Others: YooSu & Ryeowook
Summary: Can Chef Kim Jaejoong brighten up Shim Changmin's sorrow with food and perhaps... love?
A/N: A request from airlan (a fanfic with rich but sad!Min and chef!Jaejoong) that I should've completed CENTURIES ago.. anyways, wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas! ^^ And hope you all enjoy this Christmas Eve one shot! :D
“Chef Kim!” The young man yelled out as soon as he burst through the doors, slightly out of breath as the two men in white aprons and matching white hats turned around.
“Yeah?” They both answered at the same time, then laughed.
It was a normal reaction and they got it all the time.
“Oh! Um, miahne, I was referring to Jaejoong-hyung…” The young man said, bowing towards the wine-haired man in an apologetic manner.
Smiling, Jaejoong said, “That’s fine. What is it?”
“Ah, right. One of the customers specifically requested to see Jaejoong-hyung...” Ryeowook said, lowering his eyes to the floor as he fiddled with the corners of his waiter apron.
“Ahh… it must be your suitor Jae…” Junsu teased, nudging his older brother and laughing in a way that made everyone turn their heads in the large spacious cooking room of the high-class restaurant, smiles tugging at the corners of their lips as the warm sound reached their ears.
“But…” Jaejoong waved a hand towards the frying pans and numerous sticky notes scribbled with unfulfilled orders hanging on the walls.
“No probs, just go out there. It won’t take you too long. I’ll deal with the orders in the meantime… since I am, after all, Kim Junsu.” Junsu said, giving his older brother a wink and shooing him out the door.
With the corners of his mouth lifting up into a radiant smile, Jaejoong said, “Thanks Su! I owe you!”
“Of course you do. I’d like the newest PS3, limited edition, which can only be ordered in Japan.” Junsu said with a straight face, his voice and expression serious.
Jaejoong laughed, covering his mouth with the palm of his hand and used the other hand to pat his little brother on the arm, then hurried out of the room.
There was no need for anyone to tell him where or who had requested to see him, because Jaejoong knew, by heart, the special table that the man sat at every single night, knew that he would request to see him at exactly 10 pm.
With a few long strides, Jaejoong reached the table that was situated in the far left corner of the French restaurant, bowing slightly at the man who was looking out at the lit up streets of Seoul through the restaurant’s large glass windows.
“How may I help you, Sir?” Jaejoong asked, a hint of sarcasm and amusement lacing the corners of his words.
The creamy brown haired man turned away from the lovely scenery and looked up at the blond chief, his eyes slightly glazed with indescribable emotions.
He smiled and gestured towards the empty seat in front of him, in which Jaejoong replied with a sigh, but nonetheless, pulled out the chair and sat himself down.
A satisfied smile filled the young man’s face and he picked up the bottle of red wine in front of him, pouring the crimson red substance into the wine glass in front of Jaejoong.
Shaking his head, Jaejoong said, “Mr. Shim, I told you several times that I can’t drink when I’m working…”
“And I told you many times to call me Changmin. But did you listen? No. So why should I listen to you?” He said cheekily, chuckling at Jaejoong’s annoyed expression. “Anyways, red wine is good for you body.”
“Thank you for caring about my health, Changmin; but I prefer to work without getting drunk and possibly setting the whole restaurant on fire.”
Laughing loudly, Changmin’s eyes sparkled with humor as he stared at the breathtaking chief over the rim of his wine glass, loving the way Jaejoong’s nose scrunched cutely when he was being sarcastic.
It was his sarcasm that had made his gloomy, death like day brighten up indefinitely…
*********************************** FLASHBACK ****************************************
“Who made this order?” Jaejoong asked, waving an order slip in one hand while placing the other on his hips.
Ryeowook raised his hand, his adorable round eyes wide and scared.
“Uh, are you sure you didn’t make a mistake, Ryeowook?” Junsu asked as he flipped a piece of salmon with expertise, looking over his shoulder and hoping his older brother wouldn’t have a spazz attack.
“N-No hyung… I asked the man several times, to confirm his order, and he even got mad at me for asking him so many times…”
“Who the hell orders EVERY SINGLE ITEM ON THE MENU? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” Jaejoong yelled out, shaking his head and asking Ryeowook to lead him to the customer.
If there was one thing that Jaejoong hated, it was wasting something as precious as food.
It wasn’t even the issue of money, since money is only paper and ink and has no real significance if you sit down and think about it.
No, it was the idea of having numerous leftovers spread out on the table, when there were so many starving kids out there.
He would always get angry when the customers left a mountain of food on the table, shaking his head in disgust and mumbling about inconsiderate, disrespectful people.
That’s why he had made the risky choice of changing his Korean restaurant to a French restaurant, since French dishes had a tendency of being small, yet delicious; allowing the customer to easily finish one dish and still feel satisfied.
However, never, in his six years of being a chef, had Jaejoong ever heard of a customer ordering all forty dishes listed on the menu.
Upon reaching the table, Jaejoong placed both of his hands on his hips and said in a strong, yet polite voice, “Sir, I’m sorry, but may I ask you why you have ordered every single dish on the menu?”
The man looked up, his dark brown eyes full of misery and unreadable emotions, his lips pulled down in a frown, waves of hazel brown hair surrounding his finely chiseled face.
Jaejoong was momentarily surprised by the strong, confident appearance, which didn’t seem to fit the weak young look in the man’s eyes.
The one thing that did match his appearance, however, was the sharp tone of his voice.
“I don’t see anything wrong with that. If you are worried that I don’t have enough money to pay for it all, I assure you, there’s no need for that.”
With that said, he took out his Burberry wallet and withdrew a thick pile of a hundred dollar bills and placed it on the table.
Jaejoong rolled his eyes at the pile of money and said, “Sir, I honestly don’t care if you gave me all the money in the world. I just want to know why you chose to order so much? Do you seriously think you could eat all that by yourself?”
The man raised an eyebrow and scoffed. “I don’t see why I should answer such a question. As a chef, shouldn’t you be in the kitchen, cooking whatever the customers order, instead of asking them such ridiculous questions?”
Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath to calm himself down, Jaejoong said through clenched teeth, “As a chef, I should have the right to understand why a customer has made such a large order. If the customer doesn’t have the ability to finish eating everything, it wouldn’t only be a waste of good food, but also, a waste of the chef’s hard work, which is a disgrace to all chefs alike.”
Leaning forward with his hands clasped in front of him, a serious expression pasted on his face, the man looked up at Jaejoong, eyebrows furrowing slightly in curiosity.
After a moment of silence, he said, “Do you love your work that much?”
Without hesitating, Jaejoong answered firmly, “Yes.”
“Because it is something I love doing… seeing the happy smiles on others’ faces as they eat the food I have prepared… it gives a certain degree of happiness and accomplishment to me. Although cooking can be quite a simple task, it requires patience and putting your heart into it… you can say that it’s kind of like raising a child. You must nurture it, providing it with utter care in order to have it turn into something wonderful in the end.”
The young man chuckled, his empty cold eyes melting into warm chocolate.
Slightly angered by the reaction, Jaejoong said, “What’s so funny?”
Looking up at Jaejoong with one hand palming his cheek, Changmin smiled, the radiant expression lighting up his face and making him look six years younger than before.
“Nothing… I’m just delighted by your answer, that’s all.” He replied simply, his eyes glued to Jaejoong’s, amusement laced within them.
Letting out a small sigh, he looked down at his hands before answering, the tone of his voice sounding slightly strangled.
“Well, to be honest, I was going to commit suicide tonight… but I thought I’d fill my stomach before I did, since I don’t want to become a hungry ghost…so I came here…”
“C-Commit suicide?” Jaejoong gasped in disbelief, eyes widening in surprise.
“Yes. I even thought of all the different ways in which I could end my life… pills, drugs, slitting my wrists, hanging myself, jumping off of a building, drowning myself in the bathtub, using a gun… the list goes on…” Changmin said calmly, as if he were talking about the weather instead of doing something insanely horrific.
“But… life is so precious… why would you want to do such a thing?”
Raking a hand through his hair, Changmin closed his eyes, head hung low.
“My life was never good to begin with… my father left us when I was only four, my mother, who I loved dearly, died last week due to breast cancer; my girlfriend broke up with me yesterday… telling me, on the phone, that she had already found someone else… someone much better than me…” He let out a forced chuckle and shook his head. “And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, my boss called me into his room this afternoon and gave me a letter…”
“What was in the letter?” Jaejoong asked, wanting to lay a comforting hand on the man’s quivering back, but pulling his hand back, realizing belatedly that he didn’t really know the man and doing such an intimate thing would seem very awkward.
“Well, I didn’t have to look at it to know that it contained the words “You” and “Fired”… but that’s not what surprised me the most… no, what hurt the most was that I was framed, by someone I trusted all my life… as a banker, I know the attractiveness of using “under the table” money… how easy it is to do such a thing… but I never did do it. However, I knew my co-worker, and best friend since kindergarten, did. I tried warning him several times, but he never listened. Finally, the boss found out… and guess who was blamed?”
Jaejoong watched as Changmin balled his hands into fists, tears falling from his face and onto the crimson colored cloth of the dinner table.
“No… he wouldn’t….?”
Nodding, Changmin gritted his teeth together. “Yes. He said that I was the one who told him to do it… and because the boss never did really like me, due to the fact that I was going out with his daughter and he always thought that I did it so that I could one day inherit their billion dollar will, he was more than happy to have an excuse to fire me.”
“Th-that’s… terrible.” Jaejoong said quietly, sitting himself down across from the man, clasping his hands together with worry as he furrowed his eyebrows in concern.
Wiping the glistening tears off of his face, Changmin palmed his face between his hands.
Feeling useless just sitting there, Jaejoong suddenly got up from his seat and ran into the kitchen, telling everyone to continue doing what they were doing and not to bother him with any orders because he would be busy for the next few minutes.
Rolling up his sleeves, Jaejoong pulled his golden locks of hair backwards into a ponytail and got to work.
~Forty-five minutes later~
“Sir, please enjoy.” Jaejoong said, placing the last plate of food onto the table that was already crammed with countless dishes.
Changmin’s eyes widened at the sight, then slowly, a smile crept onto his sunken face.
“Wow… this… you made this all by yourself?” He said in awe, looking down at the steaming dishes with amazement.
“Yes, and you better eat every last morsel of it… I know that it won’t fill up the emptiness within your life, but I hope that it will at least bring a hint of warmth to your… state of mind, shall we say? Anyways, eat up, before it gets cold.”
Picking up a knife and fork, Changmin stared at the numerous dishes and hesitated for a moment, unable to decide which one to eat first.
Lowering his fork, he captured a piece of succulent juicy white lobster and succeeded in taking it out of its hard shell, biting down on the delicious piece of seafood and closing his eyes as he savored the buttery taste.
“So… what do you think?” Jaejoong asked after a few minutes, unable to restrain himself from asking.
Finally opening his eyes, which wavered with gratitude and something that Jaejoong couldn’t quite place his finger on, Changmin grinned.
“Really?” Jaejoong felt himself relax at the response. “Well, I know it’s not exactly perfect, since I kind of neglected the garlic when I was frying the duck liver—“
Changmin, who laid a hand on the chef’s arm, stopped Jaejoong’s spew and shook his head in disagreement.
Looking into Jaejoong’s large round eyes, he said sincerely, “No, I meant you are amazing… really, thank you… for everything.”
Jaejoong blinked, totally caught off guard by the unexpected response.
Finally coming back to his senses, he blushed and mumbled, “It was nothing… I—I’m just glad you enjoyed it… and at least now I know I wasn’t the cause of your death if the police were to show up at my door tomorrow…”
Chuckling, Changmin said, “No… I don’t think I’ll do such a silly thing now… and it’s all because of you… and your wonderful dishes…”
*******************************END OF FLASHBACK*****************************
The timid voice made the two of them look up, snapping away from their little conversation and memories.
“Ah!” Jaejoong said, realizing belatedly how carried away he had gotten, talking to Changmin, and had entirely forgetton that he was still at work.
“Sorry to disturb the two of you… but it is getting a tad bit difficult in the back… and the customers are piling up tonight…” Ryeowook said softly, wringing his hands together nervously.
“Well, it is Christmas Eve… so of course couples would want to come to such a high class, romantic place… as for those who are still single, our irresistibly hot Chef here gives them more than enough of an excuse to come here tonight…” Changmin said smoothly, giving Jaejoong a little wink over his wine glass and making the blond blush slightly.
Clearing his throat and hating himself for feeling so pleased after hearing such a compliment, Jaejoong got up from his chair and said, “Well, I guess I should get back to work then… enjoy your dinner, Mr—“
Jaejoong stopped midsentence as he caught Changmin’s raised eyebrow, then chuckled softly.
“—I mean, Changmin.” He finished, eyes twinkling with humor.
Waving a nonchalant hand in the air, Changmin said, “I guess it can’t be helped… even though I need you more than those people… I could probably spare you for a few minutes…”
Scoffing at the absurd statement, Jaejoong rolled his eyes and said, “Why, how kind of you, Sir. Anyways, I must take my leave and treasure the precious few minutes you have so considerately spared me. Enjoy the rest of your meal.”
Lips curling upwards behind his clasped hands as he watched the blond sashay his way back towards the kitchen, Changmin said, “Of course, because of you, I enjoy every single moment of my life now…”
Jaejoong hurriedly walked back into the kitchen in a weak attempt to hide the lovely blush that colored his high cheekbones.
“Whew!~ That was quite a crowd today…” Junsu said as he wiped his forehead, which was glistening with sweat.
“Tell me about it…” Jaejoong sighed as he cracked his neck and massaged the aching muscles that were stiff from concentration.
“Good work today, everyone! Please enjoy the rest of your night! And have a very Merry Christmas tomorrow!” Junsu said cheerfully, clapping his hands together as the rest of the staff within the kitchen finished tidying up the place and changed out of their white outfits.
As the staff trickled out of the kitchen, a tall man entered, his appearance erasing all signs of fatigue from Junsu’s face and replacing it with a large smile that truly radiated across the room.
“Chunnie-ah!” Junsu yelled out happily, practically flying across the room and wrapping his arms around his lover.
“Hey babe.” Yoochun said huskily, placing a kiss onto Junsu’s rosy cheeks and chuckling at the warm welcome.
“Why are you here?”
“Well, since it’s Christmas Eve, I thought I’d spend it with the one I loved the most… perhaps go out for a ride in my Ferrari… count the stars in the sky as we have a glass of wine and wish one another a very Merry Christmas at the strike of twelve…” Yoochun said, nuzzling Junsu’s button nose and causing the man to giggle.
Putting his hands on his hips, Jaejoong scoffed, making Yoochun look up and wave.
“Hey hyung. I hope you don’t mind that I’ll be taking SuSu away from you…?”
“Oh please, as if I’d want him around… All he does at home is create havoc… I’d rather you take him away.” Jaejoong said, making Junsu pout and Yoochun laugh.
“But… hyung, what about you?” Junsu asked.
Jaejoong felt a pang of pain hit in right in the gut, but tried to push it away from his thoughts, telling himself that it was stupid to feel that way.
“I’ll be fine… it’s not like I haven’t spent Christmas Eve by myself in the past. So don’t worry about me and get out of my sight, you two overly mushy lovebirds…” Jaejoong mumbled, doing a “shoo” gesture with one hand.
“Alright…” Junsu said uncertainly, knowing that he could never argue with his older brother because the man would always find a way to persuade him to do what he wanted him to do.
“Yeah, don’t worry about your hyung… I’m sure he’ll enjoy his night… in a totally unexpected way…” Yoochun said with a wink and making Junsu cock his head to the side in confusion.
“What do you mean, Chunnie-ah?”
Giving him a quick peck on the lips, Yoochun said, “That’s for Jaejoong-hyung to find out. Now let’s go before the fried chicken I bought for you gets cold.”
As the couple bid their farewells and exited the restaurant, Jaejoong sighed and walked into the change room to grab his belongings.
Every year it was like this… spending a cold Christmas Eve by himself.
It wasn’t that he wasn’t attractive, because he knew he was, given that he got hit on practically four times a day and got scouted daily by people whilst walking down the street.
The real problem lay with Jaejoong himself… he just couldn’t find the time to get himself a boyfriend. In fact, it was more like he just didn’t feel like anyone truly caught his attention enough to actually consider starting a relationship.
Except for Changmin…
Jaejoong shook his head at the thought, chuckling bitterly to himself.
He probably just finds talking to me and coming every night here as a good way to pass time… and not because he is attracted to me… I shouldn’t over think things too much… Jaejoong thought to himself as he made sure that all the stoves had been turned off and the doors had all been locked.
He was so caught up with his thoughts that he didn’t hear the sound of footsteps coming from behind him until a pair of cold hands found their way around Jaejoong’s head, covering his eyes.
“Wha—“ Jaejoong gasped, then turned around to a smiling Changmin, his heart beating fast as snowflakes drifted down from the sky and fell around those uneven eyes that Jaejoong had come to love seeing. “Wait, Changmin-ah, why are you still here?”
Tilting his head to one side, Changmin said, “Well, there’s no rule that says I can’t be here, right?”
Taken slightly aback by the question, Jaejoong nodded and said, “Um, right… but…”
“Here.” Changmin said, suddenly holding out a bouquet of red roses that he had been hiding behind his back and smiled.
Eyes widening at the flowers, Jaejoong’s mouth dropped open in surprise.
Looking up at Changmin, he said, “Wha—these… they’re for me?”
Chuckling, Changmin said, “Well, I don’t see anyone else here but you… and if you read the card inside, I’m pretty sure you’ll find your name written on it…”
“Mmm… well, there are several reasons ‘why’… like, how I’ve always wanted to thank you for being there for me when I needed someone the most… or how every time I drive past the flower shop and see red roses, I think of you… in fact, I think about you no matter what I do… to an extent in which you fill every corner of my mind…” Changmin said sincerely, looking deeply into Jaejoong’s shock-filled eyes.
Seeing Jaejoong’s speechless expression, Changmin scratched his head and looked down at his feet.
“I know that this may sound quite sudden and ridiculous to you… but I can no longer control my feelings anymore… every time I see you, my heart feels like it will jump out of my chest… Although you may feel disgusted by this and probably never want to see me again… I thought I should at least tell you how I feel… and that I love you… however, if you don’t accept this humble heart of mine, you won’t have to worry about it becoming awkward between the two of us… because I’ll never show my face in front of you again… Also, I’ll apologize for ruining your Christmas—”
Before Changmin could continue, Jaejoong had already wrapped his arms around the man’s waist, holding him tightly.
It was now Changmin’s turn to be surprised as he looked down at the blond.
“There is no need to apologize… because you haven’t ruined my Christmas… in fact, you have made me the happiest man on Earth tonight...” Jaejoong said into Changmin’s suit, breathing in the man’s familiar cologne and smiling.
“Wait… does that mean that you’re…?”
“Pabo…” Jaejoong whispered. “Could you not tell that you’re the only customer I ever attend to? Do you think I’d do something like that for someone I don’t like?”
After a moment of silence, in which the snow continued to drift down from the inky black night sky, Changmin laughed, drawing Jaejoong closer to his chest and smiling.
“Well then, what say you serve this customer for the rest of your life? Hmm?”
Jaejoong looked up at Changmin as the man reached into his pocket and withdrew a red heart shaped box, opening it up to reveal a beautiful diamond ring that was probably the size of a grape.
Looking from the ring to Changmin and back, Jaejoong gaped, unable to believe the surprises that the man was giving him tonight.
“What? Was that not sincere enough? Well, no worries, I prepared for that too…”
Letting go of Jaejoong, Changmin got down on one knee, holding the ring up whilst looking into the blond’s eyes.
Clearing his throat, Changmin said, “Will you, Kim Jaejoong, take me, Shim Changmin, as your beloved husband… cooking for all his three meals and feeding his desires at night, whether it is at the dinner table or in bed?”
Laughing out loud, Jaejoong blushed then nodded, a glimmer of tears sparkling at the corner his eyes.
Upon seeing such a response, Changmin cheered loudly and lifted Jaejoong up in his arms, kissing the blond passionately; the cold winter night not having an affect whatsoever on the warmness that now filled their complete hearts.
A/N: It's been so long since I have written some JaeMin (or written any fanfic for that matter..). Anyways, hope some of you enjoyed reading this and wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! ^^ Comments are ♥ (and greatly missed!)