Mingyu waited. The ticking of the hideous yellow cuckoo clock was the only sound filling his apartment. He blew a raspberry and watched as the sleeping figure tossed and turned. Mingyu was bored. He had spent the last several hours slipping his hand in and out of regular household objects, watching as his hand passed straight through. His hands, his arms, his legs- his whole body was not only penetrable, but semi-transparent.
Reason being? Because, instead of living life like a normal 21 year old, Mingyu was parading around as a ghost. Yep, a supernatural spirit that no one could see. He was cursed to spend eternity in between life and death as a god-damn grouchy ghost. All because he had accepted a drunken dare to egg the old witch’s broken down house across his residence building. The old, wrinkled man was unrelenting and forced him to solidarity without telling him the cure to transform back into his human form.
Mingyu groaned in frustration. Before his ghostly transformation, he had saved up enough money to move into his own tiny apartment that was a few blocks away from his university. He cherished the place to death, well, that is, for the two short days that he lived there. He had bragged on and on to his friends about it- a fact to which he now felt ashamed of seeing as he no longer possessed the space. From what he overheard from the neighbours, a couple of his friends even checked the place out. How shameless of them.
It was nearing 8:00 a.m. Mingyu knew the snarky middle-aged woman who just moved in would wake up about this time to feed her overweight tabby before heading to work. Alarm blaring throughout the apartment, Mingyu smirked and floated over to her bed.
Yawning, the lady wiped her drool against her covers and made a move to sit up. It was time. Mingyu used his powers to shake the headboard and quake the wooden floorboards beneath her scraggly feet. The sounds echoed throughout the bedroom with a terrifying intensity.
“AHHH!” the lady screamed in fright, getting up quickly and running hysterically to the living area. Mingyu tailed closely behind, snickering mischievously. It wasn’t enough.
As if driven to protect their owner, the chubby feline sneaked up in front of him and hissed. Mingyu hissed loudly back, sending the feline jumping and clawing into his owner’s back in fright. She yelped and swung her body to send the cat flying into its bowl of water. The cat let out an unsteady ‘meow’ and wobbled back to the couch. Poor cat.
“What’s wrong with this place?!!” she screamed, hands grasping her own hair in a craze. She looks to the door wildly and runs. Mingyu sounds his disapproval with a “tsk” before locking the door shut with a single snap. The woman looks like she’s about to piss her pants with fright and possibly plead insanity. Mingyu rolls his eyes and decides this was good enough.
The phone rings. She dashes for the phone and screams into the receiver.
“I told you, this place is haunted! You lied to me, you evil hag! I want my money back! I demand a refund! I’m moving right this instant!”
Mingyu grinned. There you go! That was what he was waiting for! The locks on the front door unlocked and the lady sobbed in utter relief. She picks up her fat cat and breaks for the door, not bothering to stay another minute.
Alone at last! Mingyu sighs in satisfaction, his body floating over to the couch and hovering as he ‘sat down’ on the cushions. It went on and on like this. A person would move in and try to stay, but Mingyu would scare them away to have the place all to himself. It was his place prior to this state and would continue to be when he returned to the mortal world as a visible, all-functioning human.
He didn’t know when that would be or exactly how he was to go about doing so, but he was sure that so long as he kept his apartment empty that things would return to the way things were!
The next morning, Mingyu was fiddling with his hair (which he could still somehow style with his fingertips) when he heard the front door unlock from outside the bathroom.
“And this is the place! There have only been a few people living here prior to you, but their reasons were unrelated to the apartment, so you won’t have to worry!” Mingyu snorted in disbelief. The crazy old woman was spouting lies again.
“That’s great! I can’t wait to move in!”
Mingyu wanted to roll his eyes, but as soon as his eyes left the angular face of his ex-landlord and onto the soft-looking face of the new tenant, he felt his soul leave his body (which it literally had already, but he meant it as a metaphor).
“That’s fantastic! If you could sign here...and here…. I’m glad to have you here, Mr. Boo!” the old lady grinned, eyes clearly radiating dollar signs as she stared at the young man.
Boo? Mingyu laughed at the coincidence.
Seungkwan shivered as a breeze past him. “Kind of cold in here,” he laughed, his arms bracing his shivering body. The landlord chuckled anxiously and said a quick goodbye to leave.
Mingyu couldn’t lie about how cute the guy was. He looked him up and down, teeth biting into his lower lip. If he were human right now, he would have definitely asked him out. He trailed behind Seungkwan as he looked around the apartment, letting out a dreamy sigh every now and then. Seungkwan shivered every time, mumbling reminders to buy more sweaters to wear inside.
Despite not having any real company for the last few months, Mingyu thinks having Seungkwan around was quite nice. He woke up every morning to the sounds of Seungkwan singing as he prepared his breakfast, which was just a delight to hear. Mingyu found out that Seungkwan was actually a music major at his university when he returns home one day with a couple of classmates and a stack of music sheets to practice from.
Can you believe it? He attended his university! Seungkwan being at his university only made him want to become human again even more. Yet, Mingyu couldn’t help but grin thinking about how he would be able to keep in mind all of Seungkwan’s favourite things and quirks prior to wooing him with his charms. This way, he could surely win him over!
Quirk #1. After coming home from school, Seungkwan likes to snuggle his tiny feet under stacks of blankets after plopping onto the couch and passing out.
Mingyu thought it was really cute the way he buried his small body for warmth, his eyes always drowsy and droopy. So, whenever he left for school, Mingyu would quickly head over to the spare closet to pick out Seungkwan’s fluffiest blankets and leave them in a pile on his couch. He couldn’t help his excitement every time Seungkwan came back in surprise.
Seungkwan couldn’t remember ever putting them there, but always dismissed the odd occurrence as him simply forgetting and being too tired from school. Mingyu cooed happily, his head leaning on the back of the couch to stare down lovingly at Seungkwan. It didn’t matter that the boy was snoring like a wailing firetruck, Mingyu still found it cute just like his other habits.
Quirk #2. Seungkwan couldn’t cook for shit. Mingyu almost knocked over the vase Seungkwan placed on his faux marble kitchen counter when he saw him burn an omelette and set it on fire. Mingyu had immediately turned on his tap to signal the frenzied boy to the sink. Lots of water was used and Seungkwan ended up with overly soggy eggs- which he thankfully did not eat.
Mingyu made up his mind at that point. From that point on, he would be in charge of cooking for him. Mingyu stuck out his chest proudly. He knew watching his mom in the kitchen and experimenting on his own would benefit him someday!
Although, of course, he realized that food suddenly appearing on Seungkwan’s kitchen counter wouldn’t pass as something he could easily forget, so he came up with a genius plan. He patted himself on his invisible shoulder, rambling about how intelligent he was.
Every end of the week, Seungkwan would open his door and find a white box tidely tied up with string. Each box had a note with variations of: “From your dear neighbour! Hope you enjoy this nice, delicious, and warm home-cooked meal as a token of my vast generosity!”
Mingyu smirked. Emphasizing the anonymity and generosity of this stranger would make him seem more attractive and mysterious. It was a sure way to get Seungkwan fantasizing about him.
Seungkwan scratched his head. He didn’t know exactly which neighbour the gift was from because the notes never specified, but it wasn’t like him to decline good food. Picking the white box up, he smiled thankfully and went back inside to fill his empty stomach. Mingyu face lit up when he watched Seungkwan shovel spoonfuls of his food into those plump cheeks of his. Adorable.
Another side fact that Mingyu discovered was that Seungkwan had a complex about his cheeks. One afternoon, he even caught Seungkwan tugging at his cheeks and complaining about them making his face look big, but Mingyu thought he looked really cute with those plump cheeks of his. He wanted to tell him that, but of course he couldn’t. He sighed.
Quirk #3. Seungkwan kept to himself. He was always alone.
He knows this wasn’t much of a quirk, so much as a concern. Apart from spending time with his group mates or working on things for school, Mingyu noticed that Seungkwan never really brought any friends home or hung out outside. Usually, Seungkwan just sat by himself watching tv or nibbling on whatever snacks were inside his fridge. Mingyu worried whenever he would lock himself in his room and cry over the phone to his mom. Hovering down to fold onto his knees in front of the crying boy, Mingyu could hear the broken words escaping the boy’s quivering lips. Seungkwan sobbed while confessing to missing his mom and his sisters back in Jeju. He said he felt alone. He felt like he couldn’t breathe- trapped in a foreign place.
He looked so vulnerable in the dimly-lit room. Mingyu so dearly wanted to hug the boy and calm him down, but he couldn’t. He really couldn’t. It broke his heart hearing how Seungkwan whimpered the rest of the night before tiring himself to sleep. All Mingyu could do was pull his sheets further up to cover him till his chin and wipe away any remaining tears. He snapped his fingers and the lights went off.
He wanted to let him know he wasn’t alone. Yet, how could he when he was like this. Mingyu looked down at his floating body.
It was time. Mingyu needed to try.