part of Walking in a Winter Wonderland by @suh-insane + @neocitybynight ! + of World of the Streets series !!
❆ synopsis : snowfalls seems to mark the days were you meet haechan, a series of meetings much like snowflakes all unique in the way they form and fall leading to christmas.
❆ genre : angst ! + fluff ! with sum crackheadness
❆ pairing : streetracer haechan! x mechanic!reader (fem)
❆ word count : ~ 5k
❆ taglist : @flirtyhyuck @danishmiilk @rouiyan @xiaojunssmile @hunjins + part of a secret santa gift for @yongiefilms !! hi luv !! i hope you like it <3 in all honeslty i was anxious for this bc i look up to your writing ahh but umm anywho’s happy holidays bub !! much love - luna
❆ prompts : “santa, tell me if he really cares. ‘cause I cant give it all away if he wont be here next year” - Ariana Grande ( santa tell me ) “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away. This year, to save me from tears I'll give it to someone special.” - Wham! (Last Christmas)
The first snowfall comes later than normal, the white cold snowflakes making their way in soft flurries across the city. Snow is one of the phenomena of the world that never ceases to amaze you, the way that rush across the sky all in different shapes and sizes to touch the bottom. You think that they shouldn’t rush to the streets, that those snowflakes that had managed to remain far away from the world below them were lucky. Lucky because then they wouldn’t be dismissed by the world as slosh, becoming muddy and blurry with the streets below them.
The first snowfall reminds you of the first time you met the infamous street racing crew YDRMZ, and with the crew came lee haechan.
“You coming?” rouiyan asks, windows already rolled down even with the almost freezing temperature, she didn’t seem to mind her car’s engine thrumming underneath the hood. You hesitate for a second, tomorrow were midterms, and you were on the very verge of losing the much needed scholarship you had in your college. Go to the event - one you had been to many times, street racing was nothing new to your world and something you’d learned to love, the thrill and adrenaline that would course throughout your veins if only when in the passenger seat next to your sister - and not study or go home. Go home, but home would have been more tempting if anyone was actually home. There was no way you were convincing your sister from getting you home, leaving some car service as your only option, a yell from your sister breaks your thoughts “y/n !! let’s go !!”
Looking up at the clouded sky, the darkening clouds that blocked your view from every permanent star in the night sky, you breathed in the cold air. Winter air is cutting into you, refreshing and you pushed the thoughts away. One drive and you’d go back.
“Coming !!'' With a final breath, the small white puff escaping your lips from the cold weather, you joined your sister in her old Mitsubishi eclipse, accentuated with it’s orange highlights. The seats were cold, even with the winter jacket that you wore, making you jump slightly causing your sister to laugh, head slightly shaking from your constant complaints at her never rolling her windows up. Her only - and very repeated - response was that there was no way to breathe in the fresh air of the city, and hear all it’s sounds. How else would she know if another car was to challenge her - something you sometimes doubted as the car she drove wore the sigil of one of the street racing crews that most people tended to back away. It didn’t help that they worked at times with the Seoul mafia to get certain parts or order deliveries to customers that the mafia itself couldn’t reach. You shook your head slightly, shaking the thoughts out of your present mind and looked out of the car and into the never ensign sea of city lights. Your sister had never been one for following rules, the idea that rules were meant to protect people seemed to push her away, living by the life motto “if rules were annoying, then they were also bendable” you couldn’t particularly say you ever disagreed.
“I’m pretty sure you just want to see me freeze to death” you mumbled, snuggling further into the seat as you wrapped the puffy jacket around you.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about” she said, a wild grin ever present on her face, the leather jacket clinging to her body, the rush of air wiping her hair backwards and you continued to be confused. It was fucking freezing.
“Still don’t understand how we’re related” you mused, turning your attention back to the lights that passed by you in blurs, taking you farther and farther away from the city center and closer to the Han River, where most of the street races occurred, always way past midnight and with roads closed.
“Half sisters bubs, not by blood but by everything else”
“Whatever, still doesn’t explain how you’re only wearing a leather jacket as your source of protection against this weather” you commented, but she seemed to ignore you, her smile never fading, eyes not leaving the road as she turned the radio on blasting music that made the car almost vibrate. The bass of the current pop song ends the conversation as you both sing at the top of your lungs alternating roles as if you were part of the actual band. You could the coldness that had chilled you before leave, by passing songs, fading lights and never ending sounds of the streets next to you that in of itself were music to your ears.
The drive was less than twenty minutes, ten if you shotgunned it. the red lights blurring with the green until lights were a concept so foreign to you that they became one with the lights of the apartment complexes where families would be sleeping, and kids would be sneaking phones or computers into their rooms. An attempt to escape the world they lived in through lights and screens, without realizing how much of an escape sleep and the world outside became.
Neon lights and music with too much bass marked the entry to the street racing world you’d grown so used too. Familiar faces surrounding you as your sister slowed her car down, the radio being tuned down is only slightly so that you two could take in the racers that were coming in, rouiyan in her light blue sports car was only a couple of feet behind you, but had already stopped the car jumping out to greet whoever the hell she was meeting up with. You could only see parts of a body with bleached blonde hair as they reached down in greeting before your attention was drawn to the crowd that gathered around a group of boys and you felt the engine in your sisters car shutter and die down a curse slipping from her mouth as you managed to identity the group that drew so much attention.
The group didn’t have to ask for attention; they claimed it. Spread out across the river’s highline blocking anyway out of the highway towards the north of the road and back into the city. Their extravagant cars, all customized by years of racing and knowledge that you would store into your mind on each of the engines and the machinery they used, from their open hoods. 4 cars in total, each facing the bridges opening, their bright neon lights and the booming music that came from the bright neon green car, it’s speaker the central piece of the car replacing the back seats, vibrating the ground beneath you.
You counted five boys each placed at different locations but all with the same leather jackets and graffiti like lettering printed somewhere along their cars or clothes of YDRMZ to tell the world they were. It was nothing you haven't seen before. The street racing gang was infamous in the streets of Seoul, a group of seven boys that would beat anyone in the streets not because of their individual talents - something that though still extraordinary, nothing that you hadn’t seen before in youtube videos or recordings from street races in the past you’d attended or had been shown - but for their coordination. The group worked as one, flowing so seamlessly from one engine to another that there was never a moment where you could question their movement, the shifts in gear almost synched to each other. But for all the stories and videos you’d watched about the boys, men, they didn’t prepare you for the audience that would surround them and the boy with purple highlights in his hair with a shit eating grin that would a charming smile to anyone who would approach him.
The buzz of the crowd had separated you from your sister, a filtering thought you paid little mind too, as you shoved your way through the crowd eager to see more of the cars. Their engines roared loudly, checkered flags hanging by the sides of the Hangang Bridge indicating the starting line for tonight's race. By the gathering crowd you knew that the main event had yet to go, and by the continuous crows that grew around the YDRMZ they were the main event, and you had just arrived right in time.
By the time you’d managed to shove your way to the front of the crowd the music played had died down only slightly, to let the coordinators of the race contact each other. Checking their walkies on police activities around the bridge that lit up red and green for the christmas season, the cold air whipping at you if only more by the proximity to the river only a couple of meters away with no buildings to protect you from the winds. It was when you’d seen the engine underneath the black ford mustang, accents of purple across the cars body matching the owners own purple highlights.
You were too enthralled by the twin-turbo engines the boy had installed in his car to notice the stare that had been thrown in your direction by the car’s owner. A curious but cocky gaze as he followed your line of sight to his car’s equipment and he chuckled slightly, and with no response he moved in slightly closer ready to flirt with you and brag on how many races he’d won with the power underneath his hood.
“Woah, woah!” it was the movement of a hand fluttering almost on top of yours that made you jump away from the hood, looking at the boy whose hand lingered where yours had been only a second ago. His eyes were bright with a rush you could explain as racing, so he’d already raced you thought to yourself. It would have explained why the engine was still radiating heat, increasing the temperature of your surroundings if only enough that you were no longer shivering.
“Yours?” the moment the words left your mouth you almost regretted them, because why else would he be standing next to the car, but you kept your face composed, a slow nod was your response. And you got a good look at the boy in front of you, his slightly curly brown hair had been pushed back from his eyes, probably from the wind from the previous race.
“You’ve got a nice engine, though I’d change these turbo’s probably won't last more than a couple more races” you informed him nodding towards the car, an attempt to calm your beating heart and the boy next to you chuckled, running a hand through his already tousled hair so that the sleeve of his leather jacket inched down enough for you to see the letters of YDRMZ tattooed into this tan skin.
“Huh, thanks but I think I know my engine, the turbo’s shouldn’t overheat for more than ten races I changed it a couple days ago” his voice is almost like honey, and it feels like it slides over your skin, entrapping you sweet and soft but with an edge. There was no judgment in his voice, more like plain ignorance at the engine. You nodded towards the hood of the car, a silent ask if you could approach it, Haechan a little disoriented by the whole approach nodded a drawled out “sure” leaving his lips before you almost attacked his engine.
The crowd that had gathered around him had disappeared the moment he stopped paying attention to the men and women who would walk up to him every so often asking for a picture, or his number. All of which he replied of course if and only if they got his good side and wrote down Jeno’s phone number for every person that walked up to him. If only to see one of his closest friends face confusion every so often by the random calls that he’d receive in which the dark haired boy would ignore or bluntly call to say the wrong number before blocking the contact. It was both entertaining and efficient, and maybe he’d help Jeno find love - something he very much doubted would ever happen.
Haechan had assumed the person in front of him was a mechanic because their knowledge on engines was beyond anything he’d ever truly bothered paying attention too, always handing over the mechanics to either Jisung - the youngest member of their crew or Mark the only who'd actually graduated highschool and had probably learned something about the physics behind the engines at one point. Haechan mostly lived by the fast and draw attention motto. So far it had worked, worked too well where you were now inspecting his hood, and he was completely enthralled.
From the way you would point towards the different pieces in the engine, the different tubes and cables that connected the car together to the very passionate ideas that would run through your mind at how he should be fixing the car's engine. A snapping of fingers in front of his face waving back and forth broke him from his light review about you, and a confused sound left his lips. Oh god, he’s been spending too much time around Jeno to be making strange noises.
“Dude, you paying any attention?” you snapped at the boy in front of him, who’s eyes shone in the light moonlight that streamed through the clouds, small snowflakes beginning to fall from the sky. Making their slow descend into the ground.
“Yeah. something about hot-pockets?” haechan stuttered and cursed under his breath.
“Yes, and the sky is pink” your response left him confused, and you with a growing smile that he knew he’d have to see more of.
“Well I mean, technically it isn’t blue so…”
“And your car is going to run on hot-pockets” you laughed again, and Haechan shrugged he figured that if Renjun were here and not two cars away he would have been able to say something on the term that technically they could if the energy was broken down and the bonds changed, but he was not Renjun.
“Of course it is, and when it stops then you can come and save me” by the end of the sentence he’d winked at you, smile never leaving his features, and he could see the growing red that tainted your cheeks and he’d thought to chop it up to his very cheesy lines instead of the increasing cold weather.
“And when I do save you, I hope you have enough hot pockets to heat my freezing hands for saving you ass” stunned Haechan laughed, a laugh that was melodical and you thought if the world hadn’t been so cruel to you in life that you could fall in love with that laugh that seemed so joyful and free. Before Haechan could answer you the honks were blown, signaling the racers to get in their positions, and you are moving away from him but not before he has a chance to grab onto your hand for a slight second, passing a paper into yours before you disappear into the crowd as the flurries of snowflakes hurdles down into the ground.
That year’s first snowfall marks your first encounter with lee haechan, and the day you take a chance to open up the crumpled up paper in your hand. The warm sensation of the tan boys hand wrapped around yours still felt like a phantom ghost on your hand. It’s the first time you take a chance on what could be love again, as you read the message on the paper you still haven’t figured out how he scribbled on so fast - probably while you were too busy re-enacting the fusion between metal and copper to form a new engine - for some hot-packs. xxx-xxx-xxxxx.
You can’t help the light giggle that escaped your lips as the engines burst to life and the races begin.
The next time snow falls in Seoul you don’t attend the races. Instead you walk out of your home, backpack filled with books you dread about reading and notes upon notes on the derivatives and integrals that determine the different areas under the curve.
You can feel your legs burn slightly at the fast pace you walk, making you catch your breath as you walk through the streets already running late to the study session you’d organized with a friend, furou, had agreed to help you catch up on the material you had missed from the constant nights spend in the passenger's seat, wind screaming in your ears. Your breath comes out in small white clouds curling slightly in the air before disappearing, it reminds you of the constant cigarette drags that the world around you seemed to use in order to alleviate pain or anxiety.
Or boredom as Haechan had called it.
For him it tended to always be boredom, always looking after the next thing to excite him or change his way of looking at the world. Chasing after the adrenaline that pumped through his veins, making his brain sharper, everything sharper so that it was cleared to know what to do and what decisions to make. It’s the same rush that compels you to go to the streets every weekend and sit in your sisters passenger seat. The same rush that compels your sister to drive, drives you forward at times to continue with the never ending studying only to get that engineering degree.
“y/n!” the yell that comes from the other side of the street pulls you away from your thoughts. The second you look up you wish you hadn’t, as your eyes meet haechan’s a grin set in place. You think about looking away, pretending to not have seen the boy who was walking towards you, light still red, cars honking at him to move away from the street. By the time you’ve thought out the plant of your said escape from haechan and his charm it’s too late and the boy is in front of you, breaths coming out in white puffs and you wonder if part of the fact that his breaths seemed to capture you attention, the white puffs disappearing slowly into the air are because they make shapes and forms that you can only assume comes from practice.
“Haechan…what’s up?” your words almost come out stumbled and messy, the books in your bag getting heavier by the second, fingertips colder as the twist and untwist attempts to get warm.
“What do you mean what’s up? I never got a response hot-pockets” his tone is teasing, but his eyes convey a different story. One embedded in the fear of being left alone and maybe just maybe not getting his way with a simple smile and joke.
“Oh, yeah. Umm sorry i completely forgot” you sound almost defeated, guilt laced in your words, and you look behind him, to the library that could be seen two blocks away the giant clock in front of the library reading five minutes after 6 o’clock in the afternoon.
A small chuckle leaves haechan’s lips as he looks at you, eyes taking you in slowly admiring until he lands on your zoned out eyes that are looking anywhere but him and a small idea forms in his head.
“It’s all good hot-pockets, but i gotta repay you at some point”
“Uh huh” you are no longer paying attention to the boy that manages to steal your breath away with one smile. Your mind has left the conversation barely processing the words that leave haechan’s lips as you slightly nod along. 6:07 pm. The clock kept ticking away, and now you were gonna be ten minutes late, you could feel the light buzz from your phone in your pocket but paid no attention, mind running through the multiple different scenarios that would occur once you got to the library, books holding you down as you catched your breath from sprinting up the what felt like thousands of steps to get to the reserved table.
A tug on your arm, a hand enclosing around yours as he calls out your name over and over again pulls you out of your reverie. You shake your head trying to clear your mind from the racing thoughts and you're met with haechan again, a smirk present on his face but a soft look in his eyes and you look away before you can get lost in them.
“That’s it, we’re going” his honey like voice is almost musical and you're about to ask what he’s talking about until you feel yourself being pulled away from the library and you do your best to stop the movement.
“Stop” no response, his grip on your arm sturdy.
“Haechan, i can’t” your voice is determined, and longing because all you want to do is explore the world with the brown haired boy that has turned around and is looking at you with so much hope that you almost cave. Almost, and then your phone rings. It's an obnoxious tune and he lets go.
You’re jumping over mounds of snow, their color no longer reflecting the sun’s light dazzling everything in different shapes performed by the snowflakes dance. This snowfall is dull, it covers the ground in slush covering your boots in a brown murky liquid, as you rush over to the library leaving part of your mind with the brown haired boy who echoed your name.
You’re out of breath by the time you’ve sprinted up the never ending staircase. The giant clock that hangs at one side of the library reads 6:21pm and you curse, earning a few glares from the surrounding students that are doing their best to study whatever material they’re looking at. They don’t register because when you reach the table where you were supposed to meet up with your study partner you almost scream from joy because they're still there. Albeit their scrolling through their phone, eyebrows pulled in and when they see you it seems as if they're about to yell but they're there.
“I’m-” you take a breath of air, still trying to slow down your beating heart.
“You’re here, a little late but here” you friend gives you a comforting smile, thankful for understanding without question. It wasn’t like you were too late, especially when your education was on the line, so to see you so shocked and frantic was new. Your friend knew better than to ask, they knew enough about the reason why you usually showed up to school with eye bags under your eyes that seemed as if you hadn’t slept in ages. Knew better than to ask and expect a response instead of dismissing the issue, though this time there was nothing from stopping them to ask you about haechan. A boy they had only heard about a couple of times, but every time you spoke about him it was like a new light had been sparked. There was a sort of surprise that followed you anytime you’d talk about the boy and your friend never failed to grasp onto that.
“Sorry, what were we going over?” you ask furou, who just looks at you with a puzzled expression because you had been the one to organize the review.
“Ummm, what have you missed out on?” you look at her, but don’t see her. Not really instead you see late night drives, and feel the wind tangling up your hair. It’s been a couple of minutes, and you're already out of the library, you mind so far away, Haechan by your side. It feels like deja-vu almost, the wanting to be somewhere so far away from the life that you live. A sensation, that you’ve had re-occur so often these past few weeks that at times you forget what is the present and what is your imagination.
The feeling takes you back to a late night drive right as finals had ended, but this time it wasn’t your sister who was driving at unknown speeds taking in the adrenaline rush. You hadn’t seen her in a while, the last time she’d been next to a black haired boy who you swore you’d seen with haechan and the group YDRMZ before. In her place was haechan, a grin set on his features that never seemed to take you attention from the road to focus on the being that was lee donghyuck. Hands held together near the gear shift, joke after joke made bringing you close to tears. Haechan’s confidence in the world makes challenging your way of looking at the world, so that conversations were never dull.
It’s a single moment in time, such as these that make you question what exactly you’re doing if it isn’t living your life to its full extent.
“y/n !” snapping of fingers, a blurry hand crosses your line of vision.
“Jesus, land back to planet earth girl” you’re eyes focus back on your friend in front of you, it’s been 10 minutes and you take a deep breath before standing up again, almost dreading the run but adrenaline is already pumping in your veins.
“I'm so sorry, but can we reschedule? There’s something I’ve got to do” before you can hear an answer you’re sprinting down the stairs catching a “go get em” from you friend.
You’ve managed to make it out of the library, shoving your way through people with sorry’s and multiple curses muttered under your breath, and the snow seems to be more hopeful than when you’d first entered the library, that is until the last couple of snowflakes fall and haechan is nowhere to be seen that your heart falls.
The snowfall is grey and muddy again, as you grab one of the hot-pockets from your jacket. A small wrinkled piece of paper falls out onto the slushy ground. Scribbled along the fringes a message to meet when the time was right, he’d be waiting. Too bad it’s dissolved against the melting snowflakes, the message vanishing from the world and you’re already a block away wondering if you will ever give your heart away again.
the last snowfall of the year falls on Christmas eve, covering the grimy streets in sheets of pure white. Each snowflake falling delicately, against the loud streetcar engines that race across the finish line on one Seoul’s bridges. You and your sister have already raced, the car's engine still fuming from the last sprint where turbo was used at the last second to get that advantage over the red mustang on the other side. The drinks you had combined with the rush of adrenaline leaves you buzzing and wanting to be spontaneous, but you can’t seem to find the person you're looking for. The snowflakes continue to fall over and over again, covering your hair, as they land softly on the ground and your hands.
It takes you a couple of spins as you look towards the sky to take everything in. take in the cold air that sweeps around you, and the boy who now stands a mere feet away from you, cheeks red from the cold air. You almost stop breathing, as you take him in. the smile that never fails to make the sides of your lips quirk up, you take in the snow that has fallen around him creating a halo, his beautiful tan skin in contrast to the pale snow that falls. You think you’re able to take a breath, stop your heart from racing as you walk towards each other, but you can’t stop your legs as they pick up their pace and jump onto haechan. His arms come up around your waist, as you hold onto his head buried in his chest.
Time doesn’t stop, it doesn’t accelerate either instead your world becomes a blur and the only clear thing is haechan. The boy who was there when you had a panic attack due to school work, the boy who after you rejected him that day at the library and then called him later showed up less than ten minutes later, no anger only hope shining in his eyes. Donghyuck the boy you’d gotten to know through time driving around the city, time spent where your heart had healed itself slowly from your past.
“Hey, hot-pockets, I never got to give you your gift” he mumbles next to your ear, as he slowly puts you down reaching into his pocket. In a second he’s pulled out a packet bold sharpie used to label the packet as “FOR Y/N” the green and red wrapping wrinkling under your hands as you eagerly open it expecting it to be a prank. And when you do get rid of the paper, most of it now covered by tiny specks of snow, a packet of hot-pockets is present before you and you can’t but laugh.
Your laugh haechan is convinced is his favorite thing in the world, because it’s so free so unburdened by the world around you, so contagious that he starts laughing too. And when he sees you look up at him, the world in your eyes he’s almost sure that as much as you talk about the snowflakes that surround you both and how unique and beautiful they are, you haven’t seen yourself because he sees the most strongest person in the world, and he’s able to call himself yours if only for this night. A night that will turn into weeks and months. Because it’s christmas and you know that you’re giving your heart away this year, but he has given his heart to you, the mechanic that made him double question his engine, all with a smile on her face and hot-pockets in their hands.
a/n :: merry xmas + happy holidays everyone !! i hope everyone stays safe and had(s) a great holiday !!
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