OLYMPICS: Pyeongchang looks to make Games buzz for countdown (x)
10 February 2016
It’s five past one in the morning when Sunggyu is interrupted from the endless monotony of excel spreadsheets by rhythmic knock on his office door.
He looks up to find a beaming Dongwoo standing there, “The launch went well,” he proudly proclaims.
“I saw,” Sunggyu says, although he didn’t see so much as hear. The events and ceremonies may not be his area of responsibility (nor something he particularly cares about) but it would be impossible to work in this building and miss the flurry of activity that had arisen over the last few weeks in preparation for the 365 day launch event.
Sunggyu’s glad it went off without a hitch though not particularly impressed; if they couldn’t manage this insignificant ceremony there was no way they could handle the Olympics.
Dongwoo smiles even brighter, like that personally pleases him. Sunggyu isn’t even particularly sure why he’s so pleased seeing as he’s a volunteer co-ordinator and not in the ceremonies department. If Sunggyu had to hazard a guess he would say Dongwoo feels personally responsible for the volunteers. Sunggyu isn’t a guessing man though.
Dongwoo takes this as an invitation to talk, and he leans against the doorframe chattering on for a little while. Sunggyu half listens whilst continuing to run the numbers in the spreadsheet, rude perhaps but he wants to get out of here before the sun rises.
“Are you almost finished?” Dongwoo asks him curiously, pointedly looking at the clock after a while.
“No,” Sunggyu says shortly. He’s never close to finished, especially when the incompetent sponsorship department are having trouble attracting sponsorships which is disastrous to their bottom line. The Presidential Scandal should have been an inconvenience not a disaster but the oversight committee has somehow managed to put together an entire marketing department sorely lacking in any sort of charisma or negotiation skills.
“Well, try and sleep a little tonight,” Dongwoo says with a frown, then adds, “By the way Woohyun was looking for you.”
“I’m not giving him more money,” Sunggyu says, knee-jerk reaction. The only time Woohyun ever looks for him whilst working is to ask for more money.
“He looks mad,” Dongwoo says as if he hasn’t heard Sunggyu.
“Woohyun always looks mad,” Sunggyu mutters. It’s a lie, but only slightly.
“You didn’t forget his birthday did you?” Dongwoo asks with narrowed eyes, looking disappointed in him.
“You can’t forget something you never knew in the first place,” Sunggyu says mildly, looking back to his computer screen to try and cut off Dongwoo’s inevitable rant about friendship circles or social consideration or something equally as preachy.
“It was two days ago,” Dongwoo says as if Sunggyu asked. Sunggyu didn’t ask and doesn’t care.
“Okay. Happy Belated Birthday to Woohyun then,” Sunggyu says, having no plans to mention it to Woohyun even now he knows, “I’d buy him a cake but I don’t have any money left in the budget for anything after his last-”
“Because we’re the only department in this black hole of a place that spends money, huh?” Speak of the devil himself, Sunggyu looks up to find Woohyun glowering in the doorway and Dongwoo trying to back away slowly.
“Goodnight Dongwoo,” Sunggyu says pointedly, “I’ll see you tomorrow evening?”
“Later today really,” Dongwoo says before smiling, “Get some sleep, both of you, see you later.” Then he’s gone.
“You’re not the only department that spends money, but considering the fact more than half your job is outsourced, it’s a bit of an issue” Sunggyu responds calmly as he can manage now that Dongwoo’s gone. It’s an argument they’ve had before, it’s one they’re going to have again over the next twelve months.
“Kim Sunggyu,” Woohyun is gearing up for a big fight. It’s usually pretty difficult to work Woohyun up this much from the get go (That’s usually Howon’s department) but Sunggyu was half expecting it when he denied his request earlier today, especially with how much pressure everyone has been under lately.
The surprising part is it’s taken Woohyun this long to seek him out, allowing his annoyance to fester. That’s the problem with Woohyun. He’s good at his job, the only reason Sunggyu hasn’t gotten him reassigned, but takes business decisions as personal slights.
“Shut the door Woohyun,” Sunggyu sighs. There’s (probably) no one else left in the office at this time after such a big day but it’s better safe than sorry.
There’s only one way this is going to end.
Woohyun hates doing the walk of shame, he really does. It’s a distinct kind of shame. Not because of the sex but because it’s Sunggyu.
Yet he still finds himself in this same situation more regularly than he’d like, sneaking out of Sunggyu’s bed (because it’s always Sunggyu’s bed the control freak) before the sun rises, hoping no one sees him. Hoping Sunggyu doesn’t wake up. Hoping that he learns his lesson and never ends up in this situation again.
Most mornings he ends up two from three.
This morning he’d fallen asleep, which was dangerous. If Sunggyu had woken up to still find him there Woohyun isn’t sure what would have happened.
He hadn’t, but as Woohyun gathers his clothes and makes his quick and hopefully unnoticed get away he thinks about it.
Thinks about what he’s doing, why he’s doing this. He has no real answer even as he slips Sunggyu’s front door open. He wonders what Sunggyu thinks of this whole business wonders if Sunggyu is as confused Woohyun, or maybe he doesn’t give it any thought at all.
There’s no one in the corridor as Woohyun slips out, no one to see him leave Sunggyu’s apartment (which is good - that gossip could cost him his job. Not Sunggyu of course because his daddy is powerful but Woohyun doesn’t have that luxury).
Woohyun presses the button for the elevator, watches the display as it comes up from the bottom floor. It stops on his floor, which is good. No one getting in above him. Now if only the elevator was empty - it should be since no one should be coming home at this time of morning. Not around here.
Unfortunately, he’s wrong, and the elevator doors open to reveal someone standing there. And out of all the people that live on this floor it has to be someone Woohyun knows.
Howon blinks slowly at him, looking as exhausted as Woohyun has ever seen him (he’s not sure how Howon is going to manage the Olympics if he can barely manage the Test Events).
Despite that he manages to smirk cocking an eyebrow, “Got any of your soul left Woohyun?”
Howon’s jokes barely make sense at the best of times, let alone when he looks dead on his feet. Woohyun blinks, “What?” he can’t help asking, knowing it would be better to just walk away.
Howon nods his head towards Sunggyu’s apartment door (and there goes any hope Woohyun had of Howon being too tired to realise why he was here), “How does it feel to sell your soul to the devil.”
Woohyun pointedly pretends not to understand the implication, “Go to bed Howon,” He says instead, stepping around Howon and into the elevator, “Get some rest.”
Howon’s smirk turns into a wry smile, “That’s the dream isn’t it?” He asks before adding, so softly Woohyun isn’t sure he was meant to hear, “Sometimes I think I got more sleep as a competitor than I do now.”
“Good night,” Woohyun says pressing the button for the ground floor.
“Good morning,” Howon salutes him before the doors shut and Woohyun let’s out a sigh of relief.
All things considered he got out of that one pretty easily; Howon may relish in teasing anyone and everyone he feels comfortable with but he’s also a laid back person. He’s not going to run off gossiping to anyone.
Now, if only Woohyun could start making better life choices.
Myungsoo may not have been part of the Pyeongchang organising committee for long, may not have a particularly high ranking job, but he knows that being called to a meeting with his boss before he’s even rostered to start for the day is not a good thing.
Obviously he has no choice but to go, which is how Myungsoo finds himself in the office at the ungodly time of the morning. He hates the Pyeongchang headquarters, too many smug bastards trying to out ego each other, and tries to avoid it whenever he can. Even at this time of morning the number of people chattering and clearly not working drives his mad.
As soon as he sits for his meeting his mood lowers even more.
“Myungsoo,” Mr. Lee, the Deputy Director of Public Relations, says to him with a frown, “We brought you onboard here because of your unique skill set and your reputation.”
“But, you don’t seem to be understanding the priorities we have here,” Jihoon his direct supervisor continues.
Myungsoo feels like he’s about to get fired, which is ironic considering they spent three months convincing him to take the job.
“You’re a social media creator Myungsoo, not a photographer,” Mr Lee says bluntly, “Do the job we hired you to do.”
“I thought you hired me because I was a photographer, sir?” Myungsoo can’t help asking dryly.
“We hired you as a social media creator because of your photography skills, and wealth of experience” Jihoon jumps in to correct. The flattery doesn’t go unnoticed as an attempt to stroke Myungsoo’s ego, “but Myungsoo you understand Social Media moves quickly. You can’t take two hours to edit and upload a picture. It needs to be timely.”
Myungsoo still doesn’t understand why they offered him this job, why they were so adamant that he take it if they don’t like things done the way he’s done them his entire career. He has to remind himself it's not the job he's here for, grit his teeth and bear it.
“I will try better,” He says, bowing his head, pretty sure both of these men are still basing their decisions on marketing experience from the 90s combined with modern textbooks.
They spend the next fifteen minutes condescendingly going over over procedures and techniques that Myungsoo is well aware of. He keeps a polite smiled glued to his face but is very glad when he’s eventually dismissed.
“Alright, you may go,” Jihoon says to him with a nod, “But remember the freestyle skiing starts at 2:30 pm and you need to be there.”
Myungsoo gets up with a bow, “Thank you sir, I’ll be there at 1 for the start of the first race at 1:40,” he says, keeping the polite smile and relishing in the way his supervisor straightens uncomfortably.
Myungsoo wonders what the point of this meeting was, as he leaves. It was certainly unnecessary since Jihoon could have had a discreet word with him on assignment in the afternoon.
Myungsoo is thinking about it so hard that he doesn’t notice that he’s about to walk into someone.
“Hey, watch where you’re going,” The girl says, not harshly but assertively. Myungsoo’s jolted out of his thoughts, managing to avoid the girl and the, interesting looking trolley she’s pulling behind her.
Myungsoo thinks he recognises her, is sure he’s seen her around before but he honestly has no idea who she is.
“Sorry,” Myungsoo says, bowing his head in apology. He looks up quickly to examine her again trying to figure out where he knows her from.
She looks at him expectantly for a few seconds before she asks, “Can I get past please?” Myungsoo belatedly realises he’s standing in her way.
“Oh, sorry, sorry,” He says, scrambling to get out of the way of her and almost bumping into someone else again. Luckily this person grabs him to steady him and laughs.
“Dongwoo, nice to see you,” The girl nods at him in greeting, before she’s heading off down the hall. Of course she knows Dongwoo, everyone knows Dongwoo around these parts.
“Who was that?” Myungsoo can’t help asking Dongwoo as soon as she’s (presumably) out of earshot.
“That? Oh that’s Choa,” Dongwoo says. The name still doesn’t help Myungsoo but he waits, sure Dongwoo is going to elaborate. He does, “She’s in the sports department.”
“Oh, she works with Howon,” Myungsoo nods. That must be it, maybe he’s been assigned to the same event as her previously or something.
“Yes, she works under him technically,” Dongwoo says. If it was anyone else, Myungsoo is sure they were making an innuendo. Dongwoo says it matter-of-factly though so he probably does just mean Howon is her superior.
“Okay,” Myungsoo is not sure what further to say as Dongwoo starts walking and Myungsoo follows without discussion. He has a couple of hours to kill now, hours he was planning to sleep through.
“We don’t really see you around headquarters that often, what’s the special occasion today?” Dongwoo asks curiously, making conversation and probably genuinely interested.
“I had a meeting,” Myungsoo says.
His face must show his displeasure (his face has a way of doing that) because Dongwoo asks, “Why? What happened? Was someone bothering you?” he asks suspiciously.
Myungsoo’s not sure how someone would be bothering him in a meeting or why Dongwoo looks so concerned but he shakes it off, “No, I just got a reprimand, for doing my job too well,” Myungsoo tells Dongwoo, contorting his face deliberately on purpose.
“I’m sure that’s not it,” Dongwoo says though he does look sympathetic, before changing the topic without notice as he’s wont to do, “By the way, Sungjong wanted me to ask why you haven’t been answering his messages.”
“Oh, I lost my phone,” Myungsoo says absent-mindedly.
“You had a phone yesterday,” Dongwoo points out, eyebrow furrowed in confusion. He doesn’t sound accusing though, which is why Myungsoo likes him.
“That’s my work phone, for updating social media on the go,” Myungsoo says, quoting Jihoon with an over the top peppy tone, “I lost my personal phone.” He struggles to remember his phone on the best of days, so he’s only surprised it took him this long to lose one of them.
“Where did you last see it?” Dongwoo asks as they arrive at his office.
“I’m pretty sure I left it in Gangneung,” Myungsoo shrugs. He has to go back to Gangneung next week for the figure skating anyways so if it’s still there he’ll find it. If it’s not he’ll get around to getting a replacement, eventually.
“I hope you find it,” Dongwoo tells him earnestly, “But maybe you should find Sungjong or email him or something before he tries to take revenge or something.”
Myungsoo would like to see him try and get past Sungyeol, but he does have some free time this morning so he might as well go see Sungjong.
Plus, he knows a polite dismissal when he hears it.
Sungyeol is good at his job, if he does say so himself. Maybe no one really notices what he does around here, but he’d say that means he’s doing his job well, unlike Woohyun who throws hissy fits about things going wrong every other week.
Sungyeol is starting to believe that the fact that he just does his job and doesn’t complain about it makes people think he doesn’t actually do any work, if the way they parade through his office with what feels like an endless stream of social chatter is any indiction.
Take Woohyun for example, who has been sitting on one side of Sungyeol’s corner desk for the past half an hour bitching about Sunggyu.
Which is all well and good in Sungyeol’s book, he enjoys a good bagging session especially when it comes to Sunggyu. It’s a whole different ball game when it comes to Sunggyu’s sex life.
“Don’t you have a job to be doing?” Sungyeol asks in exasperation, cutting off Woohyun’s detailed explanation of the fight that had led to the sex instead of the actual sex, which is a nice change.
Sungyeol’s not even sure why Woohyun feels like sharing this information with him, surely he has friends.
“It’s my day off,” Woohyun says dismissively.
“Yes well it’s not my day off,” Sungyeol mutters. Woohyun doesn’t acknowledge that, is probably ignoring him.
Instead he continues his story, “and then when I said he only had that power because of nepotism,”
Sungyeol has to interrupt him there.
“Wait. You accused Sunggyu of nepotism and he didn’t bite your dick off? It must be love,” Sungyeol says sarcastically. That or Woohyun is really good in bed, but based on experience it’s probably not that.
“You say accused him of nepotism like it’s not true,” Woohyun mutters, crossing his arms over his chest petulantly and completely ignoring the second part of his statement, which is a shame. When Woohyun takes the bait, especially in regards to Sunggyu, it’s a hell of a show.
“Well of course it’s fucking true,” Sungyeol laughs mirroring Woohyun’s movement, “Everyone knows it, half the people here have their job because of nepotism, this country is fucking run on nepotism Woohyun, have you been paying attention to the presidential scandal?”
“Well, yeah, but Sunggyu is worse,” Woohyun says. Sunggyu is a tyrant that’s true, but he’s actually qualified for his job with two degrees and experience in finance, which is more than half the people here can say.
“I wish you wouldn’t drag me into this weird mess of sexual tension you two have going on,” Sungyeol says, changing the subject. Open discussion of nepotism isn’t exactly a smart move around headquarters, something that for all his intelligence Woohyun has never quite figured out.
“Not sexual tension,” Woohyun says looking scandalised, despite the fact he’s been talking about nothing but sleeping with Sunggyu since he’s been here.
“Woohyun, you just recounted in great detail your twelfth? Thirteenth? one night stand with Sunggyu, I don’t need to know that much about your sex life,” Sungyeol sighs, rubbing at his eyes.
“You didn’t say that when we slept together,” Woohyun tells him triumphantly. Sungyeol would really like to forget that happened and has no idea why Woohyun keeps brining it up (He’s going to guess his face does a thing).
“It was once and we were drunk and if that’s the highlight of your sex life you need a better sex life,” Sungyeol says, putting out a hand to stop Woohyun talking before he continues, “That doesn’t mean I need you to tell me any more about your sex life.”
“Do you think it makes me cheap though?” Woohyun asks, looking serious all of a sudden. Apparently he’s finally gotten to the point of his hour long visit, “Sleeping with Sunggyu.”
“I’m not following,” Sungyeol says, leaning back in his desk chair.
“Well, we argue about money that he refuses to give me for the village, we end up having sex, the next day he gives me the money, am I exchanging sex for money?” Woohyun says looking downright horrified at the idea. Sungyeol cannot believe it just occurred to him.
“I would actually say you should start planning the wedding,” Sungyeol says dryly. Woohyun throws a stapler at him.
It takes him another half hour to convince Woohyun to go and bother someone else, and once he’s gone Sungyeol seriously considers locking his office door so there can be no more interruptions.
Before he gets the chance there’s a knock on the door. Sungyeol groans, hitting his head onto the desk
“Is this a bad time?” Howon asks wryly, sounding amused
“Oh man, who did what?” Sungyeol asks in exasperation, lifting his head up. Howon is actually probably the least dramatic person around here, but he has his moments.
Howon frowns, “No one did anything. That I’m aware of?” He looks around suspiciously, eyes half crazed, “Why? Did someone do something?”
“No, never mind come in,” Sungyeol waves him over to the chair in his office because he looks like he needs it, “Woohyun was just in here.”
Howon nods in understanding, “Well I am not here to bitch Sunggyu out, I have better things to do with my time.” Sungyeol’s pretty sure Howon isn’t sleeping with Sunggyu either but honestly you never know around here, “I just wanted to know when you were next going down to the ice arena.”
“I don’t have a visit scheduled,” Sungyeol says, opening up his calendar just to check, “Why is there something wrong with it?”
He really hopes not, he has enough to deal with, “Not wrong exactly, but there are a couple of things. Discrete things,” Howon says pointedly.
“I can, make a visit when the competitions are on next week,” he suggests looking at his schedule. It’ll take some rearranging but he can do it.
Howon visibly relaxes, “Thank you.”
“No worries,” Sungyeol says because Howon is good at his job, and unlike some other people, only asks Sungyeol for things when they’re important. Then because Sungyeol has to ask and his break is coming up in ten minutes anyway he leans across his desk towards Howon, “So, the more important question is how did you know Woohyun was bitching about Sunggyu?”
Howon smiles in a way that shows off his canines, finally looking alive, “Well, you see…”
Sungjong is bored.
Well in this current moment he’s not bored because he’s imagining all the creative ways he could take revenge on Kim Sunggyu for his overbearing presence in his life.
In general though he’s bored. His job is boring, his life could be more interesting, and well then there’s his family.
Just when he’s almost exhausted all his ideas for revenge (deciding that just slightly rearranging everything in his office sounds like the most amusing and pertinent option) someone knocks on the office door.
Technically Sungjong doesn’t have an office of his own, he shares an open plan office without six other people. Everyone else is out at the events though, leaving the new guy (though he’s been here 18 months) to man the office even though there’s nothing to do there.
Sungjong looks up, half expecting it to be Sunggyu coming to nag him again.
Instead it’s Myungsoo.
“Dongwoo said you wanted to talk to me?” Myungsoo asks, sticking his head into the office looking sheepish, “I meant to come as soon as Dongwoo told me, but then I got distracted,” he says trailing off. That doesn’t surprise Sungjong.
Sungjong thinks about the weird conversation he’d overheard the other day, the original thing he wanted to talk to Myungsoo about but then decides it’s probably not important right now. “I just wanted you to know it’s rude to ignore messages, that’s all,” he settles on saying.
“Well, I’m not ignoring you I just lost my phone,” Myungsoo says as if that’s no big deal (Sungjong doesn’t know how he could survive without his). Knowing Myungsoo he probably does lose it that often.
“Oh, okay,” Sungjong says haughtily, “I suppose I can forgive you then for not replying.”
“What are you doing?” Myungsoo asks curiously, coming into the room and peering over Sungjong’s shoulder to look at his computer screen. He’s not going to find anything interesting because Sungjong’s let his screen go dark.
“Plotting revenge on our overbearing overlord,” Sungjong admits.
Myungsoo tsks, “If it’s Sunggyu, I’d recommend fake glasses,” Myungsoo says helpfully not needing any explanation on the overbearing overlord (Sunggyu isn’t that bad - and Sungjong knows that he has a tough job - but someone needs to teach him some empathy because his parents never had).
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Sungjong says. It’s a terrible idea but Myungsoo had probably come up with it spur of the moment.
“You must be bored huh?” Myungsoo asks sympathetically. Sungjong doesn’t want his sympathy or anyone’s sympathy for that matter.
“Well I get paid to do nothing, isn’t that the dream?” Sungjong asks as airily as he can manage.
Myungsoo fixes him with that chillingly perceptive look that always surprises Sungjong purely because it’s so different from his usual airy head in the clouds expression, “Maybe for some people, but not for you.”
He’s right, Sungjong does want something to do, maybe not things as pressure filled and important as Sunggyu or Howon, but he wants responsibilities. He wants his work to matter.
He knows he’s blessed to get this job in the first place since not many people get a full-time job at the Olympics from an internship, even if it is in the accreditation department. He just has to tough it out for real world experience.
“Someone’s got to do the job,” Sungjong settles on telling Myungsoo.
Myungsoo looks around the office in disdain before grabbing Sungjong by the wrist and trying to pull him up. Sungjong shakes his grip of quite easily, but stands up hesitantly.
“What?” He asks.
“Well, you’re clearly not doing anything important right now, so you’re coming with me,” Myungsoo says. Sungjong would complain, he would but everyone has been buzzing with excitement over the 365 day ceremony and test events, and Sungjong is over being stuck in the office and not getting to see any of it.
“Where are we going?” He asks Myungsoo, shutting his computer down and following behind him. No one will even notice he’s missing (probably).
“We’re going to watch the Freestyle skiing,” Myungsoo says, “You can be my assistant for the day since apparently I do things too slowly anyway.”
Sungjong would feel condescended too, but it’s Myungsoo so he shrugs and goes along with it.
It’ll be nice to actually see part of this grand event they’re involved in for once.
Howon wonders sometimes what it feels like to get a good nights sleep because he can’t remember the last time he got more than 6 hours (perhaps an over exaggeration but seeing as he’s slept 6 hours in the last three days he can probably be forgiven for hyperbole).
Even at his busiest periods as an athlete himself he never ran this close to exhaustion, it would have been detrimental to his career to do so (not that it mattered in the end. He tries not to be bitter)
He’d gotten back to his place this morning at 6 am, fully intending to sleep the day away before remembering he had a conference call with the ISU. Being calling into headquarters for a couple of unplanned meetings, and then the Australian Olympics Committee wanting a Skype Meeting (why Australia even bothers competing at the Winter Olympics is a mystery to Howon) meant Howon had officially only slept an hour in the past 36.
Getting off Skype with the Australian’s he’d collapsed face first on the couch, unable to dredge up the motivation to drag himself to bed. Which is where he still lying, staring blankly at some music show playing on on the tv when Dongwoo gets back from work.
“Good Evening,” he calls out cheerfully from the entrance of the apartment. Howon groans out a response that he’s not sure Dongwoo hears.
“I didn’t expect you to be awake yet,” Dongwoo says as he comes into the room, shedding his clothes and work things as he’s in the bad habit of doing, “I thought I was going to have to wake you to go out tonight.”
Right. Their semi-regular drinks night. Howon thinks he might have to give that one a miss. Leaving the couch sounds unappealing, he doesn’t even want to think about leaving the house.
“I haven’t slept yet,” Howon admits, hoping his voice is muffled by the couch cushion enough that Dongwoo doesn’t hear him. If Dongwoo does hear him he knows he’s probably going to get mothered for days.
“Howon,” Dongwoo says with that disapproving sigh of his.
“I had work to do,” Howon says, which he did. He finished his work ninety minutes ago, but at this point the luxury of not moving is winning out slightly over the luxury of his bed.
“This definitely looks like work to me,” Dongwoo says, probably glancing at the screen, Howon doesn’t know he can’t see him.
“How old do you think these kids are? They look about twelve, maximum,” Howon muses instead of answering the question.
“Are you planning on coming out tonight?” Dongwoo asks, sounding hesitant.
Howon would snort and give a sarcastic reply if he had the energy, instead he just tells Dongwoo, “I’m not planning on moving tonight.”
“You’re going to sleep on the couch?” Dongwoo asks him sounding more amused now that he doesn’t think Howon is going to go get smashed whilst sleep deprived or whatever it was he was imagining.
“That’s the dream,” Howon says, unable to keep his eyes open.
Dongwoo snorts but lets the conversation drop. Howon lets the sound of him pottering around the apartment, occasionally singing along to whatever the songs on the music show are, lull him into a comfortable half doze.
He must fall asleep because what feels like a few seconds later Dongwoo is pushing on his shoulder, “Are you sure you don’t want to go to bed.”
“I’m much comfier here than in a bed,” Howon says even though that’s probably not true. The effort of moving would be the least comfortable thing though and he’s slept on the couch (after a big night out) before.
“Alright, well I’m off,” Dongwoo says starting to walk away
“Oh, wait,” Howon says, sure there’s something he’s forgetting. “I have a message,”
“A message for who?” Dongwoo asks him curiously, footsteps coming back towards Howon.
“I can’t remember?” Howon says, struggling to push through the sleepy haze in his brain. It’s important, whatever it is.
“One of the guys? Sungyeol? Sunggyu? Woohyun?”
“No, that doesn’t sound right,” Howon says, before remembering “Oh. Myungsoo,”
“You have a message for Myungsoo?” Dongwoo asks curiously.
“Yes. I have his phone,” Howon says into the cushion. Words are hard.
“Why do you have his phone?” Dongwoo asks, then follows up with “Do you want me to give it to him?”
“He left it in Gangneung,” Howon says trying not to laugh because Myungsoo would probably lose his head if it wasn’t attached to his body, and all that other cliched nonsense, “I was gonna call him except he doesn’t have his phone.”
“Where is it?” Dongwoo asks again in that patient voice he uses for difficult volunteers. Howon resents that.
“Just, tell him, I’ll give it to him next time I see him,” Howon says. He’s not getting up off the couch ever again and he’s not letting Dongwoo go through his stuff, he might be goodnatured but he’s a snoop.
“I can just give it to him,” Dongwoo says again.
“No. If you try and make me move I’ll punch you,” Howon threatens in a way he’s sure isn’t very threatening at all, “Also, tell Woohyun happy birthday.”
“Alright, I’ll tell them both,” Dongwoo says sounding like he’s trying not to laugh.
“Good,” Howon says sleepily, “Goodnight,”
“Goodnight,” Dongwoo can’t contain a little laugh this time, but Howon doesn’t mind because it’s shortly followed by the sound of the front door shutting and then blissful silence.
When Dongwoo arrives at the bar where their casual little group meets up every couple of weeks, he’s not surprised to find that he’s not the last person to arrive despite being delayed by Howon. Then again Sunggyu only shows up half the time, so he might end up being the last person
“Hey,” Sungyeol waves him over to the table the four of them are crowded around with a grin, probably already slightly tipsy, “No Howon?”
“He got back from Gangneung at 6 am and I don’t think he slept at all today, though he’s probably passed out on the couch now,” Dongwoo says nodding in thanks as Sungjong slides a beer bottle across the table to him.
“So that’s a no?” Sungyeol asks him.
“That’s definitely a no,” Dongwoo snorts. Someone should force Howon to look after himself, but Dongwoo long ago gave up on that task, despite the guilt it brings. He’s got an athlete’s mindset, there’s no changing it.
“Weren’t you in Gangneung for the same event? How come you came back earlier?” Sungjong turns to Myungsoo curiously
“Yeah,” Myungsoo agrees with a shrug, “I had to come back for the 365 day ceremony because apparently that was more important.”
Not that he sounds bitter.
Though that does remind Dongwoo, “Speaking of, Howon says to let you know that he has your phone,” he tells Myungsoo.
“Okay,” Myungsoo says simply, not sounding particularly relieved that his lost phone has been found, “That does make sense since we had to room together.”
“How was it?” Sungyeol asks with a snort, “I had to do that once and it was a nightmare.”
“Why? Does Howon snore?” Woohyun asks leaning forward, seemingly eager for any information that can be used against him. Woohyun and Howon have always been competitive, but Woohyun has been more personal about it lately. Dongwoo can’t for the life of him figure out why.
“Nah, more like phone conversations in foreign languages at ass o’clock in the morning,” Sungyeol snorts. Dongwoo has caught Howon doing that once or twice, but he’s usually very good about keeping his voice down.
“Well I don’t think he ever slept but, he didn’t keep me up so whatever,” Myungsoo shrugs seemingly bored by the conversation. It is a good point, its Friday night and they’re sitting here discussing their co-workers sleeping habits. Not exactly thrilling conversation.
“Why didn’t Howon just give you the phone to give to Myungsoo?” Sungjong eventually asks the question Dongwoo himself has.
“He was half asleep and threatening to punch me if I tried to get him to move,” Dongwoo says. That’s probably not an explanation but it’s the best he’s got.
“If he was half asleep he couldn't have done that much damage,” Woohyun snorts.
“I don’t know. He did want me to wish you happy birthday since he hasn’t seen you since your birthday,” Dongwoo says, changing the subject as a distraction. He elaborates slightly on what Howon said but Woohyun doesn’t need to know that.
“He saw me this morning,” Woohyun scoffs under his breathe.
“Really? You mean it wasn’t just me you spent the entire morning pestering?” Sungyeol asks dryly.
“I mean, he sent me a text on my birthday, it’s whatever,” Woohyun says quickly, “Can we stop talking about Howon? I’m not drunk enough for this.”
Clearly for whatever reason, Woohyun has plans to get wasted tonight and he does just that.
By the time Sunggyu shows up about 9, Woohyun is well and truly gone, Sungyeol not far behind him (though Sungyeol holds his liquor slightly better) and Myungsoo clearly tipsy as well. Only Sungjong, with his judgemental eyes and amused smirk could be described as anywhere close to sober.
“You’re late,” Sungyeol says pointing an accusing finger at Sunggyu.
“At least he showed up this time,” Woohyun mutters in a way that’s probably meant to be under his breath but that comes out like a yell.
“Well, some of us have work to do,” Sunggyu says as he sits in between Myungsoo and Woohyun. He’s smiling though, which is good. You can never be sure if Kim Sunggyu or Sunggyu is going to show up for these sort of evenings (if he shows up at all).
“It better be good important work to miss drinks,” Sungyeol tells him, tapping his fingers rhythmically on his bottle.
“I was just finishing up some last minute negotiations with the Daedong group,” Sunggyu says. It’s all very vague.
“Oh the one you were struggling with yesterday?” Dongwoo asks curiously. Sunggyu had been cursing up a storm about that around lunch time yesterday. It takes a lot to rattle Sunggyu so the fact he’s fixed the problem this fast is a testement “How’d you get it done so quickly?”
“Looking at the problem from another angle, rearranged some funds, the solution was quite simple,” Sunggyu says as he takes a seat.
“You’re so smart,” Myungsoo says dropping himself all over Sunggyu comically, “King problem solver, that’s why you’re the boss.”
Dongwoo has no clue how Sunggyu was going to deal with that because his attention is distracted by Sungyeol elbowing Woohyun in the side and Woohyun trying to scoot away. Except he scoots so far away that he bangs into Sunggyu who turns to him with a raised eyebrow.
Woohyun honestly to god squeaks and moves so far the other way Sungyeol falls off his seat. All the while Myungsoo is draped over Sunggyu’s shoulders like a handsy octopus.
“I am not drunk enough for babysitting duty,” Sunggyu says with a sigh.
Dongwoo holds his breath, waiting to see if he’s going to storm away or make an excuse to leave. He doesn’t. Instead he skulls the bottle of beer Sungjong hands him faster than Dongwoo has seen him drink before.
“You better not be planning on drinking,” Sungjong mutters to Dongwoo under his breath as they keep an eye on the other four, “Because I am not making sure they get home on my own.”
“Isn’t it your job as youngest?” Dongwoo mutters back playfully, slightly amazed Sunggyu has conjured a second drink from somewhere already.
“If you try I will poison your alcohol,” Sungjong threatens him serenely. Dongwoo had no plans of drinking anymore tonight, but if he did he would have abandoned them in that moment.
Thankfully by the time 2am roles around and they’re being kicked out of the bar, Myungsoo has sobered up enough that Dongwoo trusts he can get home safe.
He’s not sobered up completely though if the way he’s swinging from Sungjong’s arm is any indication, “I need to call Hoyeol,” he tells Sungjong solemnly.
“You need to call who?” Sungjong asks distractedly.
“Hoyeol,” Myungsoo says again as if that explains anything.
“Is that Sungyeol or Howon?” Dongwoo asks him, even as Sungyeol is draped all over his back.
“I need to call him because he has my phone,” Myungsoo turns his wide eyes to Dongwoo and steps towards him. Luckily, Sungjong pulls him backward because Dongwoo couldn’t support the weight of both him and Sungyeol.
“You can’t call him without a phone,” Sungyeol yells. Dongwoo cringes, because Sungyeol’s mouth is right by his ear.
“Come over to our place tomorrow, we’ll give it to you then okay?” Dongwoo says as the taxi they called for Myungsoo pulls up, “Get home safe.”
“Yes sir,” Myungsoo says solemnly as Sungjong pours him into the taxi and then he’s off.
Dongwoo and Sungjong exchange a look. One down, three to go. Which speaking of, “Where did Sunggyu and Woohyun get to?” Dongwoo asks.
“We’re here,” Sunggyu says, dragging a pouting Woohyun behind him by the elbow. He looks remarkably coherent, and if Dongwoo hadn’t been watching how much he’d drunk today he’d say he was only tipsy.
Since he has watched how much Sunggyu had drunk though he suggests they share a taxi, leaves Woohyun in Sungjong’s care and drags Sungyeol along with them.
Things can’t be easy though, because as soon as they’re in the taxi Sungyeol turns to him with wide eyes. “I don’t have my key.”
At this point that doesn’t surprise Dongwoo, “Your apartment key? Did you lose it?” he asks, wondering if they’re going to have to go back to the bar and look for it.
“No, I gave it to Myungsoo. As a token of affection,” Sungyeol tells him as if that makes sense, crawling so he’s lying across Sunggyu and Dongwoo’s lap. Sunggyu gives him a disdainful look but then starts playing with Sungyeol’s hair, so he can’t be that annoyed.
“Alright, you can stay at ours tonight and get it off Myungsoo tomorrow,” Dongwoo tells him patiently. There’s a chance that Myungsoo has lost it in his own drunken state, but Sungyeol had given his spare key to Dongwoo and Howon so it’s only a minor inconvenience.
Dongwoo is thankful the end is in sight as he drops Sunggyu off at his apartment and convinces Sungyeol it’s time to sleep not keep drinking. He has to stick Sungyeol in Howon’s bed though seeing as he can’t drop him on the couch. Howon will probably moan about it in the morning, but the idiot is the one made good on his promise to not move from the couch so he has no room to complain.
By the time he climbs into bed he feels like maybe Howon’s sleep deprivation was the better deal after all.