Genre: Romance, Angst, AU
Warnings: Time travel, Supernatural-ish, Genderswitch
Summary: Two people from the same world, yet different time, running away from their own world to find something, found each other, instead.
She snapped the newly-washed blue robe and stared at it like it was a murder weapon.
Was this some funny joke or a coincidence?
Cho Kyuhyun, the Crowned Prince Kyuhyun of Joseon, was the one she found? Cho Kyuhyun… Cho Kyuhyun… the infamous Crowned Prince of Joseon who was known for his quite rebellious attitude… it really was him?
Isn’t Kyuhyun the son of King Kyujong? King Kyujong, who was the lead character in the newest drama directed by Park Leeteuk, who was her mentor for her thesis? Did the gods finally decide to shower her with blessings after all the hard work she had gone through while studying to even send a Prince from the past to the present time?
Speaking of past to present, did Cho Kyuhyun use a time travel tablet or something to go to this time? But the man seemed clueless that he was teleported to another timeline. She knew sorceries were common back in Joseon, but was time skip included in their list of powers?
Sungmin sighed heavily. She should be transferred to a mental hospital soon.
The brunette rolled her eyes hearing the meaningful tone her neighbor had used as her morning greeting. The issue last night wasn’t resolved so she knew this would happen.
She frowned as few strands of hair which fell from her bun brushed on her face.
“Good morning to you, too, Lee Sunkyu.” She sarcastically replied as she hung Kyuhyun’s ancient robe on the rope before fixing her bun again. She rarely addressed the younger by her full real name, and when she does, it meant that she’s pissed at her or about anything but Sunny’s just unlucky to be near her. This time, it was both.
Unfortunately for her, the other girl wasn’t fazed by the tone she used and even continued teasing. “Heol, someone’s so grumpy~ did he take you rough last night? He’s handsome, huh! Aigoo, our Lee Sungmin is not innocent anymore!” Sungmin looked at Sunny who was suddenly beside her, her eyes sparkling in mischief whilst waiting for her response. She wasn’t even able to defend herself because the smaller had a follow-up question, “How was last night?”
To Sunny, there was a naughty meaning behind it, but to Sungmin, it brought back the memories of frustration.
“Woman!” Kyuhyun shouted from inside the bathroom. “Have you not prepared a warm bath?!” She rolled her eyes and answered lazily, “Can’t you see there’s no bath tub? And my name is Sungmin!”
Kyuhyun’s exaggerated gasp was heard. “How dare you converse that way to the Crowned Prince?!” Here he goes again with his ‘respect the Joseon Crowned Prince’ campaign which would never work on her. She may have believed that this man indeed came from the past, but she would not tolerate such actions inside her humble home. Her house, her rules.
“Just use the shower.” Staring at a pile of shirts and shorts proved to be more interesting than talking to the arrogant ancient man. It was the first time she was thankful that Donghae was leaving some of his clothes in her apartment. Though, Donghae’s clothes might be short and slightly bigger for Kyuhyun. She should plug in some cotton in her ears for the respectful prince will surely complain.
“How does this function and how do one make use of this?”
There were times that she found Kyuhyun’s ancient way of speaking sexy, but there are also times when she found it annoying, just like this one. Sighing, she pulled out the biggest pair Donghae has and brought it with her to the bathroom. She didn’t bother asking if the man was still clothed since he didn’t even know how to use the shower.
Kyuhyun was standing in front of the showerhead, looking up curiously at it as if it will turn on by just staring at it. She took a deep breath, thinking that she should be more patient for this man was ancient and didn’t know how present stuffs work. But damn, she should tell the man to lower his voice all the time.
She stepped in the shower area and twisted a knob to the right, and cold water sprayed on them, mostly on Kyuhyun. Both of them jumped away; Kyuhyun screamed in panic while she laughed. Honestly, she did try holding back her laughter, but seeing Kyuhyun’s constipated face just pulled the trigger.
Kyuhyun narrowed his eyes at her as he regained his princely composure, his face turning red and his nostrils seemed to be releasing smoke. It only made her laugh more.
“What is the reason for you to laugh?!” The prince’s angry voice echoed in the four corners of the small tiled room. If she felt shivers run down her spine, she didn’t make it obvious. So as not to piss the ancient man more, she bit her lip and tried muffling her laugh. She should have known that princes are short-tempered.
Kyuhyun looked funny in a blue and white striped shirt and green pajama pants which didn’t even reach his ankles.
Aside from the showering tutoring, she was also annoyed when they were debating on where one will sleep. Of course she had prepared the mattress that Donghae usually uses when he’s sleeping over. However, Kyuhyun had argued that he would want to try sleeping on the bed for he hadn’t seen anything like that in their place.
“I am the Crowned Prince! I should be served and therefore should be given the best of treatment!”
“I own this house; therefore, the decision’s on me!”
Still, in the end, she won. Apparently, Kyuhyun found it more comfortable to stay in the mattress than on the bed since he used to sleep on those. Plus, they’re both too exhausted that the moment their back hit the sheets, they immediately fell into deep sleep.
It was just the first night. No one knows how long the prince will stay in this time, and surely, the man will stick to her so she will have to deal more with the royalty’s arrogance and ignorance. And that would mean more headaches.
“Is he good?” Sunny’s teasing question brought her back to reality.
Groaning, she picked Kyuhyun’s undergarment (which she washed while blushing hard) and hit her neighbor’s face using it. Her attack was abrupt that Sunny didn’t have the time to shield her face. Though it didn’t really hurt, the smaller faked a pained expression and nursed her nose.
“How would I know when nothing happened?!” Still, she acted like she hadn’t done anything. Pretending is one thing Lee Sungmin is good at.
Sunny stopped whining and straightened up. “Nothing happened?”
Her mind was still unstable because she just came from her part-time job of distributing milk and newspaper to the neighborhood (and she immediately washed Kyuhyun’s ancient clothes), so she just blurted out whatever popped in her mind before she could control her mouth. “B-Because he’s gay!” Realizing what she just said, she turned to the other side and squeezed her eyes shut. She should explain that to Kyuhyun later.
“He doesn’t look gay…” Sunny mumbled, disappointment evident on her tone.
Sungmin tried looking nonchalant as she hung the cloth on the rope. She just can’t tell Sunny about Kyuhyun. Sunny will make a fuss out of it and tell everyone even if she will be told that it’s a secret. The younger just can’t be stopped when it comes to gossip. Secret is not in Lee Sunkyu’s vocabulary.
“He’s… Donghae’s friend from abroad…” She’s good in lying, anyways. “Hae asked me to take him in while he hasn’t got any place to stay at yet.” Damn, she should tell it to Donghae, too.
“Oh? What’s his name?”
She was about to answer Sunny’s question, but a familiar loud voice was heard from her apartment making her roll her eyes. His Majesty is finally awake, she thought.
“Your friend calls you that?” Sunny asked, her eyes directed to the door. The taller froze on her spot for a while. The door was just beside them so Kyuhyun’s voice was clearly heard.
“I-It’s an endearment!” Sungmin sheepishly answered as she turned the blonde’s body to the back and lightly pushed her towards the stairs. “Now, go, that person is a really reserved person and he doesn’t fancy talking to strangers! Have a good day, mi amiga!” She stayed there, watching Sunny complain and walk down with a pout in surrender. Sunny should be banned from their floor.
Remembering the raging Joseon man, she ran through the slightly narrow path back to her apartment, finding Kyuhyun just coming out from the bathroom, his forehead creasing. Kyuhyun had his long hair to a ponytail.
“In what place did you go to?! What is the reason for you to go missing?! I have been summoning-”
She ignored Kyuhyun’s rambling as she grabbed two mugs and filled it with hot water from the kettle on the stove. “I was just outside the house. I was washing your clothes, Your Majesty.” She was slowly learning how to block Kyuhyun’s complaints in her ears. She glanced at the other male who just woke up.
Her gaze dropped to that weird phoenix necklace on Kyuhyun’s chest and there came that strange feeling again to touch it. She clenched her fists and looked back to the mugs.
“Why were there no responses from you, then?” Kyuhyun was still irritated. He woke up to the sound of two girls arguing and found Sungmin not inside the house. When he summoned for her, she did not even answer. Such a rude servant.
There were light clanking sounds as the female stirred coffee in the mugs. Kyuhyun liked the scent of it.
“Because,” A soft growl from Sungmin’s tummy distracted her for a second. She hadn’t eaten anything since she woke up. It was just after her part-time job that she was able to buy a paper bag of hot bread. “I was talking to a neighbor. You know, the one who barged in last night…”
A bratty retort was expected; however, only the ruffling of the paper bag was heard. Sungmin turned to the other male with curious eyes, smiling after seeing Kyuhyun staring at the bag of bread on the counter. Indeed, the delicious aroma of those fresh hot breads was filling the house.
She gave Kyuhyun the paper bag, earning her a raised eyebrow from the latter even though he took the bag from her. With the mugs on her hands, she walked to the coffee table and placed it there, not needing to see if Kyuhyun followed her; she just knew the man would, judging from the hungry stares the taller gave to the bag.
Kyuhyun sat quietly on the floor peeking in the paper bag. There were freshly-baked round breads inside and the aroma it gives off made him drool. Of course he wiped it immediately after realizing it. What he didn’t know was that Sungmin caught him but decided not to tell it for it was a cute sight.
“Here,” Sungmin pushed the white mug, where Nemo was painted on it (of course, it is Donghae’s), to Kyuhyun, who just looked at her innocently. “You’ll use this in the meantime because this is my brother’s. Do you drink coffee?” It’s as if she will automatically look at the necklace, but thank God, Kyuhyun hid the phoenix image beneath the lapel of his shirt.
“Coffee?” A crease formed on Kyuhyun’s forehead, yet again.
So there was no coffee during the Joseon era yet. Maybe they only have soju, teas and water there. Ah, life there was boring. She should make Kyuhyun drink softdrinks. Sungmin smiled as she lifted the mug up and brought it to her lips. Kyuhyun tried his best not to stare at those bow-shaped lips which caught his attention on their first meeting. “We usually drink coffee to stay awake. I don’t know your drink preference, so I made it just like how I like it.” The brunette almost whispered the last phrase.
Sungmin’s a sucker for sweets. She preferred her coffee with cocoa, milk and sugar. Kyuhyun actually looked like he would like a stronger coffee, but it was safer to make it sweet so Kyuhyun wouldn’t throw the mug if it was too bitter.
The prince looked down at the light brown steaming liquid in the cup. He didn’t know why he wanted to smile at the thought that Sungmin made that for him when it was just Sungmin. Sungmin the rude servant who always gets in his nerves. It was just Sungmin’s coffee.
A bit frustrated, Kyuhyun took the mug and tried drinking on it, only to spit the drink to the side when his tongue was burnt. It was scorching! His tongue was almost numb after drinking it!
Sungmin wanted to laugh. She really was going to warn him that the coffee was hot, but Kyuhyun grabbed the mug too fast, and now he got his tongue burnt. Suppressing her laughter was difficult.
It wasn’t the first time she encountered something like this. Donghae’s like him, somehow; only that her brother was clumsier and Kyuhyun had an alibi because he was ignorant about everything in the modern time. She knew how to deal with this.
Kyuhyun was busy nursing his burnt tongue when Sungmin knelt beside him, her head tilted to the side. He had to blink for several times to remove the thought that she looked adorable. “Stick your tongue out.” What was she going to do? And how dare her command the Crowned Prince? Just because that she’s beautiful, it didn’t mean she could tell him to do anything. He’s still higher in society rank than her.
Seeing as Kyuhyun wouldn’t comply, Sungmin forced the former’s mouth open by pressing on both sides of his cheeks, and pulled his tongue out, earning a loud sound of protest from Kyuhyun who did big gestures with his arms. Immediately, she dipped her thumb and index finger on the sugar jar and sprinkled a small amount of sugar on the affected area on the tongue. Kyuhyun slapped her hand away while glaring at her. Shrugging, she went back to where she was sitting.
It was gross, really gross. Never had she thought she would touch someone’s tongue that way. Donghae complied everytime she tells him to do that, but Kyuhyun just had to be a bitch about it so she was merely forced to do it. It looked like there was no way the other would follow her commands. Kyuhyun had to learn Seoul things the hard way, then.
“That’s sugar. It will help ease the numbness.” She mumbled before lightly blowing on the steaming coffee in her mug.
“Telling me is what you should have done!” Kyuhyun shouted angrily. Sungmin stopped drinking; why hadn’t she thought of that? She could have just told Kyuhyun to sprinkle sugar on his tongue. Why did she have to do it herself? “Have you ever taken a taste of your fingers?!” Kyuhyun shrieked like a school girl groped by a pervert. No one ever dared touch just a single strand of his hair except for his family, yet this woman… this woman pulled his tongue!
Sungmin rolled her eyes and hid her face behind the mug so the man wouldn’t notice her embarrassment. Damn, she couldn’t even look at his face. “Who the hell tastes their own fingers?” She mumbled, still avoiding meeting with the other’s scrutinizing gaze.
One thing Kyuhyun was used to was talking to someone without looking at his eyes. Of course his subjects would talk to him with their heads down as it is a sign of inferiority to him. However, he did not know why he was feeling pissed that Sungmin wasn’t looking at him. But he then realized that he had already tasted the sweetness of the sugar the woman peppered on his previously numb tongue.
“Noona! Wow, bread! Ah, bloody hell, haven’t eaten breakfast yet!” A brunet came barging in the house shouting. The stranger sat beside Sungmin, who acted as if it was a normal occurrence, just eating the bread. His eyes widened slightly as the newcomer casually grabbed the paper bag, picked bread and dipped a small area of it on Sungmin’s coffee.
“And who this intruder must be?” Kyuhyun couldn’t help but make his presence be felt. It was rude that the guy did not pay respect to him when he entered the house. The people in this place were really strange.
Donghae glanced at the grumpy long-haired man, his mouth filled with bread. This must be the person his older sister had told him about last night. He swallowed his food and gleefully asked, his fishy eyes sparkling in interest, “You must be that prince from the past!” Kyuhyun raised an eyebrow at him. Prince from the past? He thought.
Noticing the confused look on the prince’s face, Sungmin explained further, still without looking at him, “He’s my younger brother, Donghae. And yes, Hae, he’s Prince Kyuhyun.”
“Oh my god!” Donghae squealed happily. “I finally met someone from the past! Oh my god, oh my god, noona!” Much to Kyuhyun’s surprise, Donghae crawled towards him and tilted his head to the side the same way Sungmin did. The other was observing him from head to toe. “You may have been wearing my clothes but you still have that old royalty aura… do you really speak in an old way?” Kyuhyun concluded that this man really is Sungmin’s brother. They both talk a lot.
Kyuhyun only frowned at the enthusiastic guy and directed his gaze to the eating Sungmin. “Woman, was I really from the past?” He ignored Donghae’s squeal from beside him. Thankfully, Sungmin finally looked at him.
“You don’t know?” Sungmin inquired. She thought Kyuhyun had an idea that he traveled to another timeline. “You’re in the twenty-first century, Kyuhyun-ssi. This is not Joseon anymore. We’re now South Korea.”
It finally clicked in Kyuhyun. So that’s why the weather and language were the same from theirs, but the places, clothes, and way of speaking were different. Exactly how many years did he skip? If he’s already in the twenty-first century, he must have come from about four hundred years ago.
“We don’t know until when you’re gonna stay in this time, that’s why I called Donghae to help you adjust to how we live nowadays,” Kyuhyun diverted his gaze away from Sungmin’s lips as she explained. He should really learn to stop staring at it. “Be good to him, okay?”
“Why cannot it be you to teach me?” Kyuhyun unconsciously muttered. He’s only comfortable around Sungmin since she’s the first one he met no matter how annoying she could be, and Donghae was worse than her. What he didn’t know was how much that one question affected Sungmin.
The brunette coughed and looked away to hide the blush on her cheeks, “I-I will teach you, too, of course. Donghae will just teach you more because he’s also a male…” She finished her cup of coffee and stood up. “I’ll be heading to the library, Hae, take care of him. Don’t take him out yet.” And then she was gone.
The two males stared at each other before Donghae smiled widely.
Kyuhyun decided he could live in this time. There may have been a thousand things that have changed from his time, but it’s not that bad either. Clothes have lesser layers and are more comfortable. They’re not as extravagant as what they wear in Joseon, though. He discovered that the thing where light goes on and off serves as storage for food so they won’t spoil. Cooking was made easier, but both of them don’t know how to cook so they agreed on waiting for Sungmin. When they get hungry, Donghae will just order for food delivery through that small rectangle Donghae pressed on his ear. The latter said it was called hand phone. He admitted that pizza was the best food he had ever tasted.
Also, that big box where he saw a fornicating couple was called a television and it shows moving images for entertainment. When he told Donghae about that little incident, the man just laughed hard.
Apparently, Sungmin was out to work on that thing called thesis. Donghae explained that it is a requirement for her to graduate in school. He had also decided that Donghae wasn’t that bad at all. He was hyper all the time and he was very helpful in teaching him ‘guy stuffs,’ just like how the man termed it. It was a good thing the brunet didn’t ask him to cut his hair.
Kyuhyun had learned that Donghae and Sungmin are older than him. Technically, though, he’s four centuries older than these two, but Donghae said that just for the sake of keeping his identity a secret and mingling with people, he should call Donghae and Sungmin ‘hyung’ and ‘noona’ respectively. He’s still thinking if he’ll call those two that way because the Lee siblings looked younger than him.
The best part of this time was that computer game Donghae introduced to him named Starcraft. It was confusing and complicated at first, but as they played further, he had grown addicted to it that he was able to beat Donghae for a few times.
Sungmin arrived home at ten in the evening. She thought she could rest immediately as she had a tiring shift at the fast food chain. However, the sight that welcomed her wasn’t relaxing.
Food and drinks were scattered everywhere. The boxes of pizza and plastic cups were found at each corner of the house, used plates are dumped on the sink, and clothes they probably tried on were lying on the bed and on the floor. The TV was left on with no one watching. Worse, Donghae was just sleeping on her bed while Kyuhyun was… playing that computer game on Donghae’s laptop. It caused her blood to boil.
“WHAT THE HELL IS THIS????!!!!!!”
It effectively woke Donghae up and Kyuhyun to stop playing. The two immediately paled seeing her seething expression. Kyuhyun and Donghae ended up cleaning their mess.
Sungmin was standing looking down at the two boys sitting on the floor after cleaning everything. She was just out for a few hours and her house was transformed to a garbage place. She thought she could trust Kyuhyun from dirtying the place, yet the moment his eyes landed on that laptop, he didn’t care about his surroundings.
“Lee Donghae, you know that I hate my place being messy, right?” Sungmin said in a low voice that made Donghae shiver. The younger Lee just looked down with a pout while nodding.
Kyuhyun was a bit shocked that he had helped in cleaning the room, actually. Maybe he did it because he was also at fault, this wasn’t his house, and an angry Sungmin was pretty frightening. For a girl bearing an angelic face, there is a demonic spirit inside her. He understood why Donghae was just so scared of his older sister. But that doesn’t mean that he would let her have her way all the time. But damn, this woman disturbed his game. He was about to win!
“And you,” Sungmin spoke next to Kyuhyun who looked up at her with a raised eyebrow. “I see that you already know how to use a laptop.” There was a challenging look on Sungmin’s face, so Kyuhyun shot back the same gaze at her and smirked. “I can even teach you.”
Donghae thought he saw a line of electricity between Kyuhyun and Sungmin.
Sungmin got out of the bathroom wearing clean sleeping clothes. Donghae was already snoring on her bed, Kyuhyun, on the other hand, was sitting on the mattress with his back facing her. Of course she would choose Donghae to sleep beside her than the arrogant bastard.
Kyuhyun was reading the scroll Monk Park gave him. He didn’t remember bringing it with him just like the necklace. He found it inside his robe when he took a bath last night. It was still a mystery for him as to why these were with him and why Monk Park sent him to the future.
“Does that entail it could be found in this place?” he voiced out his thoughts, not knowing Sungmin heard him.
“What can you find here?” Sungmin asked, causing him to yelp and turn around and glare at her. “What’s written there?” the woman sure do ask lots of things. Shouldn’t he be the one to have many questions?
An idea popped in Kyuhyun’s mind. Maybe Sungmin can help him search for whatever material Monk Park told him to look for.
Maintaining a calm composure, she handed the scroll to the woman seated on the bed while explaining, “I believe the reason for my appearance on your time is that object a monk told me to search for to salvage my family and country. I still do not know if the scribbles on the scroll are connected with this matter.”
“What are you looking for?” Sungmin was staring intensely at the scroll, frowning for she can’t understand the characters.
Kyuhyun sighed heavily. “I do not know. The monk did not lay out specifications.”
“That would be very difficult, then, if you don’t know what you’re looking for.”
“Can you help me?” Kyuhyun asked silently. Both were unaware that they’re staring at each other’s eyes, void of the tension they had a while ago. They were trying to read each other’s thoughts without knowing they’re slowly drowning in the other’s eyes.
The bobbing of Sungmin’s head gave light and hope to Kyuhyun.
Sungmin just hoped her decision was right.