13 Days, 13 Men, 13 AUs #1
BOO SEUNGKWAN + neighbours au
words: 3,5k /// genre: fluff, strangers to lovers /// warnings: some food mentions. mentions of thievery once or twice.
In which you’re starting to think your neighbour’s dog is Cupid in an earthly disguise.
The knock on your door sounded about as sheepish as the smile of the man waiting behind it.
“Hi,” he begins, searching for words to exchange with a neighbour he’s known for three days and never really properly spoken to; he rubs his hands together and glances around anxiously, “you wouldn’t have–”
He interrupts himself with a shake of his head and a small smile. “Have you, by any chance or miracle, really, seen… a small white dog passing by?”
You could barely contain your grin and laughter at the sight. A devilish idea passes through your mind, to tease your new neighbour just a bit, but the good angel on your shoulder wins this time.
Without a single word, you invite him to follow you on a trip to your living room. The man practically squeaks in relief at the sight presented to him.
There, surrounded by a royal pile of cushions on your couch, lies your neighbour’s small white dog, completely oblivious to his owner’s despair as he drifts in and out of Dreamland.
You are filled with a healthy ounce of amusement as you watch the man try to coax his dog to go home after his day’s adventure. The dog barely bothers to wag his tail as he watches his owner go on a rather lengthy and aggravated rant about the dangers of the outside world.
Eventually – possibly after realising that his dog can not understand a thing he’s said so far – he huffs and picks the dog up before turning to you with a small smile.
“Thank you for taking care of my mischievous friend here,” he tells you, eyes filled with a thousand apologies and promises. “It must have been difficult to look after him. I’m so sorry.”
You wave it off. “It’s fine. He was very polite. And cute.”
He chuckles at that, as if unable to believe your wrods and nods. As he heads for the door, dog still in his arms and looking less than happy about being removed from his king-worthy sleeping spot, he turns to you once more to promise, “This won’t happen again. I am so sorry, once again. So sorry.”
The following week you learn his promises mean nothing if the dog can help it.
The fluffy white dog finds his way to your backyard on a sunny day, gladly basking in the sunny patches of grass between his digging adventure. You walk in on him digging a tennis-ball-sized hole in the middle of your long-abandoned flower bed.
You can’t even be mad because you’ve been planning on uprooting that damned lavender bush for weeks now. Instead, you can’t help but feel bad for his owner: the white paws are covered in mud and dirt, and so is his nose.
Without much thought, you set your mug and book aside and crouched down near the flower bed. You hold out your hand. “Hi there, buddy.”
The dog looks up from his gardening project and wags his tail, offering you a look that almost resembles a smile. He softly nudges your hand with his nose before returning to the task at hand.
You laugh at that and lean back against the wall. Reuniting with your drink and the book you’d borrowed from your friend on a whim, you sit back and enjoy the sunny weather.
Before you can get to chapter 2, however, the tranquillity is ruined by an elated shout from behind the fence: “Hey! I found him! Seungkwan! I found him!”
Startled, you glance up to find a young man with a wide grin staring at you and the dog through the old and tired wood fence, through a hole the size of his head. He offers a wave, you return it somewhat hesitantly.
Soon he’s joined by a man you recognise as your newest neighbour. Your neighbour lets out a visible sigh of relief before offering you a smile. “I’m coming to get my dog!”
“Be my guest,” you tell him all the while contemplating if you ask one of your friends to help in fixing the fence. Perhaps Jihoon could help, you conclude.
Within a minute, the neighbour and his friend are in your backyard, the latter already (a bit too cheerfully) scolding the dog.
“I’m so sorry about him,” your neighbour apologises profusely, “I swear I don’t know why this keeps happening. He’s usually so well-behaved.”
His friend nudges his side a bit suspiciously and your neighbour gasps. “Oh my god!” He points at your now disregarded lavender bush. “I swear I promise I will replace that. Boo Seungkwan guarantee!”
So that’s what his name is.
“Oh… I– You don’t need to,” you try to assure but he’s already calculating the costs in his head. “Really, it’s fine. I was going to –”
“Maybe we can still save it!” He picks up the plant and begins inspecting the roots. “Or maybe not. Bookkeu really did some damage to this, huh?” He offers another sad smile. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s gotten into him.”
With the dog in his arms, the friend begins theorising immediately. “Maybe it’s new house stress. It’s a new environment and all.”
Seungkwan takes a deep breath and rolls his eyes before sarcastically replying, “Really? You think so?”
“Yeah, I think so.” The friend clearly pays no attention to his tone. “Either that or he’s sick of you.”
Your neighbour shares a look with you as you attempt to hold back a smile at the interaction. He sighs. “Well… I am sorry this happened. Again.”
“I’m not,” the friend interjected, “but that’s only because it’s not my dog.”
“Excuse my friend,” your neighbour apologises for what feels like the millionth time. “He’s a bit of… a crazy person, frankly. By the way,” realisation has dawned, “I don’t think we’ve been introduced. I’m Boo Seungkwan.”
You gladly supply him with your name, he immediately lights up. As does his friend.
“I’m Soonyoung,” the friend adds in, “and this fluffy little rascal here–” he playfully scratches the dog’s ears, “– is Bookkeu. Something tells me you’re gonna see him a lot.”
And that should have been your first clue.
You’d had a rough day – one filled with rain and wet sneakers, unwarranted paperwork and a headache. Your head full of plans for an early night and a hot shower, you were not expecting to find an adorable runaway criminal sitting on your porch again.
“Huh,” you hum and freeze in the driveway, eyeing the white dog as the umbrella twirls in your hand, “I suppose you’re here for the cushions or my flower bed again, are you?”
As if he could understand you, the dog begins wagging his tiny white tail. You realise at that moment that leaving him outside is not an option.
“Alright, welcome to my house, I guess,” you sigh and step around him to unlock the door.
The door can barely fall ajar before your fluffy visitor is in the front hall, shaking the rain off his coat. He sneezes, jumping in his spot as he does so, before scurrying off like a little man on a mission and eliciting a laugh from you.
“Are you hungry, little guy?” You’re not sure if you’re expecting an answer.
Perhaps you’re just in need of a listener. Perhaps you’re just in need of genuine interaction.
The fridge is as empty as you left it, at the mercy of your possible whim to visit the grocery store. You sigh and shut the door of it. A bowl of water will have to do as your offering to the guest.
“Here you go, Bookkeu. That’s your name, right?” You place the bowl down in front of him.
He happily begins lapping at it just moments before a knock sounds again. Once again, your neighbour stands behind the door with a smile that crinkles his nose and eyes filled with worry.
“Hi,” he utters in a voice just louder than the heavy rainfall, “you wouldn’t happen to have seen–”
“He’s in the kitchen,” you inform him and open the door wider. “I gave him some water.”
“Oh.” He smiles brighter as he toes off his shoes. “Thank you, once again. I didn’t even realise he’d sneaked out again.”
You chuckle. “I guess he’s a bit mischievous then.”
“I think he just likes you,” you heard him mumble as he sat down on the floor next to his dog. He clears his throat and turns to you again. “Thank you. It’s nice to know someone’s still looking out for him in this new neighbourhood.”
You hum at that.
“Hey,” he begins again, looking more awkward than before, “I don’t mean to be rude or anything, but… would it be okay if we stayed here for a while? It’s raining really hard.” When you don’t immediately react, he begins sputtering, “I mean– It’s totally okay if you want us gone. We live just next door anyways. It’s just that–” He sighs in defeat, head slumping a bit.
In his flustered state, he doesn’t even realise there’s a smile on your face. Perhaps this is exactly what you need today – a new friend. “You can stay.”
“I can go if you– Wait, really?”
You nod even upon seeing his disbelieving gaze. A smile appears on his face, wide and full of sunshine. “Thank you. That’s very sweet of you.”
“No problem. I think I could use a friend today.”
“Me too,” he whispers softly, hand reaching out to pat his dog’s head. “I had a bit of a rough day and I’ve been feeling a bit lonely these days.”
And so you spend the evening together, you and your neighbour and his fluffy dog, in front of your TV. A forgotten sitcom runs on the screen as you talk for hours, sharing your childhood stories and anecdotes.
It feels nice to have a friend, you decide when you send him off just after midnight and he offers you another bright smile.
The seventh time Bookkeu ends up at your house, you seriously start to wonder if it is indeed an accident. Your friend Jihoon shares your sentiment while in the middle of a one-sided staring contest with the dog.
“Maybe this dog is an Indiana Jones type. Or just a thief, you know like they have in those crime comedies and when you're not looking, he sneaks jewellery out of the house,” he suggests with a narrowed gaze. “Do you have any gold jewellery laying around the house?”
You snort out a laugh at his suggestion, fingers running through the dog’s fur as you wait for Seungkwan to text you back. “Do I look like I own pure gold jewellery?”
“How long have we been friends?”
He shrugs. “Hell if I know. For all I know, you just sort of appeared in my house one day and declared yourself my friend.”
You hum in acknowledgement. He has a point. You wish his brain worked this efficiently more often. But alas.
“What if he trained his dog to come to your house?” he posits and you almost throw a cushion at him at the ridiculous idea. “Like, as an excuse to come see you.”
He thought his idea was brilliant – you could see it in his eyes. You thought it was nothing short of ridiculous.
“Hi!” Seungkwan offers you a wide smile as he practically marches into your bedroom.
You offer him a nod and a generous glance away from your book accompanied by a “hello”.
Bookkeu offers him even less of a response, head still comfortably rested against your thigh as he lays on your bed. You share a look with Seungkwan, both holding back a laugh.
“This dog, I swear–” he hisses playfully before launching himself to rest beside the two of you in bed. “So, how has your week been?”
“When did this turn into a weekly feedback session?” you joked, setting your book aside. “But it’s been fine. Finally perfected my brownie recipe.”
A theatrical gasp. “And you didn’t send me any?”
“There are still a few pieces left in the kitchen.” You poke his cheek softly, earning a scowl. “How did your project go?”
“Well, I wasn’t fired,” he drawls out after a moment of hesitation, eyes wide. You can’t help but laugh, soon followed by a cough when he elbows you in the side.
“Hey, at least feed me before you start laughing at my misery.”
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
“No, you’re not.”
“Not even a little bit.”
“Whatever,” he sighs dramatically once again and sits up. “Bookkeu, come on, let’s leave this meanie.”
The dog barely opens one eye. Seungkwan’s exasperation has you laughing out once again.
“So, what’s the excuse this time?” you ask him when he comes to pick his dog up once again.
He rolls his eyes, clearly out of it this time around. You fully expect him to throw his dog over the shoulder and leave without a word. To your pleasant surprise, he flops down on your living room carpet, barely a hair away from his dog.
You hear unintelligible mumbling.
“I said!” He turns his head so you can hear him. “I crashed my car today.”
As if on instinct, you find yourself rushing over to him and brushing a hand through his hair. “Really? Are you alright?”
You are hit with overwhelming worry when you see the scratches on his cheeks and forehead. You’re not sure how you missed them just moments ago.
He chuckles and weakly fights against your panicked fingers. “I’m fine. Can’t say the same about my headlights or windshield.”
“At least you’re okay,” you whisper after a sigh of relief as he hums. “Can I cheer you up somehow?”
His face scrunches up in thought. After a moment, he sheepishly asks, “Could you cook dinner?”
You contemplate for a moment. “Are you sure you want to eat my food?”
“I trust you more than I trust myself right now,” he whispers, leaning into your touch and smiling.
You’re not sure if the feeling of your heart skipping a beat or two is safe at all.
Sunny days become much more rare in autumn. You’ve learnt to make use of them.
The flowers in your garden have grown tired of the summer sun and are in a clear need of help to prepare for the winter. So that’s what you plan on doing, a shovel in one hand and a gardening guide in the other.
As you’re clearing out debris, a strange feeling overcomes you. Like someone else is there with you. You freeze. Only to jump when something cold and wet presses against your thigh.
“Oh!” You press a hand to your chest to calm your racing heart. “It’s just you again. Hi, buddy.”
The dog wags his tail before beginning his inspection of the flower beds. His owner follows soon after.
“So that’s where you two are!” Seungkwan’s melodious voice sounds just as you finish digging a hole with the help of your tiny assistant. “What are you up to?”
Before you can answer, he’s already scolding his dog, “You know I’m going to have to wash you now, right? Look at how muddy you are. How am I going to get you clean now?”
“I tried to stop him,” you lie through your teeth and Seungkwan knows exactly what you’re doing. He offers you a mild glare and a click of his tongue.
“I guess I might as well let him have his fill,” he decides after a moment of watching the fluffy gardening assistant do his job. “I’m gonna make some coffee. Do you want some?”
You can’t say no to a face like that and soon you’re sitting under a big old cherry tree in your backyard, already cold coffee cups by your side as you talk about everything and nothing.
Seungkwan makes an effort to check on his dog’s whereabouts every few minutes, but only ends up laughing each time. The dog has made himself comfortable in the sunny patch right outside of the tree’s shadow.
“This is nice,” he mumbles out after a while, followed by a soft sigh. “I like being like this.”
He looks down to find your eyes closed. You’ve joined Bookkeu for a daytime nap, tired after hours of gardening. You’re not sure when you fell asleep, certainly not of when you had leaned against Seungkwan’s shoulder, but it’s comfortable.
His hands find yours to hold onto, fiddling gently to not wake you yet. You look too peaceful. He wouldn’t mind finding himself in this situation more often.
While playing with your fingers, Seungkwan makes a decision then and there.
After months of living beside Boo Seungkwan and Bookkeu, you are no longer surprised by the sight of the small dog sitting on your porch and patiently waiting for you to let him inside. You don’t bother to think about why Seungkwan is not searching for him (which Jihoon has pointed out as a major ‘plot hole’ several times) because it is safe to assume he trusts his dog to find you above everything else.
With a chuckle, you greet the dog and let him inside. There is already a ceramic bowl full of water waiting for him on the kitchen floor and a box of the best dry food in your cupboard.
“Where did you go today?” you ask him out of a habit, imagining the adventures he’s gone on while avoiding his worried owner. “Did you have fun?”
He lays down on your couch once again, like he did the very first time he visited your house, and settles for a much-needed nap. He must have had a long day.
You go about your evening routine, cleaning what needs to be cleaned, watering your plants, changing into comfortable clothing. You briefly consider doing some laundry just so you won’t have to do it tomorrow when you hear a knock on the door.
Even Bookkeu seems confused by the sound and follows you to the door. He must know something you don’t because before long his tail starts wagging.
“Who is it?” you ask him before opening the door. Your jaw drops.
Uncharacteristically polite, Seungkwan stands outside your door, a sweet smile on his face, hands behind his back. You blink.
“Since when do you knock?” you wonder. “You have the key.”
He scratches the back of his neck and chuckles awkwardly. “I figured I should try and be more polite for this occasion.”
You can barely open your mouth to ask the question when he pulls a bouquet out of from behind his back. Your jaw drops further.
“I know this might seem a bit weird, but I need to do this before I lose all of my courage.” You can barely understand him through the speed at which he speaks, nerves on edge.
He holds the bouquet out to you. “I like you. I really like you.”
Jihoon and Soonyoung share disgusted looks. Sat across from you on the grassy ground of your backyard, the two have the front-seat view of your blossoming romance.
“I knew it was coming but–” Soonyoung kisses his teeth. “It’s still weird.”
Your best friend concurs. “At least they’re polite about it.”
Soonyoung can not argue with that because at least you have the decency to be shy about physical affection.
“If you think about it,” Jihoon then loudly began, “Bookkeu is kind of like Cupid.”
You can not miss the way Seungkwan’s eyes widen and Soonyoung pales. But Jihoon does not stop there. “It’s almost like he was trained to come to this house if Seungkwan’s not home.”
“How weird is that,” Soonyoung hisses out through a laughter that is far too nervous and awkward to be taken as anything other than a confession of a crime.
Both your and Jihoon’s jaws drop at this.
“You trained him to come to my house?!” you ask Seungkwan who offers a sheepish smile.
“Oh my god I was right!?” Jihoon screeches, jaw dropping even more. “I was right this all time?!”
Fearing your best friend’s wrath (something he’d learned to do on the night you introduced the two of them and Jihoon gave him a lecture on treating you right), Seungkwan took your hand in his and admitted, “Listen, I just… I thought you were really cute and I– The first two times were an accident, I swear!”
“But the third one wasn’t,” Soonyoung mumbled while burrowing further into his hoodie under Jihoon’s disbelieving glare.
“You were really cute and sweet but I didn’t know how to approach you so I sort of…” Your boyfriend gestures vaguely. “You know how it goes.”
You and Jihoon share a look before your best friend bursts into laughter.
Clapping his hands together and practically rolling in his place, Jihoon sputters out, “So he wasn’t a thief or a Cupid… The dog’s literally a spy. Oh my God!”
You feel Seungkwan squeezing your hand. “Please don’t break up with me for this.”
“I won’t,” you promise, unable to hold your laughter, “but you know, you could’ve just come and said hi to me.”
“... Yeah, that probably would’ve been easier.”
“But I appreciate the slightly theatrical approach.”
Jihoon snorts. “If this is how he asks someone to date him, I can’t wait to see how he’ll propose.”
“Give it a few years.”
A/N: Is this my best piece of writing? Eh. Did I have a lot of fun writing this? Absolutely. Consider this my late Seungkwan day celebration as well as the start of the 13 fics series, which I sure hope I can finish without hiccups.