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My Little Bird

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Shin-Ae’s eyes narrowed as she glanced at the assortment of paper and supplies on the shelves in front of her. Where the hell were the staple removers? Even standing on her tip toes, in 3.5 inch heels -while holding onto the wall for support -only barely allowed her to see the items on the very front row of the top shelf. At this rate, she would have to go back to Kousuke and shamefully inform him why she came back empty handed.

It wasn’t her fault she’d never seen an automatic stapler before, and it wasn’t her fault she unhinged it and stapled her desk numerous times. Well, perhaps the latter was her fault, but it wasn’t as though she did it intentionally. She just wanted to prove her capabilities with maneuvering foreign objects. Which ultimately backfired, but that was besides the point.

She reached up once more, patting the shelf with her extended hand in hopes of finding by touch instead sight. Kousuke had assured her the stapler remover had been in here, and had been adamant in stating that if she “could not retrieve a mere object, she might as well go home”. Shin-Ae huffed as she thought of the older man’s words, her hands wrapping around a metal stapler as she grabbed it and throwing it angrily behind her. “If he doesn’t want me working here so badly, why not just fire me?!” She muttered bitterly. Her brief anger was forgotten when a hand suddenly slipped across her waist, another over her mouth. She felt an immediate panic well up within her as her eyes widened in surprise. Before she could snap out of her shock and muster the strength to yell and/or bite the intruder, she was spun around.

Shhhh!” Yeong-Gi looked at her with wide eyes as he held a finger to his mouth. “Be quiet, please.” He urged, letting her go as he locked the door furtively.

Shin-Ae shoved him to the side, brushing herself off and trying not to look flustered, “I get it already,” She said irritatedly, not fully appreciating his redundancy, “You hiding from someone?” She asked, leaning against the corner of the room. The supply closet was small already, and to say that it was becoming cramped for two people was an understatement.There was barely a foot of space between the two.

“Yeah. My father.” Yeong-Gi admitted, smiling sheepishly.

Shin-Ae eyed the Chuckle bars that were stuffed in his back and shirt pockets, crossing her arms as an amused expression settled across her features, “Because you stole all the chocolate bars from the company vending machine...?” She asked, only half jokingly.

Yeong-Gi paused, pulling out a bar and offering it to her, “Not exactly.” Shin-Ae declined, so he unwrapped it and shoved it into his own mouth. “I broke up with Alyssa a few weeks ago and...well, he just found out. And my family’s always said. She’s the best thing about me, so.” He smiled sadly at her, chewing thoughtfully as he stared at the ground, an awkward air gathering between the two.

Shin-Ae felt her irritation grow as she slapped his arm, “That fucking sucks. Not just the break up, but how your family views you as well. I know it must be hard, so can you stop smiling for once? No one else is even here.” She stated, glaring at him almost challengingly.

Yeong-Gi stared equally hard back at her before finally sighing, shrugging as he allowed a small frown to overtake his face. "I'm okay, really. It...It was just something that was bound to happen. We barely saw or talked to each other anyways, so it didn't seem like we were dating at all. Plus, I...I don't know." He paused, unwrapping another bar as he took a bite out of it, "I feel like we were only together because of my family in the first place." He waved his hand dismissively. "Are you sure you don't want one?"

Shin-Ae shook her head mutely. Knowing herself, she would probably somehow stain her fingers and get it all over her nice work shirt. Which, of course, Kousuke would reprimand her for. She felt her expression tighten as she dreaded leaving the supply closet. She had already taken so long that by this point, he was going to yell at her anyways. "Well, if you ever need to talk." She finally told the redhead, "You know where to reach me."

"Are you leaving?" Yeong-Gi asked, taking a hold of her wrist as she turned away, "Can you stay for a bit longer?"

Shin-Ae paused, checking the time on her cellphone. Since she was already late, she could probably spare a few more minutes. She shrugged, reaching down to take off her heels. She might as well make herself comfortable. There wasn't enough room for both of them to sit, and her neck would grow tired of looking up at Yeong-Gi if she sat down herself, so she opted for the next best option.

"Well, what about you?" Yeong-Gi asked, looming over her. He seemed especially taller now that she had lost her extra 3.5 inches of added height. "Enjoying work? Life? Your friends?"

Shin-Ae rolled her eyes playfully, placing her hands behind her back to cushion it against the hard wall, "Is this your idea of small talk? You might as well ask me about the weather." She teased, looking upwards, "But it's going alright, I guess. I'm not doing a very good job at anything right now. Work, life, and friends." Her expression saddened as she slumped to the ground, holding her knees towards her chest as she rested her head on her arms.

"Hey, don't be so down," Yeong-Gi said gently, patting her head. He rummaged around on the shelves beside them, checking its contents for anything of interest. His eyes lit up as he came across an object, "I know what'll cheer you up." He said confidently, reaching a hand towards Shin-Ae. He frowned and pulled her up when she ignored him, his hands on her shoulders as he stood directly in front of her, looking around the small cramped space. "Close your eyes." He insisted.

Shin-Ae lifted a brow at his words, "No. No thank you good sir, I will not do that." She said with a roll of her eyes.

Yeong-Gi sighed as he placed his hands together in a begging motion, "Please? Just trust me." The brunette looked at him skeptically for a moment before doing as told, although a bit reluctantly. It was extremely difficult to refuse that face, after all. She felt him take her chin, before leaning in so closely that she could feel his breath on her face.

There was a pregnant pause before she heard an audible pop, and felt something wet, yet familiar, on her face. Her eyes shot open as she pulled away in realization, "You asshole!" She yelled, snatching the marker from his fingers. "Is this permanent?!"

Yeong-Gi was laughing in front of her, his hand over his mouth, "No it's dry erase. I took notes from last time." He said smugly.

"I trusted you." Shin-Ae said accusingly, "Now come here. I get to draw on your face too." She held the tip of the pen threateningly towards his face, her wrist twisting from side to side as she made drawing motions. The redhead dodged her actions, using his height and strength as advantages to stay out of her reach.  

"Sorry, okay! I just wanted to lighten up the mood." Yeong-Gi apologized. "Here, I'll help you get it off." His fingers returned to her chin, holding her still as he carefully wiped the scribbles off her face with his shirt sleeve. Shin-Ae wondered how much his shirt had costed, and whether it was appropriate to be using such (likely expensive) material for these purposes. She looked up at him, watching his intensely concentrated features as he focused on getting a particularly stubborn spot out.

Yeong-Gi's gaze shifted from his task at hand, catching her gaze as she quickly looked away, her face heating up. She had forgotten how close they were at the moment. Her grip on the marker tightening as she suddenly felt both of his hands on either sides of her face, simultaneously leaning in and pulling her closer. It was not unlike the time they were at the formal together and he was applying makeup for her, although she found herself silently hoping the moment would last longer this time.

Her eyes fluttered shut as she felt a warm pressure on her lips, her hands instinctively reaching forward to grasp the front of his shirt. Yeong-Gi's mouth moved against hers slowly, almost cautiously as though he were afraid she would push him away at any second. Shin-Ae instead held him closer, standing on her tip toes to maintain the contact. She tasted a faint hint of chocolate on his tongue.

"You're a dumbass." She said when they finally parted, her fingers tangling with his tie. Yeong-Gi merely hummed in agreement, his attention now focused on her neck as he trailed kisses across her bared skin. Shin-Ae jumped when she felt her cellphone vibrate in her pocket, one hand pulling the device out while the other cradled her companion's head to her shoulder. "Shit!" She cursed, noticing the time. She had a missed call from Kousuke, and as of this most recent moment, an irritated text that followed. "I have to go." She told Yeong-Gi, regarding him with embarrassment as he stood up and stared at her.

"Can we talk after work then?" He asked, his hand reaching up to tuck her hair behind her ear. Shin-Ae nodded, suddenly feeling incredibly shy. "And can I have a kiss goodbye?" He added, smiling cheekily.

Shin-Ae rolled her eyes, but obliged, tugging him down with his tie to plant a quick, chaste kiss on his lips. "Wait for me in the lobby after work," She informed him as her eyes darted to the shelves against the wall, "...Also, can you help me find a staple remover really quick?"

“Miss Yoo.” Kousuke had his hand pressed up against his temples, “When I told you not to come back without the stapler remover, I had not expected you to take a full hour.” He sighed, his eyebrows furrowing tremendously. It was a wonder he didn't have any wrinkles for his age with how often he made that expression.

“But I got it.” Shin-Ae said triumphantly, waving the object in her hand as she walked back to her desk on unsteady feet. She could feel a pair of blue eyes pierce into her back as she passed his desk, Kousuke no doubt slightly disarmed by her sudden cheery mood.

“Miss Yoo.” He called out again, reaching into his desk drawer as he gestured her over. The brunette walked unsurely over, an inquisitive expression across her features. The older man held a few items in his hand, looking back and forth between the objects to the girl in front of him. He blinked a few times before resolutely tossing her a small bottle from the bunch. “You look like you could use this. It's concealer.”

Shin-Ae felt herself grow livid, “Excuse me?" She asked, instinctively catching the tube as she glanced at the label, "First you tell me I’m looking choleric, now you’re actively gonna try to get me to wear makeup? Well, the formal was a one time thing, so sorry I have patchy, uneven skin -,” She paused her tirade as Kousuke cleared his throat, pulling away his own collar to gesture to the junction between his neck and shoulder.

"Normally I don't have to say this, but it is highly unprofessional to keep your...personal and work life intertwined..." He coughed as his face reddened, "I just wanted to inform you that there are security cameras everywhere in the Hirahara Corporation. Including the supply closets." Kousuke muttered the last part under his breath, quickly dismissing the flustered looking girl. He mentally made a note to remind himself to retrieve the security footage from the offices before he got off work that day -he supposed he could use it to force Yeong-Gi to buy him a cheesecake, or something.