13 June 2012 @ 12:25 am
payphone

Title: Payphone

Author: fuckris

Rating: PG-13

Genre: Fluff, Hurt/Comfort

Pairing: Kris/Lu Han

Word Count: 3,233

Summary: When a cup of Americano reminds Wu Fan too much of home.

A/N: Is not inspired by Maroon 5's Payphone, no. I only borrowed the title because I like how the word 'payphone' can lead me into a wave of nostalgia. And this was supposed to be a drabble with less than 1,000 words but oh my god.


Payphone

Wu Fan stumbles out the high-end building, stepping out the glass door as he holds his briefcase tight in his hands. Starbucks, his mind wails, and Wu Fan silently agrees to that. His boss demanded an expense report due tomorrow, and Wu Fan thinks he wouldn't survive without a slight boost of caffeine.

Striding his way to the nearest coffee stall, Wu Fan loosens his slick black tie, sighing as he ignores the curious-slash-flirty glances of women nearby.

It makes him think of someone back home.

And this is Vancouver, so this is not home.

Wu Fan quickens his pace as the round, green, Starbucks sign flashes into view, his fine-leather shoes click-clacking on the asphalt sidewalk.

A gush of wind from the cold air conditioner, blending in quite well with the scent of freshly-brewed coffee hit Wu Fan's sense of smell as he pushes the glass door wide open. A familiar, friendly greeting of “Good afternoon, Sir!” rings in Wu Fan's ears, bringing an automatic weak smile creeping up his lips.

Wu Fan is not one of those smiley-and-friendly type of person, but someone back home is quite the contrary. That someone used to elbow Wu Fan in the ribs when the latter showed none of a friendly response as the Starbucks employee greeted them as they enter.

Well, it's not much of a difference here in Vancouver, except it was always an accented 下午好,先生* back home instead of an English greeting of Good afternoon. The biggest difference was that there is no one to elbow him in the ribs this time.

Shit, Wu Fan thinks. This makes me slightly homesick.

Wu Fan then queues up, gaze fixed on a coffee bean-crushing machine, bored eyes following the movements of it spinning around. His turn to order comes a while later, and Wu Fan looks up the menu for formalities.

Something strikes him when he stopped at the 'latte'.








Someone back home used to cheerfully beam up when ordering a cup of cold latte and tugged on Wu Fan's sleeve to order the same thing.

“No”, was always Wu Fan's favorite reply, with an addition of his favorite expressionless face, “A hot Americano, please.”

That someone used to pout at Wu Fan's choice and made up a dramatic Wu-Fan-you-hurt-my-heart face to the cashier. Wu Fan remembered that one time, a female cashier laughed. “Is he your boyfriend?”, she asked, nudging towards Wu Fan. The latter blushed, failing to look uneager for his reply.

That someone used to chuckle at this and entwined his slender fingers with Wu Fan's own. “No.”

Wu Fan remembers getting all stiff because of this reply, but another sentence came pulling him out of his thoughts. “He's more like...someone very dear of mine.”

The cashier laughed and handed them both their different beverages and winked playfully. “Well, I'm rooting for you, then”, she said before nodding his head to Wu Fan and back, “He looks so hot!”

Wu Fan beamed up a little at the compliment, when the other just chuckled and bid goodbye to the kind cashier.

Well”, that someone used to say. “A hot Chinese-Canadian with a hot cup of Americano isn't such a bad combination, after all. I should stop complaining about your choice of beverages, then!”

That someone's eyes used to twinkle when he smiles, caressing Wu Fan's hand lightly before gulping down his cold latte, and Wu Fan couldn't hold back the urge to ruffle his soft, silky hair.








“Uhm.”

Holy shit, Wu Fan snaps up. I should stop thinking unnecessary stuffs and focus on what I'm doing. He mutters a quick “Sorry” to the slightly annoyed cashier and to the three persons queuing up behind him before asking for an Americano.

He sits by the window after collecting his beverage, his briefcase landing in a loud thud and Wu Fan crosses his legs, staring out the window, taking in the bustling view of Vancouver's streets.

Streets here are so much different from those back home, Wu Fan thinks, or tries to remember, because it's been almost six months since he left Beijing for business trade.

Sighing, he takes a sip of his brewing hot Americano, rubbing his eyes with the back of his hand. It's funny how a cup of coffee reminds him of so many things.










Wu Fan remembers how he met him for the first time. They were side by side, at a Starbucks, shoulders slightly brushing when the latter perked up an “A cold latte, please!”, and Wu Fan couldn't help but stare incredulously at the boy. He had honey locks, and mild brown eyes that showed nothing but sincerity. He was also a head shorter than Wu Fan. He can't be more than seventeen, Wu Fan remembers musing.

“A hot Americano”, Wu Fan said back then, nodding as the cashier took note of his order. He was looking away when he catches a curious look from the boy. “A hot beverage at this weather? You've got to be kidding me.”

Wu Fan shot a glare at the boy, collecting his Americano the same time as the latter collected his latte.

“It's burning out there”, the boy chirped again, and Wu Fan couldn't even make out why the boy was walking alongside him in the first place, “And you chose a hot coffee. Wow, are you an Eskimo or something?”

Another glare left Wu Fan's eyes when he shot up. “Oh, mind your mouth, you can't be more than seventeen.”

The boy gasped, his doe eyes enlarged with slight amusement. “Seventee—dude, I'm twenty.

A shock.

Holy shit.”

Wu Fan doesn't exactly remember how the boy followed him and sit at the corner of the air-conditioned shop and blabbered about oh my God do I look seventeen and Jesus Christ does my looks belie my age, and Wu Fan's cold expression broke into a fit of laughter.

Wu Fan remembers the boy stopping his monologues and stared at Wu Fan ever so curiously. Wu Fan shot an eyebrow up.

“I just, wow”, the boy said, then tilting his head to basically savor a better view of Wu Fan, “You look good when you laugh.”

And Wu Fan couldn't even comprehend of why he was blushing at this slightly-older-man-who-looks-seventeen whom he only knew less than an hour ago.

They stayed longer and talked some more (basically Wu Fan snorting and retorting sudden replies to interrupt at times when the boy blabbered nonstop), and then it was getting quite late.

Wu Fan then stood up, and to his amusement, the exact time the boy in front of him did the same. A chuckle broke from the latter's lips, casually handing a hand to Wu Fan.

“By the way, I'm Lu Han. I have a feeling we'll see each other around.”

And Wu Fan smiled, welcoming the warm hand with his big palm. “Wu Fan.”










“This is so stupid”, Wu Fan unconsciously mutters in his mother language. He gulps down another round of his Americano after that.










“So, you major in business?” Lu Han said, twirling his dark green straw absentmindedly around his green tea latte. “Mhm”, came Wu Fan's dull reply, ripping off a sachet of sugar to add into his coffee.

Lu Han rolled his eyes. “Good heavens, you should stop being so robotic and—at least do something and interact with me.”

Wu Fan looked up to find a slightly annoyed Lu Han, who was pouting his rosy lips as he practically stabbed his poor paper cup with his straw. He snorted. “Well fine, what do you want?”

Lu Han pouted. “You should've asked what I majored at.”

This is almost too funny, Wu Fan smiled, but he let the boy lead the conversation anyway. “Well okay, so what did you major at?

“Applied Music!” Lu Han chirped, putting down his straw as he flailed his arms while blabbering. “Did you know that I went to Korea a few years ago as an exchange student and I looked down the list of departments I could take and holy fuck it was in English and I don't know English so I composed my face and tried to look like I understand the whole shit and I stumbled upon Applied Music and woah this sounds cool because I like music and I actually understand what it means in English so I picked it without any further thinking and—”

Lu Han paused at Wu Fan's judging glare. “I should uhm”, Lu Han squeaked, “Stop talking about my life now.”

But Wu Fan remembers laughing--cracking into a very fine fit of laughter (or was it cackles?), clutching his stomach and gasping for air intake.

It was Lu Han's turn to look annoyed. “What?

“Nothing”, Wu Fan breathed between his heavy chuckles. “I think I'm going to actually like you.”











It's suddenly hard to breathe as Wu Fan opens his eyes, glaring accusingly at the innocent cup of Americano on his table. What is with the flashbacks? He thought, taking another sip.











“So you dragged me, all the way here, saying that you're taking me for a fancy dinner, and now I'm dressed in a fucking suit but we end up at a roadside Chinese food stall?”, Wu Fan retorted, ashamed of the misunderstanding and also ashamed of his outfit, wore in a wrong time.

Lu Han slapped the man on the head (which, Wu Fan muses, he needs to actually tiptoe when he did that). "I should be angry because of your lack of respect for talking like that to someone older than you, but that was probably the longest sentence you've actually said since you were a zygote so I might as well forgive you this time."

Wu Fan was taken aback at this, a small smile crept to his lips. Only Lu Han could make him wail like that.

“Well fuck you”, he said instead. “You're paying.”

Lu Han just shrugged. “It's cheap food, anyway.”

And Wu Fan made a mental note to make him pay for the last Italian meal bill first thing they got home.











Wu Fan still can't believe that all those thoughts are playing on rewind in his head, but he savors all of it, his Americano lays forgotten for a while.











“I wonder what you taste like.”

Wu Fan chortled as Lu Han spits on his choco-latte. The latter's brown orbs were gleaming, pretty much a contrast with the red heat creeping up his cheeks. “Wh-what was that for?!”

Wu Fan was in a prankster mood and he decided not to let this rare opportunity come to waste.

“I don't know”, came a reply. “Maybe I'm just too curious.”

Lu Han shot an embarrassed look square at Wu Fan's eyes, before suddenly smirking as if he got an idea. And before Wu Fan knew it, his cup of Americano was in the latter's hands.

Wu Fan watched confusedly as Lu Han gulped down his favorite beverage. “Hey, hey, what was tha—”

He felt Lu Han's fingers grabbing the collar of his v-neck shirt, before jerking it forwards into a dangerously close distance with Lu Han, and Wu Fan swore he could recall Lu Han smirking before he latched his lips briefly with Wu Fan's own.

It was short, it was not more than a lip-touching-lip situation, but it managed to stain Wu Fan's face with permanent red for the rest of the day.

Lu Han pulled back seconds later, grinning playfully. “I taste like Americano.”

It actually took Wu Fan a moment to compose himself for not smiling like a fool in public. Nah, he failed, anyway.

“And there goes our first kiss”, Wu Fan replied lamely, faking regret and exasperation in his voice that made Lu Han punch him on the arm.











If Wu Fan is in his apartment right now, he would bang his fists against the kitchen stool and curl in bed feeling all pitiful, lonely, and homesick. But unfortunately, or rather fortunately, he's in Starbucks-equals-public-place-equals-a-reason-to-keep-his-sanity-with-him.

He balls a fist beside his knee when his other hand reaches for his cup, finishing the rest of the contents without further thoughts about what will strike his mind soon after.











The speakers rung out a deafening, or more annoying flight announcement, and Wu Fan automatically jumped up his seat and grabbed his suitcase.

Lu Han stares at one of Wu Fan's bags forlornly, before shooting a similar look to Wu Fan's eyes. Wu Fan sighed, scratching the back of his neck.

“Well”, he said.

“Well”, Lu Han mimed.

“So I guess...this is goodbye, then”, Wu Fan said, looking down to his feet clad in his worn-out Converse as if it was more interesting than the being in front of him.

“Y-yeah.”

Silence.

Wu Fan let out another breath before the moment got more awkward, patting Lu Han on the head, but the latter was looking all too lifeless to give a response. “Well, uhm, see you in a year, then. I'll try to visit between breaks.”

Lu Han remained silent, and Wu Fan sighed. Lu Han knew he wouldn't have any breaks because he's an exchange worker, not a permanent one who can take leaves whenever he needs to. Lu Han kept on staring lifelessly onto Wu Fan's eyes, his gaze could've bored holes if Wu Fan's head wasn't made out of skeleton. “Hey, Lu Han”, Wu Fan ran a trembling hand along Lu Han's spine, before pulling him into a hug, distance between them evaporating instantly. Something inside Wu Fan broke when he heard Lu Han's muffled sob.

“Don't miss me too much. We can always Skype each other, right? You can even send me letters and all, and—”

Can't you just stay?

Wu Fan froze at that, because Lu Han knew the exact answer and he didn't have a heart to repeat it again.

He pulled Lu Han in for a soft, salty kiss—as Lu Han's tears keep interrupting their lips intertwining, and pulled away after what it seemed like eternity.

Wu Fan forced a smile. Lu Han's eyes were all red and puffy, and Wu Fan couldn't help a tear escaping from his own eyes as he bid a “See you around, Lu.”











Wu Fan literally suffocates as he shoots his eyes wide open, before burying his face in his palms.

He did keep his promise—he Skyped with Lu Han every night for the first two months, but their conversation slowly got stale, revolving at a same topic over and over again.

Even the used-to-be-sweet good nights and I love yous became something he had always skipped to say every time he went online.

This is getting boring, Wu Fan snapped one day, typing on his keyboard. I think we should stop doing this.

Wu Fan blinked as he didn't get a single reply, yet the screen indicates that Lu Han had just gone offline.

Just like that, he lost contact with Lu Han.

Wu Fan brushes it off at first, continuing life like he's supposed to. But the thoughts get more and more haunting from time to time, and Wu Fan has lived as an empty shell for the rest of the months.

It's funny, Wu Fan thinks. It's funny when he was the one who reminded Lu Han not to miss him too much, but he himself is the one who misses the former the most.

It's funny on how a single beverage can make him think of so much things. He thinks of home. He thinks of Beijing. He thinks of Lu Han.

The feeling of homesick (or Luhan-sick, at this matter) is just too overwhelming, that fuck, Wu Fan curses himself for not having resupplied his phone credits because he thinks he won't be able to survive this day without Lu Han's voice ringing in his ears.

Wu Fan was almost pulling his hair out when he accidentally throws a stare out the window and spots something he might actually need the most right now.

A vacant phonebooth.

Sweet Jesus really knows what he needs.

Wu Fan steps out of Starbucks in a daze, ignoring the shouts and reminders of “Sir, you forgot your briefcase!"”and stumbles right into the phonebooth before tripping on his own foot.

He can feel himself trembling as he reaches out to his trousers' pockets, and fishes out some coins after a few moments of searching.

He plucks half of them into the slot without even thinking as his other hand reaches out for the black telephone piece. Wu Fan's trembling fingers dances along the machine, pressing out the numbers that Wu Fan thought he forgot, but miraculously remembers.

Realization strikes him just when the telephone beeps in attempt to connect. Beijing is fifteen hours ahead of Vancouver, Wu Fan thought. It's 6:30 AM and it's fucking Saturday there and you know Lu Han's a sleepyhead in the weekend so wow, great timing, Wu Fan.

The phone beeps for what it seems like eternity to Wu Fan, who is silently begging for the other line to pick up though it's impossible.

He is in the verge of putting the phone back to its place because Wu Fan thinks he knows, he really knows that Lu Han is not going to pick up. And the air suddenly suffocates him when he hears a faint “Hello?” from the other line.

Wu Fan goes dumbstruck. Do I really miss him so much that I actually visualized his voice?

He goes on a complete silence, still contemplating whether the Americano he drank earlier had drugs in it or something. But then, he hears another soft murmur. “Hello?”

Wu Fan's heart does a mini somersault, and he can't help but lean on the glass door, head tilting slightly upwards because he feels his eyes getting watery.

It's real. Holy shit, it's real.

It takes Wu Fan a moment as he takes a deep breath, trying to compose his voice but he fails and it comes with an audible crack anyway when he finally voices out a terrible, trembling "Lu Han" from his lips.

Wu Fan swears he hears an audible gasp from the other line, along with the sound of bedsheets being pulled away from one's body. “...Wu Fan?

Wu Fan doesn't even bother to muffle his sobs, and he actually chokes on a tear when he shudders to breathe. He wails louder when he hears Lu Han sobbing as well, chanting Wu Fan Wu Fan Wu Fan like some sort of a religious spell.

Wu Fan clutches the phone even tighter, and I'm sorry I miss you I'm so sorry comes from his mouth like a broken record.

The feeling is just too overwhelming—the feeling of guilt, regret, sorrow.

And when Wu Fan hears an “I miss you too”, he falls to his knees and buries his face with his one palm for dear life. He doesn't care if people outside the booth see him with judging eyes—what matters to him is that he's Wu Fan and on the other line is Lu Han, after an excruciating four months, finally hearing each other again.

He thought of home, he thought of Beijing, he thought of Lu Han.

But now with Lu Han and his soft murmurs lingering in his ears, maybe, just maybe, Wu Fan can imagine that he's at home.

*Good afternoon, Sirs.

 
 
 
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