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The Decoy

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It was a relatively slow night in the ER and Kyungsoo was grateful. He’d had a low grade headache since coming in a 4pm for his 12 hour shift and he had just about managed to kick it when the sliding glass doors hissed open to admit two young men – the one supporting the other on his shoulder as he limped on one foot. They were dressed for a night out and some mishap had clearly interrupted the festivities. They were arguing a bit loudly for an ER waiting room and as they approached the check in desk, Kyungsoo realized something about them was familiar. Kyungsoo squinted and sure enough - two figures from Kyungsoo past came into focus - Kai and Taemin from college. They had been a couple then and apparently still were. Kyungsoo had not run in the same social circles as the two. They both came from money, were popular, stylish and brash. None of those adjectives would ever be used to describe Kyungsoo. As a scholarship student he studied hard and worked part time jobs in his free time to supplement his loans. But it was hard to miss those two – and actually Kai and Kyungsoo shared quite a few classes. Despite his reputation Kyungsoo has found Kai to be a smart and successful student. They had been teamed up in group project situations several times over the course of their studies and had gotten along well – Kyungsoo respected him but they had never been friends. Kyungsoo had to admit some of his discomfort was due to being attracted to Kai. Off limits, out of reach, not at all interested in him Kai. Kyungsoo avoided feeling foolish – so he avoided Kai.

Taemin was protesting “I wouldn’t have fallen if Chanyeol hadn’t bumped into the table. Oh man, I am so pissed at him right now. He better stay out of my sight. “

“Yeah – I know babe, I know – let’s get you fixed up. At least the bleeding has stopped.” Kai reassured. Kyungsoo saw that there was a bar towel wrapped around Taemin’s forearm.

“What have we got here, Jongdae?” Kyungsoo asked, approaching the desk and addressing the admitting nurse.

“Possible sprained ankle and a laceration on the forearm from broken glass. Bit of a fall at a club.” Jongdae replied handing Kyungsoo the paperwork.

Kyungsoo came around the counter and called into the waiting room “Kim Kai? Lee Taemin?”

The two broke off their bickering to stand and make their way over. “OH!” Kai said in recognition when he saw Kyungsoo. “Kyungsoo? Or I guess…” he said looking down at Kyungsoo’s name badge, “Dr. Do now. That’s amazing – looks like your hard work paid off. Nice to see you again.”

“I’m a resident and well, yeah it should pay off once I pay back the loans, but thanks”, Kyungsoo’s mouth twisted in a wry smile.

Taemin cleared his throat “Ahem! Injured person here, remember?”

Leading them back to a curtained bay, Kyungsoo checks Taemin’s vitals and pronounces his ankle a sprain. He recommends crutches for at least 3 days to keep the weight off the injured foot and then turns his attention to the cut. While small, it's deep and as Kyungsoo prepares to apply local anesthetic and give him 5 stitches, the pair resumes an argument they must have been working on all night. The couple is apparently arguing about Taemin attending Kai’s dad’s birthday party. Apparently Kai’s parents don’t approve of Kai’s continued involvement with party boy Taemin and want him to find a more marriage worthy partner. Kai wants Taemin to attend and stick it in their faces and Taemin is not interested. “It’s always so uncomfortable because they obviously hate me, plus its so boring! It’s the same night as Minho’s BBQ and that is going to be a blast – I am definitely not going to miss out on that.”

“So you’re going to ditch me on my own father’s birthday. And you wonder why they don’t like you when you keep giving them reasons”

“Kai, they don’t want me there. Why don’t you get someone else to go with you, like a decoy, someone they will like. Distract them and then you and I can just do the fun stuff. Someone like…” his eyes fell on Kyungsoo, and he said excitedly, “someone like Kyungsoo!”

Kyungsoo, who was only half listening as he sewed up the cut, tuned back in at the mention of his name. He wrinkled his brow perplexed, “Wait I wasn’t really listening and even so NO. That is a crazy idea and I am not interested”