"I'm proud of you guys. Don't give up yet. We still have a couple more schedules before the day's over," Onew told the group, patting each member on the back as they headed towards their car.
"Ughh, I'm so frickin' tired," Key whined, waving a hand as he climbed in and leaned the car chair back.
"Wait until we all get in," Jonghyun told diva Key, poking at the back of his head and earning a glare from having the puppy even think about touching his hair. Nonetheless, the diva pulled the chair back up so that everyone could safely get inside.
"What do we have left?" Minho asked.
"One live performance and an interview," Onew replied.
Taemin was the last to get in. The maknae looked the most tired out of everyone. He tried to turn things around and have an uplifted look upon everything that day, but... it was tough. They had been up since the wee hours of the morning and it was already almost evening. More than likely, they'd be working into the night. This was the life of an idol. It was something they were all used to.
However, this day was different. This day was special...
The members hadn't forgotten. Sadly, though, their celebration was meek. In between schedules, the boys managed to get him a Japanese dessert crepe. They snuck him small presents here and there. Taemin knew that he shouldn't expect too much, but still...
Well, at least he'd have a birthday party with the fans, just like every other member had. But there was still something missing. The day didn't seem complete. Things didn't feel right. Continuously, the boy gazed at his phone and was continuously disappointed. Nothing. Sure, his inbox was flooded with random 'Happy Birthday' messages from all the idols he knew, but there was a name missing:
Taemin wanted to cuddle the phone and throw it out the window out of frustration all at once. Once they arrived at their next schedule, he repeatedly rubbed at the phone in his pocket, hoping to feel the familiar notification buzz. Sometimes, his mind would play tricks on him. A ghost of a buzz would sneak from his pocket, mocking him.
It made him all the more tired once the schedule finished.
"Taemin, I know you're tired, but you need to brighten up. SM will pick up on something strange and punish you if you don't," Minho told him as they rode to their final destination, messing the boy's hair up lovingly. "Sorry your birthday didn't go too well today."
Taemin shrugged and gave the frog prince a meek smile. He didn't want the others to worry... but hiding his disappointment was growing to become difficult.
"Last stop!" the driver called from the front in Japanese, turning into their Japan office. Fans still crowded around the building, each one holding birthday signs or presents for the maknae. They needed all of their security guards to force the girls back just enough for the boys to push through and go inside. Out of respect, Taemin grabbed some gifts along the way, thanking each one as they went. Finally, they were able to breathe once they securely got inside.
"To the practice room~!" Jonghyun called, pointing in the direction of where they went to practice during their free time. "Away!"
"I thought we had an interview?" Taemin asked innocently, tilting his head at the pup.
Jonghyun flinched slightly. "Ahhh, yes, yes. We do! In the practice room! Let's go, boy."'
Key walked after Jonghyun, hitting his forehead as he went. The rest soon followed those two. Taemin looked at his friends, curious as to why they were suddenly acting so... curious. What were they up to?
All of the SHINee boys pushed themselves in front of Taemin as they reached the door. Key crept in first, shutting the door behind him.
"Hey! Let us in, Umma!" Taemin called out, but was blocked by the other three. "Whaaat are you guys doing?"
There was a small knock on the other side of the door, and as the three opened the door, they saw the whole room was black. Without any more questions from their all too curious dance machine, the boys pushed him into the room, causing him to stagger and quickly catch his balance.
"...Stop being weird. Turn on the lights!" Taemin let out a small laugh, outstretching his arms so that he could feel his way towards a wall.
Suddenly, a tiny light formed behind the couch. It forced Taemin to stop in his tracks and gaze at the curious thing. What... was that?
Taemin lifted his gaze at the sound of the musical voice. His eyes followed the figure that glowed in the warmth of the candle, starting from the little black ballet flats to the pretty blue strapless summer dress. The skull cupcake necklace shined from her neck in a sudden glare before setting back into it's simple pastel colors. Finally, his eyes met a familiar set of blue ones. His breath caught, surprised to see such a beautiful pair staring back at him at that time and place.
He turned his head very slightly at the sound of clapping. Each member of SHINee was kneeling in a corner towards the very back of the room, their eyes glistening triumphantly. They had to keep Marilee a secret for quite some time. They purposely wore him out only to bring up his spirits in the end. Seeing the look of shock on their maknae's face amused them. Jonghyun gave the boy a little smug wave.
"A-Ah?" Taemin choked out, unable to form sentences, still shocked. It caused Marilyn to giggle.
Taeminnie blinked at the sound of her laugh and pouted at the cake. Normally, he liked sweets... especially hers. But at that moment, it was blocking him from engulfing Marilyn into a warm embrace. Briefly, he had a fleeting thought that he should just knock into the cake and tackle her down anyway... but the candle could hurt her. Or what if the house burned down?
"Stupid candle," he muttered under his breath, still pouting his boyish pout as he glared at the light. No matter how much older he grew, he still kept his childlike qualities.
"Yah! Make a wish, my son! Aigoo, we don't have all day!" Key twanged from the group hiding towards the back, popping up so that he stood tall and rested his hands on his hips. For extra effect, he rolled his eyes and sighed. Minho rose a brow towards the diva and let out a small chuckle before tugging at his wrist, forcing Key back down with the rest.
"You did not just pull at my arm."
"Shush!" Onew waved impatiently at Key, his eyes still on the couple. It was as if they were all preparing to watch a movie in the theater...
Marilyn caught Taeminnie's eyes once more and giggled again. She missed these boys so much... Seeing the dumbfound expression on his face, Marilee walked a couple steps closer so that they were inches apart. She lifted the small cake some more. "Peter... make a wish!"
Taemin blinked, trying to become untranced from her eyes. "O-Oh! Right..." he exclaimed, a small, embarrassed smile spreading across his lips. He forced himself to gaze at the cake alone. But what could he possibly wish for? Without thinking, he blew the candle out, earning another round of applause. Before Marilee could do anything more with the cake, Taemin forced it out of her hands.
He ignored her and placed it a little roughly on the table. Unable to control his emotions anymore, he rushed back to Marilyn and engulfed her in his arms, causing the two to tumble to the ground.
"Tink... You're here!" he exclaimed, eyes glistening despite his wide grin. "You're here, you're here, you're here!"
Taemin hugged her tighter. "Please don't go..."
Her smile softened. Marilyn shifted her arms so that she was able to run a hand through the boy's soft brown hair. "I'm staying in Japan with you guys. I'm staying with you, Peter."
He didn't care about the attention. The room was a dark hole where only he and this girl shined. He lifted his head and pressed his lips against hers, cherishing the feeling of the kiss oh so much. He missed this feeling. He missed her.
"Awhhhh~!" the boys in the back chorused before laughing together.
Marilyn blushed a little, hiding her small face in Taeminnie's chest. Trying to ignore the rest of SHINee, she asked him, "Sooo, what did you wish for?"
It was his turn to blush... looking away and biting his lip, he replied, "I... didn't wish for anything."
"Yah, you punk! You wasted a wish?! For shame..." Onew exclaimed from the back.
"Why not?" Marilyn asked.
"I'm happy enough. I don't need anything else. I figured someone else that deserved it could have a double wish somewhere in the world. I'm happy just with you."
Suddenly, Jonghyun lifted up Marilyn and Minho hoisted Taemin. A glint devilishly flashed in their eyes once more. Like lightning (which is a feat for Onew sangtae), the leader smashed cake into both of the youngest's faces. Key, on the other hand, merely gave a smirk... meters away from the group. What, did people really think he'd be stupid enough to get dirty?
Taemin and Marilyn looked at each other and broke out laughing. Was this revenge from the first time they had a food fight together? Winking at each other, they turned and rushed to the cake, picking up the whole thing and chasing the rest down
Would SHINee and Marilee ever have a calm moment in their life? Unlikely, but they preferred it that way. Together, life was enjoyable and entertaining. Chaotic, but enticing. Marilyn couldn't imagine life without the SHINee boys, and they couldn't bear to begin thinking of life previously without her. This was their new enjoyable life, and they intended to keep it that way...
Peter and Tink belonged together, after all.