Yun Ho walked into the restaurant to get the guys to come out and assemble outside the van. The bumping sounds coming from within the van got louder and louder. It seemed that Yoo Chun was slamming himself on the door, trying to attract attention of would be passersby.
“Ready?” Ee Teuk asked the rest. He banged on the door loudly before opening it to warn Yoo Chun, in case Yoo Chun decided to slam against it when they opened it.
“Yah!” Dong Hae yelled at Yoo Chun for good measure, just to scare him a little more.
Jun Su reached forward and pulled off the blindfold. The moment Yoo Chun could make out the faces of the group of guys standing in front of him, his eyes widened, and his face paled in shock.
“Saengil chukhahaeyo!” the guys yelled as Jun Su pulled off the tape plastered across Yoo Chun’s mouth.
“Ya… Yah! Michoso?” he yelled at them.
“Is this a great prank or what?” Jun Su asked him, as he patted him on the back. “Saengil chukhaheyo!”
“Did anyone get a photo of his expression?” Ee Teuk laughed.
“I did,” Sung Min said as he held up the camera in his hands.
“This is so not funny,” Yoo Chun said, and he still hadn’t smiled.
“Hwanajima,” I said as I went to stand beside him and rubbed his back affectionately.
“My body hurts like hell now,” he complained as he rubbed his arms. “I was slamming myself on the door trying to get attention.”
“Chintcha appuh?” Hee Chul asked him, and started to massage his arms.
“Ah, twaeso…” he said as he shrugged Hee Chul off, and got out of the van.
Everyone was silent. We must have really ticked him off this time. Maybe we did get a little carried away with the kidnapping scheme.
“Yah…” Jun Su said as he put him arm around his shoulder. “Hwanaseo?”
“Pabo,” he said, and he laughed, then the rest of the guys sighed in relief, and laughed along.
“For a moment, I thought you weren’t gonna forgive us,” Dong Hae said.
“As long as dinner’s on you guys… I’ll try to forget what you did to me,” he smiled cheekily.
“Araso,” Jun Su laughed. “Let’s go in,” he said and the guys followed behind the two of them.
“Sierra-sshi,” Jae Joong called out, and I turned to look at him.
“Jae Joong-sshi,” I giggled as he put his arm around me.
“How was your day?” he asked me as we walked behind the rest, towards the restaurant.
“It was okay,” I said.
“A little,” I said. “How was yours?” I asked him.
“As usual,” he said, and he leant down to give me a quick kiss.
The tables were already covered with food when we entered the restaurant. The guys must’ve come pretty early and ordered all the food. I sat down beside Han Kyung and Jae Joong sat beside me. They’d pushed Yoo Chun to the head of the table, and Jun Su sat beside him.
“You know… if someone wanted to put SM out of business now, they’d blow up this restaurant,” Sung Min laughed.
“Then we shouldn’t meet like this… in such a huge group,” Shin Dong said.
“And miss out on the good food?” Chang Min piped up with his mouth full. “No way!”
“Anyway… what makes you think SM would be out of business without us?” Si Won said. “We’re not all here.”
“Who else is missing?” Ryeo Wook asked as he sipped his soju.
“Skye and Shoei,” I reminded them.
“Oh… right. They could continue without us,” Sung Min said. “They’re pretty popular now anyway.”
“Yea… I see the future,” Yoo Chun said. “They’ll be the kings of SM Entertainment.”
“But without Sierra, they’ll be like Fly to the Sky II,” Dong Hae said.
“Still works… as long as they sell,” Yoo Chun said.
“What? Are you thinking of retiring already?” Yun Ho asked him.
“Aniya… we’re just talking about ‘what ifs’,” Yoo Chun said as he picked up a bean sprout with his chopsticks and slurped it into his mouth.
“That’s gross,” Chang Min said.
“What?” Yoo Chun grinned, and picked up another bean sprout.
“Here,” Jae Joong said as he placed a piece of kalbi on the piece of lettuce on my plate.
I smiled at Jae Joong, wrapped the piece of meat up in the lettuce and put it in my mouth.
“Hyung… I want one too,” Jun Su whined.
“Chamkan,” Jae Joong said as he flipped a piece of meat on the hot plate.
“Na tto,” Chang Min piped in gleefully. “Wrap it for me.”
“Andwae… andwae!” I said as I grabbed Jae Joong’s hands away from the hot plate. “You guys cook your own kalbi!”
“Sierra! You should share Jae Joong. Why are you being so selfish?” Hee Chul said.
“Andwae… andwae… Jae Joong is mine and mine alone,” I said, and the guys groaned at my syrupy voice.
“Chagiya…” Jae Joong said as he turned to me. “You’re starting to freak me out.”
The guys burst out laughing when he said that and I just looked down and pouted.
“Miweo,” I said.
“Hwanajima…” Jae Joong laughed as he put his arm around me. “I love how you freak me out,” he said, and the guys started making gagging sounds as I looked up and smiled lovingly at him.
“Chagiya… aaa,” I said as I held a piece of kalbi wrapped in lettuce leaf in front of his lips, and he opened his mouth so that I could feed him.
“You two are horrible,” Ee Teuk laughed.
“Jealous?” I smiled. “I know you want one,” I said as I waved another wrapped kalbi in front of his face. “You want it? You want it?”
“I’ll have it,” Yun Ho said and I handed it to him.
“There are only 2 people whom Sierra treats well here,” Hee Chul said. “Jae Joong and Yun Ho.”
“She treats me pretty well,” Han Kyung said.
“You’re Chinese,” Hee Chul said. “You don’t count.”
“Then rephrase your statement to ‘there are only 2 Koreans whom Sierra treats well here’,” Han Kyung said.
“Aishii…” Hee Chul said as he threatened to throw a piece of cucumber at Han Kyung while the rest of the table laughed.
“He has a point,” Si Won said.
“You don’t count either, since you’re like half Chinese already,” Hee Chul said as he stuck out his tongue at Si Won.
“Hee Chul onni…” I said deliberately, “ani… oppa,” and he glared at me.
“What?” he said in a falsetto voice.
“Why do you care who I treat well? Why do you even keep track?” I asked him, and Eun Hyuk snickered.
“I’m not keeping track. It’s just one of the obvious things about you,” he said.
“Are you sure?” Sung Min said, then quickly looked down and started slurping his soup.
“Sung Min…” Hee Chul called out sweetly.
“Ye, hyung?” Sung Min smiled and batted his eyelashes.
“Yo!” Jun Su exclaimed, breaking up the staring match. “Time for miyeokkuk!”
Miyeokkuk or seaweed soup is always served during a person’s birthday, and as usual, the guys made it extra special.
“Oi!” Yoo Chun exclaimed as Ki Bum dumped soy sauce and ground red pepper into the soup while the others added in a piece of each of the side dishes available at the table. “I’m not drinking that! You want me to die?”
“No one has died before,” Chang Min said, as if to reassure him, before adding, “but you might be the first.”
Yoo Chun grimaced as the bowl of now unrecognizable soup was placed in front of him.
“Looks more like kimchi jjigae now,” Jun Su said.
“Yummy…” I laughed.
“Drink up!” Shin Dong said.
“Can I just pay for the meal instead?” Yoo Chun said. “I’d rather pay for everything than drink that bowl of…”
“Gunk?” I offered.
“Yea,” he said as he wrinkled his nose.
“No… everyone has always drunk theirs. You’re not getting out of this,” Chang Min insisted, remembering his own ordeal with miyeokkuk during his birthday.
After much egging and persuading, Yoo Chun picked up the bowl and brought it to his lips.
“Micky Yoo Chun, Micky Yoo Chun,” we chanted as he started drinking it.
“Pick up those bits,” Jun Su said when he had finished the soup.
“Ye…” Yoo Chun said, and he started picking up the bits of food left in the bowl and putting them in his mouth.
“Eww…” I said.
“It’s actually not too bad,” Yoo Chun smiled as he finished and wipe his mouth with a piece of tissue paper.
“Sure…” I said. “Whatever you say…”
It was close to 11pm when we left the restaurant. Ee Teuk, being the eldest, paid first and we’d split the bill and pay him the next day.
“Thanks guys,” Yoo Chun said on the way home.
Jae Joong was driving and I sat in front. Chang Min was behind me, Jun Su behind Jae Joong, both asleep, and Yoo Chun in the middle, still awake, probably from the miyeokkuk. Yun Ho had to send some of the other guys home since they had to send the van back to its owner.
“No problem,” I said.
“The whole kidnapping thing was pretty ingenious,” he laughed softly.
“I bet you had the shock of your life,” I said.
“I seriously thought I was a goner,” he said as he leaned forward and sort of squeezed himself between Jae Joong and my seat.
“Well, at least now you know how people feel when their kidnapped,” Jae Joong said.
“Yes… I shall be very sympathetic from now on,” he laughed.
“You okay?” Jae Joong asked me when he saw me leaning back and closing my eyes.
“Me and soju will never mix,” I laughed.
“You and any alcoholic beverage,” Yoo Chun said.
“Right… and it’s not a bad thing,” I said.
“It’s bad…” Yoo Chun laughed. “Cos Jae Joong can never get you incapacitated if you don’t drink.”
“Now why would I do that?” Jae Joong said.
“Yea… why would he?” I asked Yoo Chun, my eyes still closed
“Oops… yea… erm… he wouldn’t,” Yoo Chun said quickly.
“Anyway, if I’m incapacitated, I wouldn’t be much fun to be with,” I laughed softly.
“Ne…” Jae Joong said. “I don’t need a pig for a girlfriend.”
“Ya… who are you calling a pig?”
“I said I didn’t need one. I’m not calling anyone a pig,” he laughed.
The next day, Yun Ho and I had a radio interview on ‘Hot This Second’; an interview I was dreading since Darren was still the DJ together with DJ Seung Ho.
“Sierra,” Darren smiled when I entered the room.
“Hi Darren, hi Seung Ho,” I smiled.
“Hyung,” Darren smiled at Yun Ho.
“Darren,” Yun Ho greeted with a stiff smile.
“Yun Ho,” I whispered, reminding him not to make a big deal out of it.
“Araso,” he whispered back. “Hey Seung Ho,” he greeted, and shook Seung Ho’s hand before he sat down.
“Are we ready?” Seung Ho asked as soon as we’ve settled down. “2 minutes more.”
“1 minute,” Darren said awhile later.
“Annyeong haseyo!” the two of them greeted as we went on air.
“And you’re listening to…” Seung Ho said.
“Hot This Second!” they announced together.