Genre: Romance, humor, gen.
Word Count: 4.8K / 23.1K
Summary: Popular actor Do Kyungsoo and super-idol Kai are the newest couple on We Got Married. Korea won't know what hit it.
AN: Cross-posted at tumblr.
***I changed the title last week from "Pocky Kiss" to "Pepero Kiss" but then the freaking pepero cf came out today...I think I'll use the gifs later. #shameless :P
It came as a surprise to everyone that Kyungsoo didn't know common celebrities like EXO-KM and Shinee. The day the episode airs, the phrase "Do Kyungsoo is idol-clueless" tops the Naver search engine and Kyungsoo nearly shrivels up from the embarassment.
He avoids the internet after that, since it was already getting painful enough with all ongoing gossip about him and Jongin. Last time he checked his email he was bombarded by a series of fan art clips of him and Jongin in various not-safe-for-work positions. He doesn't even want to think about his Twitter.
Kyungsoo is having cake with Jongin in a nearby cafe (because it's a WGM classic scene--even though Jongin argued extensively for a sundae in place of the wimpy pink-frosted cake they were given) when the topic inevitably arises from the idle small talk they're making.
"Right...thanks for that by the way. I'm now famous for being ignorant," Kyungsoo says flatly and shoves a forkful of cake into his mouth before he says anything worse. His cheeks bulge a little and he knows he probably looks like some kind of angry toad.
Jongin blinks at him before chuckling, and Kyungsoo is thrown off guard when he reaches across the table to swipe his thumb across his lower lip.
There's a choked off squeal from another part of the cafe, most likely from one of the many patrons that have their eyes locked on their little table. The area's been cleared for filming, but even WGM can't force the cafe to close down just for them, so every now and then someone will try to walk near their table (to get an autograph, or just stare and drool), and the filming will stop to escort the interloper away.
"Jongin!" Kyungsoo hisses after he hurriedly wipes his mouth with his napkin.
Jongin flutters his eyes innocently. "I'm in charge of the skinship remember? You never touch me."
"This is why you have a reputation for being a player," Kyungsoo points out darkly.
Jongin makes a face and groans. "I hate that rumor. I'm not a player! My company doesn't even let me date!" he laments, making Kyungsoo raise an eyebrow.
"Really? What about that thing between your groupmate and SNSD's Taeyeon?"
Jongin looks astonished. "Wait, how did you know about that?"
Kyungsoo puffs himself up a little. "I searched it up online."
Jongin squints at him. "Was this before or after I told you which group I belonged to because you had no clue?"
Kyungsoo's flustered silence draws giggles from the film crew, and one of the waitresses eavesdropping flails a little and has to be pushed out of view by her co-workers so she doesn't disrupt the set.
"You're so funny, hyung," Jongin says as he rests his chin in his hand, gaze half-masted in contentment.
Kyungsoo doesn't deign to give him a response, choosing instead to busy himself with cutting up his slice into as many pieces as he can with his tiny dessert fork. When he's done, he pushes his plate away from him and hangs his head.
"My image has been completely ruined by this show."
"At least you haven't gotten any anti-fans right?"
"Actually," Kyungsoo raises his head to frown at Jongin, "I have a bunch of your fans sending me hate-mail for getting partnered with you."
Jongin gives him a wry look. "They're not my fans anymore," Jongin says, and just like that the wind rushes out of Kyungsoo's sails.
He watches Jongin lower his head to drink his americano in silence, his eyebrows bent low over his stricken eyes.
"I completely forgot that Jongin lost a huge chunk of his fanbase after joining WGM." Kyungsoo's voice wavers a little, and he has to clear his throat before continuing, "I can't even imagine how much stress he must be dealing with, especially when he's in the middle of promoting another album with his group."
The camera pans to the side to catch how his throat bobs and his eyelashes brush against the tops of his cheekbones. It's a poignant side profile. The camera lingers.
"I wish I could help him," Kyungsoo confesses, and he shakes his head a little. "I just don't know what to do."
Kyungsoo is waiting for Jongin outside the apartment the show assigned to them to "live" in, but it's been almost twenty minutes past the meet-up time and the idol is still nowhere to be found.
Kyungsoo offers to wait outside alone so his cameraman doesn't have to suffer holding the heavy equipment filming nothing when Jongin's lanky form bolts around the corner towards them.
"You're late!" Kyungsoo berates as Jongin gets closer. "Jongin--"
To his dismay Jongin doesn't stop, but snags Kyungsoo's sleeve and hauls him along. "No time hyung we have to go! Run, RUN!" Jongin urges in panic, and helplessly, Kyungsoo stumbles after him, forced to move his feet or be dragged into the ground.
Why is he always in this situation, Kyungsoo thinks wearily.
Jongin's taxed cameraman follows at a close pace although he's breathing much more heavily than the idol is, and after a stunned second Kyungsoo's cameraman follows, the red light of his camera blinking on as he hefts the equipment onto his shoulder with the kind of long-suffering look the film crew often wear around celebrities.
Then Kyungsoo hears them and blanches. They emerge from the direction Jongin came from with all the speed and force of a crashing wave, dozens of people (mostly students in uniform), all screaming variations of "KAI!", "KAISOO!" and "KIM JONGIN OMG I LOVE YOU!"
Kyungsoo clasps Jongin's hand in his, and to the idol's bemusement, pulls him down an alley he was about to pass.
"I know a shortcut! Follow me!"
"I think I saw a zombie movie like that once," Kai says, and an eruption of canned laughter overwhelms the muffled giggling that comes from beyond the camera.
"Seriously, it was so scary! They just came out of nowhere! I mean one of them recognized me, and she screamed, 'Oh my god, it's Kaisoo!'" Kai imitates a bad falsetto where his voice cracks on the last word and there's more canned laughter.
"Pretty much the entire street recognized me then." Kai shudders visibly. "It looked like school just let out. I had really bad timing."
The interviewer asks why Kai didn't just drive straight to the couple's apartment.
"I don't have a license," Kai says frankly as he shakes away some of the wispy blond hair that falls into his eyes, "My manager drove me, but the place he dropped me off was the wrong complex. And since the real one was only a block away I figured there was no point in calling him to pick me up.
"...Why don't I have a license?" Kai smiles then, the curve to his lips just a touch sardonic. Three exclamation marks pop up beside his next words.
"It's how management keeps us from running away."
It's when they finally get a break and are catching their breaths a few streets away that Kyungsoo realizes that the hair peeking out from under Jongin's beanie is no longer chocolate brown but a metallic shade of blond so fair that it seems to emit light in the shadow of the building beside them.
"You dyed your hair," Kyungsoo remarks, and noticing his stare, Jongin pulls off the beanie and runs his fingers through the strands so they stick up in casual disarray. Instant bedhead.
"It's for our new music video," Jongin tells him, and with the white-blond strands falling into his eyes, Jongin gives him an expectant look. Something in Kyungsoo's stomach promptly flips over in response.
"How's it look?"
"Good. It looks good," Kyungsoo responds a little too hastily, turning away. Jongin makes a face and follows him.
"No, really, hyung. What do you think?"
"I said it looks good."
"The color doesn't make me look too tan?"
"You're lying," Jongin accuses, folding his arms petulantly.
Kyungsoo makes a motion like he'd like to tear out his hair, or Jongin's.
"I'm not," Kyungsoo denies firmly. "It looks nice on you. Really." Defensively he folds his own arms. "Why does it even matter what I think anyways?" Kyungsoo asks with a motion at himself. He's referring to his conservative haircut and plain button down over his jeans and sneakers.
Jongin's style runs more idol-flashy, including obnoxious prints and mash-ups of neon colors. He usually looks like a skater boy that fell into a 2NE1 music video. (Kyungsoo now knows who 2NE1 is because he has been diligently researching celebrities in his spare time. No one can call him idol-clueless now.)
Jongin's answer is slow in coming, reluctant. "Because, because...you're my husband."
Kyungsoo balks. "Wha--?"
"I want you to like how I look!" Jongin blurts, and he's cringing a little, but the way his stance firms is almost defiant.
Kyungsoo stares at Jongin, speechless. He opens his mouth to say something, and to his horror, what comes out instead is a strange gurgling sound he's sure he has never made before in his life.
Silence. The actor holds his forehead in his palm.
"Next question please," Kyungsoo sighs grievously, and below, the captions cheerfully roll out,
Do Kyungsoo is shy when it comes to his husband's new hairstyle!
Jongin gets an odd look when he holds the shirt up against Kyungsoo, like there's something wrong with the picture that he can't put his finger on.
"What," says Kyungsoo warily. He's already antsy that it's almost lunch time and the street beyond the store windows is steadily getting busier.
After informing management where they were, they were ordered to take the opportunity to have a shopping date like normal couples do on their way back to the apartment. This is the first time that Kyungsoo has ever gone clothes shopping with another man, though Jongin tells him that it's normal for idols, and safer, whatever that means.
The shop owner is watching them hawk-eyed from behind the register. He's got a phone in his hand like he wants to take a picture, but since the film crew explicitly asked for no pictures when they arrived, the phone ducks out of view every time the staff turn their heads.
There's a cough from Kyungsoo's cameraman who looks like he's trying not to smile, and he avoids the actor's gaze when he looks at him imploringly.
"What?" Kyungsoo stresses, looking back and forth between the shirt and the idol to no avail.
It's a graphic t-shirt identical to the one Jongin is currently wearing, (as couple shirts are a WGM must), which hangs loosely on the idol's slim frame, but tucks around his wide shoulders in an appealing way. Kyungsoo was about to put it on when Jongin stopped him.
"You won't fit the shirt," Jongin finally explains. "Your shoulders are too small, hyung." As Kyungsoo tries to register that Jongin puts back the shirt, flips through another rack and picks out another one, much smaller and in brighter colors.
Kyungsoo is mortified.
"Jongin, that's a girl's shirt!" He backs away when Jongin tries to hand it to him.
"Yeah, but it'll fit. Come on, hyung, try it on," Jongin persuades, and Kyungsoo would trust him if his face wasn't tight holding back an obvious grin.
"Why can't I just wear this one? You said loose was the look," Kyungsoo argues.
"Loose like casual, not loose like a parachute."
Eventually, the actor gives in and tries it on, throwing Jongin dirty looks the whole time. The store is too small to have a dressing room so he pulls the t-shirt straight on over his button-down. It bunches up in a few places because the shirt is tighter than the button-down, and he tries to tug them free as he turns to Jongin.
"Well?" Kyungsoo asks, pulling at the collar a little. "Do I look "hip-hop fresh" enough for you now?" He holds out his arms limply in a bad caricature of enthusiasm.
Jongin lasts about three good seconds before he collapses against the clothing racks behind him holding his stomach, his laughter loud enough for a few curious people to stare at the store windows as they walk by.
"Don't laugh!" Kyungsoo screeches, and he takes off the shirt to pelt it at the idol, who can't even manage the energy to raise his arms in defense.
"Oh, oh my stomach!" Jongin cries melodramatically. Kyungsoo kicks at him, not bothering with the cameras anymore.
Let the nation know that Do Kyungsoo beat his WGM husband to death for being an annoying shit. His reputation can't get any worse, Kyungsoo figures.
Needless to say, when they leave the store, it's with empty hands.
Kai snorts when he hears there was a viral clip of Kyungsoo trying on the shirt before the episode was even released.
"I don't think he realized that there was a pink bunny cartoon on the front of the shirt." Kai's eyes curve at the memory, and he motions at his own black shirt, which coincidentally has the G-dragon playboy bunny on it in liquid silver.
"He's so short, and his shoulders are so narrow, like a girl's, I couldn't help teasing him," the idol confides mischievously.
The interviewer notes that Kai seems pleased about Kyungsoo's appearance.
"It's more like, I like the way Kyungsoo-hyung looks because it's him," Kai decides. "It wouldn't matter to me for anyone else, but for him everything's so...charming, isn't it?
"He's such a likeable person underneath the boring clothes and the serious eyebrows. I don't know how anyone could ever hurt him on purpose."
There are always cameras on them when they're at a music show, so Jongin honestly doesn't notice the WGM cameras that pop up halfway during their run through.
When they finish the rehearsal and start moving offstage, out of the corner of his eye, Jongin sees pink lights and swivels around. Amidst the black formless crowd of early fans, bobbing among the other signs that shine like stars, is one that says WILL YOU MARRY ME KAI?, remarkably similar to the sign Kyungsoo held in their first episode together.
Walking backwards, he graces that sign with a wave and then a heart with both hands. The fans scream their approval as he skips off stage.
Music show filming takes the entire day to get through the whole line of groups that need to perform. Finish your filming early and you have to wait hours for everyone else to finish before you can finally do the winning stage and go home. If you're near the end of the line, you're kept in some torturous jittery state with no relief until you can perform and dance it off. That and you have to starve the whole day, because eating before your stage is a recipe for disaster.
Bloat always looks ten times worse on camera, and if the fans don't boo you off stage, you'll receive a nasty surprise the next time you check your Me2day.
Like most idols, Jongin prefers performing early, and to his relief, his group is finished with its work right before lunch. Now all they have to do is lounge around and try not to mess up their makeup before the winning stage.
His group won last week at Inkigayo so it's kind of expected that it'll win today as well. This early in the promotional period, his group is popular enough to ride the winning streak for a month at least. So long as one of the big-names doesn't suddenly announce their own comeback.
One of the staff noonas is particularly pretty so Chanyeol's got his guitar out, feigning artsy nonchalance in the corner as Jongdae makes up a few lazy lyrics for the tune where he's leaning over the back of the couch. Baekhyun's lost in his own music, earphones plugged, and he sinks into the cushions beside Jongin and Minseok as they watch the new girl group dancing in the screen above.
Jongdae quirks an eyebrow at Minseok when he sighs softly. "Feeling nostalgic for the old days, hyung?"
"Huh?" Minseok startles. "Oh, no. God no," Minseok says, "I'm just hungry. I wish Joonmyun would hurry with the food." He rubs his rumbly stomach sadly.
"Me too," Jongin seconds at the same time as Jongdae coos, "Our poor half-fifty hyung~"
"Wow, our oldest and youngest members actually agree on something for once," Chanyeol jokes, "Must be an apocolypse coming." Everyone rolls their eyes as he laughs at his own cheesiness.
Baekhyun must have been listening because he pops out one earbud to say, "Be quiet and go back to making your sad emo music, ya beanpole."
Chanyeol squawks, "It's not emo music! I'm trying to make a happy song." He strums a high note to demonstrate. "See, happy!" Of course then he and Baekhyun start bickering over what his self-compositions actually sound like, and Jongdae is pitching in when the door quietly edges open.
"Thank god you're back," Minseok says in relief before he stops. Mouth dropped, he elbows Jongin in the side, making the maknae jump.
"What, hyung?" Jongin says as he looks over at the door, and then the beagle trio raise their heads as one when Jongin cries out, "Kyungsoo-hyung!"
The dark head peering in lowers in a couple jerky bows as the door opens further to reveal the white takeout bags he's carrying in his hand.
"Hello." Do Kyungsoo waves shyly from the door.
"Then I knocked, but no one answered. And I could definitely hear voices inside," Kyungsoo relays, "So I thought that maybe they just couldn't hear me, so I cracked the door open to peek in a little, and they were sitting all around the couch in full makeup, costume and all."
Kyungsoo pauses at something the interviewer says. "Kai looked...," Kyungsoo trails off and smiles. "He looked really good," Kyungsoo admits as blushing hashtag marks and drifting flowers set in to complete the picture.
"I almost couldn't look at him directly. It was like...like looking at the sun."
"I could tell Kyungsoo-hyung was actually really nervous," Kai says with a fond look on his face. "He kept using formal words around everyone and he wouldn't look me in the eye. To be honest, he only really relaxed once he realized Baekhyun-hyung was there."
"You!" Kyungsoo exclaims, before he slaps a hand over his mouth, wide eyes darting to the cameras and back. He looks so cute that Jongin can't resist pulling him close to give him a comforting side-hug, making Chanyeol and Jongdae simultaneously burst into excited schoolgirl giggles.
"Hellooo," greets Baekhyun cheerfully. "It's nice to meet you at last, Mr. Husband."
"I'll bet," says Kyungsoo resentfully.
"Jesus, your eyes really are as huge as they looked on TV," Chanyeol wonders aloud, looking fascinated. Kyungsoo's not sure if he should take that as a compliment or not.
"As you can probably tell," Jongdae says, "we all watch the show."
"With popcorn," Baekhyun adds, and if possible Kyungsoo's stare intensifies. In another world, the force of it could probably raze Baekhyun to the ground.
Unused to Kyungsoo's particular silent brand of anger, Baekhyun falters and glances at the others. Jongin just smirks unhelpfully, leaning on the arm he has around Kyungsoo, who doesn't seem to notice the extra weight on his shoulders.
"So...I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark and assume you didn't like my hosting style for the last episode," guesses Baekhyun.
"No," affirms Kyungsoo, unblinkingly.
Jongdae hugs Minseok and starts shaking him with glee as Chanyeol does his seal impersonation, clapping as silent laughs rack his chest and his eager eyes bounce back and forth between the two.
The group is starting to understand how Jongin took to Kyungsoo so quickly despite the difficulty of Kyungsoo's on-screen character, which comes off largely impassive and sullen at worst. Off-screen, his personality is unexpectedly funny.
"I couldn't speak to my mother after that episode aired," Kyungsoo intones, and the words that clip out are measured with his unique placidity, but hit like a punch in the face, "You would think a guest show host would have more discretion when all he has to do is sit around and watch the couples. Maybe make a comment or two...rather than fifty. You would think."
Baekhyun crumples like wet paper under the pressure of Kyungsoo's judgmental eyebrows, and rubs his hands together in pleading.
"Have mercy on me!"
"No," says Kyungsoo.
When Suho arrives with bags of take-out in his hands, he doesn't understand why Baekhyun is kneeling and clutching at Kai's WGM partner's feet while the rest of the group convulses with laughter around them. His brow wrinkles as he addresses the first issue at hand.
"Chanyeol, get off the floor. You're going to ruin your make-up."
"I really, really couldn't," the actor says heavily as large KE KE KE laugh captions fill the screen around his head.
"She called me, and I just hung up as soon as I could. I mean, what was I supposed to say? He called me a bottom to Jongin on national television," he spits out, and the indignity of it all chokes Kyungsoo into a brief silence.
"I think my grandparents rolled over in their graves," Kyungsoo concludes, and more laugh captions crowd around him. "I wanted to throttle him for that. Really. I don't care if my reputation goes to dirt after this. I just--"
Kyungsoo makes a choking motion with one of his small hands and pouts deeply.
"That was the best. Ever," Kai enthuses. "I've never seen Kyungsoo-hyung get that mad. So when he started going off on Baekhyun-hyung for all the crap he said when he hosted, I couldn't say anything. It was like watching a mini tornado take down a tree. Baekhyun-hyung didn't stand a chance."
The interviewer asks if Kai wasn't also displeased by the controversial comments Baekhyun made during his short guest-hosting period, and Kai shrugs.
"I've been in a group with Baekhyun-hyung for three years now. You know he also talks in his sleep? Honestly it all becomes background noise after a while. That's why I always look zoned out during group filmings." Kai makes the mong face now to the shock of his interviewer.
"You try paying attention all the time when you have Baekhyun-hyung and the two other beagles yapping around you 24/7," Kai goes scornfully, "It's simple self-preservation."
Kyungsoo's eyes are carefully trained on the room screen as he clumsily chews on the pepero stick that Jongin slowly feeds him . He goes a little a too fast and his lips touch fingers before he jerks away.
Eyes flick upward despite himself and immediately zip back down when they meet warm brown. Jongin chuckles a little.
"No need to act shy, hyung. It's just me," Jongin says, even as he grins and pulls out another stick. He's having a little too much fun feeding him, in Kyungsoo's opinion.
"It wouldn't be so difficult if your bandmates weren't staring at me," Kyungsoo retorts, sending them a stony glare over Jongin's shoulder. Baekhyun smiles and waves while Chanyeol grins and makes a V-sign over one eye in what Kyungsoo is starting to realize is his signature look.
"Just pretend we're not here!" Jongdae garbles around the shrimp chips in his mouth, making Minseok lean away to avoid the spray. Joonmyun sighs and wipes some of the crumbs off the front of Jongdae's shirt as Jongdae looks appropriately abashed at the cameras.
"Please cut that part out," Jongdae begs the editors. "I'm an idol, I have an image to protect."
"Since when has that stopped you?" Baekhyun snarks.
"Shut up, you."
"Say ah." Jongin raises the next pepero stick.
Since the group had an afternoon free, they came out to sing some karaoke.
The karaoke lounge is only a block away from the music show building, but even so it was a harrowing experience walking outside surrounded by the members of a popular boy band with a ridiculously large (and vicious) fan base.
The staff threw some coats and sunglasses over the boys, but even then they only managed to get to the karaoke lounge without getting discovered by making use of many narrow side-alleys and Joonmyun as hapless bait.
To Kyungsoo's surprise, the employees greeted the group with familiarity, bringing in a tray of snacks and drinks almost as soon as they sat down. Chanyeol was the one who picked up the box of pepero first, but it was Baekhyun who snatched it out of his hands with a speculative look that made Jongin edge behind Kyungsoo when he turned it on them.
"Watch out, Baekhyun-hyung's planning something," Jongin hissed just before Baekhyun issued them their first challenge as a WGM couple.
He told them to feed each other pepero sticks.
It's normal for WGM couples to be asked to prove their intimacy, so the level of feeding each other isn't high when you compare it to the years of collective embarrassment WGM couples have had to endure in even worse challenges, and after the initial embarrassment, they actually started getting used to it.
By the third round, Jongin is opening his mouth obligingly for Kyungsoo to pop in the treat. Then Jongdae yawns loudly.
"Boring~! Why don't we just do the kissing game instead?"
Jongin chokes on the pepero as Kyungsoo pales.
"Jongin has interesting bandmates," says Kyungsoo dryly.
"I have terrible bandmates," swears Kai.
"Should I bite, or you bite?" Jongin is asking as Kyungsoo nibbles on the pepero stick already in his mouth. His eyes are wider than usual, reflecting Jongin's nervousness, and when he glances up at Jongin, the idol's stomach flops.
Kyungsoo-hyung is always cuter than he tries to act, but now, with his lips puckered around the end of the stick, it's almost at an unbearable level. Jongin reaches for a bottle of water on the table.
"I'll bite," Kyungsoo offers. "Jongin, you just--stay still."
He quickly swallows down the rest of the pepero stick in his mouth and hands Jongin a new one, which Jongin holds delicately between his teeth. The rest of his group are piled on the couches watching with bated breath.
At one point, while they're still preparing themselves, Chanyeol looks like he wants to say something, but is quickly hushed by the others. Jongin feels like they're about to perform a ceremony.
Jongin offers the pepero stick in his mouth and Kyungsoo leans forward. Then they realize one crucial factor they missed when deciding who would bite first: Jongin has nearly ten centimeters on the actor.
To compensate, Kyungsoo grasps at Jongin's shoulders as the idol's hands flutter hesitantly around his waist before realizing he should just bend down to help cover the distance. Even so, it's too big of a height difference, and Kyungsoo pulls Jongin in by the neck to get to the last couple inches of pepero.
Jongin's eyes instinctively close, but crack open again when he feels the warmth of Kyungsoo's trembling breath against his lips. They match gazes a split second before Kyungsoo bites the stick and falls back, hands dragging down Jongin's arms.
The room explodes with his group's cheers.
"I'm sorry about my bandmates, hyung," Kai tells the camera earnestly. "And I'm sorry I made it hard for you to reach the stick--because of my height I mean. Although you could probably blame my parents for that, but that's not the point," Kai says hastily.
"By the way, I saw your movie script in your bag when we were at the karaoke lounge. I wish you would take a break sometimes. I feel like you take it everywhere you go." Kai admonishes gently, "Don't overwork yourself."
Then he pumps his fist with a cheerful, "Fighting! I'm going to go visit you at work next time so you better tell me what your favorite foods are before then. See you later, hyung~!"
Laughing at his own cheesiness, Kai waves through a glittery fog of pink, and beside him, the captions read: Truly, super-idol Kai loves his husband.
The day the episode of their pepero game airs, WGM's ratings skyrocket, but not, as one might expect, from the episode. The same day it airs, Kyungsoo is attacked at the press conference of his new movie by an anti-fan that claimed that he and his WGM co-star Kai were ruining Korea.
The news blasts across every channel in the country, and if no one knew who or what Kaisoo was before, surely, they do now.
AN: If you guys couldn't tell, the pepero feeding scene was inspired by the actual cf released today. :] The pepero game was always in the works though. Hence, the title.