate as that was for the kid, all Joonmyeon could think about was that he wouldn’t have to wake up to the smell of hummus and chickpeas anymore. For a while he’d had the whole room to himself and he had begun to think that the school had forgotten about him. That somehow lady luck had dealt the cards in his favor for once and he could ride out the rest of the school year all by his lonesome.
About a week after he’d had such a grand notion, Sehun had showed up. Joonmyeon had taken one look at him and figured that he’d been stuck with another dud. Sehun didn’t even take off his shades when he came in the room, he’d just walked in without a word, wheeling a trunk large enough to fit a body, and then went back out into the hallway for the rest of his stuff.
After about ten minutes of watching Sehun haul in load after load of designer stenciled cargo, Joonmyeon had figured that the kid didn’t plan on introducing himself so he’d gotten up from the chair at his desk and walked over to where Sehun was busily pulling a small Gucci travel bag out of the top mesh compartment inside his suitcase.
“Hey. I’m Joonmyeon,” he said, trying to do the polite thing and look Sehun in the eyes while he spoke to him even though all he’d gotten was a double dose of his own smiling face reflected back at him. “You must be Sehun.”
“How’d you guess?”
Joonmyeon did that thing where he macerated the inside of his left cheek when he was trying hard not to be too bothered by something. He plastered on a humorless little smile as he tried to shirk off the friendly greeting that had just been thrown back in his face. Yeah, the sarcasm wasn’t exactly appreciated but he could understand where this kid was coming from. He was suddenly dropped off, probably against his will, in a new and unfamiliar place with complete strangers and told to “make the best of it.” Of course he was going to be sporting a junk-yard dog of an attitude. Joonmyeon hadn’t been too dissimilar himself, although he hadn’t been quite as rude.
“Well, they told me that this Sehun guy was sort of a dick so when I saw you walk in, I figured it had to be you.”
Why Joonmyeon had chosen to be a smart-ass instead of just going back over to his desk and chalking the new guy’s attitude up to a bad day, he didn’t know. Blame it on the fact that he hadn’t had a girlfriend in a year maybe but while Joonmyeon was standing there waiting to get a “Fuck you” greeting card from his new roomie, something totally unexpected happened. Sehun had smiled. It wasn’t a big smile, or a full-on shit-eating grin but it was there. A small, twinkling of a thing that if you blinked too fast you might miss.
He had essentially just called the kid a dick to his face and he was smiling.
And that had been the start of an unusual friendship. Joonmyeon wouldn’t say that Sehun was his best friend but he was definitely the closest thing to it for the past three years. He definitely hung out with Sehun a lot more than he hung out with his other friends, aside from the whole living-together thing.
The crowd began to thin out as most of the boys scattered into the open doors of the food court-style cafeteria. A few stragglers, seemingly caught up in the melee, like Joonmyeon, continued on down the hall. Joonmyeon stuck behind the two boys walking close together ahead of him. From the looks of the ninja turtles watches that they were both sporting, Joonmyeon figured that they were about eleven or twelve, although the blonde one’s shoulder was already far above Joonmyeon’s eye level. He idly listened on as the other kid complained to the blonde about some guy named Roger stealing his retainer and flushing it down the toilet.
The pair hung a left at the fire exit doors, entering into the enclosed breezeway connecting the cafeteria to the west wing of the building while Joonmyeon continued on out of the french doors onto the courtyard. The sun glared off the tops of the trees, seeming to blast him right in the eyes as he scanned the grounds for Sehun. There were a few other boys out but not many as there wasn’t very much shade on this particular side of the building. He made his way down the stone steps, one hand in his pocket, and was careful to avoid the bad luck spot on the bottom step.
According to school legend, every kid who had ever stepped on that star burst shaped crack had come into some manner of misfortune. Broken legs, lost games, car accidents, expulsion, family bankruptcy—they were just a few consequences of stepping on the “black spot.” Joonmyeon didn’t necessarily buy into all that bad luck crap but he couldn’t exactly disprove it either. In the long run, he’d figured it was better to be safe than sorry.
After coming around the side of a shrubbed corner, he saw Sehun over by the copse of trees shading the old koi fountain. He was sitting on the side of the rusted relic, one hand flat on the once white stone next to him, his left leg kicked out on the grass, back hunched over his phone. The sunglasses that took up most of his face were designed to send a big “F. you” to the world.
Most people took one look at Sehun and instantly made up their minds about him without even bothering to talk to him first. Entitled, over-privileged, elitist were just a few of the adjectives that were always being kicked around the school on Sehun’s behalf. Joonmyeon had always thought all the bad talk was more so out of jealousy than anything else. Yeah, Sehun was a trust fund kid but so was ninety-eight percent of the student body. Sehun wasn’t any more over-privileged than any of the other silver spoon-fed assholes who rested their heads on tempur pedic pillows, he just didn’t pretend to be ashamed of it. Sehun wanted the best of everything; he felt like he deserved it. And sometimes that could come across as a little... arrogant. But that was only at the surface level. When you actually took the time to dig past the epidermis layer, you could see that beneath it all, at the core, Sehun was a good kid. He just happened to be a little spoiled and you couldn’t really blame him for that. It’s not his fault the way he was brought up.
“Since when do you read?” Joonmyeon dropped his bookbag down on the grass and sat down next to Sehun. He picked up the scuffed burgundy cover of the library book lying between them. Lord of the Flies by William Golding—not bad but he wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.
“Not mine.” Sehun had a look of desperate concentration on his face. The one he usually only got when he was cramming for an exam an hour before class. His normally pale skin seemed to have a little bit more color to it, like maybe he’d skipped the sunscreen once or twice that week.
“You wanna tell me why we’re baking all the way out here instead of sitting in the cafeteria?”
Sehun glanced up from his phone just as Joonmyeon was pulling his right arm out of his blazer. He thought about mentioning the email that he had just gotten from his father but he figured that he would wait until the other two got here so he wouldn’t have to repeat himself. “L. said he had kitchen duty over here at noon. Wanted me to wait for him.”
“And?” Joonmyeon added. Sehun watched as the older boy unbuttoned the left sleeve of his white shirt and began to roll it neatly up to his elbow. “He’s your butt buddy, not mine. Why do I have to wait for him?”
When Sehun had only thrown one stilt of a leg over the other and hunched back over his phone, Joonmyeon knew that he had lost the battle before it had even begun. Verbal sparring was no fun if your opponent didn’t fight back. Joonmyeon turned around and looked down into the troubled surface of the water, watched the flashes of bright orange, white, and yellow far beneath the pelting drops of the fountain. On impulse he skimmed the tips of his fingers along the water’s edge, creating ripples of his own that the fish seemed to gravitate to, following behind his moving hand like the Pied Piper’s charges.
“You know some kid peed in there last week.”
It didn’t come as a surprise to Joonmyeon that Tao would pop up out of nowhere just to spew out that little gem, it’s what he did. Huang ZiTao was like the harbinger of bad news.
Joonmyeon pulled his fingers out of the water with as much dignity as he could considering that he’d just been doing the equivalent of sticking them in the toilet, and wiped them daintily against the side of his pants. As soon as his eyes lifted up to Sehun’s, the younger boy let out the most high-pitched, ridiculing sound that he could generate. Tao stood next to Sehun, a smirk on his tanned face that made him look even more conceited than he actually was and his left hand resting lightly on Sehun’s shoulder. Joonmyeon assumed that Sehun already knew about the pee incident but just wasn’t going to say anything and he would be right in that assumption.
“Screw. You.” Joonmyeon stood up and snatched his bag up from the ground in one fluid motion. Fuck waiting around for L., he was leaving.
“Hey!.. Hey! Joonmyeon!” Tao called. He watched Joonmyeon’s petite form beat a path back up towards the steps. If Tao had known or even cared what a pun was he might’ve called Joonmyeon’s attitude pissy right about then. “Don’t you wanna hear about the two Charlie’s from London?”
“Charlie’s” are what the Westcott boys called new students, i.e. new blood. The name caught on about two decades ago thanks to the school’s absentminded headmaster at the time. Professor Arthur Crangle was a dinosaur. Approaching sixty-nine years old, he had been a permanent fixture at Westcott most of his adult life, beginning his career as a history teacher and years later accepting the position as headmaster. He was considered to be old-fashioned, stodgy, and years past his sell-by date by the majority of his staff and all of the students and yet the board of trustee’s didn’t have the heart to sack him. Whenever Westcott opened their gilded gates to new students, the boys would go and meet privately with the headmaster and during that time he would get them acquainted with the school’s policies, rules, and so on. Prof. Crangle, however, had lost a good deal of his short term memory along with the ability to urinate within a two minute time-frame. The old foggy couldn’t remember a name to save his life. The second the boys entered his office and introduced themselves, he would immediately draw a blank. So, he’d started calling them Charlie. It was a nice, neutral sort of name, he’d thought, one that could easily slip under a person’s radar, maybe even pass for a general nickname. But Old Crangle wasn’t fooling anyone. The boys might have been young but they weren’t stupid. At first it was sort of a running joke within the school and then somehow, the name had just kind of stuck.
Even though Crangle was probably long dead, rotting away in some nickel-brushed worm box somewhere, every new kid at Westcott was still considered to be a “Charlie.” Crangle had inadvertently succeeded in leaving behind a long-lasting legacy after all.
Sehun slapped a hand over his mouth and took in as much air as he could through his nose, trapping it in his chest. Hiccups were the worst, unless they were a by-product of laughter at Joonmyeon’s expense. He looked up at Tao who was looming over him and was struck with the sudden urge to stand up. He didn’t want to be in anyone’s shadow, much less Tao’s. People already compared the two of them enough. He had to admit that Tao looked pretty cool with his new cobalt blue hair though, like he was sired by the autonomous point of a pencil. It was shorter than it used to be, higher above his ears now and the length managed to show off the leanness of his face. Sehun wasn’t a fanny bandit or anything but he could appreciate the attractiveness of another guy; nobody could beat him and L. though.
Sehun pushed his shades up into his hairline, they were kind of starting to slip down his nose, and turned his head to follow Tao’s gaze. He kind of hoped that Joonmyeon would stop being such a vagina and take Tao up on his offer. He had heard some interesting stuff about the London Charlie’s himself these past few days and he hoped that maybe Tao could shed a little light on all the rumors.
Joonmyeon slowed down a little and flung a look back over his shoulder. Sehun always seemed to become more of a dick whenever Tao was around and he wasn’t the only one. Tao’s douchebaggery was pretty much airborne at this point and it spread faster than the flu in an HIV support group. Fortunately, Joonmyeon was immune.
Sehun motioned Joonmyeon back with the hand that wasn’t pasted over his mouth, his eyes lost in his smile while Tao just stood there in all his vapid glory, both hands in the pockets of his slacks in affected casualness. Apparently they were booked for a photoshoot that neither Joonmyeon nor Sehun were aware of. I must’ve missed that memo, Joonmyeon thought.
He was going back for one reason and one reason only. He had heard that one of the Charlie’s was a pretty good lacrosse player and if that was true, then they could really use him on the team. Coach Ratford had just benched one of their best attackmen because his G.P.A was almost past the point of no return and now they were looking under every rock for a replacement.
“Okay, he’s back,” Sehun said. Neither Joonmyeon nor Tao realized that the other boy had the hiccups until there was a lurching break in his words. “Now te...ll us what you heard.”
Tao grinned and stepped in closer, tightening their little circle. “They’re seventeen, loaded.” He widened his eyes in an exaggerated way. “Apparently their dad’s some type of real estate mogul. Has land in like, three hundred countries.”
“That’d be a little difficult to accomplish, considering there’s only a hundred and ninety-five countries on the planet.”
“Joonmyeon,” Sehun said, managing to sound both amused and fed-up with Joonmyeon’s shit. “Shut up.”
“Anyway,” Tao brought a hand up to shield his eyes. The light was starting to make them ache a little. He wished he had of worn his sunglasses like Sehun. He was having to squint too much without them. He didn’t like the way he looked when he squinted. “They say these guys have a bad rep. They’ve been kicked out of four schools in the past six years and—”
“I heard that one of em just got outta rehab and the other has an eight year old kid by a Brazilian prostitute.” Sehun was a little iffy on the whole Brazilian thing, but he was pretty sure that he’d heard the prostitute part right.
“You do realize that would make him eight at the time,” Joonmyeon said. And Sehun looked at him like he was the dumb one. “Do you even listen to yourself or is it just like talking into a vacuum?”
Sehun’s naturally arched brows slanted downwards as he leaned back on his hands and glared at his roommate. “Blow me.” His eyes briefly shifted up to Tao when the other boy reached down and stole the sunglasses off of his head.
“If they were banging Brazilian prostitutes I never heard about it,” Tao said, slipping on Sehun’s shades, “but maybe—”
“Are they any good at lacrosse?” Joonmyeon rudely cut in. He didn’t want to hear about their family genealogy or some stupid—probably overblown—rumors. He only cared about the important stuff.
“I dunno.” Tao watched as Joonmyeon blew out a breath and drew his small lips in. It made him feel good to know that “The Almighty Kim Joonmyeon” was denied the one bit of information that he truly wanted.
When Joonmyeon threw his pack over his shoulder and turned back the way he’d come, Tao couldn’t say that he was particularly sad to see him go.