A/N: If you haven't read my fic Ten Dates, please note that this one-shot is an extra scene that directly relates to that story and takes place between Chapters 3 & 4. Since this doesn't fit with the framework of the original story (and because it's in Ji Hoo's POV) I decided to post it separately. I hadn't actually intended on writing this scene out when I posted Chapter 3 of Ten Dates, but people were excited to see this, so I decided to write an extra scene. This is my first time ever writing Ji Hoo's POV and also my first time writing any JanHoo really, so I hope they don't seem too out of character...Hope you enjoy :)
When Ji Hoo pulled up on his white motorcycle, Yi Jeong and Woo Bin were already loitering in front of the porridge shop, joking around as they often did. Among the F4, the two of them had the closest bond due to their similar personalities and interests, and Ji Hoo was at least glad that they were meeting for lunch at a porridge shop instead of for drinks at one of the many clubs Woo Bin's family owned. As much as he loved his friends, the club scene had never been for him, and he much preferred a quiet evening at home with a mug of tea and classical music to the deafening, frantically energized club atmosphere they frequented.
He imagined he must seem a bit boring to the two of them, but he didn't mind it much. There was plenty to keep him occupied at the clinic these days, especially as his grandfather aged and he took over more and more duties.
"Look who it is! Back from the dead," Woo Bin greeted him as he strode up the sidewalk and slapped him on the back as soon as he got in range.
"I thought death was more your line of work," Ji Hoo quipped.
"My job is to take people to the brink of death. Your job is to bring them back to life, Doctor Yoon," Woo Bin replied. "So why have I thought you were in a morgue somewhere for the past few months? I've got a hundred unreturned phone calls on here." He held up his cell phone as proof.
"Liar." Yi Jeong interrupted. "You never call anyone either."
"And you do?" Woo Bin shot back.
"At least I return my calls, unlike some people standing here."
"Speaking of which, do we want to go in?" Ji Hoo asked. "I hate to rush, but I have a patient coming in at 1 P.M."
"Ah, the days before adult responsibilities," Woo Bin lamented, guiding Ji Hoo and Yi Jeong to the door. "Let's go, bros."
"What responsibilities?" Yi Jeong muttered as they entered the porridge shop. "Your job is to visit clubs every night."
"Annyeonghaseyo!" A cute waitress with short hair and a larger-than-life smile greeted them inside and showed them to a booth on the right. Woo Bin and Yi Jeong sat on one side together with Ji Hoo facing them on the other side.
Once they had been seated with menus and left alone to peruse them, Ji Hoo turned his attention to Yi Jeong.
"So where's your friend?" he asked.
"What friend?" Woo Bin asked.
"She's not my friend," Yi Jeong replied, in a tone that told Ji Hoo to drop it. He kept his eyes on the menu, ignoring the curious glance Woo Bin threw his way.
Ji Hoo had no intention of dropping it.
In truth, the main reason he'd come here was because he wanted to know more about the girl Yi Jeong had brought to see him and to see just how far gone his friend was. His friends thought he didn't pay attention to much, but he quietly absorbed everything that went on. He remembered when Yi Jeong lost his first love Eun Jae, how morose and withdrawn he'd been for a few months afterward. It reminded him of losing his own first love, Min Seo-hyun. He didn't believe he'd ever fall in love again, but he hoped for better for his friends. They were the only real family he'd had for most of his life.
"What friend?" Woo Bin repeated.
"She's a waitress," Yi Jeong answered. "I only know her from the restaurant I'm having my marriage meetings at."
"A waitress?" Woo Bin leaned in and added crudely, "She offer any special side dishes?" He laughed and nudged Yi Jeong in the ribs.
"She's not—" Yi Jeong's face creased with irritation for a split second, then relaxed. "She's not that type of waitress."
"Oh? There are types of waitresses now?" Woo Bin dropped his voice. "I thought there were only ones you would bang and ones you wouldn't."
"Are you Geum Jan Di?" Yi Jeong asked, effectively changing the subject as the waitress came over to take their orders.
"Yes. You're So Yi Jeong, am I correct? The famous potter? Ga Eul told me you might be stopping by with your friends."
'Ga Eul?' Woo Bin mouthed.
"She recommended this place to us," Yi Jeong replied, smiling. "This is my friend, Doctor Yoon Ji Hoo." He motioned to Ji Hoo. "And this is Song Woo Bin. Please serve us the best thing you have on the menu."
"Yes, of course." Jan Di bowed and took their menus, smiling brightly. She had a friendly, warm demeanor about her. Similar to Ga Eul's aura but with a bit more energy and directness.
"How is Ga Eul's hand?" Ji Hoo asked.
"Oh, it's healing quite nicely. Thank you for fixing her up so well." Jan Di trained her smile on him. "I don't know if she told you, but I'm a medicine major myself."
Jan Di nodded.
"I want to be a pediatrician."
"No wonder the two of you are friends. You both want to work with kids," Yi Jeong said.
"What year are you?" Ji Hoo asked.
"Third year. I just started my pre-clinical sciences."
"We're actually looking for someone to work part-time in the front office at the clinic if you're interested."
"Omo, really?" Jan Di squealed, then dropped her voice when the man behind the cash register—the manager, he guessed—gave her a strange look. "I mean," she continued, almost whispering, "I'd love working in an actual clinic."
"My grandfather hasn't been satisfied with anyone we've interviewed so far, but"—he leaned toward her a bit, keeping his voice low—"if you come by on next Friday, he won't be there." He pulled a business card out of his pocket. "If you fill out the application on the website and send it in, I'll give you a call and we can set up an interview time."
"Oh, thank you. Thank you so much." The waitress slipped the card into her apron pocket. "I'll be right out with your food." She hurried away, an extra bounce in her step.
"What the hell was that about?" Yi Jeong demanded when she had disappeared into the back.
Ji Hoo shrugged and sipped his water coolly.
"My grandfather ran our last front office assistant off before I could even get her name straight." He smiled. "She already has experience with him, at least, and she seems tough."
"Experience? With your grandfather? Wait. I'm lost here. Who is this girl?" Woo Bin asked.
"She's a friend of my waitress," Yi Jeong replied.
"Your waitress? The one who's serving you and your marriage dates?" Woo Bin clarified.
"They're roommates. That's why we're here. Both of them used to work here," Yi Jeong explained.
"And my grandfather used to come here too, apparently," Ji Hoo said.
"And you know this because?" Woo Bin pressed.
"Ga Eul injured her hand, so Yi Jeong brought her to my clinic."
"Ga Eul's the waitress?"
Ji Hoo nodded.
"And Ga Eul, and this waitress—what was her name again?"
"Jan Di," Ji Hoo replied.
"Ga Eul and Jan Di are roommates."
"Yes," Ji Hoo and Yi Jeong replied.
"And Ji Hoo wants Jan Di to come work for him, and Yi Jeong wants to see Ga Eul outside of work."
"No! What the hell, man," Yi Jeong protested, punching Woo Bin in the arm.
"Whoa, bro. I'm just trying to get everyone's relationships straight," Woo Bin continued. "You're the one who took her to a damn clinic to get her hand stitched up. You give her ride home too? Huh? You did, didn't you?"
"Shut up," Yi Jeong muttered.
Woo Bin chuckled and ribbed Yi Jeong some more.
"She invite you in, bro?"
"Ahhh, I see what's going on here. You couldn't get her to put out, could you?" Woo Bin cracked up more. "I'd like to meet the girl who could—"
"Are you done?" Yi Jeong turned to Woo Bin, exasperation written plainly on his face. "Can we stop talking about this fucking waitress now?"
"Aish, I was just joking."
"There is nothing going on between me and that waitress. For one, she's not my type. For the second thing, I don't mix business with pleasure."
Woo Bin snorted at the blatant lie.
"The sooner I get these stupid dates over with, the better," he muttered into his water glass, then took a huge gulp.
Ji Hoo simply stared out the window and smiled.
This was getting more and more interesting. Perhaps he'd have to probe deeper into the subject when Ga Eul came back to get her stitches removed.
Jan Di arrived with several different porridges for them to try, and the rest of the lunch passed in relative peace and pleasant conversation.
Ji Hoo left first, having to keep his patient appointment.
As he stood next to his motorcycle scrolling through his missed calls, he suddenly felt a tap on his shoulder. Turning, he saw Jan Di holding out a plastic bag with a to-go container of porridge.
"Please take this for your grandfather. I seem to remember this is what he used to order. Although he always complained about it, he can't have disliked it too much since he got it all the time."
"Oh. Thank you." Ji Hoo straightened up and took the porridge from her.
She bowed deeply.
"Thank you for coming. And I will fill out the application tonight. I hope to see you next week."
"Very good. See you then."
"Have a good afternoon."
She smiled and, with a little wave, turned around and re-entered the porridge shop, skipping a little.
As she disappeared behind the glass, Ji Hoo felt his heart flutter in a way he hadn't felt in a long time.
In a way he'd almost forgotten.
He wasn't quite sure what it meant.