title: Wear me like a brand
pairing: woohyun x sunggyu
summary: an au where your soulmate's name is somewhere on your body. woohyun's soulmate is a Japanese girl.
notes: honestly, the least angsty shit ever.
the name on woohyun is in Japanese. woohyun doesn't read Japanese.
he doesn't remember when the first time he noticed the name was. it just seems like a natural thing – to look at the name or to trace the foreign characters with his fingertips. it seems natural to talk about the name as well. he tells people his soulmate is Japanese and there's something exciting about that, isn't there? to have a Japanese partner.
his friends have told him to search up a Japanese dictionary or something but woohyun thinks that takes the thrill out of everything. and they argue that the point of the name is to know who that person is.
some of woohyun's friends have found the people whose names are on them. howon is the luckiest. he has 'jang dongwoo' on his inner wrist. dongwoo has 'lee howon' across his collarbone. dongwoo's parents and howon's parents are friends and when they found out that their children have the other's name on them, they immediately paired them together. it's a fantastic pairing. dongwoo and howon have never felt like they were forced together because it's just natural for them to be together whether or not they're meant to be in the first place. they've been together since kindergarten.
sungjong has 'chen xueqi' in Chinese characters on the side of his left hand's middle finger. the name is kind of small and sungjong was worried that it meant he could never meet her. but when he was 15 years old, as he was walking home from school, he bumped into a girl who asked for directions. her Korean was poor and she was flustered and she finally broke down, babbling in Chinese. and sungjong kind of knew that she was the one. xueqi has moved from China to study in a Korean university. they have been together since, that's about one year.
only woohyun and sungyeol haven't found their partners yet. the name on sungyeol says 'kim myungsoo'. they know a kim myungsoo but he's famous and gorgeous and he's everything that sungyeol loves to hate. kim myungsoo's a pretty boy who earns a living through his face, which is basically (to sungyeol) selling his body. he refuses to believe that the kim myungsoo is his soulmate. besides, he says, we're never going to meet. sungyeol is one of the few people who don't believe they should let a silly brand on their body dictate who they should be with.
woohuyn, being the only other person who hasn't found his partner yet, agrees with him. but even he knows he can't bluff himself. his fingers are always lingering somewhere above the name; whenever he hears people speaking in Japanese, he'll watch them and consider going over. he's desperate to find the one he's meant to be with.
the only things he knows about his soulmate is that she's a girl and that she's Japanese. his parents have always been excited about the name on him, they think 'the sooner, the better'. his umma went to search up the name in a dictionary and the only reason why she didn't reveal the name to woohyun is because she thinks woohyun is a 'sappy romantic' for wanting to wait for her instead of finding her. the only thing she revealed was that the name belongs to a girl.
which is strange because woohyun finds himself more attracted to boys than to girls. girls are great when they're not noisy or whiny. he likes girls. but he likes boys too. he's never worried about falling in love with boys, though. because his soulmate is a girl. how can he fall in love with boys?
especially not boys who wear thick black square framed glasses, who have puffy cheeks and squinty eyes, who speak like they think they're right all the time, who snatch things rudely, who are taller than him and who listens to outdated rock or bluesy music. woohyun won't even like those traits in girls.
sunggyu is the president of the student council, woohyun is the secretary, howon is the treasurer, sungjong is the public relations manager, dongwoo is the vice-president and sunyeol is kind of the assistant of everything.
woohyun usually isn't the type who volunteers for this kind of responsibility but he really needs something to spiff up his portfolio, which is filled with photographical evidence of his graffiti or vandalism around the school. he still goes around doing graffiti on walls actually, despite his position in the student council. sunggyu has given up trying to stop him.
sunggyu isn't the goody-two-shoes woohyun thought he was before he joined the student council. sunggyu is constantly dozing off in class or playing a lame game on his phone or doodling on the desk. woohyun notices sunggyu likes to write his own name when he doodles. kind of narcissistic, if you asked him. sunggyu doesn't seem like the narcissistic type so woohyun isn't really bothered to ask why he loves his name so much. he talks a lot too, asks a lot of questions when he can't keep up. he's strongly opinionated, which annoys woohyun when there are class debates but thrills the sunsaeng-nim.
the classmate who sat next to sunggyu moved away and a few weeks later, woohyun moved to the seat to sunggyu at the front of the class because the two people in front of him was a couple and they did weird things in class. sunggyu wasn't happy about needing to put his bag on the floor now that he had a tablemate and couldn't put it on his partner's chair.
everyone thinks sunggyu is a good influence on woohyun without realizing that they've been calling woohyun and sunggyu's names out more times in one month than in the whole of last year combined. they talk too much, giggling about shit like the new episode of that new anime or the boobs of one female classmate or the ass of one sunsaeng-nim. they're childish, woohyun will admit that, but it's fun nevertheless. sunggyu is a fun person, nothing like the stick-in-the-mud woohyun expected him to be. and that's why woohyun likes him more than usual, because sunggyu is unexpectedly refreshing and amazing and when he grins sheepishly at woohyun when they're called out by the sunsaeng-nim; or when he plays a game with his tongue peeking out at the corner of his lips even when they're supposed to be punished by standing outside of the classroom; or when he hands woohyun his last pen secretly during a test, woohyun thinks sunggyu is kind of beautiful too.
most of the students think sunggyu is unapproachable. well, he is sort of. whenever someone talks to him about something he isn't interested in, like rain's new album dropping in September, he'll have this glazed off look and it's really obvious he has stopped listening. sunggyu is strict when it comes to important rules, stuff like uniform or eating in class can be looked past, but stuff like bullying can never be tolerated. when it comes to damaging property, sunggyu looks past it too. in fact, sometimes, he takes on the blame for woohyun's vandalisms. woohyun and sunggyu are kind of known to be the graffiti duo even though sunggyu has never used a spray can in his life.
the only time woohuyn saw sunggyu flustered, actually, was when they were in a particularly boring lesson and sunggyu was falling asleep so he took a marker out and started doodling on the tabletop. he drew dicks all over the desk with a black permanent marker. woohyun didn't point out it was a stupid move because he was trying hard not to laugh. then sunggyu grinned at him and moved the felt tip to woohyun's arm.
he wrote 'kim sunggyu' on the back of woohyun's forearm. and when he realized what he'd done after a moment, he dropped his marker and stood up really quickly. the class stared at him as his face turned red. he said he needed to get some wet tissues to clean his desk that woohyun made a mess of. the sunsaeng-nim scolded woohyun and told sunggyu to sit back down. woohyun threw him a betrayed look jokingly because he didn't mind taking the blame for sunggyu at all, to be honest. but sunggyu looked anywhere but at woohyun, face still red and biting his lip.
throughout detention, woohyun was tracing sunggyu's name on the back of his forearm while the Japanese girl's name remained untouched in his inner arm.
sungyeol meets a girl who's tall and loud, just like he is. she plays basketball and she's pretty and friendly. woohyun pretty much likes her and approves of her as sungyeol's girlfriend. but he hates being the only single person among his friends. it won't be so bad if sunggyu hung out with them but sunggyu prefers to hang out with the members of the school jazz band.
sungyeol's girlfriend's name isn't kim myungsoo and the name on her shoulder is not lee sungyeol. but they both don't care. they like each other and they haven't found the person they're supposedly meant to be with so it doesn't matter.
they're adorable together. she steals food from sungyeol's plate and sungyeol steals sips from her drink. they joke around a lot and sungyeol's arm is always around her shoulders while her hand is always on his thigh. they look at each other when they laugh, and they laugh the same way – mouth wide and head thrown back. sungyeol tucks hair behind her ear when her hair falls in front of her face and she wipes stains away from his face when he doesn't notice. they look, in a way, natural, like how dongwoo and howon look together. they're perfect for each other and their names aren't even on each other.
woohyun catches sunggyu's eye from across the canteen. sunggyu is sitting between two band geeks. he grins cheerily at woohyun and waves. woohyun touches the spot where sunggyu's name was two weeks ago. he has the handwriting memorized after staring at it for a week and if woohyun looks long enough, it's as if he can see the outline of sunggyu's name on his arm.
woohyun waves back at sunggyu.
after finding out that woohyun has never watched a Japanese movie in his life before despite watching anime all the freakin' time, sunggyu convinces him to go over to his house for a mini movie marathon. woohyun didn't need much convincing, actually. sunggyu asks the rest of the student council along but it's a friday and all of them have dates or something. woohyun is kind of relieved. he doesn't want to be among cuddling couples. it'll just be awkward for both him and sunggyu.
so it's just the both of them.
sunggyu decides to change out of his uniform right in front of woohyun. he takes his shirt off as he tells woohyun to pick out a movie from the collection on the shelf above his desk. woohyun stares at sunggyu's bare back until sunggyu pulls on a simple t shirt. and then sunggyu takes his pants off and woohyun continues to stare at sunggyu's ass in (fuck) white briefs. he picks a dvd at random just as sunggyu pulls on a pair of sweatpants.
when sunggyu turns around again, woohyun is just looking at him with raised shoulders like he's ready to run away or something. he hands over the movie to sunggyu.
“do you wanna change into something more comfortable too?” he asks. “good choice, this is one of my favourites.”
“i don't have any extra clothes...” woohyun says lamely, shrugging. he's not sure where to put himself as sunggyu crouches down in front of the small tv set that is in front of the bed.
“you can borrow mine.”
“are... are you sure?”
“yeah.” sunggyu pops the dvd into the player and then stands and goes back to his closet. he pulls out a t shirt and a pair of sweatpants decorated with mickey mouse prints. “you're about my size so i think it'll fit you.”
it doesn't fit very well. sunggyu is a little taller and bigger so the pants go pass woohyun's heels and the shirt hangs loosely at his shoulders. sunggyu's clothes smell a little musty and a little sweet at the same time, the same smell woohyun breathes in whenever he rests his head on sunggyu's shoulder in class when he's feeling bored.
“where are your parents?” woohyun asks, sitting next to sunggyu on the futon laid out on the floor at the foot of the bed.
sunggyu lies on his stomach and wriggles around into a more comfortable position. “in a graveyard about 2 miles from here.”
“oh, sorry, i didn't know-”
“it's fine. they died when i was a baby. i have foster parents. they have been taking care of me since i was six.”
that explains why sunggyu never went to their kindergarten. woohyun flops on to sunggyu's back, knocking the wind out of him. sunggyu laughs as woohyun wriggles some more to get into a position where sunggyu's back isn't digging into his ribs. sunggyu starts the movie and eventually woohyun rolls to a stomach-flat position on the futon next to sunggyu, knocking elbows with him.
30 minutes into the movie and sunggyu is moving to grab a pillow from his bed. 15 minutes later, woohyun snatches it from him so sunggyu has to get up and grab another pillow. another 30 minutes later, woohyun grows bored and starts to fall asleep to the scent of sunggyu's shampoo on the pillow, to the warmth of sunggyu's body next to him and to the fast talking from the tv set. and then he hears soft sobbing and blinks to see sunggyu crying and wiping his eyes with his sleeve. woohyun hits him with a pillow. sunggyu shoves woohyun off the futon.
woohyun ends up being the one still awake and crying at the end. and sunggyu ends up being the one snoring slightly and drooling onto his pillow. woohyun lies on his side and then wriggles closer to sunggyu so their bent knees bump. woohyun can still feel the tear tracks on his cheeks. he licks his lips and tastes the salty tears. the music from the credits still rolling on the tv screen lulls him into sleep too. he begins to fall asleep breathing in sunggyu's breath, sunggyu's scent and sunggyu.
and then he jumps awake when he realizes sunggyu doesn't have a name on his body.
sungyeol dates the girl for a month. she dumps him. he doesn't seem broken up about it, just a little bit pissed. woohyun seems to be sadder about their break-up than sungyeol is. he thought they made such an adorable couple. he thought they'd last forever and prove that it was just a name, that it didn't matter that they didn't have each other's names on them.
“she dumped me because she found him.”
woohyun sighs. “i thought she didn't believe a name on her body dictated who she should end up with.”
“yeah, but apparently she felt a connection with him right away.” sungyeol grumbles, scratching the label off the bottle of mineral water he finished. “bullshit.”
“did you feel a connection with her?”
sungyeol pauses. he glances howon and dongwoo, who are competing feverishly with each other over a game of mario kart on their individual iphones, and then at sungjong, who raises an eyebrow at them before his phone beeps, signalling an incoming message no doubt from xueqi because sungjong's face lights up.
“honestly, no.” sungyeol shrugs, tearing away half of the label. “she was fun and sweet and all, but i didn't feel anything much. like... if she left me, it'd be fine. and she has left me and i do feel fine, like nothing has changed.”
“but please don't tell me you're into all this fate bullshit now too.”
sungyeol frowns. “i thought you were into that?”
woohyun thinks about sunggyu and his lack of a brand. he thinks about living with sunggyu for the rest of his life, a little far-fetched and delusional but... it'll be nice, yeah- it'll be nice to live with sunggyu, to share a bed with him and to wrap arms around him, like... like... his entire body will be on woohyun, and not just his name, but his entirety.
“i'm not so sure now.” woohyun shrugs. he dares a glance at sunggyu, who's sitting with the band geeks again. his back is to them today. “y'know, sometimes, this whole brand thing is complete shit. i know why dongwoo and howon are together, it makes sense that they're fated to be together. but then look at sungjong and xueqi – it doesn't make any fucking sense. sungjong has never planned to go to China at all and their whole relationship started from a fucking coincidence, it doesn't make sense but yet they're perfect for each other. what are you laughing at?” woohyun glares at sungyeol, feeling under-appreciated because c'mon, his rant was pretty cool and valid.
sungyeol just smiles and when sunggyu stands and turns around as he stretches his back, their eyes meet. sunggyu smiles and waves. even before sungyeol responds, sunggyu's eyes turn to woohyun. woohyun grins at him, sunggyu grins back. sunggyu holds up a plastic wrapper for his strawberry cream bread. woohyun holds his up, except his is for chocolate cream. their grins widen and then sunggyu is walking away with the band members.
“what's that about?” sungyeol asks, finally ripping off the label on his water bottle.
“nothing.” woohyun says easily, smoothing out his wrapper like it's the most interesting thing on earth. “anyway, about what i was saying earlier-”
“oh, yeah,” sungyeol stands up. “you sound more serious than i am about the whole name-brand thing.” he snatches woohyun's bread wrapper and crumples it into a ball along with the label of his water bottle, cackling when woohyun tries to snatch it back.
the student council room is strangely hard to find. woohyun remembers getting lost on the first day of a meeting and ended up being 20 minutes late and scolded for 20 minutes by the president, kim sunggyu. but at the next meeting, woohyun arrived 20 minutes early and sunggyu 40 minutes late because he was taking a nap in the library and overslept. he broke two rules and none of the council members said anything. sungyeol lasted for 10 minutes before snapping and demanding someone scold sunggyu or he would. no one stood up so sungyeol really did lash out at sunggyu, who gave him a dry look throughout the whole meeting. sungyeol was 5 minutes late for the next meeting and sunggyu continued giving him the dry look until sungyeol bought everyone coffee.
now that the student council is closer, punctuality isn't a big deal anymore so when woohyun strolls in an hour late, sunggyu doesn't say anything, doesn't even look up from his book. he's the only one in the room.
“where's everyone else? hasn't the meeting started? i was finishing up a masterpiece so-”
“the meeting just ended.” sunggyu says. he pushes a folder towards woohyun. “there will be a couple of exchange students from Japan coming over in about two months, take a look at it.”
woohyun's eyebrows raise at the word 'Japan'. he sits next to sunggyu and drags the folder towards himself. sunggyu finally looks at him, his eyes flick to woohyun's arm and then back up at his face. he smiles.
“how many of them?” woohyun asks.
“20 i think, shouldn't be a problem.”
woohyun opens the folder but doesn't read it. sunggyu looks at him and then at the folder and then back at him. he opens his mouth to ask what's wrong but woohyun is leaning in and kissing him softly. sunggyu gasps and backs away, shocked and embarrassed.
“what the fuck?”
“sorry, i just wanted to- fuck.” woohyun turns back to the folder, heart thumping wildly and blood rushing to his ears. his head is swimming and the slightly musky cologne sunggyu is wearing isn't making anything better because all woohyun can think about is putting his head on sunggyu's shoulder and breathing in the scent of sunggyu's soap that's hidden under the layer of cologne. “sorry.”
“hey, hey.” sunggyu jabs woohyun's arm roughly. and when woohyun doesn't look at him, he starts shoving the boy. “hey, look at me.” woohyun swallows visibly and turns robotically. his eyes dart everywhere. “are you saying you like me?”
woohyun finally snaps his eyes to sunggyu. he swallows again and nods. he holds his breath and feels his face blaze hot.
“but that's not my name on your arm. that's a girl's name. it's a Japanese girl's name.” sunggyu pulls the folder towards him and flips to a page. he pushes it back to woohyun. “my name's sunggyu and i'm a boy. and i don't have a brand on me.”
woohyun's voice is unfamiliar and faltering in his ears. “i-i know.” he doesn't want to look at what sunggyu wants to show him and pushes the folder away. “b-but i haven't seen her and i just know that i l-like y-you.” he frowns and takes a deep breath and restarts. “i like you.” he says in a breath. “i like you so much that i'm seriously doubting all this fate shit. i don't think i believe in it any more because in the future i imagine, i love you. we-we're not meant to be in a way but i think we'll be perfect together.” he pauses, feeling mildly proud of himself despite trying not to wet himself too. “i don't know if i will ever meet this girl. i don't know if i will feel something when i meet her. but for now, i swear i feel some sort of connection with you.”
sunggyu looks at him thoughtfully. “my foster parents told me i don't have a name on me because i'm meant to search for my own destiny. i don't know if they're right but y'know if you ever dump me for her, i'll kick your ass.” he grins and his fingers brush the spot on woohyun's arm where his name was before in permanent marker when he leans in for another kiss.
two months later, woohyun meets the girl whose name is on his arm. she's pretty with long black hair and big eyes and a slightly crooked bottom row of teeth like him. she introduces herself as hana fujisaki and when she raises a hand to tuck hair behind her ear, woohyun sees his name in Korean characters on the inside of her arm.
woohyun doesn't stop staring at her throughout the introduction session and she stares back.
“i'll be at the front with sungyeol and dongwoo. woohyun-ah, you'll take the back with howon and sungjong. are we clear?” sunggyu instructs.
“i'll see you later then.” woohyun smiles at his boyfriend and pulls him in for a light peck on the cheek.
sungyeol shoves rudely between them. “please, no p.d.a in front of guests.”
sunggyu laughs. “yah, nam woohyun, keep your lips to yourself.”
woohyun winks at sunggyu as howon and sungjong drags him to the back of the line of Japanese students. the student council has the job of showing the exchange students around the school. they're lined up and chatting among themselves in quick Japanese. when woohyun passes hana, she catches his eye and follows him to the back of the line.
“okay, let's move out!” woohyun hears sunggyu but doesn't see him over the heads of the Japanese students.
when they start walking, hana falls into step next to woohyun, howon and sungjong.
“you're nam woohyun, aren't you?” she asks straight-away in accented Korean.
woohuyn nods. “this is your name, isn't it?” he holds his arm out and shows her the Japanese characters on his arm.
sungjong and howon exchange curious looks and they kind of fall back a step and lets woohyun and hana walk side-by-side.
hana nods. “but you and the president of the student council...”
“we're together.” woohyun nods again. the line stops in front of the canteen. sunggyu talks where the students get their food, he explains that they aren't allowed to eat in classes. woohyun watches him. he makes a mental note to get strawberry bread from the vending machines. when the line starts moving again, sunggyu doesn't move from his spot, which means dongwoo and sungyeol are leading the group. sunggyu catches woohyun's eye and he points at the bread vending machine. “cute, isn't he?” woohyun says, glancing at hana for a moment.
“yeah, he's just my type.” hana says, grinning. she bows slightly when sunggyu looks at her.
sunggyu bows back. he gives woohyun, howon and sungjong a quick wave and then goes back to his position at the front of the line.
“mine too.” woohyun grins back at hana. he turns his arm slightly and shows her sunggyu's name on the other side of his arm, written in black ink.
woohyun doesn't know when hana fujisaki's name disappeared from his arm. but he discovers its absence when he's stretched out on the futon in sunggyu's bedroom, as he's doing homework. he stands and goes over to sunggyu, who's at his desk. he holds his arm out and tells sunggyu to look.
sunggyu takes the earphones out of his ears and blinks. he raises his eyebrows. “yes, your arm hair needs trimming.”
“that's not it, idiot.” woohyun says, he shakes his arm. “her name's gone.”
sunggyu's eyes widen. sunggyu's name on woohyun's arm has been washed away a few days back too. “oh, yeah, it is... does that mean you're blank like me?”
woohyun shrugs, surveying his arm closer. “maybe it means i have your name somewhere on me.”
“you're right. why don't you take your clothes off so we can check?”
“you just want me to take my clothes off.”
“no, who's interested in your abs or whatever? i just wanna check for my name. take your pants off first.”
a/n: i would never mind if you talk to me. i only hope you don't mind talking to me.