Cleaving the Rough
by Rana Eros

Finally, one from Myungja. You can thank Eliza if it works. You can also thank her for encouraging titles like this.

The problem with pretending not to be fluent in Japanese is that you get asked the same stupid questions as always, but the questions are in two languages, with subtle variations of phrasing that only emphasize how inane they are. Then there's the fact that you can't correct the translator when she takes liberties with the phrasing of everybody's answers, because you're not supposed to know the difference. It's a good thing Myungja has the "smile and look cutely confused" thing down cold; honest facial expressions would have given him away by now.

Of course, there's always the possibility Minhyun will give him away, but he's betting Min's investment in being the "smart" one will continue to work in his favor. Let Min and leader-sshi shoulder that responsibility; Pantheon's Jaja's got too much flirting to do. Especially now that he's in the same city as Akai Ito.

Minhyun gives him a not-so-gentle nudge in the side that means, "Pay attention, hyung." He keeps smiling as he kicks at Minhyun's shin, where interviewer, translator, and camera crew can't see. He is paying attention, precisely the right amount for someone who doesn't understand the language. Though honestly, it's not like they can't all predict the questions. Dream girl, favorite sport, sleeping positions. Who's the cutest, who works the hardest, who looks funniest when he wakes up. It's gratifying that they all point to him as the cutest, except Daewoong, who predictably points at Jeongsook. Myungja himself points at Minhyun, just to piss Min off.

Minhyun retaliates by trying to kick him, but he swivels slightly on his chair and smiles his "You have to learn to stop telegraphing your moves" smile. Minhyun narrows his eyes, then remembers they're doing an interview and widens them again. Chinsung must have glanced back and caught the transition, because he doubles over with a suspicious-sounding cough. While the translator and interviewer flutter at him with, "Are you well, Chinsung-san?" and Daewoong leans down to make sure he's okay, Myungja and Minhyun unite momentarily in a triumphant look. At which point Minhyun kicks him.

Damn fast learner.

Myungja smiles, looks cutely confused, and plots his revenge. Maybe asking Daewoong to make pancakes for breakfast, though Minhyun might take that as an all-out declaration of war. Myungja would have to flee the apartment for his own safety. He makes a note to hunt down Akai Ito's address once the interview is over, just in case. It would be tragic to find himself wandering the streets of a strange city, eluding his bloodthirsty dongsaeng; surely Aoki-sshi would take him in.

Oh, there's a nice image.

He embellishes on it for the rest of the interview. He's just getting to the part where he has to coax Kurosagi-sshi into letting him stay, mostly by means of body language, when the interviewer starts to wrap things up. While Jeongsook gives the "thank you for having us" speech, Chinsung leans back casually, his sweater brushing Myungja's knees. Myungja drops his hands to Chinsung's shoulders at the subtle request, and considers that Minhyun might take advantage of his absence to reveal his proficiency to the rest of the band. Not to mention that Akai Ito, much as they might like having him around, would surely encourage him to patch things up with Minhyun, for the good of Pantheon. So messing with Minhyun's food supply is out.

Jeongsook finishes his speech, and the rest of them bid the interview team farewell. As they prepare to leave, Chinsung moves out from under his hands with clear reluctance. Myungja smiles in a way he makes sure Minhyun can't see. One method of revenge may be out, but he knows someone who can help him come up with a number of satisfactory others.


Dong Bang Shin Ki
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