Fandom/Pairing; Heechul-centric, HanChul friendship, KyuHan
Summary; On the inside, Hankyung wonders if Heechul is dying. He wonders and wonders and wonders and wants to burst into tears.
A/N; This is angst, sprinkled with some happy every now and then. I have a feeling I'm going to get shot by someone for this. I'm sorry if it's poorly written, but at one point I just couldn't write it anymore because I was seriously hurting myself. I put the blame on Spring Awakening, but it also spawned from me being in a weird mood. Thank you for reading :D
Word Count; 5695
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On the bathroom floor, wet and bare, is where Heechul is found.
Hankyung is rocking something in his arms—it’s something like his best friend Heechul, but it’s something else, too. The body is shaking and every now and then gives one big convulsion, like a block of ice is pressed to his bare back. But it’s not ice, but a warm shirt over a warm chest that belongs to Hankyung. Heechul tries to hold on to the arm that’s pressing him close, but his hands are weak and they can’t keep a firm grip.
“Mama…Mama needs me…” he pants, like his lungs are trying to push out any air that’s left in them. “Mama needs me…I have to get them for her…I have to get her the…” but he can’t finish his broken words. He coughs, and it’s a dry crackling noise that doesn’t sound anything near natural.
On the inside, Hankyung wonders if Heechul is dying. He wonders and wonders and wonders and wants to burst into tears. But on the outside, he whispers gentle shushes into his friend’s ear. He presses a kiss to his cheek and cradles him until this passes. It takes hours—hours that tick tock like days—but it does.
It passes, for now.
Kyuhyun is the second person allowed to touch Heechul. He’s second after Hankyung, because the Chinese man seems to always win first place for Heechul. The importance of Kyuhyun puzzles the other members, because the maknae and their resident princess never outwardly showed any affection for each other. And why didn’t he choose Siwon?
Kyuhyun is allowed to brush Heechul’s hair for him, because his hands are too tired to do anything except sit in his lap, or flex awkwardly over and over again—he does this while the bristles tickle his scalp and hopes that it helps.
They don’t usually talk when they sit this way. Kyuhyun just does what he does and tries not to tug on any knots that might slip a tiny scream from Heechul’s throat. For that would be akin to tugging on a schizophrenic cat’s tail.
But Kyuhyun is curious. He wants to know the meaning of the words he can hear through the door or the wall that he presses his ear to when he know Hankyung is trying to calm down their princess. He wants to know what ‘Mama’ needs. The maknae is curious, and sometimes curiosity doesn’t kill the cat, but it turns up with a damaged singer.
“Hyung,” he grunts, to begin.
“What does your mother need?”
Heechul’s breath hitches. His throat gurgles and comes up with nothing, but suddenly Kyuhyun’s hand is no longer holding the brush. Instead the handle wound up bound in Heechul’s fingers, and the head of the tool flies across Kyuhyun’s face.
Kyuhyun lands on the floor, struck with such a surprisingly forceful blow. And then he hears the clack of light wood against the floor, and without really looking, he knows it’s his attacker’s instrument of destruction. He presses his long fingers to his scratched cheek and doesn’t get up until Heechul’s bones move like an earthquake.
Part of Kyuhyun wonders if this means that his touching privileges are gone. But he discards the idea and sets his hyung down on the bed before going off to find Hankyung. Hand still pressed to his heated cheek, feeling just the tiniest and almost unnoticeable dots of red blood, Kyuhyun searches. His heart is pulsing quickly, but he knows he needs to stay calm. Besides, Hankyung will fix this.
Hankyung can fix Heechul. He always does.
Kyuhyun has faith.
It’s Tuesday and Hankyung comes back with Heechul after the fifth trip to the doctor that month. Heechul has a new medication—it comes in the form of a round purple pill smaller than the fingernail on his fifth digit. The miniscule purple devil makes him nauseous on the first day. He tries to eat the light soup Ryeowook made that night, but ends up hugging the toilet bowl until three in the morning.
“But I am getting better,” Heechul pets his silky cat as he rests peacefully between himself and Hankyung on the bed. Hankyung isn’t sure if he’s being talked to, or if Heechul thinks his closed eyes means that he isn’t listening, so he’ll talk to the cat instead. “I haven’t shaken as much today.”
Hankyung lifts an arm from its leisurely position over his stomach and taps the wooden backboard of the bed with his knuckles.
“What was that for?” Heechul asks, scratching under Heebum’s chin.
“Just in case you jinxed it.”
Heechul snickers. “Thanks.”
Hankyung puts his hand back in its previous place, and he feels the mattress shudder under his body. A convulsion. But Heechul says nothing. They lay in silence until they can finally let sleep take them away at 4:26 AM.
“They still don’t know what’s wrong with him,” Hankyung murmurs into his hands. “They never will.”
Siwon pats Hankyung’s back gently, like a soft beat to a drum. “They will, hyung. They will.”
“No,” Hankyung is shaking his head. And he hates how scripted this all sounds, and how every move they make reminds him of a television drama. Scenes like this are meant to be on screen only. In real life, they just make people gag.
Siwon doesn’t want to believe it. He doesn’t want to believe the idea of Heechul staying like this for the rest of his life, and he doesn’t even want to think about it. But he only gets occasional updates through Hankyung about the doctors saying this and saying that and Heechul needs new medication, or something like that. That’s when he learned about these new purple pills.
They should be helping. They are helping. Siwon tells himself in his head that they are, but he can’t find it in him to tell his hyung out loud like he should.
Maybe it’s because there’s still a twitch in Heechul’s movements every now and then. And sometimes he shivers under four blankets. And sometimes he mutters something about his mother in his sleep—Siwon found him on the couch once, whispering the name over and over again.
Even then, Siwon thinks that these tiny pills are helping. He pretends.
He makes like he’s acting.
Hankyung finds comfort in speaking with Kyuhyun. The younger man usually has a way of distracting him just enough to forget about Heechul’s tears and twitches and calls for his mother.
At the same time, Kyuhyun is too young and too curious for his own good.
“Hyung…is there anything going on between you two?” Kyuhyun asks one morning in the hall. He hadn’t been able to sleep, so he wandered the dorms despite the fact that he could’ve slept in an extra two hours that day. Hankyung’s getting up to use the bathroom.
Hankyung sees how Kyuhyun’s lightly scratches face motions towards Heechul’s room.
“Anything between us?” his eyelids raise a bit more. “What?”
“Well, you spend all your time with him, you’ve probably seen him naked, you’re the only one who can help him through his fits, you sleep in his room and haven’t gone to yours for who knows who long?”
“I was cleaning up yesterday,” Hankyung cuts in. “So I did go in there.”
Kyuhyun unfolds his arms from across his chest—he’s worried it might make him look too cold or critical.
“There’s nothing going on,” Hankyung says, staring straight into Kyuhyun’s eyes. “Nothing.”
“You’re just best friends,” Kyuhyun adds.
“That’s right. That’s it. Nothing else.”
Hankyung believes himself—or at least, he thinks he does—and he wants Kyuhyun to believe him to. There’s an unexplainable desire within him to have Kyuhyun understand, and it’s poking and prodding him in the back of the head. It wants more clarification, more words for Kyuhyun. But Hankyung stays quiet and nods to himself before slipping into the bathroom and leaving the maknae alone in the empty hallway.
Kyuhyun lingers and sways for a moment, but then he heads off to his room, not understanding why he suddenly feels so tired.
“They’re purple,” Yesung says dully as Eunhyuk is holding up Heechul’s meds in the palm of his hand. They know that Leeteuk would scold them and kick their asses into next week if he finds the two of them.
“But don’t you think they’re kind of bluish?” Eunhyuk argues. He stands up from the bathroom floor and holds them up to the lights over the mirror. “See?”
“Come on, you don’t?”
“Give me my five bucks,” Yesung opens his own palm, waiting for his money.
“Dude, seriously, these have some blue in them,” the younger man is convinced that there’s more than meets the eye. But Yesung rolls his eyes and curls his fingers a few times.
“First of all, there’s obviously blue in it because red and blue make purple,” Yesung states, but then he regrets this statement, because now Eunhyuk is showing him his gums and his teeth look whiter than they usually do for some odd reason. Maybe it’s because he’s figuring out a way to get five dollars richer.
“Aha! Exactly, they do have blue in them!” Eunhyuk shouts, a little too loud.
“That’s not what I meant, you ass!”
“But you still said it!”
“In all seriousness, these aren’t really just purple,” Eunhyuk is starting to sound like he’s analyzing, and it’s starting to make Yesung’s ears bleed a bit. It’s just a fucking color.
Suddenly, Yesung doesn’t feel like they’re alone, but he doesn’t know why. He gets this looming feeling, like they’re being watched. He shifts his gaze just a bit, to the crack in the bathroom door.
“They’re more like violet or something.”
The door opens more, and Yesung can see cat-like eyes. He slaps his hand over Eunhyuk’s in a way that makes the younger man give a tiny holler.
“What was that for?”
Yesung uses his eyes. He directs Eunhyuk to the door, and it’s not just cracked anymore but it’s wide open and there’s Heechul. There’s Heechul, standing stiff and fragile and with a frighteningly blank look on his face.
“Oh…” Eunhyuk gapes. He feels guiltier than he ever thought he might feel if they’d been caught with those pills. His heart is beating fast, and his stomach has dropped to a low that actually gives him a stomachache. He doesn’t know why it’s so bad, though, and he wonders if Yesung is feeling the same way. Or maybe it’s just him, and Yesung is fine.
But that’s not the problem, and he knows this. The problem is that Heechul is crying—crying with the blank expression. No crumpled foreheads or pulled back lips and scrunched up noses. If it weren’t for the pink nose and red lining laced around the lashes and the wet drops, he would look completely normal.
It ends as quickly as it happens. Heechul hasn’t said one word between the two of them, but he flees the scene like he couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
Neither Yesung nor Eunhyuk know if they did anything wrong until the next day when Hankyung walks out of Heechul’s room, sighing heavily, with panda eyes—he didn’t sleep much last night.
“Heechul won’t take his pills anymore.”
Kyuhyun wants to go with Hankyung and Heechul to see the doctor, but he can’t.
“I don’t think he wants you there,” Hankyung pats the younger man’s shoulder. “After the…hairbrush thing.”
All sorts of protests are rising up, but at the same time, Kyuhyun knows that he isn’t Heechul’s favorite person right now. At the same time, he takes comfort in knowing that he didn’t screw up as badly as Yesung and Eunhyuk did on Thursday night.
“Hey,” Hankyung cups Kyuhyun’s chin in a gesture that’s typical to the two of them when he really wants Kyuhyun’s attention, but immediately both of their hearts stammer. He has to retrace his steps all over his brain and remember what he wanted to say. Oh, right. “Don’t let this put you down. I’m sure you’ll be allowed within two meters of him again in no time.”
Kyuhyun tries to smile through his thumping pulse.
“I know you’re worried,” he keeps going.
“We all are.”
“But we can’t all go with him,” he says. “How suspicious would that be if Super Junior’s hanging a hospital waiting room?”
They chuckle a little, despite the lack of humor in the situation.
“You should let Teukie-hyung take him today,” Kyuhyun lets the suggestion fly past without giving much thought into saying it.
Hankyung’s expression is taken aback, his light grin faltering. “W-What?”
“Stay home today.”
“Have you looked in the mirror recently?” Kyuhyun points to the space under his eyes. “You’ve got bags. The makeup artists have been complaining.”
Kyuhyun gives a large nod. “Oh yeah. They have. Well, they’re kinda worried, too. About you. And about their supply.”
“Figures,” Hankyung sighs. He gives a long pause. “Should I say home today?”
“Yes. You should,” Kyuhyun puts both his hands on his hyung’s shoulders. “Teukie-hyung won’t mind much.”
“Alright,” Hankyung gives one firm nod. “I will.”
He and Kyuhyun walk off, side-by-side, to find Leeteuk. Hankyung’s body screams in relief for the promise of rest, but the rest of him screams in protest.
Heechul needs you.
Hankyung shuts his eyes. He takes a deep breath.
I’ll still be there for him.
He lets it out.
But I need to be there for myself, too.
Heechul hates being alone. And he knows he isn’t, because he has Leeteuk to cling to today. But Leeteuk isn’t Hankyung—Heechul wants Hankyung.
Gripping onto the sleeve of Leeteuk’s jacket doesn’t give him the same level of comfort as Hankyung’s jacket does. The words coming out of the leader’s mouth aren’t as effective in soothing his nerves and shakes. Heechul hates that he’s shaking again, but he’d rather suffer than take those pills.
Those violet pills.
It’s a bit immature to others how ardent his emotions are when it comes to that color. He wishes that he could just tell someone why—that he could just spill his guts as easy as that, and then it wouldn’t have to be a secret anymore. Not a single person knows. Not even Hankyung.
The one night when he tries to tell his best friend—when he tried to gut the deepest secret out of himself that he possibly could—the words wouldn’t come out right. He panted and stuttered and shivered until Hankyung’s arms could calm him down. It was still his secret, and the fact alone ate away at him. It’s been eating away at his health, accompanied by something doctor couldn’t even name for him.
The routine is the same with them. They test away. When it’s time for Leeteuk to take him home, he’s a bit short of blood, his skin feels heavy, his brain wants to pound its way through his skull, and his legs drag a bit. Then there’s new medication. The pills are larger; they’re white. White is Leeteuk’s favorite color. Leeteuk is harmless. Leeteuk is friendly, and caring.
So, white is harmless, friendly, and caring. It has to be.
Leeteuk talks to the doctors eloquently and professionally as he tries so hard to pry answers out of them. They don’t know much anymore. Dozens of times, they’ve said the same things to Hankyung in the past, and then to Kibum a few times, and maybe Siwon once or twice.
Their last statement is unchanging. It’ll go on forever.
“The best thing to do is just keep testing him.”
And then it’s time to go home.
Leeteuk gets a full two minutes down the road—Heechul counts—before he releases everything into tears.
On the days that Kibum is home at the dorms, he spends almost every minute of his time with Heechul. Kibum has never been good with handling Heechul’s random convulsions, so upon hearing the news of more effective medication, he speeds home faster from his movie set than he ever thought was possible.
They’re playing with Heebum on the floor of Heechul’s room, and laughing and talking about how Kibum’s life is going these days. Kibum asks how Heechul is, and the older man answers that he’s been to hell and come back with stable hands, and it’s wonderful.
Kibum can’t stop smiling that killer smile. Heechul realizes how much he misses seeing that every day.
Ryeowook is allowed to touch Heechul now. The two of them sit on the couch together and watch television, and the younger entangles his skinny arm with his hyung’s equally skinny limb. The eternal maknae smiles at Heechul during a commercial and says he’ll go make them something to eat.
Leaving the screen flickering pictures from new dramas previews to cars to SHINee’s Nana’s B commercial, Heechul follows Ryeowook to the kitchen, with his slowly strengthening hands gripping his shoulders like they’re creating a train.
Ryeowook suddenly thinks of Taemin when he’s opening the refrigerator door, and it’s probably because he can hear the young boy’s voice from the TV.
“You’ve gotten a lot prettier…”
Heechul’s laughing lightly—sweet cackling. It’s a strange and foreign sound to Ryeowook’s ears. Heechul hasn’t laughed much recently, not much at all.
“Can I touch your face?”
It takes Ryeowook an extra second to realize that his dongsaeng Taemin isn’t the only one saying the words. He lifts his face and the skin of his cheek meets with slightly bony fingers. His hyung is grinning slyly and poking him in the cheek not-so-gently, but Ryeowook doesn’t mind somehow.
And that’s probably because of Heechul’s smile.
He’s starting to look healthy again.
“One more time?”
“Again? Ge—I mean hyung, I—”
“Yah, Henry,” Heechul bops the youngest of Super Junior M on his head and pouts. “If I died tomorrow, I wouldn’t be able to hear you play anymore.”
Henry refrains from saying anything after this. His Korean isn’t that wide when it comes to vocabulary anyway. The violin is under his chin again, and Heechul’s pressing a light kiss to his forehead.
Heechul fusses with Henry’s hair for a moment, like a mother hen, and the violinist isn’t sure how to react to this. He’s so used to having the person who does this over him be Hankyung or Leeteuk—the two leaders. Confusion melts away when he glances at Heechul’s contented expression, and he glides his bow over the string.
He plays one more time.
Watching Hankyung sleep is one of the things that can always calm Heechul’s nerves. Not in an unnerving or creepy manner, but surreptitiously, when the Chinese man’s fallen into a slumber while waiting for his princess of a friend to drift off. Heechul takes Hankyung’s warm and still hand and presses it to his chest, right over his steady heartbeat. He hasn’t felt this relaxed in a long time.
He wonders if he’s even been in love with Hankyung. And then he wonders if Hankyung has ever been in love with him. They’ve loved each other, in the most innocent and friendly sense. They hold each other when they want, and they kiss each other’s cheeks or hands, but they’ve never gone too far.
Something buried in the dark back of Heechul’s mind thinks that he’s wanted to. He’s wanted to take his kiss from its typical peck on the cheek to a passionate moment on Hankyung’s lips. That is what the back of his mind tells him.
He stares at Hankyung’s sleeping face, eyes wide and exploring the planes of it in only the soft revealing light of the moon.
His mind is repeating it. Yes, he has been in love with Hankyung. As he suddenly realizes that his lips are merely an inch away from the sleeping man’s parted ones, he wants to ask himself if he still does. He wants to ask himself if he could possibly still be in love.
But he doesn’t ask himself—not really.
Fingers extended into the moonlight, he traces this thumb over Hankyung’s bottom lip.
To him, everything is a light shade of violet, almost invisible, but still there.
The pills, he remembers—the harmless white ones—are in the bathroom across the hall.
It isn’t long before the bottle is empty. He makes sure there isn’t a single one left by the time he can see the sun. He sings and gurgles and gags in a strange pattern as he makes sure of this.
It’s four fifteen, AM, when Kangin gets up to go to the bathroom. He’d had a little too much water at dinner the night before.
The dorms are quiet, and only a little orange light is pouring in through the window at the end of the hall. But not much longer after he’s closed the door to his room is when he hears something that puts a little tiny crack in the quiet, like glass.
There once was a maiden, who wandered the mead.
To gather blue violets her mama would need…
Heechul is singing. And he is definitely not doing any kind of rendition of his favorite girly stuff the fans love. Kangin feels a shudder rip through his tough body. He can’t understand most of the words—they’re in English, and he stops himself before he opens the door.
A wail through the willows, all hollow through the willows.
She’ll wail through the willows until she finds them…
Heechul’s voice cracks—Kangin hears this through the wood against his ear. He hears tears, and a choked attempt at reciting a melody that’s too haunting to sing without breaking hearts in the first place.
There’s no way he can stand here for another second.
Kangin walks away. He’ll use the other bathroom.
Donghae enters the kitchen in the morning at a much more reasonable hour and sees Heechul dancing. Smiling, laughing, moving with such easily bending joints and no bumps in his flow. For a brief second, Donghae doesn’t recognize the man standing in front of him. But after some time, he remembers who this is and all of the sudden, Donghae is dancing, too.
Heechul is hugging Donghae in such a warm embrace that they can both feel each other’s happiness. It’s never been a better Monday. This Monday contrasts with the usual dreariness of having to start up a new week of trying to survive.
Donghae marvels in how Heechul is letting this hug happen in the first place.
Maybe things really are starting to look up.
There’s a tingle on Hankyung’s face when he wakes up. It doesn’t fade throughout almost the entire day. He walks around in a slight daze, but he still feels normal. He can’t place it. There’s something, but there isn’t something.
Nothing’s bothering him, but he’s bothered.
Perhaps it’s because it’s Tuesday, and Tuesdays typically mean a trip to the doctor. But there isn’t one today. He thinks this could be it. Yet, at the same time, he knows that is isn’t.
He walks around the apartment, bare chest and loose pajama pants, trying to find something, but he doesn’t know what. His hands comb through his hair as he picks up a sweatshirt resting over the back of the chair—it looks like Shindong’s, and Hankyung knows he won’t mind. With a gentle thump, Hankyung sets himself down on the living room couch and turns the TV on, but he mutes the screen.
And he sits there for a while, cross-legged and pulling his hands into the sleeves of the slightly oversized sweater for warmth—his face still has that light tickling.
He’s on autopilot, just breathing and remembering to blink every once in a while, when Henry comes to sit next to him.
“Are you okay, ge?” the boy asks, in a language that isn’t usually spoken in the Super Junior dorms unless there’s an M attached to the name.
Hankyung takes himself off autopilot for Henry—his ‘baby’—and he shrugs. “I’m not sure.”
Henry bobs his head up and down and puts his hand against his leader’s arm. “If there’s anything you want to talk about…”
There isn’t much else to say. Henry watches the silent screen with Hankyung for a while, but soon gets up once the rest of the house starts to move with a new day. Hankyung smiles as Henry slips off to help Leeteuk.
It’s when he’s watching Kyuhyun play Starcraft with his arms lazily draped around the young man that he senses something is truly off. He thinks a pair of eyes is watching him, but as he glances around, there’s no one else in the room but himself and Kyuhyun.
His stomach churns, and Kyuhyun can feel his discomfort. The game pauses—a rare thing with the younger man.
Kyuhyun twists his head slightly, to connect their eyes. They stare at each other for a while. He can see how uneasy Hankyung’s eyes are. Those eyes are usually so sweet and calm around him, but there’s a new edge to them now. Kyuhyun doesn’t want it there.
He kisses his Hankyung, quietly and drawn out over several seconds. As the older man’s back aligns with the floor, and his hands find the younger one’s hips to hold tightly, Kyuhyun decides that he’ll always abandon his video games for times like this.
Heechul is wearing nice clothes—nice clean clothes that make him look like he’s about to go out on the town with someone. Yesung and Eunhyuk are betting on him going on a date. Zhou Mi is asking them if they think the girl is from Girls’ Generation, or another group, and then Donghae suggests that she could be just a normal girl. They laugh at Donghae, except for Zhou Mi, because well, it could happen, maybe kind of sort of.
Heechul giggles inside at how silly they’re all acting, and tells them that he’ll fill them in on the situation when he comes home—but the words seem empty when he says them. The words come out like the truth, but they’re in a liar’s package in his brain.
He finds Siwon and gives him a tight hug, swaying slightly. Then he moves on to Sungmin and does the same but for a shorter time. For a while, the usually frail and sickly man is walking around the house with a dance in his step, and his friends are all forming concerned expressions.
“Think he ate something funny?” Sungmin turns to Shindong.
“Well, it wasn’t this,” Shindong says, referring to the noodles he’s currently slurping up.
Sungmin shrugs and puts his bunny slipper-clad feet up on the coffee table as he watches Heechul prance off, as if he’s looking for Hankyung. But he’s not, because if he were, then he would’ve found him by now. Hankyung is playing cards with Donghae, in the center of the floor for anyone to just trip over them.
Heechul finds Henry and Kyuhyun in the latter’s room with a laptop at their feet, and it’s reciting the words to the first Harry Potter movie. Yet the two of them are asleep. It’s darker outside than Heechul feels like it should be for five thirty in the evening.
Then he hears thunder, sees a brief flash of lightning, and he knows why.
Henry twitches in his sleep, and moves a little closer to Kyuhyun. He must not like thunder, Heechul thinks, and he finds himself grinning at how cute the Chinese maknae is. The two maknaes both are. Heechul leans over the bed just slightly, and he kisses them both on the cheek.
He moves Kyuhyun’s hair out of the way, and presses another to his forehead, putting a good amount of love into it. If he does this, then Kyuhyun will better understand what he wants, even when his eyes are shut and his mind is flickering through dream sequences.
“Take care of him.”
Heechul stands at the door and glances over his shoulder.
“…Like he took care of me.”
It’s late, almost midnight, and Hankyung is pacing. Leeteuk is trying to get him to stop. Kyuhyun doesn’t know what to do, and Henry feels disconcerted—like a child unable to do anything while watching his father fret over a catastrophic event.
Heechul isn’t home yet.
“You tried calling him?” Leeteuk says, and the words sound so familiar that Hankyung wonders if his leader has said them more twice once in the past ten seconds.
“Yes, I did,” the words are curt.
“Hyung?” a new voice enters the conversation, from the edge of the hall, but no one except Henry looks at him.
“Maybe he just has his phone turned off. He could be with his date, or still out doing whatever he’s doing…come to think of it, he never came right out and said he has a date, did he?”
Hankyung groans and slumps onto the end of the couch.
“Hyung…” Eunhyuk raises his voice, and it’s trembling. An item, small and white is clasped between his fingers. Hankyung is staring. Finally, Eunhyuk has caught his attention.
The item in his hands is the bottle—the bottle of pills that Heechul had deemed harmless like the leader.
“Hyung, I think Heechul did something…”
The bottle is ripped from Eunhyuk’s hand in such a fast movement that the dancer has no idea how to react. He almost expects some kind of yelling to happen—not at him, but at how things stand at this very moment—but all they hear is the sound of a jacket sliding over shoulders, shoes being forced on, and a door slamming.
Kyuhyun jumps at the sound. His pulse shoots up like a skyrocket and he finds himself clinging to Henry in a matter of seconds. Henry holds onto his hyung.
“It’s alright. It’s alright…”
They all hang their heads, and they hope that their youngest is right.
Thunder cracks, like an angry whip.
He’s out of breath. He’s out of breath and soaking down to his inner marrows and he doesn’t know where the hell he needs to look. All Hankyung has done is run. It’s raining so hard that he feels like he might drown if he faces the heavens.
His black hair sticks to the sides of his face, getting in his eyes and making it harder to see than it should be. The street looks as black as the obscuring curtain in front of his dark brown orbs, with only thin shining outlines of white or yellowish light from streetlamps, reflected and distorted.
Hankyung is way out of breath. His breathing is hitched, dry, and he feels like his throat could start bleeding from how many times he’s belted out the name of his best friend so many times in the past hour.
But he still doesn’t know where Heechul could be.
Chest heaving, he needs to stop—he just needs to stand still for a second, but he doesn’t do what he needs to do. He does what he wants and he pushes himself forward. Before he knows it, he’s passing by a local park, and his body twists to follow along the path into it as if moving without consent from his brain.
He lets his legs do all the work; he lets his legs carry him to a tall, tall willow tree that’s drooped more than usual with help from the rain. Gently, he parts the sad leaves and steps underneath.
There’s a shape of something in the dark, but Hankyung’s eyes begin to adjust—and when they adjust, they reach a new level of vastness.
“Oh…oh, Hankyung, I’m so glad you’re here…” it comes out in excited sobs, if such things could exist.
“Heechul?” he sees the man slouched against the thick trunk, but doesn’t want to believe it’s him.
“Come here,” an arm extends out towards him, and his fingers pull back in a short gesture. His hands twitch. Once, twice, and then again, they twitch.
Hankyung crouches down.
“Do you want to know what mama needs?” Heechul’s fingers dig into the dirt beneath him, while the other hand is still reaching out towards him. “Do you?”
A nod, slow and shaky, takes over Hankyung’s movements. He grabs the hand that’s in front of him and holds it tightly, trying to stop its spasm. “Yes, I want to know. Tell me what she needs. I’ll help you bring it to her,” he doesn’t know that his own voice is shaking, just like Heechul’s body.
Heechul is shaking his head, but then he stops, and his eyes grow cloudy—there’s just enough light for them to see faces and shapes among shadows. “Mama needs blue violets.”
Hankyung’s mouth drops open. A few flies could have flown through, but there is only stunned noiselessness. He can’t figure out why his reaction is as such, but it is what it is.
A soft laugh escapes Heechul. Gentle, sad, longing, but his grin stays—widens, even.
“I know where I can find them,” Heechul whispers.
“Where?” the word forms on Hankyung’s lips and comes out eagerly.
Another laugh—giddy like a simple school girl—but there’s no sound to it. It reminds Hankyung of the muted TV screen.
Heechul says nothing. He closes his eyes and lets the back of his scalp rub against the tree bark.
“Where?” there’s the word again.
“Where?” it’s louder—on the verge of a holler.
“Where?” Hankyung pulls Heechul’s body up by the shoulders, but it’s limp, and it doesn’t move on its own. It’s not Heechul anymore. This is his way of answering ‘where.’
Hankyung screams this time, loud and painful and it cuts through the noise of the storm. Thunder breaks through and answers, roaring and drowning out his cries. He rocks the body in his arms. Heechul isn’t shaking anymore, and he never will.
Tears and sweat mix with rainwater.
Hankyung lets everything out until his throat wants to leak something crimson, like blood—yes, blood.
And then there’s only rain against leaves, patting and soothing.
The song that inspired this is There Once Was A Pirate from the musical Spring Awakening. It's such a sad song, and I love it. The whole musical is wonderful.
Time to confess: no tears were shed in the making of this fic. I sobbed a few times, but they were always dry. Writing this kind of sort of really hurt me, but I enjoy writing angst anyway.
Also, Kyuhyun wasn't supposed to be with Geng in this. They were just supposed to be friends, and it was supposed to be HanChul romance. But then it flip-flopped and I think it's my KyuHan bias. Damn it.