"What," he groans into the ringing communication orb.
"Wake up sleepy head!" a voice barks back, lodging a protest when he buries it beneath his pillow and the screen goes dark. "Hey, Cale! Roksoo! Hey!"
"Shut up," Roksoo pleads, clamping his sheets over his ears.
"Come on," Jungsoo whines through the call. Distantly, Roksoo thinks he hears the creak and thud of a door opening and closing. "Look, uncle Han promised you were free all of today. So let's go! Get some fresh air! Poke around!"
"The fuck are you, a raccoon?" Roksoo grunts, finally sitting up and scratching his bedhead roughly with his fist. He fishes the orb out from beneath his pillow and glares into the screen. Jungsoo beams back, making him melt a little despite himself. Not that he'd ever ever admit it. "If you wanted to explore, you could've asked Choi Han."
"He's fucking scary though!" Jungsoo shoots back, lifting a hand to his face to shove up his eyebrow with a finger. He says, "Have you seen his murder eyes? I swear, I've seen him in pictures and they have lied to me. He looked so innocent!"
"Innocent? Choi Han?" Roksoo mumbles disbelievingly, swinging his feet over the side of the bed and fitting them blindly in his slippers. He leaves the orb to dip into the bathroom, though he leaves the door open.
"I ain't kidding! He had these huge, adorable doe eyes—which I think is a family trait. I mean, just look at mine!"
Roksoo lends one ear to Jungsoo's babbling about his adorable doe eyes, flushing the toilet. He brushes his teeth roughly and scrubs water over his face before he exits the bathroom.
He then changes into a shirt and shorts and picks up the orb, from which Jungsoo is still rambling.
"Do you ever stop talking?"
Jungsoo just laughs. "Have you met me?"
"Point," Roksoo sighs.
He reaches to open his door but it swings in before he can touch the handle.
"Ron," Roksoo says calmly. "Good morning."
"Afternoon, young master Cale," Ron corrects, smiling genially.
Roksoo accepts the cup of lemon tea with a grimace, ignoring Jungsoo's "Hello? Helloooooo?" punching through the receiver.
He hangs up.
"I see Sir James is up bright and early," Ron notes, accepting the empty cup back.
"Bright? Annoyingly. Early? That's up for debate, really."
“Of course.” Ron smiles again, reaching to readjust the drape of Roksoo's shirt one-handedly. He also hands him a basket. "Snacks are a virtue when going on a picnic,” he says.
Roksoo stares before accepting it. "One of these days I will figure out how you know the things that you know,” he says.
Ron‘s smile deepens. “I have no doubt. Enjoy your outing, sir.”
He passes several others who wish him good afternoon, before finally reaching the foyer.
The door opens without fanfare.
“Fucking finally!” Jungsoo jumps up, darting forward. He punches his shoulder. “Did you have to hang up on me?”
“My ears are very delicate.”
“Dick,” Jungsoo laughs, clearly unaffected. He hooks a hand over Roksoo’s elbow and drags him out backwards. “Now come on! The day is young but there is much to do!”
“It really had to be you of all people who transmigrated with me, huh.”
Jungsoo smacks his ass soundly for that, but that’s okay. Both of them know he doesn’t mean it.
Roksoo—Cale, in this world—lies languidly in the shade of the white oak, fanning himself with a fan made of blades of grass.
As he watches, Jungsoo is frolicking in the prairie several feet away, tossing a poor rabbit into the air under the name of “giving it an airplane ride.”
If Roksoo was the rabbit, he’d call it “shaving years off his life,” and curse the jackass to hell and back. As it is, he’s happy not being the rabbit.
His heart goes out to it, though, which is why he says, “You going to eat this or not?”
The mention of food is what does it, Jungsoo shooting over faster than the KTX while the bunny books it for the tree line.
“I love your butler. I love your chef. I love your entire family, dear god fuck,” Jungsoo says, digging through the basket, and it’s so strange to acknowledge the fact that he actually has a family to be referenced now that Roksoo pinches his face and shoves a sandwich in Jungsoo’s mouth.
“Mm! Wha wash tha fo?!” Jungsoo objects, outraged.
His cheeks are puffed out like a chipmunk’s while he chews furiously. His hands are curled around another sandwich, ripping away the plastic wrap.
The entire portrait is so ridiculous that Roksoo just looks at him like he’s seeing an alien.
“Just eat your sandwich,” he says, and Jungsoo does.
“You ever wonder what happened? You know, back home?”
Jungsoo has elected to join Roksoo in the shade for the time being, lying in a lump between Roksoo’s legs.
Roksoo curls his hand deeper into his friend’s blond—and isn’t that the strangest?—hair.
“Don’t. You’ll only torture yourself,” he warns, which isn’t exactly a no.
Jungsoo—James, in this world, James Stan—goes quiet. He lifts a hand to lace between Roksoo’s free one, giving it a tight squeeze a brief moment later.
“I miss him,” he says lowly. “Them. I’m worried they didn’t make it. And I know you are too.”
“...I am,” Roksoo replies, just as muted.
Jungsoo tilts his head back and the setting sun glints off of his irises; green, so unlike the black Roksoo had been used to seeing but the look buried in their depths is as familiar as it had been a universe away.
Jungsoo returns his gaze forward, bringing their linked palms up to his lips. “I’m glad it’s you here with me, though,” he murmurs into his skin.
“I know.” Roksoo nods.
“Aren’t you going to say it back?” Jungsoo whines, shattering the somber atmosphere as suddenly as it’d come.
Roksoo’s lips curl into a smile above his head, into his hair. “Sure,” he says. “Maybe tomorrow.”
Jungsoo complains loudly and Roksoo needles him shamelessly and the two dwindle into a comfortable silence, enjoying the light breeze of early evening.
Then Jungsoo jumps up, disentangling them.
“Race you to the brook?” he suggests, hands on his hips.
“I am not a child,” Roksoo says flatly, before he shoots forward and past his friend.
“You bitch, no fair!” Jungsoo yelps when Roksoo wins, flicking Jungsoo’s forehead with his finger as is his due. Jungsoo is just that sore a loser.
“A good day, young master Cale?” Ron welcomes him back, holding open the front door.
Roksoo blinks dazedly, lips still tingling from the kiss Jungsoo had yanked him into on the doorstep, stammering out a goodbye and hightailing it while he’d been too gobsmacked to respond.
Ron’s face is knowing and amused and the look snaps Roksoo out of it as he ducks into the hall with a “It wasn’t too bad...We’re going out again tomorrow.”
As he speed walks around the corner, he hears Ron reply glibly, “I’ll have Beacrox prepare another basket, sir. Sleep well.”
That night, bathed and still slightly damp, Roksoo slips between his sheets and vows not to dream of warm lips and laughing green eyes that he remembers used to be black.
He fails miserably, but the sharp ringing of his communication orb and the loud voice calling his name the next morning squashes any softness that has bubbled over the course of the night. At least for the time being.
“Cale! Hey, snorlax!”
“Shut your mouth,” Roksoo groans, and smashes his pillow over the orb.