The Semi-Parasitic Plant of Peace and Harmony Strikes Again
by Rana Eros
Totally snuck under Mousie's radar, except for the bit where I had to ask about SPARKLee and she mighta known something was up. Oh, well. Audienced by Eliza, who encouraged the title. I have no idea how widespread my crazy Viking tradition of mistletoes and kissing is in Asia, but trust Chinsung to bring it. With a little help from his
So here's the thing: Chinsung gets some of his best ideas from porn. No, really. Not just dirty ones, either, though of course porn is good for those, especially if one has a partner as flexible as Myungja. Or as tall as Minhyun or Jeongsook. Or as willing to experiment as Daewoong.
Anyway, all that aside, there actually is stuff in porn other than sex. Granted, that stuff is usually setup for the sex, but Chinsung is okay with that. Also, totally brilliant, as this idea will illustrate. Provided international shipping doesn't prevent his packages from getting here before they film the special, and preferably before 5*STAR arrives.
Chinsung turns toward the soft, sweet voice and beams down at SPARKLee's youngest member. "Yes, dongsaeng?"
Kyungri returns his smile, and damn, some days he loves working in the entertainment industry. "I was just down in mailing, and the hyungs there said you have a lot of boxes."
"They're here?" This day is looking up in all kinds of ways. Chinsung hauls the kid in for a one-armed hug. "Thanks, Kyung-ie, and you can call me hyung, you know."
Kyungri's smile gets even bigger, and okay, Chinsung's going to have to remember to wear sunglasses if this kid and Jaja are ever in the same room and amused at the same time. "Thanks, hyung!"
Of course, because the universe likes to make even him work for it sometimes, Chinsung hits the mailroom and opens the first box for inspection just in time to be found by EDEN's Stacy.
"Hey, you," she says, "your stylist is on a ram--ooh, what's this?"
"Nothing," he says quickly, trying to close the box and lean on the top, but she's faster and she's already got one sprig pulled out before he's closed the flap more than halfway.
"Mistletoe?" Of course she recognizes it, she lived in the U.S. about as long as he did. "You ordered a whole box of European mistletoe?"
"Three boxes," he admits, and she grins in that way that all of PSE's other artists have learned to know and fear. A lot.
"Tell me you got headbands."
"Tell me," she repeats in English, "and I'll recruit some people to help hang this, instead of turning your ass in."
He knows she won't, but she also won't stop until she has one of the headbands, and he'd rather she didn't rip it off Daewoong's head. That'll only lead to a lot of swearing and revenge in the form of conspiracy with his hairstylist. He kind of likes not looking like he lost a bar fight with yard tools.
He pushes one of the other boxes toward Stacy as he checks his for the headbands. Naturally, they're in the third box, and he and Stacy have to do some creative maneuvering into a corner to make sure nobody else stumbles across them. Stacy takes the headband off the top, tucks it away in her gold and red boa in a sleight of hand that Chinsung deeply envies, then claps her hands together.
"Okay," she says, "I can get the other girls in on this. I assume you'll herd your bandmates? It's really too bad S.T.A.N.D.U.P. and Girl Power are out of the country, that's like, three hundred people we could have used."
"Hey, now," Chinsung mock-objects. "Two hundred, tops."
She winks at him. "What about the SPARKLee kids? Or did you want to surprise them?"
"We could use them. This is mostly for 5*STAR, kind of a 'welcome to our nuthouse.'"
"Oh, yeah!" She claps her hands again, this time with excitement. "You're going to have to introduce me. And make sure to give that Adachi one of the headbands, he'll know what to do with it."
"I wanted to save some for the special."
"Genius," she declares. "Come on, we'll give those to Erin to hide. Nobody ever suspects her. Then you better see your stylist while I round up Teri and Kayla."
"Think we can get Bisung to run interference with Park-sshi and Sun-sshi?"
"If we get Daewoong to ask her."
"That's what I thought. And I was going to have him text her with the location of each one I hung." Chulshin may be out of the country, but Chinsung wants to stay on Bisung's good side. Her bad side is kind of terrifying.
"Rock on." Stacy raises a sprig above her head, tucked into her hand so nobody but Chinsung can see it. "Kiss for luck, then let's go."
Chinsung's happy to oblige. Stacy's one of PSE's better kissers. She's going to earn that headband.
Turns out, it's really handy to have Stacy on his side. She wheedles a hand trolley out of the mail room guys in record time, then whisks the boxes off to stash some sprigs with Erin while Chinsung copes with his latest costume fitting. He doesn't know why the stylists bother; the costume is not-so-strategically-placed drapery held together with strings of sequins and strips of faux fur, and it's all going to be rearranged just before he goes out on stage, anyway. Myungja will see to that.
"Might need to get your hair looked at too," Baeyeon-nuna says when she's unpinning him. "You're looking a bit shaggy."
Chinsung considers that, then chooses the better part of valor and flees for all he's worth. He nearly runs down Jeongsook, who grabs him by the arm and says, "There you are! Come on, 5*STAR are on their way."
"They're coming? I thought they weren't supposed to come until--" Chinsung checks his watch. "Oh."
Fucking international shipping.
This means he has to step things up. He looks furtively around, then draws Jeongsook into the shelter of a doorway. "Listen, hyung, there's this thing...."
Jeongsook looks, and usually acts, like a responsible, trustworthy adult. He's known throughout the industry for his diplomacy and cool under pressure. He's defused a lot of potentially volatile situations and smoothed out even some of Daewoong's more egregiously outrageous declarations.
He hears Chinsung out, then asks calmly, "Do I get a headband?"
"I had to give one to Stacy to enlist her help," Chinsung hedges, but Jeongsook just shakes his head.
"That's one you can't force on Minhyun, and don't think I don't know that was your plan. I get a headband."
"You get a headband."
"Yeah." Jeongsook checks his own watch. "Let's gather up the others. We've got about half an hour to deck these halls, and I'm betting you want to test-drive a sprig or two."
Chinsung grins, then pulls the sprig out of his pocket that he palmed in the mail room. Stacy's not the only one who can do party tricks. "I was thinking we could start with this one."
Oh, yeah. Jeongsook so gets a headband.
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