Liz, yo (oulan) wrote,
Liz, yo
oulan

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The Claim - Chapters 1 & 2

Alright, based on the poll results in the previous entry, the fic is in high demand. So I decided it's about time to share.

And as a bonus, this entry has two chapters instead of one as I had planned.

A few notes:
This was based loosely around a dream I had one night about halfway through December. Originally it was going to be much more... smutty, rude, and hardcore... but in the end I figured I was being cruel enough to Tony as it was and cut the really risky parts out. Oh, and it is so AU it will make your head spin. Right now I'm about halfway through chapter 14, so there is some catching up to do... hopefully I finish before you guys get to that point.

You can leave comments if you want.


Chapter 1

"Hey, fag!" the amused voice called out as a balled up slip of paper tapped the side of the blonde's head. He turned his face away from the voice, refusing to allow the other man more pleasure in this than he had already achieved. His eyes returned to the book laying open in front of him, his hands smoothing out the front of his uniform.

Laughs erupted around the area the rude call had come from as Tony heard another paper being crumpled up. He sighed. Why couldn't they just leave him alone?

"I said, hey fag!" the voice called again. "Are you going to deny the man you love at least a glance?"

Tony's jaw set as he closed his eyes in embarassment. Much more of this and he would start to cry, he was sure.

It had been just over two weeks ago that he had approached his classmate and expressed his feelings for him. He'd figured he and his classmate had been getting close. They had been friends for years and Tony had figured he'd be well accepted. Even if his friend hadn't returned his feelings, Tony thought that he would at least accept him. But no. It had been two weeks of the worst hell Tony had ever experienced. Not only did everyone now know he was gay, but he had lost his closest friend.

"Dude, he's gonna cry," another voice announced with a laugh.

'Good,' Tony thought, knowing the way his old friend would answer.

"Good," the voice snapped, exactly on time.

'He deserves it.'

"He deserves it, embarassing me like he did."

"I don't know how you stopped yourself from beating his ass down right there. I know I would have killed the little shit."

"I was in shock, dude. Besides, I did hit him... a few times... And if that fairy Kangta hadn't shown up, I would have done worse."

"Hee Jun, Hee Jun," a high pitched, annoying voice piped up, the girl from whom it came from leaning over the man's shoulders. "Maybe you should just let it go?"

"Let it go!?" Hee Jun boomed, standing in his seat. He looked over to where his former best friend was seated and threw the crumpled piece of paper at his head, not even laughing with the rest of his ring of followers when it bounced off and landed on the younger man's desk. "He's lucky I didn't kill him." Hee Jun wouldn't smile, even mockingly when he laid eyes on Tony. The other man had made him so happy before... his best friend... Hee Jun sneered, taking a few steps in the direction of the sulking boy, ready to hit him again.

"Hee Jun, settle down," the teacher ordered as he stepped into the room. "Take your seat so we can begin."

Hee Jun reluctantly sat back down as the other students moved their chairs around to start class. Hee Jun continued to stare at the side of Tony's head as he crumpled up yet another sheet of paper and tossed it at the poor man's head.

Tony pushed his chair back loudly, the legs scraping against the hard floor. He gathered his books up in his arms as he stood, moving around the desk, and walked to the front of the room. He gave the teacher a single glance before walking out of the room. The teacher knew everything that was going on because of how fast rumors spread in the school and while he would never judge his students on their sexual preference, he felt bad that the students weren't accepting Tony for what he was. Four times now he'd allowed Tony to just get up and leave without a word. Tony always made the work up, so he wasn't worried. He'd even offered to talk with Tony if he needed to express himself in any way. He knew Tony had lost a lot of friends lately.

"Are we starting Mr. Lim?" a voice asked as silence fell on the room.

The teacher knocked himself from his thoughts and grinned. "Yes. Now open your books to page 75. We will begin with..."

-----------------------------

Tony rushed down the hall, his books clutched tightly to his chest, his eyes dragging along the off-white floor and tears started to run down his face. He had only just begun running when he reached the front doors, throwing them open and continuing out.

Not five steps through the doors, he ran right into another person, sending them both and all of Tony's books flying.

Tony immediately started to apologize, lifting himself up from the steps promptly. His knee stung and he knew without looking that he'd cut it. He bent down to start picking up his books when a small laugh came from the other person.

Tony's eyes rose to find a striking blonde boy looking back at him in amusement. Why hadn't he seen this man around the school before? He was wearing their uniform... and he was so beautiful...

"Are you ok?" the man asked, still laughing slightly, placing a gentle hand on Tony's arm.

'God, even his hands are beautiful,' Tony thought, his eyes landing on the small invasion of his personal space.

"Hmm?" the other man sounded, wanting an answer.

"I'm... I'm fine," Tony answered finally, pulling his books back to his chest and standing up again, sniffling miserably.

"You sure?" he asked, his voice causing Tony to close his eyes. Nobody had been concerned with his well-being ever since...

He sighed. "Yes, I'm sure." He offered his new acquaintance a small smile, the only smile he'd been able to muster in the last two weeks.

"Alright, as long as you have someone take a look at that knee," the other man pointed to Tony's ripped uniform. When Tony nodded and turned to walk away from the school, the other man adressed him again. "You're leaving?"

Tony looked back at him for a second before nodding.

"Don't you go to school here?"

Another nod.

"Well the school day only just started, right?"

Tony's neck was getting stiff from all his nodding.

"So why are you leaving?"

Tony silently fumed at the open question. He couldn't just nod and continue on his way.

"Here," the other man offered, holding his hand out to Tony. "I'll take you to the nurse, ok?"

Tony didn't want to go back into that school today. He was in there. Tony shook his head, curling up his shoulders as if he wanted to pull his head down into his body like a turtle.

The other man smirked and took a few steps toward him. 'This guy has to be a dream,' Tony concluded, unable to move after being lost in that perfect smile. He felt the other man's gentle hand on his arm again, leading him back up the steps to the doors.

Of course, Tony resisted. This guy was convincing but Tony was much more afraid of Hee Jun. The other man only laughed again and led him with a firmer pull. Once back through the doors, Tony resisted less and less until he was only walking beside the other blonde. For someone Tony had never seen in the school before, he seemed to really know his way around.

The taller man's hand slipped down Tony's arm as they approached the nurse's office, grasping Tony's own hand tightly. After two short knocks, both boys entered the room to find the room deserted but for the pretty nurse behind her desk.

"What happened?" she demanded, spotting the tear in Tony's uniform. She was instantly up and moving around her desk, arms outstetched to take Tony to a bed.

Tony cringed back and felt the hand in his own tighten minutely. "He slipped on the front steps. I convinced him to come inside to get looked at."

"Good, good," the nurse nodded, leading Tony away. Tony felt his hand slip away and felt upset by that, but didn't know why. The nurse sat him down on the edge of a bed and kneeled in front of him to look his knee over. "Seung Ho, how does your head feel today?" she inquired thoughtfully.

Tony blushed and looked down. More than once had he excused himself from class to go to the nurse's office telling her he had a headache and wanted to lay down. "It's fine," he whispered in a low voice.

"Seung Ho," he heard the other man repeat in a near whisper, as if testing the name out.

"Woo Hyuk, can you get me the roll of medical tape off my desk please?" the nurse requested from the other man.

"Sure," he said with a smile, walking over to pick it up.

'The nurse knows him,' Tony thought briefly. 'How could I not have seen this guy around?'

"This isn't bad," the nurse informed him sweetly. "I want you to stay off it for a bit, however. Do you mind waiting here a bit?"

Tony shook his head.

"Then you can go back to class."

Tony shook his head again. "I'm going home."

"Again?" she asked with a sigh. "Are those boys still on your case?"

Tony blushed again, seeing that Woo Hyuk had rejoined them.

"Seung Ho, you need to take a stand," she lectured as she started bandaging his knee. "The longer you let this go on the more power they'll think they have over you. You just need to slap that Hee Jun," she suggested, her young eyes flaring and her hand raised as if prepared to slap someone.

"I... can't..." Tony spoke softly, still avoiding their eyes.

The nurse sighed again. "What happened to all your friends? I remember seeing you with so many friends."

Tony felt his throat closing up. He was going to cry. They were Hee Jun's friends... not his... And he'd lost them the moment he'd told Hee Jun that he liked him. His eyes began to leak and he lowered his head even more, not wanting Woo Hyuk to see him cry.

"Oh, Seung Ho," the nurse said sadly, reaching up and pulling Tony into a loose hug. "Just forget I said anything, alright? We'll get you fixed up and you can go home." She stood from the floor and walked back over to her desk, taking a seat and looking through a stack of papers.

Tony brought a hand to his mouth, covering it tightly as his shoulders shook. He didn't want to cry but he couldn't help it. How could he have been so stupid? He messed everything up. Hee Jun was right... he was disgusting.

"Hey," Woo Hyuk spoke, placing a hand lightly on his shoulder. "I knew you weren't alright."

Tony pulled away from the touch. "Please," he spoke in a choked voice. "You'd be better just to leave me alone."

Woo Hyuk only laughed slightly. "I think that's the most you've said to me yet. Why so hostile?"

"I'm not very well recieved in this school anymore," Tony informed him, trying to slow his tears.

"Anymore?" Woo Hyuk inquired. "What changed? What would you have to do to go back?"

Tony sighed, wiping his eyes on the sleeve of his uniform. "I'd have to go back in time and stop myself from telling someone something."

"What did you say?"

"Why do you care?"

"There you go with the hostility."

Tony looked up at the other man pitifully. "I'm just not used to being talked to."

Woo Hyuk slowly sat himself down next to the younger man on the bed. "Well it couldn't have been that bad... what you said..."

"I... I told my best friend that..."

"Yes?"

Tony looked away nervously. "If you go to this school, you already know."

"Well I only started two days ago," Woo Hyuk admitted. "And I don't know anything about it."

"You'll turn out just like them," Tony accused, moving to stand up. "I'm going home," he called to the nurse.

"No!" the nurse protested, jumping up. "I told you that I wanted you to stay off it for a bit."

"I'll be fine," Tony informed her bitterly, picking his books up from a table by the door. "It's been great."

"Wait," Woo Hyuk tried to stop him, following him out of the room. "Why won't you listen to her?"

Tony just kept walking, feeling more than hearing Woo Hyuk walking right behind him.

"Seung Ho..."

"Tony."

"What?"

"My name is Tony."

"But she said..."

Tony stopped in his tracks and turned to face the other man. "Who put you up to this?"

"What...?"

"Nobody is nice to me. Someone must have put you up to this. Who?"

Woo Hyuk could only stare back at the younger man for a few moments before replying. "I only transferred here two days ago. I don't have any friends yet. How could someone get me to treat you like shit if I don't even know anyone?"

"You seemed pretty friendly with the nurse."

"She's my sister."

Tony worked his jaw for a few seconds, pondering this new information. "So why are you pestering me? Why don't you go try to make friends with someone who won't get your ass kicked if you're seen talking to them?" That said, Tony turned away from the older man once again.

Three seconds after Tony began walking away, Woo Hyuk spoke up again. "Seung Ho, just wait."

"Tony," Tony corrected again, not turning back around.

Woo Hyuk ran up beside him again. "You don't have to leave."

"Yes I do."

"Why?"

Tony sighed. "You wouldn't understand."

"You're right. I don't. But if you would tell me..."

"Go ask anyone else. They'll tell you how much of an idiot I am. How disgusting I am."

"I'm sure I'd rather have the story straight from you."

"Look," Tony stopped walking, catching Woo Hyuk off guard. "Can't you see that I don't want to talk to you about it? I don't even know you. Why would I want to embarass myself to a complete stranger?"

Woo Hyuk looked Tony's face over once then sighed, reaching into his pocket. Moments later, he presented the younger man with a tissue.

Tony looked at the tissue in the other man's hand before realizing that he had started to cry again.

"I fail to see why someone like you should have to cry every couple minutes," Woo Hyuk said softly as Tony took the tissue. "It's obvious you've had it rough and you don't have anyone around to support you. I'm sorry that you have to go through this alone."

"I have people..." Tony defended with a sniffle.

"Who?"

"Well... My mother... and... and Mr. Lim..."

"Is that your teacher?"

"Yes."

"So you're a senior?"

"What does it matter?"

"It doesn't. I was just working out your age."

"Why?"

"I'm fascinated by you."

"You..." Tony started before closing his eyes and looking away. "Please just spare yourself a lot of trouble and go make some real friends around here."

"Why would I want to be friends with people who treat a single person so badly?"

'Good question. Unfortunately for you, being a decent human being means nothing around here.' "To fit in."

"I've never been worried about fitting in."

'Of course you haven't. You're gorgeous.' "Yeah well, I used to be that way, too." Tony sighed once more, stuffing his tissue in his pocket and turning again.

"What did you do?"

"What?"

"You said this was because of something you said. What was it?"

"Just drop it."

"But..."

"He told his supposed 'best friend' that he was in love with him," a deep, unamused voice said from behind them.

The two men turned quickly to see Hee Jun standing three feet away, arms crossed over his chest. "Who are you?" Woo Hyuk asked the new arrival.

"My name is Hee Jun," the oldest of the three replied.

Woo Hyuk looked at Tony with a grin. "The one you should slap?"

Tony blushed and looked down. 'Shut up. Just shut up.'

"What did you just say?" Hee Jun demanded darkly, taking a step toward Woo Hyuk. He looked the blonde man over briefly before adding, "Are you a homo, too?"

Woo Hyuk's previously unbroken good mood fell hard. "What would it matter?"

"Didn't this punk tell you?" Hee Jun asked, looking back to his former best friend.

"Tell me what?"

"Nevermind," Tony said softly, turning and preparing to flee for the door.

Woo Hyuk looked after Tony, watching him walk out the front doors before turning his attention back to the other man with him. He sighed once before walking past him and back toward the nurse's office.

"Hey, you," Hee Jun stopped him. "If I were you, I'd go make real friends."

"That's what he said," Woo Hyuk informed the older man, nodding to the still open front doors.

Hee Jun looked the man over again and grinned. "I'm serious. He's not very well liked."

"And I suppose that's entirely his own fault," Woo Hyuk spoke bitterly, glaring holes into the smiling man. "Nothing to do with his friends deserting him and tearing him down every day. People he thought he could trust."

"Listen, you don't know what you're talking about."

"I got most of it. He told his friend he loved him now everyone in the school thinks he's perverted and disgusting. I'll tell you this now so you can cook in it a while. Showing love is not disgusting. It's human. So unless you're telling me that everyone else here is a fucking robot, you're all being contradictive bastards."

Hee Jun narrowed his eyes, the smile fading from his face. "Who the hell do you think you are? You can't talk to me like that."

With a smirk, Woo Hyuk stepped through the door to the nurse's office, never even thinking of giving Hee Jun an answer.




Chapter 2

Slowly, Tony made his way up the front steps of the school, prepared for another day of butchery and hate. He kept his eyes attached to the floor in front of him so he could avoid the stares of those around him. He swallowed hard when he passed a group of laughing girls and they silenced immediately. With a deep sigh, he quickened his pace, making his way to the men's room on that floor. He needed a breather already.

He pushed the door open with both hands; taking a look around and seeing nobody in the small room. He turned to a stall and locked himself inside, leaning against the closed door. 'This sucks. I can't hide in the bathroom all day...'

He heard the door open and a sink turn on. There was a humming and then it stopped suddenly. A shuffling of feet then a knock on the door Tony was leaning on. Tony closed his eyes. 'Go away. Go away. Go away.'

"Tony," Hee Jun's voice called, dripping with amusement. "I saw you come in here."

Tony wanted to climb into the toilet and drown himself. 'Please go away.'

"Why don't you come out here so we can talk face to face?"

'Because I can't talk to you, especially not face to face.'

"Don't ignore me. You owe me that much..."

Tony slowly pushed off the door and opened it, looking down at Hee Jun's feet and never at his face. Ever since that day, he couldn't look his friend in the eyes.

"Hey," Hee Jun snapped, grabbing Tony's chin tightly in his hand and forcing the younger man's face up. "You can look at me, you know."

Tony sneered looking into the eyes of the man he thought he'd loved. He pushed his arms up shoving Hee Jun away from himself. Hee Jun looked at him with shock, never thinking that Tony would ever be violent with him. "I never thought I could learn to hate someone this quickly. You were my friend," Tony said sadly, tears stinging his eyes again. "You were supposed to understand. You were supposed to be my friend and tell me that you would be there for me when I needed someone to talk to."

"You wanted me to be someone I couldn't be," Hee Jun spat the words out as if having them in his mouth offended him. "You wanted me to love you back."

"No I didn't!" Tony defended, nearly yelling. "I swear I didn't. I just wanted you to know that..."

"That while I thought we were just hanging out playing games or whatever, you were fantasizing about sleeping with me," Hee Jun finished for him.

"No! I never thought that!"

"Bullshit, Tony. You knew what you were after."

Tony hung his head and his shoulders began to shake in rhythm with his sobs. "I swear to you I never once thought that."

"You're a liar."

"I am not."

Hee Jun brought his arms up, throwing Tony backward into the stall. He pressed their bodies up against the stall's side leaving Tony no room to escape. "Is this what you wanted? Huh?" Hee Jun nuzzled his face along Tony's neck, pushing the other man back even more, pressing his body hard into the wall. "How about this? Is this how you imagined me to react to your little confession?"

"Hee Jun, please..." Tony whimpered, now crying openly.

The outer door to the hall swung open causing Hee Jun to instantly pull away from Tony. He took the front of Tony's uniform in both hands and threw him out of the stall. Tony pushed his arms out to prevent his fall but fell into the sink anyway, hitting his head on its hard surface.

"Woah ho ho," a male voice cheered with a clap, watching Tony go down. "If I knew a fight was happening in here, I would have gotten here sooner."

Tony slowly pulled himself up off the floor, using the sink for support. He glanced into the mirror only once to see a small cut on his forehead, a slight trickle of blood starting to run down his face. He cupped a hand over his mouth as he turned to flee the room, pushing past the two boys who had just entered.

He wanted to leave again, but knew he had to at least show his face in class to let Mr. Lim know he was still alive. He walked fast, not even caring that the blood from his head was now running all the way down his cheek and spilling off his chin to his white shirt. He turned the corner, and stopped. There, sitting on the stairs he needed to go up, was the blonde from the day before. He was lounged out, four pretty girls seated around him laughing.

Tony dropped his hand from his mouth, seeing the man who had been so kind to him conversing openly with such horrible people. The blonde's eyes slowly rose to see Tony standing there and the smile fell from his face. Tony's lip quivered and he turned to go back down the hallway, ready to find another staircase.

He rounded the corner again and saw Hee Jun heading his way. Tony closed his eyes, leaning on the corner wall, defeated. He took a deep breath and pushed off the wall once more, deciding he'd rather get past the group on the stairs than get hit by Hee Jun again. He turned and came face to face with the nurse's brother. It was starting to bother him that he couldn't remember the blonde's name.

The taller man glanced past Tony and down the hall once before returning his attention to the man before him. "Did he hit you?"

Tony instinctly shook his head, letting his eyes fall to their feet. He felt the familiar gentle touch of the other man on his arms as he started leading him away. Tony didn't want to know if Hee Jun had seen them. He just closed his eyes and let the other man lead the way.

"Woo Hyuk."

"What?" Tony asked, opening his eyes.

"You forgot my name, right?"

Tony nodded slowly as Woo Hyuk sat him down on the steps. Surprisingly, the girls hadn't moved when Tony approached.

"Well I guess that's partly my fault, I never told you my name. My sister just mentioned it."

"Seung Ho, right?" one of the girls asked, moving to sit on the step above his. "I just wanted to tell you that I think what you did was very brave. I would never have the nerve to tell anyone that I loved them... especially if it was another girl..."

"Tony," Tony corrected her.

"What?"

"My name is Tony," he told her softly, still shocked by her words.

She laughed a little and the girl seated behind her waved at him. "I was there when it happened. The way you told him was so sweet."

A third girl chimed in. "I almost cried when he hit you."

Tony remembered. He did cry.

"Hey," Woo Hyuk got his attention again. When Tony turned to face him, he reached up, placing a folded tissue to the cut on Tony's head.

Tony almost felt a smile coming on. Woo Hyuk hadn't started blending with the popular crowd, after all. 'Why would it matter anyway? It's not like he's even your friend.'

"They told me a lot about what happened," Woo Hyuk told him. "You told me to ask someone else, so I did. I found these fine ladies outside this morning and they were kind enough to tell me everything."

The four girls nodded in unison.

"Hello ladies!" a bright, smooth voice greeted as another male joined the group.

"Kangta!" they all swooned, giving him room to sit.

"What are we doing?" he asked looking at the other two men.

Woo Hyuk held his free hand out to the dark haired boy and smiled. "Hi. I'm Woo Hyuk."

"New?"

"Yeah. Just moved here."

"Ah," Kangta nodded as he shook the older man's hand. "Tony," he greeted with a smile, turning his attention to the other man.

Tony only glanced at him before looking back at Woo Hyuk. Tony knew who Kangta was. He was probably the smartest student at that school, not to mention their class president. He had also been the one who brought Tony to the nurse after...

"I don't see you at practice anymore," Kangta said sadly. "We could really use you."

"Practice? For what?" Woo Hyuk inquired, starting to mop up the blood on Tony's cheek.

One of the girls leaned forward. "Kangta and Tony are in the school's choral group."

Woo Hyuk laughed slightly, looking back to Tony. "You can sing?"

Usually, Tony would have no problem defending himself. What was so wrong with being able to sing? And why should it even matter now?

"He sings really well," Kangta told Woo Hyuk. "He's very talented. Do you sing?"

"What, me?" Woo Hyuk asked before laughing again. "Oh no..."

"Too macho for it?"

"No, I just have no talent," Woo Hyuk answered simply, lowering his hands to Tony's neck to adjust his collar.

Kangta followed Woo Hyuk's hands and smiled at Tony's willingness to let the older man fix him up. "Hey, Tony... I know it must be really hard for you, but hang in there, alright? There are still people around here who don't hate you. Remember that." With that, he stood up and jumped over them to the ground floor. "Well, I have to get to class... I do plan to pass this year, you see. I'll see you guys around."

The girls almost immediately stood to follow suit. One of them reached down, picked up Woo Hyuk's hand, wrote something on it then followed her friends away.

Tony looked down at Woo Hyuk's hand. "Her number," Woo Hyuk announced, waving his hand in front of Tony's face. Tony cracked a smile, leaning back away from his still waving hand. "Aha... you can smile. I knew it." Woo Hyuk brought his hand back to his lap. "You didn't talk much while they were here. They don't want to hurt you."

Tony looked down and nodded.

"When's your next practice?"

Tony looked up. "Uhm... we usually practice every afternoon. I haven't gone lately though."

"No shit. Go today."

"What? No. Oh no. No, I can't."

"Why not?"

"Because..." Tony shifted uneasily. "There's... there's a lot of girls who are..."

Woo Hyuk laughed. "Well it's not because you like them, right?"

Tony blushed and looked away. "They just... they're not very nice to me anymore."

"You'll go."

"I already said no."

"I know what you said," Woo Hyuk spoke, standing up. He held a hand out to Tony and smiled. "You'll go anyway."

"You are unbelievable," Tony shook his head as he took Woo Hyuk's hand, pulling himself up. "I can't even guarantee I'll be staying here the whole day."

They began walking down the hall in silence, following the path Tony had taken in his escape from Hee Jun that morning. 'He had me pressed up against the wall... like some sort of punishment... Yet, I couldn't help but think...'

"One second, I have to run in here," Woo Hyuk announced, stepping into the bathroom where Tony had been assaulted. Tony hastily followed, not wanting to be left out in the hall with what kids were still hanging out before class.

For the second time that day, Tony entered the bathroom and it was empty. Woo Hyuk stepped up to the mirror and looked in it as his reflection. He quickly fixed his hair, spotting the girl's number on his palm. He bent low to the sink and turned the faucet handle, starting to wipe the number off. He paused, looking down into the sink. "Seung Ho, who hit you?"

"Nobody," Tony answered quickly, turning his face to the sink and seeing his own blood there.

"Did it happen in here?" Woo Hyuk inquired, turning the water off and reaching for a paper towel.

"No," Tony kept denying, looking around the room nervously.

"If he hit you, you have to tell someone."

"He didn't hit me."

"If you don't he'll just do it again. And it might be worse next time."

"I'm fine."

"Seung Ho..."

"Nobody cares!" Tony cut him off. "Ok? I already tried telling someone that some students were..." he trailed off and sighed. "Nothing was done about it."

"So you just take it?"

"Yeah, is there a problem with that?"

"Yeah, there's a problem with that," Woo Hyuk nodded, speaking in a tone that indicated that he felt the answer to that question was obvious.

"Well what am I supposed to do? Huh? If the teachers won't do anything and I can't defend myself, what am I supposed to do? I don't exactly have a whole lot of options here, ok?"

With a sigh, Woo Hyuk shook his head and looked away from the other man. After a long pause, he finally broke the silence. "Alright, let's get you to class."

Together they left the bathroom to find the hallways almost completely empty. "Can I hear you sing?" Woo Hyuk asked as they started walking.

"Like now?"

"No... just... sometime."

Tony thought it over for a while. "Why?"

"Because," Woo Hyuk smiled. "They said you're talented."

"Naw, that's just Kangta trying not to sound too full of himself. He's the one with the real talent."

"Kangta was the pretty kid, right?"

"Yeah, that's him."

"He seems nice."

"He is. When uhm... When I told Hee Jun..."

"Yeah. Those girls told me that he was the one who got you out of there. You should really thank him."

Tony nodded as they approached his classroom. They both stopped before the closed door, seemingly waiting for something.

"At least stay until lunch, ok?" Woo Hyuk asked. "I'll meet you here."

Tony shrugged but he knew he'd be staying. He liked that someone would be waiting for him. He watched Woo Hyuk smile once more then turn to rush to his own class. He would be late, no doubt. 'Maybe Kangta will be at lunch and I can thank him then so I can go home... skip practice...'

Slowly, he lifted a hand to the door and slid it open. He avoided any eye contact with his classmates as he sulked to his chair. Almost immediately he felt a rolled up ball of paper tap the back of his head. Closing his eyes, he remained silent, listening to their mocking laughs, and waited for Mr. Lim to come in.

'Not today, assholes. Today I have plans. Today I won't run out again.' The door slid open and the young teacher strolled in. His eyes went to Tony and he smiled. He was surprised Tony had even shown up. He was even more surprised when Tony smiled back.
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