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Bewitched

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“Do you remember our good friend Youngho?” 

“Sure I do,” Kun replied on the other end of the phone. “We’re talking about him like he’s dead, though?” 

“Not dead.” Ten pressed the phone closer to his ear. He watched the small green lump hop lamely across his roof. “I might’ve just turned him into a frog.” 

Kun came through with a chaotic rush of static. “Ten--!” 

“Look, please,” Ten said as he took a tentative step out onto the roof. His magic had to be working enough to cushion a fall, right? “I need you to call—" 

“Did you just ask me if your magic was working enough to cushion a fall?” 

“No, of course not,” Ten said glibly. He had one hand on the wall and the other on the phone at his ear, but he was making good headway towards Youngho. The frog. Youngho the Frog. Fuck. “Kun, I’m going to need you to call Taeyong-hyung.” 

“Tae—okaaay…”  

Ten slipped and caught himself, but felt his soul float out of his body. It drifted up to the clouds.  

“Your potions are lovely,” he managed to tell Kun wanly after a while. “But Taeyong-hyung does the best Wart-Be-Gone I’ve ever seen.” 

Ten sniffed, pressing himself closer to the wall against a particularly nasty gust of wind. Oh, it might be important to explain to Kun: “And also I can’t read. With this Wizard’s Cold. It’s so wild; everything’s showing up in Wingdings but you’re the only other person I know with three letters in their name so I knew I could call—Hello?” 

There was quiet on the phone. Ten thought Kun might have already set to work, but instead he said, “You think that’s the solution to this? Wart-Be-Gone?” 

“Ye—Youngho, no!” 

Ten dropped his phone into the rain gutter and leapt after Youngho, falling short of the tree like Youngho did but at least catching the frog in his cupped palms. 

But now they were falling. 

“Clouds!” said Ten. 

Sure enough the landscape beneath them turned white and fluffy, but clouds were clouds, and Ten passed through them like a deadweight. He landed hard on his back and felt all the wind rush out of his lungs.  

Youngho hopped away. Ten deserved that. Not his finest moment. 

“You’re not even a tree frog,” Ten whispered at the frog’s retreating back.  

“Is this because you think sneaking up that tree and into my apartment is romantic?” Ten drew himself up onto his elbows, and reached out to suck some life out of said tree. “Oh-hoh, Youngho, because it is. But only when you’ve got human arms and legs, asshole.” 

Then Ten got up, and felt the sneeze rising fast and threatening up his nose. Oh no. 

Ahchoo!” 

The world rocked on its heels, but just as soon everything was still again—blurry through watering eyes, but still.  

He patted himself down while he recovered. Nothing felt out of the ordinary nor did nothing around him seem out of place, until he took a step forward and tripped over shoes two sizes too big. 

Ten let a muted scream out through his nose, kicking the shoes violently off into the general vicinity of his apartment building, and took after Youngho in his socks. He’d run through this township in less. 

Then he sneezed once more and ended up halfway back down the block, a lot farther from Youngho than when he’d started. “Are you fucking kidding me?!” 

“Ten? What are you doing out here in just your socks?” 

Ten turned wildly, “Hyung, don’t come any closer—” 

AhchooTen started booking it as soon as both Yuta and Doyoung started screaming, with impressive volume, from the ground floor apartment nearest. Trust his magic to teleport Yuta right into Doyoung’s shower. 

Your magic does what it wants during a Wizard’s Cold, was what Grandma had said, and up until recently, Ten had believed this, like, Okay, Grandma. Ten could imagine now holding up big flashcards of the shit he’d conjured up this time around, though, and asking her to kindly explain how and why especially he’d turned Seo Youngho into a frog.  

Ten was sick. Youngho had brought him soup. Now there was chicken noodle on Ten’s bedroom carpet and he was chasing an amphibian towards their university campus.  

Youngho was rapidly approaching the crosswalk, and not stopping.  

“Jaywalker,” Ten hissed, thrusting out his hand. Youngho hopped, disappeared into space, and popped out again on the other side of the street, right in front of the university gates.  

Ten remembered when Youngho had taken his elbow, infinitely warm in the freezing rain, and woven them both right through the middle of a traffic jam on that same street. Bored drivers had watched them both scream and laugh and slip from behind foggy windshields, and now Ten felt his stomach sink as he realized he’d be lucky to get back to even a sliver of what he had with Youngho before this mess. 

Don’t get him wrong; Ten loved his powers. The Talent of moving instantaneously across space? Yeah, Ten was That Bitch. 

Ten just didn’t know when he’d decided that if he were with Youngho, he’d walk. He’d walk a mile in slow motion. Ten didn’t really know when he’d started feeling that smile warm him, or started feeling time work too slow when they were apart and too fast when they were together—but in almost a veritable heartbeat there was another feeling seated in Ten’s chest, one that felt like it did when his magic was working, but only when he was seeing Youngho. 

Now his magic might be the reason Youngho could be wrenched from his tenuous grasp. Ten loved his powers, but for the first time, he wished they weren’t his.   

He stopped at the crosswalk, out of breath, head pounding. From a tree across the street, familiar yellow eyes followed his movements, almost alight with laughter. 

“Kitty!” Ten called. The black cat let his tail hang and swish indolently. “Kittyphon Leechaiyapornkul, I am talking to you.” 

Finally, Kitty stood and meowed.  

“Okay, fuck you,” Ten replied. He opened a portal for him, and he jumped through it and safely onto the ground. “What kind of familiar are you?” 

Kitty meowed again. He did not like that. 

Ten pointed to the speck behind him, which was Youngho getting away, and fast. “You gotta catch him for me, Kit.” 

Kitty did not even look. 

“I’m begging you.” 

Blood sacrifice. 

Ten groaned and ran a hand through his hair. “Dory.” 

Bluefin tuna. 

“Mackerel.” 

Wordlessly, Kitty turned tail and ran after Youngho, claws at the ready. 

“Wait,” Ten said. 

The light turned red, and the LED of the little walking man across the street turned green. 

“Kitty, wait,” Ten said, beginning to run. “Kitty, NO CLAWS!” 

AhchooThe campus was a blur. Ten registered the changes in his periphery: how the benches under the trees were suddenly denim couches, how—ahchoo!—classroom windows suddenly clouded with frost. Ahead of him, Youngho only seemed to get farther and farther away, and Ten was beginning to suspect that the frog had somehow inherited his powers. 

His powers—Ten grit his teeth. Come on, Talent, work! 

Ten’s world faded away, then came back into startling focus. He let out a relieved huff of air. Kitty slowed, surprised, and Ten was thankfully near enough to hold him back by the scruff of his neck. “Thank you for your help.” 

Ten jogged the last few meters, and finally scooped Youngho up mid-hop. Youngho—alarmingly—just ribbited in protest. 

“I’ve—” Ten sucked in air best as he could around his cold. “I’ve always wanted to be out of breath because of you, but this wasn’t what I was thinking of.” 

Thinking of Youngho. Thinking of Youngho thinking of Youngho thinkingofYounghoThe words echoed strangely in Ten’s mind, ribboned with memories of the bubbling laughter he and Youngho had shared over the denim couches at the art furniture store, and that time he’d somehow found Youngho’s classroom in the rain and fogged up the window just to draw both a dick and heart on it.  

If Ten weren’t holding the frog he would’ve put his fingers to his temples. So he had unruly magic he needed to hide as it fluttered out of him like butterflies, trying to make itself known to what seemed like the person he wanted to share it with the most. Fantastic.  

One thing was for sure: if his Wizard’s Cold was going to stick with this theme, he had to get off campus. The place was a veritable Youngho thought trap.  

Your life is veritable  Youngho  thought trap,  Chittaphon  

Still, the campus: the trees, the grass where Youngho had fallen asleep next to him, warmer and stickier than the summer; Ten could still feel this, as he hadn’t dared move Youngho despite the heat. Then, of course, there was the fountain. 

The fountain: The night was drunk blurry at best, but Ten remembered with stark clarity the way Youngho’s eyes had crinkled when he grinned, and how the starlight warmth had given into something darker and more smouldering. Manipulating space-time like PlayDoh had meant nothing in the face of that.  

Ten remembered the sudden helplessness of having space exert its hold on him, of feeling pulled to close the gap between the two of them. He’d taken a stumbling step towards Youngho as Youngho had ducked his head down, before swerving violently around Ten to throw up in the fountain. 

Again, now that his secret was out, even communally drunk-puking in the fountain might be a stretch for his and Youngho’s relationship. 

Now Ten looked back and surveyed his trail of destruction. Aside from the jouches (jean couches) and the frosty windows, the only other indication of his presence was the faint smell of sulfur. 

Then he sneezed, and the university fountain erupted into a fervor of purple and blue and froth and bubbles, as if Ten had just dropped in the world’s most explosive bath bomb. 

Ribbit,” said Youngho. 

Ten sighed, bringing the frog close to his chest. With his free hand he cut through the air and opened a portal, and stepped through to his own apartment. 

 

Taeyong was already there. He was, in fact, siphoning the chicken noodle soup off of Ten’s bedroom floor.  

He did this magically, of course. Kun was also there, overtly enjoying brewing the foul-smelling concoction that was the cure to a Wizard’s Cold. 

That was another thing with a Wizard’s Cold: Only someone else could brew the cure specifically for you, like some lame incentive to stay friends with a bunch of other wizards, even if they were eyeing you and your frog not-boyfriend very, very judgementally. 

“Is that really Youngho?” 

Ten cast them a sour look. “You wanna fuckin’ ask him?” 

He held out Youngho, who stared somewhere in between Kun and Taeyong with bland serenity. 

Taeyong nodded. Kun looked at him incredulously. 

“What?” Taeyong shrugged. “If Youngho were a frog, I think that’s how he’d look.” 

Kun just threw up his hands. He then proceeded to dump a whole bottle of banana flavouring into his cauldron, which almost made Ten cry actual tears. 

Taeyong stepped fully out the bedroom then, floating the chicken noodle to the garbage disposal. “So am I going to have to file an incident report about our campus’ new look?” 

“No. We can probably pass it off as another art instalment,” Ten sighed, closing the apartment windows. It trapped the Wizard’s Cure smell in, but also meant that Youngho wouldn’t be escaping again any time soon. “Oh. Someone might have to mind-wipe Yuta-hyung again, though.” 

Taeyong looked disappointed, but not surprised. Regardless, a glass phial started floating itself over to Ten from the coffee table.  

“Enjoy,” Taeyong said, chuckling darkly. 

The Wart-Be-Gone smelled so strongly of lavender that Ten picked up on it through his cold. “You’re so fake edgy,” he said to Taeyong, who only pouted from where he was now watching Kun ruin Ten’s life one ingredient after the other. 

Ten plucked an old paintbrush from his by his drafting table and dipped it into the potion. It spread easily over Youngho, sparkling as it went. In fact, they all watched with bated breath as Youngho the frog shone with dramatic brightness for a few seconds, before the light died down and they were left with just a very, very smooth amphibian. 

“That’s gotta be the smoothest frog I’ve ever seen in all my life,” Taeyong said. 

Ten, not really remembering what breathing was like, let out a dying animal kind of noise. 

“No, okay, it’ll be fine,” Kun said, but he was now stirring in frantic circles that didn’t match his voice. “I’ll whip this up for you and we can go through The Book for a good spell we can do.” 

Taeyong made a motion as if to turn a page, and lo and behold, The Book materialized spread open on Ten’s kitchen counter. “We’ll figure it out, man. It’s okay; this happens.” 

They were silent for a while, watching Youngho and his smoothness just breathe on the small dining table. 

Taeyong cleared his throat. “But Ten?” 

Ten managed to look at him.  

“’Your magic does what it wants during a Wizard’s Cold.’ Maybe you’d better listen to it.” 

Kun gave an imperceptible nod, and Taeyong ducked his head back down. Ten glanced from Youngho, to his friends, then back again, thoughts too loud in his mind for comfort. 

“If anyone needs us,” Ten said. “We’ll be in my room.”  

He stood and stepped backwards through a portal. He heard Kun’s warning long before he actually processed it, though.  

Now it made sense to him, as he stood in an empty dance studio, facing his own sad reflection cupping a frog in his hands. 

“Oh, Youngho,” he said quietly. “I’m so sorry.” 

He sank gracefully and set Youngho down on the floor. Youngho stared at him with too-intelligent frog’s eyes, and trying to figure out if he was reading too much into it or if there was really something Youngho was trying to get across was making Ten uncomfortable. 

“Just a few minutes,” said Ten, pulling his knees in. “Then we can walk back to the apartment.” 

Youngho ribbited morosely in reply. Ten just took deep breaths, running through his Wizard’s education in his mind, trying to see if there were any way he could make scouring The Book easier for his friends when he got back. 

Ribbit.” 

“Yeah, I’m working on it.” 

Ribbit.” 

“Youngho—” 

Ribbit.” And there it was—aggravated but communicative. If Ten could translate halfway, he would’ve thought Youngho had said something like, “Fuckin’ ribbit, man.” 

Ten took in a singular breath before letting it all out in a huff that sounded like, “I know.” 

Youngho stared at him expectantly. Ten did know; he had known, all this time, and just didn’t want to face the music. He picked Youngho up once more and held him inches from his own nose. 

“I know.” 

Your magic does what it wants during a Wizard’s Cold. 

Ten could feel another muted scream building up in him. “I knoooow, but I just don’t want it to be—like, like this.” 

Your magic does what it wants. You’d better listen to it.  

Youngho gave a soft, consoling ribbit, and closed his eyes. 

Ten sighed, closed his, and leaned in for the kiss. 

He had thought of what it would be like, as a kid—kissing frogs. He’d always imagined it just a quick peck, a brush of the lips, really; a brief instant of rough, clammy skin and amphibious musk before he opened his eyes to be confronted with a prince, back then preferably in the form of Ricky Martin. Ten found he hadn’t been quite wrong: there was still that weird pond smell, a kind of stickiness about the skin though Youngho was a very smooth frog now, but somewhere along the way… he wasn’t. 

Ten was kissing chapped lips, his hands twined in down soft hair. Youngho returned the kiss with fervor, grip curling tight around the hem of Ten’s sweater, impossibly warm and five-fingered. 

“Hey,” Youngho said simply, against his mouth. 

At that, Ten pulled back violently. “Youngho.” You asshole, Ten almost added, as if everything weren’t entirely his fault. "Youngho." 

"Hi," Youngho just said, with a dazed little smile. 

Youngho was blinking his beautiful brown eyes back awake, as if he'd just been dreaming. Ten swiped his fingers over Youngho's high cheekbones, relishing every pore on his stupid face. He brushed knuckles against the cut of Youngho's jaw, squeezed the man's shoulders and thighs, gripped his hands in his own to make sure every last centimeter of him was accounted for.  

Ten kept going, determined to defend the free-flow of snot he now felt dripping down his nose. “I don’t—I’m not crying—I just never had to deal with the stress of turning anyone into a damn frog—” Ten choked off. Youngho was taking turns blinking at Ten then blinking at his hands. 

“Youngho?” said Ten. “How much do you remember?” 

Youngho blinked away the last of the haze and Ten sprang backwards. Youngho was suddenly himself again, all wide eyes and wide wingspan and patting himself down for injuries, limbs flinging every which way. “Everything.” 

It was amazing how quickly Ten’s stomach sank. Like a broken elevator. He was in a freefall in the face of Youngho’s sudden flurry of activity. “I can explain.” 

Youngho mussed his own hair. Rubbed his arms up and down. “Explain how you turned me into a frog?!” 

Ten winced. 

Youngho’s breath caught in his throat mid-panic, and his eyes finally focused on Ten. They softened, and just like that he lowered his hands slowly to his sides—albeit with the same energy as someone about to ride the Tower of Terror with a broken seatbelt. “Ten, are you… magic?” 

The word choice was funny to Ten, since right about then he felt anything but magic. Still, he said, “I guess. I’m a wizard, Youngho.” 

“A whot?” 

“A wizard—” Ten repeated unironically, before realizing Youngho was somehow still quoting the Harry Potter movies through this crisis. “Ha-ha. 

Youngho lowered himself gingerly back to the floor. He wasn’t looking at Ten now, but somewhere faraway behind him. “So… that explains the time in the playground?” 

Ten flashed back to gaggle of middle school girls who thought it would be fun to displace the smaller children. “Wait, what about then?”  

“You shot that girl a look and she turned around and walked into a lamp post.” 

“Oh, I didn’t do anything. That was just my face.” 

“Then that time at the bar when you set that creeper’s drink on fire?”  

Ten felt his ears warm. “No, I was still carrying my lighter around back then.” 

Youngho let himself shoot Ten a disapproving look, definitely more for his old habits than for arson, before drifting away again. Ten could see the thoughts racing like clouds behind his eyes, until Youngho quietly said, “’Your wish is my command….’ 

Ten’s breath caught in his throat. 

I’m so—ahchoo! – Ten, fuck, what is this?” Youngho’s voice was nasally over the phone. Ten could practically hear him stumbling through the campus. “I feel like a furnace.” 

Ten was cooking at the time. “Jeez, Youngho. Where are you right now? 

St Patrick Walk. I just—” Youngho had paused for a sneeze that didn’t come. “Get me to bed, man.” 

Ten had smiled. He could do that. He said, “Your wish is my command,” and swept Youngho up into a portal.  

Youngho had dropped peacefully into Ten’s bed, somehow already halfway asleep. “Thanks,” Youngho mumbled. Love you.” 

“Love you too,” Ten had said quietly, not so Youngho wouldn’t hear it, but because he was more afraid of hearing it himself.  

Now Ten could only nod weakly. He hadn’t thought Youngho would remember that. 

“And now?” Youngho locked eyes with him then suddenly, intense and pleading. “Ten, did you bewitch me?” 

Ten’s hands closed into fists around the hem of his own shirt. “What.” 

“I gotta know—did you cast a spell on me?” Youngho asked, in a low voice. 

Then Ten got a glimpse of something he’d never hoped to see in Youngho’s eyes: fear. 

Ten turned quickly away. No, please no. “What are you talking about?” It was hard to keep his voice even. “Do you think I would have?” 

Youngho’s own voice was gruff. “No, but I mean… Ten, I literally can’t stop thinking about you.” 

Ten’s head was beginning to hurt. Breathing was beginning to hurt. The hurt and the anger he was tamping down were clogging his nose and throat along with the cold, and Youngho sounded far, far away in Ten’s rising panic. 

Youngho kept going, hysteric. “I wanna be with you, like, all the fucking time? I want to spend every inch of film I have on you. And then when I develop the pictures I want to rip everything up because they don’t fuckin’ do you justice. Like, what kind of behaviour is that? 

“And lately I’ve been thinking that I might even want to go into film, just to try to even preserve the barest, slightest hint of beauty in how you move, maybe? Video, Ten, really? You’ve made me think I want to go into video 

“But again, that won’t do you justice, right? It’s such conflicting shit, too. I want to capture all of this but only want to make you laugh, see you smile at me that way, or whatever, or watch you dance the way you do. Just me. Ten, just— 

“What are these feelings? What is this?” Youngho asked him. “Ten, what have you done to me?” 

Ten stood, dusting off his pants. “Nothing, Youngho.” 

Youngho looked perplexed. “What do you mean?” 

“I mean I didn’t cast a damn spell on you, or bewitch you,” Ten hissed, venomous. His fists shook. “I’m sorry if the prospect of liking me back seems like goddamn voodoo to you.” 

Forget the fact that he’d turned Youngho into a frog. He’d deserved that, and Ten really should have known. Seo Youngho, though brighter, more wonderful, more caring and alive than most other mortals, was still just that: a mortal. 

Ten knew it was petty, but there was something else bothering him too. “And do you really think that I’d be such a shitty wizard that I’d leave gaps for you to second guess yourself in a love spell? Seriously?” 

Ten turned to go. He was still in his socks, but he’d stomp all the way back to his apartment if he had to.  

“Wait. Stop.” 

“I don’t want to hear.” Still, Ten could hear Youngho getting up, presumably to chase after him. Fuck that—Ten closed his eyes, and willed space to swallow him up. 

Youngho caught Ten’s wrist just as his surroundings faded out of view. Panic spiked in Ten’s chest, cold and hysterical, because as angry as he was with Seo Youngho he still didn’t want to slice his arm in half. 

When Ten came back to, it was the familiar darkness of his bedroom, the softness of his comforter, and Youngho himself warm on top of him, wide-eyed and breathless. 

“Well, shit,” Youngho breathed. 

Ten’s panic faded in an instant. “Get out of my room.” 

“No! Don’t you get it?” said Youngho. His eyes were lighting up like the damned sun, and Ten almost felt unreasonably blinded. He disappeared from under Youngho—but there was that grip again!—and the two of them reappeared in a similar position, this time displacing everything on Ten’s study desk. 

Youngho blinked. 

“Keep holding onto me and you’ll lose your fingers next time I move.” 

Youngho held his hands in the air in surrender. He was still straddling Ten, though, the gravity of which Ten only fully realized when he shifted his hips under him. 

Youngho’s breath hitched. 

They both froze, until Youngho finally—blissfully? Regretfully? —sat back, pinning Ten over his thighs instead. “Please listen to me.” 

“What choice do I have?” Squirming wasn’t doing Ten any good right now. If he weren’t sick he was sure space-time would be bending around him, angry as he was at Youngho being stupid, and at himself for missing Youngho’s warmth over him. 

“Chittaphon Leechaiyapornkul, I am so sorry I asked if you’d bewitched me,” Youngho intoned. “I was a fool, and didn’t intend to offend your Wizardry, and I didn’t even stop to think that you as a person would never do that to me.” 

Youngho was dead serious. Ten, at this point, felt his fury melting into mortification. Feelings and apologies. 

“Ten, I’m so sorry. I don’t think it’s voodoo or anything. I always felt like I was missing an important piece of the puzzle but now that I got it, I slotted it into the stupidest, wrong-est place.” Youngho’s voice was raw with regret. He paused, catching his breath. 

“Since you have not bewitched me,” Youngho continued, looking Ten right in the eyes. “Most likely, I’m in love with you.” 

Ten’s next breath came out as a shaky laugh. “What?” 

The light around Youngho’s eyes wavered. “Yeah.” 

‘What?’ Your answer was ‘what?’ There was a kind of roaring in Ten’s ears, his brain, screaming, Say you love him back, asshole! Because you do! 

Youngho shifted his weight entirely off of Ten.  “I’m sorry.” 

“Wait.” Ten grabbed his wrist. “You have to make sure you’re not just saying that.” That came out in a small, hopeful voice, so small, in contrast, to the wide grin that start to spread itself across Youngho’s face. 

“I’m not.” Youngho gently pulled Ten up to sit. They faced each other on Ten’s protesting little desk, hand in hand. “Do you mayhaps feel something similar?” 

Ten let go of Youngho’s hands just to pull at his face. “If I literally couldn’t see magic in the air I would’ve believed you’d bewitched me.” Slowly, Ten just sank his face in to his hands, physically unable to look at how cute Youngho was smiling, eyes crinkled while saying, “I love you too, Youngho.” 

Youngho grinned, but he said, “Again, I’m sorry I asked. Should’ve known better.” 

“No, it’s okay. I’m sorry I freaked out.” Ten was recovered, back at looking at Youngho. Well, almost. It was a little hard to Confident Gay oneself out of a magical fiasco, even without a damned Wizard’s Cold. “I’m sorry I turned you into a frog. Oh, my god, I’m sorry our first kiss was with you as a frog.” 

“It’s chill. Can I kiss you again?” 

Ten felt like Youngho was going for calm, polite, collected and everything, but there was a breathlessness in his voice that Ten couldn’t help smirking at. “I have a cold, though.” 

“That’s chill too,” said Youngho, leaning in. 

Ten let his eyes flick to Youngho’s lips. His heart rate was spiking, and it wasn’t just because of their proximity. “What if I turn you into a frog again?” 

“Kiss me again and turn me back,” Youngho challenged. 

Ten folded. He disappeared from his spot and reappeared flush on Youngho’s lap, giving Youngho a second to gasp before Ten was smiling against his mouth. 

“Wow. Wow, I am in love with you,” Youngho said, against the corner of Ten’s smile. 

Ten laughed against Youngho’s jaw. “Okay, I want to just remind you that I told you I was a Wizard, just a while ago? Are we processing this at all?” 

“Oh, I guess I always been sort of knew.” 

“Oh my god—” 

The two of them only had one loud, ominous cracking sound as their warning, and Ten, with all 170 centimeters of his germy Wizard self, did his very best to get them Away. 

Youngho landed painfully on top of Ten this time, smack dab in the middle of Ten’s bedroom floor, just as the desk folded in on itself. They shared a wide-eyed look that dissolved into breathless laughter, that in turn dissolved into Youngho dipping his head down to kiss Ten again, all before Taeyong and Kun came rushing in. 

“What happ—Jesus. I hope you get fuckin’ sneezed on again, Youngho.” 

 

 

 

 

Ding-dong!  

“Jungwoo? What a pleasant… surprise?” 

Ten trailed off. Jungwoo was in heavy snow gear at their door. His hair was also now a startling, deadly shade of gunmetal when Ten had helped dye it brown only last week, and the frost caught in it made Jungwoo look ethereal and adventurous. 

It was July, but okay. 

“Weird things happen whenever hyung sneezes,” Jungwoo said, and Ten could see the small, tense twine of patience and sanity in his eyes that was about ready to snap. Then Jungwoo shook the thing he had partially draped across his shoulders—oh, my god, that was Doyoung—and as if on cue, “Ahchoo!” 

Ten covered his head with his hands, expecting the worst. But the worst? The worst didn’t have anything to say about how his head now felt strange to the touch. 

“Jungwoo, would you please tell me what’s different about my hair?”  

 “It’s dark blue, hyung, but what you’re probably feeling right now is the undercut.”  

“Hey, it looks great on you.” There was a scuff by Ten’s window, where Youngho stalled with one leg out the other side of the sill. “No need to blur space-time, or whatever it is you’re doing with the air around you…” 

The space in between the two of them seemed to grow shorter at pace with Ten’s patience. “Youngho, are you running away?” 

“From a Wizard’s Cold?” Youngho spared Doyoung a pitying glance. However, there was no mercy in his eyes when he looked back to Ten. “Yes.” 

Ten turned back to Jungwoo, trying not to keep his smile going too wide as Youngho’s “Bye! Good luck! Love you!” rang through the window. 

“Alright, hold on tight. I hope you like Teleportation. If we’re lucky, Kun will be surprised enough to see us that he screams.”