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Kung-Futopia Chapter 7

Here’s the next chapter, sorry for the long wait 

@cloudyloudy @andyourteeth @ryutolbx @reddoshirousagi06


           Jack and Skye entered the cafeteria and found Bogo nursing a cup of coffee. They went up to the counter, grabbed some for themselves, and then sat down to join him. Bogo greeted them with a grunt.

           “So,” Jack began after a protracted silence, “do you have any ideas for interrogating the supposed ancient kung-fu masters residing in the cell block?” Bogo regarded the bunny tiredly and shrugged.

           “The basic routine.” He replied wearily, taking a sip of coffee, “There’s no real way to prove who they are yet, so we should stick to the basics: verifying their story and seeing if there’s a match in the database.”

           “Actually,” Jack said uncomfortably, “there may be a way to get at least some proof.” Bogo raised his eyebrows and appraised the nervous bunny.

           “And what might that be?” He quizzed.

           “Well, they claim to be from ancient China right? So we can quiz them on the time period they claim to be from. It wouldn’t be conclusive, but it could still help.”

           “Yes Savage, but we’d also need an expert in the history of the time period to verify what they’re saying is true!” Bogo snapped at the bunny, his exhaustion and annoyance growing by the minute.

           “I may, uh, have some experience in that field.” Jack replied sheepishly.

           “Oh Jack, you’re too modest!” Skye said gleefully, wrapping an arm around his shoulders, “Jack here majored in ancient Chinese culture and history while he was in school. In fact,” She continued as Jack began to blush furiously, “one of his favorite subjects was the legend of the Jade Palace and its heroes.” Bogo let out a bark of laughter and Jack glared at his smiling wife.

           “She left out that I double majored and that my other one was math and advanced data analysis.” Jack muttered sourly.

           “Well then Savage,” Bogo said with a smile, “it seems that we do have a plan.” Bogo got up and left the cafeteria, tossing his coffee cup in a trash bin on the way out. Jack remained sitting at the table, sipping his coffee, emitting an air of wounded dignity.

           “C’mon Jack, don’t be so sensitive.” Skye teased the bunny, “It’s actually turned out to be pretty useful information, especially with Asha.”

           “Yeah.” He said with a sigh, “I just wish it didn’t sound so nerdy.” Skye chuckled as the bunny stood up.

           “Well, you’re my nerd.” She said affectionately, “Now how about we go interrogate the panda? I heard he may know something about ancient China.” Jack smiled at Skye and the pair walked out of the cafeteria and headed for the cellblock.

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           Po was awoken by the sound of footsteps outside his door. He yawned and sat up as best as he could in the straitjacket, surveying the cell around him groggily. The door swung open and a fox, bunny, and buffalo filed in and regarded him warily.

           “You guys should really invest in a better bed.” Po said with a yawn, earning puzzled glances from the assembled mammals.

           “Mr….” Bogo began.

           “Po.” Po replied, “Just Po.”

           “Ok then.” Bogo remarked, “Po, I am Chief Bogo, the chief of police for Zootopia and these two are Jack and Skye Savage, they work for INTERPAW. Now—”

           “So you don’t work for Asha.” Po clarified, sighing in relief, “Well that’s good, I was a little worried that—”

           “Please. Be. Quiet!” Bogo interrupted tetchily, causing the panda to close his mouth. “You were detained in the company of Officers Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps, who work for me incidentally, as well as an unknown tiger. Would you care to tell us how you came to be in such a situation?” Po regarded the chief dubiously.

           “Chief Bogo, the tiger that these agents captured is named Tigress. We are both from ancient China. We came to this time in an accident involving chi that was engineered by Asha. We escaped her attack and hid in a cave, where we were quickly assaulted by other mammals, captured, imprisoned, and placed in whatever this is.” He said angrily, tugging at the straitjacket, “That’s the short version.” Bogo sighed and turned to Jack, who cleared his throat and addressed Po.

           “Po, I am an expert in the history of the time period you claim to be from. If you are really from the past, you should be able to answer my questions with ease.”

           “Or,” Po responded, “you could let me show you that I’m telling the truth.”

           “And how do you propose that?” Jack challenged the panda, “Are you planning on time travelling out of here?”

           “No.” Po retorted, “Bring me a flower that’s dead, take off this thing, and I’ll show you.”

           “No! We’re not going to just—”

           “Jack,” Skye interrupted, “I’ll go get a potted plant, and Bogo can take off the straitjacket. You can keep a tranq gun on him the whole time, and if he can actually prove anything, our jobs will be a lot easier.”

           “You two can’t possibly believe that this panda can do anything special can you?” Jack asked stridently.

           “I trust my officers.” Bogo said simply, “And your wife is trying to keep me happy so that I won’t go to Max to ruin your careers.” Skye looked down at the floor, embarrassed that Bogo had figured out what she was doing so easily.

           “And just so you know Ms. Savage,” Bogo continued, “I wouldn’t do that to either of you. That being said, I would appreciate you and your husband’s continued cooperation.”

           “Of course Chief Bogo.” Skye replied, “But being perfectly honest, both of us would appreciate if you let us take the lead from this point forward.”

           “Fair enough.” He said gruffly. Po cleared his throat and the three mammals turned to look at him again.

           “I’m still here you know.” He interjected, causing Skye to leave the room to retrieve a plant. Jack pulled out his tranq gun and trained it on the sitting panda while Bogo approached.

           “I’m going to take that jacket off Po. I would advise you against trying anything because either Agent Savage will shoot you, or I’ll knock you out myself.” Po merely nodded. Bogo undid the straps binding Po’s arms and quickly stepped away, clearing Jack’s line of fire. Po shrugged off the jacket and shook his arms around, wincing as full feeling returned to his muscles. Po moved to stand up but was stopped by Jack.

           “No.”

           “I’m just—”

           “I don’t care.” Jack said flatly, “If you would like to stay conscious, stay seated.”

           “Fine.” Po grumbled under his breath, “It’s not like I’ve been bound in a cell for a day and a half.” Jack and Bogo remained silent to the panda’s quiet protestations until Skye returned carrying a shriveled orchid.

           “Is this fine?” She asked Po, “It was the only one I could find.”

           “It should work.” He replied with a nod, “If one of you will bring it over here, I can prove my story was possible.” Skye approached Po’s bed, staying clear of Jack’s line of fire, and placed the dead flower next to Po, quickly retreating back to the entrance where Bogo and Jack were. Po looked expectantly at Jack.

           “Now may I stand up?” Jack nodded his head.

           “If you try anything, I will shoot.” He warned. Po stood up from the bed and faced the orchid, clasping his paws in front of his heart. He closed his eyes and focused, searching for his chi, which was still sorely depleted. After a few moments, he extended his paws outward, towards the shriveled orchid, and pushed his remaining chi through his paws. Bogo, Skye, and Jack watched in awe as Po’s paws began to glow and motes of golden light infused the orchid, restoring it to its former glory. Po lowered his paws and slumped to the bed, exhausted. Jack’s gun fell to his side and his mouth fell open as he looked at the orchid, which had gone from a fragile, shriveled, stalk to a vibrant and supple flower, with the bloom a breathtaking blue and yellow.

           “Believe me now?” Po groaned from the bed, utterly drained.

           “Oh my God.” Skye whispered, “That shouldn’t’ve been possible.”

           “It seems that my officers were telling the truth.” Bogo said, a similar look of wonder on his face, “Though it hardly seems believable.” Jack walked over to the bed and picked up the flower, touching the petals in disbelief. Po sat back up and glared tiredly at all three of the shocked mammals.

           “Does this mean that I’m free?” Po questioned expectantly, “Because now I could really use some rest.” Jack exchanged a glance with Skye and Bogo shrugged.

           “You’re definitely not free.” Jack began, “But I don’t think we need to keep you in a cell anymore. Or for that matter, Nick and Judy.” He directed at Bogo. Po smiled and rose to his paws, still somewhat shaky from his exertions.

           “Jack why don’t you take Po upstairs and show him where the bunks are.” Skye suggested, “You can probably release Nick and Judy as well. Bogo and I will interview Tigress and then join you up there.”

           “You guys are going to let her go too, right?” Po asked anxiously.

           “Provided she doesn’t give us a reason not to.” Bogo replied, “I trust Nick and Judy, and you just proved that their story is possible, but if she’s dangerous, we’re going to have to keep her in the cell.” Po frowned and thought for a moment.

           “Would you mind letting me go in first and explain the situation?” He asked hopefully, knowing that Tigress was probably going to attempt an escape. Bogo looked to Jack and Skye for their approval.

           “I don’t see the harm in it.” Skye responded, “Jack, do you have any objections?” The bunny shook his head and Po sighed in relief.

           “Alright then, follow me.” Skye said, walking out of Po’s cell and further down the hall. She stopped outside a heavy iron door and looked at Po.

           “When you’re ready to come out, just wave at the security camera. It will be the thing with the red light in the corner of the room.” Skye continued, answering Po’s question before he could ask it.

           “Ok. But don’t come in until I tell you to.” Po warned.

           “Why?” Jack asked suspiciously, “Are you planning something?” Po snorted.

           “No. But there’s a pretty good chance that Tigress is already out of the straitjacket, I think it was, and is waiting for the door to open so she can escape.”

           “WHAT?!” Skye yelled in alarm. Po raised both paws in the air.

           “Tigress is really good at getting out of things. And if I’m the first one in there, she won’t attack you guys or try to escape. That way, she doesn’t have to stay in a cell forever.” Jack buried his head in his paws.

           “Just let him go in Skye.” He sighed, “We might as well have some mammal she trusts explain it and avoid an escape attempt.”

           “Are we even allowed to do this Jack?” Skye asked in concern, “I realize this isn’t a normal situation, but letting Po go into her cell when he claims she’s planning an escape, even letting him out, seems like it could backfire.” Bogo cleared his throat and his companions turned to face him.

           “Ms. Savage, Max gave me oversight of you two. I have no problem with letting the panda talk to his friend and if something goes wrong, it is my responsibility.” Skye nodded, her bout of uncertainty ended and opened the door for Po, quickly slamming it shut after he was inside.

______________________________________________________________________________

           Po slipped inside the door and heard the door slam closed behind him just as Tigress’s straitjacket was yanked over his head and he was thrown across the room.

           “Tigress stop!” He yelled in pain, “It’s me!” He pulled the jacket off his face and was then able to see a clearly horrified Tigress.

           “Sorry Po.” She apologized, “I thought you were one of Asha’s minions.” Po stood up and rubbed his sore backside.

           “It’s fine. In fact, I expected it, that’s why I came in first.”

           “What do you mean, ‘came in first?’” Tigress asked warily, “Who else is about to come in?”

           “We weren’t captured by Asha.” Po explained quickly, “We were captured by something called INTERPAW. I’m not exactly sure who they are, but they’re working with Nick and Judy’s boss. Apparently, Nick and Judy already explained everything to them, and they believe us.”

           “Po,” Tigress began concernedly, “why’re your legs shaking?” Po looked down and saw that Tigress was right. His legs were shaking. He sat down immediately and sighed.

           “I had to prove to these ‘agent’ mammals that what happened to us was possible. So, I used my chi to make an old flower bloom again.” Po replied, “I guess I’m more tired than I thought.” Tigress’s face filled with rage.

           “They did this to you?!” She asked furiously, “I’m going to—”

           “Tigress,” Po interrupted, “It’s ok. I had to do it to prove we weren’t lying, and I’m tired for now, but I’ll be fine later. Don’t worry about me.” Tigress walked over to where he was sitting and joined Po on the floor.

           “I know.” She said grumpily, leaning against him slightly, “I’m glad you’re ok though.” She added quietly. Po smiled and put his arm around Tigress.

           “I’m glad you’re ok too.” He added warmly, “But I hate being knocked out by those stupid darts.”

           “It’s cheating to use darts.” Tigress agreed sulkily, annoyed that she’d been brought down by a pinprick. The pair sat in silence for a few minutes until Po was capable of standing again. With Tigress’s assistance, he staggered to his paws.

           “You’re not going to attack them when they come in will you?” Po asked dryly, causing Tigress to chuckle.

           “I won’t attack them when they come inside.” Tigress replied.

           “Tigress…” Po began, “Will you attack them after they come in?” Tigress glared at the panda.

           “No.” She responded reluctantly. Po waved at the camera that was emitting a red light in the corner of the cell.

           “I’ll see you soon then.” He said with a smile as the door opened. Tigress gave him one last smile before he slipped out the door and a bunny and a fox entered.

           “Ms. Tigress,” The bunny began, “I am—”

           “Master Tigress.” She corrected under her breath, eliciting a frustrated groan from the bunny.

           “Not again.” She heard him muttering while the fox chuckled.

           “Master Tigress,” The fox began, emphasizing the word ‘master’, “I am Agent Skye Savage, and this is my husband, Agent Jack Savage. We have spoken with both Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps, as well as your friend Po about your current situation. While we are satisfied that you are in fact from ancient China and that you are not currently working with Asha, we do have some concerns over letting you out of this cell.” Tigress motioned for her to go on.

           “Especially given the conversation you just had with Po.”

           “How did you hear that?” Tigress asked in shock, “It was just Po and I!”

           “That blinking red light in the corner,” Skye said, pointing towards the camera, “shows us and lets us hear everything going on in this room.” Tigress stood, dumbfounded by the existence of such a thing.

           “Either way,” Skye continued, “You are a potential threat.”

           “So is Po.” Tigress countered, “I’m no more of a threat than he is.” Skye chuckled.

           “I’m fairly certain that’s not true.” She said confidently, “Now—”

           “Actually, Skye,” Jack interrupted, “according to records, Po is as dangerous, if not more so than Tigress.” Skye sighed.

           “I wasn’t saying that he wasn’t a potential threat.” She clarified, “I was saying that he was less likely to initiate hostility than Tigress. Who escaped her straightjacket and was planning to ambush us, I might add.”

           “I thought I was captured by Asha.” Tigress said with a shrug, “I had no qualms about attacking her or her mammals, and honestly, given the manner in which you captured us, I wouldn’t’ve felt that bad about it being you either.”

           “How is that supposed to convince us to let you out of the cell?” Jack asked exasperatedly.

           “It’s not.” Tigress replied coolly, “I am simply being honest. At this moment, I don’t particularly like either of you. But I do trust Po. So I give you my word, as a mammal and as a master at the Jade Palace, that I will not attack you or anyone else here unless they pose an imminent threat to the safety of myself, Po, Nick, or Judy.” Skye and Jack exchanged a look and began walking towards the door.

           “We’ll be back shortly.” Jack said, opening the door, “We just need to discuss some things.” With that, the door slammed behind them and Tigress was once again all alone in the cell.

______________________________________________________________________________

           Skye and Jack walked out of the cell and up to the command center where Nick, Judy, Bogo, and Po were all sitting around a large table.

           “Where’s Tigress?” Po asked anxiously, “Are you going to let her out?”

           “That’s actually why we’re up here.” Skye said with a sigh, “We don’t know.” Judy gave Nick a worried glance.

           “Why wouldn’t you let her out?” She asked angrily, “Po proved that our story was true and she’s done nothing wrong other than being apprehended under false pretenses!”

           “It’s not that simple.” Jack responded, “Yes, she isn’t guilty of working with Asha, but she also planned an ambush so she could escape the cell.”

           “Yeah, and I stopped it!” Po shot back, “Besides, she thought we were all being held by Asha! Are you telling us that you wouldn’t try to escape if she captured you?!”

           “If Asha got one of us, I doubt we’d have the opportunity.” Jack said flatly, “Even though she thought we were with Asha initially, Tigress freely admitted that she would have no qualms about attacking us.” Jack smiled slightly as his last comment silenced their protestations. That smile immediately faded when Bogo cleared his throat.

           “Actually Mr. Savage,” he began, “Tigress said that she wouldn’t’ve felt bad about you falling into her ambush, given the manner in which she was captured. She also said she didn’t particularly like either of you. But at no point did she say that she would attack without a second thought.”

           “Semantics.” Jack replied, glaring at the cape buffalo, “She’s still a risk.”

           “How about this.” Judy interrupted, “You let Tigress out of the cell and either Nick or I will watch her and make sure that she doesn’t attack anyone. If she does, you can arrest all of us again.”

           “Great idea Judy.” Skye replied before Jack could argue further, “Jack, why don’t we go let Tigress out.” The bunny let out a defeated sigh and followed his wife out of the room.

           “I still don’t like letting her out of the cell.” He grumbled while they walked towards the cell block, “Just because they’re watching her doesn’t mean she’ll behave.”

           “Jack, right now, we’re outnumbered. Bogo started interfering in the case and now Nick and Judy will too. Our best option right now is to work with them and use them to our advantage.”

           “You just said we were outnumbered on our own case! How can we use that to our advantage?!”

           “You heard their story. Asha brought Po and Tigress here and then attacked all four of them. They want her just as bad as we do. And more importantly, she wants something from them. We’ve been chasing Asha ever since she started, and we’ve barely come close, but now, we can draw her out.”

           “You want to use them as bait.” Jack stated, stopping in his tracks, “Skye, we can’t trick them into being bait for a trap! Not only is it wrong, but they’re also not that stupid!”

           “Not what I meant.” She replied quickly, “I don’t want to trick them, and we don’t need to either. Luring Asha out into the open is the best plan, and I’m willing to bet they know that. But we do need to work with them because they will feel a lot more comfortable with the plan if they trust us.” Jack nodded in understanding and resumed walking. The pair approached Tigress’s cell and keyed in the code. They pulled the door open and saw Tigress sitting on the floor in meditation. The tiger opened her eyes and raised an eyebrow at the duo.

           “Come with us please.” Jack said, holding the door open for her. Tigress sprang to her paws and exited the cell, suppressing the urge to smile.

           “Just to be clear,” Jack began as they walked back to the command center, “you and Po will remain under the supervision of Nick or Judy at all times. If either of you assault anyone, all four of you will be arrested again. And this time, you won’t be let out.”

           “Understood.” Tigress replied as they neared the room.

           “Chief, it’s the best plan.” Judy pleaded as Jack, Skye, and Tigress entered the room, “What could you possibly have against it?”

           “Are you joking Hopps? Your ‘plan’ has more holes than swiss cheese!” Skye cleared her throat and the four mammals at the table turned to look at her.

           “Perhaps you’d like to tell us what plan this is?” Skye asked while Tigress slipped into the room and sat down next to Po.

           “These geniuses,” Bogo began, gesturing at Nick and Judy, “want to set a trap for Asha and be the bait.”

           “Well, we wouldn’t be the bait per say,” Judy interrupted, “Really we’d be more—”

           “Hopps!” Bogo yelled, leaning forward and slamming his fist on the table, “It’s a bad idea! It’s unnecessarily dangerous and might not even work!”

           “It’s not like we haven’t done dangerous things before chief.” Nick replied angrily, “And we’d have you, Po, Tigress, and a team of INTERPAW agents covering the area. If we play it right, we can capture Asha.”

           “Or,” Bogo responded heatedly, “you’ll be captured or killed yourselves, we will have lost the element of surprise, and Asha will have gotten exactly what she wants.” Bogo locked eyes with his two officers and tried to stare them down.

           “I agree with Nick and Judy.” Jack said suddenly.

           “What?!” Bogo said, whipping his head around to face Jack.

           “You’re too close to the situation.” He continued, standing his ground, “They’re your officers and you want to protect them, so you’re ignoring the best plan we have.” Bogo looked at the bunny in bewilderment and leaned back in his chair.

           “Are you sure it’s me who’s too close to the situation Agent Savage!” Bogo spat furiously, “Because it seems to me that you’ve been chasing the same crook for a long time and you’re desperate! So desperate that you’re willing to risk the lives of two of my officers for the slightest chance to capture her!”

           “Quiet!” Tigress shouted, stunning the fighting mammals into silence. “Stop fighting and think! We have something Asha wants. We have the perfect opportunity to trap her! We need to do something!”

           “Tigress is right.” Skye said, “We need to do something. We can’t just sit around and wait for Asha to move. We need to be proactive. I vote that we go forward with the plan.”

           “Is that what we’re doing?” Bogo interrupted, “Voting on it?”

           “Seems like a fair way to do it.” Jack replied, “I’m for it as well.”

           “I’m for it on one condition.” Po began, “Nick and Judy have already risked enough for us. I can be the bait.”

           “Po, we’re not just going to leave you by yourself as bait.” Nick protested, “What if she brings more henchmammals with her?” Po shrugged.

           “You already said there would be backup there. All I’d have to do is hold out for a few minutes.”

           “Po’s right.” Tigress said, forestalling Judy’s protests, “You two have risked enough for us. I don’t love the idea of Po being the bait, if he says he can do it, he can.”

           “Fine.” Judy sighed. Jack looked around the table.

           “Final vote.” He announced, “All those in favor of this plan, raise your paw.” Everyone but Bogo put there paw in the air.

           “Excellent.” Skye said with a smile, “We’ve got some work to do.”

A/N: I’m alive! Sorry for the huge gap between updates, I’m nearing the end of the school year so all of my teachers decided to give me work. How dare they. Anyways, here’s this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it. I tried to shift the perspective around a few different characters and change it up a little bit so I hope that was good. As for the next chapter, I can’t really make any promises on timelines, but what I can say is that I will get to it. I may not always be the fastest, but it will get done. That’s about it. Thanks for reading!

Rare giant panda cub born in Tokyo zoo

A Japanese zoo celebrated the first birth of a baby panda in five years, with the tiny cub small enough to fit in the palm of a human hand.

Eleven-year-old mum Shin Shin, who mated with male Ri Ri in February, had another baby in 2012 - the first time at the zoo in 24 years, but the cub died from pneumonia six days later.

Footage from a camera inside the panda enclosure showed the moment of birth, when the screeching noises of the tiny baby could clearly be heard as Shin Shin scooped it up with her mouth.

Pandas are born pink, hairless and weighing around 100 grams (three-and-a-half ounces) - so small it can be difficult to determine their sex.

Considered an endangered species, it is estimated fewer than 2,000 giant pandas remain in the wild, in three provinces in south-central China.

Mother Shin Shin and father Ri Ri  at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo Credit: AFP
One Thousand Years

Table of Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Chapter 1o. Melodies of Love  

Outside, roofs marveled like the cotton clouds in the night skyline, having been coated with thousands of frosted snowflakes that meshed together into one thick mass.  The frigid gale gust against your plushed cheeks aided in persuading the tears to swell upon your eyes.

“Dal-nim-ah,” Chanyeol called again, his eyes reflected the beauty of the manmade stars.

He leaned forward; the seat belt strained.  Pickering at the dashboard, with your eyes daringly fixated onto his, you felt his breath against your ear.  

“Wow!  We’re back already!” someone in the back exclaimed with a yawn.

In an instant, your lover slouched back against the seat.

“Alright, let’s go!” Suho spoke, clapping his hands together to gesture for his eleven boys to exit the car and return back into the building.

The chill of the late winter storm hit you like ice melting against your chest.  Immediately, you sneezed.

“Oy!  Hurry up and close the door!” the former wolf spirit ordered his dongsaeng.

The maknae bowed and obediently closed the car door so that you were once again encased in the artificial shelter.  It was…so lonely.  Your arms hugged against your small body, acting like a layer of blanket…or in place of those strong arms of warmth that used to embrace you and rock you to sleep.  Wiping the film of condensation from the window, you silently watched as the group of boys waddled back into their dorm.  An obnoxious squeal ensued when Chanyeol playfully tickled Baekhyun on the nape of his neck.  Your hands reached for your own neck.  Dots of white covered the glass barrier like little lace designs.

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

You knocked on it three times without knowing why.

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

You tried to call him back.  Your tears come out burning against your cheeks as if they were made from acid.  A pool collected on the thin fabric of your work pants.  Unable to control yourself, you obscured your face from the outside world.

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

But your hands rested against your lap.

“Dal-nim-ssi!” Chanyeol’s subdued voice called.

Wiping away your tears, you lifted your head up from the steering wheel and spun around to see him shivering outside your window.  Instantly, you pressed on a button to withdraw the glass.

“Hey…do you want to stay at the dorm, tonight?  It’s kind of dangerous to drive back when it’s so late and snowing so hard,” he suggested, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly.

Frozen like a Popsicle, you continued to stare at him.

“Oh…oh…it’s a little weird, right?  With us being twelve fully-grown men…and one girl…” he nervously laughed and stuffed his hands into his pockets.

His head cowered to peer at the welts along his dirty boots.  A small smile appeared along your facial features.

“But!  But, I promise.  I swear we aren’t scary or perverted,” he spoke anxiously waving his hands but then backtracked and mumbled, “Well…um Baekhyun and Kai and Sehun are byuntae…”

You giggled.

“Bu-But!  But I promised I’ll protect you from them!” the Rudolph nosed young man guaranteed while pumping his chest.

I love you…

Not hearing a vocal answer, Chanyeol’s face fell.

“If…If not…then will you let me take you home so I know you’re safe?” he timidly asked.

“I’ll park the car in the garage and come up, okay?” you responded, surprising the Happy Virus.

With a toothy grin, he nodded and skipped his merry way back into the apartment.

Before you even rang the doorbell, the door was already swung open.  Chanyeol stood there with a wide grin of anticipation as he stepped aside to welcome you in.  Mere inches were the difference of opposite parts of the Earth.  You could feel the snow on your hair melt into your scalp.

“Manager-nim?” Lay asked, curious as to why you were entering their house.

Sprawled across the couch was a sleeping panda.  His mouth opened wide, as drool collected on the carpet beneath him.  Shaking his head, the group leader snatched a napkin from the kitchen to catch the saliva into his cupped hands.

“Dal-nim-ssi, you should stay with us tonight.  It’s too dangerous to be driving,” Suho suggested while holding his adult son’s chin up to close his mouth for him.  However, as soon as he let go, Tao’s jaw descended apart again.

Stifling a giggle, you replied, “Yeah.  That’s what Chanyeol-ssi offered.  Thank you”.      

Like little children, the remaining members peeped their heads out.

“Noona’s staying with us?” the maknae questioned, squeezing a Rilakkuma plushie with a pink shirt.

A human camel-dinosaur hovered over the resting panda with his hands forming around a like a bowl.

“No!” Suho mouthed and smacked his behind.

They silently argued but the lead vocalist was adamant about playing a joke on the snoring Tao.  Unable to persuade him, Suho buried his face into his palms and could only watch as Chen poured the pinch of salt onto Tao’s tongue.  Beside you, Chanyeol was already on the floor laughing up a storm before the victim of the prank even reacted.  Refocusing your attention on your lover, broken pearls formed along your eyes.

Chanyeol-ah…Dal-nim is so glad to see you happy now…that…that was worth the thousand-year wait…

Your lips quivered and you turned away to hide the impending tears.

The laugh that you missed with all the blood in your body…

The little fairies that fluttered in your stomach that you couldn’t feel for a while now filled the emptiness you bared through all these years…

The pounding of your heart that proved to you that you were still alive…

It was like a breath of fresh air…for it was the first breath you breathed all these years…

Throughout the duration that you were busy pondering, Tao had woken up and chased after Chen with a pillow.  His leader and hyung desperately pulled him back but then a wild Kim Jongin entered the scene and whacked Suho in the head with a fluffy cushion.  Half-outraged and half-amused, the older man blew his face up like a chipmunk, grabbed the pillow out of Tao’s hands, and began chasing the dancing machine around the apartment.  Each step thundered through the wooden planks that lined the floor.  Laughing like a maniac, Chen threw a plushie at Tao’s face.  The martial artist dodged the attack so it ended up smacking Sehun’s butt instead.  Within seconds, Baekhyun and Luhan had somehow joined in the fun as well.  Arm sprouted out amidst the chaos as five of them wrestled with one another for the last remaining pillow.  Feathers flew into the air like the snow that fell from Heaven.  One drifted into Chanyeol’s wide open mouth and he began to laugh even harder.

Your eyes glossed over.  

Chanyeol-ah…do you know how happy Dal-nim is, right now?  So even if…even if we are no longer…it’s okay…

With a satisfied smile, you soundlessly tiptoed over to the exit.  Your fingers curled around the knob.  Taking a shaking deep breath, you twisted it to surrender yourself out into the cold.

Large hands pressed on top of yours.  Slowly, you turned around to see its owner towering over you with those eyes that made it hard for you to breathe.  Taking your hand away from the knob, his brows caved in.  Feathers cascaded down in the near distance as another pillow fell victim to the boys.

Locking his eyes onto your watery ones, Chanyeol brought his hand to stroke your face.  First, he caught the traitorous tear that streamed down.  His thumb smeared with coral as it travelled down your cheeks.  They were so soft and warm, just as you had remembered.  He paused at your lips.  As he leaned in, you willingly closed your eyes.

“Chanyeol-ah!  It’s burning!” a sharp cry sounded from the kitchen, bringing the two of you back to reality.

Immediately, you detached yourself from him and turned away to hide your flustered expression.

“Uh!  Coming!” your lover shouted back.

When he turned back to look at you, you could see the nervousness evident by the way his hands shook into yours.  Squeezing it, he tugged you to follow him.

“Tonight, you can stay in my room.  I room with Kyungsoo and Jongin but we can all just raid the hyung’s rooms!” he chirped, grinning like a fool again.

Still shy from the almost kiss, you simply nodded.

Lights had turned off throughout the apartment.  Pitch dark as the enclosure of a bat’s cave, yet you weren’t scared at all because a soft acoustic lullaby of the guitar played in the room beside you.  You sunk your back against Chanyeol’s bed.  It smelt of his scent, you sniffed in his pillow a few more times.

As your eyelids grew heavy, you mused on the fact that this was enough for things didn’t have to last a thousand years or even a hundred when in that moment you felt so happy.  Perhaps, this too will become a memory one day, but even as a memory it’d reside in the depths of your heart forever.  And then just like that, you felt liquid escape your eyes.

The acoustic cover of “Growl” had merged into another song.  One more irenic and smooth…with each note, you could hear his passion and love…Pursing your lips and rolling your tongue, you flawlessly whistled along, knowing every beat and every pause…for it was your love song.

Chanyeol-ah…

You placed your hand against your heart.  The veins along your arm merged with the color of the velvet sky.  Succumbing to a fit of coughs, you nudged the covers closer against your slender frame, hoping that the feel of Chanyeol’s possessions could ease the daily pain of your punishment.  The taste of metal sat on the tip of your tongue, sinking into the gaps between your teeth.  

Melodies of love continued to play through your lover’s fingers but you had long ceased your harmony.

a/n: TT_TT what is happening?? what exactly is happening?

By the way!!  Can you guys brain some names for this baby bunbun? :D (lol the person who suggested “Panda” LOLOLOLOL) ???