Length: 800 words
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: Sungjong expects to be covering some primetime breaking news story. He gets a soccer game.
Sungjong has some questions.
He wants to know, for one thing, if all the other reporters at his station get front row seats to their events, or if it’s just Myungsoo and his stupid sports department with this kind of special treatment. Sungjong has worked at InfiniTel for a year and a half and has meticulously counted seventy-eight celebrity events under his repertoire, and yet not once has he been placed in the front row during any of them. Until tonight, that is.
He wants to know if he’ll ever get to eat the dinner (these game snacks don’t count as food) he was torn from at five thirty in the afternoon on his day off, by a call from his boss telling him to find a dress shirt quick, because he was needed to go on air. Fantastic, Sungjong had thought, putting his bowl down on the coffee table. A real news story. Crime and drama and all with my face reporting on it.
Instead, he’s surrounded by ten thousand obnoxiously screaming fans, watching a bunch of boys in baggy shorts kick a ball around a soccer field.
Sungjong makes sure the video staff haven’t got the camera following him before he traipses away to his seat in the VIP section, flopping down beside a middle-aged fan still dressed in his business suit. The guy doesn't spare Sungjong a second glance, he's so wrapped up in the game.
Sungjong leans forward and props his elbow upon his knee, holding his chin up with a bored expression. He wonders what Myungsoo is doing right now and hopes to hell he has a good excuse, because this game is the last place on earth Sungjong wants to be. In five minutes time when the little clock on the board ticks down to zero, Sungjong will have to bounce up out of his seat and talk to InfiniTel’s viewers as if he has even an iota of interest in what he has just spent the past three hours watching.
As it is, Sungjong imagines he has about as much interest in the game as the businessman next to him would have in a Prada bag.
The cue card writer - and Sungjong's partner in crime for most recordings -, Sungyeol, is watching with a sort of misty-eyed joy, and Sungjong is glad that at least one of them is enjoying themselves. He asked Sungyeol earlier to give him the basics of the game so that he wouldn’t sound totally ignorant on camera when the time came, and Sungjong thinks he can remember it all. The constant screaming and whistling from the fans around him are making it a little hard for him to hear his own thoughts, however.
Sungjong sighs and sits up, straightens his tie and microphone wire. One of the players on the red team kicks the ball into a net on the nearest side to Sungjong, and Sungjong watches as the player pauses for half a second and then reacts brightly, getting grabbed at and pulled around by several of his teammates as they rush forward to embrace him.
“What just happened?” he asks Sungyeol, who’s glanced up from the card he’s writing Sungjong’s lines on to follow the game.
“Number twelve, that Lee Howon. He just scored a monopolizing goal, and his red team’s in the lead now with only a few minutes to go.”
Sungjong nods and watches as Howon grins up at the red sea of fans in the stands, who cheer louder as soon as he acknowledges them.
“He’s their best player,” Sungyeol concludes.
Humming, Sungjong stands from the bench and moves closer to the barricades.
“So I should keep an eye on him in particular?”
Sungyeol just shrugs as if to say ‘do what you want’, and Sungjong gets the feeling he’s on the verge of asking too many pesky questions, so he leaves it alone.
One of Lee Howon’s teammates runs up to him as he wanders slowly back towards centerfield, tugging on his shirt, but Howon ignores him, continuing to wave around at the crowd. Well he’s cocky, Sungjong thinks, and it’s not a second later when Howon’s eyes meet his.
Sungjong expects Howon to look away immediately from a coincidental bit of eye contact, but that doesn’t happen. Howon holds his gaze for a good few seconds, quirking an eyebrow almost teasingly as his bowed lips slide into a little smirk.
Then again, Sungjong muses, smirking right back, so am I.
His stomach flutters, Howon finally looks away, and suddenly the game just got a little more interesting. Sungjong turns to Sungyeol and waits for him to pause in his writing before he speaks up.
“We’re going to be interviewing both of the teams, right? I want to interview red last.”
“That’s what boss said,” answers Sungyeol, shrugging. “But why?”
Sungjong settles back into his seat, crossing his right leg over his left thigh. “Ah, no real reason,” he replies equivocally.
Lee Howon is directly on the trail of another goal now, chasing the ball with movements so fast, Sungjong’s brain can barely register the motions. The ball smacks against the side of Howon’s foot and goes flying grandly into the air, where it hits the net to form another goal. Ricocheting around the frame until it slowly drifts back out again, the ball's importance is utterly forgotten as the red team cascades upon Howon, piling upon him as the fans in the stands scream riotously in victory.
A glimpse of Howon’s grinning face comes into Sungjong’s sight again. Their eyes meet and Sungjong knows it’s no coincidence this time when Howon grins, that now-familiar flash of pointed teeth, and doesn’t look away until Sungjong mouths a ‘well done’ in his direction.
I think I want to save the best kind of congratulations for last, Sungjong thinks slyly to himself, as he bounces up out of his seat.
• i don't know how soccer works
• hoya pic is from finite-in i think i will double check this later