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16 March 2016 @ 07:36 pm
Presque Vu 1/?  
Presque Vu
by lilylilym.
Minhoon. PG13. Romance. Slice of life. AU. 1/?
Summary: Seunghoon works part time at a coffeeshop to save up for college fund. Minho works part time across the street in a book store in exchange of free art materials and supplies to pursue his dream as an artist. They go on their lives as strangers, both carrying a seething feeling that soon they are going to encounter something magical.
Notes: See the end of the fic.
+ + +

1. January 11th, 2016.

Cafe Clair de Lune

“Here I come.” Lee Seunghoon stops infront of the gate for a few seconds before reluctantly open it while shaking his head. The door is heavier than usual, and this might have been the first time he ever sets foot into the coffeeshop before noon. An unfamiliar smell of wet grass and humid soil from the garden welcomes him, as he opens the door to the patio section. He sighs and changes into his uniform – black shirt, black pants - before looking for the tools and start cleaning.

Lee Seunghoon normally doesn't do morning shifts. Early mornings don't do Seunghoon either; all they ever have in common is acknowledging that the other exists with or without their paths collided. For the last ten years, every morning, without an exception, the moment the first sunlight hits the crack of the windows is when Seunghoon pulls the curtains, puts on his eye mask and ear plugs, and jumps the bed. Like a streaking clock, he doesn't miss one second. Until today.

"I'm sooooo sorry hyung. I would never, and I really mean it, you know how much I respect your lifestyle. If any I'm the one that understands it the most, hyung." His co-worker, Nam Taehyun's phone call at five in the morning arrives merely 5 seconds before Seunghoon puts on his ear plugs and wanders the land of dream. Mutual friends always talk about how lucky Taehyun is in life, but Seunghoon never really thinks much about it. Luck is either coincidental, or more often than not, based on good looks. Young, fresh, with sparkling eyes and soft skin, of course Taehyun has to be lucky. Strutting through life looking like he is, the universe might as well bless him with rose petals following his steps everywhere. The point is, (1) Seunghoon knows Taehyun is said to be lucky but (2) he is skeptical, mostly because he doesn't believe in luck however (3) that boy makes a phone call right on time Seunghoon calls it a night and (4) if he is just 5 seconds late his call would go straight to voicemail thus (5) maybe after all Taehyun is lucky for real and (6) it means that Taehyun is both extremely good looking and lucky as hell and (7) that makes Seunghoon very not-pleased about virtually everything that is happening at the moment.

"What now, spill it." Seunghoon yawns. Twenty bucks Taehyun is going to ask him to take on the morning shifts so the little handsome fucker can go to some handsome places doing his handsome things.

"I need you to cover my morning shift today..." Taehyun's voice doesn't even sound any different from that in Seunghoon's thoughts. He could try a little harder is exactly what Seunghoon thinks right now.

"20 bucks."

"What?" Taehyun asks back.

"I just bet against myself and won 20 bucks is what's up. I just played myself, Taehyunnie. I had to make a bet with my own self because you over there are disrupting my sleep and conspire to make me go to work in the morning." Seunghoon says without missing a beat. "I have an imaginary 20 bucks to start my day with what's good?"

"I swear I would never do this if I have a choice. Do me a favor this time, hyung?" Taehyun begs. The pretty boy never begs, so Seunghoon reconsiders right away. "I will make up to you when I'm done though!"

"How, little prince? How is hwangja going to make it up for this peasant?" Seunghoon slightly chuckles.

"I will bring you a birthday cake tonight!" Taehyun says, eager voice and all, totally not expecting an utter silence in response. "...hyung?" He asks again, bit nervous this time, after a long minute of nonresponsive Seunghoon.

"Right, I will take care of your shift. Go do your thing." Seunghoon quickly says and hangs up the phone before Taehyun can ask any further question.

January 11th 2016. A Monday morning for the first day of the age 24. Several beginnings all at once, it's worth it to be awake for once. Even though Seunghoon has not been thinking of his birthdays, not in the last four years at least.

He swipes across the screen to look at the time. It's 5:30 am, the first shift starts in an hour and thirty minutes, and if he wishes to look like he hasn't just made a round trip to hell and back, he better jumps to the shower and start grooming himself extra carefully now.


Presque Vu Bookstore


"Good morning, welcome to Presque Vu." A bright, loud, and cheerful voice greets the customer as soon as she walks in the door. She looks aside to see the book keeper smiling widely, showing his perfect white teeth and tender eyes.

"Morning. How are you.” The customer shyly greets back as she walks through the reception table into one of the aisles.

"All same, all same. Let me know if you have any question." The book keeper speaks after her while pulling the drawer out to get his uniform. He sighs as he puts on the dark green waist apron and pins his name tag on the side of his shirt. "Song Minho" - the tag spells. Another day, another five hour shift. Minho still hasn’t gotten used to interacting with people so early in the morning, but if he opens at seven, he could get out by noon, and the rest of the day would so be his. For the limited freedom to do whatever he wants, Minho can deal with this. He often tells himself – but not enough – because everytime he looks down at the uniform on his hand, he wishes he were somewhere else.

It isn’t because of the job itself. Minho loves books. He grew up in a family that shares the love of reading. He practically learned how to spell through classical novels (and some other books hid carefully behind all the serious books that his mothers like to read when no one is around. She still doesn’t know he found and read them since he was ten years old – and he still doesn’t understand why she thinks she needs to hide them. They were just about an angel who traveled through many lands and oceans and met many types of people, from Morrocan King to French royal-turn- Mediterranean pirates).* His favorite book was The Gadfly, by the Italian author Ethel Lillian Voynich. He decided to finally read it after the thousandth time his mother teared up while telling him how, Dear Jim – she spoke in English, is the one phrase that got her agree when his dad proposed. The story is a little heavy for a twelve year old, but his mother looked the other way when seeing him sneaking out the book from her room. He finished reading it in one sitting, right before school. And when he arrived to class that day, he was already a changed man – looking around those tiny little childrens who argued about car toys and snacks gave him a strange sensation. These kids, he thought to himself, they go on and live their little lives, not knowing anything about the revolt in Italia against Austria in 1840. They don’t know how Arthur dies and breaks Padre’s heart (**).He kept that image with him like a proud secret he wouldn’t share with just anyone, felt as though he had felt all the tears Arthur must have swallowed during those days when he changed himself and wrote against the God he so loved. Minho thought about Arthur a lot, grew a little distrustful when he prays in church, and stayed a little distant from his peers.

“So, how did you like The Gadfly, son?” A few weeks later, after he had spent most of his time drafting letters to Arthur, his mother asked him during dinner. “Isn’t it great? Dear Jim, that line still gives me goosebumps.”

“Where was it again?” Minho genuinely asked in doubt, and his mother got so mad. “I can’t believe you read the whole book and don’t remember that part.” She wouldn’t calm down, not until his father kissed her by the cheeks and caressed her back, laughing heartily, “Sweetheart, why are you mad at your little son? He probably didn’t understand that book. You shouldn’t have let him read it.”

Minho ate his dinner in silence. All he could think of was how Padre’s given Arthur up for power and Arthur’s death literally broke his heart. Who cares about Gemma.


Cafe Clair de Lune


Seunghoon hums a little song while cleaning up the outside table sets in the patio. When his body gets less grumpy about day light and chilling air, it doesn’t feel all that bad. A good thing about morning shifts which he rarely has the chance to appreciate is that customers don’t generally stay for too long. The line gets crazy at seven thirty, when everyone is willing to kill off everybody else to be served first, but then he can chill a bit after eight thirty. Not when customers try to get their to-go coffee to work though; people need their caffeine, and Seunghoon can sympathizes - but he chooses not to, because (a) customers are also human beings who dread mornings so their grumpiness is excessive and (b) they for sure don’t tip as much as when they are out on dates and need to impress their companies and (c) Seunghoon isn’t paid enough to smile at strangers who don’t smile at him but won’t give tips if he don’t go out of his way to make them feel special. Give your mother a call if you want that, if anything fails she will still tell you that you’re the most special. Seunghoon almost writes on one of the bills and gives it to the guy who orders one small coffee but take two tables for himself and complains the whole time that the Wifi doesn’t work. He restrains himself successfully, but almost regrets five seconds later after realizing that the dude (ugly at that) leaves him one thousand won for tips. Like wow. A thousand won, what to do with such amount. Seunghoon tries to come up with a list when he aggressively cleans the table, and it makes out to be one piece of rice cake, one sugar cube that you usually get for free if you have five thousand wons to buy the whole cup of coffee, maybe a key chain. You know what one thousand won can get? Not college fund.

Talking about college fund. It’s been two year since he left Busan for Seoul, Seunghoon has been working so many jobs so he can afford college. Sometimes it makes him wonder if he should have stayed and worked at home so he can save up the rent – because boy, the money eats itself. He rarely gets the time to study for college entrance anymore, so there’s that imfamous catch-22 situation that people love fantasizing about. If he works all the time, he can get enough money; but if he doesn’t study, he won’t get in. But he left Busan with the heart of a twenty year old who strives for new air and new life; he was sick of the life, good life even, he had back home where nothing ever happens, so here we are.

Seunghoon picks up something from the ground. Someone left a newspaper, rolled up and tied neatly under the chair. He was going to throw it to the trashcan, but decided not to. There is no customer left, so Seunghoon gets a bit of a break. He spreads out the news paper and flips through a few pages, skimming through the weekly column. Something catches his eyes. The daily horoscope on the bottom of the page. Don’t ask if Seunghoon believes in horoscope, or as a matter of fact, any of the fortune telling thing. But then Nam Taehyun, the lucky little bastard who was supposed to be here today, always read horoscope and maybe that’s the reason why he got things his way?

"Do you know the word Presque Vu?” – Seunghoon reads the first sentence aloud in a dramatic voice. “No I don’t.” He answers, humbler voice this time. “But I also don’t know another six thousand five hundred languages so what’s good.” He then reads through the rest of the paragraph. Very similar to the “tip of the tongue” sensation – it is the strong feeling that you are about to experience an epiphany – though the epiphany seldom comes. - Weekly Horoscope for Aries, Capricorn. February 2016.

Seunghoon hates to admit that he knows he’s a Capricorn – but as usual, he blames everything on Taehyun, so yes, this column is for him. It doesn’t say he’s gonna get rich by the end of the week, so he probably should stop caring. But then one thing bugs him. Presque Vu, where have I seen this word?

Seunghoon tilts his head in doubt, and when he looks up, his eyes catch something across the street. On the sign of what seems to be a bookstore, it says “Presque Vu.” Seunghoon slightly shakes his head, laughs to himself and heads back through the main door. For some reasons, he cut the piece of horoscope column and puts in his wallet.


Notes:
(*) The referenced series is Angélique, 13 French historical adventure books by the novelist duo Anne and Serge Golon. The genre involves adult themes and semi-explicit sexual scenes, written in complicated and suggestive language about the adventure of a very beautiful young French woman in 17th century who married into royalty but her life turned upside down by political schemes, requiring her to travel all over Europe to Mediterrane, to Africa and the Americas. At his age Minho thought her name, Angelique, is literally an angel, and that the adventures she had was all funs and game. He also doesn’t understand the sexual scenes.
(**) I just spoiled the whole plot of the Gadfly to you here, but if you haven't had a chance to read this book, it's a classic. If you look it up in Wikipedia, it doesn't do justice to how beautifully heartbreaking this book is, so don't. Here's a free pdf to anyone who wants to get to know Minho in this fic: link

I just started writing this fic and can't promise when I will update but I will continue. For all the Minhoon stans that I failed with my terrible, heartbreaking, cruel fics I'm sorry yall.
 
 
 
make happiness a habit ♥yunsias on March 17th, 2016 04:43 am (UTC)
LOL
make happiness a habit ♥yunsias on March 17th, 2016 05:01 am (UTC)
HAHA I'M JUST KIDDING.

It's just the first chapter and I already love everything ;; I'm going to be honest and say that I love Seunghoon in here more than Mino. There's something about him that is really relate-able, from the avoidance of anything that has to do with his birthday (because isn't it true? The longer we live or the more deadened we feel inside, the less joy our own birthdays give to us) to the way he gets amused by the smallest random things, like the weekly horoscope and the coincidence with the bookshop that Mino works in (*squeals*).

I should be gushing about Mino more (BECAUSE FUCKING WORKING IN A BOOKSHOP AND LOVES BOOKS) but sadly I don't feel anything for him here :( except the fact that a book changed his whole outlook on life and himself.

Write more spring gentle things, LY :)))))))))))))))
lilylilym: necklilylilym on March 17th, 2016 06:11 am (UTC)
I thought you are trolling me and my headache wasn't appreciating that lmao
But yeah the part about mino wasn't very telling yet, it was supposed to be funny and letting readers know how dramatic he is as a child. Also gay as fuck because he has a crush on Arthur and he didn't even realize that the books his mothers hid were heterosexual smut :)))
sparkb: ksoosparkb on April 6th, 2016 06:59 am (UTC)
I always check your LJ once in a while and glad that you start a new fic! Love your work and your way with words. And I already can feel the angst that prob will happen in the future 💞💞 Thank you Lily!
lilylilymlilylilym on June 2nd, 2016 11:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you for liking this, I wanted it so bad to not be angst haha!